Constraints: Follows 'Living Dead Girls 4: Fighting Machine'


Synopsis: Daria and friends settle into their jobs at the No Such Agency.


Living Dead Girls 5: Twister Harvest.


Content: violence, bad language,


Legal: Casts of Buffy and Angel belong to Mutant enemy, Ultimate force to ITV, Law And Order belongs to NBC, and I ripped something off of (it's linked) there are also characters and scenes that belong to Diane Long and Nemo Blank in there, I've also had help from Brother Grimace, The Angst Guy, Dervish and Roentgen.



Part 1.



"Fucking hell, what have you been drinking of late?" asked Spike as he and Daria walked up to Jane.


They were in the middle of a USAF bomb range, Jane had 3 welding masks, a bow (a folded steel longbow, with a 3mm steel string, only a vampire or a vampire slayer would want the draw strength of something like that), and a quiver loaded with about 12 arrows.


"Been trying chilli, cottage cheese, brussel sprouts and beet ice cream with my blood, it seems to make it taste better," said Jane, as she pulled out her notebook and looked at the page.


"So, what we doing here," asked Daria.


"Watch," said Jane, as she pulled an arrow.


She then concentrated and did a spell.


She then unslung the bow and shot the arrow off at around 40°, it landed several hundred metres away.


She then picked up the masks and handed them out saying "you're going to love this."


Daria glanced at her mask and said "part of that sounded like a transmutation spell, and another part sounded like a timeframe spell."


"Yep, it's my Gambit spell."


"Gambit: not that frog whose secret weapon is a deck of cards?" said Spike.


"No, he's the frog whose secret weapon is the ability to make things explooooooo- Jane, ... ..." Daria was frozen in mid sentence as she visibly paled, she then calmly said "Spike, Jane, follow me."


She then shot off at a flat out run away from the arrow, a panicked, adrenaline fuelled attempt to break the sound barrier on foot run.


Jane and Spike looked between her and the arrow, then Jane looked at her watch, saying "SHIT!!!", she grabbed Spike and pulled him after her as she also ran.


"Oh fuckin' 'ell," growled Spike as he got the hint and put more effort into it.




"Daria, you know the arrow doesn't weigh that much right?" asked Jane as she caught up with her friend.


"20 grams, or thereabouts, right?" said Daria.


"Right, 0.02 times 900million gives us-"




"900 million what?" asked Spike.


"Joules per kilo," said Jane.




"Oh, right, ... and the yield that gives us is:" said Jane.




"TWO POINT- JANE, GRAB HER LEFT SIDE!" said Spike as he came up next to Daria and grabbed her belt and her shoulder, Jane did the same, and they picked Daria up, carrying her like a battering ram.


"How long do we have?" asked Spike.


Jane glanced at her watch and said "23 seconds."


"That's never going to be enough," said Spike.


"Ideas?" asked Jane.




"HEY! YOU'RE THE ONE WHO TOLD ME ABOUT IT!!!" responded Jane. Daria had watched the Sick Sad World-like series during her stay in England.




She then performed a spell that sped them up.


Eventually they were approaching the sort of distance they needed to be for any cover to be of any use (outside the fireball radius and with sufficient distance to give an actual shadow)


They encountered a target (A concrete filled tank), there were a number of craters around it, they had filled with water, the tank itself had sunk a little due to liquefaction of the soil over time, this seemed like the best thing they could get behind in the time they had.


"CAN WE USE THIS?" asked Spike.




They just about made it.


Mud and water was blown into the air, the tank threatened to turn over on them, but didn't, but the fireball ascended, and was still pouring out heat by the megawatt when the angle was too steep for the tank to shade them.


The two vampires got up and looked at Daria.


She was unconscious from the heat they were being exposed to.


"Oops," said Jane, as she shrugged.






Jane and Spike looked at each other.


Then Jane asked "How's Daria?"




"Yes, ... Well, no, actually, I also lost my favourite bow, it got vaporised in a big nuclear fireball," Jane said, a touch morosely.


The enraged defence secretary screamed and left the room.


"So, that blood flavoring, have you always had a taste for that type of mix?"


"No, in fact, it's only recently I got such a taste, is that normal for vampires?"


"Not as far as I know, we usually prefer human or otter blood," said Spike.


"Right," said Jane.




"Boss, with respect, this is an insssssssanely bad idea, ... sir," said Rebecca.


"Maybe, but as a Vampire Slayer, you are uniquely placed to develop a course that best suits the classes you will be teaching," said Aiden.


Rebecca just about suppressed a groan, this was an order from a superior officer, but this also struck her as potentially the biggest gaff since Prince William went to a fancy dress party dressed as a Nazi, ... no, not potentially, certainly.


"Rebecca, you're not the only member of the special air service to have killed a member of the watcher's council or their slayers," said Aiden.


"They'll remember my face more clearly than anyone else's, especially if they were at Westbury house," said Rebecca.


"Rebecca, you are still the most suitable person to design the course," said Aiden.


"Understood," said Rebecca.





Willow visibly fumed, and Buffy looked a little confused.


Buffy's confusion stemmed from the fact Rebecca hadn't actually told Buffy she was the one who had slotted Kennedy.


"Aiden sent me to advise the team that will be teaching firearms proficiency and tactics to your personal, felt that the fact I was a slayer made me essential to designing the curriculum," Rebecca stated, trying to keep as neutral as possible.


"Okay," said Buffy, she then said "I'm still not entirely happy about this, the instructors are all members of the team that attacked us, some of us are still grieving the losses, this arrangement is just asking for trouble."


"I know," said Rebecca.


"It might be a good idea to avoid using live ammo for a while," said Buffy.


"We can't, not for all the training, blanks don't have the recoil impulse characteristics to adequately simulate live fire conditions, it affects marksmanship, there are situations where we do use blanks, but we want to get everyone shooting straight first, that has to be first and a tenth nature," said Rebecca.


Willow and Buffy looked at each other.


"I understand that our presence will be testing, frankly I'd have picked instructors from another regiment entirely-" said Rebecca.


"But the Special Air Service is considered the best combat unit available to us, and this cross training scheme is a condition of us being able to continue our activities, I understand perfectly, I just hope the others will, have you formed a lesson plan yet?" said Buffy.


"We're going to go with the normal weapons course for now, see how that works out, see if any alterations need to be made for that to work," said Rebecca.


"Alright, now, we have assembled your first class, we have purposely avoided personal that witnessed your kills or those who lost friends to you, but unfortunately, there is one person who will have to oversee the training for me from our end that has lost someone to your group."


"Who?" asked Rebecca.


Willow raised her hand "that would be me."




"You're healing fast, aren't you?" asked the doctor.


"Witch, heal thy self," said Daria.


"I see," mused the doctor.


"Normally I'd be seeing Tiffany about now," said Daria.


"You're her watcher?" asked the doctor.


"Yeah," said Daria.


"What exactly did you do out there?" asked the doctor.


Daria sighed and said "something the NSA will want to keep top secret for, ... well, ... ever."


"Daria, thank god you're alright!" came Jakes emotive voice.


"Hi dad," said Daria, as Jake came up and hugged her "Oww, burns, burns."


Jake jumped back and said "oh, sorry." He then looked around and asked "Where's Quinn?"


"Toilet, she's been here for a while."


"Oh, ... so, how long have you got off of work?" asked Jake.


"Few days I'd imagine."


"Have you bleached your hair?" he asked, noticing that the back of Daria's hair was now a much lighter shade.


"Nah, Jane bleached it."


"Oh, ... looks nice."


Luckilly they were close enough to Lawndale for them to simply drive over. The problem with the NSA though was that they were more interested in using the watchers as analysts than to command the slayers (only 60% were still situated with their slayers). The slayers were essentially left to do their own thing, while they answered to the watchers, they mostly only had phone contact with them, which was less than ideal because that could interfere with communications of reports, and the NSA weren't the only organization into illegal phone taps. This was a serious security risk, and it took longer for the watchers to organize anything with the slayers.


From what Buffy had told her, the UK let them operate with greater independence, but this was probably more down to the relative size of the United Kingdom, it's small size reduced the logistical problems of accessing or surveying it's personal, or the UK government was just less paranoid than the US government.


Some of the slayers were qualified to function also as watchers, so that wasn't too bad for them, it just wasn't helpful to have this new structure imposed on them.




"Daria called, apparently there was an accident at work and she'll be off sick for the next few days," said Dr Barbra Saunchez.


"I see," said Tiffany.


"I'm sure she'll be around at the earliest opportunity," said the doc.


"I know," said Tiffany.


Barbra wondered what Tiffany was doing here.


Obviously there had been a few weeks where they were conducting drug assisted and hypnotically assisted interrogations to figure out what threat the First Evil's programming still presented, but honestly, Tiffany was safe for release now.


There was nothing mystical going on besides the slayer strength, there was no activity going on that couldn't be accounted for by Tiffany's personality, the two personae had remained united since the incident where Tiffany had trapped those three people in her mind, and had been progressing well in her recovery.


The problem now seemed to be that Tiffany just didn't want to return to active duty, like she had fucked it up so many times that she was now too scared that she would kill or injure someone by accident again.


There was little she could do about that, as a shrink, she would never know what combat was like.


Fortunately this wasn't just a recent problem.



Part two.



She made it.


She had to save up her energy to make this work, and that was a very slow rate of charge in that dimension, but it happened at last and she got through.


This way was at least gentler than the other way (landing in a neat crouch instead of an uncontrolled landing that fucked up her ankle and fractured her hip and upper arm), and this time she didn't have to spend all her energy recovering from 3rd degree burns.


Fucking geeks!


Fucking scoobies!!


Motherfucking good guys in general!!!


There was going to be a price for all that shit they had done to her.


She looked around for the first time since getting back, she was certain this was earth and her own dimension, but she had no idea where on earth she was.


She stood up.


There were a lot of people looking at her.


She looked around some more.


There were posters all over the walls that urged the reader to 'vote Zanu PF'.


"Zimbabwe," she said.


A truck full of soldiers drove up to her and arrested her for something ("is it 'cos I is white?") and drove her to the police station, she just sat there recovering, she had caused enough of a disturbance without drawing additional attention from the Watchers Council, she could keep it cool for now.


Of course that might not be possible if these guys decided to get medieval on her, as they were famous for lately, but she could minimize the actual magic to simply blowing tiny holes in their blood vessels, make it look like they died from meningitis or something (it would probably take ages for the coroner to make any kind of determination), pop a few vessels in their brain stems, maybe conjure an alternating current across their hearts (that would be fun to watch, see them die slowly of a cardiac arrest).


They frowned when they saw her smile.


She just shrugged.






"Incorrect." said the Daria looking figure as she continued down the hall to the library.




The girl turned and dropped her cloak, revealing her to be Illyria.


"Illyria. Okay, do you know where Daria is? Buffy has been trying to get a hold of her for ages," said the agent.


"She is in the infirmary recovering from severe burns, did you not hear of the incident with the exploding arrow?"


"Exploding arrow? ... No, ... I heard of a nuclear explosion that occurred recently on a bomb range."


"That is the incident, I thought this agency dealt primarily with covert investigations, how did the details of the incident escape you?"


"The details are classified need to know, I guess I didn't need to know, ... but I do need to get to Daria, thanks," said the agent as he headed off to the infirmary.


Illyria resumed her Daria disguise and headed off to the library where she and Wesley were going to be briefed on something the Initiative had uncovered.




"Doesn't look very mystical," said Wesley.


"It's a man who's flying without the aid of an airplane with laser beams for eyes," said Donald.


Wesley looked through the file and found photographs of sections of pavement where the beams had penetrated.


"Okay, but this still looks technological," said Wesley.


"So's that nuclear rocket launcher kit your Miss Burkle invented," said Donald, he then said "Answers soon, or I'm going to see if there's someone more suitable." he then left.


"He is right, there is a strong chance of at least a partially mystical machine here, and we have dealt with robots before," said Illyria.


"Okay, I guess we need to get out there then," said Wesley.




"Daria, how could you end up in hospital over a simple experiment?" asked Buffy.


"The experiment did a Castle Bravo on my friend, who failed to mention she was trying out such an insane experiment," said Daria.


" ... That would be Jane Lane would it?"


"Yep: She is an artist, and this is how she will kill herself," said Daria.


"What?" asked Buffy, not getting the way Daria emphasized 'Kill'.


"Never mind, anything else I can help you with?"


"No, that's it, except for what Castle Bravo is," said Buffy.


"A nuclear shot with an expected yield of eight megatons or less, produced fifteen megatons, Jane expected a yield of 230kg, and instead got around two point three Megatons. And you make me sound cheerful, where's the depression is from?" asked Daria.


"I gave Angel and his team such a hard time over their taking over the LA branch of Wolfram and Hart, and now we're doing something similar," said Buffy.


"That mean you're going to apologize to them for the attitude?"


"Hell no."


"How's things over there anyway?" asked Daria.


"Well, we just received a number of SAS instructors to teach us how to operate a gun, we're going to be instructing them in demonology and magic." said Buffy.


"That won't be tense," said Daria.


"That's the thing about war, once you start killing, it's difficult to stop, especially where the score's so uneven," said Buffy.


"How is everyone handling this arrangement?" asked Daria.


"Well, Willow seems to be holding her temper, and I selected where possible people who have as little connection to those who died and weren't in the groups the SAS did manage to kill members of, but they're still going to feel anger regarding the deaths," said Buffy.




"Okay, two kinds of shot you can take, centre of mass, that's for easy acquisition, a whole range of organs within the torso are essential for your survival, and instant kill, where you target the brainstem, tighter target, but your enemy will be dead before he or she hits the floor, ... of course, if you want to take your enemy alive, you could hit the soft tissue on the outside of their leg so they can't run away that fast, but mostly we're going to train for situations where you need the enemy dead. Any questions so far?" asked Rebecca.


Willow felt uneasy about Rebecca's lesson so far.


Clear in her mind was the instant those three 45cal. Rounds had entered her girlfriends mouth and punched through the back of her head, severing the brainstem. It had felt to Willow like the worst ice cream headache ever imaginable.


And she had then seen Rebecca go for Giles, the burst starting just above his heart and ending in his nose, the two leaders of the group.


She had then set about killing the rest of the group, who had to pile on because there was no way they could get to cover in the time allotted, she had killed a further 3 in hand to hand combat and had dislocated the arms of a couple of other slayers, crushing the throat of one, she had spent a couple of weeks unable to talk and breathing through a hole in her neck from a tracheotomy.


The SAS don't have a stun setting.


Understatement of the millennium, and we're only 4 years in.


"Okay, getting a gun to spit a bullet is a piece of piss, but getting your bullet into your enemy before they get about 20 into you is a serious bastard of a problem, which can only be solved with practice, that will start tomorrow at the SAS's very own firing range. For right now we'll be discussing the weapons we'll be training with, which will be M16A1s, because the SA80's a piece of shit."


Willow listened through her state of shock as Rebecca described the M16, a 5.56mm gas operated rotating bolt assault rifle that uses up 750 rounds per minute (10.83 continuous a second, about 2.8 seconds of firing time on a 30 round clip), 945m/s muzzle velocity, she briefly touched on the effect of gravity and wind on the bullet's trajectory, but mentioning that the course won't be as geared towards sniping as a more specialized course would be.


"Willow, you alright there?"


Willow looked at the slayer next to her who had just asked this.


"Yeah, why?"


The slayer glanced down at her hands, Willow looked down and saw that her hands were holding a fireball that was glowing furiously.


"Oh, ... sorry." She looked at Rebecca, who didn't seem too annoyed at this development, she was patiently waiting for Willow to safe the fireball, which she did.


Rebecca resumed her lecture.




Amy had managed to scare the cops into freeing her ("Can you kill me before I telepathically slice your brain stem the way I just did your testicles?") and giving her 4000000$ (Zimbabwe dollars, probably equivalent to 12$ American), but she could easily Obi-Wan her way through the airports without too much of a mystical signature.


In fact, fuck it, fuck paying for a ticket, she might as well have someone hand over an entire aircraft.


In fact, it would be better to avoid the hubs altogether, the Watchers Council were bound to have witches there.




"We were just about to make the arrest when suddenly our radios made this awful screeching noise, that wrong footed us so much that we didn't see them pop up until it was too late, they had these guns that shot laser beams at us, bright blue lasers."


"These laser beams, did they taper along their length, or were they of a uniform diameter?" asked Wesley.


"Uniform diameter, and bright, ... and they just went through everything, we saw puffs of flame like muzzle flashes around some of the holes, and the doc said that the burn looked like a radiation burn."


Wesley had looked at the burn patterns, as had Winifred, the burn around the exit wound seemed bigger than the one around the entry wound and on the bodies, the size of the radiation burns had increased with the stand off from the armour the beams had penetrated.


"How much radio traffic occurred just before the attack?"


"Minimum necessary, we even used code words, this gang had repelled sting operations before, I guess they just upgraded a few centuries. And the other weapons they were using were something else too, Diamond bullets, RDX propelled, weapons looked similar to P-90s, y'know, like on Stargate? ... Anyway, that's all I got for now."


"Okay, thank you, we may need to ask you more questions later," said Wesley as he and the rest of the team departed.




Donald entered the room and said "You're free to go for now."


"Yippie," said Jane.


"Finally," said Spike.


As they left Donald said "BUUUUUUT, ... if either of you cause us any more trouble, you will regret it. You may have souls now, but you both are going to hell when you die, even you Jane Lane, you got that?"


He waited for an answer.


He turned around.


He left the cell in time to see the two vampires finish reclaiming their belongings from the custody sergeant, they had obviously not stopped to hear his speech.




"So, where to?" asked Spike.


"You buying?" asked Jane.


"Get fucked," said Spike.


"Later, boyfriend, food first," said Jane.




"That's just sick," said Spike.


"Not yet," said Jane as she drank the cocktail that was only half blood, the other half was stuff that either didn't go together or go on a human or demon palette.


"What, you get sick often?" asked Spike.


"Pretty much every morning for some reason," said Jane.


"Uh, funny, except vampires don't get pregnant," said Spike.


Jane rested a hand on her abdomen, not for the first time feeling the organ underneath that felt like a balloon.


"Whatever's happening, I should probably see a doctor."




"Hey T, what's shakin'?"


Tiffany looked up and said "Hi Faith."


Faith entered Tiffany's room and sat down next to her saying "I heard you're still scared you'll go evil again."


"Yeah, ... You're not here because the doctor sent you are you?"


"Yeah I am, but I don't think any amount of arguing will get you out there before you're ready, and no one will think any less of you if it takes a decade, ... assuming you can endure the boredom."


Tiffany looked at her.


Faith then asked "So, what's it like here? They just talk to you here, or is there, like, bondage too?"




"That's definitely a foetus," said the doctor.


"Oooookaaaaayyyyyy, ... I thought vampires didn't get pregnant," said Jane, as she lay on the table with the sonar device pressed against her abdomen.


"That was our best knowledge on the subject," said the doctor.


"Backed by hundreds to thousands of years of vampires going bareback without getting preggers," said Spike.


"Then, what's different here?" asked Jane.


Spike sniffed and said "we have souls."


"Okay, so no more unprotected sex," said Jane.


The doctor turned to her and said "Okay, I won't attempt to compel a decision to keep or abort it, but this is uncharted territory, and, ... Well, ... I'd like to chart it."


"Hell no, breeding's Summer's gig," said Jane.


"What?" asked Spike.


"Spike, ... it's probably the antichrist or something, ... " Jane was now trying to come up with something that would stop Spike looking at her like she was the most evil thing ever created "Quit looking at me like that."


Spike sighed and said "She's right, we may have souls, but whatever that is in there, probably isn't good."


Jane eventually said "All right then."




Winifred dropped the clear fluid onto the object and watched, eventually saying "no mystical signature."


"Diamonds may be more common than most people think, but they aren't that cheap, especially those that big," said Wesley.


"So we're thinking someone made them?" asked Spike.


"There are two non-mystical ways to make a diamond I know of: bombard a target with carbon atoms, or melt carbon under intense pressures."


"Any way to determine which?" asked Spike.


"Yes, as a matter of fact there is," said Winifred.




"Well, there's nothing to keep you here on at present, you might as well get back to work," said the doctor.


"Sweet," said Daria as she got off the bed and opened the bag her dad had brought.


Pulling out the first items of clothing, she realized Dad had followed Quinn's advice.


She shrugged and pulled the curtain closed around the bed and started getting dressed again.




"Watcher central," answered Dawn.


"How's it going my whitey?" asked Xander.


Dawn chuckled, and replied "What's up?"


"Well, apparently someone hypnotized a pilot into handing over his helicopter, index Z-128CJD, apparently it was a Caucasian woman with an American accent and more scars than a cutter with a crack addiction, she's going by the name 'Amelia Airheart', either an alias, or we finally have an answer to a long running mystery," said Xander.


"I think Amelia disappeared before the helicopter was invented," said Dawn.


"There were autogyro's back then weren't there?" asked Xander.


"Different flight principles are involved with those Xander, do we have any pictures of this woman?"


"One of our witches is doing an E-fit now, we'll have it to you in-" he asked someone in the room, then said "-20 seconds, check your E-mail."


Dawn turned to her computer and opened her browser, she opened the attached file and said "got it, ... Xander, does she look familiar to you?"


"Yeah, I just don't know where I've seen her before."


"I'll circulate it," said Dawn.




"Daria, you're different today," commented Illyria.


"That's what happens when my sister is put in charge of bringing me a change of clothes when I'm hospitalized, Jane and Spike were been detained for most of my stay, and now apparently Jane's found she's pregnant," said Daria.


"Jane is a vampire," said Illyria.


"She assures me it's no joke and that she's not faking. So, what's going on here?"


"We're checking this bullet to see how it was made," said Winifred, she placed the projectile in the clamps and turned on the laser saying "the laser goes through points I've ground flat, I'm using high ultra violet, because I can."


Daria looked over Winifred's shoulder and commented "the bullet's transparent."


"It is diamond," said Illyria.


"So it'll either be made by bombarding a target with carbon, or-"


"Melted under pressure," said Winifred.


