Micah woke up to a ringing phone and swore loudly. He grabbed it. "What?" he growled. He listened to the night duty officer, then sighed. "Is he sure? No, I'll call him. Thanks." He dialed Xander's cell, getting Rimfire. "Why do you have Xander's cellphone?" He raised an eyebrow. "Fine. No, you need to fix hers. Because my number's in there?" He smirked at that cover. "Fine. Get me to Xander, Rimfire. Yeah, now, he just called." He laid back down, listening as the kid hopped up to the lounge and then the office. "Hey, you yelled in the middle of the night?" He listened to the evidence, then groaned, rubbing his face. "Describe the bugs." He listened as the kid got them out of something that sounded like the refrigerator. "Cold doesn't usually affect them. True, you can't hear much in the freezer," he admitted with a grin. He listened as Xander found the model number and described them. "Those are usually police issue," he admitted. "I don't know. Let me check." He hung up and got up with a groan, going over to his computer. He paused when someone knocked on his door. "Hendrix, you know where the key is," he called. He turned on his computer, finding it unbootable. Someone knocked again and he opened it, glaring at the IFU agent there. "The problem is?" he demanded.
"Mr. Simms, we have reason to believe one of your agents has been involved in illegal money redistribution," he said grimly.
Micah considered it. "Only on orders." The agent gaped. "Come on, kid." He slammed the door behind him but his boss walked in. "I knew you knew where the key was. You'd better not erase any of the porn on my system either." He flopped down, looking at the kid. "What do you know about the group in Chicago, kid?"
Hendrix looked at him. "You can't be serious."
"It's one way to cripple Limburger. *She* did it before she joined with her *mate* and the sheepdog." Hendrix gaped and he smirked at him. "Like I said, it was one way to cripple it so he couldn't come back. It stopped Marshall Limburger for over six months."
"But..." Hendrix said, shaking his head. "That's outside of protocol."
"I got verbal permission and made a decision. By the way, they are back. Xander and Vinnie have both run into them personally." Hendrix shuddered at that. "Also, they're large contributors."
"I saw that from your computer, Simms." Hendrix looked at his man. Then at him. "Do you have it written?"
"I had it taped on the machine."
"Okay. Under what name?"
"In the hidden files, under 'orders'." Hendrix pulled out his phone and called. "By the way, who's bugging Xander's house? He found some police issue bugs."
"Chicago. There's one in the system and they've turned him in as a possible hacker and arms dealer."
"Ah." He nodded. He looked at the kid. "You?" He shook his head. "You might as well sit down, this is going to be an all nighter. Unless you make good coffee."
Hendrix looked at him. "Where did Enamel get his from?"
Micah shrugged. "Long before I met him and was doing this job, Hendrix. I'm assuming he sold some technology. Either that or he was a secret doctor and doing odd things. Your choice."
"What's he doing now?"
"Suffering, his arms and hands were temporarily paralyzed by the Limburgers," Micah told him. Hendrix dropped his phone, staring at him. He nodded. "Yeah. When Vinnie and Xander were rescued, they found him there and a few others." His phone rang and he answered it. "Yeah, Xander?" He listened. "This isn't a secure line. Yeah, there's a Plutarkian in Chicago PD. I'm talking to Hendrix." He smirked at him, handing him the phone. "For you. An ethical issue." He looked at the kid. "So, how much do you know?"
"Enough to have nightmares, sir. I helped bring down the NID for you."
"Good. Good job. I'm sorry you had to do that." The kid nodded. "How much do you know about Chicago and Cleveland?"
"Enough to never go to Cleveland and enough about your agents in Chicago to shudder in horror, sir."
Micah smirked at him. "I can do that too. Xander's one who does what's necessary." Hendrix hung up the phone and tossed it back to him. "And the verdict is?"
"That he's got to ask them. He wanted to do a raid on their lab to disable, destroy, and sell to his boss, who has a weapons company?"
"Yeah, Boris does. I've done some business with him. Tell him to keep it instead."
"That's stolen property."
"True," he sighed, grimacing a bit. He looked at the kid. "So, you've got two super powerful and technologically advanced races fighting each other, and we've got to side with one or else we lose our planet. Where do you draw the line?"
"I ..." The kid coughed and glanced at his boss, then looked at him. "I don't have one, sir. That's why I'm in IFU."
