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dargelus

Twisted II, Part 1 (airdate November 9, 2005)

Posted by masqthephlsphr on 2007.01.28 at 10:10
Current Mood: scareddesperate
Twisted
(Pt. 2)

Part 1

(January 28, 2007)

Written by: Masquerade

Teaser

Previously on The Destroyer...

EXT. THE LAW OFFICES OF WOLFRAM AND HART LOS ANGELES - EVENING - ESTABLISHING

SUPER LEGEND:
Los Angeles, present day


NIGHT STOCK SHOT of the diagonally ascending glass building with its sidewalk marquee.

Wolfram and Hart
Attorneys at Law

INT. CORRIDOR - WOLFRAM AND HART

IN FRAME - closed polished oak DOUBLE DOORS. A SECURITY GUARD stands in front of them.

LONG SHOT down the corridor to the left. A woman we recognize as SENATOR HELEN BRUCKER, a member of the Circle of the Black Thorn, approaches the doors. The guard opens them for her. Behind them is a SWIRLING BLUE PORTAL where a room should be. Bruckner crosses the threshold and DISAPPEARS. The guard pushes the doors shut.

CUT TO - TWO MIDDLE-MANAGEMENT MINIONS approach the doors from the right and lurk just beyond them.

LINDSEY
(hands on his hips)
I see you haven't been invited to this meeting, either.

Lilah shakes her head, arms crossed.

LILAH
It's strictly senior management and primary shareholders.

LINDSEY
So this is the big one.
The one the Partners have been wrangling for months.

LILAH
(nodding)
Negotiations to make sure the First Evil's apocalypse
doesn't interfere with our Apocalypse.

TIGHT PAN away from them until the double doors and the guard are IN FRAME. HOLD ON THAT, then DISSOLVE TO -

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM POCKET DIMENSION

The room is dark except for a LARGE OVAL TABLE that shines beneath an off-screen light source. At the head of the table sits the First Evil's chief lackey, CALEB, flanked by a cadre of silent, rune-eyed HARBINGER DEMONS. Across from Caleb is the blue-skinned, horned demonic noble ARCH-DUKE SEBASSIS, surrounded by the other members of the CIRCLE OF THE BLACK THORN. A collection of chairs encircle the conference table, half-obscured in darkness. Seated in them are various suit-wearing corporate executive types, including HOLLAND MANNERS. Sebassis has his hands flat on the table top and his eyes on Caleb.

ARCHDUKE SEBASSIS
I'd say we have the same agenda, then.

He smiles in a conciliatory fashion and holds his hand out to his sides.

ARCHDUKE SEBASSIS
This isn't about destruction, after all. Corruption is a delicate art.
We mold and shape the future the way we want it to be.
(he lowers his hands and folds them together)
Ensure our agenda for the world...runs smoothly.

Caleb frowns with annoyance.

CALEB
(with a Southern drawl)
Well, it might be about a little destruction.

Another forced smile from Sebassis.

ARCHDUKE SEBASSIS
Of course, of course, you can't make an omelet
without breaking some eggs, after all.

He gives Caleb an eye-to-eye look across the length of the conference table.

ARCHDUKE SEBASSIS
We want the so-called "heroes and champions" who would
interfere in our business out of the way as much as you do.
(then, firmly)
But just make sure your little foot-soldiers
keep out of our way as well.


DISSOLVE TO - EXT. SIDE STREET - SOUTH SIDE - EVENING

WIDE SHOT - Faith, Gunn, Rondell, George, James, and Chain stand with their backs to a chain-link fence, clutching their weapons, facing off with THREE TUROK-HAN DEMONS holding SWORDS.

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

J. August Richards
David Boreanaz
Julie Benz
Alexis Denisof
Kristin Lehman
and
Keith Szarabajka



EXT. HOLTZ RESIDENCE - LATE EVENING

SUPER LEGEND:
York, England, 1764


A plaster and stone HOUSE with a thatched roof surrounded by trees and high shrubs. The night air is alive with the soft, rhythmic chirping of crickets. CONNOR stands on the wood porch clothed in a short-sleeved striped polo shirt, cargo pants, and sneakers. His breath steams faintly. CLOSE-UP - His face is etched with uncertainty and anxiety. He walks across the porch and stares at the now-curtained window. His expression tightens into frustration.

Then he tilts his head up. His nostrils flare. A look of resolve comes to his face. In a second, he has leapt off the porch, and -

LONG SHOT - bolted halfway down the winding gravel path to the end of Holtz's property.


EXT. MEDIEVAL BACK STREET - YORK - A SHORT WHILE LATER

LONG SHOT - The dimly-lit, seemingly empty cobblestone pathway is wide enough for carriages, but bordered by shadowed recesses and low rooftops. ANGELUS strolls along, paying its dangers no heed, intent on where he is going. Then -

CLOSE-UP on his face. His eyes do a little dance as he senses something.

He slows, then stops, his gaze still aimed forward.

ANGELUS
Y'hide well. But not from a vampire.

He raises his gaze to the rooftop to his left. THUD. He whirls around.

REVERSE ANGLE - CONNOR is standing before him, arms crossed tight, his expression cool bravado.

Angelus chuckles.

ANGELUS
Y'are an odd lad, aren't ya?

He steps towards Connor menacingly. Connor doesn't budge.

ANGELUS
Either very brave, or very stupid.
(they face off)
Now...what business do y'have with me?

CONNOR
I came to warn you.
If you go near Holtz's house again, I'll kill you.

Angelus gapes mockingly.

ANGELUS
Well, now I'm shakin' in m'boots.

His eyes narrow with curiosity.

