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Cuarta Temporada - 4X13 The I in Team

The I in Team

(December 16, 1999)

Written by: David Fury

 

Teaser

INT. XANDER'S BASEMENT - NIGHT

CLOSE ON WILLOW and ANYA sitting at a table. Their hands rest BELOW FRAME, and their eyes are cast downward. Hip and somewhat ETHEREAL MUSIC fills the room from the stereo as Willow appears to speak an incantation...

 

WILLOW
I implore you, Neisa, blessed goddess
of chance and fortune, heed my call:
Send to me the heart I desire...

 

ANGLE ON XANDER, sitting across, holding a deck of cards. Behind him a stack of cardboard boxes.

 

XANDER
You know magic at the poker table
qualifies as cheating.

 

WIDEN on Willow and Anya, looking at their dealt hands. Piles of poker chips in front of them.

 

WILLOW
That wasn't magic. I was praying.
(then)
Two, please.

 

XANDER deals her two cards, then turns to Anya.

 

ANYA
Five.

 

 

XANDER
Ahn, I keep telling you... Four's the
max and only if you have an ace.

 

 

ANYA
Okay, four.

 

 

XANDER
Let me see the ace.

 

Anya hesitates, then, sheepishly...

 

ANYA
Three.
(as he deals to her)
What a stupid game. All these rules
just to win little plastic disks.

 

 

XANDER
Chips. They're called chips. They
represent money. Since none of us
has any money to represent money.
(re boxes)
But that's gonna change once my
merchandise hits the street.

 

 

WILLOW
(funnin')
Whatcha got in the boxes? Drugs?
(then, real concerned)
It's not drugs, is it? Xander?!

 

 

XANDER
Not drugs. You're looking at the new
local distributor for Boost Bars.
(retrieving one)
The "natural food bar that provides
a nutritional energy boost for active
health conscious people." Want one?

 

 

WILLOW
Nah, thanks. Those things usually
taste kinda tasteless. And leave a
bad aftertasteless taste.

 

 

XANDER
Don't let the "healthy" scare you
off. Check out the ingredients.
(shows her the bar)
See? Loaded with fatty goodness.

 

 

ANYA
(impatiently)
C'mon, somebody bet already. I've
got three "K" cards.

 

Willow and Xander share a look, then fold their hands. Anya throws hers in as well and Xander starts shuffling.

 

XANDER
Wish the Buf coulda made it. Three
hand poker's not quite the game.

 

 

WILLOW
Guess she's off with Riley. You know
how it is with a spanking new boyfriend.

 

 

ANYA
Yes, we've enjoyed spanking.

 

Cards go everywhere. Xander struggles to reclaim both the deck and the conversation.

 

XANDER
But, I mean, the thing is, Riley
seems okay in an oafish kind of way,
but... I worry.
(beat)
Am I the only one with a big floating
question mark over his head about
this Initiative thing?

 

 

WILLOW
Well, they seem to fall into the good
guy camp. They are anti-demon.
(re Anya)
But probably pro-ex-demon.

 

 

ANYA
Maybe. I choose to feel threatened.

 

 

XANDER
And why not? There's heaps we still
don't know about these commandos.
What exactly are they up to?

 

EXT. CLEARING IN WOODS - NIGHT

Very DARK. LOW ANGLE - A hooded COMMANDO enters frame, holding a TASER RIFLE. PULL OUT to see four others, also masked and armed with tasers, moving stealthily, but with purpose. They're tracking something.

At the edge of the clearing, the FIRST COMMANDO silently gestures for his team to spread out and for two of the men to move in. They comply, first using trees as cover, then, with a nod, charging into the brush.

It's quiet. Then - TASER FIRE and sounds of a SCUFFLE. Suddenly, both commandos are HURLED back out -- alive, but winded, a little beaten up. The others take in that sight for a beat, when SOMETHING ELSE -- their target -- FLIES out of the woods, FLIPS in the air and lands on its feet.

It's BUFFY. She moves quickly, taking advantage of the stunned commandos. One fires his taser at her, she uses another as a shield -- he goes down. In a flash, she deftly takes out another. As she turns to face the First Commando...

 

MAGGIE (O.S.)
Lights!

 

Distant echoes of "Lights!" can be heard and result in nearby Humvee headlights being switched on. The illumination momentarily blinds Buffy as a figure appears, silhouetted. Stepping into the beam, we see it's...

 

MAGGIE
Took a patrol team forty-two minutes
to track you, and you neutralized
them in twenty-eight seconds...
You're as good as Riley said.

 

One of the commandos hurled out helps the other to his feet. They remove their hoods: It's GRAHAM, and an unhappy FORREST.The First Commando removes his ski-mask - RILEY. Buffy glances at him, basking in Maggie's favorable impression.

 

BUFFY
(modestly, to Maggie)
I was just lucky.

 

 

MAGGIE
I see. Well, still...
(walking away)
Very impressive.

 

Buffy, disappointed that Maggie took her comment to heart, looks at Riley, who looks back at her with pride.

 

BUFFY
I was being modest with the "luck"
thing. You got that, right?

 

 

RILEY
(grinning)
Got it.

 

Graham and Forrest pass by. Forrest doesn't say a word.

 

GRAHAM
Awesome, Buffy.

 

Riley puts his arm around his girl and they walk off.

 

RILEY
See? You're a hit.

 

ON MAGGIE, making notes. She glances up and watches Riley and Buffy walk off together. She looks as cold as ice, holding the look for a good long while.

BLACK OUT.

 

END OF TEASER
Act One

INT. ROCKET CAFE - DAY

PANNING across the ever-bustling cafe come to rest on Buffy and Willow sitting at a table, sipping coffee drinks. Willow listens patiently as Buffy regales her.

 

BUFFY
...so then Professor Walsh says
something like "You're as amazing as
Riley said" and later Riley told me
she couldn't stop talking about the
move I made when I used one of the
commando guys as a shield to block a
taser blast -- that's like twelve-
thousand volts, took the guy almost
two hours to recover.
(takes a sip)
And how was your night?

 

 

WILLOW
Like a normal person's. Light on the
action-packed. Hope tonight's plans
aren't too much of a letdown for you,
excitement-wise.
(then)
You remember about tonight, right?

 

 

BUFFY
Bronze. The gang. You kidding? I'm
so there. I miss you guys. We
haven't spent any time together
lately.

 

 

WILLOW
You've been busy. Fighting armies
and stuff. Not to mention other
distractions of a more romantic--

 

 

BUFFY
(unhearing, seeing something)
Look, Riley just walked in.

 

ON RILEY, at the counter, looking over the fruit.

 

WILLOW
(watching her watch him)
You want to let him know you're here?

 

 

BUFFY
Nah, I'm just enjoying a good stare.
Tell me more about your night.

 

 

WILLOW
Well, spent most of it at Xander's,
teaching Anya to play poker.

 

 

BUFFY
(still staring)
Well that sounds fun.

 

 

WILLOW
Yeah, except for the Anya part and
the poker part.

 

 

BUFFY
Will, I think you're gonna have to
get used to -- oh! A twinkie?
That's his lunch? He is so gonna be
punished.

 

 

WILLOW
Everyone's gettin' spanked but me.

 

 

BUFFY
What?

 

 

WILLOW
Nothing.

 

EXT. CEMETERY - DAY

To establish.

INT. CRYPT - DAY

A dank, musty, unkept mausoleum, with nary any sunlight. A rusty metal door is pushed open, SCRAPING against its stone door frame, and GILES steps in, his eyes adjusting to the darkness. He moves inside and is startlingly confronted by...

 

SPIKE
Wipe your feet when you enter a
person's home.

 

 

GILES
Yes, careless of me. Tracking mud
all over your mud.

 

 

SPIKE
(re crypt)
I'll admit... bit of a fixer-upper.
Needs a woman's touch.
(then)
Care to have a crack at it?

