Draconin's Diary
Those Whom Moses Forgets 
2nd-Oct-2006 04:44 pm
Dragon writing
Title: Those Whom Moses Forgets

Rating: PG
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.


2nd-Oct-2006 09:29 am (UTC)
I damned near wept for Carl. This is a wonderful story, and I hope you are putting it elsewhere.
2nd-Oct-2006 11:14 am (UTC)
Thank you! He grew on me a lot while I was writing it. It was triggered by the chaplain at my school talking about Moses in his homily so it was actually the ending that created the fic but it grew on its own from there. I felt that there was more of his help to the Scoobies behind the scenes that could easily have been shown but it seemed to me that if I made it much longer it would detract from the impact of the end.
Where should I cross post it do you think? It doesn't really fit any of the shippy communities.
2nd-Oct-2006 11:30 am (UTC)
Great story. Wonderful portrayal of the Sunnydale PD . Really liked Carl.

Until the end I thought his promised land would be LA and he would hook up with Kate only to find his promised land was not all it was cracked up to be, your end even sadder and more poignant.
2nd-Oct-2006 11:42 am (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad he came across as a likeable guy - the cops were always shown in such a bad light that I felt it just couldn't be true of all of them.
2nd-Oct-2006 01:38 pm (UTC)
Really liked this. The Sunnydale PD must be one weird place to work for - even if they're all hired according to guidelines set up by Richard Wilkins III, ALL of them cannot be too stupid to realize what's going on. This is a beautiful little story, and you've really created a believable Carl in just a few short pencil-strokes (metaphorical ones).

A question - I've got a long-standing WIP, "Discipline", that will eventually (if I ever get my ass back in gear) include some Sunnydale PD business. Would it be OK with you if Carl made a tiny little cameo in that? With due credit, of course.
2nd-Oct-2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
Hang on a sec and I'll just ask him... Yep, he says he'd be delighted! :D

Thanks for your comment. It's really lovely to see that he's ended up being as real to others as he became to me.
2nd-Oct-2006 06:03 pm (UTC)
3rd-Oct-2006 03:44 am (UTC)
Thanks. Considering how many of your stories I've got bookmarked I'm very complimented.
2nd-Oct-2006 06:19 pm (UTC)
I love this.
3rd-Oct-2006 03:42 am (UTC)
Thanks. Why a "fandom dinosaur"?
2nd-Oct-2006 07:25 pm (UTC)
This is a really original story and well done. The background of Sunnydale and its denizens is left fairly blank in the show, so how wonderful to read a good story that fills in the gaps a bit. Carl is almost necessary, when you come to think of how successful the Scoobies were.
3rd-Oct-2006 03:10 am (UTC)
I thought so too. With the greatest respect to the Scoobies there were a lot of times when what they did would have to have drawn official attention. It needed someone behind the scenes like Carl to doctor the records and keep them below the radar.
2nd-Oct-2006 07:43 pm (UTC)
Excellent! It's great that you have resisted the temptation of a saccharine ending.
3rd-Oct-2006 03:15 am (UTC)
Oh, no - it was clear from the moment I started that Carl had to die. Mainly because the story started from the title idea of those left behind, but also because it just wrote itself that way.
2nd-Oct-2006 08:10 pm (UTC)
Ok, wow. Seriously, this is fantastic.
3rd-Oct-2006 03:24 am (UTC)
Thanks! ::beams:: It felt right but it's great to hear other's like it.
2nd-Oct-2006 08:50 pm (UTC)
This is just... wonderful. A perfect snapshot of an outsider's view of the odd events that make up life in Sunnydale.
3rd-Oct-2006 03:26 am (UTC)
I don't know about you but I find it fascinating to think how Sunnydale would appear to someone moving in for the first time around (say) season 3. The whole town would have to have appeared psychotic. Certainly a conspiracy theorist's dream.
2nd-Oct-2006 09:58 pm (UTC)
This was just... stunning, that's what. I've never seen anything like it. Carl is amazingly well-realized.
3rd-Oct-2006 03:28 am (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words. Carl was interesting. This is the first time I've experienced what I've heard others say: that a character wrote himself. It was fun.
2nd-Oct-2006 10:40 pm (UTC)
What a unique, heartbreaking, and really quite wonderful look at Sunnydale. I adored this, Carl is a completely fascinating character. This is so very well written. Yeah. I really enjoyed this.
3rd-Oct-2006 03:28 am (UTC)
Aw, shucks! ::shuffles feet::
3rd-Oct-2006 01:51 am (UTC)
Very good.
3rd-Oct-2006 03:29 am (UTC)
Thanks. I love your icon! Do you have a whole series of Seals for different things?
3rd-Oct-2006 02:30 am (UTC)
This was great! I enjoyed every line of it. I'm definitely adding this to my favorites.

Would you mind if I rec'd it on my site?
3rd-Oct-2006 03:30 am (UTC)
No, feel free! :D Thanks very much.
3rd-Oct-2006 03:58 am (UTC)
Crisp, sad, intense. I saw someone else attempt something like that, a couple of years ago, but he/she couldn’t resist the temptation to make the ‘spook squad’ a kick-ass elite (plus, never finished it).

