The Slayer Files Mark Safransky DISCLAIMER: All X-Files characters are the property of Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and Fox Broadcasting. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Inc., Kuzui Enterprises, Sandollar Television, 20th Century Fox Television and the Warner Brothers Television Network. No infringement of those rights is intended. This is an X-Files/Buffy the Vampire Slayer Crossover. THE SLAYER FILES by Mark Safransky (email@example.com) FBI Headquarters J. Edgar Hoover Building Washington, DC 08:00 AM, June 05, 1997 A petite, redheaded woman pushed her way through the crowd that was around the elevators to make her way to the basement when she heard the voice of her partner behind her saying, "Scully, glad I found you before you went to the office. Skinner wants to see us right now." Special Agent Dana Scully looked up at her lanky partner and replied, "What did you do now that I have to apologize for, Mulder?" Special Agent Fox Mulder grinned and said, "Nothing that I know of, although I did order that new UFO video on the office account." "Oh, is this the one with the alien chasing the naked blonde bimbos?" Scully asked teasingly with a deadpan expression. "Or is this the one with the blonde bimbos from space chasing Earthmen for sex?" Mulder was about to reply when he bumped into a door. Looking at it he read `Office of the Assistant Director--Walter S. Skinner' and muttered, "Even his door abuses me." Scully grinned and preceded him into the outer office and spoke to Skinners secretary, "Hi Kim, is he ready for us?" "Hi Dana, and yeah, he's been waiting for you." said Kim. She then lowered her voice and looked at the inner door as she exclaimed softly, "He's not in a very good mood today. Keep Mulder on a leash until you can get out of here." "Thanks Kim, I'll sit on him." "Hey," exclaimed Mulder, "you'd think I wasn't housebroken." "You aren't!" Kim and Scully said simultaneously. *** Sunnydale High School Sunnydale, California 08:30 AM The library was mostly rebuilt, though that was no comfort to the librarian knowing what Sunnydale High's Library was built over. Rupert Giles used to think of the library as almost a second home, but now was uneasy about spending time there, even though the mystical focal point known as the Hellmouth was closed and unlikely to open again in his lifetime. He continually gave thanks in his thoughts that the Slayer had been able to defeat the Master and the prophecy from the Pergamum Codex. The Slayer, 16 year old Buffy Summers died and was revived by her friend Xander and Angel, the vampire in love with her, thus fulfilling the prophecy and enabling her to confound it as well. Typical for a Slayer with such skill and promise as Buffy that she would sidestep the wisdom of the ages yet again with such elan. He was bothered somewhat by the fact that her Slayer instincts were much stronger now than before that night. Angel and Ms. Calendar had come up with a good point though, Buffy died and presumably was on the other side and when drawn back, she was closer to the higher power which had chosen her as the Slayer in the first place. Meaning the power was stronger in her as well. It did make sense, and explained how she felt vampires on an instinctual level now and was able to track them better as well. Time for a break and to avoid Principal Snyder and his questions about the night of the Spring Fling again. The workmen would be in soon to complete the repairs to his specifications, which was another matter to avoid Snyder about, he thought with satisfaction. *** FBI Headquarters J. Edgar Hoover Building Washington, DC 08:35 AM "Agent Mulder, Agent Scully, sit down," came the gravely-voiced command from their superior. "I have a case for you. In fact, Agent Mulder, an X-File. Have either of you heard about the earthquake in northern California earlier this week?" "Sir, I believe that was the 5.1 centered on the town of Sunnydale. The place where the supposed mass hysteria took place recently as well," replied Mulder with a quick glance at his partner. "That's correct. I want the both of you there by tomorrow. There are a lot of strange things happening there as well as legitimate crimes that have not been solved by the closest field office. A large number of murders that might indicate that a serial killer is roosting there as well as some incidents that can only be called occult related. The field office in LA has sent agents up to investigate and has complained about agents on site that were extremely uncooperative with them and local law enforcement. Said agents have also disappeared after an incident where a number of high school students were assaulted but unable to identify their assailant. Find out what is going on out there and find out who those rogue agents were and what they were doing there. Is that clear?" "Yes Sir," both agents said as Scully grabbed the file and they left Skinner's office. "Well, Scully, if you'll get the tickets, I'll call Frohicke and find out what he and the Gunmen can find out about Sunnydale." Mulder said. "Alright, but make it quick." *** Sunnydale High School Sunnydale California 10:00 AM "Giles? What is that?" asked the Slayer as she looked at her Watcher carrying a large hollow wood tube from the weapons locker. "Buffy, this is a blowgun. It is used..." "By extras in Tarzan movies. Is this really a legitimate weapon?" she asked. "Of course, then again, it is a little big for you. Maybe we should try the darts instead?" the Watcher asked himself. "I vote darts, myself." Buffy chimed in. "Darts it is then. Take this," Giles said as he handed her a piece of leather with straps and wooden darts slipped into a slim pouch, "and strap it to your wrist." "Cool!" exclaimed Buffy. "The ultimate in Slayer accessorizing." At that moment both the Slayer and the Watcher heard someone opening the door to the library. Giles slammed the weapons locker closed and picked up a box from the floor as Principal Snyder strode into the room. "Giles! Do you have any idea how much this restoration is going to cost the school district?" Snyder roared. He then saw Buffy and barked, "And what are you doing in here, Summers? Aren't you supposed to be in class?" "It's a free and I thought I'd help out Mr. Giles," Buffy said as she began to back away from the principal, "and I can see you need to talk to him so...I'll be going." Buffy charged out of the library leaving the Watcher to his fate. *** American Airlines #1345 enroute to Los Angeles, California 03:30 PM "Scully, this is the information that Frohicke was able to get for us on such short notice. Not bad either." commented Mulder. "And what did you have to promise him this time?" Scully said while turning to look him face-to-face. "Um, Scully, um, I had to promise him a, uh, piece of clothing you've worn." Mulder winced as Scully's eyes locked onto his as the eyebrow started to climb. "Scully, not The Look," he whined. "Alright, he can have an old blouse," she conceded, "but nothing else!" "Deal," Mulder agreed quickly. "Here's what the Gunmen have to say about Sunnydale, California. The history of goes back to old Indian legends and the original name given to the region by the Spaniards who first settled there. They called it 'Boca Del Infierno' or, roughly, 'Mouth of Hell'. The Indians believed that the ancient creatures or demons that used to inhabit the earth were banished to the 'Outer Darkness' by the powerful shamans and that they could only return if certain mystical gates were opened to them. Apparently, the Indians believed that there was a dimensional portal sitting where Sunnydale is today that if opened would release the hordes of Hell. Neat, huh Scully?" "If you could believe anything like that. Mulder, those old tales probably originated with the story of a man who defeated a large predator and the tale merely grew in the retelling over the centuries." Scully calmly said in response while looking at her partner grin at her. "So who do we talk to first?" "The Police Chief, a Thomas Bivens. He wants to meet us as soon as we arrive in town. Then we meet with Special Agent in Charge Eric Rogers of the LA office. He is in town to pull his people off the case except for one man who will be our liaison, Special Agent Harry Lee." Mulder handed Scully a set of files while he continued, "who also mentions that he saw the bogus agents and sent a sketch of them to DC that was not acknowledged and that no proof of it's existence can be found. Then we get to meet with Principal Stephen Snyder of Sunnydale High and talk about the incidents and body count his school has." "Sound like a full day or two of interviews," commented Scully. "I take it..." "I'll be damned!" exclaimed Mulder, as he looked down at a photo in the file in his lap, "I know this man, Scully." He turned the photo so she could see it. "Nice looking. Who is he?" asked Scully as she examined the photo. "Rupert Giles. According to the file he is Sunnydale High's librarian," Mulder explained. "But I knew him when I went to Oxford, he was a mythology major and I believe I heard he had been hired as an assistant curator at the British Museum after graduation. He might make an excellent source of information." "I wonder what would cause an assistant curator of one of the largest museums in the world to suddenly become the librarian of an American high school?" mused Scully as she continued to gaze at the photo. "That's a good question. The file says he started there at the beginning of the school year. We can ask him when we get there." *** The Bronze Sunnydale, California 07:00 PM "Willow? Willow? Wake up Willow?" said Buffy to her best friend with a sing-song lilt in her voice. "What? Oh, Buffy! Do you think Xander will ever realize why I turned him down for the Spring Fling?" Willow asked with anticipation. "If he wakes up and smells the sitch. But I still say you should tell him how you really feel." "Oh no, I can see what rejection does to him. I'd be worse." Willow said uncomfortably. "So we spend another night at the Bronze watching everyone else have a good time. Maybe I should go out hunting?" Buffy proposed while eyeing the crowd. "No sign of Angel, huh?" inquired Willow. "I think he's avoiding me again. It was so nice to be able to dance with him at the Spring Fling and then he vanishes again. It really is beginning to make me wig." "Well, there's Xander over there, and I think he's coming over. You could ask him if he's seen Angel." observed Willow. Buffy shook her head and flipped an errant hair back as she snorted and said, "I can't even get Giles to admit that he knows how to contact Angel and Xander gives me a weird look when I ask about how he and Angel found me in the Master's Lair. No one is telling me and with Angel hiding I won't be able to get any answers." Buffy stood up and sighed, "I am going hunting!" "Take care. There are still some vampires around the area, you know." Willow cautioned. "Just not the right ones!" Buffy tossed over her shoulder as she left. *** Sunnydale Police Headquarters Sunnydale, California 09:30 AM, June 06, 1997 The rented blue Ford Taurus pulled up in front alongside of two police cruisers and the engine shut down. The doors opened to reveal a lanky male and petite redhead, both wearing trenchcoats, as the occupants. They headed into the local police station wearing identical expressions of intent and observation. The waitress of the diner across the street saw them and immediately told the cook and three customers, "Looks like them big-shot Feds from back East are here." Mulder and Scully gave the interior of the building a quick look and with a glance at each other and a quirky grin, they immediately picked out the locals from the federal agents by dress alone. "Chief Bivens?" Mulder asked of a portly local, "I'm Special Agent Mulder and this is my partner, Special Agent Scully. We're here from Washington at yours and Special Agent Rogers requests. How can we help you?" He came across as efficient and helpful, which raised his worth in the Chief's eyes and caused Agent Rogers to raise an eyebrow at confronting a Bureau maverick and finding himself liking the man and gaining a good first impression of him. "Agent Mulder, Agent Scully," the Chief murmured as he shook their hands, "glad to meet you. I hope you can help us figure out why we seem to rival New York, LA and DC for body counts and find the person or persons responsible." "Agent Rogers and his men have done a good job with their investigation