The Great Escape
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the places or characters portrayed in the fic. Anita Blake and related characters are property of Laurell K. Hamilton while all things Buffy are Joss Whedon's. Fantastic Four go to Marvel. Star Trek is the brain baby of Gene Roddenberry and Paramount. Nor do I own any share of Alien or Total Recall. Alice in Wonderland was written by Lewis Carroll. Dune is the property of the Herbert family. Poltergeist goes to MGM, I think. Loony Tunes are part and parcel of Warner Bros. while My Little Pony is Hasbro's. Xanth, and all those characters/objects from such a land belong to Piers Anthony. Frogger is a legacy of Konami and Sega. Who Framed Roger Rabbit was based on a book written by Gary K. Wolf. I have no idea who has the rights to The Young and the Restless. You Are so Beautiful isn't mine, nor is In Memoriam. Harry Potter is the property of J.K. Rowling.
(This list is prone to editing as the fic continues as Scooby pop-culture references increase... one day it may rate it's own chapter.)
End of Season 3 for Buffy, seconds after the death of the Mayor.
Post Obsidian Butterfly for Anita.
Xander gave a nod and one of his best friends, currently shrunk down to the size of ten year old, darted out from the low line of brush she had been crouched behind. She covered the parking lot quickly and rolled with slayer-given grace beneath a car her form only a vague shadow in the light of the full moon. After a moment there was a double flash from the compact mirror Buffy had and Xander gave a single quick flash of his own in acknowledgment. The blonde knew what she was to do. Xander hiked up his small canvas backpack and crawled along the ground back to their cover where Willow waited with her hobbled together equipment.
They hadn't realized blowing up the Mayor would create a temporary metaphysical power vacuum on the Hellmouth. Their witch-in-training had postulated that after 100+ years drawing on it's energy and siphoning it off for various projects his absence destabilized the already thin dimensional barriers. At least they were all together. Scoobies United. Family.
With the exception of Giles. He had been hopefully out of the blast radius and was safely back in Sunnydale trying to find a way to bring them home, but until then...
Willow spun from where she had been keeping look out; crossbow point aimed at Xanders chest. Xander raised his hands non-threateningly and jerked his head to the facility they were planning to take down. Initially they had been thrilled, if a little worried, that the supernatural was so well known and accepted. Vampires were legal citizens and lycanthropy was considered a viral disease like AIDS. Sure they didn't have any money and had somehow been regressed by about eight years, but hey, they were alive! Which is more than they had been expecting what with the Mayor's Ascension and Vampire/Demon Army awaiting them. Plus, they could totally swing the kid-thing in their favor and get some government help, especially for Oz on full moon nights, but that was before they had grasped the actual social climate of this dimension.
And Oz was paying for it.
Xander took the compound crossbow he'd done a lot of illegal things to get from his backpack and took aim at the great gray fortress that was standing between them and their wolfy friend. He'd gotten the idea for the break-in portion from a movie, but it was their only way into the fortress-like structure.
Willow gave him a flash of her resolve face as she crouched and headed off into the darkness to work on her portion of the mission. The sounds of their doings was covered by the numerous howls and animalistic cries audible from within the building despite the layers of concrete and insulation.
They had a friend to rescue.
It was all over the news. Some thought it a joke. Despite the full moon only having been the night before, the Lunatic Cafe was packed as all flavor of shifter showed up to discuss it.
A government 'safehouse' had been raided.
Who were still as yet unaccounted for after leading the local law enforcement on a high speed chase in a stolen car. While shifters had been out hunting during the full moon vampires and humans had watched in awe and surprised amazement as the story had been picked up by local news and broadcast live. Watching a tiny blonde girl lean out a window with a crossbow that looked like it weighed as much as she did, and shoot out the tires of pursuing squad car, was quickly becoming a dear and beloved memory. Considering that a news helicopter had recorded it from above the shot resembled something more out of a weird action flick than anything else.
Not that viewers were complaining. The small television in the break room had been dragged out and set on the bar with the volume on max so that everyone in the lycanthrope run diner could hear. Though the news feed of the chase had been cut short after the vehicle carrying three human children and one transformed pup hit the tree line, the aftermath was beautiful in the daylight.
A young woman reporter was standing on the road with a pile of roughly hewn logs behind her and, buried under them, what was clearly a police car. "...Officers within the vehicle sustained minor injuries from the blockage of logs that was released in what appears to have been an amazingly well thought out trap." The screen switched to a black and white recording reminiscent of cop shows with spoken words typed for the hearing impaired.
"...who are these kids?" An unseen voice choked off as the vehicle swerved to avoid a crossbow bolt. The flashing lights of the car ahead could be seen in pursuit of a gray Toyota that spun around and began driving backwards. "The Hell?!"
While details could not be seen from a distance, two small figures could be seen fighting in the front seat before the first squad car drifted across to block the view. The radio crackled. "They're slowing down. Repeat they are slowing down, one of the suspects has crawled onto the roof!"
Distant, but clearly visible, was a figure crouched on the small but fast vehicle holding one arm straight in the air as something gleamed in its grip. A distinct rumble could be heard echoing along the road and the second squad car spun out as it tried to avoid the sudden avalanche of wood that buried the first. "Shit!"
