(October 13, 2009)
Written by: Masquerade
Previously on The Destroyer...
EXT. CONCRETE DRAINAGE CHANNEL - GRANADA HILLS - NIGHT - ESTABLISHING
Neighborhood street lights cast an eerie ancillary glow on a large, grate-covered corrugated metal pipe protruding from under the roadway above. The grate is loose, torn from the pipe on one side.
INT. DRAINAGE PIPE
LONG SHOT - Angel follows the length of the pipe into darkness.
He kneels before an access hole in the concrete floor and raises the metal cover. His nostrils flare slightly. With one hand on the cover, he lowers himself into the hole and disappears, shifting the metal cover shut behind himself.
DISSOLVE TO - INT. UNDERGROUND TUNNEL
Rock walls, claustrophobic and dim. Angel's reflection dances in the flickering torchlight as he descends a steep, circuitous path. A faint, steady chanting echoes up from below.
TIME DISSOLVE - INT. LOW-CEILINGED, CAVE-LIKE ROCK CAVITY - A SHORT WHILE LATER
The chanting has become thunderous.
Ch'un cha! Ch'un cha!
Ch'un cha! Ch'un cha!
Ch'un cha! Ch'un cha!
Ch'un cha! Ch'un cha!
CLOSE-UP - Angel's face is shadowed curves and angles as he crouches to enter. He pauses with a chuckle before continuing inside.
REVERSE ANGLE - Spike is perched, kneeling, on a natural ledge formation overlooking the vast GATHERING CAVERN. All we can see of the cavern is the reflection of the agitated SPHERE OF ENERGY bouncing off distant rock walls. The chanting demons are out of Spike's line of sight. Spike glances in Angel's direction and looks away again, annoyed.
Oh, perfect. Look who's here.
Angel stoops forward to cross the low space, then kneels beside him.
What are you still doing here, Spike?
I thought you'd have Buffy rescued and above ground by now.
Just here to help.
Spike nods back in the direction Angel appeared.
Rona has some slayers round somewhere.
Think they could use a hand.
Angel shakes his head.
I passed them on my way down.
They were headed back up to meet Faith.
(he clasps a hand on Spike's shoulder and grins)
It's just you and me.
Spike scowls, then shifts himself forward towards the rim of the ledge, gesturing to Angel to do the same.
Angel's attention is briefly drawn up by the WAVERING SPHERE OF ENERGY that shall soon be the GATE TO HELL. It is now nearly five hundred feet in diameter. Then together, the two of them peer over the ledge.
OVERHEAD SHOT, their POV - HUNDREDS of ARMED DEMONS fill the cavern floor and perch on the rising carved steps of the cavern walls.
Like the last days of Sunnydale.
A TREMBLE passes through the cavern, knocking the Gathering demons astride briefly. Spike and Angel back up from the edge. Spike gives the dismayed Angel a pointed stare.
Got any bright ideas, hero?
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. PROFESSOR ROTH'S HOUSE - NIGHT - ESTABLISHING
"The One Sired by the Vampire with a Soul
will stand at the center of a maelstrom…."
DISSOLVE TO a TIGHT PAN over a TEXT DOCUMENT open on a computer screen.
"…for his blood is the key to the future."
The screen scrolls up. TIGHT SHOT - Fingers halt on a mouse.
INT. MELANIE ROTH'S OFFICE
Professor Roth stares intently at the monitor.
"His foes shall rise against him,
and these signs will herald a battle of the spirit--
earthquake, fire, and blood."
She slumps back in her chair, mouth twisting with dismay. Then her eyes drift over to -
Her POV - the large, LEATHER-BOUND EMTIS MIRROR BOOK beside the computer monitor. In its cloudy, liquid-like pages and behind the obscuring floating glyphs, we can clearly see Alix getting into her Mustang in the alley beside Tracy's apartment building. Alix glances anxiously at what appears to be an EMPTY FRONT PASSENGER SEAT BOUND IN ROPE.
Professor Roth stares at the images expressionlessly for a moment, then inhales deeply and turns her attention back to the computer screen. Her hand returns to the mouse.
"When the tribes of Nyazia return at last
to the womb of the ancient mothers,
the dagger forged of the sacred hills
which sheltered us in the humans' realm
will finally be united with the Son.
A gift shall be made of it to his race;
for those hills contain the essence of the Old Ones."
Her eyes continue to dart over the text for moment. Then she clicks at the mouse and sits forward, lips moving slightly as she reads in silence. Finally, her lips compress with dismay.
"The Son shall serve in the leagues of a mighty warrior,
and with the dagger he shall save his people.
...For his blood hath the power to close all the gates of demonkind."
She sits back in her chair again, stunned and worn, then expells a weary, jaded sigh.
They knew the Dagger had the power to prevent their return.
(a bitter chuckle)
But more than that.