You’ve drawn an evocative portrait of decent people trying to do what’s right, simply because it’s right. Heroism, simple as that.

Thanks for this.
3rd-Oct-2006 01:33 pm (UTC)
I always thought that the ordinary people (Xander) fighting the good fight because it's the right thing to do deserve more credit than super-heroes like Buffy. Thanks for the kind words.
3rd-Oct-2006 11:05 am (UTC)
Gosh I enjoyed this. Carl and his friends doing what they can. The loss of his wife and child was so poignant and real. I love how Carl progressed in this fic, and yeah, the ending was perfect, if not inevitable.
3rd-Oct-2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
I didn't really want to kill her off but you're right, it was inevitable and if it had to happen it just made sense to make it worse by having him lose a child too. I wasn't sure whether I should feel like a bastard or cackle madly!
I'm still not sure if the timeline works for that though. I think I may have cut things a bit fine at times so that having a child that age didn't quite fit the show's timeline. I'd pulled out the DVDs to get the names of the detectives and to make sure that the scenes with Carl (being one of the cops in the library and with Buffy & Faith in the gun shop) would not contradict canon but I drew the line at going into it in that much depth.
PS. I just did a clip from the video at the gun store BTW: meet Carl! :-)
3rd-Oct-2006 05:43 pm (UTC)
In the end it’s Carl who finds the bodies of the four other wives.
I always wondered if anyone followed up on that!

Great story idea, the outsider's POV can be so interesting.

5th-Oct-2006 03:53 am (UTC)
Making me cry... this is why I shouldn't read fic at work... *weeps* Poor Carl.
7th-Nov-2006 06:28 pm (UTC)
These were wonderful, and tied into canon seamlessly. Carl was a unique, well drawn original character, and I love the idea of him watching the Scoobies from the outside, assisting where he can. The final drabble was beautifully written, and the image painted with these lines was haunting:

"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."

Carl's journey was fascinating. Thank you for taking such care with it.
8th-Nov-2006 09:31 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for the kind words. I'm feeling quite overwhelmed by the response to this piece. It's the first time I've done something that "wrote itself" and I'm just hoping I can recapture the feeling.
7th-Nov-2006 08:30 pm (UTC)
Great story! Very creative and well written. Thanks for a behind-the-scenes view of the Sunnydale's finest.
27th-Jan-2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
Oh wow this was a great story about characters we never think about. You made Carl so believeable that he would stay in town and defend against everything without really understanding what is going on. Just brilliant.
29th-Jan-2007 12:12 am (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words. There must have been others like him that we never saw. I've been surprised actually that there haven't been many other fics of this type. I guess people stick with the characters that they ship. In my case it was actually a sermon (that I was falling asleep during) where a single phrase stuck in my mind and became Carl. :-)
28th-Jan-2007 02:06 am (UTC)
What a wonderful story. Carl was a true hero and his fate broke my heart.
29th-Jan-2007 12:14 am (UTC)
He had to die the way he did for the fic to work but I must admit that I wanted him to live.
28th-Jan-2007 10:25 pm (UTC)
I love stories about peripheral characters in the 'verse. Carl became very real as you told his story. I could see him. 8 ]
29th-Jan-2007 12:15 am (UTC)
I love stories about peripheral characters in the 'verse.
I do too. I find it strange that there aren't more. Can you recommend any good ones?
16th-Mar-2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
The idea that, "On the trek to the Promised Land there will always be those whom Moses forgets," breaks my heart.

I really like the idea of some of the cops catching on to what's going on and secretly helping -- especially the idea that Willow's impossibly high success rate in hacking the computers was partly aided by others :)
17th-Mar-2007 04:54 am (UTC)
The idea that, "On the trek to the Promised Land there will always be those whom Moses forgets," breaks my heart.

I agree. The idea actually came to me when I was listening to a sermon in chapel (I teach in a religious school although I'm not myself). The sermon was about Moses, although I can't recall quite how any more, and I found myself wondering what happened to the ones who got left behind.

Re Willow: It always seemed a bit implausible to me that she was able to crack all those security sites with no-one ever catching her. The thought of Carl sitting there and chuckling over her not realising he was helping was fun.

Thanks for the comment.
2nd-Mar-2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
came here via frogfarm and it was most definitely worth it. You've managed to make Carl into such a real character. Bravo.
3rd-Mar-2008 02:27 am (UTC)
Thanks. It was one of those ones that just wrote itself. I just wish there were more of them! :-)
28th-Mar-2008 02:32 am (UTC)
Oh! Somehow I didn't expect him to die, until he did. This was wonderful. *adds to memories*
29th-Mar-2008 02:00 am (UTC)
As the story evolved it became sadly apparent that he really had to die, even if I was a bit reluctant to kill him off.

Thanks for the kind words. If you're interested in recs to other fic that I've found worth reading, I maintain a collection of links here. It's extensively tagged so you can find stuff that's up your alley.
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