King of the Vampires
by: Liz M
You think you've faced the worst there is? Well I've got news for you; you haven't.
Forget all you thought you knew about pain. Forget all you knew about fighting. Might as well forget about living while you're at it. You can't use what you've been taught; he knows all your tricks, your moves, your tactics.
Think your friends and family can help you? Well they can't. They're dead; either turned or bled dry.
This is for the rest of my kind, their future. This is it, one way or another, it's gonna end… just remember… it's not Giles anymore. The man you thought of as your father is gone, dead but not buried and now it's up to you; so make a choice. Do you want to run, live to fight another day or do you want to take him on, take him down, and make that bastard inside of him pay for what its done?
I can do this. I can. I have to or else… else all your deaths were for nothing, else I'll lose those few I have left now.
I'm gonna kill you…
Or I'm gonna die trying.
13 days earlier
"Fall back!" I glanced around the battleground, the decayed, fallen down warehouse and took inventory of the soldiers, those fallen and those still fighting. We were losing, our numbers falling rapidly. There was no choice, no other options, we had to leave and we had to go now.
I pulled the slayer next to me off a vampire and pushed her towards the exit. "Go, fall back, take the other's with you." I ground out, quickly scanning the area.
"But…" The slayer protested.
I turned, giving a, ‘not now', glare and watched frozen as her head suddenly fell forward and off onto the floor, rolling, sloshing across and over, stopping at my feet.
Dawn screamed from somewhere in the building and I took off running, slashing my way through the enemy, watching as slayer after slayer fell to their deaths.
"Dawn!" I screamed into the building.
Everything froze. The slayers, the vampires, silence ensued, encasing us all.
That's when he caught my eye, the leader, that's when I got a good look at him; bald, big dark eyes, evil sneer, blue veins running the area of his head and neck.
He smiled up at me, chilling me to the bone, causing my blood to freeze up in my veins and my level of fear to soar.
A flash bomb went off, lighting up the surrounding area and I saw salvation. It was a chance, small, but I had to take it.
"Target the ceiling!" I screamed, instantly bringing my weapon up and firing, listening as the others, those left, copied me, firing into the glass ceiling.
It cracked and shattered, raining glass all around us, on top of us, cutting us, but saving us all the same, only cutting our number in two, dividing us into groups.
A small, hopeful ray of light forced its way inside the darkness, lighting up the surroundings.
I smiled at the creature leading our enemies against us, finally feeling victorious in the face of death. "Kill them all." I ground out, moving forward, dusting each vamp I could reach.
Trap doors opened all around us, letting in more and more undead. I watched in horror as more and more slayers started dying, screaming out in terror as their lives were slowly drained from their bodies.
"They're turning them!" Kennedy screamed.
I turned abruptly and saw a slayer taking in the virus, the blood of change and my heart and breath stopped cold. I brought my gun up and fired into the head of the slayer, taking her out, permanently. "Finish em off!" I screamed, listening as random gunfire opened, the flashes of powder lighting up the room.
More and more vampires filtered into the room. "Fall back! Let's get out of here!" I yelled, looking around to the others.
I ran towards Willow, pulling Kennedy behind me, moving us toward Xander and Dawn. "Lets back out of here now. Cover us Will."
We formed a tight formation, backing slowly through the darkness, hoping to reach the exit and daylight. I scanned the peripheries, looking for slayers, looking for family but finding only dead or dying slayers.
"Buffy!" Giles called out from the other side of the room.
I peered through the darkness, seeing Giles and at least three slayers, injured but still alive.
"We'll get you, hold on." I yelled.
I watched as Giles and the slayers took on a couple of vamps, dusting them easily and watched as they turned their gunfire towards the ceiling, letting in droplets of light.
"We're heading towards the back exit. We'll meet you back at camp." Giles called out, him and his group moving steadily towards freedom.
"Okay." I called out, watching as the small group continued towards the exit. "Give us a little light, Will." I stated, watching as Willow cast a spell, illuminating the darkness with a bluish gray light, allowing us to finally see the chaos and destruction that befell our troop.
I looked at the dead bodies and those of the slayers now being turned, cast another look towards Giles and his group as they went through the door.
"Blow it." I stated, void of emotion, watching as the slayers, pulled gas charges and threw them into the building.
