By Elsa Frohman
TITLE: PARIS, FRANCE
Picking up exactly where we left off before the commercial break: Giselle is looking at Giles suspiciously. She takes a tentative step backward.
(Exasperated -- sounding completely like the Giles we know.) I've got a cab waiting.
He motions to her to follow and they run down the alley to the opposite end, where a cab waits. He motions for her to get in. (Note: We don't see him open the door, or actually move anything solid.)
We see the cab pull away, hopefully, taking the girl to safety.
INT: THE SCHOOL BASEMENT
Robin Wood gets the door open, and everybody piles through, Buffy last. She breaks away from the fight and dives through the door, Robin slamming it behind her. Everybody takes a deep breath, thinking they're safe for the moment.
The room is as we last saw it, except Spike and the wheel are not here. There is a large hole in the middle of the floor, around which the gang will have to navigate in the coming fight.
Xander turns around and is first to see the Ubervamp. It's standing at one side of the room, hunched over, just watching everybody. At first, it's not clear it's even alive.
What? (Turns and sees what he sees.) Buffy...
(Turning and getting her first look.) I guess this is what we were supposed to come in here for...
Buffy walks toward the Ubervamp -- cautiously. It raises it's head and its eyes follow her.
Be careful. I don't like the looks of this.
It reminds me of that movie... Noserfer, Nostralfor... something like that.
Yeah, that one.
If it's a vampire, I stake it. That's simple enough.
Buffy pulls a stake out of the back of her waistband.
That's what I always say...
Buffy gets within striking distance, stake held high. The Ubervamp pounces, grabbing her stake hand and bending it back so suddenly that she drops the stake. It snatches her back toward itself, opening its mouth to bite. Buffy head-butts him, then does a back somersault away. The vamp comes after her, but Robin steps into its way, spinning and running it through with his sword with a backward thrust. The vamp screams, but pulls the sword out and throws it away. It's after Robin now, leaping after him and grabbing him. It picks him up and throws him across the room. His head hits the wall, and he falls down unconscious.
Xander swings his axe, hoping to behead it. It grabs the shaft, under the head, and wrenches it out of Xander's hands. It swings the axe around and swings at Xander. Buffy tackles him and gets him down just in time to avoid beheading. She's back up in a heartbeat and attacks with a series of vicious kicks that seem to be forcing the creature back. But the Ubervamp only gives so much ground before it stops and grabs Buffy's foot as she comes up to kick again. It throws her off balance, and she recovers with a back flip. It advances on her.
Willow steps into the way.
(Her eyes go black.) FREEZE!
The Ubervamp stops, seemingly paralyzed. But the effort shows on Willow. She strains to hold the spell in place, but can't. The spell breaks, and she screams, holding her head in pain.
Xander catches her and drags her away, though the Ubervamp is following.
(Moaning.) It's too close ...
What? That thing?
The First. When I use magic, it can reach into me.
Clem runs in and tries to attack the vamp. He swings his mace, but the vamp ducks under it, coming up and grabbing Clem by the neck and biting him. Clem lets out a terrified scream that dies as he collapses, dropping his weapon and falling to the floor in a heap.
(Distressed, shouting) Clem!
Buffy attacks the Ubervamp again, keeping it away from Xander and Willow. She's no more than keeping it busy. It allows her to drive it back, until it's ready to attack again, when it comes after her and swipes at her with its claws, leaving a scratch on her arm.
Dawn attacks with her sword from behind. She brings her sword down toward his shoulder, but the blow slides off over its arm. It swings around and grabs the sword by the blade, twisting it out of her hand and breaking it.
The Ubervamp tosses the sword away and leaps toward Dawn.
PARIS, A HOTEL ROOM, NIGHT
Giles is there with two young women. One is Giselle. He's pacing. He's worried. The second girl is sitting on the windowsill with one foot up and knee bent. She has short hair, except for a few dreadlocks. She's a bit of a punk, with a North London accent. Her name is Val. When we hear Giselle speak for the first time, we find she has a French accent.
I need to call Carl. Please! I have to let him know where I am!
It's no use. Your Watcher is history, doll. Just like mine.
If the Harbingers were in your flat when you got there, they'll have killed him. I'm sorry. We have to face facts. And if you call back to the flat, you'll only be giving them a way to find us.
(Crying) He can't be... Carl could fight. He taught me.
(Grim) Took six of the buggers to take Tommy down.
We have to make preparations to leave Paris.
Where will we go? Shouldn't we be fighting the ones who ...
We will, but not until we have help.
(Cynical) Know where there are more of us? Maybe we could get to somebody before her Watcher gets made into dog food?
(Shakes his head) I can't risk it. They may be finding the Slayers in Training by following me. It seems like too much of a coincidence that I've arrived just in time to find three Watchers murdered. We leave tomorrow morning.
(Plaintive) What is happening?
(Ominous) It may be the end -- of everything.
THE HIGH SCHOOL BASEMENT
We return to the moment we left the Scoobies. The Ubervamp is advancing on Dawn. She lets out a high-pitched shriek, which stops the vamp in his tracks as he raises his hands to protect his ears.
