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td3

Twisted I, Part 1 (airdate November 2, 2005)

Posted by masqthephlsphr on 2007.01.17 at 21:36
Current Mood: artisticartistic
Twisted
(Pt. 1)

Part 1

(January 17, 2007)

Written by: Masquerade

Teaser

Previously on The Destroyer...

Placebo's melodic "Sleeping with Ghosts" plays as we FADE UP TO -

EXT. KINROSS HALL - UCLA - LATE AFTERNOON

ESTABLISHING - the campus art building under a gray, overcast sky. HOLD on that, then DISSOLVE TO -

INSERT - a PENCIL SKETCH of swirling, angry clouds above an arid, rocky plane. A HAND is carefully adding shadows to a cragged rock face that looms over a YOUNG TEENAGED GIRL in tanned animal hides. She is fighting a ferocious CLAWED DEMON three times her size with a sickle-shaped weapon.

PULL BACK TO reveal -

INT. STUDENT STUDIO

The sketch is one of a collection of COMIC BOOK PANELS scattered across the table where CONNOR is sitting alone. Beyond him in the warehouse-like room, we can see other students working as well, painting at easels or shaping clay at a spinning potter's wheel. Connor pauses a moment and regards his drawing thoughtfully, then returns to diligently sketching.

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER
Opening Credits
The theme song plays as we see images of


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

starring

Vincent Kartheiser

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

Eliza Dushku

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

and

Sean Maher

Act One

with special guest stars

Kristin Lehman
J. August Richards
and
a cavalcade of spoilery surprise guests


EXT. ROOF - DYKSTRA HALL DORMITORY - UCLA - LATE AFTERNOON

ESTABLISHING - WIDE SHOT of the SKY over the rooftop. Dark clouds threaten rain.

CUT TO the far corner behind the FACILITIES MAINTENANCE SHACK. A young man and woman kneel facing each other. The young man has a piece of paper in his hand. His companion is frowning down at a BOOK in her lap. Between their knees is an open HOT POT that has been plugged into the utility outlet on the side of the shack.

TIGHT OVERHEAD SHOT of the HOT POT - bubbling inside is a gray-green concoction mixed with crystals and herb twigs.

YOUNG WOMAN
(anxiously)
Uh, Jimmy, I don't think this does what you think it does.

JIMMY
Yes it does.
It'll take me back to a time before the accident
so I can bring my dad here, now. So get ready.

He raises the piece of paper.

JIMMY
(reading from it)
"Aeon. L'dhala. zi-eehn."

YOUNG WOMAN
(insistent)
I'm sorry about your dad, Jimmy. Really.
But no magic's gonna bring him back!

JIMMY
(equally insistent)
Read your part, Fran.

Fran sighs. She frowns down at the book again. INSERT, her POV - Along the top margin of the open page, we can see the book's title - Temporal Folds and Time Shifts. Below that is an etching of a SPARKLING CIRCLE with the words Jacardi Nexus beneath it, and below that, several lines of text.

FRAN
(awkwardly stumbling over the words)
"L--Liprecht. Zoh-tehenlo nu-Aeon."

Jimmy dips his hand in the boiling pot, grunts stoically, then sprinkles the air with its contents.

JIMMY
"T--take me to the nexus, I pray, Aeon."

FRAN
(reluctantly)
"In thy grace, reveal the current."

A WIND PICKS UP, whipping their hair and clothes. Jimmy looks up expectantly. Fran's face pinches with worry.

JIMMY
(raising his voice)
"Carry me in safety, I pray, Aeon!"

FRAN
"We--we call on the nexus...now."

The air behind them starts to SPARKLE and TWIST, BENDING their view of campus buildings in the distance. Jimmy's eyes widen. The sparkling increases, growing more and more FRENETIC, then blends with the wind until -

BOOM!

Both Jimmy and Fran cringe away. A TORNADO TURNED ON ITS SIDE appears behind them. Fearfully, Fran struggles to her feet and backs away from it, gripping the book to her chest. Then as quickly as it burst forth, the anomaly SUBSIDES into a FAINTLY SHIMMERING, SPARKLING CIRCLE a meter wide, barely perceptible, but there. Jimmy gazes at it, hope and fear on his face. He slowly stands. As he does, the paper in his hand flutters and escapes. With a frenetic, twisting spiral, it DISAPPEARS into the anomaly as if into thin air. Fran's eyes widen. She gapes at Jimmy.

FRAN
(softly, desperately)
Oh, Jimmy, don't.

JIMMY
(not looking at her)
You know what to do. I won't be long.

Fran steps back further, her face tense with fear.

FRAN
Jimmy, please.

With a deep, nervous inhale, Jimmy steps closer to the portal. That is enough. The tornado whirlpool REAPPEARS and PICKS HIM UP off the ground. It SPINS him around violently like the piece of paper, then SUCKS HIM IN. The portal EXPLODES OUT. Fran screams. She bolts for the stairwell door, dropping the book in the process, yanks the door open, and runs inside.

CUT BACK TO - The portal returns once again to a shimmering, nearly imperceptible circle of light. LOW PAN over to the stairwell. Fran's BOOK lies there, open and face down.


EXT. SLAYER COUNCIL BUILDING - LATE AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING

INT. FAITH'S OFFICE

Gunn and Faith sit on either side of Faith's desk, a strewn collection of greasy wrappers, discarded napkins, scattered French fries, and half-eaten hamburgers between them. Gunn sips from a bottle of Heineken and burps softly.

GUNN
(with a chuckle)
'Scuse me. Been a while.

Faith sits back lazily in her chair, her own beer bottle in hand. She gives him a bawdy grin. Gunn takes another sip.

FAITH
I bet it's been a while for a lot of things.