"Yeah, melt under pressure and the crystal has fewer holes," said Daria.


"Someone has a high pressure chamber with a window in it and an industrial laser, the chamber will probably be the more expensive component, we just need to ask around all the distributers." said Winifred.


"It might be an idea to look out for anyone ordering parts that could be used to make a laser," said Daria.


"Parts that- ... oh shit," said Winifred.


"No way," said Spike.


"Way, I can think of about 20 ways a suitable laser can be constructed off the top of my head," said Winifred.


"Okay, that case, you could list them, and look for combinations, ... Hang on, Donald mentioned laser weapons," said Daria.


"X-ray canons actually," said Wesley.


"Apparently it's easier to, err," started Spike.


"Throw electrons at a magnetic barrier than to work out all the complicated optics needed to focus a coherent light source," said Daria.


" ... Yeah, ... What you said," said Spike.


"Amazing that they managed to condense the equipment for that into such a small weapon, I mean, X-ray laser of this kind uses a particle accelerator."


"Those use x-rays in the 100s of MeVs range though, you only want it in the keV range for this," said Daria.


"You would need to keep the atmosphere out of your weapon if you want to be accelerating electrons about, I'm wondering how that's being accomplished," said Winifred.


"I guess it's time we set up a stakeout then," said Daria.




Fixed wing was MUCH better than rotary wing, flying a helicopter is like balancing on a broomstick.


Amy chuckled at the analogy, being a witch, she was supposed to fly on broomsticks, but that gets draughty, and they might not come with autopilots.


Amy had to change aircraft every so often in order to stay ahead of the various police forces, but that would soon become insufficient, they were soon going to get wise to her mind control, she needed something capable of flying transatlantic soon.


She had mostly been nicking Mig 29s, loaded with nothing but fuel and drop tanks, they had a flight radius of about 1700 miles.


She was mostly tailing passenger carrying aircraft, the radar systems available to the local ATC centres weren't able to tell the shadows apart.


It would probably be better to fly nap of the earth all the way, the terrain would hide her from most control centres and the phone network in rural Africa was extremely limited, and who the fuck's going to complain about military exercises over their house when the military would probably deal with complaints by shooting the complainants?


The problem with that idea was the fuel she'd use on the deck compared to cruise altitudes, she wanted to limit the number of people she mind fucked.


She had managed to find an internet café in Zambia and managed to find out which flights went where, then asked the commander at the base she stole the Mig from what frequencies were used by what ATC centres, asking him about the centres in the middle and far east, the idea being they look for her over there while she punches out over the ivory coast, and steals an aircraft capable of transatlantic flight.


Or just stows away.


Either way, she was going to America and she was going to hurt that nerd that chucked that grenade and any of her friends she happens across.




Spike watched as two people entered from one side, carrying suitcases, and another two entered carrying briefcases from the other side of the open area between the two large buildings of the abandoned textiles factory, going nuts from the lack of smoking he could achieve (no heat sources allowed), he used the camera Winifred had made for him to record the activity.


He remembered the briefing where Winifred described the camera.


"The camera uses a clockwork spring to pull a chemical film through the focal area which is designed to work in low light, you will need to manually focus the lens because the system can't have any electrical parts, except for the mic which needs a light source to imprint the sound amplitude onto the film, that uses an electrostatic generator and a neon bulb to create the light for that, but the circuit has too much impedance to resonate clearly for any of the sensors that they would probably have, are you with me so far?" asked Winifred.


"Yes," he said.


"You didn't," said Winifred.


"No, I didn't," Spike reluctantly admitted.


"Sorry about that," she said.


"S'okay, you said something about a manual focus?"


"Yes. It uses this lever on the side to rapidly focus the lens. I'll run you through using this a few times, it's kind of a pain to use, but it works-"
Spike accidentally brought the conversation to a close by tossing his used cigarette into a cup of fruit juice, to Winifred's look, he winced as he said "Bollocks, you weren't done with that?"
She shrugged and said "No, but it wasn't very good, too salty, I mean, who puts salt in fruit juice?" She then returned to the subject at hand.
He had spent the time between the briefing and arriving on site practicing with the manual focus, and was now capable of focusing fast enough to be able to do the job.


They had decided not to leave the cops in harms way, instead tipping off the mafia that someone was attempting to smuggle in weapons intended for use against them, getting a rival gang involved seemed better than letting cops die.


Spike watched as they carried out the deal, a briefcase full of cash for four large bags full of something white and powdered (coke, heroin, or something else).


Then the fireworks started.


Really thin, brilliant white, blue tinged lines connected to points off to the left with something in the sky.


As Spike watched, a human sized flying object started glowing bright blue and shot past with a loud bang.


There were more flashes from ahead and behind him, more of these people were flying around shooting up the place, anyone who wasn't the four in the middle was getting strafed.


The smell of ozone wafted over him.


What had Winifred said would happen to the air the concentrated X-rays would pass through?


It would get ionized, form ozone, nitrogen oxides, nitrogen dioxides.


The flying men came up more slowly, giving Spike his first good look at them, he caught wings folding up into their packs as they changed from level flight to hover, using really small jets attached to the hips and shoulders, the four hip jets produced the majority of the thrust, the four shoulder jets just kept them upright, using varying amounts of power to do so. Some of them started flying sideways around the buildings, others hovered over fixed locations.


He then noticed something on their chests.


They all seemed to have breasts.


They also wore the sort of equipment vests you see a lot of soldiers wearing on operations.


There was no way they could be controlling those things if they were human though.


Suddenly they raised their arms and started shooting the buildings with their X-ray cannons.


Had they realized he was there?


Eventually they were done, they flew off into the night and the gangsters parted ways.


Spike then headed to get the phone, he then came across the scent of roasted flesh.


He headed through the building and found someone with civilian clothes and one of those P-90 things.


The man was still alive, but wouldn't be if his injuries weren't treated.


He turned his weapon to Spike, but Spike was on him too fast, grabbing his weapon arm and saying "easy mate, I'm here to save you." He then placed the weapon to one side and said "do you have a phone on you?"


"No, they target anything that can receive a signal, who are you?"


"Errm, ... I don't know if I can tell you that, look, help will be arriving soon, what do you know of what happened here?"


"Those angels of death or whatever they are, they've been protecting our rivals and killing our people en masse, we don't know where they've been getting their tech from, but they're just, ... they can see you wherever you hide, like they can see your body heat or something."


They were right.


Spike picked up the weapon and was about to ask him where he got it when he suddenly noticed a smell.


He sniffed it, and tried to place the scent.


He then asked "What about these? The mutant P-90s?"


"Errm, ... I don't know if I can tell you that," he said.


Spike said "well, your gang just happens to be well armed enough to be considered terrorists, which means, no rights to be treated as a human." and he then pressed the muzzle of the weapon against the man's shin and discharged one shot through the bones.




"So, who are your bosses?"


Spike waited a few seconds and then pressed the muzzle against his knee.




"Okay then," said Spike, as he got up to get some help, he then said "Oh, by the way, anyone asks, you shot yourself by accident."



Part 3:




"Drusilla, who is she then?" asked Donald.


"Insane vampire from the Victorian era, sired by Angelus, she then sired me, last I heard of her, she was in Lawndale, subordinate to Amy Madison, a witch and an old friend of Willow's who went dark side," said Spike.


"And never came back," said Daria.


Spike continued "Anyway, it's actually them who gave us the hint that beer can sized nukes were possible, but if they're not the ones behind the angels of death we saw earlier, then who is?"




The robot had been replaying the footage back in her CPU and analyzing everything. She pulled the SCART lead out of the back of the VCR and stuck it in her arm, and the TV activated seemingly on it's own, she played the appropriate bits as she said "their weapons are located on their back packs and in packs strapped to their arms, they didn't seem to operate any external controls for their equipment which leads me to conclude they are connected to their equipment by a non-mechanical means, as I would be to a UAV, or-" everyone's phone rang, interrupting the briefing.


They all answered, and through them, Robodaria said "your cell phones."


They all looked at her darkly.


The robot moved onto another bit and said "where they are hovering there are things that become more apparent, their hands move their fingers purposelessly when empty, their chests expand and contract, also, their eyes." She moved onto a part where one is hovering around firing at rival gang members.


The visors got a little darker for several frames where the weapon was being discharged, the eyes irises were dilated, the eyelids blinked. "They have more human mannerisms than would be necessary for their tasks. Blinking and hand movements use energy, and waste CPU runtime. And the device protecting the eyeballs would not be needed by a robot because it's less hassle to build the components into the robot's eyes. also the luminosity here is not a problem for robots, they wouldn't experience the discomfort that humans or other organic life forms would. My conclusion is that they are cyborgs." said Robodaria.


"We encountered some cyborgs while we were working for Wolfram and Hart." said Wesley.


"Ohhh yeah, your dad was there for that, wasn't he?" said Spike.


"Careful! Spike." said Wesley, obviously irritated with Spike on this issue.


Daria's phone rang, and she answered "Y'ello?"


"That contraction of the words 'Yeah' and 'Hello' irritates me deeply," said Illyria.


"Okay, what you got?" asked Daria.


"The gang does not appear to know who the flying warriors are, apparently they work for those who sold the gang the diamorphine. They seem to be the cheapest source of the substance available, if there are no further orders, I will return to base."


"Good, thanks," said Daria, she then hung up saying "Illyria says the cyborgs belong to their suppliers, she's on her way back now."


"Those aren't the same as the ninja bots we encountered at Wolfram and Hart though," said Wesley.


"In that they're packing futuristic weapons?" asked Spike.


"The ninjas at wolfram and hart were genderless, these individuals have breasts, the ones we encountered at wolfram and Hart only used a glamour when they had to," said Wesley.


"Whereas these guys stand out like a sore thumb, if you want to use a glamour, why not simply cloak?" said Daria.


"We're lacking empirical data, we're going to have to await Illyria's infiltration of the suppliers for any useful information to be generated," said Robodaria.


"Agreed, we need to plan this right away. Meanwhile, this rival gang, we don't know who it was that came up with those nukes. Amy's more mystical than nuclear mechanical, Drusilla's bat shittier than the bat section of the world market in guano. We haven't seen any nuclear incidents that weren't caused by Angel investigations actions against their opponents, either the guy who invented the weapons is dead, or they are simply saving them for something special," said Daria.


"Like what?" asked Wesley.


"World domina-, ... Amy must have told them to prepare for world domination while she distract- ... well, assuming that's true, we bought some time, but eventually they're going to just go 'Fuck it' and start taking over the world without orders," said Daria.


"It just so happens that their forces are about balanced against each other," said Wesley.


"No they're not, those cyborgs kicked everyone's ass," said Spike.


"That won't last, Dru or someone else high up in their chain of command will eventually order in a team of vampires, if they do that, there's a good chance the cyborgs will start having trouble," said Wesley.


"We need to find them both simultaneously," said Daria.


"There is another thing that concerns me," said Robodaria.


"What's that?" asked Daria.


"The amount of energy those flying warriors expended was in excess of what they could achieve with any chemical system, flammable or electrolytic," said Robodaria.


"They're nuclear?" asked Daria.


"Or mystical," said Robodaria.


"Where would they be getting nuclear materials from?" asked Donald.


"Just about any source of hydrogen available. I don't think they were packing a fission plant of any kind, that would weigh them down so much that they would struggle to remain airborne, radiothermic generators don't pack the power for the observed energy expended, they are most likely fusion electric," said Robodaria.


"If they're using mystical energy, that can be transmitted in bulk over extreme distance," said Wesley.


"If it's not, there are ways to create wormholes between the source and every unit, but that would probably be way more complicated than building fusion reactors, but it would allow them to connect their units to an unlimited sized power plant over a practically unlimited distance," said Winifred.


"Okay, it would help if we could capture one," said Donald.


"Well, if they aren't mystically aware, there might be a way to achieve this," said Daria.




"How can it not be working?" asked Jane.


"I'm sorry, it just isn't," said the doctor.


They had been trying to abort the foetus for several hours.


The first techniques tried were the chemical ones, but they weren't working (normally it takes more than a day to be certain, but they had access to an MRI, and so were able to track the drugs through Jane's system, none of them went where they were meant to), so they moved onto the mechanical ones, but all they managed to do was severely bruise Jane's cervix.


The fact that Jane was a vampire meant that by all rights, the foetus shouldn't have any food or oxygen off of Jane, but it was getting it somehow, and somehow the various chemicals they were using were being excluded.


Absolutely none of this made sense, but then most of anything mystical didn't make any sense, it just seemed to work, it was like if you encountered relativistic effects such as length contraction or time dilation without having been schooled in the relevant physics, you don't know how it works, it just does.


"There must be a mystical field around it, that's about the only explanation I got, I'm sorry, but you need to see a witch about this."


Jane sighed and said "right," Thinking 'I guess Spike will be happy.'




Daria's phone rang.


"Joy's alias," said Daria.


"Oh, I'm sorry, I was- ... Oh, wait, ... Okay, Daria, listen, we've identified Amy Madison in this dimension, Willow's headed over now to help you," said Xander.


"Okay, where was Amy last seen?" asked Daria.


"She was last seen stealing a fulcrum, it was recovered in the Ivory Coast, the seat some distance further, she was seen in various locations approaching a UN depot, we think she's headed to the United States."


"Sweet," said Daria.


"Uh, ... You are being sarcastic, right?"


"Not really, no. this might help us out a lot with this gang Drusilla's running, we should be able to follow her to base," said Daria.


"Okay, ... just watch your back, ... and watch what you pick up, or wish, ... and don't wish for songs and dances, trust me, that just, ... -"


"That was YOU???" asked Daria, now seriously annoyed with him.


"errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, .... ... yeah, that was me, I'm the asshole, can we get back to the impending doom of an insane evil witch that wants you dead?"


"Sure, but when we meet face to face, I'm going to want a word with you about that spell."




"I could use a laugh," said Jane.


"Right, just remember what her powers were like before she got sucked down a portal, you can be certain this will be a serious level fight," said Daria.


"Give me a chance to work off some of my preggo moodswings then, won't it?" said Jane.


"You're just mad that she made you jump out a 3rd story window and then you missed the look on her face when she was sucked into the portal," said Daria.


"Do faces with 3rd degree burns even have looks?" asked Jane.


"Point is that this is going to be extremely difficult, and you're 4 months pregnant-"


"Nooooo chance of a miscarry, believe me, I tried," said Jane.


"Alright then, as long as you're sure."


"Absolutely," said Jane.




"Amy was observed leaving an aircraft at a UN depot, she now seems to be headed to Lawndale," said Donald.


"Which means she's more interested in revenge than world domination at this point. Okay, let's set a trap," said Daria, she had her team assembled (Jane, Willow, and Illyria) in the NSA's library, which seemed to be the watchers favorite briefing room.


"We don't want her to detect a trap, so she must not sense us there," said Willow.


"That means another witch will have to jam her," said Daria.


"That will be your job," said Willow.


"I've been practicing, but I'm barely above complex telekinesis," said Daria.


"We'll lend you some power," said Willow.


"'kay," said Daria.


"We'll meet Amanda in Lawndale, she'll lend you half, I'll lend you most, hopefully that will weaken my signal enough for you to jam her. While you and Amanda are doing that, the rest of us will be getting ready to capture her."


"And how will we be doing this?" asked Daria.


"I have some spells that can drain mystical energy, but if I get it wrong, I'll kill her, and we don't get our intelligence," said Willow.


"Okay then, looks like I'm going home," said Daria.




"They gave you time off?" asked Quinn, looking vaguely hopeful.


"No," said Daria, as she entered the house carrying her USAS 12.


"Okay, what's going on?"


"That's need to know," said the suit behind Daria.


"Amy Madison's returned to this dimension. Shortly before learning this, we found out that Drusilla, one of her vampire XOs was still around, and possibly building a nuclear equipped army. Amy's headed here, we're going to attempt to capture her," said Daria.


"I said-" started the suit.


"She needed to know, Amy's coming straight here, and the last thing I did to her before sending her off to another dimension was toss an incendiary grenade at her, she might go after Quinn to get at me," said Daria.


"So I just became a target for a psychotic witch whose real problem is with you?" asked Quinn.


"Yeah, sorry about that. You should pack some stuff and stay over at Sandi's place," said Daria.


"Right," said Quinn as she headed upstairs.


The agent behind Daria stepped in front of her and said "does the concept 'Top Secret' not mean ANYTHING to you?"


"She knows the situation, so does Sandi, and I will not put either of them in unnecessary danger."


"And if they use this information to enhance their image at school?"


"They won't, they've taken to studying, and Brains don't rank on the social hierarchy, neither do freaks, or anyone who associates with either, 'sides, these tales are wayyyyy too tall for anyone hearing them from a high school student to believe," said Daria.


Quinn came downstairs with an overnight bag and said "I get a lift?"


Daria held out the keys to the agent.


He glowered and eventually took the keys and headed off with Quinn.


Daria closed the door and pulled her cell phone.




Willow and Illyria sat in the Lane living room with Amanda and Jane.


The lane house was not too badly damaged in the blast, it had been forced sideways 11 degrees, but a bit of reinforcement to the damaged struts had made it safe again, and they had then repaired the damaged finish sufficiently to weatherproof the house once more, the leaning casa of Lane had survived in a uniquely Lane way.


The sections of roof that had been destroyed by mortar fire had also been repaired, Amanda was less than pleased that the contents of the attic had been sucked out through the holes in the roof by the nuclear powered compression wave, even if she had forgotten what was up there, it was still possible she had lost items of personal significance, she was thankful that the house wasn't taken completely apart like some of the others.


The Deckler house had to be completely rebuilt, having been lifted into the air by it's massive sail area with it's foundations weakened by the attempt to squash the Decklers with their own house. Then it had been sucked back onto it's own foundations by the rarefaction zone, landing upside down. It's architecture had not been built with strong winds in mind, it was a wonder it had survived that hurricane the other year.


And now the Lane house was the middle of a conflict zone again.


It had been several minutes since Willow had received the call from Daria, the next contact will be from the agents supervising the surveillance on Amy.


"So, you take the no such Concorde here?" asked Jane.


"No, teleported," said Willow.


"That takes a lot of energy," said Illyria.


"Yeah, need the whole coven to send me this far," said Willow.


"That would have created one hell of a spike, that's probably why Amy was using non-mystical means to get back here," said Amanda.


"You and Amy were once close friends," said Illyria.


"Yeah, we were, then she ended up misusing her magics, I went down a similar road, but came back, I guess she's doing the same thing only more slowly, plus she didn't have a team such as I had, if she had, then perhaps she would have been an ally instead of a mortal enemy," said Willow.


Willow's phone rang, she answered and said "Amy's approaching Daria's house."


"Right." Jane pulled her phone and rang Daria, saying "game on," as soon as Daria answered.




Daria waited as Jane relayed the information from Willow, her shotgun ready for use, loaded with alternating FSHE and QB8.


Quadrangle buckshot (QB8) was essentially 000 buck, except with steel wedges for balls, these were capable of slicing through armour and would do more damage than a flechette would (although a flechette would be better for penetration, the "damage" would be laughable), and while it would be inaccurate like all cluster projectile rounds, they were anticipating close quarter battle, this distance would be perfect for QB8.


Besides, this was just to divert Amy's attention from Amanda and Willow, not to kill her.


Daria flipped up the sight's HUD, in case she needed it.


The sight was another perk that came from joining the NSA: a CCIP sight, Constantly Computed Impact Point.


Damn useful, but it was also a reminder that she was working for a shifty at best government agency under a stupid she hoped administration, and she might end up doing evil work or making extremely hard choices.


What was worse was that she had no idea what the nature of those hard choices would be, just that they would have to be made.


She was stood next to the corner between the lounge wall and kitchen wall, ready to erect a shield, she was already using her borrowed magic to jam Amy's senses, but she imagined Amy would come in fast and hard throwing everything she had at Daria, Willow and Amanda would have almost fuck all time to act when Amy got inside the-


"She's moving on," said Jane.


"What?" asked Daria.


"Amy passed your house, she should have gone in, she slowed when she passed, so we're certain she knows you're there," said Jane.


"Okay, where's she headed?" asked Daria.


"Hang on," said Jane.


Daria waited.


"She's headed here," said Jane.


"Okay, count down to her arrival, I'll teleport in when she arrives, hopefully that will help distract her while Willow leeches her." said Daria.




Amy headed towards the front door, ready to carry out her plan.


She couldn't sense much, Amanda Lane was jamming her, so she was just going to have to do this the old fashioned way: look around for her target.


She opened the door and felt an energy spike behind her and broke to a run as she moved through the house, and found who she was looking for.




Illyria approached Amy, Willow was behind Amy, Amanda was off to the side, Daria was off to the left now, she shouted "EYES!", warning the friendlies of the danger of ricochets before firing at Amy, but Amy erected a shield around just herself and Illyria.


Illyria found this to be curious, Amy couldn't affect her with her magics, so this was pointless and suicidal.


Daria and Amanda set about taking down Amy's shield, Amy threw a punch, Illyria intercepted it, but Amy was spoofing, she instead turned her palm to Illyria's and Illyria felt her body turn into pain for a few seconds.




Daria awoke, she looked around the room, everyone else was unconscious, and she was, ... looking at herself???


She was now next to Amy, and, ... okay, that must be Illyria over there.


What's with these fucking colours?


And why did these weird tastes seem to emanate from everyone else?


And: ... waaaaiiiiiiit a minute.


She looked down at her hands.


They were Illyria's hands.


"Ho boy."



Part 4.



(Author's Note: This is a bit difficult, so bear with me here, because I need to explain a little of the fic I'm crossing over with.


Diane Long's Fic Undone and its immediate sequel Restoration basically puts Daria in a bad relationship with a publisher (Dominic Grayson) she ends up working for, she eventually comes to hear him plotting to enslave her at this party he's hosting, and she discharges a handy drink at him.


He then drags her out of sight and attempts to bully her into apologizing for her actions, he slaps her, she escapes before he can do more, she and Trent (who were in a relationship until the events of Undone) get back together and Daria spends the next fic, Retribution, getting over a load of sexual abuse that apparently happened while she was with Domonic.


