Lindsay Wagner as Velika Petrova, Bonnie Hunt as Veronica Wyndham-Price, Emma Caulfield as Anya, Iyari Lymon as Mira, Harris Yulin as Morgan Travers, Eriq La Salle as Dr. McClelland, Marc Blucas as Captain Trenton “Trent” Darby, Nicole Kidman as Miss Dimmons, Andrea Parker as Eris Pantelles
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Resume
“Even if we do find ’em, how the hell are we gonna keep ’em from knowin’ when we’re gonna attack?” Livia asked. “I mean, do ya think it’s a coincidence that they just happened to pack up and leave a few hours before we were set to arrive?”
“Are you suggesting that that they had prior knowledge of the raid?” Giles asked.
“Yes,” Livia said firmly. “This was deliberate. They knew we were comin’.”
“But how?” Katherine asked, looking around the circle.
“Well, we know they’ve got help from the inside. We just don’t know who,” Jocasta said. “I mean, somebody had to arrange for Tyrell’s transfer.”
“Yeah, but we covered our tracks on this one,” Livia said. “Nobody knew about the raid but us. I didn’t even tell my slayers until we were in flight.”
“It could be a worm,” Jocasta suggested. “You know, some kind of spy-ware program wriggling around in the network?”
“Or a bug,” Lex added. “In our offices, in our labs, maybe even in the security system itself. They could be using our own cameras and microphones to monitor us.”
“They’re like Big Brother, watching us,” James said melodramatically.
Everyone froze, entranced.
“Secret eyes, spying, watching, observing everything we do…”
Everyone remained still, moving only their eyes.
“Secret ears, listening, recording, hearing every word we speak…”
Everyone swallowed at the same time.
“In fact, they could be watching us at this very moment!” James exclaimed.
Suddenly paranoid, everyone glanced around the room, looking at the various security cameras.
Renegade Mobile Base – Same Time
On Rayne’s screen, the paranoia continued to play out.
Rayne laughed, “Oh, this is too rich.”
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Same Time
“Oh, for god’s sake,” Giles chided, breaking the tension. “We are being completely ridiculous! I seriously doubt that we are being watched right now.”
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief and chuckled nervously.
“However,” Giles added, “we shouldn’t overlook the possibility that security has been breached in some way.” Giles turned to James. “James, I’d like you to initiate a thorough check of the network, particularly communications and internal surveillance. Jo, you can assist on that once we’re past the magic demonstration tomorrow.”
James and Jocasta both nodded.
Giles turned back to the group and continued: “We must also remain cognizant of the fact that Tyrell’s supporters are still very much among us, some we know and some we may not know.”
“Which means we should pay attention to the people around us,” Jocasta added, “and see if we notice anyone unusually interested in our activities.”
“And we should be very careful about what we say when we are around others who are outside this group,” Giles said.
“Got it. We keep our eyes peeled, our ears open, and our mouths shut,” Lex stated firmly.
“Well…ummm…yes,” Giles said, slightly deflated by Lex’s succinct summarization.
The others nodded in agreement.
“We’ll meet again later, perhaps tomorrow,” Giles said, “once Jo and I have had a chance to review your reports. In the meantime, you may return to your regular duties. This meeting is adjourned.”
Everyone left except for Jocasta and Katherine. Jocasta looked at Katherine once, then retreated to her office. Katherine dropped her gaze to her feet.
After a moment, Katherine looked up at Jocasta’s office. Taking a deep breath, she headed that way and slipped in the doorway.
“I…ummm…I just wanted to see if you n-n-needed me,” Katherine said, “you know, to stay and…ummm…help prepare for the magic demo later?”
“No, I don’t,” Jocasta said, more coldly than she intended.
“Oh,” Katherine said, clearly hurt.
“Not right now, I mean,” Jocasta amended. “I’m just too tired,” she admitted.
“Yeah, me too,” Katherine said. “I haven’t…” She paused, looking at her feet again. “I haven’t been sleeping very well lately. You know, since—”
“Yeah,” Jocasta said, cutting her off.
