Act 1



Lacey Chabert as Skye Talisker, Gale Harold as Jim Pollan, Caroline Dhavernas as Grace Hatherley, Elijah Woods as Jeff Lindquist, Steffani Brass as Shannon Matthewson, Rachel Hurd-Wood as Lorinda Sheparton, Robert Picardo as Dr. Albert Miller, Laura Prepon as Lori Carew, Christine Carlson Romano as Hope Lehane and Gary Oldman as Mr. Jason Felix

Guest Starring:
Robin Sachs as Ethan Rayne, Rhona Mitra as Alex Neel, Winona Ryder as Valentine Pavlov, John Castle as Winston Giles, Frank Langella as Mr. Lehane, Lisa Edelstein as Dean Mulliner and Abbadon and Stephen Austin as Reteesk


Fade In:
Reteesk’s Apartment – Day

“Zeromus?” Reteesk blinked his huge eyes as he entered the sitting room, tea tray in hand. “As a matter of possibly interesting fact, I do know the name, yes.”

“Really?” Jeff smiled as he turned on the small tape recorder in his hand, then placed it on the coffee table.

“Oh, yes. Zeromus the Tiny.” Reteesk lay the tea set down and began to serve. “Milk? Sugar?”

“Both, please. And…’the Tiny?’ They called him that?”

“Definitely. For one of his species, he was renowned for being what might accurately be termed a dwarf. Barely larger than your people. Or mine.” While speaking, Reteesk expertly prepared a single cup of tea and passed it to Jeff. “How pleasing to know that the expensive formal education my family insisted upon might prove useful to someone.”

“Hugely useful,” said Jeff. He took a sip of his tea and sighed in appreciation.


“What kind?”


“You are an amazing host, thank you.”

“One does try. Speaking of which, I actually have a copy of the Histories of Glaull somewhere around here. Rather dull going and, from what I understand, not the most rigorously accurate of tomes. Still, it gives an overview.”

“That would be fantastic!”

“My pleasure! Any other bits of obscure lore with which I may dazzle you?”

“Maybe. There was some graffiti Giles and Felix and others saw recently, in an ancient city. It read ‘Beware the Loathestone,’ and frankly, we haven’t got the slightest idea what it means.”

“Oh my. That is most obscure, most obscure indeed, young man.”

“Do you understand it?”

“Well, I do have some idea about what the Loathestone might be, at any rate.”

“I’m all ears!”

Reteesk fluttered his tendrils in a way that among his kind was the equivalent of a sigh. “The Loathestone I’m thinking of was a central tenet in the religion of the Sisters of the Glow, an ancient, but now, sadly, extinct species of demons devoted to natural order. According to them, it was a crystal that fell to earth in the age when the Old Ones still roamed. We were just speaking of Zeromus, a coincidence, so goes life, I suppose.”

Jeff nodded. “Certainly.”

“Well, soon enough, it became obvious the stone was a mystical artifact of great power, and wars began over its possession. Not for centuries did anyone learn the truth.” Reteesk paused, as if putting his thoughts in order. “As you recall, the very worst of demons had held sway at this point for uncounted eons, and their victims were beyond number. Somehow, the blood of all those innocents and not-so-innocents shed across the millennia gathered to that stone. Gave to it their accumulated power, and more, gave it life.”

“Wait, it’s a stone that’s alive?”

Reteesk nodded. “Alas, they also bestowed upon that life their own rage, their own horror at what they’d suffered, their immortal lust for revenge. The Old Ones believed the Loathestone was a tool to be used. In fact, they were its tools to sow suffering and destruction.”

“So, it is some kind of anti-demonic force?”

“Oh no. Nothing that relatively benign. The Loathestone is well named, for it feels nothing but seething hatred for every single thing. It longs for its own death, but refuses to die until every other living being feels as it does. Demons, humans, even animals are its prey. It does not want power. It does not want pleasure. It desires only to cause suffering. The Sisters claimed that it was because of the Loathestone that the Old Ones lost their purchase upon this reality – weakened by internecine warfare.”

“What happened to it? Or do I want to know?”

“The Sisters of the Glow claimed to have hidden it away somewhere, surrounded by wards, in hopes no one would ever find it again.”

“Assuming their tale is the right one, I think I’d agree with that.”

“Wouldn’t we all, dear boy? Wouldn’t we all?” Before Reteesk could say anything more, a sharp beeping sound came from Jeff’s pocket. He reached in and took out a pager.

“Hm,” said Jeff. “I’ve got to go.”

