act 4



Fade In:
Downtown Cleveland – Resume

Gabrielle waded into the mass of demons, her sword flashing in the light, but quickly turning black from the spilled ichors. Demons screamed in pain as they were cut down with bullet-like speed.

A demon approached Gabrielle and, with a roar, leapt up in the air with the intent of tackling the archangel from above. With a lithe move, Gabrielle twisted out of the way and brought her sword around in a swinging arc, catching the demon in the chest and nearly cutting it in half. Without a second glance, she turned to face her next foe, her sword moving at a blur.

“She’s like…the ultimate slayer,” one of the girls whispered to Kennedy.

Gabrielle stopped only for a moment, long enough to turn and yell, “Go!” to Kennedy with a nod. “You’re needed at the Council.”

“Come on, girls,” Kennedy told the group. “I’m not gonna argue with her.” She motioned the team to follow her and the group broke into a run.

Gabrielle squared her shoulders and raised her sword, waiting to see who would try to take her on next.

Cut To:
Georgia – Atlanta Outskirts – Later that Day

Dawn shifted her messenger bag to sit more comfortably on her hip as Shannon walked slightly ahead of her, through the trees of a large county park. Dawn carried a handheld GPS device, and every few minutes she consulted it, checking their progress.

“This is the first time I’ve ever heard of caves in the middle of a city the size of Atlanta,” Shannon said.

“Well, having been raised on a Hellmouth, I can vouch that people only see what they want to see,” Dawn answered. “Sometimes people are drawn to mystical sites, like Stonehenge, and sometimes they’re repelled. I’m sure this park was built around the caves in an unconscious effort to keep the development out.”

“Are we there yet?” Shannon sighed.

Dawn shook her head and muttered, “Slayers.” She looked at the GPS and then pointed to the right. “A few more yards, that way.”

Shannon picked up the pace a bit as the land began to rise, and shortly they came to a small escarpment. Shannon began to pull at the kudzu, and in a few minutes, she had exposed a small opening.

“We’ve got a hobbit hole!” Shannon laughed.

Dawn rolled her eyes and motioned for Shannon to lead the way into the cave.

Cut To:
Cleveland Street – Same Time 

“Listen up people!” Kadin shouted at the small group of men and women who had taken up axes, fishing spears and crowbars. For shields, everyone held garbage can lids. 

“We need your help, but we also want to bring everyone home alive,” Kadin continued. “So everyone, listen closely. Getting through this is going to require teamwork.”

“Easy for you to say,” one man shouted, “You’re a slayer.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. I’m not a slayer, but I am a Van Helsing, and I’ve been doing this since I was old enough to read.”

“Van Helsing? You mean like the Drac –”

“Yes,” she said, cutting him off. “Now we’re going to march in formation, and for no reason are you to break the ranks. If you’ve got a yellow heart, leave now. If you want to save this world, come with me and line up – five people to a line.”

Kadin pointed and people began to form rows of five each. Once everyone was in place, she gave the order, “Forwrrrard MARCH!”

Cut To:
Sydney, Australia – Same Time 

Uriel and his troop of angels began to descend into the ruins of downtown Sydney. Upon looking up, the demons on the surface began to scatter in various directions, with each angel taking one creature for themselves. 

Cut To:
Georgia – Hidden Cavern – Moments Later

Light streamed in from various sinkholes in the escarpment above, providing enough light for Dawn and Shannon to navigate. A passage led off to their right, with another near the back of the cavern. Vines, dead leaves and the bleached bones of small animal remains filled the space. Shannon’s nose crinkled at the funky smell.

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Shannon said.

Dawn looked over at her. “What?” she asked.

“My spidey sense is kicking in big time,” she said. “I think we should…”

Before she could get Dawn away, the entrance was blocked by half a dozen vampires moving out of the shadows into the feeble light.

“…Die…You should just die,” one of them snarled, his fangs glittering with moisture.

