The Battle for Sunnydale
I don't own BtVS or AtS. The Prophecies Cycle
Book I: The Red Moon Rises
Chapter 6: The Battle for Sunnydale23 to 29 Days until the Red MoonChase Castle, Sunnydale Town
Lordship of Sunnydale
There were many things that you could say about Lady Cordelia Chase, daughter of and heir to Lord David Chase and Lady Miram Chase: Arrogant, spoiled rotten, beautiful, bitchy, sarcastic, tactless, sharp tongued...
But there was one thing you absolutely couldn't
say about Cordelia Chase. For all her airs, she wasn't an idiot. She was, actually, surprisingly intelligent when she decided to actively make the effort to put her mind to something. Of course, with all her arrogance, egoism and sheltered upbringing and lifestyle, her ability to make well-informed, carefully reasoned decisions was...lacking.
Still, for once, her egotistical nature had actually paid off. When she'd heard the reports of vampire activity in the area around Sunnydale, she couldn't imagine that the vampires wouldn't want to immediately go for her obviously superior blood – plus, she was just so beautiful they'd definitely want to drain her blood.
Dying – or becoming undead – had, understandably, little to no appeal to her. She'd managed to, even before her father had set Amy to setting wards up over the entire castle, to get the hired witch set some up for her room.
And so it was that the moment vampires entered the castle, Cordelia was woken up by an insistent ringing in her head. What the hell-?
She rubbed her eyes as she sat up. She shook her head violently, trying to get the ringing out of her head. I know I didn't have anything to drink last night...
Cordelia had had a hangover once. She hadn't much liked the feeling. Oh my gods...
it suddenly occurred to her. Before she could really complete her thought, she was out of bed, and pulling a robe over her nightgown. She was safe inside her room...anyone who had a single room like this was safe...but if her parents didn't know... again, without really processing it, she was out of her room, and running towards the stairs up, to her mother and father's chambers. Her father would know what to do. He always did.Sunnydale Town
Lordship of Sunnydale
Darla looked up at the 'impressive' walls of Chase Castle, throughly unimpressed. Oh, they might do for keeping out petty mortal invaders – so like humans to think so small...
but they were nothing for her force of vampires.
“My lady.” One of her minions intoned, kneeling before her. “The lower town is ours. Any humans outside their homes have been killed, or turned, as you have commanded.”
“Excellent. We'll deal with the ones hiding behind their pathetic little thresholds soon enough.” Darla spat venomously. A thresholds only mattered if the house was still intact...and that could easily be fixed, though not tonight... “What of the castle?”
The Aurelian hesitated for a moment, “...things did not go as...smoothly, there, Mistress.” He admitted. “We...one of the wall guards evaded us, and got into the castle...he didn't raise the alarm-” he hastily added, “but...the vampire dispatched after him hasn't reported back...he may have decided to get distracted from our holy mission to...indulge...”
“Or we may have a human who killed one of us. And he isn't even a Daughter of Sineya! Do I have to do everything myself?!” She reached down and ripped her minion's ear off, ignoring his scream of agony. “Oh, shut up you pathetic sniveling worm!” With a well-aimed kick, Darla sent the far younger vampire sprawling.
“My kitten...he's here. The stars tell me...they tell such lovely tales. He's a white knight...” Drusilla began to mumble on.
“Spike, shut her up!” Darla hissed at the blonde vampire. “I can't think when she's rambling on.” Then, an idea occurred to her. “No. Better plan. You two go find this human and kill him. And feel free to have fun with whoever else you find in there when you're done. Just make sure that the guards are dead. The faster we get this done with, the faster we can be sure the town is secure. I don't want any complications when the Daughters arrive. And they will arrive.” And quite possibly with Angelus in tow...
She allowed herself a moment's reminiscing about the things they did to and with eachother, in their century and a half rampage across the kingdom. And it had been glorious...
Darla shook her head violently, ridding herself of the thoughts of her lost childe. “Are we clear, Spike? No having fun until all the guards are dead.
Understand me?!” Her voices raised as she came to an end.
“Alright, alright. I get you, Darla.” Spike said, almost defensively. “We'll kill the damn guards.” He turned his head back towards Drusilla. “How does that sound luv? Would you like to do some killing?”
“The stars...it sounds lovely, my Spike.” She slipped her hand into Spikes and the two of them raced towards the walls, jumping to the battlements as one.
“So disgustingly in love.” Darla shook her head. They were both far too human. They had no desire to see the Master's vision unfold. Soon enough, they were likely to become a liability. But for now, they were some of the best killers that she had at her disposal.Chase Castle, Sunnydale Town
Lordship of Sunnydale
“So what the hell are we up against?” Devon asked Xander, as the surviving guards re-adjusted their armor to be better suited to wearing for long-term use.
“I have no idea. An army of vampires. Fucking too many to just fight. They...they've overrun the city.”
