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, Alexis Bledel as Denise, Mandy Musgrave as Hadley Ramirez, Steffani Brass as Shannon Matthewson, Rachel Hurd-Wood as Lorinda Sheparton, Laura Prepon as Lori Carew, Christine Carlson Romano as Hope Lehane and Gary Oldman as Mr. Jason Felix
Joanna Lumley as Ms. Vivien March, Freema Agyeman as Siobhan Hartley, Winona Ryder as Valentine Pavlov, Jessica Alba as Dr. Kimberly Goodell, Kate Hudson as Maggie Walsh and Sir Derek Jacobi as Varthrim
Kadin‘s Cabin – Bedroom – Morning
Kennedy lazily rolled over. Her naked body was tangled in the sheets and her lips curled into a content smile. She reached for Kadin, but came up empty. She slowly opened her eyes and began to scan the room.
“Kadin?” she called out. Not getting an answer, she moved to a sitting position and looked around again. This time, she was more alert.
Kadin‘s Cabin – Kitchen – Moments Later
Kennedy, now donning a nightshirt, walked to the refrigerator and opened it. She pulled out a container of orange juice. She opened it, gave it a sniff first, and then decided to take a drink. She walked to the doorway and looked down the hall at the closed bathroom door.
“Kadin? You okay?” she called over.
Kennedy set the orange juice aside and entered the hallway.
Kadin‘s Cabin – Hallway/Bathroom – Moments Later
Kennedy gave the bathroom door a light tap, but not hard enough to make it move. Gingerly, she opened it the rest of the way. Not finding Kadin inside, she frowned. She had begun to turn when something caught her eye in the shower door mirror.
She walked deeper into the bathroom and looked at the sink. There, she found a bloody handprint on the edge.
Kadin‘s Cabin – Later that Morning
“We should be out looking for her,” Kennedy said to Faith. “Not just standing around.”
Faith motioned around their snowy surroundings. “Grant it bloody handprint is usually not a good sign but just where do we start, Slick? You got any ideas?”
Kennedy didn’t have an answer. She watched as Felix and a team scouted the area. They were dusting for prints on the outside doors and taking pictures of the snow-covered ground around them.
“Well, anything’s better than standing around watching Felix act like he’s part of CSI: Watchers Council Unit.”
Faith grinned in spite of Kennedy’s concern, and the younger slayer glared at her.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “That was funny.”
“Urghh. It feels like we’re dragging our heels.”
“Look, Ken, for once, I have to agree with Felix here. He’s got a good idea. Just give him time. Something will turn up…a tell-tale clue.”
“Heck, I don’t know. But it’s better than running around the city, or the woods, like chickens with our heads cut off. Just chill.”
Another Council van pulled up. After it came to a stop, Skye emerged from the driver’s side and Willow from the passenger side. The witch stifled a yawn as she walked over to them carrying a briefcase.
“Sorry,” she apologized, dropping her hand away from her covered mouth. “I got three hours sleep last night, tops. She drove so I wouldn’t fall asleep at the wheel.” She gestured to Skye next to her.
“I see motherhood’s treating you kind,” Faith teased. “But I gotta ask, when ya leaving for your next trip to Europe, because you’re obviously packed?”
“Huh?” Willow asked, confused.
“Those bags under your eyes,” Faith said with a growing grin. “Looks like you’ll be gone for quite a while this time.”
Skye snickered. “That’s a good one.”
“Oh, ha, ha, Ms. Smartass,” Willow answered, as Faith chuckled. “Moving on,” she said, turning to Kennedy. “Did you see anything yesterday, or this morning?”
“No, nothing,” Kennedy told her. “We came back here last night and…had fun, and this morning she was gone. All I found was a bloody handprint, but I bet it was those Knights again.”
Faith and Willow looked at each other for a moment and Faith mumbled.
“She’s what?” Kennedy asked.
“Kadin’s a flake,” Faith told her flat out.
Skye laughed out loud.
“Excuse me?” Kennedy asked.
“She said she’s a flake,” Skye said, still laughing.
