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Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.
Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.
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.
WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.
Ch 21 – Adversaries
When Spike rounded a corner of the building he immediately felt the presence of several vampires and looked for the Faithbot. She wasn’t hard to track down, what with the sounds of fighting emanating from the wreckage. He glanced back toward Tara who was still ten feet behind him and struggling to catch up.
“In here… I’ll go! You stay out here and have a spell ready!”
As he rushed into the dark, his enhanced eyesight allowed him to avoid the crushed beams, hanging slabs of wood, tangles of wires and jagged shards of glass splinters that jutted at all angles around him and on the floor. He heard the pained growl of a vampire somewhere ahead of him and then the sounds of a heavy body, probably the robot’s, smash through something.
As he dashed into what appeared to have been part of the upper balcony of the lobby, now laying in ruins at ground level, he noted there were three vampire women. All of them were dressed in dirty, but modern, clothing. He recognized two of them from their pictures in the paper. They were the women missing with their husbands (a few of which had been found) and their kids (who were now ash).
Faithbot lay in a heap, a twisted section of pylon lying atop her skull. Naturally, there was no blood, but green cooling fluid was splashed around the area. She wasn’t moving.
“Care to take on someone a little tougher, Ladies,” he swaggered in. He was focusing on his sense of sight and smell to note details no human could have picked up. He could practically feel their presence now like a notebook on their general health and strength. They wouldn’t be presenting much of a problem… it looked like
A few blocks from the battle about to be waged among vampires, Adam was tearing through a doorway of the California Institute of Gemology. Despite the sound of its name, it was actually a private company and not an educational establishment, though the staff did volunteer for a few gem and jewelry related electives at both U.C. Sunnydale and its sister school outside of town, the Kent Preparatory School.
The business was equipped with multiple alarm systems, including motion detectors within and multi-angle cameras. They were even equipped with a redundant system that would activate and send an automated page to the manager in charge of security should the first fail. Despite this, Adam entered the building; no alarms sounding.
In ‘The Cantina’,
He glanced at the monitor for April and found static displayed across the screen. With curiosity he turned up the speaker volume. He could hear a man’s voice in the background and then a woman, but it was so badly garbled that he couldn’t make sense of any of it.
“Damn,” he said to himself. “Well, Willow… looks like we’re going to see just how good you really are.”
With this he turned the volume back down and ignored whatever fate had befallen April. He was far more interested in what Adam was doing at the moment.
“Ahh, the famous Spike,” Gladys stated with a smirk.
“You have me at a disadvantage,” he smirked back.
“More than you realize,” Tammy said, before adding her own belated smirk.
Before Spike registered what their aim was, she and the third and so far silent one (who hadn’t had a chance to smirk yet) had grabbed a fallen beam. With a hard push, the beam shifted and Spike realized his cockiness had led him astray once again as hundreds of pounds of debris came raining down around him.
Even as he attempted to dodge out of the way, he felt himself pummeled to the ground. An awful weight was left pinning him to the floor and despite his best efforts he found the wreckage wouldn’t budge. Though he didn’t think it was strictly the weight of the debris, but more that he didn’t have the leverage he needed.
Just like in Glory’s penthouse, I’m fucking screwed because of physics, he silently raged.
Tammy was suddenly bending down over him and he glared at her as best as he could with his face being pressed immobile against the ground.
“Don’t worry, Spike. Ours isn’t to kill you,” she smiled. She brought a long, sharp fingernail perilously close to one of his eyeballs before running it down his cheek and drawing blood. “We’re just the messengers.”
“And w-what’s the message, Bitch,” he asked defiantly.
She leaned in even closer until she could whisper intimately into his ear, “Remember Philly.”
With this odd statement, she and the rest of the mothers began to wander deeper into the wreckage, disappearing in the darkness. Spike was left having absolutely no clue who the women were speaking for or what the fuck ‘Philly’ meant. He wracked his brain trying to recall any demons by that name when he heard Tara coughing.
“S-spike?! Spike, are you alright? Answer me!”
“I’m here, Ducks. Don’t worry… I’m just a little pinned.”
He listened as
“Very. I’m right down here… but watch it. We got vampires in here and I don’t know how stable this shit on top of us is. If things start groaning, you beat feet… you hear?”
“I’m not leaving you,” she said as she bent over him on her knees. “Where are the monsters?”
“Took off, I think. Just watch your back. Think you can magic some of this junk off me? I don’t have the leverage….”
“Goddess, this is a mess. Hold on.”
With him no longer trapped,
“Are you alright,” she asked him.
“I’m more concerned about you,” he said. To her questioning look, he pointed at her face, “You’re bleeding from the nose.”
She took a quick swipe with her fingers, wiping the blood distastefully on her jacket. “I think it’s okay. It’s not bad.”
“That was damned dangerous. I don’t want you putting yourself at risk over me.”
