Cone of Power

Act Three

 

Fade In:

Int.

London – Council Lobby – Resume

"Why not the Cone of Power?" Althenea asked Willow.

Her hands were on her hips as she stood talking to Willow, Rowena, Alex, Jake, and Sophie. Five other Cleveland Coven members were around them as people shuffled past them in the lobby.

"Wait a second," Alex began. "Isn’t that the spell an English Coven used in World War Two against Germany?"

"Yes, it is, and it worked," she answered.

"We don’t know that for sure," Willow replied.

"Gerald Gardner and his coven used it to keep Hitler from invading England," Althenea argued. "There is no logical reason why Hitler didn’t invade by sea once he had France. The only explanation is magic, and this was the spell Gardner used. Plus, it’s been said that it was used to wreck the Spanish Armada, making it one of the best chances we’ve got right now."

"Sorry, Al," Willow said, shaking her head. "I doubt it will work – we’ll need something else."

"I’ve been researching, and it’s worth considering," Althenea told her. Willow still appeared unconvinced but said nothing. "Look, we’re still searching for other options, but we’re running out of time here. I’ve spoken to the other covens already gathered, and they agree that it’s worth the shot."

"Let’s just go meet them, okay?" Willow said.

"All right," Althenea conceded. "This way," she said as she began to escort them.

Cut To:

Int.

Oval Office – Same Time (Early Afternoon, Eastern U.S. Time)

"My fellow Americans," the President began her address from behind her desk. "We are currently doing all we can to evacuate the United States Eastern Seaboard and ask for your cooperation at this important time."

Fade To:

Series of Shots

-- A shot of highway traffic being bumper to bumper. Police vehicles sit at an on-ramp, and all the cars appear to be going in one direction, leaving a city.

Voiceover, President: "Currently, each state’s National Guard is in place to assist local emergency agencies as they aid those people leaving and to prevent anyone from entering the coast."

-- A shot of people standing in front of an airport sign that shows all flights to the East canceled.

Voiceover, President: "Commercial flights to all cities from Maine to Florida are being canceled, and we advise that those planning to travel to such locations find temporary lodging in the city they are currently in. For those who cannot afford shelter, a text number will be displayed at the end of this address for areas providing free temporary shelter. We ask that airlines, hotels, and other customer-based services provide this information to their patrons…In the larger, more populated areas we have active duty members of the Army and Marines also helping move human traffic along."

-- A shot of a steady stream of people on foot, holding boxes and suitcases as they walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, passing Guardsmen who are providing directions.

Voiceover, President: "All land vehicle travel is being suspended in these heavily populated areas except for military personal, who are moving the elderly, sick, or injured people to a safe location. The reason for this suspension is to insure that traffic congestion does not slow down the process of evacuation."

-- A shot of a man arguing with a police officer and pointing in the direction of Daytona Beach, which is behind the officer, who continues to shake his head. A hovercraft flies in the distance behind them.

Voiceover, President: "For those limited number of people with air vehicles, we ask that you pack lightly and try instead to carry family or friends by air. This will cut down on the amount of foot traffic, but also insure that more individuals make it to safety."

-- A shot of people walking into a school gymnasium and being directed to different tables placed within the room.

Voiceover, President: "Within each state, the American Red Cross is helping to organize names and locations of loved ones that will be posted online. Once your loved ones have arrived safely at a given center, they will be listed by name, birth date, and birth city so that you may check their status on the confirmation website, which again will be displayed at the end of this address."

-- A shot of an Air Force pilot suiting up and a man who is finishing filling up a fuel tank.

Voiceover, President: "In the hours and days that will follow, your loved ones will then have the option of being flown by the Air Force to the capital of each state. From there, you may pick up your loved ones to stay at your location until the evacuation notice has been lifted."

Cut To:

Int.

Oval Office – Same Time

"We realize what a large undertaking this is," the President said soberly, "and we sympathize with the disruption that this is causing millions of lives. But our goal is to insure the safety of as many Americans as possible. So we ask for your patience and consideration at this time..."

Cut To:

Ext.

Tropical Island of La Palma – Town of El Paso – Evening

Kennedy had a picture in her hand that she was showing a shopkeeper. He was shaking his head, looking a bit too frightened to say anything, as Liz and Nikki watched from a distance.

"This is quickly becoming a goose chase," Nikki complained.

"No argument there," Liz replied. "Everyone’s pretty tight-lipped."

Jen walked up to Liz and asked, "Remember when we were pre-teens and used to play CSI?"

Liz snorted.

"What’s CSI?" Nikki asked and then added, "I mean, I know what it is, but how do you play it?" she asked.

