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  5x16 - Shells
 Posted: 03/06/04 18:15
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1 INT. SCIENCE LAB - DAY

A huge stone sarcophagus has been delivered to the lab. The sarcophagus is sandstone colored with a circular iris at the top, surrounded by 5 fist-sized crystals. Alone in the lab, Fred inspects the sarcophagus. She stares at the end of it where the iris is located. She reaches out tentatively toward one of the crystals that decorate the surface. Slowly, gently, she touches her fingertips to a purple crystal, and before she can react, the iris opens, letting out a gust of air right into Fred's face. Fred gasps and steps back, coughing.

Cut to:

2 INT. HALLWAY AT WOLFRAM & HART - DAY

Fred and Wesley are flirting, and Lorne steps between them to walk down the stairs. On his way, he pauses, turns to face her, and starts singing.

LORNE

(sings)

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...

(starts down the stairs)

FRED

(turns to Wes, smiling, singing)

You make me happy—

The instant Fred starts singing, Lorne stops in his tracks and turns back to Fred in horror. A moment later, Fred coughs up blood and collapses, falling down the stairs. Lorne catches her, and Wesley rushes to her side as she begins convulsing in their arms.

Cut to:

3 INT. MEDICAL ROOM AT WOLFRAM & HART - DAY

Fred is lying in a hospital bed in a private room at Wolfram & Hart. The sheets and blankets are a pale blue, and x-rays are hanging on the wall.

WESLEY (V.O.)

She's being hollowed out so this thing can claw its way back into the world.

Cut to:

4 INT. WESLEY'S OFFICE - DAY

Wesley's briefing the gang about his research.

ANGEL

Let's save the day.

(Spike walks out with Angel)

Cut to:

5 INT. DEEPER WELL - NIGHT

Spike and Angel have followed Drogyn into the chamber. They're standing on a bridge. When they look over to see what the bridge spans, they see an endless pit lined with thousands of coffins just like the sarcophagus delivered to Wolfram & Hart.

WESLEY (V.O.)

It's called Illyria, a great monarch and warrior of the demon age.

Cut to:

6 INT. FRED'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Wesley is sitting on the bed, holding Fred in his arms. She's sitting beside him with her arms around his neck.

FRED

(holding onto Wes's shoulders, looks into his eyes, quivering)

(her grip softens, she can't hold herself up)

Please, Wesley, why can't I stay?

(she goes still as Wes holds her in his arms)

As Wes hugs Fred's limp body to his, Fred's eyes change into a crystal blue. Fred starts twitching and kicks her body away from Wesley so hard that it sends him across the room and pushes her to the floor. On the floor, Fred's body convulses as Wesley watches in horror from across the room. Finally, Fred stands, but her hair, eyes, and the edges of her face are royal blue. Fred, looking quite possessed, looks down at her arm and hand to examine it, flexing her fingers.

ILLYRIA in FRED

This will do.

END OF RECAP.

THE START OF THE EPISODE

PROLOGUE:

Wesley stands, his face full of hope.

WESLEY

Fred?

Illyria walks past Wesley toward the mirror, ignoring him. Wes's countenance slumps.

WESLEY

Illyria?

ILLYRIA

(turns away from the mirror to face Wes)

My name...

(approaches him angrily)

You would presume to speak my name...

(Wes backs away slowly as she approaches)

Because I have returned in the body of the human, you think you can speak to me. It's disgusting.

WESLEY

Who is Winifred Burkle?

ILLYRIA

I thought the humans would have long died out by now.

(looks him up and down)

Instead, you've grown bold.

WESLEY

(quivering with rage)

So you don't know who Fred is.

ILLYRIA

Nor care. Bleat at me no longer. We're done.

(rolls her eyes and turns to walk away)

WESLEY

Yes...

(bends to pick up a battle-axe)

we are.

(swings it at Illyria's neck)

Fade to black.

Opening credits.

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

ACT I:

7 INT. FRED'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Resume. Wesley has just swung the battle-axe at Illyria's neck. The blade shatters with a loud, metallic clank when it contacts Illyria's skin; she doesn't even flinch.

ILLYRIA

Oh... now I remember.

(looks at her body)

Winifred Burkle is the shell I'm in.

WESLEY

(tearfully, sits on the edge of Fred's bed)

She's the woman you killed.

ILLYRIA

(turns to face Wes)

This is grief. I'm watching human grief. It's like offal in my mouth.

WESLEY

(looks up at her, his eyes widening with hope once again, stands)

If you stay here, you'll taste it every day, every second.

(walks to the window)

Look. Humans rule the Earth.

(Illyria moves quickly to the window, concerned)

They will last for millennia... like roaches crawling everywhere.

(moves to stand behind her, whispering in her ear)

Crying and sweating and puking their feelings all over you.

(Illyria hangs her head)

Go back. Sleep until the humans are gone. They are stupid and weak. They'll kill each other off and you can return to the world you deserve.

(holds his hand to her shoulder, nearly touching it)

Leave this shell.

ILLYRIA

(turns on him with a start)

You seek to save what's rotted through. This carcass is bound to me. I could not change that if I cared to, but you have opened my eyes to truth. If the world is truly overrun by humans...

(puts her hand on Wes's chest and effortlessly thrusts him across the room into a wall)

then I have work to do.

