Chapter Seven - Sing for Absolution
‘Sing for Absolution’
AN: Slow goings again when I wrote this. I want another holiday! :(
It was always hard to find good help, Glory thought. But at least ordering new shoes was a lot easier nowadays. Thank herself for internet webshops!
She didn’t know what species of demon her minions on this planet were, nor did she care. Most of the time she could barely tolerate them. Most of the other time she couldn’t stand them. At rare occasions they had their uses. In her own dimension, the one she had been kicked out off they wouldn’t have lasted for ten seconds. Here, she had to make do with them.
It was another reason she hated being stranded in this ghastly dimension.
At least the shoes were nice though.
“Explain to me again why I’m here, outside Sunnydale, and not currently in
Sunnydale, where the Key is?” Glory asked testy as she opened a shoe box.
“Forgive us, most beauteous and supremely magnificent one,” one of her monk’s clothing wearing minions said apologetic as he prostrated himself before her, “But Sunnydale is too dangerous for us to use as a base to do your bidding. Every demon there is a traitor, an informer, an agent working for the Slayer and the Saiyan. Whilst your shining magnificence may go there unnoticed, they would report our presence to them, and it would be traced back to you.”
“Please, call me Glory,” Glory said as she tried on a shoe, “And get up, looking at you is hurting my neck.”
“A thousand apologies, your great supremeness,” the demon said as he got up.
“What’s a Saiyan?” Glory asked as she threw away the shoe and reached for another shoe box, “Is it another demon or something?”
Another demon stepped forward.
“Saiyans are denizens of another planet, your radiant tremendousness,” demon No.2 explained, “They are extremely strong, can fly and even transform into a more powerful state. One is said to have been living on the Hellmouth for three years now and has married the Slayer’s mother. It is why the Slayer can do all of those things now as well. It is rumored that they were at the Cell Games and that it was she, not Bruce Schnitzengruber who was the one who defeated Cell.”
“Who’s Cell?” Glory asked absentminded as she tried on another shoe. The minions looked at each other in amazement. How could her shining magnificence not have noticed Cell? It only stood to reason that Cell was so insignificant compared to her massive exuberance that he must barely even had registered on her radar.
“He is nothing, your supreme radiance,” one of the demons groveled, “Nothing but a fly. An immensely strong one, but…..”
“…. One that only serves to highlight the strength of the Slayer, your magnificence,” another demon finished, “And as you may have noticed, she can be quite… powerful. Insignificant insect though that she is, your splendifference.”
“So she’s a strong bitch with a strong sugardaddy,” Glory said as she recapped, “And every demon in Sunnydale is her bitch. And you’re all pissing your robes so hard that none of you are willing to sacrifice themselves to find me the Key.”
“Forgive us, your supreme pulchritudeness,” one of the demons said and held up a scroll, “But this dark spell I hold in my worthless and scabby hand could be the answer, most tingly and wonderful Glorificus...”
“As I said before, call me Glory,” Glory said testy.
“Forgive me, shiny special on,” the demon groveled, “I beg of you to rip out my inadequate tongue.”
Glory then smiled and held out her hand.
The demon walked forward, sticking out his tongue. She waited till he was close enough and then she grabbed the scroll instead.
“Oh,” the demon said nervously and also a little relieved, “I thought…. You should know, your elaborate marvelousness, that this dark incantation has been lost for eons...”
Glory read the scroll, then she looked at the demon.
“So your solution to not trying to get noticed because you’re demons is to send in another demon?” she said reprovingly, “Doesn’t that kinda defeat the purpose of not getting noticed?”
“Uh, not quite, your ultraradiance,” the demon tried to explain, “you see they wouldn’t know it was our demon. He would be our pebble in the pond to see which way the ripples flow and….”
“Yeah, yeah,” Glory waved dismissively and reached for another shoe box, “I get it. Not bad thinking actually.”
The demon began to smile hearing her compliment him.
“Thank you, oh thank you, your sweet vicious delectableness,” he gushed, “Great dangers have been faced to acquire this...”
Glory interrupted him by sticking her leg straight up in the air.
“Does this pump make my ankle look bony?”
“ No! No, no, your terrifically smooth one,” the demon said shaking his head, “it is the epitome of ankles.”
Ignoring him Glory reached for another shoe box.
“To touch such an ankle would be….” the demon continued, “but I'm not touching. I'm backing away.”
Before he could back away Glory kicked out her foot and the shoe flew off, hitting the demon in the forehead.
“Ow!” the demon yelped, then he smiled again, “Thank you.”
Glory looked at the demon and got up from her bed.
“Dreg, is it?”
“Yes. Dreg,” the demon said happy that she had remembered his name, “Your creamy coolness has honored me by speaking my name. Your voice is like a thousand sweet songbirds that…”
“Yeah, I never tire of hearing that,” Glory interrupted, looking anything but pleased at the constant groveling,” Look, just so we're clear, the spell's gonna work, right?”
Dreg the demon nodded anxiously. Upon which Glory turned and went to the window, peeking around the curtain.
“I mean, nothing worse than a gift that doesn't work. Then I'd have to get all mad and kill you!” she said in a chirpy yet menacing tone, then she looked at him almost apologetic, “It's this whole big thing.”
“It will work, your extremeness.” Dreg nodded enthusiastically, “Provided you have the other items you need.”
“Don't worry,” Glory snorted, “I'll have them all right.”
She walked past him to a table, on which there was a copy of the phone book, spread open. She tore out a page and held it up towards Dreg and smiled.
“Oh, I'll have it all,” she said as Dreg saw that on the page there was an advertisement of the Magic Box.
It had been several days since the funeral and Mayan tried to make sense of the enigma that was her brother.
The Tau’ri still kept her companions under ‘forced hospitality’ back at the SGC but they had discharged her into the hands of her brother in Sunnydale. He had taken her to his home. Which literally had nothing that hinted at her that a Saiyan was living there. It was a Tau’ri women’s house. It wasn’t a warrior’s place.
“Home sweet home,” her brother had said as he closed the door behind her.
“It’s a dump,” Mayan had said disparagingly, “How can you live in a place like this.”
“It is not so bad,” Belmovekk had shrugged, “Unfortunately I have not gotten around to turning Alex’s former bedroom back into a guestroom, if you want you can take Buffy’s room for a night.”
One look at Buffy’s room however dissuaded Mayan from wanting to spend another second in there. It was a girl’s room. A girl who could probably kick her ass and then some, and yet it was still a girly room that only Tau’ri girls seemed to be able to stomach.
“I’ll sleep on the couch,” she had said and dumped her bag in the living room.
After that had come a silent dinner, then her brother playing with his children for a while, then he put them to bed.
She had to admit that he was good with his kids. Engaging in proper Saiyan play, which was of course meant to instill proper Saiyan virtues and the basics of chi training.
“What happened to you?” she had finally asked him after the kids were put to bed, “Why have you changed this much? Those Tau’ri told me that you are immortal now? What happened?”
Her brother had poured himself some tea, then taking the cup he told her.
How he had tried to shake off the Ginyu Force. That he had wanted to return to her at the Redoubt, only to run into a strange spatial anomaly. That in order to shake off the Ginyu force he had to set course right through it. That was the last thing he remembered for a long time. Next thing he woke up next to his crashed space pod on a strange planet, his memories gone.
There he met a strange fraternity of sorcerers and the God that they served. Becoming one of them as a disciple of Aldur, then regaining his memory. Showing him the cruelty of his former life again.
“Sounds like brainwashing to me,” Mayan had snorted, “I think that Aldur deliberately took away your memories so he could conveniently turn you into a blank. That way he could fill your head with all these nonsense.”
“It is not nonsense, Mayan,” her brother had said, “We did terrible things. We massacred whole planets and thought ourselves superior moral beings. But there is no honor in senseless slaughter.”
“It is not senseless slaughter,” she had countered vehemently, “Those were inferior creatures. If they had had any value they would have been able to put up a struggle.”
“Belittling your enemies as inferior does not make them as such,” her brother had replied.
“They are if I can kill them,” she had said back. After that came a rowdy argument that ended in some pretty extreme name calling. After which her brother had called it off.
“I am no longer having this conversation,” he had said and walked to the stairs, “I am going to bed.”
“Well, you go to bed, coward!” she had called after him, “Walk away! Like you did 4000 years ago!”
Her brother said nothing as he went up the stairs and disappeared into his bedroom. She had followed him up the hallway and as she watched him close his door she saw that another door was set ajar. And from it she could see two sets of little eyes peeking at her.
“Did you enjoy the show,” she had said angry. There was no immediate reply. Then a small girl’s voice spoke.
“Are you ‘right?”
“What?” Mayan asked flabbergasted, then she saw the two kids emerge from their room.
“When mommie and daddie were fighting, mommie always got pain in her head,” her namesake said worried.
“Then she died,” the other one said mournful.
“You’re afraid that I suffer the same fate as your mother because I had a row with your dad?” Mayan said incredulously. The two kids looked at each other, then they nodded in agreement.
I’m not having this conversation, Mayan thought as she facepalmed herself, not with the unholy spawn of my brother. They are anathema. Abomination.
But then, as she unfacepalmed her eyes she looked into theirs.
They were also her family.
And even without a scouter she still could sense that they had immense power inside them. Holy Priya, once these kids were properly trained and adult they would dwarf any known Saiyan, before or since. Possible exception being the legendary Super Saiyan. Could that really be the real reason behind the prohibition on Saiyan half-breeds?
Kids were sacred now to Saiyans, because kids represented their only future. The only one they had as a race.
But… what about abomination?
Is it any different then rescuing and mating with the Weak Ones? She could almost hear Zucris’ voice laughing. Forever the great pragmatist. Hanzo, her fateful friend had married a Weak One. He seemed to have gotten over it.
“I’m not having a headache,” Mayan said shaking her head.
“You sure?” the other girl, Dawn, asked wearily, “Cause mommie sometimes lied to us.”
“I’m not lying,” Mayan said.
