Chapter Nine - Megalomania
AN: Happy new year everyone! A little later then usual but finally the final chapter of this act. I still had some proofreading to do which took a little longer then usual
We have come to the end of yet another act, so good news, bad news. You get to enjoy it, that’s the good part. But know that you have to wait until the next act is finished to get more story afterwards. That’s the bad part. Ain’t life a box of bittersweet chocolates?
For this chapter I did something I haven’t done in a very long time, like revisiting parts of my very first story. While it was the story that sucked most of you in the first time it’s not one of my favorites and I feel it could be better. I might even pull a George Lucas and do a rewrite some time. Maybe after I finish this story. Instead of the usual post-story depression dive back into the beginning again. It might even help kickstart the next story a little sooner. Anyway, the first result of that revisiting is this chapter’s opening.
(From the memoirs of Belgarath the Sorcerer)
After having witnessed Belmovekk’s epic battle with Torak over the ruins of Boktor Beldin and I returned to the Vale with Belmovekk. Our brother, despite having stopped the mad God in his tracks and allowing thousands of Drasnians to escape the butcher knives of Torak’s Grolims, had fallen into serious deep despair. And for once I could actually symphatize with him. It’s not too often that you are given the opportunity to really stick it to the bad guy and then get flat out told you’re not to do it.
It had gotten so bad we even had to pull the Twins off the Mrin Codex and put them together with Beldin on suicide watch. A decision that would probably hurt our cause badly in the long run, because we really needed them to make sense of that raving lunatic’s prophecies in the upcoming battle.
Then again we also needed our new Super Saiyan brother even more. Or the fact that if Torak were to bring his other massive army into the fray, massing in Chtol Murgos we needed his now massive firepower. Those were the reasons we gave the War Council of our absence. Truth be told we just had so few of us left that we couldn’t neither afford, nor wanted, to lose yet another one of us.
Not like this at least.
A very natural thing to feel, right?
So leaving Pol to keep an eye on the panicking monarchs of the West we took the big guy back to his domed home in the Vale and the four of us set up a schedule to look after our depressed brother. We finally agreed upon a schedule, even if it saw me return back to the general staff at Tol Honeth way too soon, leaving my three brothers to pick up my part in my absence.
Go ahead, readers! Think what you want. You go and try to keep a suicidal Saiyan and
a fragile coalition of all the unruly Western powers from falling apart at the same time!
When having to contend with a depressive Saiyan one has to make some hard choices on how to help him deal with his grief. I tend to prefer hard liquor myself, dousing oneself in sweet alcohol’s embrace. I know Pol hates it when I do it, but sometimes one has no choice but to take the hard choice, if only because all other choices are even worse.
Still, in these cases alcohol should be taken in moderation. In which case I don’t mean have one or two tankards of ale before bedtime followed by some water to fight off dehydration. Nor does it do to replace one pain, grief, with another, alcoholism. No, when I mean moderation I mean getting really
sauced up, just to get through those difficult first weeks. The last thing a man wants to do in a situation like this is think about the cause of his depression. I speak from bitter experience here.
It’s only after those first most dangerous weeks have past that I advocate more talk, less alcohol. I know Pol totally disagrees with me on this but then again she couldn’t there and even if she was she probably had to go back to the War Council just as fast like me. We both had a war to fight.
So, for now, me, Beldin and the Twins agreed to keep Belmovekk up in oil and keep him from falling apart until he got his act back together again. Which was hopefully sooner then Torak’s timetable of getting his armies moving again. At which point necessity would force our hand and we would have to leave our friend with the keys to the Twins’ beer pantry or hope that by then he had sobered up enough to be of some use again. Or at the very least no longer be a danger to himself again.
That was our campaign plan.
Since I was the first to leave the Vale again I volunteered to do most of the initial Belmovekk watch shifts at his domed home.
Now, I would like to reiterate that a dome is no place for a sorcerer to live in, even one as inept as Belmovekk. I may be biased because I live in a tower, but I’ve always felt that maybe if my Saiyan brother had built himself a proper tower he wouldn’t have been such a sub par sorcerer. Part of being a disciple of Aldur is devoting oneself to study, observing the world around us and find ways to explain it.
A tower is most elegantly suited for that, for it gives its inhabitant ample view of that which he seeks to observe and study. Not only does a tower give you more sight of your surroundings, it also helps if one were to study the sky and stars at night.
One would think that someone, born from the stars would have an interest in that, wouldn’t he?
The round dome however does not lend itself well to study and observation of the outside world. Quite the contrary in fact!
Instead it blocks the outside world and forces one’s gaze inward. Belmovekk’s dome is not a place devoted to the study of the outside world. Instead it is a place naturally suited to inward study. A place devoted to the soul. Pol of course loves it. She finds it more conducive to her studies. I’m not surprised by that because I always found that her female mind was more conducive to that kind of thinking.
The fact that Belmovekk’s dome was the only place in the Vale with indoor plumbing didn’t hurt either.
Women and their obsession with baths!
Beldin shares my opinion of Belmovekk’s dome and posed the theory that because Saiyans prefer these domed homes was why they never developed travel between the stars themselves, but instead focused on developing themselves in its place. I’m not sure if I agree with that, Beldin’s theories can be, outlandish? Still, there might be a point to his idea.
It was with heavy heart that I sat down with some of my scrolls in Belmovekk’s living room after having put the Saiyan to bed after having poured the better part of one of the Twin’s finest ale kegs into him.
Belmovekk’s living room is unique as it is probably the only room in the Vale not devoted to study, hygiene, storage or cooking. He has his own library and study room that he uses when he’s not training in his training room. But the living room is kept meticulously devoid of books and scrolls. And I don’t even have to ask him why this is so, because I only have to look at his little ‘shrine’ to know why.
In a corner of the living room stood Belmovekk little shrine, with images of the two people he misses the most. His sister, the beautiful but mercurial looking Mayan, and his former wife, the equally beautiful, graceful and above all kind Inari. And in a sense this whole room is his shrine to her. For even after all those years it still bears her imprints. This is not a man’s room, even after all those thousands of years after her death this is still her
room. Inari’s room.
Being the only other of Aldur’s disciples who got married and lost their wife as well I can relate to that. It’s the reason why I still maintained Poledra’s old cottage, even if I can’t bear to live in it. When you’re immortal and the world around you keeps on changing, clinging on to these mementos of the past, even the most bitter ones, becomes all the more important.
I was sitting by the table, nursing a tankard of what remained of that fine keg of ale when I heard a door open and out tottered Belmovekk. Seeing me sit by the dinner table, reading by a candle’s light my Saiyan brother came towards me, then sat down opposite me.
“Shouldn’t you be passed out?” I said. To which Belmovekk merely shrugged as he looked at me with bloodshot eyes. He was close, but not close enough. Damn Saiyans and their iron constitutions! You’d think that after all those centuries you’d remember that it takes more beer then the average sorcerer to bring one down.
“I’s got better,” Belmovekk said and nodded towards my tankard, “You’s going to finish that?”
“I guess not,” I said and shoved my tankard towards him. He took it and downed it in one gulp. I then asked the question which against better judgment I shouldn’t ask to a man in his condition.
“How do you feel?”
“Like I’s been to hell and back and then some,” Belmovekk said as he put the empty tankard down.
It was the answer that I should have expected. It also told me that he hadn’t had nearly enough beer yet.
“Want some more?” I asked, “There’s still some left. I could get you something more stronger if you want.”
“That might be a good idea,” Belmovekk agreed and swiped the empty tankard off the table, “All this ale does is giz me a headache.”
“Well, I’ve got something stronger,” I said and reached beside the table to use my ‘talent’ to bring forth a dark green unmarked bottle into this world and put it on the table.
“Whaz that?” Belmovekk said as he leaned forward and studied the bottle, like if he could stare long enough suddenly markings would appear.
“Some would call it paint thinner, others paint stripper,” I said as I uncorked the bottle and a foul odor filled the room, “most people just would call it lethal. But in the Northern forests of Gar og Nadrak, certain forest trappers and gold diggers with too much time on their hands during those long winters distil this demon’s brew to kill off what remains of their brains. And I say demon’s brew because it’s fitting as they’re way too close up to those demon worshipping Morindim for comfort.”
“Dozzit taste as awful as it smells?” Belmovekk asked almost hopeful.
“Not even close,” I grinned impishly, “far, far worse.”
“Sounds….., delicious?” Belmovekk grinned as well.
“You know, Pol hates this stuff,” I said as I reached for two tin cups, “If I ever were to even open a bottle of this within fifty feet of her she’d throw me out.”
“Thennit’s a good thing she’s not here, old friend,” Belmovekk said, then he looked at the tin cup I put in front of him, “Tin cups?”
“Trust me, if you put this stuff in one of your glasses you can throw them away afterwards,” I said and poured the liquid into his cup, then I poured some in mine. While those Nadrak trappers and gold hunters often drank this stuff alone in their snowed in cabins, the preferred way to use this was in the company of others.
Usually to see who would succumb to alcohol poisoning first so they could pawn their stuff. If they themselves could still stand that is.
Then again, this was a drink that went down smoother, tasted less awful and usually knocked you over the head less when you consumed it together with other people.
“Well, here goes nothing,” I said as I raised my cup. Belmovekk raised his and together we downed it in one go.
“Torak’s teeth!” Belmovekk gasped, his face twisting in a ghastly grin, “You weren’t understating. This stuff could probably even knock out Freeza.”
He didn’t mention Freeza often and for that I am profoundly grateful. A tyrant who destroys planets or casually destroys the people who live on them is a kind of evil that is way beyond what I am used too. For all their butchery Torak and his Grolims in the end only seek to dominate and impose their will on others, not eradicate all life. This is an evil that, whilst totally evil, I can comprehend at least. Freeza’s kind of evil on the other hand…..]
Also, whenever Belmovekk mentions Freeza it reminds me that the man I call my friend at one time willingly took part of this evil. While I know he is reformed now and truly regrets what he has done, it is not something I like to think about.
Yeah, I can be a hypocrite at some time, dear reader. Guess I’m still human after all.
“Let’s not talk of him again,” I said quickly as I refilled our cups. A quick toast and the cups were ready for a refill. Another round followed after which I considered my contribution to this affair fulfilled and placed the bottle next to Belmovekk’s cup. Needless to say it went down well with my Saiyan brother and in no time I ‘willed’ some more bottles into existence..
As we drank together we talked about some things and while I tried to steer the conversation towards happy thoughts, invariable there came a point where Belmovekk finally brought up his fight with Kal Torak.
“Where didz I go wrong, Belgarath?” he bemoaned mournfully, “Why didzn’t I destroy that sonofabitch?”
I tried to think of a more diplomatic answer, but for the life of it couldn’t think of one.
“You were told not too,” I finally said.
Belmovekk shook his head and wagged a finger in my face.