"Good answer, kid. Xander keeps trying to find his. He has ethics unless he's in the middle of a battle." He looked at him. "So?"
"I told him he had to ask the others, especially whoever's leading the group back on Mars." The kid moaned. He picked up his phone and listened to the recording they were playing. "No, he said it's called orders." Another one was played. "That one." He nodded. "Fine. Thank you. Please return his system." He hung up. "It's on there. It does authorize any and all measures necessary." Micah nodded. "Did he recant?"
"He wants them to drive them back to Siberia without killing them. They're an endangered species," he said dryly. Hendrix gaped then turned and hit the wall. "Now you see where Xander's frustration is coming from."
"Oh, I definitely do," he admitted. "What do we do?"
"We need those bugs removed from his house. We need the Plutarkians off this planet. We need them out of this solar system as well. That way they can't hit Mars again." He looked at him. "I'm not the General of planning. That's Throttle and Xander. Oh, and their boss is Stoker."
"The old gray mouse?" Micah nodded. "Why?"
"He's the head of the Freedom Fighters. He's also their trainer."
"Ohkay," he said, shaking his head. "Was it pretty?"
"Very. They found about sixteen hundred mice and lost about four hundred." Hendrix let a small smile come out because of that. "Of course, Xander almost bankrupted himself helping them since he could." He shrugged. "Oh, Hendrix, he does design weapons. He only sells to Boris or myself." The IFU investigator nodded at that. "What's the present rule about buying weapons and classifying them?"
"Don't if you can help it. The budget's too tight."
"Not mine and I've got to use about six million in the next three months"
"They've got some nice weapons on their bikes," he offered.
"Yeah, but then I'd have to confiscate them."
"Or say that you gave them to an agent for use. Just never repossess them or mark them as destroyed. The military does it all the time."
"They don't have to answer for it."
"Good point. I don't know. Get any odd weapons that aren't standard and buy the plans for future use. After all, you've got that stupid car."
"True. But the Tech department wants that back too."
"Let her ride your bike?" Micah gave him a cold glare. "It's like theirs?"
"Only built by Charley a few years back, yeah. Not as intelligent but still very smart. I heard Jack McCyber did the brain for her."
"Wonderful. Well, buy weapons for your bike and say it's a new trial weapon. It is." He nodded for his guy to go. "I need to know beforehand what you're doing, Simms. If they're becoming buddies, the sails could start the ships in the other direction. No more looting the funds."
"Fine. Get me my computer back with all the porn attached and get them free of the bugs."
"I'll do that." He left, closing and locking the door behind him.
Micah called Xander back. "Just hold on two days," he said quietly. "We're working on it. Also, I know you modified your bike. I want to talk to you about that for my bike. Well, it is *technically* mine but it's used in the service of the Government. I'll only get flamed a bit." He grinned. "Thanks." He hung up, going back to bed.
Xander sat down at his computer. He debated doing this, but he felt he should warn anyone who was surfing his way about this. He looked out in the hall as Throttle came looking for him. "We've got some problems," he said, opening his chat program. "I found bugs."
"Bugs, like roaches?"
"Bugs like the one in the freezer," he admitted. Throttle went to go look and came back looking pissed. "There's one in the local PD. I'm being accused of being an arms dealer and a money launderer. I've already called Micah. Also, I want your opinion on doing a raid through those idiot's labs to stop them from coming after us again." He looked at his computer, seeing Oz on. He looked at his husband again. "I'm warning the paranoid ones."
"Good. I'll consider sending a mission that way." He kissed him on the back of the head. "Come to bed soon."
"Probably not. Oh, there's no open sites. So I'm stuck until spring. Did I pay the property taxes already?" Throttle nodded. "You're sure?"
"I went while you paid them." He kissed him again. "Chat with Oz." He sat down to watch him type. "We need this at home."
"It'd be easier. It can record a message too." He clicked on Oz's name then typed in an 'Oz?' to make sure.