(leaves the apartment)

Cut to:

8 INT. WOLFRAM & HART'S PRIVATE JET - NIGHT

Spike is drinking directly from a tiny (2 ounce) bottle of Jack Daniels. After emptying it, he sets it on a table with about ten other tiny, empty bottles and picks up another full one.

SPIKE

(sits back, scoffs)

Can't even get drunk.

(cocks his head to the side, addressing Angel)

Why would anyone ever make a bottle this small?

(holds up his tiny bottle of Jack, stares at it)

It's inhuman.

(puts down the bottle, turns to Angel in earnest)

Thousands would have died if we'd saved her.

ANGEL

Yeah.

SPIKE

(looks down)

She wouldn't have wanted that.

ANGEL

(exhales deeply)

Yeah. I tried calling Wes. There was no answer.

SPIKE

I guess she's gone, then.

(ranting again)

It's like a bloody tease.

(holds up the bottle)

It's like, "Here's what a bottle of Jack would look like if you actually had one," or, "here's a drink, but it's very far away."

(holds the bottle at arm's length, holds his other hand to his brow like he's looking into a telescope)

ANGEL

What does that mean? Really?

SPIKE

It's a play on perspective.

(holds up the bottle, wiggling it for Angel to see)

ANGEL

Gone. What does it mean that she's gone?

SPIKE

Well, in the world of men, a person dies, they stay that way.

ANGEL

Unless you're a vampire.

SPIKE

Or the ghost of one that saved the world.

ANGEL

Or Buffy. Death doesn't have to be the end, not in our world. Rules can be broken. All you have to do... is push hard enough.

Cut to:

9 INT. GUNN'S OFFICE - NIGHT

A bloody, beaten Knox sits slumped in an office chair. His hands are bound at the wrists with duct tape.

HARMONY

Gonna torture him?

GUNN

Thinking about it.

HARMONY

Can I help?

(rubs her hands together excitedly)

I'm really good at it.

GUNN

Thanks, but this is kind of personal.

HARMONY

Why do you think I want to help? Because I've got some kind of blood lust—well, OK, that, too, but Fred's my friend. We went out for drinks all the... once. And if Poindexter here had anything to do with hurting her, then I'm in for a big fat pound of flesh.

WESLEY

(walks into the office)

Angel?

GUNN

He's on his way back. How's Fred?

WESLEY

You tied Knox up.

HARMONY

(gleeful)

We're gonna torture him.

WESLEY

Good. Why?

GUNN

He knows what's happening. Been hiding it the whole time. I just need a few minutes alone.

WESLEY

(walks into the office)

He's involved in this?

GUNN

Pretty sure.

WESLEY

(grabs Gunn's shoulder angrily)

Why didn't you tell me?

KNOX

(mumbling)

Yeah, buddy. Why didn't you?

GUNN

Shut up.

HARMONY

I thought we wanted him to talk.

GUNN

I can handle this. Whatever he knows—

WESLEY

Doesn't matter anymore. Fred's gone.

KNOX

(giggling)

I'm sorry. It's just... um, it's not what you think. It—it's—it's beautiful.

(writhing in his chair, trying to sit up)

Tell them. Tell them what happened.

WESLEY

(circling in front of Knox, staring at him)

The infection, Illyria, consumed her. Took over her body.

GUNN

Then it's still Fred, right? This thing is just controlling—

WESLEY

She's gone.

GUNN

You don't know that.

HARMONY

Wait. I'm confused. It looks like Fred, but it's not?

KNOX

She's so much more than that now. Beyond flesh. Beyond perfection. I loved Fred. I really did.

(Wes stares blankly as Knox talks)

She had a warmth that took you in and held you until everything cold and distant melted away. She was the most beautiful, perfect woman I ever met. That's why I chose her. She's the only one that was worthy.

Without changing his blank expression, Wesley pulls his handgun out of his shoulder holster, points it at Knox, and cocks it.

GUNN

Wes, don't. We need him. I know how you feel—

WESLEY

Do you know?

(chokes up)

You didn't feel her die.

(crying)

She was shaking with pain and terrified and so brave. And she was better than anyone I've known, and better than...

(with teary eyes, he glances at Knox, shaking his head)

and she's gone.

ANGEL

I know.

(Wes puts the gun down when he sees Angel and Spike in the doorway)

Now let's get her back.

Cut to:

10 INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - NIGHT

The gang is assembled in Angel's office.

GUNN

So that's it? England was a bust?

ANGEL

Not entirely. We found out where the sarcophagus came from. There were thousands of them.

SPIKE

Minus one.

GUNN

What about this Drogyn character? He wouldn't help?

ANGEL

Couldn't. We were too late.

LORNE

I should've seen it. Knox. He sang for me and I should've seen this.

GUNN

It's not your fault.

LORNE

If I had concentrated harder, read him better, maybe Fred—

ANGEL

Look, there's a lot we might have done, all right? Starting with never coming to Wolfram & Hart in the first place. We can beat ourselves up over it later, but right now—

LORNE

I'm sorry, Angelcakes. I, um... I got nothing.

(stands)

I'm sorry.

(walks out)

ANGEL

(sighs)

Lorne...

SPIKE

No, let him go. If he's doubting himself, he won't be any good to us.

GUNN

(stands, paces)

Lorne's right. We should have seen this coming.

ANGEL

Ah, it wouldn't have made a difference. Drogyn said the sarcophagus was preordained to be released. Nothing could have stopped it from arriving.

