Dawn Summers and the Octopuses from Mars.By Dave Turner.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Buffyverse (that’s down to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy) or H.G Wells’ book (I think his estate still holds onto that). I write these stories for fun not profit. All canon or published words that may appear in this fic belong to their respective copyright owners.
Crossover: The Buffyverse with H. G. Wells’ book ‘War of the Worlds’.
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation; Written in glorious English-English. Both English and American idioms are used throughout this fic.
Timeline: 2012, part of my ‘The Watcher’s Library’ series
Words: 15 Chapters each of about 2500 words.
Warnings: None that I can think of, rated ‘15’.
Summary: While ‘de-spelling’ a mysterious box, Dawn is thrown back in time to face the might of the Martian invasion of England in 1898.0=0=0=0
Author’s note; I’ve played around with Wells’ timeline just a little. HG had little practical experience of military operations and seemed to think that a defence of London could be mounted in less than 24 hours. I’ve simply stretched the time between the Battle of Weybridge and the Martian thrust towards London by about 24 hours.
1. The Eve of War.Crankie Manor, Cornwall, 2012.
Raising his head above the parapet of the sandbagged emplacement, Rupert Giles put the binoculars to his eyes and studied the figure at the other end of the garden. There at the far end of the Manor’s grounds, down by the compost heap, Dawn Summers waddled towards the black box like some heavily armoured, green, Pillsbury Dough man. Giles lifted the receiver for the field telephone to his ear and spoke.
“Dawn….Dawn?” he studied the figure once more through his binoculars, she’d stopped moving, “Are you alright? Dawn?”
“Yes?” replied Dawn testily, the armour was heavy and hot, “How come I get to be the one to open the box?”
“One of the advantages of being the only witch around,” Giles smiled to himself, “you said yourself that you were the only one who could safely de-spell it.”
“Advantages?” Dawn started to move again, “Like, I don’t see any advantages.”
“Well,” Giles lowered his binoculars and sat down behind the sandbag wall of his bunker, “I didn’t mean any advantage to you…and anyway the suit wouldn’t fit me.”
“Whatever,” gasped Dawn, she was about six feet away from the box now.0=0=0=0
The box which was the centre of so much interest at the Manor had in fact been lying around the new Watcher’s Library for some months. It had been bought from an antiques shop in London’s Nottinghill district by one of the guardians who worked in that city. The thing that’d drawn the guardian’s attention to the object was the curious protection spell that surrounded the box; even Willow had said she’d never seen anything quite like it before.
What with one thing and another, the box had been pushed to one side. Every now and again, Giles would look at the damned thing and just be about to have it opened when something would happen; like finding Julius Caesar’s draft copy of one of his ‘Gallic Wars’ books. It was almost as if something had been stopping Dawn and himself from opening the box and discovering its secrets.
Then one day, Giles tripped over the box once too often, he’d cursed and rubbed his shin. Then turning to Dawn (who worked as his assistant) he vowed to get to the bottom of the box’s secrets. First he’d taken it to the Manor’s own medical centre and had it x-rayed. The x-ray showed nothing unusual, the box appeared to contain some documents and what looked like a container of some sort. Studying the shadow on the x-ray Giles could just make out the ghost of what looked like a tentacle.
Next, Dawn probed the box magically with increasingly powerful spells, nothing got through the box’s protection spell and Dawn got more and more frustrated. Willow arrived from Seattle (in astral-projection form) to have a look and advise Dawn on the best course of action, but even she was stumped. After a great deal of thought and magic Willow eventually suggested taking a sledgehammer to the box and opening it like that, she vanished back to Seattle promising to help if the box turned out to be some sort of ‘Pandora’s Box’ affair.
Willow’s off hand comment gave both Giles and Dawn pause for thought; what if they weren’t supposed to open it? What if the box held something so terrible that they should maybe bury it at the bottom of the ocean or something. Shrugging, Dawn said, ‘Whatever’ and went to the stationary cupboard to retrieve the library’s crowbar. At this point Giles had almost had a fit and insisted that all due precautions were taken and wouldn’t it be better to open it in the garden?
So it was that the box was duly carried outside and placed at the far end of the garden by the compost heap. Trainee slayers appeared from the Manor and stood around and gawked until Giles put them to filling sandbags and building a bunker about fifty yards away from the box. Judicious telephone calls were made and late in the afternoon an army Land Rover turned up and deposited a complete suit of ballistic armour of the type used by bomb disposal officers. The next morning, after much whining and argument, Dawn was forced into the suit of armour and sent off down the garden to de-spell the box.0=0=0=0
“Okay,” Dawn spoke breathlessly into the suit’s microphone, she’d thought she was fairly fit but she’d obviously been mistaken. “I’m at the box now,” she frowned to herself, why couldn’t they have done this in the comfort of the library?
