Title: Those Whom Moses Forgets
Summary: When Moses led the faithful to the promised land, what happened to those who were forgotten? The ones who stayed to guard the gate so that the fortunate ones could escape?
Disclaimer: I own nothing and make no money. Bugger it!
Author's Note: This was done as a series of drabbles to force me to think more carefully about the words I was using. Hopefully it helped :D. One of the drabbles was x-posted to friday_only
. Thanks to penne4m
for beta feedback that helped greatly.
Carl laughs when he first hears “PCP gang attack”. He’s only been with the Sunnydale Police for a fortnight and the idea of classifying a grossly mutilated corpse drained of blood as a gang attack is so ridiculous that it never occurs to him that anyone might mean it seriously.
Over time he finds this is just a symptom. Where most departments have endemic corruption Sunnydale PD seems to have selective blindness and, when necessary, deafness. He’s been told that the mortality rate was six times the average for towns of this demographic and this becomes more and more believable.
The young girl has been raped and mutilated; her throat ripped out and her body left on her parent’s porch as if a cat has brought the remains home to display. His partner doesn’t want to let Carl report it as a murder but he does anyway. The desk sergeant keeps looking at him strangely and the paperwork is continually being lost.
A week later Carl has a new partner. It doesn’t escape his notice that she is just as unpopular as he is. When he checks later he finds that the case has been classified as “Death by suicide”.
Finally it’s the desk sergeant who fills him in after a long evening of too much beer. He doesn’t believe it of course. Who would? Vampires are not something that his academy training as a forensic programmer covered.
The worst of it is that there is no way to change the department’s attitude. Apparently the mayor has hand picked so many of the upper levels of management that there is no point in even trying. The frustration he’s seen in colleagues begins to make sense.
Vampires. It’s just…. ridiculous.
But he starts carrying a stake anyway. And feeling incredibly stupid.
He’s been warned about the Bronze but some friends drag him there one night to party. Carl’s not into dancing and Grace is a total party animal but somehow they click.
Over the next year she turns into the light of his life and other clichés he’s always laughed at. Sunnydale looks better every day. Carl thinks about fitting in and looking the other way. He’s never wanted children but everything seems possible and being a loner suddenly isn’t so attractive.
Grace drags him to the Bronze regularly. He learns how to dance without feeling like a giraffe on rollerblades.
Carl’s first vampire dusting is almost an accident. Leaving the Bronze, his cop instincts flare suddenly. The leather-jacketed stud following two beautiful young girls just doesn’t feel ‘right’ so he follows them into the alley.
Pulling the attacker off his victims Carl sees a face from hell. He tries for a capture but the attacker’s strength is overwhelming. Finally Carl throws him against a fence, only to have him become a cloud of dust.
It’s only when he sees the broken wooden paling sticking out of the fence that he understands. Carl doesn’t feel stupid carrying his stake any more.
After his second kill he’s approached by the “spook squad”. He’s not the first to see the ugly backdrop behind the beautiful scenery and there’s a small group of officers who’ve banded together in mutual support. With one of them the desk sergeant it’s easier to arrange patrols to help each other.
Carl’s dusting rate rises but there are still new victims every week. They haunt his nights and Grace is worried about him. She doesn’t understand why he won’t ever talk about it. Nor why he goes out walking some evenings and comes back with injuries he won’t discuss.
Halloween is a very strange experience. He doesn’t really recall much that happens. But his hired pirate costume is ripped badly and he’s bruised all over.
A strangled body outside the library at the local high school is his first contact with the small group that apparently calls itself the “Scoobies”. Since he is the one who discovers the body, Detective Winslow takes him along to interview the school librarian.
Although Mr Giles is able to identify the body as Philip Henry of England this doesn’t prove very helpful in the end since the body later disappears from the morgue.
The investigation into the shooting at the school takes his attention for weeks afterwards. That a serving police officer could randomly fire on Career’s Day at the local high school makes headlines even in Sunnydale. Even when it turns out that there’s no record of her belonging to the police force there are awkward questions raised at the station and the shredder works overtime.
One evening he comes to work and finds a student being interviewed over a suspected homicide. Her mother sits forlornly in the station drinking endless cups of coffee while her daughter is interviewed by Detective Stein.
