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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
In this second instalment, the crew tries to regroup and decide what to do next. We also begin to see how and why Buffy is involved.
Warning: some adult language.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1211 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
The Last One
Earth that was. December 10, 2012. The war for the night has escalated out of control. The onslaught of the slayer army decimated the vampire ranks. The vamps that survive, organize. They hunt in packs, and they carry swords and machine-guns. They hit back against the slayers. They have a mysterious new leader. And a plan. After the latest disastrous campaign, the New Watcher’s Council is worried. In desperation, one of them decides to hit up an old ally.
The Last One
“Buffy Summers! Really? You’re kidding! She’s. Oh my God! She’s Buffy freakin’ Summers!
“Contain yourself Jason.” Clive Travers, Watcher, says to settle his very American apprentice. Things have gotten dire and they need an experienced slayer. No one is more experienced than Buffy Summers. She’s legendary. She’s saved the world before. She’s old-fashioned. She’s willful and insolent. She’s their best chance.
Their private jet lands in a small airport in Cincinnati. Clive instructs his student. “First, I understand your enthusiasm. However, this mission requires complete professionalism and more importantly, discretion. No one must know. No one. Especially, the council.”
“I don’t understand. Isn’t this mission sanctioned by the council?” Jason asks.
“You’ll learn that in times of emergency, you can’t always take time for bureaucracy. Sometimes you have to take the initiative. Having said that, we shall exercise extreme caution, to be sure.” Clive says.
Jason looks somewhat less enthused.
“That’s first.” Clive continues. “Second is, watcher accounts for Buffy Summers, and they are numerous, run the spectrum of extremes. If there is any common denominator, it is that she is unpredictable. We must deal with her delicately.” Clive frowns, then continues: “In other words, let me do the talking.”
“I don’t understand. You don’t believe she’s dangerous?” Jason asks.
“Mr. Jennings,” Clive says to his apprentice, “I don’t believe anyone on Earth is more dangerous. That’s why we’re here.“
“I’ll be careful.” An unnerved Jason responds.
“That’s good, because, this slayer has been known to kill the messenger.” Clive says.
From the jet they disembark to a waiting car. It’s a long drive to a somewhat gritty part of town. Eventually, they find it: “Summers Yoga Studio and Self-Defense School for Women.”
It’s a two story brick building. Maybe a hundred years old. Compared to the neighborhood, it’s nice. It’s clean. There’s even Christmas lights, and a small flower garden in front.
Clive and Jason get out of the car. “Okay, here we go.” Clive says. They walk up to the front door and knock. Within moments the door opens and there she is. Buffy Summers. She looks different in person. She’s so little. Still, both young watchers stand a moment in awe.
Clive of course recovers first, “Buffy Summers?” He asks.
“Who want’s to know?” She replies cold and slow.
“My name is Clive Travers.” He announces very British. “This is my associate Jason Jennings. We are agents of the New Watchers Council.”
“Duh? What are you doing here?” She asks sharply.
“Miss Summers we’re here to enlist your help.” Clive says solemnly.
“Help with what?” She asks, seriously.
“To battle evil.” He answers. “To save the world.”
Buffy is shaking her head frustrated: “Oh no, no, no, you can’t be serious.” She starts to pace back and forth.
“I’m quite serious.” He says.
“I’m retired, you know. I’m extremely retired. I’m thirty-one flavors of retired.” The men step inside. Buffy continues to rant. “And, besides, times have changed. I’m actually a has-been, now. Seriously. This is like, has-been city and I’m the mayor. I haven’t even killed anything in like almost ten years.”
“Nevertheless, you are our best hope.” Clive says.
“You’re shitting me. Haven’t the vamps gone all Underworld, now? Gunfights and gadgets? You’ve got, what, twelve squads of slayers by now. What about Kennedy and her Slayer Samurai, or whatever? Hell, what about Faith?” She asks.
“You don’t know.” Clive says, sounding surprised.
“Know what? She asks slowly with a chilling edge in her voice.
“Last week, in Bosnia, Kennedy and her elite cadre of slayers engaged the enemy at the Pyramid of the Dragon. The intelligence chain was corrupted. They were ambushed. It was a massacre. There were no survivors.” Clive says solemnly.
Buffy staggers from the news. “Kennedy? Vi? Ronna? Shannon? Dana?” She asks desperately.
“All dead. Or worse.” He says.
“What about Will?” She asks, tears starting.
“She’s missing.” He answers.
“I’m very sorry. I thought you knew.” He says.
“We do still have several slayer squadrons in preparation; but, we’re dangerously low on leadership. We need a hero.” He says seriously.
“I feel sick.” Buffy says.
“We did go to Faith, by the way. She’s six months pregnant. But, she says she will fight if it becomes necessary.”
