By mr. monkeybottoms
DISCLAIMER: Once upon a time these was a boy named Joss. He loved to torture people with angst. So he made a company called ME, and created a show to drive people nuts. He liked the show so much he decided he wasn’t gonna share any of the $$$ with the rest of us. Damn him!
THANKS: I never expected this little tale to go beyond a single chapter. I just wrote it for kicks. All your encouragement has gotten me this far. I hope to deliver.
HOLY COW: What the heck is going on! Spike was bitter and laid low for a while. Heh, I said ‘laid‘. Buffy couldn’t find him . Spike was beaten rather badly at Willy’s. Buffy went to Willy’s and punched him in the nose. Hee, love the nose punch. If I was a Slayer I’d be punching noses till the cows came home. Willy tried to give her Spike’s hot wings, but she doesn’t keep her trim figure that way, now does she? Anyways, Buffy finds Spike, almost spills the beans about Riley and her, but gets interrupted by those nutty Initiative guys. Oh, the wackiness! Poor Spike, getting all zapped and such. Riley is the one in charge and drags off our most beloved vamp. Buffy’s pissed. As in mad. Not drunk. And so we continue...
Buffy stopped in front of the large mirror on the wall and turned to her friends. “We have to get him out of there. They are going to cut him, do experiments on him.”
“And this matters because...?” Xander asked.
“Xander, they can’t just lock demons up and chip them and then torture them. It’s wrong. It’s like when those pharmaceutical companies spray perfume in little bunnies eyes to see if it’ll make them go blind.” Willow gave a sad look at the thought. Anya’s eyes lit up.
“Do you think that would work? Spraying bunnies with my Chanel #5?” she asked excitedly.
Giles stepped forward, interrupting her before she could keep going. “In the event that we do get in Buffy, it may be impossible to find him. Nevermind all of us getting out again.” He looked at her, concerned. “Will Riley not help us?”
“Um, Riley is one of the guys that took him.” Buffy looked at the group dressed in their own black fatigues. She sighed. “Listen. You don’t have to do this. I don’t want any of you risking your life for, well, for Spike. We all know that they are doing something wrong down there, beyond Spike. Something for um, war, or-or...mass destruction. Weapons and...and...stuff.” She paused. “I don’t know what, but I know it’s bad. And I’m going in, with or without backup.” She turned and kicked the glass on the wall, shattering it, exposing the elevator shaft behind.
“Cool!” Xander peered down. “And, dark!” He put the bag down and rifled though it, pulling out a large coil of rope and some metal fasteners. “I’m in.”
“Willow, I need the security systems down. Give me fifteen minutes in there.” Buffy pulled on the harness, fastening it around her waist. “Can you do it?” Willow looked nervous but nodded.
“If I can’t break in the old fashioned way,“ she pointed to her laptop, “I’ll do the confusion spell I found in the Book of Osiris.”
“Let’s go then,” Buffy said, and climbed over the edge of the elevator shaft. “See you at the bottom! Last one in’s a rotten egg!”
Xander threw the bag over his shoulder and followed her in. He gave the others a smile. “Watch out, this first steps a doozy!” And he was gone, repelling down the wall. Anya looked at the entrance and turned to Giles.
“Am I supposed to make a funny remark when I go down too?”
“Please don’t,” Giles muttered. Anya shrugged and followed the others down, giving Willow and Giles an enthusiastic thumbs up as she descended.
Willow, having wired her way to the control panel on the wall, typed madly on her computer. “There!” she said, pleased. “We have our fifteen minutes.” Packing it up in her bag, she stood up and peeked down the hole. “Um, it’s kinda far. And kinda not safe-looking.” She climbed over the edge and slowly lowered herself in, eyes wide, followed immediately by Giles. It was pitch black and the sounds echoed hollowly as they went down.
“Ignitus,” Willow said softly, making a soft blue glow appear, lighting the way.
“Oh, much better,” Giles said from above her. “Now I can see all the rat droppings I am stepping on.”
“Sorry Giles,” Willow said sheepishly. “Maybe you could pretend they are tiny raisins?” Giles made a snorty sound and she hushed.
The others were waiting for them at the bottom. “You alright?” Buffy asked, helping them get unfastened.
“Oh, just wonderful,” Giles said dryly, “Here we are, sneaking into a highly secret military base to rescue a vampire who has tried to kill us one more than one occasion, armed with only some stakes and a few battleaxes. Everything is quite normal.”
Anya waved the heavy axe in her hands happily. “Yes, look, I get to carry one of them!”
“Systems are down?” Buffy asked. Willow nodded.
“Fourteen minutes and counting.”
“Let’s go then.” Buffy and the Scoobies started walking through the maze of corridors, pausing whenever they heard a noise, doubling back when someone approached them from around a corner. The place was enormous, and it was difficult to move around without coming into the large open spaces and being spotted by the doctors and commandos milling about. Faintly, the sound of shrieking could be heard.
“Which way should we go?” Xander whispered when Buffy paused for a moment.
“I’d say in the direction all the yelling is,” Buffy said, leading them towards it.
The shouting led them to a more enclosed area of the compound, with clear cells filled full of dangerous-looking demons. Most were roaring in anger at the confinement, pacing angrily and beating at the glass doors locking them in. Some looked resigned, sitting dejectedly on the floor. Buffy looked at the low row of cubicles and frowned, wondering how she was ever going to find Spike.
“I see him,” Willow hissed, excited. She pointed to the far end of the line, where Spike could be seen laying on the floor, motionless.
