Jodi A. Roosenraad
Cast: (In order by appearance)
Matthew Hartsdale.............Peter Davidson
Drew Killian.................Ilin Mitchell-Smith
Erik Sorensen...........................Karl Urban
Moira Donovan....................Angeline Ball
Samantha Kessler...................Katie Smith
Tori Clark............................Katie Holmes
|EXTERIOR, NIGHT:||Solomon, Mass. Main Street.|
It's not yet late. The stores are still open at the tag-end of the busiest shopping day of the year. Throngs of people move from shop to shop. MATTHEW HARTSDALE, a brown-haired, nondescript man in his middle 30's walks down the street, reading signs. When he gets to the Sacred Grounds book-store/coffeeshop, he stops and looks in the window before setting hand to door.
DREW KILLIAN and ERIK SORENSEN, two fifteen-year old boys are camped out at one of the corner booths. Drew is dark-haired, thin and good-looking, and wears a navy blue pullover sweater with his jeans and sneakers. He has a stack of comic books in front of him and is eagerly paging through a brand-new Superman comic. Erik's longer hair is striped blonde and red and he's dressed a lot more bohemian, in a leather jacket and jeans teamed with a dark gray sweater and army boots. The waitress/manager, MOIRA DONOVAN comes up to them. She's college-age, pretty, with long, curly dark hair held up in a banana clip.
Moira: "What's shaking, guys?"
Drew (holds up a comic book): "The new Superman just came out!" (He glances longingly towards a pair of girls who are giggling in the opposite corner of the shop. They are completely unaware of his, or Erik's existence.) "Otherwise, same old, same old."
Erik (flips open a sketchbook and licks the tip of a soft pencil): "Can I draw a portrait of you?"
Moira (checks the room, decides she has a minute or two before anyone needs a refill): "Sure. Is this all right?" (She poses, holding the coffeepot in one hand; she puts her other hand on her hip and turns up the smile-wattage.)
Erik: "Perfect!" He begins quickly sketching.
A very tall young woman with bobbed, blondish/ brownish hair (SAMANTHA KESSLER) exits a bar called O'Toole's, although she looks a bit too young to buy liquor.
As the door closes behind her -
(VO: a man's voice) "Sam Kessler, you old son of a gun, let me buy you a drink."
VO: (Another man's voice): "Only if I can buy you one in return, Frank old man."
Samantha winces, puts up the collar on her Army/Navy surplus coat and slouches along the sidewalk. She bumps into Hartsdale without even looking at him.
Sam (mumbles): "Sorry. Scuse me."
She heads around the corner, to a little street that is more of a cobbled lane. A gilded sign with an arrow pointing up the hill reads "High Acre Cemetery."
|INTERIOR:||The Sacred Grounds|
The bell above the door jingles. Hartsdale comes in. He pauses to unwrap his muffler and strip off his gloves and outer coat. Underneath, he is wearing a brownish-gray tweed suit that's a little threadbare at the seams.
Moira (To Erik): "Just a minute" (Crosses to Hartsdale) "Welcome to The Sacred Grounds. How can I help you this evening?"
Hartsdale (In a crisp Oxford accent): "I would very much like a cup of tea, and a moment of Mr. Preuter's time. Is he in?"
Moira ushers him to a small, round table across the room from Drew and Erik.
Moira (Frowns): "No, I haven't seen Mr. Preuter today." (She says his name as if it smelled bad, but forces a smile for her customer.) "What kind of tea would you like? We have Cinnamon, Orange Spice, Peppermint, Apple Cinnamon, Jasmine Green, Earl Grey..."
Hartsdale: "Earl Grey would be lovely. Only, please, put the teabag IN the cup, before the boiling water?"
Moira (a tad frostily): "Of course, sir. That's the way we always make it, here at Sacred Grounds." She goes behind the bar to fix the tea, in a small brown-betty style pot.
|DISSOLVE:||From Moira's teapot to a silver coffee urn, held by a black-and-white uniformed waitress as she crosses the elegant, very full dining room at The Foundry.|
|INTERIOR:||The Foundry Restaurant|
The atmosphere is darker than the coffeeshop, with burgundy leather on the chairs, linen tablecloths, and a single blood-red rose in a bud-vase on each table. There is the clink of silverware and low conversation all around, occasional laughter. The clientele seems to be mostly families on this day after Thanksgiving, and there isn't a dish of turkey in sight.
The camera follows the waitress, pausing as she refreshes the coffee cup of a middle-aged woman (MRS. MARSHALL) seated with a middle-aged man (MR. MARSHALL) and a teenage boy (ALEX MCCLINTOSH). He's wide-shouldered, with a square, handsome face and short, curly dark hair.
Mrs. Marshall: "So, Alex, tell me, what color is your family's tartan?"
Alex (Blushes. He speaks in a very thick Scottish burr): "Well, we don't actually have one, Mrs. Marshall. That's just for... noble families."
