Yancy Butler as Eemia, Carly Schroeder as Marsha and Emma Caulfield as Anya Jenkins
Willow's Coven Room - Moments Later
"Why Anya?" Willow asked herself out loud. "Or better yet, why me? I did everything the way I should. Right herbs. Right method. A strong emotional attachment to the dead. A big fat check to all of the above. Of course, I didnít stop to think that emotional attachment would be antagonism?"
Anya hadnít waited for Willow to finish. She too was busy talking to herself.
"Naturally I had to make contact with you," Anya muttered in frustration as she waved in Willowís direction. "Couldnít have been any one of the millions of witches in the world. Not the cute guy in Texas who reminded me of Xander or that girl in Boston. Had to be Willow. In Cleveland of all places."
They both stopped when they realized that they were speaking at the same time but neither was listening to the other. There was a moment of silence and Willowís expression seemed to soften before she spoke.
"So Anya, what can I do for you?" she said, rather perturbed.
Anya, equally agitated, replied, "Why should I tell you? Itís not like you listened to me when I was alive. Why would the fact that Iím dead change anything?"
"Well if youÖ"
Anya just kept talking.
"And letís not forget the fact that Spikeís little fashion accessory destroyed Sunnydale which means everyone is pretty much scattered to the wind because no one wants to live in a big hole. Did you know itís just a hole now and did you know my body is someplace under that hole? With not so much as a headstone I should add. At least Tara and Joyce got a headstone when they died. I mean isnít that part of the ritual and the grieving process? And what about the mall? Itís totally gone and it was one of the best in California, if you ask me."
"What?" Willow replied, shaking her head, trying to follow her logic. "Anya, youíre dead. You donít need to go shopping," she said.
"I know. But Iím an intangible spirit. I can at least go and browse," Anya pointed out.
"Exactly," Willow said pointing to the door. "You can go to any store in the world Ė Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Fifth Avenue in New York Ė Oh! The Miracle Mile in Chicago a-andÖmy Goddess, I canít believe Iím arguing with you about this."
Anya was silent for a moment, and then spoke up again.
"Thatís beside the point. And thatís not even my biggest complaint."
Willow crossed her arms and looked at Anya skeptically. "Really? This should be a real gem."
In reaction to Willowís demeanor Anya took a similar pose with her arms crossed and a scowl on her face.
"Yes, really. You left my body behind to get swallowed up with everything else, as I said, but it would have been nice to have a decent funeral Ė now I know for a fact you have to have those when someone dies."
Willow looked at Anya in shock. "At least we held a memorial service. Arenít you happy with that?"
Anya let a small, but sad, smile creep across her face. "Yes. I was there. It was nice but it wasnít for just me. It was for everyone and damn it, I thought I was important."
Willowís expression softened again and she stood up, taking a few steps closer as Anya continued.
"I never realized until that moment that things would be different for everyone. I just thought that people might miss me. Even you, Willow, despite all of our differences."
Willow looked like she was going to begin to cry at that. "I do miss you, Anya," she admitted. She moved to hug Anya, but simply passed through and stumbled, nearly breaking the circle.
"Careful. Iím still non-corporeal," Anya said. "And be careful about the circle. If you break it without properly banishing me, I wonít ever be able to return to this plane."
Willow looked at her quizzically. "Really?"
"Yeah. I donít know how I know. I just do. I guess itís one of those knowledge things you just kinda get when you die," Anya said with a shrug. "Everything comes into focus and you have a greater understanding of how life and death and the afterlife works. Death really is great! I know youíre still on the mortal plane and youíll never understand it until you die but for once, take my word. Death is only terrible on the living."
Willow considered her words a moment but then took a step back to her supplies. She bent down to pick up a bag of herbs, different from the ones she used earlier. As she did, she spoke to Anya.
"Well, if thatís really all you have to say, I guessÖ" she began but was cut off by Anya, again.
When Anya spoke, though she was no longer a glib or sarcastic woman. Instead, worry dripped from her voice like melting ice cream. "Actually, no. Thatís not what Iím here to say. You need to find Xander."
Willow, having noticed the worry in Anyaís voice, dropped her herbs and looked intently at the spirit. "What about Xander?" she asked.
Watchers Council Library - Night
At the end of the long table, books were splayed about. In the distance, Rowena walked with an open book through the rows when she spotted Giles on the other side.