The collective good that would come from using it...
would make Connor and whoever this "mighty warrior" is
just the kind of humans the Patrons would love to go after.
She scowls with discomfort.
...And I made it all possible.
EXT. 405 FREEWAY NORTH - NIGHT
INT. ALIX'S MUSTANG
The lights of the night streak past the windows and over the face of Connor, still passed out and bound to the passenger seat. His eyelids flutter open, then hang heavily. After a beat, he gazes around, glassy-eyed. Finally, his face twists into a sneer.
Alix eyes him anxiously from the driver's seat. Her POV - Steven STRUGGLES against the ropes that bind him to his seat. His eyes bore into her menacingly.
(low and sinister)
Filthy demon...let me go.
Alix's hands tighten on the steering wheel. She scoffs.
Yeah, 'cause that's going to happen.
With tense reluctance, she returns her eyes to the road. Steven continues to THRASH VIOLENTLY, slowly LOOSENING THE ROPES across his chest. Alix glances over with a wince.
Her cringes count the seconds until -
The ROPES SNAP. Steven LUNGES TOWARDS HER WITH TWO BOUND WRISTS. Alix ducks away reflexively.
EXT. FREEWAY - The Mustang SWERVES, cutting off a car in the next lane. The driver blares his horn at her.
Steven throws himself back into his seat, eyes wide. We can now see the Amulet of Bel'Iqi hanging from his neck. Alix struggles to bring the steering back under control. Finally, she has the car moving in a straight line again. She throws him a glare.
Don't do that again!
Steven returns the glare beneath scattered bangs.
Stop this vehicle, demon.
Or you'll what?
Steven's scowl flattens into a sulk. He looks away.
Alix drives for a tense moment, eyes forward, then finally risks another glance at him.
You really don't know who I am, do you?
Steven gives her the hostile once-over.
Why would I?
His scrutiny continues, disdainful and seething.
...Where's my father?
(voice lilting nervously)
Actually, we're going to see him.
(biting his words out)
What did you do to him!?
Alix peers at Steven for a flabbergasted beat, brow knit.
(a grudging frown)
As far as I know.
Steven's regard is suddenly wary.
He's not my father.
'Cause he thinks he is.
Steven raises his chin guardedly.
You're taking me to him?
Yeah. He sent me to get you.
Steven settles against his seat and turns his gaze out the passenger side window. LOW SHOT - His fisted hands struggle to separate his wrist bonds.
So he can kill me.
You're his son, he doesn't want to kill you.
LOW SHOT - Steven relaxes his fingers.
Fine. Take me to Angel.
EXT. HYPERION HOTEL - NIGHT - ESTABLISHING
INT. HOTEL ROOM
Daylight streams incongruously onto Illyria, who stands in her human shell at the foot of a bed holding a taser, and Fred, glaring at her across the mattress. They are in CONNOR'S BEDROOM as it appeared mere months after his return from Quortoth. Connor lies wincing in paralyzing pain atop the bedspread.
(with a sneer)
This maudlin spectacle is pointless.
You are attempting to appeal to a humanity I don't possess.
Is that why you fought by Angel's side? Considered him an ally?
TIGHT ZOOM as Fred's jaw tightens with determination.
You remember them, don't you?
Angel? Spike? Wesley? Charles Gunn?
The closest thing you had to friends?
Suddenly, the scene around them MORPHS INTO -
EXT. ANOTHER ALLEY - NIGHT
It is POURING RAIN. Illyria is standing side by side with Angel, Spike, and a wounded Gunn, who is doubled over, hand to his gut, panting. Fred lurks just behind Illyria. She steps up closer. TIGHT SHOT - Rain streams down her face.
What was this about, then, if you felt nothing!?
Illyria whirls on her with a sneer, hair matted to her head.
It was vengeance!
Vengeance for Wesley's death!
Gunn looks over, puzzled, as Illyria SHOVES Fred aside and turns abruptly, coming face to face with him. She stares at him for a seething moment, then dips her eyes away and veers around him. She marches up behind Angel, raising a fist. A STAKE appears there. Before Angel can turn, she THRUSTS IT THROUGH HIS BACK. Angel goes wide-eyed and EXPLODES INTO DUST. LOW OVERHEAD SHOT - The rain pounds his remains into mud in the potholes of the alley floor. Illyria quivers, staring down at it. Spike and Gunn gape at her. She ignores them and pivots on Fred.
Fred scoffs, wiping a wet strand of hair from her face.
"Pointless", huh? Is that why you're the one shaking now?