“Yeah, but that waz only afters,” he objected, “After I got Supered up. Then I hadz power to spare. But befores I coulda have done it also. That sonofabitch was nowhere near as strong as I was first. I could have beaten him, you knows.”
“Look my friend,” I said trying to sound calmly, “There’s nothing to be gained in beating yourself up over this. You tried, it didn’t work. It wasn’t meant to be. Torak’s death is not to be by your hands.”
“Bullshit!” Belmovekk said and slammed his hand on the table, “I’s had it up to here with all dis prophecy crap! I could have donnit! Even before I becames the Super Saiyan. I needs to know what I did wrong. I needs to know.”
It then hit me. Maybe what was ailing my friend wasn’t so much the lives he could have saved, but wanting to know where he had failed. If he could have killed Kal Torak if he had played his cards right.
Belmovekk’s words had me thinking for a moment while he emptied his second bottle.
“Stupid prophecies,” he muttered as he opened the third bottle, “Playing their stupid game while peoples die by the score by them knives of those damn Grolims. For millennia now we plays by them rules and what do we get? Dis army of millions on our doorstep? I shouldda blown up Ashaba and half of Karanda with it and it would have been far more merciful for everyone in them long runs.”
“What if you did?” I countered, “What if you did blow up half of Karanda and Torak had survived? What would that have accomplished?”
Belmovekk didn’t reply initially, then he muttered something that sounded suspiciously much like ‘at least I would have tried something’.
“The sad matter of fact is that Torak is a God,” I continued, “We don’t know enough about the nature of Gods. Maybe you think you could have beaten Torak but in reality there was no chance of you doing so whatsoever. They do not exist entirely in this reality.”
“What d’ya mean?” Belmovekk asked.
I scratched my head trying to convey into words what my gut feeling had been telling me for a long while.
“I think it’s like this,” I tried to explain, “The Gods existed in this reality, but they also are able to withdraw to another, which is where they currently reside, Torak being the sole exception as he seems to be mostly trapped in this one, unable to move back and forth. But they move so fluidly between realities so flawlessly that I think a part of them always resides in that other reality. And what we see here is just their outer face, their avatar as it were. At least that’s what I think. And if you had managed to destroy Torak, all you would have accomplished is to destroy his avatar. And his other part, he’d be free to move back and forth again.”
Belmovekk thought it over for a long time.
Probably in no small matter handicapped by all the booze he had consumed.
“Alrighty,” he said as he clutched his face, like he was experiencing extreme headaches from having to think, “suppose you’s right. Torak exists both in this reality and th’other. More in this I’s admit. Then how comes our Prophetic friend blew a hissy fit when I becames a Super Saiyan and hadda power to really send Kal Torak packing for his other dimension. If all I’s could do was destroy his avatar, why botha? Why tells me to stop. Unless……”
Belmovekk closed his eyes like he had extreme difficulties coming to the end of his conclusion.
“….. Torak does only exist in dis body. He can be killed. That’s why he’s being primed for his big date with Belgarion. He can’t leave dat body anymore, like them others and when it gets destroyed is game over for ol’ burntface.”
Bugger me and give me twenty lashes! Outwitted by a drunk Saiyan!
Apparently there was truth after all in that saying that said there was truth in alcohol for I had no comeback to that. As Belmovekk looked at me with triumphant eyes I did the only thing I could do.
I reached for the bottle and filled my cup to the brim.
It was very late at night, I already had some and at that time and place it seemed like the most reasonable thing to do. So don’t judge me and be glad I wasn’t that far gone that I couldn’t remember it at all or this chapter would have ended several pages ago.
As soon as I put down the cup I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. For some reason that brew was hitting me really hard.
But at the same time it made me feel clearer in my mind then ever. This is the moment people like Pol argue that good judgment leaves you and all that comes out from this point in time is nonsense and bad singing.
Of course people like Pol never went this far in their drinking, if they ever did at all. So they wouldn’t know that if you ever reach this state, and mind you, it’s not one that you always attain, you can gain some amazing insights. The barriers of conventional and wishful thinking are suddenly stripped away and you reach a clarity of insight that only the most brilliant of philosophers attain.
I wonder if they also drink a lot?
The downside of reaching this state of perfect clarity is that all to often it comes at the expense of your fine motor skills so when you try to convey your amazing insights out comes only pure gibberish. Only one who has reached the same state of perfect clarity and inebriation will be able to understand you.
This so happened to be Belmovekk.
“I get your point,” I said as I opened my eyes, “Maybe he is invested in that body. But what if Torak can only
be killed by Belgarion, with Riva Irongrip’s sword with the Orb of Aldur attached? And anything else would only destroy Torak’s body but not his spirit? And leave him free to cause havoc as he pops up wherever he wants to and generally makes a mess of things?”
“Now we would have the worst of both worlds because Torak would still be around and there is no longer a damn thing we could do about him. It’s bad enough he’s around with his body, what if killing him frees him again to be a bigger pain in our ass? Wouldn’t that be our worst case scenario?”
Belmovekk looked at me with bloodshot eyes and utter bewilderment. Which convinced me that I had scored a good point indeed.
“Sweet Priya I think you’s right,” he finally exclaimed, “It’s the only explanation that makes sense.”
And people say alcohol doesn’t solve anything!
It can! Under the right conditions that is.
Having reached a new insight Belmovekk poured us both another cup of the Nadrak’s devil’s brew.
“I see now that power in itself don’t fix everything,” Belmovekk said as he picked up his tin cup, “Wha is needed is them rights kind of power.”
“Right,” I said as I picked up my cup, “And we’re still waiting for that one to come.”
I then took a sip.
“But rest assured, it will come, my friend, and then we will be both there at the end as Belgarion sticks that big knife into him.”
“I can’t wait for that day to come,” Belmovekk sighed before taking another sip, “Although it does worry me da I’s never mentioned in them Mrin codex when that confrontation comes.”
“Neither are Beldin and the Twins,” I said, but I am sure the, like you, have other roles to play.”
“I suppose,” Belmovekk nodded a little distant.
Seeing that we were now both in ‘the zone’ as it were I decided to prod my Saiyan brother a little further.
“So what now, brother?” I asked, “Are you going to sulk here in the Vale some more? Do you want some time off? Because to be honest, I could really use you when I go back out there. We still don’t know where Torak is going to march that sea of Angaraks he calls his army to next. If he marches into Algaria, well, that would be our least worst option. But if he decides to march into Cherek it would be the like Boktor all over again. I doubt even the Cherek fleet can evacuate their entire populace.”
Belmovekk pondered my words over for a moment.
“You’s words ring true, Belgarath,” he said and looked around the room, Inari’s room, “maybe it is better to be elsewhere and busy at this moment. Might not be good to is in this place when one’s has too much on his mind.”
“That’s the spirit!” I said with some considerable relief, this was going way better then expected. And I’m sure Beldin and the Twins would be relieved as well.
“We’ll leave tomorrow,” Belmovekk said as he stood up, “Right after I ‘ave some sleep.”
He had barely taken two steps when Belmovekk keeled over and fell face first into his Mallorean carpet.
“Wherever you lay your head, that’s your home,” I said with thinly veiled amusement, then I noticed that the world was starting to turn for me as well.
“Oh well, at least I’m still sitting,” I said, then the world turned to black for me as well.
Dropping out of her Super state Buffy approached the heavily burned and injured young man lying on the floor. Willow, Tara, Giles and Xander also came running towards the injured young man.
“Ben, are you alright,” Buffy asked concerned, instantly having recognizing the heavily injured young man as the nice young doctor from the Sunnydale hospital who had been so helpful before and after her mother’s death.
As Buffy and her friends gathered around him Ben tried to speak but couldn’t. Instead he just wheezed laboriously as he tried to keep his breathing going.
“We’ve got to get him to a hospital,” Buffy said worried to Giles.
“I’m not sure we should move him, Buffy,” Giles said as he scratched the back of his head in bewilderment, “If he is this injured any movement might be fatal.”
“We should call the hospital,” Tara suggested, “Ask them to send for an ambulance.”
“But I left my cell phone at the Magic Box,” Willow said, upon which Tara gave her you have got to be kidding me look.
“We always do that,” Xander explained, “Damn things are too vulnerable.”
“Then somebody has to go to the hospital and get help,” Tara pleaded looking around the group.
“I’m not going out there,” Xander said shaking his head, “Glory’s out there somewhere.”
“Yeah,” Willow said looking around, “where did that bitch go?”
“I’ll go! If I meet that bitch I’ll just finish what I started,” Buffy volunteered, then she looked down at Ben again, “Hang in there, Ben, I’ll get help.”
“And what if she returns while you’re gone, Buff,” Xander countered,” Face it, you’re the only one who can beat that bitch.”
“Then Belmo goes! He can always use his beam-me-up-Scotty thing to get out of danger,” Buffy said and pointed to where Belmovekk was, “You can, right?”
There was no response.
“Belmo?” Buffy asked somewhat concerned as everybody looked to the hole in the wall where Glory had knocked the Saiyan into.
In it the Saiyan could be seen steadying himself against the wall with one hand, eyes closed, the other hand grasping his head.
“Are you alright?” Buffy called out concerned.
“I am not alright,” Belmovekk replied, no, he grunted, “I have a headache big enough that it could crack the world again.”
“Hit your head too hard?” Xander said a slight tone of voice, “That’s what you get for charging in holding the idiot ball.”
“I have been hit harder and more sustained then that before,” the Saiyan grunted dismissively.
“Hangover bad then?” Xander suggested.
“That might be,” Belmovekk admitted, “But I have not gotten drunk for a long time. And this is still worse. It’s like something is trying to crawl inside my skull and make itself at home, yet failing miserably at it.”
“Same here,” Mayan called out, who was also clutching her head, “By the Seven Hells of Jerherherod! This is the worst I’ve felt ever!”
The group looked at Mayan, then at Belmovekk, then at each other.
“One’s a coincidence,” Xander said, then holding up two fingers, “two on the other hand smacks of evidence of higher power meddling. That higher power being Glory of course.”
“But why would she give Belmo and his sister splitting headaches?” Buffy asked.
“Why is Ben even here?” Giles asked.
“ARE YOU PEOPLE FREAKIN’ INSANE!”
As they all turned around they saw Spike standing in the door opening where they had left him.
“That bloody bitch is lying right at your feet and you’re wondering about headaches?” Spike yelled incredulously.
“But that’s Ben,” Buffy said, “Glory’s gone. She escaped.”
Spike gave them the ‘am I the only sane person left in the universe’ look and rolled his eyes.
“Are you kidding me?” he groaned, “That guy is Glory. Ben is Glory!”
The group looked at each other in bewilderment.
“Ben is Glory?” Buffy said befuddled, then she looked at Spike, “Glory has gone, we need to get help for Ben.”
Spike gave her look of utter astonishment.
