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All Rights Reserved
Drucilla danced to the voices of the stars. The stars had been singing loudly all night, faster and faster, making her leap and spin. Then the music stopped abruptly. She turned her eyes to the stars and listened. Mrak, her boyfriend walked up to her side. He had been watching his lovely Drucilla dancing and became concerned at the serious shift in her mood. He saw emotions flying rapidly across her face and listened carefully when she started mumbling.
"...Mummy's little one is going to be a key..."
"...Daddy's going to help..." She said in wonder.
"...Mummy's kitten calls the dark..."
"...Two more, can't see..."
Then she turned and focused her gaze on Mrak's face. She said with uncharacteristic lucidity, "We need Spikey, and we need to go to the hellmouth. The stars were singing about things coming and they were afraid. Now the stars are silent. The things are going to kill everything, humans, demons, birds, the air, they could even kill the stars." She threw herself into Mrak's arms and he comforted her as he thought.
He led her to her bed and made sure that she had Miss Edith snuggled close to her before he left her to make a call.
[_Translated from the Chaos Demon language, for your convenience._] "This is Mrak, remember that vamp I asked you to keep an eye on... Yeah, that one, I need him here... I don't care if he's sober, I don't care if you have to drag him or carry him, just get him here quickly, and arrange transport for three of us to the States, Sunnydale, California... I know, just make the arrangements through the underground, this is big and we need to be there... good, see you then... bye."
Then Mrak went to his beloved's side to wait.
San Francisco, California
Leo orbed into the house next to his wife; he looked pale and afraid. "Piper, where are your sisters? We need to go. There is something big coming, I mean really big. We need to leave now if we're going to stop it."
"Leo, calm down, what are you talking about?" Piper said with frustration.
"I just spoke with the elders and they are in a panic. The charmed ones will be needed to stop the portal to a hell dimension from opening onto the earth." Leo said in a rush, then continued, "Where are your sisters? We need to get the Book of Shadows and get going now!" Leo said in near hysteria.
"Paige is in the attic, Phoebe is at work." Piper said, beginning to worry. She had never seen her husband frightened like this... well, maybe once.
"Call Phoebe and tell her that we'll pick her up from work on our way out of town. We'll pack a bag for her."
"She's not going to go for that, she won't leave town when she has to work." Piper said, frustrated again.
"She'd better, because if she doesn't, there won't be any work, or any town or any world that you would want to live in left. Demons will flood the world and nothing will survive. The only way to stop them is to stop the door from opening. So let's go!"
Los Angeles, California
Doyle collapsed to the floor. Angel and Cordelia went to either side of him and waited for him to come out of his vision. After a few minutes it became obvious that something was wrong. The vision seemed to be getting worse, more intense. Blood started trickling from his ears and nose, and they could hear the sound of bone grinding against bone as his seizure contorted his body into impossible positions.
Finally, after ten minutes of agony, Doyle became conscious. Angel and Cordelia listened carefully for details of his vision. "All of us, Sunnydale, now." He said hoarsely before passing out.
Cave of the Fates, Greece
In the cave of the fates four gods appeared out of nothingness. They looked around at each other to determine who brought them here. Before any of them could speak, the daughters of Moira spoke in unison.
The time has come,
The end is near,
The twilight of mortals,
The days of fear,
The end of mankind,
The end will come,
Through an open door,
to seal the gate,
Gods and keys
can alter fate,
God of dagger
God of dart,
God who fights
with bloody art,
God whose silence
makes us weep,
God whose absence
we must keep.
Then they fell silent, eyes cast toward the floor. Ares asked, "What is the meaning of this? Why can't you just tell us what we need to do?"
The three lifted their eyes as one and looked at the gods with cold regard before the eldest of them, Atrapos, said, "Be gone!"
And they were.
Giles had called the Scoobies for an emergency meeting. Something was happening; anyone with the ability to sense supernatural forces could feel it. Buffy and Willow were already on their way when Giles had tried to call them. Xander had shown up quickly but Oz had yet to arrive. When the phone rang, Giles answered.
"Hello, this is Rupert Giles."
"Hey Giles, this is Oz, I'm on the road out of Sunnydale." Oz said with more emotion than Giles had ever heard from the boy.
"You said that you would come here, what happened?" Giles asked curiously.
"I don't know, something is driving me away from Sunnydale. Turn on your radio, I'm not the only one. They're reporting that house pets are killing themselves trying to escape and run away. Animals are leaving the area, I think even the insects are leaving..." Oz trailed off. Giles could hear his engine racing through the cell-phone.
"Do what you must." Giles said absently, thinking that this was another portent of doom.
"Thanks Giles, tell Willow I'm sorry." Oz said quietly.
"I will. Be safe. Goodbye." Giles said before hanging up the phone. He turned to see that every eye in the room was focused on him.
"That was Oz, he won't be able to join us. Apparently, whatever is happening is causing creatures driven by instinct to flee the area." Giles said remotely as he considered what this meant.
"Don't we have a prophecy that covers this? I mean this looks big enough to deserve a prophecy." Buffy said from her spot at the table, looking up from her books.
"Yes, I imagine there is. Unfortunately, we don't have all the prophecies in one book, that would be too convenient." He said with a little frustration showing through his voice.
"This seems to be bigger than our usual apocalypse..." Giles was saying as he was interrupted.
"Isn't it kind of sad that we have 'usual apocalypses'?" Xander asked seriously.
"Apocalypsei" Buffy said absently, still reading her book.
"Pardon?" Giles said, snapped out of his deep thoughts.
"Apocalypsei, the plural of Apocalypse. I figured that since we're the only ones who need to use a plural form of the word apocalypse that we would get to decide which one to use. I chose apocalypsei, cause I thought of it first." Buffy said to the group who were staring at her, disbelieving.
Giles was the first to come back to himself. "As I was saying..." he tried to continue, then asked, "What was I saying?"
"You were saying that Xander needs to get us a good supply of doughnuts and coffee because it's going to be a long day... and night." Buffy said with certainty.
"I know that's not what I was saying. However, it wouldn't be a bad idea. Would you mind?" Giles asked, turning to Xander.
"You buy, I'll fly." Xander said with his usual goofy smile.
"I'll take that as a yes." Giles said handing a few bills to Xander.
Doyle came awake to the sound of the engine racing. He looked up to find himself in the passenger seat of Angel's car with Cordelia driving.
"That was a bad one, I've never felt anything like it." He said, rearranging himself in the seat.
"Angel, he's awake." Cordelia called out over her shoulder.
"I heard." A muffled voice came from under a blanket in the back seat.
"Can you tell us what you remember?" The voice under the blanket asked.
"A door was opened. Demons flooded through it. They killed everything in their path. They didn't eat what they killed, and they didn't seem to enjoy it, they just killed... everything. There were millions, billions of them." Doyle said with pain in his voice.
"Did you recognize the demons?" The blanket asked seriously.
With a shudder, Doyle said, "Yeah, 'The Scourge'.