Boondock Slayer

Washington Disaster

Author: Kosh_len <kosh_len[at]>

Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... none of which are me, with the exception of Robert Sinclair, who is mine.

Summary: See Ethan Run. See Faith Run Faster. Run Ethan, Run!

Warning: Crossovers ahead. (Yes Plural.)

Rating: Who Knows; for mild cursing, violence, and demonic horror content... in other words a bit more grown up then the series... but only cause I don't have to suck up to censors, also because I am following the bosses lead.

A special thanks to Tenhawk for letting me play in his mucked up little world. Also thanks to my editors Shollin, for all her help with the orginal version, and Marc, for his help with the new amd improved version.

Author's Secondary Notes :

I am not one to admit defeat, but this story whooped me. Wrote myself right into a corner I could get out of. So after much consideration, I nuked it from orbit and tried to start afresh. Afresh didn't work so well, so I grabbed some of the older parts, while writing completely new sections as well. It is my goal to see this story finished, come hell or high water. With that said, on with the show.

Latest addition


Alexandria, Egypt
390 A.D.

The man shuffled through the hallways following the guide, scroll cases tucked tight against his chest. The master had said to bring the scrolls to Alexandria and take them to the library. He had been quite specific about his orders concerning whom to talk to and just what to say. He had followed them to the letter and now he was stumbling through the darkened corridors of the library in the middle of the night.

It was quiet. Such is the case when very few willingly venture to the library, in this great building, once the sun had set. As they walked, the man winced with every passing step. The noise of his sandals continually echoing off the stone walls continually accompanied each tiring step. The guards were few and far between; no one wished to steal from this hall of learning.

As he made his way down the hallway, the man could make out massive stacks of tomes and scrolls through the doors and dimly lit passageways. The complex was massive, housing thousands upon thousands of works. Originally a temple of Serapis, this building had long ago been converted to house the library. He could feel both the age and the knowledge contained in the library. It was almost as if information and knowledge seeped out of the rocks themselves.

The guide saw him pause and beckoned him onward. The corridors twisted and turned, and the two men hiked deeper into the library complex. Finally the guide stopped and walked toward an inset door. He took a key from his tunic and approached the iron-bound door. After inserting his key in and turning it, the guide pressed several of the iron rivets on the door itself and waited. After a moment a metallic sound was heard from beyond the door, followed by a loud *clang*. The guide opened the door, revealing a wide stairwell descending into darkness.

The guide retrieved a torch from a sconce in the wall and ushered the man into the stairwell. After the two men had descended but a few stairs, the guide turned and closed the door. Again the metallic noise was heard, much louder from this side of the door. After a minute, there was a loud *thud* and then silence. The guide nodded and began down the stairs. The man turned and looked at the door before starting his trek down into the blackness.

The stairwell changed from huge cut stone to natural stone, showing that it had been carved from the rock itself. The torch was barely able to illuminate the stairs. The man felt a shiver go down his spine, an overwhelming sense of the shadows creeping in on him became almost overwhelming. He hurried to keep up with his guide, and the lit torch, descending the stairs at a quicker pace.

Finally the stairway ended, and a great archway appeared in the torchlight. The guide once again beckoned the man forward, urging him through. The man could see glyphs and strange runes carved into the archway, a language far older than the present Alexandria. He stepped through the archway and gasped. There, carved from the solid rock, was a statue of a figure which was seated on a great throne. The head was that of an ibis, while the body was that of a man. In one hand the figure held an ankh, while in the other it held a scepter. Across the figure's lap were a palette and a pen.

"Thoth," whispered the man in reverence.

The guide nodded and approached the figure. The man placed the torch in a sconce, and then he lay prostrate before the image of Thoth in worship. After many moments, the guide stood and approached the statue. The man could make out a doorway actually carved into the rock base.

The door was plain from what he could see, but around the edges were carvings like those around the archway. The guide bowed his head and then began to touch and twist several of the symbols in a strange and complex pattern. Once he had apparently finished, he stepped back and waited.

From inside the statue came a grinding noise, and suddenly the stone door started to slide sideways. The man's eyes widened as the door completely opened, revealing another stairwell, heading once again into the darkness below.

The guide stepped into the stairwell and waited, looking back at the man. He motioned and finally the man stepped into the stairwell. The door started to close behind him, and the man wondered for just a moment whether he should leave. He could feel power emanating from the earth beneath him, great power.

The guide started down the stairs and paused, waiting for him to catch up. The man followed and, in silence, the two continued downward. The man wondered idly just where his master had sent him, but the thought was cut short as the two reached the base of the stairs. A simple wooden door stood closed at the base and the guide knocked on the door and then opened it, prodding the man inside.

The man entered the room with wide and unblinking eyes. Shelves covered almost every inch of wall space within the chamber, much like those of the library upstairs. But these shelves were filled with wonders beyond belief. Items from times long forgotten by man, relics of power, scrolls and tomes cluttered the immense bookcases. A desk sat in the center of the room, covered with pages of parchment.

The guide extinguished the torch, and the man realized the room was illuminated by some unknown source. He peered up to the ceiling, but he could not make out any torches or candles. As he turned, he noticed his guide had vanished, leaving him alone in the room.

The man began to shiver, the weight of his burden growing heavier in the oppressive silence of the library. He looked around, puzzled, and began to walk deeper into the room. He could feel eyes upon him, but he could not tell from where.

There was a noise, and the man spun, his hand going to the dagger at his belt. He knew it would be useless against a competent foe, but he planned to make whoever it was pay dearly for taking the scrolls from him.

Before him stood an old man, dressed in long robes, with a long grey beard and grey hair hanging down past his shoulders that was neatly pulled back with a leather tie. His face was not that of a local, but appeared more Greek, or possibly Roman. The old man's eyes held great wisdom. It quickly became clear to him that the old man standing before him, like his own master, held great wisdom and knowledge.

Clutching the scroll case tighter, he simply observed the old man. The dagger was still in his hand and he held a wary stance. The old man watched it all with a hint of amusement in his eyes. He motioned the man toward the great desk in the center of the room and moved toward it himself.

With every step he took, he tracked the old man's movements toward the desk. It had been with great peril that he had brought these scrolls to Alexandria, and he wasn't about to part with them unless he knew he had the person his master had indicated should receive the scrolls.

The old man sat down in a chair at the great desk and glanced at the other man. He sighed, took out a scrap of parchment and began to write on it, paying no attention to his companion. He wrote for a while, the pen flicking in precise movement, ignoring the man who watched him.

The man watched the old man write and he tried to puzzle out what was going on. His master had said, should he ever fall, to bring the scrolls to the library. He had never been allowed to look at the scrolls; he had only known of their existence. The master had been very clear in his instructions though. Bring them to the library and tell the librarian that he was a wandering man from afar, bringing knowledge from the west to the east. The librarian's reaction had surprised him when he had uttered those words. He had been shushed almost immediately and told to wait in the chamber off the main corridor; there a guide would come for him. He had waited almost four hours before a silent man had entered and motioned for him to follow. Now he stood before this old man, wondering what was going on, after being led through a series of tunnels leading him far beneath the city.

"Who are you?" he asked the older man finally.

The old man regarded him, a smile, almost hidden by his beard, spreading across his face. The old man's eyes held a hint of humor in them as he judged the man before him. "So, you can speak?" asked the old man. "I was beginning to wonder. I thought perhaps they had sent another deaf-mute to deliver whatever burden you have brought. To answer your question, my name is Aristophanes. I am the librarian of the special collection." The man blinked and slowly returned his dagger to his belt. With an edge of caution, he moved down nearer to the librarian, his eyes constantly moving back and forth. He licked his dry lips and pondered what to do.

"My master sent me here," he began, "to put these scrolls into your keeping." The old man sighed and put down the pen. He studied the man with a careful eye, looking him up and down.

"Do you have a name, boy?" asked the librarian, a hint of amusement in his eyes. "I find it distracting to simply call you 'boy' or 'whelp.'"

The man stammered a moment and looked at Aristophanes with shock on his face. His master had never treated him like this.

"Kydas, of Threcia, good master," said the man finally.

The librarian nodded and held out his hand, gesturing for Kydas to hand over the scrolls. The man looked at him in confusion before loosening his grip on the scroll cases.

"I was supposed to see that they were," began Kydas, only to have his words cut off by the old man.

"Just give me the blasted scrolls, boy, so we can see where they belong!" groused the librarian, his old hand stuck out to Kydas.

Kydas sighed and placed the scrolls on his desk. Aristophanes looked at the scroll cases a moment, then opened a drawer on the desk. He pulled forth a simple stone, placed it at the top of the two scroll cases and muttered a few words. Each case began to glow with a silvery light for a second before fading back to normal. With a nod to himself, the librarian returned the stone to his desk and then began to unscrew the first scroll case. The old man studied the first scroll with a careful eye, using caution as he handled the long piece of parchment. He made a few noises as he traced his finger along the writing. With a steady and practiced hand, he rolled the scroll up and placed it back in its container.

