To all Headmasters,
Re: Situation in Los Angeles
As I'm sure you've all heard by now, I have spent the last several months in Los Angeles, California, helping to defend the ruined city from the demons that are overrunning it. The situation here has grown exponentially worse in the time that I have been here.
In brief, Angel, the vampire with a soul, and his associates took on the Circle of the Black Thorn while they were running the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram & Hart. The Senior Partners retaliated and destroyed the city. The First Evil, which we thought we had defeated in Sunnydale has made itself known, after resurrecting the false-preacher Caleb.
A new Evil arrived from another, more hellish, dimension, going by the name of Ruza, has openly been attacking our ranks. She has turned one of our slayers against us. She also forced Willow to return to black magicks. We also believe that she has been importing demons known as Oriki to Los Angeles through a portal.
We have reluctantly joined forces with Angel's childe, Drusilla. She has gathered together a great army of vampires and other demons. She dislikes Ruza as much as we do, which enables us to form this temporary truce.
I am writing to you now as we prepare to pool our resources and launch the offensive.
Please provide copies of this request, detailing our ordeal, to the slayers you believe are fit to go into battle. Do not under any circumstances make them feel obligated to fight. Do not force them into battle prematurely or if they are unwilling to fight. We are not in the business of sending children to their deaths.
That said, please send anyone willing to join us as soon as they can leave. We will be going ahead, with or without reinforcements. Even if they miss the major battle, there will be demons aplenty to fight for a long time to come in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.
Thank you for your assistance.
Head of the Watcher's Council
As the alcohol works its way through my system I try to figure out how I just became serviced to an Old One. I replay my words in my head, trying to see if they led me into this situation. Sadly, it appears that they have.
I have never been a great one for words - often tripping over my tongue while trying to get my point across. I am much better with other people's words. Books, diaries, prophecies - therein lie my talents. But speaking? Saying the right thing at the proper time?
I was only trying to not anger her. Even as she is now, not at her full strength, it is obvious that Illyria commands a great deal of power. Her only alleigance is to Wesley's memory, from what I understand. She could just as easily align herself with this Ruza character, The First, and the Senior Partners.
And now she has seen something in me that reminds her of her bookman. Wesley? Despite being an arrogant prat, we were both trained as Watchers.
My eyes close as I remember my profession. I must remember to speak to Roger and ask him to not mention this development to anyone. The head of the Watcher's Council in service to an Old One. I'd be forced out of the Council for such a betrayal.
Yet it was not a choice I was given. Illyria declared me fit to be her guide. While not stated, I had the impression that this appointment was not one I could refuse.
Besides, if I am to guide her, she is more likely to remain on our side. And once her powers are returned to her, she will be an even greater ally.
I can only hope that others will see this new development the same way.
Apparently airplanes are staying farther and farther away from Southern California these days. The airport I arrived at is no longer allowing cross-country flights to land there. I was forced to meet my contact from the Council, Roger Porter, in San Francisco.
I left a day before Roger's flight was scheduled to arrive. It took me a while to find a van to…borrow that had enough gas to make it out of the city. Luckily I found one with an empty cargo area and keys left in the ignition. I figured that while I was in a working city I could pick up some supplies, like food.
Not only was his plane late, but it took forever to get the boxes of books cleared through Customs. I was able to convince Roger to remain in Los Angeles for a short period of time to aid in going through the discs from Lilah. He is one of our most fluent speakers of demon languages and I am grateful that Helen had the foresight to send him.
We decided to spend a couple of days in the city so that Roger could rest from his flight and I could do the majority of my shopping, leaving one last trip for the highly perishable items until our drive back.
The respite also allowed time for Roger to fill me in on Council business. Sadly, the growing evil we have been facing in Los Angeles is not confined to that area. I was disheartened to learn that The First is up to its old tricks, only instead of sending Bringers to kill potential slayers and their watchers, they are killing full-fledged slayers and their watchers. Which means that Xander's friend was only one among many. Somehow I don't think that information will lessen his heartache.
As odd as it may sound, I am eager to return to Los Angeles, the Hyperion, Ethan, and the impending apocalypse. I really must find a way to see Ethan when I return. Being with him on Halloween re-ignited my craving for him. He was once a drug that I did not want to deny myself, and I find myself longing for the high only he can provide. I had hoped that by distancing myself from the city we are sharing would help, but it has only made me crave him more.
I also fear that something has happened in my absence. Call it a sixth sense, but it feels as if every one of my children are in pain, and the not knowing is driving me crazy. What's even worse, when I tried to call, no one answered.
The meeting wasn't nearly as informative as I'd hoped.
Everyone seems at such loose ends, except perhaps Oz. I never would have imagined the boy I once knew wanting to take down one such as Caleb. Does he even realize what he's saying? He wasn't with us in Sunnydale last year. How would he know about the priest from hell? And I mean that quite literally. Caleb had been dead, now pulled from the very depths of hell to wreck havoc with our lives again.
I had hoped that Willow or Angel would have included me in the magick shop excursion participants. When the time comes, I will just have to insinuate myself into the group. I may not be nearly as powerful as her, or even Amy, but I still have a few tricks up my sleeve, or has she forgotten?
I also must remember to check my messages at the Watcher's Council. It has been days since the last time I spoke with Helen. I want to see if she has had any luck in reaching our watchers in other countries to see if they have heard anything about what this bigger and badder evil we can expect. I will also have her carefully ship over any resources we may have on powerful hell dimensions. Older dimensions than ours.
Hopefully she will be able to provide some hope.
