Act 4



Fade In:
Watchers Council – The Front Grounds – The Next Morning

The chant was angry and constant. “Only humans are Americans.” It went up from several hundred throats. Across the central path to the front door of the Council, an only slightly smaller and only slightly softer throng was milling around, holding signs that read things like “Inclusion Not Exclusion” and “Werewolf Freedom Now”. It was unclear how many of this group were werewolves, though none of them were in wolf form. The protestors swarmed the area outside the Council, a teeming mass of people spread across the front lawn and spilling onto the surrounding streets.

Separating the two groups were two distinct lines of nervous-looking police officers in full riot gear. A few carried plastic shields, all carried small squarish devices strapped to their belts, capable of administering an electric shock to any protestors who got out of hand.

The self-styled “pro-human” faction had set up a makeshift stage, and onto this walked a small middle-aged woman with dark hair. She did not look angry or excited. When she delivered her speech, she did it in an assured manner that implied she had given similar speeches many, many times before.

She cleared her throat before speaking into microphone at the front of the stage. “My name is Eileen Thompson.” Her half of the crowd roared. They knew who she was. “I am a normal housewife from Des Plaines, Iowa. A few years ago I left to go to the grocery store, and when I came back, my three children were dead. They had been ripped to pieces by werewolves. As I held my son Donny in my arms, his beautiful face torn into shreds, I thought about those who had done this, and those who had allowed them to do it. There will always be cruel, sadistic people in this world, but it seems to me that some are obviously more likely to commit acts of violence. I believe that if the government had taken steps to contain the werewolf problem, I would not be standing here today. Instead I would be home – driving Jenny to soccer practice, watching Jacob in the school play, listening to Donny practice on his guitar. I plead with the government: don’t let another mother end up like me. Take steps to end this problem, now.”

A huge roar went up from the “Pro-Human” section of the crowd.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Special Meeting Room – Same Time

“Werewolves and other supernatural creatures have always been the subject of suspicion among the general populace,” said one of the female senators. “It’s only natural.” The attendees of the peace conference were seated in the same places as the previous day.

“The discrimination against werewolves is not a stagnant problem,” Anita stated. “It has not always been this way. Our children are no longer able to attend public schools. Adult wolves are unable to hold jobs or purchase homes. This has occurred throughout American history with various societal groups, but now, for most of us, those actions are something we look back on with shame.”

Senator Cregg leaned forward. “You will have to forgive me, Ms. Devereux, but I don’t see the parallel. African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, gays and lesbians – these groups were not inherently violent. They were all, well… humans, for lack of a better word, and I know that word has loaded connotations these days in some circles, but there it is.”

“I agree,” Senator Dalgren nodded. “As far as I can tell, ‘we the people’ does not include non-people.”

One of the wolves made a low whining noise.

“What did Mr. Reed say?” Jocasta asked curiously.

Anita translated. “He said that, if he’s not a person, how did he understand what you just said?”

“This is ridiculous,” Morgan sighed, running a hand over his face.

“Sir, I do not deny your intelligence,” Senator Cregg said. “I am simply pointing out that, for many people, giving rights to werewolves is tantamount to giving rights to monsters. As much as you might deny it, werewolf attacks have gained much public attention recently.”

“Why should slayers have rights?” Oliver replied.

Natalie and Damesha, the two slayers standing guard behind the werewolves, visibly bristled.

“I’m not sure I follow you,” Giles asked gently.

“They are supernatural beings, predisposed to violence, are they not?” Oliver explained. “They are, by the purist’s definition, not precisely human. And yet they enjoy all the privileges of American society. In most circles they are treated as heroes.”

“Surely, you cannot be comparing yourself –” Travers was cut off by a loud bark from Reese. Both Travers and a nervous Dr. Ash nearly jumped out of their chairs. Veronica and Sebastian exchanged small smiles.

Fade Out.

