|Enemies at the Gate|
(March 10, 2009)
Written by: Masquerade
Previously on The Destroyer...
EXT. CITY STREET - AFTER SUNSET
CHARGED-UP MUSIC PLAYS over QUICK-SHOTS of SLAYERS ON THE HUNT--slinking down alleyways, lurking on rooftops, searching the sewers.
CUT TO a wide-eyed Connor, ducked behind a building corner. He turns and bolts down an alley. A scowling Slayer APPEARS IN HIS PATH.
Connor turns to run. And stops. REVERSE ANGLE - More Slayers appear behind him. 360 PAN, Connor's POV - They close in on him slowly. Connor looks up. His POV - a FIRE ESCAPE. Connor SPRINGS at the bottom rung of the ladder and clambers to safety. The Slayers stare after him, then trade looks with each other. They SCATTER to cut him off elsewhere.
TIGHT SHOT - Connor mounts the zig-zagging metal scaffolding turn by turn. Then - FROM ABOVE - ANOTHER GIRL APPEARS and leaps down on him, SHOVING HIM FLAT to the metal railing. He grunts. She brings the point of her stake to his chest.
You're dust, vampire.
CONNOR REILLY walking to classes, swinging a SWORD in a street fight,
FAITH THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, taking aim with her CROSSBOW at a multi-armed, blade-swinging DEMON,
and AIDEN WALSH, sitting at a TABLE with a BOOK opened in front of him.
J. August Richards
Rachel Leigh Cook
EXT. CITY STREET - CONTINUOUS
WHERE WE LEFT OFF - Connor, pinned by a Slayer. He grabs the hand clutching the stake and struggles to push it away. She doesn't budge.
So you should...point this thing...somewhere else.
CUT TO the ALLEY FLOOR. Rona appears there, clicking a stopwatch. She lifts a whistle from a string around her neck and blows into it shrilly.
The Slayer releases Connor.
(glancing at the watch)
Okay. This one was...just over...thirty-one minutes!
After a beat, Connor lands beside her with a thump. He is wearing a THICK ORANGE VEST. The word "VAMPIRE" is scrawled in black marker on it. He yanks it off with a zzzrrpt of velcro.
I swear this is going to put me in therapy
until I'm forty.
Rona clasps his shoulder, smiling wryly.
But you wear it well.
CUT TO - EXT. A NEARBY SIDE STREET
Faith and Mary are walking side by side. Mary's eyes are dipped in shame.
Why are you doing this? Why are you helping me?
I screwed up. You said so.
Sure. But you don't stop being a Slayer.
Take it from someone who screwed up bigger than you did.
Mary looks dubious. They turn the corner and approach Rona. The other Slayers are returning as well. Suddenly, from across the street, a DEMON STAGGERS INTO VIEW, doubled over and clutching its stomach, which is STAINED WITH BLOOD. TIGHT SHOT - The demon has sagging skin and floppy ears. It nearly knocks over Faith, who stumbles under its weight.
Whoa, whoa whoa!
She sinks to the ground, holding it. It grabs at Faith with clawed fingers. Its red eyes gaze up at her desperately.
The demon dies in her arms. The others hurry over. Rona gazes down at the demon with dismay.
I recognize him. It's Clem.
He's a friend of Buffy's from Sunnydale.
Faith nods anxiously.
I asked him to come by the office
to talk to the girls about working with demon informants.
Her fingertips brush a BLOODY SCAR on his forehead. CLOSE-UP - Its shape is unmistakable -
...It means the Old Ones.
Connor and the Slayers gather around for a look.
EXT. SLAYER COUNCIL BUILDING - A SHORT WHILE LATER
INT. FAITH'S OFFICE
Rona kicks back in one of the visitors chairs with her feet up while Faith sits on the phone, apparently on hold. Somewhere nearby, we hear a LOW, REPETITIVE CHORUS OF CHANTING.
Why would the Gathering go after another demon?
Didn't Clem say something about "traitors" or something?
(she ponders this)
Maybe they thought he was bringing us information or something.
(into the phone)
Well, just give her the message. Thanks.
Faith hangs up the phone with frustration.
This training is bogus.
We have a war on our hands.
We need to put the girls with no field experience
up against some real--
CUT TO the office door. Connor stalks in, orange vest in hand.
Can I go now?
Sure, we're done.
(a pointed look at Rona)
Everyone's going live from here on out.
So we lose the fake vampires?
(a glance at Connor)
Why would I be offended?
He tosses the vest on a chair, then pivots to leave.
IN CLOSE-UP - QUIVERING HANDS hunt and peck a computer keyboard.
With a scowl, Aiden shoves the keyboard away.
This database is useless!
The scholar Nigel glances up over a stack of open reference books.
Perhaps you're rushing things a bit.
You should give your brain a chance to heal.
My brain isn't the problem.
I know the Syndicate library backwards and forwards.
What Faith wants isn't in here.
Perhaps not, but it is somewhere.
And we'll find it.