Mr. Marshall (Accepts more coffee from the waitress): "But you say you've been to the Highland games and actually competed? That must have been fun, I'll bet."
Alex (Eyes light up and he's off): "Oh, yes, sir. They was righ' brilliant. Wit' the caber-tossin' an' the pipes and drums..."
The waitress passes on to another table, where there is a mother (MRS. CLARK), father (THOMAS CLARK), and a daughter (TORI CLARK). Tori is wearing a very smart Gucci dress, and her long, chestnut-brown hair frames her face in soft waves. The father sips his coffee in small bursts, as if afraid to burn his tongue, and the mother is gushing over the daughter's choice of clothing.
Mrs. Clark: "This dress is lovely, darling. You did such a good job picking it out. Didn't she, darling?"
Mr. Clark: "Yes, she did. You look lovely, pumpkin." (Pats his daughter's hand.) "Prettiest girl in Solomon, is our little Victoria."
Victoria smiles quite like a young queen, and basks in the attention. It's only her parents, but better than none at all.
At the next table sit a woman in her late 30's (GRACE DIEHL) and another teenaged boy (GRAHAM DIEHL). He's slender and muscular, with green eyes and military-short blonde hair that highlights his sculptured bone structure. Unlike most other young people in the room, he is dressed in a perfectly tailored dark blue suit and a blue and red striped silk tie. In fact, he's far better-dressed than his companion, who wears a flowered dress that looks like it was made in the 60's, and is not quite complete without the love beads and guitar.
Grace (Holds up her coffee cup for the waitress to fill, and carries on talking without pause.): "Thank you, that's wonderful. Really. Thanks." (To Graham) "So, I was saying, Ham, I just got in this shipment of hats. They're so chi-chi, little cloches like Jackie Kennedy-Onassis used to wear..."
Graham (Waves off the waitress and crosses his arms): "I thought we'd agreed you weren't going to call me that, Aunt Grace. My name is Graham."
Grace (Talking over him): "But it's so cute. You're so cute... just like I remember when you were a baby," (She reaches over to pinch his cheek, which he endures in mortified silence.) "The last time your parents breezed through town on the way to Timbuktu, or Katmandu or some such place..." (A hint of sadness blows across her face like a cloud, but even that doesn't slow her mouth at all.) "Oh, I remember like it was yesterday..."
Graham's eyes glaze over. He blinks rapidly to keep himself awake though the gush of words that his aunt Grace liberally pours over him, until he notices that Alex across the room has risen from his chair. A flicker of hope crosses his face.
Graham: "Excuse me, Aunt Grace, but I must visit the little boy's room."
Grace: "Oh, of course, dear. I'll be right here when you get back." She smiles and wrinkles her nose up at him like a pug dog and sips her coffee. Graham makes tracks away from the table, catching up to Alex just inside the hallway that leads to the restrooms.
Graham: (Plucks at Alex's sleeve) "My friend, my compadre, my teammate, please, you have to save me!" (Glances over his shoulder back towards his aunt, who waves at him from the table.)
Alex: "What's that then?"
Graham: "My aunt. She's just about killing me! I have to get out of here!"
Tori walks past toward the Ladies Room. Graham's head swivels to follow her.
Graham: "Or, she can save me... any day." (Appreciates her legs) "Yes. I definitely think I need some mouth-to-mouth." (Winks at Alex.) "Hell-o, Vic-tor-ia."
Tori: "Oh, hello, Graham. Alex." (Smiles, noticing that they are noticing her in a much more delightful way than parents ever could.)
|DISSOLVE:||From Victoria's smile, to the face of the moon.|
It is a slender crescent, riding atop jagged clouds, edging them with silver. Samantha Kessler stands on a lonely outcrop of rock above the Green River. Her face is turned up towards the moonlight, her eyes closed. She takes a deep breath and turns her hands, palms-out toward the river. The soft rushing of the water down below counterpoints the murmur of the wind in the trees. It's a meditative, almost worshipful pose. Suddenly, there's a sound that doesn't belong - footsteps running across gravel, the faint thuds of dull impacts. A voice... howling?
Sam turns, eyes widening, and takes a half-dozen steps towards the source of the noises. She does not see the assailant who crashes into her and catches her around the arms in a bear hug, but she sees his face when they are nose-to-nose.
Close-up on vampire's face. He's as tall as she is, maybe an inch taller, so their eyes are on a level. His are bright yellow, under a brow-ridge that would look more at home on a Neanderthal than on a modern human. His hair is long, spiral-curled, and straw-colored under the moonlight. There are twigs and small leaves caught in it. But what catches Sam's attention most are the teeth, incisors like a stockade fence turned upside-down.
Vampire: "Hello, sweet thing." (Laughs in her face.)
Sam gasps. Her eyes water. (The stench of his breath is like cleaning day at a slaughterhouse.) She struggles to get out of his grip, but it's no use. He's got her pinned against his chest with arms like steel cables. She tries to knee him in the groin, but he blocks her with one leg, so it's ineffective. Her struggles only seem to make him more excited.
