Sunnydale – Main Street – Afternoon
Faith slowly paced the desolate street, taking in every detail of her dilapidated surroundings. Graffiti coated the faces of most of the buildings, and not one window or door had been left intact.
It looked like a ghost town, or something out of a 1950’s B movie about an alien invasion. A sudden noise from behind her broke the eerie silence that filled the street. She instantly moved off the road and down a side alley. She watched intently as two men, both in their late twenties, entered the street. As they moved closer to her position, Faith backed down the alley, stopping at a fire escape ladder.
She gently stepped on the lowest rung and pushed down with her foot, checking its stability. Convinced of its safety, Faith moved up the ladder as quietly as possible, reaching the top just as the two men entered the alley.
For several seconds, Faith watched from above as they swept both ends of the alley. She backed away from the edge and quickly moved across the roof.
Sunnydale – Destroyed Apartment – Minutes Later
Faith moved through the wreckage of her former apartment. All valuables and furniture had long since been stolen, leaving an empty room of broken glass, dust and cobwebs. She stepped up to the large, semi-circular window that overlooked the small roof of the adjacent Sun Cinema. The slayer paused for a moment, then stepped through the window, landing carefully on the roof below.
Her eyes immediately darted to the ledge that looked out over the street. She approached the spot and cautiously glanced over the side. A shudder coursed through her body, and she quickly retreated back into the middle of the roof, tripping over a stray piece of concrete in the process. Faith landed hard on her back, smacking her head on the hard concrete of the roof. She rubbed the back of her head and groaned in pain.
Slowly, Faith rolled forward into a sitting position. She glanced up at the ledge one more time and whispered, “Quite a ride.”
Dr. Wagner’s Office – Same Time
The door of Dr. Wagner’s office burst open forcefully, and she looked up to see five members of the Council’s Black Ops unit rush inside, guns pointed.
Behind them came Rowena, who walked straight up to Wagner’s desk.
“We need to talk,” she said calmly.
“And how is Skye doing these days? Dusty, I assume?” Dr. Wagner replied with a grin.
Rowena picked up a paperweight on the edge of the desk and hurled it at Wagner with all her strength. Wagner held up a hand just before it struck her in the head, making the object stop in mid-air before it dropped to her desk with a thud. Wagner then grabbed Rowena by the lapel of her jacket and pulled her across the desk in a single heave to hold the Watchers directly in front of her.
The Black Ops slayers steadied their weapons as Rowena’s eyes went wide.
“Listen, little girl,” Wagner threatened Rowena. “You are inconsequential, but even I have rules I have to follow. So I’m going to let you leave here with your life.” With that, Wagner punched Rowena in the stomach, making her hunch over. In the process, Wagner’s head was exposed.
Marissa, the leader, fired a single shot that connected with Wagner’s forehead. The doctor’s head shot back as a result, but she quickly raised it again…and smiled. Without warning, the hole in her head seemed to reseal itself. Still holding onto Rowena, she raised the watcher back up to face her.
“Tell them to quit shooting me. It’s only annoying,” Wagner told her. She picked Rowena up and tossed her back over the desk. The Council Chair ended up in an ungainly heap at Marissa’s feet.
Slowly Rowena rose, still holding her stomach. “What the hell are you?” she asked.
“More fury than you can possibly imagine. Now, leave here if you want to continue to live…a while longer, anyway.”
Marissa motioned the troops back out the door and tried to collect Rowena, who tugged away from the hold the slayer had on her jacket.
“This isn’t over,” Rowena told Wagner.
“You’re right,” she answered as she took her seat again. “But I’ll be the one to finish it – and on my terms, not yours.”
“Let it go,” Marissa whispered to Rowena.
Frustrated, the watcher turned and left. Only then did Marissa follow, backing away with her gun still raised, keeping an eye on Wagner the entire time.
Once the room was vacant, Wagner sighed and went back to her paperwork nonchalantly.
