No announcement yet.

DeadWar: Constitution of Silence

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • DeadWar: Constitution of Silence

    Disclaimer: All non-original characters are property of Joss Whedon. Thanks, man!

    Rating: PG

    Beta: KingOfCretins

    We cannot revive old factions
    We cannot restore old policies
    Or follow an antique drum.
    These men, and those who opposed them
    And those whom they opposed
    Accept the constitution of silence
    And are folded in a single party.

    --"Little Gidding," T. S. Eliot

    "Mom," Connor said with an infectious grin. "Yeah, I'm doing fine. Dawn and I are going to be pretty busy tonight, but next week maybe I can stop by and visit." He gave Dawn a quick wink. "What? No, Mom...nothing like that. We have work to do, that's all. It's..." Connor trailed off for a moment, finally finishing, "Maybe it's best if I don't say, Mom."

    Dawn looked away. It was his choice how to deal with his other much to let them in on. They knew he fought demons, kinda sidewise anyway, and they'd agreed together not to talk about the details, just in case. Unfortunately, at the moment that didn't leave them much else to talk about together. Except maybe Dawn, which he seemed embarrassed doing if she was around at the time.

    Connor burst into a fit of nervous laughter. "Mom, no! I mean, we had our first real date a month ago! We have a lot in common, but...well, there's been too much else going on to really get into anything heavy."

    The couch shifted beside her. "Alexander will not come," Illyria said. "You told me he enjoyed these movies." A faint undertone of disappointment tinged her voice, just slightly. Illyria never admitted to wants, let alone needs, if she could avoid it.

    Dawn moved away an inch or two. "He does," she insisted. "They've got a lot of violence--most guys like violence--but they don't deal with anything much like we've fought. I mean, robots, but nothing that was actually built to kill." No matter how friendly Illyria tried to be--and more and more, she did seem to be trying hard--Dawn found it difficult to see anything but "hellgod". "So no bad memories."

    "Violence." Illyria smiled, though not as widely as Dawn had come to expect. "What exactly is being terminated?"

    "The robots are trying to terminate humanity," Connor said, closing his cell phone. "It's funny. I know some great lines, but I don't think I ever really heard them before." Dawn grimaced--Connor seemed to deal with his dual history more by being flip about it, where she preferred to avoid the subject unless it was important.

    "I understand." Illyria nodded. "There is...something about liquid metal, I believe, but I cannot recall any other fragments of the memory." The demoness tilted her head. "Wait...'I know now why you cry....'" After a moment she produced an exasperated hiss. "There is more, but I cannot locate it."

    "'...but it is something I can never do,'" Connor finished. "From the second movie. I don't want to spoil it for you. You know," he said thoughtfully but with a faint smirk, "I always wondered why I memorized that one."

    Illyria lifted an eyebrow, intrigued, but all she said was, "Of course. Events must occur, and be experienced, in sequence."

    "I'm sorry I let slip that you were going to be watching," Dawn said with a reluctance she didn't really feel. Illyria still needed taking down several more pegs, and being rejected ought to help, but there seemed to be something wrong with Xander's attitude all the same.

    "It's possible he would not have remained to watch when he saw me," Illyria stated flatly.

    Connor picked up the remote. "I thought Willow said he had a grip on himself after the soup kitchen thing."

    "There is no comparison. I am not some enfeebled Lister demon, nor am I a refugee," Illyria said. Her voice carried an odd sort of strain. Connor gave her a questioning look, to which she responded, still uncomfortably, "This reality is my home." He frowned as if he wasn't sure that was what he was asking.

    "Can you cry?" it occurred to Dawn to ask. There was still a lot she didn't understand about how the Old One was put together, most of which she didn't really want to know.

    Illyria made a faint sound in her throat as the movie began. "For what conceivable reason would I do that?"
    Tap, tap, tap.

    The Hyperion was never going to be completely renovated. Xander kept plugging away, though, one piece at a time. Even if he didn't have to keep returning to fix the aftermath of training accidents or attacks, it was just too big a job. What he really ought to do was call in a big company to do it all at once. Somehow, though, it just didn't seem important. In the end, it wasn't going to matter.

    That didn't make a lot of sense. The hotel was probably going to be in use for decades at least. But it was how he felt. Sooner or later Giles would probably suggest it, but he'd been too busy.

    His glass eye ached. Maybe his problem with women had been the eyepatch. He was never going to be Johnny Depp, after all. He stopped himself from reaching up to fiddle with it. That was badness, or so he thought he'd read.

