Forever Dreaming
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5x01 - Conviction Part 1
https://foreverdreaming.org/viewtopic.php?f=154&t=9530
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Author:  bunniefuu [ 10/04/03 03:41 ]
Post subject:  5x01 - Conviction Part 1

PROLOGUE:

1 EXT. RANDOM LOS ANGELES ALLEY - NIGHT

A young woman is walking through an empty alley in the dark when a vampire jumps out at her. She screams, and Angel hears her scream from his vantage point atop a high-rise building.

GIRL

(backing away from the vampire slowly)

Please, you don't have to do this. I can get you money. You don't have—

(the vampire grabs her; she screams)

Somebody help! Aah! Aah!

Angel runs across the high-rise's rooftop, grabs hold of a rope, and jumps off. He swings to the alley between the buildings ala Spider-Man. As he nears the ground, Angel kicks the vampire in the face, knocking him down. Angel does a back flip in the air as he touches down, his black leather coat billowing around him like Batman's cape. He turns around and saunters toward the vampire.

ANGEL

Doesn't sound like the lady's interested. Maybe you're coming off as too needy.

The vampire does a fancy karate move to get himself up off the ground as he launches into a side kick into Angel's ribs. They fistfight as the girl looks on. Angel finally kicks the vampire in the chest, knocking him down flat on his back in the alley. In another impressive karate move, the vampire arches his back and leaps to his feet to engage Angel again. Angel grabs the vampire's foot and spins him around in the air as he hurtles the vampire into the wall. The vampire falls to the ground again. Angel pulls a stake out of his belt, twirls it like an old gunfighter might, and lunges it dramatically into the vampire's chest. The vampire disappears in a cloud of smoke.

GIRL

(in awe)

What ju—I don't understand.

ANGEL

Look, don't try. Just get yourself home and stay out of dark alleys. You'll be all right.

(smiles, walks away)

GIRL

(asking after him)

But...who are you?

ANGEL

(without turning around)

It doesn't matter.

Cars screech. A group of armed men dressed completely in black gather suddenly at the end of the alley, pointing guns in Angel's direction.

MAN IN BLACK

Angel!

(into his CB)

Area's secure. Angel is unharmed. Hostiles contained. Sweep area and confirm.

(pulls off his ski mask, to Angel)

Angel, sir.

Several cars pull up to the end of the alley, all with their headlights pointing at Angel. Several people get out and walk toward him.

LAWYER

Angel!

MAN IN BLACK

We got report of your movement and came for backup.

ANGEL

But—

MAN IN BLACK / HAUSER

I'm Agent Hauser. I run your operations team.

LAWYER

Angel!

(out of breath) Hi. Glad we caught you. Really would—

(to another lawyer, a notary) Get the forms from her.

(to Angel) Really would prefer it if you didn't leave a rescue scenario until we had a chance to control the scene. Of course, that is your decision, sir, but—

ANGEL

(confused)

How did you guys—

LAWYER

(points to Angel's collar)

Tracking monitor in your lapel. And what a time-saver, too, huh?

(looks at his watch)

NOTARY

(holding a contract, speaks to the girl)

This is to confirm that you have been rescued by Angel, C.E.O. and President of Wolfram and Hart,

(flips page)

and this is to indemnify Wolfram and Hart—

LAWYER

(pushing Angel in the direction of the girl)

If we can just get a couple pictures of you two, that would be great.

(whispers) Now, uh, the vampire that you terminated, he actually did work for one of your clients.

(smiles) So, but, hey! First week, no one will squawk, ok?

(pats Angel on the shoulder)

GIRL

(to Angel) You run a law firm?

ANGEL

(innocently) No. I mean... well, sort of.

(camera flashes)

Well, just lately.

NOTARY

(to the girl, who's busy staring at Angel) I need you to initial here concerning your immortal soul.

GIRL

(signs the document while questioning Angel with disgust)

You did this for publicity?

ANGEL

No! I help...(realizing it sounds silly) the helpless.

LAWYER

(to Angel) Would you like me to bring your car around, sir? Or anything at all? Mocha? Latte? Decaf?

Angel looks around at the array of dozens of people in utter disbelief.

Fade to black.

Opening credits.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ACT I:

2 INT. HALLYWAY AT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - DAY

Children are walking through the halls between classes.

BOY

Hey, Matt! Wait up!

MATT

Did you get to the store?

BOY

They didn't have a lot. I got Punisher.

MATT

My dad won't let me read that.

BOY

Oh, man! It's so good. He kills everyone. You can borrow mine.

MATT

OK. Do you have X-Men?

BOY

Which one?

TEACHER

(as the boys walk into the classroom, the teacher hands Matt a paper)

Matthew. It's pretty good. We can talk about it after class. OK, let's settle down, everyone.

Cut to:

3 INT. LOBBY OF WOLFRAM & HART - DAY

The mail clerk pushes a basket full of office mail down the hallway. The top package is an envelope addressed to Angel. As the clerk passes the elevator, the elevator bell pings, and the focus turns toward it. Inside, front and back sets of doors open, and Fred stands there confused, holding a box of papers and personal belongings, looking out the wrong side. Wesley walks up to the elevators from the lobby, holding a coffee mug.

WESLEY

Fred?

FRED

(as the elevator doors begin to shut)

Wesley!

(Wesley holds the doors open as Fred walks out toward him)

Oh! I'm always getting turned around.

(looks around the lobby in awe)

WESLEY

Can I help you with any of that?

FRED

It's so big.

WESLEY

It does take some getting used to.

