Originally broadcasted 3/18/03
Watchers Council – Willow’s Apartment – Early Evening
“What was the Magna Carta?” the witch asked.
Faith paused a moment and let out a frustrated sigh. “Something to do with Pilgrims? Oh hell, I don’t know.”
Willow began to read from the sheet in front of her: “Magna Carta – Latin for the ‘Great Charter’ – written in England in 1215 – abuses by King John caused a revolt by nobles who compelled him to execute this recognition of rights for both noblemen and ordinary Englishmen. It established the principle that no one, including the king or a lawmaker, is above the law.” Willow looked up from her sheet. “It was basically the first document that stressed liberty for a society, a constitution kinda like ours here in the US.”
Faith shook her head, as if trying to follow what the redhead was saying. “Then what the heck did the Pilgrims sign at that Rock place?”
“Plymouth Rock, you mean?” Willow asked.
“Yeah.” Faith nodded.
“The Mayflower Compact,” she told her. “A-and that was in 1620, I do believe. You’re off about 400 years…give or take,” she added in a mutter.
Faith sighed and put her head down on the table before she began a light banging motion.
“I’m never gonna get this,” she muttered.
“Yes, you will,” Willow insisted. “You’re smarter than you give yourself credit for.”
“Yeah, I’m real smart with a lousy memory,” Faith replied as she stood up again.
“Okay then, just think of the Magna Carta as the thing I’ve been doing these last few months. You know, making a constitution for the Council?”
“Yeah, but aren’t you using the existing Watcher’s Creed from Rowena’s book, but just expanding on it?”
“Well, yes, some of it,” Willow replied.
“Then doesn’t that make what you’re doing more like the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution? The Magna Carta, and the US Constitution, started from scratch, sorta like the original Watchers Creed. But you’re takin’ something that’s already existing and addin’ and adaptin’ it because what the Council needs today is different from what it needed a bazillion years ago. Y’know, just like the amendments to the Bill of Rights do for the US Constitution?”
Willow blinked once and started to smile.
“What?” Faith asked. “I said something stupid, huh?”
Willow violently shook her head. “Oh no! No! You’re absolutely right. In fact you put it much more accurately than I did.” Willow grabbed a piece of paper and started jotting a quick note. “Okay, new game plan here.”
“It’s true, Faith. You have a lousy memory when it comes to textbooky stuff.”
“Thanks,” she snorted.
“That’s not bad. It’s just that, for you, remembering dates and figures a-and names doesn’t work unless you make an association. The actual term for what we’re gonna do is called associative learning.” Willow looked up as she finished writing.
“So then…what’s the plan?”
“We’re gonna teach you everything that’s in this book but we’re gonna do it by using examples that you understand instead of ‘flash carding’ you. Let’s try it out now. Whadda ya say?”
“Okay,” Faith answered, not entirely convinced.
“Let’s see…who was the bad, evil king that everyone hated, prompting the English barons to form the Magna Carta? I said his name not more than three minutes ago, but don’t be upset if you don’t remember.”
“King Henry,” Faith said as she shrugged.
“No. His name was King John. Have you met any guys named John in your life?”
“My dad’s name was John. A real jerk on those rare times I saw him,” Faith told her.
“King John was a jerk too. That’s why the Barons formed the Magna Carta. So put it all together and tell me…what’s the Magna Carta?”
Faith took a deep breath and gave a nod.
“The Magna Carta was the first constitution, like the first Watchers Creed,” she threw in with a grin before continuing, “that was formed by a society in revolt against a jerk ruler, King John of England in the 1200s.”
Willow gave Faith an approving grin. “You’re absolutely right.”
Faith gave her a full-toothed smile and bounced slightly in her seat. “Okay,” she said excitedly. “Hit me again!”
Willow smiled as well and looked at the sheet again. “What are the three branches of government designated in the US Constitution? Hint! Lawmakers, Presidents and Judges.”
Faith thought for a moment and held out a finger. “Judges are Judicial. I know that one all too well.” Willow snorted and gave a nod for her to continue. “Lawmakers are like the Congress dudes, right?” Willow gave a nod. “They pass laws – legislation – so that’s the Legislative branch.” Faith put out a second finger and paused for a moment. She bit her lip as she continued to think.
After a few moments, when she didn’t say anything, Willow asked, “Do you know what CEO means? Like the head honcho of a company is a CEO? Like the head honcho President is…?”
“Chief Executive something or other. Hey! Executive branch is the president! Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches, right?”
“Correct, but in what order? Each branch belongs to Articles I, II and III of the US Constitution. So tell me, the most powerful to least powerful, in order.”
“Okay, now you’re pushin’ it,” Faith told her, folding her arms across her chest.
Willow chuckled. “No, don’t get frustrated. Think about it, who does the most ‘work’ and has the most power when it comes to the government? Congress, the President or judges? Think of the Magna Carta.”
