Friday, March 17, 2006

Sunnydalopolis Part IX

Sunnydalopolis Part IX.

Spike couldn't help enjoying the idea of getting into Buffy II's biotank...sort of like...sharing her coffin, you could say... He gets in as Warren and Buffy II finish emptying out the crypt.

He finds himself in a sea of green goo...Cold green goo.

"Arrgh...what is this muck?... Hey..."

Buffy II slams down the lid on him.

"It's just the biogel for Buffy's skin." Warren calls to him. "It won't do you any harm...I think."

"You...think?!" Spike yells from inside the tank. "You bloody well think...How about you riding in this muck?!"

"Well, I'm not experienced in vampire physiology but..."

They haul him outside. And head out to the new crypt at Greenwood.
The gang arrives at the old crypt nearly two hours too late...Most of them are secretly relieved not to find the robot, all are disappointed not to find Spike.

The crypt is bare.

They search around. Buffy regards the empty space and folds her arms, grimly...Dawn looks at her...She has seen this look...And knows enough not to speak up for Buffy II right now.

"We should have come right out. I never should have waited...I won't make that mistake next time..." Buffy is set and determined.

"What can we do? They could be anywhere..." Willow looks around. Not in the corner crack, not on the ceiling...

Buffy frowns.

"Well, there's only one person who could have made a robot like that that I know of..."

"Warren..." Tara, Willow, Xander.

"He's really getting good at this...isn't he?" Anya notes. "I mean...she's much better than his first one..."

"Wil, find out everything you can about our Dr. Warrenstein. Where he lives, where he works, everything...This is going to end as soon as possible."

"Warren-stein...great one, Buf" Xander laughs until a glare from her cuts him short.

Dawn goes over to Wil and hugs her, "But, she did help us with Mom's forms..." She breathes to Willow, too soft for Buffy to hear. "Can't we try to..."

"Buffy!" Giles calls from below where he has been poking around. They move to the ladder and he climbs up, carrying a box. A box of audio tapes.

They examine the tapes...Property of Dr. Milton Remington, tapes of patient Joyce Summers 1-10... A note on top. "For Buffy and Dawn."

"Remington...that sleaze-ball therapist your mom went to a few years back?" Xander asks. "The one who was caught forging patients' names on checks and diddling..." He looks at Dawn and Buffy looks at him. "And...other things."

Dawn grabs at the box. Mom's tapes...A gift.

"How did she get them? That guy disappeared when the cops caught up with him... Do you think Spike had them?" Xander wonders.

"She got them...for us." Dawn looks at Buffy. Buffy looks at the tapes, but the expression on her face is still grim...

"We can't just go after her..." Dawn looks at her sister hopefully...

"Dawn...I think you should go home with Giles. Willow and I will get some information on Warren."

" won't...hurt her? Please..."

"I won't if she doesn't try to hurt us. Now, go on Dawn...Giles? Please take her."

But Dawn is a Summers and she knows her sister...sisters? She stares evenly back at Buffy. "You're lying. You're going to kill her." She says flatly.

Buffy looks back at her but says nothing.


The move would not have been so bad if they hadn't had to lug the biotank downstairs, Spike reflects. But Ms. Buffy "Virginia Woolf"Summers II wants "a room of her own". And as she points out, the biotank is a dead giveaway as to which crypt is occupied.

All in all, the new place is an improvement, really.

Warren comes in with one last load, books. He drops them on the left bench of the crypt and looks around... Buffy II has determined that this one has no surviving family least so far as they can tell it should be safe enough...

Spike looks at the books. "Weighty tomes, lad...Cybernetics, Robotics...For me?"

Warren has told him of Dr. Severn's wish to get acquainted...Not necessarily a bad thing if he can continue to play a convincing role as "Dr. Walthrop" the British cybergenius... So the boss wants me "on the team", eh?

Well, money is likely to become rather important to him in the near future... especially if Buffy is serious about the "get a real place" and that reference to "my classes"...

"For Ms. Summers...she's interested in the field. This one is for you..." He hands Spike a thin folder containing a few brief descriptions of basic cybernetic terms. "Try and understand some of these by Tuesday night. Ms. Summers...Buffy...can help you."

"Did I mention I was at Cambridge for two years?..." Spike is offended.

"Spike, I'm a little worried about...Ms. Summers..."

"Warren, lad, there are three Ms. Summers, you know. A little more clarity..."

"Umm...our Ms. Summers...umm...she's very interested in don't know that it's all that good so soon for her to get wrapped up in that..."

