Chapter 2: An Expected Unexpected Apocalypse
The next several days did not proceed in predictable fashion. Buffy had what most would consider a mind boggling amount of experience where the end of the world was concerned. In her mind, the typical apocalyptic process was well defined and straight forward, consisting of three simple steps. First there was the quick and highly convenient surfacing of information; it wouldn't do to have some horrible evil be sneaky enough to carry off an apocalypse without letting every Tom, Dick and Daemon know about it in advance, a fact probably just as responsible for keeping the world safe as the Slayer herself. This was of course followed by a rousing fight involving much gore and bloodshed and the narrowly avoided termination of the world, generally requiring some sort of sacrifice combined with chanting and a really big ego. Finally it all finished up with a some sort of celebration, occasionally this was in the form of a really big party, bur more often than not they simply spent a night dancing at the bronze. Exceptions to the last step were of course allowed when everyone else was in the hospital and you had just sent the perceived love of your life to a hell dimension.
In this case nothing was heard, nothing was killed, and yet the world kept on spinning. They could still have had the party but no one in the Scooby gang thought they deserved one. Unless they were being lied to the council had received nothing from any of their sources other than the very vague assurance that something was indeed extremely wrong. Everyone had found Giles' use of the word 'assurance' in this context very disturbing. Seer visions dried up, magical scrying drew a blank, and not a single musty book that remained held any answers.
As if that hadn't been enough Anya returned with the news concerning the Powers and apparently their messengers had all closed up shop and moved on to other dimensions. At this point Anya had suggested that this was a very good indication that the Powers that Be had decided their world was a complete write off and practically begged them all to rethink her request to hunt down someone capable of opening a portal - preferably one to someplace much less violent and not nearly so close to Armageddon. When they'd once again refused she'd stalked off in a huff only to return several hours later in a sulk. Apparently she'd tried to abandon them and find someone to take her to another dimension on her own and found out that anyone capable of leaving was already long gone. The rats were leaving the ship and no one was even sure if there was any sign of flooding, much less knew where it had sprung a leak.
Finally, Buffy herself had stalked the daemon population of Sunnydale only to find they were all equally clueless but completely panicked. Even the more peaceful daemons were brawling with each other as they tried to relieve the stress of an undirected but overwhelming desire to flee and no place to go. The only things she'd learned from calling Angel was that some evil law firm had disappeared and taken their entire office building with them and that Cordelia's head had spontaneously exploded, literally, when the metaphysical panic button was hit. The conversation had only gone downhill from there and she had yet to decide whether or not to share that last unhappy not to mention gross but useless piece of info with everyone else.
The worst part of the situation was that while the mystical world was shaking in their boots the rest of mankind was oblivious. People went to work. Kids went to school. Dogs crapped on their neighbors lawns. Everything and everyone just continued as if it was business as usual. It almost made Buffy envious.
The Scooby gang had pretty much ditched their normal routines and all relocated to the larger Summer's home. Giles had even brought his books with him reinforcing Buffy's long held belief that they were his version of a security blanket. Anya paced nervously while Giles read and Xander succumbed to the mind numbing drone of the television. Willow and Tara seemed to be constantly snuggling in some instinctual effort to comfort each other while Buffy's Mom poured her worry into household energy and catered to them all. Buffy spent all of her time either watching her witchy friends enviously and wishing that Riley would return early from his trip out of town or stalking Sunnydale's underbelly in the hopes of finding something she could kill. It wasn't only daemons that blew off steam with violence.
It was early on the evening of a Friday when things finally began to go where they'd all known they were headed. More specifically, a warm and toasty place Buffy liked to refer to as Hell and most of the monsters she'd killed now thought of as home. Of course they'd been expecting it to go to literal hell so when Buffy caught sight of a staggering bleeding figure wandering down a typically suburban street at 10PM she didn't know what to make of it.
A victim. That was her first thought. But far too long spent on the hell mouth kept her cautious and instead of rushing forward to help she walked casually forward, one hand reaching for a stake while she pasted on a wide eyed look of helpless concern. It wasn't until she was twenty paces away that she could get a good look at the person and even then she wasn't sure what she was seeing. Peering through the darkness she found what looked like a lost kid and she had to firmly stop herself from moving to help them as some sixth sense whispered to her that all was not as it seemed. Actually the person wasn't so much a kid as they were a teenager decked out in normal Friday night cool fashions. Not the vampire kind of cool that was almost always at least three decades out of date but the normal cool that Harmony or Cordelia would have once approved of… before they'd both died and that thought had gone somewhere completely depressing.