Aristophanes looked at the second case before he touched it. He was already worried about what he would find. The first scroll had contained so much dangerous knowledge it frightened him. If the second scroll was what he thought it was, having them in the same spot would be unthinkable.

He looked at Kydas for a moment, with a careful eye, before opening the second scroll case. Again, with a careful hand, he unrolled the scroll. His eyes flicked over the writing, taking in the words as he went. A frown grew on his face as he reached the end of the scroll.

"Where is the rest of this scroll?" he asked Kydas.

The man's eyes grew wide at the question. He had guarded the scrolls day and night since he had left his master. He had slept barely an hour or two a night since leaving Rome, careful to guard the precious cargo his master had imparted to him.

"My master only gave me these two cases!" he almost yelled in his defense.

The librarian frowned and looked over the cases a second time. He looked inside each, before sealing them up again, each scroll locked tightly away inside. He studied Kydas a moment before setting each of the cases on the table.

"Did you master tell you what you were carrying?" asked Aristophanes. The man shook his head, his eyes filled with worry and fear. His master had beaten him when he failed, and his worry that he was about to receive another beating grew as he watched the emotions on the old man's face.

"You master was a fool then, for not instructing you in the dangers of what you bore!" growled the librarian. "You carried part of one of the most dangerous sets of scrolls in creation. You were carrying part of the Scroll of Telkhines."

October 25, 1995
Washington D.C.

With a groan Faith jerked awake and opening her eyes, wondering for just an instant where she was. She hated slayer dreams; they always left her feeling disconnected from the world; especially when the prophetic visions made absolutely no sense. Watching the hotel ceiling fan spinning round and round, the young slayer willed her body to relax, her muscles tense and ready for battle.

"Or something else," she mumbled out loud. "Damn, I gotta get laid. Should have taken Joey up on his multiple offers, or Kate…."

Talking to no one in particular, Faith puttered her way around the room, picking up clothing as she went. Shivering from the chilly night air, she pulled on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt and stepped out on to the hotel room balcony. Leaning against the rail, she stared out over the city, her eyes locking on a monument far in the distance which stood out tall against the skyline.

Taking a deep breath of the cool Washington D.C air, she tried to relax. The city seemed quiet for the moment, with only the faint sounds of sirens far in the distance. As she watched the few people moving about their way on the streets below, she reflected over the events of the past few weeks.

Since leaving New York, they had made their way south, searching for the trail of Ethan Raynes. They had stopped multiple places along the way, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and finally Baltimore. In each city they had checked with the local demonic underworld for signs of the chaos mage but to no avail. Either no one had seen him or they were not talking. There were other rumors though, tales of a new hunter in the world known as "The Seraphim" which both she and Sinclair had found intriguing.

The trip had been going along fairly smoothly, smooth until they had walked into a small store in Baltimore.

Chapter 1


October 21, 1995

"Yer a trouble magnet," muttered Conner as he glanced over at his sister. Faith snarled at him and refused to meet his eye. She was having a hard enough time keeping her anger in check, but with Conner berating her, it was becoming more difficult. She looked over to where Murphy was seated and sighed.

"Why on earth do you think this is *my* fault?" she muttered back to Conner.

"Oh, no real reason, other than the fact that we can't even go to the bloody grocery store without running into trouble. Murph and I never had this much of a problem before we met ye," he said as he watched the three masked robbers pace the front of the store.

It had started as a simple munchies run. They had left Sinclair watching TV in the motel room and headed out for supplies. It had been a cool night, with the stars shining brightly, not a cloud in the sky, and no vampires in the area. It was the perfect night for a break. <Fate's a bitch,> thought Faith as she watched the third robber pacing back and forth. <But then, so am I.>

They hadn't even noticed the robbery until they reached the checkout line and found three people dressed in masks holding weapons. Faith's first reaction had been to charge right in and level them, but as soon as they cleared the end of the aisle, the robbers' guns had been trained on them.

Within moments all of the customers in the store had been rounded up and everyone was settled into the front of the store near the registers under the watchful eye of one of the robbers, who was armed with a Saturday night special.

The crime might have gone off without a hitch had one of the employees not slipped out the back door when the robbers had hit. Within a few minutes the police had arrived, and now had the place was surrounded.

Faith glanced around the room, looked at the other fifteen hostages and sighed. She could feel her stake resting in her pocket, but these were mortal men, evil but mortal nonetheless. Then she noticed it.

<FUCK!> she thought as she looked into the eyes of one of the would-be robbers. Not mortal men, but mortal boys.

Her eyes continued to look around the room as she glanced over the hostages. They were frightened, but unharmed. Faith continued to contemplate her options and different scenarios, but the woman sitting next to her, her eyes filled with tears, kept interrupting her thoughts.

"We're going to die," moaned the woman over and over again, her face scrunched up in despair.

Faith's eyes grew hard as she watched the robbers become more and more frantic. The ringing of the phone near the front counter interrupted the sobbing and crying. All eyes, including both robber and hostage, turned to look at the phone. The ringing continued, but none of the robbers moved to answer.

"Oh for Christ's sake, would ye answer the bleedin' phone!" growled Conner.

"Yeah," said the man in the dark suit and sunglasses sitting next to Murphy. "The cops out there will probably want to talk to you."

One of the robbers looked to the phone and then the hostages. Faith could clearly see the kid was freaked out. His eyes were going wild. She knew the level he was at; she had been there herself.

"Shut up! Just shut the fuck up!" he yelled at the hostages, his gun waving back and forth in the air. "What the fuck we gonna do, Ronnie?"

Another of the robbers rolled his eyes and looked at the hostages. He stood out from the others. His movements and motions were different from those of his partners. His were clean and methodical. Dangerous.

Faith could see the grin spread across the robber's face even through the mask. He had a plan and it didn't bode well for any of them. Faith shivered as the robber's eyes glanced past her and Conner.

Murphy sighed and continued to fiddle with the pencil he had found on the floor. He had to agree with Conner - it seemed like every time they turned around they were hip-deep in trouble.

"You're thinking awfully hard there," a voice interrupted his thoughts.

Murphy looked up and realized the man in the dark suit and glasses was talking to him. He shrugged and continued to fiddle with the pencil. He glanced over to where two of the robbers were talking about the ringing phone and then looked back to the man.

"Just wondering how we got into this mess," Murphy said. "And how to get out of it."

The man in the suit nodded, and looked around the room as well. Murphy could see his eyes flick to each of the robbers and then back to Murphy. He took the pencil from Murphy and started to draw on the floor. With careful precision he drew a layout on the floor of where each of the robbers was and their pattern of movement.

Murphy wrinkled his brow and then looked up as one of the robbers approached. With a quick move, he grabbed the pencil from the man's hand, drew out a tic-tac-toe box and marked an X in one square. The man in the suit looked up as the robber's shadow fell across them.

"Could you move? We're trying to play here," he said.

The robber shook his head and moved on. Murphy continued to play tic-tac-toe until he heard his brother mumble something.

"All clear," Conner said in Russian.

Murphy glanced up and handed the pencil back to the man next to him.

"Quick thinking, kid," said the man.

"Name's Murphy," he replied and held out his hand.

The man in the suit nodded, extending his hand. "John Munch."

"So what next?" asked Murphy.

"We wait, and hope," said Munch. And in a louder voice, "Would somebody answer the goddamn phone?"

The phone was starting to grate on her nerves. So far the robbers had managed to ignore the ringing for thirty-seven minutes and forty-five seconds, according to the guy in the dark suit sitting next to Murphy.

<And my ass is starting to hurt,> thought Faith as she shifted around, trying to get comfortable.

Idly she wondered how much longer it was going to be until the robbers snapped and what would happen then. She tried not to think about the grim side of what that answer would entail, but in the end, she knew that if they didn't answer the phone soon, the SWAT teams would storm the place.

She glanced over and saw the bruise that was forming on suit guy's face. Twice he had mentioned the phone, and the last time had earned him a blow across the mouth from the butt of one of the pistols the robbers all had. Faith had noticed something when he had ended up sprawled back on the floor. He had an ankle holster wrapped around his right leg.

Biting her lip, she said nothing, but in her mind she reworked some of her options. Either he was a cop, a Fed, or just possibly some guy like McCall. Looking at the suit, she would have guessed Fed or cop.

<Once again the rules change,> she thought.

Silence suddenly fell across the entire store. The phone had stopped ringing. Faith shivered, wondering what was about to happen. She could feel the tension in the air, and she looked slowly around. She could see the robbers becoming more and more twitchy. Everyone jumped as the silence was interrupted by a voice coming from a bullhorn.

"Attention, you inside there ," said the voice. "This is the Baltimore Police Department. We need you to pick up the phone so we can negotiate the release of the hostages."

