African Terrors

Author: BigHead <bigheadfics[at]>

Disclaimer: Everyone here belongs to someone else, except me. I belong to a boatload of taxes.

Summary: What happens when you put together a lot of loners, armed to the teeth, having issues with the bad guys?

Rating: The characters blow up a lot of stuff and kill a lot of people in here, with an odd cursing or other thrown in. What do you think?

Author's Notes: Thanks again to Tenhawk, who let me play in his playground. Hope I don't empty the sandbox too quickly.


Chapter 1

New Delhi

The motions were taken from years and years of a mother's love and a father's pride to change his daughter into some resemblance of a lady. Countless hours of ballet, gymnastics and horseback riding gave the woman surprising strength in her legs. If she wanted, she could easily have been the top ballerina in any of England's top ballet companies, or perhaps an Olympic Gold Medal gymnast. One step, two steps, legs bent, and in the next movement, she was flying through the air, twisting her body so her feet were pointing skyward and she was facing back for a moment.

And that's where the ballet ended, and Lara Croft's calling came into play. She drew her twin H&K .45 USP from their specially designed holsters, and squeezed both triggers before reaching the apex of her flight. A twisting and spinning body didn't help much on aim, but it was enough to drive her armed followers into cover for a few moments.

She landed perfectly on a low wall, the stable footing allowing her to improve her aim considerably. The first thug to come out of hiding took two shots, one from each gun, one in his lower abdomen and the other ripped his throat off, ending a threat. Too bad there were a few more.

The tomb raider looked to the street below, and sighed. She would never, ever again, accept a job coming from 'a friend of a friend'. Cheap arsehole bastard.

She gave away a couple shots, to keep heads low for a few more seconds, and jumped from one roof to the other, hoping that the fragile structures held under her weight. Indian homes weren't constructed with the sturdiest materials, and they generally had a couple centuries on them. As soon as she had firm footing under her again, she continued running, eyeing the next, higher, rooftop. The sound of a badly aimed AK-47 made her push her limits even harder, but at the last moment, two steps away from the final jump, the roof disappeared under her, making her plunge like a bomb in the house below.

Thankfully, Lara fell in what she thought to be one of the house's beds, a pile of straw with a sheet of unidentified color on top. Disentangling quickly, she ran through the empty house, moving to the street and holstering her weapons. She opened the front door and came out rolling. She heard shots, but her pursuers were a bit far away yet and at odd angles to shoot. She ran left, hearing the men still in pursuit.

Lara then turned right at the first corner, a few bullets hitting the empty air where she had been a couple seconds ago. She heard someone scream orders, and the sound of running feet and lots and lots of yells. The small alleyway was cluttered with all sorts of odds and ends, so she passed running, throwing everything that she managed in the way of her pursuers. Boxes, pots, even a chicken didn't stand a chance. She ducked left through an empty doorway, a couple bullets hitting the walls around her. She ran up a few steps, and froze the moment she noticed she had entered a school full of children, right in the middle of class. Cursing in Japanese, she threw herself over an opened side window, landing in another small alley. She waited for a second, and when the first man jumped to follow her, she shot him right in the forehead, grabbing his AK and the bandolier with ammo around his neck. The second man was about to shoot her from the window above, but she simply pointed the rifle over his head and pressed the trigger, emptying the clip on the roof of the school. The guy retreated, giving her enough time to run again.

She exchanged clips while running, turning left and right, but the assassins seemed to know where she was going. In one of the largest streets, a cow was calmly standing in the middle of the street, apparently doing nothing. The raider smiled, and hid behind the animal for a few seconds, AK pointed above the animal's neck. The first thug to appear pointed the gun at her, and stopped for a moment, more than enough time to receive two 7.62mm slugs right in his chest. The second one was smarter than his dead companion, and fell to the ground, to help minimize his profile. The cow started moving, scared, but it was already too late.

Lara had trained with the SAS, so as the man was falling, she was trailing him with the rifle, as soon as he hit the ground she took her shot calmly, emptying his cranium of whatever it held inside. She patted the now fast moving cow, thanking religious beliefs for a second, and kept on running. Having lost sight of her pursuers, Lara actually stopped to check her surroundings for a moment. She noticed some saris hanging from a wire a couple houses in front of her, an idea forming on her head. She ran, grabbing the two darkest ones, turning a few corners left and right. Once she found an appropriate spot, she removed the AK's clip, ejected the bullet from the chamber and disposed of the rifle inside of a clay pot big enough to hide *her* inside, the bandolier and clip she threw away in other places, getting rid of all the extra, unnecessary volume she might have.

Then she stopped running, throwing the saris around her body and head, making her inconspicuous enough for a brief examination. One of the assassins ran by her, not noticing the bulk of her guns and backpack.

Lara then turned to a more crowded street, and disappeared into the streets of the Indian capital.

"You sure you are all right, Lara?" Bryce asked, over the phone.

"Yes, I'm sure," she said, rolling her eyes. Thankfully the speakerphone didn't have video, or the British hackerinventorarmorer would have a coronary. Not every day you'd see a beautiful, naked woman having a bubble bath comfortably after a gunfight, in one of the most expensive rooms of the New Delhi Hilton.

"So, the job was a bust," he said, also repeating himself for the third time.

"Yes, it was," she said once again, annoyed. "Could you please track Reinhold, I'd like to have a small chat with him about his choices in 'friends'."

"Personal chat? What about his friend?"

"Let's just say that his days of double-crossing and cheap deals had a sudden end," she said.

"Okay, one other thing . . ."

"We'll talk later," she finished, pressing the button to end the conversation, the adrenalin of the day finally dissipating. She grabbed a small towel and put it over her eyes, relaxing in the large tub. She loved Bryce like a brother, as she did Hillary, but they were quite annoying sometimes.

That's when the door to the room exploded inward.

Lara jumped off the bathtub, grabbing the .45 she let resting on the edge of the tub, and tried to find some cover in the beautiful, yet completely defenseless bathroom. The first body to pass the doorframe was received with three quick shots, she would worry about asking questions to the coroner later. The man flew backwards, only to hit the floor and bounce back up, face morphing into his demonic looks.

She cursed inwardly, her special clips were still in the main bedroom, and the bathroom had nothing of wood in it, only ceramics, metal and plastic. Changing tactics, the tomb raider shot the approaching vamp in the kneecap, making him fall inside the bathroom, screaming in pain and grabbing what was left of his leg. She jumped over him, ending up in a roll over the bedroom's carpeted floor, the acrylic surface scratching her skin like hell. She tried to stand up, but was met halfway by a powerful blow, which she thankfully managed to dodge enough to not broke her neck or jaw, but it still had enough power behind it to make her fly for a couple of feet, her shoulder blades hitting the bed painfully.

