How It Was and Is To Be


by John Cope



New York, August 28th 2027.

"Goodbye cruel world!"

Spike stood poised on an armchair in his grotty cellar of a flat. The central feature of the room currently being twelve upright stakes driven into the floor in front of him were he expected his chest to land. This time there weren't going to be any cock-ups like missing, this time he really meant it.

"Don't worry Buffy Daddy's coming!" And he got ready to jump.

To say that the following event was a big blush flash would be an understatement, it was the mother and father of blue flashes, it filled every inch of space in the room and sent a shocked Spike toppling over the back of the chair. His head impacted quite firmly with the carpeted floor followed in due course by the rest of his decidedly undusted body.

"Oh bugger!"

"Blast!"

"Eh!"

Spike had hit his head so hard that he was experiencing an echo, of a word he hadn't said. He opened his eyes and then gave his head a tentative shake to remove the blue tint that was visible all over the place. "Owwww."

"You can say that again an' put brass knobs on it."

"Eh, what?" He'd said that already, but all the same hearing your own voice without opening your mouth and speaking through it was an off putter. "I'm concussed, I've now got concussion on top of depression, can unlife get any worse."

"Not too late then I see." The concussion said simultaneously making noises like it was getting up off the floor and knocking over Spike's stakes. "And I think I'll just shift these out of the way so nobody can do anythin' silly before we've 'ad our nice little chat!"

"The bleedin' cheek," Spike pressed his hand to the top of his head feeling for blood or big skull fracture type holes and found nothing. Twenty six years of Buffy companionship with resultant head trauma had certainly worked with regard to gaining a thick skull. "Now it's rearranging me furniture."

"Oh look fags." The suddenly very cheerful sounding voice chimed up. There was the sound of a cigarette packed being opened, then sound of the cover of Spike's lighter being flicked back followed by the whizz of the flint being spun and the brief crackle of fire. "Ahhhhh, that's good. First nicotine for four hundred years. Bliss."

"Alright," Spike stood up shakily and pointed a wildly circling finger at a black clad, blond haired man who was stood by the dressing table opposite Spike's extremely unmade bed. "That's it. Take your thievin' mitts off me fags!"

"Why should I." Came the impertinent reply from the visitation. "Firstly you was goin' to off yourself leavin' two whole packets unsmoked, which is makin' me think you might 'ave bottled it anyway. And secondly what's mine's yours so you can naff off I'm smokin'!"

"Why you cheeky bugger!" Spike tried very hard to keep his feet as he lunged across the room to rip the figment of his imaginations throat out. But his left foot dropped neatly in front of his right sending him crashing to the floor. "Owww."

"Sorry mate I'd forgotten 'ow 'ard I landed on me 'ead." A black nail varnished hand appeared before Spike's eyes. "Take 'old an' let me help you up."

Hopeing against hope that his hand would pass through the apparition Spike stretched his right hand up from the floor and had it gripped firmly. The hand that took his was solid flesh and blood, but the skin was cold the interloper in his suicide was a vampire just like him. Resisting the pull on his arm Spike looked up into what had from video become so familiar cheekbones and smile.

"Hullo mate, how the devil are you." The other Spike asked through a cloud of exhaled tobacco smoke. "Now I've got so much to tell you mate......."

Spike fainted at this point and didn't hear a word more.

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When he came too Spike found that he was lying full length on his unmade and not particulary clean bed. Whoever had put him there hadn't helped matters by leaving his boots on along with all his clothes.

*Alright so it was really all a dream and if I look round there won't be a double of me anywhere in this room. Worse case scenario is that that whole thing was part of some complicated scheme by the powers, they're tryin' to stop me offin' meself and make me into a lackey like that wanker Angel.*

*So opening your eyes and looking round won't 'urt then.* Another little voice asked. Spike's eyes stayed firmly shut. *Chicken!*

*Oh bugger it.* Spike opened his eyes and gazed up at the off white ceiling that he'd never got round to painting because he spent so much time at Buffy's. There was nothing visible to suggest an out worldly encounter. Then he glanced along the ceiling to the left and his heart sank. A ring of blue mist hung there it's center a flickering disc of blue light. *Great news, I've a portal into another dimension in me gaffe. Just what a bloke need's if 'e wants to get to the shops in a hurry.*

Sitting up slightly Spike looked straight towards the two ratty arm chairs and the sofa that made up the majority of his remaining furniture. (Entertainment had gone on at Buffy's too). And there in the one nearest to him sat the other Spike.

The hair was longer and fuller. It looked like the bloke was almost in need of a pony tail, the face was the same. Or was it, suddenly Spike had the feeling that he didn't look that young. This vampire double looked to have a couple of years less human wear and tear than him. The scar was still there though and Spike couldn't reach any comforting conclusion that he was mistaken in his earlier assessment.

*It's me.*

The clothing had changed, gone were the jeans, black teeshirt and duster. The boots were doc martin like but different in the stitching of the leather. The jeans had been replaced by baggy black combats, with a strip of silver piping up each leg. The doppelganger wore a black uniform jacket on his torso, the cuffs and lapels all bore silver badges, three stars and a chevron, he wore no shirt underneath it. Around his waist was a thick black leather belt with a holster on the right hip. The center of the belt was a round silver buckle which Spike could just make out carried the system of an engraving of the earth and four stars, with what he could only assume to be some kind of spaceship emblazoned over it.

*And I've been drafted?*

"Oooooiee, mate." Spike said, wanting to shout but knowing that his head wouldn't stand it. "Wake up an' tell me what the bloody 'ell is goin' on?"

"What's that .....Oh it's you." The obviously future Spike sat upright in the chair and shook his head. Then looked up at the clock. "Three hours. I must have been soft back then, I'm certain I never slept that long while I was waitin' to tell me what was goin' to 'appen in the future."

He shook his head and lit up another of Spikes cigarettes. "Mind you that was a thousand years ago and I might just not remember properly."

"A thousand...." Spike paused for an unecessary deep breathe. "....Years!"

"Yes." Nodding the future vampire inhaled deeply. "Does sound alot doesn't it. Don't worry though alot of it's going to be spent screamin' or makin' things scream, there's alot of runnin' and blowin' stuff up, plus admittedly a couple of instances of bein' horribly cut about. But also there's shaggin' and drinking." The vampire smiled whistfully. "Sometimes at the same time, though admittedly there are going to be lots of moments of sheer mind numbing horror and not being able to crap your pants with fear will be a useful trait to have. But to sum up mate do me a favour and don't off yourself. What ever the reason is it can't be that bad."

"Can't be that bad!" Spike coldly replied as he tried to struggle upright. "Buffy's dead, how the hell can you sit there and dismiss it like that.

"Buffy?" The future vampire looked puzzled for a second. "Who the hell was...."

"BUFFY!" Spike rolled off the bed and then struggled till he was upright. "You tellin' me you've forgotten her?"

"I get a faint glimmer of honey from the name, wasn't she some bint I used too....." Spike had to catch real fast as his present twin grabbed a framed photo off the bedside table and threw it at him. "'Ang on mate that could have had an eye out."

Future Spike, shaking his head at how much of a wuss he'd been, looked down at the picture. It showed a woman in her early thirties smiling back at him. She was leaning against car, his old De Soto which he suddenly recalled owning for over a century, and then with that memory the girl and woman came flooding back. An elfin blonde, beautiful, she had he now recalled aged well, virtually no lines, and only the faintest hint of grey by the time she died. *Slayer's gene's we decided, her body didn't age quite as fast as other mortals just like how her wounds healed faster than theirs. It was useful, she was still passin' for early thirties when she died aged, what was it?*

"You don't remember 'er?" Spike accused again before the future Spike looked up with eyes full of pain. "How could you forget her?"

"Buffy Anne Summer's, the Slayer." The picture was set carefully on the ground. "I carried her memory in my heart like an open wound for the first quarter of a millenium, even while my body rotted with age and my hands turned to claws that I couldn't morph back. I lost my looks young you see probably cause of what 'appened in 01. Second quarter of a millenium though I got lucky an' found someone else, but also killed stuff mindlessly, tried to toss my life away, but the fates just wouldn't 'ave me. And after five 'undred years I quess I got over her old son. There's nothing more I can say, I've spent the last five hundred enjoyin' meself as best I can."

"Two hundred an' fifty years?" Part of Spike's brain wanted him to scream that it wasn't enough, another part just told him to nod and get on with it. After all a vampire could only take so much. "Ok so what's it all about, what the bleedin' 'ell is that uniform and what do you mean rotted?"

"It's about me stoppin' you killing me. It's the uniform of a Flag Captain of the Intergalactic Star Fleet, don't look at me like that you should know I robbed it. And I mean rotted cause your a vampire, our bodies don't last forever and so for a few centuries your goin' to be in a right state."

Spike put up a hand to stop his younger self interrupting. "Let me tell it, yes I know I'm even handsomer than you right now but I'll fill in all the gaps and you'll understand. I'll start off with a quick review of 'ow you got in this mess and work my way on from there. Fell free to chip in with any details."

Future Spike sat back in the chair and began.

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"Doom of the world as you know it's been goin' on for years, ever since man started burning more fossil fuels and churnin' out more Carbon Dioxide that the world could cope with. Of course they started to realize that in the Nineties and tried to cut it back. But then in 2001 that prat George takes the USA out of the Kyoto agreement and sends America's pollution levels through the roof by burning all the coal and oil he can muster. American jobs and power supplies are more important than the enviroment was his excuse. An excuse that the rest of the world quietly used to get on with their own pollutin'."

"Not that we noticed, Joyce had died and the Slayer and the Scoobies was in tatters. Even I shed a few tears before I settled down in the crypt with my lovely Buffy-bot and took to shaggin' the arse off her." Future Spike smiled at that point, the memories were flooding back now. "For me that seemed like the start of happy days, then that bitch Glory got me the next day and it seemed my life was 'eadin' for the usual shower of shit an' misery."

"Course when Buffy found out I 'adn't told on Dawn under torture, that I'd been a bloody hero suddenly I stopped being 'er enemy and became 'er friend. My pain was nothin' after that, it was like heaven."

"Then Glory nearly killed poor Buffy and it all changed." The present Spike interrupted.

"I know, will you let me tell this, I know you've lived it too but it sets the scene." Spike ignored the two fingered salute he received and carried on remembering. "Yeah Glory did indeed suck Buffy's brain. Near broke my heart it did when Willow came and told me, with what 'ad appened to Tara she por luv was cut to ribbons. We blubbed on each others shoulder's. But once we was over that we decided that there was no way that bitch was gettin' away with it an' we got our Buffy back!"

"And then we went looking for revenge and Dawn. On our way back into Sunnydale who should we meet but the poof and 'is crew and our morale really bucked up, or at least the girls did, I feared 'e'd take 'er off me as usual."

"Now despite throwing Buffy fifteen feet across a graveyard into my willing hands you could tell Buffy's resurrection worried Glorificus, cause for once she scarpered. We girded up an' followed knowing she'd go straight for where Dawn was stashed. My moment of glory came when I whisked the nibblet clear. Buffy kissed me and gave me a big hug and my despair disappered. Then we turned and faced the bitch who did a very strange thing."

"Right there in mid fight she suddenly turned into Ben her brother. Also immortal but so much more squishy and breakable. Summer's was well pissed off that this was the solution to 'er troubles an' we 'ad half an hour's blubbin' from Dawn and slow weeping from her, over Ben's beggin' that she save the world and get it done. Then screams that Glory's comin' back and Buffy strikes and finishes it."

"Now what a distraught Slayer she was after that. And into whose arms did she collapse blubbin' fit to break your heart. Why mine of course. The poof looked like 'e was going to blow a gasket 'e looked so pissed, but there was nothin' 'e could do with 'er so upset. He was out of town within' a day, and that was the last we saw of 'im too."

"Couple of nights after that Buffy turns up at the crypt and jumps me good and proper. We wind up tearin' each other's clothes of and going at it good an' hard against the wall, then on top of the sacrophogus, then on the bed for about an hour or two."

"Happy day's, we spent a month shaggin' like bunnies and lookin' after Dawn, then I went to LA and explained the facts of the matter to Hank, he signed the bloodstained papers and we was family. We'd screw and slew, or should that be lay and Slay. Willow cured Tara and we was all one big 'appy family, for a few months anyway." the point."

"Course though the other point about current affairs that we'd overlooked, that silly bloody Texan and the Chinese."

"Of course we heard the echo of that whole spy plane business, mid air collision, crew as hostages. But it was what George did in response that really tore it. He caved in to the right wing of the Republican party and signed a deal selling the Taiwanese warships, naval aircraft and submarines. Everyone thought that the Chinese would just bitch alot but decide to lump it and just not talk to the Yank's anymore, they couldn't 'ave been more wrong."

"They warned the US and Taiwan that any further arms deals would be treated as an act of war. The Taiwanese came back to the USA wantin' modern tanks and fighter jets. George signed up for that one too and the Chinese saw red."

"They reacted by taking a leaf out of Jack Kennedy's book. Their fleet pushed out into the Pacific and declared Taiwan to be under a blockade on all shipments of military materials. They start stoppin' and searchin' merchant ships, but at the same time being very careful to let everyone see them not interferin' with none military stuff and lettin' Taiwan trade as normal."

"Now George 'as really got problems. In 'is boots I'd 'ave faxed Taiwan the relevant blue prints and let em build their own weapons. George though doesn't see things like that, he's leading a country that spends $276 billion a year on defence against a country spendin $90, what's 'e got to fear. So he 'as a variety of military bits and peices loaded on two old merchant ships. Backs 'em up with a US Navy battlegroup and with due fanfare sends 'em on their way."

"They meet the Chinese two 'undred miles out, it starts off with shots across bows, that goes on for two hours, each side dischargin' about twenty rounds without so much as scratchin' the other side's paint. It looks like the convoy is going to get through when either accidentally or deliberately a Chinese Frigate puts a 5inch shell into the bows of the lead merchant ship stopping it dead. A US Navy vessel puts two harpoon missiles into the offending warship and all hell breaks loose, within half an hour twelve Chinese ships are sunk and the US are down one merchant ship and a destroyer with four more warships limpin' towards Okinawa or Pearl."

"China goes ballistic literally, scuds rain down on Taiwan as the Chinese start loadin' troops onto every troop transport they have ready for the big D-Day style invasion. The American's turn to their old pal airpower confident they can do the usual job without getting their hands too bloody."

"But this is different from Iraq or Kosovo, the Chinese have a big airforce and they send it in too fight. The Americans are along way from home and they can't get onto the airfields in Taiwan due to the missile barrage, things don't look too good. They need to come up with somethin'."

"None of us believed it would happen." Both Spike's sighed wearily. "But there was no way George was willin' to preside over the second lost American war. So he exploded two tactical nuclear missiles over the areas were the Chinese Scud batterys where, claiming that it was a limited action and that he was saving the lives of 'undreds of US an' Taiwanese pilots, also said that if the Chinese dared to 'it back he'd do the same again but much worse."

"The Chinese sat back and thought about it for two days whilst the battle swung the US and Taiwan's way. The missile attacks reduced they was able to get Taiwans airfields back in some kind of order an' start 'ittin the ports and airfields 'ard. Medio stops screamin with fear about Chinese retaliation and starts saying that George might 'ave just won 'is war."

"China didn't have many intercontinental missiles, but it 'ad enough to fire off four of them. They landed between 2am and 2.30 am Western Standard on a cold night in October. One 'it Seattle, one 'it San Francisco, one it LA and the last one detonates in San Diego."

"We were indoors thank god. But I felt it like a hot fire in my 'eart. My Sire was still my Sire wheather I wanted 'er or not. Dru was turned to ash in an instant along with Darla. Angel copped it in exactly the same way." The present Spike took up the story staring straight ahead. "But bein underground the flash wasn't a problem that far out, and the blast waves didn't reach us either. But the earth tremours they set off took out 'alf the town. There was panic and alot of runnin' about but in the end it turned out we was all ok. Or at least that was 'ow it seemed."

"George nuked twenty Chinese cities the next day." Future Spike intoned drily, the horror along way behind him. "Over nine million died in the blasts, just under a million Americans had died in the Chinese attacks. George sent the Chinese a list of the fifty targets he'd strike the next day if they didn't cease all attacks on Taiwan and the USA. Realizing that they were messin' with a bloke who'd lost it completely and aware that they didn't 'ave much more to throw they threw in the towel pretty smartly."

"But the wind was blowin' south from LA." Spike shuddered wishing his future self wasn't making him relive all this. "And the fallout came with it. Buffy got Dawn out of town by midday the day after the strike. Xander and Anya loaded 'er into a car and was off towards Phoenix and then Denver as fast as they could go. We, Buffy, Giles, Willow and Tara and me stayed to see what 'ad 'appened to the Hellmouth. We spent four days livin' in that radiation till Giles confirmed that the Hellmouth was sealed by the earthquake and announced we could leave."

"It was on the third day that my chip stopped working, we was patrolling lookin' for vampire's Buffy and I when this bunch of bleedin' looters jumped us. Lookin' to take either our money or Buffy's cute ass, she laid into them of course but there was alot and when one of 'em went for her back with a knife I didn't hesitate, headaches or not I gave him a left to the jaw that sent him out cold and I didn't feel a thing."

