Lindsay Wagner as Velika, Jennifer Garner as Trisha Hansen, Julianne Moore as Constance Rosenberg and Abigail Breslin as young Jocasta.
Watchers Council – Jocasta’s Office – Same Time
Jocasta sat behind her desk with a look of shock, shaking her head. “The Council hasn’t had a coven in nearly twenty years, Giles. I know you want to make reforms but-.”
“I’m tired of waiting around and hoping the red tape will go away. It’s time to bring out the scissors, as Veronica says.”
Jocasta gave him a knowing grin. “Ohh, so Veronica says.”
Giles blushed and turned away for a brief moment. “The point remains the same — she’s right. We need magic reintroduced into the Council
again and soon.”
Jocasta smiled smugly. “I’m glad you’re finally seeing things my way.”
Giles returned her smile in kind. “And I’m glad you’re so enthusiastic because I want you to spearhead the Coven reinstatement.”
“What?!” Jocasta replied in a repeat of her earlier exclamation.
Watchers Council – Infirmary – Same Time
Livia and Mira turned the corner to see some slayers sitting in a row against the walls.
From the other door a man dressed like an orderly stepped out. “Number 130,” he said and a woman rose.
“It’s that most wonderful time of the year,” Livia sighed as she approached the dispenser and pulled out two tickets, giving one to Mira.
“The yearly physical’s not that bad,” Mira answered.
“Yeah, well, you don’t have to get all those vaccinations, thanks to your allergy.”
“No, but I still have to get naked and in the stirrups,” Mira replied.
“Makes you sound like Lady Godiva,” she snorted. Livia grinned as they both took a seat. Before Mira could reply, Livia looked over to the entrance and saw Katherine come in. “Look at what we’ve got here,” she muttered to Mira.
“Give it a rest, Livia,” the other slayer told her.
Katherine walked over and pulled a ticket before taking a seat across from Livia.
“So…Katie,” Livia called over to her with a touch of acidity in her voice. “How goes it?”
“It goes,” Katherine answered flatly.
A small silenced passed between them until Livia spoke again. “I got a question,” she began.
Livia began to smirk. “Is there anyone left up there in Gray Sector that I can sleep with to get a plum assignment?”
“Knock it off,” Mira told Livia before turning to Katherine. “Ignore her.”
“No, I really want to know,” Livia insisted. “I mean, after all, that’s how you got the station gig, right?”
Katherine sighed. “No, it’s not. Chairman Giles was the one who asked me to accompany Colonel Rosenberg.”
“Ahh, but I’m sure she put in a special request to him,” Livia jabbed.
“Well, if she did, she won’t be doing it anymore,” Katherine answered.
“Oh, yeah,” Livia replied, “I heard you two were splitsville. Didn’t hear why, though.” Livia grinned and waggled her eyebrows. “Guess if I want to get further ahead, I better go bring the colonel some flowers and candy then.”
Katherine shot toward Livia with so much force that her chair fell to the ground. The dark haired slayer jumped to her feet. Without a second to spare, Mira managed to step between the two women, pushing both of them away from each other.
“Enough!” Mira yelled. “Livia, sit down! Katie, you too!”
As the enraged women continued to stare at each other, looking like two tigers ready to pounce, the orderly peeked around the corner.
“Is there a problem out here?” he asked sternly.
“No, no problem,” Mira answered. “Everything’s fine.”
Mira led Livia back to her seat as Katherine turned around and righted her chair. The orderly slipped back around the corner again. Mira leaned into Livia’s ear. “Don’t get yourself thrown into the brig over this.”
Livia didn’t answer. Instead she continued to lock eyes with Katherine across from her – neither woman flinching.
Watchers Council – Jocasta’s Office – Same Time
“I can’t do this without you,” Giles insisted.
“Whoa, hey! Not to poop on the party here, but…why me?” Jocasta said uncertainly.
“I thought this is what you wanted?”
“It is,” Jocasta agreed. “At least the magic reintegration is. But me…heading the whole thing…reinstating the Coven? That’s a pretty tall order.”
“Jo, you’re the top researcher here,” Giles insisted. “You have access to any information you want, and we both know it – if not officially then unofficially if you catch my drift.”
