Act 2



Fade In:


Watchers Council – Rec Room – Night

Darrell scrunched his nose to move his glasses back up to his eye level and nervously glanced around the room. Most of the movers and shakers of the Watchers Council were milling around the various snack tables or sitting in chairs, mingling in small groups while wearing costumes that often rated fairly high on the ridiculous scale.

“Who are you?” a female voice flatly asked him. Darrell turned around to see Kennedy examining him closely, arms crossed. She was one of the only people in the room without a costume, and didn’t really look like she was having a good time.

“Me?” Darrell pointed at himself, and compulsively scrunched his nose again. “I’m, um…I’m Skye’s cousin. I’m visiting her for the weekend.” Kennedy’s eyes continued to bore a hole in his forehead. “Really,” he added weakly.

“How much is Andrew paying you?” Kennedy asked, her face expressionless.

“I’m sorry?” Darrell responded, confused.

“I said,” she repeated slowly, “how much is he paying you?”

“No one’s, uh, paying me anything,” Darrell insisted. “I don’t even know this…Andrew?”

“Fine,” Kennedy told him, “but just know that I will figure it out. I won’t get fooled again.”

“Umm…okay,” Darrell answered. Kennedy turned and walked away with a huff.

Across the room, Dawn adjusted her flashy bow tie, generally looking uncomfortable in her “gay secret agent” outfit. Jeff appeared next to her and grabbed a small sugar cookie with pink frosting off of the table. Popping it into his mouth, he greeted her between chews.

“You okay?” he asked with his mouth full.

“Just still waiting for Skye,” Dawn told him, not sounding very happy about it. Jeff swallowed and looked at Dawn, as if he was trying to figure her out.

“Is there something up with you two?” he asked. Dawn raised an eyebrow. “Hey,” Jeff continued, raising his hands defensively, “I’m not…I just worry about you sometimes. You’ve been on edge ever since the stuff in Vor.”

Dawn managed a small, tired smile. “Thanks,” she said sincerely. “It’s nothing, I guess…it’s like, when we’re together, Skye and I, that is, it’s like her mind’s somewhere else.”

“Skye’s been busy lately, it’s true,” Jeff agreed, “but she loves you. A lot.”

“You sure?” Dawn asked dejectedly.

“Trust me,” Jeff assured her, “if she didn’t, I’d be the first to point it out. But it’s scary how far she’ll go to keep you all to herself.”

“What does that mean?” Dawn asked worriedly.

Jeff rubbed the back of his neck nervously but tried to reassure her. “Nothing.” At first Dawn didn’t seem convinced. “No, really. She told me that if I tried to make a play for you that it would be the fight of my life, basically. If I thought I had a shot, I might challenge her, but I know where things stand and that’s cool.”

“Uh huh,” Dawn answered, not entirely convinced.

“Honestly,” Jeff went on. “You were there when my mom died, and I don’t think anyone else could have understood it like you did, so for me…having a friend is more important than trying to be a lover…and failing miserably in the process.” Dawn smiled again and tried not to laugh. “See.” Jeff grinned. “I knew I could cheer you up.”

From behind a nearby pillar, Jean-Claude watched the pair, one hand holding something inside his suit-coat.

Tracey stood in the corner by the punch bowl, absent-mindedly twirling the ladle around with one finger.

“You’re, um…you’re hogging the punch,” Andrew told her, smiling awkwardly.

“Sorry,” Tracey said, obviously not having realized Andrew was there. “I was just…yeah.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Andrew said quickly. “I just came over here to, y’know, tell you again that I liked your costume.”

“Really?” Tracey smiled as she self-consciously adjusted the strap on her bikini top.

“Yes,” Andrew continued, “it’s a very authentic recreation.”

“Well, thank you,” Tracey said happily. She took a tentative step closer to Andrew. “You know, I wore this especially for you.”

“That was very thoughtful of you, Tracey,” he babbled, heedless of the fact that Tracey had begun to lick her lips in a highly suggestive manner, “though you might be surprised to learn that I prefer the oeuvre of Mr. Timothy Dalton to that of Sean Connery.”

“Do you see anything you like?” Tracey asked him in a low voice.

A table away, Xander coughed loudly and spat out a piece of brownie onto his plate. Vi patted him on the back, asking, “Are you okay?”

“Well,” Andrew told Tracey, “I do think it was especially good detail work in the back.” He looked around for a moment. “I’m sorry, but I think I need to go get some more finger food platters from the kitchen.”

“I could come back to the kitchen and…” Tracey paused for dramatic effect, “help you with that.”

“That’s sweet, you’re a peach,” Andrew replied, “but it’s your night off. I can handle it alone.”