The robber, the one Faith had heard addressed as Ronnie, peeked out the blinds to look at the swarm of police surrounding the grocery. He shook his head and stormed back to the hostages. Ronnie stood there in front of them for a moment before grabbing Faith by the wrist and pulling her up from the floor.

Conner and Murphy exploded, only to have the robber's gun shoved in their faces.

"Sit the fuck down!" yelled Ronnie. "I'll blow this little bitch's head off if you move again."

Faith shook her head almost imperceptibly and looked hard into her brothers' eyes. The twins scowled and settled back down, their minds working in overdrive, plotting the demise of the would-be robbers.

Ronnie dragged Faith toward the window, his gun pushed up against her head. She knew she could take him, but she had no idea how the other two gunmen would act. The risk was too great for the moment.

"Chill, man, I'm going," she said as he shoved her toward the glass.

"Open the fucking blinds and shut the fuck up," he said, motioning with his gun.

Faith tensed as she opened the blinds. She shielded her eyes as the spotlights from several police cruisers swiveled in her direction. She could feel the cold muzzle of the gun against the side of her head and the robber's hand tight on her arm.

"I want all you to back off!" yelled Ronnie as he held the door to the store open. "I swear I'll kill everyone in the store if you don't back off!"

With a pull he dragged Faith away from the window. He pulled the cord on the blinds and backed away from the window slowly. The metallic sound of the blinds closing dulled the sounds of crying that had begun again.

Faith stumbled as Ronnie shoved her back down next to Conner. The Irishman grinned as he heard Faith muttering to herself about her plans for the handgun and the robber.

"Is that anatomically possible, lass?" he asked the grumbling girl.

"No, but I'm going to try anyway," she snarled as she watched Ronnie go back to pacing. She rolled her eyes as the phone started ringing again and settled down against Conner, watching and waiting for her moment.

As the phone continued to ring, Faith idly wondered how much longer this was going to go on. She expected, at any moment, for a SWAT team to come blasting into the room and save the day. From her previous experience as a hostage, she had learned to wait and watch, looking for the proper moment to either escape or make things worse for her captors. Closing her eyes, she struggled to fight back the tears when she realized Daddy wasn't coming to save her this time.

"Guess I'll have to do it myself," she snarled to herself.

Conner glanced at her out of the corner of his eye as he noticed her posture change. Snapping his finger to get his twins attention, he jerked his head toward Faith.

"Something up?" Murphy asked out of the side of his mouth in German.

"I think the Slayer is about to come out and play," he replied quietly. "Be ready."

The conversation went unnoticed to Faith as she watched her captors with an almost predatory eye. She could only see one of the robbers, but she could hear the one known as Ronnie quite distinctly from her spot on the floor. His voice was cutting through the air like a knife as he yelled into the phone for cars and planes and other things they would never give him. Twice now, he had grabbed her and dragged her to the doorway with a gun to her head, threatening to kill her if they didn't give him what he wanted. Every time she imagined the police were about as bored with this as she was. The last time she had even rolled her eyes as he held her.

<This guy is starting to loose it,> she mused.

Ronnie, while he hadn't shot a hostage, had fired a few shots into various items around the store. One of the cash registers had been blown apart and there was a nice hole in the wall. He was too much of a wild card.

The other two were scared, which made them just as dangerous as Ronnie, if not more so. The odds were good that they would fire at anything that moved if they were threatened, and that would be bad, considering all of the hostages.

The phone slammed down and she could hear Ronnie ranting again to one of the other robbers. Judging by his agitation, things were becoming worse and worse. It wouldn't be long before he lost control.

The phone started to ring again only to be silenced by a bullet tearing through it. As the bits of plastic landed around them, Faith shook her head.

<OK, out of control now,> she thought.

She watched as Ronnie came around the end of the aisle and stormed toward her.

"I'll fucking show those cops how serious I am," he growled as he reached down to grab her arm.

As she had before, Faith quietly let herself be led toward the window, but from their vantage Conner and Murphy could both tell all hell was about to break loose. She was carrying herself differently, controlled and waiting. The glint in her eyes said it all, the Dark Slayer was about to go on a rampage and it wasn't going to be pretty. The two brothers looked at each other and nodded, waiting to play their role in the unfolding play of destruction that was about to be acted out.

"Dude, what do you think you're doing?" demanded the gunman who was watching over the hostages.

Ronnie stopped and flicked the man an evil stare. Faith could see the wildness behind his eyes and knew it was just about time for her to act.

"I'm gonna show the cops I mean it," he yelled back as he began to put his hand on the door. "I'm going to shoot this fucking cu…."

As Ronnie finished his sentence, a black dark anger washed over Faith, and the Dark Slayers eyes flashed. In her life, she had been called many things. Some she liked, some she tolerated, and some she ignored. There was only one name she completely hated being called, it was like lighting the fuse on a case of dynamite. Her world began to turn red and, from a seemingly far distance, she could hear her brothers speaking

"Did he just call her a ......" she heard one ask.

"Oh bloody hell," replied his brother.

Fifty two and one half seconds later, the hostage situation was over.

"Well, fook me," said Murphy as he walked over to stare at the broken body of their one time captor that had been holding Faith. "She was right, it IS anatomically possible."

"Aye," nodded his twin in agreement as he dusted off his hands from dispatching their own criminal. "Though, I think he might walk with a wee limp for while. Wasn't this a wee bit of an overkill Faith?"

"He pissed me off," was her curt and only reply.

Chapter 2

*****Flashback continued*****

October 21, 1995

To say that their stay in Baltimore was cut short was an understatement. After having given their statements to the police with the help of 'Detective Munch', the trio was greeted by a slightly irate Watcher who had been observing the whole ordeal from the sidewalk with the rest of the crowd. With a rapid speed, the slayer and her two brothers had found themselves bustled into the car and on the road. It wasn't until they were already on the highway that she realized their destination.

She remembered insisting that they not go, almost to the point of a temper tantrum. The city was quite literally the second to last place on Earth she had wanted to go, Watcher headquarters being the first, she mused. Coming here risked everything, she had told them even though she couldn't quite explain to them why.

"It wouldn't happen to have anything to do with the name 'Dana Tasker' would it?" asked Robert Sinclair with a frown on his face.

She could see him watching her from the front seat, his eyes glancing back at her through the driver's mirror. Silence had filled the car as Faith ran through scenario after scenario in her mind, wondering all the while how her watcher had found out her true identity. "Detective Munch caught up with me while you children were clearing out your rooms at the motel," he continued. "Seems he heard your brother's talking and realized you were the Slayer."

"How?" stammered Murphy. "We were speaking in German." "When will it get through your head that you might actually run across people who know the same languages as you do?" responded the mage with a growl. "Now, as I was saying, Detective Munch caught up with me and brought with him this nice little missing persons report. Care to explain?" Faith was dumbstruck as she stared at the piece of paper the mage tossed into the backseat of the car. Her own face stared back at her from the page, and she gulped as she read through the description. "I know you've been keeping secrets," continued Sinclair in a milder tone of voice. "All three of us have known, but we haven't pushed. This however, is something we need to know. If you'll notice, in the bottom corner, it states that you were last seen with two older men, who might be holding you captive. You've put Conner and Murphy at risk. If Detective Munch hadn't been there, I shudder to think what might have happened." "You want me to come clean, huh?" she asked finally as she stared out at the passing cars as they headed deeper into the Capital. No one answered, but she knew that there was an unspoken affirmative there. "Fuck. Fine. Fine. My real name is Dana Tasker, I was born…."

*****End Flashback*****

October 25, 1995
Washington D.C.

She shivered in the cold night air and shook herself from her musing. She had told them almost everything, leaving out the whole time travel thing. She didn't even want to consider the speeches she'd have gotten from the mage about destroying the timeline and not changing the future. Looking out over the quiet city, she felt alone. She missed her past, her friends, her family. Quiet nights like this made her miss the way things used to be. Snuggling with X, slaying with B, or even something simple like calling her Mom like she had the last few months before the 'event'. A tear traced its way from the corner of her eye, and she wondered again if she shouldn't just pick up the phone and make the call. That was all it would take to get her parents home, safe and sound. A single phone call to Uncle Spence. She knew where they were, they had told her themselves in the previous timeline. But could she risk damaging the future any more than she already had, she asked herself.

"Fuck the future," she said with finality as she pushed away from the balcony and her view of the Washington Monument. "I want my parents back."

"Now all I have to do is come up with a plan," she muttered as she got dressed.

Alexandria, Egypt
390 A.D.

Kydas sighed and set his pen down. He looked over his work and frowned. It was the third time in as many days that he had tried to transcribe the scroll his new master, Aristophanes, had given him. It had also just become the third time he had failed. The words seemed to dance before him, never standing still, never remaining in the same place. The words on the scroll eluded him. His previous master had taught him many of the old tongues, but Kydas had never seen one such as this. When he had asked the old librarian where the scroll had come from, the man had merely smiled at him and pointed him toward the desk.