"Then why the books?"

"Well, she asked and I thought it would be better not to prevent her from getting information...But maybe you should think about...distractions?"

"Manic goddess on the loose, Slayer-led lynch mob in pursuit of us...That distraction enough for you?"

"Well, maybe you should try...taking her out somewhere."


"Sunnydalopolis..." Part VIII

Sunnydalopolis part VIII

Buffy II, "trapped" by the gang in the back storeroom of the Magic Shop is really not ready to face her original...

"Explain this to Buffy?...Oh,umm...wait...umm...Will, Please tell Giles I'm really, really, really sorry about this...The window is just too small..." they hear...There is an enormous crashing sound, just as if someone had smashed through a brick wall in the back of the storeroom. They all run outside...The whatever she was is gone...

Giles upon brief reflection can't help noticing that she must have taken pains to do s little damage in breaking through his wall as possible. The hole is really not much bigger than Buffy...
"Well, it certainly wasn't a Buffy suit. She'd have destroyed the whole building and killed us all by now." Xander reflects. "Clone?... I don't think so...Daylight vampire? In Buffy makeup?" He still likes the daylight vampire idea...And Harmony did say...

"It couldn't have been a vampire, no vampire could survive breaking through all that wood before the brick." Buffy notes. She looks at Xander. "Not even a ‘daylight vampire'."

Will can't help sounding a little proud...She nailed it right from the start.

"Robot" She says, happily. "Definitely robot."

Spike is enjoying a moment's peace in the lower depths of his crypt...

"Moving day!....Spike!...We're moving!..."

He hears crashes and slams from upstairs as Buffy II dashes around the crypt, feverishly grabbing and stuffing things into boxes.

"What the bloody hell?!..."

She has climbed down to his area now and shoves past him with a grim expression. She continues to pack up everything in sight.

Doesn't she like the place?...I knew I should have gone for the pillows...the vampire thinks.


"I have a trailer on your car...we'll have to fit my tank on it...just take what you need..."

"Now wait a minute...It's daylight outside!...What the hell is going on?..."

"You...You and your idiotic longings...You told Warren to give me musical ability...old English songs?...You idiot!...Why couldn't you just buy a CD player?"

"Old English songs?...What are you talking about?"

"Giles knew I wasn't the original Buffy!...Well, only after he spoke to Xander and Buffy on the phone...but still...It didn't help...Oh, come on, hurry!"

He catches on..."They're coming...That gang of yours?"

She stops, and nods, glumly. She now has calmed a little and even looks a little guilty...

"It was so stupid of me to stay...But I had to see them...and see what was up with Glory...and..."

"Right. Ok, lets get moving." For once this is something he is proficient in, the fast pull-out in the face of the Slayer's imminent arrival...This he can handle.

Warren pulls up near the crypt. He is lugging an older computer from his office stores. It's surprising the things the new Ms. Summers is interested in, encouraging really, he thinks. I've really done it, an artificial human brain...what an accomp...

"Warren, just in time, throw that back in your van and lend a hand with the tank here."

Spike dragoons the confused scientist into the moving business without further ado.

"Spike? What do you think about the McGarvey cemetery? There are some big crypts here..." Buffy II is rifling through a phone book list of Sunnydale gravesites.

"Please...that's the worst part of town...You can't walk through that area in daylight."

"Hi, you have room for us?...We have to move...right now...And I don't think we can put the tank in any old motel room..."

"Do you really need the bloody thing?" Spike interjects. "You look...fine."

"She should go on using it for the next week or so...No, Ms. Summers...I live in a studio apartment, pretty crowded...lots of neighbors...I don't think it's the place for you two..."

"Buffy...Please, you can call me Buffy. Well, I guess it's got to be another crypt for now...Greenwood?"

"Greenwood?...Your mother's cemetery?..." Spike looks doubtful. It's a nice place, but if the Slayer finds out they staying in her mother's cemetery...and she'll be sure to be coming to visit...

"Greenwood,'s the best choice, Spike...and I'd be near Mom...almost home, sort of... The big crypts are way in back, anyway...It'll have to do until we can get a real place."

"Get a real place?..."

"Warren, it would save room if Spike could go in the tank..." Spike looks at her...the tank? "He has to be protected from sunlight anyway..." She continues, ignoring him. "Is it all right if he goes in it? He won't dissolve or anything? Not that that wouldn't be an improvement."

