She may have failed at destroying Buffy Summers, but at least one thing had gone right. The ampule of purple liquid in her hand was proof of it. The next step in completing her special project. She looked up from the ampule to the married pair of scientists who had brought it to her. Annette and William Birkin. She’d met them in college, years ago. She’d gone on to work for the military while they’d started working for The Umbrella Corporation. They’d kept in touch over the years, trading notes and research materials. “The G-virus,” Annette announced proudly. “The DNA and tissue samples from Subject 17 turned out to be exactly what we needed. The other demons refer to vampires as halfbreeds, but all previous samples were usually more one than the other. Seventeen is a perfect balance. With that virus regulated by your control chips, we should be able to produce super soldiers of incredible power.” “Should be able to,” Walsh murmured, gazing back down at the ampule in her hand. “Let’s test it out, shall we?” First on some of her more promising soldiers. And then…. She looked over her shoulder at her creation. Then it would be time to awaken Adam.
He’d always been something of a heavy sleeper, but the thudding of heavy footsteps was just enough to rouse Spike. He kept his eyes closed, using scent and hearing to follow the intruder’s progress. The scent was peculiar, like something he’d never smelt before while still being somewhat familiar, though not at all like anyone he’d personally met. He felt the telltale swish of displaced air, reaching up to grab a thick, meaty wrist without even opening his eyes. “From the sound of those massive mud flaps, I’d peg you as a demon. Which means you’re in for a world of…,” he opened his eyes to get a look at the intruder, “pain.” Huh. Well, that was something you didn’t see every day, wasn’t it? The ugly bugger looked as if some madman had slapped together a hodgepodge variety of demons with random human and robot bits. That explained the odd scent. Frankenstein’s mismatched wankerborg just smiled at him, a rather hideous expression, honestly. “Hello… Father.” Father? What? Spike sat up on the coffin he’d been sleeping on, his blanket falling to the side. “Sorry, mate, but you’ve the wrong bloke. Fairly certain I’d remember shagging whatever eldritch horror birthed you, no matter how drunk I was at the time.” “I am Adam, the creation of Dr. Walsh. There is no genetic link between my ‘mother’ and myself, nor the two of us, however –” “However, I’m not interested,” Spike interrupted, standing up and circling to the side of his unwelcome guest. Walsh. Of course that bitch had something to do with this. “So you can just see yourself ou–” A large, greenish hand flashed out and grabbed him by the shirt, lifting him up off the floor. “There is no genetic link, Father, but your DNA is part of the virus used to bring me life. That makes you a viable host for the larvae.” “Larv–” He was pulled forward, and Adam’s mouth was over his, something writhing and pressing against his lips. Something forced its way in. Slimy. Wriggling. Some thing… things… choking off unneeded air as they squirmed, one after another, down his throat. He struggled, kicking out at the creature holding him. He was vaguely aware of his shirt tearing, but the other arm was around him, holding him tight. Then it was over, and he was dropped to the ground. What was…? Oh, god, what had…? He couldn’t think. Couldn’t breathe. Didn’t need air, but he needed to breathe. Made him feel…. “Rest for now, Father. You should be able to survive the maturation process. Soon enough, we’ll be able to create an army.” Sounds of footsteps fading away. And then he was alone. Spike forced himself onto his knees, sucking in a gasp of air. His chest felt tight. Wrong. Something was wrong. Something…. He brought a shaking hand up to his mouth and wiped away blood. It had split a little at both corners when those… those things…. He struggled up to his feet, panting for breath. The slayer. Had to find…. Walsh had made that bastard. The slayer hated that bitch almost as much as he did, now she’d shown her true colors and tried to off Buffy. Good on Walsh, there, but damn the bitch. That was his slayer. His to kill. His to…. Had to find the slayer. Couldn’t kill Adam on his own, but the slayer, she’d help. She’d…. He coughed, wet and painful. There was blood. Then he staggered forward, heading out to find the slayer.
