Lacey Chabert as Skye Talisker, Gale Harold as Jim Pollan, Caroline Dhavernas as Grace Hatherley, Elijah Woods as Jeff Lindquist, Michelle Rodriguez as Kadin Van Helsing, Laura Pyper as Casey Pierce, Norika Fujiwara as Mia Nakata, Alexis Bledel as Denise, Tessa Thompson as Chamique, Steffani Brass as Shannon Matthewson, Rachel Hurd-Wood as Lorinda Sheparton, T.R. Knight as Jackson, Jonas Armstrong as Stewart Markham, Mandy Musgrave as Hadley Ramirez, Freema Agyeman as Siobhan Hartley, Helen Shaver as Becca Giles, Robert Picardo as Dr. Albert Miller, Robin Sachs as Ethan Rayne, Alexa Davalos as Gwen Raiden, Laura Prepon as Lori Carew, Cote de Pablo as Amira Aziz, Thora Birch as Tracey Hausser and Gary Oldman as Mr. Jason Felix
Marcia Cross as Autumn O’Mara, Morena Baccarin as The Voice of Hell, Jessica Beals as Miss Sanger, Jennifer Connelly as Althenea Dimmons, Rhona Mitra as Alex Neel, Tracy-Ann Oberman as Cameron Rayne, Renee Zellweger as Mary Grace Allister, Catherine O’Hara as Betty Allister, Lee Pace as Rock Cartwright, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Robert Devlin, Stephen Austin as Reteesk, Cameron Bright as Hugh, Joanna Lumley as Ms. Vivien March, Patrick Stewart as Chairman Spaulding, William Shatner as Representative Thad Frasier, Richard Dean Anderson as Captain Rigg, Ron Rifkin as Curtis Daniels, Ron Rifkin as Curtis Daniels, Jason Carter as Scaly Demon Leader and Mindy Cohn as Katie Julles
Voice of Hell Meeting Place – Moments Later
All of the demons had left to watch or assist with Ethan Rayne’s removal of the spell that held Skye in check. Alone with the sailor, the Voice of Hell went silent. Autumn O’Mara’s voice now sounded in the shadows.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered to the dead sailor on the floor at her feet. She shuddered at the lifeless shape as she waited for it to rise as a vampire. “I’m so sorry…”
She looked around the empty room, taking her eyes off the sight of the dead man’s eyes, which stared, wide open and frozen in terror. Her own eyes leaked orange tears, though she did not blink. They trailed down her cheeks.
O’Mara caught her breath at the sound of the door opening behind her. Her human eyes quickly morphed into the demonic, cat-like eyes, her tears drying almost instantly. She turned, the Voice of Hell once more.
“Well?” she coldly asked the demon that had entered.
He took a step back, startled. “Mistress…the security team has found something – a digital camera – in the building.”
“Just inside the entry. They think it was placed there to track us coming and going –”
“Of course it was!” she said.
“They’re doing a sweep of the entire building now.”
“Has anyone checked my office?”
“The security team is on its way. They sent me to tell you.”
“Stay here. Wait for this one to wake,” she nodded brusquely at the dead sailor. “When he does, put him with the others to begin his training.”
The Voice of Hell strode past the demon and out of the room.
Voice of Hell Office – Moments Later
Several demons were on hands and knees, running their hands along the baseboards, while others were standing on the desk and chairs checking light fixtures and wall panels.
“So far it’s clean,” one of the demons said.
“Shut up. We don’t need to know if it’s clean,” the demon in charge snapped. “Only if it’s got some kind of device in–”
“Hey! Hey, I found something!” One of the demons standing on a chair had pushed a ceiling panel up. “They did a good job hiding it,” he said. “The way they attached it to back of the panel. Thing’s so light! Would’ve missed it if I hadn’t turned this over…” He held the back of the ceiling panel out for the other demons to see.
All the demons turned toward the door.
The Voice of Hell stood, fury in her golden eyes. “Who has put that there?” No one answered. “Let me see it! I want to see what they have recorded.”
The demon holding the camera blanched. “I-I’m sorry, Mistress, but…”
The Voice of Hell walked up slowly to the demon that looked nervously down from where he was still perched on the chair.
