Saturday, July 17, 2004

Posted by Hello
Spike and Buffy Rebecca Posted by Hello

"Sunnydalopolis..." Part I

[Note: "Sunnydalopolis" is the first Buffy Rebecca story, set in Season 5 of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series, following the "Fool for Love" episode in which some interesting details of Spike's (aka William the Bloody)past are revealed, and the "I Was Made to Love You" episode which ends with Spike considering a unique solution to his romantic difficulties...]

Our story is set in season five of Buffy the Vampire Slayer...Spike, Buffy's once vicious nemesis, his violence against humans now restrained by a behavioral modification
chip implanted in his brain by the Initiative, a US government
research group which had been studying the underworld of vampires and demons in season four, has to his horror, found himself in love with his foe...And is increasingly moving toward the human world...

Equally interesting, we have learned that as a human, Spike...William the Bloody...Was a gentle and charming poet...Whose transformation was a stroke of very bad luck and
unfortunate timing...

After meeting April the robot and being thrown through a plate-glass window by her...In a season five episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike sought out Warren her creator and
threatened him unless he constructed a Buffy robot for him...The only way he can see to ever getting his girl...

He's about to get more than he ever bargained for...

"Sunnydalopolis..." Part I

(To see pictures, hear music from the story, and explore links to our 'security cam at Xortox', film 'Metropolis', etc go to the "Sunnydalopolis" story web site)

Opening theme (When You Wish Upon a Star)

Sunnydalopolis part I

"Now, Warren, you're a scientist aren't you? A bold pioneer into the reaches of the new frontiers and all that. This is a challenge, lad. You can't tell me you're not into a challenge."

Warren Mears, short, slightly pudgy young scientist regarded his slight blond visitor...Hard to believe such a small fellow could pack so much menace in a single look...

Courtesy of an injudicious invite into his apartment, Spike has been working on the little scientist nightly for nearly a week now and although Warren clearly is interested in the idea of another robot and is terrified by Spike's "working face" and other vamp tricks, he's still edging away from the cliff.

"Look it's not that simple." Warren backs away..." I didn't stick April together in my dorm room. I need an advanced lab, manufacturing equipment.

And it takes time. I mean if you want everything perfect."

Spike looks at him intently...

"Well, now, how'd you do it with the first junior miss?"

Warren squirms a bit under his gaze...

"At my job...I used the Xortox company lab facilities. They may not let me get away with it a second time."

"And how'd you manage that little bit of larceny?"

"At night, when I was supposed to be working late."

Spike grinned at the young scientist...Perfect...

"Lad, that's my time of day. We go in at night and we get my girlly girl up and running-nobody the wiser."

Warren shook his head...

"You can't get in there that easily. There's security, you'd be caught right away."

"Not old Spike. Besides who's to say I'm not an honest and dutiful employee going around about me business-especially if their own boy Warren takes me on board as his new assistant."

Warren thinks a moment...

"That's...not so crazy. I guess if you come by the lab and I told them I was taking on an assistant, they'd probably go along with that." He nods-this could work-then brightly..."Do you have a resume?"

"Mate, I've been dead for a hundred years. I don't think 'poet' followed by 'mass slaying experience' will go over big. Just work it out."

"Then, no college degree I suppose..."

Spike looks indignantly at him.

"Son, I'll have you know I spent two years at Cambridge, the greatest university in the world in my time."

"Can you come by my office tomorrow, say 10am."

Spike looks at him...

"Are you kidding? In the morning? In the daylight?"

"Vampires can't go out in daylight?" Warren...innocently...

The lad was still obviously not getting the key point about his nature...Spike sighes...

"Haven't you ever heard of vamps? Never seen our movies? Dracula? Those Hammer films?"

"Well, I never had much time for that sort of thing. Movies and all." He brightens. "I did see 'Bride of Frankenstein' once. But no vampires."

"Warren,...lad, I spend my days in a crypt and I have more of a life than you."

The next day Warren let the company office know he'd be taking on a new assistant, a graduate student from England who would be working on his own grant and on a night-time schedule due to his studies...

