Soulripper 9

Part 9: Every Action…

Los Angeles wasn’t like what you saw in the movies. In the movies, it’s always a bright and sunny day. There is never a cloud in the clear blue sky.

Bullshit, Fred thought to herself. Most Los Angeles days, the sky had a faint yellow tint because of all the smog. And today certainly wasn’t bright and sunny. Dark storm clouds threatened in the horizon. Rain would be here in an hour, maybe less.

It was Monday, about a quarter past noon. Fred stood at her post with binoculars in her hands and a walkie-talkie around her neck. She had a clear view of the entire playing field. She was the point man. It was up to Fred when to alert that the ‘fantasma’ had appeared. It was up to her when to tell the teams to execute their respective assignments.

The ‘fantasma’ and his two guards would set off for the diner at around 12:30. When they reached the Smithson and Ambercrombie intersection, the distraction would occur

Willow would be parked on North Smithson, while Tara would be parked on East Ambercrombie. At Fred’s command, they would pull out into the intersection and have an ‘accident’ with each other.

While the crowd’s, and most importantly, the guard’s attention was distracted, Lorne would drive up in the van from South Smithson. Pulling up behind the guards, Groo and Gunn would grab the ‘fantasma’. If all went according to plan, the operation should take no longer than a minute from the command to move to the time the ‘fantasma’ was loaded up.

In the van located two blocks away, the three men waited nervously. It was almost time to execute. Grabbing the walkie-talkie, Gunn checked in one final time.

“Alright everybody, listen up, it’s almost showtime. We can’t screw up on this people,” he said gravely. “This is our one and only chance at grabbing this guy. If we fail here, then we may never be able to save our friends.”

The gravity of the situation wasn’t lost on anyone. All knew what was at stake. This was the best and only chance they had to perform this mission. All radioed in with a ‘Roger’ before silence once again reigned.

Glancing at the van’s clock, Lorne noted the time. “12:28,” he said. His green hand fiddled nervously with the gear stick. Gunn silently chewed on sunflower seeds as he mentally went over the plan. Groo reached into a plastic bag and removed a length of rope and duct tape. He also pulled out a strange bottle marked ‘Chloroform’. Grab, contain, evacuate. That was the plan.

Then the call came.

“Subject has just appeared with two guards,” Fred called over the radio.

Lorne quickly turned the engine on. “This is it,” he said. “It’s time.”

“Now we just wait for our cue,” Gunn replied.

Kelemoke stared at the girl in confusion. Checking her pulse, he found that it was steady and strong. Taking a breath, he noticed it too. There was no soul in this body.

“Very strange,” Kelemoke said. “I’ve never heard nor seen such a thing in all my existence. You say she was fine one moment, but was like this the next?”

“Yes!” Angelus shouted irritably. “I was speaking with her one second, but then she collapsed unconscious.”

“Very strange,” Kelemoke repeated. She was a highly attractive girl. If Angelus wasn’t so set after her, Kelemoke might be tempted to claim her for himself. Even if she was part demon. “I do not know of anyone with the power to remove a being’s soul. It must be powerful magic.”

“I do not know who would hold that power either,” Angelus said. “But I know who would.” Angelus stormed from the bedroom into the main hall of the palace. “Minions!” he called. All eyes turned to the vampire who’d led them to victories. “Gather your weapons! We go to war!”

As vampires began moving underground to begin their operation, the humans above were beginning their own.

“Get ready,” Fred called over the radio. “Team One now!” A few moments passed before she yelled, “Team Two now!”

Tara and Willow each threw their cars into gear and sped into the intersection. Willow made sure that her car impacted the passenger side of Tara’s. The crowd of pedestrians, including the ‘fantasma’, stopped at the sight of the hard collision.

Good Samaritans rushed out into the street to help the two women. The gang prayed that seatbelts and airbags would keep them safe.

Moments after the collision occurred, the van was coming to a stop behind the ‘fantasma’ and his two guards. Gunn and Groo leapt from the back of the van. With two quick swings of a baseball bat, Groo sent the guards flying to the ground. Gunn smothered the small ‘fantasma’ with the chloroform cloth. He grabbed the man’s arms while Groo grabbed his legs. They speedily tossed the man into the van and climbed in. The rear doors weren’t even shut fully before Lorne put the pedal to the metal.

A few people cursed at the van for speeding past a wreck, but beyond that, nobody paid much attention. Fred nonchalantly hailed a taxi as soon as she saw the van was away. After being helped from the vehicles, Tara and Willow slipped away in the confusion. They were confident the fake identification they used to rent the cars couldn’t be traced back to them. It also helped they wore gloves in the car. Police could find fingerprints.

By one o’clock, everyone at Wolfram and Hart knew that something very wrong had happened. Many of the big shot attorneys had been called into a board meeting with the senior officials.

The staff knew better than to ask questions. When people started asking questions, they had a nasty habit of disappearing. Being in the dark wasn’t a bad thing. It sure as hell kept your head attached to your body.

Suddenly, throughout the building, alarms began to go off. The people at the firm had heard this sound before.

“Damn it! Is this another fucking fire drill?”

“Jesus Christ, it seems like we have one every month!”

The staffers began to file to the stairwell. While the money here was good, the fire drills got fucking annoying after awhile.

Through the sewer tunnels located in the basement garage, vampires began to climb out and get in formation. By the time Angelus emerged, nearly three-dozen minions had formed, ready for battle.

Angelus was furious. Somehow he knew that it was these lawyers that were responsible for what happened to his Queen. He didn’t care how many sons of bitches he had to cut down; he was going to find out how to fix her.

He began to divide off the minions. They would sweep the building and gather up as many hostages as possible. He led five minions across the garage to the elevators. Hitting the floor he knew housed the big shot lawyers, the troop rode silently. Alarms had long since sounded.

“Do not worry,” he told the minions. “They are only prepared for an isolated vampire to enter, not a legion. And remember, no killing until I give the word.” The minions nodded in acknowledgement.

With a slight buzz, the elevator door opened on the Fifth Floor. He spotted a few people heading to the stairwell doors. Turning the corner, Angelus couldn’t believe his good fortune.

From the conference room emerge the biggest names at the firm. “Well, if it isn’t the cocksuckers that I wanted to see.” Shifting into gameface, Angelus stalked toward the frightened crowd. “A dozen ripe plums ready to be picked,” he observed. His eyes fell on an attractive woman in front. “My, aren’t you a tasty looking bitch? I may have to kill you first, just so you don’t have to watch me gut the rest of these pigs. Gentlemen, if you would return to the room whence you came.”

His minions advanced on the group, sending them scampering backwards. Angelus stopped one and said, “Go around and tell the rest of the men to assemble here. Tell them to bring desert, because we may have a feast here shortly.”

The minion took off to find the others and relay the word. Grinning, Angelus turned to join his group in the conference room. Without warning, searing pain ripped through his chest, sending the vampire to his knees. Collapsing to the ground, it was several minutes before he rose.

“Oh my God. What have I done?”

Cordelia’s eyes snapped open. Gasping for air, she tried to jerk away, but the handcuffs stopped her.

“Holy shit! What the hell was that?”


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