Chapter Twenty Two
Disclaimer: I don’t own these characters and never will. BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon and Legacy of the Altendata belongs to John Ringo. I can only claim ideas that come from sleep deprivation and overdosing on caffeine and nicotine.
Chapter Twenty Two
Sunnydale Country Club
Richard Wilkens watched as the golf ball arced through the air down the fairway. It was a good line and the ball was heading straight for the green and for a moment he thought that he would finish this hole two strokes under par. His hopes were dashed when the ball, instead of landing on the green, bounced, veered and came to rest in a sand trap.
Grumbling good naturedly he returned the nine iron to his bag, it was a beautiful day and Richard was determined to enjoy it.
As he walked to where his ball had landed Wilkens considered the current state of affairs in Sunnydale.
Yes his Ascension seemed to be on track, the ritual that granted him invulnerability was complete and seemed to be successful, he smirked as he recalled the look on the ‘El Luminati’ vampire’s face after it had cleaved his head from crown to chin only for the wound to disappear within seconds. Though he was in no rush to try something like that again, the sensation as flesh and bone reformed had been strangely disturbing.
Only this morning his contact in South America had called him confirming that his Box of Gavrox was ready and would arrive by the end of the week. With the box in his possession there was only a few minor rituals that needed to be completed and then, on the centenary of the founding of Sunnydale, he would become what he was destined to be!
However, there were little things that on their own wouldn’t be a problem, that had cropped up that just might interfere with his plans.
First of course, were the Slayers. When that young girl, Buffy Summers, had arrived in town he hadn’t been too concerned. The Slayer would undoubtedly dispose of many of the vampires and demons in the town, though he made sure that those demons that were beholden to him were given ample warning on where she was patrolling and when before her pre-ordained death.
He had been surprised when the girl had not only faced his old nemesis Nest but triumphed. He had been very tempted to send her a small gift in appreciation for destroying that old demon, well, either that or have her killed, but in the end he decided to leave things the way they were. Summers was useful in dealing with the riff raff. Now he was starting to regret that decision, especially now that there were two Slayers.
Still, no point in crying over spilt milk and from what he’d heard, the blood of a Slayer was supposed to be intoxicating and he was looking forward to sampling it at some stage.
The problem with the Slayer was not who she was but what was supporting her, the Watchers Council. Wilkens had spent a lot of time and money gaining information about the Watchers, their strengths and weaknesses. He was confident that no matter what the Council sent he would be able to defeat them without too much trouble. The problem was what would happen once he had disposed of them.
The loss of a Council strike team would attract attention from other players in the game, most notably the law firm Wolfram & Hart. Only after he ascended would he be able to take on ‘The Senior Partners’. If they found out what he was planning, well, Hell on Earth was a good description for what would happen.
“Perhaps I should have Mr Trick deal with the Slayers?” He thought to himself. But Mr Trick himself might also be a problem.
Three days ago Alan Finch, his right hand man, like his father and his grandfather before him, had disappeared. Perhaps Alan had developed cold feet and decided to run but Wilkens had a suspicion the Mr Trick may have decided to improve his chances of promotion by disposing of a competitor.
Wilkens sighed. That was the problem of using vampires. As long as they feared you they were reasonably loyal. But eventually they tried to bite the hand that fed them. It was their nature.
“I suppose I’ll have to send him to the wood shed.” Wilkens murmured as he approached the green. It would be a shame to lose Mr Trick, the vampire was extremely competent and never hesitated when a touch of violence was required. However, he knew that he couldn’t allow disloyalty no matter how useful someone was.
Reaching into the bag he selected his sand wedge and walked over to the bunker. With a little luck he might be able to salvage his handicap. Settling himself he was about to chip his ball onto the green when he heard the hiss of displaced sand and he spun around to face a six foot tall, steel grey, green shouldered figure.
“Well gosh!!!” He said before an armoured gauntlet smashed into his face and sent him flying.
