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  4x18 - Shiny, Happy People
 Posted: 04/12/03 08:56
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Previously on Angel:

1 INT. CONNOR'S PLACE - NIGHT

Connor and Cordelia are in bed together, making love. Lying on top of Cordelia, Connor kisses her tenderly amid gentle undulations under the sheets.

Cut to:

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

Cordelia shows her very pregnant belly to Connor.

CORDELIA

Connor, we're having a baby.

Cut to:

3 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

The Fang Gang discuss Cordy in the lobby.

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:

4 INT. BASEMENT AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

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

CORDELIA

Took you long enough to figure it out.

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

ANGEL

Connor, wait!

Angel reaches for Connor, but Connor just pushes him away hard, throwing Angel into Wesley. 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)

Cut to:

5 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Connor listens while Cordelia talks to him.

CORDELIA

Maybe there's another way. A way to bring our baby into the world now.

CONNOR

How?

CORDELIA

I'll need some very special things.

Cut to:

6 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

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

Cut to:

7 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

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

CORDELIA

It's coming. (laughs) The beginning of a new world.

ANGEL

She lied to you, Connor.

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.

Fade to black.

The Start Of EpisodePrologue:

8 INT. WAREHOUSE SOMEWHERE IN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

Resume. Angel has just knelt at the feet of the woman-like creature Cordelia gave birth to. The woman bends to pick up a blanket to wrap around her body.

WOMAN

(looks around, smiles) Oh, it's all so—

ANGEL

Unworthy?

WOMAN

(smiling) Wonderful. (kneels beside Cordelia) Cordelia, thank you for protecting me and nourishing me. Your spirit has been my shelter, but you can rest peacefully now. I'm here.

CONNOR

That's all she wanted—to give you life.

WOMAN

And I can feel all of it: (smiles) the cold floor, the air, (stands) this skin. Everything is perfect.

ANGEL

(frowning, looks up at the woman) No, it's not. I came here to kill you. (hands her his sword) I should be punished.

WOMAN

(takes the sword) Angel, I can feel your suffering, (raises the sword) but now that suffering is going to end.

Angel waits with his head hung low for her to execute him, but after a moment he looks up, and she has disappeared.

Fade to black.

Opening credits.

ACT I:

9 INT. HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Fred is obsessively gathering up books from the office floor. Lorne is sitting on the desk straightening the bankers lamp on it.

FRED

We should've done this a long time ago. I don't know what I was thinking letting these books be all unorganized.

LORNE

Well, one does tend to let the housekeeping slide during an Apocalyptolite. (turns on the desk lamp) Hey, honey, all this to-ing and fro-ing is making me edgy...er.

FRED

(hears a buzzing noise) What's that?

LORNE

Oh, relax. It's just a buzz saw. Nothing to get worked up over. It's Gunn and Wes down in the basement. They're dismembering that armor-plated demon, Skip.

FRED

Oh, right. Well, there's been an awful lot of dismembering going on in that basement lately, if you ask me.

LORNE

Well, it's been a busy month.

FRED

God, why'd it have to be her?

LORNE

I think you skipped a groove, darlin'.

FRED

Cordelia. Why couldn't the Beastmaster have chosen some horrible evil awful person to be its vessel?

LORNE

Wouldn't have been much in the way of camouflage.

FRED

He's been gone so long.

LORNE

Y-you shifted gender pronouns, sweetheart. Not that I'm judging—

FRED

Angel. Do you think he found them?

LORNE

Them being...?

FRED

Connor and Cordy.

LORNE

Well...uh...

FRED

Or maybe he got there too late, and she already had it?

LORNE

And by "it," you must mean—?

FRED

The baby. Or, hell spawn or whatever it is. (Lorne shakes his head and sips his drink) Skip said the Beastmaster was using Cordelia to give birth to itself. What if Angel didn't get there in time to stop it? Or, worse, what if he did get there in time? Do you think he'd actually...you know?

LORNE

Dismember mama? (chuckles nervously)

FRED

Would Angel really kill Cordelia?

LORNE

To save the world?

FRED

(looks out into the lobby) Son of a bitch! (grabs a knife and runs out to the lobby)

LORNE

(stands) OK, not that I was expecting a transition, but still... (follows Fred into the lobby)

FRED

(holds the knife at Connor) Drop it, junior.

LORNE

Fred, don't get too close.

CONNOR

(calmly) Drop it? (smiles)

FRED

You heard me. Drop the knife.

