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Author's Note: Due to the changes I have made, the plot line of this is the same in essentials, with dialogue from the original episode, but with more of build-up, similar to what Joss did with the end of Season 2. Or at least, what I was aiming for. Enjoy.

Primeval.

The first evil in the world is never easily defined. Some believe it was the devil in the form of a serpent who gave Eve the apple, thus exiling the human from the garden of Eden. Others believe that man was the first evil to ever live upon the earth, each human being born with sin inside them from the act of their conception. And then there are those who believe that evil came to the earth in the form of demons, known as the Ancient Ones, who were forced into another reality when humans came to exist; all save one who lived off the blood of this new race, until he created his very own sub-demon species, who wait patiently and silently for the Old Ones to return.

Man however, is not without intelligence, and whether one uses such talent for good or ill is depended upon the nature of oneself. History has proven time and time again that humans are capable of the darkest evil ever known or conceived. Morals, education, motive, money, these count for nothing when a cause needs preserving or a desire for vengeance to be exacted. Rarely do those who perform these deeds realise the damage they do not only to others, but to themselves as well. Memories of the act prey upon their minds, haunting the rest of their days, colouring every future sin. Redemption, if they believe in such, never comes without a price, and often a heavy one, no matter how goodly sought.

And yet, because this world depends on balance, history has also proven that humans are capable of the greatest compassion and goodness ever known or conceived. Heroes and heroines alike are born of these two opposing breeds, their end often tragic no matter their preference for good or evil, either born out of insurmountable odds, or a mistake they tried to prevent, were forced to watch take place, or as a result of too much trust in another, blinding them to their failures or future fate. Despite this seemingly gloomy fate, there is often hope waiting in the wings, giving them the certainty that their deaths were not in vein, or that all is never truly lost. Evil may triumph over good, or vice versa, but neither side will ever achieve absolute victory, for there is always a light in the darkness and darkness to every light.

This is why, when those two foes battle one another, the end result is never certain.


"What's wrong?" Angel asked his beloved, as he wrapped his arms around her slim waist as she stood before the window of their master suite on the first floor of the Mansion on Crawford Street, looking out at the view it gave of the star lit sky.

"I was just thinking about those visions I had while I was ill," Buffy answered, her tone thoughtful, slightly distant, though some part of her spared a moment of awareness to let her hands rest on his, where they had clasped together around her waist. "If the ones of the future might true, and what I would do if they did."

"And what would you do?" Angel asked her softly.

"I don't know," Buffy replied, a sigh escaping her as she leaned against him, savouring the comfort his embrace provided. "I told you once that I never thought about the future. And it's still true, in a way. When you face the prospect of death every day in your life, all you can think about is the now, otherwise you take life for granted, never realising that it's the only one you have. I know there's a good chance I'll never live beyond the years of an average slayer. I also know that I could just die walking across the road one day. And though I think about the future, especially when faced with dreams like this, I never plan or dream about it, because I know nothing is ever certain and something always gets in the way."

"Yet?" Angel prompted, feeling that she had more to say.

Buffy's hands came to rest on his, idly stroking the slender fingers as she continued. "And yet I cannot see myself leading an army of slayers into battle, even though I know most of my slayer prophecy related dreams come true."

"My love," Angel began, after a brief kiss to her blond tresses upon which his chin rested, "you are the most capable woman I have ever known. When you told me about that dream, I had no doubt that you were up to the challenge of leading an army into battle. Look at your life so far. You once doubted that you could have a normal life with your slaying. Yet you've managed to do so. You feared you would be alone because of your calling, and yet you're not alone, nor will you ever be, I promise. Beloved, you are more capable than you give yourself credit for."

Buffy smiled before turning her head to face him, the light from the stars illuminating her face, displaying the moistness of her eyes. "You are another I never take for granted, Angel. It seems so strange that two years ago I thought I had lost you forever. When you hold me like this, I almost believe that it has always been this way."

He lifted and turned his head, allowing her to look at him more freely. "I promise you beloved, that I will always be by your side, no matter what the future may bring."

There was nothing she could reply to that oath with but a kiss. She stretched upwards, his embrace losing to allow their lips to touch, a hand rising in a sensuous journey from her waist to caress the smooth line of her jaw, supporting her as their lips continued to savour each other's warmth, security, desire and above all, never ending love. Around them the stars faded away from their vision as their eyelids closed their gaze, sending them into the joyful darkness that was their two souls united, transforming it into light.