“We could handle it together,” Tracey told him. She was still trying her best to sound sexy, but beginning to get frustrated.

“Really, I’m fine,” he insisted. “There’s hors d’oeuvres all over the place in there, I was starting to run out of room, so it’s just that some of it needs to be moved in here.”

“We could find room…under the table.”

“I dunno, it might be dirty under there.”

“I can be dirty.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Forget it,” Tracey told him, dropping her arms sullenly to her sides and giving up the sexy tone of voice. Andrew stayed for a moment, looking at her in a perplexed fashion.

“Is there something that I…” he began.

“No, go get the hors d’oeuvres,” Tracey interrupted, once again fiddling with the punch ladle. “I’ll just…be here.”

Reluctantly, Andrew went toward the kitchen. Xander saw him depart and leaned over to give Vi a soft kiss. He whispered something and rose from the table.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Kitchen – Moments Later

Xander brushed past the swinging door and immediately, loudly announced, “Are you insane? That beautiful girl wants you.”

He looked over to see Andrew by the sink, his back toward him. Andrew turned around and Xander saw the young blonde man breathing quickly into a paper sack.

“Geez, are you okay?” Xander asked as he rushed over.

Andrew nodded as he continued to breathe into the bag. “Yeah…Just…Give…Me…A…Second.”

Xander rubbed Andrew on the back gently. “I take it you got Tracey’s not so subtle hints, then?” he asked.

All Andrew could do is nod. Slowly, Xander began to smile. “Well, just take some time in here okay? I’ll take the food out and talk to Tracey.”

“No!” Andrew exclaimed, grabbing Xander by the sleeve as he started to leave. “If you do that, I’ll lose my man card.”

“Andrew, your man card is looking pretty counterfeit at this point anyway,” Xander argued. “I’ll just tell her not to spread it on so thick.”

“No, no,” Andrew said quickly. “I’ll take care of it. I’ll handle it. I mean she’s my girlfriend, right? Bikini and all, right? Oh God,” he finished with a groan, then started to breathe into the bag again.

“Oh brother.” Xander sighed and shook his head.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Computer Room – Night

The door to the darkened main Council Computer Room slowly opened and Darrell poked his head through it carefully. Seeing that the room had no occupants, he tiptoed inside and sat down at the nearest terminal. A Watchers Council coat of arms slowly waved in an imaginary breeze on the screen.

Darrell moved the mouse slightly, and the screensaver disappeared, revealing a white screen with a small computer-animated version of Willow standing in the bottom right, looking polite but expectant.

“Welcome to W.I.L.L.O.W.,” the computerized Willow said, in a jerky, electronic voice. “How can we help you?” A black cursor began to blink in the upper left of the screen.

“This is new,” Darrell commented. “All right, personal info…let’s try this…” and then he typed something into the prompt. The little Willow avatar’s expression darkened, as did the color of its eyes.

“Bored now,” was all it said.

“What?” Darrell asked incredulously. “What does that mean?” He typed something else, and the animated Willow’s hair turned black. Tiny veins appeared on her face.

“Bored now,” she repeated.

“Dammit!” Darrell swore, typing once again.

“Bored now,” the avatar answered.

“How about this…”

“Bored now.”

“Or maybe…”

“Bored now.”

Darrell scrunched his glasses higher on his nose again. He was typing as fast as he could. “There’s no way it’ll…”

“Bored now,” the computer Willow told him, this time as small orange electronic sparks shot from her fingers. Darrell rested his face in his hands, disconsolate. Then there was a loud beeping noise, and Darrell pulled his cell phone from inside his pocket protector. Seeing the caller’s number, he sighed before he pressed the button to answer.


“Darrell, darling, what’s the news?” Luna’s voice asked expectantly.

“I’ve never been beaten by security software before…” Darrell began.

Cut To:

Luna’s Lair – Same Time

“I know that, sweetie,” Luna saccharinely told him. She held an ornate pink and gold phone to her ear with her shoulder as she carefully painted her toe-nails bright red. “That’s why I hired you. Only the best for Luna.”

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Computer Room – Same Time

“But here’s the thing,” Darrell finished, “I can’t get through their security.”

Luna’s “WHAT?!?!?” was so loud that Darrell winced and held the phone away from his ear.

“I’m sorry,” he explained quickly. “They’ve got this new operating system. I’ve never…It’s the best firewall I’ve ever seen.”