/I found bugs earlier. I already called the exterminator/
/Which company? We've got ants./
/those guys are good. Why?/
/oily, slimy, smelly people who believe I sell arms and launder money. Btw, who sent me stuff western union?/
/not a clue, destructo./ Xander smiled at that, he knew who that was. It was his name for the new baby. /let me check into that. You okay?/
/so far. I'm healed, that's good. Open heart surgery sucks. So did waking up two weeks later. Horrible backache./
/lol. Heart surgery? You only had a burn./
/they found a defect where it wasn't in the right spot and fixed it while I healed. Less stress on the medical community putting up with me. Throttle says hi. He's napping next to me./ He gave his lover a grin then went back to typing. /how's my newest godchild?/
/active. He hasn't let mom sleep all night. She's upset with the kid. How's Charley? She was scowling bad./
/you sure you want that out in the open?/
/anyone who hurts her dies. You know me. The rest of the world can go to hell as long as my family's safe. Oh, yeah, the town's doing the sunnydale remembrance soon, no idea what date. Plus faith's due soon. No clue if they're around the same time. Giles has been in Cleveland telling them I'm overreacting too./
/wonderful. Hear the sarcasm? You tell yet?/
/forgot. I'm probably off until this spring. No open sites for me to take over./
/bummer. The stomach of doom says hi, uncle. The mother is frowning at me. Laters./
Xander smirked and typed in his own 'later' then closed the program, leaning back for a moment to stretch his stomach. If anyone was eavesdropping, they'd know not to touch his family. He got into his email, finding the withdrawal notice from western union and nodded, deleting it. He went through the rest, making sure nothing important had been waiting on him. Nothing much so he went to his surfing, finding some nice smut. Maybe he'd get some ideas for when he finally went to bed.
Dawn woke up as her private line rang, moaning into it. She sat up. "What?" She listened. "What's wrong now, Buffy?" She listened to her again. "No, he's not. He designs for Micah and his boss here, who owns a company. Tell them I said that. Yay. Really? Do you remember that discussion we had about smelly blue creatures? Possibly those too but I'm talking the local ones here? Hmm, well they're back. They're pressing hard. Sure." She smiled sweetly. "Agent, what's your name? Ah, Special Agent Dorder. I'm Agent Dawn Summers with ECHO." She heard his shudder. "You're trespassing and pissing us off. No, he designs for his boss, who owns a weapons company, and for ECHO itself since he's an agent. I'm sure the IFU would have gotten onto him by now if he was." He stuttered something. "So? That's not illegal or arms dealing. That's being a designer, agent. He's under no authority but ours. If we don't want it, he's got free and clear sale rights." She listened to him complain. "Ties to a terrorist cell? What have you been smoking! I'm ordering your boss to piss test you!" Rimfire sat up to look at her. "Listen, you little punk ass bitch. Not only is it *way* too early for this shit, but you're in deep now. Really? Tell me why you think he's a danger to the United States?"
She listened to Xander's resume of destruction. "Okay, pause. Sunnydale's high school blew up due to a gas leak. That's the official reason given by the fire chief. At that same time, something was trying to invade the school during his and Miss Buffy Summer's graduation. They blew up the school if you want to get technical about it. Yes, that crap on the walls? That was them. Honey, look up ECHO in your neat little database. Does it say anything beyond classified above your head?" she asked with venom dripping from her voice. Rimfire shuddered and got up, handing her her robe before heading to the bathroom. "Secondly, Xander Harris is the reason that most of Sunnydale got out of there. Yeah, he is, dumbass. A true psychic of the old lines. Traceable back generations. As we have. He had one. He could prove what was going on to those in charge because things started to happen in a sequence he had predicted. They called the evac from the town. And gee, look, he was right." She smirked. "Now, as for Wolfram and Hart here? He was in the building because he was getting their file on how they were going to kill him. Again, not the only one in the building and it was ruled a structural issue by those who have a damn clue. Of course he does, dumbass, he's in construction. He's a crew chief. It adds an extra ten grand a year to his paycheck. Who wouldn't go for their explosives license with that sort of incentive?"
She listened to him splutter. "Now, who the hell is making shit up about my fellow agent?" She listened to him stutter about a person in the local PD. "Name? Because there are people here who want to kill him, Agent Dorder. Yay. I'm guessing they're in the employ of them. Gee, let's see. Someone found his father alive and paid them thirty grand to trick him into coming out there to see him, where he was nearly killed by his father. There is a pending fraud investigation from that incident as far as I'm aware since the hospital tried to shake him down for money . I also know that the law firm of Wolfram and Hart have tried to snatch him at least once, right after that incident. It was stopped by his personal physician at that time. I know that they had plans to kill him for the last year. There is also a restraining order against them coming anywhere near him." She stood up and cracked her neck, putting on her robe. "Yay, Agent Dorder. Now, who's the idiot compromising one of our inventors? Honey, do I care?" she asked coldly. "You're out of which office?" The phone was hung up and she found a number she had gotten off Micah in the phone.