Dawn pulled a stake from her bag, while Shannon grabbed hers from her waistband.

“I don’t think so, blood breath,” Shannon said, and charged for the vampire.

Dawn ducked to the floor as two of the creatures rushed her. She managed to trip one of them, and as she rolled to the side, she swung one hand over and plunged her stake into its chest. The other vamp nodded, impressed, and then grabbed her.

Shannon quickly dispatched another of the vampires before looking over and seeing Dawn in trouble. With a superhuman leap, she closed the distance between them and knocked the vampire away from her watcher. It stumbled into a patch of direct sunlight, and before it could move, it caught on fire and burst into dust.

“I can take care of myself,” she scolded her slayer. “Watch your own back.”

“Gee, some gratitude,” Shannon groused.

“Just pay attention!” Dawn said, and moved toward another vampire.

They quickly dispatched another two vampires, and just as it seemed they would win, another dozen appeared out of the same passage.

“Time for a strategic retreat,” Dawn said.

With a final plunge of her stake, Shannon killed another vampire, and then the two girls ran toward the passage at the rear of the cave.

Cut To:
University Hospital – Delivery Room – Same Time

Doctor Abraham, wearing a surgical gown with her face and hair covered, gently coaxed Becca.

“That’s it, sweetie,” she said. “You’re almost there.”

Becca panted heavily and Giles wiped her face. “Please,” she begged. “Just save her.”

Through his mask, Giles shushed his wife. “You’re both going to be all right.”

“No, just save her,” she yelled, and gave a mighty push despite her exhaustion.

Him,” Dr. Abraham announced, catching the remarkably tiny baby in her palms.

“A boy!” Becca said, falling back on the bed.

Giles looked worriedly at the doctor holding the small bundle of his son. The doctor passed the newborn to a nurse, who took him away.

“Where are you…?” he asked.

“Neo-natal ICU,” the doctor said. “They’ll take care of him…let’s get Becca situated, all right?”

Now that her work was done, Becca lay back on the bed, drained. Giles watched the doctor continue to work, his eyes full of worry and pain as he continued to stroke Becca’s hair. 

Cut To:
Orlando, Florida – Same Time

Tourists screamed as demons destroyed the track of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster moments before the fully loaded cars reached the spot. The old-fashioned train careened off the tracks, hurtling the riders into the simulated canyon hundreds of feet below.

In another area of the park, Jakob Hellmer led his small group of slayers down Main Street towards Cinderella’s Castle. The crowd running past them toward the only entrance to the park impeded their progress. The group watched helplessly as demons picked off victims one by one.

Cut To:
London, England – Airfield – Same Time

Reginald Giles was getting himself situated inside his fighter jet when he looked up to see his wife talking to one of the technicians and pointing. As they both looked over, Reginald waved her over to him and she climbed the stairs up to him.

“You were in such a rush,” she began, “you left without it.” She handed him a necklace with a gold cross. “Call me superstitious, but it always brought you home before.”

He smiled and he put it in his pocket, then gave her a kiss. “Be safe,” he told her. “And I’ll see you when this is all over.”

“You better,” she replied with a wag of her finger.

Cut To:
Cleveland Street – Same Time

Kennedy was leading her group back toward the Council when she saw a band of people coming the other way, with Kadin leading the pack. 

“This way, girls,” Kennedy motioned to her troops. As she came within a few feet of Kadin, she said, “Funny meeting you here.”

Kadin smiled. “You know me, always looking for a fight.”

“And with friends I see?” Kennedy added, motioning to the group. 

“Now, is she a slayer?” asked the same man as before.

“Yes she is,” Kadin replied. “And she’s my girlfriend,” she added proudly, giving Kennedy a kiss.

“Are all slayers lesbians?” someone asked innocently.

“About ten percent of us,” Kennedy replied. “Well, ten percent are out, at least,” she muttered.

Kadin just grinned. 

