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memories - raven_annabelle

in/victus, Part 1 (airdate November 23, 2005)

Posted by masqthephlsphr on 2007.06.10 at 12:09
Current Mood: distressedbeset

in/victus

Part 1

(June 10, 2007)

Written by: Masquerade

Teaser

EXT. RESIDENTIAL SUBDIVISION - LOS ANGELES WEST SIDE - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

SUPER LEGEND:
Six months ago


WIDE SHOT - SLAYERS and SPECIAL OPS SOLDIERS battle DEMONS on the street and in the front yards of houses.

EXT. SYNDICATE HOUSE

Connor hefts his sword and RACES UP ONTO THE PORCH where the child mob-boss ANTHONY is surveying the fight from the open doorway.

INT. FOYER

Two vampire henchmen GRAB CONNOR and YANK the sword from his hand. Connor STRUGGLES. TIGHT SHOT, Connor's POV - Anthony walks towards him, his irises GLOWING GOLD.

DISSOLVE TO A MOMENT LATER - Now it is Connor's irises which are glowing. HOGATH-CONNOR steps over an unconscious, fallen Anthony and recedes into the house. SLOW CLOSE-UP into his EYES until we find ourselves in -

INT. AN UNDERGROUND GRAVE

Shifting, shadowy darkness resolves to the INTERIOR of a SILK-LINED WOODEN BOX. Connor lies inside, gasping and pounding.

CONNOR
(voice muffled)
I'm in here! Let me out!

INT. SYNDICATE HOUSE

STEADICAM SHOT - our POV enters the STUDY, passing a chair and bookshelves.

INT. THE UNDERGROUND GRAVE

Connor gapes upward, as if seeing something other than the inside of a coffin. His struggling ceases.

INT. SYNDICATE HOUSE STUDY

CONTINUED STEADICAM POV SHOT - approaching a desk.

Hogath-Connor turns and leans against the desk. His POV - a bespectacled woman appears in the doorway.

DR. KOLTOV
(voice indistinct, echoing)
The new body suits you.

She nods at something on the desk beside him.

DR. KOLTOV
What about that?

Hogath-Connor glances down and picks up a STAPLED SHEAF OF PAPERS. He examines it. INSERT - the TOP PAGE is entitled, The Nyazian Scroll. We glimpse references to "The One Sired by the Vampire with a Soul", "bring forth, and "Tro-Clon."

INT. THE UNDERGROUND GRAVE

Connor continues to stare upwards.

INT. STUDY

Hogath-Connor smirks.

HOGATH-CONNOR
Ah yes, the future of the vampire's child.

He thrusts the pages out to Dr. Koltov.

HOGATH-CONNOR
Get rid of it.
(she takes it)
I'm his future now.

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

Jon Abrahams
Robert Blanche
Rachel Leigh Cook
Megalyn Echikunwoke
Kristin Lehman
J. August Richards
and
Anthony Stewart Head



EXT. AERIAL SHOT - UCLA - AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING

WOMAN (VOICE-OVER)
To Art or from Art?

CONNOR (V.O.)
To Art.

INT. MAIN OFFICE - DEPARTMENT OF ART - KINROSS HALL

Connor waits as the ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT circles her chair around and opens the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet. She pulls a PIECE OF PAPER from one of the files, turns, and hands it across the desk to him.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
You'll need one faculty signature before you can
submit the form.
Preferably someone you've taken a class with,
or who's familiar with your work.
And you'll need to put together a brief portfolio
to submit with the application.

CONNOR
Thanks.

CUT TO - EXT. KINROSS HALL

A smattering of students come and go. Connor exits the building, absorbed in the form. Then something makes him glance up. He halts, taken aback. Sitting on a bench under a tree is a DEMON with SCALED SKIN and a SHARP-NOSED, BIRD-LIKE FACE. It is wearing a jogging suit with the hood pulled up and is STARING AT him. Connor glances around. PANNING, his POV - People walk by, oblivious. When Connor looks back at the creature -

it is GONE.


EXT. HOBO'S BAR - HOLLYWOOD - AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING

INT. HOBO'S BAR

LONG SHOT - The lunch crowd soaks up alcohol with popcorn and martini olives; ceiling fans circulate lazily. With a ka-ching, Faith springs the cash register drawer and makes change for a customer at the bar. As she turns to hand it to him, the front door squeaks open, casting afternoon light over her brooding face. She looks over.

Connor enters, his art portfolio case hanging from his shoulder.

A signal from another customer turns Faith back around.

We hear her and the man conversing as Connor approaches the end of the bar. He sets his portfolio case on a stool and seats himself next to it, then unzips it and tugs out two SKETCHPADS and a stack of LOOSE DRAWINGS. He lays them on the bar.

Faith gives Connor an uneasy glance as she pours a double bourbon. She nudges the drink towards the customer and wanders over. Connor is browsing through his drawings one by one. On the pages, we see his primitive early attempts at sketching--an inexpertly slanted oak, an abstract sculpture, a young boy tied to a gnarled, multi-trunked tree. Faith leans in towards him on crossed arms.

FAITH
Hey.

CONNOR
If you're busy, go ahead.
I have some stuff to do for school.

Faith compresses her lips with discomfort.

FAITH
(lowering her voice)
Yeah. Listen....
(Connor looks up)
I'd love for you to hang out,
but my boss has been hassling me about
letting underage people in here.
I really....

With a mischievous smile, Connor reaches into his tan jacket and slips out his wallet. He hands it to her. Puzzled, Faith opens it and peers down. She gapes up at him.

