Interesting Times: BtVS/oWOD crossover

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Re: Interesting Times: BtVS/oWOD crossover

Post by johntfs on Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:14 am

Chapter Five

"Okay, this here's the arsenal of death and destruction, always popular with the tourists," said Melissa. She and Buffy were standing near a large computer panel with a slot in it.

"Why does it look like a vending machine?" asked Buffy, noting the knobs beside pictures of various weapons, most of which she couldn't readily identify.

"Because Andru Clayton has a very sick mind and he's the one who built this thing,” Melissa replied off-handedly. “Okay, remember Star Trek, when the Enterprise folks wanted food or coffee, they'd just touch this panel and poof, there it is. Well, this thing uses nanotechnolgy to sort of assemble whatever kind of weapon you want, anything from a knife to a Stinger missile. It uses magick, sort of, but as long as it’s here on the station, that doesn't matter. I hear they’re going to test market something similar in heavy combat zones. You know, Bosnia, South America, most inner-city schools..."

At Buffy's slightly aghast look Melissa said, "Jesus, I'm just kidding, sort of."

Melissa touched the pad and out came a sawed-off shotgun; another touch produced a small semi-automatic pistol.

"Okay, you're turn. It can read skin tone on me 'cause I'm a member and I preset my preferences. Just tell me what you want and I'll type it in."

Buffy thought for a minute. She'd really like something like Melissa got, but Giles hadn't even let her use the crossbow much. Damn, best to stick with what you know, she thought. "Gimme a couple of stakes and some garlic, I've already got a cross."

"Garlic?! What dysfunctional Hollywood movie bullshit are you living in? Jesus!" said Melissa, her eyes rolling in disbelief.

"What's wrong with garlic?" asked Buffy a sneaking suspicion crossing her mind. Damn, I hate it when they change the rules! she thought.

"Only that it doesn't work. Okay, top-down time," said Melissa. "You're gonna have to know some things about Kindred before we go down there. If we get neck-deep in shit and you start waving crosses and garlic around, we're dead. Period."

"Fine, the 'Kindred' don't have problems with garlic. Are stakes still okay?" asked Buffy in an annoyed tone.

"Look, why don't you just tell me about the vamps on your world and I'll tell how much is right and wrong for this one, alright. And tell me about you, too, I wanna who I'm takin' with me."

Buffy took a deep breath and started explaining, wishing that Giles were here since this was really his department. Then she got a mental image of the bookish scholar trying to deal with the acerbic Melissa and decided it was best he wasn't here.

Buffy found something else too. Melissa was a good listener. No acid commentary, or smart remarks for a change. Buffy found herself opening up about things she wouldn't normally have, especially about Angel, and Angelus. It was nice to be able to talk with somebody who really seemed to get it.

At the end of it, Melissa looked worried. "You're not gonna like this next part. The guys you've been up against were pussies compared to the Kindred. The closet thing to a real Kindred I've heard you describe was that Master guy and even he's a wuss compared with a lot of the really old fuckers."

"Joyness." said Buffy. "I go from the Slayer to the Snack."

"Whoa! Cool the black fog of despair. Kindred are tough, but they're not indestructible, at least not most of them." said Melissa. "Lemme lay it out to you. We've got a couple hours 'til time to go."

“First things first,” Melissa started. “The biggest thing you have to understand is the Masquerade. The way vamps survive is by pretending, for the most part to be human. They won't do anything, if they can avoid it, to compromise that.

“Way back during the Inquisition, normal humans actively hunted vamps. And a shitload of us were killed. Not by "Slayer" or special magic types, by regular human beings. Sunlight kills us and we generally have to sleep during the day. And when I say sleep I mean coma. Fire kills us. Side note, generally, when you're going up against the supernatural, fire'll kill damn near anything, Vamp, Garou, Mage, Faerie, anything. Okay, teeth and claws of vamps and werewolves, you know, other supernatural types, that kills us. Also, getting our heads ripped or cut off, that'll kill us too. The stakes don't kill us, but if you get 'em right where the heart is, it'll paralyze a vamp 'til it's removed.

“Garlic doesn't work. We show up in mirrors. Usually. We can go anywhere we want using lockpicks or just smashing the door down. If a vamp's chasing you and you need to hide, best place is in public. They won't do anything too outrageous that'll goof up the Masquerade. They still might shoot you though.

“As for special powers, depends on that clan and the Kindred. Vamps are organized into clans, generally. Each clan has certain powers they're best at and some weakness that defines them. The Malkavians, for example, are good at Auspex, that's seeing or sensing stuff, kinda like psychically. They're good at Obfuscate, that's hiding, disguising or flat out going invisible. Or at least unnoticed. A guy good enough at Obfuscate could be standing right here listening and we'd never notice him until he wanted us too. Malkavians, and here's a cheery thought are also good at Dominate. Yeh, it's what it sounds like, except worse. The movie vamps just do that "look into my eyes" bullshit. I can do that too. I can also make you not remember what happened after I told you to "look into my eyes" or remember something different. "That lightheaded feeling from having you're blood sucked, that's just an inner-ear infection, don't worry about, it'll clear up on its own."

"Only the Master ever did that," said Buffy.

"Dominate's a pretty common power. Most vamps try to learn it at least a little 'cause it's so useful. At levels higher than *I* ever want to go with it, you can turn humans into robot slaves just about."

"Oh, yeah. The Malkavian clan weakness: they're all nuts."

"Say what?" asked Buffy.

