No announcement yet.

Wish Unbroken

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Llywela
    [Library, evening]

    Andrew and Jonathan both whimper like girls under the none-so-gentle ministrations of a very reluctant Nurse Harmony ? the only one not injured ? as she tries very clumsily to clean and dress some of their wounds with the absolute opposite of a bedside manner.

    ANDREW (louder and whinier than strictly necessary): "Owww!"

    HARMONY: "Look, do you want me to do this or not? It wasn't my idea, you know. You should be grateful I'm generous enough to help."

    ANDREW (sulky): "I'd be more grateful if you were generous enough to be gentle. It stings. Ow!"

    HARMONY (contemptuous): "Such a baby."

    Pan away to the other side of the room, where, still dripping blood from their own untreated injuries, Giles and Larry drag Wolf-Oz back into the cage ? rather pointlessly, since there isn't a door any more. The werewolf is a mess, considerably more so than the rest of them having fought tooth and claw with the demon, bleeding from numerous wounds all over his body.

    LARRY (stating the blindingly obvious): "He's gonna need patching up when he's awake and approachable."

    GILES: "Yes."
    (He takes his glasses off ? one lens is cracked ? and wipes blood out of his eye from a gash across his forehead)
    "Patching up is something we could all use a little of right now."

    Larry grimaces and pulls at his torn shirt, which is sticking to a deep and bloody laceration across his chest.

    LARRY: "Sounds more than good to me."
    (He glances across at Harmony's ministrations of the other two and grimaces again)
    "But not by her ? okay?"

    Giles also glances at Harmony, and gives a tiny involuntary shudder.

    GILES: "Agreed."
    He crouches to check on the unrestrained werewolf at their feet again, thoughtful.
    "We can't leave him like this till morning ? we'll need to do something to stop the bleeding. But we, ah, we won't be able to do much more than that until he, uh, turns back."

    LARRY (leaning against the wall, tired): "All that fur gets in the way, huh."

    GILES (thoughtful): "Quite. We'll also need to find some way of restraining him before he wakes again. A-and we'll have to stand a guard until morning, to be on the safe side. He may need to be tranquillised again if he seems likely to break loose once more, although I'd like to avoid administering a second sedative if at all possible."

    LARRY (sighing): "Because it had to break the cage door. Again, just when we really need the lock. What the hell was that thing, anyway?"

    Giles looks over to the dead demon, puzzled and concerned.

    GILES: "I wish I knew."

    [School corridor, following morning]

    An entirely random, and clearly very hardy school cleaner wheels a trolley along the hallway. She uses the trolley to push the double doors of the library open, and enters.

    [Library, morning]

    Inside the library, the cleaner stops dead in amazement.

    Pan around the library to show that?the worst of the damage ? and blood ? has been cleared up. Most importantly, the dead demon has been removed, presumably disposed of in the school incinerator. But the room is still a mess, with broken or damaged furniture all around, books scattered every which way. And also sleeping bodies all around. So much for standing guard.

    Andrew and Jonathan are sleeping contentedly on a table, top and tailed with their feet in each other's faces. Jonathan has rolled into the centre, pushing Andrew right to the edge. Larry is snoring heavily on the floor, Harmony lying at right angles to him using his stomach as a pillow ? which he'd never allow if he knew ? and twitching a little in her sleep. Possibly reliving the terror of last night in her dreams. And Giles is asleep bolt upright in a straight-backed chair, tranquilliser gun across his lap, facing the door-less book cage. All of their clothing is torn and bloody still, with bandages and band-aids visible in places.

    Incredulous, and slightly appalled, the cleaner glances into the cage, perhaps wondering where the door has gone?only to find a naked Oz, bound hand and foot in chains, lying unconscious on the floor inside. Cleaned but un-bandaged demon-inflicted wounds are very clearly visible on his naked body and a few are still bleeding sluggishly. She screams very loudly.

    Everyone wakes up with a start, and Andrew falls off the table, as the cleaner run screaming from the room, leaving her trolley behind. Larry and Harmony sit bolt upright, and gape at each other in disgust.

    Giles stares worriedly ? albeit still a trifle fuzzily ? after the cleaner, and then glances up at the clock.

    GILES: "Good Lord, is that the time?"

    JONATHAN (getting up): "Is it late?"
    He looks at the clock.
    "Oh. It's late."

    Larry rather stiffly stands up, grimacing as his numerous cuts and bruises protest the movement.

    LARRY: "I guess we all kinda?slept."
    He goes over to Giles and glances into the cage at Oz, frowns slightly.
    "Doesn't he usually wake up at, like, sunrise?"

    GILES (going into the cage): "Usually. But the last sedative had to be administered rather later than I'd have liked ? it wouldn't have had time to clear his system before he turned back, and it was rather a, a hefty dose for a human. I imagine he'll sleep for a while yet."

    He kneels to check on Oz, as Jonathan and Harmony come over to peer in at the seemingly lifeless form.

    HARMONY (turning away quickly from the nakedness and blood): "Ew."

    JONATHAN (wrinkling his nose): "Is he okay? He's kinda?still."

    Giles starts to remove the chains from Oz's hands and feet.

    GILES (reassuring): "Oh, yes. Yes, he'll be fine. Sore, but fine."

    LARRY: "Aren't we all?"

    GILES: "And we can dress these wounds now that he's, uh, human once more."

    JONATHAN: "But what about the, uh?"

    He nods toward the door and the trolley that the cleaner left behind, still concerned about her reaction.

    LARRY (calm): "She'll repress."

    He goes over to the counter and picks up the first aid box.

    ANDREW (disbelieving) "You reckon?"

    LARRY (matter-of-fact): "They always do."

    He takes the first aid box over to the cage.

    GILES: "Yes. Remarkable though it may seem."
    (He takes the first aid box from Larry, opens it, peers inside)
    "And now, ah, I'd say some, uh, breakfast was in order, wouldn't you?"

    ANDREW (closing his eyes dreamily): "Ah. Food."

    LARRY: "Breakfast right now would have to be your best idea all week. Donuts?"

    He peers around until he spots Giles' jacket and casually helps himself to the wallet, then hands the jacket to Giles, who drapes it over the sleeping Oz and continues to rummage through the first aid box, assembling everything he needs.

    GILES (not looking up): "Jelly for me."

    JONATHAN: "We get donuts?"

    ANDREW: "Of course we get donuts. Why wouldn't we get donuts? We're, like, heroes now!"

    Larry rolls his eyes, but doesn't argue.

    LARRY (grudging): "You did good."

    Andrew nudges Jonathan, very excited.

    ANDREW (grinning): "Hear that? We did good."

    Jonathan smiles, quietly pleased.

    HARMONY (sitting on the table, beaming from ear to ear): "I know. Even I helped, so you can't say mean things about me any more."

    Larry shakes his head bemusedly, but looks amused, the anger he's been carrying around for so long lifted somewhat by the infectious enthusiasm of the new recruits, and perhaps also by the adrenaline rush of the unexpected but successful battle last night. The newcomers to the group might not have been welcomed with open arms and, in Harmony's case, might be rather reluctant still, but there's not much doubt about it after that battle the night before ? they're all very much on the same team now. Fully adopted into the White Hat fold.

    He heads out in search of donuts.

    [Library, later that morning]

    A very out of focus shot?

    HARMONY (voice over, way too bright and bubbly): "Good morning, sleepy head."

    Camera slowly comes into focus on a shot of the library from on the ground, sideways on. Then pans around, turning the right way up, to show Oz slowly waking on the floor inside the cage, stiff and sore. Still naked, with a blanket now covering him, wounds neatly dressed. The look in his eyes is troubled, anxious. Waking up injured and not knowing how it happened is not a pleasant sensation.

    Out in the library proper, Giles and Larry are sat at the table surrounded by books, but surreptitiously watching Oz as he wakes. Harmony is with them, re-doing her nails, but Andrew and Jonathan aren't there ? in class, perhaps.

    LARRY (concern hidden behind an offhand manner): "You all right?"

    Oz manages to sit up, wincing, and looks down at himself.

    OZ: "Apparently not. I miss something?"

    HARMONY (blithely, still working on her nails): "You missed a lot. Even though you had, like, a ringside seat, with hands on audience participation, and everything."
    (Thinks, wrinkling her nose)
    "That must suck."

    Oz shifts again, uncomfortable.

    OZ (under his breath): "Just a bit."

    LARRY: "Someone out there really hates us. That's about as much as we've worked out so far."
    (Picking up some clothing, he takes it over to Oz and helps him to his feet.)
    "Need a hand?"

    Oz shakes his head, taking the clothes with one hand and hanging onto the blanket to preserve his modesty with the other.

    OZ: "No. Thanks."

    With a nod, Larry leaves him to it and returns to the study table.

    OZ (off screen): "So, what happened?"

    Courteously enough, the others answer this question without turning to look at him, since he's dressing, even the tactless Harmony keeping her eyes averted. She's probably seen enough already.

    GILES: "An attack. On the library ? last night shortly before patrol."

    LARRY: "The patrol that didn't happen, as it turns out."

    GILES: "Yes, quite. We were, uh, rather sidetracked by a visit from a particularly vicious and destructive demon."

    LARRY: "Quite a party."

    GILES: "And according to these files,"
    (He indicates the books open before him)
    "Although this particular demon takes great pleasure in maiming and killing, it generally only does so for a price."

    LARRY (in case the point was missed there): "Hired assassin. Like I said ? someone out there really hates us."

    Now clothed, Oz limps out of the cage and joins them at the table.

    OZ: "So. Payback's started early, then."

