The cramp in his stomach had not eased. It seemed he had been hungry forever….
It was the backlash, the reaction to the final stand against Wolfram and Hart and the opening of the portal, the reality of the destruction of Sunnydale, the final realization that demons were real, that the other was here. The Initiative was reinstated, enhanced, empowered and enforced. A global movement like no other.
They were all rounded up, town after town, state after state, country after country. It began with simple registration. The criteria for the roundup was broad, slayers, witches, half breeds, harmless or man eaters, the more human you looked, the better your chances… First labeled then hounded, herded into areas, then forcibly removed to camps, then arbitrarily killed, downgraded to non human status. Those old enough remembered other times like this and it always started out the same… the ‘them and us’ taken to an extreme…. The Crusades, the Witch hunts of inquisition years, the Huganauts, the native Indians of the US, the aboriginals of Australia, the third Reich, the killing fields of Cambodia, the ethnic cleansing in the Slavic nations, the Rwandan Hutus wiping out the Tutsis, who really cared… anyone different, it was a human tradition in times of stress… and now it was their turn… anyone with a demon connection, but now it was driven by the ruling nations so no one was safe on any continent.
Demons, human consorts, half breeds, relatives, sympathizers, friends…. the differentiation was all encompassing. Not human in any way led to the ‘killing fields’. The lucky ones were on the right, the ones they never saw again on the left.
Tranquilized, bound and transported, he woke to torture.
The threadbare sheets provided little protection against the northern winter. He felt lucky in an odd sort of a way. The same camps in Europe were rumored to be so much harsher…at least this time they had water. The ache of hunger was one thing, but lack of water was truly life threatening for the human. The lack of water had been their first lesson in torture.
Tranquilized, bound and transported, he found himself in a container on a ship to lord knew where, the tag on his chest read:
Warning: Code Blue
Status: Experiment subject
Category: Demon magnet. Possible Hostile.
Threat: Latent. Observed demon elimination and some hostility to authority
Partnerships: Slayer, Seer, Witch, Vengance Demon, Mummy, Mantis, Vampire (suspected).
Possessions known: Hyena, Soldier
Family history: Violent (abused child)
Human Skills: Carpentry, project management, demon fighting
Orientation: Probable Bisexual
He had lost sight of Dawn and Buffy on the first day, of Willow after a week. Her distress was audible in his head as she was dragged away from their compound toward yet another truck. His tears of anguish wasted precious water as they moistened the ground below his knees. There was nothing else to be done. After a day and a night of protesting swearing and begging his wrists were shackled to the bar that now held his ankles as well. His blissful respite was a blow induced unconsciousness.
He had been shaved, stripped, beaten, starved of food and water, and finally raped for almost a month. Now he was apparently the proud recipient of ‘experimental’ status.
Tranquilized, bound and transported, it was not an expected consequence that he found himself holding an armful of an old friend.
A new bunch of captives had been thrown unceremoniously into the enclosure. Xander looked up listlessly from the back corner, and registered something wonderful. A shock of bleach blonde hair. With his remaining strength he crawled over to the inert form and pulled him close. His own heat was all he had to offer …. He did so willingly.
Spike was in a critical condition. Injured and unfed, and despite his master status, he was slipping. Xander knew from his state of malnutrition that it must have been two or three months since he had fed… His semi conscious status would indicate a week or two more, and he would fall to coma and dust from starvation. The only privacy Xander could afford his partner was his own body. Stripped of the last remnants of clothing, and with only a thin half sheet for cover, he managed to maneuver himself to lie over his friend with but a protruding rusty nail to provide the needed tear for a little blood to flow. Sadly so little, but Xander was already less than half his original weight, ribs prominent and muscles wasted. He gave what little blood he could afford.
Spike had been so badly injured by ‘the Cleansers’ that his Sunnydale friend spent the first ten days gently holding the semiconscious friend and occasionally trying to feed him a little blood.
