City Street – Night
“All teams report in,” Livia said into the comlink attached to her jacket. She listened as the groups began to respond.
“Team one, copy that.”
“Team two, copy that.”
There was a bit of silence, and no one heard anything further.
“Team three, report in,” Livia said and then waited. When she still heard nothing, she asked, “Katie?” Again when nothing came through, she turned to her aide. “What’s her block location?”
The aide pulled out a handheld device and pressed a few buttons. “Should be the two thousand block of St. Clair,” she answered.
Livia nodded. “Send the troop ahead. I’m going to find her patrol unit.”
“Yes, ma’am,” the aide nodded before Livia broke into a run.
Watchers Council – Jocasta’s Office – Same Time
In the dim light of her office Jocasta continued to read from the journal in front of her.
Constance’s House – Night
22 years earlier
Constance pulled the covers up over Jocasta as the young girl snuggled into bed.
“Mr. Snappy,” the girl said in a sleepy voice.
Constance smiled and reached down to the floor, grabbing the stuffed dragon, then setting it in Jocasta’s small grasp. After a kiss on the forehead, Constance walked to the door and gently closed it behind her. She returned to the living room to Giles, who was sitting on the sofa.
“So the Coven is with you then?” he asked in a quiet voice.
Constance nodded. “Yeah, we’re not going to follow the decision, so I’m sure it means real trouble ahead.” She paused a moment and looked reluctant. “In fact, it might be a good idea for you to stay away for the time being.”
“Connie,” Giles began. “It’s no secret to the Council how closely we work together.”
“Well, some of our work’s a secret,” she said playfully as she straddled his lap.
Giles blushed and turned away for a moment. “Yes, some parts are, but…they already know that I would side with you.”
“No, they don’t. And if anyone asks, then say you support the training of all slayers. Tell them it’s something we disagree on.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I need you there, Seb,” she explained. “If this comes down to one side or the other, the Coven needs to have friends in the Watchers division to know what’s going on.”
Giles took a deep breath. “I don’t like it, but I’ll do it,” he told her.
She gave him a nod and slipped to the sofa to sit beside him. “I know this isn’t what our founders would have wanted, but I don’t know how to stop it,” she confessed. “I wish I had some way to make Tyrell see that.”
“Magic perhaps?” Giles suggested.
She shook her head. “No, this is something we need to solve through the Council’s democratic process, or the Coven will never have a solid voice again. I’m just really worried right now. I don’t think I’ve been this stressed since…you know.”
Giles nodded. “You survived Bradford’s death, and you’ll survive this too.”
“Well, in the odd chance I don’t, make me a promise.”
“No,” Giles shook his head. “No promises. Things will be okay.”
“Fine, humor me then, okay?”
Reluctantly Giles nodded.
“Look after Jo,” she told him. “Promise that you’ll see she’s taken care of.”
“You don’t even need to ask that,” he replied sincerely. “Of course I would.”
Constance moved in to kiss Giles when a sleepy voice called out behind them. “I’m thirsty.”
They both looked over the sofa back to see Jocasta standing in her doorway in her pajamas holding her stuffed animal. Constance started to rise, but Giles put a hand on her knee.
“I’ve got it,” he told her with a smile.
Giles walked over to where Jocasta stood rubbing her eyes and yawning. He took her hand and led her toward the kitchen. Before they got three steps away, a loud crash of breaking glass turned their attention to the living room, and instinctively Giles shielded Jo’s body.
Constance’s eyes widened as she watched the firebomb that came through her window begin to burn her carpet and window drapes. With a quick flash of her hand, she magically extinguished the flames.
“I’m assuming this was an unplanned visit,” Giles said.
“Oh jeeze,” she said as she looked at the burnt carpet. “Stay inside with Jo so they don’t see you,” she instructed Giles.
She stepped out her front door to see a gang of about ten slayers, led by Velika Petrova, Trisha’s aide.
“Haven’t you heard of knocking? What do you want?” she demanded.
“Your head!” Velika said as she pointed a finger at Constance. “You want to deny us the right to learn magic.”
“Magic is not a right, Vel. It’s a privilege,” Constance countered.
“Oh yeah? Well, we’re underprivileged, and that’s gonna change.”
Velika pulled out a crossbow, aimed it at Constance, and fired a bolt, but the witch waved her hand, making it freeze in mid-air and drop to the ground before it even got near her.
“Hey!” a voice called out behind the slayers. “What are you doing here?”
Constance looked past Velika and her slayers to see Trisha and a group of magically-trained slayers standing there.
“What do you think?” Velika answered sarcastically. “She won’t train us, so the sooner she’s gone, the sooner she’ll be replaced with someone who will.”
“Stand down, Velika,” Trisha told her. “That’s an order.”
“Really?” Velika replied. “Why don’t you try and stop us?”
Velika motioned her troops forward. Trisha turned quickly to her girls. “Get ready to engage.” She then looked back to the house. “Get out of here!” she shouted to Constance.
As the opposing groups of slayers began to fight hand to hand, Constance ran back toward the house. Velika took advantage of Trisha’s distraction and rushed her, landing a punch to her jaw that sent her five feet off the ground and onto her backside.
City Street – Moments Later
Livia toppled to the ground but quickly scurried back up to her feet, rubbing her chin as she and Katherine’s team stood toe to toe with members of a vamp nest.
When the female vampire advanced again, this time Livia was ready and staked her after deflecting only three of her attempted blows. The slayer turned to see her comrades dusting their vampires with the exception of Katherine, who was literally kicking hers down the alley.
“Take it down a notch,” Livia said, coming behind Katherine before throwing her stake into the vampire’s heart making him combust. “You don’t have to tenderize ’em before you kill ’em,” she told her.