ANGELUS
And who is he to you? A master, perhaps?
If so, you're a poor apprentice, aren't ya,
making toothless threats.

Connor smiles subtly. With lightening-quick speed, he PULLS A STAKE made from a sharpened branch out of his back pocket and holds it poised it in front of him.

Angelus gapes, impressed. The look quickly fades back to menace, but he keeps his distance.

ANGELUS
Or perhaps...you're a bastard child from
Holtz's wayward youth?
And look at ya, all ready to die for a father
too ashamed of you to acknowledge you're a relation.

CLOSE-UP on the defensiveness this brings to Connor's face. He curls a hostile lip.

CONNOR
You're the one who's going to die.

Angelus stretches out his hands at his sides.

ANGELUS
Well then, get on with it. I haven't got all night.
I've places to go. People to kill.

Connor takes a step forward and raises the stake. The look in his eyes is conflicted, troubled.

Angelus snickers.

ANGELUS
Ah, I see now.
The good Captain is one of those "kindly gentlemen"
who takes orphaned lads under his wing.
(lascivious beat)
Or under something, at any rate.

Connor blinks, hand tightening on his stake, then pauses and scoffs.

CONNOR
That's it? That's the best you can do?
You can't get a rise out of me.

ANGELUS
(coolly)
I think I already did...son.

The word freezes Connor in place for a heartbeat. And then Angelus is ON HIM. He GRABS Connor by the wrists and TWISTS the stake out of his hands, then YANKS HIM AROUND and holds him in an arm-lock. Connor winces and grunts and tries to wrench himself free. Angelus lets him struggle for a moment, tongue tucked into the corner of his mouth. Then he leans in, bringing his lips near Connor's ear. Connor HEAD BUTTS him HARD. Angelus' chin snaps back, but he holds his footing. He chuckles.

ANGELUS
(with a gasp)
So Darla was right.
Some manner of demon did bed a harlot to make ya.

Connor laughs despite himself. He turns his head in an attempt to glance back at his captor.

CONNOR
(snarling)
Yeah, and I'm looking at him.

Angelus frowns.

ANGELUS
Made ya a bit light in the noddle as well, I see.
(Connor struggles)
Well, sure as I could derive...
(struggle)
many an hour's pleasure...
(struggle)
tormentin' your delusions....
I do have places to be.

He releases Connor's arms, then brings his hands up and GRIPS BOTH SIDES OF CONNOR'S HEAD. Connor grits his teeth as EVERY MUSCLE in his head and neck TENSES.

Just then, the rapid clip, clop of horses' hooves announces the arrival of a carriage that in a manner of seconds is BEARING DOWN on them. Connor JABS an elbow in Angelus' chest and twists out of his grip. Angelus gathers his wits and DIVES out of the way, losing hold of the boy, who, in an instant, is up and over the side of the building.

Angelus gazes up in that direction from the muddy cobblestone ground.

ANGELUS
I'll be damned.


EXT. THE QUEEN'S ARMS - LATE EVENING - ESTABLISHING

A WHITE, THREE-STORY INN with shuttered windows, each overlooking a flower box.

INT. DARLA AND ANGELUS' ROOM

WIDE SHOT - The four-poster bed is mussed and unmade; the armoire doors hang open; the water basin on the dry sink is empty; the fireplace is unlit and sooty. Darla crosses the rug-laid hardwood floor, gazing about. The flames of the candles on the wall flicker with her passing, but the vanity table mirror she pauses in front of fails to notice she is there.

We hear the soft squeak of the door opening.

DARLA
(with a sigh)
It's in a bit of disarray, I'm afraid.

Her eyes settle on the person standing in the doorway. She crosses her arms.

DARLA
What happened to you?

ANGELUS is also in disarray. Standing half-in, half out the door, his hair is even more ratted than usual and his britches and hands are covered in mud. He gives Darla a blasé shrug and enters the room.

ANGELUS
Nothin' a damp rag and a change of clothing won't fix.

DARLA
There's no water.

He pauses, door still open.

ANGELUS
Well, then, I'd best fetch a chamber maid.

DARLA
At this hour?
(then, a smug smile)
Besides, I'm afraid she was here already.

Angelus shuts the door. He throws himself down in a high-backed armchair and sets a foot on a large chest with leather straps around it. He gives Darla a smirk of reprimanding amusement.

ANGELUS
Tsk. Y'didn't even let me watch.

Darla picks up a thick silver brush from an array of combs, cosmetics, perfume bottles, face powders, fans, necklaces, and earrings on the vanity table. She runs the bristles through the ends of her ringlets.

DARLA
You didn't by any chance have something
yourself while you were out?

Angelus glances down and wipes at a smudge on his collar.

ANGELUS
No. I was waiting. The hunger helps me...focus.

Darla sets down the brush, picks up a dry rag and walks over to him.

DARLA
Well, then, clean yourself up and let's go.
The city is full of sanctimonious types to feed on.

Angelus takes the rag, but doesn't rise. He gives her a dark smile.

ANGELUS
I believe that's your taste.
I prefer something with less pretensions to purity.


EXT. HOLTZ RESIDENCE - LATE EVENING

Connor lopes back up the gravel path, then pauses, scanning the property. His POV, PANNING - the meandering fence; the barn; the house. The PAN ends at a thicket of bushes at the end of the road leading up past the house. Connor heads towards it. TIGHT SHOT - A thick, scraggly MULBERRY BUSH under a tree. Connor pries the branches apart and seats himself down on the dirt behind them, pushing his back up against the tree trunk.

His POV, through the branches - HOLTZ'S HOUSE. Windows on both ends of the house glow softly.

Connor crosses his arms and sets a troubled gaze on it.

