(July 6, 2006)
Written by: Masquerade
Previously on The Destroyer...
EXT. CITY STREET - HOLLYWOOD - LATE EVENING - ESTABLISHING
Neon and headlights.
EXT. THE ALEHOUSE
Cars pass by this English Pub-style student hangout. Blues music swells and fades as CONNOR, his roommate DAVE, and Dave's girlfriend AMY exit the club. They head down the sidewalk, laughing and talking.
CUT TO - EXT. ALLEY
CRANE SHOT down the length of the alley - The buildings on either side are lined with broken plastic crates, trashcans, and dumpsters filled with rotting produce and damp cardboard. Dave, Amy, and Connor appear at the far end, conversing faintly.
I think she spilled it on me on purpose.
Did you get her number?
CUT TO a GROUND LEVEL SHOT. Amy grimaces, a finger under her nose.
Ugh...couldn't you have picked
a better-smelling shortcut?
The car's only two blocks this way.
Connor glances down as the three of them pass a bearded BUM huddled in the shadows beside a trashcan. Then suddenly, Connor's ATTENTION is DRAWN UPWARD. He stops.
His POV - a FIGURE in a hooded sweatshirt on the roof above. An eerie whistle cuts the air.
At the mouth of the alley is another FIGURE, strolling towards them.
The first figure leaps down, landing within meters of Dave. It's a TEENAGED BOY armed with a KNIFE. His clothes are ratty. His skin is pale and filthy. Around his neck is a thin cord strung with twisted, demonic FINGER BONES.
(leering with chipped teeth)
Look at the kiddies.
The bum lurches to his feet and scurries away. The second boy approaches, dressed in scuffed patchwork leather pants and a jacket. His face is pockmarked and SCARRED. He also has a KNIFE, and several WOODEN STAKES holstered around his waist. Dave quickly steps between the two boys and Amy.
We don't have an--anything you want.
(nasal and sing-songy)
"An--anything you want."
He and the other boy circle like hungry predators. Connor stands tensed, tracking their movements. Scar Boy comes up on his right. Then -
I'll have her; but I'll not keep her long.
Amy GASPS and whirls around.
There is a THIRD BOY behind her, his thumb and finger pinching one strand of her long, blond hair. She tugs away. The third boy is tall, black, and wearing a tattered top hat and tails. He tips his hat to Amy, then lightening quick, SNATCHES THE PURSE from her shoulder. She lunges after him.
He dances back on his toes, giggling.
Outraged, Dave rushes him, only to find himself TUGGED BACK again as Bone Boy SEIZES his collar. Connor steps in and SHOVES him away from Dave. Bone Boy laughs. Connor takes a step back, scowling, then WHIRLS AROUND to find Scar Boy directly behind him.
Something GLINTS in the alley security lights. It's Scar Boy's KNIFE, GLISTENING with a clear slick substance. He POINTS IT AT CONNOR.
CONNOR REILLY walking to classes, swinging a SWORD in a street fight,
FAITH THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, taking aim with her CROSSBOW at a multi-armed, blade-swinging DEMON,
and AIDEN WALSH, sitting at a TABLE with a BOOK opened in front of him.
EXT. ALLEY - CONTINUOUS
Scar Boy turns his knife this way and that. Bone Boy beckons Dave with twitchy fingers.
And your wallets, too, c'mon.
Dave hesitates. Top Hat Boy strolls away, examining the contents of Amy's purse.
(sneering at Scar Boy)
I'm not giving you anything.
Scowling, Scar Boy SLASHES OUT WITH HIS BLADE. Connor raises an arm. It cuts up and across.
Connor jerks the arm back and quickly COUNTERS with a LEFT across Scar Boy's jaw. Scar Boy twists to one side.
Connor, what are you doing?
Dave reaches into his jacket pocket with a shaking hand. Slowly, Scar Boy turns back around, his stunned look melting into livid anger. Connor glances at Dave, clearly agitated.
Dave, when I tell you to go, go.
"When I tell you to go...go!"
With a wicked grin, he LUNGES at Connor again. Connor springs back, then on reflex tries to raise his wounded right arm to counter. He cries out as it twitches impotently. He grabs it, gaping down with confusion. Bone Boy pockets Dave's wallet and chortles.