Illyria glares. The scene around them MORPHS INTO -
EXT. THE SANDS OF THE PRIMORDIUM - DAY
Fred stands, hair matted but dry, on the harsh desert landscape. She glances around quickly, then aims a determined stare at Illyria. The scene once again MORPHS, INTO -
INT. HOTEL ROOM - HYPERION HOTEL - NIGHT
Fred's room as it appeared when she lived there after being rescued from Pylea. THEN -
EXT. THE SANDS OF THE PRIMORDIUM - DAY
They are back again. THEN they are in -
INT. THE BURKLES' LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
- complete with Mom and Dad, gaping up from the couch, stunned. Then the scene starts to FLICKER AROUND Fred and Illyria, morphing into Illyria's contemporary hotel room, then Connor's bedroom, then the Burkes' living room, then the desert again. The changes continue, growing rapid and chaotic. Finally -
CUT TO - INT. SECOND-FLOOR CORRIDOR - HYPERION HOTEL - NIGHT
The hotel room door hangs loose on its hinges. The night manager looks on as Gunn raises his fingertips to the door and pushes it open. He enters.
INT. HOTEL ROOM
WIDE SHOT, Gunn's POV - Simple furniture and green walls covered with felt tip-markered mathematical equations and scrawled drawings. Loose papers lay scattered about on the floor and piled on the furniture. Gunn gapes around, hand still on the door. He is stopped dead by what he sees.
CUT TO a BESPECTACLED FRED writing intently on a blank patch of wall in red marker. She glances over, startled, then giggles with delight.
She caps the marker, sets it on the desk, and scurries towards him, throwing up her arms wide. Then she comes to a premature halt and fumbles her glasses off her face. A nervous grin.
I always forget I have'em on.
She closes the gap between them and throws her hands up on his shoulders. Gunn catches them with awkward reticence. His POV - Fred's beaming grin. Followed by her dismay.
...And how tall you are.
Her POV - Gunn's grim, bewildered scowl.
EXT. A COMMERCIAL STRIP UNDER STREET LIGHTS - GRANADA HILLS - NIGHT - ESTABLISHING
The dagger? You found it?
The businesses that pass beyond the passenger side window are all closed and dimly-lit. Faith has her phone to her ear and a relieved grin on her face.
We found where it was.
(Faith's grin fades)
We tracked its energy to that club, Sekhmet.
But there's no sign of it there now.
It's possible it was…destroyed.
Faith shakes her head adamantly.
Uh-uh. According to Aiden,
it can only be destroyed with Connor's blood,
and only if he's dead when you take it.
Well, we'll keep looking, but....
Faith scowls. She spots something ahead and slows the car.
...We're basically back to plan "A".
She turns her steering wheel and -
EXT. AFTER HOURS CLUB - GRANADA HILLS
- pulls her Impala into a wide parking lot.
Late-night partiers exit a well-lit night spot and cross the lot heading for their cars, or stand paused in conversation. Faith passes other cars and trucks heading towards the rear of the lot, then eases her Impala between two SUVs near the back fence.
She clicks off her phone and rests it in her lap while she cuts the engine and headlights and sets the brake. Then she retrieves it and punches out a new number. She brings the phone back up. We hear a muffled ringing.
Then more ringing.
The ringing continues.
(impatiently, under her breath)
Where are you?
DISSOLVE TO - INT. LIBRARY POCKET DIMENSION - SLAYER COUNCIL SUITE
Aiden is where we left him, on the floor in front of his wheelchair, lying in his own vomit. PAN UP to the table, where his cell phone sits atop piles of research papers and books. TIGHT SHOT - The display is lit-up and blinking.
Faith frowns with deep frustration. BEEEEP.
Yo, it's Faith. Call me when you get this.
Leave a message if I don't answer telling me
how in the hell to get a hold of you.
(her desperation is evident)
I need a way to keep that gate-thing from opening!
She brings the phone down and thumbs off the connection, her lips compressing.
CUT TO - EXT. IMPALA - A MOMENT LATER
The driver's side door opens. Faith lurches out and slams the door shut again, then saunters tensely toward the back corner of the lot. Sitting on the tailgate of Rona's truck is Rona, Deb, and Choon-yei. Rona stands, looking overwhelmed, as Faith approaches.
How'd it go?
A bomb. Yeah, that ought to do it.
The recon was a bomb?
Rona shakes her head.
No, we need a bomb.
Her girls nod emphatically.
You want to use a bomb to keep the gate closed?
Not the gate!
Rona gestures broadly over her shoulder.
I'm talking about the demon convention
guarding where the gate's gonna open!
Spike said there was a lot of them.
"A lot." Yeah.
Remember the Hellmouth, three years ago?
Those Turok-Han things?
Same numbers, different demons,
(she throws her arms out wide)
filling up this enormous cave below the mansion
that ends like, a quarter mile below ground.
(Deb and Choon-yei nod again)
There's only a couple tunnels leading down to it--
guarded of course.
We took out the guard in the tunnel we've been using,
but sooner or later his replacement's gonna notice.
Faith frowns thoughtfully.
A bomb, huh?
