(October 8, 2006)
Written by: Masquerade
Previously on The Destroyer...
EXT. DYKSTRA RESIDENCE HALL - LATE EVENING - ESTABLISHING
Faith and Connor stand on either side of the open doorway of Connor's room. We can hear a LOW CHANTING coming from inside.
(in a murmur)
You gonna tell me what happened?
Connor looks up wearily, like he doesn't much want to talk about it.
His POV - LONG SHOT of the narrow dorm room. It is lit only by streetlamp light seeping through the slatted window blinds and the spill from the hallway. The witch VAUGHNE strolls past Connor's desk, an open BOOK clutched in one hand, an INCENSE BURNER on a chain dangling from the fingertips of the other.
There was a vampire in here tonight.
You invited a vampire into your room?
I didn't. My roommate did.
He thought it was someone I was dating.
Damn. He's all right, isn't he?
Yeah, he's fine. And his girlfriend's fine.
CLOSE-UP on Connor's mortified stare.
His POV - Vaughne stops at Dave's loft. She ducks underneath it and sets the incense burner down on the end table. Then she digs into the pocket of her peasant skirt, pulls out a SPRAY BOTTLE with a large BLACK CROSS on it, and spritzes the contents along the back of the couch, mumbling low. She pockets the bottle and retrieves the incense canister. Circling in a crouch, she draws a wispy trail of smoke through the space under the loft.
So who was this chick?
Connor compresses his lips.
This is my fault.
I knew what she was before I ever laid eyes on her.
CUT TO - INT. CLUB SEKHMET (FLASHBACK)
A sparsely-filled GOTH NIGHTCLUB lit by scattered crimson spotlights and ghostly, flickering celluloid images. Connor stands at the far wall gazing up at a tintype of Drusilla.
CLOSE-UP on his face - his eyes dip to the side expectantly, as if sensing something behind him.
I should have just killed her when I had the chance.
CUT TO -
Connor strides purposefully past the bar heading towards the club's exit. Then he slows and glances back.
Behind him - an alluring young BRUNETTE lingers, her expression enigmatic and amused. Her black low-rider slacks and tank-top don't do much to hide a BODY TO DIE FOR.
But I didn't.
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.
Rachel Leigh Cook
INT. CLUB SEKHMET - THE EVENING PRIOR
Clan of Xymox's "Jasmine and Rose" plays as we -
OPEN ON a pitch-black LIDLESS COFFIN sitting at the edge of the dance floor. A woman lies inside it with her eyes closed. She is wearing a white lace dress. Her dark hair is beautifully coifed and she has the pale, made-up pallor of a corpse readied for funeral viewing. Wilted mums, lilies, and roses are scattered around and across her.
PANNING - Young men and women in club drag ranging from melancholic Goth to affectedly unassuming neo-punk and various flavors of retro from Renaissance to Rockabilly gyrate languorously to the music. Waitresses circulate the round metal tables with drinks on trays.
Sekhmet was crowded last night...
full of kids from the suburbs trying to look like they weren't.
CUT TO a CLOSE-UP of a COMPACT MIRROR. Reflected in the glass, we can see the front of the club--the distant doorway, the wire mesh dancer cages, and patrons sitting or standing or walking by. And we can see CONNOR, approaching.
I was there because a woman who'd died in my arms
had put a napkin from this club in my hand.
On it was the name of a guy I hoped could
tell me why it'd happened.
He passes under a spotlight, his head turning as he scans the crowd.
CUT TO ALIX in CLOSE-UP, concentrating intently on the compact mirror as she applies ruby-red lipstick.
But if that didn't pan out, then...
I supposed I'd have to talk to her.
BACK TO the mirror's reflection - The front of the club again, and Connor, growing closer.
MEDIUM SHOT - Alix snaps the compact shut and sets it down on her table. She is in black leather pants and a low-cut rose-colored halter top. She lifts a cup of red wine and sips from it. CLOSE-UP on her eyes--patient, calculating. Then she sets the glass down with a fresh lipstick stain on the rim.
CUT TO a REAR SHOT - She twists around in her chair.
(voice muted against the music)
Look who's back.
Connor gazes at her expressionlessly and crosses his arms.
Is Danny here?
Nice to see you again, too.
And no. He hasn't been here in weeks.
