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Blindfold (Prologue)

Another muggy, uncomfortable night in Los Angeles; another patrol through a nearly deserted graveyard. It had only been a few decades since he was last here, but it might as well have been a century for how different this town was now. He had no idea what was what and he was still reaching out to a few so-far uncooperative contacts to try and figure things out: where the demons went; who the major players were; where the action was. In the meantime, he tried to do the best he could, going to the old, familiar places – or at least the places he’d been wont to frequent in Sunnydale – and that meant traipsing through cemeteries.

The activity level wasn’t nearly what he was used to and he was starting to itch. The last fledge he’d killed had been over a week ago and the only thing he had found on his nightly patrols since had been a hundred ways to obsess over the end of his relationship with Buffy. Damn it. He needed something to occupy him, to keep him on the path that led nowhere near his old love. He knew there were more bad guys than he was finding and he wished he could just…

Wait a minute. Those were screams he just heard, and when he reached out with his senses, he could pick up something distinctly nonhuman. Well, it looked like his days of wallowing in heartache were over and that the universe was finally setting him back on the path of redemption. People needed saving and he was here to save them.

He took off in the direction of the noise and it was only a few seconds before he found the crisis – a bunch of pimply-faced goth kids who seemed to have come face to face with a real demon and obviously weren’t finding it nearly as ‘cool’ as they’d imagined. Pausing only for a moment to take in the ludicrous robes they were wearing and the chalice one of them was holding, Angel soon turned his attention to the demon – a posturing, adolescent H’rack barely old enough to be out hunting at all, especially by itself. Not much different from the idiotic humans it was trying to make a meal of.

Angel didn’t take the time to wonder what it was doing here away from its pack. Three seconds later, or thereabouts, its neck was broken and it lay on the ground, dissolving into sickly yellow goo. This was not in any way the fight Angel really needed, and, without meaning to, he vamped in frustration… just as he turned to confront the five stupid kids who were still standing right behind him, gawking.

Maybe it was for the best though, because at least they finally seemed to be displaying an appropriate amount of fear. Something needed to shock these kids into staying away from things that went bump in the night. So he stayed in game face and growled at the teens: “Get out of here.”

The smell of urine immediately hit his nostrils as one of them pissed himself and four of them took off running. Not the one with the chalice, though. She shrieked and tossed whatever the liquid in her plastic toy was right into his face. Then she took off after her friends.

Hopefully, they went home wiser and burnt those silly robes.

Speaking of burning… what the hell was that liquid the girl had thrown at him? Oh well, at least it wasn’t holy water and the stinging sensation in his eyes was already subsiding. But the smell… ugh. Now that was awful. It was like rotten eggs and clove and the sweat of a Fyarl demon all mixed together and it was enough to make him really regret having tried to put the fear of darkness into those playacting brats.

Turning back the way he’d come, Angel decided to call it a night. He wasn’t going to find any more demons tonight, he was sure, and he needed a shower. Back on the subject of burning clothes, his shirt was going straight into the dumpster. Damn. He really liked this shirt.

Dumb goth kids.

To be continued…