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Buffy Episode 9.16 182. The Dividing Lines

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  • Buffy Episode 9.16 182. The Dividing Lines

    Hi, this is the sixteenth episode of Buffy Season 9 by me. I hope you enjoy reading it. If you have feedback, please post it here; both positive comments and constructive criticism are welcome

    Buffy Episode 9.16 182. The Dividing Lines

    Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They belong to Fox Studios and Joss Whedon. This work is fictional and is only for my and others entertainment. Therefore no infringement is intended. I do not intend to make a profit from this work. However I own all characters that have not previously appeared/been mentioned on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so I can do whatever I like with them. Therefore any unauthorised usage of these characters is not permitted.

    ACT I

    Open on a door opening. Three pairs of feet appear in the doorway. Those in the middle belong to a figure being dragged by the two on either side of him/her. The figures all stop next to a cell and the door is opened. The middle figure is thrown in by the other two. The figure hits the ground hard and emits a small groan but doesn't appear to be fully conscious. The door is slammed shut and the other two figures walk away. The figure in the cell shifts uncomfortably. As the camera shows them in more detail it is revealed to be a man in his early 20s. As his face is facing the ground only his left eye can be seen. It opens slowly. It is yellow.

    Cut to Paula standing with her arms crossed in an office type room. Heather is stood opposite her looking serious. Harold is seen sat at a desk nearby. Heather glances at him and then at Paula.


    Heather: You realise this will accomplish nothing more than strengthening mistrust?

    Paula: Our primary concern is that the public are safe. Mutant vampires are hardly something that we want let loose in society.

    Heather looks annoyed.

    Heather: They're still part of the public. Or do they no longer matter because they happen to be slightly different from the rest?

    Harold: Slightly? That's an interesting term to use Miss Marques.

    Heather looks at him. There is a pause.

    Heather: This is the difference between you and me. Everything is very black and white for you isn't it? There's no room for a middle path.

    Harold: Not if we want to save lives.

    Heather: You know I heard a rumour that it's the twenty first century.

    She says "twenty first century" very bitterly.

    Paula: Well Heather I think you're getting too personally involved.

    Heather: So I'm meant to stand back and agree to locking up every victim of the vampire "cure" we come across?

    Harold: That would be your job yes.

    Heather turns to him quickly.

    Heather: Not anymore.

    Heather takes a coat off a chair and walks to the door.

    Paula: Heather don't be so stupid.

    Heather stops and turns to Paula.

    Heather: That's exactly what I have been for the last few years. I can't be that person anymore. Now I'm sure I'll be seeing you?that is if you're not slaughtering anyone you consider to be even the slightest bit unacceptable to be a member of our perfect, perfect race.

    Heather gives them a disgusted look and walks out. She walks down the corridor looking resolute but there is a twinge of worry in her eyes.

    Cut to Lauren sat in the Summers' living room. Buffy and Dawn are sat on the sofa nearby.


    Lauren: We don't know where else to look.

    Buffy looks serious. Dawn stares into space.

    Dawn: Maybe she doesn't wanna be found?

    She looks at Lauren and then at Buffy.

    Dawn: She must know we lied to her?she might not trust us anymore.

    Buffy: Either way she shouldn't have to deal with this on her own. I mean we can't even tell that much from the other victims that have been found right?

    She looks at Lauren.

    Lauren: We don't know if they're going to be permanently affected, no.

    Dawn: But they're stuck in between?

    Lauren: Basically, yes. Direct sunlight only gives them slight burns, but they have healing abilities. Their eyes are yellow, but there are no signs of other vampire physical features.

    Dawn: And Golda's like that?somewhere.

    Buffy looks grave.

    Buffy: What are the GSPST planning on doing with them?

    Lauren: I don't know for certain but?I'm not sure they'll be treated particularly kindly.

    Buffy looks serious.

    Buffy: I'm gonna have to talk to them.

    Lauren: Buffy I'm not sure it'll do much good-

    Buffy: I have to do something. I'm not gonna leave them there to face-

    There is a blinding light in the middle of the room. Buffy, Dawn and Lauren shield their eyes as the light gets larger and then fades. Buffy, Dawn and Lauren look. The woman from Tactics and Pandora's Box is stood in the middle of the room. But another figure is stood next to her. It's Willow. Buffy's eyes widen. Dawn and Lauren also look shocked. The woman smiles. Willow smiles also and looks a little awkward.

    Willow: Hi?

    Opening credits.

    Starring:

    SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR - Buffy Summers
    NICHOLAS BRENDAN - Xander Harris
    ALYSON HANNIGAN - Willow Rosenberg
    MICHELLE TRACHTENBURG - Dawn Summers
    KATIE HOLMES - Kelly Rivers
    ANNA PAQUIN - Golda Lawowich
    ROSAMUND PIKE - Heather Marques
    ANTHONY STEWART HEAD - Rupert Giles

    Special Guest Star:

    CATE BLANCHETT - Woman
    HELEN MIRRAN - Althanea

    Guest Starring:

    CAROLINE CHIKEZIE - Lauren
    ALICE KRIGE - Alethea
    IMELDA STAUNTON - Paula
    ALAN RICKMAN - Harold

    Open on Willow standing amongst purple and blue light. The woman appears behind her.

    Willow: This place?I remember it.

    Woman: What you remember is a dream.

    Willow turns to her.

    Willow: Then, what you told me wasn't-

    Woman: I wish it was only a fantasy. But it remains real.
    Willow looks grave.

    Willow: Then why am I here?

    Woman: The spell you performed is more than a clear indication that your spiritual power has far exceeded your physical purpose on Earth.

    Willow: What do you mean? I thought you told me-

    Woman: As I said?it remains the truth. But this may be a way for you to escape the consequences.

    Willow: How?

    Woman: The time has come, Willow. You must choose if you wish to become one of us.

    Willow turns away looking uncertain.

