Slayer, Las Vegas - XI and Epilogue
A Buffy the Vampire Slayer/CSI crossover. This story is a sequel to "Should Have Gone To Vegas..." and "Manhunters." which involve Angel, Riley Finn, and other characters from BtVS and Angel. It is set between Buffy Seasons 6 and 7.
All characters are the intellectual property of their respective creators, film companies, etc.; this story may not be sold or distributed on a profit-making basis.
I'm British, so's my spelling. Live with it. Many thanks to everyone who has made helpful comments and reviewed this story so positively since I began it.
Final Chapter and Epilogue.
Slayer, Las Vegas
By Marcus L. Rowland
"When you said 'invasion' I thought you were exaggerating," said Dawn, "bur this is... wow!"
"Expensive is the word you're looking for," said Brass, "but worth it."
A fleet of trucks and armoured vans was en route to Lorenz Park, and the house was already under helicopter surveillance. In the control van Brass, Grissom, Dawn and the rest of the CSI team were studying the building and utility plans and calling in the details to the trucks.
"All this to rescue Buffy! Usually it's a couple of us with axes and crossbows."
"This isn't just about your sister," said Grissom. "It's about twelve murder victims, more than half of them children, and anyone else they've killed over the last two years."
"Oh... yeah, I'm sorry, I totally get that, it's just that it's hard not to take this personally."
"I know you're worried, but if your sister is all we think she is she'll be okay. Now, is there anything else we need to consider before we go in?"
"I was worried about sewers," said Brass, "but it doesn't look like there's anything large enough to for a vampire to move through closer than two blocks away."
"Maybe not large enough for a vampire," said Dawn, "but what about a bat? Or a wolf?"
"Okay..." said Nick, looking at the plans with a magnifier, and tapping commands into his computer. "Nearest street drain is fifty feet from the house, nearest small utility tunnel is just outside the grounds but it's only about a foot in cross section. Closer than that and you're looking at small-bore pipes and buried cables. They could have dug something, of course, but the sewers here were inspected only two weeks ago and nothing unusual was reported."
"That's good; in Sunnydale there are tunnels everywhere, so we kinda expect the vamps to use them to escape. Looks like you don't have that problem."
"There are two cars and an SUV under the car porch," said Warrick, watching the view from the helicopter's camera. "All of them have tinted glass, the vampires can probably drive them by day. Might be more vehicles in the garage."
"So we'll block the drive." said Brass. "Okay, five minutes to showtime, people. All units are at their takeoff positions."
"Communications check," said one of the technicians, "activate all radios and cameras."
A dozen more screens came to life, showing the interior of the crowded trucks where the SWAT teams were pulling on modified riot gear, including gleaming gold mirror-visored helmets, thick gloves, and padded leggings. Most of the cameras were helmet- mounted, worn by the police who were to lead the assault.
"Two minutes," said Brass, "Start your engines.... One minute... Thirty seconds... Showtime..."
"Greg," said Grissom, "start the music."
Greg pushed a few switches, and dogs began barking, first one or two then dozens of them. Dawn shook her head and said "What is that?"
"Ultrasonic jammer," said Greg. "High pitched continually varying signal, covering all of the ranges a bat might use for its sonar. Wolves probably won't like it either."
"Yeah, I can hear it a little. That's horrible, like a squeaky motor."
"You're a kid, you still have young ears. Give it five years, two if you listen to much rock, and you wouldn't hear a thing."
* * * * *
Two armoured cars were first to arrive at the house, smashing through the steel gates as though they were made of tin. One covered the front of the house, the other cut across lawns and wilting flower beds to the rear. Close behind were four covered trucks containing the SWAT teams. As the troops moved to surround the house the armoured cars began to spray the house with water cannon, smashing the windows and tearing away curtains.
"It's a shame we couldn't get a priest out in time to bless the water," said Brass, "flood the place with a few thousand gallons of holy water and there wouldn't be much left of the vampires."
"Maybe next time," said Grissom, "let's hope the need never arises."
"Where's the fifth truck?" said Brass, "I want that entrance blocked."
"On the way," said one of the technicians, "any second now."
* * * * *
In the cellar Buffy heard glass break, and decided not to wait for the guard to return. She began to tug on the base of the door frame, now freed from its foundations. There was a loud 'crack' as it ripped loose from the wall, followed by a dull thud as the door came free of its bolts and Buffy kicked it out into the corridor.
The guard came running along the corridor towards her, his fangs protruding as he leaped to attack her. Buffy staked him with the sharpened tree root she'd dug from under the floor, then started to look for better weapons.
* * * * *
The first wave of police came under fire as the vampires' human victims began to defend the house. Most of them were lethargic, half drained of blood, but they had shotguns and pistols and seemed to know how to use them.
"We should have fired tear gas," fretted Brass.
"No," said Dawn, "It wouldn't affect the vampires and Buffy's in there... she has to be able to fight."
"I guess... I just hope none of my men get hurt."
"So far we have two casualties," said Grissom, "neither serious. They don't seem to be using anything that'll get through body armour. I'm worried about the helmets though."