“Spike,” she sighed, “You’re family. I would have done the same thing for any of you. Now, what about Faithbot?”
“Over there. She’s pretty well out of it.”
“Darn. It looks like she’s pinned, too. We’ll have to come back with Willow. I don’t think I can lift all this by myself without blowing up my brain. It’s a lucky thing the vampires didn’t stake you or bite you again before I got in here.”
“No luck about it, Dear. They were just delivering a message.”
“Nope. ‘Remember Philly’. That’s what they said.”
“You got me. I don’t know any ‘Philly’.”
“Do you have a mortal sandwich enemy,” she asked with a grin.
He looked at her like she was speaking Martian.
“You know,” she said with a little embarrassed shrug, “Philly cheese steak?”
She gave him a nervous giggle, but Spike was frowning in concentration. A moment later, he shifted unexpectedly into game face, startling her.
“Vanessa,” he said harshly.
“A blast from the past,” he explained as he searched around them. He was looking to make sure they weren’t about to be ambushed. “I know who’s doing the throat tearing and she’s going to wish she hadn’t followed me here.”
At the same time, Xander and Giles were also patrolling. They had attached themselves to the Buffybot and were quickly approaching the C.I.G., though not because they had any idea that there was anything amiss.
“I am very excited to have my Watcher joining me,” the robot was exclaiming. “A Slayer is always more effective when Watched by her Watcher!”
“Honestly, must she be so… peppy,” Giles asked askance at Xander.
“I’d take peppy any day over Faithbot’s glaring,” he replied.
“I am detecting a large, humanoid life-form not matching human characteristics nearby,” the robot said. For a moment the smile disappeared from her face… but only for a moment. “Perhaps it’s a creature of the night! Are you ready to evaluate my effectiveness,” she asked her Watcher.
As Xander grinned, Giles just rolled his eyes, “Let’s just investigate, shall we?”
At the Summers’ home, Dawn was flipping through channels on television stopping to watch a few minutes of one show after another before moving on. Willow had been downstairs in the basement forever and she was both bored and curious. She had thought that Will used the basement for robot-repair, but the ‘bots were out doing their thing. Sighing, she left the T.V. running and went to the freezer for ice cream.
As she opened the drawer for a spoon, the light glinted off of one of the knives in the drawer, catching the light along its edge. Dawn stood for several heartbeats, entranced as she unconsciously rubbed at the scar on her arm before giving herself a shake. When she reached into the drawer, she grabbed the spoon and closed it. She swallowed the urge to cry before she could break down again.
I really need Xander to install a lock, she thought. And if Dawn starts bugging me, I swear I’m going to spell her to sleep.
She breathed a sigh of relief when she heard Dawn’s footsteps going back toward the living room. Returning to the Watcher Council’s database, she scrolled through their listing of antiquities. They’re internal search engine wasn’t very efficient, which annoyed her to no end. While she scrolled through their inventory, she also kept any eye on the magically enhanced spybot software she had running. It was monitoring for any signs that they had detected her incursion so that she would be able to exit before they could trace her.
Reaching the bottom of the list of one hundred sixty items, she sighed in disappointment and frustration. Though they had a few items and a lot of books on Osiris, the Urn wasn’t among them according to their own manifests.
Carefully, she backed out of the intruded upon system and disconnected from COUNCILNET.
“Damn it,” she whispered. Tara and I need that Urn for this to work. There has got to be one left somewhere that we can get our hands on!
She rubbed her tired eyes and thought of Buffy waiting on her, pleading with her. She couldn’t stop the tears caused by her mental pain and just plain exhaustion that began to flow from her eyes.
Giles and Xander followed the Buffy robot around a squat building with a sign in stainless steel lettering in front of it. As they approached from the parking lot behind the gemology institute, they could see that the rear security door had been torn from its hinges.
“Adam,” Xander whispered in question to Giles.
“Buffy, could this be Adam,” Giles called quietly to the robot.
“The humanoid’s height does match my Adam profile,” she said in a normal tone of voice. “I will investigate and engage the breaker and enterer.”
Before Giles could stop her, the robot went into a dash across the tarmac leaving him and Xander to begin jogging to catch up.
As the two men cautiously approached the entranceway, they could hear the sounds of a struggle going on. Before they could decide whether to join the robot in the building’s interior, however, the robot was sent flying out at them.
“Bloody hell,” Giles yelled startled as the robot collided with him, taking them both down to the pavement.
“Giles, are you alright,” Xander yelled himself as he bent by the Brit. He grabbed Buffybot by her arm to help her up off of Giles, but she shook him off and made another run for the back door of the Institute.
“Ow,” Giles complained.
“Yeah…, but hey! You’re not knocked out this time,” he grinned.