GUNN

(stops pacing)

That's not completely true. I played a round of piñata with lab boy while you were gone. The sarcophagus was stuck in customs and it should have stayed there, but someone got it out.

WESLEY

Who?

GUNN

(stops, thinks)

I'm working on it.

WESLEY

Oh, you're working on it? Good for you, Charles. Not a moment to lose.

ANGEL

Wes... I know you're hurting, but keep your footing. I need you sharp, all of you, for Fred's sake.

WESLEY

(hangs his head)

There is no Fred anymore.

GUNN

You don't know that.

WESLEY

I watched it gut her from the inside out. Everything she was is gone. There is nothing left but a shell.

ANGEL

Then we'll figure out a way to fill it back up.

SPIKE

The thing only took over her body. Just a tip of the theological.

ANGEL

It's the soul that matters.

SPIKE

Trust us. We're kind of experts.

GUNN

What about her— If her organs have been liquefied?

SPIKE

Flash fried in a pillar of fire saving the world. I got better.

WESLEY

(looks desperately at Angel)

You really believe there's a chance of bringing her back?

ANGEL

Fred's soul is out there somewhere. We'll find it, and we'll put it back where it belongs.

(stands, angrily)

Then we'll make every son of a bitch who had a hand in this pay. We all on the same page?

GUNN

Where do we start?

ANGEL

We need the big guns.

WESLEY

Willow.

SPIKE

Won't be the first time she rattled the dead. Last time I heard she was in South America.

ANGEL

Then we'll track her down and get her here as soon as we can. In the meantime, we need to contain Illyria. Wes, you're the only one who had contact. Any idea where she's headed?

Cut to:

11 INT. GUNN'S OFFICE - NIGHT

An arm breaks through the glass wall behind Knox and pulls him out into the lobby.

HARMONY

(yelling)

Hey!

(runs out to the lobby after him)

Come back here, you little—

(looks at Illyria)

Oh, my God. Fred?

Illyria cocks her head to the side, then backhands Harmony so hard that she goes flying through the air, landing on the balcony upstairs.

KNOX

(chuckles, follows Illyria as she walks through the lobby)

I knew you'd come for me. My life is yours. I—I worship you.

ILLYRIA

(looking around the lobby)

Yes, I know. Worship.

Fade to black.

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

ACT II:

12 INT. SCIENCE LAB - NIGHT

While Illyria stands over her sarcophagus, Knox stands nearby, staring at her in awe.

KNOX

I've been waiting so long for this. I've loved you from the moment I saw you.

(wiping blood off of his face with a handkerchief)

I was 11. You were ancient. Pressed between the pages of the forbidden texts. I would stare at you for hours, locked in my room. My mom thought I was looking at porn.

ILLYRIA

You are the Qwa'ha Xahn.

KNOX

(starts unbuttoning his shirt)

I am your priest. I am your servant. I am your guide in this world.

(pulls up his undershirt so Illyria can see his chest)

I've taken your sacraments and placed them close to my heart according to the ancient ways.

(Illyria fingers his chest where his skin was cut open, foreign objects were placed under his skin, and he was stitched closed again)

That's why you were called to me. We're bound together.

ILLYRIA

My last Qwa'ha Xahn was taller.

(stands, walks away, back toward her sarcophagus)

KNOX

(deflated)

I—I may be shrinking a bit in the glory of your presence.

ILLYRIA

This world... it's not how I left it.

KNOX

I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do about that.

ILLYRIA

But I can.

(turns to face Knox, rips her shirt off)

KNOX

(gawking at Illyria's naked chest)

Oh...OK.

Cut to:

13 INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Angel's pacing, talking on the cordless phone.

ANGEL

(to phone) Himalayas? I thought she was in South America.

SPIKE

(to himself) We've got a branch in Tibet? How about a couple of sherpas?

ANGEL

(to phone) All right, look—

(sighs)

What do you mean she's not on this plane? You just said— Astral projection? Well, is there any way to get her astral over to L.A.? Giles, this is an emergency. No. No, I'm not going— Don't put me on hold.

WESLEY

(softly, to Gunn)

Never a witch around when you need one.

GUNN

It'll work out. It has to.

WESLEY

I've been unreasonable... because I've lost all reason. But I shouldn't be taking it out on you.

(Gunn looks down)

I know you've done everything you can.

(Gunn looks away)

I'm sorry.

GUNN

(quivering as tears well up in his eyes)

So am I.

ANGEL

(to phone) Yeah, I'm still at Wolfram & Hart . What does that have to do with anything? Yeah. I understand.

(throws phone against the wall; it shatters)

We're on our own.

SPIKE

Good, 'cause I was wondering.

ANGEL

Nothing's changed, all right? We find Illyria and—

HARMONY

(walks into the office)

Smack her a good one for me.

(points to her bruised cheek, annoyed)

So gonna leave a mark.

Cut to:

14 INT. SCIENCE LAB - NIGHT

A topless Illyria stands beside her sarcophagus facing Knox. A wind is howling in the room, and Knox looks around trying to find its source. When the wind stops howling, he looks at her and shrugs.

KNOX

Is that it?

Illyria slaps her palm on one of the crystals that decorates her sarcophagus. A thick, rubbery substance begins covering her body, starting from the hand where she's touching the sarcophagus and creeping across the rest of her body. Eventually, she's completely covered in something approximating a body suit.