With undisguised annoyance, Connor circles around her table and plunges into the crowd. Alix stifles a scowl and stands.
LOW OVERHEAD SHOT as Connor winds his way through the jostling clubbers, heading towards the bar. Alix is several feet behind him and gaining. She finally catches up to him as he halts to squeeze between two shoulders. She follows, then rests her fingertips on his back.
Rumor is he was kicked out of his apartment
for not paying his rent.
He's been seen in a lot of places since then.
Connor shrugs her off. He arrives at the bar and sets a hand down on it.
I know where some of them are.
Connor waits, signaling the bartenders who ignore him as they busily make drinks. Finally he frowns.
So where are they?
Alix slinks up close to him and tilts her lips up to his ear.
It would really be easier if I showed you.
Yeah, I'll bet.
Getting nowhere with the bartenders, Connor twists around to face her.
Why are you doing this?
Pretending to help me.
You can't tell me you care about Julia Moore.
Alix looks offended.
You think because I'm a vampire,
I can't feel anything?
I know you can't.
And with that, he walks away. Alix watches him go.
TIGHT SHOT of Connor pushing his way through the crowd.
I'd figured out pretty quickly I wasn't
going to get a straight answer out of her.
Not that she didn't know.
But she was going to keep stringing me along until--
Suddenly, he is CLIPPED in the shoulder by a passing stubble-bearded man. Connor throws the man an irritable glare and moves on. Then, after a moment, he halts again and glances back at the bar.
His POV - Alix is still standing there, talking to another patron. One of the bartenders hands her a drink.
Well, what do demons ever want from people?
Connor cuts right abruptly and heads for the exit.
AND RUNS SMACK INTO a beautiful ebony-skinned woman who has stepped out from behind one of the tall tables. For a frozen instant, they stand eye-to-eye. Then the music and the noise of the crowd begin to fade, replaced by a single, pulsating HEART BEAT. CLOSE-UP on the woman's eyes - warm, mesmerizing. She reaches out and caresses the side of Connor's face. He doesn't pull back. The pulsating grows LOUDER.
REVERSE ANGLE - Alix, watching curiously.
Her POV - The woman leans in and kisses Connor. He responds.
REVERSE ANGLE - Alix, looking annoyed. Then uncertain. She sets her wine on the bar and starts towards the seating area.
The PULSATING begins to speed up. TIGHT SHOT of Connor and the woman, in a world of their own. The pulsating grows louder, faster. Then, in CLOSE-UP - Connor's eyes WIDEN in ALARM.
WIDE SHOT - he flails away from the woman, knocking himself nearly off-balance. The woman's eyes SPARKLE UNNATURALLY around VERTICALLY-SLITTED PUPILS. With a predatory smile, she wipes her lips with a fingertip. Connor stands gasping. Nearby patrons look on, then turn away. Alix strolls up next to Connor, laughing.
What was that?
QUICK-CUT TO the woman, eyeing them.
A succubus, probably.
Alix regards Connor smugly, then slips a hand over his shoulder.
You're in way over your head, college boy.
TIGHT LOW SHOT - She presses her body against his and her lips to his ear.
So come on. Let me help you.
DISSOLVE TO - INT. DORMITORY CORRIDOR - PRESENT HOUR
Connor and Faith break off conversation as Vaughne exits Connor's dorm room hefting her bulging Mexican weave bag over her shoulder.
That's it. Dorm room herbed-and-watered.
And, you know, Latin-chanted...over.
Connor smiles gratefully.
Yeah, Vaughne. Thanks.
Don't thank me yet.
I can't guarantee this is going to work.
Dorm rooms are...iffy.
Apartments and houses definitely need invites,
so it's not hard to reverse the invites.
Hotel rooms, not a chance.
(she glances back)
Her POV - the dimly-lit room.
Sometimes they need invitations,
sometimes they don't.
She turns back around.
It wouldn't hurt to put a little of the standard
paraphernalia around--garlic, crosses.
Dave'll love that.
Vaughne turns to head down the hall.
I'll leave you to it, then.
DISSOLVE TO - EXT. SHOT - the INTERIOR of Connor's dorm room as seen through the open horizontal window blinds. The light flicks on and Faith follows Connor inside.
So after that, I left.
I was really in a bad mood at that point.
I was on my way to my car when--
Whoa, hang on a minute, back up.
