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connor noir

Dead, Part 1 (airdate October 5, 2005)

Posted by masqthephlsphr on 2006.05.11 at 22:13
Current Mood: gloomybroody
Dead

Part 1

(May 11, 2006)

Written by: Masquerade

Teaser

EXT. THE HIMALAYAS - NEPAL

OPENING SHOT - A TEMPLE perched on a mountain cliff. A BLIZZARD rages around it, blowing snow in high drifts along the walls and the tires of a red jeep parked outside its high front doors.

INT. TEMPLE

Modern Western decor mixes with ancient architecture in a broad, high-ceilinged room of stone. A fire flickers in the fireplace. We hear GRUNTS and THUDS. THREE YOUNG TEENAGERS--two boys and a girl, barely thirteen--are THROWN DOWN TO KNEELING on a Persian rug, hands bound behind them.

PANNING CLOSE-UP - The girl is Chinese, the boys are white and South Asian, respectively. They are dressed in heavy snow-dusted parkas and caps. And they are each quite BLIND. Where irises and pupils should be, their eyes are FILMY WHITE.

PULL BACK. A MIDDLE-AGED MAN in a thick fleece jacket paces past them, rubbing the grizzled beard stubble on his jaw impatiently.

MAN
Not much you or friends can do for you here,
is there? So if you want to go home,
you'll tell me where it is.

The teens don't turn their heads to follow his movements.

BOY ONE
Why would we tell you...

GIRL
...Even if we knew...

BOY TWO
...Where it was?

Three GRAY, HORNED PRIO MOTU DEMONS enter the frame holding long POLEARM BLADES. They come to a halt within striking distance of the kids.

MAN
Because I have three goons here who can
cut your throats.

The teens stiffen, but say nothing. The man paces with agitation in the silence, then finally stops and sighs.

MAN
All right. Kill them.

The demons step forward and press their blades AGAINST THE TEEN'S THROATS. The kids gasp and flinch back instinctively.

MAN
I trust you can feel that.

He raises a hand. The demons retract their weapons. The man scrutinizes his prisoners with frustration.

TIGHT SHOT of the three of them.

BOY ONE
Why are you bothering...

GIRL
...To seek the Scroll?

BOY TWO
You cannot stop what is to come.

The man chuckles. He turns away, his gaze passing over the antique bookshelves and masterpiece wall paintings--Degas, Renoir.

MAN
You know, if my patrons believed that,
they wouldn't be where they are today.

A long pause. Finally, his voice rises with anger -

MAN
You want to know who believes in prophecies?!

He pivots on them, his face full of frustration-turned-rage.

MAN
The weak, that's who!
They're always looking for someone else
to save them--a higher power; a hero;
Jesus, Allah, Buddha!

He crosses his arms, bringing his fury in tight.

MAN
(with a bite)
And that's why they lose.
Because the strong take their fate into
their own hands,
and do whatever is necessary to....

He stops, smiles pensively, and lowers his arms.

MAN
...Procure what they require.

CLOSE-UP - The teens' faces show no reaction to his outburst.

BOY ONE
Why do you require....

GIRL
...The prophecy....

BOY TWO
...If you don't believe in it?

The man restrains an angry grimace. He turns and wanders over to the far corner of the room, halting in front of a slat-covered window.

MAN
(calmly)
You ever read Sun Tzu's The Art of War?
(he glances back)
Probably not.

He pushes back one slat with a finger.

MAN
You should, if you ever get out of here.

His POV, through the slat and thick glass - the BLIZZARD, raging outside.

MAN
Of course, that won't be any time soon.

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER

Opening Credits
The theme song plays as we see images of


CONNOR REILLY walking to classes, swinging a SWORD in a street fight,

starring

Vincent Kartheiser

FAITH THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, taking aim with her CROSSBOW at a multi-armed, blade-swinging DEMON,

Eliza Dushku

and AIDEN WALSH, sitting at a TABLE with a BOOK opened in front of him.

and

Sean Maher

Act One

with special guest stars

Jon Abrahams
Robert Blanche
Megalyn Echikunwoke
and
Rachel Leigh Cook



Green Day's rollicking, punkish "Stuck With Me" plays as we take in -

ESTABLISHING - EXT. AERIAL VIEW - LOS ANGELES AT NIGHT

The lights of the skyscrapers and surrounding hills shimmer. Interstate 5 is frenetic red and gold in motion. We follow its trajectory northwest past downtown, then skim over streets and buildings until we come upon a well-lit commercial/residential area tucked up against low northern hills. Stretching out before us is the landscape of the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES. We glide over the campus rooftops, zooming in on an APARTMENT BUILDING on an off-campus street.