We backed all the way to the exit, into the light and took a final look into the death and destruction.
"Run." I stated, watching as Xander pulled Dawn away from the building, followed closely by a few surviving slayers.
Kennedy positioned herself on the opposite side of Wills, ready to grab her and run. I looked over; watching as a trickle of blood slowly ran over her cheek and took in account of her injuries and those of Wills. We were lucky. I gritted my teeth and looked into the darkness, watching as the vampires swarmed over the still warm bodies.
I nodded, giving the go ahead to torch the place and watched as Will invoked the spell to bring forth flames.
The building lit up like a Christmas tree, igniting, flames spreading forth, illuminating the darkness within.
Kennedy and I grabbed Will by the arm and ran, dragging her between us as the building torched hotter and brighter. Screams filtered through the air, those of the burning vampires and those of the undead slayers, those in waiting to become the walking dead.
We ran onward, not looking back, falling as the building finally reached its nova and exploded. We fell into the dirt and gravel, each trying to protect our bodies from all the falling and burning debris littering the sky, the air, and the ground.
Finally, we pushed our weakened, battered bodies up from the ground and hobbled back to base, tired, weary and humbled.
Dawn and Xander met us at the entrance, helping us inside and to our current medic.
I looked at the fifteen-year-old girl, attempting to patch us up and looked around for Julie, our resident RN. "She didn't come back." The kid offered.
I nodded at her and let her patch me up as best she could, gave her a half smile and moved out of the way so the others could be seen to.
"Did you see that lead vamp?" I asked, looking at Xander, who nodded yes.
"Kinda looked like a bringer." He stated lowly.
"Yeah." I nodded, agreeing, adding. "Only these were thinner, not quite as clunky, more lean…" I hesitated, thinking, remembering. "Kind of reminded me of that vamp on Salem's Lot." I stated, continuing. "I'll bet Giles would know what breed they are."
I looked around, scanning the small group, and moved through the people, looking, not finding and finally I walked back over to Xander.
"I don't see Giles, or the slayers in his group." I stated quietly, waving Kennedy and Willow over. I pulled us all into a tight group, whispering, "Make a thorough check, locate Giles and his slayers." I watched as they nodded, adding, "I'm heading out to check the grounds, see if they're outside or on their way in." I took in a heavy breath and looked back at everyone. "Hurry and meet back here ASAP."
I watched as they filtered away from me and stepped outside, walking around our base, peering off into the oncoming darkness, hunting and hoping.
Twenty minutes in, I assessed they weren't outside or incoming so I headed back inside and met up with the others.
I looked at each one of them, watching, as each in turn nodded no.
I sucked in a deep breath and swallowed, looked outside and turned back to face them. "We leave, first light, just us."
They nodded, agreeing and went off to a corner to sit and rest, dreading the morning light and what we may or might not find.
I watched time as it ticked on through the night, my fear evident in my eyes and heart. I looked around at everyone, wondering why the hell, how the hell this could have happened.
Why was I so damned proud? We'd spread out all over the globe: Slayers were positioned around the world to fight the spread of evil and we were winning… but with pride comes downfall and boy did we fall.
They attacked with skilled precision, blowing up safe houses all over the world, taking out slayer after slayer, hunting those that managed to escape and forcing us into running. I took up a small band and we fought them back, thought we had it covered too, but I was wrong.
There was us and a small group led by Faith, but they were somewhere in the West, unknown really. She'd offered to help, but I turned her down and now look at us, beaten, injured but not out, not yet.
I'd been too proud to take the offer of help, of allies and I'd lashed out in anger, in childhood resentment of all that'd passed between us… but would I make that call, call in reinforcements, would I be able to ask for her help, would I be able to accept it? Not yet. Not while I was still ‘the slayer'. I would fix this. Me.
The first rays of light filtered in through the crack in the barricade and I stood up, stretched and began armoring up.
I looked through the door, waiting as the others lined up behind me. I gave a last look to Dawn, who was still sleeping and stepped through the door, heading back to the warehouse.
We moved in silence, quietly treading over the terrain, staying calm and in control as the heat of the day beat down upon us, until we finally saw remnants of the building.