"To understand where it came from, you must first learn to read it," was all Aristophanes had told him.

Kydas sighed again and looked over his work. The language was similar to many he had studied during his previous tutelage, but none came quite close to matching up. He frowned and picked up another scroll, trying to make his eyes and mind focus on something else.

The scroll he picked up was a simple one compared to the one his master had given him. It talked of far-off lands visited by the Phoenicians at the height of their trade and travels. It mentioned great cities the size of Alexandria and how the people there lived. He studied the map that came with it and saw that the lands were far beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the gateway between the Mediterranean Sea and the deep ocean.

The student settled into the chair at his desk and read through the scroll, relishing the story of far-away lands. He was amazed how far the traders had made it; not many now dared sail beyond the Pillars, except to sail to the isles of Alba or Erin. Only the men of the northland sailed beyond that. He was so enthralled with the story that he failed to see Aristophanes until the old man's shadow fell across him.

"I see you have at least found something that holds your interest," he said with an unamused look in his eye.

Kydas blushed and put the scroll down, carefully rolling it up and returning it to the case he had pulled it from. He dared not meet his master's eyes, afraid the old man was about to beat him. He stared at the floor, waiting to see what would happen. When no blows came, he looked back up at the librarian, only to see him grinning at him.

"Your master must have been a harder man than I knew if you fear I am going to beat you for finding something to hold your interest," said Aristophanes. His face became more serious then. "The scroll I gave you is difficult, yes, but in some ways, it is a test. One, I am sad to say, you must pass, else many things may be lost in the end."

The younger man nodded and picked up the scroll again, wondering whether he should ask a question about it. He was surprised when the librarian put down another scroll next to it unbidden.

"This might help you decipher the text," said Aristophanes as he returned to his desk. The student looked confused but picked up the scroll case with his left hand. Taking the cap off, he slid the scroll out and unrolled it. His eyes grew wide as he took in the contents of the scroll. Where the other scroll's text confused him, this scroll was precise. His eyes wandered the page, taking in the text. An explosion went off in his mind, and suddenly he understood what the other scroll said.

Aristophanes smiled as he watched the young man reading through the scrolls. Silently he hoped this would help Kydas prepare for what was to come. His eyes glanced over and read the scroll containing the latest information from the Emperor's court. He could not help but to shiver as he read the words on the page. He felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up as he realized what the Emperor planned.

The librarian took up his pen and began, in his neat script, to lay out plans for the storm that was coming. Some packages would have to be sent out soon, before the tide of ignorance and intolerance broke. Perhaps a few whispered words in the right ears might stave off the doom. He hoped.

October 25, 1995
Washington D.C.

Spencer Trilby stared at the paperwork before him, his eyes trying to focus on the report before him, but the headache he had refused to let him do his work. Grunting, the old man slid out from behind his desk with a grace that belayed his age and walked across the room. Books of military history and tactics filled shelf after shelf of the large bookcase built into one of the walls of his office. Intermixed among the books were memorabilia of his long life. Pictures of him with presidents, dignitaries, and royalty were scattered among the shelves.

He paused before one picture in particular and picked it up, his one eye focusing on all the details as his hand bushed against the frame. It was a simple picture, one of him and a family at a baptism. A small child was curled up in the gruff looking man's arms. He smiled as he remembered the photographer catching the nearly perfect moment as the small child had begun to play with his eye patch. The parents looked abashed but Spencer Trilby had simply ignored it all with a stoic dignity as his goddaughter played. It had been at that instant the photographer had taken the picture, one which he cherished.

"Where are you Dana?" he growled at the picture. "Harry is going to kill me if I don't find you before he gets back."

Sighing, Spencer closed his eye rubbed his forehead. The ever present headache was pounding away at the back of his mind as he again wandered over the plight of his missing agents and their daughter. Turning back to his desk, the head of Omega Sector settled back into his chair and began once more to go over the latest reports concerning the missing Taskers.

There was nothing new in the reports concerning Harry, Helen, and Gibbs. No one was talking concerning the location of the missing agents. Last word that he had received concerning the three had been a deal that they had been working to buy stolen Russian warheads in Afghanistan and then nothing.

Dana's reports were just as sporadic, though over the last few weeks more details had come to light. She had been seen in Boston, then in New York, and the latest report had been she had helped break up an armed robbery of a convenient store in Baltimore only a few days before. She had apparently escaped before they could question her completely and none of the officers had seen the BOLO for her.

Rubbing the bridge of his nose, Trilby wondered just what in the hell little Dana had gotten herself into. Reports had her on the run with at least two older boys but reports from Baltimore had called them all heroes, saving countless lives before the hostage takers had killed them all. He was missing a piece of the puzzle and he knew it. The ringing phone broke him from his musing and without looking at the caller id, he picked up the receiver and spoke.

"Trilby, this had better be good," he snapped into the phone.

"I was told you were gruff Mr. Trilby," said a clipped British voice. "But I didn't believe the person that told me."

"Who the devil is this?" he demanded as he tossed the stapler off his desk at the bullet proof and sound proof window that separated him from his secretary, who looked up at him questioningly.

"Now, now," chastised the voice on the phone. "No need to get your blood pressure up any higher. I hear it is quite high already for a man of your age. This is merely a courtesy call concerning the whereabouts of three of your missing agents.

From her vantage point at her desk, Donna Meara could tell that her boss was reaching critical mass. His face was a vile shade of puce and even though she couldn't hear what was being said, his body language spoke volumes. Punching a few buttons on her computer she was puzzled to see that the call had come in on his private line, a number VERY few people knew. Punching a few more keys, she began a trace that her boss seemed be very insistent on, given the number of items he had bounced off the bullet proof glass.

"What do you know about my missing agents?" shouted the head of Omega into the phone. "Where are they!"

"Tut tut," chastised the voice again. "Such manners. I was instructed to tell you that the Taskers were being held in a remote village in the Nimruz province near the Gowd-e Zereh by a warlord named Zawhi."

"And how reliable is this information," Trilby demanded as he mashed the information into his keyboard.

"Given the source that gave me this information," said the voice on the phone. "I would call it almost mystical and unimpeachable in nature. Good bye Mr. Trilby and good luck getting you agents back."

Spencer Trilby stared at the phone for a few moments in disbelief before he sprang into action and stormed out of his office. His secretary was standing by the door, along with several other Omega agents, each waiting for his or her assignment.

"Tell me you got a trace on that phone call," he demanded through clenched teeth.

A nervous looking agent, holding a folder, stepped forward, his hands visibly shaking. Holding out the folder, he winced as the object was wrenched out of his hand and cringed awaiting his hopefully quick and painless death.

"What do you mean the phone call came from the Tasker's own home?" he yelled as he stared at the paper.

Miles away from Omega sector, a figure slipped quietly through the back yard of a suburban house, over a fence, and through another yard before climbing into the passenger seat of a non-descript van, which pulled away from the curb before the door was even closed.

"Did they see you McCall?" asked Mickey Kostmayer as he checked his mirrors.

"Please, Mr. Kostmayer," said Robert McCall as he took off his gloves and rolled his eyes.

Chapter 3

October 26, 1995
Washington D.C.

Hanging up the phone, after listening to the news from McCall, Faith could only smile. If her godfather did as she expected he would, agents were already on their way to rescue her parents. And, as an added bonus, Trilby still didn't know she was in the city. With a spring in her step, Faith bounced into Sinclair's room, only to be stopped by the sight of her watcher talking quietly with another man.

"Oops, sorry Rob," she apologized in embarrassment as she tried to quickly back out of the room. "Didn't know you had company. I'll check back later with you."

From his seat, Robert could only smirk and shake his head. The girl was irreverent, he'd give her that, but he liked her anyway. He glanced over at the other man and shrugged.

"Faith, wait!" cried the wizard. "Come back! I'd like you to meet someone."

In a strange manner, Faith reentered the room almost timidly. He knew better though, he watched as the young hunter's eyes swept the room and the people in it, looking for any threats. Idly, he wondered if the man sitting across from him had spotted it as well, but chose not to glance over.

"Faith, I'd like you to meet an old friend of mine," began Robert as he motioned to the man sitting across from him at the motel table. "This is Dr. Donald Mallard. Dr. Mallard, Faith McManus, one of my three wards. Her brothers are out terrorizing someone somewhere I believe."

As the wizard did the introductions, she studied the man sitting at the table. He was an older man, who regarded her with a kindly smile and a twinkle behind his glasses. When he spoke though, every inch of her body screamed to run.

"A pleasure to meet you Miss McManus," said Dr Mallard with his proper British accent. "Please, call me Ducky, everyone else does."

Sinclair could see Faith stiffen as his friend spoke and inwardly cursed himself for not warning his Slayer. After the previous attempts by Travers' men to grab her, just about anything remotely looking or sounding British set her on edge.