From the fringe of woods between the bluff and High Acre comes a woman's scream.
The vampire laughs again, and extends a horrible tongue, as long as a lizard's. He licks Sam's throat from the hollow between her collarbones, up the left side along her carotid, to the corner of her jaw.
Vampire (Hisses): "Sssssweeeet." (His mouth stretches even farther, exposing giant canine fangs.)
The scream in the woods dies. Time seems to stand still. The creature's teeth are inches from Sam's throat. There is a sparkling in the air... moonlight reflecting off of the leaves? Before time speeds up again, Samantha reacts. A flood of adrenaline courses through her, and she leans back as hard as she can, twisting her arms up between them, hands balled into fists. She brings her fists up - hard - under the thing's jaw, where the flesh is soft. Time catches up. The thing releases her, surprise and pain on its face. It snarls, and leaps for her again, but this time she is prepared. It reaches, and she turns and catches the arm at wrist and elbow. She pivots and brings him up, over her hip, and crashing down on the ground.
Now, he's really pissed. He leaps up and throws a punch, but Sam catches it and throws him against a tree. She backs away, hearing the river roar behind her. Careful, she throws a glance behind to check her footing. The vampire mistakes this for a moment of weakness, and leaps at her again. Sam times her turn to his rush, sending him, cart-wheeling down the embankment, into the cold water.
The splash echoes. Sam looks over the edge, but doesn't see a head break the surface. She turns and runs in long, loping strides up the path towards the graveyard.
|DISSOLVE:||From the dark tunnel under the trees where Sam disappears, to the dark stairwell that leads down to the basement of the Sacred Grounds.|
Moira comes out from behind the bar and clears the table next to Hartsdale's.
Hartsdale (Sips his tea): "Can you tell me where Mr. Preuter is?"
Moira frowns. Their conversation becomes a Voice-over with images of Preuter, a middle-aged man in a three-piece suit, and Vivian, a pretty young Chinese girl, poring over textbooks together. He points out diagrams and pictures of what appear to be monsters - demons, vampires, yuck-things with tentacles.
Moira: "He's not here. Hasn't been in all day... Didn't see him much yesterday, either."
Hartsdale: "Can you tell me his phone number?"
Moira: "No, I can't. I don't know you."
Hartsdale: "I am an... associate of Mr. Preuter. I really need to get in touch with him. It is very important."
Moira (Dubiously): "Is that right?" "
Hartsdale: "Yes, indeed... Then, perhaps, could you call him yourself? He will recognize my name... If I could only speak with him..."
Moira: "Hold your horses." (Crosses behind the bar and lifts the telephone. Ringing... Five rings, six, seven...) "He's not home."
Hartsdale (worried): "Or his student? Vivian?"
Moira: "She's not here, either." (A hint of curiosity, and forcing a joke.) "What's the deal between them, anyway? We all thought he was molesting her."
(Image of Preuter, with a fairly leering smile as he leans over Vivian, reading with her, one hand comfortably on her shoulder. The camera picks out Moira, in the background, shelving books and looking on, frowning)
Hartsdale (shocked): "He was most certainly not molesting her!"
(A more sympathetic version of the same scene from a different angle, where Preuter looks more like a proper teacher, maintaining six inches distance between himself and his student, hands clasped behind his back.)
Moira: "Well, they'd go down to the basement, and come back hours later, all sweaty, and he is old enough to be her father!"
(Preuter and Vivian, coming up the basement stairs. He's pantomiming a block and punch combination, and she's nodding. They are sweaty, but the camera pans over their shoulders, to show that the basement is a workout room, with heavy bag, a rack of boxing gloves and other martial arts equipment, and a pommel horse in one corner.)
Moira: "So, what's the deal? Who is she?"
Hartsdale (Unaccustomed to duplicity, he answers her calmly, honestly, and completely.): "She's the Slayer." (Off Moira's look) "The Vampire Slayer. (Beat) "One who slays vampires."
Moira (nonplussed, and unbelieving): "You don't say?"
Camera-pan to the window, where a ruckus is starting out on the street. Mysteriously, all but a very few shoppers have disappeared from Main Street, and those remaining quickly duck inside or hurry away as three men and a young woman, in full combat mode, burst out of a doorway across the street.
|EXTERIOR:||Solomon, Main Street|
The three male fighters all have the same brow-ridges and huge, jagged teeth as the one that attacked Sam up on the bluff. The young woman is slender, with long legs and auburn-brown hair pulled back in a ponytail. It's three-on-one, but she is holding her own with some very flashy martial arts moves and a jeweled long sword that cuts singing arcs through the air, carving deep gashes in the monsters.
A little way down Main Street, the three young people from the Foundry walk together. They've ditched their parents, aunt, and host family, and Graham and Tori are engaged in conversation - but not necessarily with each other.
VO (Graham): "She was hot. I was buff. She wanted to see the world. I'd already seen it - twice. She was rich. I like rich... We were like two monologues passing in the night."