DISSOLVE TO - INT. MAIN ROOM - HOLTZ RESIDENCE

Holtz sits at the table, a large sheet of irregular brown paper spread out in front him. He sketches something on it in charcoal under flickering lamp light.


EXT. SIDE STREET - LOS ANGELES SOUTH SIDE - CONTINUED FROM TEASER (PRESENT DAY)

GROUND-LEVEL WIDE SHOT of THREE TUROK HAN DEMONS facing off against Faith and Gunn's gang. George looks aghast.

GEORGE
Damn, vamps with swords?
That's not fair.

The humans stand their ground, their weapons--Faith's saber, Gunn's hubcap ax, and the other's makeshift swords--at the ready. James glances nervously at Faith.

JAMES
So you've fought a lot of these things?

FAITH
One or two.

CHAIN
(balking at her)
One or two? You said--

But Faith is already striding towards the demons, bringing her sword up. The lead Turok Han echoes her move. She swings her sword around at it. The demon moves faster and ducks in under her arc. It FLINGS her HARD TO THE ASPHALT. Faith lands on her back, wincing and grunting. The men look on, stunned, then grip their weapons and eye the demons.

The demon continues past Faith, closing in on Rondell. In a panic, Rondell raises his sword up and back and THROWS IT. It pierces the demon's shoulder. The demon yanks the sword out, tosses it aside, and KEEPS COMING.

RONDELL
Jesus!

Faith struggles up to sitting, gritting her teeth.

FAITH
I said, you...gotta...cut their heads off!

RONDELL
(shuffling back quickly)
I know! I know! I--

Gunn cuts between Rondell and the Turok Han. AX and SWORD CLASH.

CUT TO - Chain and James go after the second Turok Han, leaping in and taking stabs at it. The demon swings its sword at them. They dodge away.

Faith looks up to see -

Her POV - the third Turok Han, now LOOMING OVER HER. George is approaching it anxiously from behind. The demon BRINGS ITS SWORD DOWN on her.

Faith PARRIES the blade away. The demon raises its sword again. In a swift movement, Faith drives her own sword up, PIERCING THE DEMON through the gut. It stumbles back. Quickly, she curls her legs up, rocks back on her hands, and SPRINGS to her feet. She lunges forward, yanks out her sword, and in a SWIFT ARC, BEHEADS THE DEMON. It crumbles to dust. George sags with relief, lowering his weapon.

Meanwhile, Gunn is keeping the other Turok Han at bay with grit and determination. He parries each of the demon's blows, but the strength of them is driving him back towards a building behind him. Gunn glances back and sees he is running out of space. He makes another HARD lunge-and-parry, then skitters away, swings his ax around, and -

A BLADE shoots through the Turok Han's chest as it is IMPALED through the back.

Gunn lunges forward again and SWEEPS HIS AX AROUND. The demon's head falls from its shoulders. It EXPLODES INTO DUST, leaving RONDELL standing behind it, grinning. His makeshift sword clatters to the ground. He retrieves it.

James and Chain continue to take stabbing thrusts at their opponent, wounding, but not killing it. The demon CUTS ITS BLADE down across James' sword, SLICING THE WEAPON IN HALF. Bug-eyed, James darts away. The others run towards Chain as he stands alone, facing off with the demon. The demon DIVES at him, roaring. Chain arcs his weapon around. It SLICES INTO the demon's neck, but doesn't decapitate it. The demon STAGGERS, flailing. Faith appears and KICKS IT TO THE GROUND. She springs on it.

Chain bolts forward and PUSHES HER out of the way, then leans down over the demon to finish what he started. The demon THRASHES OUT AT HIM, dragging its CLAWED FINGERS across Chain's arms and shoulders. Chain SCREAMS. Faith YANKS CHAIN UP by his collar and drags him away. He stumbles back into his friends.

Faith steps around behind the demon's head, kneels, and TWISTS ITS HEAD OFF ITS SHOULDERS. She exhales.

PANNING - Five street fighters, one Slayer, three scattered swords, and nothing else but DUST.

Chain, clothing torn and arms scratched, takes in the scene with a cocky smile.

CHAIN
Damn! We got the goods!

Gunn glowers.

GUNN
We're alive. And we're not done yet.
(he starts forward)
Pick up those swords and let's go.
We'll get those wounds cleaned up.

Chain nods. He and the others retrieve the weapons. Faith falls in at Gunn's side.

GUNN
(quietly)
Don't mind Chain, he's just--

FAITH
A macho twit? Yeah, I got that.
I've been ignoring jerks worse than him since before
I could pretzel their heads up their asses.

Gunn does a stunned double-take of that one, then stares ahead, once again business-like. After a moment, George appears at Faith's other shoulder.

GUNN
(to Faith)
So who are these guys who are after you?

FAITH
They're called "Watchers."
(off his curious look)
Don't ask me what they watch.
They train Slayers. Order us around.
They're supposed to find me crap to kill.

GEORGE
But instead they're trying to kill you?

FAITH
(glancing over at him)
They don't like how I'm doing the job.
Call it "early retirement."

GEORGE
(shaking his head)
Man, that's messed up.

Gunn leads the three of them into the mouth of an alley.

GUNN
This way.

They follow.

EXT. ALLEY

Then Gunn comes to a dead halt. REVERSE ANGLE - Standing there are TWO ROBED HARBINGERS. Each is holding a JEWELED DAGGER.


DISSOLVE TO -

WIDE SHOT of the YORKSHIRE SKY, glowing ever so faintly in the east.

