Lacey Chabert as Skye Talisker, Gale Harold as Jim Pollan, Caroline Dhavernas as Grace Hatherley, Michelle Rodriguez as Kadin Van Helsing, Elijah Woods as Jeff Lindquist, Laura Pyper as Casey Pierce, Asia Argento as Marie LeBouchard, Alexis Bledel as Denise, Tessa Thompson as Chamique, T.R. Knight as Jackson App, Mandy Musgrave as Hadley Ramirez, Helen Shaver as Becca Giles, Robert Picardo as Dr. Miller, Michael Shanks as Dr. Millenti, Alexa Davalos as Gwen Raiden, Laura Prepon as Lori Carew, Christine Carlson Romano as Hope Lehane and Gary Oldman as Mr. Jason Felix
Sean Glider as Zeromus, Jason Momoa as O’Kestra, Mariska Hargitay as Dr. Tara Abraham, Ric Young as Pol Pot and Sir Derek Jacobi as Varthrim
Watchers Council – Coven Room – Morning
“I can’t keep this up,” Giles said meekly, rubbing his eyes.
Willow closed the doors to the supply closet and turned a key in the lock.
“Oh come on, that’s not fighting-Giles talk. Where’s that age-old British stiff-upper-lippy outlook, huh?” She came over to him, stuffing the key ring into her pocket and pulling up a chair from against the wall.
“Age-old?” Giles countered. Willow rolled her eyes up to the ceiling with a guarded smile. He huffed. “I’m not sure this wizened watcher has any fight left in him.”
She pouted. “Do you want me to give you the whole ‘vast-library-of-ancient-knowledge-that’s-unspooling-in-your-already-dense-and-large-and-babble-babble-babble’ speech again? ‘Cause if I have to…” She took in a large breath of air.
Giles put his hand out with a quirk of a smile. “No, you really don’t.”
Willow stifled a chuckle. “Then what?”
“It’s just…there’s nothing in here,” he said, pointing to his head. “Nothing’s …unspooling. I lie awake night after night hoping I’ll eventually wake up and frantically scribble something down, but…nothing.”
“It sounds like good old-fashioned stress to me,” Willow said. “If you worry about something too much or try to force yourself to remember something, you’ll only work yourself into a state, and then your brain’ll go –” She blew a raspberry.
Giles smirked, although it fleeted soon after. “I’m not sure how much more time I can give it.” Willow’s disposition fell to match his own. “I can only recall the Guardian Knowledge that has already integrated itself into my mind, that came to me before my…mental block, for lack of a better term.”
“Again, stress. The whole annual saving the world and aftermath, the merger, the organizational shake-up, the new recruits, the new rules, not to mention the fact that you’ve come out of retirement…again,” she added, rolling her eyes.
“Maybe I am stressed.” He paused for a moment. “Or what if the Guardian Knowledge can’t integrate with my mind any further because…I’m getting too old? Then again, it could be a medical problem? I could have something wrong with my brain, and I can’t leave Becca and Liz and Martin…”
“Whoa, okay, big fella,” Willow said, lifting her hands in a “stop” gesture. “And I thought I was the queen of the babble.” Willow raised both her brows in a fretful look. “But just for argument’s sake, when was your last check-up?”
“Well, there you go.” Shethrew her hands up. “You’re good. Everything will work out in the end, it always does.”
Giles gave a weak smile.
Watchers Council – Dr. Millenti’s Office – Same Time
“So this isn’t the session where you ask about my mother?” Kennedy sniggered.
“No, not yet anyway.” Kennedy looked up at Dr. Millenti, catching the sparkle in his eye. “So how’s it going?” he asked from behind his desk.
She rolled her eyes. “Where do I start?” The smile that had graced her face was now replaced with a stoic stare.
“From the beginning?”