FAITH
You shit-head! It's your birthday?

She grabs a damp rag off the bar and tosses it at him. Connor knocks it aside with a shy grin. It falls to the floor behind him. Faith steps back, beaming.

FAITH
What to do you want to drink? It's on the house.

Connor's lips part.

CONNOR
Oh. Uh, anything's fine.
(beat)
Beer.

Faith reaches under the bar for a glass and carries it over to the tap. Connor returns to studying his drawings--Darla, lying ill; studies of the shadows in the curve of her bed sheets. He looks up again only as Faith sets a napkin down on the bar, followed by his beer.

FAITH
Happy birthday, my friend.

Connor grins shyly again.

CONNOR
Thanks.

He reaches for the beer and takes a perfunctory sip. Faith's eyes graze over his drawings idly. On reflex, Connor tugs them up, then with a self-conscious frown, sets them back down.

CONNOR
I have to put together a mini-portfolio.
It's for an application to change my major.

Faith smiles big.

FAITH
To Art?
(Connor nods)
Cool.

WOMAN (O.S.)
Gin and tonic.

Faith glances over and wanders away. Connor picks up one of his sketchpads and pages through it. It is filled with scrawled notes, penciled textures and shadows, and familiar portraits--Drusilla; Lawrence and Colleen Reilly, seated; Darla and Angelus in eighteenth century garb.

A moment later, REAR TWO-SHOT - Faith appears behind him, two near-empty beer bottles in hand. She retrieves the rag from the floor.

FAITH
So. Art.
What do you do with that, anyway? Job-wise.

She heads around the bar.

CONNOR
(a shrug)
I don't know. Tend bar, I guess.

A pause. He winces with dismay. Faith's grin fades.

CONNOR
Sorry, I didn't mean....

With a disgruntled expression, Faith walks down the bar and tosses the rag in a bucket.

CONNOR
When's the hearing?

Then she strides to the recycle bin, bottles in hand.

FAITH
Haven't a clue.

CONNOR
Have you been by the Council Office at all?

FAITH
(raising them)
No.

CONNOR
But it's not like they fired you. Don't you have to go there?

CRASH!!!

FAITH
Shit!

Faith leaps back from scattered glass and splattered beer. She stares down at it irritably. Customers peer up from their drinks. Faith veers over to the far wall, grabs the hand broom and dust pan, and walks them over to the spill. She sinks to kneeling. Connor watches her with concern over the tilted rim of his glass. He lowers it. Faith stands and dumps the broken shards in the recycle barrel. She grabs a mop and makes a few perfunctory swipes at the floor.

Then she catches Connor's expression.

FAITH
Really don't want to talk about it right now.

She puts the mop back. Connor shrugs lamely.

CONNOR
You don't have to.
I haven't been very talkative, either.

Faith chuckles. She saunters back over to him.

FAITH
Yeah, but you've been dealing with something....
(she shakes her head)
I can't even wrap my brain around it.
Prophecies, shit.

Connor brings up his beer again. Faith watches him sip at it with a introspective frown.

FAITH
Y'know, there was a time when I was actually jealous
of 'B'--Buffy--'cause I wanted there to be some
ancient scroll talking about what hot shit I was.
But the universe was smart and ignored me.

Connor tenses and takes another morose swallow.

CONNOR
The universe didn't ignore you. You're a Slayer.

Faith does a quick pan of the bar. Connor sets down his drink.

CONNOR
Anyway, I don't believe in prophecies.

Faith cocks her eyebrows in surprise.

FAITH
None of it?
(an awkward scoff)
Connor, Aiden showed me those notes on the Nyazian Scroll, and--

CONNOR
I know what the say.
(tense beat)
Everything...they say.

He gazes down at his drawings for a moment, then closes the sketchpad.

CONNOR
There was this demon who could travel in time, Sahjhan.
(Faith nods)
He's the reason...
for a lot of things in my life.
(a pensive pause)
Anyway, he was there when I was born.
So maybe he wrote it down,
then went back in time and left what he wrote there.

Faith props both hands on the bar, eyes leveling on him.

FAITH
(skeptically)
Time travel? But isn't that sort of the same thing?
Being able to see the future?

CONNOR
(voice rising with frustration)
Or--or maybe he wrote it down and
passed it off as an ancient prophecy
in the present day! The point is--

FAITH
Wait. "Sahjhan"? Wasn't that the Granok
who was trying to keep you from killing him?
How'd he know you were gonna do that?
(she throws her hands up defensively off Connor's sudden glare)
Hey, just playing devil's advocate here.

Connor's glare focuses back on his beer. He reaches for it.

CONNOR
Well, don't.
(beat; he takes a sullen sip)
I just don't believe some ancient whoever
could see my life a thousand years ago.

A long beam of daylight plays across the bar, drawing Faith's attention. She grows visibly edgy.

FAITH
Oh, look who's come to drown his sorrows.

Connor glances over.

FAITH
Or give me a hard time.

Their POV - AIDEN enters the bar. He waves.

AIDEN
Hey, Connor.

Connor sets his beer down and starts to gather his loose drawings together. Aiden's eyes fall on Connor's glass. He gestures at it.

AIDEN
Should he be...?

Faith has retrieved the wiping rag. She rubs circles with it on the bar.

FAITH
Guess which little twit forgot to tell us today was his birthday.

Aiden grins at Connor.

AIDEN
That's right, twenty-one.

Connor stuffs the drawings and sketchpads into his portfolio case. He zips his case closed and sets it on the ground. Aiden sits down.

