Chapter 1: Kindred Laws
Disclaimer: All characters from BTVS belong to Joss Whedon and the world of Kindred the Embrace belongs to FOX, Spelling Television Inc, White Wolf or the copyright individual.... Title:
Kindred Laws Author:
BTVS/Kindred the Embrace Spoilers:
Pg 13 Feedback:
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Please ask and it will be given unto you. Summary:
#3 Interlude: Takes place in the same universe as New Beginnings
, five hundred years after Julian and Buffy’s marriage. Authors note:
This story is AU (Alternate Universe). Several years have passed since the premises of my last story, New Beginnings
. Chapter 1 The Body
Monday: 7:30 p.m.
Death surrounded her. Because she has lived with it daily, she knows what it tastes like, feels like. She would dream of it tonight. Sometimes, she would wake up screaming, dreaming about death and the ones she couldn’t save. Lissa Luna, nee Buffy Summers, stood looking down at death now. She breathed deeply, mostly through her mouth. The body had been there a couple of days and it was ripe. It lay pale and nude in the waning summer’s light. It was bloated and full of noxious gas, and the tech and coroner worked diligently around it. Whoever had left the body wanted it to be found, but not right away. The body was placed carefully in the undergrowth of the Charles Williams Memorial Park. It was not on the main path, but a path seldom used by runners.
A jogger taking a shortcut home had found the dead body of a man earlier in the evening. Normally the jogger, Buddy Evans, would not have used that path, but happenstance made him use it that day. You see Buddy and his friend Howard bet each other a prize LP to the winner of a race they were conducting. Not willing to lose his rare Frank Sinatra record, Buddy used the shortcut to cheat. In the end, he lost both the race and his album when he literally stumbled over the body.
For the past couple of months, dead bodies had been popping up all over the U.S. That wasn’t unusual. People die all the time. Simply, stuff seemed to set people off, thus the killing would start. But these deaths have been different. These bodies had been drained of blood with no obvious wounds except two holes an inch apart at the base of the neck. Because of that, the press took to calling it the vampire murders. Because of its unusual aspect, the case made its way into the X-files and into the laps of a young group called A.D.A.P. It was an acronym for A Defense Against Paranormal. This group was hidden under the guise of the F.B.I. Violent Crime Unit. Officially, their job was to stop violent and serial killers, but unofficially the job was to monitor and police all supernatural activities.
In the media, it was noted that the Crime Scene Unit couldn’t find any evidence of blood splatter anywhere near the bodies. Finding one body with blood lost was unusual, but finding four, that was weird. A cop in East Texas found the anomaly interesting and sent the information thru B.C.I., a sophisticated computer program that all law enforcement used. When all the data was collected through B.C.I., it showed several more deaths throughout the U.S.
The President, Carter Johnson who had created A.D.A.P three years ago, was a little bit perturbed about how much press these deaths were getting. He called for a lockdown and for the group to solve these murders quickly.
The group consisted of six extra-ordinary individuals – first being a werewolf, Victor Martens. Victor was a homicide cop for ten years in Boston, Massachusetts. He was bitten by what he thought was a large dog; however, when he changed by the first full moon, he knew better. He couldn’t explain to his family what was going on, so he quit his job, a job he had loved, and moved out west, where he met Sonny. Sonny was hiding a secret too. He was Kindred. At first, he didn’t understand what that meant, but after meeting the Prince of the city and his consort, he knew he was not alone.
Jocelyn Carter was the second person recruited for the job. She was human, but from an earlier age, she knew she was different. She was a medium. A medium was a person that could commune with the dead. Burke Levy was a second-generation sorcerer. His parents had been doing magic for years. Needing someone who could do magic, he was recruited. He was also a computer genius; for by age fifteen, he had created several computer softwares, and at age twenty-two, he was a millionaire. He came under the government’s radar when he hacked into the most sophisticated computer system by bypassing several failsafe programs.
Also on the team was Charity Stone, a young woman who had worked for a chemical plant. Through an unforeseen accident at the chemical plant, radiation affected her, causing her to become invisible at will. Working with Charity was a Ventrue Kindred, Paavo Petrov. He joined the group, not to save the world, but to have adventures.
