Story by Gencie Salter and DragonWriter17
Written By DragonWriter17, David Elmer, and Gencie Salter
Produced by DragonWriter17 and CN Winters
Directed by DragonWriter17 and CN Winters
Edited by CN Winters
Art Direction by DragonWriter17
Artists – Emily and Gencie Salter
James’s Apartment – Early Morning
Dappled sunlight peeked through a crack beneath the window shade in a
smartly decorated bedroom. An alarm began to beep, and the window
shade started to rise, bathing the room in light.
James winced as the sunlight hit his face. He raised a hand to his eyes,
groaning in annoyance. When that didn‘t work, he pulled his pillow over
his head. After a few minutes
of trying to ignore the
constant beeping of the alarm,
James finally rolled over and
"I‘m up, I‘m up! Jeez." He
slapped the off switch and
rubbed his eyes. Then he
turned his attention to the
window. He raised a finger to
point at it. "And you," he said,
glaring, "are getting
Pushing back the covers, James climbed out of bed and stumbled toward
James’s Apartment – Moments later
In the bathroom, James rinsed his mouth out in the sink, then looked at
himself in the mirror. He smiled brightly at his reflection.
"It‘s gonna be a great day," he said. The smile faded a bit. "Or at least a
good day." He dropped the smile altogether and sighed. "Mediocre‘s fine
James’s Apartment – Morning
James exited the bathroom, rubbing a towel over his head. He tossed the
wet towel on a chair as he entered the living area and ran a hand
through his wet hair so it wouldn‘t stick straight up. The hair stubbornly
resisted. As he headed toward the kitchen, he noticed a blinking light on
his computer console. He tapped a button as he walked by.
While James opened his cupboard and began pushing aside bottles, the
room was suddenly filled with the voice of Sebastian Giles.
"James, this is Giles. I was hoping to meet with you this morning
"Save and skip," James interrupted. He shook his head as he pulled a tin
can out of the cupboard and moved over to a very antique coffee
machine. "Sorry, Mr. Chairman. Not before my daily caffeine injection."
The next message started a moment later.
"This is Anya. I‘m over at the computer center, and you aren‘t here. Why
aren‘t you here? It‘s not a good idea for you to sleep in, James. You know
it throws off your daily routine and makes you grumpy. You really should
try to get to work earlier. I mean, just look at me. I‘ve been here all night,
and I feel wonderful!"
James rolled his eyes and glared at the coffee machine, as if willing it to
brew faster. "Delete message," he told the computer. The console beeped
once in acknowledgment and continued to the next message.
"James, buddy, it‘s Benjamin. Where the heck are ya?"
A grin spread across James‘s face. The message continued.
"Listen, a hundred thousand thanks for the tickets, man. ComicCon was
so awesome! You shoulda been here. Oh, but you had to work, huh?"
Ben chuckled, and a muffled voice could be heard in the background.
"Yeah, yeah. Take a pill, honestly," Ben said to the voice. Then he
returned to speaking into the phone. "Hey, James, Kat says hi...and she
wants to know if you‘re single. Ow! Hey!"
The coffee pot finished filling. James poured himself a mug and moved
over to the dining table. He shook his head at the silliness of the
"So anyway, just called to say thanks. I might have something for you,
too, if I can wheedle the guy out of it. I‘ll be back in town on, um, Friday,
and we should hang out. But not with Kat. ‗Cause, you know, I‘m totally
the jealous type. Ow! Holy cats, woman!" There was some muffled
complaining in the background, and Ben laughed again. "So um, yeah.
I‘ll see ya Friday, Jim!"
James set the coffee mug on the table to prevent spilling while he
laughed. "You guys…"
He was still chuckling into his coffee when the next message began. At
the sound of the feminine voice, James‘s head shot up, and he stared at
the computer in shock.
"Hey, Jimmy. Don‘t answer the phone for your own family anymore,
"Delete message!" James exclaimed. The computer hummed,
momentarily confused by the outburst. Finally, it beeped and skipped to
the final message. James let out a relieved sigh and leaned his head
against his forearms.
"Hey again. I know you‘re just going to erase that message without even
listening to it, so I‘m giving you another chance."
James lifted his head and gaped at the computer. "Unbelievable!" he
"Long story short, I‘m coming to Cleveland. I got the lead in the new
Slayer Wars, not that you care. I‘ll be arriving at the Council tomorrow to
start my research. I thought maybe we could…talk." There was a pause,
and the speaker took a deep breath. "Just talk to me, James. I‘m your
sister. I deserve that much."
The computer made a series of beeps to indicate the end of the messages.
James sat for a long while, staring down at his mug. The coffee was cold
by the time he left for work.
Watchers Council – Computer Center – Afternoon
"I still don‘t see why you just don‘t calibrate the whole thing. It‘d
certainly be a more effective use of our time." Anya stood behind him,
hands on her hips. She glared down at the back of his head.
James sighed and leaned his forehead against his computer screen,
which displayed a colorful game featuring characters wielding hefty
"It‘d only take a couple of hours, and think how much easier it‘ll be in
the long run. You‘re wasting your youth, James. And mine for that
James raised his head and
opened his mouth to reply, but
Anya rushed on.
"And another thing! The Slayer
comm system isn‘t our
responsibility. If it‘s on the fritz,
let them fix it themselves!"
"Anya!" James gave an
exasperated sigh. He swiveled
in his chair and looked sternly
at the android. "Livia asked me to do it. I‘m not gonna say no. Especially
not when she can kill me with a data rod in twenty different ways!"
Gaping in astonishment, Anya took a step forward. "Is that why you‘ve
been on edge all morning? Did that Slayer threaten you?"
Before James had the chance to do more than roll his eyes, the door
opened to reveal a haggard, irritated Giles.
James‘s eyes widened as if he‘d just remembered something important.
He winced and got to his feet. "Mr. Giles! I was just on my way to see
"Oh really?" Giles said, crossing his arms. "I expected you to contact me
this morning. Did meeting with me not fit into your schedule of–" He
glanced down at James‘s screen, and his jaw clenched. "Messing around?
Really, James, it‘s not like you to shirk your responsibilities."
James started to speak, but was again interrupted.
"I‘ve been reprimanding him all day, Councilor," Anya interjected. "We
know how difficult it‘s been for you to function in your new position as
Chairman when high-ranking members of the Council are against you
and some of your supporters have been sent to detainment camp and
will probably never speak to you again. But don‘t you worry! Everything
will be ship-shape in no time." She smiled pleasantly, oblivious to
James‘s embarrassed expression.
Giles seemed momentarily taken-aback. He opened his mouth to
respond, closed it, then started again. "Yes, well. Thank you, Anya." He
shook his head, turning his attention back to James. "Regardless, I
expected more of you, James."
When James struggled to find a suitable response, Giles sighed and
shook his head. "I‘ll be too busy today, but I'd like to meet with you
tomorrow if you can manage to fit it into your schedule."
Anya bounced a little as James nodded his agreement. She smiled
brightly at Giles. "Can I come?"
"No," Giles responded curtly as he turned and walked out the door.
Anya‘s face fell, but she shrugged it off quickly and resumed her position
beside James. "Now then, what was I saying? Oh, yes! If that Slayer is
giving you trouble, just say the word and I‘ll–"
"Anya, please!" James exclaimed, giving her a wounded expression.
"Can‘t you see I‘m having a bad day?"
Getting up from his chair, James crossed the room and began gathering
a small pile of data pads. Anya cocked her head to the side and watched
him curiously for a moment. Finally, she frowned and walked over to
him. She placed a hand on his arm and mechanically patted it a couple
"There, there. Don‘t be so upset. I‘m your friend, and therefore I am here
to help. Tell me your problems."
James shrugged off Anya‘s attempt at comfort. "I‘m fine. I just...I get so
frustrated sometimes. Here I am, doing my job to the best of my ability,
and does anyone even notice? Does anyone ever say, ‗Hey thanks for
getting those reports in on time, James!‘ or ‗Good job cracking that
security, James?‘ "
"Colonel Rosenberg appreciates your efforts," Anya replied. Then her eyes
narrowed suspiciously. "She even kissed you."
Shrugging, James leaned back against the wall. "Yeah, but those were
special circumstances. I mean, I work hard here! This place would
probably fall apart if I wasn‘t around. Doesn‘t anybody appreciate that?"
"The work stopped being hard a long time ago, James," Anya said. "You
just haven‘t kept up. If you want to be appreciated, you need to ask for
more responsibility. Or better yet, take some initiative! Get out there and
show them what you‘re capable of. That way you‘ll earn appreciation and
She slapped James heartily on the shoulder, causing him to wince at her
enthusiasm. He nodded, his expression far away as he considered Anya‘s
suggestion. "Show them what I can do, huh?" he muttered to himself.
Dayson Laboratory – Underground Research Lab – Night
Alarms blared, echoing off the walls of the darkened room. The room was
filled with computers and medical equipment, most of which appeared to
be broken and scattered around. An eerie green smoke drifted out of a
row of large tubes lined against a wall, spreading out across the floor like
morning mist. In the distance, a deep voice shouted. More shouting
began as the alarms blared on. The noise drowned out the dull thud of
feet on the floor.
A dark figure moved awkwardly across the room, stepping carefully over
broken glass. The figure leaned down and gently patted the front of a
man lying unconscious on the floor. After searching the pockets of the
lab coat for several seconds, the figure finally pulled out a data rod and a
The shouting grew closer, and the figure moved quickly to a nearby door.
He slid the key card slid across the security panel and the door opened
easily. The figure glanced back at the room, then quickly ducked into the
hallway. Guards burst into the laboratory moments later, a few
immediately running to help the fallen doctor. The lead guard stood back
and narrowed his eyes at the prone man, then glanced up at the back
door to the lab.
"Noxin!" the Major barked.
One of the younger security officers jumped away from a computer and
stood at attention. "Sir!"
His superior walked toward the door that the dark figure had slipped
through. "Take the doctor to the medical wing. Have the staff notify me
as soon as he's conscious. And find out what the hell is missing!