The comment catches Gunn in mid-swig. He chokes slightly, sets the beer bottle down and chuckles.

GUNN
Yeah. That, too.

He and Faith share another, more meaningful grin for a beat, then Faith scrutinizes him thoughtfully.

FAITH
I thought you didn't notice time passing there.
That's what the demon in the Gunn-suit said.
"A year and a half felt like a day" or something.

Gunn shakes his head.

GUNN
I'm sure that thing said a lot of stuff.

His eyes dip. He reaches for his half-eaten hamburger.

GUNN
But trust me...the Senior Partners don't just let people
get away with what we did.
There were...consequences.

Faith peers at him over her beer. Gunn takes a hearty bite of his hamburger as if to say that's as far as he's going to explain it. A moment passes as he chews. Then -

GUNN
'Course if I hadn't gone there, I'd be dead.

Faith nods.

FAITH
So, were that Illyria chick and Spike sprung along with you?
You said they were,
but you were kind of out of it at the time.

Gunn swallows.

GUNN
No, they were.
Don't ask me why the Partners would agree to that.
All I can say for sure is that with them,
nothing's what it seems.

FAITH
Do you have any idea where they are?

GUNN
Not specifically, but I have some ideas.
And I need to find them.
Well, Illyria, at least.
Can't have a wild-card like her running loose.
With Wesley gone, she's....
(a sad, down-cast stare)
No. She always was...my responsibility.

He reaches for a napkin and wipes his mouth.

GUNN
(with a resolved tone)
Angel first, though.

FAITH
How are things going with that?
Any luck finding his contract?
(beat)
You are looking for it, right?

Gunn tosses the napkin on the desk.

GUNN
Yeah, I'm working on that. I talked to Lorne.
(his manner grows visibly tenser)
I guess when Angel was back here last year,
he told Lorne a few things about what was in the contract.
Things he had no chance to tell me before I left
the Senior Partner's dimension.
(beat)
Specifically, that he entered into the contract
with Wolfram and Hart for one reason only.

Faith's eyes narrow.

FAITH
He was just looking out for his kid.
Giving Connor a fresh start.

GUNN
(eyebrows raised; tone tinged with anger)
Yeah, well, sometimes Angel doesn't think things through
too well when he's "just looking out" for somebody.
(his voice rises off Faith's confounded expression)
Oh, I get why Angel did what he did.
But that contract contained a clause dictating that
Connor be removed from our memories.
Do you know what that meant?

He holds her in an eye-lock. Faith drops her gaze ever so briefly. Gunn shakes his head with disgust.

GUNN
Don't get me wrong, I never liked Connor much.
From the moment that kid came back from Quortoth
'til we took over at Wolfram and Hart,
he was nothing but trouble--to me, to Fred, to his father.
(he gestures at her)
Well, you were there. You remember how he was!

Faith frowns, her expression growing defensive.

FAITH
Hey, water under the bridge.
Things are different now. He's been a lot of help to me.

Gunn takes another bite of his hamburger. He licks mayonnaise of his thumb and nods grudgingly.

GUNN
(talking with his mouth full)
Yeah. Sorry. I'm still switching gears here.
(he chews, his expression contemplative)
You've got to understand that the last time I saw Connor,
he was completely unhinged and threatening my life with
a sword. Me, Lorne, Wes...Fred.
I never saw him when he came to Wolfram and Hart
last year; I wasn't there at the time.

He sets what is left of his hamburger down.

GUNN
The point is, a lot of stuff went down having to do with Connor,
both before Holtz took him to Quortoth and after
he came back, and Angel changing our memories of that
took a lot more than Connor out of our heads.

Faith takes a sip of her beer. Gunn scoops up a bundle of French fries and smears them through the puddle of ketchup on his hamburger wrapper.

FAITH
But you got those memories back.
Or--or part of them, I guess.

GUNN
Really not the point.
(he jabs the fries in her direction)
This isn't the first time Angel's made blanket decisions
that effect everyone's life without consulting them.
Even now, what I've got up here's
(he taps his temple)
a mix of the old and new, and I'm still sorting it out--
What happened; what didn't happen,
for two years of my life.

He stuffs the fries into his mouth, chews sullenly, then looks up to see -

The vaguely unsympathetic frown on Faith's face.

GUNN
Yeah, I know. I gotta get past it.
There's more at stake here than my issues with Angel. Or Connor.
(he chews and swallows)
Angel's got himself caught up in the Partner's legal machinery,
and it's up to me to get him out of it.

FAITH
So what's that about, anyway?
Either he comes back here and works for them,
or they "hurt someone he cares about"?

GUNN
Well, it's not nearly that "Godfather."
(then he nods)
But yeah, that's the implication.
I gather there are certain...loophole conditions
in Angel's contract that were supposed to
come into play upon breach of contract.
And our assassination of the Circle of the Black Thorn
was a big-ass breach.

FAITH
Uh, yeah.

GUNN
(with a sigh)
I wish I could just argue that the contract's not binding,
but I guess Angel did a ritual last year that
necessitated acknowledging the validity of the contract.

FAITH
(nodding)
He was helping Connor keep his own fake memories.
Drusilla was screwing them up.

Gunn reaches for more fries.

GUNN
And now, the Senior Partners are using
that acknowledgment to argue that Angel is
still their employee, beholden to their bottom line.

He puts them in his mouth. Faith sits up, helps herself to a fry, and snips off the end with her teeth.

FAITH
So what's the plan, then?

Gunn chews for a moment, gazing into space thoughtfully.

GUNN
I'm not sure yet.
But there's not much I can do tonight, that's for sure.

FAITH
You up for some patrolling, then? My girls are still pretty green.
Usually Connor goes out with me,
but he's been in this...weird place lately.

