Okay, so super long time since update. Sorry! I'm gonna try and do better, I promise! Standard disclaimer: I don't own either universes I'm using, nor the characters in them (Except the other two Quean Slayers, who are OC)!
Please review, and enjoy!
I was led down a brightly lit hall into what was obviously a conference room, with plush chairs and a deep mahogany table, with a video screen at one end of it. Lilith’s small frame looked like it belonged to that of a twelve year old girl, but her attitude and demeanor told me that she was far older than that. I was surprised to find another smallish girl already sitting at the conference table, her legs swinging from the chair as she happily ate an ice cream sundae. I took in her red hair and her bright green eyes and decided that I couldn’t tell if she really was a twelve year old, or simply looked young, like Lilith, who was taking a seat herself.
Lilith, her chocolate milk skin shimmering in the low light of the room, brushed some dark curls out of her eyes and smiled at me, motioning for me to take the seat opposite her and the other girl. “Buffy Anne Summers, I would like to introduce Thorko Rasvalianat, the Hammer,” Lilith spoke in a small, amused voice as the redhead blushed into her strawberry ice cream. Seeing the confused look on my face, Lilith giggled and continued. “Thorko, here, was the Slayer for seventeen years, after she was called in 2283.”
I could see both of them searching my face for a reaction, but I kept my face a stone mask. Why did I hide my reaction from them, you ask? Because I didn’t know where I was, who these girls really were, or where my friends or sister were. It was obvious that this girl was lying to me, but I couldn’t see their angle—not just yet. So I nodded gravely and looked at Thorko, who was giving me a small grin and scooping ice cream into her small mouth at a prodigious rate.
“So, Thorko,” I began slowly while my mind raced faster than it ever had before. “Why did Lilith call you the Hammer?” Each small twitch and muscle movement was noted and filed away in my memory, analyzed and set to the side as more data streamed into my subconscious, and I could that she was hiding something. I could tell just by looking at her. It actually scared me a little, this mental clarity that I was experiencing at this time, but I was far more worried about kind of threat these girls might turn out to be. They didn’t set off my demonic spidey-sense, but I was sure there was something off about them. It was something about the way their lips pouted, not to mention the fact that I knew they were hiding something from me.
The girl stopped shoveling ice cream into her mouth to give me a broad smile and pronounce, “My favorite weapon for beating up Big Baddies was the Troll’s Hammer that you used to take out Glorificus back in the day. I got pretty good at just wailing on whatever came my way.” Her smile was so bright that I almost wanted to believe her. I knew it was a possibility that she was a Slayer because of the spell Willow had done to call all of the potentials in the world, but there was no way I believed that this little girl was from the future and could handle the Troll Hammer.
Lilith spoke up, waving her hand to catch my attention. “I heard that she could swing it so powerfully that she could dust a vamper by hitting them anywhere in their body and disintegrating their internal organs, their heart included.”
Thorko grinned shyly and added, “It was easier to just take their head off with a right good swing. You had to hit hard to dust them from a torso hit.”
I was getting a bit aggravated with this whole situation, but I decided that my best course of action was to wait it out and see what the real deal was. So, I turned to Lilith and said, “So, I’m assuming you’re a Slayer too, huh? When are you supposed to be from?”
Lilith’s smile almost literally lit up the whole room as she leaned forward and placed her elbows on the table. “I was called in 2162. I lived through the Fall,” she said expressively, looking at me like I should be impressed. Well, newsflash, people: I wasn’t. In fact I had no frikkin’ clue as to what she was talking about, and my patience was starting to wear thin.
“So what the hell is going on here? Because I’m about to bust some heads if any of this doesn’t start making any sense.” I looked at the two girls who were sitting across from with this identical big, pouty grin on their faces as they glanced at each other. “So?” I continued, the frustration I’d been feeling bleeding into my voice. “Make with the ‘splainy, or things are going to turn out badly for one of us.”
Lilith just smiled at me, completely ignoring my threat. “Tell me, Buffy. Do you. . . feel different?”
