The Protectors of Camelot, Ch 5
Title: OF THE LINE
Part Title: “The Protectors of Camelot”
Author: Ghost who Walks
Disclaimer: I still own none of it. Really, if you think you recognize it I probably borrowed it …
Responding to the “In Jim Baen’s Memory” Challenge #1578
Spoilers: This is way past “Chosen” for Buffy. “A Time to Kill” for the Bolos timeline is approaching quickly.
Author’s note: I’m note sure how fast I’ll be updating any of my stories for a while. I’m in the middle of selling my old house, buying my new house, and moving. Strangely enough my update rate will depend on how much sleep I get at home and how much free time I find myself with at work. I just felt I needed to warn everyone because you’ve all been such great readers and reviewers.
Dawn drew her pistol and fired round after round after at Kershaw. She was fast, she was accurate, and all she managed to accomplish was to burn her hand from the little weapon’s rapidly overheating barrel. Dawn’s small gauss weapon was one of the deadliest handguns ever made and it was having absolutely no effective on Kershaw. The tiny 1mm diameter pellets it fired left the handgun with a muzzle velocity of about 70 kilometers per second, around 143 times as fast as a 20th century .357 magnum round. The pellet vaporized upon hitting its target imparting its sizable kinetic energy, which was usually more than sufficient to kill. It did lack penetrating power however.
After centuries of being together the Scoobies had acted in concert with each other immediately on the perception of the threat. Rupert and Andrew had actually been the closest to the demons with Rupert sitting at the head of the table and Andrew sitting at the foot of the table on the Scoobies side. Rona had pulled Giles back out of the reach of a claw swipe from the demon that had apparently been the nominal head of research. Vi had hurled one of her shrunken the length of the table and killed a creature trying to get to Andrew. That had given Andrew time to draw his pistol, although he hadn’t fired it yet. And I really hope he doesn’t have to fire it in here
Andrew was carrying potentially the most dangerous handgun that had ever been developed so far, if R&D ever got the bugs out. You really couldn’t shrink a plasma weapon down to pistol size without taking a lot of shortcuts and making some serious compromises with safety, but Andrew had talked an armament firm into doing it. The result was something that fired only eight shots before you had to replace both the barrel
and the ammo clip, was totally inaccurate at even moderate distances, might fry the shooter if the target was too close, and stood a real chance of blowing up in your hand when you fired it. It also would blow a nice size hole through the powered battle armor that Melconian marines wore. Andrew had the only one currently in existence, the armaments firm had refused to make any more after the other prototypes had blown up.
Faith and Buffy had shoved the board room table into the demons sitting across from them with full slayer strength as soon as Xander’s sword had cleared its scabbard. That had killed several of the demons who, like the one Vi would kill just moments later, turned into a sort of green goo upon dying. Kershaw, Bradley, and Hendricks had actually leaped over the table as it came barreling at them. That told us they were fast. Now we know that they are tough,
she thought as another round of hers was ignored by Kershaw.
Willow and Kennedy were sprawled out on the floor, limbs twitching uncontrollably. The first thing that Bradley had down after avoiding the table had been to fire a burst of some kind of needles from his arm at Willow. Kennedy had managed to shield her wife from most of them by pushing herself in front of Willow, but Willow had still been hit by a few. Kennedy had been hit by a great deal many more than a few.
Then Xander and Buffy were among the three ‘paper pushers’ as Andrew had called them. Xander’s sword and the Slayer Scythe sent severed demon limbs everywhere. Meanwhile Faith and Vi had finished off the other demons, who seemed to be of a different type. Rona had rushed to Willow’s and Kennedy’s side as she had earned a M.D. centuries ago and still kept it current by working as an E.R. pediatrician when not occupied with Council duties.
Rupert went and grabbed the emergency medical kit hidden in the wall compartment (standard equipment for any council room of sufficient size). He then hurried to Rona’s side. Rona administered a drug to each of them and their spasms subsided a great deal.
“Are they going to be O.K.?” Dawn heard Xander ask.
“It’s too soon to be a hundred percent certain, but probably ” responded Rona. “It’s obviously a neurological toxin of some kind. I’ve administrated a broad spectrum anti venom but I need to pop them into cyro chambers to buy them time for me test the toxin in a lab. Somebody get me the portable units from the wall recess.” Vi and Faith rushed to do so.
Cyro chambers had evolved a long way form the cold sleep pods designed for long space flight in the late 21st century. They were still used for colonization efforts on some space craft, but new uses had been developed over time. Some warships would store “spare” crew members in cyro to replace battle loses. Troop ships with limited life support would carry marines far in excess of their normal capacity in cyro, on occasion. Travelers with not a lot of money could ship themselves frozen to their destinations. The real breakthrough was in emergency medicine. The “golden hour” rule of treating a critically injured individual had not been defeated but with a cyro pod handy that hour could be stretched almost indefinitely until competent medical care was at hand.
She felt it then just a moment before she heard it, the heat bloom as it past over her. Everyone in the room still conscious looked over at Andrew, his half melted pistol still in his hands. His eyebrows were gone and his face looked like it had a bad sunburn. The entire far side of the conference room showed signs of devastation, parts of the floor and wall were gone.
“They moved.” He croaked out.
“Who moved?” Questioned several different voices.
“The limbs and other parts, Kershaw and the others, they started to put themselves back together.”
“Great, what’s next.” Xander said out loud.
The soft voice of the building’s automated P.A. system suddenly announced, in a ridiculously normal tone “Melconian warships have crossed the hyper limit. Melconian warships have crossed the hyper limit.”
Dawn looked around, Buffy was closest. “Buffy” she said in a tone that conveyed far more to her sister than was obvious.
“Already on it Dawnie.” Buffy reached up and slapped their husband in the back of the head “Stop taunting the Universe Xander.”