    Traci continued reading aloud. "I saw pale kings and princes too, pale warriors, death-pale were they all." Homework mattered now. Some individual Slayers would probably still die young, but there was no reason some of them couldn't live full lives. Like police, or the military--you might get killed on your first mission, or you might make it to retirement without any serious injury at all. "They cried..." He didn't really care much about literature classes, but it was up to them what they wanted to study, after all.

    Xander gave the door frame a satisfied smile. There'd been a bit of an argument, and Traci was still new at this. Twenty Slayers in one building, even one this size, were hell on interiors.

    "I saw their starved lips in the gloam with horrid warning gaped wide..."

    Xander frowned and cut in. "That's not a vampire poem, is it?" He had the weird sensation that he'd missed something, something more important than any poem should be unless maybe it was from one of Giles' books.

    "Don't think so," Traci said off-handedly. "John Keats?"

    "Doesn't ring a bell." It was probably nothing important.
    Faith threw a punch. She was holding back, but was still surprised when Harmony caught the blow. The vampire staggered backwards, not strong enough to fend her off completely, but it was better than getting hit in the jaw. And she had her game face on, too. That was progress. "You never did tell me what you meant about Charlize Theron."

    Harmony dodged around Faith's next attack and tried to kick her in the left thigh. least it was unexpected. "What's to tell? She's a serial killer. For a human, that's kind of hot, even if she is a woman."

    "Ya know that's just a movie, right?" Faith caught Harmony's leg and yanked, meaning to topple her onto her back, but the vampire leapt upward, turning the motion into an aerial flip. "Huh. Not bad." It wasn't something she really wanted to encourage yet, but you didn't argue with effective. She'd mention it after the session, maybe.

    "Well, duh!"

    Faith put her arms up against what looked like a head-butt and felt fangs dig into her right wrist instead. With a shout, she shook the vampire off, tossing her backward onto her ass.

    "I mean," Harmony continued as if nothing had happened, "the real Aileen Wuornos was sort of ugly, and anyway she's dead."

    "Harm!" The vampire looked up at her, baffled but licking her lips. "You bit me!"

    "What? You told me I should be ready to." Harmony began looking around. "I tried to fake you out, that's all."

    Faith clutched her arm. It wasn't much of a bite, and Harm hadn't got much more than a trickle out of it, but... "I guess I didn't expect..didn't mean for you to actually do it." Jo and Katherine, who'd been working out on the other side of the training area, were staring at them; Jo had a stake out and was glaring menacingly. "You did all right. It's okay," she said in a louder voice, so the other Slayers would hear. "Fair's fair." She'd staked Harmony a few times with wood-grain plastic stakes. A bite that didn't kill...well, what did she expect, anyway? They were sparring.

    "Ahem." Faith turned to see Willow standing in the doorway with a cardboard box, Kennedy hovering behind her possessively. "Faith...Harm...we need to talk." She held up the box, showing the tags on it.

    "What d'ya got there?" Faith offered Harmony a hand up.

    Willow shifted her shoulders worriedly. "Paperweights." She opened the box, shifting some styrofoam peanuts, revealing a stack of crystal balls.

    Harmony swallowed loudly. "Orbs."

    Faith followed Harmony's reactions as they left the training area, heading for an unused room a few doors down the hall. The vampire watched the open box with an expression that kept shifting between relief and fear. Kennedy, in front of them but behind Willow, kept glancing back as if worried Harm might bolt or attack.

    Willow took a deep breath, sat down on a dusty bed, and opened the box the rest of the way. "A couple of weeks ago I would've just done it."

    "You should," Kennedy said. "Get it over with."

    "That's pretty much what I thought Giles would say." Willow rolled one of the Orbs around in her hand. "But he didn't. He left it up to us...well, me, and whoever I wanted to ask."

    "Why?" Harmony plucked another Orb out of the box and stared into it. "I...just do it. It's not like...I don't get a say, right?"

    "Harm..." Willow sighed and set her Orb aside. "If you were Angelus...I guess I would. Any other vampire...I don't know any more. You lost your soul a couple of weeks ago, but you haven't hurt anyone on purpose or even tried to escape. Meanwhile there are vampires with souls running around out there killing up a storm. Mostly not-dangerous demons, other vampires with souls...some of them are going after human criminals, and not to put them in jail." She put a hand on the vampire's shoulder. "And it gets worse. Harm, this ought to be a gift at least as much as a curse, a shot at redemption. I don't know if that means anything to you right now or not. But the point is, there are people out there weaponizing souls. It makes me sick just to think about it."