Aiden reaches back and cups stiff fingers around the wheels of his wheelchair. With a grunt of effort, he rolls it away from the table. Then he raises a shaky hand to the golf-tee sized JOYSTICK on the arm of the chair. The chair jerks back at an angle, then forward. Aiden guides the softly whirring chair down the length of the table.
I'm going home.
He exits through the library portal to the ECHOING CHATTER of Slayers and the continued low chanting. Aiden's POV - The hallway. Slayers stroll from the locker room to the front foyer exit, stopping to peer curiously into the training room.
TIGHT SHOT - Somber music starts up off Aiden's melancholy stare. He sets his palm on the chair joystick. Just then, Connor appears. He halts at the sight of Aiden.
Hey. Faith told me you were up and around.
How are you feeling?
(he smiles weakly)
Weeks of physical therapy,
and I still can't walk more than a few feet.
With effort, Aiden reaches down and grabs at the lock lever on his wheelchair. He winces as he yanks it in place.
And between you and me, I can't concentrate for crap.
Connor's lips compress sympathetically.
I was outside the garage when it happened.
I wanted to come in, but the fire flared up so fast.
I guess you were close to the...what do they call it,
Aiden nods. A silent beat passes.
I also heard about Kristin.
Aiden's eyes drift back down the hallway.
I keep telling myself...it was "in the line of duty."
But she was sixteen.
His face contorts with grief. Connor's gaze shifts to the loitering Slayers. He licks his lips uncertainly.
Aiden's reddened eyes drift back to him.
When you're feeling better, I'd really like your help.
My dad...was attacked in the tunnels below his garage.
I heard. Is he all right?
The Slayer Council has shaman doctors taking care of him.
But I think...
I think the attack was related to the other burnings
Aiden looks stunned.
Did Angel see who attacked him?
Connor shakes his head.
No, but who attacks people with fire?
Plus, you remember that professor at UCLA,
Professor Roth, who I've been talking to?
She admitted knowing Julia Moore.
Julia visited her on campus to talk about
a magical cure for her bone disease.
Didn't Julia Moore die on campus, too?
Yeah. Near Dodd Hall.
And Julia heard about Professor Roth at Sekhmet.
Apparently...Roth knows the guy that owns the club.
Aiden's shock is back.
You think she's involved.
Yeah. And maybe whoever they are went after my dad.
I need to know for sure.
Suddenly, a LOUD BOOM SHUDDERS through the suite, KNOCKING Connor off step. He looks around. The remaining Slayers rush to the training room door. Red-gold light reflects off their faces. Faith exits her office, Rona at her heels.
Sounds like the coven've got their mojo started.
She halts when she sees Aiden. Rona veers around her and continues on.
Faith, I need to go.
Faith thumbs down the hall.
I gotta wait 'til the girls leave.
Plus, there's some Lunas here doing a reading.
(a glance towards Connor)
I guess the Gathering mansion lit up like a friggin' hurricane
on their black magic radar.
Aiden reaches for his chair lock.
You know what? I think I'll just call a taxi--
I'll take you.
Aiden looks at him.
Connor nods. Faith looks from Connor to Aiden.
Did you tell him about the scroll?
The Nyazians sent us a little gift
for helping them get home.
Aiden's voice perks up with enthusiasm.
The complete text of the Nyazian Scroll.
Connor rolls his eyes and frowns.
(with a chuckle)
'Course, they sent it without a Ga-shundi cross-text,
or Greek Commentaries, or Syndicate notes....
Also, thanks to our little favor?
No Nyazians to translate it into English.
Gunn's gonna deliver it to Giles.
Aiden's excitement dribbles into disgruntlement.
Faith takes in his uneasiness.
Book-guy can't get away right now.
So someone needs to keep hold of the scroll
on its way to him.
Plus, Gunn knows all those demon languages
from that brain upload of his.
(without skipping a beat)
What's the matter?
I guess I don't see the point.
What's translating it going to do for you?
How's it gonna stop this "Gathering" thing?
Faith throws out her hands.
Maybe it won't.
But Connor, somebody stole the scroll right out of our safe
and took the Syndicate notes.
Don't you want to know who and why,
and what they want?
Sure, but is now the time?
They face off for a tense beat. Then -
Someone's after you, Connor. Someone powerful.
And I'm thinking that's a bad thing.
With a scowl, Connor veers around Aiden's chair and takes the handles. Aiden quickly grabs at the arms.
C'mon, let's go.
Connor pushes at the chair, which LURCHES VIOLENTLY, sending Aiden flailing forward. He tumbles over an outstretched leg to the floor. A mortified Connor dodges back around.
Oh man, sorry.
The Slayers congregated at the training room door look over as Connor and Faith help Aiden back up into his chair. Faith kneels in front of it, gazing at him.
You all right?
Go home, get some rest.
Aiden nods again, bravely.
And Poind, I'm not trying to push you...
but I need whatever you can get on the Gathering, ASAP.
Aiden wilts with frustration.
We've been at it for weeks.
There's nothing in the books or the database.
The Gathering are too new. Too secretive.
Faith pats him on the shoulder, then stands tall.
So maybe we need to start knocking in some heads
on the street.
