Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-
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Emails are welcome as are honest reviews. I respond to all correspondence.
Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes and especially BTVS: Primeval.
Notes: Story number One in the Spanderverse-universe. This is VERY Riley-centric. This story has 6 chapters.
Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse.
People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline. Scene or POV switches are handled with a string of o’s.
Thanks to the authors of Fanfiction, wherever you may post. It’s probable that I’ve read at least one of your stories somewhere. I apologize for recycling concepts inadvertently from the plenitude of stories I’ve read.
Xanderverse: After 314
Ch. 5 – The Cleanup
Naughty language – read responsibly.
POV: Mostly Riley Finn.
Riley entered the Initiative control room to see the top of Destuvic’s head peeping above a console. His two fists resting on the console’s top, gripping a pistol and pointed in his general direction. Upon seeing him, Destuvic lowered the gun and stood up. From a console to Desty’s right, Brubacker rose, also armed with a pistol which now rested at this thigh.
“Hey Desty. Randy. You guys ready to get outta here?” Riley asked the room.
It was Brubacker who answered, a very slight contempt in his voice. “What are you doin’ here Finn? I thought you’d be off boffing your girl somewhere.”
Riley allowed a frustrated sigh to leave his lips. He knew it wouldn’t be easy to re-enter this place, see the men that he’d ‘betrayed’ by becoming an ‘anarchist’, but he was already tired of this mission. Truth was, yeah, he did want to be back with Buffy. Maybe not having sex, but just holding her close to him and allowing her warmth to chase away his own doubts that leaving the military was the right thing for himself.
“I don’t really have time for your shit, Brubacker. We’re collecting whoever is still alive down here before the Powers That Be in Washington figure out how their going to bury this place. I’m betting cement, but I’d rather not be here fucking around with your pissy attitude when they start.”
Both Randy Brubacker and Caine Destuvic had shock written on both their faces. They’d never heard Riley talk like that before. He wasn’t one to swear lightly, and neither of them could've ever pictured him using the f-bomb.
Destuvic was about to bring up their standing orders that Riley was under arrest, but he was cut off. Apparently Finn wasn’t done yet.
“And, in case that blow to your face,” Brubacker was sporting a huge swollen bruise where Buffy had bashed him with the butt of a rifle during the Scooby’s break-out, “Has affected your eyesight, I’m wearing Lieutenant Colonel’s leaves now. That pretty much means I’m ordering you to shut your mouths and follow us back out.”
With that he turned and pushed back through the soldiers he had led into the room. They’d all immediately sensed the tension in the room, but they were ignorant as to what had happened between Riley and the Initiative, other than that he’d been posted here when things turned to shit.
As the soldiers followed, Riley yelled back to see if anyone had been locked up since he and Oz made their exit from the detention cells. He didn’t expect there to be anyone back there and didn’t want to waste time looking. His assumptions were confirmed by Destuvic, so he continued to cross the wide expanse toward the elevator shaft. Nearing the central operating theatre, the soldiers heard a frantic call for assistance from Kirk reporting multiple hostiles.
Riley took off at a dead run, not bothering to check to see if his men were behind him, though it was obvious they were. The sound of heavy boots on cement flooring was thunderous and they made a beeline toward the 314 Lab door standing ajar.
As his team approached the lab doorway, including the two soldiers from Operations, Graham’s team burst out of the medical ‘wing’ also at a dead run.
“Did you finish your sweep?” Riley yelled as he entered the 314 doorway. Behind him, his soldiers slowed to allow Graham ahead of them; then quickly inserted themselves in front of his team. They’d show deference to Graham since Riley needed to consult with him, but they sure as hell weren't going to be left at the back of the line for anyone else.
“We missed the blood bank! We gotta figure there’s a good chance at a nest back there.”
“Go back to it when we’re done here. Don’t leave anything alive! I want to see nuthin’ moving but us when we come out of here,” Riley yelled.
“You know that’s right,” Graham confirmed.
Riley and the soldiers passed first down a well-lit hallway, coming to a formerly secured doorway which had been blown open. How, he didn’t know, as they didn’t have explosives on them. The demons must have found a few grenades on some of the soldiers they’d killed. There wasn’t an abundance of such ordinance in the Initiative, but some soldiers were granted access to them from the armory.
Passing through that doorway led to another antiseptic white room. This one’s most obvious feature was two operating tables. Their stainless steel gleamed in the harsh fluorescents from the ceiling. The room had a heavy smell of disinfectant. The sounds of fighting were louder, and he led the soldiers through a doorway into a short hallway on his right.