We eased in, watching, listening and finally moved in quickly, just outside of the doorway. I gave a quick nod to Xander, who capped off some UV sticks and flung them into the charred remains, lighting up the black areas.
"Ready?" I asked, waiting for everyone to give the go ahead.
We moved in slowly, fanning outward and eased through the mass of burnt debris and bodies.
I stepped over a body and jumped as it hissed and grabbed my leg. I stumbled, falling, bringing out a stake and plunged it into its heart, combusting the demon.
I looked at everyone, letting them know that we had some stragglers, some who'd managed to remain intact through the fire. They nodded, acknowledging their need to be careful and we continued through the building, over and up towards the doorway where we last saw Giles and the slayers.
I took a few deep breaths as I stood looking at the charred door, gathering courage. I pulled in a haggard breath and flung the door open, looking into another room. We carefully stepped inside, shining lights and throwing a couple of UV sticks around the area.
I looked around the area, looking to a few other doors across the room. "Cover me."I stated as I moved quickly but quietly across to the door, hesitating slightly before I opened the first one.
I looked inside the room, and jumped back as a couple of vamps lunged at me through the doorway, trying to grab hold and pull me in with them. I ducked out of the way, watching as Kennedy dispersed one with an arrow and moved in to stake the other one.
"You okay?" She questioned, watching and waiting as I nodded and looked further into the room. We moved on to the next-door and flung it open, waiting for anything to emerge. When nothing tried to get us we slowly peered into the room, shining a beam of light across the floor and into the corners. We stepped into the room and looked around.
Something hit the floor behind us. We'd neglected to check the ceiling. I inwardly cursed myself as I realized the stupidity of our actions.
I thrust my leg back and out, kicking the fiend through the door and out into the open room, where it could be surrounded by all of us.
It hissed and looked at us as we circled it slowly. I heard the door shut behind Willow as she moved away from it but ignored it for the time being.
I got a good look at the vampire, its face only a small reminder of its former visage. "It's Becca."I stated, sighing, moving in, trying to subdue the beast, hoping to get some answers.
She came at me, stronger and faster than I'd imagined and I found myself careening across the floor and against the wall. She knocked Xander and Kennedy off to the side and made a mad run for Wills, who threw her back and against the floor.
I jumped on top of her, trying to force my stake into her chest, failing as her strength overwhelmed me. "Help me. She's too strong." I called out, watching as Kennedy fell beside me, quickly pushing her stake into the un-beating heart of our former comrade.
I pushed myself up from the floor, wary and a bit tired. "Damn she was strong." I stated as I looked at the ashes littering the floor.
I gave a nod, signally for us to move onto the next door. We flung it open and waited. Kennedy and I blew out a breath and entered the room, trying not to gag from the stench coming from within.
We looked at the decimated remains of our last two slayers and picked up some items from off the floor. I sighed and looked around, pocketing the artifacts that belonged to Giles.
We backed out of the room, closing the door behind us. I looked to Xander and Willow, who waited patiently for some type of news and just shook my head no.
"No sign. He's either escaped, captive or dead." I looked at the ground, fighting back the oncoming tears and moved back towards the door.
I pulled and it was stuck, unmoving. I threw my weight against it and heard my shoulder pop. "Fuck!" I yelled, walking around, blowing air through my mouth, and trying to fight off the pain. I walked over to the wall, braced my feet and hit my shoulder against the wall, popping my shoulder back into place.
Xander looked at the door. "We'll remove the hinges". I nodded and slid down the wall; waiting for the door to be removed so we could get back to freedom.
Hours passed and the heat pooled to high degrees inside the room, causing the bodies to smell and swelter. I heard and felt things shift inside the building and I got to my feet.
"How much longer?" I asked, adding. "These things are waking up."
"One last hit." Xander grunted as he hit the hinge with the butt of his rifle. He pulled out his knife and inserted it between the door and the frame, prying it away enough to grasp hold of it and pull.
Kennedy and I both started pulling, forcing the door to budge slowly.
"Guys, we're not alone." Willow whispered, causing Ken and me to pull harder, forcing the door out and letting it crash down against the floor.
"Oh shit!" I muttered, wondering how long we were locked in there.
"Take cover and get ready to fight." I yelled, running along, pulling the others with me. "Will, fry them." I yelled.
