Title : A Ripping Tale

Author : Booster

Rating : PG-13

Summary : The files of the Watchers Council go back many years. Just what was Anya doing in London in late 1888? And how do the Vorlons fit in?

Disclaimer : Buffy and the gang belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. The Vorlons are from Babylon 5, so belong to JMS and Warner brothers.

Setting : Post season seven for Buffy, approximately 2 or 3 weeks after "Chosen".

Distribution: Twisting the Hellmouth, . If anyone else wants it, just email and ask.
Feedback: Yes, please.

The cover note didn't seem very promising : Transcript found in the remains of the Watcher's Council London headquarters.

Still, worth having a look at, he supposed. You never knew just what the old Council had had its fingers involved in. He was surprised just how much had actually survived the explosion. He looked at the remaining piles of boxes to go through and inwardly groaned. Still, better to make a start somewhere, he supposed.

10th November 1888

I did not mean for events to transpire so.

I did not expect things to end this way.

I just wanted my husband to be with me.

My name? I am Rosemary Jennifer Sebastian nee Atkins, and we reside at 22 Cromwell Street, SE1. We have resided there for five years now, and everything was both peaceful and well, until one night six months ago.

My husband, Robert Sebastian had started staying later and later at his club, sometimes not coming back until 4 in the morning. A couple of times he did not return at all – I simply assumed that he had taken a room at the club, and indeed that is what he mentioned to me the next day.

And then at the end of August, I could not sleep and found myself awake in the early hours. That night I heard my husband return to our house, so I hastened downwards to greet him. Something was not right, for he seemed most brusque and determined to wash himself at once. He refused to speak of this to me at a later date, but instead ignored my inquiries. I was hurt, but thought nothing of it.

As the weeks continued, he started staying out later and later until finally he was spending most of his time at his club on the edges of the East End. I was distracted by the news of this awful series of murders of prostitutes that were mentioned in the broadsheets, and urged him to be careful.

Two nights ago, I was present at a party given by the hostess Mrs Menson, when Agatha Hadener approached me. She had overheard a conversation between her husband and his friends laughing over certain people they knew. With the increased police presence in the East End, certain society folk, she explained delicately, had found it difficult to maintain their usual patronage of the women there. She had thought nothing of this until they mentioned my husband by name, expressing admiration for his continued visits.

I was shocked, and spent the next day in a daze. When my husband came home briefly to change his clothes last night, I confronted him, away from the servants, and demanded to know what was occurring. A flash of guilt passed over his countenance before it resumed its normal mask of indifference. He denied all, and left forthwith.

Struck down with unreasoning hatred for him, I followed but soon lost him. Alone in the street, I swore hatred for him. At that point I felt a touch on my arm, and a woman introduced herself. Her name was Anyanka, and she had heard my exclamation. She explained that she had often found young ladies in my position, thrown aside by their beloved male protectors. She knew just how I felt, and encouraged me to let these feelings out, to wish things upon him that I might feel better.

Exact phrasings? Why of course, though the reason behind your request is strange. I said "I wish that he would go as far as possible away from myself and the children, and live there never bothering us ever again." Anyanka's face seemed to change momentarily, though that was surely a trick of the light, and she uttered the phrase "Wish granted."

I laughed, for in truth I did feel much relief at this point. She, on the other hand, was seeming most infuriated herself and mentioned that she didn't not have much to work with. Anyanka then snapped her fingers, and exclaimed "Kosh!" At this, there came the sound of thunder, and a thing appeared.

It was dark blue, and of a somewhat square nature, almost six feet tall. Dark patterned material billowed down around its sides, while its head appeared to be somewhat machined in a smooth rectangular fashion. A lens of some dark material was mounted upon this head, which moved from side to side. When the creature moved, it glided from side to side, though I heard what sounded like the slow distant flapping of wings. There seemed to be some kind of musical melody behind its voice when it spoke, "Meetings unexpected can lead to strange conclusions."

"Rubbish!" said the woman by my side as I drew back in fear. "I have a candidate for your studies." She then held the gem around her neck in one hand and gestured with the other. And then I went mad.

I dreamed that somehow we were instantly in another room in London, and that my husband was present. He was in a cramped and dirty room, which also contained the body of a young woman who was…. She was… She had been killed and… her insides…they…

My husband stood frozen in shock, holding a knife. It was… it was dripping with blood. I fell to my knees, powerless to speak and just stared at him.

The Kosh creature just fixed its gaze upon him, and a strange light shone out from its head fixing my husband in the beam. He seemed even more fixed in position than before and that creature spoke once more, "When the rooster crows, a wise man rises."

Anyanka spoke in response to that, "Told you so. Wait… do you mean me by that? Stupid Vorlons. You're worse than prophesies at times." At this she tugged at the necklace around her throat and vanished. One moment she was present in my nightmare, and the next she was absent.

My husband then started to float in the air, still transfixed in the beam emanating from Kosh, who also began to float. I caught Sebastian's eye for one last time as the two figures started to glow. He seemed almost worshipful in the way he looked back at me, peaceful and in a strange way happy, as if he were ascending to the Promised Land. The beam around my husband spread and enveloped the Kosh creature as well. It glowed brighter and brighter, as finally I was forced to shield my eyes from the glow.

Suddenly it was gone, and so were the others. I was alone. I fled from the room with the dead woman in it, and into the arms of your men. They listened to my ravings and conveyed me to this location.

I wish now that I had not spoken.

Can you not hear me now? I wish that I had not said anything! I wish that things were as they were! I just wish for my husband back. Please, bring him home….

Rosemary Sebastian (Mrs)

I certify that this is a correct and complete transcript of an interview performed in the environs of the Watcher's Council 10th November 1888.

Stephen Brownsworth

Head of Council.

See related files: Kosh, Anyanka, Vengeance Demons, Jack the Ripper.

Rupert Giles put the file down with great interest, and leaned back in his chair, glasses dangling downwards in one hand. Who would have thought that things such as these were lurking in the furthest recesses of the Watcher's Council? As the new head of the reformed Council, he'd have to make sure to find the time to take a much closer look at what was left of the files.

But there were much, much more important things to do first. Placing his glasses back on, he pulled the telephone towards him, and dialed the number he knew off by heart. It rang twice and was then answered. "Ah, Willow? Good, good…. Is Xander still moping around? And is he present now? I think I have something here that would cheer him up considerably."