FRED

Have you seen my lab? It's giganamous. And I'm in charge.

WESLEY

I'm sure you'll have no trouble—

FRED

I don't even understand half of what they're doing. There's this machine, 6 feet tall, it makes this noise— whoompa! Whoompa! Phht! Not a clue.

WESLEY

Well, I'm still stuck back at, "Why on earth are we here?"

FRED

What, because we're crusaders against evil and now the law firm that represents most of the evil in the world has given us its L.A. branch to run however we want, probably in an attempt to corrupt, divide, or destroy us, and we all said yes in, like, 3 minutes?

WESLEY

(breathes deeply, then nods)

Your run-on sentences have got a lot less pointless.

FRED

Oh, that's so sweet. And a tad condescending.

WESLEY

Uh, you sure I can't help you—

KNOX

(from the lobby stairs)

Ms. Burkle!

(runs toward Fred)

FRED

Hi! Oh, um, Wesley, this is Knox. And I told you to call me Fred.

KNOX

A-any minute now, I'm gonna start. Ha! That's a promise from me to you.

(points to the box)

Can I help you with that?

FRED

(smiles)

Oh, thank you.

WESLEY

So, Knox, how long have you been, uh, evil?

KNOX

Oh! Heh! I just mix the potions, you know? And now that I'm taking orders from "el jefe" here, I'll probably be saving the world on a weekly basis.

(Fred giggles)

WESLEY

Good for you.

KNOX

Do you know how to get to your office from here?

FRED

Why, did somebody eat my breadcrumbs?

KNOX

Heh! It's not that hard. I'll show you.

FRED

Thanks, Knoxy.

(they start up the stairs, Fred turns around to Wes)

Oh! See ya!

KNOX

(to Wes)

Oh, it was nice to meet you.

Wesley watches Fred leave.

GUNN

Think fast!

(throws a basketball toward Wesley, who catches it in his belly with one hand because the other still has the coffee mug)

Heh! Gotta be faster than that in this place.

WESLEY

Cricket's more my game.

GUNN

I've made up my mind. How's Fred doing?

WESLEY

I'm sure Knoxy will take wonderful care of her. Don't you think it's a bit unseemly adding y's to the ends of people's names?

GUNN

Does that mean I have to call you "Westle"?

WESLEY

(frowns)

Made up your mind about what?

GUNN

(pulls Wesley toward the offices)

Oh! I want the one on the left. This one makes me feel a little bit less completely out of place. I'd say 17% less. Plus...

(gestures toward the windows)

a little bit of a view of the mountains. Lived my whole life in L.A., now I find out there are mountains. A brother should be told.

WESLEY

It's very nice.

GUNN

So's yours. I mean, if it works for you.

(walk to the adjoining office)

We can switch if you don't like the—you know, the kung pao or whatever.

WESLEY

Feng shui.

GUNN

Right. What's that mean again?

WESLEY

That people will believe anything. Actually, in this place, feng shui will probably have enormous significance. I'll align my furniture the wrong way and suddenly catch fire or turn into a pudding.

GUNN

You having second thoughts?

WESLEY

You're not?

GUNN

Man, do I look like I belong here? You got the mystical creds at least. I just hit stuff. I mean, even if this works, and we can turn this place around, use it to do some good, it's gonna be a long, long while before any of us gets anywhere near comfortable here.

The focus moves to Lorne, who's walking through the lobby, talking on a cell phone, accompanied by a man holding three binders.

LORNE

Oh, sweetie, it's perfect! Yes, it's perfect. It's the project you've been waiting for. Yeah, it's "Joanie Loves Chachi" meets "The Sorrow and the Pity." It's "Joanie Loves Pity." And you're—

(puts the phone to his shoulder and nods at one of the binders the man beside him is holding out)

yeah, that carpet's great because I want our clients to become dizzy and vomit. Keep flipping, huh?

(to the phone) Yeah, you're a shoo-in. The part's yours. Yeah, I've got a whole freezer full of horses' heads downstairs. No, I'm just kidding. But listen, the producer's a client, so read it and we'll talk.

(to the man with the binders) OK. Better. Horrible and pathetic, but better.

As Lorne walks by, the elevator doors open to reveal Angel standing inside. Gunn calls to him from the lobby.

GUNN

You lost, boss?

ANGEL

(walks out of the elevator toward them)

On a lot of levels.

(gestures widely with his hands)

Did you hear what happened to me last night?

(starts walking across the lobby, flanked by Gunn and Wesley)

GUNN

You got lucky?

ANGEL

They put a tracer on me. I was working the town, helping the helpless, which is a thing I like to do. All of a sudden, the entire firm shows up in the alley.

WESLEY

We'll make sure it doesn't happen again.

ANGEL

(buttons his jacket)

We're turning this place inside out. If they wanna see how I handle running Wolfram & Hart, they're gonna find out. Everything must go...

4 INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - DAY

Angel opens both doors to walk into his office. He stops his sentence abruptly and stares at his desk.

ANGEL

Starting with that.

Pan over to reveal a young woman wearing a red suit sitting on the edge of Angel's desk with her long legs crossed and accentuated as she sits under the accent light.

YOUNG WOMAN

Hi. It's really neat to see you guys.

(smiles)

ANGEL

(walks up to her, unbuttons his jacket)

I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be my office.

YOUNG WOMAN

Never happen again. Just wanted to, you know, see your face.

ANGEL

You like to make an entrance.

YOUNG WOMAN

You always open both doors when you enter a room?

