Thora Birch as Tracey Hausser, Elijah Wood as Jeff Lindquist, Lacey Chabert as Skye Talisker, Brad Dourif as Brell and Alicia Silverstone as Heli
Stephen Austin as Reteesk, Michelle Rodriguez as Kadin Van Helsing, Hector Elizondo as Gregor, Richard Marcus as Vladimir Vital’yevich and James Lafazanos as L’min
Watchers Council – Hallway – Night
Dawn hurried down the hallway. After she turned the corner, she met Willow just coming out of her apartment.
“Hey,” Dawn said. “Are you on your way to the emergency meeting?”
“Yep,” Willow replied cheerily.
Dawn ignored Willow’s giddiness. “Do you know what’s up?”
“Nope,” Willow answered just as cheerily. “All I know is, Rowena got a call about Brell being in danger, left the apartment, then called me back about the meeting.”
“So…Rowena was with you…in your apartment?” Dawn asked, her smile growing with each word. “No wonder you’re so chipper about Brell being in peril.” Willow gave Dawn an elbow poke. Dawn laughed and then carefully asked, “Does that mean you and Ro are back together?”
“We were never ‘not together.’ Not really. Just not necessarily together-in-the-same-place together on a frequent or regular basis.” Dawn gave Willow a puzzled look. Willow shook her head and smiled. “We’re working on it,” she explained.
“Good,” Dawn said happily. Then she yawned deeply and loudly.
“Ah-ah-ah,” Willow teased, shaking an index finger at Dawn. “No yawning allowed. Now that you are an official watcher, you must resist all need for sleep. You must be able to awaken fully at the merest hint of a phone ring or intercom buzz.”
Dawn rolled her eyes. “I wasn’t in bed anyway,” she said. “I couldn’t go to sleep with Skye gone.”
“She pulling an all-nighter again?”
“Yes,” Dawn answered with a hint of a whine. “Or at least she said she needed her sleep somewhere that was away. From me. When she says that what she means is she’s going to go study all night somewhere and doesn’t want to bother me. She’s like…obsessed with this internship of hers. It’s Dana this, and Dana that.”
“From Luna to Lunatic?”
Dawn groaned in agreement. “I swear, if she slips up and calls me Dana…” Dawn stopped, growled and shook her head at the thought.
Willow laughed. “She’s just excited about her project. That’s all. Once the newness wears off, she’ll be back to her old self. You’ll see.”
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Moments Later
“The creatures who were chasing you seemed to be targeting Reteesk?” Rowena asked Brell, who now sat at the table with Willow, Dawn, Faith and Robin. Kennedy casually leaned against the wall behind Rowena, awaiting instructions.
The blue-skinned demon nodded.
“Well, what happened? Where is Reteesk now?” Willow asked, concerned.
“Reteesk hurt. Brell hide friend, too big to carry. I then come to Council for help,” he answered.
“Good call,” Dawn said.
“Don’t worry, we’ll send some slayers out for Reteesk right away,” Willow said. She motioned to Kennedy behind her, who then nodded and left the room to start gathering a team.
“So…what’re we up against here? What kinda demons were after you?” Faith asked.
“Brell not know,” the demon replied. “Never see before. Tall, long gray hair, yellow skin.” Brell drew imaginary lines across his cheeks. “Face had…” Brell trailed off, deep in thought.
“Marks? Tattoos?” Robin guessed. Brell shook his head.
“Paint?” Dawn offered. Brell changed his gesture slightly and made it look as though he were sticking his fingers into his cheeks.
“Pits?” Rowena asked.
“Yes,” Brell answered excitedly.
“Weapons?” Faith prodded.
“Swords, spears, axes,” Brell replied.
“Anything else we need to know?” Faith asked.
“Wore armor, very strong,” Brell added.
“Okay then,” Rowena said, beginning the layout of her plan. “Willow and Dawn, will you help me start the research based on what Brell has told us?” They both nodded. Rowena then turned to the Head Slayer. “Faith, will you get with Kennedy and her team of slayers to retrieve Reteesk?”
“On it,” Faith said, motioning for Brell to follow her.
