Part 3 - Vampire Conversations
Angel's analysis of the situation would have been flawless ... IF
he had been talking about the Master. While the Anointed One was just as evil and nearly as powerful as the Master had been, he was still only ten years old. And when a ten year old boy finds a secret this big, he just has to tell someone
about it. Fortunately, he didn't have to worry about being believed; his inner circle would never officially
doubt him, and would follow his orders even if they seemed crazy. Also, Colin was a devoted fan of the X-Files (to the extent that he had demanded that his new lair have cable), and fully expected that `the government' would show up soon to cover-up the incident. This could be a MAJOR
"Maybe we'll get lucky, and they will eliminate the Slayer and her friends for us," commented one of Colin's inner circle minions after he had described the night's happenings, "or at least put us under their protection as a possible resource."
With a sigh Colin got up from his `throne' (which his minions had salvaged at great risk from the Master's lair) and stepped to the edge of the raised dias from which he addressed the others. He grabbed the offending wag by his throat and lifted him off his feet. "Do you really enjoy pain so much that you would risk spending the rest of your miserable existance in a secret lab being experimented on like an animal? Not that your fate matters that much to me, except you would probably bring the same fate down on all of us."
He released his victim to fall on the floor, and turned to the others. "MAKE NO MISTAKE!
If the conspiracy exists (and given the existence of aliens among us it probably does), the mortals who run it will have no more conscience than we do. We must expect that they would without hesitation nuke this town to preserve their secret, and explain it away as a terrorist act. For purely pragmatic reasons this would probably be a last resort, but they could easily send a covert ops team down here with flamethrowers to burn us out. What we need is leverage; hard evidence that they could not deny which we could use to expose them if they tried to destroy us."
Colin returned to the center of the dias and, standing on the seat of the throne, spread his arms dramatically and declared, "LET IT BE KNOWN
that those who go out to hunt are to watch for mortals who ARE NOT HUMAN!
Who move wrong -- who smell wrong -- who TASTE
wrong. And WHEN
such a non-human mortal is found, bring it to me ALIVE!
Confiscate any unusual artifacts it possesses and take them to a safe place to be studied. Any objections?" Seeing no one was going to be brave (or foolish) enough to oppose him, he lowered his hands and ordered, "Get on with it!"
Since the Master's defeat, many of the vampires in Sunnydale had decided to seek safer hunting grounds, far from the threat of the Slayer. Thus it took only minutes for those remaining to recieve Colin's orders, and attempt to carry them out. While usually they hunted alone, tonight they went out in teams of three; one to act as lookout for the Slayer or their special prey, the other two to abduct the prey safely and bring it home.
The unfortunate who had suffered Colin's wrath led one of the first teams out, determined to make up for his humiliation by being the one who brought an alien back. "But where to start?" he muttered to himself as he led the others out of the sewers. "Where does one find a non-human mortal?"
"I think I know sir," answered one of his companions timidly. "I've seen one like the Anointed One described, who moves, smells and sounds wrong. I didn't taste him though -- I was on that special project you sent me on for the Master, and you told me to keep a low profile at all costs."
"Where is he?" asked the leader, "For that matter, WHO
is he?" When the subordinate whispered the name, the leader's eyebrows rose, and he smiled evilly. "The Anointed One will be pleased. Very pleased indeed."That guy just HAS to be a vampire,
thought Elle as she gauged the newcomer as a possible threat, Nobody mortal could look that good.
Maybe her former career as a coroner had desensitized her to the natural repugnance people usually feel around the dead, maybe it was part of the creature's natural glamour, or maybe she had just been without a date in far too long; whatever the reason, she found this `Angel' enormously attractive. Now I know how Natalie Lambert felt when she first met Nick Knight.
"Really, Angel," Giles said with mild irritation, "there was no need for such a dramatic entrance. Don't you ever knock?"
"What, and miss out on this fascinating conversation? It's not often I get to meet people who deal with things stranger than me." Turning to Jay he said, "I think I should warn you bullets may wreck my shirt but won't do me any lasting harm."
"Who said this thing shoots bullets? I think a three foot hole in your chest would be more than an inconvenience."
Buffy shared an exasperated look with Elle. "Testosterone poisoning is a terrible thing, isn't it?"