"Well obviously from there it was a bleedin' walkover, we soon 'ad the lot of 'em decked." Present Spike had the clearer memory so he had the broader smile. "Didn't take me two seconds to realize that the chip 'ad stoped working and start worryin' about Buffy. You see I didn't think for a second about hurting her. I just thought radiation must 'ave done this so I've got to get 'er out."

"We was all packed and gone by morning. All us Scoobies and Willow's people, an' let me tell you the Freeway was packed. They reckoned two thirds of the Californian coasts population moved West that summer and two thirds of them never went back."

"Giles got sick in Colorado Springs. Diagnosis at the hospital was mild radiation poisoning, they shoved him out some pills and sent us on our way.The authorities had an airport open in all the targetted cities, result was every ward across the Mid-West was filling up with burn and crush victims that were being flown out to wherever they could be treated. Passin' casualties among the refugee's weren't getting much of anythin' at all."

"Giles got better though and we got back on the move getting to Denver ten days after the missile exchange." Spike recalled whilst his future self listened and nodded letting his suicidal counterpart get it off his chest. "After an 'eck of an 'unt round a crowded city we tracked down the rest of the gang and sat down and decided what to do."

"The Rosenberg's senior decided that whatever Israel's problems it was better than what was goin' on 'ere. So they announced they was makin' use of the right of return an' emigrating there. Willow was invited along as well and Sheila was real quick about tellin' Willow how she supported her life choice an' 'ow Tara was absolutely invited along too."

"We talked amongst ourselves about what a great idea it would be for Willow to get out, though of course we all smiled like loonies when she said she was stayin'. They all looked a little peaky to me, bit pale, an' a bit green and after Giles flirtition with radiation poisonin' I was worried. But that didn't stop me sneakin' off from time to time an killin' particulary sick lookin' refugees, mercy killin' as you might say. Course I'd 'elp Buffy track down the vampires what was pickin' on the poor refugees, and she'd thank me an' I'd feel so bleedin' guilty that within a few weeks of the chip malfunctioning I was a banker, livin' on bought blood, 'uman or animal. Got so used to it now that I ain't had the urge to feed properly in years." He looked up at the quietly listening future Spike. "That still true."

"No mate, times change." Spike was smoking his thirtytieth cigarette and feeling very light headed indeed. "I was a good boy for a century or so but then things got difficult and it was feed or die. Remind me though how did you wind up here?"

"Giles got in touch with the mother country and asked 'em what we was to do. Did they want us somewhere else now the Hellmouth was closed. They told 'im to do what he liked. Faith was dead cause a new chosen one had appeared, a Thai girl who'd been raised to do what she was told. They were back in business and didn't need Buffy anymore. Giles would get paid and if he wanted any help with information he just had to ask but never darken our doors again was the message we got loud and clear."

"So Giles sits down with Willow and they search the net to decide which East coast US city has the most demonic activity. The Californians was all 'opin' for Miami but it came up as New York. So we packed our stuff up and got on the road once more."

"Before we left though Buffy got confirmation that her fathers insurance company accepted that he'd copped it. She got a big payout to go with the one she got when her mum died. But it didn't look like enough to support a girl who had too many issues to hold down a steady job and put a little sister through College. Which is where Anya came in."

"She persuaded everyone to give her alot of their money, even I gave 'er all my money but then I'd robbed it anyway. She went an' invested it in construction companies via the net. Two days later when we were on the road George gives a big speech about cities rising, total rip off of Deep Impact, and announces Billion dollar federal aid programmes to all four nuked cities and hundreds of millions for every earthquake hit town. Shares in construction rocketed and we were all quids in."

"That's how come Xander and Anya are currently talkin' about moving to Florida, she was a multi millionaire by 2002 and retired fifteen years ago. Never would tell me how she did it, natural talent or plain demonic cheating. But she made sure we'd be able to risk our lives nightly fightin' evil without money worries so points for 'er."

"So it went for a few years, we settled in 'ere, we fought the evil an' we was 'appy. But there was still that menace hanging over us, fallout and what it did." Spike glanced over at the picture which had been put back on the bedside table. "Buffy got sick just after her twenty fifth birthday for the first time, skin cancer, no big deal the doctors said, not malignant, little operation and it was gone. But it worried me."

"We all knew that the Hellmouth 'ad played it's last joke on us, it bein' there was why we took so long to leave the coast despite being between two ground zero's. It can't be coincidence that now the only ones left are Dawn, Xander and Anya and me."

"Don't make me tell it all," Present Spike now suddenly begged. "The cancers and the sickness, 'ow they passed one by one, 'ow Buffy died with me holding her hand. Just let it pass now and tell me whats to come?"

"Alright mate I understand." Spike answered nodding. "Let me lay it all out for you."

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"Bein' immortal we'll skip fifty years of drinkin' and cryin' and just get to what you'll find when you staggers out of the gutter." Future Spike was sat up in full story teller mode. "First off you'll notice the only reason you have a dry gutter is the Hudson River flood barrier runnin' from Rockaway point New York to Sandy Hook New Jersey. It's the only thing thats going to stop the two cities having to change their names too New Venice one and two."

"Stumble into a book store and glance at an up to date atlas and what do you find, a whole lot less green and alot more blue. An area the size of the USA has gone under the raising waters. Millions of people have been driven from their homes, most are still movin'."

"Second thing you'll notice is the smell, there isn't much. Everyone drivers a water powered car, all electric power is generated by natural gas, wind, water or very carefully controlled nuclear fission. Burn rubbish and your lookin' at a ten thousand dollar fine or six months inside. Start a forest fire for a prank and they'll give you ten to life."

"Everythin' gets recycled, nothin' gets wasted, metal goes round and round time and again melted and smelted. Papers grey cause what little that's still used has recycled repeatedly. All waste food and garden refuse goes to make mulch for the cryogenic centres out in the Mid-West."

"There are siloes there, vast thousand acre concrete buildings in which thirty or forty crop floors are piled one on top of another. That's the grain belt these days, short steamed wheat grown under artifical light in soil made from the cities rubbish. To understand why you just 'ave to step outside."

"No crops can be grown in the great US grain belt anymore cause no rain falls between mid spring and late fall. The warming of the atmosphere has caused another problem too. Weather formations move faster and the accompanying sand storms are atrocious, and the tornadoes are bigger and closer together than they've ever been. So the poor sods who draw that duty stay underground tendin' the crops and livin' online. People only come out there in the cool and wet of winter to wander round the ghost towns and whats left of the woods, mostly cactus forest out there now though."

"Course America and the Western developed nations have alot less problems than some. The World Trade Organisation saw to that, helped them get together to find ways to keep their people fed and housed, made them share technologies to ensure that comfortable life went on. But the loss of lands still meant changes and the surpluses vanished. Even rich countries had to ration some foods and the amount they had to share got alot less."

"And in Africa, most of Asia and South America they didn't have the money so conditions were overwhelmingly worse, valuable land under water, the Sahara pushin' out and out, millions forced from their homes by floods, desert or war.And all the time they looked on at developed nations that had left them to stew on a few tonnes of jealously doled out rice. Was it any wonder that they set off to join us?"

"First time it 'appened was in Seventy-seven, a hundred and fifty thousand people crammed themselves into anything that would float on the Morrocan coast and set off for Spain and the European Union. The Unions Army was on the beaches waiting for them, unmanned control by wire battletanks lined up ready with entrenched infantry. fleets of attack helicopters in the air. Five times in a dozen languages they was told to go back. When they was fifty meters off shore and still coming the General commanding gritted his teeth and told 'is men to let 'em have it. A quarter of the refugees was in the water dead or swimming before the rest got the message and headed back. European naval units hauled the living out and shipped 'em back over the water. Infantrymen gunned down any that swam to the European shore."

"The sea was stained red."

"Public outcry there was, but the government noted that it was from a minority, that the majority kept quiet and went on as normal. The Union made the most of the fact to pass emergency measures to ensure future border security would be as tight as possible to 'Safeguard it's peoples living space.'"

"The second big attempt to get what the rich had was in Seventy-nine. Ninety thousand struggled north from the flood and drought torn deforested wasteland of Central America across Mexico's deserts to the Rio Grande. There they faced a nightmare, a three mile deep minefield interpersed with computerized quard towers equipped with mini guns and every heat seeking device available."

"The message given was loud and clear, 'Go back, go on and you die.' Thousands tried to go on, not one got across."

"Time moves on another thirty years. A new century see's the WTO persuade all it's members to impose Martial Law, the climate is improving slightly, all necessary measures must be taken to ensure that it stays that way. Carbon dioxide emmissions must be at the minimum available for progress, people must be more strictly controlled so that the population stays at a managable level. All efforts must be made to secure mankinds progress."

"Mankinds progress is taking shape around the moon. Humans have been living there for nearly ten years, constructing a huge shipyard to build powerful starships outside of the earths main gravity. Now a means is developed to artificially generate water. The decision is made to put fifty thousand people onto the moon's surface to maximise starship production. And to move to Mars."

"They also put every scientist they can spare onto working on new engines that will permit man to go to the more distant stars."

"Vampires an' demons are keeping a low profile during all this, police states arn't so much fun as democracies. They tend to keep a closer eye on things and be more apt to notice people turning up dead. And then there was the fact that we was 'earin' rumours that behind the scenes they was messin' with the Initiative's research again, but this time with the Council's full help. They weren't doin' the crazy stuff Walsh tried but working on ways of turnin' Demons and Vampires into their servants. Lookin' for way's of making 'em into soldiers."

"Speakin' for myself let me say those storys gave me the absolute willies. I was the only vampire to have been chipped and survive to tell of it. I was in no hurry to repeat the experience, I made sure my profile was very very low let me tell you."

"By 2200 the polar icecaps are starting to expand again, the sea recedes a little. Food production in the WTO' Zone is getting back up to modern pre dust bowl standards. The third world starts getting food aid to assist its surviving populace, and so long as it's governments obey orders things start getting back on track. The Lunar base is in full production. Mars is supporting ten thousand brave souls who are stripping in of it's mineral wealth to be shipped back to the home world on huge great freighters. And off the surface of the moon the first four Galactic Explorer vessels are being produced, starships that will use the newly developed stellar drives to take handpicked crews off to nearby star systems to look for habitable planets."

"The Initiative research stories continued but there was no unexplained disapperances, no demons or vampires in uniform so everyone except me stopped worryin'. In fact some demons started looking for the Judge again, figurin' that as the humans weren't going to destroy the world maybe we should try our luck once more. Some others started working for the humans anyway, dictatorships looked to be there to stay and they've never had any objection yet to employing scary lookin' horned blokes to work in the torture chamber."

"Ten years later the missions have gone and come back, I won't bore you with a long list of system or planet names, let me just tell you what they found. Two explored solar systems that had nothing that could support human life. The third found a desert planet like Mars that was just borderline, that was marked out for later mining. The last found a world ninety five percent compatible, and which had no true 'Intelligent life'. The shipyards went into overdrive, freighters and liners being built round the clock with the new engines, built to carry goods supplies and people to the new world. It was like the Oregon trail and the Californian goldrush all at once. Hundreds of thousands put there names down to be off to this new frontier."

"And in a quiet little shipyard built just above the earths surface the WTO put it's first Stellar warships into production. This New World might be a great thing but the people there had to be kept under control. There would be garrisons on the surface and ships off planet making sure dissidents didn't seize this great new prize."

"The first convoy left in 2218, within a year they'd made landfall on the planet Terra2. By 2280 there are ninety million people on the new world, it has it's first cities and it's first off planet shipyards, the native species are domesticated or consigned to huge 'native life parks'. The planet also has it's first demons and vampires as a few hardy types are clever enough or stupid enough to risk the trip and survive. I 'ad more bleedin' sense, I stayed put at 'ome."

"It all looks hunky dory but secretly it isn't."

"No intelligent life, no actual presence true but more detailed exploration turned up disturbing stuff. Traces of none human excavations, a crashed starship that's not ours. A derelict satellite in orbit. Somebody else 'as been checkin' the gaffe over, we are not alone, work on weapons systems and ship armour goes into overdrive. What we have we hold an' no bloody Alien is goin' to take it from us."

"The Citizenship law comes into force around this time. Up till now all people had had the vote in the pathetically low number of elections permitted, now that changes. Only those who have done military or police service will have full citizenship, they will have first choice with regards to houseing, a higher child birth quota when they marry, and a better chance of being allowed to settle on the paradise that is provin' to be Terra2 on retirement. Thus did mankind begin to prepare for a war that it didn't even know it would have to fight."

"With a second home planet established man set off into the wide open again. This time though the explorers went in flotillas of four, and they were warships not scientific vessals."

"Ten flotillas of four went out, thirty nine ships came back seven years later. One was lost with all hands in as asteroide collision. The crews of the rest all had tales to tell."

"Six planets at varying degrees of inhabitability had been found that reached around the fifty percent area. One planet was found that had an atmosphere as good as Earths. Unfortunatly it also carried intelligent life, large amounts of it. The Sethonians, a people moving into the late Iron Age without the barest idea of what had just watched them from above. Almost exactly like humans too, enough to start some people talking about what aliens might have been up to here in the millenia before, not that any link was ever proved. "

"Discussion was long and hard in the World Government offices, some said yeah and some said nay. But in 2260 or so a fleet was despatched none the less. Six battlecruisers, twelve heavy cruisers and a hundred auxiliaries carryin' marines and stores and surface combat vehicles. The invasion was opposed but to quote from the bible. 'The Assyrians were as a wolf in the fold.' Organised resistance was crushed within six weeks guerilla war was over within two years. The Sethonians had died by the hundreds of thousand, and now there culture and populace was dismantled."

"No actual genocide occured you understand. But they dispersal might have well ave been called that. Millions were shipped to the newly found planets deemed too poor for mankind. There they lived in primitive conditions working in mines that stripped those planets of their assets for the new Empire. Millions more were sent back to Earth of Terra2 to be 'Re-educated' in civilised surroundings. Used as domestic and factory labour in other words, doing jobs to menial even for robots. And as both the young male's and female's are handsome and athletic types they came in useful for alot of other things too."

"I had my first taste of a Sethonian in the fall of 2264. She was a runaway from some strip club or other who was hiding from the law in the sewers, 'er name was Valandra. She was so pretty and her blood tasted better than any human I'd ever killed, god she screamed when she saw me, I was a bat faced monster by then heading towards lookin' like the Master, but held her to my will, half drained her, shagged 'er, drained her some more and made Earths first Sethonian vampire. She's a blond haired beauty and strong. We've had some fun times let me tell you, cause of course she didn't raise an eyebrow over 'ow bad 'er Sire looked back them. Valandra is 'er name, she told me she was some kind of princess, not that I believed 'er then."

"By 2270 the conquered planet was deemed to be fit for 'uman habitation. The Sethonian's was down to managable numbers and knew their place. They'd spent five years throwing up dwellings for their 'Guests' now they were trusted enough to be given uniforms and weapons, they became our allies, but on the basis of knowin' who was boss."

"Skip forward along way to 2500. I'm now Master of my own order in a whole new city, Valandra's lust for me and for 'uman blood 'ad reawakened the old Spike, though I still carried a computer disc full of images of the Slayer. I was nearly seven hundred and not much could look me in the eye and not blink. Valandra was a power 'erself draggin me in victim after victim cause I couldn't 'unt my own grub no more as I looked so bad. We felt like we was in 'eaven though a lot of miles away somethin' was about to 'appen that would change our unlives forever and break up our 'appy 'ome."

"Apart from a few floating bits of Space junk on Terra2 mankind still hadn't found it's Galactic neighbours and had maybe given up looking. Still building up the war machine to fight them though. They still only had the three inhabited worlds plus a dozen that they were stripping of all mineral wealth. Most manufacturing went on off planet, by now they were building bloody huge warships and looking back in martime history they found a name for them. Dreadnoughts."

"On it's maiden voyage the Imperial Star Ship Warspite, the fourth in the Imperitor class of Dreadnought was crusin' a solar system or so out from Sethonia when it came upon a strange vessel. At first they thought it was a smuggler and closed rapidly till they had the bugger in sight. And then they saw that it was an Alien!"

"Well they hailed it, and they fired warning shots in front of it but it didn't stop. So they deployed their shiny new tractor beam on it. The alien fired on them, it's weapon barely scraped the paint, they deployed an attack drone rather than use their main weapons. It targeted the ships engines with it's laser weapons hoping to cripple the alien and make it surrender. But unfortunately it cut the main fuel lines, that sent plasma all over hot engine manifolds and blew the whole stern off. The crew ejected and were picked up, the wreckage was scanned, it was a mass of refined metal ores. The crew of the Warspite realized they'd just killed themselves a harmless merchantman."

"The aliens were reptiles, very tall civilised reptiles in clothes not your crocodiles, they looked pissed and weren't saying much. The humans and the Sethonian auxiliaries on the ship couldn't understand what they did say. So the captives got shoved in the brig and the vessel turned and shifted it back to base."

"There was consternation in the Earth's capital New York when the news reached it. An intelligent Alien life form encountered and we already have an act of war. A human vessel fired on without provocation, and now 'ere we was with prisoners. The dreadnought ISS Nimitiz and four battle cruisers were despatched to the sector where the alien craft had been encountered with orders to search and destroy."

