(May 24, 2009)
Written by: Masquerade
Dedicated to Andy Hallet
Previously on The Destroyer...
EXT. TEN-STORY APARTMENT BUILDING - LOS ANGELES - DUSK
ESTABLISHING - Bars cover the first floor windows. The sky beyond is overcast. The sidewalk glistens from a recent rain.
SLOW DOLLY SHOT through A MURKY ELECTRICAL TUNNEL lined with pipes and insulated conduits. Footsteps echo. Water drips. In the feeble light from the intermittent fixtures in the ceiling, we can see - REVERSE ANGLE - Spike walking, gaze intent. His fingertips brush the wall as he inches towards a DARK DOORWAY ahead.
(in a low murmur)
I can smell you, Dru.... I know you're 'ere.
The quiet is broken by the POUNDING of MULTIPLE FOOTSTEPS. Spike whirls to see two GRAY, SCALY DEMON THUGS descending on him. He backs up fast.
Not looking for trouble, mates.
But he has it. In an instant, he is ducking and dodging and trading blows with fists and feet. But it's two against one. The demons GRAB HIM BY THE ARMS and PIN HIM UP AGAINST THE WALL. Spike struggles. His forehead is bleeding. One of his captors sneers. Another set of FOOTSTEPS approaches.
This is what happens to traitor half-breeds
in this town.
Spike's eyes wander in the footsteps' direction. Around the corner comes a THIRD DEMON, carrying a GLOWING METAL ROD. Spike eyes it warily.
What's that you've got there?
TIGHT SHOT - It's a BRANDING IRON. Spike thrashes.
CLOSE-UP - The demon leers as it RAISES THE BRANDING IRON.
The weak among us...shall perish.
Gritting his teeth, Spike KICKS THE DEMON AWAY and TWISTS IN PLACE, freeing his arms. He makes a break up the tunnel. The demons pursue. CUT BETWEEN a SERIES OF SHOTS - Spike races up tunnels and cuts corners with flailing hands, barely slowing. The demons CHARGE AFTER HIM.
CUT TO - EXT. STREET LEVEL
The young man from the ENASH CABAL, Mark, is kneeling over a manhole mumbling from a piece of paper. The young woman, MARITA, is dangling a talisman over a smoldering bowl of herbs. Mark leaps to his feet.
He's on the move, c'mon!
He races up the street. Marita scurries after him, shielding her bowl with one hand to keep the herbs alight.
INT. THE SEWERS
Spike races down another tunnel, then SPLASH! hits a puddle of water. He stumbles to a halt and turns, eyes wandering from the puddle to the roof of the tunnel to the three demons come BARRELING AROUND THE CORNER, where they see Spike stopped. He raises his hands defensively.
They don't. They RUSH HIM. Spike holds his ground, and as they reach the puddle, he YANKS DOWN the electrical cabling from the ceiling in a SHOWER OF SPARKS and tosses the ends into the water. He turns and bolts off to the sound of their howls.
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
Sarah Jannett Parish
Rachel Leigh Cook
Anthony Stewart Head
EXT. SLAYER COUNCIL BUILDING - EVENING - ESTABLISHING
INT. FAITH'S OFFICE
TIGHT SHOT - Spike winces as a pair of hands tape a bandage firmly over the cut in his forehead.
This would need stitches if you were human.
She twists away and tosses the bandage wrapper in the trash. Spike is seated in one of the visitors chairs with his back to the desk.
So did these guys have a branding iron?
(with a frown)
Yeah. How'd you know?
She leans against the desk.
Something's out there going after human-friendly demons.
Might be the Gathering, I'm not sure.
They attacked Lorne--
He rises with a look of concern.
Green-jeans? Is he all right?
He's fine, now.
(then, with discomfort -)
But I guess you had a friend...Clem?
Yeah. Poker mate.
Shaking her head.
We were too late.
Spike takes this in soberly. Then he gives Faith a scowl.
Y'know, a little warning about these blokes
might've been nice.
With a sigh, Faith rises and circles around her desk.
Sorry. I've had a lot on my mind.
(she plops down)
And what were you doing wandering the sewers
in the middle of the night?
Looking for Dru.
I think you would have found her by now.
Spike shakes his head.
Sires can sense their offspring miles off.
Doesn't work so well the other way round.
I've been dropping by her old haunts.
He pulls his chair around and sits down across from her.
So this "Gathering."
You say Illyria's put herself in charge?
Yeah. And now The Luna Coven's getting major
vibes off that haunted mansion of theirs.
Spike broods sadly.
Really thought Blue'd decided to play for the home team.
A scoff from Faith.
She had a chance to get her glory days back,
and she took it.
That surprises you?
(after a grudging beat)
Shared any of this with Buffy?
(she tosses him a mock salute)
I report in now like a good soldier.
Spike counters it with a look.
Then she's got your back.
Just has a few problems of her own to settle first.