Cut To:


Luna’s Lair – Same Time

Still holding the toenail brush between two of her fingers, Luna looked extremely perturbed as she yelled into the phone. “I don’t care! Let Luna tell you a story, you stupid nerd! I had a maid once. She reminds me of you, actually, kinda smart and really ugly. Anyway, one time she gave me an orange-flavored Sobe instead of Cappuccino-flavored, when I had specifically told her that I wanted the Cappuccino. Do you know what I did to her then? I HAD HER FED TO MADAME FLIFFERTOP!” As she screamed, she held up a taxidermied cat and shook it. “Don’t give me the orange-flavored Sobe, Darrell.” Her voice changed again from shouting back to sickly sweet. “Now, what are you going to give me?”

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Computer Room – Same Time

“Umm…a Cappuccino?” Darrell ventured.

Cut To:


Luna’s Lair – Same Time

“That’s right,” Luna told him with a smile, though the happy expression vanished an instant later, “and it better be friggin’ tasty!” She hung up and angrily threw the phone at the wall. She let out a high-pitched growl.

“Okay, Luna,” she told herself, as she began to pet the dead cat next to her from top to tail, “you just gotta calm down. Remember that MTV yoga tape? Just breathe…” She took a couple deep breaths, then, seemingly calm once again, she went back to painting her toenails.

Madame Fliffertop II looked up from the floor and meowed, as if checking on her master. Luna shot her a glare.

“Shut up,” she snarled. “Or I’m gonna have two stuffed cats instead of one.” She threw a pillow off the bed in the direction of the cat and a loud mew and hiss followed.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Rec Room – Night

Dawn sat alone at a small round table, trying unsuccessfully to look like she was having a good time. She nibbled on a large chocolate chip cookie. Seeing her alone, Jeff stopped next to the table, a platter of finger sandwiches perilously balanced on one hand.

“Still no Skye?” he asked.

“Yep,” Dawn confirmed sullenly. “I’m starting to think…I’m supposed to be the most important thing in her life, right?”

“I’m sure Skye would be here if she could,” Jeff told her.

“Right. What’s with that…thing?” Dawn asked, pointing at the tray.

“Oh, I was, um, helping Andrew with the…GET DOWN!” Jeff dropped the tray with a loud crash and tackled Dawn out of her seat and onto the floor. The pair fell in an ungainly heap. The room went silent as everybody stopped what they were doing and looked to see what had just happened.

Jeff!” Dawn angrily exclaimed, “What the heck are you…”

At that moment, there was a whoosh as the mage in the dark cloak materialized in the middle of the room. Without hesitating, the wizard sent a red blast of dark energy in the direction of where Dawn had been a moment before. The chair Dawn had been sitting in shattered into several pieces.

“Hey, Voldemort,” said a female voice. The mage turned its head just in time to get punched in its invisible face. It fell to the ground, seemingly unconscious.

“I wasn’t sure that would work,” Kennedy noted as she stood over the unmoving mage. “What’s the point of being invisible if you’re gonna wear a big-ass cloak?”

“That thing…it was trying to kill me!” Dawn said from her position on the floor, as if she couldn’t quite believe it. She turned to Jeff, who was still on top of her. “You…you saved my life.” The young warlock opened his mouth to respond, but no sound came out. He eventually settled on a sheepish grin.

“What the hell was that?” Rowena asked from her seat at a nearby table.

“I second that confusion,” Xander added.

“That thing knew exactly what it was doing,” Giles pointed out. He turned the body over and sighed. “Korek mage. Very powerful…It took us all by surprise, it could have killed anyone here if…”

“It wasn’t stupid enough to wear a cloak?” Kennedy asked, stressing her point again.

Giles agreed with a shrug and slight nod.

“So why did it go after Dawn, of all people?” Faith looked down at Dawn. “No offense.”

“None taken,” Dawn told her emphatically.

“I know why,” Kennedy said angrily.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Kitchen – Moments Later

“Hey, guys,” Andrew whined, “the kitchen is authorized personnel only right now. I’m going to need everyone else to just go back to the…”

“Why did you hire a demon wizard to pretend to try to kill Dawn?” Kennedy asked him, her voice deadly serious. Rowena and Faith stood on either side of the angry slayer.

“I didn’t…What?” Andrew denied, obviously confused. “I never even…a what?”

“Oh, c’mon, Andrew,” Kennedy insisted, “this is all just a big repeat of last year, isn’t it? There’s some big scheme to get us all scared and into the Halloween spirit?”

“Hey, I never hired anyone. I just wanted to have a good…” Andrew replied. Kennedy interrupted before he could finish.

“But guess what? This isn’t a joke! Dawn could have died in there!” Kennedy told him, pointing back toward the Rec Room. She leaned forward, unblinking, and Andrew leaned backwards a corresponding amount. “You better start telling me your elaborate and special plan right now, or I’m gonna find out if dragons like nerd meat.”