(Angel looks down)

I don't need to make an entrance. I need to make an impression. I'm gonna be your liaison to the firm. I'll help you find your way. My name is Eve. And just so we get the whole irony thing of the way...

(picks up a shiny red apple from the desk and throws it to Angel)

ANGEL

(catches the apple)

Who do you answer to?

EVE / YOUNG WOMAN

The senior partners, and if you're thinking, which, by the way, you are, that you can use me to get to them, let go of the dream. I answer to them. I don't lunch with them.

WESLEY

Still... a pretty powerful position for a young woman.

EVE

How exactly can you be sure I'm either of those things?

(smiles, stands)

OK, let me tell you how this works.

ANGEL

I thought I was in charge.

EVE

(pacing)

Of the Los Angeles offices of a multi-dimensional corporation. Now, I'm stressing that last word because that's what we are. We're a business, and we have a bottom line. Now, you could take your new client list and start hacking away from the top down. A lot of our clients are demons, and... almost all of them are evil.

ANGEL

Almost?

EVE

Things are always more complicated than they seem, champ.

(shaking her head)

You can shut this place down, but... then...well, then you wouldn't have it anymore. If the place closes down, the connections dry up. Evil goes next door. (beat) This is the catch—I'm explaining the catch so you don't have to stand around wondering what it is. See, in order to keep this business running, you have to keep this business running. And that means keeping your clients—most of them, anyway—happy.

GUNN

(frowns)

Means letting them get away with stuff.

EVE

(chuckles)

Sweetie, they were getting away with it while you were all sitting around your hotel waiting for the phone to jangle. Well, you're on the ins now, and you can stop the worst of it. Maybe find some new solutions to some old problems.

(smiles, chipper)

Come on! Isn't anybody excited? This is a crazy time of fun. The most powerful evil around has given a pivotal position over to its sworn enemies. You're not scared, are you?

Angel stares at Eve as he takes a bite of the apple with a crisp crunch.

EVE

The client files are all in there. You might want to start going through 'em.

Cut to:

5 INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - NIGHT

Angel, Lorne, Fred, Wesley, and Gunn are sitting around the conference table going through files. The table is full of papers and file folders, and the gang seems exhausted.

ANGEL

This is unbelievable.

FRED

I think I've lost my appetite, which is kind of a first.

LORNE

(reading a file)

Hmm, well, this is interesting. Apparently old Joe Kennedy tried to get out of his deal with the firm.

ANGEL

That explains a lot.

LORNE

Yeah, but George, Senior—he read the fine print. There's no one these guys don't have a piece of.

ANGEL

(stands)

How are we even supposed to start making things right?

(tosses a file on the table)

GUNN

(reading a file)

Here's a winner—Corbin Fries. On trial for smuggling Asian girls in for cheap labor and prostitution. Been charged with drugs, gun running, nothing stuck.

WESLEY

And that's one of our human clients.

GUNN

Looks like the trial's not going too well this time.

ANGEL

Hmm, first good news all day.

GUNN

(closes the file, looks at the table)

I can't even remember which pile is which.

ANGEL

I'll get my secretary to go through it in the morning. Do I have a secretary?

WESLEY

I imagine they'll find you someone who can stomach the idea of working for the side of the righteous.

GUNN

My impression is a lot of these guys are just opportunistic. They'll go with the flow.

FRED

You know we're gonna have to check the whole staff, make sure we don't have any die-hard evildoers plotting against us.

WESLEY

(sits back)

And here I was, worrying about the clients.

ANGEL

We're doing the right thing...right?

LORNE

Well, uh...

(sits forward)

We're doing it tomorrow, exalted one. My horns are falling asleep.

ANGEL

Yeah. You guys go get some rest.

FRED

What about you?

ANGEL

I'll work a while yet. Go on.

Cut to:

6 INT. GUNN'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Gunn walks back to his office to grab his jacket. Someone speaks to him from the corner.

EVE

Lot simpler fighting vamps on the street, wasn't it? Tricked-out pickup, loyal gang, just you and the pointy wood against the living dead.

GUNN

This gonna be a thing with you, jumping out at people, or do you just not have an office of your own?

EVE

I'm just wondering if you're ready for the next step.

GUNN

Or if maybe I'd like to go back to living on the street, eating garbage and watching my buddies get picked off one by one?

(nods sarcastically)

Yeah, that was the life.

EVE

(stands)

So you're not backing out?

GUNN

You don't know me or you wouldn't ask that question.

EVE

I can see why the senior partners chose you.

(hands Gunn a business card)

Have fun.

(walks out, the says over her shoulder)

You'll feel like a new man.

WESLEY

(watching from his office next door)

What did she mean?

GUNN

(looks at the card she gave him)

Tailor. Guess I'm not dressed for success.

(shrugs)

A flash of a black panther in a white room plays on the screen.

Cut to:

7 INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - DAY

Angel is going through papers on his desk. He picks up the envelope that was mailed to him, but puts it aside without opening it. He presses a button on his phone.

ANGEL

(to phone)

Um...can I get a cup of coffee or something?

PHONE MENU VOICE

You have reached ritual sacrifice. For goats, press one, or say "goats."

ANGEL

(hastily presses the button, pauses, tries again by pressing a different button)

Hello?

WOMAN'S VOICE

This is Angel's office. How can I help you?

ANGEL

This is Angel.

WOMAN'S VOICE

No, this is his new assistant.

ANGEL

No, this is Angel.

WOMAN'S VOICE

Are you sure?

ANGEL

(scoffs)

Less and less. Can I get a cup of coffee? Or if there's blood—

WOMAN'S VOICE

Oh! Right away.