AIDEN
Can I get an Irish Coffee?

FAITH
Sure.

Faith busies herself pouring coffee into a stemmed glass mug. Aiden watches her, then drums his hands restlessly on the bar.

AIDEN
(to Connor)
So got any plans?

CONNOR
You mean am I going to get smashed?
(he shakes his head)
Whenever I've really wanted a drink in the last couple of years,
I've been able to find one. I don't see the point.

AIDEN
There's not supposed to be a point. It's a rite of passage.

Connor laughs. With a soft clump, Faith sets the steaming white-brown drink down in front of Aiden. He picks it up and blows ripples in the liquid.

FAITH
So we're talking, you and me?

A self-concious glance rises to meet hers.

AIDEN
Of course we're talking.
(off Faith's look of doubt)
It was my decision, too, not to tell them.

His eyes drop furtively; he sets the mug down.

AIDEN
Look, I, uh...had to go by the Council Office...yesterday.
Giles, uh, had a few questions about where to find stuff.
He's brought in a bunch of Council scholars to look at
the Syndicate library.

Faith starts wiping again, eyes on the rag.

FAITH
Are they all over it?

AIDEN
Actually...they can't enter the suite without your permission.
(Faith glances up)
It's still got the protection spell on it.

Faith stops wiping and steps back, hooting with delight.

FAITH
Oh-ho!

AIDEN
And the witches haven't been able to reverse the spell
without your blood.

Faith's grin fades into cynicism. She starts the rag down the bar.

FAITH
Great. They need me to come by and bleed for them.
That's fucking poetic.

AIDEN
(awkwardly)
Giles wanted me to ask if you could....

FAITH
(abruptly)
Maybe. In a couple days.

Connor and Aiden share an uneasy glance. Then, after a beat -

CONNOR
(to Aiden)
So what are you going to do now?
Instead of being a Watcher, I mean.

Aiden shrugs.

AIDEN
What I was going to do before, I guess.
Go to journalism school.
Use my dad's contacts to get an internship at the Times.
Work my way up to reporter.

CONNOR
Could you try to sound a little less excited about that?

Aiden smiles awkwardly, then shifts his attention back to Faith.

AIDEN
What about you, Faith? What are you going to....

Faith has turned away to wipe down the counter opposite the bar. Aiden and Connor share another glance, then Aiden sits tall on his stool.

AIDEN
Hey, you know what we should do?
(he slaps Connor's shoulder briefly)
We should take this guy out for his birthday.

After a beat, the suggestion lures Faith back around.

FAITH
(eyes on Connor)
What do you say, Junior?
We'll club-hop. It'll be fun.
(she gestures at Aiden with the rag)
Poindexter here can be designated driver.

AIDEN
(grinning)
In case you decide you want to, you know,
have a rite of passage or two.

Connor throws him a brief, dismissive smirk.

CONNOR
Okay. Yeah, sure.


EXT. REILLY HOME - LATE EVENING - ESTABLISHING (FLASHBACK)

SUPER LEGEND:
Two years ago


INT. CONNOR'S BEDROOM

A longer-haired Connor enters the room, a cordless phone to his ear.

CONNOR
I got the schedule of classes from Stanford last week.

He wanders towards the bed. Beyond him, we see his things--the crisp IKEA furniture; a movie poster from The Matrix; a hockey stick propped up in the corner.

CUT TO - INT. A KITCHEN ELSEWHERE

A PRETTY BRUNETTE with a peasant blouse and skirt sits cross-legged on a kitchen chair.

TRACY
Any idea yet what you're going to take this Fall?

INT. CONNOR'S BEDROOM

Connor plops down on the bed.

CONNOR
Freshman Comp, Intro to Biology,
a couple of History classes,
and some college success seminar they make Freshman take.

TRACY'S VOICE
You and your History.

INT. A KITCHEN ELSEWHERE

She has a teasing smile he can't see.

CONNOR'S VOICE
Well, I'm undeclared so far,
but that's what I told the guidance counselor
last year during the pre-graduation check-in.

TRACY
I remember.
Stanford's got a good program.

INT. CONNOR'S BEDROOM

CONNOR
Yeah, so they tell me.

TRACY'S VOICE
(with uncertainty)
So...why am I hearing ambivalence?

CONNOR
I'm not being ambivalent.
I like History.

TRACY'S VOICE
I know you do, but...
(a disgruntled pause)
You've been getting this tone in your voice lately.
Kind of...disconnected.
I'm hearing it now.

With a restless frown, Connor stands. He heads around the end of the bed.

CONNOR
It's just the pre-college jitters, that's all.

TRACY'S VOICE
I think it's more than that.

Connor halts at the window and reaches for the cord to bring the blinds down, then pauses. There is a vaguely troubled look on his face--the pensive troubled of someone who has had such thoughts before. His POV - Tree branches and faint, distant lights in the darkness. Superimposed over them is his own faint reflection.

CONNOR
I don't know...
(a discontented sigh)
I guess, lately, I've just been feeling like,
like the things I did and said, even a year ago...
aren't me anymore.
(a shrug)
Does that make any sense?
I don't know how else to explain it.

TRACY'S VOICE
Like History?

Connor raises a finger to the glass.

CONNOR
Yeah. Maybe.

A long pause.

TRACY'S VOICE
Like us?


EXT. DODD HALL - UCLA CAMPUS - LATE AFTERNOON (PRESENT DAY)

ESTABLISHING - The long, three-story salmon building with white trim.