Buffy’s pacing again, and fuming, and angry. “Why am I just hearing about this now?!” Buffy then stops, suddenly. “And, why am I hearing it from you toadies?” She steadies herself. Her stance adjusts automatically. Fists clench. Then, she asks of her terrified guests: “What the hell is going on, here? Where’s Giles? Where’s Dawn? Answer very carefully.” She warns.
“His heart’s stopped!” River yells frantically. “He needs adrenaline!” River is trying to help Jayne. He was hit in the heart by a high-dosage tranquilizer dart. Simon has been knocked unconscious. Mal is beat-up and rattled, but starting to recover.
Mal tosses Simon’s medical bag to River. She unzips it and turns it upside-down, dumping its contents on the ground. She finds what she needs, prepares and administers the injection. Jayne convulses violently. River administers another injection and he begins to calm.
With his left hand, Mal collects his pistol from the ground, checks it, returns it to its holster, then moves to check Buffy. Her chest is moving. Her chest is still moving. This is wrong.
“Jayne?” He asks.
With her ear, River listens to Jayne’s chest. “Give it time...Give it time... Give it time...Okay. He’s back.” She exhales. “He should stabilize. He’s very strong.” River answers. “I’m going to try to revive Simon.” She says.
Mal draws his communicator and keys. “Kaylee!”
“What’s up, Captain?” Kaylee asks, worried.
“Trouble. We got wounded.” Mal says.
“Simon?!” She interrupts.
“Knocked unconscious, but he should be fine. He got off easy.” He answers.
“Is everyone okay?” She asks.
“So far, everyone’s survived, But there could be trouble. Kaylee, I need Serenity. Jayne’s knocked out. There’s no way we’re lugging him back to the shuttle. We need the mule, Dong ma?
“Sure Captain. But, what I’m s’pose to tell the space station? Kaylee asks.
“Good question.” Mal thinks a moment then says: “Tell them their shuttle is malfunctioning and I wanted you to check it out.”
“Okay, but what if they--” Kaylee starts, but Mal interrupts: “Kaylee, just figure something out.”
“Okay. Okay, I’m on it.
What happened, Mal?” Kaylee asks.
“Give me a tick to catch my breath. I’ll tell you all about it in a minute.”
Simon sits up, groggy. “What happened?” He asks.
“Splendid.” River answers. “Take a moment to regain your faculties, then, I’ll give you everyone’s status.”
“Um, okay.” He answers. He looks around in shock.
River heads back to the medicine pile and starts rummaging through it.
“River, what are you doing, now?” Mal asks. No answer. River finds two small vials, and taking two syringes, she prepares a first injection which she holds in her teeth then a second which she injects suddenly into her arm.
“River! Dung ee hwar!” Mal exclaims.
“Sweet Buddha on a unicycle, Mal. I’m freaking out, and I need a fucking stabilizer!” She takes a second, and the second injection, then adds: “Sorry Captain.”
“You okay?” He asks seriously.
“I’ll live. How’s Buffy?” She asks.
“She’s alive. Yes, she’s alive. And, I bet you knew she’d survive, didn’t you.” He says.
“I hoped.” She confesses.
Mal gives her a look.
“When she first saw us, she noticed the guns.” River explains. “She remembered something told to her: ‘Bullets can’t kill the Slayer’. Do you know what that means--the Slayer?” River asks. Mal shakes his head shrugging.
“Well, the sight of you turned her into a killing machine. I made an intuitive leap, and assumed she was the Slayer.” River says.
“What about the name?” Mal asks.
“That was easy. Her name’s all over her. She has a very well developed ego. She was probably important, or famous at some time.” River answers.
“When she saw you, I saw a memory of a man with your face gouging out the eye of a man she cared for deeply.”
“That wasn’t me!” The captain exclaims defensively.
“Of course not. This is all a horrible misunderstanding.”
“Misunderstanding. So, she’s not evil?” The captain asks, skeptical.
“No. She’s not. She’s lost. Her mind is...filled with...monsters. I think she’s been lost a very long time. She’s not evil, or weak. In fact, she’s strong, and brave, and smart. I think she’s a ...hero.
Kaylee sits at the helm in Serenity's bridge, playing with rubber dinosaurs, and humming nervously. She wishes Wash were there. Not to fly the ship--she’s okay with that. Just, to say something funny or shiny so she would feel better.
Wash is gone. The crew is away. Kaylee is alone. With Serenity. And, with orders.
The crew is beat up and hurt on Tera. They need Serenity. But, they don’t need more trouble. Kaylee expects a wave from the space station, Orpheus, any minute.
A status report.
She’s made up a story. It works better as a response, than a request.