Cut To:
Paris, France – Same Time

Mia put her cell phone earpiece in and moved to stand by the pyramid of the museum’s entrance. She breathed a sigh of relief as the signal cleared and she finally got a connection.

Cut To:
Cleveland Street – Same Time

Kennedy looked surprised and reached into her pocket for her cell phone. “Hold up a second, girls!” she shouted to her team, as she pushed the button on the phone. She then held the phone to her ear.

“Yeah?” she said. 

Cut To:
Paris, France – Same Time

“Ken!” she said. “There’s big-time trouble here.”

Cut To:
Cleveland Street – Same Time

With a shocked expression on her face, Kennedy asked, “Mia? Where are you?” 

Cut To:
Paris, France – Same Time

“Paris,” Mia replied. “Demons are attacking all over the place. I don’t think they like the French. I tried to call Ro first, but no luck.”

Cut To:
Cleveland Street – Same Time

“It’s all over Mi, not just Paris,” Kennedy said. Kadin’s eyebrow went up at the use of the nickname and Kennedy just shrugged it off. “Are you safe? Can you get to the Council outpost there?”

Cut To:
Paris, France – Same Time

“What do you mean ‘it’s all over’?” Mia asked. “Another apocalypse?”

Cut To:
Cleveland Street – Same Time

“Yeah, go figure,” Kennedy replied. “Get to the Council if you can. I know you’re retired, but we need everyone on this.”

Cut To:
Paris, France – Same Time

Mia paused, her cell phone pressed to her ear. “Yeah, okay. Talk to you soon.” She snapped her phone closed. “Christ,” she swore. “Nice vacation.” She headed off toward the Ile de la Cite.

Cut To:
Cleveland Street – Same Time

“Mi?” Kadin asked as Kennedy hung up. 

“Yes, we broke up,” Kennedy told her. “But I don’t hate the woman…” Kadin said nothing and only looked at Kennedy. “We fight demons now and argue later – agreed?”

Kadin just began to smile. “How about we don’t argue at all?” she suggested.

“Even better.” Kennedy grinned.

Kennedy and Kadin then walked over to where the girls were watching a television report through a store window and noticed their shocked expressions. 

“Oh god,” Kennedy sighed. “What now?” she asked, annoyed.

One of the junior slayers turned her way. “I’m sorry, Ken, but…Faith’s dead.”

“What?” Kennedy asked. 

Cut To:
Georgia – Hidden Cavern – Minutes Later

Shannon led Dawn down a narrow passage. The walls were supported with old wooden beams that were crumbling in some places. The vampires trailed closely on their heels. One of them put on a burst of speed and snagged Dawn’s flying hair in his fingers, pulling her up short.

Dawn gave a shriek as she was pulled off her feet. Shannon turned and quickly dusted the vampire. Dawn scrambled to her feet and began to run. Shannon paused and looked at the other vampires closing on their position. She glanced around the passage and, with a swift kick, knocked one of the support beams. As the ceiling started to crumble down, she fled down the passage, following Dawn.

Vampires screamed as the ceiling crashed down on them. The two girls barely outraced the collapsing ceiling and, with a flying jump, emerged into a huge cavern. Boulders, rocks and other debris filled the passage behind them, blocking it off.

The two girls lay on the stony floor for a moment to catch their breath.

“What did you do?” Dawn asked, her breath coming in gasps.

“Saved our hides,” Shannon said sarcastically.

“How much you wanna bet there’s no other way out of here?” Dawn said.

“Look, just because that always happens in movies doesn’t mean we’re trapped,” Shannon argued. “Besides, it was either die now at the hands of those vamps, or die later. I chose to save our hides now. At least we’ve got a chance.”

Dawn sighed and said, “I guess you’re right.” She finally sat up and reached into her bag. “Let’s shed a little light on the situation and see how much trouble we’re in.”

She flicked on the switch of the portable lantern, and the powerful light filled the space to reveal the walls to be covered in the symbols.

