Sunday, August 08, 2004

"Sunnydalopolis..." Part VI

Sunnydalopolis part VI.

All's well as they leave the area around Buffy's home, but Buffy II is pensive and looks weary. Spike is bothered by her silence and nervous about her condition...batteries up to snuff and all..?

"Are you...tired, Buffy?"

"I'm exhausted...Spike, it's been a long day and I don't feel like talking."

"Just wanted to know if you were all right. Sorry to remind you I'm here."

"Spike, Buffy would be I'm exhausted. There's nothing wrong with my insides if that's what you're thinking."

"Well, at least there's nothing to worry you here. Gang's in one piece and headed home for naptime...Buffy and Dawn are safe back at Giles'."

"Where's my dad?" She looks at Spike. "Where is he? Why aren't they all at the house? What...couldn't he be bothered to come to Mom's funeral...for crying...out...loud? My father couldn't be bothered to come home for my mom's funeral..."

She is in tears...Spike is lost for words again. He looks around, nothing to hit...or burn his hand in...


Warren, now pacing Spike's crypt, is a man with a collect $1200 dollars in company credit card funds from a certain blond vampire...

Not that things didn't go reasonably well...Severn and Willes seemed suitably impressed by the full body construct of his bionetics project that he'd claimed was what he and "Dr. Walthrop" had been working on. Thank God he'd realized he'd need something to show for all those late nights...

Besides he was desperately anxious to see how the new Ms. Summers was doing...But, where were they? It was almost dawn and don't vampires have to sleep all day in the dark?

"Spike!? Ms. Summers?" The two pull in in Spike's car, both looking dead tothe world. He goes over to them, but Spike is naturally anxious to get inside. Buffy...Ms. Robobuffy?...looks worn out...

"Are you two all right? Where've you been?"

Safely in the crypt as the sun appears, Spike is able to take in the nervous scientist. BuffyII is headed straight for the tank. Her new skin is still vulnerable and she needs to let it regenerate. Besides some privacy is desperately needed and the crypt is not exactly bursting with private spaces...

"Hi, 'dad' " She nods to Warren as she climbs into the tank...


Spike is extremely pleased to see the effect of new fatherhood on his friend's face. Finally, someone else is getting it from her...

"Oh, Spike...I want you to call Giles today and get him to give you some computer data for tracking info about Glory...he can get it from Willow. Oh,god..I've got to get over to school later and see what I can do about myclasses...Maybe I could audit something under another name?..." She thinks a moment. "Maybe I could try and see Giles, find out what's going on withouttelling him about me...just yet. Warren..., could you get us a computer today,a good one and show Spike what the computer era is all about?"

They look at her and eye each other...

"And Spike...this tank locks from the don't even think about it."

The green light on the tank clicks on...

"Weell 'dad', pull up a chair and sit a spell." Spike grins at Warren...

"What glory? Is that a report for her classes?"

"Nah, mate. Megalomanic goddess is what she is. Has it in for the Slayer. Nasty character, as they all are. I think it comes from the omnipotence and all."

"Spike, about that company credit card I lent you...$1200 dollars in ladies garments and things from the mall? You said 'a few nickernacks for the lady'...?"

"What can I say, son? The Summers girl is high maintenance." He frowns a little...

"Has she...Ms Summers been active all night?"

"Active?...she never stopped for a minute... And when we weren't making the rounds we were chasing down her bloody favorite brand of toothpaste in every 24 hour store in town."

"Wow...You know, she seems a little high-strung. Is she behaving normally?"

"Normally...? Well, Buffy Summers...Mom just passed away...woke up in my crypt...vamp attacks all night long..." Spike thought a bit.

"Well, you saw her...yes, that was Buffy Summers to a T."


Spike grins again. "Our girl made her first kill tonight...Warren, you should have seen her...six vamps at one blow...even Buffy on her best night could barely top that."

"Kill?...She killed ...vampires...tonight?" Warren looks thoughtful. "So the mortality fail-safe didn't prevent her from killing vampires? Well, that's...good, I wasn't sure if there would be a conflict but I guess she's able to make the distinct..."

"Mortality what?..." Spike turns, startled. "Do you mean she has a bleeding chip?"

"Oh, no, it's part of her neural net. After April, I naturally had to be sure this one wouldn't harm people so..."

"You let me wander out in the night with a Slayer who might not have been able to kill anything?"

"You never said you were planning to take her out killing things..."


When Buffy II emerged from her "bath", Spike was below, snoring for all he was worth. At least he went downstairs, she thought...

No sign of Warren. Good, no full body exams today please Dr. Warrenstein...still, I hope he looked things over.

She cleaned up, as well as she could in a crypt, dressed and left. On the street, she begins to think...School? Giles'?...Any place where I could get a half-decent shower?

Giles'?...But what do I say to him? What I always say to him, she reflects...I am Buffy after all, robotic or not...

She looks back at the crypt...Spike...well, he'll have to get used to the idea that he wanted Buffy and he's got Buffy...the whole deal...

I can't go home, she thinks...I can never go home...Buffy will never accept me...

Well...Slayers are needed elsewhere...I can make a life for myself...somewhere. And still look after Dawn...and I promised Mom last night. As for Spike, well...if he does all right in this fight with Glory, we'll talk... after all eternity is a long time...and I think I understand him better least I understand the loneliness...but it will be on my terms. If he can't handle it...

But Glory first...

