Disclaimer: Joss Whedon, Dan Brown et al own the characters. I only own the plot.
“Ethan Rayne.” This time she said it with even more venom in her voice. Then she stopped, thoughtfully. “This isn’t right. He’s locked away, like in Area 51 or somewhere.”
Ed Clewley chipped in. “Area 51...So, who is he?”
“The occasional bane of Giles’ life for like, ever. Last time we saw him was about four years ago. He was being hauled away by the Initiative, to be ‘detained pending the assessment of his status’.” She waggled her fingers in the quotation marks.
Ed grinned. Buffy regaled the basics of Rayne’s involvement with Giles and the Scoobies, and his penchant for worshiping Chaos.
“What I don’t understand is,… This isn’t his usual style. He’s never actually killed anyone himself before, as far as I know. Giles would be the one to ask on that though. Also he‘s never stolen a body before. What does he want with it? It‘s stupid.” She added.
Ed opened the glove box on the passenger side and took out a similar cassette tape to the one from the evidence. He rubbed some of the dust from the mortuary tape onto the new one, put it into the player and wound it forward a little way, ejected it and placed it in the evidence bag. He handed the evidence to Buffy.
“This is totally against regulations.” He said. “But if this Rayne character is into the magicks as much as you say, then the information on this tape needs to be dealt with properly. If CID get hold of it we’ll have a witch hunt on our hands. Your people are qualified to deal with this, we’re not. I‘ll return this to the scene of crime people, it‘s blank so there shouldn’t be any repercussions.”
Buffy took the offered tape from Clewley, they got out of the car. They were about to head back to the council when a uniformed officer came running over to them.
“Sir. There’s been another incident. Hertz office, Marble Arch. Receptionist’s dead. Looks like it’s the same M.O. as this one.”
“How long ago was this?” Asked Clewley.
“Just came in, sir, no scene of crime on site as yet. DS Gorman’s up there now. They’ve cordoned off the area ready for SOCO. Replied he constable.
Buffy and Dan looked at each other. Their expressions said that they were thinking the same thing. ‘That’s where Langdon and Neveu rented the car from‘.
Ed turned to Dan and Buffy and gave them knowing look. “Carter, you and Ms. Summers take my car and get over there. “If this is the same M.O. then we need to know. I’ll co-ordinate things from here. SOCO should be there within twenty minutes.”
He turned back to the constable. Any idea how long ago the crime was committed?”
The constable shook his head. “No sir, but it can’t have been too long ago.”
Dan and Buffy got back into the car. Dan started it up turned on the beacons and twin tones and swept out of the car park.
The evening traffic was chaos. Mainly due to part of Park Lane being cordoned off because of the incident they were trying to get to. Dan wove in and out of the crawling traffic using every available means to make progress, Buffy was calling Xander on her cell phone to tell him what they had learned.
“Xander, call Riley or Sam. See if you can find out how or why Rayne was freed. I hope the Initiative haven’t screwed up again. I really don’t need another mess of theirs to clean up. ”
“Are you on the way up to Marble Arch now?” Asked Xander.
“Yeah, wish I’d had wheels like this back in Sunnydale, and the driver to go with. Would have saved a lot of time.”
“Good. Vi says she wants pizza when you’re done there. There’s a Pizza Hut on Oxford Street….Two Pepperoni DP….Large, and I’ll have a Hawaiian DP Large. Seeing as we’re stuck here being all researchy.”
“Ok Xand. Might be a while though don’t know what we’ll find as yet. We’re there call you when we know more. Bye.”
Dan steered the car up to the police line. The officer on duty pulled the tape up and they stopped inside the cordon. “Watch out for Gorman.” Warned Dan. “His DI is on sick leave and he’s after promotion. He won’t be gentle when it comes down to your identification.”
“Then I won’t be gentle back.” Replied Buffy.
There were a couple of press photographers taking photo’s as they pulled up. Buffy kept her face away from them as she got out of the car. The last thing she needed now was for the papers to splash her photo over the front pages and start asking questions. Fortunately the police had put up screens in front of the large office window, so that the press couldn’t see in.