 

 

GILES
While I'd love to go on trading jabs
with you, Spike, perhaps I'll just
get to the point. Much as it pains
me to say it, I owe you a debt of
gratitude for the help you provided
me during my recent... metamorphosis.

 

 

SPIKE
Like hearing about the "pain" part,
but stuff the gratitude. You owe me
more than that, mate.

 

Giles nods, reaches into his pocket and pulls out a wad of twenties. He hands it to Spike.

 

GILES
Three hundred dollars. Count it, if
you'd like.

 

 

SPIKE
I'll do that.

 

And he does. Giles takes a moment, pacing.

 

GILES
Thinking about your affliction -- as
well as your newly discovered ability
to fight only demons. It occurs to
me - and I realize it's against your
nature - but have you considered
there may be a higher purpose--

 

 

SPIKE
Aagh. Made me lose count. What are
you still doing here?

 

 

GILES
Talking to myself, apparently.

 

 

SPIKE
Well, piss off then. This piece of
business wraps up any I got with
you - and your slayerettes. From
here on, I want nothing to do with
the lot of you.

 

 

GILES
Your choosing to remain in Sunnydale
might make that difficult.

 

 

SPIKE
You and yours'll just have to show a
little restraint, is all. Get out.

 

Giles moves to leave.

 

SPIKE
And I don't want you crawling back
here, knocking on my door, pleading
for help the second teen witch's
magic goes all wonky or Little Xander
cuts a new tooth... We're through,
got it? Honeymoon is over.

 

He slams the door.

INT. LOWELL ROUSE - SIDE ROOM - DAY

CLOSE ON RILEY and BUFFY, locked in an intense embrace, kissing deeply. They break. Riley looks deep in her eyes. Their voices are soft and intimate.

 

RILEY
We don't have to do this.

 

 

BUFFY
I know.

 

 

RILEY
If you're not ready. I mean, if
you'd rather wait...

 

 

BUFFY
I'm ready. I want to do it.

 

He looks at her, brushes a strand of hair from her eyes and offers her a warm, comforting smile.

 

RILEY
Okay.

 

REVERSE ANGLE - They turn to face the large mirror. Riley pushes the hidden button and the thin green line of light passes over their faces.

 

ELEVATOR VOICE
Retinal scan accepted. New retinal
scan recorded: Summers, Buffy.

 

The mirror slides open and they step into the elevator.

INT. INITIATIVE - CONTINUOUS - DAY

CLOSE ON SECURITY MONITOR - From a HIGH ANGLE, a B&W image of Riley and Buffy enter the elevator.

 

BUFFY
(tinny/filtered)
Remind me to ask Professor Walsh
how she keeps her secret underground
elevators so sparkling white.

 

INT. ELEVATOR - DAY

The door slides shut and they ride down. Riley watches Buffy as she, nervously, takes in her surroundings. After a beat...

 

RILEY
You're going to do fine.
(off her nod)
Just a tour.

 

 

BUFFY
Took a tour of Washington D.C. with
my parents once when I was eight. I
got lost in the Smithsonian.

 

 

RILEY
Then its a good thing we have the
buddy system.

 

He takes her hand. The elevator comes to a stop. Riley looks at Buffy, indicating the microphone panel near the door.

 

RILEY
That panel -- Say something into it.

 

Buffy crosses to it, is about to speak, then stops.

 

BUFFY
My mind's a blank.

 

 

ELEVATOR VOICE (V.O.)
New vocal code recorded and
encrypted. Special Clearance -
Summers, Buffy. Identity number
nine, one, four, two, three.

 

The elevator doors open.

INT. INITIATIVE - LABORATORY - DAY

They step out onto the landing. BUFFY moves to the railing, transfixed.

HER P.O.V. - DOLLYING IN - Rising up over the horizon of the railing, we see a wide, overhead view of THE INITIATIVE, in all its enormity and coolness. The lab's in full operation, scientists scurry about, the metallic catwalks swing around to join up with others, transport vehicles transport.

ON BUFFY's awed expression as Riley sidles up next to her, enjoying her reaction. She senses his presence, but doesn't look at him.

 

BUFFY
My god... You said it was big. You
told me. But you never said it
was... HUGE.

 

 

RILEY
Don't like to brag.

 

She takes his arm, caresses it.

 

BUFFY
I had no idea, this is incredible.
Not that I thought this was some, I
don't know, fly-by-night operation...
(then)
Unless it is. I mean, if you guys
fly. At night. With those jetpack
things. Have you got those?

 

 

RILEY
Can't really talk about it.

 

 

BUFFY
It's unreal.

 

She turns to him and they smile at each other, lean in to kiss...

 

MAGGIE
So. You like our little operation?

 

MAGGIE is standing there in her labcoat, carrying a clipboard.

 

BUFFY
(meekly)
Yeah. It's very... clean.

 

 

MAGGIE
Welcome to the Initiative.
(hands her a badge)
Your Visitor's pass. And I've
assembled some reading material for
you. Help bring you up to speed.

 

She gives her a small stack of stapled pages.

 

BUFFY
(not thrilled)
Oh. And here I was thinking I'd
never get homework from you again.

 

 

MAGGIE
Oh, you can't take that home with
you. Classified material. Highly
sensitive. When you're through
reading these pages, you'll have to
eat them.

 

Buffy looks up at Maggie's stoic expression. A beat.

 

RILEY
She's joking.

 

Buffy looks at Maggie for confirmation.

 

MAGGIE
Don't worry; it doesn't happen often.
Shall we?

 

She leads Buffy and Riley to the lip of the operating theatre.

 

MAGGIE
Much of our hands on research with
the HSTs is performed here. We call
this the Pit.

 

BUFFY'S P.O.V. - a couple of muscle-bound WARRIOR DEMONS at two examining stations. Each are significantly restrained and flanked by two armed GUARDS as scientists work on them.

 

BUFFY
(re demons)
What do you call those?

 

 

RILEY
Tough. Took eight of us to bring
those two down.

 

 

MAGGIE
They'll be under our control soon enough.
(calling over)
Dr. Angleman...

 

DR. ANGLEMAN, a labcoated scientist, down in the pit, giving unheard instructions to a lab assistant, looks up, offers a slight wave, then turns his focus on one of the Warrior Demons shackled to a table.

 

MAGGIE
(to Buffy)
He's head of our science team, a
leader in the field of xenomorphic
behavior modification.

 

 

BUFFY
Behavior modification?

 

 

MAGGIE
We've made significant advancements
reconditioning the sub-terrestrials.
Bringing them to a point where they
no longer pose a harmful threat.

 

 

BUFFY
I've seen.

 

Maggie looks at her, sharply.

 

BUFFY
(backpedaling; pretty gracefully)
On the Discovery Channel. With
gorillas. Or sharks. They made them
all nice, you never saw that?
(she crosses away)
What's over here?

 

NEW ANGLE - PULL BACK to see a wall of chainlink lined with all sorts of weaponry: taser rifles, gas canisters, grenades, laser traps, larger guns called BLASTERS.

BUFFY moves past, taking in the impressive arsenal, like a kid in a candy shop. As Maggie speaks Buffy spots something on the rolling stand of a nearby monitor and picks it up - a gray EARPIECE with a tiny lens. Behind her, on the monitor, Buffy's face appears with a FISHEYE EFFECT from DIFFERENT ANGLES as she moves it around.

 

MAGGIE
The armory. You'll have to be
cleared for use on each of these
weapons. The more advanced arsenal
can be complicated, but I'm certain,
in no time, you'll pick that up.

 

Maggie notices Buffy's holding the earpiece.

 

MAGGIE
Don't pick that up.

 

 

BUFFY
(looking closer)
What is it?

 

Maggie takes the earpiece from her, a little annoyed.

 

MAGGIE
Roughly twenty-thousand dollars.