"At the same time the Strelza, thats the lizard men, despatched two warships to try to find their freighter. But what they actually found was the human squadron. Shot's blazed back and to but the Strelza saw the odds against them and did a runner. And here's were combat experience sorted the men from the lizards. The humans got out flown and the lizard ships got away."

"Meanwhile back on a prison ship orbiting the desert wastes of Terra1 where the lizards were being studied, in a chatting to them way not in a cutting open way, progress was being made, language difficulties being overcome. And the information they were gathering was leading to very big exclamations of 'Oh.'"

"And so it was that when six Strelzan warships arrived at Deneb, the solar system where the fight had occured, they met a fleet of warships but also one vessel beamin out a message in Strelzan of peace and brotherhood."

"You see the Strelzan were the leaders of of a confederation of five intelligent races. For centuries they'd ruled the roost in a wide sector of the galaxy. But for the past hundred years they'd steadily been loseing a war with an aggressive insect race known simply as the Hive. These insects send out swarms of ships each year and despite Strelzan technical superiority were gradually overwhealming them in battle after battle."

"And the Hive were moving towards the human's home worlds, if the Strelzan Confederation fell then they'd be next. And the Hive couldn't be negotiated with, and couldn't be turned back by any means other than destruction. Their beliefs was simple that only those of the Hive deserve life and their code was conquer or die. Never mind if the Strelzan were lizards suddenly it was two legged oxygen breathers together. Hence the hand of friendship."

"It was grasped by the scaled clawed hand of the lizard. With it's military based society and command economy humanity had built in the dreadnought the most powerful vessel in the known galaxy, thje lizards looked out at these vast titans of deep space and decided we was goin' to be friends. Strelzan scientists helped to install some new weapons and produced copies of some earth ones for their own ships. They also provided us with the medical kit that accounts for the splendour thats my boat."

"The Hive had just taken the Solar System we called Casterlerna from the Confederation. They were settling themselves in on the ground, constructing huge cities made of wax and dirt and moving their queens into the center of them. Then it was going to be mass breeding of workers and warriors ahoy. And off the planets surface they were breedin new ships for their next invasion."

"Breedin ships?" Present Spike broke the brooding silence he'd maintained through the lecture.

"The Hive ships are essentially alive, they breed these great big bugs then they fit the shells with engines and power them with what the big besties crap out. They also stick weapon packs on their shells up around their heads. Not powerful weapons but they can churn those things out by the thousand so that doesn't matter, they win when they win by weight of numbers."

"For the humans this was it, this was the moment of glory for which they had, 'Hardened the race'. This was the excuse for the citizenship law, for the military society that had been built and for the huge investment in the Starfleet. Nine dreadnoughts, fifty battlecruisers and a host of smaller cruisers, destroyers and frigates went to join the Strelzan force off their home world. Then the great armada set off for Casterlerna."

"They tore through that Solar System like nothing the Hive had ever met before. Usually the Strelzan were to badly shot up to counter attack after losing a planet yet here they were in full force, and with new allies."

"The Dreadnoughts were almost unstoppable. The Hive managed to cripple one and inflict damage to some others but they were slaughtered doing it. Laser drones chopped their ships up into small peices. Electro- magnetic railguns mounted in the dreadnought hulls sent out streams of simple metal projectiles at almost light speed, slammin' into them and tearin' them apart. Sonic shells ruptured their hulls, tractor beams tore off engines, neutron bomb tipped torpedoes fried crews inside the carapaces. The Hive fleet was destroyed within three days and the ship breeding pods burned to ashes. Then they started on the planets."

"The Hive can adapt to live on alot of planets we couldn't survive on for a second. They'd colonised three in the Casterlerna system. Two were useless to both the Empire and the Confederation they were hit first. Humans nuked the blazes out of their cities then the Strezlan bombarded them with insectocides they'd developed but never gotten close enough to breeding colonies to use."

"The third planet was a different matter, it produced minerals essential to the Strezlan economy and 'ad to be retaken. They hit the cities with low yield neutron bombs but after that they had to go in and do the business on the ground in the old fashioned way. It was there that the Imperial Marine Corp discovered that Hive warriors stood fifteen feet tall and could run at thirty miles an hour on their eight legs, that they had long razer sharp forelimbs that could cut a man in half and mandibles that could rip your head clean off. Nobody had much fun down there."

"Within two months though they had the planets surface one hundred percent cleansed. Over three million insects had been swotted, humans had lost a hundred thousand soldiers plus fifty thousand Sethonian auxiliaries with many more wounded. The Confederation had lost eighty thousand, after what they'd suffered the hailed the victory as cheap. The humans thought otherwise."

"You see the establishment of the world government had led to the establishment of that old chestnut world peace. Other than an odd civil disturbance and a terrorist or two mankind hadn't known a war since it's virtually walkover invasion of Sethonia. The lists of the dead were read with horror, and the knowledge that up to fifty more productive planets would have to be taken in the same way led to that unheard thing in the past century actual public outcry."

"And that's where we came in."

"All those rumours about the Initiative research being dug back up again where true you see. They just hadn't needed to use us up till then. Demons and vampires was left to be as a means of population control, occasional purges kept out numbers managable but essentially we was left to get on with it."

"But we was watched, they reckon there was barely one nest in ten that wasn't known so when the moved they knew where to go."

"It was midday when they hit my gaffe, we was in a dry sewer under New Santa Fe at the time. The climate had improved enough for the major cities of the Mid West to be reoccupied a century before but New Santa Fe was still in re development, so lots of people new to town lots of potential prey. We was kippin' after hearty meals when they stormed in, stun grenades and thunderflashes got us on our feet and tazer blasts put us of them again. Even me and my bird didn't stand a chance. I memerized four of them but a fifth got me in the back. Then they jumped up and down on my head till the lights went out."

"Woke up in a bloody cell in a bloody uniformof course. Field grey overalls and combat boots, lapels of the overall bore a natty little silver deaths head on a black rectangle. I didn't need to feel the back of me bonce to know I'd got a recently healed scar there where they'd inserted a new chip. I'd been Initiatived along with thousands of others."

"Good news however was that lying around the floor were my Childe an' minions. They'd kept family groups together you see to encourage, 'Comradship and social harmony.' And though my new getup looked deeply offensive and not Spike Valandra looked really pretty in her uniform."

"Anyway I woke 'er up an told 'er, then I made 'er take it off and shagged 'er up against the bulkhead, we could see the camera but neither me or my naughty little Sethonian princess gave a fuck about that. They we sat down among our awakening kin and waited for something to 'appen."

"About and 'our later the humans came knocking. Six of em with tazer rifles, which by the way is along way more souped up than what your used too. One of my more idiot Childe tries to bite of of course but they just grin and watch whilst 'e clutches 'is 'ead and screams at the pain. That lesson learned we let 'em chivvy us out of there and into a corridor packed full of other vampires. We're then marched in groups down to a bloody big underground parade ground where I finds myself and mine forming the front rank of a block of 150 vampires in front of a sign on the ground. Reading what it says doesn't fill me with a deep seated sense of joy."

"'E Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment of the Nostferatu Division.' I was most very definatly in extremely deep shit."

"Some bloke in a black uniform with lots of silver lacing on the lapels and epillets gets up on a podium in the middle and gives the assembled fifteen companies of our Regiment a speech. I can't remember the whole thing but it was basically, 'You've been parasites on the body of humanity for thousands of years, profiting by our pain and death. Well now the time has come to pay the debt you owe humanity. You will engage the enemies of the worlds you populate in battle. Those of you who perform your duties loyally and survive will upon our victory be found a world in which you can live freely without danger to humanity. Those of you who die will die with the knowledge that you have fully repaid your debt.' And other complete bollocks in a similar vein. I personally believed that he meant it, after the victory they'd seek out some distant planet with a cave dwellin' populace and dump us on them. Absolute bleedin nightmare prospect that was, waitin' around for two thousand years till they invented telly."

"But the fact was I was tagged and locked up on an apparently solid fortress and completely screwed. So I told the kids to toe the line and follow orders, we'd get our chance to leg it later out in the field."

"After the speech they fed us cause we were starvin 'ungry. Medical science 'ad come on leaps and bounds and they could manufacture pure blood of whatever kind they wanted from simple ingrediants. Nothing new to me I'd knocked off a small machine from a hospital years before for daytime snacks, saved on 'avin' stinkin prisoners smellin' up the gaffe. But they had around a hundred big machines churnin' away there producing packet after packet. We got four each and then the same for seconds. We was bloated with the stuff."

"Life's not to bad a very tiny disloyal section of my brain announced. But I knew that you don't fatten up the calfs less your readyin' them for slaughter. Lookin' around I could see that there was alot of scrawny looking vampires who hadn't been doing as well as me in the great outdoors. Vampires who were going to have to be strengthened if they were going to be any use as soldiers."

"Sirens wailed and humans came in and shouted at us, we were 'earded through another door into another huge open concrete surrounded space, this one contained about ten individual assault courses and a large firing range. Next to the door was a large pile of packs, filled as it turned out with bricks."

"Of course we was given one each and ordered to start running."

"Here 'owever was when the first big discipline problem broke out. I mean most groups had 'ad at least one demonstration of what 'appened when you attacked a 'uman so there was no mutiny but there was a refusal to play silly beggers. We was 'avin' none of it so they made their first examples. Two vampires from Alpha Company, the first unit up was staked then and there. 'Run or die', was the message."

"So we ran, 'elped that I gave the 'undred and fifty vampires with me the look, the look that says do it or you get a claw in the eye, amazin 'ow well that works when your my age. I lead 'em past the others and off on the first course."

"There was water jumps and wire to crawl under and rope swings and walls to climb, all that old fashioned stuff that never goes out of style with the army. We did the whole eight hundred meters quick as you like with me an' Val chiviyin the buggers along sharpish."

"And the well armed bunch of sadistic bastards at the end says. 'Well done now run the next one.' We weren't best pleased."

"Shagged out but still in a cohesive group at the end we ran all ten in succession, I felt like me lungs was going to come heavin' up out through me gob by the time I was finished but willpower 'ad seen me through. That and the fact that Valandra was running along right behind me an' I could'nt be seen to let 'er down."

"Five minutes rest and it was onto the firing range. Guns weren't real to our great disappointment, range was a computer operated simulation though the guns were made to kick just like the real thing. It was 'ere were we first faced the hive soldier insects, they didn't look so tough, they charge you and you shoot and they drop. Easy job, we'll be free and stuck on some rock in a far distant corner of the galaxy in no time."

"But I knew it was going to be alot 'arder than that."

"Off we was marched again once everyone in the company 'ad 'ad a go. This time we was put into a smaller room full of beds. Doubles not bunk, they knew what they'd captured. This was to be our company quarters, me and my family, five males an' eight females, all minions except my special girl, established ourselves in the corner furthest from the door and nearest the blood dispenser. There we lounged untroubled whilst the rest of the mob scrambled for precedence beneath me. I complimented Valandra on 'ow beautiful she looked in 'er nice new uniform, she called me a git cause she knew I was takin' the piss. Then she took it off an' I shagged 'er."

"Three quarters of an hour or so later, when we was finished, we got to explorin' the other leisure facilities available. I found that they'd got tellys fitted behind panels in the wall's and had the complete old telly programme channels from the Nostalgia network, so I ordered up a few favourite Passion's episodes. Val found they 'ad a few old laptops lying around to play games on, 'ad to stiff arm a couple of vamps to get one but then went straight to work on tryin' to figure our 'ow the chips might work. I gotta say for a girl who grew up on a planet were the blokes still wore long beards and chainmail and used to thump one another with axes, she's a bleedin' wiz at computers. She typed away like crazy with one hand whilst petting one of 'er favourites who had 'er 'ead between Val's leg's with the other."

"An intrestin' sight but not more intrestin' than 'Passions'." Future Spike smiled off his present self's raised eyebrows. "Being a really old vampire can make you lose a little bit of the intrest you might 'ave been able to show in the ladies once demon or not. Three or four times a day was my limit.....then."

"Quite an idyllic family moment that then as we all sat round ignoring the growling, fightin' shaggin, and screamin' coming from the rest of the company. Nobody killed anyone but there was a very black and blue unit of vampires by the end of the hour. I'd just lined up a chance to re-watch the ep where Timmy get's trapped down the well when the humans barged back into our lives."

'"Officer on Deck,'" Some 'uman pillock shouts to general lack of springin' to attention, there's an NCO type by the door and a git with silver on 'i's shoulder straps standin' there lookin' down 'is nose at us. I doesn't pay 'im no never mind though. What concerns me is that 'e's got that yellow bellied Texan git Lyle Gorch in tow. A Bloke who I never 'ave been able to stomach."

"You mean 'e lived that long?" A disgruntled present Spike interrupted to enquire. "There really ain't no justice."

"It's the fact 'e never used to 'ang around a fight long enough to get killed. ''E who fights and runs ect ect.' Anyway the Texan git acts all pally as usual. 'Howdie Spike how are you,' an as usual eye's me bird up somethin' shockin. 'Well hullo sweetness ain't you lookin' good today.' Val gave 'im the finger as usual and carried on with what she was doing."

"I says. 'Lyle I though I told you the last time that if you darken my door again I'll kill you. What are you doing here.' Lyle just smirks cause the human officer answers for him. 'It's been decided that junior officer ranks in the Demonic Corp will be held by trusted demons, from your performance on the assault courses today and your seniority among your kind we would not hesitate to offer you a Captaincy, however Captain Gorch here advises me that he thinks you would refuse, and that perhaps he should have command of this unit himself?'"

"Captain already I thought, what's going on 'ere. Wasn't until later that I found out Lyle had been captured by the Watchers Council months before and had been experimented on whilst they confirmed that the chips worked. Miserable little bugger had turned collaborator of course to save 'is own miserable neck an' was in on the ground floor before we even got nabbed. Anyway despite my desire to tell em' were they could shove their offer I 'ad no choice but to agree rather than 'ave Gorch tryin' to think up ways of offin' me so 'e could get Val in 'is power. 'Alright then, but I appoint's me own First Lieutenant, Val you just got promoted.'"

"'Val?' He looked around to see who I could mean to be met by a cheeky wink from the girl with the blonde hair with green highlights and the tatt's, the one currently gettin' pleasured by another vampress on the bed behind me. 'That's me gorgeous.' She says in that unfortunate New York/Cockney accent she picked up livin' with me 'ere for way to many years. 'The one with the best lookin' tit's in the company.'"

"He had a good look then skiddadled, Lyle tried to 'ang tough but I give 'im the look and he shot out after 'is mate. 'Does that mean we get that silver crap on our uniforms?' Val asked me like how she was going to accessorise was going to be a problem. 'Cause if we do I'll need a big silver necklace or somethin similar.' 'Fine luv,' I replies. 'I'll nip down the shops soonest, but now would you mind lettin' me watch me telly?'"

"And that's all we 'ad to say about it. Valandre backs my play, if she thinks I've made a complete balls of things she'll tell me but most of the time she does all she can to make sure things work out for me. That's what I love about 'er."

"But after that things got movin' and it all blurred in. Bleedin' 'uge dollops of exercise, weapons training, more video work an' then real bullets. Wargames in big tunnel complexes they'd built and subliminal learnin' of officerin' for we chosen few whilst we slept."

"Then after what seemed like six months but was only two we was marched by companies to damn big lifts with out chattles tied about us. Up on the surface we was loaded aboard buses, same kind of thing as we got now but bigger an' runnin on alcohol or water. When we was outside I could see even in the dark of night that what I'd thought was a secret base on some distant planet was actually one of the abandoned silos where, like I told you, they used to grow crops. Rusted up old signs for towns on route to Tulsa told me I was still in the good old USA. "

"That wasn't goin' to last though. Next stop was Cape Canaveral as was, now it's called Cape Progress. Blast off went as planned and we docked with a space barracks in orbit above the moon. From there we could see the first Super-Dreadnought the ISS Victory two thirds completed with the first parts of ISS Constitution bein' assembled beyond it. Through the windows on the otherside, (Ultra violet proof naturally) you could see the orbiting shipyards for the Richelieau, Bolivar, Yamamoto and for the last of the class so far unnamed but eventually called Nosterfatu after golly old us."

"We was there for two days, acclimatizing to artificial gravity, and then it was back on the shuttles and off to the landingship ISS Putin which was to be the 3rd's home when not gettin' butchered. There was two thousand, two hundred and fifty vampires aboard plus in a firmly seperate area the thousand or so mortals who crewed our heavy weapons and support armour. Then there was a crew of two 'undred besides. Add the capacity of the fifteen ships in the convoy together and you can see they'd been busy. Of course three of the Divisions was warrior demons, which was any demon who could carry a weapon as time went on, but two was vampire ours an' the, yes you guessed it, Dracula."

"Dracula!" Present Spike shouted then clutched his head before going on lower. "That poncy sod got a Division named after 'im. Ain't that just bleedin' typical. An' I bet they never caught 'im with all that flashy gypsy shit 'e can do."

"Well it's difficult to tazer a bloke what can turn 'isself into a fog bank. He's still wanderin' round with that same superior grin on 'is mug the flash git."

"But anyway we was bound for the front and a planet called Wolf 5. Since the invasion of Casterlerna the Alliance had contented themselves with big raids, sending their fleets into Hive systems to blow the crap out of anything that moved, but now they was going after a planet again with us as the spearpoint."