Sunnydale – Barracks – Evening
Robin stepped into the crowded barracks room with a sigh.
“Larry’s last group just got back. None of the patrols in town saw her. But if she doesn’t want to be found, I doubt she will be.” He stepped forward, joining the circle where Giles, Willow, Oz, Xander and Cordelia were already standing.
“We can’t worry about her now,” Giles said. “We need to be thinking about mounting an offensive.”
“I don’t see how that’s possible,” Xander added. “We don’t have the forces, let alone the weapons. If we go in now, without any idea of what we’re facing, that could be it.”
“There has to be something we’re not considering,” Robin contributed. “Willow, you said that, in Faith’s reality, Buffy was still alive. That would mean that they must have found a way to kill the Mayor. Did she say anything about that?”
“We never got that far,” Willow said with a frown. “I’d guess they found a way to stop the Ascension. How else could they have killed him?”
Sunnydale – Junkyard Entrance – Same Time
“It’s not going to close, Jim,” the shorter guard said to the taller, as they pulled the bent frame of the junkyard’s front gate together. “She kicked it too hard.”
Jim let go of the gate. “Maybe we can weld it until we can find a better fix. I’ll go to the auto trailer. Here, give me a hand so we can finish before chow.” He turned to walk away, but stopped when his comrade did not follow. “Pete?” Jim called behind him.
Jim turned to see Pete staring in horror through the opening of the gate. He stepped forward, concern in his voice, “Pete?” He reached the gate and stopped. Before them stood roughly thirty vampires. “Sound the alarm!”
Pete didn’t move. Jim grabbed his arm and yelled again. “PETE! THE ALARM!”
Pete shook off his confusion and nodded before sprinting off towards the barracks. Jim grabbed the sword that leaned against the gate and quickly used it to wedge the two pieces of the frame together. He finished just as the vampires reached the gate.
Pete fell backwards onto the ground as the gang of vampires pushed against the barrier. He watched with terror as the demons moved forward with great force, causing the makeshift lock to bend under the strain.
Sunnydale – Barracks – Same Time
“Okay, so we leave the state,” Cordelia suggested, “Abandon the Hellmouth and go convince someone of what’s going on here. We can go to England and talk to the Council. They have to accept some responsibility here.”
“We’ve been over this, Cordy.” Xander sighed. “They won’t help.”
“They haven’t contacted me in several months. They believe that my claims about the situation are…exaggerated,” Giles replied bitterly. “We’re on our own in that respect.”
“Well, what if we –” Oz’s words were cut off when a loud bell sounded just outside the barracks.
“Go!” Giles yelled, as they all raced for the door.
Sunnydale – Junkyard – Moments Later
Robin reached the large bell outside the barracks where Pete now stood. “What is it?”
“Vampires,” Pete panted. “A lot of them. They’re at the gate.”
“Go rally the others,” Robin said. “And make sure everyone has a weapon.” Pete nodded and ran to the armory.
Giles approached from behind Robin. “What is it?” he asked.
Robin frowned as he looked at the front gate. “Vampires…and we’re outnumbered.”
Sunnydale – Junkyard Entrance – Same Time
Xander reached the front gate and helped Jim to his feet.
“Get a weapon,” he commanded, pushing the guard away from the entrance.
Willow, Oz, Cordelia and several others who had arrived from the yard took up position behind Xander. They all took several steps back as the vampires further bent the gate’s frame.
“Any ideas?” Xander asked.
The gate fell forward before anyone had time to answer, sending Jim’s sword flying to the ground. The vampires rushed through the entrance, heading straight for the group of humans.
Xander immediately dropped to his knees and ducked the outstretched arms of the lead vampire. He thrust a stake into the demon’s chest, dusting him instantly. Reaching to the ground, he picked up Jim’s lost sword and used it to quickly decapitate a second vampire.
