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And so it’s begun. liliaeth and I offer the next chapter of Beloved for your perusal. This takes place immediately following the last chapter. Please follow the Warning Alert System.

2014 - November
William is ten and a half years old.

Prozac Alert
Seriously – there be death here – sort of messy and graphic and most unpleasant. Looks like Will’s happy times have come to an abrupt end. An old character resurfaces.


Please, as always, read and comment! The muse has been leaving her brownie crumbs everywhere and has made us promise to keep the prozac bowl filled. Doesn’t promise to be any joy in Mudville for the next couple of chapters. Feedback is always welcomed.

Goddess bless willa_writes - my gal on the move and beta-supreme, and gillo, this time for her now green Word bubbles of doom and nit-picky magic, and just_sue, for making me laugh and helping to keep things on track.

To read Beloved from the beginning, go Here.



Full-sized banner by sueworld2003 beneath the cut.





Beloved – Chapter 21 – Murder and Mayhem

Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!

Will’s breath hitched in his chest as Roger Wyndam-Pryce – Thing One – came into view, looking for all the world like a hairy Dr. Evil. All that was missing was Mr. Bigglesworth and the cheesy music from that old movie.

Time seemed to slow as Mr. Chalmers entered the room. EJ was once again overpowered and the creepy guard slapped a nylon strip around her wrists, making sure she couldn’t flip him again. Will could feel his wrist bones grating as his own guard tightened his hold.

“Slowly, now,” Thing One said, aiming a gun in Will’s direction, “and lock the door behind you, or the boy dies immediately.”

Following directions, Nathaniel locked the door and stared down his erstwhile mentor.

“Let go of me, arse-face.” EJ stomped viciously on her guard’s foot, but her soft-soled trainers deadened the impact and she was unable to wriggle out of his clutches. “Mr. Chalmers?”

He ignored the girl’s soft plea. “What is going on here, Roger? Why are you man-handling my charges?”

“Nothing for you to be concerned about, Nathaniel. I’m returning logic and balance to the program you’ve managed to cock up so completely.” He snorted his derision, steadying the gun and re-training it on William’s chest. “It’s imperative we repair the mistake I made in allowing you to treat that little monster as if he were human.”

“Letting me?” Nathaniel spluttered. “You were removed from the project by the Council Board, Roger, or don’t you remember?”

Thing One fumed, striking the desk with his fists in anger. “Because of you. Because you were too weak to see this little monster for what he truly is. He’s fooled you. Pulled the wool over your eyes.”

It’d been a long time since Will had been subjected to language and hatred that intense. His hands balled into fists and he strained against the man holding him, wanting desperately to beat the stuffing out of that hurtful, old man.

“Come now, Roger. Surely you’ve noted by now that he’s nothing more than a lad with a dormant demon. It’s lent him strength and speed – though not up to par with a young Slayer. With discipline and training, we’ve managed to keep it under control, and his progress is excellent. William is thriving as his workouts with Emma Jane show…”

“Shoot her,” Wyndam-Pryce ordered one of his cronies. A single, muffled gunshot sounded and EJ wordlessly crumpled to the floor, a red bloodstain blossoming around the hole directly above her heart.

William screamed as Mr. Chalmers knelt down next to her. “Why?” he cried, unable to believe the events of the past few moments. “EJ’s not a monster. She’s a Slayer – a good guy. Why would you…”

“She was a Slayer,” Thing One spat. “One that you contaminated by your very presence. She should have taken you out the moment you met instead of playing pat-a-cake with you. Her blood is on your hands.”

Never lowering his gun, Wyndam-Pryce looked down at the spreading puddle of blood underneath Emma Jane, and spoke to his ex-colleague: “You were paving the way for another Buffy Summers,” he sneered. “A vampire layer in the making. Never again, Chalmers. Once more our Slayers will be dutiful tools, not disobedient and willful little girls.”

Will couldn’t stop the tears from falling down his cheeks. The hatred in Thing One’s voice was tangible.

“I didn’t do anything to EJ,” he sobbed, sagging in his captor’s arms. “She’s my friend.”

Mr. Chalmers cradled the girl in his arms – it was obviously too late to do anything for her – helpless as she bled out her young life in his lap without a word.

“Just a child,” he murmured.

“She was a weapon… a weapon you corrupted irreparably by involving it with that demon-spawn. Death was a mercy for her. Worthless trash that couldn’t tell the difference between a demon and a human,” Thing One barked.

