Stage 3 Lot – Sunnydale High Set – Moments Later
“It’s Orlando Bloom, honey,” Buffy told Jocelyn. “Or-lan-do Bloooom. How can you be nervous about your love scenes? Most women in the world would give their eye teeth to be in your shoes.”
“And some men,” Xander added absently. Everyone in the group looked over at him. “Oh, not me. I’m just saying, you know…he’s well built and fit and…he’s got a sexy charismatic charm.”
Robin looked at Faith, who turned to Willow.
“Uh huh,” Willow muttered. “And coincidentally that’s how I’d describe Angelina Jolie,” she added in a louder voice.
“See?” Xander pointed to Willow.
“Of course, I’m gay,” she added.
“Right,” Xander said, before uttering an, “Oh,” that made Faith and Robin chuckle.
“I understand what you’re saying, Xander,” Andrew said sympathetically.
“Yeah,” Faith said, continuing to chuckle as she put an arm around an uncomfortable-looking Xander. “Andy here gets what you mean.”
He carefully extracted her hand from his shoulder, making her laugh harder.
Jocelyn grinned slightly.
“Look guys, acting isn’t the same as the real thing,” the young woman said. “Now if it was the real thing, I wouldn’t mind locking lips with Mr. Bloom, but it’s just pretend, and it’s not as easy as it looks onscreen.”
A man walked up to Jocelyn and put a hand on her arm. “We’re about ready, hun,” he told her.
“Oh, okay,” she replied to him. “I gotta take my place, but you guys can stick around,” she said before walking away.
“Places everyone,” they heard a voice shout. After a few moments he added, “Quiet on the set.”
Xander, Willow and Buffy grinned at one another and then turned back toward the set, Andrew standing behind them.
Andrew’s eyes, which were looking at a script, suddenly shot up toward the set and got wider. He pitched a thumb behind him.
“I’ll go get some coffee for you guys,” he whispered. But before he could move, Faith put a hand on his shoulder, preventing his escape.
“Quiet,” she told him.
Andrew sighed as if resigned to his fate of staying put.
“Ready annnnnd action!” the director yelled.
Jocelyn followed Sara Rue into the mock-up of Buffy’s bedroom, quick on her heels.
“You can do this, Willow!” Jocelyn said as she followed her.
“What you’re asking is-is impossible, Buffy,” Sara replied. “I can’t pull this off. Activating all the potentials and making them slayers? It’s…It’s too big for me.”
Jocelyn closed the distance between them, and her hand reached up to stroke Sara’s face. “I believe in you. I know you can do this, so please… think of the world?”
“I just don’t think I can,” Sara whimpered.
“Then don’t do it for the world…Do it for me.”
Behind the scenes, everyone from the Council wore smiles, but gradually their faces began to distort into disbelief, except for Andrew, who was looking at the display through a small place between the fingers of a hand covering his face.
They all watched as Jocelyn brought Sara’s lips to her and planted a passionate kiss. Sara pulled back, breathless.
“All right, for you,” she replied.
“That’s my big gun,” Jocelyn answered with a grin.
From the other side of the room they heard a voice yell, “Annd cut!”
All eyes fell to Andrew as Buffy and Willow both turned slowly to scowl at him. He tried to back up, but Faith tightened her hold on him, making him wince.
“What in Gaia’s name was that?” Willow asked.
“Like I said, when you sell a screenplay – Ouch!” Andrew’s comment was cut off by Faith, who tightened her hold on him.
“She asked a question,” Faith answered.
“And I’m answering,” he replied.
“In five words or less,” Buffy prompted.
“Creative license,” he replied. “Not mine. Theirs.”
Buffy and Willow looked at each other and shook their heads in disgust at the same time.
“You realize what this means, don’t you?” Buffy asked no one in particular. “Now I’m never gonna find a man. Ever.”
The sound of a blood-curdling scream filled the set, and everyone jumped to their feet.
They ran over to a costume closet where one of the crewmembers looked to the floor.
“I opened the door and…” she said, pointing.
On the floor lay Ricky, unconscious and battered.
Stage 3 Lot – Sunnydale High Set – Moments Later
A gurney wheeled away Ricky, who had an oxygen mask around his neck, but was still talking on his cell phone. He looked pretty battered. but still fought with the attendants who were trying to put the mask in place. He continued to bat it away.
