So I took what's mine by eternal right. Took your soul out into the night. It may be over but it won't stop there, I am here for you if you'd only care. // You touched my heart you touched my soul. You changed my life and all my goals. And love is blind but then I knew it, My heart was blinded by you. ~~”Goodbye My Lover” – James Blunt
“You’ve been here eight months and you haven’t found a way to escape yet?” Fear once again shivered up Buffy’s spine.
“It’s a lot harder than you think. They installed a chip in your head, right? Well it seems it’s sole purpose isn’t behavioral modification, like you’d think. Unlike vampires they can’t implant it inside the brain and where it is located... well, give us too many shocks and we either short the entire thing out or we get used to the pain. That’s probably why they moved you in here before your chair was fully installed. You must have been pretty close to shorting out. Instead they added a nifty on/off switch. Whenever they need to make an adjustment to the cage or deliver something that won’t fit into the airlock they switch us off like robots and we wake up in the damned hot seats when they’re done.”
“I don’t understand. What do they want from us?”
For the first time, Faith looked frightened, “I don’t know, B. So far they haven’t asked me a single thing.”
“Then why are we here?”
An hysterical laugh bubbled up from the mousey woman huddled in the corner chair. “Punishment. This is all about punishment. You pissed of the Senior Partners somehow and this is their retribution. We’ll never be free again!” Hysteria took over and she turned inward and started rocking in agitation.
Faith sighed and rolled her eyes, “She’s been like that since they arrived. All gloom and doom, but as far as I can tell she’s right, they don’t want anything but to keep us here for the rest of our lives.”
Buffy stood up angrily and strode over to the chair she’d been strapped to, “Well if they expect me to just sit here take everything they dish out they’re crazy!”
Yanking at the arm of the chair until it loudly ripped free she stalked over to the clear wall and started smashing it with her makeshift club. Just as a crack started to form and as Faith began to yell “Buffy! No!” the lights went out.
When she came to she was again strapped in her chair, this time with the same manacles she’d seen on the others. As her head started to clear she heard the vacuum sound again as the manacles disappeared from her limbs.
“What the fuck was that about, B?” Faith stalked towards her furiously as Connor and Eve helped Gunn out of his chair and back onto his makeshift pallet against the wall. “I told you Gunn was injured and can’t handle the transition to the chair! Do you want to kill him?” She saw the fist coming towards her just as it connected with her nose.
Her head cracked back against the chair and she felt a tingle go through her entire body as her head absorbed the blow. Stunned she was unable to bring up her arms to defend herself when she saw Faith’s fist pull back for a second blow. It never landed though and both angry young women turned to see Faith’s arm held by Connor who had crossed the room while they’d been preoccupied.
“You’re not helping, Faith.” Was all the young man said before he dropped her arm and headed back towards Gunn who had propped himself up on his elbows. Faith glanced once more at Buffy before she let out an agitated huff and followed him.
Hurt, angry and embarrassed Buffy settled herself down in the far corner to sulk.
Meals were served by silent, masked soldiers who passed trays of food through a device that looked very much like the drive through window at a bank. The menu was extremely familiar to anyone who had grown up on public school cafeteria food, which meant that Eve was always complaining while the others silently ate everything given to them. Slowly the hours passed into days as the prisoners settled into a routine. Gunn’s health slowly improved until Buffy felt it was time to once again bring up the possibility of escape.
“You’re crazy, B! There is no way out of this hell hole! Don’t you think I’ve tried?”
Buffy turned to face the hell god on the other side of the plastic wall as she struggled with her temper. She was beginning to believe that Faith would disagree if Buffy announced that air was breathable, but she clenched her jaw and forced her voice to remain civil, “Maybe you have tried, but did you have people to help or were you on your own? Maybe together we can find a way out where one person couldn’t”
She was surprised that Faith didn’t have an immediate come back until she saw in the reflection of the plastic that the others had collapsed, unconscious to the floor. Without a second thought she mimicked them by falling against the plastic wall and sliding unceremoniously to the floor. She kept her eyes open a crack and waited.
The clanging of a door rang to the left out of her line of vision and the woman doctor from the day she was moved to this cell came into view with a large, muscular man following behind holding what looked like a medical bag.
They moved over toward the far wall and he woman pressed a lever near the hell god’s head. The Iron Maiden slowly lowered to the floor as the hell god finally moved to the left out of the way of its descent.
She spoke. “You will make sure that he does not die.”
Dr Rice, glanced over toward the blue creature. That’s what we agreed upon. I’ll keep him alive as long as you promise not to leave here and to tell me everything you know about whether or not Angel survived.
“He is barely alive and I have already told you that I know nothing of the other vampire. He was separated from us when you took this one prisoner.
“Barely alive is still alive.” Then she turned to the large man, “Marcus, please make sure the transfusion will be enough to last him for at least a week. I don’t want to have to do this again for a while. We have an important delegation arriving tonight and I have no idea how long they plan to stay.” At that she left the room.
Marcus, on the other hand moved towards the Iron Maiden and popped open the locks. When the last one released a desiccated mummy-like corpse rolled out. It was all Buffy could do not to scream when she saw it had platinum blond hair.