Part 2 - First Aid and Philosophy
Elle was in a bit of quandary. She was still just a rookie with the Black, and whatever had scared Jay had
to be pretty terrible. Ignoring her prone partner for the moment, she turned back to the victim of the attack.
There was nothing obviously frightening about her at first glance; the human diguise was that of a middle aged caucasian woman, approximately 150 cm tall with grey hair tied back in a tight bun, a mean face (even in repose), and cat's-eye glasses. Elle turned the "woman's" head to the right, and saw (as she had half expected to) two puncture marks on the neck. However, what dribbled from the wound in no way resembled human blood -- it was a bright (almost fluorescent) orange, and smelled like a strong fruit liqueur.Titanian, probably an educational missionary,
Elle thought, suddenly very glad she'd taken up Zed's offer of first aid training for the top ten client races. `Giles' had been right, but for the wrong reason; where he had probably thought the victim's pulse has high and thready, for a Titanian it was frighteningly slow. If something wasn't done immediately to wake her up and get her moving, she would lapse into a metamorphic coma and wake five years later with an altered sex. The `blood' loss was a trivial issue, since Titanians needed very little to survive; it was the psychological shock of the attack that was the greatest danger.
"Will Mrs. Edelson be all right?" asked the blond girl.
"She will, if we can wake her up," said Elle. "Is there any garlic in that thing?" she asked, pointing at a leather valise sitting on the ground a few feet away, with end of a wooden stake sticking out.
"Why, yes," answered the man, "but what ..."
Elle got to her feet and stepping around her partner (who was just beginning to come to) ran to their car, yelling over her shoulder, "Crush a few cloves and hold them under her nose. They'll act as smelling salts." Wrenching open the back door, she pulled open a hidden drawer under the back seat, revealing twelve colour coded plastic boxes. Ignoring the silver stasis kit (the situation wasn't that bad yet), she grabbed the bright orange one and ran back to the others.
Jay and Mrs. Edelson were both sitting up by this time, with Jay shaking his head and rubbing his eyes, and Mrs. Edelson sneezing and coughing at the smell of the garlic. Elle opened the Titanian first aid kit, loaded the automatic pneumatic spray hypo with the general stimulant, set it to a single dose, and injected their contact right in the center of her forehead.
Although her training had prepared her for the reaction, even she was impressed by the result. Mrs. Edelson leaped a good ten feet in the air, landed on her hands, did a couple of back flips and three cartwheels, then came to a complete halt and let loose an enormous belch. Then, after taking a moment to adjust her dress and glasses (the latter having amazingly remained perched on her nose thoughout the acrobatics), she calmly walked toward Elle as if nothing unusual had happened, as prim and as proper as any school teacher who had ever lived. "Thank you my dear," she said, extending her hand with an infinitesimal smile, "I believe I really needed that."
"Would someone PLEASE
tell me what is going on?" pleaded Giles, who was growing more confused by the minute. Aside from the vampire which Buffy had quickly dealt with, nothing he had seen tonight made any sense at all. Which was perfectly understandable, given that the bulk of his time was spent studying the supernatural.
"Oh, I get it," said Buffy, who with her background in popular American culture had quickly analysed the situation, "Mrs. Edelson is an alien, and these two are government agents sent to meet her."
Jay and Elle looked at each, then with a tired sigh they reached into their pockets and pulled out their shades. Before Jay could put his on, he felt a familiar hand on his arm. "Tsk, Tsk. You are still just as impatient as you were in the third grade. Have you not yet learned to ask questions before
you act, young man? You may make me regret recommending you for this job in the first place."
Jay had faced a giant alien cockroach bent on starting intergalactic war with less trepidation than he had facing the diminutive teacher who had terrified every third grader in his class, and made his life a living hell. Then the sense of what she had said struck home. "YOU
recommended me for the job? I thought that Kay..."
"Kay was a good man, a brilliant operative, and an excellent judge of character, but without my recommendation to back him up you wouldn't even have got in the door. In over thirty years of trying to introduce the young minds of the this planet to the rudiments of intelligent thought, you were the first and only human with not only the imagination to concieve that I might not be from this world, but the courage to believe it and tell others about it." She paused for a moment, then added, "Of course, it would been nicer if you had gotten the planet right."
