October 15th, 2008

space2

The Cost of Giles, Ch 8 of ?

The Cost of Giles

Ch 8 – Trio Central

 

 

Warren peeked out from under the desk as the shaking subsided. The iron works building had groaned mightily, and there had been the sounds of falling metal, but for the most part it appeared it was still standing.

 

He crawled into the open, hearing a mighty roar of pain and for just a moment feared it was Andrew. Then he saw him picking himself up off of the floor. He was looking at his scraped hands, but definitely wasn’t making the racket that filled the cavernous space.

 

In one corner of the room, one of the vampires that he’d managed to recruit using the implied threat of Adam was thrashing about. A girder from above them had fallen across the unfortunate bloodsucker’s legs, smashing down on his kneecaps.

 

Another of the vamps was stirring as well, but Andrew was seeing to it. Whispering assurances that they were still safe, the demon settled, while Warren went to see what could be done for the screamer.

 

It wasn’t much.

 

“Shit, that looks painful,” Warren said with something less than sympathy.

 

“Get it off, get it off!”

 

“Adam… remove the girder from the vampire,” he instructed. Adam immediately responded. In the meantime, Andrew walked up to him.

 

“I’m going to grab April,” he told Warren. “I’ll make sure that the entrance hasn’t been blocked by debris.”

 

“Cool. I’ll take care of things, here. You might want to call Jon afterward, if the phones are working.”

 

With the immediate pressure of the girder removed from the vampire’s legs, it now wept and groaned with agony. Warren could see that the vamp’s knees were completely crushed, even without removing its pants.

 

“Well, that’s no good,” he said, annoyed.

 

“I-I’ll be okay,” the thing moaned. “Just need blood.”

 

“Oh, please. Look at that, man! Your knees are like jelly. No way is a little time and blood going to take care of that damage. And I’m not exactly a surgeon. I doubt you’d be walking again, even if I were.”

 

“N-no… I can heal! Really…!”

 

“Look, Marty, I appreciate your service, but I’m afraid I’ve got to let you go.”

 

“Oh, man! C’mon! I was gonna be loyal!”

 

“Yeah. Sorry about that,” Warren said with no sympathy. “Adam… behead the vampire.”

 

“You little bitch,” the vampire screamed at Warren as Adam extended a long blade from his left forearm.

 

“Let’s not make a scene,” Warren smiled down at the disabled vampire.

 

The demon wasn’t going to go quietly and tried to grab at Adam, while at the same time threatening to remove the mortal’s eyes and feed them to him.

 

They were quite empty threats, of course, and Warren didn’t respond to them. A moment later and the vampire’s irritating screeching was transmuted to the roar of a dusting in progress.

 

“Too bad, Marty.”

 

“W-what’s going on,” Brent, the ‘lead’ vampire asked from his corner where the remaining five vamps rested. He was clearly still disoriented by the sudden interruption to his regenerating sleep.

 

“Just had to mercy-kill Marty, I’m afraid. He was too badly hurt to bother with… you can go back down, the rest of you are safe,” Warren shot over his shoulder as he walked away to check on their computers.

 

Brent glared at the human’s back. He hated being subservient to a mortal, especially one as obnoxious as the dark haired one. But, he knew what would happen with Adam around… the choices were few- pack up and leave his hometown, or fall into line.

 

Right now, I’ve got to play the good little vamp, he thought as he laid back down to resume his sleep. But mark my words, Geek, you are so dead!

 

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

 

Giles stood up and surveyed the street. The damage seemed minimal with only the shattered windows and some cracking in the sidewalks to show that they’d just had another quake.

 

Well, if you could ignore all of the car alarms, he thought as he looked Lavinia over.

 

“I’d better get back to the campus now and see what damage there’s been in the library,” she said as she looked around. “It looks like we’ve gotten off lucky, though,” she echoed his thoughts.

 

“Yes,” he said, but was interrupted by his cell phone, “Excuse me.”

 

Upon answering he found Xander on the line, “Yes, I’m fine Xander. I wasn’t injured in the slightest… have we heard from Dawn?”

