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Post Chosen: Robin Wood goes on his first mission for the new Watcher's Council. He's bringing some friends along, and he'll be meeting other old "friends" along the way ... too bad he's also being accompanied by Murphy's Law.

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PROLOGUE: JINGLE BELLS ...


Robin started speaking as soon as Giles picked up the phone. “I tracked it down, and I was right - it was headed for Cleveland. I need at least one slayer, and I need her here fast.”

“Um ... who is this?”

Exasperated, Robin rested his head against the storefront window, then jerked back - the frosted glass was so cold it made his skin hurt. But he couldn’t retreat to the car, where his cell phone had no signal. “It’s me, Robin Wood. I found our little egg laying demon hen, but it’s already gotten to a nesting place. I’ve got a plan, but I’ll need an ambulance and a crew.”

“Oh - yes, of course. Sorry, it’s been rather hectic here. You found it so soon?”

“It wasn’t easy. Willow and Kennedy are still on standby, right? If they leave right now -”

“I’m sorry, Robin, they ran into a problem in Connecticut. Willow was very vague, but I take it they crashed somehow, and Kennedy broke her leg.”

“She - is she all right? What happened?”

Robin heard a rustling sound, and realized Giles was cleaning his glasses. “She’s healing, and apparently not in any danger. But whenever I ask Willow for details, she starts giggling. It’s very disconcerting.”

Robin suspected he knew what activity had led to the injury, but he had a feeling Giles would rather not know. “Well, you’ll probably be glad to get a few of the other slayers out of HQ for awhile.”

"Unfortunately, the slayers who have been cleared for field work are all unavailable. There’s ... um ... a bit of a bug going around.”

“You’re kidding. Isn’t Faith there?”

“Actually, she’s the one who brought the bug in. Rona, Vi, Chao-Ahn, they’re all going to need at least a full day of recovery.”

Clapping a hand over his bald head, Robin looked toward the old brick building across the parking lot. “Unbelievable. Giles, this thing is going to start laying its eggs, and then those eggs are going to hatch before we can get ahold of one. That means not only will my mission fail, but a lot of people are going to die.”

“I know, I know. I’ll get the most experienced people available, and send them to you right away. Just try to keep a handle on things until nightfall.”

“Right.” There was nothing that could be done. The demon wouldn’t lay until after dark, according to Giles’ research, and the eggs wouldn’t hatch for another day or two after. That gave them time, but Robin shivered and tried to shake off the feeling that things were going seriously wrong already, and the dangerous work hadn’t yet begun.

“Robin,” Giles said after a moment, “remember how important this is. The eggs and their mother are dangerous, yes. But obtaining at least one egg whole is absolutely critical to our mission. The life of one of our own is at stake.”

“Yeah.” Robin rang off and, shivering, climbed back into the car. It was littered with fast food wrappers and scattered paperwork, and even with the heat turned on full, he felt chilled to the bone. He’d trained since childhood as a warrior, prepared to battle evil to avenge his mother’s death. Later he’d been leader of an entire high school, responsible for dozens of employees and hundreds of students. Granted, it was on a hellmouth ... but now he’d ended up in another city with a hellmouth, without a battle to fight, without a comfortable chair and central heating, just ... watching. Well. He was a watcher now, after all.

He glanced at his watch, knowing he had to remain alert and make a plan for when help arrived. “Nightfall.” It was 9 a.m.



Next: The Batmobile Has Lost a Wheel ...

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
desdemonaspace
Mar. 27th, 2006 01:36 am (UTC)
Hee! You worked your drabble into this fic. May I say how much I love the title, too? Excellent start.
ozma914
Mar. 27th, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you kindly. The past stories kind of led into this one, but the truth is, this story actually started with the title.
I'm usually terrible with titles, but this one jumped right out at me, and it's the only time I ever created an entire story specifically because I wanted to use a certain title. My weakness for puns gets me again ...
desdemonaspace
Mar. 30th, 2006 12:08 pm (UTC)
You're in good company if you like puns. (It's one thing that I love about speakr2customrs's fics. You're every bit as good.) Some really good writers (who shall go nameless here) cannot write teh funnee. Pity. It's a gift, Mark. Treasure it. Your readers do.

My titles are all song titles, I realized. *shudders* No! But they're not songfics, I swear!
ozma914
Mar. 30th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
Aw. *blushing* And I can't even argue, because I agree that it's very hard to write humor. So -- what the heck -- I'll just bask.
redwolf
Mar. 27th, 2006 03:34 am (UTC)
Looks Robin running solo this time.
ozma914
Mar. 27th, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
Not for long. Although He might end up wishing he was ...

I'm hoping to get the next installment up this evening, but it's brush fire season, so I often unexpectantly disappear for a few hours. There's rain coming in, so -- we'll see.
cordelianne
Mar. 27th, 2006 04:36 am (UTC)
Good start!

I really like this moment, excellently described:
Exasperated, Robin rested his head against the storefront window, then jerked back - the frosted glass was so cold it made his skin hurt.

I’ll get the most experienced people available, and send them to you right away. Andrew?!! Is Giles going to send Andrew? Um, a may have a bias here!
ozma914
Mar. 27th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
Andrew?
We'll see. *evil grin*
curiouswombat
Mar. 27th, 2006 12:16 pm (UTC)
That's an intriguing start...
ozma914
Mar. 27th, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC)
The next part is ready to go, hopefully tonight or first thing tomorrow.

It's one of my favorite stories of the ones I've written, in that it stars some of the more minor characters but also has several cameo appearances. Also, it was originally half the length it ended up -- but I'll get to that later.
cbtreks
Apr. 13th, 2006 12:56 am (UTC)
I hadn't really had a chance to begin reading this till now. I like it so far and I'm really looking forward to catching up. Poor Robin! (Never thought I'd say that!)
ozma914
Apr. 13th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
The way I see it, Robin's been driven by revenge ever since his mother was killed; it's a miracle he ended up as relatively normal as he did. So the poor man deserves at least a little sympathy. :-)

Now that Spike's dead (Robin thinks), Robin's on a bit more of an even keel. But he's not going to catch much of a break in *this* story!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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