Renegade Mobile Base – Same Time
On Rayne’s screen, Jocasta and Katherine stood in awkward silence.
Rayne zoomed his view on Katherine. As he touched Katherine’s image, his face twisted into an expression of pure hate.
Katherine’s Quarters – Later That Night
Katherine dragged into her quarters, her shoulders slumped in utter defeat and depression. She sighed, took off her coat, and laid it across the back of the couch.
She trudged into the kitchenette and opened the refrigerator.
Jocasta’s Apartment – Same Time
Jocasta looked at the meager offerings in her refrigerator. She sighed and shut the door.
She walked into the living room and looked around sadly. She went to her plants and gently trailed her fingers along the synthetic leaves. Then she dropped her hand and entered the bedroom.
She went to her dresser and started to open the top drawer. She stopped, her eyes drawn to the digi-frame sitting on top. She picked up the digi-frame and activated it.
A still image of a grinning Katherine at the gazebo in the park appeared on the screen inside the digi-frame. Jocasta touched the frame, and a new image of the blonde slayer took the place of the other. She touched the frame again, and this time an image of the two of them appeared. They were sitting on a bench, close together, smiling happily.
Jocasta frowned, deactivated the digi-frame, and set it back on the dresser. She opened the top drawer and pulled out her pajamas. Then she headed for the bathroom.
Katherine’s Quarters – Later
Katherine emerged from the bathroom, now dressed for bed. She turned off all the lights except for the lamp on her nightstand. She sat on the edge of her bed. She picked up her alarm clock, set it, and put it back. She opened the drawer to the nightstand and began rummaging around in it, clearly looking for something. Suddenly, she froze in place.
Slowly, Katherine pulled out a slightly bent, unframed photograph. It was Trent, in his military garb, standing in front of Lunarticks on the International Space Station. He was pointing at the bar’s sign while wearing a goofy smile. She touched the face in the photo and frowned. She crammed the photo back into the drawer and shut it tightly.
Then she turned off the light and climbed into bed. She lay there for a few moments then closed her eyes.
The Morgue Examination Room – Night
Katherine stood quietly outside the double doors of the morgue. She closed her eyes and hung her head.
“I’m very sorry for your loss,” the attendant’s voice replayed in her head. “The…ummm…body is already laid out for you. Take your time.”
Katherine opened her eyes and drew a deep breath. Then she went through the double doors.
The Morgue Examination Room – Same Time
Katherine entered the long narrow room, which was filled with two rows of tables. The table at the far end was covered with a sheet. She walked slowly towards it.
When she arrived at the table, she stopped and stood at its side. With a trembling hand, she reached for the corner of the sheet, then paused and pulled back. She made a fist and shook her head, then reached for the sheet once again. She peeled the sheet back.
Captain Trenton Darby’s body lay cold and still upon the metal table, his skin pale and clammy. A small gunshot wound marked his right temple.
“Oh, god… Trent,” Katherine whispered in a strained voice, “I’m so sorry…”
Katherine doubled over as the sobs hit her. She dropped her head to her forearm and rested on the edge of the table as she cried.
“Sorry won’t cut it,” Katherine heard a voice say right next to her head.
Katherine straightened in a flash, her eyes locked in terror at the sight of her dead ex-fiancé staring at her. She yelped and backed into the table behind her as he carefully got up from his slab.
“No, nothing but payback will do, now,” Darby said matter-of-factly before growling and grabbing for Katherine’s arms.
Katherine screamed and avoided Darby’s grasp. She turned to run, but Darby tackled her from behind, and she went sprawling facedown to the floor, with him on top of her. She tried uselessly to fight him off as he easily flipped her onto her back and straddled her. He pinned her arms to the floor.
Darby leaned down and grinned maniacally, tilting his head from side to side. Katherine looked up in horror. A gaping fist-sized hole caked with blood rested where most of his left ear used to be. Darby suddenly stopped grinning. He released her arms and reached for Katherine’s neck. He wrapped his hands around her throat and began to squeeze.
