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  4x17 - Inside Out
 Posted: 04/05/03 00:10
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Previously on Angel:

1 EXT. STREET IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

It's raining and pregnant Darla is lying in the middle of the street. Angel is by her side.

DARLA

This child. It's the one good thing we ever did together.

Darla stakes herself, turning her body to dust, leaving only the baby she was carrying. The baby cries.

ANGEL (V.O.)

His name is Connor.

Cut to:

2 EXT. HIGHWAY - NIGHT

The world has stopped around Cordelia. She has stepped out of her car, and is talking to Skip, her communicator liaison with the Powers That Be.

SKIP

You'll become a higher being.

CORDELIA

Me?

Cut to:

3 EXT. HIGHER DIMENSION - NIGHT

Cordelia is in a non-descript place, floating in bright heavenly lights.

CORDELIA

Get me out of here!

4 EXT. SKY TEMPLE CLUB ON KIMBALL BUILDING ROOF - NIGHT

The Beast kneels on one knee, punching the floor at the center of his human square, sending a trail of fire out along the floor in the shape of the Eye of Fire symbol. A shock wave emanates from the area, knocking everyone back a few feet. The fire is tall now, taller than the beast. The Beast leaps straight up into the sky, riding the fire that he created.

CORDELIA (V.O.)

The rain of fire, even blotting out the sun—those were only the first steps to something bigger.

Cut to:

5 INT. CAVE

In a triangular shaped room lit dimly with two torches, the Beast prays.

ANGELUS (V.O.)

The Beast has a boss.

Cut to:

6 INT. WAREHOUSE

The Beast and Cordelia talk.

BEAST

My apologies, my master.

Cut to:

7 INT. CORDELIA'S ROOM AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS

Cordelia shows her very pregnant belly to Connor.

CORDELIA

We're having a baby.

Cut to:

8 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Cordelia has just revealed her pregnancy to Angel, Fred, Wesley, and Gunn, who stare at her, stunned. Connor walks up to her side. Lorne walks into the lobby as Cordelia rubs her belly.

LORNE

A mystical pregnancy right under my beak?

Cordelia looks down at her belly as the creature inside writhes visibly under her skin—clearly not a human baby.

Cut to:

9 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Fred and Lorne are sitting next to one another on the couch, talking to Wesley and Gunn who are standing around near the front desk.

FRED

Having two part-demon parents might could explain the...woosh factor.

Cut to:

10 INT. ROOM AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Cordelia walks into a dark room at the hotel. Connor's sitting in a corner, thinking.

CORDELIA

Connor, before our baby comes, I might ask you to do some things...for us.

Cut to:

11 INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Lorne walks in on a meeting between Angel, Fred, Wesley, and Cordelia.

LORNE

I have this cleansing abracadabra to clear my muddled mind.

CORDELIA

Then you'll be able to read me? (smile tensely)

Cut to:

12 INT. BASEMENT AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Lorne is preparing potions and incense at the candle-lit table in the basement. He pulls the hood of his cloak over his head and picks up a hymnal. Lorne sings a song that sounds vaguely like a Gregorian chant, except that it has no words, only humming and ooing. Cordelia sneaks silently down the stairs, holding a knife in her hand. Just as Cordelia is standing behind Lorne, ready to stab him, someone turns on the lights. Cordelia looks up and Angel is standing in front of her.

LORNE

(takes a white cloth off of a ball—a "Magic 8 Ball"—and shakes the ball) Has Cordy been a bad, bad girl?

When Lorne turns the "Magic 8 Ball" over, the triangle inside reads "Definitely."

Fade to black.

The Start Of EpisodePrologue:

13 INT. BASEMENT AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Resume. Angel and team are confronting Cordelia. Fred and Wesley are pointing guns at Cordelia.

ANGEL

All this time it was you, wasn't it?

CORDELIA

Took you long enough to figure it out but nice turn with the Lorne bait. You know, there was a time I would've seen that one coming eons before it ever crossed your tiny little mind.

ANGEL

Because you're so clever.

CORDELIA

On the scale of you to me, pretty damn.

ANGEL

Until now.

CORDELIA

All good things. (sighs) So, what finally tipped off the great detective?

ANGEL

Tongue, slip of.

Cut to:

13a INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

FLASHBACK: Cordelia's rubbing her belly as she tells the gang her good news.

CORDELIA

This, my sweet baby.

Cut to:

ANGEL

"My sweet." Same phrase the Beastmaster kept using when he was whispering in Angelus's head. Thought it was a bit femme for the booming macho act.

CORDELIA

That's it? I get away with bringing the world down around you and two eentsy words tingle your spider sense?

WESLEY

What we already knew. What he found out as Angelus. All the circumstantial led to you.

ANGEL

Just needed to be sure.

CORDELIA

Little late to the table, but I might have a few scraps left.

FRED

Why are you doing this, Cordy.

ANGEL

This thing isn't Cordelia.

CORDELIA

(smiles and shakes her head) Is that what you think, hero?

ANGEL

She would never hurt her friends like this.

CORDELIA

Or maybe you just don't know me very well.

ANGEL

(walks up to Cordelia) I don't want to know you.

Cordelia tries to pull a knife on Angel, but he grabs her wrist, averting her. With his other hand, he grabs her neck, choking her.

ANGEL

(through gritted teeth) Where's Cordelia?

Just then, Connor jumps through the glass roof, landing near Angel and Cordelia.

ANGEL

Connor, wait! Cordy's not what you think.

