Felicia Day as Vi, Lindsay Felton as Skye Talisker, Thora Birch as Tracey and Elijah Wood as Jeff Lindquist
John Colicos as Kor, Marc Worden as Russ, William Campbell as Koloth and Michael Ansara as Kang
Special Guest Starring:
Jeri Ryan as herself and Seven of Nine
Watchers Council – Basement – Early Afternoon
Faith and Kennedy descended the poorly-lit basement steps with caution.
“What did Dawn say she saw down here?” Faith asked.
“She wasn’t sure,” Kennedy answered, as they reached the basement floor. She turned on her flashlight. “I believe her exact words were, ‘There’s something icky living in the basement’.”
“Damn, icky things are hard to spot,” Faith said sarcastically, clicking on her own flashlight.
“Well, I’d much rather it be icky than yucky,” Kennedy replied. “I can’t deal with messes.”
“Well, if there is something down here, I’m sure it’s probably neither icky nor yucky,” Faith said. “My guess is that Dawn’s imagination got the better of her.”
“If that’s the case, how did we get roped into this job? Can’t we just make Andrew do it?”
Faith sighed. “He’s at that convention thing.” Faith began scanning the floor with her flashlight. “Besides, there’s always a chance that there is something down here – something that could use a good killin’.”
“And if not, I’m wasting a perfectly good Sunday afternoon in search of nothing,” Kennedy moped.
“Such is the burden of being a slayer.”
“You know…if there is something dangerous down here, someone should probably let Willow know,” Kennedy said, moving towards the stairs. “I’ll just run and tell her real quick.”
Faith blocked Kennedy’s path. “Nice try, Slick, but Red went out about an hour ago. She told me she wouldn’t be back till later tonight.”
“Really? She doesn’t usually leave the Council on Sundays. Too busy prepping for the next week,” Kennedy said. “I wonder where she went.”
Cleveland Convention Center – Main Entrance – Same Time
Andrew ran through the main entrance to the 4th Annual Cosmo-Con Science Fiction Convention. He looked like a spoiled child on Christmas morning. All around him, alien species were conversing and browsing various booths. Jeff entered behind him, followed closely by Dawn, Skye, Vi, Tracey, Rowena and Willow.
“Welcome!” Andrew said proudly. “Welcome to one of the greatest achievements of the twenty-first century. Here different species come together and embrace our most valued art form.” Everyone rolled their eyes. “That’s right. Species such as Zabraks, Bothans, Minbari and even humans can kick back and discuss everything from lightsaber crafting to starship piloti –”
“Thanks, Andrew, for the narration,” Rowena interrupted, “but we all read the brochure.”
Andrew blushed as Dawn walked over. She patted him on the back a few times and said, “We’re going to explore for a bit. Say hi to Jeri Ryan for us.” Andrew watched as Dawn, Skye, Vi and Tracey walked over to a row of booths.
“Well, I’m going to go get some autographed pictures. I promised Xander I’d bring him back a few,” Willow said. Then she, too, wandered off, Rowena at her side.
“I guess it’s just the two of us,” Andrew said to Jeff. “Hey! Let’s go by the novelty photo booth over there before we find the convention director.”
“Yeah,” Jeff responded. “Sure.”
As Andrew approached, he looked at several cardboard figures with their faces cut out. He looked at each one carefully – Kirk, Spock, Xena, Superman and others.
“So much to choose from in so little time,” he said.
The booth owner walked up. “Can I help you, kid?” he asked.
“Yeah, how much?” Andrew asked, pointing to the cutouts.
“Fifteen,” the man told him, in a tone that allowed for no haggling.
“Okay,” Andrew said, reaching into his pocket. “One Luke Skywalker please.”
Andrew handed over the money, and the owner went behind a camera as Andrew got into place, putting his face through the opening.
“Say Obi-Wan,” the man teased.
“Obi-Wan!” Andrew said. He smiled before the man snapped the photo.
With a novelty photo in hand, Andrew walked with Jeff, past a group of meditating Jedi Knights, towards a door marked “Convention Office Suite.” Andrew nodded before the Knights, showing them great respect. They nodded back and resumed their meditation.
Just ahead, two Starfleet ensigns waved to Andrew.
“Do you know a lot of these people?” Jeff asked.
“Yeah,” Andrew answered, returning the wave. “The ensigns work in the comic book store on Frasier Street, and the Jedis and I met at the convention last year.”
They reached the door to the office suite and went inside.
