Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland
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Deeds of Maidenly Unkindness Part III

Here's the latest part of my BtVS/St. Trinian's crossover story. The previous parts are archived in the usual places, e.g. Fanfiction.net



This is a crossover between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the St. Trinian's films and books inspired by the cartoons of Ronald Searle. Minor spoilers up to season 7 of Buffy. Set after Season 7 BtVS, after Season 4 Angel. Since there is no real St. Trinian's continuity a mixture of characters from the films, books, etc. has been used. For a good web reference to the St. Trinians stories see users.netmatters.co.uk/ju90/ron.htm

All characters belong to their respective creators / film companies / etc. and are used without permission, and without any intention of damaging their owners copyright. This story may only be distributed on a non-profit-making basis.

Work in Progress. If you like this story, check out my other stories on the Fanfiction Net, Twisting the Hellmouth, and Fonts of Wisdom websites.

I'm British, so's my spelling. Live with it.



Deeds of Maidenly Unkindness

by Marcus L. Rowland

III

"Okay," Willow said three days later, as she and Buffy ate a picnic lunch on the lawn in front of the school, "I've got the computers up to speed, got rid of the viruses and worms and a couple of dozen pieces of spyware, password grabbers, that sort of thing, and hexed every processor and disc drive in the school to make sure that things stay that way. Let's hope I can keep things like that when the rest of the kids get back on Monday. The lab is in better shape now they've fixed the roof. Miss Perkins didn't steal stuff, I think she just had an unhealthy interest in pyrotechnics. Not well equipped, but I can teach the basic sciences there."

"What did you do about the porn on the computers?" asked Buffy.

"Made sure that none of the pictures show kids from the school and all of them are over age, improved its security and improved the isolation from the rest of the network. As far as I can tell it's not actually illegal, just kinda an odd way for a school to fund its computer department."

"And you're happy being, what did you call it, 'web-mistress of pain?'"

"Hey, I'm getting fan mail from some of the hacker dweebs that are bouncing off the firewall, and income's gone up by nearly twenty percent since I took over and beefed up the security so that people couldn't hack in without paying. Miss Fritton's trying to get them to give a cut to the school."

"Nice work... I guess."

"How about you and the sports equipment?"

"It's a total mess. I've run inventory, looks like she sold everything that wasn't nailed down and the budget'll just about run to a few table tennis balls. And the playing fields are a jungle, needs to be mowed properly. I took out a few small trees and a lot of plants that I think might be pot, but it's too big a job for me, even with Slayer strength."

"Miss Fritton said we could use the girls as labour if needed."

"I've already got every girl I could catch clearing and decorating the gym, broke a few bricks to show them why it'd be a bad idea to play hooky, but it's gonna be two or three days before they're done and the rest of the kids are back in five. I need to get the fields cleared now."

"Ask Miss Fritton, maybe she can suggest something."

"That's not a bad idea. Okay, any word from Giles?"

"His e-mail says that he knew that they'd taken Post back to Britain, but doesn't know anything beyond that. It doesn't surprise him that they erased her memory, that was standard practice for Watchers that went bad, there may have also been someone keeping an eye on her."

"At the school?"

"It's possible, but he doesn't have any records of it. If they did the Bringers probably got her."

"If there is an ex-Watcher around still they'll probably work out who I am sooner or later and make contact, if not we can probably cope with someone in a wheelchair."

"That's what they said about Doctor Strangelove."

"Anything else from Giles?" asked Buffy.

"I doubt that there was anything you didn't hear from Dawn when you called her last night. Demons slayed, Xander's love life, Faith ditching Robin, that sort of thing."

"Dawn said it was Robin ditched Faith. And Xander's love life?"

"Guess it was kinda mutual, and yeah, Xander's dating again, didn't Dawn tell you?"

"She was too busy telling me about breaking up yet another boyfriend," said Buffy, absent-mindedly slicing a hovering fly in two with the bread knife, "hope Giles has stocked up on ice cream, she's gonna need comfort food. I keep telling her that rescuing guys from demons isn't a good start to a stable relationship. So who's Xander's new girl?"

Something glowed at the tips of Willow's fingers, and the remnants of the fly vanished, leaving the knife sparkling clean. "You remember Angel telling us about Doyle, the guy that used to work for him? It's his second cousin."

"Met him once. She'd be.. what, half demon?"

"Quarter, her dad was a half-demon. Anyway, Xander knows it up front and they're Bracken demons, so nothing worse to worry about than her drinking Xander under the table."

"How did they meet?"

"She's that tall dark-haired Irish girl Xander tried to monopolize at Wolfram and Hart's Christmas party, when we went along to slay the Santa demon."