The nausea overwhelmed him. Will felt lightheaded, broken. EJ had been his friend, and now she was dead… because of him. Because he was a monster. She had died for no other reason but knowing him.

Gently settling Emma Jane’s body on the ground, Nathaniel Chalmers closed her un-seeing eyes and stood, pulling his own gun from its holster under his jacket. Before he could steady his aim, his foot slipped in the viscous red fluid and he went down, hard, jarring the gun from his hand.

The sight of the gun near his feet pushed Will into action. If they were gonna call him a monster, maybe it was about time he acted like one. With no thought to his own safety, Will let out a primal scream, kicking back at the large man holding him – targeting his balls. Sure enough, the big lug went down, releasing Will with a yelp of agony.

Will looked into his eyes for a moment before grabbing the gun at his feet. Hot anger, full of disgust… and something else. Something… inhuman in their stillness. Will tore himself away from the man’s gaze and aimed his weapon at Thing One.

His hands were shaking and he knew he’d probably hurt himself before hitting his target but he no longer cared.

“You call me a demon, and… and maybe I am, S-sir,” he stammered, heart pounding away in his chest as his arms shook wildly. “But I never hurt anyone on purpose… before.”

Nothing about his situation made sense. Not EJ’s death, or Mr. Chalmers not coming to his rescue… or the total lack of fear in Thing One’s attitude. Will raised the gun higher, trying to focus through the cross-hairs to give him the most painful and deadly results.

“Don’t do it, lad,” Chalmers called from the floor. He seemed to be holding onto his ankle, unable to rise. “Fight your instincts. We’ll get through this, together.”

“So what’s stopping you, demon?” Wyndam-Pryce sneered, raising his arms in a mockery of a crucifixion. “Surely you have the balls to fire that weapon? Unless it’s too much for an ignorant beast like you. Go ahead and fire if you dare.”

Will knew he’d have just one shot. He could feel the guard creeping up behind him. His finger pulled back on the trigger a bit… then a little more, until…

“Need a little more incentive?” Thing One raised his gun and fired twice, destroying the top of Nathaniel Chalmers skull, spraying bone fragments, brain matter and fluids everywhere, including over and across William, himself.

The older Watcher appeared in front of him suddenly, yanking the gun from his nerveless fingers and slapping him hard across the face.

“I was never in danger from a little pipsqueak like you.” Thing One dismissed the possibility with a wave of his hand. “Any human worth his salt would have fired that gun and at least tried to save himself.”

Will desperately wanted to say it wasn’t true… that he’d wanted to pull the trigger and blow the creep’s brains out just like he’d done to Mr. Chalmers, but he couldn’t speak… he couldn’t cry. Nothing more than a whimper passed through his lips.

The guard took advantage of his frozen state, securing his hands behind his back like they’d done to EJ… with a piece of nylon. In that very moment, Thing One grabbed at him and Will went wild. He snarled, wildly kicking out at the elder Watcher, and snapping his jaws each time the man’s hands came anywhere near his head. However, restrained as he was by the guard, it wasn’t long before his hair was grabbed and his neck exposed. He felt the sting of a hypodermic needle, the burn as something was shot into his system, and then he went numb.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t allowed the blessing of unconsciousness. As the drug coursed through his system, his limbs grew impossibly heavy and he was unable to move. His breathing was labored and blinking nearly an impossibility. His hearing was unimpaired as was his ability to feel, which he found out when his captor dropped him painfully to the ground.

“Time to get moving, gentlemen,” Thing One ordered. “The bodies will be found eventually, but walking out of here clean and calm will gain us time. I’m not sure how long the beast will remain under the influence of the tetrodotoxin, however, and I would prefer it be alive when we arrive at our destination.”

Will watched as clean clothes were removed from a large duffel bag on the floor, and he listened to the running water in Mr. Chalmers’ bath room. The sound of the hamper top thumping down meant… oh God! Bloody clothing on top of EJ’s favorite unicorn shirt. Was it only yesterday that she’d spilled her juice on it and had to change?

“Don’t forget the rubber sheeting, Forbes. We don’t want to take a chance on anything leaking through the bag.”

“No worries, Sir,” the lackey replied, rolling masking tape around the boy’s ankles, then folded his knees backwards, taping them in place.

Thing One’s vindictive eyes were the last thing Will saw as the man leaned over him and sneered: “No more molly-coddling, William. It’s about time we found out what you’re truly made of.”

He stood and motioned to his accomplice. “Let’s get finished here. The longer we stay, the more we’re pressing our luck.”