Gunn chuckles and shakes his head.

GUNN
When is that kid not in a weird place?

Faith shrugs and nods grudgingly.

FAITH
Yeah, he can be moody.
(then, as a request)
But cut the guy a break, okay?

GUNN
(defensively)
I'm "cutting." I'm cutting.
I know he's better now with the new memories and all.
(a beat; he looks at her soberly)
But you can't tell me all his troubles
go back to being raised in Quortoth.

CLOSE-UP on Gunn's expression, then -


DISSOLVE TO -

Another COMIC PANEL SKETCH - a full-figure, three-quarter profile of a MIDDLE-AGED MAN standing on a rugged slope overlooking the girl's battle with the demon. Although the expression on his weathered face is ostensibly worry and concern, there is something HARSH AND UNRELENTING there as well, born from deep within.

CUT TO a CLOSE-UP of Connor's face, deep in concentration as he draws.

He adds a few final strokes, then sets his pencil down and glances around at the clock -

4:36 P.M.

With compressed lips, he reaches out and gathers up his scattered drawings, shuffles them together, and stands.


INT. SLAYER COUNCIL LIBRARY - LATE AFTERNOON

AIDEN hovers over an open drawer of one of the file cabinets, perusing the contents of a manila folder.

FAITH (O.S.)
I thought you went home.

He startles and whirls around. He is full of nervous energy.

AIDEN
I think I may have a way to find out what was in
the Nyazian Scroll!

Faith leans against the doorframe. She gives him a puzzled look.

AIDEN
The scroll that was stolen last week?
I--I knew it sounded familiar,
and not just 'cause I catalogued it.
(an animated smile)
It came with a set of notes attached to it.
Modern notes, written by some Syndicate scholar.

Faith enters the room. Hope and doubt war on her face.

FAITH
The Syndicate?

Aiden stuffs the folder he was looking at away and digs out another, nodding.

AIDEN
Whoever it was attempted to translate and interpret the text.
I filed that away somewhere.

FAITH
(cautiously)
Well, I don't know if I'd trust anything the Syndicate did,
but if you find it, it'd be more than we've got.

Aiden nods distractedly, browsing the contents of the new folder. Faith licks her lips.

FAITH
Listen, Gunn and me are headed out for a little slayage.

AIDEN
It's supposed to rain tonight.

FAITH
Yeah. Never stops the demons.
(she gives him a wave and starts to turn)
Later. Don't stay too....

Her eyes dip to an OPENED ENVELOPE near the end of the table. She picks it up casually. INSERT, Her POV - a ROMA, ITALIA postmark in the upper right-hand corner. PAN DOWN DIAGONALLY. The envelope is addressed to AIDEN WALSH.

FAITH
What's this?

AIDEN
(reading)
Huh?

He looks back and grins sheepishly.

AIDEN
My scores for the first round of Watcher exams.

Faith looks up expectantly.

AIDEN
And I passed--languages, metaphysics, demonology.
(then, with a hint of uncertainty)
All I need now is a shining report from you on
the progress of my practical internship.

Faith's eyes roll to the ceiling with thought.

FAITH
Huh....
"Continues to annoy me and lose things...."

Aiden gapes. He walks over to her and snaps the exam results from her hand.

AIDEN
I didn't lose that scroll! Someone snatched it
from right under both our noses!

He eyes her nervously.

AIDEN
What are you going to say?

Faith gives him an easy grin.

FAITH
Chill. Even if it were true,
I couldn't say anything about it, could I?
(she gestures at the room)
They don't even know we have this stuff.
(beat)
Melodramatic much?

AIDEN
(with a chagrined frown)
Easy for you to say.
(he raises the exam report)
This is my ticket.
You know what my life would be like now if
I'd never met you guys?
Hell, if I'd never run into that vampire back
when L.A. went dark for two months?

FAITH
You'd be a reporter.

This flummoxes Aiden for a beat. Then he scoffs.

AIDEN
Sure! Di--digging up dirt on...insurance fraud scams
and, I don't know...politician sex scandals!
(he throws out his hands)
But instead, I'm here. I'm a Watcher!

The clearing of a throat announces Gunn's presence behind Faith. She turns.

FAITH
You ready?

GUNN
Yeah.

Gunn gives Aiden a wave, then steps out of the way as Faith exits the library to join him.

INT. HALLWAY

He follows her down the hall.

GUNN
I'm kind of weaponless, though.

Faith gives him the once-over.

FAITH
I seriously doubt that.
C'mon, I'll fix you up.

Gunn chuckles, taken aback. LONG SHOT of them headed towards the WEAPONS CLOSET.

AIDEN (O.S.)
Uh, Gunn...?

Gunn stops and turns back.

Aiden stands in the library doorway.

AIDEN
You've heard of the "Shanshu prophecy," right?

GUNN
(eyebrows raised)
Angel's "Shanshu prophecy"?

Aiden nods.

AIDEN
Yeah. What do you know about it?

Gunn sets his hands on his hips. Faith continues and halts in front of the weapons closet.

GUNN
Bits and pieces. Angel's supposed to become human
after fighting the bad guys in the Apocalypse.
(then he frowns)
Unless he doesn't fight for the good guys, in which case...
(he shrugs)
You know, that thing never made a whole lot of sense.
It just seemed like another way for
Wolfram and Hart to yank Angel's chain.

AIDEN
(interested)
Is that why he signed it away in blood?

GUNN
(with perplexed concern)
"Signed it away"?

AIDEN
When he was pretending to be a part of
the Circle of the Black Thorn.
He signed away the Shanshu destiny in blood.

The men face off with each other with thoughtful expressions.

GUNN
If he did, it was part of the deception.

AIDEN
Yeah, but--

Faith's shoes squeak on return. She's holding an ax and a sword in her hands.