"Easy Faith," said the mage in a calming voice. "He's a friend and not connected with Travers in any way."

"What's wrong?" asked Ducky in a confused tone, his eyes darting between the young girl and the other man. "Travers? As in Quentin? Part of the….."

Ducky's voice trailed off as he quickly studied the faces of the other two people in the room. With a dawning comprehension, his eyes fixed on Faith with a look of awe and fear.

"Good lord," he whispered before he began stammering. "How? When? Where?"

"I think this is the first time I have ever seen Ducky at a loss for words," smirked Robert. "Dr. Mallard was approached years ago when he was working with the London Police to join the Watchers, much like many of his relatives had. He turned them down."

Coming out of his shock, Dr. Mallard worked to compose himself before taking up the story. Looking back and forth between the two, he tried his best to mask his emotions which were currently running rampant.

"Being a medical examiner," he began, only to pause as he tried to figure out what say to calm the young Slayer before him. He took off his glasses and began to wipe them before continuing. "Being a medical examiner, I have encountered the supernatural more than once. Once when I was in London…."

"Ducky," chided Sinclair as he cut off the old man before he could start a story. "Continue with the explanation before you go into one of your tales."

"Right," said the doctor as he looked abashed. "The Watchers approached me for several reason, but I couldn't, how shall I say, agree with their moral philosophies. We had a disagreement, and they agreed to leave me alone."

"You threw the man out the window," said Robert nonplussed.

"Oh Tosh, at least there was a pool beneath him," retorted Ducky before turning to Faith with a grin on his face, which quickly turned serious again. "I was appalled to discover they sent young girls out alone to hunt nightmares."

"As time went on, I've encountered things here and there," he continued. "Enough things that make me keep a careful eye on the comings and goings of what goes on around me. Hence why Robert called and asked to see me. In fact, he was just about to get into what he was seeking when you came in. I am curious though, how did you get another Slayer, you swore you'd never have anything else to do with the Watchers either."

"After Meg…" started the mage only to stop. Ducky nodded in understanding but said nothing.

"After the funeral, I set out on a bender," shrugged Sinclair as he scratched his head. "It was a pretty good one too, I'll add, some said of monumental proportions. A three state tour, I think, before I finally ended up at Callahan's up in Suffolk. Faith here came screaming in with a pack of black mages and demons after her. Haven't managed to get rid of her yet."

"More like we haven't kicked yer arse to the curb," she grinned back, the tension washing away from her. "My brothers and I decided we'd keep him for the moment, someone's gotta keep an eye on his Scottish arse."

The three talked over general things, the banter coming quick and fast. She felt at ease with the medical examiner's attitude and stories helping to relax her. Things took on a more serious tone as they settled on the all important topic.

"So why are you in Washington Robert?" asked Ducky finally, his eyes locked onto the mage with a hard look.

"Ethan Rayne," he replied simply.

Ducky looked at the floor, lost in thought before a scowl washed over his face. He looked up with a far away, yet angry look.

"Isn't he the one that shot you?" asked Ducky finally. "What is he here to do?"

Robert and Faith exchanged looks, silently communicating what was and wasn't appropriate to say.

"We think he is here to steal a very dark set of scrolls from someone," stated Sinclair. "We're just not sure where it is. Only thing that we've got to go on is that the scrolls were at one point in time in the library of Alexandria, which I would have assumed meant they were destroyed."

"It wasn't," whispered Faith as both men turned to look at her, causing her to immediately blush. "I've been having Slayer dreams, but they didn't make any sense till you said that."

"Oh do tell," drawled the wizard in consternation as he settled back into his chair, his hands clasped together and a frown on his face.

Alexandria, Egypt
391 A.D.

He paused as he was loading the crate and stared. Kydas cracked a smile as he picked up the two scroll cases that had brought him to this place. His mind wandered back across the year he had spent in the special collection, and it brought a smile to his face as he realized how much change the two scrolls had brought to his life.

No longer was he a frightened student. His knowledge had grown immensely under Aristophanes' tutelage, and now he was a valued member of the special collection.

<Or what's left of it,> he mused as his eyes traveled across the mostly empty shelves.

Word had come from Constantinople that the Emperor had ordered the destruction of the library. Though there had been grumblings about it for many years, no one ever expected it to actually happen. A spy inside the palace had gotten word out, and now the race was on to save what could be saved before the Emperor's troops arrived.

Kydas had been surprised when the old librarian had awoken him and told him the time had come. His surprise had only grown more when he arrived in the collection itself. Where he had only seen the old librarian before, now there were many men and women, each studiously and precisely boxing up relics of times long gone. Crates filled the empty spaces, items being placed in them with great care and respect.

When Kydas had asked where they were all going, Aristophanes had shown him a list, indicating where each of the crates were destined. Some were bound for the great desert, to be stored in stone tombs, hidden away from man's eye, while others were to be sent to cities in the west and in the Far East, beyond the great desert.

His eyes had grown wide when he had read one of the locations and he realized what had been planned. The most dangerous of the items were to be sent far west, beyond the lands of Alba and Erin, with a fleet carrying some of the upper library's greatest treasures. His mind boggled at the planning and resources that Aristophanes and the librarians upstairs had put together. With luck the library would be safe for a long time.

Kydas laid the scrolls reverently into the case and closed it. The scrolls would be safe far across the ocean, beyond the Emperor's reach. He idly wondered if he would ever lay eyes on them again.

He let his eyes wander across the items that were left in and around the room. The case holding relics some thought belonged to the ancient gods attracted his eye and he studied it. Bracelets that could heal or kill rested on fine silks beneath the glass. In another case next to it were stone tablets in the language of the old gods, though none knew how to read them.

In another corner stood a case containing armor from a time long ago, ready to be boxed away. Aristophanes claimed it had come from Atlantis itself, but Kydas had a hard time believing it. He smiled as he remembered the old librarian telling him the stories of Atlantis, his hands waving in the air as he told the story. His eyes had twinkled as he recounted the tales he had heard as a child, stories of honor, heroes, and wonder

Treasures of times long ago, relics of eras man had long forgotten, both from age and from the desire to forget them. He paused and studied the skull of a beast most mortal eyes had never seen. Aristophanes had claimed that it had been donated to the collection long ago, along with an amulet of some sort. The man who had brought it said it had been found in some caverns near Gehennom, but had never alluded to more of its background.

His musing was broken as he heard Aristophanes approach. He turned to regard the librarian and was quick to notice the weariness on the old man's face. The stress of the moment and of his own age was wearing the man down. He bore a serious look on his face, one that usually meant more work for Kydas.

"Come with me, I have something else for you," he said.

Kydas nodded and trailed behind his master as they weaved their way through empty shelves and large crates. He was surprised when the librarian led him to the door of his quarters. Aristophanes pushed the door open and waved Kydas through it.

Where neatness and precision were mandatory in the library, chaos ruled in the old man's quarters. Scrolls and books were haphazardly strewn across tables and desks. Notes were scribbled on every piece of paper and flat object. Aristophanes weaved his way toward a clean seat, urging the younger man to sit down.

"Boy," he began. "I need you to do one last thing for me, before you leave to take your part of the library to safety. I have one more object, one of the most precious in the special collection, for you to take with you."

Kydas frowned and looked at the librarian. He knew he was to take some of the crates to another location, but he had always assumed he would be returning to the library to aid Aristophanes with the work they did there.

"I know what you are thinking, boy, but you must understand something. With what the Emperor plans, there will be no more Library of Alexandria, at least not in our lifetime. Perhaps one day it will be reassembled, but I doubt we will ever see it," said Aristophanes.

The man frowned but nodded in agreement. He couldn't remember a time when the librarian had seemed quite this serious.

"What is so special about this object?" he asked.

Aristophanes picked up a scrap of parchment and handed it to Kydas. He glanced at it and wrinkled his brow before looking up at the old man.

"I don't understand, what is this about?" asked Kydas

"This task is not just for you. This task is one of such importance that your children and children's children will need to take up the banner. It must be protected for all times," said Aristophanes. "It is a gift from the gods themselves, a weapon against the darkness we fight."

Aristophanes got up and ushered Kydas toward another door in the rear of the chamber. He opened it and beckoned him forward down a long winding hall, cut from the rock itself. Candles flickered as they passed, revealing doors into other chambers.

The librarian paused outside an oak door, bound with steel. He knocked lightly on it and waited. After a moment, Kydas could hear a latch turn on the other side. The door slowly opened and Aristophanes stepped inside.

Kydas followed his master into the chamber and grew more confused. The old man walked in and put his arm around a young girl, barely in her teens, in an almost fatherly sort of way. Blonde tresses fell across the girl's face, her green eyes barely showing through the hair. Her face, with its foreign look, was tense and she watched him with a cautious gaze.