“Are you going to live with us,” Mayan jr. asked curious.
“That depends,” Mayan said with a big sigh.
“What?” Mayan jr. asked.
“If your father stays batshit crazy that is,” Mayan snorted.
The two four year old looked at each other, then they came running down the stairs.
“Shouldn’t you two be sleeping?” Mayan asked as the two kids lined up in front of her.
“What was daddie like at our age,” Mayan jr. asked.
“How the hell should I know?” Mayan said flabbergasted, “I wasn’t even born then.”
The two kids looked at her equally flabbergasted.
“He was my older brother,” Mayan explained, “He was six years older then me. When he was as old as you are, I wasn’t even born yet.”
“Oh,” Mayan jr. said disappointed.
“Daddies like Buffy,” Dawn said, “Buffy’s our older sister.”
“She is, isn’t she,” Mayan said suddenly very interested, then nodded to the living room, “Come, sit. Why don’t you guys tell me about her.”
The two kids followed their new aunt into the living room and the three of them settled on the couch.
“I hear your sister is the Slayer,” Mayan said as she leaned towards the two kids, “Is that true?”
Mayan jr. seemed a little unsure what to say, but Dawn nodded eagerly.
“So what does that mean, the Slayer?” Mayan asked.
Again Mayan looked a little like she wasn’t sure if she should he saying this but again Dawn answered.
“Dunno,” she shrugged, “but it makes her really strong. Stronger then Daddie, or Xander.”
“Buffy’s the strongest,” Mayan jr. finally relented.
“How strong?” Mayan sr. asked.
Mayan jr. clapped her hands above her head, causing some air displacement that had some stuff in the room shaking.
“Super strong!” she said with a big smile.
“Buffy’s awesome!” Dawn chimed in.
“You like your big sister then?” Mayan asked and the two four year olds nodded enthusiastically.
“I see,” Mayan said and cupped her chin, then she looked at them with a big grin, “Why does Daddy like Buffy so much?”
“Dunno,” Mayan jr. shrugged.
“Spike and Xander says it because she reminds daddie of you,” Dawn said.
“Does she?” Mayan asked and pointed to herself, “Do I look like your big sister?”
“No!” Dawn said with a big smile.
“No,” Mayan jr. said shaking her little head, then she reached out and touched Mayan sr.’s nose, “Buffy’s nose, hihi.”
“Hey,” Mayan sr. said as she reached for her nose. Meanwhile Mayan jr. looked at Dawn.
“Yeah, Buffy’s nose,” Dawn giggled in agreement.
“Why does everybody keep saying I have the same nose,” Mayan asked befuddled, “I don’t see the similarity.”
“Cause it’s Buffy’s nose,” Mayan jr. said like it was the most obvious thing on the planet.
“It can’t just be the nose,” Mayan said with an aggrieved expression.
“Dunno anything else,” Mayan jr. shrugged, “Mommie said that daddie met Buffy in a graveyard. Spike lives there now. She and daddie had a fight and then daddie began to like Buffy.”
“Xander once said daddie likes Buffy because of something called fate, “Dawn added, “But Faith looks not like Buffy.”
“Faith is funny,” Mayan jr. giggled, “She says bad words a lot and makes me laugh.”
“I don’t like Faith,” Dawn disagreed, “she feels not nice.”
“Do I feel nice?” Mayan sr. asked, to her own surprise.
“Hmm, is okay,” Dawn said a little unsure, “You feel angry though.”
“Angry?” Mayan said surprised.
“You have angry in your belly,” Mayan sr. giggled.
“Do I?” Mayan said and suddenly unleashed a deadly tickle attack that had her namesake almost peeing her pants with laughter. Not wanting to feel left out Dawn joined in the tickle attack as well, with less successful results, but Dawn made it up for it with enthusiasm.
Eventually the tickle attack ended and Mayan jr. lay there on her back panting as she tried to recover her breath. As she did Mayan sr. looked at her niece, then the other one, who gave her a ‘now do something funny with me as well’ look. It was then that she realized that she did like these kids after all. They weren’t to blame for getting born, and with the right upbringing they might turn out to be good proper Saiyans.
And maybe her brother wasn’t to blamed either. After all, when you think you’re one of the last Saiyans out there can you really be blamed for settling for a female of a similar species? She wondered if any of the Saiyans that they had left behind in their galaxy who might still be alive was experiencing the same dilemma.
“Tell us about daddie,” Dawn asked, repeating the question her sister had originally asked, “What was he like when you were a kid.”
“Now that I can do,” Mayan smiled, “Now when I was a little girl….”
Standing outside her old home Buffy put down her suitcase and swallowed.
What she was about to do was the hardest thing she had ever done. Even harder then it had been to kill Angel to save the planet. It had once ranked up the top of hardest things she had ever done, but now, after the sudden death of her mother, it paled into insignificance.
Some things really put everything back into perspective again. Because even though it would still pain her, she would now gladly sink a sword into ten Angels if it meant getting her mother back.
But she wasn’t going to get her mother back. Everybody had testified to that fact. Barring a miracle her mother was probably not going to be revived. Without her mother she felt this big gaping hole inside her. Her mother had been her anchor, the rock on which she was built. And no matter how much of a father figure she craved and sought, in Angel, in Giles, and in Belmo, she now realized she craved that mother figure even more.
If she wasn’t going to get her mother back, then the least she could do was be one for her sisters.
Also, Belmo needed someone in his life again as well. With two children to take care off and his crazy ass sister back from the not so dead he’d need someone to keep him together. Even if it meant putting her studies on hold.
Willow had pleaded with her not to do it, she figured she could always go back to college later on. But her family needed her now.
Taking one more swallow Buffy picked up her suitcase. It was either now or never. She walked onto the porch, put her key into the door and stepped inside.
Inside she was greeted by the sound of somebody snoring. In the living room she found Mayan sr. asleep on the couch, Mayan jr. sleeping on top of her and Dawn sleeping between Mayan sr.’s legs.
“Is it not nice?” a voice said behind her. It was Belmovekk’s.
“Yeah, a real threesome of cuteness,” Buffy said, feeling somewhat wigged out for odd reason, “although not as strange as future Mayan flirting with herself back in the White Room.”
“That was odd indeed,” Belmovekk agreed, then he placed his arm on her shoulder, “How are you?”
Feeling dead inside, Buffy wanted to say. But she didn’t.
“I’m doing okay,” Buffy said trying to sound okay. If he noticed that she was lying Belmo didn’t show it.
“Good to hear,” he said absentminded and nodded towards the kitchen, “Do you want some tea?”
“Okay,” Buffy said and followed him into the kitchen. There she sat down next to the table as Belmovekk poured two cups of tea. Next he sat down opposite her, waved his hand in front of him and some food appeared. Bacon and eggs.
“I see you’re back to magical fast food,” she said as she gripped her cup.
“It just does not feel right to cook,” Belmovekk said as he looked longingly at the stove, then he turned his gaze back to his breakfast, “Your mother left shoes too big for me to fill. Besides, this is quicker.”
“You haven’t changed anything in this place, have you?” Buffy asked as she looked around. The place really looked like her mother could walk in at any moment.
“Why should I?” the Saiyan shrugged, “This place is more yours then it is mine. I am just…. guarding it for you and your sisters.”
“Yeah,” Buffy said as she looked into her tea cup, “about that. I, uh…., I’m moving back in.”
“You what?” Belmovekk exclaimed eyes wide as saucers.
“You heard me,” Buffy said, not looking up.
“I heard you alright, but sometimes hearing is not the same as believing,” the Saiyan said still in shock.
“Then you better believe it,” she said adamant, “Cause it’s going to happen. Right here, right now.”
“Why?” Belmovekk said dumbfounded, “And what about your study?”
“My studies can wait,” she said, “They’ll still be there when I want to go back. But you and my sisters…., I can’t just turn my back on you guys. I mean, look at you, Belmo. You’re eating magic breakfast. Is that what my sisters are going to have to look forward too?”
“I could always hire Android #18 to help me out,” Belmovekk countered, causing Buffy to roll her eyes.
“Are you crazy?” she almost yelled, “Did you take one blow too many to the head? She’s an android! She’s still doing the Data thing, finding out who she is. I’m not saying she’s a bad person, just that she’s not a person yet.”
“There might be others I could find, Buffy,” Belmovekk said hesitant, “Perhaps Giles knows…”
“What? You’re going to make Spike become their babysitter instead?” Buffy exclaimed, “He’s evil! And a cyborg vampire as well! And before you say anything I know they keep sneaking out to visit him. Giles told me.”
“Well, I am sure there are more people in this town who can help out besides Android #18 and, um, Spike,” Belmovekk said, then he looked a little hesitantly towards the living room.
“Oh no you don’t,” Buffy said shaking her head in denial, “She may be your sister and back from the dead, but she’s new in town and I think we haven’t seen everything of her crazy yet. Besides, who says she’s gonna stay?”
“I suppose,” Belmovekk agreed reluctantly.
“Look, dad,” Buffy said, for some reason always finding it a little difficult to call Belmo that, “We’re family now, you and I. You and I, and little Mayan and Dawnie. Family should take care of family. Mom would have wanted that.”
“Your mother would have wanted for you to finish your studies,” Belmovekk said. It was a last ditch effort, she could see it.
“Mom also didn’t want to die and leave the Twins behind,” she said calmly, then she leaned forward and whispered, “We also have that thing, the one whose after Dawn out there. Do we really want to leave the fort unguarded because college is that
Buffy stood up handed Belmovekk her empty tea cup.
“I’m moving back in and that’s final. This afternoon Willow will bring the last of my stuff and that’s that.”
Buffy walked around him and patted him on the cheek.
“You should be glad. No more accidentally walking in on Willow and her girlfriend. I’d thought you’d be ecstatic?”
Touching down in front of 1630 Revello Drive Buffy came to a final stop just off the front porch.
It was going to be yet another fun packed afternoon.
