Buffy was looking forward to a nice, normal evening, curling up in her dormitory room with a history textbook and catching up on some homework. She had spread the word among her friends that she didn't want to be disturbed tonight, and she hoped that the various vampires, werewolves and demons which the Hellmouth liked to spew out would cut her a break as well.
Sipping her tea, the blonde threw herself mentally into the Battle of Hastings. But within an hour, she found she was having trouble focusing on the book...the words seemed to be jumbled. Then, Buffy realized just how stuffy the room felt. She tried to rise from her bed, but she grew so dizzy that she fell to the floor.
She didn't feel ill, and she didn't sense anything magical, so that could only mean one thing...she was drugged! Through the growing fog that clouded her brain, she thought about how many cups of tea she had, and how she just now realized that it had a slightly bitter taste.
And then, she drifted off into oblivion.
She had no way of knowing how much time had passed when she finally awoke. As her eyes opening, she immediately realized that she was no longer in her dorm room. She was lying on a bed in a strange room. It was sparsely furnished. The walls were made of stone, not plaster. There was no window.
Getting to her feet, the blonde tried to open the door...a heavy steel door, like in a prison...but it was securely locked from the outside.
She searched the room for a means of escape. There were none. The air and heating vents were up near the ceiling, which was at least 12 feet high, and they were too small for her to crawl through regardless. The room was wired for electricity, but there were no telephone lines. Nor was there a television set or radio...nothing to provide information from the outside world, or to be canibalized into some sort of communications device. The thick walls could not be breached without heavy industrial equipment.
She spent hours probing every square inch of the room, seeking out any means of escape. She found none.
Just as she slumped down on the bed to figure out what she should do next, the iron door was unbolted and opened. In the doorway stood two men whom Buffy had never seen before. Closest to her was a middle-aged man dressed very much like an ordinary businessman; He was unimpressive physically. Behind his right shoulder stood a veritable brute, tall and muscular. In his right hand he held a rod of some sort.
"Good morning, Miss Summers," said the businessman. "I trust you've exhausted your futile hope of escaping this room. I assure you, there is no escape."
Even as the last word left his lips, Buffy was on her feet and rushing towards the pair. If she could only get past them...!
The brute moved swiftly, brandishing the rod in his hand, which turned out to be a cattle prod. The jolt sent the blonde hurtling backwards to the bed, dazed.
With no change in the tone of his voice, the businessman ontinued. "Good, now that you have that out of your system, we can get down to brass tacks.
Miss Summers, I represent a coalition of individuals. Each of them are highly successful, and they have pooled their resources to create a...club, of sorts.
On a regular basis, they stage hand-to-hand combat matches between worthy opponents. You have been selected to compete in tonight's match."
"You have no idea what you've gotten yourself into," replied the blonde, with a mixture of anger and smugness.
Unfazed, the businessman continued. "We are fully aware of your qualifications, Miss Summers. You are the Slayer, the supposed epitome of mortal combat potential. You have battled...and beaten...some of the most horrific creatures the netherworlds have produced.
We are not unfamiliar with such creatures. In times past, we have...employed...the services of such in our arena. Unfortunately, zombies and vampires tend to lack a certain imagination. Despite their impressive might, they tend to make for rather dull combatants. That is why we prefer humans."
Her eyes narrowing into slits, the blonde slowly asks, "So, I'm not here to fight something supernatural?"
"Not at all," her 'host' says. "Your opponent is quite mortal. It should make for a most...interesting contest."
"And what if I refuse to fight?" Buffy says.
"Then," the businessman states, "you will be kept prisoner here until you comply. And someone else will be...acquired...to fight in your stead. Perhaps one of your friends?"
There is was, the carrot and the stick. Buffy couldn't risk the lives of any of her friends.
"What happens if I win?"
"You will then be free to go, and you have my word that you will never hear from us again."
"And...if I lose?"
"Then you will spend the rest of your natural life as a gladiator for our club, fighting whom we tell you to fight, when we tell you. You will be confined to this room."
This entire scenario was ludicrous. But, Buffy knew, there was no hope of escaping. Her only hope lay with going along in this crazy plan, and counting on her skills to carry her through to victory.
