Act 4

Fade In:
Watchers Council – Second Level Study – Day

Resting comfortably on the sofa, Hank Malloy looked up at Andrew, while Andrew stood there looking down at the wounded man.

“Want me to get you some water or something?” he asked with a smile. “Even though I’m sure we have something better than that, it’s usually what you give sick people. I’ve never understood that myself, when I’m sick, I prefer something with a little lemony flavor to it,” he said with a smile.

“Uh, no thanks. I’m fine,” Hank replied.

“How about something to eat? Are you hungry? You know, I’m a really good cook. Everyone was just talking about it the other morning at breakfast,” Andrew proudly boasted.

“No, I’m not really hungry either.”

“Oh, okay then. How about some TV? Nothing makes me feel better than an –” His sentence was cut short by Hank.

“Actually, I think I just need to rest right now. I’m sure that’ll help quite a bit. You know, just some peace and quiet,” he said politely.

“Okay then. I’ll be right over here if you need me. Just give me a yell…or not. I really won’t be that far away,” Andrew said as he walked over to sit down in a chair by the door.

Hearing Giles and his team return to the adjoining room, Kennedy and Rowena slipped away to join them. They found the group examining a dagger.

“We can offer our assistance in getting this resolved,” Rowena told them.

“We can get things under control,” Kennedy told her. “Willow is very powerful when it comes to these kinda things. Besides, we already found the mysterious dagger.”

“Yes, but she’s only so powerful, and you need help researching what’s going on,” Rowena countered.

Kennedy’s hands promptly went to her hips. “Look, all I’m saying is you don’t really need to be here right now. We can get more done without you two being in the way.”

“Yes, you do have a point,” DeVeer replied. “I think our business with Mr. Giles can certainly wait to be taken care of.”

“What?” Rowena spoke up. “We can’t leave, especially now. That would be crazy.” She then turned to Giles and continued. “You need all the help you can get. Sure, you’ve got the dagger, but it’s still a complete mystery.”

Willow kept an intense gaze on the dagger lying on the table in front of them. Suddenly, she had an idea.

“I’ll get a psychic reading from it. It might help us figure some things out,” she suggested.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Rowena jumped in. “You’d be taking a great chance by doing that.”

“I agree,” Giles replied, “If indeed this dagger was involved in the murders of those children, its aura could be very dangerous to you, Willow.” He gave her a concerned look. “I-it would be like tasting water to see if it really is sewage. Your method could prove very dangerous.”

“After the dream I had, Giles, I’m willing to sip a little sewage to stop this thing from burying itself in my chest, ‘k? Besides, this is just something that needs to be done. I can handle it. A-and if I couldn’t, then I wouldn’t have offered,” she said, trying to convince the other watchers. Before they could reply, she continued. “This dagger is still a threat. It’s still dangerous. Those spirits are only gone for now. They’re not at rest and they can still come back.”

“Alright.” Giles relented. “But if it gets too much for you, you’ll stop.” His warning was more of a statement than a question.

“Yes, I promise. Now let’s give it a shot,” Willow replied, already getting up to get ready for the reading.

The group, with the exception of Giles, who remained standing over Willow, walked away and sat on the couch to observe the Wiccan as she worked. She gently took the dagger from the table and held it tightly in both hands, closing her eyes. The room was silent as she began to focus her energy on the dagger.

Suddenly, Willow opened her eyes and dropped the dagger back on the table. When she put a hand on her head, the others noticed something was wrong. Giles put his arms around her to keep her upright.

Kennedy shot to her feet and raced over, asking, “What’s wrong? What happened?”

“I just feel a little sick,” Willow said, trying to stand. “I-I need to sit down. Anybody mind if I pass out?”

Helping her up, Kennedy and Giles led her over to the couch. “I’m just a little nauseous. I guess the spell during the poltergeist thing earlier made me weaker than I thought. B-but I’ll be okay.”

Overhearing Willow’s words, Andrew quickly entered the room to check on her, leaving Hank alone. Andrew tried to be helpful as Willow lay down on the library couch. “Should I do anything? Medicine, maybe? Tylenol? Advil?” he asked in a near panicked state. “Or maybe aspirin. No, maybe Midol. Ibuprofen is a good anti-inflamatory, but Zantac would probably be best for an upset tummy…”

“Andrew,” Giles interrupted, “…just get some aspirin.”

Pausing a moment to nod, Andrew swiftly made his way out of the room in search of the medicine.