CONNOR

But, you're always after me to clean up after myself. I was just gonna put it away.

FRED

(squints, looks closer at him) Uh, are you still evil-ish? 'Cause I'm confused.

ANGEL

Guys, it's OK. He's with me.

FRED

(sees Cordelia lying on the couch) Oh, my God. (runs to her side) Cordelia. She's not—

ANGEL

No, she's not dead. She's just resting. She's in a peaceful place.

Wesley and Gunn run into the lobby and join the others.

FRED

No, I meant...she's not pregnant.

ANGEL

Oh. No. Not anymore.

WESLEY

Then you were too late? The thing was born?

LORNE

I'm guessing it wasn't a chubby little cherub, huh?

ANGEL

Not exactly.

GUNN

But you killed it? It's dead, right?

ANGEL

(backs up) I—I tried. I was going to. I just, uh— (sits down on the steps and weeps)

CONNOR

You got to stop torturing yourself, dad. He was like this all the way back in the car.

WESLEY

It escaped, then?

ANGEL

Disappeared. Didn't even say goodbye.

FRED

Is that, like, baby evil?

WESLEY

I imagine we're not talking about a baby.

CONNOR

No.

GUNN

OK, so what are we dealing with?

FRED

Eight legs, three heads, horns...?

LORNE

Hey!

FRED

No, offense.

CONNOR

Two legs, one head, no horns.

LORNE

Lemme guess: green?

ANGEL

(stands, smiles) No. Kind of... mocha. We need to find her.

WESLEY

Agreed.

The gang, except for Connor and Angel, head for the weapons cabinet.

GUNN

Hope this thing's easier to kill than the Beast.

CONNOR

(follows them) Kill? No. No killing.

GUNN

Since when?

ANGEL

Since we've all been saved.

FRED

Oh, well, that's, uh, crazy talk.

ANGEL

(to Connor) They don't understand.

CONNOR

No.

ANGEL

We don't want to kill her. (takes the axe away from Wesley) We just want to find her so we can worship her. That's all.

CONNOR

She's amazing. You'll go nuts.

GUNN

Yeah, that'll definitely help us relate better.

ANGEL

(smiles) When you meet her, you'll understand.

WESLEY

Angel, whatever you're feeling right now, it's some form of enchantment.

ANGEL

(looks wistful) Yeah.

WESLEY

It's a spell. Think. Even before its birth, this thing controlled Cordelia, caused her to do unspeakable things. It's evil. Remember the Rain of Fire, permanent midnight, all the horrors done in its name—

WOMAN (O.S.)

Must be rectified.

Everyone in the room turns to look at the woman Cordelia gave birth to. Connor and Angel fall to their knees immediately. Everyone else stares at her in awe.

LORNE

My God.

WOMAN

(smiles) People keep saying that.

Lorne kneels.

FRED

I'm just gonna... (kneels) do this.

Gunn kneels.

WOMAN

For so long, you've all been drowning in the fighting and the pain. I'd like to help...if you'll have me.

WESLEY

(kneels) Tell us what to do.

Cut to:

10 INT. CORDELIA'S ROOM AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

The gang is gathered in Cordelia's room where Cordelia is now laid out on her bed. Gunn and Fred are lighting candles. The group is arranged in a loose circle as they all stare at the woman, smiling.

LORNE

Eternal bliss. It suits her.

FRED

Cordelia must be so happy...to be the one who brought you here. What an honor.

WOMAN

(sitting on the bed beside Cordelia) I'm the one who's honored...by Cordelia, and by all of you. I can't tell you how good it is to be back.

WESLEY

Back? Then you've been here before?

WOMAN

Yes. In the beginning, before the time of man, great beings walked the earth. Untold power emanated from all quarters—the seeds of what would come to be known as good and evil. But the shadows stretched and became darkness, and the malevolent among us grew stronger. The earth became a demon realm. Those of us who had the will to resist left this place, but we remained ever-watchful.

GUNN

You're a power that... was?

WOMAN

But then something new emerged from deep inside the earth—neither demon, nor God.

WESLEY

Man.

WOMAN

And it seemed, for a time, that through this new race, a balance might be restored.

FRED

Guess we really let you down.

WOMAN

But you didn't. It was we who failed you. (stands) We became little more than observers. I could no longer bear to just watch all the suffering. I had to find a way back. But, first I needed a miracle. And so I arranged one. (touches Connor's face) Through you, Angel, through Darla. That is where my parentage began. Two vampires—creatures one human corrupted by darkness. And you with a soul—a miracle already.

