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22CLAWS

The Last One, Firefly/Buffy pt. 2, ch. 2
Friday, June 22, 2007

The story takes a dark turn. Zoe and Inara are back, and in trouble. The First Evil pays a visit to Serenity. The Feydekyn prepare for an attack against the vampires to rescue Willow. Buffy and Kaylee have soup. Adult language. Please give feedback.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1377    RATING: 0    SERIES: FIREFLY

The Last One pt. 2 by 22 Claws

**********************

Chapter Two

The Devil You Know

Zoe looks down across the valley with a warrior’s eyes. Alliance troops disembark in force from the landing craft. They mean business. They’re not here to arrest or fine. This looks shady. Like the rogue police force that came after Tracy, only bigger. They’re packing real weapons, not that stun crap they carry in the core. This looks like a hit. A younger Zoe would be scared. Most people would be scared. This Zoe saw the threat, and the answers came automatic. Quiet. Follow the ridge line. Take position. Watch. Maximize field of fire. Neutralize any enemy advantage. Protect Inara. Be prepared to kill them all. Inara would only allow her to bring one gun on their vacation. Zoe brought the mare’s leg, of course. Down the sites of her trusted weapon, she watches the team deploy. Twelve grunts. Inconsistant uniforms. One officer. And. One woman. One odd woman. The soldiers seem afraid of her. They give her plenty of space. She wears a uniform, but has no rank insignia. Maybe she’s an advisor. Maybe she’s like River. Maybe she’s an operative. Zoe’s intuition says she’s worse. Best be prepared. Forty rounds. That’s all Zoe’s got. Then things get ugly. Must. Not. Miss. “Don’t you think we should find out first, why they’re here?” Inara asks. “Negative. We do that we lose the element of surprise.” Zoe states flatly. “If we’re assuming they’re here for us, then haven’t we already lost it? Inara argues. Zoe chambers the first round, never breaking her focus down the sights of her weapon. “You’d be surprised.” She says sharply. “You can’t do this.” Inara objects. “It’s insane. Can’t we just run away?” “Negative.” Zoe answers. “Their resources to pursue far outmatch our resources to escape. Surprise, position, and my cold heart are our only hope.” “Your heart is not cold, and we both know it.” Inara insists. “Look Inara, We’re not exactly outlaws. I’m pretty sure those troops are working as mercenaries. Mal must have really pissed some one off. Some one with deep pockets. “Ai ya women wanle“ Inara mutters. “Whatever he did, I’m sure the captain had his reasons. These purplebellies want to use us against him. I’ll be damned.” Zoe responds coldly. The luxury moon Inara took them to--actually just a gigantic moon-shaped campground--wilderness resort for the wealthy, surprised Zoe. She’s really had a lot of fun. Camping, hiking, fishing, grilling actual fish on an actual fire, and actually eating them, pretty shiny. It doesn’t last. She cries every night alone in her bunk. But, it helps. Inara has been a very good friend. Zoe is very willing to listen now as Inara freaks out. “This is crazy! You can’t just fire on government troops.”A very animated Inara yells. “I expect captain’ll be along inna spell.” Zoe responds. “Mal?! He’s an idiot!” Inara swears in exasperation. “Look. no offense. I know you are a strong woman, and I respect you. But, when they come after me and mine, that’s war. Kill or be killed. That’s not part of your world.”Zoe says. “Okay, first of all, since when do you have any fucking idea about my world, as you call it. And, second, exactly what part of your world allows you to fire on unsuspecting soilders? What part of your experiance allows you to snuff out their lives absent arguement or debate? Inara argues. “I would charactorize this as an arguement.” Zoe states simply. “That’s not a godamn answer.” Inara answers. “This is war.” Zoe replies. “Well, what part of your world is war?” Inara demands. “Home.” Zoe states grimly. She pulls the trigger and kills the officer.