I would obviously have preferred to hyperlink this so that only those who need an explanation are the ones who have to read this, but I couldn't nail it down to the chapter, just the web page, which is a bit to take in when you really want a summary.)


Daria woke up wondering what had happened.


'Let's see', she thought, 'I was at a dinner party that I was told was a book launching, turns out it was a party and I was merely there as arm candy.... Oh yes, then I heard Dominic describing what I submitted to in pornographic detail, at which point, I unloaded a flute of Champagne at him, calling him a bastard (pathetic much? Should have broke the base off the flute and jammed that through his eye! Stupid delayed vengeance fantasy).


'Then he grabs me, pulls me into his office, locks the door, starts threatening me, ordering me to apologize to him in public.


'Wasn't gonna happen, I unlocked the door behind my back continuing the argument, he smacks me.... '


Her eyes snapped open, and she shot to her feet, dragging something up with her that she had been gripping the whole time.


She looked at it and realized it was an enormous gun.


"AHHHH!" she cried, dropping it.


She looked around seeing other people on the floor.   Some were looking at her.  She identified Jane and Amanda Lane (both looked much younger), a redheaded woman who looked like Alyson Hannigan out of American Pie, a girl in a red leather bodysuit with blue highlights in her braided pigtails and blue paint on her skin, and a brown haired woman who was still unconscious.


"Illyria?" asked the leather freak.


Daria looked down at herself and quickly worked out this was her own body, only younger, she said,  "No, I'm Daria."


"No, I'm Daria," said the leather clad woman.


Daria eventually realized who the leather freak was: "No, you're Stacy, one of Quinn's friends."


Jane then said "If you're both Daria, where's Illyria?"




Dominic Greyson had no idea what had just happened, one minute he had her in her place, the next...she had turned into Xena or something.


This change had occurred just after he slapped her across the face, he could see the fear in her eyes before, then something more akin to irritation the next as he told her she would know her place.


Her defiant stare had prompted him to hit her again, but he couldn't get a blow in before she struck him in his upper arms with her fingertips, making them go dead.


She had then looked around in confusion and located her glasses, she had then looked at her reflection in the window and said "This is Daria's body.... this is several years in the future," before asking him to identify himself.


"Who you trying to be?   Seven Of Nine?" asked Dominic.


"I am Illyria, God King of the primordium.  I was resurrected in the body of Stacy Rowe, but now something has caused me to be transplanted to Daria's body, and this appears to be some distance into the future."


This just HAD to be a wind up.


His arms weren't recovering fast enough, so he went to kick her across the face.


But she did the same thing to his legs as she had done to his arms.


She had then gone through his Rolodex and written down a few numbers on a post-it and headed out.


As soon as he could stand again, he was pressing charges.


Except he'd have to admit he was beat up by a woman.


Okay, fuck that, soon as he could move again, he was teaching Daria a lesson.




Stacy cocked her head and eventually asked "what's the last thing you remember?"


"The...who's Illyria?" asked Daria.


"A warrior monarch from the demon age, got killed, entombed, and resurrected in Stacy, only I've Quantum leaped into her body, you've quantum leaped into mine.... "


"I'm dead, aren't I?" asked Daria.


"No, I'm dead," said Jane, as she briefly vamped out and back.


This alarmed Daria.


"Is Jane not alive in your dimension?" asked Stacy...or Daria from this dimension....  Daria looked at the unconscious woman at Stacy/Daria's feet and asked "is she dead?"


"I don't know," said Stacy/Daria, she turned to the redhead and asked "Willow?"


"Hang on," said Willow, she walked over to her and said,  "She's alive, hang on."


Willow produced some weird item and touched it against the unconscious woman and some weird plasma or something appeared between them.


She looked up at Stacy/Daria and said "she's safe now." She then turned the woman's hand over and said "Draconian Katra," as she carefully removed its rings from the woman's fingers.


"What's that?" asked Daria.


"Body swap device, normally only swaps the two people whose palms are pressed against it, except she tried it on Illyria, whose shell has unusual mystical properties," said Stacy/Daria, who then reached down to the woman.


"Wait, allow me," said Jane, as she ran over to them.


Stacy/Daria stepped back as Jane grabbed the woman by her clothing and lifted her to her feet, saying, "Hey asshole, wake up!"


The woman stirred, then awoke with a look of serious alarm, she looked around and said "Iit didn't work."


"It did something. What was the plan, beat the crap out of us with Illyria's shell?" asked Stacy/Daria.


"No, the plan was to use Daria to kill you all, since she's a gun nut, I should have had an easy time with it since your guard would temporarily be down."


"Okay, why did you try this on Illyria?" asked Stacy/Daria.


"She looked like...who are you?"


"Hi, I'm Daria, and apparently that's--" she pointed at Daria's body "--also Daria. Now, what I want to establish, is where the fucking hell Illyria is?"




"WHO IS IT?" asked Jane.


Illyria thought about her response, and deciding it more expedient to borrow the body's identity, said "IT'S DARIA!"




Illyria looked through Daria's possessions, finding a bunch of keys.


She tried them sequentially, and then entered.


It took some exploring, but she eventually found Jane in bed upstairs, her leg in a cast.


"You are injured."


Jane looked at her in surprise and eventually said "yes?"


Illyria looked at the window and saw Jane's reflection in it and said, "You also have a reflection; you have also aged the time I left.  This is not the same time line as I was in."


Jane blinked and finally asked "what's with the shiner?"


"I believe the man in the suit in that office I was in was assaulting me, attempting to intimidate or possibly hospitalize or kill Daria," said Illyria.


"You're not Daria?" asked Jane.


"No, I am Illyria.  I got displaced from my body and implanted in this one. Your Daria is somewhere else, in my home continuum. You are a vampire, and you and Daria are National Security Agents that investigate mystical disturbances, are you aware of magic in this dimension?"


Jane couldn't think of an answer to this.


"I am inclined to believe you at best have no idea what I am discussing with you, or possibly think I am your Daria undergoing a mental ailment, I need to find a witch." Illyria then left a very confused Jane.




"Okay, Willow, Amanda, what do we do?" asked Daria.


Amanda rubbed her chin while Willow ran her hand through her hair sucking air through her teeth, and Willow eventually said, "I'll need to read up on this."


"Yeah, this'll definitely need some research," said Amanda.


"Okay then, wrap her up, let's get back to base," said Daria.


"Right," said Jane, she pulled out a big reel of duct tape and threw Amy to Daria, while the other Daria looked on in confusion. Amanda went upstairs for some overnight stuff, and Willow grabbed the USAS 12 and headed outside.


"So... this heaven, hell or purgatory?" asked the other Daria.




As soon as they were back at their headquarters, they placed Amy in a cell and headed to the lab with Wesley and Winifred to discuss their next move.


"Faith's on her way in, but I doubt that she'll be able to help, it's not like she's seen that many Draconian Katras," said Daria.


"Which means we'll have to talk to Amy," said Wesley.


"Oooooh! Ooooooh! Let me! Let me!" said Jane.


"You know anything about torture?" asked Wesley.


The other Daria froze in her tracks. Daria, who suddenly realized how her other self might react, stopped with her, and asked, "you all right?"


The other Daria looked afraid.


"Look, sorry to alarm you, but I think in this case we're going to have to use whatever we can to get the intel we need, and getting Amy to tell us what she did is a part of that, and we SO don't have the time for this," said Daria, as she continued on.


The other Daria followed her saying "Hi, I'm Daria, who are you? Because there's no way you're me!"


"Daria, things are different here."


"What? DSN's 'Cross Over' different, or 'Event Horizon' different?"


"Okay, look, the situation is that we're in the wrong bodies, you're in the wrong dimension, the person in your body has no idea what your situation is in your dimension, and the sooner we sort this, the less likely it is that Illyria will fuck your situation up beyond all repair, okay?" said Daria.


"No, not really," she turned to Jane saying "and you, the Jane I know wouldn't be so keen to torture people."


"You'd have to know the history between us," said Jane.








"Start?" asked Daria, she then winced at that crack, and said "Look, I'm not too happy about using torture either, but while we're also looking for leads, it might turn up something useful, and as I said before, the faster we get you back to your dimension, the better for all concerned."


"Right," growled the other Daria, obviously not able to think up any further arguments against their plans.




"I thought as much, I followed them a couple of nights ago, he was trying to force her into a cab, trying to get her to his place. I also got a look at her new neighborhood, not the sort of place you want to leave your emaciated female friend in if you know what I mean," said Trent.


"So she's just flipped her lid?" asked Jane.


Trent sighed and said "what do we do? I don't really want to involve the police, but I might have trouble finding her on my own."


"Check her place.   You got your cell phone?"


"Yes, I'll call you if I find her," he said as he headed out.




Daria approached the other Daria as the others (minus Jane who was preparing to talk to Amy) discussed the factors that could have affected the Draconian Katra's effects.


She wasn't really surprised her other self was offended by the fact that the indigenous Daria was so willing to accept the use of torture on prisoners, in fact, she found it faintly disturbing too, it made her wonder what kind of a person she was, but the main thing was to try to keep her other self calm.


"You all right there?"


The other Daria turned around and just stared at her for about 20 seconds.


The taste that was emanating off of her changed.


These tastes seemed to alter with emotional states.


And for some reason, Willow's emotions had a faint trace of strawberries,


But her other self's emotions tasted like bile, as if Daria was gargling vomit.


Her other self turned away.


Daria stood there.


"What do you think we're going to be able to discuss here?" asked the other Daria.


"My low self esteem."


Bile turned to chicken antimatter vindaloo as the other Daria turned to her sharply, shouting "HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY THINK THAT'S FUNNY???"




"AND WHAT MAKES YOU THINK IT IS NECESSARY???" asked the other Daria.


















"Actually it is," said Wesley.








Faith entered the lab hearing the raised voices.


She saw Daria and Illyria in a shouting match on one side of the lab, Wesley, Winifred, and Willow on the other.


She eventually got tired of hearing them go at it and shouted "HEY!"


Everyone looking at her, she asked "What's going on?"


"Body swap," said both Daria and Illyria simultaneously.


Faith approached the others and noticed something lying in a tray. "That isn't what I think it is, is it?"


She had received a call while on patrol, apparently Daria, Willow, and Winifred needed her to take a look at something.  Illyria was there too.


"'fraid so," said Illyria, she and everyone else had now calmed down.


"'frai--okay, this I just gotta hear," said Faith, realizing Illyria "had no use for contractions such as ''fraid'." as she leaned against one of the work benches.


"Amy Madison tried to body switch with me in order to infiltrate and sabotage us in vengeance for sending her packing to another dimension without her face, but she accidentally shook hands with Illyria instead, and that caused the device to malfunction" said Illyria.


"Aaaaand you are...?"




"And Amy's in your body?"


"No, Amy's in her own, I'm also Daria, only, from another dimension, assuming this isn't some sort of nervous breakdown. ... or The Afterlife," said the occupant in Daria's body.


"Okay, so, what am I doing here?" asked Faith.


"We need to find out who made it, how it was put together, this devices particular idiosyncrasies could help us, I want to know if it looks identical to the one you used on Buffy or if it looks different," said Daria.


"Hey, I know where I've seen you before-" started the other Daria.


"No, I'm not Eliza fucking Dushku off of Tru Calling," said Faith, really annoyed at hearing someone mistake her for that actor for the hundredth trillionth time.


"Oh... okay," said the other Daria.


Faith returned to the issue and lifted the device and looked at it saying "bit of a long shot, I mean, that was three, four years ago, can't you ask Amy?"


"Jane's doing that now," said Daria.




Jane entered Amy's cell, where Amy was strapped to a wheelchair in a straightjacket, and said , "Hi Amy, are you going to tell me where you got your Draconian Katra device from?"




Jane pulled a bottle and a syringe and started drawing the fluid into the syringe saying "cool."


"Is that supposed to scare me?" asked Amy.


"Nope, it's supposed to hurt you." Jane then put the bottle back in her pocket and pulled an alcohol wipe, removing it from it's packet, she wiped a spot on Amy's neck, and pushed the air out of the syringe before pushing it into Amy's neck.


Amy felt the fluid burn her flesh and waited for Jane to say something.


"Do you know what capsaicin is?"


Amy thought and said "no."


"It is the irritating compound found in chilies, trace amounts make your mouth feel like it's holding molten iron, and I'm about to inject several cubic centimeters of the stuff into your carotid artery, it'll make your blood taste like hot sauce I imagine, might just have a taste."


Amy couldn't think of anything that could convince Jane not to do this.


Jane nudged the plunger forward enough to warm up Amy's brain slightly.


"That's abouuuuuut...a drop? ... I go any further, it could be ages before your system gets it off the nerves lining your cardiovascular system, hours upon hours of pain."




Quinn was standing over the sleeping bag when she felt something brush against her side.


She heard a loud yelp and suddenly realized she was now in the corner of the room on the other side of Sandi's bed, looking at a worried looking Sandi just behind where she had once been standing.


She also realized she was breathing hard and that she was straining to keep her eyelids from view.


"Sorry," said Sandi.


Quinn slowly stood up, shaking all over, and said "no biggie," as she mentally cursed her insane reactions loudly and obscenely.


Her therapist had mentioned the possibility of weird and unexpected reactions to everyday stimuli, but this was ridiculous.


If this were to happen while she was at the mall, or somewhere else that was crowded, she would never be able to live it down.




"So if you go into that dimension and look for Kaxtra Lorrtobi, he'll make one for you," said Amy.


Jane waited a little, then pulled the syringe from Amy's neck, and headed off to relay the information to the others.




"This could add another element to this puzzle, different dimensions have different mystical properties: In some, vampires can stand out in the sun without getting dusted as one example," said Willow.


"Okay, that leads us to another problem: these portals don't always go to the same place," said Wesley.


"The portals from Pylea seemed to repeatedly go to the Caritas, and from what I heard, Angel's car, Lorne's cousin and Cordelia landed within a days walking distance of each other," said Winifred.


"Okay, but that portal's going to be a rough ride, and we need to know how to get back," said Daria.


"This is going to take way too long," said Wesley.


"And I don't entirely trust Amy to tell us how to get back, in fact, she may be planning to get us trapped," said Willow.


"Where's Lorne?" asked Daria.


"Dunno, he went off and said 'don't look for me'."


"We're the NSA, if we want to find him, we could," said Daria.


"Except we don't hate Lorne," said Winifred.


"Hmm... using Illyria's senses, I could function better than a polygraph, but Amy would probably expect us to be unable to verify her statement ahead of when we need the information. In fact, we don't even know that this lead is good," said Daria.


"Which renders the torture earlier worthless," said the other Daria.


"Look, I know where you're coming from, but we have to try," said Daria.


"Really?  You know where I'm coming from? So, when did you lose your conscience? Let's re-trace your steps, when was the last time you remember having it?"


"Enough!" said Wesley, bringing the argument to a halt, he then walked up to the other Daria and said, "This is a debate that, fair enough, should bother all involved due to the obscene nature of torture. But, we don't have the time right now, because we need to solve the problem of you two and Illyria being in the wrong bodies and two of you being in the wrong dimensions!


Now, if the use of torture bothers you, you have my deepest sympathies, but I am NOT prepared to resist using it to the point where I can't do my JOB!, if you start to get queasy, kindly take it somewhere else, and allow us continue our investigation."


The other Daria fumed. "I don't know weather I hope none of you experience torture, or that you do so you know what it's like," she said before leaving the lab.


She entered a few second later and said "there a place around here I can get something to eat?"


Spike said "I'll show her to the cafeteria, let you brains get on," as he left the lab with the other Daria in tow.


"There's got to be something we can do," said Wesley.


"Hang on....  Willow, you remember when you and Anyanka were trying to locate her pendant?"


"Yeah... hang on... I mean...okay, I guess that could work," said Willow.


"You have come a long way since then Willow," said Wesley.


"And there are still instances where I spectacularly bone the spell," said Willow.


"Okay, but we will need Illyria's help on this, she's had the most experience hopping dimensions of all of us, she will give us the best shot of an accurate transfer, it might also be possible to carry it out without needing Amy," said Daria.


"Okay then, we'll get right on it," said Willow.




Trent entered the apartment where Daria was supposed to be living and felt distressed at the appearance of the place.


The place was totally minging, water stains on the walls gave the impression that the roof consisted of a mosquito tent, the floor looked like it had been used as a racetrack for vehicles consisting of clusters of four chainsaws welded together, the personal items of the occupant consisted of some books and legal pads stacked near a beanbag chair, a Kafka poster, a hotplate with cans of soup, an a mattress under a window with a dying Zinnia and a blind with "If misery loves company, misery has company enough."


Even if you knew Daria, that was a worrying statement to hear.


He considered weather he should wait for her to return, or start reading the legal pads to see what she was thinking to try to predict her location.


He decided to call Jane while deciding this.


Trent then heard the door open, he turned and saw Dominic enter.  Dominic had two brass knuckledusters.


"Where is she?" he asked.


"Why do I get the feeling your search for Daria isn't motivated by your sense of guilt for sending her around the twist?" asked Trent.


"That bitch embarrassed me in front of everyone and just walked off, and if you try to protect her...!"


Trent fumed at Dominic's presence, and his arrogance, and the way he had sent Daria off the edge, and he threw a punch, which Dominic intercepted, he punched Trent square in the nose, sending him back onto his ass.


"Want any more like that, slacker boy?"


Trent wouldn't be able to launch an attack from this position.  He knew he would have to draw Dominic in and pull him down.


"Get fucked," said Trent.


Dominic stepped around and went to kick Trent in the side, Trent caught his foot and got up, shoving Dominic back, causing him to wave his arms behind himself in anticipation of his fall.


With the element of surprise on his side, Trent kicked Dominic in his side several times rapidly before bugging out, calling Jane as he left.


"Yo," answered Jane.


"No joy on Daria, just had a very pissed off Dominic show up doing an impression of an ill tempered gorilla looking for her, I think she did something to him when she snapped, and he's out for blood by the supertanker load."


"Okay, I'll get the police on it," said Jane.


"I'll try to get Dominic away from the apartment then I'll return for clues," said Trent.


"Okay," said Jane.




A police officer approached Illyria asking "Excuse me, miss, can I have your name please?."


"Illyria," she responded truthfully, but she didn't stop.


"Can you prove your identity?" asked the cop, trying to stay next to her without breaking into a run.


"No," responded Illyria.


"Miss, Illyria, you look like someone we're looking for, a Daria Morgendorffer?"


Illyria stopped and asked "With what is this in connection?"


"Daria is believed to be suffering from a nervous breakdown and may be a danger to there anyone who can verify your identity?"


"No, there is not," said Illyria, she resumed walking.


The police officer followed her from a distance.  He obviously wasn't going to neglect his duty to her and those around her, so she would need to evade him somehow.




"So, you're an author and radio personality in your timeline huh?" asked Daria, as she and her other self sat in the cafeteria.


Illyria's eyes were driving her nuts, and if she read one more letter of ancient text, she would have had a seizure, so she went for a cup of tea and found the other Daria right where Spike had left her.


Except her sense of taste was a bit off, the tea tasted foul, even with about fifteen sachets of sugar.   In fact, the sugar seemed to make it worse.


"Yeah, well, I was a radio personality, and almost not an author. I was having an argument with my publisher at the time of the switch.  I wonder how bad things will be with Illyria filling in for me as me?" asked the other Daria.


"When Illyria infected Stacy's body, and awoke with no idea where she was supposed to be, she kept her presence pretty low key, and she does have a lot of sense. Not much patience, but she knows if she makes a lot of noise, her purposes would not be served or become harder to fulfill.  Right now those purposes are returning to this body.  I assume there's a police force in your reality too?" said Daria.


"Yes," said the other Daria.


"Illyria won't want them crawling all over her, there is a possible danger that Illyria in searching for the equipment she needs to return to her body, that could generate some assault complaints... that could get awkward."


"Thanks, almost stopped thinking about that for a microsecond," said the other Daria.


"Look, at least when we make contact with Illyria, we can start coordinating with her on damage control."


"Or find out what my brand new rap sheet has on it," said the other Daria.


"They'll figure it out, Wesley and Willow, experienced mystics the pair of them," said Daria.


"Can't we help? I mean, I'm a bookworm in my reality," said the other Daria.


"Trust me, you'd take too long to get up to speed, and I'm a hair away from an epileptic seizure without having to concentrate on large bodies of text."


"I wonder how Illyria is handling her loss of that extra bandwidth?"




"The money she used to buy the camera had traces of cocaine on it," said the police officer.


Daria had apparently purchased a camera capable of recording infra red into the 1500nm range and ultra violet into the 50nm range.  She had paid for the camera in cash.  The police had sent a family liaison officer (Daria was technically a friend, but the same situation the guy was trained for applied), also a police officer had been assaulted by her, using a technique that few martial arts experts knew of, let alone anyone else.  The cop was fine, but that did make Daria's arrest more urgent.


"No offence detective, but a lot of bills have traces of weapons grade plutonium on them, although going on what Trent said of her apartment, and her weight.  I do find it improbable that she could have that sort of money legally, I don't know what's going on with her, she's kept her situation highly secret. Dominic was after her like she had done something....  She must have humiliated the crap out of him somehow," said Trent.


"Could she have stolen the money or gained the money by selling stolen goods?" asked the cop.


"This isn't going to affect our working assumption that she's lost it and won't be liable for any of this shit, right?" asked Jane.


"This will depend on the facts as we uncover them," said the cop.




"There's an APB out on you," said the proprietor of the magic shop.


"I know," said Illyria, as she browsed the containers with both naked eye and the camera's IR/UV modes.


"What's with the camera?"


"This body does not have the ability to see the bands you refer to as infra red and ultra violet. I need to identify the ingredients.  I have figured out which dimension I am in, now I need to co-ordinate with those I work with in my base dimension."


"I noticed your aura was a bit wonky, looked like someone used a Draconian Katra on you."


"A Draconian Katra? That switches most humans and demons. My shell would have resisted the magic, the Draconian Katra would have kept trying and the energy discharge would have breeched the dimensions. This explains part of what happened." Illyria pointed out two herbs and a jar of bones.