This question threw me a curveball I hadn’t been expecting. “Say what?”
“Do you feel different? Like, you know, you felt when you were fighting the First and its proctor?”
“Its what? You mean Caleb, who I bifurcated with the Scythe? What are you talking about?” I was gripping the edge of the table so hard that I could feel it splintering off in my hand.
Lilith first looked in my eyes before glancing briefly at what I was doing to the table. “I think there’s something you need to see, Ms. Summers,” she finally replied, her voice quiet and dangerous. She slowly rose from her chair, and I mirrored her, watching her every deliberate move as she gracefully made her way to the door with the easy grace of a jungle cat. “Harry! Show Quean Buffy the video!” she called down the hall, and immediately Harry came running into the room with great, loping strides.
“Yes, Quean,” he mumbled before fiddling with a switch and the keyboard that popped out of a panel in the wall, his eyes downcast and avoiding each of our gazes.
I watched with a certain unease as this man responded to Lilith like she was royalty. And what the hell was she doing addressing me as a Queen? I would have thought she was being sarcastic if not for her tone of voice. I also noted that her pronunciation of Queen was a bit off, which struck me as odd because her accent wasn’t far from mine, though Thorko’s was thickly European.
After a moment a video started on the screen at the other end of the room, and Lilith made her way to her seat and smiled at me warmly, motioning for me to please pay attention to the screen. Her sudden change in demeanor threw me off, but I just shrugged it off to her being a bipolar schizoid, and looked back at the screen, which was displaying a logo I’d never heard of, with a name inscribed above it: Dr. Zeus, Inc. This name struck me as odd, but then everything since I’d woken up in this place was odd, so I decided I’d pay attention to the video and see what it was that this crazy bitch was trying to tell me.
“Dr. Zeus is a company based in the 24th century, operating with an explicit knowledge of the past that no other has ever had access to before. We provide things which have been lost to history, the winds of time sweeping away all but that which our employees preserve and keep safe until such a time as it is needed.”
Okay, this didn’t make much sense.
“Dr. Zeus, as the sole proprietor of temporal translocation technology, has been able to send its employees far into the past to preserve that which would otherwise be lost to time and the stupidity of the indigenes of the Pre-Fall eras.” The video changed from the logo to what appeared to be an ancient library that was being burned to the ground, with men in togas and bronze helmets and swords killing elderly men with beards and bald pates. “The final destruction of the Library at Alexandria is one such example. Before the last time that the Library was razed to the ground, our agents were busy for months duplicating each and every work, so that by the times the Romans came each work was saved in the databanks of Dr. Zeus. Unlike the times that Julius Caesar accidentally burned down the library after setting his own ships on fire, the attack of Aurelian, the decree of Coptic Pope Theophilus, and the Muslim conquest in AD 643, wherein only certain texts were deemed important enough to scan, every text was scanned and therefore saved from the final destruction of the Library in Alexandria. In fact, the data our agents scanned was used to help with the construction of the Serapeum.”
The screen changed to a scene in what looked like Africa, which an attractive black woman herding a team of low, thick-hooved horses with shaggy brown hair. “This Dr. Zeus employee is taking care of a harras of Hypohippos, which were transported from the North American continent to Africa, where she will keep track of their genetic evolution and keep their genetic makeup as static as possible, so that they can be enjoyed in the present. Whereas some agents of the Company preserve literature and works of art, others still work to preserve flora and fauna thought to be extinct, which are used in any manner of project. Medicines that would not be possible without access to these previously unavailable species save many lives and make countless others more comfortable in their day-to-day life. In 2306, these Hypohippos will be used to create a cure for Bloody Mary’s Disease, a mutation of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus that starts with hematidrosis and leads to exsanguination via the orifices of the body.”
Somehow, Buffy knew exactly what that meant, and the only word that came to her mind in response to this was: Ick!
