(December 8, 2006)
Written by: Masquerade
Previously on The Destroyer...
EXT. BOULEVARD - INGLEWOOD - NIGHT
LONG SHOT - Horns honk in a sea of unmoving headlights. An approaching siren WAILS.
TIGHT PAN - first past a SEDAN upturned on its side, then past the glass littering the asphalt beyond it, and then, in gristly CLOSE UP, the LIFELESS FINGERS AND HAND of a BODY apparently thrown from the wreckage. There is a SYMBOL embedded in the skin of the palm--a SUN WITH SHARP RAYS EMANATING FROM IT. The PAN continues up a thick woolen sleeve to the face of an ASIAN MAN in a fur-collared coat. His THROAT HAS BEEN SLIT.
CUT TO the inevitable curious on-lookers. Pumpkins, ghoulies, and ghosties decorate the store windows behind them. Then the camera SLOWLY DOLLIES IN on HALLOWEEN COME TO LIFE: a DEMON with dark wrinkled skin and a Dodgers baseball cap turns and disappears into the crowd.
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.
Catalina Sandino Moreno
J. August Richards
EXT. CITY STREET - LOS ANGELES - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT - The buildings are little more than disembodied, glowing windows. A seventies model IMPALA passes through the frame.
FRONTAL SHOT, through the windshield - Faith is behind the wheel. Beside her is CHARLES GUNN. Their voices drift through the open driver's side window.
Sure your friend'll let you crash with her?
Yeah, it's cool. Annie has room.
And she's dealt with Wolfram and Hart before,
so I won't have to make up some half-assed story
about how I've been "out of town"
while letting everyone think I was dead.
(he gives her a look)
I could use a place to work, though.
No problem. The office library's yours.
LONG SHOT - Faith's Impala passes under a freeway overpass. TIGHT SHOT of the sign mounted there - INTERSTATE 101.
INT. FAITH'S IMPALA
A horn blares. Faith rolls up her window. Gunn stares out the windshield. His POV - the PANORAMA of LOS ANGELES at night. After a quiet moment, Faith glances at him awkwardly.
So...what was it like?
I mean, I've heard things about Wolfram and Hart
Gunn continues to stare outside as if he hasn't heard her. Then he glances over with an apologetic grin.
Sorry...I'm a bit spacey....
Still getting my bearings.
He sits up in his seat, stretching out his back.
It wasn't really "like" anything.
(a grim chuckle)
A year and a half....
Felt like a day.
But they did something to you, right?
Angel got put through the mill with their mind-games.
Gunn shakes his head.
Nah. Other than keeping me on ice,
I don't think they did anything.
(off Faith's dubious expression)
If you ask me, the Senior Partners took us prisoner
after we assassinated the Circle of the Black Thorn
just to get us out of the way.
The only reason I'm not dead is they thought
I might be useful later.
"Get you out of the way" of what?
Trying to rebuild here. Getting their hold back.
Then why set you free now?
You'll just get in the way of that.
Angel. They wanted him more.
I thought they couldn't keep him there.
Mistress Meerna did some magic what's-it...
(she waves a hand vaguely)
...with the Amulet of Aurelius.
It was supposed to anchor Angel here, to Earth.
Their POV, through the windshield - A traffic light TURNS RED. The taillights of the car ahead brighten.
I didn't get much of a chance to talk to him
before I left.
Gunn sets a hand on the dashboard as Faith brings the car to a sharp halt.
What I do know is, he's staying there by choice.
(off Faith's look of apprehension)
Partly in trade for my release,
and partly because of a dispute that's arisen
around his old contract, the upshot of which is,
the Senior Partners are arguing Angel's still their employee.
If he returns to Earth,
he'll be contractually obligated to their bottom line.
Faith nods uneasily.
Yeah, he said something about that before he left.
But.... What's stopping him from coming back
and just blowing them off?
Her eyes flick between Gunn and the traffic light, waiting. Gunn doesn't say anything for a beat. Then, with a frown -
Ain't gonna happen.
They haven't really come out and said so,
but the implication is, if he crosses them...
they'll go after someone he cares about.
The anxiety deepens on Faith's face.
That's who? Me, you, "B"...or probably Connor.
AHEAD - The light turns green. The car ahead of them starts forward. Faith follows.
It won't come to that.
Angel got me out of there so I could use
my legal know-how to do the same for him.
Tomorrow, I'm gonna call a few old colleagues who
didn't work for Wolfram and Hart. Go over my options.
If only it were possible to get
a hold of Angel's employment contract.
There were copies of all our contracts on file
at the L.A. offices of Wolfram and Hart--
Faith shakes her head.
That building's been completely torn down.
So I've heard.