 

Riley steps in to smooth over everything.

 

RILEY
(to Buffy)
It's a prototype for a COM-CAM...
(off her look)
Communications camera. Soon to be
standard issue. Gives us a direct
com-link to Control when we're out in
the field.

 

 

MAGGIE
Also monitors the heart-rate of the
wearer. A valuable tool for research
in stress and combat conditioning.
(then)
If you'll follow me, I'll show you
the HST containment area.

 

She moves off. Buffy gives Riley an "oops" look. He shakes his head: "It's okay." They follow.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. INITIATIVE - LABORATORY - A SHORT TIME LATER (DAY)

Maggie, Buffy and Riley arrive where they started.

 

MAGGIE
Now, there's just a few other things
to give you--

 

Buffy glances to her left.

 

BUFFY
Um, what's in there?

 

Maggie looks to see

A WOMAN in a labcoat standing at a STEEL DOOR which has a small window and a red light above it. She runs her security card through a CARD SWIPE, a loud BUZZ sounds and she enters.

 

MAGGIE
Research area. Very restricted for
security reasons.

 

Buffy watches as Maggie removes her visitor badge and hands her a CARD with a magnetic strip and a sleek black PAGER.

 

MAGGIE
Your security card and pager...

 

 

BUFFY
(re pager)
Oh, hey, I was thinking about getting
one of these--

 

 

MAGGIE
We're the only ones with the number.
That's the way it stays.

 

 

BUFFY
Right.

 

 

MAGGIE
Lose either one and there's hell to
pay. And down here we mean that literally.
(holding out her hand)
Again, welcome to the team.

 

Buffy shakes her hand, and Maggie walks off. Buffy shares a pleased and excited look with Riley, then holds up her new pager to admire it.

 

WILLOW (PRE-LAP)
This is so cool...

 

INT. COMMONS - DAY

ON WILLOW and TARA, sitting together in a corner, looking over a plum-sized BLACK CRYSTAL.

 

WILLOW
I've been trying to find a dolls-eye
crystal my entire life.
(then)
Well, since June, anyway. Where'd
you get it?

 

 

TARA
It was my grandma's, I think. Found
it a long time ago in my attic.
(then, shyly)
I... I want you to have it.

 

 

WILLOW
Oh, no. Tara, that's really sweet.
But I can't. It's like a family
heirloom. I just wouldn't feel
comfortable.

 

She senses Tara's disappointment.

 

WILLOW
But, if you wanted to try out some
spells with it sometime, I wouldn't
say no.

 

 

TARA
(brightening)
Maybe tonight. I mean, if you're not
doing something, you could come over
and we could... do something.

 

 

WILLOW
Tonight. That sounds really nice,
but tonight... I've already got
plans. With people. Other.

 

 

TARA
(disappointed)
Oh.

 

Tara puts the crystal away in her bag and stands.

 

TARA
That's okay. Another t-time.

 

 

WILLOW
Absolutely. It's just that it's kind
of a specific crowd and you might
feel out of place.

 

An awkward silence. Willow is about to say something else when Tara stands.

 

TARA
I'd better get to class.

 

 

WILLOW
I'll see you later, okay?

 

Tara just nods and goes, leaving Willow feeling guilty.

INT. INITIATIVE - RESTRICTED HALLWAY - DAY

With her security card key, Maggie enters the restricted area and comes to the first door on the left. She punches a code into the digital lock, then enters the room. As the door closes, we see a number on it: 314.

INT. ROOM 314 - CONTINUOUS - DAY

Maggie enters. Angleman is washing up at a nearby sink.

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
How did the tour go?

 

 

MAGGIE
I'm not sure. She's... unpredictable.

 

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
She's an unnecessary risk.

 

 

MAGGIE
Possibly.

 

Maggie crosses to a large examining table.

 

MAGGIE
And how's our baby doing today?

 

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
Adjusting nicely. Reflexes, motor
functions... all off the charts.

 

 

MAGGIE
That's what I like to hear.
(looking down, beaming)
Almost time to wake up, Adam. And
take your first look at the world.

 

NEW ANGLE - ABOVE MAGGIE - LOOKING DOWN on a MONSTER lying on an examining table, covered up to his shoulders in a surgical sheet. There are numerous i.v. tubes and wires attached to his head and body, running through various filtration and monitoring machines. His head, face and shoulders are an amalgam of demon, humanoid and metal pieces, and though we don't yet see its body, we can tell it's ENORMOUS. This is ADAM.

 

MAGGIE
I know you're going to make me proud.

 

BLACK OUT.

 

END OF ACT ONE
Act Two

INT. BRONZE - NIGHT

ON XANDER, near the bar, chatting up a lovely, well-built, young girl, SUZI.

 

XANDER
(smoothly)
Suzi, is it? I can tell you work
out. Obviously take good care of
yourself. So I think I know what you need.
(brings up Boost Bar)
"Honey Nut Yogurt Crunch" -
Welcome to carbo-load country. Just
a measly buck-fifty...

 

ON WILLOW and ANYA at a table watching Xander and the girl in the background. They see the girl shake her head, walk away.

 

WILLOW
Okay, another no sale, but he's doing
better.

 

 

ANYA
She didn't throw a drink in his
face...

 

 

WILLOW
He's on a roll.

 

She checks her watch and cranes to look toward the entrance as Xander returns to the table, now eating the unsold bar.

 

ANYA
Xander, you haven't been paying any
attention to me tonight -- just
peddling those processed food bricks.
I don't know why.

 

 

XANDER
Let me put it in a way you'll
understand... Sell bars, make money,
take Anya nice places, buy pretty
things.

 

 

ANYA
(reasoning)
That does make sense. All right, I
support you. Go sell more.

 

 

XANDER
(re bar he's eating)
This was the only one I had on me.
Besides, it's getting late. Maybe we
should go.

 

 

WILLOW
Go? You can't go. Buffy hasn't
gotten here yet.

 

 

XANDER
Face it, Will, she's almost an hour
late. Probably off living the life
of Riley. I don't think she's coming.

 

 

WILLOW
She is. She told me she was looking
forward to quality time with just us.
(spotting her)
See? Here she comes.
(then)
With Riley.
(then)
And some other guys.

 

Buffy appears, with Riley, Forrest, Graham and a couple of other guys in tow. Anya appears particularly uncomfortable.

 

BUFFY
Hey, all. Sorry about the late-itude.

 

 

XANDER
Late? Really? Huh, hadn't noticed.

 

 

RILEY
Hope you don't mind us tagging along.

 

 

WILLOW
No, no, of course not. The more,
the... more.

 

 

RILEY
(re buddies)
This is Forrest, Graham, that's Tuck
and he's Mason. We're going to get
some drinks. Anybody wanting?

 

 

BUFFY
Coke, please.

 

 

WILLOW
(shaking her head)
I'm good.

 

Riley and his friends look expectantly at Anya. Feeling anxious, she stands, indicating Xander.

 

ANYA
We're going away. To dance. Over there.

 

 

XANDER
We are?

 

Anya pulls Xander toward the dance floor as Riley and the boys move off, leaving Willow and Buffy alone.

 

BUFFY
Anya seems a bit on edge.

 

 

WILLOW
She's a little antsy around commando-
types. Ex-demon issues.

 

 

BUFFY
Oh. Riley and his friends were
throwing a little impromptu
celebration in my honor. Made it,
like, impossible, not to invite them.

 

 

WILLOW
That's neat about the celebrating
but... this was just supposed to be,
you know... us. The Scooby core. I
mean, I could've invited someone else
if I knew it was going to be an open
free-for-all.

 

 

BUFFY
Sorry. Didn't realize it was such a
big deal. My total bad.
(then)
Who did you want to invite?

 

 

WILLOW
(caught off-guard)
What?

 

 

BUFFY
You said you wanted to invite someone.