Connor, just give it to him!
Connor's POV - His right forearm hangs limply in his left hand, fingers curled in. The sleeve is torn and STAINED WITH BLOOD. Connor's eyes rise to Scar Boy.
Scar Boy gives him a malevolent smile. He raises his knife again. It glints.
Dumb...and now numb.
C'mon, just get his wallet and let's go.
CUT TO Top Hat Boy, who is lounging against the wall stuffing something into his jacket pocket. Amy's purse lies abandoned at his feet. He glances up.
Amy eyes him stonily.
Scar Boy saunters in a circle around Connor. CLOSE-UP on Connor's low, sideways gaze as Scar Boy comes up behind him. The boy brings up his knife on the right near Connor's neck, then reaches out with his other hand for Connor's back pocket. With a determined compression of his lips, Connor twists to his left and SLAMS A SHOULDER INTO HIM, then -
CUT TO A LOW SHOT - STOMPS HIS FOOT DOWN on Scar Boy's boot.
Scar Boy cries out, doubles over, then tumbles back on his ass, mouth gaping open in pain. His knife slips from his hand. Top Hat Boy stands to full height with a frown and steps forward. As does Bone Boy. Scar Boy rocks forward, reaching for his foot.
Man, I think he broke my foot!
With a wary expression, Dave reaches for Amy's hand.
Connor turns and gives Bone Boy a menacing, come-hither smile. Bone Boy lunges at him, knife extended. Connor grabs his wrist, pushes his arm up high, and knees him in the gut. Bone Boy stumbles back.
Go! Dave go! Get the car!
Connor, I'm not going to just--
Dave hesitates. Then he turns to see Top Hat Boy sauntering towards them. Quickly, Dave pulls Amy in front of him and urges her forward. Amy totters a few feet, then stops and turns.
Connor, it's not worth it! C'mon!
Dave grabs her hand again and tugs her after him. Top Hat Boy scampers on their heels a few steps. They pick up speed. He stops and sweeps his hat off his head.
Cowards die many times before their deaths!
Connor crouches, readying himself for Bone Boy's fresh attack. Bone Boy scowls, leaning into his sore gut.
LONG SHOT - Dave and Amy reach the sidewalk and disappear around the corner.
CUT TO a LOW SHOT of Scar Boy, still on the ground behind Connor. He peers up with a grim smile, then cautiously reaches over for his felled KNIFE. He grips it in his hand, heaves himself up and forward, and SLASHES IT ACROSS Connor's calf. Connor grunts. His knees buckle. He twists towards Scar Boy. With a grimace, Bone Boy RUSHES him. Connor starts to turn back. LOW SHOT - His right foot steps clumsily. He sways.
Bone Boy SMACKS INTO HIM, sending Connor crashing to the ground.
Quick! C'mon, roll him!
Wincing, Scar Boy rises up on his knees and crawls to Connor. Top Hat Boy sprints over to help. Bone Boy looms over Connor as Scar Boy pins his left shoulder and SLUGS Connor repeatedly in the face. Connor moans.
Bone Boy's POV - With a grunt, Connor shrugs off Scar Boy, then raises his left leg and KICKS BONE BOY IN THE CHEST. Bone Boy SAILS UP and BACK an unnatural distance, then lands, skids across the ground, and SMACKS his head into the side of a dumpster. Top Hat Boy comes to a wary halt a few feet from Connor. He and Scar Boy trade a suspicious glance.
Well, what do you know, Shakespeare.
I think we've got ourselves a fang-boy here.
(he glances over where Connor's friends disappeared)
Saving your lunch meat for later, are you?
Top Hat Boy reaches into his jacket and pulls out a STAKE. In a panic, Connor struggles to sit up with one hand. Blood is welling at the corner of his lip.
I'm not...what you think!
Scar Boy awkwardly wrestles Connor back down flat.
Kill him, c'mon!
I'm not a vampire!
Top Hat boy approaches cautiously.
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
He drops to kneeling, stake in hand. With his other hand, he pinches the brim of his hat.
This thing of darkness, I acknowledge mine.