Johnson, Fury, you‘re with me!"
Noxin watched the guards disappear through the back door. He
swallowed hard and looked down at the doctor. Straightening his
shoulders, he waved the two remaining guards over. "You heard the
Major! Tear this room apart! If there‘s a pencil out of place, I want to
know about it! Move!"
The guards immediately followed out his instructions. One of them gave
him a questioning look as he examined the man-sized tubes along the
wall. Noxin shrugged and activated his comm.
"Noxin here. Medical team to Lab 5. Man down. I repeat, man down."
Dayson Laboratory – Hallway – Moments later
The dark figure skidded around a corner, slipping on the smooth tile.
Looking around wildly, the figure spotted a utility closet off to the side
and quickly ducked through the door.
A few moments later, the guards rounded the corner and began inching
forward, peering into each lab with guns raised in anticipation. Finding
nothing, they continued to move down the hallway. The Major eyed the
utility closet suspiciously. He strode forward and yanked on the door
handle. The door refused to
open. The Major huffed angrily
and motioned for the group to
As the guards disappeared
down the hall, the closet door
opened slightly, and the wanted
man poked his head out. He
looked both ways, then chuckled softly at the empty hallway. An
emergency light on the wall flickered on, casting a pale, yellow glow on
the face of the figure.
"Wicked cool," he said as he headed for the elevator.
End of Teaser
Guest starring Bonnie Hunt as Veronica Wyndam-Pryce, Allison Mack as
Jessica Wells and Lindsay Wagner as Velika Petrova
Jocasta’s Apartment – The Next Morning
In the bedroom, Katherine and Jocasta lay comfortably entwined in each
other‘s arms, enjoying a little
good-morning kissage. When
they finally separated, they
"This feels so good," Katherine
said. "I missed you so much."
"I missed you too," Jocasta
echoed. "That was the hardest
two weeks of my life, I think,"
she said with a frown.
"Well, it‘s over now," Katherine said. Then with a sexy half-smirk, she
added, "I dreamed about you last night."
Jocasta tilted her head to the side and looked at Katherine with awe.
"Really? You dreamed about me?" When Katherine nodded, Jocasta
pulled her closer and whispered. "Was I doing anything...inappropriate?"
"No," Katherine denied playfully but quickly, blushing slightly.
"No?" Jocasta said in mock disappointment.
"I think you used up all your ‗inappropriate‘ behavior before I even fell
asleep last night."
Jocasta waggled her eyebrows and grinned impishly. When Katherine
didn‘t immediately begin narrating her dream, Jocasta gave the blonde a
light nudge in the ribs. "So…tell me."
"Well, we were at the beach."
"Beach, huh?" Jocasta snuggled closer to Katherine. "Mmm, you and me,
minimal clothing, beautiful beach…now you‘re giving me ideas."
"We were at the beach, with friends," Katherine corrected. Jocasta‘s
predatory grin turned into a pout, causing Katherine to hug her. "And we
were happy. There was no Council and no vampires. No…ummm…no
nothing at all getting in the way." Smiling, Katherine gently caressed
"Then what happened?" Jocasta asked, her eyes curious.
Katherine‘s smile disappeared as she looked away. "Then it started to
"This is a very upsetting story," Jocasta said.
"Oh, but everything turned out fine," Katherine said with a smile. "We
just ran to our car and went home and had fun there."
"Fun, huh? And what kind of ‗fun‘ did we have?" Jocasta‘s predatory grin
was back as she nuzzled Katherine‘s neck.
Katherine giggled. "Stop it," she said, lamely attempting to push her
girlfriend away. "At this rate, we‘ll spend our whole last day off in the
"And this is bad because…" Jocasta replied, leaving the statement open
"Well, I do have that errand to run."
Jocasta pouted again and let out a whine.
"I promise it won‘t take long at all," Katherine assured the redhead. "I‘ll
be right back, and then we‘ll have the rest of the day to do whatever we
"Whatever we want, huh?" Jocasta said, lifting a suggestive eyebrow.
Then she suddenly turned them so that she was on top of Katherine. She
growled and dove for Katherine‘s neck, sending the slayer into a fit of
Watchers Council – Lobby – Later
When James entered the building, he paused in the cavernous lobby and
stared at the Watchers Council coat of arms on the wall. He wrung his
hands and cast nervous glances around him. Then he sighed, took a
deep breath, and pulled himself up straight and tall. With a forced smile,
he headed towards the elevators.
On his way there, he saw Katherine sitting on one of the benches,
sipping from a mug of coffee while watching the news net monitor. James
went to join her.
"Katie, welcome back," James said amiably to the blonde Slayer.
Katherine smiled gratefully. "Well, I‘m not officially back until tomorrow,
but thanks. It‘s good to be back."
James sat down beside Katherine. "Was it bad?" he asked, referring to
Katherine and Jocasta‘s two-week stint in detention.
"Yeah, it definitely wasn‘t fun," Katherine confirmed with a rueful smile.
"I don‘t think I‘ll complain about any of our standard slayer regimens
"What about Jo? How‘d she take it?"
"Ummm…I think it was harder for her in a lot of ways, but she held up
very well from what she tells me."
"Good, that‘s good," James replied.
"The hardest part was the separation…not being able to see her, you
know? I missed her."
"Yeah," James agreed, dropping his gaze to his hands.
Noticing his shift in mood, Katherine put her hand on James‘s shoulder.
"Is something wrong?"
"Oh, it‘s nothing, it‘s…" James stopped his denial and admitted, "It‘s my
"Is she…?" Katherine asked gently.
"No…worse," James answered as he stood up. "She‘s here. Or will be,
"I take it you two aren‘t very close."
"That‘s the understatement of the year," James said sarcastically as he
began to pace in front of Katherine. "And it‘s not even that we have this
sibling rivalry thing going or anything. She just hates me. She‘s hated me
since we were kids. Now that she‘s making millions, she has the audacity
to look down on me for having a normal job! She‘s just turned into
this...this egotistical, cold, cruel–"
James paused in his ranting and looked over at Katherine.
"You know, just because siblings fight, it doesn‘t mean that they hate
each other. I used to fight with my sister all the time. I still do
occasionally. But we‘re still family."
Unconvinced, James rubbed his forehead. "Yeah, but you and your sister
usually get along, don‘t you?" When Katherine nodded, James continued.
"I‘ve never gotten along with mine. Never."
"How long has it been since you‘ve seen your sister?" Katherine asked.
Several moments passed before James answered. He stared at his feet
and shrugged. "A few years, I guess."
"So, she‘s coming to visit you, then?"
"Actually, she‘s here for her job, but she said she wanted to see me so we
could talk." James snorted derisively. "She‘s made it perfectly clear how
she feels about me, so why does she want to talk all of a sudden?" James
crossed his arms tightly.
"People change, James. Maybe she‘s trying to make amends?"
"Not likely," James said pessimistically.
Katherine got up and moved to James‘s side. "Whatever you decide,
remember, everyone needs forgiveness. Even those who might not
deserve it. Sometimes being with your family is more important than
James frowned and looked away, his brow creased with worry.
Watchers Council – Giles’s Office – Later
Having been given the go-ahead by Giles‘s executive assistant, Katherine
entered the chairman‘s new office. Once inside, she eyed the spacious
and luxurious accommodations nervously; then she saw Giles smiling at
"M-M-Mr. Chairman," Katherine said with a nod.
"Miss Allison, come in. Please, have a seat," Giles said graciously,
gesturing toward one of two large leather chairs in front of his desk. Giles
left his desk chair and moved to sit in the chair opposite Katherine.
"Thank you for coming," he added once he was seated. "I know you‘re not
on duty today, and I‘m sure I‘m the last person you want to see right
"Oh…no sir, I-I didn‘t mind, at all," Katherine replied. "You were in a
difficult position. You still are. I get that." She smiled warmly.
"Miss Allison…Katie," Giles said, "I called you here to ask for your help
with something—someone actually."
"Let me guess, Jo?"
"Yes," Giles admitted reluctantly. "I‘ve tried to contact her since she came
back, but she refuses to talk to me." Giles paused a moment then
continued. "It‘s not as if we haven‘t fought before. Jo is a...a headstrong
girl-well, woman. We don‘t always see eye to eye, but we‘ve never..." He
trailed off and began to rub his forehead. "I need to make amends, and I
don‘t see any way of getting her to talk without ordering it." Giles glanced
up at Katherine with a bemused smile. "And you know how that‘s likely
to turn out."
Katherine chuckled lightly and nodded in agreement.
"I was hoping that you might speak with her on my behalf," Giles
"What is it you want me to do?"
"Talk to her, convince her to see me. We can‘t move past this until we
can talk about what‘s happened."
Katherine stared at her hands for a moment and then met Giles‘s gaze.
"I‘ll talk to her, but I can‘t make any promises."
"That‘s all I ask," Giles said with a grateful smile. "Oh, one more thing,"
he said as he stood from his chair and walked back to his desk. He typed
a few quick commands into the computer, while Katherine moved in
front of the desk, standing naturally at attention. Giles picked up a data
pad and handed it to her.
"Sean Rayne has nearly recovered from his injuries. He‘ll be transferred
to a Council holding facility within the week. I thought you‘d like to
Katherine examined the order on the pad with a grim expression. "Yes.
"We‘d have tried and convicted that bastard Tyrell by now if not for the
bureaucratic bull," Giles said, crossing his arms. "As it is, he‘s still being
held on the detention level."
"I‘m sure it‘ll all be over soon," Katherine replied. "I‘ll help as much as I
can. And Jo will too. You‘ll see."
Giles smiled and nodded as Katherine handed the data pad back.
Jocasta’s Apartment – Later
"What?!" Jocasta demanded incredulously as she pulled out of her Katie-
cuddle. "That’s where you went this morning?"
"Yes, he called me yester--"
"And he actually asked you to come talk to me for him?"