“Do you see any unusual marking,” Giles’ voice sounded tinny over the suit’s headphones, “like signs saying ‘Danger! Do Not Open’?”
“Giles!” Dawn tried to turn to look back to where Giles was hiding in the safety of his bunker, the suit wouldn’t let her turn her head so she gave up. “This box has been lying about the library for months, you know what it looks like!”
“Yes, alright, point taken,” admitted Giles, “just checking. Now tell me what you’re doing, step by step.”
“So when you get blown to pieces,” Giles replied shortly, “I’ll have an idea of what you did wrong!”
“Have I told you how much I hate you?”
“No, but I’m sure you will,” Giles paused before adding, “now get on and open the box.”
“Yeah, alright,” sighed Dawn, she took a pair of wire cutters from the tool bag at her waist, “I’m going to cut the seal on the front of the box.”
Sweat started to run down her forehead and into her eyes as she reached towards the box. Blinking her eyes rapidly to clear them Dawn positioned the cutters to snip the wire and lead seal.
“Cutting now!” Dawn let out the breath she’d not realised she’d been holding when the box didn’t explode. “Okay, I’m still here, are you still there?”
“I’m still here Dawn,” Giles replied calmly all signs of the earlier joking banter gone.
“Right, I’m checking around the lid of the box for any other seal or anything that looks like a booby trap.” Dawn moved the box in her gloved hands, “I can’t see anything, Giles I’m going to try and open it.”
“Why do people always say that?” this time Dawn did manage to turn sufficiently to look back at Giles, “Of course I’m going to be careful!” Dawn’s hands fumbled with the lid of the box, “What do you think I’m going to do? Kick it ‘round the garden like a football?”
Turning back to the box, Dawn was just in time to see the lid come loose and open. She caught a glimpse of a couple of note books and what looked like an envelope. Most interestingly she saw a large sealed glass jar filled with some clear liquid and what looked like a tentacle. All these things she saw just before she was blinded by the incredibly bright flash, deafened by the very loud bang and sent hurtling through the air to land on something very hard.0=0=0=0Tower Hamlets, London, 1898.
“’ello dearie,” the young prostitute stepped out of the shadows and approached the smartly dressed man, “how’d you like to come ‘round the back for a quickie? Only sixpence!”
“Sixpence!” the tweed suited man turned to face the young woman, “Sixpence? My dear young woman, you know the usual price is thruppence and quite honestly,” he looked the young doxy up and down, “I wouldn’t give you a penny!”
“Oi! Mr ‘erbert!” the girl stamped her foot on the cobblestones, “’ow’s a girl supposed to make a living?”
“You get a perfectly adequate allowance,” ‘Mr Herbert’ pointed out, “and you know I don’t approve of this ‘soiled-dove’ disguise, what if you were to meet someone who wanted to take you up on your offer. What then, eh?”
“Then, Mr ‘erbert,” the girl walked over to the man and linked her arm through his, “I’d politely decline an’ if ‘e persisted like, I’d knock ‘is block off!”
“Amy,” Herbert patted the girl’s hand where it rested on his arm, “you’re a sweet girl, and even ‘though I realise you’re the slayer…well, I still worry about you.”
“An’ that’s right ‘andsome of you,” Amy squeezed Herbert’s arm, “but I can look after me’self.”
“Of course,” nodded Herbert, “now back to work, did you meet with any fiends from hell?”
“You do talk funny,” Amy giggled like only a sixteen year old could, “but if y’mean did I meet any vampires then, no, not’a one!”
“That’s dashed unusual,” Herbert stroked his moustache with his free hand, “my information was that the whole borough was rotten with the bloodsucking swine.”
“Well,” Amy snuggled up close to her Watcher, “I’ve not seen or felt any of ‘em arahn ‘ere, not t’night.”
The two walked on in silence; if any one were to see them they’d think that they were just a young man about town who’d picked up a ‘bit ‘o rough’ to round off the night’s entertainment. They’d never suspect the couple were watcher and slayer.
“Excuse me sir,” a male voice called out of a deep shadow a little ahead of the couple, “is everything alright?”
A policeman stepped out of the dark and shone his bullseye lantern in Herbert’s eyes blinding him for a second, he felt Amy go tense by his side.
“Everything’s fine constable,” Herbert brought his hand up to shade his eyes and tried to sound a little drunk, Amy let go of his arm and stepped away from him.
“Young man of good quality like y’self shouldn’t be out on the streets at this time o’night sir,” the policeman explained as he moved closer to Herbert, “you should be up West like all the other ‘good’ gentleman.”
