Previous parts are here
By Marcus L. Rowland
(Crossover with Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Sunnydale is a strange town; he’s heard rumours about the place before, and he’s seen more demons here in two days than he’s seen in other places over the last hundred years. But somewhere around here there’s an immortal; he feels the tingle while he’s scouting out the high school, but before he really has his bearings the sensation is gone and doesn’t return. It would be insanely risky to stay outdoors at night, so he finds a little old lady living alone, a couple of blocks from the school, plays the “I’m lost and I want my mommy” card, and kills her when he’s in the house, before she has time to phone social services. The body starts to smell after a few hours, and he drags it out in the back yard late that night and hurries back inside. Something tries the door knob during the night, but doesn’t force it open. In the morning the body is gone, apart from a couple of pieces of rib and a fragment of skull which Kenny puts in the garbage.
On his fourth day Kenny finally gets lucky. By now he has a stolen bicycle, and a pair of binoculars his late landlady probably used to spy on the neighbours. When he feels the tingle of immortality on an otherwise-deserted street he follows the only car in sight, a large white limo with City of Sunnydale plates, license RW III, which proceeds downtown at a stately pace. The sensation persists. When the car finally draws up outside City Hall the only passenger to get out is a forties-looking man with a pleasant wholesome smile. He wipes his hands on a square of white material and carefully drops it into a sidewalk trash can, and heads inside like he owns the place. Kenny rides past the car as it heads round to the parking garage behind City Hall, keeping a cautious distance but close enough to be sure that the tingle is gone; the man who walked inside is the immortal he’s chasing. He gives it half an hour then goes into the lobby, ready to tell the receptionist that his Social Studies teacher wants him to write a report about City Hall; he’s a little young for it to be convincing, but civil servants are rarely keen observers. In the event he doesn’t have to bother, because there’s a large portrait of his target on the wall – Mayor Richard Wilkins III. Older portraits of Mayors Richard Wilkins and Richard Wilkins II look like his twins, and Kenny decides that he has all the proof he needs. Richard Wilkins is immortal; Kenny just has to get close enough to him to kill him.
There are too many people around for Kenny to try anything, and they seem to be alert for some form of trouble. This is Wilkins’ base, his centre of power, and by the dates on the portraits it has been for the last hundred years or so. He probably sensed Kenny, though with luck he’s expecting an adult. But even a child can’t expect to walk behind the scenes unnoticed. Kenny goes off, finds a convenience store, and boosts a chocolate bar and the local paper. He finds what he’s looking for on page four – a list of civic events over the next few days. There’s a Boy Scout presentation… but the boys will all know each other, he has better luck with adults. A civic banquet, but that’s at night and in this town Kenny really doesn’t want to risk being outdoors after dark. A dance at the High School tonight, but there’s no indication that the Mayor will be there. And hey, right at the bottom, Sunnydale High graduation, with the key address by the Mayor. That’ll be out in the open in daylight, lots of escape routes for a kid, especially if he picks his moment carefully.
At about three Wilkins leaves City Hall. This time he has an escort, a dangerous-looking brunette who moves like a warrior and looks to have several weapons concealed in her clothing. The car takes them to a small amusement park a few miles out of town. Peddling furiously, Kenny follows. From a convenient hilltop he watches as they talk and play miniature golf, then wander around the amusements. The girl throws balls and hoops to win a succession of prizes. Kenny guesses she could throw the knife he glimpses under her jacket just as well. At six they drive back into town, and Kenny loses them for the evening. He hasn’t been able to find the Mayor’s address, he probably has a mansion somewhere but there isn’t time to go looking before dark.
At about ten Kenny hears howling, and looks out of a window to see three fierce doglike animals loping down the street, pursued by a blonde girl in dark clothing. It looks like she’s gaining on them when she goes out of sight. Kenny’s heard of the Slayer, he has a feeling he’s just seen her in action. It’s an added complication, but she’ll be looking for monsters – Kenny’s a monster too, of course, even he’s aware of it, but not the kind she knows. Nevertheless he spends the next couple of days indoors, living out of cans.
Graduation day dawns bright, and Kenny gets there early, while things are still being set up. There’s a raised stage where the dignitaries will be sitting, and Kenny hides underneath when nobody is looking. There are plenty of gaps in the cloth that covers it, and Kenny skilfully cuts a few more to give him lots of peepholes.
Gradually the audience fills, and eventually he feels the tingle that tells him that an immortal is present. Through the peephole he can see the audience – lots of students, surprisingly few adults – and hopes that Wilkins will assume that the other immortal is someone in the crowd.
Eventually the speeches begin, and they’re as bad as Kenny feared. The Principal insults the graduating class – Kenny suspects that they’d cheer if Kenny killed him – then the Mayor begins a long rambling speech, which Kenny tunes out as he waits to ambush the Mayor as he leaves. He notices that it’s suddenly getting dark, and hears the stage creak above him, and people starting to scream. What’s going on? Through the peephole he sees dozens of students throw off their robes, revealing the damndest selection of weapons he’s ever seen. In the middle of it all, somehow standing above the rest, is the girl he saw chasing the dogs. He’s certain now that she’s the Slayer. With an ear-splitting crash part of the stage collapses, and Kenny sees a huge scaly form, something between a lizard and a snake, snapping at the students with gigantic jaws. He scrambles out and runs for the cover of the school building, hoping he’s too small for the monster to notice. The blonde is taunting it – is she insane? – as he runs up the stairs to the second floor of the school, and peers out over the balcony. At one of the blonde’s taunts the monster roars and chases her into the building. The shock as it crashes through a wall knocks Kenny off his feet, and he’s still trying to stand when the back of the building explodes, and his body is flooded with the Mayor’s Quickening.
He staggers downstairs, ignoring the chaos around him, desperate to get away, as his mind fills with memories of strange rituals and demons. He’s nearly clear when a shabby figure grabs him, sinks its fangs into his neck, and drags him into a sewer. He struggles and bites back, his mouth filling with the vampire's blood, but it's no good. As he dies his Quickening incinerates the vampire.
Kenny revives later that afternoon, abandoned in a dingy tunnel. He knows nothing but thirst, and the wait for nightfall seems an eternity. But the demon inside him knows that he still has immortality, he’ll just have to play by new rules. He’s still thinking that when he goes for his first victim, a guy with gelled black hair he finds loading luggage into a car near a mansion in the old part of town. It’s his last mistake; the stranger’s eyes yellow as he breaks Kenny’s grip, then his neck, and finishes him off with a stake to the heart.
In Willy’s bar two groups of watchers meet to compare notes. It’s not every day they see two immortals die. Most of them think that this time it’s a good reason to celebrate.
Note: In Buffyverse canon Wilkins was an immortal wizard who eventually became immune to most forms of damage (including a sword-cut that sliced his head down the middle) shortly before his final metamorphosis restored some vulnerability. How Wilkins initially became immortal was never revealed, a demonic cause is implied but since Wilkins was married and never had any children it’s possible that it was just innate ability.
Comments please before I post to archives.
Later: Made a few small changes.