She waits. Wishes. Plays with the dinosaurs. Humming.
Go hwong-tong! She swears.
“Serenity?” Suddenly, comes the hail. Staticky colors and sounds take shape in seconds to become the wave from Orpheus.
“This is space station Orpheus.” A slight, plain looking man announces from the monitor.
Kaylee takes a breath and responds.
“Space station Orpheus, this is Serenity. Acting captain Kaylee Frye reporting.”
“Where’s Malcolm Reynolds?” The plain man asks, impatiently.
“Calm down, buddy. Everything’s shiny. Mal’s on Tera leading the investigation.” Kaylee says.
“Is there anything to report?” He asks.
“Yeah, a lot, actually. We found your shuttle. Followed tracks to a nearby mansion owned by a ...Napoleon Jackson. Jackson was found dead in the dining room.”
“Oh dear.” He says.
“Oh, there’s more.” Kaylee continues. “We discovered signs of a struggle in the garden outside the mansion and evidence of a take-off nearby.”
“Take-off?” He asks.
“Yep, another ship. We believe the subject--your girl, is now off planet. I was just about to take Serenity to scoop up the crew and begin pursuit.” Kaylee answers cooly.
. “Well, then. That is a lot. I will report to Mrs. Keeler and join you shortly.” He says.
“What!” Kaylee responds, cool evaporating.
“It’s no cause for alarm, Serenity. It’s just, it’s our only shuttle, and if you leave we’ll have no means to recover it. We have every confidence in your investigation. We just need our shuttle back, that’s all.
I won’t make trouble, or stick in my nose. promise.” The plain man assures.
“Just you?” Kaylee asks.
“Just me.” He answers.
“Okay, I guess. What’s your name?” Kaylee asks.
“I’m Hugo, miss.” Comes his answer.
“Well Hugo, I reckon I’ll see you soon. Kaylee says.
Kaylee exhales. After a second, she leaves the bridge. She goes down to the crew’s quarters. She climbs down the ladder to Zoe’s room.
Maybe it’s woman’s intuition. Maybe it’s the thought of being alone on the ship with a stranger. Whatever.
Kaylee takes a small pistol from Zoe’s night stand and tucks it into a side pocket in her coveralls. She starts to head back. She pauses at the ladder. She almost returns the pistol. But, she doesn’t.
Up the ladder, to the main cargo hold. She starts humming again.
Then, the signal.
Kaylee opens the airlock.
Hugo walks in. He’s actually quite non-threatening. Short. Skinny. Kaylee could probably take him.
“Hugo?” Kaylee asks.
“Yes, miss Kaylee. It’s very nice to meet you. This is quite a fine ship you have here.” He answers.
“Well, thank you.” Kaylee adds very pleased.
“I’ve read about it actually.” He says.
“Excuse me?” Kaylee asks.
“After Miranda. There was quite a bit of discussion about the ship. And, the crew, of course.” Hugo says.
“Oh, that.” Kaylee says, then begins to hum.
“Well, maybe you’re a little tired of that. I understand. But, if we have time, I’d love a tour. Hugo says with enthusiasm.
“Sure. Follow me.” Kaylee says, a little relieved. She turns to head up the stairs. Hugo follows. With Kaylee’s back turned his face contorts to a more demonic visage. One with fangs.
In the garden. It’s aftermath painted against a Tera sunset. Kaylee is on the way with Serenity. Everyone’s hurt and emotions run high. Simon takes charge. He makes sure Jayne is stable. He treats the captain and River. Then, he cautiously begins to examine the woman that attacked them.
Blood loss. Trauma. Organ damage. All much more than severe enough to kill her. But, she lives. In fact, Despite no treatment, she’s actually stable. Pulse and breathing--slow but steady. Blood loss arrested.
It’s impossible. Simon begins to clean and bandage what should be mortal wounds. Wounds that have already begun healing.
“Simon?” Mal says walking over to stand opposite the doctor. “Report.”
“She should be dead.” The doctor responds simply.
“No kidding. Why ain’t she?” Mal asks.
River walks over and sits at the woman’s side.
“She seems to have entered into some kind of automatic self-repairing coma. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.” Simon says shaking his head.
“Is she human? Mal asks.
“Well...In my medical opinion--” Simon pauses a moment to feel River’s glare, then continues. “--she is not. At least, not like us.”
“What about me?” River asks sharply. “Am I like us?”
“You know that’s different, mei mei.” Simon says carefully.
With his left hand Mal takes his pistol from its holster. River stands up. Simon takes a step back.
“So.” Mal starts. “If I put a bullet in her head, right now--”
“Malcolm, no.” River interrupts.
Mal pauses a moment. Looks River in the eyes. Cocks the pistol, and continues.