The figure shuffled a few paces closer and it became apparent the victim's navy pants were soaked in dark wet blood. As she moved closer to offer help his bowed head looked up at her with filmy white eyes. He snarled with the viciousness of an animal, teeth bared and spittle dripping down his chin and moments later threw himself at her with the commitment of a run away freight train.
The remembered image of a dead woman opening her eyes amidst a wash of blue gas flickered in her mind and Buffy stared in shock at the creature approaching her, taking in every detail and knowing that this was what they'd been warned about. It matched the living corpse she'd dreamed of to the letter. If she'd been anyone else that moment of shock would have killed her and she knew it, fortunately she wasn't someone else and instincts built over the course of countless nights spent hunting the undead had her fist moving even before she'd recovered from the revelation. When the creature's face turned to bite at her she redirected her swing and smacked it in the forehead with her palm instead. The sound of impact echoed down the alley like a thunder clap and the creature recoiled, not from a normal reaction of pain, but as a result of simple physics. Focusing Buffy dropped to the ground below still reaching hands to sweep its feet out from under it. Of course the creature didn't stay down, Buffy obviously didn't deserve that kind of luck. Perish the thought that cracking its skull open on the pavement would deter it. The thing rose right back to its feet with minimal co-ordination but no signs of injury and attacked again with even less finesse than the first time. Teeth gnashed within a drooling mouth and she latched onto its neck with one hand and a flailing limb with the other, holding it there while it growled madly at her like a rabid dog denied a meal. It gripped her with its free arm and tried to wrench itself free but apparently it had only slightly more strength dead than it had alive. She was happy to note that it found the Slayer as immovable as a stone statue. Buffy really found it refreshing to find a monster that couldn't crush stone with its bare hands.
Several tense moments later she crushed its throat, breaking its neck in the process, and threw it across the street with enough force to knock out a few bricks from the corner of an empty convenience store.
All in all, she wasn't sure what the big deal was. Compared to vampires the walking corpse had been a light weight. Ok. It was gross. Really gross actually. So gross that she'd need to wash her hand until it bled. And if she wasn't so desensitized it might have been upsetting. But overall on the Big Bad Scale of 1 to 10 she couldn't even find it in her heart to justify a score of 1. Either the so called 'powers' had overreacted or she was really missing something.
The feel of the air stirring unnaturally on the back of her neck and the softest padding of bare feet behind her were all the warning she had but moments later another body had been thrown across the street to lay beside its accomplice. The second was a young woman dressed in a hospital gown. Apparently they came in twos, worrying but still not enough to enter them in the scary competition. It was definitely time to check in with the others and find out what they were dealing with. Turning to head home her breath stopped when she caught sight of at least five dark shapes sprinting down the street towards her. A noise sounded from the other direction and she turned to see the two corpses she had been very sure she'd dealt with getting off of the ground and limping in her direction. Both of them had obviously broken limbs and the way one of their necks was hanging was made it obvious that its spine was less than intact. This was all very much of the bad - even a vampire would have found the site intrinsically wrong, but apparently these creatures couldn't care less. All they seemed worried about was whether or not she'd stick around and become a lunchable for them.
If she'd had something very long and very sharp she might have stayed. A really good axe would have been even better; they could do wonders when you didn't know how to kill something because, in her experience, there were very few things that could keep going after they'd lost about a foot from their overall height. But she didn't have an axe, and she suddenly felt a whole lot less arrogant about the imminent end of the world they'd been waiting for than she had a minute ago. Breaking into a run she took off for home leaving what she now found were surprisingly fast corpses behind her and feeling quite thankful that very little in either the day or night could keep pace with a slayer.
"It's started." Those were the first words out of her mouth after she slammed the door, making extra sure the dead bolt was locked before heading to the living room window and peaking out into the darkness. Normally the world seemed most hers when the sun was down and the moon was high but for the first time in a very long time she found herself longing desperately for the safety of the day. She hadn't looked back once on her trip home but it didn't appear that the creatures had managed to keep up with her. Still…
"Oh dear Lord, what happened?" Giles asked from within the dining room. It had pretty much become his personal study and if she looked she knew there'd be a disturbingly large number of open books lying on the dining table.