"Kydas, I want you to meet Bridgette of the Wolf Clan, from the tribes far to the north," said Aristophanes. "Your task from here on is to protect her, guide her, and aid her in her mission."

Kydas looked at the girl and then at his master in confusion.

"What mission is that?" he asked with a tinge of fear in his voice.

Aristophanes gazed at the girl for a moment before looking back at Kydas.

"She is the Slayer, Kydas. The one girl in all the world, chosen..." began the librarian.

Chapter 4

October 26, 1995
Washington D.C.

"You truly are a speaker for the dead, aren't you young lady?" said Ducky in awe as Faith finished her narration. "How accurate are these dreams?"

Faith shrugged her shoulders, looking to her Watcher for help. The wizard looked nonplussed, his face showing that he was lost in deep thought.

"So the scrolls were shipped somewhere else, along with a horde of unknown magical items and books?" queried Sinclair finally. "Where though?"

"No idea," she responded honestly. "First time I've ever had a dream not from a Slayer's point of view."

"Library of Alexandria, Library of Alexandria," mumbled Ducky over and over again. "I know I've heard something about that recently, but what was it?"

His musings were cut short as the noise of a pager went off, shocking them all out of their thoughts. Doctor Mallard stared at the text screen for a moment before making his way over to the hotel room phone and started pressing buttons.

"This is Doctor Mallard," he said into the receiver which was pressed tightly against his ear and shoulder. "Yes Jethro, I remember the case. He's struck again? Dear lord. I'll be there as soon as I can."

As Ducky hung up the phone, Faith and Robert could both see the doctor's hands shaking. Neither spoke, they were both waiting to see if the other man would say anything.

Finally turning around to look at them, he answered the question plainly expressed in their stare. "I work for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. They handle military crimes. That was one of our agents," he said finally while wringing his hands. "Over the last few days, two marines guarding a research facility have been killed under more than mysterious circumstances. It has been driving the lead agent, Jethro Gibbs, up a proverbial and not so proverbial wall. Given the murders, it's almost ironic that The Slayer is in the region."

"Ironic how?" Faith sarcastically asked, only to have her smirk wiped off of her face by the doctor's next statement.

"Because my dear," retorted Ducky, all touch of humor gone. "I believe the murders are demonic in nature."

392 A.D.

Bridgette looked at the squalid appearance of the town in the distance and rolled her eyes. Why Kydas had wanted to come here was beyond her. It had been more than a year since they had left Alexandria, with part of the Emperor's army on their heels. They had been hell-bent to fill out Constantine III's orders and had pursued Kydas and the Slayer across the known world. They had lost the troops somewhere around the lands of the Franks. Once pursuit had eased, Kydas had ordered that they set sail to the lands to the west, away from the Emperor's reach.

The Slayer felt the wagon she was riding on slow and then come to a halt. She looked around and wondered why they had stopped. She could hear shouts coming from the rear of the wagon train and peered out. She could see Kydas giving orders to the various slaves and servants, his arms moving back and forth as they always did.

Bridgette hopped down out of the wagon and took in her new surroundings. The wagons had rolled into an old Roman villa of sorts. The buildings looked in various states of disrepair, but some of them might be salvageable.

"This will be our home for a time," said a voice behind her.

Bridgette turned to look at the man who had become her teacher and smiled. While she missed Aristophanes, she was learning much from the man who had replaced him. He never failed to surprise her with the things he knew. From the beginning he had surprised her when he had spoken to her in the language of her people, and her respect for the man had only grown from there.

Bridgette nodded and gathered her things from the wagon before approaching the villa. The back of her neck began to tingle and she paused and looked back at Kydas.

"Keep everyone out of the buildings for a while. I will return soon," she said and began to approach the main building. She could hear her teacher relaying orders to the men behind her. Just as she was about to cross the threshold of the first building she saw a shadow approach. Bridgette turned to look at Kydas and frowned.

"What do you think you are doing?" she asked as she placed her hands on her hips. Kydas looked at the girl and smiled. In a way she reminded him of his wife or young daughters. He grinned inwardly as he thought on it. In many ways, the Slayer had become another one of his daughters.

"I'm going with you," he said as he unsheathed the sword he had brought from the wagon.

The Slayer began to shake her head. While she knew the man knew how to use the weapon, these were vampires. It was her job, and hers alone.

"Kydas, this is what I am supposed to do," she began.

"And Aristophanes said I was to protect you. Letting you go in by yourself is foolish," retorted the man, resolve set hard on his face.

"But," began the girl.

"No buts, young lady, I'm here to watch your back," Kydas said sternly.

Bridgette rolled her eyes and turned to move toward the building. She paused a moment, looked over her shoulder at the man and raised an eyebrow.

"Well, are you coming or not?" she asked as she crossed the threshold and moved into the villa, stake in hand.

Kydas shook his head and followed his young charge into the darkness.

October 26, 1995
Washington D.C.

"Great, demonic marine killers," declared Faith as she looked up to the heavens in supplication before staring hard at her Watcher. "I told you coming to Washington was a bad idea, but did you listen? Nooooooooo."

"Hush," snapped the wizard as he fixed his old friend with a piercing look. "Demonic in what way?"

Shifting into a professional role, Doctor Mallard adjusted his glasses and began to recite his findings, describing in depth the style, type and location of the wounds that had killed the first Marine. Finishing his descriptions, the doctor raised his hands into the air in confusion.

"I cannot think of any more horrible of a way to die," he said finally. "Or of anything that would do that, short of a demon."

"Fyral?" queried Faith.

"I'm thinking more along the lines of Varhall or Polgara," retorted the wizard who had turned and was reaching into a beaten leather bag he kept near the bed.

He reached into the bag and pulled out a large leather tome, which he lovingly caressed before he sat it on the table. From Faith's position she could barely make out the title of "Demonica" and the author's name, Rafinesque.

"Where on earth did you get that?" demanded the doctor, the shock and awe coming across clearly in the question.

"It was given to me many years ago," replied Robert, seemingly downplaying the book which he was quickly thumbing through. "The author was a genius when it came to works of botany, anthropology, and many other fields. He spent several years conducting early studies into the demonic species. Probably one of his finest works, one of which the world will never know about."

Flipping through the pages, the mage ignored the other two inhabitants of the room, his eyes firmly locked on the book in front of him. Unable to stand the silence, Faith began to pace the room, stopping finally in front of the footlocker that they carried with them. Banging the box open, she studied the objects inside before pulling forth a brass handled small short sword. Drawing it from the sheath, the slayer studied the blade, running her finger left to right over the edge to check its sharpness. With a scowl, she reached into the box and pulled out a whetstone kit and settled back onto her perch on the bed. Soon a scrapping noise broke the silence as the young girl began to sharpen the blade.

"Must you?" asked Sinclair without looking up, he's gaze still fixed on the book.

"Hey, if I'm going demon hunting, I'm not going out with a dull weapon," she snorted in return.

Ducky watched the interaction with an amused silence. Clearly the two had a good working relationship, more so than most Slayers he had heard about. But then, from the observations he had made so far, the young girl on the bed was far from a typical slayer.

"It's a Varhall," grumbled the wizard as he closed the book finally. "Why the damn thing is in the region is beyond me."

"Could it be working with Ethan?" questioned Faith as she looked up from her sharpening.

"Possibly," nodded Sinclair. "It could be here for its own reasons though. If the Alexandria relics are in the region, it could be looking for something in the trove."

"Wait! I remember now," Ducky yelled who shocked Faith from her perch on the bed, causing herself to almost skewer herself with the shortsword. "One of the witnesses!"

"One of the witnesses what?" growled the young slayer who was dabbing blood off her arm and trying to restrain herself from strangling the doctor.

A pin drop could have been heard in the room as Doctor Mallard dropped his bombshell.

"The witness said they were working with NUMA," he smiled almost manically. "Specifically working on a project to translate scrolls recently discovered in Texas thought to have come from the Library of Alexandria."

It was at that moment the silence of the room was broken by the door to the room crashing open.

For all his experience, the next few seconds were probably the slowest of Doctor Mallard's life. From the moment the door crashed open, he was distantly aware of the fact that the small girl on the bed was on the move. In the time it took him to blink his eyes, she went from her position on the bed to standing next to the door violently greeting the first person through the door.

With a yell, the first figure through the door sailed across the room, crumpling against the far wall and sliding down into a broken pile with a groan. The crumpled figure was promptly silenced. Ducky observed as his old friend, somehow, transferred himself across the room and applied a kick to the downed attacker.

Seeing the plight of the first person through the door, the second would be attacker attempted to slip through the entrance and past the slight girl in their path. The plan failed miserably as she anticipated the motion and moved to block it with her own attack. With a flick of her wrist, the Slayer sent the whetstone she had in her hand zinging through the air, hitting the figure just below the belt and doubling them over. A small pitiful groan was emitted from the figure before they toppled over onto the ground, gasping for air.