They entered yet another room with a large and shaggy Quon-Shoth demon blocking the doorway. Its corpse was lying on the floor with its head at an odd angle. The room beyond, as Riley led his team over its body, was smaller than the rooms they'd passed through so far. It was apparently another storage room. This one seemed to be for the scientist's use, as there were large containers of mysterious colored liquids on a rack against the wall. (1) Riley ignored these as he followed the sound of fighting through a brightly lit, but empty hallway. It was completely white and too brightly lit and made the guy's eyes water as they followed it to another room.
This room was one that Riley was intimately associated with. Across the room and on the right from where he now entered was the extensive cave system that the Initiative was built into. That opening was how he had gotten here the first time. Adam had somehow remotely activated his chip, and guided him like a homing beacon to this room. Once he had arrived, he'd been temporarily powerless to do anything except what Adam had told him to do.
The room that he'd been held captive in was a little worse for wear. Gurnee were overturned, blood and body parts littered the floor and there were already a few soldiers' bodies lying, unmoving on the concrete. One of them was Kirk, whose head had been completely twisted into a 180-position. As Riley slid on the bits of flesh and gore on the floor, he pushed away all thoughts of the last time he fought in this room. Forrest tried to whisper recriminations in his head, but he slammed those thoughts away and dived into the melee going on in front of him.
It was apparent that the vampires had decided to set up a nest in this room. Displayed all around him were soldiers and vampires fighting in mostly hand to hand combat, weapons lying on the floor waiting to trip the unwary. There was loud shouting, hissing, and the painful sounds of bodies; both dead and undead, being punched, kicked, slapped, and thrown about the room. Riley himself was already engaged in hand to hand with two vampires, both of which he dispatched with the large machete he carried. Its sixteen inch blade decapitated both of his foes even as he took a quick glance around the room to check the status of the soldiers fighting with him.
He felt an involuntary shiver and the wound in his chest from where he pulled out his own behavioral chip itched and burned. This was the room where Adam was making his big plans for the domination and transformation of humanity. The cybernetic zombie had wanted to include Riley as a cyber-demonoid as well. His gaze went to the far right of the room involuntarily. There laying on the ground and showing obvious trampling damage, were the bodies of Dr. Angleman and Dr. Walsh. Adam had killed them both and then 'reanimated' them into mindless worker bees in his dungeon of horror. Around the room lay other bodies, some of them soldiers. There were also several demons among the dead, but the only ones left fighting now were all blood-suckers.
That immediately brought Forrest back into his mind fully. His friend and comrade had also been killed by Adam. But, maybe because he'd been an Initiative soldier too, Forrest had avoided Maggie's fate by becoming more like Adam himself. A hodge-podge menace made of the parts of his body, combined with a demon's arm and part of its head. Demon-Forrest had attempted to kill Buffy, and when he had finally fought free of his conditioning chip, had tried to beat the hell out of Riley himself. He’d been forced to kill Forrest for the second and last time. A decision that carried its own guilt; even though it didn't make any sense. The thing that Riley had blown apart wasn't his friend, but a sick perversion of him.
His reverie was cut short when he was suddenly, and painfully, tackled to the floor. The thing on top of him was fully 'morphed' into the monster. Its eyes were a glaring yellow which almost seemed to be glowing with malevolence. Its hard fingernails were digging into his upper arms, breaking the skin easily. The creature's breath smelled coppery, the smell of fresh blood, Riley realized. The thing straddled his body like a demented lover, straining its head forward, full of fangs, trying to reach his throat.
He was struggling to get clear of the thing when it suddenly jerked up, its eyes comically large and round. It seized once and then turned to ash without a sound uttered from its savage mouth. Above him stood Graham, a makeshift stake in his hand and his eyes scanning for the next target.
"Quit daydreaming Finn! You did the only thing for Forrest you could, time to let it go and focus on the here and now!"
And with that, Graham was leaping back into the fray with a former Initiative comrade-in-arms, now deadly enemy.
Riley rolled onto his feet and immediately snap-kicked a civilian-vampire that stumbled too close to him.
Of course Graham would know exactly what I'd been brooding on, he thought. They were as close as brothers and if Graham had ever considered more with him, he'd never pushed the subject. He was grieving for Forrest too, but he wasn't letting himself get bogged down in it. It was a damn good thing Graham was here. The whole Forrest thing is really screwing my head.