Cleveland Convention Center – Dealer Room – Moments Later
Willow and Rowena stood in line, waiting to get an autographed picture of Peter Woodward. “I’m surprised that you wanted to come to this,” Willow said, turning to Rowena.
“Well, I have to admit that I’m not a big science fiction fan. But I am a big fan of spending time with you,” Rowena said with a smile. “We don’t often get the chance to just…be. You know? It’s always some dire straits kind of situation. So a relaxing Sunday is good.”
“Just out of curiosity,” Rowena began, “how did you convince Xander to let me go in his place?”
“Oh, well, that was easy,” Willow answered. “One look of my sad puppy dog face, and he’s like putty in my hands.”
“Sad puppy dog face?” Rowena asked with a smirk.
“Oh yeah,” Willow nodded. “It combines pouty lips and sad eyes. And if I really want to sell it, I do a kind of slow whimper. It gets ’em every time.”
“I’ll have to remember that one for the next time I ask Giles for a day off.”
“Speaking of Giles, I wonder how the honeymoon’s going. Think we should call them?”
“Nah, I wouldn’t want to interrupt their…goings on.”
“Why?” Willow said with a giggle. “The rabbit already died. What could they possibly be doing?”
Las Vegas Casino – Same Time
Giles and Becca hurried past several rows of applauding audience members.
“Now that’s the last bloody time I let you talk me into volunteering for anything,” Giles said unhappily as they reached the exit to the theater.
“But dear, they loved you,” she said with a chuckle.
“And that man on stage,” he said, pointing back at the theater in a clearly agitated manner, “he’s-he’s…a fraud.”
“Oh, Rupert, don’t be a poor sport. He’s a comic hypnotist. What did you expect?”
“Not to be humiliated!” he roared as they reached the elevator.
Becca hit the call button and said, “You think you were humiliated just because he got you to act a little silly when he said…?”
“Don’t say it!”
She only smiled as the elevator doors opened. They walked inside in silence. Once the doors began to close, Becca looked over at a now-fuming Giles and whispered, “Chicken.”
She began to make a clucking noise, and he scowled at her. Unable to hold it in, Becca broke into a fit of laughter as the elevator started up.
Watchers Council – Basement – Day
“Can we stop now?” Kennedy whined.
Faith sighed. “Yeah, I guess. We’ve been down here for almost an hour.”
They reached the stairs, and Kennedy was halfway up when Faith suddenly stopped. “Hold on, Ken. I think I just saw something run underneath the stairs.”
Kennedy walked back down and shined her light underneath. Faith crouched to get a better look. “There’s definitely something back there,” Faith said, pointing to a stack of boxes. “I wish we had more light.”
“I’ll go hit the switch.”
“Whoa, hold on a sec,” Faith stood up. “I thought the light was out.”
“No, why would you think that?”
“Because you never turned it on when we came down here.” Faith put her hand to her forehead. “Did we just spend an hour looking around with flashlights, when we could have just turned on those big fluorescent lights up there and been done in five minutes?”
“Why’d you hand me a flashlight if you didn’t want me to use it?”
“It was in case we needed more…why are we arguing about this? Look. Just go turn on the light so that we can find this thing and kill it.”
Kennedy moved to the wall and flipped the switch. The basement flooded with light. Instantly, an army of cockroaches scurried about looking for a place to hide. Faith shrieked, dropped her flashlight, and climbed to the top of a nearby stack of crates.
Kennedy walked over to Faith, who stood, shaking, at the top of the pile of boxes.
“Well, I guess we found our demon, er, demons. Come on, we should go call an exterminator.”
Faith eyed the ground suspiciously. “Good idea.”
Kennedy shrugged and headed toward the stairs.
“Where are you going?” Faith shouted.
Kennedy pointed up the staircase. “To go call.”
“You’re not leaving me here with them!”
“Then come with me,” Kennedy said with a short waving gesture.
Faith shook her head furiously. “I’m not going down there, and you’re not leaving me. If you do, you’ll be running laps for the next twenty-four hours.”
“I don’t know,” Kennedy answered with a grin, “how are you going to make me if you’re trapped on that box?”
“You are so not funny,” Faith said, her eyes glued to the floor.
Kennedy put her hands in her back pockets. “Let me see if I got this straight. Big, bad-ass Faith will battle any creature, of any shape or size, but she’s scared of a little bug?”