Lying on the ground Richard had several thoughts in his head. The first was that the creature that had just attacked him was the Threshkreen, the second was its reputation for violence was well founded and the third that it was very difficult to cast a spell with his jaw shattered.
His jaw had just healed enough for him to slur out the first part on an incantation that would burn this Threshkreen from the inside out when he opened his eyes and realised he was out of time.
“Sorry your Honour but you’re planning to hurt my friends and I can’t allow that.” Came a voice that sounded like it belonged to a teenager before Wilkens felt another blow, this one at his throat, crushing his larynx and snapping his spine. This was followed by the prick of a needle and Richard Wilkens, Mayor, sorcerer and demon worshipper saw his vision fade to blackness.
Xander looked down at the body or the Mayor. “Jesse?”
“Scan complete.” His AID reported. “Subject it now in a state of suspended animation.”
Xander released the breath that he had been unconsciously holding. “Do a scan of the area and make sure that no one saw what happened.” He said as he reached into a pouch and produced a roll of duct tape.
“Sensors show nothing for five hundred metres.”
Nodding inside his helmet Xander grasped the head of Mayor Wilkens and quickly wrapped it in duct tape before moving on to secure his hands behind his back. The Mayor might be in hibernation and would stay that way till the nannites in the dose of Hiberzine ran out of power but Xander wasn’t keen to take chances. For all he knew Wilkens might burn through the dose that was supposed to keep a human in suspended animation for up to six months in a matter of hours. But he doubted whether the sorcerer would be able to cast a spell with his mouth and eyes sealed and unable to use his hands.
Hefting the body onto his shoulder Xander quickly left the golf course for the concealment of the nearby forest.
“Well Mr Mayor you and me are going to go on a short boat ride.” He said as he activated his Chameleon field.
Behind him all that was left was some scuffed sand and the Mayor’s golf bag
The library was unusually crowded that evening. In addition to Rupert Giles and his fellow Watcher Wesley Whyndam-Price, there were the two Slayers, Buffy and Faith, Willow, Oz, Amy and Charles and Alonna Gunn. The only one missing was Xander Harris who called Giles earlier to tell him that he had some business to take care and would be out of contact.
“So as you can see.” Giles said, gesturing at the board covered with photos. “I think that we have proven beyond reasonable doubt that Richard Wilkens is at least a hundred and fifty years old and has been controlling Sunnydale since its founding.”
Amy Madison looked around before nervously raising her hand. “Mr Giles, are you sure that the Mayor is a dark sorcerer? Because I’ve read in some of my mother’s books about magicians who don’t age for decades.”
It was Wesley who answered.
“Unfortunately Miss Madison that is not the case in regards to Wilkens. While it is true that some practitioners of Earth magic, if they are truly in tune with magic do age far slower than normal I am confident in stating that Mayor Wilkens is not such an individual.” He paused. “No magician with such a gift would willingly reside here on the Hellmouth or have vampires working for them. I’m afraid that we must assume that Wilkens’ long life is the result of sacrificing innocents to demons. That means that even if he wasn’t planning an Ascension the Council is duty bound to sanction him at the first opportunity.”
“Okay so Wilkens is a bad guy.” Buffy said. “Why don’t we just cut off his head and be done with it?” bedside her Faith nodded in agreement.
“That is no longer an option I’m afraid.” Giles said. “Wilkens has commenced his ‘One Hundred Days of Invulnerability’ so a physical attack against him would be useless.”
“When you say ‘One Hundred Days of Invulnerability’ what do you mean Giles?” Gunn asked. “Is he like Superman and nothing can harm him or is he like Wolverine and he heals almost instantly?”
Everyone looked at him. “What? I used to read comics when I was a kid.”
Across the room Alonna snorted. “His bedroom used to be filled with them.”
Giles ignored the interruption. “From my research the last time the ritual was conducted it was by the Russian mystic Rasputin and it allowed him to survive innumerable assassination attempts by members of the Tsarist court. It was only when the one hundred days were completed that they were able to bludgeon him to death and throw his body into a river bound in chains.”