Connor manages to THROW Scar Boy away to his left just as Top Hat Boy DRIVES DOWN HIS STAKE. Connor twists hard to the right. The stake strikes the ground. Jarred, Top Hat Boy raises it up to try again. Suddenly, a SQUEEL OF TIRES twists his attention around.
His POV - Headlights ARC BLINDINGLY into the mouth of the alley, then grow progressively LARGER as a car GUNS erratically towards him, side-swiping trashcans and sending them tumbling.
Top Hat Boy lurches up to his feet and stumbles back. Scar Boy scuttles crab-like up against the alley wall. LOW SHOT - The car's careening wheels narrowly avoid Bone Boy.
The car jolts to a halt several meters from Connor. The front passenger door flies open. Dave leaps out.
He rushes over and thrusts out a hand. Connor grips it and struggles to sitting. Dave pulls him to his feet. Connor sways.
Your wallet. Amy's purse.
He drags a limping Connor over to the idling car and shoves him into the front passenger seat. Then he shuts the door and leaps into the back. With a screech, the car backs up quickly.
Amy is twisted around in her seat. She steers unsteadily, her eyes on the mouth of the alley. Dave grips the back of Connor's seat and leans forward over it.
What the hell were you thinking,
taking on three guys with knives?!
Connor sags. He looks dazed.
I wanted to see what would happen.
DISSOLVE TO - A small bronze STATUE of a winged male demon, sitting on a table. And then a FLASH.
INT. SLAYER COUNCIL LIBRARY - MORNING
Aiden takes a step back, lowering his camera.
The library is narrow and rectangular with built-in bookshelves along one wall and a long table down the center. At the far end of the table under the window is a COMPUTER with a flatbed SCANNER beside it. At the near end is the statue. Between them lies the SYNDICATE LIBRARY--books, stacked file folders, talismans, and plastic storage tubes. There are more books and folders on the bookshelves and the floor.
Quite an operation you've got here.
Aiden glances back as she enters, then turns to survey his "operation."
Database archiving, yeah.
Some of this stuff's too fragile
to be handled repeatedly.
The rest we'll want to be able to search on.
Plus, whenever you do decide to let
the Council in on it....
Faith steps around a stack of books, heading towards the far end the table. She is dressed in workout clothes--a tank top, shorts, and cross-trainers. She picks up a folder and leafs through it, pausing to examine certain pages with a skeptical expression.
INSERT - ANCIENT DOCUMENTS stuck with color-coordinated Post-it notes.
Faith sets the folder down on the table and picks up another one. Aiden grimaces and walks over to her. With a tentative expression, he picks up the folder she discarded, opens it, arranges the pages neatly, and puts the folder back on the pile where Faith found it. Then he holds out a hand for the folder she's holding.
Um.... It's just...everything's in a particular order.
I need to know what I've gone through,
and what I've scanned...you know.
Faith hands him the second folder with a frown.
So how long until I can look at this stuff?
Aiden's brows knit with puzzlement.
You want to look at it?
Faith crosses her arms.
Tell you what.
Why don't you just let me know when you've
found me something I can hit?
With that, she turns and strides out of the room. Aiden looks after her. His eyes dip with chagrin.
EXT. UCLA POWELL LIBRARY - MORNING - ESTABLISHING
INT. MAIN FLOOR REFERENCE SECTION
A LIBRARIAN turns behind the counter and plucks a book from the shelf there. She brings it around, picks up a hand-held device, and scans the back cover. Her gaze rises to a computer screen in front of her.
Mary, can you take this book over to Dr. Roth
in Religious Studies?
Silence. The librarian looks up.
Her POV, PANNING - book stacks, tables, and student patrons. There is no apparent "Mary" to be seen. Connor is standing at a side table reading the newspaper. His right forearm is bandaged.
INSERT - The PAGE he is looking at -
INVESTIGATION CONTINUES INTO ON-CAMPUS DEATH
Connor glances back, lets the newspaper page fall, and walks over behind the counter.
(to the librarian)
I'll do it. I'm on my way out.
He takes the book from her and glances down at it. INSERT - Circle of the Dragon. There is a colorful illustration of a Chinese dragon on the cover.
Connor reaches for his book bag under the counter and heads out of the reference section.