“I know what she said!” Kennedy replied. “I just can’t believe she said it.”
Faith continued. “Red can’t say it because she’ll look like the petty ex, but I have no romantic entanglements whatsoever, so I can say it. Trust us, Ken. Handprint or not, the woman’s a flake.”
“I wouldn’t go that far,” Willow said defensively.
“How can you say that?” Kennedy asked Faith, at the same time.
Faith held up a closed hand and raised her thumb. “She turns blue and goes crazy.” She raised a finger. “She disappears for weeks on end.” She raised another finger. “She shows up again and doesn’t tell you anything about where she’s been or what she’s been doing.” She raised one more finger. “And, to this day, she hops on a plane at a moment’s notice to do who knows what.” Faith then opened her hand completely and motioned to Kennedy. “She’s a flake.”
“She was over in England helping the Council there not too long ago,” Kennedy told her. “You want to fault her for it?”
“I’m not faulting her for anything, but since you mentioned it…how do you know this isn’t just someone wanting payback for some other mission, huh?”
Both women began to talk at the same time, and Willow put her fingers in her mouth, giving a loud whistle.
“I’m tired! I was up every other hour last night! And I didn’t come out to the woods to listen to you two argue all morning!”
“I’m sorry,” Kennedy replied.
“Sorry,” Faith added.
“Now,” Willow continued, a bit more calmly. “I’ve got the locator spell supplies. You wanna set up inside?”
“Sure,” Kennedy said as she motioned them toward the door.
“Ladies,” Felix called out as he came over. They stopped walking until he drew near. “We’re finished for now. I’m going to take what we have and start running a few checks. We did find footprints around here that don’t seem to match any of the shoes Ms. Van Helsing has in her home.”
“Did you find any animal prints at all?” Kennedy asked. “Like wolves, maybe?”
“Some deer tracks, some rabbits tracks and footprints.” Felix held up his camera to Kennedy and motioned to her feet before asking, “May I get a picture for a comparison?”
Kennedy turned around and held one boot up in the air, resting on Faith to stay upright.
“This is the weirdest investigation I’ve ever taken part in,” she told the other slayer. Faith just grinned in response.
“Thank you,” Felix told her. “Dawn is running the info we’ve already sent. She’s quite talented, so hopefully we’ll have something soon.”
“Thanks, Felix,” Willow told him.
Felix simply nodded and said, “Ladies,” with a short bow.
Watchers Council – Robin‘s Office – Same Time
Xander and Lori stood before Robin’s desk, both looking decisively uncomfortable in each other’s presence. Occasionally, one would half-glance at the other before looking back at Robin, who was just about done on the phone.
“Right, okay, thanks,” Robin said, and put the phone down. “That was reception. Vivien March, the Oversight rep, has just arrived.” His tone was rather despondent.
“And the bad just keeps on coming,” Xander added flatly.
“What’s she here for?” Lori asked.
“To report on our slayer training program. Oversight also wants to check up and see how the current Bureau Nine cross-training’s going. Speaking of which, the former Bureau Nine Slayer Division wants to make some adjustments to the program…pending a review, of course,” Robin clarified.
“What kind of adjustments?” Xander raised a brow.
Robin sighed. “Umm…you’d need to talk to Siobhan about the specifics. She’s heading up the proposed adjustments, but from what I’ve heard, it’s just more of the same – incorporating new styles and techniques, expanding the syllabus, increasing situational expertise. I can’t really tell you more than that.”
“Can’t see that’s a bad thing,” Lori piped up. “Bureau Nine’s slayer training was vastly different from the Council’s. The way I see it, it can only help.”
“Yeah, but there’s nothing wrong with our training program. Been saving the world at a professional level for five years running here! Why try to fix what ain’t broken?” Xander glared at Lori.
As Lori began to rebut him, Robin jumped in and said quickly, “I’m assigning both of you to Ms. March!” He received hot looks from both of them. He held up his hands to fend off any objections. “We’ve discussed it, and we don’t want her to catch wind of Kadin’s kidnapping. We want to keep this operation in-house and under wraps, need-to-know basis only, got it?”