Buffy was laying on her bed, staring up at the dorm room ceiling while thoughts swirled around in her head. Oz was back and hadn’t gone all wolfy for the full moon. But Willow liked Tara, now. Willow was…. It didn’t really change anything, but Buffy felt… weird. She’d been sharing a room with Willow. They’d been all naked around each other, and Willow was… Buffy frowned in confusion. Willow had been with Oz and was all conflicted now that he was back. And there had been that whole Xander thing. Maybe she liked both guys and – There was a thud against the door, then a blanket wrapped Spike slammed it open, staggering inside. We’ve really got to revoke that invitation, she thought vaguely as she jumped up to her feet. “What the hell are you doing here?” “Creature…. Bitch…. Things!” Spike panted out raggedly. The blanket fell, and a strange numbness hit Buffy like a brick. Oh, god. His eyes had a wild, hunted look to them, and his face…. There was blood all around his mouth. Something had happened to the chip. He was feeding again. Her body moved automatically, sending her forward, one leg lashing out. Spike didn’t try to fight back or even dodge. He took the hit and crumpled to the floor in a shaking heap. That wasn’t…. What the hell was going on? “Spike?” She knelt down beside him. This close up, she could see that something had torn his mouth at both corners. He coughed, an awful, wet, gurgley sound, and a fresh spill of blood bubbled up to slide down his chin. His blood. His face was covered in his own blood. “Walsh,” he whispered when the coughing stopped. “Sh-she made…. Adam. D-did som’ing t-to….” “Did what? What happened, Spike? Did you see Walsh? Where is she?” Riley had been obsessed with finding Maggie ever since she’d vanished. He wanted answers. Buffy did, too. “Not Walsh…. Adam. She made…. He did.” She didn’t get a chance to ask for a better explanation than that. Spike’s entire body went rigid before going into convulsions. And then…. There was a horrible wet and meaty tearing sound. Blood was everywhere. All over her, along with thicker bits of… stuff. There was a weird sort of stinging sensation in her cheek. She reached up and pulled something out. A small sliver of bone. There had been a piece of someone else’s bone in her cheek. Not exactly the first time that had happened, but…. She got to her feet and looked down at Spike. Not dusty, so not dead. But he looked like he should have been. His ribcage and the flesh above it looked like it had been torn apart from the inside. She could see his heart, exposed and making little shivery motions. Huh. It didn’t beat, but it clearly did something. Maybe that was how vampires could…. There were things all around Spike. Pulsating, writhing things that were shifting and growing at an impossible rate. If she didn’t do something soon, they might end up too big to easily handle. She didn’t even stop to think. She stomped on one of the creatures while reaching for another and tearing it in half. Within minutes, she’d managed to kill them all. That just left Spike to deal with, and there was no way she’d be getting any answers out of him in his current state. “Desperate times, desperate measures,” she muttered with a sigh. Then she retrieved a knife from her under-the-bed weapons cache before carefully cutting into her arm.
“Spiritus… spirit,” Willow said as she picked up her card. It was dangerous, what she was doing. The enjoining spell was dangerous and volatile even without the changes she’d made to it. They should have just gone with the original version and left Spike guarding the door, safely out of Adam’s reach. But he wanted revenge for what had been done to him, and Buffy…. Well, she and Spike had been weirdly close ever since that whole exploding-in-their-dorm thing. They’d all worked hard to keep him out of Adam’s clutches, which had led the cyborg demon/human hybrid to his backup plan of creating his own army of cyborg demon/human hybrids. And now here they were in the Initiative, joining with the vampire slayer and putting a portion of that power into a vampire. Willow took a deep breath and handed the next card to Xander. “Animus… heart.” The next card went to Giles. Sophus, which was mind. Two more cards after that, when there should only be one. Show time. Willow picked up both cards. “Manus dextra… right hand.” And then there was one. The card for Spike. “And Manus Sinistra…. The left hand.”
