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Twisted I, Part 2

Posted by masqthephlsphr on 2007.01.17 at 21:38
Current Mood: confusedconfused
(Pt. I)

Part 2

(January 17, 2007)

Written by: Masquerade

Act Three


The sun has sunk below the western horizon. The NEXUS hangs before Professor Roth, visible only in the way it subtly warps the light from the campus buildings and distant street lamps. She clutches her books to her chest, staring at it with frustrated bewilderment.

But if Connor went back to the past and...
did something that prevented his own existence,
I wouldn't remember him,
because there'd be nothing to remember.
(her brows pinch)
This is gonna give me a headache.

LOW SHOT - Her feet fidget nervously, but she keeps herself several meters from the nexus.


She grasps the copy of Vampires: A History and kneels, setting it on the ground. She stands upright again.

Unless the spell I did to protect myself from
the explosion of the Jacardi Nexus somehow
protected me from changes in history created by....
(beat; an exasperated sigh)
Okay. None of that matters.
The bottom line is, I need to go back and
prevent whatever it was he did, then
return him to the present. For his sake...
(her eyes widen and roll)
...and for mine.

She opens Temporal Folds and Time Shifts and looks down at it intently.

"The Jacardi Nexus carries a person to a time and place
pivotal to his or her existence...."
(pensive beat)
That means...if I just jump in there,
it won't take me where Connor went.
It'll take me to a time and place significant to my life.

She looks up, lips parted, her face briefly taking on a pang of longing.

God, that's....
(she shakes it off; then, murmuring)
I tried that, once.

She frowns with frustration.

And besides, the Jacardi Nexus is different.
You can't control it, can you?
The nexus alone decides what that "pivotal"
time and place is.
(a long pause as she considers this)
Which probably isn't going to change for an individual
once he's gone through....
(her voice perks up with excitement)
So what I need...is some kind of "redial button."
I need to force it to take me where it took
the previous person to pass through.
(then, grudgingly)
Although perhaps a moment after he arrived.
Something tells me a traffic jam in a time eddy...
wouldn't be good.

She runs a finger down the page of the book, reading silently, then the next, then flips all the way to the back. After a moment, she returns to the page she started at. She nods and smiles with reassurance.

Okay, good.
Assuming I did protect myself from
the Jacardi Nexus' magic with that spell,
it has no power over me;
it won't...can't work its normal magic on me.
(she gazes up at the nexus)
But I could have power over it.
With the right spell, I could instruct it to....

She closes the book and shoves it under one arm.

"The Grudenberg Text."

A THICK TWO-SPINDLED SCROLL falls out of nowhere into her hand. She rolls it open to a section near the middle, squares her shoulders, and clears her throat.

(reading from it)
As I breath add thirty score,
Carry me o're as he who passed just before.
(she looks up at the nexus)

She inhales deep, squeezes book and scroll to her chest, then STEPS UP TO THE NEXUS. The barely perceptible circle becomes a sudden MAELSTROM OF SILVER LIGHT. It lifts her up, TWISTS HER AROUND, and SUCKS HER IN.


The same riverside bridge house where Connor first appeared. The horses, wagon, and people are gone. The stone wall is still wavering slightly, as if capturing the reflection of the water. Then suddenly, the wavering becomes AGITATED, warping and undulating. With a SPARKLING SWIRL, the Jacardi Nexus BURSTS OPEN. Professor Roth flies out and sprawls unceremoniously on the ground, her cloak falling around her. She grunts.

Slowly, and with a few more strategic grunts, she picks up the book and scroll that have fallen from her hands and rises to her Nike'd feet.

Her POV - Fuzzy darkness. Then out of it emerges the meadow of trees, the river, the distant hills. No cities or villages; just the moon and star-lit gray-and-pleasant middle of nowhere.

She pulls the cloak tight around herself and glances back at the wall she came out of. Then at the landscape again.

Okay. If this is where Connor was brought, then....
(she looks dismayed)
...where the hell am I?


Holtz rides through the countryside, torch held high, then slows the horse he is on to a trot at the sight of his BEWILDERED MEN. They are returning, Darla and Angelus' abandoned horses in tow beside their own. One of them, a tall man with mustache, lifts DARLA'S HAT for Holtz to see.

We lost them in the dark, Captain.

Holtz dismounts and walks over to his own horse. The horse whinnies softly at his approach.

If they escaped on foot, they didn't go far.
We'll wait for them to show themselves again.

The tall man walks his horse over to the one Holtz rode up on and reaches for its reins. His companion is rough-looking man with long hair and a pointed beard.

How d'you know they will?

CLOSE-UP on Holtz's grim expression.

I've seen them before.
They cut through this area ten years ago
and left a bloody trail behind them.
Women. Children. Working men.
Mark my words, they're not through yet.

(looking worried)
And they escaped you back then?

Holtz mounts his horse and settles himself on the saddle.

I wasn't the tracker then I am now. Nor the fighter.

Another CLOSE-UP. Holtz's eyes are distant; the set of his lips, determined.

What they did opened my eyes.
Showed me who the real enemy is.
It changed everything for me.

(nodding with solemn understanding)
And now they're back.

Holtz scans the countryside with thoughtful eyes.

There's got to be a way to draw them out.
Make them vulnerable.
And I'll find it.


The narrow street is lit only by the dimly-flickering windows of the two- and three-story brick and half-timbered row houses lining it. Connor creeps along looking up and around himself. Finally, he slows near a one-story building, leaps up onto a window sill, and from there to the roof.


WIDE SHOT - He runs across at a half-crouch. We can see the city surrounding him--stone towers, gabled rooftops, multiple chimneys; we hear horses' hooves and carriage wheels; and somewhere nearby, the pensive lilt of a flute. Connor approaches the end of the roof and leaps over to the next.