Still, how hard could it be to beat a mere human opponent? She was the Slayer, after all! Nothing short of a Hellspawn was likely to give her any real trouble.
Wordlessly, Buffy nodded her approval of the terms.
The businessman and the brute closed the door, and the blonde
began to mentally prepare herself for the fight to come.
An hour after Buffy learned the reason for her abduction, a meal was brought to her and she was informed that her match would be that night. She was told nothing of her opponent, save that she was a favored gladiator of the club, and she had specifically requested that the Slayer be pitted against her.
Not knowing precisely what to expect, the blonde had no way of formulating a specific battle plan. But that didn't bother her much; in her war against the supernatural, she frequently had to concoct plans 'on the fly.' She would take her mysterious opponent's measure first, and then she would strike back.
She would have to fight in the clothes she was wearing then she was kidnapped: A blouse and sweatpants. She tore off the sleeves of the blouse to give her arms maximum freedom of movement (using a strip of the cloth to tie off her long hair in a ponytail, so as to keep it out of her eyes), and tied it off around her midriff. She wore no shoes. She could leave nothing to chance, for the smallest of mistakes could doom her.
As the hour of combat neared, Buffy engaged in a series of light exercises to limber up and get her adrenaline pumping.
Finally, the signal came.
The brute who gave her the shock treatment earlier arrived alone to accompany her from her room to the arena. He wasn't carrying his weapon this time, and Buffy soon learned why he didn't need it: As they made their way along the hallways, she realized that the entire complex was designed like a maximum security prison. Even if she could overpower her hulking chaperone (which would have been difficult, at best), she could see no way of escaping from the building itself. And, even if she could get outside, she had no idea where she was. No, escape was not the best option. Unfortunately, the only truly viable option was to fight for her life.
Finally done traversing the maze of corridors, the blonde was instructed to stand facing the door at the end of the hall. Doing as she was told, she could hear the muffled sounds of a lively crowd on the other side. A minute or so later, the heavy steel door was opened from the other side, and Buffy stepped into the arena.
It was a large rectangular room, some 30'x20'. The walls were made of cinder block, and rose to a height of about 10 feet. The floor was made of lacquered wooden planks, like an old-style basketball gymnasium. The Slayer quickly took off her socks and threw them into the nearest corner; better to go barefoot than to slide across the slick floor.
The walls did not reach up to the ceiling. Instead, they opened up to balconies on all sides, which were filled to capacity, some 100 or so spectators. They were of varying ages and races, male and female, and they all displayed the trapping of wealth. So, it was just as she suspected...she was the plaything tonight of the idle rich. All things considered, she'd rather spend the evening in the company of demons, who at least had the decency to look as ugly on the outside as they were on the inside...unlike her "fans."
No announcements were made. The crowd clearly knew who she was. They also, just as clearly, knew who her opponent was. A chant of "Amy, Amy, Amy" began to rise up from the crowd. Suddenly, appearing in the doorway was Buffy's rival.
The blonde gave no sign of acknowledgment save for an arch of her eyebrow. In truth, she was a bit taken aback. She had come to expect a literal Amazon. Instead, her opponent was actually an inch or two shorter than she was, and probably five pounds lighter. She was fit, but not overly-muscular.
She wore her dark hair long and loose, and had piercing eyes and a smug smile. Her attire consisted of a tank top and micro-skirt. She, too, was barefooted. To Buffy, she looked all the world like one of those goth chicks who frequent the LA nightclubs. The Slayer had faced more dangerous vampires before, she reckoned.
The door closed shut, and that was all the signal the two girls needed to begin. They began to slowly circle one another. Buffy assumed a martial arts combat stance, her body tensed and ready; Amy was more relaxed, practically sauntering with a seemingly bored air. The blonde took this to be a charade, an attempt to fool her into thinking the brunette was no fighter.
But she was. When they finally got within striking distance of one another, Buffy made a feint, throwing a punch in such a way as to force her foe to neglect the real attack. Unfortunately for the blonde, Amy anticipated the tactic, and she responded herself before Buffy could, thrusting her fingers with cobra speed into the blonde's throat.