“Robin,” Rowena went on, “please get a separate team to patrol the university area, see if they can spot these demons. I’ll also alert Dr. Miller that he’ll have a Vl’hurg in the infirmary soon. Everyone got it?”
With nods from all, Rowena dismissed the meeting.
John Carroll University – Parking Garage – Early Morning
Brell led Faith and her team of slayers to a parking garage near the Grove.
“I noticed Watcher Giles not at meeting,” Brell said to Faith as they walked along.
“No, he’s retired.” When Brell appeared confused she went on. “He quit, wanted to spend more time with his wife and…spawn,” Faith said, with a grin at how funny that sounded.
“Ohh,” Brell said in an understanding tone. “So Pretty Watcher now does his job?”
“Yeah,” Faith said as they continued to walk.
“She seemed good in meeting – like Watcher Giles.”
Faith shrugged nervously. “She’s not Giles,” Faith finally said.
“No, but she not old like Giles,” Brell offered. “We have a saying with my people, ‘with many years comes much knowledge’.”
“We do too, ‘With age comes wisdom.’ So maybe in another twenty years she’ll be ready, huh?” Brell shrugged and Faith snorted. “Nah, she’s doing okay, I guess. Of course I haven’t felt the wrath of Rowena yet, either. But I get it – she’s got a tough line to walk. She can’t just be a friend to everyone anymore. She’s gotta enforce some rules sometimes and…well, let’s just say not everybody agrees, and she gets caught in the middle. I don’t envy her position at all, but I sure as hell don’t want to be the one that gets caught up in her rules someday.”
“She is more…” Brell stopped to think of a word, and finally said, “strict than Watcher Giles?”
“Stern, yeah. Things are pretty black and white to her, and she can’t act like she’s playing favorites with people, so she comes off pretty harsh sometimes.”
“So Top Watcher is not a good job?” Brell asked.
“For her, it seems okay so far. But for me? Ha, hell no,” Faith said with a grin. “I’m more action gal than policy gal. I like being here on the street. Looking out for the girls,” she said, waving around them.
“I understand,” Brell said. He pointed to a closed door. “Over this way,” he added.
He took them to a utility room on the ground floor. As Faith’s slayers kept watch for the horde of demons, she and Brell opened the utility room door.
When they turned on the light, Reteesk wasn’t there. Brell gasped in alarm, vainly searching every inch of the tiny enclosure. “Reteesk gone!” he said, turning to Faith.
“Heli!” Faith called out to one of her slayers, getting her to come over. “Pair everybody off and start sweeping the area.” Heli simply nodded and began to motion to the slayers, sending pairs in different directions. Then Faith turned to the worried demon. “Brell, you’re with me. Let’s go.”
Regency Hotel – The Penthouse – Same Time
The leader of the demons, along with two of its comrades, entered the penthouse. Although it was located in a modern hotel, it had been redecorated with expensive antiques. The demons walked cautiously through the huge suite, glancing nervously at its old-fashioned decorations. When they reached the study, they went inside and kneeled before the room’s inhabitant.
“My lord,” the leader said, with a measure of distaste in its voice.
“Report!” the unseen man said in a shrill but forceful voice, his accent noticeable but unrecognizable.
“My lord,” the leader said, “I’m sorry, but…the Monarch has escaped.”
“What?!” the unseen man demanded.
“Just a temporary escape, my lord, I assure you,” the leader said, suddenly quite worried about its employer’s reaction. “We shall fulfill our mission.”
The man made an enraged gurgling sound in his throat before forcing out his next words. “Pathetic excuses will not be tolerated! Time is running out! Do not fail me!”
“Yes, my lord!” the leader instantly replied.
“Go! Go!” the man shrieked. “Find him! Bring him to me! Now!”
“Yes, my lord!” the demon replied, before leading its comrades from the room as quickly as possible. The furious shrieks of the unseen man followed them out.
Watchers Council – Library – Morning
“I’m not finding anything,” Dawn said in a frustrated voice from deep inside the stacks of the Council library.