Faith leans forward over the desk.
The only thing I need B to do is take Tammy Pitts off my hands.
Get her somewhere safe.
How is the Interdimensional Telephone doing, anyway?
Being baby-sat by Connor, at the moment.
DISSOLVE TO - EXT. HOLY FAMILY CONVENT - SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES - EVENING - ESTABLISHING
INT. TAMMY'S ROOM
Tammy sits on the bed, staring out the window.
It's Spring out there, isn't it?
Connor is just inside the open doorway, hands in his pockets. His hair is limp and his wrinkled shirt is just a little too large and fuchsia for him.
Sure, Spring in L.A.
Tammy glances back.
I know we don't have much of a Winter,
so people think we don't have a Spring.
(she faces back out, closing her eyes)
But it just...feels different.
Connor strolls towards her.
You know, you can take a walk in the courtyard.
I bet the nuns won't look at you like you're
an ax murderer.
Tammy rises with a bitter scoff.
(she gestures out the window)
Did you see that "garden"?
It's like too much foliage'll make them forget
their vows of chastity and poverty.
She pauses, then gives Connor the once-over.
You know that other than the guy
who came to fix the toilet,
you're the first man I've seen since....
(she pauses to think, then frowns)
But he was a vampire, so I guess that doesn't count.
Kinda hot, in a dorky way.
This assessment leaves Connor dismayed.
He's my father.
(off Tammy's skeptical look)
That's why I can do what I do.
I'm human, but I'm not a Slayer.
How did that happen?
I mean...I always heard vampires can't have children.
Connor looks sorry for even bringing it up.
(he takes in the room)
So when do you get out of here?
Tammy scowls and plops back down on the bed.
Never. I don't ever get out of here.
Okay, maybe when the Senior Partners lose interest in me.
Whenever that is.
And they want you to be their Conduit?
Like a human hell-a-phone.
Connor steps towards her, expression intent.
I thought only bad guys did that.
Like this demon thing that masqueraded as a little girl.
They use whoever they think they can control.
(then, angrily -)
That's why they've been trying to find my brother.
So they can "promise not to kill him" if I cooperate.
Connor sinks into her desk chair.
That priest in San Francisco.
You met him?
He's a little high-strung, but he's my brother.
If they found him, they'd have me, and they know it.
He's safe, I promise.
Tammy nods gratefully, then scrutinizes him.
You have any brothers or sisters?
Connor shakes his head.
Not real ones.
You only get one "miracle child."
He leans forward, elbows on his thighs, and clasps his hands. The stubborn set of his lip betray his own anger.
There are things after me, too, because of that.
Have been, all my life.
So how do you deal?
(he levels his gaze at her)
One of those "things" got me when I was a baby.
Took me away from my dad.
(CUT TO Tammy, listening)
I grew up and found my way back.
(his brows rise)
By then I really couldn't deal.
So my dad sent me away.
Had my memory wiped, and everyone else's memory of me.
(CLOSE-UP of his pensive expression)
So I'd be safe.
So I wouldn't have to deal.
He meant well.
Tammy takes this all in with incredulity.
And now...I remember, and everyone else...sorta remembers.
And someone's trying to ruin my life
so they can get what they want from me.
(shaking his head)
What are you going to do?
Connor shoots back a pointed look.
What are you going to do?
They stare at each other in mutual consternation. The moment is interrupted by a knock at the door.
The door creaks open. The Slayer Mary enters.
Sorry I'm late, traffic's a bitch.
She sets her shoulder bag on the floor.
TIME-DISSOLVE to a moment later. Mary is now in the chair and Connor is paused at the door. He gives Tammy a wave.
I have another shift tomorrow afternoon.
They share a look of two people who've made a connection.
Okay. See you then.
Connor leaves, shutting the door.
Head dipped and eyes furtive, Connor exits and turns up the sidewalk. LENS-ZOOM IN on the apartment building across the street. In one window, the curtains hang open an inch. A pair of BINOCULARS aimed through them quickly disappear.
EXT. WOLFRAM AND HART HIGH-RISE - LA JOLLA - MID-MORNING
INT. JASON GUELPH'S OFFICE
The nervous suit-and-tied employee from episode 2.15 taps on the doorframe.
(not looking up)
What is it, Arnold?
The, uh, Nyazian Scroll reappeared.
This gets Guelph's attention. The man enters the office. He cringes.
And then it re-disappeared.
The bad news is, it was last located somewhere in England.
And the good news?
Charles Gunn--incidentally, a former employee of this firm--
flew from L.A. to London, then traveled by car to Bath.
So that's probably how it got there.
Guelph takes this in thoughtfully.
Which means Rupert Giles is translating it as we speak.
And as long as he is, he'll keep it somewhere protected.
Guelph shakes his head.
The scroll will remain protected.
(he sits back with a satisfied smile)
And besides, worming its contents out of someone's brain?