ANGEL

But how?

WOMAN

Through Lorne.

LORNE

Huh?

WOMAN

The day Lorne sent Angel and human Darla into the trials to earn a new chance at life.

ANGEL

I failed.

WOMAN

No, you earned that life. And there it is. (points to Connor) All these events unfolded that I might reenter this physical plain. I know there's been chaos.

WESLEY

All the events we've witnesses these past months, all the madness, it was birth pains.

WOMAN

But the storm has passed.

LORNE

And here comes the sun.

ANGEL

And Cordelia—will she wake up?

WOMAN

If we take hold of the world, strip away the thorns, win the battle—then, yes, I think she will.

FRED

How do we do that?

WOMAN

One evil at a time. Much damage has been done in my name. There are demons, forces of hate, all over this city.

FRED

We're going to destroy them.

WOMAN

We're going to change the world.

ANGEL

Finally.

Cut to:

11 INT. BOWLING ALLEY - NIGHT

A middle-aged balding vampire holds up a severed human head and throws it down a bowling lane as if it were his bowling ball. The head doesn't roll very well, and stops short of knocking over his pins.

BOWLING VAMPIRE 1

(sighs) Aw, that ain't gonna work.

BOWLING VAMPIRE 2

Could've told you that. Clean up my lane, jackass. (pushes the other vampire down the lane)

BOWLING VAMPIRE 1

(picks up the head, walks back to the front of the lane) "Let's go to L. A.," you said. "Sun's gone out," you said. "Going to be the feast of the century." But the sun is back, and here we are wasting our time...bowling.

BOWLING VAMPIRE 2

I'm telling you, something big is coming, and when it gets here, we're gonna be in prime position for—

ANGEL

An ass whoppin'?

Angel and gang are poised and ready to attack the two vampires and the group of other vampires with them at their lane. Angel, Gunn, Wesley, Connor, Fred and the woman are there. The men all engage the vampires in a fight, but Fred protects the woman, staying at her side through the fighting.

WOMAN

(walks past the fighting men, talks to Fred) Sit with me.

FRED

Do you think we should?

WOMAN

I have nothing to fear. (they sit)

FRED

OK.

WOMAN

No, what're we going to call me?

FRED

You don't have a name!

WOMAN

No.

FRED

You should have a name.

WOMAN

Yes.

FRED

I don't know. I can't imagine one word, you know, summing you up. I mean, you're a superior being. Shouldn't you— Don't you want to choose it yourself?

WOMAN

No one born to this earth can choose their own name. They are named by those who love them. There are some rules even I must follow.

While the woman and Fred chat, a vampire attacks the woman, slicing her arm with his fingernails. Angel grabs the vampire and pulls him off of the woman. Fred gasps at the atrocity.

FRED

(nearly in tears) I'm so sorry. It's all my fault.

WOMAN

I'll be fine. You tried to caution me. I should have listened.

ANGEL

(chases the vampire down an alley, out of the back of the building) Hey! You hurt her, you scum!

Cut to:

12 EXT. BOWLING ALLEY - NIGHT

Angel chases the vampire that attacked the woman out of the building, to a cafe at the side of the bowling alley. The vampire tries to jump over a table, but lands instead on top of the man sitting at that table, knocking him down and inadvertently cutting the man with his fingernails. Angel pulls the vampire off of the man. Connor followed Angel out.

CONNOR

Dad! (throws Angel a stake)

Angel stakes the vampire. The rest of Angel's team follows Angel and gathers outside. The cafe patrons stand, startled at the commotion.

MIDDLE-AGED MAN PATRON

Over there!

ANGEL

It's all right. It's over. You're safe now.

AWED WOMAN PATRON

Wh— wha— (turns, sees woman) aw! (falls to her knees)

Other patrons fall to their knees.

WOMAN

Everyone, please, stand up. If you wish to honor me, honor each other. We are all one.

Other patrons stand.

MIDDLE-AGED MAN PATRON

(to the woman) You're hurt.

WOMAN

(smiles) I'll be all right. Everything will be all right.

MARGARET

All my life, so empty. That's over now, isn't it?

WOMAN

Yes, Margaret, it's over. I know you. I know you all. I've come here for you to bring you the gift of peace. You will be freed from the pains you've suffered. The world will change forever, and you will know the power of my love. The chaos will fade, and harmony will reign.