"Hendrix, it's Dawn Summers. I know it's asscrack early, sorry. No, I just got a call from Cleveland. They had an FBI and Homeland Security guy there. Special Agent Ronald Dorder. He's decided Xander is now a threat to the US. I refuted, I told them that it's someone in the employ of Wolfram and Hart. Yeah, him. He said there's an information source in the local PD and that ..." She trailed off. "Can you at least piss test him? I did promise I was going to do that." She smirked. "Thanks, man. No, he was bothering Buffy and them. She called me to help Xander. Yeah. Definitely. Thanks, man. No, from the text message on my phone when I answer it, Meg said we're being watched and they're not coming over for a while. Thanks. Let me know. Got the guy's name? Because we do have a contact or two down there. Yeah." She smiled. "Thanks muchly, Hendrix. Have a nicer morning. I hope you get to chew a tail off or three." She hung up and headed for the shower, she'd have to look respectable. "Babe, I can't make classes," she called as she walked. "The FBI thinks Xander's a danger to the US."
"Then he's heading to Mars," Throttle yelled back from upstairs.
"Up to you, big man. We've got an unfriendly in the screws."
"We've got bugs too," Xander called. "No one open the freezer."
Dawn went in to hop into the shower, making her mate smile and scrub her back. "Thanks, babe. I've got to look respectable at the least."
Dawn walked into the twenty-seventh precinct, holding up her badge. "Agent Dawn Summers here to speak to Lieutenant Welsh. Is he in?"
"Let me call, Agent Summers."
"Dawn?" Ray asked, looking astonished.
She looked at him and nodded, smirking as she held up her badge. "Yuppers. Long story. I'll tell you later, somewhere that's not bugged, like my house." He shuddered. "Is he in?"
"He is. Tell him I'm bringing her."
"Of course, detective. Have a nice day, agent."
She smiled. "You too, sweetie. It's gotta get better than how I woke up to a phone call." The officer nodded, understanding that. She followed Ray up the stairs, hissing in his ear about what was going on and that she was an agent. He just groaned. "Got any ideas?"
"Yeah, two. One in dispatch, on in the DA's office." He tapped on the door and opened it. "Her, sir." He walked in behind her and closed the door. "She's verifying my hunch."
"You're very young to be an agent." Dawn tossed him her badge as she sat down. "Where is this from?"
"ECHO. They deal with us," she said dryly, smirking at him. "Plus people like Xander and Limburger."
"Oh." He tossed it back. "What's going on?"
"I got woken up this morning by an idiot in the FBI and Homeland saying that Xander's a threat to the US because he designs weapons. It seems you've got someone here in the department who turned him in for it. We know that Limburger's back with Marshall. Since we know they're bad guys and we know Wolfram and Hart are bad guys and both are after Xander...." She shrugged. "Ray says he's got a clue." She looked at her watch. "Oh, expect more company by later today. I did report this to the nice guy in charge of IFU."
"That means you're a covert group," Ray said dryly.
"Ya think?" Dawn asked dryly, smirking at him. "Do you think the general public wouldn't want to pet the guys?" He snickered at that, sitting down as well. She looked at Welsh. "Personally, a lot of people think the knowledge would make a lot of teenage girls take science and math to get into space so they could go there and pet them, but we're still pretty wary about it."
Welsh smiled at that. "I can see that actually." He looked at Ray. "You told me one name. Gouda or something?"
"All the Plutarkians are cheeses," she said grimly. "Who's the other?"
"D'odor. He's a new DA intern."
"Well, he's smelly sounding," she said dryly, crossing her legs. She looked over as someone knocked on the door. "Enter, Hendrix." He walked in and shut it behind him. "We've got two in the system. Is my imbecile from this morning related?" He nodded, handing over the folder. "Aawww," she said, handing it to Welsh. "Ray Vecchio here and Stan Kowalski both know," she reported. "Ray found out by problems coming for him and Xander intervening."
"I've got the report on that. What about Kowalski?"
