Elijah Wood as Jeff Lindquist, Lacey Chambert as Skye Talisker, Helen Shaver as Becca Giles, Steffani Brass as Shannon, Robert Picardo as Dr. Miller, Brad Dourif as Brell, Alicia Silverstone as Heli and Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Giles’s House – Same Time
Becca began to whimper as the two demons closed in around her, and she shielded Elizabeth’s head with her shoulder. As the creatures crept closer, they entered the large kitchen and Becca closed her eyes. But the sound of all the drawers and cabinet doors opening made her eyes shoot open again.
She looked to see several items – pots, pans, dishes – all hovering in mid air. The demons stopped their approach for a moment, obviously confused by what they were seeing.
As if on cue, the floating objects all flew at once in the direction of the demons and forced them to try to knock the kitchen items away. Unable to move around the creatures, Becca stayed still and continued to shield Elizabeth.
Next Becca heard the unmistakable sound of metal and looked to see every one of her utensils now hanging in the air. Before the demons could react, forks and knives flew through the kitchen and embedded into their eyes, throats and hearts. The demon blocking the door stumbled slightly, and Becca took the opening to work past him. She ran out of the house as fast as her feet could carry her.
Becca’s Car – Seconds Later
Becca quickly opened the door of her parked car. She climbed into the back seat with Elizabeth and locked the doors. She buckled the baby into her car seat before climbing over to the driver’s seat. As she turned the ignition, another winged demon jumped on the hood. He reared back his arm, but Becca threw the car in reverse, knocking him to the ground. As he rose, she slammed the car back into drive and turned sharply, clipping the demon with her front fender and knocking him to the ground again.
As she raced along in the car, Becca looked back to see the demon’s body lying motionless in the street. Elizabeth continued to cry from her car seat.
Airplane – Same Time
A passenger sat in his seat and looked outside to the wing of the plane. His eyes went wide.
“Something to drink, sir?” the flight attendant asked politely.
The man turned back to the attendant. “There’s a gremlin on the wing of this plane!”
The flight attendant smiled. “Like I haven’t heard that before. Now, I have coffee, tea –”
“Oh my god!” the passenger behind the man said, as she too pointed out the window. “Look!”
The flight attendant leaned over the man, and her jaw dropped as another attendant came over to see the commotion.
On the wing of the plane sat a demon, holding on by his large claws and almost smiling at them.
“Get the captain! Now!” she ordered the other woman.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Same Time
Buffy and Rowena were standing at the lobby windows watching the demons trying to re-enter the building. A green mystical barrier blocked their passage.
“I think it’s safe to say that Willow’s back,” Buffy noted. “I’m guessing that loud thump on the roof was the chopper.”
“Thank God,” Rowena breathed.
Buffy turned to Rowena. “I thought Willow did that super-protecto spell on the site after the Skye thing?” she said.
“She did,” Rowena said, biting her lip nervously.
“Then how did they get in in the first place?”
“Good question,” Rowena said. “Her spell extended to the basement, and the only demon allowed beyond that was Skye.”
“So then something really strong must have broken Will’s spell,” Buffy said. She thought for a moment. “Or someone.”
“Wagner!” Rowena concluded. “She cast that glamour on Skye, and that took a big hunk of mojo.”
Buffy chuckled. “You’re even starting to talk like Will.”
Rowena rolled her eyes. Both women turned to the door as Giles ran down the stairs.
“Is everyone all right?” he asked.
“A little banged up,” Rowena said, indicating her ankle.
“So far, the building took the worst of it,” Buffy said. “Everyone okay? What happened? Did it work?”
“Well, I think our pilot mumbled something about going on strike if the witch insists on doing his job,” Giles said. “Vi’s bringing Willow to the infirmary. She expended a considerable amount of energy repulsing the demons from the building and knocked herself out. Andrew and Jeff are quite shaken up, as well.”
Rowena started to limp away in the direction of the infirmary.
“Ro and I think that Wagner’s the one who broke the original spell,” Buffy informed.
Giles thought for a moment. “That makes sense,” he said and sighed.
Buffy sighed in agreement. “I hate it when they’ve got a bigger gun than we do.”
“Don’t be so sure of that,” Giles replied. “We just need to get our gun reloaded, you might say.”