INT. FAITH'S OFFICE - MID-MORNING
Faith and RONA are perched on the front edge of Faith's desk, studying a clipboard Rona has tucked in her arm. We can hear the distant chatter and laughter of girls arriving for training.
Then, after the basic weapons inventory--
A SOFT KNOCK makes her glance up.
A timid-looking Aiden stands in the doorway. He raises the thin FILE FOLDER in one hand.
I found something interesting.
You might want to check it out.
Hang on a sec.
She turns her attention back to Rona.
After the basic weapons inventory,
we'll start with the quarterstaff drills.
Oh, yeah. I want to see who complains.
Rona chuckles and stands.
She heads for the door. Aiden steps aside, then enters. Faith crosses her arms.
He hands her the file folder. She takes it and opens it.
I've been going through the Syndicate files
and this caught my eye.
They're called the "Church of Higher Transformation."
(then, mumbling, dubious)
Or lower transformation,
depending on your point of view.
Faith reads for a moment, then looks up.
Some kind of cult?
(he nods at the folder)
They're humans who believe that demons are
superior to us.
They perform rituals and surgery on their members
to give them demon traits.
Faith raises her brows skeptically and looks back down.
"...telepathy, poisoned teeth, healing powers...."
What's sometimes called "an aspect of the demon."
Sounds like your basic whackos.
Most of that file is invoices which indicate
the Syndicate supplied the "Transformationists"
as they're called with demons and...eh...
...demon parts for their surgeries,
which makes me wonder if this so-called "church"
might be up to something less spiritual
and more mercenary.
(off Faith's wrinkled brow)
Like they're doing it to make money.
Faith nods and hands the folder back to Aiden.
Worth checking out.
They have a meeting place
at an abandoned plastics recycling plant
Cool. Let's head over there later.
I have a training session right now
with the newbs.
She walks past him out the door.
And call Connor, would you?
He can tag along.
EXT. DODD HALL - UCLA CAMPUS - MID-MORNING - ESTABLISHING
A long, three-story salmon building with white trim.
Connor stands at a DOOR. He knocks. INSERT - The name plate beside the door reads,
Sociology and Religion
MUFFLED FEMALE VOICE (O.S.)
INT. OFFICE OF PROFESSOR ROTH
ANGLE - looking at the DOOR from a desk shoved up against the wall perpendicular to it. The door opens. Connor enters, smiling shyly. He holds up the book.
Hi, uh, this is from the library.
His POV - PROFESSOR ROTH looks up from her desk. She is an attractive thirty-something blonde in a slightly rumpled tweed jacket and fitted skirt.
Connor walks the book over to her. She takes it, glances down at it, and sets it aside. Connor shoves his hands in his pants pockets and circles around, taking in her cramped, cluttered office.
PANNING - There is not a single space--wall, bookshelf, desk, filing cabinet--that is not filled with something old and intriguing. Colored glass bottles of various shapes; a Ouija board; a scratched and faded woodcut of a horned-and-tailed devil tormenting a saint; a chalkboard covered with diagonally-inclining Cyrillic script; a framed black-and-white photograph of the Egyptian pyramids; a DIPLOMA announcing Melanie Roth's doctoral degree in Theology from Loyola-Marymount, 2001.
And BOOKS. Four bookshelves of philosophical treatises, sacred texts from various religions, apocrypha, grimoires, scientific and alchemical texts, and fictional works.
And a droopy, neglected ficus in a pot under the window. Dr. Roth swivels her chair around to observe Connor observing.
Connor is at a shelf, his finger sliding over Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Foucault's Pendulum, and Faust. He turns and notices her watching him.
Is this just your office?
Dr. Roth smiles thinly.
I didn't mean....
"Sociology and Religion," huh?
The professor nods.
The rubric covers a lot of things.
Comparative religion, mythology,
the study of religion in its cultural context.
Connor goes back to examining the books on her shelf. Then he turns and peers at her.
Have you ever heard the word, "Anunnaki" before?
Dr. Roth scrutinizes him for a moment. Then she nods.
What's your interest in them?
It's just a word I heard someone mention in a class.
What's it mean?
They're Sumerian gods.
"Gods...." Not demons?
Later traditions recast them as demons.
