Watchers Council – Lobby – Day
“So,” Rowena sighed, “any leads on the vampire gang?”
She sat down next to Giles, who was looking through a newspaper.
“Unfortunately, no,” he told her. “The Plain Dealer reports nothing and chances are they won’t. Willow pulled up police reports from last night and there seemed to be no attacks on other people, either, which is odd.”
“So we’re assuming they weren’t just looking to make a meal out of Jeff?”
Giles gave a curt nod. “At this point, perhaps. But it could be that Brell just scared them back into hiding for the evening. We’ll have the slayers sweep the area more thoroughly tonight when they patrol.”
Rowena bobbed her head. “And we can also assume that Jeff’s description doesn’t match any of the vamps on file?”
“To our advantage, Willow discovered that Rachel is quite the sketch artist, so she’s having her draw up a picture right now based on Jeff’s description.”
At that moment, Willow, Rachel and Jeff walked into the lobby area where Giles and Rowena sat.
“The bar,” Willow told him, handing the paper over.
“Excuse me?” Giles asked as he looked it over.
“I knew I’d seen this one before and then it hit me,” Willow began tapping the top of the paper. “It was from the vamp bar on my birthday. He took off with a couple of buddies when I confronted them. Maybe the two attacks are related? I mean, both times they went after Council members. Maybe it wasn’t just coincidence that all those vamps ended up where we were that night.”
“Giles?” Rowena asked, getting his attention. “What did Ethan’s Presidium file say again? Something about them activating the Hellmouth here? Or I should say ‘overacting’ the Hellmouth?”
“Yes, but it didn’t add much more, I’m afraid. The Presidium appears to be a very well organized group of demons that uses not only brute strength, but magic as well. There were also maps of some sort inside the folder, but nothing that I’ve ever seen before. As for their true purpose, our search hasn’t turned up anything new…Why do you ask?” he replied.
Rowena pursed her lips, deep in thought. “What if the Council is being targeted because we’re a threat to their plans, whatever those plans might be? Remember when DeVeer made that comment about the Old Guard not being a threat?”
“You’re saying these vampires might be ‘hired guns’ for this larger group?” Giles asked.
“Wouldn’t be the first time demons have organized for world domination,” Willow added.
Rowena was going to continue, but a commotion at the front door stopped her. Andrew and Mora came in carrying bags of groceries as Robin, Faith and a pre-teen girl helped.
“I see we’ve got a new demon pal,” Faith said, nodding toward Mora.
“And you have a new slayer,” Rowena retorted, making her way over with a grin.
“Yeah,” Faith answered. “Anne, this is Mr. Giles, Rowena and Willow. They head the Watchers Council.”
Rowena took the grocery bag from Anne before shaking her hand. “Nice to meet you, Anne. Let’s get this to the kitchen and we’ll get you set up. How’s that sound?”
“Thank you,” the girl said politely as they walked away.
Faith and Robin made their way to the desk where the remainder of the group stood. “So, what’s the story?” she said in a hushed voice as she nodded toward Andrew and Mora.
“Andrew was lonely so he summoned a demon friend,” Willow remarked casually.
Faith and Robin glanced at each other.
“Figures,” they both said, in the same bored tone as Rowena and Willow’s the day before.
“Anyway,” Faith went on, “Guess who we ran into at the Falls?”
Willow wondered for a moment before a look of realization washed over her face along with a grin. She had opened her mouth to reply when suddenly they all watched Andrew fly through the air, landing on his backside.
An enormous silver demon, half covered in a strange leather outfit, appeared in the doorway and began to look around the room. Spotting Jeff, the demon tried to charge at him, but Mora jumped on its back and tried to claw at its eyes. It flipped her over with an easy move, sending her flying into Andrew. The diversion, however, was enough to slow the demon down asso that Faith could charge.
The Vutch demon waved his hand and sent Faith crashing into the nearby wall, knocking the wind out of her and promptly putting her on her backside. She tried to rise as Robin raced ahead, hoping to tackle the demon. But with another toss he sent the former principal flying into his lover, knocking her back off her feet again. Willow raised her own hand, but the demon chanted something unrecognizable.