More half-timbered buildings, many with colorful wooden signs hanging over their doorways. Angelus and a hatless Darla stroll arm-in-arm down a cobblestone street covered in straw, gravel, and scattered horse droppings. The merchants are closing up for the evening, although people are still about, passing them on foot and horseback.

(half-annoyed, half-bored)
I warned you about comin' back to Yorkshire.
There's nothing here worth seeing.
And a long, oozin' swamp.

It's not about the sights, Angelus.

A girl of about eight with long brown tresses darts out in front of him. Angelus steps around her.

So you said.
It's about "the one that got away."
Not exactly...original.

Sarah! Come, now!

CUT TO a WOMAN in a soft gathered cap, poised to turn right into a narrow side street. She is holding a hand out towards the girl. The girl runs after her.

Angelus and Darla approach the mouth of an alleyway that intersects to the left. Darla shoots Angelus a determined look.

Yes, but this one's gained himself a reputation
over the years.

A wisp of steam rising from the ground envelopes them as they turn into the alley.


LONG SHOT - The young girl accompanies the WOMAN IN THE CAP down the narrow butcher's row with its over-hanging buildings. They avoid the cobblestone channel down the center where men with buckets are washing away the offal and blood from the day's butchering. The woman steps up to the open window of a shop and accepts a paper-wrapped bundle from the aproned butcher on the other side. She tucks it under one arm. Her other arm is wrapped around the INFANT SLING she has draped from her neck and shoulder.


TIGHT FRONTAL TWO-SHOT - Angelus and Darla start down the alley.


Connor comes alongside the ledge and follows its length, looking down.

His POV, CRANE SHOT - Darla and Angelus stroll casually beneath him, their voices clearly audible.

Aye. And from what I've seen so far,
he spends all his time sharpening stakes
and plotting to kill the likes of us.

I'm sure you're up to the challenge.


Connor comes to a halt, his expression wary. He backs up a step, then another, then turns and heads back to the far end of the building. He leaps off the edge.


CLOSE-UP on Darla - the smile on her face melts into an exasperated frown.

Although I'm about to snap Holtz's neck myself.

He is insufferably self-righteous--


REVERSE ANGLE - Connor slips around the side of a building and stops. He stares at what is before him for an uneasy moment.

LONG SHOT, his POV - Darla and Angelus, strolling away from him, arms encircled.

But he's only mortal.
What can he do to us, really?

Connor starts forward.

CUT TO a FRONTAL SHOT of Darla and Angelus.

Annoy us to death?
No, I don't suppose so.

Angelus comes to a halt and, hands on Darla's shoulders, whirls her around abruptly. She gasps, her skirt hem swirling about her ankles. Angelus reaches up and runs a finger down the side of her face. She raises her chin to welcome it. He smiles darkly down at her.

Not before we do worse to him.

CLOSE-UP on Darla's upturned face. She gives him a smile of adoring approval.

That's the spirit.

Angelus dips in his head for a kiss.

(breathily, as his lips close in)
I'm sure you'll come up with something
artistic...and inventive....

Just as their lips meet, Angelus breaks away and glances behind them. Darla's look of annoyance fades as she follows suit.

FRONTAL LONG THREE-SHOT - Between their parted heads, we see Connor ten yards away, arms dangling at his sides.

Connor's POV - a BOUSTIERED BELLE and a PONY-TAILED FOP. But the faces that accompany the strange hair and clothes are all too familiar. Angelus releases Darla and steps towards Connor with an intrigued, predatory smile.

What do we have here?

Connor tenses and steps back, shoulders hunched.

(with a snarl)
Come near me and I'll kill you.

Angelus draws his head back with surprise.

Well, that's a bit rude.
(a brief glance at Darla)
Don't you think that's rude?

Darla nods, then eyes Connor with interest.

(to Connor)
After all, 'twas you who snuck up on us.

He takes a few more casual steps forward.

What manner of demon are you, then,
that you could do that?

TIGHT SHOT - Connor's knees twitch, as if the command to run away and the command to stay put have collided in his brain.

(still oozing hostility)
One you made.

Angelus seems unimpressed by this claim.

I think I'd remember turning the likes of you
into a vampire.

Darla's eyes caress Connor from top to bottom.

He's human.
I can hear his heartbeat. Smell his fear.

There's one sure way of findin' out.

Angelus IS ON HIM in a second. He grabs Connor by the arm and FLINGS HIM HARD face-first against a wall. Connor grunts as he smacks against it. Angelus giggles. He steps back and regards Connor lazily.

Angelus' POV - the oddly-dressed boy heaves himself around onto his back, breathing hard and scowling. EXTREME CLOSE-UP - His forehead is BLEEDING again.

Angelus eyes the gash.

Darla drifts towards them, looking on with amusement--

"Kill" me, will ya? You'd have to--

--until she sees the impudent interloper LEAP UP and SHOVE ANGELUS in chest. Angelus' eyes widen with surprise as he FLIES BACK and HITS the opposite wall. Connor CHARGES HIM. Angelus raises two defensive hands. A FIST SLAMS ANGELUS HARD across the jaw. Then AGAIN.

CLOSE-UP on Connor's angry grimace. He punches Angelus, again and again.

I hate you! I hate you!
I've always hated you!

Darla steps towards them, startled.


But Angelus is laughing, even as his posture sags and blood pools in the corner of his lip. Darla rushes Connor, grabs him by the back of his collar, and FLINGS HIM AWAY.

LONG SHOT - Connor SAILS through the air and lands at the far end of the alley.