That evening Spike is a bit put out on learning he will not be paid by Xortox but in all finds the process of id photographs, company security lecture, and issuance of a badge and coat to be
rather amusing...


Later that first night Warren finds him, decked out in lab coat and glasses, talking to a couple of young women who clearly find the distinguished young scientist from England intriguing. As he is lugging a case of various parts of April, Warren is naturally somewhat nervous and anxiously urges Spike on to the lab.

Spike, who has been doing a really excellent Giles imitation, is annoyed to be rushed away but manages to refocus back onto the project at hand. On listening to Warren's description of his plan to reassemble April in Buffy form, he is quick to make his dissatisfaction known...

"No, no, no. I'm not looking for a bloody drooling doll here. We're supposed to be breaking new ground here, a full and complete Buffy Summers is what I've ordered and that's what I'll settle for."

Warren was puzzled...

"But...I thought Ms. Summers hated you. You want the robot to hate you?"

Spike put his hand to his head and sighed...

He pauses, looking at Warren...The lad is definitely not vamp material...But...He's all the Spiked One's got...

"Arghh...look, son, it goes without saying that I want my girlly girl to love me like no one else exists. She should be for me and only me-forever. But...forever is a long, long time and I want to be able to talk to her in words of more than one syllable."

He now paces the lab, he's not talking to Warren now but to himself, Buffy, the world...

" I want her to be Buffy Summers, whining, raging, yelling, sweet, loving, vampire-slaying Buffy Summers. I want her to hang with that gang of hers and no one-not her Watcher, not her own mum knowing it's not the original.

I want to see the look on their faces when she tells them she's realized ole Spike is her true soulmate and she's got to have him like nobody's business and she hopes they can be happy for her but hey that the way it's gonna be."

"Excuse me,... vampire-slaying?" Warren looks up from his chair...

Spike glares...And yet...William the Bloody knows his humans...And this one...He knows...Somewhere inside...Has more interest in this project than he cares to let on...

A challenge, Spike thinks, looking at Warren...That's the key...

"Look Warren, can't we do a little more, push the envelope. You had some ideas up your sleeve, I know it. You've been keen on this project from the day I came to you, admit it."

Warren nervously rubs his face and looks down at his feet. "Socrates." He calls. A small, furry dog comes running from a back corner of the lab and leaps into his arms.

"Nice pooch, Warren." Spike impatiently glares at the poochee. "You look good in slobber, it suits you."

"We love our kisses don't we Socrates, don't we Soc, hey little boy... Here, Spike..." Offers the dog to Spike who backs off. Warren sets the dog down and it runs off. "Well?" He takes a chair.


"Socrates." Warren grins up at Spike. Spike glares at him a moment, wondering if he should don his "working face" and scare the bejesus out of the little grinning twerp. "Socrates?..."

"Or should I say RoboSocrates. My real dog died six months ago."

Spike looks at him...frowning...

"So...You've got a robodog? Are you suggesting Robobuffy should act like your dog?"

Warren cocks his head and smiles at him...

"Wouldn't you say Socrates was a real dog? I mean if you didn't know?"

"Warren, lad. Clear understanding and plain-speaking, please."

"I copied my dog's memory, personality, soul-if you like, into RoboSocrates. It's a new technique, my real work for the past couple of years. It wasn't ready for April...but well..."

Spike blinked at the little scientist...Copied the soul?...A light clicks on in his mind...

"What?...You're saying that you could copy Summers' soul into that robot of ours?"

"Well, I'm saying that anything that the brain contains could be copied into an artificial brain...An artificial, human brain."...Warren grins at him...

Spike thinks a bit, resisting the temptation to swat the smug little...

"But, Summers doesn' me...What good
will it do me to have two Buffies who can't stand my presence."

"Well, you say she can't stand your presence. I know how that feels. But how come you love her?"

Spike frowns and resumes his pacing...He'd like to know the answer to this one himself...

"How should I know? I should hate her. I did hate her. The girl is just everywhere, I can't explain it. She's all over me, I can't chase her out. I can't even try. How it happened I don't know. Maybe the bloody chip in my head..."

Warren smiles...