And who knows where the stuff in that building
that wasn't destroyed went?
(he sighs and gazes out at the night)
Which means the only existing copy might be
in some other dimension.
Faith sits up.
You know what? I might have a copy of Angel's contract.
This gets Gunn's attention.
All of Wolfram and Hart's crap--
the "stuff that wasn't destroyed"?--
fell into the hands of a demon crime syndicate last year.
We wiped those guys off the face of the planet
last Spring and took everything they had.
So you have the library that once made
Wolfram and Hart a bastion of corporate evil
just stashed away somewhere?
Well, some of it.
It's at the Council Office.
Gunn grins with pleasure.
(a glance at her)
What do you say I have a look at that stuff...
say, bright and early, first thing tomorrow?
Faith gives him a dubious sideways glance.
By "bright and early," you mean three p.m.-ish, right?
Gunn cracks up. Faith slows at another intersection.
Uh, yeah. That's what I meant.
EXT. SHOT - The Impala turns right onto a busy boulevard. LONG CRANE SHOT of the car as it heads off into the night.
Ah, damn. I have an early meeting tomorrow.
I gotta be there by eleven.
EXT. BOULEVARD - INGLEWOOD - CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS
IN FRAME - the accident. A fire truck has pulled up beside the overturned sedan. Suddenly, the camera SPEED-PANS one block down from the accident site, coming to a HALT at a MARQUEE -
One of the double doors of the non-descript, stucco-covered house of worship is opened a CRACK.
INT. CHURCH FOYER
An elderly African-American MAN is peering out. He shuts the door quickly and turns. He is wearing a suit and tie and a pinched expression of worry.
We need to get you to a hospital.
PANNING, his POV - THREE THIRTEEN YEAR-OLDS. We recognize them immediately--a CHINESE GIRL sitting on a bench by the front door, a WHITE BOY seated on a folding chair, and a SOUTH ASIAN BOY standing in front of the shelves of church literature. They are wearing sunglasses. Each has a long white cane. And they are DISHEVELED. There are open cuts and bruises on XIAOJUAN'S forehead and cheeks. TIM is cradling a limp arm to his chest. And RAJIV has a single, small cut on his forehead. He turns his head towards the sound of the pastor's shoes as the man steps over to where he is standing.
Rajiv's POV - TOTAL DARKNESS.
Afterwards, you can spend the night here,
and search for this woman tomorrow.
(in an East Indian accent)
I thank you, Reverend.
But this thing following us...is not human.
If we return here, it will hurt you to get to us.
The pastor glances at the boys and the girl, looking conflicted.
All right. But let's just get you to that hospital.
You should be all right there.
They've got security and they're public.
Whatever this thing is, it won't attack you
at a hospital, right?
EXT. BACK PARKING LOT - CHURCH - A SHORT WHILE LATER
TIGHT SHOT of an old Chevy Malibu - The pastor is behind the wheel, Rajiv beside him. Tim and Xiaojuan are in the back seat. The car pulls away.
EXT. A-1 SELF STORAGE - MORNING - ESTABLISHING
INT. GARAGE 142
ANGLE ON the inside of a GARAGE DOOR as it rattles open. Connor lowers his arms. His eyes pass over the contents uneasily. Aiden takes it all in with awe, clipboard in hand.
REVERSE ANGLE - stacked boxes, antique furniture, and a large trunk. Mounted on the wall above the trunk, point down, is a LARGE BROADSWORD the astute viewer will recognize as the one Angel gifted Connor with that Spring.
Aiden strolls over to a table in the far corner. Connor heads towards an antique desk, pulling his book bag around.
So what are you looking for?
He sets it on the desktop.
Nothing in particular.
Aiden's POV - On the TABLE are several cardboard boxes, a gray antique urn, a shoebox, and a couple table lamps.
It's just, after cataloging all that stuff in
the Council library,
Faith wondered what Angel might have on him
that we could use...
(a darting glance over at Connor)
Connor climbs on the desk and sets his feet on a chair. He digs through his bag and pulls out a book. Aiden lays his clipboard down and starts tugging open one of the cardboard boxes. Then he stops and looks over at Connor, leafing through the book.
You're not going to help me, are you?
Connor says nothing. Aiden nods.
Okay. I get it.
(he circles back to the box and finishes opening it)
I'm not sure I'd want to dig through
my parent's old stuff, either.
Aiden peers inside. His POV - A series of matching red volumes with gold lettering on the spines. He glances around the garage with a thoughtful frown.
So what's that, homework?
No. It, um, has some stuff about the Anunnaki in it.
Connor raises the book and shows Aiden the front cover. INSERT - The World of Ancient Mesopotamia. He lowers the book to his lap.
That professor at school, Dr. Roth, gave it to me.