    Cut to Buffy, Lauren, Dawn, Willow and the woman in the Summers' living room. There is a short pause as Buffy, Dawn and Lauren stare at Willow. After a few seconds Buffy embraces Willow tightly, closing her eyes with relief.


    Buffy: Willow, thank God!

    Willow hugs Buffy. Dawn looks relieved.

    Willow: Sorry to worry you guys.

    Buffy pulls back and smiles.

    Buffy: Slight understatement.

    Woman: I apologise for the method in which Willow was brought to us. If we had had time we would have assured you that she would return.

    Buffy looks confused. Willow looks around.

    Willow: The others should be here.

    Buffy: They should?

    Dawn: What's going on?

    She looks at the woman.

    Dawn: Who are you exactly?

    Willow looks at the woman.

    Woman: Buffy may remember us.

    Even Willow looks surprised at this.

    Dawn: What?

    Buffy frowns.

    Buffy: You're?you were in my dream?The First Good?

    The woman smiles.

    Woman: In this world?yes we are.

    She then looks from Dawn to Buffy to Lauren.

    Woman: The evil in this world puts you all in jeopardy. The smallest child, to the oldest woman.

    Dawn: The First?

    Woman: No.

    Lauren: Malachi?

    Woman: Precisely. And we may have a way to destroy the threat he poses to you?absolutely.

    Cut to Giles walking into the room, some time later. Kelly and Xander have also arrived at this time. Giles looks tired, but also surprised to see Willow and the woman.

    Willow: Giles!

    Giles smiles as best he can. He and Willow hug for a second.

    Giles: I'm glad you're all right.

    Willow pulls back and smiles.

    Willow: I'm more than all right.

    She indicates the woman.

    Giles: Ah?yes.

    Buffy: Giles you're gonna wanna hear this.

    Giles sits down.

    Giles: I see.

    Woman: As I have explained to the others?we now have the ability to eradicate Malachi Edison, as you know him, and his forces from this world.

    Giles looks serious. Xander shifts uncomfortably.

    Giles: And how do you propose to do that?

    Woman: We have the power. Willow has the power.

    Giles: Ah I thought she might be involved with this.

    Buffy frowns at Giles' tone.

    Buffy: Giles I know it sounds pretty big?and it is, but-

    Woman: They have caused you great suffering.

    Giles looks sad as the woman stares at him knowingly.

    Willow: We know what happened with Siobhan and Julia.

    Dawn looks sombre, as do the others.

    Woman: This damage cannot be restored?but we can prevent the pure demons from harming this world and its inhabitants further.

    Xander: I thought you guys weren't supposed to interfere. Isn't that your big deal?

    The woman looks serious.

    Woman: It is time that you learn the truth. You have been kept in the dark for too long.

    Buffy frowns.

    Buffy: What?

    Woman: Allow me to explain?from the beginning.

    [I]Cut to a silver light surrounded by black space.

    Woman VO: Time began?and we were the first creations. The Powers That Be.

    Another light spins around it. Then a third, a fourth, and soon there are around twenty silver lights.

    Woman VO: Corporeality soon followed.

    Cut to one of the silver lights forming a hand. There is still an ethereal element to the figure.

    Woman VO: We were created one and the same?neutral?for a time.

    The figures walk among the blue and purple lights that Willow and the woman were seen standing earlier.

    Woman VO: But evil engulfed even the higher planes, like a plague. Those intent on gaining power and control became twisted?all manner of grace abandoned their forms?they adopted those of demons?and became The Senior Partners.

    The ethereal glow of a hand is replaced by the claw of a demon. A close up of two red eyes shows them narrowing.

    Woman VO: But the rest of us retained our purity. We strived to maintain balance in the world.

    The woman, in the higher planes, smiles.

    Woman VO: Many ages past?and there was never a great triumph for the forces of good, evil always overcame it?until one of us defected from the old ways.

    There is a close up of Jasmine's eyes flicking upwards to stare at the screen.

    Woman VO: Her methods were ruthless?but her aim was admirable. Others soon followed in her footsteps. The Powers That Be were broken by controversy?and that is how our faction came into being.

    The woman and several others are seen walking amongst fire.

    Woman VO: There was never a voice for triumph against evil?until we made one. We are, for all need?"The First Good".


    Cut back to the Summers' living room.

    Dawn: So?you all began the same.

    Woman: Yes. As did you.

    Dawn looks surprised. Buffy looks at her and then at the woman.

    Woman: The Key was also a tool forged in the fires of creation. It was not given consciousness?as it would have been too terrible to even conceive of. But now, of course, all is well.

    Dawn still looks disturbed.

    Buffy: So you can intervene because you're not The Powers That Be?

    The woman nods.

    Woman: Because we chose not to ignore the pain humans suffer. We do, in essence, seek the same end as The Powers?but it is time we did what we should have done millennia ago. It is time we fought as you do.

    Xander: By using Willow?

    Giles looks serious.

    Woman: Her power used in collaboration with our own will end this.

    Giles: In what way exactly?

    Woman: Demons?vampires?they will cease to exist in this dimension. As Buffy is aware, The First Evil is already contained in the minds of humans?we can never truly eliminate it. But weakening its children is an aim within our grasp.

    The others look serious.

    Kelly: Buffy you never said anything about meeting these guys before.

    Xander: And you knew The First Evil was back?

    Buffy: It never went away. But it can't try the apocalypse stunt again. Not first hand anyway.

    Buffy smiles awkwardly.

    Buffy: Bad?bad pun?

    The others don't respond. The woman looks at them curiously.

    Buffy: Look I didn't tell you guys cause I woke up and found the world was crazy. It was kinda overshadowed by the fact that some of the general public wanted us dead. A big "some".

    Willow: Yeah I guess it would be.

    Willow smiles understandingly. Buffy smiles back thankfully.

    Woman: The revelation of yourselves and the demon world has been a great blow to your efforts.

    Xander: Understatement.

    Woman: Indeed. We may also be able to reverse this?

    The others look shocked.

    Lauren: How?

    Woman: Time can be?manipulated.