The young man that the vampire fell on and scratched grabs a knife from a nearby table and, in tears, stares at the woman.

YOUNG MAN

Monster. It has to die!

The young man lunges at the woman and tries to attack her with the knife, but Angel interferes, pushing the man down and punching him repeatedly in vamp facade.

Fade to black.

ACT II:

13 EXT. BOWLING ALLEY - NIGHT

Resume. Angel is in vamp facade, pummeling the young man that attacked the woman, punching him repeatedly in the face.

WOMAN

(touches Angel's shoulder) Angel, that's enough. (Angel's vamp face recedes)

YOUNG MAN

(crying) Don't you see it? (shakes his head) No. (the woman reaches her hand toward the young man's face) Don't you touch me!

WOMAN

(lays her hand on his face) Poor thing. (to Wesley) Wesley.

WESLEY

I'll call an ambulance. (walks away)

WOMAN

All of you, so loving, so strong. How can I ask you to understand that a man like this, so full of fear, anger, so along—he will always be alone, but we have found each other.

The crowd members smile.

Cut to:

14 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Wesley and Gunn are sitting on the steps, polishing their weapons, talking to the woman.

GUNN

What about... Helen?

WESLEY

Helen.

GUNN

It's got a ring.

WESLEY

Yes, it does. However, something along the lines of... Dianthia or Iphigenia.

GUNN

Those are some long lines.

WESLEY

Or Aristophila, which means—

WOMAN

"Supreme lover of mankind." (smiles) That's lovely.

GUNN

Well, Helen was my grandma's name.

WOMAN

Helen is beautiful as well.

WESLEY

All right. What about—

FRED (O.S.)

Clorox.

They look up to see Fred standing on the stairs holding the woman's shirt in her hands.

GUNN

"Clorox, she bleaches away the hate."

WESLEY

Probably best we avoid brand names.

GUNN

(nods) Mm-hmm.

FRED

No, I—I meant the shirt. (to the woman) know I can get this stain out.

WOMAN

It's not important, Fred.

FRED

No, it is. I can make it good as new again.

WOMAN

There's really no need. It's just a shirt.

FRED

But it's yours. And it was on you, on your holy bodiness. And it's my fault you were attacked.

WOMAN

(still holding a towel to her wounded arm, stands) Nonsense. There is no fault. It was a new and vivid experience. To be able to bleed, feel things, anything—even pain—is a gift. You people take your senses for granted.

FRED

Club soda. (runs out of the room)

GUNN

(chuckles) May as well let her do her thing.

WESLEY

Yes, Fred can be quite single-minded when she is focused on a problem.

GUNN

Yeah.

WOMAN

You love her very much—both of you. Don't you see? You both have the same love. That should bring you closer together, not drive you apart.

CONNOR

(walks into the room carrying bandages) I'm sorry you were hurt.

WOMAN

Oh. (lifts the towel from her wounded arm) Ah. (sees her arm is completely healed)

CONNOR

But there was so much blood.

WOMAN

I heal quickly. It must be a benefit of being a former power, I guess. (smiles)

CONNOR

What was wrong with that man? Why did he want to hurt you?

WOMAN

I'm not sure. Some people can't accept change. It scares them, and that fear becomes hatred, and they take that hatred out on others... (looks toward the garden door) or sometimes on themselves.

Cut to:

15 EXT. GARDEN AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

The woman walks outside to find Angel leaning against a railing, staring at the ground.

WOMAN

That fragrance... It's lovely. What is it?

ANGEL

Must be the jasmine.

WOMAN

Oh, night blooming. So beautiful, so lonely...like you.

ANGEL

(looks up at her, then away) I shamed you.

WOMAN

No.

ANGEL

I did. I almost killed that man. I think I would have if—

WOMAN

Angel, you were only trying to protect me. There can be no shame in that.

ANGEL

I don't want to fail you again.

WOMAN

Then don't.

ANGEL

It's not that simple.

WOMAN

Why isn't it?

ANGEL

'Cause...what I'm feeling.

WOMAN

You must let go of your anger towards that poor soul.

ANGEL

No, not anger...happiness. (woman smiles) I'm so happy that you're here.

WOMAN

And that's a problem?

ANGEL

For me, yes. (looks away) If I get too happy, if I allow myself to feel what I'm feeling, (nearly in tears) Angelus might—

WOMAN

I know. But soon none of that will matter. Evil will be banished by the deeds we will do, Angel. Even the evil that's inside of you. That too will be gone, and all that will be left is the beauty.