DISSOLVE TO - INT. CAVERNOUS UNDERGROUND CHAMBER - NIGHT
WIDE AERIAL SHOT - The ENERGY SPHERE bulges hideously, now intersecting with the cavern walls. Another TREMOR passes through the cave. The thunderous demon chanting from earlier is gone, replaced by a low, steady, murmuring GROUP MANTRA.
CUT TO a TIGHT SHOT of the cavern floor. One by one, BROWN-ROBED DEMONS of various species appear in frame and exit again, shuffling in a circle. Some swing incense decanters, others mumble from spell books. The SORCERESS DEMON trails after them, a bowl in her hand. She dips a finger in it and smears BLOOD in streaks across her forehead, nose, and cheeks.
Blood of the oldest living slayer,
warrior of prophecy,
mother of all who came after....
(CLOSE-UP of her intent face)
I make your blood my own, and seal their fate.
Her incantation continues OFF SCREEN as the camera PANS SLOWLY OVER TO a FLICKERING DOME OF LIGHT in the center of a circle of stones. Buffy lies beneath it. TIGHT SHOT - Her eyelids flutter and open. Her gaze roams her field of view for a bewildered moment before - MEDIUM SHOT - she rises to one elbow. Her disoriented expression widens into dismayed realization.
Her POV, through the slightly clouded field of light - The sorceress halts before a leather-clad demon, who proffers a SWORD.
We took this weapon from the vehicle
of the other slayer.
The sorceress scrutinizes it with a frown.
Not the Scythe of the Slayer,
but I can make it the next best thing.
She raises heel of her hand to her mouth, BITES DOWN into it, then STREAKS HER OWN BLOOD up and down the length of the sword.
Buffy looks on with a grimace.
Steel of the last Shadowmen slayer,
I claim thee as my own, and seal your fate.
Buffy's attention darts to the barrier flickering around her. She reaches out a hesitant finger above her head.
Don't touch it.
The sorceress pivots on her.
Buffy touches it anyway. Zzzzzapt! It flares brightly.
She draws back her outstretched hand and cradles it, mouth agape.
The sorceress looks on coldly.
That's a Bratika Shield.
Anything more than brief contact will kill a human.
The sorceress now has Buffy's glaring attention.
(gritting her teeth)
What are you doing?
(the sorceress turns away)
You have no voice here.
The sorceress takes Faith's sword from the demon and hefts it. The demon bows slightly, pivots, and walks away. The sorceress glances towards a robed sorcerer standing nearby.
How did she wake up?
Perhaps the sedative wasn't sufficient.
(an uneasy glance at Buffy)
We should knock her out again.
Be my guest.
The robed sorcerer looks at Buffy again warily, but doesn't move. He turns his attention back to the sorceress as she continues her ritual -
(raising the sword in both hands)
Q'aul koshkishan mutung Illyria!
Buffy lies back down on her side, staring intently at the flickering wall of her domed prison as the sorceress' chant continues off screen.
INT. ALIX'S MUSTANG - NIGHT
IN FRAME, ESTABLISHING - The forbidding frontage of the GATHERING MANSION rolls by beyond the glass of the driver's side window.
Okay, could this place be more creepy?
Steven stares at it sullenly.
She glances at him with a scoff.
Relax. Jeesh. He's in there somewhere.
(another glower at the mansion)
...I damned well hope.
If you're lying, demon--
(throwing him a glare)
You'll kill me?
She looks away with an overwhelmed exhale.
I have a feeling you're going to try anyway.
Her eyes search the road ahead intently.
...There's an underground entrance somewhere around here.
Her POV, out the front windshield - The mansion rolls out of view, replaced by more modest homes, many boarded up or with bars on their windows. Finally, the Mustang bounces slightly as it starts across a bridge over a concrete water channel.
She brings the Mustang to an idling halt and sets the parking brake, then fumbles for the door handle, throwing Steven a wary glance. Her POV - Steven DIVES AT HER again with bound hands. Panicked, Alix throws open the door.
She tumbles out of the car onto the asphalt road and flips herself around just as Steven's head and shoulders emerge from the open driver's side door. He pauses there, kneeling on the driver's seat and sniffing the air. CLOSE-UP - His eyes scan the area slowly. His lip curls in a snarl.
Angel. He's close.
He struggles against his wrist bonds, which are already considerably LOOSENED. Alix heaves herself to her feet, balking.
You can smell him?
(she takes a quick sniff)
I guess I can kinda make out his hair gel.
Steven seats himself awkwardly, shifting his legs around front until they are dangling out the door of the car. His ankles are loosely bound now as well.
My father had a blanket that belonged to Angel.
Alix looks confused.
You mean that "Holtz" guy you were talking about.
Steven continues to stare up and around with alert hostility.
I grew up knowing the vampire's scents.
Remembering them...so I'd know him when I found him.
(he turns a glare on her)
I could smell him on you.
Alix glares back defensively for a beat, then shrugs.
I can relate. I killed my step-father.