“So soon? But I was about to pontificate even more about obscure cults and strange mythologies!”

Jeff laughed. “I’ll look forward to it. But it’ll have to be another time, I’m afraid.” He pressed a button on the tape recorder, shutting it off.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Willow and Rowena’s Apartment – Day

Willow walked in to see the twins sleeping in their playpen in the living room and Rowena nearby at the kitchen table, surrounded by books. She squinted at one volume she was holding.

Willow walked over at a slow pace. When she was within a few feet. she softly said, “You need glasses.”

Rowena grinned. “Do not. This is, uh, just really small handwritten text.” Willow tried to look over the top of the book, but Rowena snapped it shut quickly.

Willow smiled knowingly. Instead of starting a debate, she motioned to the books around the table.

“I see you can put the watcher on maternity leave, but you can’t take the watcher out of the mom.” Willow then looked at a few of the titles, picking them up. Vampire Legends Great and Small, Vampyre History and, oh this is interesting, How to Make Love to a Vampire?

What?” Rowena exclaimed, as she looked over at the book to which Willow was motioning.

“Gotcha,” Willow told her with a smile. “Guess I’m not the only gullible one in this relationship.”

“I’m just a little tired at the moment,” Rowena defended herself.

“What is all this, anyway? I thought you wrote a book already?”

“I did, but this…” She paused, seemingly searching for a place to start. “Skye has been describing certain feelings.”

“Skye even has feelings?” Willow asked, with a bit of cynicism.

“Exactly,” Rowena replied. “But the weirder part is, the feeling she often describes, in many cases, is empathy.”

“Vampires don’t feel empathy,” Willow pointed out.

“Correct – soulless vampires don’t. I went over some of Giles’s journals he saved from his Sunnydale years. Jeez, does he write small sometimes. Anyway, Angel and Spike both displayed signs of empathy.”

Willow paused. “You think she has a soul? How?”

“Not so much a soul but…perhaps a soul that’s returning, or trying to surface within the demon. I mean, you can’t argue that she’s not as bad as she used to be,” Rowena explained. Willow once more said nothing. “What I mean is, the snark-meter isn’t anywhere near the red zone like it once was.”

“Okay, I’ll give you that,” Willow agreed. “But still, I guess I’m not seeing the point.”

“I have a theory,” Rowena began. “What if Skye’s soul wasn’t destroyed, as Dawn was led to believe. What if it was just misplaced and somehow it’s making its way back home? Or-or maybe it’s not the soul she once had, but a new one that’s growing within her, somehow?”

“Like a chia soul? Just add water and it grows?”

Rowena giggled. “I know, it sounds ridiculous, but something is going on. I just haven’t figured out the why and how of it yet.”

“Well, do you mind if I give you a bit of solitude for a few days to figure it out?”

“Another mission, right?” Rowena asked.

Willow looked sheepish and shrugged her shoulders.

Cut To:
Watchers Council Headquarters – Day

“When?” Dr. Miller wore a frown as he asked.

Hope sighed. Her breath became a tiny cloud of mist in the cold. They stood in a turf island in the center of the Council Headquarters’ outdoor parking lot. No one else stood within a dozen yards, and those few that were in the parking lot were headed indoors.

“This isn’t something that can be swept under the carpet,” Dr. Miller continued. “Sooner or later, consequences will follow. Unless I miss my guess, they already have.”

“I really don’t want to talk about –”

“Hope,” Miller interrupted her. “Not talking about a time bomb doesn’t defuse it. The time to put out a fire is before it spreads, not after. Not if you have any choice in the matter. We’re talking about the potential equivalent of cancer.”

“But…” Hope almost didn’t continue. “I shouldn’t have said anything.”

“Maybe. Maybe not. But, you did.”

She said nothing. “Try to understand –” Her pager went off. She took it out of her pocket and read it. “Look, I’ve got to go.”

“This isn’t going to go away,” Dr. Miller said.

“Well, maybe not. But right now, I need to.”

She hurried back towards the main building.

Cut To:
Council Helicopter – Day

Even through the soundproofing, the whine of turbines registered in the passenger cabin of the Council helicopter. High-backed seats lined the cabin, while on the wall hung the coat of arms of the Watchers’ Council.

“New?” Faith gestured at the arms on the wall with her chin.

Felix nodded. “Seemed appropriate. Now,” he stood, “the Boston Police have already had something of a breakthrough. The actual owner of the reliquary, one Simon Reede, is in financial difficulties. Hope?”