"Yes, he‘s very concer--"
"Who does he think he is? I‘ll talk to him when I‘m damned good and
ready!" Jocasta said, folding her arms tightly across her chest and
plopping resolutely back against the sofa. "Sending you over here,
thinking you‘ll soften me up, make me see things his way. Hmph!"
Katherine couldn‘t help but grin at Jocasta‘s expression, which was
somewhere between a petulant pout and an angry scowl. She scooted
next to Jocasta and leaned over to whisper to the redhead.
"Remember, I‘m just the messenger," she breathed into Jocasta‘s ear
before placing a light kiss right below it on her neck. "I told him I‘d talk
to you." Kiss. "But I made no promises." Kiss. "What you do with Giles is
your business, your decision."
"Right, my decision," Jocasta stated less firmly as she unfolded her arms.
Katherine gave Jocasta‘s ear lobe a little nibble before turning the
watcher‘s face toward her own. "But you know what?"
"What?" Jocasta replied in a slightly higher-pitched voice.
"I really think you should talk to Giles." Katherine said as her fingertips
made lazy trails on Jocasta‘s leg.
Jocasta looked down at her lap. "You‘re a wicked woman. You know
"Please," Katherine said sincerely as she nipped at Jocasta‘s earlobe. "If
not for him, then for me."
Jocasta let out a long sigh. "Fine!" she answered quickly before planting
a crushing kiss on Katherine‘s lips, which the slayer happily returned.
Jocasta’s Apartment – Later
Jocasta and Katherine were wrapped in a deep hug at the front door.
Jocasta sighed contentedly.
When the two women pulled apart, Jocasta said sincerely, "Thanks."
"For what?" Katherine replied.
"For talking me into going to see Giles."
"Oh, I didn‘t do that. You did. You were ready."
"I guess so. Still, thanks for helping me see that. I know we need to talk
it all out."
Katherine looked away for a moment. "Yeah, it‘s really important
to…ummm… to be open a-and talk about everything." Katherine looked
back at Jocasta and forced a smile. "Are you sure you don‘t want me to
go with you?"
"No, thanks, I think I‘d better do this on my own," Jocasta replied. "I
need to stop by my office first anyway. Want me to pick up some lunch
on my way back?"
"Sounds good," Katherine agreed.
Jocasta kissed Katherine once again. "Be back soon," she said as she left
After Katherine closed the door, she leaned against it wearily and
Watchers Council – Computer Center – Late Morning
Anya came in the main entrance. When she entered the workstation
area, she found James walking aimlessly around, sighing to himself,
holding a data rod. She put her hands on her hips and marched over to
"James! Where have you been?" she demanded.
James looked around nervously. Then he tucked the data rod away and
crossed his arms before replying. "Ummm…working."
"You haven‘t been working on the Slayer comm system, have you?" Anya
"No. No, I have not," James said firmly.
Anya smiled widely. "Good for you!" she said, giving James a playful
punch in the arm. She ignored his pained reaction. "I knew you‘d finally
see the light and take my advice."
As she headed for the adjacent workroom, she called to James over her
shoulder, "I don‘t care where Livia said she‘d stick that data rod, you
shouldn‘t have to do tel-comm‘s dirty work for them."
James grimaced. Then he said, "Uhhh…I‘m heading out. I‘ve got
"Okay, but don‘t be gone long," Anya yelled from the other room. "You‘ve
still got that re-calibration project to start."
Watchers Council – Jocasta’s Office – Same Time
Jocasta entered her office and immediately turned on her computer and
"Holy cow!" she exclaimed when she saw the number of messages in her
email box. "I‘ll be here all day if I try to wade through all of that.
Computer, forward all messages to my home box, new folder ‗detention
The computer made a beep of compliance, so Jocasta turned her
attention to Willowgram‘s mobile emitter. She turned on the device, and
shortly the 12-inch hologram appeared.
"Jo! You‘re back!" Willowgram exclaimed.
Jocasta grinned at the happy welcome. "Yes, I‘m back, after two weeks of
detention boot-camp hell."
"Oh, yeah," Jocasta said. "So,
how are you?"
Cocking her head to the side,
Willow gave Jocasta a
confused frown. "I‘m exactly
"I mean, how have you been
doing since I‘ve been gone? I
hope you weren‘t too bored."
Willowgram shrugged her shoulders. "I wasn‘t doing anything. I wasn‘t
accessed while you were gone."
"What?!" Jocasta gaped at Willow. "You mean, no one came by while I
was away…to update you…t-to talk to you?"
"No," Willowgram said simply.
Jocasta looked intently at Willow. The redheaded hologram appeared to
be her usual self: alert, open, cheerful. Jocasta frowned.
"Did it bother you that no one came to see you?" Jocasta asked gently.
"No. Should it have?"
"Well, if I were you, it would‘ve bothered me."
Willowgram looked away and then clasped her hands together in front of
her. "Well…I did wonder what was going on." She met Jocasta‘s eyes
again. "I wondered about the time delay since your last access." There
was a slight delay as she calculated. "14 days, 12 hours and 46
"I‘m sorry, I should‘ve made sure that the others knew to come by."
"It‘s okay," Willowgram said. "I‘m sure the others had more important
things to do than updating my computer program."
"But you‘re more than just a computer program, Willow. You‘re a real
person," Jocasta insisted, drawing a smile from the hologram. "In fact,"
the watcher added, "I think it‘s high time the Council recognized you as
Willow tilted her head slightly. "Please clarify."
"What if you had your own rights?"
"Rights?" Willow looked curiously at Jocasta.
"Rights! You know, just like humans do!" Jocasta replied. "I mean, you‘re
almost human as it is. You‘re practically sentient, with your knowledge
and feelings. You deserve the same rights that everyone else has.
Including the right to not be ignored."
Willowgram appeared to consider the idea for a moment. Then she
"That would be nice, but it‘s really unnecessary. I am a personality
construct, after all. I don‘t require the same benefits as everyone else."
"Yes, well, this way you won‘t have to worry about being left out of the
loop. If we can get permission from the High Command, we may be able
to grant you full access to the Council system. You wouldn‘t have to wait
to be accessed. You could activate yourself anytime you want."
"Okay," Willow agreed cheerfully.
Jocasta grinned and got up. "Be back soon," she assured the hologram.
Watchers Council – Giles’s Office – Moments Later
Jocasta strode through the outer area of Giles‘s suite, blew right past his
executive assistant, and walked directly into Giles‘s personal office. The
assistant rose and chased after her.
"Miss?" he called out. But it was too late. Jocasta was already standing
inside the inner office.
"Giles, why didn‘t you go see Willow while I was away?" Jocasta
demanded without preface.
Giles looked up in surprise.
"I tried to stop her sir," the assistant explained.
"That‘s okay. Leave us," Giles told him.
With a short nod the assistant left closing the door behind him.
Giles moved his mouth several times in an effort to speak before finally
finding words. "Jo, I…ummm…I‘m, I-I‘m very glad to see you.
You‘re…ummm…you‘re doing well then?"
"I‘m fine," Jocasta replied, "but Willow‘s not."
Giles‘s face creased into worry. "Something‘s wrong with the Progenitor
"No, something‘s wrong with Willow, the personality construct, the
person inside the program."
"I-I‘m not sure I follow you."
"No one even bothered to go see her while I was in detention. Didn‘t any
of you think that she might be lonely, that she might want to know what
was going on?"
"Jo, I think you‘re attributing too much to Willow. She is just a computer
program, after all."
"No, she‘s not!" Jocasta insisted. "She‘s so much more than that."
Jocasta paused then pulled her shoulders back. "I want the Council to
recognize Willow as a sentient being."
"What?" Giles exclaimed incredulously. Then he folded his arms
resolutely. "I‘m not going to bog the Council down in endless debates
about the alleged sentience of the Progenitor program. We have much
more important work to do."
"Like what? Sentencing Council employees to detention for using magic
to defend themselves? Oh, that‘s an efficient use of the Council‘s time
"Jo, you broke the rules. I had no choice but to enforce the regulations
as they stand. I can‘t expect to get cooperation from my fellow Councilors
if they think I have personal biases and no respect for our laws."
"The laws are wrong," Jocasta said slowly and firmly. Then she added,
"And so are you."
Jocasta turned on her heel and abruptly left, not allowing Giles to reply.
Giles watched, slack jawed, as Jocasta stormed away. Then he shook his
head and pulled off his glasses. He closed his eyes and massaged the
bridge of his nose.
―Well, that went quite terribly, didn‘t it?‖ he sighed before replacing his
Watchers Council – Elevator – Later
James groaned as the elevator holding him, Lex, and Antonia made its
way to the lobby.
"Hey, man, why didn‘t you tell us you were related to a famous movie
star?" Lex asked.
"I can‘t believe you‘re related to Jessica Wells!" Antonia cried. "The
"I didn‘t even know you were from California," Lex commented. "How‘d
you end up here in Cleveland?"
"Well, actually I--" James started to say.
"Do you think she‘d mind if I asked for a photograph?" Antonia
interrupted, holding up her pocket camera.
James opened his mouth to speak but was cut off again.
"I mean, I don‘t want to be a nuisance," Antonia continued excitedly.
"You know, one of those annoying, pushy kind of fans? But if I could get
a picture of us together, that would be so cool." Antonia turned to Lex.
"Hey, remember that scene in AirCops when she was on top of the sat
"You mean the one where she jumped off the dish and onto the back of
that jet cycle?" Lex asked.
"Yes! Yes!" Antonia crowed. "And she shoved the driver out of his seat
"He fell screaming toward the ground and then--"
"She nearly went crashing into the building before--"
"Finally pulling up and zooming over the top!" Lex finished.
"That was such an awesome scene!" Antonia stated with admiration.
James rolled his eyes in annoyance, then sighed in relief when the
elevator doors opened. He stepped out quickly.
"It‘s not like it was even her," James grumbled under his breath as he
exited the car. "Hello, stunt double," he said sarcastically to himself.
Watchers Council – Lobby – Moments Later
James, Antonia, and Lex headed for the front of the lobby where they
found Livia waiting with John West and Velika Petrova, the head of
When she saw James, Livia smiled and waved a fist at him in mock
warning. James smiled warily
back at her and made a point
to stand with John between
himself and the brunette slayer.
