Constraints: follows 'living dead girls'

Constraints: follows 'living dead girls'.


Synopsis: Daria and Jane deal with the changes that have occurred in 'living dead girls'


Living dead girls 2: Corporate Seizure



Content: violence, some nudity.


Legal: Angel and Buffy belong to mutant enemy, Daria belongs to MTV, there are also phrases from SG1 and 'Evil dead III'. Also, I got invaluable advice from Thea Zara, Dervish, Ostragoth, Stalker and Roentgen on this.




Daria was headed to the public library to continue her education there, since she was still suspended.


The wounds had been inflicted on areas that were covered by clothing, so she didn't imagine having to face awkward questions from her parental units. But there might be problems come her first PE sessions after her suspension ended, although the continuing pain in her fingers (she claimed to have tripped and accidentally bent her fingers back in the fall) might allow her to skip PE.


Jane had also been suspended, but had also gone to ground, which had limited Daria's options as to who she could discuss these problems with, since Tom didn't know anything about any of the things she had become aware of. Attempting to describe the situation would most likely drive him away. The only people that left were Sandi and Quinn, who wouldn't want to be seen hanging around Daria, and would probably drive Daria nuts with their talk of fashion.


Things were beginning to suck big time.


"Hey Daria."


Daria turned to see the source of that voice. Illyria, looking (and sounding) like Stacy, was standing behind her, smiling, looking like the person she had hollowed out and occupied.


Daria frowned for a few seconds, then continued on her way.


Illyria formed up beside her and asked "where you headed?"


"Illyria? What the fuck do you think you're doing?" asked Daria.


"I'm ... trying to have a pleasant conversation with you."


"Uh-huh, right, like the last one we had at Vallie ... Whatsit ... " said Daria.


"Vahla Ha'nesh?" offered Illyria.


"Whatever, what do you want? Not that I care, but ... "


"Well, I'm kind of lost in your world, and my Qwa'ha Xahn has abandoned me. I need someone to help me learn how this new world works, so that I can survive."


"Right, well, I don't feel like helping you, I'm still mad at you for torturing me," said Daria.


"Aww, please don't be angry," she said, before moving up beside Daria and placing an arm around Daria's ribcage, pressing it against hers, causing the structure to flex painfully. Illyria then whispered in a husky voice "be afraid instead."


Daria reached into her jacket pocket and grabbed the crystal.




Illyria was holding Daria one second, and getting the shit beat out of her the next.


She had been on the floor for about 10 seconds receiving more blows before it all stopped and Daria appeared in front of her.


"Okay, here's a little advice about getting on in this world: Manners and pleasantries make people willing to help you, instead of plotting to shove you down a rock pulverizer."


Then Daria was gone, leaving Illyria to recover enough strength to crawl out of view.


Didn't anybody worship her any more?




"Gh-ohd, doesn't anyone worship us anymore?" Asked Sandi.


"Face it, two people do not make a Fashion Club," said Quinn.


"That case, we need to find an alternate way to make ourselves popular," said Sandi.


"How?" asked Quinn.


Sandi looked around, then noticed the bulletin board "How about we enter American Pop Idol 2?"


Quinn looked at the poster and said "I don't know about that. All they do is emotionally abuse and publicly humiliate the contestants, that would do more harm than good."


"Yeah, unless someone like Daria ends up on the contest. Her singing voice and her recitation of lyrics is quite excellent I noticed," said Sandi.


"Really? ... I never noticed, are you sure?" asked Quinn.


"Absolutely," responded Sandi, with a nod.


Sandi then looked around.


"What?" asked Quinn, she then looked where Sandi was looking, and saw Angela walking away with her hands possibly in the 'I have found another way that will make me very, very right and very, very popular' position (which strangely seemed to resemble the sort of hand rubbing villains are portrayed as doing)


"Miss Li, eavesdropping, I think she could use a lesson in pain," said Sandi.


"My, we are feeling cranky today," commented Quinn, before saying "Are you sure we should use the nukes straight away?"




"Just a few things that need sorting out right now. You and your watcher failed to report in or respond to any phone calls, and an investigation failed to reveal your own or your watchers location. Could you tell me what happened?"


Tiffany looked at Giles, trying to work out how she was going to talk about this without bursting into tears.


"We were headed to my house, and we got ambushed."




Tiffany and her watcher, Nathan, were discussing her performance in their last round of exercises when 4 vamps appeared from behind some bushes in front of them, and three behind.


"Ohhh-kayyyyy ... " said Nathan, trying to come up with a plan.


They were both tooled with stakes, and had a decent amount of martial arts proficiency, but Tiffany was merely a potential slayer.


But they were fucked if they didn't try something, so they each picked a vampire and engaged.


They each splashed two before the remaining vamps knocked them out.




When Tiffany awoke, her head felt like it was about a microbar from exploding.


She saw a floor.


A bare, wooden, dirty floor, covered in bits of charred foil and spliff ends, and, Nathan.


She also noticed she couldn't move her arms, her wrists and elbows were tied together, and when she tried to sit up, she felt chain links moving around her neck.


She was also butt naked.


Her watcher on the other hand, was fully clothed, and free.


That meant he was dead.




Or ...




Tiffany didn't want to think about it, but it was possible that ...


Tiffany decided to instead work on escape. She could move her fingers, and her palms were facing inwards, so provided she could find a knife or a pair of scissors, she could at least free her arms, which left the chain on her neck.


She looked around, the three surviving vamps were asleep on a sofa and two single mattresses. Her chain led along the floor to a hole, where it descended around one side of a beam and returned to be united to the rest of the chain with a padlock, she estimated 3 metres of chain.


She also saw her stuff piled on a coffee table, her feet were free to move, so she got to her knees and made her way to the table to try to locate her nail file, and her stake.


Neither were present.


Not even her CS can (some of her patrol routes led her to more mundane bandits, where staking would be inappropriate).


Why was she even alive? Shouldn't they have drained her of blood by now?


Or was that going to be her watchers job?


She looked around some more, trying not to rattle the chain too much, she had to escape before the vamps- "Ahh, good evening." She froze.


She looked to her 3o'clock position, the vamp on the sofa was awake.


"Good news for you, you're not going to be turned or killed, you're going to live."




"They found my blood to be quite tasty, so I was kept as a dessert," 'and a fuck toy,' she didn't add, either case would have been bad enough on its own.


"You wish to stop for a while?" asked Giles.


"No, might as well continue," said Tiffany, surprised at how well she was containing her emotions while recounting the events.




"Where's the fucking lighter?" asked Max, the brown haired vamp.


"How should I know?" asked Nathan.


The other two were named Tom (black hair, slim build) and Jack (no hair, and a goatee). This had been several weeks into Tiffany's capture. They had been force feeding her iron supplements and soup. Sometimes one or more of them would fuck her too. It was getting to the point where she would go for being dead, but she was taking these bastards with her, or she would take them out and escape. Either way, they were going to die.


Nathan walked up to her and lifted her by her chain "I bet you know where it is, don't you?"


Tiffany was forced to stand on her toes. She looked away from Nathan, but Nathan grabbed her face and forced her to look at him, her former watcher, now an enemy agent that fed on her and occasionally raped her, she realised she was scowling, and accurately predicted he would punch her in the stomach.


Vampires hit like horses kick, and to be hung while punched that hard was a near death experience.


But they weren't going to let her die.


It wasn't just that potential slayer blood tasted nice, breaking her down into a caged animal also seemed to be giving them a lot of pleasure.


Nathan's interrogation was cut short by the other vamps, and Tiffany was dropped onto the floor, where she coughed and tried to recover.


After looking everywhere, the vamps concluded that it had just been misplaced by one of them, they decided to feed her the tinned soup cold. This was done one of two ways, either they would put it on a stainless bowl on the floor where she would lap it up, or they would shove a funnel that had a 2cm spout down her throat and pour it in, sealing her mouth and nose so she couldn't breathe until it was all down her neck.


That will end in two days time.


She had one chance to take them out. She fucked it up, they might amputate her hands, confine her even more tightly, any number of things, so she was going to wait a couple of days to be sure that they won't be watching her while pretending to be asleep.




Nathan was awoken by a scream, then another joined the first as he opened his eyes. The room was on fire ... because Tiffany had the lighter that had gone missing, and one of the butane cans for the camping hob.


Before Nathan could do anything, Tiffany had turned the fire towards him. He tried to escape the flame, but was unsuccessful, and was unable to locate any means of extinguishing the fire before he turned to dust.



'Splash four' Tiffany noted. She dropped the now empty can but retained the lighter. It was one of those long nose lighters, she had used her nail files under nail scraper to open the valve on the top, then she had used the lighter to spark the escaping gas.


Now she lifted the tip of the lighter to burn through the 3mm rope that had been on her wrists for the past two weeks. The nylon rope melted and ignited, she felt immense pain, but it was about the same in intensity as the sores where the rope had been cutting into her skin, and nothing next to the blood rushing back into her hands. Her wrists were finally loose, that left her elbows, which were too tightly bound for her to just shrug off, she looked at the raging fires, those would burn off skin and muscle before freeing her elbows, she needed to get a smaller flame in there.


She looked at her stuff which had been thrown into a corner, she walked over there, and felt the chain start to pull on her neck. She sat down and reached with her toes to pull a pen and a pencil into her reach.


She pushed the pencil tip into the top of the pen, which split to admit the pencil, but held it. It seemed long enough to reach her elbows, she then lit the eraser.




"I then had to pick apart the beam with my nail file, that took for fuckin' ever, good thing the fires didn't have the fuel to ignite the structure. And then I saw the sores on my arms which were pretty deep, I decided I didn't want anyone to see them and start asking questions, so I pulled all the money out of my account and I got a street surgeon to disguise the wounds. I returned home, telling my parents I had run off because school was getting to me. They bought it, but I couldn't find the number for the watchers council, so I continued to work on my own. Then I was activated, I guessed that meant another slayer got KIA'd. Then I was found by Faith and Willow, they told me that all potentials had been activated in the battle against the ... First Evil?"


"Yes, I'm surprised the people who made the first vampire slayer didn't think of that," said Giles, he then continued "you were very lucky with the street surgeon, a lot of them would have ended up increasing the damage."


"I know, I just wanted any reminders gone," said Tiffany.


"What about the mental reminders, nightmares, anxiety attacks, has anything like that presented?" asked Giles.


"Used to, but those seem to have gotten better," said Tiffany.


"Hmm ... you're talking at normal speed now without the magic, Faith said she had Willow speed your time frame?"


Tiffany looked down at the floor, she then brought up the words "I was doing this drug I found that slows the brain while allowing me to fight, hence the reduced nightmares and anxiety attacks."


"Do you feel you can come off that now?" asked Giles.


"I can try, I have been unable to replenish my supplies in the past couple of days, but I think I can come off those now," said Tiffany.


"You can always get help if you feel you need it, there are plenty of institutions within our theatre of war that offer counselling and preserve client anonymity," said Giles.


"I know," said Tiffany.


"Right, well, now there's the question of what to do with you, do you feel up to returning to Lawndale?"


"I don't know ... oh, crap, my parents, I've disappeared again, what do I tell them?"


"Oh, they think you're helping the FBI with something you supposedly witnessed when you were missing, and that you won't be able to tell them about it, but feel free to make something up for them if you feel you have to."


"Thanks ... I really made a mess in Lawndale, my friends, Quinn and Sandi, they're mad at me for interrogating Quinn's sister," said Tiffany.


"Yes, Faith mentioned that, the vampire you were after is her friend, Jane Lane?" asked Giles.


"Yes, she was Daria's friend, Daria can't accept that Jane is dead, and that the thing that replaced her is some vicious killer ... it's not Daria's fault, I should have left her alone and concentrated on other vamps ... speaking of, I should return to Lawndale soon," said Tiffany.


"Are you sure you're up to it?" asked Giles.


"No ... but I won't make things better by hiding out over here, I could probably use a watcher though, I've missed the input," said Tiffany.