Steven scowls, unimpressed.
Alix balks again.
As if. You can free yourself after I leave.
(she beckons him)
Get out of the car.
Steven gives her a predatory smile. He SNAPS his wrists free, then his ANKLES. Wide-eyed, Alix skitters back. He SCRAMBLES AFTER HER. Quickly, she shoves him aside with both hands and lunges for the car. She dives into the front seat -
- and slams the door shut. Her hands fumble for the lock.
Oh, God, that was a rush.
CRASH! Alix startles and screams as glass shatters across her lap. Steven's hands shoot in after it.
LOW SHOT - Alix hits the gas and -
- peels out sluggishly across the bridge. Steven is dragged along for several steps, then is forced to let go as the car suddenly jolts forward.
EXT. RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD - GRANADA HILLS - CONTINUOUS
Steven scowls after the Mustang. After a few beats, his attention returns to the scent. He glances around, then exits the bridge heading towards a line of trees adjacent to the concrete water channel. He snaps off a long branch off the nearest tree. The ground TREMBLES beneath his feet. He steadies himself with a hand against the trunk.
WIDE SHOT as he strides to the edge of the channel, repeatedly snapping the branch into smaller, jagged pieces. He descends the concrete slope. Lying in the filthy puddle of runoff at the center of the channel is a loose two-foot length of rebar. He scoops it up and continues on.
TIME DISSOLVE TO - INT. CORRUGATED PIPE
Steven lopes along the length of the pipe Angel was in earlier, approaching the same underground access point.
TIME DISSOLVE TO - INT. TORCH-LIT ROCK PASSAGEWAY
IN FRAME - A blind bend in the tunnel. REAR SHOT - Steven approaches it at a side-stepping creep. His makeshift stakes are now tucked into the various pockets of his jacket and Dockers. He reaches the bend in the tunnel and peers around it, rebar raised and ready. His POV - A small chamber hewn in the earth and rock. An ARMED DEMON emerges from another tunnel. Its gaze falls on a fallen comrade lying face-down on the rocky ground. The demon grunts suspiciously, then grips its ax and peers around. It circles back the way it came with tense vigilance.
Steven lopes out from his hiding place, crosses the short length of the chamber, and SPEARS IT FROM BEHIND with the rebar. The demon stiffens, gurgling, then falls onto its comrade. Steven reaches down and takes up its ax, then continues into the next tunnel.
EXT. HYPERION HOTEL - NIGHT
INT. FRED'S ROOM
Fred is on her tiptoes, drawing Gunn's head in to kiss him. Gunn jerks away and pushes her back with a grimace.
Quit the games, Illyria.
I know why you're here.
He takes in the room uneasily. PANNING, his POV - Bed, dresser, nightstand, TV table, desk.
...'Least, I thought I knew.
Fred gives him a quirky, puzzled frown.
Which melts into a wry, knowing smirk.
This isn't like the time I dressed up like Xena,
Warrior Princess is it?
...Want me to yodel?
Gunn isn't amused. His grimace deepens.
Fred's lips tremble. The woman before him goes briefly BLUE, then is Fred again. Fred gives him a resigned shrug.
Okay, no yodeling.
(then she stiffens with excitement)
She whirls around and walks over to the desk. Gunn balks after her.
I was gonna show you this new article I'm writing.
(a friendly glance back)
That's assuming you can put up with me
jabbering about String Theory for an hour.
TIGHT SHOT of Fred, standing with her back to Gunn at the desk. Her lips tighten and her eyes wince. Her voice is hushed but adamant.
(she gasps with effort)
Work with me. 'Cause I'm seriously...
QUICK-BLUE. Fred grips the side of the desk and trembles.
...I'm fighting It, Charles.
Gunn's lips part. He stares at her with incomprehension.
Another wince. Fred's voice is low and strained.
What's...left of her.
...If I can hang on...to myself....
She circles around, eyes pleading. Gunn drifts towards her, then raises his arms awkwardly. She melts into his embrace as Gunn pulls her into his arms. CLOSE-UP - His eyes are filled with something between pain and confusion. Fred trembles against him, her head turned to one side.
...I'm losing control.
It's too strong.
Gunn gazes down at her. His expression is grim, but gentle.
I can help you, but I'm here for a reason.
Fred...where's the Box of Gavrok?
Fred frowns, briefly confused. She looks up at him.
(her brow tightens with anxiety)
The box isn't here.
It...Illyria...is doing that ritual back at the mansion,
(her voice takes on an urgency)
Right now...Charles, please.... It wants to....
She clings to him again, trembling, staring off to the side with desperate eyes.
...It wants to erase me.