EXT. LAMBDA PHI FRATERNITY HOUSE

Or what was once an apartment building. It is now a frat house with the distinctive Greek letters in a logo over the front door.

INT. LOBBY - LAMBDA PHI

And the source of the MUSIC.

PANNING IN AN ARC - The boys of Lambda Phi and their guests dance, eat, drink, lounge on overstuffed furniture, and steal away up the stairs. Our PAN ends at a wooden coffee table with SHOT GLASSES scattered across it. Most are empty; a few are golden with tequila.

A BEEFY-LOOKING FRAT BOY in a polo shirt sags precariously forward in a folding chair on one side of the table, clearly ENEBRIATED. In the armchair opposite him sits the lanky, sullen CONNOR REILLY. A young woman is perched beside Connor on the arm of his chair, her hand clasping his shoulder. While several party-goers wait avidly, Connor, his face slightly flushed, reaches for a filled shot glass. He brings it up to his lips, knocks it back, and sets the empty glass on the table. The young woman throws him an admiring glance while the party-goers cheer and jeer. Connor allows himself a small grin.

Attention shifts to Connor's opponent. The frat boy reaches unsteadily for another filled shot glass, then unceremoniously SLUMPS FACE DOWN across the table. Groans and cheers from the surrounding crowd. An on-looker slaps Connor's shoulder. The young woman on his other side plants a kiss on his cheek. The others disperse to new distractions.

ON-LOOKER GIRL
(walking away, to a friend)
Damn, where's he put it all?
He's a stick.

Her friend nods.

Ignoring the people surrounding him, Connor rises and circles around the coffee table. He heads across the room and starts towards the back hallway.

MALE VOICE
Dude, where're you going?

Without looking back, Connor waves the boy off. The movement tips him off-balance. His splayed fingers clutch unsteadily at the door frame.

CUT TO - EXT. REAR PARKING LOT - FRATERNITY HOUSE

Connor steps outside, and tucks his chin in as he tries to orient himself.

His POV - The only people visible are a lone couple, talking and laughing beside a car several meters away.

He wanders past them, veering slightly, headed towards a vacant stretch of parking lot that belongs to the First Interstate Bank on the next block over. As he enters the lot, we see a young BLOND WOMAN in a spaghetti-strap white-gold dress leaning against a light pole. An unlit cigarette dangles from her fingers. Her eyes follow Connor as he passes.

He continues on his way with just a glance, then after a beat, frowns and pivots to face her.

CONNOR
(gesturing back at the frat house)
Weren't you...at the party?

GIRL
Was...I got bored.

CONNOR
(puzzled)
So are you waiting for someone?

The girl raises her cigarette.

GIRL
No, just having a smoke.

She sets the cigarette between her lips, then tilts her chin down, brings up a lighter, and lights it. Smoke wafts up.

Connor frowns uneasily and starts towards her.

CONNOR
Y'know...this neighborhood gets pretty wild on Friday nights.
It's not the kind of place you wanna just....

The girl plucks the cigarette out from between her lips. She smiles at him.

GIRL
You could offer me a ride home.

Connor slows his pace, looking first surprised, then guarded.

CONNOR
I don't have my car.

Just then, the toe of his shoe catches on the asphalt. He lurches forward. His arms flail out as he catches his balance. He grins with embarrassment and comes to a halt in front of her.

CONNOR
Which is just as well...
...at the moment.

He smiles again, this time more shyly. His POV - A very PRETTY GIRL with smooth skin and firm, delicate shoulders. The hair that would normally frame her face is pulled back with a hair tie behind her head. She notices his interest and smirks softly.

GIRL
Pity. You look like a guy who gets around.

Smoke lingers in the space between them. Connor shakes his head.