Fade In:
Watchers Council – Slayer Gym – Afternoon

In one corner, Janet and Lian were training with the ever-talkative Jenn. The young blonde was in the center of the mat, flanked by the other two. All three were armed with wooden staffs. Janet and Lian looked decidedly annoyed as they went on the attack against the younger slayer.

“So anyways, I told her…” Jenn deflected Janet’s jab. “…that I wasn’t interested in her like that…” She brought her staff back for a thrust into Lian’s stomach. “…’cause unlike half the girls around here…” As Lian doubled over, Jenn smacked her weapon behind Lian’s knees, sending her to the mat. “…I am all about the stick.” She ducked under Janet’s shoulder-high sweep and brought the butt of her staff right under Janet’s chin, dropping her to the floor as well. “Woo-hoo!” Jenn crowed with a joyous leap into the air. “I win! I win!”

While Jenn strutted around the mat holding her staff aloft and singing her own praises, Janet leaned over to Lian. “You know, I never thought of her mouth as a weapon, but I think it needs to be classified as one.”

“Yeah, something in the blunt force trauma category,” Lian added. “She just keeps hammering you with it till you crumble under its numbing power.”

“So!” Jenn plopped down between the two slayers. “What was werewolf duty like? I got my first gig tomorrow, me and Finola, and I got to tell ya: I ain’t looking forward to it.”

“Aw, come on. Finola’s not that bad,” Janet said.

“Not Finola,” Jenn corrected. “The werewolves. I mean, didn’t it, like, totally creep you out?”

“Actually, no,” Lian said. “They looked human, just like us.”

“Well, not the two wolfy ones,” Janet pointed out.

“True. That was a little weird,” Lian admitted. “But, still…was it just me or were the werewolves acting a lot more civilized than the senators?”

Janet merely shrugged noncommittally in response.

Jenn scoffed loudly at that idea and got back to her feet. “Well, if you ask me, werewolf equals monster equals target for slayers. It’s that simple.”

Lian started to say something in reply, but Janet stopped her. “Remember, don’t engage the weapon,” she whispered.

“Right,” Lian whispered back, nodding in agreement.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Slayer Gym – Same Time

“Come on, Cherise!” Livia barked. “You’re letting Monique get the leverage!”

Livia stood a few feet away from where the two younger slayers were wrestling on the mats. Within seconds, Monique had Cherise on her back. The vanquished slayer groaned.

“Do it again,” Livia told Cherise, “and this time, don’t let Monique get the advantage.”

As Monique held out her hand to help Cherise to her feet, Katherine walked up to join Livia.

“Hey,” Katherine said. “Got a minute?”

Livia looked around the gym once, then shrugged and said, “Sure.”

The two slayers walked across the gym where they could talk privately.

“What’s up?” Livia asked.

“Well, that’s kinda what I wanted to ask you,” Katherine said.

Livia crossed her arms tightly. “Why would you think something’s up?”

“I sit at the center of the web of the world,” Katherine intoned melodramatically, “and the threads of creation whisper their secrets in my ear…”

Livia gave her a stony glare.

“Hey, you bought it before, so it was worth a try,” Katherine said with a shrug and a grin. Then she sobered and said, “Truth is, Liv, I can just tell. And I wanted you to know that if you need to talk, about you and Mira, then I’m –”

“You know what you can do?” Livia said angrily, cutting Katherine off. “You can butt the hell out. Not lookin’ to hug and cry. Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got work to do.”

Livia turned and strode back to the wrestling mats. As Katherine watched her go, she let out a frustrated sigh.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Slayer Gym – Same Time

Nearby, Finola and Mira had just come onto the mats and were lightly sparring. When Finola saw Livia headed their way, she grinned wickedly to herself and put a quick smack-down on Mira, using a bit of magic to get her way. She pinned Mira’s arms to the mat and smiled.

“Hey, no using magic, ya cheat!” Mira complained, though she didn’t sound angry.

Finola leaned over to whisper into Mira’s ear. “I’m not doin’ anything that the big bads won’t do, love.”