    Giles: Yes, though I, uh, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that something of the magnitude you're suggesting doesn't just go against everything The Powers That Be stand for, it goes against the natural order of the world.

    Woman: The natural order will soon be unmanageable if your enemies achieve what they want. We would not suggest something this drastic if it were not necessary.

    There is a pause.

    Willow: I know you're all probably worried that something bad's gonna happen?to me, or something bigger. Maybe before I'd be worried about this, but they've shown me so much, I'm surer of what I can do than I ever have been. I can do this. I wanna do this.

    Xander: But maybe you shouldn't.

    Willow looks at Xander.

    Willow: Xander I'm-

    Xander: Not just cause of you, Will. But because no one should be able to have that much power. Sure it starts off with saving the world, but it consumes. It corrupts. Remember?

    Willow frowns. The others consider what Xander has said, except the woman who smiles reassuringly.

    Woman: It is natural for you all to have doubts.

    Her smiles vanishes.

    Woman: But be rest assured that evil will only continue to flourish and grow in strength and numbers without taking action now. More of those you love will die?perhaps the world itself will fall. We have seen it. Buffy has seen it. You will all see it.

    Everyone looks serious as the woman glances around at them all.

    Woman: I shall leave you to discuss the proposal. I shall return.

    The woman vanishes. Buffy and the others are left in silence.

    Cut to Lauren and Buffy at the front door.


    Lauren: I'm not gonna say anything.

    Buffy frowns.

    Buffy: You'd lie for us?

    Lauren: I just think?the more people that know about this, the more pressure there's gonna be on you to do it. If people know it's a possibility?how can they resist?

    Buffy nods and looks grateful.

    Buffy: Thank you.

    Lauren: Not a problem.

    A car drives up behind them next to Lauren's and Xander's. Lauren and Buffy turn to see Heather getting out of the driver's seat. She looks serious.

    Cut to the view of a surveillance camera. It follows Heather as she walks across the driveway of the Summers' house, and she begins to talk to Buffy and Lauren. Buffy can be seen looking surprised.

    The view of the scene returns to normal.


    Heather: I didn't feel I had any other choice but to come here?and tell you.

    Buffy and Lauren stare at her. Buffy looks serious, but not at Heather.

    Buffy: Thank you. It's good to know who we can trust.

    Cut back to the scene seen through the lens of the surveillance camera. Lauren, Heather and Buffy say a few words to one another before Buffy and Heather head inside and Lauren walks towards her car. The camera follows Lauren and then darts back to Buffy and Heather as the door to the house closes. The view returns to normal as the camera is now clearly seen, hidden amongst the bushes next to the house. There is a wide shot of it, as it goes out of focus. Another tiny camera is seen high above in the tree on the other side of the house, conspicuously concealed as a small branch. It films Lauren driving away.

    Cut to several screens placed beside one another, each showing the recordings of several cameras around the Summers' house. Alethea is stood with her arms folded. She narrows her eyes at what she has seen.
    Last edited by Alex; 31-10-07, 02:30 PM.
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  • #2
    ACT II

    Cut to Heather sat beside Buffy and Dawn in the Summers' living room. Kelly, Xander, Willow and Giles are also in the room. After a few seconds of silence, Heather responds.

    Heather: Oh?

    Heather looks up; a bewildered but happy expression on her face.

    Heather: Well I suppose this simplifies things.

    Heather pauses.

    Heather: For once.

    Dawn: I guess that's the point. This is basically our one shot.

    Xander: But this isn't like the Slayer Spell?and even that ended badly.

    Kelly looks serious.

    Xander: This is gonna effect every single person?every single being in this world.

    Heather: But isn't that what you do? You change the world?

    Xander pauses.

    Xander: Not like this. This is?this is an easy way out.

    Buffy: I get what you're saying Xander. But the last time we got a get out of jail free card was never.

    Xander looks serious.

    Kelly: Maybe cause we shouldn't.

    Buffy hesitates.

    Willow: That's what I thought at first. But-

    Xander: Then they showed you how great it was and you changed your mind. We get it Will, but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

    Willow: It's the only thing to do.

    Willow looks angry at Xander.

    Willow: Or, what, you wanna try facing Malachi without their help? Julia and Siobhan will just be the beginning. Everything's gonna die?or everything's gonna live because we did something amazing. I think I know which one I'd choose. And a whole bunch of other people too.

    Xander: What about after? What about when you and the self-proclaimed First Good have destroyed all the demons? It'll just be you?but evil won't quit that easily. It'll eat away at you.

    Willow: You don't know that.

    Xander: Yes I do.

    Everyone looks at Xander confused.

    Dawn: What do you mean?

    Xander pauses.

    Xander: Just after Christmas?we were fighting in Darkley. There was a girl we couldn't save.

    Buffy: I remember. What does she have to do with anything?

    Xander: I?the first time round, I saved her.

    Heather: First time? I-I don't follow.

    Buffy: I don't either.

    Xander: I got powers from her. I saved the world?a world. I could kill anything, think anything?I could see from both eyes again.

    Kelly looks sadly at Xander who looks grave.

    Xander: But it corrupted me. I killed people. I almost killed all of you.

    The others look shocked.

    Xander: Things I said, things I did?it wasn't me. It was something else. And then you killed me Buff.

    Buffy looks at him in disbelief.

    Buffy: Xander I could never-

    Xander: Yes you could. You did. Because you had to. And I thank God you had that in you because you set me free. Time went back to just before I saved the girl; Grace was her name. She told me it was a warning; a warning about what could happen if you have too much power.

    Xander looks at Willow.

    Xander: This is the same Will.

    Willow looks serious.

    Xander: You can say it'll be different as much as you want. But I've seen what it can do. What I can do. And this is way, way more than that.

    Xander gets up and walks out. Kelly watches him go sadly. They all sit in silence.

    Heather: Not quite that simple then.

    Buffy looks serious.

    Cut to Harold on the phone in his office.