“Me either,” Willow said wearily from her location at the table at the end of the rows. Rowena sat next to her, her eyes locked on the book in front of her.
Dawn trudged out of the stacks with a clipboard in her hands. She plopped into the chair across from Willow. “We just don’t have enough to go on,” Dawn complained. “Do you know how many tall yellow-skinned demons there are?”
“Nine thousand, six hundred and eighty seven,” Jeff answered, as he walked in carrying another stack of books. “And we’re only up to the five thousands.” He dropped the armload of books onto the desk with a thud.
“We have to keep looking,” Rowena said, not taking her eyes from her text.
The library door opened, and all four turned to see Faith coming in. Willow stood up and looked at the slayer with a hopeful expression.
“Did you find Reteesk?” Rowena asked.
Faith shook her head. “By the time we got there, Reteesk was gone. We’ve looked all night, and there’s no sign of him.”
Willow slumped in disappointment. “How’s Brell taking it?”
“He’s hangin’ in there,” Faith said. “He’s in the guest quarters, restin’ up. We brought his family here too, just in case.”
“Good thinking,” Willow answered.
“What about you guys? Any luck on your end?” Faith asked.
“If luck is defined as finding completely nothing, then we’ve got a ton of it,” Dawn replied.
“Dawn,” Willow said, surprised at the young woman’s pessimism.
“Sorry, I’m just tired,” Dawn said.
“No, Dawn’s right,” Rowena agreed. “We’re getting nowhere with the research right now. Why don’t we get a few hours of rest and hit it again after lunch? Maybe by then Brell will have remembered something we can use.”
“Sounds good,” Faith said. “In the meantime, I’ll get a day shift of slayers out looking.”
Watchers Council — Dawn’s Room – Moments Later
Dawn dragged through the door, totally wiped out. She turned on the light and sighed at the emptiness of the room, then walked over to the telephone. She checked the answering machine, but there were no messages. She picked up the phone and punched in Skye’s number.
She heard the phone ring once, then it went immediately to voice mail, indicating that Skye’s cell phone was probably turned off.
“Damn,” Dawn mumbled. When she heard the requisite beep, she changed her tone. “Hey babe, it’s just me. I’m just calling to say good luck on your test, and I’ll see you around lunchtime. If you can’t make it, call me, okay? Turns out I had to pull an all-nighter, but stop by anyway if you can. Love you! Bye.”
Dawn hung up the phone and looked at it worriedly. Then she sighed again and went over to the bed. She pulled off her clothes, set her alarm, and crawled under the covers, not even bothering to turn off the light.
Watchers Council – Kitchen – Late Morning
Andrew and Tracey scurried busily about the kitchen, preparing for lunch. Andrew was wrapping plastic over a large tray of sandwich toppings: lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes and onion rings. Tracey was laying bags of hamburger buns on top of the serving line.
“We’re still on for tomorrow night, right?” Andrew asked.
“You betcha,” Tracey replied, as she finished laying out the last bag of buns. “Special midnight showing of Rocky Horror? Wouldn’t miss it.”
Andrew picked up the tray and carried it over to the industrial-sized refrigerator. He put it inside, then pulled several bags of tater-tots out of the freezer and set them near the deep fryer. Tracey went over to the refrigerator, opened it, and started pulling items out.
“What are you doing?” Andrew asked curiously.
“Making a special lunch for Brell,” she replied.
“Why can’t he eat the regular lunch?”
“Andy, no offense intended, but ever since the whole bratwurst brownie incident, Brell’s just a wee bit wary of some of your dishes.”
Andrew looked on with shocked and speechless indignation as Tracey made her way to the pantry.
“What kind of food does Reteesk like?” she called from the pantry. “We’ll need something for him too, assuming the slayers find him.”
Andrew huffed and said, “Why don’t you ask Brell when you give him his special lunch?”
Tracey stuck her head out of the pantry and looked at Andrew’s back as he testily adjusted his apron before washing his hands at the sink. She smirked in amusement and left the pantry to join Andrew at the sink. She wrapped her arms around his waist and set her chin on his shoulder.
