Buffy Summers is being run ragged all over Sunnydale these days. Working from clues some mysterious power is providing her with, the Slayer's chasing down different baddies to gather pieces of a soul sword before it can be reassembled and fall into the wrong hands. While she resents following someone else's orders, at the same time it is oddly comforting to her to have a clear goal, and someone else making all the plans. Without Giles around, and with her relationships a mess, Buffy's at a point in her life where she could use some direction.
Her friends are also searching for control in their lives, looking for areas they can excel in -- without magick or destruction. Xander and Willow figure there has to be a better way to get by, to get ahead for a change. But just when it seems as if their dreams are coming true, both are felled by a strange virus that has been sweeping through Sunnydale -- and thus "poisoning" the food supply for the local vamps.
With lives at stake, Buffy must broker a truce with the vamps, find the rest of the sword, and locate her mysterious benefactor. All while fending off a rash of vicious attacks from the resident population -- and her friends and family! If Buffy was looking for a goal, she has one now: survival!