You Have Been Called – A Buffyverse Story

Karyn Stroud was walking back toward her dorm late at night. It was after midnight and Karyn had already been sleep-deprived for days. It was Finals week and she had been hit with exam after exam and paper after paper. She was not overly worried about any of that, though, because she had yet to turn in her portfolio for review. She was visual arts major and her portfolio was more important than anything else. In her tired mind, it was more important than food or sleep. She had no idea what time it was as she stumbled toward her bed but she knew that she had to get some sleep before she passed out on a drawing table again.

She was proud of her portfolio. Much of her art was inspired by the dreams she had had since she was a little girl. Her dreams were full of dark imagery with plenty of vampires, demons, and things that go bump in the night. Her dreams had bothered her as a kid but therapy had helped her refocus her nightmares into something productive. She had chosen to pursue visual arts but she also did a lot of writing outside of Finals week.

She almost didn’t notice the frat boys as they approached her from the shadows. She immediately tensed up and started moving faster. She put her head down and clutched her bag tight to her chest. One of them suddenly grabbed the strap of her bag and she tried to jerk away from him but he held onto it.

“Where are you going, girl?” the guy asked.

“I’m going home,” Karyn said. “Just let me go.”

“You’re not the boss of me,” the guy said and his friends laughed. “Why don’t you lighten up.”

“I’m tired,” Karyn said. “Please just leave me alone.”

“No chance of that, cutie,” the guy said. “Why don’t you come with us? Let’s go party.”

“It’s Finals week,” Karyn said. “I’m not going to a party.” She struggled again. She decided to let her bag go and just run, her fear response starting to go into overdrive. She felt a surge of energy wash over her body. She was suddenly more awake than she had ever been. She knew exactly where all of the guys were standing. She could hear them breathing.

While this was happening, the guy had tossed her bag aside and grabbed her wrist. He pulled her close and Karyn acted on instinct. She lashed out with a closed fist and hit him in the nose. His nose exploded with blood, splattering all over her suprised face. She could hear the guy’s yowls of pain and his angry friends started toward her. Her vision went blurry and then everything went black.

Karyn came back to herself as she sat on a bench in what turned out to be the local police station. Not the campus police but the actual police. She was led into an interrogation room and the officers asked her questions about how she had managed to beat up five people. They told her that two of them were pressing charges. She tried to tell them that the guys had attacked her first and it was self-defense but the officers seemed hesitant to accept her explanation. She was shown pictures of the horrible injuries she had inflicted and she could not understand how she had done it.

The following day she was summoned back to the interrogation room. She was told that her attorneys had arrived. She was confused as her one phone call had been to her parents and they had not mentioned any lawyer. She had never needed a lawyer before but now there were lawyers plural waiting for her. She went along to the meeting and sat down in front of a brown-haired woman and a black-haired man.

“Hello?” Karyn said. “Why are you here?”

“We’re here to help you out, kid,” the woman said. “My name is Faith and this is Angel.”

“Is that a joke?” Karyn asked.

“How is that a joke?” Angel said. “That’s literally our names.”

“You have to admit that the names kind of go together,” Faith said. “Like Angel said, those are our names, Karyn. We’re here to help you.”

“Help me?” Karyn asked. “I don’t even know what’s going on. I also didn’t hire any lawyers. Did my parents send you?”

“We came on our own,” Angel said. “We heard about what happened and we’re currently on a mission to manage these things.”

“You heard about what happened?” Karyn asked. “What did happen?”

Faith smiled and shrugged. “It’s going to sound weird,” she said. “Believe me, I’ve been there. You’ve experienced what it is like to be called.”

“Called?” Karyn asked.

“It only happens to certain girls and women,” Faith said. “It happened to me. I suddenly was super strong and fast and I could sense predators and monsters. I became a Slayer.”

“A Slayer?” Karyn asked. “What?”

“Into every generation, a slayer is born,” Angel said. “A chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer.”

“That’s how it used to be,” Faith said. “Thanks to B, whole waves of girls get called at once. It’s kind of tiring.”

“How do I know this isn’t all bullshit?” Karyn asked. “You two could be crazy.”

“Do you have a lot of nightmares?” Faith asked.

“Yeah, whatever,” Karyn said. “A lot of people do.”

“Do you see monsters?” Angel asked.

“Sometimes,” Karyn said.

“What do you see when you look at me?” Angel asked.

Karyn studied Angel for a long time with a sense of unease in her gut. She glanced at Faith. “You’re both not human,” she said. “What are you?”

“Like I said, I’m a Slayer too,” Faith said. “We’ll get to what Angel is later. Look, we can work on getting you out of here and take it from there.”

“Where do you want it to go from there?” Karyn asked.

“Slayer Academy,” Angel said.

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