All of a sudden, something falls out of the sky onto Tori, and knocks her into a puddle. Whatever it was disappears in a cloud of thick, cloying dust.
Tori (screams): "My dress!" (Holds out her arms and tries to shake the dust off.)
Graham reaches down to help her stand. Alex startles and points ahead (toward the fight).
The remaining two vampires have caught the red-headed woman by the arms, and pin her down to the ground. She loses hold of her sword and it clatters a few feet away. It looks as if she's done for.
Alex: "Hey! Ya bloody bastards! Get off of her!"
He heads for the nearest monster, draws back his right foot, and with the power that would send a soccer ball sixty yards downfield, kicks it in the head. It doesn't even blink.
Not to be outdone, Graham follows, kicking the same monster in the kidneys. It grunts and tries to grab him, but Alex kicks it again.
The door of the Sacred Grounds opens. Hartsdale comes out and skirts the fight, looking for something on the ground. Erik, Drew and Moira have gathered in the window, watching with expressions from stunned to "Wow! Cool!"
Hartsdale (Finds what he's looking for, on the ground next to Tori.): "Excuse me, miss."
He picks up a long, sharp stick and circles the fight, trying to find a clean shot on one of the monsters. The second one still holds the woman on the ground, while the first deals with the two boys. Hartsdale takes his chance, and plunges the stake into the second monster. This hurts it considerably, and breaks its grip. The young woman springs to her feet, retrieves her sword, and loses no time beheading the two monsters with two swings.
She stares around her at the group that has gathered. Tori, Graham and Alex are dismissed immediately from her attention. Hartsdale gets a look of pure disdain.
At that moment, Sam comes running around the corner, full-tilt and stops suddenly at the sight of the group. The swordswoman stares at Sam for a moment, and a look of amused interest crosses her face. Then, she turns and runs off.
Drew (Coming out of the Sacred Grounds with Erik): "Whoa! Roll on the random head-bounce table!"
Erik: "But... there's no... heads." (He's got his sketchbook open, trying to capture the scene in pencil)
Hartsdale: "I think it would behoove everyone to go back inside."
Tori: "But my dress! I can't be seen like this!"
Hartsdale: "If you would, please, inside..."
Sam: (Slightly breathless, to Moira) "Uh, Can I use your phone?" (Looks around at the group, who are now staring at her.) "I need to call the police. There's a - a dead body..." (Points up the hill.) "High Acre"
Graham: "It's a graveyard. Of course there are dead bodies there... Oh, you mean... Recently dead?"
Sam: "Murdered, my guess. The police..."
Moira: "Right this way." (Ushers everybody inside the Sacred Grounds)
Moira places the call, and then hands the phone to Sam.
Sam: "Uh, yes. Somebody's been killed... up at High Acre cemetery... uh, young, Chinese girl. No, about... sixteen, I guess. I dunno... Well, she had her throat ripped out... Yeah... No... Okay.
While she talks, Hartsdale goes pale. Everyone else hangs on her words.
Sam: "What are you staring at? I'm going back up there. Make sure she's not... disturbed."
Graham/Alex/Drew/Erik: "Yeah, sure, we'll come too."
Tori: "You're disturbed. (Realizes that all the boys are leaving) "But... well, all right. I guess I'll come, too."
Hartsdale: "I really don't think that's wise."
None of the teenagers listen. This is the most exciting thing to happen in their town since the 4th of July parade, and that was months ago, and pretty lame, too.
|EXTERIOR:||Main Street, to High Acre Cemetery|
The six young people climb the hill back up to the cemetery. The gate is open, but the grounds appear empty except for the standing stones and occasional mausoleum. Off in one corner, nearest the bluff, lies the body of Vivian, Mr. Preuter's protege and recent, rather quiet, newcomer to Solomon.
Alex kneels beside her, crosses himself and murmurs a prayer. Sam keeps watch in the direction of the bluff. Before long, she hears something moving out there. She finds a heavy branch under one of the trees, and carefully edges into the woods.
Drew: "Sam? Where are you going?"
Sam: "Sssh!" (Beat, to someone off-camera) "What the hell are you doing back here?"
There's the sound of raspy laughter, and a scuffle. The others, except for Alex, who stays with Vivian's body, cautiously approach so they can see.
Sam is engaged in a fight with the same long-haired monster she fought before, except now he's dripping wet, which does nothing to improve his congeniality. He connects with a punch, but she responds with a crack of her branch across his jaw. They circle. She hits him again, working her way back around to the cliff. He rushes her suddenly, but she catches him one-handed, pivots to spin him around, and when she releases, he flies backwards, tumbling back over the cliff where he'd disappeared before.
Sam takes her branch two-handed like a baseball bat and approaches the edge of the embankment. This time, the vampire caught himself before he fell all the way to the river. He's trying to climb back up, but Sam hefts her branch threateningly and Graham, Drew and Erik back her up. The monster releases his hold, falls down to the river-bank and runs off downstream.