Watchers Council – Infirmary – Later
Dr. Miller checked Willow’s pulse as Rowena limped into the room. He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye as she approached the gurney.
“You should let the nurse bind up that ankle,” he said.
“In a minute,” she said absently, as she brushed Willow’s hair away from her face. “Will she wake up soon?”
“I think she’s coming around now,” he replied, and indeed the witch seemed to be stirring. “I gave her an injection of that multi-vitamin and herbal mixture that she and Althenea came up with as a magical energy boost. It seems to be working.”
Rowena nodded and simply stared at Willow, and then, as if she had willed it, Willow opened her green eyes and blinked at her lover. “Hey,” she whispered, her voice hoarse.
“Hey yourself,” Rowena said, a tear rolling down her face. “You know I hate it when you do this?”
“I know,” Willow said, and gave a little embarrassed grin.
The doctor cleared his throat. “Well, Ms. Rosenberg, I pronounce you cured through the miracle of modern witchcraft. You can leave when you’re ready.” He began to exit the room and added, “I’ll send the nurse in to tend to that ankle, Rowena.”
“Thanks,” Rowena answered, as she helped Willow to sit up.
“Ankle?” the witch said worriedly.
“I had a run-in with an evil bookcase during the earthquake,” she explained. “Just a sprain…maybe a little necking will fix me up?” She tried to give Willow a sexy leer, which didn’t quite succeed.
Willow rolled her eyes and shook her head, as the nurse came in carrying an Ace bandage.
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Later
Giles banged his hand down on the video conference controls in frustration. The rest of the command crew sitting around the table grinned slightly in amusement.
“How do you get this infernal thing to make a simple call?” he fumed.
Buffy smiled widely. “It’s good to know that some things stay the same,” she said. She began to work the controls for him.
Rowena and Willow arrived, the former leaning on the latter for support for her injured ankle.
“Ah, Willow,” Giles said. “Excellent…we’re trying to contact London, if Buffy can manage to slay the evil video conference unit.”
“Just press the speed dial,” Willow said, and leaned over to hit a button. “I’ve got all the branches programmed in.” The speaker phone came alive, and the sound of a long string of tones filled the room. After a moment, the video screen at the head of the table cleared and Robson appeared.
“Oh thank God!” the Brit said. “Are you all well?”
“Yes,” Giles said, raising his voice a little. “And you?”
Willow leaned over and whispered, “You don’t need to shout, Giles. They can hear you.”
“Her Majesty is said to be a bit shaken,” Robson said dryly. “But we at the Council are all intact.”
The gang watched a secretary approach Robson and hand him a sheet of paper. “Oh dear,” he said. “I’ve had a report that several of our watchers are either dead or on the way to the hospital.”
Giles thought for a moment. “Willow, can you get Mr. Lee on the line?”
Willow nodded and set to work. Meanwhile on the screen, another disheveled man approached Robson, whose eyes widened in surprise. “Mr. Faulkner! Nice of you to come out of your retirement to lend your assistance.”
The man gave a sarcastic snort. “I was attacked,” he growled.
“Yes, well, the entire world is being attacked,” Giles said.
Faulkner turned toward the video feed. “You don’t understand, Rupert,” he said. “I was singled out. Demons on my street converged on my house, and none of my neighbors.”
Worry began to spread over Giles’s face.
“Dear lord,” Robson said. “How did you get away?”
“Old tunnel access to the Tube, left over from the Blitz,” Faulkner said. “We Old Guard watchers knew a trick or two in our day, not like you youngsters! Ha!”
A medic approached Faulkner and led him away for treatment.
“They’re attacking watchers at home,” Giles muttered to no one in particular. He picked up his cell phone.
“Giles,” Willow said, “I’ve got Hong Kong.”
Giles turned toward the other screen as he put the phone to his ear.
“Mr. Lee?” Willow asked, unable to see through the smoke and dust filling in the feed.
A coughing figure approached. “Ms. Rosenberg!” she said. “It’s Vicky Wong, Mr. Lee’s assistant. We’ve been overrun…we need help!”
A dark shape loomed over Ms. Wong, and suddenly the screen went dark.
“Oh god,” Buffy whispered.
“Willow,” Giles asked. “Did the Hong Kong branch have a protection spell on it, like we did and London does?”
Willow’s shocked gaze finally left the blank screen and she turned toward Giles.