Jocasta released a heavy sigh. “Yes, I can find some back doors to research the history on magic within the Council, but…do you realize what an undertaking this is?”
“Yes, and you’re the only one here that I trust enough to do it properly.”
Jocasta groaned and ran her fingers through her hair. “One of these days I’m going to learn how to say no to you.”
Giles gave her a smile. “Thank you. I’ll be by a bit later. I have something for you to aid in your research.”
“Now, now,” Giles chastised playfully. “You’ll never get anywhere in the Council with that attitude.”
“Bite me.” Her serious expression dissolved into a grin, and she watched Giles wave as he made his exit.
Watchers Council – Slayer Debriefing Room – Later That Day
Velika stood before her troop leaders discussing the latest demon problem.
“We’ve had two attacks by Braccus demons, and five possible civilian sightings, in the area in the last two weeks. The police found one mutilated body, and our patrol found another just yesterday.”
“Are we sure they’re Braccus?” one of the slayers asked.
“We called in Gray Sector at our scene, and they analyzed the hair and nail fragments found on the victim. The mother’s body was recovered, of course, but the baby’s was not. Braccus demons enjoy eating young human flesh, so that means they target young women and children. The good news – which will make our jobs a bit easier – is that the demons will be coming to us,” she said as she showed a slide of the demon to the group.
“Why? It’s not like any of us’ll be swinging a baby on our hip while we’re patrolling,” Livia spoke up.
“You will now,” Velika said, holding up a doll. “Congratulations, ladies. You’re gonna be mommies,” she said with a smile. “This design is as lifelike to a real child as possible. There are vocal and scent receptors inside, too, so that the demon thinks it’s human.”
As Velika spoke, her aide handed out babies from a box to all the slayers gathered present. Katherine accepted hers with reluctance. Livia picked hers up by the leg and looked at it before letting it fall in her lap with a sigh. Suddenly, it began to cry, and she looked around nervously.
Velika appeared amused. “Livia here is going to demonstrate,” she said waving the slayer forward.
Uncertain, Livia moved up to the front of the room, carrying the crying doll by its arm and swinging it as she walked.
“Now, all you have to do is put it on your shoulder and pat its back.” She nodded to Livia, and the slayer rolled her eyes.
“You’ve got to be kidding me?” she asked.
“Go on,” Velika insisted.
With a sigh, Livia put the baby up on her shoulder and patted it for a few moments as it continued to cry. “Isn’t there a shut-off switch?” she asked. Suddenly, the baby stopped, and Livia started to grin. “Hey, it worked.”
“You’ll want the baby to cry, of course, to get the demon’s attention, but should you need to stop it for any reason, that’s all you need to do.” Velika motioned Livia back to her seat.
“I’m not so bad at this mother stuff after all,” Livia teased Velika before she walked back to her chair. A few of the girls in the room gave her a chuckle.
Velika smiled briefly before looking serious again. “Our concern, however,” Velika explained, “is the number of sightings. They indicate that we could have a pack setting up shop in the city.” She clicked to another slide of the same demon. “In addition to our normal patrolling of vamp lairs and demon haunts, look in locations that women and children might frequent – parks, the waterfront, stores, places of recreation, and such. The last attack happened in a shopping center garage, so check those types of areas too.”
A slayer raised her hand in the group. “Are they day or night dwellers?”
“Either, although based on their appearance as you can see, they prefer night. They don’t have the ability to shape shift, so that works in our favor. What you see is what you’ll get, girls, but be aware they have enormous strength. That’s why we want you to double up your teams – no less than four girls to a group, but we prefer to have eight. You’ll have one slayer as bait and the others as unseen backup. So that’s where we are, ladies. If there are no further questions, you’re dismissed.”
As the chairs began to scoot and move, Velika’s voice called over the din. “Hansen. Allison. Front and center please.”
Both women, with babies in hand, didn’t look too pleased as they headed towards the podium where Velika stood.
“Ma’am?” Katherine asked.
“The infirmary tells me there was a bit of trouble today. Want to tell me what happened?”
Katherine and Livia looked at each other. After a bit of silence Katherine said, “No trouble.”