ANGEL

Eradicate all evil.

WOMAN

Yes.

ANGEL

Is that even possible? We've been fighting for so long. (shakes his head)

WOMAN

I know. I've seen it all. It's why I've come back. (tilts Angel's head up) You are my general. I have faith in you.

ANGEL

You... have faith in me?

WOMAN

(looks up to the patio where the others have gathered) I have faith in all my warriors, each and every one of you. You are all up to the task.

Cut to:

16 INT. VARIOUS - NIGHT

WOMAN (V.O.)

While the woman speaks, show various scenes of what the AI gang is doing.

You're not alone anymore. I will be with you everywhere you go. I'll be at your side, Angel, Connor, Gunn, and Wesley fight bad guys.

Fred diligently washes the woman's shirt in the sink, scrubbing hard, making a froth with the soap.

guiding your hands,

Angel severs some creature's head.

giving you strength. With my help,

Wesley throws a knife into a creature's body.

all things are possible.

Fred continues to scrub the woman's shirt; her hands are getting raw.

There will be no doubt,

Angel throws a stake to Connor who stakes a vampire.

no worry, no fear, for you will know you cannot be beaten. Angel, Connor, Wesley, and Gunn fight bad guys together.

Cut to:

17 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

A newscaster delivers the news on television as Angel, Connor, Wes, and Gunn look on.

NEWSCASTER

(on television) After several weeks of sky-rocketing homicide rates, finally this week a dramatic decrease in southland murders. The Sheriff's Department spokesman attributes the drop to their new "Tough on Crime" policy instituted last month—

ANGEL

(turns off the television) Hm. A little "Credit for the Divinity Behind the Scenes" policy wouldn't suck. (smiles at the woman)

WOMAN

It's not important who gets the credit. What matters is that we're winning.

WESLEY

If we keep going at this rate—

GUNN

L.A.'s gonna be one big, fat no-demon zone. Hello, Garden City.

ANGEL

(to the woman) You never doubted us. Not for a second.

WOMAN

There's no room for doubt, Angel. Only love.

Lorne walks into the lobby.

CONNOR

Hey, we made the news. Dramatic decrease in southland murders this week.

LORNE

Oh, hey, so much for that nagging apocalypse. (to the woman) Hey, uh, speaking of dramatic, I've got a smidge of surprise for you...upstairs.

WOMAN

Surprises. They're one of my favorite things about being human. (Lorne giggles, he and the woman leave)

The men stare after her as she leaves.

ANGEL

Isn't she—

CONNOR

Yeah.

GUNN

A miracle.

FRED

(walks into the room) Well, I tried. (holds up a shirt) What do you think?

WESLEY

It looks brand new.

FRED

(cries) It is. I—I bought a new one. (sits)

WESLEY

Even better.

FRED

(crying) I know.

Angel and Wesley go to Fred's side.

ANGEL

What's the matter? She'll love it.

FRED

I know, but she's not here.

GUNN

She's just upstairs.

FRED

Yes, but, (holds the shirt to her chest) when she's not around, (sobs) I hurt.

Cut to:

18 INT. ROOM AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Lorne opens the door to a huge suite that's been decorated and prepared for the woman.

WOMAN

Oh, Lorne...

LORNE

It's, uh, it's too diva, isn't it? Diva, deity—it's a thin line.

WOMAN

It's lovely. There's that wonderful smell again— (walks up to a vase full of flowers) jasmine. Oh, really, Lorne. It's more than I could ask for.

LORNE

Oh, well, I'm as tickled as, uh, someone so tickled they're out of similes.

WOMAN

Thank you again, Lorne. (Lorne walks out of the room, but leaves the door open; Connor paces outside) You're troubled. Come in, Connor. Tell me what's bothering you.

CONNOR

(enters the room) I— I can't.

WOMAN

Of course you can. You can tell me anything.

CONNOR

Cordelia used to say that to me. It's just—having you here, I finally know why I was created. For you—to help bring you here.

WOMAN

That and so much more.

CONNOR

But, I don't deserve—I shouldn't be so happy. I've done things. I betrayed my dad, hurt people...

WOMAN

I know... all of it. I've watched you—not just these past days—but all your life and before. Connor, you deserve all the happiness I can bring you.

CONNOR

(smiles slightly) Why me?

WOMAN

I needed a unique soul to help create me. Yours. Even before you were born, I chose you to be my father. And now we're going to transform the world.

CONNOR

But my father—he's the champion.