as far as we can tell. Their reports are thorough and complete and contain a wealth of information that I'm sure will aid us in finding the culprit or culprits, sir." Scully said with a nod at Agent Rogers. "We will need access to any bodies not yet released, for forensic examination," she explained when the Chief opened his mouth to say something. "We will also need an office with a phone and a modem line for a computer," said Mulder, "as well as a complete list of any and all new residents in the past year, Chief. Agent Rogers? We'll need a list of all the car rental agency records in the state for the month of May. And if possible, can some of your people weed through them to find any rentals of at least two dark sedans at the same time for a period of, say, a week?" "Well, I suppose we could do that for you Agent Mulder. Would you like them to report their findings through Agent Lee?" asked Rogers. Mulder and Scully exchanged a glance and Mulder looked back at Rogers and replied, "certainly. When can we meet him as well?" "Right now!" exclaimed Chief Bivens. "He's been in the back office writing a report and getting ready to brief you. I'm sure he's ready to get that out of the way." the Chief said with a grin. Special Agent Harry Lee looked up as the door swung open and his jaw dropped when a pretty redhead entered his borrowed office followed by a tall, intense-looking man, the Chief of Police and his superior, Agent Rogers. Quickly regaining his equilibrium, he smiled, stood and held out his hand saying, "Hi, I'm Agent Harry Lee." The redhead smiled and replied, "I'm Agent Scully and this is my partner Agent Mulder. It's nice to meet you." Harry had the strangest feeling as Mulder's eyes roved up and down as they shook hands. He felt like someone had just x-rayed him and seen everything there was to him. Agent Scully, on the other hand, was a knockout and shaking her hand made you feel warm all over despite the professional facade she displayed. *These two must be one hell of a team* thought Harry. "Harry, I want you to brief Agents Mulder and Scully on what's been happening here and what we've uncovered as well as what we couldn't find. Then help them in any way possible. We want this one cleared up soon. There is high level interest in this one. I'll have Ben and Cindy faxing some info up that Agents Mulder and Scully requested that I want you to take care of. Make sure to dot the i's and cross the t's, Harry." said Rogers with clear affection for the man in his voice. "Agents Mulder and Scully, I am giving you one of my best. Please return him to me in one piece." Rogers requested. "Agent Rogers, we aim to please." quipped Mulder as Scully rolled her eyes at him. This exchange didn't go unnoticed and reassured both the FBI Agents and the Chief of Police. Agent Rogers left with the Chief and Harry pulled out a set of files as the agents sat down. "Here's what we have so far. The killings started early this year. One of the first was a local teen who was found in the girls locker room of the local high school stuffed into one of the girls lockers. The apparent cause of death was exsanguination. There have been number of these types of deaths that mirror the classic 'vampire kill'. We also have the apparent consumption of the former high school principal by a group of disturbed students. They confessed to it and are currently under psychiatric care and being held in an institution. A number of people have just disappeared. This includes people from the surrounding counties who were last sighted in or near Sunnydale, a teacher and some of the students of the high school. There were a number of people found a few months ago with broken necks. This included some technicians at CRD, a computer research lab and some students from the high school. There are also the students who were found dead, one missing her heart and a boy who was found with his brain removed. Then, there are the mysterious assaults with no visible perpetrator that occurred last month at the same time the rogue agents were seen about town, mostly hanging around the high school." Mulder and Scully looked at each other and then back to Harry when Scully said, "Why so many links to the high school?" "No idea yet," replied Harry. "And then just a few days ago, we had the earthquake. There are reports that a large group of people were seen walking, actually it reads shambling, towards the high school. There was a car found in the high school that was driven through the front doors, through the halls and stopped right outside the library. The car belongs to a student by the name of Cordelia Chase. She's considered a menace behind the wheel by the school's driving instructor. There is also evidence that a fight of some sort took place in the library. The librarian insists that the library's state of disrepair is simply the work of the earthquake and its aftershocks. I spoke with a few people that told me that the librarian, the computer instructor, and some of the students, including Miss Chase, arrived at the Bronze late for the Spring Fling." said Harry. "There's a lot of strange occurrences here and I seem to be filling up a cabinet with reports and getting no results. The boss came up with a few additional agents when I reported the supposed agents that I had witnessed and got statements that they were hanging out at the school. By the time help got here, they had vanished and the assaults I was investigating as a favor for the Chief here had stopped. Miss Chase and another girl named Buffy Summers were the last victims. Miss Chase had a cut across her cheek made from a scalpel and Miss Summers was a bit bruised as if in a fight. They stated that they had been abducted by a fellow student and she was behind the assaults. This student, a Marcie Ross, was apparently jealous over Miss Chase and her friends and was assaulting people close to her. She was allegedly going to slice up Miss Chase's face when Miss Summers managed to get free and, after a brief fight, knock her into a heavy tapestry which contained her. Then some men in dark suits burst in claiming to be FBI agents and took the girl into custody. In a remark one of them made to Miss Summers, the girl would be rehabilitated into a productive citizen again. She also said they told her that they were Agents Doyle and Manetti of the FBI. We have no record of any such agents. Another strange thing is that the girls both claimed that Miss Ross was invisible." "What?!?" cried both Mulder and Scully in astonishment. "Yeah, I know. The girl was actually reported missing from her home about six months prior to the assaults and we were shown the place she had been hiding. She had apparently moved about through the air ducts. Her appearing and disappearing is probably what caused the invisible girl rumors." "Who showed you where she had been hiding?" asked Mulder with a glance at the files. "Why, I believe Miss Summers had found it and showed it to us. She said she went looking after hearing flute music one night after leaving the library and was curious about who was playing it. When she found it, she became a danger to Miss Ross." "What did your interviews with the people at the school bring up?" asked Scully. "Only that the faculty doesn't like the new principal and that the students seem to think that strange things happening are the norm." replied Harry. "They even seem to shrug off the events with an ease that is strange in itself. Some of these people have witnessed murders and have been the victims of mass hysteria and possible toxic poisoning by something in the water..." "Something toxic in the water?" Scully questioned. "There isn't anything in these reports to support that theory. There are toxicological reports here that state that the towns water is clear of anything that could cause any such symptoms." "Agent Scully, I know, I ordered the tests done in the hope that was the explanation. In theory, there might be a substance in the water we didn't detect because it broke down before we did the tests, but it is doubtful. I just wish I could explain some of the strange events here. That's why I asked SAC Rogers to call for help from Washington. That and the fact we hadn't found out who the supposed agents were who took Miss Ross." "Well, Agent Lee, why don't we let Scully get a crack at any forensic evidence she can get and I'll go through the reports here and we'll start some interviews tomorrow." Mulder looked over at his partner and asked, "Scully, that sound good to you?" She glanced at Harry and back to Mulder and said, "Sure, we might as well get that out of the way. Come on over to the morgue in about three or four hours and we'll see what I might find." *** The Library Sunnydale High School 10:30 AM "Giles?" the Slayer's voice resounded through the library in question as she and her friends Willow and Xander came through the doors in search of the Watcher. "have you heard the latest?" "Buffy, is that you?" came a voice from the stacks. "What latest?" Giles said as he came into view and descended the stairs with an armload of books and moved towards his office. "Some agents from FBI Headquarters in Washington just got into town and are working with that nice Agent Lee." Buffy said. "I heard that they are here to investigate what happened the night of the Spring Fling." Willow chimed in. "Think we can tell them it was all Cordelia's fault?" Xander asked in jest as the others looked at him and rolled their eyes. "Well, I think we will have to keep our activities at a low level while they are in town. Try to stick to the stories we gave the police and avoid the agents if you can. Willow, can you find out anything about them and not get caught doing so?" Giles asked. "Well, they are probably using a computer that is connected by local phone lines to their headquarters. I could hack into their computer, but that might be dangerous." Willow thought out loud. "I know, I'll hack the phone company and get the number they're dialing into and then hack that computer. It should give us the distance needed to cover our tracks." The others looked at her with puzzled expressions and she sheepishly grinned and said, "We can probably download their own reports that way." "You go, girlfriend," Buffy said while patting Willow on the arm. "Xander, do you want to follow them around after school?" "Sure, I'll just skate along and play the innocent kid who doesn't know what's up." Xander responded. "I'll take over after dark and try to keep them safe if they decide to go poking around then." said Buffy. "Giles, are you going to stay here and keep cleaning this place up?" "Yes, it will also keep me available if Willow should dredge something from the computer." he replied. "We have a plan!" the three teens chorused. *** Coroners Office Sunnydale, California 02:00 PM Mulder peeked into the room with a dissection table in the middle and saw Scully leaning over a body and peering through a magnifier. "Oh dead guys, can Scully come out and play?" he called out. Scully grinned and shook her head as she crooked her finger at her partner and said impishly, "No Mulder, they want you to come in and play." Then her grin faded and she motioned Mulder inside and said seriously, "Mulder, this looks like an animal attack from the way the tearing at the throat looks." "What about the fang marks?" he questioned while examining the throat of the body Scully had been looking at. "Well, the strange thing here is that the bite radius is an exact match for a human. Also, there is evidence of human saliva in the wound. So the best guess I can make is that it was caused by someone who either has fangs and drinks blood..." "A vampire!" exclaimed Mulder. "Or more likely, someone who is disturbed enough to think he or she is a vampire and went to the extreme of having a dentist give them the fangs, like Agent Thomas did last year at Halloween for the Bureau party." said Scully. "If so, this person might follow the legend to the letter," mused Mulder aloud while Agent Lee stepped into the room, "And we can find him or her by finding someone who is active only at night, shows an aversion to mirrors, and hardly smiles." "Smiles?" asked Harry. "Yes, they wouldn't want to show their teeth too soon if Scully's right about the false fangs." Mulder remarked. "Oh, that makes sense. Well, do you want to do the interviews at the school now?" inquired Harry. "The school will be closed in a couple of hours, but we'll be able to talk to the principal and to the librarian." "Sounds