    Harold: Yes I'll make sure the public are told a suitable explanation.

    Paula walks in.

    Paula: We need to talk.

    Harold: Uh, I'll ring you back shortly.

    Harold puts the phone down.

    Harold: What is it?

    Paula: I have some very?interesting news.

    Alethea is seen at the doorway listening to their conversation. She purses her lips. Cut to Kelly walking into her and Xander's room. Xander is lying on their bed staring at the ceiling. He looks over at her and then stares back at the ceiling.

    Xander: Sorry I didn't tell you.

    Kelly doesn't look angry, but she doesn't smile. She lies next to Xander on the bed and looks at him.

    Kelly: You thought I'd freak?

    Xander: I thought I might.

    Kelly stares at him. Xander stares back.

    Xander: What scared me most?wasn't the power. It was the fact a part of me could wanted to hurt you all. A part of me wanted to kill you.

    Kelly looks sympathetic.

    Kelly: Well not so long ago a part of me tried to kill you?and that wasn't so bad right?

    Xander stares back at the ceiling.

    Xander: And there was a part of Willow that wanted to kill us all not so long ago too. And that was so bad. I don't wanna see that happen again.

    Kelly: Maybe it won't.

    Xander: I don't wanna find out if our odds are good enough.

    Kelly: I know.

    Kelly rests her head against Xander's shoulder looking sympathetic, but uncertain about what to do. There is a knock at the door.

    Xander: Come in.

    Dawn appears at the doorway.

    Dawn: Guys, Lauren just called.

    Cut to Xander, Dawn, Buffy, Kelly, Willow, Giles and Heather sat in the Summers' living room.

    Kelly: How do they know?

    Heather looks awkward.

    Heather: There?may be surveillance equipment placed around the house.

    Buffy's expression turns to a frown as she looks at Heather.

    Heather: For your protection primarily.

    Xander: But to listen in on any juicy details as a side project huh?

    Heather looks guilty. Buffy sighs and blinks slowly.

    Buffy: Look that doesn't matter for now. What does is the fact that we now have to deal with the fact the world knows.

    Dawn: D?j? vu much?

    Giles: I shouldn't think they'll go public with this information.

    Xander: Unless we don't cooperate. Perfect way of putting the pressure on.

    Willow: Xander can't you give this a chance?

    Xander looks at her. The others minus Willow look uncertain.

    Xander: I told you-

    Willow: I know what you said. But that doesn't mean that this is gonna end like that. And yeah I know that me and magic haven't always been the most world-friendly combination, but things are different now.

    Buffy looks worried.

    Dawn: What are you thinking?

    Everyone looks at Buffy.

    Buffy: I don't know. God, I don't know.

    She shakes her head slightly and sighs staring at the ground.

    Giles: You shouldn't have to decide this alone.

    Buffy looks at him.

    Buffy: What do you think?

    Giles sighs.

    Giles: What I know is that this isn't the way magic was supposed to be used.

    Willow frowns.

    Willow: What about Julia?

    Giles looks serious.

    Willow: Malachi-

    Giles: I know what Malachi did to Julia, Willow. And Siobhan.

    Dawn looks serious.

    Giles: But whatever we do won't bring them back. I think we should try and find another way.

    Xander: We'll find another way, we always do.

    Heather: Maybe this is it? I don't know everything about your past battles?but this does seem to be as good as it gets in terms of a plan. And I realise what you've told us has an important lesson, I do, but maybe that is a risk that has to be taken.

    Dawn: The greater good?

    Heather looks at Dawn.

    Heather: Yes, I suppose that's one way to put it.

    Xander looks annoyed.

    Xander: And then after all the evil's gone, what do we do? We're no longer needed.

    Heather: Well?I suppose that means you're free.

    Xander: And you think that was meant to happen?

    Willow: Xander The First Evil's not going anywhere. There'll still be evil to fight.

    Xander: Of course there will be. And maybe cause there should be.

    Xander is about to continue but Kelly interrupts.

    Kelly: Vampires suck. I think that's pretty much universally agreed upon. Obviously there's Angel and Spike and?and even Golda now, maybe, but in general they just bring violence and death and?more death. Same with most demons hell bent on carrying out their apocalyptic scheme or whatever. But?that's what they do. They do it cause they've been given a role, as demons, to try and screw things up. But screwing things up is what they're meant to do. And we're meant to stop them. They're the freaking Oracle. Every time they try and end the world they try and do exactly what we're talking about doing now. We stop them because we have to. Without evil around?how the hell are we supposed to recognise what good is? It balances the equation. Cause that's what it is.

    The others look reflective as Kelly looks serious.

    Buffy: It's weird?I don't remember everything that happened when I was unconscious. You know, before all this?but I remember them telling me about the balance. I don't know why they'd try and do this if they wanted me to know that.

    Willow: Cause it's not balanced Buffy. I mean, you know what's been happening, the forces of good are taking a pretty heavy beating right now, they need something like this to get them back in the game.

    Xander: But what'll evil do then Will? They could pull out something bigger.

    Willow: Then we'll fight back.

    Xander: And everyone gets more and more destructive until there's nothing left.

    Woman OS: Enough!

    Everyone looks confused. Suddenly the woman reappears.

    Woman: It is clear that you will not accept our help.

    Buffy: We need more time-

    Woman: Your conclusions are evident to us. We shall see how gracious the rest of your race are.

    She turns to Willow.

    Woman: The time will soon come.

    She smiles. Willow looks conflicted. Buffy frowns. White light shines in the room as Willow and Buffy make eye contact. The screen fades to white.

    Cut to the white light fading. Buffy and co., now minus Willow, are stood in exactly the same places they were before. They look around confused. Buffy's eyes widen as she realises what the woman said.


    Buffy: We have to tell Lauren.

    Buffy turns to the phone.

    Heather: What good will that do?

    Buffy looks at her.

    Heather: I mean, if this woman?if these beings want the rest of the world to know, they'll know. We can't do anything about it.