"Exactly. You should hate her, you don't... You don't know why, it just is. A perfect application of chaos theory to neural net modeling. She's Buffy and she cares for you...She doesn't know why she just does."

"You can do that? You can make Buffy-er Robobuffy love me? And still be Buffy Summers?"

"Well, it has to be rational, it has to be an affection that she can accept in the context of her-Buffy's personality. See if we push the neural structure too far out of its original state, we run the risk of neural collapse, freezing the brain into a few single patterns of behavior. We'd end up with another April or worse."

He paces the long lab in his turn...Clearly he has been working up to this moment for some time...

He looked at Spike...

"It's really like...Casting a net...Into the infinite universe of potential Buffy Summerses...Something of a gamble of course..." He smiles at Spike...

"But if you're game to make the try...And we can work it just right..."

"We might catch the right one..."

Spike looks at the little scientist...

"So she won't know...What she is I mean."

Warren shakes his head...

"Don't be ridiculous. Of course she'll know. She'd have to if you want to keep her for any length of time. She'll have to perform self-maintenance and recharge...She'd have to know what to do with whatever biomass she takes in when she eats and drinks."

"Eats? Drinks? Is that why she has a stomach in your design there? I thought robots didn't need that."

"They do if you want them to pass as human. And those are important to the robot's socialization skills,personality integration..."

"I don't need a party hostess you know. I'm not planning a run for Congress."

"Ms. Summers likes to eat doesn't she? Then the robot will too."

"But she'll know...Then how can she be Buffy? Knowing she's not Buffy?..."

"She'll know and she'll accept it. Just as she'll accept having a soft spot for a certain blond vampire. If we succeed...It'll just be part of her nature, the way things are."

Spike thinks a bit...If we succeed...But...

A Buffy Summers who could...Care...

For me?...

He looks at Warren...

"But wait, you said we couldn't push things too far. This is pretty far out of Buffy Summers' present life I can tell you right now."

Warren sighes in his turn...

"Love? That's easy. It's the most chaotic thing in our world. Look, Spike...this is our universe but it's part of an infinite series of universes with unlimited potential. All of them intersect at infinite points and cross over in infinite ways. Now somewhere in there is a set of events in which Buffy Summers as we know her could grow to care for you. We just have to get
the new brain to generate that set of events internally without wiping out the rest of Ms. Summers in the process."

"She could still be the same girl? Ms. Save the World Vampire Slayer and all that? And still care for ole Spikey? Yeah, yeah. Warren, that's what I want. Exactly."

"Vampire-Slayer again? What is that? She slays vampires?"

"That's what a slayer does, son. Now can you do it? You seemed to think getting the body form would be a piece of cake the other night. And now this pooch of yours?..." He glares at Warren.

"I don't know about this. I mean...I think the robot could be improved but the brain...The personality and memory transfer...I haven't worked on a human.

Besides she'd have to be willing. I...."

Spike stares at him incredulously...Hopping up...

"She'd what?! Willing? Why willing?"

He stands over the little scientist...

Warren explained patiently...

"Well, at least as it stands now just to get her physical attributes right would take a full body scan. Maybe we could get around that with video scans if they were detailed enough. But the mental transfer would take several hours of direct contact."

"Several hours?! You want the slayer to sit still for us for several hours while we tape off her memories and personality into some kind of gigantic computer thing?!"

He moves towards Warren, nearly forgetting the chip...

Warren scrunches back in his chair...

"Um well...but it's actually about the size of a CD recorder, with sort of headphones. At least the model I used on Socrates was. I don't think the neural recorder would have to be much larger for a human."

Spike calms down just before a first wave of pain can hit him. "The size of a CD recorder and the headset is just like headphones?" An idea strikes him.

"And you'd want a video scan and probably her voice on tape wouldn't hurt?"

"That would be great. Can you get her to sit for that? I mean, I'd really feel better about this if she's willing to go along with it."

"Pal, don't worry your head over it. Spikey will charm it out of her." Seeing Warren's doubtful face, he chuckles. "Well, when she learns it will be the end of Spikey in her life, she'll go along. You'll see. How soon can you have the things ready?"

"A couple of days if I can modify the original recorder."