"We’d take turns," Liz told her. "One of us would come up with a crime, like a murder, and the suspects. The others would try to figure it out. For example, I’d plan what happened and place clues, and it was up to Jen, Alex, and Marty to figure who did it and how."

Nikki blinked twice. "What a demented childhood," she told them. "Couldn’t you guys just play tag or Clue?"

Liz and Jen both laughed.

"Well, we did that too," Liz defended. "We’re not totally insane. Besides CSI was more…advanced. It wasn’t just process of elimination like Clue. You had to think things through on all kinds of levels." Nikki continued to stare. "It was a fun game, okay?" Liz insisted under the glare. Nikki finally relented and grinned.

Jen kept smiling as she handed over her datapad to Liz.

"It was fun," the slayer agreed as the watcher read the datapad. "And as you’ll see, it served to build a valuable skill." Liz finished reading and looked up. "Am I still good, or am I still good?" Jen asked. She then whispered to Nikki. "I used to kick Alex’s ass at CSI, but to this day that yetsie won’t admit it," she added playfully.

Nikki smiled at Jen as Liz looked at the information again. The watcher then began to grin.

"You’re still good," Liz complimented. "But how did you get this?"

"Out of the mouths of babes," she replied. Liz and Nikki looked confused. "The adults aren’t talking, so I chatted up some of the kids – I let them try on my Watchers Council jacket, hold my stake, bribed them with some candy…you know? The usual. Then I asked if they’d seen any of these guys, or other guys that looked kind of like them, hanging around here. One source led to another, and there you have it…One kid said his dad worked on fixing up a dilapidated structure out by the old volcano. And since Karim needs to make a volcano go boom…"

"He can’t be that far away," Liz replied.

"Welcome aboard! Giles finally jumps on the Rosenberg thought train," Jen said with a short smile before looking serious. "Oh, he did say that his dad had to go through some checkpoints and mentioned seeing some funny looking guys, or creatures. He didn’t have a description, but my guess? They have outposts guarding the main structure where Karim is located, and it might not just be human muscle."

"Wonderful work, Ms. Rosenberg, just great," Liz replied, trying to sound formal. Jen nodded her thanks. "Tell Ken to round up the girls. We’re moving out," Liz added.

"You got it."

Cut To:

Int.

London – Council Gymnasium – Evening

The large room was filled with covens, each occupying different spaces; books of various sizes surrounded all of them. Althenea closed a book on one stack, before moving it to another.

"I still say the Cone is the best chance at stopping Karim," Althenea muttered.

Rowena and Willow both looked up from their reading, but Willow spoke with a simple, "No."

Althenea sighed heavily, showing her frustration. "Your wife is insufferable, Rowena," she told her.

"I think she’s looking out for everyone," Rowena said, trying to be neutral.

"It’s just a rumor, you know?" Althenea told Willow. "No one knows for sure what events truly occurred that day."

"Like you said yourself, it’s a powerful spell, maybe too powerful…and you know what I’m saying," Willow replied.

"It’s just that the clock is ticking here, and we need a solution fast," Althenea said.

"Then more research and less arguing," Willow answered.

"I’m just asking that you consider it," Althenea pressed.

"Okay, I’ll consider it," Willow relented. "And perhaps you are right. Maybe the Cone of Power spell is filled with rumor, but I’d like to explore all the options."

"Fine," Althenea said. "If we don’t find something within the next few hours, can we please head to the cliffs to at least give this spell a try?"

Willow released a heavy sigh. "All right," she replied. "Just no funny business, okay?"

"No funny business at all. Just very serious witchy work. I swear," she said, raising her hand. "Can we call a truce now?" she added.

Willow looked up to see Althenea wearing a coy grin, and she felt herself grin in response.

Cut To:

Ext.

La Palma – Outpost – Evening

In the tropical forest near El Paso, Kennedy and the team crouched down behind some bushes to see some men holding weapons and some demons also moving about.

"Son of a bitch," Kennedy swore in a whisper.

"What are those things?" Jen asked. "I’ve never seen those kinds of demons."

"Vutch," Kennedy told her.

"How do you know?" Jen asked.

"When a demon paralyzes you, you’re not likely to forget the face," Kennedy told her.

"That’s a Vutch? I thought they were extinct," Liz added.

"Makes two of us," Kennedy replied. "But we’ve got a bigger issue. They’re impervious to anything except fire…We need to plan this out before we race in, guys. Let’s fall back for now."

Cut To:

Ext.

La Palma – Forest Near Outpost – Same Time

Nikki held up her index finger and her thumb in the shape of an ‘L’ trying to get her comlink to work, but it kept reading ‘no signal’.

"There’s too many trees or something, guys," she said, defeated. "I don’t know how we can get a message to anyone to round up supplies for us."