Pretending to be asleep, Hank heard the commotion from the room down the hall. Cautiously, he got up and slowly made his way to the room. Seeing everyone hovering over Willow, he carefully reached out and picked up the dagger from the table as quietly as possible.

As he slipped out of the room with it, he looked down at the object. As he made his way down the hallway, he began to whisper.

“Now we can continue our work. I thought I’d never see you again. Richard never should’ve stolen you, my friend, but at least he was punished.”

With her eyes closed, Willow concentrated through her migraine to tell the others the results of her reading on the dagger.

“I-it was handmade–specifically for the killer. The design is one of a kind. It’s very personal to him. They were ritual-type killings and the dagger was needed as part of the ritual. That’s why they stopped.”

“But Richard is dead,” Giles told her.

“Richard wasn’t the killer. He hid the weapon from the killer,” Willow told him.

“Can you see who owns the dagger?”

“No, not clearly, but it’s obvious he’s still alive a-and he’s searching for this special weapon so he can continue his work. So that means that we have to find him first and—Oh no!”

“What? What do you see?” Giles asked.

“It’s not Richard! It’s Hank! The killer is Hank!”

Glancing back to the table, Kennedy noticed something was different about it. After a moment, she realized what it was. “Um, where’d the dagger go?”

The others looked at the table to see the item was gone.

Giles and Rowena stepped into the doorway and saw Hank making his departure down the stairs. Knowing he was too far away to catch and that the other slayers were gathered downstairs, Giles yelled, “Girls! Stop him! He’s got a knife!” 

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Lobby – Same Time

Hearing his words, Rona and the others ran out into the lobby at a full sprint. Rona quickly caught up to Hank and tackled him from behind. He thrust the dagger upwards in her direction, but to no avail, as she moved out of the way and disarmed him easily.

Faith jumped the stair banister with ease. A few of the new recruits smiled at her agility before focusing on Hank again. She ran over to assist and together she and the other girls pulled Hank to his feet and led him back upstairs. When Hank started to kick and protest, they gave up on leading him and just picked him up off his feet and carried him along.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Second Level Study – Moments Later

Walking back into the upstairs study, Rona handed the dagger to Giles. Coming through the door behind her, the slayers tossed Hank down into a chair but didn’t move away, leaving the man surrounded. 

Cut To:
Van in Front of the Watchers Council – Same Time

The black van across the street got every movement and every sound on tape, just as it had been in the days before.  

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Second Level Study – Same Time

Thinking quickly, Willow darted to her feet and said aloud, “ACCLARO!”

She began to chant and then, as if a curtain had been lifted, the ghosts of Hank Malloy’s victims all appeared, visible to all in the room. A look of recognition swept across Giles face as he realized what Willow was doing..

Willow fell to the ground, but she continued to chant. Kennedy started to rush over to her, but Giles stopped her.

“No, stay there.” he said, holding his arm out to keep her back. “No sudden movements. Let her finish.”

Rowena and Andrew stepped out to check on Willow, since they were the closest. They bent down to keep a closer eye on her.

“I understand your anger,” Giles began, speaking to the spirits, “However, you need to find peace. Now that your killer is revealed, you are finally free.”

The spirits seemed to listen intently to his words. Then, another spirit appeared. The new member resembled Hank, but the group knew just who it was. 

“No! No, it can’t be!” Hank screamed as he looked up to see his dead brother staring at him. “It wasn’t my fault! You never should have stolen my friend. The work is important. The Presidium will rise, I tell you! You can’t stop it!”

Hank crawled on the floor and assumed a fetal position. He began to cry out in terror.

Giles turned to speak to the spirits again. “You already have Richard’s innocent blood on your hands. Obviously you mistook him for Hank, didn’t you?” The spirits looked at each other guiltily. “Let go,” Giles urged. “Lest rage overtake you and you become creatures of vengeance for all time – know that justice will finally be served, so you may rest.”

After a few moments, the spirits all began to slowly fade into the air. The last to go was Richard, weeping as he looked at his brother, who was now sputtering and twitching on the floor.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Later That Day

As the medics picked Hank up from the floor and wrapped him in the straight jacket, Giles told the police about the recent ordeal. “Yes, that’s right. He seemed to be a different person after we found the dagger.”

As Giles continued to give the police the details, Rowena made her way over to Willow. Quietly, she asked, “The spirits… are they gone for good now?”