About this club, Sekhmet.
So it's a demon club?
Connor shuts the door.
Yeah, among other things.
Things I really didn't want to stick around
to find out about.
Faith nods with understanding.
So I was on my way to my car....
DISSOLVE TO - INT. CLUB SEKHMET - CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS
IN FRAME - A BARTENDER stands behind the BAR uncapping a beer. Behind him, a DOOR labeled "Employees only" opens and two men step out. One is an ordinary human of the MIDDLE-AGED SLEAZOID variety with graying hair and a suit. His companion is a demon with a rakish fedora tilted over his horns. The door shuts behind them.
You'll have your license by tomorrow.
Health and safety inspection reports by the end of the week.
I mean, that's it, for the time being.
Da Silva chuckles and strolls behind the bar. He grabs up a bottle of vermouth.
Stay for a drink.
Lorne glowers like he'd rather eat worms.
Can't. I have contractors coming in tomorrow
to give me an estimate on the stage reinforcement.
Now, as long as I can keep pregnant vampires
and their vengeful nemeses out of my club....
At that moment, a nearby COMMOTION draws his attention away.
Just back off!
Lorne's POV - Connor SHOVES Alix away with a sneer.
Speak of the devil's-spawn.
Now what's he doing in a place like this?
Da Silva adds gin to his cocktail glass and stirs the mixture with a skewered olive.
That kid over there.
How long's he been coming here?
Never seen him before.
I have. Excuse me.
Lorne heads after Connor, who is striding away from Alix. He reaches out a hand.
Connor startles as a hand grips his shoulder and turns him around. He RAISES A FIST. Lorne retracts his hand quickly and hops away. Connor stares at him, fist frozen in the air. Then he lowers it, looking taken aback.
What are you doing here?
Lorne arches his eyebrows and scoffs.
Well, to quote something somebody said to me once,
I'm a "filthy demon." What's your excuse?
Does your father know you're here?
CUT TO Alix, who is looking on from a distance, expression inquisitive. Her POV - Connor getting a stern talking-to by a big green demon in a zoot suit.
TIGHT TWO-SHOT of the two of them.
No. My father isn't even in this dimension...
at the moment.
So it's true, what I've been hearing on the grapevine.
Connor nods. Lorne scrutinizes him uneasily for a beat. Then -
Listen, Connor, it's probably none of my business,
but Sekhmet's not the sort of place you want to hang around in.
(he gestures around the club)
I mean...this can't be your idea of fun.
Despite the assurance, Lorne still appears troubled. He touches a tentative hand to Connor's elbow. With the other, he signals a waitress.
Tell Da Silva I've reconsidered that drink.
And add a Coke!
The waitress nods and walks away. Lorne nudges Connor towards a nearby table. Connor glares.
What are you doing?
Sorry if I'm cramping your style, kid,
but your aura is seriously weird right now,
and whatever issues I might have with Angel,
and I can't just ignore it.
They arrive at the table and Lorne pulls out a chair. With a resigned frown, Connor sinks into it.
CUT TO - The waitress leaves the bar holding a tray with two drinks on it. We stay with her as she walks it over to Connor and Lorne's table.
...The napkin was from this club, Sekhmet,
and it had a guy's phone number on it.
Trying to find out what killed her.
How film noir.
Connor glances up as the waitress sets two napkins on the table, then plunks a cocktail down on one and a Coke on the other. She walks off.
So do you come here often?
Lorne blinks at the cliché, then shakes his head.
Not if I can avoid it.
But I can tell you this, Connor--
whatever brought that girl to this club,
it's probably what got her killed.
Now I know you can take care of yourself in a fight,
but the things that'll prey on you here are
a little more subtle than that.
Yeah, I've figured that out.
Good. Now do me a favor and sing a few bars.
Then I'll leave you alone.
Just humor me.
Connor takes a deep breath, then clears his throat.
I...will never know...myself...until I do this on my own,
And I will never feel...anything else...until my....
Lorne grimaces awkwardly and takes a sip of his Sea Breeze.
Uhhh...you are in a strange place, aren't you?
All philosophy and angst.
No wonder you're wound tighter than a drum.
This obviously hits home with Connor.
What'd you see?
Oh, you know, the usual....
Devils, saints...a grand war for
heaven and Earth and every human soul.
And a blonde.
