Chapter Seven

{C'mon in, Sage.} Trinity sent, sensing her friend and partner on the other side of the door.

Sage was a mutant, a cyberpath, whom she had picked up in the Balkans a few years ago during one of her jobs. The young woman, not that much older than herself, had a type of apathetic personality that had instantly intrigued Trinity.

Sage's mind processed like a supercomputer, lightning fast and automatically compartmentalized. Combined with her telepathy and eidetic memory, she was easily one of the most brilliant people in the world. When Trinity found her, she had been wasting her talents in some hole-in-the-world war-torn country eking out a living as a mercenary and occasional bodyguard.

She, like Trinity, had little use for people other than for the basic necessities. They were either too boring to deal with, or too treacherous to trust.

Unlike Trinity, however, she did not have that need for death and destruction that occasionally motivated Trinity's 'hunts'. What she did have, however, was an objectivity that Trinity was well aware that she now lacked. Sage did not necessarily provide a moral or ethical code, but her presence and help was in recognizing that some of the things that Trinity was capable of, could draw unnecessary and unneeded attention.

After watching the slightly older woman for almost a month before approaching her, Trinity recognized a trait in Sage that she herself had been prone to in her previous life. She was losing herself in her powers. The combination of vast intellect and psychic abilities had the woman feeling mentally isolated and unable to connect with people, and she often came across as a cold and robotic.

After convincing Sage that her talents, all of them, would be better put to use with Trinity, the younger woman made it a goal to draw the human back out of the mutant.

Entering the well furnished VIP room, Sage glanced with vague interest at the half naked young woman asleep on the daybed before turning her attention to Trinity, who was getting dressed.

She took a seat in the plush chair as Trinity pulled supple leather up her hips.

"You've been thinking about the past quite a bit lately." she finally began.

Trinity looked at her with a wry smile. "Picking me up again?" Sage nodded slightly. "Sorry. Still not used to someone else having access to my thoughts."

Through trial and error, they had discovered interesting developments of her evolving abilities, besides her Hellfire. For one, under normal circumstances, she was psychically invisible. The particular ability was not like other mutants, and the rare non-mutant, that appeared as a blank spot to the mental senses. It was as if she simply was not there. Telepathy, empathy, it didn't matter. If it was mental power, it did not touch her. She did not even register to the seers.

It had been Sage that had informed her of that particular ability. Her inability to sense the younger woman, either telepathically or even empathically, had disconcerted the cyberpath at first, but she quickly became accustomed it. It had also intrigued her enough to truly consider the younger woman's proposal. After all, like the White Queen, it was a relief sometimes to be around someone that she could not read.

Sage's abduction had led to the most fundamental change in their relationship. When she disappeared following a 'seek and destroy' job, Trinity had nearly a decimated a small city looking for her. Sage's identity had been betrayed by their 'employers' after the job had been done, apparently in an attempt to recoup their money, and she had been taken down by a corrupt military unit and taken to an isolated location before she'd made it out of the country. Enraged by the betrayal, Trinity had gone to the last location that she had for her friend, not even beginning what was sure to have been a fruitless search, and simply made her presence, and her demands, vividly known.

She had made it clear with the first victim, emphasized by what she had done to the man before releasing him to spread the word, that if her associate was dead, no one would survive her wrath. The longer she waited, the angrier she became. The angrier she got, the more vicious her actions became. By the fourth admittedly brutal death, people began to realize that Trinity was not like most people that they were accustomed to dealing with. Until finally, someone had come forth with information that she could actually use.

With a direction, she managed to find her friend a little over a week later. Beaten, bloody, bruised from head to toe, the mere possibility that Sage had been violated, credited to the fact that the cyberpath was naked when Trinity found her, nearly sent the occasionally homicidal, borderline sociopathic former protector on a rampage of death and destruction. As it was, the abandoned military base where Sage was being held was crumbling around them as reddish black flames burned ceaselessly, and men screamed in terror and agony as the flames seemed to chase them down like hunting dogs.

Sage had been brutally beaten. For the first time since her arrival in this dimension, Trinity felt something close to fear bubble in the back of her mind at the thought of losing the closest thing that she had to a best friend in this world. She had taken the unconscious woman's hand in her own and pried open one of her eyes, trying to figure out how to tell how badly she was hurt without the cyberpath's input. Her nostrils twitched at the scent of the mutant's blood and the feel of it coating her skin as she wiped it carefully away from her face. It stirred a rage in her on the behalf of another like she hadn't felt since Angelus had targeted her friends and family to get to her. She was going to find the person that had sold them out and introduce their eyes to their backbone, through their chest cavity.

She had been calling her name softly, trying to rouse the unconscious woman without jostling her, since she didn't know how badly the cyberpath was hurt. She didn't want to take the chance of moving her and possibly making things worse, but she knew that Sage would be able to diagnose her own body, even internal wounds, if she could just wake her up.

Trinity had been on the verge of taking the risk of moving Sage, regardless of the potential consequences, when one of 'Buffy' memories wiggled to the forefront. Buffy had been badly wounded on patrol, and had managed to reach Tara's dorm room, which had been closer than her own, and she suspected that Willow would most likely be there anyway, before she collapsed.