Graham: "Holy crap! How the hell'd you do that"
Sam (shrugs): "Just Judo. It's no big deal, really."
Graham: "You're kidding! You bench-pressed any Buicks lately?"
Sam (Hunches her shoulders, retreating into the collar of her coat.): "Whatever... I don't think he's coming back."
Sirens sound in the distance, rapidly approaching. The police arrive and take everyone's statements. Most of them are shrugs and points toward Sam. Sam tells what she saw and heard, but that isn't much. She shows them the place where she threw the assailant over the cliff. The others relate - haphazardly - the scene they witnessed on Main Street. The police seem quite skeptical about these stories, but they take down names and phone numbers. The coroner covers Vivian's body and puts it on a stretcher to be taken away. The police leave.
Graham: "So, that's all the excitement for tonight... unless..." (Looks meaningfully at Tori)
Tori: "I need to go home and get a shower." (Pats vampire-dust off her clothing and runs her fingers through her hair.) "Oh, gross!"
Drew: "Hey, watch it! That could be the most important scientific discovery of the twentieth century..." (he pauses a moment as he realizes too late how dumb that sounds before finishing lamely) "...in your hair."
Tori: "Fine. You take it, then." (She shakes a few strands off her fingers in Drew's general direction. He catches them.)
Drew: "Wonderful! I finally get a girl to give me a lock of her hair, and it's covered in alien goo."
Sam: (Takes a pinch of the "alien goo" and looks at it.) "Not exactly goo. More like... ashes. You think those things were aliens?"
Drew: "You got a better idea?"
Sam shrugs and brushes the dust off her hands. Drew gives a brief forlorn look after it.
Graham (to Tori): "How about after you go home and get a shower, we go somewhere else and you can impress me?"
Tori isn't sure whether that is a compliment or not, but assumes that it is. She smiles back at Graham.
Sam: "I don't think any of us should be wandering around alone. What if there are more of them?"
Tori: "Well, I'm not going anywhere near your neighborhood, that's for sure." (To Graham) "Will you walk me home?"
Graham: "I thought you'd never ask." (To Alex) "You're staying with the Marshalls, right? That's not far from my aunt's place. We'll walk together."
Sam: "Fine. Drew, you live over on... Maple Street, right?"
Drew: "Oak, but close. And Erik is right around the corner from me, so the three of us (suddenly tongue-tied) can... you know... walk... um, together."
Sam: "Fine." (She tosses her tree-branch into the woods and stuffs her hands in her pockets) "Let's get going."
Alex: (walking out of the graveyard with Tori and Graham) "I dunno about you, but I could sure use a drink."
Graham: "Great idea, but my Aunt's a tee-totaler. No booze in the house at all."
Alex: "The Marshalls have a liquor cabinet. They've got some pretty good Scotch. Not as good as the local brew back home, but what the hell... And they have an old carriage-house they use for a garage."
Graham: "Party at Alex's! (To Tori) You interested?"
The three uptown kids seem to have forgotten the three downtowners, who head off in the opposite direction once they all hit Main Street. All is quiet. A few people have come out, but they all seem to be on their way to somewhere else. All except one, who clings to the shadow of a doorway. When Sam, Drew and Erik pass by, she silently peels of behind them, and follows. A second person shadows the other trio to Alex's host family's home.
|INTERIOR:||The Sacred Grounds.|
Moira is locking up and putting the chairs up on the tables. Hartsdale is still there, pacing the floor muttering
Hartsdale (To himself.): "Where can he be? If Vivian is dead, then... that's terrible! But that means... yes... there is another." (Glances toward the ceiling) "Good Lord! I've just made reference to a movie!"
Moira looks at him with pity, and shakes her head. There's obviously something not quite... right... about the British fellow.
Moira (Finishing her table-chair stacking) "So, what do we do now?"
Hartsdale (Remembering that she's in the room too): "Do?"
Moira: "Well, to use the well-worn line, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. I've got to lock up and head home myself... are you staying somewhere?"
Hartsdale: "Oh, yes. Bed and Breakfast, out on Rte. 7. But I can't go back there. They might be watching the place. I must find Mr. Preuter at all costs, now."
Moira: "I wish I could help you, but I have no idea where he went."
Hartsdale (Softer): "If he's alive... If they've killed the Slayer, Preuter might be dead also... And who was that young woman with the sword? She looked... familiar." (Taps his bottom lip) "Might I use your telephone?"
Moira: "Local call?"
Hartsdale: "International, collect."
Moira: "Help yourself."
Hartsdale picks up the phone and punches a long series of numbers. When the call goes through he turns toward the wall and speaks quietly with his contact, Moira takes the broom and sweeps the floors. Hartsdale finishes speaking, and listens for several moments, one hand pinching the bridge of his nose.
Hartsdale: "You're absolutely certain?" (Pause) "Well, yes. Thank you, sir. I'll be back in touch." (Hangs up and shakes his head. He turns back toward Moira, gaze thoughtfully "elsewhere.") "Do you know - have you ever seen that woman with the sword before tonight?"