“I didn’t do anything, I swear,” Andrew told her, his voice very small. “I don’t know anything about any demon wizards.”

Kennedy opened her mouth to reply, but Faith put her hand on her friends’ shoulder. “Slick, I don’t think we’re gonna get anything out of him. Let’s just leave it.” Kennedy leaned forward just a little bit more, and Andrew leaned so far back it looked like he was about to fall down. Then Kennedy turned on her heel and left the room, leaving the door swinging in her wake. Faith and Rowena followed a moment later.

Andrew was left alone amongst his food trays in the kitchen, looking like he was about to die of a heart attack, when Faith poked her head back in.

“For your sake,” she warned, “I’d cancel any more surprises you have left tonight.”

“But I didn’t…” Andrew stopped, because Faith was already leaving again. Instead, he just sighed.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Holding Facility – Night

A barred cell door slid closed on the mage, who seemed to be alert now. His hands were cuffed together with a glowing, green, liquid-looking substance.

Vi and Faith smirked at him through the bars, then turned to leave. The mage’s invisible eyes looked forlornly down at the mystical handcuffs, then up at the bars of his cell.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Hallway – Night

Jean-Claude hid behind a corner, his gun cocked and ready. He swung to look down the hallway…and his cell phone rang. Pulling a double take, the large man realized he was alone and then relaxed, grabbing a tiny, sleek cell phone from inside of his jacket.


Cut To:


Luna’s Lair – Same Time

“Tell me beautiful things, baby,” Luna said on the other end, this time holding the phone in one hand while expertly braiding her stuffed cat’s hair with the other. Madame Fliffertop II watched with an annoyed disinterest. “I’m sitting here, waiting for you guys to do your frickin’ jobs, and it’s getting really boring.”

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Hallway – Same Time

“I can report that the mage attempted a binding of Miss Summers about fifteen minutes ago,” the hitman told her, everything about him as professional as humanly possible.

“So she’s tucked away nice now?” Luna’s voice asked expectantly. “Wrapped up in teeny tiny shards of magic, like that time my N’Sync CD stopped working and I…Don’t meow at me, you stupid cat! It’s not my fault the kitty conditioner didn’t work like they said it would on the infomercial!

If the last bit registered with Jean-Claude, his external features certainly didn’t show it. “Target remains at large. K’Ret has been captured instead.”

Cut To:


Luna’s Lair – Same Time

Luna herself let out a strangely high-pitched growl, which could easily have come from the dead cat whose hair she pulled in frustration, had it still been alive. “CAPTURED! As in, in jail?”

“Correct, ma’am,” Jean-Claude supplied.

“This is ridiculous!” she fumed. “But it always pays to have a back-up plan. And guess what, Claudio? You’re it! So I want to see some results here, people, or Luna is going to be very unhappy. Remember rule number one?

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Hallway – Same Time

“Make Luna happy. Yes, ma’am,” Jean-Claude replied coolly.

Cut To:


Luna’s Lair – Same Time

“Exactly,” Luna told him. “So go already, God!” And with that, she hung up. Luna’s lower lip went into a prominent pout as she looked at the large lock of cat hair she was holding in her hand. “What are you looking at?” she testily asked Madame Fliffertop II. The living cat flipped her tail in affront.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Rec Room – Same Time

A tired-looking Rowena sat alone at one of the small tables. She checked the clock on the wall and sighed.

“Hey, Ro,” Xander asked, walking up to her with Vi’s arms around his waist. The redheaded slayer was smiling. “What do you think my costume is?” Both Vi and Xander looked expectantly at the blonde.

“I, um…” Rowena searched for words, somewhat unsuccessfully. “Are you some sort of…pest controlling secret operative?”

“Told you,” Vi crowed triumphantly. “At least she was closer than Kennedy. She thought you were frozen meatloaf.”

“Might be the tin foil,” Rowena supplied helpfully.

Xander scowled, then attempted a little too abruptly to change the subject.

“So, Ro, I notice that you’re flyin’ solo tonight. What happened to that possible date with our favorite redhead?”

“Hey!” Vi exclaimed.

“Present company excluded, of course,” Xander backtracked, giving his girlfriend an awkward smile.

“I dunno,” Rowena said, her tiredness showing in her voice, “it was never really a date. It was more like a maybe see you there kind of a deal, which as it’s turning out to be, more of a maybe not.”

“Are you guys broken up?” Vi asked out of nowhere.

“What?” Rowena exclaimed defensively. “No! Of course not! I don’t…” Her shoulders slumped. “I don’t know.” She looked suspiciously at Vi. “Why? Have you heard something?”