...is a lot easier than translating a lost demon language.
Arnold grins. Guelph eyes him.
Only this time?
Make sure the guy forgets the attack afterwards?
The grin fades. Arnold nods vigorously, pivots to leave, then slows and turns back.
Oh, uh, everything's prepped, by the way.
The red team's ready to leave the minute
any of our locations report in.
Guelph's expression grows grim.
You still haven't figured out a way into that convent, have you?
EXT. ELEGANT EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY ROW HOUSE - EVENING
Gunn and Giles mount the steps clutching greasy brown paper bags.
I had rather the opposite problem.
People tend to leave you behind with the books
when you're continually getting knocked unconscious
during key confrontations.
Gunn grins. They reach the top of the stairs. Giles fishes a set of keys from his pocket and unlocks a nondescript white door.
INT. GILES' FLAT
Gunn follows him in, his expression pensive.
Things changed after we joined Wolfram and Hart, though.
They offered me...more. And I took it.
Giles throws him a glance over his shoulder.
The, er, "brain upload."
It was a real rush for a while--
having that knowledge at the tip of your tongue,
the respect people show you because of it.
Giles scoffs quietly as he sets his keys in a dish on the antique end table. Gunn is oblivious to it, absorbed in his own thoughts.
Maybe I liked it too much.
Needed it too much.
(he shakes his head)
Anyway, Fred died, and I played a part in that.
Giles crosses the room heading towards a set of double doors. Gunn trails after him, face stony with determination.
And now the "thing" I helped make possible
wants to thank us all with a nice apocalypse?
Like hell, I'm on it.
Giles opens the doors. Beyond them is a SWIRLING THRESHOLD not unlike the one guarding the L.A. Slayer Council suite library. The men pass through it.
INT. DINING ROOM - GILES' FLAT
TIGHT SHOT - An ANCIENT PARCHMENT lies open on an antique walnut table surrounded by open reference books, teacups, and notepads--Gunn and Giles have been at it for a while. Giles walks around the table and halts at a cabinet. Meanwhile, Gunn settles himself down at the table with his bag still in hand.
Sure could use Wesley's Gashundi cross-text right about now.
(he gestures at a SHEAF OF PAPERS on the table)
I know it'd be more useful than this.
Giles retrieves two china plates and sets his dinner bag on top of them. Balancing this on one arm, he opens a drawer and pulls out flatware and napkins.
Actually, I believe I'm getting a handle on
some key Nyazian glyphs.
(he turns around)
The cursive symbol I've been pronouncing "met atma,"
for example, means "death," I'm sure of it.
Gunn glances up grimly.
So the Syndicate translator was right.
There's going to be a battle, and Connor's going to die.
Giles' brow knits as he circles around the table. He sets a plate and flatware down in front of Gunn.
I don't have the proper context for the glyph yet.
It could refer to Connor, or it could refer to one of his foes.
He does the same for himself on the opposite side of the table.
Or one of his allies.
Gunn pulls a basket of fish and chips from his bag and dumps it onto his plate.
By the way, I'm going to take an earlier flight than I planned.
I have something back in the States I need to do.
Giles shuts the cabinet door before turning back around.
How much earlier?
Just a day.
EXT. CARITAS NIGHT CLUB - NOON - ESTABLISHING
Connor throws opens the metal club door, briefly breaking its reflective glare. He heads inside.
INT. MAIN ROOM - CARITAS
TRACKING SHOT - He clomps down the stairs and strides across the empty floor, ignoring the thumping, piped-in Disco and the vampire or two huddled at the bar.
EXT. THE BACK HALLWAY
There is an unlit, open doorway at the end of the hall. Connor passes the double doors of Lorne's studio apartment and disappears into that darkness.
INT. STORAGE ROOM
A weak overhead bulb flicks on, revealing boxes of wine and liquor stacked ceiling-high. Connor shuts the door, muting the noise from the club to a faint heartbeat. He walks over to a refrigerator and opens it - INSIDE SHOT - reaching past the cases of beer to retrieve a Coke from among the sodas. He shuts the refrigerator door and crosses to a cot in the corner. There is a knock at the door just as he eases down. Connor cracks open the Coke.
The indistinct wail of Disco returns. Lorne walks a telephone receiver over to Connor.
Connor takes it without comment. Lorne waits a beat, then with a weary frown turns and leaves, shutting the door behind him.
Just calling to find out where you're at
investigating those burnings.
I thought you were going to do that.
He takes a sip of his Coke.
I don't think....
Look, I'm just trying to find out more about the Anunnaki.
Gunn's in England.
Connor deflates slightly. Then, with a sigh -
I'll stop by there later, okay?
I'll be here.
Connor clicks off the phone and stands up. He walks over to the door and opens it. Sure enough, Lorne is there waiting.
He takes the receiver, scrutinizing Connor with concern.
Listen, Connor, the vamps out in the club right now
are the ones who robbed your pop's garage.