“Are you sure? Several witnesses said Livia provoked you with comments she made. According to the slayer handbook, any slayer responsible for making derogatory remarks to another slayer is subject to punishment by Council law. You have the option of filing a formal complaint.”
“I know,” Katherine nodded. “I don’t want to do that.”
Velika looked between both women for a moment. “All right, Allison. You’re dismissed.”
After a slight bow of respect, Katherine turned and left the room without looking at Livia. Once the door closed, Velika began to shake her head with a slight grin.
“I always said you had a good slayer temper, Livia. So much like your mother sometimes.”
“Yeah…too bad I didn’t really get the chance to know her,” Livia remarked dryly.
“Well, I can tell you, she didn’t earn her spot as the Slayer Council Advisor for just her good looks.” Velika had a far-off look in her eyes as she continued. “She was strong and quick. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another slayer that could move like she could. I really looked up to her. And when she asked me to be her aide and leave patrolling with Giles, I couldn’t say no.”
“And the point is?” Livia sighed, sounding bored.
Velika smiled and shook her head. “You have all those same qualities, Livia, and you also have her temper. You’re just damn lucky that Katherine isn’t filing a complaint. You realize that, right?”
Livia shrugged. “It wasn’t a big deal.”
“You’re right. It wasn’t a big deal. But we’re not talking about the same thing. This ‘assignment issue’…it’s not as huge as you’re making it.” Velika let out a sigh of frustration. “Don’t screw up your chance for bigger missions because this one got away. I realize you’re passionate and you love being a crew leader, but you need to realize you can’t do it all.”
“Yes ma’am,” Livia answered.
Velika put a hand on each of Livia’s upper arms. “As a mentor, not as a supervisor, I’m asking you…let this go and make peace with Katie. Okay?”
Livia’s expression softened. “Maybe it’s my motherly instinct kicking in,” she said as she held up the baby, “but I’ll try.”
“Thatta girl.” Velika smiled.
Suddenly, the baby began to cry.
“Oh brother,” Livia sighed as Velika chuckled.
Watchers Council – High Command Board Room – Same Time
Travers paced in front of the members of the High Command. “We have an image problem that needs to be addressed immediately. That awful Lance woman and her anti-Council reports are damaging us in the public eye, and we don’t need any more negative focus on us right now.”
“I have someone working on it at this very moment,” Giles answered.
“And who might that be?” Travers asked sarcastically. “Colonel Rosenberg?”
“As a matter of fact, yes,” he answered. “Who better than the head of Gray Sector, our investigative branch?”
“Did it ever occur to you that she could be the one who leaked the documents?” Travers asked incredulously.
“Come now,” Giles said with a grin. “For all we know, it could be someone in this room – someone who might be trying to get even with Colonel Rosenberg for her part in Tyrell’s departure.”
“Are you making accusations?” Travers countered.
“Just speculations that it could be anyone,” he answered with a smug grin. “So, having a department head with the proper connections to do the investigation makes sense, does it not?”
A few of the members nodded, but Travers held his tongue with a disgruntled look on his face.
“Do we have any other business to discuss?” Giles asked.
When no one said anything, Giles motioned to the door, and people began to file out, Travers quicker than anyone. Once the majority had cleared, Giles found himself alone with another High Command member, Lucretia Upton.
“I say this out of concern,” she began in a whisper. “You are not totally among friends here.”
“I realize that,” he answered.
“Do you now?” she asked. “Your death months ago would have been too obvious. But now…let’s just say for the sake of the High Command, and more importantly for your own sake, you watch your back.”
“What do you know?” Giles asked.
“Nothing, except Travers. He and Tyrell were cut from the same cloth. And we both know how far Tyrell was willing to go for his agenda. I believe in what you want to do here, Mr. Giles, I do. But I want you to live to see it come to pass.”
Giles took an unsteady breath but nodded firmly. “I’ll keep that in mind,” he said confidently.
“Please do,” she said patting him on the arm before turning to leave.
Watchers Council – Fleet Office – Same Time
Antonia stood straight – her heels together, her shoulders flat, and her head high. In front of her, the commanding officer of her fleet, Admiral Rodney Richardson, paced.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I’ve spent on the phone apologizing to everyone and their brother. All the reports I needed to file today had to be postponed while I cleaned up this mess you made with high-jacking that shuttle.”