"Very well then, I have someone who has originated from the United States, and he is now qualified to work as a watcher," said Giles.




"And now we're on our way back to Lawndale, where the courageous Faith and Tiffany faced off against impossible odds to save the planet from the self destructing old one." said Andrew with irritating enthusiasm.


"Where the brave Tiffany had to use her wits to escape a nest of cruel vampires-" started Andrew.


Only to be interrupted by Tiffany saying "Yeah, a little louder, I don't think the passengers right at the back can hear you blab my confidence away."


Andrew looked at her infuriated face with a deep sense of shame.


"Errm ... sorry," he finally said.


Tiffany pressed her head back into her seat and said "just out of curiosity, what knowledge is needed to qualify you to be a watcher anyway?"


"Well ... Okay, that was stupid of me just now, but I have proven myself capable of being a watcher," replied Andrew.


"Right, just try to cut back on the melodrama, 'sides, Daria helped us save the world. I just hope she can tolerate my presence when we get back. have you been made aware of what happened prior to me and Faith receiving the equipment from Willow?" asked Tiffany, she then added "Yes or no only," as he opened his mouth to speak.


"Yes," he finally said.


"I was obsessed with Jane for some reason, and I got mad at Daria for her interference. Doesn't help that I had been medicating myself with those pills. Oh, that reminds me, now I'm off the meds, if I'm asleep when we land, do not touch me, I might break your arm before I'm awake enough to realise I'm not in that nest," she said.


"Right," said Andrew, he looked out the window and saw it getting dark.




Jane entered the apartment and headed for the kitchen, she glanced around the apartment, seeing those creepy dolls with the blindfolds.


It turned out that the entire north side of this block of apartments was occupied by vampires. Some were gangsters (having great strength and a certain moral flexibility being advantages in that field of work). Some were 'blood whores', feeding off people who paid for the experience (getting paid for what you do and enjoy anyway is understandably attractive). And others had more legitimate jobs on the night shift (Dayshift for those working on the New York underground). She worked at a butchers mostly receiving goods, shelf stacking, cleaning. Part of her pay was in animal blood, of which she had a batch now.


She put it in the fridge and got an older tub out and poured it into a mug. She added a load of cinnamon to it, her latest experiment to see if she could get a better taste, and stuck it in the microwave for 5 minutes low power.


She leant against the kitchen counter and looked in the direction of her roommate's room, where her roommate was probably sleeping under a now bloodless corpse.


Her thing seemed to be pulling a man, and feeding off him while he fucked her, and not revealing her name.


She had asked the girls name numerous times since she had moved in, but had received insane rambling singsong ... gibberish for an answer.


Insane girl's half of the rent came from her victim's wallets.


Hopefully the IRS won't do them for failing to pay the inheritance tax.


Occasionally, one of the vamps will kill the landlord, happened every 3 weeks apparently. They'd also cook the books so that the ones that were recorded as having been behind on payments were instantly ahead.


Jane was barely tolerated by the other vamps, her attitude towards taking lives made them think she was some sort of traitor, or insane.


The unnamed girl started talking to her latest victim.


'I'm insane???' Jane thought sarcastically.


She wondered how Daria was doing without her, their falling out over the Tom situation had demonstrated Daria's dependence on Jane for emotional support, and now Jane was on the run because of some vigilante vampire hunter.


She had told Jane to go somewhere SHE wouldn't think of ... She was expecting Tiffany to torture her for answers. ... She had to find out the situation, but ... nah, no way Tiffany would have access to call tracing equipment ... or if she did, she'd use it for a paperweight.


She picked up the phone and dialled the number.




"Mystic pound, for all your stray demon needs," answered Daria.


"Hey Amiga," said Jane.


"Hi, how've you been?" asked Daria.


"Okay, got a north facing apartment, got a job, butchers, lots of free blood, and I got an insane vamp for a roommate who won't tell me her name, you?"


"Well, my suspension's nearly over, I'll be back at school tomorrow. Some really weird shit happened after you left, Tiffany came after me looking for you, using shocks and cuts, then Illyria had a rather unpleasant chat about a perceived assassination attempt. Now she's lost most of her powers, still has enhanced strength, but she can't function in this world, and after what she did to me, I'm thinking of introducing her to hard narcotics and pimping her off for about five bucks a shag," Daria said.


"Ouch, what did she do to you?" asked Jane.


"Tenderised me, then she stretched my back out, almost to failure point. I just hope she catches something really nasty and dies a slow torturous death," said Daria.


"And you're back at school tomorrow?" asked Jane.


"Yep, I'm just dreading facing Morris alone," said Daria.


"Double Ouch ... On the plus side, I saw American Pop Idol 2 was going to be held at your school. Maybe Kevin and Brittany will enter and get a new one ripped out of their ego by Cowel and that green guy, assuming he's as mean," said Jane.


Daria laughed and said "Yeah, that might make me feel better, Emphasise the might though."


"How about the Fashion Club? Quinn or Sandi crying, or Sta- Illyria or Tiffany turning Cowel into hamburger meat? Mayhem, mayhem, mayhem? Anyway, I'll call again tomorrow," said Jane.


"Yeah, bye," said Daria, then Jane hung up.


Daria was glad that Jane was okay, it had been two weeks since Jane had left, and she had been seriously worried for her.


Jane hadn't revealed her location, and Daria thought that prudent, even though she had the impression that the slayers had lost interest in Jane, it seemed a bad idea to tempt fate.




The plane pulled into the terminal, and the passengers started gathering their belongings.


Except Andrew and Tiffany.


Tiffany was asleep, and her advice was ringing loudly in Andrews ears. Tiffany might cause severe injury to anyone who grabs her while she's asleep.


But if he didn't wake her soon, one of the flight attendants would, and then Tiffany would be wanted for assault, if not arrested.


He braced himself and tapped the back of Tiffany's hand.


He kept at it until Tiffany stirred.


"We're at Lawndale now," he said.


"Right," Tiffany rubbed her face and sat up.


Andrew felt considerable relief that he didn't get his arm mangled.


"Any nightmares?" he asked.


"No actually, maybe those pills had served a useful purpose after all," they got their stuff and disembarked.




Daria entered the kitchen looking a little spacey.


"Daria? You look awful!" said Helen.


"What?" asked Daria, before blinking, she then headed to the toaster to make herself some pop tarts.


"Daria, you look like you've been up all night, what were you doing?"


Daria turned to Helen again, shook her head, said "What?" before finally returning to her task of making breakfast.


Quinn entered the room and said "'morning Daria, ready for your first day back?"


Daria blinked at her a few times and said "What?"


"Ah," said Quinn, before checking the kettle, switching it on, and loading a cup with 6 spoonfuls of Nescafe dilithium residue.


"Um, Quinn honey? Isn't that a touch excessive?"


Quinn looked at Daria and said "actually, this not might be enough," before adding two more spoonfuls.


Daria responded to the toaster ejecting the pop tarts three seconds after the event.


Soon as the kettle switched off, Quinn poured the water into the cup, stirred it a few times, and managed to get the cup to Daria's lips just before she got the pop tart there. Hopefully the lack of food in front would get the caffeine where it's needed in about two seconds.


Daria shuddered, and her mind was at military.


"Whoa, thanks Quinn." said Daria, she then took the cup from Quinn and consumed the coffee and the pop tart as Helen asked "You ready to return to school?"


"I suppose." said Daria.


"You're not going to trash the library or something else, are you?"


"First off, that was Jane, and she only did that accidentally while trying to defend herself," said Daria.


"If that's the story you would like to maintain-" started Helen.


But Daria interrupted with "Besides, the amount of effort needed to shift one of those book cases ... "


Helen thought about it and said "Oh yeah ... Okay, fair enough."




"You get any sleep at all last night Daria?" asked Quinn as they walked to school.


"Yeah, I slept one out of five seconds," said Daria "stupid post traumatic stress disorder."


"You might think about getting help," suggested Quinn.


"Thought about it, rejected it, on account that the second I start talking about Illyria possessing Stacy and abducting me to another dimension, slowing time, and the fact Tiffany was interrogating me in pursuit of a vampire, I'll start getting treated for schizophrenia," said Daria.


"Oh, right ... You talk to Jane at all?" asked Quinn.


"Yeah, talked to her last night. She's fine, got a crazy vampire roommate, a job at a butchers, north facing apartment, so no direct sunlight ever," said Daria.


"Unless Al Qaeda hit her city with one of those missing suitcase nukes," said Quinn.


Daria looked at her and asked "Have you been watching the history channel?"


"This isn't history, this is the present, I was watching that survival program that the SAS guy was doing," said Quinn.


"Still a documentary, you're not worried about it making you unpopular?" asked Daria.


"Not if people don't find out ab- ... " Quinn froze, looking worried.


"Relax, not gonna blackmail you, not in the mood ... wonder what that's about?" said Daria.


Marcus Hamilton appeared beside them "Morgendorffer and Morgendorffer, I see you're headed off to school, so I'll make this quick. Daria, the crystal you used to help you protect your fair town, is property of Wolfram and Hart, I have been asked to retrieve it."


"Erm ... Illyria's come at me again, the crystal is the only advantage I have over her," said Daria.


"Well, if that's the way you feel on the matter, I'm sure we can come to some sort of arrangement," said Marcus as he circled around to Daria's side.


He then grabbed Daria by her throat and lifted her about 30cm into the air without any tell whatsoever, and as Daria struggled to get his hand off her, he retrieved the crystal from her pocket. He then said "Illyria is a minor irritation compared to what my firm will do if you try to interfere with our operations again. You should have returned the crystal immediately, I think under the circumstances I was being Very polite. That will not happen in future, is that understood?" he asked.


Daria tried to say yes, but couldn't, she nodded as far as she could.


"Excellent, I'll let you get back to what you were doing then," he then dropped Daria on her ass and disappeared (possibly using the crystal rather than any other magic)


Quinn helped Daria to her feet as she coughed and recovered.


"You okay Daria?" asked Quinn.


"Fine ... next time I'm on E-bay, I'll start looking for a non-metallic gun. I've really had it up to here with everyone else being able to attack me at will," said Daria, as she rubbed her throat.




As Daria approached the school, she saw two people she didn't want to see.


"Tiffany's back," commented Quinn.


"She was absent?" asked Daria.


"For the duration of your suspension," said Quinn.


"And Illyria?" asked Daria.


"Showed up every day, looking like Stacy. She kept her distance from Sandi and me, but I still wish she would just disappear for good," said Quinn.


Tiffany approached them.


"What does she want?" asked Daria.


Tiffany stopped one point five metres from them, standing with her mouth slightly open as if she was trying to come up with something to say.


Tiffany finally said "That stuff I did to you that night, I shouldn't have. I'm sorry I did that. I'm not going to ask you to forgive me for it, and I won't do anything like that again ... I'll be gone now ... as far as my required presence at school will allow ... " she then headed into school.


Daria and Quinn looked at each other.


"At least she was contrite," said Daria.


"She was talking faster, without moving like a character on fast forward," said Quinn.


"So when she tortured me, she may not have been firing in all cylinders?" asked Daria.


"I suppose," said Quinn.


"That's not getting her off," said Daria, before also heading into school.


A few seconds later, Quinn followed.




Angel looked in disbelief as Eve signed the form that Marcus had produced.


"Thank you," he said.


"What the Hell's going on?" asked Angel.


"Oh, sorry for the intrusion, I'm Marcus Hamilton, your new liaison to the senior partners," he then pointed out another part of the contract for Eve to sign.


"You're what?" asked Angel.


"Along with her immortality and certain other privileges, Eve has signed over her duties to me," he then flipped to the back page and told Eve to initial there.


"This was about a contract? I thought you said you were gonna die," said Angel.


"And now, one day, I will," said Eve.


"The senior partners felt it was time for a change, Eve was too easily distracted. Lost sight of the big picture," said Marcus.


"I fell in love," said Eve.