    Buffy looks troubled. Kelly frowns.

    Kelly: (slowly) Guys?since when was it 6pm.

    Everyone turns to see the clock. It is indeed six o'clock. They look shocked.

    Xander: What happened to the last five hours?

    Buffy: I'm thinking Miss First Good decided to fast-forward.

    Buffy grabs the remote and turns on the television. The six o'clock news is just starting.

    News reader: -which may be a way to end the threat of demons and other malevolent supernatural forces once and for all. Willow Rosenberg, known worldwide as one of the experts in the field of magic is promoting the proposed plan, despite some minister's concerns that such intervention from otherworldly beings may not be entirely beneficial-

    The news reader continues speaking.

    Xander: And fast-forward she did.

    Buffy frowns. Footage of Willow smiling, but not looking entirely comfortable is shown. The woman is stood next to her smiling warmly to those around her.
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    • #3
      ACT III

      Cut to Buffy on the phone in the kitchen in the Summers' house. She looks tired.

      Buffy: I will. Ok, thanks Lauren. Bye.

      She sighs and sees Giles standing in the threshold of the hall.

      Giles: What did she say?

      Buffy: Uh, The Prime Minister wants to talk to us. Or, me at least.

      Giles looks serious but not surprised.

      Giles: And you're all right with that?

      Buffy: Gotta go better than last time. At least on the phone I can't spill coffee on him.

      Giles smiles weakly. Buffy smiles back slightly but then looks sympathetic.

      Buffy: How are you doing? We haven't really talked too much about?Julia.

      Giles looks sad.

      Giles: I've been better. Thank you, for asking..

      Buffy smiles warmly. She then looks resolute.

      Buffy: I promise you Giles?even if this isn't the right way, I will find a way to stop Malachi.

      Giles nods and smiles sadly.

      Giles: I know you will. You're one of the few things I still have faith in Buffy.

      Buffy looks touched, but also sad. Xander, Kelly, Dawn and Heather enter through the back door. Buffy turns to look at them.

      Buffy: You find the cameras?

      Dawn: Yeah, there are like fifty.

      Buffy frowns.

      Kelly: What scares me is that we didn't even know they were there.

      Buffy: Yeah?

      Buffy stares at Heather frowning.

      Heather: Like I said, these were primarily for your protection.

      Buffy: Well it would have nice to have been asked before the government started spying on us.

      Buffy folds her arms. Heather sighs.

      Heather: You're probably right?they have many ulterior motives.

      Dawn: I guess when we have Miss-Power-That-Was around to fill in the public on everything, it doesn't matter what the cameras see.

      Kelly: Well there are some things I'd like to not be advertised twenty-four hours a day.

      Xander: I'd like to strongly agree with that statement.

      Kelly smiles and looks embarrassed.

      Buffy: We'll get on to it. Right now we have?you know what we have right now.

      Xander: Yeah?

      Giles: Buffy's been asked to speak to the Prime Minister.
      Dawn: Again?

      Buffy: Mm-hmm. But on the phone this time.

      Dawn: Well that'll save his dry cleaning bill.

      Buffy rolls her eyes. Dawn laughs slightly.

      Heather: I uh, don't wish to spoil the light-hearted atmosphere?

      Buffy: It's ok, go ahead. It's becoming a daily rite of passage.

      Heather smiles weakly.

      Heather: Uh, what I was going to say was, what do we think about Willow?

      Buffy looks serious as do the others.

      Heather: I mean, it would seem that if she's agreeing to this uh, First Good's plans, then she's working against us.

      Xander: I don't wanna think Will'd switch sides that easily. I mean the woman pretty much took her along for the ride, it doesn't mean she's fully standing in the "let's go ahead with this stupid plan" court. Right?

      Buffy exhales.

      Buffy: I hope not. But we don't know what happened to her up there exactly. It?it might not even be Willow. I mean think about what happened to Cordelia.

      Xander looks grave. Kelly looks from Buffy to Xander.

      Kelly: What happened to Cordelia?

      Xander: Let's just say it was bad.

      Xander looks at Buffy.

      Xander: We can get her back.

      Buffy: We'll definitely try.

      Buffy looks at her watch.

      Buffy: He'll probably call soon. After that I'm thinking we're gonna face some serious talk time. More talk time.

      Xander: Fun.

      Buffy: You know it.

      The phone rings. Buffy looks nervous.

      Buffy: Here goes.

      Giles: We'll get out of your way.

      Buffy: Oh. Ok. It shouldn't take too long.

      Heather: Take as long as you need.

      Buffy smiles and picks up the phone as Giles and the others head into the living room. Buffy exhales as she puts the receiver to her ear.

      Buffy: Hello?Mr Prime Minister?sir.

      Buffy looks awkward. Cut to the woman on the television in the Summers' living room. Photographers surround her as she smiles.

      Woman: At last?we will be able to save this world as we should have done so long ago. You will all be saved!

      Cheers can be heard from the television as the scene cuts to Xander, Kelly, Heather, Dawn and Giles sat in the living room watching the scene.

      Heather: She certainly knows about telling them what they want to hear.

      Xander frowns still staring at the television.

      Kelly: Why does she want this so badly? I mean, yeah she could be all benevolent like she's told us, but something's weird here.

      Dawn: You think she's corrupt?

      Kelly: Maybe.

      Giles: I'm not sure she is.

      Kelly and Dawn look at Giles.

      Giles: I think she and others like her truly believe this is what they are destined to do. They live for no other purpose. I don't think anyone could shake their beliefs now.

      Xander: So we're not gonna win on the debate front with her. What about the government?

      Heather: I'm not sure Xander, she's being uh, very convincing.

      Xander turns back to the television to see the woman shaking hands with several world leaders.

      Buffy walks in. The others don't see her, as she looks at the TV.


      Buffy: Doesn't she look impressive.

      The others turn. Dawn stands up.

      Dawn: How'd it go?

      Buffy: Basically he wanted me to tell him it was good.

      Heather: And what did you tell you?