"Wolf 5 was about 30% of Earth's origional inhabitability, but it did contain huge deposits of Mithril, a really 'ard metal that the Strezlan used to face their ship armour with till they lost the mines. Thats why they wanted in back and why humanity was so pleased to 'elp em, they planned on retrofittingh all their ships with extra wafer thin plates of this stuff."

"The fact they they didn't 'ave command of space out 'ere near the edge of their Empire mean't that the Hive 'ad changed tactics. They used their millions of worker insects to advantage and started to dig in, buryin their nest and their factories deep below the ground. And that was where we was goin' to have to go to get them out of there."

"Day before landin' we were all issued with a full body black combat suit and a helmet with UV proof visor, too protect us from the sun. An M-28 assault rifle with 1200 3mm rounds and 50 grenades for the under barreall launcher, and sic phosperous grenades to burn out hive entrances. If the bullets down sound much bear in mind they contain's a milogramme of explosive and could blow a blokes arm off."

"Then we was briefed as a battalion in front of a computer generated hologram of our objective known as 'The Termite Hill.' Which is literally what it was, the Hive 'ad raised it over the entrance to their main city. The crest was packed with lasers makin' it a bugger to attack from the air, and the base was a warren of entry ports all sealed with waxed membranes to keep insectocide's out. We was to land away from it an' advance with armoured support, when we had closed in we'd attack and blast open one of the entry points. Then we send in a remote controlled vehicle full of good old fashioned napalm and plastic explosive and the lasers would be 'istory."

"What the insects would be doing while that was 'appening wasn't discussed but the thought of makin' a head on attack on their main base didn't fill me with gladness. We was due a pastin' that much I felt sure of."

"They say don't 'ave sex before a fight but I only thought about one thing that night, Valandre and 'ow much I loved 'er. I mean I knew she wouldn't 'ave been with an ugly git like I'd become unless I was 'er Sire, that it was 'er demon that blinded 'er to my looks, but for all that I was just as much in love with 'er as she 'ad to me with me and the night passed quickly in her arms as we made love for what might be the last time."

"Before dawn on the planet we marched down to the landing craft. Forty of em hung beneath the vessel, enough to land the whole regiment in one run with ten spare for emergencies. My whole company fitted inside one with room for a tank as well."

"We fastened ourselves into safety harnesses along the walls whilst the crew of the vehicle, nervous lookin' 'umans, made bloody sure their tank was secured to the deck. If it came loose and moved about we'd all be dead for sure. Then we stood there and waited for the release. None of us ad experienced it before you see, we was all assault landin green."

"Then suddenly our stomach's seemed to be in our throats as we dropped like a stone for two seconds, then there was the most almighty roar as the engines kicked in and we was pressed back in our seats as the ship started movin' forward. To say that the ride was bumpy would be an undertatement you gets shook back and too like nobodys business but the engines worked and we was on our way."

"The landin' wasn't too bad casuse the ship 'ad retro thruisters that set us down with only the slightest bump. I 'ad me harness of in seconds and shouted. 'Okay people lock and load.' I Jammed a fifty round clip in and armin' the safety before I pulled back the bolt to chamber the first round. Then I moved too the ramp withVal beside me and pressed the button that opens the rear doors."

"Planets that are only just fit for 'umans are a bugger, their either too far from the sun or too close, this one was a too close. Dawn 'ad just broken on the desert that the surface totally consisted of but the 'eat still 'it us like a wave. Scared shitless of the sun summed up my attitude as to running out into it but the bleedin tank started moving behind me so what else could I do but pump my arm in the air and shout. 'Lets go!'"

"We legged it down the ramp and spread out in squads around the landing ship while the tank manouvered itself clear. Then there was a big roar as the vessel rose up on it's arse using side rockets and took off again in a cloud of dust. Then I moved me troops in behind the tank and we set off for the rendevous 'alf a mile away. I could see over units all around me doing the same thing so I felt confident that it was so far so good."

"The tanks are big buggers with thick plastic and kevlar armour, but the composite armour makes 'em quite light for their engine size allowin' 'em to carry a very big wallop. Side of the hull's are fitted with a mini gun that can fire through 180 degrees. The turret as a railgun firing 50mm shells by opposin' magnets and electric current in the middle, alonside it is a laser for armour and an automatic 100 mm mortar for hittin' stuff in depressions is up on the roof. They were there to give us the firesupport needed to break up warrior insects do or die charges. We'd face alot of those before the day was out."

"The first came on us as we were drawing near to the gatherin' regiment. Thirty warriors suddenly boiled up out of a concealed bunker were they'd been lyin' in wait. The mini gun roarin' into action on the left side of the tank was the first indication we 'ad of the attack but then we turned and watched in horror as these huge great insects charged straight at us with their bladed forelegs poised to rip us apart."

"The mini gun tore down twenty and two disappered in clouds of green goo as shells from the rail gun 'it home, but the rest just kept coming. 'Let em 'ave it.' I screamed and we all let rip."

"Explodin' bullets was all very well but 'ead on your facin' all the warriors armour and the slugs barely penetrated at first. The low aimed bursts of four though started 'ittin' legs and their 'ead armour cracked at closer range and they started to drop. Still the last one was just twenty yards out when I remembered me grenade launcher and put a bomb into 'is head that blew it clean off. I can tell you that gave me the willies, if thirty could take that much flak what 'appened when a thousand came at us."

"The regiment assembled quickly enough and we got movin. We marched as battalions with the armour coverin' our front, flanks and rear. We was in a big square like back in Napoleon's times. The bugs didn't have artillery as such so we were alright to move en masse in a shoulder to shoulder way. Bringing up the rear was the artillery, tanks fitted with outsized turrets mounting 6 155mm railguns with a combined rate of fire of sixty rounds a minute. They was our fire support."

"Three miles out the regiment split, third battalion going on alone we was to deploy the bomb you see. The others hunkered down around the artillery waitin' to see how we got on."

"About twelve times on our route to the mound we got attacked by small groups of warriors. Each time the armour blew them apart before they could close. We started to get a bit surer that this would work even a little cocky. But then just as the peak of the insect mound came into sight we got another close up view of what we faced. A group of insects 'ad laid doggo while the front rank of armour passed over them and now dug there way out of the ground between D and E companies and came straight at us."

"First off four of my vamps went down 'it by bullets from D company but that didn't matter as more bullets was 'itting the insects than us. We fired like mad things ourselves but still one warrior got in amongst my twelth squad and the dust flew as 'e killed three of em before we cut 'im down. D Company wasn't as well led, they lost twenty vampires to just three insects cause half the company panicked and tried to run when the bugs got in amongst them."

"We gathered up weapons and ammo from the fallen and moved on rather greener than before. Insect blood 'ad splashed all over us and we didn't 'alf stink from it. It clung to the fabric of the black suits somethin' awful and it smeared over our visors if we tried to wipe it off. We was a very unhappy bunch of vampires as we lay down within sight of the mound."

"It was big an ugly and went about a mile up. A bleedin great column of sand an rock 'eld together with insect shit I think. The turrets at the top fortunately was only devised for air defence and the silly sods 'ad fitted none that could depress down to 'it us. So we just lay their waitin' whilst our six four self propelled guns laid down a ten minute barrage. Three thousand six hundred rounds later we got up and started walking. Tanks just in front of us firing their mortars whilst we kept our eyes peeled."

"Then when we was three quarters of a mile out all 'ell broke loose. The wax seals on the 'oles at the bottom of the mound burst outwards and a thousand warriors shot out of them fast as they could run."

"Blow open one of the entry points the idiots 'ad said. What the fuck did they think they was there for, they was sally points. Put there so that if some silly bugger came wandering up towards the gaffe the locals could come out and be as revoltin' as they liked."

"They was through the beaten zone of the mortars in under ten seconds but that still crushed two hundred. The rail guns on the tanks started the woshing sounds their electromagnetic fields made as they spewed out shells. I changed to a full mag and shouted to the lads and lasse's. 'Fire low at the legs till they close then use your grenade launchers.' We stood in line shoulder to shoulder like we ought to 'ave been wearin' grey or blue and waited for the range to close."

"Though armour cracked, though splattered with their mates blood they didn't stop. Then the whole regiments weapons roared into life at once sending most of em crashing to the ground. But not all."

"Two came to within fifteen yards at my company before we blew them apart but Able and those idiots in Delta both got warriors in their midst through just usein' their shooters. Able lost fifty percent of it's troops before they gunned the buggers down. Delta virtually ceased to exist, ninety vamps cut down and the rest just legged it not knowin' that their tank 'ad killed the warriors they thought was chasin' them."

"Unfortunatly Delta 'ad our 'uman artillery observer along. And I saw 'im an' ;is radio operator cut down with the rest of 'em. An' at that moment the next wave of warriors started pouring out of the mound and there was tens of thousands of 'em. I knew that if somebody didn't do somethin' we were all screwed."

"'First squad with me,' I yelled and set off at a fast sprint Valandra beside me and the rest of my family behind her. I reached the torso 'alf of the radio operator first and grabbed the radio off 'is back hitting location transmit as I did so. Grabbin' the handmike I screamed into it. 'Fire mission, fire mission. Put everything you've got down 250 meters in front of my position.' Val 'eld a blood spattered clip board up in front of me so I added. 'Delta one, delta one full automatic fire all weapons on target 250 meters in front of my position over!'

"A sea of warriors was thundering towards us now not even dodging the mortar blasts that went off in their midst, not even slowing, though you could see heads an legs and torso's blasted into the air. But then the whosh of fast moving shells filled the sky and the landscape in front of us exploded as a hail of death came in."

"'Good work lads.' I said.'Now walk it forward in ten meter jumps, over.' I couldn't see the enemy for the dust raised by the explosions but I knew they was coming straight for me and I knew they were going to 'ave to run through what I'd just laid down. Sure enough by the time the barrage 'ad made ten leaps away from us the ground was littered with the shattered remains of thousands of Hive soldiers. An' I still wasn't finished. 'Fire mission, fire mission, lay a box barrage around the base of the mound, over.' That was to 'old the beggars in you see."

"'Magnificent work Delta one.' A voice answered me. 'There'll be a medal in this for you Lieutenant Beaulieu, you can count on it, over.'"

"'Sorry sir but Beaulieu is dead.' I replied casual like. 'This is Captain Spike of Easy company acting as Delta one over.'"

"There was a deafening silence in reply to that so I shrugged and though no more about it. We took the radio with us and sprinted back to my cheerin' company, cheers that the rest of the battalion took up whilst I waved and grinned like a loonie behind me visor. We started forward again even as the bomb tank started to pull out ahead of us 'eading for the tunnels that the Hive warriors 'ad conveniently opened up. Half a mile out we stopped and lay down again watching the bomb roll inexorably forward. I stopped the barrage when it was two hundred meters out and crunchin' through a carpet of insect fragments. The operator put the dial to full speed and straight up and into a tunnel it went. Twenty seconds passed and then the earth shook."

"Jets of burning napalm spewed out of all the open tunnels and all the still intact seals burst at once. A landslide 'appened on the right side of the mound as the crest and it's turrets got shook loose and dropped revealing the galleries inside. We cheered some more and then looking behind us 'eard the rumble of tracks as first and secod battalion came up to begin phase two. Cause you see them unlucky sod's 'ad drawn the job of going in underground after the queen and the egg chambers. The insectocides they 'ad available were so strong they was toxic to both 'uman and lizard so infantry action was the only way to complete the job. We policed up the remain's of our 'uman casualties and the discarded weapons and moved back to a nearby LZ. Our part in that battle was over."

"We was such a bunch of lucky bastards in 'ow it worked out, okay the battalion lost nearly 300 vamps and thats like 40% casualties, though in exchange they reackon we took down twenty thousand warriors with our artillery. But the Division lost 59% of it's personnel down there. Between the whole of the Corp Wolf 5 cost 7000 vampires, 3000 from Nosferatu and 4000 from Dracula, 9500 warrior demons and ten thousand humans and Sethonian's plus alot of lizards. And that was just an outpost, we weren't impressed let me tell you and the rumblings back 'ome got worse. We were supposed to 'ave taken the 'eat of casualties but 'ere things was gettin' worse."

"I didn't give a toss though, I was still unlivin' and so was my bird and my family. The company was linin' up to shake my 'and or kiss my arse over getting 'em through that mostly in one piece. Even more suprisin' was that me an' Val both got medals, they pinned a Distinguished Service Medal on me an' a Citizens Gallantry award second class on Valandra. We took in line with all our fanged and 'orned bretheren whilst some general tried to look like 'e cared as 'e passed out the pretty bits of ribbon with the discs on. Bloody good job I didn't get the Iron cross if you thinks about it."

"Well that was 2505 done, and thats essentially 'ow the next sixty was to pass, bleedin scary battles with shaggin in between them. Some things 'appened though that was intrestin. Allow me to 'ighlight 'em for you."

"First off we got better weapons. They 'ad been working on new guns since the Hive 'ad first come to their attention. Now they dished out a 10 millimeter assault weaponto everyone. You could carry alot less ammo but it packed real wallop, you could down a warrior at a hundred meters with one shot no problem."

"Secondly there was our recruitment situation, even though the Watchers Council via medical progress normally 'ad six Slayers on the go at once. They flatlined and revived the Chosen one as soon as she was picked and so on till they 'ad a group. We only got 800 new vamps for the whole division. This led to us findin' somethin' very intrestin' out."

"Criminals whatever their crimes got sent to the mining worlds. There they'd labour till they died of exhaustion or they completed their sentences and got shipped of to rehabilitation courses. Well now machinery began to arrive on the mining worlds just as the Empire announced it was reintroducing the death penalty for twenty offences, rape, murder, drugs dealing, sedition an' so on. Next thing you know we're rendevousing with a transport full of dirty dustained 'umanity, the dictators at the World Council 'ad been judge an' jury and we was to be the executioners."

"But you was chipped?" Future Spike asked himself the question present Spike was about to put. "We was, but what we found out that day was 'ow they worked. You see so was every 'uman in the military. Our chips sent out a signal and so did their's, it was only if we showed aggression to a person wearin' one that we'd get a brain full of sparks. They'd realized what an instrument of terror we could be in the event of a rebellion on any of the current or future colonies. we was their ace in the hole."

"So a thousand of these poor buggers got herded aboard our ship. Grotty looking blighter's with calloused 'ands and open sores, we was not impressed at all let me tell you an' there wasn't that much enthusiasm amongst us for the work. But we was famished for real blood and so we set too. By the time we'd finished there was bodies all over the deck and we were all in need of plasters for out cut 'ands. Few hours later, after the human scientiest 'ad done their taggin', we 'ad a thousand new recruits to put through basic trainin' an' it was basic let me tell you. Those lads became our talon fodder, pure an' simple."

"Valandra got real intrested in 'er computers after that, she realized that if she could find a way to block the signal the 'umans chips sent out then we was 'ome clear. We could take the ship and bugger off."

"In 2509 the ISS Nosferatu joined us, she was to be the flag of our battle group and our 'eavy support in assaults and boy 'ad they built 'er to last."

"In 2520 whilst we was up to our arses in Hive warriors round Ishgander a rebellion broke out on Sethion led by Auxiliary veterans. Unfortunatly for them the 'umans 'ad a large garrison on the planet and a Marine division within easy striking distance. They was bloodily defeated despite slaughtering large numbers of colonists in the early days of their risein'. The end result 'owever was obvious, tens of thousands of Sethonians dead and tens of thousands more exiled to distant barely survivable worlds from which they would slowly be sent on as replacements became needed by the vampiric divisions of the Demon Corp."

"When Valandra 'eard about all this she took on a very funny mood, mopeing rather and sometimes snappin' at me in Sethonian if I complained. But when she 'eard that we was due to rendevous with a transport full of Sethonian prisoners the next day she begged me to do 'er a really big favour. She begged me to let 'er feed off me so she could make 'erself some really powerful Childer."

"Now Val was over two 'undred and quite capable of the job on 'er own for just one. But she wanted more than that, she wanted to make me a bodyguard of 'er own kind. An if I mixed my blood with 'er's then 'er Childe would be big and strong vamps who could 'ave kicked arse for blighty. I hesitated but since 'er way of beggin' involved being nude on 'er knee's in front of me with my cock down 'er throat it didn't take 'er long to convince me."

"Now I was still only a captain but the rest of the battalion 'ad come to realize that I was the man. So when I told 'em, 'Val gets 'er pick of this bunch,' no one argued. Couple of hours before the transport docked I downed about ten bags of synthetic blood making myself feel ill I drank so much. With an hour to go I turned to Valandra and said to 'er. 'Okay baby do your worse.'"

"I hadn't been fed on by another vampire in centuries, being out of control of the situation like that 'ad never been a turn on. But this was what my girl wanted and I'd suddenly realized just how much I wanted to please 'er. I knew she was a smart one who had some kind of plan to get even with humanity. I mean there she'd been kidnapped from 'er people, sold almost literally to some peice of low life scum at barely fifteen and then spent two years gettin' 'er will absolutly broken before reaching the legal age were 'e could shove her up on stage to dance naked for drunken mob after drunken mob. Thenm when she escaped who should grab 'er but little old me and that was that for 'er mortality."

"Course she wanted revenge on them."