“How the fuck do you propose we fight an army
“Carefully.” Xander said. “Vampires are stronger, faster and tougher than we are. But they're not invincible. Or even invulnerable. I killed one, and together, we dealt with another three. If I had to guess, I'd say they're overconfident. When you're stronger and faster than the other guy, and really hard to kill on top of that, you don't need to fight smart. We on the other hand, can, and we need to. There are five of us. We take torches, we work together, and maybe, just maybe, we can get through this.”
“How, exactly. You're still not proposing much in the way of workable solutions!” Devon insisted. “We can't kill them all. We need to get behind a threshold and wait until sunrise-”
Xander cut him off. “And then what? Everyone cowers at night, while the vampires rule the town and the castle? Besides, it wouldn't he hard for them to just cover the windows here in the castle, and then what? No. We need a solution. At least, some kind of holding pattern. We need Lord Chase's witch, Amy Madison.”
“Oh yes, trust our lives to that psychopath.”
“I'd rather trust my life to her than have guaranteed death at the hands of a vampire. Besides, who else do you know that can conjure up fireballs on a whim? Just think of toasted vampires. Let's go!” Xander grabbed an unlit torch and used one of the other guards' torches to light it. Without waiting for the others, he immediately set out of the Barracks. Crossing the entire castle in the meantime.
Even as the guards moved out, all of them – even Devon, for all his protests – of the barracks, two other - well, calling them people
wasn't quite accurate - were venturing further into the castle.
Spike banged on the first door he found, then, with an effortless kick, turned it into splinters. “That never gets old.” He commented to Drusilla, and entered into the revealed kitchen. “Wrong kind of food, then, Dru.”
“I know you're in here,” Drusilla said in a sing-song voice. “Come out, little boy. I've got a nice treat for you if you do...a sweet and lovely treat for the good little boy..” Spike was confused for a moment, then he smelt it too. The heavy layers of spices and other food products had blocked it for a few moments. There was a human here...and young, like Dru said. Oh, she loves that.
Spike thought with a wicked smirk. Dru always did like 'em young.
He followed her farther into the room, eyes on the lookout. “There you are,” Drusilla lunged underneath a table, pulling out a terrified looking boy, at most eight years old, clutching a half-finished sweet pastry of some kind. The boy squirmed, desperate to escape her icy grip, but the seeress was having none of that. “Look into my eyes...” She said, her voice low, but insistent. “Look into my eyes!” She demanded a second time.
The boy, his will far to week, had no choice, and he turned his head, eyes locked on hers.
“Good boy...” Her other hand reached down to stroke his cheek softly. “Where do the guards live, my dear, sweet, baby little boy?”
“In...in the barracks.” He said in a small, scared voice, even as her will demolished his completely.
“And where is the barracks?”
“...Other...other side of the castle.” His voice grew even weaker.
“Good boy...” she crooned, stroking his cheek again. “I could be your mummy, you know...”
“Dru, we can't turn a brat. Feed on him and let's go, before Darla decides to rip my ear off.” Spike demanded.
“Spike-y is afraid of grand-mummy being cross...” Drusilla said, as if to the air, ignoring Spike's 'Oi!'. Without any segue, her true face appeared, and within a second, her teeth sinking into the boy's neck. With a single whimper, the boy faded, first into unconsciousness, then death, as the very essence of his life faded away into Drusilla's mouth, running into her throat, being consumed by the demonic energies that animated and sustained her long-dead body. He was so small that it didn't take her long. Within a minute, his body was a bloodless husk, and she stood, dropping it to the ground without ceremony.
“Dru, you got a spot of blood on your lip.” Spike said, coming in and giving her a brutal kiss, crushing his lips to hers, licking away the blood. He pulled back, a smirk on his face. “Ready to kill, then, love?”
“Always.” Drusilla replied. With another smirk, Spike took her hand and they fairly swooped out of the kitchen, moving far quicker than any human ever could, on a direct course for the guard barracks. And on a direct line course for the last, desperate group of the House Chase Guard, led by on Xander Harris.Sunnydale Town
Lordship of Sunnydale
Darla had only stayed to watch where Spike and Drusilla had disappeared over the walls for a few moments, before turning away, ignoring the pained, whimpering moans of her mutilated minion. Once we have eliminated the Guard, we shall make this castle our base. Our refuge during the light of the cursed sun. Darla recalled the passages of the Pergamum Codex. The sun would not remain a cursed threat as the return of the Master became imminent...not over this place, the place that the Master had been sealed away, and would rise again. Not, the Prophecies of Aurelius promised, over the place known by some as the maw of fire.
Or, more accurately...The Hellmouth.Chase Castle, Sunnydale Town
Lordship of Sunnydale
In retrospect, Xander realized that they'd walked right into it. Right into this attack.
Himself, Devon, and three other guards, in their hurry to get to Amy Madison, and thus some semblance of a chance at survival through this incoming hell, had abandoned all stealth. Though, Xander had reasoned at the time – and still believed – against the superior senses of a vampire, stealth was kind of irrelevant.
The first awareness any of them had of the immediate presence of more vampires was an animalistic growl, and the sound of Devon's neck snapping. It was all too fast for any of them to see what had happened in-between, for it to register inside their minds.