      Buffy: I kinda didn't.

      Giles: Ah.

      Buffy: He says that the risks aren't a big enough concern. I don't think anyone's gonna listen to what we have to say.

      Xander: But he called you.

      Buffy: Yeah for me to agree with everything. They're not ready for opposition.

      She looks at the TV and gestures it with her hand.

      Buffy: I mean look at what she's doing.

      The woman smiles at the camera.

      Buffy: She's done everything she needs to do.

      Kelly: They still need Willow though right?

      Dawn: I don't see her in any of the reports.

      Buffy frowns.

      Xander: So we find Willow, right? They can't force her to do it if she doesn't want to.

      Giles: We don't know that.

      Buffy: We don't even know that Willow's gonna refuse to help them. She could decide to do it.

      Dawn: Without even talking to us?

      Buffy: Like I said?Willow might be different since she came back.

      Dawn frowns.

      Heather: If Willow does agree to perform the spell?what can we do to stop them?

      Buffy: I?have no idea.

      Buffy sits down on the arm of the sofa looking defeated. The others look serious. Giles' expression changes slightly.

      Giles: I might have an idea.

      Buffy looks at him hopefully.

      Cut to everyone stood in the living room, but at the sides of the room.


      Xander: Are they gonna be on-

      A group of three individuals suddenly appear in the middle of the room.

      Xander: Never mind.

      The individuals are all women, dressed in white. Two of them appear in their twenties. The woman in the middle, who is the only one wearing a headdress, is at least 60. She smiles at Giles who smiles back.

      Giles: Althanea.

      Althanea: Rupert Giles. It has been too long.

      She then looks at Buffy.

      Althanea: Buffy Summers. I regret that we have not before now.

      She and the other women bow their heads in his direction. Buffy looks surprised but flattered. Kelly whispers to Xander.

      Kelly: Do we bow?

      Althanea: There is no need.

      She looks up and smiles at Kelly. She then looks at Giles and Buffy.

      Buffy: Uh thanks for coming.

      Althanea: It is necessary. We have witnessed the changes in the world. Those recently have been startling but you have handled them remarkably. But now we must all act to prevent this terrible catastrophe.

      Kelly: So it is bad?

      Althanea: "Bad" would be an understatement Kelly Rivers. Adelphia.

      One of the younger women looks at Kelly.

      Adelphia: You were notably accurate in your assessment that the world cannot work effectively without evil. While it does act as a deprivation of good?it is also, in part, necessary. Good cannot grow without evil to grow strong against.

      Heather: Um, I don't mean to interrupt, but surely The First Good would know this?

      Althanea: We too were perplexed. It appears that these beings that claim to be "The First Good" are far from it. While they act with seemingly "good" intentions, they are blinded by ideals. We suspect that their separation from The Powers That Be may have caused this.

      Buffy: But when they spoke to me?when I was unconscious, they weren't talking about any of this stuff.

      Althanea pauses.

      Althanea: Perhaps that was in fact The Powers That Be.

      Buffy: I guess. Maybe they can help?

      Woman #3: The Powers That Be will not act.

      Dawn: Because they won't intervene.

      Woman #3: Correct.

      Buffy: But they have done before. When Dawn got her power?they basically gave it to her.

      Althanea: There are some things they were always meant to assist with. Everything else?they will not involve themselves with. It is difficult to understand being mortal, experiencing the cruel nature of the neglected world. But some of that nature is needed.

      Buffy: You can stop the spell?

      Althanea: We may be able to stop Willow. She has experienced some time with us?I am saddened to see her involved in this way, but I believe there are deeper things present in this predicament.

      Kelly: Um, I'm sorry but, huh?

      Althanea: They will present themselves shortly. For now we must talk. In the morning, we will locate Willow.

      Xander: And do what?

      Althanea: Expose her to the truth.

      Cut to Willow looking serious as she stares out of the window in an office building. The image of the woman forms behind her.

      Woman: Willow?why so melancholy?

      Willow turns and looks awkward.

      Willow: I guess this is just kinda sudden?I mean I feel like I'm fighting against my friends.

      Woman: It is they that are fighting you, and the correct course of action. But they will see that it is what must be done.

      Willow: What about what Kelly said? Doesn't that mean anything?

      The woman walks towards Willow.

      Woman: They are scared about power they know nothing about. But you understand. Once the world is as it should be?you will be as you should be.

      Willow looks at her shocked.

      Willow: You mean??

      The woman nods and smiles.

      Woman: Soon all those in need; and the anguish and fear that your friends are plagued with will vanish when they see the glory before them.

      Willow looks happier as she stares out of the window again smiling to herself.
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      • #4
        ACT IV

        Open on a news reader in Canada.

        News reader: Over 115 countries are supporting the ideas proposed by the other worldly woman who claims to be an agent of God. While this has caused some friction among the religious community it has also lead many to believe that the Second Coming has arrived. Some are dismissing the plan to rid the world of evil as a hoax, but the majority appear to be very eager for this woman, accompanied by Willow Rosenberg, to attempt the spell today in London that could change the course of history for, well, just about everything.

        Cut to Buffy sat watching the report in the Summers' living room. It is the morning of the next day.. She looks serious. Dawn comes in.

        Dawn: Hey.

        Buffy turns and smiles.

        Buffy: Morning.

        Dawn: You see the part about the religious fanatics being against this whole thing? Weird how they're the people that end up on our side.

        Buffy: Sure?everyone else needs the hope.

        Dawn looks serious.

        Dawn: You're not, reconsidering are you?

        Buffy: Oh, no, I uh, I just can see why they'd want this. Why anyone who has to live and see people get hurt?why they'd want this. If I was just another person I probably would too.

        Dawn: But you're not, so, I guess yay you right?

        Dawn smiles. Buffy smiles back weakly.

        Buffy: I guess yay me.

        Althanea enters the room.

        Buffy: Is it time?

        Althanea: It soon will be.

        Buffy: Ok.