KNOX

(mesmerized by this process)

Yeah.

(nods)

Uh... yeah.

ILLYRIA

I'm ready to begin.

ANGEL

(walks into the lab, followed by Spike, Wesley, Gunn, and some guards armed with machine guns)

Or we could just hang out.

ILLYRIA

A warrior. I was beginning to wonder if this world was void of your kind.

SPIKE

Plenty of us to go 'round, luv.

ILLYRIA

2 half-breeds and a band of primitives. Is this all that challenges me now?

ANGEL

That, and a whole lot of bullets.

(the guards cock their machine guns and point them at Illyria)

WESLEY

Enough to temporarily incapacitate even you.

ANGEL

(walks toward her)

We know what you are, Illyria. We've seen the rest of your kind. All the old ones, sealed away forever, like you were. Where you should've stayed. You've taken something of ours, something very precious.

(Illyria cocks her head)

Stand down and I promise we won't destroy you taking it back. Your choice.

ILLYRIA

I decline.

Illyria grabs Angel and throws him through the window; he falls to the ground outside.

GUNN

Take her!

With a wave of her hand, Illyria creates a wave of some sort that, when it reaches the others, slows their movements down to super-slow-motion. As Wes, Gunn, and Spike try to approach her, they are virtually frozen in their anger. Illyria, able to move in real-time, grabs Knox by the lapels and walks out of the lab past the others without their notice, accidentally knocking beakers and vials to the ground, shattering them on her way out.

Cut to:

15 EXT. WOLFRAM & HART BUILDING - NIGHT

Illyria walks out of the building, followed by Knox as Angel drops to the ground in slow motion above them. When Illyria's trick wears off, Angel falls to the ground at a normal rate, landing on his belly amid shards of broken glass. He groans, pushes himself to his feet, and stumbles back to the building.

Cut to:

16 INT. LOBBY OF WOLFRAM & HART - NIGHT

The bell dings, and a bloodied Angel gets off the elevator, accompanied by Harmony.

HARMONY

Sorry, boss.

(shrugs)

Maybe if I stopped her back in Gunn's office—

ANGEL

(pained, holding his arms crossed in front of his chest)

Did she toss you out a window?

HARMONY

No.

ANGEL

Then you're one up on me.

(sees Wesley and Spike walking down the steps)

Hey, what do you got?

SPIKE

Smoke and mirrors.

WESLEY

No trace of either of them.

GUNN

(walks from his office to join the others)

I put tactical on Code Black. If Illyria shows up again—

ANGEL

She won't. She got what she came for.

HARMONY

Knox?

SPIKE

And some spiffy new threads.

ANGEL

Any idea how she got past you?

GUNN

One second she was standing there, the next, poof.

ANGEL

She's a teleporter?

WESLEY

I don't think so. No characteristic displacement of the atmosphere around her.

SPIKE

I fancied I saw a blur just before she went Houdini.

GUNN

Yeah, like she was pulling a Barry Allen.

(Angel looks at him, not recognizing the name; Gunn looks around at the others)

Jay Garrick? Wally— Like she was moving really fast.

WESLEY

Or we were moving very slow.

ANGEL

Great. She's super strong and she can alter time.

(sighs)

HARMONY

(throws up her hands)

Well, that's not fair.

ANGEL

It makes it complicated, but doesn't change what we need to do. Wes, take the lab apart. Check Knox's files, the sarcophagus, anything that can help us get Fred back.

HARMONY

(to Wes) Come on. I got a degree in tearing things up.

(goes upstairs with Wes)

SPIKE

(walking off with Angel and Gunn)

Never a truer word.

GUNN

I got a few contacts I could try, see if anything shakes loose.

(walks away from Angel and Spike)

ANGEL

(to Gunn) Great. Do it.

(to Spike) See if we can track her down, figure out where she's headed now.

Cut to:

17 INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Angel walks through the double-doors into his office, followed by Spike.

SPIKE

Any thoughts on how we're supposed to track Fred or Illyria or whatever the hell that thing was?

ANGEL

We just do it, that's all.

(grabs a weapon off his wall)

SPIKE

Back in the lab, she was standing right there in front of me, but there was no scent. Nothing. It's like she wasn't even there.

ANGEL

(hangs his head)

I know.

SPIKE

Look... I want Fred back as much as any of us... but seeing her there, like that... maybe she really is—

ANGEL

No. I lost Cordelia because some thing violated her. It crawled inside and used her up.

(pulls the dagger out of its scabbard)

No way in hell am I letting that happen again.

Cut to:

18 INT. SCIENCE LAB - NIGHT

Harmony pushes glass lab equipment to the ground; it shatters at her feet while she rifles through files stacked on a filing cabinet.

HARMONY

Never trusted that little nerd. The rumpled hair, socks that didn't match, the cute lopsided grin.

(Wesley is just standing there, calmly staring at the sarcophagus amidst the chaos and ramblings of Harmony)

So totally playing it up.

(uses a crowbar to open the filing cabinet)

I mean, who did he think he was fooling?

(kneels to look inside the cabinet)

Besides all of us.

(Wes reaches out to touch the sarcophagus)

Um, shouldn't you be wearing one of those moon suits?

WESLEY

I think this has done all the damage it's going to.

(walks around the sarcophagus slowly)

HARMONY

Right. Mind if I put one on?

WESLEY

(still walking around the sarcophagus slowly)

She was curious. That's why Fred didn't put it into containment immediately.