“I said,” she said with quiet intensity, “Let. Me. See.”
“But…there is nothing to see, Mistress. These cameras use data sticks, not tape. And the data stick is…” He looked nervously at the demon in charge. “…gone.”
“Get a mage in here!” the Voice of Hell cried. “Now! I want a tracking spell put on this camera and on the other one! I want to know exactly where they came from and who planted them!”
“Yes, ma’am,” the demon in charge answered, and swiftly left the room.
Giles and Becca’s House – Living Room – Resume
There was silence in the room as Buffy, Giles, and Xander all looked at each other. Giles turned back toward Skye.
“Sorry,” he said with a perplexed look. “Are you sure?”
“Yes. Ethan Rayne is working for the Voice of Hell, and he just–”
Jim groaned. “Perfect,” he said. “Just the nail in the coffin we needed…”
Giles shook his head. “You must be mistaken…”
“I’m bloody not,” Skye answered. “I saw him there with the Voice of Hell, not to mention several demons and another vampire. He’s working for them!”
“Why am I not surprised?” Buffy said lightly. “In fact, why did I not make a bet on it?”
“Are you positive it was him?” Giles asked.
Buffy peered at him in mock concern. “Listen much?” she asked.
Skye nodded. “They paid him to–”
“Ahhh, there’s the magic word – paid,” Buffy said. “Or at least, the only magic word Ethan really cares about.”
“Hey,” Dawn called as she entered the living room. “What’s going on?”
She brightened as she saw Skye standing near the door. Skye looked up at Dawn, her serious expression making Dawn’s smile disappear.
“Ethan’s working for the Voice of Hell,” Skye told her ominously.
“We don’t know that yet,” Giles said.
“You’re just being Mr. Blind-To-All-Things-Ethan-y,” Buffy shot back, “Giles, I know you believe he’s a kinder, gentler slimeball now. But let’s face it. Ethan is out for Ethan and always will be! Leopards don’t change their spots. Fish gotta swim. Birds gotta fly.”
“Yes, thank you for the zoology lesson!” Giles snapped at her angrily.
Jason walked into the room with a curious expression as the outbursts continued.
“Anytime,” Buffy shot back at Giles. “But actually, Ethan’s more of a snake. That makes him–”
“Uncle Ethan!” Liz smiled.
All eyes turned to the door. “I can see I’ve arrived a little late for the festivities.” Ethan smirked.
“How did you get in?” Buffy demanded. “This house has wards against demons, vampires and – oh, I get it, we left traitors off the wards list, didn’t we? Dawn! Make sure there’s a ward put on the door that’ll keep him from using his magic to get in here again.”
Jason got a look of realization and raised his hand slightly, trying to get their attention.
“Listen, everyone…” Jason began.
“Oh don’t be ridiculous, Buffy!” Giles said. “Ethan has a key.”
Ethan raised a single key on a nondescript key ring. It dangled beside his grinning face.
Buffy turned to Giles. “You gave him a key,” she said flatly.
“Well, it was that or have him charm my front door every time he let himself in.”
“He has the run of your house?!” Buffy shouted.
“Of course not! Just because he’s got the key to the front door–”
“Excuse me,” Jason said loudly, stepping to the center of the room.
“Looks like he’s got the key to more than that!” Buffy countered.
“Listen–” Jason began, but Xander rested one hand on his arm.
“I got it,” Xander told him.
“What?” Giles said to Buffy. “Now what in bloody hell is that supposed to–?”
A sharp, shrill whistle made everyone jump, and little Liz clamped her hands over her ears. Everyone looked at Xander.
“Mr. Felix has something to say. Go ahead, Jason,” Xander said to him.
“Thank you,” Jason said. “Ethan is not working for the Voice of Hell. He’s working for us.”
Buffy was gearing up for another comment, but Xander shook his head at her. She closed her mouth and waited.
“He was sent by me to do some covert work at the Voice of Hell meeting to see just what they were up to.”
“That’s what I’m doing!” Skye said.