Did they bomb it, too?
Lorne's brows knit.
Not according to Alix.
He waits as if expecting Connor to do something. Connor circles around and returns to the cot.
Aren't you going after them?
They've probably sold the stuff off by now.
Lorne continues to stare and frown. Connor doesn't move under his scrutiny. Then, without looking up -
Tell me something.
When you sing, do you see your own future?
Connor meets his gaze.
Do you see your own future, the way you do other people's?
Lorne is still wary with concern.
You know it doesn't work like that, Connor.
I see images, impressions I have to interpret.
I get a sense of a person. Where they're headed.
(he shakes his head)
And no, I don't see anything when I sing.
(he raises a hand off Connor's parting lips)
And before you ask--
nothing's changed in what I see when you sing.
Connor slumps and looks away.
It's still "a war and a blonde."
Lorne nods. Connor stands abruptly.
I've always preferred brunettes.
And with that, he heads out of the storage room, veering around Lorne. Lorne looks after him, nonplussed.
CUT TO - INT. CLUB MAIN FLOOR
A brunette lounges at the bar, expectant and watchful, then gapes with surprise as Connor passes. She leaps after him, catching up to him at the stairs.
You just walked right past me like I wasn't even there!
Sorry. I'm kind of busy.
Alix mounts a step, then another.
Busy? Doing what, exactly?
You don't have a job, you're not going to school.
Connor scoffs at her bluntness.
Yeah. Thanks for reminding me.
He takes a step down, his lips compressing grudgingly.
Look, Alix...what happened between us,
(a beat; he shrugs)
what's been happening....
It doesn't mean anything. You know that.
Alix guffaws abruptly, then gives him a sour frown. With a toss of her head, she is in GAME FACE.
Oh, no, absolutely nothing.
Connor stares. Then he turns back around and continues up into daylight.
INT. SLAYER COUNCIL LIBRARY - EARLY AFTERNOON
IN FRAME, stretched between fingers - The PIECE OF CLOTH with DEMON SYMBOLS that the Army Ops soldiers retrieved from the bombed-out Syndicate warehouse and gave to Faith in episode 2.07.
Aiden lays the cloth on the table and starts pecking with effort at a keyboard. ON a LAPTOP COMPUTER SCREEN - A web search engine. The words A M U L E T O F B E L ' I Q I slowly appear. CLOSE-UP on Aiden, wincing with discomfort as he types. He turns next to the DESKTOP MONITOR, sitting beside the laptop. His hand gingerly clasps the mouse. ON SCREEN - Various DEMONIC SYMBOLS from the cloth appear, enlarged, followed by a pop-up screen that blinks .
Aiden watches it for a moment, then leans over with a grunt. We hear the zzzrrrpt of a zipper. He sits up. TIGHT SHOT of his lap as he shakily unscrews the lid of a small silver FLASK. He raises it and KNOCKS BACK a swig. His face twists into a sickened grimace.
DISSOLVE TO the ANCIENT EYE PROPRIETOR pacing back and forth, blinking nervously and gesticulating with his hands as he speaks.
The potion increases brain power--
the ability to...absorb information, to make...connections,
and to form conclusions based on that.
But it has side effects.
INT. JASON GUELPH'S OFFICE - EARLY AFTERNOON
Guelph is sitting on the front edge of his desk. Our POV of the proprietor, however, is from the seat of Guelph's chair, where, from the proprietor's repeated glances in that direction, it is obvious someone is sitting.
It must weaken the barriers to the mind
in order to work.
And it saps physical power.
He rubs an unshaven chin and turns towards Guelph.
Aiden Walsh--he's a kid I've dealt with before--
he put in the order.
I recognized the ingredients right away.
It's an ancient Solomonic potion thought lost.
Where did he find it?
(a furtive glance towards the chair)
Well, there are rumors that, uh, the Syndicate
looted the library in your Los Angeles digs,
and the Slayers claimed it when they defeated them.
The contents of the former L.A. office are quite secure.
(Guelph stands up)
Thank you. You can go.
The proprietor's eyes dart towards then chair, then he nods and slinks out.
How much did you pay for that information?
Nothing. He brought it to us.
(he turns towards the desk)
He wants a contract with the firm for his shop.
That can be arranged.
So what's the plan?
We feed Walsh information.
Everything we have from our moles inside the Gathering.
He'll think it's the potion.
Then the psychics retrieve his conclusions.
We hear the soft beep of cell phone buttons. Then -
I want all the intelligence we have on the Gathering
in an hour.
And call the psychics.
Lilah clicks the phone off.
Oh, by the way?
The White Room's on stand-by.
Guelph gives her an uneasy nod.
EXT. GATHERING HEADQUARTERS - GRANADA HILLS - EARLY AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING
INT. STONE CHAMBER
TIGHT SHOT - Illyria stands before a stone-and-mortar wall, arms at her sides, one hand clasped around a felt-tipped marker. The wall before her is covered with SCRAWLED DEMONIC SYMBOLS. There is a knock on the door. Illyria doesn't turn.