She stepped onto the porch and pulled out her key to open the front door. It was only then that she noticed that there was somebody sitting in the couch swing up front.
“I remember you,” she said a little surprised, “You’re that girl. The one who slapped Moe.”
“You should remember me,” the girl sniggered, “You were here this morning, huffing and puffing that you’re going to move back into this dump.”
Buffy wanted to say something, then she began to smirk.
“I think what we have here is a failure to communicate,” she grinned and held out her hand, “I’m Buffy.”
“Yeah, I know,” the girl shrugged, not taking the extended hand, “Excuse if I don’t shake your hand. Last time it came to a hard stop against my face.”
“No, you don’t get,” Buffy said, “Didn’t you see me at the funeral? There’s Buffy
Buffy, whose a spoiled princess, and there’s me
Buffy. Honest hard working Buffy.”
“You…., you’re a split personality?” the girl asked confused.
“No you dunce,” Buffy said as she rolled her eyes, “There are two of us. Only difference is she’s all keen and peachy from this universe. And I’m from an all grimdark universe where everything’s up the shitter.”
“There’s two of you?” the girl said horrified, “Sweet Priya! How does my brother handle it?”
“Not very well,” other Buffy grinned.
“I’m not sure even I can,” Mayan said still surprised, “By the seven hells, two of you.”
Other Buffy then told a little of the two universes and how she came to be here.
“You know, I never in my life figured you’d still be alive,” other Buffy said pointed to a spot next to Mayan, “Can I sit?”
“Knock yourself out,” Mayan shrugged, “Plenty of space on this thing. It also wobbles too much. Do you Earthers actually like this?”
“Some,” other Buffy said as she sat down, “So, how did you survive? Moe talked endlessly about you. He missed you terribly.”
“Who’s Moe?” Mayan asked puzzled.
“Your brother,” other Buffy said, “You know, Belmovekk. She calls him Belmo, I call him Moe.”
“And he allows that?” Mayan asked both surprised and curious.
“Why shouldn’t he?” other Buffy shrugged, then she leaned forward, “It’s also a dominance thingy. If you refuse to call them by their own names it puts you one peg up over the other.”
“I usually find that knocking them down achieves the same result,” Mayan said, then she looked ahead and began voicing a word, “Moe. Sounds really weird. Is it Moe for Movekk?”
“Yeah,” Buffy nodded, “That’s the difference between my Moe and this world’s Moe. Mine was a little less uptight.”
“Sweet Priya,” Mayan exclaimed, “You had a version of my brother there as well? Does that mean there’s another me there as well?”
“I wouldn’t count your hopes on it,” other Buffy said and gestured around like she was touching an imaginary globe, “It was only a small universe, only a few lightyears in every direction.”
She then made a confused face.
“Come to think of it, if it was that small, how come we could still see stars?”
“Who cares,” Mayan shrugged, “At least I’m still unique.”
“You guys can be so one single minded,” other Buffy said slowly shaking her head, “If I didn’t know Veggie as well I’d say it’s a family trait. But clearly the whole race is insane.”
“You know Vegeta?” Mayan asked surprised, “I thought he was dead.”
“In both this reality and mine I had the displeasure of knowing the Royal Vegetable,” other Buffy said with a modicum of disgust, “Doesn’t matter in which reality, he’s still the same asshole wherever he lives. I think he’s ego is just too big to be contained to a single universe. It spreads out throughout the multiverse.”
“If you know him, where is he?” Mayan asked eagerly, “What happened to him? How did he survive the Fall?”
“I dunno,” other Buffy shrugged, “I never cared enough to know and he was too insufferable to ask. I met this universe’s counterpart once and he didn’t tell me either. You have to ask Moe. He lives somewhere in San Francisco though. At Capsule Corp. He shacked up with Bulma and they have a kid together. Haven’t seen him since I got back here though. From what I gather he’s having a major case of the blues since his BFF Goku died. Doesn’t give a shit about anything any more.”
“Goku? Isn’t he the Saiyan who got sent here as an infant and lost his memory,” Mayan said as she closed her eyes and tried to remember.
“Yeah, that’s him,” other Buffy nodded, “He’s dead though. In both universes.”
Mayan looked ahead for a moment.
“Do you happen to know what his Saiyan name was?” she asked curious.
“Unfortunately yes,” other Buffy sighed, “Because Veggie just wouldn’t shut up about him. It was always Kakarot this and Kakarot that.”
“Kakarot,” Mayan said softly as she tried to remember a certain list.
“I never got that though,” other Buffy said as she gave Mayan a puzzled look, “How come you guys send little babies into space? What’s the deal with that? Moe said it was because they were weak and to toughen them up.”
“That’s the official line,” Mayan said.
“So what’s the unofficial line?” other Buffy asked.
“To die,” Mayan said stony faced. Causing other Buffy’s eyes to grow big.
“That’s cold,” she said after a while.
“If the Saiyan race was to grow stronger it had to rid itself of its weaker elements, lest they would diminish us,” Mayan said unmoved, “And we very much wanted to grow stronger as a race. So we rid ourselves of the Weak Ones and sent them into the depths of space to either die. Or prove themselves by surviving.”
“That’s really cold,” other Buffy said softly.
“Well, you get born, you fight, you die, that’s life,” Mayan shrugged, “And it did work because it caused Freeza to come down on us like the wrath of Jerherherod and blow our planet up. In the end though the joke’s on us. In order to survive we had to rescue so many of the Weak Ones that we’re now outnumbered.”
“I used to think like that,” other Buffy said, more to herself then to Mayan, “A lifetime ago.”
“What happened?” Mayan asked.
“Alex did,” other Buffy said smiling, then she stood up and pointed somewhere over the rooftops, “Your brother’s coming.”
“Where?” Mayan asked as she looked to where other Buffy was pointing, “I can’t see him.”
“Of course you can’t,” other Buffy said frowning, “You’ve gotta sense him.”
“I can’t sense hi….,” Mayan complained, then she stopped as a small dot appeared on the horizon, one that rapidly grew into her brother.
“Sweet Priya!” she exclaimed as she saw her brother approach, then she looked at other Buffy, “You could
“Can’t you?” other Buffy said surprised, “It’s a simple trick. Flyboy taught me. I’d figure that he learned it from Moe. Your Moe that is.”
Before Mayan could reply Belmovekk touched down in the front yard. As soon as he saw other Buffy he gave her a look of surprise.
“Back so soon?” he asked curious.
“There are still a few things left here from Alex,” she said and nodded to the home behind her, “It was a slow day so I figured today might be as good as any to come and pick them up.”
“I think there is still a box in the spare bedroom with some of his belongings,” the Saiyan said, “I will get them.”
“I will come with you,” other Buffy said.
“It is no bother,” Belmovekk countered but she wouldn’t have any of it.
“It is just a few things,” she said and went inside.
“Okay,” the Saiyan said and followed.
That left Mayan out alone on the porch again.
So Vegeta was still alive, confirmation from a second source. And in a place called San Francisco. Interesting. Extremely interesting.
She may be separated from Hanzo and Skeller, who were still at the SGC, and without her scouter which had broken down, she wasn’t completely cut off from them. One of the advantages of having worked with good old Zucris was that he was always willing to impart the wealth of his experiences. For a hippie pacifist it seemed remarkable how much he was willing to help others become better at killing.
And one of the things he had never gotten tired of stressing was that you should never if possible become dependent on a single piece of technology. Without backup over dependence on one thing could kill. And while there was no way for then to acquire new scouters, there were plenty of other worlds offering other forms of communications technology.
This may have been a relatively unknown galaxy to them and they were at the mercy of their Goa’uld host who preferred to keep them completely dependent on him, that didn’t mean they were completely at his mercy or that they were completely ignorant. One of the reasons it had taken them six months to reach Earth was that not only had they traversed from one end of the Milky Way to the other by skirting completely around it from the outside to avoid detection, they had also taken a detour to visit a planet known for selling advanced technology to anyone willing to pay for it.
Tapping a spot just behind her right ear Mayan activated a surgically implanted communication device.
“Hanzo, Skeller,” she spoke softly, “Can you hear me?”
“Loud and clear,” Hanzo’s voice replied, almost as if he was speaking directly in her left ear.
Yes, when you have money the universe was your oyster, Mayan thought and tapped a small box on her belt.
“Mmmrrrr,” the small creature inside purred.
Yes, Zucris was a damn genius indeed! In the long run that converter taken from that banker on Rubanis was worth more money then anything else she had ever come across.
“Me too,” Skeller replied, but he didn’t seem happy, “Stupid piece of implanted shit! Always gives me headaches.”
“Better get used to it,” Mayan said without any sympathy, “I just heard something extremely interesting in regards to our former heir to the throne…”
Belmovekk followed other Buffy to the 2nd floor and the spare bedroom, now stripped of all signs of ever having been a baby room and hopefully by tonight ready for Mayan.
“There it is,” Belmovekk said and pointed to a small cardboard box with a few odds and things, “the last of Alex’s belongings.”
“Yeah, screw that,” other Buffy said dismissive.
“You do not… want them?” Belmovekk asked surprised.
“Alex got plenty of toys,” she said shaking her head, then she held out a book sized paper packet, “You on the other hand can’t get enough of them.”
“What is this?” Belmovekk asked as she gave him the packet.
“What’s the next best thing besides having a big ass gun,” she asked with a growing grin.
“You tell me then, Buffy, I don’t use them,” Belmovekk asked as he began to open the packet, revealing several small booklets and stacks of paper.
“Knowing where to aim it of course,” she winked.
“Quite right of course,” Belmovekk agreed, then he opened one of the booklets, “What are these?”
“Everything Sam could find about your little beastie,” other Buffy said.
As Belmovekk glanced through the papers he came upon some pictures. Grainy ones, taken from some security camera. On them were some hazy shots of a blond woman putting her hands on the sides of a man’s head, by the looks of it taken in front of an ATM machine.
“How did he get these?” he asked as he examined the pictures.