“See above re: the bad keepin’ on coming,” Xander said. “Besides, if Felix knows, then I’m sure Oversight is all over it already.”
Robin shook his head. “He agrees that, in the interest of time, it’s best to stay focused on Kadin without interference. And as he said, this really isn’t a slayer issue, anyway.”
“And you believe him?” Xander asked incredulously.
“Felix is a man of his word,” Lori said defensively. “If he says it won’t be discussed with them, it won’t.”
Xander acted like he was going to say something else, but Robin spoke up.
“Folks, argue later. Right now, both of you need to keep her occupied. Take her on the tour. Show her the facilities, training sessions, physio results. Do some meets and greets. In other words, just keep her busy and out of the way,” Robin ordered.
Lori crossed her arms against her chest and sighed, shaking her head. “You know what, I’m just gonna come out and say it. This is stupid.”
Robin looked at Lori and then sighed himself.
“Stupid?” Xander repeated. “Hell yeah, this is stupid. Just tell March to come back in…” He waited for a beat for careful consideration. “Well, never would be good.”
“Are you joking? Oversight can help with this op,” Lori said. “They’ve got connections and ties and experience in matters such as these. Do I really have to spell this out?” Lori protested with an incredulous glower, unfolding her arms.
“No, you don’t, but we feel –” Robin tried to get in.
“Yeah, I get it, you don’t trust Oversight. Period,” Lori snapped. “How are you ever gonna trust them if you don’t let them help? Don’t let them in?”
“It’s not up to me –” Robin attempted.
“Trust works both ways, Lori,” Xander cut in. “If they want our trust, then maybe they should show us a little trust. Cut us some slack, and-and let us in, and…not be all looky-downy-nosey!”
“Oh great! Enter the glorified carpenter with his endearing words of wisdom!” she mocked, throwing her hands up in the air.
“That’s right, Lori, roll with the low blows,” Xander applauded her with a slow clap.
“Guys,” Robin said, but they didn’t hear him.
“I just don’t get you. You want your friend back, but you don’t want any help? If anyone is, as you so eloquently and professionally put it, all looky-downy-nosey, then I think it’s the Council!” Lori barked.
“Damn woman, high horse much!” Xander came back.
Lori turned to Robin, pointing to Xander with an open hand. “Can you please tell me what the hell he does around here, bar sand pieces of wood and talk nonsense?”
“And what else do you do around here other than play suck up and lap dog to Felix?” Xander spat back at her.
“Okay, that’s enough! Both of you!” Robin’s raised voice cut through their bickering. “You have been assigned your duties, and I seriously suggest you follow them! Now get out of my office and down to the lobby before Ms. March suspects something.” They stared at him, but Robin held his gaze, unwavering. “Go. Now.” He sounded almost eerily calm.
Lori bit her lip, not just proverbially, but physically. She nodded at Robin, then turned and headed for the door. Xander coughed, not necessarily because his body required the involuntary action, but more to clear the tension in the air. He saluted Robin, who still held his steely glare.
Xander made for the door. Lori opened it and stepped outside, but closed it behind her with a fair bit of force. He snorted and looked back at Robin, jerking a thumb at the closed door.
“See what I mean?” Xander said.
“Just go,” Robin replied tonelessly.
“Yep, going,” Xander agreed with a gulp, and then rushed out of the door.
As the door closed behind Xander, Robin let out a long sigh and rested his head in the palm of his hand.
Watchers Council – Hallway – Same Time
Grace hurried to fall in step beside Buffy, several file folders in hand. Andrew tagged along, helping her by carrying a few more folders. Buffy looked frazzled as she brushed a lock of hair out of her eyes.
“Yes, anything?” she asked.
“Not on Kadin, which I know is the big focus right now,” Grace said, “but you said you wanted this ASAP, and apparently I’m a sap, so they had me bring this over so you could…”
Buffy took no notice of Grace’s horrible pun, instead snatching the folders out of her hands. She took a glance at one page before sighing.