“Uh, no,” she said. “The Hong Kong coven wasn’t strong enough, and I haven’t had time to make the trip over there, so no, no protection.”
“What’s going on?” Faith asked.
“They’re targeting watchers first,” Giles said, his face growing more panicked. “Come on, Becca. Answer, damn it!” The group watched anxiously. “No answer,” he said, closing the phone. Giles stood up swiftly, but before he could take a step to leave, Faith jumped up from her seat and put a hand on his shoulder.
“You stay. I’m on it,” she said, making her way to the door.
Buffy was already on another phone in the room and hung up. “Faith!” she yelled, making her stop. “No answer on Dawn’s cell. What’s Norman’s number?”
“404-555-6374,” Faith told her.
Buffy nodded and waved for Faith to go. “I’ll call you when I reach them,” she told the dark-haired slayer, who nodded. Buffy waited a moment with the phone pressed to her ear. “C’mon, somebody answer.”
Georgia – Hansen Home – Moments Later
The sound of a ringing phone stopped as the door to the basement opened slightly with a creaking noise. Shannon popped her head out, taking a quick look around. Not seeing anything in the immediate area, she pushed the door open a little wider.
“Stay here,” she whispered to Norman and his family, as they huddled on the steps together. Shannon stepped out into the kitchen and slowly turned the corner to the living room.
Furniture was overturned, a picture window was smashed open and books and papers were scattered throughout the room. She moved further inside to see Dawn’s feet sticking out from the end of the overturned sofa. She rounded the corner of the couch to see what appeared to be a large stinger sticking out of Dawn’s back and the watcher’s body motionless on the floor. Without delay, Shannon rushed over to her watcher’s side.
“Oh god,” Shannon cried.
Cleveland Street – Outside Council HQ – Same Time
A demon approached Wagner, who stood looking at the Council building.
“We’ve tried to get inside, but no luck,” he told her. “The protection spell fell for only a few minutes, and we haven’t been able to get back inside. Your spell didn’t work.”
“It did work. Your teams just didn’t move quickly enough,” Wagner chastised. “No, this is a new spell, and it’s got Ms. Rosenberg’s signature all over it.” She gave a sigh. “Well, if we can’t get in, let’s bring them out, shall we?” she asked, with a slight gleam in her eye.
Becca’s Car – Same Time
Becca raced down the street, but as she rounded a corner, she hit a bottleneck of traffic and skidded to a stop.
“Damn it!” she swore. She looked over and could see the Council building a few blocks away. She looked around for a place to pull off. Not finding one, she backed up slightly and took the car up over the curb to the sidewalk, putting it in park.
“Great,” she sighed as she watched a policeman start to walk toward her from about a block away. “Come on, Sweetie,” she said, as she unbuckled herself and got out of the car. She leaned into the back and removed Elizabeth from her car seat, picking her up.
“Hey lady!” the cop shouted. “You can’t park –”
Becca looked back when he didn’t finish the sentence and instead heard plate glass breaking.
A demon had tossed the cop through a nearby store window and begun to dart down the sidewalk, sending people running out of his path in horror. Instead of running, Becca jumped into the car’s back seat.
The demon pulled the open door from its hinges and reached inside. Becca tossed Elizabeth as carefully as possible over to the driver’s side as the demon tried to grab Becca’s arm. He managed to get a grip on her, but Becca turned and bit down on the protruding claw as hard as she could, making the demon howl and let go.
The demon kicked the back end of the car, making it spin ninety degrees. When it stopped, the hood was facing the demon. Becca pulled Elizabeth back to her as the demon hopped on top of the hood and used his fist to break the windshield. Becca shielded Elizabeth as tiny shards of glass landed in the backseat.
As the demon tried to work his way into the front seat, Becca picked up Elizabeth and ran out to the street.
Georgia – Hansen Home – Same Time
Shannon put a hand over her mouth and began to tear up for a brief moment, but then her face changed to look angry.
“Come out and fight, you bastards!” she yelled, running toward the back of the house.
Norman and his family came out from their hiding spot to see Dawn lying on the ground. Joelle shielded Norman’s eyes as Shannon continued to hit each room of the house in search of the demons.
Suddenly, Dawn opened her eyes and tried to look over her shoulder at the protrusion.
