Willow Holmes was bent over her experiment watching for any sign of change.
"Anything?" Buffy stepped out of the shadows.
"Nothing so far; the blood, or what was left of her blood, seems quite normal. She would not have arisen, my friend. Vampire bite or not, she was dead; whoever... whatever, just wanted blood."
"A small mercy." Buffy stepped up to Willow's side, watching as Willow Holmes set up another test.
"What about the letter sent to the Central News Agency, anything there?" Buffy enquired.
Willow looked up with a grim frown.
"The police have no idea that the six murders and the other killings in London are connected." Willow walked around the cluttered table to sit on a nearby lab stool.
"With the first six murder victims there was just their blood missing, no sign of any struggle. The others, there was much more, throats slit, bodies mangled and disfigured; all were ladies of the night that know one cares a damn about. The doctor involved when Mary Ann Nicholes, the first victim, as she is known, was found, was Dr Ree Llewellyn he never even mentions two marks on her neck, which, my friend, I am positive would be there. Her neck was slashed from ear to ear; the marks could have been simply overlooked with all of the other damage done."
Willow reached over and removed a few notes, lifting up the two pages of text.
"Inspector Fredrick Abberline has kindly allowed me the original letters in the hope that I can help catch the murderer; they are a very interesting read. The poor dear has no idea what he was reading, other then they were written by a sick, deranged mind. They believe the killer is a Doctor, which I would tend to agree on. Other then the fact we have a vampire, or someone pretending to be, there are no clues as to who, or what, is running around London."
Willow moved the papers into a better light and with a soft voice re-read the letter to Buffy.
25 Sept: 1888
I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they won't fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track; are they even in the right world? That joke about a Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on whores and I shan't quit ripping them till I drink my fill. Grand work the last job was, so alive do I feel. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now, I am immortal. I love my work and want to start again; I have all the time in the world. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games, my loyal friends are coming. I saved some proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I canít use it, yet it taste so sweet, like honey. Red ink is fit enough I hope, ha ha. The next job I do I shall clip the lady's ears off and send to the Police officers just for jolly, wouldn't you? Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work then give it out straight. My knife's so nice and sharp; I see more than ever here in the dark, I want to get to work right away. I get a chance to feel their fear; it is truly heaven.
Jack the Ripper.
They both sit in silence, as the world continued on unaware of the evil surrounding them.
"He talks like he is only the first, that this is the beginning," Buffy muttered. "Immortal and loving the fear, the chase of a kill."
"Evil loves evil, Buffy, we have both seen it time and again. He, Jack, is playing a game, having fun, eating his fill if you like. Watching the mortal world fear his name. All we can do is sit, wait, and watch."
"It's the waiting and watching that is driving me mad. I am the Slayer, the chosen one. Am I not supposed to stop the evil? Not stand by and let it play as if in a playground," Buffy raged as she slammed her hand down on the table.
"We cannot stop what we do not know," Willow reminded her upset friend.
Buffy had had enough and needed a change of subject. "Are you sure about moving? You could move to the Haven."
Haven, a large and - to the passers-by - an impressive mansion and lands outside of London. 500 acres of land, forest and streams ran through the English land which surrounded the house on all sides. Two guards were always stationed at the main gate, and patrols walked the large grounds. No one entered without being a member; those that tried, usually the criminal or demon population were never the same when they left, if they left at all.
Willow allowed the change of topic, knowing that time and patience were all they had at the moment.
"I'm sure. It would be easier, perhaps, to live at the Haven, but it would draw too much attention to them and to me to live there. Having the police turning up on the doorstep day and night... there would be too many questions and problems; plus how in the world would I explain the odd demon, bad skin care? Or a good young woman running around with a sword or two? The local Police stay clear, but it does not stop them trying to find out what goes on behind those closed gates."
Buffy nodded with a troubled smile, she knew Willow was right, but she was still unhappy about the whole idea.
"Buffy, I am a master of the sword, and hand to hand I know the risks. Please, my friend, do not worry yourself, I will be fine. Am I not looking for a roommate as we speak?" Willow stepped back wiping her hands on a nearby rag.
"A roommate is a good idea, I suppose," Buffy grumbled. "At least you will not be alone; try to make sure that this one is human, oh, and living would be good too." A large smirk covered Buffy's face as she spoke.
Willow gave her old friend a thump as she past her. "One little, tiny, microscopic mistake and you never let me forget it."
"Just be careful. I know you are Willow Holmes, detective extraordinaire, crime solver and demon hunter of the known world, famous in the demon world, not to mention a growing fan club with the police, but you can still be hurt," reminded Buffy.
Willow nodded, touched by her friend's concern. "I just want a little bit of a normal life. This will be the start."
Buffy nodded as she opened her pocket watch. "I have to run, Giles wants me to go over some papers on the new recruits that arrived today, Slayers in training."
"That's another reason I don't want to live there. I'll be at Haven later tonight, I have a class at seven."
Reaching forward for a red bind covered book, a hidden door opened in the wall and Buffy slipped through. "Later."