“Okay, now you guys know what I am, right?”
The soldiers paid no attention to the vampire and began to slowly advance on them. Weapons trained, they were fully prepared to take both demons out.
“Guess not,” Angel muttered. “Well, you’re about to get a lesson.”
Before any of the men realized what happened, Angel used a burst of vampire speed to grab a fragmentation grenade from a soldier and toss it into the open furnace. The blast gave Angel all the time he needed.
Quickly beating down the opposition, he beckoned for Lilith to follow him. The demon was hesitant, unsure if she should trust the vampire. But as the flames from the furnace began to catch on the wooden support beams, the decision was made. Grabbing the vampire’s outstretched hand, she allowed him to lead her past the flames.
At the top of the stairs, Angel savagely uppercut a young soldier stupid enough to get in his way. From there they met no resistance, and they were able to easily make their escape.
Angel made sure the demon followed as he led the way to his friends. Upon reaching them, he didn’t expect the reaming he got from Cordelia.
“You stupid @#%$ vampire, you could have been killed! You have a son to think about, you stupid dorkhead!” When she finally noticed his companion she asked, “Is this her?”
“Yeah, but do you think we could discuss this when we get the hell out of here?” Cordelia would have ignored the suggestion had Wesley not interfered and led the way back to the cars. Angel took a last look at the battlefield below and hoped the decision he made was the right one.
The AI gang was trying to keep busy as Wesley interrogated the demon in his office. Gunn sat next to Fred playing on his Gameboy, while she looked at news websites. Cordelia had finally tired of cursing Angel for his stupidity and sat down to read the newest issue of Cosmo.
After listening to Cordelia’s justified ass chewing, Angel decided to stand guard by Wesley’s door in case of trouble. His vampire hearing allowed him to catch snatches of conversation, but not enough to keep up.
Several minutes later Wesley exited his office. The look on his face told the entire story. “She won’t say much of anything,” the Watcher said. “The only thing significant she said was ‘I won’t go back to that place’. She repeated it several times.”
“She said that to me at the house,” Angel offered.
“Whatever her home world is, it would appear she no longer wants a part of it.”
“Maybe it’s not her home world she’s afraid of,” Angel suggested. The vampire turned to Reynolds who sat on the couch reading one of the vampire’s novels. “You. You work for the Powers. I bet you can tell us where she was at.”
Reynolds continued to read ‘Jane Eyre’ as the vampire stalked towards him. He could tell them, but the question was if it would affect their future work for the Powers. He may have helped Martin in his time of need, but now he was dead, and Reynolds never lost his allegiance to the Powers.
“I’m waiting,” the vampire said.
“Fine,” Reynolds said. “What the hell. For the past few years, Lilith has been a Powers prisoner of war in the dimension of Elysia. Lilith’s race had a reputation for being badasses and terrorized the other clans on her planet. A coalition was formed and Lilith’s clan was defeated.
“But before the coalition could annihilate Lilith’s clan, the Powers stepped in. You see, the Powers have quite a few enemies, and they know a good opportunity when they see it. They captured several members of the defeated clan and took them to Elysia where experiments were performed.”
“What kind of experiments?” Wesley asked.
“The Powers wanted a new weapon to battle a race of demons in the Othrys dimension. They wanted to use their new prisoners, Menglers they call themselves, as the soldiers in the war. But Menglers were too hard to control.”
“So what did they do?” Cordelia asked, even though she wasn’t sure she wanted to know.
“The Powers began cross-breeding Menglers with a souled entity.”
“Humans,” Angel said disgusted.
“Humans,” Reynolds agreed. “They figured a creature with a soul would be easier to control. But the F-1 generation didn’t met expectations. Many were still violent. So work began on F-2.”
“Lilith’s an F-1,” Wesley realized. “Once you saw her generation failed it was decided to cross-breed again. That makes the child three-fourths human.”
“The Powers anticipate a much higher success rate with this generation, but still, plans for F-3 are ready to be implemented once the F-2 generation reaches maturity.”
“Son of a bitch!” Cordelia yelled. “You mean this baby is nothing but a guinea pig for the Powers?” Cordelia didn’t like that idea at all.
“But that still doesn’t explain why she’s here,” Angel brought them back to focus.
“How she escaped isn’t known for certain, but it’s believed she seduced a guard and used the advantage to make it to the Prison Jumpstation.”
“A room most PTB facilities have. From there authorized personnel can jump between dimensions,” Reynolds explained.
“So Lilith discovered she was pregnant and decided to make her escape to a dimension where she could more easily blend in,” Wesley hypothesized.
“Good theory, but no,” Reynolds said. “Lilith wasn’t pregnant when she jumped. The PTB’s had her in holding until the doctors were ready to experiment on her group.”
“So that means that Martin is the father,” Angel said.
“Probably,” Reynolds agreed. Off the questioning glances he continued. “There have been isolated instances of guards impregnating the female subjects. So when I say she wasn’t pregnant when she jumped, I mean the PTB’s didn’t impregnate her.”
The group was silent for several moments. They couldn’t believe these were the people that they worked for. “Why didn’t you tell us this earlier?” Angel asked.
“I didn’t think I needed to. I expected you to do the usual seek and destroy, not take the girl in like a stray puppy. The PTB’s would be pissed if they knew you know.”
“So,” Wesley asked. “How long before Lilith gives birth?”
“Gestation for the F-2’s seems to be about two months. Considering how long the murders have gone on, I’d say you got a month before she delivers. Projections indicate the offspring reach maturity in about three years.”
“This is @#%$ great,” Cordelia said. “So now we work for a bunch of people who took a page from Hitler’s playbook.”
“She’s right,” Wesley said. “It’s the Final Solution or Project 731. This is blatant manipulation on the part of the Powers. We’re working for beings no better than the Nazis.”
“But does any of that give us a clue as what to do?” Gunn asked.
“Not really,” Angel said. “Its just tells us the people we work for are sick fucks. But in the meantime, I think we should probably keep her here until we do decide a course of action.”
Wesley agreed to that, and he and Gunn escorted the demon to a bedroom upstairs. Confident that she wouldn’t be going anywhere, the two men came back downstairs. The group decided to disperse for some rest, all wanting some sleep before any major decisions were made.
Once alone, Reynolds picked up the copy of ‘Jane Eyre’ and finished the chapter he was on. Marking the page he was on, Reynolds tossed the book aside and began to head up to the room he had been given. But before reaching the stairs he stopped. As if coming to a conclusion, he headed back to the offices and picked up a phone.
Deciding it was the best way to cover his ass, he dialed a number from memory. After three rings a voice picked up. “Alvin? It’s Peter Reynolds. Yeah, can you do something for me? I need you to send some people over to the Hyperion Hotel here in LA. Yeah, I think the people inside are harboring our fugitive. That’s right, JFB5183. Send a recon team for a silent op. Thanks.”
Reynolds hung up the phone pondering his action. Basically, since Martin was no more, he had no reason to play against the Powers. Maybe by doing this, they might not dig too deep in his recent indiscretions. Reynolds smiled. He might be able to keep his head.
Walking back into the lobby, he grabbed the first edition copy of Austen’s novel. It was payment for making him stay in a shitty room, Reynolds decided. Tucking the book into his pocket, Reynolds made his way out into the streets, the rising sun making its appearance.