“There’s talk about over in the dorms,” Vi explained. “Like, this guy in the watcher program, he said that you guys haven’t spoken to each other for weeks. Well, except for some big blow up over ice cream, which sounds ridiculous if you ask me.”

“Nice to know my personal life is such hot gossip.” Rowena sighed.

“I’m sorry,” Vi said. “I didn’t mean .”

Rowena simply held up a hand. “We’re talking. It’s just that sometimes there’s also yelling. And sometimes stuff gets thrown around when someone leaves a room but…Truth is, I really don’t know. That’s why I was hoping that Will would be here. Maybe we could sort some things out, but I guess it’s not a priority for her right now.”

Xander scooted closer to Rowena. “Look, I know it can be….dangerous…to chat her up when she’s…”

“Temperamental, moody and irrational?” Rowena asked, quickly filling in the blank.

“Among other things,” Xander said with a nod of agreement, “but you really do need to talk to her.”

“I can’t talk to her if she’s not here,” Rowena pointed out. “But really, she probably is working on something and completely forgot. She’s very focused.”

“The Willster?” Xander said. “Yeah, but she’ll be here before the end of the night. Just watch.”

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Library – Night

Willow pushed another pin into a large map of the Cleveland area she had tacked up to a blank area of wall. She took a step back and sighed, looking at the seemingly random patterns of red and green pins.

“Miss Rosenberg,” a young man with glasses said from behind her, “here’s the reference materials you wanted.”

“Put them on the table, Jackson,” Willow instructed absent-mindedly. He obeyed.

“Miss Rosenberg,” Jackson ventured, “if you want to take a break I think I can handle this for a while.”

“No thanks,” Willow told him, “I need to get some answers for Faith by the weekend or I’ll never hear the end of it.” She examined one area of the map more closely. “It’s this area here that’s the trouble,” she continued, pointing at a spot far out on the West Side.

“Over by Dover Center Road?” Jackson asked.

“Yeah,” Willow confirmed, “there’s a high number of vampire sightings in that area, but a relatively low kill count.”

“That’s not enough of a body trail for a nest,” Jackson observed.

“So…what are we dealing with?” Willow wondered out loud.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Rec Room – Night

A pair of slick black shoes made a distinct tapping sound as they entered the party room. Above the shoes was tight black spandex over a stunning pair of legs. Skye, the owner of the stunning pair of legs, adjusted her leopard-spotted cat ears and looked around the room. She seemed surprised to see Dawn and Jeff talking urgently to Rowena, Giles and Andrew while standing next to the scattered remnants of an ex-chair.

“Hey everybody, it’s Skye!” Xander announced, spotting the cat-suited brunette’s entrance. “And she dressed like Cordelia!”

“I’m Pussy Galore,” Skye pointed out, seeming slightly affronted. “What’s…going on?”

“Some demonic wizard tried to kill Dawn, and we think it’s because Andrew told it to,” Becca supplied helpfully, holding out a tray of goodies. “Sugar cookie?”

Skye ignored the older woman’s offer and stormed over to the group continuing its investigation.

“Andrew!” she yelled as she reached them, causing the blond young man to jump a little as he turned.

“Yes?” he asked nervously.

“Seems like you had another practical joke planned, huh?” Skye continued, “Only this time no one else is on it? Well, I don’t really find attempts on my girlfriend’s life to be very funny, so I think I deserve an explanation, an apology and possibly a pound of your flesh.” Her expression brightened suddenly. “Hey Dawn.”

“Hey,” Dawn returned, looking much relieved.

“I keep telling people,” Andrew began, “I don’t know what’s going on. I didn’t plan anything. This isn’t a joke. I think that thing really was out to get Dawn.”

“And that makes it okay because…?” Skye asked angrily.

“It makes it not my fault,” Andrew ventured.

“It’s okay,” Dawn said, “Jeff saw the whole thing ahead of time and saved my life.”

“That’s nice,” Skye replied, her expression not changing.

“Look, guys,” Rowena said, attempting to get control of the situation, “I’m sure that if Andrew had any information he would let us know. In the meantime, I’m just worried about whether this is over or if…”

The Head Watcher was cut off by the report of a gunshot. A stunned Dawn looked down at her shoulder, where the bullet had grazed her suit jacket’s overgrown shoulder pad.

“Everybody, on the floor!” Rowena shouted, hitting the deck. The party-goers obeyed en masse, except for Dawn, who was still standing stock still until Skye pulled her down physically. Jean-Claude entered cautiously, gun first, through the door to see a couple dozen people hiding behind tables. Andrew had gone straight down to the floor and was holding an aluminum hors d’oeuvres plate over his head as a shield.