“So, it’s Livia to the rescue, huh?” Katherine said.
“Hey, you didn’t reply to check in. I was worried.”
“Somehow I doubt that,” Katherine said as she put her stake back into her pocket and began up the street. “Besides, we had it under control.”
Her team started to follow her, but Livia motioned them to stand back, and she walked a ways with Katherine before turning her around by the shoulder.
“I see that, but I wanted to be sure. Look, I’m sorry about what happened earlier in the lab. I was out of line,” Livia began.
Katherine folded her arms across her chest. “Thank you. Can we leave now?” she asked shortly.
“No, not until we make peace with each other.”
“I told you ‘thank you’. We’re fine.”
“You don’t look fine,” Livia countered.
“That has nothing to do with you, so just drop it, okay?”
Katherine started to walk again.
“Ahh,” Livia said with realization as she followed along. “This is about Jo.” Katherine scowled, and Livia held up her hands. “No flip comments again, I swear. Maybe you should just try talking to her.”
“I’ve tried, but she won’t return my calls. It’s hard to see someone when they won’t acknowledge you exist.”
“Damn,” Livia sighed. “What the hell did you do?”
Katherine shrugged. “I met her at the wrong time.”
Watchers Council – Jocasta’s Office – Same Time
Jocasta heard a knock on her door and looked up at her clock. 10:33 P.M. She frowned, as if wondering who could be visiting her that time of night. She walked over and opened the door.
Travers stood there with a smile. “May I come in?”
Jocasta’s jaw looked tight as she turned around to go back to her desk.
“Fine, Sir,” she said, trying to sound as diplomatic as possible after what she had already read.
“I’m surprised to see you working so late,” he began.
“This project is important. We need to find out what’s going on with the media leak.”
“Yes, about that,” he said. “Since you’re one of the Council members in question regarding Ms. Lance’s upcoming reports, I’m not sure if you’re the proper person to be doing this.”
“And why is that exactly?” Jocasta asked.
“I think that anything you report might be, how should I say, biased.”
“Biased?” she asked.
Travers scratched his neck. “I’m not sure how to put this,” he started.
“You think I have an agenda,” she said before he could fully begin.
“I do,” he nodded.
Jocasta snorted. “Okay, let me see if I understand what you’re saying, Sir. You think that I – a Council member who got sent to detention boot camp because I defended myself with magic – would go to the press with this story? For what? To destroy my credibility even more? With all due respect, Sir, that’s asinine.”
“Is it now?” he challenged.
“Yes, it is,” she told him. “And if I may speak freely, Sir?”
He nodded at her to continue.
“I think the reason you don’t want me working this has more to do with the fact that I’ll find the leak than with what the press might think.”
“What are you saying?”
“I mean this: the only ones who have been convicted are me and Slayer Allison – two witnesses whose testimony led to your friend and colleague’s dismissal. If the press decides to rally the people against the Council, guess whose heads are going to be first on the chopping block? It doesn’t take a genius to do the math here. So perhaps you are right. Perhaps I am biased. I want to save my job. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t get to the bottom of who did this.”
Travers leaned forward and looked Jocasta straight in the eyes. “The High Command is not to be toyed with,” he warned.
“Oh, believe me, I know,” she answered and leaned forward herself. “But I never said anything about the High Command being involved, did I?”
Without saying anything more, Travers stood up and walked toward the door. Jocasta called out to him.
“By the way,” she began, “if you’re thinking of restricting my access files and the recent logs, save your time. It’s too late. I already downloaded them. Have a nice evening, Mr. Travers.”
With a disgruntled look, Travers walked briskly from the room, leaving Jocasta alone. She picked up the journal again with a grin on her face.
“Giles was right,” she muttered to herself. “That did feel good.”
Suddenly, Jocasta’s phone began to ring, and she looked over at the identification of the caller: “Allison, Katherine.”
With a sad expression, she put her hand over the answer button but didn’t press it. Instead, she pressed the listen button as her greeting began to play. “You’ve reached the desk of Colonel Rosenberg in Gray Sector. Please leave a message.”
After a beep, she listened to Katherine’s nervous voice. “Hey, Jo, I tried you at home, but I-I thought maybe you’d be working late. I guess I missed you there at the office, too.” Jocasta heard Katherine pause. “I’m sorry, and I love you, so please call, okay? I really want to talk to you so…call me, please.”
As Katherine broke the transmission, Jocasta’s finger moved from the phone, and she reached out grabbing another journal from the stack and began to read.
Constance’s House – Night
22 years ago
Constance raced back inside the house to find her daughter crying and Giles trying to comfort her in the kitchen.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“Velika’s out front with an angry slayer mob, and Trisha’s team is trying to hold them back.”
“Velika?” he asked in amazement.
“I’ll explain later. Right now we’ve gotta get the Coven assembled,” she told him.
“Sure, I’ll take you,” Giles said as he picked up Jocasta and motioned Constance to follow him.
Constance’s House – Night
The doors of his hovercraft opened automatically, and he handed Jocasta over to Constance once she got in. When everyone was secure, he lifted off the ground, taking them out of harm’s way.
Tess’s House – Night
Giles settled his car outside on the street, and Constance nearly leapt from the vehicle before it was stationary. She raced up the steps and began to pound on the door with Giles and Jocasta following behind her.
Rubbing her eyes, Tess opened the door to see Giles, Jocasta, and Constance. Suddenly she appeared wide-awake.
“Oh god,” Tess sighed nervously, “What happened?”
Constance pushed her way into the house with Giles and Jocasta behind her. She pulled back the window dressing, looking to see if they had been followed.
“We have to gather the members,” Constance told her, still looking outside. “The rebellion’s started.”
End of Act Three