“I still haven’t quite figured out the walking and reading thing yet, so can we…”
“Sit rep?” Grace asked. Buffy just stared at her. “Situational report?” Grace added. Buffy got a look of recognition then and she nodded. “The Voice of Hell is a terrorist group made up of all types of demons, including some that are normally classified as harmless,” Grace continued.
“What’s their beef then?”
Andrew said, “Their stated goal is to retake control of the Earth from the humans, which would be us.”
“Okay, we knew all that, but I’m confused,” Buffy said. “Is the Voice of Hell a person or a group?”
“We’re not sure,” Grace said, while Andrew nodded in agreement. “It could be both. There’s a manifesto in there we got off a website, if you get the time.” She pointed to the folders.
“A website?” Buffy’s eyes widened.
“Yeah, it’s a pretty cool design,” Andrew added. “Flash and everything, but the song is pretty annoying.” Looking annoyed herself, Buffy cast Andrew an exasperated glare. “Sorry,” he apologized. “Go on.”
“Can’t we track them?” Buffy asked Grace.
“We did,” Grace nodded. Buffy looked hopeful for a moment, until Grace added, “It was posted from an internet café in Seoul, using a free web hosting service, under a false name. It’s a dead end. But it’s still –”
“Sorry to interrupt,” Jim interjected as he walked in the opposite direction. “You asked for any updates.” He handed Buffy a sheet of paper before walking on.
“What’s that?” Grace asked.
Buffy glanced at the paper. “More from our friend, the Congresswoman. Seems she is publicly blaming us for not stopping the Voice of Hell attacks – all while standing in the rubble of that church they blew up in California.” She looked back up at Grace. “Just what I needed to make my day complete.”
“I thought she liked us?” Grace asked. “Maybe we should stand outside her next speech wearing giant flip-flop costumes. Oh, I thought you should see this, too…”
Buffy juggled the items she already had in her hands so that she could grab the small white pamphlet Grace held out to her. “‘The Voice of Hell Speaks,'” Buffy read. “Where did you get this?”
“Two hours ago. Casey and friends took down a nest of Mequots in a storage locker in Beachwood…they found a whole stack of these.”
Buffy and Grace finally stopped in front of the doors to the Council’s Command Center, sharing a look. “They’re recruiting,” Buffy said.
“Looks like,” Grace nodded.
Buffy took a moment to mull this over. Then she handed Grace everything in her arms. “Here, take these, put ’em on my desk. First we find Kadin, then we’ll deal with the mean lady and the al-Qaeda with fangs.”
“Solid plan,” Grace agreed, but Buffy was already through the door. Grace didn’t quite have a hold on everything, and one of the folders dropped to the floor. She tried to kneel down and pick it up, only to have everything else fall out of her arms, as well.
“One of those days, huh?” Andrew said from above her.
Watchers Council – Willow and Rowena’s Apartment – Later that Morning
Willow crawled into the bed and collapsed face first, still fully clothed.
Rowena opened her eyes next to her. “Rough morning?” she asked.
“I’m sorry,” Willow said into the pillow. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“I was already awake. I’m just not ready to leave the bed yet.”
Willow raised her head and turned to face Rowena. “Kadin took off again, or got taken. We’re really not sure.”
“Did you do a locator spell?”
“Yeah, but I don’t know if I’m just tired or being blocked. Either way, it didn’t turn up anything. I’ve got Jeff giving it a try with some of Kadin’s belongings. At the moment, though, I just want some sleep.”
Rowena ran her fingers over Willow’s hair. “You’re a great mom and a great Council member.”
“Right now, I’d like to be a great sleeper,” she replied.
Rowena leaned over and kissed Willow on the forehead before getting up. “Sleep now, and I’ll take the twins to the living room.”
“No, I’ll help,” Willow said, beginning to roll over.
“You’ve done enough today,” Rowena answered. “Besides, after you wake up, I’m going back to bed,” she added with a tiny smile. “Rest now, so I can sleep later.”
As Willow kicked off her shoes, the phone rang.
“Noooo,” she whined in response.
Rowena smiled and answered it. “Yeah, but she’s on her way to bed,” she said into the phone.