Buffy uses the distraction to attack again. The Ubervamp goes for her and grabs her. She manages to knock a leg out from under it, but it doesn't do her any good. It falls on her, forcing her to the ground. It gets its claws around her shoulders and is about to bite her, but she holds him away. It's taking all her strength to keep its mouth away from her neck.
Xander picks up the stake and tries to stake the Ubervamp from behind, but its body is too tough. The stake just bounces off. Xander isn't strong enough to force it in. He makes several tries.
The camera comes in close on the Ubervamp's mouth slowly descending toward Buffy's neck as her strength fails.
FE, still in Spike guise, is leaning casually against the wheel where Spike is still tied. Spike's head is hanging forward.
(Annoyed) Wake him up.
A Harbinger grabs Spike by the hair and yanks his head up. Spike's eyes open.
That's better. You're no fun if you're sleeping.
(Groggy) Time to go home yet?
Aren't you interested in how your Slayer is doing?
She can take care of herself.
Really? Well, what do you think of this?
FE makes a gesture, and a circle begins to glow in the air. It's a projection of the fight between Buffy and the Ubervamp. The view shows Buffy on the floor, with the Ubervamp on top, his mouth descending toward her neck.
Looks bad for the home team.
If you think she's beat, you've never watched her fight.
You certainly are optimistic for a pathetic, doomed bastard.
I figure if that lame vampire wannabe is the best you can come up with, I may not be so doomed after all. I mean, it's not very bright, is it? Sort of like bringing out a Model T to race a Ferrari.
Why don't you give it up? You know you're not leaving here, unless it's under my terms. Why not give in and join me? As long as you resist, there will be pain and more pain.
Pain 'n me'r old mates.
Oh come now, you forget. I know you. I know all of you. You like your comfort as much as the next guy. But you persist in defying me. I can torture you for 100 years, and make sure you never lose consciousness. I can make you watch as every mortal you've ever known and cared about is devoured -- slowly. You have no power to defeat me. If I untied you, you wouldn't be able to stand up. You're weak. You're exhausted. You're beyond hope. So, why do you keep fighting?
Because I can. Because today is Saturday. Because the Queen expects nothing less of her subjects. Because M&Ms have added purple to the mix. (Significant) Because you talk a better game than you play.
Touching ... You still believe in the Slayer...
No. She believes in me.
INT, THE SCHOOL BASEMENT
We're back to the moment we left Buffy's fight with the Ubervamp. It's on top of her and it's mouth is descending toward her neck as it overpowers her.
SCREAM! That's what you're here for.
Dawn lets out an ear-piercing shriek and Anya and Willow join in. The Ubervamp's concentration is broken and Buffy kicks him off, propelling him across the room. The three women keep up their screaming and Buffy leaps across the hole to launch a new attack.
Xander covers his ears.
Anya and Willow's voices give out, leaving only Dawn keeping up the caterwaul, but a moment later, she stops with a cough.
Buffy has the upper hand now. The Ubervamp seems stunned by the noise. She drives him back toward the center of the room, and he teeters on the edge of the hole and Buffy leaps up to give him one more kick in the center of the chest. He falls backward into the hole.
(voice hoarse) Cool! You'll write an excuse for school for me, won't you? I've got a sore throat now.
(Nodding over her shoulder to where Robin Wood is just waking up with a headache.) Take it up with the principal.
What now? I suppose the mad monks are still between us and the way out.
We're not ready to go yet. We don't have what we came for.
But we're sort of at a dead end...
Buffy looks down the hole. There is nothing to see. It's just black.
I'm going down there.
Buffy, that isn't just a hole in the floor. It's a dimensional portal. A dimensional portal that is stable right now, but we don't know for how much longer. If you go down there, you may not be able to get back.
Except for Mr. Sensitive Ears, we don't know what's down there.
Spike's down there.
You don't know that. He could be anywhere. This could have been a wild goose chase.
No, I'm certain of it. He's down there. And the only way we get him back is for me to go after him.
Robin Wood is back on his feet. He's holding his head and looking a bit disoriented. He joins the group standing at the edge of the hole.
(His tone is neutral. We should wonder what side he's on.) I think you're right. The point of this exercise would seem to be getting you to go into the portal.
Then that's what the First wants you to do. Don't do it, Buffy. You're putting yourself at it's mercy -- and we know it doesn't have any.
I'm going with you. I can scream again so you'll have a chance against that SuperVamp.
Your voice is shot, Dawn... (pointedly) though I'm certain it will be just fine by Monday morning. You wouldn't be any help.
I'll go with you. I may be able to help.
No, you can't. You'd be even closer to the First. You wouldn't be able to do magic at all!
Willow realizes this is true.
I'll go. I have more experience with alternate dimensions than anybody. I might be able to help you get back.
I'd go with you, Buffy; you know I would. But I don't think I'd be helping, and you'd just have to protect me.
Buffy looks around at her friends, affected by their willingness to risk themselves for her.
Guys -- you're all great. Sticking together -- that's what we've got to do if we're going to beat this thing. We can't let it separate us. But that's not the solution right now. I've got to go, and I've got to go alone. I'm the one the First wants down there. So I've got to go. I'll just have to make sure his plan doesn't work out.
Buffy looks around again.
She steps forward and falls through the hole.
The camera pans around the worried faces of the Scooby gang.
BLACK OUT to commercial break.
Continued in Act IV