Watchers Council – Giles’s Room – Night
Giles rose as he heard the knock on his apartment door. He opened it to find Rowena, holding out the keys to his car. “So, how did it go?” he asked, taking them.
“Better than we expected,” she told him. She paused a moment, then nodded to the recesses of his apartment.
“Oh, forgive me,” Giles said, opening the door wider. “Come in. Would you like some tea?”
“No, I’m fine,” she said, walking inside and taking off her coat. “Brell and I went to the hotel to find DeVeer taking the last of his stuff away. We followed them to a mansion just outside the city limits. The whole place is very Old Guard, by the way. Set back off the road, secluded, perfect for hiding out.” She grinned. “I was going to make a report, but it seems everyone called it a night.”
“Yes,” Giles sighed, holding back a yawn. “The last week’s been a bit tiring, to say the least.”
“Well, I won’t keep you up any longer. Think I might get some sleep myself. I can detail the findings and perhaps draw up a map. Brell said he was going to keep watch on the place and follow DeVeer.”
“On foot?” Giles asked.
“No, he’s got a car. I dropped him off before I came here.” She smiled. “Not as fancy as your car, though,” she quipped as she pointed to the keys, still in his hand.
Giles snorted. “Well, yes…Anyway, get some rest and we’ll have the girls do a bit of surveillance as well.”
“‘Night, Mr. Giles,” she nodded as she opened the door.
“Good night, Ms. Allister,” he said, before watching her leave.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Morning
Rowena rushed down the stairs with her shoes in one hand and a folder with a map sticking out in the other. Once at the landing, she spotted Giles and quickly came over. Shr tried to walk and put her shoes on at the same time, hopping on one foot.
“I am sooo sorry I overslept,” she told him, finally stopping for good to slip the flats on. “Everyone gone?”
She watched as he poured a cup of coffee.
“Afraid so. Andrew went grocery shopping with a few of the girls and Willow went to the magic store for an item Andrew overlooked on her list this week. But they shouldn’t be too long,” he said, handing her a cup of coffee. “Looks like you could use this.”
“Well, I’ve got the map done and a few notes,” she said, handing it to him. Absently, he placed it behind him on the counter as she took the coffee mug. “I thought perhaps we could get some pictures of the estate today and then formulate the layout – entrances, windows, things of that nature.”
“Very well,” Giles nodded. “We’ll go over it once we have the group assembled.”
Rowena paused and looked at him with a bit of uncertainty. “I’m sorry, Mr. Giles,” she said sincerely.
“For what, Dear?”
“For missing the morning meeting. This is important and I –”
“It’s alright,” he told her. “Last night when I said everyone was exhausted, that included you too.”
“I understand that, but still. A watcher –”
“Is human and needs rest.”
A slow grin came to Rowena’s face. “You’re not like Tyrell at all.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment. Thank you,” Giles smirked.
“No, really,” Rowena told him. “He’d have me filing paperwork until my fingers were nubs for missing a meeting.”
“We all decided it was better to let you sleep and report later. We need rested members in order to stay alert. Besides, there’s nothing we can do at the moment. Not like we’ll barge inside their headquarters with slayers armed to the teeth, demanding they leave Cleveland.”
As the words left Giles’s lips two of the front windows shattered and three canisters came hurling through the window and began to smoke. Next came the sound of a battering ram against the door.
“Get out of here!” Giles yelled. He reached behind the desk and pressed a button.
Watchers Council – Slayer Rec Room – Same Time
Vi, Rona and Rachel sat at the card table playing poker.
“Full House,” Vi said, placing her cards down. With a smile, she scooped the pile of chips toward herself. Suddenly the alarm in the room went off and all three of them rose.
“If Giles let in another vamp, I’m gonna be pissed,” Rona said. The three of them took off in a run.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Moments Later
Rowena had begun to run toward the interior walkway that connected the Slayer Building to the Council when the door gave way. Five men ran inside dressed in protective chemical gear, their faces hidden. She began to wheeze and cough as more gas filled the lobby, slowing her down. One man grabbed her, but she kneed him in the groin and tried to get away.
She looked over to see two men had managed to grab Giles, but her eyes were now burning and watering over. A third man grabbed her and dragged her out of the building.