good to me." said Mulder. "Scully, how much longer here?" "About 15 minutes. Let me get this cleaned up and I'll join you out front." The Library Sunnydale High School 02:30 PM "Giles?" Willow called. "I have something for us." she said as she hacked into Dana Scully's computer in her home in Maryland. "That quick?" asked Giles. "Yeah, some reports got sent and I latched onto them and found one sent to the FBI labs in Virginia, another to FBI Headquarters in Washington and another to a private residence in Maryland. That's the one I hacked. It belongs to a Doctor Dana Scully who has just received...eewwww. She sent herself some autopsy reports. I hate this part. Anyway, they're of that guy who got attacked the other night. Hey, this Doctor Scully is also an FBI Agent. Wow!" "Willow." Giles said in a deadpan voice with a flat look. "Oh yeah, anyway, there's a lot here. Um, ok, she's here with her partner Fox Mulder and..." "Fox Mulder!" exclaimed Giles. "We are in definite trouble," he said as he began pacing behind Willow. "Why?" Willow asked with concern. "I know him, or rather, I knew him some years ago when we were both students at Oxford. He is an extremely intelligent man as well as the most stubborn one I've ever met. I would never have dreamed he would become an FBI Agent. He was studying for his doctorate in psychology when I graduated. I thought he might have become a therapist or some such. He was always good at getting into peoples heads and figuring out what they were thinking. Having him here is going to put our secrets at risk. He'll dig them out in no time if he gets a whiff of them. Good Lord! Willow, you'll have to warn Buffy and Xander to stay away from him. I'm sure he will be putting in an appearance to see me, if only to say hello and there must not be anything to arouse his suspicions" "O-ok, I'll go now." Willow stammered out as she left the library at a run. "Fox Mulder," whispered Giles. "What have you become?" *** Principal Snyder's Office Sunnydale High School "Oh joy, more Feds." Principal Snyder said under his breath as he heard the three people in his outer office introduce themselves to his secretary and ask her to show them in. "Principal Snyder," said Harry. "These are Special Agents Mulder and Scully from Washington. They'd like to ask you a few questions if you have the time." "We always have time for such distinguished visitors," Snyder said in an obsequious tone. "What would you like to know?" he growled. "Well, first off," asked Mulder, "have you noticed any odd behavior in any of the students or faculty here?" "Quite a lot," stated the principal. "Any specific odd behavior you want to know about?" "Are any of them connected often to the strange deaths and accidents that are occurring?" questioned Scully. "Now that you mention it, there are a few troublemakers who always seem to pop up at the strangest places." "And who might they be?" inquired Mulder with a hint of impatience. "Buffy Summers, Alexander Harris, Willow Rosenberg and, lately, Cordelia Chase. As for faculty, I've had words with the librarian, Rupert Giles, and the computer instructor, Jenny Calendar about those students and, if you believe them, they're just innocents who seem to have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time." Mulder and Scully exchanged a glance on hearing those names and Harry noticed a slight hand gesture from Mulder that seemed to prompt Scully to say, "Principal Snyder, would it be possible for the school to release a copy of those students transcripts to us for further investigation?" "Well, I think the school can accommodate helping with your investigation." Snyder preened as he reached for a set of files while Harry watched in shock as information he had tried to get a dozen times was handed over so easily. "I also have copies of the resumes of certain faculty members that I'm sure can help speed your investigation and hopefully return the campus to tranquillity." "I'm sure that we will be able to accommodate your wishes as well, Principal Snyder." Scully said softly as she eyed her partner and he leaned forward to take the folders. "Good," Snyder practically cooed. "We understand each other then." "Of course," replied Mulder as the agents stood. "We'll touch base with you when we need to speak with anyone here." "You do that. I'll tell my secretary to admit you and to facilitate meeting your needs whenever you're here." "Thank you, Sir," said Harry as they departed the office. Once out of earshot of the office, Harry pulled the two agents into an alcove and asked, "How do you two do that? And can you teach it to me?" in an incredulous tone. "It's called the suck-them-in-and-take-their-shirt technique." Mulder deadpanned while Scully started to snicker. "Never heard of it." Harry said while starting to get the feeling they were speaking in tongues. "It's really hard to explain," sputtered Scully, "but those God-awful ties Mulder wears sucks the will to live from them." "Hey!" Mulder protested, which got Harry laughing as well. "Actually," Scully explained, "people tend to under- estimate a women that's my size. So we play a version of Good Agent/Better Agent where we seem to want to help the person we're interviewing, so they give us whatever we want so we can help them. Works almost every time." "Well, liver-eating mutants seem immune." Mulder said while popping a sunflower seed into his mouth and grinning when Scully started chuckling again at the expression on Harry's face. "I can see you haven't heard a lot about our past cases." said Scully. Giles watched as Mulder, and two other agents, left Principal Snyder's office with a small stack of folders in hand and left school property in a blue Ford Taurus. He heaved a sigh of relief that Mulder had apparently chosen to spare questioning him today, it meant he was free to meet with Buffy and the others and plan what they were going to do. *** The Library Sunnydale High School 08:00 PM "Alright, we'll have to keep this brief." said Giles. "I've got some more downloads," Willow said as she pulled a folder out from her bag. "They are investigating the school as a link in all the incidents. Worse, they seem to have copies of our transcripts." she said as she began to hyperventilate. "Willow, breathe." ordered Buffy. "Who's transcripts?" Ms. Calendar asked Willow. "Oh, Buffy's, Xander's, Cordelia's and mine as well as Giles' and your resumes." Willow replied. "Oh man!" exclaimed Xander. "Now what do we do? These Feds are good, they have us and haven't even talked to us yet." "Actually, that may mean that they don't know what we are doing but are curious about us for some other reason." Giles said. "Snyder probably sicced them on us and provided the files gratis to do so," Ms. Calendar pointed out. "That may be," Giles agreed, "but that doesn't mean we should panic yet." "You mean you weren't panicking earlier when I found out one of the agents is named Fox Mulder?" Willow asked in puzzlement. "No, well yes, but that is because I know what kind of man he is. Willow, were you able to access their records from the FBI?" "Yes, and it's strange, Agent Mulder graduated from Oxford and was recruited by the FBI to work in their Violent Crimes Unit and distinguished himself there for a couple of years as a profiler of serial killers. In 1989 he profiled a man named Monty Props and ended his killing spree and gained some notoriety from this. According to the records, this is taught at the FBI Academy as the best example of Criminal Profiling ever done by an Agent. Sometime in the early nineties Agent Mulder became aware of a set of discarded cases called X-Files which were cases labeled unsolved that because of the paranormal phenomenon that manifest themselves during the cases." "Paranormal phenomenon?" Xander asked. "Ghosts, ESP, UFO's, monsters, even vampires." explained Willow. "And he was allowed to investigate these cases?" Jenny asked. "UFO's on the government dime?" "Well, according to what I could find, he knows a Senator and still occasionally does profiles for the Violent Crimes Unit." Willow replied. "But he doesn't receive much in the way of a budget. Anyway, his original supervisor, a Section Chief Blevins, assigned him a partner, Doctor Dana Scully, to debunk the validity of his work with the X-Files." She flipped through the stack of computer printouts and continued, "She is a forensic pathologist and former instructor at the FBI Academy. She was assigned in 1992 and has been there ever since. Oh, this says that the X-Files division was closed down during 1993 for a 6 month stint. It was reopened by authority of an Assistant Director Walter Skinner just after the abduction of Agent Scully by a former agent named Duane Barry. She was missing for about 3 months and suddenly appeared in a Washington hospital and eventually went back to work." "Anything else pertinent?" Giles inquired. "The X-Files division has better closure ratio than the rest of the FBI. Lots of the cases are really bizarre, some are classified and under an encryption code of some kind. I did find references to liver-eating, immortal mutants, ghosts, the manitou, prehistoric insects, aliens, intelligent computers, psychic phenomenon of all sorts, government conspiracies, clones, human-alien hybrids, vampires, even shape-shifting people with tails. And that's just in the official files, the private stuff on Doctor Scully's computer at home has even more weird stuff. It also seems as if both of them have lost family members because of their work. Her sister was shot in her apartment, which she thinks was meant to be her while Agent Mulder's father was murdered in his own home while he was there." Willow stopped talking as she looked at the last page of the printout. The others looked at each other nervously as she looked up again with tears in her eyes and said, "According to his partner, Agent Mulder started his quest into the paranormal because he believes he saw his own sister abducted by aliens when he was twelve years old." *** A smoke-filled office Washington DC The large gray-faced man inhaled the smoke of the burning Morley while reading over a report from some of the Consortium's field agents when the phone rang. "Yes?" he answered in a dull monotone. "Sir, we've picked up an intrusion of Agent Scully's home computer," the voice at the other end reported. "Who is behind it?" asked the cigarette-smoking man. "That's the strange thing, Sir, it appears to be Agent Scully who is hacking her own machine," came the reply in a puzzled tone. "Hmm, no, I don't think so. It might be a hacker who has found a new way to disguise themselves. Where is the transmission originating?" he questioned the caller. "Sunnydale, California. Which is the present location of Agent Scully and her partner. Sir," was the quick response. "I want Doyle and Manetti there by noon tomorrow." the smoker ordered. "Sir, we used Doyle and Manetti to retrieve the Ross subject from Sunnydale. There is a federal agent who would know them by sight still there and who has been teamed with Agents Mulder and Scully for the duration of their investigation," the field agent reported. "They are still the best choice for now. Send them in. I'll arrive with a back-up team in the evening." "Yes sir," the field agent complied. "Sir, we are also detecting an intrusion into the FBI database. Specifically, a search of the X-Files reports and division records!" he continued as his voice rose. "What!" exclaimed the cigarette-smoking man. "I want the database down right now. Crash it!" "Sir?" "I said crash it! Now!" the smoker ordered as he slammed down the phone. "Damn," he said as he stubbed out the Morley and promptly lit a new one. He leaned back in his chair and took a drag and lit the shadows with the red tip glowing eerily bright. *** The Library Sunnydale High School "Oh, no!" Willow cried out. "What is it Willow?" the entire group asked with concern. "I can't...I think someone discovered my snooping and crashed the FBI database while I was trying to access the records of the agent dossiers on Agents Mulder and Scully." she explained with wide eyes. "Someone doesn't want me or anyone looking around in there." "Willow, was there a chance it could be traced back to you?" Jenny asked in a hushed voice that caused everyone to look at her. "Oh, no, no. I was masquerading as Agent Scully. That's why I was so surprised they shut down the system. I thought who better to skim the files than the person who wrote lots of them in the first