Story by Dan Joslyn, Zahir al Daoud and CN Winters
Written by Zahir al Daoud, Dan Joslyn and CN Winters
Produced and Directed by CN Winters and Susan Carr
Edited by DragonWriter17
Sounds by CSR
Art Direction by Robert Kidman
Artists – Robert Kidman, CN Winters, Zahir al Daoud, Isis, Mattxxx, and Humaira
Back Alley – Night
The creature with an axe was human-shaped. It wore long robes and a hood. But it moved with great speed and skill, making an intricate series of moves.
Opposing it was a young woman with dark hair. Her answering moves were at least as intricate as the creature's. Wherever the axe swung, she managed not to be there, yet she didn't run away. Instead, she leapt up to avoid the axe then rolled. She dove and kicked and at one point even ran up a wall for a few steps with enough speed to make a flying leap to the other side of the hooded creature.
Still, it was relentless. Worse, it was driving her back to the dead end of the alley. Her face showed her realization of this. She tried being even more aggressive, but being unarmed, there was little she could do.
"Faith!" A tall man in a long leather jacket appeared at the front of the alley. He ran towards her and the hooded creature. Halfway there, he tossed the sword in his hand in a arc. The blade caught a reflection from streetlamps as it flew.
Faith's hand caught it perfectly. She began a series of sweeping attacks on her opponent. But, seeing another hooded creature coming up behind the man in the long coat, she called out a warning. "Spike! Behind you!"
Spike turned and began his own fight. The hooded creature he fought was a foot taller than the one Faith fought, and it landed blows like a hammer. One blow sent Spike into a shaft of light, revealing the furrowed brow, amber eyes, and fanged mouth of a vampire. With a growl, he began to rain a series of blows against the tall creature, not allowing it a moment to recover. He looked berserk, reckless of danger and so unstoppable.
On her side, Faith – now armed – had little trouble defeating the shorter of the creatures and soon drove her sword all the way through its trunk. As it collapsed on the ground, she ran to aid Spike.
She threw the sword, hitting the taller creature directly between the eyes. It managed to make a small gurgling sound before falling over.
Now, in the silence, Faith and Spike looked at each other. They took a few steps forward, saying nothing.
"How many Harbingers have you seen?" said Faith, voice low.
"Only these two," was his answer. His eyes focused on her cheek. "You…there's a cut."
She touched her cheek. He was right. A tiny cut. One corner of her mouth twisted into half a grin. "I didn't notice." Unblinking eyes never left his.
"You should be more careful," he whispered. As he said this, he stepped closer to her. Very, very close.
"What about Willow?" she said in a raspy voice.
He barely hesitated. "What about her?"
They slipped into a passionate embrace, as if they'd been longing for this for years and years and years, but never before dared to let it happen.
He actually lifted her up, while one leg of hers reached around and held his trunk. All the while the kiss never even slowed down; if anything, it grew more passionate.
"Cut! Print! Check the gate!"
Instantly the two released each other. The stage lights cut off, and the normal lights switched on. Dozens of stagehands began checking things, while the actors playing the Harbingers rose from the floor.
The director was checking the playback on a tiny screen next to him. He looked up. "It's good! You two up for one more take, for safety?"
Orlando Bloom blinked a little and stretched his face. "I think I oughta check my face. Feels like it's slipping."
"Right," the director said before turning over his shoulder and yelling, "Make-up! Check out Mr. Bloom." He turned back around again. "How about you, Katie?"
Katie Holmes smiled. "I'm good."
"Beautiful, sweetheart!" he told her. "Places, everyone!" he shouted again.
Watchers Council – Rec Room – Night
On the TV screen, a commercial began.
Kadin said, "Huh. So what they've done here is make a show about Superboy, but without the whole cape?"
Snuggled next to her, Kennedy nodded. "Yup."
Across from them, in a similar position, Xander and Vi each grabbed a handful of popcorn from the bowl in their joint lap. "But they can't call it Superboy," Vi said. "Can't even use the word."
"Why not?" asked Kadin, raising her eyebrows.
"It's complicated, but Andrew was telling me that Superman and Superboy are legally two completely different entities when it comes to trademark and copyright."
"Even though they're the same character?" said Kennedy.
"Right." Vi shrugged. "Keeps the lawyers busy. I guess."
Xander shook his head. "The guy playing Brainiac, he reminds me of someone."
Buffy strode into the room, scanning it as she did so. "Hi guys. Listen, anybody seen Dawn tonight?"
"Not since dinner," said Vi.
"How about Heli?"
Both couples looked at each other. "Don't think so," said Kennedy.
"Where is everybody? The place seems deserted."
"I saw Ro and Willow headed up the stairs for their apartment about an hour ago," offered Kadin. "But I don't think they wanted any company."
"Maybe Andrew is trying to find someone who'll believe his story about making a movie," suggested Vi.
Xander laughed. "That's it. Probably has them tied up somewhere while he acts out the whole script for them, playing all the parts!"
"What's this? Andrew? Making a movie? Again?"
"Oh no," said Kennedy, "not like that. He's saying he sold a screenplay based on the origins of the Watchers Council to Hollywood."
"Tracey believes him," Kadin said.
"No offense, but Tracey would believe him if he said he had a black belt in karate."
"Actually," said Vi, "that is kinda sweet."
"But," interrupted Buffy, "it isn't true? I mean, Andrew's version of events is being turned into a major movie that would be seen by millions, right? Right?"
All four of them laughed, shaking their heads.
"And in some entertainment news," the late-night anchor on the local television news program said from the television, "a fire broke out earlier today on the set of the new motion picture Slayers: The Chosen. Fortunately, the fire department quickly doused the flames, and production is not expected to be delayed. Slayers, based on a screenplay by Watchers insider Andrew Wells, has a star-studded cast headed up by Katie Holmes, starring as the Original Slayer, Faith Lehane."
Five mouths lay open, below five sets of huge eyes staring at the screen.
Andrew walked into the room. "Hi guys. Whatcha watching?" All eyes turned to Andrew and then narrowed. "Uh…why are you all looking at me that way? Guys? Buffy? Buffy, what's wrong?"
To Act One