Season of Solace. 159-60

159: Heading North Toward Mercy Hospital, 12:09AM

“Can’t this bucket of bolts go any faster?” Cordelia complained when they seemed to be slowing down. For some strange reason there was actually traffic despite the late hour.

Angel weaved through it like the cars were standing still. Taking a sharp right onto Maple Court sent Cordelia sliding toward the car door. She grabbed the dashboard for stability, but it did nothing to ease the tightening knot in her stomach.

Someone was hurt.

One of the teams must have run into Nicolau’s goons. Faith? Giles? God, even Xander. It scared her to think about what might be wrong. Fighting vampires was not exactly a safe activity even for Buffy or Faith, especially when they were so organized and ready for it.

On an approach vector from the north side of town half of Sunnydale’s police force was headed their way, sirens wailing, and their blue and red lights cutting through the dark. The added blare of a fire engine sounded as it raced across the intersection from the Fire House on the far side of town.

Cordelia realized they were headed toward the hospital. “What’s going on?” Baring the occasional apocalypse they did not normally trigger this kind of 911 response.

“Hold on!” Angel jammed his foot down on the gas pedal. The car swerved cutting directly across the white line to avoid a speeding van.

Shrieking his name, Cordelia squeezed her eyes closed, holding on for dear life as she waited for the crunch of metal that didn’t come. Her heart was a thick lump of fear in her throat. She slowly opened her eyes to see that they were safe and now on a direct course for the hospital.

Even though Angel had things under control, Cordelia felt like every nerve she had was shaking. “I said go faster—not drive like a maniac!”

Angel seemed distracted, checking the rearview mirror even as he kept the car on a straight path down Thousand Oaks Drive. “Did you see it?”

“See what, my way too short life flashing by? Hello, my eyes were closed!”

“The van that almost ran us over—it looked like Oz’ van,” Angel’s brow scrunched down. He was obviously wondering what Oz, Willow and Xander would be doing driving away from the hospital after getting a Code 6 page.

Cordelia figured it could not be the same van. “You didn’t notice who was driving?”

“Not Oz.”

It was a non-issue as far as she was concerned. Angel’s supernatural reflexes saved them from becoming roadkill. Case closed.

That was the least of her concerns. Someone was hurt, someone she possibly cared about. Her shoe was broken. Could it be fixed? Maybe there was hope for it. The red dress was another story, soaked by rain, and battered by wind and sand.

Freaky weather. Only in Sunnydale!

That totally unexpected storm popped up out of nowhere. It was still raging in the distance. They were soaked to the skin. The top of the convertible had been down all this time drenching the car. Everything was wet, but it hardly made a difference now. At least it was no longer pouring down.

An orange glow lit the buildings ahead like an aura. “I smell smoke,” Cordelia’s nose twitched up at the acrid scent. “What’s burning?”

The scent must have been even more potent for Angel, but there was no need for him to answer as they pulled up alongside Mercy General’s outermost parking lot. There was no missing the source of the smoke. A thick black haze had spread out from the Northeast corner of the hospital where the back end of a helicopter was sticking out of a 3rd floor window.

Scene 160:
Thousand Oaks Drive, Central Sunnydale, 12:10PM

“Dickhead!” Mike roared at the disappearing taillights of the black convertible that nearly got them all killed. “Did you see that crazy shit? Fucker!”

Any other time and he woulda gone after that guy and made him pay for scaring the crap out of him. See how he liked the taste of brass knuckles. Give him a chance to hang out with the guys—chained up to the back of four bikes moving in opposite directions.

Maybe later. Couldn’t be too hard to find a car like that in this rinky dink town. Right now he had business. Never let it be said that the Undertaker don’t take care of business before pleasure.

“You assholes in one piece back there?”

A glance in the rearview mirror showed his men and that fancy pants lawyer, Jake Devries, were sprawled across each other, the floor, and the body bag containing their precious cargo.

“Barely,” snapped Devries as he reached back into his open briefcase for a syringe containing a yellow liquid. He had dropped it. The cap was off exposing the needle. “A moment later and this drug might’ve ended up on the floor instead of our body-bagged friend here.”

There was not much traffic on the east side of town at this time of night, so Mike kept glancing in the rearview mirror to see what Devries was doing. He did not trust that Armani-suited bastard any more than he did the blood-sucking law firm he worked for.

Scowling, Mike told him to shut the hell up. “Just get to work.”

One of the men pulled the zipper down on the body bag revealing the pale, cool body of Harry Sims. The fucker looked dead, but he wasn’t. Some fancy drug that probably cost more than Mike took in his last heist was what did it. Who knew what lawyer shit Devries had to pull to get Sims’ body out of that prison before fake dead turned into stone cold dead.

Maybe the guy had some balls after all taking a chance like that. Kill off one of the Pure Ones and he would be facing Kalesh’s wrath. And that was something Mike would not want to witness. He’d seen some scary as hell demons in L.A., but that ugly old bitch made them all seem kinda cuddly.

Devries held the syringe upright over Sims’ chest. He jabbed it down and used his other hand to press the plunger rapidly injecting the yellow drug into Sims’ heart.

A minute passed by. Nothing happened. The guy still looked dead.

Mike slowed to a halt in the middle of the street so he could look over his shoulder. “One of you jerkoffs better know C.P.R. or we’re gonna be neck deep in demon shit.”

Scene 161

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