**********************

“I am Buffy Summers. Beautiful, brilliant and fearless. I have faced countless monsters, abominations, even gods. They all fell dead or broken in my wake. Even death could not stop me. The First Evil died by my hand. I am a titan, a superhero, a holy force of nature. I’m the thing monsters have nightmares about.” River stands alone in the bridge with her hands on her hips pretending. Buffy, the real Buffy, lays sprawled on the floor of her room sullen and pensive. She can’t sleep. All her friends are dead. The world she fought so hard to save, so many times is long gone. The crew of this spaceship, especially River, seems pretty cool, or shiny, as they say. Maybe Buffy will make new friends. Maybe make a new life. Whatever. She remains. She’s still strong. She realizes. Thats all she has left. Power and enemies. Bummer. Just then there’s a knock on Buffy’s door. Buffy stands. Straightens her clothes a bit. Answers the door. It’s Kaylee. “Well, um... hello. It’s Kaylee, right?” Buffy asks. “Uh huh.” Kaylee responds with an enthusiastic nod. Buffy cocks her head to the side, a puzzled look beginning to form on her face. “I couldn’t sleep. I wondered if you might want to get some soup with me?” Kaylee asks. “Um...sure.” Buffy responds with a shrug. “Shiny.” Kaylee reacts with a grin, then turns to leave for the kitchen. Buffy follows. As they sit and talk and have soup. Buffy finds Kaylee to be fine refreshing company. “You’re so pretty. I can’t believe you never married.” Kaylee says. “Pretty. I look like Skelator!” Buffy remarks with a laugh, then seeing that Kaylee has no idea what she’s talking about, frowns and adds: “I guess I’m a fighter, not a lover.” “I don’t believe that.” Kaylee answers with a cunning smile. “Well--” Buffy says, shifting in her chair. “--I’m trying to reconcile myself with the idea that, some time in the last five hundred years, I was likely raped, Kill Bill-style, while drugged. I’d hardly call that romance.” Kaylee responds with a very disturbed, uncertain frown. “Sorry,--” Buffy replies. “--too much.” Meanwhile, in Jayne’s cabin. “Did it get cold in here, or is that just me?” Wash asks. Icey cold sweat breaks on Jayne’s forehead. “Jayne.” Wash starts. “Jayne, Jayne, Jayne. Betcha didn’t expect me to be back to word you up. What with the reaver-kabob and all. What can I say, life is fuh-fuh-funny.” Jayne backs away until his back meets the wall. He looks down a moment at the knife in his white-knuckled hand then back at Wash. “What are you doing here?“ Jayne asks. “Good question. Obvious, a tad, but packed with potential.” Wash takes a moment then responds. “Well.” He begins dramatially. “Maybe, I’m an angry spirit haunting the place I was barbarically killed.” Wash waves his hands in the air and starts to spin slowly as he speaks. “Or.” Wash pauses then points at his nose. “Maybe I’m a manifestation of an ancient evil enemy of your newest, woman-type passenger.” Jayne frowns. He doesn’t quite understand. “Or.” Wash continues, “Maybe, yikes, you’re just fucking crazy.” Wash holds both his arms in front of him as if to welcome Jayne to an embrace. Jayne is confused and scared. He doesn’t know about confused, but he has one preferred method for scared. Attack. He dives at Wash. He’s not terribly surprised or relieved to find that Wash is non-coporeal. He crashes into the wall of his cabin with all the force of his commitment to the attack. Wash then morphs into Jayne’s grandmother. “You impetulent stupid thug.” She declares. Jayne looks up at her with a bloody nose. “Mamaw?” He asks. Buffy jerks up, suddenly alert. Her actions are automatic. She checks her surroundings. No threat immediant. She gets these feelings, sometimes. She’s never wrong. Something bad is here. Buffy stands. Kaylee gets wide-eyed. “Kaylee, can you do me a favor? It’s important.” Buffy asks urgently. “Of course.” Kaylee answers nervously. “I want you to go to your room. Make sure it’s safe. Then, lock the door. No matter what you hear, you stay put. If there’s anything wrong in your room I want you to scream as hard as you can. I’ll come runnin’. We clear?” Buffy asks seriously. Kaylee nods. “Thank you, Kaylee. Now, off you go.” Buffy says. Kaylee heads off. Buffy’s dark intuition doesn’t just disappear. She can feel herself getting stronger. She runs hard to the bridge. River sits whistling as she torpedoes Serenity though the black. It’s a Mozart melody: Alla Turca. Difficult to whistle. River decides she should try to get a piano. Just then Buffy burst onto the bridge like the house is on fire. River feels Buffy’s fear. It hits her like a tital wave. She cuts the engine off. Turns and asks. “What’s wrong?” Buffy looks around a moment, then asks. “I got a bad feeling. Is everything okay?” “Shiny.” River replies with a shrug. Buffy frowns. “Oh, I mean cool.” River corrects herself. Buffy is unsatisfied. “If anything was wrong, I would know, Buffy.” River assures. “Maybe, maybe not. I need to check the crew.” Buffy answers. River almost replies that this is unnessecary, then she identifies Buffy’s feeling. A familiar feeling. An old enemy feeling. “Let’s go.” River says calmly.