Will felt himself wrapped up in a sheet of something stretchy and was unceremoniously dumped into the now empty duffel bag. Inside, his guts churned as the zipper was closed; he was petrified at being alone and in the dark.

***

Outside the office door, Roger Wyndam-Pryce fastidiously wiped his fingers with a handkerchief. Just the memory of touching that foul demon-child made his skin crawl. Thank goodness for doctors and assistants.

He made sure to put the ‘Do Not Disturb During Lessons’ placard in the holder. That should give them at least two hours of lead time before anyone found something amiss.

Turning to his guards, Wyndam-Pryce clapped them on their shoulders.

“Good work, Mr. Forbes. Mr. Harris. Please load the demon into the trunk, and we’ll be on our way.”
.

Tags:

Comments

( 49 comments — Leave a comment )
chrissie_linnit
Jul. 4th, 2006 09:34 am (UTC)
I'm lost for words..............

Stunned, shocked, frightened beyond belief for Will, infuriated beyond belief with RWP.

Where in the name of heaven are all the rescue parties?!

This has got to be one of the most shocking scenes I've read in a very long time. You need to write a rescue chapter, STAT!
spikes_heart
Jul. 4th, 2006 09:44 am (UTC)
I would heartily suggest you lay in a couple of boxes of tissues for the next chapter or two. Makes me all teary even thinking about writing it.
mad_brilliant_
Jul. 4th, 2006 10:00 am (UTC)
::grabs the Prozac::

Oh wow. That was...I'm just stunned. And Xander? Oh my gosh. He's involved?

::flails::
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:28 am (UTC)
Xander so is involved. I promise you'll find out how much soon. **reaches out and steadies you**
greenstone_j
Jul. 4th, 2006 10:09 am (UTC)
Uh....are you supplying the prozac by the truckload? Cause...I think I could do with a couple of really big truckloads....and maybe a boat load too....*chews nails*
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:30 am (UTC)
We've got a wholesale deal with Canada going on for the Prozac. *giggles* And the angst will continue.
shapinglight
Jul. 4th, 2006 11:00 am (UTC)
Oh dear! Oh dear!

:Is speechless with shock:
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:31 am (UTC)
We've rendered you speechless? Then our job was done well. Wait until the next chapter - we'll see if the condition lingers. **pets you**
(Anonymous)
Jul. 4th, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
Ehh the boy needs go grow some balls and do what has to be done.....I hate the whole don't kill humans attitude in the whole series to be honest....now with him being so you I get it but I can't believe that he would hesitate to kill something that has tormented him so much.

SpaceLord
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:35 am (UTC)
Awww, you have to feel badly for Will. He's only ten and a half years old, and very scared. The shock of seeing his friend murdered in front of his eyes, and then his 'mentor' would be enough to freeze him in place, even without moral issues entering into the field.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 6th, 2006 01:51 pm (UTC)
I have been thinking about this and altough I agree with you in general I also know that seeing something like this can make a child a cold blooded killer. It's how they make those nasty little children soldiers in Africa and they become totally void of empathy and would kill you with out thinking twice. This Wyndam guy has been pushing him pretty far and I think that in reality he might just snapp and kill them all without hesitation.

I feel really bad for him but there is that nagging about how they make those kid soldiers that just seem to fit this very well. Given that and the fact that he has a gun I'm feeling that he could just as easily have killed all those guys.

SpaceLord
(Deleted comment)
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:36 am (UTC)
**petspets and hands you tissues**
lilred26x
Jul. 4th, 2006 02:22 pm (UTC)
Oh no! I really hope that Mr. Harris is not who I think it is. I would hate to think that Xander was involved in this. Definitely a very disturbing chapter! Well written and everything, but still disturbing. I'm holding out for a happy ending eventually! Thanks for sharing!
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:38 am (UTC)
Oh he is, love. He most certainly is. You'll find out about his full involvement in the upcoming chapters. And I'm certainly glad you find it disturbing - it was meant to be.