"No shit. They've all got some kinda insanity or derangement. Schizophrenia, paranoia, multiple personality, you name it; they’ve got it. You've got a whole vampire clan that's walking around fucked-in-the-head. Cool, huh?"

Buffy just shivered slightly in reply.

"Hey, there's a lotta scary shit down there on terra-firma. Just think about the poor bastard human that runs into this stuff." said Melissa.

“I do,” Buffy said grimly. “That’s why I’m the Slayer.”

“Back to the lecture. You can take notes of you want. Second thing about the Kindred is, we're not stupid. Sure, we live forever as long as we got blood and we got all kindsa cool powers and stuff, but if it comes down to a fight between the humans and us we're still outnumbered by a good 100,000 to one or so. And humans got flamethrowers and White-Phosphorous grenades and Dragonbreath shotguns that can fuck up a vamp's whole night. So vamps got secret and got organized. There are two basic sects of Kindred society. The Camarilla and the Sabbat. The Sabbat believes vamps should be free of all restrictions, brotherhood of the fang and crap like that. Which pretty much means vamps rule and humans get penned up bred, and bled like cattle. No thank you. Far as I can tell, behind that "up with vampires" bullshit, there are some evil motherfuckers.

“Then there's they Camarilla. I'm not going to say they're so much better or more moral than the Sabbat. But they are subtler. Which is mostly good. They like living in human society and letting humans be human. Of course, like I said above, they're not stupid. They control certain humans. Some through Dominate, others through ghouling--get to that in a minute. Some through flat-out alliances or threats. What that means is: you fuck with a vamp, especially an important vamp, you don't have some hissing, fanged bastard at your door going "I vant to suck your blud!"

Buffy laughed at that one. "Nice accent, not!"

"I'm gifted," said Melissa. “Anyway, you get the cops at your door, or you get audited by the IRS, or the bank forecloses on your house, or you get committed to a mental institution because you believe in "vampires, of all thing." Vampires have their fingers in everything, police, fire department, business, education, health care, organized crime, everything. Of course, here's the best part. Most vamps want to be top vamp. They all wanna rule the world, so they spend most of their times trashing each other's plans and shit. The worst enemy of any vamps is another vamp. Vamps almost never cooperate unless there's a clear danger to all of them, and even then not for long.

“What'd I forget? Oh, yeah, ghouling. Now listen close, 'cause this is really fuckin' important. If you drink any Kindred's blood three times in a row over a short length of time, you're Blood-Bound to them. Yeah, that's just as nasty as it sounds. I've heard it's like bein' in love except worse. This vamp is the center of your world; you'd kill your whole family if the bastard said too, or kill yourself. This bonding thing can happen to other vamps, too. On the plus side, any human that drinks vamp blood, is stronger than normal and can sometimes use those special Kindred powers, depending on how strong the vamp is who gave the blood.

“God, what else can they do?” Buffy asked.

“Depends on the Kindred, their age, their clan, you name it,” Melissa said. “Just be ready for anything, hit first, hit hard, hit often and run like hell if that doesn’t work. You sure you don’t wanna catch this on CNN after all?”

“No,” Buffy admitted. “But I’m going down there anyway.”

"Buffy, Melissa, report to the tubes at once." came Rebecca's voice.

Melissa zapped up a tote bag and created several other weapons to shove into it. "Just in case." she said.

They went to the tubes and entered them.

Instantly, Buffy was hit by a shattering feeling of disorientation. She was rising, falling, expanding and shrinking all at the same time along a field of blazing light and abyssal darkness. And then it was over.

She felt herself being hurled into reality and somersaulted in the air, deftly landing on her feet. She looked around for Melissa. A pile of trash moved and Melissa struggled to her feet. "I hate those things!"

Shaking her head she joined Buffy. "Where are we?" asked Buffy.

"You in the land o' Oz, bitch!" came a rough voice near them.

They whirled and saw several gangers wearing what looked like cheap cloaks and carrying knives walking down the alley toward them. The apparent leader, a short scar-faced boy-man, smirked at them. "We the Wizard's O' Oz. An' I'm gonna luv usin' my wand on you!"

She drifted into a fighting stance and saw Melissa joining her. Buffy looked the group over and smiled, unpleasantly. "Boy did you guys pick the wrong girls on the wrong night."

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Re: Interesting Times: BtVS/oWOD crossover

Post by johntfs on Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:13 am

Chapter Four

Buffy and Andru ran and wheeled, respectively into the hall on their way to the control room. As they did so, Scratches bounded passed them with Melissa close behind.

Melissa had changed clothes, Buffy saw. She wore black and white checkered jeans and a T-shirt. She carried a gray, buckskin jacket over one thin arm. On the front of the shirt Buffy was surprised to read, "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil..." As Melissa edged past, Buffy could read the back of the shirt. "...For my Smith and my Wesson doth comfort me." These words were emblazoned across a .44 Magnum shown firing.

"Let me guess," said Buffy. "The gospel according to Dirty Harry?"

"Beats the hell out of Jim Bakker," said Melissa

"I suppose that's true enough," agreed Buffy.

"Yo, Mel. What's the sitch?" asked Andru.

"Beats me all to hell. Maybe Devereaux found a fly in his soup and wants us to whack the waiter," she replied, sounding only half-kidding.

"Who's Devereaux?" asked Buffy.

"He's a boss dude kinda life form in our little club," said Andru.