Kennedy held up a finger and closed her eyes. "Willow, please tell me you can hear me," she said in her mind.

Cut To:

Int.

London – Council Gymnasium – Same Time

Willow picked up a leather bag and handed it to Jake when suddenly she stopped. She held up her hand to him as if asking him to wait.

"What’s going on? Is Jen okay?" she asked as she stared off in the distance.

Cut To:

Ext.

La Palma – Forest Near Outpost – Same Time

"She’s fine. Can you get a message to Shannon?" Kennedy asked. "We need flamethrowers. We’ve got some Vutch demons here guarding the outside perimeter and nothing to fight them with," she explained.

Cut To:

Int.

London – Council Gymnasium – Same Time

"We’ll see to it," Willow replied. "What’s the name of the nearest town there?"

Cut To:

Ext.

La Palma – Forest Near Outpost – Same Time

"El Paso…here in La Palma, not Texas," Kennedy emphasized. "Make sure they know that so our stuff doesn’t end up at Fort Bliss."

Cut To:

Int.

London – Council Gymnasium – Same Time

Willow chuckled. "El Paso, got it. Help's on the way. Head to town and sit tight for now. We’ll find a way to get what you need."

Cut To:

Int.

Watchers Council – Grace’s Office – Later

Shannon and Grace were both on the phone.

"Nooo, not the one in Texas," Shannon said, holding her earpiece closer and trying to listen. She closed her eyes briefly and shook her head in frustration. "They do have maps at the CIA, don’t they?" she asked. "Good, then get one, please."

As Shannon continued her conversation, Grace was nearby just hanging up from a call. She began making notes when she heard her assistant behind her.

"Ms. Hatherley, you have a visitor," she told her.

"I don’t have time at the moment. Tell them…" she said before she turned around and saw Giles standing there. "…I’ll make an exception," she added with a smile and waved him over. He returned it and walked deeper into the room.

Cut To:

Int.

Xander’s House – Same Time

Nine-year-old Joyce Harris was in the living room with her younger cousins Joe Allister and Ira Rosenberg. The three of them seemed to be constructing a building of some kind out of lighted, neon colored sticks that resembled Tinkertoys.

Xander was standing in the adjoining kitchen looking out the window, stirring a spoon in a mug rather absently.

Joyce ran out of the room as Xander continued to stir his drink. She returned quickly, darting back into the room, a few seconds later.

"Dad," she called out. Xander didn’t appear to hear her. "Dad," she said more forcefully.

"I’m sorry, Joy-Joy," he told her. "Whatcha need?"

"Mom said I could take Joe and Ira outside as long as you can watch us. She treats me like a baby, but still, is it okay?"

He grinned. "Yeah, why not? It’s a nice day, and it beats sitting in here. Just get your old shoes on. It’s muddy, and if you get the new ones dirty, she’ll have a cow fit," he told her.

Joyce giggled and ran back into the living room to tell Joe and Ira the good news. She then raced to the patio door and began to put her shoes on before helping the younger boys with theirs.

Xander went back to staring out the window.

Fade To:

Ext.

La Palma – Council Staging Camp – A Short Time Later

"Are you sure you ladies don’t need help?" the agent asked Kennedy. Behind him stood five other men. "I realize this is your operation, but we can pull in more troops besides just us."

"No thanks," Kennedy replied as she inspected the flamethrowers. "A huge group of uniformed men stomping through the forest really isn’t what we need. However…" she added, "...we could use a handful of your best marksmen to handle any human elements. How’s that sound?"

"You’ve come to the right place," he told her with a grin. "We can do it."

"Great, we move out in five, so be ready," she told him. He nodded and motioned his men to follow him. She then silently called out, "Thanks Will. You’re the best."

Cut To:

Int.

London – Council Gymnasium – Same Time

A witch pushed a cart filled with books past Willow. Willow smiled as she loaded up some books on a cart of her own, like the other covens around her.

"Not a problem," Willow told Kennedy. "Just be careful and remember... you don’t have slayer strength anymore, so don’t try to be the hero, okay?"

Cut To:

Ext.

La Palma – Council Staging Camp – Same Time

"Who me?" Kennedy asked her. "Nah, I know my limitations. Don’t worry."

Cut To:

Int.

London – Council Gymnasium – Same Time

"Take care anyway," Willow called out.

Cut To:

Int.

Watchers Council – Grace’s Office – Same Time

Grace set two teacups in front of her and Giles.

"Ken’s teams about to move in. Seems Karim has brought some demons into his mission. I guess I can see now why his betrayer wasn’t feeling too comfortable. Fighting for God with help from the Devil is a bit contradictory," she told him.

Giles grinned half-heartedly.