(stops walking, stands at the head near the iris where Fred stood when she was infected)

How things work. What makes them special. She was always searching for what other people couldn't see. She was just curious. I think I hate her a little for that.

HARMONY

(softly)

Wes...

WESLEY

(authoritatively)

Hand me the pry bar.

HARMONY

(grabs the pry bar and walks toward Wes)

The girl of your dreams loved you. That's more than most people ever get.

(hands the pry bar to Wes)

WESLEY

(softly)

I know. But it isn't enough.

(uses the pry bar to whack the sarcophagus repeatedly with all his might)

HARMONY

Wes! Stop it! Wes!

(Wes stops)

I appreciate the urge to smash, but that's not helping.

WESLEY

(puts down the pry bar)

No.

(picks up one of the crystals he dislodged from the sarcophagus)

But this might.

HARMONY

I thought that was supposed to be unbreakable or something.

WESLEY

(staring at the crystal)

Time. The markings refer to a series of concussively timed intervals. This gem is the focal point of the sarcophagus. It might be useful if it isn't already drained.

(puts it in his pocket)

HARMONY

Got me beat. All I found was a cell phone and a cheese sandwich.

WESLEY

Was it Knox's?

HARMONY

It had his name written on the bag with a little smiley face in the "O," the big girl.

(rolls her eyes)

WESLEY

The cell phone, Harmony.

HARMONY

Oh, um, I think so. Got a Rick Springfield screen saver, which opens up a whole new set of questions.

(Wes holds out his hand, Harmony puts the cell phone in it)

WESLEY

(presses buttons on the cell phone)

Outgoing numbers have all been deleted. Same for incoming calls.

HARMONY

(sighs, gasps)

What about missed calls? Knox couldn't have erased 'em if he didn't have his lady phone on him.

WESLEY

(presses more buttons)

3 in the last few hours. All from the same person.

Cut to:

19 INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT

The creepy doctor who boosted Gunn's knowledge is washing blood off of his surgical instruments.

DOCTOR

Always messy when you have to open 'em up.

(sighs)

That's why I prefer the less invasive procedures. Never got used to the sight of blood. Ugh. Still makes me nauseous.

GUNN

(appears in the doorway behind the doctor)

Then this is gonna be an uncomfortable conversation.

DOCTOR

(wipes his hands on a towel)

I'm disappointed in you, Mr. Gunn. All the knowledge and deductive reasoning we've implanted in your brain.

(laughs)

And it's taken you this long to sniff your way back to me?

GUNN

I've been a little preoccupied.

DOCTOR

(smiles)

Ah, yes. Miss Burkle.

(turns to face Gunn)

How is she—?

GUNN

(cuts the doctor off, grabbing him and pushing him violently into the patient's chair)

You wanna get real straight with me real fast.

DOCTOR

(smiles nervously)

Of course. Customer's always right.

GUNN

Everything you know, or there won't be enough of you left to stitch back together, Frankenstein.

(stands back, letting go of the doctor)

DOCTOR

The sarcophagus contains the essence of an old one, a race of ancient demons dead and buried for millions of years in a place called the Deeper Well.

GUNN

Not hearing anything I don't already know.

DOCTOR

(stands)

Why do you think I'm telling you?

GUNN

(punches the doctor in the stomach)

How do we bring Fred back? How?!

DOCTOR

You can't.

GUNN

I don't believe that. You know a way. You have to.

DOCTOR

Get the sarcophagus released from customs in exchange for making your cerebral alterations permanent. That was the bargain and the extent of my involvement.

GUNN

Then take it back. Everything you put in my head, the law, all the knowledge, take it back. Everything.

(crying)

Take more, leave me a vegetable. I don't care. Just bring her back.

(softly)

Please... bring her back.

DOCTOR

(shaking his head)

There's nothing left to bring back. Miss Burkle's soul was consumed by the fires of resurrection. Everything she was is gone.

(Gunn lets him go)

Forever. For better or worse, you made a deal, Mr. Gunn. I suggest you learn to live with it.

The doctor starts to walk away, when he's cold-cocked with the butt of a shotgun. Wesley knocked the doctor to the ground and stands pointing the shotgun at Gunn.

WESLEY

(glaring)

Is there something you'd like to tell me, Charles?

Gunn turns in horror to see Wesley has overheard the doctor's conversation with him.

Fade to black.

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

ACT III:

20 INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Resume. Wes is holding Gunn at gunpoint after overhearing some of Gunn's conversation with the doctor.

WESLEY

Knox was in contact with a doctor. But you already know that, don't you?

GUNN

(nods, turns to face Wes)

Yeah, one of my sources—

WESLEY

Don't.

(Gunn sighs, caught)

What he said... about Fred, about her soul, is it true?

(Gunn looks down)

What did you do, Charles?

GUNN

(softly, confessing)

It was just a piece of paper. I was losing it. Everything they put in my head, everything that made me different. Special. And he could fix it. Make it permanent. So I signed a piece of paper. It was a custom's release form. I didn't think anyone would get hurt.

WESLEY

Nothing from Wolfram & Hart is ever free.

(Gunn looks away, crying)

You knew that.

GUNN

(looks Wes in the eyes)

I couldn't go back... to being just the muscle. I—I didn't think it would be one of us. I didn't think it would be Fred.

