Slayers’ Quarters – Late Afternoon
“Come on over Rachel,” Faith said, motioning over the young woman who had made the trip from Chicago. “You’ve already seen the Watchers’ side. So this is where you’ll be staying and training.”
The building next to the large headquarters looked equally as enormous, with high ceilings and a host of different equipment that lined the walls. They continued to walk until they reached another door. Faith went inside first and pointed out the living quarters, where a few of the slayers were at a table playing cards. Kennedy was closest and seated at a desk, writing something down.
“This is Kennedy.” Faith told Rachel. The sound of her name spoken made Kennedy look up.
“Hey! You’re back!” she said with a smile.
“Yeah, just got in,” Faith told her. “I took Rachel here next door already to meet Giles and company.”
“I was just putting together the patrolling schedule for this week. Maybe you can give me a hand later,” Kennedy replied.
“Sure thing. Oh sorry, this is Rachel,” Faith said in introduction. “Rachel, Kennedy is like my lieutenant. She oversees all the girls here – particularly one redheaded witch you’ve already met,” she added.
Kennedy chuckled and offered her hand, giving a brief shake. “Nice to meet you Rachel, and don’t mind Faith. She likes to jab me whenever she can for dating Willow.”
“So you’re like, a lesbian?” Rachel asked.
“No.” Kennedy said, firmly shaking her head. “I am lesbian. There’s no ‘like’ about it. But don’t worry, it’s not contagious.”
Rachel gave a brief laugh and quickly stopped herself. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. I’m not.”
“No,” Rachel replied quickly with a nervous smile still on her face. “I mean for laughing. I wasn’t laughing at you. I just… forgive me. This is all just a bit overwhelming.”
“I spent a year running for my life. Most of us here have so we can relate to ‘overwhelming.’ Trust me. You’re in good company.”
Faith put her hand on Kennedy’s shoulder. “Think you can show her around and get her settled in?”
“Not a problem,” Kennedy answered before turning to Rachel. “Come on, I’ll give you the grand tour and introduce you to the other gals here in the barracks.”
Faith paused for a moment. She watched as Kennedy led Rachel to Rona and Vi at the card table before turning her back to leave the room.
Watchers Headquarters – Moments Later
Giles watched as Faith made her way inside. “Rachel getting settled in?” he asked.
“Yeah,” she told him. “Brat’s showing her around.” She walked closer and saw Giles going through the mail with a smile on his face. “Whatcha readin’?”
“Oh, a postcard from Buffy,” he told her with a grin.
“And how’s her Royal Highness doin’?”
“Faith,” Giles reprimanded.
“Sorry, sorry,” she said in a bored tone.
“If you’re truly interested, she was in Disney World last week.”
“So she’s off to the Magic Kingdom while we’re busting our asses trying to save the real world. Good for her,” Faith jibed.
“Please, Faith, ” Giles began. “We all know you feel a slight resentment toward Buffy for not coming along, but –”
“Good then,” Faith interrupted. “Let’s drop it.” Something caught her attention on the desk and she picked it up. “What’s this?” she asked, as she started to thumb through what looked like a catalog.
“You’re quite inquisitive today,” he remarked.
“Nah, just bored and waiting for sundown so we can patrol,” she answered.
“Those are the plans we have to choose from,” Giles told her. “…for the living quarters we’re putting upstairs,” he added in clarification.
“You mean we might actually have real ‘apartments’ someday instead of dingy rooms with just a mattress?” she asked with a smirk.
“I know these aren’t the best living conditions at the moment,” Giles agreed. “But with time we’ll get there.”
“Hell, anything is better than an 8×8 cell,” she replied as she continued to flip through the book. “Now, this isn’t bad,” she said, showing him the picture. “A TV, a bar, and two comfy chairs. Who needs anything more?”
“You’re a woman of simple needs, Faith,” Giles complimented.
“So which one did you like?” she asked.
He thumbed through the brochure and turned it around to show her.
“Oh man, a fireplace, too! Talk about your bachelor pad Giles! Bring the ladies up for a nightcap, put on some soft music and woo ’em by the fire with that sexy British accent?”
Faith laughed as Giles blushed.
“No, that is not why I like it,” he insisted. Faith just smirked and nodded. “It is not. I’m far too busy to complicate myself with a love interest. This room, it’s like my cottage in England,” he added.
