The Watchers' Diaries: The Apocrypha
Entry 12 - Just a Few Comments...
It wasn't until Giles slid the papers out of the envelope that he realized
he was a bit worried about what Spike might have written regarding Lydia's
thesis. He'd tossed the idea out simply as a carrot to draw her into his
plans and hoped Spike would be able to come up with something appropriate.
was when he'd thought her as a tool, someone who might be of use but nothing
more. Now he'd begun to appreciate her abilities and found not a tool
but an ally, one he was loathe to insult by handing her a poorly written
critique. Spike might be able to write coherent letters, but this was
another arena entirely.
pub was quiet and Giles took a sip from his pint before picking up the
sheet of notepaper that lay atop the pile of larger pages. Unlike his
letters, Spike had mailed this in a larger envelope, allowing the pages
to arrive flat and unwrinkled. At least he had some idea of presentation,
which was a promising sign.
it is in all its glory. Don't know if it's what she's looking for. It's
been an age, literally, since I last had to write commentary and I was
told then that I strayed from the point far too often.
When would Spike have written commentary? Giles had been surprised at
the polish of Spike's letters, a marked contrast to the Big Bad persona
he wore. But commentary?
answer came back almost immediately: at university, before he was turned.
Another clue there was more to him than they all knew and another piece
in the puzzle.
apologies for having taken so long in getting this to you, but I imagine
Giles has supplied some indication as to how interesting things can be
on the Hellmouth.
a creature of darkness and evil, I appreciate the unique opportunity you
have provided by allowing me to read and comment on your thesis. After
all, it's not every day a vampire gets the chance to correct some of the
misconceptions and misinformation that may spring up in a century or more
a note as to your sources. The Chronicles, while extensive, are at times
based on rumor and garbled stories from frightened peasants. As such,
the actions of one vampire are often ascribed to another. I realize that
this particular volume is the seminal text for most of the research done
by the Council (along with the diaries of various watchers), but it is
a compilation of material, much of which has been lost or destroyed. It
is not actually a primary source but a secondary one, a consideration
which I find often overlooked. Also, many of the facts on the Order of
Aurelius are simply wrong. Peregullum has an excellent section on the
Order that corrects many of the errors in the Chronicles, as least based
on what I know of the family lore that was passed down to me. I would
also recommend Tresmyrion for some of the more esoteric pieces.
had to have been at university; Giles recognized the faintly academic,
pedantic tone immediately. Oxford or Cambridge? he wondered. If
I knew his last name, I could check.
cannot comment on the veracity of the Watcher Diaries as a whole except
to note that at times my recollections of events are somewhat at odds
with the excerpts you quote. This can be put down to a) I was there and
the watcher wasn't, b) perspective, and c) personal biases. We all have
mention your sources because, unfortunately, much of the early part of
your thesis is based on certain fallacies that have crept into the Chronicles.
To begin with, I am considerably younger than the almost two hundred years
listed. Second, I far prefer "Spike" to "William the Bloody."
Third, I have absolutely no idea where anyone got the idea that the Great
Poof was my sire instead of Drusilla.
sounded a bit more like Spike. Giles made himself a mental note to explain
Spike's various nicknames to Lydia.
bloodline flows as follows: the Master made Darla, Darla made Angelus,
the Poof made Drusilla (after driving her mad), and Drusilla made me.
Since the date listed for Drusilla's turning is fairly correct -- no,
I won't give you the exact date as I'd never reveal a lady's age -- that
makes it rather difficult for me to be almost two hundred since she hasn't
reach one hundred and fifty yet, now doesn't it? As to the deeds attributed
to me during the early part of the nineteenth century (when I was not
yet even a gleam in my father's eye), most of them can be put down to
various other vampires, including several from the Order of Aurelius.
I am, after all, hardly the only vampire to be turned who was named William.
Angelus' human name was, in fact, Liam, the Irish derivation (and another
excellent reason to adopt a different name).