There's gotta be someone who knows something--
weaknesses, what they're after; something.
Connor's response is non-committal. Aiden gapes at her.
There's gotta be something in the books, somewhere.
And we'll find it.
Faith gives him a smile.
I know you will. Now go home.
Faith pivots and strides towards the training room. The Slayers at the door part so she can enter. Aiden watches her go, then unlocks his chair.
I'm just gonna hit the john first, okay?
Aiden starts forward, then slows as he approaches the training room door. He looks inside. His POV, framed by curious Slayers - The LUNA COVEN are standing in a giant circle around the perimeter of the room. The floor has been emptied of mats and is now ALIGHT WITH DOTS OF BUZZING MYSTICAL ENERGY. One in particular is a WHIRLING, ANGRY RED, and is building in power.
Aiden's eyes sink to the linoleum. He continues forward down the hall. Then - his POV - A Slayer stumbles into his path. We can see her from the torso down as she tries to dodge around him, drawing his gaze up. Mary stops still, her expression stricken. She looks away. Aiden looks away. She veers around him and disappears up the hall. Aiden doesn't look back as he continues to the bathroom.
INT. CAVE-LIKE BOOKSTORE - EVENING
K'SHAN, the horned, scaled demon with the skull-thin face, hunches behind the counter scouring a large book. An equally thin, younger demon of the same species sets more volumes down beside it.
The one on blood magic, I'll need that as well.
Is that downstairs?
K'shan nods. His assistant turns and heads towards a BLACK SPIRAL STAIRCASE which we only see the top of. Suddenly - Clang, clang, clang. The resonant, metallic sound brings him to a halt. He throws a startled glance back. K'shan looks equally startled. Before either can do anything, the climber steps into view. Dark hair, pale skin. She meets the assistant's gaze, lips parted.
My mummy read me Edgar Allen Poe.
I liked the monster on Rue Morgue best.
K'shan's assistant gives her a sneer. K'shan's tone is equally dismissive.
What do you want, vampire?
Drusilla takes in the tall stacks overstuffed with books, then wanders toward them. The oil-lamp sconces flicker on her face.
It's what you want. The Slayer.
She starts down an aisle, running her long, thin fingers over the book spines. The assistant continues to stare at her with contempt. But K'shan seems interested in what she has to say.
Go get the books, T'hauk.
The assistant turns a surprised look on K'shan, then nods and does as he asks.
The one...with the key.
She stops and pivots around. We hear the assistant's echoing clangs as he descends the staircase.
Her little girls are going to destroy you.
Depends on who you read.
Naughty ghosties tried to drain their power,
but they weren't sneaky enough.
(she closes her eyes and sways subtly)
They whisper their secrets to me.
I can tell you.
And why would you do that?
Drusilla's dark eyes snap open, flashing with anger. She bites out her words.
The Slayers...took...my family.
I want it like it was when we walked the night...
(a languid smile)
and people scurried like rats.
K'shan continues his non-committal stare.
And you think that's what I offer?
Drusilla turns and continues down the aisle.
Your king was a maiden, once. A monster got inside.
Daddy couldn't save her.
The monster broke free and stalked the land.
K'shan looks disturbed.
What do you know about it?
That the king shall rise.
But enemies wait at the gate.
We'll be ready for the Slayers.
Drusilla stops and turns again. She shakes her head slowly.
Not Slayers. Monsters.
The Anunnaki. The Wolf, Ram, and Hart.
Now K'shan looks very disturbed.
This "key" you spoke of. What is it?
Drusilla raises a square of gauze with a RED-BROWN STAIN.
Who's blood is that?
FLASH TO -
INT. SLAYER COUNCIL OFFICE - DAY (FLASHBACK)FADE TO - INT. K'SHANS BOOKSTORE (PRESENT TIME)
TWO-SHOT - Vaughne and Faith stand on either side of the desk, a bowl between them. Faith raises a small blade and CUTS HER HAND. TIGHT OVERHEAD SHOT - Blood drips into the bowl and onto the Turkish Eye charm.
CUT TO - INT. SLAYER COUNCIL LIBRARY
Faith enters holding a piece of gauze to her hand. She peels it off, examines the wound, then casually tosses the bloody gauze in the trashcan.
The last Slayer called.
The blood of the last Shadowmen Slayer
is a powerful talisman.
(K'shan points at the gauze)
But that's old and dried.
Drusilla is unfazed.
I can get more.
The Wolf, Ram, and Hart seek a girl who hears their whispers.
The Slayer tries to protect her.
When I taste the girls' blood, I shall taste the Slayer's as well.
K'shan studies Drusilla with guarded interest.
I've heard of you. Drusilla.
Your bloodline is the Order of Aurelius.
You've killed Slayers before.
You've seen this? In your head?
Drusilla nods slowly. QUICK-FLASH -
A bungalow-style house at night. Drusilla stands on the darkened path running beside the house, feeding from TAMMY PITTS. She looks up to see -Drusilla sways dreamily again.
Quickly, she shoves Tammy at Faith, who catches her reflexively. Drusilla dives in, her fingernails lethal weapons, and CUTS FAITH'S THROAT.
