The Once and Future Slayer

A note to the reader: "The Once and Future Slayer" is the sequel to "Legacy." The latter half of this story shares several scenes with the story, "Prodigal Daughter." The scenes are noted as (ProD) when they occur. The story’s length ~ 13,700 words.

Acknowledgement: Bronzer, OkiLLbyte, read, edited, and made suggestions to the "final" draft. Specific word changes and dialogue/action lines are his – they’ve been denoted by being in bold type. I also rewrote two scenes based on his advice. One was a small Buffy gesture that adds to one scene. The other was to correct the gaps in my technical knowledge. He also wanted a more zesty, evil "we’ll back" ending. So I added a final scene, 72. It may be a little subtle …

Timeline: The story takes place during December winter break, 1999.

A Scene Note: The Labyrinth is based on the Minoan Palace at Knossos. The picture I used is from The Age of God-Kings: TimeFrame 3000-1500 BC, Time-Life Books, copyright 1987, pp. 106-107.

"Legacy" was written before the first airing of Wild at Heart. " Prodigal Daughter" was written in December 1999 following the original airing of Hushed. The sequel, "The Once and Future Slayer," was plotted following the original airing of Hushed.

 

Previously, in Legacy

Giles: It’s somewhat embarrassing. With the unexpected leisure I thought to pursue my doctorate.

Buffy: (interrupting, smiling) Doctor Giles! (Pauses) that sounds like a soda.

Giles: Yes. Well, there was a question about the currency of my previous psychology training.

Buffy: (enjoying his discomfort) You have to retake psychology? That’s evil.

Giles: It is.

Kziecazi gufiz leciz jid-fa. Kuvm cu di.

- Anya’s summons

Seconds pass. Buffy slowly pivots listening, then quickly reverses as a torpedo shape appears below the surface bearing at the boat. Buffy throws, the harpoon striking simultaneously with the sea croc striking the boat. The boat rolls violently right to left, both Buffy and Giles fall to the deck. Buffy grabs the side and hoists herself up to see over. The moonlight reflects off the embedded harpoon as it moves away, circles, and heads back towards them.

Buffy: Need croc anatomy added to the Slayer’s handbook. (She puts out her hand) Harpoon please.

Giles passes her another harpoon.

Giles: The back is natural armor. Better to strike at its underside.

Buffy: (glancing quickly to Giles) I have to do a Tarzan? I have to swim with the crocs?

Giles: As a last resort?

Buffy: Will?

Willow: Don’t move.

Spar is standing between them at the foot of the aircraft’s boarding steps. Behind him, Evelyn is holding a sleeping Melinda. Evelyn is a vamp.

Spar: Very good. Evelyn has a taste for children and she can sometimes be impulsive.

Willow: You wouldn’t let her. Melinda is too important to you.

Spar: The child is but icing on the cake. I like making sacrifices for the greater project. It builds my reputation.

Buffy: (sotto voce) I can take her Will.

Spar: The child is valuable and will not be harmed unless you provoke it.

Willow: I can’t trust a . . .

Spar: Loss for a word? Witch? I’m not.

Willow: You’re an evil man.

Spar: Yes, but predictable because of it. Trust my self-interest.

Willow looks to Buffy and without a word said, the stake flies from Buffy’s hand towards Evelyn. And is deflected by a cloak of magic dropping around the aircraft.

Spar: (casually watching the slayer action) Oh. Time’s up.

Buffy: Will, I can’t move forward.

Willow tries herself, but fails.

Spar: One witch plus one slayer does not equal a planeload of magicians. Do the math.

Spar turns and climbs the steps. He stops and the top and looks back at Buffy and Willow.

Spar: The child will be fine. She’ll become a powerful young lady. As could have you.

 

Spar enters the plane. The cabin door shuts. The plane taxis down the runway. Buffy and Willow are now able to move, but the plane is hurtling down the runway. As it lifts off into the night Spar’s final phrase echoes in her mind "As could have you… As could have you."

 

The One and Future Slayer – by Randy Howard

 

 

1. Int. Library – Night

Buffy is seated at a table studying with another student, Lynn. Lynn is studious and gangly of build.

Lynn: Dr. Gertz thinks it’s silly to read too much human behavior into rat behavior. He says we’re rodentsizing human behavior.

Buffy: Making complex things small? That’s a bad thing?

Lynn: No. More that people are not rats.

Buffy: Usually not. Probably not. No of course not.

Lynn: You think they are? It must be Professor Walsh. Maybe that’s a point we should bring out. Students taking from a class only their professor’s viewpoint. Have you found yourself looking at the world a little too clinically? You know, there’s a rumor that when Professor Walsh first arrived at UCS her ear tips were bandaged.

Buffy: This meant?

Lynn: That she was a Vulcan.

Buffy: That’s a joke? Isn’t it possible some students might rebel against a professor’s teachings?

Lynn: Reaction formation!

Buffy: Isn’t that a psychoanalytic term?

Lynn: See! You’re behaving as a behaviorist.

Buffy: It’s a question.

Lynn: (hold up a book titled Dream Analysis) She probably has all of you pooh-poohing dreams as simply brain flushing.

Buffy picks-up the book and examines the title.

Buffy: Not hardly.

Cut-to

Willow approaches Melinda. She takes her into her arms. Pick her up. Melinda hugs her neck, then her face transforms to a vampire and bites Willow. Willow screams. Melinda screams and turns to dust. Spar stands with stake in hand. He smiles, saying "As could you."

Buffy: (off camera) Willow?

Willow awakes from where she’s fallen asleep at the table

Willow: Oh gosh!.

Buffy: Frog mares?

Willow: No. No. Just wake up not in bed. And here I am.

Buffy: In a library. Not the comfy library of old. How far we stoop for finals.

Willow: The gauntlet.

Buffy: Well as you have said, sleep is a weapon. Let’s get you home.

They rise and begin to walk through the library. A security guard passes to an outside door and checks that it’s lock. Buffy watches him.

Buffy: A little extreme. (she points at the door) What student is going to scale five floors to steal a book? On the other hand, a winged demon bibliophile is a possibility.

Willow: It’s to keep people inside Buffy.

Buffy: That makes so much more sense. Can’t tempt students with escape. Would they use window curtains for ropes?

Willow: Suicide Buffy.

Buffy: What?

Willow: You didn’t hear about the junior that hung himself last week? Finals Week pressure. And over the years, there’ve been a few students who’ve jumped from the library balcony.

Buffy: No depth perception.

2. Int. Dorm Hallway - Night

LYNN approaches her dorm room door. There’s an envelope leaning against the door. She picks it up, then enters the room. Opens the envelope. There’s a CD inside, with no lapel. She sets it on her desk and puts her books down. Checks the phone messages.

 

3. Int. Buffy & Willow’s Dorm Room – Night

Buffy and Willow have just returned from the library. They’re settling in for the night.

Willow: Did you hi-light chapter 12?

Buffy: In three colors. Why?

Willow: (hesitant) I didn’t get a chance to read it.

Buffy: (surprise) What? The final is tomorrow. And you stay two weeks ahead on the readings.

Willow looks downcast.

Buffy: (cont’d) Is it Oz?

Willow: No. I’ve just let spell casting run a little amok. Can I take a look?

Buffy: Of course. It’s on the desk.

Willow sorts through the books. She picks up one text and looks mildly baffled.

Willow: Dream Analysis? Don’t you use Giles for that?

Buffy: I don’t have …. It’s Lynn’s book. Darn.

Buffy takes the book and heads for the door.

Willow: Why not wait till tomorrow?

Buffy: Because I don’t want to be tempted into looking at it. I want my dreams to be my dreams.

4. Int. Dorm Hallway – Night

As Buffy exits the elevator, she sees a very pale, almost translucent, boy darts away down the far stairs. Buffy hurries to Lynn’s room. The door is partly open.

Buffy: Lynn? Its Buffy. You home?

There’s no answer. Buffy pushes the door slightly and peers inside. Lynn is lying face up on the bed. Lynn is as still as a corpse.

Buffy: Lynn?

Buffy enters the room and goes to Lynn’s side. She sees an empty medicine bottle on the night table. She quickly checks for pulse and breathing, then reaches for the phone.

End of Teaser

Act I.

5. Int. Dorm Hallway – Night

A detective, a Korean-American woman, is interviewing Buffy.

Detective: Has she shown any signs of being depressed?

Buffy: No. She was pretty much into the project. A psychology project.

Detective: Why did you visit her?

Buffy: To return a book she’d given me.

Detective: Was anyone visiting her? Was she on the phone?

Buffy: No. No people.

6. Int. Buffy & Willow’s Dorm Room

Buffy and Willow are folding laundry as they sort out the attempted suicide.

Willow: You didn’t say anything about ghost boy?

Buffy: Not a person. Am I becoming to literal? Had she asked, "Were there any entities about?", would I have answered yes? There was this demon ghost boy. About so tall. Slender. Semi-translucent complexion.

Willow: Probably not. I think the Sunnydale official line is we don’t what to know and the Slayer protocol is you don’t want to tell them. It mixes clashing realities.

Buffy: If this is demon handwork, why now? After tomorrow, most of the students will be going home for winter break. The victim pool will be kiddy size.

Willow: The first step is to ask the right question. What are the common denominators? Which shouldn’t be too hard. There’s only a sample of two.

Buffy: I know you’ve been researching Spar. And I know you have finals.

Willow: (interrupting) As do you.

Buffy: I have to look at school as an extracurricular activity. It’s your path to a future.

Willow: I can take a break.

7. Int. An Executive Class Office - Day

Jack Spar is at his desk reading reports. Joan enters.

Spar: Good afternoon Joan. Have a seat. How was your day?

Joan: It’s a lovely institution you have here, but I’ve been unable to really enjoy it. Business matters keep intruding.

Spar: Such as?

Joan: How Melinda will be trained. (pauses) Working out the nuts and bolts of compensation.

Spar: It’s a basic program. We’re spoken of it. The Institute will provide training, room, and board. In return, once Melinda is able to perform at will, then the Institute receives 15% of her earnings over a three-year period. That’s a very modest return.

Joan: Which makes me wonder. Why?

Spar: An investment in learning. While Melinda is not unique, her talent is rare. Developing it will lead to new techniques that can be applied with others.

Joan: I don’t what to appear crass, but isn’t a written contract an appropriate step in our business relationship?