"If she works for Wolfram and Hart..." Buffy began.

"It's okay, she was one of the caterers."

"Maybe she can give us the recipe for that avocado dip."

"Mmmm. That'd be good."

"Mmmm.. uh, do you smell something burning?"

"Yeah... Buffy, I think that's smoke coming from the gym window."

* * * * *

"It's not often that we have a fire before term even begins," said Miss Fritton, "but I suppose leaving a blowtorch anywhere near Morag Payne was asking for trouble. I should have warned you about her. One of our more ah.. reckless little pyromaniacs."

"Will she be okay?" asked Buffy.

"The doctors say that skin grafts probably won't be needed, they think that the speed with which you got her out of the gym and into the swimming pool probably kept it from being much worst. And well done to both of you on getting the fire out so fast."

"It was no biggy," said Willow, "we kinda got a lot of experience handling emergencies in Sunnydale."

"Mmm... Since the fire hoses in the gym seem to have been sold for the copper in their fittings, I'd be interested to hear how you got that much water there that quickly."

"Just ran really fast," said Willow, "got the kids to form a bucket chain, I think they kinda enjoyed it."

"And you took the lead in extinguishing it, I understand."

"That's right, Buffy was busy with Morag, couldn't let the kids go into the gym so I did it myself." She carefully didn't mention the small water spirit she'd summoned to help.

"That was very brave of you, miss um... Rosencratz, but you mustn't endanger yourself unnecessarily. The building was well-insured against fire. Not, unfortunately, against water damage."

"I've made things worst?" Willow asked guiltily.

"Fortunately extinguishing a fire is the exception to that rule, and with a little creative help from my dear friend the insurance agent we may actually raise enough to get the roof repaired."

"Do you really think he'll be that helpful?"

"He'd better, I've still got the negatives." She laughed gaily and said "Just a little joke, of course." Neither was sure they believed her.

"We'd better get back to work," said Buffy, "there's still a lot of clearing to do."

"I'm afraid that you'll both have to make a small detour to the hospital first."

"Why's that?" Willow asked nervously.

"Apparently Morag's doctor believes that she's been exposed to Weil's disease, it's apparently found in water that's been fouled by rats. It's possible that Miss Ballard neglected to have the pool chlorinated. She wants to test you and the girls for infection and give you a course of tablets to take."

"Euugh," said Buffy. "I think I swallowed some. Before we go, is there any way that I can get the playing fields mowed in a hurry?"

"Why didn't you ask earlier? I'll get Harry onto it right away, I'm sure he can find a way to get it done."

"Harry?"

"Haven't you met Harry yet?"

"I don't think we've met any guys since we started here."

"Then you have a treat in store. Now run along to the cottage hospital, Evadne can give you a lift. I'll give Harry a call."

* * * * *

"They'll be at least an hour at the hospital," said Agnes Spink, a fourth-former who had managed to evade gym-cleaning and fire-fighting, switching off a radio tuned to a buggging transmitter planted in Miss Fritton's room, "it was a stroke of genius giving Mad Morag those matches, though I say it myself."

"Let's get on with it then," said Cathy Spiggot, her partner in crime, "because she's shut off every one of my back doors into the system. If we can't get at the actual server there's no way we'll blag the credit card details your dad wants."

They crept downstairs carrying a sleek laptop and a cradle for an external drive, carefully evaded the remaining teachers and made their way to the computer laboratory, where Agnes got out a set of skeleton keys and made short work of the locks to the lab and the server room. "This is it," said Cathy, looking at the servers. "I'll pull one of the drives from the RAID array, hook it up to my laptop, and find the password files. Hello, what's this...?"

The RAID array was a typical big server, with a dozen drives in drawer-like removable carriers, sharing the data to prevent corruption. Cathy knew that it should be possible to pull one out without the system crashing. Agnes looked at the drive and saw a small sticker on the front of each drive. "'Data Protected', what the hell does that mean?"

"Damned if I know. Probably means they've added some encryption, won't help them if I can get in as root." Cathy twisted the thumb wheel that held the carrier in and began to pull it out. As she did so there was a sharp crack and she leapt back, sucking her fingers.

"Are you all right?" asked Agnes.

"Got a shock. Must be an electrical fault, or static."

"We should be wearing gloves anyway, don't want to leave fingerprints on the drive."

"Good point." They both pulled on latex gloves stolen from the school nurse's room, then Cathy went back to the drive and pulled it open again. As she reached into the carrier to remove the drive the one above suddenly popped out, hitting her hand and knocking it away from the bay, then both slammed shut.