We're also hoping for a happy ending, 'cause who wouldn't? *smiles*
(Deleted comment)
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:38 am (UTC)
Must be in the air - you're the second speechless case this chapter. *grins*
gillo
Jul. 4th, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC)
Nice work, love. Told you it'd upset a lot of folks - just as you wanted, you Ev0l Woman.

spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:39 am (UTC)
*takes bows*
lil_leti
Jul. 4th, 2006 08:25 pm (UTC)
all I can say is OH MY!!!!!!!!! I just can't believe it. I just hope that Angel and company can get to them fast...
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:39 am (UTC)
The rescuers draw ever nearer, hon. As soon as possible. Just not before... !
spikeschilde
Jul. 4th, 2006 08:26 pm (UTC)
'Opens mouth' 'Closes mouth'
I don't know what to say, really good chapter. And if you were out to shock people you most certainly did.
And if that is Xander i'm not suprised, 'cause he's an easily lead idiot !!
< ducks flying objects from Xander fans !! >
Keep the good work coming our way :)

Plus how wrong was i when i thought it was Dru ??!!!
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:46 am (UTC)
It is definitely Xander, but his involvement will become clearer with the next few chapters. For the good, or bad.

Glad you're enjoying, and still being surprised from time to time.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 4th, 2006 09:33 pm (UTC)
OH MY GODDESS!
Poor Will and wheres Angel and co shouldn't they have gotten there yet.This story is really getting to me hurry with next chapter. Just hope is not as bad for Spikey.(Gives RWP big Slap in face the stupid meanie)
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:50 am (UTC)
Will's in a bit of trouble at the moment, but his would-be rescuers are coming ever closer. And please feel free to slap old RWP again for all of us.
(Deleted comment)
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:51 am (UTC)
Nothing like literate praise. Go, you! **grins** This chapter does deserve one, to be sure.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 4th, 2006 11:34 pm (UTC)
Oh God poor EJ. and Mr. Chalmers he was going int the wrong direction, but when it came down to it he was not evil. That f*cking asshole thing I won't even call it human, Illyria is going to tear him apart limb by limb. As to why William didn't do it he is ten years old. And still scared.
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:53 am (UTC)
Poor Will... we just couldn't see him picking up the gun and going postal - not for any real moral issues, but he's terrified. Such a young'un yet.
missus_grace
Jul. 5th, 2006 03:46 am (UTC)
Oh man.

That's brutal. I'm just hanging in there to see a)RWP get his, b)Will get his, and c)hopefully, eventually some Spuffy!
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 07:58 am (UTC)
They will all get theirs if liliaeth and I have anything to say about it. And keep your eyes peeled for the Spuffy. It maybe be a long time coming to fruition, but we're headed there, we promise.
vikingwriter
Jul. 5th, 2006 10:54 am (UTC)
Evil. Evil. Evil. I read all of this yesterday and, uh, *gulp*. The horror of a 10 year old faced with the thought of killing his tormentor aside, I just love this whole world you've made (despite being woefully sketchy on my AtS knowledge). So, uh, kudos and I'm happy to share my ice cream (my prozac of choice) with the muse and/or writers, if it helps.
spikes_heart
Jul. 5th, 2006 11:27 am (UTC)
I'm very impressed - all in one go, eh? It can be fun to devour your fic in chunks. Anyway, the muse says she'll happily accept your ice-cream... preferably Phish Food. She loves crunching down on the little fudgy fishies.

Glad you've enjoyed it to this point. Young Will's gonna need all the support he can get to get through this ordeal.
pin_btvs
Jul. 9th, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC)
Gahhh -

I am sooo looking forward to the chapter where RWP gets his due. I hope it is long, bloody and full of righteous vengence. In the meantime...what a tragedy and dreading what happens next for poor Will. Great writing! Thanks.
spikes_heart
Jul. 11th, 2006 02:22 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, so do I. Wanna help write it? Have some lovely, bloody ideas? *grins* Hopefully what we have planned will satisfy the bloodthirsiness in you. *grins*

Thanks for your kind words, hon. Will can certainly use some about now.
lmbossy
Jul. 10th, 2006 03:45 am (UTC)
*iz dead* just when I thought things were starting to look up ... poor EJ! ... and I even felt sorry for Nathaniel - that wasn't the way he deserved to die

Bloody clothing on top of EJ’s favorite unicorn shirt. Was it only yesterday that she’d spilled her juice on it and had to change?
*meep* just ... *meep*
*clings to Will*
spikes_heart
Jul. 11th, 2006 02:27 pm (UTC)
Poor EJ - were we cruel to bring her in just to off her? Well, yeah. But we'll miss her. She made a lovely impact in her short time with us.

**pets you** Meeps take an awful toll on the system, don't they?
angelic_amy
Jul. 16th, 2006 02:09 pm (UTC)
Okay, so I PERFECTLY understand why you put the PROZAC warning on this chapter. What the hell just happened! I mean, COME ON! Angel, Connor and Charlotte are on their way, Giles and Lydia had a plan, and BAM! You totally tear at the seams the hope I had of William being freed!