        Dawn: I'll go get the others.

        Cut to Kelly walking along the landing. Her phone rings. She looks at it and the screen shows "unknown caller". Kelly puts the phone to her ear.

        Kelly: Hello?

        Voice: Kelly?

        Kelly frowns and looks surprised.

        Kelly: Golda?

        Cut to the bottom half of Golda's face. The edge of the phone can just be seen in the shot. She is in a dark room.

        Golda: Hi?

        Kelly: Golda oh my God?where the hell are you?

        Golda: That doesn't matter, I just?I just wanted you to know I'm not de?or, well, I'm ok.

        Kelly frowns.

        Kelly: What, what happened, are there-are there side effects or anything?

        There is no answer from Golda.

        Kelly: Golda!

        There is still no answer. Dawn appears next to Kelly.

        Dawn: Kelly?

        Kelly turns round. As she does the line goes dead. Dawn looks inquisitive. Kelly gathers herself and smiles.

        Kelly: Telemarketers.

        Dawn: Oh, right. Guess that's one evil this spell wouldn't get rid of.

        Kelly smiles.

        Dawn: We uh, we need to go.

        Kelly: Right.

        Dawn heads down. Kelly follows her, glancing at her phone seriously.

        Cut to them walking into the hallway. The doorbell rings. Dawn goes to answer it as Buffy, Xander and Giles appear at from the living room. Dawn opens the door and frowns as she sees Paula.


        Dawn: What are you doing here?

        Paula: Hello Dawn. Nice to see you too.

        Buffy appears next to Dawn and frowns also.

        Paula: Buffy. Well I'm glad you're both here. I'm afraid I'm going to have to make sure it remains that way.

        Buffy: What?

        Paula: We're well aware of your opinion of the spell Willow is about to perform, I'm afraid that we can't let you interfere.

        Buffy notices several cars parked behind Paula.

        Paula: Things will run smoothly as long as you don't try to leave.

        Heather appears. She looks annoyed at what she sees.

        Paula: Well?isn't this a surprise.

        Heather: Paula what an earth are you doing?

        Paula: Helping to save the world no less.

        Heather: You have no idea what you're doing!

        Paula: I know enough to understand how important this will be for the world. Perhaps you should all consider that-

        Paula and the surroundings suddenly vanish as Buffy and co. appear in a small room with no windows, lit by candlelight. Buffy and the others look confused as they see Althanea and the other women stood nearby.

        Kelly: Nifty.

        Buffy looks at Althanea.

        Althanea: We felt that it was time to leave.

        Buffy: Glad you did. But where are we exactly?

        Woman #3: London. This building is our own. We will be safe here.

        Althanea: The spell will be performed nearby shortly.

        Dawn: Willow's going ahead with it?

        Althanea closes her eyes. She opens them again.

        Althanea: My sisters tell me that she appears to be.

        Xander is seen frowning. Buffy looks disappointed too.

        Althanea: Regardless we must continue.

        Cut to a huge crowd in the centre of London. About a hundred men and women dressed in suits are stood on a large stage in front of the stage. The woman and Willow are being cheered.

        Woman: In a few moments we will show you the true path to enlightenment. Darkness will no longer be a name you will recognise.

        There are more cheers. Cut to Buffy and co. watching from the open window of a building.

        Buffy: They always have to talk and talk and talk?

        Dawn and Kelly smile slightly. Screams are suddenly heard from outside. Everyone turns to look; at the back of the crowd demons can be seen attacking members of the crowd. People begin to panic.

        Xander: I don't think her words of inspiration went down too well with those guys.

        Buffy: We need to stop them!

        Althanea: Wait. Look?

        Buffy looks at Willow and the woman. The woman looks seriously at the crowd and then at Willow. She nods at Willow who looks anxious but nods back. They join hands slowly as people are running around them. The woman closes her eyes. Willow closes hers. White light begins to shine around them. Willow's hair glows white once more. She opens her eyes and sees she is in a circle with several figures dressed in a similar way to the woman. Willow's eyes are now a brilliant shade of white as are the woman's. The ground begins to shake as energy builds up around them. A wave of it suddenly blasts outwards. Some of the crowd stop to watch as it hits the demons. They burst into white light as the wave hits them, but all the humans are left unscathed. The light travels across the Thames river. A vampire appears in a shaded ally to look to see what is happening. The light appears as her eyes widen wiping her out.

        Cut to Willow in the circle, still generating power. Suddenly, a voice.


        Voice: Willow.

        Willow lets go of the hands of others. In our reality she is seen letting go of the woman's hand. A sound of built up power collapsing is heard as the white light fails and Willow stands back looking breathless. The woman looks angry.

        Woman: No!

        The scene is silent as Willow turns. She sees the crowd are stood in frozen time. She turns her head to see Althanea, with Buffy and the others behind her. They are not frozen. Neither is the woman. Althanea gives Willow a kind look.

        Althanea: This is not your way.

        Willow looks confused and upset. She and Buffy lock eyes. The woman looks angrily at Althanea.

        Woman: You cannot stop us!

        Althanea: I must.

        The woman looks angry and blasts darker energy at Althanea. Althanea brushes it away with green energy. Dawn looks impressed. The woman narrows her eyes. She looks at Willow.

        Woman: Willow we must try again.

        Buffy: Willow you know this isn't the right thing to do. Nothing can be as perfect as she says it can.

        Woman: You know nothing. I have lived longer than humanity has existed. I know how this world works.

        Althanea: Then you will know you are tearing it down with every attempt you make to eliminate the equilibrium that is meant to exist.

        The woman shakes her head.

        Woman: Willow!

        Willow: I'm?I'm not sure.

        Althanea: This is not truth. The miracle you hope to achieve.

        Willow: It's not just about that.

        Althanea stares at her knowingly.

        Althanea: This cannot save you.