INT. OFFICE OF PROFESSOR ROTH

Professor Roth enters the unlit room, shuts the door, and settles into her chair with a sigh. She is just kicking off her pumps when something makes her tense. CUT TO the middle-aged, grizzled-beard-stubbled WILLIS, standing at the bookshelf behind her. His fingertip is poised on Faust. A beat passes before Professor Roth speaks.

MELANIE
They want him, don't they?
Connor Reilly.
I get my freedom if I help the Patrons
gain themselves an even greater prize?

Willis brings his hand down.

WILLIS
Something like that.

CLOSE UP on Professor Roth's troubled expression. She expels a long, anxious breath.

MELANIE
Well, tell me their terms. That's why you're here.


EXT. SLAYER COUNCIL BUILDING - LATE AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING

INT. LIBRARY

Giles sits at the computer, poking at keys. The computer beeps at him rudely.

GILES
Blast!
(he looks up at the soft patter of shoes)
Oh, thank God you're here.

Aiden enters the room.

GILES
Your local database claims it isn't, er,
"communicating" with the Council database.
Obviously a use of the word "communicating"
I was heretofore unfamiliar with.

Aiden walks over. Giles leaps up from the computer as if he can't get away from it fast enough. He lurks behind Aiden as Aiden sits down. Aiden reaches for the mouse, then releases it and nods.

AIDEN
The network's down.
(a glance back)
Willow wanted to make sure the connection was secure
before we merged databases.

GILES
(half-befuddled, half-concerned)
Does that mean someone could...
"tap into it"?

AIDEN
(reassuringly)
Don't worry. She won't let that happen.

He starts typing.

AIDEN
Still no luck getting the other Watchers
into the Council suite?

GILES
(with an exasperated sigh)
I'm afraid so.

Giles picks up a stapled sheaf of papers from beside the computer and strolls around to the far side of the table.

GILES
(glancing briefly down at them)
The delay in starting our research has given me time
to study the Syndicate notes on the Nyazian scroll, however.
(this draws Aiden's interest)
They're extraordinary.
If it's an accurate translation,
the Scroll not only predicts the birth of a child
to two vampires, one with a soul,
it foretells his mother's death in childbirth,
and his slaying of the demon Sahjhan.

AIDEN
(an uneasy pause)
Which makes you kind of wonder, doesn't it?
(beat)
About the stuff it says that hasn't happened yet.


INT. OFFICE OF PROFESSOR ROTH - CONTINUOUS

Willis relaxes into Professor Roth's visitor's chair.

WILLIS
It would seem that the Nyazian Scroll does indeed
contain passages about your friend Connor Reilly.

Professor Roth's mouth tightens. She reaches for a journal sitting on the edge of her desk.

MELANIE
It's funny to hear you say that;
you don't believe in prophecy.

WILLIS
(breezily)
Neither do our patrons.

Professor Roth opens the journal and thumbs through it.

WILLIS
They have their own reasons for taking
an interest in the boy;
finding out what others believe about him
is simply prudent.

She holds the journal where she can read it.

MELANIE
"The one sired by the vampire with a soul
will grow to manhood and kill Sahjhan
."

She gives him a withering glance.

MELANIE
Not a lot of wiggle room in that one, is there?

Willis shrugs.

WILLIS
As I understand it,
the young man was put up to that killing
by his father and a demon named Cyvus Vail,
who were well aware of the so-called "prophecy" before hand.
(dismissively)
The Scroll says a lot of things which have allegedly come to pass.
That's irrelevant to the Patrons.
(he gives her an intent, sinister look)
They know potential for darkness when they see it,
and Connor Reilly has that in spades.


INT. SLAYER COUNCIL LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS

AIDEN
Faith and I were...trying to decide what we were
going to tell Connor about the Scroll.
(a tense chuckle)
I mean, how do you--

The suite door squeaks open, briefly catching their attention.

GILES
(calling out)
Hello!?

GUNN (O.S.)
It's just me!

AIDEN
(continuing; to Giles)
...How do you tell a guy his life was written
a thousand years before he was born?
And worse, that he comes with a warning label?

Giles puzzles over this last statement for a beat, then nods.

GILES
You're referring to the passage about the "Destroyer."

AIDEN
Yeah.

GUNN
Whoa, wait a minute. "The Destroyer"?
(Gunn pauses in the doorway)
We wouldn't be talking about a certain
offspring-of-two-vampires, would we?


INT. OFFICE OF PROFESSOR ROTH

Unnerved, Professor Roth sets the journal down on her desk and pushes her chair back. She rises and walks over to her office window. The waning light of afternoon falls on her face.

WILLIS
Regardless of whether his life was foretold,
it's clear that nothing like him has ever existed
in the history of the world--
a human child of two demons, raised in hell.

Professor Roth stares outside, her fingertips resting on the windowsill. CLOSE-UP on her long stare.

MELANIE
"For he is the Destroyer of the dark world...
the bringer of blood, darkness, dust, and death
."

BLACK OUT.


END OF ACT ONE

Act Two

INT. SLAYER COUNCIL LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS

ANGLE ON Giles and Aiden's astonishment as Gunn enters the room.

GUNN
"The Destroyer"?
That was Connor's nickname in Quortoth.

Giles and Aiden share a glance. Then Giles examines the stapled notes in his hand with a befuddled expression.

GILES
The, er...the reference comes from the Syndicate notes
on the Nyazian Scroll.
(he proffers the notes)
If they're to be believed,
the term itself appears in the Scroll.

Gunn crosses his arms.

