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Ficlet: Six Thousand Miles Epilogue An Inconvenient Truth - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
Ficlet: Six Thousand Miles Epilogue An Inconvenient Truth
Here is a short Epilogue to the story Six Thousand Miles that I posted on Friday.

1883: the Council of Watchers discovered an Apocalypse-level threat six thousand miles from the active Slayer, with only 5 days to save the world, but successfully came up with a plan to get around that obstacle. There are, however, always consequences...

Six Thousand Miles

Epilogue: An Inconvenient Truth

Seok-Teng tied off the ends of the bandage and stepped back. “You will live,” she said.

“Unlike those poor blighters,” Anstruther commented, indicating the corpses of the Balinese warriors and the Dutch soldiers who lay all around, surrounded by vampire dust and the bodies of fallen demons. The hands of some of the Balinese still clutched the hilts of the daggers with which they had, under the influence of Rangda’s thrall, stabbed themselves to death. “A damned close run thing, as the Duke of Wellington once said.”

“Yes, it was,” Seok-Teng agreed. “If I had not become the Slayer we would all have died. It…” She broke off and stared at her Watcher. “I was Called and so the Slayer before me must have died at just the right time.”

“Indeed,” said Anstruther, “and, although her death was regrettable, we must give thanks to divine providence for the timing.”

“I will not thank the gods for the death of a girl like myself,” Seok-Teng said. “The timing was too convenient. How did she die?”

“Dash it, girl, I don’t know. She was thousands of miles away.”

“Yes,” said Seok-Teng, “too far away to help. Then she died, and I became strong, and I was able to defeat Rangda.” Her tone grew harsh. “How did she die?”

“I told you, I don’t know,” Anstruther repeated. He didn’t meet her eyes.

“But you can guess,” Seok-Teng accused. Her arm whipped around in a tomoi elbow strike but she stopped short just before it would have smashed his skull. Instead she jabbed with one finger, in a sentuhan pressure point attack to his right shoulder, and sent him reeling back to lose his footing and sprawl on the ground. “She was murdered so that I might win. Get away from me! I am finished with the Council of Watchers.”

“You have a sacred calling,” Anstruther appealed. “You can’t walk away from your duty to the world.”

“I have saved the world once,” she replied. “Let someone else do it next time.” She turned away and began to walk down the mountain path.

“Very well,” Anstruther said. He tried to move his right arm, failed, and awkwardly used his left hand to draw the Webley holstered at his right hip. He raised the revolver, took aim, and fired.

The shot hit her low in the back. She spun around, pulling out the kris with which she had slain Rangda, and her arm went up to throw. She hesitated with the weapon poised. “Why?” she gasped out.

“I’m sorry, my dear,” Anstruther said, “but there must be an active Slayer.” He pulled the trigger again and she fell dead.

Anstruther tried to holster the gun, fumbled, and dropped it on the ground. “The record will show that Seok-Teng fought bravely, and slew Rangda, but then succumbed to her injuries,” he muttered to himself. “Her Watcher wrote his report, despatched it to the Council, and then blew out his own brains.”

Current Location: Bali, Indonesia
Current Music: Pink Floyd, "When the Tigers broke free"

35 comments or speak 2 me
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agilebrit From: agilebrit Date: November 15th, 2009 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)
... OW. That last line, man. Total gut-punch.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 15th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Indeed. Thank you!
jedibuttercup From: jedibuttercup Date: November 15th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I didn't even have to read the first bit to know what it was about, just from the summary. This one is even more of an ouch. Believable, too. It makes me wonder how much dissembling Giles did to the Council about Buffy's frequent recalcitrance, and how many times Travers and co. had the conversation about her before deciding, "well, as long as she's still doing her duty..."
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 15th, 2009 07:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope you didn't only read the summary of the first part!

Buffy stayed on the Hellmouth even after she gave up on the Council and was therefore forced to continue with her duty if only to protect her own family and friends. Had she decided to jack it all in and retire to the Virgin Islands it might have been a somewhat truncated retirement - and Faith presumably stayed alive only because Buffy was in active service (and the first attempt to kill Faith had failed).
ffutures From: ffutures Date: November 15th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Ouch. That's what you get for working with intelligent women. Wonder what happened to Buffy's predecessor...
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 15th, 2009 06:55 am (UTC) (Link)
She was killed in San Diego in 1996 by one of three mummies known as 'The Wanderers' who were holding her Watcher, Christopher 'Kit' Bothwell, hostage.

From: hezzabeth Date: November 15th, 2009 08:30 am (UTC) (Link)
This is even more brutal! I love reading your buffy fics again :)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 15th, 2009 08:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
ozma914 From: ozma914 Date: November 15th, 2009 09:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Powerful ending -- two powerful endings. Even though I knew from the beginning what was to come, it was still a heavy blow. Well done.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 15th, 2009 09:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
From: beer_good_foamy Date: November 15th, 2009 10:49 am (UTC) (Link)
"...and the Anzio bridgehead was held to the price of a few hundred ordinary lives."

Great follow-up; as with the other one, you see it coming, but that just makes it more horriffic. Seok-Teng figures it out, and it does her absolutely no good. I love fics like these. (Have you read snowpuppies "Chosen" series about various Slayers and watchers, btw? Recommended.)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 15th, 2009 11:54 am (UTC) (Link)
And Dagny's and Seok-Teng's parents didn't even get a scroll, gold leaf and all, signed with Travers' own rubber stamp.

I hadn't read snowpuppies' series before today.

Edited at 2009-11-15 11:54 am (UTC)
cbtreks From: cbtreks Date: November 15th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that was harsh and powerful. One of those things that makes you sit and think about good guys and bad guys and what, sometimes, the differences are.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 15th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

The good guys are always stalwart and true, the bad guys are
easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats.

(Deleted comment)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 15th, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
zanthinegirl From: zanthinegirl Date: November 15th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yikes! That's even darker than the first one. So why don't I have trouble buying it again?
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 15th, 2009 11:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain,
For Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.
rahirah From: rahirah Date: November 15th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
COW Hardcore!
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 15th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure what you mean by that.
rebcake From: rebcake Date: November 15th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
“You will live,” she said.

That might be the creepiest line in the whole thing, you dastardly foreshadower, you.

This absolutely supports my view of the Council, and makes me think that Giles is an even more exceptional fellow than I previously imagined. Maybe he'd been through it before?
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 15th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure Giles hasn't killed a Slayer or Potential - although he would have received overwhelming approval from the British viewing public if he had killed Molly.
wildecate From: wildecate Date: November 15th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I half wonder what Buffy would have done had she ever found out about this, maybe by Giles trying to warn her in a subtle way, perhaps leaving a diary out so she would understand exactly how mercenary the Council were and how far they were prepared to go.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 16th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that after 'Helpless' and 'Who Are You' Buffy had few illusions about the Council. She might, however, have been somewhat more wary during 'Checkpoint'.
paratti From: paratti Date: November 15th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
That works:)
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 16th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
gillo From: gillo Date: November 15th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oof. The logic is impeccable. But ouch.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: November 16th, 2009 12:03 am (UTC) (Link)

You noticed the reference to the young men with krises stabbing themselves, I take it?
sparrow2000 From: sparrow2000 Date: April 10th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Brutal, and brilliantly done.
speakr2customrs From: speakr2customrs Date: April 11th, 2010 09:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
35 comments or speak 2 me
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