“Would she die?”
“I guess we’ll never know.” Simon answers sternly, stepping foreword.
After a tense second, Mal uncocks his pistol. Returns it to the holster. Then, points at Buffy.
“She’s wrong. A robot, or monster, or some such.”
“She’s not a monster.” River says firmly.
“I don’t think she’s a robot, either.” Simon adds.
“You said she isn’t human.” Mal says, raising his voice.
“She’s the mission.” River says.
“What are you talking about. This mission is a loss. It’s over.” Mal yells.”
“She is the mission.” River insists. “Despite being heavily medicated, and mentally unbalanced, she escaped. Commandeered a shuttle. Constructed a kidnapping ruse as a distraction. And got away. That took will.
She’s a hero. If she’s running, she has a good reason. She needs our help.” River argues.
“What do you even know about her?” Mal asks seriously.
“It isn’t what I know, it’s what I feel.
She’s special, noble, chosen.
Whatever you decide, I will protect her.” River announces. She means it.
“Jesus in a ruttin’ jeweled jumpsuit--what the hell ever.” The captain swears in exasperation.
“Get her and Jayne ready for transport.” He demands.
“We need to collect our gear, police this area, be ready to move out.
She--.” He says, indicating Buffy. “--has to be taken back to our shuttle before Serenity gets here. Kaylee says they sent Hugo. It wouldn’t do for him to see our mission all shot up and such, just now.
We’ll get away. Figure this out, later.
Mal takes out his communicator and walks off.
River gives Simon her proud look. They get to work.
Both watchers back away from Buffy, quickly. She’s become emotional and angry. They’re scared. They’re afraid she might become violent. They’re right. She will.
“Miss Summers, please calm down.” Clive says, trying to regroup.
“Wrong answer.” She responds coldly. She starts to close on them.
“Oh God, no!” Clive shrieks. “I’ll tell you everything.” She halts. Gives him a look to freeze his blood.
“Goddamn Better.” She growls back. Jennings is doing a standing fetal position.
“The official council policy is that you are off-limits. Forbidden. No contact, under any circumstance.” Clive blurts out.
“What?” Buffy asks puzzled. Clive takes a moment to collect himself.
“The leadership of the New Watchers Council decided long ago that you’ve done your duty. You’re to be left alone. At all costs. Come what may.” He continues.
“Dawn.” She says.
“Yes.” He answers. “The council doesn’t know we’re here. This is my own initiative.”
Buffy’s posture adjusts. Her fists unclench.
“Why are you here?” She asks.
“It’s the First.” He answers. “In 2003, the Battle of Sunnydale, you defeated his army, but he remains. The council believes that he commands the new vampire order.”
“Is this the vampire order that slaughtered Kennedy and her slayers?” Buffy asks.
“It is.” He answers simply.
“Okay.” She says. “What else?”
“In twelve days, the ancient Mayan calendar ends. We now believe that at that time the First Evil will at last become flesh and lead his army on a campaign that will ultimately overthrow the kingdoms of man.” Clive answers.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Biblical much?” Buffy takes a breath. “Okay, Let’s rewind a split. See if I’ve got this. Twelve days. First Evil--Sequel. Army of trigger-happy bloodsuckers versus one over-the-hill slayer. No scoobies pour moi. Yes, this is definitely my least favorite apocalypse, ever.” Buffy says.
She turns and heads back inside. The watchers look at each other a second, then follow her inside. She takes a dagger she had hid under a tea cozy and slides it into her boot. Then, she goes to a big wooden chest.
“The council is working to assemble a slayer defense force. Xander Harris is helping with organization and training.” Clive announces.
She shakes her head solemnly.
“No, it doesn’t work like that. You have to be aggressive. Take the fight to them.” Buffy says.
“That’s exactly what Kennedy said.” Clive answers.
“Kennedy was right. From what you’ve told me the Watchers Council bricked that op--with that corrupted chain thingy.” Buffy responds, coldly.
“We’ll settle that score, later. Believe that.” She takes a sword from the chest.
“You will give me all information about this new vampire order and its leadership. And, I want to know everything about Dawn, Willow, Xander, and Giles.” She straps a broad leather belt around her waist. Then, loads it with four slender throwing knives.
“First, Take me to Bosnia.”
“So you’re in?” Clive asks.
Buffy wipes her eyes.
She takes a medium crossbow from the chest and slings it over her shoulder.
“Kennedy was my friend. Those girls were my students. I will find Willow. I will find out what happened. One way or another, there will be a reckoning. Let’s hope I’ve got one apocalypse left in me.” She takes a moment.
“I’m in.” She bites her lip. She knows it. She says it.
“This is the last one.”
Sunday, January 7, 2007 5:21 PM
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