CONNOR
Nah. I've never been anywhere except L.A. and Hell.

The girl chuckles dryly and raises her cigarette.

GIRL
There's a difference?

She takes another drag, scrutinizing him. Connor grins and looks down.

GIRL
(still with the scrutinizing)
I was an Army brat.
Saw most of the world before I was twelve.

CONNOR
(awkwardly; looking up)
Well, maybe you could show me some of it sometime.

GIRL
(smiling)
Maybe.
(beat)
Maybe I could show it to you now.

The come-on deepens the flush on Connor's face. He smiles and regards her, his eyes heavy-lidded.

CONNOR
Yeah? How does that work?

The girl tosses her mostly unsmoked cigarette to the ground and crushes it with a sandaled foot. Smoke trails from her lips. She looks up and slips a hand over Connor's shoulder.

GIRL
Close your eyes.

With a timid chuckle, Connor complies. The girl gazes at him without expression. Then her face twists into the RIDGE-BROWED VISAGE of a vampire. She parts her lips and BRINGS HER FANGS TO HIS NECK, hissing softly.

Casually, Connor reaches into his rear pocket and steps back. A beat later, he is holding a STAKE above her chest. The girl's disoriented gaze dips. Her eyes widen. He stares down at her grimly.

CONNOR
I'm drunk.
I'm not stupid.

He DRIVES the stake into her. For a second, she is a skeletal dust cloud, frozen in surprise. Then the dust EXPLODES, scattering across the asphalt. The girl's hair tie clatters down on top of it. Connor stares at the dust for a long moment, his expression cool and detached. Then he kneels.

OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT - He reaches out and gathers up a pinch of her between his fingertips.

CLOSE-UP on his intent grimace. He brushes his fingers together, letting the dust fall, then reaches out for the HAIR TIE--a graceful cameo in a silver oval setting. He picks it up and pockets it, then stands and continues on his way.


INT. AIRPORT VAN - HOLLYWOOD - AFTERNOON

A weary-looking FAITH sits in the front passenger seat, one elbow resting in the window. Beyond her, we see the passing landmarks of Hollywood--Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Wax Museum, and the long stretch of faux-marble stars that make up the Walk of Fame. The van slows and takes a right at a side street.

CUT TO - EXT. CURB - FAITH'S APARTMENT BUILDING

The van idles in front of the mid-century three-story dwelling. Faith hops down from the open passenger side door, an overstuffed duffle bag slung over her shoulder.

Her POV - The window of her basement apartment is to the left of the front steps. On the steps themselves sits AIDEN WALSH. Faith pays the driver and starts over towards him.

FAITH
(pointedly)
What are you doing here?

Aiden SCRAMBLES TO HIS FEET, looking apprehensive.

AIDEN
I want to talk to you.
I went away this summer--

Faith mounts the steps.

FAITH
I know where you've been.
Giles told me.

AIDEN
(turning)
Mr. Giles wasn't there much.

Faith unlocks the front door and heads inside. Aiden reaches out for the door before it shuts in his face.

AIDEN
Mostly I trained with this annoying dweeb
named Andrew....

Faith pivots at the landing of the basement staircase, eyes flashing, keys looped around her fingers.

FAITH
Just...don't start.
You don't work for me anymore.
Deal with it.
(she waggles her fingers at him)
Bye.

And with that, she turns and starts down the stairs. With a determined grimace, Aiden follows her.

AIDEN
Look, what happened.
How it all came out....
It gave me a lot to think about,
and that's why I decided to--

Faith's foot hits the basement hardwood. She whirls around and gapes up at him.

FAITH
You tried to sell us out to a frickin' tabloid!

Aiden steps back up one step.

AIDEN
(earnestly)
Not you. The Syndicate.
(then he nods glumly off her astounded glare)
But...I know. It would have been bad for you, too.

Faith scoffs and heads into the basement hallway. Aiden watches with distress for a beat before following again.

INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY

AIDEN
I'm done with that, though. With journalism.
There's this whole new world I've discovered that I love!

Faith reaches the door of her apartment. She unlocks it.

AIDEN
I've been learning their practices, studying their diaries....

She opens the door, strides inside, and swings her duffle bag onto the bed. Aiden steps into the doorway and stops.