    GILES (grim): "Apparently so."

    [The Bronze, day]

    Close on Darla, frustrated.

    DARLA: "You know that your 'cold-blooded killer' of an assassin failed, right?"

    Pan back to show that she is talking to the Master, who is not in the best of moods. Certainly not in the mood for Darla's impertinence.

    MASTER (curt): "Well, then ? let us be glad that we had the foresight not to pay the creature up front."

    DARLA: "There's a lesson to be learned here. If you want a job done properly ? do the killing yourself. That way, you have both the pleasure of getting the job done, and the satisfaction of knowing that it's done."

    MASTER (irritable and dismissive): "The matter really isn't important."

    DARLA: "Isn't important? I thought we had agreed that it was time to put down those ridiculous, do-gooding White Hats, once and for all, before they could cause us any more aggravation."

    MASTER: "The would-be Watcher and his merry band of White Hats really are quite insignificant in the grander scheme of things, my dear. A minor irritation."

    DARLA: "That's not what you were saying a few days ago."

    MASTER: "I have far more important things on my mind. My machine being just one."

    DARLA (rolling her eyes): "Had you considered, perhaps, that the factory scheme might best be abandoned now? That was yesterday's design. Surely we could come up with something more ?"

    MASTER (interrupting, annoyed and very firm): "The machine will be rebuilt. Its like shall be the future for our kind, and ?"

    LUKE (off screen, his turn to interrupt): "Master."

    The Master frowns, unhappy at being interrupted, and turns to see Luke striding into the room.

    MASTER: "Luke. You have news?"

    LUKE: "Yes. There have been stirrings in Mayor Wilkins' camp. Questions are being asked."

    MASTER (glowering): "He will have learned by now of your return, empty-handed."

    DARLA (mutters): "And whose fault was that?"

    Luke scowls at her.

    MASTER: "We cannot afford to lose the Mayor's favour."

    DARLA: "Why? He's just one man ?"

    MASTER: "Don't underestimate him."
    "No. I may not know exactly who or what he is, but I do know that Mayor Wilkins is far more than merely a man ? and that, should he choose, he could make life extremely difficult for us. No. For now, at least, we must do what it takes to keep him on side."
    (Glares at them both)
    "And your failure this week will not make that any easier."

    DARLA: "And the White Hats?"

    MASTER: "Their time will come. Rest assured of that."

    [Time goes by, one day at a time?]

    [School Hall, day]

    On stage, a school principal that is neither Flutie nor Snyder reads out the names of the deceased or merely vanished in the dull monotone of one who has performed this morbid duty on a regular basis over a too long period of time.

    Pan out to show how sparsely populated the school is, the hall little more than half full. The White Hats are scattered among other students; Giles leans against a wall at the back of the hall. Taking his glasses off, he closes his eyes and sighs when the principal comes to Nancy and Cordelia's names.

    [Library, day]

    Giles sits at the central table, studying one of his dusty old tomes?

    Pan across to see Oz showing Harmony how to work a crossbow. She might have fluked a direct hit on a moving werewolf with the tranquilliser gun in a crisis, but this she really isn't getting. She aims at a target, pinned to the wall?but her finger slips from the trigger as she squeezes it, and the bolt drops to the floor.

    HARMONY: "Oh, damn! I broke a nail."

    While she fusses over her fingers, Oz calmly picks up the bolt, and re-loads the crossbow so she can try again.

    Continue panning across to show Larry working very hard trying to train Andrew and Jonathan still. But he actually seems a little bit pleased with their progress, as Jonathan manages to toss Andrew.

    LARRY (satisfied that he's getting somewhere at last): "That's more like it."

    [City Hall, night]

    By cover of night, Luke delivers a mysterious package to the Mayor's assistant, bows deep, and then sweeps away into the dark.


    [On the streets of Sunnydale, late evening]

    Team White Hat is out on patrol.

    All three new recruits are much more sure of what they are meant to be doing, and yet tonight's big rescue is not going all that well.

    What should have been a simple rescue has turned sour when the lone vampire attacking a random and clueless passer by turned out to have backup just nearby. Several more vampires now menace the team in a tense standoff, surrounding the van. The team stand their ground, weapons in hand, holding the vampires at bay but anticipating the coming strike at any moment. They're going to have to fight their way out of this?

    And then, striking as swift and silent as lightning, one of the vampires drops, dusts.

    A long, frozen pause as no one is quite sure what just happened?

    Then a stranger launches herself into the fray, kicking and back flipping, and dusting vamps with brisk efficiency. The bemused White Hats make themselves useful when necessary, tripping the odd vampire back into her path if it looks likely to escape?but on the whole she doesn't seem to need much help. They stand and gawp, dumbstruck. Help ? especially super-powered help ? is not something they've ever really experienced.

    In no time at all the vampires are gone, and the stranger stands before them, straight-backed, arms folded across her chest, head held high. She is young, tall and athletic, with dark eyes, coffee-coloured skin, and long brown curls pulled back into a tight ponytail, her expression just a tad supercilious.

    A moment of absolute silence, absolute stillness. She stares at them; they stare at her. At last Giles breaks the impasse, taking a step forward and holding out a hand.

    GILES: "Y-yes, well, uh ? congratulations. And, ah ? many thanks. M-my name is Giles, Rupert Giles?and I believe you must be ?"

    STRANGER: "I am Kendra. The Vampire Slayer."


    ? J. Browning, September 2005

    Authors Need Feedback

    Leave a comment:

  • Llywela
    [In the van, speeding down a Sunnydale street]

    In the back?

    LARRY (to Harmony, angry): "What the hell happened to you?"

    HARMONY: "What? I never said I was joining your posse of wannabe vigilantes. As if! I just came along for the ride: to stay safe. Not to go throwing myself right back into danger. That's what you guys are for."

    And then panning to the front?

    OZ: "I recognised those vampires."

    GILES (thoughtful and worried): "Yes, so did I. Luke and Darla. So the Master hasn't lost quite as many of his more powerful cohorts as we'd hoped."

    Oz raises an eyebrow just a tad, acknowledging the badness of this news.

    OZ: "I don't remember seeing them at the factory last night."

    GILES (grim): "Which means that they missed the battle and are back just in time to help the Master rebuild."

    [The Bronze, next day]

    Disconsolate vampires lounge around. There are fewer of them than when the place was last seen in The Wish ? the battle at the factory has taken its toll on their numbers. Their human prisoners are having an even worse time than normal, being used by the vampires both as punch bags to vent their ire, and as a source of replenishment after the battle, feeding to aid healing.

    THE MASTER slouches in a torn, faded armchair up on what was once the stage, lord of all he surveys, sulking.

    Below him, Darla drops a female prisoner she was feeding off, and wipes her mouth, lip curling in disgust. Still alive, and unrestrained, the woman tries to crawl away. Rolling her eyes, Darla finishes her off with one quick snap of the neck and kicks the body aside.

    MASTER (reprovingly): "Darla. There was still good eating left in that one."

    DARLA: "Growing stale fast. You would not have enjoyed her, Master."

    In one light bound she springs up onto the stage to join him.

    MASTER (mocking): "So sour. Still not recovered from your disappointment last night?"

    DARLA (sucking up): "My disappointment was but a trifle compared to yours, Master."

    MASTER: "Come now. You know I remember that you never cared for the concept of my machine."

    DARLA (smiling seductively): "Perhaps I do still prefer the thrill of the kill, but I care that you care. Perhaps the machine can be repaired?"

    MASTER: "Oh it shall, rest assured of that."
    (Glowers now)
    "But not quickly."

    DARLA: "Those damned White Hats have interfered too often. Would you like me to remove them for you? It would be a pleasure."

    MASTER: "What a very tempting idea. And yet, no. We have lost too many of our people just lately."

    DARLA (smiling): "I'm sure the humans would say the same. And not all of those we lost are any great loss."

    MASTER (amused): "Xander and Willow. You never liked them, did you?"

    DARLA (contemptuous): "Young upstarts. But I know that you were fond of them."

    MASTER (frowning now): "I was. Such youth and energy. It pleased me."
    "Yes, I should very much like to rid this town of all do-gooders. An example should be set. We must make it plain to all that human heroics will not be tolerated any longer. Yes."

    DARLA (pleased at the thought): "I could take a team tonight, and ?"

    MASTER: "No. I have a better idea."

    [Library, a day or two later, mid-afternoon]

    Giles wanders out of his office, the arm of his glasses gripped in his teeth as he peers down at one of his ancient texts. He drifts past Larry, who is trying very hard to teach very basic self-defence to the very clueless Andrew and Jonathan, and ambles over to the central table, where Oz is repairing a crossbow and Harmony is painting her toenails.

    Giles sits at the table, still engrossed in his reading. The only sounds are the grunts and groans of the boys as they train. Or try to train. Larry is not making it easy.

    Harmony finishes painting her toenails and puffs at them for a second, replaces the cap on the bottle, and then starts to gaze around at everyone else. They are all completely absorbed in whatever they are doing. Harmony huffs, bored rigid.

    HARMONY: "This is so dull, I might as well be in class."

    LARRY (calling across from the background): "Pick up a book. That'd clinch it."

    Giles glances up from his book with a puzzled frown, as though he'd only just realised the time.

    GILES: "Yes, why aren't you in class? Any of you?"

    OZ (not looking up as he carefully tunes the crossbow): "Lack of staff starting to prove a problem."

    HARMONY: "Yeah. My chem teacher got eaten last week, and they can't even find a temp to fill in, 'cause ? who'd ever come here?"

    Larry leaves Andrew and Jonathan to continue scuffling in the background and comes over to join them.