“And not doing a very good job of it, either, dear,” Jason said smoothly. “I sent Ethan because we weren’t getting any solid information from you. Lori and I both thought it best if there was a second operative. With the kinds of information you’ve been supplying, we couldn’t even be certain you weren’t working for the Voice of Hell, and Ethan seemed the clear choice for another plant when word surfaced she wanted a mage.”
“You bloody bastard!” Ethan said hotly. “You told me that I was working for the Council!”
“You are working for the Council.”
“Funny, but they all have the same vapid look of shocked surprise about it!” Ethan remarked.
“It was my decision not to tell anyone,” Felix said. “Think about it – if anything happened to Skye, we would have no one on the inside at all. And as any student of war history will tell you, it is best not to let one operative know about the existence of another. The best kept secret is the one that no one is told. So I told no one. It was more effective for–”
“More effective for getting me killed!” Skye said.
“You sent Ethan!” Buffy said to Jason. “You went around me, around the Council, to send Ethan in there! I knew you weren’t happy with the choice of Skye, but Ethan? A man I wouldn’t trust to walk a dog?”
“Exactly the point!” Jason said. “Ethan was believable as a double-crosser from the perspective of the Voice of Hell. No one else here could do it.”
“Oh,” Skye said, half-insulted, “really? Well,” she sneered, “at least I’m trustworthy.” She looked directly at Buffy. “I keep my promises.”
“What is she talking about?” Jason asked.
Buffy huffed at him. “I promised Skye she wouldn’t be tailed again. Ever. By anyone. Skye took a leap of faith – trusted me on that. And you made me look like a liar! Thanks for your help, Jason.”
“I’m sorry, but I had no idea about your promise,” Jason said.
“No need to apologize,” Ethan cut in. “Buffy is not a liar. But someone here most certainly is.” He looked at Skye. “Ms. Talisker, care to tell them what I was doing this evening?”
Skye said nothing.
“Well, then let me continue. As I said, she has not been entirely truthful. We’ve all read or been briefed on her reports on the Voice of Hell, yes? Does anyone remember hearing or seeing mention of the fact that the organization was working to remove the spell on her so that she could freely kill or turn a human being into vampire, without any ill effects?”
Glances passed silently about the room.
“I thought not,” Ethan said. “And although it goes without saying, I’ll say it anyway. The Voice of Hell hired me to remove said spell.” Ethan smiled. “On the bright side,” he said, holding up a suitcase, “I’ve been well recompensed for my ‘work,’ so now I’ve got a good bit of cash.”
There was a momentary silence. Giles gave Ethan a glare.
“Oh…” Ethan scowled. “That is, the Watchers Council,” he said grudgingly, “now has a good bit of cash. Unmarked bills, of course.”
All eyes turned to Skye, but she and Dawn were looking at one another. “The spell is gone?” Dawn asked quietly, searching Skye’s face.
Skye looked back earnestly at her. “Yes. It’s been removed.” Dawn looked over at Buffy uncertainly.
“I take it she didn’t tell you, either?” Buffy asked Dawn.
Dawn just shook her head, not quite ready to look back at Skye yet.
“Dawn,” the vampire began. When she still didn’t look, she turned Dawn’s face gently toward her. “I really wanted this – no, I needed this. Not to be a full vamp, but because I had to know that the real reason I don’t feed is because of…of my soul. I wanted to know that I’m the reason I don’t feed. Do you understand?”
“Then why didn’t you just ask Willow to remove the spell?”
“We both know she’d never do that.”
“Rightfully so,” Buffy added.
Skye continued, ignoring the comment. “And if I told everyone what was being offered to me, Ro would have had me pulled from the project in a heartbeat. I’d miss my one chance—”
“What a heartwarming confession,” Buffy said coldly. “Dawn, get this…vampire…out of here before I stake her myself.”
“Wait a minute,” Skye said. “There’s more about tonight.”
“You mean it gets better?” Buffy asked.
“I wouldn’t say better. We saw another vamp turn a sailor being held prisoner at the headquarters,” she told her.
“What kind of a sailor?” Xander asked. “You mean like a yachtsman, or a mariner?”
“I mean an actual sailor. You know? With the funny little hat and the uniform? A sailor-sailor.”
“Why would they turn a sailor?” Buffy asked.