INT. FAITH'S APARTMENT

AIDEN
I was supposed to do my practical internship in Rome,
but I really want to do it here.
(beat)
With you.

Faith's studio is a single room with a kitchenette, a wardrobe, a desk, and a double bed under the window. The ANSWERING MACHINE is blinking repeatedly on the counter next to the refrigerator. Faith ignores it. She unzips her bag and pulls out wrinkled jeans and shirts and filthy socks. She tosses them onto the bed. Aiden watches, hands in his pockets.

AIDEN
So...how was New Orleans?
It looked pretty bad on TV.
Everyone was worried about you guys being down there.

Faith pauses in her unpacking, a half-crushed carton of cigarettes in her hands. She doesn't look up.

FAITH
It was bad.

She sets the cigarettes aside and continues unpacking.

FAITH
Some of it was, anyway.
And demons were there, taking advantage of it.

Aiden nods.

FAITH
But it wasn't the lawless war zone
they made it seem on the news.

She picks up her bag, turns it, and shakes the rest of the contents onto the bed. Aiden gazes at her for a moment with apprehension. Then -

AIDEN
Faith...about this Watcher thing.
I'm just asking you to consider it.

She grabs up a pair of muddy Doc Martins.

AIDEN
I'll understand if you'd prefer one of Giles' other people.

Faith throws down the shoes.

FAITH
(quietly)
Fuck you.

Aiden startles. Faith WHIRLS AROUND. Her expression is ire.

FAITH
I know what you're doing, and--
(she stabs her finger at him)
--fuck you!

She advances on him, reaching for the door. Aiden backs up fearfully. Faith grabs the door and swings it. At the last second, Aiden throws himself forward to stop the door slamming. The door RATTLES as it hits his shoulders.

AIDEN
Just--!

He pushes through the door, cradling his shoulder in his hand and peering at her.

AIDEN
Ow...shit.

Faith stares at him coolly, her hand gripping the door.

AIDEN
I just.... Do you know where Connor is?
I went by his apartment,
but he doesn't live there anymore.

FAITH
He moved into a dorm on campus.
Um...Dykstra Hall, I think.

Aiden nods and withdraws.

SLAM.

BLACK OUT.


END OF ACT ONE

Act Two

EXT. DORMITORY RESIDENCE HALL - AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING

INT. DORM ROOM

Knock, knock, knock.

Connor's roommate DAVE walks to the door and opens it.

Aiden grins from out in the hallway.

AIDEN
Is Connor here?

DAVE
No, he's at work.
(Dave opens the door wider)
Aiden, right? Come in.

AIDEN
Thanks.

Aiden enters.

DAVE
(offering a hand)
Dave. Long time no see.

The two men shake hands. Then Aiden steps around Dave.

AIDEN
I've been in Italy all summer.
Just thought I'd see how Connor is.

His POV - The cramped, narrow room has been transformed into a livable space for two human beings by elevating one bed along the long wall up on a WOODEN LOFT. Underneath the loft is a faded two-cushion couch facing a plywood-and-bricks entertainment center on the opposite wall. Beside the entertainment center and the loft respectively are two desks topped with books, empty soda cans, and personal computers. At the far end of the room is the second bed, long-ways under the window.

Dave shuts the door behind Aiden and turns. He compresses his lips pensively.

DAVE
To be honest? I'm glad you stopped by.
I haven't seen any of Connor's friends in a while,
and I really wanted to talk to one of you.

AIDEN
(not turning)
About what?

Aiden approaches Connor's desk.

His POV - A tiny metal BUDDHA FIGURINE acting as a paper weight.

He reaches out for it, then frowns.

DAVE
Connor.
(Dave rests a hand on the loft)
He's just...I don't know.

Aiden's POV - Next to the Buddha is the HAIR TIE from Act One. Aiden's fingers brush over it.

DAVE
It's like he's not even here, even when he is here.
He barely says a word to me.
Comes in at all hours, sleeps 'til noon.
I'm not even sure he's been to any of
his classes yet.

Dave gestures at a large black nylon PORTFOLIO CASE lying across the foot of Connor's mattress.

DAVE
Except maybe Art.