“As luck would have she came through Cleveland before coming here,” other Buffy said, “left a trail of crazy people behind. That guy? He’s now in a local loonie bin. Faith and I visited him. There’s a whole ward full of people like him. My guess, she’s feeding off them. So if you wanna find her, go look for crazies.”
“Sound advice,” Belmovekk said as he rebundled the package, then he looked at other Buffy, “If you did not want the last of Alex’s belongings, why not give me this outside.”
Other Buffy turned away from him.
“It’s your sister, Moe, I didn’t want her to hear. I don’t trust her.”
“Why?” Belmovekk asked, “I know she is a bit bigoted still. A little rough around the edges. But I used to be like that. But she is not a bad person.”
“Moe, Moe, Moe,” other Buffy said as she slowly shook her head, “You’re a good guy, but if you have one major fault is that you idolize some people. The other you idolized me, and you idolize her. The both of you also idolize your sister. She’s up to something, I can feel it. She was pumping me for information regarding Vegeta. I tell you, she’s up to something. Keep an eye on her. Don’t end up having to chose between my illustrious twin and her.”
Belmovekk looked at her like she was speaking Chinese. Which judging by her Moe should have meant that he at least was able to say simple phrases like ‘can you eat this?’ and ‘have you seen these androids?’.
It didn’t matter though. She was his problem now and if she had learned one thing over the years it was not to get involved in other people’s personal problems. That road only led to the Dark Side.
“Look, I, uh, I gotta go,” she said and pointed to the door behind her, “I guess you have reading to do.”
“I guess,” Belmovekk said and glanced at the books and papers.
She turned around and made for the stairs. She was about to go when she stopped and turned around. This wasn’t right. She couldn’t let this charade go on. She had to tell him.
“I, uh, about, um, Alex,” she stammered, only to see Belmovekk already glancing through one of the papers. Then he looked up at her.
“Was there something else?” he asked curious.
“No,” she said shaking her head and came back and picked up the box, “I think I’ll take these back anyway.”
“That is good,” Belmovekk nodded in agreement, “Do you need some help with that?”
“No, I’m fine,” she said and walked past him, “Have fun reading those.”
“I am sure it will be interesting,” Belmovekk said, “but I doubt it will be fun.”
“Fun is relative,” other Buffy said and walked down the stairs, then towards the kitchen and out the back. Before she took off she looked back for a moment.
She had chickened out.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid.”
“It feels like we're going around in circles.”
Closing yet another tome of knowledge Willow sighed deeply. She, Tara, Giles and Xander were at the Magic Box, sitting around the round table with huge stacks of books in front of them. In the background Android #18 was manning the cash register, looking bored as usual.
“Our circles are going around in circles,” Xander exclaimed tired, “We've got dizzy circles here, Giles.”
“It just means we have to do more research,” Giles said as he tried to rally the troops, to no avail.
“Maybe she's not in the books,” Tara said as she closed her book.
“What do you mean?” Willow asked her girlfriend.
“I mean, what if she's not a demon or sorceress or spirit or whatever these books cover?” Tara suggested as she looked around the table, “What if she's something else altogether?”
The group looked at each other.
“Scary,” Xander muttered.
“Something new, you mean?” Giles asked, his curiosity piqued. But Tara shook her head.
“Something old,” she said, “So old it pre-dates the written word.”
The very suggestion seemed to chill the shop.
Before anyone could speak the shop door opened and Buffy came in.
“Hey gang,” she said as she greeted her friends, then she saw the books strewn between them, “That brings back memories. Research party?”
“The mother off,” Willow said.
“Bite your head off,” Xander said in disgust.
“Then I’m glad I was hauling stuff all day,” Buffy said relieved, then she held out a key towards Tara, “Here, your own key. You and Willow now have your own personal love pad.”
“Thanks, Buffy,” Tara said as she accepted the key and stared at it for a moment, “I just wish you didn’t have to give up college for it.”
“College will always be there when I want to come back, you guys,” Buffy said smiling, “For now, family comes first.”
“Well, I for one welcome you joining the rest of us in the real world, Buff,” Xander said approvingly, “Unless you’re into frat parties college is overrated.”
“You’re just not over that Delta Zeta Kappa thing, aren’t you?” Willow asked suspiciously.
“I can either deny it and make you think I’m lying or confirm it,” Xander shrugged, “Either way there’s no way I can come out ahead can’t I?”
“For someone who hates college you sound like you would have done surprisingly well,” Willow said impressed, “You would have made a great lawyer.”
“A lawyer?” Xander moaned, “Oh lord, please shoot me now.”
“Buffy? What’s this thing about you leaving college?” Giles asked surprised.
“I’m going back, Giles,” Buffy said, “I’m going back home to take care of my family.”
Giles gave her a quizzed look.
“Oh,” Xander said excited, “You can actually see the clockwork ticking in his brain as he tries to connect the dots.”
“Xander!” Willow hissed rebukingly.
“I see,” Giles said as he finally connected the dots.
“Giles,” Buffy said as she put her hand on his shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze, “I know what you’re going to say. And believe me, the others have already tried talking me out of it.”
“Uh, for the record,” Xander said holding up a hand, “I didn’t. College is overrated.”
Willow shot him an angry glare, then mouthing something silently that looked suspiciously much like Delta Zeta Kappa.
“B-Buffy,” Giles said, “I understand what you’re trying to do here, and I think it’s quite admirable. But dropping out of college…., couldn’t you just go to college while living at home?”
“That’s what I said!” Willow exclaimed softly.
“Somebody has to look after my sisters, Giles,” Buffy said undeterred, “Somebody has to look after him. It’s done, Giles. I’ve signed the paperwork. My stuff’s already in the back of Mom’s…., the car.”
Giles looked strapped for an answer, then he took off his glasses, closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Well, I wish you would have come to me before you did this,” he said sounding tired.
“Maybe I didn’t because I you know you well enough to know what your answer would have been?” Buffy said and gave his shoulder another gentle squeeze, “Besides, with that thing out there my sisters need all the protection they can get.”
“Yeah, about that,” Giles said and put his glasses back on, “I think we may have
underestimated what we're dealing with.”
“Oh,” Buffy said with mock enthusiasm, “That’s always nice to hear. Go on.”
Giles reached for a book and opened it to show a picture of the glass orb.
“That orb you brought in,” We've uncovered more than expected about this orb. It's called the Dagon Sphere and it has a history going back many centuries.”
“What's it do?” Buffy asked.
“It's a protective device,” Giles said, “used to ward off ancient primordial evil.”
“Any word on what this evil looks like?” Buffy asked.
Giles looked around the table.
“Unfortunately, no,” he said tired, “This is where accounts get vague. All we've managed to uncover so far is that the Dagon Sphere was created to repel That Which Cannot Be Named.”
“Which brings us to our current little research party,” Xander said gesturing towards all the books in front of them.
“Giles, the Dagon sphere,” Willow said as she reached for Giles’ book, “You just said that it was created to repel...
“That which cannot be named,” Giles said as he again removed his glasses thoughtfully. Willow then continued her train of thought.
“So I'm thinking maybe she...”
“Predates language itself?” Giles said providing the station for her train to finish.
Willow nodded in agreement. Xander meanwhile looked more confused then ever.
“Well hey, if this means I don't have to read any more, woo! And might I add a big hoo!”
“If Tara and Willow are right, then we're blind. There's ... there's no way we can determine ... her moves, her habits, where she'll turn up next if we know next to nothing about this…. Beast.”
At the cash register Android #18 had turned off her hearing. Or at the very least to such a low level as to not hear the discussion. By now she had come to the conclusion that she was better off not knowing anything in this strange affair. She had read that ignorance was bliss and she fully intended to pursue blissness when it came to the affairs of these Scoobies.
Unfortunately such low audio level input meant that she didn’t immediately notice the customer that wanted to pay for her purchases. She was just contemplating taking a day off to go to Capsule Corp. and see if Spike was right about them having a backup of Android #16’s consciousness when a hand suddenly waved in front of her eyes.
“Excuse me?” a voice said a little impatiently.
Slowly Android #18 turned her head and saw a customer standing in front of her, a blond woman seeking her attention, and holding a few items in her hands.
“What do you….” Android #18 tried to say but the blonde woman cut her off.
“ Uh-huh,” she said holding up some items, “I want these.”
“Whatever,” the android sighed, “That’s $267,45.”
“Wow,” the blonde woman said impressed, “You’re really good at math. Not so good at people skills though.”
“Yeah, whatever,” #18 shrugged, “Do you want a bag with that?”
“That would be nice,” the blonde woman smiled.
Android #18 then began to pack the bag, looking oddly at one object, then another, then at the smiling customer. Then she bagged every item and handed it to the blonde women.
“Here you go,” Android #18 who then quickly filled out a receipt, tearing off the top sheet and held it out to the blonde woman.
“Thanks,” the blonde woman said, who turned around to leave, then stopped and turned back, “You know, I really like your hair. I wish mine was like yours.”
“Uh…, thanks? I guess,” Android #18 said a little unsure. Then the customer left and Android #18 did a quick scan of the shop. There were no other customers present. So she turned her audio input down again and resumed her thousand mile stare ahead.
“She could be anywhere,” Giles sighed deeply at the round table, “Anyone or anything. But if she is as powerful as, uh, Buffy says, I imagine it won't be long before she makes herself known.”
“Uh, am I the only one willing to entertain the idea that maybe we’re not dealing with Cell Reincarnated here?” Xander said as he raised a hand into the air, “I mean, okay, she did slap Buffy aside, but she had hardly gone Super. Let alone to the next level? For all we know the moment she steps inside Buffy, or even I can slap her silly.”
“Xander, it’s never good to underestimate your opponent,” Giles said reprovingly.
“Yeah, but it’s never too good either to overestimate them either,” Xander countered. Giles raised a finger to make a point, opened his mouth, then he stopped.
“A fair point,” he finally admitted.