I can think of was that following the death of Yujan Wu in 1900, her watcher
or some other chronicler assumed since I had killed a slayer and Dru and
I set out on our own shortly thereafter, I must be a more senior or "master"
vampire. A master doesn't have to be older, but one who has kicked sufficient
butt so he won't be mistaken for or treated like a minion. Being the head
of your own family or killing a slayer makes one a master. Doesn't mean
there aren't others further up the food chain who can still call you on
things. The Master was the Master until the day Buffy rammed a stake through
his heart and even after killing two slayers, crossing him is not something
I would have done lightly, if at all.
have numerous comments regarding Angelus, but since they are not necessarily
germane to the main body of your work, I have appended them in a separate
provide a correct summary of my early history, I was turned in the late
1800s by Drusilla (making me between 120 and 130 years old) and became
part of the lovely little family known as the "Scourge of Europe."
It was, I must confess, a reputation made mostly by Darla and Angelus,
though Dru and I did our parts in the next twenty years to uphold it.
My original splash was made as William the Bloody, but I quickly chose
to adapt "Spike" as more in keeping with my new life. We were
a quartet until 1898 when Angelus was first cursed with his soul by the
gypsies, then Darla, Drusilla and I made our way through Poland, Russia
and onto China over the next two years while Angel tried to find himself.
Showed back up just in time for the Boxer rebellion and Yujan Wu's death,
only to decide his soul prevented him from enjoying the normal life of
a vampire and taking off again.
must applaud you for your assertion there is "no evidence" to
support Hodgson's theory that Drusilla was sired by Angelus out of jealousy
over my liaison with Darla. Bloody well right, there isn't. Even if the
theory weren't impossible because his timeline's all wonky or ignoring
the fact Angelus would have nailed me to a church door to greet the sun
for attempting to move in on his woman, I wouldn't have bedded Darla on
a regular basis for all the tea in China. Mean, controlling, as likely
to stab a lover in his back as pleasure him -- I prefer to walk away from
bed with my body parts intact, thank you. You can quote me on that.
took another pull on his beer. He was going to enjoy this. Hodgson had
been pushing his theory for a decade now, ignoring any evidence to the
contrary. During Giles' brief return before Buffy's resurrection, they'd
ended up in a rousing argument in the middle of the Council's central
reception hall, highlighted by Giles yelling, "I think he bloody
well knows who his own sire is, you git!"
dispute your use of the word "random" to describe the travels
Drusilla and I undertook following China. Sounds like we simply blew with
the wind, not caring where we went. To the contrary, we always required
that the place we landed be entertaining. Dru was often governed by her
visions while I favored those places that provided the latest in music
and entertainment. It was this combination that led to the diverse nature
of our travels. Believe me, it was not my idea to travel to Norway in
December of 1933. I would have preferred Paris or even Berlin in all its
decadence. I most certainly would have preferred anywhere except
Prague in the spring of 1997, but Drusilla had a vision so off we went.
page 128, you misspelled "Marseilles." That wasn't me anyway,
but a vampire named Harvey, who is of no consequence and long since dust.
statement "William the Bloody has fought two slayers and killed them
both" is erroneous. I've killed two slayers, but have fought nine
at last count. Yes, the number is a bit high for the average vampire,
but I'm hardly the average vampire. I'll admit to seeking out slayers
ever since Angelus first told me of their existence; one can't ask for
a better fight than with a slayer at the top of her game, either against
her or on her side (being one of only two vampires I know of who can make
that claim). I've also fought two slayers at once and lived to tell about
it, which is an interesting but painful story Rupert Giles can relate
survived these encounters by studying the slayers closely and learning
how to read them. Pit a random vampire against a slayer and the odds lie
heavily with her; she is trained, focused and usually dedicated to her
calling. Only when the slayer is wounded or tired -- not just exhausted,
but tired of the fight, tired of life -- do the odds switch. Random events
do happen to shift the balance, but there's a good reason vampires fear
the slayer. With five of the seven slayers I fought who survived, I realized
the odds were not in my favor and chose to break off rather than be staked.