Behind him a vampire charged at Willow, who shouted, “Extermino! ” The attacker burst into flames and disintegrated into a pile of ash. With little time to celebrate, Willow lunged forward as a second demon advanced. She raised her stake, but the vampire wisely grabbed her wrist and applied enough force to cause her to drop the stake. He reached down with his other hand and grabbed her by the throat, lifting her off the ground.
Willow pulled against his grasp with all her might. She managed to loosen his hold just enough to allow her to squeak out, “Lucidus.” A blinding flash of light shot from her eyes, distracting the vampire enough for her to slip from his grip. She used the opportunity to retrieve her fallen stake from the ground and quickly shoved the sharpened wood into his chest. He dusted in front of her as she clutched her throat, coughing.
Several feet away, Oz and Robin, each with a stake in hand, stood back to back as four vampires circled around them. “High low?” Oz suggested.
“Do it,” Robin answered, without taking his eyes off their attackers. “Go.”
Simultaneously Robin and Oz went into action. Robin raised his right leg and connected a wheel kick to the head of the vampire directly in front of him. He continued in a circle kicking each vampire similarly in the face.
At the same time Oz ducked low using his feet to sweep out the legs of the vampires in the same order that Robin had kicked them. Within seconds, all four vampires were on their backs. After staking the demons, Robin smiled. “I can’t believe that worked.”
The smile soon fell from his face as he looked into the fray. While they had taken out a large number of vampires, there were still more pouring in through the gate. Robin watched as Giles staked a vampire, only to immediately face another. He saw Xander taking a beating from two vampires at once. And he cringed as he viewed several fellow fighters lying on the ground, either unconscious or worse.
Robin moved to help Xander, but stopped when he saw Cordelia in mid-battle with a large male vampire near the front gate. She kicked the demon in the groin and managed to stake him before another grabbed her from behind.
“NO!” Robin yelled, as the vampire sunk his teeth into her neck.
He ran through the chaotic battle toward Cordelia. He managed to get within five feet before he was blindsided by one of the many vampires clustered around the gate. The demon shoved him to the ground and bared his teeth menacingly. Robin jumped to his feet and tackled the demon. He punched him several times in the face before looking back to see the vampire attacking Cordelia turn to dust.
Faith reached through the ash and caught Cordelia, who now barely clung to consciousness. Robin staked the demon beneath him and sprinted to Cordelia. He knelt down next to her, examining her wound.
Faith pulled the Colt .44 from Cordelia’s hip holster and looked at Robin.
“Get her out of here!” she ordered.
She stood up and took a few seconds to survey the fray, then raised the gun on a group of five vampires who were closing in on Xander. She took aim and emptied the clip into the group, hitting two attackers in the back and the other three in the chest.
The vampires quickly turned on her. Xander glanced up at Faith, and then, using his sword, he dispatched one of the invaders. Faith dropped the gun and, with blinding speed, staked three of the remaining four. Xander decapitated the last and shot one last look at Faith before returning to the fray.
Faith followed him, taking out another two vampires who had been closing in behind Willow.
Sunnydale – Darkened Hill – Same Time
A stone-faced Faith stood in shadow across from the junkyard, watching as a moon-lit battle raged on before her. Deep bags hung below her eyes, giving her an almost demonic presence. She looked on as an alternate version of herself single-handedly battling four vampires.
“See? I told you,” said a male voice to her right. “She looks just like you. And she’s strong, too.”
The dark slayer turned to see the bright-green-haired vampire standing next to her. She turned back to the battle.
“You’re right. And here I thought you were lying.” She reached into her black denim jacket. “I guess I owe you an apology.” With a quick motion, she swung a stake into his chest.
As he dusted, she turned her attention back to the fight, where the tide of the battle was turning. Across the street, the humans now had the upper hand and were staking the vampires with deadly efficiency. Soon only three aggressors remained.
Faith backed further into the shadows and disappeared from sight.
