This post is part of the series Buffy AVP
Other posts in this series:
- Buffy AVP: Hive (Current)
- Buffy AVP: Messiah
Title: Buffy AVP: Hive
==================================================================================1. Chapter One
The characters of the Alien and the Predator are property of 20th century Fox. All characters from the Buffyverse are Property of Joss Whedon. Everything else belongs to me.
Buffy walked through the front door of her home. She stood there for a moment watching the world around her with eyes as wide and unblinking as the eyes of a newborn child. Everything here was new to her and at the same time old and wrong. She was no longer just Buffy. She held within her billions of years of alien memories that informed her of the true nature of the universe and at the same time the full power of the slayer flowed through her demanding that she slay. Buffy no longer considered herself Buffy. She knew herself as Hive. It was the name of the world she was going to build. It was the name of the mind she wore in the veil of her flesh.
A gaggle of girls came to her. They were the potentials, girls marked by the same spirit that possessed her now. Buffy let her gaze slide over them. She realized just how weak and irrelevant they were. Alien memories had already informed her of the presence of the Turok Han under Sunnydale high and how to defeat them. As Hive, she considered the potentials a joke.
Dawn burst through them.
“Buffy!” She exclaimed. Dawn was a fifteen-year-old girl with brown hair and brown eyes and the beginnings of hips. Dawn moved towards Buffy who stepped back sharply. The Key was here! The twin helix of the key illuminated the room with its green dimensional energy. Along the edges of Dawn Buffy could see space and time ripple as her energies ate away at the integrity of the universe. The key was death which made Dawn a monster and she was the slayer of monsters.
“Don’t do this.” The memories of Willow said to her. “She’s your sister!”
Buffy responded to the Willow within. “The Key is the enemy of the hive.”
Giles walked through the door. At a glance, he could tell that there was a tension between Buffy and the other girls. He expected something like that. Earlier tonight Buffy had defeated an alien Predator in hand to hand combat by invoking the joining spell. The full power of the slayer flowed through her now. But in addition, she also had the blood memories of the entire xenomorph species. Billion-plus years of memories burned in her mind. Buffy knew unspeakable secrets. She was the memory of the living galaxy made flesh. It took Giles only a moment to understand the reason for the tension. Even as he moved to interrupt the creature that Buffy had become, he knew it was too late.
*Across the galaxy near the Yautja homeworld:*
Four kings sat around a fire. In the center of them advance holographic technology replayed events from far across the galaxy. A Yaujta fleet had recorded the end of the *long hunt* and the death of Barik Null. These kings knew Barik. He was the stuff of history and legend. More than one religion had sprung up around the tale of how Barik was taken by monsters and forced to hunt in the afterlife, tales of how he was enslaved by devils and forced to become the slayer of slayers. They knew Barik in other ways too. The long hunt had started over ten thousand years ago. Every king here was one of his descendants. They watched the pale holographic image of Buffy Summers floating in the air. They watched as fire sprung from her hand. They watched their ancestor die with honor.
The image faded. They talked among themselves for hours. When it was done they were all agreed. Barik died with honor but he was not used in an honorable way. The Senior Partners had used him to kill girls young enough to be considered children. The decision was unanimous. They were owed a debt of blood. They would hunt the Senior partners and collect the blood debt.
But that was not the reason they were here.
Each of the four kings stood before a remote access panel which was a round dais with oversized palm-sized scanners. They stood together in a circle with the palm of their right hand pressed into the cold glass screen. The device they summoned could only be activated by their living DNA. On the device, lights flashed from red to green. The command was given. Light years away machines flashed to life. Planet sized masses began to move towards the black pit. The Yaujta had activated a particle beam weapon powered by a black hole the size of a solar system. If necessary, they could throw stars into it. When they found the Senior Partners they would kill them no matter where they hid. The kings departed. Each of them went to their respective flagships. Above them, over a million Yaujta battleships waited for commands. The children of Barik Null would have their revenge.
Buffy approached Dawn. The thing that pretended to be her sister had to know. “The vessel has outlived its purpose,” Buffy said to her. “You must be removed.”
“What?” Dawn said. A slow realization came to her. This was not the first time she had seen Buffy go crazy and try to kill her friends. Dawn pleaded with her.
“Please Buffy, I am your sister.” Buffy looked at her. Her eyes were bright, vacant and cold. “You are the vessel,” Buffy said. “You shouldn’t be here.”
Buffy waved her hand and spoke a spell only she knew. As she was crying, as she was pleading for her life Dawn faded into nothing along with all the memories attached to her. Afterward, only Buffy ever knew she ever existed. The others looked around the room then at each other as if awaking from a dream.
“I have to fix this world,” Buffy said. “It is broken and I am the law.”
2. chapter 2
The characters of the Alien and the Predator are the property of 20th century Fox. All characters from the Buffyverse are Property of Joss Whedon. Everything else belongs to me.
Even though the Summer’s house was full of girls it was strangely silent. It felt as if something profound had just happened. It felt as if someone had just died but all the potentials were well and accounted for. Giles didn’t know what to make of it. The girls were all upstairs moping on the couch. Some of them were crying. They carried a sadness they could not name.
Giles met with Robin in the cold damp basement. Buffy worried him. He had seen her become more powerful than any slayer that ever lived. He had seen her burn a blood zombie in midair with a wave of her hand. Her eyes were wide, cold and unblinking. Giles knew she had trouble remembering that she was human. He was worried about her. He had not been this worried about her since she killed Willow with her bare hands.
Robin slowly made his way down the stairs. His brown skin glistened under the stark glow of the single light bulb that illuminated the dank basement. He had been out earlier patrolling for vampires. He had worked up a sweat. Robin Wood was a solidly built man in his mid-thirties. He came to Sunnydale posing as a school principal. He came to Sunnydale to spy on Buffy. He wanted to see what sort of woman she was. Robin Wood was the son of a slayer. He’d lost his mother when he was a child. She was killed by a blond vampire years ago. As his revenge, Robin made a vow to kill every evil thing that came across his path. His blood hunt was still incomplete and it would be until he killed the thing that killed his mother.