Livia passed by the two slayers just as Finola was leaning over to whisper. She watched until Finola and Mira started laughing as the redhead pulled the brunette to her feet. Livia turned away and increased her pace across the gym.

As Finola cast a glance over Mira’s shoulder at the retreating Livia, the Irish slayer smiled. Then she found herself yanked around 180 degrees by a furious Katherine.

“Can I talk to you for a minute? Good.”

Katherine didn’t wait for an answer but dragged the shocked and blustering Finola into an unoccupied corner.

“What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing, ya bossy cow?!” Finola nearly yelled at Katherine once they were alone.

“What am I doing?” Katherine spat back in a hushed voice. “What the hell are you doing?”

Finola gave her a I-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about look, but Katherine just glared back. Finola finally just let out a disgusted huff.

“I’m just ‘avin’ a little fun is all,” she said. “Don’ get your knickers in a knot.”

“Your idea of ‘fun’ could result in the end of Livia and Mira’s friendship. Is that what you want?”

“You’re blowin’ this way out of –”

“No, I’m not,” Katherine insisted. “I’ve known them both a lot longer than you, and I’m telling you…they are in a very difficult spot right now, and they don’t need you making things worse. So cool it, okay? Be friends with Mira all you want, but don’t rub it in Livia’s face, all right?”

“All right, fine,” Finola said sulkily.

“Now, when you go back over there, just tell Mira that I called you on the carpet about your magic use during sparring,” Katherine instructed.

Finola grumbled and started walking back to where Mira was waiting. “Bossy cow,” she complained in a low voice.

“I heard that,” Katherine called out in a sing-song voice from the corner.

“I meant for you to,” Finola called back in a similar tone.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Computer Center – Same Time

Anya stood in front of the doorway with her arms crossed as James tried to maneuver his way around her. Finally, after this third attempt, he stopped and stared right at her.

“I have to go, Anya, and this whole blocking-the-door thing isn’t helping,” James stated reasonably.

“But Jocasta has already seen you at least 9 hours, 23 minutes, 14 seconds the last three days,” Anya pointed out. “I, on the other hand, only get pickles.”

James let out a sigh to her last comment – the latest in a line of nonsensical language glitches he hadn’t been able to repair. “I’ve got to update her on the security upgrade. You know how important it is.”

“Seems to me it’s Jo that’s important,” Anya huffed. “Miss Kissy-Poo in the computer center.”

“Oh for goodness sake, Anya…that was two years ago!”

“I can help!” Anya said excitedly, changing her tactics. “After all, I saved those database files from Aidan’s incompetence.”

“Hey!” Aidan objected from across the room.

“And I’m grateful for your help, but you can’t come with me,” James told his personal assistant. “Please don’t make me put you in stand-by.”

“But –”

“No ‘buts.’ I have to go, and you have to stay,” James stated firmly as he quickly moved her to the side and walked out the door.

Anya sighed unhappily. “Pickles, go figure.”

Fade Out.

Fade In:
Watchers Council – Special Meeting Room – Later That Afternoon

“It appears,” Giles announced, “that we may have reached an impasse.”

“You think so, Sebastian?” Morgan asked. “Your powers of observation are astounding.”

The attendees of the peace conference were still in their seats, though jackets had long since been abandoned and drinks had been emptied and refilled numerous times.

“I’m forced to agree,” Veronica said. “Unless one of the two sides is willing to make a concession or has something new to add, it seems pointless to continue.”

Anita raised her hand slightly. “We have something to bring up.” A few senators shifted uneasily in their seats, but Giles nodded for her to continue. Anita looked to her left. “Meghan?”

At this, Dr. Ash stood, taking a small data pad with her. She made eye contact with Natalie and said, “If you please?”

Reluctantly, Natalie moved from her guard position over to a nearby control panel set into the wall of the conference room. Travers frowned. Natalie made a few keystrokes on the panel. With a low whirring noise, a small projector descended from the ceiling.