Angelus droops, knees wobbling. He chuckles. Darla gazes after Connor for another beat, pin curls askew. Then she brushes them aside, turns back to Angelus, and tugs the glove off her right hand. She braces her left hand on Angelus' shoulder and brings her ungloved fingers up to his bruised jaw. Angelus snickers again and throws a glance at Connor.

Got a full head o' steam, that one.
Lad really needs to take it up with his father.

Darla snatches another look at Connor as well.

Her POV, LONG SHOT - Connor slowly lurches to his feet. He catches Darla's look through scattered bangs.

(murmured, yet audible)
And I wish I hated you.

Darla regards this curiously. Connor turns and runs off into the night. She continues to look after him. She seems flummoxed.

What is he?

Angelus grunts weakly and stands tall.

One of Holtz's, I think.
I seem to recall him at the river.

This brings Darla's attention back around.

"One of Holtz's?" Surely not.
He's a half-breed, if he's anything.

She walks a few steps in the direction Connor went. Angelus glances that way, wiping at the blood on his lip.

Let 'im go.
I'll not mistake his scent the next time I come across it.

(without looking at him)
Oh? And why's that?

Angelus grins at her craftily.

Funny thing. He smells like you.

Darla whirls on him, scoffing.


I'm serious!

He ducks away as she bats him in the face with her glove. Then he rubs his jaw and winces. Darla smirks. After a beat, they continue down the alley together.

Why don't you go back to the inn and
fetch yourself another hat.
I'll meet ya there in a bit.

You sure?

I've work to do, don't I?

He raises her hand and gives it a courtly kiss, stopping her in her tracks.

But never fear, love.
When I kill Holtz, you'll be there.


ANGLE - Looking towards the front seat from just behind it. There is a man driving and another in the passenger seat. Both are focused outward so we can't see their faces. A SHORTWAVE RADIO is mounted on the dashboard between them. Through the windshield, we see a busy boulevard in passing.

CUT TO the back of the van. Several more men sit along both interior walls, their exact identities obscured in shadow. They sway slightly with the movement of the vehicle.

The driver glances back at them briefly, then returns his attention to the road. As he does, we come into a TIGHT CLOSE-UP of him - he is in his early twenties and appears troubled.

I don't feel right about this.

The man in the passenger seat has a familiar clipped British accent.

(in a challenging tone)
What don't you feel right about, Ron?

The young man shakes his head.

This mission. I mean, I'm glad to help with this, this--
(he gestures at the street ahead of them)
what we're doing now,
checking on the safety of these girls and their families,
but the other thing...with the Slayer....

Sometimes the Academy doesn't properly elucidate
the realities of the field, so allow me.

CUT TO the SECOND MAN. It's WESLEY WYNDAM-PRYCE. He has a day's growth of beard on his face and a grim, world-weary expression. His tie is loose around the collar of his buttoned-up shirt, and his sleeves are rolled up. He taps his glasses up the bridge of his nose. His voice is firm.

The First Evil's plan is to systematically eliminate
the forces of Good until there is nothing between
it and the rest of Mankind.
It's wiped out Council records, killed Watchers,
and destroyed our Headquarters.
Its henchmen are murdering potential Slayers--

(with frustration)
I get all that! I know what's at stake!
But why--

Do you?

Ron's frustration wavers uncertainly as he slows the van and turns right onto a residential street.

Do you know what will happen if the First's plans
continue unchecked?
Its raison d'etre is to tip the balance between
Good and Evil in Evil's favor!
Encourage death and destruction, sew fear and distrust--

Oh, get to the point, man!

We hear a soft thud and a grunt from the rear of the van. The voice that has interrupted is also British, but with a working-class drawl and an attitude.

We need a Slayer who can fight the First,
and that's not Faith.

CUT TO another man in need of a shave, now crouched behind the front seats. The astute viewer will recognize him as the Watcher WEATHERBY (Who Are You?/Sanctuary). He grips the seat backs.

The bitch is evil.
She's betrayed her calling and the Council,
and aided and abetted the death of a fellow Slayer.
What do you think should happen to her?

Ron says nothing for a beat, then nods with sad comprehension. He makes another right turn.

Another Slayer can't be called until
the current one dies.
(beat, a troubled frown)
That doesn't make it right.

Weatherby scoffs.

THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD - Modest single-family houses in an older neighborhood. Under the streetlamps, the cracked asphalt shines slick from the rain.

Wesley gazes out at it. Then his somber expression falls with devastation.

Well, the new Slayer is not going to be this girl.

The other men look out the windshield to see -

A TWO-STORY HOUSE. Ron pulls up across the street from it and rolls down the driver's side window. Their POV - The front door of the house is open. A man and woman exit from it, heads hanging low.


REAR SHOT of the VAN. The back doors open, followed by the front doors. The Watchers clamber out, looking up with solemn faces at -

CUT TO - The woman steps down from the curb. Her hair is in a loose bun, her expression is distraught. The man follows her, poker-faced. They cross the street.

(British accent)
She's dead. Knife wound to the chest.
Her family, too.

(shaking his head)
Damn it.

Ron stares from one Watcher to the other with disbelief on his face, then bolts towards the house.


Wesley starts to follow, but a hand clamps down on his shoulder, stopping him.

Let 'im go. He needs to see for 'imself
what's really at stake here.


A series of QUICK-FLASHES -
a woman lying in a pool of blood in the front foyer;

a man sprawled in the living room, loosely clutching a small handgun;

a young boy, no more than eight, slumped at the foot of a recliner chair in front of a flickering television
Ron gapes at the boy with incomprehension.


The Watchers mill around the van, faces somber. Just then, we hear an ELECTRONIC CRACKLE through the open driver's side window, followed by a tinny, muffled man's voice. Weatherby opens the car door and climbs inside, reaching for the radio handset.


