A:N If anyone thinks I'm bashing the chars by having them die in such a way a) consider whose doing it to them, vamps aren't sparkly and b) just wait until you see what awaits the chars I like!
FIC: The Nightstalkers (2/?)
Ripper beamed as the punk music of his youth blared out around him at ear-splitting levels. His beam widened as he grabbed hold of the chest-high railing and leaned over the walkway to survey his domain.
The Bronze had once been Sunnydale’s premier, although to be fair also only, nightclub. Now it was the home of him and his fellow creatures of the night.
No-body was dancing to the music. Well except one sobbing cheerleader a trio of vampires were pushing from one another across a floor space covered with nails and broken glass, the blood from the unfortunate girl’s bare feet slicking the ground. Most of his other followers were drinking, either alcohol or from one of the human cattle they’d selected from the pens.
One such human was spread across a table just beneath him, a trio of female vampires hungrily feeding on the weakly struggling boy. Ripper took a deep sniff, filling his nostrils with the stench of all the blood and pain, a narcotic surpassing any he’d taken in the 70s. Undead? He chuckled; he’d never been so alive.
“Yes Angelus?” Ripper took a perverse delight in turning to face the formerly handsome vampire who now served as his second-in-command. The undead Irishman’s left eye was marred by a vertical scar running through it and his right cheek permanently singed through a combination of dark magic and flung holy water, both products of the demon’s attempt to overthrow him. The scars not only served as a permanent reminder to both Angelus and the other minions about the peril of challenging him but also had turned Darla’s childe into an even more vicious vampire. So he won all round.
The older demon glanced at the naked woman knelt at his feet, her arms wrapped around his knee and her vacant eyes staring up at him with puppy-like adoration, before looking at him. “The trap is set, master.”
“Excellent,” he nodded. “Make sure that some of the resistance escape.”
His fellow demon blanched. “Sir?”
Giles idly stroked the knelt woman’s mousey brown hair as he smiled at the vampire. “I enjoy watching those little rats struggle. They’re so valiant, so entertaining.”
Angelus stared at him for a second before nodding. “I’ll relay your orders.”
“See that you do.” He watched the Irish vampire stride out before yanking back the head of the slave pawing at him. “My room Joy-Joy?” He smiled at the insane demon’s gleeful simper. His insane childe had been turned at a far more advanced age than most of the turned females. Indeed she was more than twice the age of the majority. And yet despite her facial lines and less firm body she was his favourite.
Because she was the first, the only, childe he’d made.
It had started as any good love story did, with a girl. His childe’s daughter in fact. He could gave taken the teen a dozen times in the month he’d stalked her, but the true prize, the one he really wanted was the mother and so he’d waited until they were together before attacking.
Just one look of his face had been enough to shock the two women into immobility, long enough for his minions to strike. Once both were secured, he set to work breaking the mother.
By first destroying the daughter.
It had been simple really. First he secured the two women in adjourning cells, dirty dank hovels with no light and precious little food or water for their inhabitants. During the day he would have the daughter tortured, her threats, curses, and eventual pleas all seeping through the walls to the mother to hear. And then each night he would present the mother with a severed body part and a Polaroid of her daughter’s beaten body, chronicling the girl’s descent into death.
After eighteen nights the girl had died. Finally it was her mother’s turn. He’d given her over to six of his minions with the order no permanent physical damage be done. After 48 hours he’d ordered them to desist and turned the babbling woman who’d remained.
And now Mrs. Joyce Summers was his willing, desperate to please slave. And his final revenge on the Watcher he’d once been and the Slayer he’d once guided.
* * *
“You’re sure this is a good idea?”
“Shut up Jonathan,” Xander hissed as he looked around. His heart tightened as he thought about how quickly things had gone south.
It had started the night Buff had slept with Deadboy, Xander shook his head. From that point on the blonde had been operating on auto-pilot, easy prey for Angelus and his mind games.
And then the crazy bastard had turned Giles and things had gotten really bad.
The first thing the former Watcher had done was organise the town’s warring vampire gangs into one cohesive force. Then he’d turned his attention to his former companions.
