Roads There are first times for everything. The first time I slew a vampire. The first time I met Xander. The first time I encountered Giles. The first time I died. That first time. The first time I really held my sister. The first time I took a cat shot in a Valkyrie. The first time my sister really surprised me. Some are bad…really bad, but most, like the last were good…really, really good.
Interview With a Slayer – Macross Broadcasting SystemSDF-1 Crossing Jupiter Orbit – PROMETHEUS Hangar Deck
“Master Switch to standby.”
“Radar Master to off.”
“Hellram systems to off.”
“Prestart complete. Move to Startup Checklist.”
“Startup Checklist ready.”
Their craft rocked gently in the artificial gravity as the deck crew hooked up the tractor to the nose gear and began the evolution necessary to move a forty ton aerospace craft from the hangar deck of the PROMETHEUS to flight deck.IWC Headquarters
Redemption is a long, painful road. A pathway fraught with potholes and detours, sudden turns and blind curves. For those on the legitimate road, they quite often find themselves circling back to those they have injured the most. Contemplating the irony of his place, one such traveler walked down a narrow hallway in a rather average looking building indistinguishable from many others of its style, save for its location in the belly of a massive spacecraft a hundred million miles from the world where it was built.
Shaking his head, the traveler's mind wondered at his position via the consideration of the callsign his compatriots had chosen for him. Warlock. A dark name, fitting for the person he had become before setting foot on the road. He could have argued. In his heart he knew what he wanted to be. He could have convinced them that Jedi was just as good. Of course, he had not. He was Warlock, because if he lobbied for Jedi, then his own heart would insist that the darkness he had embraced made him Sith instead.
There were times he could almost forget, fall into old patterns of behavior, just be a geek. At least among the others, those who came to Sunnydale late. But never around the core Scoobies, and especially never around… her. Swallowing hard, Andrew Wells knocked lightly on the wooden door. Once more, guilt washed over him as he considered what he had been a part of, and what it had cost the woman he was about to visit.
A slightly slurred, almost husky voice answered from beyond the door. “Come in.”
And he was standing in front of her. She who was a fellow traveler on this road because
of the actions he and his compatriots had taken. She who had flayed his former leader without trial or recourse for the crime of killing her lover. She who had nearly ended the world in the all consuming grief that resulted from Warren’s heinous act. That the lover’s injury was not even contemplated, could even be considered a true accident of fate bore no weight in Andrew’s heart. She had forgiven him, even as she refused to forgive herself… as he refused to forgive himself. “Willow?”
She glanced up from the computer screen on her desk and smiled. “Andrew. How can I help you?”
He flinched, self guilt overriding her forgiveness. Again. Reaching out, he set the book he was carrying on her desk. “I found that description we discussed and marked the passages.”
The red haired robotechnologist picked up the copy of Tom Clancy’s ‘Debt of Honor’ and thumbed it open to the marked page, skimming the section. Standing, she grabbed his hand. “This I can do.”
Andrew smiled and relaxed. “Well, I have accepted the mission to protect Buffy’s sister.”
Willow snorted. “Yeah, but Dawnie is still going to love this!”PROMETHEUS Hangar Deck
“Main Power Master Switch to on.”
“Main Power on.”
“Initiate Reflex Furnace Start.”
“Reflex Furnace start.”
“Life support to on.”
“Life support on. Positive Oh-two flow. Temperature controls are green.”
Gold layered perspex lowered around the two individuals aboard the heavily modified Spaceborn Warning And Control bird known in the RDF as a 'Cat's-Eye'. Moments later the curtain door slid to the side and the tractor pushed the craft into the elevator four airlock.Macross City
The music's thrumming pulse rolled through her body, resonating in her chest, making her feel as if the still heart there still beat... almost. Licking her lips she looked up into the eyes of her drunken dance partner. Smiling a smile that had been her bread and butter, once upon a time in Victorian London, she raised her hand to trace a finger along the sailor's jaw and neck.