TIGHT SHOT of Ron, now standing at the second-floor staircase landing, his face stricken. He glances back as footsteps slowly mount the stairs behind him.

It's Wesley. He sets a comforting hand on Ron's shoulder.

If you have any doubts that we need someone
with strength of character to fight the First Evil,
remember this.

Ron looks back down.


Wesley nods.

Their POV - a TEENAGED GIRL we recognize as KRISTIN from episode 2.04. Her chest is soaked in blood; her dead eyes stare upward.


Weatherby leaps down from the driver's seat.

Oi! Get in!
There's been a sighting in Los Angeles!



Act Four


PANNING - Barred windows, utilitarian buildings marked with graffiti, and a few fritzing street lights making no difference against the darkness settling in after dusk. The PAN ends at -


A divey club squeezed between a convenience store and a Kentucky Fried Chicken. The fast food restaurant is brightly lit with a few scattered patrons inside. The store is dark and closed and has a FOR SALE sign on the door. REVERSE ANGLE - A Honda Civic pulls up across the street. CLOSE-UP - Aiden is behind the wheel. He cuts the engine, peers over, then gets out of his car.

CUT TO - He jogs across the boulevard and enters the club. HOLD on the DOOR as it closes behind him.


Aiden enters to the muted beat of Hip-Hop music. He glances around. PANNING WIDE SHOT - The club is bathed in the blue glow of scattered halogen bulbs. A glitzy crowd, mostly Black and dressed in zoot-suits and revealing gowns, sits at tables and the bar, or stands watching a game of pool. The large-screen TV is playing music videos.

Aiden walks towards the bar. The bartender is popping open a bottle of beer. His left hand is BANDAGED and his face is bruised. He glances up at Aiden. Aiden seats himself on a stool.

Uh, hi. Um...can I ask you a question?

Buy a drink.

(with confusion)

Bacardi Vanilla and Coke. Good choice.

(even more confused)

The bartender reaches under the bar and brings up a clean glass. He grabs the Coke nozzle and starts filling it.

Uh, I heard this place was robbed a few nights ago.
Is that true?

(scrutinizing him)
You a cop?

No, I'm a reporter.

The bartender glances down as he fetches a bottle of rum from beneath the bar.

Already talked to both.

I'm an investigative reporter.

When this gets no reaction from the bartender, Aiden continues.

I'm doing a story on a mystery woman who's been
spotted around the south side.
Committing crimes and getting away scot-free
'cause she supposedly has some kind of supernatural powers?

The bartender stares at him for a moment, then nods grudgingly. He pours Bacardi into the Coke.

There's been a chick like that hanging 'round
the neighborhood the past few days.
(he sets the rum bottle down)
Getting in people's faces, throwing a lot of 'tude around.

He grabs a napkin, slaps it down in front of Aiden, then sets the completed drink on top of it.

That's seven-fifty.

Aiden digs in his jacket for his wallet, his eyes focusing in on the man's BANDAGED HAND. He shoves some bills across the table. The bandaged hand falls on them and scoops them up.

(nodding at it)
She did that to you, didn't she?

They stare briefly at each other. The bartender says nothing. He walks over to the cash register.

Can I ask you something personal?

You already did.

You talked to the police after a woman beat you up.
A lot of guys wouldn't report something like that.

The bartender puts the money away, glowering without a hint of defensiveness.

A lot guys wouldn't.
(then he turns)
But she took something from me, and I want it back.

He glances above the bar to -

PAN UP TO a CLOSE-UP of a LONG, NARROW WOODEN PLAQUE that was once set behind glass. It now holds just hinges and hooks. HOLD on that. Then, SLOW SUPERIMPOSED DISSOLVE from the plaque TO a CLOSE-UP of -

Faith's SWORD. She nervously tightens and loosens her grip on its handle as she follows a sullen Gunn and his friends along the length of a chain-link fence.


The men scan the surrounding area vigilantly. They carry makeshift swords fashioned from salvaged metal, similar to Gunn's hubcap ax.

...One day I was just knocking around Boston,
living my life....

The wide stretch of parking lot beyond the fence is nearly empty of cars and slick with puddles. Except for the distant traffic sounds, the area is quiet.

FAITH (cont.)
...The next I was the latest in a long line
of demon-butt-kicking chicas.

A skeptical snort from Chain. Faith throws him a cool glare. She veers in his direction, pointing her sword at him again.

You want another demonstration, ass-wipe?
'Cause I can give it to you.

Chain scowls, but backs off. This captures Gunn's attention, but he says nothing, just strides forward, face somber. George, on the other hand, gives Faith an interested, if challenging look.

And you're all girls.

Faith shrugs.

Far as I know.
I only ever met one other like me.

How many of you are there?

There's only supposed to be one.
(enigmatic beat; she looks forward)
Though there were two for a while.
(she continues walking)
Normally, though...current one kicks it,
someone else gets the goodies.

George gapes with incredulity.

That don't make no sense!
How're you supposed to fight a war with only one soldier?

Faith whirls around to face him. She taps her fingertips to her chest.

You want to know how many I've killed,
just me, myself, and I?

George backs off a step. He shakes his head. But Chain swaggers towards her.

(pointing a finger)
We'll see you put your money where your mouth is
when we find one of these super-vamps.

Faith chuckles with bravado. They face off. The other men look on curiously. Then James' attention shifts to the other side of the street.

(with apprehension)
You wanna make your bet now, Chain?
'Cause my money's on Charlie's Angel here.

Gunn and Faith both look up to see -

THREE TUROK-HAN DEMONS coming their way armed with SWORDS.


WIDE-SHOT, IN MOONLIGHT - Meandering wood fences and branching gravel roads curve through a stretch of countryside heavy with trees and high shrubs. Dotted through this landscape are half-hidden thatched-roof houses and wooden barns. A horse-drawn open carriage with a driver and two passengers approaches one such house.