 


"Okay, one last shot," Willow murmured before tapping at some keys. There was a moment of silence and then two quiet gasps were wrung from the resident computer geniuses of the slayerettes. "Wow. I didn't think that would work."

"What wouldn't work?" Buffy queried from her place by Angel in the living room of Giles and Jenny's apartment on Oakpark Street. She had been cured for a week now, and was back up to her usual slayer speed, coupled with almost antsy desire to get rid of Adam and the remnants of the Initiative once and for all, causing Willow and Oz to make an attempt to hack their way into the rest of the disks which Spike had managed to con out of Adam's lair in the caves while she was ill.

"The disks are decrypted," Willow replied.

"Actually," Oz corrected, studying the computer readout on the screen of his laptop, "they decrypted themselves, but we almost had them."

"What do they say?" Giles asked.

"A bunch of stuff we already know about 314," Willow remarked, as she skimmed the documents on the view screen of her laptop. "And there's also some final phase where Adam manufactures a bunch of creepy cyber-demonoids like him. There's a special lab in The Initiative complex, but it doesn't say where."

"Well give the demon his due," Buffy remarked. "He thought this one out."

"What do you mean?" Tara asked.

"You know how overcrowded the containment cells have been at the Initiative?" The slayer paused for nods from her friends then continued. "Those demons were just too easy to catch. It's like they wanted to be in that place."

"The Trojan horse," Giles realised.

"Adam's gonna make sure the demons attack the Initiative from the inside," Buffy added for clarity.

"Demons versus soldiers. Massacre, massacre," Xander muttered.

"And Adam has a neat pile of body parts to start assembling his army," Angel continued. "Diabolical."

"Does anybody else miss the Mayor, I just wanna be a big snake?" Xander asked.

"I've got to shut him down, Giles," Buffy declared. "His final phase is about to start."

"We need to warn the Initiative," Giles pointed out.

"They're not gonna listen to me," Buffy reminded him.

"Or me," Xander added.

"Okay, I'm confused," Doyle began. "Adam has this evil plan. Why is he so anxious for you to know about it?"

Buffy shrugged, unconcerned about that desire and the possible motive which lay behind it. "He wants me there. Probably figures I'll even the kill ratio."

"He's not worried you might kill, oh say, him?" Xander queried.

Buffy shook her head. "No, he's really not."

"Does Adam have any weaknesses?" Wesley asked. "Like his power source for example?"

"His power source is uranium core embedded somewhere inside his chest," Oz replied, reading the information on the disks. "Probably near the spine."

"Great, so we just ask him to lie down quietly while we do some exploratory surgery," Anya muttered aside to her boyfriend.

"What about magic?" Willow asked Jenny. "Some kind of, I don't know... uranium extracting spell?"

Everyone glanced at her in disbelief, rationale and logic, despite all, still managing to have some reign over their intellect during this strategy session.

Willow sighed. "I know. I'm reaching."

"Perhaps a paralysing spell," Jenny suggested.

Her husband rose from his seat and fetched a book off the shelves. "Good idea. Only I can't perform the incantation for this. And you shouldn't risk it in your condition."

"Right. Don't you have to speak it in Sumerian or something?" Tara sought to confirm.

"I do speak Sumerian," Giles informed them. "Anyway, it's not that. Only an experienced witch can enchant it, and you'd have to be within striking distance of this object. I may have dealt with magic before, but I was never highly trained enough to handle this spell alone without someone else who is to help."

"See what you get for takin' French instead of Sumerian?" Cordelia commented.

"What was I thinking?" Buffy remarked, defeatedly collapsing back into her soulmate's arms with a sigh of despair.

"So no problem, all we need is combo Buffy, her with Slayer strength, Giles' multi-lingual know how, and Willow's witchy power," Xander suggested.

Giles looked at him.

"Yeah, don't tell me," Xander added, misinterpreting the expression. "I'm just full of helpful suggestions."

"As a matter of fact, you are," Giles said slowly.

 


"Nervous?" Willow asked in such a tone.