"She fed slow, 'alf draining me. I topped myself up with more synthetic blood and then she took a couple more pints. By the time she'd finished I felt decidedly light 'eaded but turned on as 'ell. We went at it then and there against the synth machine, which caused quite a stir in the dinner queue let me tell you."

"Minions as you know is easy, drain till the heart almost stops and then whack in some blood of yer own an' up he she rises. Childe takes longer, you 'alf drain em' and make em drink, then you drain a little more and make 'em drink again. What that does is let the blood mix in, increasing the amout of demon that goes into them making sure their stronger when they rise."

"Val picked out ten of the Sethonian's when they arrived, six boys and four girls. They'd learned from earlier and was only sending us the younger prettier ones now and makin' sure they was in good condition, clean and well fed. Before she got to work Valandra spoke to them in their own language, explainin' that she was a King's daughter and what she 'ad to do was what 'ad to be done an' they'd be the better for it."

"Then she started, gettin' 'em to undress and then oh so slowly an lovinly turnin' 'em to the night. She stroked and caressed and kissed 'em between bites, takin' 'em to the edge of darkness a little at a time. Most died in orgasm she was that good."

"By the time she was finished Val was barely able to stand poor luv. But I was standing by with enough synthetic blood to get 'er functioning again. Then I swept 'er up in my arms and took 'er off to the showers to 'elp 'er scrub off the dried blood and the cum that was splashed all over bod. We needed to freshen up cause we 'ad a whole lot more to do yet."

"You've turned 'em so now when they raise you 'ave to bond 'em to you. Feed 'em an' fuck 'em is the best way, synthetic blood covered the first but the second was a bit more of a job. She was their Sire, I was there grandsire, so we both 'ad to do the business with all ten of 'em. I tell you I was bloody glad four of them was girls or I'd 'ave been rubbed raw. But we managed to get finished by what we was assuming was daylight and Val and I collapsed into a deep sleep on our bed, 'er new Childer lying at their Sire's feet."

"Next day we was up early. Gettin' the newbies kitted out. By now it was accepted that new minions was just given basic training and used to blunt the warriors attacks, only if you survived your first operation did you get more than basic trainin' given to you. Me and Val though had our new Childer out on the assault course all mornin' and spent the afternoon teaching them to fire the new M-34. We did that every day for a month as we drew near to our next target Orial Major's third planet Orial 3."

"It was there that my unlife changed, we was in it from the start to the finish no withdrawls this time. There was a low insect presence there but they'd learned somehow from past mistakes, keep themselves in scattered groups, laid low in concealed tunnels and waited to bushwack us. One group jumped my company on the last day, as they came charging at us yours truly was a little ahead of 'is troops. So when one of the buggers came up out of the ground right in front of me I was quite literally screwed. If the shock 'adn't of made me fall backwards the slash 'e aimed at me with 'is foreleg would 'ave cut me in half. As it was I got laid open alf way cross the guts and 'ad to drop me gun to 'old me gizzards in."

"I just sat there lookin' up as the insect reared up for a double slash that would 'ave scattered me to the winds. But then I 'eard a growl from behind me and a boom as a M-34 went off and the insect's 'ead was gone and he toppled back away from me. Then Val was standin over me 'er weapon blazin as she took down the warriors before they could get out of their holes. And then I was surrounded by Sethonian's as my new first squad gathered round me shootin' everythin that moved an' 'ad antennas."

"One of them picked me up, then Val bent forward and put her shoulder into me stomach pain or not. She grabbed me round the legs and started carrying me off in a firemans lift even though I was screamin' from the pain and shoutin'. 'Just stake me you bitch for gods sake just stake me.' But she didn't pay me no mind, she was too busy firing her rifle one 'anded and shoutin' orders to the company to form up around me. Then we was under the shelter of our tanks guns and Val was tearin' a spare black battle suit into strips and tying them round me middle to keep the sun off and me intestines in. Fortunatly within an hour of me gettin' wounded we was ordered back to the Putin. Val 'ad kept me goin' with the combat rations we 'ad and 'ere own blood but I was still leakin' when I got back aboard."

"Takin' a look showed I was 'alf gutted, my liver an' kidneys was gone west and so was most of me bowels. I was going to be lucky if my demon would be able to get much strength from blood at all to fix me and the pain was mounting all the time. I begged Val to stake me again, I didn't want to go out slow and agonizing, but she didn't instead she went to the Colonel, our human boss. I don't know what she said to 'im but next thing I'm on a shuttle for the Nosferatu, then I'm naked and in a tank full of green slimy stuff in the ships medical centre watching in 'orror as thousands of tiny robotic creatures swarmed out of a pipe and all over me."

"It was a Strelzan invention, a way to regenerate the flesh around a wound. The critters would come out an' take a shufti at the victim completely analysing 'is DNA within a couple of minutes and then go to work. Stitchin' nerves and flesh, regrowin' missin bits, removin' and replacin' damaged bits. Medical staff switched me machine on, estimated the time required for the job at an hour and went off to 'elp some real people."

"And while there backs was turned about a 'undred thousand more mechanical ants swarmed out and really went to work. Probably cryin out electronically as they did so, 'Jesus Christ whats happened to this poor sod, God but 'e needs our 'elp.'"

"First they fixed me gizzards and guts and put me skin back together to 'old me innards in. Then they removed the hooves that 'ad gradually been forming in place of my feet for the past hundred years and gave me back my plates. Then they smoothed the scales off the skin of my legs and replaced follicales I'd lost. My 'ands got back their 'uman apperance next, then my arms got worked on and then they went to work on my 'ead. Off came my ears and nose and then the skin across the rest of my bonce and boat. Then they rebuilt it all, culminating in the 'andsome 'ead of 'air you see now."

"When the doc's got back they was flabbergasted and 'auled me out toot sweetie to check me pulse. But you see my DNA was mixed in with a demons so the mechanical blighters who 'ad fixed me up 'ad left me undead. That part the Doc's grasped, what made 'em want to keep me for bizarre medical experiments was the fact that they'd left my eyebrow scar. That really made them think, but before the could get to dissecting the Colonel made them give me back."

"Not 'aving access or ability to use mirrors I wondered' what all the staring was about, but I took the shuttle back to the Putin and just thought, "Great news they've fixed me feet and 'ands and done something to me boat race. I 'ope Val's pleased."

"Now Valandra knew I was 'er Sire instinctively cause 'er Demon told 'er so. But she'd been madly in love with a vision from 'ell. Now standing before 'er was a vision of loveliness, male perfection, she went weak at the knees almost fainted so she did. I 'ad to go catch 'er in my newly remade manly arms. She looks at me all smoulderin' and then we started kissin' like mad things with our mitts roamin' up and down if you takes me drift."

"Bit unfortunate that the Colonel and the human officers was stood there waitin' to shake ands with me. But after a couple of minutes they shrugged and thought vampires and left us to it. I eventually broke clear of Val's lovin' arms, picked 'er up and over my shoulder and carried 'er straight off to bed. My dryin' out on the passion for unlife front 'ad gone to you see. I 'ad my demonic sex drive back full blast an' with intrest, it was three days before my princess could walk straight after that night."

"Young love, for a few days the worlds seems to stand still and the stars stay their course, but whilst we was 'aving multiple fun with each other our comrades was actin'. Several very old vampires suffered suspiciously self inflicted accidents all over the ship. This resulted in alot of shuttle trips back and too as the old ones got rejuvenated and got back to 'avin' their full will again. And there's nothin' more evil than an old one with 'is full willpower as we very well know."

"So one mornin' not long after that what does I find at me door but a deputation. Six old vamps not one a day under five hundred all lookin' to me as the oldest and most famous vampire in the battalion for leadership. "What are we to do Spike, if we 'as to keep on fightin' for these 'umans sooner or later we all die. What are you going to do about this."

"I said I'd think about it because that was all I could say at the time. Val was working on 'er solution to the crisis but lack of materials was 'er issue. She stripped any computers she found lying around in wrecks we came across but that didn't get us far. And she still didn't 'ave the wavelengths of the human chips or know how they changed if the human was attacked."

"What we needed was a human prepared to let us experiment on him or her and that wasn't exactly an easy job to fill."

"In 2539 the humans did something really dim. They stuck a computer enhanced video capture of Val and yours truly on the front of Citizens Daily, the military newspaper. A Marine battalion 'ad got itself surrounded by the new improved warriors (they got bigger and faster and took to carrying small laser weapons). My by now nearly all Sethonian company had snuck up on the warriors what was gradually tightening the ring on them and cut them an escape route saving the lives of four hundred of them. This got me promoted too Major and Val a Captaincy and we were both awarded the Citizen Gallantry medal first class, a big award with a stupid name. It was dished out to anyone whose actions saved the lives of fellow Citizens, but it was supposed to only go to those people who enjoyed citizenship of earth. And that was the rub cause the mass of humanity was pissed off already and this decision did nothing but add to that."

"The Demon Corp had a certain degree of restrained popularity because we was taking all the deeply dangerous missions so saving alot of mortals lives. But we was still regarded with a great deal of fear and nobody truly believed that the chips worked. They added to that was the fact that nobody likes being lied too. Our apperance in such big numbers under the heading 'Yes Vampires do exist,' had shown the whole world thatr it 'ad been lied too for centuries by governments, the dictatorship claimin' that we was volunteers really wasn't believed by anyone at all."

"Then there was the disapperance of large numbers of criminals, men and women who got sentenced to x number of years but didn't come back when their sentence was done. Nobody really missed them except their families but all the same some voices was raised. Some people speculated openly that that was 'ow the heavy losses we was taking was being replaced."

"And the war wasn't so popular anymore either. Over twenty five million humans had died and fifteen million been wounded by now. Not much out of twenty one billion souls on six home worlds by now it's true, but the dead and the crippled was all somebodys flesh an' blood, an' there was no end to the war in sight."

"As things stood we'd pushed the Hive out of the systems they'd taken from the Confederation and cleansed another thirty systems that they counted as their Empire before the war began. That should 'ave done for 'em but for the fact that they'd expanded like crazy away from us. They'd added fifty new planets in the time it took us to win thirty. And despite all them battles not a diplomatic word 'ad been exchanged, it was still kill or be killed, do or die, either one or the other species was doomed to extinction."

"So publicly treatin' us like we was equal to 'umans was a dangerous focuser of unrest. The fact that Val and I was photographed in our combat pants and vests for the center of the Sunday Suppliment made matters worst. She looked drop dead gorgeous whilst me with me new boat 'ad the girls droolin, lets just say that we didn't lack for fan mail.."

"Citizenship for the humans was supposed to be a good, they got extra rights and privileges for servin', but this war meant that the cost to those who went forward became higher and higher. Starfleet wasn't bad but in the army or marines they stood a 25% chance of dying and a 20% chance of coming back missing bits, like arms or legs. And if you wanted to get anywhere later on in life Citizenship was essential, so most college graduates went for it. But what was the point of all that if educastion if all it got you was a body bag. People actually started doin' the previously unthinkable, they started protesting on campus. And the police started taking names, and started looking for reasons to arrest people. Sedition after all carried the death penalty."

"We went on fighting, in 2560 we was only saved from an ambush by 2000 Hive warriors by a close range neutron bomb strike. I got me hopes up that the radiation might scramble our chips but there was no joy. We needed some human pissed off enough to let us experiment on 'is bonce. But we was 'avin' no luck with that."

"Then a year later fate gave us a hand, a freighter/passenger ship heading for a newly opened seventh Colony planet New Mecca got hit by a meteorite shower as it was passing through a more or less uncharted system. The passengers and crew were in stasis and the captain's pod was one of the ones shattered. That left the female first Lieutenant Carolyn Fry in charge, somehow she managed to crashland the ship onto a desolate piece of nearby floatin desert mascarading as a planet known now as Fry."

"They named it after her see, and what a fitting name it was. Fry is located in a solar system that proves the Gods like a joke. It has three suns at equal distances apart from each other. One big bugger of a planet that 'as rings of asteroids around it an' a smaller one that sits in perpetural daylight. It's a dusty bugger of a world with nothing living on it's surface. And the eleven survivors didn't like the look of it one bit."

"What they liked even less was what was under the surface, predatory beasties of a non specific origin. Animal, nonsentinent, but bleedin' lethal. Also suffering from definate light allergies. So not a problem you'd think. Except for the fact that the bloody big planet with the ring eclipses the smaller planet every sixty years and that eclipse goes on for about two years. And the poor sods ad' crashed two earth days short of when this eclipse was due."

"They got lucky in findin' a shuttle on the surface from a prior crash, the owners 'ad become alien fodder sixty-two years before. But before they could get it fueled and off the ground their numbers 'ad been chewed down to just three. A Chrislam Iman, christianity and Islam got mixed in some countries, a young girl, and a mass murderer called Riddick. A man who'ed offed about thirty people including six policemen on Terra2 and 'ad been sentenced to life at the bottom of the deepest pit on the worse mining colony in the galaxy. He was so bad that they wasn't going to give 'im any kind of easy out. A decision they regreted when 'e escaped, but now some bounty 'unter 'ad caught 'im and was taking 'im back to civilisation on the ship that crashed."

"So when the shuttle gets rescued that's it case closed, no buggers going to be dim enough to go back there are they. Stick up a big sign saying, 'Don't crash 'ere,' and go on with life."

"At least they would 'ave done that if it wasn't for the fact that the planet contained deposits of evaporitorum, a metal that 'ad been found to be the best thing out for linin' the exhaust pipes of starships. And as a shortage was developing of it the dust bowl became prime real estate. We 'ad a situation where a planet is in pitch darkness and an alien race needs exterminating on it. Who you gonna call if not the vampires of the Demon Corp."

"It was to be a small mission. The 3rd Regiment was deemed able to do it alone. As the ISS Nosferatu 'ad just obtained a new captain and an upgraded with the latest weapons packages she was to come along for the ride as a test run, two attatched fleet auxiliaries completeing the flotilla."

"We set off on the journey on December 18th 2561 on the 23rd we met up with a destroyer that 'anded us an early Christmas guest. Riddick who 'ad been sidetracked on 'is journey to the deep dark pit to give us 'is eyewitness testimony. The flag captain took one look at the blokes record an' sent 'im over to be quartered with us. but first of all they tagged 'im so nobody could take a bite."

"Val looked at 'im walking round amongst us like 'e was a birthday, Valentines, Hanukka and Christmas present all rolled into one. I could almost see the drool on 'er chin and as the bloke was handsome considered riskin' shootin' 'im. Bloody good job I didn't let me tell you."

"Christmas day traditionally the Colonel of the Regiment assembled all 'is vampiric officers and 'ad a drink with 'em. This involved 'im tryin not to go to green whilst watchin' us drink warmed synth out of wine glasses. Val 'ad told me she 'ad an headache so I 'ad to go to this boring pointless gatherin' alone. An' when I got back to me room what did I find but me bird in bed with Riddick."

"Now obviously as a vampire with alot of childer of her own Val has the right to shag who she likes so long as she keeps it in the family an' doesn't mind if I join in. But shaggin' passin' unturned 'umans, that wasn't on, chip or not I was over there like a flash ready to give the bugger a punch up the bracket."

"'What the bleedin' 'ell is going on 'ere then!' I shouted as I pulled Val back off of him. 'Can't a bloke go out without comin' 'ome to find 'is bird's up to.....' I stopped there because I noticed that my aforementioned bird 'ad wires leading from electrodes attatched to 'er forehead and so did Riddick, and the wires ran to two of the Sethonian's who was sat infront of a computer monitor. Also in the dim light I saw that the 'uman 'ad score marks from fangs either side of 'is neck. 'Bloody 'ell Valandre what 'ave you been doin'.'"

"' Trying to get the wavelength the human's chips operate on you duffus.' She answered looking back at me, she'd got tears of blood running down her cheeks. 'But it hurts real bad Spike, I got two readings but we need a third to know we got it right.'"

"'Ok, that I see.' I answered but I still snarled on. 'But why are you in bed with 'im and furthermore what's in it for 'im......Other than you?'"

"She says. 'If some human walks in and see's us they'll get embarrased at the thought of interrupting someone doing the beast with two backs. An he gets turned for his trouble just as soon as we get our bite back. But now I gotta bite him again lover so do you want to hold my hand while I do it.'"

"'No kitten you wait a minute.' I replied and looked at the bloke, he always had these stupid little black goggles on, none of us knew why. So before he could do anything to stop me I whipped the buggers up so I could look 'im in the eye. Gawd was that weird, 'is eyes was all black, no iris at all, and if you looked deep enough into 'em yopu could see a flash of silver. They was some kind of weird implant. 'Jesus Christ mate what 'appened to you.'"

"'Science, they planned on stickin' me down in the deepest darkest place they could find. So they took my eye's an' altered them, gave me them back like this fixed so I could see in the dark. Then I crash on a world with three frickin' suns which gotta be some big joke on me. Well now I'm put in here with you guys and I says to myself that if they want's me in the darkness then why don't I just go for it and your lady here offers me a chance, and I decides to help you.'"

"All very plausible I thought, so I nodded and Val moved in to score 'im with 'er fangs again till I stopped 'er with a hand on 'er shoulder. She looked at me asking why but I just peeled the tapes of 'er forehead and stuck the electrodes to my head. 'We have to make sure that all these chips work the same luv, so this ones on me.'" I balled up my fist and looked into those black pits of eyes. 'This is what your going to get if you ever bed down with my girl without askin' permission againt.' And then I let 'im 'ave it right on the jaw."