WESLEY

(walks slowly toward Gunn)

I understand not wanting to go back,

(stops pointing the gun at Gunn)

not wanting to be who we were. I understand it. And I can forgive it.

(puts the gun down on a table covered with medical instruments)

But you knew what was happening to her. You knew who was responsible and you didn't say anything. You let her die.

(picks up a scalpel from the table and thrusts it into Gunn's gut)

I'm less forgiving about that.

Gunn coughs and looks up at Wes, who's looking him straight in the eyes.

Cut to:

21 INT. WESLEY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Holding Wesley by the shirt, Angel throws Wes's back against the wall.

ANGEL

(yelling)

What the hell did you do?

WESLEY

What I had to.

ANGEL

I don't remember seeing "Stab Gunn" on the agenda this morning.

WESLEY

I avoided the major organs. He'll probably live.

ANGEL

(pushes Wes into the wall again, making him wince)

Is that supposed to make it all right?

WESLEY

Nothing is all right! Nothing will ever be all right.

ANGEL

We'll get her back, Wes.

WESLEY

No, we won't. Fred's soul...

(breaking down into tears)

Her soul was destroyed resurrecting Illyria.

ANGEL

(lets go of Wes's shirt)

Are you sure?

(Wes nods, walks away)

What about Gunn?

WESLEY

He let the sarcophagus into Wolfram & Hart . What he knew, when he knew it, it doesn't change what happened! He let her die.

ANGEL

So did I.

(Wes looks up at Angel)

At the well in England, there was a way to save Fred, but only if thousands of others died in her place. As much as I love Fred, I couldn't let that happen. Look, I need you to bury it, Wes. Everything you're feeling, everyone you wanna hurt. I need you to put it aside and focus on what has to be done.

WESLEY

Illyria.

ANGEL

We need to stop her before—

SPIKE

(appears at the doorway, wiping his bloody hands on a towel)

She unleashes hell on Earth?

ANGEL

What'd you get out of the doctor?

SPIKE

Screams. Various fluids. And a name: Vahla ha'nesh.

ANGEL

Vahla ha'nesh. What does that mean?

Later, Wesley puts a book on the table, opened to a page with a drawing of a temple with a statue inside. The statue is enormous, as tall as the temple's ceiling. It has four arms, and its body is composed of snake-like creatures coiled around a torso, having dozens of snake-tails where feet should be. The statue is holding two bladed weapons. In the background, thousands of dots fill the temple floor.

WESLEY

It's her temple. This is where she was supposed to be resurrected.

ANGEL

That's Illyria.

WESLEY

In its native form.

SPIKE

(pointing to thousands of dots in the background behind the statue)

What are these smaller bits?

WESLEY

(reading)

Her army of doom.

SPIKE

There's a shock.

ANGEL

They were entombed with her.

WESLEY

Waiting for her return.

SPIKE

To Los Angeles?

WESLEY

This is where her temple was millions of years ago, and it's still here.

ANGEL

Well, you think I would've remembered seeing something like this parked next to The Ralph's.

WESLEY

It's out of phase with our time stream. Only Illyria can open the gateway.

ANGEL

Any idea how we stop her?

Cut to:

22 INT. BANK - NIGHT

Illyria walks over the bloody body of a security guard followed by Knox.

ILLYRIA

Your breed is fragile. How is they came to control this world?

KNOX

Opposable thumbs. Um, fire. Television. What they lack in strength, they make up for in extraordinary sneakiness.

ILLYRIA

You are deceivers.

KNOX

Yes, all of them. They deserve to be punished.

ILLYRIA

They? You don't consider yourself part of your race?

(stops walking)

KNOX

Not anymore. I'm with the king.

(rubbing his hands excitedly)

Open the gateway. Raise your army. Wash humanity from the face of the Earth and reclaim what was lost to you so many millennia ago, when the world was ruled by—

ILLYRIA

Be silent.

KNOX

(nods)

Right.

(bows)

Sorry.

(backs up)

My bad.

Illyria holds her hands up in front of her face, wiggles her fingers, causing a gust of wind to blow past her, but no portal is opened.

ILLYRIA

(cocks her head, sighs)

The gateway is blocked.

KNOX

I was afraid of that.

(walks forward)

Wolfram & Hart probably threw a lock on it. They're big on things happening on their timetable.

ILLYRIA

The wolf, ram, and hart? In my time they were weak, barely above the vampire.

KNOX

Huh. I guess they beefed up. But not to worry.

(holding his satchel)

I brought my skeleton key. Just in case.

Cut to:

23 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT

Gunn is lying in a hospital bed in Wolfram & Hart when Harmony walks in carrying some papers.

HARMONY

There's some stuff you need to sign.

(walks toward Gunn)

GUNN

I don't think Angel wants me to be signing anything right now.

HARMONY

Yeah. Um... that's what these are about.

GUNN

(strains to sit up, takes the folder from her)

Nobody else could stomach bringing these down?

(signs the papers, hands them back to Harmony)

HARMONY

Is it true? What they're saying about you?

GUNN

I guess it is.

HARMONY

How could you do that? To your friends? To Fred?

GUNN

Because I was weak.

(scoffs)

Because I wanted to be somebody that I wasn't.

(shakes his head)

Because I don't know where I fit. Because I never did. Because a thousand other reasons that don't mean a damn 'cause she's gone.

(crying)

She's gone... and she's not coming back because of me.

(nods)

I did this, and I'm sorry.