“Encase,” Willow yelled.
Nothing happened. She watched in fear as the demon continued to advance. Willow looked over at her elder watcher.
“Giles?” she muttered, fear evident in her voice. She looked at her own hands, giving them a shake as if willing them to work.
Giles reached over and sounded the alarm just as the demon backhanded Willow, sending her to the ground.
Watchers Council – Slayer’s Quarters – Same Time
The slayers in the weight room all heard the alarm go off.
“Let’s go,” Kennedy told the girls, and they began to run from the room.
In her dorm room, Anne turned to Rowena as she put her bag on the bed. “What’s that noise?” she asked.
Rowena tried to give her a reassuring smile. “Probably a false alarm. Just stay put and get settled in here. I’ll be back, okay?”
Without waiting for the girl to answer, Rowena made her way back towards the main Council building.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Same Time
The demon reached out and grabbed Jeff’s arm but Rachel leapt in the air between them, kicking the Vutch backward toward the reception desk. Giles picked up the phone and shattered it against the demon’s head.
Slowly, the demon turned and gave Giles a disapproving glare, then grabbed him by the throat.
“Run,” Giles managed to croak to Jeff.
Jeff heeded the warning and took off up the stairs as Rachel sent another kick into the demon’s back. It didn’t seem to hurt the monster, but it was enough to make him lose his grip on Giles. The watcher dropped to the floor, wheezing and rubbing his neck.
Watchers Council – Slayer’s Quarters – Same Time
In the Slayer Weapons Room, each girl swiftly grabbed a stake and a sword before moving through the double doors toward the main Council building. Kennedy conducted traffic.
Watchers Council – Lindquist Apartment – Same Time
Jeff dashed into his living quarters to see his mother, Lily, on the sofa reading. “Jeffrey, what’s–?”
“It’s after me!” he told her in a rush.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Same Time
Back in the lobby, Andrew tried to rouse Mora. She lay motionless on the ground.
“Come on,” Andrew said, lightly tapping her cheeks. “Wake up! As your Master, I command you to wake up!” he shouted, concern now filling his voice.
At the same time, slayers began to pour into the lobby area, assessing the situation.
“Don’t let him get upstairs!” Willow shouted as she rose to her feet.
The demon backhanded her, sending her into the reception desk, a bloody gash opening on her forehead. Kennedy arrived just in time to see the blow.
“Willow!” she shouted, then darted over, sword in hand.
Vi spotted Faith and Robin by the far wall and pulled Rona to follow her.
“Are you okay?” Vi asked, helping them to their feet.
With a determined expression Faith took the sword from Rona and motioned toward the demon. “Time to take this one out.”
The four of them charged ahead to join the other slayers who were trying to battle the Vutch demon, though failing miserably. With a wave of his hand, the demon sent the slayers who managed to surround him to the ground, as if knocking their feet out from under them, even though he never actually touched any of them. Kennedy leapt in the air, dodging the human projectiles and forging ahead, sword in hand.
With a mighty swing to his midsection Kennedy sliced the demon in half. From behind, at the same moment, Faith raised her sword over her head and sliced downward.
“Nice slice and dice,” Willow joked, trying to get to her feet.
Robin gave a deep sigh. “Thank God that’s over,” he muttered.
Rowena entered the room to see the wreckage of battered slayers trying to get to their feet.
“What the heck…ewww,” she said as she noticed the demon bits and gore lying on the floor.
She looked over to see Kennedy helping Willow to her feet, blood streaming down the redhead’s face.
“Are you okay?” Rowena and Kennedy both asked at the same time.
Kennedy gave Rowena an annoyed look as she helped to balance Willow’s weight.
“It looks worse than it feels, I’m sure,” Willow told them. Giles handed over his handkerchief, which Willow promptly used to begin wiping the blood.
Mora began to stir and open her eyes, “Master?” she called out. “Are you okay?”