“Are you daft?” he said flabbergasted, “Ben is Glory! She changed into him right there in front of your eyes!”
“Are you saying Ben is with Glory?” Willow asked, causing Spike to facepalm himself.
“Are they working together?” Xander asked as he briefly glanced at injured Ben.
“No. No. Ben is Glory. Glory's Ben. They're one and the same,” Spike said vehemently.
The group looked at each other.
“When did all this happen?” Tara asked.
“Right here, before your very eyes!” Spike said, gesturing wildly towards Ben, “Buffy shot the mother of all Kamehameha’s at him, turned the bitch all nice and crispy, then she stopped and pfft! Glory turned into Ben”
The five looked at Spike like he was talking gibberish.
“You do remember, right...?” Spike asked a little unsure now, squinting at them, “Is everyone here very stoned?”
Spike then turned towards Belmovekk and Mayan.
“Didn’t you guys see anything?” he asked almost desperately.
“All I can see right now is pain,” Belmovekk said, still clutching his head.
“See,” Willow said at Spike, “You’re wrong.”
“I’m not!” Spike yelled in annoyance, “Glory’s the bitch that tortured me, Ben’s the…., well, whatever the hell he is. Two entirely separate entities sharing one body. Like a bloody sitcom. How can you lot forget?”
“He might have a point,” Mayan weighed in, “I remember Buffy shooting that bitch with that massive energy attack, and then suddenly…, splitting headache. And all of a sudden the bitch is gone and this guy’s in her place? It’s gotta be related.”
“Finally!” Spike said triumphantly.
“So you're saying ... Ben and Glory...,” Xander mused befuddled.
“…have a connection,” Tara finished Xander’s train of thought.
“Yes, obviously, but what kind?,” Giles said confused.
Then Spike began to laugh.
“Oh, I get it. That's very crafty,” he laughed, “Glory's worked the kind of mojo where anyone who sees her little presto-change-o instantly forgets. And yours truly, being somewhat other than human ... stands immune. As do the Saiyan wondertwins over there, they just get a massive headache as their tiny brains do overtime trying to comprehend.”
“Don’t make me come over there and ‘comprehend’ you, vampire trash,” Mayan groaned testy.
“So ... Ben and Glory ... are-are the same person?” Willow frowned confused.
“Glory can turn into Ben, and Ben turns back into Glory,” Xander said slowly, like he was having a revelation.
“And anyone who sees it instantly forgets,” Tara said.
“Kewpie doll for the lady,” Spike said relieved.
“Excellent!” Giles said chipper, then he looked around, “Now. Do we suspect there may be some kind of connection between Ben and Glory?
Xander, Willow and Tara look enquiringly at Spike, causing him to sigh loudly in despair.
Meanwhile, Buffy wasn’t looking at Spike. She was looking at Ben.
Something was wrong here.
And then suddenly she no longer was there.
“Hello Elizabeth,” a voice spoke amiably.
Buffy turned around and saw she was in a large hall, standing not far from a large cage. Inside which Angelus slash Hannibal Lecter sat on a swivel chair. A coy smile adorned his face.
“Why, we meet again,” Angelus/Lecter smiled, “What might people think? That we’re in love?”
Angelus/Lecter swiveled himself around on his chair.
“Pity poor Elizabeth,” he singsonged, “almost had the evil goddess defeated, and now she’s outwitted by a simple trick.”
“Damn you!” Buffy yelled as she slammed the bars of his cage, “Damn you and your stupid games! Tell me where Glory is so I can kill the damn bitch. Tell me!”
“Poor poor Elizabeth,” Angelus/Lecter said ruefully, “Ever so brave, ever so clueless. I wonder why I even bother.”
“DAMN YOU!” Buffy yelled and hammered the bars of the cage again. Only this time she hammered them so hard that they got bent out of shape.
Shocked at her sudden display of power in this dreamscape Buffy took a step backwards. And Angelus/Lecter stopped spinning. Standing up he went to the bent bars and examined them.
“Interesting,” he said fascinated, “this has never happened before.”
Buffy looked at her fists equally bewildered, but then she began to grin. She suddenly had power in here.
The kind of power that she knew intimately well.
“No more games, doctor,” she said, “Tell me, where is Glory.”
“Ah, what long way we have come, Elizabeth,” Angelus/Lecter said calmly, “First you wanted to know who you were dealing with, then why, and now the where. You should really read Marcus Aurelius, Elizabeth. The basics! Always go back to the ba….”
“No!” Buffy said as she took one of the bent bars and bended it some more, “Enough of your Marcus Ramius and all that other crap. I want a simple answer, you freak! Tell me where Glory went!”
“Temper, temper, Eliza….,” Angelus/Lecter tried to say but Buffy twisted the bar some more.
“No more temper, temper, me, doctor,” Buffy said annoyed, adding lots of vitriol on the word doctor, “And my name is Buffy! Where. Is. Glory!”
“Well then, Eli….., Buffy,” Angelus/Lecter said as he sat down on his swivel chair, “Then we’ve reached some kind of impasse.”
“No we haven’t,” Buffy said as she grabbed both bars and pushed them aside, until there was enough room for her to pass through, which she did, “We’re gonna play a new game, doctor, one that’s called ‘tell Buffy what she wants to know or she will kick the crazy doctor’s sorry ass’.”
“Like I said,” Angelus/Lecter shrugged indifferent, “we have arrived at an impasse. Because I can’t tell you what you want to know.”
“Can’t or won’t,” Buffy said, positioning herself in front of Angelus/Lecter.
“Does it matter,” Angelus/Lecter smiled sly, “Elizabeth?”
“I don’t care,” Buffy said shaking her head, “I just want to know where Glory went.”
“But you already know that answer,” Angelus/Lecter smiled, “Like I told Clarice earlier, everything you need to know is in the case file.”
“Stop playing games!” Buffy yelled angry, “Or else….”
“Or else what?” Angelus/Lecter said unimpressed, “You will hurt me? In here? Doubtful, Elizabeth.”
“You saw what I did to those bars,” Buffy said pointing to the bent bars, “I finally got power in here.”
“Yeah, I must admit that did surprise me a little,” Angelus/Lecter admitted, “but ultimately it changes nothing. Beating me up will not reveal the location of Glory to you any faster. If at all.”
“Well, after all this time I have to admit that I’m dying to find out, doctor,” Buffy said sarcastically.
“I can imagine that you might,” Angelus/Lecter smirked as he casually folded his arms across his chest, “But I have faith in you, Elizabeth. You’re not going to hit me.”
“Oh yeah?” Buffy said as she balled her fist, “Think again.”
“Do your worst,” Angelus/Lecter said calmly and closed his eyes, still sitting on his swivel chair.
“Oh, I’m gonna,” Buffy said determined as she stepped in front of him.
“I have faith in your better nature, Elizabeth,” Angelus/Lecter said.
“Yeah, calling me that, not really helping,” Buffy said, “I’m gonna hit you.”
“The more you talk about it, the less likely you are to actually do it,” Angelus/Lecter replied, “I am waiting?”
Angelus/Lecter opened one eye to see Buffy still standing in front of him, looking unsure.
“I thought so,” he smirked as he opened his other eye and reclined in his chair, “I am very pleased with you, Elizabeth.”
“You smug bastard,” Buffy said, still sounding angry, but not as angry as before, “You smug self satisfied bastard.”
“Showing self control is a sign of a well rounded and well bred personality, Elizabeth. You should be proud. You do your mother proud.”
“Leave her out of this,” Buffy said defeated, her shoulders slumping, “All’s for nothing. Mom’s still dead, Dawn’s still in danger, Glory’s still at large and you’re still an insufferable prick.”
“Why did you not pick up Dawn, Buffy?” Angelus/Lecter asked curious.
“What?” Buffy asked surprised, “What are you talking about?”
“When you heard that your mother had died and your sisters came to you to be comforted you picked up Mayan, but not Dawn,” Angelus/Lecter asked, his left arm now resting on the arm rest of his chair, “Why was that?”
“You’re asking me that?” Buffy asked incredulously, “Glory is getting away as we speak and you’re asking me Twenty Questions again?”
“Time has no meaning in here, Elizabeth,” Angelus/Lecter said unrepentant, “Ten seconds, ten hours, it has little to no bearing to the outside world.”
“So there might still be a chance…..,” Buffy mused as she looked to the hall’s exit.
“Going through there will not take you back, Elizabeth,” Angelus/Lecter said chiding, “Now, about your sister, why did you not pick up Dawn?”
“Because Mayan was closest and I got my hands full already holding!” Buffy exploded, “There! Happy now?”
Angelus/Lecter gave her a stern look as he slowly shook his head.
“You’re the strongest person in the world, save Gohan, and you had your hands full carrying one child?” Angelus/Lecter said frowning, “Come now, Elizabeth, as excuses go this one is feeble.”
“Well it is exactly what happened!” Buffy said angry as she turned her back towards him, “Let’s just leave it at that!”
“Just when we’re getting to the heart of the matter?” Angelus/Lecter snorted politely, “Why did you not pick up your other sister?”
“We’re wasting time,” Buffy said dismissive, “Glory’s getting away.”
“I told you that time moves differently in here, Elizabeth, “Angelus/Lecter said unimpressed, “And even if it didn’t we don't reckon time the same way, Elizabeth. Both in your time and mine, this is all the time you'll ever have.”
“I’ll tell you later,” Buffy protested, “But you gotten listen, Glory….”
“…. Will have to wait,” Angelus/Lecter said in a final tone, “Your sister. Why did you not pick her up and comfort her? The poor little thing’s mother just died. Why were you so gentle with one and so callous with the other?”
“Because she sickens me, okay!” Buffy yelled as she turned around to look Angelus/Lecter right in the eyes, “There! I said it! Are you happy now?”
If he was surprised Angelus/Lecter didn’t show it.
“And why is that?” he asked calmly. Upon which Buffy stepped over, leaned over him and rested her hands on his arm rests.
“Because my mother died because of that stupid spell of those stupid monks,” Buffy hissed softly, “Whatever they did fried her brain. And she’s the reason because of that! And when I look at her all I can see is my dead mother lying on that slab in the morgue. And why Belmo and the others can’t bring her back using the Dragonballs.”
“So yes, that little shit makes my stomach turn every time I see her and have to hold her.”
The psychopath showed a wry smile and briefly closed his eyes. It was almost as if he experienced a small orgasm and Buffy couldn’t help but step backwards. Then Angelus/Lecter opened his eyes again.
“I see,” he said, sounding even…. grateful?
“Do they….. know?” he asked.
“No,” Buffy said shaking her head, “I can’t……, I mean….., how am I supposed to tell that my little sister now makes my stomach churn?”
Angelus/Lecter nodded in understanding, then he folded his hands together.
“Then if I may ask….,” he said, to which Buffy rolled her eyes.
“Like I could stop you,” she replied.