“Just remember, honey,” she said, “you can’t please everybody, and that’s okay.” She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and returned to the pantry.
Andrew’s mouth formed a lopsided grin and touched his cheek. “Honey,” he repeated dreamily.
Watchers Council — Dawn’s Room – Afternoon
When her alarm blared, Dawn opened her eyes and groaned loudly. Then she slowly pulled herself up to the edge of the nightstand so that she could smack the button on top of her alarm clock.
She threw the covers back and swung her legs over the edge of the bed. Then she looked over her shoulder and saw the empty space beside her.
Now instantly awake, Dawn got to her feet and hurried to the answering machine. The message light still wasn’t blinking. Dawn picked up the phone and dialed Skye’s cell. Again, it went directly to voicemail. A concerned look came over Dawn’s face, and then she sprang into action, getting ready as fast as she could.
As soon as she was dressed, Dawn rushed out of the room.
Watchers Council – Hallway – Moments Later
Dawn walked quickly toward Willow’s apartment. On the way, she met Jeff in the corridor.
“Hey Dawn,” Jeff said with a smile.
“Hey,” Dawn replied, forcing a return smile.
“What’s wrong?” Jeff asked when he saw the tension in Dawn’s face.
“It’s Skye,” Dawn explained. “I can’t get her on the phone, and she didn’t leave a message about how the test went today. I’m gonna go look for her.”
“Maybe she just went to crash at her friends’ dorms after the test? She’s done that before, right?” Jeff offered.
“Yeah, but she still always calls. Even if it’s just to leave a short message,” Dawn retorted.
Jeff shrugged. “We’ve got about an hour before we’re due back to the library. You want me to come with you?” Jeff asked.
“That’d be great,” Dawn said gratefully.
Just then, Willow came around the corner. “Hey, you guys are up. We can get an earlier start now.”
“I can’t find Skye,” Dawn said worriedly.
“What do you mean?” Willow asked.
“She went back to campus with Heli last night,” Dawn said. “She said she wanted to get some study time and sleep before her test today. but she would have been done hours ago. I haven’t heard anything.”
“She’s probably at the dorms. What’s her friend’s name, Cathy?”
Dawn shook her head. “I-I’m not sure. She’s not answering her phone,” Dawn said. “I tried this morning and again just now. She hasn’t left any messages, either, which isn’t like her.”
“We’re gonna go look for her,” Jeff said. Then his tone changed to a mixture of nonchalance and hope. “She’s probably just at the library…you know, studying and all.”
“Yeah, right,” Dawn said, trying to find comfort in Jeff’s scenario. “I-I-I just wanted to check with Rowena first, in case we’re a few minutes late.”
“Oh, don’t worry about that,” Willow said. “Go on and look. I’ll tell Rowena. You can pick up the research when you get back.”
“Are you sure?” Dawn asked.
“Absolutely. And keep us posted, okay?”
“Thanks, Willow,” Dawn said. Then she and Jeff hurried down the hallway.
Watchers Council – Dining Hall – Same Time
Faith and Kennedy sat alone at one of the long tables, the chatter of younger slayers filling the room. Faith finished off the last bite of one of her hamburgers and took a big swig of her cola, then looked up at Kennedy.
“So how’s Kadin doin’ these days?” Faith asked nonchalantly.
Kennedy popped another tater-tot into her mouth, chewed it and then shrugged. “Fine, I guess.”
“You guess?” Faith asked. “Haven’t you talked to her?”
Kennedy twirled her finger through her tater-tots. “Yeah, once or twice,” she said, without making eye contact. “In passing, you know, out patrolling, crossing paths, that kind of thing.”
Faith raised a challenging eyebrow at Kennedy, who finally looked up.
“It’s awkward, okay?” Kennedy admitted. “One moment she’s kissing me ‘thanks,’ and the next it’s like nothing ever happened. Besides, it’s been less than six months since Mia left, a-and I’m not sure I’m ready to get into anything.”
Faith grinned. “You know, it’s not like you gotta marry the girl. Just go out and have some fun.” Faith picked up her second burger. “Have some hot and steamy lesbo sex in that cozy cabin of hers.” Faith began to chuckle.