Velika slapped Livia lightly on
the arm and shook her head.
"Be nice, Livia, you‘re
representing the Council now,"
she said to the younger Slayer.
Livia laughed and rolled her eyes. "It‘s a sad day when that happens."
"So, James," John interrupted. "What‘s your sister like?"
With a deer-in-the-headlights expression, James stuttered. "Uh, well, she
ummm...she‘s kinda…" Seeing that everyone was raptly awaiting his
answer, James shrugged. "…tall?"
"Now, are we talking 50-foot woman tall or busty Swede tall?" Lex asked,
winking at James.
"I prefer busty Swede, myself," a voice volunteered from the front
The group turned to see a striking young woman with shoulder-length
blonde hair standing before them. She was dressed in all black: a long-
sleeved silk shirt, only half-way buttoned up; a pair of skin-tight leather
pants, tucked into ankle-high boots; dark sunglasses, which she was
pushing onto the top of her head. Then she put her hands on her hips
and smirked at James, who winced in response and shrank behind the
Grinning from ear to ear, Antonia bounced in place then started to walk
eagerly forward, but was stopped by Lex. The pilot frowned, but allowed
herself to be held back as Velika approached the newcomer.
"Commander Petrova?" Jessica asked.
Velika nodded and extended her hand. "Miss Wells, welcome to Council
Headquarters. It‘s a pleasure to meet you."
Jessica took the former Slayer‘s hand and shook it firmly. "Thank you,
but the pleasure‘s all mine, I assure you."
Velika led Jessica to the group. "This is Commander Livia Hansen. She‘ll
be your official liaison during your visit." Jessica and Livia traded
"Hey, not too hard," Jessica teased about their handshake. "I‘m not really
a Slayer, I just play one on TV."
Livia chuckled as she released the actress‘s hand.
Velika continued. "Livia will be showing you around the place. So, if
you‘d like to set up any interviews, just ask her. I‘ve cleared you for most
of the Slayer areas–"
"And if you‘d like to see any other areas of our operation, I‘m your man,"
John interrupted, giving a small bow.
Livia snorted. "Don‘t let him fool you. The guy‘s all talk."
Velika cleared her throat and gave the two a disapproving look. "This is
Colonel John West, second-in-command of Gray Sector."
"The man to call for all things mystical or magical or all-around monster-
ful," Jessica said, shaking John‘s hand.
"You‘ve done your homework," John said with an impressed grin.
"Oh, I always do my homework," Jessica replied. "That‘s why I‘m here."
Velika led Jessica to Lex and Antonia next. Antonia continued to bounce
in place with excitement. "Lexington Harris, head of Red Sector, and
Antonia Allister, Council Air and Space Captain."
Jessica shook Lex‘s hand first,
and he giggled in pure
giddiness. "Nice to meet you,"
he finally got out.
When Jessica turned to
Antonia, she stopped bouncing,
frozen in place. Her mouth fell
open, and she slowly walked
forward and took the actress‘s
offered hand. "Oh…my…god,"
Antonia said in a star-struck
tone. "I am such a big fan of yours, Miss Wells."
"Please, call me Jessica."
Jessica tried to remove her hand from Antonia‘s, but the pilot was firmly
latched on. "I‘ve seen all your movies," Antonia said, continuing to shake
the actress‘s hand excitedly, "and I watch Passions every day. Well,
actually I have to record it most of time. Council schedules, you know. I
just love Juliana! Do you think she‘ll get back with Marco anytime soon?"
Jessica carefully pried her hand away from her rabid fan. "Oh, um, I‘m
not really sure. But, I appreciate your support. Thank you."
Antonia stepped back to Lex and squealed into his ear with delight.
"Ohmigod, she said I could call her Jessica!"
Jessica smiled indulgently at Antonia‘s reaction. Her smile faded when
she turned and saw James.
"And I believe you already know our Computer Center Coordinator,"
Jessica put her smile back on and nodded at her brother. "James," she
"Jess," James replied in a voice devoid of warmth.
"So…how‘ve you been?"
"Great. Just great. You?"
"Good. Real good."
When the two siblings didn‘t say anything else, Velika quickly stepped in.
"Well, I think Livia‘s ready to take you on a tour of Slayer Command, if
you‘ll come this way?"
Jessica shot a quick smile at Velika then turned back to James. "Can we
get together while I‘m here? Maybe tomorrow?" She handed him a
business card. "I‘m at the Orion. I thought maybe we could do some
James took the card and forced a smile. "Sure. Just call the front desk.
They can connect you."
Jessica‘s face lightened. "It was nice to meet you all," she said to the
group before Velika and Livia led her away towards the Slayer side of the
Lex joined James and clapped him playfully on the shoulder. "Man, you
are so lucky to have a sister like that."
James stared at Jessica‘s retreating form. "Yeah, lucky," he said flatly.
Jocasta’s Apartment – Same Time
While Jocasta was at Council Headquarters, Katherine busied herself in
Jocasta‘s apartment. As she dusted a shelf she examined the pictures
On the bottom of a shelf in the bedroom, she discovered a small batch of
books—real books—one of which was the Codex Daemonicus, the volume
she and Jocasta had examined together the first time she had visited the
watcher‘s apartment. Katherine sat on the floor, pulled out the books one
by one, and began browsing through them.
When she opened the third book, a picture fell out from the pages.
Katherine picked up the old, polymer-coated photo and examined it
closely. Her eyes widened, and her mouth dropped open. It showed a
beautiful young woman with
blonde hair and clear blue eyes
and a bright smile. It was like
looking at herself. Katherine
flipped the photo over.
"Tara Maclay- birthday party,
October 16, 2000," Katherine
read aloud. Then she turned
the photo back over.
"Oh my god," Katherine said.
Katherine quickly stuck the picture back into the book and returned the
volume to its place. She got to her feet and backed away from the
bookshelf. Then she fled the room.
Jocasta’s Apartment – Early Afternoon
Jocasta entered the apartment carrying a large take-out sack. She looked
around the living room.
"Katie?" she called. There was no answer. "Katie?"
Jocasta set the sack on the coffee table and walked through the
apartment. When she came out of the bedroom, she wore a look of
End of Act One
Jocasta’s Apartment – Resume
Jocasta looked around the living room once again. Then she noticed the
message light blinking on her
computer. She walked over to
the computer station.
"Computer, play message,"
The computer made a small
beep, and then a voice came
from the speaker.
"Jo, I‘m really sorry, but I had
to leave," Katherine said in her recorded message. "S-Something came
up…here at Slayer Command. I‘ll call you later, okay? Bye."
The computer beeped again. Jocasta frowned unhappily.
Watchers Council – Hallway Near Slayer Command – Early Afternoon
As Giles made his way from Slayer Command, he saw James in the hall.
The computer technician seemed distracted, walking with his head down
and his hands thrust into his pockets.
"James!" Giles called out. The tech didn‘t respond. Giles stepped in
James‘s path and repeated his name. Finally, the young man looked up.
"Oh, hi," James replied before settling his gaze on Giles‘s uniform. "Mr.
Chairman," he added.
"James, I just wanted to remind you that we still need to meet some time
today, if at all possible. Will you check in with my assistant later on?"
"Yes, sir," James answered, nodding emphatically. "Absolutely."
"Good," Giles said. "I‘ll see you then."
Giles smiled a good-bye then continued down the hallway.
Watchers Council – Slayer Command Communications Center –
James looked as if he were being eaten by the communications station.
Only his legs were visible as they stuck out from the crawlspace beneath
the console. A variety of tools lay beside his legs.
"Aha!" his voice called from the cave of metal and plastic. "Exactly what I
His hand snaked out, snagged a tool, then slipped back inside. After a
few moments, his hand re-emerged and dropped the tool. Then he turned
over and began slowly backing out of the crawlspace.
"Why don‘t you have your link on?" a voice boomed behind him, startling
him and causing him to bang his head on the console.
James finished backing out, a scowl on his face. Anya stood beside him
with her hands on her hips.
"I‘ve been calling you for fifteen minutes," Anya complained.
James checked his communications link. "Sorry, I didn‘t know it was
"What are you doing here anyway?" she asked. "I thought you said you
weren‘t going to do this
"I never said that," James
"Yes, you did," she insisted. "Just this morning, you--"
James cut her off. "Anya, cut to the chase. What do you want?"
"Oh, Livia called. Jessica wants to tour the Computer Center," Anya
explained. "So you need to get back to your real job now."
James groaned and got to his feet. "Fine," he grumbled as he followed
Anya out of the communications center.
Watchers Council – Giles’s Office – Mid-Afternoon
When Giles entered his inner office, he found his colleague and friend,
waiting for him. His face
showed surprise, and he looked
back into the outer office where
his assistant worked.
"Oh, I let myself in," Veronica
said with a smirk. "I hope you
"Ummm…no, of course, not,"
Giles replied. "Would you like
"No, thank you," she answered.
As Giles got water heating for his tea, he called over his shoulder, "What
can I do for you?"
"I‘m here to give you your two-week checkup," Veronica said.
"A checkup?" Giles asked, confused.
"Your first two weeks as Chair?"
Giles‘s face showed comprehension. He laughed and finished his tea
preparations. Then he joined Veronica at his desk. "I guess I‘d better sit
down for this?"
"Probably," Veronica said, drawing the word out. Giles sat down
instantly. Veronica looked down at her hands, which were clasped in her
lap, her expression deep in thought.
When his friend didn‘t immediately begin her pronouncement, Giles
leaned closer and said, "Veronica, you and I have been friends for most of
our tenures here at the Council. If there‘s something bothering you, tell
me what it is for God‘s sake and quit beating around the bush."
Veronica looked up. "Sebastian, I nominated you for the position of
Chairman because you‘re not afraid to take chances and to stand up for
what‘s right, but I have to admit, you surprised me when you voted to
convict Slayer Allison and Colonel Rosenberg of illegal magic use."