They ran down to the front of his cell. The door seamed to have no handle or lock in it, and it slid securely right into the wall. Buffy gave it an experimental kick. It didn’t even ripple. She looked at the small code box on the right.
“Will, can you...uh, jimmy this door open with your laptop?” she asked. Willow looked skeptical.
“I can try,” she said. “Xander, pop this panel open for me.”
“Ooh, I get to do something manly.” Xander took out a small screwdriver and wedged it in, twisting.
“I can think of many manly things you do,” Anya said helpfully, making Xander look up in fear and the others wince. “Like that time you dug...and you were all sweaty and digging...”
Giles stepped forward, a pained look on his face “Yes, we all remember that. Now, can we just not talk about it? Ever. Again.” Anya gave him a frown.
“Fine,” she said. “But I don’t see why you all don’t think of Xander like I do-” She was cut off by a groan from the cell.
“Spike!” Buffy whispered, putting her hands on the glass. “Can you hear us?” She looked on as Spike rolled over slowly, fixing a bleary-eyed look on her.
“Slayer,” he mumbled, sitting up slightly. He was still weak from the beating and the shocks he’d gotten from Team Riley.
“Willow, open the door,” Buffy said impatiently. Willow frowned, concentrating.
“Hold on...I’ve almost got it-HA!” she said triumphantly as a loud ‘click’ was heard. All the doors to the cells opened with a gentle swooshing noise. “Ooops.”
Demons and vampires burst from all directions at once, snarling and fighting with each other. Most of them were too panicked to do anything but run around madly. The noise was deafening.
“Come on!” Buffy ran in and grabbed Spike, dragging him out of the bare room. “Can you stand?”
“Mmmm...Slayer...hot...” Spike’s hand reached up to her hair and she pulled away, shooting a glance at the rest of the group.
“Hot?” Xander frowned. “He’s got a fever?”
Giles sighed. “He's a vampire Xander. It's impossible for him to be hot.”
Buffy hoisted Spike up over her shoulder and looked at the fray outside the room. The vampire mumbled something softly against her back, still out of it. “We’ve got to get out of here before the lockdown happens. So much for our fifteen minutes of sneakery.”
Willow made a face. “Sorry guys,” she said, waving her hands at the scene around them.
Xander hacked at a demon as they backed out carefully. “No, Will, this is good. See, it’s a diversionary tactic. Very stealthy. Well, not as much stealthy as violent, but a good way to cover our tracks.” He ducked and Buffy staked a vamp, dust flying all over them. A group of army men raced by, armed to the teeth, not even noticing the odd group carrying weapons and an unconscious vampire. Xander pointed. “See?”
They quickly made their way to the elevator, mostly ignored by the commandos running around trying to gather all their prisoners. “Well, that wasn’t so hard,” Anya said, shrugging.
“Halt.” A deep voice ordered. They turned as one to see the four men standing around them, weapons ready. “Drop the weapons and stand down.”
Buffy let Spike go and he slid to the floor bonelessly with a thump. The others just stared at the officers. “I said, stand down!”
“Riley?” Buffy said. “Riley, you have to let us go.” The commando shook his head, removing his mask.
“Denied. Buffy, you shouldn’t have come in here. Civilians can be tried under marshal law. You are violating orders by rescuing an HST.” He looked at Spike crumpled at her feet. “This thing isn’t worth your time.”
Spike stirred slightly. “Bugger...mrrrnngh...” he muttered, trying to focus.
Anya frowned. “Why don’t you just let her go? “ she demanded to Riley. “You aren’t a very good boyfriend.”
Riley coughed, looking embarrassed. Buffy suddenly found the wall fascinating and stared at it, hard. “You are her boyfriend still, right?” Anya said. Riley motioned towards Buffy with his gun. All eyes, including the commandos, swiveled towards her.
“Umm....” Buffy gave them a sheepish look. “We kinda...broke up?”
“Broke up?” Giles said, looking shocked.
“Broke up?” Willow said, mouth open that her best friend hadn’t confided in her.
“Broke up?” Xander said, relieved.
“Guurrrrrrhh...’ Spike mumbled, still rather out of it.
The commandos murmured sympathetically at Riley in a manly fashion.
Anya looked bored. “I knew it.”
“Hello?” Buffy raised her hand, getting everyone's attention again. “Can we focus here? I am not giving you this one back, and I suggest that you...look out!” She shoved the nearest commando down, sending him sprawling, and punched the demon that had leapt out from behind. There was a scramble and the officers panicked a bit as a group of rather angry looking vampires descended on them.
“Riley! Move!” Buffy swung at the vampire holding onto his neck hungrily and tore him away. Riley stumbled and went down hard, pulling Buffy with him. “You need to get your men out of here. Are you hearing me? You need to-uh-what‘s that army word....? Oh, yeah, abort. Abort this mission!”
Riley grabbed his taser and rolled away from her, zapping a demon before it could get to the Scoobies, who were frantically putting their harnesses on. Buffy got up and ran to join them. “Buffy, wait!” She stopped and looked back at him standing among all the fighting and screaming. He stepped closer, a sweet look in his eyes.
“I will always lo-” He was felled by a swift punch in the face. Spike stood, looking extremely incensed, if not a good bit wobbly.
“Shock me will ya? That’ll show-AAAAAAAAARRRRRGH!!” He fell, clutching his head in agony.
“What made him all owie?” Willow looked at him writhing on the ground. Buffy shrugged.
“Delayed chip reaction.”
Continued in Chapter eight