**********************

Earth that Was. December 11, 2012. Bosnia. Sundown.

After Buffy burned or broke most of the remaining vampires of the high order of Aurelius, the survivors gathered around their master, Drusilla, to decide the details of this slayer’s imminent, ultimate demise. The vampire Hugo prepares to address the assembled vampire soldiers on Dru’s behalf. Hugo was once a watcher. He was sired by Drusilla in Brazil in 2002. He’s kind of small and bookish and very out of place in a room full of warriors. The Master, Drusilla lurks ominously in the background but her presence affects the room in a eerie tangible way. Her movement and mannor have a cruel mystique, random and sinister. She is uncomfortable and anxious. She dislikes hiding. She is unaccustomed to this soilder’s lifestyle. The slayer onslaught forced her into seclusion. She’s rarely ventured above ground in the last ten years. Hard time for a party girl. The building they’re in was once a residence. Then, it was converted for commercial use. Then, it was abandoned. The main floor consists of a large main room with stone floors and one stone wall. The rest is cheap paneling and sheet rock. There’s a mini-kitchen in one corner and a rusty wood stove in another corner. There are a few chambers adjacent to the main room, and chambers in the basement meant for storage. Twenty battle-hardened, heavily armed vampire soldiers mill about the large main room. Until. Drusilla speaks, the deep poisonous pitch of her voice cuts a swath of order across the chaos of the assemblage: “Listen up, dearies. Our monster to monsters is out there. Hunting, killing us. But, we’ve got birthday surprises for her. Hugo, my little pet, used to be a watcher--he did. He’ll tell you how to deal with the slayer.” Hugo nervously steps forward to address the group. “Slayers. What do we know?” He starts. “After the Battle of Sunnydale, we have learned quite a bit about our mortal enemies.” One of the vamps coughs. Dru glares at him. That squashes that. Hugo continues. “They’re strong. That’s first. How strong? That’s always been difficult to determine. At a basic level, They’re about as strong as the most powerful of us. However, under duress, they become stronger. Imperiled slayers have been know to perform feats of strength far beyond vampire superhuman. Greater danger, stronger slayer. It’s not entirely that simple, but it works as a general rule. To my knowledge, the watcher’s council has never actually determined a limit to a slayer’s strength. Slayers are never told this as part of their training as it is believed it would make them reckless,or more reckless. It should also be noted that an experianced slayer, like Buffy, may have realized this, at least on some level, and discovered ways to adapt it to her attack mechanism. High risks equals super strength. Buffy’s exploits suggests that she understood this, and played that card again and again.” The vampires mutter to each other and curse. Hugo continues. “Next, They’re difficult to kill. A slayer will not suffer death by ordinary human means. In other words, stab them, shoot them, bash them in the brain with a brick, they will go down perhaps injured but they will come back up. Slayers suffering mortal wounds will fall into a coma. Regardless of how bleak their prognosis, they will recover, they will be back, even stronger. The comas are apearently part of a regeneration process. It has been observed in slayers in the past but I didn’t identify it as a slayer property until after Sunnydale. Decapitation, immolation in flame, these will work but, as you can imagine, they are difficult to accomplish.” “They die. They die just fine.” Gnash, the gigantic leader of the vampire soldiers interrupts. Some of the vampires chuckle. “That’s the good news.” Hugo snaps back, he begins to pace back and forth as he talks faster. “As a vampire, death at our hands, or fangs, qualifies as supernatural and will normally do the trick. Historically, most slayers meet their death at the hands of our brethren. Heel of Achilles for us, Achilles’ heel for her.” Hugo pauses a moment, then continues with a solemnness. “Except, it seems with this one. Buffy Summers is an anomaly of anomalies. She dies, and dies, and keeps coming back for more. She is, without a doubt, the undisputed heavy weight champ, preeminent leader of our enemy army. She’s their hero.