"What did you want me to do, Veronica? Stand up and propose that we
throw away the magic statutes on my second day on the job?"
"No, of course not," she said. "However, I did expect you to try and get
the Council to show them lenience."
"Two weeks was lenient, and you know it as well as I do!" Giles replied.
Then he paused and sighed. "Frankly, Veronica, I‘m frustrated. In trying
to avoid alienating myself from the Council, I may have alienated myself
from Jo." Giles paused again and ran his hand through his hair. "She‘s
still mad at me for not taking a stand on the magic issue, and now she‘s
upset because I don‘t see things the same way she does in regards to
"Willow?" Veronica asked with a confused look on her face.
"The holographic personality construct of the Progenitor File."
"Oh, yes, of course," Veronica said, remembering. "What‘s Jo up in arms
"She came into my office earlier today and asked me why I hadn‘t paid a
visit to Willow or sent someone else to check up on her during the past
two weeks. I must confess that the thought never crossed my mind; even
though she‘s displayed sentience, I still find myself viewing her as
nothing more than a computer program. Jo, however, sees things
differently, and she wants me to take a motion before the Council that
would give Willow legal rights," Giles said.
"From what you‘ve told me, Willow was responsible for the unmasking of
Tyrell‘s 314 project. That fact alone indicates that she‘s an extraordinary
program. So why are you reluctant to do what Jo is asking?"
"If I were to bring this type of motion before the Council, Travers and
everyone else who thinks my appointment to this job was a mistake will
have a field day."
"So you‘re telling me that you‘re refusing to do this for Jo because you‘re
afraid of what the Council will think? Sebastian, that‘s not like you,"
"I know, I know," Giles admitted. "Normally, I-I-I wouldn‘t give a flying fig
what those windbags think, but now…I‘m finding it very difficult to…to
be comfortable in this new role." Giles sighed. "I should have used Jo and
Katie‘s illegal magic-use case as the opportunity to begin the process of
reintegrating magic into the Council, but I wasn‘t ready. I‘m still not
"Rome wasn‘t built in a day, Sebastian, but you‘ve got to start
somewhere. This Council needs the Sebastian Giles that we‘ve known for
years," Veronica said. Then her face brightened into a teasing grin,
though her words were serious. "We need the radical Giles, the trouble-
making Giles, the Giles who flies fearless in the face of failure and
Giles could not help but grin in response. "You‘re right," Giles stated. "I
have to start somewhere."
Watchers Council – Computer Center – Same Time
James stood at a proud parade-rest with Anya behind him as Livia led
Jessica into the foyer of the Computer Center.
"Hey, James," Livia said amiably.
"Livia," James replied. Then he turned to his sister and said formally,
Jessica playfully mimicked her brother‘s serious tone. "James."
"This is Anya," James said, stepping aside to gesture toward the android.
"My personal assistant."
Jessica gave the synthetic a
quick nod then turned back to
James. "You got her when you
worked at Hubris, right?"
James‘s eyes widened for a
moment, as if he were
surprised that Jessica knew
about this detail of his life.
Then his eyes narrowed again.
"Yeah," he said as he started to
walk away, beginning the tour.
Jessica instantly interjected, stopping James‘s movement. "You must‘ve
done something really special to get an android," she added, trying to be
conversational. "They‘re awfully expensive, a real luxury item. Even I
don‘t have one."
"Well, I didn‘t do anything illegal, if that‘s what you‘re getting at," James
"No," Jessica denied quickly. "No, that‘s not what I meant at all, I was
"Look, do you want to do the tour or not?" James asked impatiently.
Jessica slumped in defeat. "Fine," she said in an irritated voice. "Do the
"Yeah, I‘m looking forward to the tour, too," Livia said in an effort to
lighten the mood. "I‘ve always wondered what goes on down here."
James went from the foyer of the computer center to a door secured by a
card reader. He slid his card, and the door buzzed and popped open.
James held the door open as Jessica, Livia, and Anya entered.
Once beyond the security door, James led the group on a brief tour of the
facilities, showing them first his personal work area, which held his desk
and a series of workstations lined along the opposite two walls. Next was
the control room, where a handful of technicians were conducting their
usual daily operations.
When they reached the mainframe access room, James pointed out the
huge, blinking and humming conglomerate of computers that served as
the heart of the Council‘s network of databases. After only the most
cursory of explanations, James started to lead the group back out again.
Anya stepped in front of Jessica.
"It‘s really a fascinating system," Anya interjected, directing Jessica‘s
gaze back towards the mainframe. "See the qubit processing unit? Forget
about your old-style bits with their measly little on/off value," she sniffed
dismissively. "Ones and zeros are so Twenty-First-Century, don‘t you
think? Qubits exist in a state that‘s neither completely on nor completely
off. As a result, they have access to an infinite range of values that exist
between one and zero. Of course, you never get full access to all of that
potential computing power because you have to transfer it from its
isolated state through an entanglement processor and..."
James rolled his eyes as Anya went further into her speech. When he
noticed how entranced Jessica seemed to be, he tightened his lips and
crossed his arms.
Eventually, Anya finished, and the four of them headed out of the
mainframe room and back towards the front of the computer center. As
they did so, Anya continued elaborating on the many functions of the
computer center, usually emphasizing her critical role in its maintenance
and operations. When they finally arrived back at the foyer, both Livia
and James were trudging along behind Anya and Jessica.
Jessica faced her twin brother. "Well, thanks for the tour," she said with
"Sure, no problem," James replied, re-crossing his arms.
Jessica turned to Anya. "Anya, nice to meet you," she said, shaking the
android‘s hand. "And thank you for the fascinating explanation of the
"Oh, well if you liked that explanation, you‘ll love the one I‘ll give you in
the vehicle hangar. They have this awesome new grav-lift," Anya said,
linking her arm in Jessica‘s and heading for the door. "Has Livia taken
you there yet? I bet she hasn‘t. Slayers aren‘t known for their social
skills. No, it‘s all stalk-and-kill with them…"
"Hey!" Livia interjected as she leapt to catch up with the actress and
Within seconds, James was alone. He sighed in relief, but then frowned
Jocasta’s Apartment – Later
Giles walked up to Jocasta‘s apartment. He stopped in front of the door,
cleared his throat, and took a deep breath. Then he knocked on the door.
As the door started to open, Giles heard Jocasta‘s voice say, "Katie, you
can let yourself in, you know. You don‘t have to knock just because--"
Jocasta stopped in surprise when she realized who was at the door.
"Hello, Jo," Giles said with a small smile.
Jocasta‘s look of surprise gave way to one of annoyance. She crossed her
arms. "Giles," she said evenly.
"May I come in? I think we should talk."
Jocasta paused and sighed. Then she stepped aside to allow Giles to
enter her apartment. Once Giles was inside, Jocasta shut the door and
turned to her mentor. She re-crossed her arms and waited.
"I wanted to tell you that I‘ve been thinking about what you said earlier,
about the Progenitor…about Willow," Giles said correcting himself
quickly. "I think you‘re right that we need to develop some special
protocols for Willow. She‘s a unique program and should be granted
Jocasta un-crossed her arms. "Well, good, I-I‘m glad you agree with me,"
"I‘ll need your help to convince the Council, though," Giles added. "You‘ll
need to develop a report justifying the recognition of sentience and
outlining the details of the
protocols you want to establish
on Willow‘s behalf."
"I can do that, no problem,"
Jocasta assured Giles. "I can
have it for you in a few hours."
"Excellent! I‘ve scheduled a
meeting for this evening. Can
you be there tonight a-and
bring Willow with you?"
"Absolutely," Jocasta said, smiling sincerely.
Giles returned Jocasta‘s smile. Then almost at the same time, their
smiles faded, and they averted their gaze. They shifted on their feet as if
they were just now realizing that they weren‘t supposed to be getting
After a seemingly interminable period of silence, Jocasta finally spoke.
"Thank you, Giles," she said, "for taking this to the Council."
Giles smiled. "You‘re welcome."
The two became quiet again. Then Jocasta gestured back towards her
computer. "I should probably get started," she said.
"Ah, yes, of course, I-I-I know you have much to do," Giles replied,
backing towards the door. "I‘ll…ummm…see you tonight, then."
Jocasta nodded in affirmation.
When Giles had left, Jocasta frowned at the door.
Watchers Council – Katherine’s Quarters – Same Time
Katherine sat at her computer, browsing through the public archives.
She read one screen then another, then sighed in frustration. She
switched to a different database. When the search screen came up, she
typed "Tara Maclay" into the open field and started the search. After a
few seconds, the search results displayed: a brief biographical record but
nothing more. Katherine groaned aloud.
"This is ridiculous!" she grumbled to herself. "Isn‘t there any information
on this woman at all?"
Suddenly, her computer chimed, making her jump slightly. It was her
call service, indicating an incoming call. Katherine accessed the call
program and saw that it was Jocasta. Katherine looked away, her brow
creased with worry. She turned back to the screen but didn‘t answer the
call. She watched as the program indicated that a message was being
left. Katherine activated the listen command.
"I guess you‘re not there," Jocasta‘s voice said, "I was just wondering
what you were up to. I ended up getting called in to work, too. I‘m on my
way there as a matter of fact, so no last day off for us, huh? Anyway,
I…ummm…I guess I‘ll see you tomorrow then. Bye."
Watchers Council – Council
Chambers – Evening
"This meeting will now come to
Giles banged his gavel on the
podium in front of him, then
stood in silence and watched as
his fellow Councilors quickly
turned their attention towards
"Thank you," Giles said. He hesitated briefly before resuming. "I apologize
for the short notice of this meeting, but I have several issues which I feel
deserve immediate attention."
Morgan Travers stood up. "Such as?" he asked accusingly.
Giles glanced briefly at Veronica, who winked at him in encouragement.
He looked down at his hands for a few seconds before continuing.