Angel reaches for Connor, but Connor just pushes him away hard, throwing Angel into Wesley. Lorne tries to shoot Connor with the tranquilizer gun, but misses. Connor kicks Lorne to the ground. Fred aims her tranq gun at Connor, but Connor grabs her hand, redirecting the dart toward Angel as he tries to stand.

CONNOR

(reaches his hand to Cordelia) Come on! (Cordelia takes his hand)

ANGEL

(struggling as the tranquilizers affect him) What... (falls to his knees) are... you? (falls forward, landing face down on the floor)

As Angel collapses, the "Magic 8 Ball" rolls to his side—the triangle inside reads "Ask Again Later."

Fade to black.

Opening credits.

ACT I:

14 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Gunn walks into the lobby where Angel, Fred, Wesley, and Lorne are.

GUNN

(reading his pager) Sorry, just got your message. Being close to Electric Gwen can really screw your equipment. What... (looks up from his pager at the gang) the hell happened to you?

FRED

(holding an ice pack to her face) Cordy's evil. Nice suit.

ANGEL

It's not Cordy.

WESLEY

We don't know that for certain.

GUNN

Whoa. Back it up for the new guy. (puts his pager back in his pocket) You saying popping mama threw you a beating?

LORNE

Kid Vicious did the heavy lifting. Cordy just mwa-ha-ha'd at us. (sips his drink)

GUNN

Why?

ANGEL

Beastmaster.

GUNN

You think she's working for him?

FRED

She is the Master.

GUNN

Guy steps out for a few hours, half the place goes super-villain. (sits beside Lorne)

ANGEL

Conner's not a part of this.

LORNE

Evidence upside my head to the contrary.

ANGEL

He's just... confused... again.

FRED

Now we know what she's been doing with him all this time. She was grooming him...

WESLEY

...as her champion.

GUNN

She's the evil genius that's been two-stepping all over us. (shakes his head) How? And when? (takes Lorne's drink from his hands) Give me a sip of that. (drinks)

LORNE

Hey.

FRED

Has she been like this since she got back from that higher wherever?

GUNN

What about that amnesia thing? Was that a fake-out?

WESLEY

Or a side effect. Descending to a lower dimension was probably disorienting.

ANGEL

Or maybe this thing was curled deep inside for the trip on some kind of, you know, autopilot. Look, all we know for sure is that the real damage didn't start until after Lorne's spell.

Cut to:

14a INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

FLASHBACK: In the hotel lobby, Lorne is giving Cordelia a drop of magical memory potion while Angel and Connor look on. She makes a face.

Cut to:

FRED

Oh, my God. We woke it up.

LORNE

That's what I read. That's what Wolfram and Hart sucked out of my noodle. It wasn't Cordelia's future. It was the smacker-jack surprise.

GUNN

Damn thing's been playing us right from the start.

ANGEL

From the inside... where it could do the most damage. Everything the Beast couldn't have done, it was this thing.

Cut to:

14b INT. SECRET ROOM AT GWEN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

FLASHBACK: Manny's reading a magazine in the secret room at Gwen's place when Cordelia sneaks up behind him with an ax, swinging it at his head.

ANGEL (V.O.)

Spiked my blood at Gwen's. Snuck into the vault, killed Manny.

Cut to:

GUNN

Wait a minute. When Gwen and I came in, faux Cordy didn't have any blood on its clothes. How'd it abracadabra that?

WESLEY

Lizzie Borden. It wasn't wearing any.

Cut to:

14c INT. SECRET ROOM AT GWEN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

FLASHBACK: Manny's reading a magazine in the secret room at Gwen's place when a naked Cordelia sneaks up behind him with an ax, swinging it at his head.

ANGEL (V.O.)

Stripped down, then gave Manny forty whacks.

Cut to:

GUNN

Quick sponge down in the sink, and—

LORNE

Voila. Shower-fresh murder.

ANGEL

Taking out the Svear priestess was a lot easier. Slip out while the heroes are chasing their tails...

Cut to:

14d INT. SVEAR HOUSE - NIGHT

FLASHBACK: Cordelia murders the entire Svear family with an ax.

ANGEL (V.O.)

...and slaughter the only hope of banishing her pet Beast.

Cut to:

14e INT. OFFICE AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS

FLASHBACK: Cordelia opens the safe where the Muo-Ping container holding Angel's soul was being kept. She removes the container and shuts the safe door.

ANGEL (V.O.)

While everyone was reeling from that failure, it was making sure my soul was off the market.

Cut to:

FRED

And the vision of the spell to re-ensoul you?

ANGEL

Misdirection.

Cut to:

14f INT. BASEMENT AT HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS

FLASHBACK: Cordelia is setting up a magical spell while the gang looks on. White smoke purposefully meanders toward Angelus. The smoke surrounds Angleus's body, lifting him off the ground. Pan over to show Lorne's eyes flash glowing red momentarily.

ANGEL (V.O.)

Getting everyone to look over here while the real action was happening over there.

Cut to:

LORNE

That explains why my mojo's been gunked up. Queen Bee-atch put the whammy on me.

ANGEL

And it let the monster out of the box.

Cut to:

14g INT. BASEMENT AT HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS

FLASHBACK: Cordelia unlocks Angelus's cage, opens the door. In vamp facade, Angelus grins and pulls Cordy up to him violently.