“And just what would you know about hot and steamy lesbo sex?” Kennedy asked with a raised eyebrow, trying not to laugh.
Faith leaned across the table conspiratorially. “You’re asking this from a woman who spent multiple years in prison? Besides, maybe if you gave her a go, you’d be less grumpy,” she suggested with a grin before sinking her teeth into her sandwich.
Faith felt a tater-tot bounce off her head. When she looked up, Kennedy was trying to glare, but found herself smiling instead. The two slayers laughed and resumed eating.
Watchers Council – Library – Later that Afternoon
Willow was sitting at a table, already deep into the books, when Rowena came into the library. Rowena glanced around the room, looking for someone. Then she walked over to Willow.
“Dawn and Jeff are still asleep I assume?” Rowena asked.
“No, out looking for Skye,” Willow answered, her eyes still focused on the passage before her.
“Oh,” Rowena said, with more than a little annoyance in her voice. “Is she missing?”
Willow picked up on the change in Rowena’s tone and looked up. “Probably not, but Dawn was worried. More than likely, Skye’s camped at the university again. But Dawn wanted to go check on her, so I told her to go.”
“You told her to go? When we’re in the middle of an investigation?” Rowena asked pointedly.
“Hey, it’s just for a little while. It’s not like she was asking for time off to go get her nails done,” Willow objected. “I didn’t think you’d mind.”
“I wish you had asked me first,” Rowena said coolly.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Willow replied with heavy sarcasm. “Didn’t mean to overstep my bounds, didn’t mean to once again put a human being in front of an agenda.”
Rowena’s face tightened, pain evident in her eyes. She folded her arms across her chest and looked away. Willow cringed and shook her head. Then she rose to her feet.
“I’m sorry,” Willow said sincerely. “That was out of line.”
“Yes, it was,” Rowena agreed, not unfolding her arms. A long and awkward silence followed.
“This is one of those non-easy moments, isn’t it?” Willow finally asked with a bashful grin.
Rowena slowly added her own grin and lowered her arms. “I guess it is,” she said. After a moment, her expression became serious again. “I want this to work, Will. I really do. But I need to be kept in the loop. That’s all I’m saying.”
“Okay,” Willow conceded. “Consider yourself in the loop. After they go to the University, they’re coming straight back. Alright?”
Rowena began to grin wider. “I’m sorry. I overreacted. I mean, I realistically can’t be everywhere at once, a-and sometimes others need to make decisions. The Council isn’t just one person alone, right? So, it’s not a big deal…this time.”
“It’s official,” Willow said with a grin.
“What?” Rowena asked.
“Nervous babble is contagious.”
Rowena gave a half chuckle before handing Willow one of the books from the stacks. “I learned from the best,” she teased.
John Carroll University – Library Lobby – Same Time
Dawn and Jeff came down the stairs from the stacks, having searched all over the library for Skye without finding a sign of her. They stopped at the bottom of the stairs and Dawn let out a heavy sigh. They looked around the lobby nervously, having exhausted their options.
“Come on,” Jeff said. “Let’s check at the front desk. Maybe someone there will remember seeing her.”
Dawn and Jeff headed for the front desk. When they got there, Dawn went up to speak to the librarian on duty.
“Excuse me,” Dawn said. “I’m looking for a friend of mine. I was thinking that she might’ve been here last night, working late, but she never made it home or to her friend’s dorm. I was hoping you had seen her.”
Dawn handed a small photo of Skye to the woman behind the counter. The woman looked at the picture intently then handed it back.
“Sorry,” she said. “I haven’t seen her.”
Dawn shoulders fell in disappointment. “Thanks anyway.”
As Dawn and Jeff turned to go, the librarian spoke up again. “I only just came on duty, though,” she said. “If she was here last night, you should talk to Sal.”
“Sal?” Jeff asked.
“The night shift security guard,” the librarian answered. “He knows everybody that comes and goes around here.”
“Thank you!” Dawn said with sincere gratitude. Then she and Jeff hurried from the library.
