Starting a little before the ending of the origin story, we learn that Buffy finds out soon if she is going to be expelled or not. Spoiler alert, she gets expelled. In this story written by Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza we see what happens when Buffy goes on the promised Vegas trip.
Buffy and Pike learn that a great deal of Vampires are coming out of Las Vegas and Buffy's home life is becoming harder and harder. Her parents are fighting more and more every day. And she knows a lot of it is about her. Going to Vegas isn't just about fighting vampires but it is also vacation from her life.
Right off the bat I have a glairing issue with this story. Dawn has no place in it. I understand that she was placed in all of their memories but this story unlike Origin isn't a flashback so why is she there? It takes me out of the story a bit if I am to be honest.
She gets expelled from school, her dad acts like a jackass about the whole thing. It helps paint a picture of the ending of the marriage that we kept hearing about on the show. Now there is an added problem with this story. She gets expelled in her freshman year and has to redo her freshman year. But when she goes to Sunnydale High it is the middle of her Sophomore year. So does she get expelled again? How does it work? I really think it was an over sight and those are never fun.
Anyways, nitpicking done for now. So Buffy talks Pike into going with her to Vegas. A mystery man named Angelus follows her. I lied, one more nitpick, why is he going by Angelus and not Angel? Let's assume it is to sound more intimidating and that it wasn't a mistake.
This is the real first time we see Angel in the timeline, he was never really in the Spike Vs Dracula series so this is a big deal. We get to see his first appearance at last! He sneaks after Buffy and Pike to Vegas to help her from the shadows.
When they get to Vegas Buffy gets a job collecting coats and Pike gets a job parking cars. They quickly finds the place littered with vamps. Angel gets a job with the manager who he soon finds out has a side thing going. He crosses the boss and gets stuck in the past. Where everything is black and white. The only way for the spell to break is for a vampire to enter the zone. But only a vampire without a soul. Angel crosses a line and turns the owner from the past into a vampire. Thus causing another problem. He says on Angel that the only vampire he turned with a soul was on that German sub.
There are a great deal of continuity issues with this story and it does tend to bother me. But the story over all is really good and a fun read. So Angel gets back to the present and tosses the manager back into the past just before the spell ends, leaving him stuck there. Now back in the past he has to help the old owner or die. It's karma at it's best!
Back with Buffy and Pike, they find the current owners. They are twins, stuck at the waist. The brother is a vampire and the sister is still human. It's a very weird idea that I love. It's simply genius. The fight turns against Buffy and Pike and Pike feels like he is going to get her killed so he jumps off the building. He lands on the ground and lives. But Buffy doesn't know that, at least not yet.
Buffy kills the vamps and goes to find Pike, she is pissed that he tried to kill himself but they don't have time for that yet. They still have to get the owners and the casino is over run with vamps. Buffy changes tactics, she gets a priest to bless the water supply and turns on the sprinklers, killing all the vamps inside, including the brother. Leaving the sister finally free. Not to mention rich!
Buffy and Pike head back to LA and Pike takes off, telling Buffy that he can't stay around and be the reason that she dies. They never speak again.
I know I complained a lot about this story but it is really good and well written. Just small issues with fitting into the larger universe that I take issue with. Next up we finally make it to the show!