place? But, someone figured out I was hacking the ID and pulled the system down." she told them. "Good thing I knew enough not to get caught inside when they did. Still, that wasn't nice." "That's the government in action," noted Jenny. "Well, it seems as if our best source of information has been cut off. Is there another source or way to get the information we can use?" questioned Giles. "Well, there might be another source." Willow thought out loud. "There was something or someone called the Lone Gunmen mentioned in a file on Agent Scully's computer. I suppose I could...no, they might be looking for a hit on her computer now...um, oh, ok, search time." "Well," said Buffy, "while Willow is lost in cyberspace, I believe it's time for a quick hunt to keep the streets safe for another night. We REALLY don't need some more dead bodies popping up for the FBI to find. Right Giles?" she asked while tilting her head to the side and grinning. "Of course. But be careful, we don't need a dead Slayer for them to find either." "Gotcha," she said as she moved towards the doors. Xander leaned over Willow and said, "what can I do to help?" and received a smile from her in reward. *** Motel 8 10:00 PM "Mulder? Come in here, I think the computers in DC have crashed. I can't access to upload the latest report." "Really?" Mulder commented as he walked through the dividing door between there rooms. "I bet the guys in Violent Crimes are playing Quake and when they thought they killed the demon, they killed the computer instead." "Very funny. Now we'll have to do it in the morning," Scully said with irritation. "Oh, well, since we don't have to do that now, what say we head over and check out the Bronze?" he asked. "The Bronze? Oh, the nightclub Harry told us about. Why?" she asked as she looked at him suspiciously. "Just to look the place over and get a feel for the terrain. We could sit in the parking lot and watch who comes and goes." he explained. "From what Harry said, it's the only hangout in town. Besides, all of our school suspects have been sighted there often." "True. I suppose a couple of hours scouting the landmarks isn't a bad idea." *** The Bronze 12:00 AM, June 07, 1997 "Well, this was action-packed." Scully sighed. "But interesting," Mulder replied. "I didn't know kids these days really went into tattoos and body-piercing like that." He commented as they watched some more of the Gen-X grunge crowd entered the club. "Mulder, that girl there," she asked while pointing to an attractive blond wearing a tanktop, shorts and knee-high boots who had just exited the club, "isn't that the Summers girl?" "I believe you're right, Scully. Let's follow her and see what she's up to." "Probably on her way home, but at least we can see that she gets there in one piece." The agents followed the blonde across town until the girl suddenly ducked into a park and was lost to sight. Buffy had listened to the two people following her from the Bronze and was enjoyed the nice little walk when she heard something, or maybe it was felt something, she really wasn't sure what. Ever since she had died and Xander revived her with CPR she felt things that, before, would only have raised the hair on her neck. She didn't like the increased perceptions, but lived with them. She was the Slayer, etc. Maybe the monsters would all go away and let her enjoy her summer. *Fat chance* she thought. *I'd try to go to the beach and Giles would be there to lecture me or a sea serpent would attack.* A definite rustling sound off to her left made her swerve towards the wall on the south side of the park. Mulder and Scully went into the park in search of the blonde they had been following and then lost. Both felt very creeped out by the dark, slightly foggy park that was shrouded in silence. Then they heard a rustling from the right and veered in that direction. They came upon a fight as they saw the blonde picked-up and thrown to the ground by a man wearing clothing dating from the sixties. The girl backflipped and was standing facing the man and pulled what looked like a knife from behind her and smirked. The man growled, which shocked the Agents, and attacked the girl who immediately kicked him in the face twice and then in the chest. The man then reached for her again as the two agents pulled their guns and said in unison, "Freeze! FBI! Get away from the girl and get down on the ground!" The man continued to move towards the girl who, without taking her eyes off the man advancing on her, yelled, "Your guns won't stop him, leave him to me!" Mulder and Scully both snorted and kept their guns aimed and moved in on either side of the assailant when he spun and knocked Scully flying and was thrown back himself as Mulder fired. The man then looked up at Mulder as he rose and then suddenly stopped as the point of a wooden stake burst from his chest. He looked down and then exploded into dust. The blonde looked at Mulder and then at the stake she held, then turned and ran for the wall. Mulder shook himself and brought the gun up saying, "Freeze Miss Summers, FBI!" as he centered on the teen. She looked back at him with her back to the wall. She suddenly leaped up and over the wall which had to be at least 10 feet high and vanished as she dropped to the ground on the other side and ran off. "Damn!" Mulder exclaimed. Then he realized his partner was still lying on the ground and went over to her. "Scully, you missed...hell, I don't know what you missed." He looked her over and when he flashed a light over her head, she moaned and said, "What hit me?" "The perp." Mulder answered while examining her. "Mulder, what happened? Where are they?" "That's going to take some explanation," he sighed. *** The Library Sunnydale High School "Giles!" the Slayer yelled as she entered the library looking for her Watcher. "We've got a problem!" As the Watcher and the Slayerettes looked up from the books and computer printouts scattered over the central table they took in the slightly disheveled Slayer and looked amongst themselves. Giles cleared his throat and asked, "What precisely is the problem, Buffy?" "I was being followed by the FBI agents and decided to cut through the park and ran into a vampire. Giles, they saw every- thing. That Mulder guy called me by name and was pointing a gun at me when I jumped over a wall and got away," she explained before stopping to catch her breath. "He saw me stake that vampire and I know he's going to be looking for me. What're we going to do?" "Oh dear," sighed Giles. "Buffy, you're going to have to fake being sick tomorrow, er, today rather. Have your mother call the school. I see that Mulder will be questioning me to find out anything he can about you. Willow, you and Xander will have to make yourselves scarce and stay away from here for awhile. You can coordinate everything through Ms. Calendar until we can get out of this mess." "Rupert, how are you going to convince the FBI that they didn't see what they did see?" asked Jenny. "Hmm, well, they might be convinced that the vampire was just a man and the bad lighting was what made him look the way he did and that his turning to dust was just an optical illusion." "Uh huh, the same agents who routinely investigate paranormal phenomenon are going to believe that." stated Jenny sarcastically. "Maybe we should find out what they know and then try to figure out what to say." Willow piped in. "Maybe we could tell them the truth?" Xander asked. The rest turned and glared at him. "Maybe not." he muttered. *** Motel 8 02:00 AM "Mulder, do you know what you're saying?" Scully asked in astonishment. "Scully, I know it sounds crazy, but he did vanish in a blast of dust." Mulder protested. "Then she ran for the wall and I yelled for her to freeze and she leaped backwards over a ten foot high wall and got away. Then you came to and I brought you back here." "Mulder, I still can't believe someone turned to dust because that would mean he was a vampire." Scully objected. "Does that mean you believe me about the Summers girl doing ten foot backwards leaps over walls?" asked Mulder with a grin. "Don't push it, Mulder." Scully warned. "Vampires do not exist and people, not even 16 year old girls, can leap over ten foot walls." "Uh, Scully, did you ever read the Trinity casefile?" asked Mulder, with a waver in his voice. "Mulder, of course..." her voice trailed off. "Still think vampires don't exist?" he asked. "Well, I have to admit I still think that your suspect burned that way because he believed that he would." "You mean it was all in his head?" Mulder smirked. Scully grimaced and said, "Alright, than we may have been attacked by another of the Trinity cult. Or do you think otherwise?" "I'm really not sure. But Ms. Summers is definitely not one of them and yet she can leap over high walls backwards. Something to look into. Plus the fact she seemed to know there was something uniquely different about her attacker and she was defending herself with a wooden stake. That would leave me to believe that she believes in vampires." Mulder mused. "I think we need to know more about her. If you and Harry can try to get some more information on the girl, I'll talk to my old friend Giles in the morning." *** The Library Sunnydale High School 09:00 AM Giles had twitched every time the doors of the library had opened today in anticipation of the inevitable visit of Mulder and his surely still inquisitive nature. He decided to spend the morning hiding his special tomes in the lockable bookcase in his office and then to get a start on the catalog requests for next years term. The Fuerher would want all of that information to add to the expense reports for the repairs. Giles shuddered as he foresaw the old budget for the library being blown for the next 50 years because of the Hellmouth. However, it was strange that more wasn't being made about the repairs to the school. Most districts would have made a larger fuss and then pushed through higher taxes or sold some bonds to pay for the repairs. Only in Sunnydale would a well-to-do citizen cough up the money for the repairs. Strangely enough, the donors main beneficiary had been the library. Thankfully, or the work would have been postponed until the summer. Nicely, it also paid a stipend requesting the librarian to be present over the repair time to ensure all repairs went as directed and that any volumes that needed replacing could be there for the fall term. He supposed that the donor was a bibliophile or, possibly, a former student or librarian who had enjoyed many hours here and wanted the site to be returned to its former glory. Or someone just wanted the Hellmouth covered again. Either way, he was actually enjoying the fact he was in charge of the repairs and was able to have some minor changes made to incorporate a weapons locker into a wall behind a bookcase as well as some hiding places for the more esoteric tomes into the blueprints for the repair. Nothing like looking ahead he thought as the doors opened once more to reveal Mulder standing in the doorway wearing a hideous tie. "Hello Giles, long time no see." Mulder greeted the librarian with a grin. Agent Lee's Office Sunnydale Police Headquarters Harry looked up from a file when he heard the door open and said, "Agent Scully, good morning. Where's Agent Mulder?" "He went over to the high school to do a preliminary interview with the librarian Mr. Giles. They went to the same university and apparently knew each other then. Mulder feels he might get more from him if he goes alone and gets him comfortable first." Scully explained. "Hmm, I received some more information on our principals and found out that Buffy Summers, was involved in some strange occurrences in LA. In the suburb of Sunnyvale, that's weird, at Hemery High there was a series of deaths of high school students as well as homeless people. Ms. Summers knew most of the people who died. This includes a man by the name of Jonathan Merrick who arrived there about the time the deaths started and was seen often in Ms. Summers company. Also, Mr. Merrick had rented a large house and after his death, the police found he had decorated it with training equipment suitable for some sort of martial arts student. As well as a chest full of crosses, wooden stakes, garlic, holy water and other assorted paraphernalia suitable for an old horror movie." Harry continued, "Interestingly enough, he was killed by having a wooden stake shoved through his heart. Ms. Summers and a young man named Pike..." Harry shuffled through the