His facial features unchanging, Jean-Claude edged slowly along one wall until he spotted Dawn and Skye hiding behind a couch. He raised his weapon.

At that moment, Faith stepped out from behind one of the plain square columns holding the ceiling up and threw a small dagger at the hit man. He dropped the gun, mostly because his hand was suddenly pinned to the wall with a small, extremely sharp knife. Jean-Claude let out a short scream of pain.

Faith summarily walked over to the whimpering assassin and pulled her dagger out of his hand. His hand freed, Jean-Claude cradled it gingerly. Faith wound up and knocked him unconscious with one punch.

Everyone in the room slowly peeked out from behind their cover.

“See? I’m a pirate, not a wench,” Faith said emphatically, as she cleaned off her dagger on Jean-Claude’s impeccable suit. Then she lifted up her skirt and returned the knife to a small holster she’d rigged on her thigh.

“Okay,” Tracey said, shaking a little but still adjusting her bikini top as she cautiously raised her head over the punch table, “what is happening here?”

“We know what’s happening,” Kennedy stated angrily, jumping to her feet. “Andrew’s little games have now expanded to include live firearms.”

“I’m telling you,” Andrew began, “I don’t…”

Andrew,” Rowena cut him off, her tone of voice brooking no argument, “I think it’s time for this to end, don’t you?”

“It’s not him,” Skye said quietly, examining Jean-Claude where he had fallen.

“What?” Dawn asked incredulously.

“Andrew’s not the one behind this,” Skye announced, her voice louder this time. “This is Jean-Claude. He used to work for my ex’s father.”

“So…what does that mean?” Vi prompted.

“It means…I think this whole thing is a lot more dangerous than we thought,” Skye replied.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Holding Facility – Night

A barred cell door slid closed past Jean-Claude, who was once again conscious. He looked at Faith and Vi through the bars, but after only a moment, they turned heel simultaneously and left him. Jean-Claude looked to the back corner of his cell to see the mage K’Ret sitting in the back corner, his cloaked head resting on the back wall of the cell.

“What are you looking at?” K’Ret asked, its voice a low rattle.

“Nothing,” Jean-Claude replied. An awkward silence descended on the cell.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Hallway – Night

In her skin-tight cat-suit, Skye led the whole gang down the hallway. They had to walk quickly to keep up, but everyone did – even Robin, who seemed to be making great strides in the use of his artificial leg.

“Back before I met Dawn,” she was explaining, “I met this girl. Our fathers knew each other through business…anyway, we were kind of…involved.”

“Wait,” Dawn interrupted, “I didn’t know about any of this.”

“Well,” Skye explained, “Yeah, you did. She’s the reason I told you I didn’t want to get too involved with each other. I called it quits and…she didn’t take it well. So I’m thinking…”

“What, that this chick wants revenge?” Faith interjected. “But that was years ago, right?”

“Knowing Luna, it might have taken her that long to set this thing up.”

“This girl’s name is Luna?” Robin asked.

“Yeah,” confirmed Skye, “and she’s psychotic.”

“Well,” Giles said, “perhaps once we arrive at the computer lab, we will be able to look up information concerning this Luna’s current whereabouts.”

“I guess I have to ask,” Dawn said reluctantly, “why were you with her if she’s psychotic?”

“Well…” Skye began, but she stopped when she reached the door to the main computer room. The group piled in behind her, but all immediately stopped as well.

Darrell sat at the nearest computer terminal, looking rather surprised to see most of the Watchers Council standing at the door.

“What is it?” Andrew asked in frustration from the back of the group, hopping up and down in an attempt to see over the heads of Giles and Robin.

Cut To:


Watchers Council – Holding Facility – Night

The same cell door closed past Darrell’s still-stunned face. He looked over at K’Ret and Jean-Claude, who were sitting next to each other on two chairs nailed down in the back of the cell. Jean-Claude gave a weak wave, while K’Ret looked down at his glowing hand-cuffs, then shrugged. The hacker walked over and dejectedly sat down next to them.

On the other side of the bars stood the Watchers Council Halloween Party. Giles walked over to Rowena.

“None of them have told us anything, and the blasted computer turned up no information of consequence,” he told her. “Bloody useless, as usual,” he added under his breath. Rowena suppressed a smile.

“In the defense of technology,” Rowena began, “Andrew was playing with the system earlier.”

“I was not playing,” Andrew whined. “I’m creating a state of the art informational database, thankyouverymuch.”

“Regardless, it seems we find ourselves at a dead end,” said Robin with a sigh.

“What now, Blondie?” Faith asked.