“If the sight of your little sister makes you, as you say, churn your stomach, why go through all the trouble? Why do you fight so damn hard for her?”
“That’s a…., um, good question,” Buffy agreed. Why did she fight so hard for Dawn when she couldn’t even bear looking at her little sister?
“Maybe it’s because…..,” she tried to say, trying to find something, anything.
“Take your time, Elizabeth,” Angelus/Lecter said reassuringly, “We have all the time in the world in here.”
“Maybe it’s because….,” Buffy said as she sat down on Angelus/Lecter’s cot bed, well, why was she trying so hard?
“Because no matter what she’s still family?” she finally suggested, “Because she’s still my sister no matter what? Because it would have killed Mom knowing that I would have deserted her? Because….”
“Now you’re really grasping at straws here, Elizabeth,” Angelus/Lecter interjected, his legs now crossed and all that was missing to complete the picture of psychiatrist was a writing pad and pen for him and for her to lay down fully on his cot.
“What do you mean?” Buffy asked, “How can those not be good reasons to fight Glory?”
“They are,” Angelus/Lecter said and pointed a finger at Buffy, “But they are not the reasons why you fight Glory. They are not the reasons why you are willing to put your life on the line for a sister that you hate.”
“You’re an ass, you know that, right,” Buffy said sarcastically.
“No need for potty mouthing, Elizabeth,” Angelus/Lecter said frowning.
“You just threw out everything I said,” Buffy countered, “I think that entitles me to some potty mouthing, thank you very much.”
“There is never an excuse for using filthy language, young lady,” Angelus/Lecter chided.
“Fine,” Buffy said folding her arms across her chest, “Then you tell me why. I’m dying to know your keen insights, doctor!
“Sarcasm doesn’t befit you either, Elizabeth,” Angelus/Lecter smiled, “But if you absolutely have to know, you do it because you are a hero, Elizabeth. That is how you define yourself. You may not have wanted to be one, but that is how you define yourself now.”
Buffy looked at Angelus/Lecter, her eyes wide open.
“You have got to be kidding me,” she said astonished, “That’s the best you can come up with? I’m a hero?”
“There is nothing wrong with being a hero, Elizabeth,” Angelus/Lecter said, “It’s certainly not some weird kind of sandwich either. But it is who you are. It’s why you do the things that you do. Even though you wanted a normal life and could have walked away at any given time, and if I must say, now more then ever, you just keep on going. Because to you it’s the right thing to do.”
“So you’re saying I keep on doing this because it’s the right thing to do?” Buffy asked, “That’s ridiculous.”
“Is it, Elizabeth?” Angelus/Lecter wondered, “You did walk away at one point in time. But you came back and shouldered your burden again, even though at the time you hated Belmovekk with a fiery passion.”
“That’s different,” Buffy countered, “That was Vegeta who talked me back into it. Saying that I was a warrior and should embrace my birthright and all that crap.”
“Yes, and Vegeta probably believed every word that he was saying,” Angelus/Lecter said back, “He probably still does. Because after all he does have an one tracked mind. But you don’t. Being Xena, warrior princess, is not enough for you, Elizabeth. You need something else instead. And when Vegeta showed you that demon dimension where humans were being exploited you realized, no, you knew that it wasn’t about destiny, or embracing your inner Conan. It was about doing the right thing. And that is why you can’t walk away. Not then, not now, not ever.”
Buffy looked at Angelus/Lecter not sure what to say.
“So I am doomed to keep on doing the right thing?” she said slowly, “This is it? Fighting whoever happens to be the next Big Bad until the day I die?”
“Nobody is forcing you but you, Elizabeth,” Angelus/Lecter smirked again, then he nodded, “You’re welcome, by the way.”
Buffy said nothing but stared ahead blankly.
“I feel this is where we must part, Elizabeth,” Angelus/Lecter said as he stood up and turned away, “Be along now, little grasshopper, my warrior maiden.”
“Wait!” Buffy exclaimed, “You haven’t told me where Glory went!”
Angelus/Lecter looked at her over his shoulder, still smirking.
“Still doing that right thing even now. My hero!,” he said proud, “I can’t help you anymore, Elizabeth. My hands are tied in this. Besides, you already have all the answers. All you have to do is look and all will be revealed. Especially in the right light. Keep safe the sister. Be the hero that you are and do the right thing. It’s the only thing that will save you and your sister in the end. And don’t forget to take an aspirin. I’m told the headaches can be terrible.”
“You’re not making any sense,” Buffy said as she stood up. She was about to grab Angelus/Lecter when she heard footsteps behind her.
“Ah,” Angelus/Lecter smiled, “Dr. Chilton... I believe you know each other?”
And with that Buffy found herself back in the unfinished hotel lodge again. Staring at Ben’s heavily burned body.
“H-h-h-help m-me,” Ben wheezed through tortured lungs as he looked at her in pain.
“Are you okay,” Mayan asked as she approached her brother.
“I have known worse,” Belmovekk said, still squinting from the pain in his head.
“Is it always like this?” Mayan asked curious.
“What is?” Belmovekk asked.
“This!” Mayan asked as she gestured around herself, “This crazyness! Hell goddesses! Demons! Magic! All these crazy things.”
“Well, I would not say this is one of our normal days,” Belmovekk said, “But last year was much worse. The Cell Games, now that was a real treat.”
“It’s a strange life you’re living, brother,” Mayan said and looked into the large hole in the wall behind him, “What is this? It looks like a bed room.”
“I have no idea, I just crashed into it,” Belmovekk said as he turned around, “But now that you have said it, it does appear that you have a point.”
Mayan stepped past him into the whole and reached for a small cord hanging next to a light bulb, which then illuminated the room.
It was indeed a bedroom. A very Spartan no frills bedroom with an unmade bed, a small table and some books. Some clothing hung against the wall.
Blue hospital clothes.
Mayan walked over and pulled it off the wall and saw a small ID tag with photo attached to a blue shirt.
“I think the vampire might be right after all,” she said.
“Why?” Belmovekk asked, briefly closing his eyes from another bout of migraine attacking his brain. When he opened them again Mayan held the ID tag in front of him. Squinting he read it’s name.
“For the last time, Ben is Glory,” Spike said as the others looked at him in that stupid vacant headed.
“Ben is Glory?” Xander said befuddled. Next to him Giles wanted to say something when Mayan came up to them, with Belmovekk in her wake.
“You should listen to your pet vampire,” she said as she shoved a blue shirt with ID tag in Giles’ hands, “I think we just found this Ben guy’s room here.”
“Wait, wait, wait. Ben? At Glory's?” Xander said puzzled, “Does this mean all this time he's been subletting from her?”
“]This ... is gonna be worth it,” Spike said and bitchslapped Xander upside his head.
“OW!” the two of them said in unison as they grabbed their heads in pain.
“So worth it,” Spike groaned.
“So Ben was here,” Willow said as she looked at the ID tag, does this mean that…..”
Before she could speak behind her Buffy erupted in a wash of golden chi.
“H-h-h-help m-me,” Ben wheezed through tortured lungs as he looked at Buffy in pain.
“Ben,” Buffy said and wanted to kneel down next to him so she could help him.
But then she stopped.
There was something. Something that tugged on the back of her mind.Look and all will be revealed.
Now where did that thought come from?
Behind her she could hear her friends bickering. Something to do with Ben. And then she saw Mayan, her crazy aunt, ran towards them with a blue shirt in her hand, some sort of hospital scrub. With Belmo in tow.Look and all will be revealed.
“H-help m-me,” Ben croaked again. He was clearly in a lot of pain and barely able to move. She should really help him and take him to a hospital. But what if she ran into Glory? Maybe she should transform first? Yeah, that made sense. She’d be way faster as well.
She then transformed into Super and went straight to the Second Level, lightning arcing around her. And then it hit her again.Look and all will be revealed.
As Buffy looked at Ben, illuminated by the light of her golden chi flames she saw something. Not right away, but after a while something happened.
Hidden underneath Ben, like she was superimposed underneath him she could see the faint outline of Glory. Especially in the right light.
“Ohmigod!” she exclaimed loudly, “Ben is Glory!”
And then she got hit by the mother of all headaches.
As she almost collapsed Xander and Belmo caught her.
“Are you alright?” Belmovekk asked worried.
“He’s Glory!” Buffy said as she clutched her head with one hand, then pointed towards Ben with the other, “Ben’s Glory!”
Xander looked at Ben and squinted. At first he couldn’t see anything, but then, with Buffy’s chi flames flickering on Ben’s face he swore he could see something. He wasn’t sure what, just that it seemed vaguely Gloryish.
“I think you’re right, Buff,” Xander said, “Ben is Glory. Ow crap!”
Xander briefly closed his eyes and reached for his head, the mother of all migraines now hitting him like a runaway freight train.
“Good God,” Giles gasped, “Ben is Glory!”
“Thank you!” Spike yelled behind them in relief.
“So this is Glory,” Belmovekk said as he hunched down next to Ben, who looked at him with worried eyes.
“Is n-n-not m-my fault,” Ben wheezed, “s-share s-same b-b-body. H-hate her.”
“What are you waiting for!” Spike exclaimed, “She’s gone now, he’s here instead. Finish him off and it’s over!”
Spike’s outburst had Ben gaze at Spike with extremely frightened eyes.
“S-s-same b-body,” he said afraid, “b-b-but t-t-two p-peop-ple. G-g-glory am n-not.”
“Could that be true?” Buffy asked looking at Giles, “That he and Glory share the same body but are two different people?”
“I suppose,” Giles said a little flabbergasted, then he began to muse, “It would make sense though. The books did say she was in human form now and her power had been limited. Maybe her real prison was not to be banished to this dimension but to be banished into this human body.”
“In this dimension,” Willow added.
“Who cares!” Spike said vehemently, “This is our chance! Kill him before he changes back into Glory.”
“We can’t do that,” Buffy exclaimed, “That would be wrong. He’s innocent. He’s as much of a victim as all of Glory’s victims.”
“You’re insane, Slayer,” Spike said incredulously, “Glory tortured me mercilessly. And she go after your sister the moment she learns the truth.”
“I won’t let her,” Buffy stated matter of fact, “I stopped her before, I will stop her again.”
Spike looked at Buffy, then at the others.
“Am I the only sane person left in this room!” he yelled.
“Probably not as your personhood is debatable,” Xander said rubbing the side of his skull.
“She’s a friggin’ insane Hell Godess!” Spike said pointing at Ben’s body, “You think you beat her now, Slayer? Next time she will beat you! I fought her before and at first I cleaned the floor with that skank! But she can keep up. Somehow she keeps up and before you know it she will clean the floor with you! What are you going to do then, Slayer?”
Spike looked again from person to person.
“For god sakes, he knew his alter ego was that crazy bitch and he did nothing to stop her! He even had his room here! He’s as complicit as they come.”