Cut to:

14h INT. CORRIDOR IN HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS

Lilah's running away as fast as her wounded body will take her, but someone grabs her by the throat from one of the rooms, and pushes her into the doorjamb. It's Cordelia, who proceeds to stab Lilah in the neck with the knife from the Beast's offering; Lilah collapses, falls to the ground.

Cut to:

ANGEL (V.O.)

More misdirection, more blood, all designed to keep us off balance.

WESLEY

It was Cordelia. She murdered Lilah.

ANGEL

We don't know if it's really Cordy.

FRED

Or what she's got baking in her oven.

GUNN

Evil and pregnant? I'm guessing it ain't cookies.

Cut to:

15 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

In a dark, deserted warehouse, Cordelia stands, rubbing her belly and looking around the room. Connor shuts the door behind them.

CORDELIA

Are you sure Angel won't be able to follow us?

CONNOR

I was careful.

CORDELIA

How careful?

CONNOR

Why were they trying to hurt you?

CORDELIA

(turns to face Connor) You know why. (beat) They're afraid of you, of me, what our love has created. They were gonna kill it and me if you hadn't come.

CONNOR

I didn't know where you were. I thought something bad might've happened. Followed your scent. But, I never thought... (shakes his head) How could he do that?

CORDELIA

Because he hates you. I didn't wanna believe it, but he does. (walks around Connor) He hates you for being with me. He can't stand the fact that he lost, that he'll never know the feel of my touch or the warmth of my lips. (kisses Connor's lips) You were right about Angel. He's an animal, and he's turned everyone against us. (hugs Connor)

CONNOR

(whispers into her ear) I'll kill them all before I let them hurt you.

CORDELIA

My sweet, sweet boy.

Cut to:

16 INT. OFFICE AT HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Angel comes into the office where Wesley is doing research.

WESLEY

Any luck?

ANGEL

I swept the area 'til daybreak, checked the sewer tunnels in case they went underground, picked up their scent half a dozen times but... (sits)

WESLEY

If Connor doesn't want to be found, he won't. Wasting your time.

ANGEL

I'm getting good at that, huh? It was all there right in front of me. (looks at a sketch he drew of Cordelia) I couldn't see it. Thought of losing her to Connor—

WESLEY

Did exactly what it was supposed to. Play on your emotions to cloud your judgment. (stands, walks to the window) Draw your attention away so this thing could continue to murder anyone it... Least you had a reason for letting it happen.

ANGEL

(stands) Wes, Lilah and I weren't exactly friends—

WESLEY

You were mortal enemies. Why should you care what happened to her?

ANGEL

Because you did.

WESLEY

(turns to look at Angel a moment, then turns his attention to the papers he was researching) There's nothing here. (Angel walks behind the desk) If this thing could obliterate all references to the Beast, it's very unlikely it would leave its own bio laying about.

ANGEL

What about pan-dimensional texts like the one Lilah— (looks at Wes, then looks down)

WESLEY

I have Lorne reaching out to the black markets but it'll take time.

ANGEL

Great, another thing we don't have. (sits behind the desk)

WESLEY

Then let's go to the source. Whatever happened to Cordelia, it took place after her ascension to the higher planes. Maybe the Powers might be able to—

ANGEL

Last couple of times I've asked the Powers That Be for help they made it pretty damn clear they weren't in the business.

WESLEY

But at least one of those was to save Darla's life. A mass-murdering ex-vampire dying of syphilis? A strong "no" is hardly a shock.

ANGEL

You think the Powers couldn't see this thing was masquerading as Cordy? What it was doing to us? They didn't stop it because they didn't want to get their hands dirty. (beat) What we need is somebody who does. Somebody right in the middle of all this.

Cut to:

17 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Cordelia and Connor walk into a different dark, desolate warehouse.

CORDELIA

(looks around, sighs) More hooks? Great.

CONNOR

We could try to find someplace else.

CORDELIA

No. This'll do for now. (Connor pouts) Hey, it's okay. We're going to be all right.

CONNOR

I know. I just—I can't believe he tried to kill you.

CONNOR

Maybe it wasn't really Angel.

CORDELIA

Connor.

CONNOR

Angelus could've tricked us again. And—

CORDELIA

It was Angel. You know it was.

CONNOR

Everything he said about how I could help make the world a better place, about being a champion.

CORDELIA

Lies... meant to keep you in your place where he can watch you, control you.

CONNOR

But Fred, Gunn, Wesley, even Lorne—I thought they were... good.

CORDELIA

What does that mean, really? (walks away) Being good? Doing the right thing? By who's judgment? Good, evil—they're just words, Connor. Concepts of morality they forced around your neck to yank you wherever they please. You're with me now. You don't have to live by their rules. You remember why?

CONNOR

(smiles) 'Cause we're special.

CORDELIA

That's right. We're special, and our baby is going to be extraordinary.

Cut to:

18 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - DAY

Fred and Gunn are going through items in a cardboard box.

FRED

Scented candles, couple of broken pieces of the Muo-Ping, and some toiletries that smell way too pretty to be evil.

Angel rifles through papers on his desk while Fred talks, and when he finds a metal disk, he flips it in the air, making a pinging sound.

FRED

Not much to go on. As insidious lairs go, it kept Cordy's room nice and tidy. I think it even vacuumed.

ANGEL

Keep working on a way to locate this thing. If I'm not back in a couple of hours—

GUNN

You're dead, we're screwed, end of the world.

FRED

(smiles nervously) Or, you could stay here with us. Here's nice.

ANGEL

I've done this before. Don't worry. Walk in the park.