papers for a moment, "...only name listed is Pike. Anyway, their police statements said that Merrick was killed by someone named Lothos. We don't know anything about this Lothos character. Mr. Merrick was a British subject from the Salisbury Plain. Interesting point two is that our Mr. Giles is also from that area of the UK. In fact, it appears that our friend Mr. Merrick is actually one Merrick Giles, our dear librarians older brother." "His brother?" Scully cried out. "That explains a little, but why would their family be concerned with a young American girl like Buffy Summers?" "That's the $64,000 question." said Harry. "I don't know and can't see a connection. Although now we have deaths there and they stopped. Now we have deaths here and the only connection is Ms. Summers and the British men who appear to be close to her, even tutoring her in martial arts for some reason." "Good work, Harry!" Scully said as she pulled out her cell phone, "I'm going to pass this to Mulder and see if he can get anything out of his old friend." *** The Library Sunnydale High School "Giles, you're looking well," observed Mulder as he watched his old friend closely. "What have you been doing since graduation?" "Mulder. Good morning, I've been doing quite well, thank you." Giles said when he got his voice back. "How about yourself? The rumors said you went to work for your government after you got your degree." "Well, those rumors were true. I'm a Special Agent for the FBI now." Mulder replied. "I'm in town right now investigating some very strange occurrences that have occurred here during the past year. Remembering what you studied, I thought you might be able to give me some information on the town and its environs." "Hmm, I suppose I could. I have a number of volumes here detailing the early history of the area from Spanish colonial times to the recent past." Giles said in some relief. "The Spanish named the site 'Boca Del Infierno' which, when loosely translated, means 'Hellmouth'. There is a legend that predates the Spaniards and goes back many years..." "Giles, that much I know." interrupted Mulder. "I'm actually after more recent information." "Oh, well, just how..." Giles began before Mulder's cell phone rang and cut him off. "Mulder." the agent barked into the phone. He listened for a moment and then looked up at Giles with a startled look that gave the librarian a shiver up his spine. Mulder muttered something and hung up while turning towards him again. "Giles, who is Buffy Summers and why has your family become involved with her?" "My family?" squeaked Giles. "Whatever do you mean?" "We know that a man going by the name Jonathan Merrick, who we believe to be your brother, was associated with Ms. Summers in some way. Possibly teaching her martial arts from the evidence found in his rented residence. He was killed by someone Ms. Summers and a young man named Pike claimed was named Lothos. Soon after she and her mother move to Sunnydale and, lo and behold, you had arrived not long before. You also gave up a very prominent position as the assistant curator of the British Museum to do so. Now, your family's young protege finds you in place and guess what?" Mulder asked facetiously. "The pattern of deaths that plagued her former high school seem to be repeating themselves here. Wouldn't you say that it begs an explanation?" "Um, well, I can see where this would seem odd." Giles replied. "Odd? How about downright suspicious." Mulder countered. "Are you going to tell me what's going on? Or do I have a nice chat with Ms. Summers at the police station about what I saw last night?" "Mulder, what exactly did you see last night?" Giles asked, hoping to stall and figure out an alternative to the truth. "I and my partner saw a man attack Ms. Summers in the park just after midnight. She was using some interesting martial arts moves and just as we arrived, she pulled out a wooden stake. We attempted to arrest the perpetrator when he growled and knocked my partner aside. I then shot him point blank in the chest. He got up and growled again as he advanced on me. I got a really good look at that face and the fangs when Ms. Summers shoved the stake through his heart from behind. He then evaporated into a cloud of dust. She then leaped over a 10 foot wall, backwards, to escape from custody. My partner then revived and I took her back to the motel and filled her in." Mulder started grinning, which Giles really didn't like to see. "I believe your Ms. Summers killed a vampire last night, old friend, and you know all about it." "Mulder, do you really believe in vampires?" Giles asked in trepidation. "That's hardly a rational explanation, is it?" "Giles, I know what I saw. I've seen it before." Mulder said while staring intently at the Watcher. "You know what this is about, don't you?" "Hmm. Mulder, I, ah, I. Oh dear. This really isn't easy." Giles muttered then looked up with something shining in his eyes. "Mulder, can I trust you not to reveal what I tell you to another living soul?" "Giles, I have to tell my partner. She deserves no less from me." he replied as he sat down at the main table. "And you realize that if this includes any crimes, I may not be able to turn my back on them, even if I wanted to?" "Hmm, yes, I can understand that you'd have to tell your partner. But that just makes it more difficult for me." The look on Mulder's face made him speak. "Not from a criminal standpoint but that this information is not for wide spread dissemination." Giles took a breathe, "It would be very dangerous for this knowledge to come out and, I believe, it would not be believed by most except for the people who would misuse it. And that would cause severe repercussions in the lives of the people of this town as well as for Buffy in particular." "How so?" questioned Mulder. "To fully understand, I suppose I must trust you with this. Here take a look at this," he said as he put a large, leather-bound tome down in front of the FBI agent. "Contrary to popular religious thinking, the world did not start with paradise. Untold eons ago, demons walked the earth and made it their home, their hell. In time they lost their purchase on this reality, the way was made for mortal animals, for man. All that remains of the old ones are vestiges, certain magicks, and creatures." Giles paused for a breath and to try to judge how Mulder was taking the tale. "Such as vampires. The book tells of how the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. He was of human form possessed, infected by the demons essence. He bit another and another and so they walk the earth, feeding, killing some and mixing their blood with others making more of their kind." Giles sighed and continued, "Waiting for the animals to die out, and the old ones to return." "Interesting," commented Mulder. "But what does that have to do with Ms. Summers and your family?" "Hmm, well, as long as there have been vampires, there has been the Slayer." Giles explained. "And what, exactly, is the Slayer?" "One girl in all the world, a Chosen One, with the strength and abilities to fight the vampires. For every generation, there is only one Slayer. And in this generation the Slayer is Buffy Summers." Giles replied. "The Slayer is prepared and trained by the Watcher. And at this time, I am the current Watcher assigned to the Slayer." Mulder gazed at Giles in rapt attention and then said, "So that little girl is a Vampire Slayer. What kind of strength and abilities does she have? I saw her repel a much larger opponent as well as do a backwards leap over a 10 foot high wall." "Well, she is much stronger than she looks. And she is very capable when it comes to weapons, having an almost instinctive ability with them." "What kinds of weapons?" Mulder asked. "Hand weapons like her stakes, the quarterstaff and such. Also with projectile weapons like crossbows. That sort." Giles replied peevishly. "What kind of weapons did you think?" "Well, I would have some special cartridges with wooden bullets made for a handgun and then just shoot them." Mulder replied. "Oh, well, then I would have to learn to use handguns just to teach her how to use them. And I'm sure that having a 16 year old girl carrying a handgun would be a mite conspicuous." "True, but that wouldn't stop you from having one." Mulder pointed out. "Hmm, also true." Giles mused. "Now what are you going to do about this case of yours?" "Giles, to tell you the truth, I really need to talk to my partner before I decide what I'm going to do." Mulder said as he rubbed his face with his palm. "Plus I'm going to have to talk to Ms. Summers and all her friends. Also that Calendar woman who Principal Snyder mentioned." "Of course he would. Well, while you do that I suppose I can go back to work." Giles said as he stood. "Just promise me that you'll speak to me before you decide what you're going to do." "Deal." Mulder replied as they shook hands. *** The Summer's Home 1630 Rovello Drive 04:00 PM "Mom! Where are my brown boots?" "The same place you left them last night dear." Joyce Summers yelled back to her daughter. "Just inside the kitchen door." "Thanks!" Buffy yelled back as she clumped down the stairs in her stocking feet. She had just entered the kitchen when the doorbell rang. "I'll get it Mom." She walked over and opened the door to find Agents Mulder and Scully standing on the front stoop arguing with each other. "Oh brother." Buffy muttered under her breath. The agents quieted and turned in unison to look at Buffy who looked back with a deer-in-the-headlights look. Scully broke the ice by saying, "Hello Buffy, we met briefly last night." This comment sent the blood rushing out of Buffy's face. "Would it be alright if we came in and spoke to you and your mother?" "Um, well, that probably wouldn't be a good idea right now." Buffy stammered out. "She's got a highly contagious disease and can't see anyone right now." Dimly heard from the kitchen is her mothers voice, "Buffy, who's at the door?" Mulder leaned forward somewhat and said in a low tone, "Ms. Summers, I spoke to Giles this morning. I know what you are. Does your mother?" "What!" Buffy exclaimed. "Giles told you after we agreed not...oops. No, my mother does not know. So don't let her, please?" she pleaded. "Alright," Mulder replied, "tell her that we're here just to interview you about something at school. We really want to find the rogue agents you described. Doyle and Manetti." "Ok, come on in." she said, backing up to make room for them. "Mom! It's a couple of FBI agents. They want to talk to us." A clatter arose as Joyce Summers dropped her coffee cup and lurched into the hall. "Ah, hello, um, this isn't about my tax returns this year, is it?" Buffy kept glancing back and forth between her mother and the pair of FBI agents sitting in her living room as they talked. Agent Mulder was actually kind of cute for an old guy and had smiled when she brought him an iced tea. His partner was pretty neat, and about her height too. Being so nice was probably just a way to get them to talk though. Her internal dialogue was interrupted when Mulder asked her a question. "Excuse me?" she had to ask. "Buffy," her mother sighed, "Agent Mulder asked if you remembered anything besides the agents names." "Oh, well, they wore dark suits, and the man claiming to be Agent Manetti was shorter than the other one, um, Agent Doyle." "Did they show you their badges and ID's?" Mulder asked. "Um, yeah, I saw Agent Doyle's badge." replied Buffy. Mulder pulled out his badge case and handed it to Buffy while saying, "Take a look at my badge and ID and tell me if there are any differences between the two that you can recall." "Well," she began as she looked closely at his badge, "I didn't really see his up close but it looked like this." "Agent Mulder?" Joyce Summers frowned in his direction. "Why exactly are you questioning my daughter for anyway?" "Mrs. Summers," Scully replied, "Buffy is the only person we can find who actually spoke to the alleged agents. We need as exact a description as she can give us. It is a felony offense to impersonate federal officers after all." "Oh!" exclaimed the Summers women in unison. Mulder smiled, "Mrs. Summers, would it be alright if your daughter came down to the police station with us and spoke to a sketch artist? It might help a lot if we got a sketch made from her descriptions. She might also remember more if she sees it being drawn, most people do." "Well, I can't see where that would do any harm." "We'll give her a ride to and from the station." Scully said as she and Mulder started to rise from their seats. "We don't want to disrupt your lives any more than necessary." "Sure you don't," Buffy muttered under her breath. She looked up to see Mulder looking at her with a quirky grin. *Damn, he probably reads minds too.