Spar: Well, yes, if you have little experience in this field. And I would be more than happy to have one drawn up for you. But I would be less than honest if I did not tell you most courts would at best smile upon learning the nature of our transaction. Magick is not a reality to the courts.

Joan: Humor me?

Spar: I’ll have it drawn up.

Joan: Thank you so much.

Joan pauses in thought.

Joan: (cont’d) How’s Melinda doing?

Spar: It’s a little early to say. We’re still experimenting with different tools and environments for teaching her focus.

8. Int. A Bare Room

Melinda is sitting in the center. She is drenched in sweat and is very still. She’s wearing a bracelet type monitor. An empty glass is before her. Camera pulls back until the room is seen to be a large screen. Two people, one plump and the other muscular, both dressed in lab coats, are observing Melinda.

Plump Observer: It’s been close to three hours. She’s been exposed to 100 degrees F, humidity 50%. If she were willing and able to call forth water, she would have done it by now.

Muscular Observer: Make it an even three hours.

Plump Observer: Her body temperature is 101 degrees. Skin’s beginning to dry. If she passes out, we’ll have to use IV’s.

Muscular Observer: That would be inconvenient.

Plump Observer: So?

Muscular Observer: So I capitulate. There’s a dead mind servant ready?

Plump Observer Yes. Standard procedure with empaths.

Muscular Observer: Then let’s have the child watered.

9. Int. Dorm Hallway – Early Evening

Buffy is returning from her last final. Students are packing up and heading out. One student, Michael, shouts out.

Michael: Hey Buffy. When are you heading home?

Buffy:: A couple of days.

Michael: This is your first college break isn’t it? Let me tell you, you’ll never do it again. This place empty is spooky.

Buffy: I look at it as a chance for long uninterrupted hot showers.

Michael: Optimistic outlook. It’ll change. Think haunted. Bye now.

Buffy: (halfhearted wave) Oh yeah.

10. Int. Buffy & Willow’s Dorm Room – Early Evening

Buffy enters the room carrying two candy canes. Willow is packing.

Buffy: Hey.

Willow: Hiya. You’re quiet.

Buffy: An escapee told me this place was haunted.

Willow: No surprise. Ghost boy?

Buffy: No. I think it was an expression of traditional expectations.

Willow: Wow. What are you saying Buffy Anne?

Buffy: That an empty building is a lonely building.

Buffy looks over Willow’s shoulder at her packing.

Buffy: (cont’d) Your laundry bag is folded.

Willow: It fits better that way.

Buffy: Aren’t we suppose to take full laundry bags when we return home?

Willow: Oh. My bad. Maybe next time.

Buffy offers Willow a candy cane. Willow looks at it dubiously.

Buffy: It’s kosher. I swear on Slayer’s stake. Anything on the research front?

Willow: Jake, the guy that committed suicide, was to go on academic probation next semester. Both he and Lynn had arranged to stay in a dorm over the break.

Buffy: And our dorm is the break dorm. Anything else on Lynn?

Willow: The research was quick and dirty. I’ll look into it further tomorrow.

Buffy: Aren’t you going home tomorrow?

Willow: Five miles down the road. Still in touch. You’re going home.

Buffy: Mom won’t be back from San Francisco for a couple more days. I’ll hang out here. Seeing that Mom’s turned my bedroom into a big closet. Can you get a list of who is staying over the break?

Willow: I can do it now. Want to wait?

Buffy: I think I’ll do a little patrolling about the dorm. Watching you shuffle computer boxes makes me dizzy.

11. Int. Dorm Hallway - Night

The lights are dimmed. Buffy moves quietly through the halls and stairways. Now and then, voices and music can be heard behind doors, but the dorm is subdued. She reaches the first floor lounge. There’s one person at the desk on the phone. The common area television is playing to an empty room. Buffy settles down where she can see both the front door and the television. Time passes. She doodles on a flyer. A picture of Parker with fangs and a stake in his heart. Oops, no heart this one. She becomes restless. Looks at the rest room door. Looks to the front door. Squirms a little, then takes a restroom break. Restroom door closes. The television station finishes its broadcasting day. Test pattern appears. Front door opens and ghost boy enters. Looks to the receptionist who is focused on the phone. Walks across to the elevator. Presses the button. Waits. Bell rings and elevator doors begin to open. Receptionist looks up and sees ghost boy enter the elevator. Doors close. Buffy pops out of the rest room.

Receptionist: (to Buffy) Were you waiting for someone?

Buffy: Somebody came in?

Receptionist: Yeah. Some guy. Gothic looking. He just went up the elevator.

Buffy: Thanks. Would you keep an eye out for him if he leaves?

Buffy gets on an elevator. Considers the buttons. Hits the top floor. Elevator goes up and opens. Buffy exits looking one way, then turning and heading the other way. No one is in the hall. She enters the stairwell and heads down, stopping at each floor, opening the door and looking down the hallway. Reaches the first floor without seeing ghost boy. She runs back up the stairs to her floor and enters her dorm room.

12. Int. Buffy & Willow’s Dorm Room

Buffy rushes into the room. Willow is cleaning out the refrigerator.

Buffy: Willow, he’s back!

Willow: (looking away from her work) Where?

Buffy: He got on the elevator about five minutes ago. I’ve just spot-checked all the hallways. Do you have the list of students?

Willow: Here (handing Buffy a printout) There’re eight people staying over past tonight. Split ‘em up?

Buffy: (studying the list) There’re only three who already room here. The others won’t be here until tomorrow. OK. These two are on the same floor. You check with them. I’ll get this one.

They hurry out. Buffy arrives on an upper floor. It’s another empty hall. She walks slowly down the hall checking room numbers. Stops at the listed room. There’re lights on, no music. Buffy hesitates only a moment, then knocks.

13. Int. Dorm Doorway

A Voice: Who’s there?

Buffy: Buffy Summers. I room on the 2nd floor.

Voice: (surprised) Really? You’re kidding.

Buffy: A strange guy was seen coming into the building about ten minutes ago. He’s real pale. Have you heard or seen anything?

The door opens. Brad, your average guy about campus, brown hair and freckles, looks out with surprise at Buffy.

Brad: Hi. Come on in.

Buffy: Not necessary. No one came by?

Brad: There was a knock on the door.

Buffy: And?

Brad: When I got to the door whoever it was had left. But they left something. Want to see?

Buffy: A pizza discount slip?

Brad: Don’t think so. Didn’t look. Come on in.

Brad goes to his desk and shuffles about the mess.

Brad: (cont’d) Come in. I don’t bite.

Buffy takes a few steps inside but leaves the door open.

Buffy: I need to get back to looking for this guy.

Brad finds what he’s looking for.

Brad: Here you go. Take a look.

He hands Buffy an envelope.

Buffy: (opening the envelope) A CD. No label. Have you listened to it?

Brad: Not yet. Probably some promo or free software. We can listen now.

Buffy: No. Duty calls.

She turns and heads out.

Brad: Duty?

Buffy: Just I’m a leaving line.

14. Int. Dorm Hallway

Buffy comes off elevator and runs into Willow.

Buffy: Any luck?

Willow: I spoke to the receptionist. She said ghost boy left. And the two students were fine. You?

Buffy: Someone left him an unmarked CD.

Willow: Odd or ad?

Buffy: Who knows. He wasn’t in screaming mode.

Willow: Maybe you scared ghost boy away.

Buffy: No. I think he wanted me to hang around.

Willow: (confused) The demon?

Buffy: The student. Brad. A little one on one partying.

Willow: Oh. What shall we do now?

Buffy: I’m going to patrol a little bit more in case ghost boy swings back by. You get some sleep. Rest is good.

Willow: Promise you’ll wake me if you need me.

Buffy: Slayer’s honor.

15. Ext. Parking Lot – Night

Jack Spar and Joan, both dressed for a night out, are walking towards a limousine.

Joan: That was a lovely dinner.

Spar: And fine company.

Joan: I have to be honest with you. I thought you would stall on the contract.

Spar: I don’t hold I against you. There’re so many dubious characters in business. It’s only commonsense to be cautious.

Joan is overcome by yawning.

Joan: Pardon me. I’m suddenly so tired.

Spar: The dinner I’m sure. Here, let me get the door.

Spar opens the door and helps Joan get seated. Joan is on the verge of sleep.

Joan: I think I’ll . . .

She’s asleep. Spar gently closes the door. Spar walks to the driver’s side.

Spar: The plane is ready?

Driver: It is.

Spar: She’s asleep. She’ll remain asleep. Wait till you’re over the sea to feed. Afterwards, scrape off the plate.

Driver: I understand.

Spar: No terror. Consider her fast food not fine dining. I do not want her aware or awake when you kill her. That is critical.

Driver: I understand.

Spar: Very good. My hypnotist is ready?

Driver: He is.

Spar: Fine. Here are the keys. See you next month. Enjoy the trip.

16. Ext. A Desert Landscape – Middle of the Day

Willow is standing alone. The sun dominates the sky. The sand shimmers around her and stretches to the horizon. Willow slowly turns in a circle assessing her situation. Everywhere is alike. She pulls and drags her barrette in the dirt, attracting lodestone chips. From her canteen she pours the last water into the cap and floats a sliver of the magnetic material in it – a compass. The flake slowly spins then sinks. She begins walking, but goes nowhere. Her skin is drying, turning red. She puts her canteen to her lips, but there is no water. She shakes it. Lets it fall. Continues walking. Day turns to night turns to day. Willow is now lying on the sand. Shoes appear before her. A hand reaches down and touches her face, then withdraws. Willow looks up, but the sun makes the figure only a dark silhouette.

The Figure (Buffy’s Voice): I’ve got to go. You’ll be all right. Hang in here.

Willow: Buffy! I need you!

The Figure (Buffy’s Voice): Don’t be so dramatic Will.

Cut-To

17. Int. Buffy & Willow’s Dorm Room – Morning

Willow awakes in her bed. She is frighten and disoriented. She rises and hurries to the small refrigerator and removes bottled water. Consumes it. Turns and checks the room for the first time. Buffy’s bed has been used, but she’s gone. Willow goes to Buffy’s bed and feels the sheets.

Buffy: (off camera) I’m back.

Willow: (slightly startled) You did get some sleep?

Buffy: More than I should have. Brad’s in the hospital.

Willow: What happen?

Buffy: Sirens woke me an hour ago. He took an overdose of sleeping pills then phoned his parents and told them of his accomplishment.

Willow: He’s dead? Did the demon do it?