K'shan pauses to throw a discrete glance at the walls. WIDE SHOT - The room has a high ceiling where the only window is. Light streaks down on a simple chair and a table covered in books and an ODD BLACK, STUDDED BOX. K'shan turns his attention to Illyria. His voice echoes in the chamber.
Lord, the sorcerers still have not located
the Dagger of the Nyazians.
CLOSE-UP on Illyria's distracted expression.
But finding it may not be necessary.
This wins him a brief backwards glance.
It--it seems that the demon-born human
Connor Reilly has been a target of the Gathering
for some time.
They knew of the Nyazian Prophecies before this.
(he licks his lips)
And what they tell me of the prophecies would imply
that only Connor Reilly can wield the dagger.
Which means killing him is as good as
destroying the dagger,
because without him, it is only a knife.
It's already being done.
K'shan lapses into silence and waits. Finally -
What is this other matter you wished to discuss?
There have been...reports...of demons found on the streets,
dead, branded with the sacred symbol of the Old Ones.
They were each of them known traitors who colluded with humans.
This draws another backwards glance.
I presume from your manner you did not order their deaths.
No, but I suspect it is members of the Gathering,
acting on their own.
And I wonder if it's a good idea for them to
attract attention to themselves like this.
Illyria lifts her chin. CLOSE-UP - Her cold blue eyes look troubled.
Do they feel my plans are not enough?
From the sinking of K'shan's head and eyes, it is clear what his answer is.
Some members...continue to express...doubts--
that you are an Old One,
that you can assume your original form.
I do not require their belief.
Her eyes flash with powerful anger.
They are nothing to me, and I would just as soon
gut them all where they stand!
She finally turns. K'shan steals a brief glance, then looks down again.
But if they cannot wait for the death of the enemy,
then let them hasten it.
Order all my doubters to go after anyone who would stop us.
K'shan looks briefly puzzled at this.
You do realize, Lord, that if that includes humans,
the Slayers will go on the defensive,
and they'll start on the streets.
Illyria seems unfazed by this. K'shan's eyes widen with realization. He nods and turns to exit.
EXT. BUNGALOW-STYLE APARTMENT COMPLEX - EARLY AFTERNOON
IN FRAME, LONG SHOT - An AGING DUPLEX COTTAGE with a wide wooden porch nearly hidden behind scraggly bushes. A car passes by on the street. The camera PANS DOWN until it appears to SINK RIGHT THROUGH THE GROUND. Gradually, the resulting darkness resolves into a -
INT. MURKY SEWER TUNNEL
REAR LONG SHOT - Drusilla strolls its length, fingertips to her temples. She halts and gazes up at the tunnel ceiling as if she can see right through layers of concrete and earth to the day-lit world above. Then something brings her attention back to the tunnel.
TIGHT CLOSE-UP of her ethereal sneer in shadows.
You smell of cinders. Burnt flesh and death.
Her face GOES VAMP. She whirls around on WILLIS. He has both hands up as if that would keep her at bay.
You can't kill me.
Drusilla scrutinizes him, then demures with a petulant pout.
Wouldn't like the taste, anyway.
Willis steps towards her, hands still raised.
I need to speak to you, Drusilla...
about the Gathering.
Drusilla's face returns to human form. Her eyes dart away boredly.
Don't know what that is.
She circles around and starts to wander the tunnel again. Willis doesn't take his eyes of her for a beat.
You don't play dumb very well.
He lowers his hands and relaxes his stance.
Maybe your great-granddaddy didn't tell you....
In fact, I'm sure he didn't, since he was a nutter.
Demons don't like vampires.
You're abominations; you stink of humanity.
Drusilla looks positively affronted by this.
I've bathed quite frequently in the last century.
They also want Connor Reilly dead.
This gets Drusilla's attention. She turns back.
And I mean dead dead,
not walking the night drinking blood dead.
(a wry smirk)
He's prophesied to be...something of a nuisance
to them in the future.
LINGERING CUT on Drusilla, dark eyes absorbing this.
The Gathering attacked Spike last night.
They'll go after Angel when they find him.
And they're using you.
Drusilla doesn't look pleased.
You want the end of the world?
The vampire playground the Master dreamed of?
My patrons can offer that to you.
(now she's interested)
You see, they're Old Ones, too.
But they don't want humans dead; quite the contrary.
They just want the balance of power to shift...
I wish to meet them.
Casually, he backs off.
You will, soon enough.
And with that, he turns. Drusilla stares after him as he recedes up the tunnel.
Oh, and if you want to kill Tammy Pitts,
be my guest.
Just kill her. Don't make her a vampire.