The sixth was Kendra and I was doing quite well until Buffy decided to
take her place.
was a good thing he hadn't known any of this when Spike had first blown
into Sunnydale nearly five years ago. It'd been bad enough learning their
new foe was the Slayer of Slayers, but if Giles had known the vampire
had survived five additional battles, he might have well packed Buffy
off to a safe place.
felt one corner of his mouth quirk in irritation. Pity Angel had not seen
fit to share any of this information at the time. Not that it likely would
have made any difference; Buffy and Spike seemed to move in some bizarre
dance to which only they knew the steps.
seventh, as you might have guessed, is Buffy Summers, quite possibly the
finest Slayer the Council has ever known. Quick, clever, attractive and
highly skilled at kicking ass. I notice your thesis ends before I came
to Sunnydale (you did forget to add "charming" to your final
analysis of me), but if you consider an appendix or addendum at some point,
you might wish to consider interviewing both Buffy and myself, not simply
relying on Giles' accounts. I think the two of us might offer us a unique
perspective and give the Council a fuller appreciation of Buffy's accomplishments.
brought a smile to Giles' face. He'd love to see Travers' reaction if
a series of joint interviews were proposed. He'd have to suggest video
tape to Lydia.
realize that my notes are somewhat general in nature, but more detailed
ones would take far longer and I wanted to get something off to you. If
I should think of anything further, I'll send them off via old Rupert.
If you have questions, he knows how to get in touch with me.
(aka William the Bloody)
Lydia would find the comments more than adequate (and probably show them
off to everyone within five minutes of their receipt), Giles put the letter
aside and turned to the remaining pages.
was only with great difficulty that he did not spew his beer over the
pages. Need to make copies before I give this to Lydia. The first
word was written in the looping style Giles had become familiar with;
the next two words were scrawled in a different ink and underlined, as
if added as an afterthought.
appalling amount of paper has been wasted regarding that oh-so-special
unique, one-of-a-kind vampire with a soul, Angelus, more commonly known
as Angel. There are prophecies, papers, books, chronicles detailing his
accomplishments, methods, defeats and why he's just plain gosh-darn different.
Because of recent events, even more attention's been turned on him.
a vampire should be able to father a child is not completely outside the
realm of possibility. The Balkans are filled with stories of dhampires
and I actually met a man some ninety years ago who may well have been
one; just looked at me and knew what I was. It was not an encounter
I care to repeat. Leave it to Angel, though, to go the legends one better
by not only fathering a child but managing to get one on another vampire.
Given the way watchers love to look for the meanings behind prophecies,
I'm certain the question "Why him?" has frequently arisen. The
answers are beyond me.
basic facts of his origin are correct as far as I know: in 1749, a drunken
Irishman stumbled into an alley, thought he'd found himself a bit of slap
and tickle and woke up with ridges and fangs. Given the little I was ever
able to pry out of Darla of what she knew of his human life, Liam (as
the bog dweller was known) was worthless; gambled, drank, whored, brawled
and busy working his way through his patrimony as fast as he could. The
odds were he would drink himself to death, die in a bar brawl or of syphilis.
Unfortunately, he met Darla instead.
can't vouch for any of the details of his career before I arrived on the
scene. There were tales and stories, but they seemed to shift and change
each time they were told. Sometimes, it seemed Darla and Angelus had participated
in two separate events with people who looked amazingly like their partner.
That Angelus was subject to obsessions, stalking and terrorizing the object
of his "affections" I can verify by the evidence of Drusilla.
Normally quite mad, there were times in the 120 years we were together
she remembered very clearly the pains that had been visited on her. Even
accounting for her state of mind and way of speaking (Dru never says anything
straight if she can use an analogy or a metaphor), I believe the Chronicles
may well be understating the extent of Angelus' cruelty.
but it almost seems as if the writers refer to two separate beings: the
demonic Angelus and the souled Angel. Sometimes I wonder if the gypsies
didn't just curse him with guilt rather than a soul, because post-curse
Angel seems to have more scruples than pre-death Liam. The curse does
not, however, prevent him from acting like a poncy bastard.