    LARRY (leaning against the table): "Free periods are starting to pile up lately. Plus, monthly memorials getting a little less monthly and starting to edge toward weekliness."

    GILES (considering): "There were rather more deaths than usual this week, even by recent standards. If things continue like this, the, ah, the authorities might be forced to, to sit up and take notice at last."

    The others look deeply sceptical.

    LARRY: "If they haven't by now, they're never gonna. Face it ? we're on our own."

    Silence, as everyone contemplates this depressing statement. Except for Andrew and Jonathan, who are still playing at sparring. Andrew finally manages to toss Jonathan, who crashes into the card file cabinet. Hearing the crash, but not showing any sign of wanting to turn and look, Giles winces.

    JONATHAN: "Ow."

    [The Bronze, night]

    The Master sits up on his 'throne' drumming his fingers on the arm as he watches a couple of his lesser vampires idly torturing a human prisoner, apparently just for the fun of it. He is smiling to himself, finding both the spectacle and the wails of the victim highly amusing.

    Darla stalks into shot, considerably less amused.

    DARLA: "Sub-contracting? That was your big idea?"

    MASTER (untroubled): "You don't approve?"

    DARLA: "Oh please. No hired assassin can ever be trusted to commit to a truly thorough job."

    MASTER: "Perhaps as a general rule. However, I believe this one to be efficient enough."

    DARLA (sarcastic): "Why? Does he take 'great pride' in his work?"

    MASTER (dismissive): "His pride means nothing to me. He is a cold-blooded killer whose greatest pleasure is to wreak death and destruction wherever he goes, and enjoy himself so doing. That should suffice."

    He laughs and claps his hands at something out of shot, as an agonised scream is heard from the hapless torture victim.

    Darla looks unconvinced, but before she can argue the point any further, Luke arrives, dragging with him a terrified human child.

    LUKE: "A gift, my Master."

    MASTER (delighted at the offering): "Ah, Luke."

    He takes the child from Luke and sets it on his knee. The child sits in his arms, rigid with fear.

    DARLA (rolling her eyes): "Toad."

    MASTER (stroking the child's hair, to Luke): "And what say you to my latest venture? Darla, here, disapproves."

    LUKE (stolid as a block of wood): "I regret only that the pleasure cannot be ours, Master."

    MASTER: "The pleasure of knowing that those do-gooders suffered immensely on their way out of this world will more than satisfy me."

    The Master smiles, and sinks his fangs into the child's neck.

    [Library, late the following afternoon ? first night of the full moon cycle]

    Giles and Larry are getting ready to patrol, with Jonathan helping and Harmony getting in the way as usual.

    Oz arrives at the library, with Andrew in tow badgering him fiercely.

    ANDREW: "But how did it happen? Did you always know you were a werewolf? Or was it, like, a total bolt from the blue?"

    Larry shoots a fierce glare at Andrew, who doesn't notice, while Giles looks up from his patrol preparations with some concern. Both are aware that full moon is an uncomfortable time for Oz, and Andrew's intense interest in the background story isn't helpful.

    Oz ignores Andrew completely, very quiet but visibly more worked up than usual, not liking all the questions. He goes straight into the cage, pulling his jacket off. Giles quietly closes and locks the door after him, while Andrew, getting perplexed by the wall of silence, continues to chatter.

    ANDREW:"I mean, doesn't it cause problems? Having to stay in here days at a time and not go out and help with patrolling, and everything? And what happens if someone comes in?"

    Oz stops stripping, since he has such a rapt audience that clearly isn't going to stop staring, but turns his back on Andrew, unable to walk away from the non-stop questioning.

    LARRY (fiercely, to Andrew); "Man, don't you ever shut up?"

    ANDREW: "What?"

    LARRY: "Take a hint."

    JONATHAN (aside to Andrew): "I don't think anyone wants to talk about it."

    GILES (stern): "Andrew. Perhaps you could come and give me a hand over here?"

    ANDREW (forced to give up, regretful at his continuing lack of knowledge): "Sure. Okay."

    He goes over to help pack up weapons for patrol, and all becomes quiet, other than the sounds of Harmony's gum popping. But moments later the sounds of pained grunts start to come from the cage, and Harmony lets out a little squeak.

    HARMONY (wigged out): "Eew!"

    Andrew and Jonathan both turn to stare at the painful wolfing-out process, intrigued. Giles and Larry carry on with what they're doing, knowing that Oz prefers not to be watched. Unhappy about the attention he's getting from the others, but with no real way of preventing it, short of making a bigger deal out of the whole thing than anyone would like. Only time and understanding will bring that.

    Andrew drifts back over to stand right in front of the cage, staring in absolute fascination as the transformation becomes complete.

    ANDREW: "How do you get to be a werewolf, anyway?"

    LARRY (annoyed): "You don't give up, do you?"

    ANDREW: "Not usually. How does it work?"

    LARRY (curt, trying to discourage discussion of the subject): "Easy. Another werewolf bites you. End of story."

    ANDREW: "That's all it takes? Wow."

    Jonathan now takes a step closer, and the werewolf promptly throws himself against the cage, snarling with all teeth showing. Jonathan hurriedly backs off again.

    JONATHAN: "How do you get bit with teeth like that and not lose, like, an arm, or?or a head, or something?"

    LARRY (frustrated that they won't let up): "By getting bit when the werewolf is human."

    Both Jonathan and Andrew react to that, recoiling, eyes widening ? clearly imagining the kind of circumstances in which a human might bite someone. Harmony ew's, and Larry rolls his eyes.

    LARRY: "It was his cousin, all right? A little kid."

    ANDREW (awed): "Little kids can be werewolves too? Wow."
    (He thinks about the implications for a moment)
    "So if Oz gets locked up here, what happens with the kid?"

    LARRY (flatly): "Nothing."

    JONATHAN (concerned): "It goes around biting people all night?"

    LARRY (very grim): "He's dead."

    JONATHAN: "Oh."

    Death and loss are things they can all understand. He looks back into the cage at the werewolf with pity in his eyes now.

    LARRY (eyes on the bag he's packing): "Turns out there's a whole bunch of folks out there who'll pay big bucks for werewolf skins."
    (Glares at them)
    "Don't go getting any big ideas."

    JONATHAN: "Skins?"

    HARMONY (even more wigged out): "That skanky fur? Eew."

    ANDREW (shocked ? and it's kind of endearing that this would shock him, given what Sunnydale has become since the Master rose): "And they kill little kids?"

    LARRY: "If the price is right?"
    "Dude was in town for weeks. Almost got Oz, too, more than once. Couldn't shake him."

    He shakes his head, and glances worriedly into the cage. And Giles now intervenes.

    GILES (firm): "Please don't pester Oz on the subject."
    (This is a command, not a request, and he pauses to make sure it has sunk in before pointedly continuing)
    "Some boats are best left un-rocked."

    Larry nods, and glares at the other three, menacing and protective.

    LARRY: "He doesn't like to talk about it. Ever. The werewolf thing is just something we deal with every month, no big deal. Okay?"

    The others meekly agree, as Giles glances up at the clock, then at his watch.

    GILES: "We should get going. I would suggest that Harmony, perhaps, remain here to watch the cage, but ?"

    HARMONY (appalled): "I'm not staying on my own with that thing!"

    Giles checks the cage door to make sure it is secure, neatly avoiding a swipe by the caged werewolf.

    GILES (picking up a bag of weapons, and turning toward the door): "Quite. So perhaps Jonathan, or Andrew ?"

    He gets no further, stops and stares at the door?

    Where a very large demon is standing, all spines, teeth, horns and claws.

    [Library, early evening]

    Harmony screams very loudly as Andrew panics and Giles and Larry spring into action, dropping bags and grabbing weapons. Jonathan inhales sharply, and clutches desperately at the handle of a handy axe. He'll use it if he must. But he's not convinced he has any chance of surviving this. Patrolling is one thing. Getting attacked on supposedly safe turf ? that's a whole different kettle of fish.

    So?there is a fight, obviously.

    The demon has come to create a spot of carnage; something it is very good at and enjoys all the more when it knows it's getting paid at the end of it. It is huge, and very powerful. Giles and Larry rush at it in a desperate, hopeless attempt at defence. The demon casually swipes at them, claws flashing, and both go down without even managing a strike.

    The demon advances further into the library, and Harmony backs off, still screaming. The demon ignores her. She is weaponless. Defenceless. It concentrates on the males. Andrew and Jonathan, with barely any training behind them. Untried. Untested. Easy pickings.

    Andrew is frantically searching through a pile of weaponry, as the demon gets ever closer, trying to find something suitable, discarding perfectly adequate weapons in his panic, while Jonathan clutches nervously at his axe. He swings at the demon in desperate self-defence as soon as it is close enough, and actually manages to connect, but there is not enough power behind the blow to cause any damage to the demon. It picks him up and tosses him at Andrew like a bowling ball. They both go down like ninepins.

    The werewolf has started to howl furiously in his cage as the demon turns to Harmony, who hasn't stopped screaming. It moves toward her, and she starts throwing things at it ? anything that comes to hand. Mostly books. And then the demon is distracted by a counter-attack from the rear. It swings around, and lashes out at Larry once more, needle-sharp claws raking across his chest and drawing blood. Larry stumbles backward, and Giles now attacks from another direction, sword in hand, only to receive similar treatment.

    The pattern continues: Larry and Giles take turns to attack and retreat, both taking more damage than they manage to inflict.

    LARRY (shouting): "Man, this thing's got, like, rhino hide."
    He jumps backward to avoid another crushing blow.
    "Dino hide, even."