“Yeah, I think so,” the Wiccan replied.

“It would’ve been so much easier if Richard had just turned Hank in to the police in the first place,” Rowena remarked.

Willow glanced at Rowena and replied, “That’s a hard thing to do to family. Could you?”

“For justice to be served?” Rowena asked. “Yes, I would.”

Willow glanced over to where Faith was smiling and talking to Robin. She then shifted her eyes to Giles, who paused to grin at her as he spoke to the police, before she turned back to face Rowena.  “Well, it’s easy in the abstract, sure. But when it comes right down to it, when it’s your decision to make, you might be surprised at your final choices.”

As the police left, Giles turned to see DeVeer on his cell phone.

Quickly finishing up the call, DeVeer casually said, “I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I’m needed back in London as soon as possible.” As he turned to walk out, he continued, “Any issues the Old Guard has with your group, Mr. Giles, can wait. You and your associates are fully capable of fighting the good fight. In addition, Rowena will act as a liaison for the Council until my return. If that’s alright, of course.” He smiled as he reached to shake Giles’s hand.

Looking at the group, Giles noted Willow’s raised eyebrow and Kennedy’s angry look. He then turned to Rowena. “Of course, you’re very welcome to stay here,” he told her.

“Thank you, Mr. Giles,” Rowena replied with a smile.

Moments later, DeVeer was gone and the group began to break up, moving to other areas.

Quietly, Giles took Willow aside before speaking to her in a low voice. “The Old Guard are an unknown factor. I hadn’t believed any of the Old Council was left, and I don’t believe for a second that things are as clear cut and simple as Mr. DeVeer seems to suggest. In fact…I’m sure it’s not that simple. I’d like Rowena to stay here so we can find out more about what’s really going on. The Old Guard had formidable resources at their disposal, which could prove dangerous.”

Willow took this opportunity to ask, “How much of it do they still have left?”

“I don’t know, but we need to learn,” the older watcher replied. “And we need to get those resources into our fold as soon as possible.”

“What kind of resources, Giles?”

“That I knew of?” he asked. Willow simply nodded. “The IRS, US Senators, World Ambassadors, Interpol, the FBI, the KGB – you name it and they knew someone in power. We need to begin building these resources now. I’d hoped we’d have more time but…”

“Time is of the essence. I get it. I’ll put all other work on hold.”

“I don’t foresee Rowena as a threat exactly but…”

“Keep your friends close…,” Willow commented in understanding.

Precisely. And your enemies closer. If Rowena wants to stay and observe a bit that’s fine. As a result we can do some observing ourselves. Agreed?” Giles explained.

“Agreed,” Willow said.

Cut To:
Mansion Estate – Later That Day

“So you see,” Bonnie, the real estate agent, explained to DeVeer, “the cleaning crew for the Presidium will arrive tomorrow. The equipment will be in town in another 48 hours.”

“Yes, thank you for your help,” Mr. DeVeer replied, while dialing his cell phone. “The New Guard believes I’m on the way to London.”

“And the Old Guard? What of them?” Bonnie asked.

He didn’t reply vocally. He simply held up his finger and waited on the phone.

Cut to:
London – Business Office – Same Time

James Tyrell and the others gathered around the large table, with a video feed beginning to play at one end of the room. The group of ten men, mostly composed of older, more distinguished members, along with a few younger members, picked up their pens and began taking thorough notes about what was on the screen before them. They saw the events that had happened at the new Council in Cleveland, down to every last detail, thanks to the mysterious black van.

Just then, as they watched a man being led from a building in a straight jacket, Tyrell’s phone rang. He promptly answered it.

“Ah, Mr. DeVeer. I’ve been waiting to hear from you. With only the slightest amount of luck this whole distraction with Rupert Giles should be taken care of in no time,” he said. He turned on the speakerphone and the rest of the group heard the conversation.

They listened as DeVeer noted, “Yes, however, luck isn’t something for us to count on.”

“I can assure you, Vincent,” Tyrell replied, “we’re not. Did anything of any other importance happen during your little adventure?”

“Well,” DeVeer began with a sinister grin, “Things are falling into place.”

Fade to Black

End of Foreign Presence


On the next episode of Watchers

The Council is just getting its feet under it, but it has to pull out all the stops to combat an unexpected new threat, not to mention investigate a series of bizarre murders where the victims are turned into salt.

Click here to read “Untimely Arrivals” now!