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Author's Note: Some dialogue has been borrowed from the episode Hero, to which I have altered the plot considerably in order to work within this series. Enjoy.


Refugees.

It felt like Kristallnacht. That was the only name he could assign to the vision to describe what he saw and heard. Boots pounding on pavements to a military beat, black and invisible in the night, punctuated by the sound of broken glass and screams of pure terror as the soldiers swooped to grab and herd the Jews into death marches and ghettos. Only Doyle wasn't seeing Jews in his vision, nor affluent neighbourhoods, but the slums of downtown Los Angeles, inhabited by the half demons who needed be invisible around American society.

And he was not witnessing Nazi soldiers, but troops of demons, purebreds, sworn into a crusade for the master race, who swooped on the half-breeds, mothers, fathers, children, killing them where they huddled for safety and warmth. He saw one girl, her red coat a startling hark back to the footage of the allege Jewish resettlement, drop her box in her haste to escape pursuit, almost falling to the ground to recover her things, before the hand of a youth in the same mire as her, clamped himself on her mouth and swept her into the darkness of an alley, out of sight.

Doyle woke up sweating heavily, his heart pounding in his mouth, his hand reaching instinctively for the bottle of whiskey which rested on the floor by his bed, the frequent source of comfort against the onslaught and after effects of painful visions such as this. The first time he had seen such horrors in his mind he had been violently ill from the memory of them, but he was so inured to the visions now that his mind blanked out the wretchedness he felt from witnessing the possible future in his mind. Knocking back a skinful, he considered the word his mind chose, and withdrew it. No, he was not inured. Jaded, perhaps, after exposure to sights the oracles would have him help to change. Each vision still conveyed the full horror of their events upon him, no matter how many times his mind foresaw them.

For he had seen this particular vision before. When he was living in Los Angeles, after finalising his divorce and quitting his teaching post. It persisted in residing within his brain for a full sevennight before he moved to Sunnydale, whereupon the horrifying nightmare left him. He had believed that was the end of it, but he had forgot then that such a pack of demons as this would naturally be attracted to the hellmouth as a suitable base from which to draw power from for their dark crusade. Unlike that time however, he could not just relocate to another town or city. He had ties here; a well paid position and friends, actual allies, do-gooders and warriors, who would want try and stop this army if they may.

But he knew their reputation. He had heard of their breed before, and their unholy creed. Such soldiers could not be stopped, or easily vanquished. Their strength lay in their numbers and recruitment, their alliances with those in power. It would take more than two vampire slayers, two witches, one werewolf, one half Bracken, two watchers, two ordinary mortals and one souled vampire to scupper their plans for supremacy.


The vision was still preying on his mind as Doyle arrived at Sunnydale High school later that morning. A few students were entering the campus, some considerate enough to pay him a polite, even genuine greeting as he passed them by in the quadrangle enroute to the Library. He pushed apart the double doors to see Giles already established in his domain, studying a collection of newspapers on the reception counter. His girlfriend, Jenny Calendar was before the computer, her eyes scanning the view screen somewhat anxiously to Doyle's mind. Evidently he was not the only one to receive a message from the Powers That Be regarding something evil on the horizon.

"What's up?" He asked them, causing both to turn their heads from their studies towards him.

"We're not sure," Giles replied. "There's been reports of riots and deaths raids in the slums of certain west coast downtown districts. Violence against the homeless and such like, though what I'm reading here concerns those of the demonic rather that human variety."

"I've had those confirmed by my contacts," Jenny added, her hands rapidly tapping a few keys before reading again. "And one of them has been missing for over twenty-four hours, along with the rest of his family."

"I had a vision last night," Doyle revealed, causing both of them to stop reading immediately, giving him their full attention. "Of demonic troops marching down streets, and half-breeds running for the hills."

"Demons going after demons?" Giles queried, thoughtful and frowning. "It's not uncommon, especially near the hellmouth." He lapsed into silence for a minute, pondering. "Troops, you say? Uniformed?"

"Resembling Nazis," Doyle replied, nodding. "And pure bred demons, every one of them." He paused to lean on the counter. "You've heard of them, haven't you?"

"The Council would be extremely lax in their duties if I hadn't," Giles returned. "But the last I heard, were reports of them in Europe, not these shores."