“I’m not going to kill a human being, Spike,” Buffy said shaking her head, “And I’m not going to let you kill him as w…..”
As everybody turned around they saw how Mayan pulled away her foot from the bloody pulp that used to be Ben’s head.
“What?” she said, acting the injured innocence.
“You killed him,” Buffy said incredulously, “You killed Ben!”
“So?” Mayan shrugged, “He was the enemy. You kill the enemy. You don’t let it recover and gain strength. I just did what needed to be done.”
“You murdered him!” Buffy yelled.
“And what do you think would have happened if your original attack had worked?” Mayan retorted, “Yeah, that queen bitch would have died. Guess who would have also died? Your precious human here. Face it, little miss priss, he was doomed anyw…”
Before she could finish her sentence Buffy lashed out at Mayan.
Only to be stopped by a suddenly transformed Belmovekk.
“Do not hit my sister,” the Saiyan said softly but sternly as he held her arm with his hand.
“She murdered a man,” Buffy said indignant, pulling free her arm.
“I know that,” Belmovekk said unperturbed, “And maybe it was something that had to be done to keep Dawn safe.”
“So now you’re condoning murder as well?” Buffy said incredulously.
“I am not saying that,” Belmovekk said, “Just that in this case it might have been.”
“It’s still murder,” Buffy countered.
“Governments murder people all the time and call it war,” Belmovekk retorted.
Buffy’s eyes narrowed dangerously.
“I don’t think I like you right now,” she said softly, then she de-transformed and turned to her friends, “Let’s go back to the Magic Box.”
As the others followed her that left only Belmovekk, Mayan and Spike.
“Well, I for one think what you did was the right thing,” Spike said to Mayan.
“Like I give a damn what you think, vampire,” Mayan said snide, “You’re just an animated corpse. A cyborg corpse for that matter.”
“I see,” Spike nodded, “so that’s how its going to be. Fine. At least you killed the stupid skank. No complaints here.”
Spike turned around and hobbled out of what remained of Glory’s room. That left only Mayan and Belmovekk.
“So you are
my brother after all,” Mayan said as she began to smirk, “You stood up to her. You chose my side, not hers. Brother!
“There is no side in this,” Belmovekk said as he dropped out of Super Saiyan, “It had to be done. She was wrong in this and couldn’t bring herself to do what needed to be done. You stepped in and did it for her.”
“She’s going to be pissed though,” Mayan smirked, “If she’s anything like me, and she probably is, considering the bond you two have, she’s going to be shoving this in your face for a long time to come.”
“We have experienced worse,” Belmovekk shrugged. But although he tried to sound casual Mayan could see that he was faking it. There was going to be hell to pay.
In the alley besides the Magic Box the air began to shimmer, then a vortex appeared, swirling ever faster and growing in size until an apex point was reached and it stopped growing. Next people emerged from the vortex.
“Stupid Belmo,” Buffy muttered aggrieved as she and the others stood in the alley and Willow collapsed the vortex behind them, “Picking her side!”
“Are you pissed off that she killed Ben and the Big Guy thought it was a swell idea, or are you just pissed that he picked her over you?” Xander asked curious.
“Xander!” Willow asked as she gasped for air and gave him the ‘how could you?’ look, “Mayan murdered Ben!”
“I’m genuinely curious, Wills, because ever since we left Buffy’s been bitching more about how a certain somebody picked a certain somebody else over her way more then that a certain somebody else killed a dying man.”
Buffy gave him a hard look, then she stormed off to go inside the Magic Box.
“It’s true!” Xander said defensively as Willow and Tara gave him the hard look themselves. Then Willow’s eyes grew big as saucers.
“Ohmigod!” Willow exclaimed, “You don’t think Mayan did anything wrong either, didn’t you!”
“Well, it’s hard to think she did something that monstrous considering he could turn into something monstrous at any time again,” he said as he looked down to his feet to avoid their gaze, “And then Buffy would have to fight Glory again and kill it. And Ben would have been dead anyway.”
“You don’t know that,” Willow countered, “We could have found a way to take Glory out of Ben.”
“Yeah, like that’s a good idea,” Xander snorted, “Take the evil Hell Goddess out of the one thing that has constrained its power for all this time. That would be a regular hoot. There’s a party I most definitely want to go too.”
The four of them looked at each other.
“I think he may be right,” Tara said to Willow’s dismay, “This might actually have been the lesser of all evils.”
“I would have done it,” Giles said casually, much to Willow’s dismay, “Don’t look at me like that, Willow. It had to be done and it was something that Buffy couldn’t do. I wouldn’t like to have done it in front of her, but I would have done it nonetheless.”
“How can you even say something like that!” Willow said horrified.
“Because she’s a bloody hero! That’s why,” Giles said, channeling a bit of the old Ripper, “That’s why she couldn't. Never. And sooner or later Glory will re-emerge, and make Buffy pay for that mercy. And the world with her. Buffy even knows that. And still she couldn't take that single human life.”
Nobody said anything for a moment. Then Giles continued.
“She's a hero, you see. She's not like us. Like me.”
Then he walked past them and went inside.
“Has the whole world gone mad!” Willow exclaimed in shock.
“No Will, not the whole world,” Xander said and began to smile at her, “Not you.”
“And for that I’m profoundly grateful,” Tara said and gave Willow a big kiss.
“Yes!” Xander said with a big grin as he watched the two women kiss, “Hot lesbian sex for the win!”
“Why are you so happy?” Willow said, then she gave him a cruel smile as she grabbed Tara, “You’re not allowed to watch, remember?”
Xander’s grin disappeared and turned into a pout.
“Please? Pretty please with a cherry on top?”
“Go home, Xander,” Willow said as she shook her head.
“Yeah, but there’s only sweaty Marines there,” Xander pouted some more, “And I’m not into gay porn.”
Willow waved goodbye as she and Tara went inside. Leaving Xander to stand alone in the alley. Xander then looked at his hand and wondered if he should make a fapping joke, but decided not too. Besides, jokes at your own expense weren’t funny if there was nobody around to hear them. Seeing that there was nobody around he reached inside his pocket and pulled out a small vial again, filled with little pills.
Xander looked up towards the sky. It was going to be dark soon. And it would be a full moon again. Angie was probably going to take a stroll to the roof again. Which meant it was Miller time again. And beer and pills usually didn’t go so well together.
Ah, what the hell, just one. He had a killer migraine anyway.
And with that he opened the vial, took out a pill and swallowed it.
“Good, time to do some shopping,” he said good humored and rubbed his hands together, “What shall we get this time? I feel in the mood for some import.”
Inside the Magic Box Buffy found her sisters with Android #18 where she had left them.
“Is it done?” the android asked.
“Yeah, it’s done,” Buffy said flat.
“Did you….., save Spike?” Android #18 asked slightly curious, “Not that I really care, but, I, uh, I just like to know what to expect next.”
“Unfortunately the Bleached asshole’s still alive,” Buffy said, “the same cannot be said for Glory.”
Android #18 looked at Buffy a little uncertain, then she nodded.
“Wow,” she said impressed, “Then I guess we now know where deity stands on the Cell scale. Was it hard?”
“Actually, she had a glass jaw,” Buffy said as she walked over to her sisters, who were both asleep, “a glass shape in the shape of a medical intern. Who was very easy to kill.”
“I can’t say it makes much sense, but as long as she’s dead and gone I don’t really want to know,” the android said after some thinking.
“If only more people were like you,” Buffy said, then she pretended to think, “Oh, that’s right, the whole town does.”
She immediately recognized how awful it was what she had just said.
“I’m sorry,” she said apologetic, “I’m really sorry. You’re being so helpful and all, especially with my sisters and all I can do is channel my inner Cordelia at you. It’s that….., Belmo’s sister really brings the bitch out of me right now.”
“Apology accepted,” Android #18 shrugged.
“I don’t wanna be bitchy,” Buffy said saddened, “And yet that’s all I seem to be doing at times. Yelling at people, berating them, being a pain in their ass.”
“Then stop doing it,” Android #18 suggested.
“I wish I could,” Buffy sighed dejected, “I used to be so much nicer. Sometimes I was I was like an android. That I could reprogram myself to be nicer. To be better. Can you do that?”
Android #18 thought it over for 3.45973 seconds. Rounded upwards of course.
“I cannot rewrite my basic programming,” she said, “I still have my original instructions that Gero put inside me.”
“Find and kill Son Goku,” Buffy said softly, “How’s that working out for you?”
“Right now? Not really a problem,” Android #18 shrugged, “Son Goku is dead. My programming experiences no conflicts. If he were to return however, who knows?”
“Sucks to be you then,” Buffy said.
“I was told that Android #16 chose to ignore his programming and refused to kill Son Goku,” the android said pensive, “On the one hand the idea both scares me and fills me with hope. The very thought alone however also gives me great strain on my programming so I can imagine that it did not come easy for #16. So it might be possible after all to rewrite my programming.”
“What would you change if you could?” Buffy asked curious, causing the android to look down.
“Maybe I wish to be….., um, less bitchy as well,” she said softly.
Buffy gave her an odd look, then she began to smile.
“Oh, I get it,” she smiled, “It’s because of a certain little guy, ain’t it?”
Before #18 could respond Willow and Tara entered.
“Buffy,” Willow asked as she closed the door behind her, “Before Tara and I leave, what do you want me to do with that robot Spike made of you?”
Slamming the door closed behind him Spike had returned to his crypt, having received a lift home courtesy of the Big Scary. Completely exhausted Spike went straight to his bed and let himself fall down. His reactor was still offline but for now that had to wait. Tomorrow Red was going to give it a try herself or they’d call in Doc, but for now Spike couldn’t care less.
And truth be told neither could the others.
With the Big Bad defeated the Scoobies were disbanding and going home again. There might be some celebrations tonight but right now as far as Spike was concerned they could keep that and shove it. Tomorrow would be another day but as far as Spike was concerned today was over and the sooner it was over the better.
Hitting the bed actually hurt his many injuries and bruises but compared to getting ‘entertained’ by Glory it was heaven. He had to hand it to the blonde skank though, she had done a pretty good job on him. Probably the best torture job that had ever been done to him. Although Angelus, damn that tosser, would probably have improved upon her techniques in a thousand ways. And he had to admit the gel haired poofter would probably be right. Still, the skank had made up for it with enthusiasm and occasionally she had even shown some originality.
He’d never look at a hot poker in the same way again!
Spike had almost slipped into sleep’s sweet embrace when the door slammed open and Buffy walked in, looking for him.
“Oh God,” Spike groaned, “Can’t a feller get some sleep first before getting the third degree?”
“Spike!” Buffy said in a concerned tone of voice, then she looked at him and smiled, “You’re covered in sexy wounds.”
It was the ‘bot. He had completely forgotten about her. Well maybe not, why else had he expected the Slayer to come in here if not to tear him a new asshole for creating a sexbot in her image.
