To Shanshu in L.A. -- Revisited
Oh, look, a ritual, Angel thought as he peeked through the latticework covering the mausoleum
window. Vocah, the leather-clad, hooded, Phantom of the Opera-wannabe, held the scroll that
Angel needed as the demon circled a large crate sitting in the center of the inner sanctum of the
mausoleum. The dark-haired vampire could see two vampires chained to the crate, and Vocah
stopped behind each one for a moment as he read something off the scroll. Two acolytes stood
off to the side, both with incense cisterns which they swung from side to side.
Across from the window, on the other side of the crate, Angel saw Lindsey McDonald standing
with several other suits, more than likely other Wolfram & Hart attorneys, and the vampire's lip
curled in a sneer. Why wasn't he surprised?
Angel decided he'd seen enough and took several steps backwards. He positioned the twin-bladed scythe in front of him, the same scythe that Vocah had slaughtered the Oracles with, and
he blew out a quick unneeded breath of air. With the faces of Cordelia and Wesley on his mind
and anger in his heart, Angel ran at the window.
The glass shattered and the wooden latticework splintered as Angel smashed through the window
and into the mausoleum. He landed nimbly on his feet and was immediately on the defensive as
Identical scythes clashed with hollow ringing that echoed in the marble inner sanctum. Out of
the corner of his eye, Angel saw Lindsey grab the scroll and continue whatever ritual he'd
interrupted. But, the vampire was uncaring of the ritual; he only wanted the scroll.
"Five are dead," Lindsey read loudly. He looked at the acolytes. "Say it!"
"Yet they live," the acolytes chanted.
Angel circled the crate, blocking Vocah's advances and attacking the demon in return. Vocah
was a tough opponent, as skilled as the vampire. Angel contemplated snatching the scroll from
Lindsey and running. Cordelia's welfare was more important than revenge. Angel knew he
could fight Vocah at another time, but if he was dust he'd be no help to his friend.
It was then that Angel saw Spike.
The blond vampire was sitting on the floor, his braced legs stretched in front of him, his arms
above his head and his wrists cuffed like the other vampires around the crate. His lips were
pursed and his jaw was set in anger. Lines of blood ran down his bare forearms from his
struggles against the cuffs holding him prisoner.
"Et illi quinque sacrificum est et illi gue est mortuus vivet," Lindsey chanted.
Vocah used Angel's shock at seeing Spike to hook the dark-haired vampire and throw him.
Angel slammed into both acolytes, and the three of them crashed to the ground. Angel fought
against the cistern chains and robes that he was tangled in. He struggled to get to his feet as
Vocah came for him, the demon's scythe raised for a killing blow.
"Dum vita et mors non duas res sed unas sunt," Lindsey continued. "In tenebrislux est, in luge
tenebrae sunt. Serge!"
The rushing sound of wind filled the inner sanctum. Angel brought his weapon up and blocked
Vocah's strike. He pushed himself to his feet, only to drop to one knee as the earth trembled
Angel's gaze shot to the crate in the center of the room as the quaking caused Vocah to stagger
backwards. He saw the vampire beside Spike start to disintegrate as the wind picked up. Angel
caught Spike's wide blue eyes, and alarm slammed into the dark-haired vampire.
"Serge! Serge! Serge!"
Angel didn't stop to think or debate his choices. In a split second, he sprinted forward, his eyes
never leaving Spike. When he was two steps away, Angel leapt into a low-flying tackle. The
curved blade of the scythe in his hand sliced through the flesh and bones of Spike's wrists below
the metal cuffs holding him captive.
The two vampires skid across the stone floor, and Angel covered Spike's injured body with his
own. The wind screeched in an ear-splitting decibel. A flash of white light accompanied by a
loud boom filled the sanctum.
When the reverberations stopped, Angel pushed himself to his knees, turned and threw his
scythe at Vocah. The razor sharp blades cleaved the demon in two at the waist. Vocah's
surprised gasp was the last sound he made before the two halves of his body tumbled to the
The dark-haired vampire snapped his gaze to the Wolfram & Hart people wheeling the crate out
the door. His eyes landed on Lindsey and the scroll still clutched in the attorney's hand.
With a snarl of rage, Angel was upon Lindsey in an instant. Angel slammed an open palm-strike
into the center of Lindsey's chest. The lawyer flew back and hit the marble wall of the inner
Angel stalked forward and snatched the scroll from the downed man. The vampire's dark glare
held the promise of death if Lindsey dared to move an inch. Angel tucked the scroll into the
inner pocket of his coat, turned his back to the attorney and started to walk away.
Angel heard the soft swish of an object being removed from a pocket. He slid his hand around
his waist and drew a serrated knife from the sheath tied to his lower back.
He waited until he felt Lindsey's warm breath on his neck. Then, with a flash of silver, he spun
and sliced the blade across Lindsey's raised hand. The stake and severed limb fell to the ground
with a choked-off scream of pain from the attorney.
Angel glanced at the Lindsey's hand lying at his feet, over at Vocah, then at Spike. A dry smile
curved Angel's lips.
The Ginsu chef had nothing on him.