"That's obviously changed," Doyle finished grimly. "Buffy in yet?" He asked.

Giles shook his head. "Angel's driving her here before he heads to the university, but he has the first hour free. Let's get the rest of them out of study hall and call a meeting," he decided, grabbing permission slips. "We're going to need all the help we can get."


"They're known as The Scourge," the Watcher reported later to the slayerettes after they gathered round the large reading table which stood over the hellmouth. "An army of pure-bred demons, sworn into a crusade against half-breeds. They will kill any they encounter, children, women, men, anyone who has the faintest demonic blood in their veins, no matter how ancient the pedigree."

"Anyone fought back?" Faith asked.

"Sure they do," Doyle replied. "All the time. You can kill them, but these guys believe in what they're doing. They're ready to die for the cause."

"Hard to fight fanatics," Angel murmured.

"More like impossible," Doyle corrected.

"Well, if we can't fight them," Buffy began, "we can at least help those they're hunting to escape."

"What about vampires and werewolves?" Willow asked. "Do they hunt them?"

"Vampires aren't pure, certainly," Wesley answered. "They have been diluted for well over a millennia. I think werewolves would fall into the hunted category too."

"Well the vamps, present company excepted, can take care of themselves," Faith remarked. "Come to that, so can demons."

Buffy shook her head. "Not all of them." She turned to her watcher. "We need to check the slum areas of town. Make sure there's nothing for the Scourge to find."

"Agreed," Giles replied. "Do that after school. I will check the bus depot, docks and airport, see when the army arrives, if it hasn't already."

"Hang on," Xander uttered as they rose from their chairs, "Mission check. I'm with Faith on this one. Why are we helping demons of all people?"

"They're not demons," Buffy replied. "They're half human, and trying to earn a living in this world. A life for themselves and their family. I say they need our help."

"In the past, we regarded races of people as demons," Willow remarked with feeling, recalling her own family's struggles to escape war torn Germany in the forties. "Jews, Blacks, Indians. Some time in the future, people may come to accept half-demons, even harmless ones. And how will history regard us then if we ignore their cry for help now?"

"Will's right," Cordelia agreed. "They need our help."

 


"The Scourge you say?" Richard Wilkins the third, Mayor of Sunnydale, sought to confirm from his deputy later that day.

Faith nodded. "That's what Giles called them. Had the entire Scooby club up in arms about them this morning, ready to help all the little half-demons in need."

"Well, I hope they keep to shipping the lot of them out of town rather than going to the trouble of raising funds for them." The Mayor grimaced. "The last thing I need is another charity clogging up the phone lines."

"Did you want me to help them out?" Faith asked, the question driven from her reluctantly.

"Not in agreement with Miss Summers and her band on this then?" the Mayor remarked, watching his deputy squirm as though she felt ordered by him to be so.

Faith shrugged. "I'm a slayer. I..... kill," the word was dragged out of her, apparently she still had issues regarding her part in the unlawful demise of his deputy, "demons, not rescue them."

"As much as I agree with you there," the Mayor remarked. "I'm going to need some of those vampires come the end of my hundred days. And an army determined in massacring them for the sake of the master race is not the answer to my prayers. So go help them, please," he finished, his voice suddenly cruel and hard.

Faith flinched from the chill she felt in his tone. "Yes sir," she answered quietly before quitting his office as fast as she could walk. Her alliance with the Mayor had become all the more precarious recently, thanks to her staking when she should have looked first, into the chest of his deputy. With that act her cause had only furthered her ties with the dark underworld of the hellmouth, as she crossed the line from slayer to murderer. Her staunch denial coupled with efforts to hide the body had caused her to lose all the temporary friendship she had initially gained with Buffy and friends, and thrust her into an even deeper quagmire when the Mayor decided to send Trick on a tidying of loose ends mission. To kill one ally of his might be considered careless, but to kill two was definitely pushing the limits of his loyalty.

Now he reduced her to a mere hired rescuer of demons in distress. Faith sighed. Even before she became a murderer she held foul with helping out demons, even those who chose to mate with humans. She had to question the sanity of mortals who decided a demon was a good partner for life. Yet Buffy seemed almost the better for her coupling with a souled vampire, and Willow wasn't concerned when her monosyllabic boyfriend suffered his time of the month. Still, these had to be flukes. Faith certainly had yet to find anyone in the demonic race who could satisfy her.

