With a Whimper.By Dave Turner.Disclaimer:
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I write these stories for fun not profit.Crossover:
Multiple xovers, ideas stolen from the movies ‘Outbreak’, 'Contagion' and at least one book that I read so long ago that I can't remember the title.Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar:
Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.Timeline:
BtVS S2, around the time of ‘School Hard’.Words:
Twelve chapters of 2500+ words.Warnings:
“Quarantine,” Buffy explained, “looks like we're surrounded by the army, navy and airforce, I expect the Marines will storm ashore later.” A strange disease sweeps through Sunnydale and vampires are dying from the 'flu'; who will be next?0=0=0=0This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
T S Eliot.High Polar Orbit.
No one in the Galactic Organisation and Dominions physically travelled anywhere if it was at all avoidable, after all what was the point? Nowadays Projection Technology was so advanced a person could travel the universe from the comfort of their own home or work station. Why spend tedious months flying from one side of the galaxy to the other when PT could get you there instantly? Once you were at your destination you could see, hear, touch and smell as if you were actually there, you could even bring back samples with you. Plus there was the added bonus that any local lifeforms couldn’t detect you, unless you wanted them to. It was fast, safe, cheap and better than actually being there, most of the GOD’s scientists and explorers here more than happy to use PT.
However there were always a few mavericks which was why Junior Academician Vilchjo was walking along the brightly lit but deserted corridors of his starship. It orbited the planet below completely undetected by the indigenous population. No one in the GOD built starships anymore either, the craft that he was using now was at least twenty or thirty times older than his own three hundred years. It was a living ship, one of the last ships that had once protected the GOD from the more violent races of the galaxy. Now the GOD was so powerful and enlightened it didn’t need ‘ships of violence’ to protect it. So the enlightened GOD had released its living ships to wander the galaxy with no purpose to their never ending lives. This was how Junior Academician Vilchjo had persuaded the starship to carry him and his companion across the galaxy. He’d given the ship a new purpose to its existence, in a way he’d piqued the ship’s curiosity.
Arriving at the ‘bridge’ as it was called, Vilchjo had no idea how the control centre of the ship had come to have such a name, he’d meant to find the answer but he’d never quite had the time. Standing there next to what was called the ‘Captain’s chair’ (another strange term he didn’t understand) he looked up at the primitive three dimensional view screen and gasped at the beauty of the world they were orbiting, the sight never failed to take his breath away no matter how many times he saw it. The beauty of Jegfidoc was one of the reasons he’d researched his own race’s involvement with the development of this world.
What he’d found disturbed his enlightened sensibilities greatly. His race had visited Jegfidoc when they were little more than unenlightened adventurers. These unenlightened ancestors would land on planets such a Jegfidoc and strip it of any resources that they needed. With no thought for how their actions would effect the development of intelligent life on the world in question, they would then move on to despoil yet another world. They would rape then leave the planet unconcerned by the destruction they’d inflicted. It was only after he’d read all the ancient accounts of the abominable violation of Jegfidoc that Vilchjo had discovered the true horror of his race’s involvement with the planet.
Those ancient freebooters (another strange term that Vilchjo had failed to find a meaning for) had left something behind. Unwittingly these adventurers from that terrifying and unimaginable past had left a curse on Jegfidoc that in a mere few hundreds of local years would destroy the indigenous population as surely as if he’d stopped the local sun’s nuclear reaction in its tracks. This was why he was here and why he intended to save the world of Jegfidoc from his own race’s meddling.
“Morning’s greetings, Junior Academician Vilchjo,” Academic Assistant Venka turned and nodded to Vilchjo as he arrived on the bridge, “I trust you are well rested?”
“Morning’s greetings, Academic Assistant Venka,” Vilchjo replied as he crossed the bridge to stand near his assistant, “I am well rested and you?”
“Well enough,” Venka replied softly.
Academic Assistant Venka was a female who wasn’t even two hundred years old, she’d been Vilchjo’s assistant for less than twenty years. But, they worked well for all of her inexperience, and Vilchjo liked her. He imagined that had he lived in a time when people still did such things he might very well have ‘loved’ her and perhaps even had ‘sex’ with her. Nowadays, of course, no civilised person indulged in such primitive and vaguely disgusting practices.
“I have prepared the Projector,” Venka gestured to the projection device that stood to one side of the captain’s chair.
Shivering slightly, Vilchjo turned to look at the device. If truth was known there was no real reason for an actual ‘device’. The technology existed to allow yourself to be projected from location to location without the need to go to a particular place and use a particular device. But the upper ranks of the GOD’s Academic Society liked to put you ill at ease and over awe you with their own self importance, so, when you needed to visit them to ask for some boon they made you go through the indignity of having to use ‘the device’.