The proprietor placed the containers on the counter as he asked, "You refer to your original body as a shell, I've never heard anyone do that, what are you?"


"I am a demon god king of the primordium, I have been told that the era is not common knowledge at this time," said Illyria as she pointed out a couple of other containers.


"No, not to me anyway, this sounds like the kind of thing only major organizations might know," said the magic shop proprietor.


Illyria pointed out two more ingredients and said "I wish to perform the spells here; I may need to make adjustments and may be unable to return later."


"Pay for what you use in advance."




"Okay, now we need a representation of Illyria's soul," said Willow.


Wesley sighed and said "that could be a problem."


"What about the body we suspect she occupies?" asked Winifred.


"I'll get Daria," said Wesley.




'Daria Illyria receiving over?' thought Illyria.


'Oh good, auditory hallucinations' thought Daria.


'I am not a hallucination, I am attempting to locate my base reality, describe your situation to me.'


'Not listening, ... not listening, ... not listening' came the distressed reply.


'Daria, please, it is important.'


The Daria she had contacted laughed maniacally.


'What is happening to you?'


'What is happening to me?  Ermm...let's see, first I get done for packing a gun that just materialized in my locker somehow, then I end up accepting a deal that makes prison look like a holiday in the Caribbean.' The Daria laughed again, and said 'want my situation? Okay, I'm in a foam padded coffin with no light, no sound, dressed in a straightjacket, a diaper, and this gag and hood like some sort of bondage gimp, getting diaper rash, dehydrated, and FUCKING SCHIZOPHRENIC, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAaaaaaaaa!!!'


Illyria was getting disturbed now, she had grown increasingly attached to Daria and the others she was working with in the NSA, and it sounded like this Daria was undergoing a sensory deprivation torture of some kind.


'I am sorry for your predicament; I hope your situation improves.'


Illyria then broke contact and told the shopkeeper that she may need to set up a shield while she searched for the correct reality.




"Is it likely that Illyria will change my clothes?" asked the other Daria as she and Jane drew her other dimensional self.


"Can't say," said Daria.


"Great, I have to draw me naked," said the other Daria.




"This is getting frustrating," said Illyria.


"Maybe we can narrow things down a little, we could perform a locator spell," said the shopkeeper.


"Agreed," said Illyria, she then pointed out a number of other items and started working on her new spell.




"Looking a bit gaunt, aren't I?" asked Daria.


"Yeah, due to budget cutbacks, I had to reduce spending on food," said the other Daria.


"Ooo-kay, that everything?" asked Jane.


"Well...some a-hole clocked me pretty hard across the face just before I leaped, so there might be a bruise on my left cheek."


"I'm sure Illyria has avenged that by now," said Jane, as she added the bruise to the picture.


"Okay, that's about it," said the other Daria.


"Right," said Jane, she tore the page from the sketch pad and handed it to Willow, who looked appreciative of the image, before placing it on the floor and starting the spell.


'Daria Illyria receiving over?'


"AAAHHH." cried the other Daria.


"What?" asked Daria.


'Daria, I need you to describe your situation.'


"I'm hearing thin- ... Wait, Illyria?"


"I haven't even done the spell yet," said Willow.


'Describe your situation.'


"Okay, well, I'm sitting with a group of people about to do a spell to find you, what's been going on at your end?"


'I have had to defend myself against a number of people including a police officer; they believe you to be insane,' thought Illyria.


"Damn it!" said the other Daria.


"What's up?" asked Daria.


"It's just what we thought might happen, I'm gonna end up in a nuthouse for the rest of my life, things are bad enough as it is," said the other Daria.


'From the condition of your body and the situation as I understand it, you can attribute your seemingly irrational behavior to prolonged distress,' thought Illyria.


'Illyria Willow receiving, over?'


'Willow, I believe I know how to switch us back, you will need to prepare my shell.'


'Okay, our Daria's in there, the Daria you've replaced is in our Daria's body.'


'A three way rotation? This is going to be a problem. I need time to consider our course of action.'


'You should hook up directly to me...that will allow us to plan the spell better.'


'Acknowledged, out.'




"What exactly is the situation?" asked Daria after she had gotten her selves into another room.


"Well... I don't think I want to go into it too much," said the other Daria.


"Daria, we need to figure out the best way to protect you from the penal and mental health systems," said Daria.


"I don't even want to think about that, not again," said the other Daria, visibly distressed.


"Again?  What happened?"


The other Daria cringed a lot, producing a cold sick emotion that Daria could barely handle.




"In my reality, I got into a fight with Quinn at age 4, as kids do, and my parents over reacted, as parents do, took me to a shrink, scared me into Vulcanicity, now I seem to have lost it again, with that bullshit on my medical history. ... "


Daria looked at the other Daria, feeling her nausea turn to rage and said "How bad?"


The other Daria looked at her with nearly enough fury to knock Daria off her feet and said "YOU WOULDN'T ASK THAT IF YOU KNEW HOW IT FEELS TO BE TRAPPED AND...!!" The other Daria turned around and punched the wall.


"I have been tortured for information...." started Daria.


"Did they break you?" asked the other Daria.


"No, but it still hurt like fuck," said Daria.




"Believe it or not, I do fear psychiatric abuse more than any other assault. Unlike most thugs, psychiatrists go for the mind, they try to change the very thing that makes you you.... look, maybe there's a way to avoid that possibility all together."






"Are you quite insane?" asked Willow.


"Yes, can we do it?" asked Daria, not missing a beat.


"We're talking about a complex spell that has way more components than I'm happy with already, Daria, I mean, the more magics you mix, the more likely it is that they will do something unexpected, and that usually means something bad and disastrous," said Willow.


"We're already displacing through time, it's just a case of adjusting one component isn't it?" asked Daria.


"That's just it, we're not, the two universes are chronologically displaced by several years, we'd have to add a part to send your other self back a few hours," said Willow.


"Okay...hang, on, Illyria made contact with us, right?" asked Daria.


"yeah? ... Oh, hang on" said Willow 'Illyria Willow receiving, over?'


'Willow Illyria, go ahead, over.'


'We're going to want to send the Daria whose body you are presently occupying back through time after we have retrieved you, we're hoping to erase anything that could give her a criminal record or get her committed to a psychiatric hospital, over.'


'I will make the preparations here and leave instructions for the Daria of this universe, such a spell should be carried out separately to the body swapping spell.'


'Acknowledged, out.'  Willow turned to the others. "Illyria's going to get it ready."


"Okay then."




Dominic was walking around fuming.


That Hippy certainly wasn't very peaceful, and Daria had run off somewhere, but she didn't have a lot of money, so she wasn't likely to have gone very far.


She wasn't at Jane's, otherwise what was Trent doing there?


He knew Daria had flipped, that 'Godking of the primordium' thing he thought was a joke, was probably a delusion, so where would a godking of the primordium go?


He glanced and saw a familiar looking woman in a shop window.


"Right," he said, hitting the knuckle dusters together a couple of times as he entered the shop.


Both Daria and the shopkeeper turned to him as he entered.


"Now, Daria, I know you've come down with a case of insanity, so I'm going to help you."


"In what way?" asked Daria, still in 'Seven Of Nine.' mode, her look of curiosity taunted him by it's indication that he wasn't the slightest bit intimidated by him.


"By knocking some sense into you," he said, knocking his knucks together again as he approached.


Daria walked up to him, cocking her head just before he threw a punch. His fist failed to connect with anything, she had dropped from view.


He then felt one of her feet against his abdomen and the other punched him in the throat, forcing him to stumble back. He then felt her calf against his at his second step back, causing him to fall on his ass, his next view of her was of the underside of her foot.




"Unimpressive." said Illyria as she walked back to the counter and resumed the preparation of the time travel spell.


"No it wasn't," said the magic shop owner, who was staring slack jawed, holding a micro-Uzi, "That was fucking awesome." He then put the gun away and Illyria re-joined him at the counter.


"We must prepare the time travel spell.  I also have some instructions for Daria when she returns regarding the point in time I will send her to."


Illyria also had some instructions for herself as this timeline would remain intact albeit separate from the one she was going to have the Daria from this dimension create.




"Okay, we're ready," said Willow.


"Sweet," said Daria.


"So, I get back, I do this spell, and everything goes back to normal?" asked the other Daria.


"Pretty much I guess," said Daria.


"But the guy who attacked me, what do I do?" asked the other Daria.


"I don't know, I don't think we have the time to teach you any moves," said Daria.


"I just checked with Illyria on that, she's aware of this, and will send you to just after she incapacitated Dominic, she recommends you head somewhere where you can impede his access and call the police as he has tried to attack you again with devices that...oh, knuckle dusters."


Daria frowned as the other Daria blushed.


"Why do you think I didn't tell you?" asked the other Daria.


"Because you didn't want to imply that you were weak, but I don't expect all my other selves to be the same, I'd expect some to be...well... anything really," said Daria.


"How did you end up working for the NSA at your age?" asked the other Daria.


"Same way the A-team did in season five," said Daria.




"I was working for the Watcher's Council before that," said Daria.


"The Watcher's Council?  What's that, an association of peeping toms?" asked the other Daria.


That made Jane and Spike Chuckle.


"It's an organization set up to manage vampire slayers. Long story, but basically, thousands of years ago, some people decided to stick some demon energy in a girl and set her on the demons that preyed on humanity, primarily that threat came from vampires, hence, these girls were referred to as vampire slayers.


Originally it was just one girl, they wanted to manage the threat from the means by which they wanted to manage the demon threat, that continued until Willow here decided to activate all potential slayers, before then the demon energy jumped from girl to girl to girl as each died."


"Okay, how did you end up working for the watcher's council?" asked the other Daria.


"I helped them find a missing vampire slayer, then helped them free anther ally from a torture centre. In doing so, I committed a number of crimes.  I had nowhere else to go, so I decided to work for them under a false identity."


"Sounds like you've had a very interesting life," said the other Daria.


"Yeah, I might just write a book about it... of course I'd have to shoot anyone who read it. ... What's the story with you and Dominic then?" asked Daria.


The other Daria sighed and eventually said "it's a long, twisted, complicated story that would make an excellent crappy, made for TV movie."


"And?" asked Daria.


"And that's all I'm saying, the whole thing is just wayyyyyyyyy too embarrassing."


"'kay." said Daria.


"Illyria's ready now." said Willow.


"Okay." said Daria.


They proceeded with the spell.


The first part consisted of ensuring that the only locations the personalities can go are the bodies they belong to.


That part was completed, then Willow took the recharged Draconian Katra and gestured for Daria to approach.




Illyria stood over the room full of unconscious people.


Eventually they started waking up.


"Do these body swaps always render people unconscious?" asked Daria.


"No, the unconsciousness is a result of the interaction between the draconian Katra and my shell's mystical shielding," said Illyria.


"How was the other dimension?" asked Daria.


"It was different.  Dominic Grayson was of great amusement to me," said Illyria.


"How was I in that other dimension, physically I mean?" asked Daria.


"Scrawny, her body couldn't throw a punch, I had to use her feet to knock out Dominic."


"I hope she'll be all right," said Daria.


Willow felt disgust for some reason.


"It was not her fault," said Illyria.


"What was not her fault?" asked Daria.


"Your counterpart, after breaking off her relationship with Trent Lane, attempted to enhance her career as a writer by entering into an intimate relationship with publisher Dominic Grayson, but he gained control and was maneuvering her into subservience so that he could enslave her. He was very sneaky," said Illyria, sounding like she was amused at the conflict.


"I see," said Daria, looking stoic as usual, but taken aback by the information Illyria had released, some of her emotion was shock, some was anger, some was confusion, some was fear.


"It bothers you that she attempted to barter sex for wealth?" asked Illyria.


"Well ... yeah...I'm surprised that would even be an option for me though."


"If it helps, she is ashamed she tried it," said Illyria, finding the concept of such an emotion to be pointless.


"Hang on, how did you come across all this?" asked Jane.


"Willow and I were telepathically linked to her while you were conversing with her," said Illyria.


"Ah," said Jane.


Amy materialized in front of them, now dressed as she had been before capture.


"Willow?" asked Daria.


Willow, ready to attack Amy, said "I leeched her good, she shouldn't be able to do that."


"A friend let me out" said Amy.


"A, fr- ... D'Hoffryn?" asked Willow.


"Who?" asked Jane.


Daria thought for a second, noticing the necklace Amy was now wearing, the acorn sized stone on it, and said "Boss of all Vengeance demons, sourced from humans, they are given control of powerful magics capable of altering reality on any scale, but this must be done based on a wish by an angry person that confides in the demon.  Amy, you're stupid"


"I'm stupid am I?" asked Amy.


"Yes, extremely, what's the old saying about vengeance seekers? Oh yes, remember to dig two graves--"


"--one for their enemy, one for themselves, heard that, but that's a load of shit." said Amy.


"Is it? What have you given up in order to become a vengeance demon? Little hint: it begins with an F."


"Oh, I'm free to pursue you, I just can't use my powers to alter reality for it unless someone wishes me to take you out, I have to use good old fashioned mortal means to kill you," said Amy.


"In the name of vengeance, I call forth Gwen Walker Velma Smith," said Willow, as she held out some sort of potion.


Another girl appeared in the room, she had demonic attributes and a necklace similar to Amy's.


"Who wishes what?"


"I wish Amy to become severely aphasic whenever someone's wishing her to avenge them," Said Willow.


The girl said "Wish granted" waved her hand and Amy looked at them stunned.


"Will there be anything else?" asked the girl.


"No, that's it thanks" said Willow.


The girl disappeared.


"I looked into D'hoffryn's forces once, identified over 4000 demons," explained Willow.


"Let's test it: I wish Daria had tits like Lolo Ferrari," said Jane.


"Jane?" asked Daria, alarmed.


"What?" asked Amy.


"It worked," said Willow.


"Let's test it again to be sure: I wish Jane has severe Parkinsons disease."


"HEY!!!" cried Jane.


"Turnabout's fair play." said Daria.


"I can't understand some of that" said Amy.


"Aphasia is where you're unable to understand language of any kind, if you're unable to understand the vengeance wishes, you're not going to be able to do your job," explained Daria.


"I'll get even for this," said Amy as she teleported out.


"She could get demons to listen out for vengeance against us," said Jane.


"She's unlikely to have any influence though, having lost all her ability to score any credit two minutes into the job," said Willow.


"You were intimate with Trent?" asked Jane.


"My other self was intimate with Trent," said Daria.


"Whatever," said Jane.


"Right, that's all over, we need to get back to working on those gangs," said Daria.


"We just lost our only connection to Drusilla though," said Jane.


"I need to return to England, I gotta teach old soldiers new tricks... that statement would have probably made more sense if they were actually old," said Willow.  She then left the room, pulling a cell phone to arrange a flight back.


"Right, let's get to work then."



Part 5.




As Quinn woke up, she opened her eyes, and saw Sandi sitting on top of her.  Sandi was being strangled by a pair of hands.  What Quinn found odd is that it was her own pair of hands that was strangling Sandi.


Quinn's hands flew away from Sandi's neck. "Sorry."


Sandi collapsed on her, coughing, and Quinn pushed her off as she sat up. "Are you okay? Should I call an ambulance?"


Sandi just about got out a "no, I'll be fine," before she began to cough and taking in gasps of air. "Next time you start screaming, I'm leaving you to it."


"I wasn't screaming. ... Was I?"


Sandi looked at her.


"First time I've slept over since the incident. ... Nearly smacked Upchuck a couple of times too."


"I thought you were getting help," said Sandi.


"I am, but the doctors told me that the nightmares would take time to fade, and even then they will still occur. ... How did Tiffany cope with all of that?"


"She didn't."


Quinn thought about this a moment. "No, she didn't, did she?"


"You should probably visit her," said Sandi.


"That's what my shrink keeps telling me," said Quinn.


"Then you should do it."


"But. ... Okay, I'll do it."




Daria was checking the weapon for trace evidence that could help her locate the factory.


The machinery and barrel was composed of diamond, the chassis was a polyester resin fiberglass composite.


Daria was shaving slivers off the chassis because the slivers were more likely to have materials that could pin the factory to a location. Winifred was chasing up laser components. The problem with laser components was that the majority of the laser could be built out of commonly available materials. A jerry rigged compressor could evacuate the chamber so that you only got the composition and pressure you want and save on gas you'd otherwise waste purging the chamber of air.


Mirrors were available in all shapes and sizes everywhere, and thinning a mirror's silver sufficiently for the front of the laser wasn't that difficult either. Capacitors could be easily made from bits of foil and paper and oil and wire (and battery top up water if you're making electrolytics), but proper industrial capacitors are preferred. Although a three-phase supply wouldn't need dampening (at least not as badly as single phase).


As for gasses, CO2 would be perfectly suitable and available in any store that does welding gear, or even more CO2 would be available from hardware stores from fire extinguishers, or even soda stream or home brewing kits. Or they could just steal the fire extinguishers, and the barrel in which the gas would be illuminated. This could just be made from ceramic soil pipes, home made concrete tubes, or just bricks. As long as you have enough gas between the mirrors, and the mirrors are parallel to within 1/8th the wavelength (that's the part that takes the most time as you fiddle with the screws on the back mirror), you had yourself a laser.


Daria would also be checking the ammunition's propellant for contaminants, but their best bet was going to be the gangster. Jane and Spike were interrogating him, and he wasn't really loyal enough to them to face Spike and Jane. It was proving useful to be allowed to torture suspects. That was what Daria hated about their jobs, it felt like they were given god-like powers, and she was concerned with addiction. She knew that it had proven useful, but she also knew it was wrong, but she had used it and would probably need to use it again. However, Daria knew the ability (legal or otherwise under circumstances where you're allowed to) to torture is still risky as people will be tempted to misuse that authority, and it was a dangerous habit to get into as it would increasingly become your first resort.


'Like when Illyria had reason to believe I was out to kill her', Daria remembered.


In fact, it was starting to look like they were already there.


They were using it in parallel to other investigative techniques.


And, of course, there was the amount of blackmail ammunition they were handing over to Donald and George to be considered.




Thinking 'speaking of:', Daria glanced back at Donald and asked "what?"


"You wasted a couple of hours trying to retrieve your demon."




"You can't possibly think we need her," said Donald.


"She's an expert on the demon era, and on Wolfram and Hart, she's our best hope for victory against them," said Daria, as she thought 'which might explain why you're bitching about her return.'


"We need control over her assets, you would have given us that, but you instead handed it back."


Daria returned to what she was doing. One sliver was going into an MMR scanner, to figure out if there were any unusual compounds, and another sliver was going under a microscope to see if any interesting particles or life forms had gotten trapped in the mould.


"Your freedom is revocable at any time, you know," said Donald.


"I dare you to order Illyria to undergo another body swap."


Donald left the room.


Daria looked at the weapon, sorely tempted to use it on Donald.


Right now they were going after two genuine threats: Rival gangs with the sort of firepower that could equalize the field between the US army and themselves, if they joined forces, or if only one was taken out, they were fucked. They'd be equally fucked if they took out the command and failed to recover all the weapons.


The cyborgs, however, could potentially achieve full spectrum dominance.




"Okay, Gangsta boy gave us an address where his chapter usually meet, not all his chapter were involved in the action we picked him up at. There are at least 40 others, so we might be able to get something from them," said Jane.


"I looked for both sales and thefts of parts to make a laser, but there are just too many incidents to, of itself, be of any use. There are about three towns where these parts haven't been sourced within the past year," said Winifred.


"I got plankton trapped in the resin, that suggests a location on the coast where sea spray evaporates mid flight, the plankton ended up landing on the fiberglass while it was being stored unpacked. Also found some tree pollen, that's in DNA right now, might narrow things further, trees not being very mobile and all."


"I've been reviewing the intelligence we managed to gather from the last contact. As you know, we had a satellite over flying the area, and we followed the cyborgs to a location that was concealed by cumulus at about four angels, so we know where they landed. That area is under intensive surveillance now," said Wesley.


"Hang on, four angels?" asked Spike.


"Four thousand feet altitude, hundreds of feet are cherubs," said Daria.


" ... Right," said Spike.


"I'm getting better at location spells, I'll use it to try to locate the tree the pollen came from," said Daria.


"Just a pity we can't seem to use the spells to locate Drusilla," said Wesley.



Robodaria operated all 12 of the UAVs simultaneously. The hydrogen cell powered airplanes, wingspan of 40cm, weaved between the trees, scanning for anything that could indicate something was hiding in them.


Meanwhile, a geophysics team was running sonar scans of the terrain for concealed structures.


She received a phonecall from one of them: "Yo, robo, we got a large underground structure under this farmhouse."




Daria drove up the driveway with Jane in her front passenger seat and four slayers in the back, the weather was going to remain overcast for the next couple of hours.


They met with Robodaria and a Delta team, which were equipped with M4s.


"Daria, this is Colonel Conrad Mayborne, he'll be killing the bad guys and making it safe for us to enter," said Robodaria.


"Colonel," acknowledged Daria, as she pulled her USAS 12, Jane was strapping on her flamethrower, the slayers were grabbing war hammers and tai chi swords.


"You don't think you're breeching with us, do you?" asked the colonel.


"'Course not," said Daria.


"Good," he said.


"It just seemed sensible to be prepared for the unexpected," said Daria.


"Not much faith in plan A then?" asked Jane as she prepared her flamethrower.


"Since when has plan A ever worked?" asked Daria.


"Good point," said Jane.


"We ready to go then?" asked Daria.


"Going in now," said the colonel, he signaled for his troop to head off to their assigned start positions.


The Delta team had dressed in thermally insulating bodysuits in order to contain their energy signature and were camouflaged with standard DPM plus mirrors and locally sourced foliage. Their weapons had thermo graphic sights, they approached using cover formations, more Deltas where approaching from the other side.


The Deltas got to the house, and some of them slung their M4s for SPAS 12s loaded with door breeching ammo. On cue, the ones with shotguns shot the locks and hinges off the doors and the other Deltas stormed through.


They were firing shots.


There was no radio traffic, the only way Daria knew that the operation had been completed was when the Colonel emerged and waved them up.