“Am I okay?” Andrew chastised with a roll of his eyes. “I’m fine. But how are you?”
“My head is very sore, Master,” she told him.
“Don’t worry,” he said, pulling her up into a sitting position. “We’ll get you fixed up in a jiffy.”
Mora paused and cocked her head. “What’s a jiffy, Master?”
Andrew grinned adoringly. “Oh, you’re just so delightful,” he told her as he pulled her to her feet.
Everyone seemed so busy tending to their wounds that they didn’t see the lumps on the floor begin to move. The watcher group stood in front of Willow, checking her gash, when they noticed Willow’s eyes grow wider.
“What is it, Red?” Faith asked, taking a step closer to Willow. “Gettin’ light headed?”
The witch whimpered and appeared to try to form words but couldn’t. Finally she raised a shaking hand to point behind them. They all turned around to see, not one. but four Vutch demons now standing there. Rowena snatched the bloody sword from Faith and quickly tossed it aside.
“Don’t do that anymore,” she warned sarcastically. “Cutting them up makes more of them.”
“Now you tell me,” Faith mumbled.
Kennedy and the other slayers all seemed to drop their swords as if they were on fire and watched helplessly as the creatures reached their full height and began to attack.
“Okay, watcher folks,” Faith started, “Any suggestions on what this thing is and how to kill it since swords are out?”
Before anyone could answer, two of the demons charged them, swinging left and right. Robin fell first and then Kennedy, neither of them able to block the blows. Faith tried to dart ahead, but one simply pushed her to the ground with a short laugh.
By now, Robin jumped back up to his feet and tried to swing, but the demon grabbed him by the fist snapping his wrist back. He fell to his knees, grasping the appendage, his face contorted in pain.
The monster closest to the stairs picked Rowena up and tossed her over the desk and into Giles. He tried to steady her fall, but they both landed on the floor, smashing their heads against the hard tile with a groan. Giles sat up first and touched the back of his head, coming up with some blood. At his side, Rowena lay unconscious. As carefully as he could, he checked her for injuries.
“Are you–?” Faith tried to ask her lover.
Robin cut her short and pointed to the demon beginning to move to the steps. “Fine. Stop him!”
Faith leapt to her feet and gave chase, but the demon simply turned and grabbed her by the label of her jacket. He tossed her into Willow, who was chanting ineffectually. Taking the steps two at a time, the monster seemed to sense Jeff’s presence. It reached the apartment he shared with his mother and kicked down the door to see his mother trying to shield him.
“Fire!” Mora yelled. “You must burn a Vutch demon, Master.”
At that moment, Rachel slid across the floor, coming to a stop at Andrew’s feet.
“Get the flamethrowers,” he told her, helping her up.
Rachel nodded and took off toward the Slayer’s quarters, grabbing Vi’s arm as she went by her. The redheaded Slayer nodded and followed along.
Andrew gave a deep sigh. “You stay put, Mora,” he told his demon pal. “I must do what I must do.”
“But Master, you’ll be killed,” she told him.
“So be it, if that is my price of redemption,” he replied in a noble tone.
He charged ahead into the battle, just as Mora watched the demon closest to him pick up a sword. On pure instinct, she raced ahead and pushed him out of the way. Andrew landed on his backside and looked up.
Instead of stabbing Andrew, as the demon intended, the sword found a home in Mora’s stomach and she crumpled to the ground.
“Mora!” Andrew yelled. He crawled over the floor to the fallen demon. He grabbed her by the arms and slid her away from the battle, cradling her in his arms.
“Couldn’t let him hurt you, Master,” she strained, orange blood starting to come from her mouth. “I’m sorry I disobeyed you. Please forgive me.”
Andrew’s shoulders slumped and he snorted at her comment. “That’s okay. And don’t worry. You’re gonna be fine,” he whimpered, lying unconvincingly.
Mora didn’t say anything more. She gave him a grin, but soon the light seemed to disappear from her eyes, even though her smile was still in place.
“Mora?” Andrew called down to the dead weight that now lay in his arms. “Come on, Mora. Stay with me here, okay?”
