Disclaimer: BtVS is owned by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. I can only claim ideas that come from sleep deprivation and overdosing on caffeine and nicotine.
Lowell House, UC Sunnydale Campus, late August
Riley Finn looked at the Initiative Agents who had gathered in the largest room of the Frat House that they called home.
“Alright listen up!” He called and the buzz of conversation died.
“Due to the recent security breach and the increasing number of casualties over the last few weeks Director Walsh has decided that a re-evaluation on the Initiative’s current procedures is required.”
He paused and regarded his fellow agents. There was supposed to be forty eight field agents, split into six eight man teams in the Initiative but thanks to the viciousness of the HST’s they were facing only thirty six men were in the room. Of the twelve men missing three had suffered mental breakdowns caused by facing creatures that looked as though they came straight out of a nightmare and were now in the care of various VA hospitals around the country. Five had been killed outright and their families were told that they had died in training accidents or vehicle crashes, the truth about exactly what had happened to those soldiers would never be revealed. The remaining four casualties had suffered debilitating injuries and while they were all expected to survive they would never be fit enough to serve again.
As for the rest of them, very few of them were unmarked, the most common injuries were lacerations and cracked or broken bones suffered while trying to subdue the HST’s that infested this town. Finn grimaced as he rotated the shoulder that had been dislocated by what appeared to be a weedy little guy who’d have trouble throwing a baseball but instead had picked Finn up off his feet and threw him into a wall. If it wasn’t for the rest of his team Riley might well have died that night.
But despite the casualties suffered and the danger that Riley and his fellow agents faced every time they went out on patrol he knew that it was worth it. Once the Initiative achieved its goals then the American people would be safer, not only from the threat of HST attack but the rest of the world would know that the US of A was not something to be trifled with. And it would all be thanks to the work of Margaret Walsh.
“So what does that mean for us?” Paul Sabito, one of the team leaders mumbled, his jaw wired shut after it had been broken while trying to subdue a haemovore.
“For the moment.” Riley replied. “It means that we’ll be reducing the number of patrols that are conducted and the patrols that are sent out will remain in the vicinity of the campus and its immediate area.” He paused and looked at the group, knowing that they’d all enjoy what he was going to say next.
“Since we won’t be patrolling as much we’ll be working on our cover of ‘Frat Boys’. Some members of the faculty and more than a few students have been heard commenting that we don’t throw the number of parties they expected and there’s hardly been any ‘Walk of Shame’ coming from this house in the mornings.”
The entire room erupted in shouts and cheers at that as the agents looked forward to a succession of parties and willing female partners.
Riley waited till the noise died down. “Now remember the rules. We’re college students, nothing more. So no hinting to the girl you’re trying to score with that you’re really a ‘Secret Agent Man’ understood? If a girl shows up on the doorstep needing to talk to a ‘Special Agent Brown’ then we’re all for the high jump!”
There were numerous mutters of agreement from the group. They all knew that the secrecy of the Initiative was paramount and what would happen if the secret got out.
“The revised patrol schedule will be posted by tomorrow, Team Leaders are to confirm when their teams will be active. Apart from that go out and enjoy the evening gentlemen.” Riley said and the assembled group departed.
“Yo Cornbread. Me and Miller are heading out for a drink and maybe some relaxing company. You coming?” Gates asked.
Riley shook his head regretfully. “Sorry man but I’ve a lot of paperwork that needs to be done. Maybe another time.” He was now the second in command of the Initiative’s military personnel now that Major Shannon had been recalled to Washington. As a result he had to deal with even more paperwork than before when he was just a team leader and Professor Walsh’s TA.
Nodding in understanding Gates and Miller headed out of the Frat House along with almost all the other Agents leaving Riley alone in the house. With a sigh he headed for the concealed elevator that would take him down to his new office in the facility. It would be a long night for the government agent tonight.
He had over a dozen papers that he had to grade as well as go over Maggie’s schedule for the next week. Then there was all the paperwork that was required to administer to nearly forty soldiers and marines. If he was lucky he might be able to get to bed around one in the morning.
As the elevator took him down to the extensive facilities hidden beneath Sunnydale campus he didn’t realise that he was being watched.