EXT. HUMANSPACE COFFEE HOUSE - LOS ANGELES - AFTERNOON
INT. COFFEE HOUSE
TWO SHOT - Mark sits across a scratched-up table from the woman with florescent red hair and sunglasses, scowling sullenly over his coffee cup.
We're holding off for the time being.
This obviously wasn't what he wanted to hear.
Why? Because he took out three demons and survived?
All the more reason to think he's not human, Louise!
They look up to see Ferrar standing there.
And he's been with the Slayers for two years,
Sounds like you're defending him.
Louise rises from her chair.
I'm expected back at the penthouse at three.
I can't have them asking where I've been.
CUT TO - EXT. COFFEE HOUSE
The three of them exit and start up the sidewalk together. Mark still looks unhappy.
He killed those demons we sent out
in order to protect another demon!
For now, he lives.
Mark scowls and slugs a sip from his cup.
So what's this I'm hearing about a plan
to blow up the mansion in Granada Hills?
It's been tossed around.
Ferrar stops on the sidewalk.
The other two come to a halt. LONG CRANE SHOT looking down at them from a building across the street, over the shoulder of an INDISTINCT FIGURE.
(from a distance)
Who's going to handle the magic, Mark?
You've cut off all ties with Reginald and Shakul
by staging these demon attacks--!
We don't need Reginald or Shakul!
STREET-LEVEL THREE-SHOT of them huddled in a circle, eyeing each other with hostility.
That mansion has supernatural safeguards
we can't touch without Shakul's help.
Let the Slayers go after it!
(brows raised in challenge)
Are they going after it?
Their plan's already in the works.
And in the meantime?
In the meantime, we lay low.
EXT. UP-SCALE WHITE HIGH-RISE - SANTA MONICA - A SHORT WHILE LATER
INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING LOT
The BALD, SUITED MAN exits a Mercedes, phone to his ear.
We'll talk about it when you get here, Louise.
LONG SHOT over the shoulder of another INDISTINCT FIGURE - Reginald crosses the parking lot headed towards the elevators.
EXT. TRACY'S APARTMENT BUILDING - AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING
The non-descript utilitarian building we've seen before.
INT. LIVING ROOM
IN FRAME - A desk littered with fabric swatches of different colors and textures. Tracy is absorbed in examining them when a KNOCK AT THE DOOR draws her head up. She frowns and rises.
CUT TO - INT. FRONT HALLWAY
Tracy's POV - The door opens on a weary, bedraggled Connor. Tracy gasps.
Connor, what are you doing here?
He offers her a weak smile.
Oh! Your portfolio. Come in.
She steps away and Connor enters, hands in his pockets. She stares after him with concern as she shuts and locks the door. Connor turns back, then follows her into the living room.
I went by your old dorm room
and met Dave's new roommate.
He seems nice.
INT. LIVING ROOM
She continues right into her bedroom, bringing Connor to a flummoxed halt. He turns and wanders over towards the desk. A moment later, Tracy reappears, portfolio dangling from her hand.
I haven't looked inside.
I didn't think I should unless you were here.
Connor soaks in the sight of it with a tender, pained gaze. He takes it from her.
(with a wry smile)
Do you want to see it?
Sure, if you want to show it to me.
They share a lingering look followed by a bashful smile. Connor walks the portfolio over to the couch.
Someone might as well see them.
Tracy follows, brows knit.
What do you mean by that?
Connor unzips the portfolio and opens it flat on the couch cushions.
You're going to keep drawing, right?
Connor reaches for the pages stuffed inside, jaw set with determination.
He raises the stack. OVER-THE-SHOULDER-SHOT - On top is a COMIC BOOK PANEL SKETCH shaded with colored pencils - An arid, rocky landscape set against a blood-red sky. In the foreground is a TINY FIGURE battling a HUGE, FIERCE BEAST.
Emotions clash on Connor's face - longing, pride, weariness, pain.
Just not this.
INT. HOBO'S BAR - AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING
The Hollywood dive with the florescent cocktail glass in the window.
The homey neighborhood pub is scattered with the usual early crowd - a few older men sitting at the bar soaking up Faith's jovial flirting as she pours them drinks, and a pair of scruffy-looking teenagers huddled into the jukebox to hide the fact that they are too young to be in there. Evanescence's rhythmic, powerful "Going Under" starts up abruptly.
CUT TO the front door. It opens a foot then shuts again, then opens once more a few feet. Slowly, it gives way as Aiden lurches his wheelchair through. Once he is inside, he uses the chair joystick to approach the bar. Faith throws him a perfunctory wave as she finishes filling a tap beer. She sets the glass in front of a patron, wipes her hands, and heads around to where Aiden is waiting. He looks frazzled.
Done for the day?
Actually, I just came in for a pick-me-up.
Faith heads back where she came from. Aiden turns and pulls up to the end of an empty booth. A moment later, Faith slaps a coaster down in front of him and sets a steaming Irish coffee on top of it. Aiden has his book bag open on the table.