FAITH
Yo. Are we doing this or what?

She tosses Gunn the ax. He catches it.

AIDEN
(continuing)
I just don't think it could be a deception.
I mean, usually, signing away something in blood
means you're serious.

Gunn nods, troubled. He hefts the ax experimentally.

GUNN
With the Senior Partners, it sure does.
(looking up)
Why are you asking?

AIDEN
Because Connor heard Angel mention the word
"shanshu" the night he returned to
the Senior Partner's dimension.

GUNN
(lowering the ax)
Well, the Shanshu was a big factor in the
Senior Partner's interest in Angel.

As soon as Gunn says this, he sinks into thought.

AIDEN
Because they believed it meant he might fight for them.

GUNN
(nodding)
...Yeah....

Faith turns to go. Gunn gives her a double-take.

GUNN
(to Aiden as he follows her)
We should talk about this some more. Tomorrow?

Aiden lights up.

AIDEN
Yeah, okay!


FADE UP TO an AERIAL SHOT - Red and gold streak the sky behind thin breaks in the dark clouds.

EXT. ROOF - DYKSTRA HALL - DUSK

ANGLE ON the STAIRWELL DOOR. Connor steps out, his book bag slung over his shoulder. His expression is weary. The only sound is a flag somewhere nearby, flapping in the breeze.

His POV, starting with a LONG FOCUS, then ZOOMING IN - the lights of downtown L.A. are just starting to wink on; the buildings and walkways of the campus are just starting to glow. The expanse of the roof itself is gray.

QUICK-FLASH -
Night. Connor has Alix pressed up against the two-rail pipe fence. They are kissing.
SPLAT.

Connor glances up. SPLAT. Another drop of water hits his cheek. He winces. He slides his book bag from his shoulder, turns, and dumps it against the stairwell wall. LOW SHOT - It slumps across Fran's OVERTURNED BOOK. Connor doesn't notice. He continues across the roof. He is halfway to the fence when something pauses him. He turns part-way around. CLOSE-UP on his ear. We hear a nearly inaudible, susurrating PULSING. His eyes narrow.

His POV - the facilities maintenance shack. We can see the glint of scattered raindrops falling between here and there.

The CAMERA HOLDS position as Connor heads out of the FRAME towards the source of the sound. Then the CAMERA PANS OVER to the far corner opposite him. Standing there as if out of nowhere, clad in a black cloak, jeans, and walking shoes is PROFESSOR ROTH. She watches Connor with dismay.

PROFESSOR ROTH
(murmuring under her breath)
Now what?

Her POV - Connor, heading behind the facilities maintenance shack.

PROFESSOR ROTH
Oh, for God's sake.

She throws a quick, annoyed glance at the sky, and ducking reflexively, draws the hood of her cloak over her head. She FADES INTO NOTHINGNESS. We continue in HER POV as her eyes fall on -

Connor's book bag by the stairwell door, and then, in LONG SHOT, Connor himself. He is standing before a SHIMMERING CIRCULAR RING a meter wide, perceptible only in the way it makes the gray clouds and roof fence behind it appear as if they are a calmly rippling liquid. Professor Roth's POV inches towards him.

Then she reappears again as she throws the hood off her head.

PROFESSOR ROTH
(bewildered)
What the--

Connor whirls. He gawks at her in confusion.

CONNOR
Dr. Roth?

Reflexively, he steps away from her. The portal FLAIRS. Connor's arms FLAIL as it PICKS HIM UP, TWISTS HIM AROUND, and SUCKS HIM INSIDE. The RING EXPLODES OUT. Professor Roth ducks away from the blast.

PROFESSOR ROTH
(shouting)
A hac arte magica me defende!

The RUSH OF ENERGY passes over and around her.

She lowers her arms and exhales. For a single, disoriented, moment, she stares around. Then her attention returns to the undulating portal.

Connor is GONE.

PROFESSOR ROTH
Oh, my God. Connor.

BLACK OUT.


END OF ACT ONE

Act Two

EXT. ROOF - DYKSTRA HALL - CONTINUOUS

Professor Roth gapes at the portal, one hand clasped loosely over her mouth. It has returned to its near-invisible state and HANGS THERE, pulsating faintly. Somewhere in the distance, the wail of MULTIPLE SIRENS rises, drowning out the portal's soft susurrations. Professor Roth circles around slowly, at a loss, taking in the expanse of the rooftop. SLOW PAN, her POV. Her eyes settle on -

The stairwell door. Connor's bag is GONE, leaving only Fran's book lying there.

CLOSE-UP on Professor Roth's apprehensive expression.


EXT. SOME PLACE THAT'S ELSE - NIGHT

FADE UP TO a ROUGH STONE WALL. The surface is pock-marked and mud-spattered. Just then, a THREE-FOOT ROUND PATCH appears on it. It SPARKLES and UNDULATES, then OPENS into a SWIRLING MAW. Connor flies out, yelling and flailing, then -

SMACK!

Is brought to a halt by something HARD he hits head-first.

TIGHT SHOT - He slumps face-down onto a dirt-covered plank of wood. He is still for a moment. Finally, he shifts slightly and groans.

CONNOR
(muffled)
Ow.

With effort, he rolls over on his back, revealing a metal HOE. CLOSE-UP on his face. He raises his fingertips to a GASH on his forehead, then draws them back blood-stained, blinking with confusion. A faint cloud of steam rises from his lips. Then again. Somewhere OFF-CAMERA, we hear the distinctive sound of a horse whuffing.

Connor's POV - drifting fog and a sprinkle of stars.