Angel presses the button to hang up, but he's switched to the previous line.

PHONE MENU VOICE

To sacrifice a loved one or pet, press the pound—

Angel hastily presses the button to hang up, holding it down longer this time. He stares at the phone, disgusted, for a moment, then goes back to his papers. The phone rings, and Angel answers it on the speakerphone.

ANGEL

(to phone)

Hello?

WESLEY (O.S.)

It's Wesley. Can I stop in? We might be into a situation.

Angel's secretary brings him a mug and places it on his desk in front of him.

ANGEL

Uh, sure. Come on by.

(sips from his mug, then looks up at his secretary)

Harmony.

HARMONY

Hey! Boss.

ANGEL

You're my secretary?

HARMONY

(sighs indignantly)

Hello! Assistant.

ANGEL

Explain why I shouldn't kill you.

HARMONY

Secretary's fine.

ANGEL

(stands)

No, it's not fine. Where is it fine? You've been working here?

HARMONY

Yeah-huh.

ANGEL

Why?

HARMONY

(scoffs)

Well, duh! I'm a single undead gal trying to make it in the big city—I have to start somewhere. And they're evil here, they don't judge. They've got the necrotempered glass—

(dances in front of the window) no burning up—a great medical plan, and who needs dental more than us?

ANGEL

This is surreal.

HARMONY

Now, before you go threatening to fire me—

ANGEL

I threatened to kill you.

HARMONY

(backs up slowly)

Don't let's quibble. Before anything, just think—I'm strong, I'm quick, I'm incredibly sycophantic—if that means what that guy said—and I type like a superhero...if there was a superhero whose power was typing. And, hey, we keep the same hours. Creatures of the night...(holds her fist up) unite.

(hands him his mug again)

How do you like your blood?

ANGEL

Tell me that's not—

HARMONY

It's pig's blood. I'm totally off the human blood. That's not even a thing.

ANGEL

(smells it)

It tastes—

HARMONY

Pretty good, right?

(leans in)

The extra ingredient is otter.

WESLEY

(knocks, opens the door, and walks in)

Angel, it's one of our cases. It's becoming problematic.

(nods to Harmony)

Harmony.

HARMONY

Hey, Wes.

ANGEL

(to Wesley) You knew that she was—

HARMONY

Wes is the one that picked me out of the steno pool.

ANGEL

But why... You, uh...

(sighs)

WESLEY

Well, I thought a familiar face would be just the thing in a place like this.

ANGEL

(shakes his head)

You turned evil a lot faster than I thought you would.

WESLEY

Nonsense.

HARMONY

We're gonna get along great, boss. The whole gang. I mean, Cordy is gonna lose it when she finds out—

(notices that Angel and Wesley are frowning)

I mean...you are gonna tell her you're OK with this, right? I mean, I know she was mad at me for trying to kill you all, but she wouldn't—I mean...

WESLEY

I thought she knew.

ANGEL

Cordy's sick. She's in a coma.

HARMONY

(shocked)

Oh. God, I—I didn't... What happened? Is she gonna be OK?

ANGEL

We don't know.

HARMONY

(nearly in tears)

Cordy was my best friend, like... my whole life. She's my role model. How can she...

(breathes deeply, then is chipper again)

So, anyway, I really think you should not fire me, and Wes does, too.

WESLEY

Harmony, would you ask the men in my office to join us, please?

HARMONY

Righty-ho.

(nods, exits)

WESLEY

If there's a way to help Cordelia, we will find it.

ANGEL

What's the case?

WESLEY

(hands folder to Angel)

Corbin Fries. The lowest piece of pond scum I've met in, oh, hours. He's about to get 20 years for kidnapping, pimping—

ANGEL

I saw the file.

(hands it back to Wesley)

WESLEY

Yeah, well, personally, I think he deserves to be eaten by weasels, but he's hinting we'd best help him. Threatening, actually.

ANGEL

(the door opens)

Mr. Fries.

HARMONY

Mr. Fries, this is Angel.

WESLEY

I've been bringing him up to speed on your case.

(gestures toward the couches in the corner of Angel's office)

FRIES

(flatly)

Terrific.

KEEL

(to Angel) Desmond Keel.

WESLEY

One of ours.

ANGEL

Nice to meet you.

KEEL

I've heard, uh, things.

HARMONY

Would anybody like coffee?

FRIES

Oh, yeah, let's all chit-chat and have tea and crumpets 'cause I got so much time. Here's the skinny: Tomorrow the D.A. Puts my tit in a wringer for good and all, and that... does not stand with me. Butt-munch here, he got his law degree at dog training school,

(Harmony giggles)

and the prosecution has everything they've ever dreamed of.

ANGEL

Because you're guilty.

FRIES

Of course I'm guilty. What the hell are you changin' the subject for? The point is, when Holland Manners was running things, this would've never got to trial. Now, I bring a lot of money into this firm, more than most, and I don't do that so I can be handed over to the frickin' law.

(points at Angel)

You... gotta get me off.

ANGEL

It's strange, my lack of incentive.

FRIES

You think I give a ferret's anus about your new regime here? Yeah, I know who you are, and I care to the sum of zero. You're my lawyers. And if you don't do every last thing to keep me out of jail, you will regret it.

KEEL

Well, we can't dance around this one. We're not in a position to have anyone killed.

(Angel and Wesley glance at him)

Not that we would. And the jury's, uh, tamper-proof. Literally. I think one of the D.A.'s shamans has conjured a mystical shield around them.