    Faith shifted on top of the decrepit coffee table she'd taken as a seat. "Isn't that what the gypsies did to Angel?"

    "In a way," Willow conceded. "But Faith, they didn't know what he'd do with it. The way I heard it, they expected him to suffer forever, and I guess they sort of had cause, too. It was a punishment for something he'd done, that he'd killed someone they cared about. I'm not saying that was enough, or that it was wrong either, but this is being done by vampires to vampires, just to shift the balance of power, to drive their enemies crazy or...or get them to kill themselves. Maybe by other people too, or demons...I don't know yet."

    "We're not going to make it, are we?" Harmony placed her Orb gently on the bed. "Vampires, I mean. Not even with souls. It's in our nature, like Angel always said. We can't stop." At that Kennedy nervously moved closer as if trying to get between her and Willow, forcing Willow to remove her hand. "We're going to keep killing, even if it's just each other."

    Willow grimaced and pulled Kennedy down next to her, closer but out of Harmony's way. "You didn't hear a word I said about you, did you? I don't...I don't even know what to believe any more. I never really thought about it, but everything Angel ever told us, everything the Watchers told's biased. I don't mean it's wrong, I mean we don't know. You were off human blood for what, three months before you even started working for Angel? And you wanted to feed off Cordy, she told me all about it...but you didn't. Did you know Angelus killed his entire home town? Everyone he ever knew? Did you ever even try to do that?"

    "Willow, I betrayed Cordelia. I turned her over to a bunch of weird vampire cultists. Angel was right." Faith tried to figure out the look in the vampire's eyes, the hunch of her might have been nothing but fear. Maybe. Maybe she was just frozen, unable to figure out what to do besides submit and hope to get out alive.

    "He could be. I don't know what to think any more." Willow replaced the hand on Harmony's shoulder. "Anyway, there's another thing. There's no way to tell now when we can get more Orbs...if they'll be stolen again...who else we might want to use them for. This is your fourth try, Harm. I think that's Giles' main reason. He's afraid we could be wasting them on you. Demand's way up, and supply's way down." She looked at Kennedy challengingly.

    Faith suddenly understood that look. Kennedy didn't think Harm was salvageable, and she'd told Willow so. This was the "resolve face" she kept hearing about, that she'd never quite gotten a look at.

    Harmony huddled in on herself. "Just get it over with," she mumbled. "Stake me or soul me or whatever. It's not like you have to give me a choice. It's not like I could make a right choice if you let me. I'm evil and I'm stupid and I...I can't."

    "No." Faith didn't even realize she was going to speak until she'd done it. "Damn it, Harm! I haven't been training you so you can run away and hide every time you have to make a hard decision." Kennedy tried to get a word in, and Faith clamped a hand over her mouth. "Shut it! Harm, you're a grown woman, as much as you're ever...never mind that. I'm sick of this shit from you, you hear me? You take every vampire I've ever met, and you are the worst at being evil, you got that? I'm more evil than you are. So make the damn choice. You're at least as likely to get it right as me."

    Kennedy was scrabbling at Faith's fingers. Willow's eyes were about to fall out of her head. Harmony pulled back against the wall as if expecting Faith to hit her. "I..." The vampire's mouth opened and closed for a few moments. Finally she managed, weakly, "Can I think about it a little while?"

    "Long as ya don't try to kill anyone," Faith said, "you can think about it as long as you want." She looked at Willow, who nodded briefly. Faith removed her hand from Kennedy's mouth, but with an I-don't-want-to-hear-it glare. "But you've got to make the decision for yourself. Maybe you can be good, maybe you can't, but you're never gonna do it by lettin' us decide things for you."

    "This is insane," Kennedy muttered. She pulled away from Willow and stalked out of the room. Willow started to go after her...then paused and sat back on the bed.

    "Harm," Willow said after a few seconds to think, "Giles may not give you as long as Faith would. There are people putting pressure on him. You need to make up your mind soon, okay?" Harmony nodded weakly. "Go on. Get something to eat. Watch a movie, take a nap, whatever you need to do to think it over."