“I don’t know. But I think they’re planning something really big.”
“Is that it?” Buffy asked. “That all you have?”
“Yeah. You’re welcome.”
Buffy shook her head in disgust. “Get her out of here, or get a dust pan ready,” she told Dawn.
Dawn took Skye’s hand and began to lead her from the room.
“Wait!” Xander called out. “Did the sailor have any kind of stripes or pins or patches on his uniform?” he asked.
Skye stopped and turned around.
“Yeah…yeah as a matter of fact, I remember thinking it was a kinda new-agey thing to wear but…he had a pin. It was dolphins. And he had a patch that said the name of his ship. USS Erie. Like the lake, not like…’ooh, scary’.”
“Dolphins,” Xander said to Buffy. “That means he was a mariner.”
“He cooked sauce in the galley?” Buffy asked.
“Huh? No,” Xander replied. “Dolphin pin. Means he was a sailor on a submarine.”
“The USS Erie,” Skye repeated.
“Like the lake,” Xander mused quietly and frowned in thought. “What did the patch look like?” he asked.
“Blue and black. It had a bird on it, like it was flying…Oh, above that it had one of those interlocking circle patterns. You know? Like an atom symbol?”
“Nuclear,” Jason muttered.
“Like a nuclear submarine,” Giles said softly. “Oh my.”
“First, a series of codes,” Xander added. “Now a crewman of a sub? Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“Oh my,” Giles mumbled again.
“I’ll take that as a yes.” Xander gave a worried sigh.
“You already said ‘oh my,’ Giles,” Buffy pointed out. “Restating it isn’t going to help us compete against nuclear annihilation.”
“Was there anything else you remember?” Jason asked Skye.
“That’s it. Well, the guy that turned the sailor got staked for being late to the affair, but…that was it. He did say it should only take a couple hours for this guy to ‘rise and shine.’”
Giles nodded. “All right. That’ll be all for now,” he told her. “But, please, write down everything that happened tonight – every detail.”
Skye nodded. She and Dawn then turned to leave again.
“Tell me something,” Buffy’s disdainful voice carried to them. “How much of a cheap thrill was it for you to watch that sailor die?”
“Buffy!” Dawn rounded on her sister.
“No,” Skye stopped her with a hand to her shoulder. “You think that was easy for me?” She squared up against the slayer.
“Yes,” Buffy answered. “Yes, I do.”
“I would have saved him if I could have. He was young and scared, and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do – or anything Ethan could do, for that matter. If I helped him, or even acted like I felt sorry for him, I wouldn’t have made it out of there and been able to tell you their plan.”
“And if I escaped,” Skye continued, cutting Buffy off, “then the organization would have scrapped those plans and done something else. And that would have left you nowhere – worse than nowhere. Now we’ve got a chance to stop the Voice of Hell if we can figure out the missing pieces. We wouldn’t have that chance if I had helped that sailor.”
“Like I said, leopards don’t change their spots,” Buffy repeated.
Dawn felt Skye’s hand slide from her shoulder. She looked at Skye and saw her blinking, open-mouthed at Buffy. Something was glistening on Skye’s face.
“Skye…?” Dawn called.
Suddenly the vampire was choking out sobs where she stood, staring at Buffy. She balled her hands into fists by her sides and squeezed her eyes shut as heavy tears rolled down her face and dripped off the edge of her jaw.
“You don’t know,” Skye sobbed out. “You’re a slayer. You will never know!”
“Skye,” Dawn said, as she stroked Skye’s hair back.
“I had to relive it!” Skye continued. “I had to watch an-an-and it was like it was happening all over again! The fear and the pain and the hopelessness…And just like last time, when it happened to me, there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to stop it! I didn’t ask for this, and neither did that poor kid. His life was robbed from him…his existence is now altered forever, and that’s something you’ll never know. Until you’ve walked a day in my shoes, take your snide remarks and shove them up your ass!”
“Skye…” Dawn soothed.
Skye spun and ran up the stairs, sobbing uncontrollably.
Without a word or look for anyone else, Dawn bolted up the stairs after Skye. The room remained silent, uneasy glances and shifting of feet the only hints of life. From the sofa, Liz squirmed in her mother’s lap and sighed melodramatically.
