One Week After The Events of “Unbound”
Watchers Council – Gray Sector Magic Lab – Day
Mira wound her way through the warren of stations and labs in Gray Sector until she came to the lab that housed most of the Council’s magical research. The door was open, so Mira stepped inside. She found the lab seemingly empty.
“Anybody home?” she called out.
The voice came from a small storage room in the back of the lab. Mira headed that way. She found Katherine doing an inventory on the magical supplies.
“Mira, hey!” Katherine greeted warmly while continuing her work.
“Hey, Katie,” Mira replied with a smile.
“Are you looking for Livia?” Katherine asked.
“Uhhh, no,” Mira answered. “I’m looking for you, actually.”
“Oh.” Katherine seemed surprised, but she instantly stopped what she was doing and walked over to where Mira was standing. “What’s up?”
“You know that magic test you and Jo did to figure out which slayers to train?”
“Just how accurate is that thing anyway?”
“Ummm, pretty accurate, but I wouldn’t say a hundred percent or anything. Why?”
“Something happened when I was fighting Cassandra,” Mira said. “Not when we were at the base. It was here, on the Council grounds, before she blipped away.”
Katherine had an expression of deep concern on her face. “What happened?”
“She had zapped me frozen, right, and she was just merrily choking the life outta me, when all of a sudden she stopped, like she sensed something. She put her palm over my heart and said, ‘You have magic in you. Did you know that?’ ”
Katherine was fascinated. “Really?”
Mira nodded. “She said that it was trapped, a genetic flaw or something. She offered to free it for me. If I would join her, of course.”
“Wow.” Katherine’s eyes were wide. She didn’t know quite what to make of this news.
“Was she telling the truth?” Mira asked. “Is there a way to find out? I mean, magic runs in my family…supposedly.” She said this last word with disgusted sarcasm.
“I don’t know,” Katherine told her, “but I bet we can figure it out if you’re willing to work with me.”
Mira’s eyes lit up. “Oh, absolutely! Just tell me what to do.”
“Well, let me do some research, and then we can set up an appointment. How’s that sound?”
“Perfect. Thanks, Katie.”
“No problem. Glad to help.”
When Mira didn’t leave right away, Katherine took the opportunity to bring up a subject she was curious about.
“Sooo…how’re things with you and Livia?”
Mira sighed and rolled her eyes as if she had anticipated the question. But she didn’t blow it off; she answered honestly.
“It’s kinda weird,” she said, “but we’re trying. I figure it’s better to have a best friend with a crush on me than to not have a best friend at all.”
“How do you feel about Livia? Is there more than friendship on your side of the equation?”
Mira averted her eyes and gave a helpless shrug. “I don’t know. I’m not sure.”
Katherine’s voice took on a gentle tone. “T-that’s okay….Maybe you should think about what you do know?”
Mira considered the question. When she finally spoke, her brow was furrowed, and she was staring off into space. “I know that not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. I know that when we weren’t speaking I was miserable and that I couldn’t bear the thought of losing her. I know that I would give my life to save hers.” Mira looked over at Katherine. “Is that love?”
Katherine smiled and said, “Yes, but you knew that.” Then her expression grew serious. “The question is…Is it the same love that Livia feels? Only you and Liv can answer that.”
Mira smiled slightly and nodded, but worry was in her eyes.
Voiceover, Jocasta: “What?!! Are you insane?!!!”
Watchers Council – Jocasta’s Office – Same Time
Jocasta shot an incredulous look at Antonia, who sat in the chair next to Jocasta’s desk. Despite her best friend’s reaction, Antonia appeared unmoved.
“Nooo,” she replied smoothly. “I am not insane. I just want to get married as soon as possible, that’s all.”
“In a month?!!” Jocasta blustered. “A month?!! You can’t plan a wedding in a month!!!”
“Sure we can.”
“No, no…i-i-it’s not possible,” Jocasta insisted, beginning a panicked pace around the room. “You have to find a dress, choose colors and music and words, you have to find a minister a-a-and a church…oh my God! Renting a church has to be done months in advance! There’s no way we can—”
Antonia got to her feet and stopped the redhead in mid-rant. “Look, if I play my cards right, finding a church and minister won’t be a problem.”
Jocasta gave Antonia a skeptical glare, wondering what the blonde had in mind.