Then I think you can help us.
CUT TO A MOMENT LATER. Drusilla exits the front door as K'shan's assistant returns from the basement holding a book. He fumes after Drusilla with contempt, then turns that look on K'shan.
Why were you talking to her?
Vampires are wannabes! Weak!
There isn't going to be a vampire left
when we're done!
K'shan looks amused.
Doesn't mean we can't use her to get what we need.
Yeah, but isn't she psychic? Won't she figure it out?
(with a shrug)
Maybe. But she's also pure, addle-brained evil.
If she can give us an advantage over the Slayers
before she catches on, why not take it?
ESTABLISHING - EXT. EVENING AERIAL SHOT - MEDICAL CENTER
The same one Angel was in. A glass high-rise is in the foreground. Waves crash on the beach.
Kill the bitch!
Lilah Morgan stalks down the carpeted hallway, the loose ends of her scarf fluttering. She turns abruptly into an office doorway. INTERIOR SHOT of her paused there. A satisfied smile comes to her face.
I've been wanting to say that for five years.
REVERSE ANGLE - JASON GUELPH glances up at her from his desk.
Drusilla's on the firm's hit-list?
You won't see me crying.
Lilah enters at a more relaxed pace.
Speaking of which, how goes the search for Tammy Pitts?
She sinks into a leather chair across from him and sits back, crossing her legs.
I think you underestimate the Temple Luna witches'
prowess with cloaking spells.
It's taking time to get past them.
(off Lilah's impatient stare)
We're working on it.
He pulls a file out from the stack on his desk and hands it to her.
As to that other business,
(she opens it)
we have psychic intelligence that a new copy
of the Nyazian Prophecies is in this dimension,
or was, rather briefly. Now there's no sign of it.
(browsing through the contents of the file)
"Cloaked" as well?
She pauses to glance up at him.
You know, the firm would never have been
this incompetent in the old days.
Guelph returns a pointed look.
I didn't hand the L.A. offices over to the enemy.
Who's brilliant plan was that?
Lilah looks ruffled.
The Partners. I was just the messenger.
Well, Angel destroyed the place, if you recall--
And you're doing such a bang-up job of recruiting him
--Before that, a big-horned rampaging demon the Partners
were trying to negotiate with killed most of
the L.A. branch employees.
Now half our demon allies have crossed over to the Gathering,
and the Slayers have our library in another dimension.
Lilah lapses into thought.
What do you want to bet the scroll is there?
And the best news of all?
The Partners' least favorite Old One
is in control of the Gathering.
The Partners should have killed Illyria
when they had the chance.
Guelph gives her a wry smile.
Isn't that what Slayers are for?
"The enemy of my enemy...."
Can die in my place.
INT. ANGEL'S PLYMOUTH - EVENING
A business district passes by out the passenger side window. Aiden's brooding reflection is superimposed over it.
Thanks for getting me out of there.
In some ways, work helps, but in other ways, being there....
Connor glances over at him, driving.
It reminds you of her.
Aiden stares down and nods. Connor looks forward.
I'm sorry about Kristin.
This draws Aiden's expressionless stare.
You said that already.
I know. I just feel like...it's my fault.
I brought Drusilla there.
Under guard. Rona told me.
And they locked her up.
(he looks away, disgruntled)
You didn't let her out of that cage.
You're gonna kill her, right? Drusilla?
You've wanted to.
Connor's expression is pensive. Non-committal.
If I see her again, I will.
For the Reillys. For Kristin.
Aiden nods with satisfaction.
Aiden stares outside, then inhales deep and sinks into his seat. He takes in the car interior as if noticing it for the first time.
Man, this thing is sweet. Is it your dad's?
Connor nods. Aiden's eyes widen.
The for-real Angel-mobile? Cool!
With the mood more relaxed, Aiden grins.
So, are you really living under a strip mall now?
(with a chuckle)
It's a basement apartment. Also...my dad's.
It just got forgotten after the building
above it was destroyed.
Wolfram and Hart bombed the building
about a year before I was born.
(Aiden guffaws abruptly)
Someone built a strip mall right over the apartment.
(then, with mischievous curiosity -)
Mind if we take a detour?
Connor looks dubious.
It's kinda trashed.
I haven't had time to fix it up yet.
Well, if you'd rather wait....
No, it's fine.
Connor glances over his shoulder into traffic.
EXT. SHOT - The Plymouth changes lanes.
CUT TO - EXT. ALLEY BEHIND THE STRIP MALL - A SHORT WHILE LATER
The Plymouth is parked. Connor accompanies Aiden and his whirring chair down the alley.
It's not so bad.
It's got electricity and running water--
How, if no one knows you're there?
A sheepish grin from Connor.
Gunn set me up.
He's lived under the radar before.
(with a wry smile)
In other words,
you're stealing it from your neighbors.
The two men halt at the basement access door.
INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY
Connor helps Aiden step down the short flight of concrete steps.
Which means I don't have a TV, or heat,
or anything else that's gonna suck up a lot of juice.