“Xander,” Tara spoke up, “Those monks went to a lot of trouble to hide this Key. They knew who Buffy and Belmovekk were. I don’t think they would have gone through all this trouble if this Beast was something she could casually fight.”
“Perish the thought I finally get to face something that’s easy,” Buffy snorted.
“That doesn’t mean they actually know who and what Buffy and the Big Guy are,” Xander countered, “For all we know they just watched the broadcast of the Cell Games and thought they were the strongest.”
“Actually, if they based their ideas off the Cell Games broadcast Bruce Schnitzengruber should have been their obvious pick,” Giles threw in casually.
“Maybe they’re not that
stupid?” Xander suggested hopeful.
“Also, if they went by the Cell Games broadcast Gohan should have been a more obvious choice,” Giles continued, then he looked at Buffy, “As he was, um, sort of the strongest? And he and Chichi didn’t come to the funeral because she was, uh, pregnant?”
“For Gohan’s sake I hope it’s not another Key,” Buffy said.
“Gate, Buff,” Xander interjected, “the correct counterpart to the Key would be the Gate.”
Everybody gave Xander a funny look.
“What?” he said defensive, “Nobody watched Ghostbusters? The Keymaster and the Gatekeeper?”
“You have way too much free time on your hands,” Buffy said shaking her head.
“Look,” Xander said, throwing in one last ditch effort, “What Giles said proves what I’ve been saying. If these monks had any real idea of what we’ve become they would not have sent the Key to us but to Gohan. The fact that they didn’t shows that they’re working on outdated information. They probably don’t even know that Buffy can become glow in the dark Buffy times two.”
Before anyone could say anything Willow interjected.
“Xander, do you have any idea how much power it took for these monks to rip a hole through space and time like they did?” she stated flatly.
“Uh, a lot?” Xander guessed. In response Willow pressed on.
“To put it in terms you can understand, if the power of the monks had been a fighter at the Cell Games he could have kicked your ass and Belmo’s.”
“Before or after the funky room?” Buffy asked.
“Oh, definitely much after,” Willow said.
“That’s a lot of power,” Xander said impressed, but not defeated, “Still, the Big Guy was the weakest Saiyan at the Cell Games. Vegeta, Goku, Gohan, they were all stronger. And second level Buffy completely surpassed even that.”
“Xander, the monk said he wanted both me and Belmo to look after Dawn,” Buffy said, “Don’t you think that implies a threat so great even bigger then the both of us combined?”
“Hey,” Xander said holding up both hands into the air, “I’m just throwing in the idea that maybe we’re overreacting and that maybe we’re expecting too much to happen.”
“Well, duly noted,” Giles said, then he picked up another book, “But color me old fashioned, I’d rather be overprepared for something then beunderprepared. At worst we lose some sleep?”
As one after the other began to reach for a new book Xander groaned.
“Life would be so much more better without writing.”
Amidst its many attractions, like a very active Hellmouth, a former warlock for mayor intending to be a real demon, a massive murder rate that rivaled that of all the major US cities, the town of Sunnydale California also offered a fairly large zoo, the Richard Wilkins I Memorial Zoo. Usually referred to by the locals as the Sunnydale Zoo.
Aside from being an institution in a place that was ill suited to house anything but a nuclear testing ground the Sunnydale Zoo suffered from a very high attrition rate in its animals.
Unlike humans, whose brains often allowed them to rationalize why it was a good thing for them to remain in Sunnydale despite the people around them dropping like flies, animals weren’t encumbered by reasons or rationalizations. When their instincts told them bad juju was abound they generally tried to clear off as fast as they could. So in order to prevent the constant animal escapes the zoo had to invest into some far above average fences and cages to keep the luckless animals inside.
As far as the poor animals in the zoo were concerned the Edict hadn’t made things better for them. Quite the contrary in fact. While on average bad juju was way down for the town, the prohibition on killing humans meant that any of the vampires and demons remaining in Sunnydale now all too often turned to them to let their murderous instincts have a free reign.
This of course made the poor surviving animals feel more on edge then ever.
So when Glory and her demon entourage made it into the zoo cage after cage had animals recoiling or freaking out in horror as she passed by. The animals were lucky that Glory was too single minded for her to notice and her minions too focused on her as well.
As animal after animal freaked out Glory made it to her final destination, the reptile building. Knowing fully well what kind of reptile she needed she went for a case with an Egyptian cobra inside.
Pausing for a moment Glory looked at the cobra behind the glass. Then she swung her fist and smashed through the reinforced glass. Reaching inside she grabbed the poor animal and pulled out. As the animal hissed she brought it up close to her face and hissed back.
“Chill, worm. I'm gonna make you a star!” Glory smiled.
She then lowered the animal into a large clay vase, head-first. Much to the approval of her minion Dreg, who then handed her an amulet. Holding it with both hands, over the mouth of the vase she turned her head towards her minions and Dreg in particular.
“Chant!” she yelled.
Dreg opened the scroll and began to chant in an ancient dead language.
“The form is vessel, rendered new. The base is stone, bathed in blood. The gem is fire and elements rarified...”
“Sobek, grant the power ... that it may mold this wretched creature ... that it may be reborn ... that it may serve ... ah!” Glory incanted, then she stopped and rolled her eyes in annoyance at the spell text, “ Dark incantations! Always overwritten!”
Dreg stopped chanting as well as he looked uncertain at her.
“Why can't they just cut to the…,” Glory said annoyed, then she looked at Dreg, “Dreg! I'm not hearing chanting! “
Yes, Glory,” Dreg said as he politely bowed his head briefly and began to chant again.
“Cir hayyan win-hud!”
“Arise,” Glory said aloud at the vase, “Arise!”
“Cir hayyan win-hud!”
“Arise!” Glory said, sounding impatient.
Then the vase began to rock wildly back and forth.
“Yes!” Glory said, her annoyance gone replaced with glee.
Suddenly the vase exploded, sending shards and dust across the room. Then, as the dust settled a creature emerged.
“Hell yeah,” Glory said with a big grin on her face.
Superficially the creature still resembled a snake. While its lower torso and head were still like the snake that it originally was, it’s upper torso was human like, with two large arms.
“He is arisen!” Dreg said triumphantly.
“’Bout damn time!” Glory said smiling as the creature hissed and swayed, coming to terms with its new form and shape.
“Spawn of Sobek!” Glory yelled.
The creature turned towards her and approached. When it was close Glory smiled and put her hands on its face.
“The power is yours …. to see what is unseen,” she told the creature, “To find what is shrouded in shadow. Already, you know what I seek. I have given you form, now find for me the key. Seek it out in the holy places.”
The creature hissed at her. But it was not a defiant hiss, it was more a submissive kind of hiss.
“Yes, yes, yes!” Glory said appreciatively as she sensed the creature submitting to her will, “Let your vision guide you to its hiding place, and then return to me and tell me where it lies.”
Instead of responding the creature stared at her.
“Now would be good,” she said, her smile fading.
This time the creature responded to her command and turned away, to wriggle out of the reptile building. Causing Glory to smile again and clap her hands in glee.
“Fun, fun, fun!”
One of the things Mayan found most annoying with Tau’ri technology was that it was so infuriatingly primitive in most areas and shockingly advanced in others. Most of the highly advanced aspects were clearly looted from other races, like the advanced Tau’ri weaponry and space faring capabilities. But some of the others were most definitely native.
Like this thing called the internet.
Most planetary civilization only developed a planetary infosphere when very advanced. And not with this kind of almost unlimited access. Not even the people of a highly advanced planet like Rubanis had full access to the kind of information that ordinary Earthers seemed to enjoy.
Well, they had in a way, because they also had access to information regarding other planets. But regarding their own planet the Circles severely limited unfettered access between them. Especially the Fourth and Fifth Circles. But here, an Earther could practically find out what the president of the US had for breakfast and what brands he liked.
It was unheard of.
Not for the last time Mayan wished that she had had infiltrator training. Because then she could have really accessed the goldmine of information that was the Tau’ri internet.
It would also have allowed her to come to grips with the lower technology side of Tau’ri technology, because her brother’s data terminal, which he had called a laptop, was horrendously primitive and next to impossible to use.
It had taken her many fruitless hours to figure it out how the damn thing even worked. The screen obviously functioned as the holographic display inside her space pod. And the icons on it worked probably the same as on her display. But touching it did absolutely nothing. The keyboard was obviously for text input, be it optimized for the atrocious Earther dialects. Luckily her week spent at the SGC had been spent learning to make sense of the main Earther language, English, so by now at least she recognized most of its script. Thank Priya for them having a script of only 26 characters instead of some of the pictogram based scripts which she had encountered in the past.
On the downside pictogram based scripts, while harder to learn, were easier to use once you got the hang of the most basic words. Whereas while character based scripts were easier to read, without knowing the basic gist of each words, making sense of them wasn’t always the easiest job.
Luckily she had a gift for languages, one that would undoubtedly have meant that in another life she would be accepted into the Royal Household as an infiltrator. If she had been able to pass the minimum required levels of strength and survived a few tours of duties fighting off planet.
Of course that kind of career option was now off limits forever. Not the least of which because amongst all the surviving Saiyans there was not a single surviving infiltrator left.
It had taken Mayan more then an hour to figure out that in order to activate any of the pictograms on the screen she had to use the small square underneath the largest key at the bottom of the keyboard. She could almost bury her face in shame at not having discovered it earlier and she could hear both Zucris and her brother laughing their asses off at her incompetence in her mind.
Now that she know how to touch things on the screen next came the mysteries of finding out how to make the machine do what she wanted it to do. Some more frustrating time was spent but eventually she found herself in the planet’s infosphere. Naturally she was still doing something wrong, which was to be expected, because for some strange reason, the machine had a small AI that constantly hurled obscenities at her. Luckily throwing profanity at her was all it did.