“Oh my Lord,” Joelle said in amazement.
Dawn reached back and pulled out the stinger, then moved to a sitting position and unbuttoned her shirt. “Shannon,” she called out. “They’re gone.”
Shannon ran back into the room and watched in disbelief as the hole in Dawn’s back miraculously closed. The watcher reached into her pocket and opened her cell phone. She hit a few buttons and waited a moment.
“Hey sis,” Dawn said. “Just thought you should know, Alex didn’t lie about the immortal thing.”
Giles House – Same Time
Faith pulled her motorcycle to a stop at the edge of the driveway and climbed off the bike. She pulled the sword from the scabbard on her back and walked carefully over to a demon that lay on the ground, motionless. She gave him a slight kick and got no response. She raised her sword above her head and stabbed the creature, but he still refused to move. Pulling the sword back and making sure she had a strong hold she took to the steps of the porch. Using her sword tip, she pushed the front door open wider.
“Becca, it’s Faith,” she called out as she entered.
Getting no response, she slowly walked inside, continually moving her head and looking in various directions. She made her way to the living room and then around the corner to the kitchen, where she saw two winged demons lying dead with various kitchen items embedded into them.
“Becca?” Faith called out again. “I’m on my way upstairs, so if you’re armed, don’t shoot.”
Cleveland Street – Near Council HQ – Minutes Later
Becca hurried up the sidewalk with Elizabeth as fast as she could, passing more destroyed store windows and entrances. As the creature began to close in on her, a group of on-lookers watched, but did nothing to intervene. Becca picked up a shard of plate glass from the sidewalk to arm herself and kept walking.
A man on the same side of the street as Becca stepped cautiously outside his building to see the commotion, and Becca ran toward him.
“Take her, please,” Becca said, trying to hand Elizabeth over to him. Seeing the demon approaching, he turned around swiftly and went inside, locking the solid steel door behind him.
“Please!” Becca pleaded again, trying the door and failing.
She turned to see the demon bearing down on them. With no option left, she put Elizabeth next to the door and tightened her grip on the shard, to the point that her own hand was bleeding. Becca squared her shoulders, a look of intense anger crossing her face.
With a roar that matched the demon’s in ferocity, Becca charged ahead. She bounced twice like a triple jumper and took one final, desperate leap at the demon.
Giles’s House – Same Time
Faith made her way down the stairs and began to dial her cell phone as she walked toward the garage. She opened the door quickly and then flipped on the light to find it vacant.
“Did you find them?” was the first question Giles could be heard asking from the other side of the line.
“They’re not here,” Faith answered. “Where was Becca’s car?”
For a moment there was silence.
“Uh, i-in the driveway,” he replied.
“She must have made it out then,” Faith explained. “I’ve got a dead demon in the driveway with a busted skull, two dead demons in the kitchen who look like pin cushions and her car isn’t here – not in the garage or the driveway. She’s probably on her way to the Council, so I’m going to ride back and look for her as I go.”
Cleveland Street – Near Council HQ – Same Time
Becca tackled the demon to the ground with a feral scream. She raised the shard and drove it into his eye. The demon, however, still managed to bat her away, sending her rolling toward the building. He got to his feet and pulled the shard from his bleeding eye. Becca moved on her palms and feet toward the building until her back was pressed against the brick.
He reared his arm back to strike her, and she closed her eyes. When the strike didn’t come, she opened one eye to see the demon still standing in front of her, now with a sword sticking through his chest. He swayed for a moment before falling to his side, revealing Kennedy behind him.
“Looks like you could use a hand,” the slayer said with a slight grin, as she extended her arm to Becca.
Becca smiled and then started to cry. The outburst didn’t last long, however, and she said, “Oh God, Liz! I put her down and…” She looked back toward the street.
She watched as Reteesk and Brell walked toward them, with Brell carrying Elizabeth in his arms. The baby, seemingly unscathed, reached up to try to play with his horns as they approached. Kennedy smiled.
“I saw what you did,” she told Becca. She reached over and took Reteesk’s ascot, then began to tie it around Becca’s bleeding hand. “That was freakin’ amazin’.” Becca said nothing. Instead, she just shook as her adrenaline rush began to fade. “Let’s get you safe,” Kennedy said, collecting the woman in her arms. The two of them walked toward the Council.