Moira (Shrugs): "Nope. Never saw her before. We get a lot of tourists this time of year... though not many carrying heavy cutlery like that."
Hartsdale (Remembering something): "Yes, of course. You did say that Mr. Preuter spent a lot of time in the basement? Do you know where he kept his... books? Perhaps he left something that might be of use... a clue to his whereabouts or... something."
Moira: "Well, I don't know. I don't go down there, hardly ever. All the stock is kept in the closet up here, behind the bar." (Takes out a ring of keys and thumbs through them.) "I do have a key to the downstairs, though." (She leads the way and opens the door. She and Hartsdale go downstairs, flip the lights on. Moira is startled by all the exercise equipment.) "Well, that explains one thing..."
Hartsdale: "Indeed. You believe me now, that Mr. Preuter would never have laid a hand on Vivian... in a lecherous manner." (Blushes) "It just wasn't in his nature." (He crosses the room to a large, heavy-looking wooden cabinet. It's unlocked, and when it opens, Moira gasps in surprise. It is filled with archaic weapons, from swords to wicked-bladed axes, to crossbows. A long drawer in the bottom contains what seems to be hundreds of sharpened stakes. Hartsdale helps himself to a few of those, and a short, heavy-bladed sword, which he straps around his waist under his tweed. He looks Moira up and down.) "Do you think you could use one of these?" (Takes down one of the crossbows)
Moira: "Do you think I'll need to?"
Hartsdale: "I certainly hope not. But if the Slayer is dead, they may become bolder... until we find the new Slayer."
Moira: "The new Slayer?"
Hartsdale: "Yes, it's a long story. As long as history itself, if you want to know, but the short version is: there are vampires. There is a vampire Slayer. When one Slayer dies, another one is Called. Mr. Preuter and I are... or were... Watchers. We are keepers of lore, and train the Slayers in their battle against the forces of evil. From that young woman's report... the tall one, what is her name?"
Moira: "I don't know. She doesn't come here very often."
Hartsdale: "Well, from her report, Vivian died. But my superiors insist that the Slayer is still in Solomon. Therefore, there is a new Slayer somewhere in the vicinity. And if I can't find Mr. Preuter, my next order of business is to find the Slayer as soon as possible. There are things that she will need to know."
Moira: "About vampires."
|EXTERIOR:||A dark street in a less well-maintained part of town.|
Sam, Drew and Erik are walking along. Sam is hunched into her coat while Drew and Erik chatter animatedly about the scene earlier.
Drew: "There were... and... and then she... and... sword... and... poof!"
Erik: "Yeah, righteous, man!"
Drew (To Sam): "And you! Where did you learn all that Bruce Lee stuff? Heeee-yah! That was pretty cool, too." (He's looking at her with a mixture of hope and worry - about like a puppy that's been kicked before, but still hopes for a treat instead.)
Sam (Totally oblivious to Drew's attention): "I've been taking Judo since I was twelve. Karate since I was eleven."
Erik: "No way! How come nobody knows that until now?"
Sam: "Nobody bothered to ask."
Drew: "I - we're bothering. What made you want to do that?"
Sam: "Well, there's this thing called puberty. It came early, and I started growing..." (Glares at Drew) "Which I seem to remember that you noticed right off..."
Drew (winces) "Okay, yeah, I shouldn't have made all those Harlem Globetrotter jokes. But, c'mon, it was junior high. Isn't there some kind of statute of limitations on stupidity?"
Sam gives him a "play-punch" on the shoulder, which makes him stumble a few feet.
Drew: "Ow! Hey, I meant it. I'm sorry."
Sam (Looks at her own fist, before shoving it back in her pocket): "Yeah, well, my dad thought it'd be a good idea. Teach me to know my own strength, and all that..."
Drew: "Right. I think maybe you might need a refresher course. If I promise no more basketball cracks, will you promise not to punch me again?" (Rubs his shoulder and catches a glimpse of something behind them) "Um, guys? I think we've got company."
Sam: "Hang a left. Here." (They turn onto another street.) "And through here." (They cross the parking lot of a small gas-station.) "Now, right." (They pause around the corner.) "Are they still following us?"
Drew (Peeks around the corner): "Yep. It's a girl. I just saw her scoot across there." (Points to a shadowy place under the gas-station's awning)
Sam (Steps around the corner into the open): "Why don't you show yourself? We know you're there."
Mystery Girl steps out of the shadows, smirking like "I meant to do that." She's petite, blonde, wearing lots of eyeliner, torn fishnet stockings, a micro-miniskirt and a "Hello Kitty" t-shirt, except that the Kitty is red, and has horns, and above it says "Hello Satan."
Satanic Kitten Girl (Purrs): "So, what happened... up there?" (Nods toward the north - toward High Acre.) "I heard it was a pretty hot time." (She approaches, trails one hand along Drew's jaw who quivers under her touch, and simpers at Erik.)