“ “No shit.” One of the group remarks. Hugo raises his index finger dramatially and continues. “But, she didn’t bring the army to Bosnia. She came alone. However, alone, she has very nearly destroyed our army. This slayer’s attacks are not usually subtle. She’s a kick in the door kind of girl. Swift, overwelming force is her preferred tactic. Fire, sunlight, violence. That doesn’t mean she lacks cunning. She has a confidence that comes from hundreds of victories. She knows every trick. She knows every trap. She’s one of the oldest surviving slayers in history. Do not underestimate her, but, don’t fear her. She is mortal. And, it is absolutely possible that she has gotten soft after her years of seclusion. We have taken her friend. She will come.” “Strawberry” Drusilla interupts. “Why don’t we turn her little friend? Wouldn’t that fuck with her?” Some one asks. Drusilla hisses. Hugo replies. “If we turned Willow into a vampire, we wouldn’t just be creating a monster, we would be creating the most powerful vampire on earth. She would be impossible to control, and she would probably kill us all as her first action. So, no.” Hugo wipes his forehead and continues. “We have awakened the sleeping bear. The hero to our enemies. We must make an example of her. Crush her. Defile her. Make her beg.” Hugo has taken a certain oratar air. He closes his hand into a fist. “We shall hunt her tonight while she hides.” “What makes you think she’ll hide?” Some one asks. “She won’t come out at night. That would be crazy.” Hugo answers. Just exactly then, the door explodes into the room as if fired from some gigantic door-sized cannon. Planks, splinters, dust and debris fly about a moment. Then. “Hello bitches!” It’s Buffy Summers. Right here, right now, holding a crossbow. Hugo shits his pants. Buffy fires into the first gunner. He explodes into dust. Then she hurls the crossbow into the second gunner, and jumps into a kind of sideways no-hands cartwheel as gunshots ring out. She hits the ground running, off into the surrounding woods. Drusilla directs most of the vampire soilders to pursue. They run off hard into the night. Just after the vampire soilders run furiously after Buffy... Bethy’s voice in whisper: “Apearitos! “ Eleven girls stand suddenly out of the scenery. They’re all wearing camo gear and sniper nettings. All but one are very well armed. Unarmed is the oldest, Sasha. She’s a teenager. She’s not a slayer. She used to be Violet’s babysitter. She’s also a psychic. She helped the girls use Willow’s considerable financial resourses to charter a private jet to Bosnia. “Sasha, report.” Bethy demands. “Six vampires within the structure, plus Willow.” She answers. All the girls react with relief and hope. “Okay, okay. Thank the Goddess, okay.” Bethy starts. “I’ll follow Buffy, back her up. You guys get Willow.” “I should go after Buffy. I’m the best fighter.” Violet, the youngest, blurts out. Then, apologises. “Sorry, lapsus linguae.” “Hinc illae lacrimae, Pogo.” Bethy answers. Then continues. “Juliet is in charge, while I’m gone.” Juliet nods. Bethy continues. “Don’t count on the element of surprise. Drusilla is a sometimes psychic. Standard invasion with a backdoor. Remember to eyeball your vectors. Hold the team. No mistakes. No mistakes. For Willow’s sake, no mistakes. All you have to do is free Willow. Free Willow, and that’s it. Yatzee. Game over.” Some of the girls look scared. Bethy must apear confident. In control. “Sasha?” Bethy asks sharply. “Willow is bound and gagged in a basement chamber. There are two vampires, chanting continuously, in an adjacent chamber. That binds her, magically.” The teenage psychic replies nervously to the nine year old’s command. She can’t believe they’re doing this. Bethy, immediant and decisive, responds: “Okay, those vamps are targets one and two. Violet, you take them. You’re the backdoor.” Violet looks up, surprised. Bethy continues. “I want you to find those two vamps and kill them, as quickly and quietly as possible. The others will cover for you.” The seriousness of her mission lands on the young slayer. “They’re dust.” Violet replies with pursed lip. Bethy nods. “The rest of you, avoid Drusilla if you can. She’s very dangerous and unpredictable. If she backs you into a corner, kill her quickly. Don’t take any chances. Watch each others backs. Protect Sasha. No mistakes. “Maybe I shouldn’t go in.” Sasha offers quite frightened. “We’re in a war zone. You’ll be safest where we can protect you.” Bethy answers. “Don’t worry. We are Feydekyn.” She takes a moment, looks at the other nine of the chosen chosen, perhaps for the last time. “Okay, let’s go.”