EXT. BEHIND THE QUEEN'S ARMS INN - AN HOUR AND A HALF BEFORE DAWN (1764)

THROUGH THE OPEN BACK DOOR - a broad KITCHEN with dangling pots, pans, and utensils. Steam rises from a row of cast iron ten-plate stoves. A beefy middle-aged KITCHEN MAID walks towards the door, a metal bowl of murky liquid in her hand. She steps outside and dumps it into the street, then glances over casually at a series of COVERED BARRELS lining the exterior wall of the inn. The lid of one of them is SLIGHTLY AJAR.

With a curious frown, she walks over, sets down the bowl, and tries to fit the lid back on. She pushes and pushes, but something in the barrel is preventing it. Finally, with frustration, she lifts the lid and looks inside.

Her POV - the BODY OF A WOMAN is stuffed in with the burlap sacks of grain.

The kitchen maid SCREAMS.


EXT. HOLTZ RESIDENCE - A SHORT WHILE LATER

CLOSE-UP of Connor, still sitting where we left him, gaze set on Holtz's house. His eyelids sink to half-mast and his head droops forward. He SNAPS his head back up and opens his eyes.

WOMAN'S VOICE
(distant)
Capt'n Holtz! Capt'n Holtz!

The voice brings him to attention. He rises to kneeling and pushes the brambles aside.

LONG SHOT, his POV - The KITCHEN MAID from the inn runs up the gravel lane, clutching her rough skirts in her hands. There is a lone horse tethered to the fence at the front of the property.

KITCHEN MAID
Capt'n Holtz!

Connor lets the branches fall into place and sinks back.

CUT TO the HOUSE - The curtained windows of the main room are aglow and smoke is trickling up from the chimney. The maid leaps up onto the porch and halts at the front door. Her face is HYSTERICAL with fear.

WOMAN'S VOICE
Capt'n Holtz! Capt'n Holtz!

She raises a fist to pound on the door. It OPENS. Holtz exits and closes the door behind him, righting his wide-brimmed hat on his head. The maid throws her pudgy hands on his shoulders.

KITCHEN MAID
She's dead! Maisy Fletcher is dead!

Her hands slide off him. Holtz is wearing a coat over a white-collared shirt. The maid stabs two fingertips to her neck.

KITCHEN MAID
Two li'l wounds ter th'neck,
just like you're always goin' on about.

Holtz starts across the porch. His look is all-business.

HOLTZ
Where did you find her?

KITCHEN MAID
(turning, following)
At Queen's Arms!
Stuff't in one of th'barrels, God rest her soul!

TRACKING TWO-SHOT - Holtz steps off the porch and heads around the house. The maid hurries after him.

HOLTZ
Tell me about who's been staying there.

They start across the field towards the BARN.

BRIEF CUT-BACK to Connor. He extricates himself from the bushes and rises to his feet.

CLOSE-UP - The MAID gives Holtz a look of surprise.

KITCHEN MAID
At the inn? Why, they're all fancy folk, wha'dya think?
No one stayin' there's 'bout to--

HOLTZ
(grimly)
Even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light.

The kitchen maid slows, staring off with a tormented expression.

KITCHEN MAID
Oh....
Then all that you've been sayin'...
'bout demons lurkin'....

Holtz circles back towards her.

HOLTZ
(with insistence)
Who's staying at the inn, Anna?

ANNA
(walking slowly up to him)
Well, let's see...there's a few merchants, travelin',
a man who sits about writing all day,
and that young Irish couple.
(then she frowns)
At least, th'fellow is.
I'm not sure where 'is wife hails from.
She has an odd way of speakin'.

She stops. Her hand rises to her gaping mouth.

ANNA
Chuffin' 'ell! I saw her lurkin' round behind
th'kitchen 'bout'n hour 'fore I found Maisy!

HOLTZ
It's them.
(he turns and continues towards the barn)
I'll alert my men to meet me there.
(a glance up at the sky)
We have little more than an hour until dawn.

DISSOLVE TO - MOMENTS LATER. The maid is gone. Holtz climbs up onto his saddled horse, a crossbow strapped to his back and a quiver of arrows across his chest. He lifts the reins and clenches his legs against the horse's flanks. The horse starts forward. They exit the FRAME. A few beats later, Connor walks through after them. He stops and turns a hesitant gaze towards the house, then, with a look of apprehension, breaks into a run down the gravel path and through the open gate of the property.

PAN OVER to a LONG SHOT of several oak trees bordering the far side of the fence. Professor Roth appears from behind them, watching Connor go. She wraps her cloak tight around herself and follows.


EXT. BEHIND THE QUEEN'S ARMS INN - AN HOUR BEFORE DAWN

Holtz reins his trotting horse to a halt and leaps off. He strides up to the kitchen door where a MAN in a neat but inexpensive waistcoat stands surrounded by several members of the inn staff. The man doesn't look happy to see Holtz.

INNKEEPER
Captain Holtz.

HOLTZ
Mr. Cooper. I hear there's been trouble.

INNKEEPER
Early this morning. The chamber maid was found dead.

ANNA steps meekly out of the kitchen door, eyes on Holtz. The innkeeper squares his shoulders with a disgruntled frown.

INNKEEPER
I suppose Anna's asked you to act as constable
in this matter.

HOLTZ
She has.

The innkeeper turns towards the kitchen door.

INNKEEPER
Very well. But I'd rather you not disturb the guests.

Anna steps back inside and out of his way. Holtz unstraps his crossbow, lowers it to his side, then follows him in.

INT. KITCHEN

The cook looks up from her frying pans as the men walk by. Anna hurries along at their heels.

HOLTZ
I'm afraid that won't be possible.
There's a pair I want to talk to. They may know who killed her.