Not that she was even looking in the first place. No way was that life style choice an option for her, she had enough dubious alliances as it was without throwing her love life or lack there of into the mix. She had no time for men, boys the lot of them, with the naive desire to control her and the arrogant belief that they knew far more about the world than she ever could hope to do so. She had never been the submissive type.

Shrugging away subjects which required moments of introspection, a dark place of her mind she was not prepared to visit for too long nowadays, for fear of developing an inability to return without enduring emotional and psychological scars, Faith quickened her pace down the corridors of city hall, suddenly anxious to join the Scooby gang on a demon in distress mission.


Angel surveyed the drab buildings with all the critical eye of a vampire who had been used to the luxury way of living. "Pretty low rent, even by demon standards."

"Willy said they were hiding," Buffy pointed out. They had been to the snitch's bar barely half an hour ago for information. "It's a good place for it."

They pushed open the door of the latest seemingly deserted dwelling place, walking through the narrow hall into a small, rickety dining room clearly set ready for people to break their fast within.

"Signs of life." Buffy judged correctly, seeing the steam still rising from the meals, the cutlery slightly stained from use.

"I smell something," Angel murmured.

"Food's still warm," Buffy reasoned, though she had a feeling her boyfriend did not mean the meal. "They left in a hurry."

"Not food," Angel replied as they turned a corner into a seemingly empty room. With the deft grace of a vampire he knelt down to remove a rug from the floor, revealing a trap door. "Fear."

He grabbed hold of the handle and tugged, opening the door to reveal a dark and cavernous opening. Buffy shone her flashlight within and they gasped as the beam of light revealed a huddle mass of half humans, of varying ages and sex, but all experiencing the same level of terror at the sight of them.

"Don't be afraid," Angel uttered. "It's okay. We're here to help."

Buffy switched off her flashlight and secured it within a jacket pocket before reaching out her hands to help them out of their hiding hole.

Eventually the entire group were sitting at the dining table, the young ones eating with the innocent concern of youth, the old ones picking with reluctant appetites.

"We gave all out money to a man who promised to get us passports and safe passage on a ship," one of the half demon men explained. "We didn't know. It was stupid of us. He disappeared with our money and the ship never came."

"Where were you going?" Angel asked.

"Briole. Small island off the coast of Ecuador. Others of our kind have found sanctuary there."

"Sanctuary from the Scourge?" Buffy sought to confirm and the man nodded just as two more kids came rushing in.

"They're close," the boy and elder of the two uttered. "They almost got us. We lost half of our supplies."

The man put a hand on the youth's shoulder, stilling teenage impetuousness. "Rieff, we have a guest. It's the promised one."

Rieff grimaced. "Terrific."

Buffy looked at them confused. "I think there's been some kind of misunderstanding. I may be a chosen one as far as vampires are concerned, but...."

The man shook his head at her, turning to her companion, stunning both of them into silence. "Oh, I don't think so. Many of our prophecies are cryptic, but on one thing they are all clear: In the final days of this century the promised one will appear and save us from the Scourge."

Rieff was less enthused. "He doesn't even know where they are. How's he supposed to protect us from them?"

The elder sighed. Clearly this was a frequent debate. "Rieff..."

"They're coming and no matter how many promised guys you throw at them, they're not going to stop until every last one of us is dead. - You're going to get us all killed."

He walked out.

The Elder smiled at Angel and Buffy, sympathetic, understanding and a little embarrassed. "He's young. I'm sorry. Excuse me." He left the table to fetch his retrictlent youngster back.

Angel rose from his seat to look out a window, scanning the empty streets for an army he could not yet hear.

Buffy followed him. "We better get them out of here and someplace safe. If there's anywhere that's safe." She stared at him, her hazel eyes taking in the dark brooding stare of his own, directed at the nothingness of his reflection. "What is it?"

"We need to deal with this," Angel murmured. "They think I'm some promised saviour," he added, before catching the truth of it in her gaze. "What?"

