Title: Habeas Corpses
Timeline: Post “Not Far Away”
Summary: What does the life of a slayer look like from the outside looking in? What if the people looking are scared?
NB: This will be seven parts all of which are not finished. The muse has been ornery and I haven’t had a chance to have this beta’d. I have great hopes of being able to finish this today but if not the entire story will appear in a beta’d form on my livejournal in the near future. Thank you to my betas even if I haven’t had a chance to use you yet. Each of the seven parts of this story was written to the song mentioned at the beginning of the section. Thank you to enigmaticblues for the idea. Thank you also goes to elinora for sharing the day with me
Where am I?
I’ll fill you up with a new kind of glamour
I’ll make you frown with a true kind of tremor
I’ll lift you up ’cause my God’s just arisen
I’ll take you down to my own private prison
I’ll fill you up with the breath of the rotten
I’ll bring you down to the lost and forgotten
I’ll wrap you up in the sweetest apparel
I’ll make you frown with a view down the barrel
I’ll take you up to my own cemetery
I’ll drag you down girl – I’m too solitary
I’ll lift you up ’cause you’re my only treasure
I’ll make you frown for my own private pleasure
Nothing can tear us apart
You won’t save me from love that hurts me
Nothing can tear us apart
You won’t spare me from life that kills me
~~Oomph – “My Own Private Prison”
Where the hell was she? She was naked, that much she didn’t even need to open her eyes to figure out. Wherever she was it was cold and damp. A shaft of fear frissoned through her before she quickly suppressed it. Cold, damp and naked was never a good sign.
Opening her eyes provided no new information about her surroundings. It was very dark. Shifting her senses, she realized she was lying on a rough surface. Concrete? Probably.
This was not good at all.
She pushed herself up to a sitting position and reached out in all directions. Nothing. Damn it! She was supposed to be done with this shit! She was retired! There were dozens of other slayers! That should have been enough to earn her a normal life for a little while. Should have been enough that she didn’t have to continue to be the one who woke up in strange cement places.
Where the hell was she!
“HELLO?!” Her voice cracked from the strain of yelling into the inky blackness of the room. No answer. She got to her feet and moved her arms out to in front of her. There was nothing to lose by exploring her environment. She took three careful steps forward and her hands came into contact with a smooth, cool metal surface. A door? If so it was one without a knob or hinges on this side. Turning around she headed in the opposite direction. Ten steps later she brushed her fingers against a dank stone wall. She moved along the wall to her left for three steps and came to a corner. Six steps to her right and she was in another corner.
So much for free-range Buffy.
Moving back to the center of the room and sat down. Her head hurt. Puzzled she ran her fingers over her scalp hissing in pain when she encountered sutures on the back of her skull.
Dread curled up in her belly and settled down for the long haul.
She had no idea how long she’d been sitting in darkness when curiosity drove her fingers back into her hair to explore the sutured area. She found a thin rigid patch just under the skin near the stitches but any attempt to probe it caused a shock of electricity to shoot through her thin frame.
A computer chip? Had she been captured by the Initiative? Cold, dank stone didn’t seem their style but who knows what changes they’d gone through after the fall of the Sunnydale lab. On the other hand, whatever she felt had been outside her skull, just under the skin and she was positive that Initiative behavioral chips were buried deep inside his brain.
Oddly she wasn’t comforted by the knowledge that whoever was behind this wasn’t related to the Initiative. At least they were familiar.
What was the last thing she remembered before she woke up here, wherever here was? She’d had an argument with Paolo. He’d been overprotective again and had conspired with Giles to keep information from her about an apocalypse in LA. She understood Giles’ reasons for keeping quiet about Angel’s problems but she didn’t understand Paolo’s unwillingness to boast about what he considered to be Angel’s largest shortcoming, his lack of strategy. His inability to plan ahead. Boasting was Paolo’s favorite past time.
Buffy thought Paolo was incredibly dense sometimes about the people he considered enemies.
He had been incredibly forthcoming when she’d discovered their omission and had demanded the full story and aid in traveling to California to see what she could do to help.
It was the least she could do after Angel had delivered the key component to defeating the First.
Buffy’s yanked her thoughts away from that subject before she managed to think of her last few minutes in Sunnydale. She was much better off never thinking about that painful subject again.
Yes indeed. The last thing she remembered was sitting comfortably in Paolo’s private jet waiting for a refill at JFK Airport for the last leg of their trip to the LA Basin. One minute it was cosmos and caviar the next it was captivity and cement
She was determined to stay alert until someone came. After all, didn’t all Evil Bad Guys need to take the time to gloat and explain how supercoolsmart they were to have caught the Good Guy? Wasn’t that a rule or something? At the very least they were going to feed her. Right?