Daria wasn't convinced he hadn't been killed and his gear stolen, so she unslung her USAS 12 and rested it against her trigger side's shoulder, ready to drop the muzzle to shoot him the instant he raised his weapon to her.


She got to him and he said "we didn't find your cyborgs, but we did find something you might consider worth a look." He then showed her in.


They went through the house, stepping over dead bodies finding the entrance to the underground structure in the basement, disguised as a brick wall (using actual bricks, it was hinged on massive steel beams).


When they entered the basement, they found another door which led to a space that included another block immediately to the left, and a main area straight ahead that was filled with torture equipment. There were a couple of mostly naked men (dressed in leather shorts and harnesses) being held by a couple of the Deltas and three barely teenaged girls looking zoned out, dressed in blankets and, Daria guessed, nothing underneath. There was one man dressed in casual attire holding a camera lying dead on the floor from having a hole being blown through his head at about mouth level.


"No terrorists, just a bunch of child molesters."


"This was the only suspicious structure in the area." said Robodaria.


"What's in there?" asked Daria nodding towards the block.


There was a door leading to the block, some noises from it indicated that something made of steel was being broken into, and several seconds later, more girls in their teens were led out wrapped in blankets.


"Okay, I'm gonna call in the feds, this is their territory," said Daria.




"Donald, how's life treating you?" asked Barry Carter.


Donald sat down beside him at the bar and ordered a vodka saying "all right except that bitch Daria can't seem to learn to just obey orders. In fact, that entire group are starting to piss me off."


"Ouch, that sounds bad," said Barry.


"She rescued Illyria when Illyria had body swapped with someone in another dimension, I just don't understand that," said Donald.


"Illyria, not a favorite person at Wolfram and Hart either," said Barry.


"Is there anything you can do? Just if I try anything, it'll lead back to me," said Donald.


"Bring me a sample of her DNA, and I'll find something, you won't have to do a thing," said Barry.




Daria, Jane, Winifred, Wesley, Robodaria and Spike met up in the library.


"Illyria's reported that she's located Drusilla and is awaiting our assistance in apprehending her, she's also given us the locations of a couple of known magazines and the factories, I'll start putting forces into place soon, how goes the search for our cyborgs?" asked Daria.


"No joy, there's no way they could have continued on un noticed," said Winifred.


"Did they land and hitch a ride?" asked Daria.


"No traffic left the area while we were watching, they could have ran," said Winifred.


"We did check for mystical signatures, right?" asked Jane.


"Yes, nothing," said Wesley.


"Could they have hidden anywhere?" asked Daria.


"There were plenty of sheds, barns, but we checked them all after we raided that dungeon, and had a ring of surveillance watching for them the whole time," said Robodaria.


"Either they're still there, or they're long gone, I don't think they can know they are being watched," said Robodaria.


"Okay, that case, I'll look at the drugs that were recovered. If we can find out what part of the world they hail from, we can possibly find out how that gang is getting their hands on them," said Daria, looking concerned.


"What's with the look amiga?" asked Jane.


"Well ... something strikes me as wrong here, why land at all if they aren't based out of that area?" asked Daria.


"Fuel?" asked Jane.


"They've been flying long enough, they should know their fuel limits and have prepared refills at appropriate locations. But they're using some kind of plasma thruster if they're fusion electric, that should have left evidence of them taking off again," said Daria.


"I found no such evidence on the aerial footage of the area," said Robodaria.


"Had to be air plasma they were using, those X-ray cannons wouldn't have accounted for the amount of nitrates Spike got bathed in," said Jane.


"I could go back and conduct a more thorough search of the area, the UAVs I used in the forest were equipped with chemical sensors. The forest was clear of nitrates, but if they landed anywhere, there will be elevated traces," said Robodaria.


"I think we need to consider the possibility that they never landed," said Wesley.


"They got picked up by an aircraft?" asked Daria.


"Possibly, but what kind?" asked Wesley.


"Obviously a stealth, it would have to be quiet and nearly invisible with no thermal energy signature," said Daria.


"It's almost impossible to have a silent aircraft -- even blimps need propulsion," said Winifred.


"That cloud cover was at 4000 ft, that could ... hang on ... " Daria went to a computer and loaded the footage of the cloud the cyborgs had disappeared to.


"I think I see what you mean," said Robodaria.


"You're not saying that cloud was artificial, are you?" asked Wesley.


"The cloud wasn't part of any existing thermal, it just appeared there," said Robodaria.


"Take a lot of energy to vaporize that much water," said Winifred.


"What if they just burn off a load of liquid hydrogen?" asked Daria.


"Wouldn't that cause an energy signature?" asked Jane.


"It can be reduced, if the burner is exhausted through a liquid hydrogen filled radiator," said Daria.


"How did that cloud form?" asked Winifred.


"It just appeared as a normal cumulus at 4000 ft," said Robodaria.


"No spiral, or criss-cross action, nothing?" asked Winifred.


"No ... it's like a load of water vapor just appeared there," said Robodaria.


"Did it appear too fast for it to have been from any kind of burner system?" asked Daria.


"The system would have been unwieldy," said Robodaria.


"Okay, that leaves magic, or, they dropped the liquid hydrogen the same way fire fighting planes drop water," said Daria.


"That much liquid hydrogen per sale would eat into the profits quite badly," said Winifred.


"They got fusion reactors, they could make tons of hydrogen for free," said Daria.


"And the aircraft could be electric, that would affect noise, wouldn't it?" asked Jane.


"Provided any moving parts stay subsonic," said Winifred.


"If they're using a ducted fan, they could build a system that absorbs most the noise," said Daria.


"We'll need more information, how do we get it?" asked Wesley.


"Y'know, Dru's gang seemed to know where they were last time, as did the DEA," said Daria.


"That's not guaranteed, but I don't think there will be a problem," said Wesley.


"Y'know, there may be a way to speed things up," said Daria.




After several hours of surfing Aviation and UFO forums, Daria typed up her entirely fruitless report and got up to leave.


"Any progress yet?" asked Donald as he emerged from his hiding place.


"None," Daria said as she headed out.


"Then why are you leaving?" asked Donald, acting like Daria was taking a liberty.


"Because, I try to continue like this, I could miss vital clues," said Daria.


"How very responsible," said Donald.


"So, lurking, how's that working out for you?" asked Daria.


"You think I do nothing but lurk?" asked Donald.


"No, sometimes you make veiled threats or attempt to look all important, g'night," said Daria as she left.


She passed Wesley at the door and asked "How's it going?"


"Not really that good, I've been looking at my list of forums for hours, but found nothing."


Wesley's speech seemed wrong somehow.


"What?" asked Wesley.


"You sound different," said Daria.


"Oh, thaaaat, just ... ... "


"Fred?" asked Daria.


Wesley's head nodded, and said "Couldn't resist."


"Right," Daria said, she eventually pointed at the body and asked "How is it?"


"It's good," said Winifred.


Daria looked like she wanted to say something.


"You know you want to," said Winifred.


"Have fun fucking yourself?" asked Daria.


"Lots," said Winifred.


"Okay, good night," said Daria as she headed off.




Quinn came up at the door to the room Tiffany had been given. She took a breath, and then stepped forward, glancing in. Tiffany was reading a really heavy book on cults.


Quinn knocked on the door and Tiffany looked at her.


"Um. ... hi," said Tiffany.


"Mind if I come in?"


"No" said Tiffany, she resumed her reading.


Quinn sat next to Tiffany and said "I. ... Wasn't particularly understanding when you. ... "


"Raped you?" asked Tiffany.


"Yes," said Quinn, she then continued saying "Anyway, I'm sorry for avoiding you, it's not like it was your fault or anything."


"Yes it was," said Tiffany.


"No, the First Evil-" said Quinn.


"Egged me on. The me that was in that room, that was just a front the First Evil hypnotized into me while I waited for the perfect opportunity. It's exactly the same thing I did to Daria when I was chasing Jane, I wanted someone to find out what it's like to be hurt in such a manner, I wanted to hurt you, I enjoyed hurting you. I enjoyed biting through your neck, I enjoyed sucking the blood out through your wounds, I enjoyed the look on your face when I stripped you, I enjoyed stabbing you in your vagina, that look on your face and the noise you made when you felt your vaginal and anal sphincter muscles tear got me high. That was me, Quinn."


Quinn didn't need to be reminded of what Tiffany had done to her, she remembered the pain and fear she had felt, the anger at her rapists, and at the fact she hadn't been able to do a damn thing to them.


And the anger at the betrayal she had felt of Tiffany, when it had occurred to her that it was Tiffany's mind that was doing that to her.


That was something she had been working on since the incident, Quinn had been encouraged to find stuff to do that she liked (NOT involving vengeance) to give her somewhere safe to go most of the time, while she only dealt with what had happened in Tiffany's mind during therapy.


But it seemed like Tiffany had done the reverse, Quinn looked at the book Tiffany was reading, and then looked around seeing more books on hypnosis, and on specific cults and psi-ops.


"Enjoying that?" asked Quinn.


"Not really."


"Is there anything you do enjoy?" asked Quinn.


"Yeah, hittin' stuff, they let me use the gym for that."


"Yeah, I sometimes need to do that too."


"You think about taking up an unarmed combat course of some kind?" asked Tiffany.


"Well. ... yeah, actually, especially since that incident where Sandi and I went vampire hunting."


Tiffany looked up at Quinn.


"We didn't do too well, we couldn't get the arrows to penetrate the vampires hearts."


"What kind of bow did you use?"


"Err... a pink one."


"Draw strength?" asked Tiffany.


Quinn waved a hand and made to say something, then aborted.


"You generally need a draw strength of around 250N, us slayers use around 700N for good measure. Keep in mind that the target is protected by a ribcage, you may even need to go through the sternum," said Tiffany.


"Oh... didn't think of that."


"No, probably went for the bows that matched your outfits," said Tiffany.


"Well, duh! What did you think we'd do?"


"Have the sense not to go looking for vampires to kill you,"


Quinn was infuriated by this attitude. "Tiffany, come on, I wanted to get to know your world a little better."


Tiffany gave Quinn such a condescending look, one that included contempt by the ton, and said "You're not a vampire slayer Quinn, stay off the battlefield."


Quinn eventually said "fine, don't forget to cut yourself extra deep," before getting up and leaving.


Quinn regretted saying that about 20s out, she stopped and considered returning, but she didn't trust herself to quietly sit through any more verbal abuse.


In fact, her patience had been extra short ever since the mind rape, it wasn't just the panic attacks that were wearing her down, for some reason everything took way more effort than she remembered.


God this was infuriating.




Willow got that cold feeling again when she got the submachine gun from the quartermaster.


After several hours working with M16s, they had moved onto the MP5. She removed the clip and pulled the cocking handle back, locking the bolt back, she took a few seconds to look at the bullets in the clip.


So far it had been this type of ammunition that had been killing her girlfriends.


She decided to resume her trance later, taking the magazine pouch and heading off to the range with the other slayers.


It hadn't been that much fun, every time a target popped up, she was supposed to shoot it immediately -- the idea was to compress target acquisition into as short a time as possible, shoot them first before they can shoot you. That is, when the targets are similarly armed enemies instead of mild steel cut-outs.


There was a lesson scheduled where they would use the 'killing house', a house with a load of targets dotted around it, that was going to be live fire (in such a confined space, that didn't strike Willow as being particularly safe). Rebecca had also mentioned times when they'd conduct the exercise with real people standing amongst the targets, that seemed even more insane. But the SAS needed to be comfortable with firing in such circumstances.





"What?" asked Sandi.


"Yeah, I know, not what she needed, but... Okay, she was right that we're not combat qualified, but she didn't have to get all snotty about it!" said Quinn.


"Whenever I visit her, she's been calm and courteous, but sullen."


"What do you normally talk about?"


"The world of fashion."


"Her safe place," said Quinn.


"What?" asked Sandi.


"Same time that we're supposed to work through what happened, we're also supposed to have a distraction the rest of the time so that we don't spend all our time thinking about what happened. Otherwise, we'd just be sitting around getting steadily more hateful of the injustice of it all."


"Oh. ... Sounds like Tiffany was doing that before she got her head jump started."


"She said she enjoyed what she did to me."


That left Sandi unable to respond.


"She actually said she enjoyed what she did to me. I mean, she didn't even try to apologize about it, she just went and said it."


Sandi just stared at a spot on the wall behind Quinn, saying "I can't believe she would be that callous -- isn't she supposed to be a good guy?"


"I don't think she cares any more."




"Rosenberg, that's just taking the piss now; you can't still be having trouble with your aim surely!" shouted Henno.


"But I am, and don't call me Shirley," said Willow, as she made her weapon safe.


"You will see me after class, Willow," said Henno, he then went about dismissing the rest of the class.




"I think I can guess what this is about, but humor me: what's going on?" asked Henno when Rebecca closed the door behind them.


"Are you aware I was projecting into Kennedy when your subordinate shot her?" asked Willow.


"No, All I knew was that the two of you were romantically involved" said Henno.


"When you project into someone, you enter what could be accurately described as a mind meld. I saw and felt everything she saw and felt, heard her thoughts, she heard mine... her last thought was the word 'Eep' in case you were curious," said Willow.


"So you saw and felt her getting the back of her skull pierced," commented Henno.


"By that exact model," added Rebecca, with a wince.


"Right, well, your primary role is to oversee the training, you don't need to participate, but I would prefer it if you could get over it," said Henno.


Willow scowled.


"I don't do warm and fuzzy, I don't do apologies, my expertise is the battlefield. We do have shrinks if you need someone to help you with this, my opinion is that nothing cures phobias better than acclimatization, you can spend more time on the range if you choose to," said Henno.


"That's appreciated," said Willow.


"Good, dismissed," said Henno.


Willow saluted (unnecessarily given that she wasn't in the military per se, but) and left.


"Rebecca, do you think she's a threat?" asked Henno.


"Possibly, Sarge, she's definitely having difficulty holding it all in," said Rebecca.


"Keep an eye on her, if you feel she's about to become a danger, I want her out of the class immediately," said Henno.


"Sarge," acknowledged Rebecca, as she stepped out.




Willow kept shooting off round after round on single shot.


It was odd that she didn't have as much of a problem with the M16, it's not like they were that different, but for some reason it was the MP5 that put her on edge.


"This is stupid, it's just another gun, why do I have this phobia that's so fixated on it?" she asked aloud.


She changed the clip.


She was wired most of the class and her continued session, this being the reason she couldn't hit her own target with more than 2 out of 30 shots, now she was extremely tired.


She cocked the weapon.


She looked at it, turning it around in her hands.


She turned it so she was looking backwards through the sights, holding it by the bottoms of the magazine and the pistol grip.


She adjusted the location and attitude of the weapon to that which she had seen through Kennedy's eyes just before. ...


It happened again, she was reminded of the intense ice cream headache she had felt when Kennedy was killed, the way her consciousness faded a fraction of a second later.


Willow had experienced death.


Her girlfriends death.


This had been way too much of a shock for her to even contemplate anger, let alone vengeance. All she could do was stare at this Kennedy shaped hole in her life for several minutes.


She had just erected a shield and curled up on the floor to wait out the cold feeling, nausea, and loss of equilibrium.


There had been a number of collective funerals for all the military and Watchers Council personal that had died in this conflict, but there was no news coverage of this, and their names wouldn't be written onto any cenotaph or other collective memorial plaque.


Even the CIA had a memorial plaque in it's main building.


The shock had delayed any ideas of vengeance, but what she did after Tara's death had kept her from going on any vengeance trips:


Killing Warren hadn't sated her. She had then moved onto Andrew and Jonathon: Neither of those two could be described as hardened criminals. Except Andrew, but he regretted killing Jonathon the same way she regretted killing Warren.


Willow was definitely doing better than last time, that gave her a feeling of pride, but she still wanted Kennedy to be alive again.


Willow removed the magazine and discharged the chambered round at the target. Then, locking the bolt open, she returned the weapon to the quartermaster.




Daria headed home.


She had an apartment close to the NSA branch she worked at. She could make Lawndale if she wanted to, but it was a bit far for her, so she instead used this apartment most of the time.


She remembered her mother's funeral.


It had been a mass funeral, the amount of Lawndale that got flattened it was hardly surprising so many people had died, either from having a building fall on them, from having their faces burned off while they were driving home, from being blinded and then their homes set on fire.


She only occasionally returned to Lawndale, not only due to the amount of her time spent at the NSA, but also because she hated seeing the place like that, and being reminded of her mother's death.


That was kind of pathetic, people die everywhere all the time; she shouldn't be that put off by Lawndale just because her mother died there.


There was more though.


A lot of the houses on her home street were wooden, and hadn't fared that well (Morgendorffer house was brick, it survived mostly intact), the carpets and furniture that had been exposed to the light had been bleached. Add to that the replacement TV, DVD/VHS player, various sound systems, because the stuff they had before had all been jacked due to there being no windows after the blast hit.


This was one of the few places that had stood up enough for people to be able to access the goods (as opposed to having to fish them out of a pile of rubble), and the smell of half digested food that they could never seem to adequately clean that Jake had sprayed about the place when he got absolutely shitfaced a week or so after the incident.


Jake wasn't holding things together too well.


Jake had been well protected in his office which was made mostly of steel reinforced concrete and the window of the room he was in were facing away from the hypocenter. He had described what had happened from his point of view. His computer had conked out and at the same time the outside had gotten extremely bright, he had gone to the window and realized that there was an extremely powerful light source somewhere behind him, the light slowly faded and the source was ascending, he had realized that he was seeing the effects of a nuclear explosion, and had just made it under the desk before the blast wave hit.


The windows on the other side of the building had blown in, but the doors between there and his office were all closed, then the rarefaction that sucked everything back had cracked the windows on his side. He had then tried to call Helen, but there was no dialing tone and he realized that the EMP had taken out the phone lines.


It had taken a while for the phones to come back on line. The payphones in the street, by accident of the fact they needed to be vandal proofed, it got armored with enough steel to deflect most of the energy -- steel wasn't best for this, but it made the difference beyond a certain radius.


Jake based his decision to hang about or leave on which way the cloud drifted, which was the other way, so he decided to try to locate Helen and Quinn.


After hours of driving, he started calling the police.


He found Helen himself. Her car had been blown off the road and got squished by a huge truck that hadn't been affected. Its driver had been blinded and for some reason, hadn't stopped.


He had called it in, and then resumed his search.


He had later heard that both his daughters had been seen stealing a police APC that had probably been in the fireball radius of the explosion.


Basically, not hearing anything from Daria and Quinn over the amount of time it took for them to get around to talking to him hadn't been good for him, wondering if they were dead this whole time, drove him nuts. ... nuts-er. ... when Daria and Quinn had returned, he was too relieved to do anything other than hug the pair of them for about an hour.


Quinn couldn't tell Jake what had happened to her, the fact that the government was trying to classify all this top secret. That helped Quinn and Jake to a certain extent, because explaining the mystical would have caused Jake the distress of wondering weather Quinn was lying or delusional, and Quinn the distress of having Jake analyzing her instead of supporting her.


Quinn had talked with Daria about this at the same time she was seeing her shrink about the PTSD. ... That reminded her, Quinn had mentioned that the Shrink wanted her to see Tiffany.


Daria didn't know what to advise Quinn to do, but had said "only if you think you can handle it."


Daria had no way to advise Quinn on this, because she wasn't a qualified psychologist, she wondered if she had given Quinn good advice, or scared her off. Or made her seek an encounter she was unprepared for, or what.


She had been avoiding any serious contact with her family for a while now, focusing almost exclusively on Tiffany, trying to get her ready to return to active duty.


Tiffany was, understandably, mortally embarrassed. After the first shrink had jump started her brain, the First Evil had essentially distilled her emotions into two separate personae. One was not aware of her life as a slayer, she thought she was a normal teen girl who hallucinated a lead role in a monster hunter movie. The other persona somewhat resembled Dana, that vampire slayer that escaped that Los Angeles nut house, that had been retrieved by a team of slayers led by Andrew. Twisted with rage into someone who was unable to express her rage in any way other than to put someone else through it, so she would have someone who understands.


Of course evil Tiffany couldn't think of a way to make it happen, and wouldn't interact until she could. Amanda gave her the means, except evil Tiffany didn't want Daria, she had blown it with her, she wanted Quinn. When they had come to the inevitable conclusion that Quinn would be needed for this, evil Tiffany took over Amanda and used her magic to keep everyone stuck.


She hadn't bothered trapping Willow too; Amanda was taking up all her attention not focused on torturing Quinn and her other personality.


What had interrupted Tiffany's plans was the carbon dioxide that had built up within the spatial shield. She had difficulty isolating her personae. And ultimately her hold on Amanda. When her personae had reunited, her sense of shame at what she had done to Quinn and the memory of the pleasure she had felt at doing this to Quinn. ... Daria knew if it were her, she'd feel like she was at the bottom of a well that was deep enough to stop daylight reaching her even if it were pointed straight at the sun.


Thinking about it, it was amazing that Tiffany had been able to function at all. She had gone through weeks of that torture, and she had no way to access help with the mental trauma, she had no way to contact the Watcher's council, so no way to request help or orders, all she could do was cope as best she could.


She also couldn't tell her friends about this, they'd drop her like a plaid burqa, so she pretended it was something fairly mundane. When she felt that she was having trouble holding it all in. She obtained some pretty fancy medication, managing to purchase it in secret, while playing miss normality with her friends, and training for her night job in case she got activated.


That had gone pretty well until Jane was turned, and Tiffany got a spike every time she walked past her.


It took a while for Tiffany to work out which of them was the vampire. She eventually made her move, but Jane, in spite of having no formal combat training, had managed to defend herself and evade Tiffany.


Then when Daria had helped Jane escape again, that had been too much. Tiffany wanted Daria to understand what Jane had become (not knowing at the time that Jane had a soul) and that she was not worth protecting. She had then gotten carried away when she started interrogating Daria (Plus, being an active Slayer and having Daria pull that move on her was annoying), it became more about hurting those who didn't understand (this was stuff Tiffany had told Daria about during her visits). Tiffany might not have done this had she not been doped to the eyeballs, the whole point of that medication had been defeated, so she immediately stopped.