"Yes, congratulations," he said to eve, then he turned to Angel and said "Wonderful escape, by the way, very clever, we'll be in touch, 
Oh, I have some excellent ideas I can't wait to share."
Angel approached Marcus and said "This is my house, the only ideas that matter are mine."
"Absolutely," said Marcus, not loosing his cheerful demeanor "The senior partners are behind you 100%."


"I doubt that," said Angel, this had been a really weird day. He couldn't believe he had decided to spring Lindsey from that holding dimension, since he was one of those people that Angel felt deserved that kind of thing, but then, he also felt Knox could to (Gunn had brought him along especially for this after they had found out he had intended to infect Winifred with Illyria, and while someone else was still dead from that, he was still relieved it wasn't Winifred)




"Miss Morgendorffer, are you aware that Lawndale will be hosting American Pop Idol 2?" Asked Angela.


"Yes, you have made me aware of that 4 times now. What of it?" asked Daria.


"If you enter, the damage to the library will be removed from your permanent record," she explained.


"Yes, but my criminal record will include the sadistic murder of Simon Cowel, nice try Angela."


"Principal Li to you, it is hiiiighly disrespectful for you as a student to use my first name," she said.


"Yes, it is, isn't it Angela?" said Daria before walking off.






Tiffany closed her locker and turned to Illyria.


"Tell me you don't think that the fact both of us are now on Sandi and Quinn's shitlist makes us friends. Because I saw you abduct Willow, then I visited her in hospital after you dislocated a large number of her limbs, then her Friend Fred, who, fair enough, is now working for Wolfram and Hart, but Willow still considers her a friend ... just fuck off, Illyria, be gone."


"Aww, come on, we were friends-" started Illyria.


But Tiffany spun, putting her fist (followed by a sizable dent) into the locker. "NO, ILLYRIA, STACY and I were friends, YOU are some DEMON, WEARING HER BODY, LIKE A SICK COSTUME, FEEL FREE TO FOOL EVERYONE ELSE, BUT DO NOT PRETEND TO BE HER TO ME!" Tiffany then walked off.


Illyria considered weather or not she wanted to follow her shells behaviour pattern and cry, or just walk off.




Winifred entered Angel's office and asked "what's up?"


"Apparently, the senior partners need you for a special project," said Angel.


"You will be briefed upon arriving on location," added Marcus.


"Okay, any hints? A list of stuff I need to bring?" asked Winifred


"All necessary equipment will be provided on site," said Marcus.


"Okay, that case I need to select a temp for science here," said Winifred.


"Fred, a word," said Wesley.




"Anything the senior partners would want you for, it is guaranteed to be evil," said Wesley when they were in the briefing room.


"Wesley, we've been in evil inc. for the good part of a year now, save the good, I know the drill," said Winifred.


"Fred, this is different, your direct superior at Wolfram and Hart LA is Angel, the SPs have refrained from micromanaging us, but in this instance, what you will be doing will directly help the SPs cause, you will be isolated from friendly forces," said Wesley.


"I know, I've been alone in unfriendly territory before, remember? 5 years in Pylea, on the run, eating bark, almost got dead a bunch of times?" said Winifred.


"Okay, but make sure you gather as much information as possible while you work," said Wesley.


"I'll try," said Winifred.




Andrew picked up Tiffany from in front of the school.


"How was your first day back?" asked Andrew.


"Unusual, everyone was surprised to hear my real voice. Sandi, Quinn, and Daria look at me like I'm something they wiped off their ass, and Illyria had the nerve to attempt to use Stacy's form to convince me we're friends," said Tiffany.


"Illyria, the ancient god king of the primordium, who returned to this world by infecting an innocent little girl, whose body was unsuitable for the task, and only through the co-operation of our former allies in Los Angeles, and the co-operation of a girl who became hostile to us-" started Andrew


But Tiffany interrupted with "I know the story, Andrew, I lived it, remember? And why do you have to over dramatise everything?"


"Erm ... sorry ... " said Andrew.


"You still haven't answered my question," said Tiffany.


Suddenly the car died.


"Whoa, we just lost warp power Katherine!" asked Andrew.


"End of warranty?" suggested Tiffany.


Suddenly something smashed through the floor behind them and filled the cabin with a clear gas.


"That's getting-" Tiffany started, but was interrupted by her falling unconscious.




Andrew was awoken by someone knocking on the window.


It was a cop.


"Sir, you'll have to move your vehicle, it's obstructing traffic."


Andrew nodded, then he looked around "crap, where's Tiffany?"


"Who?" asked the cop.


"Tiffany, Chinese girl, blue dress ... "


"Would you like to report a missing person?" asked the cop.


Andrew thought about it, then said "no," and tried to restart the car, but it wasn't even rotating. "Crap." He looked behind him, then said "you mind pushing my car with yours?"




Tiffany woke up on a cold hard floor, with no clothes on.


This was not the sort of thing that brought back happy memories.


She opened her eyes and looked around.


She was in a cage, it was gloss white (possibly powder coated carbon steel), twenty millimetre bars spaced fifteen centimetres apart, cage measuring zero point six metres cubed. The floor was made of what looked like plain steel sheet, the floor was slightly concave (pyramid like) with a hole in the centre, she couldn't see the floor through it.


There were other cages, same dimensions, all on casters, like she figured hers was. Underneath the centre of the cages there was some sort of gutter leading to a small plastic jar, she guessed for collecting urine samples from their occupants. The room was well lit, breezeblock wall painted white, grey painted floor with yellow lines marking a passage way.


The lids of the cages she could see had a padlock on the roof connecting two rings together, it looked too strong for her, but she wasn't waiting for some guards to show up if she didn't have to. She got on her back and pressed her feet against the ceiling of her cage.




"Giles, I have a dire situation to report, a situation where Tiffany Blum Deckler may be in severe peril, and may be unable to save herself-"


"Get to the point," said Giles, he was getting just a little frustrated with Andrews over dramatization of his reports.


"Someone attacked us with sleeping gas and when I awoke, Tiffany was gone. I have no Idea who took her, and I'm waiting for a mechanic to show up and figure out what happened to the car," said Andrew.


"Thank you, okay, I'm sending Faith and Willow to assist you in your search," said Giles.




"Religiously I'm speaking on the science 'cause
We've gotta live on science alone
I tell you what mathematically I'm having it
I want to live on science alone."


Lilah was getting a lot annoyed with Winifred's singing that song over and over and over and over and- she felt her sidearm in her handbag again, but kept reminding herself of what would happen if she interfered with the operation to corrupt team Angel.


At least they would be landing in half an hour. She just had to hold herself for that long. Plus the time it takes to get to the New York branch of Wolfram and Hart, through gridlock, another half hour. Remember the punishment dimension, remember the punishment dimension, remember the analysis and freaky sensitivity, we gotta live on science alo- "GAAAAAAH"


Winifred and the two security goons looked at her.


"Did I say that out loud?" she asked.




Jane was about to head off to work, when her room mate walked past her with her latest victim over her shoulder wrapped in garbage bags.


"What exactly do you do with those anyway?" she asked.


"I give the leftovers to the nice people at Wolfram and Hart, they will be given a nice home," replied the insane girl.


"Right," Jane remembered the name of the company from one of her conversations with Illyria. They were a law firm, and they gathered dead people. This was a very strange firm.


Jane decided to call Daria before heading out.




"Okay, that is unusual for a Law firm ... I hope ... but not that surprising considering they sent a clean up team after I blew a number of holes in the school," said Daria.


"You blew up the school?" asked Jane.


"Only bits of it, epic battle with the Slayers when I thought they were about to ask me more questions about you. Turned out they wanted my help in saving the planet from Illyria," said Daria.


"Anything else happening your end?" asked Jane.


"Well, Tiffany's back, she apologised for torturing me. Hamilton, guy who lead the cleanup team asked me to hand over the crystal, offered to stop strangling me if I did, that was very nice of him, and Angela tried to get me to enter American Pop Idol 2 in the hopes of getting me to disembowel Simon Cowel on national television," said Daria.


"That evil, vindictive bitch. Look, I gotta get off to work now, I'll talk to you later, okay?" said Jane.


"Yeah, catch you later," said Daria, before hanging up.


The door opened and Faith and Andrew walked in. "Hi Daria. Tiffany disappeared on her first day back, and since you weren't happy with her, it got me thinking that you might have motive to do something unpleasant to her."


Thinking how much she hadn't wanted to see Faith again, she said "Yeah, but I didn't, Tiffany disappeared? When?"


"Just after school, she was with Andrew, their car died, then it filled with sleeping gas. Then he awoke to find Tiffany missing," said Faith.


"So she was abducted from a motor vehicle ... I couldn't have done that, not alone anyway. There anyone else you like for this?" asked Daria.


"You mean the kind of help, like, say, a vampire who you insist on befriending?" asked Faith.


"Jane isn't interested in getting back at Tiffany, and she only found out Tiffany was back a few minutes ago. Now seriously, is there anyone else you may consider motivated to abduct Tiffany?" said Daria.


Faith and Andrew thought about this for a while.


Then, deciding the best way to get them to stop blaming all their troubles on her would be to actually help them recover their missing slayer, Daria said "where did you put the car?"


Faith hesitated before saying "It's still at the garage, we have the device that was used on it."


"Uh, Faith, a word?" said Andrew.




"Faith, are you sure we can trust her? She could be doing a Seska on us"


"A ... a what?" asked Faith.


"Seska was a Cardassian surgically altered to look Bajoran, she infiltrated the Maquis, then betrayed Voyager after the Marquis and Starfleet crews merged to the Kazon Nistrim," explained Andrew.


Faith nodded and said "well that was a waste of a perfectly good explanation, so surmised, you think Daria may be playing us?"


"Yes," said Andrew.


"Well, then, we'll just have to keep her closer, as in, than our friends," said Faith.


"Oh, you mean like in Voyager episode 1:11, State of flux?" asked Andrew.


Faith sort of nodded and said "Yeah, I suppose," she then headed back to Daria's room.




Winifred was shown the laboratory, she was introduced to her XO, John Foley (redhead man with freckles and a serious look, Winifred's height), and the store room. Her lab was kitted out for what looked like medical experiments, it even included a full MRI sensor, with restraints, and nearer the large steel sliding door, there was a stainless steel table with restraints.


She was probably going to be dissecting a creature of human proportions, or possibly even a ...


Crap, what if She WAS ordered to dissect a human?


"Okay, I'd like to show you what it is you will be looking at," said Lilah.


They headed off to another room.


They were accompanied into the room by some guards.




Tiffany looked to the left, the direction she heard the noise from, she curled up, decided to pretend to be asleep. Maybe she could learn something from these guys.


Tiffany was wondering if she should be experiencing an anxiety attack (she had barely avoided taking peoples heads off for bumping into her or otherwise startling her just after she returned home from that vampire nest), waking up in a cage slightly bigger than her bedside unit with no clothes on should surely have her futilely struggling to escape. But she was instead feeling irritation, and was patiently waiting to gather information prior to attempting an escape.


Probably the sedatives, they have probably yet to fully clear out of her.


She also recognised that waiting too long could cause the conditions necessary for a successful escape to expire, they could close off escape routes, she could be injured in such a way that reduces her mobility or her senses. Tiffany was not into gambling, and she was being forced to by her captivity, failure to initiate an escape at the correct time would most likely result in her death. It was like being forced to walk across a minefield without so much as a bayonet and being forbidden from using any means of detecting the mines other than stepping on them. You don't walk, you're dead, your only hope is to take an otherwise insane risk.


And then there was the possibility that there was no way to escape, no opportunity would arise.


A brunette woman in a grey striped business suit with a scar circling her neck and a skinny brunette woman in a white lab coat and glasses walked into view, accompanied by two men in SAS costumes.


"Fred, meet Tiffany Blum Deckler, don't let her appearance fool you, Girl's not entirely human."


'Fred' knelt in front of the cage and looked in, asking "what is it you want me to do with her?"