“Have you seen Buffy yet?” Giles asked him.
“No,” Robin said. “I came directly here when I got your message.”
Giles spoke. His words were nervous. Robin could swear he saw fear on the Watchers face.
“Tonight, Buffy faced a legend.” He said. Giles explained the mythos of the blood zombie to Robin. “She’s changed and I don’t know if I can change her back. “ Giles removed his glasses and cleaned them with a small white cloth. “Buffy is no longer just a slayer. She is the synthesis of slayer and alien.”
“Isn’t that a good thing?” Robin asked. “We’re still at war with the First. If Buffy is now some type of super slayer then…”
“Buffy has the blood memories of a species that gestates inside a living human host, bursts out of them at birth killing them instantly. It stands nearly eight feet tall, has polysilicon skin and acid for blood. It reproduces by rape. They are a species that considers all other life in the universe as female, simply host bodies to be impregnated. The source of them is the queen that starts their reproductive cycle. Buffy thinks she is one of their queens.” Robin didn’t know what to say. Buffy sounded worst than the demons.
“For now, Buffy wants to protect the planet. “ Giles said. “She considers this whole world her hive.”
“What can I do?” Robin asked. He didn’t believe half of what Giles said. He would go upstairs to see Buffy himself when this was over. Talk of aliens and blood memories was unimportant to him. All he cared about right now was defeating the bringers and ending the First.
“If the time comes, I need to know you stand with us if we have to move against Buffy,” Giles said. Robin nodded his head. After a few minutes, the meeting ended. Robin returned upstairs to speak with Buffy.
There was a stirring in the shadows. A man with blonde hair and sharp cheekbones appeared. Spike came out of the shadows in the basement and walked up to Giles. He had heard everything said to Robin.
“So you think you can trust him?” Spike asked.
“It’s not him I’m worried about,” Giles said. Spike had been debriefed on the situation with Buffy soon after the death of Willow. “I’m convinced that Buffy has become a danger to us all,” Giles whispered. “She has the mystical powers of the slayer combined with billions of years of alien memories.” Spike looked at him. He had a hard time understanding what Buffy had become.
“Be careful of her,” Giles warned. “She may no longer see you as an ally.“ Spike understood. Even though it hurt him to consider going against the slayer he knew that soon he may be at war with Buffy. They heard potentials scurrying down the stairs. Caridad peeked her head over the stairs.
“Mr. Giles!” she yelled.
“Yes?” Giles answered.
“It’s Buffy. She’s gone!” Caridad said.
“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit,” Eve muttered to herself as she paced back and forth in Angel’s office. Gunn and Angel watched her with no small level of amusement.
“I think she’s broken,” said Gunn. He was dressed in faded blue jeans and a green tee shirt. The boss had called him in on a Saturday. He made a choice to dress casual. “I think being the butt monkey for a prime source of evil has finally gotten to her.”
“She was damaged before she got here,” Angel said referring to the liaison to the Senior Partners. Eve heard him. She stopped dead in the center of the room and stared at them with eyes that held a mixture of contempt and fear. The world was coming to an end and these two clowns sat and make jokes. She marched up to Angel. Her face was red.
“Everyone on Earth is about to die!” she said. Angel and Gunn looked at her with dumb puppy dog expressions. Eve rolled her eyes. “I have it from very good sources that the Yautja have launched a major blood feud against the senior partners. This is not a hunt. They don’t want trophies. They want to find the senior partners and kill them, kill them all.”
Angel and Gunn looked at each other. “Sounds like these guys are doing our job for us,” Angel said. Eve wondered if Angel was stupid.
“You don’t remember anything Holland Manners told you?” Eve asked. Angel searched his mind. His encounter with the previous CEO of Wolfram and Hart was a long time ago.
“Remember that little elevator trip you took with Holland Manners? Remember where it ended? The senior partners are in the hearts and minds of every single person on the planet.”
“So?” said Angel. Eve’s palm slammed down on his desk.
“You idiot! The home office of the senior partners is Earth!” It took Angel and Gunn a moment to put the pieces together.
“Surely the senior partners can defend themselves?” Angel asked.
“That’s what I’m worried about.” Said Eve as she resumed her pacing. “An all-out, no holds barred war between the senior partners and the Yautja will leave the Earth a smoking hole in space.” Eve stopped pacing long enough to inform Angel.
“The senior partners are working on a defense now. But understand this Angel. The senior partners and the home office are not the same things. Earth is just where they do business.” Eve looked at him.
“Understood.” Said, Angel. Eve was telling him that the Earth was *expendable.*
She stood outside of the new and improved Sunnydale high. Soft warm wind blew across Buffy’s skin. She could feel the air stirring her hair. She could feel the elder energies of the Hellmouth speaking to her. She knew there was a dimensional portal beneath the school and she knew the monsters that guarded it. Buffy was no longer Buffy. She considered herself the body and flesh unification of Hive and as such her primary duty was to keep the Hive safe for her brood.
She held the scythe in her hand. It was covered in the blood of the bringers. She had no problem taking what belonged to her. It was a child’s play slaughtering Caleb. Even with the power of the First coursing through him, he was no match for Buffy’s magics.
Blood splattered from the scythe as she slung it over her shoulder. She marched towards the school. Her plan was simple. She would open the Hellmouth, go down into it, and eliminate the thousands of Turok-han that lay beneath.
3. chapter 3
The characters of the Alien and the Predator are the property of 20th century Fox. All characters from the Buffyverse are Property of Joss Whedon. Everything else belongs to me.
The school was locked. Buffy shattered the bulletproof glass on the school entrance and opened the door by reaching around to the inside. She found the alarm system to be simple. She ripped out a single wire and it was dead. She stood alone in the silent hallway. The school was a dark lonely place.
She had her memories from when she was Buffy. She remembered a locker where a girl who was ignored to the point of being invisible stood and told of her woes. She remembered a puppet trying to kill her here. She remembered the pool where the swim team was turned into creatures from the black lagoon. This and a thousand other memories assailed Hive as she breezed through the catalog that was the life of Buffy Summers.
