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.
Sunnydale, June 1998
The Vampire gasped and released the youth it was draining when it felt the wooden stake enter its heart, a second later the demon possessed body turned to dust. Xander dropped the stake and whimpered in pain.
As he lay there he knew he was hurt and hurt bad. After two years of fighting demons and ten years of physical abuse at the hands of his parents he knew what broken bones felt like. The car that had hit him had busted him up badly and the fact that the vampire who had been driving then decided to feed on him had made things worse.
The dark haired youth managed to crawl up to a nearby tree and collapse. Xander knew that there would be no help for him barring a miracle. Buffy was still missing after dealing with Angelus and Giles was out of town chasing down another rumour of her whereabouts. Willow’s parents had sent her to relatives in Montana and she wouldn’t be back for another week at least and her boyfriend Oz was on tour with his band. His sort of girlfriend, Cordelia Chase, was with her parents on vacation in Mexico.
The galling thing was not dying alone, it was being killed by a vampire when he wasn’t even patrolling. Xander had decided to have a quiet night that night. After visiting the morgue and dealing with a few ‘Animal Attack’ victims he had gone to a movie before swinging by the Summers’ Residence to check that Joyce Summers was alright.
It was on his way back to his house when the car hit him. The impact had knocked him off the sidewalk and into the park. He lay there trying to remember how to breathe when he felt himself being grabbed and dragged. Forcing his eyes open he saw the misshapen face of a vampire as its fangs descended to his neck. Somehow his right hand closed on the stake he carried and he plunged it into the vampires back. A second later he was covered in dust.
Even though he had vanquished the demon Xander knew that it had killed him. “Looks like I’ll be seeing you soon Jesse.” He thought sadly. “Maybe if I just rest here and wait for the sun to rise I’ll make it.” He snorted at that thought, it wasn’t even midnight and if a passing demon didn’t get him he’d bleed out long before then.
As he slipped into the blackness he thought of his friends and prayed for their safety. The last thing he heard was stealthy footsteps approaching. “Great, I guess I was fated to end up as a vampire’s midnight snack!”then darkness.
Agent Riley Finn regarded the bloody figure for a moment then used hand signals to place his team into all round defence. Stepping back he allowed the team medic to check the boy over. After checking the medic rocked his hand in a so-so gesture. Finn nodded and opened a channel on his radio. “This is Team Epsilon. We may have an opportunity.”
After giving their location and receiving orders to wait for a medivac Finn turned his attention back to the youth in front of him. “You poor bastard!” He thought. If he had his way this kid would now be on his way to a hospital but the latest orders from Director Walsh were to recover any HST victims for study and disposal if required.
The sound of an approaching vehicle drew his attention. Minutes later a darkened SUV pulled up and disgorged several more agents carrying a stretcher. Finn watched calmly as they prepared the subject for travel. With barely a word they had him loaded into the car and were gone.
Shaking his head he got back into the game. Calling his team in they moved out in silence. They had a patrol to finish and a debriefing to endure before they could clock off for the night.
Maggie Walsh looked over the file on the Initiative’s newest ‘guest’. Alexander Lavelle Harris, seventeen year old high school student who had been detained by a sweep team after he was attacked by a HST as per The Initiative’s quarantine protocols. When the young man had been brought in it was doubted that he would survive the night because of the injuries he had suffered.
Walsh looked up from the report to regard the head of research Dr Angleman. “Is this correct?”
“Yes Director we’ve run the tests three times with the same result. Mr Harris is producing a huge amount of enzyme 483. At the current rate he should be fully healed within two months instead of six for a normal human.” The portly scientist answered.
“What about these anomalies in his DNA?”
“We’re unsure at the moment but the working theory is that at some point he was exposed to HST DNA and it somehow bonded with him. It’s a pity that he is comatose and we can’t question him.”
Maggie nodded in agreement then came to a decision. “Designate Harris as ‘Subject 52’ and list him as a HST. With his healing factor he will be the perfect subject for some of our tests.”
Dr Angleman blanched slightly. Experimenting on HST was on thing but to do so on an American citizen was dangerous. If it ever came out ‘Life’ in Leavenworth was the best they could hope for. He was about to voice his reservations when Walsh spoke again.
“Alexander Harris was never here. It was a ‘John Doe’ that was brought in tonight and he died of his injuries and was cremated as per SOP when dealing with HST victims.”
“Of course Director.” Angleman relaxed slightly, glad that he had brought a micro-recorder hidden in his pocket. If the shit hit the fan there was no way he was taking the fall. With that he collected his files and exited the office.
Walsh allowed a small smile to cross her face. “Yes this boy was nearly perfect.” She thought to herself. Just the enzyme alone would advance her work by years, especially ‘Project 314’.
Putting aside thoughts of her newest test subject she turned to her computer and began reading the latest reports from the various research teams. The fact that she had just ordered the imprisonment and torture of an innocent citizen, a citizen of the nation that her group was founded to protect, didn’t occur to her. And if it did she would have shrugged it off. For her the ends always justified the means.
At the same time information in The Initiative’s servers was changed. Alexander L. Harris was replaced with ‘John Doe’ with a note that he had not survived a HST encounter and the body cremated. Another file was opened with the heading ‘Subject 52’ and listed information of a previously unknown HST captured for study.
End Chapter One