Lara shook her head to try to dispel the fog that was threatening her consciousness, while the second vamp approached slowly, something akin to a sneer in his face. He grabbed the gun and pulled, making Lara let it go, and he threw it to a corner. He grabbed her by the hair, and pulled her to a near standing position.

"Not so threatening now, are you?" he asked, in heavily accented English.

"You have iron balls?" she asked back, and kneed him in the groin with all the strength that she could muster, making him fold in half and drop her. "Then don't ask that," she said, while checking the bed. "I need your head," she continued, and grabbed the moaning vampire from the ground, using his head to break the bed's frame, made of wood. Quickly she managed to break a piece of it, which she used to dust him.

Lara then started turning to dust the second vampire, when the ominous click of a gun being cocked sounded right behind her. She cursed again for the second time in less than a minute and turned slowly, but without dropping the piece of bed frame.

"I have question," the other vampire asked in even worse English, leg still not fully functional but enough for him to move around.

She smiled, after looking briefly to the gun. "You know, the threatening works better if the safety is off," she told him, nodding to the gun.

Vampire was stupid enough to look to the weapon, instead of checking with his fingers, and that's when Lara hit the arm holding the gun, swatting it to a side. The gun went off, hitting the mirror on the other wall, but she was more focused on ending the threat. So, she grabbed the arm with her free hand, while the other motioned to strike the vampire in the heart, but apparently his stupidity ended right then and there. He used his vampiric speed to chop her arm lower, so the piece of wood ended up piercing his stomach. He folded with the pain, so Lara let the gun arm go, and grabbed both sides of his shirt's collar, pushing him down and forward. He ended up sprawled, half in, half out of what remained of the bed, the adapted stake in his belly perforating all the way till it came out on his back. He screamed in pain, letting the gun go. Lara grabbed it, but the vampire stood up quicker than she could take aim. He pushed her, and she flew backwards, buttocks being rubbed raw in the synthetic fibers of the carpet, but thankfully without letting the gun go.

The vampire ripped the piece of wood from his stomach with a quick motion, while she took a bead with the .45 to his head. That's when both of them heard the commotion on the corridor. Having no other means of escape for now, the vampire simply ran through the glass doors that gave way to the balcony, and jumped to the air, while Lara's bullets wheezed around him, some of them hitting his already heavily damaged body, not even bothering on being on the fifteenth floor.

Lara simply let the gun fall to the floor, empty, too bruised and tired to do anything else.

"Damn," was all she said.

After a long and deeply fantasized explanation to the New Delhi Police, a call to the British Embassy, some fussing by the hotel's medic, and a lot of groveling and excuses by the hotel manager, regarding the lax on the security, Lara finally managed to sit down and take a breath, in a new room, not so luxurious as the previous one, per her own request. She sat on the bed, massaging the hurt shoulder, mind replaying all the action from the last twelve hours.

She grabbed the small wood and gold idol from her backpack, eyeing the ugly sculpture with a cynical eye. "Too much trouble," she said to the air.

Lara stored the idol back in the pack, and grabbed her guns from the combat rig, taking both to the bathroom with her, loaded with vamp killers this time. She started prepping her shower, when her cell phone rang.

"What?" she growled in the phone, not even bothering on checking the ID.

"Lara, it's Hillary. Lady O'Connell has been attacked."

Chapter 2


The London nightlife was an interesting thing to see and even more so to be a part of, assuming you were into those kinds of things. Close to Camden Market, the light and sounds of the neighborhood spilled through the night to the more attentive listeners. But right here, in the dark and foreboding streets, the noises were almost like the enticing sounds of the sirens' songs; calling the unwary into their seductive clutches.

For the man sitting in a dark blue van with its tinted windows, this particular sirens' song was an old acquaintance, he had seen far too many fall prey to it. Men, women, young or old, it made no difference. The song was there and, as the myth told, there was always someone about trying to capitulate on the weakness of those individuals

And that's where Mack Bolan entered the picture.

This time, he was following up a trail that had started in Japan almost two weeks ago. Someone had robbed a museum, and they simply bombed the place to hide what they had stolen. Sixteen people had paid for the greed of just a few men. The press, they were treating it like a terrorist attack, but Bolan's sources knew better. The men had no tact and no finesse to execute a proper robbery, so they had used heavy explosives instead.

Their trail had brought him over to this specific address. It was a rundown building that apparently doubled as a warehouse. His contact said that this was where the stolen artifact would actually trade hands. It would happen sometime during the night. It was a shame that his contact couldn't narrow the timeframe down to a few hours, but he could wait. Mack thought about letting Interpol deal with these people, but something kept nagging him in the back of his mind.

Something about all of this simply didn't add up. Why use military grade explosives to blow up a museum? Why do it during working hours? Why steal only a single piece?

The building he was checking over, using the lens of a Starlite scope, was very old, from before WWII, with two floors and only two entrances, one small door for personnel and another one for a truck or similar vehicle, as his scouting from earlier that same day had shown.

He had waited for three hours for some sign of movement within the building, or for someone to approach. Now, it seemed, as though his patience was finally paying off.

Two guys, and Mack didn't need to be a fashion hound to notice their clothes were outdated, were approaching the old building bringing two young women with them. One silent alarm started ringing in Bolan's head, adding another bizarre layer to the weirdness surrounding this mission.

One of the men tapped a code on the keypad, the only piece of renovation apparent on the building, and opened the small door, ushering them all inside. A few minutes later, a small van parked a few meters away from the front of the building. Soon four men walked out of it, one of them carrying a small wooden box, the others with suitcases. Their body language and stances screamed mercenaries to him. Once again they tapped the same code, which the Executioner easily decoded. Then, ten minutes after that, a luxury sedan stopped right in front of the building. From it, three men emerged. Two screamed hired muscle, and had the builds to prove it. The third one was the charm. Black, bald, well build, dressed in a classy suit, one hand had a ...hook on it. If he wasn't the buyer, Mack was in the wrong field. Same code again, and the trio walked inside.

After five minutes of waiting, he opened the van's door, the internal light switched off. He grabbed the H&K G-36 assault rifle and slung it across his back. Pulling the Italian SPAS-12 from under the seats, he checkied the chamber one last time. His faithful Beretta rested under his left arm, and Big Thunder was in his ever present hip holster, three flash bangs and ammo to the guns finishing the ensemble.