WESLEY

So this one has to be won on the merits of the case.

KEEL

Now, we have top men on this—

FRIES

Who are doing jack! I am not gonna be made an example of. Either you get me off tomorrow—

ANGEL

I think you should calm down.

FRIES

(walks up to Angel, in his face)

To hell with calm down. Either you get me off, or I drop the bomb.

WESLEY

Bomb?

FRIES

Let me put it this way: If they bring in a conviction, bye-bye, California. I say the magic word, the only people left standing are gonna be the ones that are already dead.

HARMONY

(sighs)

Oh, well, that's a relief.

(stutters) I mean—

(points angrily) Hey!

Fade to black.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ACT II:

8 INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Lorne opens a notebook and addresses a room full of people.

LORNE

OK, well, we all know why we're here. So why don't we get started.

WOLFRAM & HART

EMPLOYEE EVALUATION SESSION 2D

EMPLOYEE OKAY ON THE BUBBLE EVIL TO BE FIRED YIKES!

Rabinowitz, Cindy

Rabinnovich, Brad

Radion, Erica

...

LORNE

Uh... Cindy...Rabinowitz?

CINDY

(singing off key)

There once was a woman who loved a man

He was the one that she took poison for

They say that nobody ever loved as much as she

But me, I love you more

Cut to:

9 INT. FRED'S OFFICE - DAY

Knox is in Fred's office helping her move in. Fred's busily hanging a poster. Knox plays with her toy duck.

KNOX

So...he can read your mind?

FRED

Oh, while you're singing, he can sort of feel out your aura, your future. It should help us weed out the, you know, most evilest, which I'm sure you're not.

KNOX

Hey, I'll go up there right now, warble away. I want you feeling 100% secure running this lab.

FRED

Yeah, that'll never happen in this lifetime.

(tacks one corner of the poster to the wall)

Uh, evil aside, I'm not sure that I'm much of the running-things type. I'm more the running-away-from-things type.

(tacks the other corner of the poster to the wall)

The telephone rings, and Fred goes to answer it, letting the poster unroll to reveal it's a Dixie Chicks poster.

KNOX

Why do I have trouble believing that?

FRED

Maybe you're not very bright.

(to phone) Hi, this is Fred. I mean, Practical Science Department, this is the head...Fred. How may I help you?

Cut to:

10 INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - DAY

Fred and Lorne have joined Wesley and Angel in Angel's office.

FRED

Blow everybody up?

ANGEL

Well, he said "drop the bomb." We don't know what that means.

WESLEY

We very nearly found out.

ANGEL

What? I'm not allowed to hit people?

WESLEY

Not people capable of genocide.

ANGEL

Those are exactly the types of people I should be allowed to hit!

LORNE

Hey, back to the here and now, chickadees. Where do we stand?

WESLEY

We need to find out about this bomb and somehow disable it in case that jury comes in with a conviction.

(Angel nods)

We think it may have some mystical element.

ANGEL

Fries said, "I say the magic word." He could mean exactly that.

WESLEY

Which is my department. We also think it probably isn't an explosive. This isn't the sort of man to risk his own life. So that could mean more magic—

FRED

Or it could be a virus, ebola kind of thing.

ANGEL

Right. The main thing is, any of this stuff could've come from right here.

Keel, the lawyer, says he doesn't know anything, and I believe him.

FRED

Why?

ANGEL

He's terrified.

LORNE

(nods)

It's going around.

WESLEY

Fred, go through the lab records. See if Wolfram & Hart deals in viruses.

Lorne, you're in the courtroom. Monitor the case. Let us know how it's going.

LORNE

But lunch with Mary-Kate... She was gonna tell me about Ashley's new piercing.

HARMONY

I paged Gunn 3 times. Still nothing.

FRED

Why isn't he here?

LORNE

Why is she?

HARMONY

Long story.

ANGEL

Maybe not.

HARMONY

Oh, and I got Spanky's address.

(hands a note to Angel)

LORNE

Spanky?

ANGEL

Freelance mystic. He's showed up in Fries' files a few times. I'm gonna do some legwork.

FRED

Can you get there by sewer?

ANGEL

Not this time.

Cut to:

11 INT. GARAGE - DAY

The elevator bell rings, the doors open, and Angel walks out into the dark basement garage. It's full of classic sports cars from every decade.

ANGEL

(looks at them, unable to decide)

Oh, God, they're so beautiful!

(chooses a yellow 1970's era car, opens the door)

HAUSER

(walks out from the shadows to speak with Angel)

Sir?

ANGEL

Hauser, right?

HAUSER

We got word there's a floater you wanted brought in.

ANGEL

(walks up to Hauser)

How exactly did you get that word?

HAUSER

That's my job, sir. You want us to bring him in?

ANGEL

I'll take care of it.

HAUSER

Traditionally, my unit handles all the wet work.

ANGEL

I know you meant field work.

HAUSER

(smirks)

Of course.

ANGEL

Mm-hmm. I'll take care of it.

(walks back to the car)

Later on, you can tell me all about tradition.

Cut to:

12 INT. SPANKY'S APARTMENT - DAY

Angel knocks on the door, and a 50-something man walks to the door in a sweaty tank top.

SPANKY

So what do you want?

ANGEL

I'm here from Wolfram & Hart. Here about a job.

SPANKY

Well, then...get your butt in here. Pardon the sweaty. I was working out. Uh, you want a drink? I got a pitcher of daiquiris.

ANGEL

I'm good, thanks.

SPANKY

So am I. And I'm about to be better.