"I can't." She yelled back, frustrated.
"Do what you can." Kennedy called out to her.
We circled Willow, protecting her, giving her time to cast a spell. A light enveloped us and in turn enveloped all the surrounding vamps, those whole and those burned from the previous fight the day before. The light faded and took with it all the vampires, leaving us alone and nervous.
"What happened?" I asked.
Willow took a deep breath, her energy stores depleted. "Sent them to another dimension."She rasped out.
I nodded and looked around. "Works for me. Let's get back."
They agreed and we hoofed it back, double time to base, relaxing as it came into view. I was starving and I was ready to crash and just sleep.
I looked for the sentries and noticed that none were posted. I furrowed my brow and got Ken's attention, motioning to the lack of sentries. She nodded and pulled a weapon.
We eased up to the entry and burst through the door only to find everyone dissected and thrown haphazardly around the room.
I walked into the middle of the mess and felt something drop onto my face. I reached up and wiped it, looking at my hand and the blood covering it.
I looked upwards and screamed as I saw Dawn hanging upside down from the ceiling. Her body a mass of bite marks and cuts. She groaned and I started crying, immediately moving, looking to find the tie off to get her down.
We eased her down onto the floor and I cradled her in my arms. "Get a first aid kit." I stated, half in shock, half in relief.
We patched Dawn up best we could, packed what we could salvage and moved to another safe house. I pulled the portable phone from the wall, making sure to get the charger and ran behind the others to catch up.
We moved as quickly as possible, carrying Dawn and hunkered down to lick our wounds and figure out what we were going to do next.
Well, in truth, I knew what I was gonna do. Those vampires: I was gonna kill them all.
12 days earlier
We found sanctuary in an old water filtration duct. It was sound, secure but cold and wet. We'd just have to make do. Dawn was pale and we were all worried about her. Right now, all we were doing was keeping her warm, quiet and trying to give her a blood transfusion.
We had to hope, right?
Our whole army had been taken down to nothing and again; we were all that was left. I just couldn't figure out for the life of me, why the slayers at base didn't put up a fight. How could they be caught so off guard?
Dawn whimpered and I closed my eyes, silently praying, grateful that my mom couldn't see us now, grateful that at least we were still alive, or maybe I was praying for a quick, painless death, either way, I wanted it over.
"Buffy." Xander tapped my shoulder, getting my attention. I turned and looked at him, watching his mouth move, his words hanging back, echoing. "Rest. I'll watch."
I nodded as if in a daze and moved over to the wall, sliding down it, and cradling my body in the corner, waiting and watching, until finally exhaustion took control and forced my eyes closed, into a restless vivid slumber.
We were all there, just relaxing, smiling, laughing, eating and then it got dark all of a sudden. Chills sprang forth over my skin and I looked around and saw the outside, darkness, and silence: The silence was maddening, unnatural.
I heard this sound and I followed it.
I slowed, not understanding what I was seeing. A girl was crouched over something.
I moved closer and closer, inching my way toward them and then I realized that she was familiar. I relaxed and walked closer. "Dawn." I called out, moving closer still.
The closer I got the more things looked odd, but I kept walking and that's when I noticed she was leaning over something, no someone.
I moved closer and a face came into view: Xander.
"Dawn." I stated loudly.
She kept on making that noise as she leaned over him. I moved closer, right behind her and she turned suddenly, her eyes yellowed, her mouth and teeth blood red.
I sat straight up, pushed away from the wall, looked at everyone who was staring at me and realized that the portable was ringing.
"Yeah." I breathed into the phone.
"B. What the hell's happening there?" Faith's voice rasped out over the shaky line.
I looked around at everyone there, not really wanting to talk about my dream right now. I turned my back to them and spoke into the phone. "I'll call you later. I can't talk now."
"Wait a min. Is D okay, I had this dream… scared the shit out of me." Faith's voice drifted through the line.
I hesitated, her words hitting me hard. "Yeah, she's fine. I'll call you later." I stated and started to close the phone, hearing her continue to try and get my attention.
I severed the line.
Kennedy jumped up and stalked over to me, trying to yank the phone out of my hands. "Why didn't you get us help?" She growled out, still trying to get the phone.