"Yeah," said Melissa. "He's French-English, from Quebec. Which means he gets to be really rude and a bad dresser all at the same time."

"Prejudiced much, aren't we?" commented Buffy.

"Naw," said Andru. "We just know the guy, is all."

"Is it always like this around here?" asked Buffy as they continued moving.

"Hell no." said Melissa. "It's usually a lot more confused than this. We got two other teams that live up here. We burn out three dust-busters a week just keeping up with Garou fur."

"Grrr!" This came from Scratches as they entered the room.

"Oh, go suck a Milkbone," replied Melissa in a breezy tone.

"And on that note of cooperation and team spirit let us begin the briefing," said Rebecca looking over the group. "As always, what is said here is considered Most Secret. Divulging this information--"

"--Will result in Blackthorn strangling us with our own intestines. Yadda, yadda, yadda we got the point," interrupted Melissa. "So what's the deal? I mean, we know where the Pentex site is on her world. We go in with a couple other teams, blow the snot out of it and go home."

"We have some among us who are not familiar with team protocol, Ms. Wu," said Rebecca frostily. "Ms. Summers, I am uncertain how long you will be with us before we are able to return you to your home. Be aware that the matters we will discuss are secret. It is vital that nothing said here can be revealed. Do you understand?"

"Sure, not a problem. I could always wait in the car," said Buffy snidely.

Rebecca sighed noisily. "As we have no car and cannot yet permit you to wander this place freely, and have no personnel to accompany you, that is not an option. As the information I received may pertain to you, I suggest you listen. For Ms. Summer's benefit I will add previous background information in at least a summarized form."

Melissa looked at her watch and then opened her jacket and pulled out a PowerAde Fruit Punch bottle, although the liquid inside was somewhat thicker than Fruit Punch. Buffy turned away.

As Rebecca started to speak, Andru touched her arm. She turned to him and saw him discreetly holding a Snickers bar out to her. "Not going anywhere for a while...?" he smiled.

Buffy smiled in return and took the bar. She turned back and saw Melissa giving her a flat, unfriendly glare. Not wanting to start something right there, Buffy ignored her and turned back to Rebecca.

"I suggest that all of you pay attention to this. It could save your lives," Melissa opened her mouth to speak but Rebecca overrode her. "Or unlives as the case may be." Melissa shut her mouth. "Now then, this is what we know or at least believe to be true." Then Rebecca began the briefing in earnest.

“Pentex has been dabbling in interdimensional travel for some time now, scouting the Umbra for worlds that would be suitable for exploitation if not outright conquest. As if we ever thought they'd be content with keeping their evil here.

“For our guest's benefit, Pentex is an extremely large and powerful multinational corporation. Imagine a business that controls IBM, Microsoft, Exxon, and Citibank and you've got the picture. They are huge, but secretive. Unbeknownst to most of the rest of the world they are also allied with the forces of the Wyrm. In effect, they are demon-worshipers. Their ultimate goal is to effect the demonic possession of every living creature on the face of the planet, with ideas of these Fomori "hybrid" being able to survive on the polluted, desolate shell that Earth would become should their goals be achieved.

“Garou have the ability to travel the Umbra to other worlds by using mirrors and other reflective surfaces. That was how Scratches got to Ms. Summer's world and brought her here when she was injured. Scratches was searching for signs of Pentex infiltration on other worlds. Until now, we've found no evidence of them.

“To the meat of things. Mr. Deveraux contacted me about a situation that is developing within the state of Tennessee of all places. Apparently Pentex used a group of vampires, along with some corrupted Garou called Black Spiral Dancers to take the cub of the leader of the Sept of the River Wide. There was plenty of evidence left to indicate vampiric involvement. Tonight, there will be a crescent moon. When that moon rises the times will be auspicious for sacrificing the cub in a ceremony that we believe would create a permanent, stable gateway between this world and one other.

“Our mission is to rescue the cub if possible or otherwise disrupt the ceremony, failure to do so may cost the lives of the inhabitants of two worlds their very souls,” Rebecca concluded in an ominous tone.

"...Their very souls, huh?" said Melissa. "Nice dramatic touch. Okay, where do we start?"

"The River Widers know about the vamp angle, right?" asked Andru.

"From what I can gather, yes they do."

"Oh, crap," said Melissa. At Buffy's questioning look she said. "Most Garou hate the Kindred, they think we're all evil mainpulating bastards that sold our souls to the Devil or something."

Scratches had shifted to human form. "That is untrue, Melissa. As Garou, we do not believe in the Christian devil, only the Wyrm. We believe that you are all evil, manipulating bastards who sold your souls to the Wyrm."

"Hah, freaking hah!" said Melissa as Scratches smirked. "Anyway, the feelings are pretty mutual. Figure the sept's getting together a war-party and they're fixing to rip the heart out of downtown, what, Memphis?"

"Yes, Memphis," Rebecca said, sounding slightly impressed.

"Don't look at me like that. I may not have finished junior high, but I can damned well read!” Melissa insisted. “Okay, so the wolves figure the vamps pulled the strings on the dog-, er, kidnapping. So they're going to tear apart any vamp or human that gets in their way, right. I'm guessing they lost the trail."

"They did," said Rebecca. "The way is clear. We will have to divide ourselves. Scratches, you and I will go to the Sept and attempt to dissuade them from war. Andru will stay here and seek a way into the Pentex database to find details, if any, on this raid. Melissa will go into Memphis and speak with the vampires there, attempting to discover the culprits from that angle."