At this point everyone was staring at her with worried expressions and she suddenly really didn't know what to tell them. It was just a couple of, what, ghouls? Zombies? She'd call them the walking dead but that didn't seem like a big enough qualifier for someone who spent their life killing Vampires, regardless of just how insulting a vampire might find the description as they seemed awfully proud of that undead moniker. Regardless it seemed a bit much to assume that a new dead, possibly undead she supposed, creature was enough proof for her to make the statement that it was… "The End of the World. I think."
"What do you mean you think?" Willow whined. "I mean, it's fairly difficult to mix those kinds of things up isn't it? All the beginning parts are kind of mixxy but the end of the world is like a big cliff you're about to fall off of. You have to be blind not to see it. Unless you're like the Coyote and you see it but the road runner did something really clever with some paint and it doesn't really look like a cliff anymore…"
"Will?" Xander interrupted her. "Calm down."
Buffy took a deep breath and moved to sit on the couch. Then after a second thought she stopped, walked into the dining room to find the pile of weapons that Giles had brought with him right along with the books, and looked for something nice and slice capable.
"Buff?" Xander asked loudly from the other room.
"One second!" The battle axe looked kind of workable. It was nice and sharp on both sides but she wasn't trying to hack through scales here so it might be a bit like using a chainsaw to whittle a stake. But on the other hand she didn't have to worry about finesse too much as they didn't exactly seem the smart weapon wielding type of monster so maybe… Ah! Buffy took a look at two neat little toys she'd never come across before and despite the dire situation couldn't keep from grinning. Not her normal tools and a little bit showy to walk down the streets of Sunnydale with on a normal kind of day but at the moment they seemed just the thing. Moving back into the living room she held up her two new acquisitions with a grin on her face. "Giles where have you been hiding these? I've never seen them before."
"Those..." began the bewildered watcher. She was holding a pair of identical swords each with a gently tapering blade that came to a sudden point after about three feet. Neither of them looked particularly ornamental but with an extremely straight hand grip that appeared to be made out of black stone and only a small circular piece of metal between the blades and her fists working as hand guard they both managed to look extremely lethal. They also looked just big enough that it seemed very odd for Buffy to be comfortably holding two of them at the same time. "…are dueling swords that were used mostly by an obscure and extinct daemon clan. Quite fascinating really. That's actually a set, one sword for each of the duelers. They're not really heavy enough for any of the nastier daemons but still, remarkable workmanship. I picked them up from an obscure dealer in London last year for a particularly good price. The previous owner claimed that the clan daemons were heavily scaled and that they weren't actually using these to duel to the death with. I can only assume this is the reason they aren't larger and heavier like most true demonic blades…"
During his speech Buffy had been trying to figure out just what it was she was missing. It was like having a puzzle in her hands and knowing that there was a piece still absent and all she had to do was find it. They were nice and pointy, very well designed and balanced for chopping heads off with, and each had a handle just long enough to add an extra hand if she wanted that little bit of added oomph. Slowly she moved her thumb up just a little bit and then arranged her second and third fingers on two practically invisible depressions she'd just known would be there. She wrinkled her nose for a moment before squeezing all three fingers just so…
Giles stopped speaking abruptly when a six-inch steal spike shot out from the handle of the sword in her left hand. It was soon followed by another spike from the handle of the right one. Now satisfied Buffy looked up and grinned at him.
"Yes. Well. Or perhaps they did try to disembowel each other with them after all." Giles said in a faint voice.
Buffy smiled and again squeezed just the right spots to make the spikes disappear back into the hand grips. "Scabbards?"
"Yes. Quite right. Won't be a moment." By the time Giles had made it half way to the dining room his glasses were already receiving a thorough cleaning.
"So. Buffy. About that ending of the world?" Xander prompted. Oddly enough he still had one eye on the TV, apparently even an imminent apocalypse wasn't enough to deter him from the Simpsons in the middle of an episode.
"Yes, now that you've finished scaring us with your disturbing need for sharp pointy objects far too large to use in a house perhaps you could explain…" Anya huffed.
"They are, aren't they?" Buffy interrupted with furrowed eyebrows. "Giles! Bring some really sharp daggers with you too! Something I can cut a head off with!" She turned back and smiled her thanks at Anya.
