We Got Girls That Can Cook... by Rich
He sat up in the bed. The blankets covered the bandages on his legs, so aside from the monitor unit clipped to his hand and the ridiculous gown he was wearing, there was no obvious sign that there was anything wrong at all.
"You Know, Maria" he said "The last time we did this, you were the one in the bed, and I was the one visiting."
"I remember, Jack" she replied. "I also remember how I got in the bed, and it's embarrassing, so I'd prefer to talk about how you're doing."
"Not bad," Fetterman said, "considering that I just got blown up. I've had worse."
"I remember that, too." Seydlitz. "and you looked worse, too. How long will you be laid up this time?"
"The docs say I'll be able to move around a bit tomorrow. Luckily none of the wounds were deep. It'll take a while to replace the burned skin, but I've done that before. No reason I can't do it again."
Maria nodded. Those wounds had been much more serious than these. Of course, they'd both been a lot younger then.
"How's Captain Zhukov ?" asked Fetterman.
"She's over her berserkergang, at least for the moment. You remember how she was when I first met her ?" replied Maria.
"You mean do I remember her running the obstacle course for hours every day, and dragging Johan along with her ?" he said. "Of course. Is she doing that again ?"
"No...she's been running maneuvers, with her entire lance. They already look much
better than they did." said Maria.
They both grinned at that.
"You know," said Jack, "I heard about what happened, and it doesn't make any sense. You've studied Slayers, right ?"
"As much as I could... which wasn't much considering that we haven't had any since long before either of us were born." She answered. "The latest records I could find dated back to the time of the Star League, and they were hardly complete. The Watchers kept meticulous records, but only on certain subjects ; what did the demon look like, what did it do, how was it killed. They were almost obsessive about that sort of thing, but they didn't go much beyond it. I think that they were so focussed on the trees that they forgot that the forest even existed. I'm glad to say that the ones here
seem to be a bit less narrow-minded."
"From what I've gathered, that wasn't always true." said Fetterman.
"I have the same impression," answered Maria. "Do you know, the records I found always referred to the 'Watcher's Council', but never to the ISWC ? And I don't remember reading about a 'Buffy Summers', either. Maybe they didn't exist in our universe. It might be interesting to look into that."
"But that wasn't your question, was it ?" she inqired.
"No, mine is much simpler," he replied. "How the hell can a creature stand up to multiple gauss rifle hits and then get killed by a sword, of all things ? Granted, maybe
Sergeant Halleck just got lucky, but I don't think I buy that."
"Neither do I, Jack" Maria responded. "I can think of two explanations. One is that demons are often especially vulnerable to particular weapons, especially edged
weapons. That's one reason why Slayers usually carry them, and usually don't
carry guns, which incidentally seem to be as common as dirt in this society."
Jack nodded. "And the other reason ?" he asked.
"This is a bit of a stretch - but what if it matters who's wielding
the sword ?" asked Maria. "One thing I did get from those old records - reading between the lines, I got a sense that a lot of Watchers were a little bit afraid
of their Slayers. They admired them; some of them may even have loved them, but they didn't always trust
them. And no one
knew how Slayers are chosen, or why. A lot of the time, they didn't even know who
, until after the fact."
"You mean, something was going on that the Council didn't control." said Fetterman.
"Exactly," responded Maria, "and they hated that. They were riding the mech, but they weren't really piloting it."
"So, who was ?" asked Fetterman.
"That's a very good question, Jack." said Maria. "I have no idea of the answer. But it does suggest that there may be more to being a Slayer than just muscles and reflexes, doesn't it ?"
Major Sanchez was just exiting her office when the consrvatively dressed woman approached her. She was accompanied by a Gurkha Havildar, who said, "Excuse me Ma'am, but this woman says that she needs to see Sergeant Jefferson."
The woman said "Is he really a Sergeant now ? I'm not really surprised, but when I knew him he was just a patrolman."
"Can I ask what this is about ?" asked Sanchez.