"I don't know what to tell her." I yelled out, stopping Ken in her tracks. "They're the last group, it'll be up to them to stop the spread if we fail." I stepped back from Kennedy, and eyed her and the rest of them, finishing, "Do you really want to bring them here to certain death or do you want to find out what's going on, give them a fighting chance to take these things out?"
Kennedy looked at me pointedly, her mouth pressed tightly together as she tried to rein in her emotions. "I want to live." She ground out, turning away from me.
I took in a deep breath and faced them again. "Look, Faith… she's got a small group of kids. What can they do really? She's got them in hiding, trying to teach them to fight. Unless she can get those children up to adult speed, they're just gonna die." I paused before continuing, "believe me, I want help but the oldest she's got is what… fourteen? I say we wait and call them in as a last resort."
I watched as everyone eyed the floor, not saying anything. "I'd welcome Faith but she's the only one capable of protecting those kids right now, if we bring her here, those kids are as good as dead".
Kennedy stepped forward, challenging. "Those kids are as good as dead either way." She eyed me up and down, adding, "Those kids are slayers. Born to battle, in the thick of it, they'll do what comes natural."
I looked at her, nodded my head. "Fine. We do recon, see what we've got coming for us, give them a heads up and call in backup."I looked around at everyone, asking. "Deal?"
We agreed and settled back to watch over Dawn, none of us asking that unsettling question, ‘Will she turn?'
We sat back down on the floor, with Kennedy watching the entrance. An unsettling quietness settled over all of us as we sat there, unmoving, watching as time slowly ticked by, listening as things shifted and moved outside the shelter.
Time, it was the one thing we needed more of but didn't have.
And only time would tell.
11 days earlier
Today Dawn woke up, still weak, still harried but she was up, albeit wobbly, but she was awake and seemed to be lucid, although she wouldn't speak, at least, she didn't answer to anything we asked, no, anything she said was cryptic at best, a ramble or jumble or play on words, all leading to one thought: She was insane.
She'd simply snapped from all the abuse and horrendous things she'd seen. Nothing we could do but try and keep her quiet, try and keep her warm and secure.
But let's face it, a day held up in this tiny hole, together, was getting under all our skins and her yelling and carrying on was pushing us beyond our limits and truthfully, before dusk, one of us would have to knock her out to keep her from giving away our spot.
Another truth: We were running out of supplies, so we were gonna have a make a run, loot and run. We'd gathered up a few things, bags, things we needed and I'd talked Xander into going with Will and Ken. Truthfully, I didn't want to leave Xander with Dawn, I'd remembered that dream I had vividly and I didn't want to see that anytime soon, seeing it in dreamland was bad enough.
So I watched as they left and I turned back to Dawn, who was sitting on the floor, rocking in the corner. I breathed out heavily and turned my attention upwards to the sky.
Dawn started laughing behind me and it chilled my blood. I faced her slowly, watching as she continued to laugh and smile.
"He's coming." She stated.
I moved forward, kneeling down by her side, grabbing her by the arms. "Who's coming? Who?"I asked, becoming frustrated by her antics.
She laughed some more and I drew back my hand and slapped her across the face, watching as lucidity crashed back upon her face. "Who?" I asked.
She glared at me and the severity of her look moved me back and away from her.
I backed up to the door, watching her, putting the wall at my back and I stood there, looking down at her, hurting and fearful at the same time.
I shook my head back and forth, not able to believe that the young girl in front of me was my sister, not wanting to believe that she'd gone completely insane… so I waited quietly, watching her.
She kept eyeing the door, so I moved closer to it, guarding it, keeping her inside, my hand falling to my side, ready to take her on, if need be.
We stood firm, still, testing, waiting for the other to drop their guard, waiting for one of us to get the upper hand, waiting as the day grew long, dark, waiting until the others bounded in through the entrance, taking things to a new, heightened level.
The others stopped instantly, looked from me and then to Dawn. Kennedy pulled out a long knife and moved forward towards Dawn but I stepped in front of her, keeping her away.
"No." I growled out.
Kennedy kept staring at Dawn. "She's infected. She'll turn and kill us all."
I shoved Kennedy back, causing her to land hard against the wall. "Don't nobody touch her." I deadpanned, watching as Willow went to Ken's side, helping her up.