"Angel, when Acathla brought Whistler to Giles' apartment, he told me that the demon was meant to be your fight, not mine. Maybe you are a promised one; a warrior whose coming was foretold." Buffy smiled at here. "Whether you believe it or not, what matters is that they believe it. And that belief will help us rescue them."

He nodded slowly, unable to disagree with her logic. "You better call Giles and alert him. Where shall we hide them until we can get them out of here?"

"The mansion," Buffy replied. "It has the most space." She turned to survey the group, her gaze conveying deep concern. "I don't like this, Angel. I never run from fights. I face them head on, no matter what the odds. It's the slayer's way."

"We've never had to face an army before," he reminded her. "They're a different set of demons altogether."


"So how many are we talking about?" Giles asked the couple when he met them at the mansion where the living room was accommodating the refugees while they sorted the travel arrangements.

"About twenty," Buffy replied. "More if word gets around that the slayer's offering free escape routes from the Scourge."

"Can we get them passage out of here?" Angel asked.

The watcher nodded. "I've sent Jenny to the docks for the Quintessa. The captain owes me a favour or two, he'll agree to this. I also need to talk to the harbour master so he will give the ship clearance." His gaze drifted to the collection of half demons huddling together in the large double height living room of the mansion on Crawford Street. "What are we going to do if the Scourge get wind of their location?"

"Provide a rearguard," Buffy replied. "And hope ten people can stand up to an army."


"I could get into a hell of a lot over trouble over this," the Harbour master remarked to Giles as they walked along the dock side.

"Not as much as if you don't," Giles remarked.

"Big Randy is my brother," the master replied, referring to the captain of the Quintessa. "If I look the other way once in a while on some of his shipments, it's because he's family. It's not because of the money."

Giles nodded in understanding. "Family is important."

The Harbour master looked at him. "You're not going to pay, are you?"

"I'm not going to pay." Giles confirmed bluntly.

The official sighed. "So this is just extortion."

"Big Randy told you about my friend Angelus, right?" Giles remarked. "You know what he is."

"He said Angelus bit him?" the Harbour master sought to confirm.

Giles shook his head. "No, he never bit him."

His companion was relieved. "So he don't.."

But for barely five seconds after Giles shrugged. "He wasn't hungry."

"So, what do you want the documents to say?" the Harbour master asked.

"Certify that the ship is carrying an inspected cargo of medical waste. No one looks inside that ship or stops it from leaving harbour," Giles replied. "If they do, - I'm going to feel that it's your fault. Then look for Angelus to get a little bit peckish."

The Harbour master rapidly filled out the form, while Giles hid his smile, retaining the Ripper like front in his expression which conveyed a deadly chill to all who encountered it. A little bit of bluff went a long way on the shores of the hellmouth.

"Have a nice trip," the official replied, handing him the form before hurrying away as fast as his legs could carry him.


"We don't have time for this," the leader of the demon refugees was heard to remark as Buffy came upon them. "What's wrong with that boy?"

"What is it?" the slayer asked.

"Rieff," the leader replied. "He took off. He does this every time. He'll be back."

The youth's companion shook her head in disagreement. "No he won't. He says there isn't any promised one. He wasn't going to stay here and get killed with the rest of us." She turned worried eyes on the slayer. "We're not going to get killed, are we?"

Buffy shook her head. "No, no one's going to get killed." she retrieved a spare cell phone from her pocket, which she handed to the leader. "Jenny is going to call. When she does, clear out and go to the ship. If you're not here when I get back, I'll bring the boy to you there." She turned to the girl. "Hey, - do you know where he went?"

The girl nodded. "Back to our old neighbourhood. He's reckless."

"Or stupid," Buffy murmured before walking away to join the other slayerettes who were gathered around the stairs leading to the first floor. "I'm going to find Rieff. When the call comes, just herd them out to the docks as quick as you can."

"Buffy!" Doyle called, catching her just as she stepped outside. "I'm coming with you, just in case you need a half demon to convince him."

"Okay," Buffy replied, falling into pace with him as they cleared the driveway.


"Rieff! Wait. Wait." Doyle and Buffy ran towards him, the former out of breath as they reached him. "You're fast."

"I'm walking," Rieff replied. "You're just old."

"Yeah, okay," Doyle shrugged away the insult. "You know what, we ought to go. We got a way out, a ship."

"Great," Rieff replied. "Have fun. Take some Dramamine."