"Sounds cool," said Melissa, nodding. "I find the nasty people and call in a combat team to take 'em out. Not a problem here."

Rebecca sighed. "Unfortunately, a variety of crises of erupted down below, our more combat-ready teams are already committed. We are very much on our own here."

"So what the hell do I do when I find the fucking vamps, dial 911? I'm going to need backup when the shit hits the fan. Most places I got friends of friends or at least assholes who owe me, in Memphis I got nothing. I hear there's a struggle between the Camarilla and the Sabbat. And I think the Sabbat's getting the upper fang, if you know what I mean."

"And what am I supposed to do?" asked Buffy. "Just sit here and watch it all on CNN? Sorry, I don't do CNN.”

"You are our guest here. This mission is very dangerous. To involve you in it would place you in extreme peril, whatever combat abilities you possess," said Rebecca. "Aside from that, we need you to act as a kind of guide. In his haste to return here, Scratches was unable to properly mark a trail to your world. We need your affinity with your world to find it again. Aside from that, it would violate my oath of hospitality to ask you to share in this struggle."

"Who's being asked?" asked Buffy. "Look, I'm not exactly a baby when it comes to this weird stuff, okay. The town I live in is located on something called a Hell mouth. That's like a gateway into Hell, okay. It's shut now, but it still attracts all kinds of vampires and monsters, which keep me seriously busy. If these Pentex corporate jerks are messing around in my home, I want in on stopping them."

Rebecca looked at Scratches, a question in her eyes. "I felt the sense of an unfamiliar evil while I was there, but I had no time to investigate before..." he looked at Buffy, who grimaced at the memory "events outpaced me."

"Smooth, Scratches. You're gonna be a diplomat any time now," cracked Melissa.

"Ms. Wu," said Scratches, in that same calm, careful voice. "Bite me."

Melissa just smiled.

"Still, with this new knowledge," said Rebecca, "we must alter our theory of events."

"Yeah," said Andru. "Figure they don't even need a stable gate. They're gonna sacrifice the kid and send the power through to the other side."

"Shit." said Melissa in an awed, frightened voice. "That'll probably blow that Hellmouth thing wide open. The demons on the other side'll burn that world to goddamn cinder. Then they'll come here."

Buffy swallowed in fear. "You've got to get me back home, I've gotta stop them!"

"Wait, can you tell us about what, if any activity you saw Pentex engaged in?" asked Rebecca.

"Well, they hired a local contractor to put up the mall and there were a few of their executives around, but I haven't seen any of them lately." said Buffy. "Why?"

"Trying to send you back home now would be futile." said Rebecca. "Pentex didn't care about a stable gate. They're setting a bomb, effectively. Even if we knew your world's exact coordinates, which we don't, there's nobody to fight there. It would be a matter of unraveling the mystic forces that have been set up over what, months? The unraveling would take days, possibly weeks. No, if we're going to stop them, it has to be from this side."

"And you guys are undermanned now, so you need all the help you can get, and I've definitely got a stake in this, because it's my world on the line," said Buffy, her voice filled with a grim determination.

"You are correct," said Rebecca. "All right, Scratches and myself will still deal with the Garou, Andru will work the computer. Melissa was right. She does need backup. That is what you shall be."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" said Melissa, raising her palms in protest. "Thanks, but no thanks. I'd feel a lot better working this thing by myself than with someone I don't even know."

"You'll just have to adapt, Melissa," said Rebecca, her tone leaving no room for discussion. "It is still a good two hours until sunset in Memphis. Go help Buffy get outfitted for the trip. Talk things out. Bond, or something. But be able to do this job, unless you are saying that this task is outside your capabilities?"

"I can handle it," said Melissa, still fuming slightly.

"Can you handle it?" Rebecca asked Buffy.

Buffy nodded and looked at the smaller vampire girl. "I guess it's just you and me, kid."

"Oh God," groaned Melissa, "I'm going into hostile vamp territory and I've got the killer cheerleader as backup. We are so fucked."

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Re: Interesting Times: BtVS/oWOD crossover

Post by johntfs on Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:05 am

Chapter Three

"Garou?" said Buffy. "That's just a fancy name for werewolf."

"No more than "human" is a fancy name for human," replied Scratches. He spoke slowly, pronouncing each word with exacting care, like a student driver, except that speech was his vehicle.

“Okay, I guess so,” Buffy said. Despite her acquaintance with Oz, Willow’s werewolf boyfriend, it still took Buffy a bit to get used to the idea of talking with someone she’d started to think of as Rin-Tin-Tin.

"I thank you for your offer of food, earlier." Scratches said. "The fries", he paused at the unfamiliar word, "were most tasty."

"Um, you're welcome," Buffy said uncertainly. Her only previous experience with a werewolf had been Oz, and that was nothing like this.

"Look, can we get back to the damn point?" said Melissa, tapping one tiny foot impatiently. "She's up. She knows the whole 'creatures of the night' bullshit and she's probably not going to attack for at least a couple more minutes. Let's get back to the other stuff. What the hell are we gonna do about Pentex?"

Rebecca started to speak when a loud beep emanated from outside the room. "E-mail," said Andru and wheeled outside.

"Hold it, short stuff," said Buffy, relishing the feeling of being able to call somebody else that hated moniker. At 5'3" most people she met were taller than she was. She continued speaking while Melissa ground her teeth and glared daggers at her. "Before you go back to your show, or whatever, I want a script. Where am I? Who are you people and what do you want with me?"