“Miss the good old days Buffy?” asked the memory of Willow Rosenberg. Buffy had consumed her under the influence of the Janus spell when she mystically assumed the aspects of an alien queen. One of those aspects was a magical connection to blood memories.
“I remember these things.” Hive said to herself. “I remember my life as the Buffy.” She scanned the dark and empty classrooms as she passed them, as he made her way to the seal in the basement of the school.
“Ah Buf, is there any way I can stop you from being crazy?” The memory of Willow asked. Hive answered the question with only a tiny part of her mind. Her thoughts were focused on the thing she was about to do. “I am not broken.” Hive responded. “I am simply more than I was. I am better.”
“Yeah,” responded Willow. “All the crazy people think they’re ok until the SWAT team arrives.” The Willow memory hesitated then rapidly spoke.
“*prohibere omnes motus*” Willow spoke a binding spell. Something like clear jelly enveloped Buffy. The full power of the slayer illuminated Buffy’s flesh. There was an orange-white flash of light. Hive forced her way through the liquid walls of magic. She continued on her way without breaking her stride. That’s’ when Willow began to become afraid of her.
The Seal of Danzalthar was exactly where she remembered. In the moist dirt in the school basement was an ancient brass seal that marked the entrance to the Hellmouth. Hive read the elder runes inscribed on the seal. She understood the language. She remembered speaking it billions of years ago. She was deep in thought studying it when she heard footsteps behind her.
She could tell by the sound of foot on dirt *exactly* who it was. Buffy jerked to attention, turned and sliced across the face of the bringer that had sneaked up on her. Her scythe cut through bone as if it was paper. She was much stronger now. Hive had already returned to studying the runes before the body hit the ground. The slayer smiled. She knew how to open the seal.
Hive dipped her finger in the blood of the fallen bringer and wrote the proper spell across the seal. The letters were bright and ancient and red. She had to refresh the blood several times. There was a low rumbling sound as if a door from beyond the world was opening. Sections of the seal shifted. It rotated slowly as it lowered itself into the Earth. Hive waited until the Hellmouth was fully opened before she jumped in.
Giles entered Buffy’s room looking for a clue as to where she may have gone. His eyes scanned over the walls covered with crosses and the rumpled sheets covering her bed. Something caught his eye. It was white pieces of broken plaster. Giles walked to the edge of her bed. He could see the Janus bust broken into a thousand pieces. The only way to return Buffy to normal was gone.
“Oh, Buffy.” Giles thought to himself. “What have you become?”
She worked the energies of the hellmouth and ended up exactly where she wanted to be, The hellmouth was not a throat as the humans thought. It was a connecting point between hell worlds. Most of whom had been sealed behind thick walls of dimensional energy. But here, the walls had cracked, and *things* found their way into the world of man, She stood on a cliff in a cavern nearly a mile wide. She stared down at the Turok-Han. They looked so peaceful. They had not noticed her yet.
“Are you sure?” The Willow within asked.”Are you sure you can control them?” Hive did not answer. She didn’t understand the question. Buffy took her scythe and jammed it into the ground point first. She waived her fingers over it and spoke in a language that had not been heard on Earth in over three hundred million years.
“How do you know they will let you live?” Willow asked.
“I am their queen. We are connected.” Hive answered. Buffy began to speak louder and faster. Below her the Turok-Han began to stir. They had noticed her. Near the foot of the cliff hundreds of Turok-Han begin to crawl upwards towards her.
“But how do you know?” The memory of Willow was insistent. “How do you know they will be loyal?” She asked.
“My children and I are one. We are not divided by economics or politics. We have no word for individual. We have only the Hive.” Twenty Turok-Han popped over the edge of the cliff. They rushed towards Buffy with glittering fangs exposed.
“*Aperire!*” Buffy said the last word of the spell. Behind her a dark portal opened. Within, oceans of obsidian blackness stirred. The first Turok-Han was nearly upon her when something huge and fast came out of the portal. Silicon claws tore into the Turok-Han. A spiky tail stabbed into its throat. The alien lifted the Turok-Han off of it’s feet. It opened its mouth, a second mouth appeared. The alien punched through the bone around the Turok-Han’s heart. It exploded in a cloud of dust.
The rushing Turok-Han paused but it was too late. Buffy has opened a portal to the alien homeworld. Thousands of aliens poured into the hellmouth. The killing went on for hours. When it was done she ordered them back into the portal. Two of the aliens remained. She would need them to start her Hive.
4. chapter 4
The characters of the Alien and the Predator are property of 20th century Fox. All characters from the Buffyverse are Property of Joss Whedon. Everything else belongs to me.
Robin walked down the dark streets of Sunnydale. He was upset. A friend of his had just died. According to Giles, Buffy was stuck in the confluence of the Janus spell and the full power of the slayer. She was, for all intents, someone else now. She was a slayer with vivid alien memories. She called herself Hive.
He was just beginning to know Buffy. He thought she was funny, a fierce fighter and kind of cute. Buffy was gone now just like his mother. He did not expect her to die like this and that made him mad. Buffy, his mother, should not die because of the work they did. Old wounds were reopened. Robin looked for something to kill. He spotted the vampires from across the street. They looked like a normal couple walking down the street but Robin could tell they were vampires. There was just something about the arrogant way they carried themselves. Their body language was obvious. They were shopping. They were shopping for someone to eat. Robin fell in line behind them.
As he followed them into the dark alley all he could think about was the blonde monster that killed his mother. He could feel his blood pressure spiking. He could feel his rage building. If he couldn’t find the thing that killed his mother he would have his blood vengeance on these two monsters. As Robin closed in on the vampires he could swear that he saw something vaguely human and invisible flickering in the shadows. Something crunched under his foot.
“Shit!” Robin thought as he looked down. He had stepped on something, he had made a noise. The vampires turned to stare at him. They had found a meal and it was him. Their faces changed. Their eyes glowed an evil yellow. Robin revealed his stake. The male vampire smiled.