“Who is it?” Willow asked.
“One second,” Rowena said into the phone, then turned to Willow. “It’s Dawn,” she replied. “Says they’ve got something on Kadin, maybe.”
Willow motioned for the phone, and she took it, saying, “Yes.” After listening for a few moments, she said, “Okay, I’ll be there in five.”
Willow handed the phone back to Rowena and took a seat on the bed to put her shoes back on.
“Can’t someone else see to what she needs?” Rowena asked her. “You need some sleep, Will.”
“No rest for the wicked computer hacker,” she said with a small smile, before kissing Rowena’s cheek. “I’ll be back in a few.”
Watchers Council – Computer Lab – Moments Later
“So what am I hacking, exactly?” Willow asked as she yawned at the same time.
“The Pentagon mainframe. The boot prints Felix found match those of a military brand,” Dawn explained. “I’ve got a hunch that someone in the government took Kadin.”
“How do you figure?” Willow asked.
“Because it snowed last night,” Dawn answered.
Willow waited for her to continue. When she didn’t, she prompted Dawn with a wave of her hands.
“Dawnie, I’ve slept three of the last twenty-four hours. Spoon-feed me the info here, please.”
“Oh, right. Well, it snowed last night, so that means the prints were made sometime this morning between five, when it stopped, and eight, when Kadin went missing.”
Willow still looked confused.
“It’s likely that whoever made those tracks knows where Kadin is. Now, it could be a coincidence that the people who took her just happen to have the same boots as the military, but I’m willing to take a chance on looking into that angle.”
“What angle?” Willow prompted.
“That maybe the government not only has info on Kadin, but also a special interest in her. Or best possible scenario, we discover where she is if they do have her.”
“Okay, so the short answer is you need Pentagon information?” Willow asked.
“Yes.” Dawn nodded.
“Okay, one condition,” Willow told her. “I need coffee.”
Dawn grinned. “Comin’ right up,” she answered before leaving.
Undisclosed Location – Same Time
Kadin opened her eyes and then widened them, as if trying to make her eyes function better. As she sat up, she noticed she was inside a steel cage in the middle of what appeared to be a type of medical facility. Her leg was secured to a steel chain, although it had enough slack to give her some freedom within the cell.
From over her shoulder, Kadin heard someone ask, “Would you like some water?”
She turned sharply toward the noise, then grabbed her head as if trying to keep her balance.
“You might not want to make any sudden movements for a while,” the voice said.
A blonde woman appeared and held out a bottle of water.
“So you can drug me some more?” Kadin asked. “No thanks.”
The woman grinned, then walked backward a few steps. “It’s sealed,” she said. “See for yourself.”
Gingerly, Kadin reached out and took it. She inspected it all over, then twisted the cap off and began to greedily drink it.
“Who are you?” Kadin asked between swigs.
“My name is Dr. Kimberly Goodell,” the woman told her, while she retrieved another bottle from a nearby table, then walked back toward Kadin’s cage. She set the second bottle inside the cell. “But you can call me Kim.”
“Okay, Kim,” Kadin said sarcastically. “Since we’re being so chummy, you wanna tell me why I’m chained up in a cell?”
“For nearly three decades, my predecessors have tried to find a way to build the perfect soldier. Different organizations have tried different means, but none have managed to be successful.”
“And I’m here because…?”
Kim grinned. “To be brief, you’re perfect.”
“What does that mean? Perfect for what?”
“Certain…governments and organizations…they’ve been trying to build the ideal, impervious fighter. Some scientists have tried to re-train demons, to make them submissive to all commands, but none have been successful. Others tried to use humans, but their bodies were unable to withstand the intensive drug dosages needed to make them resilient. And although one firm tried to merge demons with humans, part for part…the results were far from exceptional, disastrous, in fact. But you, combined with our efforts…as I said, you’re perfect for the job.”
Although Kim was grinning, Kadin’s face showed no emotions.