"You're not coming with?" Buffy queried.

Rieff replied with all the classic comeback of a teenager. "You can't make me."

"He's right," Doyle remarked to Buffy. "You're old enough. It's your choice."

Rieff snorted. "Right. A choice. Where do I want to be hated? You wouldn't get it. You're passing," he continued, referring the seemingly human appearance of the half Bracken. "My mother was the same way. You can walk down the street. She took me out with her one day. I was so excited. Just out in the neighbourhood with all the other kids. Guess what day it was? What day was it?"

Doyle sighed. "It was Halloween."

Rieff nodded. "So that's my choice: I can be hated by humans because they're scared of me, or by pure-bloods who want to kill me. It's so easy, it's not much of a choice."

"Seems to me your family is one place where you know you belong," Buffy remarked as the youth resumed his fast pace. "Hey, I bet you that little girl is going to miss you."

"Yeah, well, she's dead by now," Rieff replied, "Or might as well be. They're coming again. I can feel it."

"It's going to be different this time," Buffy replied.

"Why?" Rieff asked. "Because your friend is the promised one?" His face hardened as they sighed. "So you know it's not true."

"No, I don't," Buffy replied. "I don't know anything about your people's myths and legends. But I do know Angel, and he's the genuine article."

"My hero," Rieff offered sarcastically.

"Yeah, that's exactly what he is," Doyle remarked. "And your people can call him 'the promised one', what does it matter?"

"It matters because it's a lie!" Rieff yelled.

"They put their faith in something, Rieff," Buffy argued. "You don't have to if you don't want to. Maybe we don't know what we're doing. It's possible. But the other option: losing yourself somewhere, hoping it all goes away, I know that never works. How about we go find your family?"


The Captain of the Quintessa grimaced at the expression on his lovely companion's face. "I know it's not the Queen Mary, but it's still good ship."

"Well, it's not exactly the Love Boat, either," Jenny returned as she surveyed the drab surroundings of the containment hold.

"Sorry," the captain uttered, not looking or sounding at all apologetic. "We don't haul people. We haul cargo. It's never complained."

"We could bring in some blankets or something," one of the crew volunteered. "How many are we talking?"

"Oh, - about 20?" Jenny replied. "Some are short people, you know, children?"

"It won't be the most comfortable thing in the world," the captain allowed. "But we'll get them where they're going."

"We'll take it," Jenny replied before pulling out her phone. She walked away before dialling the number and pressing the cell to her ear. "It's me. Who is this? Oh, well, your transport sorted, it's time to get out of here."


Back in the neighbourhood, Buffy, Doyle and Rieff halted as they caught the sound boots marching to a military beat.

"They're here," Rieff murmured worriedly.

"Come on, let's go!" Doyle urged and they began to run, until they found a building suitable to hide in.

"In here." Buffy ordered, pulling them down below the window line. "Sit tight."

"Destroy it all!" An officer could be heard to order outside, causing the infantry to smash windows, trip trash cans, scattering rubbish everywhere, torching vehicles.

"Buffy, Doyle," Rieff uttered as one of the soldiers marched to their building.

The slayer rose to go, but Doyle stayed her move, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Stay here."

He rose up, revealed his Bracken heritage, and ran from the building, knocking the infantryman out of his way, causing his comrades to give chase away from the building. Half way down the street a hand reached out and pulled him into another building.

"They're coming," Doyle informed his companion.

"Good," Angel replied, thankful he was near when Buffy called him on her cell, scouring the neighbourhood for any more refugees needing free passage.


"They were here, Sir, recently," a soldier said to his officer as they entered the building where Angel and Doyle had hidden themselves in.

"And when the lights go out, where do the vermin go?" the officer countered. "Keep looking."

"For what?" A vampire growled as he pulled the quarry out from a dark corner of the room. "For this?" A soldier hurried towards him, causing another growl. "Back off! It's my kill."

The officer was understandably suspicious. "Vampires don't feed on demon blood."

Angel scoffed. "Oh please! I wouldn't eat this. He reeks of humanity."

"You're one to talk, vampire," the officer returned. "Yours is the lowest of all the half-breeds," he added disdainfully.

"You think I don't know that?" Angel countered. "You think I don't smell the humanity inside me day and night - polluting me?"