John Carroll University – Campus Security – Afternoon
“How can I help you?” said Officer Daley, as Dawn and Jeff entered the office of the University’s Chief of Security. The short man hitched his thumbs in his belt and gave the duo an unenthusiastic glare.
“My friend is missing,” Dawn said, again handing over the photo of Skye. “The last time I talked to her, she was on her way home, but she never made it. I was thinking that she might’ve gone to the library to study for a test she had today, but no one there has seen her. The librarian said I should talk to Sal.”
“Sal’s not here,” the Chief replied. “He won’t be back till late, when he goes on duty at midnight.”
“Well, can you call him? He might know something and –”
“I’m not gonna waste Sal’s time on some co-ed who’s probably sleeping off a hangover at a frat house, like the rest of the girls here,” Chief Daley said, handing back the picture.
“Skye is not some boozing-it-up party girl!” Dawn shot back.
“Yeah, that’s what they all say,” the Chief said, hitching his thumbs in his belt again.
“You listen to me, you little –” Dawn began, pointing angrily at the self-important Security Chief and moving toward him in a threatening manner.
Jeff instantly stepped in and guided Dawn away from the Chief and toward the door. “Come on, Dawn, let’s get out of here,” he said. He swept her out of the room before she could object.
“What? What are you doing?!” Dawn demanded once they were halfway out the front door of Campus Security.
“Look, he’s not gonna help us,” Jeff explained. “We need to get back to the Council and make some calls. We need a plan.”
Dawn glared at the security office for a moment longer, then turned back to Jeff. Her shoulders sagged once again. “Okay,” she said.
Watchers Council – Guest Quarters – Afternoon
Rowena knocked on the door to Brell’s guest quarters, and when he answered she went inside.
“Good evening, Brell,” Rowena said cordially. “How are you?”
“Brell good,” the blue-skinned demon replied. “But Brell worried about Friend Reteesk.”
“I know,” Rowena said solemnly. “We’re doing everything we can to find him.”
“Yes, and Brell grateful.” Brell then took Rowena’s hand in his own. “Brell want to thank Pretty Watcher for all her help. With Reteesk and with reporter. Brell feel safer with Council secret.”
Rowena looked unsure at first as to how to take the compliment.
“You’re very welcome,” she eventually said, giving his hand a squeeze. Then she pulled away and returned to the doorway. “Faith should be by soon. Good luck with the search tonight.”
Brell nodded a thank you, and Rowena slipped out the door.
Video Hut – Evening
“So this Ethrovai dude might have an idea of where Reteesk could be?” Faith asked, as she and Kennedy and Brell led another pair of slayers down the sidewalk toward the video store.
“Ethrovai is Vl’hurg, like Reteesk,” Brell explained. “Reteesk come to store often.”
“Well, nobody at Luigi’s had seen him,” Kennedy commented. “Maybe we’ll have better luck here.”
As Brell and the slayers neared the front of the video store, a shelving unit for DVDs came crashing through the plate glass window. The group jumped back, then cautiously eased around the broken shelf to look through the shattered window.
Inside, they saw seven yellow-skinned, gray-haired demons ransacking the video store. At the counter in the back, the tallest of the demons had Ethrovai by the throat, lifting him effortlessly off the ground.
“Where is the Monarch Reteesk?!” it demanded. “Where?! ”
Faith and Kennedy instantly leapt through the window, drawing their swords. They were quickly followed by Brell, Heli and Jaye. Faith thrust her sword toward the back of one of the pillaging demons. She was surprised when the demon whipped around with incredible speed, bringing its own weapon into contact with hers, deflecting her blow and sending her stumbling back. The slayer regained her footing just as a second demon joined its comrade.
“Gonna double-team me, huh?” Faith quipped. “Fine. I’ll double your pleasure.”
Faith fought off the second demon’s attack, spun off it and swept the edge of her blade against the first one’s leg. What should have been a serious gash in its flesh did little more than slice the demon’s clothing.
“What the hell?” Faith said, dumbfounded. Then a demon’s fist crashed into her jaw, sending her to the floor.