INNKEEPER
(ruffled)
I doubt that. A woman of Maisy's...
(a dismissive glance at Anna)
...misadventures? Could've been anyone.

Anna gapes angrily.

ANNA
Maisy's no whore!
(then she slows, staring down sadly)
Was no....

The innkeeper reaches the doorway to the dining room, stops, and pivots around.

INNKEEPER
Shouldn't you be helping with the preparation
of breakfast, Anna? It's almost daybreak.

Anna nods and starts to slink away. Holtz halts her with a gentle hand to the arm.

HOLTZ
Mark my words, Anna,
I won't leave you without justice in this matter.
I know she was your friend.

CLOSE-UP - Anna's eyes glisten with gratitude.

ANNA
Thank you, Capt'n, thank you.

Holtz follows the innkeeper out of the room. Anna bites her lip, then trails behind them.

TRACKING SHOT - The three pass through the dining room and enter the PARLOR.

INT. PARLOR

The parlor is an elegant room with a chandelier, ruffled draperies, a tapered sofa, and several armchairs. There are framed drawings, religious objets d'art, and flickering lamps on the wall. Anna pauses uncertainly as Holtz and the innkeeper continue to the lodger's staircase. We hear the clomp of their feet as they head up to the second floor. Quickly, she crosses the room to the fireplace and plucks a CROSS from the wall. She clutches it to her chest and starts back towards the kitchen. She is just about to enter the dining room when the squeak of a door draws her attention to one side.

Her POV, down the long hallway leading out to the front entrance - Darla strolls inside, a shawl draped over her shoulders. Angelus is behind her.

Anna's eyes widen.

BLACK OUT.


END OF ACT ONE

Act Two

INT. PARLOR - THE QUEEN'S ARMS INN - CONTINUOUS

Anna lowers the cross in front of herself and heads into the kitchen.

LONG SHOT - Angelus shuts the front door and follows Darla down the hall.

INT. KITCHEN

The cook glances up at Anna.

COOK
Dark news 'bout Maisy, I'm sure.
But there's eggs to be poached and bread to be sliced....

Anna scurries past her as if not even hearing.

COOK
(calling after her)
...Assumin' you want to be workin' here tomorrow!

TRACKING SHOT - Anna heads around the corner into a large pantry area, heading directly for an open door.

INT. STAFF STAIRWELL

She clambers up a claustrophobic wooden spiral staircase lit only by faintly glowing windows, one hand still clutching the cross, then--

INT. UPSTAIRS CORRIDOR

--races down the hallway, breathing heavily. As she passes the landing of the lodgers' staircase, we hear Darla and Angelus' voices rising from below. She gasps. The innkeeper and Holtz are standing at the door to Darla and Angelus' room, their backs to her. The innkeeper raps on the door.

INNKEEPER
Mr. and Mrs. Doherty?

There is no answer. He raises a key and unlocks it. Anna comes to a halt behind them.

ANNA
(voice hushed, but shaking)
Mr. Cooper, they're comin' up th'stairs!

The innkeeper circles around. He gives Anna a self-important once-over, then steps around her and starts down the hall.

INNKEEPER
Let me handle this.

Anna turns and follows him. Holtz opens the door to the room and slips inside. He draws the door closed.

CUT TO - Just then, Darla and Angelus arrive at the top of the stairs.

The innkeeper gives them a chagrined smile.

INNKEEPER
Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Doherty.

Anna stabs a shaking finger at Darla.

ANNA
She's th'one!
I seen 'er talkin' ter Maisy near an hour
'fore I found 'er dead!

Darla scoffs dismissively. The innkeeper gapes at Anna.

INNKEEPER
(gesturing at Darla, voice low)
Come now, this noble lady? Absurd.

Anna raises her cross in her shaking hand and thrusts it out at Darla.

ANNA
(exclaiming)
She's no lady! She's a demon, she is!

INNKEEPER
(in an irritated whisper)
Keep your voice down. 'Tis not even dawn.

QUICK-CUT TO the door of Angelus' and Darla's room, still closed.

ANNA (O.S.)
The Devil's servants, both of them!

ANGELUS
(coolly)
Mr. Cooper, I'd ask you to control your servant.

He steps between the innkeeper and Anna, Darla at his heels. They approach the door of their room, then slow and STOP in unison. A discreet, significant glance passes between them. Darla backs up and turns. Angelus does the same a beat later. They start back down the hall.

A few seconds later, the door to their room BURSTS OPEN. Holtz charges after them, armed crossbow at his side.

CUT TO a SERIES OF SHOTS -
- Angelus and Darla scramble down the stairs and

- flee through the parlor.

REVERSE ANGLE - Holtz barrels after them, in pursuit.
EXT. ENTRANCE TO QUEEN'S ARMS INN - MINUTES TO DAWN

Holtz exits the inn and raises his crossbow. He looks around. LONG SHOT, his POV, first in one direction and then the other - There is no sign of them. A lone horse and its rider amble by.

CUT TO - EXT. BEHIND THE QUEEN'S ARMS INN

Holtz hurries to his horse, strapping his crossbow back on. Four of his men ride up.

HOLTZ
They've just escaped the inn!

He climbs up onto his horse and takes the reins.

HOLTZ
Yah!

The horses and riders exit the frame.

LONG SHOT - Standing at the far corner of the inn is CONNOR. He turns and disappears behind the building.


EXT. ALLEY - LOS ANGELES SOUTH SIDE - EVENING (PRESENT DAY)

Brick, stucco, power lines. And two rune-eyed HARBINGERS, one closing in, DAGGER RAISED. Gunn grips his ax. His friends gape with astonishment.

GEORGE
What are they?

