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Stakes & Halter Tops

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Stakes & Halter Tops: an Intro to the Slayage Biz

So, you've just found out you're a superhero. Congratulations!

Your detailed training will come later*, but in case you're feeling completely lost, this is an introductory booklet, outlining the essentials.

*see your local Watcher for details

Kendra looked up from her studies one evening, and asked, "Mr Zabuto, how many Slayers have you trained, before me?"

And so he explained that he had trained two Potential Slayers from the age of ten onward, been assigned to an untrained Slayer for three years, and taken over assignment to another Slayer after her former Watcher had been killed – then had come Kendra.

She nodded, and turned back to her book.

He didn't mention that one of the Potentials had never been called; that his third assignment had fallen in Cruciamentum; that his most recent Slayer had given up on trying after her Watcher's death and died in battle a few months later.

But then, she didn't ask.

…an important calling – and a big responsibility. But don't worry: it doesn't have to completely ruin your life. You can still make time for school, friendship, and maybe a day job.

It's all a matter of balance.

"Balance is important," Sam informed her, observing carefully as she swayed slightly, and grimaced at the effort of keeping her right foot off the ground. "Keeping yourself steady; every muscle always knowing precisely where it is: these things are vital for efficient combat."

Kendra nodded, eyes screwed up tight, and continued to wobble in an ungainly fashion.

He glanced at his wristwatch. "And – that is time. Two minutes. Well done." Kendra slammed her foot back firmly onto the ground, panting slightly as he continued, "You must practice every afternoon, until you can maintain yourself, still and steady, for five minutes on each leg. Understand?"

She nodded.

"How many minutes?"


"That's right." He smiled. "Now, it is nearly your bedtime. Go get undressed, and I will run you a bath."

Kendra nodded again and ran happily to her room, pigtails flying. Bath-time was her favourite time of day, at the moment. He enjoyed it too – now that she had learnt not to splash.

Sam laid his notebook on the table, and walked out to the bathroom.

The Basic Terms

vampires: Formerly-human evil guys, with the fangs and the daylight avoidance.
They suck blood, kill people, and have a tendency to give themselves cool nicknames.

demons: Not-so-human evil guys, with the slime and the incoherent growling.
Usually should be slain, but occasionally good company for movie nights.

Slayers: Superpowered fighters of evil. Like you.

Watchers: Your support crew. Some are stuffy and British; some are more fun.

witches: Users of magic. Not to be confused with the fashionable, funky-jewelry-wearing, Gaia-loving, rebellious-in-college variety.
We have many witches and other magic users on our side – but don't assume that they…

Kendra's training results jumped overnight – her aim, her stamina, her speed, all markedly improved. Sam carefully wrote down the morning's knife-throwing drill results, glanced back over the page, and knew.

A victory. But also a sadness.

She herself was not at all sad – simply excited about her calling, and eager to meet a vampire on her first patrol. He had to remind her that excitement was a distraction before she would settle down… and still her eyes sparkled.

She did not think ahead – and he was grateful for it.

…unbelievably sexy, and claiming to want to fulfill your every fantasy.
5) If your date has glowing eyes, or other unnatural coloring.
6) If your date expresses an interest in ruling the world, or appears to be pumping you for information.
7) If your date seems to be capable of going several minutes without taking a breath, while kissing you.
8) If your date wears any unusual jewelry, and keeps bringing the conversation back to your deepest desires.
9) If your…

The boy at the grocery store was the first danger. Kendra blushed when she passed him, one day, and Sam watched her, startled – his mind racing ahead to foresee the problems that could result if it were allowed to continue.

He reprimanded her for lagging, and they moved into the store quickly.

The next was two years later – a regular at the library, as were they. Kendra dawdled in the book line a few times, smiling at him.

When they were safely at home, Sam sat her down and reminded her that she was not to speak to boys. She flushed and said with frustration, "But why–"

But then she checked herself, saying simply, "Yes, Mr Zabuto," and retired to the table to study.

Apocalypse season is never fun. (Although it can be pretty exciting.)

Typical apocalypses can range from the epic – worlds sucked into hell, dimensions collapsing, etc – to the more mundane – the ever-appealing "open the Hellmouth" gambit – through to the truly ridiculous – giant snakes, armies of love, or maybe cyborg minions.

There are many ways to combat your average apocalypse. Generally, you'll need a team of at least six people (including one to go for snacks), plenty of books, a few wacky ideas…

And one day, the world ended again. As it always did.

He'd known Kendra for longer than the others – and it affected him just as much. Silly, really, for he knew it was coming. It was inescapable: pointless to get too attached.

But however much he steeled himself, it always hurt. It always threw off his work for a few weeks. He always skipped over the details, finishing that final Diary entry as swiftly as possible.

And it always felt like a little bit of the world had ended. Every time.

Sam sat in his chair for two hours that day, holding her photograph – and wondering if her parents even remembered that she'd existed, once upon a time.

So, that's the basic rundown.

Remember, slaying can seem hard, but it can also be fulfilling, fun, and a great conversation starter at parties. Enjoy yourself!

And however hard it gets, don't worry – remember, you're not alone.