“You seemed about to say something.”

“No. I just…the name sounded familiar is all. Go on.”

“Well, it looks as if he arranged to have the reliquary stolen in order to collect insurance. Police have already traced a payment from Reede to the thief. A specialist in high tech security systems named Logan. Reede, as a member of the museum’s board, had access to the full details of the system we put into place.”

“So why are we still up in the wild, blue yonder?” Faith almost smiled.

“The reliquary?” suggested Willow.

“Precisely,” said Felix. “Logan himself is missing, as is the reliquary. If both are found intact, especially the latter, then we all have a really nice dinner. My treat. And go home.”

Hope nodded. “Let’s hope.”

Jeff snickered. “So to speak.”

She kicked his shin.

Cut To:
High School Hallway – Same Time

Literally dozens of girls in school uniforms wound their way between each other. Several headed for the wide staircase at one end of the hall, which attracted less traffic than a near-identical one on the other end.

Three girls caught each other’s eyes amid the crowd. One blonde and two brunettes. The taller of the latter two had an olive complexion. All of them wove their way through the other students, headed for the less-used staircase. By the time they reached it, they had nearly formed a line and headed up.

“So what’s all the fuss across the street?” another schoolgirl was asking as they passed her.

“Robbery at the museum,” said the girl beside her.

“Wow. What was nicked, anybody know?”

The second girl shrugged.

By now the blonde and two brunettes had reached the landing.

Cut To:
Storeroom – Moments Later

“Okay,” said the tall brunette as they entered the room, “anybody hear the latest from Mulliner?”

The other two followed her into a large room, lined and divided with shelves. Each shelf contained boxes and a myriad of junk, from moldering textbooks to broken tennis rackets and several now-obsolete globes showing nations that no longer existed.

“Was this the one about how some students used Satanic powers to curse the school? Heard it.”

“Everybody heard that one. No, this is about some superstar or other used to go here.”

The blonde snorted, taking out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. “Doesn’t she also go on about getting to meet the Pope once?”

Nodding, the shorter brunette accepted a cigarette. “And about how her uncle got better when he went to Lourdes.”

“So,” said the blonde, looking at the taller brunette, “who’s the celebrity? Madonna? Pamela Anderson? Marilyn Manson?”

They all laughed, but the taller brunette stopped suddenly, her face going pale. She had her eyes fixed on the corner of the room. Both of the other girls noticed and moved over to where she stood, looking to see whatever she was seeing.

One of them screamed.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Training Room – Later

“Remember, though,” Valentine was saying to over a dozen young Slayers, “nobody should even think about using firearms in the field without rigorous training.”

“I already did,” said Lorinda.

“Well, you shouldn’t have.”

“Had to. Monsters were attacking and I didn’t have any powers.”


“No time to take a class. But I did pretty good. I’m still here, right?”

Valentine took a breath. “Yes. Yes, you are. But that was an emergency, and not good operating procedures.”

The door to the training room suddenly opened, revealing Xander and Grace pushing a cart. Within the cart were guns.

“Ho, ho, ho,” said Xander with a grin.

“What did you call me?” Lorinda almost smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes.

“What? Oh! Actually, I was doing a riff kinda-thingy on Santa Claus, with the not-really-a-sled here.” He gulped. “Which wasn’t that funny, I admit.”

“Xander,” sighed Grace. She looked at Valentine. “He’s not arguing about the guns anymore, but he did think all firearms need to be registered and signed out via the armory.” She gestured to the cart. “Which is what we’re doing.”

“Oh,” said Valentine. “Well, that’s a good idea, actually. Let me.” and with that she put the rifle in her hands into the cart. Grace attached a tiny tag with a serial number.

Lorinda moved to pick up the rifle on the table.

“No,” said Valentine.

“But I’ve handled guns before.”

“First, get certified. That is the safe way.”

“Yeah,” said Xander, “so, if you’ll just hand over that baby…”

“And again, no.”

Xander blinked. So did Grace.

“That isn’t Council or Bureau Nine property. That gun is mine.”

“Oh,” said Grace. “Well, that’s different.”

“I don’t think so,” said Xander. “This is about deadly weapons within the Council building itself.”

“Like Lori’s cane, you mean?” Valentine smiled as she said it. “Besides, here’s the nice little safety feature of which you should approve.” She reached into her coat pocket and pulled out a piece of metal. “The firing pin. Without this, that gun is nothing but an elaborate club.”

“But you can put it back any time you want, right?” Xander said this.