Connor's gaze grows circumspect. After a beat -
I--I don't mean in mythology. I meant in real life.
Dr. Roth chuckles, befuddled.
Connor's lips set stubbornly. He crosses his arms.
You study mystical religious stuff,
but you don't believe in demons?
Dr. Roth eyes him guardedly.
I'd be a fool not to.
So you know about demons. Real ones.
Knowledge is power. Or so they say.
What about the Anunnaki then?
Dr. Roth swivels her chair around until it is facing a bookshelf. She reaches down to the bottom shelf.
I have books with entries on the Anunnaki,
if you're interested.
She stares at the shelf blankly for a moment, eyes not shifting, her gaze almost unseeing. Then she tugs two books out from the tightly-packed shelf and sits up. She hands them to him. Connor stacks them in his hands and looks at them one at a time. INSERT, his POV - The World of Ancient Mesopotamia, Echoes of Sumer in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic Tradition.
He opens the second one and frowns.
Those are academic works on the subject.
Feel free to borrow them if you want.
But like library books, they have to be returned.
Connor nods, then grins.
He stands awkwardly for a moment, then turns to leave, raising the books slightly.
I didn't catch your name.
Connor stops and turns back.
CUT TO - INT. CORRIDOR
Connor walks towards the elevator, the books tucked under one arm. A man passes him, headed in the opposite direction.
CONTINUING WITH THE MAN - It is the MAN from the episode 2.01 teaser. He is dressed in an ordinary shirt and slacks, but he has the same graying hair, beard stubble, and humorless expression.
INT. DR. ROTH'S OFFICE
Dr. Roth is at her desk, intently writing with pen and paper. There is a knock. Whoever it is doesn't wait for her reply. The door opens. The MAN. Dr. Roth's gaze darkens at the sight of him.
What are you doing here?
INT. SLAYER COUNCIL LIBRARY - LATE MORNING
Connor is standing behind Aiden, who is seated at the computer. There is a short stack of file folders at Aiden's elbow. The flatbed scanner is humming away.
I don't think they were gang-bangers.
CLOSE-UP on the computer screen - A PHOTOGRAPH of the winged demon statue Aiden snapped earlier is gradually unfolding.
(glancing back at him)
Just your average teenaged punks, then?
Who somehow managed to mug
the preternaturally-strong offspring of two vampires?
I told you how that happened.
And they were street people, I'm sure of it.
Just not the kind you normally run into--
(he frowns deeply)
His attention is drawn up by a clamoring of female voices, laughter, and footsteps.
Slayer School's back in session.
Aiden glances up, too.
Yep. Once again the suite echoes with
the pitter-patter of tiny feet that can
crush your skull in.
Connor chuckles. Then his eyes dip to Aiden.
So did you...you know, check it out?
Aiden reaches for the computer mouse. He shifts it and clicks.
I might have poked my head in.
(eyes still on the screen)
Connor grins and crosses his arms.
Not all of them.
I think there's a couple that are sixteen.
Aiden gives him a LOOK.
So did you find anything out about Julia Moore?
Aiden nods and reaches for a thin file folder tucked under his computer monitor. He hands it up to Connor.
Nothing supernatural, though.
And nothing that indicates what she
would have been doing at UCLA that night.
He types something into the computer.
Oh, and I looked up that word, "Anunnaki."
(eyes on the Julia Moore folder)
Yeah, I got some books on that from a professor
at school today. It's from mythology.
I found an entry on it in the Council database.
Connor looks up curiously.
So they are demons?
His POV, over Aiden's shoulder - on the COMPUTER SCREEN is the logo of the SLAYER COUNCIL DATABASE: a SCYTHE with the words Council of Vampire Slayers circling around it in old-fashioned script. Under the logo is a text entry entitled The Anunnaki with a photograph of an ancient Sumerian seal in bronze relief.
(shaking his head)
Not that I can tell.
But a lot of myth is based on actual fact,
which is why they have entries on mythology
in the Council database.
(he glances back again)
It wouldn't surprise me to find out there's
something out there that inspired the legend
of the Anunnaki.
Where'd you hear about them, anyway?
This gets Aiden's attention. Connor digs his wallet out of his back pocket, opens it, and fishes out the RED NAPKIN from episode 2.01. He hands it to Aiden.
