Buffy awoke to find herself in a large cage. Blood flowed from the wound on her head and her hands were locked in manacles suspended from the top of the cage. It took a minute for her vision to clear, but when it did she saw that there were several demons surrounding her cage leering at her. For some inexplicable reason her stomach tightened and her breathing increased. It was as if she was afraid, but she had faced demons before without any fear.
It was then that the demons parted to reveal the man from her dream. He strode toward her with all confidence. “So this is the slayer. I’ve been waiting a long time to get you here.”
Buffy’s heart was pounding in her chest but she didn’t want this demon to know how afraid she was, “Now that’s not fair. You know who I am but I have no clue who you are.” Her voice didn’t break once.
He gave her a knowing smile which made her heart skip a beat, “I am the vessel for evil on earth. I create the evil that you fight.”
“Yeah I’ve heard that before. ‘Oh I’m so evil, everybody should fear me’ well I don’t sorry.”
He laughed, “You do fear me and for good reason. I am going to have fun with you for a long time.”
“Why not just kill me? That’s what every other evil thing wants to do.”
“If I kill you then another will be called. No, I plan on breaking the slayer line all together. As far as your other friends go, I will kill them all in time. Even I have to answer to those above myself and they want all of them dead.”
He doesn’t know about Faith! “Why do they want ‘em all dead?”
“Just as you have your destiny to fight demons and save the world, they have their own destinies. It has taken me a long time to draw you all here. Now that I have succeeded, I am going to slowly break you all and kill you.”
“What do you mean you drew us all here?”
He shook his head and smiled, “Now you don’t expect me to give away all of my secrets on the first day do you?” He moved closer to her and she kicked out with her legs. She knew that she wouldn’t reach him, but she didn’t want him to touch her. “I am going to make you beg for death. Right now I have other business to take care of.” He slammed the gate on her cage and placed two of the demons in front to guard her.
Faith watched as Peter popped in with the debris they were going to use to block the other entrances and then he popped back out without so much as a word. She got everyone working on the defenses. Almost an hour later Peter, Sam, and Elliot came walking up. Elliot was carrying a body and there was no sign of Buffy or Zack behind them.
“What happened?” She watched him set down the body which turned out to be Zack, “Where’s Buffy?”
Peter walked past her without answering. Sam looked after him for a minute before answering Faith’s question, “Demons took her. I think he feels guilty for not getting to them on time.”
“Why would they take her? Why not just kill her?”
“Maybe they need her alive for some reason.”
Brennan walked over to their little group. Her eyes landed on the body at Elliot’s feet and she seemed to melt. “Zack!” She cradled his head in her lap and wept silently.
Elliot knelt down beside her, “I couldn’t leave his body there.”
She looked up into his eyes, “Thank you.”