Cut to:

19 INT. DEMON CAVE LAIR - NIGHT

Angel is fighting a demon and knocks him out. The demon falls to the floor.

ANGEL

I really hate the park.

Angel picks his sword up off the ground and proceeds further into the chamber. Another demon is in the next room, making growling, grumbly sounds. Angel sneaks up behind the demon, raising his sword, but the demon turns to face him before Angel strikes.

SKIP

(startled) Oh! Angel, geez. Don't they knock in your dimension?

ANGEL

Sorry. Wasn't sure it was you.

SKIP

Powerful demon Skip at your service. Hey, I—I got some more buffalo wings and, uh, the game's on at five if you want to just...

ANGEL

I'm a little pressed right now. When was the last time you saw Cordelia?

SKIP

Who?

ANGEL

She told me you were her guide when she decided to become half-demon.

SKIP

She did, huh? (shrugs) Okay, look, I wanted to give you the heads up but you know how the Powers are—always making with the big hush hush.

ANGEL

What do you know? (paces)

SKIP

This is going to be really hard for you to accept but Cordelia has ascended to a higher plane.

ANGEL

Oh, I know. She's back.

SKIP

Back?

ANGEL

Or at least something that looks like her.

SKIP

Well, wait. Nobody comes back from paradise. Okay, a Slayer once, but that—

ANGEL

So you haven't heard anything.

SKIP

Uh, not since her ascension. Oh, it was beautiful. Should've been there.

ANGEL

You were a part of that?

SKIP

It's in the job description. As Cordelia's guide I'm there for all the important events.

ANGEL

Except her welcome back party. (suspiciously) So why didn't the Powers invite you to that one?

SKIP

Mysterious ways. They can really drive a guy nuts.

ANGEL

Or maybe if you had known something you might've warned us. No, about the only one not keen on that slipping out is the one pulling her strings.

SKIP

Not following you there, champ.

ANGEL

You said it yourself, you were there. (walks up to Skip) Guiding Cordelia to her ascension, seeing her off to a higher plane which is exactly where this thing needed her to be to make its move. So, I'm thinking either you've been played for a dupe like the rest of us or you've been in on this from the start, Skippy.

Skip laughs nervously. Angel joins in the laughter, sarcastically.

SKIP

Angel, buddy, whatever's going on, I'm telling you true... (raises his forearm in front of him, triggers a dagger to be released from his armor) Not a dupe.

Fade to black.

ACT II:

20 INT. DEMON CAVE LAIR - NIGHT

Resume. Angel and Skip fight in earnest. Angel swings his sword, but it doesn't penetrate Skip's body armor. Skip knocks Angel's sword away and grabs Angel by the neck.

SKIP

Not like last time, is it, monkey boy?

Skip throws Angel across the room.

SKIP

(walks toward Angel) You know, the worst part about signing on for this gig (punches Angel) was having to take a dive when you rescued that runt Billy from his box of fire. (kicks Angel across the room) I mean, come on! You really think a guy built like this would be so easy to drop? (walks up to Angel again) This time we do it for real, champion. This time... (grins) you lose.

Cut to:

21 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Connor stares out the window, as a guard, while Cordelia talks to him.

CORDELIA

He won't give up. You know that, right? He won't stop until he finds us.

CONNOR

Let him come. I can take him.

CORDELIA

Come over here. (Connor walks up to Cordelia) I want you to know what you're fighting for. (pulls his hand to her belly)

CONNOR

(touches her belly, gasps) It moved.

CORDELIA

Of course it did. That's what babies do when they're happy.

CORDELIA

I can't tell you how thankful I am that I found someone like you. I just wish they could let us be happy.

CONNOR

I'll make them.

CORDELIA

You can't. They're too afraid. But maybe when they see how beautiful our baby is...

CONNOR

You think that would change how they feel?

CORDELIA

Our baby's going to change everything, Connor.

CONNOR

How soon... before we can show them?

CORDELIA

A week? Maybe two? (stands, walks away) But he'll find us before that. I know he will. He'll find us and he'll—

CONNOR

I won't let him. I promise.

CORDELIA

I don't want you killing each other. That's never what I wanted. Maybe there's another way. A way to bring our baby into the world now—before anyone else can hurt us.

CONNOR

How?

CORDELIA

I'll need some very special things. Do you think you can get them for me?

Cut to:

22 INT. DEMON CAVE LAIR - NIGHT

Skip and Angel are still fighting. Skip throws Angel to the ground.

SKIP

(walks up to Angel) Well, now, this is just embarrassing.

ANGEL

(struggles to stand) Tell me... what happened to Cordelia.

SKIP

Or, what? You'll bleed on me some more?

Angel tries to punch Skip, but he's outmatched. None of Angel's punches faze Skip, who just whales on Angel in return, knocking him to the ground.

SKIP

You know, I've always wondered. How many chunks you gotta hack off a vampire before he goes all dust bunny?

ANGEL

(stands) Tell me what happened...

SKIP

Yeah. Heard that part.

Angel punches Skip in the torso several times, and this time ducks when Skip punches back. Then Angel jumps up to grab onto a chain hanging from the ceiling and swings over Skip's head, landing across the room. Skip punches him to the ground when Angel lands.

SKIP

What are you, Tarzan? See, this is the nefarious meat of it, pal. You die never knowing what really happened to the woman you love. Gotta respect the classics.