Ducking low and using the parked cars as protection, he crossed the darkened street. He constantly surveyed his surroundings; his big black shotgun leading the way. After finally reaching the door, he glued his ear to the metallic surface. Detecting no noises on the inside, he carefully tapped the code, and the light above the numeric keypad turned green right the next moment.

Taking the utmost care, the Executioner used the shotgun's barrel to push the door open just slightly. His senses and instincts told him that no one was waiting behind the door. So, taking a chance, he crouched low and entered the building. His instincts didn't prove him wrong, the hallway behind the door was completely devoid of any life, figuratively and literally speaking.

The long hallway was badly illuminated by a single lamp and at the edge of the light, Bolan could see a body that had been hastily thrown against the wall, the person obviously dead. The SPAS pointed to the door at the end of the hall, he approached the corpse. With an eye on the surroundings, he checked the body. It was one of the girls he had seen enter with the first group who had come into the building. Her throat was torn, and from the looks of it, it had been from a bite. A vampire's bite.

Bolan was inwardly cursing to himself. This mission had suddenly made a lot more sense, not to mention immediately hitting a FUBAR status at the same time. However, he couldn't turn his back now; otherwise he would lose their trail. Besides, whatever the men stole, it was probably way more dangerous than simply stealing a simple piece of art.

Acting quickly, he rested the SPAS against the wall, replacing both clips from the Desert Eagle and the Beretta with the 'special' ones that Harrison had provided him by way of Hal Brognola, silver-tipped hollow point bullets. He always carried two clips of each since the day he had been introduced to the darkest side of the night. Holstering the guns back again, he grabbed the SPAS, remembering to aim high. A decap shot would work as well, that was something he would always remember.

Now acting with thrice the care, he silently made his way to the only other door in the hallway; a rickety wooden one, half off of its hinges. He peeked in, and the next room was also apparently empty. He opened it, trying to make the least amount of sound as possible. From what he remembered, vampires could hear like nobody's business.

The room was a small office area, the thick layer of dust illuminated by the faint rays of light coming from the hallway's lamp showing how long the place hadn't been in use. Weird, considering the new keypad and steel door at the front. Two other doors were available to Bolan, one led to the warehouse proper, the other probably to a bathroom. Deciding on the least threatening one, he pushed the bathroom's door open, and the first sign something was wrong happened as soon as he noticed voices coming from the inside.

He froze, hand tightening on the shotgun's pistol grip, but the voices were still a bit far away, something nearly impossible, if his calculations of the bathroom size were any indication. Pushing the door open the rest of the way with the shotgun, the Executioner finally understood what had happened, and why they had chosen this particular warehouse. Where the toilet should have been was now a big hole, big enough for a large man to go through, said toilet discarded to a side, the sledgehammer used to open the hole resting inside, the debris scattered throughout the bathroom.

Bolan entered the hole, taking care not to disturb the debris and alert the people or variants downstairs. It was an old staircase, leading to the bowels of the earth. From the looks of it, it could have been a part of an underground railroad system, probably an old station that had been closed a long time ago. The lights were sparse in there as well, one single lamp illuminated the entire length of the staircase, and the Executioner would be a sitting duck if someone spotted him climbing down, but he apparently had no other choice.

He passed the cone of light with quick and sure steps, the SPAS leading the entire way. Getting to the bottom of the stairs without being seen was almost a miracle, but he wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth. He arrived at the station proper, and the place had been cleared of almost everything that could reminisce from that time. Instead of ticket booths, shopping booths, and similar such objects, the place was now just a large room, filled with crates and crates of something that Mack couldn't easily identify in the darkness. The only lights came from a few lamps spread through the large hall, but while they were enough to curb the need for NVGs, it wasn't enough to dispel the darkness, turning the place even more eerie. Still checking from his current position, he noticed that the only apparently still empty space was the rail tracks, and that's where the voices were coming from. Someone had lighted a big floodlight and were talking in normal voices, but not enough to be heard from where Bolan was.

Moving with great care, he entered the crates' maze, all senses focused on his surroundings. He managed to approach the group with some ease and still remain in stealth mode. He stopped just a few feet away. He now was close enough to one of the pallets that, thanfully, was being indirectly lit, and what he saw made his blood boil and his eyes hardened into two chips of the coldest ice.


LAW rockets. The place was filled with guns. Lots and lots of guns, and the Executioner was absolutely sure the people responsible for them didn't have the most pacifist ways in mind. He'd have to terminate this operation, now. He looked to the group, and saw the black man checking what looked like two heavy and long bracelets made of gold, filled with inscriptions, while the mercs were busy counting the money, and the two muscles were to a side, checking the entire deal.

That only left the trio that came first unaccounted for, the vampires.

And then the hairs on the back of the Executioner's neck stood to attention. He just had the time to twist his body, his back pressing against the crates while his finger tightened on the trigger.

The resounding 'boom' signaled the beginning of Bolan's descent into Hell.

The Italian Franchi Sporting Purpose Automatic Shotgun, or simply SPAS-12 was considered one of the best .12 gauge in the world, its features combined with the deadly looks making it one of the best combat shotguns around. Mack, a veteran of almost every combat situation, knew perfectly well what he needed to invade a place that he didn't know the exact layout of, or the number of targets involved, and when he went in search of a shotgun, the SPAS had seemed the perfect choice at the time.

But right at this moment, the Executioner thought if he shouldn't have picked up a couple of thermobaric grenades. Or a Hellfire missile.

The first round in the chamber was a Double Ought buckshot cartridge, and Bolan's aim was, albeit rushed, still dead on. For a human, it would mean that the only place where he would stand back up would be Heaven or Hell, or whatever the belief of the deceased one. For the vampire, however, he was simply flung backwards, landing painfully atop a few crates a couple of feet back, unbalancing his other companion. In the next moment, he was standing back up, shrugging off the shot as if it was nothing.

Bolan traded the SPAS to his left hand, the Beretta clearing leather the next moment, his fingers expertly setting up the fire selector for three shot bursts. He aimed quickly, the vampire snarling almost in his face. He pressed the trigger, the silenced burst almost invisible in the confines of the maze of crates and pallets. This time the shots paid off, the demon only had time to mouth off a silent 'O' and turn into dust.

Mack dropped low, and the action probably saved his life, because in the next instant, the mercenaries were opening fire. The air above his head began to transform into a maelstrom of hot lead and wooden splinters. The other vampire was riddled with enough bullets to forge an ingot of lead from it. He fell down, twitching but not dusting, however Mack wasn't there to see it, having already moved to another position under the cover of the crates.