It was two hours later. The Slayerettes, plan in hand, had gathered themselves at the battlefield, otherwise known as Initiative Headquarters.

Xander replied to his redhead friend. "No way. I'm full of that good old kamikaze spirit."

"Xander," Giles rebuked. "Just because this is never gonna work, there's no need to be negative."

"The adjoining spell, is it powerful enough to defeat Adam?" Cordelia asked.

"It's very powerful, " Giles affirmed. "It's also extraordinarily dangerous."

"Buffy, are you sure you're up to this?" Angel asked her.

She smiled at him. "Yes, for the fortieth time, I am recovered from my illness. Now, game faces, guys," Buffy ordered. "We're going in." She kicked the window.

One by one they climbed inside.

Then, slayer in the lead, they walked to the entrance for the lift shaft that descended down to the underground complex. Angel, Spike and Wesley secured climbing ropes and slowly everyone started to climb.

"How you doing?" Buffy asked her best friend as she levelled with her, having waited until everyone else was secure before descending herself.

"Super," Willow replied. "What was I thinking, using stairs all this time?" She smiled. "Actually, it's not as scary as I thought."

They reached the bottom of the shaft, then made their way to the entrance. Discovering that it was locked, Giles took a crowbar to it.

"Okay, we stick together, then everything should be fine," Buffy remarked. "Everybody ready? Let's..."

She trailed off as the door opened to reveal five members of the Initiative with laser rifles.

"Do this," Buffy finished slowly, before making her first move. She kicked at the front most one, dislodging the gun out of his hand.

Angel did the same to another, and Spike to a third.

Buffy struck out and knocked the fourth to the floor, then grabbed the fifth, locking his arm behind his back. "This is gonna sound lame, but take me to your leader," she said.


"You've got some nerve, lady," the Colonel remarked as soon as the slayer and her friends had entered his offices. "You think you and your friends can just keep waltzing into a government installation brandishing weapons like....." he trailed off, looking puzzled at the device in Willow's hands.

"It's a gourd." She informed him.

"Magic gourd," Giles corrected.

"What kind of freaks are you people?" The Colonel asked.

"Adam is here, Colonel. In the Initiative," Buffy informed him.

The Colonel was sceptical. "Nice try."

"Those overcrowded containment cells of yours: courtesy of Adam," the slayer added. "He's pulling a Trojan Horse on you, he's just waiting....."

The Colonel shook his head. "Everything in this installation is under 24-hour surveillance."

"Including the secret lab?" Angel asked.

"Including everything!" The Colonel affirmed. Then he heard what Angel had asked him. "What secret lab?"

"The one Adam's been using," Buffy replied. "The one built for the final stage of the 314 project."

The Colonel looked at them blankly.

"And you have no idea what I'm talking about," Buffy added.

"I know everything that goes on around here," the Colonel scoffed. "A tick on a mouse couldn't get in without my knowing it. And if Adam wants to try we're ready for him."

"Jolly good," Giles remarked sarcastically. "How exactly do you plan to get close enough to Adam to remove his power source?"

"Hit him simultaneously with multiple taser blasts," the Colonel answered. "Incapacitate him with as much voltage as we can muster."

"Great plan," Xander remarked. "That's right up there with 'duck and cover.'"

"I've seen Adam hit with taser blasts," Buffy informed him. "He feeds on it. And now you're gonna provide him with an all-you-can-eat buffet?"

"You telling me my business?" The Colonel countered.

"This... is not your business. It's mine. You, the Initiative, the boys at the Pentagon, you're all in way over your heads. Messing with primeval forces you have absolutely no comprehension of."

"And you do?" The Colonel queried arrogantly.

Buffy glared at him. "I'm the Slayer. You're playing on my turf."

"Up there, maybe," the Colonel allowed. "But down here, I'm the one who's in control."

At that moment, the room was abruptly bathed in darkness, undermining his statement in one second.

"Sir," A soldier remarked. "The power grid's down. Backup's not responding. We're locked in."


Deep in the bowels of the Initiative, Adam pressed the off button for the main power grid, followed by the one that controlled the security around the holding area. His gaze was fixed upon a video screen, where a scientist and a soldier were walking.

"This will be interesting," he murmured.

