Taking the leap had been a no brainer and I knew no matter what Dawn and the world were more important than me. I was a Slayer, I was expendable.
I pulled myself out of a haystack and spat strands out before sneezing a few times. It was night and it was warm and there was no sign of a junk tower, skanky hellgod, Dawn, Giles, Will, Xan, Spike, Anya, or Tara. It smelled like a farm actually.
I stood up and looked around. No lights anywhere and a dirt road. There was a full moon at least so I could see pretty clearly. The farmhouse was about a quarter mile away. Maybe I could find a phone and at least where I was.
As I drew closer I noticed there was no car out front. Maybe they weren't home? Also no yard lights. I brushed the hay off of me as much as I could before knocking on the door. The door swung open, never a good sign, and I smelled fresh blood and well...somebody had had an accident.
My Slayer eyes could see well enough even in the darkness and I went into stealth-Buffy mode.
I found the first body in the living room. It was a guy in his forties or so. All of the stuff that should have been kept safe on the inside of his chest and abdomen was now on the outside. Somebody had gutted him like a fish and stacked all the internal organs neatly beside him. I kept clear of the blood pool and made sure not to touch anything.
The next body was in the kitchen. It was a girl not more than thirteen or fourteen. The killer had chopped her head off with what looked like a cavalry saber which he had left on the kitchen floor next to her, then set her head in her lap as he leaned her sitting up against a wall. I looked around the kitchen, something else seemed really strange. It was so quiet. No refrigerator or glow from a microwave clock. The stove was coal burning? And there was a pump on the sink. Was this place an Amish farm or something? I looked at the girls clothes. They were patterned and she wasn't wearing that cap thingy so probably not Amish. The guy in the other room was clean shaven too.
I headed upstairs and found the mother bound to the rafters of the bedroom ceiling. Whoever had done it had used barbed wire and made her look like she was praying with the clasped hands tied together.
I got out of there fast. I so needed to find a cop, serial killers were not in my sphere of expertise unless they sucked blood, but judging from the mess this one was not fangy in the slightest. There was no way a vamp would waste three potential meals. Over my five years as a Slayer I had seen some pretty gnarly things, but this was up there with the carnage in the Initiative base.
I was on the dirt road heading away from the farm at a steady jog. I could keep this up for hours when I saw dawn starting to break and a guy with a horse and wagon up ahead. I slowed to normal human speed and waved him to a stop.
"Well good morning Miss. What's the problem?"
"We need to get the cops! There are dead bodies at a farm just up the road!"
"What!?! Whose farm?"
"I don't know. I got lost and stumbled across it. There were three bodies, a man, a woman and a teenage girl. It was in that direction-ish," I pointed.
"Leroy Watson, Trudy, and little Lily? Climb on up Miss...?"
"Summers. Buffy Summers," I said as I pulled myself up.
"Joe Foster," he looked like he was in his sixties and had an unlit pipe gripped in his teeth, "my farm is just past the Watson's place," he made a clucking sound with his mouth and the team of horses started forward quicker then they had when I first saw him.
"Can we call from there?"
"Yeah on the phone?"
"Telephone? Where are you from that farmers have telephones? They just started putting them in the city," he glanced back over his shoulder. "We're heading to Constable Iams' house."
"Uh California," I noticed he looked surprised, "And what city?"
"Gotham of course. Gem of the East Coast. Clothes like that what Californian women wear?"
"Sometimes. My luggage got lost and this was all I had."
"Was a feller involved?"
I nodded slowly.
"I knew it! Dragged ya east then dumped ya in the country. Yer a city girl. San Francisco?"
"Los Angeles actually."
"Huh, sounded like ya came from a big city."
I kept my mouth shut. Something was going on and I had no idea what. Eventually we pulled up at a small farmstead and Joe got off the wagon and pounded on the door, "Wake up Carl! We need the law!"
A yawning man pulled the door open, "What the hel..." he saw me and stopped.
"This young lady says she saw dead folks at the Watson farm."
"You did huh Miss...?"
"Miss Summers? Where were they?"
"The man was on the living room floor. The girl in the kitchen, and the woman in the bedroom."
"What were you doing inside the house?"
"I got dumped by my boyfriend in the middle of nowhere after a fight. I was looking for someplace that I could c...get in contact with my family back west. I saw the farm and went to knock on the door. It swung open and I went inside. Then I started finding bodies."
"Yes sir. I'm from California. My boyfriend took my clothes, my money, everything."
"The cad," by this time the constable had gotten his boots and jacket on and was saddling his horse. "Joe, could you do me a favor? Run Miss Summers down to Tracy's and get her a cup of coffee. Tell Tracy I'll cover her tab."
"Sure Carl. After I drop her off you want me to come down to the Watson's?"
"If you could."
Joe and his wagon took me into a small village with a sign marking it as Bristol Township. There were no cars but a small steam railway that headed south. I could see open water to the east. Tracy's was a small restaurant and the owner soon had me seated with a cup of coffee and some scrambled eggs and bacon. She asked about California and I said nothing of any importance and then I saw a newspaper...it was the 22nd of May 1890.
I gulped. I was one hundred and eleven years from my life.
The constable entered looking extremely rattled. I really couldn't blame him. That kind of graphic death takes a lot of getting used to. One of the reasons I quip so much...helps me to not think so hard sometimes.
"Miss Summers...a word."
"Sure," I got up and followed him out of the restaurant.
He took my hands and examined them thoroughly along with the cuffs of my shirt, "No blood."
"Why would I have touched the bodies?"
"It was a momentary thought. The only way you are not in hysterics..." he trailed off.
"Was if I had done it you mean?" he nodded sheepishly. "Contrary to popular opinion not all women faint at the slightest hint of violence. I am from the wild west after all."
"And probably to return as soon as possible..."
"Why? Because I was dumped by some idiot or because of running into death?"
I shook my head, "I'm Destiny's bi...go-to girl. If I'm here and now it has to be for a reason." I looked around, "Not many jobs out here I bet."
"No," he said, "There is work in the city though."
"That's Gotham and that's that way right?" I pointed.
"Uh yes. About six miles to the river."
"Thanks and thank you for the breakfast. I'll pay you back," I started walking south.
As I headed towards the city I knew that there was no accidental way I should have appeared next to a set of murders like that. Something was up that needed a Slayer.DISCLAIMER: All recognizable characters not property of me.
This is set in the Gotham City of Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola's classic Elseworlds story, Gotham by Gaslight. It is a nasty violent story with Batman in 1889 Gotham hunting down Jack the Ripper who has fled from London. This story is taking place several months after that has resolved.