Then she had staked a couple of zombies, and thought she had accidentally staked a couple of innocent bystanders, that hadn't done much for her self confidence, but she came back from that (Well, Willow brought her back, Tiffany had run off when Sandi and Quinn had said something about turning her in), the girl was getting seriously eroded by these rare, but seemingly unending fuck-ups.


It wouldn't surprise Daria if Tiffany no longer had it in her to continue as a vampire slayer.


Well, there was no reason Tiffany couldn't retire, it wasn't like there was just one, or two active slayers on the entire planet, except they were now working for the NSA in order to keep out of jail, so Tiffany would need to do something for them.


That was something she would have to explore with personal, the important thing was to find something for Tiffany to do that would get her out of that fucking hospital she was hiding in.




"Hey Quinn," said Daria, as she entered reception.


"Hi," said Quinn.


"What brings you here?" asked Daria.


"A sense of guilt."


"How's that?"


"Well. ... I visited Tiffany yesterday, I meant to see if I could help her, and then she said something mean to me, and I said something mean back, and I didn't mean to say something that mean, and I was going to go back and apologize, but I was afraid I'd do it again, and make things worse, and. ... I hope she didn't do anything to herself. ... "


Daria looked at Quinn, and eventually said "The first meeting after something like what you two went through is always going to be a tap dance across a minefield. The only way to get over what you two are feeling towards each other is to interact, let the insults get lame. I'm concerned I may have interfered with that by telling you to wait until you're ready," said Daria.


"Right," said Quinn, a couple of seconds later, she said "So you're not mad at me?"


" ... No," said Daria, she then waved at the door into the hospital, and they headed in.




"You're back are you?" asked Tiffany.


"Sorry I blew up at you yesterday," said Quinn.


"Don't be, because I wasn't kidding about any of what I said," said Tiffany.


"Tiffany, I can't believe you actually meant what you said," said Quinn.


"Well, believe it, it's true," said Tiffany.


"Hold up, stop a minute, what's true?" asked Daria.


Tiffany looked awkward for a few seconds and eventually said "I enjoyed raping your sister, and you know what? I want to do it again."


"I see," said Daria.


Quinn eventually asked "What did I ever do to you?"


Tiffany looked at her and said "I wanted you to understand what it's like to go through that, I mean, you're my friend, and I couldn't share any of this with you, it would not have meant anything to you."






Daria raised her hand and said "I got tortured by both you and Illyria, that fucked me up plenty for a while."


"I forgot," said Tiffany.


"You forgot hurting my sister?" asked Quinn, still annoyed.


"I forgot everything, I woke up strapped to a bed with no memory of anything, including my entire childhood," said Tiffany.


"Do you recall doing anything that could have caused you to become incarcerated in that hospital where you lost your memory?" asked Daria.


Tiffany thought about it and eventually said "odd hours, evidence of combat, disappearing for a few weeks, odd reactions to every day combat, unusual sensitivity to certain topics of conversation, talking like a stoner; what didn't I do?"


"Could any of that have been avoided?" asked Daria.


Tiffany thought and said "Possibly, but it's difficult enough to wage this secret war without having to assess every operation for my ability to prevent the generation of evidence. ... Is there anything I can do to avoid hurting people?"


"Well, hiding out in here will avoid accidents, but what does it cost you?" asked Daria.


"Well. ... I don't even know if I want to be a slayer any more. I'm sorry, but this last fuck up really got to me," said Tiffany.


"Okay, I understand that, but I would prefer you finding something to do that isn't sitting around lamenting on past mistakes, it isn't healthy," said Daria.


"Daria, were you even paying attention back there? I got off on hurting Quinn," said Tiffany.


"After you got brainwashed by the First Evil, Tiffany, you got rebooted and re-programmed. I'm a brain and I don't think I could have done any better, I wasn't too picky about who I attacked after I was tortured." She glanced at Quinn.


Quinn realized where this was going and said "I remember. ... I also remember how I reacted to what you did Tiffany, the rage just takes control. You have to fight that if you don't want to hurt someone."


"We all know what we're talking about here, you don't have to become a slayer again, but for fucks sake, find something to do," said Daria.


"Right," said Tiffany.




"I'm actually less mad at Tiffany now," said Quinn, as they drove off to the Morgendorffer home.


"Good, I just hope she can stop being mad at herself now," said Daria.




Daria's phone rang, she activated the phone in it's charger and said "Y'ello?"


"You're close to New York right now, get over to Queens hospital, Detectives John Munch and Odafin Tutuola have sustained injuries consistent with the weapons those cyborgs are using," said Donald.


"Right," said Daria, she turned the phone off and said "I'll have to really move on this. Sandi's is closer, you mind if I drop you there and you make your way home from there?"


"Sure," said Quinn, looking down.


"I'm sorry I wasn't able to clear the time for a proper day off, but those cyborgs he mentioned--" started Daria.


"Yeah, I get it, I'll get over it, I'll be fine."


"I'll see about making some time for us, I will," said Daria, knowing that she won't sound credible until she actually follows through.




Daria approached the cubicle and was met by a bald man who asked "Who are you?"


"Special Agent Daria Morgendorffer, National security," Daria said, showing her ID to him.


"I'm Captain Donald Cragen of New York Police Department's Special Victims Unit," he responded, he then asked "What makes this case of interest to you?"


"I was told two officers sustained injuries that match those known to be caused by directed radiation weapons, specifically a hole where flesh got vaporized, possibly surrounded by severe radiation burns?" said Daria.


"Yeah, it felt like half mil primacord exploding along the line," said one of the patients, a black man with a goatee whose hair was tied back in a ponytail, he waved Daria over saying "I'm detective Odafin Tutuola, my partner over there--" he indicated a man with glasses and graying black hair, who half waved at her "--is Detective John Munch."


"Pleased to meet you," said Daria, she then asked "what do you remember of the attack?"


"It happened as we were leaving a slave auction. We were gathering video evidence using cameras disguised as clip-on ties. Once the sale was ended, I activated the beacon which was disguised as a pen, but nothing happened, but we got out okay, right up to the point where we started taking fire from something."


"Did you see what that something was?" asked Daria.


Munch continued the story, saying "The origin of the beams appeared to be on top of a building, I got us around a corner and floored it out of there, but the shots started coming through the buildings at us, I kept going we were in a tunnel, I checked the beacon, it was hit."


Daria figured it was the beacon they were homing in on, she asked "What happened to your support?"


"Their vans were found burnt out with bodies inside tallying the missing officers, I'm not betting against the bodies being the officers" said Captain Cragen.


"Can I see the footage from the tie cameras?" asked Daria.




Wesley (in Winifred's body) answered the phone.


"Daria here, were you told about the incident in New York?"


"Yes I have, what's the situation?"


"Seems the cyborgs or someone using similar weapons intercepted a number of uniformed officers that were going to raid a slave auction, and shot up two that were gathering video evidence in anticipation of the raid," said Daria.


"I see, was this video evidence recovered?" asked Wesley.


"Yeah, I'm looking through it now, that should give us a list of suspects to work with," said Daria.


"Good, maybe we'll get lucky this time, you know, if we can recover the slaves themselves, we might be able to find out more about the gang," said Wesley.


"Yeah, I was thinking that, none of these guys were really identifiable though. ... ... except this guy. ... yeah, that's him."




"Charles Ruttheimer the third, Lawndale born dickhead, makes Austin Powers look smooth. He's bought at least one girl, maybe more. I'll get back to you, I'll also have him picked up for questioning," said Daria.


"Okay, good luck," said Wesley.




All roads lead to Lawndale for some reason.


Daria wasn't really that surprised that Upchuck would need slaves, although she had heard from Quinn he had managed to pull Andrea.


The question was, why was he buying so many? Was he a pimp? A slave retailer? What?


She then saw a bright dot in the distance.


It flew from her 11o'clock position to her 4 o'clock position, it got close enough for her to make out a humanish shape and a weird set of wings.


"Shit!" she activated the phone and called NORAD.


"Admiral Keating speaking"


"This is special agent Daria Morgendorffer, I just saw one of those flying cyborgs departing Lawndale heading 115°-" she heard a loud pop and continued "-supersonic, five cherubs off the deck, do you have it?"


"Standby. ... ... Yeah, we have your bogey, it's really moving, seems to be going for the coast. Do you have any information on it's fighting capabilities, over?"


"Yeah, it has X-ray cannons, seems to have an excellent sensor grid, avoid engagement if possible, right now we don't have a means to do anything to them"


"Acknowledged" replied the Admiral.


"I need to call the Lawndale police department and find out if anything was attacked now," said Daria.


"Understood," said the admiral.


Daria then disconnected and called the police station.


"Superintendent McFright"


"Special Agent Daria Morgendorffer here, I called earlier for you to pull in a Charles Ruttheimer the 3rd, I just saw one of those cyborgs flying away from Lawndale, do you have anything to report?"


"Yeah, we served a warrant at the Ruttheimer residence. Ruttheimer the 3rd was out, we're still searching his place for the slaves, but we're coming up with nothing," said the superintendent.


"Right. ... Excuse me a minute,"


Daria called Winifred (Who was still in Wesley's body, Daria wondered if they would ever return to their own bodies).


"Fred here."


"Hi, Daria here, Are there any anagrams of Charles Ruttheimer being used to purchase or rent anything in the Lawndale area?"


"Hang on."


Daria waited, wondering what Upchuck would do to get storage for his purchases.


"Cirra Sue Mettre has a storage locker in the warehouse district," said Winifred.


"Right, could you call superintendent McFright and let him know?"


"Sure," said Winifred.


Daria hung up.


About 5 minutes later, she got another call.




"This is the bike," said the officer.


"At least he left it looking cool," said Daria.


"Where would he go though? Bike doesn't look like it's been jacked, and he was last seen using it," said the cop watching the scene.


Daria stepped back and surveyed the scene. The bike was parked in a really strange location, between a couple of trash cans, one of which was turned over.


She looked at the one that was turned over, and looked again at the bike. There was a faint line of dried crap on the seat that curved at the same radius as the bin. The wall the bike was parked against was the back of a restaurant, which had a flat roof.


She picked up the bin and it's lid and used it on the bike to get up on the roof, which, aside from a large air conditioning plant, a hatch and a sky light, was completely barren.


"Err, Agent Morgendorffer. ... are you allowed to do that?" asked one of the cops.


"Yes. ... yes I am," she said, as she looked around the roof.


Maybe he had kept something here, or met someone here, but if that was so, why leave the bike there?


Had he met someone that didn't agree with his health?


It was too bright for a luminal test to be practical.


She walked around the roof perimeter. There was no obvious sign of him having jumped off the roof on anything. Was there anything?


She wandered around the roof feeling lost. She noticed some marks between the AC plant and the skylight.


Four gouges. The gouges started centimeters wide at their closest points, radiating outwards, where they simply became puddles of melted tar blown outwards. Like four jets of hot exhaust had--


"SHIT!!!" Daria whipped out her phone and called superintendent McFright.


"Su-" started the superintendent.




She heard him talking into the radio, but he sounded like he was too late, it had already kicked off.


She heard the sound of gunfire and screeching noises like that of large model rockets.


"FUCK!!!" she screamed, as she turned in the direction of the noises, she saw three of the cyborgs pop up, hovering in the air.


She ran off the side of the building and after a hard but tolerable landing, ran straight for her car. She pulled her USAS 12 out, it's magazine back to FSHE only, she got on the roof of her car and activated the CCIP sight.


The weapon did not have the range.


She jumped back down and got in her car.


"Agent Morgendorffer?" asked one of the cops.


"No time!" she said, starting the engine and flooring it off.


The cops followed her, escorting her as she headed off to a point under what she projected their escape route to be.


She eventually stopped and climbed onto the roof with her shotgun again, the cyborgs were now moving off en masse. She raised her weapon, knowing she had almost no time to act, the weapon on full auto, she picked one and opened fire.


It broke off and started evading, and fired back at her. Daria felt the beam penetrate her like 3mm bearings at near light speed, other shots hit her originating from other points in the formation.


The shocks from the exploding lines of vaporizing flesh rendered her limbs temporarily dead. Other beams penetrated her chest. She felt a couple penetrate her heart, her ribs were shattered, as were bits of her vertebrae.


She feared that the damage to the vertebrae would prove fatal as she fell off the car.


The cops arrived seconds after she landed on her back. The back of her head felt cold from the impact. She was concerned that might be fatal if nothing else that had happened to her did her in.



Part 6



"Daria, the next time you call me insane, remember what you did today, or I'll remind you in front of whoever's present," said Jane.


"Cute, Upchuck became Borg king and all I got are these lousy blaster wounds. Tell me we got something," said Daria.


"Well, we now know who's running the cyborg gang, which is mostly female. ... "


"He's not buying whores, he's buying soldiers, he's implanting computers into them so that they can be manipulated into fighting for him," said Daria.


"Man, that's just. ... ... Hang on, what is it?" asked Jane.


"It's slavery, just a different task," said Daria.


"Right, right. So, what now?"


"Did the satellites see where they went?"


"They disappeared under a cloud again."


"No glimpses of a craft emerging from underneath?"


"Actually there were some disturbances, the satellites picked up some turbulence occurring within the clouds. That indicated aircraft flying through at several points, but they were optically invisible," said Jane.


"Optically invisible."


"We got some shapes though, the patterns were just a little off this time."


"Let me guess, some kind of camera/LED system?"


"Yeah, covered most the infra red part of the spectrum too, we'd have missed it if the satellite was directly overhead, which it was the last time we tried to follow them, and it was each time they made a deal, they know where our satellites are," said Jane.


"What shape were the outlines?"


"Hexagonal, Winifred thinks they're shaped for stealth geometry, the aircraft entered and left on different vectors, so we don't know where they were headed. The satellite couldn't monitor everywhere at once."


"Upchuck knows we know he's involved, he'll most likely go to ground and stay there, he might occasionally surface to buy more girls though," said Daria.


"Back to square one then," said Jane.


"Not really, no. We might learn plenty if Upchuck's been using anagrams of his name for credit cards, good thing he was that stupid, but I'm still just a little annoyed that I didn't work it out in time," said Daria.


"Sounds like you were lucky to work it out at all: If you hadn't figured out he went up on that roof, you would never have found those scorch marks, and there was even the possibility those scorch marks would have not meant a whole lot to you," said Jane.


The doctor then entered the cubicle and said "you have any idea how lucky you are one of those shots didn't intersect a major artery?"


"Do tell," said Daria.


"One went through your heart, good thing the muscle was too tough to allow the hole to grow, had to insert a probe through your femoral vein in order to get the plugs in place," continued the doctor.


"Soooo, expect a hike in my medical insurance rates," said Daria.


The doctor looked stunned for a little while, and eventually said "yes, a hike in insurance premiums. ... " he then walked off.


"So, what now?" asked Jane.


"How's Illyria doing?" asked Daria.


"She reports that she's tagged at least a hundred and fifty seven gangsters, and we've managed to locate 12 of their armories, the police are preparing to raid them now." said Jane.


"Good, what about Dru and her lieutenants?" asked Daria.


"Still under surveillance, they will be picked up when we're certain we got as many of their armories as possible."


"And their factories?" asked Daria.


"Tracked them down, those are also under surveillance," said Jane.


"Okay ... Back to Upchuck, have we recovered any DNA samples from his place?" asked Daria.


"I'll check, why?" asked Jane.




The alarm clock went off, bringing Willow out of her dreams.


"Catch you later" said Kennedy, or the figment of her imagination that resembled Kennedy, as if knowing Willow was about wake up.


"Yeah, bye," said Willow.


She lifted herself onto her elbow while trying not to disturb the vengeance demon spooned against her, as she turned off the alarm.


"You have to go to work so soon?" asked Gwen.


"Yeah, I still need to finish up on that curriculum for that magic course," said Willow.


"I'm glad you finally found a use for me." said Gwen.


"You mean another use," said Willow.


The demon chuckled and said "I suppose now you've gotten past the feelings of anger, I really shouldn't be here trying to tempt you."


"I was tempted, but I just can't really go for it, I can't come up with a decent wish. And besides, it takes the fun out of it if I outsource. And besides, Rebecca's one of the good guys."


"I am starting to like you." Said Gwen.


"And I like you too. ... I mean, right now, I'm uncertain weather I'm just seeking comfort or if I'll get. ... " Willow sighed and rolled over to face the demon, and said "Do you remember what happened with Anyanka?"


"Yes, I do" said Gwen.


"We could end up on opposite sides, and. ... " Willow found herself blinking and sniffing back tears.


"You might have to fight me?"


"I could end up having to kill you, or one of my colleagues will, and if I get too attached, and that happens. ... I'm like some sort of bad luck charm as far as all my girlfriends go."


Gwen watched as Willow's eyes dripped tears onto the pillow, and said "it's a risk. ... maybe I'll be lucky."




Daria entered the Morgendorffer house and recoiled a little at the smell of fresh vomit.


She looked over to the couch and found Jake unconscious on the couch.


She walked over to him and watched for a while.


When she detected movement in his chest, she left him and headed to the utility room for the water assisted hoover that she had bought on a hunch that they would be making extensive use of it.




Jake awoke to the noise of a vacuum cleaner, this was assaulting his brain like a pair of 1/2 kg claw hammers doing a drum roll on is head.


He opened his eyes to see Daria cleaning up the carpet in front of the couch with the wet hoover, upon seeing him awake, she reached for a glass of water on the coffee table and handed it to him.


She resumed cleaning as he took it and sipped at it, tasting the aspirin that had been dissolved in it.


He then heard Quinn say "Hi Daria."


"Quinn, I'm off sick for the next few days, so, I figured I'd use them here."


"Oh good, thanks Daria." Said Quinn, sounding vaguely insincere.




"So ... what are you down with?" asked Jake.


"Bunch of directed radiation wounds, including one through my heart. Have to wait for the plugs to fuse with the tissue before I do anything extraneous ... I'm sorry I've been leaving you guys alone for all this time," said Daria.


"It's okay, we've been coping just fine, right Quinn?"


Jake's enthusiasm was about as infectious as a taste for faeces.


"What he said, only with actual sarcasm," said Quinn.


"Dad ... if you were coping, you wouldn't be getting absolutely shit faced every night. Tell me you're not driving home in that state," said Daria.


"No, and it's not every night, it's every ... well, I vary the schedule a lot," said Jake, trying to remember what nights he came home in what state.


"Quinn, how's it been like for you?"


"Well, you know, lack of sleep, depression, panic attacks, exhaustion. Haven't been able to go out on a date since the incident."


"Right, because of the thing with the vampires," said Jake, who then mouthed to Daria "she's crazy." Tapping his farthest temple from Quinn.


Daria looked at Quinn, who said "Well, you weren't around for me to talk to, I had to try to get him in."


"Sorry about that," said Daria.


"You keep saying that," said Quinn.


"I have a lot to apologize for," said Daria.


"I don't think there's a lot you can do to make up for what's happened," said Quinn.


"It's a pretty deep energy well alright," said Daria.


"Energy well?" asked Quinn.


"You know how you need to heat stuff up before it will react or burn?" said Daria.


"Oh," said Quinn.


"Look, it's not like I would have much spare time anyway. If I quit, I get jailed, or can never set foot on US soil ever again. Or take a casual stroll out of wherever I hide out, but I haven't been making the greatest effort to maintain contact, I'll move back here at the end of this month permanently. Be a longer drive to work, but it'll mean I'll be here for you," said Daria.


"You don't have to do that kiddo," said Jake.


"Yeah, we're cool," said Quinn


"Dad, you're doing your liver in, and Quinn ... you make me look cheerful. ... I gotta try something."


They just sat there picking at their breakfasts for a few minutes.


"So, School's gonna start in a few days," commented Daria.


"Yeah, our senior year is going to be very weird without Stacy, or Tiffany," said Quinn.


"Tiffany called me to say she checked out of the hospital, she's going to take the next few days to work out what she wants to do. She might show up at school if she gets bored enough," said Daria.


"Going to school to escape boredom ... that's just wrong," said Quinn.




Tiffany entered her new room.


The house was different to the house that had stood before. For starters, it was made mostly of steel reinforced concrete, the Blum-Decklers would have had to pay about 70% of the costs themselves because their insurance only covered the wooden house that had come before, but they suddenly got very generous (probably thanks to her new job, but their new bosses probably hid more bugs in the walls than what you'd find in a termite mound).


Of course, that meant if she ever quit, the insurance company would be like "'scuse me, been a mistake, we're gonna need that money back," on top of the threat of prison, but she didn't need to be on the front line unless she wanted to be there. She could help sift data with Daria.


Yeah, she could do that ... well, she was thought qualified because a telephone signal analyzer of the kind used for tracing calls was found in her possession. She had obtained it from an Ex CIA agent when she was being stalked once. What she didn't tell them was that she couldn't get it to work for her as anything other than a paperweight.


And that was before she started medicating herself for PTSD.


Speaking of, the shrinks had discussed anti depressants with her, but she had decided against because she felt that had been what led her to torture Daria.


They didn't push the issue, but asked her to reconsider if she did start having difficulty.


Right now, she wasn't feeling depressed, she was feeling numb.


This numb feeling was disturbing, she wanted to feel something, and the longer this numbness persisted, the more antsy she got. The way most people dealt with this feeling was to start cutting their skin. That was why Tiffany had procured those drugs last time.


Tiffany instead decided to head down to the houses basement, where a training room (covered by the NSA) Equipped with some exercise gear including a number of punching mats and an open area where she could set up targets and start beating the crap out of them.




"Tiffany dear?"


Tiffany stopped what she was doing and turned to her mother.


"Dinner's just about ready."


"Okay" said Tiffany.


She then followed her mom up the stairs and through to the dining room.


She didn't eat very fast.


"How are you feeling right now?" asked her mom.


"Bit numb," said Tiffany.


"Doc said that can get bad," said her mom.


"I know," said Tiffany, continuing her progress through the delicious, but currently unappetizing food.