"Find the source of her strength, find a way to neutralise it with a chemical, mystical, or biological agent that can be placed in water, food, whatever," said the woman in the grey suit.


Fred? ... Willow called her friend Fred ... Tiffany mentally slapped her forehead and thought 'of course, Wolfram and Hart!!! Hopefully Fred will help me escape'


"Right, I'm going to need a moment to think about how to proceed here. How did you come across her?" said Fred.


"We captured her. She is one of a group of people who have been causing our firm a lot of trouble lately," said the woman in grey, before squatting in front of the cage and saying "but now you are going to help us solve the problems your group has created, aren't you?"


Tiffany didn't respond, she wasn't going to escape on begging or insulting, just like last time, she was going to have to await an opportunity to escape, and take it.




"The mechanic found this when he lifted the car overhead," said Andrew as he handed Daria the item.


"You know, if you had contacted the police, you might have some answers by now," said Daria as she turned the item over in her hands.


The item had what looked like skateboard wheels, some motors, a cylinder, and a battery pack. There were two probes sticking out the front, and the hollow drill that had been used to deliver the sedative to the car. There was also an array of cameras.


Daria turned it upside down and mouthed "Any radiation?"


"I haven't checked," said Andrew, he then continued "All I know is how I found it, and the mechanic said the cars electronics were fried. Why did you mouth the question, Daria?"


"No reason," she said, then she asked "got a stainless steel box big enough to enclose this thing?"




Jane was headed home after a night of taking goods for the butchers.


She had just gotten on the tube when she felt something burn her back. "Arrgh," she turned to see a South American girl dressed in a blue overall, purple jumper, holding a wooden cross with a sharpened base. She turned the cross so the point came out between the middle and ring fingers. Jane deflected the weapon as she made to stab Jane with it. She kicked the girl's right knee away from her, the girl kicked Jane back with her left foot, Jane bounced off some seats and landed head first on the opposite row, the girl was coming at her again. Jane kicked the girl back and flipped backwards, landing in a fighting pose, she then pulled a MAC 10, the girl froze, being too far away to reach the weapon.


Jane waved her back and as the girl complied, Jane got to her bag of blood tubs, she picked that up and waited for the train to stop.


The doors opened, Jane waited a little more.


Then she jumped out just as the doors were closing, waiting until the train was clear before stowing her weapon.


"So, another Vampire cliché rings true, and, I'm going to have to move again, aren't I?"




"This looks like an expensive piece of kit, are there any large corporate entities your organisation have annoyed?" asked Daria.


Faith, Andrew, and Willow looked at each other.


"Okay, what about Tiffany, she make any long term enemies?" asked Daria.


After breaking into the high school science lab, they had established that the device was not emitting any RF radiation, so they felt safe to talk around it.


"There's Jane," said Faith.


"She has no interest in Tiffany, and if she did, Tiffany would have stayed in the car, but would have lost her mind. Which would be decorating the cars interior about now, and I haven't seen anything that will convince me she's capable of killing someone," said Daria.


"Vampires are capable of incredible sadism," said Faith.


"I can guarantee you that the vampire version of a person is nothing like the person they were," said Willow.


Daria turned to them "Have you guys ever encountered a vampire?"


Faith started counting off fingers while Willow shrugged, Faith and Willow then, in unison, said "a lot."


"Right, because Jane was exactly as I had always known her, only now her teeth are occasionally pointy. If she was as mean as you say she is supposed to be, there are a bunch of people that would have turned up dead and bloodless by now," said Daria.


"You see her all the time?" asked Faith.


"No ... look, what you're saying about her, as far as I can tell doesn't track ... ... Hang on, Illyria found her refusal to kill unusual, said something about her having a soul," said Daria.


"WHAT???" shouted Faith.


Daria shook her head and turned back to the device, she then said "I'm gonna open this thing up, maybe there will be something inside that will-"


Faith interrupted Daria saying "ARE YOU TELLING ME JANE HAS A SOUL?"


Daria looked up surprised "well, yes, I am ... Why, what's with the dramatics?"


Faith walked back to her original position waving her arms in frustration.


Daria turned to Andrew and Willow and asked "well?"


"Vampires with souls, tend to be good, those without tend to be evil. We only knew of two with souls, and, if you're right, we now know of three," said Willow.


Daria looked between them, then asked "does that mean, that if I had told one of you of this fact, that JANE COULD HAVE STAYED HERE AND GOTTEN ON WITH HER LIFE INSTEAD OF HAVING TO GO ON THE RUN?"


Faith turned to her, then asked "got anything on that device?"


"Not yet, I'm gonna open it up, but first I want to get an X-ray of it, make sure there are no explosives. I'll have to make an X-ray tube-" started Daria, but Willow said "No need, excuse me." She stepped in around Daria and closed her eyes as if in meditation, she then said "no explosives."


Daria looked at Willow fro a couple of seconds and said "Okay then," and then opened the device.


As the chassis came off, Daria put on a pair of gloves and started removing the circuit boards.


"All these devices look store bought, I'm gonna fume it for prints, but those won't be of use unless we can access AFIS," said Daria.


"Ooh, that's my job," Willow said, as she set up her laptop and hooked it up to her cell phone while Daria moved the parts to the fume box.


Faith leaned close to willow and asked "AFIS?"


"Automated Fingerprint Identification System," replied Willow, to which Faith Whispered "Ah."




"So, this is my job," said Winifred, as she prepared to carry out her first series of tests.


The first series of tests were going to be fluid and tissue samples. Hopefully this would buy her enough time to figure out how to get Tiffany out.


She suspected if it was just Lilah and the suits, she could make stuff up, but there was also John Foley, her assistant. She figured the guy knew his science, and would be able to spot if she was attempting to bullshit them, so she would have to at least take samples and perform the appropriate experiments while plotting Tiffany's escape.


She didn't know if Lilah knew she knew, but Winifred knew good and well Tiffany was a vampire slayer. Willow had told her about Tiffany in the infirmary at the LA branch ... would Willow now think SHE had gone dark side now? Obviously the watchers council no longer trusted them, that had become apparent when Andrew had come to pick up Dana, but now Willow would be extra suspicious of her from now on.


The cage was wheeled in by two goons. They then closed the door to the lab, one of them produced the key for the padlock, the other pulled a tazer.


The guy opening the door glanced at the guy with the tazer, before pulling the lid open.


Tiffany stood up slowly, knowing now was not the time.


"Where do you want her?" he asked.


"On this table," she said.


Winifred glanced at the window overlooking the lab, Lilah and a couple of other suits were standing there. Winifred didn't know how long she could go without carrying out a destructive test on Tiffany, but if she acted before she had a plan of action, she'll most likely get herself killed without Tiffany getting any less trapped.


Tiffany stepped out of the cage and sat on the bed, she placed her limbs in the restraints, Winifred was the obvious candidate to strap her down.


Wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck (brace), waist, knees, and ankle straps were applied.


"Okay, I'll need to take a number of fluid and tissue samples. I'll be as gentle as I can," she said, before picking up a double ended needle and an evacuated tube.


"A friend of mine knows another girl called Fred, perhaps you know of her. There can't be that many in a single corporation," said Tiffany.


"Your friend's name Willow Rosenberg?" she said as she wiped the extraction site with ethanol and inserted the needle.


"Why, yes it is," said Tiffany.


"Oh, then I'm that same Fred," she said, as she drew the blood sample.


"I don't suppose there's any chance I can convince you to get me out of here?" asked Tiffany.


"No, sorry, they tend to do worse than fire people for that kind of thing around here," she said.




"No one on AFIS," concluded Willow.


Daria said "Okay ... " then she got up and headed for the store room.


She then returned with a spray bottle of Luminal and a cotton bud saying "this is a bit of a long shot, but I'm not sure what else to try right now," she sprayed each board with it, and watched for any florescence (the main lights were off anyway so they don't draw too much attention)


"Here we go," she swabbed the bright spot


"But don't we need a special ... DNA thingy for that to be of use?" asked Faith.


"Yep, it's in the security room, Willow, any spells that can make us invisible, or the guards asleep, something like that?"




The last two tissue extractions had been bone marrow extractions, which couldn't have been done under anaesthesia because it could have interfered with the tests. She would perform the relevant experiments, but she would do them very slowly, and, when she had an idea how to get Tiffany out, prepare the devices she would need.


Then there was the question of how far Tiffany would trust her, after the pain she had caused her. Tiffany held down her expressions of pain, but had shown serious distress, and it was Winifred who had caused it. That sat very uncomfortably with her, then there was the fact that Tiffany was a slayer, one of the good guys ... yeah, like that's any different from how it would be if she were just a random stranger picked off the street.


On the plus side, her being a slayer meant that Tiffany could bring something to the escape. All Winifred had to do was to make Tiffany Tazer proof, and give her the means to cut through the doors. She suddenly had an Idea.


"It just occurred to me, it might be useful to get an ova from her, John, could you get the fertility kit?"


She should have the first escape aid ready by the next time she would see Tiffany, but in order to enable Tiffany to use it, she would have to carry out a procedure that would A: give her an excuse to have her hands on Tiffany's crotch, and B: give her an excuse to lubricate it so the escape aid could be inserted in no time flat, that would mean doing a procedure that would ... suddenly Winifred wasn't feeling so clever, since sexual assaults tend to be a special kind of torture, this would have some seriously persistent consequences.


This wasn't even following orders (as if that was ever an excuse), this procedure was on her own initiative, she felt like some kind of rapist.


Rape was perceived as an act of theft at one time (and still is in some places), of course, that was where women were thought of as property, not people, but she was going to steal an ova from Tiffany, indecently assaulting her, in full view and at the pleasure of the forces of evil, any more symbolism, and the act would develop a noticeable gravity well.




"Nothing on CODIS either," said Daria.


"It's like section 31," said Andrew.


"The law banning the promotion of gay rights in the British school system?" asked Faith, she and Willow having spent enough time in Britain to be aware of such political debates.


"No, that's Section 28, Andrew's referring to a star fleet version of the CIA," said Daria.


"Honestly, you couldn't get it right?" asked Willow.


"Well, sorry, you rant about it so often, I just tune out," said Faith.


"Well, it doesn't just affect lesbians, it also affects women who can be mistaken for lesbians, and since strong women are often presumed to be gay, it affects Slayers, straight or gay," said Willow.


"While I find it commendable that you take an interest in human rights, I feel we should get back to the topic at hand," said Daria.


"Okay, so now what?" asked Faith.


They headed back to the lab.


"Someone had to make that machine, and it looked like it was done on a production line in a factory, Chassis was injection moulded, a process that is only economical for mass production, boards were drilled by a robot, marked by a robot, components were installed by a robot." She turned the board over and pointed at the soldered leads "leads bent and cut by a machine, the leads are all bent the same way, cut at the same distance, have the same amount of solder. This green layer, solder resistant paint, only worth it for mass soldering processes such as wave or dip. Some of these processes require tools made specifically for this item. All use machines too expensive for a one off, so whoever made it owns a factory and is supplying someone who does this kind of thing on a regular basis. So come on, think, have you encountered ANYONE, who has these kinds of resources?" said Daria.


"The government did this initiative thing a couple of years ago," said Willow.


"Then there's Wolfram and Hart," said Faith. She stopped where she was, smacked herself on the forehead John Cleese style, and said "IDIOT!!!"


"So, they do law, ancient artefacts, crime scene makeovers, corpse recycling, and abducting vampire slayers," said Daria.


"Ancient artefacts?" asked Willow.


"The sarcophagus Illyria came in," said Daria.


"And corpse recycling?" asked Willow.


"Jane said her room mate takes her corpses to Wolfram and Hart because they are always buying them. What would they want with a vampire slayer?" said Daria.


"They have a large number of demons on their staff. Our activities since all slayers were activated must have caused them a serious headache," said Willow.


"That means they want to formulate a strategy or make a selective weapon to either kill or weaken your slayers. They a chain, or are they confined to one location?" said Daria.