"He was involved in that and he's dating Chassis. We had Ray and his Ma over for tea before we had to go up there."
"That's fine. What does Welsh know?"
"That Xander's a furry and handy guy," he said honestly. "That's all I need to know." He went back to reading the dossiers. "What are they going for?"
"Arms dealing, money laundering, and now a threat to the US."
"Which he's so not," Dawn sighed. "He's one of the damn protectors." Hendrix nodded at that. "Don't like us, do you?" she teased with a grin.
"My life was so much less complicated before Simms got moved over to handle you guys and I got sucked in," he admitted. He looked down at her. "Did you identify yourself?"
"As an agent. I said the name of the agency in front of this select group but Kowalski met and talked with Micah recently."
"So did most of my family since we adopted Kowalski," Vecchio offered. "Ma really likes Chassis with him. She didn't even say anything to him about," he coughed, "rumpling her before marriage as she put it." Dawn snickered at that. "She's a nice kid."
"She is, and quite deadly when necessary. You better hope she never sees him in a standoff." Ray nodded at that. She looked at Welsh. "So, can we have them?"
"Subtlety, Miss Summers," Hendrix ordered quietly.
"That's fine. Can I expose him in a limited way?" she asked. He frowned at her so she stood up and whispered in his ear, getting a tired sounding sigh and a nod. "Thank you." She grinned at Ray. "You wanna help?"
"No." He grinned back. "I don't wanna know most days."
"Good idea." Her phone rang and she looked at it, sighing in defeat. "Yeah, Agent Summers?" She listened, then groaned. Then she turned and kicked the chair. "Okay, Winch. Calm down. What are they doing?" She listened. "You're sure it's them? They're in the open?" She looked up and mouthed prayer for patience. "True, they can get away with that in Vegas. Okay, in the stuff I gave you was a card for Gil Grissom. Hold on." She looked at Hendrix. "There's two Plutarkians destroying an older casino downtown Vegas in their actual skins." He just gaped so she handed the phone over. "Trust him," she called. She looked at Welsh. "Have you seen this DA?"
"No, not yet. Vecchio?"
"Once, from a distance. He didn't seem to stink."
"Then he could be from W&H. If so, then we've got bigger problems and some of us may end up on Mars permanently for a bit." She looked over as Hendrix nudged her and handed her back the phone. "Was I right?"
"Yeah, you were. She's going to call and meet with him to tell him about that menace, filling in the gaps we left. Then she's going to warn him of any upcoming action. Just so he can clue people in to avoid it." She nodded at that. "Good thinking."
"Thanks. I try but it's still damn early." He let out a small smirk at that. "I got woken up about ten minutes before I called you. I don't have class until four and I had a late night of homework and sex last night."
"I don't need to know that either," Welsh said quickly.
"Sorry, Lieutenant." She smiled at him. "How would you like to help us deal with that?"
"With as little involvement as possible." Someone else knocked on his door and both agents looked clueless. "Enter!"
"Hi, Lieutenant Welsh, I'm Charity Pierson from IAD." She flashed her badge. "I've had a call about two of your detectives." She looked at the others.
"Agent Dawn Summers," she said, holding up hers.
"IFU, Hendrix," he said, holding up his. She looked like she wanted to wet herself. "Get in here, close the door, and tell me you're here about either Vechio or Kowalski."
"Actually, I am," she admitted, closing the door. Someone knocked and she opened it. "In a moment, detective."
"Stan?" He walked in and shut the door, leaning against it. "Dearie," she said, walking over and leading her to a chair. "We're here because you've got two people within the local admin, including the cops, who are giving false information on another federal agent to discredit him and get him out of the way of their plans. Did something come from a DA D'odor or an officer named Gouda perhaps?" She blanched and handed over the files. "Thank you." She gave Stan a small smirk. "Morning. How was your night?"
"Good until I got here," he admitted.
"Feel the same way. The idiots might be working together."
"Agent as in FBI?" Pierson asked.
"No, they're being fed lies too," Dawn assured her. She handed it to Hendrix, then looked at the poor officer again. "Dear. Officer, sorry, bad habit and all that. The two people who have been doing this are either in the employ of one of the Limburgers, who are a criminal syndicate bent on taking over the city, or Wolfram and Hart. They recently had a great majority of their local office arrested for human sacrifice and various corruption and homicide charges." She looked stunned. "We believe they're working together. We know Gouda is in the employ of Limburger. We know this because I know he's his people."
