Member of the Church Of Faith
- Dec 23, 2013
- The Moot, England
What was once an unassuming suburban town is now a smouldering crater. For some it was your home, for others simply a refuge, now it’s just a battlefield, a grave for all those left behind.
Turning a Hellmouth into California’s newest distinctive landmark was simply one of many remarkable things that happened to you over the past few days; the most being actually surviving the clutches of the First Evil and the horde of ancient vampires that it commanded.
But now the fight is over. The Hellmouth has claimed its last victim.
Or so it seems.
Now, with the big evil smooshed and many of you nursing a colourful variety of injuries, you’ve decided to leave the immediate area before somebody with a badge or a camera turns up asking awkward questions about where that town just went.
So you all crammed onto your getaway school bus and set off somewhat aimlessly. Not thinking much further ahead than ‘away’. Some place to rest and heal up is the main goal for most of you.
You are all tired and spent, dirty and bloody, but also kinda euphoric for not only having survived, but also for having helped save the world.
Perhaps you’re reflective, thinking about those lost friends who fell in battle, why you survived and they didn’t. Or maybe you’re exhilarated by your life to come, a life full of new possibilities. Or perhaps you’re simply relieved to have this craziness over and done with.
As the bus journeys west, towards the sun hanging low in the sky, you all pass the time in different ways.
Andrew is sitting by himself staring out of the window seemingly reflective. In his lap he holds an old and careworn book- perhaps mystical- protectively close.
Dawn is fast asleep at the back of the bus near to her sister. She snores softly, and has the Slayer scythe jammed securely between her knees and the back of the seat in front of her.
Faith rides near the front next to a patched-up and resting Robin Wood. She’s tired but also jittery, jonesing badly for a cigarette as she idly plays with her lighter.
Giles is driving the bus, expired licence be damned he wants to get as far away from the structurally unsound sinkhole as quickly as possible. In his haste he might’ve gotten slightly turned around on these back roads...
Vi is right at the back of the bus, having just finished bandaging the currently horizontal Buffy, whose fierce abdominal wound caught up with her soon after they all came to a stop, which led to Buffy promptly collapsing right after everyone was asking her what she was going to do now. Vi and her well-worn first aid kit sit nearby, flushed with the thrill of victory and her status as newbie slayer slash medic.
Willow sits near the middle of the bus snuggled up next to Kennedy. She’s physically tired from channelling all that magic through her but her mind is alert and buzzing. It’s as if the world around her is waking up for the first time, like things are changing from black-and-white to Technicolor.
Amanda- thought dead during the battle yet miraculously came to as the Hellmouth was collapsing in on itself- sits upright and semi-conscious a couple of seats behind Faith, where the older slayer dumped her after carrying her to safety. She’s nursing a severe headache despite being given many painkillers and still grips a stake tight in her fist her even though she fades in and out of awareness.
The rumble of the buses engine soon becomes monotonous to you, the vibrations rhythmic. The dust kicked up from around its wheels seems to linger in the surrounding air giving a strange hazy effect to the view outside. The sun hangs low in the sky casting the clouds in a bruised red and purple light, the effect is both beautiful and eerie.
Despite yourselves your concentration drifts a little, so much so that you’re startled when after a while the buses engine grinds loudly and the entire cab seems to shudder violently before rocking to one side and then the other.
The sight outside the windows is now not thick with dust but choked and obscure with desert sand blown hard against the windows, quickly caking them with grit. The air howls and whistles and seems to thicken and pressurse, for a moment the atmosphere feels charged. That ends with a strange fizz-pop as you all lurch in your seats. There’s a flash of white behind your eyes as you lurch and you struggle not to thrown violently all over the place.
For a long moment the bus feels like its going downhill, there’s a swooping feeling in your stomach like you’ve crested a hill too fast and are momentarily airborne.
Then the bus stops moving entirely, jarring you even as the vehicle judders, creaks and then slowly tips on its axis, as if its entire right-hand side were sliding into a ditch. Then it stops again, just as suddenly, suspended in the quiet.
That’s when you all realise that you are the only people on the bus. Those who were next to you, behind you, talking with you, only moments ago, are all gone. As is everything else on the bus- bags of clothes, weapons, all of it vanished without a trace.
Alarmed, you look to each other even as the bus continues to creak and shift ominously around you.
What do you do?