Sam (Frowns): "How did you know we were there?"
SK Girl: "Duh. I've been following you. And they weren't exactly quiet about what they saw." (Simpers some more. Drew is actually starting to drool a little.) "What about you? What do you think... happened?" (SK Girl tilts her face up towards Sam, and Sam realizes that this girl is one of "them." Her face looks normal, but her breath is stale, and smells faintly of old blood.)
Sam (Trying to maintain "cool" and not give anything away): "Nothing much. A party got a little wild, that's all... And he's with me." (Takes Drew's arm and pulls him away.) "We're outta here." (Drew looks absolutely poleaxed. Erik shakes his head and backs off too.)
SK girl (Fades off into the shadows.): "Well, too bad... this time. Maybe we can party some other night."
Sam releases Drew's elbow and starts walking again. Drew and Erik follow.
Drew: "She said 'He's with me!' She said that! I was with her!" (He looks proud, like 'Hey, not bad, huh?' Erik nods in agreement.)
|EXTERIOR:||Outside of Erik's house.|
Just as Sam and Drew are in the process of saying goodnight to Erik, Drew stops and points in the direction of Erik's garage. A red-haired girl, who is shorter and has more delicate features than the sword-wielding one they saw before, steps out of the shadows, waves jauntily at them, and heads off down the street, disappearing into the night.
Sam: "There are entirely too many weirdoes out tonight. Maybe we should check on the others."
Erik: "Fine. My parents won't care if I stay out a little longer."
Drew: (Looks stricken) "Mine will."
Erik: "You can stay over at my place, then they won't know how late we're out. Want to call and tell them?"
Drew: "Uh, yeah. Sure. Thanks."
Sam: "All right. Then we'll go get my car. I want to get some things at our house, too." (To Drew) "Do you know how to use a gun?"
Drew: "I... I play Laser Tag."
Sam rolls her eyes and looks at Erik. Erik shakes his head and shrugs.
Sam: "Oh, well, let's go anyway."
|INTERIOR:||"The Wisdom" Boarding house|
Moira and Hartsdale search for Geoffrey Preuter. They check his lodging at a boarding house on the edge of town, but he isn't there.
Landlady: "No, I haven't seen him for the last two days."
Hartsdale: "Is there anywhere else that he often went, besides here and his... coffee establishment?"
Landlady: "Well, he does go up to Martense now and then. To look at the library. They have an excellent library, or so I'm told. Mr. Preuter does love to read."
Hartsdale: "Yes. Of course. Thank you."
More disappointment waits at Martense. The librarian shakes her head.
Librarian: "I know the man you describe. Older gentleman, British. Interested in historical mythology... history of filmmaking, too. No, I haven't seen him in several days. Have you tried the Sacred Grounds?"
Frustrated, Hartsdale doesn't know where else to turn.
Hartsdale: "If he's not here, and he's not there, and no one knows where he is... I should continue the search in daylight, of course." (Rubs his eyes)
Moira: "You said that you can't go back to your hotel, because it's being watched?"
Hartsdale: "Very likely, yes. What am I to do?"
Moira (Sympathetic): "Well, if you don't mind a sofa, you could stay at my apartment - just for tonight, though."
Hartsdale: "I would be grateful, madam. Thank you."
Moira: "Well, don't fall all over yourself. Come on, it's just on the other side of campus."
|INTERIOR:||The Marshall's carriage house.|
There are two cars parked here, a BMW and a Ford Taurus. Toward the back are neatly-organized racks of tools and gardening supplies, a ride-on mower and a pile of bags of wood-chips large enough to serve as a makeshift sofa, where Graham and Tori are sitting. Alex lounges against the Taurus's hood, dangling a half-empty bottle of Glen Fiddich from one hand. He's humming something without much of a tune. Graham has one arm around Tori, and she's playfully pushing him away, but not really putting any strength to it. A sound near the doorway draws their attention. At least, Alex and Tori turn their heads. Graham turns rather slower. (Tori hasn't drunk that much, and Alex holds his liquor better.)
The woman from in front of the Sacred Grounds is standing in the open garage door. She's not carrying the sword, now. It's hanging in a sheath on her back.
Mystery woman #2: "Is this a private party, or can anyone join in?"
Alex: "Aye! Would you like t' come in an' have a drink wi' us?"
M.W.: "Sure. I could use a drink." (Strides in to the carriage house, accepts the bottle, downs a hefty swallow, and wipes her mouth on her sleeve before passing it back) "Good stuff."
Alex: "It's okay." (Takes another swig himself) "D'ya mind me askin' - where did y' learn t'fight like that? Right brilllleeent, it was!" (Grins) "I have'na seen anythin' like that since my Uncle Fergus won the Claymore competition at the Highland Games in '86."
M.W.: "Thank you." (Smiles cat-like) "Trade secret. I could tell you... but then, I'd have to kill you, right? And what fun would that be?"
Alex and Graham share a worried glance.