“Sure it is,” she teased over exaggerating the sentence.
“I-It is so… Y-You can ask Willow. She’s been there. She’ll tell you.”
Faith looked as if she was considering more jabbing but let it go. “Speaking of Red…” she replied, letting the sentence hang.
“She’s in her coven room. She’s located three more potential watchers and two more Slayer girls since you’ve been gone. Andrew is narrowing down locations and descriptions again so next week we might send you and Wood on separate journeys.”
“That’s cool! More the merrier. By the way, I stopped in for a snack when we got back. Andrew was bitching about slaving over the hot stove, but he also said the Watcher guy here in town wouldn’t join.”
“No,” Giles sighed. “He wouldn’t.”
“He came down with a case of Buffy-itis, huh?” Faith chuckled but held up her hands before Giles could argue. “Okay, I’ll drop it. But seriously, that’s too bad. Someone that close who won’t lend a hand, it’s a shame.”
“Well, I left our card. Maybe he’ll reconsider and look us up,” Giles replied optimistically.
Darkened Apartment with the blinds down – Early Evening
“I say we go there now!” a vampire demanded, rising to his feet. The room, filled with eight vampires, seemed divided, with half supporting him and the other half shaking their hands and heads in disagreement.
“The sun hasn’t set yet, moron,” another vamp answered. “Besides, why walk into the den when we can just take the slayers out one by one? They do patrol the streets, right? I say we watch ’em, we hunt ’em and when the time’s right, we jump ’em.”
The two sides began to argue with each other until a third vamp stood up. “Marshall,” he announced over the conflicting voice. “You’ve guided us plenty of times. What do you think we should do?”
“You’re all scared. I realize that. But I don’t think jumping a group of Slayers is the best way to go.”
“Then what do you suggest?” a vamp sitting on the sofa asked.
“You know the best way to kill a serpent, don’t you boys?”
“Cut off its head,” one of them said with a chuckle, then made a chopping noise.
“Exactly. Cut off the head and the body dies. The slayers are just the bodies but the watchers are the heads – the minds.”
“So how do we do it?”
Marshall gave a sinister grin. “Fear not, my brothers. I have a plan.”
Slayer’s Quarters – Evening
“It’s well known that an army travels on its stomach, so eat up young’ins. There’s plenty here so keep passing the plates,” Andrew told the group of young women. They had gathered in the training area and wheeled out the drop down tables with benches that they kept stored on the far wall.
Faith stood up and addressed the group.
“Here’s the low down,” she began. “Everyone is going out tonight on patrol. We’ll be going in two groups. Rachel, you’ll be going in my group, just so you know. Kennedy will head the other group. We’re gonna do a sweep tonight from the east and the west. I’ll be taking the east side and Kennedy will have the west. It’ll be dark soon, so enjoy your meal but do it quickly. We’ll pass along the roster so everyone knows her place, okay?” The group nodded and voiced their understanding. “Good, now eat up.”
Before Faith sat back down she tugged on Andrew’s sleeve as he continued to pass more dishes around. “Hey, are those cheesy potatoes?” she asked.
“Why yes, they are twice baked and I even fried the bacon that’s on top myself – no artificial bits for our girls.”
“Cool dude,” she said with a smile. “You really go all out! I don’t care what Willow and Giles say about you. I know the truth.” Faith put a forkful of potatoes in her mouth.
“Say? What? What do they say?” Andrew asked with a hurried, concerned voice.
“Lighten up, Spaz. I’m just teasin’ ya,” Faith said with a chuckle. “But really, thanks for the extra effort.”
“Ah, thank you… you‘re a peach.“
Watchers Council – Moments Later
Willow walked out of her coven room, holding a piece of paper in her hand. She found Giles and Robin eating at the computer terminals.
“I think I’ve narrowed down locations a bit more in the slayer hunt,” she told them as she walked over.
“Did you eat yet?” Giles asked.
“Uh, oh no, not yet but I’ll get something later. One of the girls isn’t far from here. Detroit, actually. I don’t have a specific location yet but we’ll get it narrowed down.” Willow paused and looked around. “Where are the girls?”
“Mess hall, or the mock mess hall,” Robin offered.