GUNN
Wouldn't surprise me.
Wes never got a chance to finish translating the text
before Wolfram and Hart stole it,
but from what I remember?
It predicted the whole nasty "confluence of events"
that lead to a Power-that-Was trying to
take over the world with her
free-will-sucking feel-good vibe.
Holtz and his vengeance gig? was just part of the "fun."

GILES
(thoughtfully)
Indeed.

Giles turns to Aiden with a puzzled expression.

GILES
If the Syndicate scholar translated the Scroll,
one presumes the Syndicate acquired it
from the material they salvaged from Wolfram and Hart.

AIDEN
(with a shrug)
I guess.

GILES
Which Faith then brought here.
(beat)
So why don't we have the Scroll?

Aiden shakes his head, all nonchalance.

AIDEN
I don't know.

CLOSE-UP on his furtive eye-dip as he reaches for a NOTEPAD beside the computer.

AIDEN
I did manage to find some stuff on the Nyazians
before the network went down, though.


INT. OFFICE OF PROFESSOR ROTH

Professor Roth continues to gaze out the window.

MELANIE
What do you want from me?

Willis lounges in his chair.

WILLIS
The Scroll contains a passage which predicts that
the One Sired by the Vampire with a Soul will
be at the center of a "cosmic struggle"--
nothing less than a war for a single human soul.
(a resolved beat)
The Patrons will manufacture that struggle.
Your job will be to--

MELANIE
Ensure that his "darkness" wins out.

WILLIS
Yes.

Professor Roth circles around until she is facing him.

MELANIE
(with an amused scoff)
He must have some potential for goodness if the Patrons
are willing to trade what I can do for his corruption.

Willis looks loathed to answer her for a beat. Then he nods.

WILLIS
He's a child of Powers that Be.
He wouldn't exist without them.

A cold look of understanding dawns on Professor Roth's face.

WILLIS (cont.)
And if the Scroll is to be believed, they have big plans for him.

MELANIE
Which is why he's worth more to the Patrons alive than dead.
That's what this is really about, isn't it?
(a knowing smirk from Willis)
The Anunnaki, trying to wriggle out of their wretched curse!

Menace descends on Willis' face.

WILLIS
You've been warned not to utter their name.

MELANIE
(undaunted)
And just how many brownie points does Connor Reilly's
fall from grace win for them
in the grand metaphysical scheme of things!?


INT. SLAYER COUNCIL LIBRARY

Aiden reads from his notepad.

AIDEN
They're "an obscure demon tribe that lived
in this region over a thousand years ago."
(he looks up with chagrin)
That's all the database had.

Gunn chuckles.

GUNN
Man, I could have told you that much from my legal brain upload.
(he shrugs at a now-curious Giles)
But not much more.
Everything I've got on Nyazians is second-hand.
Guess they died out.

GILES
(wearily, to Aiden)
It was worth a try.

Aiden shakes his head and sets down his notepad. He reaches for the computer keyboard.

AIDEN
Oh, no. There's got to be more information on
these guys somewhere, and I intend to find it.
If only to learn why some ancient demon tribe
would care about two vampires and their offspring
in the twenty-first century!

Giles and Gunn nod supportively. Then Gunn turns to Giles.

GUNN
So there was something you wanted to show me?

GILES
Oh. Right.

Giles walks around the table to him, the Scroll notes in hand.

GILES
If you'll come to the office.

Gunn turns to follow Giles out the door. Aiden glances up from the computer screen.

AIDEN
Uh, so...
(Giles pauses and turns back)
have we decided what we're going to tell Connor
about the Scroll?

GILES
Without the original in hand,
we have to be cautious about any conclusions we draw.
(a brief glance at Gunn)
I suggest we say nothing for the moment.
I'm sure it would be disturbing to him, to say the least.

GUNN
Sounds good to me.

The two of them leave.


INT. OFFICE OF PROFESSOR ROTH

Willis takes in Professor Roth's quiet agitation.

WILLIS
You look disturbed, Melanie.
Tell me. Why is Connor Reilly any different
from those wretches you'd consign to hell
to get out of your bargain with the Patrons?
At least he grew up in one.

Professor Roth's lips tremble. She throws him a glare.

MELANIE
(angrily)
I'm not the one who--

WILLIS
(sitting up)
You're running out of time.
Your contract is up in...May, isn't it?

Professor Roth aims her fury at the CALENDAR hanging on the wall.

NOVEMBER.

She crosses her arms tight.

MELANIE
So I have six months to somehow set him on a dark path,
one he won't want to come back from,
or won't be able to once he's made his choice.

WILLIS
Exactly. All you need to do is make sure that,
when he faces this "struggle"...
he makes the wrong choice.


DISSOLVE TO a CLOSE-UP of Connor's intently determined brood in dim light.

WILLIS (O.S.)
That shouldn't be too much of a challenge.

EXT. KINROSS HALL - UCLA - DUSK

Connor heads up the concrete path towards the main doors of the building, his portfolio case slung over his shoulder.

INT. ART INSTRUCTOR'S OFFICE

A cozy space cluttered with art supplies and books. A water-color-in-progress rests on an easel. Connor's ART INSTRUCTOR (ep 2.03) sits down behind his desk, gesturing at his visitor's chair. Connor pulls out the chair and sits as well. He brings his case up to his lap.

CONNOR
You've already seen some of my sketches.

MR. ZMUIDA
(sitting forward with interest)
I remember the comic book panels set in an
alternate dimension full of demons.
Very Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Connor grins. He pulls out his artwork.