"Me too. They don't make armoured mirror visors for that design, we had to settle for perspex."
"Why mirrored?" asked Dawn.
"We looked at the security camera footage of the Brides," said Grissom, "it looks like they need to make eye contact with their victims to make their thrall work. With mirrored visors they can't make eye contact."
There was a burst of loud gunshots, and two of the police came out dragging a struggling man. As they got him out into the sunlight he burst into flames. "Scratch one vampire," said a technician.
"Do they have to see the victim's eyes?" asked Dawn. "What if it works if the victim just sees their eyes?"
"It's a chance we'll have to take," said Grissom.
Somebody screamed, and one of the monitors went dark.
"Damn," said Brass, "that sounded bad."
* * * * *
There was definitely something going on upstairs, and Buffy cupped her hands to catch a trickle of water dripping from the ceiling. It tasted of dust, but it was the first drink she'd had all day. She kicked in the door of the room next to her cell, and found a typical vampire nest; half a dozen beds, filth, and a rotting corpse in one corner. No weapons, no vamps, but there were a couple of wooden chairs; she pulled one apart and grabbed the cross bars and slats from the back to use as stakes. She could hear shots now, and screams; if there was a war going on up there she'd need more to deal with it.
Back into the corridor - two vamps coming from the left, neither had time to stop before she staked them. Too easy, more of the Brides' cannon-fodder, not even armed.
Round a corner, looked like a recreation room; a bar, pool table, more filth, and another corpse. The bottles on the bar were dusty, unused by the current occupants. Buffy cracked open a bottle of soda water; it was stale and flat, she drank enough to take the edge of her thirst, hoping it wouldn't give her cramps. There was a sharp knife behind the counter, probably used for lemons once. It'd do until something better came along. She broke one of the pool cues in two and took it as a long stake. Back into the corridor...
* * * * *
"Officer down in rear dining room, sucking wound to chest..."
"Officer down, front reception, broken arm..."
"Damn," said Grissom, "sounds like they've hit trouble."
"We knew there's probably be casualties," said Brass, "so far I hope we've avoided fatalities."
"That's one of the Brides," said Sara, "Camera four."
The camera carried by one of the SWAT team showed an eerily beautiful brunette woman fighting the SWAT team with demonic strength. One went down, another tried to hit her with a TASER but missed as she leaped onto him and tried to twist the helmet, and his head, from his shoulders. Bullet holes appeared in her dress, she ignored them.
Something flashed across the screen, too fast to see clearly, and the Bride snarled and tried to pull a wooden rod from her shoulders, letting go of her victim. As she twisted round the sharp end of a broken pool cue stabbed through her chest, and she crumbled to dust. Behind her was Buffy, looking unusually angry. "Anyone seen a leather jacket and my sword?"
"Team three," shouted Brass, "that's the Slayer, give her anything she wants. All units, all units, Elvis is on stage. Repeat, Elvis is on stage."
"You'd better not let Buffy hear you call her that," said Dawn, with tears in her eyes.
* * * * *
Another Bride leaped out of one of the broken second-storey windows onto the roof of the carport, her skin smouldering as she smashed through the light roof and jumped down onto the SUV. In seconds she had was driving across the lawn towards the open gates. As she did so the last truck finally arrived to block the entrance. They collided, and the tinted glass shattered. The Bride frantically tried to run in a fusilade of fire, tried to take bat form, but disintegrated in dust and flame, killed by sunlight and Nick's special cartridges.
* * * * *
The other vampires on the second floor were putting up a spirited fight, and had the police stalled at both staircases. Newly armed with an axe and two crossbows, Buffy ran out into the hall below the main stairs, braving their shots, and leaped nearly twenty feet into the air. She fired two shots, both dusting vampires, then dropped the crossbows as she landed on the upper floor and began to take vampire heads.
* * * * *
"Still looking for the third Bride," said Dawn, "must be there somewhere. Get your guys searching downstairs, remember that she can pretend to be a corpse, or hide somewhere where there's no air. She might pretend to be human, tell them to watch for anyone who isn't reflected in a helmet. Buffy'll be okay until you can get up to her."
"You have a lot of faith in your sister," commented Catherine.
"They've got her angry now, she loves that jacket and it looks like she's ruined her nails. I wouldn't want to be one of the Brides or Dracula right now."
* * * * *
Buffy caught up with the last Bride in one of the bedrooms, which had somehow retained its dark curtains. She was frantically shovelling dust and earth from an open coffin into a large plastic bag. She shouted "Heads up!" and threw the axe. The Bride dodged easily, screamed, and leaped at Buffy, realising too late that the axe was a feint. Buffy dusted her with another stake, looked around for any other immediate threats, then turned her attention to the coffin and bag. There was a bathroom adjoining, and by the time the SWAT team caught up with her the last remnants of Dracula were on their final journey, into the Las Vegas sewage system.
* * * * * Epilogue * * * * *
"...I guess I was lucky," said Buffy, "I thought I had much longer to escape, if I hadn't dug up the floor I would have still been trying to find a way out when your guys showed up, and I guess that the Brides would have killed me."
"How did you break the floor anyway?" asked Grissom.