    Jonathan has now recovered, and attempts to imitate their method of assault. Giles sees him.

    GILES: "No, get back!"

    Too late, as the demon lifts and tosses Jonathan once again. This time he hits the wall hard and lies still. But Andrew takes his place, having finally found a weapon he feels comfortable with, a sword. It's too big and heavy for him to handle properly. Maybe that's the point: the bigger the better, and at least it's long enough to improve his reach considerably. He slashes at the demon, and manages to get in a slice or two before it knocks him aside and turns back to Giles and Larry. The demon is enjoying itself immensely, and is fast getting carried away. It picks up a table and throws it at them. They go down in a heap, and stay down.

    The demon looks around. None of its opponents are moving, and ripping them apart won't be as much fun unless they are awake enough to really feel it. It looks at Harmony, who has backed off into a corner, trapped and whimpering. Nothing left to throw, and no weapons to defend herself. It growls deep in its throat, moving toward her once more.

    And then the werewolf howls again, catching the demon's attention. It turns, sees Wolf-Oz howling and throwing himself at the cage door, enraged by what he can see, smell and sense.

    The demon wasn't expecting a werewolf, but is fast going into something of a berserker rage and losing all sense of reason. It rips the door off the cage in order to get at this new opponent. The wolf springs at it, and another fight begins, this one all about teeth and claws.

    The demon and the werewolf roll around, slashing and gnashing, and inflicting some hefty damage on one another, as Larry's senses start to return. He pushes the table off him, and checks on Giles, who is lying nearby ? unconscious but alive. On the other side of the room, Jonathan is stirring, and Andrew pushes himself up onto all fours, groping for his lost sword.

    Still down on the ground, staying as unobtrusive as possible, Larry anxiously studies the demon-werewolf fight as he reclaims his weapons ? an axe in each hand ? but can't see any opening to use them. He could just as easily hit Oz as the demon. Can't risk it. He crawls across to Harmony, who clutches at him, terrified.

    HARMONY (whispering): "We're going to die. We're going to die!"

    Larry gives her a little shake, points her to the counter.

    LARRY: "Over there. There's a gun ? tranquilliser. Go get it, quick."

    He turns away, not waiting to see if she will obey, and pulls himself onto his feet. The demon now flings the werewolf aside and rounds on Larry with a vicious snarl. But it has been weakened by that tooth and claw fight with the werewolf, dripping blood from numerous wounds, and wavering on its feet a little.

    Larry grips his axes firmly, steels himself, and then charges at the demon. It is becoming a little sluggish now, after expending so much effort, and Larry manages to avoid its claws and get in a couple telling blows with his axes, aided by Andrew, who launches a surprisingly effective attack on the demon's rear at the same time. The demon can't concentrate on them both at once. Enraged, it lashes out randomly, blindly.

    The demon manages to knock Larry off his feet once more, and Andrew falls back as it rounds on him with a malicious snarl, charges toward him?

    ?And runs straight into an axe, hitting it right through the eyes. Jonathan, standing on a table, at full stretch. Eyes wide, lip curling in disgust, just about managing not to hyperventilate, he lets go of the axe. The demon totters, topples?and falls, the axe still sticking out of its head. Dead.

    Wild-eyed, Jonathan stares at Andrew, who stares back, equally wild-eyed. Disbelieving. They've fought ? and they've won, against all the odds. And then Andrew's eyes get wilder still as he notices the werewolf now back on his feet and lunging at him. Gasping, he takes a step backward, but finds the wall behind him. No escape. The sword is still in his hand, and he half-lifts it, not knowing what else to do. All he can see are the teeth, growing closer, fetid breath hot on his face ?

    But the werewolf doesn't reach him, falling instead to the ground at his feet, a tranquilliser dart sticking out of his back. Barely able to breath for fear, Andrew stares down at him for a moment, and then looks up, to see what happened.

    Over by the counter, Harmony stands with the tranquilliser gun to her shoulder still in firing pose, her expression rigid with horror.

    Larry now picks himself back up, and looks from Harmony to the downed werewolf, across to the dead demon, and back to Jonathan and Andrew, dazed and grim. Behind him, on the floor, Giles starts to stir.

    HARMONY (tremulous): "I don't feel so safe in here anymore."

    Leave a comment:

  • Llywela
    [School library, the following morning]

    Larry and Oz are sorting through the weapons, while Giles attempts to repair the lock on the book cage, which he smashed open when trapped inside. The cuts and bruises of recent struggles are clearly visible. Oz still has that long cut along his right cheekbone from the assault on the library in which Nancy and Cordelia were killed, unstitched and heavily scabbed over. Probably gonna scar.

    Behind them we see Andrew and Jonathan, in the background. Andrew is messing around with a crossbow, trying to figure out how it works, with Jonathan peering at it with him, but not touching.

    Larry keeps glancing over his shoulder to see what they are doing, getting more and more irritated.

    LARRY: "Can you say 'scraping the bottom of the barrel'? I mean, what use is Jonathan going to be? He's, like, four feet tall."

    OZ (mild, just stating a fact): "I'm not tall."

    LARRY (not about to let a good point go to waste): "You're taller than he is. Plus, you've got, you know, coordination. You know how to handle yourself. Put Jonathan in a fight with a vamp, he'll fall over his own feet and land on his own stake."

    GILES: "Yes, I must admit I'm forced to agree with Larry here. Jonathan is certainly willing to help, but his ability to do so may be, uh, somewhat limited. And as for Andrew?"

    Larry groans.

    LARRY: "Andrew's worse. Much, much worse. God, please spare me."

    OZ: "Keen, but clueless."

    GILES (sighing): "Jonathan at least knows what he's signing up for. I'm far from convinced that Andrew has any real idea what is truly involved in this."

    LARRY: "He thinks its cool, dork like him playing with the big boys. Thinks it's a game. It isn't."

    OZ: "He'll learn soon enough. Least they're willing."

    GILES (sighs again): "Yes. They want to help, and ? unfortunately ? we're in no position to be choosy."
    He glances at his watch, and then across at the clock.
    "You'll be late for class if you don't go now. We can finish this later."

    LARRY (snorting): "Class? You know how many people weren't in homeroom yesterday?"

    GILES: "If you don't go, you could wind up listed as missing, presumed dead. And that would only lead to a scene when you then turned up again. Have you forgotten when Nanc?"

    He stops very abruptly, and whatever Nancy-related incident he was about to remind them of remains unvoiced. Her very recent demise is painful to recall. All three avoid one another's eyes.

    OZ (very softly): "We'll come back after class."

    Giles nods vaguely, eyes fixed on that broken lock, lips tightly pressed together. Larry and Oz look at each other, worried, and then head toward the door. Oz glances across to call Andrew and Jonathan, who are still enthralled by the crossbow. And, just at that moment, Andrew figures out how to work the trigger. Un-aimed and flying wild, the bolt skims past an appalled Jonathan's ear and just barely misses Giles.

    Giles doesn't even seem to notice, lost in his thoughts, but Andrew and Jonathan both get serious 'oops' face.

    OZ: "Hey."

    It is impossible to tell from his tone if that was a reprimand for the careless use of a crossbow, or just trying to get their attention. Either way, they jump like startled fawns. Guilty expressions, like kiddies caught with their hand in the biscuit tin and afraid the privilege will be taken from them.

    LARRY (exasperated and patronising): "You two girls might want to leave the weapons testing to the experts and get to class."

    They jump to, still uncertain of their position here ? could be kicked out of the group almost before they've joined it. They're very much on probation, and, perhaps, aware that they still aren't really wanted.

    The four boys head out, and the library doors swing shut behind them.

    Focus on the doors for a moment, and then pan back to Giles, hands still clutching the damaged cage door he's meant to be fixing, and staring, unseeing, into the middle distance. Lost in his own private world of grief, pain and desperate, hopeless worry about how long they can continue like this.

    [Library, late afternoon ? school's out for the day]

    The door to the book cage is now fixed, and Giles and Larry are packing weapons, getting ready to go out on patrol. Oz meanwhile ? displaying enormous patience ? is showing Andrew and Jonathan the correct way to handle a crossbow. Harmony is also there, mostly just hanging around getting in everyone's way.

    GILES (seeing Larry picking up a crossbow): "No, no, not that one. The, uh, trigger mechanism jammed last time. Unreliable."

    Larry puts the crossbow aside, and Harmony drifts over to have a look at it. Larry picks up a different crossbow.

    LARRY: "This one's fixed, right?"

    GILES (noticing Harmony playing with the broken crossbow, frowning): "Uh, yes. Yes, I believe so."

    Larry stows the approved crossbow away in a large bag lying open on the table, and turns to collect more weapons together.

    GILES: (taking the broken crossbow off Harmony, his patience strained) "Please don't play with that."

    Harmony huffs in annoyance as he turns to put it away, and pulls herself up to sit on the table. Larry turns back, arms full of crosses and freshly carved stakes, to find her sitting right in front of the bag. His annoyance at finding her in his way is immense.

    LARRY: "Do you mind?"

    HARMONY (not a clue): "Do I mind what?"

    Larry waves a fistful of crosses and stakes at her.

    LARRY: "I'm trying to work here."

    Harmony stares at him in total incomprehension for a moment, and then finally gets it, glancing behind her at the bag.

    HARMONY: "Oh!"

    She slides herself further along the table to allow him access to the bag.

    LARRY: "Finally."

    HARMONY (petulant): "Well, sor-ry."

    LARRY: "What are you hanging around here for anyway?"