Angel grabs a section of chain from the wall and stands. Angel swings the chain at Skip, catching on a spur on Skip's hand. Angel pulls and rips the spur off. Angel swings the chain repeatedly at Skip's face, finally catching on a large spur on Skip's head and ripping it off. Skip screams in pain, holding his hand to his head. He goes for Angel again, but Angel punches him repeatedly in the face.

SKIP

(staggering) You really think that's gonna—

Angel rears back and punches Skip, powerfully this time. Skip falls to the ground, unconscious. Pan down to show Angel had wrapped the chain around his fist when he punched Skip.

ANGEL

Yeah, I do.

Cut to:

23 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Fred, Wesley, Gunn and Lorne are researching in the lobby. Fred's pacing, reading an article.

FRED

Hey, here's something. Maybe I can—

Fred jumps, startled, as a cross-dimensional portal opens up right behind her. It's carrying Angel and an unconscious Skip back to the lobby of the hotel. On the floor beside Skip, the metal disc that Angel took with him is spinning.

FRED

—have an embolism!

WESLEY

What happened?

ANGEL

We had words.

LORNE

Between the pummeling?

ANGEL

Whatever's happened to Cordy, he's a part of it. We need to bind him to this dimension. (groans and sits; everyone stands around gawking; Angel looks up at them) Before he wakes up would be nice.

Cut to:

24 INT. ALLEY IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

A teenage school girl drops her books and backs away as a vampire stalks her.

VAMPIRE

Mmm... I really love virgins.

The vampire goes to bite the girl, but he turns to dust before anything happens to her. When the dust clears, Connor's standing behind where the vampire was.

CONNOR

You all right?

VIRGIN

He tried to kill—

CONNOR

I know. Did he hurt you?

VIRGIN

No. No, you stopped him. Th-thank you. (crying) Thank you, oh-oh God, thank you so much. Th-thank—

Connor punches the girl in the face, knocking her out.

Cut to:

25 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Close-up on the girl lying on the floor, unconscious. Her face is bloody and bruised from where Connor hit her.

CORDELIA

She's perfect. Did you get everything else?

CONNOR

(softly) Yeah.

CORDELIA

I know what your heart is telling you, Connor, but it will lie to you if you let it. You have to trust me. Be sad, mourn for her, but never forget the truth. She's one of them. One of the average, normal people that fill this world. But what we're doing will elevate her life beyond that and give her death meaning. Her blood for our baby. (looks at the girl) That's more than fair, (looks at Connor) isn't it?

Cut to:

26 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Skip is standing inside a cylinder of red light. At his feet is a circle of red sand. He touches the light, but retracts his hand. The light disappears.

SKIP

Sand of the red palm. (chuckles) A child's trick.

GUNN

Then why don't you come out and play.

SKIP

In time.

ANGEL

(with crossed arms) You'll have a lot of that after we make your accommodations a little bit more permanent. (walks toward Skip) Fred?

FRED

(holds an open book in her arms facing out, walks toward Skip) Sphere of the Infinite Agonies. Every second a lifetime. Should be able to whip one up in, um... twenty minutes.

ANGEL

Everything you know or she starts whipping.

SKIP

Hey. (holds up his hands) Whoa. I'm just a merc. I go where the deal is and not getting stuck in one of those? Bargain. (beat) Anybody got a cig?

ANGEL

(paces) Cordelia. Where is she?

SKIP

I don't know. This is your dimension, man, you tell me.

ANGEL

The real Cordelia. Not this thing that's been posing as her.

SKIP

How'd I ever get spanked by such a chump nut. (looks Angel up and down and sighs) That thing which has turned your life into a burning ring of fire? She is the real Cordelia. (beat) Or at least she's in there somewhere. This whole thing...

GUNN

Is it Cordy or not?

SKIP

Oh, it's her. She just ain't driving.

ANGEL

Something took control of her on the higher plane?

SKIP

Drill a little deeper, Hoss. How you think she got there in the first place?

WESLEY

You're saying her ascension was all part of this thing's plan?

SKIP

No, Cordelia was chosen to become a higher being because she's such a pure, radiant saint. (scoffs) Puh-lease.

Cut to:

27 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Cordelia's sitting on the floor, chanting in the middle of a circle of lit white candles.

CORDELIA

(chanting) Vanu'esh. Katahn darh'im. Vajra'ha'esh.

Vanu'esh. Katahn darh'im. Vajra'ha'esh.

Connor watches Cordelia chant, then goes into the next room.

Cut to:

28 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Connor walks into the room beside where Cordelia is chanting. He looks at the girl he brought there; she's still unconscious, sitting on the floor, leaning her head against the wall.

CORDELIA (O.S.)

(chanting in the other room) Vanu'esh. Katahn darh'im. Vajra'ha'esh.

Vanu'esh. Katahn darh'im. Vajra'ha'esh.

Vanu'esh. Katahn darh'im. Vajra'ha'esh.

The girl wakens and gasps as she sees Connor kneeling in front of her.

CONNOR

It's okay. I'm not gonna hurt you.

VIRGIN

(cowering) Please...

CONNOR

Brought you some water.

VIRGIN

(crying) I gotta get home. My mom's gonna be so mad.

CONNOR

(softly) I'm sorry.

VIRGIN

(weeping) I won't tell anyone, I promise. Please, just let me go.

WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)

Listen.

CONNOR

(stands) Somebody there?

WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)

I've always been here... close to your heart. After all...

The woman steps out of the shadows to reveal it's Darla. Darla's wearing a simple dress and a white cardigan sweater. Her voice is soft and sweet.

DARLA

(smiling sweetly) ...isn't that where a mother belongs?