Sunnydale – Junkyard Entrance – Same Time
Back in the junkyard, Faith turned as a female vampire rushed at the gate. She rotated the stake in her hand and flung it towards the demon, striking her in the back. The vampire fell into a pile of dust several feet from the junkyard entrance. Faith surveyed the area.
“I think that’s all of them.”
“I thought you weren’t coming back,” Xander said, as he checked the pulse of an unconscious girl.
Faith hesitated and then shrugged. “I’m not a big fan of massacres.”
“That’s not the way I heard it,” Xander spat as he lifted the girl into his arms. He turned to move, paused and then faced Faith. “For what it’s worth, thank you. You made the right choice.” Without another word, he walked off towards the barracks.
Faith watched Xander leave as Giles approached her from behind.
“I hope this means you’re here to stay,” the former watcher said. He held a cloth to a gash on his forehead. “After this attack, we need you more now than ever. It won’t be long before another, larger wave of vampires arrives here.”
“I don’t know,” Faith answered after several seconds. “But I’m willing to hear you out.”
Watchers Council – Library – Same Time
Rowena stormed inside the Council library to find Willow and Robin looking at a host of books that surrounded them. She ripped the jacket from her body and threw it across the room.
“Sweetie?” Willow said. Rowena didn’t acknowledge them, instead racing over to a side table where the coffee and other beverages sat.
The watcher cleared the table in one swipe before picking it up and letting out a frustrated scream before dropping it again.
Willow looked to Robin, who was already looking back at her, both of them unsure of what to say.
“Rowena, what’s wrong?” Willow tried again.
Rowena stood still, her palms flat against the now-vacant table.
“Load me up,” was all she said.
Willow tentatively began to walk over. “Load you up?”
“Whatever magicks you’ve got, or can find,” Rowena said, without looking over. “I’m gonna meet that bitch again, and I’m gonna show her who’s inconsequential. And I’m gonna put my foot so far up her ass she’s gonna have to push my shoe down just so she can friggin’ eat!”
“I’m assuming we’re talking about Dr. Wagner?” Willow asked. Rowena just nodded. “So this is a bad time to ask how the meeting went, I take it?”
Rowena turned her angry eyes toward Willow, but upon seeing the uncertainty and fear on Willow’s face, her expression softened.
“I’ll give you guys a few moments,” Robin said, getting up from the table. “Call me at my place when you’re ready.”
“Wait,” Rowena called out, still trying to compose herself. “Have you heard anything yet from –?”
“Not yet,” he answered. “I’m still trying.” With that, he left the library.
Rowena closed her eyes and took a calming breath, then blew it out slowly. She began to speak, but still didn’t open her eyes.
“I was crazy to take this job. Maybe she’s right. Maybe I am inconsequential to all of this.” Rowena gave a melancholy chuckle as she opened her eyes and looked at Willow. “I wonder if it’s too late to hitch a ride with Faith.”
“Don’t say that,” Willow said. “I know this job means everything to you, and you are not inconsequential. You’re tired and you’re frustrated a-and things will get better. They will.”
Willow closed the distance between them and pulled Rowena into her arms. The watcher nuzzled into Willow’s neck and wrapped her arms around her. Soon, Rowena’s lips began to seek out the witch’s flesh, nibbling on her neck and earlobe.
“Ro?” Willow asked, pulling back slightly to try to see the watcher’s face.
Rowena’s lips met Willow’s in a passionate kiss as her hands began to cup Willow’s backside. As the kisses continued, Rowena maneuvered Willow to sit on the top of the empty table. She broke away long enough to start to undo the buttons on Willow’s shirt.
Gently, Willow took Rowena’s hands in hers.
“What are you doing?” Willow asked, concerned.
Rowena rested her forehead on Willow’s. “I need to forget everything, just for a little while.”
Willow took a steadying breath, then reached over and grabbed Rowena’s coat. She smiled as she tossed it over a video camera in the corner.