Melissa sneered. "That's need to know and you don't--"

Rebecca answered. "Yes, she does, Mel. You and Scratches check the transport tubes and prep them. We'll need them shortly."

Melissa left grumbling and Scratches, now returned to canine form, followed.

"First things first." said Buffy. "She a vampire. What's the deal?"

"I know naught of the Kindred, the vampires, of your world," said Rebecca in a kind, though somewhat superior voice. "But in this one they are varied. Vampires are dead humans, somehow animated into life. They have a terrible thirst for the blood of mammals, including living humans. Beyond that, they are as varied in their capacity for good and evil as any other human. Melissa is sarcastic, pessimistic and cynical. She is also a good and loyal friend who has proven herself time and again in many desperate circumstances. Then and now, I trust her with my life."

"Well, where I come from, vampires are evil. Period. Except for Angel." Buffy's eyes misted at saying that but quickly hardened again. "But that was because of some gypsy spell and now he's gone and he's not coming back."

"Perhaps, perhaps not. When love is involved," Rebecca held up a hand to still Buffy's protests, "the impossible becomes quite possible. But we were speaking of other things. You would need to speak to Andru about this place, but as I understand it, it is a defunct outpost of the Technocracy, a group a wizards who utilize their magic through technology. This satellite is connected to the Umbra via a portal that Scratches created. Within the Umbra is another portal that connects to Earth. In this place myself and Andru can utilize our respective supernatural powers without fear of interference from the disbelief of normal humanity."

"Supernatural powers?" asked Buffy, a little skeptically.

Rebecca smiled and waved her hand at Buffy's ripped and bloodstained attire. Instantly the cloth began to mend itself and the blood vanished from it. Buffy, looked down at herself. "You guys must save a fortune on dry-cleaning!"

"One cuts costs where one can," said Rebecca airily. "To continue. Andru is a mage of the Virtual Adept tradition. Using his programs and equipment and computers he can replace reality with "Virtual Reality" which then becomes real. He calls it "debugging the universe." I call it arrogance, but I do admit that he can do wonders, particularly if he has time to prepare in advance."

"I should introduce him to Willow. Of course the rest of us would need an English to Computerese dictionary just to follow along." said Buffy. "Fine, what about you?"

"I am Sidhe," said Rebecca.

"She who?" asked Buffy.

"Not she." said Rebecca. "Sidhe." As she spoke the last word she changed. It was not so much a transformation as the removal of a mask. Rebecca was tall, with flame colored hair that reached to her waist and violet eyes that pierced Buffy's soul. Her armor gleamed and seemed to transform the florescent light into sunshine. Her beauty stabbed Buffy in the heart and it actively hurt to look upon Rebecca. She was perfection made real.

*****

“How come you never bring back anything good, huh?” Melissa asked Scratches.

The dog-like wolf just let a tongue loll from his mouth, obviously laughing at her.

“It’s not funny, you know,” said Melissa. “If Devereaux or one of the others finds out about this, we’re screwed big time,”

“I think that it will not matter all that much,” said Scratches, back in human form and now gazing at the transport tubes.

The tubes themselves looked unimpressive, just scratched Plexiglas that Scratches had found in a landfill. Even in such humble things, there was still power to be tapped, so Scratches coaxed the power out and called a spirit to drink of it. Now the tubes conveyed the group down and back from where they needed to go. However, they needed to be examined ever so often, if for no other reason than to reassure their spirit occupant that he was still valued.

“So, are we gonna get zapped into a floor?” Melissa asked.

“I think not,” said Scratches. “Of course, spirits are always unpredictable, particularly when their competence is questioned…”

“Oh, great…”

*****

Try though she might, Buffy couldn't tear her gaze from the vision that Rebecca had become. It was beyond sexual, the feelings she felt. It was pure beauty and dreamlike perfection and it held her motionless. And then it ended.

"Wha- Wha- What was that?!" Buffy managed to gasp.

Rebecca, tall, pretty, human Rebecca smiled at her. "That was my true form. My form as one of the Sidhe." The armor clad woman sighed. "You do not understand."

"You got that right. I've seen vampires and werewolves and mummies and I've never seen anything that was that..." words failed the Slayer.

"It has been said the beauty of the Sidhe is indescribable. Apparently it is so," Buffy glared at her.

"Peace," said Rebecca. "I will explain."

Long ago, she said. There was magic and creatures of magic, such as dragons and unicorns dwelt freely among human. Among the magical beings was the Tuatha de Danan, the Fae. They would alternately aid or torment the humans each fae according to his nature, Seelie or Unseelie. This was not quite the same as good and evil, closer to law and chaos, but it fit well enough.

In any case, centuries ago or so things began to change. The humans no longer believed in magic and the magic began to leave. Those creatures of magic that could flee did so. The rest hid themselves in impenetrable pockets of magic, adapted to the human world, or died in the banal winter of human disbelief.

Those of the fae who adapted to humanity were called "Changelings" after the reported practice of exchange a child of the fae for a child of the humans. On the outside, among human the changeling were human. Inside, in special places of magic called freeholds, their true fae souls emerged and claimed their true shapes.

The changelings spent and spend much of their time fostering dreams and creativity among the humans, gently encouraging them in hopes that one day, the magic will return.

"So when the magic comes back, then everything becomes okay, right?" asked Buffy, a little skeptically.