Of course at any given moment she could have asked her brother for help, as he was sitting in the garden, reading stuff that Buffy’s twin had given him, but a stubborn streak to find out herself how it worked and not wanting her brother to find out what she was looking for made her keep quiet. There were times however when she was going to throw the towel into the ring as she got yet another series of endless popups informing her of penis enlargements, Russian brides and hot webcams after clicking on yet another wrong link.
Not only were these Tau’ri obsessed with sex, clearly they had evolved infosphere warfare to a high degree. The Goa’uld were fortunate indeed not to rely on infospheres themselves or they would have lost their war with the Tau’ri a long time ago.
After some fruitless experiments at searching she finally found what she was looking for. The address of the Capsule Corp. corporation headquarters in San Francisco.
And best of all it wasn’t even that far from Sunnydale.
Having spent most of the afternoon in the garden Belmovekk had lost track of time reading the documents that Tom Zabuto had sent to them. The moment he got them he should have taken them to Giles at the Magic Box but for some reason he was enthralled by them.
Only now that he had read all of them did Belmovekk get out of his lawn chair. Giles had been right along. Amidst all their incompetence the Council did have its uses and this had been one of them.
“Mayan?” he asked as he went back inside the house, “We have to go. We are going to see the others at the Ma….”
There was no response.
“Mayan?” Belmovekk asked again.
Again no response.
It was then that he noticed that his laptop was on.
At first sight it seemed like it was just on, but as he activated his browser and checked its viewing history the first thing that came top of the list was the Capsule Corp. website, and clicking that brought forth a picture of the Briefs family home.
It was then that he heard other Buffy’s voice again, like a recording playing inside his head.“She’s up to something, I can feel it. She was pumping me for information regarding Vegeta. I tell you, she’s up to something. Keep an eye on her. Don’t end up having to chose between my illustrious twin and her.”
“Mayan!” Belmovekk yelled worried, then he let his senses wonder about.
And then he found her.
One third on her way to San Francisco.
“Mayan!” Belmovekk said frowning, “What the hell are you up to?”
He was about to bring two fingers to his forehead and give her a piece of his mind when he suddenly realized he still had the papers in his hands. He now had two imperatives to finish. Which to chose?
Sensing one more time at Mayan it would seem that she wasn’t going all out. Clearly she was either taking the scenic route or she was trying to sneak under the radar as it were.
Which meant that there was still time….
The Happy-Go-Lucky daycare center was one of the better daycare centers in Sunnydale. Not the least of which was because of its sturdy construction, heavily reinforced windows, thick oak doors and last but not least the complete absence of any sign or doormat that said welcome, or was inviting in any other way.
Of course Happy-Go-Lucky was founded by mayor Richard Wilkins II and had been frequented by many who were in the know about Sunnydale’s ‘special background’. Most of them members of his administration. Back then it had also been named after his father, mayor Richard Wilkins. The name had fallen out of favor after the Battle of Sunnydale. As had most of those who used to send their kids to this daycare center.
But there was always a shortage of good daycare centers and with a new name new customers would always find a way. So business was again good.
The last of the kids had just left and the janitor was now finally free to clean up the place. And that was just the way Jesus Jimenez, from Guadalajara, Mexico, liked it. Truth be told he didn’t even like children. Small children at least. He got along great with older kids and teenagers, but after the destruction of Sunnydale High he had lost his job as a janitor there so he had little choice but to accept a job as a janitor at Happy-Go-Lucky.
The biggest difference with teenagers in his opinion was that while they were messy, and often condescending, small kids were even messier. And unlike teenagers, who could and were often forced to do chores with him as punishment by the school principal, no such thing was possible with small kids. Cleaning duty now fell exclusively unto him. Which made him curse the little shits even more.
Still, despite all the extra cleaning Happy-Go-Lucky was way quieter and peaceful then the former Sunnydale High. Students there used to be dropping like flies. He had at least had to clean up the remains of half a dozen students at Sunnydale High in one year. The worst he had had to clean up at Happy-Go-Lucky had been the ‘Diaper Accident’, when the caterer had used some dodgy meat, that while not lethal, made for a very messy and smelly afternoon. It wasn’t quite up there with having to clean up six dead teenagers, but it wasn’t one of the highlights of his janitorial career either.
Luckily nowadays such accidents only happened on an individual basis. And it just so happened that one had happened in the play room. Which meant he was scrubbing for all that he was worth because unlike Sunnydale High, with its easily cleaned linoleum floors, Happy-Go-Lucky had real carpets. Another reason to hate the little buggers.
Just when he thought he had removed the last shit stains from the carpet something came crashing through the thick reinforced glass windows, showering the play room with shards of glass. Then in came a large man sized thing, no scratch that, it was even bigger, because behind it stretched a tail of many meters.
“Madre de Dios,” Jesus said as he instinctively made the sign of the Cross. The creature, its snakelike head looking around the play room, seemed like a cross between a man and a snake. Then it looked at him and Jesus recoiled in horror, falling backwards on his ass and slithering away from it until he could move no more as he came upon a wall.
The creature reached over until it’s snout was just two feet away from Jesus, then it opened its mouth. Fearing he was going to be swallowed whole Jesus put his arms up in front of him.
But nothing happened.
Instead the creature’s forked tongue came out and almost touched him. Again Jesus imagined he was going to be swallowed up. Instead the creature turned away from him and its forked tongue reached for a pillow next to him.
For a moment the creature lingered, then it hisses and its yellow eyes briefly turned red. Then it turned around and slithered back from hence it came. Leaving Jesus Jimenez alone to thank his lucky stars.
And then he started to curse as he realizes that all those glass shards in the thick carpet meant he would have to work massive overtime. Then he cursed even harder as he noticed the smell coming from his pants.
Flashing Belmovekk teleported into the Magic Box.
“You know, despite this being a magic shop and, well, Sunnydale in general, next time come in through the front door,” Giles said rebukingly, standing behind the counter.
“I shall endeavor to remember that next time, Master Giles,” Belmovekk said as he nodded towards the former Watcher.
“Somehow I think that’s Belmo-speak for not bloody likely,” Giles muttered softly.
Buffy stood up from the table where she had been sitting with her friends.
“Where are the Twins?” she asked slightly agitated.
“They are safe,” Belmovekk said and walked up to Giles, “Here, a present from Tom Zabuto.”
“Tom Zabuto?” Giles said surprised as he took the stack of books and papers from the Saiyan.
“Belmo, please tell me that you haven’t left my sisters with that crazy sister of yours,” Buffy asked again.
“No, I have not,” Belmovekk said rolling his eyes, then he looked away, “That would be kinda hard as she has more or less, um, snuck away.”
“Told you she was crazy,” Buffy said, then her eyes narrowed, “And you’re changing the subject, who’s looking after my sisters?”
“I am…., not sure if it is a good idea for you to…, um, know,” the Saiyan said evasive.
Turning around Buffy facepalmed herself loudly.
“Oh, God! He left them with Spike again. Didn’t you?”
“I am sorry, Buffy,” Belmovekk said apologetic, “But I did not think that keeping them in daycare all day would be a good idea.”
“And yet you have no problems leaving them with a soulless vampire cyborg,” Xander chimed in with an amused grin, “You know, your idea of proper daycare is really….unique?”
“Well, excuse me for thinking Mrs. Doubtfire would not be the most suitable last line of defense in case Glory were to show up.”
“And somehow Spike is?” Buffy countered.
“He has never harmed them and they do seem to like him,” Belmovekk said back.
“They’re four, you idiot!” Buffy yelled, “What made you drop them off in the first place?”
“Well, I thought it would have been nice to spend a day with my sister,” Belmovekk replied. That hardly seemed to defuse Buffy’s anger.
“You mean the same sister who ran away?” Xander asked.
“Xander!” Willow said rebukingly, “It’s his sister. He’s not seen her in thousands of years.”
“Still doesn’t change the fact that she ran away to God knows where,” Xander shrugged defiant.
“I so have it that I do know where she is going,” Belmovekk spoke up, “She is heading to Capsule Corp.’s headquarters in San Francisco.”
“Why would she go there?” Buffy asked curious.
“It has been brought to my attention that she may have a…., uh, slight issue with Vegeta,” Belmovekk said looking sheepishly.
“Slight issue as in he still owes her money or slight issue in having insulted her family honor she now has no other option then to kill him?” Buffy asked.
“A slight issue in that I have no idea,” Belmovekk said shaking his head.
“Well, it’s fair to say that if he still owes her money she wouldn’t have snuck out the back door,” Xander quipped, then he looked upwards and cupped his chin, “I wonder though, maybe she had a crush on him?”
“She’s one of the few survivors of the Saiyan race, Xander,” Giles said as he put down the books and papers on the counter, “She survived the destruction and genocide of her race at the hands of Freeza, in no small part brought about by the actions of Vegeta’s father. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s blaming him for the actions of his father. And let’s not forget that until five years ago Vegeta still worked for Freeza.”
Everybody started looking at everybody.
“She’s after revenge?” Buffy said shocked.
“She’s gonna get buttslammed,” Xander said less shocked, “His Royal Egoness may be in a funk, he can still squash her without barely lifting a finger. Not even going Ozaru saves her from Mr. Super Saiyan.”
“We have to stop her,” Willow said horrified.
“That was my plan all along,” Belmovekk said, bringing two fingers to his forehead.
“Who is this?” Giles suddenly interjected, holding up a grainy black and white security cam picture with the image of a blonde woman putting her hands on the temples of a luckless guy.
“That is Glory,” Belmovekk said.
“Who is Glory?” Buffy asked.
“She’s the, um, that thing you ran into,” Belmovekk said, nodding towards the picture, “That’s her.”
“We’ve been researching her for days,” Giles said, “We couldn’t find anything. And now you come in here with not only a picture of her, but also her name?”
“It was in the books Sam Zabuto which sent us,” Belmovekk said, his fingers still on his forehead, “It would appear that you were right, Master Giles, the Council was good for something after all.”
“But the picture…,” Giles said as he looked at intently, “This is an ATM security camera. Where did you get that?”
“Sam also got that,” Belmovekk said, “It would appear that she passed through Cleveland before coming here.”