* *** Sunnydale Police Station Agent Lee's Office 05:00 PM Harry looked up to see Mulder and Scully escorting Buffy Summers into the office and said, "Hello again Buffy. How are you doing today?" "Oh, hello Agent Lee. I guess it could be worse. Agent Mulder thought that I should talk to a sketch artist about those two agents I saw last month." Buffy replied. "Probably a good idea. Would it help if we got your friend Willow to come down and add her impressions to yours?" he asked. "Willow Rosenberg saw them too?" Scully asked quickly. "Well yeah!" exclaimed Buffy. "She was the first to see them. She joked about Cordelia hiring bodyguards when she saw them hanging around campus." "Harry, do you think you can go collect Ms. Rosenberg?" Mulder asked quietly. "We'll get the sketch artist ready for when you get back." "Sure thing. She'll probably be home or at the library right now." "The school library?" Mulder asked. "Usually. She often helps the librarian out. He's not very computer literate from what I've heard. Strange, since he's friends with the schools computer instructor too." Harry commented. "Any reason that's weird?" "No," Mulder replied. "Just wondering. Any information might have a bearing on a case. You never know." "True." Harry said as he picked up his suit coat. "I should be back within an hour." When he was out of earshot, Mulder leaned in towards Buffy and smiled as he said, "Buffy, my partner is having problems believing what Giles told me about you. Would you explain to her just what you are and what that means?" "For heavens sake. Mulder, this girl..." "Is a Vampire Slayer." Buffy interjected. "..." Scully's mouth hung open as she stared at the petite blonde. "Ya see, in every generation, there is born the one girl with the strength and the skills to defeat the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness and she is the Slayer. At the moment that is me," she said forthrightly. "What you saw last night was not someone suffering from rabies, a trick of light or anything else that you can rationally explain away. It was a vampire that was stalking the park looking for someone to feed from. I did my job and slew him. Of course it might have been easier if you'd listened to me and stayed out of the way. If you still have some doubts, you could follow me tonight when I go hunting." "Hunting?" Mulder questioned. "This implies you go out trolling for vampires every night." "Well, not every night." Buffy explained. "I do have to do my homework and occasionally do stuff with my mom." Scully gasped and then sputtered, "sometimes you don't go hunting vampires so you can do your homework?" "Yeah, I want to graduate high school, you know." Buffy said. "Excuse me," Scully muttered as she left the room. "What's her problem?" Buffy asked Mulder. "She's a die hard skeptic. She'll be back in a few moments. How exactly did Giles and Merrick know you were the Slayer?" "You know, I've wondered about that one myself. I mean, I know that the duty of Watcher runs in his family and I know that there is some sort of group that assigns them. I guess that group has some way of figuring out who the Slayer is." Buffy replied. "You might ask Giles about it. If he'll say anything, he's very not talkative about things like that." "Yes, I suppose he would." Mulder mused. The door to the office opened again and Scully entered much more in control than her departure had been. "Glad you're back Scully. We've got a lot of questions building up here. Did you talk to the sketch artist while you were out there?" "The sketch artist is in the squad room. He's ready whenever we are." Scully said as she kept control over the laughter that had threatened to burst out of her earlier. "Harry called in, he found Ms. Rosenberg at home and is enroute with her." "Great, let's get this show on the road." Mulder said as he rose from his seat and beckoned Buffy towards the door. "No, the eyes were set further apart." Buffy said as she studied the face on the pad. The sketch artist erased and redrew the eyes when Willow said, "I think the hairline is a little low." The girls looked at the new resulting sketch and exclaimed at the same time, "That's him!" "Buffy, which one is this?" Scully asked quietly. "This is the one who said his name was Manetti," Buffy replied. Mulder took the sketch and looked closely at it and then passed it to Harry who did a double take and said, "Yeah, this sketch is even better than the one I sent to Washington. What now?" "We send these directly to AD Skinner and I want to send a copy to some friends who can help." Mulder said while glancing aside at Scully who grimaced and then looked thoughtful and nodded. Buffy watched the by-play between the two agents and nudged Willow who nodded back at her. Mulder noticed this and grinned as he said, "we need to get you ladies home for the evening. Harry, we'll take them home while you fax this. Here's the numbers and we'll see you tomorrow morning." "Sure thing, Mulder. See ya." Mulder and Scully escorted the two girls out to the rented Taurus and started towards Buffy's house. Buffy looked about for a moment before asking, "Agent Mulder, would it be possible for us to swing by the school before we go home?" "Certainly. Did you need to talk to Giles?" he asked. "Well, yeah, but I think we all need to sit down and talk plainly about what everyone knows." "Sounds like a good idea to me. What about you Scully?" Scully looked back and forth between her partner and the girls sitting calmly in the back seat, one of whom claimed to be a vampire slayer and said wearily, "alright, let's clear the air." *** Renfro Airfield Middleton, California 30 miles east of Sunnydale 07:30 PM A nondescript man in a dark suit and overcoat stood next to the Lear jet and waited for the door to open and disgorge its passenger. "Doyle. What are you doing here? You're supposed to be in Sunnydale investigating the intrusion of the FBI computers." said the gray-faced man with the smell of tobacco smoke wreathed about him. "Sir, we've discovered that the FBI Agents in town have very accurate sketches of Manetti and I and have circulated them. A mole at FBI headquarters said AD Skinner received a copy not 10 minutes ago that was sent from Sunnydale." Doyle replied. "I see. Where's Manetti now?" "He's in the hanger waiting for us, sir." "Then lets go talk to him, shall we?" the man said as he pulled a Morley out and lit it. "Yes, sir." *** Sunnydale High Library 07:45 PM "Giles? We need to talk." Buffy said as the group entered the library and found him seated with Ms. Calendar, while Xander and Cordelia were sitting on the counter snipping at each other. "Buffy! Where have...oh, never mind," he said as he caught sight of Mulder. "Scully," Mulder said to his partner as he swept his left hand towards the librarian, "this is Rupert Giles." "Good evening, Mr. Giles." Scully said with a tight smile as she stuck her hand out. Giles reached out and grasped her hand lightly, "I'm pleased to meet you Ms, er, um, Agent Scully," he stuttered as he felt the smooth pale skin and felt a small jolt from touching her. "If you prefer, you can call me Doctor," Scully said as she felt the librarians slightly rough skin caress her hand and her eyes widened at the touch. "that's also correct." "Oh, that's right." Willow said. "You're a forensic pathologist as well as...oops." Mulder and Scully turned to the quiet girl and asked in unison, "How did you know that?" "Willow? Were you being naughty again?" Xander teased. Giles shook his head and muttered, "I knew she was going to get caught one of these days." "Willow found out about you on the 'Net." Buffy explained. "I see," mused Scully. "Willow, did you happen to be getting this information about dinner time last night?" "Um, yes." Willow muttered in reply. "Then was it you that caused the FBI mainframe to crash at about that time?" Scully asked. "No!" Willow blurted. "I was accessing it, but it looked like a security shutdown to prevent access." "Scully?" Mulder had a shocked look on his face, "I think Willow here was probably accessing the X-Files database and one of the Consortium's moles shut down the computer to stop her." "If that's true..." "Yeah," Mulder breathed softly, "what were they trying to prevent her from seeing." "Before we get into that," Giles commented, "what have you told your partner and what actions are you going to take concerning Buffy and the rest of us?" "Mr. Giles, my partner has told me an unbelievable yarn that Buffy says is true." Scully replied. "What I'd like to know is what the real situation is between all of you, why you would try to convince them that mythological creatures are real and that this young lady is supposed to stalk and kill them?" Everyone stared at the diminutive federal agent and then Giles sighed and pulled out a large tome, with the word 'Vampyr' in large metal letters embossed on the cover, from behind him and placed it in front of her. He opened it and said, "This is a grimoire which contains much of the lore concerning vampires that has been collected by the Watchers over the centuries we have advised and trained the Slayers. This knowledge is carefully kept from becoming generally known to the public because of the frightful risk of causing a widespread panic and starting a war between humanity and the nosferatu. I'm sure you could understand what might happen if people were to become aware that vampires and other creatures and beings thought to be myth are real and a threat to life. Vampires are much stronger than humans and it is not generally known that they are dead bodies that are animated by demons, not simply altered humans. When a person is killed by a vampire, they are dead. But when they are forced to drink of the vampires blood before they are killed, they are ...how should I say this...marked for demonic reanimation." "See, they have to suck your blood and you have to suck their blood. It's like a great big sucking thing." Buffy explained. "So there must be an exchange of bodily fluids for someone to rise as a vampire?" Mulder asked in a thoughtful tone. "Of course, it's the only way." Giles stated. "So there's no need to believe?" Mulder questioned while Scully gasped suddenly in understanding. "Well, not really. I'm sure that if someone is sucking the blood out of you, you'd believe in vampires at that moment." "True, and it is a requirement." a voice behind them stated. The group whirled about to look at the speaker while Buffy squealed, "Angel!" in delight and rushed over to him. "Buffy." he said softly as they hugged. "Who are the new members of the Slayerettes?" he asked, which caused Willow to beam with pride as he used her term for their little group. "Oh joy, Dead Boy." Xander muttered under his breath. "Angel, these are Agents Mulder and Scully of the FBI." Buffy introduced them. "They saw me dust a vamp in the graveyard last night and Mulder cornered Giles and got the truth out of him." "Why is the FBI interested in vampires?" he asked in confusion. "Actually, there's a lot going on in this town that has peaked the interest of the Bureau. Buffy being the Slayer is just a minor point of interest. We're more concerned with finding two men who were impersonating federal agents here about a month ago and took Marcie Ross with them." Mulder explained. "And who exactly are you and what is your involvement with all this?" Buffy and Angel looked at each other for a moment before she spoke, "Angel, perhaps you could show them." "Are you sure about that?" he asked. "Actually, that is an excellent suggestion." Giles interjected. "It would go a long way to convincing Agent Scully of the veracity of our statements." "Agent Scully, am I to believe you doubt the existence of vampires?" Angel asked her. "Of course, no rational person believes in them. From what Giles and Buffy said, I would wager a virus of some sort is what causes the symptoms described." she said warily. "I see." Angel said. "Then how do you explain this," he said as his face suddenly shifted and his teeth extended. "My God!" Scully exclaimed while her partner simply looked shocked and then confused. "Angel's a vampire Agent Scully." Buffy explained as he shifted his face back to