"Fuck but it 'urt. It felt like it was three or four times worse that the pain I used to get. I was driven straight down to me knees for a second or two. I 'ad to struggle real 'ard not to throw up everythin' down to me boots. The room was fairly spinnin' when I stood back up and looked across at the Sethonian's behind the computer screens and asked. 'Well?'"

"'Perfect match, we have a winner.' They were already running the programme to configure a blocking device.

"'Jobs a good un then.' I leaned across and gave my girl a long hard snog. 'So my clever darlin' what next?'"

" She grinned all her pain forgotten. 'I stock up enough microchips to make about twenty jamming devices. I figure we use those to get our asse's as far as the replicator room. Once we're in there all we got to do is pop a disc with the design specs into the right slot an' there clever little robotised production line will churn us out a couple of hundred within five or six minutes. Then we take the bridge, engineering and the armoury and sail this crate off into the far blue yonder.'"

"'Good plan kitten but not good enough.' I answered 'er. 'We wouldn't get a hundred miles before the Nosferatu ran us down and blew the lot of us to kingdom come. No luv if we're to do this we're goin' to 'ave to con our way aboard the super dreadnought currently cruisin' off our port bow an' take it. Once we got that then we can go anywhere in the unknown universe in a 'Battlestar Galatica' stylie.'"

"'Huh,' the heathen sods all replied. 'Old 20th Century movie and telly show, relaunched in the 21st. It's on Nostalgia if your intrested. About the last free humans running from their enemies in a fleet which included the last battlestar. The Nosferatu being the first Super Dreadnough to be refitted to the new standard we're going to 'ave the most powerful warship in the known universe at our command, hence the connection.'"

"Riddick 'ad just laid there listening to this but now 'e spoke up. 'I see why your the bossman Spike, you got yourself a plan there. But what about me, when do I collect?'"

"'After we take the Nosferatu you'll get turned. But not by me or Val, I'll get one of the other company commanders to make you 'is Childe, cause you ain't goin' to be in my family.' He didn't look to bothered by that. 'But they got a few security functions on the exits from our level of the ship that you needs to be a human or escorted by one to get through. We're going to need you with us to get past those.'"

"Well after that we got busy, Val an' er lads and lasses got an assembly line underway to slowly and carefully piece together 20 signal jammers disguised as tunic badges. Whilst I worked long and 'ard to persuade the other company commanders, the other old ones, that we'd be best waitin' till after the attack on Fry before we launched our mutiny. Tellin' 'em that the 'umans would be less alert straight after a hands down victory."

"You see I'd realized that however powerful these new aliens might be physicaly we 'ad all the mental advantages. I'd cooked up a fair few schemes with Riddick's 'elp and flogged em to the colonel. When we got to Fry the poor buggers didn't know what 'ad it 'em."

"First off there was my fitting of half a dozen landing ships with powerful searchlights. Unlike us these Aliens was allergic to all light so we had these ships make fast passes over the surface fryin' em by the 'undred. That was too slow though as they saw it coming an scarpered. So I refined it, or rather the made the Colonel I was brown noseing think he had. I knew they was also drawn by the scent of blood so we'd put a bloody great big bag of syth into one of the landin' craft and stick it into the middle of a circle of 'is mates equipped with searchlights. Crew would kick that bugger out and wait for the splat. Infra red would then pick up thousands of aliens swarmin' in drawn by the scent looking for their tea. We then turn the searchlights on full beam to circle 'em with a wall of death whilst the ship in the middle started droppin that old favourite the paracute flare. You could smell aliens burning a thousand feet up by the time that was finished."

"All very clever you'll agree but in the end we still 'ad to go down there to hunt for them. But I made sure we was well equipped for the job. Everyone wore lights, everyone carried flares which we kept popping off at random, and the tanks mortars was also busy lighting up the landscape. This pretty rapidly made the creatures think that the eclipse 'ad finished early and drove them back underground. Well we 'ad a solution for that too."

"First day in action we'd dropped a cage full of red meat onto the surface. Seconds after it 'ad filled with a dozen of the buggers we just fired a trigger on the cage to close it and drew it up by tractor beam. Next stop was the Dreadnoughts science lab where they shoved each one into 'is own airtight cell and unleashed a toxic agent non lethal to 'umans. Then they sat back to see which one did the critter most damage. Good old CS gas was the winner and we went down to the surface with a bundle of the stuff."

"We took along ten dozen little robots with us, little tracked buggers that could go down holes. On their backs was a rack for upwards of forty CS gas grenades. They'd drive down into the underground caves where the aliens still lived in their thousands and set their grenades off one after another as they made their way through them. The gas rose up and started to tear at the lungs of the aliens who'd hop it back out into the night as a result. Back into the searchlights of the hovering landing ships or the tank's high beamed headlights that was waiting for them above."

"Within two weeks the planet was declared 99% cleared and we'd only lost two vampires. The Colonel was chuffed as anythin' and I was told I was due a bar to me Distinguished Service Medal. I said 'Tar very much' and saluted though behind my shit eatin' grin was the thought that. 'Your for the chop cully, you've got about six hours to live.'"

"Back to the marital boudoir I go, there Val is with all the Sethonians gathered round 'er. On the wall was a plan of the Putin, on the floor ready to replace it was a plan of the Nosferatu. They'd turned us into soldiers and sent us out to kill well now those chickens was about to come home to roost."

"We went over the plan, they memorized the plan. Then we set off to make the plan work. But before we left the room I handed Riddick a combat knife. 'So you with us?' He looked at me with those black eyes of his. 'You my main chance Spike, long as thats the case I'm your man.'"

"So we went off an we did it."

"First of all we 'eaded for the PX. That was on the main floor and manned by a human, we was allowed wages provided we spent 'em in the government store and only on stuff that was from their approved list. The bloke in there was a right sleaze, he'd overcharge the blokes for any unapproved stuff they wanted. And wasn't opposed to gettin' the vampresses to go down on him for the stuff they was after. Val hated 'im and cause she was the clever girl what 'ad designed and built the badges she was the one who got to make the first kill. Oh and was she vicious about it."

"'Hey Charlie did my lingerie get made yet, I wanna get my hot little ass in it and give the man a treat?' You could order a garment and the replicators would run it up. Val 'ad ordered a black basque with susies and stockings, you'll be glad to know somethings never go out of fashion, she'd done that cause she knew exactly how long it would take to make and cause it would get the little bastard going. 'I got your money right here."'

"She placed a dozen of the plastic notes they use for money on the counter. Kept 'er 'and over 'em though knowin' that he'd put 'is greasy mitt on top of 'ers and almost 'earin' the words. 'What about what else you owe me?'"

"She pouted real prettily. 'You said that I would'nt have to do that that's why I'm paying you twice the going rate.'"

"Rate just went up.' He answered leerin' at 'er.

"She shrugged much as you'd expect from a souless vampire with no morals. 'Okay but I get a discount asshole, you only get half the money. Open the door up and we'll do it with you standing with your back to the counter.'"

"Soon as 'e 'ad 'is back turned I started tip toeing across thinking that Val was just going to sink 'er fangs into 'im and drink. Instead of that I watched 'er disappear down behind the counter whilst the dirty 'uman scrotbag made preparations of a clothing opening nature. I speeded up getting behind him just as 'is initial moans turned to an open mouthed scream of agony. My 'and blocked out the sounds as he bucked and kicked against my girl who was busy killing him. When 'e went limp I let 'im drop even as Val rose 'er face covered with his blood. 'Well that was fun."'

"I looked over the counter and at what was lying on the metal floor beside the body. Trying not to be sick for a second or two I couldn't 'elp but exclaimed. 'You vicious bitch you bit 'is cock off!'"

"Sure did, teach him not to stick his nasty piss tasteing bits in innocent girls mouths." she just grinned back despite the insult. "And at least I didn't swallow. Want to lick his blood off my face?'"

"I couldn't stay mad at 'er so I had a good 'ard lick. Then sure that the jammers worked we set off for the doors that connected us to the human parts of the ship."

"Security there wasn't too complicated there was three guards. All of whom knew we was chipped and so sat on their arses watching telly all day. They was so familiar with us and so confident in their technology that they wouldn't say more than 'Hullo,' if we walked in and joined them watching a sportscast. Which is what three of us did now, sitting down amongst them then bite their throats out."

"The door was more complicated and the only way through was to 'ave a human escort. If the heat detectors overhead scanned an unescorted vamp it was a holywater shower for the poor bugger standing below. Add to that there was a hand print scanner there too. I turned to Riddick and says to 'im. 'Alright mate you know what you 'as to do.'"

"He didn't hesitate, drawin' the blade I'd given 'im he neatly spliced the right hand and forearm of one of our three victims from the guardroom and set off for the doors with it. Val and me exchanged a look and then with one of me Sethonians in tow we stripped the three bodies of their pistols and followed. Together with the human three of us would look like a work group off to do some crappy cleaning job that the humans couldn't be bothered with."

"Casual as you like Riddick slaps the severed 'and onto the display and presses it down. The door frame computer takes a reading of the finger print and wide open slides the door, we walks through and into the open corridor beyond. Quick as a flash Val is down on 'er knees using an electronic screwdriver to take the panel of the back of the door security system. She was expecting to do the which wire too cut bit, but as it turned out there was a big red off button. So that was that sorted. Then she went and unscrewed a panel in the wall leading into one of the air conditioning ducts."

"Now we 'ad been carefully studyin' the plan's for the Putin for weeks gettin' to know 'er every nook and cranny. We'd spotted straight off that above her broad gangways and passages and cabin spaces and holds there was another cramped little world. Ductways for air supplies, maintenace galleries, inspection walkways and pipes through which the waste tanks would be flushed every few weeks. You could get anywhere in the ship without a human settin' eyes on you. That was what we intended to do now."

"After an exchange of frankly nervous looks me an Val squeezed outselves into the pipe and started climbing up it useing our hands and knees, Riddick and two Sethonians with badges was right behind up. Last up was a vampire without a badge, our proving ground for what we was about to produce."

"We went up from level D where we poor bloody undead infantry was kept to level B were most of the utilities was situated. Val who was above me, and most distractin' when I looked up let me tell you, braced 'erself with her knees and ass against the narrow pipe and ran a minature periscope out through the grill on the panel for that corridor. "All clear."'

"Next thing you know we 'ad the panel unscrewed and was draggin' ourselves out of another hatch and into a long white corridor. 'Replication is three doors down.' Val whispered as the troops sorted themselves out. "I don't know how many guys there are in there but we need to take it if this is going to work.'"

"'All that automation there can't be many and they'll be poofs in white coats.' From my experience at the initiative and after I'd realized that the white coated brigade are usually right nancies. 'We go in 'ard but remember we need one alive to test the new badges.'"

"With that we headed for the door. It had a simple enter button next to it, there was no lock or key pad. We was near the center of the ship and if enemies got this far it would be too late anyway. The door opened and we boldly walked in to see six humans in white clothing and face masks sat in front of the various computer screens.

"Afternoon gents." I said as I stiff armed the one nearest the door. "Mind if we use your nice replicators?"

"They minded alright but the screams didn't last long. My tagged Sethonian's turned the three youngest and prettiest so we'd 'ave someone to run the gaffe after we 'ad the ship in our possession, we just drained the other two. I slapped the bloke I'd knocked out awake and 'eld 'im while I waited for Val to do 'er thing."

"First thing Valandra did was stick a mini disk into one of the computers. Whirring noises started and the design for the jammin' device appeared on the console. Then lights started flashin' all over the display. Then me bird runs over to the other side of the room and fires up another computer, keys 'erself up some kind of index and selects what she wants, tags that and then moves to the next screen and tags something else."

"First badge dropped out of the slot on Val's first computer just as the gears started to shift on the other two she'd programmed. I went over and picked it out and tossed it to the Sethion who'd come up to be our testing ground, three seconds later the remaining white coat was dead on the ground and we knew we had a winner. The new signal jammers started dropping out of the slots evey few seconds we started gathering them up and putting em into bags.".

"Then there was a solid clunk as something heavy dropped into the hatch under the second computer Valandra had worked on. With a wink to me she went over to it and hauled out a taser rifle. 'Look what I made for Daddy.' she said as she threw it across the room to be caught by me. 'Now we can give those bastards back what they gave us.'"

"Pretty soon we 'ad a bagful of about 100 badges and a couple of taser rifles each. Time to put plan B into action. Riddick and I went out into the corridor and unhooked the panel we'd loosely pinned back up. Then I tossed the bag down the pipe. It would land in a net set out below. From there distribution was rapid and we 'ad sixty of the lads 'eadin' for the engine room at speed. Meanwhile another twenty started climbin' up to join me."

"I turned to Riddick and was about to say. 'Right mate 'we're on our way,' when suddenly a door opens down the corridor and a security guard steps through it. He went for 'is pistol sharpish and 'e would 'ave got me before I could 'ave got me taser up if Riddick 'adn't 'ave tossed 'is knife overarm straight into the blokes chest."

"I gave 'im a look an' 'e just smirked in reply silently we picked the bloke up and carried 'im back into the replicator room and dropped 'im down with the other bodies. 'You 'av is gun.' I said to the still 'uman mass killer. He just shakes 'is 'ead and rips the knife out of the wound. "This skiv will do me just fine till I get teeth."

"A couple of minutes later twenty more vamps 'ad clambered up to join us and I 'ad another bag of badges down the shoot to the lads at the bottom, now we moved onto stage two."

"My team was off to the front of the ship to the bridge. Once there we was to take out all the bridge crew destroyin' the command structure of the ship and makin' sure that communications to the other vesels in the flotilla were in our 'ands. Down below us team three was already crawlin' down the 'opefully dry sewage outflow pipe that would bring them out just to the west of the armoury. Grab that and the humans aboard would 'ave no weapons but a few sidearms. Team two meanwhile was 'eadin' along the main maintenance inspection tunnel that ran along the bottom of the hull interior towards the engine room. Grab that and we could if necessary try to take the ship away from the flotilla."

"We 'ad our route already planned out to. All the loose furniture in the room was rapidly piled up so that we 'ad a pyramid goin' up to the false ceilin' in the replicator room. Valandra climbed up it fast as you like and 'ad the panelling loose in no time, then she swings herself up as graceful as anythin' and get's into the ventilation duct that we've just opened up. I threw the rope ladder we'd just replicated up to her and she fixed it to a pipe up there an' we was away."

"Ten minutes of swearin' jostlin' an clatterin' later and we was under the floor of the khazie's just behind the Putin's bridge. A quick shuftie with the perescope showed they was empty at the moment but within' a minute we 'ad 'em packed with vampires."

"'Set tazers to stun.' I managed to somehow say past an urgent need to laugh me 'ead off. Joke was spoiled though by the dim looks on the surroundin' vamp faces."

"'Spike tazers can't be set them to anything but stun,' Val explained patiently whilst I inwardly swore they were going to spend the next ten years watchin' telly till they understood. I give 'er a look but said. 'Anyway never mind that shall we go take the ship now?'"

"So we bloody did, went in there like the furies zappin' an' bootin', punchin' out lights and rippin' throats. But carefully we shot out only a few circuits and we made sure that all of the officers was in a turnable state. Then we got to work."

"First Val shut down all the emergency doors in the 'uman soldiers livin' quarters. Then she got on the blower to engineerin' an' the armoury and confirmed that we'd been just as succesful there. A quick ring round our other smaller gangs reported more success, we'ad the shuttle bay in our control an' there was two shuttle pilots already 'eadin' towards risein'. While she did that I was doin' important supervisin' work. Sittin' in the captains chair swingin' it round and round in circles grinnin' like a madman cause I'd ALWAYS wanted to do that!"

"Anyway once I got back from Planet Kirk we got ourselves properly organised. I sent a message to the lads in the armoury to look out some nice none lethal non explosive gas to release in the parts of the ship we didn't own. Then I got 'em to dishin' out the weapons. Everyone was badged by now you see and the 'hole regiment was rarerin' to go."

"And now we just 'ad to wait, I knew you see that straight after a mission ended the Flag officer aboard the Nosferatu would get on the long range signaller back to blighty and ask is guvner, 'What's next?' Then he'd ring round the flotilla and all the Captains and there XO's would nip over for a chinwag. And that was what I was waitin' for, a chance to pack a shuttle with every vampire it would 'old an' sail invited into the docking bay of the Nosferatu. A chance to take that big old bastard of a ship."

"An hour later, wearin' a nice new black fleets officers uniform run off the Replicator by 'erself, who looked so the dish in black an' silver that we'd 'ad to take 'alf an 'our off to do it over a console, I was supervisin' 1st battalion as the hauled just comin' too soldiery out of the gassed 'uman barrack area and devided them up into folk as we needed to turn and folk we could just kill at our post victory party. I figured that with all we'd gone through humanity at least owed us a send off."

"But then the klaxton on the wall started up and Casterian the vamp I'd left in charge of comms came through loud and clear. 'Signal from the Nosferatu sir, meeting is to occur in two hours at 0-fifteen hundred."