Only way I can be sure....
Connor stares forward, then leaves Aiden standing and approaches the sliding doors leading into the apartment. ONE OF THEM IS OPEN.
Connor, my chair.
Connor's POV, through the door - A woman in a business suit and a man with the tool belt of a contractor stand in the middle of the central room. They turn toward the voices. Connor pivots and returns to Aiden.
You were saying?
CUT TO - EXT. ALLEY BEHIND THE STRIP MALL
Connor wheels a seated Aiden back up the alley at break-neck speed. They are stopped short by a LIZARD-LIKE DEMON standing beside the Plymouth.
EXT. ALLEY BEHIND THE STRIP MALL - CONTINUOUS
In a movement almost too quick to see, Connor slips a KNIFE from his pant leg pocket. An alarmed Aiden gapes from Connor to the demon, who raises defensive hands and steps back.
Easy. A friend sent me.
Lorne, the owner of Caritas.
Connor eyes the demon with uncertainty.
What's he want?
DISSOLVE TO - EXT. AIDEN'S HOUSE - A SHORT WHILE LATER
Two cars, including Aiden's Honda Civic, are parked in the driveway. Angel's Plymouth waits at the curb as Connor lifts Aiden and his chair up through the front door. With a wave goodbye, he heads back up the sidewalk.
EXT. HOME OF PROFESSOR ROTH - EVENING - ESTABLISHING
The grandfather clock ticks steadily. A WALL CALENDAR comes into focus. MARCH, 2006 is written across the top in block letters. Professor Roth sits at her desk, intent on a stack of test booklets.
Is everything ready?
She startles slightly and throws Willis a glare over her shoulder. His amused smile fades as she returns to her grading.
The spells are done. The magic's in place.
Willis regards her with skepticism.
So quickly? How did you manage that?
I used the Dagger of the Nyazians as a talisman.
The Dagger is in the Patrons' dimension.
I know you didn't fetch it yourself.
Melanie scoffs and twists in her chair to look at him.
And you think the Patrons wouldn't have it delivered
to perform the spell that will finally give them Connor Reilly?
Willis scowls defensively. With a brief pursing of her lips, Professor Roth returns to her work.
In the mind of the Nyazians, it's for Connor Reilly to use.
That makes it as individual to him as his blood or hair.
And you're so sure he'll make the choice
you're expecting him to make.
Willis waits for her to say something, then steps up behind her and sets a hand on the back of her chair. TIGHT SHOT - Professor Roth's shoulders tense.
It was foolish to ask Nicolas to approach Connor
with that offer like you did--
to reinstate the memory wipe and place him
back with the Reillys?
CLOSE-UP of Professor Roth. She looks irritated.
He'll never put his fate in the hands of an
unknown group that's most likely an enemy.
Melanie inhales deeply, then exhales with resignation.
An intrigued, and somewhat triumphant smile plays around the edge of Willis' lips.
He's not supposed to.
And at the moment,
he's doing exactly what we need him to be doing.
Willis steps back.
Which is what, exactly?
Melanie sets her pen down. She pushes her chair back and rises to face him.
There's a war waging around him.
I know. I helped the Patrons build it--
using that prophecy to incite demons already on edge,
planting false documents,
(he raises his fingers and waggles them)
arranging for "mystical signs" in the heavens.
(a heady breath)
It really makes one feel god-like.
And I've been doing everything in my power to
make Connor aware of it.
Willis' eyes narrow.
He's got his friends asking around about you, you know.
He doesn't trust you anymore.
Melanie raises her eyebrows with resignation.
I don't need him to.
I need him to put the pieces together.
Because when he does,
he's going to have to decide how to react.
And then the Patrons will get what they need,
what they contracted from me....
(CLOSE-UP of her troubled expression)
A genuine act of free will.
EXT. BISTRO RESTAURANT - LOS ANGELES - EVENING
Cars pass by in both directions.
Gunn hands a menu to the waitress. She takes it and leaves. Gunn settles his gaze across the table.
So what'd you find on those two names?
REVERSE ANGLE - Seated across from him is a thirty-something blond man whose suit screams "lawyer." He taps the handle of his fork against the table.
Ronald Da Silva is a player from way back.
It's said he can get the regulars of his club
anything they're looking for, for the right price.
And for the record, he has a lot of demon regulars.
Yeah, I've heard about Sekhmet.
What surprises me is his name never came up while
I was working for Wolfram and Hart.
Probably because he won't play ball with them.
His loyalties are...elsewhere.
You've heard of them.
Sure. Your basic Netherworld Whosits
people sell their souls to
in exchange for power, money, success....
Tom shakes his head.
They're a lot more than that.
He gives the once-over to the nearby tables, then lowers his voice.
These guys have the Senior Partners scared.
And you know this because...?
Tom raises defensive hands, still holding his fork.
You know I don't have loyalties to Wolfram and Hart anymore.
My junior partnership at Thompson, Brandon, and Chan
is doing well for me.
(he lays his fork down)
But talk to anyone who stayed on
who's willing to chat, they'll tell you the same.