Lorne winces earnestly.
Oh, Connor, I know you are just humoring me,
and a lecture from the Jolly Green Guidance Counselor
is that last thing you want,
but seeing as I used to change your diapers,
I think I've earned the right to offer some advice.
So here it is.
He sets his glass on the table and gives Connor his best empathy-face.
You can't keep pretending everything's normal.
It's not normal. It's never going to be normal.
What does that mean?
You were the one who said I had to "find my own path."
Figure out my life for myself.
(with strained patience)
What I said was that you were already on your path.
And to trust your instincts.
(an uncertain pause)
Although I'm not too sure about that last part anymore.
"Life," "destiny," your "path"...they're all the same thing.
There are choices to make, but not everything is a choice.
Some stuff you're just stuck with,
and you have to make the most of it.
Connor frowns, not looking at him.
I don't believe that.
People just use that as an excuse.
(then, with frustration)
I mean, wh--why should I care about what
some old guy wrote in a book a thousand years ago?
Lorne's brow knits. He scrutinizes Connor for a beat.
Connor...what are you talking about?
Connor pushes his chair away from the table.
CLOSE-UP on the edge of the table - Lorne stops Connor with a hand across his hand.
Connor, what do you know?
Connor tugs his hand away.
Nothing. I'm tired of your "destiny" crap, okay?
(with a sigh)
Oh, honey, everyone's got a destiny.
You just happen to have one in print.
I'd say it's your birthright--like demon strength,
and the ability to brood for hours without spraining anything.
Connor's scowl deepens, but doesn't leave his seat. Lorne takes this in sympathetically.
I wish I could tell you what any of it means.
But there may be someone who can.
(Connor peers up at him)
A guide. Someone who's supposed to help you
muddle through all this.
So who is it? L. Ron Hubbard? The Dali Lama?
I can see impatient sarcasm is hereditary.
No, it's a woman. A blond woman.
Great. I'll keep an eye out.
You'll know her because a delivery will bring you together.
She'll deliver something to me?
No. You'll deliver something to her.
EXT. CLUB SEKHMET - MOMENTS LATER
A grouchy Connor pauses in front of the club, digging in his pants pocket. We see a MAN exit behind him and start down the sidewalk. It is the STUBBLE-BEARDED MAN from inside. Connor's eyes drift after him. He pulls an empty hand out of his pocket and follows.
CUT TO - EXT. SIDE STREET NEAR SEKHMET
STEADICAM POV SHOT - Intermittent streetlamps. Parked cars, lining the curb. The shadow of a man passes over the lines and cracks of the sidewalk, accompanied by the steady pad of shoes. Then suddenly -
The WORLD IS KNOCKED ASKEW and THE SIDEWALK COMES FLYING UP FAST.
Teeth gritted, Connor rolls the stubble-bearded man over onto his back with one hand. With the other, he raises a STAKE. He brings it down. The man's wide-eyed gape is the last thing we see before he EXPLODES INTO DUST.
Head tilted down, Connor exhales a deep, tense breath and stands to full height. HOLD on that for several seconds. Distant traffic sounds haunt the air. Then -
Connor looks up.
His POV - A HULKING FIGURE swathed ninja-like in black LEAPS DOWN from the roof of a building, clutching a WICKED CURVED BLADE.
Connor's brows knit with incredulity. Quickly, he throws himself into a back-flip. The figure lands and HOISTS ITS SWORD for a downward ARC. Connor DUCKS the blade to one side, then the OTHER as his attacker comes in again from the opposite angle. Taking his in, Connor steps back and KICKS his attacker into the wall behind it. The stucco and brick FRACTURES under the force of the blow.
The ninja veil slips slightly, revealing a snout-nosed DEMON.
You will die, human!
Connor chuckles scornfully. He crouches, arms raised and ready.
Well, sure. But not today.
Then he LUNGES, grabbing at the demon's sword-arm.
--by that thing!
Crunch. Connor's HEAD SNAPS TO ONE SIDE as the demon smashes a fist into his temple. He stumbles, lolling dizzily for a second, then sprawls on the ground on his back.
Connor's POV - blurred at first, then coming into SHARP FOCUS. The NINJA-DEMON looms over him, raising its sword high.
In the name of all banished below,
I spill this human blood.