Back in his lair the next evening, Spike is found sorting through a box of painful memories-Buffy's as a matter of fact. He pulls out a paper and reads...

"Dear buff, Will be away for the day. Can never stop thinking of my girl.

Love, Riley."

"Dear God, this is what won her? I wrote better on my worst day." He sets himself to work copying Riley's handwriting.


I have no power to speak, or to make any
Every day empty.

Without you I sit in a black, blank space where my life is a tedious string of hours that can not be filled.

Buffy, I need some small fragment some..."

He crumples the paper.

"Oh God, forget it. Riley, Mr. Foursquare,...use the direct approach."


Am having a wonderful time down here killing defenseless peasants, err..I mean demons. Wish you were here but could really use some apple pie and ice cream, vanilla of course. God bless America.


P.S. Please use the enclosed to make a video, audio, and neural recording of yourself, preferably naked. The guys are really curious.

Later, Riley"

Spike grins and crumples up the paper.

"Dear Buffy,

It was tough leaving you back there with so much unfinished and unspoken. I know you can't forget the way things worked out for us but I hope that you can forgive. I had to go. I can only hope that your heart can still feel a little of what it once felt. I want so much to try to find someway for us to say the things we couldn't when I left. Perhaps there is a way we can at least be a
little closer.

I'm sending you by way of an old grunt pal of mine, this recording system. It's pretty hitech and I hope you'll use it-I need more than a letter or a phone call for this. I can't go on without seeing you, hearing you, knowing what you're thinking.

Use this and return it to me. What ever anger, rage, or sorrow is in your heart, let me have the chance to feel it with you. Give me just a little of your soul to keep by me here. Let me send you a bit of mine.

I hope but let me leave that for now. I've got to go, we have to pull out.



Spike frowns. "Ok a little melodramatic but hey what sweetie would refuse a request from her gallant soldier boy advancing into the jaws of death."

"And now as to delivery and retrieval." He grins. "Time to call on an old friend."


Warren, nervous but obviously driven by a mix of fear and vanity, delivered the recording system on time...

The next evening Spike drifts quietly through Sunnydale in his car until he spots a large deliveryman, spic and span to a T in his uniform, carefully unloading his van outside an office building.

"Ah, Phil, old pal."

The man turns, a little nervously, to face Spike. Recognizing the vampire, he relaxes a bit but is wary.

"Spike. I'm working. And you're no pal of mine."

"Just a vamp doing his honest night's work, eh? Winning the blood money for the vampiress and kiddees?"

"I'm legit, Spike. And if you want proof, I'll be happy to call a cop."

"Phil, Phil...after all our grand old times together. All those folks we've chowed down...say, remember that little waitress in Frisco?"

"I do...and I remember not killing her and being set to transform her. But you just ripped her to pieces, you and that psycho girlfriend of yours."

"Ah, well. Had to impress my girl then Phil. Didn't know you'd lost your heart to the kid."

"And now you kill your own kind. Regular slayer, aren't you?" Phil glares at him...

Spike smiles...Dear old self-righteous Phil...Hard-working, practical...Ready to accept the human world without complaint...

Hard to believe he must have been even more of a bore in human life...

"Do I detect a note of hypocrisy? Tell me did you list 'actual Boston Strangler' on your application? How'd the human resource people take it? Or are they that hard up for help?"

"Now just a minute, there. When I'm on company time, I'm a professional. I don't go around killing customers or eating my fellow employees."

"Tell that to the two corpses back there in your van, Phil"

"Well...they were competition, trying to cut in on the company's territory. Can you believe it-on my watch, no way." Phil was still clearly annoyed...The idea...

"You're a credit to American values, Phil. Now about the task at hand? Do you understand the setup? You just hand over the box and the letter, leave like a good little mailman. Then in a few days, you return when she calls you by, pick up the box and bring it here to me"

"Don't push me around like those idiots who are afraid of you, Spike. You know, I'm damned sick and tried of lazy, worthless leechers like you, hanging around, begging and stealing, blackmailing those of our people who go out and earn their blood with honest, hard work."

"Having rotting corpses found in one's van is no way to impress the boss, Phil."

