New York's docks in February
New York's docks in February
Disclaimer: Andrew belongs to Whedon and Co.; the other charactes are mine.
From the journal of Andrew, Watcher-in-Training.
When I and my chargers have finally arrived in New York City, we were kind of exciting, ‘cause hey! – New York! The Big Apple and all that! Nothing bad could have happened to us, right? After all, we’ve survived the Hellmouth and the First. Well, we were wrong.
To begin with, there are relatively few vampires in New York. Oh, there are a few hunting grounds where we found a few of them, but they were innumerous and wary. Why? For several reasons.
First, there are gargoyles. And I am not talking about the stone stat-ues; I am talking about the living ones that imitate the statues. They are apparently cruel, sadistic beasts that require neither food nor wa-ter nor sleep, and just torture living creatures for fun.
But gargoyles are just the part of it. The vampires tell in hushed tones about a possible existence of a something called lich, whose name is Axel Van Der Maark, and who controls a cadre of brutal criminals, include some of the gargoyles.
Finally, there’s the city harbor. I am talking about the East River and the Upper New York Bay. Apparently, there’s a tribe of creatures called sea devils living in an underwater city in there, served by zombies and some sort of shape-changing creatures. That I found hard to believe, but some of the girls (led by Lucy Sasso, I believe), persuaded me to let them go on patrol.
Three went (around the wee hours of the morning): Melchiola Martin, Samantha Wood and Lucy Sasso herself. Their report showed no ac-tivity, but ever since then they weren’t quite the same...
“So what are we looking for, again?” Samantha “Sam” Wood asked their leader Lucy. “I am asking this on the grounds that it’ll be sun-rise soon, and we haven’t seen nary a shadow of anything yet.”
“Speak for yourself,” Melchiola “Mel” Martin spoke-up. “I’ve seen a shadow, and some bubbles.”
“So? It could’ve been a seal!” Sam wasn’t about to be outdone by Mel. “Hey Luc, what do you think?”
Lucy Sasso winced. Unlike Samantha, who didn’t mind being called Sam, and Melchiola, who preferred to be called Mel over her full name, she really disliked being called Luc. But when you are hang-ing with a Sam and a Mel, it was only a matter of time till you are a Luc rather then a Lucy.
Anyways, Lucy wasn’t initially a friend of the other two. It was that just that the other two were always in competition, and she sort of got them as her underlings. Whatever.
No, wait. Underlings were for Faith; Buffy had assistants as well as her Scoobies – Giles, Xander, and Willow. Of course lately Giles was not an Assistant, but the newest Head Watcher – of the new Coun-cil, whatever it was. After all, any organization that accepted An-drew had to be really hard-pressed.
Then there was Dawn. It appeared to Lucy that the younger girl got into this whole business by riding her big sister’s non-existent coat-tails – Hell, Dawn herself practically admitted it.
Of course, Lucy knew better than to say it outloud. Dawn was one person, she was another. But still… it galled to see that for all her apparent resentment Dawn was quite comfortable with her job of a receptionist/secretary, while they were stuck here, under Andrew’s tutelage, while he mostly tried to court their supposed leader – one Josephine Viseu. Personally, Lucy thought that the “semi-seniorita” (Josephina was part Portuguese) was a stuck-up bint, who tried to suck-up to Faith.
Of course, Lucy reflected, sucking-up to Faith wasn’t such a bad thing. Unlike Buffy, who acted like she was the World’s Best Woman since the goddess Ishtar, Faith began to treat the new Slay-ers like they were real people, rather than the worshippers of the great Slayerness.
Of course, such difference in attitudes didn’t wait long to fruit. Somehow, Lucy just wasn’t aware of how exactly, both Faith and/or Giles began to cut-off Buffy’s influence down to nominal. In fact, Lucy reckoned, the original Scoobies power fraction was being gradually eroded, what with Xander going to the African veldt, Wil-low slowly getting dominated by Kennedy, and Dawn effectively be-coming a part of Giles’ team, rather than Buffy’s.
So, Lucy silently mused, if she was so politically sharp, how come she ended-up in New York City with Andrew and his losers?.. Well, not losers, but the more glossed Slayers?
“Hey, Luc, something is happening up there,” Mel shook their leader by the shoulder. “Should we go and check?
”Let’s first eavesdrop a bit,” Lucy said slowly. “So that we know what we’re dealing with.”
And they crept forwards.
“So, cutey, care to go out with a real animal?” one of the men chuckled as they circled around the blonde girl.