"They're a chain, their nearest branch is the one in New York," said Willow.


"And the initiative?" asked Daria.


"Long dead, even if active, their interest is in what they call hostile sub terrestrials, demons. They won't give a fuck about slayers," said Faith.


"Okay, Wolfram and Hart it is then," said Daria.




It was days like this that made Jane thankful that she didn't need to spend money on food or central heating, or indeed getting that water heater fixed. She suspected the CO level in the apartment would kill most humans in 4 hours if her roommate didn't. She could also use her new purchase in poorly ventilated spaces without danger of asphyxiation.


She had saved up for a new MIG unit (she hated MMA, half the time the electrode sticks, and most the tine, the bead looked really shit when you remove the slag) and had been collecting junk to weld together for ages. Now she was headed home with her welder and the bag of extras over her shoulder.


She had also purchased two spare CO2 bottles, and two extra mild steel spools. It was an overcast day, so she could go out and get this stuff, and ... aww fuck!


That girl that attacked her on the tube was headed her way.


She crossed the road to avoid her, the girl gave no outward signs of having recognised her.




Tracy crossed the road as soon as the vampire was behind her. She knew the vampire knew her, so she had to pretend not to have recognised until she was ready to sneak up behind her.


She walked quickly, pulling her stake, the vamp wasn't checking her 6, okay, 12 metres ... 11 ... 10 ... 9 ... 8 ... 7 ... 6 ... 5 ... 4- she accelerated to a run, lifting her stake, and the last thing she saw before conking out was the underside of the girls electrical appliance.




Jane put the palm sized mirror back in her pocket and continued on, starting to love being a vampire even more, although she might have a problem getting her money back if the impact had fucked the MIG unit up in any way.


She heard the girl's cell phone ring.


She looked back at the girl.


She should leave the phone to get stolen, serve the girl right for attacking her out of the blue.


But she hesitated.


She sighed and got the phone out of the girl's pocket (watching for any movement whatsoever), noted the caller ID was a Daniel Larch and answered it "Hello?"


"Tracy?" Daniels voice was accented, slightly British.


"Err, she's unconscious and cannot come to the phone right now, can I take a message?"


"Who are you? And how is she unconscious?"


"I'm Jane Lane, and Tracy is unconscious because she, ... Tripped or something" said Jane.


"And she is where?"


"5th Ferginson road" said Jane.


"Right, I'll be right there"




"Tests say she's ovulating." said John.


"Okay, I'll prepare the equipment, you get her in here." said Winifred.




'Tracy' awoke, she sat up, and looked up at Jane, who was leaning against an iron picket fence with her appliance and bag of gas bottles over her shoulder.


Jane tossed her phone to her "Daniel's headed over here, you want to stay conscious, do not follow Me," she then headed off.


She got her mirror out again, and watched Tracy, but Tracy didn't seem to be doing anything other than getting up and looking at her.




Andrews's phone rang as they were headed out to New York.


"Hello?" he answered.


"Andrew, I've briefed Tracy on the situation. She's mounted an obbo on the New York branch of Wolfram and Hart, when do you expect to be here?"


"3 hours, 3 tense hours of not knowing when-"


"Right, I'll gather some equipment then." he said before hanging up.


"That was rude," said Andrew, staring at the phone.


"So, they're a long term adversary of your lot, you must know something about them," said Daria.


"Ah yes, the Wolf, the Ram, the Hart, a multidimensional conspiracy to attain power over all life and unlife, like the Borg. They are an organisation that will use any means, mystical and technological, to attain their goals, which is to assimilate through corruption," said Andrew.


"So we can expect heavy resistance to an insertion then?" said Daria.


"Yes, it will be very heavy, like attacking a Jem'hadar outpost, and like Sisko, we will need to come up with a plan so ingenious, and so foolproof, that they will not know about it until it is too late," said Andrew.


"We could use information first," said Daria, preparing to become translator and surmisor for the intelligence Andrew was about to disseminate.




Winifred had just enough information on the place to know that Tiffany's escape would be feasible, IF Tiffany hauled ass (and if Tiffany didn't put her in a coma before getting back in her cage, Winifred still had kinks to iron out of the plan). She doubted Tiffany would mind streaking to get out of this place, and Slayer strength would keep her from getting stopped by the cops as she found a safe location to hole up and plan to make contact with the watchers council.


She waited as the cage was wheeled in.


It was opened the same way as it was last time, with the goons pointing tazers at it.


Tiffany slowly stood up, glaring at Winifred, she appeared to up her fury when she saw the birthing stirrups on the sides of the table, Winifred squirmed under Tiffany's threatening glare, picking a spot on the wall behind her to look at.


But Tiffany did as she knew they obviously wanted her to do, she sat on the table (the bottom half of which was removed to improve access) and laid back, placing her legs in the stirrups, exposing and slightly spreading her slit in front of the evil Lawyers.




Tiffany focused on something on the ceiling at Winifred went to work, strapping her down, and then rubbing some sort of lubricant into her genitals.


It had taken some effort to force herself to allow herself to be strapped down in this manner, it was obvious they were going to do something to her genitals. She doubted there would be any scientific value to them raping her, but having them poking around inside her genitals, possibly obtaining a tissue sample from there.


They could even be planning to impregnate her with a demon.


Actually that last one makes no sense ... But then Tiffany wasn't a scientist, so she didn't know what they wanted to do with her, only that it could end with something scaly and spiny slicing her cervix and vagina into red tagliatelli as it leaves.


'Yeah, thanks brain, that makes me feel much better'


Something slid into her and opened her up, letting air into her vagina, Tiffany ignored it, like she would ignore an itch until she was alone.


Something slid through her cervix into her uterus, making her think once again of the possibility of being impregnated with a demon of some description. She ignored the activity and her fear to the best of her ability, even when she felt air being sucked in around the needle '-nothing's happening, nothing's happening, nothing's happening, nothing's happening-' she thought over and over as the equipment was removed, then something slid in underneath the speculum as it was removed.


'-nothing's happening, nothing's happening, nothing's happening-'


"Okay, we're done for now," said Winifred, as she started undoing the restraints, while Tiffany puzzled over the object that was still in her vagina "If I can't find the ova, we'll give her an oestrogen shot and try again later."


Tiffany's first instinct was to remove the item to see what it was, but if Winifred had placed it there, either for an experiment or to help her, or maybe she just forgot to remove it ... no, that last one makes no sense, however absent minded Winifred might appear, but the first two. Either case, she figured she shouldn't remove it in view of the bad guys.


The last of the restraints were undone and Tiffany sat up. She looked at Winifred and the goons for a second, for any hint, but she saw none, so she got back in the cage, electing to wait until she was alone before taking a look at the item.




That solved the first problem, but there was still the fact that the goons always closed this big metal door behind them, when they brought Tiffany in.


The door was a sliding door, moved by hand and secured by a single bolt 20cm into the wall electromechanically by a card swipe system.


Now, this was getting into territory where her involvement would become overt. She had to destroy that locking mechanism, and it would have to happen after the cage opened. She needed Tiffany to be out of the cage first, but it would have to happen shortly after that. She couldn't plausibly delay getting Tiffany restrained for the next round of experiments for more than 15 seconds, at the most. That meant she would have to command the device herself, remotely or manually.


It would also help if she could get Tiffany a thermal lance, it wouldn't need too much oxygen, just enough for her to cut through two locks before getting to an emergency exit, but that seemed unworkable. She would have to supply Tiffany with some explosives and delay or remote Fuzes, she could make those, or she could steal them, but either option would be difficult to pull off.


There was another option.




Jane finished her creation. It looked like a short mean looking creature with spiny arms and legs, and huge fuck off claws. This wasn't something that had occurred to her to make, it was just to see if the MIG unit worked and break it in.


Her roommate had entered, cooed and commented that the light was pretty (Jane briefly wondered if vampires ever got arc eye) and started dancing around her work as Jane continued to weld.


Her unnamed roommate was now on the hunt, and Jane was preparing to go to work.


She decided to phone Daria first.




Daria's cell phone rang.




"Hi Daria, your Mom gave me your cell phone number, said you were helping the FBI in relation to a beaver and butthead," said Jane.


"Yeah, I'm actually headed to New York though, seems Tiffany got captured by Wolfram and Hart," said Daria.


"Great, then I can return to Lawndale," said Jane.


"We're headed over there to get her out," said Daria.


"What? Why? I mean ... You got Stockholm syndrome or something?"


"Apparently if she knows you have a soul, she'll leave you alone. They're gonna send a memo to every watcher," said Daria.


"Watcher?" asked Jane.


"The watchers are the slayers command and intelligence network, they pool intelligence and dispense it as needed to the slayers," said Daria.


"Right, New York you say?" asked Jane.


"Yes," said Daria.


"That's actually where I am," said Jane.




The guards entered the storage room again.


Tiffany was pretty sure she was the only thing in the room right now for anyone to come and get.


She had done as the instructions had said, and had memorised the map, and was concealing the equipment underneath her leg, as soon as they open the cage, her escape attempt would begin.


Assuming Winifred wasn't just fucking with her.


This was a wonderful time for such a possibility to occur to her, Winifred had given her something that could as easily be a placebo as real, if it didn't work, the escape would end in about a second flat.


Or it could be real and the map fake.


The guards arrived at her location and started wheeling her to the lab.


She didn't know what she would do if Winifred was just playing with her ... except kill Winifred, that would be the obvious priority, but other than that ...


She had to trust her, everyone kept saying that Angel's group could no longer be trusted, but Tiffany really had no choice other than to trust Winifred.




Winifred had done some analyzing, but she had also been making explosive devices and escape aids.


The explosive devices consisted of one linear shaped charge (using lead instead of copper because lead foil was all she could find) powered by RDX with a thimbleful of benzene, detonated by a packet of lead azide at the back, ignited by an exposed bulb filament, fuzed to a microphone. It would initiate the device when she set off her rape alarm and threw it at it, it had been calibrated to 65Db for 100ms, the alarm would chuck out over 100Db for a lot longer than that. The device would (hopefully, as this was the biggest beaker she could find) sever the bolt that held the door closed.


In addition to the door opener, she had rigged two AP/sugar smoke bombs. These were placed next to the door opener (but would not obstruct the lead stream) where the compression wave would be intense enough to detonate the AP, like ANFO. This would produce a slower wave, so she (and Tiffany) at their distance, shouldn't be in danger from the blast overpressure, and the glass from the door opener would be pulverised to the consistency of minced garlic, so provided neither of them looked at it, shrapnel should not be a problem. The glass from the smoke bombs on the other hand, would be in bigger pieces, but would be directed away from Winifred by the door opener, or slowed down.


Winifred was one of those people who had sent in emails to Norman cook guessing the precise location, composition, and size of explosive charge in each of the blasts in the Gangster tripping video.


As for the rest of Tiffany's escape, she had made 3 thermal lances, these consisted of a nozzle of rolled up magnesium foil stuck down the throat of a 500ml conical flask filled with AP and containing a smaller vessel filled with sulphuric acid. The acid would liberate a large volume of oxygen from the AP, there was also a pyrotechnic mix that would ignite the magnesium, this would create a really hot oxygen jet that could cut concrete if needed, and some lead azide to set everything off, all this activated by a static line going down the magnesium nozzle to the lead azide charge. She would have to instruct Tiffany on how to use these, and do it pretty damn quick.


She had also obtained a respirator, in case they try to sedate her with gas on the way out, and a big syringe filled with adrenaline and stims in case they shot tranq darts at her.


As for her own survival ... Winifred shrugged, she would be located and sucked out of this dimension by the SPs, and go through the same shit Lindsey went through.


She hadn't gone through anything like that, not on Pylea, not when Illyria had her. She could barely hold on when Illyria had her, and what she was about to endure was going to be something like a thousand times worse, lasting possibly infinity.