“So, you fancy yourself a slayer?” It said as it began to lazily walk towards Robin. “You won’t taste as sweet but you’ll do.” The vampire leapt. Robin brought his left arm up to block off the space above the monsters heart. As their bodies hit, he took the stake in his right hand and jammed into the vampire’s chest. It exploded in a cloud of dust. As the dust expanded Robin could swear he saw a blood red laser scanning the alley. The backscatter of light from the expanding cloud of dust lead back to the spot where he could have sworn he saw something invisible moving in the dark.
“Invisible demons?” Robin thought. As he got to his feet, blue fire shot out of nowhere nailing the other vampire square in the chest. Its flesh exploded backwards splattering against the alley wall as it turned to dust. Robin slowly turned.
The predator made itself visible as it approached the warrior. It was not here for the hunt. It was here for vendetta. He served the children of Barik Null. They wanted the creatures that forced the long hunt on their ancestor. The entire time Barik Null had been forced to hunt on Earth his children watched the slayer, her family and friends. They knew more about the slayer than the watchers. The predator pressed a set of buttons on his wristband. An image appeared in the air. It was a high resolution video image of the death of Nikki Wood.
He watched them dance. On a train, in New York, almost forty years ago, a vampire and slayer circled each other. The slayer was his mother. He watched as she kicked Spike who staggered from the blow. Nikki grabbed Spike’s arm and was able to kick him again in the stomach before throwing him through a window. Spike yelled like a banshee into the New York night. She pulled him back into the train and assaulted him again. The train entered a tunnel. She fell on top of him. There was a flickering in the dark. Now Spike was on top of her. He said something strange then. He said. “Death is your art. You make it with your hands.” Spike snapped his mother’s neck. The image faded. Robin was flabbergasted.
“Wha…what is this?” He said. The monster before him was trying to show him something. “What do you want?” Robin asked.
“Blood.” Said the Predator. “We will trade blood for blood. I will join you in your blood hunt for the thing that killed your mother if you help us in the fight against the things that killed Buffy Summers and forced Barik Null into the *long hunt.*”
“Deal!” Robin said without thinking. He looked forward to killing Spike and no matter what the creature before him said he still believed that Buffy could be saved. He wasn’t giving up on her just yet.
5. chapter 5
The characters of the Alien and the Predator are property of 20th century Fox. All characters from the Buffyverse are Property of Joss Whedon. Everything else belongs to me.
Angel was off the phone. After the events in Sunnydale he found the courage to reach out to Giles. The Sunydale crew had never forgiven him for taking over the L.A. branch of Wolf Ram and Hart. He was surprised when Giles took his call.
“She what?” Angel said shocked at what Giles was telling him. Gunn and Eve sat in the office across from him.
“We monitored events from here.” Angel said. “Seems that the Senior Partners arranged this whole thing.”
“They WHAT!” Everyone could hear Giles screaming over the phone. “of all the irresponsible, stupid…”
“Hey, this was all set up before I took over.” Angel tried to defend himself.
“And you wonder why no one trusts you?” Giles asked. Angel exhaled.
“Look, I’m going to send some backup. I know someone that may be helpful in returning the slayer.” Angel said.
“We don’t need any more monsters!” Giles said. He made a rude noise then hung up sharply. The young woman looked up. Her soulful brown eyes showed none of the pain she held.
“Looks like Giles is still as cranky as ever.” She said.
“If he doesn’t want you…” Angel said.
“You think anyone’s gonna keep me out of Sunnydale?” The woman said. “ I owe “B” my life. Even if she did stab me in the gut.” Angel and Gunn understood. It was hard to shake friendships forged in combat. Angel reached into his desk drawer and pulled out a gaudy necklace. He tossed it over to the young woman.
“This was originally meant as a weapon in Buffy’s war with the First. You might still be able use it for something else.” Angel said. The woman made midair grab of the necklace with one hand. She looked it over carefully.
“Get me a helicopter boss man. It’s time to drop in on the old gang.” Behind her eyes Angel could see that she was working out a plan for her reunion with Buffy Summers.
A police car was parked outside of the house. Giles had called officer Manning in for the meeting. Last night Manning had intercepted Buffy as she fought an alien predator. She was only able to do it by assuming the guise of an alien queen. Now Buffy was something they had never seen before. She was a human with alien memories under the full power of the joining spell. She was the synthesis of alien and slayer. Giles had brought her home thinking he could reverse the spell but Buffy had smashed the Janus bust and disappeared into the night. It was morning now. Buffy was still missing. Giles had come to fear the worst.
The Summers house was quiet. There was a strange sadness that hung in the air. It felt like someone had just died. Giles knew that wasn’t true. He counted all the Potentials. Everyone was present and accounted for. Manning stood in the living room and looked around him. His eyes searched for clues as what was really happening here. He was still a cop. He still had instincts for reading a crime scene. Even though there was no body here everything told him that death was in this house.
“Who’s the cutie pie?” Whispered Caridad to Rona. The two potentials sat on the couch giving Manning the once over. They were both bored and horny. Manning was tall and thin with a well trimmed goatee. He wore black jeans and a dark jacket which made him look all the more mysterious and hence more attractive to the Potentials. With Buffy missing in action and Giles pulling his hair out looking for her, the Potentials had begun looking for trouble wherever they could find it. Caridad yawned in a long leisurely stretch. She smiled when Manning noticed her. The straps of her red cotton bra showed outside of her white halter top. Rona noticed her actions and frowned.
“Girl, you are *scandalous*!” She said. Manning desperately looked around for a way to escape the lecherous young women. Absent mindedly he placed he hands on his hips. He butt of his gun showed.
“That’s a big gun you’ve got there. Use it much?” Caridad said seductively.
“We need somebody here to keep these girls under control.” Manning thought.
It was almost dark when she arrived. Giles met the young woman at the door.
“Yo, Jeeves what’s shak’n?” She said. The young woman before him stood about five foot nine. She had brown hair and an oval face. Her body was trim and naturally fit. She moved like a predator. Her eyes constantly checked the environment for hidden dangers. She was a slayer .
“It’s Giles not Jeeves.” Giles said in mock frustration. Despite their complicated history, he was quite happy to see her. Now he felt that he had half a chance to save his slayer.