Doyle thought it was the time to start pleading for his life. "Please, please don't!"

Angel calmly broke his neck, dropping him to the floor. "Shut up!"

"A half-breed who murders other half-breeds," a soldier murmured. "Always charming."

"I know who you are," Angel remarked. "I want to join you."

"Join us?" The officer scoffed. "You wish to die?"

"I need to be cleansed and only you can show me the way," Angel replied. "You can kill me if you want, but you'd only be freeing me. But I can kill half-breeds for you and believe me I can do it faster and better then anyone you got. I know their minds, where they hide, how they think. I can help you."

The officer stared at him considering. "Maybe you can."

He gestured to his men, who grabbed Angel and hauled him from the building. None of them noticed his hand shifting inside his pocket, clicking a couple of buttons on his cell to alert his soulmate that all was going to plan.


Buffy and Rieff reached Doyle's seemingly dead body as the army cleared out of the street with their latest recruit. Fascinated, they watched as he shifted his dislocated neck back into place.

"I think I hated that plan," Doyle remarked as they helped him up.

"Can all Bracken demons do that?" Rieff asked.

Doyle shook off his demon heritage before replying. "We're stronger in demon form. But I generally prefer to pass as human."

"Where is everyone?" Rieff asked.

"Right where they're supposed to be, I hope," Buffy replied. "On their way to the docks, to board the Quintessa. Jenny said it's not the Queen Mary, but it will do. Come on," she turned to head for the exit. "We need to get going."


At the dockside, the Captain of the Quintessa watched anxiously as the demons boarded his ship, surrounded by the protective layer of the slayerettes.

"Look, I've got my clearance from the Harbour Master," he uttered to Giles, who told him there was going to be a delay. "We have to go now. I have a schedule to keep."

"I'm sure they'll be here, Captain," Giles replied. "Just a few more minutes."

He wandered over to his girlfriend, who was watching the warehouses worriedly. "What's wrong?"

"I'm not sure," Jenny replied. "I think it's just going a little too smoothly. And shouldn't there be security guards on those warehouses?"

"They're union's on strike," Giles replied. "The mayor's been debating with their managers for weeks now. It helps us to get them out of here unseen."

"But it also doesn't alert us to anything coming," Jenny pointed out.

"Can't have everything," Giles replied, just his phone beeped. He retrieved the device from his pocket to read the text message. "That was Buffy. They're on their way."


Meanwhile, dressed in a uniform, Angel was listening to a rousing speech by the leader of the Scourge, designed to gear his troops up for battle, inwardly wondering how he could warn the others of the weapon which was coming.

"The other day I was asked: 'Why hunt the mongrel? Doesn't its very inferiority guarantee that it poses no threat? Won't it die of it's own innate mortal stupidity?" The leader smiled benevolently, as though he was dealing with a naive child. "Let me tell you, even the smallest of vermin need be addressed. Half-breeds. Worse. They keep crossbreeding. Forever diluting our precious demon blood with their weak simpering humanity."

"Yeah!" The troops cheered.

"If we allow this to happen, it's as good as giving up the call to evil altogether," the officer continued. "It's as good as becoming human ourselves. Well, I say NEVER! I say we will not stop until each and every half-breed is erased and our purity rules this planet! We will not stop because the Higher Order demands it! Now, - this very evening we take a giant step towards our goal. Tonight the half-breeds that have eluded us will be destroyed. And we know just where to find them, thanks to this good man," he gestured to a human who came forward, Angel silently gasping as he recognised him for one of the crew of the Quintessa. "First mate on the ship they think means salvation, not annihilation. He comes to us for money, but he is a brother to our cause, and we invite him - to witness the power of the beacon."

Two soldiers rolled a crystal suspended in a cage to the front of the platform, lighting the device up with the click of a few switches.

"Tonight the Listers of half-breeds will..." the officer continued, but Angel blanked the demon's ranting out in disgust, as he glanced around the room for a way out so he could alert the others that they had been betrayed.

"Incredible, isn't it?" A soldier standing next to him murmured in awe. "He makes it all so clear."

"Yes, things are very clear," Angel replied softly.