The thought strikes her. A promise to a dead mother, from an artificialdaughter to protect a daughter who never existed...This could only happen in Sunnydale... Sunnydalopolis... Metropolis... Metropolis, a 1926 silent film about a robotic woman who goes insane and destroys a city...Damn that Warren and his supplemental memory. No, that was not going to happen...but every movie about robots I ever saw had the robot turn on people... No...No...never, push that out of your mind. I can't even think about things like that now.

I just have to trust that Warren and Spike did a competent job in constructing the first artificial human brain. Warren and Spike...

Mr. Billings, postman in the area for 20 years, would have stopped to greet Ms.Summers as she stood in the street but seeing her laughing so heartily, couldn't bare to interrupt her. Poor girl, she never laughs these days, he thought.



Giles is surprised to see Buffy entering the store. She can't have gotten more than three hours sleep last night. Does look a little worn, poor girl.

"Buffy, is anything wrong? There's no need for you to be out today...I told you I'd call if there was anything to bring you out."

"I...umm...I couldn't stay home, Giles...Is there anything new on Glory?"

"No, Buffy, really you must try to take care of yourself, my dear, if only for Dawn's sake..." He feels helpless to comfort her. And is still raging inwardly at the absent Hank "will have to see if I can get away"Summers. Spike isn't the only one who needs something or someone to hit when poor Buffy is around right now.

"Can't I just hang here for a bit, Giles? Just in case anything comes in..."

Buffy II has turned to the store bookshelves...It's so good to be back...home. Giles attends to the customer, but is suddenly struck by the sound of Buffy, humming as she picks through the books on the shelves...carrying a tune in actually quite pleasant old tune he knows, from back in England..."I Know Where I'm Going." He's not nearly so much surprised by her choice [Play I Know Where I'm Going...]of tune as by the fact that he is actually enjoying the sound of Buffy making musical sounds. Buffy Summers, whose loving friends have been known to claim fake deaths in the family to avoid having to hear her sing or even hum. Shefeels his startled gaze and catches herself...Spike! You and your 'extra requests'!

"Sorry, Giles, I didn't realize I was...making audible sounds...'Cuse me."

She moves to a rear section of the store and occasionally glances over at him as he deals with more customers who have entered. Tell him, she thinks guiltily, it's better to tell him now....Oh, right...Giles, I'm a robotic neural copy of Buffy, commissioned by Spike, but I'm really a very nice person and here to help...that'll do it right. I wouldn't trust me wouldbe crazy...and how can I help if I don't know what's going on...Spike!...this is your fault...if you could have just maintained a thin sliver of credit with my friends and me...I could speak right out to Giles and tell him and... I can't stand lying to him like this...

"Umm...Buffy?" Giles has freed himself from the customers and come over. "Have you done anything regarding Spike yet?"

She's surprised not so much by the question as by his slightly guiltly look. Spike must have called him...

She can't help being a little pleased with the vampire's willingness to put his pride on the line to satisfy her...

She looks at him...


"I mean..." he goes on, "After Xander's call regarding Harmony's little announcement last night you seemed quite ready to...well..."

Harmony? She thinks fast...

"Oh... well, you know Harmony...No, I didn't think it was worth it to waste my time with Spike this morning...maybe later."

"Well, you see the oddest thing happened earlier...Spike actually called me this morning... Several times actually, as I repeatedly hung up on him. Unfortunately he seems to have learned how to tap into cell phone systems from his crypt or wherever he's currently hiding."

"What did he want?" She tries to look extremely annoyed with the meddlesome little pest. It's not hard.

"He...wanted" Giles pauses. "At least he claimed to... With Glory, that is... In point of fact, he told me he has gotten hold of a computer and wanted to know if I had any useful ideas about getting information on her."

"Wow...He's...obviously trying to put something over on us...Maybe he wants to make a deal with Glory?"

"Well...frankly, I was thinking that myself...but it occurred to me that considering our current lack of information on Glory and ways to contain her...well, perhaps we should..."

She nods in quick agreement..."Oh, by all means, Giles...Use the sneaky little rat to get anything you can on her...Let him think he's setting us up. Great idea.."

"Well of course we can't trust any information we get from him, but..." He's pulled away by the ringing phone in the back room.

I should go, she thinks...I should go right now...But it's so nice to see Giles again and maybe someone else will drop by. Buffy?...Well, she'll sleep in...I would...or maybe she's killing Spike...What would Harmony have to do with anything?

Why is he taking so long on the phone? She strains to hear something. Musicalability...Warren gives me musical ability...he couldn't give me superhearing or something else useful to a Slayer?

He returns. She looks him over, nervous...Nothing seeemss to be wrong...He doesn't have a gun or a cross or a screwdriver in his hands.

"Xander and the others are coming over."

"Oh, they must be exhausted after last night, they were out all night...umm, I suppose..."

"Well, I'm sure they're coping...Buffy, would you help me in the back storeroom?...just for a moment...I have some things to get out and I think there's one thing you should see."

She follows...well, if they're all coming over, maybe she could just grab a few minutes with them...

"Giles, what have you got? Is it important?..." She precedes him into the storeroom, suddenly realizing that this was a bad idea. He shuts and bolts the door behind her.

She bangs at the door. She could smash it down, but she wouldn't dare damage Giles' property without a very good reason. Besides it would hardly engendertrust on his part...

"Giles!...What's going on? What are you doing? Are you ok?"

He calls through the bolted door.

"Buffy, or whatever you are... If I'm making a mistake I sincerely apologize...but I just spoke to Xander and he is with Buffy and Dawn right now... So, please, let's be patient and wait for the others to get here."