She was just going to have to avoid thinking about it until it was too late, that's all she was going to have to do, and hope anyone looking for her was bright enough to figure out what she would have done to enable them to locate her.


The door opened and the cage was wheeled in.


"We're going to be using the MRI now, I want to get a picture of how her muscles work, what they consume," said Winifred.


They nodded and closed the door.


Winifred got the rape alarm ready, she figured she might have to throw it at the charge to get it close enough. She watched out for any sign that they were reading any tells she might have, remaining still, focusing on looking calm as the goons prepared to open the cage.


Winifred thought about what would happen if the fuze failed, it would be obvious she was up to something, they wouldn't know what, just that she was acting bizarrely, at the least, they might think she was creating a diversion for Tiffany.


Would that give her the freedom to manually cook off the detonating charge with that book of matches in her pocket?


The lid was unlocked and pulled open.


Winifred pulled the alarm from her pocket, the static line wrapped around her middle finger, she shot put it towards the beakers and dropped to the floor as she felt the line pull on her finger.


The noise filled the air, and suddenly there was a flash and a large quantity of smoke. Winifred felt her skeleton jar at the same time, she also noticed the floor now looked suspiciously like the ceiling and felt a smooth flat surface sliding against her back, and realised she had been knocked over by the blast. She slid to a stop near the MRI, and got up.


The alarm smashed into the wall underneath the observation window, having been chucked over there by the compression wave, which had also detonated the smoke charges. She ran to the cage which had been shielded from the blast by the table in the middle of the room. The guards had been slammed against the wall, but they had quickly recovered.


Tiffany jumped out of her cage. She couldn't propel it into one of the goons because they were within 120° of each other, on the latch side of the cage, the lid would obstruct her trajectory. She had to engage them directly, the first one went down as Tiffany smacked him in the chest, then in his face.


The second guy shot his tazer at her, but found it was not doing anything, even though he clearly remembered checking the batteries. Tiffany grabbed him and shoved his face into her knee.


"This way Tiffany," said Winifred, waving her into the smoke, and leading her to the cupboard near the door, she grabbed the respirator saying "put this on."


As Tiffany complied, she grabbed the syringe "this is a stimulant: They hit you with a dart, take it," she suddenly realised she hadn't thought about how she was supposed to carry it and fight, she had tied a ribbon around the thermal lances which would act as a sling, but had done nothing for the syringe.


She took off her lab coat and handed it to Tiffany, putting the syringe on the pocket, she then grabbed the thermal lances "these will cut through steel, pull the string, press the nozzle against the door. Sorry I don't have a visor for you, you'll just have to look out the corner of your eye or something," she then pushed at the door, it moved "you memorised the map I gave you?"


"Yes," said Tiffany as she got the lab coat on and grabbed the thermal lances.


"Good, get moving," she said.


"And you?" asked Tiffany.


"I'm on it, just go," said Winifred.


"Right, thanks," Tiffany said, before running off.


Winifred decided to at least attempt to escape, but suddenly notices a swirling light overhead.


She sat back down and shrugged saying "ah, I'm boned."




Andrews's phone rang "hello?"


"Danny here, Tracy just called, it seems an Asian girl in nothing but a lab coat and a Respirator just broke out of Wolfram and Hart. She's running at the kind of speed that suggests enhanced strength. It might be your missing slayer."


"Thanks," said Andrew, he then told the others what had just happened.


They were well into New York now, maybe they wouldn't have to go up against the forces of Wolfram and Hart.




Tiffany removed the respirator and stuffed it into one of the lab coat pockets.


The coat wasn't really done up, it was flying behind her as she ran along the streets of wherever the fuck this was, trying to get as much distance as possible between her and the evil law firm.


She ducked into an alley and scaled a drainpipe to the roof of a block of apartments, she then started leaping from roof to roof, and finally stopped on the 24th roof.


She ripped the roof access door off its hinges and entered the building, setting it against the frame as she entered. She then picked the tazer darts out of her skin and closed the lab coat around her, considering her next move.


Fred had really come through for her, she had provided a skin ointment that made the first 3 mm of skin highly conductive (oddly enough, the nervous system in the affected skin still functioned), creating a faraday birthday suit, then she had to use one of those flasks to cut a door. She hadn't needed the stimulants, and they hadn't attempted to use any kind of gaseous sedative, but it was still good to be prepared.


She had to get into contact with the watchers council. She had memorised the number this time. She figured it was a good idea after last time, but she hadn't figured on having to use it so soon.


She headed down stairs, and found a pay phone in the lobby. She looked around, and broke the coin store, she caught the quarters as they fell from the machine, and piled them on top of the phone, she then dialled the number.




They arrived at Tracy's apartment, and knocked. The man that answered the door asked who they were.


"I'm Andrew, this is Faith, Willow, and Daria," said Andrew.


"Okay, Tracy will be along soon, she lost sight of Tiffany about an hour ago," said Daniel.


They all entered the apartment.


Andrews's phone rang again, it was Giles.




"Andrew, I just got a call from Tiffany."




Tiffany waited in the Lobby as instructed. Faith and Willow entered the building, and Tiffany got up to greet them.


"You naked under that lab coat?" asked Faith.


"As a Jaybird ... Or indeed, any bird," said Tiffany.


"How did you get out?" asked Willow.


"Fred helped me," said Tiffany.


"Fred was there?" asked Faith.


"Yeah, I asked her how she was getting out, said she was on it, didn't really believe her, but I wasn't about to throw her attempt to help me in her face," said Tiffany.


Willow and Faith looked sad and angry respectively.


"Is there any chance she's alive?" asked Tiffany.


Willow said "yes," the same instant Faith said "No,", they looked at each other.


"There's no way they'd let her off that easy, she's probably in a hell dimension of some kind," said Willow.


"Okay, how do we get there?" asked Tiffany.


"I don't know, we need to return to base first, maybe Tracy will lend you some clothes," said Faith.


They headed out.




Daniel called Tracy again.


There was no answer again.


He hung up again.


"She's never this late, I think she's been captured," he said.


Andrews's phone rang "it's Faith," he said, he then answered it.




"Andrew, we got Tiffany and are returning to base. We got a problem though, call the council and find out what you can about hell dimensions, the ones Wolfram and Hart are known to rule in particular," said Faith.


"Faith, why? What are we-" he was cut off "Hello? ... everyone's always doing that, why do they keep doing that?"




Faith knocked on the door, and Daniel answered, he let them in.


"I don't suppose any of you saw Tracy on the way in, did you?" he asked.


"No, I guess we got two people to extract from hell," said Faith.


Andrew was sat at Daniels computer going through all the information Giles had sent.


"Yeah, but which hell do we look in first?" asked Andrew.


"How many hell dimensions can there be?" asked Faith.


"Infinity," answered Daria and Willow at the same time.


They looked at each other.


"Okay, can we at least make the number finite?" asked Faith.


"Without another Wolfram and Hart sleeper, I doubt it," said Willow.


"I take it Fred's the only one?" asked Daria.


"Well, not exactly, there's Angel, Gunn, Lorne, Wesley, and Spike, they run the Los Angeles branch," said Willow.


"Okay, so maybe one of them could be of use," said Daria.


"We don't exactly trust them since they started working for Wolfram and Hart," said Andrew.


"Well, if they are our best chance of getting him out of the hell dimension, then surely they're worth a call," said Daria.


"Him?" asked Willow, Daria looked at her funny as Willow said "There's only Fred ... Oh, Fred's short for Winifred."


"Ah," said Daria.


"And I guess Daria's right, if we're going to find out how to get them out, we're going to have to talk to them," said Willow.


Daniels phone rang, he looked at it "Hey, it's Tracy," he said, he then answered it "Tracy, where are you?"


"No, it's me again, Tracy needs a lift again," said that girl Tracy had described.




When Jane had gotten back from work, she found her roommate and two vampires with crossbow pistols in the apartment with Tracy tied up, being held in the armchair by her room mate.


Her roommate had said "Jane, Jane, Jane, if you wish to remain in your present form, you will have to show some sign that you are one of us."


Jane said "Alright," before pulling up her shorts, walking forward, then dropping while drawing her Mac 10, she fired a burst at each vamp. They dropped their weapons and collapsed, same with her roommate.


She then entered her room, picked up her MIG unit, the spare bottles and wire spools, her sculpture, and headed out, she picked up the slayer, and headed out, saying "getting sick of this place anyway."


After taking the lift to the ground floor and getting to the sidewalk, she sat the slayer on the ground and cut the ropes on her hands, she then said "you can cut the rest of the ropes yourself," before picking up her stuff again and walking off, using her palm sized mirror to watch the slayer again.


She got 4 metres away before she noticed the slayer was not moving. She stopped and turned to her, then she returned. The slayer looked tired, and unusually pink ...




"Since me and my roommate were vampires, faulty gas appliances were never a threat to us. And the place goes through so many landlords in a month, none of them can be expected to get them looked at anyway," said Jane as Faith and Daniel drove them back to base.


"They'll be mad when they wake up," said Daniel.


"They seemed pretty dead when I left them," said Jane.


"Vampires don't die from gunshot wounds, it's stakes, headotomy, or incineration by fire, holy water, sunlight, or prolonged contact with a religious symbol," said Faith.


"We're bullet proof? Cool, almost offsets the addition of the holy water cliché," said Jane.


"Heyyyyy, I knowwwww youuuuu," slurred Tracy, he then turned to Daniel and said "sheeeees, Aaaa, Vampirrrre."


Daniel said "yes, we know, but she's a good vampire, she has a soul."


"Oooohhh, okayyyyyyy," Tracy smiled and fell asleep on Jane's shoulder.


"How did you get the drop on her anyway?" asked Faith.


"A mirror," said Jane, producing her palm sized mirror "looked behind me, through me, I hear you're looking for Tiffany, how's that going?" asked Jane.


"We found her, now we're looking for Fred, that's short for Winifred, by the way, just so there's no confusion later," said Faith.


"Okay, where was Fred last seen?" asked Jane.


"Wolfram and Hart, we think she's in some sort of hell dimension, and we have no idea where to start looking," said Faith.


"Isn't Lorne from Wolfram and Hart?" asked Jane.


"Yes, ... Why?" asked Willow.




"You, wish to enter the competition?" asked Angela.


"Yes, I wish to enter the competition," said Daria.


"Okay, and what will you be singing?" asked Angela.


"Voices," said Daria.


"Oh good, I love that song," said Angela.


'Probably not the Disturbed version,' thought Daria, not giving any tells what so ever.




The first round of API2 was underway within 24 hours, Daria was one of the first up, and Lorne was on the judge's panel.


"First up is Daria, with 'voices'," said the presenter.


The music started, this worried Angela because that was not the song she thought Daria meant.


"SOOOOO ... ... ARE-YOU-BREATHING? ... ... SOOOOO ... ... ARE-YOU-BREATHING? ... ... NO! NO! ... ... ARE-YOU-BREATHING? ... ... SOOOO ... ... ARE-YOU-BREATHING? ... ... NO!"


Angela was a little closer to shitting herself now.




The presenter walked onto the set and said "Miss Morgendorffer, this is on live television, you can not use such lyrics, DIDN'T YOU READ THE FUCKING RULES?"


Daria took on this confused look and asked "There were rules?"




Andrews's cell phone rang "Hello?"


"Hi, Lorne here, I just read a thought that included your phone number, and instructions to use a payphone, did your messenger have to destroy the show?"


"We kind of had to pull a Paris in Voyager 2:16 there," said Andrew.


"Err ... what?" asked Lorne.


"She needed a plausible reason to participate, the only reason that would work would have been to sabotage the show," said Andrew.


"I see ... She thought something about Fred being in hell?" he said.


"Yeah, Fred sprung a slayer she had been told to dissect, and we think she was sent to a hell dimension, but we have absolutely no idea where to start looking," said Andrew.


"Where are you?" asked Lorne.




There was a knock, Daniel got up and went to the door.


"Andrew, and I'm guessing Lorne?"


They entered.


