Originally broadcasted 12/28/04
Abandoned Foundry – Scaffolding – Night
The stranger’s eyes followed Camille’s every movement. Each breath that she took was slow and calculated. Her black-gloved hands squeezed the catwalk railing with an unrelenting grip.
Despite the overwhelming rage burning in her eyes, she stood perfectly still and watched the scene below.
Willow walked across the foundry floor over to Oz, then put a hand on his shoulder. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, yeah,” he said softly.
“Is it safe to…?” Willow motioned to the shackles still on his wrists.
“Yeah, I don’t feel the urge to turn. But have that tranq gun ready, just in case.”
“What about Camille?” Willow asked nervously.
“With the mix of herbs and meds, she’ll be fine. Out. But fine.”
Willow nodded. Soon she and Andrew led the group as they quietly made their way from the foundry. Dawn, Skye, and Jeff were in step right after them.
Further behind, Faith and Oz carried the unconscious Camille. Kennedy trailed slowly behind, her eyes fixed on Mia.
The Black Ops slayers surrounded the group, their eyes trained on the darkness all around. Each gripped her gun close to her side.
As the group neared the doors of the abandoned foundry, the figure in the scaffolding took a step back into the darkness and waited.
Andrew nervously scratched at the side of his neck, catching Willow’s attention.
“Something wrong, Andrew?” the witch asked with a raised brow.
The cook instantly dropped his hand and laughed uncomfortably. “No…no everything’s…just peachy,” he said, as he scratched the other side of his neck.
The side of Willow’s mouth upturned slightly. “Don’t worry, you’re not gonna wake up in the morning with a serious case of undeadness.”
Andrew nodded and dropped his hand to his side, giving a deep sigh. He walked in silence for a few more steps before slowly raising his hand to scratch his neck again.
When they finally made it to the foundry doors, Faith motioned for one of the other slayers to take Camille. As she handed the unconscious woman to the other slayer, she trailed her eyes to the back of the group to see Kennedy standing completely still, her eyes focused on Mia.
Faith slowly walked back to stand next to her best friend. Kennedy kept her eyes on Mia for a few more moments before finally meeting Faith’s knowing smile.
“Something wrong, Slick?”
Kennedy just shook her head and looked away. Faith reached out and placed a gentle hand on Kennedy’s shoulder.
“Hey,” she said softly. When Kennedy’s eyes met her own, she smiled. “I know what you’re thinking.” When the other slayer gave her a raised brow, she shook her head.
Faith glanced at Mia, who was standing with her back to the slayers, staring off intently into the darkness. At the sound of Kennedy’s deep sigh, Faith turned back to face her.
“I get it, Ken, I really do,” she sympathized, “but I also have to say, as your friend, that the universe is not out to screw you out of your happiness.” When Kennedy started to protest, Faith stopped her with a raised hand. “I’m just saying…I know that lately things haven’t been…”
Kennedy scoffed, but Faith ignored her and continued. “My point is…even if things don’t work out with Mia, which I hope they do, but if they don’t, it’s not the end of the world.”
Kennedy turned away from her and trained her eyes on Mia once again. “Well…it feels like it.”
Faith just shook her head and squeezed the other slayer’s shoulder. After a tense moment, she spoke again. “I promise you, Ken, you’ll be okay. Honest. In fact…”
Faith’s words died in her throat as she watched Kennedy’s eyes lock on the scaffolding above.
“What?” Faith asked. When she got no response, she tried again. “Kennedy?”
The other slayer just raised a hand and turned to face the scaffolding, peering up into the darkness.
“Something’s up there,” she said softly.
Up in the scaffolding, the stranger’s mouth quirked up into a half smile.
“Slayers,” she hissed, staring down at the woman who had her eyes fixed directly on her. “This should be fun.” She smiled, then leapt over the bars of the scaffolding.
The sound of steel-toed boots landing hard against cement caught everyone’s attention. They all turned to the back of the foundry, where a woman was hunched over. She was dressed completely in black, from her boots to her duster.