The group silently considered what Giles had just said.
“So kicking in the door to his office and planting a stake in his chest isn’t going to work?” Faith asked. “And is the Council going to get off their asses and give us a hand?”
Giles shook his head. “No Faith I’m afraid not. If Wilkens performed the ritual when Finch said he did it will not expire until the end of May. As for your second question while I haven’t heard anything from London the fact that when I asked to speak with Watcher Travers I was told he was out and there was no time known when he would return. I think and Wesley agrees that it means that Travers is already enroute here to Sunnydale.”
Wesley nodded and he hoped it was true. From what he had read stopping the Mayor would require all the resources the Council could muster. He also hoped that Director Travers would arrive as well. He wanted to talk to him about exactly why he was sent here to be Faith’s Watcher when there were many other Watchers who were far more experienced than he was.
“Is there anything we can do to stop him becoming a demon?” Buffy asked, since attacking the Mayor directly was out she was hoping her Watcher had some ideas.
“I believe there is Buffy. Thanks to the material that Faith and Gunn recovered from Balthazar’s lair I think that I know what the Mayor’s plans are. According to the Books of Ascension there are still several rituals that Wilkens must perform in order for him to succeed. The most important one is that he must consume a ‘Box of Gavrox’ within the next month.”
“Box of Gavrox? What’s that?” Willow asked.
It was Wesley who answered.
“The Box of Gavrox is what its name is. A box containing Gavrox demons which are very hard to find since those particular demons only live in some of the remotest jungles of South America.”
“So it’s not something that you could pick up at the local magic shop?” Amy asked.
“No it’s not and given that Gavrox demons are extremely rare and aggressive obtaining a box of them is extremely difficult.”
“So the Mayor is probably waiting for one to arrive then? And if he doesn’t get it he won’t be able to ascend?” Both Giles and Wesley nodded. “Then all we have to do is make sure that the Mayor doesn’t get his hands on it.”
“It’ll probably come by air.” Oz said. “It’s the quickest and most secure way.”
“Oz that’s brilliant!” Willow squealed. “I can hack into the airports computers and load a program that will warn us when a flight from South America is coming!”
“That great Willow.” Buffy said. “Once we know when it’s arriving we can get it before the Mayor does and then his plans will be ruined!!”
Giles was about to mention that even without the Box of Gavrox Wilkens still could ascend when the door to the library swung open to reveal Xander Harris.
“Xander!” Willow called. “We’ve found a way to stop the Mayor. We just need to get the Box of Gavrox and we’ve won!”
“Don’t worry about the Mayor.” Xander said as he took a seat. “He’s been dealt with.”
For several seconds there was silence in the library and then bedlam erupted.
Private jet, North Atlantic
Quentin Travers looked up from the report he was reading when one of his assistants approached.
“Sir.” The junior Watcher said in a soft voice so as not to disturb the other passengers who were asleep. “The pilot has just told me that thanks to the tail wind we’ll make a landing two hours earlier than expected.”
“Is everything prepared for our arrival?” He asked
“Yes sir, we will refuel at a private airfield in New York and Miss Cranson will join us there. Our contact at the consulate in Los Angeles has arranged for vehicles and a safe house outside of Sunnydale.”
Travers nodded. “Thank you Alan that will be all for now.”
The young man walked back to the galley, happy that he had been of service to the head of the Council.
Alone in his seat Travers picked up a fountain pen and scrawled ‘Approved’ followed by his initials on the report he’d been reading before tucking it away in his briefcase.
Reclining in his seat Travers closed his eyes, soon he and his team would arrive in Sunnydale and he would then show those fools on the Council that Summers and Lehane were not the type of Slayers the world needed. Letting a smile appear he drifted off to sleep and dreamed of the glorious future that he would bring about.
Oz left the library and quickly looked around before heading for a nearby stair well. Within minutes he was on the roof of the school and saw the man he was looking for.