normal. "What a second," Mulder said. "If he's a vampire, then why is he hanging around with you and why isn't he attacking any of us?" "He regained his soul about 80 years ago and is able to keep the demon contained and the bloodlust under control." Giles replied. "How in the hell did he do that?" Scully asked in astonishment. "A vampire looks perfectly normal until the Feed comes over them. Then their true demonic visage becomes visible. Older vampires can control the shift better than young ones." Angel replied in exasperation. "Since I'm over 200 years old, I can shift at will." "No, I meant about regaining your soul." Scully said. "It implies that there is definitely a soul and that yours somehow was returned to your body sometime after your death. Did I really just say that?" she asked with a sigh. Everyone grinned at that as Angel replied, "I was cursed by the Romany, they returned my soul but left me with the memories of what the demon did while in control." "Why on earth did they do that?" Mulder asked with a perplexed look at the vampire. "I fed on a young girl, a favorite of her clan. This was the punishment they devised for me. To remember what the demon did but to have a human conscious. It is hell to live with as well as having to control the demon." "Now you can understand why knowledge like this is dangerous, Agent Scully." Giles stated emphatically. "Even the knowledge that there truly is a soul and life after death, in numerous forms, threatens our society in ways even we can't fully comprehend." "Faith and superstition." Scully whispered. "Exactly. The implications would shake the foundations of society and probably cause widespread riots and the downfall of everything we hold dear." Giles said in sympathy. "There would also be large numbers of small-minded people devoting themselves to vampires on a chance for immortality." Angel said. "Even knowing that a demon takes the body and the soul is gone wouldn't stop many from thinking that they would be the exception." "But you ARE the exception." Mulder pointed out. "True, but I'm also an isolated case. I doubt even the Romany are capable of the curse anymore." "Alright," Scully interjected, "I suppose I should accept that vampires exist for now. It seems that they do," she said as she looked at Angel. "Now we concern ourselves with the rogue agents and when that's cleared up, we can return to the philosophical discussion on vampires and curses." "Good enough. What can we do to help?" Giles asked. "First we need to find out what they were doing when they were hanging around the school. Second," stated Mulder, "we find out how they knew about Ms. Ross' condition. Third, why did they simply take the girl and leave Buffy and Ms. Chase alive behind them. It really isn't the way these people usually work." "Oh, Agent Mulder, don't forget about the FBI computers." Willow chimed in. "Ok, but first, Angel, why did you come by tonight?" Buffy asked her boyfriend. "I was coming to tell you that something's up. Many of the vampires have been staying underground the last couple of nights except when they come up to feed." Angel replied. "A source said that some suspicious activity is taking place out at the airfield and expects trouble in town." "What kind of activity?" Mulder asked the vampire. "Some unmarked aircraft landing and lots of people wearing black hanging about. I thought it might be a new group of vampires arriving in town, but it could just as easily be government agents." "We need to go out to..." Mulder began. "Mulder, how about we call Harry and ask him to check out the airfield while we work with...what did you call them Angel? The Slayerettes? And find out more about Ms. Ross and the activities of Doyle and Manetti." Scully reasoned. "Hmm, sounds good to me. I'll warn him an informant said something about the activity probably being dangerous." "Alright, let's get to work." Scully ordered. Harry sat in his car with sweat rolling down his back as he continued to look through the binoculars at the activity around some hangers at the back of Renfro Airfield and muttered, "I wonder who that mysterious informant was that dreamed up a problem here." He continued to sweat as a number of men prepped the small aircraft for departure. Then his attention was drawn to a distant group of men in dark suits leaving one of the hangers. One was shrouded in cigarette smoke while two looked familiar. Then it struck him...they were Doyle and Manetti! The Library Sunnydale High School Library 02:30 AM Willow was attempting to reconnect with the FBI database in Washington, DC with the aid of Scully. She whispered to the agent, "But won't the inquiry just bounce if the access is denied?" "Not if the secondary ID is entered." Scully explained. "Then you get bounced over to a backup for filing reports. It's a temporary measure that is still running. Thank goodness." she said grinning. Mulder, Giles, Buffy and Xander were discussing what they might learn from Harry out at the airport and what kind of contingencies they could plan for when Mulder's cellphone rang. "Mulder." he said shortly. Then his jaw dropped as he listened to the person on the other end. "Thanks Harry. Keep them in sight but do not, under any circumstances, let yourself be seen. These men are extremely dangerous." he paused to listen for a second. "No Harry, I know who the smoker is and he has been responsible for numerous deaths. Just let us know where they're going and what they're doing. We'll try to hook up with you as soon as possible." He hung up and turned to the assorted group and said, "That was Harry. He just saw Doyle and Manetti at Renfro with our old friend Cancerman." Scully gasped and the rest of the group looked puzzled until Mulder explained who he meant by 'Cancerman.' "All right. Mulder and I will head for Renfro to join Harry. Everyone else go home and get some sleep. Willow, here's my access code for the DC database and the password to my system at home. In the morning you can continue your search to find what's being hidden there from prying eyes. Buffy, please don't follow us out there tonight. We'll need you to identify them if we can apprehend them." Scully explained. "Alright, but it doesn't seem like much fun." Buffy complained. Giles grinned and chimed in, "I would prefer everyone get a good night's sleep as we are only days away from ending the school year and you all have finals to study for." A look of horror passed over Buffy and Xander's faces as they were reminded of finals week. They both nodded and left with Willow as Giles began to turn out the lights. Renfro Airfield Middleton, California 04:00 AM Mulder and Scully snuck up to Harry's car and tapped on the window. Harry jumped and then sighed with relief as he slowly rolled the window down. "Not much has happened since I called. They went over to the black sedan over there and are inside it. It hasn't moved and I'm not sure what they're doing. I did get the plate numbers though." Harry whispered to them. "Great Harry, why don't you call them in while we try to get a closer look." Mulder said as Scully peered at the sedan. The federal agents started creeping across the field, avoiding the lights, and hid behind some fuel barrels. They peeked around the barrels and could see the wisps of smoke coming from the cracked window of the sedan. "Anything special you're looking for?" Angel whispered, surprising the two agents out of a years growth. "Where did you come from?" Mulder hissed. "Buffy asked me to keep an eye on you." he replied. "Great, now we have a vampire baby-sitting us." Angel grimaced, "She just thought it would be helpful if you had a surprise waiting in case you were caught." "You know," Mulder grinned suddenly, "that's not a bad idea. Can you stay in the shadows, watch us and swoop in if we get into trouble" Scully started snickering, causing both Mulder and Angel to glance curiously at her. She stuttered, "Wh-when are w-w-we never in trouble?" Mulder rolled his eyes and Angel grinned at her as he said, "No problem. No one will see me." With that Angel disappeared back into the shadows. "Jeez, and people think I'm spooky." Mulder exclaimed. "Come on, Spooky." Scully whispered into his ear. The two agents made their way closer to the sedan and hugged the ground to come up next to it. They heard the soft tones of the Cigarette Smoking Man as he chastised someone inside. "You two have caused me enough problems. I expect you to be back in LA by noon." Puff. "I'll just have to oversee this situation myself." Puff. "Get out of here." The doors of the sedan opened and two of the men within stepped out and immediately ran for the hanger. Mulder and Scully backed away from the sedan as it started up and departed the airfield in the direction of Sunnydale. The two agents darted back to Harry's car and dived in. "Did you hear anything?" Harry burst out. "Oh," Mulder drawled. "I believe those two men in the hanger are Doyle and Manetti. And the man who just left in the sedan is their superior. Call for back-up. We'll need quite a few people to clean up whatever is going down here." Scully suddenly pointed at the hanger and said, "Mulder! Is that Angel over there?" A dark and indistinct figure could be seen entering the hanger and then gunshots rang out. The agents all sprinted over and slammed back first into the hanger wall as they drew their weapons. As one Mulder and Scully spun into the doorway and yelled, "Freeze! Federal Agents! Drop your weapons!" Angel dropped Manetti onto Doyle and stepped away from them while holding up his hands. "They won't know what hit them," he said. "They were preparing to escape in this plane." Motioning toward the Gulfstream behind him. Harry gulped when he glanced at Angel's gameface while Mulder and Scully sighed and holstered their weapons. "Gung Ho vampires, great." Scully muttered under her breath. Angel grinned and resumed his normal look. Harry was still looking at him and starting to hyperventilate. The vampire whacked him on the back which startled the agent into breathing normally again. "Would you mind putting away your weapon, Agent Lee?" Mulder laughed, "Would that be anything like, 'Away put your weapon, I mean you no harm'," he croaked in soprano. Everyone cracked up. Harry shook his head and looking up at Angel asked, "what exactly are you?" Angel glanced at Mulder and Scully and then sighed. "I'm a vampire." Harry continues to stare and says, "No way. Vampires are demons and have no souls. So try that one again." The X-Files agents and the vampire stared at Agent Lee as he explained, "I've been here for over a month now. Definitely enough time to see some of the weirdness residing here. Besides, didn't you wonder why such a green agent as myself was left here to continue the investigation?" Heads nodded in answer. "Because I'm also an apprentice demon hunter." Angel looked on intrigued while Mulder began to grin and Scully started to shake her head in denial. "Okay, what do we do now?" Harry asked matter of factly. "Well, I suppose we should handcuff these two and prepare them for transport back to DC." Mulder glanced at the vampire and said, "Angel, could you head to Sunnydale and find the sedan for us?" "Sure, how do I get in touch with you?" Scully whipped out a business card and handed it over to him, "Just give us a call on our cell phones." The federal agents bound the suspects and turned back to find the vampire already gone. "I hate when they do that." Harry exclaimed. "So, Harry," Mulder drawled, "what exactly is an apprentice demon hunter doing in the FBI?" "Actually," Scully interjected, "what exactly IS an apprentice demon hunter and what makes you think that you're one?" "Well," began Harry, "my ancestors in China were demon hunters, it's a family occupation. As for what a demon hunter is, well, that's kind of self-explanatory. As an apprentice, my training is still incomplete. I am learning to see and track demons, learning about the various demons incarnate on Earth at this time, learning about demons of history, events that are generally buried in history because they involved demons and eventually I'll learn all the methods of dispatching demons from this plane of existence." Mulder and Scully looked at Harry with a numb look, then glanced at each other before Mulder turned back and said, "Well, I hope that you might consider passing on that knowledge to me. It definitely falls under the X-Files." "I can't promise anything, but I'll see what I can do." Harry replied. "By the way, can you