Still not fully recovered Spike at least recognized his carer but as the cage tilted violently and metal on metal indicated their transfer once more, it was all Xander could do to cushion his friend’s fall with his own emaciated body.
Tranquilized, bound and transported, they were now heavens knew where. It was cold and forbidding but, Xander thought, somehow better as two pretty blue eyes blinked and slowly recognized the owner of the arms surrounding them.
There was almost no muscle left on the vampire. Old bruises remained and cuts had become gaping holes. Xander opened his wrist again, he wished for his friend to drain him. It was only a matter of time before he died. In the arms of a friend seemed preferable. An unwilling tongue eventually complied lapping quietly before the softly spoken “Reckon I owe you one Pet” emerged and Xander’s charge fell back into oblivion. It was the first time in a week that he had spoken….
Three weeks later they were moved again. Their cage shoved into a large shipping container, the destination Experimental Labs.
White rooms Perspex glass small open loo in one corner, mattress in the other. Food arrived from a ceiling flap. Water was on tap unless withdrawn as punishment.
The pattern was always the same. They were shot with tranquilizer darts then taken separately to the experiment rooms. Often only partially drugged Xander had woken twice during ‘procedures’, but was gagged and fastened so tightly to the trolley that he doubted his ‘medical team’ realized. He fortunately passed out with the third knife incision during the first lucid encounter, but with the second had been awake for the humiliation of someone collecting his sperm. Hardly the situation to be ‘stimulated’, he noted a drug induced erection painful and willing to ‘cooperate’. He simply closed his eyes and cried silently as the rubber clad hand brought him to completion, milking him five or six times in the space of thirty minutes. He heard them say that it was a pity to waste the seed, but their cross species attempts and impregnation were still important. In his semi drugged state he hoped any ‘children’ would be something vicious, at least it might come back to bite them.
On the third visit they milked him again and again. He woke to find they had inserted a shunt so he might be ‘milked’ daily with no need to ejaculate. He suffered the humiliation of scientists collecting his seed each morning after he was tied fast, facing a wall.
After the forth visit to the operating room, the slice across his stomach left him wondering. He had indigestion for weeks. After the fifth ‘time under’, his head ached terribly and his missing eye had been replaced by a tiny camera fitting. It was confusing at first but he learned to deal with the odd digital images it sent to his visual cortex. He learned to ignore them.
After his sixth visit he felt strange, very, very strange. His body hair slowly disappeared, his skin became softer, his libido dropped to virtually non existent… and in the third week he noticed other physical changes, he lost body mass, gained ‘curves’. He found himself overly emotional and crying at the slightest thing. He cried as his body altered. Spike cried with him.
He was injected for three months then treatment ceased and the small female breasts that had emerged with it, gradually disappeared again. His libido slowly returned, though not his interest in women. His body hair and muscle simply did not return.
The vampire fared worse. Parts were removed. It began with sections of skin, but then he returned missing an ear, then two toes. He was unceremoniously dumped into their cell with half a buttock muscle missing, then dragged away, only to return minus his left kneecap and his right tibia. The last three injuries left him unable to stand, let alone walk. As Xander ate the food provided, regaining a little weight on his now overly slim male figure, he fed his friend when he could and watched as Spike began the obviously painful and slow process of growing back his missing pieces. Xander realized his ocular implant was linked directly to the researcher’s computer when a message suddenly appeared regarding ‘scheduled maintenance shutdown’ He tore the implant out of the socket, barely throwing it across the room before the ‘team’ came running.
They replaced it, bolting it to his skull and making a point of saying as much. He responded by staring at inanimate objects whenever possible.
By Xander’s calculations, they had been in captivity for fifteen months. He watched as his friend shuffled slowly over to him using only his arms and existing ‘good’ buttock. Xander petted the now long locks and began to gently massage the injured areas, pleased to feel the slow return of the bones after almost two and a half months of mush.
He licked the newly regrown ear and whispered “When you’re well we’re out of here…. Dead or alive, we’re gone…. OK?”
His stomach growled, Spike’s answered.
After The Fall: 2