"I‘ll cut to the chase. I called this meeting in order to discuss the
Progenitor File, or Willowgram, as she is commonly called. I know there
are many of you who will question my sanity after I make this request,
but I would like to put forth a motion designating the Willowgram as a
sentient being and giving her the following rights--"
"You‘ve got to be joking!" Travers exploded. "It‘s absurd, giving rights to a
"Mr. Travers, I would appreciate if you held all comments and objections
until after I have completed making my case," Giles said forcefully.
Travers glared at Giles, but returned to his seat.
From somewhere in the back, a Councilor raised her hand. Giles looked
in her direction and nodded, indicating that she had permission to
"I mean no disrespect, Mr. Chairman, but I, like Mr. Travers, question
the validity of granting rights to a computer program. What you‘re asking
us to do is to make a monumental decision without offering any proof to
convince us why this is something we should be considering."
Giles nodded. "I agree, and that is why I have brought both Willowgram
and Colonel Jocasta Rosenberg with me. Colonel Rosenberg is the one
best qualified to present the case as to why this Council should grant
Willowgram legal rights," he said.
Jocasta, who had been standing off to one side, stepped forward, and
Giles moved aside to allow her access to the podium.
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman," she said. "I‘d like all of you to take a look at
She made a few keystrokes, and a series of images appeared on the large
monitors on the wall and on the Councilors‘ individual screens.
"These are copies of notes made by the engineers who originally designed
and programmed the Progenitor File. They predicted that a personality
construct would have the capacity to make independent decisions
depending on the personality it was replicating," she said.
Travers leapt to his feet.
"These diagrams merely show the potential for a personality construct to
develop sentience. They do not prove that this particular construct is
anything more than a computer program, nor are they based on any
scientific fact," he argued.
"That might be true, Mr. Travers, but there is one person in this room
who can offer the very proof you‘re looking for: Willowgram herself."
She reached into her pocket and pulled out Willowgram‘s mobile emitter.
Setting it on the podium‘s surface, she activated it and waited until
Willow‘s 12-inch image had materialized. She then positioned the emitter
so that Willowgram could be clearly seen by everyone.
"Hello," she said.
"Willow," Jocasta said, addressing the hologram directly, "I need you to
give an account of what happened when I came to the Progenitor Room
with Councilor Giles and Slayer Allison and we first activated you."
"Certainly," Willowgram said. "When I was first accessed, I introduced
myself as Willow Rosenberg because that‘s the personality on which my
construct was based. You immediately recognized that I was a
personality construct and even deduced the materials with which my
neural network database was designed. I told the three of you that only
the Command Council Chairman or someone of Rosenberg descent
(confirmed by DNA match) could access my program. Even after
Councilor Giles explained what you needed, I refused to help you…until
you passed the DNA scan. After that, I told you what you needed to
know. Before I could finish, we were interrupted by armed guards and
then-Chairman, Horatio Tyrell. When Tyrell tried to deactivate me, I told
him that he didn‘t have the authority to request my deactivation."
"But as Chairman of the Council, he could have ordered your
deactivation. So, who told you to make it so that Tyrell couldn‘t
deactivate you?" Jocasta asked.
"No one told me to do it. I restricted my access protocols by myself,"
Willowgram said, a touch of pride creeping into her voice.
"What happened next?" Jocasta asked.
"You asked me for more information on the new Initiative, and I gave you
that information I had on record. Tyrell tried to arrest you, Councilor
Giles, and Slayer Allison, but Slayer Allison overcame Tyrell‘s guards. I
then downloaded myself into my mobile processor. Councilor Giles took
me with him and sent you and Slayer Allison to track down her Watcher,
Sean Rayne," Willowgram said.
"Thank you," Jocasta said to the hologram before turning to address the
Council. "I think this demonstrates clearly enough that Willow does, like
her engineers predicted, have the capability for independent thought.
She not only changed her own access protocols, but she also downloaded
herself into her mobile processor and told us how to get out of the
"The Progenitor File is a computer program. How do we know that it
wasn‘t programmed to answer Colonel Rosenberg‘s questions? This entire
meeting is a waste of this Council‘s valuable time."
Giles stepped forward. "Again, your objections are noted, Mr. Travers.
Please continue, Colonel," he said.
"I don‘t know about all of you, but the fact that Willow was able to
change her access protocols and download herself to her mobile emitter
indicates a form of sentience," Jocasta said.
Veronica Wyndham-Price raised her hand and was recognized by Giles.
She addressed Jocasta directly. "Colonel, I‘m willing to accept that
the…ummm… Willowgram is functioning on a semi-sentient level, but
what exactly are you asking us to approve on its…I mean…her behalf?"
"I think Chairman Giles should answer this question," Jocasta said. She
stepped aside to allow Giles to take his place at the podium.
"As evidenced by the role she played in exposing Tyrell‘s plot to resurrect
Project 314, Willowgram can be a powerful tool; however, in order to use
her to the fullest extent, some changes in her programming protocols
need to be made. Currently, the Willowgram is connected only to the
Council‘s main database grid, but in order to make full use of
Willowgram‘s capabilities, she needs to have access to the worldwide
data network grid as well," Giles said. "Also, while the Progenitor Room
was specifically created to house the Willowgram‘s programming,
circumstances have proven that it is too much of a security liability.
Therefore, I propose that the Willowgram‘s programming be rerouted to
Colonel Rosenberg‘s office."
Travers jumped to his feet again. "I object. If the Progenitor File is as
powerful a tool as you say it is, then the entire Council should be allowed
access to it," he said.
"The Progenitor Room will remain operable, and anyone who has the
right security clearance will be allowed to access the Willowgram from
there," Giles said. "Any other objections before I continue, Mr. Travers?"
Travers glowered at Giles, but when he didn‘t say anything, Giles
"The third change I am proposing is that she be granted full control of
her access protocols, allowing her to control how and when she is
activated and how, when, why, and by whom her programming is
accessed," Giles said. "Do I have a second for the motion?"
Veronica once again raised her hand and was recognized by Giles. "I
second Chairman Giles‘s motion to allow the Progenitor File full access to
the entire Council database and also to the worldwide database network,
full control over her own access protocols, and to allow for her
programming to be directly rerouted to Colonel Rosenberg‘s office," she
"Thank you," Giles replied. "I have a second. Is there any further
discussion on the matter?"
When no one made any additional questions or comments, Giles called
for the vote. After a few moments, he announced the results. "Voting is
now closed, and the motion has passed." Giles banged the gavel down on
the podium next to Willow‘s mobile processor.
Willowgram put a finger in her ear as if in reaction to the loud bang of
"Sorry," he said sheepishly to the hologram before picking up her mobile
processor and handing it to Jocasta. Then he turned his attention back
to the Council. "Thank you for your time, Councilors," he said. "This
meeting is now adjourned."
Watchers Council – Hallway Outside Council Chambers – Moments
Jocasta and Giles came out of the large doors, wearing very pleased
expressions. Jocasta was carrying Willowgram‘s mobile processor. She
held it up, patted it and said, "Thanks again, Giles."
"No, thank you…for convincing me and then the Council."
"Just doin‘ my job," Jocasta said lightly. "Which I‘ll be back at officially,
starting tomorrow, so I‘m gonna head home and rest up."
"Oh, yes, well, I won‘t keep you any longer," Giles said. "Have a good
"You too, Giles," Jocasta replied.
As Jocasta headed down the hallway, Giles watched her go, a hopeful
smile on his face.
Watchers Council – Detention Area – Later That Evening
John West was just beginning his night-shift rounds, checking with the
major divisions of Council Headquarters for any relevant updates. He
knew the information he needed was probably in his email, but he
preferred doing a face-to-face whenever possible. Having just left the
guard station on the detention level, he waited patiently at the elevator.
When the doors opened, he was surprised to see James in the car.
"James," John said with a curious smile. "What are you doing down
James shifted nervously on his feet. "Oh, I-I-I got tired of waiting for the
elevator to go my way, so I got on anyway. I figured I‘d just tag along and
then…head to where I‘m going."
"Oh," John replied as he got in the car.
John punched the button for Gray Sector. Then he looked at James as if
wondering why there wasn‘t another button lit up. James quickly caught
on and punched another button on the pad. The elevator doors closed.
Watchers Council – Giles’s Office – The Next Morning
James shrank into the leather chair before Giles‘s desk. He looked from
side to side nervously. When Giles sat down, James forced himself to sit
up straight and meet the Chairman‘s eyes.
"James, thank you for coming," Giles said. "I know it‘s been difficult
getting a hold of me. It‘s been quite hectic around here."
"Yes sir, I mean, no sir, I mean, I didn‘t mind, sir. I know you‘re very
busy," James stammered.
Giles gave a light smile then cleared his throat. "James--"
"Giles, I know what you‘re going to say," James interrupted, "and you‘re
right. I‘m not pulling my own weight around here. There‘s a lot more I
could be doing, and I want you to know that I‘m ready to step up to the
plate. It‘s high time I took on a bit more responsibility."
Giles‘s eyes widened in surprise. "Well, I…ummm…I‘m glad to hear you
say that because I have two projects for you."
"Really?" James replied enthusiastically.
Giles nodded. "The first thing I‘d like you to do is to coordinate the
changes in to the Progenitor File that Jocasta and I were able to procure
on Willow‘s behalf."
"Oh, yes, Jocasta forwarded her report to me last night," James said. "I
can do that, no problem."
"The other project is an outside investigation," Giles said, handing over a
data pad, "involving a break-in at a local research facility. I‘d like you to
look into it."
James stood and took the data pad eagerly. "I‘ll get on it right away!" he
said with a wide smile. "Thank you, sir!" he added and headed for the
door to Giles‘s office. As he entered the hallway, he glanced at the details
on the data pad and stopped in place when he read them.
"Dayson Laboratory," he stated before looking off with a concerned
Watchers Council – Computer Center – Morning
James hurried into his work area in the computer center. Anya appeared
to be on her way out.
"Where are you going?" James asked the android.
"To find Livia and Jessica," Anya replied.