ANGEL

(walks around the apartment, stops, stares at something on the wall in front of him)

Hmm. So tell me...

(reveal that Angel's staring at a wall full of paddles and whips)

why do they call you "Spanky"?

SPANKY

I'm a big "Our Gang" fan.

ANGEL

That's what I figured.

SPANKY

(sips his daiquiri)

Look, buddy, I'm gonna be up-front with you. I got nothing against people doing their thing. It's a wide and wonderful world, but...I don't spank men. It's not a judgment. Men have fine, firm asses. You've been to the web site, you know how much I work on mine. But when you said Wolfram & Hart, I assumed you were here about a mystical job.

(sips his daiquiri)

ANGEL

I am. The one you did for Corbin Fries.

SPANKY

Yeah? OK, I don't discuss my old jobs. Mystic-client privilege.

ANGEL

You're gonna tell me what you did for Mr. Fries. Now... or very soon from now.

SPANKY

I built him a container, a mystical vessel. You can put anything you want in it.

ANGEL

Like a bomb.

SPANKY

A bomb, a curse, a golden retriever. Anything. I don't know what he wanted it for. The vessel just holds it until the magic word dissolves the vessel.

(sets down his daiquiri)

ANGEL

OK, then, where'd you place the vessel?

Spanky lunges around behind Angel, puts his forearm in front of Angel's neck, and squeezes.

SPANKY

You know what I'm doing now? I'm applying pressure to your windpipe. You'll pass out, and then I'll let Mr. Fries decide if he wants you to wake up again.

ANGEL

Do you know what I'm doing now? Not using my windpipe.

Angel grabs Spanky's forearm, and twists it around until Angel is behind him, still twisting his arm.

SPANKY

Vampire.

ANGEL

Capital "V." And there's something else you should know about me.

(pushes Spanky forward a bit, still holding his arm, grabs a cricket paddle from the wall, and swings it at Spanky, sending him across the room)

I have no problem spanking men.

Cut to:

13 INT. MEDICAL OFFICE - DAY

Gunn sits patiently in the world's worst-decorated doctor's office waiting room. Finally, a man in a high-necked white dentist's shirt walks out holding a file.

DOCTOR

(reading from the file)

Charles...Gunn?

GUNN

(reading a magazine)

Hold on a sec. This is deep stuff. Looks like Demi might be breaking up with Emilio.

DOCTOR

I'm afraid the magazines are a little out of date.

GUNN

Then you shouldn't keep people waiting for 5 hours.

(puts down the magazine and stands)

DOCTOR

(leads Gunn into the next room)

Not nervous, are we?

Gunn looks around at the weird office full of electronic and mechanical gadgets.

GUNN

No. Definitely past nervous here.

DOCTOR

So...I understand you were in the white room. Spoke with the conduit himself.

GUNN

That's between me and the big cat. We gonna do this thing?

DOCTOR

By all means. Please... remove your shirt.

Cut to:

14 INT. FRED'S OFFICE - DAY

Fred and Knox are sitting on the floor going through papers that are strewn all over.

KNOX

(reading)

Oh, OK, this could be bad.

FRED

Bad what? How? Where?

KNOX

We did do some work with Fries on illegal pesticides, rodent killers, but this guy Lopez...

(walks up to Fred's computer)

FRED

The lab technician?

KNOX

Yeah. I don't know him.

(types, reads)

Oh, OK. He was fired. Oh, no, I'm sorry. He was set on fire.

FRED

That's interesting. For working with Fries?

KNOX

Maybe under the table.

(types)

There's a link to his name. A cult.

FRED

"The Black Tomorrow." Oh, thrills.

KNOX

I think you were right, boss. These guys specialize in quick-fire disease scenarios: Sarin gases and viruses.

FRED

(stands, backs away)

Which you all built.

KNOX

Hey, no. We've contained more plagues than we've ever designed.

(shrugs)

I'm not all about destruction here.

FRED

We have to find out what he had access—

(telephone rings, Fred rushes for it)

Department of—Fred—Angel, yeah. It looks like our client might be playing with a virus. Spread by touch or maybe even airborne.

Pan out to show Angel's still in Spanky's apartment, and Spanky's lying unconscious on the floor.

ANGEL

That's the bomb.

FRED

Safe guess. So did you find out where he put it? (beat) Angel?

ANGEL

Yeah. I found out where he put it.

Cut to:

15 INT. CLASSROOM AT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - DAY

Matt is talking to a girl in the desk behind him, when the teacher catches him.

TEACHER

Matthew Fries! Do you want to spend the rest of this class in the corner?

Zoom in on Matt's chest while a heartbeat-like thumping sounds plays.

Fade to black.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ACT III:

16 INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY

Zoom through tubes rapidly, then zoom out to show the tubes are attached to Gunn's head via some contraption from the strange doctor's office. Gunn's grunting and gasping. The doctor hands him a cup with a straw, and Gunn drinks from it too fast.

DOCTOR

Uh-uh-uh! Slowly, slowly.

(Gunn is still breathing hard)

Do you want to stop?

GUNN

Are we finished?

DOCTOR

Not quite yet.

GUNN

Then shut up and do it.

The doctor continues with Gunn's treatment.

Cut to:

17 INT. LOBBY - NIGHT

Fred and Wesley are walking through the lobby talking.

WESLEY

You got anything, Fred?

FRED

I'm not sure. We've isolated a few strains which fries may have had access to.

WESLEY

Any antidote?

FRED

Nothing. The antidote probably died with the tech guy that made the virus.