    HARMONY (defensive, and strangely vulnerable): "This is the only place I feel safe now. All my friends are dead."

    Silence, just for a moment. As flaky as Harmony is, and as shallow as all her emotions are, or appear to be, she's touched on a nerve. They've all lost too many friends since the Master rose and brought hell on earth to Sunnydale.

    LARRY (changing the subject, looking to Giles): "You know, I'm not even sure this is such a safe place anymore. Public property. It's too easy for the vamps to get in, like the other day when?"

    He stops, and Giles straightens, looking pained. Another nerve touched there. Behind them, Oz now glances across from his crossbow 101 session, giving at least part of his attention to the conversation.

    GILES: "It's true. School property is highly vulnerable to attack, by night at least, should the vampires choose to do so again. And yet where else would allow us the space and convenience we have here? Besides,"
    (Meaningfully now)
    "Unless we can find somewhere more suitable, we, ah, we still need the cage for Oz's, uh?special circumstances. The first night of this month's cycle is just a few days away, remember."

    Oz flushes, and drops his eyes to his feet, while Andrew's ears prick up instantly.

    ANDREW: "What special circumstances?"

    Oz gives him a black look. Doesn't like to be reminded of it, doesn't want to talk about it. He shoulders the crossbow, picks up a set of spare bolts for it, and leaves the room without saying a word.

    ANDREW (genuinely bewildered): "What?"

    HARMONY (picking at her nails looking bored): "It's probably something really embarrassing."
    (To Larry, suddenly interested in potential gossip)
    "Is it? Is it something really embarrassing?"

    Larry looks at Giles, who shrugs to indicate that the new recruits might as well know, since it looks like they're in for the long haul. If they live that long.

    LARRY (to Andrew, pointedly ignoring Harmony): "He's a werewolf. Stays in the cage at full moon. It isn't a big deal."

    HARMONY (dismissive): "If it isn't a big deal, then why all the fuss?"

    Larry ignores her again. Shouldering a bag of weapons, he follows Oz out. Harmony seems disappointed Oz's problem wasn't something more interesting, but Andrew's eyes have gone wide, and he trades an incredulous look with Jonathan.

    ANDREW (awe-struck again): "Woah."

    [On a random street in Sunnydale, sunset]

    The sun is just about setting as a couple of vampires emerge from the sewer tunnels. One is male, enormous and bulky, the other female, blonde and petite. These are LUKE and DARLA, two of the Master's most trusted followers, who were, however, absent from his grand opening at the factory the previous night.

    DARLA: "Ugh. What a complete waste of time that was."
    (Fastidiously brushing herself off)
    "How I despise travelling by day. So unsanitary."

    LUKE (impatient): "The Master will be waiting for us."

    He starts to stride down the street, glancing up at the dusky sky. Darla strolls more casually after him.

    DARLA: "The Master will regret that the journey which kept us from his gala event was such a complete and utter waste of both time and effort, thanks to ?"

    LUKE (half-turning, snarls): "You."

    He increases his speed. Darla stops, glares at his back for a moment, and then follows again, a defiant swagger to her step.

    DARLA (drawls): "That wasn't what I was going to say."

    [Outside the school, early evening]

    Team White Hat is loading up the van ready to patrol. Jonathan is trying hard to be useful; Andrew less so, getting in everyone's way. Harmony is just hanging around still, chewing gum and blowing bubbles.

    HARMONY: "Is this going to take long?"

    GILES (pointedly): "You don't have to come."

    HARMONY: "Well, I'm not going to stay here on my own, am I? It's too dark to go home by myself now."

    GILES: "You should have gone straight home after class."

    HARMONY (again, strangely vulnerable and sincere, for her): "I was scared. My mom is out of town."

    JONATHAN: "Does this take long?"

    OZ: "Depends."

    LARRY: "Why? Afraid you won't have time for your homework?"

    JONATHAN (just a tad offended by his attitude and sticking up for himself for once): "I was just wondering. I thought it would be good to know how it plays out."

    GILES: "Quite right."

    ANDREW (to Jonathan): "We already know everything we need to know. We drive around and around until we either get really dizzy or see people that need saving. And then, if we see people that need saving, we save them, swooping in to the rescue like Superman. Only with a van and not flying."
    (Frowns, considering the analogy)
    "Or maybe more like Batman, if he needed to use crosses and stakes. Or ?"

    LARRY (deeply frustrated): "Enough with the geek. Let's go."

    [In Oz's van, on the streets of Sunnydale, post-curfew]

    Oz is driving, with Giles in the front with him, while the other four sit in the back. The inside of the van is pretty much kitted out for war, rather than comfort, although a few mementoes of happier days remain.

    ANDREW: "So who does the guitar belong to?"

    LARRY: "Oz."

    ANDREW: "Kinda looks out of place back here, with all the weapons and stuff."
    (To Oz, enthusiastic)
    "Are you in a band?"

    OZ (doesn't take his eyes off the road): "Was."

    ANDREW (deflating, getting it): "Oh."

    HARMONY (all nostalgic and pleased with herself): "I dated their lead singer for a while, you know."

    LARRY (flat): "You went out with him twice."

    HARMONY: "Well, it might have lasted longer, if he hadn't gone and got himself killed."

    The only outward sign of reaction Oz gives to this tactless reminder of sorrows past is an almost imperceptible tightening of his grip on the wheel. But Larry is annoyed enough for both of them.

    LARRY: "He'd already dumped you long before then."

    Harmony gets huffy, but Andrew's mind is still on bands, music and happier days.

    ANDREW (all dreamy and nostalgic): "We used to get all kinds of really cool bands playing in town. You know, before things got so?you know. It was cool. There was stuff to do in the nights."

    JONATHAN: "There's still stuff to do in the nights. Only less fun, and more about staying indoors than going out. Which, okay, isn't such a big shift for some people?"

    ANDREW: "All anyone ever does now is go to school, and die."

    LARRY (agreeing with him for once): "The dying part does tend to make the going to school part feel a lot more pointless."

    GILES (sternly, twisting in his seat to address them): "A solid education is vital for young people today, in Sunnydale as much as anywhere else."

    LARRY: "I can't believe you said that with a straight face. You saw the size of the graduating class last year."

    GILES: "Well, the numbers would have been swelled by two if you boys had put in a little more effort. I trust you'll be trying harder this year?"

    LARRY: "If we live that long."

    GILES: "A little less cynicism and a little more focus might help."

    LARRY: "I don't think any amount of focus would have got me through finals last year. Way too much crazy, all around."

    GILES (sighing): "Last year wasn't easy for any of us."

    LARRY: "Oz flunking out was the big shock.
    "He's meant to be some kind of unflappable genius ? so much less excuse for failing than me, brain-wise."

    GILES: "Yes, well, Oz's circumstances were?difficult last year."
    (Then to Oz ? who is still, very deliberately, not reacting to being talked about to his face)
    "However, I hope things will be different this time around, now that there's been time to adjust. Quite frankly, it would be ridiculous for a boy of your intelligence to repeat a second time."

    OZ (very mild): "Well, I'm hoping not."
    (He's still keeping his eyes on the road, the only one actually paying attention to their surroundings, and brakes suddenly)
    "We're in business."

    [On the streets of Sunnydale, evening]

    Luke and Darla's journey across town has taken a slight detour as the hungry vampires give chase to some random, hapless passer-by who made the mistake of wandering the streets after sunset. Luke takes him down just as the van screeches to a halt alongside.

    In an almost identical action replay of Cordelia's rescue in The Wish, Giles springs out of the front passenger side of the van, grasping a large wooden cross, while Oz, remaining at the wheel, trains a loaded crossbow on the vamps. The back door slides open and Larry leaps out, armed with cross and stake?and that's where the 'identical rescue' thing breaks down, because he is followed by the very incompetent Andrew and very nervous Jonathan, also wielding anti-vampire weaponry. Andrew immediately drops his cross and hastily stoops to pick it up again, stumbling against Jonathan's legs and almost tripping him. Larry's expression is black as thunder. But the rescue continues, nonetheless.

    GILES (to the vampires): "Back off!"

    Luke growls and drops the guy, who is still conscious and tries a couple times to scramble to his feet and run, only to find Darla in his way, forcing him to scrabble backward again, nearer to his rescuers. Darla doesn't make a move for him, rolling her eyes as though bored, while both she and Luke back off, Luke still glowering at the weapons being held against them.

    LARRY (hissing to the victim): "This way. That's it."

    Andrew, meanwhile, has regained his weapons and feet by now, and tries to imitate Larry's bold stance. He fails miserably ? just doesn't have the stature or build to pull it off. He does, however, edge a bit too close to the vampires. Seeing an opening, Luke lunges for him, swiping the cross out of his hand and grabbing him by the throat?

    ?But before Luke can snap Andrew's neck like a matchstick, a crossbow bolt takes him through the shoulder, just in the nick of time, although Andrew being in the way prevented a straight dusting. Dropping Andrew, Luke snarls with pain and rage.

    DARLA (rolling her eyes): "Idiot."

    In the van, Oz quickly starts to re-load his crossbow while Andrew, terrified by yet another narrow escape, stumbles backward, tripping into the man they were trying to rescue, so that both of them fall again. Groaning in exasperation, Larry yanks Andrew back to his feet and into the van, while Giles hastily does the same for the rescue-ee, both performing these operations one-handed rather than leave the timid Jonathan as the only person wielding any effective anti-vampire weaponry. Harmony has not emerged from the van.

    Everyone piles back into the van, and they take off at speed ? not the most efficient rescue ever, but at least they all survived.