    They waited in silence while the vampire pulled herself together and shuffled nervously out of the room. "Do you really think this is the right thing?" Willow wondered self-consciously. "I'm not sure we really know anything any more. Vampires...souls...any of it."

    Faith shook her head. "Maybe we did an' don't any more. World's changed, Red. We changed it, all of us together. Even Buffy." She began turning toward the door. "You do' everything's different."
    Perri Soames studied the girl across the table from her and took a sip of wine. "He was accounted competent, once. It's a pity, the way his affection for Buffy Summers damaged his judgement."

    "He's fallen apart," Kennedy groused. "I disrespect'am." She turned up her glass and took a gulp to cover her irritation. "But you said it. He doesn't see the big picture at all anymore."

    "We were afraid this would happen after Miss Summers was turned." Perri folded her arms and breathed deeply. She'd discovered that to be effective at keeping the girl's attention. The thought made her feel vaguely ill, but she dismissed that sensation at once. Kennedy required a leash, and she was it. "He simply became too attached to her to function as a Watcher should."

    The Slayer nodded and sipped her soup. Well...she had some understanding of manners, at least. "I guess I understand where he was coming from. That trial I heard about...."

    "The Cruciamentum, yes. There was some argument in the upper echelons regarding whether that was a barbaric practice and ought to be discontinued, but it was always up to Mr. Travers, of course. Not to a mere field Watcher, no matter his circumstances." Perri regarded Kennedy thoughtfully. Her previous charge had been the daughter of a wealthy sheik at the arse-end of Kazakhstan, intended as something of a censure for her poor thesis. The omens had suggested that girl would never be Called, and indeed she'd perished at the hands of Bringers well before Buffy's precipitate action a few months later. Now she had an actual Slayer in her hands, and she had no intention of losing her grip. "If Mr. Travers had been leading the Council to ruin...well, that would have been a different matter."

    Kennedy nodded. "I don't get it, Mrs. Soames. Our mission's supposed to be fighting the vampires, the demons, and the Forces of Darkness. Not making deals with them. Giles even left it up to Willow whether or not to ensoul Harmony--not even whether to stake her instead, but whether she was 'salvageable'." She finished up her drink--Kennedy had an admirable facility with alcohol, for an American--and seemed mildly surprised when the waiter immediately produced more. Evidently she'd been away from her family for quite some time.

    "It's on my tab, Kennedy. Have all you like." Giles had unfortunately transferred a great deal of the Council's money into less-accessible accounts during the chaos, but there was enough for the moment. The lost assets would have to be recovered, and soon. "I'm astonished he didn't bother to assign you a Watcher. Your relationship with Willow makes her entirely unsuitable, even on an ad hoc basis."

    "You seem to know what you're doing."

    Perri just smiled and pretended to sip some more wine, watching the girl grin. Kennedy was far more transparent than she realized. "I'm sure I could arrange something, as we've discussed before...if the situation were in proper hands."
    Harmony prowled the Hyperion's fourth-floor halls. The knot in her stomach just kept getting worse; even blood didn't want to stay down today. She wanted out. She wanted to go roam the streets and maybe take on a few evil nasty vampires. God, she was jonesing for a real fight, and that was just loony. But even if they'd let her out, it was only...she checked her watch...3:30 in the afternoon. She'd be burnt to a crisp, even this late in the fall.

    Maybe that was what she needed. Her way out.

    Someone was talking in one of the unused rooms ahead of her. The Hyperion had room for way more than twenty Slayers and assorted groupies. Most of the Watchers had turned up their noses at the place, and the rest--except for former Scoobies--had joined them at a nicer place a few blocks away rather than lose status. The trainees were there, too, for safety, or so she'd been told. Harmony ignored the voice and kept walking, figuring it was just some Slayer--no, not a Slayer, this was a guy--being a chatterbox on the phone. It was just one voice, as far as she could tell from this distance, and she didn't think anyone here talked to themselves but Illyria.

    "They're still making plans," the guy said. It sounded, it was Xander. Why the hell did she have to be a vampire when he was single? He'd turned out a heck of a lot sexier than in high school. "I managed to freak out any bloodsuckers who looked like they were gonna accept protection--not that there were many, mistress." Mistress? Huh? Who the hell was he talking to? Well, too late to worry about it--she was already passing the door to the room he was in.

    Xander looked up. "Whoa! Harm, get outta here! I'm on the phone new girlfriend, and you're not spying on us, sorry. Out!"