As she came by his bed Spike noticed that she wasn’t wearing her jacket anymore but she still had that pink blouse and skirt that he liked.
“Yeah,” Spike groaned as he slowly pulled himself upright, “I feel real sexy right now. Where have you been? I thought you’d be scrap by now.”
“I took the Twins to the Magic Box and asked for help,” the Buffybot said, then she pouted, “Did I do good?”
“You did great, pet,” Spike said and managed a weak smile, “Kids are okay then?”
“They were when I left them,” the Buffybot replied, “Android #18 was looking after them. She’s a robot too.”
“Yeah, I know that,” Spike nodded, “Nasty temper though. How did you get away? I find it hard to believe that they would let you go like that.”
“No,” the Buffybot said shaking her head, “Buffy didn’t like me. She had Willow switch me off. She’s gay.”
“So how did you get away then?” Spike asked curious.
“Android #18 switched me back on,” the Buffybot replied, “I think deactivated robots make her nervous.”
“Mmm,” Spike nodded and briefly closed his eyes as his back began to protest.
“Are you okay, Spike?” the Buffybot asked concerned.
“I’ve been better,” Spike said and winced again from some momentary pain, “Been worse too, but not by much.”
The Buffybot looked at Spike as he tried to find a better position that caused him less pain.
“Do you wanna ravage me now?” the Buffybot asked after Spike had found a better position.
“Give us a minute, love. Got some bones need mending,” he said tired, “On second thoughts, maybe later. A lot later.”
The Buffybot gave him a disappointed look.
“Why did you let that Glory hurt you?” she suddenly asked.
“She wanted to know who the soddin’ Key was,” Spike said.
“Dawn’s the Key,” the Buffybot said chipper.
“You figured that one out too, huh?” Spike chuckled weakly, “I did too. Torture can work real wonders to connect the dots.”
“If you want I can tell her,” the Buffybot suggested, “and then she'll never….”
“NO!” Spike said vehemently, “You can’t! Not to anyone! Ever!”
The Buffybot gave him a quizzical look.
“Not that it matters any more cause the bitch is dead,” Spike explained, “But you can never tell this to anyone. Ever! Got that?”
“Why?” the Buffybot asked still perplexed.
“Cause Buffy ... the other, not so pleasant Buffy ... anything happened to Dawn, it'd destroy her,” Spike said softly, “I couldn't live, her being in that much pain. That’s why I didn’t tell Glory.”
“So it wasn’t to save yourself from Belmo’s vengeance?” the Buffybot asked.
“Him? Screw him!” Spike huffed indignant, “If it was just him I might have talked. Well, maybe not, she’s a good kid. Both are. Even if they are annoying as fuck sometimes.”
“But she nearly killed you, Spike?” the Buffybot said, to which Spike shrugged as best as he could.
“Some things are worth dying for,” Spike said trying to sound casual, “nearly bloody did.”
The Buffybot frowned slightly, then she leaned forward and gave Spike a soft kiss on the lips. Spike tried to kiss back, stopped and then his eyes grew big as saucers. As he stared at her in bewilderment the Buffybot’s face turned serious. She stepped backwards, grabbed a chair, pulled it in front of her and sat on it, arms leaning on the backrest.
“We have to talk,” Buffy said flatly.
“And my robot?” Spike asked.
“The robot’s gone,” Buffy said shaking her head, “It robot was gross and obscene.”
“I see,” Spike said as he lowered his head, “it wasn't supposed to…”
“Don't. That ... thing, it ... it wasn't even real,” she interjected, “Although you programmed it well. It did try to take care of my sisters.”
“Thanks…, I guess,” Spike said.
“You didn’t program the thing did you?” Buffy asked.
“What did you think?” Spike said, “Me and computers?”
“Who built it?” Buffy asked, “Willow is dying to know who did it and when she hears of it Bulma’s probably on the first plane outta here to meet this guy. And it is a guy right? Cause only a guy would sink so low as to built a sex robot.”
“Yeah, it’s a guy,” Spike said, “Swore me to secrecy though. I don’t think he wants Red and the Professor on back.”
“I don’t want another sexbot looking like me,” Buffy said vehemently, then she softened a little, “Tell you what, you give me his name and unless I see another sexbot I won’t tell Willow and Bulma.”
Spike mulled that over for a moment.
“It’s Warren Meers. He built it.”
Buffy gave him a quizzical look.
“I vaguely remember him from high school,” she said after some thinking, “I vaguely remember him hanging out with those two nerd friends. But didn’t he leave town or something?”
“Like I would know,” Spike shrugged minimally, “Look, a couple of months ago this woman came to town looking for Warren. And she really knew how to kick ass. Turned out she was his sexbot. So I figured if he could build one for himself, why not one for me? And he did.”
“Which brings us to this next thing,” Buffy said, “What’s with you and this love thing for me. I thought you hated me?”
Spike gave her a stern look.
“You guys probably had a good laugh about that when you found that out, right?”
“Well,” Buffy said a little uncomfortably, “more like my stomach crawling clear up my throat and strangling my tongue. With a big side order of ew. Trust me, there was little laughter and lots of grossing out.”
“I’m that repulsive?” Spike said, feeling more hurt now then he’d ever been this entire day.
“Spike,” Buffy said as she leaned forward, “You’re you! What did you expect? No! Never mind. Just tell me, how did this fling thing happen?”
Spike looked away for a moment.
And then he told her.
It was a strange tale. Of a man whose hate for her had burned so brightly that one day he surprised even himself by discovering it had suddenly turned to love. She didn’t know whether to laugh, because it was, well, Spike, or cry, because Spike of all people was now crushing hard for her. In the end though, knowing the torture he had endured for her sake she could only feel pity. And she knew Spike well enough to know that pity was the last thing he would accept. From anyone
But she also had to put her foot down, because right now he was already ordering advanced sex dolls of her, which even though fairly on the creepy side was still relatively harmless. But who knew where it would end?
“Spike, and this is hard to say because of what you did, for me, and Dawn,” she said as she looked away, “but you do realize there is never going to be an us
, right? We’re never
going to be an item. It wouldn't be you, Spike. It would never
be you. You do realize this, right?”
Spike said nothing, he just looked at her.
Damn, she wanted him to scream, to yell, to curse her, anything while she was crushing his hopes and dreams.
“You’re beneath me,” she finally said.
This time she could see him wince as her words cut him deep. And it made her feel like crap knowing what he had endured for her. But she steeled herself.
“The only thing I could ever offer you is the ‘friendzone’, Spike. That’s all. You did an amazing thing today and for that I’m moving you off the ‘something I scrapped from underneath my shoes’ list to an ally who can be trusted. Up to a point. But that’s all its going to be between us. And you know how crap life can be in the ‘friendzone’. Are we clear on this?”
Spike opened his mouth to say something but Buffy shook her head.
“And o, you’re most definitely not
getting your fap puppet back. Get an internet subscription, like all the others.”
While Android #18 closed the Magic Box Giles went straight home. He had confidence in her abilities and frankly he was feeling quite exhausted. So the first thing he did while at home was make a quick dinner and then go straight to bed.
While he hated microwave dinners there were times when they came in handy. Often after a late night session with The Committee. He could order in for a pizza, but he often found them to be too greasy. Plus you could nuke your microwavable meal and eat it in the time it took for them to make and deliver your pizza.
Sometimes principles had to take a backseater to convenience.
Having put his dinner in the microwave Giles returned to the living room.
And in doing so he noticed that his copy of the Gypsy Prophecies was lying in a rather prominent point of view.
Almost like it wanted to be seen.
While still feeling dead tired Giles sat down. For it seemed to be opened to a very specific passage.
It wasn’t a passage that until now had seemed very important.
And yet it was, because for some reason one sentence kept leaping straight out towards him. Like it was almost screaming for his attention.
PROTECT THE SISTER!
By the time the timer of his microwave pinged Giles was already not paying any attention to anything else.
As she returned home Buffy found Belmo and his sister there. He was firing up the barbeque in the garden.
“Are you going to grill?” Buffy said incredulously, “Now? At this time of year?”
“It is not that cold and we can eat inside if need be,” the Saiyan replied, “I feel in the mood to eat something that is dead and goes great with barbeque sauce.”
“Pig out I’d say,” Buffy said and was about to go on when Belmovekk spoke up.
“I talked to the others. They are coming. We are going to hold some celebrations. We won a great victory today.”
“A man died today, Belmo,” Buffy said tired, “An innocent man died today.”
“He was many things, but innocent I would not have called him,” Belmovekk replied.
“Then what would you have called him?” she asked, “Glory’s evil co-conspirator? Her henchman? Partner in crime?”
“How about just unfortunate victim?” Belmovekk suggested, “A casualty of war.”
“That still doesn’t make it right what your sister did,” Buffy countered.
“Perhaps not,” Belmovekk shrugged, “But it is better to feel regret over the things one did then the things one failed to do.”
Buffy wanted to say something, then she decided against it.
“Go eat your dead animal, Belmo, have your nice evening. Have a good time with everybody. Eat, drink and be merry. But I’m going to bed. I just don’t feel like celebrating today.”
“I can….., I understand,” the Saiyan said and gave her a smile, “Sweet dreams, young lady.”
Hearing him call her like that, for the first time since her mother had died Buffy couldn’t help but return the smile.
“Save some for me,” she smiled back and went inside.
Inside she found Belmo’s sister studying a side of ribs, like it was the most disgusting thing she had ever seen. It was dripping in barbeque sauce which probably added to her unease.
“Do Earthers actually eat this, brother?” she called out, thinking Buffy was her brother.
It was true, Buffy couldn’t help but think, using scouters exclusively did leave your senses deaf and blind to other people’s chi.
“He’s outside,” she said, making for a rude awakening for Mayan who nearly let the slab of meat fall to the ground. Belmo was lucky she had good reflexes though.
“It’s you,” Mayan said as she put the meat next to the others.
“Yup,” Buffy said, “It’s me. And don’t worry, it may look funky now, but it will taste great later on.”
“I’ve ate worse,” Mayan shrugged.
“I bet you did,” Buffy said back, causing Mayan’s eyes to narrow.
“You don’t like me very much, do you,” she said.
“I may have a problem with murderers,” Buffy said frank.
“The man was already dead the moment he fell out of your beam,” Mayan said back in the same frank tone, “All I did was end his misery. And spare us a lot of misery in the future as well. If that makes me a murderer, well, boohoo princess. I’ve been making tough decisions ever since my brother abandoned me, I’ll make them again if I have too. Like I care what some spoiled Earther princess thinks of me.”
“You know I can kick your ass all the way back to that galaxy you came from, don’t you,” Buffy said but Mayan was unimpressed.
“Oh, I’m not denying that you have immense power,” she said, “You’re the most gifted warrior that I know and possibly the most powerful. But you’re still spoiled. You never had to make the hard decisions because my brother took them for you.”