 

 

WILLOW
(nervously)
No, not-- No one. I mean, I meant
a hypothetical someone. Which is to
say no one.
(quickly)
What are we celebrating?

 

 

BUFFY
(sotto)
I'm in! The Initiative! Professor
Walsh gave me the grand tour -- and
we're talking Grand as in Canyon.
You'd never believe the size of it.

 

 

WILLOW
(unsure how she feels)
That's really, again I say, neat.
So, what do you mean, exactly --
You've joined them?

 

 

BUFFY
No. Not exactly. It just means now
when I patrol, I'll have a heavily
armed team backing me up. Plus,
boyfriend going to work with me, a
big extra perk.

 

 

WILLOW
Buffy, do you really think this is a
good idea? I mean, don't you think
you're rushing things a little?

 

 

BUFFY
I thought you liked Riley.

 

 

WILLOW
Not with Riley. With the Initiative.
There's a bunch of stuff about them
we still don't know.

 

 

BUFFY
I know that.
(then)
Like, what?

 

 

WILLOW
Like, what's their ultimate agenda?
I mean, okay, they neuter vampires
and demons - then, what? They going
to reintegrate them into society?
Get them jobs as bagboys at Walmart?

 

 

BUFFY
Does Walmart have bagboys?

 

 

WILLOW
Plus, don't forget, there's that
whole three-fourteen thing Ethan told
Giles about.

 

 

BUFFY
And I always say a man who worships
chaos and tries to kill you is a man
you can trust.

 

 

WILLOW
Bad info or not, Buffy, I think you
should be asking some questions
before you go off to enlist.

 

Buffy considers for a moment, then opens her mouth to answer when her new pager BEEPS five times. As she looks down at it, other BEEPS are heard emanating from the bar.

 

WILLOW
When did you get a pager?
(re other beeps)
What's going--

 

The commandos make their way to the exit as Riley comes over.

 

RILEY
(to Buffy)
That's our cue. Mother wants us.

 

Buffy looks at Willow, apologetically.

 

BUFFY
Will...

 

 

WILLOW
I know. Talk later.

 

Buffy nods, and heads out with Riley. Willow watches them go hearing:

 

BUFFY (O.S.)
(to Riley)
So, what's the big emergency?

 

INT. INITIATIVE - NIGHT

CLOSE ON a detailed illustration of a scary-looking POLGARA DEMON appearing on a large screen. We hear Maggie before she enters frame.

 

MAGGIE
This is your objective: Sub-T-67119
demon-class, Polgara species.

 

CUT OUT to find her addressing a group of about twenty suited- up COMMANDOS, seated in folding chairs. Flanking her on either side of the illustration is Riley and Angleman. Among the sea of camouflage and olive drab, we find Buffy still dressed in the same clothes she had on at the Bronze.

 

MAGGIE
Though visual confirmation has not
yet been made, we're confident of the
target's approximate position as it
leaves behind a distinct protein
marker. Dr. Angleman will brief you
on its defenses.

 

Angleman steps forward and flips a clear overlay onto the illustration, now showing long pointed SHAFTS OF BONE sticking out of the ends of the demon's arms, under its palms.

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
When threatened, bone skewers jut
from the creature's forearms during
battle. It's imperative, when
ensnaring it, not to damage its arms.
That's all you really need to--

 

 

BUFFY (O.S.)
(interrupting him)
Question.

 

Angleman stops. Had he heard right?

 

MAGGIE
Buffy.

 

NEW ANGLE - From behind the audience, we see a slight, feminine arm raised. The other commandos look at each other, a little confused.

ON BUFFY.

 

BUFFY
Why exactly can't we damage this
Polka thing's arms?
(then)
Not that I want to. Just, in my
experience, when you're fighting for
your life, body parts get damaged.
And better its bits than mine.
(re commandos)
Or ours.

 

Everyone's stunned for a moment. Dr. Angleman looks helplessly at Maggie, then back to Buffy.

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
We wish to study the physiology of
every sub-terrestrial's natural
defenses. Part of the research we do
here. Now--
(seeing something)
Yes?

 

The commandos turn toward Buffy whose hand is again raised.

 

BUFFY
What do they want?

 

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
Want?

 

 

BUFFY
Why are they here? Sacrifices,
treasure -- or are they just gettin'
rampage-y? 'Cause it's easier to
predict their responses if --

 

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
They're not sentient. Just
destructive, I believe...

 

He looks at Maggie for help.

 

MAGGIE
They do have keen eyesight, though.
I'd think you'd want to be suited up
for this.

 

 

BUFFY
Oh, you mean, the camouflage and
stuff. Thought about it, but on me,
it's gonna look all Private Benjamin.
Don't worry. I've patrolled in this
blouse lots of times.

 

Maggie looks at Riley, who offers an embarrassed smile.

 

MAGGIE
Well why don't we just give Dr.
Angleman our attention.

 

Buffy's arm shoots up.

 

MAGGIE
And save all questions until the end.

 

Buffy lowers it again.

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
Actually, I'm finished.

 

 

MAGGIE
Oh. Well, then, Agent Finn, deploy
the teams.

 

 

RILEY
(stepping forward)
Okay, listen up. We'll be going in
a four squad set-up. Team leaders:
Gates, Taggart, Stavros... Alpha
Team, you're with me.

 

 

MAGGIE
Report to TLs for assignments and
weapon requisitions. Reminder: this
is a zap and trap, people - capture,
not a kill. Any questions?

 

Regretting the moment she says it, she looks off-screen and says, wearily:

 

MAGGIE
(calling on her)
Buffy.

 

INT. TARA'S DORM - HALLWAY - NIGHT

The door opens and Tara stands there, in a tee-shirt and sweatpants, ready for bed. She brightens when she sees...

 

TARA
Willow.

 

REVERSE ANGLE on Willow in the hall, looking contrite.

 

WILLOW
Funny thing happened with my prior
social engagement. Pretty much ended
when a friend of mine went off to do
something with... another crowd she
hangs out with.
(beat)
Irony is kind of ironic that way.

 

Tara smiles shyly.

 

WILLOW
Anyway, I know it's late, but I
thought... I mean, if you still
wanted to... do something.

 

Tara opens the door wider, invitingly. Willow smiles and enters. The door closes behind her.

EXT. WOODS - NIGHT

Riley, Buffy and the other three members of their team (including Tuck and Mason) move through the woods, quietly. Buffy, wearing all sorts of gear over her clothes, looks at Riley.

 

BUFFY
So I guess she hates me now.

 

 

RILEY
What?

 

 

BUFFY
Professor Walsh. The questions. An
Initiative faux pas, yes?

 

 

RILEY
It's... a little unusual. She's just
not used to it. Maybe 'cause you
barely ever opened your mouth in her
classroom. But I know she likes you.
In fact, she liked you before I did.

 

 

BUFFY
Really?

 

 

RILEY
Told me so herself.

 

Buffy takes that in as they march on. After a beat...

 

BUFFY
You think maybe I should get her a
present or some--

 

 

RILEY
(interrupting her)
Buffy, can we talk about this later?
There's a dangerous Hostile out here
and since I don't have your reflexes,
I kind of need to focus.

 

 

BUFFY
Right. Right.
(then, after a beat)
What do you mean Professor Walsh
liked me before you did? You didn't
like me?

 

Riley keeps marching.

EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE WOODS - MEANWHILE (NIGHT)

Forrest and his team are staked out. Graham continually scans the area with a pair of INFRARED BINOCULARS as he and Forrest converse.

 

GRAHAM
He made you team leader, didn't he?

 

 

FORREST
That's not the point. I've always
been Riley's second-in-command.
Instead he picks a girl.

 

 

GRAHAM
His girl.

 

 

FORREST
Whatever. Three guesses what that
boy's thinking with.

 

 

GRAHAM
Maybe he just wanted to give you a
chance to get out from under his
shadow.