WOMAN

Everything has its season. It's your time, Connor. Your destiny.

FRED

(walks into the room holding the shirt up and scrutinizing it) Hi, I know it's not the exact same shirt, but it's pretty close, and I scrubbed the other one 'til my fingers bled, but I couldn't get out the— (looks up at the woman and sees a horrifying vision of maggot-infested decaying bloody flesh where the woman's face should be) blood.

Fade to black.

ACT III:

19 INT. ROOM AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Resume. Fred stares in horror at the disgusting face of the woman. Maggots crawl in and out of the bloody eye-sockets of the woman's rotting face. Fred is frozen with fear.

WOMAN

Fred? Is something wrong?

FRED

(cries) I—I'm sorry.

CONNOR

I'll get her some water. (stands)

FRED

(gasps, puts her hands out to stop Connor from leaving the room) No, don't. I mean, I'll be fine.

Gunn, Wesley, and Lorne walk down the hallway toward the woman's room.

GUNN

Sounds like someone's—

The guys walk into the woman's room.

LORNE

What? What's all the booing and hooing, sweet pea?

WESLEY

Fred, there's no reason to cry. She's right there.

FRED

(crying) I—I know. I just started thinking what it would be like if you weren't here, and I guess I kinda lost it.

WOMAN

I'm not going anywhere, Fred. You can trust in that.

FRED

(closes her eyes) I think I just... (backs herself toward the door) need some time alone to...you know, count my blessings 'cause there's so many, and it's good to, um, take stock. (leaves the room crying)

Cut to:

20 INT. CORDELIA'S ROOM AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Fred sits on the edge of the bed beside Cordelia's unconscious body.

FRED

Cordelia, it's me. I'm here. Hello? Remember before the big brain suck and Lorne read you, and it was all scary, headachy pukiness? What if that's all true? Only worse, 'cause we don't even know to fight back, not even Angel. Cordelia, I wish you could—

ANGEL (O.S.)

I know what you're thinking.

Fred turns to see Angel standing in the doorway behind her.

FRED

(stands) You do?

ANGEL

(walks into the room) Sometimes, when I look in her eyes, I've seen it too. It's overwhelming. The lies, the deceit...just melts away. (smiles) Nothing left but the beauty.

FRED

(looks away) Um...yeah, it's...incredible.

ANGEL

(walks up to Cordelia) I can't believe I almost... Seems like a lifetime ago.

FRED

(shakes her head) It's all so different from what we expected.

ANGEL

Big, hideous evil trying to end the world? (smiles) Nice to be wrong.

FRED

Yeah, and now that she's here, everything just... seems so easy.

ANGEL

I know. Feels like a dream.

FRED

Mm-hmm. But have you noticed how we all just kinda do what she says, don't ask questions?

ANGEL

Isn't it a relief? Constant questioning—it's finally over.

Fred makes a nervous fake half-smile.

Cut to:

21 INT. HOSPITAL RECEPTION - NIGHT

Fred goes up to the reception desk at the hospital and talks to the nurse sitting there.

FRED

Um, hi. Um, yes. I'm looking for a patient—a man. He was brought in Thursday, named Stover.

NURSE

(looks at Fred) Are you a family member?

FRED

Am I—? Yes. I have a family. I'm a member. (nurse looks at Fred again) He's my brother. Father. My father's brother.

NURSE

(looking at the computer) I have a Stoller.

FRED

Half-brother. Uncle. Half-uncle. Stoller. That's it. Please, I—I need to know if he's all right.

NURSE

Dr. Keller treated him.

FRED

Is he still here?

NURSE

He was transferred to— (looks at the computer, surprised) Oh.

Cut to:

22 INT. HOSPITAL PSYCHIATRIC UNIT - NIGHT

Fred walks into the hall of one floor and up to the door labeled "Psychiatric Unit". It's locked with an electronic keypad. Fred looks inside and then hides near the door until someone comes out. Fred sneaks in through the doors before they lock again. She goes into the room of the young man from the cafe. He's lying on a bed in a dark back corner of the room.

FRED

John? John Stoller?

YOUNG MAN

(doesn't look toward Fred) Go away.

FRED

John, I have to ask you...Do you have a history of mental— What I mean to ask is, uh, have you been in this particular ward before?

YOUNG MAN

You mean, am I crazy?

FRED

Well, were you before Thursday?

YOUNG MAN

(tearfully) Leave me alone.