“Hello,” Buffy said pointing to herself, “Surviving for two and a half years on her own as a Slayer before I met your brother.”
“Didn’t you have that guy, what’s his name, Rupert Giles, make those decisions for you?” Mayan said back.
“Not all of them,” Buffy said defensive.
“And I’m sure they were really
good ones,” Mayan said ruefully.
“You’re just so full of yourself, aren’t you?” Buffy said catty.
“Aren’t you?” Mayan retorted.
The two women looked at each other wearily. Then Buffy walked away.
“I’m off to bed,” she said and disappeared into the living room.
“She can destroy a Goddess but flinches in a staring contest,” Mayan said derisively, then she turned to the food again and wondered what the next piece of meat would taste like.
As she opened the door to her room Buffy found Dawn lying on her bed.
At first Dawn didn’t notice her entry into the room, which gave Buffy some time to look at her sister.
Was she really her sister?
Her mother had believed so, right until the end, even when she knew everything.
Of course her mother had also been the focal point of a powerful spell. So who knew how much of those feelings were real maternal instincts versus magically induced ones.
Would her mother have loved Dawn as much and as unconditionally as she did without that spell which ultimately got her killed?
That was the question which plagued Buffy’s mind every time she saw her little sister.
And now she was here.
In her room.
“Buffy,” Dawn said when she finally noticed her big sister, “Can I sleep here tonight? Mayan is mean to me.”I’d rather throw you under the bus and never see you again.
“Sure,” Buffy said, trying her best not to wince, “Let’s have a sleepover party. Just the two of us.”
“No mean Mayan?” Dawn asked.
“No mean Mayan,” Buffy said shaking her head. Stupid Mayan! Now I have to put up with her. She’s becoming as much a pain in the ass as all her namesakes.
“Come,” Buffy said and began to undress herself, “Let’s go to bed early, I’m tired and so are you.”
Dawn nodded and slipped eagerly into Buffy’s bed.Now I have to share my bed with her. Why can’t I just take her back to her own room?
Eventually Buffy was ready to go to bed and slid next to Dawn.
“Goodnight, Dawnie,” she said, “Sweet dreams!”
“G’night, Buffy,” Dawnie replied as Buffy switched off the lights.
Barely a minute had passed when suddenly Dawn began to talk.
“Buffy?”Oh God, now she wants to talk as well?
“I miss mommy.”
“So do I, Dawn. Now go to sleep.”
Silence for a minute.
“Buffy?”Oh God, is there no end to this?
“Am I real?”NO YOU’RE NOT! YOU’RE THE EVIL SPAWN OF EVIL SORCERORS WHO KILLED MY MOTHER! I WISH YOU WOULD GO AWAY! GO AWAY!
“Yes, you’re real, Dawn. Now go to sleep. I’m very tired.”
Some more silence.
“Yes Dawn?” a now very agitated Buffy said.
"What’s the Key?”
At Glory’s former headquarters all was no longer deserted.
But it wasn’t her former minions who were now scurrying about the place, for they were all dead. Neither was it the Sunnydale Police Department, because while the department had been cleaned up significantly during the Army’s reign of Sunnydale they still knew nothing of what had happened here.
Instead a dozen men, who to a casual observer looked like medieval warriors straight out of a historical movie, were examining the place.
One of these medieval looking warriors was carefully prodding one of Glory’s dead minions with his sword.
Another one was gazing through Glory’s extensive shoe collection.
Fully half of them were gathered around the biggest anomaly in this place, because, amidst a building full of dead demons, a single dead human stood out like a sore thumb.
“There are at least seven more dead demons down that hall,” one warrior said as he entered Glory’s former living room, “And it looks like they were torn to shreds. Poor buggers didn’t stand a chance.”
“You almost sound like pity them,” another warrior scoffed, “They are the unholy servants of The Beast. Do not feel sorry for them.”
“I only pity the manner of their deaths,” the former warrior said, “It was a gruesome way to die. Even for one as low as them.”
Around Ben’s corpse the other warriors were confused. Then one of them did something completely anachronistic and pulled out a cell phone from underneath his chain mail armor.
“Orlando here,” the man spoke into the cell phone, “We have found the Beast’s lair. But it looks like a battlefield. A great battle took place in here……. How great? Well, Pretty big I’d say considering that we found the corpse of nearly each and everyone of her minions. And they don’t look pretty either….. No, I mean literally ripped apart in some cases, this place looks like a slaughterhouse. We have no idea who did it…… Other demons? It could be. Henry disagrees though. He still thinks its too clean. Demons usually like to revel in their kill. This was gruesome, but still business like. Like somebody took a giant sledgehammer to a bar fight. I’m also looking at a giant hole in the wall, like somebody fired off a howitzer right through it….. Their point of entry? No, I don’t think so. If they came through it it would stand to reason that her minions would be dead next to it having tried to stop the attackers with their bodies. Instead they’re everywhere but here. No, somebody blew a whole in the side of the building through which you could drive a tank from the inside!
“There is another problem though, there is no sign of the Beast…… That’s possible that she escaped. She always does. Thing is though, I’m looking at the body of a human male here, who had his head caved in. And when I mean caved in it looks like someone drove her foot through it……. How I know it’s a her? Come on, Bob works with CSI. He’s got a bloody foot print and it’s a size 4. How many guys or demons do you know who wear a size 4?”
“Thing is, besides that we’re standing in what probably was the bedroom of the Beast we also found another bedroom. It would appear this was where our dead guy used to sleep. One Doctor Ben Wilkinson….. Yeah, it’s a fake name. Gerard has already checked it and it’s a fake. But we found an ID card and the picture on it looked remarkably much like a certain Doctor Jake Holland, who worked at St. Vincent Charity Medical in Cleveland. Or Doctor Anatoly Rybatoff who worked at the Kursk Factory Workers hospital….. I thought you would find that interesting.”
“Here’s the thing though. We know that the Beast lives inside a human vessel. And we always suspected that this mystery doctor was somehow connected to the Beast. Now what if he
vessel?...... I know that it is heresy to even think this, but you should see this guy. Somebody took to this guy with what I can only think of as a flame thrower and burned most of him to a crisp. And then, when he was down and defenseless, did a tap dance on his head. They really wanted him dead. I’d say that somebody managed to do what we’ve been trying to do for thousands of years. Find the human vessel of the Beast and kill it.”
“I know, that it’s possible that this could be a giant deception on the part of the Beast. Still, while she cares nothing of her minions, I doubt that she would easily discard our mystery doctor. He’s been with her for way too long. Mind you, I’m not saying we should call off our search. On the contrary. I’m just saying we should be willing to entertain the possibility that she might be dead and look for further clues to prove it.”
“Who killed him? Well, obviously the killer was female. And it so happens that we’re not that far from Sunnydale. Where rumor has it resides the Slayer……. I know it’s hard to believe that a Slayer did all this. But we’re hearing some strange stories about Sunnydale and the Slayer the closer we came here…… Yes, that was our intent as well. Yes, we’ll be awaiting further orders.”
The warrior put away his cell phone and turned to his fellow warriors.
“Take pictures, as many as you can. Take blood samples for further investigations. After that we leave.”
“Where too, brother?” one of the other warriors asked.
“Sunnydale, my brethren,” Orlando, Knight of Byzantium said, “We are going to have a little chat with the Slayer.“
It sucked no longer having a body!
For all her railing against being human, being nothing sucked even more.
For one it was now extremely hard to tell the passage of time. It seemed like an eternity had passed since she had died. An eternity in which she spent in what seemed like a giant white expanse full of nothing.
It was boring.
It was infuriating.
There was absolutely nothing she could do about it.
Except blame that damn Slayer of course.
And even that accomplished absolutely nothing.
As an incorporeal being she was now powerless to act, except when somebody offered her a prayer.
Prayers were the sustenance of the incorporeal deity. For they were both the only way they could learn what was going on in the corporeal world. And the only way they could still influence events there.
Some deities were even good at it. They excelled at this kind of game. Being able to subtly influence the world and keep track of it. Others sucked at it and withered away.
Of course the really good ones received millions of prayers, which undoubtedly helped.
She on the other hand was completely new at it. Maybe with some exercise she could become better at it, but as it stood, with all of her followers dead…..
Who knew she would actually come to miss those scabby little minions she used to despise?
Leaving his home Giles not for the last time cursed his cell phone’s batteries. Why did they have crap out on him right now? Of course he only had himself to blame for not charging them in time. And of course for canceling his old land line telephone. What was he thinking? All that new stuff wasn’t for him. Tried, old and trusty, that was more his thing.No, Giles, it will make more sense this way. Most of the times you aren’t home to begin with. Who still uses fixed telephone lines? Why bother paying for a land line when you have global coverage with your cell phone?
Why did he even listen?
Now he was paying the price for all this new fashioned hogwash.
And if he didn’t get there in time maybe others would pay the price as well.
Then the horrors that he had read in the Gypsy Prophecies would come to pass.
And that just wouldn’t do.
You’d think that with there being several disembodied gods she would have at least some company in this shady existence. Some gods never existed in the corporeal form, so they should have been here. But wherever she was, she seemed to be all alone.
She needed to get out of here.
But how? There was nothing around her but emptiness.
She needed something to help guide her, a beacon that would show her the way.
What she needed was a prayer.
“So, where’s the food?” Xander said as he entered the Summer’s home backyard, then he began to grin, “Oh, barbeque ribs.”
Ushering Angela along Xander guided her to a chair in the back of the garden, then he returned to the table where Mayan, Willow and Tara were seated. While Xander could tell that Willow wasn’t charmed that he had brought Angela along, what really struck him was that Mayan was sitting as far away as she could from the two lesbians as was possible without being in a wholly different garden altogether.
Apparently that made it three for three now in the Saiyan gay phobia department. Now all that was needed was for the Earth to open up and Ferucca to emerge, having escaped from Hell where she deservedly burned for all eternity and it would probably be four for four.
Ah well, he was sure that by now Willow could laugh about it. Tara probably did so already. Her eyes were looking too mischievous to be a coincidence.
“Hiya Will, Tara, crazy Saiyan lady,” Xander said as he sat down between them, “Lovely evening for this time of year ain’t it? We’ve got good food and beautiful women. What more can a man want? I know, how about some beer?”
And with that Xander placed a sixpack of imported beer on the table.
“Anyone want one?” he said looking around, then he held one out to Mayan, “Come on! Surely you Saiyans came up with beer at some point?”
“We did,” Mayan said as she shook her head, “But at least our beer doesn’t taste like Rakian cat piss.”
“I have no idea what Rocky cats pee, but if its beer I’m gonna get me one and hook it up to a beer tap,” Xander grinned as he popped open his can.
Mayan muttered something in her own Saiyan language.
“Why thank you,” Xander grinned, causing Mayan’s eyes to briefly widen.