If I wasn't so damned angry with RWP right now I'd be speechless. I really didn't like Nate because of his manipulations, but I can't believe Thing One just blew his head off! This cannot be good!

Expect lots of prodding and begging for future chapters now that I'm caught up. You are evil, EVIL I tell you, for leaving the chapter off like that. More please, and soon!
spikes_heart
Aug. 20th, 2006 05:41 am (UTC)
Roger was a right prat, wasn't he? Really, I just don't understand what's gotten into the cretin man. Somehow I don't think he's quite through. We'll just have to hope the muse gets her ass together and the chapters come sometime this year. **hugs**
(Anonymous)
Aug. 2nd, 2006 11:49 pm (UTC)
update soon pwease i need me some spikey goodness

luv ya
Roo
spikes_heart
Aug. 20th, 2006 06:51 am (UTC)
Working on it, hon. Hope to get a new chapter out soon.
timeofchange
Aug. 12th, 2006 01:55 pm (UTC)
Ohgodohgodohgod! I fell behind and decided to play cathc up this a.m. Now I am devastated. Poor, poor Will. Poor EJ. Poor everybody.
spikes_heart
Aug. 20th, 2006 06:52 am (UTC)
Do you think we were a tad cruel? It's been rather bad for Will, indeed. Unfortunately...

More to come, hon. As soon as the muse cooperates.
bubblyflute522
Aug. 17th, 2006 01:45 am (UTC)
i found the link to this on LLGA and i've read it all the last two days. it's addicting and i need another fix. I hope we can see Will being rescued sometime in the nearish future. Thanks for writing such a good long story.
spikes_heart
Aug. 20th, 2006 06:54 am (UTC)
That sweet boy will be rescued... eventually. Unfortunately it's not in the immediate future. So glad you're all caught up with the story. There's lots more to come.
deborahc
Aug. 22nd, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC)
Good work, Mr. Forbes. Mr. Harris.

XANDER! What the f**K???

He's more than just bitter, I'd say. He's out of his friggin' mind! Not only is he guilty of kidnapping an innocent child that he stubbornly insists on viewing as the irredemably evil demon RWP purports him to be, but now he's complicit in the cold-blooded murder of a fully human girl - a girl every bit as human as Buffy and evert other Slayer and Potential turned Slayer he's ever he's known. It's going to take a hellovalot of redemption for him to come back from that.

So - here's something to ponder: More, less, equally responsible or equally not responsible - a soulless vampire of sound mind or, a soullful human of unsound mind? I'm particularly interested in Xander's opinion.

Sheesh. I was wondering how Giles and Lydia's carefully conceived and engineered rescue plans would be thwarted, but I never thought...wow.

::whistles and la-la-las to self instead of saying what I really want to say but can't, lest I spoil other readers by my speculations::

And now that I'm all caught up - Weh!! Chomping at the bit to see what happens next. I'm Friending you, if that's ok, so I won't miss the next installment, whenever that may be (I promise not to nag - I'm just grateful you're writing and sharing).
spikes_heart
Aug. 26th, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC)
**grins** you can always email me at spikes_heart @ yahoo.com with your speculations. Won't spoil anyone that way.

As for Xander? Yes, he certainly does have issues. And you gave me and liliaeth plenty to think about his motives. Hopefully within the next few chapters things will become clear(er).

Friend away, pet. There's always room for one more.
brunettepet
Aug. 25th, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC)
This story is so clever and entertaining it has had me on the edge of my seat. I'm enjoying each of the characters and the intricacies of their interaction and relationonships. The original characters are fleshed out, and the canon crew are acting in character. The dialogue is well written, and the action sequences are vivid and entertaining.

This take on Spike's shanshu, Buffy's incorporeal status, Illyria's connection to William and Wes and Buffy, Laura Chalmers' role, and Drusilla holding Dawn prisoner - each of these developments are standouts in this clever plot. Roger Wyndham Pryce's new coup on the eve of William's rescue was a complete surprise, and I can't wait to see how you resolve this. Thanks for the entertaining read!
spikes_heart
Aug. 26th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your kind words, hon. The OCs were of particular worry for us - we didn't just want to throw up cannon fodder - we wanted people you could care about. I'm glad we've managed somewhat.

It's so hard to come up with an original idea these days - there's so much fine work out there and ground already covered. But, we try, and hopefully succeed.

Now, if we can just get the next part tweaked enough, it'll be ready for posting in the next few days. *smiles*
( 49 comments — Leave a comment )

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