Buffy: Not yet. He’s in intensive care. I don’t know. I just checked his room. It looks like it did last night. The CD is gone. (studying Willow) You don’t look like sleep suited you.

Willow: Nightmare. No, it wasn’t. It was a prophetic dream.

They both sit together on Buffy’s bed.

Buffy: What’s the story.

Willow: Melinda’s in trouble. She needs me.

Buffy: What was happening to her in the dream?

Willow: She’s alone and lost and suffering.

Buffy: That’s present tense.

Willow: OK. Not a prophetic dream. Thought transfer. I’m linked to Melinda. I need to go to her.

Buffy: She’s in Arizona.

Willow: It’s winter break. I have time.

Buffy: And she’s with her mother.

Willow: Who’s surrounded by vampires and mad magicians.

Buffy: Those are reasons not to go.

Willow: Buffy! We deal with monsters most everyday.

Buffy: We do, but I’ve got to deal with a demon here and now.

Willow: You don’t know if the demon is responsible. Holidays bring out the suicide thinking in some people. It could be coincidence. Ghost boy could be a death voyeur.

Buffy: You know I don’t believe in coincidences. And my slayer instincts say ghost boy is playing.

Willow: Well my Wicca instincts say Melinda needs me now.

Buffy: Look Will, I’ve got to go check on the other two students. Melinda will be all right.

Buffy reluctantly rises and goes to the door. She stops and turns back to Willow.

Buffy: We’ll talk on this later, OK?

Willow: (not looking at Buffy) Sure.

Buffy exits, closing the door behind her. Willow turns to look at the shut door.

Act II

18. Int. Xander’s Basement Apartment

Xander and Anya are sitting on his bed. Willow is cross-legged on the floor before them.

Willow: So there you are. It’s not much of a plan.

Xander: And it’s definitely not a field trip.

Anya: It’s a quest.

Willow: That’s a little romantic.

Anya: To relieve guilt.

Willow: That’s a little cutting.

Anya: Mixed emotions makes for mixed magic. It’s dangerous to do magic with a confused mind.

Xander: Experience speaks Will. What are you feeling?

Willow: I told Melinda if she needed me to call for me.

Xander: Something beyond a phone call I imagine?

Willow: The dream.

Anya: Dreams are tried and true messengers. If you can read between the images.

Xander: There’s the bugaboo.

19. Int. Tara’s Dorm Room - Day

Willow is talking with Tara.

Willow: I know this may all seem so strange and I’m imposing on you.

Tara: (interrupting) No you’re not. I mean. We can do magic together. And someone needs us.

Willow: I think. I mean to be honest we’d be going to see if this dream is more than a dream. If it’s something more than guilt driven.

Tara: I’ll go.

Willow: And it may be dangerous.

Tara: But haven’t we already done dangerous things?

20. Int. Giles’ Apartment – Day

Giles is typing on an old Royal portable. There’s a knock on the door.

Giles: Come in.

Xander: Giles, what’s up.

Giles: (looking up from his work, hands still on the key) I trust this is a social call.

Xander: Social? Really? I thought you preferred my visits to be of a professional nature. If it’s social can I check out your refrigerator?

Giles: I’m in the midst of composing a class paper.

Xander: Need advice?

Giles: Certainly. Would you say that memory is the core of one’s personality?

Xander: I don’t remember.

Giles: (turning back to the paper) You may "raid" the refrigerator.

Xander: Actually, I’m here on business.

Giles: The situation?

Xander: Has Buffy spoken to you about the suicide attempts and the mysterious ghost boy?

Giles: She has and I trust the three of you have things under control.

Xander doesn’t reply immediately. Giles finishes a line and pushes the carriage back. He looks back up at Xander.

Giles: (cont’d) Pardon. The four of you. I believe Anya is now the surrogate Cordelia.

Xander: Let’s keep that assessment between ourselves. And Buffy may be doing the lone slayer on this one.

Giles: Something’s wrong with Buffy? She appeared in good disposition this morning. Professional concern. No, Buffy anger, but goal directed. No noticeable angst. Have I missed something or has there been a sudden change in her behavior?

Xander: Other side of the equation. Willow has to go to Tucson and Anya and I are going with her.

Giles: You’d leave Buffy alone?

Xander: She has you. And if pushes came to shoves she could call Angel.

Giles stares at Xander in disbelief.

Xander: Did I really just suggest that?

Giles: (suspicious) What was your codename when Buffy was in Los Angeles?

Xander: Giles!

Giles: Incorrect.

Xander: Nighthawk. Does the Watchers Council HMO recognize paranoia as a work related illness?

Giles: The Watcher Council’s COBRA does not. Why are you going to Arizona?

Xander: The little witch girl, Melinda. Willow wants to check up on her. See how she’s doing.

Giles: That might be wise. I believe Willow may have been allowing her imagination to metaphorically fan her fears. You’re just going to take a look from a distance?

Xander: Absolutely.

Giles: If there should be reason for going beyond observing, you will call me.

Xander: Absolutely dad.

Giles: You may now raid the refrigerator.

 

21. Int. Anya’s Car – Day

Anya drives a big new red SUV. She’s at the wheel with Xander beside her and Willow in the back.

Willow: (to Anya) I never thought of you as a car person. You know with demons and car payments being a non-associative thought.

Anya: Wheels beat feet. Though not inter-dimensional travel.

Xander: And new cars have that spiffy new smell. Way better than tennis shoes.

Willow: And much more expensive. (hesitant) Anya, uh, how did you afford it. I’m sorry, that’s intrusive.

Anya: Conservative demon. A few centuries of the magic of compound interest in a stable country creates big balances.

Xander: And I pick-up her trinket bills.

Anya: To show he cares.

Willow: My gosh Anya. You should be a multi-millionaire.

Anya: I had a lot invested with the Czar. And then the thirties were not champagne years. Who are we picking up?

Willow: A new friend.

22. Ext. A Dormitory – Day

Tara is standing on the sidewalk. She observes everything going on around her. She checks her watch. Anya pulls up alongside. Willow hops out of the car.

Willow: Heya! Ready for the magical road trip?

Tara: (smiling) I brought my mother’s spell book.

Willow assists Tara in loading her gear into the back of the SUV.

Tara: (cont’d) Is it safe to speak around your friends?

Willow: No worry. There’re veterans of many occult encounters. And on both sides of the light.

Tara: (slightly puzzled) Oh.

Willow and Tara climb into the back seat. Tara is quiet and waiting.

Willow: Tara, this is Xander and Anya. Guys, this is Tara. We’ve both runaways from the Wicca wannabe group.

Xander: Hey.

Anya: Do you collect amulets?

Tara: Uh, no. I have a few crystals.

Anya: Too bad.

Willow: Well we’re off.

Xander: Want to swing by and give our regards to Buffy?

Willow: She has a final this afternoon. We shouldn’t break her concentration.

Xander: But to just go off into the sunset without a saying see you later.

Anya: East Xander.

Willow: I left her a message on our answering machine.

 

23. Int. Dorm Hallway

Buffy is walking through a near empty dorm. Her footsteps echo over a solitary distant radio. She’s alert to the solitude.

24. Int. Buffy & Willow’s Dorm Room

Buffy calls out as she enters the room.

Buffy: Will?

Buffy is inside an empty and barren room. She pauses and studies the quiet. The clock ticks loudly and there’s the hum of the refrigerator.

Buffy: (quietly) Willow?

Buffy goes to the answering machine and presses calls.

Voice: Happy Holidays! Still Mulling over that final special gift? Let us take you in hand …

Buffy quickly fast-forwards to the next message.

Willow’s Voice: Hey. Xander, Anya, and I thought it would be a cool idea to do a quick road trip to Arizona. See the Grand Canyon and all. Well, actually not. Tucson. There’s a famous natural history museum just outside the city and Buffy I didn’t want to leave with any hard feelings. So it was an impulse thing. We academic types do impulse now and then. I’ll call when we arrive. Be careful while we’ve gone.

Buffy sits in the growing dark. The clock continues to tick. Buffy reaches over and turns on the radio, the following lyrics play…" Faithful friends who were dear to us, will be near to us once more … Someday soon we all will be together, if the fates allow … until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow … so have yourself a merry little Christmas now." Buffy quickly changes stations then picks up the phone. Reader’s note: The lyrics are from an actual Christmas song, but I do not know the name or composer.

25. Int. Buffy & Willow’s Dorm Room – Night

Buffy and a half dozen of the other holiday stay behinds are playing Trivial Pursuit.

Tammy: Name an element that is liquid at room temperature?

Buffy: Fluids?

Tammy: Element.

Jonathon: How quickly we forget.

Lindsey: Don’t give hints.

Buffy: Liquidy? Rule out gases. Metals? No. Wait. "Em," as in metals, as in Mercury.

Tammy: Is that your final answer?

Buffy: Yeah. I’m going with my gut first response.

Lindsey: Fluids was your first response.

Buffy: Not my gut first response. More "huh" response. Yes, I’m saying Mercury.

Tammy: Give her a piece.

Buffy: (grabbing it) Blue! Rolling again. Four.

Jonathon: What English King said, "My kingdom for a horse?"

Buffy: Arthur?

Lindsey: Is that your "huh" or gut first response?

Buffy: My stab in the dark.

Jonathon: Richard the third.

A pizza delivery guy appears at the door. Lindsey greets him.

Tammy: Save some for Danny.

Jonathon: He’s late.

Buffy: He is. You guys play without me. I’ll go see what’s keeping him.

26. Int. Dorm Room Doorway

Buffy knocks at the door. Danny, a short athletic sophomore answers.

Buffy: Hey. The pizza’s here. Coming down?

Danny: Sure.

The elevator bell rings down the hall and Ghost Boy steps off the elevator. He sees Buffy and turns tail. Buffy is off. Down the stairs they go. Ghost Boy is very fast. He bolts out the exit door. Buffy bolts out the door and sees him fleeing across the common. She breaks out in a run. Then, without warning, Ghost Boy stops dead in his tracks and turns around.

GHOST BOY: Why am I running away from a human girl?

Buffy: A well conditioned reflex? Or perhaps something more basic, survival instinct?

GHOST BOY: It’s the reflex. Must have been the distance. If you had been standing in front of the elevator door, I would have popped you right down.

Buffy: You’ve been drinking a little too much eggnog.

Ghost Boy swaggers up to Buffy.

GHOST BOY: Adds power to the punch.

And he swings a roundhouse at Buffy, but Buffy slips and slaps his cheek, in a tigerish playful way. Ghost Boy swings again. Buffy evades and toys with him.