Time resumed to its normal pace for Ducky, and he stared wide eyes at the apparent chaos that had occurred. His shock turned to confusion as Sinclair and Faith moved back to their previous positions, the later stopping to pick up her whetstone first. The duo seemingly ignored the two would be attackers and resumed their work.

"Would someone like to explain to me what just happened?" Ducky asked finally.

The answer was cut off from the floor as the would be attacker groaned and weakly sat up, staring at the small girl on the bed.

"Hi sis," he whimpered in a small voice.

"Fuck you Murphy."


Chapter 5

396 A.D.

Kydas fought back the tears that threatened to fall as he looked solemnly at the stone tomb before him. The rest of his family had already departed the tomb, leaving the scholar alone in his grief. Though Bridgette had not been one of his children, as the years had passed, he had come to think of the girl as his own.

He shuddered as he remembered her last moments. She had been fighting against five vampires; it was a fight she should have been predetermined with her as the victor. Though, in a single instant of time, she made one mistake, a mistake that had cost the Slayer her life. Kydas had barely escaped, forced to retreat to safety before recovering his surrogate daughter's body in the safety of the daylight.

A scratching noise woke him from his grief.s Slowly the scholar reached into his cloak with an almost imperceptible move, wrapping his hand around the worn handle of his short sword. He began to turn when he heard a voice.

"You have no need for the sword, boy, I am not here for a fight," said a voice.

Kydas turned and before him stood a man in a cloak. Dark eyes looked out from the hood pulled up over his head. The man's face was haggard and unshaven, unruly hair peeked out from beneath the hood. The man's eyes flicked toward the tomb and took on a sorrowful look.

The figure walked past Kydas and laid his hand on the top of the tomb. He spoke a benediction of some sort in a language the scholar didn't recognize before turning to regard him.

"It always pains me when another Slayer dies," said the figure with a hint of sadness in his voice.

Kydas frowned and looked at the man, distrust written clearly on his face. He studied the figure, wondering who the man might be.

"Slayer?" asked Kydas after a moment, his face now impassive.

The stranger shook his head and cracked a smile at the librarian. He threw back his cloak, revealing armor and a sword, but kept his hand away from the hilt. With a motion of his hand, he gestured toward the door.

"This is a conversation better had in the light of day." said the man.

Letting the other man go before him, Kydas glanced back at the tomb one last time before leaving his Slayer. He picked up his torch and slowly made his way out of the chamber, shutting the stone door behind him.

The light of the new day greeted the scholar, causing him to squint his eyes as they adjusted to the harsh sun. He slowly and steadily made his way above ground. The unknown stranger waited next to a horse that was tied next to his own. The man reached into a bag and pulled out a bottle. Popping the cork, he took a swig of the bottle before handing it to the scholar.

"We have much to talk about, Kydas," said the stranger.

"How do you know my name?" asked Kydas finally as he took a drink from the bottle. The cloaked man smiled and took the bottle back from the scholar before reaching into his cloak and pulling out a sealed scroll. He motioned toward the shade of the tree and sat down.

"Aristophanes sends his regard," said the man, holding the scroll out to Kydas. "My name is Merrick."

Kydas narrowed his eyes and looked at Merrick long and hard before taking the scroll. He rolled it around in his hands, checking the seal to see if it was still intact. The librarian pulled out a dagger, loosened the seal and unrolled the scroll.

He smiled as his eyes glanced over the flowing script, a touch of relief filling his heart. It had been nearly five years since he had heard from the old man last, five long years. Part of him had assumed the librarian long dead, killed either by time or by the Emperor's guard when they came to destroy the library.

A frown started to form on the scholar's face as he read deeper into the scroll. Finally he looked up at Merrick, anger clearly written on his face. His hands shook and he stood, walking back and forth a moment before coming to stop before the mysterious figure.

"Is this some sort of sick joke?" he demanded.

Merrick raised an eyebrow and held out his hand. His face was impassive, no hint of emotion other than curiosity showing. He waited, his hand outstretched, looking at Kydas.

"The scroll," he said finally with a sigh.

The scholar handed the scroll over with a scowl and waited, his arms folded across his chest. He watched as the stranger read through the scroll and wondered why a smile was forming on the man's face. Finally the stranger tossed back his head and laughed.

"Why, the old dog," said Merrick with a chuckle.

Carefully he rolled the scroll up and handed it back to Kydas before taking another drink from the bottle. He offered it to the scholar and motioned to the ground next to him.

"No, it isn't a joke," he said finally.

"But the Slayer died..." began Kydas.

Merrick sighed and stood. He looked over to the entrance to the stone tomb and pointed.

"That is unfortunately what they do, Kydas of Threcia. But your Slayer became something special."

"And what was that?" sneered Kydas from his spot on the ground.

Merrick rolled his eyes and walked over to the horse. He pulled out an old leather bound tome and carried it back to Kydas. Opening the book, he flipped the pages and turned the book to show the scholar something.

"This book contains a record of all the Slayers Aristophanes and I have ever managed to find," said Merrick. "Bridgette did something no Slayer to date has done. She survived almost four years. We have records of several Slayers who lasted only days. DAYS!" Merrick sighed as he settled down to watch as Kydas thumbed his way through the pages, taking in the notes on each page. Some were written in the precise handwriting of his master, while others were in a scribble that the scholar could only assume came from Merrick.

"Frankly, Ari and I have no idea what you did," said the stranger with a grin. "But we know one thing; we'd like to see if you can repeat it."

"How?" asked Kydas, his voice barely above a whisper while his eyes narrowed.

"With my help, we want you to start a school of sorts for Slayers, with the sole purpose to train them, guide them, and in the end, protect them," said Merrick. Kydas blinked at the statement and his eyes got wide. His mind worked rapidly, trying to fathom what was being asked of him.

"And when I am gone?" he asked.

Merrick shrugged and pointed toward the villa where the children could be seen playing far in the distance.

"You must be joking," scoffed the scholar.

"Think on it," said Merrick as he got up and dusted off his pants. "I'll be at the inn in the city. Seek me out when you have an answer. Those girls need someone to watch over them if they are to survive."

Kydas watched as the man rode off. His mind was lost in thought for a long time. The stranger's words and Aristophanes' both rang true. The Slayers did need someone to watch over them if they were to survive longer. He stroked his chin and looked at the entrance to the tomb.

"Watchers," he mumbled and got up, dusting himself off before climbing onto his own horse.

Though, in truth, he was not certain he could allow himself to find more daughters, only to watch them die as well.

October 26, 1995
Washington D.C.

"Would someone PLEASE tell me what is going on here?" demanded Doctor Mallard a second time.

"Doc, meet my dipshit brothers, Conner and Murphy" Faith groused Faith as she motioned toward the two crumpled bodies who were struggling to get up off the floor. "For some reason they were watching the 'Pink Panther' and decided it would be a good idea to randomly attack me to keep me prepared."

"Seemed like a good idea at the time," moaned Murphy as he clawed his way up onto the bed.

"One of these days," spoke Sinclair. "You'll learn that some things you see in movies might get you killed."

"So yer sayin the Charlie Bronson fest we watched last night was a bad idea?" asked Conner as he struggled to get upright.

"Perhaps," was the wizard's only response. "Did you complete your assignment?"

"Aye," nodded Conner, who rubbed his head and winced. "Them three buggers Munch sent us to talk to are nuts let me tell you. Fookin nuts."

"Aye, space aliens and the lot," agreed his brother. "We gave'm what ye told us to though and they did the hack the kids couldn't. Turns out it belongs to them NUMA blokes. You know, they're the ones that discovered the Titanic."

"And the kick is up, the kick is good, touchdown," shouted Faith, ignoring the confused looks of her brothers.

"Huh?" the both asked.

"It all ties back to NUMA," answered Sinclair. "Somehow we're going to have to get in there to look and see what they've got."

"One step ahead of ye Robbie," smiled Murphy, who reached into his coat and pulled out a flyer.

Written on the front page in bold letters were the words 'Treasures of Alexandria'. Glancing down the page, the wizard observed it was an announcement about a grand opening to a display of relics recently uncovered and put on display for the public with an invitation only gala.

"Tomorrow huh?" mumbled the wizard.

"Aye, any way your magic can get us in," asked Conner.

"No, but perhaps there might be another way," said Robert as he began to fish around in the battered bag again, searching for something.

"Well, as entertaining as this has been, I have an autopsy to perform," said the Doctor as he gathered his things and began to pack them up. "I'll call you when I have verified things. If it comes down to it, can I call you in as a special consultant?"

"Sure, we can use the same cover as last time," nodded Sinclair.

With a wave, Ducky bid everyone a goodbye and headed out the door. Once it was close, Faith turned around to ask her Watcher a question, only to discover him already on the phone. Specifically on a cell phone she didn't recognize.