"Yes. Well. As I was…"
"Here you are." Giles interrupted her this time while walking in and dropping two scabbards on the coffee table. They were each made with black leather covered in intricate silver designs making them far more ornamental than the swords they were meant to house. Really if it were possible for a scabbard to be considered fashionable these would definitely qualify. He had also dropped an adjustable harness in her lap and she could already see how the three could be attached together in pretty much any configuration she might want. If she did it just right she should be able to get them crossed over her back. The two twelve inch daggers he'd brought might not be much use but they were certainly worth a try. She'd have to manage good timing to safely chop off a head with one of those. "Now I believe you were about to inform us of our imminent deaths?"
"Right. You guys remember that corpse I mentioned? The one that got doused with blue gas and opened its eyes? Well I came across a few like it in town."
"That doesn't sound so bad." Willow commented.
"Well. I snapped the neck of one of them. I'm pretty sure I shattered the spine of the other and both of them had lots of broken bones. They just got right back up. Then five more of their buddies joined the party."
"Zombies?" Anya ventured. "Zombies aren't usually a problem. They have bad co-ordination and slow reflexes. Occasionally they like to eat brains but really that's not that uncommon. Did you know that many daemons consider brains a delicacy? Why once I even…"
"These were more like rabid dogs. They even kept trying to bite me. And never speak about brain food again please."
"Did any of them…" Giles started to stand.
"No. I didn't think that would be a good thing so I avoided having my flesh ripped apart by mouths in obvious need of vastly improved dental hygiene. In fact I'm feeling the sudden urge to start wearing lots of leather. Anyway I'm thinking decapitation. Does that sound about right to everyone?"
Some nodded. Some muttered that knocking something's head off would really kill just about anything though Anya felt the need to point out that Pyleans apparently required a full dismemberment. Buffy's mother who rarely received this much information quickly excused herself back to the kitchen looking slightly green and Tara really didn't look much better.
Having figured out the straps on the harness Buffy grabbed a leather jacket which she was loath to ruin, deciding that the added protection if one of them tried to bite her arms would justify the sacrifice. Then she proceeded to attach both swords to the harness on her back with one handle over either shoulder. The sheathes themselves were only attached near the top so she could tip the handle down and pull them smoothly and quickly out when needed. A quick foray upstairs and she had some leather pants though, unfortunately, the only pair she had were a dark read instead of a less noticeable black but they would have to do. Finally she strapped a dagger to each thigh and went back down the stairs for inspection.
Xander drooled, which got him smacked in the head by Anya. Everyone else just looked like they wondered why she was being so over the top. Normally she patrolled in the latest fashions with nothing more potent than a couple of wooden sticks.
"I don't get it. Why are you so worried about a couple of zombies?" Willow asked. "I mean yes, Zombies, bad, but still…"
"I don't know." Buffy admitted. And she didn't. Really. But she couldn't forget her dream and the painful sense of urgency that still rolled through her every time she remembered the sudden nighttime warning. She also couldn't forget Angels pained voice as he quietly told her about Cordelia's spontaneously exploding skull. "But it feels like the thing to do and I'm not taking chances. One thing I'm sure of is that I'm not going to kill these things with my bare hands." She looked around the room and suddenly noticed that Giles had disappeared.
"He's trying to get in touch with the Council." Willow explained.
"Oh. Right. Tell him that the zombies didn't set off my evil creature radar for some reason. My creepo-meter yes, but not my daemon monitor."
"Are you sure you don't want some backup Buffy? Because I'd be happy to grab an axe and…" Xander offered but Anya quickly interrupted him.
"No! Buffy can go out and get killed by the monsters but you're staying right here Xander. I forbid you to leave me alone."
"It's Ok Xander." Buffy smiled. "I'm doing this solo. I can outrun them but you probably can't and I don't trust us to go toe to toe without a way out until I know what we're dealing with. I'll be fine. I promise."
She smiled one last time at all the anxious faces, then slipped through the front door and into the darkness.
The street outside was quiet and the night air carried not even a whisper of the walking dead that had been recently pursuing her. Turning towards the town center she kept a close watch on every shadow with one plan firmly set in her mind - to teach the zombies just why it wasn't a good idea to try and pick on a slayer. She'd been walking the streets of Sunnydale for half an hour before she saw anything more ominous than an out of place shrub or one particular shifty looking tree. What she found was an odd gathering at any time of day much less the middle of the night. In the center of a neatly cut lawn huddled a cluster of shapes - two figures crouched over a third that was lying motionless on the ground.