Aiden glances up at Dave, then turns, the cameo in his hands, to look at the portfolio case. He circles back around. Dave gives him a perplexed but hopeful look.

DAVE
That's not like him...is it?
I mean, it doesn't seem like him.

AIDEN
(puzzled)
No...no it doesn't.

Dave chuckles with frustration.

DAVE
I'm starting to get a complex here--
my last roommate got all gloomy and quiet, too,
right before he overdosed on drugs.

Aiden frowns, startled, but the expression soon fades. He sets the cameo back down on the desk.

AIDEN
Uh...I'm sure Connor's okay.
He just...has different problems than most people.

DAVE
Yeah, well, when I ask him what those problems are,
he tells me it's nothing.
That's why I was hoping.....

AIDEN
I'll talk to him.
Where does he work?

DAVE
Powell. First floor reference section.

DISSOLVE TO -


EXT. UCLA POWELL LIBRARY - LATE AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING

INT. MAIN FLOOR REFERENCE STACKS

SIDE VIEW, THROUGH BOOKSHELVES - A metal CART lined with books rolls slowly down an aisle.

CUT TO Connor, pushing it. His eyes scan the shelves to his left. He spots what he's looking for and brings the cart to a halt, then picks up a book lying atop the others.

MALE VOICE (O.S.)
I never thought of you as the librarian type.

Connor glances back casually towards the source of the voice.

His POV - AIDEN strolls down the aisle, hands in his pants pockets.

AIDEN
Although I have to admit I've never given much thought
to where you would go to earn a few bucks,
so I guess my opinion doesn't count.

Connor slips the book between two others on the shelf.

CONNOR
I thought you graduated.

AIDEN
I did. Your roommate told me you worked here.

Connor lifts the next book off the cart and checks the spine.

CONNOR
All summer.

AIDEN
I've been in Rome.

Connor pushes his cart forward again. Aiden follows.

AIDEN
Studying.

Connor brings the cart to a halt again.

AIDEN
With the Watchers.

Aiden stops. Connor puts the book away.

AIDEN
But I'm back now.
(he shrugs)
I was kind of hoping Faith
might let me work for her again.
(he chuckles grimly)
She's back from New Orleans, by the way.

Connor picks up another book.

AIDEN
You know she tossed me out on my ear last Spring.

CONNOR
(reading the spine)
Yeah. She told me.

Aiden scrutinizes Connor as he shelves the book and picks up another.

AIDEN
So...um...how've you been?

CONNOR
Fine. Starting school.

Connor starts forward again. Aiden follows, strolling.

AIDEN
How's that going?
Your classes, I mean.

CONNOR
(coming to a halt)
Fine.

Aiden lapses into awkward silence. Then -

AIDEN
Spike and your dad aren't back yet?

CONNOR
(eyes on the shelf)
No.

Aiden nods.

AIDEN
Well, that's nothing to worry about.
It's possible that wherever they are,
only a few days have gone by since they left.
Time passes differently in different dim....

He finally has Connor's attention again. An annoyed glare, at any rate.

AIDEN
...Which you know.

Connor brings down the book in his hand.

CONNOR
Look, it's not that I don't want to chat,
but I am working here.

AIDEN
Sorry. It's just....

He grimaces hesitantly as if debating whether or not to plunge in, then steps forward.

AIDEN
Your roommate...asked me to check in on you.
He thinks...well, he thinks something might be bugging you.
Something...you wouldn't tell him about.

CLOSE-UP on the sudden, solemn expression on Connor's face. As soon as he shelves the book in his hand, the expression is gone.

CONNOR
Such as?

Aiden throws up his hands defensively.

AIDEN
I don't know...he says you stay out late a lot;
that you don't talk to him much.

Connor shrugs and turns back to his cart.

CONNOR
So he's not my best friend.
(he picks up another book)
And I'm finally getting a chance to act like
a real college student.
I think I've earned it.

Connor pushes the cart forward again. Aiden looks uncomfortably skeptical.

AIDEN
Yeah. Yeah, of course.

The camera PULLS BACK, receding from Aiden.


EXT. TEMPLE LUNA NIGHTCLUB - LATE AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING

Home of the Temple Luna witches' coven - a one-story brick building painted flat red. Faith's green CHEVY IMPALA is parked at the front curb.

