Two days after Willow left, I returned to London. I didn't plan on going back so soon -- in truth, I'm not sure I intended to go back at all. A telephone call changed my plans, and my intentions, in the space of a few minutes.
As a sort of "Watcher Emeritus," I have an office at the Council's London office, even if I don't have many real, official "duties" there. I'm responsible for editing and preparing for distribution the diaries I kept as Buffy's Watcher -- suitably edited, of course. There are personal matters in my journals, written up at the time, that don't touch upon Slaying, or Watching, and I would never dream of including in them final, revised version.
That was my intention, at least. The Watchers' Council is running on an undercurrent of shocked helplessness, although most people try to maintain some semblence of normality. A series of seismic shifts have started to occur, and at present, there isn't any end in sight.
It started with reports from the far corners of the world, or, rather, a lack of them. A number of potential Slayers, and their Watchers went unaccounted for when the Watchers' reports to their nearest field office were uncommonly late in arriving. What seemed like simple carelessness in the hinterlands turned out to be something far more sinister, when matters were investigated.
Potential Slayers, and their Watchers, are being systematically murdered by person or persons unknown at the present time.
The Council's illusion of control is being severely eroded with each new death reported from the field, but the final straw, for me, was hearing about Faith being attacked while in prison. Faith survived the attack, but pre-empted the possibility of future attacks in situ by escaping from custody, and becoming a fugitive. A rash solution, granted, but not an entirely uneasonable one, under the circumstances.
I picked up the telephone and started dialling. Even if I wanted to do, there was no way I could avoid ringing Buffy any longer.
[Open to: anyone in Sunnydale who might pick up the telephone at the Summers' house]