 

Forrest glares at Graham.

 

FORREST
Hey, I'm not under anybody's shadow.

 

 

GRAHAM
It was a joke, man, don't get your
panties in a bunch. I'm just saying--
(holding up his hand)
Hang on. Got something.

 

To business now, Forrest gets down beside Graham.

 

FORREST
Target?

 

 

GRAHAM
Negative.

 

He hands over binoculars and points.

FORREST'S P.O.V. - THROUGH INFRARED BINOCULARS - SPIKE, moving through the woods, carrying a grocery bag.

 

FORREST (O.S.)
Hello, Hostile 17.

 

NEW ANGLE - ON SPIKE - continuing to walk, then stopping, his senses on alert. Did he hear something? He looks around at the trees. Then... a COMMANDO attempts to come up from behind and throw a net over him. Anticipating it, Spike steps out of the way, grabs and yanks the net causing the Commando to slam into a tree.

ANOTHER COMMANDO charges him, taser drawn. Spike flings the full grocery bag into his face, the taser blast goes off target and Spike hightails, into a more densely wooded area.

ON GRAHAM and FORREST, the former aiming a different looking RIFLE in the direction Spike ran off. Forrest taps Graham's shoulder and he FIRES.

ON SPIKE, sprinting through the woods, as he's HIT in the shoulder. He YELPS in pain, staggers for a beat, but manages to continue on, disappearing into the woods.

BACK ON FORREST as he pulls out a tracking device, like the one from the teaser, and flicks it on.

INSERT DEVICE - A flashing dot moves across the screen.

Forrest turns to Graham.

 

FORREST
Alert control and Alpha team. We've
tagged Hostile 17 with a tracer and
are in pursuit.

 

EXT. WOODS - MEANWHILE (NIGHT)

Riley and Buffy's team are now staked out. Riley is scanning the woods with binoculars, when Mason comes over, carrying a small, sleek walkie-talkie.

 

MASON
Graham's on the talkie for you.
Reception's not too good.

 

Riley takes the walkie-talkie and speaks into it.

 

RILEY
This is Alpha Team, go ahead.

 

Graham's voice comes over, tinny and garbled.

 

GRAHAM (V.O.)
Yeah, we... a sighting
(static)
Hostile...
(static)
tagged... and are in...

 

Riley steps away from the others, trying to get a better signal.

 

RILEY
Say again, Beta team. You're
breaking--

 

A LOUD ROAR.

 

BUFFY
Riley!

 

Riley turns in time to see the POLGARA DEMON charging him. Before he can react, it SLAMS into him hard, knocking him to the ground and sending the walkie-talkie flying. The demon moves in on him and is about to strike again.

BUFFY flies in with a kick to the Polgara's head, knocking it back. She looks over at Riley. Recovering, he looks at her, then whips out his telescoping wand.

The Polgara demon ROARS. Buffy and Riley rush it...

INT. RILEY'S ROOM - LATER (NIGHT)

Buffy and Riley come together, in an embrace of raw passion and kiss as if there's no tomorrow. Her hands go to his face. He nuzzles her neck...

EXT. WOODS - BACK TO REAL TIME (NIGHT)

FIGHT ENSUES - Buffy and Riley battle the creature together. Mason and Tuck move in with netting as the third commando aims a taser rifle at the demon, trying to get a clear shot.

The demon takes some hits from Riley, then swats him away. Riley turns to see the demon grab Buffy, lift her off the ground, her feet dangling in the air...

INT. RILEY'S ROOM - LATER (NIGHT)

ON BUFFY's FEET - toe-to-toe with Riley - as she pries her shoes off with her feet.

TRAVEL up her body, from behind, as Riley's hands slip under her shirt, forcing it up, as he caresses her back...

EXT. WOODS - BACK TO REAL TIME (NIGHT)

Riley's baton comes down hard on the demon's arm and it drops Buffy, who immediately pummels the demon's torso with sharp punches...

INT. RILEY'S ROOM - LATER (NIGHT)

Buffy unbuttons Riley's shirt. Pulls up his t-shirt and kisses his chest. As she has her way with him, Riley opens his arms, holding them out, away from his body...

EXT. WOODS - BACK TO REAL TIME (NIGHT)

In the midst of the fighting, the demon raises its arms and the famed SKEWERING BONES jut out. It swipes and jabs at Buffy, who barely manages to dodge the skewers at every turn...

INT. RILEY'S ROOM - LATER (NIGHT)

Riley spins Buffy around -- he holds her from behind. As his hands move all over her body, she closes her eyes, lost in the pleasurable sensation.

Then, deftly, he pulls her shirt off, over her head. His head drops down to her bare shoulders...

EXT. WOODS - BACK TO REAL TIME (NIGHT)

Riley hits the ground and rolls out of the way, grabs his own taser and addresses the third commando.

 

RILEY
Conner! On my mark!

 

Buffy kicks the Polgara in the gut with both feet and falls onto her back...

INTERCUT WITH:

INT. RILEY'S ROOM - LATER (NIGHT)

Buffy, now naked, falls back onto the bed. Riley, also naked, moves in above her, staring deeply into her eyes. He
lowers himself to kiss her. Just before their lips meet...

INT. WOODS - BACK TO REAL TIME (NIGHT)

 

RILEY
Now!

 

Riley and Conner fire. The demon is blasted by the two tasers, dazing it. Mason and Tuck throw the net over it, enraging the beast. It ROARS...

INT. RILEY'S ROOM - LATER (NIGHT)

Buffy lets out a soft MOAN as they roll over in bed -- putting her on top now...

EXT. WOODS - BACK TO REAL TIME (NIGHT)

Buffy jumps to her feet and delivers a final blow, knocking the Polgara out.

As the other commandos truss up their capture. Riley crosses to Buffy, both of them sweaty and breathing hard. After a moment, she looks at him.

 

BUFFY
So... what do you want to do now?

 

INT. RILEY'S ROOM - LATER (NIGHT)

ON BUFFY and RILEY balls-out making love - Family-Hour Style -- their naked torsos pressed together, kissing passionately.

NEW HIGH ANGLE -- As their bodies move rhythmically under the sheets.

MATCH CUT TO:

INT. INITIATIVE - MONITOR ROOM - MEANWHILE (NIGHT)

ON MONITOR - IN B&W - From the same ELEVATED ANGLE, Buffy and Riley making love. Just below the screen is a strip of tape on which is written "FINN - 75329" in black marker.

PULL OUT further to see a bank of monitors, each labeled ("MILLER - 11804," "GATES - 50427," etc.) and all showing surveillance images of occupied and unoccupied bedrooms in Lowell House.

PULLING OUT FURTHER, we see, from behind, someone seated before the monitors. REVERSE ANGLE to discover

MAGGIE, watching intently, though with no emotion on her face -- only the eerie BLUE GLOW of the monitors.

BLACK OUT.

 

END OF ACT TWO

 

Act Three

INT. GILES' APARTMENT - MORNING

Giles finishes pouring himself a cup of tea and moves into his living room.

 

GILES
I don't know how many more ways I can
say I'm not interested.

 

XANDER and ANYA are there on the couch. Several boxes of Boost Bars rest on the coffee table.

 

XANDER
Try one. Check these flavors: cherry
berry, maple walnut, almond licorice.

 

 

ANYA
Ew.

 

 

XANDER
(forced smile)
Anya, we don't say "ew" in front of a
potential customer.

 

 

ANYA
Just skip this part and tell him you
want money to buy me pretty things.
He'll understand.

 

 

GILES
(a resigned sigh)
Very well. The maple walnut.

 

 

XANDER
An excellent choice.

 

He hands a bar to Giles who tears it open, looks at it for a moment, then takes a bite. After a few beats of chewing, he stops and looks at Xander.

 

GILES
Please leave my home now.