WESLEY

Fries must be immune. There has to be—

FRED

And we're not even sure which strain it is. I'm trying, Wesley.

WESLEY

I'm not doing much better. I can't disable the trigger if I don't know the magic word.

Short of killing Fries, I—

FRED

That could trigger it, too.

WESLEY

I know.

(sighs)

Back to our respective grindstones, I guess.

FRED

(looks into Angel's office)

He gonna be all right?

WESLEY

He does seem to be taking it very personally.

FRED

Probably this place.

(looks around)

It gets to you.

(walks away)

Cut to:

18 INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Eve walks up to Angel, who's standing over his desk.

EVE

Rough day at work?

ANGEL

His son. He took a lethal virus, and he stuck it inside his son.

EVE

Hits you where you live, doesn't it?

(Angel stands, glares at Eve)

Of course I know. You lost your son. Well, gave him up.

ANGEL

To save him.

EVE

Which you did. He's happy and well-adjusted now that he has no memory of you, and the rest of the world, including your best friends, (whispers) never even heard of Connor.

ANGEL

That's not a name I want passing through your lips.

EVE

(grins, coyly)

And what would you like passing through my lips?

ANGEL

News flash: You're not cute when I'm angry!

EVE

I'm just curious how you're gonna play it.

ANGEL

Well, I'll isolate the boy if it comes to that. Stop it...from spreading.

EVE

Here's the news from this sector: If every case hits you this hard, you're not gonna last a week.

ANGEL

Now, I don't want you coming into my office again unless I ask for you. I don't want to hear another word right now unless you decide to start helping out.

EVE

How do you know I'm not?

Cut to:

19 INT. SCIENCE DEPARTMENT - NIGHT

The table is full of 8"x10" glossy photos of victims of deadly ebola-like germs and diseases. Interspersed among the photos are Chinese food boxes, sauces, and chopsticks, as if whoever was looking at the photos was eating while doing so. A very tired Knox is looking through a microscope when Fred walks up to him.

KNOX

Yeah, I'd say we're looking at a retrovirus. Spread by touch. Some derivation of the phonaya strain.

FRED

Are you sure?

KNOX

Couple more tests.

FRED

Are you running them?

KNOX

I'll get someone on it.

FRED

Don't get someone on it, have someone on it. Did we build this thing? Do we have an antidote? Do—do we have an Antidote Department? Do you do anything besides pretending you're running an evil Radio Shack?

(to the whole department) Y'all are tired, I know. I just want you to understand that in a few hours a virus is gonna start spreading in this city that'll kill every person in it, and when blood starts streaming out of our noses, eye sockets, and fingernails, I'll have the intense satisfaction of knowing that I'm dying with the only people in the world that actually deserve it! Now, focus, people!

(walks upstairs to her office)

Work the damn problem!

(slams door)

KNOX

You're the boss.

Cut to:

20 INT. COURTROOM - DAY

The courtroom is full of onlookers as Fries's trial comes to a close. Lorne is incognito in the audience, wearing gloves, a hat and sunglasses.

KEEL

Your honor, the defense objects to this entire line of questioning.

JUDGE

Yes, of course the defense objects. The defense always objects. I'm curious, Mr. Keel, is it just the sound of people talking that offends you?

(the courtroom fills with laughter)

KEEL

We still feel that this line of...

LORNE

(walks out of the courtroom to talk on his mobile phone in the lobby)

Angel toes, Lorne. Hey, listen, I'm gonna go ahead and recommend we get that boy into isolation pronto.

ANGEL

How long do we have?

LORNE

The defense is drawing it out, but the judge is making merry sport of them, and, well, now the jury's looking at Fries like he's O.J... without the commanding performance in "Towering Inferno."

ANGEL

Do you think he's gonna say the word?

Cut to:

21 INT. BLACK VAN - DAY

Hauser and his team of agents is gathered in a surveillance van listening to Angel and Lorne's phone conversation.

LORNE (O.S.)

Before they even deliver the verdict. He's dead meat, and he knows it. I think Fries, Junior, is about to become Patient Zero.

ANGEL (O.S.)

All right. Thanks. Uh, I'll get to the school. Stay in there.

HAUSER

OK. Let's show the new boss how a threat is contained.

AGENT

Terminate the kid?

HAUSER

This is a level one, possible contagion. We take out the kid, the class, anyone within 50 yards. A clean sweep, people. No survivors, no witnesses.

The black van speeds off as the agents inside cock their guns and prepare for the task ahead of them.

Fade to black.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ACT IV:

22 INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - DAY

Angel rifles through papers on his desk hurriedly.

WESLEY

Fred's got the lab techs on track for an antidote, but it could be days.

Same with removing the mystical container, I'm afraid. If we could get them to suspend the trial—

ANGEL

Not gonna happen.

(grabs his coat)

I gotta get to the school.

HARMONY

Uh, boss?

ANGEL

(dismissively)

It can wait.

HARMONY

Maybe not.

ANGEL

(to Wesley) Go to the courthouse. Plan C. I'll let you know when I've isolated the boy.

HARMONY

The special ops team already left for the school.

ANGEL

(stops, turns to her)

What?

HARMONY

They left, and they called for the cleaners to meet there. I have it from some of the girls "cleaners" means a big job. Lots of bodies.

ANGEL

How long ago?

HARMONY

10 minutes.

WESLEY

You'll never beat them on the street.

ANGEL

Well, I gotta try.

HARMONY

Um, boss?

ANGEL & WESLEY

(simultaneously) What?!