So, watcha got?
(fishing around inside it)
I've been researching the Amulet of Bel'Iqi.
Faith's lips part with puzzlement.
She disappears. Aiden glances after her over his shoulder, then - TIGHT SHOT - brings his flask out of his book bag and pours a bit of its contents into his mug. He screws the cap back on and loses it quickly in his bag again. He reaches for the mug with both hands and brings it up. His lips purse slightly at the first, tentative sip. He takes another and sets the mug back down, wincing.
Faith returns a few beats later. She climbs into the booth past his wheelchair wheels and plops down.
Aiden, the Amulet of Bel-whatev--?
Bel'Iqi. You remember, that pendant that supposedly
brought out Connor's "shadow side"?
Yeah, I was there.
Look, maybe it just reverted him back to when he was
a kid or something.
(she nods back towards the bar)
Got some Tequilas that'll do that.
(she leans towards him over the table)
Poind, the Gathering is cooking up some major mojo,
and I need to know what it is!
I just wondered why someone would
send it to him.
Buffy brought it to him.
Hello? The Gathering?
He digs in his bag and pulls out the TORN SCRAP OF CLOTH containing the demonic symbols.
Well, it occurred to me there might be
other examples of these symbols around.
So I scanned this cloth into the computer,
and ran a comparison on every database I could think of.
(looking kind of impressed)
You can do that?
(with a casual shrug)
It's not that hard.
(then, with a grin and a gleam in his eye -)
And I found other examples.
Faith is again with the impressed.
Mostly on other creepy temples and buildings
around the world.
I haven't found much scholarly analysis yet,
but I'm still running the search.
Faith nods, absorbing this, then her worried look returns.
Good, cause--and I'm not trying to pressure you,
but I need something fast.
Especially a way to stop whatever it is they're doing.
If it's out there, I'll find it.
INT. KITCHEN - TRACY'S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON
IN FRAME, one after the other - PENCIL DRAWINGS of a Quortoth-like place, some in reds and oranges, others a charcoal gray. CLOSE-UPS of a GIRL hunting and fighting, and an OLDER MAN looking on and instructing. Tracy is perched on a barstool on the outer side of her kitchen counter, gazing at them. Connor looks on uncomfortably beside her.
I've been trying to understand why you're so
stuck on being "normal"....
(she glances up at him)
But I think I'm starting to, a little.
I can't imagine what it was like.
(she returns to the drawings)
This all seems like something out of...a fantasy movie.
Connor chuckles abruptly.
Well, it is a fantasy.
(he gestures at the sketches)
I mean, this is.
His gaze grows long and troubled.
I even made the main character a girl
just to prove it wasn't me.
But it was you.
This was what your life was like.
Actually, it was worse.
There were some things I saw growing up
I tried to draw, but....
He shakes his head. Tracy offers him an encouraging smile and returns to the sketches. She flips over the page. Connor looks away. INSERT - Darla and Angelus, strolling through an alleyway in 1764 York, England.
This is different.
(she picks it up)
Something else you were working on?
Connor allows his gaze to settle on it.
That's my parents.
But this looks like--
Two hundred years ago.
Tracy guffaws. She takes in the sketch again, then peeks beneath it. She sets it aside. INSERT - A CLOSE-UP of contemporary DARLA.
Your mother was beautiful.
(looking at him)
Is she still...alive?
Connor shakes his head. Tracy's gaze lingers on him before returning to the sketches. INSERT - Slowly turning pages. More studies of Darla.
But you cared about her.
Connor's only reply is to compress his lips. Tracy gives him a knowing smile. She turns the last drawing over and sits up.
These are so good.
(an earnest look)
You need to get back to this.
Connor reaches across her and stacks the drawings together.
(he sets them back in the portfolio)
But I'm done with demons and...hell.
He closes it.
I was thinking maybe a series on the Trojan War.
(expectant beat; he looks at her)
Could you imagine that as a comic?
(he grins, pleased with himself)
That'd be cool.
Tracy grins in return. Connor grabs up a newsprint booklet off the counter and slaps it atop his portfolio. INSERT - Los Angeles Academy of Art Catalog. He opens it and starts turning the pages. Tracy scrutinizes him.
Connor, these people trying to...ruin your life....
(insistent, and suddenly angry)
They're not people.
After a beat, he looks up at her, his expression apologetic. She waits. With an exhale, Connor slides off the stool.
INT. LIVING ROOM
He strides across the room and throws himself on the couch, then sinks into the cushions. CLOSE-UP on the exhaustion etched into his face. Tracy sits down beside him.
They tried to...force me into something.
Then I told someone about it when I wasn't supposed to,
and now I guess the offer's..."null and void."
What's that mean?
I don't know.
I don't know what it means.
(his eyes return to her, almost sad)
Except that...I can't go back.
They were going to give it all back to me, Trace--
My life with the Reillys, all the memories.