She gave this to me before she died.
Aiden examines the napkin for a moment, looking at both sides, then opens it up. Finally, he folds it and hands it back to Connor with a reprimanding frown.
Isn't that evidence?
Connor scoffs as he slips the napkin back into his wallet.
Yeah, like the police are going to know what
to do with this if they had it.
You don't know that that has anything to do
with the supernatural.
Connor nods grudgingly.
Yeah, I know.
It's just...she used her last bit of strength
to put it in my hand.
It was important to her, whatever it is.
He stuffs his wallet back in his pocket and shrugs with feigned casualness.
I told the police what I knew.
The men look up.
Faith slaps the doorframe.
She pivots around.
Connor and Aiden trade glances. Aiden stands.
CUT TO - INT. HALLWAY
They follow Faith towards the suite door, swerving around several young Slayers who are chatting there.
So these guys are some kind of demon-worshippers?
EXT. ABANDONED PLASTICS RECYCLING PLANT - NOON - ESTABLISHING
An industrial building flanked by cylindrical tanks and surrounded by a high steel fence.
The camera DOLLIES through a pipe-lined concrete corridor. We hear water dripping and the echo of DISTANT VOICES. The DOLLY ends at the top of a metal staircase. We start down it into -
A DIMLY-LIT ROOM. More concrete and pipes. On the pipes are dozens of flickering, half-melted CANDLES. The floor is carpeted and scattered with empty chairs. At the far end of the room is a broad STONE ALTAR. Carved across its entire breadth are small ARCANE SYMBOLS. A ROBED MAN stands before it flanked by a half-dozen men and women and a young girl, also in robes. The man's skin is GRAY AND MOTTLED.
Faith, Connor, and Aiden take in the TRANSFORMATIONISTS with skepticism.
The Slayer, is it?
I've very much wanted to meet a Slayer.
Is that right?
The robed man holds up a hand to indicate his companions. Each of them appears human, but is oddly distinctive in some way--one has a long, flicking forked tongue; another, a third eye in the middle of her forehead; another, one human arm and one muscular, green demon arm with a insect pincher-like hand. The child blinks at the visitors with vertically-slit yellow eyes.
Connor subtly grimaces.
The Transformationists seek to imbue themselves
with the power and mentality of demonkind.
(he eyes her intently)
You, on the other hand, were born that way.
Faith throws her hands out to the sides.
Hey, it's not like I asked for it.
The man smiles.
Then you won't mind one of our shamans
taking your Slayer power from you
and giving it to someone who wants it.
Faith's brows lower uncertainly. She throws a nervous glance at Aiden.
You can do that?
(with a small smile)
My point is, you enjoy being what you are.
(he gestures widely)
In fact, you believe it gives you the right
to come in here and...what is it you said?
"Inspect us"? Our facilities, our methods?
(another intent look at her)
You understand your own superiority.
Faith crosses her arms.
Yeah, I might have believed that once.
That Slayers were "better."
I don't anymore.
Now, it just means I have a job to do.
The man's eyes narrow and flit briefly over to Connor and Aiden.
And your companions?
Are along for the ride.
(she tilts up her head in challenge)
So why don't we start with you, Hed...?
What's your "demon aspect"?
Besides bad skin?
I'm precognitive. I see the future.
She turns and paces casually, hands on her hips, taking in the room.
What am I about to do?
Assert your power,
as all Slayers are compelled to do.
But that's not what I meant.
Faith stops. Hedrion turns his back on her and wanders over to the altar.
Time is a torturous river,
curving this way and that,
full of eddies and undercurrents.
A single drop, I can't see.
He slides a LONG-NAILED HAND over the inscriptions cut into the stone.
But the ultimate direction of the flow, I can.
Faith draws her head back skeptically.
Humans have proven too weak and
morally muddled to keep their hold on this plane.
The day is coming soon when they will lose it.
So for insurance you turn yourselves into
(eyes flashing with irritation)
It's not "insurance." It's evolution.
The future is what it is.
(he turns back around)
We will be a part of it. Currents in the flow.
CUT TO Connor, who is scowling skeptically.
Hedrion nods to the forked-tongue man.