"So what exactly are we researching?" she asked as she peered at him through an opening in the stacks.
"The general history of Cleveland," Giles responded without looking up from his book.
"Well that narrows it down," she answered with a grin.
"The city has a long history of odd occurrences." Giles told her as they walked back to the table together and met at the end of the stack. "Iíd like to know about them in case weíre faced with them again in the future. With more and more Watchers and Slayers coming in to begin training itís important that we begin putting together lesson plans."
Rowena looked ready to reply, but the door opened to cut her off. In walked Robin trailed by Kennedy and Faith.
"Hey, Giles," Faith said as she walked in. "You might wanna rethink that whole demons and vamps hating Halloween thing. Ken and I just finished dusting two of them."
Giles and Rowena both snapped their heads in Faithís direction, both suddenly very attentive.
"Really?" Giles asked as he took a seat at the table followed by Rowena. "Wha-what happened?"
Faith and Kennedy looked at each other. Then back at Giles.
"Nothing, really," Faith said.
"Yeah, just the standard punch, kick, poke, poof," Kennedy finished.
Robin spoke up from behind them. "Tell them the rest."
Faith turned and looked at him, confused.
"Huh," she said. "Oh yeah! One vamp said something just before I dusted it. ĎIf you kill me, she shall riseí or something weird like that."
Giles bolted out of his chair. He moved around to the bookshelf behind him and grabbed a book off the shelf.
"What is it?" Robin asked.
Giles set the book down on top of the other one heíd been going over.
"Tonight is a very special nightÖ" he began.
But Kennedy interrupted him. "Yeah. Willow told me about it," she said. "Something called Samwise."
"Samhain," Giles corrected, pronouncing the correct Ďsow-en.í "And yes, it is special because of the thinning of the dimensional barriers. But I mean this particular night."
He flipped through the pages of the book. He stopped suddenly and started to skim down one of them. He stopped about half way down the page.
"Yes," he exclaimed and turned the book so Rowena could see it. "There, you see?"
Rowena picked up the book. She read the section Giles had pointed to.
"It says here that every thousand years, on this night, the barriers are particularly thin, allowing certain demons to cross into this world from certain dimension," she paraphrased from the book. "Only thing is, this doesnít reference the demon or the dimension."
Giles grabbed the book out of her hands and began to read for himself.
"What about that Opus book of yours you let your self get bludgeoned over? Will that explain it?" Faith asked.
"Well that book contains the most famous Slayer conflicts and the history of the Watcher line. If sheís popular then she might appear in it but if not thenÖ"
"Hitting more books?" Robin asked.
Rowena grinned. "And you thought your days of being the student were over huh Mr. Principal?"
Giles closed the book and turned to Faith and Kennedy.
"We need to see the spot where you fought these vampires right away," he told them as he rushed out the door. The others looked at each other, momentarily confused, before following.
Cemetery - Moments Later
The group arrived at the cemetery and Faith showed them the location. There they found a hole in the ground and Faith walked up to it.
"Okay, now that wasnít here before," she observed.
Kennedy stepped up beside her. She picked up a rock and dropped it in. They never heard it land.
"Wow," Kennedy said. "That is a deep hole."
Robin was the next to join them. "What kind of vampire would rise from that deep of a grave?"
From behind them, Giles spoke. "Oh, bloody hell."
They all turned around to see Giles and Rowena looking at the book. Both of their faces had fallen into looks of despair and shock.
"What is it?" Robin asked.
"This isnít a grave," Giles replied. "Itís a dimensional portal. Something much, much worse than a vampire has risen here."
He stopped and simply stared at the hole in the ground.
"Well, what is it?" Faith asked impatiently.
But the voice that answered was not Gilesís. Nor was it human.
They all whirled around to see what had answered. The demon was nearly seven feet tall. She looked similar to a vampire but her features were much more bat like in nature, except for her full head of hair. She was dressed in the tattered remains of what looked like Roman ceremonial garb.
Giles handed the book to Rowena and moved to stand between the demon and the rest of the group.
"I know who you are," he said, "Eemia, the Corrupter."
"Oh good," the demon responded, mockingly. "Iím glad one of you does. Iíve been under for so long, I thought maybe everyone had forgotten about me."