Then more sounds--the gurgle of flowing water, and, more distant, a man and woman's approaching voices. Slowly, Connor sits up and glances around. His POV - he's lying in an OPEN WAGON BED. To one side of it is a VAST MEADOWLAND dotted with trees, to the other, a fog-covered RIVER with thick green foliage. A lone man in a battered brimmed hat is watering his horse at its bank.

The wagon Connor is sitting in is parked near a crumbling STONE HOUSE. It appears to be all that is left of an ancient bridge over the river. The wall facing Connor still GLISTENS and UNDULATES in a FAINT CIRCLE.

The woman's voice again, closer. It is languid, and has a girlish quality.

WOMAN
Well, naturally I did it to get his attention.
It's all part of the game.

CUT TO - The MAN and WOMAN emerge from the fog. The woman is dressed in an old-fashioned, low-cut lace-trimmed gown, silk gloves, and feathered hat. The MAN is in an equally vintage waistcoat with a ruffled collar and sleeves and knee-length britches. The back portion of his long hair is pulled into a ponytail. The rest frames his face rattily.

Quickly, Connor lies back flat on the wagon. Then he rolls over on his stomach, shoves the hoe aside, and turns himself around so he is facing the direction the pair is approaching from. The thud of horse's hooves announces the arrival of someone else. The new horse whinnies.

MAN ON HORSEBACK
(coolly, in a gravely British tinge)
Stop there.

PONY-TAILED MAN
(thick Irish brogue, and annoyed)
Well, y'got his attention.

MAN
Yes...right there....

Connor's eyes widen in disbelief as he gazes over the edge of the wagon.

PAN UP until we can see the man on horseback, facing off with the pair, who are standing with their backs to Connor's wagon. The man on horseback is holding a flaming torch high, and his face is clearly visible in its flickering light.

DANIEL HOLTZ
I've seen you before...both of you.


EXT. ROOF - DYKSTRA HALL - DUSK

Professor Roth gazes at the portal, which continues to undulate nearly imperceptibly. More sirens wail. A light rain falls.

PROFESSOR ROTH
Okay. A big portal on a dormitory roof.
(an anxious wince)
Which ate the boy I'm supposed to be "keeping an eye on."
(perplexed beat)
What's it doing here?

She stares at it, flummoxed.

PROFESSOR ROTH
Think, Melanie....
I need a book that tells me....

She scoffs and throws up her hands.

PROFESSOR ROTH
Tells me what? About "portals"?
This could be anything. It could have taken him anywhere.

She circles around with an exasperated grimace. Then her brows knit as she notices the BOOK lying face down beside the stairwell door where Connor's bag had been.

PROFESSOR ROTH
Okay, I know I didn't call that thing here.

She walks over to it and picks it up, being careful not to lose the page the book is opened to. She sets it upright on her arm. CLOSE-UP on her intent look as she examines its contents. She turns a page or two in one direction and then the other. Then she stops. Insert, her POV - the ETCHING OF THE SPARKLING CIRCLE we saw in the book before.

PROFESSOR ROTH
(reading)
"The Jacardi Nexus.
A temporal current that carries whomever enters it
to a time and place pivotal to his or her existence."
(beat)
Oh.

She gapes up at the NEXUS.

PROFESSOR ROTH
Oh.
(a heady sigh)
Well, that's....

She steps away from it, her posture stiffening. Her eyes widen with realization.

PROFESSOR ROTH
Someone--someone called this up to visit their past.
(reflective beat)
Or alter it.
(a hesitant grimace)
If Connor....

She whirls around and stares again at the SPOT where Connor's book bag was, and is no longer.

PROFESSOR ROTH
(pointing)
His bag was there, and now it's gone,
and I didn't see it get sucked in with him.
It was too far away. Which means....

Her eyes drift back over to the nexus.

PROFESSOR ROTH
(in a tone of disbelief)
No. No.
Connor didn't call this up; it was already here.
It would have taken him to....

Her lips compress with anxiety. She raises her head and addresses herself to the air.

PROFESSOR ROTH
I need...the notebook by Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
that documented the birth of Connor Angel.

She waits. Nothing.

PROFESSOR ROTH
(undaunted)
Okay, I need all the notebooks written by
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce when he lived in Los Angeles.

Still nothing. She takes a deep, quivering breath.

PROFESSOR ROTH
All right, then.
I need a copy of Szekely's Vampires: a History.
(mumbling)
That documented his birth.

The BOOK IN QUESTION appears atop the one she already holding. She blinks at it, as if startled to see it actually appear, then opens it quickly and thumbs through it. INSERT - She reaches the chapter entitled THE ORDER OF AURELIUS and turns the page. Then again. Then again. Then again.

PROFESSOR ROTH
(with dread)
It's changed. He's not in here.

She flips the pages quickly back and settles on -

INSERT, her POV - a GALLERY of paintings, drawings, and old-fashioned photographs on the left-hand side. CLOSE-UP on one painting in particular - DARLA, in an elegant dress of the mid-18th century. Underneath it is the caption -

Darla, 1609-1764

PAN DOWN. Near the bottom of the page is a pencil sketch of ANGELUS, captioned -

Angelus, 1753-1764

Professor Roth's eyes rise, taking in the JACARDI NEXUS hanging before her. Somewhere in the city beyond, the SIRENS continue. Their wail grows louder and louder as we DISSOLVE TO -

PROFESSOR ROTH (O.S.)
Oh. This is bad.


EXT. SOUTH SIDE - EARLY EVENING

SUPER LEGEND:
Present day, continued


TRACKING SHOT - An ambulance races down a city street, siren blaring, lights flashing. The windows of the vehicle sparkle wet under the streetlights. We CONTINUE WITH the vehicle until it passes a four-story WAREHOUSE, then HOLD on the warehouse as the ambulance passes out of the FRAME.

