Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
Jo’s day was not shaping well. When Beverly had fled from Eureka a while ago, she, just like Jack and others, had genuinely hoped that she won’t be coming back ever again, and indeed, for a while there were rumours of her being actually incarcerated – but then they went in time, and broke the time travellers’ protocol, and in changing their future had, apparently, given the ex-psychiatrist a free ‘get out of jail’ card or something, Jo wasn’t sure what. That was more of Henry and Allison’s thing, not hers. She – she just protected GD from internal threats and left the more in-depth thinking to the more in-depth thinkers.
Well, actually, that could explain why she was trailing Holly Marten’s cousin and her girlfriend as well as Beverly/not-Beverly (yeah, right) character to her office – wait, to her office?
“Why are we going to my office?” she suddenly said. “Why not go somewhere else?”
“Eh, Dr. Fargo said that the building is being overrun by some sort of crystalline robots, so could we not get underfoot, please?” the other girl – Kennedy – replied helpfully. “Dr. Marten suggested your office, so here we’re going-“
“Here we are,” ‘Andria Korshe’ said in her deadpan voice as she opened the door (though it wasn’t locked, btw). “So, uh, you know why I gained such strength?”
“Yes,” Kennedy exchanged a look with Willow. “Please, sit. You too, officer Lupo, I suppose – this is usually a long talk, and it began a long time ago, for the Earth is far older than you think. In those times, they were inhabited known as the demons or the Old Ones...”* * *
“You know, this is really Jo’s sort of thing,” Jack Carter conversed with Henry as the two of them shielded Allison and Grace from three crystalline robots, each one shaped like a scorpion roughly a meter long. “She tends to point out how she’s in charge of GD’s security every once in a while. So how do we smash them?”
“With brute force, I’m afraid,” Henry admitted. “They’re highly resistant to anything else.”
“Thought so,” muttered Jack, raised his gun and fired in some draped table. There was a tinkling, crashing sound, and the fourth robot, followed by the broken remains of the fifth, joined the first three. “Thought I noticed moving something under there – guess I was right.”
“Yes, Jack, but now you must’ve angered them,” Allison muttered as the remaining four robots formed a single line against four people. “Henry, why did you make them in forms of scorpions? Couldn’t you have done them in shape of squirrels, or rabbits?”
“I’m allergic to fur, so I guess I didn’t think of that,” Henry admitted sheepishly.
“You are? Why didn’t you tell us? I’m sure we would’ve been able to find something in the GD’s labs for just such an emergency,” Grace began to speak, when the robots charged causing the people to scatter.
Two of the robots took Henry and Jack in a pincer-like manoeuvre. “Henry,” Jack muttered as he grabbed his friend and the two robots charged, their stingers extended in an upwards position, “now!”
The two men jumped out of the way, and the two robots smashed into each other, simultaneously stinging each other in process as well. They collapsed and didn’t to move again.
“A bit of help here?” Grace called out, seeing how she was cornered by her robot. “Guys, Allison?”
“Wait just a bit,” Allison muttered as she grabbed a chair and repeatedly hit her own robot with it. Maybe it was adrenalin or something else, but after two or three blows, both the chair and the robot were completely ruined.
“I don’t quite have the time,” Grace shot back as she climbed a sofa in order to escape her pursuer. That didn’t work, as the robot too climbed the sofa chasing her.
Jack fired another shot. This time, it bounced off the machine’s crystallized shell, attracting the robot back to Jack.
“Nuts,” Jack could only mutter as the robot charged at him, its stinger in attack position.
Henry, meanwhile, flipped a switch on a wall. There was a flash of electricity, a crackling sound, and the robot got zapped by a powerful charge that short-circuited it.
“Well, that was fun,” Jack muttered sarcastically.
With a whine, the rest of the office’s electric devices also died, plunging the room into darkness.
“And it’s not over yet,” Allison muttered back, equally sarcastically.* * *
“Let me get this straight,” Jo said slowly, “you’re saying that once upon a time there were demons and ghosts and magic and things that go bump in the night with too many teeth, right?”
“What do you mean, were? They still are, but other than that, you’re correct,” Willow nodded solemnly.
“Bull!” Jo exploded. “Magic and ghosts and werewolves are just obscurantism of religious charlatans, aimed to befuddle the masses and to make them more uneducated and biddable!”
Willow blinked, stared at Jo as if she never saw her before (well, more so than before) and muttered: “Lumos!”
Immediately a ball of light began to hover in mid-air in Jo’s office.
“Um, I could do that with a flashlight invented over half a century ago here,” Jo tried to recover her composure.
“Ah, but we don’t have a flashlight,” Kennedy said with a grin.
“What’s the price?” ‘Andria’ asked quietly.
Willow and Kennedy exchanged thoughtful looks. “Hard to tell,” Willow admitted reluctantly. “I can tell you that magic is highly addictive and if you’re not careful, you can go on a power trip that can end very badly.”
“No, that’s people,” ‘Andria’ said quietly. “They may just need any excuse to go on a power trip – magic, science, et cetera – you name it, they used it.”
“No, that’s just you,” Jo snapped. “Did you have to be such a manipulative character, really?”
“Ah, but I’m not her,” ‘Andria’ replied, “remember?”
“That’s it,” Jo snapped. “I’m calling Henry and getting your blood checked. You are Beverly Barlowe, and we shall prove it!” She walked over to her table and pressed the intercom button. “Jack? You done there?”
“No!” the reply came back in Henry’s voice. “The robots... they trashed the office somewhat and we made it worse, just a bit. Can you call back later? Henry out!”
“Robots, hah?” Kennedy asked with a grin while Willow turned to ‘Andria’:
“So, uh, this was our sales pitch. I mean, we’re not insisting that you come with us and learn the tricks of being a full-time Slayer – which you may not want, because it’s not that great of a job, not even a job – a volition, rather, but, uh, I don’t know, Giles, for one, may be happy to have someone of his age around-“
“Wait,” ‘Andria’ said firmly, “it’s my time now to tell a story, and while it didn’t happen so long ago, it’s still a long one and it involves aliens. Listen-“TBC