Dr. Ash used a stylus to enter several commands on her data pad. Within seconds, a complex, three-dimensional holograph of a molecule appeared in the center of the room. Dr. Ash glanced around the table, shuffling in place nervously.

“What am I looking at?” Senator Cregg asked.

“This is…something I’ve been working on for the past year or so,” Dr. Ash answered. “It’s a vaccine.”

“A vaccine for what?” Senator Dalgren prodded.

“Lycanthropy,” Dr. Ash answered simply.

Fervent murmurs immediately sprang up among the occupants of the conference room, where only a moment ago there had been complete disinterest.

“Does it…work?” Veronica asked. “Is this – is this a finished product?”

“This will prevent a newly-bitten individual from turning into a werewolf, yes.” Dr. Ash pushed her glasses up her nose with a slender finger. “It will not turn an established wolf into a human. I was hoping…” She trailed off.

“You were hoping to use it on yourself,” Jocasta realized.

Dr. Ash chose that moment to stare at her data pad. Oliver Worth looked unhappy at the far end of the table.

“This is very interesting,” Senator Cregg said excitedly. “And you would be willing to…provide this vaccine to the public at large?”

“Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?” Anita stated. Giles managed to suppress a grin of admiration for the woman’s negotiating tactic.

“Now, see here –” Senator Dalgren began angrily, but he was interrupted by the werewolf leader.

“We are certainly willing to try to find a way to help those who have been bitten against their will,” Anita began. “In fact, we are willing to work with the Council towards that goal. However, I require complete, legally-binding assurances that this will not be used to turn werewolves into humans if they do not ask for it.”

“I thought she just said –” Jocasta said, confused.

“I think that maybe it can be…engineered,” Dr. Ash explained, “eventually. I’m still working.”

“I must be missing something here,” Senator Dalgren said. “Why wouldn’t werewolves want to be cured? You’re cursed, and this is your salvation!”

“Sir –” Oliver began.

“Actually, if I may cut in?” Jocasta interrupted, leaning forward. “Werewolf packs are very insular institutions. They provide everything they need for themselves and generally are able to avoid a great deal of contact with the outside world. Children born to two werewolves are usually werewolves themselves. For many in these packs, being a werewolf isn’t a curse; it’s who they are. They see it as their culture, not a disease.”

Cooper produced a yip of admiration. Anita smiled. “You are correct, Colonel Rosenberg, thank you. It has been a long time since I’ve met a human who would have said that.” Jocasta smiled in return. Anita turned to the senators sitting across from her. “Now, shall we discuss the terms?”

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Hallway Outside Special Meeting Room – Later

Hey Lex!

Lex whirled around and spotted James waving at him from down the hallway. James was jogging towards him and had to weave around several people moving in the opposite direction. When he got to Lex, James bent over at the waist, holding his hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath.

“You should be a stunt double in your sister’s next movie,” Lex joked. James looked up, red-faced and not the least bit amused. Lex cocked his thumb over his shoulder at the slayer-guarded door to the Special Meeting Room. “Did you come to catch a little of the peace-talk-y fireworks? Jo says it’s been pretty hot in there.”

Unlike some people, I don’t have time to loiter in hallways,” James said.

“I’m not loitering. I’m observing. Two completely different things,” Lex said in defense. “So…things are hopping in the CC, eh?”

James nodded ruefully. “Between upgrading the security system for Jo and Anya demanding more time, I’m just tapped. What about you?”

“Oh, just the usual techno-rama in Red Sector. Here a tech, there a tech, everywhere a tech, tech.”

“And Toni?”

“Ahh, well, she’s been a little M.I.A. of late.”

James raised an eyebrow. “What did you do this time?” he asked with a grin.

“Nothing,” Lex insisted. “I think,” he added uncertainly. Then he pointed accusingly at James. “Hey, at least I have a girl – and one that isn’t made of wires and plastic either. You need a real girl.”

James gave a scoffing laugh. “Like they’re that easy to find.”

