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The Hunters

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This story is No. 2 in the series "The Slayers of Dune Book IV". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The last Slayers of Dune set out to defeat the Old Ones.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Sci-Fi > DunenedwardsFR131314,7800142,11918 Feb 1330 Jun 13Yes

Chapter One

All characters from the Dune Universe are property of the Frank Herbert Estate. All characters from the Buffyverse are Property of Joss Whedon. Everything else belongs to me.

They had searched for millennia for the perfect place. Here they believed they had found it. From their mile long ships, the Engineers gazed out upon the horrific landscape that was to become the workshop of horrors they intended to perform. They needed an expendable place to manifest certain theories of creation. They needed a defenseless place they could damage and no one would care. Tens of thousands of years of research in the engineering of artificial life forms would climax in the thing they were planning to do now. They came here to build gods and monsters.

They had created a blood bomb. Blood was both food and DNA. The single cell organisms they had built from mystical atoms in their labs were suspended in a nutrient mix and placed into the warheads of thousands of missiles. They seeded the burning Earth below them and waited. In less than a year they were rewarded beyond their wildest dreams. The Great Old Ones exploded into existence under the thumb of a ruthless process of natural selection. Using the magics build into the atoms of their genes, the Old Ones speciated to capture the niches of the magic that powered them. They were a curious mix of form and function and magic. They were power made flesh.

- Buffy AVP: Messiah

She had the late watch. Buffy sat in the captain’s chair of the “Liam Atreides” dreaming of the past. Five hundred years ago she was resurrected on Arrakis by the sprit force of the slayers. She joined the slayers of Dune as part of their ongoing mission to protect the golden path. She remembered being pulled through time before then to stand with Surayya at the birth of the Destroyer. There, she was sampled by the slayer witch Motorria along with Paul Muad’Dib to produce a son that she raised as her own. She watched her son grow into a man that would take the throne and eliminate the First at great risk to himself. Buffy remembered why he took the throne.

“The Destroyer demanded that we share our power.” Buffy thought. “Within a thousand years all humans will be slayers and all of us will be saved as a perfect quantum copy in the slayerverse.” Buffy opened her eyes. She could hear soft footsteps approaching her. She knew it was Surayya. She could feel the sheer presence of the woman vibrating under her skin. Buffy looked up and smiled. She had not seen her best friend in over five hundred years.

Surayya Atreides was the first of the new slayers. She was created by Leto II to fight the Old Ones of Talios III. After hearing the voice of the Destroyer in his dreams, Leto had resurrected the slayers and given them a year of training which included spice enhanced lucid dreaming combined with mentat style data processing and memory recall. The new slayers were no longer raw and unfocused like their ancestors. With Leto as their Watcher they had become bright and sharp. The young girls that Leto had created were the most dangerous beings in the Human universe. Their feral impulses were only balanced by Bene Gesserit training. At the command of Surayya, her fleet had undergone the spice agony to gain access to the magics of Willow Rosenberg. Surayya was a full reverend Mother with thousands of years of genetic memories at her command and all the powers of the amulet worn by Spike at the battle of Sunnydale. She, along with Leto’s slayers under the joining spell, had pulled Muad’Dib through time to be joined with Buffy.

Buffy had seen her call mountains down from the sky. She had fought alongside her when they captured Dracula and ended the first Slayer-Fishspeaker war. And on the last day that she had seen her friend alive she had merged with the slayers of Dune against the Powers-That-Be to unleash the devastating power of the Destroyer. The unchecked power of a billion slayers had exploded onto Arrakis. They cracked the planet in half and healed it in a fraction of a second as they baptized it with their power.

“Now the entire planet is holy ground.” Buffy thought. “And Anne wants to use that power to resurrect the Old Ones.” As Surayya leaned up against the command console Buffy remembered something else about her as well. Surayya had found love with a young man that was the splitting image of Xander Harris. They had a daughter named Colette who was Liam’s best friend and body guard. They were all dead now lost to time.

“Where have you been?” Buffy asked. She was trying to be careful. She didn’t know what emotional state her friend was in. She desperately wanted to hear the back story. Surayya sat in the command chair next to her. Buffy could tell she was itching to be in the captain’s seat. Surayya was a born leader. She had commanded a fleet and charged into a war with the Old Ones before she was even sixteen.

“He made me go.” Surayya said. “The Destroyer gave me a vision.” Surayya leaned forward as she gathered her thoughts. “He told me to save you.”

“He sent you to rescue me?” Buffy said.

“You’re gonna need help on this one.” Surayya said. “The last time we went up against the Old Ones we basically exterminated a solar system.”

“Don’t exaggerate.” said Buffy. “You just destroyed a pulsar.” Surayya rolled her eyes.

“The Old One’s are terrible and absolute.” Surayya said firmly. “Remember the other timeline? You hid on the Machine home world with Liam. You watched them eat worlds.” Buffy nodded.

“Destroying these Old Ones will be like nothing we’ve ever done before.” Surayya said.

“So where did you go?” Buffy asked changing the subject.

“I went to the Butterfly nebula.” Surayya said.

“Sounds pretty.” Buffy said.

“Yes it is. It’s also the coldest place in the universe. It’s so cold there that it exhibits temporal indeterminism. The arrow of time can be bent or stretched. The Destroyer showed me how to use it to jump into the future.” Surayya said.

“And now you’re here.” Said Buffy.

“Yep, I’m here.” Surayya responded. After a moment she said, “Do you want to see it?” Surayya smiled. She knew every slayer in the galaxy wanted a peak at the thing she held.

“Gimmie!” Buffy said excitedly. Surayya reached around to her back and removed what she carried from its satchel. She sat it on the command console. The blade of the scythe sparkled in the room’s dim light. Buffy grabbed it and held it tightly. She could feel the mystical energy pulsing within it like the heartbeat of a living thing. The scythe was a mystical weapon created for the slayers thousands of years ago. It had been used by Willow to awaken every potential slayer on Earth at the same time. It was used by the slayer Motorria Swati to create the Destroyer after his death at the hands of the Senior Partners.

Buffy held the scythe in her hands as she remembered her time on Arrakis. She remembered a sandworm nearly a kilometer long. She remembered taking the water of life. She remembered seeing her entire life as a set of bright shining moments hung together like a string of pearls. She remembered being reborn from the flesh of the Destroyer and tearing the head off of Illyria with her bare hands.

“Is this the last one?” She asked. Buffy knew that the other copies of the scythe had been returned to their proper points in time.

“I don’t know.” Surayya said. “This is the one I brought with me.” Buffy placed the scythe down. She looked at with longing. Her mind clicked. She was all business now.

“I did the math.” Buffy said. Taking into account birth rates and migration patterns it’s already happened. It happened about twelve years ago.” Buffy said.

“What?” Surayya asked.

“Liam’s plan for integrating humans and slayers. Somewhere out there a male slayer has already been born. This is what Anne wants to know. How does the Destroyer bind itself to human flesh? She wants’ to know our secrets.”

Lights blinked on the command console. Buffy pressed a button. A high definition image of the planet Tleilax filled the screen.

“Haven’t been here in a long time.” Surayya said. The last time she was here was hundreds of years ago right after the death of Leto II.

Buffy looked over the display panel embedded into the arm rest of her command chair. It showed a small fleet of ships rising from the planet to meet them.

“Looks like we need a plan.” Buffy said.
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