(a sheepish chuckle; his eyes dip shyly)
Tracy forces a smile over her worry.
And they were gonna take away the memories of that
place I grew up.
In exchange for what?
Connor shakes his head.
Doesn't matter now.
Tracy ponders this with a skeptical expression.
It sounds...great, but...
would it have been?
(a beat; then grudgingly)
I mean, except maybe the "us" part....
They share a shy grin.
Connor, you aren't the same guy now you were back then.
(she shifts in her seat towards him)
If you'd never gotten your memory back,
would you have become an artist?
Could you have?
Connor chuckles, flummoxed. Then his frustration returns.
I don't know.
I hadn't decided anything yet.
(he chuckles wryly)
I was actually applying for an internship
with a public relations firm around
the time I first got my memories back.
This earns a smirk from Tracy.
Somehow...you don't strike me as the P.R. type.
Could you just see me in a suit?
I'd look ridiculous.
I think you'd look hot.
TIGHT SHOT - She takes his hand.
They pause a moment to stare down at their clasped hands. Then Connor's gaze grows long again.
Whatever I do now....
They still might try to take it away from me,
just for spite.
His faces twists into a scowl.
Everyone thinks they can decide what I'm going to be.
Tracy looks on with helpless empathy. There are years of weariness and resentment in Connor's scowl. And then, suddenly, a single tear.
I'm done with it all, Trace.
No one decides my life but me.
EXT. CLUB SEKHMET - AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING
INT. SECOND FLOOR - SEKHMET
Willis strolls through the DARK, CORRIDOR-LIKE SPACE, turns the corner, and disappears into the DEEP BLACKNESS that is the gateway to his patrons' dimension.
DISSOLVE TO - EXT. REALM OF THE ANUNNAKI
He heads through disembodied revolving door, and into -
INT. WIDE, OLD-STYLE HOTEL LOBBY
What he sees there brings him to a halt. His POV, PANNING - The hotel guest are on their feet, staring at something and talking excitedly amongst themselves. Willis gapes. THE PAN ENDS at a CRACK high in the hotel wall. BRIGHT LIGHT is seeping through it.
INT. SLAYER COUNCIL LIBRARY - LATE AFTERNOON
FOREGROUND - Aiden is studying a file on his laptop. In the out-of-focus background, someone enters the room through the swirling portal. Aiden looks up expectantly, then, with a sour frown, returns to his reading. The FOCUS SHIFTS. Nigel turns towards the bookcase.
Hello to you, too.
I thought you were Connor.
(then, with frustration -)
It's not like you can just pick up a phone
and call him.
Nigel has no answer for this. He plucks a book from the shelf. A computer BEEPS. Aiden's attention shifts to the desktop. On the screen is a POP-UP WINDOW with the words, "Analysis complete." Aiden raises his hands to the keyboard. CLOSE-UP - They are visibly shaking. He casts a furtive glance at Nigel. Nigel closes the book in his hands and turns to go. He pauses to scrutinize Aiden.
You know, you're looking rather pale.
Try not to work late.
A perfunctory smile from Aiden.
TIGHT SHOT - His fingers fumble on the ENTER key. ON THE DESKTOP SCREEN - One by one, window upon window appears, each one overlapping the last. On them we see images of DEMONS, HORRIFYING APOCALYPTIC VISIONS, and a veritable orgy of DEATH, DESTRUCTION, and MADNESS.
Okay, that's not good.
SPEEDED-UP TRANSITIONAL SHOT - The LATE AFTERNOON SUN sinks into the western sky.
INT. TAMMY'S ROOM - CONVENT - EARLY EVENING
The blond Slayer DEB paces the room restlessly, hands on her hips. She glances at her watch.
Where is he? I have to go!
Tammy sits cross-legged on the bed. She shrugs.
He's probably just running late.
And of course, he doesn't have a cell.
She glances towards the door, mouth twisted, vexed.
(then, with frustration -)
Listen. I've been here three months.
I've never seen a single person in this convent
who didn't belong here.
I'll be fine for the ten minutes or whatever
it turns out to be.
Another hesitant look from Deb. Tammy shoos her away with a hand.
Go! Go on your date.
Experience this thing called "life,"
then come back and tell me what it's
like to have one!
Deb grins weakly, then inhales deep.
(in a self-reassuring tone)
Okay. All right.
He should only be a couple minutes.
Tammy gives her a pleasant smile and watches while Deb picks up her shoulder bag from the desk chair and dons it.
I have the morning shift tomorrow.
Great, 'cause I expect details.
Deb grins, gives her a wave, and turns to leave. At the click of the door shutting, Tammy is on her feet. She throws open the doors of her armoire.
CUT TO - EXT. CONVENT COURTYARD - A SHORT WHILE LATER
Suitcase in hand, Tammy Pitts slinks through the shadows, keeping an eye out for unexpected nuns.
Part 2 (click here)