And so the battle went. Riley tried to keep track of the number of his men and the number of vampires, but it was a losing battle. The field of engagement was shifting faster than anyone could be expected to keep up with. It was chaos; the anarchy that McNamara had so feared was a reality in this one large room.
He had the remaining vampire nest at approximately twenty, while he figured his own men were down to twelve or so. Kirk's face flashed in his mind, but he'd allowed himself to get distracted once already and there was no guarantee that Graham would be there to save his rear again. It was just another funeral he'd be attending after this was over. He took a quick glance around the room before he approached a new opponent. Seeing Graham and Banks double-teaming a vampire who definitely looked the worse for wear made him release a relieved breath. Graham was the closest Riley had to a best friend, not including Buffy, of course. He didn't want to lose the man.
"Hey Colonel," Riley heard from behind him, even as he got bumped by a large block of muscle behind him. "Maybe a bit of help here," he heard Washington's deep baritone.
He spun around to see another vamped Initiative soldier, this one used to be a corporal named Jenkins, easily countering Washington's best delivered blows. Taking another breath, and pasting a smile on his face, he told Washington, "Always happy to be of service," and then launched himself into another fight to the death.
It was a savage twenty minutes later in which no mercy was asked for or given when the fight seemed to go out of the vampire gang. They'd been reduced to approximately seven while Riley's men had remained a slightly-worse-for-wear twelve. As one, the vampires suddenly took to the flight portion of the fight-or-flight instinct.
The sudden turn in the conflict was like an elixir to the men under his command. There were suddenly whoops and hollering. They took off after the retreating vampires, wanting to exterminate every last one of them.
He felt the opposite reaction. Now that the battle seemed over, he was bone weary. He took a look around the floor, searching out familiar faces of the soldiers who lay unmoving. We'll need to check for vitals, and bite marks on the dead.
Graham jogged over to him at that moment. "Finn, have you seen McNamara?"
"The Colonel? He's alive?"
"No, but he sure as hell was fighting in here a minute ago. On the far side of the room; over that way." Graham was shifting his gaze over to where a doorway was set into the wall. You couldn't see it from where Graham and he stood. Riley knew it was there because that was the way Buffy had taken off when she'd gone after Adam for the final showdown.
"There's a doorway over there," shared Riley, "He may be taking off!"
"Then let's get going," Graham yelled excitedly. As he was making ready to dash off, Riley grabbed his arm.
"Listen, Graham. I need to take this one on my own. Catch up after the guys, grab a few and return to the blood bank."
"Riley, look man, that doesn't sound like such a good idea."
"It's not. It's just something I need. McNamara and I have unfinished business as is, if he's going to be a vamp, I want to be the one doing the dusting."
Graham had doubt in his eyes, but he simply gave Riley a quick squeeze on his shoulder, then ran off toward the exit leading back into the Initiative proper.
He took off for the exit leading to wherever Adam had holed up. He was looking forward to pounding on McNamara's stubborn, opinionated, insulting ass. Right before I decapitate the bastard. Who knew I had such a dark streak?
He entered another room, this one littered with the remains of computer consoles standing with gaping holes in them. In a far wall was a ragged entrance. It looked like it led to more of the natural cave system that honeycombed below Sunnydale and its environs. In front of this entrance stood McNamara giving orders, apparently to vampires beyond in the caves.
Well, that figures, thought Riley Finn, if anyone would take over leadership of a nest of undead, it would be him.
"Going somewhere, oh fearless leader," Riley called across the room.
"Finn," the thing with McNamara's body hissed back. "Well, well. The prodigal son returns. Y'know, McNamara wanted to court martial your traitor-ass, but I'm thinking imposing the death penalty sounds a lot more like justice."
"Then bring it on, old man."
And with that, Riley went into a dead run at his former commander. McNamara met him halfway in a run of his own, but he grabbed the thing's arm and heaved him into a shoulder flip. Thrown to the floor, McNamara-thing did a nicely executed flip into a standing position, pivoting on its heels to face Riley again.
The two men circled each other, both wearing identical visages of loathing and anger. He performed several feints at the vampire's head, but McNamara didn't even blink. He just stayed beyond his immediate reach, wearing a look of superiority that was really pissing Finn off.
With the next feint, Riley took a step forward, closing the distance to within striking range. His fist caught McNamara in the face, but not with as much power as he had hoped. Still, the vampire's lip split nicely. McNamara-thing grimaced at him, "First blood to you soldier-boy, nice shot."