(sobs)

I'm sorry.

Harmony pats Gunn on the shoulder as he doubles over, sobbing.

Cut to:

24 INT. BANK - NIGHT

Illyria stands back as Knox performs a spell using a pile of small bones on the floor in front of him. He watches as the bones disappear.

KNOX

(stands)

Showtime.

SPIKE (O.S.)

Any seats left?

Knox and Illyria turn quickly to see that Angel, Spike, and Wesley are standing behind them.

ANGEL

If not, we could just stand in the back.

Illyria sneers at them as they approach.

KNOX

Guys, you should scan the headlines here. You can't win this.

WESLEY

Then we all die trying.

ILLYRIA

(cocks her head)

Why?

ANGEL

You want the short version? Let's start with you walking around looking like the woman you murdered.

ILLYRIA

You think your actions will restore her?

ANGEL

No.

ILLYRIA

Yet you seek a confrontation you cannot win.

ANGEL

(saunters toward her)

What you're trying to do, raise your army, reclaim your world, innocent people would die. Like Fred. I can't let that happen.

ILLYRIA

You are the protector of these creatures?

ANGEL

Yes.

ILLYRIA

You'd fight for their lives?

ANGEL

Yes.

ILLYRIA

(looks at Knox)

Even this one?

KNOX

(nervously)

Is that an issue? Is my life in peril, boss? King?

ANGEL

You're about as low as it gets, Knox, but you're a part of humanity. That isn't always pretty, but it's a hell of a lot better than what came before. And if it comes down to a choice between you and him, then yes, I would fight for his life, just like any other human's. Because that's what people do. That's what makes us—

A gunshot echoes in the room. Knox looks down at his chest to see he's bleeding from a gunshot wound to the heart. He collapses. Wes is holding the smoking gun.

ANGEL

(turns to Wes, shakes his head)

Were you even listening?

Fade to black.

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

ACT IV:

25 INT. BANK - NIGHT

Resume. Wesley has just cut off Angel's sanctimonious speech about the value of humanity by shooting Knox in the chest. Illyria looks at Knox's body on the floor at her feet.

ILLYRIA

(angrily)

You've destroyed my Qwa'ha Xahn.

SPIKE

Yeah, OK, but you gotta admit, he had it coming.

ILLYRIA

It offends me that you think he matters.

ANGEL

You're right. He's not the problem. You are.

Angel swings his sword at Illyria, but she ducks. They begin to fight, and the others join in. Illyria throws Angel across the room. She punches Spike in the chest, knocking him into the opposite wall. When Wesley shoots at her, she kicks Knox's body at him, knocking him down. Angel gets to his feet and starts swinging his sword at her, but she outmaneuvers him, ducking his blows and kicking him across the floor again. Spike comes at her next, swinging his sword, but Illyria avoids his swings as well. Angel gets to his feet and comes at Illyria, who is now fighting them both off. When they swing at her, she grabs both blades simultaneously with her bare hands, and she swings the vampires off the end of the swords, flinging them against opposite walls.

ILLYRIA

(throwing the swords to the ground)

Unimpressive.

As Wesley gets to his feet, Illyria waves her hand, creating another slow-motion time wave before he can fire at her again. Spike tries to get to his feet, and Angel reaches into his pocket. Illyria turns to continue with the portal opening, but stops when she sees Angel standing in front of her in the flash of an eye.

ANGEL

What's the rush?

(punches Illyria hard in the face, sending her across the room)

ILLYRIA

How?

ANGEL

(reveals he was holding the crystal in his fist)

From your sarcophagus. It's connected to you, I'm connected to it.

(tosses it in his hand)

ILLYRIA

(smirking)

Sneaky.

Illyria swings her leg at Angel's ankles, knocking him to the ground. Spike swings at her as she gets to her feet, but she punches him hard in the gut. Wesley sees that she's about to make a run for it, and shoots at her, but her hands are out in front of her, and she's opening the portal. As Illyria makes a dash for the portal, Wesley dives into it after her, managing to get through just as it closes. Angel and Spike get to their feet too late.

Cut to:

26 INT. ILLYRIA'S TEMPLE

Wesley lands on the floor of the temple on his belly, and his gun slips out of his grip. Pained, he gets to his feet as Illyria walks down the steps commandingly, heading for the nave of the temple.

ILLYRIA

You're too late. My army will rise. This world will be mine once again.

(arrives at the nave of the temple, only to see her statue has been toppled and her army is dead)

No.

Illyria looks around the temple. The columns are broken. The place is silent as a grave. Her temple is in complete ruin.

ILLYRIA

It can't be.

(panting, crushed)

It's gone.

(falls to her knees, runs her hands through the sand)

My world is gone.

WESLEY

(walks up behind her; cocks his handgun as he points it at her head)

Now you know how I feel.

Illyria looks up at Wesley, wide-eyed. A low sound reverberates nearby, and Wesley turns to see a portal has opened up behind him. He looks back at where Illyria was kneeling and sees she's gone. He looks at her toppled statue and walks out of the portal.

Cut to:

27 INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - DAY

Angel and Spike are sitting, talking, while Wesley stares into nothingness.

SPIKE

No army of doom scorching the earth. Huzzah for our side.

ANGEL

We need to close the gateway to Illyria's temple. Permanently. I don't want any more surprises.

SPIKE

What about the leather queen?