As the wife of a man as powerful as Julian Luna, Lissa Luna didn’t have anything to do but keep parties and take care of her sons. But as Buffy, she was the Slayer, and she could not sit back and watch injustice. As the Slayer, she hunted rogue Kindred and remnants. Five hundred years had passed and throughout the years, she had changed. She was more powerful than anyone could anticipate. Since Julian had shared his essence with her, she was faster, more cunning, and more deadly. Not only could she read Julian’s mind, but she could also read others. She could also shape shift into a wolf and she was telekinetic. That was her favorite. She loved to surprise the bad guys with that trick. She also learned several languages and could read them too. Wouldn’t Giles be proud? Remembering her friends still brought a twinge of pain in the region of her heart.
One day, twenty-five years ago while she was hunting, she met a young congressman whose car ran out of gas in the middle of a deserted road. Remnant vampires surrounded him. Buffy saved his life that night. He had never forgotten Buffy, and throughout the years, he kept in touch. When he became President of the United States, he formed the group A.D.A.P. (A Defense Against Paranormal
). At the time, he wanted Buffy to head the group, but she declined saying this group needed a bureaucrat and she wasn’t one. The President then hired Connor Adams, aprofiler who had worked for the F.B.I. for fifteen years.As head of a secret organization, he only reports to the President. But one other person can override his authority, and that is Buffy. Buffy was given the job of recruiting personnel to work in the field, and Connor has the authority to hire personnel to work in the office. There were others such as Dudley Biddle, the Medical Examiner and Brigitte Arneau, his assistant, who help with A.D.A.P.
Now, Buffy and Victor stood looking at the nude, male body that gleamed white in the waning light. The body was the fifth dead person found in the last two weeks in San Francisco with two marks on his neck and drained of blood. The victim’s name was James Dean. He was a twenty-three-year-old Caucasian male, five–nine, and weighed one hundred and seventy-five pounds.
“Why nude?” Buffy wondered aloud, her brows drawn downward in a frown. She strolled about, nodding at a few people as she moved, keeping the body in her sight. She was focused, but she didn’t want to touch the body. To touch it now would answer the question everyone was asking, but to do so was to invite more than death into her mind. It was to invite evil.
Keeping track of her movement, Victor said, “Shock value,” shrugging his shoulders. As a veteran police officer, he still doesn’t understand what lies behind a criminal’s motives and debasements of bodies.
Maybe he’s right, Buffy thought halting beside the body. The body that’s what it was. At least that was what she called it in her mind. When stripped of dignity, a body ceases being a person. She didn’t want to know about the victim. She didn’t want to care. After seeing so many bodies over the years, everything and everyone bleeds together in her mind. For the last few years, she had been feeling apathy, ennui. Icy fear twisted around her heart. She gasped silently. What if she stopped caring? She’d heard about that from Julian, about people who lived so long that they don’t enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Was she simply turning into a hardhearted woman?
The jogger, who had found the body, said he’d found him naked, and the Crime Scene Unit hadn’t recovered his clothing so far. The body lay in a cross position showing that whoever had killed him staged the positioning of the body, and the lack of clothing also suggested that he was killed elsewhere.
During the short time since the jogger had found the body, both Buffy and Victor had ascertained that Mr. Dean was a student from one of the local colleges. His roommate had reported him missing when he didn’t return from a date three nights before.
“Do you smell that?” Buffy asked, wrinkling her nose slightly. She had smelled a very distinctive smell ever since she had entered the crime scene. Because her nose was sensitive, she knew right away what it was, but she wondered if Victor, a werewolf, smelled the same scent that she had smelled. She moved away from body, still not able to call him Mr. Dean. Over the years, the bodies had become objects to her. Some people might think she was callous, but she was learning to protect herself because when you called them by name they were people. She had learned that one couldn’t objectify a person. She stopped and inhaled a deep breath.
“Yeah, the D.B,” said Victor. Smothering a groan, he stepped back from the body. Victor Maartens was six foot, four inches tall. He has a wide-shouldered, rangy body and long sinewy legs. He has a ruggedly handsome face with thick black hair gleaming in the lights and knowing brown eyes. There was a restless energy about his movements as he paced back and forth from the body.
“No, not that,” Buffy chided. To her, the smell was distinctive, not like a dead body. She licked her lips, as if to taste the flavor.
