XIV - Apocalypse Now
Part XIV – Apocalypse Now
Dawn was the first to break the stunned silence that followed. “Glory, if you do that, you’re going to kill Captain Jack and everybody else.”
“What can I say, Dawnie?” The ex-hell god flashed a bright smile. “Can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”
“Eggs? Eggs?!” Captain Jack lunged forward and grabbed Glory by the front of her robes. “Are ye out of yer mind, woman?! Yer talkin’ about endin’ the bloody world ---“
His tirade was cut short by snarls from the Yurgas.
Glory plucked his hands off and patted his chest. “Jackbird, if you had any idea how inferior this world was, you’d be helping me, instead of whining.”
“Whining? Glory, pet ---“
This time, it was Dawn who cut him off. “Glory, you’re human. You’re not going to survive an apocalypse.”
“I’m only human for now, Dawnie. By moonrise, I’m going to be a god again.” Glory clapped her hands and the Yurgas rose as one. Beaming at them, she cooed, “All right, boys, you know what to do!”
The Yurgas advanced on Captain Jack’s crew.
“Glory, don’t do this.” Dawn backed up against Captain Jack. “It’s wrong.”
“How can it be, Dawnie? I get to be a god again and we get to go home.”
“And what about me, love?” Captain Jack wrapped his arm protectively around Dawn. “Are ye going to kill me, too?”
“Of course not, Jackbird.”
“Why don’t I find that reassuring, darling?”
“Jackbird, you and Dawnie really should put those swords down, otherwise my Yurgas are going to rip your arms off before I can tell them not to.”
“Glory, pet –“
“Shhhhh.” Glory waited until the Yurgas finished disarming them and tying them up. “It’s okay, Jackbird. Don’t be afraid. I’m going to set you free from this pathetic existence. Why can’t you see that?”
“Maybe because we like this pathetic existence,” Dawn spat.
“That’s because you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be the Key, Dawnie. You’re so much more than this pitiful lump of flesh. You can’t tell me you don’t feel it and that you don’t want to be powerful again.”
“If I was powerful again, Glory, I’d stomp your ass out of existence.”
“You’ll see, Dawnie. When you’re energy again, we’re going to be closer than ever.”
“Never’s a long time, Dawnie.” Glory clapped her hands again. “Take them below, boys. We’ve got work to do before the sun sets.”
“I should’ve let ye run her through when ye asked.”
The girl didn’t respond, merely twisted around, giving him her back. “Jack, can you do anything about these knots?”
“Aye, maybe I can, at that.”
“And what good will it do,” AnaMaria snarled. “That madwoman is up there on deck with her pet demons preparing to kill us all.”
Jack felt Dawn tense as his fingers tried to work the knots. The young lass’ voice was almost as tight at the ropes that bound her. “We’ve got to try. Besides, we’ve got a couple of advantages.”
“Such as,” Gibbs demanded.
“She locked us down here with whatever’s in that chest,” Dawn explained. “If that’s her plan to get home, maybe we can destroy it before she gets the chance to use it.”
“And what about her plan to get her powers back,” Jack asked. Almost there. Not bad, Jack, ol’ boy, he congratulated himself. “Any idea how she plans to do that?”
Dawn grunted as he set her free and then turned to free him. “Probably blood. Mine, definitely, and I’m guessing yours and the crew’s.”
As much as Jack wanted to argue, he had a sinking feeling she was right.
“How long until sunset, Captain Jack?”
“Three, maybe four hours, lass.” The ropes binding his hands slipped off. “Good girl.”
“I’ve never thwarted an apocalypse by myself before.”
“Neither have I, love.” No amount of rum would have made this conversation any less surreal. Wait. Before? “There have been other apocalypses?”
“Three, since Buffy became the Slayer, including Glory’s last attempt to go home,” Dawn replied, absently. She was leaning over what looked like a fancy coffin. “Oh…this is bad.”
“Vampire Slayer.” She glanced up and thankfully filled him in. “It’s complicated but it’s this whole divine destiny thing.”
“Is she also an energy ball?”
“No. But when the monks made me human, they made me out of Buffy so she’d protect me.”
Gibbs snorted loudly. “This is madness, Jack.”
“Maybe, Mr. Gibbs, but we don’t have much choice,” the young lass informed Jack’s first mate gravely. “Jack, can you bring that candle over here? I need more light to read the inscriptions on this sarcophagus.”
“That’s Captain Sparrow to ye,” Jack replied, automatically, as he brought the candle closer. “What is this thing?”
“This is Yurga.”
“I thought the demons were Yurga.”
“They are. This is the thing that…uh, hatched them.”
“Jack, she’s in league with that devil woman.” AnaMaria seized him by the arm. “Are you going to listen to her or to your crew?!”
“And your advice would be what,” Dawn demanded. “Go up there unarmed? She’s got five pure-blood demons up there!”
“It’s better than sitting down here waiting for them to kill us. Besides….” Ana reached into her boot and produced a small dagger. “They missed this.”
The girl shook her head. “Put that away.”
“I don’t take orders from you, witch.”
With that, Ana lunged forward. Jack launched himself forward, trying to push Dawn out of the way, but the dagger found its mark, slicing through the girl’s arm. They landed with a crash on the sarcophagus.
And bleeding she was. Her blood was splattered on the lid of the sarcophagus. Or, where the lid of the sarcophagus should have been. A gaping vortex whirled in front of them, growing larger with each passing second.
He could feel it pulling them in.
The only thing he could hear over the howling wind of the vortex was Dawn screaming his name.
Dawn opened her eyes, blinking as an unfamiliar living room came into focus, along with a very familiar figure. “Buffy?”
“Hello, we’ve been talking about your grades for the past fifteen minutes, Dawn.” Buffy frowned at her. “I thought you were listening.”
“I was,” Dawn murmured. And, she realized, she was, but she’d also been in the hold of a Dutch merchant ship with Captain Jack. “Buffy, we have to stop Glory.”
“What?” Buffy’s look shifted from one of annoyance to concern, as she reached for Dawn’s forehead. “Dawnie, we stopped Glory three years ago. Remember?”
“You died….” Dawn was remembering. Three years’ worth of memories came flooding back to her along with the knowledge that Captain Jack was somewhere nearby, needing her help. “Buffy, where’s Jack?”
“Captain Jack Sparrow, luv.” The pirate appeared behind Buffy. Whatever tirade he was going to launch at Dawn was cut short by Buffy grabbing him by the throat and lifting him into the air.
“Buffy, no! Put him down! He needs our help!”
Buffy dropped Captain Jack, but kept a fist cocked in his direction. “Dawn, what the hell is going on here?!”
“An apocalypse,” Dawn sputtered. “Glory….we went through a portal and Captain Jack helped me but Glory’s trying to end the world.”
To be continued…….
Author’s Note. Oh, I know. Bad, bad MsB, leaving you hanging. But how else would you be assured of a sequel and the joy of seeing Captain Jack Sparrow in the 21st Century? A special thanks to Darklight and Skip Ward and all the other wonderful people who kept urging me to “write more.” I enjoyed your comments, questions and plot suggestions, a few of which found their way in, you clever minions, you. Hugs to all of you who read and enjoyed this story.