Paris, France – Musée du Louvre – Same Time
Shards from the glass of the museum’s entrance littered the floor. A slender feminine figure, dressed in dark jeans and a leather jacket and carrying a worn backpack, looked up. Suddenly, the remainder of the glass blew inward, a score of demons crashing through. The people within huddling in fear screamed, but the woman simply watched as the demons landed. One of them growled as he approached.
“Slayer!” he hissed.
Mia reached in her backpack and pulled out a short, double-bladed dagger. “I just can’t seem to get away from this, can I?” she asked.
As the demon advanced, Mia delivered a kick to his face, knocking him backward and off his feet.
Köln, Germany – Kölnerdom – Same Time
A steady drizzle wet the square in front of the famous Cologne Cathedral. Glass shards from the broken stained glass littered the space; people were carefully walking around the fallen debris. That was when a hoard of demons marched into the square in phalanx formation and started to mow down the crowd.
London, England – Same Time
The smoke was so thick in the city that it looked more like night than early evening. The red glow of fires illuminated the city skyline.
As demons advanced, police constables directed frightened people away from the damaged edifice of St. Paul’s. One mounted officer positioned himself and his horse between the crowd and the demons, the frightened mare rearing up as the winged menace approached. With an unearthly cry, one of the demons flew up and tackled the officer in mid-air, bringing both him and his horse down with a sickening crunch. The crowd panicked and tried to run.
Paris, France – Notre Dame Cathedral – Same Time
Tourists screamed and ran as laughing winged demons perched on the towering spires of the ancient church. The beasts gleefully ripped the historic gargoyles from the granite and threw them into the chaotic square below.
New York City, USA – Same Time
Dozens of demons flew above the skyscrapers making their descent into various areas of the population.
New York City, USA – St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Same Time
Dozens of demons reached the entrance to St. Patrick’s. Two of them tore the old doors open, and they all rushed inside.
The people seeking sanctuary inside the church began to scream and run from the rushing demons. One of them, a burly man dressed in a ConEd work shirt, directed some of the crowd out the side entrance. A demon approached and growled in the man’s face.
“Hey, buddy,” the man said with typical New York bravado, “I don’t know where the hell you came from, but why don’t you creeps get outta my town?”
The demon paused for a moment, as if contemplating the man’s words, and then shook its head and, with a swipe of its talons, nearly took the man’s head off, tossing him aside like a rag doll.
Jerusalem, Israel – Dome of the Rock – Same Time
Demons swarmed the golden dome and began to tear off large chunks. Military police armed with heavy sub-machine guns took aim and began picking off the monsters one by one. As their efforts started to be effective, another contingent of demons arrived and plowed into the group of soldiers, causing red to fly into the air.
Hollywood, California – City Street – Same Time
Pedestrians ran in various directions as nearby cars crashed into each other, the drivers watching the demons flying overhead and not the road.
Above the commotion, two flying demons collided, and one pushed the other, as if annoyed. The other pushed back. The onlookers saw the demons begin to wrestle in mid-air until one grabbed the other and sent him spinning toward the Hollywood sign, destroying it with a massive crash.
Mecca, Saudi Arabia – The Kaaba – Same Time
The pilgrims in the square tried to protect Islam’s most holy shrine, but unarmed and outnumbered, they had little effect on the horde. To amuse themselves, demons picked up hapless victims, flew high in the air and then let them go, trying to score a bullseye by hitting the roof of the cube. The roof and the square around the shrine were littered with bodies.
Agra, India – Taj Mahal – Same Time
Security guards at the architectural masterpiece of the Taj Mahal ran in various directions as hunch-backed demons gave chase, devouring whoever they could reach.
Paris, France – Musée du Louvre – Same Time
With a final thrust, Mia buried her dagger into the chest of a demon. Several other dead demons lay around her. Mia sported a cut on her cheek, but otherwise her only other damage was to her clothing. With the rest of the demons disappearing into the museum and the crowd either dead or fleeing, she was alone in the vast chamber.
Panting heavily, she found her trampled backpack and pulled her phone from it. Dialing, she waited. “Come on, Rowena…answer the damn phone!”
Watchers Council – Rowena’s Office – Day
Rowena sat still behind her desk. Her eyes were closed tight, and her fingers were pinching the bridge of her nose.