The corridor which the scientist and soldier happened to be walking down, was the one which contained the access to the cages in the holding area, the bullet proof glass doors of which now opened via Adam's command.

"What's going on?" Queried the scientist.

"I don't know!" The soldier answered.

The demons stepped out of their cages, realised their freedom had just been handed to them on a plate and rushed at the soldier and scientist, who would never stand a chance against this kind of frenzied assault.


 

"Containment area's been breached," the soldier, having managed to get away, informed his superiors. "Hostiles are lose."

"How many?" The Colonel asked.

"All of 'em, sir."

"It's Adam," Buffy remarked, making the Colonel turn to her. "Look, I'm the only one who can stop him now. Just let me handle this. Get your people out of here."

The Colonel, as usual, ignored her. "All right, you men follow me. We gotta take the Armoury now."

"Sir."

"Colonel." Buffy implored.

"These people are under arrest, do you understand?"

"Yes, sir."

The Colonel left, leaving behind a guard of two soldiers for Buffy and her friends. The slayer gave the nearest one a kick to the chest, then banged the head of the other one into the desk, before hitting him in the face and knocking him out cold.

"We've gotta find Adam," she said.

"On it," Willow replied, sitting herself before one of the computers, which were fortunately controlled by separate systems.

"The enjoining spell is extremely touchy," Giles informed them. "It's, volatile. We can't risk it being interrupted. We need a place that's close to you and quiet."

"Uh... quiet?" Xander queried, gesturing at the view screens.

Every available piece of closed circuit television was covering the fight in the holding areas. All the remaining members of the Initiative were fighting several demons at a time. And being rapidly overwhelmed.

"They need some help," Angel remarked.

Buffy met his gaze. "Be careful," she warned him.

"I'll keep an eye on him," Spike assured her before they both left to join the fray.

The slayer turned back to her friends. "How we doing, Will?"

"Done," she answered. "Hold on. According to this, there's air ducts and electrical conduits all running into there." She pointed to an area on the screen.

"So?" Buffy queried, looking over her shoulder.

"So, there's no there there."

Buffy stared at the view screen for a moment, then straightened up. "It's Adam."

"You sure?" Giles sought to confirm.

"Right behind 314," Buffy said nodding. She turned back to Willow. "Can you unlock the door?"

"I don't have to. All the locks in the Initiative have been disengaged...... except for the exits."

"Demon open house," Xander mused.

"Great," Buffy acknowledged. "So we know we're going to 314. Now all we have to do is get there."

She advanced to the door and kicked it open. Two demons were lying in wait. As then ran at her, she punched one in the face, and kicked the other's leg.

Xander grabbed a spare laser rifle and blasted another.

Then they all ran.

"Okay, it should be over here," Buffy remarked as the reached the door. "Once I'm in, barricade the door behind me. Is this place okay to be Magic Central?"

"It, should do," Giles assured her.

"As long as we don't get blown up or nothin'," Willow added.

"What are the odds of that?" Xander asked rhetorically.

"How long before the ritual kicks in?" Buffy asked her watcher.

"Five minutes, give or take," Giles replied. "I still don't like you going in alone."

"I won't be," Buffy replied, before walking inside.


 

Inside Buffy ran into the dead walking bodies of Professor Walsh, Dr Angleman and Forrest. She saw Riley with them, along with Adam.

"What's happened to them?" she asked.

"They're part of the final phase," Adam informed her as he emerged from the shadows. "As you were supposed to be."

"Sorry," Buffy said, her tone anything but contrite. "I don't jump through hoops on command. I've never really been one to tow the line."

"Oh," Adam remarked. "Kill her," he decided.

"I thought you'd never ask," Riley replied.

Buffy kicked the Walsh in the face, sending her flying. She grabbed Forrest and threw him into the wall, breaking glass.


Inside Room 314, Giles lit a final candle.

"The power of the Slayer and all who yield it," Willow began. "Last to ancient first, we invoke thee. Grant us thy domain and primal strength. Accept us in the power we possess. Make us mind and heart and spirit joy. Let the hand encompass us. Do thy will."


Forrest punched Buffy, sending her to the floor. She landed with a roll and punched him back.

Riley advanced, punching her. She grabbed his wrist before his hand could connect, and wrenched it, breaking the bone.

"So glad you join in," Buffy remarked. "I've been wanting to punch you for a long time."