Oh yes, he would do far better than almost any of that gaggle of children they had sired in the shelter. After-all random turnings were generally good only for creating cannon-fodder for the smart ones like Morgan, Lanaya and herself. The off duty officer laughed, thinking of how lucky he was going to be this evening. Beth joined him and agreed about said luck for her own inimitable reasons as she steered him toward the club's back door.
In a different club Lanaya pulled a young doctor into a back room as two of her sire-siblings lured a pair of young girls out of the club in clear sight of the slayer who had staked out place. As her stalking horses drew off the immediate danger she too led her victim out of the club and into the decks that hid beneath the streets of Macross City. Fully in her thrall, the intern trailed behind the teen vampire as she lead him to the nest she had prepared for his siring.
Others may have felt that the endorphins released by their prey's fear made for a tasty meal, but Lanaya had decided that there were other chemicals that the prey could be induced to release in their blood. At the door she paused to kiss the doctor, unbuttoning his shirt as she pushed him into the dimly lit room. Pushing him down on the mattress she had acquired from bay five she slipped out of her dress and threw herself at him.
Yes, they would both enjoy the evening, even as she did her dinner.
Morgan looked down at the young engineer who he had just drained, gently laying his bleeding wrist against her mouth and smiling as her moist lips caressed the dark trickle that flowed onto her tongue. Louise Carter's lifeless eyes blankly staring at the featureless gray ceiling of the vampire's nest.
Soon. Soon his new plan would come to fruition. By intent or accident, humanity had become a player on the interstellar stage. He had no intent of allowing them to leave their oldest and closest enemies behind.
No, humanity would not escape the old one's curse so easily. And those other beings out there, perhaps they would be tasty snacks as well.PROMETHEUS Flight Deck
“PROMETHUS Control, Watcher. Sunrise, Pilot in Command. Comm-check.”
“Watcher, Sunrise. Comm-check confirmed PROMETHEUS has you five by five.”
“PROMETHEUS Control, Watcher. Warlock, Combat Systems Officer. Comm-check.”
“Watcher, Warlock. PROMETHEUS has you five by five.”
“PROMETHEUS Control, Watcher requests departure clearance.”
“Watcher you are cleared to departure control.”
“Taxi to cat two and good hunting!”
“Watcher departing cat two.”
On deck, the yellow-shirt cocked his head, listening to the instructions from the deck boss. With a nod, he snapped his two orange wands up in a crossed pattern, made eye contact with the pilot, then separated the wands and began to motion her slowly forward. The young woman in the front seat advanced the throttles and slipped the brakes allowing the ungainly craft to inch onto the flightline, following the direction of their deck guide as he lead them clear of the other craft on deck and turned them toward the port forward catapult, halting them in front of the blast shield which raised behind them as the pin latched in the shuttle. Brakes locked, the pilot advanced the throttles to full, the matte black craft vibrating violently for five seconds before she pulled the engines back to idle while the craft in front of theirs on cat one was accelerated to near patrol speed by the electromagnetic catapult. With a moment of quiet, the young pilot wondered what the PROMETHEUS bridge crew thought of the giant unit insignia that had been painted atop her craft's radar dome.IWC Headquarters
“Again. This time at speed.”
Sweat rolled into Dawn's eyes as Faith's command sent her racing to first position, lithely dodging the slayers who were also being drilled on the choreography. The music started and she spun in place, raising her wooden practice sword, also known as a broom-handle, to deflect Vi's attack, kicked Rona, and ducked Appie's slash. Grinning, she let her movements flow in time with the music Andrew had brought to her and Faith. How Andrew had found out about the competition, the young watcher did not know, but in spite of her initial misgivings, his selection of music was perfect. Besides, Buffy still did not know...
“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!?!”
Oops! Dawn grinned again. “Rehearsal!” She snapped without breaking her stride through the choreography.
“Rehearsal for WHAT, Dawn?”
Dawn gave the hand signal that all the slayer's knew for an immediate freeze. One of the many things that the watchers and slayers had learned during the course of their RDF training. Turning, they all faced their leader with wide grins. “Why, the Miss Macross competition, of course. I can't win if I don't perform a talent, and you yourself have said that I should never, never, EVER sing again.”