M.W.: "Never mind." (She leans against the car too, casual-like.) "So, what do you guys do for fun around here?"
Tori (Miffed at no longer being the center of attention): "Well, that depends. Hanging out with our friends is always good. But then, friends usually have names to go with them. What's yours?"
M.W.: (Sort of aside to Alex, but loud enough for the other two to hear) "Not too subtle, is she? My name is Britta. And you are?"
Tori: "Victoria Clark. Tori to my friends."
Britta: "Not Vicky?"
Tori (Frosty): "Never. Vicky is so... common." (Sniffs) "What do you like to do for fun, Britta? Besides fighting in the middle of the street and ruining other people's five hundred dollar outfits?" (Brushes [mostly imaginary at this point] dust off of her lap, then stands up and comes closer, looking at Britta's clothes) "Not that you'd know what a five-hundred dollar outfit looks like, I suppose."
Britta: "Nice..." (Smiles like a cat watching a canary.) "Oh, I like to do just normal, everyday things..." (Grins) "Who am I kidding? I'm here to kill vampires."
Tori: "Shut up! There's no such things as vampires
Britta: (Laughs.) "Really? Then I've been wasting my life... I think I'll go back to school, or maybe become a nun." (Sarcasm dripping from every word)
There's the sound of tires on the gravel driveway, and slamming car doors. A moment later, Sam, followed by Erik and Drew, enter the Carriage house. Sam is carrying a hunting shotgun like she knows how to use it.
Drew (Startles at the sight of Britta): "It's the sword-chick."
Sam looks her up and down, and she returns the inspection.
Drew (Does an even bigger double-take, and leans to whisper in Sam's ear): "And she doesn't have a reflection! Look!" (Nods toward the BMW's tinted windows, which clearly show three slightly drunken teenagers, two who are frightened but trying not to show it, and one who is on her way to being royally pissed off. Where there should be an image of Britta, are only a roll of trellis-fencing and a pile of tomato stakes.)
Graham (Pointing to the lack of reflection in the car's window): "Hey! It's Babe-a-Lugosi!"
Alex (Whispering): "Let's get those tomato stakes."
Drew: (Trying to distract Britta) "So. you know about vampires... How did you find that out?"
Britta (Laughs, and puts on her "game face.): "Because they made me into one, that's how." (Her eyes are on Sam, and Sam returns it stare-for-stare.) "You know how they do that? They bite you. And they drain you. And when your blood is all gone, and you're almost, but not quite dead, they feed you some of their blood. And then, you rise from the dead as one of them! How's that for fun and games?"
While she's talking, Alex and Graham are sneaking behind her, toward the pile of tomato-stakes.
Sam: "You weren't like that, before." (Gestures toward her face)
Britta: "Well, we don't have to have the 'game face' all the time. It's kind of conspicuous, you know."
Sam: "Yeah, I guess so. Ugly, too... So, how long have you been... a vampire?"
Britta: "I was sired about seventy years ago. But I think that's close enough, Boys." (Turns and grabs Tori, using her as a human shield.)
Sam (Points the shotgun at Britta's head.): "Let her go!"
Graham and Alex grab tomato-stakes and try to make a go of using them on Britta. Britta easily parries all comers, tossing Tori onto the pile of mulch, Graham into the BMW's fender, Erik into one wall, and Alex onto the riding mower, where he lands badly on his side and crumples to the ground, cradling his ribs and moaning.
Britta grabs Drew and picks him up by the neck until his feet dangle.
Britta: "Stop!" (She stares at Sam.) "You can't kill me with that, but I can kill him with one shake." (She gives a little twitch of her hand, and Drew gurgles alarmingly.) "Put down the gun, and I'll put him down and we'll talk like civilized people."
Sam lowers the shotgun and holds it by the barrel, but doesn't let it go. Britta lowers Drew so his feet touch the ground, but doesn't release him, yet. He's wheezing, but he's still breathing.
Sam: "Go on. It's your dime."
Britta: "I'll make it quick. You fought a vampire in the cemetery." (Not a question.) "You defeated him."
Sam: "That's right. I threw him in the river."
Britta: "But you didn't kill him? How... unique." (Smiles cattily.) "On Main Street, the man in the tweed coat, he seemed to know what he was doing, too. Who is he?"
Sam: "I have no idea."
Britta: "Are you sure?"
Sam: "Never saw him before in my life."
Britta: "Then you don't know? Hmmm. I guess not... But you'll find out soon enough. Just - don't trust him... Ever." (Her words get more bitter with each breath.) "They're all just out to screw you over. None of them deserve to live." (Sam is befuddled by this tirade.) "When the time comes, and you need them the most, they abandon you..." (Britta is almost spitting by this point.) "Just tell me one more thing." (Sam raises her eyebrows.) "What is your name?"
Sam: "Samantha Jane Kessler. And you are?"
Britta (Inclines her head with a tiny, Mona Lisa smile.): "Britta Kessler."
She throws Drew to the ground and takes off into the night.