“Angel tells me that you have taken the path of redemption. That is certainly good news.” Giles said to her.
“I do what I can.” She said. Her voice held a tinge of sadness. She remembered the pain she had caused the watcher. She vowed never to take the dark path again. Giles held the door open for her and bade her to enter. He looked at her. He could tell that she still had her misgivings.
“Are you ok to return to the scene of the crime so to speak?” Giles asked. She spoke as she stepped past him into the Summer’s home.
“Five by Five.” said Faith. She walked into the house and noticed Caridad leering at the stranger standing in the living room.
“Hello ladies.” She said to the Potentials. “Looks like I’m the new sheriff in town.” Faith gave Caridad the same burning look she’d given to some of the women in prison. Caridad pulled her halter top back over the straps of her bra.
“How bad have things gotten if I’m the voice of reason?” Faith looked around the room. She knew she had a lot of work to do here.
6. Chapter 6
Something fast jumped between the bushes. It was tan and hard with far too many legs. The target came out of the bushes and scrambled up what looked like a tree. A ball of plasma came out of nowhere. Yellowish flesh exploded into the air. The prey was dead. The Predator appeared in a vortex of shimmering air. It stepped forward. Its heavy foot left prints in the alien mud. The Predator was satisfied. The hunting animal had provided sufficient interest to fend off his boredom and had added quite a few points to his score. When his score became high enough he would have enough points to purchase a home and solicit for a mate.
Above his head, the landscape curved along the walls of the twenty mile long asteroid that was the flagship of his fleet. Puffy white clouds clung to the curved landscape which was dotted with forests and towns all controlled by thousands of quantum computers. The “Aerial Strike” was his personal property and the flagship of the fleet. It had been in his family for almost ten thousand years. He was proud of his accomplishments and the accomplishments of the children of Barik Null. His faceplate was beeping. He answered it. Fleet admiral Andorra Null, appeared in the holographic display embedded in his facemask. She was responsible for managing the fleet in his hunt for the Senior Partners.
“Speak.” said Mortok Null.
“We have located the dark place.” She said. Mortok was pleased. Their oldest records of the senior partners spoke of a world burnt black by their magics. It is said that this was the place where they transformed themselves into the ultimate form of evil. They would start their hunt for the senior partners here.
“Put it on screen. ” He said to her. An image came up on the faceplate view screen. A squad of janissaries, his battle slaves, was down on the planet. They moved through a grey white fog on a world that crouched in permanent twilight. Millions of years ago a spell had gone wrong or terribly right. Despite a sun being in the sky, the planet was always in a half light darkness as if it was covered by the terrible shadow of something that leered over it from beyond the stars. Mortok wished he was with them. His family obligations forbid that. He had taken a vow to save himself so that he could deliver the killing blow to the senior partners himself.
Below, they moved in the elder world of the dark place. Around the hunters, dark shadows moved between the rocks. Overhead, things flew that were not birds. Their scanners showed nothing but the torn and blasted landscape around them but their instincts screamed at them that they were in a place of pure horror.
“I got movement!” One of them said. The Predator scanned the nearby rocks. His in mask display showed a brief flash of something in the infrared. A meter of razor sharp claw extended from his wrist but it was two late. Invisible jaws sank into his shoulder. Fluorescent blood shot into the air. He didn’t scream. The Predator swiped the claws across his invisible attacker. He hit something. The claws stuck in something heavy and wet.
The others didn’t wait to be attacked. Plasma shotguns and automatic gunfire filled the air. The dark place was lit up with the electric blue white glow of fire power. The rocks around them melted under their barrage. They were about to reload when something heavy and invisible like the foot of a great beast stomped down on them crushing them into paste.
Mortok saw it all. He was impressed. Whatever security system the senior partners had in place was still active and very effective. He honored the hunters by authorizing the transfer of points earned from the hunt back to their respective family pool. In a few generations their descendants would be rich enough to buy property on the home world. Despite their failure he got the information he needed. The senior partners where not here. He talked with thought hunter Andorra for a while. They decided to go to the next world on their list.
Mortok switched channels as the fleet moved out. Hundreds of meters below him the game masters made themselves ready. He gave the signal. They released the alien. It popped up out of its underground pen. The alien scanned the landscape. It’s spiky tale shot up in the air. It opened it mouth, then its second mouth. The alien hissed at the predator as it disappeared into the underbrush. Mortok primed his plasma gun and went after it.
In a room beyond the world, the three huddled together. Undulating patterns of light meshed together in bright quick conversations that covered volumes of thought in fractions of a second. The senior partners were old and evolved. Their race had crawled out of the mud of the home world billions of years ago. They went through the usual steps of industry, economics and politics. In the end, they simply settled for power itself.
Their wars had shattered planets and burnt stars out of the sky. When they found magic everything changed. Gone were the simple tools of their technology and with it went science and reason. All that was left was the mindless hunger to conquer. When the Earth was still covered in the molten lava of it’s core, the senior partners looked out upon the galaxy and saw the trillions of life forms there. Almost by instinct, they began to conquer every natural and unnatural thing in sight. For the most part they succeeded. However, there were still pockets of wildness scattered here and there in the galaxy.
“They have discovered the dark place.” Said sharp blue light trimmed in white.
“Soon they will be on Earth.” An orange red illumination shimmered.
“We will unleash the Red Man. Our answer is in the deeper well.” Declared a square of burning darkness.
Hours later Eve performed the ritual. Something humanoid with chalk white skin trimmed in red appeared out of the boiling blood of the sacrifice. The Red Man looked at her then disappeared. He was on his way to the deeper well to awaken the Old Ones from their eons long sleep.
7. chapter 7
She tossed herself on the bed. Faith was tired. She had spent all day whipping the Potentials into shape. She had picked up the training and exercise schedule created by Buffy and Giles. Though if the rumors were true, Caleb was dead and the bringers had been slaughtered. Spike and Robin was checking it out. If it was true, she would send the Potentials packing. She found the thought using a bunch of untrained teenage girls to fight the forces of evil ridiculous. Only a fully activated slayer had the speed, the strength and calling to fight the forces of darkness. What the hell was Buffy and Giles thinking?