“Ms. Allister,” Jackson called from the doorway, a pad of paper in one hand. “You have several lines waiting.”
Rowena opened her eyes slowly and reached for a pen. “Run ’em down,” she said as she got ready to write.
“Uh,” Jackson began as he looked at his pad before he rattled off numbers and names. “Line one – Prime Minister Blair, Line two – Governor Schwarzenegger, Line three – Senator Kennedy, Line four – Prime Minister Harper, Line five – Governor Granholm, Line six – President Chirac, Line seven – Senator McCain, Line eight – Prime Minister Howard, Line nine – Senator Clinton and Line ten – the President.”
“The United States, ma’am,” he answered.
Rowena looked across the desk to Buffy.
“All the way on line ten, eh?” Rowena said with a grin. “He must have assumed this was just another hurricane,” she muttered, before she turned back to the watcher at the door. “Thanks Jackson. I’ll be with everyone else after I’ve completed these, so don’t go too far away.” He gave her a nod as he left, and she turned back to Buffy. “Guess I should take them in order of importance, eh?”
Buffy shrugged. “I tried earlier,” she replied.
Rowena picked up the phone and put it to her ear. She then appeared to press a line.
“Hello Governor Schwarzenegger,” she said, and then began to grin. “Just kidding,” she told Buffy. “Trying to lighten the dreadful mood.” She hit the last button on the phone. “Hello, Mr. President. This is Rowena Allister.” She moved the phone a few inches away as a voice on the other end was yelling something unintelligible. “No sir, they’re not terrorists,” she ended in a Texas accent. “They’re demons…Yes, we tried to call before the attack, sir…”
Rowena held the phone away from her ear for a while and rolled her eyes to Buffy.
“I’ll get a few of the other lines,” Buffy whispered, rising from her chair.
Watchers Council – Same Time
Kennedy approached the building to see it tilted on its side and mystically glowing. She squeezed through the front door and announced, “Brell, you and your companions may enter.”
Becca handed Elizabeth to Kennedy, who turned to see Giles rushing over.
“This belongs to you,” Kennedy said, holding the baby with outstretched arms.
Giles collected Elizabeth and gave her a long kiss on the temple, before leaning over and kissing Kennedy on the cheek.
“Thank you,” he said sincerely.
Kennedy gave an embarrassed shrug and turned to help Becca and the others through the opening.
As Brell and the others came inside, Giles set Elizabeth down for a moment and pulled Becca into a tight embrace. “I’m so sorry,” he muttered.
“We’re okay,” she told him. “That’s all that matters.”
“They were after watchers,” Giles tried to explain. “I tried to call as soon as I learned the news, but there was no answer.”
“But if that’s the case, why were they chasing me?” Becca asked. “I’m not a watcher.”
Giles looked perplexed for a moment, then glanced at Kennedy who was now holding Elizabeth in her arms and tickling the baby’s belly. Giles looked back to Becca again and simply shrugged. “We’ll figure it out later. How did you escape?” he asked.
“Patrick and his wife,” Becca answered. “It’s a good thing Willow didn’t kick our ghosts out of the house.”
Giles grinned in relief. “Well, for now, let’s go see Dr. Miller and get that hand bandaged properly,” he said as he began to lead her away.
Cleveland Street – Same Time
Faith continued to weave her motorcycle between the stopped cars clogging the road. She heard screams and then looked ahead to see a huge demon crushing a car hood directly in front of her, causing people to scatter.
She slammed on her brakes, sending the bike into a skid. As she rolled to a stop, her motorcycle continued on until it ended up at the foot of the demon.
He picked up his enormous foot and crushed it.
“That’s it!” Faith said, getting to her feet. “No more expensive cycles. I can’t keep a nice one for more than a year.”
The demon looked like he was going to reach for someone in the car next to the crushed bike, but Faith yelled over.
“Hey ass-wipe!” she shouted. The demon looked over at her. “Yeah, you,” she continued. “You owe me twenty grand for that bike.”
“Slayer,” the demon mumbled.
“Oh, so you do understand me. Good…Now pay up!”
The demon began to charge, and Faith pulled her sword from its scabbard and hopped on top of the nearest car.
From the side of the street, a reporter and film crew were watching the events unfold.
“Are you getting this?” the reporter asked the cameraman, who gave him a thumbs up.