“Bloody hell,” the little girl’s voice lilted over the heavy silence.
Giles and Becca both admonished her with a firm, “Liz.”
Buffy just looked up the stairs where Dawn and Skye had gone.
“You said it, Liz,” she agreed.
Reteesk’s House – Later that Evening
The sharp knock at the door startled Reteesk so badly that he toppled his own dwarf on the board.
“Something’s at the door! Something’s at the door!” Hugh, the little golem, said in almost monotone excitement.
Reteesk got up from their role-playing game and walked slowly to the door. “That would be ‘someone’s‘ at the door, Hugh,” he chuckled good-naturedly. He moved to one of the side windows and moved the curtain just slightly. He blinked in surprise. Outside the door stood a young Vl’Hurg, looking nervously left and right.
Reteesk opened the door. “Can I help you?”
“I am he. And you are…?”
The young Vl’Hurg moved swiftly past Reteesk and shut the door quickly. Standing with his back against it, he looked anxiously at his host. “I have come to you, Reteesk, because I do not know who else to go to with such–” He stopped midsentence when his eyes fell on the golem boy. Hugh stared back, unblinking, at him.
“Please continue,” Reteesk said.
The Vl’Hurg took a deep breath and began anew. “Reteesk, forgive me for intruding on you. My name is S’Retniw. I have information that is very important regarding the Voice of Hell.”
Reteesk blinked in surprise. “I see. Please, come and sit down. Hugh, please get a fresh lemonade for Mr. S’Retniw.”
S’Retniw nodded politely at the strange-looking child and then took a seat at the game table.
“We like to play role-playing games, Hugh and I,” Reteesk explained as he moved the game board carefully aside. “It’s quite refreshing to be someone else for an hour or so.”
“Tell me then,” Reteesk said. “What is this information? And why would you do something so perilous as to risk discovery by the Voice of Hell?”
“I’m scared, Reteesk. Many of us are, us demons, about the human reaction to the Voice of Hell if they continue. Some of us have tried to learn more. We have taken some very real chances and risks. But those chances have paid off!”
He looked nervously toward the kitchen door, from behind which came the sounds of Hugh making a fresh batch of lemonade. Leaning in toward Reteesk, he said with quiet intensity, “I have information of the utmost importance on a computer memory chip. I know who the real leader of the Voice of Hell is.”
Reteesk’s eyes grew wide, and he sat back. “Hugh,” he called out. “Please also put some fruit and cheese on a plate for us all to enjoy.”
“Okay!” Hugh called back.
“Please continue,” Reteesk said, leaning forward again. “You say you know who is leading the Voice of Hell…”
“Yes. I was prepared to take the information to the Council.” S’Retniw sat back and sighed. “But there is no Council.”
SUV on an Uninhabited Road – The Same Night
“Are you sure it hasn’t been too long?” Kadin asked impatiently. “I think they shoulda been in touch by now.”
“Gwen knows what she’s doing,” Kennedy said. She tapped the steering wheel impatiently with her fingertips. “We’ll probably hear from them soon enough.”
“Yeah, soon enough to save their asses,” Kadin replied.
“What’s wrong?” Jeff asked from the back seat. He leaned forward and put his head between Kennedy’s and Kadin’s. Kennedy looked at his reflection in the rearview mirror. His eyes were sunken and red.
“I thought you were asleep,” Kennedy said.
“I was,” Jeff said groggily. “Is everything okay?”
“I just think we shoulda heard from the squad by–”
“Mobile Unit Four. This is Crypt Keeper. Do you read?”
“Shannon, what’s going on? Is everything all right?” Kennedy said into the radio.
“Ken,” a new voice sounded. “It’s Gwen. We’re all right. It just took us a little longer to find all the guards and take care of them.”
“You’re the boss,” Kennedy said, handing the radio to Jeff.
“Gwen, are you sure you got them all?” Jeff asked. “I can send Kadin and Ken in to–”
Military Warehouse – Same Time
Multiple sets of footsteps and Gwen’s single voice echoed in the expanse of a huge storage facility that bore a National Guard insignia on one wall. The warehouse was filled with innumerable boxes and crates that were crowded onto shelves and stacked into corners. As Gwen spoke into her radio and led the way down one of the long aisles, she was followed by Shannon, Lorinda, Grace and Andrew.