Buffy stood in front of the doorway, fish mouthing and making odd gag noises.
Her grin growing larger, Dawn flounced up in front of her little, if older, sister, leaned over, threw her arms around her and picked her up in a hug. “Gotcha.” She whispered. “Now, we do have a part for you in this. You interested?”
“W..we?” Buffy squirmed. “ME?!?”
“Yep!” Dawn nodded vigorously as she set Buffy back on her feet.
Buffy's eyes lit up. “You mean you're really in the competition?”
Dawn's nod took on earthquake bobble-head proportions. As she took the acceptance letter out of Faith's hand and passed it over.
The smile on Buffy's face got even bigger as she read the letter. All the other girls gathered around as their leader began to unconsciously bounce on her toes. The bounces became jumps as she grabbed Dawn's hands and the two of them began an uncontrolled giggle that built and built and built until the walls were shaking under the earsplitting squeals of 13 young women.
In the IWC Headquarters' main office, four men looked up, startled, from the small mountain of paperwork they were wading through. Paperwork that had piled up because Xander was still off most days rebuilding the city, Robin was busy getting one of the two high schools up and running, Andrew spent most days with the girls in RDF training. This left only Giles, who had found a fair amount of his own free time tied up with the advisory committee that Captain Gloval had established to smooth relations between the ship's command structure and the civilians of Macross city.
“What the hell was that?” Robin asked.
“No idea.” Giles answered as the other two men looked at each other and grinned.
“I think,” Andrew chuckled while flipping his day planner open. “Buffy just found out that Dawnie is in the Miss Macross Competition. Oh, and Xander, you owe me twenty bucks.”
“Aww maaaan.”PROMETHEUS Flight Deck
“Watcher, this is PROMETHEUS control. You are cleared for departure on vector two niner zero hash minus four five. Patrol zone Baker. Be sharp and good hunting!”
“PROMETHEUS, Watcher Sunrise. Affirmative. Two niner zero hash minus four five to zone Baker.”
Dawn took one last look over the controls, verifying the settings were all correct. “Ready to go Warlock?”
Andrew settled himself back in his seat, helmet pressed tight against the thin padding of the headrest. “All set Sunrise!”
Dawn decided not to suppress the grin she felt as Andrew answered. “All right, here we go.”
Turning in her seat, she made eye contact with the yellow shirted catapult officer and snapped off a regulation perfect salute. The Cat-Officer returned the salute and Dawn settled herself into her seat, reaching up to grab the chicken-grips on either side of the cockpit. From this moment through the next thirty seconds, the computers of the Catapult system and their ship had control. There was a thud as the catapult took up the remaining slack in their connection.
“Three...” she whispered to herself. “Two... OoooooonnneYEEEEEHAAAAAAAA.”
The electromagnetic catapult slammed the forty ton craft from zero to one-hundred and fifty knots in two hundred feet, rocketing them off the deck and saving them tons of fuel that they would use to extend their patrol time. The ship's computer automatically cycled the engines to bring their speed up to cruise.
As the acceleration ended, Dawn quickly scanned her readouts, verifying that they were on course and that all critical systems were operational. “Okay Warlock, lets light things up.” “On it Sunrise. Spinning up the dome and bringing Hellrams online.”
A flash of light several miles off her left wing drew her attention. “Watcher, Slayer Squadron, Slayer One.”
The left panel in front of her lit up with a video of her sister at the controls of her Valkyrie. “All units formed up and ready for patrol.”
Dawn could not keep the adrenaline fueled grin off her face. “Sunrise, Affirmative Slayers, handing off to Warlock.”
As Andrew took up the communications with the Squadron, assigning vectors to the various elements, Dawn reached out and activated the command channel. “SDF-1, this is Watcher. Have rendezvoused with Slayers and am initiating patrol.” “Watcher this is the SDF-1. Understood.”
Commander Lisa Hayes' voice answered. “Good hunting ladies!”
Slayer Squadron Tail Art
Slayer Squadron Unit Patch