    Luke and Darla glare disconsolately after them, Luke grunting in pain as he yanks the crossbow bolt out of his shoulder.

    DARLA: "Those damned White Hats."
    "I was hungry."

    Leave a comment:

  • Llywela

    Wish Unbroken


    [Giles' apartment, night]

    Bright white light fades, revealing that Anyanka has disappeared without trace. Abruptly released from her grasp, GILES staggers slightly. He looks all around, half-turning in all directions.

    Nothing has changed.

    Giles is horribly, painfully dismayed.

    GILES: "W-what? Why??"

    He sifts through the shattered remains of Anyanka's amulet, running the fragments through his fingers. Then he rushes back to his books and starts to frantically turn pages.

    [The factory, night]

    Humans and vampires are still fighting, although both sides have now lost their strongest fighters. The vampires are winning, having a field day with the human remnant. Blood and gore reign supreme. People are dying all around, in scenes of mayhem and carnage, although some have so far escaped vampiric attention by cowering in corners pretending to be invisible. As those trying to fight or escape drop like flies, it won't take long before that murderous attention reaches them, too.

    Close in on LARRY as he manages to twist away from the vampire he's struggling with, and sees another one chomping down on a young woman. He rushes to her rescue.

    Or tries to, at least. En route he gets sideswiped by a vampire, and is taken completely by surprise. All seems lost.

    But then OZ weaves his way through the mass of bodies, his smaller size giving him a slight advantage here. He has a piece of wood in his hand, and drives it into the back of the vampire attacking Larry. The vampire crumbles into dust.

    Larry nods to Oz in silent acknowledgement of assistance rendered, and then turns back to the woman he was trying to save. She is now beyond help. Rage born of helpless frustration floods across his face.

    OZ: "Larry!"

    Oz smacks Larry's arm to get his attention. He's spotted a possible exit ? a door, the curtain that was covering it now torn half down, with junk piled up in front of it. Unguarded.

    Knowing there's pretty much nothing more they can do for the other people here, except perhaps die with them, the boys try to make their way toward that exit, having to fight their way out.

    They work well together, and have been pretty well trained, despite lacking any special skills or powers. They've never had any superheroes around to help them ? they've had to rely on themselves. Each other. They've lasted longer than any of the other White Hats, except of course Giles. Surviving has become something they're good at.

    The vampires have got sufficiently carried away with the fight to leave the lesser exits unguarded, and the boys make it to the half-hidden door Oz spotted. Larry goes first, shoving junk aside to clear the doorway. As Oz makes to follow him, an arm wraps itself around his neck, dragging him backward and half strangling him.

    [Giles' apartment, night]

    Giles's hands are trembling as he drops herbs into the golden goblet again. He has the book with Anyanka's summoning ritual open in front of him, his free hand holding the page open, finger pointing to the appropriate passage.

    GILES (his tone angry): "Anyanka, I beseech thee, in the name of all women scorned..."
    (He adds more herbs to the fire, his voice becoming desperate)
    "Come before me, dammit! Tell me what went wrong!"

    [Factory, night]

    His escape prevented, Oz is slammed against a wall by the vampire accosting him. He staggers, half falling. The vampire moves in for the kill?but is then tackled to the floor.

    It is Larry, come charging back into the fray when he realised Oz was no longer behind him. Oz snatches up a piece of wood from the floor and holds it out to Larry, who takes it and stakes the vampire. The boys don't even stop to see it dust, sprinting for the exit once more.

    A couple of battered looking humans unfold from their hiding place behind a stack of crates and follow them.

    [Alley outside the factory, night]

    Larry and Oz exit the building at speed, and then lean against the wall, breathing hard and scanning the alleyway around them. This has been a difficult night. And it isn't over yet.

    LARRY: "C'mon. We can't stay here."

    Oz nods, and they straighten up, preparing to make tracks at speed.

    VOICE (OS): "Hey, wait up."

    Alarmed, the boys turn to see another boy coming out of the same exit they just used. This is ANDREW. He's a year or so younger than them, and is dirty, bruised and scared.

    Larry and Oz frown slightly, not recognising him, and wary of potential traps.

    ANDREW (panicked): "Don't leave me here. Us here. They're going to kill us!"

    Behind him we now see another boy, shorter than Andrew but equally battered and scared looking. JONATHAN. Larry groans.

    LARRY (belligerent): "Man, of all the things I did not need tonight?"

    JONATHAN (anxious): "I-I-I?w-we were gonna die in there?"

    ANDREW: "I saw you find this door, so I kinda thought?and then they?and I didn't think we'd ?"

    OZ (phlegmatic): "Least they're alive."

    His attention shifts. Behind the two boys comes a girl, taller than them both, but just as scared. It is?

    OZ: "Harmony."

    Larry's look of disgust intensifies.

    LARRY: "Oh, you gotta be kidding me."

    HARMONY (indignant and borderline hysterical): "Don't be like that! I just almost got killed and stuff. You have to help me!"

    OZ: "No, we all have to get out of here, right now before they follow us."

    LARRY: "We're going."

    Glancing around to make sure the coast is clear and that no one else ? like, oh, say a vampire or five ? has followed them out, he strides away down the alley. Oz pauses to look at the other three for a second, and then follows.

    Andrew, Jonathan and Harmony exchange frightened glances, and then scamper after them.

    [Random street in Sunnydale, night]

    Although Larry went ahead, it is Oz who has taken the lead. They are both very much on the alert, scanning the street around them, peering into the shadows, glancing over their shoulders, absolutely aware that the danger might not be over. Jonathan is trying to imitate their watchfulness, while Harmony scurries alongside Larry, clutching at his sleeve. He tries to shake her off, increasing his speed.

    Close on Andrew, eyes wide, staring all around as he trots to keep up with the pace Oz and Larry are setting. If this is a nightmare he's trapped in, he's?strangely exhilarated by it.

    ANDREW: "I never usually come out in the night. It's dark, and there are always vampires and stuff. Is it safe for us to be out here like this?"

    OZ: "It's Sunnydale. It's night."
    (Shakes his head)
    "It's not safe."

    HARMONY: "It's safer out here than it was in that filthy vampire-infested factory."

    She's still sticking as close to Larry as he'll let her. He's big and strong, her best bet for protection in the event of another attack.

    JONATHAN (glancing around warily): "You don't think any of them followed us, do you?"

    LARRY (tired and angry): "Why are any of you following us? Go home!"

    HARMONY: "Yeah, as if! I figure we're much safer sticking together as a group. That way, when the vampires attack, I'll have time to escape while you guys fight them off."

    Larry grits his teeth in exasperation.

    OZ: "Nice to know you're thinking of us."

    JONATHAN (all big scared eyes and solemn expression): "T-that was him, wasn't it? The master vampire no one ever sees, the one they all work for?"

    Oz nods. His expression is grim.

    LARRY (sarcastic): "Yeah. You got to see the Master. Make you feel all special?"

    JONATHAN (absolutely serious): "N-no, not really. Mostly, it just made me feel scared."

    ANDREW (awed): "Wow. We faced the Master, and we survived. That's so cool!"

    Larry lets out a sigh of frustration. He's really, really pissed off about everything that's happened tonight, but mostly about having these three dorks tagging along.

    LARRY (to Oz): "Where exactly are we going, anyway?"

    OZ: "Giles needs to know what went down here tonight."

    [Giles' apartment, night]

    Giles sits in silence, staring at the mess scattered all around him ? books strewn across every surface, spell-casting paraphernalia spread over the table and fallen onto the floor. Despair is written all across his face. That better world he so wanted to believe in has not materialised, and all hope for a better future is gone.

    GILES (muttering to himself): "'Destroying the power center should reverse all wishes', my arse."
    (Shouts angrily at one book in particular)
    "Nothing was reversed, nothing at all! How is this a better world?"

    The doorbell rings. Giles starts, glances toward the door, but makes no move to answer it, slouching back into his chair.

    The doorbell rings again. And again. Giles continues to ignore it.

    The bell rings again, and this time keeps on ringing. Giles stares at the door for a moment, then sighs, and stands up.

    [Outside Giles' apartment, night]

    Larry is standing ? or leaning, rather ? with his forehead resting against the door, thumb pressed on the doorbell to produce a continuous ring. Oz is at his side, fidgeting nervously. At last Giles opens the door, causing Larry to stumble slightly as his headrest disappears from under him.

    GILES (weary): "All right, I'm here. What's wrong?"

    LARRY: "Trouble of the major league variety."

    Giles sighs, and opens the door a little wider to allow the boys in.

    He then double takes as three more teenagers unexpectedly appear from out of shot, and frowns in bemusement as they also enter, without so much as a by-your-leave ? Andrew excited, Jonathan subdued, and Harmony?well, Harmony being Harmony.

    [Inside Giles' apartment, night]

    Everyone troops in. Larry and Oz are quite familiar with the place. They've been here before, probably many times, but are surprised to find it in such a mess. Andrew and Jonathan gaze around, wide-eyed and a little intimidated. Harmony looks bored, and starts nosing about.

    Closing the front door, Giles follows them into the lounge, eyeing the three interlopers with deep suspicion.

    GILES: "Uh, excuse me? I'm sorry, what exactly is the meaning of this invasion? At this hour?"

    ANDREW (eagerly, thrusting out a hand, which Giles rather bemusedly shakes): "I'm Andrew. Wells. And this is?"
    (Looks at Jonathan, frowns)
    "Who are you again?"

    JONATHAN (trying hard to shrink into the background): "Jonathan."

    ANDREW: "We're kind of, like, like refugees, seeking sanctuary from the, uh ?"