Faith turned over. She looked at the ceiling for a moment. She smelled herself.
“I stink.” She said. “I need a shower.” Faith stood. She pulled her t-shirt over her head. It was wet with her perspiration. Faith wore a simple white cotton bra underneath. She caught sight of the many scars on her arm. Absentmindedly, she ran the tips of her fingers along the one inch vertical scar on her stomach.
“This is where Buffy made me bleed.” She always thought. She thought of the blonde slayer and how they had met and what they had come to mean to each other. She hated Buffy and loved her too.
“Angel and I had her chained to a brick wall.” Faith thought. “We were going to strip the flesh from her bones. But I also dreamed about her while in a coma. I am connected to her.” Faith unfastened her belt and pulled down her pants. She tossed the dirty jeans on the bed. She stood there in only her simple cotton bra and white thong.
“Why was I so angry?” She thought. “Buffy tried to be my friend, tried to offer me a world to live in. All I did was tear it apart.” She felt the weight of all her years of loneliness come crashing down upon her. Her emotions turned over and over and back and forth like a wild animal looking for something. She felt moisture in her eyes. She was crying.
“What’s wrong with me?” Faith thought. Her thoughts were broken by the sound of the door opening. She looked over to see Xander walk in. He stood there for a moment in shock. There was an electric spark between them. Xander struggled to come up with a lie to say how sorry he was to intrude on her. But he knew the truth. Faith took his breath away. She walked up to him and placed her arms around him. Faith laid her head on Xander’s chest.
“I’m sorry.” She said. She remembered the night she almost killed him. “I’m sorry.” She said as she looked up at him. Xander returned her grasp. Her body was firm and warm. Her breasts covered the beating of his heart. Xander could feel himself becoming aroused. Faith did as well. Her body was flushed with heat. For some reason she said the strangest thing.
“We can start our own hive.” She said.
Robin watched the vampire. He had let Spike walk ahead of him as they explored the abandoned monastery. He didn’t trust him. Who cared if he had a soul? This was the beast that destroyed his life. His kind had forced his mother to become a monster hunter. This was the thing that had killed the first person he had ever loved.
“What the hell happened here?” Spike said. “Looks like they met something bigger and badder than themselves.” Around Spike the bodies of Bringers lay by the dozen. Some of them looked hacked to pieces, some had a huge hole in the center of their chest as if monster jaws had punched into them. Others simply looked brunt.
“A right mess this is.” He said.
“Spike!” Robin screamed from the next room. Spike stepped over the bodies on his way to Robin. What he saw there made him grasp. Caleb, the bible quoting freak who was fed directly the power of the First, was burned directly into the wall above the alter. Something had lifted him up and slammed him into the cinder block wall. The power of it had fused his bones into the wall itself.
“You think this was Buffy’s work?” Spike asked.
“This is beyond the Slayer.” Robin answered. “Giles said to call her Hive so that we understand that Buffy is no more.” “Just like my mother.” Robin thought. He held back his anger. He and his Predator friend would pick the right time to strike.
“What do…” Robin was saying.
“I killed your mother because I wanted to.” Spike said suddenly. He stood facing Robin. He wanted to get everything out in the open. Spike was well over a hundred years old. He never forgot a face or a *smell*. He knew there was something familiar about Robin from the moment he’d met him. He had last saw Robin when he was a boy, in New York back in the seventies. He understood now why Robin was always angry at him. Though strictly speaking, he should be angrier at his mother for giving him a girl’s name.
“It’s the dance mate.” Spike said. “Me vampire, she slayer. It’s what we do. She enjoyed the dance as much as I did.” Spike walked up to the burned corpse of Caleb. His fingers traced where bone became wall. “Don’t be mad at me because I gave her what she needed.” Spike turned and looked at Robin. He showed his vamp face for emphasis. “I have a part of your mother you can never touch.” Robin snapped. A stake came out of nowhere and slammed into Spike.
“The plan be dammed.” Robin thought. “I’m going to kill Spike now!”
The streets of Sunnydale were dark and cold. An aimless wind disturbed old sheets of newspaper. Hive walked slowly with her aliens in tow. Two monsters with oil black skin and spiky dragon tails trailed behind her. She had across her shoulder her scythe soaked in the blood of dozens of Bringers.
Hive often dreamed while she walked. The Buffy body she wore was human and had not slept in over thirty six hours. Hive accommodated. She let the Buffy body make its sad tiny dreams but Hive kept a firm control of the flesh she wore. She saw a couple walking up ahead. She was amazed that anybody had the sheer nerve to be out and about in Sunnydale after dark. Hive sent her aliens after them. There was screams. The aliens dragged the two humans back to her for inspection. She wouldn’t stand to have her babies hatch out of inferior cattle. Hive was ready to settle down. She was following her screaming instincts. She looked at the pitiful crying couple eyes wide without emotion. She was about to make her decision when she felt something familiar move across the edges of her mind.
Hive saw a chalk white face trimmed in blood red lines. Long minutes passed while she rifled through billions of years of memories for the source of that face. When she had it her eyes dilated.
“They wouldn’t dare!” She said to herself. Hive knew that particular sorcerer. He was used by the senior partners as the gatekeeper of the Deeper Well.
They wouldn’t dare!” Hive was furious. The humans were hers. She would not have her hive sullied by the ancient demons known as the Old Ones. She invoked her magics. A portal appeared. She took her aliens with her. In the deep recesses of the Deeper Well she waited for the Red Man. She would stop the Old Ones from rising or die trying.
8. chapter 8
Hive stood upon the bridge that spanned the chasm that was the Deeper Well. The bridge was old wooden and rickety. It was nothing more than wooden planks held together by frayed rope that looked thousands of years old. She left her aliens behind on the shore of the underground cavern. She was afraid the bridge would not support their weight. Hive walked to the center of the bridge and looked down. Beneath her were thousands, no hundreds of thousands of stone, wood and metal caskets that spiraled downward into the darkness of the Earth.