A long, heavy sigh breezed through the parting of her lips. “It feels…it feels like I’m riding in the backseat while someone else is driving – badly.” Kennedy looked up at the kind-faced doctor. “Everything’s a struggle lately. People say that it gets easier, that you push it to the back of your mind…but I can’t. I can’t, ’cause every time I look down at my hands all I see is –” Her words came to an abrupt stop. She glanced at her hands in her lap. They were fists, tight fists.
Slowly, her fists bloomed, revealing the palms of her hands. They trembled, as did her eyes and her bottom lip.
“Blood. All I see is blood.” She scrunched her hands back into fists and looked back up at Dr. Millenti.
“It all washes away. it all fades. It just takes time,” he offered. When Kennedy didn’t add more, he asked, “Do you feel that you need to be punished, Kennedy?”
“Yeah, I think I do.”
“Is guilt not punishment enough?”
“It shouldn’t be. I took a life. If this world is about rules and balance, then shouldn’t my own life be on the chopping block?”
“You should know better than anyone that nothing is black and white in this world.”
“Yeah, I know.” Kennedy snorted a laugh and rubbed her forehead. “When Jocelyn nearly killed me, Kadin said that I scared everyone. I said that it must mean that I’m not dead. I wis – no, I don’t wish, but sometimes…I think I should have died.”
“Do you want to kill yourself, Kennedy?”
“No,” she said, after a bit of consideration. “It’s not really like that. It’s more like…I feel like I deserve to die for what I’ve done. And then seeing Vi and Heli again in Texas…”
“Have you spoken to anyone about how you feel? Kadin? Willow? Faith?”
“A little with Willow and Faith. As for Kadin, she’s had problems of her own, so she doesn’t need me bringing up my crap. Our relationship is kind of a little strained at the moment, but then again, it’s probably just me thinking that.”
“Perhaps,” Dr. Millenti comforted. “What did Faith and Willow tell you?”
“I didn’t get too deep into things.” Kennedy grinned slightly. “Guess that’s why they didn’t say too much, huh?”
Dr. Millenti laughed. “Communication usually helps. That said, I think it would help you if you could let those who love you know how you truly feel, rather than just skirting around the fringes.”
“So what you’re saying is, I should burden them with my problems?”
“Not burden, Kennedy, share.”
“Isn’t that the same thing?”
“No. I can’t divulge the discussions of my other clients, but I can say they both love you – very much so.”
“I…” Kennedy’s mouth hung open, but nothing came out. “I’m not sure if I know how.”
“Just talk to them. People who love us will listen.” He began to grin slightly. “But you have to talk first in order for that to happen.”
Kennedy gave him a guilty grin, then, in a matter of seconds, tears began to burn in Kennedy’s eyes. “I just…I just…” She brought a trembling hand up to her mouth.
Dr. Millenti turned to his right and pulled a couple of tissues from the box and handed them to Kennedy.
“When someone takes another’s life,” Dr. Millenti began, “no matter what the circumstances, a part of the murderer dies, along with their victim.”
Sniffing and drying her few tears, Kennedy looked to the doctor. “I’m in the profession of killing things, killing in order to protect others, and that’s what I did. I killed. I ended a life to save others. I did my job.”
“Heli was once a friend of yours, or at least you believed her to be, regardless of whether the feelings were reciprocated. She was a sister in slayer terms, but I don’t think that’s it. I don’t think you’re feeling guilty because you killed your sister.”
Kennedy just stared at him.
“I think you killed Heli for revenge,” he stated simply, “not because you wanted to protect others.”
“I…” Kennedy’s mouth hung open, but nothing came out.
Watchers Council – Former Bureau Nine Storage Facility – Afternoon
Robin, along with Jeff, Jackson, Markham and Grace, wandered a vast underground warehouse filled with a cobalt-hue light.
“Catalog number 522666,” Grace said, as she held a laptop in her arms, “Shiva’s Dew Shard.”
Jackson swiped the access card key into the lock and released the drawer containing the item. “Check. What priority is it?”