Demon's POV - Connor stares up at his assassin. Not in helpless half-consciousness, but clear-eyed, fatalistic challenge.
EXT. SIDE STREET NEAR SEKHMET - CONTINUOUS
Connor stares up at death.
Then the demon looming over him GOES AIRBORNE.
WIDE SHOT - It crashes into the concrete several meters away. Alix offers Connor a hand. He takes it and leaps to his feet, then pivots around to locate his would-be assassin. The DEMON is flat on the sidewalk, struggling to rise and grappling out for its SWORD. Quickly, Alix darts after the weapon. She is nearly upon it when the creature grabs her ankle instead, pitching her forward onto the sidewalk. The demon stretches out again.
A HAND snatches the sword up and out of its grasp. Alix rises on one elbow and looks behind her.
Her POV - Connor's face is a feral grimace. He grips the sword in both hands and steps up to the demon, bringing the curved blade up and around. The demon KICKS AT HIM HARD and rolls in the other direction. Connor stumbles back. The demon lurches up to kneeling.
Alix does the same, eyes widening.
Without a second's hesitation, Connor strides forward again. The sword is a BLUR as he swings it around and SEVERS THE DEMON'S HEAD.
Alix gapes. We hear the head fall.
Connor stares down at his handiwork, then releases the blade into one hand and turns.
Alix's stunned expression pinches into apprehension. Her POV - Connor's eyes are PREDATORY. And pinned on her. She rises slowly to her feet.
Her POV - Connor, staring.
She backs up a step, bewildered. Then again. With a snarl, Connor LUNGES FOR HER and SLAMS HER UP AGAINST THE WALL. She grunts. His left hand tightens on her bare upper arm. LOW SHOT - His right foot clamps firmly down on her boot.
TIGHT SHOT, Connor's POV - a halter top; smooth skin. Alix struggles, jostling him. The edge of the sword rises under her jaw. Her eyes dance between Connor's face and where the weapon is.
Connor grimaces at her in disdain.
Alix seems stuck between perplexed and petrified.
What are you?
Why are you helping me?!
LOW SHOT - Alix GRUNTS again as Connor brings in his left leg, pinning her more tightly to the wall.
Connor draws back his head slightly, listening.
Because Julia's not the only one!
(Connor's eyes narrow suspiciously)
The last time you were here!
You--you told me she'd been burned. Fatally!
Well, she's not the only one!
Oth--other people who hung out at Sekhmet
were found the same way!
(a saddened pause)
One of them...one of the people who died...
was a friend of mine.
Connor stares at her for another, endless moment. Then, finally, he lowers the blade.
LOW SHOT - the sword drops down to his side.
Alix's shoulders sag in relief.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
FREEZE-FRAME ON ALIX.
DISSOLVE TO - INT. CONNOR'S DORM ROOM - PRESENT HOUR
Faith gapes at Connor from her position straddling his desk chair. Her forearms are draped over the chair back, along with her jean jacket, which hangs from it. Connor paces alongside Dave's loft.
You lowered your sword?
Dude, that "don't behead me, I just saved you from a
scimitar-swinging ninja demon" is the oldest trick in the book!
Not to mention the vamping vamp routine in the club!
And now this drama queen act?
Connor's eyes dip in an expression more enigmatic than simple acknowledgment.
I mean, I get why you didn't stake her in the club.
From the sound of things, that would have bought you some trouble.
But once you had her outside on a dark, deserted street?
Since when do you have a problem killing vampires?
Then Faith's bewildered expression fades.
Connor stops pacing.
He stares at her for a beat, then shakes his head defensively.
This's got nothing to do with that.
Darla lies on the pavement, clothes and hair drenched in mud and rain. Connor crouches over her with a STAKE, his face a mask of agony. He BRINGS THE STAKE DOWN and IMPALES HER, then crumples forward into her dust.
Nothing to do with what?
Connor turns away abruptly. Faith raises her hands in a defensive position.
Hey, I didn't say nothing.
Connor rests his hand on the loft beam.
The bottom line is, I needed Alix's help.
And she was going to tell you the truth?
Some version of it.
DISSOLVE TO - EXT. SIDE STREET
WHERE WE LEFT OFF - POV SHOT of Alix pinned to the wall.
A friend of yours...died of burn wounds?