Aiden leaves the table and wanders past a rolled Persian rug. He stops at a chest of drawers and opens one. His POV - folded blankets. He closes the drawer and turns. Sitting on the floor between himself and Connor is a scattered collection of open cardboard boxes. He walks towards one, head tilted as he tries to see - TIGHT SHOT - past the open flaps to what is inside.
So you were going to tell me about that word, "shanshu."
Aiden stops and glances over at him.
(another quick glance at the box)
Well, first off, the word's not Chinese, it's Proto-Bantu.
(off Connor's uncertain expression)
An ancient African language.
Aiden kneels down beside the box and pulls back the flaps.
I'm pretty sure Angel came across it
in an ancient text called "The Prophecies of Aberjian,"
which is basically a book about the Apocalypse....
His POV - loose pages of SKETCHES. The one on top is a scar-faced DEMON. Aiden lifts the piece of paper and looks underneath. The next is CORDELIA with short hair, smiling brightly.
...written from the point of view of dozens of
different cultures, demon and human.
Connor's lets his book droop in his hands.
Well, predictions about the Apocalypse.
(he gives Connor a significant look)
Including some stuff about a "vampire with a soul."
Connor raises his book again. Aiden takes him in briefly, then circles around. His POV - the wooden cabinet with the BODHISATTVA STATUE set behind glass. He walks towards it.
The Council database entry doesn't quote
the actual prophecies themselves or anything.
(he stops, then walks around the cabinet)
But I guess there's a passage that says
Angel's supposed to fight in some big battle,
and at the end of it all,
be rewarded by becoming human.
This gets Connor's attention.
What do you mean, "human"?
I mean human.
As in heartbeat, sunshine, growing old.
Connor considers this thoughtfully. Aiden smiles big.
Wild, huh? That's what the word "shanshu" means.
It means "mortal."
Aiden pauses to let this sink in. Then he sets his hand on the cabinet.
There's just one thing that's weird.
(a shrug and a grudging frown)
Well, actually, there's a lot of things
that are weird, but....
Somewhere else in the prophecies,
there's a section that implies that he...
... doesn't fight for the good guys.
Aiden's brows knit with distraction. He draws his HAND back from the cabinet and looks down. CLOSE-UP - His hand is dusted with a brown-black, charcoal-like substance. He rubs his fingers and thumb together.
It implies...he fights for the bad guys.
Aiden looks over at the cabinet. His POV - it is a little singed from being in a fire. Aiden wipes his fingers on his shirt and steps away from the cabinet.
There is an enigmatic expression on Connor's face. His eyes drift down.
Yeah. I didn't know what to make of it, either,
and neither does anyone who's studied it.
As for the "even weirder" part,
according to the Council database, about a year ago,
before Angel took on the Circle of the Black Thorn,
he signed away any claim to the Shanshu destiny.
Said he had no interest in becoming human.
Aiden throws out his hands, eyebrows high.
I know! It doesn't make any sense, does it?
How can you sign away your destiny?
The whole point of calling it a "destiny"
is it's unavoidable.
"Unavoidable" assuming he fights for the good guys.
And now he's back with the Senior Partners in hell.
I'm sure whatever Angel's up to, he's working for the good guys.
Connor says nothing. His eyes sink back down to his book.
Aiden turns away. He walks over to the enormous TRUNK on the floor.
Those are weapons, I think.
Aiden kneels down, reaches for the lock, and tugs at it. Solid.
Do you have the key?
(eyes on his book)
Faith has it.
Aiden lets go of the lock and stands. He wanders aimlessly among Angel's things for a moment. PANNING - Framed drawings and paintings stacked against the far wall; an open box containing a tea pot and mugs. With a sigh, Aiden returns to the table. He opens the box of books again, picks up his clipboard, unsnaps a pen from it, and starts jotting something down. Silence passes between Connor and himself for a moment, broken only by the flutter of turning pages and then a soft thud and the zipper of Connor's book bag. Finally -
(still jotting down notes)
So, I guess we're all meeting at the Council office at eleven.
The only reply from Connor's side of the garage is a series of mechanical cartoon bloops and bleeps. Aiden's brows pinch together. He looks over at Connor.
Connor's book is at his thigh. He is tapping at a GAMEBOY video game with his thumbs, his expression intent concentration. More bloops and bleeps. INSERT, Connor's POV - a miniature soccer game on the screen.
Connor's head snaps up.
Aiden gives him a comical frown.
I was talking about that weird phone call Faith
got yesterday morning from some guy with three kids
who want to talk to her?
They're supposed to stop by the office around eleven.
(off Connor's indifferent expression)
She didn't mention it to you?
Connor goes back his game.
Uh, yeah...she might have.