The policeman glanced over at Amy as his face changed; he smiled showing a mouth full of sharp fangs.
“Get lost girl,” he snarled, “this ones mine…AAAGH!”
Amy’s small fist struck the vampire policeman on the end of his nose. The bloodsucker staggered back and clutched at his bleeding snout.
“Why you…!” springing towards Amy, the vampire tried to grab her in his claw like hands.
Amy danced away from the blundering creature of the night, her fists up in the approved manner. As soon as the vampire was in range she struck at the creature with blindingly fast jabs that hit the vampire about the face and knocked him back on his heels.
“Marquis of Queensbury rules is it?” sneered the blood sucking fiend as he pulled a heavy cudgel from under his jacket, “Lets see how your fancy rules deal with this!”
Swinging the club at Amy’s head he was surprised to see the girl duck under the blow and pop up right in front of him. Unbalanced by his own attack there was little he could do to save himself as Amy produced a stake from between her breasts and plunged it into the his evil heart.
“Oh well done!” Herbert clapped his hands and smiled encouragingly at his slayer, “Nicely done that girl!”
“Thank-you kind sir,” Amy slipped her stake back into its hiding place and gave Herbert a mock curtsy.
“Well, I think that’s enough excitement for one night,” Herbert looked at his pocket watch in the light of a street lamp, “shall we head for home?”
“Why not!” grinned Amy as she skipped over to where Herbert stood and put her arm through his again.
“Right-ho then,” Herbert smiled down at his slayer, “let’s find a growler.”
Once again they started to walk along the narrow cobbled streets heading towards the main roads near the Tower of London; even at this late hour they’d be able to find a Handsome Cab to take them home to Victoria. They’d not walked twenty yards when they were brought up short by a scream that was notable for its volume and its ability to set their teeth on edge; and what sounded like someone yelling, ‘GURN!’ 0=0=0=0
Groaning, Dawn listened to the ringing in her ears and wished it would stop. She was lying on a cold, hard surface, there was something tight around her lower chest and stomach and her legs felt like they were tangled up in a blanket. Groaning again her fingers traced a square bricklike shape, slowly her mind started to work once more and told her she was lying on cobbles or bricks.
Opening her eyes she found that it was dark, not completely dark, a dim light illuminated what looked like a back alley somewhere; this was definitely not the Manor’s back garden. Slowly she rolled onto her side and pushed herself upright, something stuck into her ribs.
“Ow!” she moaned, her hand went automatically to rub her side, “Oh!” she looked down at the strange clothes she was wearing.
Getting herself into a more or less sitting position Dawn looked about herself, this time taking in what her eyes were telling her; no she wasn’t at the Manor. Yes it did look like she was somewhere on earth and…well it had to me said;
“Looks like I’m not in Kansas, or even Cornwall, any more,” Dawn smiled ruefully, why did people always say that? “Okay, Dawn Summers,” Dawn climbed slowly to her feet, “just where are you?”
Dawn had seen enough period dramas on TV and at the movies to know that she had somehow swapped her armoured suit for the clothes of a late Victorian lady; one of some means by the looks of things. She picked up a large handbag that lay by her feet and checked inside. There was a purse with money, coins and banknotes, a lace handkerchief, some cosmetics and a passport.
Taking out the passport she opened it and held it up to the dim light of the streetlamp at the other end of the alley. She could just about make out what was written there; it was an American passport made out to a Miss D. Summers. For a moment Dawn wondered who Miss D. Summers could be before realising it was her; she slipped the passport back into her handbag.
Turning around she noticed a carpet bag lying on the cobbles.
“Don’t tell me that’s mine too?” Bending to examine the bag, she opened it to find it full of clothes, “It’s nice of whoever to make sure I’m properly equipped for life in the late nineteenth century.”
Picking up the carpet bag and placing the handles of her handbag over her arm Dawn looked up and down the alley. One end was dark and forbidding, the other end was lit by a streetlamp.
“As the saying goes,” Dawn breathed, “walk towards the light, Dawn.”
She’d not gone half a dozen paces when a strong arm wrapped itself around her neck and started to drag her towards the dark end of the alley. Dawn screamed long and hard only to have a hand clamped over her mouth. Dropping her things she struggled with whatever had grabbed her. Twisting in the creature’s grip she turned and found herself face to face with a female vampire.
The creature grinned at her with lust filled eyes; Dawn felt the bloodsucker’s foul breath on her face as she began to summon her magic.
“BURN!” she cried staring the leech in the eye, unfortunately the vampire’s hand was still partly over her mouth and the word came out as, ‘Gurn!’