Lorne took in the group.


"How'd you get your mom to let you go?" he asked.


"Didn't," said Daria.




Helen kept pacing up ad down, using two or three word sentences in an attempt to express her rage at her eldest daughter sat on the sofa in front of her.


First day back, no incident. Second day, absent. Third day back, major public embarrassment on national television that Lawndale will never recover from, and, would you believe it, another suspension.




"Willow built me another me. I went to the toilet, robo me came out, just hope robo me can fill me in on everything that transpires over the next couple of days," said Daria.


"Okay, I had Gunn sing to me, and I got the most likely hell dimensions with here. Plus, he does a very good 'Modern major general'," he pulled a pocket book.


"Better than Don. S. Davis?" asked Andrew.


"What are we likely to encounter going in?" asked Daria.


"Should we even be bringing her?" asked Daniel.


"She might be helpful," said Willow.


"We arm her, that's another combatant on our team," said Jane.


"And her combat experience?" asked Daniel.


"Well, I once saved the world from a really strong, time slowing, dimension hopping demon god king that was about to give earth a Mimas makeover," said Daria.


Everyone looked at her in bewilderment.


"One of Saturn's moons, the one that looks like the death star, big dent in its side," said Daria.


Everyone nodded in understanding.


"That's a point, Gunn said something about heavy resistance when they tried to remove Lindsey from one of the holding dimensions," said Lorne.


"I suppose if we use your account we'll end up sending another friendly to hell," said Daria.


"How did you know about the trade?" asked Lorne.


"Excuse me? ... I meant in reprisal for interfering with their reprisal, what trade?" asked Daria.


"We found Knox had planned to get Fred infected with Illyria, got us a little annoyed, so when we decided we needed to talk to Lindsey, we decided to replace him with Knox," said Lorne.


"Knox, that asshole who was worshiping Illyria while she was torturing me? It is a really nasty hell he got left in, right?" asked Daria.


"It enabled Angel, Spike and Gunn to get out alive, they started shooting at them when they tried to leave," said Lorne.


"Spike? You know, my roommate was comparing me to someone named Spike," said Jane.


"Your roommate, insane girl with black hair and a London accent?" asked Willow.


"Yeah," said Jane.


"That's Drusilla," said Willow.


"And that's a vampire without a soul," said Jane.


"And without her marbles," said Faith.


"We should return to topic now," said Daniel.


"Seconded, okay, that case we either need another person to exchange, or superior firepower," said Daria.


"I don't find the Idea of sending a person to their doom that agreeable," said Willow.


"Okay, Jane, where did you get your submachine gun?" asked Tracy.


"Some guy with a van who stops by behind a KFC on 12th street every other week, I'd have to take you to him," said Jane.


"We're going to want at least two belt fed machineguns, assault rifles all round, handguns too, preferably gas operated," said Daria.


"That's going to get expensive," said Jane.


"Okay, see what you can get, also, we'll need a suitable vehicle, at least 6mm carbon steel," said Daria.


"There are some things that guns don't work on," said Faith.


"But it'll take them out of the fight while we leave," said Jane.


"But we just about never use guns," said Willow.


"Well, you do now," said Daria, to Willow and Faiths look, Daria said "Just think of them as noisy, self loading crossbows that shoot shorter arrows at a faster rate and velocity,"


"Fine," Faith and Willow said, then Faith said "We might need a flamethrower,"


"Re-he-he-heallly?" asked Jane.


"Jane?" asked Daria, a little worried.


"See if you can find me a power spray, a portable generator, around 2 square metres of mild steel, 5 metres of 25 mill by 25 mill angle iron, an angle grinder, a drill with HSS bits, some garden hose, and around 16 litres of gasoline," said Jane, creative juices in overload.


"Okay, let's get out there," said Andrew.




They reached the car perk, when they saw Illyria emerge from behind one of the cars.


Willow, her eyes going black, her hair flaring, and arcing from her fingers, walked over to the car shouting "YOU RAT BITCH! I AM SO GONNA KICK YOUR ASS!"


Illyria stayed where she was, not certain she could resist Willow's magics now she no longer had her powers "Willow Rosenberg, that will cause a disturbance."


"I DON'T CARE!" Willow said, conjuring a fireball in her hand.


"I thought you were trying to kill Me," said Illyria.


"I AM NOW!" shouted Willow.


"Willow, calm down," said Daria.




"She did me too, Willow, but if we end up having to evade the police, it'll prolong Fred's stay in that hell dimension," said Daria.


Willow looked between Daria and Illyria, then she reabsorbed her fireball.


"Illyria, just a thought, can you look like anyone other than yourself and Stacy?" asked Daria.


Illyria nodded and took on the appearance of Willow.


"Okay, can you look like a police officer?"


Illyria took on the appearance of a uniformed police officer.


"Right then, that gives us our armoured vehicle and our guns, how much do power sprays and sheets and extrusions of mild steel go for these days?"




There was a knock on Daria's door.


"The room you are trying to access is temporarily disconnected, please try again at another time."


Quinn entered and said "Daria, did you have to do that?"


"Of course I did, it's in my program," said Daria.




"Your routine is full of bugs and viruses," said Daria.


Quinn stomped out slamming the door after her.




"HEY, WHY HAVE WE STOPPED?" asked one of the SWAT team members.


"That's Faith Lehane in my wing mirror, she's a wanted felon," said Sergeant Vincent Higgens.


"Right," they got out the back and surrounded Faith.


Then they saw some red head girl with black eyeballs chanting something, and suddenly they were all surrounded in a mist.


Faith put on the respirator Tiffany had kept.


Higgins came out the back and reverted to Illyria, and started helping Faith and Willow strip the officers of their weapons.


Once they had them on board, they were off.




The alley was the only place they had to work on their flamethrower, since the landlord took one look at the armloads of gasoline cans and said "Uh-uh, no way, you are not bringing THAT into the building," so Jane, Daria, and the two watchers set up there.


Jane's flamethrower was just about complete.


She placed the last pipe on the base of the left fuel tank and said looked away saying "Eyes," before tacking it on.


She then pulled her visor down and completed the weld.


The device looked a lot more menacing than Daria would have expected, the generator was at the top of the pack, the power spray was at the bottom, the 8L fuel stores on the sides, a chef's blowtorch on the flame holder that replaced the nozzle that would have otherwise created a flat aerosol.


Jane hooked up the last hosepipe to the tank and tightened the clip around it.


She then turned off the generator and worked on the wiring to the power spray, letting the tank cool before she even thought about charging.


"Jesus, that looks heavy," said Daria.


"Yes indeedy," Jane said, she started cocooning the terminals in PVC tape, then she said "we're ready to give it a go now," said Jane.


Tracy appeared in the alley way and said "Illyria's here,"


"RIGHT HANG ON," said Jane, as she and Daria charged the flamethrower.


They then picked up all their equipment (Jane put the flamethrower on her back) and headed to the front of the alley, Jane activated the generator, and turned on the power spray, she turned back to the Alley, activating the torch, she squeezed the trigger, waiting for the air to leave, then an enormous flame shot out into the alley, the gasoline formed a large puddle of fire 25 metres into the alley.


"Groovy," said Jane.


Jane, Daria, and Tracy went to the APC, while the watchers carried the tools into Daniels apartment.




Once they were on board the APC, they drove off.


"Okay, a dozen M4s, ditto MP5s, grenade launchers with CS rounds, and two minimis. Looks like we're off to a good start," said Jane.


"Dibs on the minimi," said Tracy, grabbing one of the machine guns, cocking it, and accidentally poking the muzzle in the back of Illyria's head, causing Illyria to look back at Tracy, Tracy lifted the barrel, looking a little embarrassed, and shrugged "sorry,"


"So how are we crossing dimensions then?" asked Daria as she examined her M4.


"Oh, there's a tunnel nearby that will take us straight to it," said Lorne.


"And Fred," asked Daria.


"I'll do a locator spell," said Willow.


"Okay then, to hell with us," said Daria.




When they arrived in the hell dimension, they drove around in search of the correct house.


"Damn it, my locator spell's not working," said Willow.


"That case, we keep driving until we find her," said Daria.


"That could take ages," said Willow.


"Yeah ... did Fred know what she was getting into?" asked Daria.


"Yeah," replied Lorne.


"Okay, Tiffany, that lab, did you see anything marked radioactive?" asked Daria.


"No, I was kind of distracted by the being in pain, and being restrained tit-ass naked in front of the forces of evil," replied Tiffany.


Daria started looking around the APC and found what she was looking for.


"That won't be very good through terrain," Willow said.


"So we'll keep driving," said Daria, she popped the hatch and poked the Geiger counter through, she turned the sensitivity up to maximum.




After a while, they started to get tired of this.


"We need to try this from the air," said Jane.


"Any flying spells Willow?" asked Daria.


"There are, but in this dimension, wonkiness can be assured," said Willow.


"Illyria, you limited to human forms, or can you turn into a condor or something?" asked Daria.


"I am limited to human forms only," said Illyria.


"What about your clothes?" asked Daria.


Illyria tilted her head in thought.




Illyria was tied to the roof of the APC now, with around 50m of slack, the clothes she had conjured up were a harness and a parawing.


She swept the terrain with the Geiger counter (which was taped to the other minimi, which she wielded like a Mac 10), its sensitivity turned to maximum.


Illyria felt suspicious that Daria had warmed to her after the incident, but she needed a new Qwa'ha Xahn.


She was obviously useful to them, and Daria had promised to assist her in learning to live in this world, but she had to be at least a little paranoid, to discount the possibility that she would be dumped here by these people would be extremely foolish.


She started getting some clocks from the Geiger counter.


"Spike,  two o'clock, turn left."


She dived a little, turning left in anticipation of the turn.


"Turn right,"


Illyria was already crossing over the road, she maintained her course, she climbed back to maximum altitude just outside the roads curve.


"Ten houses to target, target will be on your right,"




In the APC Jane was looking out through one of the gun ports "looks awfully bright out there,"


"Sunlight's not a problem for vamps in this dimension," said Lorne.


Jane walked up to the hatch and stuck her hand out "cool," she started the generator and everyone got ready to move.


"Five houses," said Illyria.


Illyria counted off each one, Willow got another Geiger counter and Daria turned off the road, watching where Willow was pointing it, she turned so that the radiation source was directly behind them.


"RIGHT! LET'S GO!" shouted Willow.


Jane climbed onto the roof of the APC, Tracy joined her with her minimi. Tiffany, Willow, and Faith ran into the house, Lorne stayed behind with Daria.




Willow took point, she and the slayers were not used to carrying firearms, they just thought of them, as Daria had suggested, as noisy self loading crossbows.


They saw a man and a boy, Lorne mentioned that they would be armed, and would join the fight, so they didn't take their eyes off them. Willow held the Geiger counter next to the forearm of the M4.


The radiation source was in the basement, she opened the door, and found Winifred coming up the stairs with a light bulb, Winifred froze at the sight of Willow.


She pocketed the Geiger counter and pulled Winifred out of the basement by her shirt collar, Winifred got on her hands and knees as a result of the force vector, and Willow started feeling for the necklace behind Winifred's neck.


She removed it.


As expected, the kid and the man pulled submachine guns (Uzis, specifically), Faith wasted them, Willow dropped the talisman and pulled Winifred to her feet "ALRIGHT, WE'RE OUTTA HERE!"


They emerged from the house to see Jane and Tracy firing their weapons at various bandits (armed men in an ice cream van and on two ride on lawnmowers )


They were back on board.


"LET'S GO!" shouted Willow.


"HANG ON" shouted Daria to Jane and Tracy as she floored it.




From her perspective, Illyria watched for additional bandits, Jane and Tracy were watching the 12 O'clock position.




"I'm remembering ... I'm ... I'm Fred Burkle," Winifred said, as she remembered who she was, and what was happening.


"You alright Freddykins?" asked Lorne.


"No, not really, my body just kept going into that basement and that demon kept cutting my heart out, there was this pile of hearts next to the table," said Winifred.