The Anunnaki have a history with the Partners,
and it's not good.
The Partners want the disciples of the Anunnaki
and right now, they're pro-Slayer,
pro vampires-with-souls if your friends'll do the job.
What about Melanie Roth?
A chuckle from Tom.
Now she's the mystery.
He falls silent and sits back as the waitress reappears. She sets a bottle of beer in front of Gunn and a glass of Scotch in front of him. The two men sip at their drinks until there's some distance between her and the table. Tom sets his glass down.
She's fairly new to the faculty at UCLA.
Perfectly legit doctoral degree in Theology
(his expression grows a bit scandalized)
But her history before that?
Is a complete fabrication.
Bachelor's Degree is bogus. High school diploma, too.
Why go to the trouble of passing yourself off
as a Theology professor?
(with a shrug)
Just a guess, but it'd be a good front for
a demonologist, or a witch.
What I do know is, she's been seen at Sekhmet.
And knows Da Silva.
She ain't there for the Carnelian beer.
So now the bonus question.
(Tom waits, sipping Scotch)
Why go after Connor Reilly?
What, are you kidding?
I thought you knew this kid.
Since he was in diapers.
Which, granted, he was only in for about four months
before he became a teenaged pain in the ass.
(with a slow shake of his head)
All written about before he was born.
He gives Gunn a sober look.
Charles, Connor Angel...or Reilly or
whatever he's going by these days...
has the demon world at DefCon, like, One.
(Gunn frowns, listening)
Now, the Anunnaki, they're not supposed to
believe in prophecy, so who knows what they're up to,
but most demons?
Superstitious, mystical, and violent.
They want him dead.
If you knew in advance an enemy was coming after you,
wouldn't you do everything in your power to stop them?
Yeah, but prophecy, man, that's always dicey.
Which is exactly why they haven't tucked-tail
between their legs and admitted defeat.
So where are they getting their intel?
The Nyazian Scroll has--
Been passed around for the past thousand years.
Stolen, sold, traded, translated and retranslated.
(he looks Gunn in the eye)
If I were you?
I'd let the kid know what he's up against.
TIGHT SHOT of Gunn's pensive concern.
FADE TO - EXT. BISTRO - A WHILE LATER
WIDE SHOT - Tom and Gunn part on the sidewalk. Gunn heads to his car. Tom watches him go, then pulls out his cell phone. He pecks out a number and brings the phone up.
I told him everything.
CUT TO - INT. PROFESSOR ROTH'S OFFICE
She is right where we left her, grading papers.
EXT. GATHERING HEADQUARTERS - GRANADA HILLS - EVENING - ESTABLISHING
INT. VAULTED ROOM
Demons of various species are paired off, trading blows and staggering under their increasing intensity in turn. Illyria walks among them with K'shan at one elbow and his assistant at the other.
There is no disguising Illyria's contempt. She stops abruptly.
Enough of this. This struggle won't be won
by half-breed fists.
(she looks to K'shan)
You said you had a plan for countering the enemy's strategy.
Yes, Lord. In the laboratory.
Show it to me.
She stalks off.
CUT TO - INT. STONE CORRIDOR
The two demons scurry behind her down a narrow passageway, then cut into a doorway after her.
A MAGICIAN'S LABORATORY - Richly embroidered cloth drapes over a rough wood table, atop which sits all manner of odd-colored liquids bubbling in beakers, rolled-up scrolls, flickering candles, and an open book on an easel. More ancient tomes fill the bookcases on the back wall. Other shelves contain bottles of dried herbs and preserved remains, and obscure iron tools.
OVERHEAD SHOT - K'shan crosses a pentagram embedded in the stone floor.
This is the talisman, Lord--
NORMAL SHOT - K'shan takes the book from the easel and turns, holding it up where Illyria can see it.
INSERT, the BOOK - On one page is an ETCHING depicting a KNIFE encrusted with jewels.
The Dagger of the Nyazians.
It is said to be able to seal dimensional walls
until they are virtually inaccessible.
And you believe they plan to use this?
K'shan turns the book towards himself and flips the page.
Yes, in a ritual requiring the blood of a human
that is demon-born.
K'shan's assistant sneers.
There is no such thing!
But Illyria looks deeply troubled. She paces away from the other two.
This shell I inhabit knew such a child,
born of two vampires, now a man.
He is an ally of the Slayers.
K'shan approaches, halting behind her.
If we destroy the dagger, it cannot be used against us.
And there is only one way to make it vulnerable.
We must use it to kill the demon-born human.
Illyria takes this in expressionlessly.
How do we locate this dagger?
K'shan's eyes dip.
I'm...working on several spells.
In a burst of energy, he pivots and returns to the table, where he makes a show of examining each bubbling beaker one by one.
Once the gates of Hell open,
your true army shall return,
and the Slayers have no prayer of defeating you.
Illyria still has her back to them. CLOSE-UP on her ice-blue eyes. QUICK-FLASH -
An alleyway at night under torrential rain. Fred gazes down in wonder, holding her coat over her head to shelter herself and the SQUIRMING, CRYING INFANT lying at her knees on the asphalt.K'shan eyes Illyria's back edgily.