The black man was appreciating the intricate work wrought into the bracelets. The inscriptions had given the scientific community years and years of useless arguments and speculations about them. Some even voiced - hushed, of course - that they were so atypical that they could even be from an 'other worldly' intelligence.

If they only knew.

The money had already traded hands, pocket change if he was really going to bother. The mercenaries were still counting the bundles when the report of a gun firing, a shotgun from the sound of it, made them all drop the money and grab the briefcases they had brought with them, each containing a MP5SD6 in it and two spare clips apiece.

No sooner than the weapons were aligned, they had converged fire on the probable point from where the shot had been fired.

The buyer grabbed the bracelets, shoved them back in the crate, and turned to one of his bodyguards.

"You, take this to the predetermined point. I'll meet you there after I deal with this...nuisance," he pointed out, hand traveling to the inner folds of his coat and bringing forth a wicked-looking sword. "You, come with me," he said to the other. Both grunted their answers, and the one with the crate dropped on the rails and ran down the darkened and unused train tunnel, disappearing from sight.

Bolan cursed internally, he had now to deal with four mercenaries, one, perhaps two, pissed off vampires, and maybe the buyer's bodyguards, if they hadn't already bolted. Moving at all times, he walked around the big hallway, using the crates as cover. His first opposition was met a few moments later, when the first merc crossed his peripheral vision. The man noticed him, but it was already too late when a subsonic 9mm silver bullet silently penetrated the bridge of his nose, turning his brain into mush. Unfortunately for the Executioner, the mercenary had his finger on the trigger, and the spasm triggered a long burst from the submachine gun.

Having no other option, the blue-eyed warrior moved, but as luck would have it, he ended up converging right into the path of two other mercenaries, surprise etched on their faces. Mack had the SPAS already aligned, so it was just the job of pressing the trigger. The slug tore through the first man's throat, almost decapitating him in the process and showering his companion in hot blood and gore. The surprise of seeing his friend dead was enough to freeze the other mercenary, and Bolan capitulated on this mistake. The SPAS spewed hot lead once again, and the man was flung backwards into Eternity.

The last mercenary alive, the apparent leader, was smarter than his dead companions. His H&K cleared the corner and he fired a full auto burst without looking. Mack reacted as soon as he saw movement, throwing himself to the side. He was lucky, but he didn't come out unscathed. One bullet grazed his leg, taking a sizeable piece of skin and muscle with it. It wasn't enough to impair movement, but it would bleed a lot and the trauma would stiffen it after his adrenal high had ceased.

Bolan removed one of the flash bangs out of his webbing and removed the pin, ears focused on his now almost silent surroundings. At the first sound of scuffling feet, he threw the grenade in the direction the sound came from, closed his eyes and covered his ears. The loud bang and flash was reinforced by the echoing hallway and the darkness, and the scream that followed showed that the action had worked.

He moved out of his hiding spot, quickly converging to the point the screams and cursing were coming from. He was surprised to see, instead of the mercenary, the vampire in tattered clothes, game face on, rubbing his hands over his eyes. Bolan shot at him again, this time he had no time to use the Beretta, so the SPAS spewed forth the heavy lead slug. What happened in the next moment surprised even the jaded warrior, because the slug simply *bounced* off the thing's forehead, as if it was hitting a steel wall. It still caused damage, or at least a lot of pain, because the demon was flung backward, his screaming taking a louder and angrier tone, with enough cursing to redden a platoon of sailors.

Striker moved around the distraught, and nearly blinded by pain, vampire; knowing that the lead merc would be hot on his tail, and another second later, the unlucky demon was once again turned into a dancing lead paperweight by the merc's MP5.

"NOW I'VE REALLY FUCKING HAD IT!" he screamed, and ignoring the bullet wounds, moved so fast he almost seemed to blur, grabbing the mercenary by his neck and twisting it savagely. Bolan heard the neck snap, and taking advantage of the back turned, used the Beretta to pump three silver rounds on the thing's back, one of them piercing the undead heart, the necrotic energy releasing its hold and turning the body into dust.

The Executioner didn't even stop to appreciate his momentary good fortune. He simply doubled back the way he had come, going back to the place where the meeting had been taking place previously. The nearly spent shotgun was rearranged to lay across his back, while the assault rifle was brought to the front.

He had moved a few feet when another set of footsteps entered his hearing range, and they weren't even attempting to be silent. Bolan turned the G36 to the direction of the sound and pressed the trigger, stitching the large bodyguard from crotch to throat.

The large man staggered backwards a little bit, but did not fall. Bolan simply aimed higher and pressed the trigger again, two bullets crossing the space between them in less than a heartbeat, hitting the man in the forehead. Instead of bringing his head's innards to the outside, the bullets simply flattened against his skull and fell to the ground.

The bodyguard looked to the Executioner, and the point was finally driven that the thing attacking him was not human. After all, humans didn't have purple eyes.

"Shit," Bolan cursed, his thumb flinging the fire selector for full auto, his index finger pressing the trigger the next millisecond. He emptied the entire clip on the thing's center mass, hoping against hope that he would hit something vital, or at least penetrate the demon's skin.

The full brunt force made the demon halt for a few moments, enough for Mack to slap another clip in the receiver. He fired again, this time higher, aiming for the thing's head. The first shots went through, causing no apparent damage, but the demon lifted his arm, covering his face. The action served to show Bolan that the thing had a weak spot somewhere on his face.

He stopped firing and backtracked, deciding to set up a small trap for the demon. He turned around, ready to retreat, and that saved his life one more time. Bolan saw movement from the corner of his eye, and his turning suddenly turned into a roll, something passing where his neck was a moment ago. Mack saw the buyer look surprised for a moment, and the surprise suddenly turned to anger when he noticed that his beheading slash had failed. The G36 was shot from the hip, the tumblers opening two big holes in the man's chest this time. The black man fell down, dead, and Bolan grabbed the sword he was holding.

The demon bodyguard was already right on top of the Executioner, and Mack didn't have time to think, he slashed blindly, and while the bullets had failed, the razor sharp sword did not, opening a deep wound in the thing's belly. The demon grabbed his innards in clear pain, and Bolan capitulated, taking a page from the black man's book. The sword cleaved through the bodyguard's neck with almost fair easiness, the head dropping on the station's floor, purple blood stemming from the stump.

Bolan kept the sword with him, there was still the other demon bodyguard to worry and the second girl the vampires had brought with them.

The search produced the girl's body drained of blood to a corner and nothing else. The other bodyguard had vanished, probably taking the bracelets with him, and the mercenaries had nothing on them that could point to another venue to be pursued. When Mack went back to search the buyer's body, all that he found was an empty space with a big pool of blood in it.