Then, twisting and thrashing, she loosens Connor's grip on her arm. Connor grabs at it again, jerks her up, and DRAGS HER AROUND in a circle. Alix stumbles on the sidewalk, then YANKS herself loose. Her face is livid. She SLUGS him HARD across the face. Connor staggers back, hand on his jaw. Alix backs up. Connor lifts the sword until the tip is within inches of her face.
You're making this up.
(with equal hostility)
Yes, you are!
When vampires die, they're just ashes.
They're always ashes.
You wouldn't know how he died.
A beat. Then -
He was human.
You. Were "friends" with a human.
Oh, this ought to be good.
His name was 'Nando Ramirez.
(her lips compress briefly, sadly)
He was just another fucked-up club kid,
Yeah, right. A no-soul vampire and a regular human?
That'd be like screwing your food.
Alix raises her chin in challenge.
Tell me this.
If you find out Julia was murdered and track down her killer,
I don't know. It depends.
Now it's Alix turn to scoff.
On if they're human? Let me guess--
I won't kill a human.
Alix's voice fills with sudden rage.
You'd feel differently if someone you cared about died.
If you'd actually known Julia, loved her,
and she was ripped away from you,
you'd want to rip whoever did it apart.
You'd want revenge.
Connor eyes Alix enigmatically.
QUICK-CUT TO -
The rear lot of a dingy motel. Connor sits on the concrete, the dead HOLTZ propped up in his arms, glaring into space with SEETHING HATRED.
The access road behind another dingy motel. Connor lurches to his feet, rain pouring down around him, a STAKE clutched in his hand. His torment simmers into ANGER.
Maybe I would. But I'm not you.
Vampires kill for pleasure. Or to feed.
Or for no reason at all.
They don't kill for love.
(he tightens his grip on his sword)
Because they can't love that way.
You think so.
Tell me where you think Danny is.
Alix stares at him over the sword. Then -
At an abandoned apartment building off
Long Beach Boulevard near the harbor.
People squat there when they've got nowhere else.
What's the address?
You're not going to want to park around there.
Plus, there's no street access.
It's boarded up and there's a fence around it.
I suppose you know how to get in.
Because you've waited there, haven't you?
To prey on the people no one else cares about.
Alix grimaces with disgust.
I've never touched them. Ugh.
Connor lowers the sword.
Let's go, then.
And so we left...to find Danny.
EXT. CONNOR'S CAMRY - A SHORT WHILE LATER
LOW SIDE SHOT through the driver's side door. Alix is behind the wheel. Both she and Connor have their eyes on the road. Their faces are illuminated from below by the pale lights of the dashboard. We can see the silhouettes of passing trees behind Connor on the passenger side.
So tell me about this guy. This "friend."
Alix's hands tighten on the steering wheel. There is agitation in her movements, and in her glances at Connor.
I don't think I want to.
Or maybe you are just making this up.
I mean, who am I going to check with?
No one at the club will talk to me.
That green demon did.
Lorne. He's just someone I know.
He used to run a club up in China Town in L.A.
Connor says nothing. Alix's attention returns to the road.
God! You are so weird.
I mean, you dress straight off the rack at Old Navy
and drive a Toyota.
And you don't have the first clue how a place like Sekhmet works.
But then I see you having drinks with demons.
CUT TO a CLOSE-UP of Alix as she snatches another anxious glance at Connor.
...or killing them with their own weapons.
INT. CONNOR'S CAMRY
TIGHT SHOT of Connor. He has the ninja-demon's scimitar at his side closest to the door, pointed end down. In the hand closest to Alix is a STAKE.
Alix turns the steering wheel.
What are you doing?
EXT SHOT - Connor's Camry bounces slightly as Alix pulls it over onto the right shoulder of a TWO-LANE HIGHWAY. The opposite side of the road is flanked by a steep rising slope.
INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE - EVENING
The space is shrouded in near-total darkness. A dim, flickering OFF-SCREEN LIGHT SOURCE allows us to just make out a large curved VENT SHAFT protruding from the ceiling. A PAIR OF BOOTED FEET appear, framed in the shaft opening. Alix jumps out onto the floor, followed by Connor.
LOW SHOT - his hand is still clutching the STAKE.
He follows her across the length of the garage. PANNING - The vehicle entrance has been bricked up. The concrete walls--what we can see of them--are water-stained. The ground is covered in a fine layer of sediment marked with footprints. Alix's voice echoes in the emptiness.