“Lemme see,” Buffy said as she took the picture from Giles, “So that’s how she looks.”
“She looks hot,” Xander said as he looked over her shoulder.
“You need to get laid more,” Buffy said frowning.
“Tell me about it,” Xander sighed deeply.
“You do realize you’re having the hots for a demon, right?”
“Actually, she’s not a demon,” Belmovekk said.
“Oh?” Giles asked, “Then what is she?”
Belmovekk scratched the back of his head.
“She’s a…., uh, um, God?”
“A God?” Buffy and Xander said in unison.
“An honest to god God,” Belmovekk repeated.
“A God,” Willow said looking at Tara in horror.
“That might pose some… difficulty,” Giles said as he took off his glasses and whipped out his polishing cloth.
“From what I have read Council researches were able to piece together that Glory, or Glorificus as she’s sometimes known, she and two of her fellow hellgods ruled over one of the more seriously unpleasant demon dimensions.”
“There's more than one?” Tara said horrified.
“Oh, there are thousands of demon dimensions. All different,” Giles said he took the picture back from Buffy, “All pushing on the edges of our reality, trying to find a way in.”
“Then I guess this Glory found one,” Buffy said, “The question is, why?”
“Obviously to get your sister,” Xander said.
“Thanks for reminding me,” Buffy groaned, “Okay, so, we know where Glory's from. What do we know about her? She's tough, yeah, but, but no bolts of lightning, no blasts of fire, shouldn't a god be able to do that kind of stuff?”
“Even I can do that,” Xander snorted.
“That depends on the God I guess,” Giles mused, “That Demon Lord we fought a few years back, I guess a being like Cell, or Gohan, or you now, I guess you could probably defeat one of those now. And Belmovekk once told us he fought against the God Kal Torak and almost defeated him. And he wasn’t even a Super Saiyan back then.”
“Yes, but a God’s power is bottomless,” Belmovekk said and pointed towards Android #18, “Her power is bottomless either. But it is limited. Above a certain point she can be overwhelmed. Gods on the other hand always manage to rise to the occasion. Unless you quickly overwhelm them with superior firepower they catch up. Very quickly.”
“But that doesn’t matter right now,” Belmovekk said and pointed to one of the books, “She is in human form right now. Her power has been limited. All we have to worry about right now is that she is immortal, invulnerable to almost anything, and insane.”
hellgod?” Xander said as he sucked in some air, “Wow! And the fun just keeps on leaving.”
“From what I have been able to gather, her living in this world is ... seriously affecting her mental state as well,” Belmovekk continued, “She's only being able to keep her mind intact by, uh, extracting energy from ordinary humans, as you can see from that picture, “Well, from the human brain.”
“She…, she…, she's a brain-sucker?” Tara said looking at Willow.
Giles had picked up one of the booklets, most probably an extract from the original book still in the Council library.
“It says here she, um ...,” he read out loud, “absorbs the energies that bind the human mind into a cohesive whole. Once drained, all that's left behind is, uh…”
“Crazy people,” Buffy said, finishing his sentence.
“Which explains why the hospitals in Cleveland have been overrun with the mentally unstable,” Belmovekk said, then he checked his watch, “I really have to go.”
“At least vampires just kill you,” Tara said sadly.
“Not unless they turn you as well,” Xander said back.
“We must find her and stop her,” Buffy said resolute.
“How, Buff?” Xander asked, “She’s a friggin’ Hell Goddess.”
“By using overwhelming firepower?” Buffy said back, “You heard Belmo, if we give her time to react she will catch up. I don’t plan to let her catch up.”
“Well, I really must go and stop my sister from doing something stupid,” Belmovekk said and brought two fingers to his forehead, “I will be ba….”
“What is this?” Android #18 suddenly said, having just returned from the store room and now looking intently at Glory’s picture.
“That is Glory,” Giles said, “She’s our mystery adversary. The one we have been researching about for days.”
“She was here,” Android #18 stated matter of fact.
“She was here,” Android #18 said, “She came in this afternoon. She bought some things, paid for them and left. I have her receipt right there.”
“Show me,” Giles said frantically and began searching through the receipts.
“That’s the one,” Android #18 said and picked it up.
“Good God!” Giles exclaimed as he read the items Android #18 had sold to Glory, then he turned to Belmovekk, “I think it would be better if you delayed your departure.”
Slithering across the local promenade the cobra creature tasted the air with its tongue from time to time. Meanwhile people scattered all over the promenade at the sight of the scaly beast. Despite a century of night terrors the last peaceful years had completely eroded in people’s minds how bad it used to be. The sudden emergence of a monster, a threat thought to have been long gone, had people running away for safety with even greater zeal then ever before.
And yet the monster seemed oblivious to the good panicking people of Sunnydale, passing even the mother of three children that had fallen trying to protect them with her body without paying her one moment of attention.
The same however could not be said for Glory and her minions, who steadfast followed the monster, hoping that it would lead her to the elusive key. Once she came upon the woman she halted.
“Excuse me?” Glory said, then she placed her hands on the sides of the luckless woman, “I think you have something I need.”
It then looked like the sides of the woman’s head liquefied as Glory’s fingers twisted and turned inside her head and the woman began to scream.
“Oh, yeah, that’s the stuff,” Glory smiled contently, “Just what I needed.”
Not that far away an ice cream vendor was covering inside his ice cream truck. For two reasons actually. First because a massive demon had just passed by scaring the living shits out of him. Because in his extensive years of Sunnydale experience when massive demons go about out in the open that usually spelled trouble with a capitol letter T.
Secondly he just saw a blonde woman surrounded by a small coterie of unknown demons in monk robes accost a human female, that usually also spelled trouble with a capitol letter. Because the Slayer and the Saiyan didn’t take kindly to that. And when they didn’t take kindly to that it usually meant that other demons would pay the price.
And it just so happened that he was an other demon.
Hynar demons were average demons. Average in the sense that they were neither violently malevolent, nor were they peacefully neutral. They behaved and acted somewhere between those two extremes. They weren’t opposed to dishing out a little senseless slaughter when the opportunity presented themselves, nor were they opposed to living a peaceful law abiding existence when they had too.
Having originally come to the Hellmouth in the dark days of mayor Richard Wilkins III’s administration Hurk and his family clan had done their fair share of pillage and plunder. But once the Edict had been declared Hurk had put away his knives and used his uncle’s old Italian recipes to begin an ice cream business. Because they looked so human Hynars always managed to blend in when the situation required them to.
Peeking one more time over the counter of his ice cream truck, Hurk then dove back down again and pulled out his cell phone. With the Edict in place if there was one community inside Sunnydale with 100% cell phone coverage it was the local demon community.
“Hurk here,” the demon said, “There’s a demon attack going on on the promenade. Some blonde woman’s attacking a human female. And some snake like demon passed by as well. Tell the Slayer. This ain’t our fault!”
The problem with little kids was that they were either self sufficient and no bother at all, or they were complete attention whores devouring your every waking second.
The former Spike didn’t mind, but the latter….
Unfortunately right now the Big Scary’s unholy spawn were just, complete attention whores. Yelling, touching and screaming all over his crypt. Occasionally they were arguing. Mostly something about Dawn not being real. And Dawn frantically shouting that she was real.
“ALRIGHT! THAT’S ENOUGH!”
The two preschoolers stopped running about the place and looked at Spike.
“I’ve had it with your yammering,” Spike said angry, “the both of you! Now, you’re going to sit there and be quiet or so help me I’d rather be incinerated by your dad and throw you out!”
The Twins looked at each other, then they sat down next to Spike’s chair near the television.
“That’s better,” Spike sighed in relief, “Fella can’t even hear himself think anymore.”
He then switched on the television.
“Let’s watch some telly, won’t we,” Spike said.
“What’s that?” Mayan asked as Spike began to switch channels.
“That’s Frasier,” Spike said.
“What’s it about?” Dawn asked.
“It’s about two snooty nancy boys who wouldn’t last five seconds on the Hellmouth and their old dad who thinks that he could,” Spike said and switched channels again.
“What’s that?” Mayan asked.
“Sex in the City,” Spike said.
“What’s it about?” Dawn asked.
“Some girly show about three hookers and their mother,” Spike said and switched the channel again.
“What’s that?” Mayan asked.
“Charmed,” Spike said.
“What’s it about?” Dawn asked.
“Three wannabe Willows with the same disastrous love life as your sister,” Spike said.
“I wanna watch some cartoons,” Dawn whined.
“Spongebod!” Mayan said cheering.
“There are no cartoons,” Spike said, “It’s grownup time.”
“I’m bored,” Mayan said and looked around the crypt.
“Tell us a story, Spike,” Dawn added.
With a sigh Spike switched off the television. Then he got up from his chair and walked to the refrigerator.
“Fine,” Spike said, pulled out two soda cans which he threw towards the Twins, then he took out a beer can for himself, “You wanna hear a story? Here’s a story.”
Spike sat down and the Twins gathered around him.
“Once upon there were three bad ass vampires. One was called Angel, the other Drusilla, and the other one Spike.”
“That’s your name,” Dawn giggled as Spike continued.
“Angel was big strong vampire. But he liked to brood a lot.”
“What’s brooding?” Mayan asked curious.
“That’s when you sit alone and stare ahead, pretending to be deep and mysterious. That’s cause chicks love it and Angel loved them as well. Angel loved everything that had a snatch, that’s why he dressed all in black, and had lots of nancy ass hairgel in his hair. Angel was a very vain vampire and he liked to play with his food instead of eating it. That’s why the other vampires thought he was a sad little git.”
“Drusilla was a very beautiful vampiress. She could enchant people, really put the moxie on them. She could make them her bitch and make them come towards her. And then she would eat them. Hnnnngg!”
Spike pretended to lunge towards the Twins and they recoiled a little. Grinning Spike reclined his chair and took another swig of his beer.