Rowena ran a hand through her hair as she tried to think. “Well, we’ll just have to…interrogate them,” she finally said.

“You mean torture,” Kennedy said quickly.

“I didn’t say torture, did I? I said interrogate,” Rowena said defensively.

“I could torture ’em,” Faith offered. “I’ve got the experience.”

“I didn’t say torture,” Rowena insisted. “We’re not torturing. Torture and all its forms are out. Our best bet is right here,” she added, motioning toward Skye.

“Has she tortured anyone?” Kennedy asked. “Because Faith –”

“Enough with the torture!” Rowena yelled, before grabbing her temples. “Look,” she said more calmly. “Skye can give us information.”

“I’ve got some books upstairs,” Skye said thoughtfully.

“Thank you, Skye,” Rowena answered, sounding slightly relieved.

“There’s this whole thing with nerve endings in the wrists…” Skye continued. Rowena just closed her eyes and groaned.

“I’ve got a pair of scissors in my purse,” Becca brought up helpfully, cradling the baby in her arms.

Rowena opened her eyes and turned to Becca. “I’m begging you not to help, Becca.”

“Can I just weigh in on the whole ‘torturing people’ issue?” Xander asked.

“NO!” everyone said at once. The occupants of the cell just looked at each other.

“Guys!” Vi said loudly, “I’ll handle it.”

“Really?” Andrew asked, sounding surprised.

Rowena looked frazzled.

“That would be…fine, Vi, have at it,” the watcher said. She began to hand the keys to the cell to the redhead, but stopped. “Just remember, I didn’t say torture.”

“Gotcha,” Vi agreed, and grabbed the keys.

Faith sidled up to her subordinate. “So, which bone you gonna break first?”

“Just watch and learn,” Vi told her. Faith looked slightly taken aback. Vi opened the cell door and walked in.

She didn’t say anything at first, pacing slowly back and forth in front of the three seated villains. She examined them like a cat examines a mouse. Finally, she stopped in front of Darrell.

“How ya doin’?” Vi said, her voice friendly, as she took a knee in front of him.

“Um…fine,” the hacker answered nervously.

“Glad to hear it,” she replied. “I was hoping you could do me a favor.” She leaned closer to his face. “Tonight some people tried to kill a friend of mine – Dawn Summers. I think you probably know her. Now, I understand that sometimes things can get out of hand, people get caught up in things beyond their control. I’m just asking you to tell me where Luna is, that’s all. One eency little thing.” Vi held two fingers very close to each other, inches from Darrell’s face.

Darrell swallowed. “I’m…not sure.”

“Wrong answer,” Vi said brightly, then, in one smooth, motion ripped Darrell’s glasses off, dropped them to the floor and smashed them to tiny pieces under the heel of her shoe.

She stood back and addressed all three of the captives. “You know, I could stay here for a few hours and torture you guys until you begged me to kill you.”

“I didn’t say torture!” Rowena called from outside the cell. She quickly turned to Giles. “See what I have to deal with?” she asked.

“I remember all too well,” Giles replied with a grin.

“And you’re glad you don’t have to do it, aren’t you?” Rowena asked. Giles tried not to smile and Rowena waved him off.

“But honestly, torture…that sounds boring to me,” Vi continued. “And frankly, I don’t want to ruin my nice costume in the process.” She turned to the mage. “So, mister demon wizard man, why don’t you tell me where your boss is, and I can enjoy my evening?”

“I will tell you nothing,” K’Ret rattled.

Vi reached inside her blouse and pulled out a small loaded crossbow. She pointed it directly between the demon’s invisible eyes. “Let’s try that again.”

Outside the cell, Kennedy stood next to Faith. She leaned towards her friend.

“Damn. Vi’s like Ro. She can be pretty scary, huh?” she asked out of the side of her mouth.

“You’re bluffing,” K’Ret told Vi.

“Wanna bet?” Vi said, not moving the crossbow. “I’ll pull this trigger, and I’ll sleep well tonight. You know how I know that? Because I slept well last night, and the night before that. I kill demons every day of the week. You’re just another one.”

“You don’t have the guts,” K’Ret said to Vi. “She said you couldn’t hurt us.”

“She said no torture. She didn’t say I couldn’t start to kill you all one by one, did she? Now, if living is important to you, where…is…Luna?”

The group outside the cell was transfixed. So were K’Ret’s cellmates. The mage hesitated for a long moment. His invisible face turned to Rowena, who kept her face expressionless. His attention was pulled back to Vi by the sound of her cocking the crossbow.

“Fine. There’s an entrance in the Chinese Cultural Garden in Rockefeller Park,” it finally said. “Over by the Art Museum.”

