Bonnie Hunt as Veronica Wyndham-Price, Harris Yulin as Morgan Travers, Emma Caulfield as ANYA
Watchers Council – Lobby of Gray Sector – The Next Morning
Jocasta Rosenberg entered Gray Sector, glancing around her as secretaries, technicians, and other Council employees bustled here and there.
“Good morning,” a voice called from behind her. She turned to see Colonel West, her second-in-command, smiling.
“Good morning, John,” Jocasta replied cheerfully.
“Giles came by about five minutes ago. He needs to talk to you,” West said.
“Thanks for the message. I’ll go see him,” Jocasta said. As she walked away, she muttered “And so it begins.”
Watchers Council – Outside Giles’s Office – Moments Later
As Jocasta entered the wing of the Council Headquarters that housed Giles’ office, she seemed distracted as if preparing a mental list of all that pertained to the High Command’s attempt to resurrect Project 314. She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn’t notice another person heading her way until he crashed headlong into her, jarring her back to reality.
“You’re excused,” she muttered to herself as she watched the person hastily disappear around a corner. Pushing the incident aside, she continued her journey towards Giles’s office. When she arrived, she found the door open but still tapped it lightly to get his attention.
“Come in,” Giles said, looking up. Jocasta could tell from the lines wrinkling Giles’s forehead that something was wrong. Gingerly, she pushed open the door and entered.
“Morning, Giles,” she said. “You okay?”
“I’m fine,” Giles replied, although she could tell from his tone that he was anything but well.
“Are you sure?” Jocasta asked.
Giles sighed. “I’ve just had an interesting conversation with Morgan Travers. The man is as insufferable as Sean Rayne. He called the report I’ve compiled on the High Command and Project 314 ‘fabricated lies’ and insinuated that I’m trying to discredit Tyrell and the rest of the High Commanders for my own personal gain.”
“West said you wanted to see me. Is that what you wanted to talk to me about?”
“Actually, no. I’m trying to schedule an emergency meeting of the Council for tomorrow. I’m planning on submitting my report on the High Command’s treason, and I’d like you to be there. Katie too, if that’s possible.”
“I thought Slayers and non-Councilor Watchers weren’t allowed at Council meetings,” Jocasta said.
“Under normal circumstances, they’re not, but these are far from normal,” Giles replied.
“We’ll be there,” Jocasta said firmly.
“Thank you Jo. Assuming the Council functions predictably, they’ll demand evidence to back up anything we tell them, particularly regarding the High Command’s involvement in Project 314. I’d like you to work on compiling said evidence,” Giles said.
“Lots of shady types in the Council, ya know? Are ya sure you trust me?”
“With my life,” he answered soundly. “Which might be the case if we don’t discover something to take to the Council.”
“I’ll find it Giles. It’ll mean more work for Colonel West at the moment, but he can handle it, I’m sure,” Jocasta said. “Actually, I’ll get Katie to help me out. With all I’ve got to do, it might be the only chance I get to see her this week.”
“That’s an excellent idea. Just don’t get so starry eyed you forget the mission,” he quipped.
“Ha, ha,” Jocasta answered sarcastically with a smile before she turned to leave. She got to the doorway when she heard Giles call out.
“Jo,” he said, getting her attention. “Thank you.”
Jocasta gave him another smile upon hearing the sincerity in his voice. She gave him a formal salute by raising her hand to her eyebrow. “Sir, yes Sir.” She began to chuckle and waved him off. “I’ll see ya later,” she said casually before slipping from the outer door.
Watchers Council – Jocasta’s Gray Sector Office – Later That Day
Jocasta returned to her office and sat down at her desk. Pushing aside a small stack of documents pertaining to various aspects of her job as the head of Gray Sector, she booted up her computer and leaned back in her chair to think about how to begin her search for evidence. She hadn’t been thinking long when she was brought out of her reverie by the sound of a knock on the door.
“Hello? Is anyone in here?” Katherine asked.
“Come in, Katie,” Jocasta said.
Katherine pushed open the door and came in, giving Jocasta a smile.
“H-hi,” she stammered, suddenly finding herself a bit insecure around Jocasta. “Did you have a good night?”
Jocasta nodded. “Slept like a baby. Of course, it wasn’t all that hard when I was dreaming about a certain beautiful blonde Slayer.”
Katherine reddened and Jocasta smiled.
“You’re cute when you blush. Naturally, it would’ve been better if I’d had the real thing with me and not just my dream Slayer,” she added.
Katherine’s cheek color deepened again, and Jocasta fought the temptation to giggle by looking down at her computer screen.
“I’m sorry,” Katherine apologized.