His name's Danny Alfonso.
He's about twenty-five. Short, black hair--
assuming he hasn't dyed it lately.
She comes to a halt by a stairwell door. Someone has placed a kerosene lantern on the floor beside it. It illuminates a door NAILED WITH CROSSES and withered strings of GARLIC CLOVES. Alix frowns.
No one lives here very long if they can help it,
so no invitation necessary.
Then her gaze drops to Connor's hand.
And you can put that thing away.
Connor glances down at his stake. Alix sighs, clearly vexed.
Okay, I'm a vampire. But I'm not crazy!
You're some kind of....
I don't even know what you are!
But trust me. I am not going to touch any of these...people.
Reluctantly, Connor shoves the stake in his back pocket. Then, with a wry half-smile, he gestures at the door.
Alix scowls. She reaches for the garlic-encircled doorknob carefully.
CUT TO - INT. HOMELESS SQUAT
STEADICAM POV SHOT, moving down a hallway and into the doorless rooms of what was once an apartment complex. It is now a SQUALID HOLE of graffiti-marked walls, stained carpets, scattered trash, and filthy people. They stare up from thin blankets, clutching their meager belongings.
Connor takes in the sight with an uncomfortable grimace.
QUICK-FLASH TO -
Another squalid apartment building with graffiti on the walls. Through a doorway - a young woman is slumped over on the floor beside the bathtub, a tourniquet tied around her bicep and a syringe sticking up from her forearm.Alix catches Connor's expression. He turns away from her and wanders off.
AN EMPTY LOT. A fire burns in a trash can. People huddle, dirty and homeless. Connor stretches himself out on grimy ground and pulls a thin, filthy blanket over himself.
Continued STEADICAM, Connor's POV - More people. None of them fit Alix's description of Danny. Finally, Alix herself comes back into view, conversing softly with a young woman who shakes her head in response.
DISSOLVE TO - INT. DRAINAGE PIPE
CLAUSTROPHOBIA-CAM - A hollow metal cylinder just large enough to serve as a passageway at a crouch. Alix and Connor shuffle down its length, pausing to step over puddled water. Alix's voice echoes -
I suppose a guy like you sees a place like that
and wonders how anyone could live that way.
Connor's expression is pensive.
I wasn't thinking that.
Yeah, you were.
She continues forward.
I bet you grew up with a mom and a dad
and a little house in the 'burbs.
(her tone becomes tinged with anger)
My mother kicked me out when I was sixteen
because her boyfriend couldn't keep his hands off me.
I lived on the street for three years.
Ate food straight out of the garbage...if I could find it.
And then someone made you a vampire.
Alix glances back at him with narrowed eyelids.
Well, it is easier to feed yourself this way.
Connor says nothing. He follows her around a curve in the pipe. The EXIT comes into view ahead of them - pale light through a metal grate.
There was a guy. He was nice to me.
I mean, I knew he just wanted me for sex,
but I didn't care, because at least he had a bed.
She slows, approaching the grate.
And then one night, I woke up freezing cold and ravenous.
And I didn't have a pulse.
CUT TO - EXT. TWO-LANE HIGHWAY - EVENING
ANGLE ON the pipe outlet, which is protruding slightly from slope on the side of the road. The grate hangs open. Alix exits and waits for Connor.
The homeless shelter's not far from here.
I suppose this place doesn't need an invitation, either.
No. Not as such.
CUT TO - A WOODEN SPEAR ZOOMS straight at the camera.
EXT. REFUGE OF HOPE HOMELESS SHELTER - EVENING
I've told you vamps before!
I'll kill you if you come in here!
PULL OUT TO an open doorway. Connor and Alix scramble around to either side of the doorframe, revealing a middle-aged VIETNAMESE WOMAN gripping the HANDLE-END OF A BROOM. It has been whittled down to a SHARP POINT. With a determined quiver of her lips, she shoves the broom handle out the door again, first in one direction, then the other.
Alix beckons Connor towards herself.
Connor throws her an ARE-YOU-NUTS expression. Alix turns away.
Okay, hold up.
FREEZE-FRAME on Alix, the Vietnamese woman, and Connor.
Now what was it you said about her "stringing you along"?
Connor, there is a difference between getting help
from someone and being led on a near-fatal goose-chase.