Eemia began to move closer to the group and Faith and Kennedy braced themselves for an attack.
"Things have changed since the last time you rose," Giles continued. "There is no longer just one Slayer."
"All the better," she laughed.
"It only took one to defeat you before. The world has hundreds now," he said.
"Yes, I know. Iíve been keeping tabs on this world for the past thousand years. Quite interesting." She stopped and sneered at Faith and Kennedy. "I can even smell the power on these two. It wonít help you though. Iím stronger now Ė much stronger."
That was the last straw. Faith had been holding herself back the whole time. Now she lunged at the demon. "Weíll see about that!"
"Faith, no!" Giles shouted.
But it did no good. She tried tackling the demon, but it merely swatted her away like an annoyance. She landed hard on the ground but it didnít faze her. She just sprang back to her feet and confronted it again. Without wasting a second, she delivered a right cross to its jaw. It used the momentum to spin around and hit her with the back of its fist, sending Faith flying again.
At first Faith didnít move and Robin ran up to her, kneeling at her side.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Fine," she answered, trying to stand up. "But now that bitchís got me pissed."
Kennedy jumped in at that point but instead of swinging with her arms she went into a slider. She managed to knock Eemiaís legs out from under her but in doing so the demon landed next to her instead of on its back. Kennedy rolled, hoping to pin it to the ground.
"Hmmm," it said with an evil chuckle. "You look as if you like it on top."
Kennedy, however, didnít stay that way for long. Eemia gripped her arms and rolled her over again. She held her in place and ran her hand up her arm to her neck. The demonís hand moved along her neck and caressed her face like a sick, sadistic lover might. Kennedy struggled against it, fear and anger enveloping her .
"We need to call a retreat," Rowena told Giles. "Now."
Before they could issue another warning, Faith returned to the battle. She jumped and kicked the demon in the shoulder. The kick had little effect aside from knocking the wind out of Faith when she landed squarely on her back. The demon looked over at her and chuckled as Faith winced from the pain.
Not able to stand back any longer, Robin, Giles and Rowena ran over and combining their strength they managed to work Kennedy free enough so Faith could deliver another kick. The two Watchers grabbed Kennedy, while Robin pulled Faith away before she could continue the fight.
Once clear, the group began to back away from the demon.
"Is that all you have? Two little girls and the ability to run away?" Eemia taunted, malicious but still casual. "I figured in the millennia Iíve been dormant, humanity would have found a way to grow stronger. Instead youíve grown fat, stupid and weak. I donít know why I would even bother with any of the lot of you, except for you," the demon pointed at Kennedy. "You look good enough to eat little girl, so donít worry about the girlfriend who you think pines for her dead lover."
Kennedy stood motionless with her mouth agape and her feet rooted to the ground. As Eemia began to walk toward them, the group, except for Kennedy, turned and broke into a sprint back to their vehicle. Rowena looked back to see Kennedy unmoving. She darted back toward the Slayer and pulled her along.
"Come on," she said with a tug to the Slayerís arm that got her attention. With that, the two ran for the car.
Eemia began to laugh but didnít give chase. "Maybe returning to this plane wonít be so bad after all," Eemia snickered.
Willow's Coven Room - Same Time
"Whatís wrong with Xander?" Willow pressed. "Is he in some sort of danger?"
Anya simply glared at her in shock. "Of course heís in danger, Willow," she yelled, frustrated. "I wouldnít be here otherwise."
Willow began to pace around the circle, trying to think.
"Well, what kind of danger?" she asked.
"The worst kind."
"Mortal danger?" Willow questioned.
Anya sighed. "Yes, but itís much deeper than that. Heís in spiritual danger too, you know?"
Willow clenched her jaw in frustration. "Look, Anya, just because youíre dead and an intangible spirit doesnít mean you can get all higher powery with the riddles and answering a question with a question," Willow scolded. "Can you spell it out for us death deprived?"
Anya sighed again and began to calm. In a steady, even voice she spoke, with a hint of urgency. "If you donít find Xander and get him back here soon, and I mean matter of weeks soon, heíll be lost to all of us. Including me. I will never be able to find his spirit again."
Willow looked at Anya with resolve. "Anya, I need to know more. What exactly are you saying?"
"Iím saying heíll be dead Willow."
End of Act One
Onto Act Two