Faith paused for a moment. “A president can veto a bill, right?”
Willow nodded. “But Congress can overrule a veto,” she added.
“And judges have to abide by what the Constitution says,” Faith told her. “Hmm, how does the Magna Carta fit in?” she muttered to herself. “Oh! No absolute ruler! So that would mean the order is Legislative, Executive and then Judicial. Is that right?”
Willow smiled. “By Jove, I think she’s got it.”
Faith chuckled. “You know Will, this associative learning stuff is cool.”
“Oh, just wait until we get into mathematics,” Willow told her. “We’ll make good use of all those slayers by making them human numbers.”
Faith began to chuckle.
“Don’t believe me?” Willow remarked. “Ask Dawn. She’ll tell you how I used Xander and Anya to teach her geometry.”
Faith gave Willow a warm smile. “You know, I might not have said it yet, but…thanks for doing this. I know you’re busy with other stuff.”
“To tell the truth I’ve missed teaching. I’m playing more the role of student these days,” Willow told her. “I mean, sure, I’m training the Coven and a few of the incoming watchers, but this is different. This is knowledge that everyone should have. So I’m getting somethin’ out of the deal too, girly. A-and I’m sure you’ll pass, flying colors and all.”
“But if I don’t –”
“You will,” Willow insisted. “I believe in you. Just have a little faith…Faith.” Willow chuckled before she continued. “Like I said, you’re smarter than you give yourself credit for. And look at this test as some big, bad vamp you’re gonna take down. You’re gonna walk in that classroom, AKA graveyard. You’re gonna have your stake in hand, AKA pencil. And you’re gonna kick the crap outta that test. Confidence will help, and so will that,” Willow said pointing to the crest on the wall. “Knowledge truly is power. And I’m gonna make sure you’re well armed when you walk in to get that GED. Agreed?”
“Watcher’s orders?” Faith teased.
“You betcha,” Willow smiled.
School Building – Same Night
The doors of a squarish building opened onto the Downtown Cleveland streets. A few younger-looking, college type kids walked out before Faith exited the building. The hustle and bustle of class letting out died down quickly when everyone in Faith’s class got into their cars and sped off. Faith paused and slung her backpack over her shoulder.
“Guess these people got the Hellmouth memo, too,” Faith remarked as she looked around the block. “Hmm…do a quick sweep and get some action or go home and get some action…?” To reinforce the decision, Faith weighed the options by physically holding up both hands and saying, “Either way I get action.”
At the sound of rapid footsteps approaching her, Faith’s grin fell as her attention shifted to the street. Two younger-looking girls ran by and made a quick right into a nearby alley. Faith smiled. “Looks like I don’t have to decide,” she said as she ran after the girls.
The girls were quick, though, and Faith couldn’t find any sign of them. She stopped running and began to walk quietly, listening for footsteps or any signs that the girls were in trouble.
Then she heard a fight in the distance and followed the sound. She turned a corner into an opening between buildings, then stopped when she saw the two girls beating on a guy in his mid-twenties. “Looks like I pegged the wrong victim,” Faith muttered to herself. She ran up and grabbed one of the girls by her collar, tossing her aside.
The girl’s partner stopped beating up the guy and attacked Faith instead. Faith raised an eyebrow at the girl’s obvious strength, even though there was no bumpy forehead or sharp teeth.
The girl got in a couple good jabs at Faith, but the slayer caught her fist before punching her in the face, causing the girl to crumple to the ground. Unseen by Faith, the girl’s partner looked on in shock for a long moment before coming up to tackle Faith from behind. Faith smacked the pavement face-first, but immediately rolled her body over so that her attacker ended up on the pavement. Faith elbowed her side before bringing her fist up into the girl’s face.
The girls seemed to be taken down for the moment, and Faith used the opportunity to get to her feet. Her head swiveled, trying to get her bearings. She turned toward the man the girls had been attacking, only to find that his face was bumpy and his teeth were sharp. “Thanks…” he hissed before taking a fighting stance.
“Good going, Faith,” she muttered to herself. “Shoot and ask questions later, why don’tcha?”
Faith shook her head before grabbing her stake from her coat and thrusting it forward in one fluid motion. The vampire’s eyes went wide just before his form crumpled into a pile of dust on the pavement.
After her momentary distraction, Faith turned to see that where there were two girls, there were now at least ten. The gang of girls stood before Faith, each ready and willing to take her on. They parted in the middle, however, and an older girl stepped to the front. A girl with short blond hair and a slightly rugged appearance stepped closer to the slayer.
Before Faith could do anything, the leader held up her fist and smiled. “Cool it girls,” she shouted back to them, never taking her eyes off of Faith. “She’s one of us.”
“Huh?” Faith mustered.
Fade to Black
End of Teaser