“Can you see I’m busy here?” he argued with the medical staff, who simply gave up and continued to wheel him along and past the Council group. “I’m telling you,” he said into his phone, “this thing just jumped out of nowhere and tried to bite my neck. After that I don’t remember anything except waking up. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, call Lonnie then and tell him I’ll be there in a few hours, after the hospital trip.”
Ricky continued to chat unintelligibly as they loaded him into the ambulance.
“I heard Hollywood is brutal,” Buffy said as they watched him being loaded. “But I thought it was a figure of speech.”
“Yeah, but did you hear what he said?” Robin pointed out. “He was attacked by something…not someone.”
Willow looked at Robin for a moment and then ran up to the ambulance as they were closing the door. She motioned toward the back, and they waited to let her inside.
“What’s she doing?” Faith asked.
“Getting a description, I hope,” Buffy replied.
After a few moments Willow emerged from the back and ran back over to the group.
“He said he was attacked by Nosferatu,” she told them.
“Nosferatu is fake,” Buffy pointed out.
“Yeah, but that’s what he said it looked like,” Willow replied, as she began to dial her phone.
“So what are we gonna do?” Faith asked.
“Calling my big gun,” Willow replied as she pulled out her cell phone and dialed. “Hey, sweetie,” she said into the phone. “I need that big demon brain of yours. Well, not that you have a demon brain, just that you know demons…We might have a situation here…Looks like Nosferatu has returned to Hollywood, for real this time.”
Watchers Council – Library – Same Time
“Nosferatu is fake,” Rowena replied.
“Yes, Buffy pointed that out, but that’s all I’ve really got to go on.”
“Okay,” she said, getting up and going to one of the shelves in the Council library. “Give me what you do know, and I’ll work from there. It might not be a bad idea to sit close to where the stars are. I don’t want to see anyone else hurt, or killed, but a high profile star on a movie set dying is never a good thing.”
Stage 3 – Sunnydale High Set – Moments Later
Jason Biggs and Willow were standing next to each other, obviously chatting.
“Really? Xander did that?” he asked.
“Yep,” she replied. “Oh, and this one time…at the Watchers Council –”
“Hey Red!” Faith yelled, motioning Willow toward her.
“Sorry,” she apologized. “Duty calls. But I’ve got lots more Xander stories to help you get into the character.”
“I’d appreciate that very much,” he said, kissing the back of her hand.
Willow blushed and waved goodbye as she left. She walked over to where the Council group stood.
“Everybody spread out,” Buffy told them softly. “If you see anything suspicious, motion over here to me and Faith. We’ll come over to check it out. Will? If Ro calls, find out what she’s learned.”
“Check,” she nodded.
“Ready guys?” Buffy asked.
Everyone nodded and began to roam around the wings of the set in various directions, while Buffy and Faith stood guard, waiting to spring out at a moment’s notice.
“Ready!” the director’s voice cried out. “Annnd action!”
Katie followed Samuel from the hallway into the set that housed the principal’s office.
“You have to close the school now!” she told him. “Get everybody out! Besides, the town is leaving in droves as it is!”
“What I need, Ms. Lehane,” Samuel began, “is for you to get these mutha ~RING~ vampires out of my mutha ~RING~ school!” Samuel stopped saying his lines and looked over to the wing behind him. “What the hell was that?” he asked.
“Cut!” the director yelled, frustrated. “Who has their cell phone on?”
“Sorry,” Willow said meekly, holding her phone. “I’m leaving,” she said as she walked outside.
“Arggg…Places everyone,” the director yelled. “Katie, Sam. That was beautiful. Now just do it again after everyone turns off their phones, okay people?”
Stage 3 Lot – Sunnydale High Set – Moments Later
“Did you find something?” Willow asked, now standing outside the stage door.
“Maybe. Based on what you’ve told me, it sounds like you might be dealing with a Turok-Han,” Rowena answered.
At that moment Willow watched a pack of Turok-Han walking past, one of them smoking a cigarette as he chatted with another one drinking a soda pop. She watched them pass her and then shook her head.
“Yeah, we’ve got lots of those around here,” Willow answered. “I couldn’t tell a real one from a fake one at this point. ‘Course the one with the butt hanging from his mouth is probably legit.”