“Yes,” Vilchjo sighed quietly and pursed his lips; he supposed that if he wanted to get what he needed he’d have to play the Supreme Academician’s games, “hopefully I won’t be ‘gone’ long,” he told Venka, “in the mean time keep tracking those anomalies and the numbers of the infestations around them.”
“As you wish Junior Academician Vilchjo,” Venka turned away and Vilchjo watched her eyes go blank as she joined her mind with the ship’s sensors.
Standing by the ‘device’, Vilchjo found himself wondering if ‘love’ and ‘sex’ where actually so ‘primitive and vaguely disgusting’. He’d studied the indigenous population below for long enough to discover that sex and especially love were some of their best characteristics. For a moment he tried to imagine what ‘being in love’ would be like and what having sex with Venka would feel like. But he had no way of knowing, it was an impossible question to answer and he was foolish to even consider it as a possibility. Sighing once more Vilchjo stepped into the ‘device’.0=0=0=0
Stepping out of the Projector and into the Great Hall of the Academics, Vilchjo knew his physical body was still in the starship orbiting Jegfidoc on the other side of the galaxy. But, for all intents and purposes he was here in the ancient halls of academia on his home world; and there, sitting high up on a dais on the far side of the great hall sat the triumvirate who would consider the merits of his project and tell him yes or no.
Starting to walk towards the dais, Vilchjo realised that this was another of the powers that be’s ways of making a petitioner feel small and insignificant. For just a moment Vilchjo felt angry that the leaders of his guild would want to play such petty games. But then he shrugged, if they wanted to play games he wouldn’t let them worry him. After a long walk Vilchjo found himself standing in front of the dais and looking up at the Supreme Academician who looked and would no doubt sound like some ancient, mythical deity.
“Junior Academician Vilchjo,” Supreme Academician Mihijo’s voice echoed like doom around the great hall, “you have leave to present your project.”
Swallowing hard and taking a deep breath, Vilchjo quickly and concisely explained his races involvement with the planet of Jegfidoc, the triumvirate appreciated brevity.
“…I believe, Supreme Academician,” Vilchjo began his summing up, “that in a very few local years that the balance between the infestation and the indigenous population will reach a tipping point. At this point the infestation will have reached such numbers that the indigenous population will be reduced to mere food animals for the infestation.”
“And your solution, Junior Academic Vilchjo?” asked Senior Academician Esperanta who sat to the right of the Supreme Academic.
“I intend to infect the indigenous population with a pathogen which will kill the infestation when they feed on them,” Vilchjo explained further. “The pathogen will not kill the infestation immediately, it will allow time for the infected infestation to pass on the pathogen to others of its kind by bodily contact.”
“An interesting idea,” announced Academician Kandajho, her voice as smooth as something very smooth and dangerous, “are there any side effects, especially to the indigenous population?”
“There are some dangers,” Vilchjo admitted slowly, “as the infestation and the indigenous population share the same genetic background I expect 5% of the indigenous population to become casualties. However,” Vilchjo bravely caught the eye of the Supreme Academician, “this 5% will mainly be the very old or young who are already infected with one of the many diseases that afflict the indigenous population. After all,” Vilchjo shrugged, “you can’t make s'geg without breaking a few slemteets and in all probability I’ll leave the indigenous population stronger than it was before.”
“As my colleague says,” Supreme Academician Mihijo intoned, “an interesting idea and one that has some merit, excuse us while we consider our answer.”
Finding himself cut out of the conversation, Vilchjo passed the time looking around the great hall and wondering when had been the last time its thousands of seats had been full. A long time ago he told himself, now with the Projector Technology there was no reason for people to gather in great numbers like they had in the days of old. Sadly, Vilchjo wished he’d been alive to see all those countless thousands of learned men and women come together and debate the important issues of the day.
“Junior Academician Vilchjo,” called Academician Kandajho, her voice like oil; slippery and twice as treacherous, “how do you intent to spread this pathogen, initially I mean. From your own observations I see that the infestation is fairly solitary and not prone to infection by others of its kind.”
“Academician Kandajho,” Vilchjo replied, “if you look in the section on the geography of Jegfidoc you will see there are a number of anomalies spread around the planet. The infestation appears to be drawn to these anomalies and can be found there in unusually large numbers.”
“And the cause of these anomalies?” Senior Academician Esperanta asked.
