Prologue-- A Favor
The Tragedy of Dawn SummersBook One: Rise Dark SistersDisclaimer: I am not George Lucas or Joss Whedon. Full credit for creating both Star Wars and Buffy the Vampire Slayer goes to both these men respectively. Please don't sue me....
Author's Note -- I'm having to divide my time between this little project of mine and real life, so adding chapters is slow going right now, please bear with me and keep the comments coming...
Author's Note 2 -- Some minor changes to the dialogue, replacing the ALL CAPS emphasis with italics and/or bold type to give it just a little more emotional charge, can now be expected throughout this work, hope it does the story justice...
Author's Note/Acknowledgements..thanks to Knightmare and Gideon for helping me keep this thing going, your little bits of insight here and there helped keep the flow of this story, hope you can find the time to read the next one and hopefully critique...and a BIG shout out to DeepBlueJoy for granting me permission to play in her little nation of ensouled vampires (refer to her story "Turned from Darkness...")
Pairings include: Willow/Dawn, Giles/Xander, Drusilla/Patrick, Angel/Spike, and others in this soon-to-be-redone work...Prologue-- A Favor...."When the First of the Old Ones is cast from his throne, the Dark Sisters shall rise and cover the world in Shadow. And the warrior maidens who have struggled against evil since the world began shall fall into darkness, but they shall rise again in power and beauty they have never known"
-- Prophecy in the Archives of the Third Council of the Watchers
SLAYER COMMAND COMPOUND, NEAR GROOM LAKE, NEVADA, USA, (LOCATION CLASSIFIED)
"I need your help, Dawn."
"What?" Dawn Summers-Winchester looked askance at Willow Rosenberg as she spoke. The witch did not seriously suggest that Dawn could help her?
"It's this new Hellmouth. In New Zealand. It's larger and more powerful than anything we've encountered so far." The enormously powerful sorceress strode over to a projection table in the Situation Room and pressed a switch, and a holographic image appeared above the surface. To the eyes, it looked like a black hole glowing red from star gases, but it gave the impression of looking down into the throat of a monster. "The energy output of this thing is deceptively minuscule on the outside, but closer to what we might call the event horizon, the 'mouth' of this thing, it increases exponentially until you hit the center, and there it's off the scale. We can't close this thing from the outside, so we need some way to get in there and close it and still be able to get out before whoever goes in is trapped forever."
Dawn was more than skeptical at this explanation. "How am I supposed to help out with that?"
Willow smiled. "You're the Key, Dawn. You have power none of us has, perhaps more than I do. You are going to have to be trained to use magicks that can help us with this. And we're probably going to need it..."
"You can't be serious!" Dawn expected to hear something crazy from Willow one of these days, but never this. More powerful than her?! Dawn didn't think that was even possible, the witch kept getting more powerful as time went by, and Dawn was being trained as a Watcher, not a slayer, certainly not a witch. One would have to be a god to be more powerful than Willow Rosenberg, she was convinced.
"As a heart attack, kiddo. This nasty thing we're looking at, we've heard stories about those who get caught in this thing and come out as Big Bads. You see my point? Who's more powerful than me right now? The only one who could stop me once I close this thing."
no! You're not going in there, Willow, no effing way!" Willow was the only one who could ever be a sister to Dawn after Buffy, and there was no way she would allow her to sacrifice herself, no matter what. Dawn wasn't about to let that happen, not in a million years.
"Look at the facts, Dawn," the other one in the room spoke up. Andrew, the Slayer Command's resident geek and Senior Member of the Second Watchers Council. Rumor had it he was in the closet, to use a certain euphemism, but it couldn't be figured from the way he spoke. "You've already demonstrated a rather high affinity for manipulating mystical energies. You tried to raise your mom once before, by yourself, not long after she died from that aneurism." The withering look Dawn now gave Andrew suggested to him that he may have crossed a line somewhere in raising a bitter memory, but she kept her anger in check because she knew he was just using it to make another point. "Plus you were able to find that magic drug dealer, Rack, right? That took a certain sensitivity, even after having to have Clem show you how to find his place. You have a talent not many of us have, Dawn. Another fact: Willow. How many witches together could come close
to the power Willow possesses? How much power would be necessary to close this Hellmouth? How much power does the Key possess? Do we even know
? You answer those questions, and you'll see she's not joking about this in the least, girlfriend. You need to be trained, you're the only one that can do it."
"And until you are trained," continued Willow, "I
am the most powerful witch in the world, I'm the only one that could stand a chance of closing that Hellmouth. But looking at this readout alone tells us whoever goes in there to shut it down will not come out the same as they were before; they will be corrupted, turned to evil." Willow then reached toward the contron board on the projection table and pressed a series of buttons, and Dawn followed Willow's words and looked at the display of the Hellmouth; at Willow's urging, it had converted into a multicolor schematic indicating the levels of energy emanating from it. As Willow had said, near the outer edge, the blue and green indicated its lowest energy output, weakening as it radiated out from the opening in the center, which was black surrounded by the deepest shade of red. Black indicated no reading whatsoever. There was more evil power there than could be measured with their instruments. This was the entrance, the jaws of the beast waiting to devour the unwary and the reckless in its insatiable maw. It gave her a chill unlike anything she had felt before.
She turned back to face Willow, and only then realized that the unimaginably powerful sorceress had stopped speaking. When they locked eyes Willow spoke again.
"I will not risk anyone else on this mission, no matter what. That's why I need you
, to rein me in, if possible, so I have a fighting chance of coming back to us..."
"You're still telling me I might end up having to kill you. Not. Happening. Willow, if you say you
can be turned by this thing, and if you say I can be trained more powerful than you, then I
say I can bring you back. I'm not killing you, that's fucking murder
"No, Dawn, it's war. And you and I both know that in any war the best choice isn't always a good one; sometimes we have to choose the lesser of two or more evils. Do you get my meaning here?"
"I'm no idiot, Will. I think you get my
meaning here -- or am I wrong?"
"So is it agreed, then? Will you take me as your Master, and learn the ways of the Goddess and our Order?"
Dawn shrugged her shoulders in a gesture of resignation and acceptance. "Is there really a choice? You know my thoughts on this. Yes, I'll do it, I'll train."
The sudden light in Willow's and Andrew's eyes showed their intense gratitude, and Willow reached to embrace her new apprentice. "Oh, you have no idea how happy a moment this is now, Dawnie. And you'll see you're making one of the best choices you could have made recently. You'll never regret it, I promise you."
"I hope you're right..." said Dawn. "I'll have to tell my husband; at least he'll understand why, and he'll support me in this, I know that much. After L.A., I don't see why he wouldn't."
"I'll get the others, we'll be there for you at the initiation ceremony.