“Not a little bug. A cockroach. And not just one. Thousands of them. Thousands of scurrying, filthy, disgusting cockroaches,” Faith answered. Then she repeated, in a firm voice, “You’re not leaving me here.”
“Then what am I supposed to do? I can’t be two places at once,” Kennedy told her.
Faith mumbled a reply.
“What?” Kennedy asked in an annoyed tone.
“Carry me,” Faith said a little bit louder and clearer.
Kennedy snorted. “You’re kidding, right?”
Faith opened her arms and motioned Kennedy toward her. With a roll of her eyes, Kennedy walked over and turned her back to Faith, letting the normally-fearless slayer climb on.
“After the exterminator, call a priest,” Faith said as Kennedy started towards the stairs with the elder slayer on her back.
“I don’t believe this,” Kennedy grumbled.
Cleveland Convention Center – Backstage – Moments Later
The convention director led Jeff and Andrew through a large auditorium filled with eager fans. He unlocked a door at the side of the stage and ushered them in. “Okay, you boys wait here, and I’ll go get Jeri.”
“I can’t believe we’re going to meet her!” Jeff said excitedly as the man left. “How’s my breath?” he added, sending a breath Andrew’s way.
“It’s fine,” Andrew answered. “Man, I’m so nervous. I hope she likes my idea.”
Jeff frowned. “You’re going to pitch your series idea?” Andrew nodded enthusiastically. “Okay, Andrew, don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t think your idea is…how can I say this without hurting your feelings? Your idea isn’t really believable.”
Andrew gasped. “What do you mean it’s not believable? The premise is no different from any other Star Trek show.”
“I don’t mean the premise is unbelievable. It’s more the…” Jeff trailed off as he caught sight of the director returning with Jeri Ryan at his side. She wore blue jeans and a white blouse, with her hair draped gracefully over her shoulders.
“Andrew and Jeff, I’d like you to meet Jeri Ryan,” he said.
She extended her hand to Jeff. “It’s nice to meet both of you.” Jeff just stared at her, completely oblivious to her outstretched hand. She glanced at the convention director, who shrugged. Jeri turned to Andrew and offered her hand. “Congratulations on winning the contest.”
Andrew smiled and shook her hand. “I’m sorry about my friend Jeff here.” He turned to the teenager, who was now mumbling incoherent syllables. “I think he’s a bit star-struck.”
“Yeah, that happens a lot, actually. But don’t worry, if he passes out, I know CPR.” Jeff began to sway at that comment as if he were going to fall over and Jeri began to laugh.
Andrew put a tight grasp on Jeff’s arm to keep him upright and simply smiled as the actress continued, not breaking eye contact with her in the least. “So, Andrew,” she asked, “how are you enjoying the convention so far?”
“It’s great,” Andrew replied. “Oh, while you’re here, would it be okay if we got a couple of autographs, and maybe some pictures?”
“Sure,” Jeri said, taking a pen and two glossies from a nearby table. She signed one and handed it to Jeff, who remained catatonic and did not reach for it.
“I’ll hold on to his for him,” Andrew said, reaching his hand out to take the photo. “And could you sign mine, ‘To Andrew, Resistance is Futile.'”
Jeri smiled and signed the picture. She handed the second photo to Andrew and paused for a moment. “You look awfully familiar. Have we met before?”
Andrew blushed and lowered his head. “I’ve been to a few conventions before,” he said quickly. Meanwhile, the director took Jeff’s camera and positioned the two boys on either side of Jeri.
“Say Enterprise,” the director teased, and they all smiled as he snapped the shot. “Okay, one more, just in case,” he added. The director then checked his watch. “Jeri, we should get you ready for the Q and A.”
“Wait!” Andrew practically shouted, causing the convention director to jump. “Um, sorry, would it be okay if I ran something by you, first? I’ve been working on an idea for a series for a while, and I think you’ll really like it. It’ll only take a few minutes.”
The director frowned, “I’m sorry, son, but Jeri’s got a busy schedule today. We really don’t have time.”
“It’s okay,” she said, smiling. “I can spare a few minutes. Those folks out there aren’t going anywhere.”
The director nodded and headed toward the stage door.
Andrew beamed. “Okay, the series would take place on a starship. It would be brand new, state of the art, and the fastest in the fleet. The captain, like his ship, would be brand new as well. He’d be really young too, the youngest ever to captain a ship.”
“He sounds really impressive,” Jeri offered. “Did you have anyone in mind to play him?”