“Sure they are,” Lex responded as he glanced around the area. “Let me pick one for you.” It didn’t take him long to spot an attractive young woman standing outside the now-open meeting room, glancing at a data pad in her hand. “There ya go,” he said. “Let’s go talk to your future ex-wife now.”

James started to object, but he was too late. Lex was already headed toward the cute brunette. With a loud sigh, James followed Lex.

“Excuse me,” Lex said, interrupting the young woman, who looked up at him with guarded eyes. When he saw the woman’s face, James’s mouth dropped open in awe before quirking into a slightly star-struck smile. “You were in the meeting, right? For the werewolf treaty thing?”

“Yes, I was in there,” she answered Lex warily. “Why do you ask?”

Lex gave her his best lopsided grin and a friendly wink. “Well, you sort of stand out. In a good way, I mean.” The woman smiled and looked away for a second. “The girls we see around here aren’t nearly as pretty as you. At least that’s what my friend James here said.” He clapped James on the shoulder.

The girl glanced over at James, who just gave a helpless smile. She smiled back, a light blush coloring her cheeks.

“He’s right,” James chimed in, feeling brave for a moment. “We’re used to girls that can kill things with their bare hands. Kinda makes it hard to approach them. I’m James, by the way.”

“Yeah, he mentioned that,” the young woman said. “I’m Meghan Ash.”

“Lex Harris,” Lex introduced himself as he nudged James a bit to speak more. Unfortunately, the computer whiz now seemed at a loss for words. Meghan wasn’t faring much better.

“So,” Lex said, breaking the silence. “How is it going so far? Our side winning?”

Meghan looked at him, puzzled. “Our side?”

“Meghan!” Jocasta exclaimed as she joined the group. Oliver and one of the wolves followed her. “Hey guys,” Jocasta said to Lex and James. “You here to see me?” Before they could nod in reply, Jocasta interrupted. “Oh, wait, where are my manners?” She pointed to the man beside her. “This is Oliver Worth, and this is Reese Magruder.” She lowered her hand to point at the large wolf.

While Lex and James mumbled awkward greetings, Jocasta turned her attention back to the young woman. “Meghan, I’m so sorry I didn’t get out here sooner. It was like a madhouse getting out of there. I thought I was going to have to pull out my senator-repellant!”

Meghan laughed appreciatively, and even Oliver allowed the barest hint of a smile.

“I’m so excited about your vaccine,” Jocasta added. “I can’t wait to hear more about it.”

Meghan blushed again and gave a grateful nod. “Thank you for what you did back there, by the way. Many humans have no understanding of our kind.”

Most humans,” Oliver corrected.

Lex and James quickly glanced at one another before James looked back at Meghan with a horrified expression on his face.

“Y-Y-You’re a werewolf,” James stammered. “Oh…I-I-I’m so sorry.” James took a step away from Meghan.

“You could have warned us,” Lex grumbled to Meghan, whose face went pale as she bit her bottom lip and refused to look in James or Lex’s direction.

Oliver crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes. Reese let out a slow, deep growl. Jocasta smacked her cousin on the arm.

“Hey!” Lex responded indignantly. Jocasta merely turned and glared at him. “Going now,” he said meekly before pulling James away and staging a strategic retreat.

As she watched Lex and James leave, Jocasta shook her head in frustration. “Sorry,” she said to the werewolves, shrugging helplessly.

Once they had moved a good bit away and were clearly out of earshot, James turned to Lex.

“Next time, let me pick the girl I can’t flirt with, okay?” James stated.

Lex shrugged and put his hands in his pocket. “No problem.”

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Med Research Lab – Later

In the Council’s Medical Research Laboratory, three women stood amidst the microscopes, computer stations, and electron scanners. Jocasta introduced Dr. Meghan Ash to another woman, a brunette, possibly in her thirties, with a serious face.

“Dr. Davis, this is Dr. Meghan Ash, formerly of Brown University.”