"All right, I'll do it...for the good of the company. We can't have our good name sullied. But Spike," he glares severely. "That's CPD-Certified Postal Delivery ground courier-I'm no mailman."

"Phil, at that you're not a man period."

Frowning Phil grabs the letter and box and stalks off to the van.

"Address, Phil?,,,"

He turns and hands Spike a clipboard and form. Spike shakes his head as he fills out the address and return.

"God, vampires worrying about their ruddy pension plans and company scorecards. Mark my words, you'll be hanging around the water cooler next, trying to hear what the other drones are up to so you can get to the boss first. What the hell is the world coming to, that's all I want to know."

Phil grabs the clipboard. "We're done here? Cause I've got work to do."

"Just remember, no sampling the customers at this address. And don't try wangling an invite-just drop the package off, get your forms, and make the pick-up yourself when they call you."

"You don't need to tell me how to do my job, Spike."

"Yeah, I know, you're a professional."


Buffy was at the Magic Shop checking on Glory news with Giles when Dawn's excited phone call comes in. "A package just came, From RILEY!" Giles made speed with his summation of the latest events, noting that Buffy's nonchalance act as especially poor. He's almost as pleased and nervous as Buffy, hoping she'll finally be getting some little bit of reasonably good news. As she nonchalantly nearly broke down the door leaving, he hoped Riley had had the sense to send a present, preferably something ridiculously frivolous.


"Look at this thing? Is it a video camera? Hey..." Dawn grabs at the recorder.

"Will you back off, Dawn?" Buffy pulls it back from her...

"Is there a letter? Did he say anything for me? Lemme read it too. Come on!"

"You break this and you're dead. Just leave it a minute. Leave it...Dawn!"

"Why can't I be in the video, too? Riley likes me. Geesh..."

This continued for some time as Dawn felt she was making a reasoned and sensible request and her sister was being a total... She settled down only after realizing that Buffy had been starting to tear up for a while and was barely able to hold back. Buffy carried the recorder and camera back to her own room, and closed the door.

Feeling properly noble and martyred Dawn settles down to watch TV in the living room-in a chair-by unspoken agreement between the sisters, the couch is off-limits.

It's not very pleasant being alone in that room and Dawn continually calls out to Buffy to find out how it's going or tell her what's up on their TV show. When Giles calls to casually ask how things are going, he's a little startled
to find himself suddenly the intense object of Dawn's curiosity. Even in happier days when he had come over to take Joyce to dinner, Dawn had never been so anxious to have the minute details of his daily life.

No Watcher ever took on such a hazardous duty as Giles that night in allowing Dawn to happily chatter for the best part of two hours...


Buffy woke startled the next morning to find she'd fallen asleep with the recorder on while making the tape "Riley" had requested. While she couldn't see why Riley's electronics friend couldn't have sent the recorder to him first instead of to her, she was feeling just a bit less numb after pouring out to him in her tape. She had held back the news on Joyce but she wanted to see his tape first and find out what his plans were without that to tip the scales towards his return home. When Dawn insisted on seeing the tape, she agreed, anxious to see if she seemed normal and calm. However, this particular tape did not seem compatible with their VCR. They gave up and included photos, a long Dawn letter again minus Joyce's death, and a hastily-baked batch of burned cookies. Buffy was a bit surprised that the delivery company could indeed pick up the package for return that evening but they got everything securely packed in plenty of time...


"It's a good recording." Warren pronounced after reviewing the various data the recorder had produced.

"Then let's get moving."

[Spike and Warren at the assembly lab (When You Wish Upon a Star)]

The robot's bodyframe was obscured by the assembly chamber and its apparatus but Spike could see that it was roughly of Buffy's size. Stripped down as it was, wires, plastic, metal, it wasn't too pretty but neither was Michelangelo's David when it was still a bare marble block. Warren was scurrying around the
equipment. "Ok, I guess we're ready to go." He sat down at the computer console, the switches to the assembly chamber just beside. Spike leaned over, his eyes still on the body in the chamber...