FRED

(walks slowly toward the man) I don't think you're crazy. I think I know what happened. I think I know what you saw because... I saw it too. The woman you attacked—

YOUNG MAN

(shakes head) Not a woman.

FRED

Her face—it's horrible, isn't it? Decaying, blood, things living there.

YOUNG MAN

(crying) You did see it?

FRED

Yes.

YOUNG MAN

Did it touch you?

FRED

What?

The young man turns his head to face Fred, revealing that the side that was in shadow has been transformed into a hideous demony color and texture. One half of his face—where the woman touched him—is now gray and wrinkly and bulging, covered with bumps. Even his eye is different now, a silvery black.

YOUNG MAN

(crying) Don't let it touch you.

FRED

(shocked) Sh-sh-she did that to you?

YOUNG MAN

(tries to sit up) Untie me, please. I have to get out of here. I have to finish it.

FRED

Finish what?

YOUNG MAN

She has to die. We have to kill it.

FRED

We? (nervously) No, I—I—uh, I mean, maybe, but, no...

YOUNG MAN

You said you saw it.

FRED

I did.

YOUNG MAN

You've been called too.

FRED

Called?

YOUNG MAN

Called. To the mission.

FRED

Called. (shakes head) No, I... I don't get called. I'm not the called type. I, you know, take messages for my boss. He gets called. Called?

YOUNG MAN

It's our duty. Others won't see. (shakes head)

FRED

You're wrong. If what we saw is true, there are people who will understand, who will help.

YOUNG MAN

(sits up) You've been called.

FRED

No. Like I said, I— (Fred's cell phone rings) OK, that's just eerie. (takes out phone and looks at it) It's Angel. They're probably wondering where I am.

YOUNG MAN

You have to do it.

FRED

(backs out of the room) I—I have to go. Thank you for your time. I'm sorry to have disturbed you.

YOUNG MAN

Don't trust her. Don't trust anyone!

Cut to:

23 EXT. GARDEN AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Fred walks back to the hotel, but it's bustling with people. Two girls rush past her to get inside.

GIRL 1

I've never seen you like this.

GIRL 2

I'm telling you, you have to meet her. Come on.

Cut to:

24 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Fred walks into the lobby of the hotel, and it's full of people—hundreds. Lorne's having a conversation with some strangers.

LORNE

We are just excited head over teakettle about this entire event. I-I just can't even believe— (sees Fred) Hey, hey, hey, pumpkin. Where've you been?

FRED

Out. (looks around at all the people) What happened?

LORNE

Oh, she went out for a walk—it was like A Hard Day's Night—everybody followed her back. Isn't it fabulous. (points to someone else) Oh, hey, hey, hey. (to Fred) Excuse me, darling.

WESLEY

(to strangers) Can you believe this? (Fred comes up to him) What is it?

FRED

I need you. (pulls Wesley aside) If I told you something—you know, that maybe you didn't want to know even—you'd trust me, right?

WESLEY

Of course.

FRED

I...went to see that man from the restaurant. The one who—

WESLEY

The attacker? Why?

FRED

That's what I wanted to know—why he would do that. Wesley, he saw something. We both s-saw something. I needed to know if it was the same something.

WESLEY

And?

FRED

It was. Wesley, I know you're going to find this hard to accept, but—

Gunn looks down and watches Wesley and Fred converse.

WESLEY

Rotting flesh? Really?

FRED

You don't believe me.

WESLEY

If you say you saw it, I believe you.

FRED

(smiles, relieved) He told me not to tell anyone, but I-I knew if I came to you—

WESLEY

You did the right thing.

The woman walks into the room on the balcony. The crowd cheers.

FRED

You'll help me?

WESLEY

Of course I'll help you. Wait here. (walks away)

Fred watches Wesley walk up to Gunn and tell him something. They both stare at her. Wesley continues up the stairs and whispers to Angel, Connor, and the woman. Gunn whispers something to Lorne. Fred watches all this from the lobby floor. She backs herself slowly toward the weapons cabinet and opens it while the others talk about her—she grabs a dagger and a crossbow. Connor and Angel look at her and see Fred arming herself. Fred points the crossbow at the woman, who is flanked by Angel and Connor.

FRED

I'm sorry. (pulls the crossbow trigger)

Fade to black.

ACT IV:

25 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

Resume. Fred shoots the crossbow at the woman, but Angel jumps in front of her, taking the arrow in his shoulder. Connor jumps down after Angel, both landing on the lobby floor. Connor pulls the arrow out of Angel's shoulder and helps him stand. Wesley rushes downstairs.