But Tiffany knew that her low appetite was not a symptom of being full, it was the same thing that made her feel numb.


"You know we're here for you, if you need our help with anything, right?" asked her dad.


"Yes," said Tiffany.


Tiffany's parents watched her eat.


Eventually Tiffany sighed and said "Look, it's not like I haven't dealt with mental problems before, I'm sure I'll be fine. I'm not going to do anything rash, I didn't last time, I'm not going to this time."


"Why didn't you tell us what happened the first time?" asked her dad.


"Because it would have been too much to deal with. Even if I glossed over the fact my rapists were vampires, I would have had to think about how much you could check up on, and the fact you would have involved the police. They would have investigated the case and found my statements don't add up, it was just easier on me if you didn't know what had happened to me, one less thing to deal with," said Tiffany.


Her parents absorbed this information and her dad said "You didn't think you could trust us?"


"I didn't think you'd believe me if I told you about vampires, and I didn't want you stressed out over what had happened to me, yeah? I love you, and seeing you stress over me would have hurt, it just seemed that it would be easier on you if you believed I had ran off, cleared my head, and returned unharmed than if you knew I had spent several weeks getting brutally tortured. I'm sorry for the deception, I ... ... I just didn't want you to ... ... I was trying to protect you," said Tiffany.


There was more silence as her parents absorbed Tiffany's statement.


"You're still our child, we should be protecting you," said Tiffany's mom.


"I'm a vampire slayer, if I need protection, you're fucked," said Tiffany.


That caused looks of shock to appear on her parents faces.


"Sorry," said Tiffany.




"Contact, 11 o'clock" said Carl.


Brad glanced at the house they were driving past, there were three girls walking out to a yellow convertible. Two were Sandi and Quinn, the girls they had escorted home that night all those months ago, and the third was ... "fucking traitors!"


Carl and Brad Farranger had been searching the town for that Chinese girl ever since their chapter got massacred by what the police had finally concluded was a horizontal hailstorm.


"What do we do? Do we kill them here, or find somewhere else?" asked Carl.


"Let's follow them for now, maybe we can find a suitable spot to make an example of them in," said Brad.




"So ... " said Jake.


"So ... wanna go out for lunch?" asked Daria.


"Sure, Kiddo," said Jake.


Daria nodded and they headed out.




"So ... I guess if anything interesting happened at the NSA, you couldn't talk about it" said Jake.


"Not legally," said Daria.


"Right," said Jake.


"Apparently Upchuck's got this cyborg army," said Daria.


"Upchuck?" asked Jake.


"Charles Ruttheimer the 3rd, call sign Upchuck because he keeps hitting on anything with tits with the most irritating lines in the most irritating voice imaginable," said Daria.


"Right," said Jake.


"How's the consultancy business?"


"Well ... I've lost a couple of clients, they saw me hung over," said Jake, somewhat depressed.


"You get pissed, I bury myself in work, Quinn's probably the least self destructive of us," said Daria.


"Except she believes in vampires," said Jake.


"Remind me to prove they're real some time," said Daria.


"GAH!!! You too?" screamed Jake.


Daria reset her eardrum as she said "'fraid they're real, as is magic apparently," said Daria, she then concentrated on the cellphone in it's charger and car audio hookups. She telekinetically lifted it into the air and spun it a few times, before putting it back.


Jake was stunned into silence.




Quinn and Sandi weren't as into 'Waif' now as they would have been last year.


"So what theme should we go with?" asked Quinn.


"Something dark?" asked Sandi.


"I don't feel like doing something gothic," said Tiffany.


"Okay, not going gothic ... what about something matrix?" asked Sandi.


"I don't think we should go with something that's likely to freak out Principal Li." Said Tiffany.


"Okay, then how about something earthy?" asked Quinn.


Sandi groaned.


"This is going to take a looooooong time," said Tiffany.




Daria and Jake started searching the restaurant area for something they felt was appetizing.


"What are you into kiddo?"


"Usually Pizza, but for some reason I feel like trying something different."


They looked around.


"KFC?" asked Jake.


Daria looked around.


"How about Tai?" asked Daria.


"Isn't that the same as Chinese?" asked Jake.


"That's just what the Chinese want you to think," said Daria.




"This is going nowhere fast," said Tiffany.


"Food?" asked Quinn.


"Food," said Sandi.


They bought the few items of clothing they could agree on and headed out.




"Daria, I've never been that much of a contributor to our finances, I mean, I guess that's where most of my stress comes from, I want to put Quinn through college."


Daria shrugged and said "Well, my job's paying pretty well, I should be able to help out."


"Yeah, but you're high risk, you got shot full of holes yesterday." Said Jake.


"Hmm ... Okay, I got nothing," said Daria.


They then saw Quinn, Sandi and Tiffany approach them with shopping.


"That any good?" asked Sandi.




"So, do we go in?" asked Carl.


"Only if the gook goes to the bathroom," said Brad.


"Guns?" asked Carl.


"Too quick," said Brad.


"Only if you shoot her in the head, shoot her in the hip, she'll be immobilized and it will hurt her while we also shoot a vital organ that will kill her slowly," said Carl.




The topic of conversation bored the crap out of Daria.


She was in the looking around the room for something of interest mode as she continued to eat, she had been hoping to get some one on one time with Jake to help him get over Helen's death, but Quinn Tiffany and Sandi had seen them and had joined them for lunch and had hi-jacked the conversation.


The two people outside the restaurant - she had seen them before. She couldn't quite place them, but they looked familiar, and not in any good way.


"Daria! Distracted much?" asked Quinn.


Daria glanced at Quinn and said "Sorry, you wanted something?"


"What are you looking at?" asked Quinn.




Eventually their patience paid off, Tiffany went to the bathroom, they followed.


The staff at the restaurant looked puzzled that they didn't wait at the front of the restaurant to be seated, but the time it was taking them to decide whether to intercept or just leave them to it would be sufficient.


They entered the girls room and saw only one stall locked, the other 7 were open.


They kicked open the door and saw a different girl sitting there.


"Woah," said Brad.


"Sorry, wrong stall," said Carl.


They heard someone whistle a cuckoo noise behind them, and saw the girl they were chasing pointing two micro-Uzis at them.


The girl in the stall they had just broken into stood up and said "never underestimate the predictability of stupidity," she held out her hands to receive their guns.


"Fucking race traitor," said Carl.


"Ought to slot you right here," said Brad.


They just handed their weapons to Daria though.


"Right, I'm arresting you for threatening behavior, criminal damage, stalking, and conspiracy to commit murder. You do not have to say anything, anything you say may be recorded and presented as evidence, you have the right to have a lawyer present during questioning, you have the right to have someone informed of your arrest. You understand your rights so far?"


"Yesssssss," they chorused.




"I thought you had time off," said Quinn as Daria stepped into the reception area of the police station, where she, Jake, and Sandi were waiting.


"I can't help where the forces of evil choose to attack me or my friends," Said Daria.


"I guess we should have expected this," said Sandi.


"Yeah, we need to be real careful here, we're going to see who they inform of their arrest. Hopefully we can get their back-up before they can try anything," said Daria.




Carl and Brad watched the clock.


It was eventually time.


Carl stood up and went to the cell door and said "I'd like to make my phone call now."




Daria was watching the Sick Sad World article on the Iraqi cop moonlighting as a terrorist with Quinn and Jake when her phone rang.




The two of them watched as Daria conversed with the caller and finally she thanked them and hung up, she then said "Our coneheads called someone, the number they called was a stolen cell phone. It was recovered from a bin on a bus, which wasn't fitted with a camera, so we got fuck all right now."


"What does this mean?" asked Quinn.


"It means, this ain't over." Said Daria.




Kirsty Kramer practiced with her claymore (the sword, not the mine) as the other Klansmen in her unit practiced their unarmed combat or watched on.


Ever since that incident in Lawndale, she and her unit had moved to a staging area close by. The forward reconnaissance team would search for the Asian girl that had slaughtered the Lawndale chapter and would kill her if possible, or report what they could if an attack proved not to be an option.


But based on what they had, she could tell that this girl was special somehow.


But, then again ... so was she.


It wasn't just her visions from the past, or her abnormal aggression, but she had been blessed recently with enhanced strength.


"Kirsty?" another Klansman, an office gopher, entered the training area (none of the sections have been walled off as such, the only real perimeter was one of Klansmen camouflaged in a line with assault rifles, they talked through a speaker line that anyone of them could hook an amplified microphone to).


"Yes?" she asked.


"Brad and Carl were arrested, apparently those two girls they escorted home weren't allies after all, they were seen associating with that chink," said the Klan Gopher.


"Right, I think it's time for us to meet miss ice dragon in her home," said Kirsty.


"We just happen to have her address," he handed her a page torn from a hand sized notebook.


"Right," she then signaled for everyone to assemble in front of her, they were going to plan the operation.




"What exactly are we looking at with the Klan anyway?" asked Quinn.


"Depends which cell we're talking about. Klan started off as a sore losers club for ex-confederates, then it died out, and got resurrected due to the popular appeal of a movie called 'Birth Of A Nation' combined with the generous helping of ignorance I've come to expect from the general public.


"Throughout their existence they've been a menace, but now they're severely fragmented. On the plus side, we don't have to worry about them overthrowing the government, but that does give us a problem when it comes to figuring out what they are going to do. Some of them are a joke, basically sit around the TV downing beers saying 'fucking niggers ruin everything' all the time. Some of them are busy trying to demonstrate that the Ku Klux Klan can be multicultural, that they're not supposed to be a lynching mob, but some of them are highly militant and well organized.


"The Lawndale chapter that Willow took out was one of the highly militant groups, they might have been in contact with other like minded groups. They certainly have procedures for avoiding NSA surveillance, odds are they'll be right on top of us before we see them," said Daria.


Quinn and Jake looked scared.


"My workmates are watching us, The Blum-Decklers and the Griffins closely," said Daria.


"Oh, okay," said Jake.


"That's a relief," said Quinn simultaneously.




Tiffany headed down to the kitchen, having woken from another of those fucking dreams.


She then noticed a goon in a forest DPM suit pointing an AK47 at her.


She ducked back just in tome to avoid getting a load of holes in her, rolling to the nearest door on her left, which was the bathroom.


She heard the goon step up onto the landing and he unloaded his weapon through the door.


She managed to get up against one of the walls next to the door without getting hit, the goon then kicked his way through the door and Tiffany grabbed him, smashing his face against her knee. She grabbed his weapon and noticed movement behind the goon, it was another goon. She threw the first goon back into the second goon, and saw a third behind him as she emerged into the corridor. She threw the assault rifle she had at him, it not having been reloaded yet, that was the only way it was going to do any harm. The first goon was now unconscious, so she concentrated exclusively on the second and third goons.


The third goon was pulling his sidearm, the second was still trying to get his shit together, so she dragged the second with her as she grabbed the third goon's weapon hand. They all went down the stairs, Tiffany rolling head over heels and landing on her feet as the goons bounced off the stairs halfway down and landing in a heap at her feet. She was about to examine the bodies at her feet when she noticed movement at her 3 o'clock.


A dark blonde girl with light freckling and the same sort of DPM suit as the other goons was pointing a silver revolver with a 64mm barrel at her and had a medieval European looking broadsword over her other shoulder.


Tiffany ceased all movement with the exception of visual examination of the girl.


The suit had a familiar looking badge (red circle, white cross with flared tips, diamond border and some sort of blood drop) above a set of three chevrons (Sergeant?) on it's shoulder indicating she was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.


A few seconds later, Tiffany was wondering why she was still alive.


"So you're the one," said the girl.


"Who are you?" asked Tiffany.


"Kirsty Kramer, Staff sergeant of the 43rd black legion."


"Staff sergeant? ... no grand dragon or great and wonderful wizard?" asked Tiffany.


The girl chuckled a little and said "what about you? You got some powers too, don't you?"


"Yeah, I'm a vampire slayer," said Tiffany.


"A vampire slayer? Sounds like a sillier title than the stuff we had. Wanna show me some of these powers?" asked Kirsty.


Tiffany slowly turned to Kirsty placing her feet under one of the unconscious goons assault rifles, she said "sure, why not?" and then kicked the weapon at the girl who had to take her weapon off of Tiffany for a spit second.


The time Tiffany needed to jump at her, deflecting the pistol before Kirsty could bring it back to bear on Tiffany. They landed on the floor, Tiffany somersaulting, pulling the pistol out of Kirsty's hand as she left.


Tiffany brought the gun to bear on Kirsty, but Kirsty had managed to get back to her feet in the time Tiffany's eyes were off her, and the tip of the sword struck the gun's magazine, knocking it out of Tiffany's hand.


Tiffany closed range before Kirsty could bring the sword back, Kirsty released the sword and threw a punch, which Tiffany deflected. She then used the pummel on the sword to punch Kirsty in the throat, Kirsty backflipped, catching Tiffany in the face, but only as Tiffany was moving it out the way. Tiffany had to step back as she recovered, she ended up next to a dresser unit with several cut crystal vases on it. She grabbed one and threw it at Kirsty, following the vase hoping to get some critical punches in before Kirsty could get her shit together.


Kirsty managed to sidestep and swing Tiffany into the wall behind her causing Tiffany to drop the sword, Tiffany kicked Kirsty away. Kirsty collided with the table behind her flipping over it, and Tiffany followed, hoping again to get some decent kicks and/or punches in.


Her foot missed Kirsty's face Kirsty tried to sweep Tiffany's feet, but Tiffany jumped in time. Tiffany tried to get a punch to Kirsty's face, she caught the girls face, but it was moving away from her. The girl managed to bring her feet around and got Tiffany in a scissor hug, she managed to bring Tiffany onto the floor and pulled a knife. She got it within about 12cm of Tiffany's face before Tiffany intercepted it, and started kneeing Kirsty's kidneys.


She wasn't getting much energy in, she instead brought her other hand to Kirsty's knife hand and tried to stab one of Kirsty's thighs, but Kirsty also brought her other hand around and equalized the strength.


This girl was surprisingly strong.


"You say you were recently blessed with enhanced strength, how recently?" asked Tiffany.


"Why?" asked Kirsty.


"Because I want to know what your deal is, you're not a vampire, I would have sensed it. You're not the First Evil's running mate ... ... " Tiffany suddenly realized something.


"What?" asked Kirsty.


"You're a vampire slayer, aren't you?"


"What???" asked Kirsty.


"You suddenly got stronger a year and a couple of months ago, right?" asked Tiffany.


"Yeah," said Kirsty.


"Unfortunately these powers don't seem to come with a sense of right or wrong," said Tiffany.


Kirsty broke her scissor lock and rolled, taking Tiffany with her, but Tiffany then kicked Kirsty in the face sending her back against the wall dividing the dining room from the kitchen.


Tiffany got to her feet in time to deflect an attempt to stab her, swinging Kirsty around again, but Kirsty was able to arrest her momentum and managed to get a punch in on Tiffany's face. Tiffany brought her hands which were both on her knife hand to punch Kirsty's face, then her hands separated and she got two more punches in and then kneed Kirsty in the stomach. She then kicked Kirsty's left knee out, Kirsty brought her right foot to Tiffany's face, Tiffany spun around and got a reverse kick into Kirsty's ribs.


Kirsty wrapped an arm around Tiffany's foot and kicked Tiffany's other leg out, she then stood up, using Tiffany's leg to pin her while she stepped on Tiffany's throat.


Tiffany tried to use her other foot to try to push Kirsty back as she tried to push Kirsty's foot back, but there was enough forward force left over to choke Tiffany.


"Gotcha now, don't I you filthy chink?"


There was suddenly a crash.


Kirsty looked behind her, but this didn't give Tiffany any advantages. If she moved her hands to any of the useful pressure points, her trachea would be squashed flat, but the oxygen deprivation was reducing her muscle force and she was headed for a crushed trachea anyway.


She heard Jane say "Owwww."


Tiffany tried to invite Jane in, remembering that she had never done that before, but it wasn't happening.


She then saw a piece of Kirsty's neck explode, and Kirsty leapt away from Tiffany.


Tiffany sat up in time to see Kirsty's foot disappear around a corner.


The window Jane had broken trying to get in was still obscured by the roller blind, which now had a bullet hole in it with pettalling from the force of the muzzle blast.


"Come in Jane," she said a couple of times, but she could only wheeze the words right now, she sat there breathing.


There were a couple more gunshots, Tiffany finally got to her feet and walked through the house to the back.


Jane was there at the back door, looking kind of lost, she said "She got away."


Tiffany nodded and just about said "Come in."


Jane waved her hand over the threshold and then stepped in, asking "you alright there?"


"Yeah, ... I'm-" she then entered a coughing fit she had been holding off as best she could.


They heard sirens.


"Got some prisoners," said Tiffany, when she managed to stop coughing long enough.


"Sweet," said Jane, she stepped through the house, cracking her knuckles.




"Sandi's missing, along with her dad and brothers, and all the agents on surveillance are dead," said Daria. She, Jake and Quinn had made their way over to Tiffany's house, they had called the police on the way and had found out the Griffin's were missing.


"Plus I didn't get to repay that Klan bitch for shooting me," said Jane, who was now sporting an entry wound in the sternum.


"I can't believe I forgot to invite you in earlier," said Tiffany.


"Eh?" asked Tiffany's dad.


"Vampires need to be invited to enter a dwelling," said Daria.


"Eh?" asked Tiffany's dad.


"Mystical physics, gets really weird, makes general relativity look simple," explained Daria.


"Right ... whatever," said Tiffany's dad.


"They're probably alive, the only reason I can think for them to relocate them would be if they thought there was a chance of mission failure and they needed hostages to maneuver Tiffany into a killing zone," said Daria.


"They'd probably become expendable once I'm dead," said Tiffany.


"Tiffany?" asked Daria.


"If I hadn't ran away-" started Tiffany.


"Alright stop! Tiffany, shit happens, okay? Right now, I just want to focus on getting the Griffins back alive, okay?" Said Daria.


"Yes," said Tiffany.


"Good," said Daria.


A car pulled up outside the Blum-Deckler house.


Tiffany went to the front door to invite Spike in, and Spike, Winifred and Robodaria entered.


"Are you okay Jane?" asked Spike.


"Yeah, just got shot through the heart, that's all," said Jane.


"Not many people who can shrug off that kind of injury," said Winifred.


"I'm hooked into the phone lines. If they use them, we'll get them," said Robodaria.


"Sweet. Jane, call your mother - I think we're going to need her," said Daria.


"I couldn't have predicted encountering the Klan that night, but I have been letting myself get rusty of late, I'll be downstairs if you need me," said Tiffany.


"Tiffany, are you sure you're all right?" asked her mom.


"Fine, y'know, if Jane weren't there to pick up the slack, I'd be dead, and you and dad would have been next. I mean, this isn't the first time a slayer's gone bad, and the distribution of potential slayers is so incredibly random ... excuse me," Tiffany headed down the stairs.




"And five, four ... " the camera man said, signing the last three numbers, before hitting record.


"Good evening, I'm Staff Sergeant Kirsty Kramer of the Ku Klux Klan, and I have a message for the world to hear.


"There are two ways this will go down, one way is that I kill all those I am holding. They're race traitors, so I want to do that anyway, but that won't look too good if the Zionist occupied government looks like it doesn't care. But the other way, and I want this so much that I am willing to forgo the execution of my prisoners in order to get it, is to kill that slimy chink Tiffany Blum-Deckler for what she did to those Klansmen in the forests surrounding Lawndale all those months ago."


Kirsty then paused for a second thinking "Blum-Deckler ... That's a kike name innit? Fucking Jew too, ain't ya? Well, anyway, I imagine Tiffany would like to have a go at me, so we're going to do this thunder dome style, y'know, two go in, one comes out. The other sort of lies there dead until the smell starts attracting scavengers."




Rebecca was walking down the corridor when she heard Willow say "Rebecca?"


She turned, just about concealing her apprehension.


"We need to talk," Said Willow.


Rebecca nodded and followed Willow into an empty class room.


Willow selected a table near the windows to sit on, Rebecca stood nearby behind her, waiting for Willow to talk.


Eventually Willow said "How- ... Have you ever been in a situation where you have lost comrades to an enemy, and then had to make peace with that enemy? Or even co-operate with the same soldiers you know killed your friends recently?"


"No," replied Rebecca.


Willow remained silent for a while and eventually said "have you ever considered the possibility of such an event?"


"Yeah ... mostly it's when I start musing randomly, but there are events that bring up the subject ... like every second I spend around you or the other slayers or watchers or other affiliated personal," said Rebecca, keeping her voice calm, her sentences short and to the point.


Willow again remained silent for some time.


"Have you ever gotten any of your friends killed?"


Rebecca thought briefly through all her battles, including the ones she fought before joining the SAS.


"I don't think I have, I nearly moved a booby trapped body with other personal nearby, but that's as close as I've been," replied Rebecca.


More silence.


Rebecca finally asked a question of her own: "have you been made aware that I'm the one who killed Kennedy?"


"I saw you do it," replied Willow.


More silence.


"I had been telepathically linked with Kennedy numerous times, I could sense her emotional state a lot of the time. It was a bit trippy, but it was also comforting when she was happy.


I knew when she was happy, when she was cranky, when she was amused, when she was horny, when she was mad ... ... I felt her fear from quarter the way around the world, she was trapped along with a group of slayers and watchers. She was about to drop her shields, so I reached out to her and took control.


"She let me take control, trusting me to see her through, I sent my energy over too, and teleported all the slayers and watchers out of there."


"And since I was a slayer, I got beamed over too," stated Rebecca.


"Yes ... I managed to restrain you and remove your weapon ... when I realized you were a slayer, I told you what you were and tried to convince you that we weren't the enemy," said Willow.


"And I went along until I had an opportunity to kill the witch who seemed to have all the magical abilities," said Rebecca.


"Kennedy trusted me completely, and I got her killed," said Willow.


"You fucked up, it happens ... You know, I'll never take the piss out of the Americans for their friendly fire incidents ever again."


"That's not funny," said Willow.


"Wasn't meant to be. At the time, I was reaping vengeance for that girl I thought your lot had killed, that's how we work. It has occurred to me that I might one day get it wrong, but I never thought about something mystical happening," said Rebecca.