After a long moment, Fred looks up at him again. She raises a hesitant hand. Her fingertips brush his jaw. Her lips part. Gunn balks briefly, regarding her with uncertainty and a twinge of revulsion. Then he lowers his head towards her. Fred kisses him. At first, tentatively. Then with passion. CLOSE-UP of Gunn's face, intent in the kiss. His eyes open and widen. PULL OUT TO a TWO-SHOT - Illyria is BLUE again. Gunn breaks off the kiss and SHOVES HER AWAY, scowling. He wipes at his lips with the back of his hand.
Illyria doesn't budge from where she is standing. Her fingertips are at her mouth.
A curious sensation.
Then she brings her hand down abruptly. She glares at him.
Winifred Burkle is dead.
She turns away from him, taking in the shabby hotel room that still looks like it appeared when Fred lived there. She grimaces with disdain. Gunn watches, his expression knowing.
Not that dead, apparently.
Illyria whirls on him.
What you see before you is a shell.
She paces, staring holes through him.
Winifred Burkle's internal organs melted, one by one.
Her formidable brain fought to the last, but it died, too,
and her soul was destroyed in the fires of my resurrection.
Gunn shakes his head defiantly.
I never believed that.
Dr. Sparrow said that, too,
but he was yanking my chain.
(he stares her down coolly)
I did some research on this--read every book,
every ancient scroll I could get my hands on.
His eyes dip away pensively.
Not a lot about the Old Ones out there.
Nothing that said her soul could survive what you did to her.
(he gives her a hostile look)
And nothing that said it couldn't.
Illyria's dark scowl is noncommittal. Gunn eyebrows rise skeptically. He points a finger skyward.
I'll accept that Fred's soul's in the good place,
but part of her?
(he stabs a finger at Illyria)
Is still here, right in front of me.
You know it's true.
(his eyes take in the room briefly)
'Cause this is the last place I expected to find you.
TIGHT SHOT of a defensive Illyria. Her eyes drift away from him.
Where's the Box of Gavrok, huh?
Where's your soldiers?
Illyria turns her attention to one of the windows. QUICK-CUT - Its blinds are closed.
I came here to rid myself of the last vestiges
of the humanity infecting me.
(her expression tightens into a scowl)
And I've finally determined how to do it.
And with that, Illyria BACK-HANDS HIM HARD across the face. Gunn FLIES OVER the end of the bed and tumbles, flailing, onto the floor on the far side. His POV - Illyria CHARGES AROUND TOWARD him.
EXT. DRAINAGE TUNNEL - GRANADA HILLS - NIGHT
Rona, Deb, and Choon-yei stand at the grated entrance. The slayer Mary approaches their circle carrying a large BROADSWORD. The group parts to let her join them. Rona points out the sword.
Where'd you get that?
A warehouse with a lot of dusty vamps.
Well, they're dust now.
Right. Faith said you were going after Angel's weapons.
Mary lowers the sword, point down.
It was the only one they had left.
Angel will be glad to see it.
Mary offers an acknowledging nod.
I also heard you did another little favor for him.
Or at least, baby-sat someone else while they did it.
Mary scoffs with irony.
"Save a vampire, save the world."
Deb and Choon-yei trade puzzled glances. Then Mary's expression becomes a disgruntled frown.
I trailed them to the mansion and Connor went in.
The vampire left before I could even get close.
Connor tried going after her, but I gotta hand it to her--
she had more brains than the vamps in the warehouse.
Rona scrutinizes her.
I know how hard that must have been for you,
helping Angel out.
Mary's only response is a resigned rise of her eyebrows. Deb bounces on her toes impatiently.
So what's the plan?
Rona glances at her, then surveys her team.
The plan is...we distract the demons,
and with any luck, Buffy rescues herself.
(a glance at Mary)
Or Spike and Angel do.
Mary only offers a quiet scoff.
I thought...we weren't supposed to...show ourselves.
Any of you have experience with guerilla warfare?
Like with rocks and clubs and stuff?
Rona chuckles and shakes her head.
No. Guerilla warfare--
ambushes, sneak attacks, strategic retreats.
The girls look at each other, then shake their heads.
Well, then, you're gonna learn on the job.
A TREMBLE passes through the ground where they are standing, nearly knocking the girls over. They glance at each other nervously, then follow Rona as she pulls the grate back and enters the pipe.
INT. CAVERNOUS UNDERGROUND CHAMBER - NIGHT
TIGHT SHOT of a NARROW CREVICE between rising stalagmite boulders and the cavern wall. Spike's hands and feet grip the rock face on either side of himself as he slowly clambers down. Angel is several yards ahead of and below him, doing the same. WIDE SHOT of the two of them - On the other side of the stalagmite boulders is the cavern proper, and the DEMON HORDES. Above Spike and Angel is an outcropping in the cavern wall, partially obscured behind the jagged tops of the boulders.
(murmuring with a scowl)
...I had to ask.
TIGHT SHOT of Angel.
I've got everything under control.
Then of Spike.
Yeah, I remember what happened
the last time you said that.
