Abaddon, the Abyss
Shifting sand cushioned the sudden and violent stop to her fall, a shallow crater forming beneath with the impact. Buffy lay motionless, staring up, through the settling dust toward the cloudless gray sky. A grimace pulled her brows down as she hesitantly pushed narrow elbows into the sand and used them to brace the slow rise of her upper body. Green eyes widened at the nearly monotone landscape surrounding her. Jagged rocks pierced through the pale blue sand at odd intervals; growing steadily larger the further they lay from her supine form.
Sweat slicked palms pushed into the ground and Buffy shoved herself to a seated position. A sharp hiss escaping past clenched teeth at the grinding pain along her right side. Inhaling slowly and suppressing the convulsive shudder bowing her shoulders, she crossed her left arm over her chest and gently cupped the wounded side beneath her leather jacket. Ignoring the throbbing reminder that she shouldn’t be moving Buffy pulled her knees toward her body, grateful in the fact that she could tuck them beneath her painlessly.
Releasing her wounded side she placed her left hand into the sand, stationing her right arm closer to her body to hinder movement and pushed herself onto her knees. The pain in her chest multiplied as her back stretched and the Slayer grunted, refusing to give a louder voice to her discomfort and possibly bring forth something hiding in the low lying dunes to attack her in this weakened state. Unsteadily Buffy rose to her feet, boot heels sinking into the same sand that was currently covering her from front to back.
Silently cursing Giles for sending her on an ‘easy’ assignment—why was ending the world so damn trendy nowadays—where a bunch of human morons had found a crystal that could open a portal to the Abyss. She pushed back the hair that had escaped her ponytail, wincing as her hand brushed the head wound one of the morons had given her before pointing the crystal her way and sending the Slayer to this wasteland.
Sighing with the new and sudden knowledge that the crystal didn’t bring the Abyss to those that wielded it but brought them to the Abyss. By them she meant herself because Buffy appeared to be alone in this little corner of hell, for the moment or at least until Willow could locate her. She did her damnedest to ignore the little voice correcting, if Willow found her.
With resolute steps she began to make her way forward, ignorant of her destination but the urge to find shelter from potential bad guys was too strong to resist. Small clouds of sand and dust rose to sprinkle her jeans, cake the bottoms of her pant legs as she dragged her way past a few of the outcroppings of rocks. She coughed, winced as the expansion of her diaphragm put pressure on her busted ribs and absently wondered why she wasn’t thirsty. Why her dry throat wasn’t doing more than just annoy her. The very thought of water should have been making her stomach rumble but she felt oddly detached, as if her body had no real use for it.
Ignoring that unsettling thought she pushed her way forward, past the next set of black rocks protruding in a vertical wall beside her. She followed the outcropping, using them as a shield for her wounded side and a shadow darted across the dunes to her left. She stilled, turned painfully slow to see the wind pick up. Bring forth a thin wall of sand to scrape at her face and whip through her hair. A low growl overrode the wind, filled the space above her and Buffy spun back around, watched wide-eyed as a shadowed figure crawled its way down the wall and leapt forward.
She jerked back, felt claws taking purchase in her jacket and the creature dragged the Slayer to her knees. Buffy gasped as the sudden movement jarred her side and she lashed out with her left arm. Trying to take hold of the thing attacking her, fingers wrapping around sand covered limbs that rubbed her skin raw. It twisted, pulling her to the ground and she caught a glimpse of swirling gray and black hovering above her before the claws found her wounded side and dug in. She cried out as it tore her through silk and into her flesh, ground her bones and Buffy arched her back, tried to dislodge the creature attacking her.
Sharp fingers scrapped over her scalp, twisted in her ponytail and the shadow above her released her side and dug its boney grip into her shoulders and began to drag. A third wound its way between her legs, tore through her jeans to score her thigh and she kicked out managed to dislodge it as the other two pulled her into the rock wall. Her head impacted first and stars burst across Buffy’s vision and her back struck next, leather scuffing as it absorbed the effects of the jagged wall.
Her struggles were engulfed in a brilliant white light; it chased away the shadows and they lunged upward, howling into the wind and were gone. She collapsed to her knees, her breath coming in harsh pants. Pinpricks of light slipped past her field of vision as her side was engulfed in flames of pain and she fought to breath. Exhausted Buffy turned toward her savior.
She winced as the wind struck her face, nearly blinding as the robes they wore obscured their features and they moved to put her in shadow. Block the wall of wind and give her a small reprieve. Buffy’s mouth opened, prepared to thank them as a boot heel struck her face and she ricocheted back, head striking the rocks behind her before she slumped to her side.
A hand rose to free the scarf protecting Raya from the grating sand and pale green eyes narrowed on Buffy’s unconscious form. “Welcome to the Phantom Zone.”