Blinking to keep her eyes dry she slid one of the swords off her back and gave it an experimental twirl as she stalked forwards. She wasn't far away when one of the monsters finally looked up, its milky eyes reflecting the light from a near by street light. A single growl was the only warning before it attacked. It was depressing really, she didn't get the chance to issue even a single quip or pun. She doubted the things had enough brain cells left to appreciate them anyway. The first one seemed to be a middle aged nurse but a quick swing of one of her new favorite weapons knocked its head cleanly off and the body crumpled to the ground like a puppet with its strings cut. Twisting she brought one of her feet up to knock back the second creature that had followed close behind. A negligent swing of her blade severed its head as well and it was over. The bodies unfortunatly didn't turn to dust, or slime, or anything else that could be easily ignored. The only concession that they seemed to give to convenience was the blatant lack of liquid blood... which seemed to have become thick and black at some point after their zombification
Taking a moment to breath she slowly approached the final body, stopping when she heard an odd clicking sound behind her. Turning around she found nothing there. Frowning she listened as the noise echoed again and looked down to see the jaws of one of the dismembered heads clicking madly, the last, and very disturbing she had to add, action it was capable of now that it was lacking a body. Not sure what to do about it she turned and looked at the elderly man they'd apparently been feasting on.
"Help me…" the wheezing voice was unexpected. They'd almost chewed off one of his arms and she could see straight through his stomach to his intestines. His skin was so pale it almost appeared to be white and blood spread in an ever expanding puddle beneath him. He looked at her with glazed eyes like she had all the answers and there was nothing she could do except watch and let him grab onto her hand as he breathed his last.
It took a surprisingly long thirty seconds for him to finish dying.
Buffy was stoically heading out to find the rest of the zombies when twenty more seconds later he sat up and snarled at her before propelling his elderly form at her with speed that belied not only his state of unliving but his apparent age. The dagger she'd grabbed by instinct and thrown embedded itself in his forehead and he fell right back to the grown without another sound. Letting out a breath she cautiously crept back to the now still body and kicked it, pretty much expecting it to jump back up and have at her. It didn't move however. Apparently while decapitation didn't do the job ramming something sharp through its skull did. Good to know. A little bit harder than ramming something through the heart but, hey, still a nice jabbing alternative to go with the hacking option. On the other hand…
They multiplied. Quickly. Suddenly the reason this could be an apocalypse became all to clear and she started sprinting to a payphone she knew was only two blocks further into town right beside a grocery store. Even the two rings it took to get an answer were nerve racking but she managed to stay calm. After all panicking might be a nice stress reliever but all it would do in the end was get her very, very dead.
"Hello?" She breathed a sigh of relief at the sound of her watcher's voice.
"Buffy? Are you all right?"
"Yes. Giles. Just listen. This is bad. Really bad."
"I gathered as much. I haven't even managed to get through to the council yet. The lines are all busy for some reason and..."
"Giles they multiply. They're contagious. They go around trying to bite people and then those people get right back up and try to bite other people and its this whole biting thing where no one who dies stays down they just get right back up."
"I think he's on vacation - probably to another dimension according to Anya. Giles this is really bad."
"Buffy you must get back here at once and…"
"No. Giles I can kill these things. I just have to make sure they don't bite me. Chopping off their head works, well mostly, the head still tries to bite you but otherwise it works. Even better is if you stab them in the head. Are you listening Giles? Take out their brain and they go right down."
"Buffy you may be able to handle a few of them but if you're right you may quickly be dealing with a mob. How do you plan to manage when there are fifty of those things coming at you from every direction? Please listen to reason…"
"No Giles that's exactly why I have to stop them now. There might not be that many yet and if I can kill them now they won't have the chance to spread."
"Listen Giles. I've gotta run. Get Xander to board up the windows. Make sure they can't break in. I'll come back as soon as I can."
And with Giles protesting in the background she hung up the phone.
There were at least a hundred of them - a roiling mass of corpses bumping into each other as they wandered around the hospital parking lot. She wasn't quite sure why more of them hadn't left. She'd been waiting, prepared to ambush the next group that got the munchies and went looking for a snack but they'd just stayed there, probably far too many for her to take all together. Only ten had crossed her path as she wandered through the streets of Sunnydale, ten zombies that is, she'd dusted a couple of panicked vampires but they really hadn't seemed important anymore. Would they all move forward at once when the sun came up? Would they just stay there waiting for prey to come to them? The only way Buffy could think of to get them moving would be to play bait and she wasn't feeling nearly that suicidal yet. It was disappointing that the hospital didn't even have a proper fence around it or she could have simply locked the gate and contained them. She was currently lying flat on a near by shop watching them, trying to form a plan but coming up horribly blank. If she attacked they'd either kill her or scatter, either way the entire population of Sunnydale would wake up in the morning to a nasty surprise. Would it even take a day for most of the populace to end up dead? Two? How many would be smart enough to hide and how long could they keep it up?