Willow hadn't been there, but Tara had. Since her wounds had been a bit more than what the young Wicca's first aid kit could handle, she shyly offered to share her energy with the wounded Slayer to help heal the worst of the wounds and ease her pain. Buffy had agreed, after affirming that it wouldn't harm her best friend's girlfriend, then was helped onto the bed. Tara explained each step as she did it, because going through the final steps at once, so that she could enter the needed trance-like state. It hadn't taken long, but afterwards, Buffy had felt ten times better, and some sleep had taken care of the rest.

The energy sharing had worked, just like before, but a side effect had left Sage 'marked' as the Old Ones would mark one of their 'warriors'. It was not something that Daxxur had ever done, that Trinity could recall from the absorbed essence's memories. It preferred the death and destruction by it's own hands, but it was not unheard of for the truly powerful demons to 'mark' another, or even the occasional promising human, as a personal warrior or servant or even a concubine. The marking had also created a clear bridge between them that allowed Sage to psychically sense the former Champion, even going so far as to bypass her natural shields.

"Are you all right?" The cyberpath asked, breaking her thoughts.

"Peachy." The younger woman answered. "It's the anniversary of my 'rebirth', when this blending thing happened and I was exiled to this dimension. This is the first time I've been able to think about it without feeling all homicidal. I think that's a step up, don't you?"

"You seem to be quite different from the person in your memories." Sage commented. "I still do not understand how you could have been the way you were from your memories in your previous life, yet be so utterly different now."

Trinity glanced at Sage as she pulled on her boots, shrugging. So far, other than Lindsay, the cyberpath was the only one that knew of her true origins, and what she was. "I've always been capable of this, in a way. It's that darkness in my soul that took those stupid Powers by such surprise. They probably thought a lowly human like myself, wasn't aware of it, but I knew about it. I'd always known. Not the specifics or origins, mind you, but I knew that something was off about me."

"What do you mean?" Sage asked, always interested in learning more about her some-what 'best friend', especially curious about her former life.

"It gets passed down like a genetic anomaly through the females of my mother's line." Trinity told her. "It tended to skip generations, but then a girl would be born with it. My great-aunt had it, and she sensed it in me the first time she held me when I was a baby. Whenever I visited, which now that I think back on it, was an awful lot, she drilled into me the necessity to control and suppress those darker tendencies at all costs, or it would consume me."

Finished dressing, she and Sage silently left the room. Angelo, who had been standing guard on the other side, would remain to make sure that the girl was not bothered.

"Faith thought I was so controlled because of inhibitions and because I was the 'good' Slayer. Little did she know that I could have been so much worse than she could have ever dreamed of being, simply because I really wouldn't have cared. The guilt of not being able to save everyone was real, for the most part, but collateral damage never really bothered me, unless it's someone that I care about. One of the reasons I jumped was because I was losing myself to the darkness. I had been keeping it appeased with beating up on monsters and demons, but it was getting harder and harder. It took all my self control, and a convenient scream from Dawn, to not kill that little bastard Ben. I wanted to use the troll hammer and turn his head to paste for what he and that bitch did to my sister."

She shook her head slightly to bring herself back to the present. "Mixing that impulse with the protective instincts of the Slayer keeps innocents safe for the most part, but the demon part means that when I focus on specific prey, I just can't seem to stop myself. That's mostly what I've got you for."

"Like her?" Sage nodded in the direction of the young woman.

Trinity nodded with a sly grin. "I wanted her. I was going to have her. I would not have forced her against her will, but I have no problem seducing to get what I want. The fact that she was a virgin just happened to be a happy bonus."

"She's a bit young." Sage commented. "The last thing we need is police arresting you for statutory rape."

"Her ID is on file, and it says that she's twenty-two. That's what we have to go by. The fact that she's seventeen isn't my concern. If she didn't want to get fucked stupid, she shouldn't have come up here with me. Better yet, she shoulda just kept that tight ass out of the club all together. It's not like we're at all discreet here." She leered over she shoulder. "I think I'll keep her for a while, though. For a newbie, she's very enthusiastic, and delightfully eager. A few days, and I'll probably have her ready for some double-action."

"Will you be able to control yourself should the Black King demand retribution?" Sage asked, bringing the conversation back to the real issue at hand.

"I'll be reasonable as long as he will." Trinity's brow rose at the abrupt subject change, but she was used to it from her friend. Sage's mind worked on multiple levels, and conversations tended to merge into continuous streams sometimes. Thankfully, she'd had lots of practice from her last genius best friend. "I have no issues with the man, and I didn't even hurt Junior all that bad. The one rule here is clear and to the point, so the little bastard had it coming. You know as well as I do, that if I'd been a little later, and caught him in the actual act, we'd be bleaching and repainting the walls again."

"We need to be cautious when it comes to the Club members." Sage said quietly. She knew well that Trinity spoke the truth, but she still felt the need to caution her sometimes unstable friend. "They have a long reach and many resources."

"That little shit is not to come back into this club, Sage." Trinity growled, her eyes flashing crimson. "I might not care much about what people to do one another since my 'rebirth', but I still draw the line at rape. You are well aware of my feelings about such acts. Hell, you've helped clean up afterwards. I don't care if he is the son of some Kingpin wannabe, I'll eviscerate him if I catch him in the act, especially in this club."