On the monitor in the Trio’s abandoned iron works, Warren watched as Adam’s arm swung into view, cleanly swiping over the Buffy robot’s head. He was frowning deeply, as Adam was holding a bag of gemstones in one hand and he was torn between wanting his zombie to fight more effectively, and wanting him to bring the gems back. When he saw the Buffybot go into a side kick and then saw chaos on the screen as Adam was sent flying back into a display case, he made his decision… not happily.
“Adam, drop the gemstones. Engage the robot… proceed to the exit and run. Your new target is ‘Homebase’.”
On the monitor, Adam had grabbed the Buffybot’s face with both hands, showing he’d followed instructions. As he attempted to twist the robot’s head off, she double-palmed him up into his face. Moments later and he sent the Buffybot flying off of the screen to his left.
Xander and Giles were standing near the exit when a large, lumbering form burst outward and knocking them both to the pavement this time. Giles complained loudly about hitting the ground again at the same time the Buffy robot dashed by.
Adam had begun to run in an awkward gait, but the robot made an incredible eight foot leap and managed to wrap her arms around his legs. As he struggled to continue running, she held on with very human-sounding effort.
“Geez,” Xander yelled as he fumbled to retrieve his ax from the ground.
Giles, still half crumpled, got to one knee and aimed his small crossbow. He let the bolt fly free and gave a small triumphant smile as it hit the middle of Adam’s withered and leathery back. While he began loading another bolt, Xander ran for the cyber-zombie.
Buffybot had been knocked loose and Adam had begun his build up of speed when he suddenly came to a complete halt. He turned in her and her best friend’s and her Watcher’s direction. Buffybot grinned at Xander as he ran past, hefting his ax and giving a battle cry.
On the monitor,
He watched as Xander, nearly eight feet away, suddenly stumbled and fell to the pavement.
“Now, Adam, ready the secondary gun and aim for the robot. Fire when she’s in range and then return to base,” he said angrily. I really wanted those sapphires, damn it, he glared at the monitor.
The Buffy robot watched in confusion as best-friend-Xander fell heavily to the ground. He’d dropped his ax and was holding his hands in front of his ears. With a glance, she found that her Watcher was on his hand and knees behind them, where he too was trying with effort to block one of his ears.
The robot could detect the hypersonic frequencies being emitted by Adam, but it was having no effect on her systems. Pulling up the relevant data files, she understood that the sonic frequencies being utilized were incapacitating her human companions and she determined she had to stop them.
As she rushed toward Adam, she noted that the parabolic dish haphazardly and illogically jutting outward from his abdomen was giving off a soft blue glow. Ignoring this, she didn’t alter her vector of approach.
Deep inside where Adam’s intestines used to be, a large diamond was mounted to a mystically enhanced apparatus. This apparatus held the diamond in place just before an electrical emitter. As Adam powered up the dish, an electrical discharge was fired into the diamond sitting before it.
This burst of energy excited the non-corporeal Ice Spirit which Andrew had summoned and Jonathon had bound and imprisoned within it. The Spirit itself was non-sentient and reacted to the energetic particles by releasing a burst of super cold, heat sapping energy of its own which was captured and focused by the mystical injector obtained by Jon.
Split seconds later, the injector had transferred the energy to the parabolic dish, immediately causing frost and ice crystal to begin forming. But before it could freeze Adam solid, it was projected out leaving a trail of intense cold and colliding with whatever was in front of the dish.
In this case, one robot.
Buffybot detected the sudden change in temperature, but before she could determine what was happening, all of her systems began to shut down. Around her, ice was interfering with her optical and audio sensors. She could feel her coolant beginning to crystallize and found her limbs become immobile. When her onboard temperature regulator indicated danger to her higher brain functions, power was automatically routed to her internal heating coils. This had the effect of diverting energy from the rest of her systems and in effect placed her in a stasis-like state.
In the control room,
Adam’s view turned away from Buffy’s friends and
I can’t wait to tell the others, he whooped with laugher, I AM the King of Sunnydale!
“Holy crap,” Xander exclaimed when he could sit upright again. He wasn’t sure what had happened to him, but Adam had pulled something out of the air and he’d suddenly been overcome with dizziness and nausea. He might even have grayed out for a minute… he couldn’t be sure.
“I say,” Giles exclaimed himself as he helped Xander to his feet.
When he looked at him, Giles was staring in open mouth wonder across the lot. Xander looked then and felt his own mouth drop open.
The Buffybot was suspended off of the ground by a few inches. Surrounding her was a cocoon of what appeared to be ice. Like a mini-iceberg had swallowed her up… like Captain
“Somebody has been upgrading,” Xander said.
“An Icelandic Ice Spirit, if I’m not mistaken,” Giles opinioned.
“So, what the heck do we do now?”
“Uh…” Giles said as he pulled out his cell phone.
A minute later and Xander heard him ask Lieutenant Stein to meet them in the parking lot with a crow bar and hammer.
End Chapter 21