“That’s okay,” Jocasta said looking up to meet her eyes. “I know you’re busy. We both are. Wait a second. You are busy, right? That’s not just some awful excuse like washing your hair, is it? I mean, you’re not really avoiding me are you, because I don’t want you to feel like-.”
“No avoidance,” Katherine answered without pause in a reassuring tone. “I swear. If we could pull it off, I’d see you everyday.”
“Good, good,” Jocasta said as she nodded and beamed from across the desk. “Actually, I’m glad you came by. It saves me from having to find you.”
“There’s a Council meeting for tomorrow and Giles wants us to be there. He’s planning on presenting a report detailing the High Command’s attempted coup, and he wants us to act as corroborating witnesses,” she said.
“Did he give you an exact time?” Katherine asked.
Jocasta shook her head. “No, he didn’t. By the way, he also assigned me to gather evidence to back up our reports, and I was hoping I could persuade you to help.”
“Well, what do we need?” Katherine asked.
“A small miracle,” Jocasta answered with a nervous but hopeful grin.
“Small, huh?” Katherine teased as she looked at her watch. “I think I can fit that in before lunch. A big miracle might take a while longer.”
Jocasta gave her an appreciative smile.
Watchers Council – High Command Tower – Same Time
Horatio Tyrell sat in silence, listening as several of his fellow High Commanders ranted and raved at him from the darkened shadows of the room, unseen.
“You’ve cost us much,” a masculine voice told Tyrell from the corner. “You severely underestimated the Command Council and because of your incompetence, we’ve lost out on years of work and research. Plus, we’re most likely going to be watched much more closely once Giles reports our activities.”
Perhaps emboldened by his colleague’s frankness, another High Commander rose from his seat and joined in.
“Where’s that friend of yours Sean Rayne? He shares as much blame for this debacle as you do, Tyrell. His incompetence in entrusting his Slayer to help with the autopsy of the renegade unit is what blew the whole thing wide open.”
“Gentlemen, gentlemen. Calm down,” Tyrell interjected. “As much as your little accusations and blustering amuse me, you’re blaming me for actions that I had no involvement in. I tried to stop Giles and his allies in the Progenitor Room, but they overpowered the guards and escaped. I had no way of knowing how much they’d been able to discover. Anyway, what’s done is done. Our Project 314 facility may now be nothing but rubble and debris, but we’re not finished as an organization quite yet.”
At that moment, Morgan Travers entered the room. Casting cursory glances at some of the other men in the room, Travers went straight to Tyrell.
“I apologize if I’m interrupting anything important, Horatio, but I’ve got news. It seems our friend Sebastian has an emergency meeting of the Command Council. I’ve just come from his office, where I read the report he’s compiled concerning Project 314– a report he plans on presenting at this meeting.”
Several unseen High Command members sighed and groaned at the news
“Despite being doddering old fools who have lost touch with reality, there is a chance that the Council will believe Giles’s report, in which case heads will roll,” Travers said.
“I’m already aware of the meeting and planned to be there myself. I can assure you, we’re in no danger. You concentrate on our other project and leave Giles and the Council to me,” Tyrell said.
Watchers Council – Jocasta’s Gray Sector Office – Later That Day
Jocasta sat at her desk, head bent as she stared intently at her computer screen and scrolled down file after file. A few feet away, Katherine was in a similar position. They logged onto the Council’s overall message network and searched through the most recent files, paying particular attention to those files and messages posted to the network by members of the High Command. They searched files over the past week, in the hopes of discovering something that they could use as evidence of the High Command’s treason and the existence of Project 314.
Katherine looked up from her computer screen and caught Jocasta looking at her. She blushed slightly, got up, and walked over to Jocasta’s desk.
“Find anything?” she asked.
Jocasta shook her head. “No. Did you?”
“No, nothing,” Katherine said
“It’s frustrating. You’d think that, knowing what we now know, we’d be able to find something that’d throw up red flags, but they’ve covered their tracks too well. Tyrell may be a slimeball, but he’s a smart slimeball,” Jocasta said.
Katherine could see the look of pure irritation on Jocasta’s face.
“Come on. We shouldn’t lose hope yet,” Katherine told her optimistically. “There’s no way the High Command could cover their tracks completely. We’ll find what Mr. Giles needs. We just have to keep digging harder, like we did when we found the Progenitor File.”
The mention of the Progenitor File seemed to spark something in Jocasta, and Katherine watched Jocasta’s lips curve.
“Ah ha!” Jocasta said, wagging a finger in the air. She jumped up and raced out of the room, with a slightly puzzled Katherine on her heels.