Hacking and gasping, clutching her pained throat, the blonde beat a hast retreat in order to regroup. However, the brunette wasn't about to abandon the upper hand, and she immediately launched her own offensive. In an unusual move, Amy somersaulted forward so that, while standing on her head, she was able to snare Buffy around the neck with her feet and, jackknifing her own body, sent the blonde tumbling head over heels to the floor.
Even as Buffy crashed to the floor, Amy used the same fluid motion to roll to her feet and, barely a heartbeat later, delivered a stunning kick to the side of the blonde's head.
Buffy let out a low moan as she got to her hands and knees, shaking her head in order to clear it. Even through the painful haze, her mind was racing. What sort of fighting style was her opponent using? That was the problem...it was no style at all! Rather, it seemed to be a blend of various styles, maybe even some pro wrestling, judging by that flip move! And that made this Amy the most dangerous type of fighter around, because her style was too unpredictable to be anticipated and overcome. Instead, the blonde would have to weather the attack, and hope her rival made a mistake that can be capitalized on.
But in those opening minutes of the battle, mistakes from the brunette were hard to come by! With a magnificence that bordered on perfection, she battered and bullied the Slayer at will. So unpredictable was her assault that the blonde could not mount an effective defense. Ruefully, Buffy came to realize that her vast experience battling supernatural beings was more hindrance than help right now. Her "host" had been correct earlier when he remarked that vampires and the like were uncreative fighters. The Slayer had gotten too used to facing such opponents. Now, faced with an opponent who had far more creativity than any vampire or demon, Buffy simply didn't know what to do!
No one is perfect, of course, and, inevitably, a small opportunity arose for the blonde to strike back. Amy dropped her guard for just a fraction of a moment, but that was sufficient for the Slayer to grab her in a headlock and, before the brunette could resist, bringing them both down hard to the floor. The bulldog-style move wrenched Amy's neck painfully, and stunned her for a long moment. Buffy used that opportunity to begin jack-hammering punches to her foe's face while still holding her in place in the headlock.
This wasn't the sort of maneuver that won fights, but it would, Buffy hoped, sap some of her rival's strength. And it might have, too...if Amy was prepared to let her continue.
Even as the blonde cocked her fist back yet again to aim it at the brunette's nose, Buffy's eyes suddenly widened, and her mouth fell open in a silent scream. A second later, the sound followed as she let loose with a piercing howl. She also released her headlock in order to use both hands to pry free of the agonizing torture she was now enduring: Amy was using her left hand to claw at the blonde's groin! The thin fabric of her sweat pants were of little defense as the brunette's slender fingers dug deep into the crotch. Not even a Hellspawn had ever attacked her in such a manner, and Buffy in her agony briefly forgot all knowledge of combat. In those desperate moments, she was a helpless victim of as savage an attack one woman could inflict on another.
It was Amy herself who ended the torture. With a groan, the blonde curled up into a ball, her hands cupping her groin. But the brunette had another target now. She had discovered the blonde's Achilles Heel: She was no street fighter. So long as the brunette fought 'dirty', the Slayer would be as helpless as any teenybopper cheerleader.
Allowing Buffy to get to her hands and knees, Amy got behind her and, grabbing the blonde's blouse from behind, ripped it open. Buffy wasn't wearing a bra, so her breasts were exposed. Reaching around her from behind, the brunette sank her fingers into each orb.
Wailing in new pain, tears streaming down her face, Buffy grabbed desperately at her tormentor's wrists, trying to pull loose their grasp, but with no success. Amy's nails bit into the flesh, leaving reddened tracks as she kneaded the breasts like dough.
"Well, at least we know they're real!" hissed the brunette, with a giggle in her voice. Buffy's only response was another yelp of pain.
At this low moment, in her own mind, Buffy Summers wasn't the Slayer, the Chosen One. She was a scared, helpless teenager, trapped in a conflict that was too much for her. Somewhere, deep in her mind, she accepted her coming fate as the slave/gladiator of her captors.
Yet, just when all hope seemed gone, fate intervened. Amy leaned forward at the precise moment when the blonde gave a convulsive jerk of her head, catching the brunette hard in the nose. From the sound, even the spectators realized that it was broken.
Stunned, the brunette fell backwards, freeing her victim.