ANGEL

She still has enough juice to be a threat. We regroup and we take care of it. Wes?

WESLEY

It's all we can do. I'll be in the lab.

(walks out)

SPIKE

(sighs)

Long day.

(sniffs)

That offer still good? Send me abroad, roving agent and all?

ANGEL

Yeah, it's still good.

SPIKE

Great.

(sighs)

Maybe we should send Gunn... before Wes has another poke.

ANGEL

(sits up, surprised)

You're not leaving?

SPIKE

This is what she would have wanted.

(looks at Angel)

It's what I want. I don't really like you. Suppose I never will. But this is important, what's happening here. Fred gave her life for it. The least I can do is give what's left of mine.

(looks out the window)

The fight's comin', Angel. We both feel it... and it's gonna be a hell of a lot bigger than Illyria. Things are gonna get ugly. That's where I live.

Cut to:

28 INT. FRED'S OFFICE - DAY

Wesley is packing Fred's personal effects in a box with bubble-wrap. He takes a commemorative plate off the wall where it hung next to the Dixie Chicks poster.

ILLYRIA

(standing in the doorway)

You grieve still... for a single life.

WESLEY

(without turning to look at her, shuts his eyes tight and speaks through gritted teeth)

Why are you here?

ILLYRIA

I... I'm uncertain.

(looks around)

This place... was part of the shell.

WESLEY

(snaps)

Don't call her—

(breathes deeply)

The woman you killed had a name.

ILLYRIA

This is important to you. Things have names. The shell... Winifred Burkle... She can't return to you.

WESLEY

(packing her things, tearfully)

I know.

ILLYRIA

Yet there are fragments. When her brain collapsed, electrical spasms channeled into my function system... memories.

(holds up her fingers, making a gap between her thumb and index finger where an electrical spark forms)

(as Fred) Please...Wesley, why can't I stay?

WESLEY

(turns away, nearly sick, crying)

No.

(looks out the window)

Leave.

ILLYRIA

I've nowhere to go. My kingdom is long dead.

(softly)

Long dead. There's so much I don't understand. I've become overwhelmed. I'm unsure of my place.

WESLEY

(turns to her, angrily)

Your place is with the rest of your people: Dead and turned to ash.

ILLYRIA

Perhaps... but I exist here. I must learn to walk in this world.

(slowly approaches Wes)

I'll need your help... Wesley.

WESLEY

(frowning, choking back tears)

If I were to help you find your way... you have to learn to change. You mustn't kill.

ILLYRIA

You killed the Qwa'ha Xahn in defiance of your leader.

WESLEY

(shakes his head, then looks at her)

He murdered the woman I love.

ILLYRIA

And that made it just.

WESLEY

No. It wasn't just.

(sighs, puts his hands on his hips)

I'm probably the last man in the world to teach you what's right.

ILLYRIA

But you will. If I abide, you will help me.

WESLEY

(softly)

Yes.

ILLYRIA

Because I look like her?

WESLEY

(looks at her with tears in his eyes, whispers)

Yes.

ILLYRIA

(stands beside Wes, looks out the window to the lab below where her sarcophagus lies)

We cling to what is gone. Is there anything in this life but grief?

WESLEY

(looks out at the lab)

There's love. There's hope...for some. There's hope that you'll find something worthy... that your life will lead you to some joy... that after everything... you can still be surprised.

ILLYRIA

Is that enough?

(looks at Wes)

Is that enough to live on?

NOTE: The song "A Place Called Home" written and performed by Kim Richey plays until the end of the episode.

Cut to:

29 INT. HOSTPITAL ROOM - DAY

Gunn sits in the hospital bed staring at the ceiling.

SONG (V.O.)

Well, it's not hard to see

Anyone who looks at me

Cut to:

30 INT. LOBBY - DAY

Harmony sits at her desk, lost in thought, sad, despite the unicorn figurines, pink notebook and feathery pen that decorate her desk.

Knows I am just a rolling stone

Cut to:

31 INT. LORNE'S OFFICE - DAY

Lorne is sitting alone in his office drinking a Sea Breeze with a lime wedge.

Never landing anyplace to call my own

To call my own

Well, it seems like so long ago

Cut to:

32 INT. LOBBY - DAY

Spike is sitting on the steps in the lobby as lawyers walk past him.

But it really ain't you know

I started out a crazy kid

Miracle I made it through the things I did

Cut to:

33 INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - DAY

Angel sits at his desk signing papers.

The things I did

Someday I'll go where there ain't no rain or snow

Cut to:

34 INT. FRED'S OFFICE - DAY

Wesley finishes packing Fred's belongings.

Wes packs Fred's toy bunny "Feigenbaum".

'Til then, I travel alone

And I make my bed with the stars above my head

Cut to:

35 INT. SCIENCE LAB - DAY

Illyria stands in the lab, looking from Fred's office to the sarcophagus.

Illyria touches the sarcophagus and looks back up at Fred's office.

And dream of a place called home

And someday I'll go where there ain't no rain or snow

Cut to:

36 EXT. FRED'S PARENTS' HOUSE - DAY

Fred packs her things into the Chevy station wagon and runs back to give her mom a hug. She waves and walks back to the car, smiling. She waves again, then gets into the car and drives away toward Los Angeles.

'Til then, I travel alone

And I make my bed with the stars above my head

And dream of a place called home

Someday I'll go where there ain't no rain or snow

And dream of a place called home


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