Brave New World
A/N:Some dialogue taken from the episode "Get it Done".
“We offered you power.”
Buffy felt like snorting; so she did. Power of a demon. That might have been where the Slayer line had originated but she was going to make damn sure that wasn’t where it ended. Not that she was pessimistic about her chances of survival, or anything.
The cave she stood in was dark but all the colours were just a little too vivid, more like a comic than reality. The Shadowmen stood and watched her, faces devoid of any kind of emotion. She wanted to hate them for what they had done to the First Slayer but she couldn’t. They didn’t seem to understand what they had started when they created the Slayers. No one could understand, not unless they were the Chosen One. Or Two.
“Tell me something I don't know,” Buffy spat, tired and hot.
Really, she just wanted out of the place but she couldn’t go back empty-handed. They were nearing a serious apocalypse – not that any were particularly laughable – and she needed something, anything, that might show her a way to stop it.
The ringleader nodded and took a step towards her. Instinctively she took a step back and readied herself for an attack. His race remained impassive and after a momentary pause he stepped into her again, pressing his cold and wrinkled hand against her cheek.
Glimpses of confusing images flickered through her mind. She saw destruction and ruin entwined with a bright golden light. The scene shifted dramatically to a drab street, rain lashing down, weapons clashing in the darkness. Men screaming. A path of fire streaming down from the sky towards a figure that stood triumphantly, sword raised. A huge town square bathed in sunlight, Giles standing at a podium in front of a crowd of thousands; giving an impassioned speech. Rows of people strapped to beds, screeching. Vials of blood. A large symbol displayed on dozens of walls – a half-eclipsed sun.
Buffy stumbled backwards, gasping. Her mind reeling from the things she had seen. None of them made sense. None of them.
Still struggling with her breath she looked at the Shadowman. “What does it mean?”
“Your debt has been paid,” he said simply. “It is time for you to leave.”
“What? What are you talking about?”
She didn’t get an answer. Instead she got shunted through time and space. And being shunted is never nice. Buffy’s legs gave way and she toppled to the ground on her ass.
Letting out an annoyed grunt, she let her brain recover from the portal-lag, before standing up. She seemed to be in a dark, but fairly clean, alleyway. The bastards hadn’t even returned her to her house. The PTB’s sure liked to stiff her. Hmm, maybe should think about rephrasing that…Buffy thought, starting towards the entryway of the alley.
The Slayer still had no idea what the images she had seen meant but she guessed if she told Giles and the gang that they’d be able to come up with something. She just hoped it was worth it. Being away from the house was not a good idea this late in the game. The First could attack at any minute and Buffy had to be there to protect the Potentials.
Buffy exited the alleyway and came out onto a fairly non-descript street. People were walking up and down, some arm-in-arm with cotton candy, laughing and shouting. It seemed like there was a carnival in town. Buffy didn’t remember reading any announcement about it but she had been a little preoccupied lately.
She was still feeling a little hot from her stint in the desert from Hell, so she removed her jacket and tied it around her waist. The turtleneck she wore was more than enough protection against a Sunnydale night breeze.
Buffy didn’t know where exactly she was but she decided to go left and see where it took her. The town wasn’t all that big, so it wasn’t like she could get lost. Or so she thought.
The further she walked the more she realised she had no idea where she was. Nothing looked familiar, none of the street signs or shops. Buffy halted on the corner of a fairly busy street trying to get her bearings. Sweat was trickling down the back of her neck and she was getting anxious to make it home.
Just as she decided to turn back and go the way she had come, something caught her eye. Across the other side of the street a man was kneeling in front of a little girl, smiling. Revellers from the carnival were walking up the middle of the road whistling and being generally obnoxious but for some reason Buffy’s eyes were fixed on the man.
A low tingle began at the base of her spine and shot up suddenly like a firework.
Instantly Buffy started across the street, shoving past the crowds and receiving grunts and calls of annoyance. She ignored them and kept her gaze on the vampire and the little girl.
She had nearly reached them when the vampire’s features morphed into his true face, eyes fixed on the girl. Buffy leapt forward as he leaned towards the child. Her Slayer instincts kicked in and she grabbed the demon’s neck and twisted his head clean off. She hated to do it in front of the girl, but there hadn’t been enough time for subtlety.
As the vampire turned to dust the girl screamed suddenly and loudly, drawing even more attention than Buffy had already generated.
The Slayer held her arms out towards the girl. “It’s okay. You’re safe now.”
“You killed him! You killed him!” The girl stumbled away from her.
That was when things got really bad. People began to crowd around, murmuring and staring at Buffy.
“Oh my god,” a woman said. “Someone call the police! Now!”
Buffy shook her head, hands up. “No, listen, see – he was a vampire.”
“H.F.H!” A guy shouted, stirring the crowd up. “She’s one of them!”
“No, you don’t understand –” Buffy started.
The crowd began to shout and heckle all at once, their faces turning fearful as they looked at her. So many people had gathered around, pressing in around her, she began to feel claustrophobic. Someone screamed. Buffy took a step back and knocked into a beefy guy. They were hysterical and she couldn’t do anything to placate them. So, instead, Buffy tried to push past them to get as far away from the place as she could.
“She’s trying to get away. Someone, grab her!” A man yelled.
Buffy shook her head. “Now, look, let’s calm down.”
She turned around and a heavy fist collided with her face. The hit came completely by surprise and floored her. A collective gasp came up from the crowd as she looked up at them, blinking. There was a moment of silence and then they all seemed to lunge at her at once.
Buffy kicked out at them in defence, shattering someone’s kneecap with the force. She was panicking and she knew it. The group got even more enraged. Someone kicked her hard in the ribs.
People were chanting,“Get her, get her!”
Dozens of pairs of hands forced her to roll over and the beefy guy from before kneeled on her back, bringing her hands up behind herself. Buffy shot her head up backwards and broke his nose. He fell off of her like a ton of bricks. She started to get up but then two or three people threw themselves on top of her bodily and she kissed ground.
“Get off!” She screamed, throwing herself around wildly, all Slayer training going out of the window in blind panic. “Get off!”
A hand grabbed a handful of her hair, yanked her head up and then slammed it back down on the pavement. Pain shot through her head and her vision blurred. She could smell the rancid sweat of the crazed people lying across her, holding her down. Then there were sirens. The hand that held her hair slammed her head down on the pavement once more, as if for good measure. Spots appeared in her vision.
And then the weights seemed to be lifted from her. Dazed, Buffy looked up to see the crowd moving back slightly. She sighed in relief. That’s when a pair of handcuffs were slapped across her wrists and tightened painfully.
The Slayer was rolled onto her front and found herself staring into the faces of two cops.
“There’s been a mistake…” Buffy started, head throbbing.
The cop brandished a long metal stick. “You’re under arrest.”
He pressed the stick into her side. Buffy felt a sharp stab and then she passed out.
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