Warren now looks at Spike, hesitating, reluctant to throw the final swishes on his own. "Go on, go on, now..." Spike is relentless, clenching his fists as he wanders the room. "This is it Warren, no U-turns now, kid...Are you the man on the edge, or the little wuss on the seat? Do it now, Warren! Come on lad, say
what you are now!...Warren, the genius, Warren, the real article, Warren the man who creates a new world!"

[See the creation (click the creation video link to run video clip:Xortox Labs Security Cam #1)]

With a grimace, Warren shuts his eyes and lets his hand throw the last switches. A ring of a dozen robot arms begins running up and down over the body frame, spraying some kind of plastic shell over it. At the head, little seems to be going on until one looks at the computer console where a 3D image of the brain circuitry begins to rotate in various directions and angles,
lighting up where ever the recorder is initiating a new connection.

"There!" Warren points at the screen. "You're seeing the first artificial human brain coming to life!"

Spike watches the body with its encompassing ring now moving too fast to be anything but a rosy blur and the image on the screen now bursting into vibrant colors at too many points to watch at once. He grips the chair with a triumphant excitement. Suddenly it's over. The ring becomes a series of arms now separating. The computer image settles into a multicolored portrait of the new brain. Warren hammers away at the keyboard, and a second brain appears, rather like the first but somehow a little different.

"That's Ms. Summer's neural profile, now we just superimpose it on the robot's to see if everything we wanted to match is fit in place..."

The brains move on top of each other, with a near perfect fit. Only in a couple areas are the patches of light slightly different...

"Is that what it's supposedly to be?" Spike looks at the screen, not sure what to expect.

"Yes...of course the profile has to be a little different to fit in what we wanted to and to adjust the brain to accept those things. But in everything else the match is perfect." He is still nervous and keyed up, but clearly elated. Spike pounds him on the back, triggering the chip.

"God, arghh!...Doesn't matter, doesn't hurt it a bit. Can we look now?"

"She's no where near ready, Spike. We have to get her transferred to the biotank."


As they manuever a large, body-sized tank up to the assembly chamber, Spike can't resist taking a peek through the glass of the chamber. "God, bloody hell!"

"I warned you it wouldn't be pretty. It's the internal skeletal structure and musculature. It's just plastic and synthetic membrane."

"Warren, you didn't prepare me for it being a 'Visible Woman'. God...she's not going to look like that for long is she?"

"It's just until the outer layers and skin are finished. I told you she would be in the tank for several days. Here, try this." He hands Spike a small bag of blood.

"Warren?...Well thanks mate, I guess this does call for a celebration. Not bad, where the hell did you get it anyway?"

"Oh, it's hers... It's synthetic blood, to fill the vessels and keep the skin and underlying muscle covers alive. You like it?"

Spike nearly gags but it does taste like blood, pretty top quality blood,actually.

"It's...first rate, said synthetic? When you said she'd haveblood fluid, I thought you were putting in some kind of machine oil or maybered water or something. I could live on this."

"Uh-uh. And she generates it herself. I've set it so she'll produce a coupleof pints a day-if she's charged and has the raw materials on hand. Is thatenough for you?"

"Seriously?...You mean she can give me all the blood I'll need?"

"As soon as her bioareas are fully grown and the systems are operational."

"All right, well, lets get her in this thing and get her home."

The body is moved into the biotank and Warren and Spike load the tank to asmall truck...


Back at Spike's lair they quickly set up the tank alongside Spike's coffin slab. Warren frowned at him...Spike was clearly ready to hop out of his skin in anticipation...

"Just let her sit for the full cycle, Spike. Don't disturb the process."

"Does it have to be 4 days?"

Warren sighed..."No, if you want her new skin and undersurfaces to rot off her in a few weeksor so, you could pull her out in 2 days."

Spike nodded...Just a little patience...A bit of old Brit pluck...he thought...

Warren was ready to head out...Promising to check in tomorrow...Spike...As much to his surprise as Warren's...Put out a hand...And shook thelittle scientist's hand. Warren silently grinned and gave a thumbs up as he left...Spike nodding.


Spike finally gave up pacing the lair and headed out for a smoke and lookround. He didn't notice that someone had been watching the lair for some time. Someone who slips in even as he leaves...