The slayers entered in time to see someone pulling Giles out of the building. They raced forward, but a final man backing up the kidnappers pulled a nine mm gun and pointed it at them.
All three of them stopped in their tracks as he walked out backwards and closed the door. As soon as he left, they all raced over and Rona opened the front door. Three shots rang out and quickly she shut it again. Their eyes began to water too.
“Now what?” Rachel asked, wiping her eyes.
Vi took off into a run, racing up the stairs. She looked out the window to see the men load Rowena and Giles into a van and lock it. With a pat to the door, the van took off. The five men then took their suits off, stuffing them into a bag. Within sixty seconds, they too left in a separate vehicle.
“Open the door,” Vi shouted.
Carefully, Rona did, motioning Rachel to stand back. She peeked outside to see everyone gone. She waved Rachel out and they both took a deep breath. “Seal off the slayer entrance,” Rona told her, “and open as many windows and doors in here as you can.”
Rachel took off with a nod as Vi ran back down the stairs. “Everyone’s got the vehicles,” Vi told her.
“Not all of them,” Rona told her.
Watchers Council – Garage – Moments Later
Rona sped out of the garage on Faith’s cycle. Behind her, Vi held on for dear life.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Later
Holding empty grocery bags in his arms, Andrew walked through the connecting walkway from the Slayer Building to find the lobby empty. He dropped the bags and held his nose at a terrible smell. At that moment, Willow walked into the room quickly, in a panic. She inspected the front door, kneeling down and picking up a piece of shattered glass.
“Where’re Giles and Ro?” she asked him.
“What’s that smell?” he countered.
Faith walked into the room beside Andrew. She looked around the partially destroyed lobby for a moment, taking it all in.
“What the hell happened here?” Faith asked.
Willow walked over to one of the empty canisters and sniffed it, before violently turning away. “It’s Chloroacetophenone,” she answered.
“In English, Red,” Faith prompted.
“Uh, sorry, tear gas,” she answered. “Are the other girls over there?”
Just then Rachel came downstairs.
“There you are! I’ve been trying to call but I can’t get a damn connection on the walkie talkies.”
“What happened?” Andrew, Willow and Faith all asked at once.
Old Guard Mansion – Same Time
“Everything go as planned?” Tyrell asked over what looked like a radio transmitter, a long antennae rising from the top of a small black device.
“Yes,” Jordon answered over the radio. “We have the target and we’re en route now. ETA in twenty minutes.”
“Very good,” Tyrell told him. “Any casualties?”
“None…at this time,” Jordon snickered.
Old Guard Van – Same Time
“Well, this morning is off to a fine start,” Rowena said. She started to cough.
“At least my sinuses are clear now,” Giles replied, wiping his eyes. “I just pray no one was hurt.”
Rowena motioned her hand between the two of them.
“I meant the girls,” he replied. “I heard shots fired after they loaded us in. They might have tried to give chase.”
“Wait!” Rowena said, going to her pocket but coming up empty. “Damn it! They took my phone. What about you?”
“I don’t have one,” Giles told her.
“You don’t have a cell phone?” Rowena replied in disbelief. “Everyone has a cell phone.”
“I have an aversion to modern electronics.”
Giles shook his head.
Again, another shake.
“Please tell me you at least own a microwave,” she said with an incredulous look on her face.
“That I do have,” he told her. “It’s an expensive, glorified popcorn maker.”
Rowena chuckled. “Not even a cup of quick tea?”
Giles looked at her like she was crazy. “No self-respecting Englishman would make tea in a microwave. That would be considered sacrilege.”
“I suppose. Kinda like my country when it comes to beer…and hockey,” she added in afterthought.
“Canadian?” Giles asked, amused.
She grinned and laid a finger on her red nose. “How’d you guess?”
“Luck I suppose…Funny, but you don’t sound Canadian,” he told her.
“Oh really? And how do Canadians sound? We’re not all like Bob and Doug McKenzie.”
“Who?” Giles asked.
“You don’t own a television either, do you?” Rowena teased.
Giles simply smiled. A small silence passed between them until Rowena sighed.
“What do you think they want with us?” she asked.