 

 

XANDER
It's the gritty texture, isn't it?
Maybe you're a cherry berry fellow.

 

He reaches for it as, suddenly, there's a desperate POUNDING on Giles' front door. Giles quickly moves to answer it. He unbolts the door, but before he can open it -- BOOM! - Spike bursts in, covered in a plastic car tarp.

 

SPIKE
Close the door!

 

 

XANDER
Spike? You may wanna give up these
morning jogs.

 

 

SPIKE
Soldier boys are out in force. Been
trying to get 'em off my scent,
running 'em in circles, but they keep
coming.

 

Giles, Xander and Anya share a look.

 

GILES
And how is this our concern? Being
that you expressed a desire to have
nothing more to do with us.

 

 

XANDER
(to Giles)
Spike said that? About us? Well,
now, I gotta tell you... that hurts.

 

 

SPIKE
Yeah, awright... Whataya want me
to say? I need help.
(to Giles)
And no cheek from you.

 

Giles doesn't say a word. Spike throws off the tarp and shows them his wound.

 

SPIKE
Look. Buggers shot me. In the back.

 

Giles eyes Spike's bleeding shoulder for a moment.

 

GILES
Remind me. Why should I help you?

 

 

SPIKE
Because... You do that. You're the
goody-good guys. You're the bloody,
frickin' calvary!

 

 

GILES
You can come up with a better answer
than that. Why should I help you?

 

Spike thinks. Then...

 

SPIKE
Oh! 'Cause I helped you. When you
turned into a Fyarl demon. I helped
you, din' I?

 

 

GILES
Out of the evil-ness of your heart?

 

 

SPIKE
Hell, no. I made you pay m--
(pauses, getting it)
You right bastard...

 

With an aggravated sigh, he reaches into his coat and slaps a handful of crumpled bills into Giles' outstretched hand.

 

SPIKE
It's all that's left. Spent the rest
on blood and smokes.
(muttering)
Which I'll never see again.

 

Giles pockets the money. Spike looks at the others.

 

SPIKE
Well, come on. Circle the wagons.
Tend to the wounded here. No time
for layabouts.

 

INT. RILEY'S ROOM - MORNING

ON BUFFY, in bed, asleep. Morning light streams across her face. Suddenly her eyes snap open, panicked. She rolls over.

WIDEN - Riley's there, lying next to her, awake. He looks at her and smiles affectionately.

 

RILEY
Hey.

 

He reaches over and strokes her hair as she gives him a relieved smile.

 

RILEY
What's the matter? Weren't expecting
to see me?

 

She moves in so they're nose to nose.

 

BUFFY
I never know what to expect.

 

They kiss, lovingly. Then an electronic CHIRPING is heard. Buffy breaks from the kiss, looking around.

 

BUFFY
Your robot bird sounds hungry.

 

Riley reaches over the end table, picks up his watch and shuts off the alarm. Then reaches for a pill bottle.

 

RILEY
Reminder to take my vitamins.

 

 

BUFFY
You're kidding?

 

He pours out a CAPSULE and swallows it. Then settles back down to cuddling on the bed.

 

BUFFY
You're quite the regimental soldier.

 

 

RILEY
I am how they trained me.

 

 

BUFFY
They? Who "they?"

 

 

RILEY
You know, the government. Plucked me
out of Special Ops training for this.

 

 

BUFFY
What did they tell you it was for?

 

 

RILEY
Didn't. You learn in the military to
follow orders, not ask questions.

 

 

BUFFY
I don't understand. Aren't you
curious about all this science and
research stuff they're doing?

 

 

RILEY
I know all I need to know. We're
doing good here. Protecting the
public. Removing the Sub-terrestrial
threat... it's work worth doing.

 

There is a beat.

 

BUFFY
What's three-fourteen?

 

Riley eyes her, draws breath to answer and his PHONE RINGS. Without another word, he answers it.

 

RILEY
(into phone)
Riley.

 

 

MAGGIE (V.O.)
We have a situation. You're needed.

 

 

RILEY
On my way.

 

He hangs up and starts dressing.

 

BUFFY
What is it?

 

 

RILEY
Don't know.

 

 

BUFFY
You're really not one for asking
questions, are you?

 

Riley shrugs and smiles at her.

 

RILEY
I'll leave that to you.

 

INT. INITIATIVE - DAY

Riley suits up, loads up on gear, and prepares to move out. As he goes, he passes the security door with the red light. He hesitates, then moves to it and peers through the window.

RILEY'S P.O.V. - The door to room 314.

 

MAGGIE (O.S.)
Lose your way, Agent?

 

Riley spins around to find Maggie standing behind him.

 

RILEY
No, ma'am.

 

 

MAGGIE
I've instructed Beta Team to suspend
pursuit of Hostile 17 until your
arrival. I don't want any slip-ups,
that's why I'm putting you in charge.
(hands him paper)
You're to rendezvous with them at
these coordinates.

 

Riley nods and starts off.

 

MAGGIE
Riley...

 

He stops and turns back.

 

MAGGIE
Make me proud.

 

 

RILEY
Yes, ma'am.

 

He goes. She watches him, dispassionately.

SFX (PRE-LAP) : THE HIGH-PITCHED WHINE OF A BONE SAW.

INT. ROOM 314 - DAY

ON ANGLEMAN, wearing a surgical mask. He brings up a BONE SAW as it WHIRS to a stop.

PICK-UP MAGGIE as she CROSSES FRAME, pacing.

 

MAGGIE
I think we've got a situation.

 

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
The Slayer?

 

 

MAGGIE
She's becoming a liability.

 

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
We knew that was a danger. Does she
know about the project?

 

 

MAGGIE
She knows it exists. And she already
holds too much influence over
Riley -- over Agent Finn.

 

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
We move to the contingency scenario?

 

 

MAGGIE
(nodding)
Right away.

 

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
It's too bad. She could have been a
powerful ally.

 

 

MAGGIE
(genuine regret)
I know.

 

 

DR. ANGLEMAN
And Finn'll take it hard.

 

 

MAGGIE
That's why sooner is better

 

Dr. Angleman removes the Polgara arm. Maggie is lost in thought.

 

MAGGIE
It's better...

 

PAN DOWN to the table to find the lifeless POLGARA DEMON and the clamped-off stump where its arm used to be.

INT. GILES' APARTMENT - DAY

Spike's in a chair, his shirt off. Giles is behind him, examining the wound. Xander and Anya stand by holding flashlights on the wound.

 

SPIKE
Oww! Watch it! That hurts.

 

 

GILES
(ignoring him)
Doesn't appear to be a bullet. Too
deeply imbedded to be a tranquilizer
dart.

 

 

SPIKE
Also: not tranquil.

 

 

GILES
(looking closer)
Seems to be some sort of illumination
emanating from it. Blinking.

 

 

SPIKE
I don't care if it's playing "Rockin'
the Casbah" on the bloody Jew's Harp,
just get it out of me.

 

Xander moves in for a closer look.

 

GILES
Anya, there's a bottle of cognac in
the cabinet next to the sink. Fetch
it for me, would you?

 

Anya goes.

 

SPIKE
What, you gonna get snockered now?

 

 

GILES
It's not for me, you git. If I'm
going to operate on you, I want you
anesthetized. This'll take some time.

 

ON XANDER - a dawning realization.

 

XANDER
We don't have any. That blinking
thing. My pseudo-soldier memory
bank tells me that's a tracer.

 

 

GILES
A what?

 

 

SPIKE
A what?

 

 

XANDER
Like a homing beacon. And if
commando guys are reading the
signal... They're coming home.

 

INT. BUFFY AND WILLOW'S DORM ROOM - DAY

Buffy enters, expecting to find Willow, instead CUT WIDE to see two made beds. As Buffy is about to move off, the door opens and WILLOW enters. They are both somewhat uncomfortable.