"How many vampires can you fit in a shuttle, well in the captains gig, 'is runabout, it was just twenty so we'd already signalled across that that ship was malfunctioning and we'd 'ave to come across in one of the transport shuttles. Stripped of it's tank and with a steady 'and at the controls one of those could carry 500 men easy."

"An so we started gettin' ready to go." Spike looked across at the clock on the wall in Spike's room, it was after eleven. "Are we talkin' AM or PM on the time up there?"

"PM." This time's Spike had just been sat there listening and letting it all blend in. "Sun will 'ave set by now."

"Good." Future Spike stood up and stretched cramped legs. "Lend us a coat mate and we'll nip out for a bite to drink an' a few fags. I'm parched an' me nicotine rush is wearin' thin. Only bloody problem with leavin' humanity behind, no tobacco, the buggers 'ad rigged the replicators so they couldn't make it to stop tax dodgin'."

Spike stood up and found that the world had stopped spinning dangerously and that his headache had gone away too. Going over to the clothes rail that held his limited wardrobe he picked out the black leather trenchcoat he'd taken in this city so many years before. "This should make you look less of a wally mate."

"I do not look like a wally, I look's like a military genius." Spike insisted as he put the coat on. "Anyway lets go find ourselves some tramps eh, I could do with a quick nip tonight."

**********************************************************************************************************

"Bit bleedin' warm out 'ere isn't it." Spike of the future complained as they walked along South Street Manhattan and looked out at the river. "I'm certain it shouldn't be this 'ot at night even in the summer?"

"'Umans." His twin responded simply. "All with their airconditioners on full blast pumpin' the 'ot air out of their gaffes. It adds three degrees or so to the citys temperature in summer and drops it by three in the winter when they churns out cold air. It all 'elps to add to the energy wasteage."

"Oh well thats the Yanks for ya, 25% of the worlds pollution and growin'. back 'ome it gets too hot we open a window, it gets too cold we close the window and turn the 'eat on, when it's got hot we turned the 'eat down. Still never mind eh."

As they walked along trying to not look too conspicous Spike resumed his tale. "So we gathered down in the armoury and I got the boys and girls equipped. We took shooters with us obviously, there was 2000 crew on the Nosferatu afterall, but also tasers and gas grenades. There was alot of bits of that ship that we needed intact to live comfortably. I didn't want bullets in the engines or the lovely machines they used in the medical centre, any more than I wanted the flight controls blowin' away. We needed to be able to fly that thing as soon as poss."

"So Valandra and me gets the big plan up on the wall of the briefin' room. Stands there with our laser pointers going ninety to the dozen. Tellin' each company what they as to do. And for once they really listened, they knew this was there only one way out, that if we wanted to live free of 'umanity that the Super Dreadnought was our only 'ope."

"I was sweatin cobbs when we went onto the shuttle let me tell you. I hadn't been so scared in years. Scared that it was all goin' to go wrong, scared that all of my Childer were going to die. Family 'ad gotten to be special for me, I didn't want' to lose em."

"The Nosferatu's docking bay was crowded. By the port where we was going to land there was two lines of marines waitin' as an honour guard an' also ships officers and suchlike waitin to pipe the Putin's captain aboard. An everywhere else there was humans scurryin'. Mechanics working on fighter and drone engines, maintenance crews cleanin' and detailin', armourers moving unused bombs and munitions back to storage, pilots standing round chattin' and waitin' to take ships out on CAP or for test flights and just people standin' round waitin' for somebody to tell 'em what to do."

"All that bustle and it all came to such a very unpeaceful end."

"When the hatch dropped some youngish lookin' ensign, cute girl I've 'ad some good times with since, started up with the whistle only got the first note out before the air turned blue as we let 'em have it and good."

"Fifty of us crammed into that hatchway to deliver that first volley. It swept the deck clean, tazer fire can be devastatin' at close range an' some of those marines an officers stood up close literally flew back when it hit them."

"And once again we poured out across a space full of 'umans, punchin', bitin', kickin' and clubbin with our rifle butts. All raceing for the same thing, get to the exits before they could block 'em. Get out into the main area's of the hull an' take the whole ship section by section. An' we managed it too we went through in such a seethin' mass of humans an vamps all fightin' togeather that they couldn't block the doors in time."

"They 'ad big problems those humans, wood was as you can imagine a rareity on a starship an' with religion bein' alot rarer among the populace of Twenty-Five 'undred crucifixes was thin on the decks too. There was alot of gunfire by the time we'd finished though, we 'ad to kill a good three undred of 'er crew and badly wound a whole lot more before we was done. And sixty of our boys an' girls was dusted before the bridge fell"

"But before an hour 'ad passed I was sat in the biggest most comfortable chair I'd ever plonked my arse on, or at least that was 'ow it felt sat there on that big chair in the center of the bridge facing this huge great monitor that showed us the outside world. Around me the boys an girls bustled gettin' the systems up on line. Our auxiliary ships was you see already off an runnin' even though there Captains was down in the 'oldin' pens I'd set up downstairs. The remainin' officers wasn't 'angin' about to chat to Mr Vampire."

"Of course we outran 'em easy and a shot across the bows was all it took to get 'em to surrender, that an' me promisin' that they'd all get turned if they gave in but if they didn't they was all dead dogs. An' with that we turned the whole flotilla round and I set us all off at full whack for the outer reaches."

By now the two Spike's were both smoking having found a late opening store. Also they were both a good deal less pale, future Spike having fed on a couple of tramps whilst present Spike had puzzled his future self with a stop off at a late opening abbotoir . Current Spike looked thoughtfully up at the moon and asked. "So then what?"

"Alot of varied stuff. We spent six years in hyper drive livin' on syth and the products of a breedin program from six 'undred 'umans we kept. Don't look at me like that they was usin' us as cannon fodder for decades mate. When we came out we was deep into the terra incognito where no human ship 'ad been before. And thats where we've stayed ever since gradually working deeper and deeper into the galaxy explorin' new worlds ect ect."

"We've met people's we could eat and peoples whose blood was like acid. We've turned green skinned and blue skinned humanoids, we've fought as mercenaries in bloody wars and sometimes championed the weak out of plain old charity. We've 'unted and been 'unted but we ain't never yet met an enemy with a ship as big an' as bad as ours. I got myself a flotilla of fifteen now, some pirates who threw in with us and some prizes of war. There's four thousand vamps and eight thousand humans an aliens whio follow my orders, we don't kill any of them by the way unless it's as a reward an followed by turnin'."

"Valandra is still my queen. She and me both went back into the tank in the med centre a decade or so ago and came out all pretty. She's really come over all aristo the proud beauty. Likes nothin' better than meetin' Royalty where ever we comes across it."

The vampires descended the steps back to Spike's basement. "But seriously mate it's absolute bliss and more than makes up for all that 'eart-ache of the past thirty years an' the next two hundred an' odd."

"So just like that huh....." Spike began as he unlocked his door but as he opened it he fell silent very much aware that the room wasn't empty. "Ok who the bleedin' 'ell is in there?"

"Me of course you bloody duffus!" An irrate strange female voice replied in a broad New York accent. "What the freakin' hell is going on here Spike, I go too your quarters to look for you and there's a big blue circle spinning on your floor and no sign of you. I jump through it to rescue you and get stuck in this dark smelly hole of a place. What the hell gives?"

"Valandra?" Future Spike groped for a light switch. "Why Kitten you followed me. I'm real moved."

"I'd follow ya into hell baby." The Sethonian sniffed disapprovingly. "But did it have to smell this funky, smells like one of those damned sewers we used to have to crash in. Where the hell are we Spike?"

"It didn't smell that bad till the man in black 'ere smoked all my fags." Present Spike was trying hard to keep his temper. "An' you try keepin' a room with no windows ventilated. It's not my fault it's a bit iffie in 'ere."

"Huh?"

"Now now mate no need to be like that Val does 'ave a point." Still looking for the light switch future Spike's voice rose a little. "An will you please turn me the bleedin' light on as this is your gaffe!"

"Spike!" Valandra looked round in the pitch blackness. She couldn't even see shadows despite the eyesight advantages that being a vampress gave her. "Why are you talking back at yourself like that. Have you gone crazy on me?"

"No luv I've not but somethin' very strange 'as 'appened." The lights went on and Spike smiled at his main squeeze of nearly eight hundred years standing. "We've fallen through a wormhole in the Space time continuom and gone back to 2027, earth standard, and to the gaffe of yours truly back then. Princess Valandra of Guerza meet past Spike."

"Holy shit!" The Sethonian's princesses eyes went wide as she looked first at the long haired Spike and then at the cropped one. "Sweet freakin' mothers of gods there's two of you!"

"You noticed that." Spike of the present leaned against the wall of his smelly crib and let his eyes wander. *Bloody hell I am doin' well for meself."

Valandra was tall standing at around five ten, her figure looked voluptous under the black dress uniform she wore. Her hair, blond with a hint of green highlight ,was cut short and brushed up. Facially she looked stunning, like some supermodel of the present day, and the look she was starting to throw him suggested that things might be about to get very intresting indeed.

"I like your hair short Spike." Valandra sounded a little breathless for a second but with an unnecessary deep breath went on as she walked across the floor towards him. "You got a cool Billy Idol thing goin' on."

"You know about Billy?"

"What livin' with Mr Never Has The Current Pop Chart on Ever. I've been a punk rock chick all my unlife." A tentative hand reached across and ran lightly through short cropped blond hair. "But of course I never got to see this, you was Mr Fangfantastic when I met you, hardly a hair left on your head an' you've been Mr long and flowin' ever since you got fixed."

She moved a little closer her body brushing against his. "So what's going on boys, why are we here?"

"I didn't tell you bout this cause I thought you might think I was a loonie." Future Spike explained from behind them. "But not long after Buffy died I got visited by the ghost of Christmas future who laid out for me what was to come. I was intendin' to top myself you see and 'ad to talk me out of it. I don't recall you bein' there though I got to say."

"Oh poor past Spike." Leaning down just a little from her slight height advantage Valandra kissed him on the cheek and whispered into his right ear. "There's so many reasons why you shouldn't do that Spike, why you should unlive. But I have to be selfish and say that you mostly have to do it for me, you have to be there in that sewer all those years from now, you have to be there to save me Spike!"

"I was fourteen when they landed, I was being taught to embroider and to worship the gods properly so that I'd make a good wife for a neighbouring Prince, and I thought that that was the coolest as most where handsome dashing young men. But then the human barbarians came with their guns and their aircraft, my fathers army rode out to fight them and was cut down like standing summer corn. My brothers, the two that lived anyway, and I took as many of our people as we could into the mountains and from there we fought as hard as we could. Hands that had been supposed to thrust nothing sharper than a needle aimed crossbows and welded a blade for six months until they captured us all by useing a sleeping gas on a cave system they pinned us down in."

"We were taken to Guerza and there my brothers were hanged in front of an enforced gathering of our people, and I, I was first forced to watch them die, then they stripped me and had two of their Sethonian collaborators ritually rape me before the whole crowd, who stood and wept to see it. We were ethnically cleansed as a family, they took that fifteen year old girl away to a prison. They took the heir to the throne of Guerza and they beat her and they brainwashed her till she was their dog. Then they shipped her back to their home world and sold her to men who made her dance naked round a metal pole and open her legs for anyone who'd pay enough to fuck Royalty. This amused them you see, to reduce us to such debased slaves, they compared their new Empire to that of the Roman's and they weren't afraid to replicate it's worst nightmares."

"But I was not a dog, and one day I got a knife and killed the owner of the club and his security guards, and then I escaped knowing that if they caught me I'd die on live TV as a lesson to all other slaves. I hid in the sewers and you found me and gave me your love and a future. I need you to be there for me Spike, I love you truly not just cause your my Sire."

A lump in his throat the size of Manhattan Spike could only nod. Valandra kissed his cheek again and spoke a little louder. "I know you loved Buffy, you were still upset about her death when you first met me even after all that time. But do you seriously think that she would want you to do this. She wouldn't want you to die, she'd expect that you'd grieve but eventually she'd want you to find someone else, to be happy again."

"She'd want me to be there to 'elp you love." Spike opened his arms and let Valandra settle within them. "So I will be."

*Blimey she takes four minutes to tell 'im more reasons to live than I could in four hours.* Spike thought. "Well in that case I guess we better be off kitten. Errrrr, 'ow do we get 'ome?"

"Go get a ladder, I think that a ten foot one should do it." Valandra was looking deep into Spike's eyes and trying not to drool as she spoke. "Oh please do take your time."

"Eh, eeeerrrr." Future Spike's voice rose as he contemplated what he'd just been asked and why he'd been asked it. "Why do I 'ave to go get a bleedin' ladder, your not thinkin' that your going to......"

"Boink Spike?" Valandra turned and smiled sweetly. "You of all people have issues with me boinking Spike, gee thats going to be a problem when we get back aboard ship, I'm going to have to make do with Childe or Minions if you object to my boinking you. Now go take your beef over this outside and let me concentrate on the TLC, and when you get back you can fuck me too."

Once her Sire was gone Val gently took Spike by the hand and lead him over to the bed. "I know your grievin' sugar, I don't intend in anyway to take away from that, but I need to thank you for agreeing to save me. And there's only one way that I can really do that."

Pushed back Spike suddenly found himself sat down on the mattress, stepping back the Sethonian's hands went to the high tech velcro that held her jacket sealed. "Got any objection to tatt's?"

"Not as you'd notice." The jacket came off to reveal an olive drab vest which seemed to be under some strain in the bodice type area. Valandra had a tiger tatooed on her right bicep and a very definate vampire bat on her left. Under it was written in blood red letters,'Reborn to Kill'.

"They don't even need a needle to do those in my time, just put them on with a laser in two ticks. It's over so fast you barely feel any pain.Damn good thing if you consider you got to get them redone everytime you get rejuvenated." She pulled the vest up out of her combat pants. "Damn shame I didn't know this was going to happen, I just got this pretty little silver metallic dress made up for me, I'd have had that on and my best perfume and a darker lipstick if I'd known...."

The vest was passing her chin as she spoke revealing high firm breasts, they looked even bigger than Spike had expected, their dark auorales where already erect from excitement. "It's alright pet I ain't got no complaints. You look stunnin'."

"Thanks." Putting one booted foot onto the bed the girl looked down at him and asked. "Care to help me with this."

Spike untied the lace and then carefully helped her out of the boot, the second one quickly followed. Valandra turned around. "My pants fasten at the back Spike so if you wouldn't mind?"

"Not at all." She had two more tattoes one on the back of her neck an eagle, and at the base of her spine a heart with an unmistakable railroad spike through it with the emblazoned declaration below it. 'Spike's Forever.' "That's cute."

He unfastened a clip and pulled open two strips of velco and eased the tight pants open and down to mid thigh. "But not as cute as that!"

"You like." Valandra looked back over her shoulder and gave her perfectly rounded bottom a wiggle. "That the good thing about getting turned as a physically healthy eighteen year old, you stay toned forever. Now how about we get you naked and go to it."

Spike stood up to face her even as she speedily slipped the legs of her pants over first one bare foot then the other. She stood before him without any shyness a look of confidence in her beauty plain on her face. Her legs were long and shapely, her thighs well musculled and without a trace of cellulite. Her sex seemed almost bare only a tiny V of hair above it showing her true blondness. "Left over from that damn stripclub. They used to make us shave it virtually all off, despite the memories I keep it like that though cause it encourages boys and girls to dive straight in. You fancy that later?"

"It looks rather tasty from here kitten." Spike pulled her too him his arms going round her back even as her hands slipped around his neck and their lips met in a long passionate kiss. "And you really are tasty all over arn't you."

"And you taste of tobacco which is something I got kinda unused to." She smiled indicating that she wasn't being to serious. "Adds a certain hellish flavour now get naked for me."

With an extra pair of eager hands hindering him this took a little longer than Spike might have wanted. But while she helped he teased and stroked and kissed and licked and nipped till she was gasping for unnecessary air. Pretty soon Valandra was deftly stroking his hard length while he continued to run his hands slowly over her cold flesh as their lips locked once more in a long kiss which she finally broke. "So how do you want me lover, on top in front or underneath, want to start with a sixty-nine or save that for later. Want me to just blow ya or do you want to take advantage of the lube I got in my jacket pocket. I reckon it's going to take himself a pretty long time to find a ladder this time of night so we can take our time. Just tell me what you want to do baby?"

"Everythin'. Let's do it all."

******************************************************************************************************

"I mean where the fuck am I supposed to find a ten foot ladder at this time of night." Future Spike crunched through broken glass in a nearby alley as he searched for the desired means of escape back to the third millenium. "It's not like thats something that people just randomly leave lyin' around for you to nick!"

This city stank, it stank of fuel, it stank of trash and dog shit and in the areas he was tramping through of the random leaving of the the homeless and the drunks. He'd gotted used to the clean antiseptic smell of his nice shiny spaceship and before that to the recycle mad humanity of 2050 to 2500 during which time the air had gotten so clean he could almost wish to breathe it. Now however he could literally taste the emissions from the powerstations that had been built it seemed throughout the city to feed it's populaces insatiable demands for electricity. "Silly bloody sods."