INT. BACKROOM - TEMPLE LUNA

The normally shuttered and curtained window is open for a change, shining afternoon light across the concrete floor and the edge of a table tucked up underneath it. The table, and the one next to it, are piled high with BOOKS, BOUND OVER-STUFFED FOLDERS, PLASTIC STORAGE TUBES, mysterious-looking TALISMANS, and LOOSE PAGES held down by unlit candles.

The pretty African-American witch VAUGHNE is leaning against the table under the window aiming a frustrated look at Faith, who walks over beside her.

VAUGHNE
We're witches, Faith. We know spells and magic.
We're not experts in demons or ancient prophecies,
or the--the...
(she gestures at the books and papers)
...politics of hell dimensions!

Faith looks equally frustrated.

FAITH
I know that. I just...don't have anyone else.
(heavy deep sigh)
That I trust, I mean.

She scans the wealth of material laid out before her - a Watcher's wet dream.

FAITH
I really should start figuring out this crap myself.

Vaughne scoffs. She crosses her arms.

VAUGHNE
What you need is an expert.

Faith slams a pile of books with her fist in frustration.

FAITH
I know that!

They topple over. Faith sees Vaughne's startled stare. Her eyes dip away. She starts picking up the fallen books.

FAITH
Sorry, I....

VAUGHNE
Doesn't that Council thing you work for have book guys?

CLOSE-UP on Faith's stubborn expression.

FAITH
Yeah. They have "book guys."

She rights the stack, then gazes across the tables with a sigh of resignation.

FAITH
I'll get this stuff out of your hair by tomorrow night.


EXT. KINROSS HALL - UCLA - LATE EVENING - ESTABLISHING

INT. STUDENT STUDIOS

A large, warehouse-like studio space cluttered with easels, painted canvases, sculptures, potter's wheels, and metal shelves full of art supplies. Connor is alone in the room, seated at a table scattered with several large sheets of white paper, one which he is diligently sketching on. On each sheet, we can see a so-so, not-too-bad, half-finished animation-style drawing of a person or an action scene, each framed within a rectangle--the rough beginning of COMIC BOOK PANELS.

CLOSE-UP on Connor's pursed lips and knit brows as he draws.

Finally, he sits back, sets his pencil down, and rubs his forehead wearily. His eyes dip back down to the panel he was working on. His gaze grows pensive, and soon, it's as if he isn't even seeing the panel at all.

SLOW DOLLY CLOSE-UP on the scattered panels until they BLUR.

His reverie is broken by a FAINT SQUEAK. Connor glances back.

CUT TO - A CUSTODIAN lumbers into the room through one of a set of double doors. He sees Connor and shakes his head.

CUSTODIAN
(muttering)
You kids.
(then, raising his voice -)
Locking up now.

Connor looks up at the clock on the wall in front of him -

It's just after MIDNIGHT.

He nods, yawns, and pushes his chair back with a screech. One by one, he gathers up the panels into a stack. Then he reaches down and picks up his portfolio case, which is tilted against the legs of the table. He sets it on the table and unzips it, then slips the stack of sheets inside. We can see that there are already other DRAWINGS stored there. He zips up the case, stands, and draws the long strap over his shoulder.

The custodian waits, holding the door open for him.


EXT. PORTOLA PLAZA - UCLA - TEN MINUTES LATER

The campus pathway is deserted and ghostly-looking under the illumination of intermittent lamp posts. Connor walks along, passing trees and benches and, in the background, the shadowy silhouettes of campus buildings lit only by security lights. Then a faint, HOARSE INTAKE OF BREATH from somewhere nearby stops him in his tracks. He looks around, puzzled, but - PANNING - sees no one.

CUT TO - EXT. THE BRICK EDGE OF A NEARBY CAMPUS BUILDING

A YOUNG WOMAN staggers around the corner, one hand clasping her throat. Her purse is sliding down her arm. She slumps against the building, drawing in another strenuous, rasping breath. CLOSE-UP - There is a SCORCHED BLACK HOLE in the bodice and collar of her sweater and blouse. Her fingers are stained red with BLOOD.