“As best as I can tell these are the points at which the ancient freebooters mined the planet for whatever minerals they were looking for,” Vilchjo explained. “I intend to place clones of the indigenous population into these areas and others, to start infecting the aborigines in closest proximity to the greatest numbers of the infestation first.”
“Ah, I see,” Senior Academician Esperanta nodded her head slowly before adding, “one more moment.”
Vilchjo watched as the triumvirate deliberated for a few more moments.
“These aborigines,” muttered the Supreme Academician, “the indigenous population of this world, how advanced are they?”
“Very primitive,” answered Vilchjo, “true they have a basic technology but they don’t even recognise the danger they are in and even if they did they’d be unlikely to be able to deal effectively with it without some form of outside help.”
“I see,” Mihijo nodded and once again Vilchjo was left to his own thoughts.
After what felt like an eternity, Vilchjo looked up again, the triumvirate had come to their decision.
“Junior Academician Vilchjo,” Academician Kandajho called out, “the triumvirate has decided to approve your project subject to all the normal oversight procedures, congratulations you may go now.”
Slightly stunned Vilchjo found himself dismissed and heading back towards the Projector. Very soon he was stepping out onto the bridge of his starship to find Venka looking at him expectantly.
“The triumvirate said yes,” Vilchjo said still not quite believing that he’d got the go ahead.
“Then I will start preparing the clones,” Venka walked passed Vilchjo and out into the corridor.
As Venka passed by Vilchjo he found himself wondering again what sex might be like with Venka. Perhaps when he’d finished his work here he might start a new project on the subject.0=0=0=0Sunnydale, September 1997.
Cursing quietly to himself as he felt the sand of South Beach slowly start to fill his shoes; Detective Jim Stein of Sunnydale PD saw the fluttering police tape around the abandoned motor boat that had been washed up on the sand. He also breathed a sigh of relief as he recognised the two uniformed officers who were guarding the boat.
“What have we got, Walter?” Stein asked Officer Bloem, a twenty year veteran, as he got close enough to be heard over the sound of the surf.
“Come and see for y’self, Detective,” Bloem grinned as he pulled back the sheet that covered the two bodies that were still in the boat.
Accepting the older cop’s invitation, Stein studied the two bodies before nodding to Bloem who recovered their pale, dead faces with the sheet once he’d seen enough.
“They look Mexican,” Stein glanced at Officer Pete Hernandez, Bloem’s younger partner, Hernandez nodded his agreement.
“Probably illegals trying to get around the border fence,” Hernandez observed.
“If they were they died for nothing,” Stein said slowly, “would have been easier and safer to cross the border with the rest of the…” Stein stopped himself from saying ‘wet-backs’, he glanced guiltily at Hernandez before finishing what he was about to say, “…illegals. Any sign as to how they died?”
Stein had seen none himself but it often paid to ask, after all Bloem was a very experienced street cop and a lucky one; you had to be ‘lucky’ in a place like Sunnydale.
“No marks or wounds that I saw,” Bloem announced, he glanced at his partner who shook his head in the negative.
“Oh well,” Stein sighed, “perhaps the ME can find something.”
“Maybe they just died of exposure or something,” Hernandez suggested, “they didn’t look very well prepared to come all the way up the coast from Mexico.”
“Yeah but why did they come here?” Bloem replied, “Why not land near LA and disappear there, they’d have stuck out like sore thumbs in Sunny’D.”
Sunnydale was known to be unusually ‘Anglo’ for a Californian town.
“Whatever,” Stein shrugged, he’d already chalked this one up to the weirdness that was Sunnydale, “Like I say maybe the ME can tell us more. Until he does I’ve got enough unsolved murders on my desk to worry too much about a couple of illegals who probably died because they screwed up and didn’t bring enough water and fuel with them.”
“Okay Detective,” Bloem agreed, “we’ll clear up here…you’ll let us know if you find out anything?” Bloem asked meaning if Stein found out this was something natural.
“Yeah, sure,” Stein waved as he turned away and headed back to his car as more sand got into his shoes.0=0=0=0
When Bloem and Hernandez had first found the bodies, Hernandez had touched one of them, he’d instantly become infected with Vilchjo’s pathogen. When he and Bloem got back to the station house Hernandez touched several other officers who also became infected. Later when he got off duty he went out to the movies where he kissed his girlfriend, she also became infected. Later Hernandez’s girlfriend hugged one of her friends and infected her. The following night Hernandez’s girlfriend’s girlfriend was attacked by a vampire who fed on her and he also became infected. All around the world at the locations of the hellmouths, more and more vampires became infected as they fed from infected humans. The plague had begun.0=0=0=0