"They could make a lot of money on the medical black market," said Daria.


"I would SO love to have a go at that demon with a chainsaw, although sticking those pears up his ass would have that poetic justice element factor," said Winifred, somewhat manic.


"Daria, we have a problem," said Illyria.


"Or maybe that one where you hang the guy upside down and saw him in half," mused Winifred.


Daria grabbed her Radio "I'm listening."


"I can not see the tunnel we came through," reported Illyria.


Daria kept driving, the road eventually turned away from the cliff face.


"Okay, looks like we need to select someone to wear that talisman," said Daria.


A deathly silence descended upon them as Daria started back to the house "Illyria, we're headed back to the house,"


"Acknowledged," replied Illyria.


"Is that the same Illyria that-" started Winifred.


Everyone said "Yes."


"Hey, can we-" started Winifred.


Everyone said "No."


"Probably should have brought Drusilla, she'd probably enjoy it," said Jane.


"Or Lilah 'Career minion' Morgan," said Winifred, still in a manic state of sadistic rage.


"There's a fire in the basement of the house, we exit through that," said Lorne.




They shot and rammed a large number of vehicles on their way back, then they had to fight their way back in, Illyria strafed the middle of the bad guy queue as she landed, then she resumed her normal appearance, assisting Tracy and Jane in holding back the bad guys as the others abandoned the APC, Daria and Lorne included.


They had to shoot replacement family units, and Jane set the structure on fire behind them, Daria grabbed the talisman asking "is this it?"


Willow nodded.


"Okay, basement now everyone," said Daria.


They all entered the basement, Jane taking tail, as she ignited the house behind them.




Faith and Tiffany kept batting this big demon with this chain mail mask between them, Winifred was warming a poker in the fire, saying "Don't knock him out, it's almost up to temperature."


"Okay, we got about 5 minutes before the house is too weak to not collapse on our asses," said Daria.


"Okay, new plan," said Winifred, leaving the poker and grabbing a cats paw off the wall, walking over to where Faith and Tiffany were playing pass the demon.


"I guess one of us stays," said Tiffany.


"That would make the trip a touch pointless, don't you think?" said Daria.


Illyria took the talisman from Daria and walked over to where Faith and Tiffany were batting the demon between them, pushing Winifred out of the way, she grabbed the demon and placed the talisman around his neck.


The demon walked to the table.


The door to the furnace opened.


Illyria walked off through it.


"Now why didn't I think of that?" asked Daria.


"Because you're not as smart as you think you are," said Jane, as Lorne and Willow walked through the fire.


"Great, I really am in hell," said Daria.


Jane and the slayers walked through the fire.


Winifred hung back, torture device still in hand, saying "Wait, I wanna see him tear his own heart out."


Daria grabbed Winifred and pulled her with them.




They all appeared in an underground car park, they looked around.


"Where are we now?" asked Daria.


Suddenly two columns of goons in SAS gear ran in through a door off to the side, they took positions behind the cars, aiming MP5s at the group, they had tone before any of them could think to raise their M4s, they did halfway though.


"IT'S OKAY, THEY'RE WITH ME," shouted Lorne.


The goons stood up lowering their weapons, Daria, Tiffany, and faith lowered their M4s, and Jane her flamethrower, Tracy and Illyria hadn't brought their machineguns to bear.


"We're in the LA branch of Wolfram and Hart," said Lorne.


"Okay, that case we need to get going," said Daria, now feeling just a LOT wary.


Two men entered, one had black hair, wearing a purple shirt, black trousers, a black trench coat, and the other was lightly built, dark brown hair, wearing Jeans and a black jumper, both had serious looks.


Winifred went to hug the thinner guy, who was looking at the cat's paw Winifred still held, she hugged Him, and he relaxed into it, as the other guy told the goons to take a break.


Daria looked at him and said "And for those of us who just materialised here for the first time, you are ... ?"


"I'm Angel, You?"


"Daria Morgendorffer ... And him?" she asked, pointing at the man Winifred was hugging.


"Wesley Pryce," said Angel.


"Okay ... " Daria looked around for cameras, then mouthed "bugs," to Willow.


Willow chanted something, then said "clear."


Daria turned back to angel and said "I understand you're one of the good guys."


"Yes, trying to bring down the beast from within," said Angel, sounding like he was having trouble convincing himself, that prompted a snort from Willow.


"Tiffany Blum Deckler, a Slayer, was abducted by the New York branch of Wolfram and Hart, then Fred was interred in a hell dimension for assisting in her escape. Can you help us in any way?" asked Daria.


"Fred should be safe now, we extracted Lindsey a while back, they didn't come after him, as for Tiffany, I suspect her capture was for the purpose of attempting to corrupt Fred, if that was the case, Tiffany should be safe," said Angel.


"Any advice on evading roving bands of Wolfram and Hart capture teams in case that isn't the case?" asked Daria.


"Actually, yes," said Angel.


Then they heard the lift doors open, they waited to see who it was.


Marcus Hamilton entered.


"Ahh, Miss Morgendorffer, I should have figured it'd be you."


"Would anyone miss this guy if I shot him?" asked Daria.


"'fraid we sort of need him alive," replied Angel before asking "Marcus, what do you want?"


"The involvement of Lorne in the destruction rained on the holding dimension means it's your budget the damages are coming from, oh, and you have new customers up stairs, the Reillys have a mystery for you," said Marcus.


 "I'm on it," said Wesley, heading upstairs with Fred.


"And I made Lorne come," said Daria.


"Oh, yeah, this Daria, she was real menacing, scared the crap out of me, what could I do?" added Lorne.


"What about me? Can I return home without having to look out for your lot?" asked Tiffany.


"Oh, we already know there's no way to create a poison that only targets slayers, the Senior partners were testing Fred's loyalty, which has come up questionable," said Marcus.


"Uh-huh," said Angel.


"This is something you need to think about if you wish to continue your heroics, Angel, this is a business, not the bat cave," Marcus then left.


"I tell you what, I still like him better than Eve," said Lorne.


"That's because he didn't lift you by your throat and mug you," said Daria, she then turned to Angel and said "you sure I can't shoot him?"




In Wolfram and Harts cafeteria, Daria, Willow, Illyria and the slayers grabbed some lunch.


Tracy called Daniel.


"Tracy, or Jane, how did it go?"


Tracy chuckled and said "Mission successful, now we just got to figure out how to return to base, we're in LA, We're with Angel's group, he says we're safe right now."


"You're in Wolfram and Hart?" asked Daniel.


"Yeah, Angel reckons that Fred was the real target and Tiffany was just a vehicle, and that Marcus Hamilton guy, apparent liaison to the senior partners, treated Angel's 'heroics' like some sort of hobby," said Tracy.


"Jesus, that's strange," said Daniel.


"Yeah, the whole organisation is a total mind fuck, I can understand violence, scientific research into the enemy, all those things, but what I don't understand is letting the enemy work like this. I would have thought either the senior partners would have tried to express tighter control on Angel's crew, or Angel would be more active in his sabotage."


"That's the legal theatre for you," said Daniel.


"Yeah, anyway, be with you soon, I hope," she hung up.


Illyria headed out of the cafeteria.


"Where's she going?" asked Daria.


"Should one of us follow?" asked Jane.


"No, she'll drag us down with her if she's out to cause trouble," said Faith.




Harmony looked up from her desk and saw the demon girl Fred had described walking to Angel's office.




The demon girl walked up to her and said "You presume to restrict MY movements, half-breed?"


Angel and Marcus then emerged from the office, Marcus walked off, Angel noticed Illyria at Harmony's desk.


"Illyria, are you looking for someone?" he asked.


"We need to talk," she said, walking into his office.




"You are infiltrating the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart in order to destroy their organisation," stated Illyria.


Angel shrugged and said "Pretty much."


"Then you will need my help," stated Illyria.


"How can you help?" asked Angel.


"Before I was interred in the deeper well, I ruled a vast empire spanning many worlds, and many dimensions. I have great experience you could not imagine, and could teach you what you need to know to destroy them," said Illyria.


"The world ... worlds, have changed a lot since your time, what can you teach me?" asked Angel.


"For a start, some basic military doctrine. You'll never win like this," she said.


"Like what?" asked Angel.


"You are trapped in the web of the Wolf, the Ram and the Hart. The senior partners as you know them, they laugh at you, make you perform the tasks they lay out for you, dropping treats such as the illusion of progress," said Illyria.


"Uh-huh, and your advice?" asked Angel.


"Do you want to win?" asked Illyria.


"Illyria, of course I want to win, that's why I'm here, that's why I'm working to bring down the beast from within," said Angel.


"You don't seem to want to win badly enough, you are a slave to an insane construct. You are moral, a true ruler is as moral as a hurricane, empty, but for the voice of his gale. You have so much power around you, yet you quibble at it's price. If you wish to win a war, you must serve no master but your ambition," said Illyria.


"Serve no master but your ambition?" asked Angel.


"Yes, get the power you need, and use it. Cause as much damage as you can. I also wish to destroy the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart, that is why I participated in the operation to free your minion. It was a chance to cause some damage to the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart, and to examine potential allies against them," said Illyria.


"Thank you, Illyria, I will consider your advice," said Angel.


"You had better, I want to see the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart, and their empire burn to the ground," said Illyria as she got up and left.




Daria had left the cafeteria in search of Illyria, she went over to the reception desk "excuse me, Harmony, have you seen-" she then saw Illyria emerge from the office off to the left of the desk "oh, never mind, found her." Daria then went to meet Illyria "thought I'd better go find you, Tiffany has been in contact with Giles. He's going to cover our air fare to Lawndale," said Daria.


"I will not be joining you, I can infiltrate any organisation, that should include airlines," said Illyria.


"Okay then, I am wondering if you have attempted to maintain the illusion that Stacy is alive to her parents," said Daria.


"That required little effort, in fact, when I demonstrated my true form to them, they dismissed it as a figment of their imagination," said Illyria.


"Right, they will find your absence alarming though," said Daria.


"Their alarm is immaterial," said Illyria.


"Okay, well, good luck then," said Daria.


"Thank you," said Illyria.




A few weeks later, Daria received a visitor.


It was Marcus Hamilton.


"Do you remember what I said about interfering with Wolfram and Hart affairs?"


"Yes," replied Daria.


"Now you've gotten yourself arrested over the theft of the SWAT APC you left in the holding dimension, which I dutifully returned to the New York police department. It was quite a surprise to find your prints were already on AFIS. However, there is a way Wolfram and Hart can see their way round to getting you out of here," said Marcus.


"That's fascinating, but Heather and I have really fallen in love, it would just ruin our relationship so much if one got out and the other didn't," said Daria.


"Okay, well, thank you for your time, Miss Morgendorffer." Marcus left the room, and the guards entered to take Daria back to her cell.




"Are you sure you don't want to get some lunch?" asked Heather.


"I am certain," said Daria.


"Okay, then, catch you later," she said.


After she was gone, Daria opened a panel in her side and plugged it into one of the cells power outlets, as the other Daria had instructed, she was careful to hide the fact she was a robot.




Giles entered the library and said "Ah, there you are."


"Damn, you found me," replied Daria, she then said "What can I do for you?"


"Well, I was wondering if you feel up to taking on some field work?" he asked.


"Well, I could use a little more time to prepare, what were you thinking of?" asked Daria.


"Tiffany is getting frustrated with Andrew. I'm about to send him on vacation to Italy. You seem to have a better feel for the job than Andrew does, you are near enough qualified now," said Giles.


"Would I be temping until Andrew gets those people skills he's in desperate need of? ... Wait, that is a permanent position," said Daria.


"I could replace you in a couple of weeks if it proves too much," said Giles.


"Well, I am looking forward to seeing my family again, and catching up with them ... Oh wait, they think I'm in jail," said Daria.


"So?" asked Giles.


"Okay, I'll do it, I'll need a new identity though," said Daria.