I was a little distracted by other stuff
when she stopped over last night.
Aiden grins big.
Not like that. We're just friends.
But you still wish it were otherwise.
That's not ever going to happen.
Bloop. Bleep. Aiden chuckles awkwardly.
Heh. Slayers, huh? Who can figure them out?
He turns back to the table.
Connor taps at his game.
She didn't say anything about me being there today.
Aiden frowns down at his clipboard.
I guess I'm just used to you being part of the gang.
EXT. BRUIN WALK - UCLA - MORNING
LONG SHOT - Scattered students and faculty pass in both directions.
TIGHT SHOT - Among them is PROFESSOR ROTH, a small stack of books and folders pressed to her chest. Just slightly OFF-CAMERA, a MAN begins strolling shoulder-to-shoulder with her. She steps away and continues on.
I assume you've read the Patrons' proposal.
Professor Roth does a double-take. Her POV - the middle-aged, grizzled-beard-stubbled MAN we've seen before (TD 201, 202). She turns her gaze forward and tucks in her jaw.
Willis. What are you doing here?
Willis half-scoffs, half chuckles.
I've come for your answer.
The Patrons are super-powerful.
Why don't they just get the document themselves?
You know it doesn't work that way.
(still not meeting his eyes)
And if I refuse again?
Willis gapes, astounded.
Why would you?
He sets a dark, piercing gaze on her.
I know what you've been doing, Melanie.
(a furtive glance from Professor Roth)
Your attempts to get out of your debt to them.
(a beat as he stares)
If this goes well, the Patrons are fully prepared
to forgive that debt. You'll be a free woman.
Your life, and your death, will be yours.
Professor Roth slows and stops, appearing uncertain for the first time since Willis appeared.
They want the information in this document that badly.
They want it more than they want you,
if that's what you mean.
Professor Roth's mouth trembles with tightly controlled anger.
Because whatever's in there will increase their
interdimensional reach more than enslaving me will.
(she blinks at him)
Well? That is what this is about, isn't it?
Isn't that what it's always about?
Professor Roth starts forward again, shuffling through the materials in her arms. CLOSE-UP on the contemptuous, conflicted expression on her face. Then she yanks out - INSERT - a LETTER. At the top of the page is a LETTERHEAD SYMBOL--a bearded man in profile. The pattern of his long skirt matches the pattern in a pair of SPREAD WINGS he is superimposed over.
So...I retrieve the document for them,
and then await further instructions. Is that right?
They need to study the text.
Once they do, they'll decide what they want to do
with the information in it,
and then come to you with the final terms of the deal.
Your debt won't be paid off until they've completed
Professor Roth walks in silence for a moment.
You've made this very difficult for them, you know.
And for me. Which I'm sure was your intention.
You've had me searching the world for a scroll
you could have had in your hands
in the space of time it took to utter its name.
He steps around in front of her, stopping her in her tracks. His expression is cool.
The Patrons gave you that power.
(he snaps his fingers)
The knowledge of this dimension at your fingertips.
This is your chance to get out of
any further obligation to them.
Professor Roth raises her chin defensively.
Just see it through.
INT. SLAYER COUNCIL SUITE HALLWAY - EARLY AFTERNOON
Faith leads Gunn to the library.
Sorry I'm late.
Had to wait for Annie to get back from her
junk run to borrow her truck.
Those kids were no-shows. Finally sent Aiden to lunch.
Gunn comes to a halt and takes in the room with astonishment.
Damn, girl! You cleaned them out!
He grins at her. Faith perches on the corner of the table.
Which was a lot less impressive than cleaning it up.
And indeed--PANNING the room--the Syndicate library has been TAMED. Books and plastic tubes are neatly arrayed on the shelves and labeled. The boxes, piled three-high against the walls, have black-marker descriptions of their contents on the sides. Two brand new five-drawer FILE CABINETS stand in the corner by the window. And the table has been cleared of all clutter except at the far end, where several file folders sit atop the scanner beside the computer.
Is there an inventory?
(off Faith's uncertain brow)
You know, a list of what's here?
(she hops off the table)
I have a copy in my desk.
CUT TO - INT. FAITH'S OFFICE
Faith walks around the desk and bends down. CLOSE-UP on a BOOK on her desk. Her bottom drawer rattles open. Southern California Demon Clan Census, 1998-present. There is bookmark sticking out about halfway through the volume.
CUT TO - INT. LIBRARY
Faith returns, holding a folded-back set of pages. She points.
First file cabinet, third drawer down.
Gunn walks around the table to file cabinets. He opens the drawer in question and - His POV - runs a finger over the colored tabs. He stops at a large section labeled "Wolfram and Hart employee contracts."
And frowns with dismay.