Remind me which part of your anatomy were you thinking with?
It wasn't like that.
Faith snorts with amusement.
Because you were the one who had the upper hand
in this collaboration.
It's not like I had much of a choice.
But she knew I could kill her
any time I wanted to.
Yeah, maybe that was the problem.
I mean, you were going to kill her eventually anyway, right?
It was just a matter of time.
RESUME. Alix bolts down her side of the gray-white brick building. Connor does the same on his. The Vietnamese woman creeps outside and peers both ways.
She pivots, reenters the building, and SLAMS the door shut.
CUT TO - EXT. ALLEYWAY BEHIND THE SHELTER
Connor skulks around the corner, eyes cautious.
CLOSE, LONG-ANGLED SHOT down the length of the building. Alix is nowhere to be seen.
He tilts his head up slightly, breathing in the air, then heads down the alley.
CUT TO - INT. SEWER TUNNEL
Alix paces anxiously at a T-intersection, gazing upward. The streetlamp's glow through a drainage grate above her creates vertical bars of light along her face.
That woman recognized you.
She startles briefly as Connor comes around the corner. Then she just looks vaguely disturbed.
No, she didn't.
(she gestures at her temple)
She's got some kind of weird...vampire radar thing.
The harbor vamps think she was a Slayer
who never got called.
Connor ponders this. Alix catches his expression.
She sighs with derisive exasperation.
Just a bunch of self-important human bitches who--
She grunts as a HAND CLAMPS under her jaw. Connor eyes her from the other end of his arm.
I know what a Slayer is.
Man, this chick's got a death-wish.
Connor SHOVES Alix away. She stumbles back.
And as far as I know, they've all been called.
Alix glares, hand on her neck.
All right, God! What is your deal?
Let me guess. Your mom was a Slayer,
and you inherited her...bad mood.
Just then, a MAN'S CHORTLE OF MERRIMENT draws both their attentions upwards.
Through the drainage grate - someone is crouching down to look at them.
And you're on a date!
What's the matter?
He can't afford a decent restaurant?
EXT. SHOT - ABOVE GROUND
A man in a security guard's uniform with a PORT OF LONG BEACH SECURITY patch is kneeling down beside the sewer grate. He has a firearm holstered to his belt, and another GUN in his hand.
INT. SEWER TUNNEL
Alix eyes him, still irritable.
I'm not here to feed.
We just want to find Danny Alfonso.
Mrs. Nguyen has you Teeth running scared!
(then, more seriously)
Danny, huh. Well, he's not in the shelter.
He was, for one night, about a week ago.
Then he found alternative accommodations and split.
What "alternative accommodations"?
The guard says nothing.
You know I'm not going to give him a hard time!
I just want to talk to him!
The guard jabs a finger at the grate.
Alix glances at Connor.
Connor throws her an insulted scowl.
No, I'm not.
EXT. SHOT - ABOVE GROUND
With a wicked grin and a lick of his lips, the guard casually presses the muzzle of the gun in his hand up to an opening in the grate. He PULLS THE TRIGGER.
INT. SEWER TUNNEL
Connor FLINCHES as a FINE JET OF WATER STRIKES HIS FACE.
The guard snickers. Alix peers at Connor. Then she FLINCHES as well and VAMPS OUT WITH A ROAR as the water SPLATTERS HER CHEEK with an ACRID HISS. Steam rises from the wound. Connor eyes her, wiping the droplets of holy water from his face with a hand.
The guard peers down at Connor.
Interesting company you keep.
Alix's jaw tenses. She glares upwards, still in vamp-face.
Tell me what you want, and I'll talk to Da Silva.
EXT. SHOT - ABOVE GROUND
There is a brief flicker of satisfaction on the guard's face, then his eyes dip furtively.
You know what I want. Same as last time.
(he straightens up, tensing)
But don't tell Da Silva it's for me.
That guy gives me the creeps.
INT. SEWER TUNNEL
Alix's face smoothes back into human form.
I can't ask him for something and
not tell him who it's for.
The guard glowers.
Well, then, remind him there are certain things
he can't grease my palm for. Ever.
Yeah, you're all noble and stuff.
The guard exhales.
All right...this is what I heard.
Danny's staying at a friend's house.
A big old red Victorian on Minerva Court.
Part 2 (click here)