As if on cue her stomach let loose a warbling rumble which made her wonder how long she’d actually been in this hell hole since she’d just finished eating breakfast on the jet before waking up here. How long had she been unconscious? How long had she been sitting here staring into inky blackness?
Damn she had to go to the bathroom! Obviously she was being held by the most evil of demons since they hadn’t even considered the basic amenities.
Suddenly light flooded her cell, blinding her. A staticky voice warbled over what was obviously a decrepit audio system.
“Please, back away from the door and sit down on your hands.”
“Hello? Who’s there!” she demanded.
“Back away from the door and sit down on your hands. You won’t be asked again.”
“Who are you?” the question was followed by a sharp pain running from her head to her limbs and back again as she went rigid from the charge that shot through her body.
“This is your last chance. Back away from the door and sit down on your hands or you won’t eat.”
Furious at her vulnerability, she complied while she struggled to recover from the blast. Well, that answered that question, behavioral chip. As soon as she was in position the metal door disappeared and a man with a tan bandanna tied across his face entered the room and placed a tray of glop and a bottle of water close to the doorway. He was wearing khaki colored camouflage fatigues and standard army boots. A soldier? Buffy felt a surge of hope. An American soldier.
“I think there’s been a mistake. Obviously you mistook me for someone else because I’m an American citizen we’re on the same side.” She gave him her brightest smile even though she couldn’t make it go all the way up to her eyes.
The soldier showed no reaction and backed up out of room until the door clanged shut again. He hadn’t even looked in her direction.
“How’m I supposed to go to the bathroom!” She yelled at the silent barrier.
Where am I?, Part II
He said, “Son when you grow up, would you be the saviour of the broken, the beaten and the damned?” He said “Will you defeat them, your demons, and all the non believers, the plans that they have made?” Because one day I’ll leave you, A phantom to lead you in the summer, To join the black parade.” ~~”Welcome to the Black Parade” – My Chemical Romance
And so it went. The door opened every few… hours? A soldier dropped off something that could only loosely be described as food and occasionally she received other necessities. On his second trip the soldier left a bucket and a few strips of tissue. She was shocked when the fourth soldier had left clothing behind. She’d forgotten she was naked. If she tried to resist she received a shock to her system. If she complied she got to eat and received a clean bucket along with her meal.
The fifth soldier, or the same soldier on his fifth trip, Buffy had yet to figure out which was the case, was surprised when a now clothed Buffy had leapt at him in hopes of incapacitating him before she was brought down by system shock.
She’d woken up naked once again. That didn’t stop her from trying again on the sixth trip. And the seventh. Eighth. The physical pain didn’t matter. The important part was that if she was constantly attacking and being attacked she wouldn’t have time to think. Not about her last days in Sunnydale, not about brain chips, not about the Initiative or the uncertainty of her fate. For the first time since she settled in Italy she was having a hard time putting her most painful thoughts aside by concentrating and keeping busy. Now that it could never matter she finally understood exactly what it was like for Him to not be able to protect himself.
After the ninth visit she woke chained to what seemed, from her limited vantage point, to be an electric chair. Heavy wood, set in a concrete block with straps affixed at various points to her arms, legs, torso and head. Dear God, was that a ball gag? It was less dark this time and she could hear other noises in the room; an occasional snuffle, a subdued whimper. There were vampires around. Was that who held her captive? An army of vampires and their human army of suck slaves? She could see enough to know that this was a different room. Larger at the very least even if she couldn’t see more than five feet in front of herself because of… curtains? Was she in a hospital? What kind of hospital had a torture chair like the one to which she was secured?
The light grew brighter as a curtain swished aside and allowing an extremely familiar petite black woman to enter the area.
“Good morning, Ms Summers. I take it you are comfortable?” the woman gave a wan smile indicating she hadn’t forgotten about Buffy’s inability to speak. “I’m sure you understand why we’ve taken you into custody. I’m just sorry it took so long but it was necessary to wait until we had you back on friendly soil. You have an annoying habit of making very powerful friends Ms Summers.
“Things finally worked out for us, however. Who would have thought that the incident in Los Angeles would bring one of the United States’ most wanted terrorists back within arms reach of justice?”
What the hell are you talking about you old hag!
Either the look in Buffy’s eyes spoke volumes or the woman facing her had access to her thoughts because she answered as if Buffy had spoken out loud.
“Of course I’m speaking of the attack on American soil that devastated an entire city in California. You can’t possibly hope to deny responsibility for the destruction of Sunnydale. You may call me Dr. Rice.” the woman moved over to the curtain in front of Buffy and jerked it toward the wall. “and this is Bashlachev Detention Camp. Please make yourself at home. You’ll be here indefinitely.”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/148315.html