"Maggie, it's Robert," he said into the phone, only to cringe as a voice audible to everyone in the room erupted from it.

Rolling his eyes and wincing, the Watcher put the phone back against his ear and waited patiently for the yelling to die down, well aware he was being scrutinized by the other individuals in the room.

"Are you quite done yet?" he asked into the phone finally, his fingers drumming on the hotel table. The question only started another around of yelling.

Continuing to listen, the yelling continued for a moment or two more, before finally settling into what for most could be considered a normal conversation. For her part, Faith was amused to see into the world of the man who had come to be her Watcher. It was becoming apparent though, that the man had more secrets than she did. An odd statement brought her back from her musing to the conversation occurring in front of her.

"It's called a sabbatical for a reason, Maggie," grumped Robert into the phone. "I know I haven't called in a while, I've had more than a few things on my mind lately. Look, I just need to know something. Did I get any invitations to the Smithsonian gala tomorrow? "

Everyone in the room held their breath as the waited for whoever was on the other end of the phone did whatever they needed to do. A smile crept across the wizards face as whoever returned and gave their answer.

"Excellent. Can you call and have them put me on the guest list for a party of four?" he asked into the phone. "Thank you Maggie, you're a life saver! I promise I'll have the latest chapter to you to so you can get Gordon off your back. Yes, this week. Talk to you later. Bye."

Hanging up the phone and placing it back into his bag, the Watcher turned and smiled at the three younger people who were presently staring at him.

"Looks like we're going to a party tomorrow," he said after a moment of silence.

"Not before you give us some answers buddy," growled Faith, who was backed up by her nodding brothers. "You've got some explaining to do."

"And here I was hoping we could avoid that," he muttered sullenly.

425 A.D.

He shivered as he moved silently through the house. It wasn't the cold of December that chilled him, but the feeling that Death itself was approaching. Kydas smiled as he entered his library and stoked the fire, driving back the night a bit. His daughter wouldn't be pleased if she caught him up again writing, but the old scholar didn't care. He had work to finish.

Kydas settled into the chair and took out his quill, staring at the page again. He had struggled for years to finish this work, pouring all the knowledge that he, Aristophanes, and Merrick possessed into the tome with the hope that one day it would be a rule and guide to all Slayers, both present and to come. Dipping his quill into the inkwell, Kydas continued his writing, his thoughts slowly becoming words on the pages.

His mind wandered back over the recent years and the events that had shaped both him and his family. Seven Slayers had been found and brought to the villa, and the present Slayer was out holding back the night with one of his grandsons. When a new Slayer was called, Merrick would invariably show up and aid in the education of the girl, teaching her the ways of the sword and other weapons of the Slayer, leaving the occult education up to Kydas and his students.

When the idea had first been broached, the scholar had been hesitant to aid any future Slayers in the quest. He had adamantly refused to be the one to send another girl to her doom. That had changed when word reached him that the child called after Bridgette had died within less than a year of being called. Where action had killed Bridgette, inaction had led to the demise of another.

"Though the girl had fought bravely, she was unprepared to handle the demons and the vampires she encountered," said the scroll.

The words had not been meant to chastise the scholar, but they did nonetheless. They began a fire that had burned ever since, one that had been partially extinguished by the death of his own precious Slayer. It was a fire that had changed everything for both his family and the Slayers.

Kydas had called together all the members of his family, from those who had traveled with him from Egypt and Threcia, to the youngest, born on these shores in recent years. With the villa sealed, he explained his vision and what he expected from his family. Many had scoffed, refusing to believe the stories the scholar told, while others backed him completely, remembering the girl who had lived with the family for many years.

Those who had scoffed had demanded proof, refusing to aid the old man in his crazy venture. Their voices had quieted when Merrick appeared in the villa, a demon in tow. Kydas smiled as he remembered his nephew screaming like a maiden, trying to get away from the Gothal demon as it was dragged in behind the warrior. That had more or less ended the arguments right then and there. Now nearly thirty seasons had passed. The family was committed now to holding back the night and aiding the Slayers in whatever fashion they could.

But his time was coming to an end; he could feel it in his bones. The Angel of Death would not wait much longer, yet there was still much to do.

<There is always much left to do,> he thought as he put the quill down and looked around the room.

"I know you're here, I can feel you," he said to the shadows. "You might as well come out."

Silence hung in the room, broken only by the crackle of the fire. Kydas leaned back in his chair and crossed his hands across his chest, lacing his fingers together, and waited. He stared into the shadows and began to twiddle his thumbs. Finally the silence was broken by a sigh and a figure stepped out of the darkness.

"I will never understand how you do that," said the figure as he sat down in the chair near the fire.

Kydas shook his head and poured two drinks from a decanter sitting on a shelf next to the desk. He handed one to the newcomer and held the other close to his body, using it as cover to hide his shaking hands.

"It's an old habit," the scholar said finally. "When you have dealt with the darkness as long as I have, you develop an affinity for when something is amiss."

The figure raised an eyebrow at the old man and looked at him chagrined. He shook his head and sipped from the glass before settling back into the chair.

"Thing of the darkness, am I?" asked the figure. Neither man said a word, each watching the other and waiting.

"I'm not going to get to finish my book, am I?" Kydas asked.

The other shook his head, sorrow furrowing his brow.

"I figured as much," said Kydas with a sigh. "What will happen from here on?"

"Your family will grow and spread, continuing to watch over the Slayer line," said the figure. "In time, they will become known simply as 'Watchers' and do their best to hold back the night along with the Slayer."

The scholar nodded and turned to put his pen up. Carefully he closed the tome, tying it shut with a leather strap. He gently ran his hand across the book's cover, then turned and looked at the figure again, resolve settling in.

"It's time, isn't it?" he asked.

"Yes, Kydas of Threcia, it is time for you to come home," said Suriel, the Angel of Death.

With the dawn came the sadness of knowing that the scholar had passed away in the night. His daughter had found the old man, seemingly asleep in his library, a smile on his face and a drink in his hand. None knew where the tome he had been working on had gone; many suspected the scholar had hidden it away somewhere before he had passed away.

It was after the funeral that it was decided that a council should be set up to help guide the Slayer, using the notes Kydas had collected throughout his life as a structure to help train the Slayers now that their patron was gone. Merrick stayed on, adding his own voice to the newly formed council on how to train the young warriors, but as time progressed his voice was silenced more and more. They were of the family of Kydas, and he was not, they said. They knew what was right for the Slayer.

And so it came to pass that the wheels of time moved forward.

October 26, 1995
Washington D.C.

"You're a college teacher?" exclaimed Faith as she tried hard not to laugh at her now blushing Watcher.

"Professor," he corrected. "I used to teach ancient history, languages, and mythology at a small college in North Carolina. After…."

"After what? You've been sitting on something Rob, and if I can't hide things from you anymore, keeping stuff from us ain't gonna fly," she stated with more than a touch of anger in her tone.

"You mean like slayer dreams?" he barked angrily at her.

Faith was taken aback by the sudden outburst from her normally easy going watcher. As she watched, an ill look washed of the old man's face and Faith thought for a moment that he looked like he was going to throw up. From her vantage she could see a wave of emotions rush across her Watcher's face ranging anywhere from fear to anger. He attempted to speak a few times, but only squeaks came out.

"After my wife Megan died," he said. It was clear that such a small statement still had a devastating affect on the man. After a lengthy pause, he was able to pick up where he left off. "After Meg died I packed it in and took a sabbatical. That's the first time I've checked in, in about six months or so, I think. The world, and my memory, gets a little grey after the funeral."

A silence hung over the room, and Faith felt really small. While she had hoped to get some information out of the man, she hadn't expected the raw and pained look that was on his face.

"Sorry Rob," apologized a very sullen Conner. "We nay knew. We shouldn't have asked."

"It's alright. I should have told you this a while ago," replied Sinclair after a moment. "It's just hard to talk about."

"Was it something supernatural?" Faith asked, hoping it was something she could kill and avenge.

"No, something completely human, a car wreck actually," came the sad reply, followed by the beginning of some tears. "And for all my magic, I couldn't stop it or save her."

Turning her head, Faith stared at the wall to give her Watcher some privacy as tears rolled down his face. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see her brothers following her lead, each diligently looking elsewhere. On impulse, she gathered up her sword and whetstone, returning it to the chest at the end of the bed. When she returned to her spot, a quick glance told her that Robert had pulled himself together.

"So we're going to be able to get into this party tonight?" Faith asked trying to break the mood.

"Maggie, the secretary for my department, said I had received an invitation and she was going to call and have us put on the waiting list," said Sinclair.

"We've got a small problem then boss," grinned Faith. "This gal ain't got nothing to wear to a fancy ball. So you know what that means don't you?"

The three men in the room paled, a chill running through each man in the room as one common and fearful thought rang out clearly.

"It's shopping time," she finished with a smile somewhere between orgasmic and predatory.



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