“In the beginning the Earth was not a paradise but a hell dimension. “ Hive said repeating what Giles had told her years ago. “Creatures not spawn of nature, the Old Ones, warred among themselves as easily we breathed. When they died, their essence persisted outside of time, immune to decay or corruption waiting for a day of resurrection. The physical remains of these creatures were kept in a prison called, “The Deeper Well” hidden beneath the Earth.” Hive understood the words now and they did little to portray the sheer scale of it.
The race memories of the aliens showed her what the Old Ones really were. They were horrifying and beautiful and evil and glorious all at the same time. Knowing an Old One was like knowing the sun. The knowledge of them would incinerate you alive. Hive stared down into the endless darkness of the deadland. She squatted as her eyes searched for one coffin in particular. When she found it her eyes dilated.
“Are you thinking what I think you’re thinking?” asked the Willow within. Hive smiled to herself. She enjoyed Willow’s flights of blind panic. They were funny.
“The senile partners are afraid.” Hive said to her herself. “This is a bone head panic move of the highest order. My memories reveal to me a very short list of things that could have caused this. Chief among them is a Yaujta battle fleet.”
“But…” said Willow.
“I need a general for my army.” Hive’s tone was flat. Willow could tell she had already made up her mind. Hive squatted on the bridge for long moments. She was listening for the very specific cadence of the ritual of resurrection. She heard it. The lost sound came to her as softly as the voice of a butterfly. The Red Man must be miles deep.
“Buffy, I gave you the joining spell to make you strong, so that you would survive your encounter with the blood zombie. It’s not for this!” Willow said.
“This is exactly why the Dark Men invoked the Slayer.” Hive said. “I was built to oppress demons. I am the law!” Hive grabbed her scythe and jumped. Her aliens followed.
He had the bones arranged in the ancient pattern. The Red Man chanted the old words of the elder language. He had selected this one coffin for a very particular reason. When the others were awakened they would need someone to lead them, to guide them and if necessary bully them into submission. The Senior Partners wanted a general to lead the Old Ones into battle. The stone coffin before him was made from a rare rock carved from a forgotten pit millions of years ago. It was crowned in gaudy jewels befitting royalty. The Red Man knew that the essence held in the ark was the monarch of the daemon age.
“*Inno-ta-ra-SHE, Inno-ta-ra-SHE, Inno-ta-ra=SHE*” he chanted words over and over again. His right hand hovered above a blood stained machete. He grabbed it, turned and sliced the air where Hive had been only a moment ago. She slammed into the scaffold. Shockwaves rippled up the length of the steel cables. Hive flexed. She drove an elbow into the spine of the Red Man. She had landed behind him. The Red Man stumbled forward. Hive flipped her scythe. She brought the edge of the blade up. The Red Man glittered. He was behind her. His machete came down. The first alien slammed into him with enough force to crush bone. The second one hit the platform a moment later. The stone coffin rocked back and forth on the platform.
The Red Man was amazed. He had heard stories of the children of the shadow. He never dreamed he would meet one. The alien lifted its head. It opened its first mouth. Dagger sharp silicon teeth prepared to tear into warm flesh. The hands of the Red Man began to glow. He knew he had only moments to live.
Hive flicked commands at the second alien. She turned the pointed end of the scythe towards the Red Man and leapt. Fire exploded from his hands. The alien was consumed. Acid splashed everywhere. The Red Man screamed as he face melted. His screams were cut short as Hive landed on top of him. She cut his head off with one stroke.
The second alien was following her commands. The stone top of the coffin was pushed to the side. Whatever essence it one held had already possessed the child of the shadow. Hive stood over it as it changed. A child of Earth would be able to fight the infection for hours or days even but the children of the shadow where build for this. The alien was transforming right before her eyes. Its pure black color acquired a deep blue sheen. Faint red lines appeared across its ebony form. Hive could feel the power of the Old One filling the alien shape. It rose in its new body. *Illyria*, warrior and sovereign of the demon age, had returned. Hive still had her telepathic connection to the aliens. Illyria and Hive quickly agreed. They would wait here until the Yaujta fleet arrived. Hive would open a portal and Illyria would lead the aliens into glorious combat.
9. chapter 9
Faith sat up in bed.
“What the hell was that?” she said. Faith was in Buffy’s bed. Sweat soaked sheets barely covered her naked form. She looked around the room. It looked like it had been hit by a bomb. Tables and chairs were overturned. Some of the crucifixes were torn from the wall.
“Oh my God.” She said. Faith dropped her head into her hands. She looked over. Xander lay beside her snoring loudly.
“Someone kill me now.” She said. Something disturbed Xander’s sleep. He tossed. A hand slapped against her sweaty pink thigh. “What the hell is wrong with me?” She asked herself. Faith felt terrible. She had sworn to herself never to turn to the dark side again. She hated to think what sleeping with Xander implied. She knew what she had to do but as she looked down at him she understood that in his own way Xander had feelings for her, real emotional girly type feeling not just tight pants feelings.
Faith leaned over and whispered in Xander’s ear.
“Don’t love me. I’m no good for you.” She said.
“I couldn’t agree more,” said Willow. Faith jerked her head up. Sitting across the bed from her was Willow Rosenberg.
“You look weird,” said Faith.
“I’m dead. “Willow said. “Buffy tore me apart with her teeth and fingernails.” The grim shade of Willow sat there with strips of flesh hanging off of her.
Faith smiled. “I know who you are.” She said. “You’re the First, right?”
“The one and only.” It said.”
“Why are you here?” Faith asked. “From what I understand, Buffy pretty much cleaned your clock.”
“That thing wearing Buffy’s body killed my bringers and Caleb. But I have thousands more where that came from.”
“So, you’re pretty useless right now? All you can do is point and tease?” Faith mocked the eternal source of evil.
“I’m here to make a deal.” It said.
“*Whaaaaa?*” Faith was dumbfounded.