"Just dumb luck. There was a tree root, must have put so much pressure on the concrete that it cracked. I saw a couple of little leaves, gave me the idea to dig down. Once I did that I could break the door frame and get out."
"I wouldn't call that lucky, I'd say it was resourceful. No doubt you would have found another way out if that one hadn't been available."
Buffy blushed, and said "It's getting on for nightfall. I think I'd better do another patrol, mop up any stragglers that weren't caught or killed at the house. I'd guess we caught most of them though, from the looks of things the Brides had involved pretty much all the vampires in town."
"Why not stay on for a couple of days," said Sara, "see the sights and take in a couple of shows before you head back."
"I'd love to, but money's still pretty tight."
"Which reminds me...", said Brass.
"What did Dawn break?" asked Buffy resignedly. "I'll pay for it, but you might have to wait for instalments."
"Nothing. She was very helpful."
"Firstly, I've been authorised to pay all your expenses for this trip, including travel and any entertainment you might want to enjoy before you leave."
"Uh.. okay, I guess I'd be happy to accept."
"Secondly, this is the third case of supernatural activity we've encountered in a year. It's becoming obvious to us that we need professional help. Your help."
"You want me to join the Las Vegas PD?" asked Buffy incredulously.
"That would be our preference, but I understand that you need to stay near Sunnydale. The best alternative we've thought of is that we should offer you a regular retainer for your advisory services, plus consultants fees and expenses if it should become necessary for you to travel here. Said travel to be entirely voluntary, of course."
"Retainer?" asked Buffy.
"I think our budget can run to three hundred a month for routine advisory services, two hundred a day plus expenses if you travel or have to do anything else on our behalf."
"And this would all be voluntary... no penalty if I can't get away from Sunnydale?"
"Of course not."
"And no publicity?"
"I guess that in theory I'm supposed to say something noble and heroic and turn you down... but we really need the money. I'd be happy to accept."
"Good. It's taxable income, of course."
"Also retroactive. Let's see, you've been here two days, say four days by the time you get home, your expenses will include travel, dry cleaning, wear and tear on weapons, plus the retainer for this month... Would fifteen hundred cover it?"
"Uh... I guess."
"Good," said Brass, pulling a payment voucher from his pocket. "Just fill in your social security and address details and we'll get a check out to you. Buffy...?"
"Sorry, just in shock here."
"I think that you and Dawn have earned it," commented Grissom.
"Welcome to the team," said Catherine.
"Oh-kay.... I guess I'd better give Dawn the good news. If you hear glass breaking it'll be her squealing. Thanks.. I really don't know what else to say."
"It's been an honour meeting you," said Brass.
* * * * *
"Did anything strike you as odd about that story?" asked Catherine once Buffy had gone.
"Which story?" asked Grissom.
"How she escaped. Convenient that the floor should be broken just where she needed it."
"Not really. I took a look at the cell when we were clearing up, the root is there all right."
"I took a look too. What was the name of the witch Buffy and her friends keep mentioning?"
"You ought to know. Willow, of course."
"I found enough left of that root to identify it. It's Salix Babylonica, the weeping willow."
"So the nearest willow tree I could find was in the park, more than a hundred yards away."
"Magic, I think. That Lorne guy apparently said something was guarding Buffy. One of these days I really want to meet that girl..."
* * * * *
Nobody questioned the forged prisoner transfer documents that took three vampires from their cells to a waiting van with CDC markings the next day. About fifty miles outside Las Vegas, at noon, the van stopped at a scrap yard. The vampires didn't realise that anything was wrong until a magnetic grab picked it up and dropped it into the crusher.
"Bloody nice of the police to keep them for us," commented one of the drivers as they watched dust spurt out of the machine.
"Bloody stupid that they had the chance. That Slayer's too soft on vampires, we saw it with Angel a couple of years ago. Good thing the Watchers have ruthless bastards like us to clear up the mess."
"She killed a god, mate, as far as the Council is concerned that cuts her a lot of slack."
"For now. Let's go home."
* * * * *
Jim Brass went home and spent more than an hour looking out of the window over Las Vegas, as he slowly drank a large Scotch. Tonight the city streets would probably be a little safer, thanks to the Slayer and CSI. It made what he had to do all the harder.
Eventually he picked up the phone and dialled an international number. "This is James Brass, Las Vegas police department. Serial 13539, codeword Tiberius... I need to report to the General or his staff, priority Alpha-One. Yes, I can hold."
Brass poured himself another drink, and absently rubbed the spot where his clothing concealed a faded blue tattoo dating from his teens, the sign of an ancient loyalty that could never be forgotten. Eventually a new voice came to the phone. "General..? Thank you, it's been a long while... Yes... I think I have positive identification... Briefly, I learned today that monks hid a child from someone who could cause insanity. The child is the sister of the Slayer, and a psychic stated that she had an unusual green aura. Putting those facts and last year's events together I think the conclusion is obvious. Dawn Summers is The Key... Yes General, of course... Even with Glory dead, she might fall into other hands. The Key is the Link, the Link must be severed. Such is the will of God..."