By the time three AM rolled around she gave up. She didn't have anything resembling a plan. She hadn't even been able to help the few late night patients who'd tried to get in to the ER only to be dragged out of their cars and killed while their confusion paralyzed them. It was Hellmouth denial working against them. After all, the big mob had to be made up of people didn't it? It didn't matter if their eyes were seeing walking corpses that just meant that they'd obviously had far too much to drink. That was probably the thought process they were going through when the first hands smashed through their car windows and pulled them into the reach of biting mouths.
On her way home she didn't walk… she ran. She was sure that in another life she'd been the worlds shortest Olympic sprinter, or more accuratly it was just another perk with the Slayer package even if it was one that didn't get used very often. She rarely had to chase the monsters down. The monsters were usually arrogant enough to come to her all on their own. Two more wandering zombies had their skulls cracked open before they'd even noticed the silent form moving past them and then she was home. The lights were all on at the Summers residence on Revello Crescent. She could tell because light was creeping out between the boards that now covered the inside of every window. She wasn't even thinking when she went to open the door and found it lock, the noise eliciting several tense screams from the inhabitants and despite everything that was going on she almost found herself laughing.
"Guys. Open up!"
The door swung open immediately and she found herself looking into the very relieved eyes of her watcher. He was so relieved that despite the dried brain matter spattering her jacket and the two swords still held bare in her hands he reached out and hugged her. It was very un-British of him. "Thank God."
"Happy to see you too but can we please go inside before more corpses show up?"
Flustered he smiled self depreciatingly "Yes. Yes of course."
Buffy was only slightly surprised to see that they not only locked the door but barred it with a two by four using two impromptu brackets now mounted into the wall.
"Buffy!" A red blur shot at her from the living room and Buffy nearly chopped its head off before she realized what it was. Willow threw her arms around her and started mumbling into her neck. Buffy couldn't do anything but stand there and look confused.
"You mean other than the zombies getting up and walking all over America? Not much." Xander piped up from his place on the couch. He never took his attention away from the large bowl of popcorn he was munching away at.
"Its all over the news." Chirped Anya almost happily as if the end of the world was a good thing. It was like she sometimes forgot she was human now. "Your zombie problem isn't restricted to Sunnydale. They've had emergency reports going on telling everyone to stay in their homes. Except they don't really think they're dealing with Zombies. So far they think it's a bug or something though what insects have to do with anything is far beyond me."
"But how many people are going to check the news before they leave their house in the morning?" Whimpered Tara from where she was huddled in one of the chairs.
"Yes. Quite. The timing is horrible. People will get up, head to work, and get turned to zombies before they realize what's going on. Although its probably on the radio too which will help some people…" Giles commented.
"Giles these things are strong and persistant. Even if people stay home there's nothing to keep the zombies from smashing through windows to get at them." Moving into the kitchen she began grabbed some paper towels and headed to the sink intending to clean up her jacket only to find herself once again hugged with extreme prejudice. This time by her mother.
"I was so worried." Her mother lamented. Buffy simply hugged her back, not knowning what she could possibly say that might help.
"As I was saying." Giles moved into the kitchen and was quickly cleaning his glasses in response to the blatant show of unrestrained emotion, "It only gets worse. Though the news stations haven't reported it yet it only gets worse. This isn't limited to North America Buffy. When I reached the watcher's council they informed me that incidences have occurred almost everywhere in the world. Its ironic really. The world is ending and the Hellmouth we've spent so much time defending didn't play even the smallest part in its demise."
"So what do we do now?" Buffy turned and asked her watcher. He'd always had the answers in the past. That was his job. Answer man. She knew that any minute he'd come up with a way to find the source of the evil and destroy it at which point every single zombie would fall down properly dead or even better simply vanish as if it had never existed. That's the way it always worked…
"I'm afraid there's nothing we can do. I'm looking through my books to see if there's anything at all but, well, so far I've found nothing. We can't save the world this time Buffy. I'm afraid the world may already be well and truly lost."