“With all due respect, Sir, I was in my own craft, so I didn’t ‘high-jack’ anything.”
“You know damn well what I mean!” the admiral barked.
“Sir, I wasn’t the one who made the mess. If they had just given me clearance to leave the shuttle bay and aid my fellow Council members, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Besides, I should point out that I did return the solar panel that I borrowed without a scratch on it. Now if I had crashed it into the side of the Space Station…”
“Don’t get glib with me!”
Antonia licked her lips nervously. “Yes, Sir.”
“I’ve been asked to take measures, so you’re grounded for the next two weeks.”
“Two weeks?” Antonia said, shocked.
“They demanded two months, so consider yourself lucky that I agree with your actions up there.”
Antonia’s face registered surprise. “Well, thank you, Sir.”
“Don’t thank me,” he said, pointing at her. “And by the way, don’t you dare tell anyone I said that.”
“Said what?” Antonia asked with a smirk.
He groaned in frustration. “That I said I…” He trailed off when he realized she was playing with him. “That’s it! Get out of my face before I change my mind and make it two months.”
“Yes, Sir,” she said, saluting him and quickly leaving.
Watchers Council – Red Sector R&D Lab – Moments Later
As the Anyabot watched the proceedings with a critical eye, Lex and James were busy testing the Seraphim suit – James at a computer terminal and Lex with his hands inside the suit, using some type of screw-drive looking tool.
“Okay, try it now,” Lex told him as he reached inside with the tool.
James typed in a sequence, and suddenly sparks began to fly, which made Lex drop the gizmo and jump back.
“Shut it down! Shut it down!”
Lex gripped his hands and shook them as if they burned. James typed again, only this time more quickly. But instead of stopping, more pops ensued and shot out toward Lex’s face. He ducked out of the way, covering his head, until they finally stopped.
“Jeez, James,” Lex said, waving away the small amount of smoke. “I’d like to keep at least one natural eye if you don’t mind.”
“It’s not my fault. I shut it down when you told me,” James answered. “The program just had a delay.”
“I’ll add that delay to the list then,” Anya said, making a note on her datapad before looking over James’s shoulder at his console.
The doors of the computer room opened, and Antonia walked inside.
“Hey, Babe,” Lex said, walking over. “What brings you up here?”
“I’m on a forced two-week vacation. Seems like no good deed goes unpunished.”
“So the Council didn’t like your maneuvers, huh?” Antonia just shrugged. “Well, don’t sweat it,” he told her. “You made the right choice.”
“Hey,” James called over. “Since you’ve got nothing to do, would you like to help try on the prototype?” He motioned toward the suit.
Antonia looked at the suit as it still smoked slightly. “Call me crazy, but I think I’ll pass.”
“She’s smarter than you said, James,” Anya said as she nodded in Antonia’s direction.
Lex and Antonia both glared at James, who turned beet red and shrugged guiltily.
Watchers Council – Jocasta’s Office – Moments Later
Jocasta looked up to see Giles walk in carrying a stack of journals in his hands.
“How’d it go at the meeting?” she asked.
He began to smile broadly. “Aside from the death threat?”
Jocasta’s eyebrows shot up, but Giles just waved it off casually.
“Travers was incensed that I picked you to look into the leak. In other words, I loved it.” He gave a laugh but quickly quieted himself. “I shouldn’t be so immature, I know.”
“Hey, if you can get his goat once in a while, enjoy it. Lord knows he’s yanked our chains enough over the years.”
Jocasta nodded toward the books that Giles held. “What’re those?”
“I have something for you,” he said, putting them on the desk.
“What is it?”
“Your mother’s journals.”
“But I’ve got those right here in my datapad,” Jocasta began.
“Not all of them,” he answered. “These are private. Her eyes only…and mine too I guess you could say. I’m giving them to you, Jo, so that you can realize just how important this task is that I’ve given you.”
“What’s in them?” she asked as she picked one of them up.
“All the Coven history the Council doesn’t want anyone to know,” Giles answered.
End of Act One