Fade to black.

ACT III:

29 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Resume. Darla has just appeared to Connor in the room where he is keeping the adolescent girl he abducted. Cordelia is in the next room, chanting. Connor stares at Darla in shock.

DARLA (O.S.)

The Powers have sent me to give you a message.

CONNOR

You can't be my mother.

DARLA

(softly) I have her memories, her feelings. Isn't that what makes a person who they are?

VIRGIN

(weeping in the corner) Let me go, please... (softly sobbing)

DARLA

(walks toward the virgin girl) I know that sound, the look in her eyes, the smell of fear. (kneels beside the girl) I've nurtured it a thousand times (looks at Connor) in all the people that I've murdered.

CONNOR

My mother's dead. (the girl looks up at Connor)

DARLA

(stands) And I'll always be a part of you. You shared your soul with me once when you were growing inside of me when I'd lost my own. You brought light to my shadow, filled my heart with joy and love. I'd never felt so close to any living thing as I did to my beautiful boy.

CONNOR

Why'd you leave me? (scoffs) Did you hate me that much?

DARLA

Baby, no. I wanted to be with you more than anything.

CONNOR

You killed yourself. I wasn't even born yet. And you—

DARLA

—did what I had to. My life for yours. I did so many terrible things, Connor, so much destruction, so much pain. You were the one good thing I ever did. The only good thing. I'd die every day for the rest of eternity for you. And this... (gestures to the virgin girl) is how you repay me?

CONNOR

(walks away) You don't understand. (turns toward Darla) We need her for our baby to keep it safe.

DARLA

By anointing it in the blood of an innocent? You really think that safety can be plucked from the arms of an evil deed?

CONNOR

Good, evil. They're just words.

DARLA

(shakes her head) Don't let this happen, Connor. Don't let my death mean nothing.

Cut to:

30 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Angel and gang are interviewing Skip about Cordelia.

SKIP

You really think it matters? I mean, nothing I tell you is gonna change what's gonna happen.

ANGEL

Cut the gloom and doom. What's taken over Cordy?

SKIP

Something beyond your comprehension. To give it voice would rend your feeble brain into a quivering mass of—

ANGEL

(looks to Fred) Fred, infinite agony. (walks away)

Fred stands, holding open a book.

SKIP

OK, you got me. It doesn't even have a name.

GUNN

Then what do you call it?

SKIP

Oh, Master or "Hey."

LORNE

Unspeakable horror for real this time.

ANGEL

Ah, it doesn't make sense. Cordy was made a higher being because she proved herself to the Powers by bearing their visions. This thing couldn't have—

WESLEY

Unless it maneuvered her to inherit the visions in the first place.

SKIP

Uh, oh. Better step on it. The rubes are catching up.

ANGEL

It wasn't just her ascension. Everything that's happened to Cordy in the past few years—all of it—was planned.

SKIP

You really think it stops with her, amigo? You have any concept of how many lines have to intersect in order for a thing like this to play out? How many events have to be nudged in just the right direction? (looks at Lorne) Leaving Pylea. (looks at Gunn) Your sister. (looks at Fred) Opening the wrong book. (looks at Wesley) Sleeping with the enemy. (beat) Gosh, (chuckles) I love a story with scope.

GUNN

No way. We make our own choices.

SKIP

Yeah, sure. Cheese sandwich here, uh, when to floss. But the big stuff, like two vampires squeezing out a kid?

ANGEL

Connor.

WESLEY

An impossible birth to make one possible.

SKIP

That's what the kid was designed for.

LORNE

(chuckles) To sleep with mother love?

ANGEL

To create a vessel.

SKIP

Look out. The monkey's thinking again.

ANGEL

Being inside a human makes it vulnerable, doesn't it? That's why it had to stay hidden. Why it needed to create something stronger to pour itself into.

GUNN

Wait. So the big nasty inside of Cordy is going to give birth... to itself?

SKIP

Circle of life. It's a beautiful thing.

ANGEL

How do we stop it?

SKIP

That's the easy part, slick. All you gotta do is find Cordelia and chop her head off.

ANGEL

Has to be another way.

SKIP

Sure. Stab her in the heart, kidney, couple pokes in the lung—

ANGEL

A way that won't kill Cordy in the process.

SKIP

Takes a whole lot of cramming to get that much sweetness into a human. It's in every hair, every cell, every molecule of Cordelia's body and it ain't letting go 'til it got a brand new bag.

FRED

What happens to Cordy then?

SKIP

Drained of her life force during labor. Those contractions are a real bitch.

ANGEL

It'll kill her?

SKIP

Or she'll end up a head of cabbage.

WESLEY

What do you wanna do?

SKIP

The only thing you can do. Kill the woman he loves to save the world. Times like this? Really gotta suck being you.

ANGEL

How do I find her? (Skip doesn't answer; Angel walks forward intimidatingly) How?

SKIP

Well, I'd go with the Bu'shundi ritual but, uh, you're gonna need a sacred Hutamin paw for that—

LORNE

Got it. (stands, goes behind the desk)

SKIP

(shocked) What?

LORNE

Cordy—the real Cordy—kept one in her desk drawer.

SKIP

Probably a knock-off. It's not some trinket you'd throw in a desk drawer—

LORNE

(Lorne pulls the item out of Cordelia's desk) She thought it was a back scratcher.

ANGEL

Get started.

SKIP

Wait, wait. Uh, did I say "Bu'shundi "? I meant "Ru'shundi ". It's—it—whole different— (turns around in disgust) Crap.