 

“Yeah,” he answered. “The first thing she did was call the house and reassure Spike. Both her and the ‘Bot are fine. And Tara’s with me… we’re both unhurt. Willow’s cell says her phone is off, but I left a message for her to call me and let me know she’s okay.”

 

“Alright. I’m walking Lavinia back to the campus from lunch and then I’ll be at my apartment. Let me know the moment you’ve heard from Willow?”

 

“Sure… and hey, Giles? Way to go… good luck!”

 

With Xander’s promise to keep him informed, he disconnected and started to walk with Lavinia again. It was nice that the children were so supportive of his efforts, but it was also just a bit embarrassing.

 

Sirens could be heard, of course, but no one they passed by seemed to be hurt. In fact, many people seemed to be going back to whatever business they’d been doing before the trembler.

 

Much like myself, he thought with amusement. How jaded I’ve become about this sort of thing….

 

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Willow pulled herself to her feet and looked around. Rabbi Hirsch was just entering from the offices as she glanced around.

 

If that was some sort of warning, she directed at the ceiling, it was a wasted effort.

 

Willow? Willow Rosenberg? It’s been a while since we’ve seen you here,” he managed to say it with just an undercurrent of disapproval.

 

“Hello, Rabbi. I know. I was actually just sitting here and realizing how peaceful it was right before the quake. And I could use a bit more peace,” she said looking around the place again.

 

The Rabbi walked over and she knew that she was stuck with polite conversation and making promises to come to services more often - promises that she had no intention of fulfilling.

 

She sighed. I should have left five minutes sooner.

 

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

Spike scoured the house, looking for any damages that could indicate a threat to Dawn. First he breathed in deeply in the kitchen, scenting for any signs of a gas leak from the oven (pointlessly, as it was an electric range, but he’d never paid attention). After this, he went down into the basement to check on the water heater and furnace, both of which showed no signs of damage.

 

Once he’d assured himself that the house wasn’t going to blow up, he began to go over the basement walls with obsessive attention. He wanted to be equally sure that the foundation wouldn’t give way and bury his Bit under a ton of house.

 

When he failed to find anything wrong, he suspected that he must have missed something and so started over again. He refused to believe that the house had come through unscathed.

 

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

At the Sunnydale High School demolition site, Ramon sat on the ground, head in his hands. He was sobbing uncontrollably with three burly men restraining him.

 

From far off, multiple sirens were steadily growing louder. A few feet from him, he could hear one of his coworkers pleading with Mark to hold on for the ambulance.

 

“¡No quise decir esto! ¡Lo siento! I’m sorry… I’m so sorry,” Ramon continued to wail. “I no know why I did it!”

 

As the sirens wound down, now very close, he looked up to see ambulance men and the policía running onto the site. On the ground, lay Mark still, his head and face awash in blood where Ramon had hit him several times with all of his strength with his shovel. He still couldn’t believe he’d done it… he didn’t know what had driven him to lash out like that, as Mark hadn’t treated him with anything, but decency. And now, he would surely be deported if they didn’t send him to prisión!

 

The thought of never seeing his mother again brought on another wave of terrified tears and more pleading with the officer placing the handcuffs around his wrists that he didn’t mean what he’d done.

 

As he was escorted away, he heard one of the paramédicos say that Mark looked stable with strong vital signs. He was so relieved he nearly fell to the ground on his knees, but the officer was strong and held him up, continuing to march him toward the waiting cruiser.

 

Floating over the drama, the wispy thing felt a great satisfaction that bordered on sexual pleasure at how things had turned out. It could only have been better with an influenced murder-suicide, but there was plenty of time and plenty of humanity left to play its games with.

 

It drifted, weakened by release but gaining strength again, toward one of the ambulance men that seemed to have some resentment lurking in his heart. As all of the mortals did, of course; it was what made them so susceptible to its playing.

 

It entered the ambulance attendant as he rushed the victim toward the emergency vehicle and started to look around. It appeared that Ryan had some pent-up anger at his wife, Trish….

 

How typical, how delicious, it thought and shivered in anticipation. It began to whisper about Trish’s infidelities and her plans to run off with Ryan’s meager savings.

 

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

 

End Ch 8