GHOST BOY: Stay still I say and fight like a demon!

Buffy: It’s more than eggnog.

She freezes and raises both hands palm up. Ghost Boy smiles, rears back, and lets go with a knock’em to the ground punch. It never reaches halfway. Buffy shoots a straight palm heel to Ghost Boy’s jaw toppling him like a log. He’s out for a couple seconds. When he comes to, Buffy is sitting on top of him.

Buffy: What’s the sitch?

GHOST BOY: The what?

Buffy: How are you getting your demon jollies delivering junk CD’s to the unwary?

GHOST BOY: It’s nothing personal. It’s just a job. Keeps me off the streets.

Buffy: Well are you self-employed or serving a master?

GHOST BOY (with contempt) A master? Please. I’m an independent sub-contractor.

Buffy: And the contractor’ name?

GHOST BOY: As if I’m going to spill my guts out to a human?

Buffy opens her hand to reveal a set of keys. She pendulums them back and forth above his eyes.

GHOST BOY My wheels! Give’em here.

Buffy: Not till you’re a good demon and tell me who’s employing your talents.

GHOST BOY: Bugger off.

Buffy: Have you ever seen what stake can do to paintwork, much less bodywork?

GHOST BOY: No one’s that evil.

Buffy: Look around. Now my patience is not and my pizza’s getting cold.

Ghost Boy’s face goes blank.

Buffy: I have a long name. It may take one whole side panel.

GHOST BOY: I only have a first name. Damon. He mailed me the CD’s.

Buffy: Damon? You josh? There was a return address?

GHOST BOY: Hey, I put out my trash.

Buffy: What about payment?

GHOST BOY: He prepaid me.

Buffy: And you, a demon, still did the job?

D.B: I have my pride!

Buffy takes the CD’s and gets off Ghost Boy. She motions him up and he rises to his feet, but doesn’t go.

Buffy: Take off. And don’t darken my doorstep again.

GHOST BOY: My CD’s.

Buffy: What?

GHOST BOY: I have an obligation.

Buffy: I don’t think you understand. You have the short end of the stake here.

GHOST BOY begins slowly walking backwards away.

GHOST BOY: You could leave them over by that tree.

Buffy: (slowly with stress on each word) I don’t like you.

GHOST BOY: Just, think about it ….

Buffy gives him the patented Buffy stare. GHOST BOY skedaddles.

(Note to the Reader: I’ve just realized why the last seven lines of dialogue seem so familiar to me. There’s a similar scene where an assassin has his knife taken from him by the "hero." He asks for it back. It’s his living and his wife will be angry if he looses it. It’s from The Monster Wheel Affair by David McDaniel (deceased). He was a fine writer.)

27. Int. A Bare Pitch Black Room

There’s a very low crying of a child who is learning the limits of crying. A small pinpoint of red orange light appears and expands to the size of a softball, casting a red hue on the floor and the face of Melinda. Her face is puffy and red.

Cut-to

28. Int. A Control Room

The two observers from the earlier scene are still "instructing" Melinda.

Plump Observer: She’s learning.

Muscular Observer: Is she? She is still only responding to threats. We have to develop her willingness to initiate transformations.

Plump Observer: Maybe she can’t. (pauses thinking) Maybe we’d better hope she can’t.

Muscular Observer: Maybe we better hope Mr. Spar doesn’t learn of that hope of yours, eh?

29. Int. Giles Living Room – Night

Giles is at his desk examining the CD. Buffy stands over his shoulder. She is impatient.

Buffy: Well?

Giles: Well, to the trained eye, there’s no label. A standard CD.

Buffy: It’s just a demon fad thing to decorate dorm doors with junk mail?

Giles is now examining the CD using a magnifying glass.

Giles: No symbols. No markings, other than the expected track marks, or whatever they’re called. The magic must be in the playing.

Buffy: Do we really want to do that?

Giles: Caution Buffy? Good. No, I’d rather not without some idea of what to expect.

Buffy: Inclinations to suicide is the pattern.

Giles: The music is coded digitally. Perhaps we might use a computer to scan the CD and analyze the patterns?

Buffy: Good in theory, bad in practice. Between the two of us, we might find the control and alternate keys.

Giles: Speak for yourself. I know where the off switch is. We do have recourse to another.

Buffy: Willow, but no Willow. She’s on a . . .

Giles: You’re not betraying a confidence. I spoke with Xander before they left. And they called earlier tonight.

Buffy: (interrupting) Everyone’s all right?

Giles: Fine, Buffy. They’ve only just arrived in the past hour.

Buffy: So we call her and she does her computer magic.

Giles: First we find a computer. We’ll have to scan the CD and send the information over the wire.

Buffy: Oh, right. (looking around) And you don’t have a computer.

Giles: This is my home Buffy, after all.

Buffy: Like you don’t bring your work home with you. How many times have we repaired your door or windows?

Giles: Six?

30. Int. Motel Room – Night

Xander and Anya are sitting at the small table eating pizza. Willow is sitting on the edge of one bed flipping through a telephone directory. Tara is sitting cross-legged on the other bed studying a map.

Anya: I’ve never noticed how many magical ingredients are on a deluxe vegetarian pizza.

Xander: Oh, that’s a comforting thought.

Anya: Hard to identify the mushroom species. Some might be poisonous you know.

Xander: Again, the comfort.

Willow: (interrupting) I found him. John L. Spar. Here’s the address.

Tara steps over to see the address and then returns to the map.

Xander: Could it be so easy?

Tara: Maybe not?

Willow goes to her side.

Tara: (cont’d) It looks like some sort of park or preserve.

Willow: The Labyrinth of Gnosis. I’ve seen this before.

The phone rings. Xander takes it.

Xander: The Scooby residence … Hey, Buffy! How’s it going?

The others turn to look.

Xander: (cont’d) Yeah. Wait a minute.

Xander holds the phone out.

Xander: (cont’d) Will.

Willow: Buffy, everything all right?

Cut-to

Buffy: I’ve got the CD’s, but we don’t know what’s on them short of playing them.

Willow: Dangerous.

Buffy: Right, so, Giles and I thought there might be a way for you to scan and analyze it without listening to it.

Willow: Sure, no problem. Wait, problem.

Buffy: Problem?

Willow: Problems plural. First, It takes a long time to download the contents of a CD over the telephone lines. Second, I don’t have my computer with me. Of course that makes the first problem academic. Oh, academic. My computer lab privileges.

Buffy: One thought at a time Will.

Willow: Do you remember when the software moguls were courting me during "Career Week"?

Buffy: There were so many.

Willow: There was one, Micromagic, that donated a bunch of stuff to UCS in my name. So I have privileges.

Buffy: And they’re transferable?

Willow: The key is in Cyrano’s vest pocket. My stuffed monkey. Call me.

Cut-to Computer Lab.

Buffy and Giles are surrounded by 20th century magic. Buffy’s on the phone with Willow.

Buffy: (to Willow) Oh, yeah. We have access, but no understanding. Giles and I can do the on/off thing.

Willow: I can talk you through it. We can make a false color image map of the CD like NASA/JPL did with Io. You know, Jupiter’s moon with the active volcanoes?

Buffy quickly hands the phone to Giles.

Buffy: Willow wants to talk to you.

There’s a series of shots of Willow giving instructions and Giles attempting to follow them. Finally, after passing through the digital maze, Giles hits a final key.

Giles: I’ve sent it to the printer.

Buffy stands vigil over the printer. The final paper prints out. Buffy taps them into alignment, then begins reading as she walks them over to Giles.

Buffy: Here. Familiar and comforting hard copy.

She hands Giles the report and takes the phone.

Buffy: (cont’d) Want to hang out while Giles reads it?

Willow: Sure.

Buffy: How’s it going? Have you seen Melinda?

Willow: Fine. Maybe tomorrow. We’ve found his place. Palace may be a better word. It’s called the Labyrinth of Gnosis.

Buffy: You’re not going to do the raid thing are you?

Willow: No, just going to walk in.

Buffy: He’s invited you?

Willow: In a manner of speaking. It’s a tourist site.

Buffy: I’m thinking tourist trap.

Willow: Not to worry Buffy. I’m all rational Willow. No rash Willow. I am, really.

Giles motions for Buffy to hand him the phone.

Giles: It’s a string piece in a minor key. Slow tempo. There is a man’s voice singing "Hope is gray. Nothing to do, nothing to say. All slips away. Cassandra Dee." It’s repeated over and over.

Willow: A hypnotic phrase?

Giles: Possibly, though there’s no suggestion that one kills oneself. I do know such a musical structure is associated with inducing sadness.

Buffy: Could the words be an incantation?

Willow: A person doesn’t cast a spell without hope.

Tara: Magic is will.

Willow steals Anya’s attention away from the pizza.

Willow: (to Anya) "Hope is gray. Nothing to do, nothing to say. All slips away. Cassandra Dee." What do you think?

Anya: Poor taste? Talent deficient?

Willow: From a demon point of view, does it mean anything?

Anya: Oh. I thought you wanted a girl point of view. It’s a doorbell.

Willow: (to Giles) It’s a doorbell.

Simultaneously, Giles: Pardon?

Willow: (delay reaction) Huh?

Anya: The demon is using the phrase to get her attention. You’re a demon, you’re out and about, and caught up in wrecking havoc and someone susceptible appears. How does he get your attention? He says your custom chant.

Willow: Did the two of you get that?

Giles: Yes, we did.

Buffy: Could it be so easy? I get all comfy. Then ring his doorbell and when he answers, slay him. I can do this.

Giles: Do not underestimate the effects of the music’s influence on your emotional state.

Buffy: Earwax. (off Gile’s look) The classical palliative against sirens. Willow, this teleconferencing can be fun.

Willow: Kind of like virtual library times.

Pause

Buffy: Yeah, but without the people. Be careful. Call me.

Willow: You to.

 

31. Ext. Hilltop – Late Afternoon

Willow and Tara have set-up a surveillance post. They have a small bird spotting scope. Willow also has a pair of binoculars that she’s using to scan the complex below.

Tara: Do you see anything?

Willow: A big maze with a lot of tourist in the plaza.

Tara: You don’t see Melinda?

Willow: No. It always seems so quick in the movies. How long have we been up here now?

Tara: (looking at her watch) Almost five hours.

Willow: How’s the sunblock holding up?

Tara: There’s only a little left. But it’s almost night. (pause) Do you want me to spell you?