In her private office Maggie Walsh leaned back in her chair as she looked at the monitor displaying feeds from various security cameras scattered throughout the facility and the house above it. She watched as Riley Finn exited the elevator and made his way down the corridor to his new office.
Maggie smirked. She had big plans for Finn. Not only was he a natural leader but the young soldier was idealistically naïve when it came to obeying the orders of his superiors, always convinced that those placed above him would always to the right thing.
She could use that, especially once she finished the ‘Upgrades’ that she had planned for him. Upgrades that would make him stronger and faster than even the fittest Olympic level athlete but most importantly, completely loyal to her and her alone.
But making Finn a better soldier would have to wait. Even though Major Shannon was now back in Washington and out of her hair her position as Director was far from secure. There was going to be an inquiry about the security breach and unless she stepped very carefully she might still cop some of the blame despite the evidence that she had created implicating Shannon.
Looking back she realised that keeping ‘Subject 52’ for so long was a mistake. What she should have done was after the first month she should have had the boy terminated as mandated in the protocols that she herself had written and all records of him deleted.
But the enzyme that they had harvested from him had been so useful and all their attempts to synthesise it had failed so Maggie had kept him alive and since he was comatose she thought that he was secure until somehow, and she still didn’t know how, the subject had managed to escape.
“And we still don’t know what happened to the body.” She thought to herself. Of course there was a chance that ‘Subject 52’ had survived but she doubted it. Most likely the boy had enough strength to get out of the facility and then died in a forgotten tunnel or culvert.
Hopefully the corpse had been disposed of by a HST. From her research she knew that several species enjoyed feeding on carrion but it would have been nice to have confirmation of the fact that Alexander Harris was dead.
“Still, no use crying over spilt milk I suppose.” Maggie murmured to herself, booting up her computer. Even though there would be few research subjects coming in until regular patrols started again there was still a lot of work that needed to be done. The Tech division had managed to develop a prototype behaviour chip not much bigger than a nine volt battery but it needed to be smaller if it was going to be useful. Bringing up several files she began reading while making notes.
What she didn’t know was that the youth that she thought was dead was very much alive.
Las Vegas, Nevada
A young girl sat in a corner of the dilapidated warehouse, naked but bound hand and foot so that she couldn’t move. Her name was Emilia and last night she and her friends had arrived at the warehouse, thinking a Rave was being held in the condemned building.
But instead of a night of music and dancing they had found themselves in Hell! She had been forced to watch as first her boyfriend Todd had been slowly killed in front of her. At first Todd had tried to fight them, even breaking free and grabbing a piece of pipe to use as a weapon. But the crude weapon had been plucked from his hands as easily as he could take a stick away from a toddler.
She could still hear his shouts of defiance turn to screams of pain then whimpers for mercy before he was finally silent.
After that everything had been a blur to Emilia. She didn’t know if she had been trapped here for a night or a week. It was only the events that she seemed to remember.
Like being flogged with an electrical cable until her blood dripped to the floor while the monster that wielded the whip had laughed every time she screamed. Or watching while her best friend Patricia had sat in the middle of the room, eyes vacant and glassy, giggling inanely while the creatures with faces straight out of Hell sank their teeth into her neck and arms until she died.
The sound of approaching footsteps caused her to look up and try to focus her eyes. Without her glasses she could barely see but she could focus enough to realise that one of the monsters was coming for her. She silently prayed that it would kill her and end her suffering once and for all.
“So Sweetie,” The monster smirked as he grabbed her by her hair to look at her face. “You’re the only one left. Maybe we should have some fun with you before you join your friends?” It asked and reached down to cruelly pinch one of her exposed nipples. “I’m sure that you’ll be able to show me and my buddies a good time before we’re finished with you.” The only answer he got was a whimper.
The vampire smirked at the abused teenager at his feet. He was about to call out to the other vampires in his gang to join him when his vampiric hearing picked up the sound of an engine revving outside the warehouse.
He was about to send one of his minions out to see what was happening when with a thunderous crash a car slammed through the wall.