"What the hell?" he muttered, searching the surroundings. The body hadn't been dragged, there was no blood trail to follow, it seemed as if the guy had simply stood up and vanished.

This mission suddenly turned even worse, it touched an area Mack didn't have the slightest expertise on. He needed help, specialized help.

Back into the safe house, after his shower, treating his wounds and cleaning his weapons, the Executioner grabbed his mobile and dialed a number from memory.

"Talk to me, Striker," Hal Brognola said, from across the Atlantic.

"The mission was a bust, Hal," Mack said, his voice tired.

"The buyer didn't show up?" Brognola asked, worried. The intel was solid from what he could gather.

"Oh, yes, he did. I even dealt with him, or at least I thought I did."

"What happened?" the big fed asked.

Bolan then proceeded to explain what had happened and what he had faced.

"Jesus Christ, Mack. Are you all right?"

"I'm okay, just some scratches. But I lost the bracelets, and from what little I know, this isn't a simple robbery turned wrong. I think that those things are dangerous. Very dangerous."

"What do you want to do?"

"I need someone who knows this stuff. You know how to contact the Harrison kid?"

Chapter 3

Sunnydale, California

It had been a battle Xander lost with a smile on his face. It all started the previous day, when Faith had complained about the fact that they never spend any time just relaxing. He found it odd coming from the Slayer, but he had to agree that with their Knighthood deals, worrying about the Hellmouth, the Terakans, and everything else that had piled up in the previous few months, a time for just goofing off and relaxing just didn't seem to enter their plans. So, with only a little bit of reluctance, he had agreed to set up a small barbeque at the pool for a few friends.

When the Taskers arrived at his doorstep the following day, he had already stopped counting. All of the Sunnydale crew, plus the Angels and Faith's parents were taking advantage of the almost unused pool in his backyard, while he and Jack were manning the two grills, the old spy had a fair bit more talent than he did. Checking out the lounge chairs and the people spread in them, a delighted chuckle escaped his throat.

"What?" Jack asked, while flipping a burger.

"I should do this more often, if just for the eye candy," the Knighthood Commander pointed out, as if the colonial spy hadn't noticed all the girls in their skimpy bathing outfits.

"That's one of the reasons why I love this century so much," Styles said, his attention vanishing the moment that Dylan walked on by wearing something that would probably be called a bikini if only it had a bit more cloth to it.

Xander chuckled, his eye traveling to Nat, wearing something more conservative, but not less attention-grabbing.

He just wondered if the tradition would remain and something apocalyptic would break up the party. Then Giles' mobile rang. Checking the Englishman's worried face, he knew that the trend had not been broken. Only a short moment later, and his own shorts started vibrating. He removed the fold-comm from one pocket and flipped it open.

"Commander," Merlin said. "Mr. Brognola is trying to contact you over one of your old contact numbers."

Xander looked around, suddenly noticing that every single pair of eyes were on him.

"Patch him through, Merlin."

One moment later, Brognola's powerful voice was vibrating in his ear. "Xander?" the fed asked.

"What's the problem, Hal?" he asked, serious.

"Our common friend had a problem in London, apparently he hit something that falls into your area of expertise."

Xander suddenly felt his stomach sink. "Is he all right?"

"Yes, just a few scratches, but from what he told me, it could have been a lot worse. He got lucky, but he needs help."

"What happened?"

Hal then briefly explained what had happened and how Mack ended up trailing the mercenaries all the way to England, and how one of them had escaped with the loot, and how the buyer had apparently died but the body had vanished without a trace. Xander heard it all, and when he had finished, he turned to address Merlin.

"Merlin, can you confirm what was really stolen?"

"If Mr. Brognola was correct in his description, I think that the items stolen were the Bracers of Osiris. It was kept on a private collection until some time ago, then it was suddenly sold to the Museum."

"Osiris? Any link with..." he trailed off, not really wanting Hal to be aware of the Goa'uld. If the man didn't know about them, then it was not his fight.

"Possibly. The language carved on the Bracers have links to the very distant past, predating even the Fall."

"Fall? What fall?" Brognola asked, curious.

"Nothing that pertains to you, Hal. Bit of archeological history," Xander said, his curiosity peaked. "Threat level?" he asked.

"Unknown, Commander. The information on the Bracers is more hearsay than hard facts, and whatever information that could point to a more accurate description has been lost, or I simply don't have access to."

"Who would know such information?" Brognola asked.

"I backtracked the Bracers until their last exhibition at the Japanese Museum. Apparently, Mrs. O'Connell did an appraisal on them a while ago. She may, perchance, know a bit more about the items."

"That's good, and a stroke of luck for us, Hal. Evie lives in England, you think Mack could meet us there?" Xander asked, remembering a talk he had with Giles about his aunt and their past adventures.

"You're willing to help?" Brognola asked, but he already knew the answer. Xander and Mack were so much alike it was scary.

"Of course, as you said, it's my area of expertise. Besides, Mack helped me out when I needed it; it's far past time to pay back the favor."

"I'll talk to him and make sure he contacts you directly so you can set something up. Good luck, Xander, keep me posted," the big fed said before disconnecting.

As soon as Brognola disconnected, Xander turned back to Merlin.

"Merlin, see if you can contact Amanda, I might need her services in the hair cutting department. Do we have any Cadre members that are 'long lived'?"

"Yes, sir. Two of the troops are."


"Not on the level of Ms. Darieux."

"Leave them on stand by, and try to reach her. Set up the jet and rent me something fast to move around in England."

"You won't use the Knighthood?" the AE asked, curious.

"I trust Mack, I even trust Hal, but I don't want to tip my hand yet."

"It shall be done, Commander. However, I think you should talk with Mr. Giles, he's asking for similar requests on another line."

"What?" he said, turning to look at the Englishman.

"Apparently Lady O'Connell has been attacked."

"There are too many coincidences in this to make it healthy. Okay, Merlin. Minutemen alert, deployment code is John Revere."

"Fitting," the AE said, dryly. "I'll have everything ready by the time you reach the airport, Commander."

Xander ended the call, and in the next moment Nat and Faith were right at his side, the rest of his guests wondering about the developing situation.

"What's wrong, Boytoy?" the Slayer asked. Nat rolled her eyes at the nickname but chose not to comment.

"So far, nothing apocalyptic, but I do like to be prepared. A friend of mine got involved in a situation that deals in our neck of the woods, and he's asked for some help. It also apparently ties in with Giles' call."