Picking up on his mood, Grace said, "She’ll be fine. Liz is very quick on her feet, and she can swing a pretty mean sword to boot when need be."

"I know that," Giles replied. "But no matter how old she becomes or how talented she is…she’s still my daughter."

Giles grinned again, and this time Grace returned it before saying, "I understand."

Cut To:

Ext.

La Palma – Forest Near Outpost – Evening

Now properly armed, Kennedy and her team were once again hiding near the outpost to Karim’s stronghold.

"We don’t charge," Kennedy commanded quietly. "We let the CIA men eliminate the human threat and let the Vutch come to us. Let them get as close as possible and then open fire. Understand?"

They all nodded.

Cut To:

Ext.

La Palma – Outpost – Evening

Two human guards were walking next to a Vutch demon when suddenly the sound of gunfire rang out, and the two men dropped to the ground. The Vutch demon ran ahead toward the area of the sniper, and the slayers readied their flamethrowers. In the nearby clearing, Jen stood front and center.

"I really hate being bait," she said as the first Vutch arrived and charged her.

The sound of the Vutch’s charge brought over more of Karim’s troops – human and demon alike – and they followed the first Vutch into the bushes.

Jen didn’t engage the first Vutch, but rather danced around him, avoiding his blows.

"That’s it," Kennedy coached in a whisper from their hiding area. "Keep him moving until they get there."

The Vutch tried to deliver a kick, but Jen did a somersault over his head, landing behind him. "How much longer?" she asked, avoiding one of his swings.

Liz and Nikki were crouched in the bushes at the beginning of the tree line. Once the new troops had moved into the clearing and were out of earshot, she whispered a response of, "Any second now, Jen."

Jen continued to bob and weave. When Kennedy saw the troops arriving, she told the young slayer, "Get clear, Jen. Run!"

She took off into a sprint toward the trees as the backup arrived. As the humans tried to take aim on Jen, the Council’s armed guards opened fire. As they fell, the Vutch continued on, but suddenly the slayers stepped out of their hiding spaces and turned the flamethrowers on full blast.

Breathing hard, Jen knelt beside Kennedy in her hiding spot.

"You did good," the former slayer complimented.

Jen could only nod in response at first. "You fought one of those, huh?" she managed to say.

"Tough S.O.B.’s, aren’t they?" Kennedy asked with a grin.

"You’re not kidding," Jen replied and then took a deep breath.

Cut To:

Int.

London – Council Gymnasium – Same Time

Willow and Althenea stood before a gym filled with coven members from around the world. The room was a mix of different nationalities, so several interpreters stood before each group.

"Shortly we’ll be moving out to the sacred spot," she told them and then waited for each interpreter to convey the sentence.

"I want to take the time to remind you all that, no matter what happens, you are forbidden to break the circle once we start." Again she paused for a moment and then added, "I ask now that you make the pledge to the goddess that you agree." After that translation, people around the room began to nod.

Cut To:

Int.

La Palma – Outpost – Moments Later

Kennedy and her team walked into the outpost.

"I wish we had more on what Karim’s got planned," she commented.

Liz said, "Maybe there’s a way," and motioned to the large wall computer in front of them and then to Jen.

Jen cracked her knuckles and moved in front of it.

"Are you going to have enough time to hack in?" Kennedy asked. "Others might be coming here pretty quick if they heard any of the commotion."

"Hey, I got into my mom’s computer just fine, and she’s the ‘hacker extraordinaire,’ according to Aunt Dawn. Okay, well, after months of trying I got in, but this will be a snap by comparison. Of course, I never got into her computer again after that."

"Mom laid down the law, huh?" Kennedy asked.

Liz started to smile and answered as Jen worked.

"No," Liz explained. "The only thing laid down was the image of her mom naked on a bed when she tried to access Willow’s files. Needless to say, Jen found out that her natural mom’s not a natural blonde."

The people around the computer began to chuckle.

"Ro the vixen?" Kennedy quipped.

Jen replied, "That’s an image no daughter should ever have to see…But it cured me real quick of spying on my parents."

After a few seconds another screen popped up, and Jen announced, "I’m in!" Quickly, though, she sighed. "I can’t read it. It’s all mid-east gibberish."

"Let me see. I can read it, maybe," Liz said, taking a step closer. "Oh, man," Liz replied after reading for a few moments. Before she could say more, a radio went off next to them. The voice on the other end asked something in Farsi. Liz picked it up and lowered her voice to sound masculine and answered. She then turned to the group. "We might not have much time. I’m sure backup is on the way, but that’s not our biggest problem."

"What’s wrong?" Ken asked.

Liz nodded to the screen. "There’s a plan to eliminate the covens in England."

Fade Out.

End of Act Three
On to Act Four