“What?” Rowena asked.
“Look, Ro,” Willow replied. “I’ve got tons of stunt guys dressed as Turok-Han. You’re asking me to find a needle in a Hollywood haystack. The script sucks royally, but the costumes are pretty damn authentic. How do I find the one that’s attacking people?”
“Well, look for the one who’s attacking people,” Rowena replied.
Willow sighed. “So much for my big gun,” she snorted.
“What do you expect me to tell you? If it walks like Turok-Han, and it talks like a Turok-Han, then it’s a Turok-Han.”
“No, it can’t be,” she replied. “The original Turok-Han we faced attacked only at sundown. They couldn’t tolerate sunlight. This last attack happened in the daytime.”
“You didn’t mention that part,” Rowena replied, annoyed.
“Didn’t I?” Willow said sheepishly.
Watchers Council – Library – Same Time
“No, you didn’t,” Rowena answered, still annoyed. “I would have remembered it if you did,” she added, reaching for another book with a sigh.
“I’m sorry,” Willow replied.
“It’s all right,” Rowena replied. “But are you sure there’s nothing else I should know?”
“Not a thing?”
“I said no,” Willow replied, now getting annoyed herself.
Rowena grinned and chuckled. “Okay then, I’ll check it out…all over again…and get back with you…Be careful out there.”
Stage 3 Lot – Sunnydale High Set – Same Time
“I will, Sweetie,” Willow replied. “I’ll give you a call later today to see how far you got. Love you.”
“Love you too, Hun.”
Willow hung up the phone and watched as one of the Turok-Han seemed out of place, off by himself. She watched for a moment as he began to close in on a woman carrying a load of costumes in her arms.
Pulling her phone from her pocket, Willow watched as he suddenly jumped onto the unsuspecting woman, who started to scream.
“Hey!” Willow yelled. She began to run, as she pressed a few numbers on her cell phone.
The Turok-Han looked up from his attack to see Willow running at full speed toward him. He hissed and got to his feet before taking off.
Stage 3 Lot – Sunnydale Main Street Set – Moments Later
The Turok-Han ran down the fake main drag of Sunnydale, his knees pumping high in the air as he ran, looking far from menacing.
“Capture,” Willow shouted and waved her hand in his direction. A light shot out from her fingertips, and before the light could envelop the Turok-Han, he stumbled to the ground in front of the Magic Box. The light shot over him, instead trapping two crewmembers who were standing directly in front of him.
The Turok-Han looked up at the captured duo then turned around to see Willow still running toward him. He jumped back up and took off running again, while the crewmen tried in vain to move.
“Damn it,” Willow swore. She waved her hand at them as she passed. “Release,” she shouted, making the barrier fall. “Sorry,” she shouted over her shoulder at the stunned men.
She watched the Turok-Han running through the human traffic. She bobbed her head around, trying to keep him in sight as she ran. She watched him slip into the front doors of The Sun Cinema.
Finally arriving there herself, she paused for a moment, then quickly opened the doors.
Willow was taken aback for a moment when, instead of seeing the movie theater lobby, all she found was the unpainted plywood and two-by-fours supporting the facade. Moreover, she found no Turok-Han, just empty space.
Stage 3 Lot – The Espresso Pump – Moments Later
Willow looked around the open-air café with a slight grin on her face. A man placing the clock on the wall looked over at her.
“Can I help you?” he asked.
“Any chance an original Sunnydale gal can get a double mocha cappuccino here?”
“Nope, sorry. Can’t help you with that, but I’ve got a thermos of coffee,” he offered kindly.
“I’ll take it,” she said, walking over.
He handed her a cup and filled it for her. “You’re Willow Rosenberg, aren’t you?” he asked.
“Yeah, how did you –?”
“That magazine. I saw the article…So how are you liking California so far? It’s probably been a while since you’ve been here.”
“Well, I’m starting to see that the old adage is true,” she told him.
“What’s that?” he asked
She looked around the replica of the Espresso Pump.
“Sometimes you really can’t go home.”
Stage 3 – Commissary Tent – Later That Day
“Okay, I’ll say this much,” muttered Buffy, as she gathered another portion of beef bourguignon onto her fork, “the movies feed folks better than public high schools.”
Xander was too busy eating and only nodded.