"It shouldn't hurt him...It might with his hair." Warren is starting to enjoy the excitement, what a past couple of weeks this has been he thinks.

Spike glares at him. "What about my hair?"

Fortunately, the gang was not quite as hot on their trail as all that...

They returned inside the store after inspecting the damage to discuss their next move. Willow, Tara, Dawn, even Giles seemed a little reluctant to set out in fury after the robot...She had seemed kind of nice, actually... Maybe they shouldn't be too hasty... The others, even Buffy, though leaning toward robot demolition, were a little uncertain as to what to do as well, although Xander felt taking Spike out for a brisk walk in the daylight was certainly a good place to start.

"Why do you think she came here, Giles?" Tara asks.

"I don't know...From what Harmony said last night and the timing of his calls to me today, Spike is clearly involved in some way, perhaps he sent her to get information...perhaps...she was...acting on her own. There's no way to tell."

"Maybe she's not evil?" Willow asks, hopefully. "She's certainly no April..."

"Spike's sex ro..." Xander stops, looking at Buffy and Dawn who are both looking at him. "Spike's Step-Buffy can't be trusted Will."

"I know...but she seemed so...Buffy. She could have been a twin."

Tara nods in agreement. But suddenly the others realize Buffy has reached the breaking point as she jumps up and faces them...

"She's not my twin! What is the matter with you people? Spike has a robot copy of me, running around, doing God knows what...And you stand around like idiots worrying whether it's ok to hurt her or not..." She rages at them.

"This thing has to be! I haven't got enough on my mind without having to worry that you...silly, stupid...will get killed try to befriend Spike's doll."

They are startled by Buffy's outburst...They'd forgotten what strain she's been under, at least just for a moment.

She shakes off Will's attempt to put a hand on her. "My father doesn't come home for my mom's funeral...Glory is running around...Now this... I have to have some support from you people...God,..." She moves back from them.

Dawn looks at her sister and tries to apologize for her. "Buffy's really been upset...She didn't sleep at all last night...After my dad called she was just..."

Buffy interrupts her. "Do you know what my dad called about, Giles? I mean, besides being really sorry he couldn't get away from his girlfriends for a couple of days... He wanted to know when we would be selling the house...Selling our house. He couldn't come for Mom's funeral, but he'll be right in line to collect his share."

"Buffy, I'm so sorry...." Giles' calm manner masks his intense desire to meet Hank Summers for about five a locked room.

"But what can I do now?...I haven't got a job, I can't keep up a mortgage...I can't even pay for my mom's funeral...College, well, that's gone..."

"But, know, anything you need..."

"No, Giles...Thank you." She wipes away tears and smiles a little. "You have a hole to fix in your back room...courtesy of my double..."

"It's insured...In the Watcher business, the first thing you learn is to always carry insurance... Speaking of which, surely your mother had some life insurance, mortgage insurance?..."

Dawn looks at Buffy sheepishly.

"She did...but we can't find the papers...We were through the house again all morning before we went to meet Xander...Nothing."

"Well, why don't we put the robot problem on hold and all go over and look...If your mother's papers aren't there...We'll try her office." Giles puts a hand on Buffy's shoulder.

"I...cursed my mother this morning, Giles." She looks at him and then all of them and their shocked faces...Dawn looks at her feet.

"'s only natural to be angry...even at your mother..."

"I hated her for leaving us like this... Why didn't she let us know, have everything arranged?...She's dead and that's all I could think about... What's going to Dawn and me? And, then... I remembered..." She sobs. "Last year Mom went over everything with me...I was supposed to write it down, remember it...I couldn't be bothered...didn't want to think about it...And now, I can't remember any of it."

Tara nudges Anya. Anya pulls up a piece of paper...

"Buffy...I found this in the back room while we were looking around." She hands the note to Buffy who looks blankly at her.

"We weren't sure if we should give it to you, now." Tara chimes in. "But should read it."

I'm really sorry about any damage I'm going to do and I promise, I swear I will pay you back for it. As soon as I can. I don't mean to harm anyone but I had to see you guys again and I had to know what was going on with Glory. I know Buffy can't deal with this right now and I can't either. I love you guys.

Tell Buffy that Mom's life insurance forms are in the bedroom linen closet in the small metal box under her big carton on the left, the one with the Christmas ornaments. There's a mortgage insurance form there too. She should speak with Mr. Masters at the museum about Mom's death benefits. I know she's forgotten where this stuff is, I did too. My one advantage, a back-up supplemental memory.