********************** Stefany Tricks takes cover. Her team is under sniper fire. Zoe Washburn was discribed as: War veteran, possibly dangerous. Stefany sighs with frustation as she wipes bits of her team leader's brains from her uniform. The team fires back in force. Heavy automatic fire along the ridgeline. Tearing up the landscape. Most likely pointless. BANG! Another one dies. Everyone goes crazy, crazier. BANG!

Another dead. Stafany, safely behind the shuttle, orders the troops to disperse into the trees. They scatter with a quickness. BANG! Another dead. This is really starting to suck. Finally her com message gets through. Kitty Keeler’s face apears on the compact monitor. “Status?” She demands. “It’s very bad, miss. She made us, immediantly. Killed the officer, and continues to slaughter the soilders at opportunity. BANG! In the background. Kitty’s face on the monitor is troubled but not surprised. After a moment she answers solemnly: “I’m sorry, Stefany. You should have had more information. You should have been better prepared.” Kitty Keeler takes a moment biting her lip then continues. “I want you to sacrifice the team as a distraction. I want you to take the targets. Understood? “I understand. I will report in one hour.” Stefany answers.

**********************

Earth that Was December 11, 2012 Bosnia. Ten minutes past sundown.

The master, Drusilla stands brushing smashed door dust from her hair. She looks up to check her two bodygaurds. They look strong, alert. She checks Hugo. He looks uncomfortable. Uncomfortable in the pants part of his existance. There are some times when Dru would have found that funny but not this time. This is war. Hugo asks to be excused. Dru nods. Dispite the overwelming vampire force in pursuit, Drusilla is doubtful that Buffy will be caught or killed. The realization has left her sullen and annoyed. Then, Drusilla perks up, suddenly. “Dollies.” She shrieks with delight. “Ten little dollies. Want to eat at the grown-ups table. Play grown-up games. This is going to be so rich, wicked and tragic.” The master grins like the cat that ate the canary.

22

COMMENTS

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 6:36 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oh ho...definitely haven't lost the touch, 22Claws! Can't wait to see how things come to a head;D

BEB

Thursday, June 28, 2007 7:15 AM

22CLAWS


Thanks so much. This was the most difficult chapter I've wrote. It's a bridge.
The next two chapters are crazy. Action and surprises in abundance. It should be lots of fun.
22


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