She tapped the keys. “Green. We leave it. Unless you want it to snow forever, there’s not much else you can do with it. Might come in handy if you want to keep things chilled, though.”
“You think they’ll mind if I borrow it to keep the kegs cold?” Jackson gave back.
“When is your next party?”
“Why, you gonna make an appearance this time?”
“No, just wanna make sure that my slayer’s nowhere near your so-very-freshman chug-fest.”
“Guys, come on. We need to get this aisle done…today,” Robin said, as he walked a little ahead with a clipboard and a digital camera.
Markham saluted and moved onto the next drawer.
“Number 924531. Unidentified Object number 27,” Jeff read off the monitor of his laptop. “That’s priority red. That’s coming back to the Council vault.”
Markham reached in and took out the object. It was small, disc-like and golden, with intricate symbols spiraling from the amber jewel in the center. Jeff placed his laptop down on one of the shelves and turned around to a cart that had various cases of different sizes stacked on it. He grabbed a metal case and opened it. Markham carefully lowered the object into the padded interior and locked the lid. Jeff put the case back on the cart and looked over at Robin.
“Robin,” he called. “The cart’s getting pretty full. Want us to take it back to the van?”
He cast a quick glance over to the cart and back at Jeff. “Sure.”
Jeff swung the cart around and pushed it back up the aisle toward the large service elevator at the end. “Behave, guys,” he said, sporting a smile.
“We’ll try,” Grace replied with a smile, before returning her attention to the laptop.
“You sure we’re going to have enough room in the Council vault? I mean, the rate we’re going, we’re going to have to leave some stuff behind,” Jackson piped up as he placed another object into a travel case.
“Yeah, like, are we actually going to use this facility to store stuff?” Grace added.
“The acquisition of Bureau Nine and all its assets means that this facility, like many others, is now…well, ours,” Robin said. “Buffy wants us to identify and bring back any important and dangerous items to the Council vault. But yeah, this facility will still be used for storage.”
“And just when Jackie was thinking that this place would make an awesome underground raving spot,” Grace pouted with sarcastic eyes.
Shaking his head with a smirk, Robin continued along the aisle, leaving Jackson and Grace to their cataloging. As he came to the end of the aisle, he looked to his left and saw a large, freestanding grand mirror propped up against the wall.
He stuffed his clipboard under his underarm and readied the digital camera. With the picture taken, Robin stepped forward and looked for the label with the catalog number. Nothing.
Robin frowned, and as he looked up, he noticed that his tie was askew. He put the camera in his blazer pocket and the clipboard under his arm once again and straightened his tie.
“Hey, Robin, one of the objects has been filed in the wrong drawer!” Jackson’s voice echoed throughout the complex.
Robin turned away from the mirror, not looking pleased. “Coming!” he shouted back and walked away.
Bizarrely, Robin’s reflection stayed in the mirror staring back at him with a peculiar look as Robin walked off and turned back into the aisle.
Robin’s reflection placed his palm on the mirror and tried to move around so that he could see where Robin had gone.
His palm fell from the pane of glass, and he snorted an inaudible laugh. Robin’s reflection’s eyes narrowed, and a cold, eerie smirk widened on his lips.
Watchers Council – Cafeteria – Afternoon
“Hey there, stranger. Where have you been?” Kadin said, as she came up behind Kennedy and wrapped her arms around the slayer’s waist.
Kennedy, standing in line holding her tray, squirmed in her lover’s affectionate embrace, using the moving line as cover for her escape.
“Oh…hey! Sorry, I’ve been busy this morning with meetings, training sessions, and whatnot – you know, the usual that comes with the gig.”
“The big and only perk of being a freelancer.” Kadin leaned over the counter and grabbed a bright shining red apple from the fruit basket and placed it down on Kennedy’s tray.
“Lately you’re not so much a freelancer as you are a piece of furniture.”
Kadin frowned. “We’re talkin’ about nice furniture, right? Not the smelly old broken couch of furniture?”