        Willow looks tearful. The others look confused. The woman looks angry. She blasts energy at Althanea again. Althanea brushes it away as she did before but the woman walks towards Althanea blasting more and more energy. Althanea looks weakened. The other women of Althanea's coven head towards the woman and hit her with their own magic. She winces in pain as she continues to concentrate on Althanea. Buffy runs towards the scene but she and the other women fly back as the other figures seen in the circle with Willow and the women before now circle Althanea. Their eyes and hair are red. They focus their power on Althanea who begins to fall to the ground in pain. Willow stares looking shocked. Xander looks worried. He helps Buffy up and they stare at Willow helplessly.

        Buffy: Willow!

        Xander: You have to stop this!

        Althanea's eyes remain fixed on Willow as she looks as if she is about to lose her defence. Willow closes her eyes as a tear streams down her face. She presses her fingers against her palms, not in a fist, but almost. The camera suddenly speeds from Willow to the woman who gasps.

        There is silence. Althanea looks up from the ground. Her nose is bleeding but she begins to rise. The woman and the other figures are stood still. The woman turns to Willow, looking empty.


        Woman: What have you done?you could have had everything?

        She and the other figures fall apart as if they were never there. Willow and Buffy's eyes meet. They stare at one another. Suddenly time begins once again. Hundreds of confused voices are heard. Buffy looks worriedly at them and then at Althanea. Then, a distant humming sound is heard. Buffy looks upwards followed by everyone else present. A faint light is growing brighter in front of them all. It gets brighter and brighter. Buffy stares into the light, unblinking as the light fills the screen.

        Cut to the light fading showing an interview occurring.


        Man: And what does the church think of this epiphany that appears to have be seen worldwide.

        Man #2: We feel it's a clear sign that there is indeed a high presence, and while this woman may have been a false prophet, there is something greater that will aid us when the time comes.

        Man: And when do you feel that will be?

        Man #2: It may be soon indeed.

        Cut to Heather in what appears to be her apartment watching the report. There is a knock at the door and she walks towards it and opens it. Giles stands at her porch.

        Heather: Oh, hello.

        Giles smiles back.

        Giles: Hello, I hope you don't mind me dropping by like this.

        Heather: It's fine, come in.

        Giles walks in and Heather closes the door.

        Heather: Would you like a cup of something?

        Giles: I'll be all right, thank you.

        Heather: Being completely out of tea and coffee, I'm glad that was your answer.

        Giles smiles as does Heather.

        Giles: I came round to uh, to make sure that you understand what fighting alongside us will mean.

        Heather's smile fades.

        Giles: You've turned your back on your previous life to help us, and uh we all admire that. But I wanted to make sure you realised that doing so will put you on the frontline of this war?your safety can't be guaranteed. And Malachi and his forces will target those close to Buffy. I've?I've seen it happen to Julia, Siobhan. You could be next.

        Heather pauses and then looks thankful.

        Heather: After today, I could never be more certain that I'm doing the right thing. I've made things difficult for you in the past, but I realise how stupid that was?you, and Buffy, and the others are the only hope this world has of surviving this. This is where the line is drawn between success and failure. I want to be a part of that. Besides, I'm sure my safety will be very much out of the question if Malachi has his way. I may not be much, and yet what we saw?it's given me hope.

        Giles looks pleased but his eyes show sadness.

        Giles: Yes I suppose it has.

        Heather: And I think I'm not the one.

        Giles nods.

        Heather: I think everyone saw what they needed.

        Giles: Yes. But, to think that we will be saved by The Power That Be or something else?is a little na?ve.

        Heather frowns. But then she shrugs off her bad feelings and forms a smile.

        Heather: Regardless?I know what I'm taking on. And maybe if we do find a plausible way of ending this, the hope I have will be confirmed.

        Giles smiles. He and Heather stand together, thinking.

        Cut to Xander, Buffy, Kelly and Dawn sat in the Summers' living room.


        Dawn: You think there's a way to stop him?

        Buffy: I do. I know saying that might sound kinda stupid but-

        Kelly: It doesn't. I don't think we'd have seen?you know what we saw, if there wasn't a way. What would be the point otherwise?

        Buffy: I guess so.

        Xander: But what are we gonna do next?

        Buffy: I guess the vampire cure stuff?we need to find Golda, we need to try and stop what they're doing.

        Xander nods. Kelly looks awkward.

        Kelly: Yeah we do.

        Willow appears at the entrance to the living room. Everyone looks anxious.

        Buffy: Will, hey.

        Willow: Hi.

        Xander: Did you sleep?

        Willow: Yeah, a little. I couldn't any more though.

        Buffy: Right. I guess the spell was pretty intense.

        Willow: Uh, yeah one of those more-intense ones.

        Dawn smiles vaguely.

        Willow: I uh, I needed to come and talk to you all.

        Kelly: Willow you don't have to apologise or anything-

        Willow: Yeah I kinda do. I let myself believe that she?that they could be what I wanted them to be.

        Buffy: You weren't the only one.

        Willow: No, I knew, I knew deep down that it was wrong?but I still did it.

        The others pause looking confused.

        Willow: Because she promised me something.

        Dawn: What?

        Willow: I?should have told you guys this a long time ago.

        Buffy: Will what are you-

        Willow: Buffy?

        Buffy stops talking, frowning.

        Willow: Remember the fight with Clare and the others.

        Kelly: How could we forget?

        Willow: Right. Well?soon after that the woman spoke to me.

        The others look surprised.

        Willow: She told me that the spell that I did was enough to kill Clare and The Judge even. That Dawn only survived because of the energy she had.

        Dawn looks serious.

        Willow: But I didn't have energy. I just had me.

        Buffy looks confused.

        Buffy: What, but, but you're fine.

        Willow looks sad.

        Willow: No I'm not Buffy. I haven't been for a long time. There was feedback from the spell?it went through my body, I didn't feel it at the time, but I'm beginning to now. Fact is, it's not gonna stop. I'm dying.

        Buffy looks horrified. Xander looks numb to hear Willow say these words. Willow looks tearful, having finally revealed her deepest fear.

        THE END
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