explain why your vampire friend is...well...so unlike a vampire?" "He's unique in that he has a soul." Scully said. Harry did a doubletake at Scully and whispered, "so that's the infamous Angelus." The X-Files agents nodded in unison and lifted Doyle and Manetti by the legs and dragged them to Harry's car. They threw the impersonators into the back seat and then all piled into the front. "Well, I hope the Chief has a nice strong cell for these guys." At that moment, two squad cars arrived with sirens blaring and lights blazing. The Sergeant in charge quickly impounded the Gulfstream and started to treat the area as a crime scene in accordance to Mulder's instructions. Then the agents left to return to Sunnydale. The Summers House 1630 Rovello Drive 05:00 AM Buffy turned in her sleep as she dreamed of her vampiric boyfriend and thought she heard him whisper her name. Then a feather-soft caress of her cheek woke her to the realization that she was laying in Angel's arms. "What are you doing here so close to dawn?" she asked, glancing at the clock in alarm. "I just wanted to tell you that Mulder and Scully caught those two men they were looking for." Angel began. "Really!" Buffy exclaimed. "That was quick." "Also, Agent Lee appears to be a demon hunter and the 'Cancerman' is apparently here in Sunnydale." "Jeez, what is it about my life." Buffy huffed. "The wackos just crawl out of the woodwork where ever I am." "I just wanted to keep you informed before I have to go." Angel said as he stroked her hair. "No other reason?" she questioned with big eyes. "I wanted to make sure you were okay as well." Angel replied with a sparkle in his eyes. "Thanks," Buffy whispered as she leaned in and kissed him. Sunnydale Police Station 06:00 AM "Listen Bob, I want these two men held in lockdown on Federal authority until the Chief comes in and squares the paperwork. He knows we've been after these two guys for over a month," Harry explained again to the Deputy Chief. "That's all well and good Harry, but if the Chief isn't here," Bob drawled, "then I'm in charge and I'm telling you that we're not in a position to help right now." "And why is that?" Mulder asked with suspicion evident in his tone. "Half of the lockdown is undergoing renovations and the other half is full." Bob explained. "There just isn't any room for them in there right now." "What about the booking cage?" Harry asked. "You want me to put them in there for the next few hours?" Bob questioned in return. "Do you know how fast their lawyers will get us for that?" "Fine," Scully said, "lock them in an interrogation room with someone monitoring them for health and security reasons." Bob sputtered for a moment and then sighed as he replied, "All right, we can do that if one of you does the monitoring." Scully nodded and stood saying, "I'll do that as I'm a licensed doctor and can do both forms of monitoring. Mulder, can you and Harry take care of the paperwork concerning the capture and arrange transport?" Harry and Mulder both agreed and headed for Harry's office while Scully had a couple of officers take Doyle and Manetti to interrogation room #2. *** Chief Blevins walked into his station and was startled to see the Feds already there and typing furiously. He walked over and said, "Well, it looks like you two are busy beavers this morning." Mulder grinned as he whipped the form he had just finished out of the typewriter and replied, "Good morning, Chief. We're just squaring away our reports on the apprehension of those two impostors." The Chief did a doubletake and grabbed the form saying, "I'll be damned, you must be better then Rogers and I thought." "Chief," Harry began, "we've got them in Interrogation 2 with Agent Scully monitoring them because Deputy Parks said he didn't have room in lockdown. We'll be moving them about 10 AM when our people arrive from LA. Will that be a problem for you?" "No, Harry, that'll be fine. Agent Mulder, will you and your partner be accompanying them?" "No sir. We'll stay here for another day or so with Agent Lee to tie up lose ends. Is there anything else we can do for you" "Yeah," the Chief grinned and said, "try and teach my people how to work as fast as you do." He then passed the form back to Mulder and sauntered off to his office. "Even I wouldn't have thought you would find them this fast." Harry noted. "We got lucky," Mulder replied. "I think they weren't in the area until we came. Plus we still have to learn where Marcie Ross is. Come on, let's check on Scully and ask some more questions." *** Scully looked up as the door to the room opened and grinned as Mulder entered with Harry right behind him. "Hey Mulder, these two are making like clams. When do they get transferred?" "About ten or so." Mulder said as he focused on Doyle and Manetti. "Well guys, you and I know that your cigarette-smoking boss doesn't have any loyalties to you. We also know that you will both go down for abducting Marcie Ross, who is a minor. Gee, you two are going to go away for a long, long time." Doyle and Manetti exchanged glances and looked back down at the floor as Mulder continued to talk about prison and what they could expect as former government employees. His lecture was interrupted when one of the local officers leaned in and said, "Agent Scully, you have a call. She wouldn't say who she is, but she sounds real nervous." Mulder and Scully glanced at each other in understanding as Scully left to answer the call from Willow. *** "Agent Scully?" the quavering voice asked. "Yes Willow, what is it?" "I was finally able to access the FBI computer database again. It came up about 6 AM this morning." Willow murmured. "Oh, that's good. So, what did you find?" Scully asked. "Well, that's the strange thing about it. I accessed the X-Files section and found the entire database wiped. I couldn't even reconstruct it using a couple of the utilities that I have for that purpose." Willow replied. "What?!? But how can that be? The entire section?" Scully queried the teen hacker. "Yes, I'm sorry Agent Scully. I guess they decided that whatever they were hiding was too important to leave there in case I hacked in again." "That's all right, Willow." Scully sympathized. "I guess it's just another example of them wiping out the evidence before we can get it into the light of day. I don't think they'll try the Purloined Letter approach again. Go ahead and tell Mr. Giles that we'll come by this afternoon." "Ok, see you then Agent Scully." *** Just after 10 AM, the Federal Agents watched as the prisoners were transported out of town as they started across the street to get some coffee. "Well, at least they're in custody." Mulder observed. "Harry, want to go with us this afternoon when we meet with Rupert and his charges?" "Hmm, no, I'll hang out here and file the rest of the paperwork." "All work and no play, Harry." Scully commented. "No, really. Besides, I think I'll be seeing more of them now that it's out that I'm a Demon Hunter. I'm sure Mr. Giles will be calling just for information." Harry mused. "True." Mulder agreed. "Ok, we'll catch up with you later. Besides, I still think Cancerman is here in town." Sunnydale High School Library 12:00 PM "Giles?" Buffy called out as she entered the library. "Buffy. Good, I was wondering where you were." Giles responded. "Maybe we need to get the Slayer a leash?" Xander wisecracked. "Or not," he quickly said as she glared at him and started making staking motions with her pencil. Giles ignored the actions of the children in his charge and faced his Slayer saying, "Mulder and Scully are on their way here. They caught the two men who abducted Marcie Ross and have sent them to Los Angeles for incarceration and interrogation. Willow, would you tell them what you found and told Agent Scully?" "The computers came back up this morning and the X-Files database was empty. Someone wiped, no, actually they either formatted the drives where the information was held or installed new ones so no one could reconstruct the information that was there." The teen hacker reasoned. "Someone is cleaning up after themselves. Is there any other way to figure out what was there?" Buffy asked. "No, but I'm starting a search through the rest of the FBI's databases using Agent Scully's passcodes. Using them, it's not even a hack. It'll just be Agent Scully doing a database search." "Ok, go ahead and don't let us bother you, Will. Giles, what's our next move?" "Well, Mulder and Scully will be here sometime this afternoon. And we really don't have any new information for them. You and Xander can spend the time studying for finals until they arrive." He pointed out. The two teens groaned in unison and stumped off to collect their textbooks while Willow continued her search of the FBI computers. *** Principal Snyder's Office 12:10 PM "So you can see why I've come to you at this time," the man wreathed in cigarette smoke told the principal. "I haven't heard anything from the Mayor about this." Snyder said. "I haven't spoken to him. In fact, it would be better not to involve him in this little agreement." the smoker pointed out. "Alright, I keep you informed of the Slayer's activities and you get those FBI agents out of town." the Principle agreed. "Thank you, Principle Snyder. I believe we can keep this situation from getting any worse if Mulder and Scully are recalled to D.C. and Sunnydale goes back to quiet obscurity." "I still think..." Snyder started. "Don't," the Cigarette Smoking Man cut him off, "you'll live longer." With that, he left the office and the wizened little man behind and left to complete his agenda. *** "Hello Willow, how are you doing?" Scully said from behind the hacker, causing her to jump up squeaking in startlement. "Oh, Agent Scully, um, there isn't anything there but routine case files. I'm afraid that whoever might have been hiding any information there has gotten it out without leaving any traces." Scully laid a comforting hand on Willow's shoulder and observed, "Don't worry about it. You did the best you could. At least we know to keep an eye out for further attempts to hide information we need under our own noses." She turned to her partner and sighed, "What do you think we should do now?" Mulder grimaced and said, "I'm not sure." Then he turned to Giles and asked, "Can you keep us informed of anything strange that happens here when we return to D.C.?" Buffy laughed and commented, "Is there anything here that isn't strange?" The entire group laughed with her. Giles merely shaking his head ruefully when he answered, "Yes, of course we will. We'll make sure to send everything to that e-mail address that Agent Scully gave to Willow." Xander then piped in with, "Say, what's going to happen to those two guys you caught?" "They'll be held in the Federal Building in LA and questioned about Ms. Ross' disappearance and their part in it. Also, we'll want to know who their superior is. Also, as to how and why they were ordered here to abduct Ms. Ross." Mulder replied as his cell phone rang. "Mulder," he said when he flipped it on. A look of anger crossed his face as he listened to whoever was on the other end before he said, "Harry, are you sure about those orders?" He listened further and then groused, "Alright Harry, we'll be ready in a few hours. We'll check in with you before we go." He shut off the phone and faced the others. "We've been ordered back to D.C. by A.D. Skinner. This case is being turned back over to the LA office. Harry said he didn't know what's come up, just that he is also under orders to return to LA to continue on the case there." Everyone began speaking at once until Mulder waved his hand in the air for silence. Giles then spoke up, "I'm beginning to see what you meant when you said that there were forces working against you." Buffy and Xander both chimed in with, "This sucks." "Yes, it does." Scully replied. "However, I believe we should stay in touch with each other, passing information, hunches, and whatever else to try to bring this case to a satisfactory ending." All agree with this sentiment, agreeing that they can pass information through Harry Lee to keep the shadow forces interested in their doings in the dark. With that, the FBI agents hug these children who have become friends and allies in their fight against the darkness and depart with the knowledge that while they've learned more of what goes bump in the night is real, there are many who step up to fight it and let a little more light into the world. The End of the Slayer Files. For now.