"The Listers, along with any creature contaminated by human blood, will perish the moment the cleansing light touches them," the officer continued to explain his master weapon. "When the beacon reaches critical mass and detonates its reach will extend a quarter mile in every direction." He turned to the crew member of the Quintessa. "Want to see how it works?" he pushed the man into the beam, killing him. "A fitting end for a sorry mutation. Go now and deliver this, our message! Our victory depends on it!"

The soldiers cheered before turning to run down the hallway. Angel followed until he passed a side room, whereupon he slipped from the ranks and secured himself faster transport out of the military base.

 


"Someone's coming," Giles declared as the sound of running feet pounding on deck caused the slayerettes, crew and refugees to look up.

Buffy, Doyle and Rieff entered the containment area minutes later.

"Do you have any idea what you put us through?" the leader of the demons asked the teenager. "We got to get out of here!"

"I'm sorry," Rieff replied.

The elder put an armed around him. "Let's get you down with the others."

Rieff, turned to Doyle. "Thanks."

Buffy turned as the sound of a motorcycle reached them, seeing Angel driving the vehicle on to the deck.

"We have to shove off now," he remarked to his girlfriend.

"What's going on?" Buffy asked.

"I can't find my first mate!" The captain revealed.

"You won't" Angel replied. "He betrayed us. "We're going. Get to the bridge."

"Angel," Doyle called out, his gaze on the once deserted dockside, "they're here."

"Get below," Buffy uttered. "Lock the doors."

"What?" Doyle asked.

"Move!" Angel yelled. "Now! Stay with the others."

Doyle took off down to the hold, while the warriors waited for the officer to mount the deck.

"You lied to us, half-breed." The officer remarked.

"You catch on quick, football-head," Angel returned.

The officer turned his troops. "Kill him, painfully."

The soldiers tackled Angel and Buffy, but they were no match for the chosen warriors, who quickly took out as many as they could until the officer was forced to take charge of the fight himself. He rushed at the two of them, herding them back towards the hold, sheer force of will pushing them down to join the refugees on the floor below.

Behind him the troops lowered the beacon into the room via a chain.

"It's going to detonate," Angel cried. "Get out! Everybody out!"

The officer grabbed him by the neck. "Welcome to a cleaner world. Soon only the pure bloods will be left standing."

"Actually, pure boy," Angel returned as he broke his grip. "You'll be on your ass."

Above the slayerettes struggled with the door. "Ahh! They're locked from the outside. We're trapped!"

"What does that thing do?" Willow asked Angel as he joined them.

"It's light kills anything with human blood," Angel replied.

"It's fully armed, isn't it?" Buffy sought to confirm.

"Almost," Angel replied. "If I pull the cable, I think I can still shut it off."

"How are you gonna do that without touching the light?" Buffy asked him.

"Angel, that's suicide," Giles remarked. "There's got to be another way."

"It's all right." Angel looked at his beloved.

"No!" Buffy yelled determinedly. She grabbed hold of him and look to Willow. "Think magic can stop it?"

"Possibly," Willow remarked as she looked at it. "I need something to enchant to pierce the light."

Buffy retrieved a dagger from her weapons' pocket. "How about this?"

Her best friend nodded. "It will suffice." She closed her eyes as she held the weapon, murmuring an indistinct series of words. A bright light surrounded the blade, then disappeared. Willow opened her eyes and returned the dagger to her friend.

Buffy advanced to the edge of the platform. Slowly she raised her hand. "Here goes nothing," she uttered before tossing the weapon like a javelin.

As the blade hit the beacon the light became brighter than the sun for a moment, before sending the room into sudden darkness. Silence was broken as the crystal smashed into shards upon the floor.

The slayer grinned. "Very cool." She turned to her friends. "Come on, let's disembark and let these demons sail away."


"So the Scourge are all take care of?" The Mayor sought to confirm when Faith reported to his office a few hours later.

"Yep," the dark haired slayer replied. "All the troops went scurrying back to their base after the officer was killed. I don't think they'll be bothering us again."

"Good," Richard Wilkins rose from his chair. "Now, I received a call from a contact of mine who I was told could help us in destabilising Miss Summers and little group of friends," he remarked.

"How?" Faith asked.

"By removing someone's soul," the Mayor revealed.

The End.
To Be Continued In...

If You Can't Be Good.....