Return to War Chapter Seven


Author: Vamp_fangs
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.

"Welcome back, everyone. As you all know, Mistress Drusilla is no longer in reign and as of today... actually yesterday, her lands are now in the hands of the Blessed Mistress Tara." Faith called, cupping her hands around her mouth so her voice could be heard amongst the thick and rowdy crowd. "If anyone disagrees with this matter, take it up with me, right now. I had fun yesterday with that tiny rebellion. So raise your hands." The brunetted looked down from her platform and nodded, seeing no hands moving. "Alright then, now to go on to other matters. This meeting may last a few minutes or hours, depending on how you move to my orders. The new lands will be seperated into the Northern and Eastern Wings. If you haven't noticed from yesterday, you all will have access to foods, clothing, tools, shelter and medical supplies. If anyone suffers from any ailments or need to see a medical practioner that haven't been seen to by one yesterday please stay after this meeting, I apologize for this." Faith looked over the crowd.

"Food is supplied in each wing where there is a large mess hall that can each fit easily five thousand people. There is a main mess hall which we will have to renovate slightly for the rest of you so do not worry about getting your food. Please notice that although their will be many people in the mess halls, food will always be plentiful and be courteous to one another. The chefs are mortals, not machines so be patient. The mess halls are open from 5AM to 1AM the next day, every day but they will only offer snacks and drinks until appointed times. Between 6AM to 9AM they will be serving breakfast, between 12AM to 3PM they will be serving lunch and between 7PM to 11PM, dinner. Eat all you want but please keep these halls as clean as you can, they serve as fortesses for all when we are at war." Faith paused and glanced at her watch. "As of now, it is 9:30, we will let you out within the next hour. And do note that if you do not recieve food in time because you were late, do not complain or whine or cause trouble. Trouble-makers will not be tolerated. Just find a chef and explain to them why you were late, it must be a reasonable explanation or you will only be receiving the snack items. There will be enough room for everyone do not worry. Even perfect people are sometimes late. Now, yesterday we found that we had a few rebels in this group and a few healers. Today, we would like to seperate you all into your specialties. Would all those who are blacksmiths, carpenters and craftsmen move to the right and all the sew or weave to the left? Children who are under seventeen who do not have any experience in the work field of their choise should remain in the middle. We have child care facilities for them." The brunette grunted quietly in discomfort, letting out a sigh as she watched the people shuffle per her instructions. This is going to be a long day... Faith turned around quickly in answer to the tap on her shoulder to face another woman.

"Reportin' for duty, Lady Faith." A strawberry blonde woman spoke, a wry smirk on her face.

"Heh, welcome back, K." The brunette greeted the woman.

"Thanks. Anything happen while I was away?" She grinned, her hazel-green eyes scanning the moving crowd.

"Just finding who can work in weaving. How many medical gauzes do we need, Kath?" Faith questioned

"About fifty-eight more baskets. But then we'll need scarves, dust season is coming."

"Yeah. But weavers can make scaves too so we don't have to worry... especially with this crowd." Faith jerked her head towards the majority of people who fled to the left. "And have you spoken with that Ox of yours?"

"Not yet, I'm going to find her after this meeting. You want to speak with her?" Kathryn Sables asked.

"Yup. I found out some distrubing news about someone and I need to know if I should tell the Mistress and give her hope or not."

"Alright. I'll find Nichelle and tell her... after lunch? She'll be working the East Wing fields. But for right now, you might want to get back with the people." Faith glanced back to the the group of people and frowned as the noise level rose.

"Yeah, after lunch is good... I shouldn't have volunteered for orientation."

"Happy?" The blonde questioned, rubbing Willow's belly in a circular motion. They had moved outside to rest in one of the meadows surrounding the hall. Other Hyrbids and purebreds were enjoying the afternoon sun as Willow and Tara settled underneath a large oak tree. Willow was purring quietly with her tail slowly flicking back and forth, hitting the blonde's leg gently. The Cougar answered the question by gently butting her head into her Mistress' shoulder. "Good." Tara smiled, propping herself against the tree. Willow paused in her soft purring and moved to lay her head on top of the blonde's torso, rubbing her head possessively against her Mistress' chest. The blonde shifted slightly and moved her fingers to grasp the short fur on the red feline's head. The redhead seemed more playful with a full stomach. "Good girl." The blonde whispered as she scanned the vast meadow, her blue eyes looking up at a group that was moving closer with a large man in front. Willow lifted her head and growled in the crowd's direction before lowering her head back into Tara's lap, her green eyes narrowing down as the noises grew louder. The large fur-covered man that was leading the pack broke away from the crowd to hesitate at the Cougar's growl before dropping on to his knees.The man was alarmingly fat and pale with sweat drops running down his rounded cheeks and six chins. Kneeling he seemed to become a blob of white human flesh swathed with the hides of poor animals he hunted. He took off his hat to wipe his bald head.

"Greetings Mistress, I am Victor Igo. I am one --"

"I'm sorry, Mistress Tara." Anya interrupted, pushing passed the rest of the people who were clamoring for attention. "I know we were supposed to take care of this for you but he --" The blonde waved her hand at Victor with a scowl. "Insisted that he speak with you." Tara nodded, not even bothering to look up at the man and ran her fingers through the top of Willow's head.

"Very well. Anya, take Willow somewhere she can take a nap, please. Thank you." Tara smiled at the blonde who looked exasperated at her request. She stood and looked directly into the man's dead fishie eyes. "What is your complaint, Mister Igo?"

"I am a wealthy merchant! I will not do manual labor for anyone, if you don't mind me saying that, Lady. You're wealthy, you understand me. That is what hyrbid slaves are for." The blonde's head rose after a few minutes of silence, her blue eyes staring intently at the fat man, causing him to hold his breath. Tension filled the air enough to cause the man to stammer.

"Hybrid slaves, Mister Igo?"

"Yes, Hybrid slaves, Mistress. I thought you knew, you have several of them here."

"Oh, so let me get this straight... You want me to waste the precious energy of my Hybrid 'slaves' as you call them, to work for you?"

"Well isn't that what they are for?" Victor Igo asked, rubbisng the side of his head in confusion. Tara blinked and shook her head.

"Well, Master Igo, here's my plan. You are going to be signed up with three weeks of latrine duty to help you understand that my Hyrbids here are not slaves you can give arduous labor to without thought. Everyone here is mine." Igo stammered, turning red. "If there is a problem with my judgement, bring it to me. If you cause ruckus among my lands I will personally send you off. I will not tolerate misbehavior over a small complaint." Tara glanced at the rest of the grou$p with a scowl as Victor nodded. "And for the rest of you, if you have complaints about working, then sign yourself up for latrine duty too. If you do not work, you will not eat. Do you understand?" The blonde Mistress recieved tentative nods before they dwindled off, their faces showing anger, disgust and fear. Tara shook her head and resumed her seat underneath the tree.

"They are such an ungrateful sacks of human flesh." Anya spat vehmently, returning with Willow in her leash. The blonde Mistress looked up at the woman with a grim smile and nodded. Willow plopped down besides the blonde and began licking her Mistress' hands clean, not caring that there was a person viewing her affections.

"At least I know it's mostly Drusilla's lot... Anya? Was Xander this comfortable witn you?"

"No, Mistress, it took him a while to get used to me."

"Alright... Thank you, Anya." Tara nodded, smiling at her friend.

"No problems, Tara."

"And before you go... could you get Nichelle for me?"

"Of course, brilliant idea. Let's see if her fried brain can be fixed!" Anya nodded in agreement, rushing off. Willow lifted her head and glanced at the blonde Mistress.


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