"I dunno about that, the hopes're that maybe us homosaps won't be so uncool then," said Andru as he wheeled into Melissa's room. He looked at Rebecca. "Bossdude's on the horn for ya, 'Bec," he said, hooking a thumb behind him. "Most cheesed out."

Rebecca sighed in irritation. "All right. Stay here and keep our guest company, Andru."

"Cool!" he said.

"Try not to be too annoying." said Rebecca then she deftly plucked a pair of sunglasses from off his head.

"Hey! Those are..." he started.

"And I doubt you'll need your X-ray goggles while here," she interrupted and then strode away.

"Oops, fergot 'bout those," he said, blushing slightly.

"Uh-huh," said Buffy, folding her arms over her chest looking at him pointedly. Then, noting his chastened expression and wanting as much info as possible, she decided to let him off the hook and said, "So you're a wizard or something, right?"

"Yeah, sorta." he said, as he pulled an extremely advanced looking laptop up and started typing.

"So do you like type 'abracadabra' or something and pull a rabbit out of your screen or what? And what was that stuff about magic coming back and debugging the universe?" asked Buffy in a challenging tone of voice.

"Gimme a CD-ROM," he said, "You've got one in your back pocket."

"No, I..." she began reaching back to prove him wrong. She touched something plastic and pulled it out, a CD-ROM storage disk. "This wasn't there before."

"Maybe you had it with you and just forgot. I never touched you, the others can vouch for that," he said, the beginning of a smile creasing his face.

"Then how did you know I had one?" she asked, suspicion coloring her voice.

"Coincidence, just lucky I guess." She glared at him. "Okay, it was magic," he admitted with a smile.

"Magic?"

"Sure. I did an X-ray scan," at her expression he said, "you can do cool stuff with contact lenses and tomorrow's tech. Then I fed your clothing parameters into here," he said, patting his laptop. "Then I just pixeled in a disk in your back pocket and rescanned. Oops, turns out you had a disk there all along. Don't look so pissed. I'm not a total slime. I set the scan to stop at secondary clothing. Nice undies, by-the-way," he finished in a surfer dude smug tone of voice.

Buffy ground her teeth, but she wasn't going to smack a disabled guy and they both knew it. He passed a hand in front of his eyes and flicked it away, tossing the contacts away. "They dissolve and are disposable, I got plenty more. Okay, you want the real deal on magic, huh?"

Not trusting herself to speak, Buffy just nodded.

"Cool, here goes."

Believe it not, some asshole Hermes guy put it really well. He said, "The universe is a woman, and must be wooed and won, rather than forced." That's the deal behind a lot of magic, just figuring out ways it could have happened naturally, sort of letting the universe cover her ass, so to speak. Like with the disk. I mean; it's possible that you could have already had it on you. That's coincidental magic.

There's also vulgar magic. That's when you toss fireballs and teleport and do other stuff that there's no way in Hell people are gonna believe is cool with reality. That's forcing the universe to do stuff she doesn't want to do and generally she'll give you a smack for it. And if you screw up, either in coincidental or vulgar or especially in vulgar when there're folks who don't believe in magic, then she'll slap the shit out of you.

That's called Paradox. Generally, it'll slap you according to your 'crime' against the universe. A guy who goofs up a fireball might suffer "Spontaneous Human Combustion"

"Or, a guy who tried cure his sister, who got paralyzed by some rich drunk driving asshole, might ended up with his spine snapped and magic not able to fix it," he concluded.

"I'm sorry," said Buffy, wincing in sympathy at his admission.

"Why? You didn't run her over with your BMW, that puss wad did,” said the young mage in a matter-of-fact tone of voice. “And you didn't screw up the repair program, I did."

"What happened to the drunk?" asked Buffy, expecting the answer.

"Oh, they let him off. 'She ran in the street, nothing I could do, I'll go to AA, yadda, yadda, yadda.' Went out and bought himself a new Beemer." Andru's smile became distant and cold. "Yeah, one of those new computer assisted kinds. Damn shame. The system screwed up somehow and he drove off a cliff. It was six months to the day that he hit my sister. Talk about coincidence, huh. Oh, well. Accidents happen."

Buffy swallowed at that. Then Rebecca's voice came from speakers. "Everyone report forward, I have news and it's not good."

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Re: Interesting Times: BtVS/oWOD crossover

Post by johntfs on Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:05 am

Chapter Two

"Excuse me," said Buffy "I am so not into this conversation. Somebody give me the TV-guide version."

The older girl sighed and began to speak. "A corrupt corporation called Pentex wishes to establish a stable gateway into the Umbra, the astral plane. Should they succeed, they'll be able to summon monstrous horrors from the edges of reality."

Buffy looked puzzled "And this has what to do with me?"

Andru spoke at this point "Well, since they're establishing a foothold in your reality, I'd say it's got a lot to do with you."

Buffy's mouth dropped open. "What do you mean, my reality? What are you people on drugs?" As she spoke she readied herself to spring. She'd take out the vamp first, then chain mail chick and get some answers from the geek.

"Oh Jesus, we don't have time for this shit!" This came from the vamp. The vampire girl strode to the window and yanked back the curtains. "Come here. Look out the window. Pick your jaw up off the floor. Then we'll talk, okay?"

Warily Buffy stood and walked to the window, body tensed for an ambush. She looked outside. At first she saw nothing strange. Then she noticed that the stars seemed a lot brighter somehow. And there was something blue just out the corner of her eye.

Melissa spoke again. "Yo, ‘Dru, turn this sucker to the right, 'kay." They saw the blue thing come into focus. Growing to fill the window was a large planet. Earth as seen from orbit.

