Story by Dragonwriter17, Zahir al Daoud and Robert Kidman
Written by Kye, Dragonwriter17, Robert Kidman and Zahir al Daoud (additional writing by CN Winters)
Directed by CN Winters, Kye and Dragonwriter17
Edited by Lilly
Produced by Susan Carr
Art Direction by Robert Kidman
Artists – Robert Kidman, Zahir al Daoud, Isis, Mattxxx and CN Winters
Cover Art by Robert Kidman
Cleveland, May 2007
Bureau Nine Headquarters – Magical Security Vault
"So everything is accounted for?" Felix asked the guard.
"So far, Sir," the guard replied with a nod. "We're finishing up our inventory right now." Inside two other guards held clipboards as they looked at some artifacts inside the vault.
"Felix?" a female voice called out. Both men turned to see Siobhan standing there. "Buffy Summers and Rowena Allister of the Watchers Council are here. I showed them to your office."
"Thank you. I'll be right there," he told her.
Bureau Nine Headquarters – Felix's Office – Moments Later
When Felix walked in he found Buffy standing behind his desk, looking at some books on a shelf while Rowena sat in a chair.
"Hello, ladies," he greeted them. "First things first – how's Ms. Rosenberg?"
"She's doing better. We're going for take two of the wedding next week," Rowena replied. "But I'm not here to discuss my soon-to-be wife, Mr. Felix."
"We'd like to talk about you," Buffy added.
"I assumed as much," he replied. "I supposed it was only a matter of time before the Council arrived to detain me."
Rowena and Buffy looked at each other and Buffy nodded to Rowena to continue.
"We're not looking to detain you, Mr. Felix," the watcher said. "We'd like you to join us."
Felix said nothing as he looked between both women for a few moments. "I'm not sure I understand."
"Simply put," Buffy said. "We have the right knowledge, you have the right…gadgets. I think if B9 becomes a part of the Watchers Council it would benefit everyone. Would you agree?"
Felix was still speechless so Rowena spoke.
"After lengthy discussions at the Council, the majority of us are in agreement that your actions weren't created in malice. You genuinely believed you were doing the right thing."
"I did," Felix replied.
"Which is why we feel a merger will make the world a stronger place. You have resources we don't have and, as Ms. Summers has said, technological advances we can use in our fight…which we feel is the same fight."
"All right," Felix nodded.
"But we want you to understand something now," Buffy told him. "These actions that you took don't come without a price. We expect everything in Bureau Nine's possession to become property of the Watchers Council. We're not looking for a partner here, Mr. Felix. We want one organization. That organization will be the Watchers Council."
Felix looked reluctant. "And if I refuse?" he asked.
Rowena sighed. "Then we have to doubt that our thesis regarding your actions is correct," Rowena said straightforwardly.
Felix shook his head. "My reluctance here, ladies, isn't for myself. As you see there are many people who earn a livelihood from this organization. What will happen to them? The Council doesn't charge for services as we do and I don't want to see these people forced on to the streets. That is my true concern about this proposal."
"Anyone here is welcome to apply to the Council for possible transfer," Buffy answered. "We'll examine each member of your team individually and if we make an offer, they are welcome to join too. It's your call, Mr. Felix."
Felix looked at both of them again. "Am I welcome to apply?"
"Absolutely," Buffy replied. "Just don't expect everyone to welcome you with open arms."
"I would expect that…All right," Felix said firmly with a nod. "Let's talk."
Bureau Nine Headquarters – Magical Security Vault
"Jody?" the guard called over to a man standing in front of the box that held the Loathestone.
Jody appeared to be hypnotized as he held the box in his hands. "I understand," he whispered to the box as he petted the stone.
"Hey, Jody!" the guard at the doorway yelled louder. "You done?"
Jody didn't turn around. Instead he called out, "Yeah, a few more minutes." With that he set the box back inside the vault and whispered, "I'll return for you when it's safe."
Jody closed the wall vault door and walked away.
Washington, DC – Expensive Restaurant – Early Evening
Autumn O'Mara stared levelly over her glass of fine red wine at the well-dressed African-American man sitting across from her. The restaurant was lit for ambience; the walls, a rich red; conversations, hushed.
"The Council is dangerous, Mr. Kingston. Surely you agree."
Mr. Kingston sighed, set down his fork, and spoke with very deep voice. "Ms. O'Mara, I represent what you might call an urban district. It's not exactly Club Med. We have neighborhoods where even the police are afraid to go. The slayers go into those neighborhoods. I have trouble supporting a bill that would take that service away from my constituents."
O'Mara set down the glass and licked her lips. A close inspection of her eyes might have revealed a gold tint, but it might just have been a reflection. "But are those neighborhoods getting safer? Are the mysterious deaths nose-diving? I would submit the answer is no." She saw that Kingston was hesitating. "If word gets out you're on board, the Progressive Caucus will follow. That puts us over the top." She stared directly at Kingston. Their eyes locked for a long moment.
"I want to be Secretary of Housing & Urban Development," he said finally. He picked up his drink and took a long swig.
"Done," O'Mara said. She sat back in her seat, a small smile on her face. She idly played with the cord around her neck.
Kadin's Cabin – Bathroom – Same Time
Kadin was standing in front of the sink in her bathroom. Her eyes were locked with her reflection in the mirror as she gripped the sides of the fixture.
After a moment, she released a long, deep breath and then leaned over to turn on the faucet before splashing a handful of water onto her face. She stood back up and once again locked gazes with her reflection.
Kadin's Cabin – Bedroom – Moments Later
The hunter plopped down onto the mattress with a sigh as she raked a hand back through her slightly damp hair. She sat in silence for a moment, staring straight ahead.
The moment was broken by the buzzing of her cell phone. She looked over to the nightstand then reached out and grabbed the phone. She flipped it open to read the incoming text.
C U N 5 – K
Kadin smiled because she knew how much Kennedy hated to text. She set the phone down and moved to her dresser to pull out a clean black shirt. She stopped when her fingers suddenly brushed against something. She slowly removed her hand from the drawer, pulling out a small black velvet box.
The hunter walked over, tossing the shirt down onto the end of her bed before moving to sit down beside it. She cradled the black box in her hands, running her thumb over the smooth velvet.
Slowly, she pulled open the lid to reveal a silver band encasing a shining sapphire. She moved her thumb over to brush across the gem.
"Kadin?"The brunette quickly snapped the box closed, just managing to shove it into the pocket on the side of her cargo pants as the bedroom door opened. She hadn't realized how long she had been staring at it.
Kennedy smiled at her lover as she stepped into the room. "Ready to jet?" she asked as she looked from Kadin to the shirt still lying on the bed. "Places to go. Things to kill, y'know?"
"Same ol' Friday night?" Kadin smiled in return.
Kennedy flashed a grin, but it slowly faded when she saw the look on her girlfriend's face change. "Something wrong?"
Kadin shook off the uneasy feeling and smiled once again. "Nothing," she replied as she reached over to grab her shirt. She started to slip it on as she led Kennedy from the room.
End of Teaser
To Act One