MR. ZMUIDA
(conversationally)
You're just in time to take advantage of
the new art building. It's going to have galleries, studios,
state of the art classrooms....

Mr. Zmuida takes the sketchpads and drawings from Connor and gazes down at them. Connor looks on with nervous expectation. INSERT - the top-most sketch. A CLOSE-UP of Darla's fatigued, cynical face.

MR. ZMUIDA
(contemplatively)
You know, I always say that a person's art--
the subject matter, the style...
is a window into their soul.

He shuffles out the larger COMIC BOOK PANELS from the stack.

MR. ZMUIDA (cont.)
Even if it's highly imaginative, like these....
It tells you a lot about a person.

INSERT - The panel on top shows a LARGE, SCALY DEMON WITH CLAWS.

Connor's eyes dip away. Then something draws them up to the door. They narrow. His POV - It is the same DEMON IN A JOGGING SUIT Connor saw before. Only this time when it sees Connor noticing it, it startles and quickly moves on.

With a screech, Connor LEAPS FROM HIS CHAIR and scrambles for the door.

MR. ZMUIDA
(looking up with surprise)
Connor?

INT. CORRIDOR

Connor pauses there. LONG SHOT, down beyond several classrooms - A FIGURE disappears around a corner.

CONNOR
Hey!

Connor CHARGES AFTER IT.

CUT TO POV SHOT through a classroom door - students glance up from paperback books as Connor races by.

He darts around the corner. LONG SHOT - another, shorter corridor. A YOUNG MAN stops at a drinking fountain.

Connor starts down the hallway at a half-run, half-lope, pausing to glance in classroom doors. Then he charges ahead to the stairwell at the end of the hall.

INT. STAIRWELL

Nothing. Connor breaths in the air and scowls, bewildered and agitated, then exits back out.


INT. LOBBY - HYPERION HOTEL - DAY (FLASHBACK)

SUPER LEGEND:
Two and a half years ago


OVERHEAD SHOT looking down from the SECOND FLOOR LANDING. The LOBBY is filled with upbeat, chatting PEOPLE--some are milling about, others are seated at tables, eating, still others are pouring in the door and queuing up at the front desk.

REVERSE ANGLE - CONNOR and JASMINE watch from above, their hands on the metal railing. There are more of Jasmine's disciples on the landing around them, waiting to get her attention. Connor is blank-faced and edgy; Jasmine's face is aglow with pleasure.

JASMINE
(with feeling)
This is it, father.
This world is finally about to find the peace
it's always yearned for.

CONNOR
Yes.

His non-committal tone turns her head.

JASMINE
What is it? What's bothering you?

CONNOR
Nothing.
(a beat; he shrugs)
It's just...what if Angel shows up to mess it all up?

Jasmine chuckles warmly but dismissively.

JASMINE
He won't.
(off Connor's dubious expression)
He can't.
(beat)
Don't you see?
What's coming is what was always meant to be.
They can't stop that with their petty fear and hate.

Connor looks as uncertain as ever. Jasmine smiles.

JASMINE
I know what it is.
(Connor's eyes dip)
You still don't feel like you deserve it...
ruling at my side.

Connor shakes his head unconvincingly. Jasmine slips her fingertips under his chin. She is rewarded with a sweet smile.

JASMINE
But you're wrong.

They share a long, soulful gaze. Jasmine brings her hand down.

JASMINE
You deserve it because it's who you are.
All the heartache you've experienced up till
now in your life, all the pain,
it was all leading to this.
(a sweeping gesture of the lobby below)
Strengthening you, giving you the resolve you would need
to see it through.

She takes in his look of reassurance, then nods towards the staircase.

JASMINE
Come.

Connor follows Jasmine as she weaves through the gathered throng. Her disciples respond eagerly to her passing glances and smiles, but back off at the sight of Connor's COOL GLARE. WIDE SHOT - Jasmine and Connor descend the stairs.

CONNOR
(earnestly, to Jasmine)
And I want to see it through.
I want to help you, always.

PAN THE CROWD BELOW - people of assorted races and ages gaze up, their faces filled with hope and expectation.

PEOPLE
Jasmine!
Jasmine!

Jasmine bestows a beatific smile on them.

JASMINE
(to Connor)
Then let me erase all those doubts and uncertainties.
The anger. The fear.
Do you know how many people stumble through life
never knowing where they belong, or why?

She and Connor continue to the bottom of the stairs.

JASMINE
They won't feel that anymore in the world we're creating,
but until now...
(a glance at him)
Not many, Connor. Not many.

Connor and Jasmine reach the staircase landing. She turns to face him again, giving him her full and empathetic attention.

JASMINE
You've felt that way, too, I know.
(Connor nods)
But you also felt, deep down inside,
that you were meant for something special.
Because of what you are. Because of how you came to be.

Hope and uncertainty war on Connor's face.

JASMINE
And you were right.
This is your time. Your destiny.

She turns to face the others again, and Connor follows suit.

JASMINE
Right now.


INT. GILES' OFFICE - EARLY EVENING (PRESENT DAY)

Giles and Gunn stand on either side of the desk, books and papers strewn between them. Gunn grabs up his coat off the back of a chair.

GUNN
If that's everything, I'm gonna head out.
I'm having dinner with a couple colleagues
who are head-hunting me for their firm.

Giles lights up at the news.

GILES
Oh! Well, congratulations.
(beat)
You'll keep us abreast of your progress with Angel?

Gunn's pleased grin fades to frustration. He slips his coat on.