Willow: That’d be nice.

They switch places.

Tara: Maybe they don’t take her outside.

Willow: Or worst. Maybe they do, but the place is too large with too many people for us to spot her. Xander and Anya should have been in the last tourist group to go in, and I couldn’t find them.

32. Ext. Labyrinth Plaza - Day

Xander and Anya are dressed tourist casual style. Big bunches of people wandering. Anya is deep into the tour guide.

Anya: We’ve seen the fountains, the Library, and the Meditation Gymnasium. Did I get your picture in front of the Eternal Gate?

Xander: Twice. Posed and nonchalant.

Anya: Good. Did I do duplicates in case I overexposed it?

Xander: The camera’s automatic Anya.

Anya: I know. We haven’t done the reflecting pool. We can do artsy pictures of the buildings’ reflections. And we could see if any of the guides are vampires.

Xander: In this sun, I think they’d be overexposed.

Anya: That’s true.

Xander: Let’s try the library again.

Anya: Why? The guide was rude to me. He wouldn’t let you pose on the grand stairwell. I hope he has a long life, so when I regain my powers I can punish him.

Xander: Haven’t you better things to remember?

33. Int. An Office in the Labyrinth – Late Afternoon

Niy and Nay, two Labyrinth senior disciples are standing at the window looking towards the near mountain.

Niy: Someone’s up on Hillerman’s Peak using binoculars or a telescope.

Nay: Not the first time.

Niy: Should I send a team up?

Nay: Why? We have nothing to hide. Probably curious locals of the perverse kind. On the other hand, there was the incident in Sunnydale. That naïve witch.

Niy: So a team goes up?

Nay: No. I’ve something better.

 

34. Int. Buffy & Willow’s Dorm Room – Late Afternoon

It’s a lovely afternoon. The sunshine bathes the room in reflected light. Buffy is dressed in a light work out top and gray sweat pants. She’s sitting cross-legged on the middle of her bed. Before her is a portable CD player. She inserts the CD and hits play. The music is dark and slow. Those terrible lyrics begin. Buffy sits straight and alert with stake in hand. Waiting. The lyrics repeat, over and over. Buffy looks about the room anticipating a demonic appearance. Nothing happens. She begins tapping the stake on the bottom of her shoe. Camera closes on the stake. It’s like a metronome. Tap . . . tap . . . tap . . .

A hand is tapping on Buffy’s shoulder.

Joyce:(off camera) Wake up sleepy head.

Buffy opens her eyes. She has fallen asleep. Joyce is sitting beside her. She’s in a formal red dress. There’s a scar on the left side of her neck.

Buffy: Mom. When did you get back?

Giles appears at the door.

Giles: It’s getting that time.

Buffy: We don’t have to go. Mom’s here.

Giles: Only in our hearts Buffy. Let’s go.

Buffy rises and joins Giles in the hall. Giles is formally dressed. A rolling sound appears behind her. She looks and sees Xander approaching in a wheel chair. Xander stops alongside Giles. He does not seem to notice Buffy.

Xander: Don’t put up the suit after tonight. We have another funeral tomorrow.

Giles: Faith?

Xander: She died her way. Dusting Willow’s alter ego.

Xander rolls away without speaking or looking at Buffy.

Buffy: I’m responsible for all this.

Giles: No Buffy. I am responsible. The Watchers Council was correct. Traditions exist for a reason. I should never have permitted any of them to become involved. Yours should have been a solitary journey.

Cut-to

Buffy is choking. Her eyes open and a slimy blue green monster is astride her, choking her. Buffy repeatedly hits it, but to no apparent affect.

Buffy: Knurf! Knurf!

Then her vision fades to dark.

Act III

35. Int. Buffy & Willow’s Dorm Room – Early Evening

Buffy awakes in her dark dorm room alone. She touches her throat. There’s no damage. She looks over to the clock’s luminescent face. It’s 8:00 p.m. Buffy rolls to a sitting position and surveys the empty room, then reaches for the phone. She keys the number. The phone rings several times before it’s answered.

Buffy: (over the phone) Giles? Is everything all right?

Giles: Yes, well, no, but …

Buffy: Whose hurt?

Giles: No one. Something else has come up. I’ve got a person on hold. Did you resolve the demon problem?

Buffy: No outer demon. Only inner ones.

Giles: Will discuss it later tonight. How soon can you be over?

Buffy: Within the hour? I’ve got to make a few stops first.

36. Int. The Library at Labyrinth – Late Afternoon

Xander and Anya walk into the main library entrance, but instead of turning left or right into the library proper, Xander starts up the stairs will all he assurance of a lost marmoset. A big man appears from the second landing.

Big Man: Sorry sir. The upper levels are for Seekers and visiting students only.

Xander: I’m a visiting seeker.

Big Man: Wrong password. You’ll have to follow the official tour. It’s been chosen to provide you with the best learning experience in the optimum time.

Anya: Do you have a gift shop?

37. Ext. Hilltop – Early Evening

Tara: Oh! Willow!

Willow is immediately at her side.

Tara: (cont’d) I have the scope lined up. On the garden terrace.

Willow takes a peek. It’s Melinda. Quiet and still. Flanked on five sides by attendants.

38. Ext. Labyrinth’s Main Plaza – Early Evening

Xander and Anya have rejoined the groups who are starting to move towards the North side dorms, when a tourist guide, flushed with excitement, rushes up.

Tourist Guide: Your attention please! The garden terrace has been closed for renovations over the past month. Now, I’ve just learned that it’s available for a brief visit. So if you’ll join me, we’ll tour Arizona’s answer to the hanging gardens of Babylon.

The group moves through an enclosed walkway that winds around the east office complex and up a series of stairs to a large raised garden. Off in the distance can be seen several of the Seekers. Crowd is oohing and aahiing.

Tourist Guide: Feel free to walk about, but please stay away from the far corner where the seekers are meditating.

A Tourist: Who’s the little girl over there?

Tourist Guide: Our youngest visiting student. She meditates in the garden early each evening. The powers that be grace each of us without distinction of age.

Xander studies a photo in his palm.

Xander: It’s Melinda.

 

39. Int. Dorm Room – Night

Brad opens the door to see Buffy.

Buffy: Hey.

Brad: Hi. We’re doing another wild trivial pursuit game tonight. Up for it?

Buffy: Thanks, but I’m home tonight. Just wanted to thank you for the company the other night.

Brad: Hey, no problem. Worked both ways.

Buffy: Well, I’ll see you in a few weeks.

Buffy starts to leave, but turns with an afterthought.

Buffy: (cont’d) And remember. Junk mail should be junked.

 

40. Int. Giles’ Home – Night (ProD)

Buffy enters.

Buffy: Any word from Willow?

Giles: No. Not at your place?

Buffy: No. Just after I spoke with you, they took the dorm phones down for up-grading..

Plops on the seat.

Buffy: (cont’d) It’s time I used my investment in driver’s education to good effect.

Giles: Pardon?

Buffy: Road trip to Tucson. Now I just need to rent a car. Won’t I need a credit card for that?

Giles: You can fly with me.

Buffy: That remark went over my head.

Giles: We’ll be departing Sunnydale Sky Harbor tonight at nine.

Buffy: Speak about asking and you shall receive. Is it the holiday spirit?

Giles: You’ll want to speak with your mother. Pack you luggage for two days. We should be home by Christmas.

Buffy: Giles. Give.

Giles: An urgent matter has arisen in Tucson that requires a Slayer’s talent.

Buffy: Willow’s in Tucson. You said you hadn’t heard anything.

Giles: It’s not Willow. The Watcher’s Council called.

Buffy: Have we re-established diplomatic relations with them?

Giles: Buffy, listen. I know the man personally. He is a gentleman. Well, (smiling to himself), maybe that’s an exaggeration. He’s a fine and decent man Buffy. He’s been handling a delicate situation for the Council. A Council, which I may add, is torn between itself on the matter. And now he needs your help.

Buffy: And? Details Giles. The fine print.

Giles: His name is Dov Krugman. He and his wife, Nina, are watchers. Faith’s watchers.

41. Ext. Desert Roadside – Early Evening

Willow and Tara are standing alongside the road. A big red SUV approaches. They put out their thumbs. The SUV pulls to a stop.

Willow: Hey. Going our way?

Xander sticks his head out the front passenger’s side.

Xander: A lot of subtext in that line Will.

Willow: OK. Going to the motel?

Willow and Tara climb aboard and plop in the seats.

Anya: Watch the sand on my floor mats.

Willow: I’ll never complain about long night surveillance again. On the bright side, we saw Melinda. She was being escorted on the garden terrace.

Anya: We were there. You didn’t see us? The tour guide said she goes there every evening.

Willow: That simplifies planning.

Xander: Planning for what?

Willow: Saving her.

Xander: The law might use a different word Will. Kidnapping comes to mind.

Anya: I’m good for kidnapping.

Willow: She still calls me. In my dreams.

Xander: We all have dreams.

Willow: You believe Buffy’s dreams.

Xander: Well, Buffy has the title, the chosen one.

Willow: Well hold that against me, but before they tried to kill me, I linked with Melinda.

Anya: The linked one?

Willow: A sideline comment? You’re ex-demon girl. What did you sense?

Anya: Well, there is an aura of evil permeating the place, but why hold it against them? They run a nifty tour.

Xander: They gave her a free poster.

Anya: The journey to goodness begins with small gestures.

Xander: Look, I’m not saying we do nothing, just that we sleep on it. Nothing we can do until tomorrow evening anyway. OK?

Willow says nothing. Tara reaches over and takes her hand.

 

42. Int. Motel Room – Night

Willow and Tara are asleep. Tara awakes, facing away from Willow’s bed. The room is dark and there’s the purring of the air condition. Tara is patting her pillow into shape, when the wall slowly becomes bathed in blue. Tara freezes. Her eyes searching all that she can see without moving her head. Nothing. The room brightens blue. Tara very slowly moves her head, then body, towards Willow’s bed. Willow is sleeping fitfully. She moans. Above her hovers a hazy blue-green figure. Not large, a dwarf of a light.

Cut-to

Xander, dressed in bathrobe and slippers, is leaving his room.

Xander: (to himself) The 3 am feeding calls.

He heads towards the vending machines, passing Willow and Tara’s room. Even through the drapes, he can see the pulsing light.

Xander: (to himself) Falling asleep with the television on. Crazy Wicca kids.