Giles paused a moment. “I’m trying not to focus on that at the moment. Planning an escape before we find out why we’ve been captured, however, is.”
Old Guard Mansion – Gates – Afternoon
Three vehicles entered through a gate. Further back on the long driveway, Brell pulled his bright green Dodge Neon to a stop. He watched one man re-secure the gate and hop into the vehicle that had been bringing up the rear in the procession. He got out of the car and walked over to get a closer look.
Suddenly someone was standing beside him. Brell jumped.
“You!” Brell said looking up. He turned to run back to his car.
With lightning speed, DeVeer whipped out a dagger and stabbed it into Brell’s back. The demon went limp and toppled to the ground. DeVeer pulled the dagger back out and wiped the green blood on Brell’s shirt.
“Me,” he answered with a smirk, before walking away.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Afternoon
“So Rona and Vi took off?” Faith asked.
Rachel simply nodded as the remaining slayers began to file into the lobby, with Kennedy in the lead.
“I hope they don’t do something stupid,” Faith muttered.
“We could call them,” Andrew offered.
“No,” Willow answered.
“But Willow –” Kennedy tried to begin.
“No,” she insisted more firmly. “If they’re trying to get close to where they’re holding Giles and Ro, a ringing phone could give them away. We can’t call. We wait for them to call us. But in the meantime, we need to find their location.”
Kennedy rolled her eyes and took a seat at the desk. She propped her feet up, knocking down a folder from the desk but not bothering to pick it up.
“You got a problem?” Willow asked.
Kennedy’s eyes widened at the authoritative tone in Willow’s voice.
“I just don’t see how playing around with magic is gonna help this situation. We should be out there looking,” she argued.
Willow paused a moment, but chose to brush off the comment. She nodded to Andrew and Rachel. “You two go upstairs. Andrew, go to Giles’s and Rachel to Ro’s. Get me a personal item and meet me in the coven room. I’ll have to do a locator spell.”
Kennedy finally bent down to get the folder and the map fell out. She looked at it closer.
“Well, we could use magic, or maybe this handy dandy map,” Kennedy quipped, tossing it to Willow. “I think that big circle with the name ‘Old Guard mansion’ might be a good starting point.” She smugly folded her arms across her chest.
Faith and Willow came over and examined it. Andrew and Rachel returned, giving Willow the items. Rachel handed her one of Ro’s ink pens while Andrew gave her a folded piece of material. Willow opened it up and held it up to Andrew.
“Well, that answers the boxers or briefs question for Giles,” Faith quipped.
“You brought me Giles’s underwear?” Willow asked Andrew, holding up a pair of boxers by the waistband.
“You said personal,” Andrew replied, defending his choice.
Willow closed her eyes and shook her head. “Here guys,” she said handing them back the items. “Hold these for now. We’ve got another lead.”
“Okay so we’ve got the map. Let’s go!” Kennedy said, rising to her feet again.
“No, just hold on a minute,” Willow told her, examining the map.
“We don’t have a minute,” Faith told Willow. “They already have God knows how big a head start on us.”
“And we don’t know what we’re rushing into,” Willow insisted. “Are you guys with me here or not?”
“If it involves more sitting around here doing nothing then no, we’re not,” Kennedy said, taking the map and making her way to the door.
“Stop right there!” Willow shouted. She walked over and took the map back.
“Excuse me?” Kennedy said, turning around with an indignant expression.
“No one is leaving this building yet,” Willow told her firmly. “If we separate now we’ll crumble. And Giles and I have invested too much time and energy for that to happen.”
“Then you can come with us,” Kennedy countered.
“Listen to me,” Willow insisted. “It could be a trap, for all we know. Hell, we don’t even know if they took them to the mansion. We need to pinpoint a location first and then figure out what we’re going to do.”
“Yeah and while we’re busy planning away, they’re killing Giles,” Kennedy contended. “I’ve lost one watcher because I wasn’t there in time. I’m not about to lose another.”
“Think Ken!” Willow snapped, losing her reserve. “If they wanted to kill Giles he’d be dead already.”
“You don’t know that!”