“Thanks,” Vi said brightly, lowering her crossbow. Then she turned and walked out of the cell and, without slowing down, tossed the cell keys to Rowena and the crossbow to Faith, flashed a grin at Xander and walked straight up the stairs.

“So,” Jeff said, “I guess the party’s moving.”

Robin closed the cell door.

Cut To:

Rockefeller Park – Night

“You doing okay?” Andrew asked Tracey, as helped her out of the back of one of the Council vans.

“Yeah, I’m just…a little chilly,” she answered, shivering in her bikini.

“October on the North Coast,” Andrew agreed, “not known for its balmy nights.”

“You could…warm me up,” Tracey ventured. Andrew gulped.

“Hey, guys,” called Dawn’s voice, interrupting. “Come see this.”

Cut To:


Chinese Cultural Garden – Night

The entire group, except for Becca and Giles, who no longer seemed to be present, looked up at a large statue of a lion that stood on a tall marble pedestal. They were all still in costume.

“It’s a statue,” Faith said flatly. “Fascinating. Looks like your demon guy led us on a wild goose chase, Vi.”

“It was a good try, though,” Xander encouraged his girlfriend, who stood with her arms crossed and a slight frown on her face.

Andrew walked forward to look closer at the base of the statue. He ran his hand over the smooth white surface.

“What are you doing?” Faith asked.

Andrew found what he was looking for and pushed on a specific spot on the pedestal. The entire side of the base pushed inward and then retracted upwards, revealing a set of stairs heading down into the earth.

“Listen well, little girl. Any good super villain camouflages the entrance to their lair,” Andrew said sagely. “You will learn in time.”

Cut To:


Bottom of Stairway

“Did Andrew just call me a ‘little girl’?” Faith asked incredulously, as the gang descended the stairs.

“Try not to kill him, honey,” Robin told her. “He’s the best cook we’ve got.”

“Dark and Dank. I was hopin’ it’d be dark and dank,” Xander commented.

“Don’t forget nice and creepy too,” Jeff commented as he reached the bottom of the stairs. “What is it?”

The stairs let out into one end of a large, long, concrete-lined chamber. At the far end light seemed to be coming from a tunnel of some sort. The chamber was cris-crossed by blue beams of light.

“Lasers,” Rowena sighed, “probably for motion-detecting. What we need to do is go back to base and come back with some aerosol, maybe a rope, and…”

Faith stepped forward through the closest beam. Nothing happened.

“Or, we could just go find the bitch,” she said. She began to walk across the chamber, and the group cautiously followed her lead. “Seriously, Blondie,” Faith began, “sometimes you just gotta say ‘What the …”

“What’s that noise?” Vi wondered, as a high-pitched squeaking gradually grew in volume. Dawn looked uneasy.

A moment later, hundreds of small, moving red beams of light burst from the walls. The pitter-patter of hundreds of small, furry feet echoed off the walls of the concrete room.

Kennedy let out a yelp as one of the light beams touched her ankle. “That hurt!” she cried.

“What the…” Robin wondered, jumping as one of the beams singed his good thigh.

Then a squirrel with some sort of device strapped to its back dropped from the ceiling straight down on Tracey’s head. She screamed. Andrew grabbed the animal off her head and threw it in the opposite direction.

Laser squirrels!” Xander shouted. At that, panic set in. The bushy-tailed animals swarmed around the group, which scattered in all directions.

Faith grabbed a squirrel off her shoulder by its tail and swung it off into the distance, dodging the laser beam as it came back around. Vi high-stepped around the various laser beams, her face a mask of concentration. Tracey clung to Andrew as they ran for the tunnel at the end of the chamber, stopping only to kick a squirrel out of the way. Kennedy emitted an intense yell while trying to step down as hard as she could on the creatures. She caught one and there was a startled squeak.

Cut To:


Bottom of Stairway – Moments Later

Skye tried to catch her breath as she reached the safety of the tunnel at the far end of the chamber. She looked up to see Xander, Vi, Andrew and Tracey, similarly spent.

Turning, she looked back across the chamber. The floor was now completely covered in furry animals and laser beams. Rowena, Faith, Robin and Jeff were standing at the base of the stairs. Kennedy had actually climbed up onto the banister at the side, attempting to get farther from the squirrels.

“So…what now?” Xander yelled across the squirrel-infested room.

“Well,” Rowena answered, “since you guys are the only ones who made it, you’re going have to go on and find Luna.”

The five people at the mouth of the tunnel looked at each other doubtfully. Skye’s brow furrowed as she realized something.

“Where’s Dawn?”

Black Out


End of Act Two

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