He hesitates before the door. Starts to continue to the vending machine. Stops. Gives in and goes and gently knocks on the door. Tara opens the door, sees Xander, and beckons him inside. She looks to Willow. Xander follows her eyes. The blue sphere is slowly caressing Willow’s cheek. Xander immediately rushes the light, arms pushing and passing through it. The light disappears.

Tara: It wasn’t hurting her.

Xander is now sitting beside Willow, who is still asleep.

Xander: I could never tell the poisonous ones from the nice ones. (to Willow) Will?

Willow’s eyes open.

Willow: Melinda?

43. Ext. Labyrinth’s Main Plaza – Late Afternoon

Willow and Tara are moving along the fringe of a tourist mob. They break off and head along the passage leading to the terrace garden. They reach the garden and find it home to a herd of tourists.

Tara: Do you see her?

Willow: No, but I sense her.

They move through the people.

Tara: When you do see her? What then?

Willow: I (hesitant) don’t know. I’ve been so certain that she needs me. Desperately. But Buffy and Xander may be right. I’ll have to assess her when we…

The crowd parts showing Melinda flanked by her escorts. A slow count as Melinda turns. She’s a very sad girl. When she sees Willow, the sun appears on her face.

(a beat)

Willow: Melinda?

Melinda’s "escorts" turn as one, eyes on Willow. Melinda rushes into Willow’s arms.

Willow: (quietly) Are you all right?

Melinda: Take me home.

Willow and Tara face off the "escorts." The tourist crowd is oblivious to the standoff. The senior escort looks to the others and motions slightly with his head.

Tara: (to Willow) Home now?

(a beat)

Willow and Tara break for it. At a dash, they weave in and out between the tourists with the larger escorts barreling behind. Willow, Melinda, and Tara reach the parapet of the terraced garden. From the wall, it’s fifty yards to a road. Xander and Anya are parked in her jeep, engine running, and horn blowing. But it’s ten feet to the ground. Without a word, Tara goes over the side, lands and turns, arms raised. Willow tries to loosen Melinda’s arms so she can lower her, but Melinda has a death grip. The escorts are closing fast.

Willow: You’ve gotta let go. I’m not going to leave you.

Melinda lets go. Willow takes her under the arms and begins to lower her down to Tara when the earth parts away from the wall, hurtling Tara back twenty feet. A deep moat appears between Willow and Tara. Melinda’s screaming. Willow pulls Melinda back up. Tara stands before the moat looking back, questioning with her eyes.

Willow: (to Tara) Go!

Tara: I’m not leaving you.

Willow: Help us by getting help. Get Buffy.

Tara backs away. The escorts appear around Willow.

Willow: Please.

Tara turns and runs for the van. Willow, with Melinda in her arms, turns and faces the escorts.

Willow: Remember, there’re witnesses.

Senior Escort: We’ll just wait here till they’re lead to the next venue.

Willow: Well, then, I’ll scream. And she’ll (motioning to Melinda) poof you.

Senior Escort: Indulge yourself.

Willow: EEAaaaAaaaiIIIiiiiiieeeeeEEEE!!!

No one looks startled.

Senior Escort: That went about five feet.

He shows Willow a charm on a chain.

Willow: A Tshiims Casts? The silence of the grave. I’ve heard legends.

Willow steps back.

Willow: (cont’d) OK. Fall back play. We’ll poof you. I warn you, it could be a long walk home.

Senior Escort: If she feels our minds, then she knows we ( he spreads his hands to include the other escorts) mean no harm. No one’s going to be hurt. We’re all one big happy family.

Willow: But I’m kinda like the blacksheep? Right?

Senior Escort: Count on it.

 

44. Ext. Labyrinth’s Tourist Parking – Late Afternoon

Xander is climbing out of the jeep. Anya and Tara are inside.

Anya: You can’t go storming into the lion’s den.

Xander: People do it all the time. It’s called a circus.

Anya: They’re professionals. And the cats are rigged.

Xander: Huh? Well, Daniel did it.

Anya: He was protected.

Tara: Willow said to call Buffy.

Xander: No time. We need to act before they have time to hide her or run with her or …

Tara: Then I’m going with you.

Xander: You can’t. You two are my lifelines. Stay here and keep the engine running.

Cut-to

45. Int. Labyrinth Tourist Office – Late Afternoon

Xander is inside the front office. An Official Labyrinth manager stands listening.

Official: I’m sorry sir, but I’m frankly baffled. There’s been no, unusual incidents reported today. A very ordinary day, all around.

Xander: Then where is she?

Official: Who?

Xander: Willow? Willow Rosenberg.

Official: And you say, she was with the four o’clock tour? Hum.

Official is scanning a logbook.

Official: (cont’d) I’m sorry sir. There’s no one by that name signed in. Look for yourself.

Xander examines the logbook.

Xander: She was here.

Official: The last group should be departing during the next quarter hour. You’re welcome to remain at the front to check those leaving.

Xander: Nothing better happen to her pal.

Official: How can anything happen to someone who is not here?

Cut-to

46. Ext. Labyrinth’s Tourist Parking – Late Afternoon

Xander has rejoined Anya and Tara at the jeep.

Xander: (to Tara) You two didn’t sign in?

Tara: Well, we did. Sort of.

Xander: I looked. You’re not there.

Tara: We used fake names. Willow was afraid someone might recognize hers.

Xander: What were the names?

Tara: Allyson Burson and Amber Hannigan.

Anya: (interrupting) Time to go home.

Xander: We can’t go anywhere while Willow’s still inside.

Anya: (motioning to the lot) Everyone who can leave has left. And we need to have a table to gather around to plan. Or an auditorium.

Tara: Plan?

Anya: The obligatory Buffy plan. It’s what we always do when the nasty arises.

Xander: Which means Buffy time.

47. Int. Dungeon – Night

Willow is lying on the floor of a bare concrete room. There are no windows. There is a single recessed florescent panel providing light. Willow’s eyes open. Without moving her head, she looks around. She can see only the concrete walls and ceiling. She turns her head and sees a barred door and through the door, a concrete hall. She sits up slowly. Soft footsteps come from the hall. Willow stands and waits. A woman vampire, lithe and small, dressed in a child’s smock, appears at the barred door.

Vampire: Hey meat.

Willow: Where’s Melinda?

Vampire: He’s letting us play with you, but we have to follow some rules. He’s very interested in behavior.

Willow: He? Is there a program? Maybe you have the wrong cell.

Vampire: Willow Rosenberg. Little witch tart. Outside her league. He is Jack. You’ve met. Have you looked at the lock? It’s backwards. Take a look.

Willow: I think I’ll stay here.

Vampire: Jack is strange. Never know how Jack thinks it through. You see, the door is not to keep you in, but to keep us out. There’re three of us you know.

Willow: Is Melinda playing?

Vampire: That one is not long of this world. Your fault. Turned her against Jack you did.

The vampire traces the bars with her fingers.

Vampire: (cont’d) She’s too powerful to be not liking Jack. So Jack has left until she can be put to sleep.

Willow: Like a dog?

Vampire: Is that not what I said? She’s sleeping now, but a little while, she’ll sleep forever.

Willow: What of her mother? She’ll go to the police. Jack can’t want that kind of attention.

Vampire: The mother? In name only. Sold the child. Left us. Your fault the child dies. You killed her. Yes indeed, only minutes away for her. Right above us, just one floor you know.

Willow: Just open the door and up the steps?

Vampire: Yes! So simple it is. You can do it.

Willow: I know it’s just a bloodsport for you, but I’ll not play.

Vampire: She’ll die. She will.

Willow: She’ll die if I play. Three vampires to one little witch tart? I need better odds if you want me to join the game.

The vampire smiles and takes two stakes from her smock pockets. She drops them just inside the door.

Vampire: (smiling) Play now?

The vampire waves her fingers and departs.

 

48. Ext. Desert – Night

Xander, Anya, and Tara, carrying a six-pack, are walking towards the distant Labyrinth.

Xander: Defeated by technology’s progress.

Tara: They did send out notices about doing voicemail upgrades.

Xander: So no batphone to the Buffster. She needs to carry a pager.

Anya: Need to stop.

Xander: Again?

Tara: She’s right. I sense it.

Anya: Then down on the sand.

Anya lays out four pieces of cardboard, fitting them into square.

Anya: (under her breath) Snake pee!

Anya flips one page right side up and reshuffles two others. There’s an elaborate building plan drawn on the four cards.

Anya: Whatever happened to good old fashion scrolls?

Xander: New fashion ThinkPad’s?

Tara: Here, use the rocks, but keep them off the drawing.

Anya: When you were still dust I was doing this (off Tara’s hurt look) Look don’t go sulking. It’s my upbringing.

Xander: Can we move on with the magic compass?

Anya and Tara join hands over the drawing.

Anya: Ea ekudi au kiu-ae.

Tara: As above, so below.

Anya: Ia-aiwli beu, awi kilavi.

Tara: Essence two, one become.

Anya: L’zhoabeau Willow, oeu tiuxe.

Tara: Crystal Willow falls below.

A reddish glow appears above the drawing. They release hands. Tara tilts her hand, allowing a small gold crystal to fall into the light. The light acts as water, the crystal spiraling in the magic currents till resting above one building.

Tara: It’s not touching. (she looks to Anya) It’s swaying back and forth.

Anya: They’ve put some sort of glamour over the area. As we get closer, we can try again.

Xander: We’ll have to do this at every corner?

Anya: It’s not hi-tech Xander, it’s magic.

Xander: Well next time, she’s wearing a homing beacon.

Tara: Look , we now know the building Willow’s in.

Xander: Let’s hope the magic works on the powerline. I didn’t bring any plastique

 

49. Ext. Woodland beyond the Labyrinth – Night (ProD)

Buffy, Faith, and Giles all dressed in dark clothing and wearing rucksacks. Giles is staring at his watch.

Giles: They’re late.

Faith: Go ahead and go?

Giles: We have time. Let’s recheck equipment. Flashlights? Hammers? Pitons? Rope? Crowbars? Crossbow?

Faith: Yep, Yeah, Yeah, Got it, Yeah.

Giles: Buffy?

Buffy: Got it.

Giles: Radios?

Both hold up small hand radios.

Giles: Call signs?

Buffy: Bravo

Faith: Fox

Giles: And me?

Faith: Goat?

Giles: Golf.

Faith: Just trying to keep the humor up.

Giles: Codes. On site?

Buffy and Faith: Mountaintop

Giles: Empty cells?

