Return to Island of Death Chapter One

Island of Death

Author: Tarawhipped
Rating: R
Disclaimer: All characters are property of Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy.
Note: Thoughts in italics.
Warning: Character death.

The Eind van de Lijn pulled out of the bay and headed due west for its two-hour voyage. The ship's small crew was doubled for this journey, the extra men easily distinguished by their black clothing and blank expressions. As the boat got underway, the additional men quietly moved to position themselves in front of the ten occupied staterooms.

Exhausted from their late night flights, Buffy, Oz, and Dawn slept soundly as the gentle rock of the boat soothed them into dreamland.

"MAXWELL! CAN YOU HEAR ME?" Cordelia shouted into her phone, but only static reached her ears. She threw the phone into her overnight bag with a squeal of frustration. Propping up a stack of pillows, she flounced down onto the bed and pulled out a stack of fashion magazines.

Faith completed her search of the cabin and climbed onto the bed to look at her haul: two ashtrays, four matchbooks, a set of stationary, a set of towels, six small bottles of various toiletries, and a Bible. Picking up the last item, she tossed it into the trash and began stuffing the rest into her backpack.

Xander lunged for the bathroom just in time to throw up what little remained of his breakfast after his first two episodes of seasickness. Giving up on any attempt to sleep, he placed a cool towel on the back of his neck and slumped against the side of the tub.

Realizing she was well out of range of a signal for her wireless connection, Willow pulled up a page she had previously downloaded to her hard drive and began to read, her forehead creasing noticeably as she scrolled down the page.

"Eind van de Lijn... Eind van de Lijn," Anya repeatedly muttered as she paced around the cabin, chewing her nails as her eyes darted nervously.

Despite the crewman's request that he remain in the room, Riley had fully intended, after stowing his bag in the small closet, to investigate the rest of the ship. When he found the door securely locked, he was first puzzled, then outraged. For the rest of the voyage he pounded on the surprisingly solid door, demanding to be let out to see the Captain.

When Tara heard the banging and yelling from the room next to hers, she tried her own door and found it locked as well. Sitting down in the stuffed armchair, she drew her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around her shins. Despite her best efforts to calm her nerves, her concern grew with every passing moment.

Shortly before noon local time, Giles made his way down the narrow path to the dock. He waited at the top of a steep flight of stairs for the passengers to disembark. One by one they climbed to the top while the crew unloaded their luggage.

He watched as the passengers eyed each other for the first time. A plethora of emotions was evident: curiosity, trepidation, disdain, fear. As the last of the guests reached the crest of the staircase, Giles smiled and opened his mouth to speak.

"I demand to know why we were locked in our cabins - are you in charge here?"

"Mr. Finn, I presume?" the butler asked, not bothering to conceal his irritation.

"Officer Finn. And you are?"

"My apologies, Officer Finn. I am Mr. Giles, but you may all call me Giles-"

"You're not the one who invited me here," Anya interrupted, looking the man up and down critically.

"No... Miss Jenkins, is it? My employer could not be here to greet you, but if you would follow-" Giles had turned to continue to the house, but was again stopped by Finn.

"I still want an explanation for the ship's crew."

"Well, you see, the passage can be quite treacherous, and it was for your own safety that you were asked to remain below deck."

"They didn't have to lock us in like criminals," Finn insisted indignantly.

"So you weren't trying to leave your cabin, Officer Finn?" the Englishman inquired. Finn looked away and clenched his jaw. Giles allowed the tiniest smug smile to grace his lips.

"If you would all follow me, we'll proceed to the Manor. I'd like to welcome you to Supai Island."

Five miles away, on the other side of the island, another boat floated at dock, the crew unloading its cargo. As the island's guests made their way up the winding footpath, ten identical rectangular pine boxes were laid out side by side on the pier.

Continue to Island of Death Chapter Three

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