One Month Later
Watchers Council – Gray Sector Lab – Afternoon
Mira and Katherine were in their third week of working together. No one but Jocasta was aware of their sessions. Mira didn’t want anyone to know—just in case they turned out to be fruitless.
At the moment, Mira and Katherine sat cross-legged, facing each other, their eyes focused on a feather hovering in the air between them. When it settled onto the floor, Katherine looked at Mira.
“Did you get what it feels like?” she asked.
“Okay, try again,” Katherine told her.
Mira fixed her gaze on the feather and concentrated. A full minute went by. Sweat broke out on Mira’s forehead. Still, the feather did nothing.
“Arrgghhh!” Mira growled, slamming her fists onto the floor in frustration and jumping to her feet.
“It’s okay, Mira,” Katherine reassured as she also stood. “We’ll get there.”
“Get there?” Mira shot back angrily. “How’re we gonna get there? I’m not even here yet! I can’t get from here to there because I’m nowhere!”
“I know it’s frustrating, but—”
“No, you don’t know, Katie,” Mira accused. “It all comes so easy to you and Jo. Hell, you two could probably just twinkle your nose and cast a spell.” She gave her head a rueful shake. “I’m done.” She turned and headed for the door.
“Mira, we can’t stop now…”
Mira ignored Katherine’s plea.
“Don’t forget!” Katherine called out. “We’re leaving at 8:00 tomorrow morning!”
“I got it!” Mira shouted back before stomping out of the lab, slamming the door behind her.
Strange Landscape – Day
Mira’s battle cry went on until her lungs gave out. She brought the Scythe, blood staining its blade, down from above her head.
She stood atop a tall, craggy mountain, cloud tops kissing its peak. Below her thousands, maybe millions of demons stretched from horizon to horizon across an endless plain. Many wore armor and wielded blades of strange design. Storm clouds covered the sky, lightning jumping between their dark ramparts.
Mira turned to look at Livia. She was lying awkwardly on the ground, motionless. Mira’s face betrayed nothing.
“Is she dead?” Mira asked.
“That’s really all up to you, isn’t it?”
Mira whipped around to see a young woman standing in front of her. She was thin, with long brown hair. She looked maybe twenty, except for her eyes, which spoke of a far deeper understanding of things than is usual among teenagers. Her hair flew behind her in a sudden wind, and when she moved, it was with a grace that verged on floating.
“Aurora?” Mira said in surprised awe. “But you’re—”
Aurora shrugged, apparently nonplussed by her ‘dead’ status.
“What the hell is going on?” Mira asked. The world was deadly silent around them, despite the gathering storm above and the slavering army below.
“Things are coming,” Aurora said. “Bad things. Really, really, really bad th—”
“I get it,” Mira snapped.
“Do you?” Aurora silently stepped over to a large, jagged black rock and sat down on it, looking away from Mira and out over the plain. “Are you ready?”
“No,” Mira replied instantly. “I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know where I’m going.”
“This is where you’re going,” Aurora told her. “It’s destiny. It’s the one thing you can’t fight.”
They could hear a howl in the distance, the roar of the army climbing the mountain. It was growing louder by the moment.
“Aurora, I’m scared,” Mira pleaded.
“You should be,” was the reply. “When all this is over, Mira the Vampire Slayer will be no more.”
Mira’s eyes widened.
Then Aurora said, “We’re gonna be late.” But it wasn’t Aurora’s voice coming out of her mouth.
Mira cocked her head at the girl. “What?”
Mira’s Quarters – Bedroom – Morning
“I said, we’re gonna be late, and it’s gonna be your fault.”
Mira was being shaken awake, and when her eyes fully opened, she found Katherine standing over her, a hand on her shoulder. The brunette shot a confused look around the room.
“Did you forget to set your alarm or something?” Katherine asked.
Mira sat up and rubbed her eyes. “I guess so.”
Katherine turned to leave the bedroom. “Well, hurry up. Jo and I swore to Toni that nothing would stop this wedding from going off without a hitch.”
Mira groaned as Katherine closed the bedroom door behind her. Then she crawled out of bed, stretched, and walked over to her dresser. She glanced over at her dress hanging on the closet door.
She let out a heavy sigh. “Well, I might as well get this over with.”
End of Teaser