GUNN
As soon as I have some "progress,"
you'll be the first to know.
My colleagues are of the same opinion as me--
there won't be a copy of Angel's contract in this dimension.
The Partners wouldn't risk it.
Which kinda puts me a stand-still.

Giles nods grimly. Gunn turns towards the door with a wave.

GUNN
Later.

GILES
Good evening.

INT. HALLWAY

Gunn heads to the exit.

AIDEN (O.S.)
Gunn, wait!

He glances back. Aiden exits the library and beckons him forward.

INT. FRONT HALLWAY

They pause there.

AIDEN
Have you seen Faith...you know, since...?

Gunn chuckles cynically.

GUNN
Once.
(off Aiden's expectant look)
And we talked.
I thought I was getting through to her, then....

AIDEN
She shut down.

GUNN
You, too, huh?

Aiden nods with exasperation.

AIDEN
This is so frustrating!
I want to tell her that these guys are testing her,
but I can't.

Gunn pastes on an only half-convincing look of encouragement.

GUNN
She'll figure it out.
Then she'll step up, you'll see.

Now it's Aiden's turn to look cynical.

AIDEN
I want to believe that.
But she's already not acting like I thought she would.

GUNN
You mean like she doesn't care?

AIDEN
(nodding)
Well, that, and...
(his anxiety deepens)
When Giles confronted her, what'd she do?
Did she stand up to him?
(a grudging shrug)
Well, okay, yeah, at first.
(then, earnestly)
But then she just left!
And now she's hiding out!

Gunn crosses his arms, his expression frank.

GUNN
Giles and Buffy want her to open up more, talk to them,
stop treating them like they're the enemy.

AIDEN
The "enemy"?
I've seen Faith battle demon armies and
stand up to bad guys twice her size!

GUNN
That's different. Faith likes things simple,
and demons are simple.
Politics? That's complicated.


EXT. HOLLYWOOD SIDE STREET - EARLY EVENING

Faith strolls from shadow to shadow, her gaze long and pensive.

CUT TO - EXT. THE TORCHED AND GUTTED HUSK OF THE TWO-STORY BRICK AUCTION WAREHOUSE

From episode 2.07. A yellow tape spanning its perimeter warns "police line - do not cross" over and over. Loitering in front of it twenty-five feet distant from each other are TWO YOUNG MEN dressed in jeans, t-shirts, and black berets. The one standing near the double-doored entrance raises a hand to stop Faith in her tracks as she approaches.

YOUNG MAN
You don't want to be here, lady.

Faith saunters to a halt and grins.

FAITH
Captain Jimenez! Fancy running into you.
(her eyes scan the building behind him)
Can't say it's a surprise, though,
considering what happened.

Recognition flickers across the soldier's face.

FAITH
(pointedly)
So what do you know about it?

CAPTAIN JIMENEZ
Classified.

Faith scoffs.

FAITH
Man, there's gratitude for you.
I saved your guys' asses
when we went up against the Syndicate last Spring!

Captain Jimenez is unmoved. Faith frowns.

FAITH
Okay, you want to know the truth?
(she gestures at the building)
I was here. I know what happened.
I just want to know who you think did it.

She immediately raises two defensive hands off Captain Jimenez' suspicious stare.

FAITH
Hey...wasn't me.
I followed some demons here on patrol, then--
(she tightens her fists and shoots her fingers out wide)
BOOM! The place went up like a terrorist plot.

Faith slips her fingers into her back pockets.

FAITH
And explosives?...not really a demon thing.
Word is, humans did this job.

Captain Jimenez' stony expression pinches into startled interest.

CAPTAIN JIMENEZ
Where'd you hear that?

FAITH
Neighborhood gossip.
(she shrugs a shoulder and tsks)
Humans blowing up demons.
I'm not going to cry about it, either,
but I know you guys want to at least find out
what happened.

Captain Jimenez sighs.

CAPTAIN JIMENEZ
All right.
(then, reluctantly)
A police squad car arrived at the scene
shortly after the explosion.
(QUICK-CUT TO Faith listening attentively)
One of the officers entered the warehouse
and was attacked and killed.
The bomb squad was called in,
but before they could begin their investigation,
we arrived and took over.

Faith crosses her arms.

FAITH
And we both know the cops didn't call you.
(she tilts her head back with realization)
You were keeping tabs on this place, weren't you?

Captain Jimenez nods.

CAPTAIN JIMENEZ
We've had it under surveillance as a
potential threat to public safety.

FAITH
Uh-huh.
(she waits, but he adds nothing)
So what's the what, then? What else do you know?

Captain Jimenez' regards her circumspectly, then finally glances over at the other soldier.

CAPTAIN JIMINEZ
(calling out)
Sergeant Rawlings!

The soldier snaps to attention.

SERGEANT RAWLINGS
Yes, sir!

Jimenez beckons him.

CAPTAIN JIMINEZ
Take over this post!

The soldier jogs over. Rawlings takes his position as Captain Jimenez opens one of the doors and disappears inside the building. TIGHT SHOT of Sergeant Rawlings, staring Faith down stonily.

FAITH
(conversationally)
Crappy weather we're having.
(no response)
How 'bout them Lakers?

Still no response. After a moment, the door reopens. Captain Jimenez slips outside.

CAPTAIN JIMENEZ
(to the Sergeant)
I'm going to escort this lady from the premises.

SERGEANT
Yes, sir.

Captain Jimenez nods abruptly towards the far end of the alley and starts in that direction. Faith falls in step beside him. Halfway there, he cuts down an intersecting alley. Faith follows. He signals for her to halt, then reaches into the pocket of his jeans and pulls out a SMALL SCRAP OF WHITE CLOTH.