“Oh, no,” Dawn sighed as she looked around. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“What’s the problem?” Shannon asked, obviously confused. “So it’s in another language? You know a zillion of them.”

“But not Hebrew,” Dawn replied with a groan.

Cut To:
Cleveland Street – Same Time

“I’m so sorry, Ken,” Kadin said sincerely. 

Kennedy wiped her tears away and cleared her throat. “Take your band east and kill as many of those bastards as you can.”

Kadin gave a light grin. “For Faith,” she said softly.

“For everyone,” Kennedy replied. 

Cut To:
University Hospital – Chapel – Sometime Later

Giles walked into the chapel and saw the large Crucifix of the hospital chapel, staring at it in silence.

“Hello?” he heard a voice call out. He turned to find the source. “I thought I’d find more people in here today, especially with everything going on.” The man was dressed in a minister’s collar as he approached and offered his hand. “Reverend Francis Mayer,” he said. “Most people around here just call me Reverend Frank.”

“Rupert Giles,” he said, taking his hand.

“Mind if I sit down, Rupert?” Rev. Frank asked.

“Not at all,” Giles replied. He sat down; motioning to the spot next to him.

“So what brings you by today? Praying for family here?” Rev. Frank asked.

Giles looked unsure of how to answer at first. “I’m not sure why I’m here, really. I-I’ve always considered myself a spiritual man, just not a religious one, but today…” He teared up. “I’m here because I got greedy…”


“I have a beautiful wife and an equally beautiful daughter. I love them both more than words can…” Giles’s voice broke, and he stopped talking for a moment. “When I found out my wife was having another child, I hoped for a son.” The reverend already wore a look of understanding, yet Giles went on. “Don’t get the wrong impression – I love my daughter; I wouldn’t trade her for anything. She just turned one, but…” Giles began to smile through the tears in his eyes. “She has this spirit, you know? It just shines through in everything she does but…I have my daughter.”

“So this time you wanted a son. That’s not unusual,” the reverend said, understanding.

Giles nodded. “But what I should have been praying for first was a healthy child…And right now he’s upstairs in NICU, here 11 weeks earlier than he should be, and I-I don’t know if he’ll survive to see tomorrow, let alone next month.” Giles hung his head and began to cry softly. The minister ran his hand back and forth over Giles’s shoulder. After a few moments, Giles wiped his cheeks and raised his head. “I’m sorry,” he replied, embarrassed.

“You’re not the first person to cry in this chapel, Rupert, and you won’t be the last. I can promise you that.” When Giles said nothing, the reverend asked, “Would you like to pray for him?”

“I’m sure there are many prayers being said today. I’m not sure if mine would be heard,” he replied.

“Well, it can’t hurt,” the reverend replied. Giles gave him a brief smile. “What’s his name?”

The smile was short-lived, and Giles looked away. “I haven’t named him. I…I think it might be easier if I lose him if I-I didn’t name him. Not only am I greedy, but selfish, I suppose.”

Reverend Frank paused for a moment. “Maybe what he needs in order to survive is a name – something to fight for, to live up to. He’ll know someone loves him and is counting on him to make it.”

Giles began to cry again, but wiped the tears away. “Martin,” Giles said softly. “Becca likes the name Martin.”

“Okay,” the reverend said, as he took one of Giles’s hands. “Let’s say a prayer for little Martin Giles together, okay?”

Giles was tearing up again. Unable to speak, the watcher simply nodded. Then both men hung their heads down in prayer.

Cut To:
Georgia – Hidden Cavern – Same Time 

Shannon grunted with effort as she tried to move the boulder blocking the passage out of the chamber. Dawn looked on, biting her lip with worry. Finally Shannon let out the air in her lungs with a whoosh. The boulder seemed to quiver a moment and then lay still.

“Too heavy,” the slayer gasped, as she stood up and wiped the sweat from her brow. “Any luck on the radio?”

“None,” Dawn replied. “We might be too far down.”