Watchers Council – Hallway – Moments Later
Vivien March, a tall, almost majestic looking woman in her early to mid-sixties, walked down the hall as if she were on a catwalk. She wore a dark, tailored suit that hugged her slender frame and accentuated her assets.
“And this, Ms. March, is our training wing,” Lori said as she held open the door for the older woman, who gave her a slight smile. Just as Xander was about to walk through, Lori herself stepped through the door first and let it go.
Xander reached out and grabbed the door before it slammed in his face. He gave Lori a furious glare as she glanced back over her shoulder. She just smirked and turned back to March.
“So, Mr. Harris, explain to me, what would be a slayer’s average day?” Her accent was English, its husky undertones and inflection indicating a prestigious upbringing, possibly even nobility.
“Well, that’s not really my department,” Xander said.
“What is your department, Mr. Harris?” March asked, before he could elaborate.
“I’m the weapons master.”
“Weapons master? And that entails what, exactly?” March stopped and looked at him with a raised brow.
Lori cocked her head to the side with folded arms and looked at Xander as well, albeit with more sarcasm than curiosity.
“Okay, well, I order and keep stock of all of the Council’s melee weapons and firearms. I liaise with the Slayer Division when it comes to testing the weapons, and also augment current weapons to improve their effectiveness. That,” Xander said, raising a finger, “and I custom build my own weaponry.” He gave March a semi-smug smile. “They call me Q around here.”
“Among other things,” Lori mumbled under her breath. Then, louder, she said, “I can fill you in on slayers. After all, better to hear from the horse’s mouth.”
“Quite.” March turned to Lori and smiled.
“Quite,” Xander grumbled quietly.
As they started to walk again, Lori continued. “An average day for a slayer differs depending on her shift, duties and curriculum, but often she starts with a cardio workout in the gym, followed by laps around the track. It really depends on what shift she’s working that month – days or nights. Then she has some down time, for a meal and a shower, before she goes to class and/or further training.”
“You said curriculum?” March asked, and Lori nodded. “So the younger slayers are getting a standard education? English, Maths, Science, et cetera?”
“Correct,” Lori said. “As you know, I’ve been ‘inactive’ for a few years, and in the beginning, I had no clue what to do. I wasn’t happy with the positions offered to me here at the Council. I mean, how do you go from superhero to pencil-pusher, y’know?”
“I can only imagine,” March comforted.
“I think it was more to do with me than what I was offered. I considered myself to be less, even if the others didn’t. I don’t want any of the current slayers to find themselves uninspired and dejected when they become inactive. With the current curriculum, they – I mean, we – teach and offer the slayers a life after their calling. I think that’s really important for their development, and it’s good to see that the Council has realized that,” Lori finished.
“For example, Shannon Matthewson; she’s an aspiring writer and has expressed an interest in pursuing a career as an author,” Xander offered.
“Really?” March asked with a slight frown and a curl of her lips. “Why I think that’s wonderful. I imagine with her stories – providing they’re declassified – would make wonderful novels. Perhaps we could wrangle her into penning a new Slayers’ Handbook,” she chuckled.
Xander shared in her chuckle. From Lori’s angle, it looked rather forced.
“Question. though. What of the older slayers? What procedures do you have in place for them come their pending deactivation?” March looked to both Lori and Xander. “I ask because they have been educated and achieved qualifications, or at least hopefully have. Therefore, they have the necessary base skills to go into employment. Do you perhaps have a career program or such for them?”
Xander looked over at Lori and shrugged his shoulders. March caught Xander’s look and followed his gaze to Lori.
“Actually, at present, we don’t,” she answered.
March gave an obviously disappointed and disapproving, “Ah.”
“However,” Xander offered, “quite a few have said that they’re interested in staying on at the Council, becoming teachers and tutors, training and educating the junior slayers with their techniques, experience, and stories.”
“But they should at least have the option of exploring different avenues, should they not?” March replied. “I suppose what I’m getting to is that ex-slayers are likely to sign up to the military because of their expertise, coming to the conclusion that fighting and killing is all that they are good at or, more sadly, all that they feel that they can do. While honorable in its own right, it also essentially typecasts them as soldiers and strips them of opportunities and passions outside of these walls.” March caught Xander’s almost-shocked expression. “You look akin to a cod, Mr. Harris. Are you really that surprised that I do indeed care for these girls, these women?”
