Chapter 3: The Crypt
Sunnydale – Crawford Mansion
Buffy strides up to the front door of the large house that Angel had been using since his return to hell, the same place where the two lovers had fought to the death, a mere nine months earlier. She reaches the door and lets herself in without knocking and closing the door as she strolls further into the entry hall, her footsteps silent as she walks over the carpeted floor.
“Angel?” She calls out tentatively and then turns as she hears someone opening a door behind her, seeing the vampire in question emerging, his eyes meeting hers as he comes out.
“Is there trouble?” Angel inquires after taking in the stressed out look on Buffy’s face.
“The deputy mayor got killed last night, twice almost even.” Buffy replies, walking up to where Angel is standing. “Faith came about a half second away from accidentally staking him, but she was stopped by two people she knows from Boston that showed up out of nowhere. Both of them are werewolves because of that Kisses Toast guy from last year. And then the weirdest thing was that Finch, the deputy mayor knew all of us, including Faith, her friends and even you.”
“What?” The vampire asks, his tone bewildered as he tries to pick through Buffy’s little tirade and tried to make sense of it.
“He knew all our names, even my real name Elizabeth and no one has called me that in years. Not even Xander or Willow know about it. And we still don’t know who killed him either.” Buffy says quickly. “James, one of Faith’s friends dragged him into the warehouse we were standing outside of and he told the four of us that we all needed to be at the Von Hauptman crypt, where ever that is.”
“I know of it.” Angel tells her right as she finishes speaking. “Heard it mentioned by a couple of the demons at Willy’s, the place is supposedly haunted. Wouldn’t shock me, the whole family got murdered in the late sixties and I never heard nothing about anyone being caught for doing it.”
“How do you know all that?” the blonde slayer asks, her tone surprised.
“The Von Hauptman’s are legendary, even on the demon side of the world.” Angel replies. “Back in the late eighteen hundreds, one of the members of the family, Christopher, led an expedition to find Avalon, and rumor has it that he succeeded and recovered several items from the retreat, including the fabled mirror.”
“Mirror?” Buffy asks helplessly, having not paid attention during that particular history lesson.
“Yeah, the mirror of the Lady Nimoweh, once lover to Merlin.” Angel replies easily. “It’s reputed to have substantial mystical powers, but no trace of it was ever found after the death of the family. Likely whoever killed them took it, or it never was there in the first place.”
“Why in Sunnydale?” Buffy questions, and Angel shrugs.
“I don’t know. Eccentricity maybe.” The vampire suggests. “So what about this crypt?”
“Finch said we all had to be there.” Buffy replies. “But he didn’t say why.”
“I’ll come, we can even leave now, I got nothing else tonight.”
“Perfect.” Buffy says, giving Angel a tender look, and then turned and led the ensoulled vampire out of the mansion, heading in the direction of Giles’ apartment where they were meeting the others.
New Orleans – Airport
Cassie jerked awake as Lindsey lightly nudged her shoulder. The blonde teenager’s hand came up to her eyes and rubbed the sleep away from her eyes.
“How long was I out?” she questions the lawyer softly, her voice still tired.
“Five hours, give or take.” The Texan replied. “Come on, lets get off this tin can, yeah?”
Cassie nodded and got up from her seat, grabbing her bag from Lindsey after he pulls it and his own out of the overhead compartment. She then falls into step behind her guardian and the pair exit the plane, heading down the white corridor to the terminal.
The pair are met by a man and a woman, both duos recognizing one another, and a worried look comes over Lindsey’s face as he’d not expected to find either of the two there.
“What’s going on?” he questions.
“Drogyn’s gone off the radar, he’s left the city and we haven’t been able to track him.” Oliver Pike says.
“We’re fairly sure that it’s started, and we all need to get to the hellmouth.” Anna Frost adds, glancing between Lindsey and Cassie. “There’s a good chance that’s where he’ll turn up.”
“What about the other ones he wanted brought there?” Cassie asks, rubbing at her temple with her right hand as she feels a migrane coming on. Her left hand pulls out the bottle of aspirin from her pocket and she pops it open to take a pill out and quickly throws it in her mouth, swallowing dry.
“It’s taking care of itself. Everyone that Drogyn wants there will find their way.” Oliver replies. “We’ve already taken the liberty of purchasing tickets back to Los Angeles, then we go to Sunnydale.”
Sunnydale – Mayor’s office
Richard Wilkins sat behind the expensive mahogany desk, a bottle of brandy on the surface as well a two glasses. The man sits in silence for several moments before the sound of knocking fills the room from the opposite side of the door.
“Come in.” the Mayor calls out, already knowing who was on the other side, and the door opens to admit his vampire lieutenant Mr. Trick. “Everything taken care of?”
The former Boston gangster that had been sired in the 20’s nods with a satisfied look on his face. “Those Vhrox demons do good clean up.”
“They do have their uses, yes.” Wilkins replies. “Personally, I can’t stand them. Terrible hygiene and manners.”
He stands from the chair and opens the bottle of brandy, pouring out and equal amount in each of the glasses, taking one for himself and motioning for Mr. Trick to take the other. The vampire quickly does so, lifting the glass to his lips and taking a pull into his mouth.