Elle shook her sadly. "True, but what can one do? The cure is worse than the disease ... at least for our purposes. I'm assuming of course he is
a friend of yours."
With a small smile Buffy answered, "Yes, he is a ... friend."Darn!
thought Elle, correctly interpreting the smile, Why do blondes always have more fun.
Only practice kept Jay's jaw from dropping. "But I thought ... isn't he ... I mean, aren't you supposed to ..."
"Angel's different," explained Buffy patiently, "he was cursed with the return of his soul."
"And that's a curse?" Jay asked, surprised.
Angel answered him. "It is if you've done the things I did for over a century. I truly was a monster in every sense. About eighty years ago I killed a gypsy girl and her family took exception, devising for me the most fiendish punishment they could imagine. I haven't killed a living soul since then. In fact, I've been helping Buffy to `repay society for my sins' as it were."Oh god, not just a vampire,
thought Elle, but an angsty vampire who can quote the show. I'm doomed!
"Did I ever mention I used to be a coroner?" she blurted out.
Buffy scowled at her. "Don't go there!" she warned.
Angel sighed and looked at Jay. "Estrogen poisoning is a terrible thing, isn't it?"
Jay smiled. "True, but what can you do?"
"Amusing as this witty repartee is," Giles interrupted, "shouldn't we get back to business? I agree with Angel; the vampires around here are dangerous enough without adding futuristic weapons to their arsenal of destructive capabilities. Mrs. Edelson, do you happen to know of any other ... extraterrestrial immigrants in the area?"
"Only one," she admitted, ignoring the warning looks from the MiBs, "Most of us who end up in California gravitate to Los Angeles in order to blend in. Unfortunately, he may be a problem."
Jay grimaced. This is definitely something I did NOT want to hear right now.
"He has acquired a human family he won't want to leave behind."
"What?!?" said Buffy, echoing the unvoiced astonishment of the other terrestrials in the room.
"Really Buffy, I'm surprised at you!" admonished Mrs. Edelson, "You of all people should know love can cross the most unbelievable of boundries. Lorik was an auxilary attache to the Baltan delegation in New York from one of their smaller colony worlds who, as is their custom, became a nominal member of the royal family for the duration of his service. That's where we met. He resigned from active duty about eighteen years ago when his homeworld was destroyed in the war, then fell in love with and married a young human widow who was pregnant with her late husband's child. They moved here, and have lived here ever since. Of course, both his wife and daughter know what he is, but your service was satisfied with giving them both psycho-inhibitor treatments so they couldn't say anything, even accidently."
"Oh boy," said Jay anxiously, "we had better tell him right away anyway. You know how the Baltans get when their royalty is harmed. I imagine even ex-royalty would be important to them."
"It's worse than you know," she explained grimly, "The Baltans are still very embarrassed that humans were needed to retrieve the third galaxy, and they will be looking to save face any way that they can. Lorik is still officially a reserve officer, and because he was attached to the prince's personal staff, he is legally a part of the prince's body. Even though the prince is now dead, any crime against Lorik could be considered an act of war."
As Jay reached for his cell phone it suddenly rang VERY
loudly, causing everyone to jump a bit. "Oh oh," he muttered before he flipped it open. "Jay here. ... DAMN! I was afraid of this. How long ago? Five minutes? Jeez, they work fast. ... Yes sir, we do have a lead. I was just about to call you. ... She WHAT?
... I see. No, I'm afraid she's not delusional; apparently the article was true after all. If you just give me the address ... she's on her way HERE? But why?"
Jay's eyes widened as he heard the answer. Looking at Giles and Buffy, he said, "Sir, we have already made contact. That is where we got our information. If you just give me the release phrase so she can talk to them ... Eew, that's twisted!" There was a screech of tires in the parking lot, and the sound of car doors slamming. "I think that's her now. I'll call back." He snapped the phone shut and put it in his pocket.
"Okay, I'll bite," said Buffy. "Who's here? And how does she know about me?" Her question was quickly answered by the sound of running feet in the hall, and the library doors slammed open to reveal ...AUTHOR'S NOTE:
So, did I give you enough hints this time? Did you believe them? Do you have any idea what I'm talking about? Do you care? Will my next sentence also be a question? Will I ever stop?