Kennedy grinned. “Yeah, good furniture. Everyone’s gotta have a coffee table.”
Kadin’s frown reached her lips and formed them into a pout. “If I’m a coffee table, then what are you?” Kennedy handed over her cash to the woman behind the cash register. “I’m thinking footstool,” Kadin said, as she and Kennedy turned towards the rows of tables.
Kennedy let out a brief smirk that soon began to fade away. At her chosen table, she placed her tray down. When Kadin walked around to take a seat opposite Kennedy, the hunter noticed the sudden change in her demeanor.
“Ken? You okay?”
Caught off guard, Kennedy hurriedly conjured up a smile. “Footstool? You’re seriously strange, you know that, right?”
“It’s a gift,” Kadin replied with a shrug of her shoulders. She took her apple in hand and sinking her teeth into a bite.
Kennedy’s smile faltered again, and she looked down at her lunch. Not even the delights on her plate could inspire a smile. Mid-mouthful, Kadin stopped chewing and watched Kennedy.
“What?” Kadin asked when Kennedy didn’t continue.
She looked up, blankly staring back at her lover. “Nothing,” she mustered a smile and nodded. “It’s nothing.”
Kadin resumed chewing and then took another bite of her apple. Silence fell over the table, and Kennedy took her knife and fork in hand and started to eat.
Dr. Tara Abraham’s Examining Room – Late Afternoon
“I realize that kids aren’t punctual,” Rowena told Dr. Abraham as she entered. “I get that. I really do. But this is getting ridiculous.” When Dr. Abraham chuckled in response, Rowena went on, “I’ve forgotten what my feet look like!”
“You’ll see them again soon enough,” Dr. Abraham reassured her, as she put a blood pressure cuff on her arm. “But believe it or not, you’re not that late, Rowena.”
“Twins come early,” Rowena told her. “I’ve been reading books, and I’m already a week over according to your calculations.”
“Most twins come early, not all twins,” Dr. Abraham replied. “Consider yourself part of the minority.”
“Lovely,” Rowena sighed.
“The babies are still active?” Dr. Abraham asked, as she punched in the blood pressure reading into her data pad.
“Yes, but they seem set on staying put,” Rowena replied. She rubbed her swollen stomach.
“Don’t worry,” Abraham told her. “If you haven’t gone into labor in the next week, we’ll induce.” She looked at her calendar. “Any plans between Christmas and New Year’s?”
“Feeding and changing the diapers of twins, God willing,” Rowena answered. Dr. Abraham smiled. “But I’ll leave that up to you, Doctor.”
“Well, pick a day between the twenty-sixth and the first and we’ll get you set up. If you go with the thirty-first, you might have that coveted title of mother to the first babies of the new year,” she joked.
Rowena grinned. “The twenty-sixth sounds perfect.”
Abraham laughed and hit a few more keys on her data pad. “The twenty-sixth it is.”
Watchers Council – Basement Vault – Evening
The large metal door started to open and the sound of mechanical cogs turning and bolts retracting filled the large space inside.
Jason Felix entered the vault with his card key in hand. He walked over to one of the metal cabinets that lined the walls, swiped his card and entered the necessary code. One of the drawers beside him clicked open. He opened the lid, reached in and produced a folder. With the drawer closed, he turned and made his way to a table in the center of the vault. It was then that he noticed an open door at the back of the room.
The door had been finished so that, when closed, it would blend in perfectly with the surrounding walls. With cautious steps, Felix carefully approached the open door.
His worried face softened when he saw Giles sitting in a smaller room at the other end of a short gray corridor.
Giles darted a look over his shoulder. “Jason. I – um…”
“May I come in?”
After a brief perplexed moment Giles snapped out of his daze. “Yes. Yes, of course.”
Felix entered the corridor and then the secret room, where glass cabinet bookshelves were lined against each of the three walls.