The recording cut out as the news reporter came back on screen standing with a young male nurse. His hair was messy as if he'd not yet had time to brush it but his clothing was rumple-free and bleached white. "I'm standing here with Mr. Alcato, who works in the wolf branch of the St. Peters Safehouse." Alcato looked uncomfortable. "Is it true that the staff knew this attack was coming?"
The nurse shrugged not at all professional. "Well, it's like I remember those kids coming in last month. They wanted to see their friend, said he'd only come in for Full-moon, like we were some lycanthrope hotel, and we had to tell them no. 114, I mean, Oz, we couldn't find any records for him but he's young enough that we weren't expecting much. Anyway, they didn't want to leave. Made a real fuss about holding children for ransom and experimentation and I remember that little red-haired girl threatening to put frogs in my car." He shook his head, a little dazed. "We had to call security. I know Dr. Tanner was complaining about them wandering around the building trying to get in... and that kid. The boy... if anyone needed to see a specialist he does."
"Why do you think this? Could he have been a lycanthrope?"
The nurse shook his head again. "No, it's just that when the security team was leading them off that first day I remember his eyes. He had the same look my grandad gets when thinking about the War, but I saw some of the footage from the off-network cameras and even if he did take down a security team by himself its the blonde girl I'd worry about. She punched down a reinforced door. I don't know where these kids came from, or what they are, but they are extremely dangerous."
"Thank you, Mr. Alcato." The reporter turned into the camera. "Back to you Jared, we'll be back when we know more."
Within the Lunatic Cafe phones buzzed and calls were started in earnest. Somewhere out there were a bunch of powerful kids armed with weapons straight out of the middle ages and they needed to be found.
Rafael was annoyed as he picked up the phone. He'd been fielding calls and deploying as many Rats as he could considering the circumstances. It wasn't everyday a mass breakout of a safehouse occurred and he'd been one of the first to realize it when one of his rats called in about a cousin that had called from a payphone and requesting pick up and clothing. The cousin was a werebear, and hopped up on so many drugs to be barely understandable, but they managed to track the call and send a team.
Similar situations were cropping up all over and he needed to organize his rats to find those they could and get them away from the government search teams. "Anita." He greeted while making a notation in his lists as an underling brought in a notification that two new were-rats had been discovered and were being transported to St. Louis, though it would take some time to do it without attracting the attention of the authorities. "I saw the news the instant I made it back, I've already got people on it... No. I have not... Anita, please, understand I am very busy and I'll call you back when I can." He hung up on her.
He did wonder what those children were. His contacts had managed to get more information than what the news network had wrangled from the security files and police reports. He'd seen a copy of the boy-child that had taken out two adults with moves straight out of special forces, as one of his advisers recognized the moves. The computer virus that had hacked into the safehouse mainframe and looped all the security cameras to conceal the children's movements was genius. The fact that all the safehouse vehicles had their gas tanks punctured and fuel lines cut for good measure was art. The King of the Rats did wonder who the kids were, who had trained them, but that wasn't the most pressing issue.
He, as did the Ulfric, wanted to find those that had manged to escape during the confusion and get them to a real safehouse.
Oz had slept through most of the day. Xander and Buffy took turns carrying his minified butt through the woods as they marched in single file to the designated encampment with the Oz carrier in front, Willow in the middle, and the remaining Scooby wiping out whatever traces of their passage he/she could detect. Xander had been dipping more than he liked into his solider memories and Buffy was scrapping together instinct and what lessons on concealment and tracking Merrick had managed to instill in her before his death.
They were doing pretty well, Xander thought. "Got any threes?" He asked the group. Oz was still drowsy but at least he could move on his own. His eyes had taken on a permanent amber glow that irked Xander. Stupid government bullies.
"Here." Willow handed a three over with a sigh before putting her cards face down on the ground and reaching into her little pack for a bag of cheese crackers. "This would be just like a real camp-out if we had some marshmallows."
Oz had gotten his head shaved while in the were-prison, as the Scoobies had come to call it, and was not happy about it. He was sitting against Willow and running his hand through the peach-fuzz that just did not look right on their friend. "Guys, I could totally pull off a snow cone thing." Or maybe he wasn't as upset about it as he seemed. "Think we can swing by a Wal-Mart sometime soon?"
Buffy was standing away from the fire, back to them, and staring into the surrounding wood performing sentry duty. In a few hours she'd switch with Willow, then Xander, and tomorrow night Oz would be added into the rotation. "Yeah, I could use some new shoes, even if they were made in a sweatshop by starving children. These have seriously seen better days... heads up!" The slayer called as she stepped closer to the fire and dropped her crossbow only to pull a stake from her belt.
At her action Xander and Oz both crouched and Willow squeaked before retreating, as physically the weakest, and all three held stakes of their own.
"You need not be frightened, mes enfants." A soft sensuous voice spoke and it was everything the Scoobs could do not to drop their weapons. A man entered their encampment with a pleasant smile and amazing blue eyes.
"Holy crap." Xander whispered. If tall, dark, and pale lost the lace and found a leather coat... "It's a French Angel, with girl hair!"