"Are they Italian or Russian mafia?"
"Neither. Free agent mafia, though the greater majority recently voluntarily moved to Siberia. They're bent on power, corruption, and control of the city, moving up the chain until they get to the white house. They like weapons and real estate." She nodded, taking some paper to write this down. "The Goudas have been a connected and integral family to the Limburger syndicate now for many years. We've had our suspicions but until this nothing concrete. The DA in this case, I believe, is either part of that same group or with Wolfram and Hart. If so, then they've merged their operations and it's going to get messy. Now, there are those who have fought them in the past. My family is one, including one Xander Harris."
"I've heard of him. He had something about an abuse shelter?"
"He's a crew chief with a local construction company and he designs weapons in his spare time. Which he sells to his boss, who owns a legitimate company, or my boss, who runs a covert agency." That got a whimper and a nod. "There's also the owner of the Last Chance Garage, Charley Davidson. She resisted Limburger for years when he was trying to buy her out to own her block. There is a restraining order against all of those people for her and Mr. Harris and our family because they have issued death threats." She nodded quickly at that. "Detective Vecchio has needed help from Mr. Harris and myself in the past to deal not only with Wolfram and Hart but also a few cases here that he had some specialist information on. They do know each other and Ray's mother came over for tea recently. Detective Kowalski is dating one of us. She brought him food a few weeks back if you need to check that." She wrote that down. "I seriously doubt either one have even shady records."
"No, not really. Things that are easily explained," she promised. "That's why they sent me." She looked at Welsh. "You knew about this?"
"Some of it," he admitted. "I didn't butt into Kowalski's love life. I knew Harris, I've talked with him in the past. He's a very handy and nice guy. I didn't know he did weapons design stuff. I do know that he had a few practical models mocked up and someone complained so I sent Vecchio over to talk to him and to get him to take down the models. He did so in a timely manner." She nodded, writing that down as well. "He's a very nice guy. Rides a huge motorcycle. A bit pale but otherwise a very nice guy."
She looked at him. "Is he part of that bike club next to the Last Chance?"
"That's our home," Dawn said dryly. "Most of us ride bikes. Charley fixes them."
"Oh." She nodded, marking that down as well. She gave Hendrix a look and got a wave to go on.
"Now, do you have any serious allegations about either detective that they can clear up here and now?"
"No, ma'am, that does explain a few things. We did have Detective Kowalski making furtive phone calls on the station's time to someone not in the phone book. We did have reports of meetings going on in parking lots with Detective Vecchio and a very pale biker."
"My Ma adopted Kowalski during that time I was undercover and he was being me. We were setting up a meet and greet thing for her to meet his girlfriend, who's their family."
"Oh. Thank you, detective." She wrote that down and looked at the other one. "Just calling your girlfriend?"
"Possibly my exwife as well," he admitted. "I had to chew her a new one over something. I definitely didn't want anyone to hear." Someone else knocked on the door. "We're full!"
"Oh, do let the imbecile in," Dawn said snidely. Stan smirked and got out of the way, letting him in.
"Special Agent Ronald D'odor," he said in greeting holding up his badge.
Hendrix smirked. "I'm Hendrix, IFU," he said, holding up his. The guy fainted. "Yeah, I believe he'll be drug tested soon," he told Dawn. She just smiled sweetly. "How are classes?"
"Sucky. Homework out the ass at the moment for midterms and history's a repeat."
"You got in early?" Welsh asked.
"I did the work before, I've got practical experience but they said I need a degree so I'm going for languages and computer stuff. Rimfire, my mate, is going for ag and computer stuff. We're a team. He's a lot like Xander, only gray." She smiled. "We're cute."
"They are," Stan agreed, slamming the door when he heard footsteps. He heard the detective mutter. "You don't want involved, Huey, there's three Feds in here." The detective walked away. He looked at Ray, then at Dawn. "Can I come over for dinner?"
"Sure, if we're still there. There's the thought of sending some of us back to the old home."
"Sure. I'll call first," he offered with a grin. "Am I done? There's stupid people who need to be caught."
"Go, detective. You as well, Detective Vecchio, and I thank you for clearing this up."
"Not an issue," he assured her, giving Dawn a look. "Stop by before you leave." She nodded and smiled, walking over to kiss him on the cheek. "Thanks, Dawn. I've got another case of theirs." He left.
