The Demonic War

Chapter 12
Old Power

It had been more than a year since Dawn had been promoted to Warlord, and so far she was not liking it much. Over the last six months she had been plagued by administrative duties and she wasn’t seeing her friends as much as she would have liked. Also she was having trouble sleeping, she was being haunted by nightmares, they seemed to be stemming from when she had become separated by a fraction of a second when Willow and Tara had moved them through time.

The voice she had head that had helped her escape, she was becoming more and more obsessed with finding out who it was. With that thought fresh in her mind she was remembering other incidents both during her time as an angel and as a human. Some had helped her others had steered her down the wrong path.

“Dawn?” a voice startled her out of her reprieve.

She spun her chair round to see Spike standing there.

“Déjà vu.” Dawn said with a smile.

“What?” Spike looked puzzled.

“Back when we tried to leave Earth all those many years ago.” Dawn reminded him.

“Ahh.” Spike smiled as he realised what she was talking about.

“You came to talk about something?” Dawn asked leaning back in her chair.

“Yes, Buffy’s back from her scouting mission.” Spike said.

“How did it go?” Dawn asked, she had been through this routine many time now.

“She found something.” Spike said.

This was different, most didn’t find what they were looking for, “What?”

“You’d better come and see for yourself.” Spike said.

“Okay.” Dawn said getting up and leading the way out of the room.

Minutes later in the Great Hall of the Angel Directorship building Dawn found herself looking a an image recording of the object Buffy had found.

It appeared to be an odd shaped archway that seemed to be made of an iron like compound with scrawling writing around the edges, writing which Dawn recognised.

“Shevlack?” Dawn said the name of the dead demonic language as if it were a swear word.

“Yes, we believe so.” Mary said as she came up behind her, “We have a team quarantining the dimension, we have no idea what could happen.”

“Why?” Spike asked looking at the image.

“Because the Shevlack demons were AU-shifters.” Mary answered.

“AU-shifters?” Buffy asked, “What are they?”

“Beings that can move through alternate universes, they were supposed to have died out over a billion years.” Dawn answered.

“How do you know all this?” Buffy asked looking at her sister.

“I had a lot of time to do research.” Dawn said smiling.

“I’m dispatching you with your platoon to investigate.” Mary said looking at Dawn, “I’ll provide you with a full security detail.”

“When do we leave?” Dawn asked.

“Right now if you are ready.” Mary smiled at Dawn enthusiasm.

“Spike?” Dawn looked at her lover.

“Ready when you are.” he smiled.

“Then let’s get Willow and Tara and get over there.” Buffy said.

Less than an hour later the three warriors and two witches emerged from an interdimensional portal. Spike and Buffy flanking Dawn and Willow and Tara bringing up the rear.

“Warlord.” an angel waiting at the portal entrance saluted at her.

“Corporal.” Dawn said in way of greeting.

“If you will follow me, I’ll take you to the artefact.” the corporal said indicating a path off to his left.

“Lead the way.” Dawn said to him, then turning to look at Buffy, “How close did you get to the artefact?”

“Within three feet.” Buffy answered as she walked beside her.

“Hmm.” Dawn looked thoughtful.

“What is it?” Spike asked.

“Their were rumours, back when we were human.” Dawn said, “That the Earth Government found a Shevlack Gateway, they called it.”

“Did they?” Willow asked.

“Yes it looked like the one we’re going to see.” Dawn answered.

“You saw that one? The one on Earth?” Tara almost sounded amazed.

“We managed to get in at night.” Spike said remembering that night, “The Earth Military lost over a thousand soldiers when they activated it.”

“We had best hurry then.” the corporal said.

“Why?” Dawn asked looking concerned.

“Because my platoon commander is planning on activating it.” he answered.

“Then run.” Dawn said as she broke into a sprint, followed closely by the others.

As they neared the base camp they could hear the sound of preparations being made, and it sounded like they were almost ready.

“Damn!” Dawn seemed to go into a crouch then a running stance but she wasn’t touching the ground anymore. Suddenly she was no longer with them, instead she was a vanishing shape across the landscape.

“What was that?” the corporal asked.

“Dawn at her best.” Spike answered with a smile.

“Come on she’s going to need our help.” Buffy said as she cranked her run up a notch.

The other four did the same.

“Prepare to initiate power transfer.” the base commander yelled.

“Power ready sir.” came the answer.

“Monitoring stations at the ready.” the commander looked to his left.

“Ready and active sir.” the technician called back.

“Activate power transfer.” the commander ordered.

“Power is act …” the technician was cut off mid-sentence as a ball of yellow light erupted from the gateway.

As soon as the light touched an angel they turned to dust, instantly. The ball moved outwards in all directions.

Dawn approached the ball just as it stopped moving outwards.

“NNNOOOOOO!” Dawn’s scream could be heard for hundreds of miles.

She managed to stop just feet away from the edge of the ball of light.

She stayed there watching the pure chaos erupting inside the ball.

“You fools!” Dawn cried, there were tears running down her face, “You have no idea what you have done”

Buffy, Spike, Willow and Tara were following the corporal, when they saw the ball of light, unfortunately the corporal went barrelling into it probably in a vain attempt to rescue some of his comrades.

The instant he entered he turned to dust.

“Holy shit.” Spike swore.

“No, unholy would be more appropriate.” Dawn said, her voice carried the sorrow of millions.

“Why what has happened?” Tara asked.

“When the gateway was activated it began to tap the geothermal power of the planet.” Dawn said, “The power is pouring through the gateway.”

“And what will that do?” Buffy asked peering into the ball.

“The power will continue to be sucked from the planet until there is nothing left.” Dawn said as she slumped to the ground.

“So that will only destroy this planet, when the power is exhausted the gateway will shut down won’t it?” Willow asked looking down at Dawn then at the ball.

“No, it will continue to draw power from the interdimensional spaces until there is nothing left.” Dawn said as she buried her face in her hands and began to sob.

“Dear god.” breathed Willow.