TIGHT SHOT of the HOUSE. We can see the glowing interior of the large main room through open curtains. Smoke rises from the room's chimney.


DANIEL HOLTZ is seated at a bench with his back to the fire, cleaning out the disassembled barrel of a musket with a long cleaning rod. He is scrutinizing the barrel as he does, deep in thought. A small tin of grease sits at his feet. In the flickering light, we can see simple wooden furniture around him--a table and chairs, a cradle, cabinets, a rocking chair. On the walls are kitchen implements, baskets, brooms, and lovingly framed needlework.

SLOW DOLLY IN on the TABLE - The rest of Holtz's disassembled musket is lying there on cotton rags--lock, stock, trigger assembly, and cone.

The sound of carriage wheels on gravel and a--


--draws Holtz's attention up.

His POV, through the open curtains and flawed glass of the front-facing window - The driver steps down from the carriage, then reaches up to help a WOMAN down.


CLOSE-UP of the woman. It is the same woman from the village, still carrying the infant sling. She takes the driver's hand and steps down.

Thank you, Henry.


The little girl shuffles up to the edge of the carriage. Henry takes her by the waist, lifts her, and sets her on the ground. Then he reaches for a WRAPPED PAPER PACKAGE on the seat and hands it to the girl.


THROUGH THE WINDOW - With a snap of the reins and a whistle, the driver urges the horses forward and into a wide turn. Hoof beats and wheels crunch on the gravel, and the carriage rolls away.

Holtz glances up from his work as his wife and children enter the main room from the entranceway.


Busy in town this evening with the weather warmer.

The girl sets the wrapped meat on the table and gives the musket sections scattered there a curious glance before turning and walking over to her father. Holtz's normally stone-faced demeanor melts into a smile of warm affection. He pulls the rod and the grease-stained cotton patch from the musket barrel and sets them aside on the bench. Then he props his musket barrel on the floor against the wall, turns, reaches out, and draws his daughter near. He gives the top of her head a brief kiss.

Caroline catches -

the STERN, REPRIMANDING LOOK he has for his wife from over their daughter's head.

Her eyes drop to Sarah.

Sarah, go wash up.
Your father and I need to talk for a moment.

Sarah rises and turns.

Fetch the lamp.

The girl shifts her gaze towards the far end of the table where an OIL LAMP glows softly, but instead of heading for it, turns back to her father.


Holtz squeezes her hand.

Do as your mother says, Sarah.

Sarah nods, then returns to the table. She slides the lamp towards herself.

Now be careful with that.

Lamp in hand, Sarah turns and disappears into the dark depths of the house. Holtz's eyes fall once again on the BARREL of his musket. He reaches for it and raises the muzzle end up where he can examine it closely. As soon as the clatter of Sarah's shoes fades away, he turns his gaze back on Caroline again.

I told you not to go to town after sunset without me.

Caroline busies herself carrying the baby across the room. Her expression is that of a woman who finds the whole discussion just a little bit tiresome.

If that's the way you feel,
perhaps you should have been home to take me.

She brings the handle of the sling up and over her head as she approaches the CRIB.

You know how busy I am while the sun is up.
Henry's offered before to give me a ride after sunset.
I needed lamb for the stew, so I took him up on his kindness.

She settles the baby in his crib and unswadles him. The infant cries out.

Shhh, shhh....

CLOSE-UP on the infant. He quiets, searching his mother's face with wide, trusting eyes.

Holtz takes this in. His expression softens.

I had urgent business in town at sunset.

Caroline lifts the sling away and turns.

(with a hint of petulance)
Ah, yes, because none of those monsters are so kind
as to be out during the day.

The softness turns to irritation.

Don't mock what you don't understand, Caroline.
What I do is for your safety and the children's
as much as it is for the rest of the county.

Caroline turns, heading back over to the table.

Well, at least you're home tonight.

FRONTAL SHOT - She reaches for the wrapped bundle of meat. As she does, the CAMERA SLOWLY starts to BACK AWAY from her towards the front window, taking in the room in a WIDER and WIDER ANGLE. Then the CAMERA appears to move right through the window and out to the front porch.


A FIGURE stands there, his fingertips set on the windowsill. The light from the hearth fire casts a glow on his face.

ANGELUS. He steps away from the window, crosses the porch, and disappears into the shadows around the side of the house.


IN FRAME - the MOUTH of a darkened back street. A CLOAKED FIGURE steps out onto the main road, then quickly retreats again as a horse-drawn carriage rattles past on the cobblestones. A beat later, the figure reemerges. PROFESSOR ROTH'S gaze is immediately drawn up by -

Her POV, at an OBLIQUE REVERSE ANGLE - a towering monstrosity of a GOTHIC CATHEDRAL.

She stares at it in awe.

York Minster.

She gazes up and down the length of the main road, then at -

Her POV - the broad courtyard in front of the cathedral. Scattered people are still out and about, mostly on foot, dressed in distinctive period gowns and waistcoats, knickers and ruffles.

Around...the late eighteenth century, I'd say.
(her awe fades to worry)
Which can only mean....

Footsteps approach. A man and woman walking her way down the main road drive her back into the shadows. She flattens herself against the wall of a brick building and waits for their footsteps to recede. Then -

I've come back to the time of...
(she snaps her fingers--once, twice)
...what's his name.... Daniel Holtz.
(a beat; she sags, overwhelmed)
And if Connor's here...
(her eyes sink closed with dismay)
...he's going to do something that gets
his parents killed.

A pause; her eyes open. She creeps to the mouth of the back street again and stares up at the cathedral earnestly as if drawing strength from it.