“In a day or so some real badasses are going to stormtrooper this planet. The magics of my creation bind me to this place. I’m stuck here!” The First said. “The magics do not care if this world is an expanding ball of plasma. I will be still be bound to it. Do you know how boring it is to have to wait a billion years or so for the crust of the planet to cool and life to evolve, *again?*”
“What do you want?” Faith asked. “And if I was stupid enough to care, how can I trust you?”
“An act of good faith huh?” Willow said as she leaned in. “Ok, how about this. A strike team from the Senior Partners is on their way over right now.” The first pretended to look at a watch it didn’t wear. “They should be here in a few minutes. If you survive, we’ll talk.” The First disappeared. Downstairs Caridad screamed. Faith jumped out of the bed without thinking. She was still only dressed in a bra and thong. She grabbed her knife. She was through the door and down the stairs in a moment.
There were two monsters in the room. One was over nine feet tall with brunt brown skin and a face made of bone with a mouth full of shark-like teeth. The other looked like a huge dog. It stood over five feet at the shoulder. The first creature had Caridad by the neck. Faith made a calculation. She rushed the monster. It swiped at her. Faith ducked the razor-sharp claws and jammed her knife into the arm of the beast that held Caridad. The monster dropped the girl. Faith didn’t let up. She leaned in and punched it once on the left side of its face. As it yowled, she pulled the knife out of its arm and slid the blade across the pulsing artery under its chin. Green white blood splashed against her. She slammed her weight into the monster and kept her weight on its windpipe until it stopped moving.
She heard growling behind her. Faith stood and turned facing the monster behind her. Caridad had scrambled off somewhere. Manning was on the floor. His clothing looked torn. He was lying in a pool of blood. The creature scratched the wooden floor with its claws. It growled at her. Faith growled back. Something passed between the monster and the slayer. There was a moment of recognition between the two beasts. This was the dance, the sacred movement. Death was her gift, her art. She made it with her hands. She screamed as she lunged across the room. The monster roared as it lunged towards Faith.
Her toes barely touched the ground as she danced in the air. The monster rushed pass her as Faith floated above it. Her arm slipped around its neck. She was on top of it. Her long legs held it firmly. The monster turned and slammed her against the wall. She still held it between her legs as the creature buckled. Faith squeezed the monster to her breast and stabbed it with her knife. It shook. She stabbed it again. Flowers of blood bloomed in the air. She stabbed it, again and again, each time penetrating deep into its body. The monster quivered. It made a strange noise. Faith joined it in the blood cry. When it was dead she pushed it to the side.
Xander had made it down the stairs. The room was a scene of utter devastation. In the middle of it stood Faith, nearly naked and covered in the blood of monsters. He could smell her from across the room. It took her a moment to remember how to be human. When she did, the wildness went out of her eyes.
“You can never love me.” She said to Xander. He understood.
10. chapter 10
Spike pushed Robin off of him. The stake had slammed into him but it missed his heart. Still, it hurt like hell. Spike growled. He was still in vamp face. His fangs showed. Robin didn’t wait. He leaned in with a right cross against the side of Spike’s head knocking the vampire backwards. Robin reached into his coat pocket. He pulled out the weapon the predator had given him. It was a small cylinder of silver colored metal. Robin flipped the microswitch on the side of it as the predator had taught him. The liquid metal shot up and formed around his arm. This was the latest model hunting glove. It contained within it an arsenal of weapons. Spike noticed the glove. His pupils dilated. Robin lifted his fist towards Spike and fired. Purple light shot out. Spike was a fraction of a second too slow. A hole was blown in the bottom part of his jacket.
“That’s cheating mate.” Spike said.
“All’s fair in love and war.” Robin responded. The metal glove shifted in shape. From the center of his hand grew a meter long shaft of razor sharp metal. Robin shifted position. As he moved, Spike noticed a nearly invisible shape in the shadows.
“You’ve been making friends.” Spike said. “Can you trust them?”
“The Yautja respect the blood hunt.” Robin said. “They don’t give a damn about soulless murdering demons!” Robin stabbed forward. Spike slapped the weapon sideways as he dodged it.
Metal bounced off the wall. Gold sparks flew into the air illuminating memories that been lost in the dark spaces of Spike’s mind. He remembered Robin’s mother. He could’ve danced with that one all night. He remembered fighting with her on a dark rainy New York night. He remembered seeing Robin hiding behind a park bench. But now he remembered something else. He remembered glimpsing the faint outline of something in the shadows.
“They stood by and let your mother die.” Spike said to him. Robin didn’t care. The liquid metal glove changed again. This time it was a blade. Robin brought it down. The edges of it sliced across Spike’s face. Spike roared in the pain. In a blink of an eye he stepped forward and grabbed his metal coated arm and with the other fist shattered the bones in Robin’s hand. The man screamed. Spike felt the blood lust coming on. In two quick jabs Spike broke his knee caps. Robin lay curled in a ball on the floor.
The Predator appeared. It dropped it shields and walked out of darkness. It stood over Robin directly before Spike. The Predator looked to the left then the right. It took Spike a moment to understand what the Predator really wanted from Robin.
“They can’t see me!” He thought. He had seen the Yautja hunt other vampires. It was just that they can’t see him. He didn’t know if it was the magics of his soul that was protecting him. He had only one decision to make. Spike had to decide if he was going to kill Robin or let him live.
“Giles?” Asked Faith, “What the hell are you people up to?” Faith stood in the living room with her hands on her hips. She had taken a shower to wash the blood of monsters off of her. Faith wore a white cotton blouse with a pair of faded jeans. She watched Giles clean his glasses. He did that when he was nervous. That was not a good sign.
“Buffy is MIA. Willow is dead! Monsters are showing up out of nowhere. I’ll say it again, what the hell are you people up to?” Faith brow beat everyone in the room.
“Hey, lay off Mr. Giles.” Caridad said. She hated that Faith was so pushy. Faith looked at her. She walked up to Caridad, as she had done many times to the women in prison. Faith put her face close to Caridad. Their noses were almost touching.
“You crippled *maggot*. I just killed two demons with my bare hands. Do you really want to piss me off?” Faith let the question hang in the air for a moment. Caridad lowered her head.
Continue reading this series:
Buffy AVP: Messiah