CAPTAIN JIMENEZ
This was found in the wreckage.
See what your people can make of it.

INSERT - STRANGE SYMBOLS are scrawled on the cloth in black ink.


MAN'S VOICE
This is a disaster!

EXT. UP-SCALE SANTA MONICA HIGHRISE - EARLY EVENING

The WHITE CONDOMINIUM set against the blue Pacific, previously seen in episode 2.04.

INT. PENTHOUSE DEN

PANNING - Seated in the dimly-lit, expensively-furnished room is the CABAL OF MEN AND WOMEN also seen previously--among them, the BALD, SUITED MAN; the WOMAN with the florescent red hair and DARK SUNGLASSES; and the greasy-haired SORCERER with BLACK ONYX JEWEL set in his forehead. Facing off against them are a YOUNG MAN AND WOMAN in casual street clothes and distinctly SOUR expressions.

YOUNG MAN
Why? We left no evidence we were there!

YOUNG WOMAN
They were murderous demon scum!
(she crosses her arms and scowls dismissively)
We all know what they were up to.

The BALD, SUITED MAN leaps from his chair. He is LIVID.

BALD MAN
Yes, they were scum! They're all scum!
But there are better and worse ways to go about this!
Calling attention to ourselves is the wrong way!

His seated colleagues nod grimly. The young man scoffs.

YOUNG MAN
We've listened for years to "your way"!
(the young woman nods her support)
Sat around waiting for you to
(he flings a clasped hand in the air)
wave your magic wand and save us from the demon threat!

He lowers his hand, giving them all a cool glare.

YOUNG MAN
You want to keep us from blowing up demon nests and
assassinating traitorous human collaborators?
(hostile beat)
Prove a magic solution will work.

The bald man and his colleagues stare around at each other sullenly. Finally -

BALD SUITED MAN
Very well.
(with determination -)
We know the answer is in the Slayers' library.
We just have to get to it.


EXT. UCLA POWELL LIBRARY - EVENING - ESTABLISHING

INT. MAIN FLOOR REFERENCE SECTION

IN FRAME - the inside cover of a hard-bound book. THUNK. A stamp comes down on it, then rises, leaving "library use only" in smudged ink there.

Connor, seated at the counter, closes the book and sets it on top of a stack. He lays the stamp down, then LOW SHOT - reaches under the his stool for his book bag. He brings it up, unzips it, and pulls out a large, thin PHOTO ALBUM. He opens it on the counter. Inside are a series of cardboard pages sleeved in plastic and a small stack of his drawings.

He sets the drawings aside, then one by one, starts to slip them into the plastic sleeves--a small figure in animal hides poised on a cragged rock face; a study of a feminine pair of hands; a still life of three-dimensional geometrical shapes. Then he pauses. CLOSE-UP as his absorbed gaze grows alert and guarded. His eyes rise to -

The STACKS - row upon row of metal shelves with another long shelf running along at their rear. No one is among them; nothing seems amiss.

Connor's eyes dart across them suspiciously. He slides from his stool and walks around the counter.

CUT TO - INT. REFERENCE STACKS

TRACKING SHOT as Connor wanders to the end of a middle aisle. He stops and looks in one direction, then the other. His POV - LEFT LONG SHOT, RIGHT LONG SHOT. Shelves and books. He heads up the next aisle. CONTINUING POV SHOT - the bookshelves to his right pass by, but we see nothing in the aisle beyond them except more shelves and books.

Connor circles around into that aisle. And then, inexplicably, the DEMON IS THERE, halfway down the aisle. It has a LEATHER POUCH tied at its waist. At the sight of Connor, it stiffens and holds its ground, then raises its hands defensively as -

Connor RUSHES IT and SLAMS IT TO THE GROUND. Its hood slips off, revealing a hairless, scaled head.

CONNOR
Who are you!?
Why are you following me?

A low rumble draws Connor's attention up. The books on the shelf above briefly TREMBLE. The demon's anxious gaze rises to Connor.

DEMON
I--I...have something for you.
S--something you need.

CONNOR
You don't even know me.

DEMON
Yes, I do. You're him. The Son.

Connor GRABS IT UP by the collar.

CONNOR
What are you talking about?

A few books FLY from the shelves. Connor ducks them. They land around him with a thud, thud, thud. Connor resumes his previous stance, glowering at the demon through narrowed eyes.

CONNOR
What do you want?

The demons shakes its head, wide-eyed.

DEMON
From you? Nothing.
E--everything you were...to do for us...you've done.
Now we want to do something for you.

CONNOR
(with a suspicious grimace)
Who's "we"?

The demon raises its head to see past Connor.

DEMON
Not here. Outside.

With that, the demon FADES until Connor is looming over empty air. He catches his balance with a flailing hand, then slowly stands. He scowls, then turns to see -

library patrons standing in the reference section beyond, peering at him.

BLACK OUT.


END OF ACT TWO

Part 2 (click here)



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Comments:


(Anonymous) at 2007-07-02 12:34 (UTC) (Link)
In this series you really took Connor and made him your own. And you took topics I have seen butchered by other writers (namely Connor being mentioned in cliched prophecies) and made it intelligent and believeable. He wasn't just a 2-dimensional flunkie, or a needlessly moody teenager, but you were realistic in your depictions of him because super warrior or not, a person can only take so much. I cannot wait to read the next story in this series. Thank you so much for sharing, this is exactly what I have been looking for.
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