LORNE

(walks up to Fred) Fred! Are you crazy? What— I mean— (Fred grabs Lorne and puts the dagger to his throat) Fred!

FRED

(to Angel, Connor, and Wes) Don't come near me!

ANGEL

Put down the knife, Fred.

FRED

I'll kill him!

GUNN

You don't know what you're doing.

FRED

(yells) I'll kill him, Charles!

LORNE

(to Fred) Easy, kiddo, huh?

WOMAN

There's nowhere you can go, Fred. My love will follow you everywhere.

Fred pushes Lorne forward into the others and rushes out the front door.

LORNE

(angry) Hey!

Angel and the others start to follow Fred, but the woman stops them.

WOMAN

Let her go. Now is not the time. We are all gathered here in peace. Let's not let her take that away from us.

Cut to:

26 INT. JEEP - DAWN

Fred drives the jeep down the road all night. Finally, when day breaks, she pulls over to the side of the road, stops the car and sobs.

Cut to:

27 INT. LOBBY AT HOTEL / ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS - NIGHT

The AI gang discusses Fred's behavior.

WESLEY

I can't believe Fred's evil.

GUNN

Should've seen it coming.

LORNE

Nothing like a homicidal maniac to put a damper on an impromptu spiritual gathering. (shakes his head)

WOMAN

What they saw tonight—it's not what I would have wanted, but now they all understand the reality of what hatred can do to a person.

ANGEL

(walks into the lobby with a bouquet of jasmine) The reality is...we need to find Fred.

WOMAN

(takes bouquet) Thank you, Angel. The scent—it soothes me.

ANGEL

We leave now. Connor and I can probably still track her. (Connor and Angel walk toward the door)

WOMAN

I know you're all in pain. You trusted Fred, and she betrayed you.

GUNN

(stands) Forget us. She tried to kill you.

WOMAN

And the sadness that brings me is immeasurable.

LORNE

I should've just let her cut my head off. My species—decapitation loophole.

CONNOR

Still might've stabbed you, let you bleed to death.

ANGEL

(paces) Why didn't I see it?

WOMAN

Angel, none of us did. You can't blame yourself.

ANGEL

(sits) She was acting weird earlier, and I just thought it was Fred being Fred.

WESLEY

That man at the hospital—I'm still shocked she would go to see him.

GUNN

Once he had her there, (shrugs) must've monkeyed with her brain somehow.

CONNOR

Maybe he made her do it, (shrugs) with magic or something.

WOMAN

I doubt even Fred understands why she's so determined to destroy everything we're trying to create, which makes her even more dangerous.

ANGEL

We have to kill her. (everyone sighs at the thought) There's no other way.

WESLEY

As long as she's out there, she's a threat.

WOMAN

It may come to that. But first, we have to try to help her. Get to the root of the hatred that's infected her heart.

ANGEL

The only way to do that is to bring her home. (stands) Let's go.

WOMAN

No. We'll find Fred, but not tonight. Tomorrow will be easier than today. We'll have eyes everywhere.

Cut to:

28 INT. DINER - DAY

A man hands a plate of two eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns to a woman sitting at the counter drinking a cup of coffee. It's Fred.

DINER GUY

Here you go. Looks like you just lost your best friend.

FRED

All of them. I never thought—

DINER GUY

Yeah, well, that's life in the big city. (hands her a bill)

TV HOST

Welcome back. Chef Arnold Michske will join us later, but right now, we have the most amazing surprise. Please join me in welcoming a very special visitor: Jasmine!

WOMAN / JASMINE

Good morning, Los Angeles. (Fred looks up at the TV when she hears the woman's voice; the woman, Jasmine, is wearing a sprig of jasmine flowers in her hair) Thank you for inviting me. This is a special day.

Fred stares at the diner's corner television in shock.

TV HOST

We want to know everything about you. Start at the beginning.

People are coming in off the streets to watch Jasmine on the TV. The people kneel, mesmerized by Jasmine's voice. Fred turns and stare at them in disbelief.

JASMINE

Trish, in the beginning, before the time of man, great beings walked the Earth. Untold power emanated from all quarters—the seeds of what would come to be known as good and evil. Yet there was a balance. But the shadow stretched...

While Jasmine speaks on television, Fred stands and walks out of the diner, onto the sidewalk—it's empty. The streets are empty too. No one in the entire city is outside.

Cut to:

Closing credits.


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