“Now, Spike was the last of the three and he was a very badass vampire. He killed lots of people left and right, kicked many demon asses and he kissed with Drusilla a lot. And all before breakfast.”
“Now Spike and Dru really liked each other. They were always kissing together, and….., well, always kissing. Unfortunately Angel, being the sad little git that he was, didn’t like that. Because he also liked Dru. He tried to steal Dru away from Spike. But he was too much of a poofter so Spike easily kicked his ass.”
“So Angel slinked off with a family pack’s supply worth of hairgel, and brooded some more, knowing he could never be as magnificent as Spike was.”
“Then the Big Bad Slayer came to town. And she began a reign of terror that was unseen. Vampires, demons, monsters, they all fell to her evil power. Soon there was nobody in town except for our three vampires.”
“Having killed every monster in town the Big Bad Slayer come to the three little vampires. First she went to Spike’s bad ass crypt.”
“’Come out, come out, you magnificent strong vampire,’ the Big Bad Slayer yelled. But Spike had picked himself a bitchin’ crypt and try all she might she could not break into it.”
“’Fuck off you crazy bitch!’ Spike yelled at the Big Bad Slayer and she had no choice but to leave. So she went to Drusilla’s. While Dru was a bit crazy, actually she was really of her rocker a lot, Spike had handpicked her crypt himself and made sure it was just as good as his.”
“Come out, come out, you crazy bitch,” the Big Bad Slayer yelled. Naturally Dru gave her the finger so the Big Bad Slayer tried to kick the door in. But it was strong, built like a fortress so she couldn’t get in.
So the Big Bad Slayer went down to Angel. Since our nancy boy had spent his days brooding and lusting after Dru he hadn’t picked himself a good crypt at all. Instead he’d spent most of his days feeling sorry for himself in a basement. And this is where the Big Bad Slayer found him.”
“’Come out, come out, wherever you are, you loser,’ the Big Bad Slayer said as she kicked in the door to his basement, ‘Oh, that’s right, you have nothing to hide behind, hairgel boy!’”
“She then kicked his sorry ass seven shades of black and blue. But then, just as she was about to kill him, he managed to talk her out of it. For the Big Bad Slayer had one weakness, one soft spot, one Achilles heel. Because even though she was the biggest and strongest in the world, she was also deeply, terribly lonely.”
“’Please, fair maiden, spare my worthless life. Not only will I help you get Drusilla and Spike, I will also give you my heart so you will never be lonely again.’”
“Despite knowing deep down in her heart that Angel was a lying gaybo the Big Bad Slayer relented. For even a lying poofter was still better then nothing. So she accepted his offer. Unfortunately for Angel it meant having to be nice to her, and give her lots of, um, kisses. Which was hard for him on the account of him being a nancy boy. But he managed.”
“Only once he had the Big Bad Slayer eat out of his hand did they come after Dru and Spike. As before she went to the door of Dru’s crypt.”
“’Come out, come out, wherever you are!’ she yelled but as before Dru gave her the finger from inside her crypt. But when she wasn’t looking Angel snuck into her crypt from below, then he opened the door and the Big Bad Slayer came in. Together they beat up Dru and tied her up.”
“Then they went to Spike’s crypt and repeated the same thing.”
“’Come out, come out, wherever you are!’ the Big Bad Slayer shouted. And when Spike wasn’t looking Angel snuck in, knocked him on the head and then opened the door. Then together they tied Spike up.”
“Now that they had both Spike and Drusilla and they took them to their secret lair. And again they had lots of kisses together. And other things.”
“But when Angel was sleeping the Big Bad Slayer went to see Spike and Drusilla.”
“’I know Angel helped so he would live,’ she said, ‘but I do not think he likes me.’”
“’Of course he doesn’t like you, pet,’ Spike snorted, ‘he’s a bleedin’ poofter. He tried to steal my woman, he’ll lie to you to make you do things he wants you to do.’
“’You should ask him to do something you know he can never do,’ Drusilla said, ‘Because he loves me, ask him to kill me. If he refuses you will know the truth.’”
“So next morning the Big Bad Slayer took Angel to the prisoners.”
“’We are going to kill them,’ the Big Bad Slayer said.”
“’Should we really?’ Angel protested, ‘Can’t we just kill one of them?’”
“’I misspoke,’ the Big Bad Slayer said, ‘You’re going to kill them. And I want you to start with Drusilla.’”
“The Big Bad Slayer gave Angel a knife.”
“’Kill Drusilla,’ she whispered in his ears.”
“’But…., but….,’ Angel protested, ‘Can’t we just chase them out of town? Or only kill Spike?’”
“’I will kill Spike,’ the Big Bad Slayer said, ‘I want you
to kill Drusilla.’”
“Angel looked at her, then at Dru. And he knew that he couldn’t kill Dru. Cause he was a giant nancy boy, remember? So he threw down the knife.’”
“’I can’t,’ he said, ‘I love her. I want to have lots of…, um, kisses with her.’”
“’Then you’re useless to me,’ the Big Bad Slayer said and stabbed him with her own knife. Then, as Angel turned to dust, she began to cry.”
“’I am so alone, nobody loves me’”
“Then Spike spoke up.”
“’I’ll love you, pet, if you let me go I will love ya and have kisses with me.’”
“’You’re lying,’ the Big Bad Slayer said angry, ‘You’re just like Angel and all the other men. Like that stupid soldierboy.’”
“’I will prove my love to you, pet’ Spike said, ‘Give me the knife and I will kill Dru for ya.’”
“So she untied him and gave him the knife. And Spike went to stand before Drusilla.”
“’Spike, please,’ Drusilla said, ‘Don’t kill me, I thought you loved me?’”
“’Sorry, love,’ Spike shrugged, ‘But you’re crazy as a bat. And I think me and the Big Bad Slayer can have us a lot of laughs together.’”
“And then he stabbed her and she turned to dust. And the Big Bad Slayer was happy because Spike had proven his love towards her. So he put his leather coat back on, took out his Harley bike and together they left town, to live happily ever after. The end!”
The Twins looked at Spike a little confused.
“I feel sad for Drusilla,” Mayan said, “She really liked Spike.”
“Don’t be, tiny bit,” Spike said and took another sip of beer, “Cause Dru really was as mad as a hat. She friggin’ left me for an antler demon. They’re stupid even on the outside. She’d have you for breakfast and your sister for lunch just because she could. She was not a nice person. She doesn’t like little kids like I do you know. She’d……”
Before Spike could finish something broke through the doors. It was a giant snake.
Correction. It was a giant snake like creature. As Spike and the Twins looked at it in bewilderment the creature looked at Dawn. Then it’s eyes flashed red.
“You sold her a Khul's amulet and a Sobekian bloodstone?”
Android #18 looked at Giles not sure what to answer.
“Are those bad?” Android #18 asked unsure, “Because there’s like thousands of these spells that can be done with this stuff and I still don’t know each and everyone.”
Giles looked away and facepalmed himself.
“It’s bad,” he said softly, “really, really, REALLY bad.”
“How bad?” Buffy asked with a growing knot in her stomach.
“Is it android level bad?” Xander said, then he nodded towards Android #18, “sorry.”
“No offense,” #18 said.
“Is it Imperfect Cell bad?” Xander continued, “Semi-Perfect Cell bad? Perfect Cell bad?”
Giles turned to Android #18.
“For future reference, never EVER sell these things together again! It’s bad news!”
“What if somebody buys them separately?” Android #18 asked still confused, “Why sell them at all if they’re that dangerous?”
“She raises some good questions,” Xander echoed.
“That’s immaterial now,” Giles said, “Don't any of you know about the Sobekites?
“Soberizes?” Buffy asked looking at Xander.
“You just keep on mangling the Eng…, well any language, Buff,” Xander nodded encourangingly.
“Oh! I do,” Willow said eagerly, “It was an ancient Egyptian cult, heavy into dark magic.“
“And the Khul's amulet, wasn't that a transmogrification conduit?” Tara added.
“Transylvanian?” Buffy asked looking around.
“The important thing is that you tried,” Xander said again sounding encouragingly.
“But the-the Sobekian transmogrification spells were lost thousands of years ago,” Willow protested, “And besides, they would have to have enormous power to….. Oh.”
“Oh what?” Buffy asked worried.
“It’s an ominous oh, Buff,” Xander said, “The absence of anything else is what makes it so…… ominous?”
“Oh, dear lord,” Giles said in exasperation, “We sold Glory the means to transform any thing, creature or person into a very powerful demon.”
“I see why that is bad,” Belmovekk said, “But maybe if I go now I can still stop my sister and return before Glory has a chance to u…..”
Giles special cell phone. The one that was his hotline to the Committee suddenly went off.
“Bugger,” Giles said and took it out, “Giles here….., yes…., you saw what? On the promenade? Going where? Yeah I understand your concerns…., tell them that as far as we’re concerned this is basically force majeure. Act of God. Thanks of telling us.”
Giles folded up his cell phone and looked at Belmovekk.
“You better make a choice, Belmovekk. A large snake like demon was just seen on the promenade. And Glory was seen coming after it. And by the looks of it it’s heading straight towards Spike and the Twins.”
Everybody looked at Belmovekk and Buffy in particular looked like she was about to explode in anger.
Then suddenly the door to the shop opened.
“Daddy! Daddy!” two small voices yelled as the Twins came running and wrapped themselves around Belmovekk, “We were at Spike’s and suddenly this big scary monster came. And Spike sent us away and Buffy saves us and brought us here.”
“But how….,” Buffy said flabbergasted as the Twins told their tale, “I wasn’t even…”
Then the door to the shop opened again and in walked Buffy.
“It’s Buffy,” Willow said as she finally understood, it was other Buffy. It had to be, right?
Except it wasn’t.
Because other Buffy would never wear such a colorful and very sexy dress and show that much nakedness.
And she also didn’t have her tell scar on her lip.
Or have such a vapid smile on her face.
And then it spoke.
“Hello Giles, Willow, Tara, Xander, Buffy and Belmo. Spike needs help.”