With a weary sigh, Giles stepped out of his car and started the walk to his apartment. As he walked, he thought about that night's events. Quinton and the others are going to be a problem. I know Angel can press upon Buffy the importance of staying hidden...as well as keeping her and Dawn's training secret. Speaking of which, I need to ask the Immortal where he has been training her, and see if Buffy can train Dawn there as well. Knowing how fond he's grown of Buffy...he'll say yes. I hope that sending Eve with Dawn, Angel, and Spike will not cause any problems. Buffy seems to have a problem with being around other Slayers. Perhaps it has something to do with her being so close to the predatory essence that is the Slayer. Not even the first Slayer, in her physical form -- according to the Immortal --, was as close to the Slayer Essence as Buffy is. He is amazed at how much she is able to keep herself from becoming the killer the Slayer could so easily become without some sort of guidance. I believe it is because of Buffy grounding herself so solidly in her family and friends that she is able to do so. Just looking at what Faith went through without guidance -- until Angel -- is proof enough.
As Giles was putting the key into the door of his apartment, he heard a noise. It sounded like a shoe scuffing against loose gravel. Once he finished unlocking the door, he slowly turned around...and gazed calmly at who he saw.
So, he finally got rid of that piece of junk he had as a car. Hmm.... Looks like the tweed's going as well. He's starting to look more like the Ripper I remember. Wonder what his Slayer is up to at the moment. I owe her for all the trouble she's caused me. Although...I owe her a thank you as well, because of that. It is because of her that I am what I am now. From what I've been able to pick up around town...she's been pretty busy. I suppose I should let them know that I'm in town. It makes them jumpy...and I love watching them do that. Wonderful Chaos!
"I wondered when you would show up, Ethan."
Giles watched as Ethan Rayne -- former friend...now enemy -- grinned and crossed his arms, before saying in pleased delight, "You remembered!"
"Of course I remembered what you told me about you being pre-Immortal," Giles said calmly. In no way was he saying that he only now remembered because of Buffy becoming Immortal.
Ethan felt his amusement leave, as Giles said, "I know when you became Immortal. But I don't know how. Would you tell me?"
After a quiet debate with himself, he said, "Why not? It's not as if you can use the knowledge against me, Ripper."
Ethan felt some of his humor coming back to him at Giles' scowl. With a trace of a smile, he then said, "It all happened while they were trying to 'rehabilitate' me in the Initiative. I was just minding my own business in my cell..."
Initiative, one year ago Ethan sat on his bunk bed, wondering what sort of verbal spell he could use to get rid of the force field type thing that prevented him from breaking the glass doors and escaping. He knew better than to say the words out loud. Not because he was afraid of the backlash of the spell -- he was ready to become Immortal now --, but because he didn't want to go through another "rehabilitation" session so soon after the last one. He was still getting over the side effects of that particular episode. As he contemplated this, the "shield" and lights flickered before going out, then the emergency lights turned on. He gazed in numb disbelief for several seconds before the glass door of his cell slide open. The glass doors opening broke him out of his daze, and in an instant he was out of his cell...not a moment too soon.
The center of the Initiative was in chaos. The sight of it filled Ethan with awe. Demons and humans fought in an all out war to the death. Mostly it was demon versus human...but not all. He was intrigued to see one vampire fighting other demons...and it wasn't the vampire he expected either, but one of his blood: William the Bloody aka Spike. It helped to know one's enemies and their relations. As he watched this, he did not notice the demon coming up behind him. Before he had time to react to the clawed hands gripping his head, he was dead of a broken neck.
Air. He needed air! With a deep shuddering gasping breath, Ethan returned to life. As he regained his bearings, he noticed the dead humans and demons around him. Slowly and cautiously, he sat up, and took in his surroundings from his new perspective. A shudder ran through him. Never in his life had he seen such massive destruction. Demons and humans littered the ground like trash. Not one foot of the complex wasn't covered or destroyed -- floor, wall, or ceiling --. Explosions sounded around him, and demons and humans still fought in a last ditch effort. It was then that he saw her: Buffy Summers, the Slayer. // I should have known. \\, he thought in a strange calm. Like a goddess, she effortlessly fought her way through the war zone. Any human who wished to live followed behind her...but he know he would have to find another way out. She would not welcome him into the group she was saving, he knew that.... Especially after their last meeting, which had led to his current predicament. As he looked around, he noticed a door not thirty feet away from him that was an exit. Careful to keep low to the ground and out of sight, he made his way over to it. Once there, he found it locked. He knew the thing was reinforced, so he wouldn't be able to break it physically...but that didn't mean magic wouldn't work! Looking around for anything he could use, he saw a knife on a dead human. Snatching it from the corpse's belt, he turned back to the door. He knew that Immortal blood was one of the most powerful bloods -- next to Slayer blood -- one could use in a spell...especially when you could blood-let the person again and again. Cutting his hand and throwing the blood he drew onto the door, he spoke the words needed. In moments, the door was no more...and he was outside.
"After I escaped, I went to the Immortal I had arranged to train with when I became Immortal," Ethan said. "A few weeks ago I finished my training, and decided to pay my old friend Ripper -- as well as his Slayer -- a visit." He held out his arms. "And here I am!"
Giles kept tight control of his emotions, as he said, "Why are you truly here, Ethan? I know it isn't just to 'visit.'"
Ethan looked smugly at him, before turning around and walking into the shadows. The Immortal's voice drifted back to Giles, saying, "The usual: to cause chaos...and I heard that there might be an Immortal in town. Don't know who it is, but I'll find out soon enough."