“Yes I do! Look at the facts! There was no one here to witness a hit, so that means if they wanted to kill him, they would have done it. A-And what better way to scare the hell out of the rest of us than to walk in to find him dead?”
“Red’s gotta point,” Faith agreed.
“Then you’re both nuts,” Kennedy countered. “I’m going out there.”
“Walk out now and don’t bother coming back!”
Kennedy halted her steps and put her hands in her back pockets. She turned again to face Willow with a look of skepticism.
“This Council will not survive if we split up,” Willow said, more calmly addressing all of them. “I need to know who I can depend on. Anyone else here want to test me? If so, there’s the door.” She pointed.
No one moved or said a word. Instead they nervously shuffled from foot to foot or looked away. Some looked at Kennedy, as if unsure of what she might do next. Willow, for her part, strummed her fingers on the map absently, as if considering a course of action.
Kennedy pursed her lips, looking around the room. Willow didn’t notice Kennedy’s reaction and seemed to become lost in thoughts, until she turned to Faith.
“They came when most of us were gone,” Willow told her.
“Yeah, so?” Faith answered with a shrug, but in a few moments she began to grin and nod as she watched the wheels in Willow’s mind turning.
“Kinda convenient, don’tcha think?” Willow added. “Maybe more than a coincidence?”
Faith paused and started to look around the room. “You think they’re spy-caming us?” Faith asked as her eyes continued to shift around. “That they moved in when they knew they’d have the least amount of resistance?”
“Exactly,” Willow nodded. “Okay, Kennedy please stay put. We need you here. Faith. While I work some location spells, start checking every inch of this room. With the work crews we had coming in and out, it’s possible they planted bugs and mini-cams all over. So I want a clean search from top –”
“I could –” Andrew tried to speak, but he didn’t get far.
“I’m talking! Don’t interrupt me!” Willow snapped.
“Uh, sorry…go ahead.”
“Search this room for now,” she continued, addressing Faith. “We’ll do the other areas after we get back. Andrew will tell them what to look for, since he’s real good at spying on people, isn’t that right?”
Andrew paused a moment. “Can I talk now?” he asked nervously.
Willow just sneered at him.
He rolled his shoulders and simply said, “Yeah, I can help.”
Old Guard Mansion – Same Time
Two masked men shoved Giles and Rowena into an empty room and locked it shut. The two watchers looked around, but found no windows and nothing to use as a weapon.
“Well no daring escape yet,” Rowena told him. “Any idea what –?”
The door opened and Jordon Tyrell walked inside. He pointed out Rowena to two other guards with him.
“Hello Rowena,” the young Tyrell greeted coldly. “Long time, no see.”
“Kinda planned it that way,” Rowena hissed.
“You two know each other?” Giles asked.
“Oh yes,” Jordon said, stepping closer to Rowena. “We’ve met.” Although he wore a grin, it was far from warm or comforting. Instead, it was snide and mocking. “Old friends you might say.”
He then reached up to stroke her hair affectionately but she slapped his hand away. He paused a moment, examining her body up and down, before casually strolling to the door and turning.
“Grab her,” he sneered at Rowena, before motioning the guards forward with a nudge of his head in her direction.
Rowena started to back up and Giles stepped in front of her, blocking the path of the two menacing goons.
Giles charged ahead to the closest approaching man and hit him squarely in the jaw, sending him backward. But the other man managed to get in a hit as well, sending Giles to the floor. As the guards regrouped, they brought out their nightsticks. Giles tried to get up but one of the men slammed his stick into Giles’s arm, knocking him back and sending him sprawling to the floor. Rowena dove protectively on top of Giles.
“I’ll go,” she told them. “Just leave him alone.”
“Don’t,” Giles insisted.
“I’ll be okay,” Rowena replied.
Jordon picked her up roughly by the arm and pushed her out the door. The other two guards each took extra swings at Giles before they too moved toward the door.
Rowena looked back a final time at Giles and saw him struggle to his feet, clutching his arm. Despite her bravery, fear showed through in her eyes. When the door slammed shut and locked, Giles slapped the back of it in frustration.
Old Guard Mansion – Afternoon
“Looks pretty secure,” Rona remarked. She and Vi crouched near the bushes by the main gate.
“We shoulda pushed the bike closer.”