Jeron, show her whatever she wants
and then escort her and her companions out.
Jeron turns to Faith and gestures at an open doorway behind the altar. Then he turns and starts toward it without a word. Faith, Connor, and Aiden glance at each other and follow. Hedrion tracks Connor as he passes. In a sudden burst, he strides over to him and GRABS HIM BY THE ARM. Connor quickly extricates himself from the man's grip, then stares with alarm as he sees -
HEDRION CONVULSING. His eyes are heavy-lidded, his arms loose at his sides. The THIRD-EYE WOMAN hurries over to him. Then, as quickly as the trance came over him, it is gone. Hedrion sags against the woman, exhaling. Then slowly, and with a shudder, he raises his eyes. He gives Connor a hostile once-over.
Get out of here.
(he glares at Faith and Aiden)
All of you.
Connor quickly follows Faith and Aiden around the stone altar. He exits the room with one last clearly unnerved glance back at Hedrion.
The third-eye woman rests a hand on Hedrion's shoulder after they're gone.
(looking at her)
What did you see?
Hedrion looks away and shakes his head, distracted.
The Slayers are aware of us.
We need to know where they stand.
Find out just how much demon is in them.
Merak gazes down at him uneasily.
I meant, what did you see when you touched the boy?
CLOSE-UP on Hedrion's DEEPLY DISTURBED expression. He shakes his head.
The camera focus SHIFTS, blurring him and sharpening the DOORWAY BEHIND THE ALTAR.
Dingy white plastered walls. Faith, Aiden, and Connor follow Jeron past doors with paint-stenciled labels--"Electrical Room," "Janitorial Supplies." Finally, they reach another metal staircase. The man starts up. The camera HOLDS as the four of them ascend out of frame.
Then the camera PULLS BACK, pivots 180 degrees, and DOLLIES back down the corridor. It CUTS RIGHT, then LEFT, then DOLLIES down another long corridor until it comes to a halt at a set of CLOSED DOUBLE DOORS.
FADE TO - INT. MAIN PLANT FLOOR
A vast, high-ceilinged room where the bulk of the plastics refining once occurred - a maze of pipes and funnels, heating vats, stamp-presses, cooling slats, ladders, and cat-walks. The camera WEAVES THROUGH the equipment until it arrives at the far wall, where we see a METAL DOOR with a small vent in it. Through the vent, we hear a steady THUMPING and low GROWLS and GRUNTS.
CUT TO - INT. A HOLDING PEN
Dim lighting. The low hum of a fan. PANNING DOWN the length of the room we see a row of white partitioned ENCLOSURES. Each contains a single DEMON locked behind a thick, transparent plastic-polymer wall. Most are of the same breed as each other--tall, gray, and reptilian with a long snout and sharp TEETH. They pace their confined spaces, their clawed hands thrashing at the partitions separating them. One is BANGING ITS BULK against the transparent wall.
REVERSE ANGLE - Several Transformationists with holstered SIDE ARMS are leading a RESTRAINED and STRUGGLING DEMON of the same species down the corridor that passes alongside the enclosures. Among other things, the demon has its claws clasped tight together in front of itself. The Transformationists direct the creature into an open, empty enclosure, then bring down the transparent wall with a SLAM.
The agitated demon down the corridor continues to BANG against the wall of its own enclosure. The wall SHUDDERS in its frame under the blows. A wafting stream of fine concrete dust drifts down from the ceiling.
Two SHAMANS in white doctors' robes--a man and woman--glance up as Jeron enters. Faith, Aiden, and Connor trail behind him. The room is lined with locked cabinets and beds surrounded by surgical equipment. Most of the beds are empty, but a few of them have Transformationist "patients" on them hooked up to IVs and monitoring devices--people who have obviously just had procedures done.
Connor grimaces at jars on the countertops containing DEMON PARTS suspended in solution. Then his gaze falls on -
The HAND of the male shaman, which has long, spindly fingers with curled, black nails. The two shamans pull Jeron aside and speak to him softly.
Connor's face strains as he tries to hear what they are saying. Faith leans in close to him.
Mind turning on the bloodhound thing?
(with a distracted glance)
He turns his attention to Faith and shakes his head.