“What?” asked Victor watching his partner and teacher. Since they had met ten years ago, this woman fascinated him. She looks so delicate and innocent, that is before you look in her eyes. Those beautiful eyes have seen so many things that sometimes he wondered how she did it. Curious, once during a stakeout he had asked. At first, he thought she wouldn’t answer him but she did… “One day at time,”
she had said, with a wry little smile. That smile seemed to convey many things, but most it had said to him was ‘some day, you might understand.’
He never asked again, but sometimes, she would get this faraway look in her eyes. Then he would see her with Julian and her boys and that cloud would be chased away. She was an enigma.
“It is like,” Buffy said. She couldn’t describe the elusive scent. As she moved further from the body and the activity that surrounded it, she closed her eyes and lowered her shields.
He regarded her quizzically for a moment. “What is it?” Victor asked, moving to her side. He walks noiselessly so as not to startle her. The last person who had startled the Slayer was thrown twenty feet away. Luckily, for the poor slob, he was a Kindred, and he was not out to hurt her.
Buffy sighed and opened her eyes. She chose her words carefully. “Magic,” she said. She was right; he couldn’t sense what she had sensed. He’s like a babe in the woods. She had to teach him to hone his psychic senses after they catch the bad guy. And they will, she vowed silently.
“Magic?” Victor asked, staring at her baffled. “I thought we had some sort of rogue Kindred on our hands.” Magic was a different sort of ballgame. He didn’t understand magic even if he‘s a werewolf. Ten years ago, before he had changed, if some one had told him that werewolves existed, he would have laughed in their faces. But, then he found out that not only were these creatures real, but witches, demons, and vampires. He understood those, but magic? Come on. How can someone understand something you can’t touch? Magic doesn’t leave a scent, does it? He opened his mouth to question Buffy, but she beat him to it.
“It seems to be more than that,” she said, looking around. Her ironic tone concealed the mixed emotions she felt. “All I can find is minute traces of someone using magic. I don’t know if it is the Kindred or what, but we need to find this killer fast.”
Victor hesitated, measuring her for a moment. All this talk of magic disturbed him in a way he didn’t like, so he decided to change the subject. “So partner,” he said, draping his arm familiarly on the diminutive woman shoulder. “Where do we start?”
“Start?” she said focusing on the case at hand. “I guess we start with the roommate that reported Mr. Dean missing and see what he will tell us,” Buffy said shrugging the arm off of her shoulders, with a vague hint of disapproval.
Aware of her annoyance, he tried to coax her into a better mood. “Okay I’ll drive,” he said.
“Why are you always driving?” Buffy asked in exasperation.
Satisfied now that Buffy seemed to be in a better mood, he said, “Because I want to live. I am not immortal like some folks,” he sneered companionably.
A flash of humor crossed Buffy’s face. “Hey, my driving isn’t that bad,” she retorted.
“Bad?!” Victor said on a chuckle. “It’s the worst driving in the history of the world. How a person could live for over five hundred years and still not have mastered the art of driving?” he asked, his eyes twinkling in merriment.
Buffy stuck out her tongue at him. She was enjoying the gentle sparring as much as he was.
“Stop pouting,” he said, laughing as they entered the car. “You can drive on the way back.”
Her mouth twitching with amusement, Buffy turned her face towards the window and watched the scenery go by. Monday: 9:00 p.m.
“Land!” squealed Victor. “Land!” he repeated as the $75,000 car came to a shuddering halt. He opened the door with shaking hands and crawled out the door. Still on his knees, he kissed the ground.
After climbing from the driver’s seat, Buffy stood looking down at Victor with both hands on her hips. She confronted him. “Stop that you big baby; you are safe,” she said with annoyance in her voice. “It is not as if we got into an accident.”
“It is not as if you didn’t try,” he insisted archly.
“Are you two done bickering?” said a voice. “If so, come in and tell me about this latest case.”
Victor looked up from his kneeling position on the ground to the man standing a few feet away. He was wearing a dark gray suit with a light blue shirt and matching tie. “Sure boss,” he said.
The man turned and walked into a large Victorian that housed their offices. It was not a traditional federal office, but with budget cuts, they needed a space that was isolated and where they could house unusual looking criminals until a space could be found later for them. At one time, the house was on the list for the Underground Railroad, so it has a lot of hidden compartments and tunnels. It was a perfect house for their use.
Buffy said aside in a whisper, “Suck up.” She then extended her hands to Victor to draw him to his feet.
He winked at her broadly.