Chapter 11
Another Gift

5 August 2523
Presidential Limousine
Pulling up outside the main TriLo warehouse.
United States of America

“Here we go ma’am.” the driver said looking round, “and may I offer my condolences over the untimely deaths of your last driver and security co-ordinator.”

“Thank you, it was an unexpected turn of events.” the President said, “Could you please accompany me into the warehouse.”

“Certainly ma’am.” he answered.

The driver got out and opened the door for the President, who promptly hopped out and began walking towards the warehouse, the way she walked was almost lion like, almost like she was stalking prey. Of course this was almost exactly what she was doing.

When she reached the main entrance she yanked the door open and stalked in followed by the driver. Inside were several dozen vampires setting up a catwalk and scaffolding that was about twenty feet off the floor.

“What the fuck!” cried the driver as three vampires jumped him.

“Don’t harm him, we need him to open the portal.” the President said as she morphed back into her normal vampire guise.

“W-who a-are you?” stammered the driver.

“I am Darla, and you, my sweet, are a sacrifice.” she answered with a smile.

The driver screamed as he was hauled away and locked in a holding room.

“Is everything on schedule?” Darla asked the nearest vampire.

“Yes, master, the scaffolding will be ready for the sacrifice at the time you wanted.” he said keeping just out of arms reach of Darla, he knew that she was almost completely insane, for the last 500 years she had worked towards one goal, finishing the work of her lost love, Angelus.

“Get the clerics and get that sacrifice anointed.” she said stalking towards the base of the scaffolding.

“Where did the portal open?” Jennifer asked.

“It was a branch of a law firm called Wolfram & Hart, it was in the south of town.” Dawn answered, she was fighting the pangs of sadness that she still felt 500 years after her sister had given her life again for the world.

“I think it was brought out by TriLo, they tore down the offices and put up a warehouse.” Spike told them, Dawn looked at him and the question in her eyes asked why he had kept track of that, “I thought Darla might resurface and try to finish Angelus’ work, but there hasn’t been a peep from her for almost 400 years.”

“So why would the President want to open a portal?” Gillian asked.

“She must be under the influence of a demon of some sort.” Cole-Pierce answered.

“A Thrall Demon?” Jennifer asked.

“No, this is out of type for them, could be a Chu’Chuka, they always want to destroy the world, not to mention destroying every demon dimension.” her watcher said.

“Why would they want to do that?” Jonathan asked.

“They have a lot of repressed anger.” Spike said with a small smile.

“Do we have any idea when the ritual needs to be performed in order to open the portal?” Gillian asked.

“Well Angelus opened the portal at about nine-thirty at night.” Dawn said.

“Then we have a bit of time to find a way to stop her.” Jennifer said looking at her timepiece, “It’s five-twenty now, so lets hit the books.”

“We’ll go scout the warehouse see if they are there.” Dawn said as she and Spike got up from their seats.

“Okay but no heroics we want you two alive to help us when we take on the President.” Cole-Pierce said.

“You got it.” Spike said as he followed Dawn out the door.

Outside Dawn turned to Spike, “If she opens a portal it’s going to take slayer’s blood to close it.”

“I know, we have to find the President and stop her.” Spike said his face getting a determined look.

“Right, do we go get armed up?” Dawn asked as they began walking.

“Yea, be a good idea.” Spike said as they headed towards his crypt.

“So what do you think is controlling the President?” Dawn said trying to start a conversation.

“Dunno, could be anything, that watcher won’t find the demon responsible, but he may find a way to stop the President.” Spike said, Dawn could tell he was thinking of Buffy and Angel, both had died because he couldn’t help them.

“It will be okay.” Dawn said laying a hand on his arm.

“Is the sacrifice ready?” Darla asked as she walked into the office.

“Yes, ma’am, he is.” the vampire cleric said indicating the unconscious driver.

“Good get him up to the top of the scaffolding we begin in twenty minutes.”

“Spike.” Dawn called him in a stage whisper.

“Yea?” he replied.

“It’s Darla, she’s here in the office.” Dawn was taking a peek through the office window.

“Shit.” Spike swore, “We have to go tell the others.”

“We can’t take her?” Dawn asked.

“Not a chance, she’d kill us in a heartbeat.” Spike said adamantly, “Well one of your heartbeats anyway.”

They quietly headed off to get Jennifer and the gang.

They didn’t have to walk very far, they met the gang about five minutes walk from the warehouse.

“What did you find?” Cole-Pierce asked, he was carrying a rather long broadsword with another sword attached to his back. The rest of the gang were similarly armed, Jennifer, however, had the most weaponry, she had three swords a crossbow and several stake launchers.

Spike and Dawn were even more armed, they had between them five swords two crossbows, four bottles of holy water, three stakes each and two launchers fully loaded, plus Spike had in his coat pocket a mini-uzi with bullets made of melted crosses and the hollow tips filled with holy water.

“Darla, she’s there now preparing a sacrifice and she has the book.” Spike said.

“The President is working for Darla?” Gillian asked.

“No, I heard a rumour that Darla had some dealings with Dracula before the Watchers Council was able to contain him.” Spike said, “The rumour was that she had learned some Gypsy tricks, including the morphing of facial features.”

“My god, she could be anyone.” Cole-Pierce said.

“O’gre mon-tok see’look new’ay caole me’tok.” Darla had a knife that was big enough to be classed as a small sword at the driver’s throat.

Her vampire minions were standing on the ground chanting the same line over and over again, “A koo’ne Ku’chaka.”

Darla slit the drivers throat and watched as the blood dripped down towards the floor. about five feet down it hit a solid object and a blowing ball appeared, Darla looked on and smiled.

“Hey, Blondie, ya forgotten something?” came a voice from behind her.

Darla turned and saw standing before her Jennifer with Spike and Dawn behind her, “You three are going to regret this intrusion.”

“It’s not just us three.” Dawn said pointing towards the ground where the rest of the gang had taken out the vampire minions.

Darla screamed a scream of pure insanity, the last ounce of coherent thoughts in her mind broke and she lost it completely, she ran at Jennifer with her knife drawn, she knocked the now dead driver off the scaffolding.

Jennifer countered Darla’s attack with an expertise that only a professional could have. She drove Darla back towards the edge of the scaffolding.

“I cannot kill you, because you can close the portal!” Darla screamed at her, “But I can put you out for the count!”

“Just try it!” Jennifer yelled back as she ran forwards, Darla lowered her knife at the very last moment.

Dawn and Spike both gasped as they saw the tip of the knife emerge from her back.

Jennifer collapsed atop Darla pushing her back over the edge and falling after her.

“NNNOOOO!” screamed Darla as she fell, when she hit the portal she burst into flames and turned to dust.

Jennifer was through all the pain wondering why she hadn’t hit the portal yet, she looked up at her feet and saw Spike’s hands clasped around her ankles. Her blood dripped from the knife wound and fell into the portal, which fluctuated and belched, spiting out a smoking form before it collapsed entirely.

Dawn and Spike pulled Jennifer up and applied a temporary bandage, they then helped her down to the floor where the rest of the gang were gathered around the smoking form.

“Dawn.” Cole-Pierce said very quietly.

“What?” she said.

“You need to come and look at this.” he said, still very quiet.

Dawn left Jennifer with Spike and walked over to the form and rolled it over in order to look at it’s face.

“Buffy.” Dawn gasped.