“Good shit boss.” Trick compliments, having a fondness for the particular liquor. He winces slightly as the brandy burns his throat.
“Indeed.” The mayor agrees, retaking his seat and sipping from the glass. “None of the other four were hit, correct?”
“And none of em saw me there either, made damn sure of that.” Trick replies. “Although I’m a bit confused as to why you’d not want to take out the slayers or their friends.”
“I’ve been asked not to.” Wilkins replies vaguely, waving the question off. “Come now, Mr. Trick, you know more than anyone, there’s always a person of greater power behind the curtain. Even I have people to answer to.”
“Fine.” The vampire ends the inquiry. “So what’s next then?”
“For now we wait, things will start to fall into place soon and we can start enacting the plans I told you about.” Wilkins informs him. “I need you to contact William, Rayne, Penn, Marcus, Doc, Lilah, Sirk and the Cain’s, we’re gonna need all of our assets for the coming months, especially since the slayers are going to be on the same page from now on.”
“Boss?” Trick questions, unsure of why the mayor was pulling their whole group back to Sunnydale.
“Destiny, my friend. It’s a fickle bitch, excuse my language.” Wilkins replies. “Faith Lehane was supposed to have killed my deputy, I’d set it up perfectly. But an old friend has decided to interfere, and Lehane’s soul is untainted by evil. She’s not going to be of use now, but I’ll let him have this round.”
Sunnydale – Outside the Von Hauptman crypt
The air was slightly chilly and the only light was that was coming from the moon, shining over the rows of tombstones as Angel and Buffy led the group that Finch had said needed to go to the crypt, save for Dawn, who Buffy had said in no uncertain terms that her sister would have no part in this.
Angel was the first one to reach the door, grabbing the locked gate at the entrance, and giving it a shake to test it’s durability. “Pretty secured.” He comments, then moves out of the way as Buffy and Faith share a look and then walk over to the barrier, the two slayers rearing back and kicking out in tandem, the combined force breaking the lock and sending the two sides of the gate inward, the ironwork clanging against the wall.
The blonde slayer takes the lead as the group files in, with Faith Wesley and Xander taking up the rear. They walk through the small covered corridor that leads into a courtyard in the center. A glance around the wall’s reveals that there are caskets sealed within the bricks, and the group mills around the area nervously.
“So what now?” Xander asks as he steps out into the courtyard and looks around unimpressed.
“I don’t know. Finch died before he could tell us what was here, if he had planned to even.” The blonde replies with a shrug. She opens her mouth to speak again, but is interrupted by a cracking sound a few feet of, and turns to face where Wesley has just stepped, the younger watcher’s eyes focused on the ground.
“Oh, bugger.” He manages to get out before the ground he’s standing on gives way, and he disappears from view. The rest are still for a moment, then burst into action, running over to the hole.
“Are you alright?!” Giles and Buffy both yell down into the hole, all of them trying to squint through the darkness of the area below. The sound of a groan filters up from the chasm, and the younger watcher answers.
“I’m quite alright, little shook up I dare say, but mostly unharmed.” Wesley’s cultured British voice calls up. “I can’t see a bloody thing down here.”
“I got a lighter.” Faith announces, and then jumps down into the hole without warning to the others. She lands in a crouch, and then quickly rises, pulling her zippo out of her pocket and flicking it lit. Wesley stumbles out of the shadows a few feet away and stands next to her.
The brunette slayer holds the flame over head, filling the area with a dull glow. Both her and Wes’s eyes widen at the sight of the skeletons on the floor, and the sealed steel door in the wall that lined the west side.
“Oh, shit.” Faith breathes, staring down at the decomposed bodies with growing horror. How in the hell had Finch known about this?
“We got dead people down here B.” She calls up to where the light shone in a little bit, and she could see the others standing around the hole.
“Decades by the looks of them.” Wesley says, kneeling down and examining the uniform that two of the three bodies are clad in, and then lets out a gasp of shock. “Oh dear.”
“What?” Faith asks, her gaze moving down to look at the watcher.
“I recognize the insignia on the uniforms.” Wesley announces, his voice grim. “These three are D.R.I.”
Dawn Summers knew she was gonna face hell from her mother when she got home, but she was tired of Buffy being all high and mighty about the slayer thing, and wanted to help, and prove she wasn’t useless to her sister and her friends, especially Xander.
She waited, hidden behind a tombstone as she watched Buffy and the others enter the crypt, then comes out and makes her way over to the entrance, pausing for a few moment before she starts to enter. A moment later she lets out a scream as she’s grabbed by cold hands that wrap around her upper body and pull her back.
“BUFFY!!” She screams before the vampire slaps his hand down over her mouth.
Note: In response to a couple of the reviews I received,
1) No Dawn is not the key, but she will have a big part to play in this fic, and she is closer to Buffy in age, being 15 to Buffy’s 18. Glory has no part in this fic, but Ben might show up at some point.
2) this fic is going to have a massive amount of ensemble characters, and a revolving door of new and old faces. There will be massive character death and no shortage of angst as the story progresses, but despite this, I am promising a happy ending… at least I think so.