“Speaking from personal experience,” said Faith, “so do maximum security detention facilities.”
“It isn’t right,” said Andrew, seated across from them. His voice was low.
“Hey, it isn’t like you’re not a good cook,” Faith said, then took a bite..
“No, not at all. I mean, this is good, but not better than your –” Buffy began.
“I was talking about the movie.” Andrew hadn’t even touched his lunch.
Faith was chewing, but she nodded vigorously.
“True, it’s not a cinematic masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination,” Xander offered.
“You said it!” Buffy added. “I mean, c’mon! Me and Willow? Not that Willow isn’t a hottie in her own way – y’know, in a girl way – but me? Me?”
“What do you mean? You’re a hottie, B,” Faith put in.
“Uh…thanks…I guess. But, that’s not the point!”
“Every movie today needs a lesbian appeal of some type,” Xander offered.
“Then why not write a Kennedy character?” Buffy answered. “Why do I have to be the lesbian love interest when I’m not the lesbian love interest, y’know?”
“It could be worse for you, B,” Faith chimed in. “Not only do they cast Miss Teen Queen as yours truly, they don’t even hook my character up with someone who’s got a pulse! I got my faults, sure, but necrophilia ain’t one of ’em!” Faith then shot a quick look at Buffy. “No offense.”
“None taken,” Buffy answered automatically, but then she stopped, as if she were reconsidering what Faith had just said. “Probably.”
“And did you see the way she runs? She runs like a girly girl,” Faith complained. “I do not run like that.”
Faith then made an exaggerated gesture of her arms flailing like she was running on fire and Xander snorted.
“That was funny, you have to admit,” he replied. When Faith didn’t seem amused, Xander simply shoveled more food into his mouth.
“I don’t mean to offend either one of you, but from my personal perspective,” Andrew said, voice low, “all that stuff you’re talking about? The casting? The rearranging of your personal relationships to achieve a certain dynamic cohesion? My reaction to all this is s0 frelling what??!!!” He ended on something like a scream. “At least you’re both still in the movie! I wrote it, and they cut me out! From the script and from the production, both!” He stared at them, indignant eyes blazing and mouth twisted in rage.
Xander, Faith, and Buffy froze in place, mouths open and forks of food hovering above their plates.
Andrew’s shoulders slumped. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to yell, it’s all just too much. Really, I’m sorry.” He said this all with one breath and went back to his plate.
“S’all right, Andy,” said Faith. “Besides, when this movie flops, you’ll probably be glad you weren’t in it,” she added.
He mumbled something in reply.
“Well,” Buffy said, after taking another bite, “at least you’re being played by a real actress. I still can’t believe they cast Jocelyn, of all people, as me.”
“Something about her…” Faith nodded, then shrugged. “Probably not Council material, is all.”
“You’re probably right,” agreed Andrew in a low voice. “The Council and Hollywood…they’re just different worlds. Maybe Jocelyn will fit in. It’s not like Hollywood is Demon Central or anything.”
Stage 3 Lot – Gym – Same Time
Willow stood next to the door of what looked like the entrance to a gym. People were running all around her, generally in the same direction, some of them shouting. She had her cell phone to one ear, her hand to the other.
“Have you got anything yet?” She had to raise her voice to be heard.
Watchers Council – Library – Same Time
Rowena had a dozen books open before her and was flipping pages like mad, skimming over them. Jeff, at another table, looked up and shook his head.
“Nothing so far. I mean, up until a few years ago, everyone thought the Turok-Han were mythical.”
“I’m trying to find Buffy and Faith,” said Willow’s voice from the speakerphone on Rowena’s table. Some white noise interfered. “But it’s like a madhouse here. A great big insane old mad asylum thingie! With costumes.”
The doors to the library opened. Giles strode into the room, head erect and shoulders back, looking a bit miffed. He strode over to where Rowena was hunched over the books.
“Ian McKellen? Did you hear? I’m being played by Ian McKellen?”
“What’s wrong with Ian McKellen?” asked Jeff. “He seems like a nice guy.”
“The man is in his sixties! I am not that damn old…yet.”
“Giles…?” Willow’s voice over the speakerphone sounded frail.
Giles looked at the speakerphone, then at Rowena. “What’s happened?”
“Willow says a Turok-Han showed up on the set of the film,” Rowena said.