Katherine pulled at Darby’s fingers, trying to pry them from her neck. It was no use. She punched at his arms and head. Nothing worked. The images of the room at the edges of her vision began fading; all she could see was Darby’s face. The only sounds were those of her own strangulation…and a ringing bell.
Katherine’s Quarters – The Next Morning
As her alarm went off, Katherine jolted awake in her bed, coughing and gasping for air. She reached for her throat, as if trying to remove cold hands that were no longer there.
After a few moments of frantic breathing, Katherine finally realized where she was and turned off her alarm. She dropped her head into her hands and sighed. Then she lifted her face and, with a weary moan, trudged towards the bathroom.
Watchers Council – Slayer Training Room – Later That Morning
In a sudden move, Livia flipped Katherine onto the mat. The blonde slayer hit the mat with a thud. Katherine moaned and didn’t get up. Livia put her hands on her hips and looked down at her vanquished opponent.
“What’s the matter with you?” Livia asked. “You’re fightin’ like a newbie.”
“Sorry,” Katherine said, getting up from the mat slowly. “I haven’t gotten a lot of rest lately.”
“I noticed you zonin’ out last night. What’s the problem?” Livia asked.
“I don’t know,” Katherine replied. “I just haven’t been sleeping well. I mean, I’m sleeping, but I don’t wake rested. It’s like when you dream all night and then you wake up tired?” Katherine frowned, then shrugged. “I don’t know what it is.”
“You should go see Doc, he’ll get you fixed up,” Livia suggested.
“Maybe I should,” Katherine said, considering the suggestion.
“You ready to go again?” Livia asked, moving into fighting stance.
Katherine took a deep breath, then mirrored Livia’s stance.
“Ready,” Katherine said.
Soon, Livia and Katherine were engaged in a flurry of punches and blocks, with Livia doing most of the punching. When Katherine did punch, Livia easily blocked her efforts.
“Yo, Katie…my dead mother hits harder than that!” Livia taunted with a grin.
Livia followed up her comment with a high kick aimed right at Katherine’s face, but Katherine stopped it and jerked Livia’s leg forward, sending Livia onto the mat on her back. Livia twisted out of Katherine’s grasp and then popped right back up. She went immediately on the offensive again.
“Come on, Blondie!” Livia said between punches, “You can’t win a fight if you’re always on the defensive!”
“I know!” Katherine said with irritation, before attempting another weak offensive.
Livia easily countered, and the two slayers ended up in a grappling contest, nearly nose to nose.
Katherine grimaced as Livia tightened her grip and increased her leverage until she started bending Katherine backwards. Katherine’s body began shaking from the strain. Katherine saw Livia grin.
Suddenly, it wasn’t Livia who was holding her; it was Darby. He grinned widely. “You can’t get away from me,” he said menacingly.
Within a matter of seconds, Katherine’s eyes went from shock to disbelief to terror. Then they changed to something else entirely—something dangerous, something feral.
Katherine roared in rage. Then in a burst of sheer adrenaline, she pushed Livia back until their situations were reversed, with Livia being the one bent back. With another roar, she shoved Livia onto her back and wrapped her hands around Livia’s throat.
Katherine didn’t see Livia’s face; she saw only Darby’s.
As Katherine began to squeeze, Livia tried desperately to break Katherine’s hold. She saw the look of crazed fury in Katherine’s eyes. Livia’s own eyes started to close as she felt herself losing consciousness. She made one final effort, drawing on all her slayer strength, thrusting her arms between Katherine’s, forcing Katherine’s hands from her neck. Then she gave a quick uppercut to Katherine’s chin, sending her dazed to the mat.
Livia jumped up and put several feet of distance between herself and the blonde slayer. Katherine groaned, then sat up, slowly blinking her eyes.
“What the hell is the matter with you?” Livia demanded, touching her bruised neck.
Katherine looked around them then up at Livia. A shaken and confused look was on her face. “I-I-I don’t know,” she said, “I’m sorry. I—”
“Look, if you wanna go all-out, that’s fine,” Livia said angrily, cutting her off. “Just warn me next time, okay?”