Buffy and Faith: Echo.

Giles: Prisoners freed.

Buffy and Faith: Pittsburgh

Giles: Abort?

Buffy and Faith: Albany.

Giles: Challenge and response?

Faith: Any combination of 13.

Giles: Buffy?

Buffy: You say 6, I say 7. You say 10, I say 3. Whatever.

Giles: Buffy, the woods are dark and our opponents are about.

Buffy: Where’s Willow and Xander?

Giles: The message on the machine said they were watching the place.

Buffy: And that they wanted me to call. And I did. And they’re not there. So where are they?

Faith: Buffy. We do this, then we’ll find them. (Afterthought) Do you have pictures?

It’s well that the dark hides Buffy’s and Giles’ looks. Off to the southeast come distance explosions, then fireworks begin blossoming in the dark.

Giles: (looking at his watch) Eight minutes late.

Buffy: Let’s do it.

50 Int. Labyrinth Security Control - Night

Two men, one aged and the other trim, both in gray utility uniforms are sitting before a console watching a set of monitors. An alarm goes off above one camera.

Aged Guard: Cat?

Trim Guard: Probably wind tossing up trash.

The Aged Guard presses a button and the camera zooms in on a driveway.

Aged Guard: What you got?

Trim Guard: A lucky dude. Two to one.

Aged Guard: You’re kidding? Locals or college kids?

Trim Guard: Just went out of camera range.

Another alarm goes off over another camera. The Trim Guard hits the button.

Trim Guard: There’re in the loading dock. Strange place for a little lip lock. Call out the dogs?

Aged Guard: Not yet. Let’s see what happens.

Trim Guard: Pervert.

 

51. Int. Dungeon – Night

Willow is standing before the barred door searching the distant hallway. She steps back and studies the two stakes in her hands. It’s wishful thinking to believe she can drop three vampires and save Melinda. Turning, she walks back to the center of the cell and lowers herself to a kneeling position. Using one stake, she draws a circle around herself. Finished, she sets down the stake and withdraws a talisman from her pocket.

Willow: (quietly to herself) "Give us a chant."

She places the talisman before her.

Willow: " Blessed be in the name of D’Hoffryn. Let this space be now a gateway. To the world of Arashmahrr. Where demons are spawned."

(The chant is from "Something Blue" written by Tracey Forbes.)

 

52. Ext. Loading Dock at the Labyrinth – Night

Xander, Anya, and Tara are standing before a large electrical transformer.

Xander: I’m thinking a massive melting would do the trick.

Anya: We don’t have that much energy. (She looks to Tara) Well, I don’t have that much energy.

Tara: Me neither. Maybe, there’s a key part?

Xander: My military memory is dim on details.

Anya: What about the wires leading in? We could probably melt it in two.

Tara: We can do that.

Anya: Limp doesn’t work, right?

Xander: I’m not touching that line with a ten-foot pole. Do the wire thing, but keep some distance from it.

Anya and Tara close their eyes and join their hands. Xander stands off and looks about the loading dock. Something in a corner wall catches his eye. He walks closer.

53. Int. Labyrinth Security Control – Night

Aged Guard: Me perverted? Look at the two girls.

Trim Guard: They’re holding hands, what of it?

Aged Guard: Then the guy’s perverted, he’s not watching. Oh, I think he’s seen the camera.

Trim Guard: What’s that hanging from his shoulder?

Xander’s face and upper body fill the screen. He’s looking straight into the camera, curious. Suddenly, his face changes to "Oh Shit!" and immediately the lights go out and the camera goes blank as does every electrical gadget in the room. It’s pitch black.

Aged Guard: Oh Shit!

54. Ext. Loading Dock at the Labyrinth – Night

Anya and Tara are shivering with power. The insulation on the incoming power line sizzles and smokes. Sparks spray as the wire drips metal. Then a loud pop followed by the two thrashing wires spitting light arcs across the now dark area. Anya and Tara jump away. Xander is running towards them.

Xander: Let’s go, let’s go!

Xander, Anya, and Tara are running like rabbits down the long North Dormitory Porch. They reached the end and skid to a halt. They’re breathing too hard to speak. Xander points down a walkway leading to the main plaza and the west building. They gather themselves and take-off.

55. Int. Dungeon – Night

Willow is kneeling within the gateway, not quite finished saying the chant, when the lights go out.

Willow: Whoa…am I there?

Willow opens here eyes, but is in total darkness. There’s growling in the distance.

Willow: D’Hoffryn? It’s me. Willow. A friend of yours?

Act IV

 

56. Ext. Woods – Night (Prod)

Buffy and Faith work their way through the open woodlands. Between the groves, the Labyrinth can be seen as a lighted castle sprawled across the slope. Every 30 seconds or so, fireworks explode in the sky above the slope’s crest. As they reach the wood’s edge, all the lights of the Labyrinth go out.

Faith: TV timing. Is this part of the plan?

Buffy: (shrugs) Opportunities knocking.

They break from the cover at run coming to a stop in the shadows of an "L" section of the wall. Buffy stands guard as Faith prepares the rope and grapnel.

Faith: Buff. What do Willow and Xander look like?

Buffy: Willow’s slightly taller than me. Slender. Red shoulder length hair. Brilliant mind. Xander is about your height, dark hair, has a free flowing way of talking. Something like sophisticated babbling. And whoa… They don’t know that you’ve . . . . recovered.

Faith: Problem?

Buffy: If they see you they might think you’re magical illusion.

Thinking on her feet.

Buffy: (cont’d) If you think you see them tell them, ‘Buffy says beer foamy."

Faith: Beer foamy. Why not? It goes with mountaintop and goat.

Buffy: (pointing up) Up and over?

Faith steps away from the building and effortlessly cast the grapnel upward. It catches. She sets it and tests the weight. Buffy motions her first. Faith goes up.

Cut-to a rooftop.

Faith is crouched. Buffy slips over the edge. She hauls up and coils the line and restores it in her rucksack. They take in their surroundings, a moonlit white flat rooftop, but they’re not yet to the top. They steal across the roof to another wall, follow it around to a balcony. Stepping up on the balcony, they haul themselves up another level, cross a short roof and come to a stop behind a rampart. Another flat roof runs before them 10 meters to another colonnaded walk.

Buffy: That’s it. The rooms should be in the square block to the far left.

Faith: You or Me?

Buffy: I’ll go. Cover.

Buffy ghosts across in the moonlight to the shadows. Faith raises her crossbow. Sights. Fires. The bolt zips past Buffy striking a vampire hidden in the shadows. Buffy is close enough to feel the dust and almost as surprised as the vamp. Faith runs across and joins her.

Buffy: How did you see it?

Faith: Nina’s been working on my night vision.

Buffy: Along with rock climbing.

Faith: That’s my watcher.

Buffy: Load up and cover. I’ll check the door.

Cut-to

57. Ext. Plaza and Entrance to West Building

Xander, Anya, and Tara come running into the plaza and tear across to the west entrance. A hefty size man is standing in front of the door.

Xander: I’ve got him!

Xander charges forward, swinging the crossbow like a battle-axe. The hefty man blocks it, wrenches it away, and sends Xander flying across the deck. Hefty man tosses the crossbow aside and goes for Xander. Anya grabs the crossbow and begins to cock it.

Xander: No Anya! Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!

Anya is frozen in bafflement. Tara pulls a cross from her carry bag, grabs the hefty Brad in a bearhug and presses the cross against his cheek. His face smokes. He screams and tosses Tara away like a rag doll.

Xander: Shoot Anya! Shoot!

Anya cocks the crossbow, places a bolt, aims and fires. The bolt hits home and the vampire dusts. Xander rolls to his feet and gives Tara a hand up.

Anya: (to Xander) You’re never going to amount to anything without being more decisive.

Xander: I didn’t know if he was human or not.

Tara: (pointing) Inside?

58. Int. West Complex Grand Foyer

They move into the building. It’s dark and quiet.

Anya: We’re seen the first floor. They wouldn’t let us see the upper floors.

Xander: Upper floors it is.

They climb the grand stairs to the second floor. The lights go on.

Xander: I’m feeling naked now. Which way?

Anya: We’ve got to do the spell again.

Tara: What about in here?

59. Int. Small Museum

Xander and Anya look to the double doors. Tara peers inside.

Tara: It looks like a small museum.

Xander: Any port in a storm.

Anya and Tara begin setting up the map. Xander stands guard at the door with the crossbow. From the depths of the building comes a crashing sound followed by the sounds of fighting. It lasts only seconds and then the distant sound of footsteps running up stairs. Xander frowns, then steps inside the room, closing the door behind him. He sets the crossbow down and shoves a desk in front of the door.

Anya: What was that?

Xander: I have no idea. I’ve going to take a quick look around for other entrances.

Anya and Tara begin the chant. Xander follows the room around a "T" corner. There are no other entrances, but there is a small alcove at the end of the room. Xander raises the crossbow to a ready stance and enters the alcove.

Xander: (quietly) Oh God.

Anya: (off camerac) Xander?

Anya and Tara come up behind Xander.

Tara: Willow is somewhere on this floor.

Xander doesn’t react. He’s still staring towards the back wall of the alcove.

Anya: What is it?

She moves around him.

Anya: (cont’d) We need to be …

Anya sees what Xander has been looking at. Tara looks around Xander’s other shoulder.

Tara: Oh my.

Centered on the back wall is a glass display case. Inside is a figure of a young woman in ready stance with her right hand drawn back preparing to strike with a stake. A brass nameplate on the front of the case reads, "Jessica Cole, Slayer."

Anya turns away pulling Xander along with her.

Anya: The dead are buried, let’s go.

Cut-to

60. Int. Hallway & Stairwell (ProD)

Faith is at the balcony doorway leading inside. Before her is a hallway dividing two open skywells. At the end a large staircase. Voices and footsteps can be heard rushing upwards. Faith raises the crossbow. A burly vamp appears at the top of the steps, turns towards her at a run, and dies as a bolt appears in his chest. Faith moves so fast, that she’s charging through the vamp’s falling dust, striking the next bald headed vampire with a flurry of hand strikes. As the tries to cover, she heaves him down the stairwell and follows him down. He hits hard, but rolls to his feet. He has a power lifter’s physique, but Faith doesn’t give a break. She fakes a front kick to his groin and as he reacts, she changes the kick in mid-execution to a roundhouse to the head. He goes down, rolls away, and comes back to his feet. Now he’s holding a very large, wicked knife. Faith pauses. The bald power vamp slashes wide and fast, Faith backpedals. The vamp smiles wide. He holds the knife in front of him, flicking it like a snake’s tongue. And that’s a mistake. Faith executes a right outside crescent kick knocking the knife away , plants the kicking foot and flows around with a left spinning heel kick to the vamp’s head. It’s like toppling a log. She follows him down, drawing a stake and embedding it in his heart. Dusted. She rises and scans the area. Her eyes lock on another vamp, neatly dressed, peering out from behind a hallway corner. Before he can react, Faith lets the stake fly. He dusts without a sound. Faith bounds by up the stairs.