    "Girlfriend? You call your girlfriend 'mistress'?" That didn't sound right. They'd been talking about vampires. And he'd hesitated before saying who it was. He didn't smell like he was lying, though, and that was just freaky odd. Stall...stall. "What kind of kinky bondage games are you into, Xander?"

    "None of your business, Harm. Get--" Xander's hand went into his jacket pocket.

    A woman's voice sputtered faintly over the bad connection to his cell phone. "Harm? Harmony's there?" Oh God...Buffy? "Xander, you idiot, she's a vampire, she heard us!"

    "Got it, mistress." He clicked off the phone at the same time the stake came out, and threw himself at her. Xander was only human, but he was bigger than she was, and she couldn't remember where the exit to this hall went. Harmony let him collide with her and drove her knee into his crotch, producing a scream of pain.

    Harm turned to run back down the hall. She could hear doors slamming open on the floor beneath her. She'd just tell the Slayers what she'd heard, and it would be Xander who was in trouble, not her.

    "Help!" Xander shrieked at the top of his lungs. "Vampire attack! Harmony's trying to kill me!"

    The stairwell door burst open as Aamina and Jaylynne charged into the hallway, stakes raised. Jaylynne's lip curled in a sneer--she was easily half again Harm's size. "Stinkin' monster," she growled. Harmony turned and ran the other way, shoving a moaning Xander to the floor as she ran past.

    Running footsteps echoed from the stairwell at the other end of the hall, and she froze. They were going to dust her, it was over, and she wasn't even going to get a chance to warn anybody about Xander. Some of the floors were still in terrible shape, but not in this wing.

    Sunlight sparkled between the curtains from the nearest room. The only way out for her was through the sewers anyway, and she'd never get downstairs....


    Harmony spun on her heel and dashed into the room, leaving the floor in a flying leap, and grabbed at the curtains as plate glass shattered around her. Sunlight prickled at her skin even through the fabric; she could smell her hair crisping, and she was never going to get her perm to look right again, darn it, and then she was spinning in mid-air with the curtains billowing all around her. She clutched at them, trying to keep them covering her skin. Concrete slammed into her hard enough that she heard ribs crack as she landed on her side. Desperately she managed to wrap the curtain around her head and stand up, only to find herself facing Kennedy as the Slayer emerged from an expensive grey late-model SUV. Toyota something or other...

    Kennedy shouted something, and an older but still perky-looking British woman in a smart navy blue pantsuit scrambled out the other door as the Slayer darted in Harmony's direction. Harm gathered the curtain around her knees and pounded down the street at top speed. She could hear sizzling coming from her half-exposed left hand, feel the sunlight burning into her face even though it was as shielded as she could manage and still see. Not that she could see much with the brilliant reflections off cars dazzling her eyes.

    She wasn't dust yet, but where the heck was she supposed to go? There were Slayers shouting from behind her, charging out of the Hyperion, and here she was out in the sun instead of the sewers where it was stinky but safe...manhole! Harmony dug in the toe of her pricy shoe and kicked upward with as much force as she could manage. The manhole cover flew into the air--along with her shoe, dammit!--and she dropped through the opening into the cool darkness.

    Anne. She could tell Anne. Surely Anne would listen, and tell her what to do even if she was still too weak to help. Okay, so she was going to the shelter, and now all she had to do was fake out the dozen or so Slayers on her tail. With a whimper she tossed the curtains down a side passage.

    God, she was so dead.
    "What in the hell is this about, Ms. Soames?" Giles stared at the young Watcher through glasses that had been broken when the shouting started and three Slayers had knocked him down while barging out of the kitchen.

    "In five minutes, Rupert Giles, the rest of the Watchers in Los Angeles will walk through that door--enough for a quorum, under your own new rules--and you and your little band of children will be taken into custody, under the authority of the Watchers' Council of Great Britain." Soames's perfectly polished teeth shone as she grinned smugly at him. "Charges of collusion with the forces of darkness. I must admit you've given us the opportunity sooner than anyone expected. With luck, we'll only execute you, not...oh, revive some of the more archaic punishments." She glanced to one side at a green-looking Kennedy. "I suggest you come peacefully."

    "You have no idea what you're doing, Soames!" This jumped-up little toady was going to arrest him? "We're in the middle of an apocalypse--"

    "Which you have demonstrated your complete inability to handle, Giles. And if I don't know what I'm doing...well, I'm certain Mr. Wyndham-Price is perfectly capable of managing things."

