Warning: spoilers for end of Angel season 5
It's a Russian thing…
Part 3: Shadows and light
"Will you two knock it off?" Susan snapped, fed up with the way Spike and Marcus were acting, "It's like dealing with a pair of five year olds!"
"He started it." Marcus protested.
"Did not!" Spike shot back.
"KNOCK IT OFF THE PAIR OF YOU!" Susan yelled, startling the Ranger and Watcher, "Stop it right now, or I swear to god I will knock the pair of you out and use you as bait!"
"This is why I hate having amateurs involved; they lack the discipline needed." Spike muttered, "Anyway, we're getting closer; I can smell it."
"I just hope it's feeding, not siring." Susan looked round, then stopped, her eyes narrowing, "I think we have a problem." She pointed at a sign above a door:
Wolfram and Heart
Attorneys at law
"No!" Spike shook his head, "They were destroyed; I was there when t happened!"
"What's going on?" Marcus asked.
"The Wolf, the Ram and the Hart." The colour had drained from Susan's face, "They miscarried as a law firm, but in fact they're a organisation run by 'The Senior Partners', a group of supernatural beings dedicated to bringing about the apocalypse. They where supposable destroyed in 2004."
"I was there: Illyria, an Old One, destroyed their army by unsealing her power, laying wait to two city blocks." Spike shudderd, "Illyria and a man named Charls Gunn were killed: only Angel and I made it out of there in one piece."
"But if they where destroyed, how can they be here?" Marcus shrugged, "Maybe it's just a coincidence."
"This is Babylon 5 we're talking about: there's no such thing as 'just a coincidence'." Susan drew her PPG and took the safety off, "We need to check this out before we go any further."
"I'll lead." Spike stepped in front of the Slayer, "Unlike you, I am bullet-proof."
The rusted door opened at a slight touch, leading into a room that looked out of place in Down Below: the bulkheads had been covered in wood panelling, while a staircase lead up to the next level.
"So old Wolfram and Heart style." Spike hissed. His eyes went wide when he saw who was behind the reception desk, "Harmony?"
"Spike!" The ditzy, blond vampire looked up, then cam running out from behind her desk. Susan was already bring her PPG up when Harmony wrapped her arms round Spike and gave him a hug, "I haven't seen you in SO long!"
"No, not since L.A." Spike took a step back, "What are you doing here?"
"Oh, I was transferred here from the Mars office about a year ago." Harmony smiled, "You know what those Wolfram and Heart contracts are like: till death and then some."
"Never signed one." Spike shook his head, "This is Commander Susan Ivanova and Anla'shok Marcus Cole. Guys, this is Harmony Kendall, someone I dated back in the day."
"That's just Spikes way of saying he's my sire." Harmony held out her hand, "It's nice to finally meet Babylon 5's famous Slayer."
"I see my reputation precedes me." Susan shook the offered hand; "How come there's a Wolfram and Heart office on MY station and I never knew a thing about it?"
"Oh, this is only temporary: one of our biggest clients has a lot of business in this part of the universe, so we set up shop to accommodate them." Harmony explained, "The customer always comes first in this business."
"Just who is this client?" Marcus asked, having a hard time to catch up with everything.
"Oh, he's in a meeting with the boss…" Harmony looked round as a door opened, "Oh, here he is now…"
"Morden!" Susan hissed when she saw who the vampire was pointing at.
"Wes?" Spike blinked when he saw the man the agent of the Shadows was talking with, "Wesley?"
"Spike?" The former Watcher blinked, "What are you doing here?"
"I was about to ask you the same thin: Illyria said you died fighting Vail. She was rather upset."
"The contract I signed when we took over the LA office was for 1,000-years: I still have some time to go."
"If only Illyria knew…"
"Oh, but she does." Wes looked round when he saw Susan lift Morden up by his shirt collar and slam him into a wall, "I'm afraid I can not allow you to do that: while he is inside this office, he is under the protection of Wolfram and Heart."
"How do I know he's not responsible for the rogue vampire on the station?" Susan asked, "That's just the sort of trick he'd pull!"
"There's a rogue vampire on the station?" Wes looked at his assistant, "Harmony!"
"Hey, not me boss!" The secretary held up her hands defensively, "You know I'm on the wagon."
"Then find out who it is and where they are." Wes turned back to Spike, Susan and Marcus as his assistant ran off, "The only business Wolfram and Heart has with Mr Morden and those he represents is a minor land deal on Centauri Prime, nothing more."
