Buffy’s jaw dropped. Her eyes were big. “You did that! You were the one that blew up Jupiter” She said. Then it hit her. “You killed the First!”
“Yes.” said Andorra. “Even after the expense of the planet killer I still had a net score of nearly half a billion points. Of course, that does not include my share of the points earned assisting my brother kill the senior partners.”
“The Senior…” Buffy’s voice trailed off. She remembered meeting a Yautja in the lobby of the Wolf Ram and Hart building when she was Hive.
“That was your brother!” she exclaimed.
“You’ve met?” Andorra was smart. She figured it out. The only other person in the Wolf Ram and Hart building at the time of the assault was a beast of incredible power, a beast that had torn her fleet apart with her bare hands, a beast that had torn open space itself and threaded to kill millions of her kinsmen in a hellish vacuum energy fire.
“LEAVE THIS PLANET AND NEVER RETURN IN FORCE AGAIN!”
That voice still haunted her. Andorra reached for a curved blade. She pressed a stud. The blade expanded to its full two foot length. She slowly turned towards Buffy. Andorra watched Buffy’s face as she worked it out. When she did they looked at each other for long moments. Buffy pointed to the Null family crest burned into her cheek.
“For the duration of the hunt.” She said. Reluctantly, Andorra put the blade away. She would deal with the slayer later. Buffy stood.
“Hey, you got a bathroom around here anywhere?” She asked. “I gotta wash all this hellmouth dirt off of me.” Andorra pointed to the hallway.
Buffy could tell this was a girl’s ship. The bathroom was excellent. It was larger than her bedroom back home plus it held a huge array of soaps and disinfectants, first aid and surgical kits. There was something over in the corner that looked like a toilet. It was huge. She would have to figure out a way to use it without falling into it. Buffy found something soft enough to use to wash her face. The cloth felt weird. It vibrated against her skin. The nanobots in the quick repair patch not only cleaned her skin but made minor repairs at the cellular level. Over the sink was a mirror. Buffy tugged at the edge of the mirror. It opened to reveal even more strange bottles full of strange liquids.
“I wonder what sort of conditioner she uses to keep those dreadlocks so clean and manageable?” Buffy grinned as she slammed the medicine cabinet shut. Willow stood behind her. Her hair was stringy and dirty from the shallow grave they had placed her in. The side of her face was gone. White bone jutted out of ribbons of torn flesh. Buffy remembered what she tasted like. Her mouth filled with the memory of the dry gamey taste of Willow’s flesh. There was blood on her clothing. Buffy turned. Willow was still there. A million tiny ants crawled in Buffy’s stomach. Willow spoke.
“Messiah.” She said. Her voice sounded thick and distorted. Buffy had eaten the vocal cords. Slowly Buffy extended her hand towards the rotten image of Willow.
“In the cold waste!” Willow screamed. She exploded into a cloud of dust. Buffy just stood there.
When she returned to the control room Buffy appeared calm. She was anything but calm. Buffy had just finished washing the dead flesh of her dead friend off of her skin. She could tell by the smell that it was no phantom. That was Willow. Buffy understood the message. She informed Andorra. The ship turned and set a course for Kadath in the cold arctic waste.
15. chapter 15
Cordelia watched the carrier land. It was a flat black helicopter with twin rotating blades. It was often used as a troop or cargo carrier. Today it held something special. It held the avatar of a living god. The form of Mesektet lay frozen in the amber of the binding spell they’d used to capture her. Her body gave off a pulsing green and white glow. Cordelia watched through the glass of the observation lounge as Mesektet was wheeled past her. Cordelia could feel the sheer power radiating off of her. She knew that in only a few hundred hours Mesektet would break free of the binding spell and probability kill them all. Her eyes caught sight of Angel and Gunn walking behind Mesektet. Angel shot her a glare of pure malice.
“Soul boy is not happy.” Cordelia thought. “Maybe he just needs to sit in the dark and brood for a while.” Cordelia turned and exited from the observation lounge followed by her assistant.
“Have you contacted her?” She asked.
“No.” her assistant answered. “All attempts to contact Illyria have gone unanswered.”
“That idiot must not finish the ritual of invocation.” Cordelia said. The ritual of invocation was old magic. It was a spell thought lost to everyone but the Engineers. Having the ritual of invocation lost to time kept the peace. The Powers That Be allowed the Old Ones to remain in the Deeper Well because they believed there was no way to resurrect them. Illyria with her blood memories had changed everything. When that spell completed, Messiah would rise, the Old Ones would be regenerated and the Earth would shatter.
“I don’t have time to pamper that child.” Cordelia thought. “I’m going to see her myself.” Her assistant looked at her. He was shocked. A direct confrontation between the Great Old Ones and the Powers That Be was forbidden. Cordelia knew what he was thinking.
“Believe me.” She said. “If Messiah rises the rules are out the window. I will confront the Old One directly. Her assistant understood. Cordelia unleashed her power and disappeared in a burst of light.
She stepped out of the shadows. She was a beautiful woman with dark hair and a round face. Her eyes were brown. Her skin glowed with all the powers of the Powers That Be. Cordelia boldly walked up to the alien that sat on the black throne. She stood at the base of the stairs that lead up to the throne of Queens. Illyria raised her head and looked at her. First there was shock then recognition. She recognized the energy radiating from the thing that wore the woman’s body. This was one of the elect chosen by the Engineers to ascend to a higher dimension. This was her Judas brother. This was one of the creatures that had betrayed her.