He shook his head. “No. No, I…”
“Umm…well, how unfortunate.” March sighed and looked back at Lori. “Miss Carew, I’d like to view a training session, please.”
Lori gestured for her to follow down the hall. “At the moment, there aren’t any training sessions in progress, but we can take you around to our various facilities or sit in on a daily briefing?”
“Yes, I suppose that’ll do. See all aspects and such. I must ask, though. Who conducts these training sessions?”
“Experienced slayers rotate periods of teaching the younger, junior slayers. We’ve found that the junior slayers not only find it more enjoyable having multiple teachers, but they also benefit from viewing and learning different ways of training and approaching situations,” Lori explained. “Right now, we’re integrating the former Bureau Nine slayers into the system.”
“I do hope that the junior slayers have full-time teachers, as well.” March’s glare implied there was definitely a correct answer to the question..
“Yes,” Xander said, as the group came to a stop outside the briefing room door. “And watchers oversee the training sessions, too.”
As Lori pushed open the door, a relieved March continued, “Well, good then, lead the way…”
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Later that Day
“I’m telling you, it’s the Knights who took her,” Kennedy told the room of Council leaders.
“We don’t know that, Ken,” Robin said.
“Thank you,” Faith added. “If you won’t listen to me, at least listen to Robin,” she told Kennedy.
“Besides,” Robin went on, “the Knights proper made their peace with Kadin after her trial. Those who didn’t went down with James Vance and his followers.”
“Not Coen,” Kennedy pointed out.
“Wouldn’t it be best to find out for sure?” Giles posed to Kennedy. “I realize you want her safe return, but it’s important that we find the proper place to look. We wouldn’t want to waste time following a false lead.”
“I get that, Giles, but I think they’re wrong,” Kennedy replied. “I’m willing to bet that Coen and his crazy lycan family are behind this.”
“They’re not,” Dawn said from the doorway, with Felix next to her.
Everyone in the meeting – Kennedy, Faith, Buffy, Giles and Robin – turned to face her. She walked over the podium and punched a few keys, causing a computer screen to come up behind her on a large white board.
“Here’s what we’ve learned so far,” she began as Felix stood off to the side.
A web page came up on the big screen.
“Thanks to our own witchy hacker extraordinaire – who is hopefully in bed sleeping now – I got into the Pentagon database.”
“Pentagon?” Robin asked.
“Felix’s team found boot prints that match a brand the military uses. I followed a hunch, and it seems to have paid off…well, not really when I tell you what I think’s going on, but –”
“Get to the point, please,” Kennedy told her. “Do you know where Kadin is or not?”
“Maybe, but it’s not good news,” Dawn warned her. “See these pictures?”
She scrolled through the records, passing over dozens of soldiers’ pictures and profiles, all ending with big bold lettering reading ‘DECEASED.’ She went down a bit further, and new pictures came up, revealing the latest of many failed attempts. Finally, Kadin’s picture popped up, this time with the word ‘TESTING.’
“They have an entire profile on Kadin,” Dawn explained. “This link here…” she said, clicking it and making another page pop up. “It describes Kadin’s ability and a probability of 98.7% that her body can withstand the treatments.”
“Ability and treatments?” Kennedy asked.
“Yeah, what the hell are we looking at here?” Faith asked, as her eyes, like everyone else’s, scanned the screen.
“Short version…S.A.V.A.G.E.” Dawn replied.
“Savage,” Giles muttered.
“It’s an acronym,” Dawn told them. “It seems to stand for Subject Amenable Valid As Genuine Entrant.”
Kennedy’s mouth was open, but she didn’t seem to be forming any words.
Buffy was the one to ask, “What does this mean, Dawn?”
“It means someone in the military is trying to turn Kadin into the perfect killing machine…and there’s nothing we can do to stop them.”
Buffy and Giles shared an unspoken look of concern.
End of Act One