Katherine started to say something else, but Livia just stomped away.
“Go home, take a chill pill!” Livia said over her shoulder as she left the sparring area.
Katherine nervously ran her hand through her hair. Then she gingerly rubbed her sore jaw.
Watchers Council – Jocasta’s Office – Day
Jocasta groaned at the number of emails waiting on her computer. She didn’t understand how she could get so many in just one day. She sighed and started isolating the most important messages. When she was about halfway through her emails, she heard a knock on her office door. She looked up to see Giles stepping inside.
“Giles, hey,” Jocasta said in a weary voice.
“Jo, how are you?” Giles said.
“Tired,” Jocasta responded. “I didn’t sleep very well last night.”
“Yes, well, it was a short night for all of us,” Giles agreed, taking a seat in the chair near Jocasta’s desk. “Is everything prepared for this afternoon?”
“Just about,” Jocasta replied. “Katie is…ummm…coming by later to get ready.”
Jocasta looked away, her brow furrowing.
“Things are…still tense between you two, then?” Giles asked gently.
“Ah, yeah,” Jocasta affirmed ruefully.
“Jo, I sympathize with your situation, you know I do,” Giles said. “But the demonstration this afternoon…i-i-it’s vital for our plan to reintegrate magic into Council operations. I need to know that you and Katie will not let your personal affairs interfere with your–”
“We won’t,” Jocasta firmly insisted.
Giles looked at Jocasta intently, then smiled reassuringly.
Watchers Council – Computer Center – Day
James sat at his workstation, his fingers flying over the keys as he conducted the network check that Giles had requested. When his fingers stopped, the computer sounded a tone to indicate its task was finished.
“Level three sweep complete,” James announced to Anyabot, who worked at another station nearby.
“And?” Anya prompted.
“Nothing,” James replied.
“Guess there’s nothing to find,” the synthetic said with a shrug.
James nodded absently, then narrowed his eyes as if thinking deeply. Suddenly, he grinned, and his fingers began flying across the keys once again.
“I know what to do,” James said.
“What?” Anya asked.
James didn’t answer but continued concentrating on his new approach. Anya turned and peered at James curiously, then went back to her work.
Watchers Council – Gray Sector Lab – Afternoon
A wooden stake floated in the air about three feet in front of Katherine. It was about chest-high and pointed away from her. Katherine’s face was locked in an expression of intense concentration. When her eyes narrowed, the stake shot across the lab and sank into a cork target.
The stake joined two others in the board, none of which had managed to hit the bull’s-eye. When she saw where the stake hit, Jocasta sighed in disappointment. Katherine dropped her gaze to her hands.
“Sorry,” Katherine said meekly.
At Katherine’s reaction, Jocasta threw off her disappointed air and waved her hand in dismissal as she moved across the partially-glassed-in lab towards the cork board on the wall. “No, it’s okay,” Jocasta said, pulling the three stakes from the target. “Y-Y-You hit the target, that’s the main thing. They’ll understand that practice will increase accuracy. Don’t worry about it.”
“Okay,” Katherine replied.
“Let’s move on to the barrier spell,” Jocasta said, putting the stakes back on the table. “Hand me the orb.”
Katherine reached for a baseball-sized glass orb that was blue and white. She picked it up and turned back towards Jocasta. As she went to pass it over, she saw her hand move in slow motion.
She watched in surprise as the object in her palm changed from the blue-and-white orb to a fist-sized purple crystal and back again in a series of flashes before finally settling on the image of the purple crystal.
She held her hand over Jocasta’s and started to place the crystal in her open palm. But then she looked up at the redhead. A bloody and bullet-ridden Jocasta stared back at her, angry accusation on her face.
Katherine gasped in horror and jerked her hand back, dropping the orb. Luckily, Jocasta lunged forward and caught the fragile object before it hit the floor.
“Katie!” Jocasta exclaimed. “You nearly dropped it! What’s the matter with you?”
“I’m…s-s-sorry…I-I-I…” Katherine stammered awkwardly, not knowing what to say.