SLOW DOLLY IN ON - EXT. ABANDONED WAREHOUSE

Shattered windows, graffiti-covered walls. FIVE YOUNG MEN in hoodies, bulky jackets, and jeans stand in and around an OPEN DOORWAY. We recognize one of them as CHARLES GUNN and the others as his friends RONDELL, GEORGE, JAMES, and CHAIN.

TIGHT SHOT of the men. Then are clutching weapons low to their sides--a crossbow, stakes, and a hubcap ax.

CHAIN
(impatiently)
Let's just get going.

Gunn turns inside.

INT. WAREHOUSE

The dilapidated interior is painted blue. Along one wall is a torn vinyl couch and a scratched end table. Most of the vast room is lit by a few halogen bulbs dangling from the ceiling. Water drips from the ceiling as well, pooling in plastic basins and paper cups. The scattered street kids ignore this as they talk, eat, or nap on tattered blankets.

Gunn paces near the entrance with agitation.

GUNN
Just hang on. She'll be here.

Chain pivots around with a look of hostility.

CHAIN
You don't get it. I don't want her to "be here."
That crazy, steroid-freaked bitch ain't normal,
and I don't trust her.
(he squares his shoulders and scowls)
For all we know, she's the thing we're after.

Gunn turns on him.

GUNN
No, she's not, and if you want those monsters
to stop killing our friends,
we're gonna have to work with her.

Chain steps up to Gunn, raising his arms out at his sides, one holding his crossbow.

CHAIN
We can find these things ourselves! We can kill them!
That's always been enough for us.

GUNN
(getting in his face)
Not this time. Not these things.
We need all the help we can get.

CUT TO the doorway. George bounces in place with excitement.

GEORGE
Yo, G!
(he stabs a finger out at the street)
Is that her?

The men crowd quickly into the doorway and look out as a group.

LONG SHOT - a BRUNETTE saunters across the glistening parking lot, dressed in a denim vest and black leather pants. Her upper right arm has a encircling tattoo. Gripped in her hand is a THIN, CURVED CALVARY SABER.

James scoffs.

JAMES
Man, that's her? She's just a girl!

RONDELL
(ogling)
Check out that piece she's packing.

CHAIN
(to Gunn)
She gotta name?

CUT TO a CLOSE-UP - eye shadow, lipstick, cleavage, and attitude. The woman chuckles as she takes in the sight of them.

GUNN
Faith.


EXT. LOS ANGELES TIMES BUILDING - EARLY EVENING - ESTABLISHING

INT. CLASSIFIEDS

Typing and chatter; phones ringing. WIDE OVERHEAD SHOT - a large room full of hive-like cubicles. Despite the hour, many of them are still occupied by worker-bee grunts. DOLLY IN ON a cubicle near the center. AIDEN is at the desk with a telephone receiver squeezed between his shoulder and his ear.

MAN'S VOICE FROM THE RECEIVER
And if I were you,
I'd worry less about what you don't have
and more about what you do.
You want to lose this internship?

AIDEN
No, Dad.

DAD'S VOICE
You're damned lucky to have it.

AIDEN
Yes, Dad.

DAD'S VOICE
Good. I'll talk to you later.

AIDEN
Bye, Dad.

Aiden hangs up the phone and sits back, sighing audibly.

AIDEN
You're absolutely right, Dad.
I'm editing obituaries for a great metropolitan newspaper.
I'm the luckiest investigative reporter ever.

He glances up at -

A ROW of TELEVISIONS mounted on the wall, each playing different programs. One of them is a COMMERCIAL for discounted carpets. As the salesman chatters at the screen, we can see a young woman dressed in a revealing Genie outfit doing the Dance of the Seven Veils--badly. CLOSE-UP on her face - Cordelia Chase.

Aiden looks away boredly and scoots his chair forward, reaching for a SHORT-WAVE RADIO on his desk. He turns up the volume.

DISPATCHER
...Two-eleven at Crenshaw and Jefferson.
Suspect is female, white, early twenties,
and has a tattoo on her upper right arm.
Witness reports she fled the scene on foot
over fifteen minutes ago, headed south,
armed with a sword.
Repeat: suspect is armed....

A slow smile spreads across his face.

AIDEN
There you are.

He shuffles through the scattered heap of papers and folders on his desk.

AIDEN
That's how many tattooed superwoman reports in the past week?

He jots down the street corner on a pad of paper.

MAN (O.S.)
So that's how you get dates these days.

Aiden looks up to see a COLLEAGUE in a shirt and tie leering at him mockingly. The man slaps a piece of paper down on Aiden's desk, turns, and leaves. Aiden frowns at it. INSERT - An OBITUARY SUBMISSION FORM filled out in scrawled blue ink. Aiden sighs and tosses the form into his inbox, which contains a jumbled stack of such forms. Then he grips his hands on the arms of his chair.

AIDEN
I'm out of here.

CUT TO - INT. EMPLOYEE ENTRANCE CORRIDOR - MOMENTS LATER

Aiden stops in front of the electronic time clock mounted on the wall, a 35mm CAMERA dangling from his neck. He slides his keycard through the slot, then heads out the back door.


EXT. STONE RUIN - NIGHT - CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS

SUPER LEGEND:
The west bank of the River Ouse,
Yorkshire, England, 1764


ANGELUS and DARLA face off with a mustached, goateed HOLTZ. He is wearing a wide-brim hat and a handkerchief around his neck. He grips his torch in his hand.

HOLTZ
You shouldn't have returned.

Angelus cocks one knee and rubs his chin.

ANGELUS
Y'know, you're right.
The meat round here's a bit gristly for my taste.
(he tilts his head towards Darla)
Love...can I snap his neck now?

DARLA
Not yet, Darling.

CUT TO Connor, crouched in the wagon, looking on, utter bewilderment on his face.