"I don't care: I want you off my station." Susan glared at the former Watcher, "And if I EVER catch you back here again, Hell will seem tame in comparison to what I'll do to you."
"Our business here is concluded, and we have seats on a ship due out in three hours." Wes bowed his head slightly, "I trust that the local denizens will strip the place and return it to normal in short order." He turned to Spike, "It was good to see you again."
"Yeah, you to." The Watcher nodded, "But what did you mean about Illyria knowing you're still around?"
"Illyria is an Old One, a god: do you realy think she'd die so easily?" Wes smiled, "Sometime's she's the only thing that gives me the strenght to go on." He looked at his watch, "I have to go. Harmony will get you the information you need before we leave the station."
"Yeah, ok, what ever." Susan looked distracted, "But remember what I said: don't come back here ever again."
"I need to go tell Dawn and Frank that Wolfram and Heart are still around." Spike said as soon as they where clear of the law office, "This is something that'll have to be looked into."
"I agree." Susan nodded, "Also, ask her to have R&D look into using magic against Shadows: if they're involved with the Senior Partners, then they must have some connection to the mystical side of reality."
"Any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic." Marcus nodded, "I'm beginning to understand how things run."
"Good." Spike nodded, "I'll go see Dawn and Frank, and leave a message for a Technomage I know. Maybe he can find something that'll help."
"The Technomages are all in hiding." Susan pointed out, "It'll be impossible to contact him."
"Trust me, I have my ways." Spike walked off, "Galen is too smart to be completely out of the loop."
"He's a very strange individual." Marcus shook his head.
"He has Post Traumatic Stress: he did a lot of nasty stuff as a vampire before he got his soul back. Add to that everything he's been through since."
"You know a lot about his history?"
"You have to understand that my family has been involved with the Watchers Council for over 250-years: the cornices of the Vampire known as 'William the Bloody' are long and detailed, especially since he gained his soul. I read them all when I was a student."
"You have a very morbid interest in books."
"It's a Russian thing." Susan looked at her watch, "We should head back to my quarters: there's a lot of new information I need to think on.
"As much as it pains me to say it, the peroxide-blond from Wolfram and Heart came through." Susan looked at the Data-crystal that had been delivered by currier to her door less than an hour after they had returned from Down Below, "What remains to be seen is if we can trust the information on it."
"Would they deliberately give you false information?" Marcus asked as he downed a mouthful of coffee.
"Considering that I've already posted an all-area alert that Wolfram and Heart are still operational on the Councils network, no: the last thing they need is a war against one of the oldest organisations in human space."
"How much force does the Watchers Council have?"
"Several thousand trained Slayers, maybe ten times as many support staff and Watchers. After the LA treaty, a lot of the more open-minded demons approached the Council about forming a sort of police force for the hidden parts of human society. Last time I checked, there are two colonies that have been set-up off the net that contain vast demon populations."
"Mainly transports, but a few older model warships that where 'disabled' during the war and salvaged. They have some technology that would be considered advanced by Earth Force."
"Why don't they come out and hand it over?"
"They're afraid, rightly so: every time the Demon world has come to the attention of the rest of humanity, it has suffered. There was a time, back in the 20th century, when Spike had a computer chip in his head that stopped him from hurting humans. He didn't get rid of it until he died saving the world."
"If he died, as a vampire, how can he still be around today?"
"We call them The Powers that Be, or other things, depending on how many drinks I've had. The Powers that Be are the mirror image of the Senior Partner: they are dedicated to preserving humanity. They've been less vocal since my ancestor activated all the potential Slayers, but they're still around."
"They sound a lot like." Marcus was cut off mid-sentence by the door chime.
"Who could it be at this time?" Susan got up and opened the door. She was more than a little surprised at who was standing on the other side, "Ambassador Kosh? How can I help you?"
"The avalanche has started: it is too late for the pebble to vote." The iris that served as the Vorlons eye opened and radiated blue, "That which is done can not be undone."
Susan collapsed onto the floor.
"What the hell have you done?" Spike came running down the corridor as Marcus erupted from his seat like a jack-in-the-box, "Susan?"
"She must embrace her destiny, or all is lost." Kosh turned and glided off towards the elevator, "I will explain all when she awakens."
To Be Continued…
Sorry for the delay: it took me a while to work out how to get this to the ending I wanted.