"I can't believe I fancied you," Riley remarked before kicking her.

"So glad you're using past tense," Buffy countered before kicking him in the stomach.

Back in Room 314, Willow continued to chant.

"Spiritus... Spirit," she said, handing a card to Xander.

"Animus," Xander intoned. "Heart."

Giles took the next one. "Sophus... Mind."

"And Manus... the hand," Willow continued. "We enjoin that we may inhabit the vessel, the hand... daughter of Sineya... first of the ones..."

Back with the Slayer, the attackers had gained a slight advantage, and were using it to the full, grabbing Buffy and trying to restrain her.

"Is that it?" Riley mocked. "Is that all you got?"

"No," a voice growled behind. "She's got me."

Angel struck out, knocking both scientists unconscious. Buffy kicked Forrest to the floor, then jumped up. "Thanks. I need to get to Adam."

"Go," Angel said. He turned to Riley.

Who gulped.


Buffy found the villain of the piece, watching the ever retreating Colonel and his men. "Fun, isn't it?" she commented.

"I do appreciate violence," Adam agreed.

"Good."

Buffy punched him, but he was faster. He punched her, sending her into the wall. He raised his arm that was made of demon fork and prepared to strike her with it.

Surprising him, Buffy grabbed it and snapped it. "Broke your arm."

"Got another," Adam replied as his hand turned into a mini-gun. "I've been upgrading."

Buffy dived over the computer console.

"We implore thee, admit us, bring us to the vessel, take us now," Willow continued in Room 314.

Buffy rose from her hiding place, an orange glow surrounding her.

"You can't last much longer," Adam said.

"We can," Buffy replied, with the voices of the spell. "We are forever." She dipped into Sumerian.

"Interesting," Adam commented, before firing at her.

But the shots never reached their target. They were repelled by an invisible force-field before the slayer.

"Very interesting," Adam added. He continued to fire.

"Kur," Buffy remarked, raising her hand before the beam's trajectory.

The laser shot turned into doves. She punched him, and grabbed his head.

"How... can you," Adam began.

"You could never hope to grasp the source of our power," Buffy intoned, reaching into his chest with her other hand. "But yours is right here," she added as she drew out the uranium.

Adam collapsed.

"Buffy," Angel said as he entered. He watched as the uranium levitated above her hand. More Sumerian was uttered, then the power source disappeared into nothing.

Buffy fainted, and swiftly her soulmate caught her.


Inside Room 314, the Scoobies collapsed.

"Wow. That was....." Willow trailed off.

A demon burst into the room. He growled at them menacingly. Suddenly a hand grabbed his neck. A loud snap was heard before he fell to the floor.

"Nasty sort of fellow," Spike commented. "Lucky for you blighters I was here, eh?"

"Yes, thank you," Giles acknowledged.

The door opened, to reveal Buffy and Angel.

"Buffy," Giles remarked in relief.

"Wasn't it amazing?" Willow asked her as she hugged her friend.

"You were great," Xander added.

"We were great," Buffy corrected. "You guys get to the exits, get 'em open. Xander, organise the soldiers, pull 'em back. I'll take point."

"Are you up to this?" Angel asked her.

Buffy knocked out a demon. "I am," she remarked.


"It was an experiment," a man said, in an office far away, days after news had reached them that the Initiative complex had been besieged and then wiped out all within twenty-four hours.

"The Initiative represented the Government's interests in not only controlling the otherworldly menace, but harnessing its power for our own military purposes. The considered opinion of this counsel is that this experiment has failed. Once the prototype took control of the complex, our soldiers suffered a 40 percent casualty rate. Only through the actions of the deserter and a group of civilian insurrectionists that our losses were not total.

"I trust the irony of that is not lost on any of us. Maggie Walsh's vision was brilliant, but ultimately insupportable. The demons cannot be harnessed. The end result cannot be controlled. It is therefore our recommendation that this project be terminated and all records concerning it expunged.

"Our soldiers will be debriefed. Standard confidentiality clause. We will monitor the civilians and usual measures prepared should they try to go public. I don't think they will. The Initiative complex itself will be filled in with concrete. Burn it down, gentlemen. Burn it down, and salt the Earth."

The End.
To Be Continued In

Restless.