Chapter 19
Hard Choices

“What happens to Spike?” Dawn asked.

“I-I can’t tell you.” Buffy looked uncomfortable for the first time since she had come through the portal.

“He gets killed doesn’t he?” Dawn said casting her eyes downwards.

“Yes, at a slayers hand.” Buffy said still looking uncomfortable, she leaned back in her chair, her hair moved like it was water and flowed over the chair’s back.

“Can you get him into the army?” Dawn asked.

“No I couldn’t.” Buffy said.

Dawn buried her head in her hands and Buffy could tell she was almost crying.

“But you could.” Buffy said.

“What?” Dawn’s head flew up and she looked her sister directly in the eyes.

“Only one who has a connection can sponsor a new recruit.” Buffy said moving forwards and closer to Dawn, “You and Spike are soul mates.”

“Spike has no soul.” Dawn said almost automatically, many people had said the same thing over the centuries.

“Yes, he does, it’s not the same as a human soul but he does have one.” Buffy said with a small smile.

“So what do I have to do?” Dawn asked, “To be a member of this army?”

“You swear allegiance to God, then when you die you are transformed, like you saw when I died.” Buffy said, then frowned, “Well that’s how it works with humans, with you being the Key I have no idea how we do this.”

“Would Joseph know? Because I’m not saying yes till I know what’s going to happen.” Dawn said, metaphorically putting her foot down.

“I don’t know, he is the oldest surviving member of the army, so he may know.” Buffy said looking thoughtful.

“Ask him, please?” Dawn asked.

“Okay.” Buffy said as she got up and headed towards the door to the study.

“Joseph, may I speak with you?” Buffy said putting her head round the corner into the living room.

“Certainly.” Joseph said getting up and walking towards her.

“How will Dawn be initiated?” Buffy asked.

“She will be duplicated, the duplicate will not have all the Key power and that will be left here to live the rest of her life.” Joseph said.

“But it will have all Dawn’s memories?” Buffy asked looking a little worried.

“Yes, up to the point she was duplicated, with a few minor alterations.” Joseph said with a small cold smile.

“What alterations?” Buffy asked, she looked shocked at the idea.

“Her memories of our meetings.” Joseph said.

A thought occurred to Buffy, “You said she won’t have all the Key power, keyword all, what do you mean?”

“The duplicate will be able to move through dimensions a few times but it will run out of power and it will be stuck in the last dimension it is in.” Joseph said.

“By this point she will be Glory, right?” Buffy asked.

“Yes.” Joseph said.

“I’ll go tell her.” Buffy said turning and heading towards the study.

Buffy found Dawn in pretty much the same position she had left her in, sitting on the chair, with her head in her hands, still trying to come to terms with what her future held.

“Dawn?” Buffy asked gently.

“Mmm?” Dawn answered looking up, Buffy could see she had been crying.

“I found the answers you wanted.” Buffy said walking over to her chair.

“So how would it happen?” Dawn asked her voice was breaking slightly.

Buffy repeated what Joseph had told her.

“When it happens can I move through time to when Spike dies?” Dawn asked the question that had been at the forefront of her mind.

“If that is what you want.” Buffy said with a small smile.

“Good, then I agree.” Dawn said.

“Then the next choice is up to you completely, I cannot give you any advise on it, okay?” Buffy had a very serious look on her face.

“I understand.” Dawn said her face matching the seriousness of her tone.

“When?” Buffy said simply.

“Twenty years?” Dawn asked.

“Done.” Buffy said standing.

“I’ll miss you.” Dawn said knowingly.

“What makes you think I’m going?” Buffy said with a small smile as Dawn stood to face her.

“Because you have to.” Dawn replied simply.

“You always were smarter than you let on.” Buffy told her .

Buffy and Joseph opened a portal right there in Dawn’s home and departed the world.

“So what did you two talk about?” Spike asked as the relaxed on the couch.

“Ask me that again some other time.” Dawn answered, she was sleepy and within minutes she was asleep with her head in Spike’s lap.

“Sure think, Lil-bit.” Spike said quietly, calling her by the name he hadn’t called her in almost five hundred years.

The next nineteen years passed way too fast for Dawn’s liking, major leaps were made in medicine and technology, so much so that in the year 4544 the Earth caught the attention of an alien race that decided to make contact. The Novian’s were that first extraterrestrials that humanity had encountered, no one knew what the consequences would be. For it was unknown at the time but the Novian’s carried within them the keys to eventual downfall of mankind.

Hundreds of years earlier the Novian race suffered a plague of biblical proportions, trillions died, the geneticists found a way to stop the virus but they couldn’t rid themselves of it completely. So when they came to Earth the virus spread to humanity, it would take another ten years for it to start killing but by then this would all be academic to Dawn.

It was late in 2545 and Dawn was in her governmental office reading through some reports of a major inter-species conflict that was brewing between the Frogathy Demons and a faction of Novians. Dawn’s eyes flicked up and scanned the room, she had a buzzing at the back of her brain that told her that an interdimensional portal was opening.

Suddenly the room quaked and quivered and a portal opened just three feet in front of her desk. From it stepped Buffy followed by Joseph.

“Dawny!” Buffy exclaimed as she rushed round her desk to hug her sister.

“Buffy, I’d almost forgotten, it’s time isn’t it?” Dawn said she sounded sad.

“Yes, but don’t worry.” Buffy said raising Dawn’s head so she could look into her eyes, “Everything has been planned.”

Dawn noticed at that point another figure had come from the portal, “Who…?”

The figure stepped into the light. It was Dawn, of course there was no sign of life in her eyes she was just an animated shell.

“My duplicate?” Dawn asked.

“Yes, all you need to do is place your hands on either side of it’s head, we will do the rest.” Joseph said.

Dawn did as he had said, she heard them chanting in a language she had never heard before. She felt a small electrical tingle run down her arms and into the duplicate.

The tingle increased until her arms felt numb, and suddenly it stopped as did the chanting.

“It is done.” Joseph said.

Dawn felt a tingle all over her body, which had started to give off a bright green glow. Her body began to morph, it looked to Buffy and Joseph as if her body was aging. Soon her body reached it’s peak age of 25. She felt her powers increasing and her control of them improving. Her hair took on a glow that made sunlight look dark. Her clothes changed too, they became pure white and more elegant.

Dawn felt something hard pressing against her back, she moved her arm backwards already knowing what it would find. Her hand wrapped round the handle and she drew her sword, it was pure green and glowed in the light, she stared at it with a smile on her face.

“Wow.” her voice was different it had a quality that made the hair on the back of people’s necks stand on end.

“Glad you like it little sis.” Buffy said, “And now it’s time to go.”

“The duplicate will be identical to me?” Dawn asked.

“Yes it will act and think like you it is essentially you, we have done something similar to what you have when you brought your family back.” Joseph said.

“Let’s go, I want to go and save Spike.” Dawn said leading the way into the portal, which closed behind them.

The duplicate Dawn took her seat and began reading the reports that were on the desk.