Originally broadcasted 9/3/2010
Council HQ – Night
Radiohead’s “House of Cards” plays over a series of shots:
– Buffy sat behind her desk, phone held to her ear. She had dark rings under her eyes, but she was animated as she argued with whoever was on the other end of the phone. There was an empty space on the wall where the Scythe once hung.
– Kennedy leaned over a table and examined satellite photos with the help of a small magnifier. After a moment she sat back and rubbed her eyes then grabbed the Diet Pepsi on the table and chugged it.
– Grace typed in a particularly long search query to a computer in the Council library. She bit her lip as she looked over the results; then she bolted to her feet and rushed off in the direction of the stacks. She left a large, uneven pile of books on the desk behind her.
– In the coven room, Willow sat in the center of her magic circle. Her eyes were closed, and she was completely still. Skye watched her from the doorway for a moment then left the room. The door fell closed behind her, but Willow did not move.
– Xander, safety goggles worn over his eyes, cut a piece of metal in his workshop, sending sparks flying. He stopped the machine and pulled up his goggles, a pensive frown on his face.
– Giles opened the door to his home to find Robin standing on the front step holding a sleeping Nikki in his arms. The two exchanged quiet greetings. Giles motioned for Robin to come inside.
– Norman, slumped in a chair in the Council computer lab, jolted awake when Lori tapped him on the shoulder. She flashed him a smile, and he stretched and went back to work. Behind his chair, a quick pencil portrait of Shannon peeked out from his briefcase.
Thailand – Jengar’s Camp – Day
The rusted metal bars of the cage door slammed shut with a clang. That was all the thing was – four walls made of bars, a metal roof, and a dirt floor. It was barely big enough for the three of them, Shannon, Lorinda, and Jeff.
Shannon, enraged, grabbed two of the bars and pulled in opposite directions. “RRRRAAAAA!” She found no purchase, and the cage remained intact. She panted, still furious.
Jengar stood over her, backed by two armed Ravana, his face blank. “Are you finished?”
“I’m never finished,” she said through gritted teeth.
He frowned. “Well, that’s a pity. And probably not true, considering our circumstances. Still, the bars are reinforced by the local holy men. I doubt you’ll be able to bend them.”
Lorinda paused in her attempt to re-wrap Jeff’s dark-red bandage. “Shannon –”
Shannon glared at her for a long moment. She breathed deeply, trying to regain control. She turned back to Jengar, her voice low and dangerous. “You killed those people. Children. For what?”
“A new beginning,” Jengar said.
Shannon stared at him. Then she said, “I’m going to cut off whatever organs you may have and stuff them right down your –”
Jengar laughed, once, loudly, cutting her off. He turned and walked away, leaving two of his subordinates to guard the cage. Shannon slammed her palms against the cage and let out a brief yell of frustration.
Behind her, Jeff blearily remarked, “I don’t know about you guys, but this is the least fun Special Assignment I’ve ever been a part of.”
Shannon just turned and glared at him.
End of Teaser