"But I need your help re-routing the data transfer for the Progenitor File,"
"I‘ll help you later," Anya said. "Right now, Jessica desperately needs a
decent tour guide, somebody who really knows what goes on around
here. Livia is woefully inadequate in that department."
Before James could command her otherwise, Anya slipped out the door.
"Fine," James said sarcastically. "Help Jessica. All hail Jessica."
James plopped into his lab chair and pouted. After a moment, he took a
deep breath and turned his attention to the access protocols for
Watchers Council – Lobby – Later
Antonia skipped out of the elevator wearing an excited grin. She carried a
large bag of various snacks in one arm. When she passed through the
lobby, she saw James coming towards the elevators.
"Hey, I was just about to call you," Antonia said happily, "but now I don‘t
"Uhhh…what for?" James asked.
"With the weather so nice for a change, we‘re throwing an impromptu
picnic, and you‘re invited," the pilot said. Then she took James by the
arm and led him out the front entrance of Council Headquarters.
Park Near Watchers Council – Moments Later
As Antonia and James arrived at the gazebo, they found Jocasta and Lex
setting the long table with a hodge-podge of food and drink. Livia and
Jessica and Anya were gathered on the far side, chatting. Giles was
nearby, perched on a bench, talking with Willowgram, whose holographic
image was a bit faded in the bright sunlight. Antonia gave Lex a kiss,
then added her bag of goodies to the stack.
"Dig in, everybody," Jocasta announced. And soon everyone—except for
Willow and Anya—did just that.
While she ate, Jocasta cast occasional glances towards the sidewalk that
led to Council HQ. Having noticed, Antonia asked, "Where‘s Katie?"
"Ummm…I don‘t know," Jocasta admitted. "I haven‘t talked to her since
yesterday. I left a message." She glanced towards HQ once again. This
time her face brightened. "There she is!"
Jocasta rose from her place at the table, left the gazebo, and met
Katherine on the sidewalk. They kissed sweetly, but briefly.
"Hey, I missed you," Jocasta said sincerely. "I‘m glad you could make it."
"Me too," Katherine replied, taking Jocasta‘s hand as they headed
towards the gazebo.
"Is everything okay?" Jocasta asked.
"Oh, yeah, sure," Katherine answered nonchalantly. "Just had some
work to do, that‘s all. You know how it is…all work is all slay."
"Well, there‘s plenty of food, so help yourself," Jocasta told Katherine as
they walked into the gazebo.
After Katherine had filled her plate, Giles moved down a space to allow
Katherine to sit next to Jocasta. Then the redhead stood and knocked on
the wooden table to get everyone‘s attention.
"Now that Katie‘s here, I wanted to say a few things," Jocasta began.
"First of all, thanks for coming. It seems like every time we get together,
it‘s because a crisis is at hand. This time, though, it‘s for a celebration. If
you read your email, you know what‘s up. If not, here it comes. Thanks
to Giles, Willow has been granted a unique status as a semi-sentient
being. From now on, she‘ll have full control over her own access."
The group fell into applause, and Willow grinned from ear to ear.
"Does this mean I‘m officially a Scooby now?" Willow asked.
"A what?" Jessica asked, confused.
"A Scooby," Jocasta answered Jessica. "It‘s what the original founders of
the new Council used to call themselves way back when." Jocasta turned
back to Willow. "Yes, you are now officially a Scooby—a virtual one, at
Everyone lifted their glasses in salute to the hologram, who surprised
them all when she did a quirky curtsy.
"In addition," Jocasta continued, "it was a good time to celebrate
Jessica‘s visit with us. I hope your time with us has been productive."
As they had for Willowgram, the group lifted their glasses and hailed the
actress—James included. Jessica‘s eyes widened at James‘s seemingly
sincere salute, but she quickly recovered and graciously thanked them
all for their hospitality.
When Jocasta sat down, her remarks apparently over, Lex immediately
stood up and lifted his glass and sloshed it in the direction of Jocasta
and Katherine. "And let‘s not forget our beloved Jo and Katie," Lex
announced in mock formality, "who have just returned to us after their
unfortunate incarceration. We missed them so." Lex wiped an imaginary
tear from his cheek until Jocasta popped him in the head with a crust of
"Hey, it‘s not unfortunate," Livia interjected. "If anybody ever tries to pick
a fight with any of us, we can just tell ‗em we‘ve got ex-cons as friends, so
they better watch out."
Katherine pelted Livia with a cube of cheese. "Like anybody would pick a
fight with you, Miss Dealer of Destruction."
"Hmmm…Dealer of Destruction…" Jessica said thoughtfully before
ripping out her PDA to jot down a note.
The announcements portion of the event now over, the picnic returned to
its leisurely pace and mood. Katherine and Jocasta were snuggled up
together on one of the benches lining the gazebo. Livia and Lex were
having a dessert-eating contest at one end of the table. At the other end,
Anya was debating with Giles and Willowgram about the rights issue of
synthetics versus holograms. Antonia was snapping pictures left and
right with her pocket camera.
Jessica and James were sitting alone on the far side of the gazebo. They
seemed to be not only getting along but actually enjoying themselves.
Katherine nodded her head in the direction of the twins. "It looks like the
squabbling siblings are finally making up," she commented.
"They weren‘t getting along before?" Jocasta asked.
"Not at all," she answered. "They barely spoke to each other for years."
"Well, they‘re talking now," Jocasta said. "Which is more than I can say
for poor Giles."
The Chairman was trapped in an apparent Anya-rant, repeatedly opening
his mouth as if to speak but finding himself cut off by the incessant
speech of the android.
"I should probably go rescue him," Jocasta said without moving from her
comfortable spot in Katherine‘s arms.
"Yeah, you probably should," Katherine agreed.
Just as Jocasta began extricating herself, Giles‘s comm link went off. She
watched as he excused himself to take his call.
"Oh, saved by the bell," Jocasta said as she settled back into place with
"Chairman Giles," the Councilor answered officially. After a few moments
of listening, his face became angry and he exclaimed loudly, "What?!"
Everyone stopped what they
were doing and watched Giles.
The Chairman began to
massage his forehead as his
caller continued. "Don‘t do
anything. I‘ll be right there."
By the time he had ended his
call, the others were gathered
around him, and Jocasta was
at his side. "Giles, what is it?"
"Sean Rayne has escaped," he announced.
End of Two
Park Near Watchers Council – Resume
"What?!" Lex exclaimed in
"How did this happen?" Jocasta
"He escaped during his
transfer," Giles explained.
"Apparently, the vehicle
transporting him never arrived
at the Council holding facility."
Jocasta glanced worriedly at
Katherine, who mirrored her look of concern.
"We all need to get back to work right away," Giles commanded. "We‘ll
reconvene in Jo‘s conference room in an hour."
"Lex and I can stay and clean up here," Antonia offered. "Then we‘ll be
Jessica turned to Livia. "I can manage on my own," she told the slayer,
"since you guys obviously have an emergency situation."
Anya perked up. "If you need further assistance, I‘d be happy to--"
"No!" Jessica immediately replied. Then she softened her tone. "No, thank
you, Anya. I appreciate the offer, but I‘ll be fine."
Anya pouted. As the others began leaving, she turned to find James. She
looked around the gazebo, but he wasn‘t there. She cocked her head in
Watchers Council – Detention Area – Moments Later
Giles, Jocasta, and Katherine waited to be cleared through the last
security door of the detention area. When they heard the buzz, they
opened the steel door and stepped through. Once inside, they went
directly to the guard station.
As they neared it, Jocasta leaned over to Katherine and whispered, "I‘m
gettin‘ a flashback to last week, how ‗bout you?" Katherine grinned.
As soon as they arrived, the guard on duty, Sergeant Stein, leapt to his
feet and stood at attention. "Mr. Chairman," he said formally.
"As you were, Sergeant," Giles replied. The guard gratefully relaxed.
"We‘re here to see Tyrell."
Stein instantly tensed up again and looked confused. "H-H-He‘s not
here," the guard said. "He was transferred this morning."
"What?!" Giles exclaimed angrily.
An expression of fear spread over the sergeant‘s face, and he went
immediately to his console and began calling up the relevant files. "I-I-I
only came on duty a little while ago," the guard explained nervously. "It
looks like the previous shift received a last-minute order to transfer
Tyrell with Rayne to the off-site holding facility."
"Who put in this order?" Giles demanded.
Stein hesitated then replied, "Ummm…you did, sir."
"Damn it!" Giles said as he went around the counter and looked at the
screen Stein was pointing at.
"Are you sure he‘s gone?" Jocasta asked.
"Yes, ma‘am, Colonel," Stein answered. "But you can take a look if you
"That won‘t be necessary, Sergeant," Jocasta said, "but we may need to
speak with you again." The guard nodded nervously.
When Giles came back around the counter, the three headed out of the
"This means that they‘re both gone," Katherine said ominously. "What
are we gonna do?"
"We find them and put a stop to this nonsense once and for all," Giles
announced in a determined voice.
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Later
Giles sat at the head of the conference table. To his right sat Jocasta and
Katherine and Livia. Willowgram stood atop her mobile processor on the
table in front of Jocasta. On Giles‘s left were Lex and Antonia.
Giles looked at his watch. "Where is James?" he asked in annoyance.
"I don‘t know," Jocasta replied. "You want me to call him?"
"No, I‘ll do it," Giles said. Giles activated the computer console before him
and made the call to the computer center.
"Computer Center," James answered crisply.
"James, we‘re waiting on you in the conference room if you can manage
to tear yourself away," Giles said in angry sarcasm. "Tyrell and Rayne
aren‘t going to just turn themselves in."
"Tyrell and Rayne escaped?!" James exclaimed in surprise.
Giles rolled his eyes. "Oh, for Christ‘s sake, just get here, James!" Then
Giles cut the connection in irritation.
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Moments Later
James rushed into the conference room. "I‘m sorry," he said in a voice
breathless from running.
"Where‘s your annoying other half?" Lex asked.
James gave Lex a befuddled look.
"He wants to know where Anya is," Antonia clarified.
"Not here, thank goodness," Livia murmured under her breath, drawing a
giggle out of Katherine.