Holtz eyes Angelus without a flicker of amusement.

HOLTZ
I think you'll find a repeat of your last visit
more difficult than you imagine, demon.

ANGELUS
(muttering boredly)
Big talk.

In a thunder of hoof beats, two more riders approach. The men are armed with CROSSBOWS. Holtz turns his own mount around as they arrive.

HOLTZ
Kill them!

All HELL BREAKS LOOSE. One of Holtz's men CHARGES FORWARD, raising his crossbow at Angelus. With alarm, Darla lunges at him and YANKS at his horse's bridle with a gloved hand, tugging the horse's head to one side. The animal totters sideways to compensate, causing its rider to sway as he releases the bolt. Quickly, Holtz's second man urges his horse back several steps. It neighs in protest but complies.

The first man's bolt cuts right and low, WHIZZING AT CONNOR'S HEAD. Connor ducks, hitting his forehead on the edge of the wagon. He groans softly. The crossbow bolt clatters against the stone wall behind him.

CUT TO the river's edge. The man in the battered hat tugs his horse upstream, away from the fight.

The second rider lifts his crossbow at Darla. Angelus reaches up and YANKS the crossbow out of the first mounted man's hands, then swings the weapon back and BASHES THE MAN'S SIDE with it, sending him flying off his horse. Holtz leaps off his own horse clutching his torch. He marches around the horses, headed for Angelus.

Wincing and grunting, Connor raises himself up again.

CONNOR
Wait--!

The second bowman startles as CONNOR appears in his line of sight. He POINTS his weapon SKYWARD. Holtz glances at Connor for a beat and gets Angelus' FIST across his face for the error. Holtz and his torch topple to the muddy ground. Darla dodges around the side of the second man's horse, yanks the rider's booted foot out from the stirrup, then, gripping his ankle, PUSHES HIM OFF THE HORSE. The man cries out and falls on his crossbow.

Darla hikes up her skirts, steps up, and mounts the horse astride. Angelus does a double-take of her and just as she nudges the horse into motion, KICKS the felled Holtz in the face, and scrambles over to Holtz's horse. He pauses just a beat and catches -

CONNOR gazing at him over the edge of wagon.

CUT TO - Holtz rises dizzily from the ground in time to see Angelus and Darla racing off on horseback. Holtz grabs for his torch, which is half-covered in mud and nearly dimmed to an ember. Just then, two more mounted riders arrive. With aggravation, Holtz stabs a finger in Angelus and Darla's direction.

HOLTZ
Get them!

He lurches up to his feet. Then his eyes fall on -

CONNOR.

Holtz slides a WOODEN STAKE from his coat and approaches him.

HOLTZ
You, lad, what are you doing there?

Connor's mouth sags open. His lips wobble as if speaking, but nothing comes out.

HOLTZ
Those demons. Are you one of theirs?

CONNOR
(voice cracking slightly)
Huh?

Holtz pauses to scrutinize him. His POV - A YOUNG MAN dressed, quite improbably, in a colorful, horizontally-striped short-sleeved shirt. He is shivering slightly, although he seems too distracted to notice.

HOLTZ
Or perhaps just an innocent in the wrong place
at the wrong time.

Holtz lowers his stake.

CONNOR
(mumbling, staring)
You're so...young....

HOLTZ
I suggest you head home.
(he gives Connor the once-over)
Wherever that is.
And beware the creatures you saw here tonight.

Quickly, and still shaking, Connor scrambles out of the wagon and backs away from Holtz, eye-to-eye with him. Then he turns and BOLTS OFF towards the tree-dotted meadowland.

Holtz gazes after him for a beat, then turns around.

HOLTZ
(calling out)
And you, man! I assume this is your wagon?

The man down by the river nods nervously. He walks his horse back down the bank towards Holtz.

MAN
Aye, sir, i'tis.

Holtz's wounded men rise, moaning softly.

HOLTZ
I could use your assisstance
getting my men back to town.

EXT. MEADOW ALONG THE RIVER OUSE - YORKSHIRE

Angelus and Darla lean into the gallop of their horses, putting distance between themselves and - CUT BACK TO Holtz's men, giving chase. Darla's hat flies off her head as their horses pound on.


DISSOLVE TO A MOMENT LATER - Holtz's men slow their horses to a trot, their expressions puzzled. They come upon the HORSES Angelus and Darla were riding. The men stare around the landscape of trees and grass. PANNING - There is NO SIGN of the vampires.

CUT TO a TIGHT SHOT of a tree across the meadow from them. CONNOR steps out from behind it, watching.


EXT. WAREHOUSE - SOUTH SIDE - CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS (PRESENT DAY)

FAITH strolls towards GUNN and his friends, lips parted in a cocky half-smirk. All but Gunn stare back with undisguised skepticism and fascination. Gunn steps out from among them, hefting his ax in both hands. Faith comes to a halt within striking distance of it. She sets her legs apart slightly and tosses her hair back.

FAITH
So...you wanna tell me what I'm here to kill?

Gunn gives her a grim stare.

GUNN
Word on the street is you can kill just about
anything that moves.

FAITH
Word would be right.

Chain shakes his head and scoffs. Faith throws him a dismissive glance.

GUNN
I just wanna make sure,
'cause there's something out there that acts like a vamp,
but it ain't one. In fact, there's a whole army of 'em.
(he stares her down)
What do you know about it?

Faith taps two fingertips to her jugular.

FAITH
Fang wounds to the neck, blood drained.
(she lowers her hand)
But you got a look at them,
and they didn't look like a human with a case of the wrinklies.

GUNN
(cautiously)
That's right.

FAITH
And maybe you tried staking them, but they didn't die.
Or maybe one came right into your house 'cause it
didn't need an invite like a regular vampire would.