That's a lot of contracts.
Faith tosses the inventory sheets on the table.
You could wait 'til Aiden gets back.
He wouldn't happen to have a list somewhere
of who's in these files?
Even he's not that anal.
With a grimace, Gunn pulls out a large stack of folders.
Then I guess I start digging.
He walks them over to the table, sets them down, and pulls out a chair. As he sits down, he grins at Faith's incredulous expression.
Hey, one thing I've learned in my career,
the fight for truth and justice ain't all glamour
Faith chuckles and takes a seat opposite him.
Speak for yourself. I'm in it for the cool weapons.
Gunn shoves a short stack of folders towards her. Faith glowers and opens the one on top. She starts leafing through the pages one by one, leaning boredly on one elbow. PAN BACK to Gunn. His attention is wandering to -
the BOXES on the floor,
and the INVENTORY LIST.
This finally catches Faith's very distractible attention. Gunn smiles at her and turns back to the pile of contracts in front of him.
EXT. COMMERCIAL STREET - SILVER LAKE - AFTERNOON
LONG SHOT - Traffic, pedestrians, cars lining the curb. Street noises. The BAPTIST PASTOR'S Chevy Malibu creeps forward. The pastor is behind the wheel, peering at the buildings he is passing. Rajiv is beside him, wearing dark sunglasses.
PANNING - A clothing boutique, an antique store, an office building.
Just then, the pastor points and speaks (no audio). The Malibu pulls over in front of the SLAYER COUNCIL OFFICE BUILDING. The pastor cuts the engine and rubs his eyes wearily. Rajiv turns his head towards the side window.
His POV - FADE TO BLACK.
INT. SLAYER COUNCIL SUITE LIBRARY - AFTERNOON
Gunn and Faith are still seated at the table, leafing through file folders. They look up as Aiden and a teenaged girl with wavy black hair enter the room, take-out Chinese boxes dangling from their fingers.
(eyes on Gunn)
I guess those teenagers never showed.
Faith tosses a contract on the table.
She gestures at Gunn.
Oh, this is Charles Gunn.
(a nod at Aiden)
Aiden Walsh, our resident Watcher,
and Kristin Rodriguez, one of my girls.
Aiden breaks into a grin and plops his leftovers down on the table. He extends a hand.
"Gunn" as in Angel's colleague Charles Gunn?
Gunn half-stands and shakes Aiden's hand.
Then Aiden's smile fades.
Aren't you supposed to be in hell?
Gunn chuckles and throws Faith a disconcerted expression.
Why does everyone keep asking me that?
I'm starting to get a complex.
Angel got him out.
This Aiden's gaze drops to the file folders.
What are you looking for?
Faith groans wearily.
Angel's employment contract.
You're not going to find that.
Contracts of the department heads?
Those are just office grunts, middle managers,
Faith sags with frustration and pushes her chair from the table.
Gunn reaches for the inventory sheets.
Uh, it says here you also have other documents left over
from our tenure at Wolfram and Hart?
Sure. Some of the business paper trail.
Gunn gestures wide at the room.
What about the rest of it? Is it all Wolfram and Hart?
No. A good fraction is Syndicate.
Faith stares from one to the other of them boredly.
They had their own paper trail--business, research.
Gunn's eyes graze the top page of the inventory sheet for a moment.
I'm trying to find something--anything--
that'll help me get Angel out of
the Senior Partners' dimension.
Faith appears suddenly thoughtful.
Aiden, did you start that inventory of his garage yet?
Angel's old stuff--furniture, weapons, personal shit.
Pound, pound, pound. The knock draws their attention. Faith stands.
CUT TO - INT. FRONT HALLWAY
She strolls to the suite door, Aiden and Gunn behind her. Pound, pound, pound.
Okay, keep your pants on.
She opens the door. The thirteen-year old Rajiv is standing there, the Baptist pastor behind him. The old man scrutinizes Faith.
Are you "the Slayer"?
INT. TRAINING ROOM - A MOMENT LATER
My name is Rajiv Srinivasan.
Rajiv sits at one end of a weight lifting bench holding a paper cup, staring forward behind dark glasses, his cane tilted next to him. Faith straddles the bench on the opposite side. Gunn, Kristin, and Aiden stand around them. The pastor has left.
I'm one of the people who asked to meet
with you today.
I thought there were three of you.
Rajiv turns his head in the direction of Aiden's voice.
(he shifts around towards Faith)
We came to Los Angeles to speak with you.
Then we were attacked last night.
The man escorting us sacrificed himself
so we could escape.
Attacked by who?
Let me work up to that.
My friends and I are seers.
Of a kind.
We were found as children and brought together
with a mentor who raised us.