“Go lock the door,” she replied.
Rowena smiled and gave her another passionate kiss.
Sunnydale – Junkyard Trailer – Moments Later
Giles closed the door of the trailer as Faith leaned against a small cluttered workbench. He moved to a table opposite Faith and began to speak.
“Based on the pictures you gave me, I’m forced to assume that this world is far different from your own.”
“Um, yeah,” Faith answered quickly.
“Then I’ll begin where our timelines coincide,” Giles continued. He lit a candle and placed it down on the table in front of him. “You came to Sunnydale in the fall of 1998, after the slayer Kendra was killed. In April of 1999, we discovered that you were working with Mayor Wilkins in his quest for Ascension. On May 19th, you faced Buffy on the roof of your apartment building. Is all of that correct?”
“Then from this point our worlds differ. On…the night in question, this world’s version of you killed Buffy. The following day, the Mayor ascended as the demon Olvikan.”
“Wait,” Faith interrupted, stepping away from the workbench. “Is Richard Wilkins still alive?”
“Yes,” Giles answered, as a look of concern crept along his face. “Within hours, he destroyed Sunnydale and then moved down the state. He’s currently hiding in Sacramento with…you.”
Faith took a moment to absorb this information. “What about the military? They have helicopters with guns…and…and nuclear missiles. They wouldn’t just let a giant snake destroy towns along the California coast.”
Giles took a deep breath. “We believe that, at present, we are the only ones who know of his Ascension. All damage to the town was attributed to a sudden flood of vampires. The outside world believes there’s been some type of nuclear disaster here – it keeps the general public away.”
Faith leaned back against the workbench as Giles went on. “The military was only briefly involved, after the Mayor’s vampires discovered an army research facility below the UC Sunnydale campus. The leader of the facility was found to be conducting experiments on demon prisoners. The military believed this to be the explanation for the sudden vampire activity. They closed down all operations and left Sunnydale for dead.”
Faith placed her hands to her temples and closed her eyes. “Talk about your what-ifs,” she said to herself. She took a moment and then asked, “You said he’s in Sacramento. Why?”
Giles crossed his arms. “We don’t know. I was hoping you would be able to provide some insight.”
“He never told me all his plans,” Faith said simply. “All I knew was what was supposed to go down on Graduation Day.”
“What did happen? In your timeline, that is?”
“I never did get all the details. I didn’t want to know, to tell you the truth,” Faith replied. Giles looked on intently and she continued, “I was unconscious at the time…but…I do know that, whatever Buffy did, it involved blowing up the high school. Wilkins was inside at the time.”
Giles mulled this over for a moment.
“What about strategy? Based on your prior relationship, what can you tell me about the Mayor’s tendencies? Does he have any discernible weaknesses? And if so, how can they be exploited?”
Faith stood up once more. “Whoa, hold on there, G. It’s been a long time. I need…just give me some time to think about all this.” She moved to the door. “I’ll get back to you.”
“Faith,” Giles called as she reached the door. “I trust I don’t have to remind you that time is of the essence.”
She nodded and walked out the door.
Sunnydale – Junkyard Entrance – Moments Later
The junkyard that only minutes earlier had been the sight of a large battle was now serenely quiet. Faith walked to the entrance and retrieved her bag from where she had dropped it next to the dilapidated front gate. She quickly pulled out her open pack of Parliaments and lit a cigarette.
Faith sat down, leaning her back against the gate, and looked up to the sky. She took a long drag of the cigarette and closed her eyes.
V.O., Mayor Wilkins: “Faith? What are you doing here? I thought you’d be home by now…”
Flashback – Sunnydale – Mayor Wilkins’s Office – April 1999
Faith stood in the doorway of Mayor Wilkins’s office. She smiled cautiously and stepped forward. “Yeah, I was just on my way out…”
“…but?” He asked, leaning forward in his chair. Then he stood up. “Here, have a seat.” He walked over and guided the slayer into a large, comfortable chair opposite his desk. He stood beside her chair giving her a look of full and undivided attention. “Are you having trouble with the assignment I gave you? I know it may seem dull, but it’s crucial to my plans after the Ascension.”