“Xander,” Willow whispered and gently flashed her eyes towards Angela sitting separate, “Did you have to bring her
“It’s not like I had a whole lot of choice, Will,” Xander whispered back, “Anya’s taken a week off and I couldn’t leave her alone. Besides, it’s a full moon. All she’ll do is stare at the moon and not be a bother. Where’s Buffy?”
“She felt tired and went to bed early,” Willow whispered back.
“I see,” Xander whispered, “And Giles?”
“Same,” Willow whispered.
“Not much of a party now is it?” Xander whispered disappointed, then Belmovekk put a large bowl full of meat on the table in front of them and gave them a surprise look.
“Why are you two whispering?”
This place sucked ass!
She always thought that being on Earth was terrible, but this sucked even harder. Now she knew where all the other old Gods had gone. People had just stopped praying to them and now they were really gone.
Why hadn’t she sent one of those scabby little minions on some mission? Then at least she would still have one person who would offered her a prayer.
“What the hell are you doing here!”
As Spike entered the garden, supported by Android #18, Xander got up and tried to stop him.
“Piss off, whelp,” Spike said defiantly, still aching from having been tortured, but after a few hours of sleep already feeling a little better, “I was invited.”
“Invited?” Xander said incredulously, his voice going up an octave, “By whom?”
“By me!” Belmovekk said as he came by carrying another tray of meat, “By not telling Glory about Dawn he proved his loyalty to me. That is good enough for me.”
Xander wanted to protest, then he sat dawn again and folded his arms across his chest with a grumpy look.
“He’s not getting one of my beers I can tell you.”
There really was nobody in this damn place. As far as she could see there was just emptiness.
Then again she couldn’t even see herself.
It was like she had no body.
And if she had no body, did that mean that the other Gods had no body either?
Maybe they were still around her, all disembodied, all voiceless, each suffering an existence of quiet desperation, each…..
Then, suddenly, a soft whisper.
She looked around, trying to find its source.
Was she going insane already? Was she experiencing eons of insanity in the passing of a single second? Was she……
This time a little louder.
Where was it? Where did it came from? This was maddening!
This time she could hear her name.
“Oh Glorificus, most splendiferous Goddess of Eternal Damnation. I beseech thee….”
This had to be it! This could only be it!
Somebody was offering her a prayer!
Having finally something to give herself direction Glory sped towards the source of the prayer.
She recognized the place as soon as she stepped through the door. The large hall with its wooden floors, the animal cage built on a dais, the crucified and disemboweled remains of one of the police officers hanging inside the cage. She was back for yet another session with your friendly psycho psychologist.
If she remembered the movie correctly this was he had made his escape. Pretending to be the gravely injured police man lying on the floor, whilst wearing his bloodied and skinned off face.
But as she walked round the cage she didn’t saw the injured police man.
Instead she saw Lecter/Angelus sitting next to a table playing chess with Yoda.
Lecter/Angelus moved one of his chess pieces by hand, then Yoda stretched forth his small hand and moved his chess piece through the Force.
If she had a camera with her and the means to take it back to reality Xander would have loved to have this very picture. Then again it was probably better that she didn’t because he would have nerdgasmed so hard over her that she would have to shower for weeks to get clean again.
“Hello, Elizabeth,” Lecter/Angelus said without taking his eyes of the chess board, “Back so soon?”
“Uh, I guess,” Buffy said a little uncertain, “I thought you said we weren’t going to meet anymore.”
“Wrong we were,” Yoda said frowning, “Hero you weren’t.”
“Hey, it’s not my fault Belmo’s crazy sister did a tap dance on Ben’s head,” Buffy said defensively, then she put her hands on her sides, “And what’s the sitch with you guys not telling me that Ben was Glory.”
“Tried to tell you we did,” Yoda said, sounding even a little apologetic, “permitted we were not.”
“Permitted, by who?” Buffy asked puzzled.
“Come now, Elizabeth,” Lecter/Angelus said and gestured around himself, “You didn’t think it was over just because you defeated Cell? He was only one instrument of that possible new Destiny. Not its whole embodiment. As long as it is around our hands are still tied. And Cell was far from its only instrument. Just as you are not our only instrument.”
“I’m not anyone’s instrument,” Buffy said a little pissed, “I am my own instrument thank you very mu……”
Then it hit upon Buffy.
“Ohmigod!” she exclaimed, “You….., you…, you’re those two Destinies! The ones that sent Belmo to Earth.”
“I told you she was the slowest of the bunch,” Lecter/Angelus said towards Yoda.
“Have faith you must,” Yoda replied and moved another chess piece, “Through she will come for us in the end.”
“I’m talking to the friggin’ destinies of the universe,” Buffy said and realized that she was experiencing a nerdgasm herself, “Ohmigod! I’m talking to destiny. Which means that you’re the Dark One, which explains your Lectertude, and you’re the Light One, which expl….”
Lecter/Angelus snapped his fingers.
“Focus, Elizabeth, focus,” he said chiding, “This is not a social call on our part. This is crisis time. You are reaching the crucible here. Glory is coming back. And you have to stop her.”
“Glory…., coming back?” Buffy said flabbergasted, “But….., how…., we killed her? Well, technically Mayan did, but that’s besides the po….”
Lecter/Angelus snapped his fingers again, then Yoda turned towards her.
“A God Glorificus is. Cannot be killed so easily. At the right point time only she is vulnerable. Now the time it was not. Coming back she is for the sister. Protect her you must!”
Buffy looked at the small Jedi master in bewilderment.
“I told you she was slow,” Lecter/Angelus smiled at Yoda.
“Succeed she will eventually,” Yoda said, then he frowned at Lecter/Angelus, “And cheated you have.”
“DAWN!” Buffy shouted, turned around and ran away.
“Glorificus, I beseech thee! Hear my prayer that I offer to thee freely and willingly…”
“I’m coming!” Glory shouted triumphantly as she honed in on the prayer and felt the boundaries between dimensions starting to fade, “I am coming!”
“You know you shouldn’t drive this fast,” the police officer said as he handed Giles his speeding ticket through the window of Giles’ car.
“I know, officer, I’m sorry,” Giles said trying to sound apologetic. Inwardly he was seething as this stupid police man was only causing him irreparable delay.
It was highly ironic though because only a few years ago no police man would have dared pulling over people at night for speeding. You never knew who might be inside the car. It was a testament to the Scoobies’ hard work that nowadays the police felt comfortable again to go about at night doing trivial things instead of hiding at the precinct.
Giles waited as he watched the cop go back to his car and then drive away. Then he started his own car and put the pedal to the metal again.
She was just sleeping when suddenly Dawn was rudely awakened.
“Buffy?” Dawn said still half asleep.
“Wake up, Dawn,” Buffy said as she rapidly began to put her clothes back on. Within ten seconds she was dressed grabbing some random things from the floor and snatched Dawn from her bed, then she sped towards the Twins’ room. Dawn maybe was the target, but Mayan was also her sister and she wasn’t going to leave her behind.
“Glorificus, I beseech thee! Hear my prayer that I offer to thee freely and willingly. You are the One and the One only that I worship. I thy name I commit evil. I call upon thee to come forth and….”
Suddenly Glory materialized and found herself with a body again.
A spectral see through shadow of her former self body, but a body nonetheless.
And she could see things again.
She was in a small room, some human’s apartment.
Books and papers were everywhere, most of them strewn across a table.
And then she noticed him.
She had thought that maybe one of her scabby little minions had survived and had brought her here through prayer, but instead she found what looked like a small elderly man.
“You?” she said surprised, “Who the hell are you?”
“Who I am is not important,” the old man smiled at her, “But if you want you can call me Doc.”
They were enjoying dinner in the garden when suddenly Giles stormed into the garden, looking disheveled and out of breath.
“Master Giles?” Belmovekk said surprised, “I thought you did not want to come?”
“We…., we have to get out of here,” Giles panted.
“Why?” Willow asked, then the door to the Summers’ home opened and out came Buffy, carrying both Mayan and Dawn.
“Glory…,” she and Giles said in unison, “She’s coming back!”
The group looked at each other puzzled.
“But I killed her,” Mayan said stunned.
“Only her body,” Buffy said.
“Her spirit lives on,” Giles continued, then he held up his copy of the Gypsy Prophecies, “And she’s coming back!”
“And do what?” Xander said a little skeptical, “Play ghost on us? Slam some doors? Rattle her chains?”
Giles facepalmed himself.
“She’s a God, you moron,” he said thumping his papers, “She’s not going to be Casper the friendly ghost or Patrick Swayze! She still has po….”
“Of course I still have power,” a new voice said.
Everybody turned their heads.
On the other side of the garden stood Glory.
See through Glory.
In all patented Ghost-o-vision.
“Hello, bitches!” Glory said triumphantly as she held up her arms in a gesture of greeting, “Did you miss me?”
“Like in not a whole lot,” Buffy said, “Like in not at all.”
“Ow,” Glory pouted as her astral body walked towards them, “My heart is touched.”
Belmovekk looked at Buffy, holding the Twins, then he stood up and positioned himself between Glory and Buffy.
“I will not let you have my daughter, foul apparition,” he said defiantly, “Be gone!”
“Or you’re going to do what?” Glory laughed dismissively, “Put your greasy fingers on my body? I no longer have one. And why would I want to have your daughter? I want her!”
Glory then pointed to Mayan, Belmo’s sister.
“Me?” Mayan said dumbstruck.
“Her?” Buffy said stunned, then her eyes grew big, “Ohmigod! Protect the sister! They didn’t mean Da…..”
Before anyone could move Glory winked out of view, then reappeared next to Mayan.
“I’m going to have so much fun being you,” she said.
And then she embraced Mayan.
Causing Mayan to scream like she had never screamed before.
For it was not often that a God’s living consciousness tried to make itself master of a Saiyan’s body.
It could never hope to do this with a Saiyan like Belmovekk, Vegeta, or even a half Saiyan like Gohan. Their power was just too great for that.
But Mayan on the other hand, she barely registered compared to those giants.
She was perfect.
She put up a struggle.
She put up an epic struggle.
She fought Glory for all that she was worth.
But in the end it was for naught.
And amidst horrible cries Mayan’s soul died.
Utterly consumed by Glory.
“Yes,” Glory said using Mayan’s voice as she flexed her hands again. Real hands again.
“I am back, bitches!”End of Act Two
To be continued in Act Three, ‘Metro Châtelet, Direction Cassiopeia’
AN: I realized something, that while I always ask for comments I do not always respond to them. Not responding to reader comments is bad, m'kay? In my defense I have this bad behavior of reading my email and thinking, I will get back to some of these this later. While later usually means I get even more mail to respond too so my old mail gets pushed by the wayside. Terrible sloppy behavior. As my new years resolutions I hereby declare to respond better to my readers reviews and to finish this story before 2013 is finished. And hopefully get a start on the next one as well.
So, now that's been said.....