The Black Ops slayers trained their guns on the figure as she slowly rose.
The woman pulled herself to her full height, flexing her gloved fingers and pushing her duster back to reveal a small crossbow attached to her right hip and a long knife to her left.
She gradually brought her eyes up to the group staring back at her. She bypassed all their faces until her eyes settled upon the still-unconscious Camille resting in Oz’s arms.
She instantly reached for the crossbow on her hip, but stopped when the sound of twenty pistol hammers being pulled back brought her hand to an abrupt halt just above it.
The stranger let out a long deep sigh and carefully moved her hand away.
“I got no blood with you,” she said in a stern voice. “I only want the beast,” she said, nodding towards Camille.
Mia swung her rifle from her back into her grasp and stepped forward. She aimed her barrel at the woman’s chest, the laser sight pinned on her heart.
When Faith noticed the tiny red dot, she turned to the slayer. “Mia, Don’t,” she said, motioning for her to lower the weapon.
The woman looked down at her chest, but seemed unafraid. She continued to watch as the laser slowly faded from her body.
“I shoulda known,” the stranger spat, shaking her head. “So the new Council is nothing more than a group of beast lovers.”
Hearing enough, Faith finally stepped forward. “Look, I don’t know who you are or what you want…but I’m tellin’ you right now, you ain’t takin’ Camille anywhere.”
The stranger let out an amused laugh. “So, it has a name. How…cute.”
Faith just shook her head and sighed. “Look, we’ve had a really bad night as it is. We don’t want any trouble, and I’m sure you don’t…”
The woman glared at Faith, causing her to stop.
“Oh, I do,” the woman said with a smirk. “I really do.” Her next movement was so quick that Faith barely had time to react.
The stranger took a running leap towards the slayers surrounding Camille, but Faith managed to jump up and intercept her before she broke through. They both flew back and landed on the cement with a sickening thud.
The stranger rolled away and flipped onto her feet, but Faith was there to meet her toe to toe.
When the woman took a swing at the slayer, Faith dodged the blow and came back with a left cross to her jaw, sending the woman flying back through the air and landing face down onto the cement.
Everyone watched in stunned silence as the woman, who clearly should have been unconscious, raised herself back onto her feet.
The stranger cracked her neck, her eyes burning into Faith’s as she wiped away the trail of blood from her lip.
“Damn,” she said with a smile. “I guess slayers do pack a big punch.”
Faith’s eyebrows knit in confusion. “How did you…?”
“What? Know about slayers? The undead? All the baddies that go bump in the night?” the stranger shot back. She stared off for a moment, almost as if in pain, before she spoke again. “It’s in my blood.”
After another tense pause, she let out a deep breath and then pulled the duster around herself once again. She nodded towards Camille, who was beginning to rouse.
“I’ll be back for the beast,” she said in a slow voice, “I will get it, and there’s nothing you can do about it…Faith.”
Once again, Faith was stunned into silence. “How did you…?”
The stranger only smiled. Then she started to scan the group, as if looking for a weakness.
Faith appeared to catch on to her plan, but before she could speak or act, the stranger was once again flying through the air, this time landing right on top of an unsuspecting Kennedy.
She smiled down into the slayer’s stunned eyes and quirked an eyebrow before placing her hands on Kennedy’s hips and pushing herself up onto her feet.
The stranger raced right past the Coven members, but stopped briefly in front of Willow. She stared into her eyes, smiling at the fear she found there.
“Get her!” Faith yelled.
The sound of the command and the rapidly approaching footsteps caused the stranger to break her stare and shove open the foundry doors. She ran out into the night, with the slayers giving chase. They were quick, but the stranger was quicker.
Faith herself barely made it through the doors to see the tail lights of a speeding motorcycle as the stranger disappeared into the darkness.
She let out a long breath and turned back to face the others, who were rendered nearly completely speechless.
Willow raced up to Faith’s side.
“Who was that?” she asked, short of breath.
Faith ran her fingers through her hair and sighed.
“My guess? A new problem.”
End of Teaser