Leave nothing to chance.
Even now, I'm preparing a spell to neutralize the Slayers.
K'shan's assistant throws him a discrete glance, which K'shan returns.
(staring into space)
My kingdom...my army....
Will once again make the world groan.
EXT. CHINA TOWN - LATE EVENING
ESTABLISHING - Chinese characters in brilliant neon; ornate street lamps; an old art deco theater. And a non-descript building with bars over its blacked-out windows. The metal door is propped open. A couple demony types in street clothes enter.
INT. CARITAS NIGHTCLUB
A vampire in game-face stands on the stage belting out Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon." The half-circle booths tucked into cubby-holes and the free-standing tables are all packed to capacity--Caritas is swingin' again. TRACKING SHOT - Lorne sashays across the room snapping his fingers in time to the music. A human-looking man is mixing drinks for the crowd at the bar. Lorne stops beside a scantily-clad brunette seated there.
You just going to sit here all night,
shining my barstool?
The woman glances up from a long-stemmed wine glass filled with red liquid. She frowns.
You know, I thought that vibe I was getting at Sekhmet
was 'cause Da Silva didn't like me hanging with Connor.
(she glances over her shoulder)
I think we were all eighty-sixed.
Reflexively, Lorne takes in his own club - PANNING - And indeed, the place seems to have more than its share of overly-pale ostensibly-humans.
Yeah, all the little Goth-pires have been piling in
here the past few nights, drinking up my stock.
Which you charge an arm and a leg for.
The plasma ain't free, pumpkin.
(he shakes a finger at her)
And don't you go trying to talk my patrons out of theirs.
This isn't the crowd you're used to at Suckmet.
Alix pouts, eyeing her drink.
Wouldn't be the same, anyway.
(a sly glance at him)
Once you've had the son of two vampires,
you're spoiled for the rest.
Lorne's reaction is dubious.
It was mutual.
Lorne waves her off dismissively.
Oh, I believe you. I just thought he'd
gotten over his little Oedipal complex.
He misses her taken-aback expression as his attention is drawn up past her.
Speaking of the hell-spawn.
Alix looks. LONG SHOT - Connor trudges down the narrow staircase, taking in the crowd warily. He passes through the metal detector, spots Lorne, and heads over. He doesn't seem to notice Alix.
Got your message.
How'd you know where I was living?
Lorne points at her.
A little birdy told me.
Connor's eyes settle on Alix, who offers him a sultry smile.
What's she doing here?
With a flummoxed chuckle, Lorne reaches a hand across Connor's shoulders.
Yes, apparently rudeness is hereditary.
He throws Alix an apologetic look, but Alix's expression is blasé long-suffering. Lorne guides Connor away.
C'mon, let's talk somewhere...quieter.
CUT TO - INT. LORNE'S APARTMENT
Lorne's studio has a large bed at one end and a seating area with his own private bar at the other. Off that is a private bathroom. Connor settles himself on an armless cushioned chair as Lorne walks a steaming mug over to him from the bar.
You know, the last time I saw your mom was in here,
the night you were born.
He sets the mug on the end table beside Connor's chair beside a bowl of shelled peanuts.
(sinking into a chair opposite him)
Bits and pieces.
Darla was big as a house, poor thing,
grumbling about how the universe had it out for her,
'cause otherwise how could she have gotten pregnant?
Connor reaches for the mug, brooding thoughtfully. He brings it up in front of him, elbows on his knees, and warms his hands.
Have you wondered...how she did get pregnant?
I mean, I know Jasmine took credit for it,
but everything out of her mouth was a lie.
Lorne shakes his head.
I don't know, kid.
All I know is it happened,
and that has a lot of critters interested in you.
Lorne levels his gaze at him.
What else is new, right?
They've been after you since before you were born.
Connor shrugs, and helps himself to some peanuts.
But I hear things--around the club, on the street.
And this is serious, Connor.
There's some powerful forces out there,
gunning for you.
EXT. AIDEN'S HOUSE - LATE EVENING
INT. AIDEN'S BEDROOM
Arid's Too Late Tonight plays as we DISSOLVE BETWEEN A SERIES OF SHOTS of Aiden in his wheelchair at his desk, straining over the keyboard of a laptop computer. ON THE SCREEN - WEBSITE AFTER WEBSITE dedicated to the supernatural - "Demons, Demons, Demons," "Tartarus Database," "Advanced Paranormal Network."
Aiden's small bedroom is much as we saw it before, only more so--the shelves, dresser, and desk are covered with books. His camera sits on a tripod, forgotten, but the old photos and newspaper clippings still adorn the walls. The door is closed. After a while, Aiden switches to books, struggling to turn the pages, nearly dropping them, and creating a haphazard pile on his bed. His expression deepens with frustration.
Finally, the music comes to an ABRUPT HALT as he THROWS A BOOK AWAY irritably.
Damn it, there's nothing!
The book falls splayed, pages down, only a few feet from his wheelchair. Aiden slumps.
(in a mumble)
Or maybe I just can't find jack.