    Jaylynne appeared in the hallway, several other Slayers crowding in after her. "Why'd you call us back? We'd have had the vamp in another five minutes."

    Soames shrugged. "Strategic considerations, Miss Naismith. I regret the escape of the undead, but you'll undoubtedly have the chance to destroy her soon enough."

    Willow came around the corner, trailed by Dawn, Connor, and Illyria. "Kennedy! What's--?" Kennedy grabbed her girlfriend by the arm and pulled the witch away from Giles.

    "A coup," Giles fumed. "This...imbecile and your girlfriend are implementing some plan of Roger Wyndham-Price's for a coup d'etat."

    "That would be most unwise," Illyria understated. "I admire his dedication to achieving power, but he lacks--"

    "Shut your mouth, you vile creature!" Soames interrupted. For the first time Giles had ever seen, the hellgod's eyes widened in shock. "You have no standing whatsoever. You should have been wiped from--"

    Illyria seized her by the throat and twisted. "Insect." The crunch of vertebrae was audible even over that single word. Illyria released the body to collapse against the wall. The Slayers threw themselves forward at Illyria and found Connor standing in the way. In the narrow hallway he could probably hold them off for some time, but soon they would all be trapped in a vice.

    "Ohmygod!" Dawn squeaked.

    Giles paled, understanding Dawn's sentiment precisely. "Dear God, Illyria, you killed her!" Illyria rounded on him, but he pressed on, not letting her speak. "Unless you intend to murder every Watcher, you have just destroyed any chance I had of regaining my authority, as well as slaughtering a woman who no doubt believed she was doing the right thing."

    "She was not," Illyria intoned coldly. "Wyndham-Price is a fool."

    Willow shoved Kennedy away, revulsion and shock painting her face. "Willow," Giles panted, "we have to get out of here before they pin us in this hall." But the redhead simply stood there, unable to speak.

    "Fumare!" Dawn squeaked, managing to draw Willow's attention; smoke began to billow from the younger woman's fingertips, filling the hall with astonishing speed.

    "Illyria," Giles snapped, "we are leaving. You can stay here and fight Slayers until one of them succeeds in destroying you, or you may come with us and hope to at least partly repair the consequences of your actions." He had no intention of trusting her ever again, not after this, but better that she come along than kill more Watchers and Slayers, even of Wyndham-Price's faction. Connor seized Dawn and began to hustle her away down the hall.

    :"I will come," Illyria said with a put-upon scowl. "You will need assistance in setting matters right." She strode away from him after Dawn.

    "Will," Kennedy moaned, sounding genuinely torn.

    Willow glared furiously at her and turned away. "Where's Faith?" she asked Giles. "And this isn't all the other Slayers. We have to--"

    "We have to go," Giles said firmly. "Any Slayers who support us will have to follow. We'll find a way to let them know where we are." He seized her by the shoulders. "Move!"

    She did, and never once looked back.
    "Ada Lang, Terrence Stahl, and Berenice Rogers refused to join us, as did most of the trainees." Gregory's features betrayed just a hint of the contempt in which he held the traitors. "We have to presume they've sided with Rupert Giles."

    They were seated around the same conference table Rupert Giles had used for tactical discussions. There were no Slayers here, which was how things were supposed to be. "Until Mr. Wyndham-Price has the opportunity to meet with us, I am acting head of the Council," Gregory concluded, "as was agreed. Is there any immediate business we need to dispose of before we discuss how and where to strike first?"

    "What's he doing here?" Francis gestured angrily at the young man reclining at the far end of the table with a huge ice pack between his legs. "Harris has been with Giles practically since Giles became Summers' Watcher. He's got no right to be here."

    "Look," Xander said, sitting up painfully, "you're right. I was Buffy's...her best friend. I...I'd have done anything for her. But she's dead, and I won't rest till the thing wearing her face is blowing in the wind. As for Giles...I'm sorry about how things have gone, but he's on the wrong side. I'm with you guys now."

    Gregory shrugged in Francis' direction, then gave a small nod to Xander. "Mr. Harris's proven his worth, Mr. Cole. If nothing else, he knows Ms. Summers better than any of us. He can predict her actions far better than we can." Francis made an irritable coughing noise and leaned back in his chair. "Now," Gregory went on, "it's time to put things back the way they belong."
    DeadWar: Burden of Proof
    Out Now.
    Avatar by Barb
    Feedback is always welcome here.