Chapter Twenty One
Disclaimer; As before, I own none of the Buffy or Da Vinci Code Characters.
Chapter Twenty One
Norcan Inc. Offices, New York.
Senator John Bennen US Appropriations Committee was very, very nervous. He’d just witnessed a slightly built dark haired, black eyed woman, dressed in black leather, appear in the room during what seemed to be a localised tornado. His assistant, Aaron Jameson, sat ashen faced and silent.
“I’m waiting.” Said Willow, impatiently.
The Senator collected himself. “We had a call from Mr. Johnson over there, a few days ago stating that he had received information that one of our defence contractors was leaking information and supplying electronics to a terrorist organisation posing as a registered charity. When we checked we found that the only contractor with both a charity and defence declared on its books was Norcan Inc. Initially we were going to ask Mr Norton a few questions about the allegations on our own; but Mr. Johnson insisted that he attend the meeting; and he started an aggressive line as soon as we entered the room. We were totally taken by surprise at his attitude. He seemed to believe he could get Mr. Norton to break his ties with this WSC organisation.”
“Did you investigate this charity yourselves before you came here today?” Asked Willow.
“Yes, we tried, but we didn’t find out much about them; except that they seem to have a lot of money and sponsor young people, mainly women; around the world.” His confidence was returning. “May I ask. Who are you?”
“Someone you don’t want to mess with.” She said. Willow turned away from him and dissolved the glamour she had performed on herself under cover of the whirlwind as they had arrived. She looked at Leonard and they exchanged grins. As she turned back to Senator Bennen he did a double take wondering if he had imagined things. Now he saw a twenty something green eyed redhead and his confidence dissipated again.
Jameson chose that moment to break down completely, physically shaking and whimpering. Suddenly there was a strange smell in the room emanating from his direction.
“I think you broke Jameson, Willow.” Said Leonard, holding his nose. Do we call an ambulance or the city sewerage department for him.” He added.
Willow wrinkled her nose and looked directly at Senator Bennen. Her voice was calm and clear, but firm as she spoke.
“Senator, You have been used. My name, for your information, is Willow Rosenberg. Leonard Norton, Norcan Inc. or the WSC Foundation have no connections to any terrorist organisations, nor are they engaged in terrorist activities. If you had taken the time to look at the respective lists of directors; You would have noticed that the names of both Leonard’s daughter, Miss Kennedy Norton and myself appear on both those lists. Do you think that Leonard would allow his daughter to be mixed up in terrorism? The answer is no. Do you think that the President will be pleased with you when he hears about what you’ve just accused his, and I quote ‘favourite’ charity of? Shall we call him and ask him?“
“The President?” Said Bennen, giving her a sideways look.
She lifted the handset from the desk and offered it to the Senator. “It’s speed dial six.” She prompted at his confused look.
Disbelievingly, he hit the button. As it connected at the other end his eyes widened and his face paled. “Mr. President, er no sir, its S-Senator J-John B-Bennen…….. Yes Mr. President, Yes he’s here. ……Er no I’m here as part of an investigation into his dealings with the WSC Foundation.” He paused, listening for a moment. “There’s also a Miss Rosenberg here from the WSC.” His face flushed pink as he listened again. “No sir she just arrived. Not too sure how.“ Another pause. “We received information about terrorist connections from a lawyer at Wolfram and Hart……….”
At that he pulled the phone from his ear and cringed, screwing his face up. Willow could hear the tirade from where she stood. Leonard just raised his eyebrows and steepled his hands on the desk in front of him. The Senator put the phone back to his ear as the President’s rant subsided, and nervously answered another couple of questions. “Yes, Mr President. I will sir, one moment please.” He offered the phone to Leonard, who took it with a nod of his head.
There was a brief conversation between Leonard and the President and then the phone was offered to Willow. She took it with a puzzled look on her face.
“Hello. Mr. President.” A pause whilst she listened. She smiled. “Thank you Mr. President, that’s most generous of you. Would it be too much to ask if you could convey that to her yourself sir. It would mean so much more to her. Thank you sir. Goodbye.” She replaced the handset.
Senator Bennen’s eyes flicked between Willow and Leonard Norton. “Ms. Rosenberg; Mr, Norton. The President has asked me to apologise most profoundly for this intrusion and to tell you that there will be no further inconvenience to yourselves or your respective endeavours. But if might be so bold as to ask. How do you come to have the President’s private number on your system?”
“I’m sorry, that’s classified I’m afraid.” Said Willow. She turned to Leonard. “Is there anything you need to add.”
“No, I’m all kinds of good now. I’d better call my daughter before Rio is overrun with kittens.” He said, picking up the phone.
“Gentlemen. If you’ll excuse us. I have a lawyer to dispose of and maybe a building to move.” She said, wistfully. She ushered the two puzzled men into the outer office where Beth was anxiously waiting with Rona and the others. Willow beckoned the slayers inside, all of them giving Jameson a wide berth and sniggering at his odd gait.
“Beth, Mr. Jameson might like to er ‘freshen up’ a little before he leaves. Could you see to it.” Beth nodded, trying to hide her own grin, but not doing a very good job of it.
“Does anyone have an air freshener?” Asked Rona. Waving her hand before her nose.
Rayne Manor, Clavering. England.