Although you would never get Jay to admit it, Mrs. Edelson was the only teacher that he had ever really respected. You might hate her, you might fear her, but by God
she taught you how to think. Since this was the first time he had gotten even the smallest compliment from her, he was willing to overlook the slight criticism attached to it. "Hey, at least I got the right solar system, Mrs. E. So, you're teaching high school these days?" Feeling a slight tremble in the hand on his arm, he immediately grew concerned. "Are you sure you're all right?"
"Don't worry about me, young man. Your partner fixed me up just fine. They just caught me by surprise. If I had known California would be filled with imaginary monsters, I would have stayed in New York."
"Excuse me," interrupted Elle, "did you say they? We only saw one."
"Oh my, yes! There were two of them; a large bearded man with long black hair, and a small boy, about ten I think, with the sweetest face." The alien teacher grimaced. "At least it was
sweet until the little creature bit me. Oddly enough, I got the impression that he
was the one in charge."
Elle turned to Buffy, who was beginning to look a little worried. "You didn't happen to ... take care
of him before we got here?" she asked hopefully.
Buffy shook her head. "Uh uh, and believe me," she said savagely, "if I'd seen the little bastard I would have! He's been the acting vampire king around here since the Master died, and is a lot more dangerous than he looks."
Jay looked at Buffy, realizing for the first time this was a lot more complicated than he had originally thought. Making a decision, he put his shades back in his pocket and motioned to Elle to do the same. "I think," he said carefully, "we have a LOT
to talk about."
Following Giles suggestion, the five of them retired to the library to continue the discussion. Since there had been no dire prophecies pending, Willow and Xander had long since gone home to spend the night trying to catch up on their outstanding homework, and Ms. Calendar was in the computer lab on the other side of the building installing the latest antivirus upgrades. After making sure the door was locked against unwanted intrusions, Giles attempted to explain the basics of vampires, Slayers, and Hellmouths to the increasingly incredulous MiBs.
"Excuse me," Jay interrupted at on point, "Let me get this straight. Every night, Buffy goes out, kills a few vampires or whatever other monsters happen to lurking in the shadows, then goes home to get some sleep. And nobody has a clue this is happening? Unbelievable!"
"That's exactly it," Giles explaimed, "it's unbelievable. Most people don't want
to believe that monsters are real, that their safe little world has things so dark and horrifying that they can drive one to madness. And if they see even a glimpse of the truth, they do their best to convince themselves that it didn't happen, that it was an illusion, a deception, a product of mass hysteria. They will swallow any lie that allows them to believe that the world is a normal, sane place."
"Jay, you must know this already," chided Mrs. Edelson, "it's what makes your work possible. All the technical tricks and elaborate cover-ups in the world wouldn't mean a thing if people really wanted to believe. Not that on some level they aren't aware
of the truth; they have to be, in order to deny it effectively." Seeing the tabloid that was still resting on Giles desk, she picked it up and waved it before them. "That is why these things sell. They tell the truth in a way that is easy to deny; thus the need for information and deniablity are both satisfied. Don't worry, this period of denial is something all races go through in their infancy. If your race manages to survive the next century or so it should be ready for the next step."
"Which I suppose is something I wouldn't understand even if you explained it to me," quipped jay, familiar with way conversations with extees tended to go.
"I always said you were a bright boy," she answered with the first genuine smile he ever seen on her face.
"All this philosophy is well and good," declared Elle trying to keep the conversation on track, "but what I'd like to know is how we are supposed to contain this situation. Is this Anointed One of yours likely to telling other vampires that there are aliens here in Sunnydale?"
"I doubt it," said a voice from the shadows, startling all but Buffy who had been waiting for him to speak. "Knowledge like that is power, and Colin won't spread it around until he figures out exactly how to use it to his best advantage. If I were you, I'd tell every alien in a hundred mile radius to get out or go to ground; his first step will probably involve kidnapping one to get some advanced alien technology, either by hypnotism, torture, or making it a vampire." Out of the shadows stepped an incredibly handsome young man in a black leather jacket, white tee shirt and jeans.
"Thank you very much for the analysis," said Jay, as he casually placed his hand near the belt holster holding his `Noisy Cricket'. "If you don't mind, just who are you, and how do you know this."
"My name is Angel, and I know this because, once upon a time, I would have done the same thing."AUTHOR'S NOTE:
While the movie didn't say which of Jupiter's moons Mrs. Edelson came from, the novelization mentioned Titan. BTW, the first aid kits idea was mine. (10 alien, 1 human, 1 stasis kit)
How many of you guessed who the mystery contact was? Be honest! (Remember, THEY see EVERYTHING. Fnord.)