"Ohmygod!" Buffy gulped in shock.

"Don't feel too bad!" consoled Melissa, "It freaked the shit outta me when I saw it, too. Oh, yeah. That's our Earth, by the way. Yours is a couple dimensions that away." she said hooking her thumb to the right.

"Mel," said Andru "You're seriously not helping this situation."

The older girl, Rebecca spoke again. "What Melissa says is true. Our valiant companion, Scratches-at-Fleas, rescued you from a losing battle with the dark forces stalking your world. He used his ability to travel the Umbra to bring you here that you would be healed."

Melissa nodded. "So don't pull that crap about not knowing the supernatural score. Flea bag there told us how you wasted one young vamp and were seriously staying level with an elder."

Buffy grimaced slightly then asked "Scratches?" At this point the strange dog she'd fed her fries to padded over to her and looked at her with more than animal intelligence.

"Don't tell me. Let me guess. Werewolf, right?" As she spoke the dog began to shift, first growing into a huge primitive likeness of itself, then into a giant wolf man creature, then shrinking again and growing more and more human. Finally, where once stood a dog there was a rough looking, hairy teenager. Oddly enough, as the final stages of transformation completed, an overcoat had seemed to spring from his flesh.

The young man looked at her with penetrating brown eyes. "Actually," he said, in a voice that seemed unused to speech, "We call ourselves the Garou."

*****

Several worlds away, the Pentex construction site began climbing toward wakefulness. Currently, its power was just a thickness in the air, but it was slowly growing in might and menace. Just behind that thickness, many, many awful things waited, but not for very much longer.

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Interesting Times: BtVS/oWOD crossover

Post by johntfs on Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:50 am

Author's Note: I wrote this sucker back in 1998, so many of the cultural references will probably seem rather dated. The story was directed more toward Buffy fans, so I probably played a little fast and loose with the politics and abilities of the various WoD inhabitants.


INTRODUCTION

The story is a crossover between the universes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the World of Darkness. The World of Darkness appeared, in edited form, in the short-lived TV show, Kindred: The Embraced. I'll attempt keep the specialized terms and mythology of the World of Darkness to a minimum and explain it where I can't.

The concepts and characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Whedon, the WB, and other people than myself. Since you're almost certainly a fan on Buffy, you'll know which stuff Joss owns. The setting of the World of Darkness and all terms associated with it (Malkavian, Crinos, etc.) belong to White Wolf publishing. You can probably find a fairly complete listing of what White Wolf owns in this story by going to The White Wolf Home Page, assuming you're really that curious about it. With a couple of very notable "real life" exceptions, all the other charcters, concepts, situations, etc., belong to me. In other words, if you're Joss, the WB or White Wolf, I am making absolutely no money from this so please don't sue me.

By the way, you can consider this story to be rated R for graphic violence, some sexual content, strong profanity and adult situations. While BtVS exists on TV and is bound by certain broadcast standards, the World of Darkness setting has no such restrictions. The WoD is a dark, scary, violent place in which Evil Plots are a bit more successful than on Buffy and Bad Things happen on a regular basis. In short, if the stuff I'm warning you about is offensive to you, don't read this story.

Chapter One

Buffy completed one last patrol circuit near the graveyard and finally decided to head home. Wherever the fang gang was, it wasn't in Sunnydale. Not that there wasn't excitement. Oh no, Gemini Development, a division of the Pentex corporation, and wasn't everyone sick of that addendum; had announced plans for a shopping mall to be constructed.

The prefab shell would be ready and open for business by the beginning of summer. Cordelia had almost been orgasmic at the news. Something that probably hadn't happened since last weeks date with Xander, Buffy thought nastily. She sighed and continued her walk, heading for a McDonalds for chow. Lost in her thoughts, she didn't notice the form following her.

After waiting in line a bit, Buffy had her meal in relative peace and left McDonald's. She was still scarfing down a few fries when she sensed something behind her. It was a large, ratty looking dog. His, (for some reason it seemed like a "him") fur was dirty and there was no collar to be seen, but the creature seemed friendly enough. He walked forward, tongue out, toward her.

Buffy tensed slightly, even to a Slayer, a wild dog could pose a problem. The dog stopped short of her, sniffed toward the food in her hands and whined pitifully. It was obviously intent on seducing her of her fries. "No, you're not getting my fries, a Slayer needs her food," said Buffy attempting to shoo the dog away (And on reflection, the creature looked a bit more like a coyote, than a dog). The creature just looked longingly from her to her fries, the same pitiful look that said "Feed me!" Finally, with a growl of irritation, she complied and the beast wolfed down the remains of her meal. Then it stiffened, and answered her growl with one of its own.

But her Slayer-enhanced instincts had already sensed peril. "You shouldn't be so quick to feed the hungry beasts, Buffy. You never know when they'll bite the hand that feeds them," Angelus was there, his lips looked human, if one ignored the trace of blood on them.

"What's the matter, jealous?" taunted Buffy, to cover her own pain. "Go home, boy." she commanded the dog, "The Slayer's just gotta take out some old trash!" With that she launched a flying kick at him and drew forth a stake.

The kick caught him in his perfect face, hurling him backwards as two other vamps lunged out of the darkness. The dog, in a bizarre display of fearlessness, leaped at one of them, its teeth sinking into the creature's shoulder, making it hiss in pain.