She couldn’t understand why there was this morbid curiosity in London. It was as though they didn’t have any better news. The only explanation she could put it down to was that it was due to the lack of a Hellmouth, anything out of the ordinary got noticed, instead of being alternatively explained ignored, or dismissed.
They entered the office. There was no-one around. Dan handed Buffy a pair of surgical gloves.
“Put these on so that SOCO don’t get any extra fingerprints.”
Dan pointed towards the security camera, which still had a red light on. That meant that it was working and that there might be a tape to recover with evidence.
A tall man in a suit came out of the rear office. Immediately Buffy’s senses went into overdrive. There was something off about this guy.
He spotted Carter with the petite blonde and approached them.
“Carter, what are you doing here, and who’s the bimbo, not anther woman you’re trying to impress.”
“So this is DS Gorman.” Thought Buffy
Dan cringed inwardly. He saw Buffy’s posture alter as Gorman approached. Before Dan could open his mouth to explain Buffy spoke.
“Detective Sergeant Gorman, I presume.”
“Yes. Who are you?” He demanded.
“Not important. What you need to know is that I’m here and you need to co-operate. And I really don’t like being referred to as a ‘Bimbo’. She replied.
“Carter are you going to explain this.” Said Gorman, looking over Buffy’s five foot three inches.
“If you want to know anything you’d better talk to the Chief he asked me to drive her over here from the other incident.” Answered Dan.
“Yeah, like the Chief would really authorise that.” Retorted Gorman.
“I don’t have time for this macho posturing.” Said Buffy. “Lets just say that you co-operate and I won’t have to bust your ass. There are live at stake. I need to know what’s happened here.”
Buffy took a couple of steps closer to Gorman, beckoned to him coyly, with a small smile tickling the edges of her mouth. Gorman leaned down to her level as though she was to whisper something very secret to him.
Without warning Buffy lashed out with a punch to Gorman’s nose. He screamed and staggered back covering his face with his hands.
When he removed them his face had completely changed. It was bright blue with short spines protruding from all over his face.
“Dan gasped. “What the fu…” He stopped himself. Gorman’s a…. What are you Gorman?”
“Gorman’s a Braachen Demon, aren’t you Gorman.” Answered Buffy with a fake smile on her face.
“Half demon, actually. Mum‘s human.” He retorted. How’d you know…. Oh shit you’re her aren’t you. The Slayer.
“Oooh, we have a winner, but you don’t get prize, not in this game, you just get to keep your head if you answer correctly.”
“You’d do that, here?” He stuttered. Looking around for support from Dan.
“Don’t look at me for help Gorman. I’ve got bruises from trying to tackle Buffy already. Just answer her questions.”
Gorman took the hint, thankfully. He obviously didn’t want to put it to the test. His face returned to its human visage.
“Ok what do you need.” He asked reluctantly.
“To check the wound to see if it’s the same M.O. as the mortuary. See if there’s anything missing, although looking at the mess I can guess what’s missing; and to grab the security video before the forensics guys get here. I’m guessing that you don’t want them to see your other face, and I certainly don't want them identifying mine”
Gorman nodded. He went over to the desk at the rear of the office reached underneath and ejected the tape from the machine. Buffy went to the body of the receptionist and checked to see if the wound was the same type. It was.
Gorman handed the tape to Dan who pocketed it. “Put another blank one in so they think that the machine hadn’t been started.’ He told Gorman.
Gorman complied. “So what happens now?” He asked.
“We leave and you don’t tell anyone else we were here. Your boss does know who I am, and I would suggest you come clean to him about your little ‘condition.’” Said Buffy. “ If you don’t…. I have twenty girls who would love to use you for target practise. Also your diet had better be strictly non human.”
Gorman nodded. “I’m not evil you know. I joined the force to help people.”
“I know where to find you if I need help then, don’t I.” Replied Buffy.
With that they left the office got into the car and were feeding back into the traffic, when they heard the sirens of the approaching police cars. Dan turned the car away from their direction and into Oxford Street, pulling up outside Pizza Hut. Switching on the cars blue beacons, he turned to Buffy.
“I believe Xander said Pizza, didn’t he?”