But let them doom themselves what did it matter to him. He had kept away from humanity it was true but he still had caught the ghist of what had happened down the years. How the war had been won with the Hive at the cost of revolts on every human planet, how the weakened state of humanity after the resultant civil wars had lead to a last desperate gamble on Sethonia, which became a succesful revolt that had seen that long suffering people regain it's independance. How eventually by 2900 the human empire had wound up just another client of the Strezlan Confederacy as the lizardmen used the technology the humans had shared with them to dominate half the galaxy, the humans now having to work for them to survive.

"An' it bleedin' serves 'em right too." The vampire smirked and flicked his cigarette butt at a drunk lying in the gutter as he went on looking for a ladder.

******************************************************************************************************************

They stripped the bed of it's unclean sheets and hastily and untidily covered the mattress with the last washed sheet in Spike's cupboard draws. Now Spike was lying in the middle off it pinned very pleasently by Valandra's body. She was straddling his face as his tongue burrowed into her cold core, the Sethonian's head was bobbing up and down as she fellated him expertly her moans of pleasure muffled by the fact she had her mouth full.

The effect he was having was obvious from the juices that were running down his chin, a mixture of her emmissions and his saliva. She had already orgasmed once half drenching his face but now with his own carefully restrained orgasm building a pace he squeezed a hand up between their sweat slick bodies and lightly brushed his thumb over and around her clit before sliding two fingers into her wetness and closing his lips around the bundle of nerves to speed Valandra's next effusion of pleasure along.

She in turn speeded up her ministrations, gently massaging his tightening balls with one hand whilst caressing the lower half of his cock with the other. Her tonuge lashed at the head making him groan in turn around her clit. Then she began to buck atop him as she went over the edge into bliss, but even in that state she still managed to drink down every drop of Spike's release as his cold dead semen flooded her willing mouth.

Seconds past before slowly and sensuously Valandra slid off him a look of happy bliss on her face as she watched his erection make an almost instant comeback. "Baby you are good. Want to make the beast with two backs now?"

"Yeah I really rather would." He had been chaste through Buffy's final long illness and since her death. Now he certainly didn't want to be that anymore. "Kneel up by the head of the bed kitten I feel a little rampage coming on."

"Then you best take me like a bitch." Walking on her knees she moved up to grip the bed head. "And take me hard."

"As the lady wishes." Moving behind her Spike positioned himself in her slick opening and slowly gradually thrust himself home. She was incredibly tight still despite all those centuries of sex with him. *Vampires we 'ave it so good sometimes.*

And with that happy though Spike began to thrust.

*************************************************************************************************************************

"Excuse me mate you wouldn't 'appen to know where I could find a ladder round 'ere would you?"

"Feck off an' die yer basgtard ya!" To say that the scabby smelly drunk was unhappy about being prodded awake with the toe of Spike's boot wasn't an understatement. He grabbed a nearby empty bottle and took a swing at the hastily backpeddling vampire. "Feck off!"

"Charmin' that is." Spike turned his back on the swearing that followed him as he walked away. *It was 2032 when they 'ad that first high tide roar through 'ere wasn't it?* He turned and shouted. "I 'OPE YOU DROWN YOU BUGGER!"

Not feeling any better about himself he wandered on.

*********************************************************************************************************************

With an "Oh." at each thrust Valandra took everything that Spike could give her, her knuckles were white around the headboard as she held on firmly. His cock was stretching her to the limit each thrust connecting with her g-spot, his hands had come round underneath her and were caressing her heavy breasts, rolling her nipples between fingers and thumb and sending new ripples of pleasure through her sensitized nerves. She was thrusting back to meet him and using the muscles of her inner walls to grip him as he reached the limit of each thrust. "Yes baby, oh yes, faster now please, please faster!!!"

His pace quickened and so did her breathing, oxegen was being taken in at a fast rate for a dead person, but as orgasm neared her rememberances of life took over and her body cried out for it.

She cried out other things too. "Fuck me Spike, fuck me hard...harder faster, oh yeeeesssss!"

As she came around him, as her sweet juices again gushed back over him Spike lost the control he'd been steadfastly maininting and filled her womb with his own discharge. "Bloooody 'ell darlin' but your so good!"

"I learned it all from you." Milking him with the wall's of her vagina she felt him first wilt a little and then return to full hardness. He gently eased himself out of her, a flood of their combined juices dripping out to run down her thighs as he withdrew. "Oh baby can't we go on?"

"Sure can, but different." As she rose back up to her full kneeling height Spike stayed behind her, caressing her left breast with his left hand as his right turned her face just a little bit towards his. Leaning over her shoulder he connected his lips to hers once more, tasting himself on her tongue before adding. "This time I want to look into those pretty brown eyes."

"Lie down then lover and you shall." With a lithe grace Valandra moved around the bed to let Spike lie along the centre of the bed and then straddled him. She looked deep into his sad yet smiling eyes as she firmly grasped his cock and slowly impaled herself on it burying him deep inside her. "Now just lie still, Let me do all the work."

****************************************************************************************************************

Glass crunched under future Spike's feet as he walked out through the space where the Hardware stores front window had been a ten foot step ladder under his arm. "Well that's that sorted."

He'd spotted the store as he headed back defeated to the cellar. A quick snap of a padlock and a stealthy raising of a security shutter and he had been brought face to face with a shop full of goodies and at the back of it. *Step ladders.*

It hadn't taken him long to find a sufficently heavy object to throw, a trashcan, and even less to lob it through the pane and then it was just a matter of a quick dart through the resultant wrecked window display and a grab of the ladder. As he passed the till Spike dropped two hundred dollars he'd earned mugging clubbers leaving a night club not three quarters of an hour before. *Won't cover it but it makes me feel better.*

"And now post haste to me past selfs gaffe." Spike grinned and licked his lips. "I wouldn't want to arrive to find 'e'd tired poor Val out!"

**********************************************************************************

Valandra ground her hips slowly up and down making it last, Spike's hands were all over her, caressing her flanks and back, kneading her buttocks, running up her stomach to weight and tease her sex sensitized breasts, every now and then drawing her down to him for long soft kisses.And all the time oh so slowly and deliberately her orgasm drew near skillfully built up during this decadent ride.

"Oh baby your so good, so hard."

"You ain't so bad yourself pet, so beautiful, so talented, so wet."

"Evenin' all." The door suddenly crashed open and a dark haired black coated vamp with a ladder walked through it with barely so much as a sidewards glance at what they were doing. "'Ow's tricks."

"Fabulous."

"Fuckin' fantastic."

Valandra looked round at her Sire watching him set the latter up under the blue circle of light. "You not going to join us, I fancy a good spit roasting?"

"One in the pussy and one in the mouth eh?" Future Spike through off the coat and his own jacket but then stooping picked up Valandra's from a chair on which she'd cast it. Feeling in the pockets he pulled out a small tube of lubricant she kept there for chapped lips and ass fucks. "There is of course another option."

"There.....is." The Sethonian had to pause during her sentence as Spike of the present started to move his hips in time with hers only adding to the pleasure she was experiencing. "If yooouuu, oh gods, think that I Princess Valandra of....of Guerza, faster Spike please, a royal prin....oh gods..cess would let a common....OH.....poet like you, yes Spike yes, stick, stick his cock.....please now.....in my.....I'm coming Spike, I'm coming."

"Ass." As his past self and his best girl came Spike stripped off his pants and moved towards the bed. "Oh go on your Royalness, don't be a spoil sport, you know you like it."

Sweating gasping Valandra turned and gave Spike a look of fierce passion. "Lube me."

She eased herself back off their host and knelt near the end of the bed her ass raised high in the air her head resting on her hands. Present Spike's renewing erection was right in front of her face in this new posture Valandra didn't hesitate in moving her head foward just a little and giving him a lick. "Slow blow okay for you baby."

"I ain't got no objection." Spike answered with a grin as he watched his future self cover his fingers with lubricant. "No objection at all."

Aching with anticipation the vampress sucked him back into her mouth gently rolling her tongue around his glans, before deep throating him as only a none breathing individual could. As his girl did that the other Spike slid a well greased finger slowly and deliberatly into the tight ring of muscle that was her sphincter, the finger then pumped in and out slowly before being joined by a second, the painful pleasurable intrusion making the Sethonian girl moan round her mouthful of vampire cock.

Keeping his greased fingers sawing in and out of her tight clean ass Spike dripped lubricant onto his length and smeared it over his skin with his left hand. "You want to try it yet baby?"

"Yersepweaze." She managed to say not taking her other project completely out of her mouth as she spoke. She looked up at her other grinning partner and removing her lips for a second unminded of the trail of spit that opened out between them hissing two words. "Hold me!"

Knowing precisely what she meant Spike did what a Gentleman shouldn't, he took a firm hold on the back of her head with his right hand and began to guide her, taking control of the blow job and setting his own pace.

"Right then darlin' 'old still." Carefully positioning his cock at the entrance to the orifice he'd greased future Spike very very slowly applied pressure. Valandra had been taking him like this for centuries they being demons but still she was as tight as the first time, he had to go slowly to avoid causeing her too much pain. "Cause in I go."

Held as she was, 'forced' to go on sucking, Valandra's moans of pleasure mixed with pain where very muffled, but for all that she didn't quit pleasuring the organ in her mouth, her tongue licking the underside even as she sucked the head, but the sensation as Spike gradually stretched her sphincter open with the head of his cock was sending messages of lust racing up her spine. Then it was past and he began to slowly make that first thrust home, stretching the sensitive tissues of her inner walls listening to her muffled slow moan of delight at the sensation.

And then Spike stood there revelling in the tightness and waited.

Slowly Valandra moved her hips forward until Spike was almost out of her body, and then just as slowly she thrust back. The "Oh Christ." She elicited from him was heartfelt the squeezing of her muscles almost sending him over the edge straight away. "And again pet."

Valandra repeated the action just as slowly and carefully even as she started to suck the other Spike harder her fingers massaging his balls delightfully, she could feel them rapidly start to tighten as another orgasm drew near. Her mind might be being blow apart by what she was slowly doing to herself on her Sire's cock but Valandra still had it in her to show off. Switching one hand from Spike's balls to his cock she started stroking him quickly her mouth leaving his glans at the last second as she poised mouth open and caught every drop of his ejaculation on her waiting tongue.

She brought her head up a little giving the gasping Spike in front of her a view of her cum coated tongue before swallowing everydrop and licking her lips afterwards. Somehow she managed to ask. "Do you know what they sat about Princesses Spike?"

"No kitten, what do they say." Spike felt like he'd lost the use of his cock she had so exhausted him. Four fast orgasms could really taken it out of even a vampire.

"That there's a wanna be porn star in all of us." She pushed herself back onto future Spike harder now as her ass had stretched to accomodate him. Looking back over her shoulder it was his turn to see the Vampress smile. "Fuck me Spike, fuck my ass, bugger me hard!"

Not needing to be asked twice Spike started thrusting his hips back and too,but still slowly, still not wanting to damage her. His left hand slipped between her legs and two fingers easily slid into her other gaping orifice slick and greased as it was with her own and present Spike's body fluids, he pumped her swiftly with them whilst at the same time flicking her nubbin with his thumb. Her reaction was to tighten the muscles of her ass around him intensifying his pleasure even more. "Oh bloody 'ell luv, oh 'ell that feels good."

"Bad boy.....oh baby your such a bad boy, bugger me Spike, do it faster.....faster....Oh baby yes, yessss, yeeesssssss!" Screaming and shaking with the pleasure of it Valandra came hard her ass constricting as she did so and milking an ice cold discharge from her lover into her almost steaming back passage. His eyes crossed at the sensation even as slowly and carefully he squeezed back out of her.

"Bloody 'ell girl." He panted standing unsteadily behind her watching as his cum slowly oozed out of her still distended rosette. "One of these days your going to combust me up there."

"But what a way to go huh." Stretching herself like a big cat Valandra rolled over onto her slightly sore bottom. Without any concious effort she opened her legs wide and held them open with her hands on her spread thighs. "But I don't believe for a second that I've unmanned you. Get it up for me baby, do me again sugar one last fuck before we go home."

Spike looked down at his sweat coated lover, at her heaving breasts and at the open slickness that was her core. Her body reeked off sex and the look she was giving him sent him from zero to hero in a second. "How many will this be kitten."

"Third in my pussy, then there's two tongue fucks and you in my ass. But thats nothing lover remember that night of Zadari Nine when I took on you and all my male Childe for that silly gang bang bet you made and I lost. If I can manage thirty I can sure as hell manage three." One of her hands came around to her cleft opening the lips of her sex for him. "Please my Sire no more taliking, pleasure your dearest Childe now."

"My Princess how could I not." He was in her in seconds her body taking his intrusion with ease. As her legs locked around him he gave her what she wanted a hard ruthless but loving ploughing that made her keening cries of pleasure fill the whole room. "My gorgeous Sethonian Queen."

********************************************************************************

Spike didn't get up from the bed as the lovers dressed. He just lay there covered by the sheet Valandra had gently pulled over him. He had watched them though, watched them shower together through the open bathroom door, then his attention had drifted and he had reached over to the bedside cabinet to the second draw down and pulled out a folder. Then slowly and carefully he pulled the pictures out of it.

Buffy as a teen, Buffy in the years when she was his enemy. Buffy as a twenty year old, the Buffy who became his lover. Then there were the New York years. Some portrait style photographs he'd taken sober of her in each year and other shakier ones at parties, a battered envelope that he didn't open now, knowing that it contained two dozen poleroids that she'd let him take with a camera she'd handed him just after her twenty third. The playfully sexy poses in and out of her black bikini were too painful to adore now. And on they went slowly down the years as she aged and her sicknesses began to take a toll.

"Oh Buffy luv I'm sorry, sorry that your gone, sorry that I'm all alone, sorry for what I just done, and really bloody sorry that I was plannin' to kill myself cause I know you 'ad to be lookin' down an' cryin' to see that. I'm sorry luv, I'm sorry for the pain I must 'ave caused you in those moments."

"He looked up to see Valandra walk back through the door drying her hair on a towel. *She's beautiful isn't she my luv, but that ain't the main thing, the main thing is that they hurt her so badly, killed 'er family and broke 'er spirit.....Almost. But then I'm supposed to find 'er and save 'er?*

*God I wish it 'ad been you that found 'er. You would 'ave 'elped 'er fight, or found some way to give her a new life. Me, well cause I'm a vamp I guess I'm goin' to do it the old fashioned way, But I can tell it's not just Sire and Childe, I can tell she loves me with all she has Demon and Sethonian both. And I think eventually I might luv her too.*

*But she'll only ever be my princess luv, you my Queen now and forever, an' after the warnin' I got today don't think that I'm ever goin' to forget you, you'll always be in my heart.*

Dressed now Valandra came over to him and sat on the side of the bed. Looking down at the photographs she gently stroked his arm. "She was very pretty wasn't she?"

"Yes she was."

"And a hero, a warrior, a shieldmaiden."

"Warrior yes, not sure about the maiden though pet."

"And you loved her." Valandra kissed his left cheek. "And you'll honour her memory?"

"Always." He turned and looked deep into her brown eyes. "Tell me kitten 'ave I always done right by you?"

"Every second of every day for seven hundred years, you've never let me down, never betrayed me, never been cruel unless I begged real nice for it. I've always been sure of your love."

"Then I 'ave honoured her." He looked down again at his favourite picture of Buffy a shot he'd taken of her in her new apartment just after settling in New York, smiling happy and dressed to kill. "Cause thats 'ow she would 'ave wanted me to be."

He faced Valandra again his lips moving towards her's their kiss this time was light and soft tenderness itself. When they broke he whispered. "But I think you'd best be off 'ome now Kitten, I got some grievin' to do, but I will be there for you I promise."

She stroked her hand down across his chest and rose pauseing only to say. "I love you Spike." Before walking to the step ladder.

"Well old son." Future Spike was in his uniform again his shower damp hair combed neatly back. "I 'ope I've eased your pain just a little. The drinkin' will 'elp an' at least until old age gets 'em you'll 'ave Dawn an' Anya and Xander to talk too. After that well just sit back an' watch an laugh as humanity screws up."

Spike leaned down and cold lips planted a kiss on the reclining vampires forehead. "It's not going to be that bad mate. Man United win the Premiership at least forty times and despite all the tears and the screamin' and the runnin' and the dyin' there's been alot of other fun. So you be good my lad, don't do nothin' silly."

Then he turned to Valandra. "Well luv I think we better go."

Spike didn't watch as both he and his future Mate climbed the ladder, the blue flashes that filled the room indicated their departure but he paid no heed. When he opened his eyes the portal had sealed.

He was alone.

Once more.

The End......or the beginning?

Stuff I ripped off for this fic.

Btvs of course, God bless you Mr Whedon sir.

Roswell, thank you for a way pretty girl whose Alien name is Valandra

Starship Troopers.

Pitch Black.

The President of the United States.....errr thanks George the fact you might well do what I've written scares the crap out of me but thanks for being there to inspire that heartfelt fear.

The SSI Computer game Reach for the Stars for the Hive.

People I'm thanking.

Sabre Shadowkitten: Who hosts my fic, and sometimes laughs at but then corrects the spelling and punctuation of my fic, and whose birthday challenge fic this is, ok I finished it a fortnight late but was the Cistene chapel painted to schedule? I think not!

Andra for being supportive and very patient re the huge gaps between my fics these days.

And finally all you kind people who read all the way through to the end and then went "Huh, what was that all about!?!"

Thanks

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