“No, that’s fine. I’m almost done actually,” she responded uncomfortably. “I…I’m a little unsure about the plan. You said you were going to turn into this badass demon…”
“Language, Faith,” he scolded.
“Sorry,” she replied nervously. “So you turn into this demon thing and then what? I mean, what good is being a demon…” She paused. “How can we…what will you do?”
The mayor chuckled. “There is nothing to worry about, Faith. I’ve had a hundred years to think of plenty of useful things to do once I’ve ascended.”
“But what about plans? I mean, what happens after Graduation, after…”
He cut her off once more. “I will let you know, in time. Right now, I just want to concentrate on the Ascension. But trust me, there’s nothing to worry about…”
Sunnydale – Junkyard Gate – Resume
V.O: Mayor Wilkins: “I’ve taken care of everything.”
Faith snuffed out the remainder of her cigarette and opened her bag once more. After a few moments of rummaging, she retrieved her cell phone from the bottom of the bag and turned it on. The phone quickly beeped twice and displayed the message, “New Voicemail.”
Faith stared at the screen for several seconds before pressing the call button and placing the phone to her ear. The phone rang three times before the operator’s voice connected, “The number you have dialed is not in service. Please check the number and dial again.”
Faith dropped the phone into her bag and put her hands to her head with a deep sigh.
Sunnydale – Barracks – The Next Morning
Faith stood in the doorway of the crowded barracks room. A majority of the cots were now occupied by those injured during the fight. She scanned the room until she spotted Robin, who was sitting in a small folding chair in the corner of the room next to one of the injured.
Faith’s face fell as she saw him lean forward and kiss the injured girl’s forehead. He then sat back and placed his hand on hers. Faith squinted and soon realized that the hand belonged to Cordelia. She glanced between the two several times, pain visible on her face.
“Faith?” Willow called from behind her. “Are you okay?”
The slayer turned quickly. “I…yeah, I’m fine.”
Willow stepped forward and glanced in the direction Faith had been looking. She spotted Cordelia and spoke. “Don’t worry, she’s going to be fine, thanks to you.”
Faith looked back at Robin. “How long have they been together?”
“Robin and Cordy?” Willow scratched her head, “Um, I think almost three years now.” Willow, sensing the awkwardness of the conversation, said, “If you’re looking for Giles, I saw him heading for the garage. He asked me to tell everyone to meet him there in ten minutes.”
“Okay, thanks,” Faith said. She took one last look at Robin and Cordelia before turning to leave.
Sunnydale – Garage – Ten Minutes Later
Giles looked up as Willow, Oz and Robin entered the garage. Robin closed the door, and the trio moved towards a table in the center of the room where Giles was unrolling a large sheet of paper. Xander stood next to him on the left, and Faith leaned against the back wall, seemingly lost in thought.
“These are the construction blueprints for the mansion in Sacramento,” Giles said. “I secured them early this morning.”
“Are you sure these are authentic?” Xander asked.
“My contact took great personal risk to bring us this information. I’m sure it’s accurate,” Giles replied.
“Besides,” Willow added, “this is our only shot. It has to be right.”
Giles nodded and continued. “I’ve studied the plans extensively, and I believe that the mansion is accessible to a small team. While the grounds are surrounded by a ten-foot wall, the perimeter is patrolled only once every hour, or so I’m told.” He traced the outline with his finger. “The only overt access appears to be the front gate, and that will be too well guarded. There is, however, a gap in the camera network near the back of the estate, where we should be able to get a team over the wall without being discovered.” He paused and pointed to the exact location on the blueprints. “Now, Faith has informed me that, in her timeline, the Mayor was killed in an explosion. I propose something similar.”