"With Wolfram and Hart?"
"Strange crap," Dawn told her. "I deal with that sometimes. It's part of my prior training." She kicked the FBI agent in the side, making him moan and get up. "On your feet, soldier," she snapped. He jumped up and went to attention. "Nice. Which branch, private?"
"Branches Military Academy, ma'am. Yourself?"
She walked around to face him. "Agent Dawn Summers," she sneered. He swallowed. "And there had better not be a strike force on the way to my house, private. By the way, is it you or your brother who's in big with Wolfram and Hart?" He swallowed again. "Let me remind you, my sister is still my sister and what she is," she hissed in his face. "And I'm just as good because I trained under her." He let out a small whimper. She locked the door. "What are you? I know you're not Plutarkian."
He shook his head. "I'm a bracken," he admitted, shooting out his spikes. She took a swing and knocked him back out.
Hendrix looked at him, then at her. "Nice technique, but you still overextend. You'll end up overbalancing if you do that, Miss Summers."
"Yay. He's sullying the memory of a friend and cohort." She looked at Welsh, then the shocked IAD officer. "It's only going to get worse. May we please use your office? We promise to clean up any biological deposits."
"Sure," Welsh agreed, walking the officer out. "Let me show you our coffeemaker and a free desk, officer."
"Thank you. I'll have those two brought here, shall I?"
"Oh, sure." He heard a crack that sounded like thunder, but a look outside showed it was cloudy. "I hope everyone's windows are up." A few people went to check that.
Up the hall, a young plutarkian suddenly had his mask and his pants fall off. His shriek of fear made everyone look and stare at him as he scuttled off.
"That had better not be a halloween costume," the supervisor called, following him. He grabbed his ear and tugged but it wasn't a mask. He backed off, wiping off his hands. "What are you?"
"Leaving. I promise I'm leaving. Just let me leave," he begged. "Please."
Ray Vecchio was lounging in the doorway, looking bored. "He's wanted in Welsh's office by some Feds," he admitted. "Get your pants and your mask, *boy*. You've fucked up badly this time."
"MIB exists?" someone asked.
"I don't ask those questions. I don't need to be visited by any more Feds in my life." He waited until the guy had his pants and his face back on, then escorted him.
Stanley walked into the DA's office, listening to the screaming. He coughed when it stopped. "I need D'odor to go to the twenty-seventh. There's evidence he's been giving information to a law firm known as Wolfram and Hart and making false accusations to the FBI. They want to talk to him."
"Fine, just make whatever those things are go away," he exwife snarled, pointing at him.
"It's a costume, Stella."
"It's not, I pulled on one and it didn't move."
He moved closer to her, catching her arm. "There are *Feds* there for him, Stella Kowalski. I don't ask those questions. You don't ask those questions. Comprende?" She blanched and nodded quickly. "Good. Now, he's been handing shit to Wolfram and Hart, those guys we got doing the human sacrifice last year." She nodded at that. "He's also been making accusations about one Alexander Harris and his family, who are federal agents. He is a weapon's designer." She went a bit more pale. "This one either works for Wolfram and Hart, who like to kill people as they've proven, or for Limburger, who runs a multi-city syndicate bent on weapons and a clean city with only themselves in it. From what I've heard, he's got a new genetics center at the university. Not only are they doing legit stuff, they...." He glared at the demon. "Move again," he offered. "Summers is coming for you if I don't bring you back." The guy wailed and sank to his knees." He looked at his ex again. "They're also working on genetic manipulations of humans and others against their will. They've had human guinea pigs, like Mr. Harris. You've just stepped into the middle of a war and I'd appreciate you living to at least meet my new lady friend. Can we at least agree on that much?" He kicked the moving demon in the head, knocking him down. "Yes?"
"Yes," she said quietly, glancing at him. "That's not legal."
"He's wanted by the Feds for this shit, do I care? Besides, he tried to turn me into IAD for dating. Ray for knowing Mr. Harris. He's fish food for all I care." She nodded, sitting back down again and he stepped back. "Like I said, it's a costume, Stella." He picked up the demon and walked him off, taking him back to the precinct. Then he and Ray went to take Welsh for a long lunch, far, far away from his office.