Xander moved forward, stepping between Dawn and me. "It's not true." He stated, shaking his head. "It can't be."
"It's not." Dawn said, her voice sounding like a soft whimper. "She lost her temper because I laughed and I got scared."
Xander turned back towards me, his eyes accusing. Dawn stepped towards the door and I moved instantly, running into Xander, who pushed me backwards, allowing Dawn to escape through the door.
"No." I called out, pushing by Xander and running outside, instantly searching through the darkness, only to find nothing, no one.
I walked to the doorway, stopping, looking inside at the others. "Do you know what you've done?" I asked, looking pointedly at Xander.
Kennedy stepped forward, angry. "He didn't cause this, if you'd of let me handle business, she wouldn't be out there, she wouldn't be a threat right now."
I looked down at the floor, nodding, stating. "I know… It's my job. I'll do it."
"You people are crazy." Xander stated, adding, "It's Dawn for God's sake." He pushed his way past us and out the door. "Dawn!" He yelled into the night. "Dawn!"He yelled again, moving away from the door and out into the dense surroundings.
I looked at Kennedy and Willow, sighed and walked out the door after him. "I'll get him." I called back to the others.
"Hey." Ken called out behind me, stopping me. "Be careful."She offered, throwing me a sword.
I caught the blade, nodded my thanks and headed off after Xander. I found his trail pretty easily and I followed it quietly, until I realized that the footprints made a complete circle. I stopped and listened intently, turned toward a faint noise and eased my way towards it.
I moved through some brush, and stopped. Something was ahead in the distance, dark and down on the ground. I moved closer and that's when it hit me, that dream.
My heart sped up, thundering in my head and chest, my breaths caught and I walked slowly up towards the mass in the dark.
The sounds got louder the closer I got and I realized it for what it was. My stomach lurched but I couldn't stop. Closer and closer I moved, on autopilot until I could make out a faint body lying on the ground covered by a smaller body.
I closed my eyes briefly, not able to see what was before me. I blew out a harsh breath and brought out the long blade, again moving closer.
Dawn started laughing and my heart broke in two. I stepped closer and snapped a twig underneath my shoe. Dawn turned abruptly, her eyes yellowed, her teeth protruded, a thin line of blood trickling from her lips.
I drew back the blade to strike and got hit from behind, hard, strong, furious. I flew across the ground, stopping when I hit a tree. I pushed up, shaking off the dizziness and looked into the face of Giles.
I almost smiled and then I froze, watching as Dawn cuddled up to him, marking him with small bites. He leered at me, taunting.
I screamed and lunged for him, kicking, hitting, with him blocking everything that I threw at him. Will and Ken moved up behind me and started firing guns at them, hitting them center mass, deterring them but not stopping them.
Giles smiled at me again as he took another round in the chest. "I'll be seeing you." He whispered as he disappeared into the night, followed by Dawn.
I stilled, listening to see if they'd really gone. I heard nothing so I ran for Xander and fell down beside his body, immediately feeling for a pulse.
"Buff?" Will said, questioning.
I nodded my head no and wiped away my tears. "We should bury him."I said, almost to myself.
Ken stepped forward, right behind me. "We need to make sure he doesn't rise."
I nodded and turned my back to him. "Do it." I said, fighting back my oncoming sickness.
Will joined me and we looked out into the darkness, flinching as that sickening thud sounded behind us, that sound of wood sinking into flesh, stopping and then being pulled out.
Ken spoke up from behind us. "You need to burn him Will."
She nodded and turned, invoking a spell, lighting Xander's body, burning it, putting him at final rest.
I walked closer to the flames, ignoring Will crying off to the side. I stared into the heat, my feelings becoming numb, my anger starting to grow, my fists clenched by my side.
"We need to get inside." Will stated from behind me.
I nodded and we backed away, and then ran for shelter.
We stopped as we neared our new home, easing our way in, noticing how the door was left ajar. We entered carefully, our hearts sinking as we realized the place had been ransacked.
I ran for the portable only to find it smashed and all our supplies ruined.
"Well take shifts, hightail it out at first light." Ken stated.
I nodded and sifted through the rubble, looking for anything we could salvage.