But now, in the split second of crisis decision, where time seemed to slow down...Xander got a good look at the attackers.
There were only two, one male, one female. The man was tall, and even more pale than most vampires – or well, at least, the other four he'd actually seen in his life – were. Then again, its not as if any vampire has any business not being pale, when you get right down to it.
His blonde hair was slicked back, carefully held down in a style like none Xander had ever seen before. He carried no weapon – not that he needed one – and wore a long – down to the floor, almost – black leather coat. The face was the true face, the face of the demon, so it was said.
The woman wasn't as tall as the man, but to call her short would be inaccurate. She could have been considered pretty, but she was a little too thin, waif-like. Almost like a doll – she looked...fragile, almost. The black dress she wore wasn't quite see through, but it was thin enough to be considered – ay least arguably – indecent....what bothered him the most, of all things, was her fingernails. They were sharp...like the claws of some animal. Her black hair was long, and unlike her male counterpart, she didn't wear her true, demonic face.
And then, the split second was over, and the world exploded into sound and motion. With an incoherent battle-cry, the guards rushed en-masse
at the vampires, hoping to overwhelm them. Xander thrust at the blonde one with his torch, but the vampire seemed to be regard that as a minor nuisance. With the ease of an experienced fighter, he locked Xander's arm in a vice-grip. Without any ceremony or warning, he twisted, and despite himself, Xander screamed as pain ripped through him, spinning up his arm like fire. The torch dropped to the ground, landing on the foot of one of the other guards. That guard managed to avoid completely catching aflame...not that it helped him any.
His motion to get away from the torch had brought him too close to the black haired woman, who lashed out with her claw-like fingernails and opened his neck. The guard's hand instinctively went up to the wound, as he fell to the ground, unable to make any noises in pain. And as Xander watched this, horrified, the vampire still holding his shattered arm, threw him bodily into the wall. Xander threw out his good arm, catching into the vampire's coat and actually successfully pulled the undead man along with him into the wall, but Xander felt the wind leave him completely as he crashed back-on into the wall, even more pain burning through him. The vampire, while momentarily stunned by the impact, seemed unharmed.
“Not bad, Droopy Boy.” The vampire drawled within seconds. “But not good enough.” With a snarl, he lunged for Xander's neck, and no amount of struggling seemed to be able to stop him. Then-
One second, the vampire's teeth were almost to his neck, the next he was hissing in pain, back arched, releasing his grip on Xander, as the guard standing behind him sliced at the vampire's back. The other two guards, between them, were managing to keep the woman at sword's length, though only just.
Xander, the vampire still somewhat pinning down distracted, even if for a moment, nodded ever so lightly at the dagger on his fellow guardsman's belt.
Pausing just long enough from his attacks on the vampire's back, the guard removed the sheathed weapon and tossed it Xander. This, in turn, freed the vampire's ability to act enough for him to get up and lunge at his attacker. But before he could do any damage, Xander, displaying the true tenaciousness of humanity, stabbed the dagger into the vampire's foot, pulling out and stabbing the other foot even as the creature thrashed.
“You bloody gits!” The vampire said, catching the still standing guard on the cheek with a fist. Unintentionally, the force of the blow was so great as to send his victim's head twisting too far to the side, and with a sickening crack, he slumped to the ground dead. Xander felt horror overcoming him, mixing with his paid as bile rose in his throat. Desperately, he got to his knees and lashed out at the vampire again, cutting the tendons on the back of one knee, then the other.How fast do vampires fucking heal?
He questioned desperately, struggling to his feet, unwilling to free up one hand by putting down his dagger, and unable to use his other hand, the arm broken. Still, he managed, with some difficulty, to stand, even as the male vampire still was on his knees.
“Spike!” the woman cried out, breaking past the two guardsman riding herd on her, acquiring cuts on her arms, diving towards the other vampire. She crouched next to him, then looked up at Xander, who was hastily backing away. “You nasty, wretched boy! You hurt my Spike!” She stood.
“Run!” Xander shouted, and he joined his fellow guards racing as fast as they could – which was far slower than they liked, especially for Xander, who had suffered several injuries now, and was exhausted, only functioning due to pure adrenaline, which was itself running out...his legs burned, his arm screamed out at him....still, he ran.
“Kaliskaras Sheltresk Excaliar! Goddess Hecate, head my call!
” Xander barely registered the words of the spell, in Amy's voice, but even in his numbed state, he registered the effects of it. A massive wall of fire, reaching almost up to the ceiling – formed behind the three running guards, blocking the female vampire's pursuit of them.
“Petty magics won't protect you forever, you wretched boy!” She shouted at him.
“But they'll do for now, blood bitch!” Amy shouted back. Then, “Follow me. Hurry. That spell really won't last long. We need to get behind a threshold. Now.”Next time, on Red Moon Rises: Wesley, Gunn and Fred have arrived back at Giles' tower, with Lilah Morgan, Agent of the Black Thorn in tow. Can the Pergamum Codex provide them with enough information to prevent the oncoming apocalypse?