    GILES (ignoring him and cutting in before he can go on): "Harmony's acquaintance, of course, I've already had the displeasure of making."

    Harmony grins, absolutely not getting the insult, and carries on nosing around, examining the contents of Giles' lounge.

    GILES (cont.): "But a round of introductions isn't quite what I was looking for."
    (To Oz and Larry)
    "I thought I told you boys to go home and get some rest."

    OZ: "Tried. Didn't get very far."

    LARRY: "Vamps pulled a great big cattle round-up on us. Ended up caged like animals, just waiting for the slaughter."

    Giles takes a statuette off Harmony and replaces it on the mantel. Harmony pouts.

    GILES: "Good Lord. How many?"

    OZ: "Maybe three dozen."

    ANDREW: "But we escaped! There was, like, this huge epic battle, a bit like the start of Jedi when Luke rescues Han, and, everyone, from Jabba the Hutt. Except for the ?"

    GILES (cutting across his babble again): "Three dozen? A battle? And?and how many escaped?"

    Larry and Oz exchange a grim look, and glance toward Andrew, Jonathan and Harmony ? the only survivors they know of. Giles understands, doesn't press the point. He takes his glasses off and pinches the bridge of his nose, weary.

    GILES: "T-the Slayer. Buffy. She was here, she went after the Master?"

    LARRY: "Blonde chick with a scar?"
    (He gestures to his lip to indicate the location of the scar.)

    Giles is nervous now, beginning to realise what's coming. He nods, a look of dread creeping across his face.

    GILES: "Y-yes?It appears my many calls had some impact at last, and s-she arrived here spoiling for a fight?W-what happened? Is she??"

    OZ (very blunt): "Dead."

    Giles slumps onto an armchair, shattered.

    OZ (more gently): Took out a couple vamps en route, though."

    LARRY (with satisfaction): "Xander? Willow? Dust. Along with a goodly number of the Master's other chief lieutenants, I might add, and thanks in no small way to Oz and me. We killed as many as this Slayer of yours, and got out alive."

    GILES (murmuring, almost on autopilot): "Yes. I-I suppose that's something to be grateful for, yes, but the Slayer?"

    He can't go on. Long before the necklace of Anyanka gave him an alternative to aim for, all his hopes had been pinned on the Slayer. He really believed that if the Slayer came, things would change. She would save them all. But now it seems his eventual success in bringing her here was for nothing. She has gone charging in unprepared and planless, and failed.

    OZ (apologetic): "There's more."

    GILES (bitter): "Yes. Yes, of course there is. There's always more."

    OZ (worried): "Giles?"

    HARMONY (bored of waiting): "Tell him about the machine."

    That actually sparks some interest in Giles.

    GILES: "Machine?"

    OZ: "Ever wondered what to get the vampire who has everything?"

    GILES (impatient): "Not really, no."

    ANDREW (butting in, eager to contribute): "It was a blood-sucking machine. They put this girl in it, and sucked the blood right out of her! And then it poured the blood back out like a cocktail, only without the little umbrella. Or the spirits, or ?"

    Harmony gives a choked sob.

    HARMONY: "Holly. It was Holly?"

    All four guys become uncomfortable and start to fidget awkwardly, unsure what to do with a sobbing Harmony. Andrew and Jonathan have little experience of females, period, and the others have been too focused on war and survival for too long for such niceties. This isn't the time or the place. Plus, it's Harmony.

    When male shoulders to cry on prove in short supply, she glares at them, annoyed, not a tear in sight.

    HARMONY: "Well, she was my friend, and now she's dead, and I nearly was, too."

    GILES (patting her shoulder): "There, there."
    (Turns back to Larry and Oz)
    "Tell me more about this machine."

    [Still in Giles' apartment, later that night]

    The camera pans around the room, picking out each of the occupants.

    Harmony has fallen asleep on the couch and is snoring contentedly, apparently untroubled by her fright and upset of earlier.

    Giles, Larry and Oz are lounging around the table, tired and despondent, talking in quiet voices. Worried. Depressed. This has been such a bad night, in a long line of bad nights, stretching back for almost two years now. Far too long.

    Close on Andrew and Jonathan, sitting together in a corner keeping out of the way. Jonathan keeps looking over to the table where the core three are talking, trying to listen in on a bit of their conversation, still subdued, and very thoughtful. Andrew, meanwhile, is more interested in gazing around at the contents of Giles' apartment, intrigued. Giles has a lot of cool stuff for a librarian. He looks across to the window. It is still very dark outside.

    ANDREW: "So. D'you think they'll let us stay?"

    JONATHAN (distracted, not looking at him): "What?"

    ANDREW: "For the rest of the night? Y'know ? until it gets light, and?y'know, safe again. The librarian seems kinda tense."

    JONATHAN (still more interested in the other conversation): "I think he'd have made us leave by now if he was going to."

    He keeps looking over to the table, trying to hear the conversation, wanting to know what's going on. He's always buried his head in the sand up till now, ostrich-style?

    Camera follows Jonathan's gaze back across to the table where Team White Hat is de-briefing, and focuses on them.

    LARRY: "So this patron saint of the vengeful thing was a total bust, then?"

    GILES (bitter once more): "So it would appear. Th-th-this volume,"
    (He taps a book)
    "Suggested that destroying Anyanka's power center would reverse all wishes. The only effect, however, was to banish the demon herself, and ?"

    LARRY (getting wound up): "And now you don't even have the power center any more, so you can't try anything else with it."

    GILES: "No."

    His tone is harsh, bitter. He'd so badly wanted to believe that the nightmare that is their world could have been changed, somehow, anyhow, into something better. That the horror could have been ended.

    OZ (trying to be positive): "But we're no worse off, right?"

    GILES (flat, defeated): "The Slayer is dead."

    OZ: "But there'll be another one. That's how you said it works. One dies, the next one gets called."

    LARRY (angry with the world): "That won't help us, will it? They can call as many Slayers as they like ? they never send them here where we need them!"

    GILES: "Larry is right."
    (He sighs, very heavily)
    "In fact, you're both right. There is no reason to suppose that the next Slayer will be posted here any more than this last girl was. We've coped without a Slayer before, so we shall just have to continue to do so."

    Oz nods, looking determined.

    But Giles sighs again, still so horribly depressed.

    GILES: "And yet?I can't help feeling that it might perhaps be better if we simply cut our losses before it's too late for all of us."

    LARRY: "You mean run away? Leave town?"

    Oz is shaking his head firmly.

    OZ: "Can't. Family's here, what's left of it. And, you know, other folk."

    LARRY: "Yeah. We do good work. Who else is gonna keep the vamps down and protect all those suckers out there?"

    GILES: "You could die doing that good work. We all could. So many already have?we were barely managing to hold back the tide as it was, and now?"
    (Bitter again)
    "What good does it do, in the end?"

    LARRY (very simply): "Might save a few first. You taught us that."

    Depressed as he is, Giles can't help but smile. Proud. Reminded that for all the loss and devastation around him, he has achieved something. He's trained these boys to survive: to protect themselves, each other, and anyone else they can, even if only for one more day of life. Maybe it's enough. Maybe each 'one more day' is enough to live and fight for.

    LARRY: "Seriously, where else could we go, what would we do, after this?"

    OZ: "This is our world. Might as well accept that and get on with it."

    GILES (resigned, accepting his fate, their fate): "Yes. Yes, you're right again."
    (His tone becomes brisk: back to business, no more wallowing)
    "Now, I suppose we should prepare for what's to come."

    LARRY: "Oh, now that sounds like something to look forward to."

    GILES (assuming lecture-mode): "The Master has suffered a serious set-back, and at great cost. His position has been severely weakened with the loss of his most valued supporters, and he's likely to be extremely angry about that. I've no doubt he'll need some time to re-group. But once the, ah, dust is settled, reprisals are almost certain. We must be prepared for that."

    He looks at the two boys very seriously: tired and worried.

    GILES: "And yet, our own position is far weaker still, our numbers dwindling more with each passing month."

    Oz looks down at the table, and Larry's jaw tightens. They lost a good friend and teammate just yesterday. Nancy. The latest in a long, long line of loss.

    Behind them, Jonathan nervously approaches the table.

    GILES (cont.): "And recruitment is far easier for the vampires than it is for us. All we have is the three of us ?"

    JONATHAN (hesitant): "Four of us. I-I mean you. Uh, us."

    Giles, Larry and Oz turn to look at him in surprise.

    Jonathan looks petrified, but determined. He doesn't want to be pushed away or talked out of this. Ostrich days are over.

    JONATHAN (sincere, big eyes): "I've seen too many people die. I can't just ignore it. Not now, not after everything. I-I know I'm not really good for much, but?I-if there's anything I can do to help you, I want to try. I-if, I mean, if you want me?"

    His voice tails off. Not many people have ever wanted him, or taken him seriously, in his entire life. But this is something he wants to do, badly enough to face up to the prospect of rejection.

    Team White Hat look unsure, especially when Andrew bounces over to stand next to Jonathan, all eagerness and excitement beside the other boy's anxiety.

    ANDREW (keen not to be left out): "And me! I want in, too."

    HARMONY (off screen): "Are you all completely crazy?"

    They all turn to see that Harmony has woken up and is staring at them incredulously.

    HARMONY: "I don't know about you jerks, but I came here because I thought it would be safe, not to join an army."

    JONATHAN (anxious): "I kinda think joining this army might be the only way to be safe."

    GILES: "I wouldn't be so sure about that, if I were you. You might want to think long and hard before signing up for this."

    Larry scowls, annoyed that Giles is even considering letting these two join their team, no matter how short-staffed they are.