“You can call me Wade,” Dr. Davis said, extending her hand with a wide smile. “I never was much for titles. I am absolutely thrilled to meet you.”

Reluctantly, Dr. Ash shook the other woman’s hand. “You…know about me, right?”

“’bout what?” Wade asked.

“Dr. Ash is here representing the werewolf clans,” Jocasta supplied.

“Oh, that?” Wade laughed. “Yeah, I heard about that.” She leaned in to speak quietly to Dr. Ash. “Frankly, I don’t care if you’re a human or a werewolf or a sentient potted plant. You’ve got a first-rate mind. Only an idiot cares about anything else.”

“Thank you,” Dr. Ash said. “That’s…refreshing.”

“So, I hear we’ve got a werewolf vaccine,” Wade announced, clapping her hands together. “Let’s see it.”

Dr. Ash pulled out her data pad and once again entered a few commands. By the time she had stowed her stylus, the same holographic rendering of the complex molecule appeared over a nearby table.

Dr. Davis walked over to examine the vaccine more closely. “Amazing,” she breathed. “How long have you been working on this?”

“Almost a year,” Dr. Ash told her, walking around the projection.

“A year?” Wade asked incredulously. “Do you know how many people have searched for this their entire lifetimes and failed?”

Dr. Ash blushed. “I – I’ve been working full-time. Can’t sleep. Can’t get used to these senses. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night because you smelled the dog next door?”

“Can’t say that I have,” Jocasta had to say.

Wade ignored the question and poked a finger at a spot in the diagram. “This here…is this an adrenal suppressor?”

“To a degree,” Dr. Ash told her. “It’s an anti-hormone run through a Gaffney process.”

“That’s to prevent the adrenaline rush that’s goes with the transformation, right?”

“That’s not all it does,” Dr. Ash said. She pointed to one of the lines in the diagram. “You see this link here?”


“The anti-hormone is inextricably connected to a cerebral lubricant,” Dr. Ash explained.

Dr. Davis glanced up at Dr. Ash. “Is that cyboxin? Nobody can synthesize that.”

“I had to invent the process myself,” Dr. Ash said. “It involves running it through a bio-solvent and then running a full chloride treatment.”

“Did you try a nitrate solution?”

Jocasta glanced back and forth between the two women, already lost in the jargon-laced conversation of the experts.

Fade Out.

Fade In:
Cleveland Streets – Night

Absent chatter filled the night air as Mira, Finola, Brianna, and Katherine walked toward their last assignment of the night. Katherine glanced over at Mira, who had her arms folded over her chest and a very distant look on her face.

The blonde whispered to Brianna that she would be right back, passed Finola, who continued gabbing away to Brianna, and dropped in next to Mira.

“Hey,” she said.

Mira regarded her warily but offered a polite “Hey” in return.

Katherine hooked her arm around Mira’s and slowed their pace so that they ended up several yards away from the other slayers.

“So, what’s going on?”

Mira furrowed her brow in confusion. “What are you talking about?”

“Livia. You and Livia, more specifically.”

Mira shrugged in denial. “What’s to talk about?”

“A whole lot if you asked me.”

“Well, I didn’t!” Mira snapped, causing Katherine to frown. Mira took a breath and gave her an apologetic glance. “I’m sorry. I just…I really don’t want to talk about this. Not yet.”

Katherine nodded. “Okay,” she said. “I understand. But if you ever do, I’m here.”

“Thanks,” Mira said with a small smile.

“We’re here,” Brianna announced, coming to a stop in front of an ancient-looking building.

Finola walked past the group and swiftly kicked in a window.

“Subtle,” Brianna deadpanned.

“There’s a door right over here, you know,” Mira pointed out.

“What can I say?” Finola grinned. “I have a flair for the dramatic.”

As Katherine shook her head, Finola leapt through the window. Brianna opened the door, allowing the others to pass as she held it open.

“Overdramatic is more like it,” Brianna whispered to Katherine as her best friend passed by.

