Indy and Buffy crawled out of the slime-ridden tunnel entrance, blinking in the bright sunlight. Buffy took a look at what was covering her clothes and winced. Indy didn’t seem to care as he shoved his battered hat over whatever was coating his hair. Despite some odd looks, they got back to Giles’ without further incident. The yells of disgust when they walked through the door more than made up for it, and Giles made Indy stand outside while Buffy showered. As they swapped, Buffy filled the gang in on the monster of the week.
The table was covered by even more books when Indy joined them out of the shower. He was back into his tweed academia gear, and lost some of his raffish charm in Buffy’s eyes. She quickly steered her brain away from any thoughts of charm – raffish or otherwise – and concentrated on Giles’ latest spiel.
“Golems are considered to be near indistructable. I wish we knew whether the Staff was raising them, or if it was something that Miller himself can raise.” Giles flicked back through his notes.
“Telonicus never mentions anything other than power over the dead in connection with the Staff – but I don’t know if he’d heard much more than second hand tales.” Henry Jones pointed out a passage.
Buffy just shuddered. “Also – if there is another way to get down there without the stink tunnels, I’d be glad.”
Willow pulled her to the computer. “From what you were saying about the sewers, I have a rough area map.”
“You are, as ever, a god.” Buffy went over to squint at the white lines attractively creating a web on the blue background.
“Goddess, please.” Willow muttered.
After Xander’s obligatory doughnut run, the gang lay about Giles’ living room, replete. Dr Jones and Giles were busy waving books at each other across Giles dining room table. After one particularly virulent bout of incomprehensible name throwing, and, with the looks that were almost telepathic in nature, they decided to make a break for it. They were almost out of the door, when Giles demanded to know where they were going.
“Patrolling?” Buffy attempted to look virtuous.
Giles wasn’t fooled. “At this time?”
“Shopping?” Willow tried another tack. Giles’ expression of disapproval was all they needed.
Indy decided to help them out. “They were just going to show me some of the sights of Sunnydale – gather clues, y’know.” He remained resolved, even when his dad’s expression mimicked Giles almost perfectly. “And we need to get going before it gets dark, from what I hear.”
Giles opened his mouth as if to retort, but decided that it was rather pointless and they hustled through the door. He turned to the remaining Dr Jones, “Where were we?”
Buffy sighed with relief. “Any more of that and I think I would have started abusing Giles’ TV. And he needs cable.”
Willow stretched. “Nice to see the sun,” she confided to Indy. “I’ve been cooped up with that PC for way too long.”
The clicking noise coming from Xander’s fingers attracted their attention. “Guys…”
Beyond where he was pointing, a swath of destruction ran down the street. Trees were uprooted, grass churned up – there were even a few cars overturned. A muttered curse escaped Indy’s lips, as he knelt beside some of the odd marks in the road. “Mud.”
Willow, Xander and Buffy all tipped their heads to the side as they surveyed the mark. “Yeah, mud.” “Ya think.” “Which way is it going?” The sensible suggestion came from Willow.
“Towards town.” Buffy said, all amusement vanishing.
“Ya think!” Xander rolled his eyes and headed back to the research twins in order to show them the disaster area.
Ten minutes later, it became apparent that Mr Miller had not taken so long to get out of the tunnels. The wall of mud-men was slowly making its way towards Main Street, and it appeared that any obstacles in their way were merely being removed. Removed with considerable force. Jayachand Miller was actually capering behind then, waving his staff occasionally when one of the golems seemed to slow. Buffy turned rather urgently to Giles.
“Forget the research, I need a plan.” She had already lifted a rather impressive sword out of Giles’ special collection.
Giles polished his glasses furiously, brows drawn together in thought. Dr Jones Sr decided to step in. “Get the Staff away from him, and you’d control them.”
“OK Dad, and how do we get the Staff away?” Indy watched the clearly mad man caper. “Hang on…”
“He needs to spur them on every so often.” Willow pointed out.
“And they stop after lots of activity.” Giles’ comprehension dawned. “We should keep them busy.”
“How?” Xander was still behind the group. Then it hit them. “They should chase us. I don’t like this plan. This is never a good plan.”
“Don’t worry Xander, they’re slow.” Willow patted his shoulder. It didn’t really console him.
“They’d better be.”
The gang turned to see the monsters – slowly - coming for them.
“You’re lives are mine!” Jayachand cackled at them, as he whipped the golems towards them with the staff. “Mwa-hah-ha.”