A few feet away, Brell swung a large battle-axe, clashing loudly with one wielded by another demon. The demon caught Brell’s axe with its own and used it to pull him close. Then it kicked Brell against the wall, yanking Brell’s axe out of his hands. As the blue-skinned demon crashed against the wall and hit the floor, his opponent swung his weapon, aiming right for Brell’s head. Brell ducked just in time and the other demon’s axe sank into the wall. As his attacker struggled to remove its embedded axe, Brell scrambled on his hands and knees for his weapon.
At the counter, the leader of the demons turned to see what was going on. Its face lit up with a feral grin, and it tossed Ethrovai to its lieutenant for safe-keeping and drew its sword.
In the center of the store, Kennedy, Heli and Jaye struggled with two of the demons. The gray-haired demons dodged and parried faster than expected, and every blow the slayers landed with their weapons seemed to have little or no effect.
The leader of the demons stalked over to the trio and lifted its sword, preparing to thrust at the back of the Finnish slayer.
“Heli! Behind you!” Kennedy called out, barely avoiding a blade herself.
Heli twisted to the side just in time to miss a full blow, but cried out when the edge of the leader’s sword sliced into her side. The leader let the wounded slayer slip to the floor, its momentum carrying it directly toward Jaye.
Kennedy shoved her opponent aside and rushed the demon leader, tackling it to the ground before it could reach Jaye. As the two tumbled away in a tangle of limbs, Kennedy planted her feet on the demon’s chest and catapulted it ten feet away into an overturned DVD display case. It didn’t stay down long, though. It growled in annoyance and crawled from the case.
While Jaye was helping Heli toward the front door, Faith got to her feet. With the back of her hand, she roughly wiped the blood from her lip and jumped back into the fight. Nearby, with the shaft of a broken axe handle embedded in his back, Brell still grappled with his opponent.
As Kennedy rolled to her feet to confront the leader, the two demons she had been fighting came up behind her. She seemed to sense their presence and so turned and swiped her sword several times, putting some distance between herself and her three attackers. As the demon leader closed in on Kennedy’s right and the other two at left and center, a worried expression came over her face.
Suddenly a dark-clad older man leapt into the fray, wielding a glowing staff. With an agility that belied his age, the man whacked the legs of the first demon, sending him to his knees. He spun and thrust the end of his staff under the chin of the other demon, sending it reeling back. Then he turned back to the first demon and pointed his staff at it.
With a snikt noise, a silver blade popped out of the end of the staff. As the downed demon straightened, the old man jabbed the silver weapon into the demon’s side, beneath the plate of its armor. The demon screamed in agony as the blade penetrated his skin and flesh. It shuddered several times and then disintegrated in a fiery burst.
Kennedy watched in amazement as the old man turned to the second demon, which was shaking its head to clear it, and swept his staff horizontally, dragging the blade’s edge across the demon’s throat. The demon slapped its hands against its bleeding neck, but, like the first one, it also combusted into glowing ash.
When the old man turned to Kennedy, he smiled at her for a second, until he saw the demon leader rushing in her direction. He raised his hand and held it, palm out, toward the demon leader. After a quick incantation, a magical bolt of energy burst from his hand and slammed into the demon, sending it flying over the counter in the back of the store.
When the other demons saw their leader down, they wavered and then started backing away. When the old man turned slowly toward them, his hand and staff still glowing with power, the three demons at the front of the store immediately fled.
With his opponent running away, Brell groaned in pain and let himself fall to his knees. Faith took a few weak steps after her attackers and pointed at them.
“That’s right! You better run, you…you…whatever the hell you are!” she called out after them.
Kennedy and the old man turned to the back of the store. The other two demons were gone, but Ethrovai remained, hurt but alive. As Faith checked on Brell, Heli and Jaye, Kennedy walked over to the old man.
“Who the hell are you?” she asked him, as he set the end of his staff on the floor.
He gave the slayer a cocky smirk and held out his hand in greeting. “I’m Gregor Kalderash,” he announced. “But you can call me Uncle,” he added with a wink.
Kennedy’s mouth dropped open in shock.
End of Act One