Well, hopefully, that hasn't happened yet.
(her eyes narrow in thought)
If I was Connor, and I came back to this time
and this place, where would I go?

Knock, knock, knock.


Holtz passes through the front entranceway on his way to the door. We can see, low and unobtrusive, a FEATHERED CROSSBOW BOLT in his hand. He opens the door.

His POV - The BOY FROM THE RIVER. Connor's expression is earnest and a little wary. The GASH on his forehead is RAW.

Sir, uh.... I'm sorry to bother you,
but...can I come in?

HOLTZ scrutinizes Connor impassively, then, without a word, turns and starts back down the entranceway without shutting the door. Connor's brows knit. He hesitates a beat, then steps up into the doorway. Then he freezes again, uncertain.

Holtz stops and turns back. He glances down to Connor's feet.

Connor frowns and looks down as well. LOW SHOT, his POV - His right sneaker has crossed the threshold.

Holtz's eyes rise again.

All right. Come in.


Connor follows him into the dimly-lit room. CLOSE-UP on Connor as he takes it all in. Connor's POV - Caroline is crossing to the fireplace grasping the handle of an iron pot which is sitting on her rag-covered palm. On the floor, a young girl is playing with a small wooden spinning top, humming to herself between curious glances at Connor. Holtz returns to his bench by the fire.

This is my family.
My wife Caroline....

Caroline nods at Connor and hangs the pot in the fireplace over the flames.

How do you do?

My daughter, Sarah, and....

A SOFT GURGLE from the WOODEN CRADLE on the floor near the hearth. Connor's lips part at the sight of it.

My son...

CUT TO CONNOR as Holtz completes the sentence. Connor's lips move in sync with his words -

...Daniel, Junior.

Connor sways slightly. Caroline glances at him with a concerned expression.

Here, sit, sit, and let me look at that gash.

She pulls a chair out from the table. Connor sags into it as if in slow motion, chin quivering. Caroline settles him in with a hand to his shoulder, then walks over to the dry sink. She grabs another rag from a hook on the cabinet, dips it in a bowl of water, and walks it back over to him. She leans in and blots the rag to his forehead.

Well, that's really more of a scrape, isn't it?
(she gives him the once-over)
But you've got to be chilled.
What is that you're wearing?

Connor's eyes dart down to his short-sleeved shirt and cargo pants. Then slowly, he looks back up. The expression he contemplates her with is troubled.

From over at his bench, Holtz scrutinizes him. He and Connor trade a wary glance, then Holtz returns to what he was doing before Connor came in. He raises the crossbow bolt and with two swift snaps, removes the feather fletches from it and tosses them into the fire.

Connor continues to eye him for a moment, then shifts his eyes over to the table. His POV - Holtz's musket parts have been removed and a wooden cutting board placed down. On top of it, we see the leavings of chopped potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and peas.

I just put a pot of stew on the fire.

(quietly, but stern)

She throws her husband a look of rebuke.

Honestly, Daniel, there's such a thing as
too much caution.
I've always said my home would be a hospitable one,
and I'll not send this boy back out into
the night cold and hungry.

Holtz retrieves the musket barrel from where it stands propped against the wall.

I assume he has a home of his own.

Caroline walks the soiled rag over to the water basin, her attention on Connor again.

And what would your name be?

Connor's lips part. He gazes from Caroline to Holtz.

Uh...it's Co--Steven. Steven...Reilly.

Are you married, Steven?

Connor pulls back his head in surprise.


Caroline dunks the rag in the water, then rings it out.

Passing through?

Connor nods. Caroline throws a look at her husband.

Well, there you have it.
Probably the first decent meal he's had in weeks.

Holtz gives Connor another cagey look, which -

Connor catches and holds. He swallows.

I...I need to speak to you, sir...
(a glance at Caroline)
...in private, if you don't mind, ma'am.
(then at Holtz)
It's about...the man and woman down by the river.

Holtz doesn't look up.

I told you to stay away from them.

I know what they are.

This draws Holtz's attention up. Connor throws another consternated glance at Holtz's wife.

(to Holtz)
Please, sir. Can we just....

Caroline walks over to the cradle.

(to her daughter)
Come, Sarah. Your brother needs changing.

Sarah stands. Caroline scoops up the baby, who gives her an annoyed cry, then turns and reaches out a hand to Sarah's shoulder. She ushers the girl out of the room. It leaves Connor and Holtz sitting in a silence broken only by the soft crackling of the fire. Connor's brows knit as he watches -

Holtz insert the crossbow bolt into the muzzle of the barrel as if he were loading a musket ball, then tip the barrel muzzle-down, allowing the bolt to shoot back out and into his outstretched hand. Holtz contemplates this pensively.

Whatever you're going to say,
I'll answer the same. Stay away from it.
We know how to deal with demons here.

Connor's expression is grave.

Not these ones you don't.

Holtz looks up and sets the musket barrel aside on the bench. His expression is equally grave.

What do you know about them?

I know that whatever you're planning to do
is only going to piss them....
(a chagrined exhale)
...make them angry.

Connor stands. His voice rises with anxiety.

But it's not going to kill them.
And then they're going to fixate on you,
and when they do--

(with equal insistence)
I'm not going to back down from these devils.
Not this time.

Connor approaches Holtz's bench with a quick darting glance towards the doorway leading into the depths of the house. He lowers his voice.

It won't be you they take their vengeance out on.
It'll be your family.

Holtz looks him in the eye. We see the same harsh and unrelenting expression on his face we saw in the character in Connor's comic panel drawing.

Listen to me, Steven.
Demons don't take vengeance. They kill out of lust.
Only someone with a soul has a knowledge of justice
and a need for vengeance.
Demons are incapable of that.