"You need help?" his girlfriend asked.

He shook his head. "For now, no; I just have to make a trip to England. I'll contact you as soon as I learn something."

Faith stretched her hand in Nat's direction, looking smug and demanding.

"What? You think I have a wallet hidden somewhere in this bikini?" the Angel asked, annoyed.

"Do I really wanna know?" Xander asked the duo, while Giles approached.

"I bet a hundred bucks with Blondie here that something would break up the party before sunset. Now, pay up," the Dark Slayer said, smirking.

Natalie stalked away, in search of her wallet, pouting the whole way.

"We're so freaking predictable," the Kine Commander said, shaking his head.

<If it serves as a consolation, Alexander, the same used to happen with us in the old days as well.> Elan said.

"That sooo fills me up with joy, Elan." he replied, dryly.

"Chain Mail Bikini Babe agrees with me?" Faith asked, smiling. Xander nodded. "We women know about these things."

Elan snorted inside his head, but his reply was cut by Giles clearing his throat. "Xander?"

"Go pack, Giles, we'll talk on the plane. I know what happened, and it's probably worse than you think."

The ex-Watcher didn't even bother with a reply; he simply turned around and went to pack a suitcase.

"I have to pack as well. Pass the word around?" Xander asked his friend.

"Will do, X. Good luck."


Nat's goodbye was silent, but the physical side of it more than able to make up for the lack of words. The wolf whistles and catcalls issued were proof of that.

Xander was finishing packing when his fold-comm vibrated again.

"Xander?" the strong and unmistakable voice echoed on the other side.

"Striker. Good to hear from you. How are you?"

"I'll live. Now, Hal told me you'll be coming to England." the Executioner said.

"Yes, I just finished packing and we're going to the airport right now. I think it's better if we meet at Heathrow. I'll have someone waiting for Mike Belasko so you can bring the party favors. From there we'll make a short hop to another place, where we can learn more about the shiny trinkets able to end the world."

Bolan chuckled dryly. "That would be far more amusing if it wasn't so damned dangerous."

"Mack, I've learned to have my fun with everything, otherwise I would have ended up in a straightjacket a long time ago."

The seasoned warrior on the other side of the Atlantic chuckled again. "Timetable?"

"I'll call you when we're in flight to give you one. For now, patch your wounds and take a nap."

"You don't have my number," the Executioner pointed out.

"I don't need it. Wait for my call."

"Will do, kid," Bolan said, not really wanting to know the details of how the kid got his information. "Have a nice flight." he said, and hung up.

"I'm not a kid," Xander muttered to no one except the voice in his head.

"I miss KARR," Xander commented, while Giles took them to the airport.

"Are you suggesting that I drive slowly?" Giles asked, a tiny bit of Ripper emerging.

"No," the younger brunette said. "Actually, this car works better for you than that relic you used to drive. I just miss him, you know?"

"Somehow, the sight of you traveling in an indestructible car with a psychotic AI in charge does not fill me up with joy. I wonder why."

Xander chuckled. "He's not that bad, you know? And he's a sociopath, not a psycho."

"Oh, yes, that makes it much better. Besides, that's why he's so perfect for you,"

"You're calling me a sociopath?" Xander asked, lopsided grin in place.

"Aren't we all?"

Xander evaluated the question turned statement of fact for less than a full second.

"Point. Now, dear distorted shrink, care to give me the 4-1-1 on Lady Evelyn O'Connell?"

Giles then began to explain their common background, their families and the little information Lara had shared with him during their phone call. The story was so long that when Giles finished they were already taxiing the runway.

"So, she was attacked by a group of mercenaries and an old friend of the family saved them?"

"That's what I could gather," the Englishman said, tightening his safety belt.


"I don't know, Lara didn't tell me much more than this, but I believe that you can, Xander. After all, it was the reason why you're here and why the plane was readied so quickly."

Xander proceeded to explain what he had heard from both Brognola and Bolan, and their suspicions about the bracelets.

"I guess the Council might have something about such artifacts. I'll contact Wesley and ask him to dig up some information."

"Speaking of which, I think we need to pay the ruling Council Board a visit in the near future."

"Why? Do you desire to take them out?" Giles asked, curious.

"No, nothing like that. Or at least not all of them. But they need an attitude adjustment, and we need to set some ground rules. Besides, they have access to research material that we don't. I'd prefer to have an at least amenable setup with them than having to turn to heavy handed tactics each and every time we're about to have an Apocalypse on our hands."

"That would be wise. It may even go a ways to protect Buffy from the Cruciamentum."

"If someone from the Council ever approaches with the intent of sticking a syringe in Buffy's arm, Travers will need a rectal excavation to remove his head from where I'll place it." Xander said, darkly.

"A sentiment I fully share, my boy."

Their conversation ranged to a few more topics, until Xander used Merlin to contact Bolan and set up their meeting at Heathrow. Then the two survivors from the Reset lowered their chairs to take a nap, probably the last one they would have for quite a while.

All in all, Faith was quite right. It was good to have a relaxing day.

Chapter 4


James Bond looked around for the tenth time that morning, while traversing the space between the Arrivals and the VIP parking space in Heathrow Airport. He knew that London Police had issued a Terrorist Alert, and while he was just coming back from an assignment, another pair of eyes, even tired ones, could spot a familiar face in a crowd.

He walked with sure yet slightly tired steps, his chest still hurting from the slightly bruised ribs, his small carry-on and suit bag adding some strain to his abused muscles. He thought of dropping the bags at his home and go to the club for a massage. He just hoped that Inga was still available, she gave the most incredible massages, he thought with a smile.

The MI-6 agent got distracted for a long moment, remembering the pair of blue eyes not unlike his own, that he didn't see the young man crossing his front. The impact, while slight, was inevitable. Bond unbalanced for a moment, the sudden movement bringing a small wince of pain from his lips.

The young man moved before he could register what was happening, but his training kicked right in time. The action of holding him so he wouldn't fall down was assimilated as a non-threat, but his eyes scanned the brunette even then. Bond saw the bulk of a gun hidden below the well cut and buttoned up jacket, but he didn't make any threatening motions.

"Are you all right, sir?" the young man asked. American, Californian, from the sounds of it. Bond, face a mask of surprised indifference, smiled slightly.

"Sure, young man. Just wasn't looking to where I was going," he replied.

The brunette nodded, replied to the smile and walked away. That's when James Bond noticed the other man walking to the side of the brunette.

His massage session just went down in flames that exact moment.

Xander was berating himself internally, Elan adding to his own misery.

'Come on, Elan, I could have killed that guy.'

