Story by Zahir al Daoud
Written by Zahir al Daoud (with additional writing by CN Winters, Susan Carr and Dan Joslyn)
Produced and Directed by Zahir al Daoud and CN Winters
Edited by DragonWriter17
Sound by CSR
Art Direction by Zahir al Daoud
Artist – Zahir al Daoud
Watchers Council – Rec Room – Evening
Andrew walked into the room with a huge grin on his face. In his hands was a box, roughly eighteen inches long and half that wide. No one at first noticed his arrival because the seven people he approached were all watching television.
"You realize," Xander was saying, "this is essentially just a blending of two other cult hits, right?"
Willow and Rowena, who sat on opposite sides of the room in chairs, both turned to look at him. Faith stopped, popcorn halfway to her mouth and looked at Xander. Then she looked to her side at Robin, whose face was a study in diplomacy.
"Really?" Robin asked.
"Absolutely," Xander said.
"Okay," Tracey spoke up. She was on the same sofa as Faith and Robin, but was closest to Xander. "I’ll bite. Which two cult shows?"
"It’s obvious," Xander continued. "What you’ve got here," he gestured to the television screen, "is a blatant ripoff of Gilligan’s Island crossed with a ripoff of The X-Files. Am I right?" He looked at Tracey, who blinked.
"Uh…I guess...it’s a theory."
"Theory? No way. This is obviously a cunning plan by the television execs. Faith? Robin? Back me up here."
But Robin looked steadily at the television. "I dunno," he said, munching popcorn.
"Look," she said, grabbing a handful of popcorn herself, "all I know is the cop reminds me of Kadin."
Silently, Willow and Rowena both nodded in agreement as they looked at the screen.
With a sigh, Xander looked across to the padded chair on the opposite side from him. He gestured as if to say ‘Help Me’. Curled up in that chair, Vi responded, "That makes no sense at all."
"Of course it does! I mean, c’mon!"
"Sorry Xander, I just don’t see it."
Any further debate had to wait because Andrew made a loud ‘ahem’ noise. The seven T.V. viewers looked behind them.
"Ladies and gentlemen," said Andrew with a little bit of a squeak, "I am here to announce a special event, a competition of classic mien, one in which Tracey and myself will bury the lot of you!"
"Oh my god," Tracey breathed, her eyes bright. "It came?"
"Yes!" Andrew held up his box with a ‘ta-da’ gesture as Tracey squealed in joy. The box had the words NEWLYWED GAME across the front. Tracey even got up, ran to his side, and planted a kiss on him.
Willow and Rowena shared an uneasy glance at each other. Robin and Faith paused mid-chew. Vi’s eyes went huge. Xander finally made a sound with his moving mouth.
"What have you got there, Andrew?" Xander asked.
"The tabletop version of the classic game," Andrew replied. "Got it off of ebay. Yay for me."
"Yay indeed," Tracey said, beaming. "I remember wanting one of these when I was a little girl."
"Let me guess," said Xander, "you mentioned that fact to our erstwhile Jedi of the domestic arts, yes?"
"And I," replied Andrew, "immediately began a quest to find one for my lady." He grinned and got another kiss as a reward, longer this time.
"Oh..." breathed Robin.
"...dear," finished Faith.
"So!" said Andrew. "When are we going to play?"
The silence began.
Watchers Council – Library – Night
Dawn was hunched over an ancient tome at a desk in the corner of the semi-darkened library. Her eyes were deeply sunken, making her cheeks more prominent and her pale face even more wan from the light of the low-wattage banker’s lamp on the desk.
She paused a moment to take a sip from her coffee mug.
"Ugh," she grimaced. Wearily standing up, she made her way over to the librarian’s desk with the coffee maker. She poured the last of the coffee from the carafe and then added a few heaping tablespoons of sugar. She carried it back to the desk, limping from exhaustion. After rubbing her face, she returned to the book.
After a few minutes, Dawn suddenly sat up, her eyes never leaving the page. She blindly reached out to another book, ignoring the coffee mug as it flew off the table. She pulled the book toward her and cross-checked back and forth a few times.
"Oh my goddess," she breathed, her eyes widened in awe. "I can do it. I can really do it!"
Dawn placed both hands on each side of her gaunt face and pulled in a shuddering breath. Her expression had never been more terrified.
Cleveland Museum – Night
The guard shuddered. He dropped his flashlight and reached for his throat with a little gargling sound. But his hands never reached there since his body transformed into solid stone within the space of almost two seconds. The expression on his face—one of pain and horror—froze in place.
Smiling, two figures emerged from the shadows.
"It worked," said the first one, a grinning young man with a third eye in the center of his forehead.
"Of course," hissed his companion. He was nearly bald, with bulging veins and a nose nearly three and a half inches long. As he gestured, webs between his fingers were clearly visible. "Fifty years I studied the secrets of alchemy and uses of potions, yes. Some say Cyrano is the single most stupendous alchemist of this age."
"You’ve got my vote!"
"But not mine," cut in a voice behind them. They did a take as a third figure approached from the shadows. Ethan Rayne did not even glance at his companions but instead walked straight up to the petrified security guard. He shook his head. "Gorgon’s Breath, am I right?"
"Yes," said Cyrano, "special potion Cyrano…"
"Wasted," finished Ethan for him. "That requires the pollen of a flower that only blooms once every seventy years. And there are what, four or five blooms left in the entire world?" Now he looked at the two demons. "And you didn’t use a taser—why?"
Cyrano hissed to himself. But the three-eyed demon thought about it and said, "Style."
Ethan Rayne rolled his eyes. He turned and walked over to one of the displays. He looked at the card below it. "Hmm," he said, reading it, "Cassandra of Bruges. Eighteenth century. Nice enough things, I suppose." The display showed various pieces of jewelry, a fan, three tiny but exquisite perfume bottles and a pair of opera gloves.
On either side of Ethan, the two demons walked up and peered over his shoulder.
"Shiny thingssss," said Cyrano.
"I like the fan," said the three-eyed demon.
"We’re taking the gloves," noted Ethan. "Grey was very particular about that. They are the most personal thing of the lot." He got out a small tool from his pocket and worked the lock of the case. "She wore them regularly. Against her skin. Of course, the same thing could be said of her jewels and the like, but…" The display case opened. "…jewels don’t pick up sweat or skin."
"Personal, yes," intoned Cyrano. "Gloves are best."
Ethan held the display case top open and looked at the three-eyed demon. "Well? Do something while you’re here."
Obediently, the demon reached in and grabbed the opera gloves. Ethan reached in and grabbed the jewels.
"But you said," the demon began, looking confused, "the gloves were best."
"Most certain gloves are best," insisted Cyrano. "Gloves! Gloves!"
"We have the gloves," Ethan noted, shutting the case. "And we’ll give them to Mr. Grey. The jewels are for me." He turned to go and had moved nearly four yards before he turned back. "Are you coming?"
The two demons hurried after him.
End of Teaser
Onto Act One