Aghast, Connor kneels down beside him and CLOSE-UP - GRASPS HOLTZ'S HANDS with complete familiarity.

You don't believe that, Dad!
All you ever talked about was "their vengeance"!
All you ever cared about was capturing and killing one of them
because you knew it would draw the other one out!

Holtz stiffens with surprise. A stunned look comes to Connor's face as he realizes what he's said.

I mean....

Holtz remains frozen for another beat, then jerks his hands away with bewildered anger. Connor jumps to his feet so quickly he stumbles back several steps. Holtz rises as well and faces off with him. He stabs a finger in the direction of the front door.

Whoever you are, you can leave. Now.

He steps around Connor and marches into the front entranceway. Connor circles around in a daze, then follows.


Holtz unbolts the door and throws it open. He stands aside. Connor walks towards the exit. He pauses as he passes Holtz and gives him one more, pained, expression.

Please...just listen to--

How I protect my family is my business.
(his expression softens grimly)
You have my sympathy for losing your own.

Connor opens his mouth to speak, but then exhales and says nothing.


ANGLE on the front door. Connor steps down onto the patio. The door slams shut behind him. He turns and stares at it, the anxiety in his face tightening to desperation.



Executive Producer       Joss Whedon

Connor       Vincent Kartheiser
Faith       Eliza Dushku
Aiden       Sean Maher
Gunn      J. August Richards
Wesley      Alexis Denisof
Angelus      David Boreanaz
Darla      Julie Benz
Professor Roth       Kristin Lehman
George       Darris Love
Rondell       Jarrod Crawford
Chain       Maurice Compte
James       Ricky Luna
Weatherby       Jeff Ricketts
Cordelia       Charisma Carpenter
Caroline Holtz       Bronwen Davies
Sarah Holtz       Kasha Kropinski
Daniel Holtz       Keith Szarabajka

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ex_chaos_by_699 at 2007-01-18 07:20 (UTC) (Link)

Oh man. Okay, I have nothing intelligent to say at the moment. Maybe I will tomorrow.
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2007-01-18 15:31 (UTC) (Link)
So now wouldn't be a good time to have that discussion on your Connor essay?

; )
midnightsjane at 2007-01-18 07:26 (UTC) (Link)
Hurray! I've just printed this out (thank you, hospital laserjet printer, lol) for reading during the quiet of the night..
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2007-01-18 15:29 (UTC) (Link)
lastevens at 2007-01-18 08:06 (UTC) (Link)
Looking forward to the next installment.

I like the idea of Connor being back in the past and meeting angelus and Darla. Please give us more soon
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2007-01-18 15:21 (UTC) (Link)
I thought it'd be a fun challenge! Continuation soon!
ninerva at 2007-01-18 13:53 (UTC) (Link)
Okay, you know you're feeding me goodies don't you? Did you hear the squeeing from there?

I'm surprised that Connor reverted back so quickly to his previous attitude, obviously he still has a long way to go, but I assume that's why we need this story.

Brave of you to tackle the time paradox, must have given you a headache. Though I have to say 'bravo', I'll take a bit of Angelus and Darla any time. Need more now!
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2007-01-18 15:18 (UTC) (Link)
"Previous attitude"? As in hating Angelus? I don't think it's so much a case of reversion back as never having dealt with that aspect of his father, even though they get along in Angel's souled version. That, and being suddenly confronted with him like that in a life-threatening situation.

But yeah, one of the points of this eppy is to deal with that baggage.
adjovi at 2007-01-18 16:44 (UTC) (Link)
Yay! Was totally excited this morning when saw you had updated. :) Great stuff--like the idea of Connor going back in time and the whole "It's a Wonderful Life" what if Angel had never showed up. A little confused with Connor's emotions though--how there was no underlaying anger/resentment towards Holtz, whom (I thought, at least) he had come to realize had totally used him, and total hatred towards Angelus.
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2007-01-18 17:44 (UTC) (Link)
I've always believed Connor has mixed feelings towards Holtz. After all, the man raised him and took care of him for 17 years, even if he was sometimes abusive. In fact, children tend to behave paradoxically towards abusive parents, parents who show love one minute and cruelty the next. They are constantly working to "earn" that parent's love. And as we saw in the last few episodes of Seasosn 3 of AtS, they had a very close, intense relationship with each other. Which of course they would if they were the only two humans in a hell dimension.

Holtz's betrayal at the end of season 3, his final inability to put his "love for a son" before his need for revenge, has to compete with that 17 years of parent-child relationship. Hence, mixed feelings.

But you'll notice Connor goes to see his real parents before he goes to see Holtz. And his battering of Angelus is, the way I see it, also born of mixed feelings he has for his real father. If he is to move on to a better relationship with Angel, he has to work through the total evil creepiness that is Angelus.

The scene at the end with Holtz and Connor is really less about their relationship than it is about Connor realizing Holtz's family is in danger. Connor falls back on the relationship they had for 17 years out of pure reflex. He wants to prevent Holtz's family from being killed without his own parents dying in the process by talking Holtz into backing down from them.
ex_chaos_by_699 at 2007-01-18 18:33 (UTC) (Link)

here. have some bullet points.

  • Interesting reaction to Darla. I wonder if he feels sort of sorry for her because he knows he eventually kills her? That's how I interpreted it anyway. Plus, I guess Holtz probably emphasized Angelus's evil over Darla's.

  • Damn, Gunn is a dick about Connor. But he's totally in character here. I like that Faith stood up for him.

  • Connor's still thinking about Alix? Oh yeah...this will end well. :p

  • Is Professor Roth evil, or is she just someone who made a bad deal and got into way more than she bargained for, like Gunn with W&H? I'm inclined to think the latter for now, but I'm not totally giving up on the former either. Not enough information yet.

