When I got home that evening I found Dawn on the phone and clearly not happy.
"Look, you tell Giles to give me a call okay, or I will fly to London and kick his Watcherly butt!"
She slammed the phone down and was giving me the death-dagger look.
"What'd I do...this time?" I was genuinely confused. Dawn recoiled and then looked sorry.
"I'm sorry Buffy. That death glare wasn't aimed at you. Only at the current management of the Council."
"Apparently we're security risks."
"I seem to be having an attack of deafness. I almost thought you said, we're security risks."
"I did say that or they said that."
"Who in the specific is 'they' referring to?"
"The new Security Director the Council hired, a guy named Vosen. He has these ideas that if you aren't under direct administration of the Council, you are potentially a information leak, and you will have no access to the Council's plans so you can't spill them."
"And he knows who we are?" I was kind of dumbfounded.
"Oh yes. Our past behavior and 'retirement' from Council day-to-day operations marks us as potential weak-points apparently. He just started doing the job, and setting security policy about a month ago."
"Wonderful...He was hired from the outside wasn't he?"
"Yes, I don't know much about him unfortunately. He's American and used to work for the Department of Defense in Operations Security. That's about it."
"You can't get a hold of Giles?" I asked curiously. "Tried his home number?"
"It's been changed to an unlisted."
"What about Wills or Xander or Andrew?"
"Xander is in Africa again. He's working for Médecins Sans Frontières as a Fixer. I think he's in Sudan at the moment. Willow is in Cambodia for some reason. Andrew is unreachable the same way Giles is..."
"Come on!" I scooped up my keys.
"Where are we going?"
"To see Ruby and the rest of the Portland Slayers."
I stopped the jeep outside the nice little duplex the Council had arranged. Ruby answered the door.
"Buffy? Dawn? What's going on?"
"You tell us. Apparently somebody at the Council has determined we're both risky with security," I tried to keep my voice level. After all, it wasn't her fault. At least I hoped not.
"Uh what?" she looked as surprised as I had felt.
Dawn sketched it out for her, and I could see Ruby getting more and more P.O.ed.
"Easy Ruby," I tried to calm her down.
"Easy? Easy!?! You're one of the old Chosen. You're as much of a security risk as Giles is!"
Dawn cut in, "So why are there so many Slayers in Portland? With Buffy here, that's seven."
"You don't know? I am going to...!
"...Tell us what's going on and nothing else for the time being, " Dawn cut in again.
"Sorry. Well we were told that there was a low-likelihood prophecy centered nearby here."
"Low-likelihood?" I was puzzled.
"New system for gauging the chance of actual apocalypse. Written in Sumerian is bonus points, English is penalty points. Known prophet equals bonus points, newspaper psychic is penalty points. That kind of scoring. With the huge amount of information the expanded research department is chewing through, we had to come up with a way to sort the threats."
"I can see that," Dawn said nodding. "How long has this system been in operation?"
"About three years. You were both kind of away for that period too weren't you?"
"I had residency and was finishing up my Doctorate, and Buffy was working on the Gang Task Force."
I nodded, "I can see why we didn't hear about it. Is it effective?"
"Very! It lets us make sure Slayers are where they need to be when they need to be there. Keeps us able to react in time."
"So what's the Prophecy?"
"It was written in Old English and was in a manuscript written by some trader who dealt with 'The Raiders of the North'. One of the raider's priests said that he had had a vision of 'The Far West of Vinland', and of 'A mountain that shall walk to herald the coming of that which has been delayed to cause the fury of the Blind'. All this would happen 'within three years of the appearance of Frey's Brow upon the night sky when brilliant dwarf surmounts the golden giant'."
"What came out of that?" Dawn had clicked into research mode.
"Frey's Brow was the Comet Lovejoy which crossed near a conjunction of Mercury and Saturn."
"So what's with the mobile terrain?" I asked.
"Mountain walking as a herald? Not a clue. It would have been really awesome if seers actually wrote down something...I don't know, useful and non-cryptic?"
"That's not what visions do," I sighed sadly, "Slayer dreams?"
"Yeah," Ruby sighed, " I wish they'd come with a translator app too."
"The mountain could be a creature or a person. Norse mythology is usually bound to living things," Dawn added.
"Which reminds me..." I described what Jim and I had seen at the bank and the house.
"Anything that can rip a vault door off, counts as a mountain in my book," Ruby replied after a few minutes.
"Sure does," I agreed, "but it's the 'that which has been delayed' which scares me, and what are the Blind and why are they mad?"
Dawn shrugged and Ruby shook her head.
"Anyway," I continued, "If something awful happens give us a call regardless of what the Council thinks."
"Well duh," Ruby scowled at me, "Do I really look that dumb?"
We headed back home. Dawn was strangely quiet.
"What do you have?" I asked her.
"That's the Dawn Marie Summers MD Ph.D Patented, 'I have a theory' face you're wearing, so, make with the spillage."
"So we're pretty sure it's Norse, this Prophecy I mean..." she began slowly. I nodded. "That could mean that jotun are in play..."