Watchers Council – Computer Center – Moments Later
James sat at the desk with the AnyaBot, both of them focused on a monitor in front of them. Locked into a game of virtual chess, neither was paying any attention to the events of the outside world. James, feeling a little cocky, had just devised a strategy that he felt could help him win. With a smile on his face, James made the next move.
“Okay. I think I’ve got you this time,” James said.
The AnyaBot was not at all discouraged by James’s remark. “We’ll see about that, won’t we?”
As Anya made her move, she smiled. “You’ll be checkmated in the next five moves.”
James looked up in disbelief. “How can that be?” Examining the screen closer, James came to his own conclusion with a touch of frustration, “Oh. Yep, that’s a checkmate, alright. Well…I guess the game goes to you again.”
“I find your tone of voice very unsportsmanlike,” she said.
“I just think it’s getting pointless trying to win a computer game against another collection of circuitry. No offense,” James said.
“None taken,” she replied.
Without warning, Jocasta and Katherine burst through the doorway, nearly startling James right out of his seat.
“No. Whatever you guys need, the answer is no. I’ve done enough. In fact, I’ve already done too much. I’m surprised the High Command hasn’t fired me yet,” James wailed.
“The High Command can’t fire you because if they did, it would raise suspicion, and it’s the fact that they can’t fire you that makes you the perfect man to help me out,” Jocasta said.
“The answer is no,” James repeated more firmly than before.
“You know this computer system like I know Gray Sector, but if you won’t help me, I guess I’ll go let the Council know that you’re goofing off again,” Jocasta said seriously.
James balked momentarily, but changed the subject. “Is it true you guys are trying to disband the High Command?”
Jocasta looked at him in shock. “Who told you that?” she asked.
“Anya. She saw it in the database,” James replied.
“Ah. The Amazing Nerd-Arousing Yackety Android.”
“Hey!” Anya objected.
“Actually, the name Anya means-.”
“Yeah, whatever,” Jocasta said cutting him short. “Look, after you got us into the Progenitor Room, we found out that the High Command had been conducting experiments in a bunker out among the ruins of Sunnydale, and that the cyber-vamp Katie brought in was part of those experiments. We mobilized some troops and took out the bunker, but now we have to take what we found out and show it to the Council.”
“Why not search through the High Command’s records?” James suggested.
“We already have and came up with nothing,” Jocasta said.
“I’m not talking about the High Command’s public records, but the ones they keep encrypted.”
“Can you get them?” Jocasta asked excitedly.
“Sorry, can’t help you. It’s extremely illegal. I can cover up getting you guys into the Progenitor Room, but not this. I help you do this and I can kiss my job goodbye, and I’m not going to take the chance. It’s too risky.”
“James, come on, give us a hand,” Jocasta begged.
“Don’t do it,” Anya said, nudging James.
“The answer is no,” he told her firmly.
Jocasta and Katherine spared a glance to each other before Jocasta gave him a frustrated sigh.
Watchers Council – Vehicle Hangar – Same Time
A grinning Lex Harris entered the vehicle hangar office and looked around. Spotting his target, Antonia, sitting at her desk, he headed in her direction.
“Hey beautiful,” he said, leaning over to give her a kiss.
“Ahhh, young love,” a voice said from the corner of the room. Lex broke the kiss and glared at Livia, who came over to join them.
“Just jealous ’cause you can’t get some, Livia?” Antonia asked her friend playfully.
“Hey, I get plenty when I want it, thank you very much,” Livia said, swatting at Antonia, who ducked.
“Hate to break up the love-fest, but I’ve got something for my girlfriend,” Lex said. He pulled a rectangular box from behind his back and handed it to Antonia. She opened the box and pulled out what looked like a blue and silver datapad.
“It’s a GPS system!” she said, seeing Livia’s confused look. “Thank you!” she said, giving Lex a big hug.
“It’s Red Sector’s latest model and my ‘baby’. Hook this up to your nav system and I can track you from up to a thousand miles away,” Lex said proudly.
“Whatever happened to just giving flowers?” Livia asked.
“Hey, I know what my girl likes. That and she’s got hay fever, so I’ve got to be a bit more creative in my gift-giving,” Lex quipped.
Just then, Giles entered the room.
“Good. The two people I needed to find in one place,” he said, gesturing towards Livia and Antonia.
“What’s up?” Antonia asked.
“I need you to take Livia and a team of Slayers back to Sunnydale.”
“Why? Somebody forget their luggage?” Livia asked.
Giles shot her a reproving look. “No. I’m afraid it’s a bit more serious than that. I need physical evidence of what happened back there, and sending a team is the only way I can get it. But I have to warn you. Going back will be risky. Someone might be searching for the same thing you are,” he said.
“I’m game,” Livia said.
“You can count me in, too,” Antonia said.
Fade to Black
End of Act One