We can't risk drawing attention to our--
TWO SHOT - A STAKE FLIES BY THEM from above just as the cavern TREMBLES again. Spike gapes up, wincing with effort, hands and feet pressed tight to the rock walls. Angel looks up as well.
Perched on the outcropping above them is STEVEN, ax in hand. He yanks another stake from his jacket pocket and grips it, poised to spear it at them.
Angel's face goes grim. His eyes dart to - CLOSE-UP on the AMULET OF BEL'IQI dangling from his son's neck.
CUT TO Buffy's domed cage on the floor of the cavern. Buffy lies beneath it on her side. Deftly, she lowers her hands in front of herself and fumbles a ring off one finger. She THROWS IT HARD at the barrier. It bounces off and falls to the ground in front of her. She picks it up and tries again, HARDER. It PIERCES THE WALL and bounces to the ground on the other side.
With a furtive glance up and around, Buffy rises to kneeling. She stares at the flickering wall anxiously. Sucking in a deep breath, she DIVES HARD AT IT -
- Emerging on the other side and crumpling into a uncontrolled somersault. She unfolds flat on her back, wincing in gagging pain. Her jaw tightens. She shivers, glassy eyes staring upwards. Her POV - Suddenly from overhead, a blurred figure LUNGES OVER HER. On pure reflex, she throws her arms up and blocks it, then KICKS THE FIGURE AWAY. Throwing her hands over her shoulders, Buffy rolls back and leaps to her feet, only to find herself facing off with a WALL OF DEMONS.
EXT. GATHERING MANSION - NIGHT
INT. K'SHAN'S LABORATORY
TIGHT SHOT - K'shan whirls towards the camera, gaze burning with hostile determination.
The demon-born human is here.
REVERSE ANGLE - FIVE ARMED DEMONS with COCKROACH-LIKE FACES stand on the other side of his work table, which is covered with a slightly scorched red silk cloth and an assortment of scrolls, unlit candles, and liquids sitting stagnant in unheated beakers.
Framing K'shan are shelves of toppled-over books and scattered bottles of mystical ingredients.
The latest assassin we sent after him trailed him
right to our door.
(he slams a fist on the table)
Find him and kill him!
The demons nod firmly, pivot, and stride off across the pentagram embedded in the stone floor.
INT. STONE CORRIDOR
They exit K'shan's chamber and head down the hall, passing a cross-secting corridor and continuing on. HOLD ON the mouth of the cross-secting corridor. SLOW DOLLY down its length to yet another cross-secting corridor. AROUND THE CORNER - Rona quickly gestures Deb and Choon-yei after the demons, then leads Mary in the other direction.
INT. ROCK CREVICE - CAVERNOUS UNDERGROUND CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS
Angel drops to the crevice floor and throws himself against the cavern wall. Spike gapes up at the disheveled Steven, who is scowling down at them malevolently.
Bloody hell! He tried to stake me!
No, Spike. He tried to stake me.
(a glance up)
Meet the Destroyer.
Spike continues to gape, boggled.
Steven cranes his neck forward, trying to get Angel in his sites. Quickly, Spike shifts his footing and drops the remaining ten feet to land before Angel. He looks back up just as - Steven repositions himself and chucks another stake. It flies at Spike. Spike throws himself out of the way -
Okay, that one had my name--
- then stumbles around the boulder into an open field of view of -
WIDE SHOT - the backs of the demon soldiers who fill the cavern floor, looking on as the circle of sorcerers chant beneath the bulbous, hovering ENERGY SPHERE.
And BUFFY, free and on her feet. And fighting.
Angel's attention is firmly on - UPWARD SHOT, Angel's POV - Steven leaps down from above.
EXT. HYPERION HOTEL - NIGHT
INT. FRED'S ROOM
Gunn lies crumpled in a heap on his back, half-on, half-off the bed. His POV - Illyria is DESCENDING ON HIM.
Wincing and gritting his teeth, Gunn lurches to his feet. He does a double-take of the bedside lamp behind him, and lunges at it. He smashes it over Illyria's head, then quickly leaps onto the bed. His POV - Illyria scowls up at him. Around her, Fred's old room FLICKERS BACK to its present-day décor, then REVERTS AGAIN, then is BOTH SIMULTANEOUSLY, twitching nervously between the two. Gunn jumps down to the floor, putting the bed between himself and Illyria. There is a brief game of chicken as Illyria starts towards the end of the bed and Gunn side-steps the other way, sending Illyria back again.
Finally she mounts the mattress in a STRAIGHT ATTACK. Gunn dodges around the end of the bed and across the room. He whirls and thrusts the desk chair out like a lion-tamer as she comes after him. It SPLINTERS against her. She staggers back a step, then continues forward. She BACKHANDS HIM AGAIN. Gunn FLIES OFF TO ONE SIDE and HITS a wall. He stumbles forward against the armchair. The corner of his lip is bloody and his eyes are glazed over. He stares up, dazed, as Illyria descends once more on him. She grabs him by the collar and hoists him high until his toes are dangling over the carpet.