“Is she outdoors now? If she isn’t, tell her to get there at once!”
“I never left,” crackled Willow’s voice. “The thing attacked in the middle of the day a-and in broad daylight, as in standing outside in the sun!”
“That’s not possible,” Giles replied.
“First words out of my mouth, too,” said Rowena.
“No, I mean that is totally impossible,” Giles continued. “Earth’s sunlight burning vampires is intrinsic to the magic that sustains them. A vampire that could walk in sunlight would be – well, it would be nothing more than a walking corpse. It certainly wouldn’t have any supernatural powers. No super-strength. No immunity to weapons.”
The other two watchers just looked at him for several seconds.
“I’ve got an idea,” said Willow. “Let me check something, and I’ll call you back.”
“Wait,” Rowena started to say, but she was met with only the sound of a dial tone. She turned to Giles. “Now tell me, while I’ve been busting my fanny, poring over books, not to mention dragging said fanny to the middle of Siberia in the name of vamp research…” She paused to take a breath.
“Where the hell have you been?” Rowena ran her fingers through her hair as if she might pull it out at the same time.
“You never consulted me,” Giles replied dryly.
Rowena didn’t answer Giles directly. Instead, she shook her head and mumbled something unintelligible.
Stage 3 – Summers House Set – Minutes Later
Samuel Jackson finished making his signature and even gave it a swooping underline. Grinning, he looked up.
Robin finished doing the same. Almost in unison, they exchanged scripts.
“This is so cool,” Jackson said with a grin.
“I am officially now the coolest watcher on staff,” answered Robin.
Katie Holmes, watching this exchange, laughed. “Why?”
“Because Samuel L. Jackson asked for my autograph. There aren’t enough cool points for that. There simply aren’t.”
“Nah, dude,” Samuel replied. “You want to know what’s cool? Facing down these ugly guys for real. That takes guts, and that’s beyond cool in my book.”
Robin beamed, but didn’t have a chance to reply.
A woman’s scream grabbed their attention – theirs and all the film crewmen in the vicinity, nearly a dozen in all. From around one corner of the set, where the kitchen wall suddenly ended and the soundstage seemingly began, Jocelyn came running. Her eyes were huge. Her mouth was open. Nothing very coherent was coming out of it, however. Her high-pitched whimpers were very loud. The expression she wore resembled that of a small, harmless bunny confronting several dozen obviously hungry wolves.
She stopped, looked at everyone around her, took several gasping breaths and pointed behind her.
And then screamed again.
“This ain’t good,” Jackson said. He looked at Robin. “Right?”
“No, not usually,” Robin replied dryly.
Nearly on cue, a monster came into view from the direction Jocelyn had just come from. Gray-skinned, bald, with feral eyes and a mouth full of ragged fangs, it snarled and bellowed at the same time.
Jocelyn screamed again. She wasn’t alone. Electricians, lighting technicians, and a couple of carpenters all made screams of their own. They also copied Jocelyn’s actions in another way. They ran, fast, in various directions.
One tall, burly man with a large tool belt jostled Jocelyn as he passed her. As a result, she tripped over a pile of cables. Looking up and behind her, she saw the Turok-Han looking directly at her. It approached. With far more speed than coordination, she tried to run and stand up at the same time but failed. She did, however, manage to bring a tall light fixture down over herself with a crash.
The Turok-Han neared her.
“Hey Fugly! That’s right…I’m talking to you!”
The boom in Jackson’s voice got its attention. The gray, bald head and long pointed ears moved toward the center of the kitchen set.
“Uh oh,” Jackson muttered.
Behind the table, Jackson reached for a prop – a frying pan. He threw it. The Turok-Han responded to being hit with the frying pan with a very loud snarl, but little else.
A plate thrown by Katie Holmes won another, even louder snarl. This was followed by more plates, some cups, a few more pots and pans – all thrown by Holmes and Jackson. With its claws, the Turok-Han began warding itself from the rain of kitchen-themed props. More, it began heading in the direction of those responsible. It not only growled now, but drooled.
Forehead bloody, Jocelyn looked up to see the Turok-Han nearing her co-stars. It looked hungry. All the cutlery available seemed only to be slowing it down.
As the monster began to close in on them, the two actors took off toward the dining room set.
End of Act Three