61. Int. Dungeon – Night

Willow is still kneeling within the circle in a darken cell.

Willow: D’Hoffryn? I’m not certain how you keep track of time, but we met a few weeks ago? Uh, B.P. Before the Present.

The lights on back on. Willow looks quickly around the cell. No D’Hoffryn or his scaly minions. There’s the sound of someone falling down stairs, immediately followed by the sound of fighting. Willow moves quickly, but carefully, to the barred door. Down at the end of the hallway, she sees a neatly dressed vampire looking away towards the noise. Suddenly the vampire stiffens, then turns to dust. There’s the sound of footsteps running up stairs.

Willow: Buffy?

There’s no answer. Willow counts to 60 silently and slowly, then with a stake in each hand, she exits the cell.

62. Int. Hallway in the Labyrinth

Willow is approaching an intersection. There’s a scuffing sound around the corner. Willow quietly takes off one of her shoes. She raises one stake to a strike position, then tosses the shoe into the intersection, where it is immediately impaled by a crossbow bolt.

Willow: Buffy?

Xander: Willow?

Willow steps around the corner to confront Xander, Anya, and Tara standing in a fighting wedge.

Willow: Xander? It’s just me.

Xander: The odds favored a fanged person.

Willow: (to Tara) Hey!

Waves to Anya who is holding an empty crossbow..

Willow: (cont’d) Nice shot. We’ve got to save Melinda. Follow me.

 

63. Int. Cover Balcony Walkway (Prod)

Buffy is gathering the group together. Faith exits onto the balcony.

Buffy: What’s the sitch?

Faith: Three dusted. Lost the crossbow. We ready?

Buffy: Only five. There’s a sixth door. I want to try it again. Take them?

Faith: Gotta it.

Faith herds the group across the roof on the escape route. The firework show continues. The east side of the complex is still dark, but in the main plaza people with flashlights can be made out running towards the XXX building. Buffy returns inside to the end door. Several times she heaves on the crowbar. The lock is giving, but not fast enough. Buffy tosses the crowbar aside and takes several steps back. She centers herself, then explodes in a side thrust kick. The lock’s dead-bolt shears into and the doors swings inward. Buffy starts for the room when there’s the sound of more footsteps running up the stairwell. Sighing with the injustice of it all, Buffy sprints back to the top of the steps and finds . .

Cut-to

64. Int. Hallway & Head of Stairwell (ProD)

Willow: Buffy!

Buffy: Will.

Xander, Anya, and Tara are at Willow’s heels.

Xander: No wonder you didn’t return the call. You were here being the Buffster. How could I have doubted you?

Anya: Vampires behind us. Talk later.

Buffy: (pointing to the left) This way.

Willow goes the opposite way, further into the building. Tara is right behind her. Buffy is baffled.

Xander: Melinda is that away.

Buffy: Oh. But you go that way. I’ll stay with Willow. Do it.

Anya: Doing it. Let’s go Xander.

Buffy: (afterthought) Xan wait. Faith is good.

Xander: What?

Anya grabs him by the arm and she’s one strong ex-demon girl. They’re off. Buffy turns and heads after Willow.

65. Int. Hallway Door and Laboratory (ProD)

Buffy finds them beside another locked door. Willow and Tara have joined hands. The door swings violently inward, knocking aside a man dressed in a lab suit. Buffy slips between them into the room. Melinda is asleep on an autopsy table. Willow rushes to her resting her hand on Melinda’s chest while placing her cheek just above Melinda’s mouth.

Willow: Breathing and heartbeat.

The lab man has got his wits together and picks up a scalpel. Buffy turns to him with eyes of fire and ice.

Buffy: Down.

The lab man falls to his knees.

Buffy: Play dead.

The lab man drops the scalpel and lies face down on the floor.

Buffy: (turning back to Willow) Can we go now?

Cut-to

66. Rooftops of the Labyrinth – Night (ProD)

Faith’s lowered the last person to the ground. Giles is guiding them into the woods. Faith turns and heads back across the roof. Xander and Anya climb over the walkway and start to cross the roof. The three meet on the open moonlit roof.

Xander: Faith?! It is Faith. Faith is good.

Faith: Sophisticated babble?

Xander: Huh?

Faith: Buffy said to tell you, "Beer foamy."

Xander: (nodding) Right. Good. Ok.

Faith: (pointing) That way for a ride out.

Anya: (pointing) Going down. Let’s go Xander.

Anya pulls Xander along. Xander watches as Faith heads back to the fight.

Xander: Faith good. Beer foamy.

Cut to

67. Int. Hallway (ProD)

Willow is carrying a sleeping Melinda. Tara is at her side. Buffy has the front. As they approach the staircase, more hurrying footsteps can be heard.

Buffy: It doesn’t stop.

Buffy takes a fighting stance at the head of the steps, only to have Willow step in front of her and press Melinda into Buffy’s arm.

Willow: Hold please?

Willow turns back to face the steps. Tara takes her hands. Willow is focusing on the overhead skylight. It begins vibrating then the structure collapses in on itself falling down the stairwell. The footsteps stop. Willow smiles to Tara, releases her hand, then turns back to Buffy.

Willow: Thank you.

Buffy hands back the sleeping Melinda.

Willow: Go now?

Buffy: Follow me.

Cut-to

68. Rooftops of the Labyrinth – Night (ProD)

Buffy leads Willow, who is carrying Melinda, and Tara through the hallway, over the walkway to the roof escape route.

Buffy: At the end will be a rope ladder. Down and directly across to the woods. Giles should be there waiting.

Willow: Aren’t you coming?

A high piercing scream comes from behind. All three start.

Tara: Who was that?

Buffy: There may still be one more person.

Buffy starts to turn, then catches herself.

Buffy: Will?

Willow, who has started across the roof, looks back.

Buffy: Faith is here. Recovered. Good Faith.

Willow: (pointing to her head)You know overload here.

Buffy: Trust me on this.

69. Ext. Woodlands Beyond the Labyrinth – Night

Giles, Xander, and Anya are waiting at the edge of the tree grove. Willow, Melinda, and Tara come running towards them.

Xander: Willow! Over here.

Willow: Giles! Buffy went back for someone.

Giles: She’ll be alright.

Willow: She came for us.

Giles does not reply.

70. Ext. Children’s Playground – Day

Willow is holding Melinda’s hand. Catherine stands beside her. (Note to Reader: Catherine was introduced in "Legacy." She’s in her thirties, a professional accountant and long practicing Wicca.)

Willow: They’re good people?

Catherine: The best.

A couple in their late thirties approach. The woman is little over five feet with long brown hair worn free. The man is just under six feet with a gray goatee and glasses.

Catherine: Noelle and Tom Latham. This is Willow. She saved your niece.

Noelle: We’d given up any hope when we learned what Joan had done.

Tom: It’s hard to imagine how one person could have bested Jack.

Willow: I have friends. In strange places.

Noelle: Melinda?

Melinda lets go of Willow’s hand, then turns and looks up with both arms raised. Willow picks her up. Melinda hugs her and whispers something into Willow’s ear. Willow smiles, then lowers Melinda to the ground. Melinda turns and runs to her aunt. Noelle picks her up.

Noelle: Thank you.

Willow is unable to speak. She raises her hand in farewell as the three turn an walk away.

Catherine: What did she say?

Willow: (smiling sadly) Frogs bad.

71. Int. Giles’ Home – Day

Buffy, Xander, and Anya are sitting about the living room. Buffy and Xander are "sampling" Giles’ tea biscuits. Anya is perusing a forgotten text of occult lore.

Xander: They taste more like cookies.

Buffy: A cookie by any other name is still a cookie.

Xander: So Faith is of the good, because she has no memory?

Buffy: No, I think Faith is good now because she has a good family. The no memory allowed that, I think.

Anya: (looking up from the text) Have I ever met Faith?

Xander: (quickly) No. Never.

Anya: Why is it that you twitch whenever I say Faith?

Giles appears at the hallway.

Xander: Giles! Any new watcher wisdom for us?

Giles: The Labyrinth continues as before. There’s no evidence of wrong-doing as wrong-doing is defined by any law that can be presented to a judge for a search warrant.

Buffy: The five people Faith and I rescued. They have nothing to say?

Giles: They have no memory Buffy.

Buffy: The last man?

Giles: As I told you on our return, the tolman collapsed in the man’s home that night. Though, granted, you were dozing during that part of my debriefing.

Buffy: So he died.

Xander: Five people rescued? Toll men?

Giles: Jack Spar’s magicians had developed a way to create a person’s double, then control the double through the actual person who they held prisoner. Buffy and Faith rescued five such people last night.

Xander: Wait. (looking to Buffy) You weren’t there to rescue Willow?

Anya: Or us?

Buffy: Everyone kept telling me they were just looking, that they weren’t going to do anything rash. And you never answered your phone after we spoke the first night.

Xander: Esssh. What’s happen to our teamness?

Buffy: It’s in need of some knitting.

Anya: Or some cell phones.

Buffy: (smiling) And some cell phones.

 

72. Int. A Cell in the Labyrinth – Night

Jack Spar is standing before a "T" post. He’s speaking to someone off camera.

Spar: I’ve always been a businessman. Revenge leads to escalation. One must always ask, will this further my long term plans? Our goal was to recruit five magicians or witches for our client. The demon attacks on Sunnydale were to be but distractions to keep the Slayer away from our doings. And they did. The Slayer was kept occupied.

Voice: (off camera) She was one of the random factors that now and then shift the timeline.

Spar: It’s difficult to plan for such variables.

Voice: (off camera) You call it tit for tat, an appropriate and proven technique, but the action plan you have sketched, speaks of revenge. So I must ask, do I believe your words now or the actions you’ve ordered?

Spar removes his shirt. He turns to face the "T" bar and grasps the horizontal beam at both ends.

Spar: Penance be mine.

 

END