    OZ: "Also, this really isn't an army."

    LARRY: "Yeah. An actual army has, like?uniforms. Real weapons. And, you know, whole platoons of soldiers."

    He looks wistful. Longing. What they wouldn't give for a whole platoon of soldiers, or even half a platoon, given what they are up against, given the tremendous odds they've already battled against, for so long, in such small numbers. And also, just maybe, fantasising a little about a platoon of men in uniform?

    JONATHAN: "What do you call yourselves then?"

    OZ (shrugging): "Us."

    Leave a comment:

  • Llywela
    started a topic Wish Unbroken

    Wish Unbroken

    Nothing new here - this is an old fic finding a new home.

    Disclaimer: The characters and scenarios depicted herein are the property of sundry people who are not me. I am merely borrowing them, with no intent to defraud, and am making no profit from this.

    The lengthy teaser comes straight from the BtVS episode The Wish, transcript courtesy of Buffyworld, first airdate 8 December 1998. The story directly follows that episode.

    What if the spell didn't break? What if all parallel universes have to exist somewhere??

    Wish Unbroken


    [Sunnydale High]

    CORDELIA: "I wish that Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale."

    ANYANKA: "Done."

    [At the library]

    OZ: "So Cordelia wished for something? Well, if it was a long, healthy life, she should get her money back."

    GILES: "She said something about everything being different, that the... the world wasn't supposed to be like this. It was, um, better. Before."

    LARRY: "Okay. The entire world sucks because some dead ditz made a wish?"
    (Gets looks from Giles and Oz)
    "I just, I just want it clear."

    [Giles' apartment]

    GILES: "Ah! Ah! Ah! Yes!"
    (Glances at Buffy and stands up)
    "'In order to defeat Anyanka, one must destroy her power center."
    (Walks down the steps)
    "This should reverse all the wishes she's granted, rendering her mortal and powerless again.'"

    BUFFY: "World is what it is. We fight. We die. Wishing doesn't change that."

    GILES: "I have to believe in a better world."

    BUFFY: "Go ahead. I have to live in this one."

    [The Master's factory]

    The camera pans from a control panel across the crowd of gathering vampires, past a wooden cage full of humans, including Oz and Larry, and the machine waiting in front of it, and over to the Master up on a stage.

    MASTER: "Vampires, come! Behold the technical wonder, which is about to alter the very fabric of our society. Some have argued that such an advancement goes against our nature. They claim that death is our art. I say to them... Well, I don't say anything to them because I kill them. Undeniably we are the world's superior race."
    (The camera closes in on him)
    "Yet we have always been too parochial, too bound by the mindless routine of the predator. Hunt and kill, hunt and kill. Titillating? Yes. Practical? Hardly. Meanwhile, the humans, with their plebeian minds, have brought us a truly demonic concept:"
    (Spreads his arms)
    "Mass production!"

    [Giles' apartment]

    He has several bags and bowls of various herbs and powders laid out on his chess table. He grabs a couple of them and goes over to his desk with them, where he has a large golden goblet already smouldering. He pulls bits of an herb from a bushel and drops them into the goblet as he recites the ritual to summon Anyanka.

    GILES: "Oh... Anyanka... I-I beseech thee..."
    (Puts on his glasses to read)
    (Turns a page)
    "In the name of all women scorned..."
    (Adds more herb to the fire)
    "Come before me."

    He looks around his apartment to see where she might appear. She does so, but in the shadows under the stairs to his loft, where he doesn't notice. Slowly she walks into the dim light of the room.

    GILES: "Oh!"
    (Lets out a nervous breath)

    ANYANKA: "Do you have any idea what I do to a man who uses that spell to summon me?"

    Giles gazes at her with a look of foreboding.

    [The factory]

    MASTER: "Bring on the first!"

    At the cage the vampires shove a couple of the humans back from the gate, lift off the crossbar and open it. Oz realizes what's about to happen, but is held back when he tries to help her. Two vampires go into the cage and choose a victim.

    Some of the men in the cage attempt to resist and help her, but they are easily knocked aside. Once the vampires have her outside, one of them shocks her with a cattle prod. Her body goes limp. The gates to the cage are closed, and the mortals all gather to watch in horror. The two vampires drag her to the end of the machine. One of them lifts her into a long stainless steel pan like the ones used for autopsies and lays her down in it.

    MASTER: "She's still alive, you see, for the freshness."

    The machine is turned on, and the pan moves along the conveyor to the blood draining station. On either side are four arms that extend over the girl, each with a very large needle on the end. They all plunge into her body and begin to suck the blood from it. At one end of the contraption is a tap for sampling the blood, and a glass is filled for the Master to taste. In the cage Larry and Oz watch in horror and disbelief.

    At the back of the factory, Buffy and Angel peek around a corner. On the machine the girl lets out her last few muffled sounds and dies. Xander and Willow watch with anticipation.

    ANGEL: "What's the plan?"

    BUFFY (holds up her stake): "Don't fall on this."

    The glass with the blood sample is passed up to the Master. He holds it up to his subjects for a toast.

    MASTER: "Welcome to the future."

    VAMPIRES: "To the future! To the future! To the future!"

    Buffy raises her crossbow at the Master and fires. Instantly the Master pulls Xander in front of him, and the bolt hits him in the right shoulder. Buffy aims the crossbow at another target, but it gets knocked from her hand. Panic sets in among the vampires. Buffy ducks a wide swing from a vampire. She jumps up and brings her foot down to smash the back of his knee. Angel attacks a vampire by the cage, punches him in the face and shoves him aside. He rushes over to the gate and throws off the crossbar.

    Angel throws open the cage's gate and starts pulling people out. Buffy twists a vampire's arm around, immobilizing him, and does a jumping roundhouse kick to his gut. The crowd of humans streams into the fray. Oz reaches up and breaks a piece off of one of the wooden cage bars. He immediately jams it into the back of a vampire. All around humans and vampires fight. Xander and Willow finally decide it's time to join in and jump down from the stage.

    [Giles' apartment]

    Anyanka slowly approaches Giles, who bravely stands his ground.

    GILES: "Cordelia Chase. What did she wish for?"

    ANYANKA: "I had no idea her wish would be so exciting! Brave New World. I hope she likes it."

    [The factory]

    Willow swings at Buffy, but misses as Buffy ducks the punch. Buffy backhand punches Willow in the face and follows up with a roundhouse kick to her stomach. Willow falls to the ground. Buffy senses something behind her and turns around in time to backhand punch an incoming vampire. She spins around again, this time to face Xander. She grabs onto his shoulder and yanks his body down to meet her knee, getting him twice in the gut and then in the face. She turns again to find her next target. Xander gets to his feet and comes at Buffy. Angel sees him make his move, and runs to Buffy's aid.

    ANGEL: "Buffy, look out!"

    Still unaware of Xander's imminent attack, Buffy roundhouse kicks another vampire while holding onto his arm. She lets go of him as he falls. Angel runs past her and uppercuts Xander in the face. Xander in turn lunges at Angel with the crossbow bolt that he's pulled from his shoulder, and impales Angel. Angel turns to face Buffy and grabs his wound.

    ANGEL: "Buffy..."

    He crumbles to ash. Buffy takes it like he's just another dead vampire, and marches over to another fray to continue the fight.

    Buffy notices a vampire run up behind her and backhand punches him, sending him flying through the air. She turns her attention back to Xander, who is just throwing a man aside. He sees her coming, and advances on her in turn. He swings at Buffy, and she punches his arm away. Taking advantage of the opening, she swings her stake into his chest, and he explodes into ashes. Without a care, Buffy turns back around and starts looking for her next victim. Willow sees her love staked and makes a move toward Buffy, but Larry grabs her by an arm and tries to pull her back. Oz shakes free of a vampire and runs to Larry's assistance, grabbing her by the waist and shoving her back into a broken piece of the cage. She instantly bursts into ashes.

    Buffy high side kicks a vampire in the face, knocking him to the floor, and turns to face the Master. He slides down the stair railings from the stage and shoves aside the vampire and mortal blocking his way. Buffy begins a determined stride in his direction. The Master shoves more people and vampires aside in his determination to get at the Slayer. Buffy does the same.

    [Giles' Apartment]

    Anya holds Giles against a wall, choking him. Just then he notices the amulet around Anyanka's neck begin to glow green, and makes a grab for it, wresting it from her neck. This causes her to let go of him, and he backhand punches her in the face, sending her staggering across the room.

    [The factory]
    Buffy and the Master finally meet with swings that middle block each other. Buffy tries to wrap her hands around the Master's forearm.

    [Giles's apartment]

    He scrambles to his desk, lays the amulet on it and searches frantically for something to smash it with. He soon has his marble paperweight in his hand. Anyanka gets up from the floor.

    ANYANKA: "You trusting fool! How do you know the other world is any better than this?"

    GILES: "Because it has to be."

    [The factory]

    The Master does a backhand swing, snapping Buffy's head back, dazing her. He grabs her by the shoulders and pulls her to him.

    [Giles's apartment]

    He raises the paperweight and starts to swing it down with full force at Anyanka's amulet.

    ANYANKA: "No!"

    [The factory]

    The Master grabs Buffy's head.

    [Giles's apartment]

    He swings the paperweight down.

    [The factory]

    The Master gives Buffy's head a hard twist, snapping her neck.

    [Giles's apartment]

    He smashes the paperweight onto Anyanka's amulet. It shatters into thousands of pieces and emits a burst of green light.

    [The factory]

    The Master watches as Buffy's body begins to fall, then moves on. The picture fades to bright white.