WIDE CRANE SHOT - She starts across the building's courtyard, her trajectory taking her right into Connor's as he approaches up a perpendicular path, cut off from her by hedges. Suddenly, the young woman COLLAPSES onto her hands and knees on the concrete.

LOW TIGHT SHOT - As her hands hit the pavement, her purse falls with them, spilling its contents out. She gasps, but manages to raise her head at the soft pad of FOOTSTEPS approaching. She tries to cry out, but the sound is little more than a HOARSE SQUEAK. Her arms give way beneath her. She falls over on her side with a grunt.

REVERSE ANGLE - Connor emerges from behind the hedges and sees her. His eyes widen.

CONNOR
Oh my God.

He bolts forward, tosses his portfolio case aside, and kneels down beside her.

CONNOR
Are you....

He reaches for her shoulders and helps ease her onto her back. Then he sees -

CONNOR
(exhaling)
Oh, man....

The RED, RAW DEEP BURN on her breasts and throat, which shudder with her strained gasps. A PENDANT on a broken chain is sticking to her slightly melted shirt. Connor crawls over, grabs her purse, and brings it back to pillow her head.

CONNOR
Can you talk?

CLOSE-UP, his POV - The girl looks at him with disoriented, fearful eyes and a gaping, mute mouth. She shakes her head and raises a hand weakly towards him. Connor reaches out for it, his face etched with compassion. Their fingertips touch.

Then Connor draws back and looks at her anxiously. He licks his lips.

CONNOR
Okay. You need....
You need to go to a hospital.

He staggers up to his feet and gazes around the surrounding area with desperate uncertainty. PANNING, his POV - The courtyard and pathways. Still deserted. Then he glances down at himself for a beat before kneeling back down next to the girl.

CONNOR
I don't have a....

He scans the area around them again, then crawls over to the strewn contents of her purse. His POV - wallet, notepad, lipstick, CELL PHONE. Connor snatches up the phone.

INSERT - The LCD DISPLAY is a jumble of half-formed letters and numbers. Connor's fingertip STABS at the buttons. Nothing.

He brings the phone up to his ear, then shakes it and stabs at it again.

CONNOR
(whispering)
Damn it.

He sets it down and looks over at her.

CONNOR
Your phone's not working.

The young woman lies unmoving, breathing raggedly. Connor pauses a moment, then shifts himself around so that he is at her side. He reaches down with both hands upturned.

CONNOR
Okay...I'm going to carry you
to the Medical School emergency room.
Don't worry, it won't take long.
I'm stronger than I look.

The girl makes a soft, high-pitched protesting sound. She raises her arm feebly, briefly. Connor gapes at her, brow knit.

CONNOR
What?

He is stopped short by the look of effort and determination on her face. She raises her hand again. Gently, he takes it again into his. As he does, her eyes close. Her head sags to one side. Connor gapes down in horror. He reaches out his free hand to the girl's neck and feels around for a pulse. Then he sits back on his haunches and gazes at her, still grasping her hand in his. He draws in a shuddering, despondent breath.

QUICK-CUTS TO -
The rear lot of a dingy motel. Connor sits on the concrete, crying and hugging the dead HOLTZ, who is propped up in his arms.

The access road behind another dingy motel. A tear on his cheek, Connor hovers over the collapsed Darla with a stake in his hand.
THEN - The young woman, dead on the pavement.

Connor's eyes are glistening now, too.

CONNOR
God, I'm sorry.

Then his brows knit. He looks down at their clasped hands. There is something in her palm, ignored until now. He sets her hand down and brings the item up. It is a red, wrinkled COCKTAIL NAPKIN. Connor flattens it out. INSERT - Across the face at a diagonal are the words "Sekhmet" in gothic script, and in small letters below that, a street address in Long Beach.

Connor turns the napkin over. On the back in black marker is a scrawled name and number -

Danny
(562) 555-1947


Connor scrunches the napkin into his front pocket and scuttles back over to the contents of the young woman's purse. He pauses to open her wallet. INSERT - her DRIVER'S LICENSE. We see a picture of the pretty brunette, and beside it, her name: Julia Moore.

He compresses his lips solemnly. Then he quickly tosses everything back inside the purse, snatches it up, stands, and walks over and fetches up his portfolio case. He slings it over his shoulder. He turns back towards the girl. And stops, gazing at her sadly. Then he returns to her, kneels, and SCOOPS HER UP into his arms.

