May 26, 2020 12:45 PM
Carbons and Storms in the Buffyverse(?)
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Seo laughs and takes Bryce's hand.

"Luckily for you... your wish is my command."

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-- her face changes, like her skin disappeared and all that's left is exposed tissue and blood vessels.

She takes out an amulet from beneath her shirt. It hangs on a delicate silver chain and glows sickly green.

"Wish granted. I really hope you get the guy, Bryce Lynwood, and you achieve all you want in life. Good luck."

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Subsequently, Three Months Ago

*

Giles does not normally go in for this sort of thing.  Not any more, certainly.  And most of the objects in this store are likely entirely inert in any case.  But the Slayer is missing, and there have been ominous if subtle portents, and so somewhat drastic measures may be indicated.

He is shopping for magical implements.

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There is only one magic shop in town and there is a sign out the front proclaiming "Under New Management".

It's relatively empty of people, with only the clerk and one other customer browsing silently near the back.

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He glances at the other customer, but avoids catching his eye.

This isn't anything, this isn't anything, this is something but not something terribly useful, this... is at least worth a more thorough examination than he can perform in public... this isn't anything... this is literally plastic...

...ah, here we go, these crystals seem to be the genuine article.  He gathers up a few choice ingredients.

There is a saying that you should always check the second-least impressive and second-most impressive objects in a magic shop of dubious authenticity, and these shelves in the back look quite drab and dusty.

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-- except the other customer is now standing next to him.

"It's a fake," he gestures to the first item. "Have seen a lot of them around the last decade coming out of Milan. They're spelled to explode the moment you take a closer look."

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"How charming," he mutters.  "Thank you for the warning.  Any chance you know how best to defuse them?"

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"Throwing them in salted water will do the trick."

...he continues to stand in the other mans way, though not quite in a threatening way.

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"Right.  Thank you."

"...was there, ah, something else you wanted?"

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He shifts a little awkwardly, clears his through and nods.

"You're looking for the Slayer. I want to help."

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"Who are you?"

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"A friend."

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"Whose."

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"You're going to need all the friends you can get."

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"Perhaps as a gesture of good faith you could tell me why you think so."

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"The Harvest is coming and the Master is rising. If we don't find your Slayer soon..."

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(That tickles something in his memory, but he can't place it.)

He resists the urge to glance conspicuously over his shoulder.  "Perhaps we should find someplace more discreet to talk."

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"Find your answers," he says as he hands him a book and walks away. "I'll find you then."

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"Of course you will," he mutters.  He looks at the book.

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The Order of Aurelius the title reads. The cover is of a large yellow sun, surrounded by stars. It's a thick book and yellowed with age. Clearly several hundred years old.

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Looks like he's got some reading to do.  He pays and departs.

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Meanwhile, elsewhere.

He really doesn't want to be here. But they didn't give him much a choice in the matter. Especially with the whole jumping out of a dark alley, shoving something over his head and knocking him out.

He can feel the dark energies from the Hellmouth radiating, making his skin crawl. So he knows he's in Sunnydale.

He has the worst bloody luck.

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He is in: a basement.  (In Sunnydale.)  Concrete, chilly but mercifully dry.  Ineffectually lit by a single unshaded lightbulb hanging down from the center of the ceiling, throwing stark spidery shadows across the walls and floor.

He was, just moments ago, shoved unceremoniously down a flight of unvarnished wooden stairs.  There is no one else in the basement, but there is a gurney, with leather straps, against the opposite wall.

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"Bloody hell! What kind of hospitality do you call this?" He yells to the empty basement.

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The empty basement is unmoved by his admonition.

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