There are demon smells all over the place--
blood, body odor, bile....
(he gestures at the room)
But you can see why for yourself.
Faith peers around skeptically. Aiden, on the other hand, is grinning with perplexed fascination.
Will you get a load of this place?
Faith frowns. The shamans direct a concerned glance at her. Jeron gestures Faith, Connor, and Aiden forward. They follow him out the far door back into the corridor.
CUT TO a SERIES OF SHOTS -
Jeron leads them past restrooms, office space turned into fairly clean but simple living quarters, and a dining hall with more randomly-demonized men, women, and children bustling about in lunchtime activities.
CUT BACK TO - INT. MAIN PLANT FLOOR
The metal door to the holding pens HANGS OPEN.
Standing before it is a bewildered REPTILE-DEMON. It casts its FERAL YELLOW EYES in one direction and then the next. Then it CHARGES DOWN the AISLE.
EXT. PLASTICS RECYCLING PLANT - EARLY AFTERNOON
LONG SHOT, looking out - Faith's Impala is parked alongside the high steel fence.
REVERSE ANGLE - The plant looms behind Faith, Connor, and Aiden as they head towards the car. Aiden casts tentative glances at the other two, hands in his pants pockets. Connor is still scowling deeply.
So what are you going to do?
I'm not sure there's anything we can do,
except keep an eye on them.
Connor scoffs, incredulous.
You wouldn't call that a cult?
Sure it's a cult, but last time I checked,
keeping people from turning themselves into
mutant freaks wasn't part of my job description.
(taking a stab)
Why do you suppose they do that to themselves?
Faith shrugs with affected nonchalance and pulls her keys from her pocket.
My guess? It makes them feel big.
Demon powers, "destiny."
Connor gives her an enigmatic glance. Aiden considers this with a chuckle, then shakes his head.
Yeah, but...the one with the arm...?
(he runs his hand along one arm)
And that eye?
His fingertip brushes his forehead. He gestures at the two of them.
I mean, at least with you guys,
it's not like it's obvious or anything.
This draws a glare from Connor. Aiden looks away sheepishly. Faith slows as she reaches her car. Just then, a loud ROAR makes her whirl around.
The DEMON from the Transformationists' holding pen lumbers towards them.
Aiden throws himself up against the side the Impala.
Son of a bitch.
She bolts towards it. Connor is on her heels a beat later.
It must be one of theirs!
The demon THRASHES out at Faith with its claws as she comes within striking distance of it. She ducks to one side and bounces back on her toes. Connor gets behind it. The demon SWIVELS TOWARDS HIM. On reflex, Connor launches a punch with the arm he wounded the night before. The demon viciously SNAPS AT the arm with its teeth.
Connor darts back, drawing his arm tight to his chest.
Faith ROUNDHOUSE KICKS the demon away from him. Then she charges after the creature and PUNCHES IT in the back of the head. Then again. And again. Dazed and angry, the demon staggers around in a circle, tossing its head, flailing and growling. Faith KICKS IT HARD to the ground. She FLINGS the keys in her hand in the direction of her car.
Aiden! The trunk! Get my sword!
The keys miss Aiden's groping hands, hit the side of the car, and fall splayed to the ground. He scrambles for them, stands, and dodges around the car to the trunk.
Still favoring his arm, Connor strides over to the felled demon and circles around it, cautiously but repeatedly kicking it to keep it from getting back on its feet. It flails. Faith dashes to her car and snatches her sword from Aiden's hands. She comes back SWINGING.
Keep it down!
Connor KICKS the beast in the head. Faith approaches, dancing and dodging, trying to avoid its flailing claws and legs. She gets an in and raises her sword high. With the merest fraction of a second to judge her angle of thrust, she BRINGS THE SWORD DOWN. It pierces the creature's side. The demon ROARS, then SLUMPS LIMP. She pulls her sword out and shuffles back on her toes.
Once more just to be sure! Over here!
Faith circles around to the demon's head. She raises her sword again. Then she FREEZES.
They stare down at the demon.
Its body is MORPHING--the snout length decreasing, the mottled skin smoothing, the height and bulk shrinking. Until nothing is left but a naked, bleeding, dark-haired HUMAN MAN.
Part 2 (click here)