Harmony sees the new "coffin"set out alongside Spike's slab.

So he hasn'twasted any time she thinks. Some new little playmate for Spikey, well...sister, it's time to clear out. She forces open the tank and shrieks. Spike comes running in.

"Damn you, what are you doing here, Harmony?" He slams down thecover.Harmony's horrified look gradually changes to something like admiration.

"You got her...the Slayer I mean. You actually got her at last. You can'tfool me Spike, I saw her in there."

"You saw her? You recognized her?"

"Of course...but God, I mean, Spike what did you do to her? I mean I really hate Buffy Summers but even I wouldn't do what you did to her. Geesch...didyou like, throw acid on her or what?" She shakes her head at Spike. "You know she's gonna be one powerful slay-vamp when she wakes up and boy is she gonna be pissed at you when she sees what you've done. I mean she's...bald, practically, and her skin is all...yeech!"

"Yeah...well, you know what Harm? You're right, I did get her. I got the Slayer with a gallon jug of good old 100 proof sulfuric acid. And you knowwhat Harm? I still have plenty left where that came from." A sound comes from the tank, almost like a cry. Harmony's eyes bulge.

"She's alive...well, our kind of alive...or dead, I mean undead...kind of... Oh, she's not gonna come out now? Yuck!" Spike checks the seals on the tank and clamps down the locks.

"No, not for afew days yet. And you're not gonna be here when she does come out, Harm. Good-bye."

"Well, why I can't I drop by and see her if I want to." Harmony has immediately forgotten her plan to destroy her new rival in her enthusiasm for finally having an old friend, well...acquaintance, well...someone who went to Sunnydale High... to talk to about the old days over a kill or two.

"We're old...classmates. We were cheerleaders together." Her eyes narrow. "You know Spike, just because you're her sire doesn't mean you can go around choosing her friends and forcing her to wait on you hand and foot. I'll show her how to stand up to the likes of you, I'll show her how to be a person on her own, like me. I mean well, an unperson like me."

"I'm sure you'll be quite a twosome. But let's leave that up to her when she's up and about."

"The Slayer, dead and one of us... I can't believe it, it's just too wonderful..."

"Well, why don't you go and just spread the glad tidings, Harm?"

"Oh, wait a minute. Spike, how could you? Didn't her mom just die?" Harmony is quite disturbed by Spike's breech of etiquette. "I mean, shouldn't you have waited...? She has that little sister now, all alone...Why didn't you get her? Oh, gee...the poor little thing. Well, I'll have to take care of her. She can't be left all alone like that."

"Leave the little Nibs alone, Harm. For your own good. Now, get out of here before I find that other bottle of acid!"

Harmony leaves but the thought of poor Dawn, all alone, preys on her long-dormant maternal instincts-almost as much as her hunger seeks to prey on poor Dawn. And nothing would cement a new friendship with Buffy the Vampire like providing for her family. After all she herself was squeamish about transforming her own family and had had to settle for eating Gram and that idiot brother of hers. And then the others had all run off before she could get up the nerve to do it...

If only some friend had been willing to do the icky part for her...


Back at the offices of Xortox Labs, two men are watching a tape taken from a newly installed hidden security camera. The tape is of Warren and Spike working in the lab...

"And the next tape, Mr. Willes. Tonight's activities." Mr. Willes views the tape of Robobuffy's creation in the assembly chamber withDr. Severn, head of Xortox Labs. Severn leans back in his chair and looks at Willes. Willes looks back expectantly.

"Then no actions are to be taken...Against Warren and his assistant?"

"No, not at present. No, we want Warren to complete his project."

"But should we allow him to continue off-site?"

"Mr. Willes, Mr. Willes, Warren is my niece's fiancee. Why he's practically family...I'm sure we can confidently expect him to keep this in-family."

"And if not, sir?"

"We'll keep him under surveillance. And his friend, the Englishman. I don't know what role he plays in this but we'll want him as well I'm sure."

"All right, sir. We'll keep our best on them both." Severn leans back again and looks at Willes...

"Do you know what our boy Warren is offering Mr. Willes?..." Severn pauses...