|"Guarded, Part One"|
|Publication date||July 11, 2012|
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #11|
"Apart (of Me), Part Three"
"Guarded, Part Two"
|Published by||Dark Horse Comics|
|Cover artist(s)|| Phil Noto|
|Letterer(s)||Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt|
"Guarded, Part One" was the eleventh issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine comic book series.
Buffy narrated how many of the slayers in the disbanded Slayer Organization were left without a purpose since the destruction of the seed, and that they were able to find work elsewhere under Kennedy and her company meant to protect people. Including Buffy herself. Buffy was given her own client to protect, and exited the room to stay watch. Kennedy informed her that they picked up suspicious activity near her. Buffy responded quickly, and spotted a demon disguised as a bellhop. Kennedy corrected her assumption, saying that a demon didn't match the threat. However, Buffy ignored her and immediately attacked the demon. Buffy realized that the demon was not actually a threat, and rushed to her client's room when he pressed the button to inform her. A woman held a gun towards him and shot her, causing Buffy to jump in front of him. The gun was revealed to be a blank, as Kennedy had set the whole thing up to test her.
Kennedy lectured Buffy for her mistake, telling her to stop thinking like a slayer because the job was not about that. It was about protecting their clients from human assassins, not demons. Nonetheless, she allowed Buffy a second chance since she made this company to give others a chance at a purpose in life, including Buffy. Informing her her real mission would be tommorrow, Kennedy left in her car.
Buffy was getting coffee when Eldre Koh showed up to speak with her. Buffy recognized him, as Spike had previously told her their alliance together during their fight against Severin. Koh reluctantly asked Buffy for help in finding the demon who had imprisioned him before the destruction of the seed, as vengence was part of the code he lived by. Buffy refused, as she was busy with Deepscan and didn't have time to slay demons. Koh was annoyed, and mentioned how wrong it was to use her gifts as a way of profit. Buffy got angry, saying she was trying to get her life back together again.
Buffy left to go kill zompires, but before she could go anywhere, she's stopped by Kennedy. Kennedy warned her that if she went to patrol, she would fire her. However, she didn't want to fire Buffy despite what most of the other slayers were saying. Buffy questioned why, since the last time they saw each other she was blaming her for the break-up with Willow. Kennedy stated that her break-up with Willow was the best thing that ever happened to her since it forced her to realize that slaying wouldn't give her any sort of future. Buffy remained persistent about killing zompires, only for Kennedy to argue that the world had to deal with them now without the help of a slayer. The two argue, causing her to accurately say Buffy was afraid of not slaying because it's the only thing she's ever known. Buffy denied this, and left.
Buffy decided to go find a zompire anyway, believing that she would still be able to make a difference for someone. She spotted one, only for her to stop when Detective Dowling and the other police had staked it in her place. Buffy expressed her sympathy for the death of Dowling's partner and realized that she was not actually needed for staking zompires for now, as Dowling was training police to learn how to stake them.
The next day, Kennedy and Buffy prepare to board a plan for a mission. They met with their client, Theo Daniels, who was responsible for a social networking site called TinCan. While Kennedy clarified to him that they were ready for anything besides vampires and demons, Theo told him he requested their help because of their experience with demons. He revealed to them that he was being hunted down from an organization in a hell dimension, none other than Wolfram & Hart.
- Buffy's fake client immediately questioned if the company could've found someone "bigger". Buffy's size in affairs like this had been a running gag throughout the series, as both Angel and Jenny Calendar had said the same in "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "Prophecy Girl".
- Buffy's tendency to hit demons despite it not being appropriate for her job paralleled Angel's difficulty to not injury demons and enemies when he first took over Wolfram and Hart in "Just Rewards".
- Buffy and Koh referenced when she was weakened by Severin in "Freefall, Part Four" and his alliance with Spike in "Freefall, Part Three".
- Buffy mentioned Kennedy's break-up with Willow in and how quickly she had blamed her for it in "Last Gleaming, Part Five".
- This was the first time Wolfram & Hart had ever been mentioned in the Buffy title.
- Buffy Summers
- Eldre Koh
- Robert Dowling
- Theo Daniels
- Rowena (cameo)
- Severin (only mentioned)
- Spike (only mentioned)
- Simone Doffler (only mentioned)
- Willow Rosenberg (only mentioned)
- Xander Harris (only mentioned)
- Miranda Cheung (only mentioned)
Organizations and Titles
- San Francisco Police Department
- Wolfram & Hart (only mentioned)
- Scooby Gang (only mentioned)
Weapons and Objects
- A zompire, dusted by an unidentified cop.
Behind the Scenes
- Wolfram & Hart still has some operations left on Earth despite their mass evacuation of the Earth dimension in fear of Twilight.
Pop Culture References
|Kennedy - "Buffy, it's Kennedy. We've got suspicious activity on your floor."|
|Buffy - "Already? I haven't even raided the mini-bar yet."|
|Kennedy - "The world embraced vampires with open arms, Buffy. Now it's got to learn how to deal with them without crying for the nearest slayer."|
|Kennedy - "I think you're scared."|
|Buffy - "Excuse me?"|
|Kennedy - "That's why you failed the test. That's why you've convinced yourself the world can't function without you. You're scared at being good at something that doesn't involve some kind of grand destiny. 'Cause face it, Buffy. Slaying's the only thing you've ever known."|
|Dowling - "I don't know about that, Buffy .... but even you've got to have a night off every once and a while."|
|Buffy - "What is "night off"?"|
|Kennedy - "His name's Theo Daniels. Founder of a socal-networking site called TinCan."|
|Buffy - "Is that the site where you poke people?"|