His eyes drift down to her.
Humanity's day is done.
She drops him to his feet and brings back a fist. Gunn throws himself back into the chair. She is on him in an instant. Gunn grapples the back of her head and steadies her shoulder, then PLANTS ONE ON HER LIPS. Illyria struggles against this for a brief moment, then MORPHS into Fred. They kiss passionately. Finally Fred draws an inch or two back, gasping. Gunn merely nods.
Yeah, I'll work with you, Fred.
He kisses her again.
INT. CAVERNOUS UNDERGROUND CHAMBER - NIGHT
Angel bolts down the length of the cavern wall until he reaches a narrow fissure. He peers into it, then slips inside. With a determined scowl, Steven pursues. Spike watches them go, his hands gripping the edge of one stalagmite boulder, then gives the boulder the once-over and starts to CLIMB. He keeps a steady eye on the outcropping above, hands and feet gripping as he ascends. The demons that might have seen him have their attention on -
the escaped Buffy, taking on the WALL OF DEMONS with the near-lethal cage at her back.
INT. FISSURE TUNNEL
The tunnel is narrow, but passable. Angel shuffles along sideways, eyes in the direction he came.
LONG SHOT, Angel's POV - Steven soon appears, his bangs low in his face and his sneer filthy with dust. His is skinny enough to proceed forward slowly, his ax raised and ready before him.
Demon, you're gonna die!
Angel exits the tunnel, emerging into -
INT. A CHAMBER HOLLOWED OUT IN ROCK
He risks a quick glance around the chamber, then looks behind himself again. His eyes widen and he turns, DIVING HARD over the dust- and gravel-strewn ground. Steven's ax CUTS THE SPACE where he stood. It lands with a slicing sound on the far side of the chamber, blade embedding in the rock floor.
LOW SHOT - Angel skids to a halt, his outstretched hands coming perilously close to a NARROW, WELL-LIKE HOLE in the ground. Stones tumble into it in his wake. Rolling over quickly onto his back, Angel is ready for Steven as the boy charges him. He KICKS HIM away. Steven sails back and HITS the cave wall hard, but not hard enough to stop him.
Angel leaps to standing, not taking even a beat to glance towards the ECHOING SHOUTS and SCUFFING APPROACH OF FEET. Steven is on him again. Angel blocks Steven's fist with one hand, and with the other, grabs for the amulet. They scuffle, tripping over the loose stones that litter the cave floor. Finally, Angel sacrifices a hold to GRAPPLE FOR THE AMULET again. Steven PUNCHES HIM and Angel staggers back, amulet in hand.
His startled cry echoes as he falls into the hole.
Connor sways with disorientation.
CUT TO - THUD. Angel LANDS HARD against the deep stone-strewn bottom of the hole. He winces and grunts, blood seeping out of the corner of his mouth. Slowly, he sits up, tossing the amulet away. Then he gapes up with ALARM at the sounds of growling demons and footsteps above.
CUT BACK TO Connor. He looks up to see -
The five armed COCKROACH-FACED DEMONS, charging him.
He skitters back. LOW SHOT - His feet stumble over dust and stones. The cavern trembles. Rock groans and creaks. Connor throws out his hands to keep his balance, then BACKS AWAY QUICK to dodge a demon's sword.
Angel's POV, looking up - In SLO-MO, Connor plunges the thirty feet after him.
On impulse, Angel scrambles around until he is face-up beneath his son and is promptly SLAMMED FLAT against the ground as Connor lands. Connor lays atop of his moaning father, disoriented.
Connor, are you....
Connor snaps alert, eyes on the top of the hole.
UPWARD LONG SHOT - Demons begin to appear there one by one. One aims a SPEAR and THROWS IT. There is a brief murmur of conversation, then the demons disappear again.
Connor ducks reflexively as the spear near-misses him, impacting against the rock wall. He looks up again, then buries his head low under his hands as ROCKS RAIN DOWN AFTER IT. CLOSE-UP on Angel, who only hears thudding, and his son's tortured grunts.
Connor, what's happening?!
A rock lands with a bouncing thud in Angel's line of sight. With a determined grimace, he pushes Connor off himself and crouches, raising a bent arm against the raining projectiles. Connor is already crawling towards a fissure in the hole wall.
Angel scrambles after him, feet scuffing against the dusty ground for purchase. Connor is almost to the fissure when - THUD. A large stone hits him squarely in the head. His chin impacts the ground.
Quickly, Angel scoops him up and drags him the rest of the way into the fissure. He cradles him there. Connor's hair is matted with thick, dark blood. The rain of stones stops. Connor's eyelids flicker, closing.
RISING DOLLY up the hole towards the demons above, looking down.
Part 2 (click here)