“How large of an explosion are we talking?” Xander interrupted.
“Large enough to destroy the building,” the watcher replied. “Do we have enough materials?”
“I think so.” Xander nodded. “I’ll get a team on gathering supplies. I’m sure I can cook something up, but we’re going to have to get the stuff inside if we want to blow the whole thing.”
“I think Amy and I may be able to enhance the explosion,” Willow added. “Maybe even find a way to trigger it magically.”
Giles nodded his approval.
“Okay, say we get over the wall, how do we get inside the building?” Oz asked, looking at the plans. “It looks like they have cameras at every entrance.”
“This is where it gets complicated,” Giles answered. “We need to find a way to disable the security first, so that our team can get in.”
“That’s simple,” Robin answered, looking over to Faith. “We have the ultimate double agent. Faith should be able to walk right into the place from the front gate. She gets in, makes her way to the security room… here.” He pointed to a spot on the map. “And messes with their system. By the time they realize we’re in, we should be in place to plant the explosives.”
“I concur,” Giles said, nodding at Robin. “Xander, start gathering what materials you need. Robin, put together a team for infiltration. And Willow, talk to Amy and see what you can do. Oz, you’re on weapons. The team will need to be well armed in case they’re discovered.” He looked up from the plans. “Let’s get to work.”
The group stepped back from the table and made for the door. Xander had stepped halfway out when Faith called out from behind them.
“It’s not going to work.”
Xander stopped, causing a bottleneck at the door. “What?”
Faith looked up, still leaning against the back wall. “The plan isn’t going to work.”
“Why not?” Willow asked skeptically.
“Because…” Faith continued, stepping forward, “…(A) It took you all of five minutes to think of it. (B) Those blueprints you got were planted. And (C) they know I’m here.” The group stared at her blankly, and she went on. “They only sent about thirty vampires.”
“That was plenty,” Xander countered. “We barely fought them all off.”
“And yet you’re all still alive. If the Mayor wanted you dead, he would have sent a hundred vampires to make sure the job got done. I know, because that’s what I would have done,” she replied, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“But how can you be sure the Mayor knows you’re here?” Oz asked.
“Because I was recognized right after I got here,” she replied, getting frustrated. “Just before Willow introduced my face to that wall, I was fighting a group of vampires. In the middle of the battle, one of them stopped when he realized who I was. You attacked me, and I never got a chance to stake him. Then, not a day later, thirty vampires show up on your doorstep. You can’t tell me that’s a coincidence.”
No one answered, so Faith went on. “My guess is that the vamp got back to Wilkins. Then he sent his troops to see if it was true. Enough to look like he was attacking for real, but not enough to take down a slayer. None of them made it back, so he’s got his answer. And even if some of them did, I’m sure he sent, well, me to observe what happened.”
“But how do you know the plans are a fake?” Oz asked.
She walked over to the table where Giles had laid out the plans and examined them.
“Back when I was still working with Wilkins, he asked me to design a security system. Not the technical stuff, of course, but just a general layout. And this is nothing like my design. My gym locker has more security than this place.” She examined the plans. “No, these were made to get me inside there and nothing more.”
“You designed a security system for the Mayor?!” Giles fumed. “When I asked you last night if you knew of his plans, you said you didn’t.”
“I don’t know what he’s planning,” she responded calmly. “And you never said anything about a mansion. You only said he was in Sacramento. That could have meant the sewers, for all I knew.”
“But why?” Giles asked, his tone a bit calmer. “Why make the fake plans? Why go to all that trouble?”
Faith looked up at the watcher. They locked eyes, and she said, “If you suddenly found out that another Buffy was captured by the enemy, what would you do? You’d be pretty damn curious, wouldn’t you?”
“So then, what do we do?” Robin asked from the far side of the room. “How do we get in?”
Faith glanced back down at the plans. “I walk right in the front door.”
End of Act Two