“Well, I figured he’d be blond, about my height, devilishly handsome.” He added with a grin. When she didn’t smile, he continued. “Anyway, this is how it would play out…”
Deep Space – 380 Years in the Future
The USS Endeavor rocketed toward a black hole at seemingly impossible speed.
“Helm, what’s our distance from the anomaly?” Captain Wells roared from his chair on the bridge.
“Two billion kilometers, Captain,” the helmsman answered. “Sir, shouldn’t we back off a little?”
Captain Wells chuckled. “What’s the matter, crewman? You’re not afraid of a little gravity are you?” He tapped his combadge. “Wells to Seven of Nine, release the probe.”
“Aye, Captain,” Seven responded through the com system. “The probe is away.”
“I’m beginning to receive telemetry,” Wells replied, tapping a few buttons on the console to his left. “This can’t be right. I’m detecting signs of life, but we’ve never seen any indication that anything could survive inside a black hole.”
“Captain, it’s possible that the new scanning technology you developed can pick up what conventional scanners can’t,” Seven said over the com.
“You may be right, Seven. I’ve been told my skills are extraordinary,” Wells said proudly. “Wait a minute! There’s something emerging from the anomaly.”
“It’s a ship!” the helmsman exclaimed. “Captain, they’re charging weapons.”
The bridge shook as the mysterious ship fired a volley of energy blasts.
“Shields are down,” said the helmsman. “Captain, without your multi-phasic shielding, we’ll be pulled inside the black hole.”
Wells rose from his chair. “Not to worry. I’ve faced the Borg, the Cardassians, and who knows how many other hostile species. Crewman, allow me to show you a little trick I picked up back at the Academy.” Wells took the helm.
Across the bridge Seven stepped off the turbo lift and took the tactical station. “Captain, should I return fire?”
“No, my guess is that they are a gentle species, only trying to defend their space.” Wells’s fingers moved with ease over the controls of the console in front of him. “I’ve recalled the probe. Seven, when we come about, drop two spatial charges. Then target them with a tachyon pulse. That should disrupt subspace and make warp travel impossible.”
“But, Captain, we’ll be trapped here with the ship,” Seven warned.
“Fear not,” he said boldly. “I’ll have a split second to engage the warp drive – a simple maneuver for a man of my caliber,” he called back to her. “All hands, secure stations.”
The Endeavor came about and dropped two charges in the aggressor’s path. Seven initiated the tachyon pulse a split second before Wells engaged the warp engines. The ship jumped to warp, barely escaping the implosion of subspace.
“They’re not pursuing. You did it, Captain!” Seven said, rushing over to his side.
Wells looked over to her and proudly said, “All in a day’s work, my dear.”
Seven smiled and moved in for a romantic kiss…
Cleveland Convention Center – Backstage – Present Time
“Okay, hold on a second,” Jeri interrupted. “While I’m flattered that you thought to include Seven in your show, I’m not sure my character would kiss the captain like that.”
“Well, you see, this is just a preliminary idea,” Andrew said. “I’m sure, with your input, I could make it really great.”
The director entered through the stage door, “Jeri, it’s time.”
“Oh good,” she muttered. “Well, it’s showtime, boys,” she said in a louder voice, hurrying over.
“What do you think?” Andrew asked. “Is it a winner?”
Jeri looked back with a half-hearted smile. “I think you’ve got a really unique idea, Andy. But as they say in Hollywood, don’t quit your day job just yet.” She winked and then moved towards the door. She paused briefly and turned around. “You know, though…if you keep working on it and polish it up, maybe someday you’ll be able to pitch it to the network. Bye, boys.”
With that, Jeri slipped out the door, and Andrew frowned as he heard the crowd erupt with applause as she went on stage. He looked over to Jeff, who was finally coming out of his daze.
“Come on, Jeff, let’s go find the others.”
Andrew started to walk away, but noticed that Jeff wasn’t following. He turned around and led the younger man from the room.
Convention Center – Storeroom – Same Time
“Hello?” a young man dressed in a Ferengi costume called out. “I made sure no one followed me, just like your note said.” The man moved into the storeroom and closed the door behind him, leaving the room very dark. “Are you in here?”
A low growl echoed from the corner of the room. The man turned to run for the door but he barely made it an inch before something grabbed him and pulled him into the shadows.
Moments later, the storeroom door opened and a cat-suit-clad Seven of Nine, complete with cybernetic implants, emerged. She shut the door, took a moment to fix her hair, and slinked down the hall towards the convention dealer room.
End of Act One