After the excitement of graduation I was looking forward to visiting my father in London as I had for the last two summers. This coming fall I would be starting school at Stanford and I needed a break. Of course the rest of my pseudo-extended family Joyce, Buffy and Faith, would be joining me. Cordy and Daryl were moving to LA and Xander and Ampata were visiting Peru, so Spike, Dru, Chris, Terri, and Kendra would be minding the store in Sunnydale while the rest of us were out of town.
Di, Faith's Watcher, was also staying in town and would be keeping an eye on Joyce's gallery while we were gone with help from Giles and Ms. Calender...Calender-Giles I mean...Jenny. At the moment I was helping Di, Buffy, and Joyce unpack a load of artifacts.
"Whatcha got there Will?" Buffy came over as I was unwrapping a piece of newspaper, that must've been over a hundred years old, from a fairly solid and heavy object.
"I'm not sure," I peeked on the shipping container, "It's from a Massachusetts estate sale at least." Once I had finished the unwrapping I saw it was an unbelievably ornate piece of primitive scrimshaw on a piece of whalebone about the size of my two fists. The lines were finely carved but the design was rough and primal. Buffy reached over to touch it and then yanked her hand away.
"Will drop it!" she yelled. I let go but it was a fraction of a second too late...I felt a whirling and a swooshing and then it was all blue light.
I came to lying on cold marble. The air was cool and fresh and there were odd sounds like surf and bells. I opened my eyes and saw I was on my back in some old stone ruins with a blue sky above me. There were shadows in the sky and blinking I saw the shape of a whale!?!
I stood up and saw that the building was floating in a vast blue void with other buildings separated by nothingness and bottomless depths. The light looked dappled like I was underwater. "And who might you be?"
the voice came from a slender dark-haired man standing on a floating fragment of stone. He was wearing a brown high collared leather jacket fastened with three buckles, heavy twill brown pants, and high leather boots.
"Where am I?""My domain of course. I do not recall inviting you Lady...?"
His intonation was a lot like my father's, "Adamant, Lady Willow Adamant, my father is Earl Albany," maybe playing the nobility card would help. "And you are?""I have no name I use. Others call me various things, but they do not know the truth. I see how you arrived,"
he gestured at my hand which still held the scrimshaw. "One of my runes seems to have been misplaced. You found it and activated some of its power. It belongs to you now of course."
There was a searing pain in the back of my left hand and I now had a tattoo. It was a three-quarter circle formed from multiple curved and spiky lines. As I looked at it I could feel the power it contained."Follow me,"
the strange man said and vanished in a cloud of ash, reappearing on another shattered stone building. I looked at the mark on my hand and concentrating, pulled myself to a point next to him. The world turned gray and there was a rushing noise and I was there!
The stranger smiled at me, "Excellent Lady Willow."
"Can this get me home?" I pointed at the mark."Possibly. No one has used it for that function in many years though. There are eight besides you that possess it. Perhaps one of them can assist you?"
"So this is where I'm stuck?""Oh no. At this moment you're asleep. When you rouse...that's when the story begins,"
he vanished and reappeared on top of a shattered roofbeam. I followed. "You are easily interesting enough to take up the challenge though, and I look forward to your progress."
...And awoke in a rainy alley. The air smelled awful. Coal smoke, rot, sewage...the architecture was European but the whole place seemed to be decaying. Like it was in the aftermath of a war or something.
"Clear th'streets for th'Dead Counters! Clear th'streets!" I heard yelling from the mouth of the alley and snuck up to see what was what.
There was a thoroughfare with lots of people scrambling to the edges. All of them dressed in a kinda Victorian style. A lot of them had swords. I thought for a second and patted my pockets to see what I had. Three throwing knives, my taken apart sword, a stake, cellphone, wallet, keys, swiss army knife. I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, sneakers and my light leather jacket because Joyce's gallery was kind of cold. I tried my cellphone. No signal, not really surprising.
Out on the street there was an electrically powered vehicle like a truck; using rails set into the pavement for power pickup, and had sheet wrapped bodies in the back. There were a bunch of guys in blue uniforms with swords walking beside it and a couple guys wearing what looked like surgical masks riding with the corpses. This whole thing reminded me of pictures I had seen of the Spanish Influenza epidemic. There was a plague in the city.
I needed information. A library or something. I also needed clothes that would blend in a lot better. I seemed to remember that plague cities tended to go ballistic against any strangers that wandered by. They liked to blame them as causes. Maybe I could find a clothesline and borrow a dress or something? I turned to go and walked right into a pair of guys wearing dirty clothes and smelling like BO and cheap whiskey.
"Well well well...What 'ave we got here Mick?"
"Never seen th'like Horace. Cute though. I likes m'gingers."
"Well then. You kin 'ave 'er first."
"You're a real pal."
Mick reached for me and I easily blocked his grab before palm striking him in the diaphragm. There was a 'Whoof' as he lost his breath and I took the opportunity to side-kick Horace in the groin. He stumbled away clutching his crotch while I tripped Mick and slammed his face into the pavement a few times. Once he was out I picked up a loose paving stone and broke it over Horace's head before stopping to catch my breath. They had some silver coins in their belt pouches and not much else. Still, it was more cash than I had five minutes ago.
I needed to get off the street. Looking up at the rooftops, I grinned and flexed the mark. Soon I was above the streets looking down. A labyrinth of scaffolding and steam pipes ran between the various buildings, and I started searching for clothes or any useful information.
I knew Buffy and the rest would be working from their end to find me, and I had to be ready and prepared.BtVS Property Mutant Enemy. Adam Adamant Lives! Property BBC. Dishonored Property Zenimax Games.