Carl can’t believe such a tiny girl could kill the hulk he saw taken from the scene. Listening in, he decides to investigate personally. The truth has a habit of being overlooked in Sunnydale. When he hears that the ‘corpse’ has walked away from the morgue he becomes even more determined.
The next day, one of the Spook Squad pulls him aside regarding an anonymous tip on where information on the ‘victim’ can be found. Detective Stein’s ignoring it, reinforcing Carl’s opinion that he’s an asshole. In the end it’s Carl who finds the bodies of the four other wives.
Something about Buffy Summers intrigues Carl and he makes a point of carefully watching her for the next few weeks. He sees her patrols, her regular vampire kills and, most of all, her incredible strength and endurance. The strange librarian, the attacks on the school, all begin to make sense. Shortly after this, the police computer system suffers a mysterious accident. The criminal records of one Buffy Anne Summers and her circle of friends disappear, as do the backup tapes. When questioned, Carl has no idea how such a thing could have happened.
Two weeks later, Carl’s world falls apart.
He comes home from the night shift to find the mutilated bodies of Grace and his year old son. His wife has been raped before being drained and what’s been done to his son will wake him screaming for a long time.
It was a routine kill that had gone wrong, and when it happened Carl had no idea just how wrong it had gone. A vampire targeted by the Spook Squad escaped and, unknown to Carl, followed him home.
It will be a year before Carl considers dating. Helen loves staying at home and has no interest in children.
There’s a new Slayer in town. Other than speculation there seems no way to tell what this means.
The first time Carl meets her doesn’t go well. His current partner is strictly ‘by the book’. Answering an alarm at a local weapons shop, he’s dismayed to find Buffy and the new slayer. By this time his partner has pulled a gun on them and there’re no choices left.
He’s secretly delighted when he regains consciousness in the patrol car and they’ve disappeared. His partner is not happy when he checks the in-car video the next day and finds it blank.
It’s a chance talk with a new recruit over a beer that gives Carl new hope and the vision of a Promised Land. James is recently re-assigned from the L.A.P.D. and tells Carl with great amusement about a ‘loco’ officer called Kate Lockley. “She actually believes in Vampires!” Carl laughs, slaps James on the back and secretly begins to plan his move to L.A.
It’s not easy getting a transfer, particularly when you are a member of a force that has the sort of reputation that Sunnydale has accumulated. And the L.A.P.D. is the elite. The vision recedes but endures.
Carl has become skilled over the years at surreptitiously aiding the Scoobies. It’s endlessly amusing to plant subtle back-doors into the police and government software for Willow to use. He’s lost count of the number of times he’s doctored the police records on the Scoobies.
With the sudden death of Buffy the Spook Squad shifts into high gear to cope with the surge in the demon population. Carl never does get straight in his own mind where the robot comes from or how it suddenly becomes human. He’s just supremely relieved that the slayer is back and kicking ass again.
There are forces on the move that Carl and the Spook Squad don’t understand and have no idea how to cope with. A new type of vampire is suddenly on the scene and seems impossible to kill. New girls are joining the Scoobies. The demon population is growing steadily and everything that the Squad can observe of the Scoobies indicates that they too are overwhelmed.
Even the apathetic people of Sunnydale can see what’s coming and begin to leave. Quietly Carl and the rest of the Spook Squad help wherever possible. One by one they begin to fall in battle.
By the time the Scoobies are ready for their final stand Carl is the last of the Spook Squad left alive. The town is almost deserted. Even the police have largely left and those that remain have enough on their plate without worrying about things that go bump in the night.
Carl’s hopes of ever reaching his Promised Land grow fainter every day. For years he’s kept an open ticket to L.A. but he used it some months ago to get Helen to safety. They didn’t part well. He loves her but she won’t understand what’s happening in front of her.
Carl’s part in the final battle is crucial, though the Scoobies never realise it. He guards the perimeter and prevents more than a few vamps from reinforcing those inside.
In the end there are just too many and Carl’s no slayer. It’s a Turok Han that finally breaches his faltering defenses to deliver the fatal blow.
He lives long enough to see most of them escaping on their ‘last bus out of town’. He knows he held the line long enough to make a difference.
On the trek to the Promised Land there will always be those whom Moses forgets.