“Oh,” Willow said, sounding a bit defeated, which prompted Giles and Wood to examine Willow for a moment. “It’s nothing. I just hoped I’d get to see my girlfriend sometime today.”
“Well, Andrew does have the food over there,” Giles said, rising and taking the paper from Willow, “I think you’ve worked hard enough for one day. Why don’t you join her?”
Slayers’ Quarters – Evening
Willow peeked her head inside the entrance and smiled.
“Room for one more?” she called over.
Vi, who was seated next to Kennedy, motioned the group to slide down a little, giving Willow space next to Kennedy at the end of the table.
Andrew walked over and put down a plate and some silverware. “Here you go, milady,” he said politely. “What can I get you?” he asked.
“Hmm…” Willow looked over at everyone’s plates. “Let’s see – chicken, potatoes and green beans please.”
“Coming right up,” he told her, as he walked around the table to fetch the items for her.
“How goes the search?” Kennedy asked. “I missed you at lunch.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry. I wanted to try to narrow things in a bit more, which I did. One of them lives in Detroit – a slayer, I mean. Figured Faith could maybe ride out next week once I get a location on her.”
“Works for me,” Faith said. “Only thing is, can Brat tear herself away from you long enough to sleep in the barracks and watch the girls while I’m gone? You know we’re talking a whole day, maybe even two days.”
A couple of the girls chuckled across from Willow and Kennedy, which prompted Kennedy to look at the list. A wicked grin crossed her face. “Oh look! The laughing hyenas are in my group. I can make them do laps tonight while they patrol.” Both girls let out an exasperated sigh. “Be careful what you find amusing, ladies,” she warned.
“Ken, Sweetie, be nice,” Willow said with a grin.
“I am being nice,” Kennedy answered. “I could have thrown in 20 push ups for every block they run around.”
“So food and then patrol, huh? Think it will be a long night?” Willow asked.
“Hmm, that depends. Something special waiting for me when I get home?”
“Maybe,” Willow retorted with a coy smile.
“Maybe I’ll make ’em all do laps to speed things up,” Kennedy offered.
“No.” Willow chuckled. “Then all of them would be resentful,” she added.
“Got that right,” Vi said, moving her head forward to look past Kennedy and make eye contact with Willow.
Faith stood up. “Okay girls. Let’s roll!” A few girls complained that they weren’t finished, but Faith just shrugged. “Hey, you’re in the army now, Sweetcheeks. Get used to it.”
The table squeaked and clattered as the girls rose to fall into positions. Kennedy wiped her mouth and leaned down to kiss Willow on the hand. “Be back in a flash.”
“Promise?” Willow asked hopefully.
“Oh yeah,” Kennedy smirked. “I promise.”
Watchers Council – Night
Giles, Willow, and Robin sat at the computer terminal, looking at a series of maps as Andrew carted away the dirty dishes.
“Okay,” Willow said, “If I have the latitude and longitude correct then that means that we’re looking at Lincoln Park, Michigan. The spell did reflect that it was ‘park-like’ in nature.”
“Yeah, but look here – there’s also an Allen Park not far from Detroit and pretty near Lincoln Park,” Robin pointed out.
“Where?” Willow asked, growing concerned.
“Right here,” he showed her as he pointed.
“Damn it. What’s with all the ‘Parks’ in Michigan, and why can’t this be easier?”
“Nothing worthwhile is easy,” Giles quipped.
Willow opened her mouth to reply but they all heard a knock at the door and made their way over.
Giles opened it first, as Willow and Robin looked on.
“Hello Mr. Giles. It’s Mr. Marshall. We spoke the other night about –”
“Oh yes,” Giles said anxiously. “Have you reconsidered?”
“Well, I thought you should know that we are not alone,” he said, pointing to the six men that stood behind him. “We’d like to come in if we could, but we don’t want to intrude without an invitation.”
“Oh no. I’m sorry,” Giles said quickly. “Where are my manners? Please come in, everyone. Make yourselves at home.”
Mr. Marshall gave Giles a full smile as he walked across the threshold.
Once everyone was inside, Giles closed the door.
“So you’re all watchers too?” Willow asked.
“Well, no,” Marshall answered, his face turning into vamp form. “But we’re all alike.”
Suddenly the other men morphed as well. Shocked, Willow, Giles, and Robin found themselves trying to move away from the eight vampires that began to circle them.
End of Act Three