“Agents such as Butal Onmonmias here are what the Company calls Preservers. Also created by the Company are the Facilitators and the Security Techs, who make sure that every Preserver gets what they need and is doing what they are supposed to do. Executives run secret Company facilities and implement policy. These employees of Dr. Zeus are fully productive members of the Company, and will be greatly rewarded for their excellent service and dedicated work.”
A picture of a big, brutish man with a sloping head and great, ridged eyebrows and dun-colored hair popped up on the screen, his bright blue eyes staring back at me. “Enforcers, like Budu here, were created by the Company in order to preserve the rise of humanity. At the dawn of humanity, a group of humans called the Great Goat Cult ravaged village after village, almost wiping out the whole of human existance, causing several variants of humans to become extinct. Cult members covered their bodies in tattoos. Unbelievers consisted of anyone who refused to be tattooed, anyone who created any other kind of art, and anyone unwilling to join in the killing. The cult was able to ravage the Eurasian and African Continents for close to seven thousand years.”
My jaw dropped. Throughout the video presentation, I had become more and more worried that what they were showing me was the truth, and that all of this had something to do with me. But if all of this were true, then that would mean that a cult of human--humans!
--had roamed the Earth for thousands of years, killing those who didn’t fit in with their religion. It boggled the mind, and my mind was already staggering from what I’d seen so far. Then the narrator said something that gripped my heart with icy fear:
“What is kept from every but the highest-ranking employee of Dr. Zeus is that the Company is aware of the supernatural world. We are, in fact, capable of measure the supernatural energy of what most refer to as magic. Dr. Zeus is not, for the most part, have anything to do with what we call Crome’s Radiation—named after Alexander Crome, who discovered the method of detecting the supernatural energies—and is violently obhorrent of its use.
“However, it was found that the success of the Great Goat Cult—and, indeed, its very origin—was due to an entity known as the First Evil. With this knowledge came the knowledge that humanity, as a whole, would have risen to power if not for those beings which are sub- and super-terrestrial. So, after much research and development, Dr. Zeus has at last created a new type of cyborg, the Quean Slayer, a genetically engineered clone from the three most successful Slayers throughout time: Slayer Buffy Anne Summers, circa AD 2007, slayer of Third Order God Glorificus and thwarter of the First Order God, The First Evil.” A picture of me, fighting inside the Hellmouth, just before I was stabbed in the back by a sword, popped up. I wondered how they had gotten a picture of me fighting inside of the mouth of Hell, and I almost missed the other two. “Lilith Tamblen Osaka, circa AD 2178, slayer of High Daemon Sitri and the Dragon-King Draconis Maestris.” My picture was replaced with one of a twenty-something version of Lilith, straddling the neck of a honking big dragon while holding on to a sword sticking out of its jawbone while holding what looked like an oversized 500 S&W Magnum revolver, aimed at the back of the dragon’s skull, just below its crown-armor. Looking over at Lilith, I could see that she was decidedly pale, though she still gave me a wan smile. “Thorko Dri Rasvalianat, circa AD 2300, slayer of Second Order God Illyria, God-King of the Primordium.” There was a picture of a tall, thin redhead with the Troll Hammer in one hand and some sort of device in the other, frozen midswing in arc toward the head of a small woman with blue hair and red leather armor.
“Brain scans and genetic material were taken from these three Slayers and were taken to a key point in the history when humanity came to the attention of the supernatural world, and were genetically engineered utilizing Homo Sapiens Sapiens and Homo Sapiens Umbratilis, with their bones replaced by ferroceramic steel, and joints replaced by linkages, such as ball joints. The remaining tissues are pervaded by nanobots, which use the original DNA of the subjects to regenerate any damaged organs. Cochlear, visual, and brainstem implants are then installed in the subjects, followed directly by the secondary Pineal Organ implant, which releases Pineal Tribrantine 3 in order to confer youth and vigor. . .”
The rest of what followed on the video was lost to me as I sat there, frozen, stuck on the words “genetically engineered clone” and “Buffy Anne Summers, circa 2007.”
I wasn’t Buffy Summers?
I’m a clone?
I was genetically engineered, combined with something else?