“Sure, but it isn’t that easy to do. You have to know exactly how, and I’m not about to without an extraordinarily good reason. Let’s hope nothing that extraordinary happens!”

“Oh no,” groaned Grace. “Why did you have to say that? Now you’ve gone and jinxed the day. I know it. I just know it! Come on, Xander.” She made for the exit, pulling the cart.

After a moment, Xander followed her.

“So, Valentine…” began Lorinda.

“I’m not teaching you how to insert the firing pin.”


Cut To:
Willow and Rowena’s Apartment – Later that Day

Rowena opened the door to find Skye standing there.

“Come on in,” she said with a wave, leaving the door open behind her. Rowena had one of the twins perched near her shoulder while she rubbed its back, as the other twin cried from the playpen. “Feeding time,” she explained as she walked over to the sofa. Skye followed. “And Alex here doesn’t want to burp for me.”

Skye grabbed one of the burp rags and tossed it over her shoulder, then motioned for Alex.

“I’ll take gassy. You get squealy.”

After Skye took a seat on the sofa, Rowena handed her the baby. Skye massaged his back while the watcher picked up her hungry daughter, who immediately began to suckle.

“Now’s your chance,” a voice in Skye’s head called out. She looked over to see Rowena’s lips moving, but she couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying. “You know you wanna taste young blood, and it won’t get much younger than this.” Skye turned from Rowena and closed her eyes, as if trying to block out the voice in her head, when another one entered. “Don’t. They trust you. They’ve helped protect you. It’s not worth it.” Once more, the first voice returned, sounding sinister and saying, “It’s not like you’d kill it, after all, just a little nip.”

“Enough,” Skye said forcefully. Immediately after she spoke the word, a burp erupted from Alex.

Both sounds made Rowena turn her head toward Skye. “You okay?” she asked.

“I think he’s good,” Skye said as she rose from the sofa. She set Alex gently back into the playpen. “Listen, why don’t we try again later?” she asked, beginning to sweat. “You’re busy.”

“It’s okay,” Rowena told her. “Jen’s happy now, so let’s talk abou –”

“I gotta go, okay?” Skye said forcefully. She didn’t wait for a response and quickly left the apartment.

“What the hell was that?” Rowena muttered after Skye had left.

Cut To:
Council Helicopter – Later that Day

“I understand,” Felix said into his phone before hanging it up. “Well, it seems we have the proverbial good news and bad news.”

“Just like a TV script,” said Faith.

“That is one way of putting it,” Felix said. “Logan the thief has been found. He was dead. And the reliquary beside him was broken.”

“So, no nice dinner then home-heading, I take it?” said Willow.

“Provided we have time, the nice dinner I can still provide.”

“How did Logan die, anyway?” said Jeff.

“There’ll be an autopsy, but at present it seems he died of several spider bites.”

Hope said, “Spiders? This has to do with spiders now?” She shuddered. Jeff put his arm around her.

“Not as scary as frogs, of course, but I’m with her,” said Willow. “Spiders?”

“Perhaps,” Felix said, “Perhaps not. What is most odd is that spiders which are truly venomous to human beings are quite rare. None are native to New England. So we will have to wait and see. Meanwhile, there’s a car waiting to take us to the location where Logan was found. No one has touched the reliquary, so we’ll be able to examine it more closely.”

“Right,” said Jeff, “and where was Logan, anyway?”

“A rarely-used storeroom, across the street from the museum. In the Crown of Thorns Catholic High School for Girls.”

Faith did a take. “You have got to be freakin’ kidding me!”

“Please!” Hope echoed her tone. “That would be…that…no. No.”

“Uh,” said Willow, “what’s the big deal?”

Felix shook his head in puzzlement. Jeff leaned in closer to Hope. “Honey?”

After a few moments, Faith broke the silence. “That was our high school. We went there. We had classes there. We even dropped out from there. Well, I did, anyway.”

“I graduated,” Hope said, voice low.

“Yeah, whatever,” said Faith. She glared at Felix. “And I’m supposed to believe this is a coincidence?”

“If not,” Felix said, “then the cause is not something of which I am aware, Miss Lehane. As I pointed out earlier, the precise nature of the reliquary is not known. Maybe that nature explains this coincidence – unless, of course, it really is just a coincidence. Such things do happen.”

With a sigh, Faith began to beat her head against the back of her chair. “You have got to be kidding me,” she said under her breath, between clenched teeth. “You have got to be kidding me.”

Across from her, Hope said nothing.

Black Out


End of Act One

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