“Look,” the blonde replied haughtily, “I am not interested into one of you sea-critters, and I am quite comfortable where I am, also.”
“Critters, you say? Critters?!” one of the men exploded without a provocation. “Look, you are the one working alongside a bunch of freaks for a bunch of freaks!”
In reply, the girl assumed the characteristic form a vampire and hissed.
“Careful,” one of the men replied, drawing-out an axe, “you wouldn’t want to lose your head now, do you?” He reached to pat her on the cheek, but quick as a viper the girl dodged it, and bit him in the neck. Hard. Like some sort of a wildcat, actually.
“Why, you” another man prepared to strike at her from behind, but a hand reached-out and pulled him into the shadows. The last at-tacker followed his partner, abandoning the vampire’s victim to his face.
“Luc, we got to act now,” Sam whispered into their leader’s ear.
“What is going on here?” somebody shouted.
Instantly, all activity dropped. The vampire detached from her vic-tim, and merely watched for a few second, as he wheezed, his shape blurring oddly. Then she kicked him off the pier, yelling:
“Get well soon!”
“Abi, don’t be funny,” and a really big man emerged from the shad-ows. Blood dripped from his mouth and from his hands, but none of it appeared his own, nor was his face distorted like the one of a vampire’s.
“Sorry dear,” – the vampiress – Abi – spoke. “They just hit too close to home.”
At that moment two more figures appeared on the scene. The one on the right was a fishman, period. Or, in other words, it was a fish with arms and legs that had webbing on it, but also some wicked claws.
The other was a man, almost as tall and muscular as Abi’s boy-friend. Unlike Abi’s boyfriend, however, he was dressed very neatly, but resembled a well-dressed gangster all the same. “Abi,” he said, “Leonard, what is going on here?”
At that moment someone burst from the water – and it was the same man that Abi had kicked in earlier. Only now, he was not a man, but rather a werewolf, with oddly misshapen hands, or paws, that resembled a fur seal’s flippers.
Roaring, the strange werewolf charged at Abi.
There were gunshots.
And down the werewolf went.
“Always hated them,” spoke the shooter, as he also came out, “al-ways will hate.”
The shooter too, resembled a human, if it wasn’t for his pointy ears, and his skin that was all white with red stripes.
The fish-monster bubbled something in an inhuman language. “Nice,” the man in grey spoke, “but listen Max, you need to under-stand: this little mishap changed nothing: you want to sell the black lotus independently from Axel’s control and I salute you, but I don’t think that we will piss off the flightless Dutchman so that you and your splinter group would make a profit, all right? Not now, when I got to make a reckoning with D’Hoffryn. Maybe later we will talk, but for now – no sale.”
More bubbling from the fish-thing.
“Yeah?” the red-and-white human said. “Well bring it on!”
“Enough!” the man in grey snapped. “Do behave, Udalamath!” Then to Max the fish thing. “Tieflings. So excitable.”
The fish thing didn’t say more after that, but went off the pier. There was a splash and that’s it.
“Well, that was fun,” Leonard spoke in an ear-jarring voice.
The man in grey just looked at him. “Let’s go,” he said almost wea-rily.
As they departed, Lucy and her friends her Abi say: “Next time, I’ll be the gunman!”
“Well! That was interesting!” Sam said after it became obvious that no more action was going to occur on this spot. “Now let’s go and report!”
“To who? Andrew?” Lucy replied, rather scornfully. “Unless you’re Josephine, he doesn’t really listen to you!”
“Hey look, there are some things lying around!” Mel spoke-up, as she went to take a look. “Hey, those are much better than what we’ve managed to scrounge!” she raised a wicked-looking knife.
The other two girls exchanged glances and went to take their own looks…
It took them a while, but in the end Lucy took – using her role as leader – the better-looking axe, and a pair of bracers, while Sam took the other axe that was somewhat smaller and lighter than Lucy’s. Mel kept the knife, but didn’t mind. “Now what?” she asked Lucy instead.
“Now first we hide them, and then go and report to Andrew that nothing happened,” Lucy said, thinking: “This is my real chance to show that I am more than just a face in the crowd”. “Then we figure out what that black lotus thing is. And then… we find some sign that it is used in New York and then we include Andrew and Jose-phine and others. Deal?”
The other two nodded, glad to be actually participating in an adven-ture like real Slayers.
And so, the new trio left into the NYC’s mist, leaving behind the bleeding corpses of the lycanthropes…