A MOURNFUL INSTRUMENTAL starts up as we CUT TO a series of SHOTS -

EXT. THE CAMPUS PATHWAY

Connor carries the limp form of the young woman past the shadowed campus buildings.

CUT TO - EXT. EMERGENCY SERVICES - UCLA MEDICAL CENTER - NIGHT - ESTABLISHING

INT. EMERGENCY SERVICES RECEPTION

Connor stands watching solemnly as the young woman is rolled away on a gurney by a lone attendant in blue scrubs.

CUT TO - INT. EMERGENCY SERVICES WAITING ROOM

NO AUDIO - Connor sits, sagging, elbows on his knees as he recounts what happened to a uniformed campus POLICEMAN. We can see shock settling in from his stunned, blank expression. The man jots down notes, then finally nods to Connor and stands. Connor follows suit.

CUT TO - EXT. DYKSTRA HALL DORMITORY - NIGHT

INT. DORM ROOM

The room is lit only by a dim, slatted glow coming through the blinds. Still in a stunned trance, Connor starts to unbutton his pants, passing the loft where the lump of Dave dozes. Then a puzzled look comes to his face. He digs into his front pocket with his fingers and pulls out the COCKTAIL NAPKIN the young woman handed him.

CLOSE-UP - Hopelessly bunched up. He spreads it open completely, then walks it over to his desk. A digital clock on the desk glows 2:03 AM.

He lays it down. Then he picks up again, and with a look of curiosity, walks it over to his bed under the window. He sits down. With a tug, he opens the blinds a crack and brings the napkin up to the outdoor lamplight. He squints. INSERT - the UNDERSIDE EDGE of the napkin. Scrawled there in ink are the words, "What is the Anunnaki?"

BLACK OUT.


END OF ACT TWO

Part 2 (click here)



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Comments:


(Anonymous) at 2006-05-12 10:52 (UTC) (Link)

New Season!!

Update!! Happy squeal!!

I will read it as soon as possible, since we are having village festivities over here on the weekend, so probably on Sunday!! Looking forward to it, chilling title!!



Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2006-05-12 12:42 (UTC) (Link)

Re: New Season!!

Enjoy your festival, and the episode!
midnightsjane
midnightsjane at 2006-05-12 18:51 (UTC) (Link)
Going to read this tonight, Masq. I've pimped it over on my LJ, too.
Really glad you're doing season 2!
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2006-05-12 22:37 (UTC) (Link)
Saw that! Thanks! Enjoy!
(Anonymous) at 2006-05-17 11:55 (UTC) (Link)
Great teaser, at first I was thinking that the teenagers were about to be sacrificed. But soon figured out that was not the case. Then later I finally realized that they are the same kids from season 1 ATS (after watching some Ats eps last night), it’s nice to see them back. The man holding the kids hostage is interesting he doesn’t come off as your typical villain.

Priceless, Connor participating in a drinking contest and winning and then the Í’m drunk, not stupid!’ line!! If only Angel could have seen this, wonder how he would have reacted!!:)

Aiden becoming Faith’s watcher was a good move! The scene between Aiden and Connor had a very chilly-vibe to it, well done!! Poor connor though he isn’t mend to have a easy uncomplicated life, but that’s probably the reason why I love him so much!!;)
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2006-05-17 12:25 (UTC) (Link)
Then later I finally realized that they are the same kids from season 1 ATS (after watching some Ats eps last night), it’s nice to see them back.

I like bringing back old one-time characters, especially if we were lead to believe we'd see them again and then we never did!

Priceless, Connor participating in a drinking contest and winning and then the Í’m drunk, not stupid!’ line!! If only Angel could have seen this, wonder how he would have reacted!!:)

I think he would be *furious*, despite the outcome, mostly because this was written in direct parallel to the "Becoming, Part I" teaser, when Darla vamped Liam. ; )

Poor connor though he isn’t mend to have a easy uncomplicated life, but that’s probably the reason why I love him so much!!;)

If I wanted to write about a *happy* character, my main character would be a puppy! No, Connor was born to AnGsT!
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