McNamara immediately followed up with a few quick jabs to Riley's abdomen, which his body armor took. He placed an upper cut to the vampire's jaw, but quick reaction from it made the blow only glancing. As he shrugged off that hit, McNamara took two steps back, placing distance between his opponent and himself again.
"You're looking a little winded. Maybe you should take a small break," smiled the vampire. Or, at least, it tried. With its distended features, it came across as more of a grimace. "I can wait a few minutes if you want," said McNamara in as friendly a tone as he could manage.
Bells started to go off in Riley's mind then. This vampire was being far too solicitous and it was almost as if it was reluctant to engage in combat. Like it… damn it! Like it was trying to delay me here!
He quickly swept his eyes around the room, failing to see the one thing that should be most apparent in a room this small. The body of a lumbering Frankensteinian cyborg was very much not in evidence.
"Shit! Where's Adam at," yelled Riley at the thing.
For its part, the vampire was smirking in the same way that made Riley want to stake Hostile 17 every time he saw him. "Finally caught on, huh? Jesus Christ, but your one thick slab!"
"The vampires you were yelling at, they got him. Where'd they take him, McNamara?!"
"Now that would be spoiling the surprise waiting for the Slayer, Finn." The vampire chuckled to itself coldly. "Adam can be re-made, better than he was but far more obedient. With his help not only will I be ruling the Hellmouth, but I'll slay the Slayer. By the time I'm done, I'll have vampires begging me to include them in my new order. This town will be mine, Finn. Unfortunately for you, you're not invited. You can take some small comfort in the fact that your death is about to be quick and permanent."
Riley shrugged off this threat, it wasn't like he hadn't been threatened with similar from vampires before. His mind, though, was racing. Somewhere behind him Adam's corpse was being manhandled to who knew where while he was wasting time with this numb-nut. He had to finish this right now, and get after the others. He had to satisfy his curiosity though.
"How the hell do you know about Adam now, when McNamara didn't when he arrived?"
"Eh, I just used his passcode to look up Dr. Walsh's journals. She was a very meticulous record-keeper, that one. The whole scientist thing, I suppose. Anyway, it was very enlightening. I'll have to make sure to give her a little credit. Re-name a cemetery or something after her when I've taken over."
"Of course," the vampire continued, "You’re now planning on playing the hero… again… and completely ruining that. Time to finish this, Finn."
With that the vampire literally launched himself into the air. The flying drop kick caught Riley square in the chest, knocking him to the floor. Even with the body armor, he found himself winded and with no time to recover.
He quickly went into a roll to get to his feet, but McNamara had already gotten behind him. He felt the man's arms wrap around his head in a choke hold. The pressure on his throat was unrelenting and crushing. He could see stars in his vision, the edges of his sight becoming gray. Reaching behind him, he felt for the vampire's face. Grabbing its lip, he yanked as hard as he could.
The vampire reacted by loosening his grip and bellowing. Although his arms were still in their original position, Riley was able to draw a breath. But the demon then re-applied his grip, beginning to twist Riley's head, trying to snap his neck.
"You fuckin' sissy," it snarled, "C'mon Finn, take it like a soldier."
Finn placed all of his strength into getting to his feet. His calves and thighs strained against the weight bearing down at his back. He fought to hold his head still, the muscles not strong enough to stop the relentless twisting, screamed in protest and they were being forced to turn his head far too far to the left. McNamara's hand had shifted in the last few moments to Riley's chin, giving it the leverage it needed to snap his neck and he was seeing Buffy's face, tear streaked with grief passing before his eyes.
Carefully gauging his opponent's position, he performed a quick jab at its eyes, connecting with two fingers to the right orbit. McNamara screamed in pain, and fell away before he could jerk Riley's head out of its natural place. He followed the vampire back into a wall, pushing and digging at the orbit until he felt its eye pop messily from its socket.
McNamara howled in agony and scrambled to get away on his hands and knees. He made for the exit that his apparent minions had used. Riley quickly grabbed his large machete that he'd lost on the floor and neatly decapitated the demon where it crawled. He felt little satisfaction in the killing though, which surprised him.
He then took off for the entrance to the cave system. Retrieving and destroying Adam's remains just became his new priority.
End Chapter 05
(1) A shout-out to Liz Kingsley of "And You Call Yourself A Scientist!" A B-Movie review website amusingly pointing out that you know movie science is a-brewing by the lab scene which invariably contains 'conical flasks filled with mysterious colored liquids". These liquids nearly never are actually used by any scientist for anything in the scene. They just sit there, apparently left to evaporate and EVERY scientist has them, no matter what their actually working on.