“An interesting night.” He commented as he walked up to where Xander was standing.
Xander turned to the musician/werewolf. “Yes it is.” He said. “I take it things are still a little stressed in the library?”
Oz nodded. “You could say that.” He then lapsed into silence.
For nearly five minutes the only noise was the wind and the muted sound of traffic as the pair looked over the lights of Sunnydale.
“Willow’s pretty upset.” He paused.
Xander shrugged. “As long as she’s still alive to be upset then I can deal with it.”
The two men just stood there for a while longer.
“So why did you do it?”
“Taking out the Mayor or doing it without telling anyone beforehand?” Xander asked.
Xander sighed and leant forward to rest his hands on the parapet.
“Wilkens was a threat and far more dangerous than any vampire or demon Buffy has faced before. The Mayor controls both the human and demon side of Sunnydale and I doubt that he would have been willing to wait till the day of his Ascension to deal with us.”
Oz nodded silently, realising that if he had wanted to Wilkens could have organised to have all of them arrested any time he wanted. “And not telling us that you had a plan to deal with him?”
“Drugging the Mayor and dumping him twenty miles off the coast was ‘Plan A’ and I wasn’t sure that it would work.” Xander said. “Plan B meant that I shoved a half kiloton charge down his throat and detonated it.”
Oz blinked in surprise. “An explosion that large would have levelled half the town!”
“I know that’s why it was my back up plan and I’m glad I didn’t have to use it.” Xander said. Even with his armour he knew that he only had a fifty/fifty chance of surviving it. And if any of his friends had been beside when he took on the Mayor and he had been forced to use one of his ‘Suicide Bars’ there was no way that they would have survived.
Oz looked at the man beside him and wondered just what Xander had seen and done in that other world. The Xander that he remembered had always been ready and willing to put his life on the line to help his friends but to hear that Xander was willing to destroy the town in order to achieve his goals was a little disturbing.
“So what now?” He asked.
Xander straightened up. “Well first I guess I’d better go down and explain to the gang why I did what I did.” He paused and looked at Oz. “Are you doing anything important tomorrow?”
“If you’ve got the time swing by the warehouse. I think I might be able to do something about your ‘Furry’ condition.” Xander said as he walked to the door.
In an unassuming brownstone a leggy woman with shoulder length reddish brown hair was checking the items that were laid out on her bed. Satisfied that she had everything she needed Sophia Cranson started packing. She had just closed her bag when she realised that she wasn’t alone in the room.
“Yes Kennedy?” She asked the slender teenager who was standing in the doorway.
“I still don’t know why I can’t come with you.” Kennedy Lucas asked, folding her arms underneath her breasts.
Sophia repressed a sigh. Her charge was great girl who really enjoyed her training. If Kennedy wasn’t called, and since she had recently celebrated her fifteenth birthday the chances were slim, Sophia hoped that Kennedy would go on to become a Watcher herself.
“We talked about this Kennedy.” Sophia said, picking up her leather jacket. “This is an important assignment from the Council and unfortunately you’re not allowed to come.”
“But it’s the Hellmouth!” Kennedy pouted. “I want to go there and meet Buffy and Faith!”
Sophia shook her head, she had a pretty good idea why Kennedy wanted to meet the current Slayers. The teenage Potential had developed quite the crush on Faith and Buffy ever since she had read the reports from Rupert Giles and seen some photos of the pair.
The sound of a car horn out front announced that the cab had arrived. Grabbing her bag she headed for the front door with Kennedy trailing behind her.
“Alright.” She said, stopping at the door and checking her purse. “I don’t want to hear about any wild parties while I’m gone and no sneaking out to go hunting on your own.”
“Would I do something like that?” Kennedy asked trying to look sweet and innocent.
“In a word Yes!” Sophia knew her charge far too well to be easily fooled. “I’ll call when I arrive in Sunnydale.”
With that she gave Kennedy a quick hug and kiss on the cheek before walking out to the waiting cab.