  • You did the 18th century "voices" really well.

  • Connor seems like he's in a very dark and inaccessible place this season. I wonder what it'll take to pull him out of his funk. Clearly, he needs to go on a drinking/killing demons spree with Angel and discuss women. ;)

Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2007-01-18 19:12 (UTC) (Link)

Re: here. have some bullet points.

* Canonically, Connor has always had mixed feelings towards Darla. We never see him say anything bad about her when her name comes up, and he even gets defensive when Angelus suggests in "Soulless" that Darla killed herself so she wouldn't have to deal with/care for Connor after he was born. And then there's the Connor/good!Darla stuff from "Inside Out" that was Connor's first "interaction" with his mother.

As you point out in your essay, Connor is all about family, and I think he wants to think well of his mother, despite what Holtz may have said about her. It is this need to connect to her, which I sensed while watching AtS, that lead me to write the whole Connor care-taking thing with the dying Darla. She's too helpless to do anything truly bad to him, except talk trash, so they have a chance to get to know each other. It's that bonding that makes him unable to "hate" her now.

* Professor Roth: definitely a shade of gray, but stay tooned.

* 18th century voices are hard, because they're similar to ours, but they're not. And after I read several websites on Yorkshire slang in particular, I was ready to throw up my hands. I like realism, but I know I wouldn't be able to capture a real Yorkshire voice. Although I try with a character that will appear in episode 6.

* You know I'll have some fun and fluffy Congel at some point. Can't help meself!
midnightsjane at 2007-01-21 18:40 (UTC) (Link)
I loved this time twist! Great episode...and I was struck by how important Angel is to the whole time line; if he isn't around, Buffy dies at the master's hands, but probably in the manner of the Wishverse. Faith never has her crisis of conscience and redemption, although she's still the Slayer, Wesley probably never gets past his inferiority complex, Fred stays lost in Pylea, Cordy ends up a second rate actress and Vampirefood...Spike and Dru don't exist, and there is so much more. Not to mention that Connor won't exist, and where does that leave the Senior Partners?
Mind boggling.
I like the back story for Holtz...I often wondered what his wife thought about his obsession. She probably resented it, and his controlling attitude, as a lot of women probably felt towards their husbands in that social climate. Not surprising that it seems all was not sweetness and light in the Holtz household.
Poor Connor, finally faced with Angelus and Darla as they were in their Vampiric hayday. I think he has, as you said to someone here, issues to work out about how much Vampire is in himself, and how much Angelus is in Angel. I wasn't surprised that his instinct to warn Holtz brought out his inner Stephen, because Holtz will always be as much of a father figure to him as Angel is...perhaps even more so.
More thoughts later, as they occur. Terrific episode, and I'm eager for part 2!
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2007-01-21 19:03 (UTC) (Link)
In my scenario, Buffy dies defending her graduating class from the Mayor, or possibly earlier than that, but sometime in Season 3. I wanted Buffy and Faith to have met, and the events of Season 1 and 2 went *more or less* as they did before, only some other villian was the main nemeses of Buffy in Season 2. Since Xander was technically the one who saved Buffy from the death at the hands of the Master, I think this scenario works out OK.

This two-parter was inspired by our Angel Marathon discussions about Season 3. Speculating on how Darla and Angelus came upon Holtz in the first place, why they might have gone after his family, and how Holtz may have been motivated deep down less by true vengeance and more by his own guilt in not protecting his family in the first place.

Plus, you know, writing Angelus and Darla is *always* fun!
starryniteshade at 2007-01-22 01:54 (UTC) (Link)
Okaaaaay, I've just read it...and I'm speechless, er, keyboardless.

Comments later, but REEEEEEEELLY GOOD JOB!
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2007-01-22 02:14 (UTC) (Link)
I'll take that as a supreme compliment from a guy who undoubtedly knows more about historical pieces than I do.

; D
sirsoffrito at 2007-01-22 04:17 (UTC) (Link)
Hello. I'm a long-time-reader-first-time commenter. First of all, I really enjoy your writing, what you've done with continuing Connor's story, and particularly your alternoverse in this episdoe with its desperate atmosphere. However, I'm not sure I understand how this new time line is supposed to work. Upon first reading of this episode, I figured that Faith had simply killed Buffy, and that was why the remaining Watchers wanted to get rid of her so badly. Although from a comment you made above, maybe that is not the case. Also, assuming Wesley was in Sunnydale at all, why is he still not fired?
Darth Masq, Sith Lord of Philosophy
masqthephlsphr at 2007-01-22 04:30 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for reading!

To be honest, I haven't developed a complete back story for the alternoverse. It's just sort of...BtVS *more or less* proceeded as we saw in seasons 1 and 2, except without Angel, Spike, or Dru, and then Buffy and Faith meet somehow in Season 3, and some event, we don't know what, causes Faith to betray her duties as Slayer and somehow contribute to Buffy's death. This sort of assumes that Faith was headed down that dark road regardless of the details of what was going on in Sunnydale in Season 3. But without Angel around, she remained in a dark place for the next six years.

Wesley being fired on the actual show, I believe, had to do with him not bringing Faith back to England and instead helping Buffy fight the Mayor. Since I don't have a detailed history of alterno-Season 3, I can't say what happened exactly, but you can assume two things reading this: (1) If Wesley did get fired during the events of Season 3, he has been re-hired by the present day, which would be "BtVS Season 9" (2005, two years after Season 7). And likely that had something to do with needing as many Watchers as they could get to fight the First Evil since Buffy wasn't around to stop it and it blew up Watcher headquarters just as it did in the normal Buffyverse. And (2), Wesley knows Faith personally, probably from being her Watcher at some point (like, oh say, Season 3).
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