“So this is where the infinite knowledge of the Guardians is kept,” Felix said, with a certain degree of awe lacing his words. “Extraordinary.”
Giles lightly smirked. “Extraordinary? Yes. Infinite? Well…I’ll get back to you on that.”
Felix looked down at the table where Giles had laid out various volumes, all in his handwriting. He took a seat opposite Giles and carefully flicked through the pages, absolutely engrossed.
“I’ve wanted to come down here for some time now and have a nice, long read, but what with everything being so…”
“Hectic?” Giles posed.
Felix chortled, closing his eyes for a moment, and sighed. “Yes. An appropriate word, if ever there were one.”
“To be expected, really.”
“Quite.” He closed the volume he had been looking through and returned it to the center of the table. He gestured at the books and the room. “I must say, this is all incredible, you also. It’s not so much about the power behind the Guardian’s words; it’s the fact that we – you – have access to such knowledge. Incredible. Just incredible.”
“At first I thought so too,” Giles said.
“And not now?”
Felix looked at Giles inquisitively.
“The download process,” Giles explained. “And I don’t know why. The Cuyahoga temple had a device that downloaded the Guardian Knowledge into my mind.”
“I take it the device was destroyed along with the temple.”
“Yes, but that shouldn’t affect the download process. However, Willow did remove me from the device when the temple started to cave in.”
“Download,” Felix muttered. He sat up suddenly, as if a thought had just come to him. “The brain is just like a computer, full of networks and files and macros and processes. From what you’ve described, the Guardian Knowledge is being downloaded into your mind. That knowledge has to come from somewhere, no?”
“A computer can access any information as long as there’s a connection, like the Internet or a network tied to other computers,” Felix stared back at Giles with apologetic eyes. “I think I know why your connection has been severed. The connection was magical, wasn’t it?”
Giles nodded in agreement. “Yes, it…ah. Yes of course!” Giles boomed, with a smile that seemed to surprise Felix. “Why didn’t I think of it? It’s obvious!”
“Sometimes the most obvious thing is overlooked.”
Felix blinked, somewhat taken aback by the fervor of Giles’s gratitude.
“I think I would have gone mad in time if I hadn’t figured it out.”
Felix drew in a breath. “I can’t apologize enough for the events last May.”
“What’s done is done,” Giles told him. He gave him a soft grin. “And hindsight’s quite something, isn’t it?”
“You’re telling me,” Felix grinned lightly.
Giles looked confused for a moment. “If you’re right about the connection being severed when magic was deactivated, then why didn’t the link just simply re-establish itself? After all, Willow, the Coven, all magic users regained their abilities.”
“Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Miss Rosenberg did remove you from the platform,” Felix pondered. “The link between your mind and the databank, if you will, wasn’t completely concrete to begin with, and so when magic was restored…”
“…the link couldn’t find me?”
“Possibly, yes. That, or the fact that the temple was destroyed. Pity. If we still had the temple, you could just go back again.” Felix sighed. “In hindsight, if I had known…if I had known that the world would burn without magic, I would not have –”
Giles shot Felix a strange look. “What did you say?”
Felix caught himself. “I – umm…”
Smash Cut To:
Episode 4.12 “Meiyo” – Giles and Becca’s House – Bedroom – Early Morning
Giles lay on his side of the bed, with the cover pulled down and his arms on top of it, almost as if he were dividing his area of the bed.
Ever so softly, he began to mumble in his sleep. The mumbles became more frequent, and the words more coherent, albeit not English.
“Eg…egeodar magunis…vush…terranis…deboris proclarush…”
After reaching a crescendo, he woke with a start, his eyes shooting open.
Smash Cut To:
Watchers Council – Basement Vault – Resume
“Egeodar magunis vush terranis deboris proclarush,” Giles repeated, this time sounding confident of the words. He gasped, his eyes widening.
“What language is that?” Felix asked curiously.
“Guardian is the origin of Latin. More complex, different syntax.”