The men glance at each other, then nod.

FAITH
Yeah, I know all about them.

George steps forward.

GEORGE
(in a challenging tone)
Do you know how to kill 'em?

JAMES
Word is you have killed them.

FAITH
(nodding)
Yeah, I've killed them. Cut off their heads,
they turn to dust just like any other vamp.

CHAIN
(muttering under his breath)
What a bunch of bull.

Faith turns her gaze on him, then steps towards him, brows raised. Her hand tightens around the grip of her sword.

FAITH
You got something to say, son?

CHAIN
(disdainfully)
I ain't your "son."

GEORGE
(cutting in)
How many of these things have you "de-capitated"?

Faith glances at George.

FAITH
Enough.

TIGHT SHOT of CHAIN as he turns on Gunn, gaping.

CHAIN
Man, G, what are we listening to this bitch's bull for?
We got neighbors dying out--

SLAM!

Gasps of surprise and sniggers of amusement accompany a LOW SHOT of two tattered high-top Adidas wriggling several inches above the asphalt. PAN UP TO CHAIN, back-up against the warehouse wall, dangling by his collar. The TIP of Faith's SWORD is near his chin. He stares wide-eyed down at -

His POV - the petite woman who is holding him up by one hand. She raises her brows in challenge.

FAITH
What did you call me?

Chain continues to gape down at her. CLOSE-UP on Faith, his POV - Her glossy red lips are parted; her heavy-lidded eyes gaze at him intimately. Her expression is threatening. Amused. Sensual.

FAITH
That's Ms. Bitch to you.

Gunn steps towards them.

GUNN
Put 'im down.

One more amused once-over, then -

THUMP. Chain falls to his feet. His knees give way and wobble as he catches his balance. Faith chuckles. Slowly, Chain rises to standing, then squares his shoulders and scowls.

CHAIN
(muttering)
Fucking freak.

Faith chooses to ignore him this time and saunters back over to Gunn. Her expression is cool.

FAITH
I'll help you kill these things.
But you gotta do something for me.

GUNN
(shaking his head)
We ain't doing nothing illegal.

Faith scoffs.

FAITH
Yeah, 'cause you're so law-abiding.
(an uneasy beat)
It's nothing like that.
I just want you to keep some guys off my back.

GUNN
Cops?

FAITH
No.
Just some guys in a van that are after me.

GUNN
What'd you do to them?

Faith's face goes sullen with anger.

FAITH
I didn't do anything to them.

She holds her arms out at her sides as if to present herself.

FAITH
They just want to kill me 'cause of what I am.

CHAIN
Yeah? And what's that?

Faith throws a hostile glare his way.

FAITH
A "fucking freak."

Gunn scrutinizes her with care.

GUNN
These "guys." Are they human?

FAITH
I guess you could call them that.

GEORGE
What are they packing?

FAITH
(a glance in his direction)
Stakes and crossbows, mainly, and tranq guns.
(hesitant beat)
And one of 'em's...got a rifle.

Chain raises his hands and shakes his head.

CHAIN
Man, I am not gettin' involved in that.

FAITH
(glaring at him)
They won't aim it you.

Then she looks around at all of them. PAN THEM, her POV.

FAITH
It's just me and demons they're after.

CHAIN
(muttering)
Wonder why.

Faith ignores him. She waits on Gunn edgily. Gunn's eyes dip as he considers all this. Finally, he clutches his ax tight and looks at his friends.

GUNN
We're headed to the Red Cross clinic.
These super-vamps got some sort of nest there.
You can stay or come with, up to you.
But if you come with...
(he raises his ax)
you're gonna need a different brand of hardware.

Lowering the weapon to his side, Gunn starts away from the warehouse. Faith falls into step behind him. All the other men except Chain glance at each other and follow him as well.

After a moment, CHAIN joins them.


PAN DOWN THE STREET.

EXT. THE MOUTH OF AN ALLEY

LOW SHOT of the ASPHALT. We hear a soft grunting and moaning. The camera DOLLIES FORWARD past the bottoms of dumpsters and trashcans and over a sewer drain. It ends at a pair of dangling, quivering creased pant cuffs over boots. A PISTOL clatters to the ground. There is another, brief moan, then -

A POLICE OFFICER slumps dead.

PAN UP TO a VICIOUS-LOOKING CREATURE WITH A VAMPIRE-LIKE VISAGE AND FANGS.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT TWO

Part 2 (click here)




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Comments:


ex_chaos_by_699 at 2007-01-18 06:58 (UTC) (Link)
OMG Holtz.

breech->breach

"Anomaly"? That's very...Star Trek TNG. ;)

But OMG Holtz!
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2007-01-18 15:15 (UTC) (Link)
What would call it? I've watch too much sci-fi!
ex_chaos_by_699 at 2007-01-18 17:02 (UTC) (Link)
Hee. Well, I was thinking of it as a "portal", because until it was apparent that it was a time travel thing I figured it was the entrance to some other dimension. Which I suppose you could still think of it as. *shrug*
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2007-01-18 17:33 (UTC) (Link)
That's why I had that long involved thing with Prof. Roth talking to herself. It had to be very clear to the reader what was going on, because, in the end, the nexus thingie is just a plot device to get Connor to where the action is. I couldn't have it be too confusing.
ex_chaos_by_699 at 2007-01-18 18:34 (UTC) (Link)
Now I'm tempted to just call it "the swirly plot device of doom". ;)
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2007-01-18 19:55 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, part of the reason this ep ended up having to be turned into two eps is I had a lot of necessary but not really pivotal exposition to do. As lame plot devices go, I learned well at the feet of the Masters, Mutant Enemy.

; )

Oh, and you know, too much Star Trek as well! ; ) ; )
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