"I'd really rather discuss that with him, if that's all right. " the woman answered. "I mean, if he
wants to discuss it with someone else, that's OK. But I thought I'd let him make that call."
Sanchez was tempted to send the woman on her way. Instead, she said "Tell you what. I'm headed over towards the motel, and I think he's in the lobby. So why don't we both
go see him."
As they walked over, the woman said "It's been so long, he might not remember me. But I think he will. At least I hope so."
Part of Jefferson's job was dealing with any questions or complaints from the public. The motel lobby offered a large area with adequate seating, so he and Randy had set up there. Since most of the public had left the area, the job wasn't particularly difficult, most of the time.
The woman saw Jefferson sitting behind a table, walked over, and extended her hand. "Sergeant, " she said "You might not remember me. I'm Wanda Sikorski.." Jefferson didn't look enlightened .."But when you knew me, I usually went by Yvette."
The Sergeant looked puzzled for a second; then he looked stunned. "Yvette ? You look...different."
"Well, I should hope so." she replied, "considering how I looked the last time."
Sanchez was intrigued. "Is there a problem, Sergeant ?", she asked.
"No, Ma'am." he responded. He considered briefly, then said "Before joining the State Police, I spent a couple of years on the Warren Police Department. Yvette was...someone I had dealings with back then."
"He means I was a hooker." said Yvette. "Don't look so shocked, Sergeant. I've been out of the life for years, and I'm sure that they have hookers in whatever universe the Major comes from."
"They do," said Sanchez, "especially considering that I come from Arizona. Why don't you have a seat and tell us what we can help you with ?"
"'We', huh. Ok, maybe that's the best way to go. If I'm right, you might need to get involved with this too." she replied.
"I saw a thing on TV about how the State Police were working with these 'Rangers' and there you were; I recognized you right away." Yvette said. "I didn't think anything of it, but then I got a call from an old...well, 'friend' isn't the right word. More like 'co-worker', if you catch my drift."
"See," she contined. "I don't exactly keep up close ties with the old gang, 'cause it'd be kind of awkward; for them as well as me. But there's a few that I still talk to once in a while, y'know ? Sometimes I can help them out when they got a problem. And this 'friend'...and I don't think I'll tell you her name...she's got one that I think you need to know about."
Jefferson was curious, even if he wasn't exactly enthusiastic about it. "What makes you think that, MS...Sikorski ?" he said.
"You remember that guy I used to work for ?" asked Yvette.
Jefferson sat up straight, his face stiff. "Yeah, him
remember." He turned to Major Sanchez. "A really nasty piece of work. Pornography, pimping...especially underage girls. Called himself Sugarbear. Liked to beat up the girls when they came up short, or just for fun. We never did make a solid case on him, but everybody knew him."
"Yeah, and he didn't get mellow with age, either." said Yvette. "Main reason I got out when I did; well that and the fact that I was getting too old. The point is, my friend said that his luck ran out. When whatever the hell is happening started happening, my friend got out of town, and she brought her girls out with her. Sugarbear didn't."
"I see," said Sanchez. "Well, I suppose we should be sorry to hear that; whatever he may have done before."
"No, I'm not done," said Yvette. "See, my friend heard from one of her
friends, who worked for Sugar. She
got out too, but that was after
the demons moved in, so she saw what happened to him." She turned to Jefferson again. "You remember why
so many charges got dropped, right ? 'Cause every time anybody got anything on him..."
"He'd make a deal." said Jefferson. His eyes widened. "He ...made...a..deal
.. with...the demons ??!
"Ain't that just the kind of twisted shit you'd expect from that lowlife ?" asked Yvette. "My friend says he's still in the same business, only instead of selling girls on the street, he's got a new clientel; he's trading girls to demons in exchange for a free pass. Vamps, mostly."
"And I ain't the sort to meddle in other people's business, but I got to draw the line somewhere. And I remembered seeing you on the TV, so I came here."
"And you made the right choice, Ms. Sikorski." said the Major. "You're right. We have to draw the line somewhere." She turned to Jefferson and asked "What do you think we'll need to take this guy down ?"