Cleveland Bar – Same Time
A crowd of people was watching the television report in awe.
“That woman’s crazy,” one man said in amazement.
“Looks like Stan found his next ex-wife,” another man joked beside him, making the entire group of patrons chuckle.
Cleveland Street – Same Time
The demon swung, but Faith sidestepped him and swung the sword, connecting with his neck. He wailed in pain and stumbled back for a moment. Not letting him regain his footing, she jumped from the car, kicking his chest in the process. They both tumbled to the ground, but Faith remained on top. She raised her sword and plunged it straight into his head, killing him.
The crowd outside broke into applause.
Cleveland Bar – Same Time
The crowd watching inside the bar began to cheer as well.
“Did you see that? Did you see that!” Stan asked the group excitedly.
Cleveland Street – Same Time
Faith put her sword back in its scabbard and turned to find someone so close that they bumped into each other.
“Derrick Motter, WJW Fox 8 Cleveland,” the reporter said, shoving a microphone in Faith’s face. “I couldn’t help but notice that creature called you a slayer. Are you one of the women featured in the C-SPAN report?”
“NOW you guys are interested?” Faith asked. “Where were you twenty-four hours ago when saying something mighta made a difference?” Faith rolled her eyes and pushed him away, but the reporter gave chase.
“What’s your name?” the reporter asked as he moved along with her.
“Faith,” she replied.
Watchers Council – Library – Same Time
“Hey guys?” Andrew called over from his spot in front of the monitor watching the Cleveland report. “Faith’s on TV.”
Willow and the others made their way over and began to grin as they watched.
“Turn it up,” Willow said.
Cleveland Street – Same Time
“How long have you been a slayer?” the reporter asked next. “Are there any special requirements? What kind of training do you have to do?” he asked, firing off questions in rapid succession.
Faith stopped moving and turned toward him.
“Look pal,” she said, poking a finger into his chest, “I don’t have time for this, but I’ll make you a deal. I’ll give you a world exclusive interview after I’m done, but only if there’s a world left. So, for now, let me get to work, okay?”
Cleveland Bar – Same Time
The bar crowd watching began to laugh at the dumbstruck expression on the reporter’s face.
“That’s tellin’ him, Sweetheart,” Stan said, as he laughed with the group.
Watchers Council – Rowena’s Office – Later that Day
Rowena sat with her phone still glued to her ear. “I understand, Mr. Governor, and we are working on it…I understand, I do, but –” Rowena gave a frustrated sign. “No offense, Mr. Governor, but we have larger problems than a destroyed Hollywood sign at the moment. I –” Rowena rolled her eyes and appeared to be literally biting her tongue. “I’ll make you a deal. If we survive the apocalypse, I’ll pay for a new damn sign myself – I’ll even have ‘land’ put back on the end of ‘Hollywood’ if you like. But for the moment, I have other calls to attend to. We’ll advise your office when we have further information.” With that, Rowena hung up the phone and took a deep breath.
Buffy gave a shrug from the other side of the desk where she sat listening. “An actor. What did you expect?”
“Yes, an actor, but he does have a valid point, no matter how misguided.”
“I think there’s more to this destruction. Yeah, large cities mean more human casualties, but it’s more than that. They want to break the human spirit. They want to destroy the icons we claim as a testament to our power.”
“To show how weak we really are,” Buffy agreed softly.
“And to make us give up the will to fight.”
The lights flickered for a moment, making them both look up at the fixtures before they burned bright again.
“You know,” Rowena said as she continued to still look upward, “humans have two basic defense mechanisms – fight or flight.”
“And?” Buffy asked.
“We need all the fighters of the world,” she answered.
“We’ve got armed services from every country in the world ready to go.”
“I’m not talking about military might,” Rowena replied. “Besides, if the governments did an air strike or dropped an A-bomb, they’d kill thousands, heck, hundreds of thousands of people. I’m talking about the Becca Gileses of the world that will stand up to a four hundredd pound Uleris demon, because that’s what’s inside her. That’s what we need: hand-to-hand fighters.”
“You want ordinary people in the fight?”
Rowena nodded. “I think that’s the only hope civilization has left.”
“But how do we turn everyday people into slayers overnight?” Buffy asked.
They both looked at each other for a moment, and at the same time said, “Willow.”
End of Act One