Cut to:

31 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Connor is in the room with the girl he's holding prisoner. The girl is awake now, crying, sitting on the floor. Darla is squatting next to the girl. They both look up at Connor.

CONNOR

They hate us... because we're special.

VIRGIN

(crying, pleading) I don't hate you. Please.

DARLA

They're scared because of what you've done not because of what you are.

CONNOR

They wanted to kill me when I was still inside of you.

DARLA

(stands) But that changed when they saw you, held you in their arms, felt the warmth of your skin, the goodness in your heart.

CONNOR

And it will happen again when they hold my child. (looks at the girl) It's the only way.

DARLA

You have a choice, Connor. That is something more precious then you'll ever know.

CONNOR

What choice? They're hunting us like animals!

DARLA

(walks up to Connor) Because you're acting like one. As a vampire I killed without mercy or remorse because I didn't have a soul. What's your excuse?

CONNOR

(shakes his head) You think I wanna do this?

DARLA

Then don't.

CONNOR

(nearly in tears) I have to.

DARLA

Why? (gestures to Cordelia in the next room) Because she told you? There are things happening, Connor, things that I can't— (sigh) It has to be your choice. You can stop this.

CONNOR

Her blood for our baby's. It's fair, isn't it?

VIRGIN

(weeping) Please, I wanna go home.

CONNOR

(yelling) Shut up!

DARLA

This isn't you, Connor.

CONNOR

You've been gone a long time, Mom. How would you know?

DARLA

Because we shared a soul. I feel the pain, the anger, the hurt, like it were my own. (walks up to Connor, looks him in the eyes) But most of all, I feel the good in you and no matter how much you're beaten or twisted or lied to, it's still there in your heart. I know it, and deep down, you know it, too.

Close-up of Connor's face to show it's tear-streaked as he contemplates the young girl cowering in the corner.

Cut to:

32 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Fred and Gunn are sitting on the stairs, each on a different step, staring off into the distance.

FRED

What do you think he'll do?

GUNN

What he has to, like he always does.

Show they are staring at Angel.

FRED

Will it make a difference? We really are just pieces being moved around a board.

GUNN

Then we'll kick it over and start a new game. Look, monochrome can yap all he wants about no-name's cosmic plan, but here's a little something I picked up rubbing mojos these past couple of years. The final score can't be rigged. I don't care how many players you grease, that last shot always comes up a question mark. But here's the thing—you never know when you're taking it. It could be when you're duking it out with the Legion of Doom, or just crossing the street deciding where to have brunch. So you just treat it all like it was up to you—the world in the balance—'cause you never know when it is.

FRED

You been practicing that?

GUNN

(smiles) Little bit. (chuckles)

Lorne and Wesley come out of the office.

LORNE

Hug your neighbor, kiddies, we got it.

SKIP

(scoffs) You're all puppets.

WESLEY

Shut up.

FRED

Where is she?

LORNE

(looks at the map) Well, according to the scorch marks, downtown, meat packing district.

ANGEL

(comes out of the office) Good work. (takes the map from Lorne)

GUNN

Lets load up.

ANGEL

No, you're not coming, any of you. Whatever's taken over Cordy, it's still her inside. She's still our friend. She's still the woman I... I won't let you carry that. I can't.

SKIP

Anybody got a hanky?

Lorne frowns.

FRED

He's really gonna do it. He's gonna kill Cordelia.

WESLEY

He doesn't have a choice.

FRED

Angel, wait! (runs after him, but Angel goes on out the door)

SKIP

Yup, that'll go well.

Cut to:

33 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Connor kneels down to untie the bound hands of the virgin girl he's holding captive. Darla stands nearby.

CONNOR

(to the girl) Shhhhh. Shhh. It's okay.

DARLA

You're all right now. Everything's going to be all right.

CORDELIA

(walks into the room) What are you doing?

CONNOR

(frozen) Nothing. I, uh— (stands)

CORDELIA

It's time. Take her in the other room.

DARLA

Listen to your heart.

CONNOR

(to Cordelia) She didn't do anything. We should let her go.

CORDELIA

No we shouldn't. We need her, Connor. Our baby—

CONNOR

Shouldn't be anointed with innocent blood.

CORDELIA

(angrily) Anointed? Who's been filling your head with big, confusing words.

CONNOR

(turns away, paces) Just been thinking about it.

CORDELIA

Or, maybe... a little birdie's been pecking at you behind my back.

DARLA

(to Connor) She'll lie to you.

CORDELIA

You know how much they love to use the magic, Connor. A spell for this, a spell for that.

DARLA

Close her out, baby.

CORDELIA

Whatever you're hearing, whatever you think you're seeing—it's a trick.

DARLA

Don't let her in.

CORDELIA

It's Angel.

DARLA

No.

CORDELIA

Trying to turn you against me with a cheap vision of— (looks to where Darla's standing) Darla.

CONNOR

(to Cordelia) You can see her?

CORDELIA

I see the lies.

DARLA

Connor, listen to me.

CORDELIA

It's not her.

DARLA

You have to let her go.

CORDELIA

It's your father. This is how much he hates you.

DARLA

I love you. Please.

CORDELIA

Torturing you with this sad imitation of your dead mother.

DARLA

(crying) Don't let her do this.

CORDELIA

(pushing) Are you going to let them do this to us? Are you going to let them kill our baby?

DARLA

(desperate) Connor, listen to me...