CHAIN
Man, can those things see?

Faith strolls up beside a dumpster, grinning, sword hanging low.

FAITH
Oh, look, it's Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles!
I wondered when I'd see you freaks again.
(a glance over at Gunn)
Forgot to mention.
(she nods at the demons)
They're after me, too. They're assassins.

TIGHT SHOT of the Harbingers. They seem to be looking directly at Faith even in their blindness.

GUNN
(warily)
Sent by those "Watcher" dudes?

FAITH
Not exactly.

Faith steps towards the demons. Gunn and his men tense with readiness. Faith holds a palm out behind her, signaling them to stay put.

FAITH
Don't go after them, and they won't go after you.
(a stern glance back)
I'm serious.

Gunn and his friends step back, still poised to fight if necessary.

GUNN
Seems to me a lot of things want to kill you.

FAITH
(eyes on the assassins)
Yeah, a lot of things try.

GUNN
So how do you kill them?

Faith CHARGES the closest Bringer, sword drawn back. It LASHES OUT with its dagger. She dances out of range, then lunges in again, grabs the demon close, and STABS IT THROUGH THE GUT.

FAITH
Oh, you know....

She YANKS her sword out. The demon slumps dead.

FAITH
The usual way!

It companion COMES AT HER, blade raised over its head. As it does, CUT TO a LONG SHOT - A THIRD HARBINGER approaches from the far end of the alley. Faith KICKS the second demon away and goes after the third, now running towards her.

Chains swings up a Turok Han sword.

CHAIN
Works for me.

The third demon THROWS ITS DAGGER at Faith. She catches the knife in a raised hand, then THRUSTS HER SWORD OUT. The demon's momentum takes it right into the blade. It gapes and gags. Faith yanks her sword out and turns just in time to see -

The second Bringer is ON CHAIN, battering him so that he can't raise his weapon. Gunn, Rondell, George and James rush toward him.

Faith lowers her sword. She saunters towards them, watching.

The first to get there is James. The Bringer turns on him and LASHES OUT with its knife, SLICING JAMES ACROSS THE THROAT. James staggers back, eyes bulging. He collapses. A second later, Gunn, George, and Rondell reach the demon. The other two hold it down while Gunn raises his ax. With one swift downward slice, the demon is dead. Chain hovers over James.

CHAIN
James!

Chain's POV - James' neck has NEARLY BEEN SEVERED. He gazes up sightlessly, his throat THICK with blood and gore.

Chain GAGS. An awkward, tense silence falls as the men take in what's happened. Faith stands off to the side, expressionless. Finally -

FAITH
I told you to leave'em alone.
You should have listened to me.

Chain gapes up angrily.

CHAIN
It attacked me! What was I supposed to do?

FAITH
It attacked you because you went after it!

Gunn eyes her suspiciously.

GUNN
And you didn't lift a finger to stop it.

Faith scoffs.

FAITH
Not my job to save an idiot who can't listen from himself.

CHAIN
I'm not the one lying dead there!

Faith gives them all a defensive glower, then pivots and starts towards the far end of the alley. Chain stares after her. He stabs a finger at the dead James.

CHAIN
Hey! Hold up!
You're just going to leave him here?

Gunn hasn't taken his eyes off Faith.

GUNN
(solemnly, to Chain)
We'll come back for him after we waste these super-vamps.

CHAIN
(to Gunn)
We're gonna fight them now?! We're down a man!
G, James was part of our crew!

Gunn gives him a steely-eyed look.

GUNN
There's gonna be a whole lot more like him
if we don't stop those vamps.
Let's go.

One by one, the men follow Gunn out of the alley. Chain remains standing over James. OVERHEAD SHOT of James over Chain's shoulder. Finally, with compressed lips, Chain exits the FRAME. HOLD ON the dead James for another moment. A shadow falls over him. PAN UP to a TUROK HAN, then -


PULL BACK TO the INT. OF A CAR

as it comes to a halt with a soft squeal. In a LONG SHOT, we can see the TUROK HAN through the closed passenger side window and over the shoulder of -

TIGHT REVERSE ANGLE - Aiden Walsh.

AIDEN
(with fascination)
What is that?

He puts his idling car in Park and grabs up his book bag from the floorboard. He tosses it onto the passenger seat, fumbles inside, and pulls out his CAMERA. He slips the strap over his head, then lowers the passenger side window. He raises the camera to his face and focuses the lens.

EXT. THE ALLEY THROUGH AIDEN'S TELEPHOTO LENS

The round camera view shifts and settles on the TUROK HAN. The now-kneeling demon sniffs around James, then rises and enters the alley. LENS-ZOOM IN on JAMES.

AIDEN (O.S.)
(murmuring to himself)
Oh, Jesus.

INT. AIDEN'S CIVIC

Aiden lowers the camera from his face, grimacing solemnly. Then he scoots over to the passenger side seat and raises the CAMERA back up.

EXT. VIEW THROUGH AIDEN'S TELEPHOTO LENS

IN FOCUS - the DEMON. The camera starts clicking and whirring. The creature stops. It TURNS ITS HEAD SLOWLY as if it's heard something, then circles around completely and looks DIRECTLY INTO AIDEN'S TELEPHOTO LENS. Its mouth is SMEARED WITH BLOOD.

INT. CIVIC

AIDEN
Shit!

Fumbling, Aiden lowers the camera.

THROUGH THE WINDOW - The Turok Han is coming his way, fast.

Aiden clambers away from window, glances around in a panic, then reaches over and locks the doors. Then his fingers fumble to raise the windows. But the Turok Han IS THERE. It THRUSTS TWO CLAWED HANDS through the open passenger side window.