The blonde's mind screamed at her to run and hide...to beg for mercy...to do anything that would stop the fight. But the instinct of the Slayer again came to the fore. She had this one slim chance to win, and she had to give it everything she had!
She got to her feet unsteadily, but there was pure power behind her kick; the ball of her foot caught the brunette perfectly under the chin, snapping her head backwards with a ferocity that caused some spectators to wonder for a moment whether Amy's neck had snapped.
For a moment, Buffy wickedly considered using the same tactics on Amy as the brunette had used on her, savaging her rival in the way she had been. But the blonde quickly realized that it was folly to try and match moves with Amy. Far wiser to use the tactics she had long since mastered.
Being nothing if not adaptable, Buffy now let her own creative imagination shape her offensive, befuddling the stunned brunette with a flurry of kicks, punches, and even head butts!
Weakening fast, Amy tried a desperation move, grabbing her foe by her ponytail and yanking so as to spin the blonde around. Buffy crashed into the wall, the back of her head hitting the unyielding stone. The brunette followed up with a knee lift; it was meant to smash into the blonde's crotch, but the impact with the wall had caused Buffy's knees to buckle. Therefore...luckily...she sank a few inches down, with the knee ramming into her lower belly. The blow did damage, but far less than intended. And the Slayer was able to shake off the effects within moments.
Her own power now nearly spent, the blonde could no longer afford to wage a protracted fight. She had to end this, and quickly. Thus, she raked her nails across Amy's eyes, momentarily blinding her. The brunette stumbled backwards, rubbing her aching eyes.
Buffy let her move back a few feet further. Then, she scooped her up and lifted her up into the air...it took every last vestige of strength to do so...and brought the brunette down so that her back slammed into the blonde's outstretched knee. Draped in such a manner, her body bent so unnaturally, Amy was in danger of having her spine broken (and in truth, the enraged blonde had hoped for just such a thing, but she lacked the power to achieve it). Still, she refused to submit.
Buffy knew that she would have to knock her rival out, but she knew with equal surety that she herself had virtually no strength left to do so. The blonde's vision was blurred, her head was clouded, her body moved as if underwater.
She did the only thing possible...she wrapped her legs around the brunette's waist and wrapped her arms around her throat from behind. This combination bodyscissors/chokehold was feebly applied, but it was still enough to entrap the brunette.
For long minutes, the two foe's lay there. Breath came heavy to them, their bodies were soaked with sweat. Amy was not entirely helpless: While she managed to slip her fingers underneath Buffy's forearm, limiting the choke somewhat, she used her free hand to grab the toes of the blonde's left foot. She succeeded in breaking two of the toes by twisting them. Still, the Slayer would not relent.
This inhuman tableau took its toll on both of them. A horrible thought seized Buffy: Suppose she should pass out? That might give her foe the chance to recover and destroy her! The blonde fought off unconsciousness even as her eyes fluttered and her body jerked from involuntary spasms.
Just then, however, Amy gave out a deep sigh and her body went slack. She was unconscious!
The battle was over.
As the crowd cheered (with chants of "Buffy! Buffy!" echoing throughout the room), the door to the arena swung open. Too weak to stand, the victorious blonde had to crawl on her hands and knees, painfully dragging herself to freedom. Once through the door, she felt a hand place a cloth over her face; she recognized the smell of chloroform, and then she tumbled into a deep sleep.
When she finally awoke, she was in a hospital bed. She had been discovered several hours before, badly beaten, but sleeping soundly in her own bed in the dormitory. She was found by her friends, who had been desperately searching for the missing Slayer, and an ambulance was called.
She was banged up pretty severely, including a minor concussion, but there was no damage that wouldn't heal soon enough.
For years afterwards, she would try to find some clue to locating her abductors. There were always plenty of rumors and third-hand tales, but nothing concrete that would allow the Slayer to locate and shut down the savage contest once and for all. True to their word, her abductors never bothered her again.
Nevertheless, somewhere in the back of her mind, she could feel a dark connection with Amy Blue. She was still out there, somewhere, and she was anxiously awaiting the day when she could again face the Slayer, to battle her and beat her.
Sensing this, realizing that Amy might reappear anywhere, at any time; Buffy would never again truly know total peace.