By the time I showed up on the scene, Angelus had cruelty down to a fine
art, a fact I became quickly and painfully aware of. He was the unquestioned
head of our little family and brooked no opposition or challenge. We were,
in fact, dysfunctional even for a vampire clan and I've at times thought
the four of us might make a nice edition of Jerry Springer. Of course,
we might end up by eating the audience, but no loss there.
the next twenty years, we careened across Europe, happily causing chaos
wherever we went. We fought, which was not surprising considering Angel
and I developed different ways of looking at the world. I prefer the adrenaline
rush of a good brawl, wading in all fist and fangs. Keeping after someone
until they're a quivering mass of jelly that can't defend themselves just
isn't my style. Angel, however, began his career by terrorizing his village,
culminating in the murder of his entire family. (The idea that this is
a common practice among vampires is something of a fallacy; let me state
for the record that my father predeceased me and my mother died peacefully
in her bed at a ripe old age.) Somewhere along the way, he got the fancy
idea that it was more "artistic" to terrorize a victim before
you killed them. There were times when it appeared he got off on the terror
more than the blood itself.
is what ultimately led to his undoing and the Great Poof we know and loathe
today. In 1898, Angelus decided to stalk and kill a gypsy girl. She was
innocent and trusting and I'm not certain she actually understood what
he was. Her tribe took exception, grabbed a handy Orb of Thesulah, and,
voila, one souled vampire to go. And go he did. Took off running for the
hills without a word (and most of our money in his pockets, I might add),
not to be seen for two years.
we next find our hero, it's in Peking during the middle of the Boxer Rebellion.
Sweet-talked Darla into believing for a moment that he had decided to
turn back to his bad old ways. Not sure why she believed him, except that
she likely wanted him around instead of me. (Don't believe that female
vampires aren't subject to little things like PMS; Darla was. For the
two years Angel was gone.) We might have easily fallen back into our old
patterns except for two events. First, Darla discovered Angel letting
a group of missionaries go instead eating them like a proper creature
of darkness. Second, I killed my first slayer.
wasn't happy with this. I'd just upset the balance of power by doing something
neither he nor Darla ever had. They couldn't safely dismiss me any longer.
Darla was the one who forced the question, offering him the choice of
eating the child of the missionaries he'd spared earlier or leaving. He
chose to leave.
Chronicles don't have much information about Angel for the next ninety-odd
years, nor does the vampire community. He wandered, avoiding most of our
kind, brooding on his fate. I ran into him once in New York during the
early 1980s; at that point he looked pretty bad, almost unrecognizable.
I considered stopping out of sheer curiosity if nothing else, but he made
a break for it and I didn't actually care enough to pursue.
1996 on, his activities are fairly well documented. Moved to Sunnydale,
helped the Slayer, lost his soul again, got it back, got sent to hell,
came back, helped the Slayer, walked out on her (causing endless repercussions,
the bastard), moved to Los Angeles and became Angel, Vampire Detective.
Sounds like he should have his own TV show.
are the facts of his history, but it still doesn't speak to the question
of why this nancy-boy ended up being considered so special by the bleeding
Powers that toss around us around like we were dice in a crap game. Perhaps
the answer lies in his nature or personality, something which I notice
neither your thesis nor the other chronicles speaks to. Allow me to shed
a little light on this oh-so-special shy and retiring vampire from my
a bastard. Uncaring, unthinking of anyone but himself and the moments
he's happiest are divided between brooding (souled) and causing pain and
terror to those around him (unsouled). I've known him for over a century
now and I haven't seen much change since the night I first crawled out
of my grave. Well, except for the brooding. Angelus didn't brood, unless
he got good and drunk. Then he would brood. And sing. Believe me, you
don't want to hear him sing.