He sits, glaring into space, and only stirs at a KNOCK AT THE DOOR. The door opens. Aiden's ROOMMATE pokes his head in.
Dude, you all right?
Yeah. Just pissed 'cause I can't turn
a frickin' book page without it hurting like hell.
Josh frowns sympathetically, eyeing the chaos that is Aiden's room.
(then, with hesitation -)
Look, this might not be the best time
to bring it up, but rent's due tomorrow.
Aiden nods with distraction.
Fine, if you drive me to the bank.
I can't even write a stupid check.
Dance music starts up, thumping rhythmically.
DISSOLVE TO - EXT. CLUB SEKHMET - LATE EVENING - ESTABLISHING
Clubbers pause to show the doorman their IDs, then enter.
WIDE CRANE SHOT - Strobe lights streak over the dancing crowd.
You've been keeping guard over this place
a long time.
INT. MANAGER'S OFFICE
Ronald Da Silva sits behind his desk gazing at an INDISTINCT FIGURE standing in the foreground.
It's been profitable for me.
REVERSE ANGLE - Willis takes a step towards him.
And it will continue to be, that's the beauty of it.
(a dramatic pause)
Are you ready?
Da Silva nods.
CUT TO - INT. CORRIDOR
TRACKING SHOT - He follows Willis.
You've made the smart choice.
Things are changing, Ron, and they're changing fast.
The hundred-year clause isn't going to matter soon.
Willis pauses to open a door. The men pass through.
They head up a flight of concrete stairs under the anemic glow of industrial sconces. Then -
CUT TO - INT. SECOND FLOOR
They enter a DARK, CORRIDOR-LIKE SPACE with painted-over windows on one side and darkened glass on the other. Music continues to thump below. A streak of pulsating light plays over the darkened glass. Willis and Da Silva are drawn to it. Their POV, through a glass, darkly - The bobbing heads of the crowd.
Soon, the world will belong to the Anunnaki.
Willis turns and continues into the narrow, shadowy darkness. TRACKING SHOT - Da Silva follows. The men take a left at a corner, then stop. AHEAD, their POV - Pulsating like the music is a BLACKNESS deeper than the shadows of the corridor. The men stare at it.
Pass through to Nibiru for a second time,
and you won't be an initiate anymore.
(he looks at Da Silva)
You'll be one of us. A discipline.
Bound to the Patrons forever.
Da Silva doesn't budge. Willis scrutinizes him for a beat.
I can understand clinging to what's familiar.
But trust me, you don't want to be human
on the day the Patrons have the strength to
cross these portals and re-enter this world.
Da Silva stares hard at the darkness. Willis waits. Then Da Silva takes a deep breath and HEADS INTO THE BLACKNESS. It swallows him up.
DISSOLVE TO - EXT. THE REALM OF THE ANUNNAKI
He appears, staring around himself. PANNING - Darkness. Whispers. And a DISEMBODIED REVOLVING DOOR like the sort that grace the entrance of hotels. Da Silva's brow knits with confusion. Then, suddenly, he WINCES HARD, CLUTCHING HIS CHEST. He staggers and falls. LOW SHOT - He doubles up on the ground, wincing and groaning.
Suddenly, Willis is looming over him.
The pain will pass.
With effort, Da Silva turns his head to look up. Willis continues to the revolving door. He enters it and is gone. Da Silva watches, still gasping where he collapsed. Then slowly, he struggles up to sitting. Sweat beads his forehead. He rises shakily to his feet. With sheer determination, he staggers towards the revolving door. Raising a hand to push at it, he follows Willis through.
CUT TO - INT. AN ORNATE HOTEL LOBBY
High style, for the 1940's. A suited concierge stands behind the counter. A bellhop with a pillbox hat sets luggage on a cart for a young, well-dressed couple. Other people relax in chairs in the WIDE LOUNGE, conversing and sipping cocktails. A gentle jazz melody plays in the background.
Da Silva stares around, flummoxed, then notices Willis, hurrying to a broad, carpeted staircase. He starts up the steps. Da Silva lurches after him.
CUT TO - INT. SECOND-FLOOR CORRIDOR
LONG SHOT - Willis pauses at the end of an elegantly-decorated hallway and unlocks a door. Da Silva follows.
CUT TO - Da Silva reaches the slightly-ajar door and pushes it open with his fingertips.
WIDE SHOT - From the wallpaper and generic paintings, it is obvious that it is a hotel room, but there is no furniture except one DISPLAY CASE made of metal and glass. Willis is staring at its contents.
Da Silva enters the room. DOLLY SHOT approaching, Da Silva's POV - The DAGGER OF THE NYAZIANS sits on a pillow of black silk, polished and gleaming. Da Silva takes it in.
Why hasn't it been destroyed?
Willis glances over his shoulder, then looks again at the dagger.
It can't be.
Da Silva closes in. Willis scoffs.
Well, that's not entirely true.
It can be, but it has to be "stained with
the death-blood of he who would wield it."
CLOSE-UP of Willis' intense stare.
And the Patrons have other plans for him.
Part 2 (click here)