A few months ago, she was killed and we were kidnapped.
The man who took us believed our powers
of second sight could help him locate a scroll
he was searching for.
But we didn't know where it was.
A group of warriors known as the "Guardians of Light"
tracked us down and rescued us.
Rajiv takes a sip from his cup.
It was a Guardian who died protecting us last night.
I do not think this attacker intended to
kidnap us or find out anything we knew. It simply...
(a fearful inhale)
...wanted us dead.
CUT TO - EXT. LONG SHOT THROUGH A WINDSHIELD - The Slayer Council building.
THEN PULL BACK TO - INT. A LEXUS SEDAN PARKED AT THE CURB
Behind the wheel is the DEMON from the teaser, the Dodger's baseball cap and sunglasses hiding its WRINKLED GRAY SKIN.
A demon, dressed as a man.
PAN OVER. Beside it is ANOTHER DEMON of the same species wearing a navy blue hoodie sweat shirt.
INT. SLAYER COUNCIL TRAINING ROOM
Is this demon from the same group that's trying
to get that scroll?
Rajiv turns his head in the direction of Gunn's voice.
I do not think so.
It's not the first time my friends and I have been...targeted.
Five years ago, a law firm sent someone after us.
They've tried several times since then as well.
Wolfram and Hart?
(with an expression of surprise)
You've heard of them.
(she throws Gunn a puzzled glance)
But could they still be up to their old tricks?
Gunn nods grimly.
If the Senior Partners wanted something done on Earth,
they'd find a way.
They may have had their major ties cut off,
but they still have lackeys around.
Rajiv looks down, the fear returned to his face. Faith sets a hand on his arm. He startles slightly.
I just wanted you to know, I'm not going to let anyone get to you.
Or your friends.
Rajiv smiles gratefully. His expression grows intent.
After we were rescued, it took some work,
but we were finally able to locate the scroll
the man who kidnapped us sought.
(his head rises)
It's here in Los Angeles. In your possession.
We have it?
Aiden trades glances with Faith.
Whoever wants this scroll--whoever the kidnapper works for--
you cannot let them find it. They are evil.
My friends and I have seen that clearly.
Gunn crosses his arms, scrutinizing Rajiv with interest.
What's this scroll got on it?
I do not know. It is enough that they want it
that makes it important that you keep it
out of their hands.
Does the scroll have a name at least?
The man referred to it simply as "the Nyazian scroll."
CLOSE-UP on Aiden, who grows deeply thoughtful at the name. A few beats later, the same expression comes to Gunn's face as well.
Who are these "Nyazian" dudes?
(before he can reply, she rolls her eyes knowingly)
Let me guess; you don't know.
Rajiv shrugs apologetically. Aiden's thoughtful expression deepens. Abruptly, he turns and heads across the exercise mat towards the door.
He's right. We--we do have something like that.
I remembering cataloguing it.
Faith twists around in her seat.
If you find it, lock it up!
(disappearing out the door)
Faith turns back to Rajiv.
We need to get your friends here where they'll be safe.
Can you take me to where they're hiding?
You leaving right now?
CUT TO - INT. LIBRARY
AIDEN twists the key in the cabinet door, opening it. He has a CLEAR PLASTIC FOLDER in his hand. CLOSE-UP - The folder contains several fragile pieces of ANCIENT PARCHMENT covered in a CURVING, INSCRUTABLE SCRIPT. At the top left corner of the folder is a label with the words "Nyazian - 9th century" on it.
LOW SHOT - Aiden gingerly slides the folder along the bottom of the cabinet, making sure that it stays beneath the force-field that suspends the BLUE TURKISH PROTECTION EYE-CHARM in mid-air. He closes and locks the cabinet door.
INT. TRAINING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
I'm leaving A.S.A.P. You coming with?
No, I think I'll stay here.
I have that meeting with my colleagues later.
But when I'm done, can we head over to Angel's garage?
Yeah. Worth a look.
She shifts her attention back to Rajiv. He looks hesitant.
My friends...are hiding near the airport.
Yes. We left them...in a specific place.
If they are no longer there, though, I can find them.
We're attuned to each other.
Faith pulls out her cell phone. She taps a key, then brings the phone to her ear and waits.
What're you up to right now?
INT. LIBRARY - A SHORT WHILE LATER
Connor strides in and comes to a befuddled halt.
A TEENAGED GIRL is sitting cross-legged atop the table reading a book. Aiden is at the computer. Both he and the girl glance up.
Hey, Connor. You know Kristin.
She's been helping me organize this stuff.
Connor scrutinizes the girl with a hint of a smile.
Aren't you a Slayer?
And what, that means I can't like books?
(right back atcha)
You're that half-vampire slayer-boy.