Cut To:
Old Building – Moments Later

Katherine and the others followed Finola through several passageways to the back of the building, where the Irish slayer kicked open a door and revealed a nest of vampires. They hissed and growled at the invading party.

“Well, lookit what I found,” the redhead quipped. “I spy, with my little eye, something that begins with D.”

Slayers and vampires alike went “huh?” Finola rolled her eyes, rushed the nearest vampire, and drove a stake into his chest. She caught some of his ashy remains in her hand and looked pointedly at the others.

“Ohhh,” they said. Then all hell broke loose.

Half of the nest tried to flee, while the other half charged at the slayers. The leader of the pack caught a swift stake to the chest from Finola. Mira enthusiastically went after the group trying to run. She grabbed the nearest one and threw it against a nearby wall, delivering a knee to its chest.

One vampire managed to deliver a punch to Finola’s midsection, then caught her with an upper-cut when she leaned forward in pain. It charged the Irish slayer as she stumbled backwards, but she recovered enough to use its momentum to send it sprawling in a corner.

Brianna clothes-lined an attacking vampire with a stiff-arm to the neck as she staked another one with her free arm.

Katherine, meanwhile, had managed to kick a vampire in the face, but lost concentration while reaching for the bag on her hip that contained a few magical items that she always carried with her. The vampire took this opportunity to land a punch to her gut. She doubled over, and the contents of her bag went spilling across the floor.

“Damn it!” she cursed, flipping as fast as she could back on her feet, swiping the vampire’s legs out from under it. She quickly grabbed a stake and plunged it into his chest.

Finola jumped onto the vampire in corner. “Sorry,” she said, “no vamp tussles with the likes of old Fin and lives to tell the tale.” She brought her stake down into the vamp’s heart.

“That’s the last of them,” Brianna said, brushing vamp dust from her sleeves.

“Really?” Finola asked, turning around as if she were bracing herself for another fight. When she saw no other targets, her shoulders slumped, and she put away her stake.

Cut To:
Cleveland Streets – Moments Later

After Katherine made the call to HQ, the four slayers exited the building on their way off-shift. All but Finola dragged along, clearly exhausted after their most recent fight.

“How can you bounce like that?” Brianna asked Finola. “I’m dead to the world.”

“Don’ know. Just can,” Finola answered in a chipper voice. “‘At fight got me all wound up.”

“Not me,” Katherine replied, suppressing a yawn. “A long night’s sleep is what I need.”

“You just wanna get back to your sweetie.” Brianna nudged her shoulder and smiled.

“Yeah, well, there’s that too,” Katherine agreed. “That’s if she’s even home yet. That werewolf thing is keeping her occupied day and night.”

“Well I’m certainly not ready to go home yet,” Finola said once they had reached the main street that led to the Council. “What about you, Mira? You’ve been real quiet all night.”

“No more than usual,” Mira said somewhat defensively.

“Way more than usual,” the Irish slayer disagreed. “Anyway, you in or you out?”

Mira did a double take. “In or out what?”

“I mean…are you gonna tuck your tail like ‘ese two whipped slayers and scurry home, or you gonna go out with me and get feckin’ twisted, eh?”

Mira looked somewhat helplessly at Brianna and Katherine, who just smirked and shrugged. She took a moment then nodded swiftly to Finola. “Sure,” she agreed. “I could really use some fun right about now.”

“Brill!” Finola replied. “I know just where to take you: this new club not far from HQ…”

Cut To:
Mansion – A Little Later

Cassandra still lay upon her divan, viewing multiple holo-screens at once. A small chime from her headset indicated an incoming call. She glanced at a corner of one screen to see who was calling then touched the earpiece of her headset to answer.

“Have the next set of traps been set?” she asked without any preliminary niceties.

“Yes,” came the reply. “Targets are being isolated as they come off-shift.”

“And your primary target?”

“Going right where we want her.” The minion chuckled and added, “This is gonna be fun.”

“Fun is irrelevant,” Cassandra said coldly. “Do your job, quickly and quietly. Is that understood?”