"Took me a while to accept the mystical too," said Willow.


"You know, when I was going through the final exam, the simulated interrogation, Henno interrupted it. Talking about a recent operation he went on, about how he had lost a lot of his unit in the middle of nowhere in a country that didn't really want them there. He asked me if that was the kind of life I wanted. ... I answered yes, thinking I had thought about it, which I had, but no amount of thinking can ever provide any real insight.


"I fully expected to die when the slayers managed to stop me."


"I'm not sure what stopped them either. As far as I know, they pinned you down, and stopped, unsure what to do with you."


"That's a lot more patience than I would have shown."




The four prisoners dressed in their bed clothes with felt sacks over their heads were forced to step into view of the camera by goons who were holding them by choke chains, their hands tied behind their backs with wire ties.


Kirsty pulled the sack off of Sandi's head, Sandi squinted in the sudden light, the girl had a split lip and some bruises on her face consistent with being punched around a bit.


"Sandi Griffin, say something." Said Kirsty.


"You're so dead." Retorted Sandi.


Daria was the only one who didn't seem to so much as wince, as everyone else gasped and said "No!", but she was thinking the same thing everyone else was: 'Sandi, you fucking idiot! Stay alive.'


Kirsty punched Sandi in the abdomen, the goon behind her holding her head up against Sandi's bending over in pain. She eventually stood up, coughing, Tom asked "What you doing to her you rat bastards?"


Kirsty asked "Wanna watch?" as she stepped over and removed Tom's hood, his face had similar trauma to Sandi's.


Kirsty then pulled a knife and started running the tip along Sandi's body, causing Sandi to react involuntarily.


"If I didn't think she'd enjoy it, I'd have my unit sodomise her in front of you," said Kirsty.


Tom couldn't come up with a response, everyone realizing the position he was in was that if he was to deny Sandi was a slut, they would possibly rape her, and if he let it slide, it felt like he was helping them insult her.


"You seem awfully fixated on me-"


'Don't say it' thought Daria, as she gritted her teeth, anticipating the inevitable conclusion to the sentence.


"-for a supposedly straight woman."


Kirsty seemed to snap, and started kneeing and kicking the crap out of Sandi.


This continued with Tom protesting loudly and everyone watching this feeling sick, but eventually Kirsty stopped.


Sandi could barely stand, her face was starting to turn a deep maroon when Kirsty ordered the goon to let her fall.


"You might not be aware of this, but here in the Ku Klux Klan, the Geneva Convention is something we only turn to in times of running out of our normal toilet paper. In fact, I'm starting to think you're not going to take this seriously until we kill one of our prisoners."


Kirsty walked off screen, and eventually returned with a bottle of caustic soda, she read the back of it saying "Extremely corrosive, wear rubber gloves when using, do not ingest, do not use metal buckets or wooden stirrers, hang on a minute." She placed the bottle on the floor and left the screen again.


"She's bluffing, right?" asked Quinn.


Daria's silence was not reassuring.


"Daria, please, tell me she's bluffing."


The camera kept panning between Sandi and Tom, both looked increasingly worried.


"You two, you should also put on gloves, then take the prisoners off those two," said Kirsty off to the side.


Daria recalled the State Sam Griffin had returned in, he was in a state that indicated that he had witnessed one of his family members being killed horribly and slowly.


He had basically walked into the police station carrying the video tape titled 'for Tiffany's viewing pleasure', he hadn't said a word to anyone.


This tape was getting seriously sadistic, both Tom and Sandi were watching the Klansmen preparing to execute someone by force feeding them Caustic soda. She didn't know weather this would be dry or dissolved, but this was going to be bad if they weren't-


Quinn Grabbed Daria, turning her around to face her and screamed "ANSWER ME DAMN IT!!!"


"I don't know," said Daria.


They resumed watching the tape.


"Okay, I think we're ready now," said Kirsty.


Two Goons now wearing rubber gloves and rubber aprons took Sandi and Tom off the other two goons and Kirsty, similarly dressed, said "get them on their knees."


"Now, one of you must die, but which one?" asked Kirsty.


Both prisoners were silent now, they had been since Kirsty first picked up the bottle, and that bottle was now open.


She walked over to Tom and said "You should have raised her better, she should have known not to associate with non-whites."


She then walked over to Sandi and said "if you hadn't aided and abetted an enemy of our race, you wouldn't be here right now."


She then walked back to Tom and said "when was the last time you went to church?"


She then walked to Sandi and said "Have you ever seen the inside of a church?"


She walked around the pair of them, and finally stopped next to Sandi, saying "You're the one with the dirty mouth, let's clean it out."


The goon holding Sandi grabbed her head and pulled at her jaw, but wasn't having much success, and Sandi was now struggling to get away from them. Tom was screaming at Kirsty not to do it.


Kirsty put one hand on Sandi's chin and pushed at Sandi's gums, her enhanced strength was sufficient to open Sandi's mouth. Her rubber coated fingers then crawled into Sandi's mouth, the camera hovered over Sandi's terrified face as Kirsty moved the bottle up to Sandi's cheek.


Kirsty then slowly poured the granules into Sandi's upturned mouth, pouring down her throat where Kirsty's fingers were pushing it down her oesophagus.


Some point after Kirsty had started this, Sandi vomited. Kirsty's hand deflected the vomit from her, it dribbled down Sandi's chin, a few more spurts and Kirsty resumed pouring the white granules down Sandi's throat.


It looked like half the bottle had been unloaded when Sandi started vomiting blood.


A lot of blood.


The camera man panned down, showing that Sandi had started pissing herself, there was even some fecal matter dripping out through the leg hole of her shorts.


He moved back as Kirsty and the goon holding Sandi's head did, and Sandi was left to try to get the stuff out of her.


But everyone knew she was fubar.


Eventually Sandi lay face down on the ground, she started convulsing a little, she was alarmingly pale, and the blood was just gushing out of her mouth.


The camera man focused on Sandi's face again, pushing her shoulder back as she rolled down, keeping her face in view.


Her Jaw was moving a little, and her mouth was filling with blood, there was no obvious way she could be breathing, and she wasn't reacting to the obstruction to her airway, her face was covered in blood from the vomiting.


There was no obvious threshold between life and death, Sandi's eyes didn't close, they just stared blankly.


Eventually Kirsty said "whew, I bet that hurt."


The camera looked up at Kirsty who said "I'll be sending a pilot in a helicopter to pick you up Tiffany. If you want Tom and Chris Griffin back alive, you will board that helicopter with a sword and will meet me in combat, or you will see two more videos of this kind, got it? Good."


The image turned to static.


Daria pulled her phone and made a call.




Kirsty buried the last mine.


She was going to enjoy this.


She wished she could kill that bitch that had shot her too, because it was her that had interrupted the killing of that kike chink bitch.


How can someone survive being shot through the heart?


It didn't matter, this time, Tiffany was going down, she had her, all she had to do was finish the job she started.


She checked her watch.




Tiffany entered the kitchen and opened the cupboard under the sink.


"If I had the time to do so, I could whip up a blister agent for insertion into Klan girl's trachea," said Daria.


They heard a rotor craft approach.


"But we don't," stated Tiffany as she grabbed a bottle of sodium hydroxide and examined it.


Tiffany was now dressed in a black tracksuit and combat boots, she was carrying a pair of Dao swords that Jane had made for her. The blade outline was about the only thing that was traditional about the sword, Jane had been using her newfound access to machines to make a diamond knurled grip, and the surface texture of the blade had been machined with 2mm pyramids that were inclined to absorb all light. The 30° valleys made all but 3mm of the cutting edges pitch black. Jane was especially proud of that feature, and Tiffany had been getting comfortable with these weapons.


Tiffany didn't know for a fact that Kirsty wouldn't just shoot her once she was in their custody, or if the Klansmen coming to transport her to the fight venue wouldn't just shoot her. But there was a good chance based on the fact that the girl was a total sadist, she would at least want Tiffany in front of her when she killed her, but she would want to do it slowly.


It was a supervillian cliché that they wanted their foes to die slowly, but the fact she had forced a fistful of caustic soda down Sandi's throat seemed more than just a means to get them mad. Tiffany was certain the girl had enjoyed what she had done, and Tiffany knew how close the girl had come to killing her, so there was a chance.


"I wish I could suggest an alternative," said Daria.


"Yeah, well, I don't care," said Tiffany.


She pocketed the bottle and a pair of PVC gloves, and walked out of the kitchen.


"Kirsty's mine, make sure everyone understands that," said Tiffany.


"Right," said Daria.


The helo, a Hughes 500, was orbiting the empty street.


It came to a hover over it, and descended to about a foot off the ground.


A Klansman jumped out and swept an RF detector over Tiffany and the swords in her possession.


He then frisked her, he encountered the lump on her pocket, and pulled out the bottle and the gloves.


"Heh, let me guess, you want to do unto Kirsty what she did to Sandi," he said.


"I want to do worse, but I can't think of anything else at this time," said Tiffany.


He put the items back in her pocket and continued his search for firearms, lingering a little longer than necessary on her breasts and crotch, then he waved her on.


She boarded the helicopter, moving over for the guy that had felt her up, and as soon as he was aboard, they were off.


Tiffany watched the ground for landmarks or the compass on the opposite dashboard as appropriate.


This was the primary reason she was there.




Quinn and Jake were sat in the cafeteria of the police station as Daria worked.


Neither of them could think of anything to say.


Quinn could only see one thing: Sandi dying.


One of the officers acted as a sentry telling all who approached to leave them alone. That was appreciated, but it didn't stop Quinn thinking about how she had seen Sandi having those corrosive granules forced down her throat, and found herself again wondering at what point Sandi had in fact died?


And how long had it been? It couldn't have been longer than 5 minutes, the caustic soda would have started dissolving cell walls within seconds, and that would have started mixing with her blood, that would have started mangling even more of her oesophagus, hence the bloody vomit.


The stomach acid would have neutralized some of it, but the sheer quantity of caustic soda vs. the thin film of stomach acid meant that it was already a lost battle.


Also, how far would her oesophagus have carried the stuff?


Quinn imagined the burning sensation followed by the cold sensation.




Surely that shouldn't be any different from hydrogen-oxygen-hydrogen.


The importance of chemistry to beauty was not lost on Quinn, but she just couldn't work out what was so different about it. Hydrogen and Sodium were both group 1 elements, that should give them similar properties, right?


That was something Daria could help her with if she were to ever get a break to come check on them.




The helicopter approached a clearing in the forest. It was surrounded in burning crosses, there were two red ribbon fences, Kirsty and another medieval sword was standing off to the side of the circle.


As they got closer, the ring of soil showed evidence of being disturbed recently, and triangles were hanging from the ribbons. Tiffany had an idea what was written on those triangles.


The helicopter hovered a foot off the deck again, kicking up dust, Tiffany got out.


The helo then left.




"What the fuck?" asked Quinn.


Jake looked up to where Quinn was looking, apparently the TV that was normally on CNN was now showing Tiffany and Kirsty standing in a ring.


"I hope you don't mind, but I'm broadcasting this on CNN, my people should hold the facilities long enough for everyone to see the entire fight," said Kirsty.


Tiffany shrugged and said "Okay," as she pulled her swords and waited for Kirsty to make a move.


"I told you to bring A sword," said Kirsty.


"I miscounted, if only I wasn't racially inferior," mused Tiffany, almost Daria like in her delivery.


The two continued to circle each other.


"You making a move or what?" asked Kirsty.


"After you," said Tiffany.


"Oh no, you first," said Kirsty.


"Alright," said Tiffany.




Tiffany started spinning towards Kirsty, she had to try to get a feel for her style.


Of course, if she could kill her out without a fight, that would be even cooler, but it didn't look very likely, and besides, she had to keep the fight going.


Kirsty managed to deflect each blow Tiffany rained on her. Kirsty finally attempted to skewer Tiffany, but Tiffany deflected the blade and span down the length striking Kirsty in the face with the pummel of one of her swords. Kirsty then pushed Tiffany away, trying again to stab her, but Tiffany was out of range too quick.




Vinny heard something wiz past him.


'Fucking flies' he thought, the noise had caused a release of adrenaline.


He just about saw some movement in the forest just before something ripped through his face.


The two Klan sentries were now too dead to get a report out.




Tiffany continued to fence with Kirsty, who was having trouble with Tiffany's speed.


They eventually broke and started circling each other again. "This'll hurt less if you quit resisting," said Kirsty.


"Getting tired?" asked Tiffany.


"You are?" asked Kirsty.


"Wow, go you with the five year old witticisms," said Tiffany.


"Wow, go you with the ... err ... " Kirsty said, quickly getting stuck, this got her mad, and she went for Tiffany again.


They ended up getting close to the inner perimeter.


Tiffany ducked into a crouch and spun away under Kirsty's swings, and cart wheeled away.




Tom and Chris watched as the two girls fought it out.


Tom wished Kirsty's death could involve something a little more painful than beheading, there was no need for her to kill Sandi.


Sandi could be a bully at times, but she was a good person, all she wanted to do was make the world beautiful, and she was doing better in school.


He was also angry at himself for failing to do something about this.


He didn't know what he could have done, these guys had taken out the NSA surveillance that was supposed to protect them, so probably no way he was going to do any better, but ... .


Something wizzed over his head and he felt the choke chain fall against his back.


He and Chris looked behind themselves and saw that the two goons were dead, a neat hole through their heads.


Two guards on the far side of the arena collapsed.


What was going on?




"Amanda Lane."


"I'm going to need your help again," said Daria, she had just seen the video the Klan had sent where they had executed Sandi. Everyone else was speechless or silently waiting for orders.


"Sounds bad," said Amanda.


"It is, hostage situation, one hostage dead, they want Tiffany to go to them for some sort of duel. I need you to astrally project to Tiffany and watch where they go through her eyes, do you have a map?"




"Jane will bring one to you, I'll also need something else of you when we have the location."






Jane and Spike were ready for insertion when Amanda started following Tiffany's progress out of Lawndale.


They had been ordered not to track the Helo, and they weren't.


Not using the normal equipment anyway.


Jane and Spike were ready for war, they would be inserted down wind of the arena, they would make their way over there while Tiffany bought them as much time as possible. They dressed in forest camouflage (rag leaves, veil, face paint and all) and they had wrapped two of Jane's high powered bows in rag vines.


These bows had the power to embed an arrow 10cm into concrete, and the heads had even been known to weld on impact to metal armor from the kinetic energy.


So going through several heads all at once was not going to be a problem.


Amanda networked them telepathically so that they could co-ordinate their actions for maximum kills on their first shots.


Vampires: enhanced smell, enhanced hearing, enhanced vision, enhanced strength, no thermal signature. Meaning they could see, smell, and hear the enemy long before they became visible to them.


"Daria asked me to ask you if you'll be able to extract us later."


"Yeah, why?"


"Remember the gambit spell I mentioned? Daria ordered that if there was no one left to save ... "


"I see," she said.


The location they were headed to looked sufficiently far enough for Jane to enchant her entire Quiver. That would then be split between her and Spike and they would basically scatter the arrows as widely as possible.




Tom watched as a soldier in one of those leaf suits emerged from the forest, bow slung, he or she was now toting one of those silenced MP5s. The soldier ran up to him and pulled a pair of cutters and released him and his son.


Then there was the sound of rotorcraft.


A little while later, there was the sound of a small helicopter coming in fast and dust was kicked up as it appeared over the treetops, pitching up dramatically as it descended to about a foot off the ground.




"WHAT??? YOU CHEATED!!!" shouted Kirsty realizing that all the other Klansmen were dead.




"WHAT???" asked Kirsty.


"I SAID-" started Tiffany.


"YOU MOCK ME???" screamed Kirsty.




Kirsty ran at Tiffany again, and kept slashing and stabbing, and not getting Tiffany at all.


Tiffany's persistence and patience was eventually rewarded as she got one laceration on Kirsty's knee. A few more seconds passed before she managed to inflict a deep cut through one of Kirsty's forearms.


Eventually she got another laceration on Kirsty's side, and Kirsty had to place a hand over the wound when she felt her intestines start to slide out.


She was fucked now and she knew it.


Eventually Tiffany disarmed Kirsty and started slashing at tendons at Kirsty's knees and elbows.


Eventually she dropped the swords and stood over Kirsty.


"What?" asked Kirsty.


"You killed Sandi for being my friend."




"She never did anything to you, the girl probably couldn't throw a punch."


"You killed a whole bunch of Klansmen," said Kirsty.


"They chased me down and tried to kill me, just for accidentally walking into view of one of their sad ceremonies. They didn't have to give chase, they drew first blood, they had it coming. What did Sandi ever do to you?"


"SHE'S A TRAITOR TO HER RACE!" shouted Kirsty.


"Really? ... You know what? Any hostile aliens looking at our world, drooling over it's resources, would love to see us remain conflicted. They'd love to see us killing each other by the millions due to ridiculous ideologies such as racial supremacy, homophobia, religious fanaticism, I'd say you are the race traitor."


Tiffany then pulled her gloves and put them on.


"Sandi Griffin was a close friend, she helped me more than she knew. If it wasn't for her and the time we spent in our group, I would have probably killed myself a couple of years ago, or would be living out the rest of my life in a nut house. She helped me maintain enough of an illusion of normalcy to restore my sanity after a very traumatic experience, you had no reason to kill her."


Tiffany then pulled the bottle of caustic soda and opened it, she sat on Kirsty's chest.


"I don't spend nearly as much time as you obviously do coming up with torture techniques, so I hope you don't mind if I borrow yours."


Tiffany then grabbed Kirsty's face, Kirsty moved her head around, clenching her jaw tightly.


"TIFFANY, DON'T!" shouted Spike.


Tiffany looked at him.


Spike was with Jane, poking the ground with a bayonet to clear a way through the minefield.


Tiffany took some time to think about what she wanted to do.


She had about a minute to do this if at all.


Tiffany knew that she was still on live TV and that if she were to shove this stuff down her throat, she would be jailed. There would be no way for the government to give her a free pass without losing it's last shred of influence, she would be killed like a rabid dog.


And she didn't care.


She didn't care now.


Would she later?


She thought back to the times she wanted to just die.


She didn't care if she died as long as the pain and humiliation stopped.


And she had since vindicated her decision to live.


She had saved many lives, taken many vampires out of circulation.


The world needed her as a vampire slayer.


She picked up the lid and put it back on the bottle and said "you'll get yours," before standing up and walking over to the claymore sword. She then walked to the edge of the arena, and started minesweeping from her side to meet Jane and Spike.




"What do you think we should do?" asked Buffy.


"Honestly ... I don't think there is anything we can do, this girl may be a slayer, but she's dedicated to her mission. She wants to kill every non-aryan, non-straight, non-protestant on the planet. She isn't another Dana or Faith, the girl isn't killing from poorly dealing with any personal issues. She believes her actions were correct, we can't bring her back," said Daria.


"Have you talked to her?"


Daria recalled the conversation she had had with Kirsty.




"-you're just another race traitor you godless heathen witch, I bet you're gay too, I hope you burn in hell-" continued Kirsty.


Daria stood there patiently waiting for her to stop.


She checked her watch again.


Eventually she got bored and walked off.




"Oh yeah, girl just lay there verbally abusing me, I got bored and walked off. There's no back for her to go to, and Tiffany was about a hair away from reaping vengeance," said Daria.


"I saw," said Buffy.


"I'm taking time off work for the next fortnight, my sister saw the actual murder. I also want to see if there's anything I can do for Tom, Sam and Chris Griffin. And honestly, if I were to go on operations in this frame of mind, I'm likely to start making liberal use of Jane's gambit spell."


"Like you ordered Jane to if there was no-one left to rescue?" asked Buffy.


Daria thought about it and eventually said "that was part vengeance, mostly I wanted to eliminate that group of psychos all together."


"But if it were that important, why did you let them escape?"




"Here's the zip disk Kirsty ordered us to get."


The default leader accepted the disc and put it in his laptop.


He opened the file on it.


It was a powerpoint presentation that basically revealed the words 'you are the weakest link, goodbye.'


"Check our perimeter," said their leader.




"I had Jane leave a zip disc on one of the Klansmen bodies and had her imitate one of them telling another that he had vital information on the disc, before he got 'interrupted' by an arrow through his head and several trees behind him. All the nearby population centres have been issued with a bright boy alert, we can now guarantee everyone will take that seriously after the last conflict with the first evil, it should be going off in about 15 seconds."




"I don't get it, 'You Are The Weakest Link', what's that supposed to be code for?" asked one of the Klansmen.


"I dunno, it would make sense if Kirsty was trying to kill us all, but that doesn't make sense either-" started the other, only to be interrupted by the sudden immersion of himself and the other Klansmen that were assembled around him in a nuclear fireball.




"I actually had her charm a 53mg piece of string and put that under the label, but you get the idea," said Daria.


"What yield is that?" asked Buffy.


"Six tons, 'bout the same energy as a daisy cutter."


"I'm watching the news now, the device was deep in the woods when it went off."


"I figured they would want a base they could control, if they try to hide out in an urban space, they'd quickly encounter people who are not sympathetic to their cause, that would report them, I set the yield based on that."


"What about that whole thunder dome thing, did that make sense to you?"


"It made sense to you at one point."


"Yeah, it did, she must have seen that in one of her Slayer visions."


"Notice a theme developing here?" asked Daria.


"You mean the bumper whirlwind harvest we seem to have reaped? Oh yeah ... How's Tiffany?"


"Angry ... She wants to return to active duty, I think I should let her, see how it goes," said Daria.


"Think it's a good idea given her anger? I know from experience that anger can impede good judgement."


"So does Tiffany."


There was some silence for a while.


"How goes the cross training program?" asked Daria.




Willow hurriedly searched out the correct books as the SAS continued to fight off the sword wielding skeletons and assorted low functioning predatory demons, while trying not to care about the distress of the rabbits that were getting caught underfoot.


It would seem that Willow had been a bit to ambitious in demonstrating the capabilities of magic to the SAS.


She'd have thought a bunch of Jar heads could follow orders.