Aiden dives back flat and KICKS AT THE DEMON desperately. The Turok Han GRABS HIS FOOT and TUGS. Aiden cries out, wide-eyed.

QUICK EXT. SHOT - CIVIC

The demon starts pulling him out with ease, growling and tossing its head lustily. Aiden is half in, half out of the car.

INT. CIVIC

He has one hand clutching the steering wheel; the other is clutching one of the adjustment bars for the driver's side head rest. Aiden kicks at the creature with his free leg.

AIDEN
Let...go...of...me!

The demon grapples for his kicking leg. Aiden thrashes. His head hits the automatic transmission gear shift lever. LOW SHOT - He gazes at it. Compressing his lips, he lets go of the head rest bar, rolls over, and GRABS the lever. He yanks it into Drive.

EXT. SHOT - CIVIC

The car starts to creep forward, Aiden's legs dangling from the passenger side window. The Turok Han shuffles with it, tugging on him.

INT. CIVIC

LOW SHOT - Still gripping the gear lever and the steering wheel, Aiden wrenches himself against the demon's pull and lowers his head flat on the driver's seat. He moves both hands to the steering wheel, then reaches one hand out, straining, for the ACCELERATOR PAD. CLOSE-UP on his other hand, inadvertently twisting the steering wheel to the left.

LOW SHOT - Aiden's fingertips make contact. He strains forward once more and PRESSES DOWN ON the accelerator pad with all his strength. He grunts.

EXT. SHOT - CIVIC

The Civic LURCHES to the left. Through the window, we see Aiden's body, still in the grip of the demon, nearly YANKED IN HALF by the force. He screams. The car then TWISTS to the right and JOLTS FORWARD. The demon lets go.

INT. CIVIC

Wincing in pain, Aiden scrambles up and scoots fully into the driver's seat.

EXT. SHOT - CIVIC

The Civic's tires SQUEAL as it speeds forward and away.


EXT. WOODED AREA OUTSIDE YORK - JUST BEFORE DAWN (1764)

WIDE SHOT - high grass and scattered oaks. The eastern sky is pink and orange with the coming day. Eight horses gallop their riders into the FRAME. TIGHT SHOT - Holtz brings his horse to a halt. His men gather around him. Holtz's expression is full of urgency.

HOLTZ
Fan out. Search the woods.
They'll be seeking shelter. Knock on every door.
Break it down if no one answers.
They won't have strayed far. It's too close to daylight.
(he snaps in both feet to his horse's flank)
Yah!

CUT BACK TO a WIDE SHOT - The men head out in different directions.

CUT TO - EXT. A SMALL COTTAGE IN A CLEARING - MOMENTS LATER

PRACTICALLY A SHACK---mud-spattered plaster walls, flawed, almost opaque windows, aging wood beams, and a brick chimney at one end. Pale smoke is trickling from the outlet at the top. We can hear the steady, repeating sound of an AX AGAINST WOOD. After a moment, the sound is drowned out by the quicker thud of approaching hoof beats.

Holtz and his TALL, MUSTACHED MAN ride up to the cottage, their horses skirting low puddles.

Their POV - The far side of the house. An OLD MAN is there, chopping wood. He looks up and lowers his ax.

Holtz and his man bring their horses to a halt several yards behind him.

HOLTZ
Have you seen a young Irishman and a woman
round these parts?

The old man stares up at him, befuddled.

OLD MAN
In th'wood? At this time of morning?

Holtz glowers.

HOLTZ
I suggest you get inside, at least until the sun is up.
They're dangerous.

He sits high on his horse, not moving. The man sighs, buries the blade of his ax in a cord of wood, and heads into the cottage. The door shuts. Holtz guides his horse back around. He and his man ride off. CUT BACK to the cottage. After a moment, the old man reemerges, shaking his head and muttering.

OLD MAN
"Inside"? Are ye daft? I've work ter do.

He returns to the pile of wood as the hoof beats grow fainter and starts chopping again. After a moment, the RUSTLE OF LEAVES draws his attention up.

His POV - A YOUNG WOMAN emerges from a dense thicket of trees, limping hurriedly and moaning. She is huddled under the shawl she has pulled over her blond head.

The old man stands tall with a look of concern. The woman smiles sweetly, her face tensed with pain. She comes to a halt in the shadow of the cottage.

DARLA
Good day. I wonder if I might ask your indulgence
for a brief spell.

The old man blinks at her, flummoxed. He lowers his ax to the ground.

OLD MAN
Why, cert'nly, lass.

Darla grins sheepishly.

DARLA
I've twisted my ankle, and I think--
(she glances back the way she came)
there might be someone after me.
(then, wincing)
Please...is there some place warm I can
sit down briefly? Then I'll be on my way.

OLD MAN
What on God's green Earth were ya doin' out there?
(he points towards the thicket of trees)
Ye should see a physician!
(he steps towards her)
I've no horse, but I can offer ya an arm 'nter town.

Darla shakes her head.

DARLA
Just a short rest would be fine, if it won't put out your wife.

The old man steps up beside her and offers her a crooked elbow. Darla slips her hand inside it.

OLD MAN
I lost m'wife ter th'fifty-nine cholera.
'Tis just me.

Darla smiles.

DARLA
That's what I'd hoped you'd say.

CLOSE-UP on the old man's befuddled frown. Then he SEIZES UP and HIS HEAD SNAPS AT AN ODD ANGLE. He collapses a second later. Darla lowers her hands and gazes down at him.

DARLA
It's true. Chivalry is dead.

The rapid crunch of boots on gravel announces the arrival of - REVERSE ANGLE - ANGELUS. There is faint wisp of smoke swirling around his down-turned, uncovered face. He quickly reaches down for the man. Darla agilely steps around them headed for the cottage door.