 

WILLOW
Oh. Hi.

 

 

BUFFY
Morning.
(then)
Out all night, huh?

 

 

WILLOW
(indicating Buffy's made bed)
You, too.

 

 

BUFFY
Yep.

 

After an awkward moment, Willow nods, then they both turn to go about their respective business. Buffy moves to her bed. Willow goes to her dresser and places something on it: the BLACK CRYSTAL. After a beat...

 

BUFFY
Sorry, about bailing on you guys at
the Bronze...

 

 

WILLOW
Yeah, that's... I'm... Don't...
worry about it.

 

 

BUFFY
'kay.

 

Her pager BEEPS. She glances at the message.

 

WILLOW
They keep you hopping, don't they?

 

 

BUFFY
Yeah. Gotta go. See you.

 

As she exits the phone RINGS. Willow picks it up.

 

WILLOW
Hello?

 

 

GILES (V.O.)
Willow. You're there, at last. We
have a problem. Where's Buffy?

 

 

WILLOW
Just left. Beeped away by her new
buds. Want me to go after her?

 

 

GILES (V.O.)
Actually, it's your help I need most.

 

 

WILLOW
Really? What do you want me to do?

 

INT. INITIATIVE - LABORATORY - DAY

Maggie enters, Buffy trailing.

 

MAGGIE
It's a small job, reconnaissance.
Probably a waste of a slayer's
abilities, but my boys are on
assignment, and --

 

 

BUFFY
No, it's fine. I'm up for some
action.

 

 

MAGGIE
I doubt you'll get any on this one.

 

They come to a table with a map.

 

MAGGIE
We've had readings of a Class 3 sub-
terrestrial moving through the sewer
tunnels here.
(points)
Just on the north edge of town.

 

 

BUFFY
Class 3?

 

 

MAGGIE
Low level threat. Minimal
aggression, meager defenses. They
barely read on our scanners, and very
occasionally turn out to be raccoons.

 

She hands Buffy a blaster, a modified, souped-up-taser rifle.

 

BUFFY
Wow. You're not crazy about
raccoons, huh?

 

 

MAGGIE
We always take precautions.

 

She fits Buffy with the com-cam as she continues.

 

MAGGIE
All I need is for you to get a visual
on the thing. This'll feed us the
image and I can advise you from
there. I don't want to put you in
any unnecessary danger.

 

 

BUFFY
Hey, danger is my birthright.

 

A beat.

 

BUFFY
You know, Professor Walsh, there's
still some things about all this that
I'm not clear on.

 

 

MAGGIE
Well, when you get back we'll have a
talk. All right.

 

 

BUFFY
Good, okay. When I get back.
(pause)
Uh, am I supposed to salute you?

 

 

MAGGIE
No.

 

 

BUFFY
'Kay.

 

She goes. Maggie watches her.

INT. GILES' APARTMENT - DAY

A semi-conscious Spike is now laying face down on Giles' table, a semi-empty bottle of Cognac in his hand. He's droning away in a drunken slurry voice. Oh, yeah - he's hammered. Giles, Xander and Anya stand over him, their attention turned to

WILLOW, reading from a book she holds in one hand as she brings up the black crystal in the other. CGI - A BALL OF BLUE LIGHT at its core begins to glow.

 

WILLOW
(incanting)
"Tropo, strato, meso...
Aero, iono, exo..."

 

Xander leans in to Giles.

 

XANDER
(whispering)
So how's this supposed to work again?

 

 

GILES
(whispering)
If she succeeds, her spell will
ionize the atmosphere around us,
thereby disrupting the tracer's
signal. Buy us time.

 

 

WILLOW
(incanting)
"Elements are brought to bear...
Wind, earth and water churned amidst
the fire. Let the air be burned..."

 

CGI - the ball of light BURNS INTENSELY, then seemingly EXPLODES in a bright FLASH, like a supernova, radiating outward.

Everyone cowers, throwing their arms over their heads. A series of LIGHTBULBS in nearby lamps BURST with loud pops. As the radiating light dissipates...

 

WILLOW (O.S.)
Did it work? Is the atmosphere ionized?

 

CUT WIDE on ALL PRESENT - Everyone's hair is standing on end, wildly -- loaded with static electricity. Xander looks at Anya and reacts with a start.

 

GILES
I'd venture yes.

 

EXT. EDGE OF WOODS - DAY

ON RILEY with FORREST who's holding the tracking device. The other Beta Team commandos, including Graham, around them.

 

RILEY
What do you mean "the signal's
whacked?"

 

 

FORREST
I mean, the blip's now a blob.
There's some kind of interference
messing with the tracer.

 

 

RILEY
Lock it down. Are we heading in the
right general direction?

 

 

FORREST
I think so. But it's gonna put us in
populated areas.

 

 

RILEY
Okay, then. We change into civies.
Then we move. Spread out. Maybe
something'll turn up.

 

INT. SEWER TUNNEL - DAY

Buffy moves through the sewer tunnel, armed and ready. She comes to a point where the sewer segues off into a grotto-like area and takes note of a large puddle of water in front of her when she hears a SNARLING NOISE and RASPY BREATHING. She squints into the black as

Two demons - the WARRIOR DEMONS from the Pit - emerge slowly from the darkness, wielding large battle-axes.

 

BUFFY
Professor Walsh, are you getting
this? That possible HST -- make it
a definite. And he's brought a
friend. They're--

 

She hesitates, squinting at the demons, remembering...

FLASH!

INT. INITIATIVE - LABORATORY - FLASHBACK

The two Warrior Demons restrained and guarded in the Pit.

FLASH!

INT. SEWER TUNNEL - DAY

ON BUFFY - her eyes narrow in seething anger.

The demons continue moving in on her. She raises her BLASTER and fires -- it SPUTTERS with SPARKS and shocks her. She flings it away...

ON BLASTER, as it hits the ground, continuing to SPUTTER and SPARK.

As Buffy shakes the sting off her hands...

SHUNK! A metal gate SLAMS DOWN, behind her, sealing the tunnel, trapping her with the two demons.

She looks around. No escape.

BLACK OUT.

 

END OF ACT THREE
Act Four

INT. SEWER TUNNEL - DAY

Right where we left off. The demons split off to surround her. Buffy counters. She makes the first move and rushes Warrior Demon #1.

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT. Buffy taking the worst of it, barely able to fend them off.

CUT IN CLOSE on Buffy's COM-CAM EARPIECE.

INT. INITIATIVE - LABORATORY - DAY

ON FIVE MONITORS - A BUFFY-EYE VIEW of the battle. We hear the requisite Buffy GRUNTING and demon GROWLING. RAPID SPIKES appear on the PULSE READER at the bottom of the middle screen.

ON MAGGIE, watching, with total detachment.

ON MONITORS - The two demons CHARGE at the camera with their axes raised and Buffy's seemingly thrown to the ground, the image becomes DARK, BLURRY and completely STILL.

MAGGIE takes note as

THE PULSE READER at the bottom of the screen FLATLINES.

ON MAGGIE, still expressionless. She looks around her for a moment, then watches the monitors again. Just to be certain.

EXT. STREET - DAY

Riley and his team, now dressed in their "civies," make their way into Giles' populated neighborhood.

 

RILEY
Talk to me, Forrest.

 

 

FORREST
Signal's somewhere in this
neighborhood. Estimate within a two
block radius.

 

INT. GILES' APARTMENT - DAY

PAN ACROSS to find Willow, Xander and Anya standing around the makeshift operating table, each anxiously chewing on Boost Bars. Their respective hairs have calmed down considerably.

 

WILLOW
(eyeing others)
Feels - and looks - like the ionizing
spell's wearing off.

 

 

XANDER
Giles?

 

 

GILES
Got it!

 

Giles straightens, holding up the blinking tracer.

EXT. STREET - MEANWHILE (DAY)

Riley barks out orders.