Still nothing. Andrew bit his lip, holding back a sob. He closed her eyes with his palm before pulling her closer, his head resting on hers.
Kennedy finally made it to her feet to see the three remaining demons fighting the slayers in the lobby. She looked up the stairs and saw that the fourth demon had Jeff in a fireman’s carry, the boy’s body appearing lifeless. Lily rushed up behind, but he batted the woman aside like an annoying insect.
Kennedy charged up the stairs and was near the top step when the demon backhanded her, sending her flying over the banister. She tumbled head over heels from the second floor before landing flat on her back with a sickening thud. Willow could hear the snap of bones on impact, even over the noise of the battle.
“Oh Gods! Kennedy!” Willow cried as she raced over to her fallen lover.
The next sound was a sharp hiss and a noise like a flame. Vi tossed a flamethrower to Rona.
“Time to barbeque,” she told her friend. Rachel raced inside with her own flamethrower and lit up the demon closest to her.
As the demon hauling Jeffrey made his escape out the front door, the two remaining demons provided cover.
“Behind you!” Vi yelled out a warning.
Rachel tried to turn, but didn’t have time. A demon grabbed her by the head, snapping her neck, killing her instantly.
“Nooo!” Faith yelled darting to her feet.
As she ran over, she took the flamethrower from Rona and began toasting the demon that smirked over Rachel’s lifeless body. As the flames engulfed his body, he howled in pain.
Before the final demon could get clear of the door, Vi scorched him with the flames until there was nothing but dust. Faith tossed the flamethrower to the ground and pulled Rachel into her arms. Dead, the girl still wore a shocked expression. Faith began to rock her back and forth.
Presidium Cave Lair – Device Control Room – Hours Later
Jeff’s eyes shot open and he looked around, trying to figure out where he had been taken. He tried to move, but his arms, legs and head were immobile. He looked around as far as his eyes would reach. He was inside a clear bubble device, locked in a chair, as Gretz and the vampires looked on.
The demon that kidnapped him was also standing outside, looking triumphant for a job well done and Jeff watched as he walked up the steps and out of his line of sight.
Presidium Cave Lair – Hallway – Moments Later
The Vutch demon moved through the corridor to find Bonnie waiting with a pleased look on her face. “Here you are,” she told him. “Paid in full…you’ve done well,” she commended.
“As if there was any doubt,” the demon told her smugly as he accepted a briefcase from her. “I’m sure it won’t take long for that witch of theirs to counter the hex I put on her. So if you require any more strikes on the Council, I suggest you do it soon, while she’s out of commission.”
“Thank you,” Bonnie told him sincerely. “The Presidium will take that under advisement.”
Presidium Cave Lair – Device Room – Moments Later
Jeff remained locked in the chair when the Engineer entered the chamber.
“Wh-what do you want?” he stammered. “I-I’m not… I’m just a kid, I d-don’t know… I can’t h-help y-you–”
“Silence,” the Engineer growled. At the sound of his voice, Jeff recoiled and shut his eyes tight. The demon raised a hand and Jeffrey’s restraints opened, allowing him to float up out of the chair. With the flick of a finger the Engineer, slammed him back onto the huge sphere that dominated the chamber. Silver shackles closed around his arms and legs.
Jeff’s eyes followed the Engineer as he moved to a control lectern. The demon placed his hands on the lectern’s black surface, manipulating the starburst-shaped nodes set in it. The three rings surrounding the sphere shuddered into motion, swinging around towards Jeff. The boy strained at his restraints, expecting to be torn apart, but when the first ring reached him it passed through him, as if it were no more solid than a mirage. In its wake, however, it left his body glowing with a fierce light, and tore an anguished howl from his throat, only cut off when the next ring passed across him.
The Engineer gave a satisfied nod and turned another control, and the glow of otherworldly light illuminated his face as the device increased its speed.
End of Love Hurts
On the next episode of Watchers…
With Willow’s powers missing and the Council in crisis, Tara appears to Kennedy in a dream to offer aid.