For a second he was stunned as he stared at the now totalled car in front of him amongst the rubble that had been the wall. From the other room the three other vampires that made up his gang boiled out.
“Motherfucker!!” He screamed when he recognised that the wreck was his own car. He turned to the hole in the wall in time to see a dark clad figure step into the warehouse. The vampire was about to order his minions to bring the interloper to him so that he could pay for what he had done when the figure, who smelled human, raised his hands to show that he was carrying a pistol and fired twice.
Emilia sat there, barely able to remember how to breathe as first a car had barrelled through the wall of the warehouse and then a figure wearing a dark coloured hooded sweatshirt with a bandanna covering the lower half of his face step into the building. Without saying a word he shot the monster that had been tormenting her in the head twice, causing it to fall to the floor, twitching. She noted with bemusement that there was very little blood.
She forced her attention back to the man who had just entered as he fired again, this time hitting another monster in the head and wounding the second. Then he was tackled to the ground and the pistol knocked from his grasp.
Within seconds he was back on his feet with a hatchet in one hand and what looked like a sharpened piece of wood in the other. With a feral growl he launched himself at the monsters, slamming the piece of wood into the chest of one the monsters, causing it to turn to dust before turning his attention to the remaining monster.
Less than a minute later it was over. Emilia watched as what she hoped was her rescuer used his axe to chop off the heads of the remaining monsters, causing them to turn to dust. She couldn’t help but shudder as he stalked towards her, reaching behind his back to produce a knife.
“Please don’t hurt me!” She sobbed. To her the man was almost as frightening as the creatures that attacked her and she was afraid that he just might continue what they had started.
“Shh it’s alright. I’m not going to hurt you.” The man sounded young and Emilia detected a southern California accent in his voice. “I’m just going to cut you loose.”
When she felt the knife cut the cords that had been binding her she looked up and peered at the shadowed face of her rescuer. It was then that she noticed something strange. He had brown eyes but there was a ring of green around them that seemed to be glowing.
That and everything else that she had experienced was too much and she passed out.
Xander Harris looked down at the unconscious, bleeding teenager laying in front of him. Kneeling down he quickly checked the girl and sighed with relief when he felt a weak but steady pulse.
“Sorry that I wasn’t in time to save your friends as well.” He murmured to the girl. It was sheer luck that he had found this vampire lair and that was mainly because it was close to the construction site where he was working as a day labourer. Getting to his feet he knew he had to call 911. The girl needed medical attention and fast.
As he crossed the warehouse the adrenalin wore off and he staggered. One of the vampires had clipped him pretty good in the fight and he suspected that he had a couple of cracked ribs at the very least. Gritting his teeth he entered the attached office.
Looking around the office he grabbed an old trench coat that was on the back of a chair. It wasn’t a blanket but it should help keep the girl warm till an ambulance arrived. Then he saw what he needed, a dust covered phone sitting on the desk. He picked up the handset and sighed with relief when he heard a dial tone.
Quickly he punched in the number and told the operator that he needed and ambulance. Confirming the address of the warehouse he hung up when they asked for his name. Just as he was about to leave the office to check on the girl he noticed a briefcase that wasn’t dust covered like everything else in the office.
Curiously he opened the case and his eyes widened in surprise when he saw the contents. The vampires had obviously been robbing their victims before they killed them since the case was filled with bank notes.
“I guess I shouldn’t let this go to waste.” He thought to himself as he closed the case before grabbing the coat and heading back out to the warehouse. The young demon hunter was going to wait with the girl until he heard the sirens. He really didn’t want to try to explain what happened here to the authorities.
Placing the coat over the naked and slightly shivering girl Xander sat back and waited for the sound of approaching sirens. As he waited he wondered what was happening back in Sunnydale.
Sunnydale Greyhound Depot
The last bus of the night from L.A. came to a halt with a muted squeal from its brakes. Only one person got off the bus, a young petite blonde haired girl with tired eyes carrying a single small bag.
Buffy Summers looked around the darkened streets and allowed a small smile to appear. She was home. She just hoped that her mom was willing to forgive her for running away. Walking down the street she didn’t know that within the hour her world would come crashing down again when she found out that one of her closest friends was missing.