<And yet you didn't, Alexander. It's a price we pay for being warriors, instant readiness in the face of any given situation, even when the situation doesn't prove itself to be dangerous,> the Kine warrior turned Rune Weapon replied.

No one had noticed a thing, and even an experienced warrior might not have seen what had transpired when the Englishman had bumped on him a few moments ago. It was all an accident, a misstep on the man's part, from what he realized, but for Xander it meant that he contracted all the muscles in his legs and lower torso to give him a strong balance point, while his hands contracted momentarily into fists, the power behind them more than enough to break all of the man's ribs with a single punch. However, as soon as the action started, it ended, and he helped the man to get his footing back.

He had almost killed a guy because he bumped into him.

"Are you all right, Xander?" Giles asked from his side.

He nodded, not really wanting to discuss the matter with the Watcher.

Neither noticed the man from before following them from a distance.

Rupert 'Ripper' Giles.

MI-6 had an interesting file on him, troublemaker when he was younger, up to the point that the underworld had a fair bit of respect for the man, then something happened to him, and he turned into a nearly model citizen, earning a doctorate and ending up as a curator for the British Museum. Lots of blanks in the file, but an interesting read, nonetheless.

While not actively being sought by the Secret Service, something was not adding up to Bond's instincts, the same instincts that kept him alive this whole time as an agent of Her Majesty. With the issued Alert, Giles' presence was not something to be dismissed as a coincidence, and the armed young man at his side surely wasn't anything to relax upon.

From the looks of it, the duo was discreetly searching for something or someone, while clearing the masses that were moving around. They weren't hiding in corners or hiding their features when walking around the policemen checking the crowds, and the action served to calm Bond a little bit. Whatever they were doing, it probably wasn't related to the threat.

The brunette then stopped walking around and moved in a near straight line to a Café, apparently having found who he wanted. Bond followed his movements, and the face he recognized among the customers almost made him get back in a plane and take a vacation in Aruba.

He had never met the man personally, and if he did, MI-6 had an order to detain on sight. Not that any of the agents that read his file had any inclination to do so, or the death wish to try it, and even the person who wrote that bit of an order knew that no smart agent in the British Secret Service worthy of his position would detain the man. Congratulate him and call him for a pint of Guiness would probably be more like it.

But it added another layer to an already interesting situation. After all, what was Mack Bolan doing in Heathrow, meeting Rupert Giles and an American teenager of all people?

Xander noticed Bolan checking his surroundings from the Café, expertly using the place to hide himself from the roving policemen. He noticed Xander a moment later, and while the man didn't sport a smile, the young Kine Commander knew that he was glad to see him. Well, the feeling was mutual.

He approached, Giles at his side. When they arrived, Mack carefully scanned their surroundings, while stretching his hand.

"Mike, good to see you," Xander spoke first, shaking the offered hand.

"Good to see you as well, kid."

"This is Giles, the rest of the introductions can be done later. All these cops are making me jittery," Xander pointed out, in a very low tone.

"Me too, let's go," Bolan said, leaving a few pounds to pay for the coffee plus a nice tip.

"I have a rental waiting for us," he said, and they started walking to the exit, in silence.

The driving was left once again for Giles, for two basic reasons, he knew the way and he was used to drive on the 'wrong' side of the street. The sleek black BMW cut the lanes expertly, the man behind the wheel somewhat glad to be in his homeland.

"Well, good to see you again, Mike. Mike Belasko, this is a good old friend of mine, Rupert Giles. G-Man, Mike here is one of the guys I met during my journeys around," Xander said, extending the introductions after they had left the airport grounds. "Giles here is one of the best supernatural researchers in the world."

Bolan was somewhat surprised that Xander hadn't revealed his real name to the British man. It wouldn't actually matter now, but it ended up earning some brownie points with him. He knew how to keep a secret.

"A pleasure, I think," Giles said, while changing lanes.

"You think?" Xander asked, curious.

"Knowing the type of friends you make, Xander, I fear for my sanity and well being every time I meet one of them," Giles said, winning a chuckle from the tall warrior sitting in the back.

"I wouldn't worry much about your sanity, Mr. Giles," Mack said, adjusting the large duffle bag sitting at his side. Thanks to the kid sitting in front, he now had a weapons permit to walk around armed in Great Britain, issued under his Mike Belasko identity. Not that it would do much good if someone recognized his face, but it would keep him out of trouble over a cursory glance.

"I realized you said nothing about my well being," the ex-Watcher pointed out, mirth in his voice. "And call me Giles, please."

"In my line of work, I make no guarantees, Giles," the Executioner replied, a bit more seriously.

"Not only in yours, Mr. Belasko. In ours, getting away with your soul intact sometimes is a small blessing."

"Now that we're all pretty filled up with well being and joy, care to share what happened again, while we try to fill up the blanks?" Xander asked dryly.

"First, care to tell me where we're going?" Bolan asked.

"An old friend of mine was one of the people who had contact with the armbands. I think she can shed some light on this matter," Giles said, and the Executioner nodded.

"So, what happened with you, Mike?" the Kine Commander asked.

"I've been following those mercs since Japan," Bolan started, but Xander interrupted him with a hand. He removed the vibrating fold-com from his pocket and attached it to his jaw.


"Niume, what's wrong?" he asked.

"You have a tail, Commander."

007 was following them from a distance, but within visual range, just until he could manage to fire one of the tracers at their car, then he could distance himself even further. He touched the thumbprint scanner disguised as a button in the steering wheel, and the car's compact yet powerful communications array connected him straight to a desk in the MI6 headquarters on the shores of the Thames.

After a brief moment for the scramblers to align, a very feminine voice echoed through the car's loudspeakers.

"James, good to hear from you. Hope you're calling to tell me you brought me a present," Moneypenny said, easily entering the flirting they shared for so long.

"Of course I did, only the best for you, Moneypenny," he said with a smile. "Is she in?"

"One moment," she said, and in a moment he heard the call being transferred.

"I only expect you here tomorrow, 007," M said, wasting no time with pleasantries.

"I know, M, but I think we have a situation on our hands," Bond replied.

"Is it a part of the terrorist alert?" she asked.

"I think it might be related. I just saw Mack Bolan in Heathrow Airport."

"I'm ordering a complete lockdown of the area," she said urgently.

"Don't bother, he already left the premises. I'm following him right now."

"Where are you now?"

Bond told her, while dodging a very large semi. "I'm trying to put a tracer on the car he's in, but that's not the more important thing. He just met Rupert Giles and an American teenager, and they walked out of the airport together."