Dawn came over and examined the younger girl’s hands. Blood gathered in the palms from the shredded skin of the slayer’s fingers.

“Let me clean this,” she said, motioning Shannon to sit on another nearby boulder. She pulled a small first aid kit from her bag and began to clean the wounds.

Shannon watched as Dawn tended to her hands, an occasional wince crossing her features from the stinging antiseptic. She looked up at her watcher’s face. “Dawn, can I ask you something?”

“Of course,” Dawn said, and smirked. “Wanna know about the birds and the bees?”

Shannon rolled her eyes. “I already know,” she replied. “And besides…with you it’s the birds and the birds.”

Dawn chuckled. “What do you want to ask?”

“Before we left…” Shannon started and then paused.

“Go on,” Dawn said.

“I heard some of the girls saying that you ain’t gonna die,” Shannon said in a rush. She quickly added, “I didn’t think it was true, but after what happened at Normie’s house –”

Aren’t,” Dawn absently corrected.

“Huh?” Shannon asked.

Aren’t going to die,” Dawn corrected again. She sighed. “Good to know the rumor mill is alive and well at the Watchers Council, and this time more accurate than ever.”

“Did you think it would be true?” Shannon asked. “After what happened…”

Dawn paused for a moment as she placed the last bandage on Shannon’s hand. She carefully put the kit and the used materials in her bag and sat down next to the slayer.

“I wasn’t sure,” Dawn finally said. “The Powers That Be have a sick sense of humor. Can’t be satisfied with a simple slap on the wrist for going where I don’t belong…instead they punish me by making me immortal.”

“Punish?” Shannon said excitedly. “That’s like a reward! How cool is it that you’re gonna live forever? You don’t have to worry about nasty diseases or growing old, and I don’t have to worry about losing you when we patrol.”

“Yeah, bonus,” Dawn said sarcastically. “But think about it, Shannon…I’m gonna have to watch my friends and family – you – get nasty diseases and grow old, and I’ll lose everyone I’ll ever love, over and over again. So when you think about it, how cool is that?”

Shannon frowned. “Well, no…it doesn’t sound like an extreme trip, but still…”

“No, it’s not extreme…it’s my worst nightmare,” Dawn said, a tear rolling down her cheek.

“I’m sorry,” Shannon said with a pout. “Do you…do you feel any different?”

Dawn shrugged and wiped her face. “Sometimes I feel like my skin is crawling – like I want to rip it off piece by piece, knowing I’m going to have to live in it forever, but it wouldn’t do any good, y’know? It’s like that guy from that movie Groundhog Day – he tried a zillion ways to kill himself, but every morning he woke up again, as good as new.” Dawn paused for a moment and then gave another sarcastic chuckle. “I’ll probably be insane by the time your powers are deactivated.”

“Don’t say that!” Shannon said. She took Dawn’s hand. “If I make it until then, I’ll need you more than ever.”

“You’ll make it,” Dawn assured her.

“Then promise me something.”

“What’s that?”

“If I make it to thirty, you’ll stay sane?” Shannon said, teenage innocence gracing her face.

Dawn laughed and looked at her slayer fondly. “Okay, it’s a deal,” she said, and shook Shannon’s hand.

The smile on Shannon’s face grew serious again. “Was it worth it?” she asked. “I mean…pissing off the Powers and losing your human right to die? Would you jump at a chance for a do-over?”

Dawn considered and shrugged. “I still think I did the right thing, even if it didn’t work out quite the way I thought it would,” she gave a little smile. “I went into it with my eyes open. There are worse things a girl could do.”

Shannon gave her a small sympathetic smile and squeezed her watcher’s hand.

“Why don’t we try again?” the slayer finally said, nodding to the phone.

Dawn pushed the button, making it chirp. “Willow, can you hear me?” she asked, as if not expecting a response.

After a moment, she heard “Dawn?” come over the handheld device.

At first, Dawn and Shannon looked surprised, but soon they both smiled.

Fade to Black



End of Act Four

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