“Slayer strength or not, that thing’s damn heavy to lug all the way up here,” Rona countered.
“Well, you know, if they find us it’s a long run back,” Vi told her.
“Then we keep real quiet-like for now,” Rona teased as she stood up and nodded for Vi to follow her. “Besides we’re not making a move just yet.”
“Agreed,” Vi nodded. “But what do we do until then?”
“We call the Council. See if anyone’s back yet. We don’t go in until someone knows where they took ’em. Always have a second front ready. Remember?”
Vi nodded and dialed her cell phone.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Afternoon
“That makes ten bugs and five cameras,” Faith said, tossing a small black camera on the desk with a clatter. “I’ve got the gals checking the phones upstairs for anything funny, too.”
Andrew picked them up and inspected them as she spoke. “Geez,” he said, admiring the hardware. “This ain’t the cheap stuff either. This is top of the line. We must be really important for them to go to all this expense.”
Willow emerged from the coven room and walked over briskly. “They’re at the mansion,” she told the group.
“Didn’t we say this fifteen minutes ago?” Kennedy muttered to Faith.
“Heyyy! We don’t have time for this!”
“Willow, chill,” Kennedy told her. “It was just a joke.”
“No jokes. No games,” she said, before turning to Faith, “Get all the girls here, please.” Wordlessly, Faith pushed herself off the desk and walked upstairs to the second level. Willow turned to Andrew. “Did you get an aerial view of the area from that map site online?”
“Sure did,” he said, handing it over. “We don’t have an exact address, but we know the street and there’s only two structures there,” he told her as he pointed it out. “Both look pretty huge but, going by Ro’s notes, I’m willing to say it’s that one.”
Willow examined it, her fingers running over the picture as she thought.
Faith returned and ten slayers were making their way to the lobby when the phone rang. They all exchanged a concerned look.
“Council of Watchers,” Kennedy answered formally. After hearing the voice she pulled away. “It’s Vi,” she told the group who released a collectively held breath.
Willow reached out and took the phone before Kennedy could say anything. “Vi, it’s Willow. We know what’s happened. Don’t say anything – just listen. We think we’re being tapped. Just sit tight and don’t make a move. That’s all I can say…I did some spells and we know your location right now, so hang back. Everything okay out there? Good. We’ll see ya soon.”
Without adding more Willow hung up and turned to Faith. “Think we got all the bugs?”
Faith gave a shrug of non-committal. “I wouldn’t stake my life on it, but yeah, I think so.”
“Then we talk softly. Gather around girls,” Willow said just above a whisper. Once everyone moved in shoulder-to-shoulder Willow spoke again. “Here’s what we’re going to do. We split into two teams. Faith, you’ll take team one. I’ll take team two. From the print out, this place is large and they could be anywhere, so we need to be stealthy here, not crossbows blazing. Follow me?” Willow paused and saw a few nods go around. She took an extra moment to look at Kennedy.
“Yeah, I get it,” Kennedy said defiantly.
“Now when we get there we wait,” Willow continued. “We’ll see where the main entrance seems to be and do a count. They could have ten men inside or it could be over a hundred, so let’s try to see what we’re up against. From there we’ll decide the best route inside.”
“That’s the plan?” Kennedy asked.
“Yes,” Willow said, motioning Kennedy to lower her voice.
“We spent all this time waiting to just, what, wait some more?”
“What’s your problem?” Willow asked her, her patience growing short. “We don’t have time for a tantrum.”
“I just want to know who made you the boss,” Kennedy harrumphed.
“I did,” Willow said, taking a step closer to Kennedy with a look of intimidation.
“Oh real –”
“Yeah really,” Willow said, cutting her off. “So fall in line. I’m the watcher. You’re the slayer. And you’ll do as I say. Is that understood?”
“Dammmn…” Faith piped in.
“You have something to add?” Willow remarked, her tone short.
Faith held her hands up in front of herself. “Hey, cool your jets, Red. I agree, okay? Just making a mental note not to ever piss you off.”
“Good,” Willow said. She nodded toward the door. “Now let’s go.”
The girls began to follow Willow and, with a clenched jaw, Kennedy did as well.
End of Act Three