Back in M's office, the woman in charge of MI-6 operations cursed internally. There were some facts in Ripper Giles files that were closed even for the most senior agents, but she was plenty aware of those facts. It added a very dangerous piece of information to what Bond was reporting.

"Okay, Bond, I know it's too soon and you just came back from a mission, but I want you to keep following them until I find someone to relieve you," she said in the loudspeaker.

"Understood, M. What about the detain on sight order?" he asked.

"I think it's a bit late to ask you to forget that you saw him, so just keep following them. I'm going to call his old boss and try to find out what he's doing around here," she said, and cut the call.

None of them knew about a highly sophisticated AE that had a standing order of listening to every communication, encrypted or not, in a five mile radius around the Kine Commander.

"Who's following us?" Xander asked.

"I just sent his information to your pocket computer," the AE said, taking over the car's radio signal, her voice coming over the loudspeakers. Xander opened the small device, and a holographic face hovered above it. "His name is James Bond, MI-6. Apparently he spotted Mr. Belasko and Mr. Giles at the airport. His superior ordered him to follow you until he could be relieved. She ordered him to ignore the detain on sight order against Mr. Belasko."

"It's the man who bumped into me at the airport," Xander said, recognizing the face.

"He probably saw me with you and decided to follow us," Giles said, changing lanes all over again. "MI-6 probably has something on me, from the old days."

"It does, Mr. Giles. As soon as things cool down a little bit, I shall handle this matter," Niume said.

"Can we lose him?" Xander asked.

"I would recommend against it. Better the enemy that you can see, and all that rot," Giles said.

"I know him," Bolan said, eyeing the roving hologram. "Or better, I know of him. British Secret Service's top assassin, has a license to kill, but he's a straight shooter. He deals with upper class vermin."

Xander nodded. "So, let's leave him tailing us for now, we can decide on what to do with him later on."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, one man was released from his thoughts by his ringing phone.


"Mr. Brognola, M is on the phone wanting to speak to you," his secretary said.

"M? Who calls...Wait, the head of MI-6, M?"

"Yes, sir."

Brognola shook his head. "Patch her through."

The line clicked, and a strong voice with the typical British accent replaced his secretary. "Mr. Brognola, can you explain what the Executioner is doing in England, with Ripper Giles and an American teenager?"

The big fed sighed.

They had spotted the other BMW some time ago, but the car had disappeared from sight for a while now. It probably had somehow planted a tracking device in their car, and was following them from a distance. Since they weren't bothering with him right now, they continued their talk.

"P'tash demons. They look very similar to humans, unless you have an ultraviolet light in hands," Giles said, when Bolan mentioned the bodyguards of the buyer. "They're very strong, and their skin is very resistant to projectiles, making them almost perfect bodyguards. However, as you had probably learned, they can be cut and killed by a sharp enough blade."

"Yes, the buyer's sword. And what is the deal with him? I'm sure he was very much dead when I shot him," Bolan pointed out.

Xander sighed. "He is probably Immortal."

"Immortal? He can't die?" the Executioner asked, his mind not really ready to understand all of the weirdness that Xander faced.

"Oh, yes, he can, easily. However, there is only one way to make it stick, you have to cut his head off. Otherwise, he's a fucking Energizer bunny."

"So why was he carrying one weapon that could kill him? It doesn't make a lot of sense."

"It does when you learn that there are more of them, they can be called supernatural creatures as well. They engage in ritual combat, called the Game. The winner gains all the strength and memories of the loser, by something called the Quickening. In the end, there can be only one."

"One? One what?" Bolan asked, understanding it a bit better, but not everything.

Giles replied for Xander. "One Immortal. The last one wins what they call the Prize. They don't know what it is, it could be anything from supreme power to a chance to really grow old and die."

"You're one of them?" Bolan asked the Seraphim, who snorted.

"No, I'm...something else. But entirely human, if that's what you're asking."

Bolan shook his head. "It was so much better when I used to know my targets and their weakness," he muttered. Xander, however, heard him.

"I don't know if I'm glad or not that you learned, Mike. It means that you can be better prepared if something else happens in the future, but at the same time it opens a whole new can of worms for you to digest," he said.

The Executioner closed his eyes, and pinched the bridge of his nose. "At least I have someone to explain it to me. No intel usually means dead soldier," he replied.

"Yep," the young brunette said. "I think we can work something out after we finish this mission, so you won't have to search for me every time."

"And how do you know so much about it, anyway?"

"I've fallen in with a bad crowd," he replied darkly. Giles snorted in the drivers' seat.

Bolan almost chuckled. He knew enough of his own past to understand the meaning of the words, and it got him thinking about what and who Xander Harrison was.

He was a Hunter, not unlike Bolan himself. They hunted different kinds of animals, but they had the same objective in mind. Trustworthy, most definitely. He was also a mystery, no one apparently so young had so much experience or access to so much tech without government involvement. He knew that he was a CIA freelance, but even his file was a big question mark. And who was that Niume woman? She seemed a hacker as good as, or perhaps even better than the Bear himself.

So, in the end, who was he?

He was released from his musings with his own cell phone ringing. He answered it, and Hal's booming voice came from the small device.

"Striker, you've been spotted by MI-6," the fed said.

"I know already, we have a BMW tailing us for a while now," the Executioner replied.

"You do? How?"

"You don't want to know, Hal. We decided to let him follow us until we knew more."

"Well, the head of MI-6 called me wanting to know about you, it's one of her top dogs following you."

"James Bond," the big warrior replied.

"How do... never mind." Bolan could almost see the fed shaking his head. "Look, she wants to know what you're doing with Harrison and a Ripper Giles. I've managed to strike a deal with her so she won't bother you guys much, but she wants to know if this is something that falls into Mr. Giles area of expertise."

"Why is she so interested?"

"It seems that the MI-6 isn't so stupid in relation to the darkest side of night like the rest of the world is. She wants to have some insurance that there isn't an Apocalypse happening in the British Isles," Hal replied.

"We don't know that yet, but if you vouch for her, I think we can strike a deal with Bond."

"I do, she's well known in the alphabet soup world, and regarded as a straight shooter. I'd say go for it."

"Will do," he said, and hung up. "Apparently Bond's boss contacted Hal to ask if the world was about to end."

"Well, it's not Tuesday, so I think we have a few days to spare yet," Xander replied with a smile. "So?"

"She wanted to know why I was walking with Ripper Giles and you. Apparently they do know a bit about the supernatural. And what is this 'Ripper' thing?"

"Interesting teenager years," Giles replied.

This time, Xander snorted.



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