“No,” Gwen told Jeff. “They’re all sleeping nice and peaceful in a locked room. They’ll wake up as soon as Andrew takes the charm off. But they were tough. A couple of them nearly got away from us. We’re almost at the place you saw in your vision. I’m at row number…sixty-eight. The Council’s library books should be here, right? I just hope these military guys marked the boxes in plain English and not code.”
“I’m not seeing anything,” Grace said absently, as the group slowly searched the racks.
“Neither am I,” Andrew agreed.
SUV – Same Time
“Just keep your eyes open,” Jeff said. “Maybe you should split the squad and have them search for any other guards.”
“We need all five of us when I find the boxes. There’s a lot of books to haul out of here,” Gwen said. “Besides, I’ve disabled the electronic monitoring. No one’s gonna see us. But…”
Military Warehouse – Same Time
Gwen and the team were looking up and down a tall shelving unit with many boxes in it. The shelves read 68A, B, C, and D. Grace motioned for the radio, and Gwen handed it to her.
“Are you sure you saw the right section in your vision, Jeff?” Grace said into the radio. “I see boxes here at section sixty-eight, but they’re from some other place – some think tank, it looks like, in Missouri. There’s nothing from our library right here.”
SUV – Same Time
Kennedy and Kadin exchanged a look while Jeff frowned worriedly at his radio.
“Well, maybe they got other stuff in from someplace else and had to move ours down a little. Keep looking along that row, and I’ll get my cards. Maybe I can see something with another reading.”
Undisclosed Location – Moments Later
A dark, scaled hand held a radio firmly in its palm. Clawed fingers squeezed the talk button as the radio was raised to a snarling mouth.
“Got it!” were the exultant words the demon spoke into his radio.
As the one with the walkie-talkie continued to update his contact, his demonic comrades were crouching down in the shadows with him, observing Reteesk’s unassuming home across the street.
“Do we know who lives here?” a fellow demon asked.
“Shut up,” answered the one with the radio, clearly the leader. He turned back to his walkie-talkie. “It’s number eleven fifty-five Sinclair Place.”
“Roger that,” came the reply. “Wait for further instructions.”
“So now what?” another demon asked.
“Like he said,” the leader replied as he handed the radio to a smaller demon next to him, “we wait.” As the smaller demon moved a few yards away to monitor the radio, the leader went on. “We don’t know who’s in that house or how many there are. They’ll look it up at Headquarters and let us know what we’re dealing with or if they’re gonna send backup.”
“Perfect setup,” the other demon said. “Nice little house on a nice quiet street. Great place to raise a family. Who’d ever guess it’s hiding spies? Honey, I’m ho-ome…,” the demon quipped, causing the group to laugh.
“Quiet!” their leader snapped. “If there is a family in that house,” he said, “I hope they’re enjoying their last moments together.” He grinned meanly. “Be a shame if we got them in the middle of a domestic dispute.”
Reteesk’s House – Same Time
Hugh walked into the living room carefully carrying a tray with a pitcher full of pink lemonade and a plate with apples, grapes, cheese and crackers in a precise array on a round platter.
“Ah…” Reteesk said. He laid a gentle hand on the golem’s shoulder. “I am so very proud of Hugh,” he told S’Retniw. “He is like a son to me, even though he is not quite a boy, nor a Vl’Hurg. But I would have no other if I had the choice.”
Hugh set the tray down on the game table and sat down on the arm of Reteesk’s chair. He looked at Reteesk beside him.
S’Retniw looked at Hugh. The golem-boy seemed to be smiling at Reteesk.
Street Outside Reteesk’s House – Same Time
The smaller demon made his way back to his scaly leader, coming to a stop beside him.
“It’s a worthless Vl’Hurg demon. Name’s Reteesk,” he told the leader. “Here.” He handed over the radio.
“Instructions?” the leader asked into the walkie-talkie.
“Engage and eliminate,” was the order that came over the radio.
The leader’s scale-covered visage grinned.
End of Act One