Buffy, meanwhile was beginning to have problems. She was having trouble watching Angelus and his buddy at the same time. As she moved to avoid the second vampire's rush, Angelus caught her a vicious kick to the ribs. Pain flared in her side and she felt bone give before more than human strength. The other vamp attempted to take advantage, rushing her. At the last instant she got the stake up and in his heart. He vanished into ashes.

"This night the Slayer is slain!" declared Angelus, his face a twisted parody of the one she'd loved. He kicked her beneath the chin, sending her sprawling. He leapt on her. She was ready with stake, but not ready enough. The wooden implement plunged into his stomach. He grabbed it, ripped it out of himself and hurled it away. "Now you die!" he hissed. "And all you love after!"

"Not in this lifetime." she promised and kicked his wounded belly, throwing him away from her. She got to her feet and they faced each other.

The dog was still pinning the other vampire, sustaining deep scratches on his flanks to do so. Angelus charged again. Buffy prepared to flip him with a tai chi move, but he'd feinted and snap kicked her in the knee. She fell and he was on her, punching and trying for the killing bite.

She shoved her cross against his flesh and he hissed in pain. But his agony strengthened him. He pounded her face into the road, Once, twice, three times. As she finally blacked out, she could swear the growls of the dog sounded almost...human.

*****

Scratches-at-Fleas saw the battle going poorly. Despite her skill, the girl was losing to the leech she fought, as her injury weakened her. As the vampire pounded her face, Scratches-at-Fleas shifted to the Hispo form.

The vampire fighting the large dog gasped in shock. In the space of seconds it had transformed into something out An American Werewolf in London. Its shock died as swiftly as it did though, Scratches knocked the thing's head from its shoulders with one swipe of his now huge paws. Then Scratches faced his final opponent.

Scratches-at-Fleas assumed the crinos form, and growled "Flee or die, leech!"

Angelus looked up to see a huge shape. It was easily seven feet tall, resembling the werewolves from The Howling, but far more menacing for its physical presence. The thing bounded forward with deceptive agility and knocked Angelus sprawling. The vampire rolled to his feet and hissed in rage. Then it turned and fled. There would be another time. There always was.

Scratches sniffed and licked the girl, but aside from steady breathing there was no response. He knew naught of this place, but the girl needed help. He gathered her still form in his arms and loped away to find the way home.

Fortune was with him tonight, for the humans were indoors. Those that weren't he easily avoided. He was growing frustrated though. He couldn't fully understand the human's signs. Some instinct made him stop before one store, "Fred's Antiques". He called upon his spirit gift and looked inside.

The inside was dark, but his gift made it seem nearly light as day. He saw what he needed inside, against the wall. His concentration cost him though, as pain burned across his huge shoulders and a gunshot echoed in the night.

"Silver bullets, fur-ball" grinned a vamped out, triumphant Angelus. "Time to get me a new rug and a tasty snack!" As the vampire aimed again, Scratches-at-Fleas acted.

Shielding the girl, he leapt through the plate glass window and strode to the mirror he'd seen inside. He rubbed his fetish tattoo and tried to concentrate, to banish impending death from his mind.

Angelus ran to the shattered window, gun held ready. Inside, he saw the werewolf, Buffy in his arms, leap at a mirror inside and vanish! In a rage he entered ran to the mirror, smashing it, trying to find a secret panel. Nothing! With the store's alarm stinging his ears, Angelus fled into the night.

*****

Pain. Pain and darkness. And now disembodied voice pierced Buffy's mind. "Whoa, major babeage," came a California surfer-like voice.

"Great, now even the dog's bring in strays," came a young, sarcastic, female voice.

"Grrrr!" this a growl, apparently in answer.

"Bite me, flea bag." came the girl's response.

"I should take care, Melissa," came another girl's voice, though this one sounded more faintly British, but not quite. "Scratches might take you up on the idea."

"Yeah, right. How come he gets to take home a stray and I don't?" asked Melissa.

"Because of what happened last time," came the older girl's voice.

"Yeah," said Surfer dude. "I kinda think Hanson would've wanted their lead singer back."

"Andru, why don't you french-kiss my- Hey, I think she's up!" With a groan Buffy opened her eyes.

The group clustered around her was eclectic to say the least. The guy, Andru, sat in a wheelchair. He wore VR goggles that covered his eyes and wrapped around his stringy blonde hair. Torn jeans and a food stained "Neuromancer" T-shirt completed the ensemble. The girl had passed eclectic and into the strange. She was tiny, maybe five feet tops and probably weighed less than ninety pounds. She appeared to be asian but it was hard to tell. Her eyes were outlined in a raccoon mask of black make-up. Her hair was dyed albino white with purple, red and green streaks through it. She wore a black fishnet halter top and what appeared to be white bike shorts. She was glaring at Buffy, who recognized her as a vampire.

The other girl seemed unaware or unconcerned about her companion's undead state. She seemed the most normal, if one ignored the chain mail armor she wore and the broadsword, presumably hers that leaned against the wall. Buffy could sense something off about her as well. Meanwhile the dog she'd seen earlier was sitting up seemingly grinning.

Buffy looked around, she was apparently in someone's bedroom, maybe the vamp's. Posters of Hanson, Jewel and some group called "Baby Chorus" adorned the walls. There were no windows. A florescent light provided illumination.

Buffy licked her lips and looked from one face to another. "Um, who are you guys."

Melissa looked back at her and replied. "We're the Rat Pack. And you're gonna help us save the world."

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