With an enigmatic expression, Connor makes his way around the table towards Aiden.
His name's "Connor," and he's as human as you are.
Kristin returns to her book.
Good. Then I won't have to stake him.
Connor stops and throws Kristin an incredulous glance, missing the mortified expression on Aiden's face.
(eyes on her book)
You know, Aiden, you really should
take up my offer to learn hand-to-hand.
Aiden stifles a panicked gulp.
Kristin's been here a month and
she's already offering to train me.
Hey, I've been studying martial arts since
I could stand.
Getting my Slayer powers just made me quicker
(she smiles sweetly at Aiden)
Why...you aren't afraid of little ol' me, are ya?
Aiden guffaws nervously, then catches -
Connor's amused smirk.
Aiden takes his hands off the keyboard and scratches his brow.
So, uh, Connor, I was going to tell you.
I don't know if you've read this anywhere,
but there's this crack-pot theory that the Anunnaki
were extraterrestrials who came to Earth
millions of years ago and tweaked the genetics
of primitive hominids to create mankind.
Supposedly, they're the factual basis of the Sumerian myths.
(smirking down at her book)
I'll take that as a "Yes."
Hey, it's just something I read.
Aiden hunches his shoulders and busies himself at the computer again.
Connor, let's move out.
Connor complies, only to be stopped short by GUNN, who steps around Faith and enters the room, his eyes on the bookshelf. He stops just a meter from Connor.
Aiden, nobody enters the suite while we're gone.
Aiden rises, mouth agape.
But I'm going with!
CLOSE-UP on GUNN. Then CUT TO Connor's circumspect gaze.
What for? This is strictly bodyguard duty.
We find the kids and bring them back.
Which means you'll need a designated wheel-man in case
anything goes wrong!
From "Knowledge-boy" to "Wheel-man."
Is that a promotion?
Aiden throws her a perturbed glance. Just then, Gunn looks over at Connor.
Sorry, I wasn't paying attention.
All right. Whatever.
(then, to Kristin)
You watch the place, Kristin. And don't bother Gunn.
Kristin untangles her legs and climbs off the table on the side opposite Connor.
Who's gonna get in?
You got that permission spell, boss.
You know what I mean.
Gunn turns towards Faith.
You know what? I've changed my mind.
I'm coming with.
Faith backs into the hallway. Aiden follows Connor and Gunn out after her.
Faith tells me you're doing good these days.
Glad to hear it.
Gunn continues down the hallway. Connor stops. Aiden nearly runs into him. Aiden's POV - Connor's troubled expression.
EXT. MEDICAL CENTER - INGLEWOOD
An L-shaped white four-story building with a grassy plaza cradled between its two wings. Faith's Impala cruises past.
Connor is in the front passenger seat. Rajiv is behind him with his hand pressed to the window. His face is a mask of concentration. He sighs with relief.
They're still here.
Connor takes a quick scan around the street. PANNING, his POV - Just a busy boulevard.
Not that I can tell.
EXT. SHOT - Faith pulls into a parking lot.
CUT TO - INT. LOBBY - MEDICAL CENTER
An enclosed information desk with a lone woman behind it, two elevators, a potted plant, and a security guard. The guard eyes Faith, Connor, and Rajiv as they enter, then continues to watch as Rajiv taps his way into the back corridor, Faith and Connor behind him. He turns and follows them.
EXT. BACK PARKING LOT
Aiden's Civic idles at the back exit. Gunn paces past the passenger side doors, eyes on the parking lot.
CUT TO Faith's Impala, parked nearby. The BASEBALL-CAPPED DEMON is crouching behind it.
Gunn stops pacing, his attention caught by -
LONG SHOT, his POV - A Lexus pulls into the parking lot and then into a space near the street.
Rajiv enters an open doorway, his free hand sliding along the doorframe.
A television chatters. Xiaojuan and Tim stand up from their chairs.
He enters the room, Faith behind him.
Xiaojuan, Tim, this is the woman we came to see.
And this is her friend, Connor.
Connor hangs back at the door, his attention on - LONG SHOT, his POV - the SECURITY GUARD, lurking at the far end of the corridor.
(to the teens)
Hey. I'm Faith.
Rajiv walks over to his friends, pulling off his glasses. They step up to him and do the same. Then, in unison, they FOCUS THEIR WHITE and IRISLESS EYES on Faith. She comes to a halt, eyeing them uncertainly.
She is a Slayer.
She is the keeper
of the scroll.
Faith pulls her head back in surprise, then compresses her lips uneasily.
Look, we need to get you to my office.
We've got a couple cars parked outside.
The teens replace their glasses and reach for their canes.