First to go had been Buff and Mrs. S. He’d only heard dark rumours of what had happened to them.
Unfortunately he knew all too well what had happened to Will. Snatched off the street in September ’98, he’d received body parts in the post for a month together with letters detailing just what was happening to her. The process of reading them had added lines to his face and prematurely grey streaked his hair.
Maddened by grief, Oz had ignored their warnings and started to hunt Giles alone, an uneven contest that could and did only end one way. The werewolf had been caught, held until a full moon and thrown in with a pack of larger werewolves who tore him to pieces.
And that just left him, and god help him, Cordy to run what resistance there was. A new ‘Scooby’ gang had been dubbed ‘The Nightstalkers’ by uber-geek Jonathan Levinson in tribute to Blade’s group of fictional vampire-fighters. Together they fought, and mostly lost, against Ripper and his forces.
And that was why they were outside The Fish Tank, Sunnydale’s foremost and seediest portside bar. Despite or perhaps because of the city’s ever more dangerous environment, the bar appeared to be doing brisk business. His ears pounded and the bar’s dusty floor trembled to the death metal blasting out of the brightly flashing jukebox. Patrons jostled at the bar while competing at coarsely yelling orders at the over-worked bar staff. Xander’s forehead wrinkled as his brain was assaulted by the half a dozen illegal narcotics pungently hovering in the dimly-lit bar’s air.
Taking his last breath of moderately clean air, he stepped over the bar’s threshold, his trusty companion beside him. Both of them were dressed in what Jonathan had dubbed as ‘Matrix Coats’, ankle-length leather overcoats ideal for concealing an armoury of weapons. And weapons were just what they needed in here.
Still, Xander comforted himself with a discreet glance around; several of his people were in place in the bar. Larry and, god help him and the world, Harmony were at the table by the front door, Owen and Scott were in the crowd fighting for attention at the bar, and Amy and Percy were at a table by the rickety back door. The rest of his team were hidden outside, ready to warn him if anything went wrong.
And of course there was Jonathan. Xander glanced at the diminutive youth by his side. Given his past ‘nerdoom’, Jonathan had surprised him with both his ingenuity and courage. Without him, he doubted there’d be a resistance. Although the smaller youth’s hero worship could be grating at times.
Like all of them.
Xander allowed himself a wry smile as he saw his contact, a skinny Londoner even shorter than Jonathan by the name of Alf. Sitting down, he nodded towards the wispy-haired, Hitler-moustached Cockney. “What have you got for us?”
The Cockney smirked. “Question is what have you got for me?” Xander silently reached into his pocket, pulled out a handful of crumpled twenties, and pushed it across the table. The informant quickly scooped and pocketed them. “Ain’t got any news about the vamps.” Xander glared and started to rise, intent on getting his money back. “Relax,” Alf raised a palm in supplication. “I ain’t ripping you off kid, I ain’t that stupid.” The cockney gurgled a chuckle and took a sip of his foamy beer.
“What then?” Xander snapped impatiently after a nervous glance around the bar.
Alf flashed him a grin filled with yellow-stained teeth. “The Slayer.”
Xander’s irritation fled to be replaced by an almost childlike eagerness. He was sure if there was a way out of this mess it had to be through the Slayer, all they had been able to manage was a holding action. “Really, do tell?”
“Vamps are scared of her, that’s for sure,” Alf rubbed a stubbly cheek. “The demons call her ‘Beautiful Death’, ‘Warrior Bitch’, and a whole host of other less wholesome names.” Alf paused. “They say she’s killed close to ten Masters, more than any Slayer in centuries.”
“We already know all this,” Jonathan said a second before he did. “We’re not paying you for old news.”
Alf grinned, clearly amused by Jonathan’s outburst. “Yeah, but what you didn’t know is she’s headin’ here.” Alf paused, face growing grim. “But there’s just one problem.”
“What?” Xander leaned across the table, blood racing at the thought of the Slayer returning here but frightened that something or someone was going to ambush her before she got here.
The man’s eyes flickered yellow in the half-light. “You won’t be here to see her.”