I have not come across any of the other men that I know to be habitating in the hotel since my arrival. Aside from Xander I do not even know if any of them know that I have arrived. From my research session with Dawn, Willow and Vi I gather that communication has not been big among those living together here.
Unlike the Summers' home where we were tripping over each other constantly in the small space, this hotel is large enough to become lost in. I fear that is what has been happening here - each of us lost to our own fears and insecurities. Myself included.
I had hoped that Xander would come seek me out after his initial shock at seeing me with Buffy, but he has been scarce. I know that there is something he is afraid to speak to me about, yet he also desperately wants to. I brought along a couple of books that might answer his vague description of a possible "magick allergy", but not having seen him, I have not had the chance to give them to him.
Vi pointed room out to me after the research session last week. I think that I should offer my ear to the boy.
I am thrilled that Buffy was able to find a flight to London in order to catch the same plane with me to California. Not many people are going that close to Los Angeles lately, so there were plenty of open seats on the plane and we were able to sit together.
She looks like she's lost some weight, and tired. I can tell that it is an effort to remain light and cheery. Does she really think that she can fool me? Or is it herself that she is trying to decieve?
We keep the conversation light. An airplane is no place for the type of catching up we need to do. That will hold a bit longer, but not much. Whatever it is that Buffy had been hiding from, the time has come to face it. I suppose the same could be said for all of us.
I am grateful that my flat is not far from the pub as I stumble home.
Nothing could have prepared me for seeing Ethan again. A part of me isn't surprised that he returned to London after getting away from the military - a feat he did not explain to me, I realize. Perhaps I had somehow expected him to already be in Los Angeles, if he were free, reveling in the sheer chaos I expect to be there.
The fact that Ethan provoked me to physical violence is no surprise however. Perhaps it is the fact that he embodies everything that I hate about my youth that makes it so easy to find reasons to hit him. Beating him is like beating my own demons.
Now is a time to be strong, to be the Watcher, the leader, the embodiment of good and order... and Ethan represents chaos, which is the last thing that I need. I am going to be expected to have answers - for Dawn, for Willow, and all of the others. Now is not the time to be confronted with reminders of my mistakes, my own ability to be reckless.
I rub a hand over my face, my fingers lingering on my lips. What the hell had Ethan been thinking when he kissed me? Admittedly, memories of how beatings ended in our youth were at the fore in my mind, but never would I have acted on them. Too much has happened in our lives since parting ways. No matter how tempting Ethan may be, he is like a drug that once quit, should not be attempted again.
I must remain focused for the battle to come.
Finally, I have found them. It took me several days to track down all of the resources that I had removed from the Watcher's Council on my last visit to Headquarters, before it was blown up.
Among them, somewhere, is every bit of information they had collected regarding the Key and Glory's dimension. Including information they had not bothered to share with us. There is more here than I had remembered. Without my assistant it is going to take me days, if not weeks, to translate it all. Oh, how I miss the children at times like this.
The children... as this is regarding Dawn, perhaps she would like to assist in the research. I know how she must hate the idea of being the object of our research again, but maybe it will be to her benefit to assist. She has come a long way in her studies of ancient languages, and it may do her some good to aid in finding out answers about herself.
If something big is going down in Los Angeles, I suppose it might be best to bring the research to her. Besides, I may be able to be of use in figuring out what they are up against.
I go to pick up the phone, but realize that Willow and Dawn are staying at the Hyperion... with Angel. I still don't trust that he is entirely on the side of good and don't want to risk him answering his own phone. I suppose that I will need to email them with my ideas.
It probably wouldn't hurt to try to email Buffy as well, seeing as how leaving messages on her machine hasn't been working.
There is something... off about the serenity surrounding the new Watcher's Council of late. For most people a quiet day at the office would be a welcome change, but not here. Here, quiet is a usually a portent of something evil coming.
There have been rumors of destruction in Los Angeles. The Coven has sensed a disturbance in the balance of good and evil. As have many of the slayers we've been training.
And yet I have not heard from those whose fear I respect. Buffy has been avoiding me, instead passing me off to Dawn when I can catch her on the phone. As Buffy has been losing herself in her anonymity, Dawn has flourished at university. Her knack for languages and research have come in handy in her current studies.
Willow hasn't spoken to me since Fred's death. I still feel that I was right in not interfering with her training for something that she would not have been able to change. Yes, it is tragic that the girl had to die, but from the bit that Angel had told me, there nothing that anyone could have done. It would only have pained her more to have left her training, gone to LA, and had to watch her friend die before her eyes. She's had to do that too often in her young life.
Xander has been keeping to himself these days as well. He is often unreachable while out on a hunt. I think that he finds it easier to cope with his grief away from the others.
Where is that assistant of mine? Sylvia was supposed to try to reach Buffy for me. When I tried to call the other night the line was busy - all evening. Buffy may not want to tell me if she's been feeling what the others have, now that she is no longer the sole protector of the innocent, but I must know if she has sensed it.
"Sylvia," I hit the speaker button on the phone.
"Yes, sir?" she answers, all business as usual.
"Have you been able to reach Buffy yet? Has she returned my messages? Are there any messages at all?" I wearily ask. I doubt that there are any new messages, there haven't been in some time.
"No, sir," she answers. "I will inform you if and when I am able to get through to Ms. Summers."
"Thank you." I turn the phone off.
I am seriously reconsidering my reluctance for Dawn to show me how to use e-mail. She had tried the last time she was in town, but predictably, I resisted. How can an electronic message be better than a hand written letter of a phone call? Perhaps for times like these when one is unable to reach the person they wish to speak with.
I shall ask Dawn how to access the account she set up for me when next I speak with her. If Sylvia can ever get her on the phone, that is…