CUT TO - INT. CORRIDOR
Connor proceeds the kids down the hallway. Faith takes up the rear. As they pass into the lobby, Xiaojuan turns her head towards the security guard and gives him a reassuring wave. He stands back and lets them proceed.
EXT. BACK ENTRANCE
THROUGH SLIDING GLASS DOORS - Connor, the three teens, and Faith approach the exit. Gunn takes a quick scan of the parking lot, then circles around Aiden's car and opens the back door.
(as they exit)
Let's make this quick.
Faith steers the kids towards the car. They stumble forward, faces pinched with anxiety. Faith gazes around the parking lot. Then she sees something that makes her dive for the car.
Approaching them between the aisles of cars, carrying a GUN with a SILENCER, is the DEMON IN THE BASEBALL CAP.
Faith, Connor, and Gunn duck the kids behind the Civic. Ping! The glass SHATTERS in the Civic's back passenger side door. Ping!
Aiden throws himself down flat in the front seat.
Glass shards litter the back seat.
LOW SHOT, behind the Civic - Faith yanks a small knife from a sheaf strapped to her shin and takes a deep, deliberate breath. Then, inhaling again, she LEAPS TO HER FEET and FLINGS THE KNIFE over the roof of the car.
The demon twists, grimacing. The gun clatters to the ground. The demon stumbles around, then YANKS the knife from its ribs. It turns and BOLTS OUT OF THE PARKING LOT.
Faith sets her hand on Connor's shoulder.
It dropped the gun.
Go after it. We'll catch up.
Connor glances over to see where the demon has gone, then leaps up after it. Gunn follows. Faith opens the front driver's side door. Aiden sits up, shaking.
Okay, Wheel-man. My car. Get the kids out of here.
I don't know...drive around. Don't stop!
EXT. LARGE CITY PARK - INGLEWOOD - MID-AFTERNOON
Green grass, skateboard ramps, and a baseball diamond. The DEMON races along the chain-link fence bordering left field. PAN BACK. Connor hits the sidewalk, in pursuit.
EXT. BACK PARKING LOT - MEDICAL CENTER
Faith's Impala swings out of its parking space while Faith looks on from the sidewalk. She is gripping a SWORD low to her side.
Aiden glances in the rear view mirror.
Hi. I'm Aiden.
QUICK-CUT TO the three frightened kids crouched low in the back seat.
Aiden jams the car into drive.
EXT. PARKING LOT
The Impala ACCELERATES to the street, brakes hard, then SQUEALS OFF to the right. Faith enters the frame, running across the lot. She passes the Lexus. Its engine ROARS TO LIFE. The DEMON in the blue hoodie is behind the wheel.
CUT TO - EXT. STREET
Faith cuts in front of honking oncoming cars and enters the park just in time to see - LONG SHOT - Connor, closing in on the demon.
INT. FAITH'S IMPALA - TWO BLOCKS AWAY
Aiden drives. Then something catches his attention. His POV, in the REAR VIEW MIRROR - the LEXUS is creeping up from behind.
Connor is meters from the demon now. He grins triumphantly. Then suddenly, the AIR TWISTS AROUND the creature and SQUEEZES into a LONG, THIN LINE. The creature DISAPPEARS INTO NOTHINGNESS. Connor's momentum takes him right through the spot where it was. He slows, stops, and gazes around, mouth hanging open.
IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR - the view of the neighborhood PANS in a SEMI-CIRCLE as the IMPALA MAKES A RIGHT. After a beat, the LEXUS re-appears in the mirror.
Aiden's hands clench the steering wheel.
Okay. Hang on back there.
CUT TO a WIDE SHOT of the back seat. The teens grab onto whatever's available as the Impala GATHERS SPEED. The Lexus drops back.
Gunn jogs up to Connor.
It's gone. I lost it.
No you didn't. That thing just disappeared.
Some kind of portal, maybe?
After a moment, Faith slows to a halt beside them.
What just happened?
I don't get it.
Why let us chase it if it could do that?
Then the reason hits them all simultaneously.
Aiden CUTS the steering wheel to the right sharply. The Impala's tires SQUEAL.
Why do I always think it'll be cool to be wheel-man?
EXT. SHOT - The Impala completes the turn and gathers speed again.
LONG CRANE SHOT - The PARK is a block ahead.
Faith stabs a button on her cell phone and brings it up. CLOSE-UP on her EAR. The phone rings and rings. Finally -
MECHANICAL WOMAN'S VOICE
...is not available. Leave a message at the tone, or--
Faith clicks the phone off in frustration. She turns to Connor, who is circling around, tracking -
LONG SHOT, his POV - The IMPALA has appeared on the street bordering the park to the north. It races down to the next intersection. PAN BACK - The LEXUS is in pursuit.
Part 2 (click here)