 

RILEY
Okay, we want to keep this Hostile
contained, so no one is to make a
move without--

 

Forrest, who has his eyes on the tracking device, interrupts.

 

FORREST
Wait! Signal's cleared up.
(pointing)
There!

 

 

RILEY
Let's go!

 

They move.

INT. GILES' APARTMENT - MEANWHILE (DAY)

Giles tosses the tracer to Xander.

 

GILES
Go.

 

XANDER

takes off -- into another room. After a beat, we hear...

SFX: TOILET FLUSH.

EXT. STREET - DAY

The commandos move quickly until Forrest freezes.

 

RILEY
What?

 

 

FORREST
It's on the move.

 

 

RILEY
Heading?

 

 

FORREST
Straight at us. Forty meters and
closing. Moving fast.

 

 

GRAHAM
(incredulous)
In broad daylight?

 

 

RILEY
Look alive, people. Weapons at the ready.

 

The team reach into the backpacks, but don't draw their guns.

 

FORREST
Twenty-five meters. Twenty. Fifteen.

 

 

RILEY
Where?

 

 

FORREST
To the left. Ten meters. Five.

 

 

RILEY
Anyone?

 

 

GRAHAM
I got nothing!

 

 

FORREST
This doesn't make any sense. Went
right past us.

 

Riley looks around, then down, spotting something.

RILEY'S P.O.V. - A MANHOLE COVER

 

RILEY
(to himself)
Flushed.
(to others)
Tracer's been flushed.

 

Riley, Forrest and Graham exchange a frustrated look.

INT. SEWER TUNNEL - MEANWHILE (DAY)

ON COM-CAM EARPIECE - lying on the ground, an errant wire sticks out as we hear a FIGHT RAGING ON.

BUFFY, very much still alive, continues to battle the two Warrior Demons. Much with the kicking and the punching and the hitting...

Warrior Demon #1 swings his axe at Buffy. She ducks. The axe strikes #2 in the chest, mortally wounding it.

Warrior Demon #1 comes after Buffy again. Much dodging by our heroine as she gets a few shots in. Missing her with the axe, #1 manages to SLAM into her hard with his shoulder. She goes down, next to the SPUTTERING and SPARKING BLASTER.

WARRIOR DEMON #1 SNARLS in anticipated triumph and raises the axe over his head.

ON BUFFY, as she glances down at the demon's feet.

BUFFY'S P.O.V. - The demon is standing in the puddle of water.

BACK ON BUFFY as the axe comes down, barely missing her. In an instant, she rolls to the Blaster and FLINGS IT.

The sparking gun hits the water, ELECTRIFYING IT. The Warrior Demon SCREAMS and shakes in agony as 50,000 volts courses through its body, BLUE SPARKS running up and down it. SMOKE begins to billow out of the top of its head. Finally, it falls to the ground, a dead, smoking heap.

INT. INITIATIVE - LABORATORY - DAY

Maggie, standing by the monitors, signs papers on a clipboard as Riley comes up.

 

RILEY
Regret to report Hostile 17 is still
at large. I've left Beta team to
comb the area, but the tracer's--

 

 

MAGGIE
(distraught)
Riley. Something's happened. I...
I don't know what to say... It's...
It's about Buffy.

 

Riley's blood runs cold.

 

RILEY
Buffy?

 

 

MAGGIE
Two of our hostiles broke free and
escaped into the tunnels. She went
after them on her own.
(then)
She's dead, Riley.

 

ON RILEY, reeling.

 

RILEY
What?

 

 

MAGGIE
I did everything I could to stop her.
Told her to wait for a back-up team.
She kept insisting she didn't need
any team, she could handle it herself.

 

She moves to put a comforting hand on his shoulder, then thinks better of it. Not her style.

 

MAGGIE
I'm so, so sorry.

 

 

RILEY
I-I don't understand. How could this
happen?

 

 

MAGGIE
I know how much you cared for her.
She was a very, very special girl...

 

Meanwhile, behind Maggie, as she talks, the dark and blurred image on the monitors sways a moment and swings around to point at the lovely face of Buffy Summers - on ALL FIVE MONITORS. As Buffy reattaches a loose connection...

 

MAGGIE
I was just beginning to... I didn't
understand at first. But she had
something.

 

RILEY looks up and past Maggie and sees Buffy on the monitors - his expression of grief and shock slowly shifting to confusion. Maggie is oblivious.

 

MAGGIE
I don't know... maybe I could've
stopped her. It's hard not to blame
myself--

 

Audio on the monitors POPS ON.

 

BUFFY
(on monitors)
Hello, Professor Walsh...

 

Maggie's face drops and she slowly turns to see...

 

BUFFY
(on monitors)
That simple little recon you asked me
to do? Wasn't a raccoon. Turns out
it was me trapped in a sewer with a
faulty weapon and two of your pet
demons on my hands. If you think
that's enough to kill me you really
don't know what a slayer is. Trust
me when I say you're gonna find out.

 

The monitor images SWING AWAY as Buffy smashes the camera against the stone wall. The monitors turn to SNOW.

Maggie slowly turns back to Riley, who looks at her with a death glare. She shakes her head, slightly, somehow trying to deny the obvious. Before she can croak out a word, Riley turns on his heels and walks away.

 

MAGGIE
(weakly)
Riley...

 

WIDE HIGH ANGLE SHOT - Maggie, standing all alone by the monitors, watching Riley get further away from her.

 

MAGGIE
(calling after him)
Agent Finn, I order you to stop!
Agent Finn! RILEY!!!

 

Her voice echoes throughout the cavernous Initiative.

INT. GILES' APARTMENT - DAY

A reluctantly grateful Spike's now dressed, though in a lot of post-surgery discomfort.

 

GILES
It'll be dark soon. I think it would
be wise for you to leave Sunnydale.

 

 

SPIKE
I'm not going anywhere. Not until
those bastards undo whatever they did
to me. Put me back the way I was.

 

 

XANDER
Sure, just explain to the nice
scientist guys that you really miss
torturing and killing innocent people.

 

 

SPIKE
(considering it)
Think that'll work?

 

 

GILES
Spike, Lord knows why I'm telling you
this, but it's for your own good. As
long as the Initiative's in
operation, it's not safe for you here.

 

 

BUFFY (V.O.)
Correction.

 

All turn to see

BUFFY standing behind them, having entered surreptitiously from the back.

 

BUFFY
It's not safe for any of us.

 

As everyone shares a dire look...

INT. ROOM 314 - DAY

ON MAGGIE, muttering to herself.

 

MAGGIE
So... all right... fine... She wants
a fight, we'll give her one, won't
we, Adam?

 

Widen to find her standing over Adam's huge and unconscious form on the examining table, the various tubes and wires still attached.

She paces feverishly, plotting with herself.

 

MAGGIE
Worked too long... too long... to
let some little bitch threaten this
project. Threaten me. She has no
idea who she's dealing with...
(then)
Once she's gone Riley'll come around.
He'll understand - it was for the
greater good. He'll see that. And,
if he doesn't... well...

 

She stops at a table and picks up the BONE SAW.

SLOW PUSH IN ON HER.

 

MAGGIE
First thing's first. Remove the
complication. When she least expects
i--Uugggh!

 

A pointed shaft of bone BURSTS out of her chest. Wide eyed, in shock, she looks down at it, disbelievingly.

WIDEN to see ADAM, very much awake and towering behind her. Maggie has enough life in her to look back over her shoulder.

 

MAGGIE
Ad-- Adam...?

 

She dies, then collapses to the ground, sliding off the bone skewer, revealing the Polgara demon's left arm which is now, thanks to surgery, attached to Adam.

PUSH IN on Adam, staring down at Maggie's corpse for a moment, unemotionally.

 

ADAM
Mommy.

BLACK OUT.

 

END OF SHOW