“Yes ma’am,” said the minion.

Cassandra ended the call and calmly turned her eyes back to the holo-screens.

Cut To:
Series of Shots:

– Shadow of someone watching people come and go in the Council parking lot
– Giles and Jocasta trudging wearily out of HQ together then parting ways
– Katie, Brianna, Mira, and Finola approaching HQ from a different direction
– Livia walking toward the foursome, then quickly changing direction when she sees them
– Mira and Finola leaving Katie and Brianna, with Finola talking excitedly and putting her arm around Mira’s shoulders
– Livia sadly watching Mira and Finola before finally stalking off alone
– Katie and Brianna talking momentarily then also parting, going in opposite directions
– The shadowy figure moving out from its hiding place

Cut To:
Brianna’s Vehicle – Same Time

Brianna unlocked her E.V. (electric vehicle) and got inside. She pulled the door shut, let out a relieved sigh, and sat back in her seat to relax a moment.

Suddenly, hands reached from behind her and grabbed her face, muffling her surprised screams.

Cut To:
Dark Alley – A Little While Later

Finola led Mira down a dark alley that the brunette wasn’t familiar with. She scrunched up her nose as they passed a fragrant dumpster.

“Where’s this supposed club?” Mira asked. “Are you sure you know where you’re going?”

“Don’ worry, little lost dove,” Finola said, giving Mira a big smile. “Tons of fun await, I promise.”

Mira gave the redhead an impatient glare.

“It’s not much further,” Finola insisted cheerily. “Cross my heart and hope to die.”

Mira groaned and followed after the chipper slayer.

Cut To:
Giles’s Vehicle – Same Time

Giles powered up his skimmer and let it idle while he programmed the entertainment system to a classical station. Once the somber yet calming strains of Chopin filled the vehicle, he leaned back in his seat and let out a long, slow breath. He murmured contentedly and closed his eyes.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Gray Sector Lab – Moments Later

Katherine entered Gray Sector and headed for Jocasta’s magic lab. She walked through the main part of the lab and used her key card to open a large storage room. Once inside, she removed the small pack she carried on patrol and began restocking it with various items found on the nearby shelves.

A loud clang in the lab startled her from her work.

“Hello?” the blonde slayer called out, glancing at the storage room door.

No answer came from the lab.

Cut To:
Outside Jocasta’s Apartment Building – Same Time

Jocasta strode slowly but purposefully along the sidewalk outside her apartment building. When she started up the steps that led to the entrance, she abruptly stopped.

She looked behind herself as if she had heard something. She glanced from side to side, then tilted her head as if listening, a worried expression on her face.

Cut To:
Watchers Council – Gray Sector Lab – Same Time

Katherine called out again, “Hello?”

Still there was no answer. She left her pack on the shelf and walked cautiously toward the storage room door. She paused, listening intently, then stepped outside into the lab.

Immediately, a burst of light exploded in front of her, blinding and disorienting her. She blinked her eyes and wobbled on her feet. She started to fall and tried to reach out for the wall to catch herself. But before she could, she was hit with a binding spell. A gelatinous green energy wrapped itself around her arms, pinning them to her body. It lifted her about a foot off the floor and held her suspended in the air.

Katherine blinked several more times, trying to make out the figures moving towards her. She closed her eyes tightly and shook her head, then slowly opened them again. Finally, she was able to focus on her attackers.

It was Brianna and Jordyn.

Katherine’s mouth fell open in surprise. “Bri, Jordie…what are you doing?!” she demanded.

“Bringing down the best of the best,” Jordyn answered. “Bringing you into the fold.”

“What?” Katherine asked, totally confused.

Her confusion vanished when Brianna and Jordyn suddenly vamped out in front of her. She gasped in complete shock.

Brianna took a step toward Katherine and smiled. “Time to join the family,” she told the trapped slayer.

Katherine could do nothing but look on in terror as the two vampires moved in on her.

Fade Out






End of Act Four

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