He was within the mirror, an invisible observer as the slayer spoke to the Being using Tara’s form and voice. Their words faded as the reflection of the Tara-Being turned to him. “Abomination,” she said, as if stating a simple fact. “The slayer is meant to walk alone. The friends were bad enough, but to imbue a vampire with a portion of her power?” She held up a card that said Manus Sinistra, but the image was gone. “What was taken should be reclaimed.” She took his left hand, and it started to fade away while a picture of it slowly took shape on the card. He pulled his arm back, reversing the process. “Sorry, pet, but I’ve no time for this. Gotta be somewhere else. I’m supposed to be teachin’ the slayer’s mum how to play mahjong.” As he turned away, her voice floated out behind him. “Just be back before dawn.” Then he was stepping out of the mirror and into a small space within a wall. The table was already set up, a pitcher of lemonade waiting and the tiles spread out. He took his seat across from Joyce. “Now, the rules of the game are –” “Mom?” “I’ll be back,” Joyce said with a smile. “Buffy needs me.” He watched her get up and go to the hole in the wall. Then he looked back to the tiles, tuning out their conversation as he flipped one over. Manus Dextra was written along the top, and it showed a closed fist. He flipped another. Manus Sinistra, with an open palm. Two parts of one pair. ` “Sorry, Joyce,” he said, standing just as she made her way back to the table. “There’s something I have to do.” He climbed a ladder along the wall until he came to a crawlspace above the ceiling. Several meters in, and there was another hole, this one looking down into a military command center. Captain Cardboard was there, along with the slayer. Her weapons bag was at her feet. That wasn’t going to do her any good, now was it? He grabbed up a fishing pole and used it to snag the bag. Once it was up through the hole, he took all the weapons out before scooping handfuls of mud from his pockets into the bag. Then he lowered it down to again. No time to dally and watch, though. He’d things to do, and he was already running late. He crawled on, the space becoming smaller and smaller until he wriggled out through a cracked rock in the middle of a desert. He could see her, off in the distance. The slayer. She was there with Tara and some sort of cave woman. His left hand tingled, and he suddenly knew who she was, what they were dealing with. Also the slayer. The very first one. “You can’t keep it.” Tara’s voice from behind him, but it wasn’t her in there. It wasn’t her inside the one still talking to Buffy, either. “Can’t or shouldn’t?” he asked, without looking at her. “Because if it’s the latter….” He turned to face her, everything tilting until he could look down and see the upside down image of Buffy and the first slayer. “All a matter of perspective, isn’t it?” A bald man suddenly stepped between them, holding out a slice of cheese with a hole cut out the middle. He stuck the cut out bit to the left side of the cheese, squeezing it between his thumb and finger until it held fast. “The cheese is not diminished,” the man said solemnly. Then he was gone, leaving Spike with the Tara-Being. “The slayer is meant to walk alone.” “She is….” He held out his left hand, and Buffy grasped it in her right. “… not alone,” she finished. They stood together, facing off against the First Slayer while Tara waited off to the side. In her other hand, Buffy held three cards, one each for Giles, Willow, and Xander. “No… friends,” the First Slayer rasped out, finally speaking with her own voice. “No… partner. Just the kill. We… are… alone!” The strange bald man appeared again, grinning and waving two slices of cheese, one of them the one with the hole in the middle. Just as suddenly as he’d shown up, he was gone again. “Okay, that’s it,” Buffy declared. “I’m waking up now.”
Walsh walked through the remains of her lab. So much waste, but there was still hope of salvaging something from the wreckage. Not her career, though. That had been over the instant she’d gone into hiding after awakening Adam with the G-virus. Well, her military career, anyway. She knelt down and picked up a familiar arm. There were other, larger, pieces of Adam strewn about, but this was all she would need. It was time to take The Umbrella Corporation up on its offer.
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October 20, 2020 13:02
Time to to have a good old fashioned zombie Sunnydale!