CONNOR

(yelling, crying) You are not my mother!

Connor grabs the virgin girl by her bound hands and drags her into the other room.

VIRGIN

(weeping) No.

Cut to:

34 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Connor puts virgin girl on the ground in the center of the circle where Cordelia was chanting before. The girl looks up to see Cordelia swinging a huge butcher's knife at her head. When the girl looks up at Connor, she has Darla's face now.

DARLA

Please, don't do this Connor. Don't—

Connor just stands there, watching Cordelia murder this girl, listening to the sounds of blood spattering as Cordelia makes the killing blow. The girl collapses in the middle of the circle.

CORDELIA

(remorselessly) There. That wasn't so hard, was it?

Fade to black.

ACT IV:

35 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

The dead girl lies on the floor outside the circle, covered in blood. Connor stares at her. Cordelia is lying on bedding inside the circle.

CORDELIA

Connor, we have to do this (writhes) while it's fresh. (rolling, grunting)

Connor stares at the girl's body; it stares back at her. Her blood is spattered on his face. Connor kneels down, places the palm of his hand in the blood pooling around the girl. He then stands and walks up to Cordelia.

CORDELIA

(chanting, writhing) Vanu'esh. Katahn darh'im. Vajra'ha'esh.

Closeup of Connor's bloody palm as he walks to Cordelia.

CORDELIA

(chanting, weakly) Vanu'esh. Katahn darh'im. Vajra'ha'esh. ...darh'im...

Connor stands over Cordelia, staring at her. She pulls up her shirt to reveal the bare skin of her swollen belly.

CORDELIA

Do it, Connor. (panting) Do it now. (panting) Do it now.

Connor presses his bloody palm to Cordelia's belly. She screams. The building starts to shake around them.

Cut to:

36 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

The building is shaking back at the Hyperion Hotel as well. Fred is in the lobby next to Skip. Lorne and Gunn are standing toward the edge of the room. Wesley peeks out of the office.

GUNN

Fred!

Fred loses her balance and falls to the floor. Everyone else falls down as well.

FRED

What's happening?

Debris falls on the circle of red sand surrounding Skip, breaking the circle. Skip steps out of the circle.

SKIP

End of the world, cupcake— (walks toward Fred) for you.

Cut to:

37 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Cordelia is screaming in pain as Connor attends to her. The building is still shaking.

CONNOR

Cordy! Something's wrong. We have to stop it.

CORDELIA

No, it's coming. (laughs) It's coming. The beginning of a new world.

ANGEL (O.S.)

Or not.

Connor turns to see Angel standing behind him with a sword in hand. Connor stands to face him.

Cut to:

38 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Skip throws Gunn across the room. No one is left standing to oppose him.

SKIP

(laughs) What a bunch of pantywaists. (turns to walk away)

Fred scoots across the floor. Wesley tries hitting Skip across the back with the battle-axe, but Skip's armor deflects the blow.

SKIP

If you can't stop little old Skipper, you really think you got a chance against that?

The building continues to fall down around them.

Cut to:

39 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Angel confronts Connor as Cordelia lies in the circle, writhing.

ANGEL

She lied to you, Connor.

CORDELIA

Don't listen!

ANGEL

To all of us. That's not Cordelia.

CONNOR

Leave us alone!

Connor charges at Angel. They fight. Connor kicks Angel's sword away.

CORDELIA

Kill him! Kill him, Connor!

Cut to:

40 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL/ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Skip saunters up to Fred, and grabs her up by her neck, holding her off the floor.

SKIP

What was that you were saying before? Something about infinite agony? Hmm?

Gunn strikes Skip across the back with his sword, but to no avail because the armor protects him. Skip lets go of Fred and pushes Gunn down.

SKIP

You mind? I'm trying to work here.

Wesley comes out shooting Skip with a pistol. Skip doesn't try to dodge the bullets, but instead makes a show of deflecting them with his chest. Wesley fires a dozen rounds at Skip, but to no avail. Wesley throws the gun to the ground.

SKIP

Do those things ever work? I mean, really. (turns to look around the room)

When Skip turns his head, Wesley notices a break in the armor where Angel had ripped some of it off of his head earlier. Wesley makes a rolling dive for the gun, aims, and shoots at Skip's head. The bullet goes right into the vulnerable spot, entering Skip's head.

SKIP

(mumbles) Well, that ain't right. (collapses)

Skip lands on the floor beside Fred, who looks at him and sighs in relief.

Cut to:

41 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Connor and Angel are still fighting as Cordelia stays in the circle.

ANGEL

(punches Connor to the ground) You think I wanna do this? I don't have a choice!

Angel takes his sword and walks up to Cordelia, who doesn't move. She grunts in pain, glaring at Angel. Angel rears back the sword.

ANGEL

I'm so sorry.

Connor gets up and tries to go after Angel again, but instead Cordelia screams and a bright green-white column of light shoots up from her body in a blast of energy. Angel and Connor are both knocked back to the walls. The column of light turns into a prismatic sunburst display as the entity within Cordelia leaves her body. In the bright light, something octopus-like with tentacles is moving. Angel sits up and look at it. As the light retracts, the form of the entity becomes more and more human-shaped. Finally, the light is absorbed completely into the entity—it looks like a human woman. Cordelia passes out. Angel stands and charges toward the creature, screaming, but then stops in his tracks.

ANGEL

Oh, my God. (drops to his knees) You're beautiful.

WOMAN

(smiles) Angel.

Cut to:

Closing credits.


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