INT. COTTAGE - DAWN

The interior is AGLOW with the imminent arrival of day. Darla rushes inside. She heads directly for the east window, and, wincing away from it, grabs at one shutter and SLAMS it shut. CLOSE-UP - a BEAM OF MORNING SUNLIGHT crosses the skin of her arm. She screeches and SLAMS the other shutter shut, then latches them with trembling fingers. She pivots around, fuming, a thin trail of smoke rising from her arm.

DARLA
Augh! Our chest and bags! The horses! All our things!
(beat)
If we get out of here, make sure the death of
that loathsome little man involves....
(she grits her teeth bitterly)
...pain.

CUT TO ANGELUS, who ducks into the cottage entryway, arms full, and--SLUMP--dumps the body of the old woodsman a few feet inside. He turns, SLAMS the door shut, and bolts it.

Darla pulls a handkerchief from the gathered silk bag dangling from her waist. She holds it to her nose and strides across the room. Angelus takes in their surroundings. His POV - the furniture is simple and shabby, the flame in the fireplace, dim and weak.

Darla stops before a shut door and opens it in. She steps back with a gasp. Her POV, through the doorway - A BEDROOM lit by an uncovered west-facing window. The bed has an old quilt and a wool blanket on it. To one side is an unvarnished DESK on which sits a brass candlestick, some paper, a quill, and a bottle of ink. Darla pulls the door shut and turns away. Her eyes settle on Angelus, who is still staring about. He appears deep in contemplation.

ANGELUS
Holtz doesn't die. He gets to live.

Darla draws back her head with surprise. Angelus turns and strolls away from her.

ANGELUS
A man like that, spending all his time killing monsters.
So intent on protectin' everyone....

His eyes sink to the floor. His POV - on a FLOORBOARD near one wall is a METAL LATCH. He kneels down beside it and reaches out.

Darla looks on, puzzled.

Angelus pulls open a trap door in the floor, revealing - TIGHT SHOT - A SMALL WOOD-LINED ROOT CELLAR. Little more than a four-foot square hole in the ground. Not even big enough to hide in.

ANGELUS
And yet he neglects his most...personal responsibilities.

He closes the trap door and looks up at Darla.

Her eyes widen with realization.

DARLA
His family.
(an enthusiastic smile)
Have you decided how we're going to do it?

Angelus stands up, shaking his head.

ANGELUS
Not yet...but I've got all day to come up with something....

Darla approaches him with a swagger.

DARLA
"Artistic...and inventive."

He takes her in, echoing her smile subtlety.

ANGELUS
My father never wanted me to be an artist....

CLOSE-UP on his deadly, narrow-eyed expression.

ANGELUS
Said it was "a waste of time."


DISSOLVE TO - EXT. COTTAGE - AFTER DAWN

LONG SHOT across the CLEARING - The COTTAGE seen from thirty yards away. The light of day makes its ramshackle state all the more obvious.

REVERSE ANGLE - Connor stands staring at it, one hand clenching the trunk of a tree, his expression tormented, ambivalent, and hateful.


EXT. DESERTED LOT UNDER A FREEWAY OVERPASS - LOS ANGELES SOUTH SIDE - EVENING (PRESENT DAY)

Gunn strides across the wide expanse of asphalt, Faith and his friends flanking him. We can hear the rush of traffic above. Several homeless men glance up at them from around a trashcan fire.

Then the homeless men's attention is drawn back across the lot. A SQUEAL and ARCING HEADLIGHTS spin Gunn and the others around as well. A vehicle JERKS TO A HALT only meters from Faith. She dodges away, wincing. Her POV - BLINDING HEADLIGHTS.

They cut off. It's the CHEVY VAN from episode 2.05. The sun roof cover jiggles slightly then opens. A MAN rises out of it, bringing a RIFLE up and around. He AIMS IT DIRECTLY AT FAITH.

WESLEY. His expression is grim as he takes in Gunn and the others.

WESLEY
You men can leave. Our business is with her.
Faith, drop the sword.

Chain clenches a bandaged hand to his own sword.

CHAIN
(jumpily)
C'mon, G...let's go.

GUNN
(scrutinizing)
Hold on a minute.

CHAIN
Are you crazy? We don't need this shit!

Faith's eyes dart from Wesley to -

Her POV, through glass - WEATHERBY sits in the passenger seat of the van leering at her malevolently.

Faith whirls around and bounds away. A SHOT RINGS OUT.

LOW SHOT - It NICKS the ground near her heel. She skips reflexively.

WESLEY (O.S.)
Stop there!

Faith freezes. WIDE SHOT - all of the men except Gunn SCATTER across the pavement.

MEN
C'mon!

Let's get outta here!

Faith's shoulders sag. Then, keeping her back to Wesley, she raises both hands, one still gripping the sword.

Gunn looks on coolly as -

Wesley points the rifle at Faith's back.

WESLEY
Drop it, Faith.

CLOSE-UP - Faith stares down with a scowl that doesn't disguise her rage or fear. She TOSSES the sword away. It clatters to the asphalt. She raises her hand again, now empty. Then she twists slightly, throwing a scowl over her shoulder.

FAITH
You're gonna kill me, Wes? You?
You don't have the balls!

WESLEY
It's not something I want to do.
It's necessary.

FAITH
Yeah, so you can have another "Buffy"!
Like she was the perfect Slayer.
She never listened to a word you said!

Wesley cocks the rifle.

WESLEY
You're not her. You never will be.

BLACK OUT.


END OF ACT TWO

Part 2 (click here)



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