Cut to:

23 INT. CLASSROOM - DAY

As the black van speeds toward the school, show that the class is still in session. About 30 children, including Matt Fries, are watching attentively as the teacher lectures.

Cut to:

24 INT. COURTHOUSE - DAY

Wesley walks into the courtroom and sits beside Lorne in the very back row.

WESLEY

How's it going?

(Fries turns around and stares at them)

Never mind.

D.A.

...calling witness after witness, each less credible than the one before...

LORNE

Yeah, so, what's the plan? You've got a plan?

(Wesley sighs and opens his coat to give Lorne a glimpse inside)

Oh, and here I thought we were desperate.

Cut to:

25 INT. CLASSROOM - DAY

The black van full of agents pulls up to the school, and agents pour out. The gather in the hall outside the classroom and put their gas masks on. They kick open the door and toss a gas canister inside. Pan around to show the room is empty except for Angel.

ANGEL

So it turns out, with this new deal and all, I own a helicopter.

HAUSER

Where's the boy?

ANGEL

You just missed everybody.

(waves the smoke out of his face)

Oh, I probably don't wanna be breathing that.

HAUSER

Kid's still a threat, which means you have him isolated, probably nearby.

ANGEL

I can see why they made you the leader. Do I even have to start with how fired you all are?

HAUSER

(chuckles, removes his mask)

That's not how it works.

ANGEL

Oh, right! Tradition. Why don't you show me how that's done?

HAUSER

Thank you, sir. Take him out!

Agents open machine-gun fire on Angel, who dives for cover behind the teacher's desk. After far too much shooting, one man approaches Angel with a wooden hunting knife. A vamped-out Angel overpowers the agent, then another, then leaps across the desks toward the other agents near the door. One agent starts to open a bottle of holy water, but Angel kicks it away from him. Angel uses the wall to propel himself into the air with a spinning kick to the agent's face. Angel lunges at another agent, pushing him out the door.

Cut to:

26 INT. COURTHOUSE - DAY

Wesley and Lorne sit nervously on the back row watching the proceedings.

JUDGE

If there are no more objections, I'll hear final summations.

Someone in a fancy suit and expensive shoes walks through the lobby carrying an alligator-hide briefcase. As he enters the room, pan up to show it's Gunn in a pin-striped suit with a silk tie, all decked out.

GUNN

Your honor, the defense requests one more minute to confer.

JUDGE

Another defense lawyer. What a joy.

KEEL

(Gunn whispers to him)

Uh, Your Honor, at this point, I'd like to cede the floor to my colleague Charles Gunn.

JUDGE

So noted.

GUNN

Thank you. Your Honor, the defense moves for a mistrial.

JUDGE

(the judge stares blankly at Gunn as the whole courtroom starts to murmur)

You are, of course, joking.

GUNN

Your Honor, that's the second prejudicial remark you've made against the defense since I entered the room.

JUDGE

What are your grounds for requesting a mistrial?

GUNN

You are, Your Honor. I'm asking that you recuse yourself from this trial.

JUDGE

The thin ice you are on is over very deep water.

GUNN

No judge shall be appointed to try any case concerning a business colleague or employee. (picks up a file) Permission to approach the bench.

JUDGE

These are...?

(opens the file)

What are you doing with my tax records?

GUNN

The highlighted portions indicate stock in Oriental Bay Exports, which is owned by Loros, Incorporated, which in turn is owned by a consortium that includes the defendant, Corbin Fries.

JUDGE

I have brokers who do my— You submit that I could possibly have known about this connection?

GUNN

I found out, and I've been on the case

(looks at his watch)

6 hours.

JUDGE

The ice is melting, counselor.

GUNN

The defense submits it has learned how to swim.

(looks around at the jury, who's laughing)

I withdraw that statement with apologies.

(picks up a thick law book)

McCracken vs. The State of Maine,1954: "Any financial dealings shall be deemed the responsibility of the interested party, regardless of number or function of employees unless said party has been judged mentally incapable."

(puts down the book)

Permission to approach. And furthermore, the strain on my client's several businesses has forced Oriental Bay Exports to shrink its holdings of late. If Mr. Fries is convicted, the interest your honor has in it would represent a controlling interest. I would prefer not to present the rest of our findings in front of the jury.

JUDGE

I'll see counsel in my chambers. Right now.

Cut to:

27 INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY

Vamped Angel is still fighting agents in the hallway. Finally, Hauser points a shotgun at Angel.

ANGEL

(slips back to human face)

You know that won't kill me.

HAUSER

It'll hurt. That part's fun.

ANGEL

Agent Hauser, I'm honestly beginning to suspect that you're not part of the solution.

HAUSER

You really think you can solve the problem? Come into Wolfram and Hart and make everything right? Turn night into glorious day? You pathetic little fairy.

ANGEL

I'm not little.

HAUSER

That's exactly what you are. You're minuscule. A dust mote on the shelf of that great institution. Now, you think I'm just a trigger-happy jerk who follows orders, but I am something you will never be. I'm pure. I believe in evil. You and your friends, you're conflicted. You're confused. We're not. That is why you are gonna lose, because we possess the most powerful thing in the world... conviction.

ANGEL

There is one thing more powerful than conviction. Just one. Mercy.

Angel kicks Hauser in the chest, forcing the shotgun to point at Hauser's head. A gunshot sounds, and Hauser and his gun fall to the floor. A bloody splatter covers the wall where Hauser's head used to be.

AGENT

What happened to mercy?

ANGEL

(walking out)

You just saw the last of it

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