"What the hell?" said Cathy, and tried another bay. This time it came open easily; there was a loud pop, and the server room filled with choking green smoke. Agnes stumbled to the door and propped it open, while both girls coughed and waited for the smoke to clear. When they could see again the carrier was closed.

"It must be some sort of anti-tampering system," said Agnes.

"One more try," said Cathy, "then we'd better go, we're running out of time." She pulled another carrier out and lifted out the drive, holding her breath. Nothing happened. "Yeah!" She carried the drive to the laptop and put it into the disc cradle, and set to work looking for the password. "Here's something... You need a password to access the password file?"

"Try all the usual things," urged Agnes, "it might just be something obvious like 'installer' or 'password.'"

"Pigs might fly. If they've got this much security... bloody hell, 'Password' it is."

"Can you read off the passwords?"

"It's taking a long time to open."

The screen turned bright red with a message in tiny type neatly centred half-way down the screen. "Can you read that?" asked Cathy, wiping her glasses.

"This computer will self-destruct in 10 seconds, then there's a countdown. Three... two... one..." The screen went black and all of the laptop's lights went out. "What the hell do we do now?"

"I don't know about you, but I'm going to put the drive back into the server and get the hell out of here, and hope that I can figure out what she did."

"She?"

"The new IT teacher. She was playing with us."

"Right," said Agnes, "This means war."

* * * * *

"Okay," said Buffy, staring out at the seething white mass occupying the playing fields, "can't say I was expecting that."

"They're only sheep, Buffy," said Willow, "I guess they'll get rid of most of the grass for you."

"That's right," said a man's voice behind them, "and the school gets paid for pasturage, and we can rake the fields off afterwards and sell what's left for fertiliser."

"You must be Harry" said Willow, turning to look at the stranger.

"That's right, most people call me Flash 'Arry though."

"Flash?" asked Buffy, trying to keep a straight face.

"Flash. 'Cos of me lightning speed and good looks."

"Riiiight." Both women stared at the stranger, who wore a tight brown suit with exaggerated padded shoulders and had greasily shiny black hair. Buffy looked around, saw that the sun was still above the horizon and relaxed, reasonably sure that despite the old-fashioned look he wasn't a vampire.

"Actu'lly hi'm the fourth member of me family by that name. H'its in the nature of being a family title."

"Really, though, why Flash?" asked Willow.

"'Cos of the flash clothes we wear, you don't get shmutter like this cheap."

"Miss Fritton didn't explain what you do, exactly."

"Wotever needs doing, 'course. You know, borrow a few 'undred sheep like this, or get hold of stuff cheap like."

"Is that why all the towels have 'Butlins Holiday Camps' embroidered on the edge?" asked Buffy.

"Shtum," said Harry, touching his nose, "them is high quality surplus towels, very nearly kosher. Nearly."

"How can you have a kosher towel?" asked Willow. "I mean, they don't really make cloth out of pigs anyway, so..."

"I don't think Flash is actually Jewish, Willow, so maybe he doesn't mean it that way."

"Oh.. right, stupid of me."

"Sorry if h'Ive caused any hoffence, it's what we in the trade calls an expression of quality, there's like kosher stuff which is like legit, and there's not so kosher stuff that is not so legit. You see what I mean."

"Got it."

"So what else do you get, Flash?" asked Buffy.

"Well, like services. You wants something delivered cheap and quiet, or a bet placing at the best odds, or something that might have like avoided customs, I'm your man."

"Great, you're a smuggler and a racketeer."

"Got it in one."

"Better not let me catch you smuggling anything to the girls or there'll be serious trouble."

"Yeah?"

Buffy picked up a large stone, showed it to him, then crushed it in her hand and dropped the grit into his palm. "Yeah."

"Point taken... I'd better get that shepherd to move these sheep a bit, I think they've finished this part. Nice talking to you, ladies, and if there's anything you want..."

"Funny you should mention that," said Buffy, "somewhere around here there must be a load of very non-kosher sports equipment. See if you can track it down for me and maybe, just maybe, I'll forget about mentioning this to the customs people."

Harry looked at her, started to say something, and backed away hurriedly.

"Don't you think you were being a little hard on him, Buffy?" asked Willow.

"Nope. If he didn't help fence the lead and the sports stuff I'm Donald Duck."

"And since your lips are still kinda um.. lips and you're not sprouting feathers I think we can say that you're not."

"Think he'll find it for us?"

"Oh yeah, I think you put the fear of Buffy into him. If it's findable he'll find it."

"He'd better. We've got three days to get this mess fixed, and if it isn't I think I know who's gonna suffer for it."

TBC

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