There was a brief flash as the First reappeared in the altar room. Seeing the tome lying back on the table closed, it gave a sigh and flashed out again, appearing outside next to the angrily pacing figure of Sir Leigh Teabing.
“Well.” Said the First. “This is a twist. Rayne certainly kept that one close to his chest. Should have known I couldn’t trust him.”
“You sound awfully calm about it considering I can’t retrieve the book.” Said Caleb’s voice.
“We don’t need the book. You remember what you need to do for the ritual and the prayer, don’t you?”
“Then don’t waste anymore time here. Let’s go and find the grail. We’ll start at Rosslyn.”
With that they both teleported from the driveway. A few minutes later something akin to a heat wave shimmered over the house and garden as the wards recast themselves after the disturbance.
WSC Foundation. Cleveland College for Gifted Students. (Slayer School)
The last of the black ops Hummers peeled out of the driveway. The teams had swept the area and the school for explosives. They had found a device in the boiler room attached to the heating timer. It had been safely disarmed and taken away by the team. Robin and Faith stood at their office window and both gave a sigh as the watched them leave.
Robin put his arm around her waist and pulled her to him. “You OK?” He asked.
“You know me an’ bombs. ‘Bout the same as B an‘ small spaces.” She replied. “Anyways, you gotta be more relaxed now you know the place is clean.”
“Oh, most definitely.” He said. “Right, let’s get started on the research into why there weren’t as many Bringers in the attack. Anything spring to mind?”
“Y’ mean apart from the blindingly obvious ‘I thought we wiped all these bastards out when we closed Sunnydale’ kinda statement. No, not really.” She said sarcastically.
“So. It’s doubtful that we’re going to find anything in the books or on the database. I remember Buffy telling me about the students she caught at the Seal in the basement of the old high school that were converted into bringers, but we haven’t seen any since Sunnydale to know how the First coerces and converts them.” Said Robin.
Faith made a face, then it changed to a wicked grin. “Tell you what Ace, you hit the phones see if Giles or Red knows anything’ an’ I’ll do the leg work and go beat the crap outta some demons, see if I can come up with any answers. There’s a couple of demon bars downtown that haven’t had a visit from me yet, so I think I’ll just go introduce myself.”
“OK. Take a couple of the older girls as backup. I want you all home in one piece. Plus it‘ll give them a chance to work off some of their excess energy, stop them taking it out on the unsuspecting male co ed‘s.” He said, with a grin.
Faith leaned in and gave him a deep kiss which he returned. “Later.” She whispered. She broke away and left to find a couple of partners for the ‘Wrecking Party’ as the older girls had started calling their forays into the area’s demon bars, because they usually got trashed.
Robin sat at his desk and pondered who to call first. He was about to hit the speed dial for Willow when the phone rang. He looked at the caller ID and frowned slightly, took a breath and answered.
“Good afternoon Mr. President. How can I help you.” He listened for a moment and a smile lit up his face. “She’s just stepped out of the office, if you’ll excuse me for one moment I’ll call her back in.” He placed the receiver on the desk and hurriedly went over to the door. Leaning into the foyer he called to the receptionist.
“Did Faith leave yet Danielle?”
“No sir, she’s in there.” She said pointing to the weapons storage room. The door of the room opened and Faith poked her head out.
“Miss me already?” She asked.
“Telephone for you, now. It’s important.” He said.
Wrinkling her eyebrows, she came out of the room, locking the door behind her and headed back to the office. Robin was already back at the phone speaking to the person on the other end.
“She’s here now, one moment.” He held out the phone to her. She took it with a puzzled look on her face.
“Hello?” She listened for a moment. Her eyes widened as she realised who was calling.
“Mr. President.” This is unexpected. What can I do for you?”
“Miss Lehane, I’m calling to let you know that I’ve spoken with the Judiciary Committee on the matter of your previous record, and they have come to the decision that in view of your status and obvious talents it would be unwise for the sentence imposed to be fulfilled. There is also the issue of your actual age at the time of your imprisonment, there is no proof that you weren‘t still a juvenile when you committed the offence. As none of your documents from Boston seem to have come to light we are of the belief that your parents never registered your birth. Take into account the events of last month, well I think the First Lady has a special thank you in mind for that, so I’ll say no more. In conclusion I’ll just say congratulations, Miss Lehane, You’re a free woman, you have a Presidential pardon.”
“You gotta be shi…er..kiddin’ me sir.”
“I’m the President Miss Lehane, I never kid anyone”
“I’m, wow, … er … thank you sir; thank you very much.”
Faith was in shock. She mumbled her thanks a few more times and Robin moved in to retrieve the phone from her before she dropped it.
“Mr. President. It’s Robin Wood again. I think Faith is having a little trouble putting it all together right now. I think you shocked her just a little.” He listened for a moment and said goodbye. Replacing the phone he looked at Faith who was sitting in the armchair staring out of the window.
“Well I know I said I could surprise you, but I think the President just outdid me.” He paused waiting for her to reply. When she didn’t he called out to her a little louder. “Faith…..Faith….Hello…Can you hear me?”
She turned her head to look at him, her face was wet with the tears flooding down her cheeks, but there was a smile on her face. Robin just silently handed her a handkerchief, as he moved to comfort and support her.
End of Chapter Twenty One.