“Are you sure you’re up for this?” Jocasta asked. “Maybe we should reschedule.”
“No!” Katherine insisted. “I-I-I’m okay, I’ll be fine for the demo, I promise. Let’s just do the barrier spell.”
Jocasta looked at Katherine worriedly, then began preparations for their spell.
Watchers Council – Gray Sector Lab – Later That Afternoon
As Jocasta arranged the set-up for the demonstration, Katherine stood out of the way, shifting nervously in place. She watched as the redhead carefully laid out all of their magical objects and ingredients in the order they would be used. When it seemed safe to do so, Katherine moved closer.
“So…ummm…I was wondering,” Katherine said, “after the demo…do you think maybe we could…get together and talk…about things…you know, between us?”
Jocasta was distracted when she noticed Giles and Veronica Wyndam-Price arrive for the demonstration. She took a deep breath and turned back to Katherine.
“I can’t think about that right now, okay?” Jocasta said more shortly than she intended. “Let’s just focus on the demonstration.” At that, Jocasta left Katherine and went to greet Giles.
Katherine hung her head sadly.
Watchers Council – Gray Sector Lab – Later
A line of chairs was set up in front of the glass wall of the lab. At one end of the row sat Giles and Veronica. At the other end was Travers, who sat leaning back with his arms crossed tightly and his expression implacable. In the middle were the remaining members of the Council Sub-Committee that had been assigned to review Gray Sector’s progress in investigating the magic reintegration issue.
In the glassed-in area, Jocasta spoke calmly into her headset, which carried her voice to the group safely outside.
“One of the simplest and most useful spells is a light-making spell,” Jocasta explained as she gathered the necessary items from the table before her. “I mean, what happens when a slayer finds herself without a flashlight in a completely darkened space? Let’s say, just as an example, that she pursued a vampire into a sewer tunnel.”
Jocasta nodded at Katherine, who cut the lights. For a few seconds, Jocasta didn’t speak. The Sub-Committee members shifted nervously in their seats.
“What does she do?” Jocasta asked, her voice coming eerily out of the darkness. “Does she (a) proceed without any light, trusting her other senses to guide her?” Jocasta paused.
“No, that’s much too dangerous, even for a slayer,” Jocasta answered.
“Well, does she (b) cut off pursuit until she can retrieve appropriate lighting?” Jocasta asked before pausing again.
“If she does that, she risks losing the vampire’s trail,” Jocasta commented.
“Or does she (c)…do this! Lumen appare!”
The Sub-Committee members gasped in awe as the glassed-in area was suddenly lit up by a glowing cloud. Giles smiled as he watched the impressed committee members murmuring among themselves. All but Travers, of course, who simply glared in Giles’s direction.
Jocasta nodded at Katherine, who brought the lights back up. Then Jocasta broke the light spell, and the glowing cloud dispersed. Jocasta adjusted her headset and smiled at her audience.
“Now it’s one thing to be without light, but it’s quite another to be without a stake,” Jocasta announced. “Let’s suppose that, in the midst of a fierce battle with a vampire, a slayer loses her stake. She’s stuck grappling with the vampire and is unable to retrieve her primary weapon.”
“Now, one might think that she was up the proverbial creek,” Jocasta said with a grin. “Unless she doesn’t need her hands to manipulate the stake.”
“Slayer Allison?” Jocasta said, motioning Katherine to take her place and then stepping several feet away to the slayer’s left.
Katherine took a deep breath and began to concentrate. After a few seconds, one of the three stakes on the table rose slowly into the air. Several of the Sub-Committee members leaned forward in their seats.
Sweat appeared on Katherine’s forehead, and she swallowed noticeably. Katherine cut her eyes to her left, hoping for a look of encouragement from Jocasta.
What she saw was dead Jocasta, covered in blood, glaring at her—seemingly accusing her, blaming her, hating her.
Katherine jumped in fright and backed away from Jocasta. The stake Katherine had been levitating suddenly went crazy, flying all over the room, ricocheting off the walls. Then it headed straight for Jocasta.
End of Act One