Angel has a positive passion for destruction and he's one of those who
happens to think sending the world to hell might actually be a good idea
(See Rupert Giles' report of the Acathla incident). Souled, he acts as
if the weight of the world rests upon his shoulders, as if a single misstep
might somehow bring down Armageddon. He was always cheap, except when
it was something he wanted, like the gel he favors to make his hair stand
straight up. I can vouch for the lemon verbena shampoo, as well as the
oatmeal body scrub. Plotting to destroy the world and he sent a minion
out to refill his supply.
the insistence on luxuries such as gel and body scrubs and complaining
if he got blood on his linen during a kill that earned Angel many of his
nicknames. If you're going to dress for a drawing room when you're going
out into the middle of a riot and then whine that you got dirty, of course
people are going to think you're a poof. Well, at least in my opinion.
I had an opportunity to peruse some of Giles' diaries (see his comments
on the Initiative and how I managed to get this stupid chip in my head),
I noted that he has, on occasion, used some of my nicknames. For the sake
of clarity, the most common ones are Poof, Poofter, Great Poof, Nancy
Boy, Soul-having, Soul-whipped, Souled One and Peaches. Most are self-explanatory,
but allow me to explain the origin of "Peaches."
were in Vienna in 1892. The trip had proved somewhat of a bore until one
evening when we attended a formal soiree in honor of a visiting ambassador.
As Angel always liked his luxury, we dressed well when the occasion demanded
it and often attended the theatre and society events. (I did see Angelus
actually weep at a ballet performance he found beautiful, proving that
there is hope even for the worst of us.) We were looking for dinner and
found nothing to our liking as the crowd was older and probably rather
tough. While it takes a great deal of alcohol to get a vampire drunk,
too much champagne on an empty stomach can make one quite giddy. Darla
had a great deal of champagne, and decided to liven things up a bit. She
dared Angel and me to go up to the musicians' gallery and drop our trousers
for the crowd. As we'd also had a great deal of champagne, we agreed.
surprisingly, wackiness ensued and we decided it was best to end the evening
early. Many a laugh was had back in our rooms but the brightest moment
came when Drusilla chose to describe Angel's appearance in her own charming
and unique way. "It was soft and round," she said, "like
the skin of a ripe peach."
was too much for Darla and I to bear and we immediately began calling
him Peaches. Not surprisingly, he didn't particularly find the humor in
the situation and we were
discouraged from using it. This is to say,
any time I wanted to set him off, the name came up.
over this, I realize I have committed the very sin I complained of earlier:
wasted far more paper and ink on the Great Poof than originally intended.
I will end, therefore, with the hope that you find this piece useful in
keeping watchers gainfully employed in searching for the meaning behind
impossible prophecies. Given all the things I've seen in this world, I
must say there's very little I would call impossible, except perhaps little
green aliens in spaceships who buzz drunken tourists on deserted desert
Angel being able to sing anything on-key.
laid the last page down, wiped his eyes once more and lifted his pint
in silent salute. He could hardly wait.
dining room was almost full and Giles spotted Lydia at a table with five
others. Perfect. Copies had been made and safely tucked away so he could
present her the envelope with the Sunnydale postmark, his address written
on the front. Setting his pace to a deceptively casual walk, he made his
way across the room. "I was hoping to see you here, Lydia."
eyes darted first to the envelope, eager and hopeful. "If you'd like
to join us
shook his head. "Just wanted to deliver this. Spike has managed to
come through at last."
practically dived for it, but kept her calm at the last moment and gracefully
held out her hand. "Spike?" one of her companions asked.
the Bloody. Mr. Giles was kind enough to give him a copy of my thesis
and ask him to make some comments on it."
subject is making comments?" Eyes all around the table lit up. Ah,
the enthusiasm of the younger generation.
leave you to it," Giles told her. "Let me know what you think."
to himself, he made his way from the room, pausing briefly at the door
to look back. Lydia was quite immersed already, with her fellow watchers
craning their necks to get a view."
in or going out, Rupert?"
was the icing on the cake. "Going out, Quentin. Just had to deliver
something to Lydia."
smiled at the man who stood behind Travers. "Hodgson, I believe there
are some things there you might find of interest."
sudden, unexpected crow of laughter came from the middle of the dining
room and Giles looked back to discover all pretense of disinterest had
been abandoned. Lydia's companions were standing now, eagerly reading
over her shoulder.
Continued in Entry 13 - Whispers in the Wind