“Did that just come to you?”
“No, I knew that before last May, but it must have been pushed to the back of my mind.”
“Makes me wonder what else is in the back of your mind. What does egedoar…?”
“‘Without magic, the world will burn’,” Giles ran off.
Felix frowned. “Now that’s…did – did they know what I’d do? Did you know?”
“No. They just knew that the world would cease to be without magic,” Giles just stared back at Felix. Then he said, “Jason, pass me Volume Four.”
Felix lifted up a pile of large heavy volumes until he found the volume in question. As he handed it over, he asked. “Mr. Giles?”
He ignored Felix’s concern. “That’s the key. That sentence. I remember something…something I don’t think I would have deducted without talking this over with you.” He hurriedly skipped through the pages, each turn became more frantic than the last until he finally stopped. His face lit up. “I think I’ve just found what I’m looking for.” His lips curled with a smile as his finger pointed to something on the page.
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Later that Day
“An island?” Buffy repeated, with an arch of her brow and lip.
“Guardian Island?” Willow added, sharing in Buffy’s astonishment.
“Treasure Island?” Xander said, intrigued. Heads turned. “Like it didn’t cross your mind,” he said defensively.
“There’s not, like, a…resort on this island is there?” Faith came out with it. Again heads turned, but this time Rowena, Willow, Xander and Buffy shot her a shared horrified glance. A bit flustered, Faith clarified, “I meant like in Fantasy Island.” When she caught the burning eyes of the others, she sniggered slightly and then blew out an exaggerated sigh before relaxing back in her seat. “Sorry, Tattoo really freaked me out.”
Giles waited for a beat with poised lips. “Moving on…” He cleared his throat. “In the volumes that I’ve already written, there’s an obscure reference to a forgotten island, one washed away by time and concealed by the elements. This island is where the Guardians hid away their complete library of knowledge.”
“And you’re only finding out about this now?” Dawn sounded unsure.
“Yes and no. When I used to recall their knowledge, I’d get it in bursts, but the problem was that there was too much to remember and things would get pushed to the back of my mind. A-A-And with recent events and my own fears and worries of not acquiring any new knowledge for several months…”
“Told ya you should stop worrying, huh?” Willow grinned lightly.
Giles smirked. “Yes. Again, it was just a reference in one volume, and thankfully, before last May, I’d written a passage in Volume Eight. It was a-a blurb of sorts about the island. With directions.”
“You know where it is?” Rowena shifted her weight in her seat, strain evident on her face. She held one hand on her heavily pregnant stomach, while the other was interlaced with Willow’s.
“You sure you want to be here?” Willow whispered.
Rowena nodded, a little flushed. “Yep, I want one last good watcher-gasm before I jump into my sweats.”
“Jason,” Giles prompted.
“Of course.” Felix rose out of his seat at the end of the table, laptop in his hands, and joined Giles behind the podium. He opened the laptop and brought up an image of the Earth, which displayed behind them on the large monitor. “Using the information in the Guardian volumes in conjunction with the Council’s inherited Bureau Nine satellites, we’ve pinpointed the location of the island.” Felix tapped the keys, and the image refreshed, frame-after-frame, zooming into a familiar area of the North Atlantic Ocean off the Florida east coast, bordered with parts of Cuba and Puerto Rico at the bottom of the image.
“Is that…?” Robin began.
“No…” Lori muttered under her breath.
“What? I don’t get it?” Kennedy said, just as the image refreshed again and the coast of Florida disappeared, now replaced with nothing but ocean.
“The island is inside what is infamously known as the Bermuda Triangle,” Giles revealed to the group, receiving a shocked consensus. “Or to be exact, in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle.”
The image behind him contained only brilliant cerulean blue waters.
Buffy moved her eyes from the monitor to Giles. “What’s the catch?”
Giles stared back at Buffy for a moment; then he stifled a smile and opened his mouth.
End of Act One