Dawn walked in the front door and slammed it. "Family meeting!" she yelled. "Gather upstairs! Someone call Oz and get him on speaker!" she yelled as she walked. Charley was coming through the back door and this gave them enough time to actually get there. She walked up the ramp after Charley and she looked at everyone, even the baby and Chassis, waiting on her. "I just got done with Hendrix and some idiots. Wolfram and Hart and Limburger have teamed up." They all gaped at her. "I have also let the people who needed to know know about the Limburger criminal syndicate that keeps attacking us because Xander is a weapon's *designer*." She looked at him and he nodded at that. She looked at the others. "The charge of him being a threat to the US has been withdraw by sworn statement that's already been faxed back to the right people in Washington. Within a day all the bugs should magically disappear as well as the wire tap and the tap on the computer. I have also clued the correct people into the nature of the illegal genetics manipulations the Limburger Syndicate is paying for on kidnaped people because they are into weapons and real estate. Hendrix and I felt it was necessary. Chassis, sweetie, they tried to get Stan for talking to you. He got a bit pissed at someone and said he's introducing you to his exwife the next time you can come over, which should be tonight. IAD agreed, there's nothing wrong with him dating you."
She looked at Throttle. "None of us felt any desire to say anything about any altered people within the group or how they got that way. Or why there was suddenly a very blue person unmasked and unpanted in the dispatch office at that precinct. Or why there was someone in the DA's office drug out by his very spiky balls." She looked at Xander. "I think he was one of that guy Doyle's cousins or something." He nodded, catching the clue. "We are on alert, but not high alert. Hendrix and Micah have already talked to some people. They were not pleased at the Limburger syndicate either. Or at the known murderers in Wolfram and Hart, who again, have teamed up." She waved a hand. "End of briefing. Start of limited discussion since I'm sure we haven't found all the bugs yet but they'll be magically disappearing within a day or else. Oh, and I got to scare the guy who called me this morning after bothering Buffy enough that he passed out upon seeing me." She smiled sweetly. "Any comments, concerns, details I might have missed?"
"Damn, sweetie, it's only one in the afternoon," Vinnie said in awe. "Usually you're just getting up."
"Yeah, well, they woke me at six this morning," she complained. "Someone should have known better." That got some limited snickers. "Seriously. Waking me before at least nine is usually detrimental to someone's mental status at the very least." She looked at Throttle. "I did have to clue some of them in about the restraining order and why Xander was in the building at that time. That he is under perpetual death threat from them."
"I think you did great," Throttle assured her, pulling her over with his tail to give her a hug. "Thank you."
"It's not often I have to pull the badge and become the bitch but when I do, people seem to listen," she said sweetly, smiling at him. "Oh, Chassis, he said pizza tonight unless you're going to fuss about the cheese."
"Cheese?" she asked hesitantly.
"Call him and tell him no cheese, dear. I told him you might." She nodded, going to call him. She looked at the others. "Any other concerns?"
"How did we explain away his 'death'?" Modo asked.
"No one asked." He smiled at that. "I left Hendrix dealing with the final paperwork after working up a report for Micah at Stan's desk since he was out to lunch. Oh, Welsh said he wanted to meet Chassis too," she admitted. "Hey, Oz, did you get the report I sent?"
"I did, I included it in mine after doing some searching. Oh, Xander, Micah said he wanted to talk to you about the weapons on his bike. He wanted to see if you could upgrade some of them and work on the shield thingy."
"I can try. I can't get it to work outside the bikes," he admitted. He looked at them. "By the way, Modo, your bike does now have a shield feature. Vinnie, you've had one it was just disconnected in favor of the radio, so I switched it around with Charley's help, and dear, I'll get to yours as soon as I get more parts, which could be a few weeks." That got a lot of nodding. "Anything else, dear?"
"No, not at the moment. Oz, how's Meg?"
"Huffing and puffing through another false pain. She said so."
"Oz, take her to the ER," Charley ordered. "Just in case she's wrong. I had some of those too and they transitioned pretty quickly."
"Sure. How are you?"
"It's a girl according to Enamel."
Xander squealed and hugged her. "I'm so happy!"
"You, no spoiling this one. We want one normal kid." He pouted and she stared him down. "I mean it. My daughter will be just like me."
Everyone nodded at that delusion. There was no way one of Vinnie's kids would ever be *normal*.
To Part 69