"Oh, I‘ve got her mapping the reroute for Willow," James replied.
"All right, now that we‘re all here, we can begin," Giles said pointedly.
"This is what we know. Someone used my name and clearance to order
a last-minute transfer for Tyrell, so when Rayne left, Tyrell was taken
"But something happened on the way to the holding facility because the
transport never arrived," Jocasta added. "And no one has seen Tyrell or
Rayne or the transport guards since."
"Lex, Toni, I want you two to check out the transportation angle," Giles
instructed. "See if you can locate the vehicle used for the transfer."
Antonia and Lex both gave the Chairman a thumbs-up.
"Livia, Katherine," Giles continued, "I want you two to get the Slayers out
conducting a physical search."
"We‘re on it," Livia confirmed.
"Jo, I want you and Willow to research the transfer records," Giles said to
the two redheads. "See if you can find a trail there."
"Oh, I‘ve got the protocols set, so Willow‘s got full access now," James
interjected. "I haven‘t gotten the rerouting done yet, but I‘ll get to it as
soon as Anya‘s done mapping it for me. I can help Jo research, too, i-i-if
you need me to."
"No, I‘d like you to stay on the Dayson break-in," Giles countered. "I‘ve
got a very bad feeling about
that for some reason."
"Will do," James replied.
"Anything else?" Giles asked
the group. When no one had
anything to add, Giles said,
"Let‘s get to it, then."
As the group began departing,
Katherine lingered to speak
"So, how‘re things going with your sister?" Katherine asked.
"Fine, I guess," James answered flatly.
"Well, I was glad to see you two getting along earlier, actually talking to
each other…and smiling even. It‘s a good start, right?"
James looked puzzled, but before he could comment, Livia interrupted.
"Katie! Come on!" Livia called from the doorway.
Katherine gave James‘s arm a friendly squeeze, then ran to join Livia.
As he watched the two slayers leave the conference room, he shook his
head in confusion.
Watchers Council – Computer Center – Mid-Afternoon
James stared at his screen intently, scanning quickly through the data
he had located on Dayson Laboratory.
"Hmmm," he said thoughtfully as he perused a particular passage.
"What?" Anya prompted as she looked up from her own screen, which
was covered in data routing diagrams.
"Well, it‘s a Council-sponsored medical research lab and cloning facility,"
he answered. "The money generated from the private-sector cloning
supports the research division. The problem is…I can‘t find any
information on what it is exactly that they‘re researching."
"Maybe we should go in person," Anya suggested.
James smiled and stood up. "Come on, let‘s go check it out," he told the
android, whose face burst into a happy grin.
Dayson Laboratory – Lobby – Later
James and Anya entered the lobby of Dayson Laboratory and went
directly to the reception area. A beautiful young woman was working the
reception desk, typing away on a keyboard.
"Hi," James said, greeting the receptionist. "I‘d like to see the
"I‘m sorry, the administrator isn‘t available," the receptionist instantly
responded, then turned right back to her typing.
Anya leaned over and whispered in James‘s ear. "She‘s one of the new S-
line Hyperdynes. I‘ve heard they‘re really twitchy. You probably won‘t get
anything out of her."
James pulled out his Council I.D. and set it on the desk. "Excuse me," he
said, getting the receptionist‘s attention once again. "I really need to see
the administrator. I was sent personally by Chairman Giles to address
the recent break-in."
"The break-in…of course," the receptionist said oddly before pausing,
seemingly considering what to do.
Anya whispered in James‘s ear, "What‘d I tell you…twitchy."
"One moment," the receptionist replied then turned and made a quick
call, murmuring quietly into her headset. When she was done, she
turned back around. "The administrator is on her way."
Watchers Council – Hallway Near Red Sector – Same Time
As Antonia was leaving Red Sector, she saw James in the hallway. She
flagged him down.
"Hey, James, I'm glad I caught you," Antonia said.
James looked around as if searching for an escape route as she neared.
"Do you think you could convince Jessica to get her picture taken with
me? I forgot to ask yesterday in all the excitement, and then at the picnic
today, I didn't want to intrude since you and your sister were gettin' all
bondy and everything. Well, actually, I did want to intrude, but Lex
wouldn't let me. Anyway, do you think you could?"
James‘s eyes darted nervously from side to side. Then he stuck his
hands in his pockets and smiled at Antonia. "Sure, no problem," he said.
Antonia squealed with delight and gave James a big hug. "Thank you!"
she cried before heading down the hallway.
Dayson Laboratory – Lobby – Moments Later
When the laboratory administrator arrived, she smiled and shook
"I‘m Dr. Carilyn Byrne," she said. "What can I do for you, Mr. Wells?"
"I‘m here to investigate the recent break-in here at your facility."
"There must be some mistake," Dr. Byrne said sternly. "I never requested
an outside investigator from the Council."
"I wouldn‘t know anything about that," James said. "All I know is that
High Command Chairman Giles asked me to look into it."
"Well, regardless we‘ve got nothing to hide," she responded.
"What can you tell me about the break-in?" James asked.
"The night before last, the lab was broken into," Dr. Byrne said. "One of
the doctors, Dr. Martin So, was attacked and knocked unconscious."
"What did the intruder do? Was anything stolen?"
"The only thing stolen was a data rod…oh, and a security card."
"What was on the data rod?"
"Some of Dr. So‘s research."
"What was he researching?"
"Nano-technology, specifically its use in fighting viruses."
"Was his research dangerous?"
"No, not at all. The only danger now is that his research will be set back,"
the administrator answered. "The data stolen would be valuable, though.
We suspect a rival medical group who‘s conducting research the same
"Can we see Dr. So‘s lab?" James asked.
"I‘m afraid not," Dr. Byrne replied. "It hasn‘t been officially cleared by
"Can we see Dr. So?" James asked.
The administrator shook her head. "Unfortunately, he is still in a coma
from the attack."
"Oh, I‘m sorry. well, I guess that‘s it then," James said. "I‘ll be needing all
of the records from your internal investigation, however."
"I‘ll have our investigator send them over right away."
"Thank you. If you need any help with the investigation, don‘t hesitate to
call," James offered.
"I doubt that will be necessary, but thank you," the administrator said
with a smile.
As Dr. Byrne watched James and Anya leave the facility, her smile faded
into a scowl.
Watchers Council – Council Chambers – Same Time
For the second time in as many days, Giles stared out at the faces of his
"I‘m sorry for the abruptness of this meeting, but we have a situation,"
Giles announced. "As you‘ve seen in the preliminary report, Council
security was compromised, and…ummm…unfortunately, both Tyrell and
Rayne have escaped."
Morgan Travers leapt to his feet, a gleeful smile passing over his face.
"So, less than a month into your position, you‘ve managed to allow the
Project 314 mastermind and his accomplice to escape from this
supposedly secure facility?"
"Now just a minute--" Giles started to object, but Travers continued.
"Isn‘t it true that the transfer order for Tyrell was signed by you?" Travers
pressed. "How do we know that you didn‘t aid these criminals in their
Giles‘s face purpled with barely concealed outrage at Travers‘ audacity. "I
hardly think I would risk my life and career to expose Tyrell and Rayne
only to help them escape now!" Giles said angrily.
Veronica, seeing her friend‘s distress, stepped forward. "Mr. Travers,
such accusations are baseless at this time," Veronica said. "We still know
very little about how Tyrell and Rayne were able to escape, but an
investigation is underway, and Chairman Giles will keep us informed of
"Be that as it may," Travers
countered, "since the evidence
implicates Councilor Giles, I
feel that the interests of justice
would be better served if he
himself were not supervising
Veronica glared, instantly
recognizing that Travers was
throwing her own words, once
used against Tyrell, back at her.
A nearby Councilor, a known-crony of both Tyrell and Travers, stood to
"Yes, I agree," the man said. "I move that Councilor Travers oversee the
investigation into this matter."
Another Councilor quickly interjected, "I second the motion."
The motion properly made and seconded, Giles had no choice but to put
the motion to a vote. When the votes were tallied, the motion passed
easily. Giles announced the results and adjourned the meeting. After the
adjournment, Travers sauntered up to the podium.
"I‘ll expect a copy of all investigative materials relating to the escape to be
in my box within the hour," Travers ordered the Chairman.
Giles‘s eyes narrowed, and his lips pursed tightly. Travers just smiled
and walked away.
Watchers Council – Computer Center – Later
Having successfully hacked into the internal database of Dayson
Laboratory, James now sat at his desk, leaned back in his chair, with his
eyes glued to his computer screen. His fingers flew over the keyboard,
causing the images on the screen to change rapidly. He scanned through
document after document at a rate most people would be unable to
"Whoa, wait a minute," he said to himself as he sat up straight in his
He sent the screen back a few documents. He leaned closer, running his
finger across the monitor, reading carefully.
"Holy cow!" he exclaimed.
Watchers Council – Conference Room – Late Afternoon
"Well, there‘s no sign of Tyrell or Rayne anywhere in HQ," Livia reported.
"We were able to confirm that the vehicle transporting Tyrell and Rayne
never arrived at the holding facility," Lex added. "We did find it, though."
"Oh?" Katherine inquired hopefully.
"Yeah, in Lake Erie," Antonia answered glumly.
"Oh," Katherine replied in a disappointed tone.
"You didn‘t happen to find Tyrell and Rayne still in it, did you?"
Willowgram asked with a smirky glint in her holographic eyes.
"Unfortunately not," Lex said.
"Damn," Willowgram complained.
"Willow!" Jocasta chided.
"Well, Tyrell did try to shoot us once," the hologram defended.
"Let‘s put the past aside," Giles said. "Jo, what did you find out about the
"Well, it looks like someone set up a shadow account that mimics
Giles‘s," Jocasta said. "I can prove that the transfer request came from
the shadow account and not from Giles, but so far, I haven‘t been able to
figure out who set up the account in the first place."
"Good. Be sure to forward your findings to Travers, and then keep at it.
Travers is looking for any evidence that he can use against me," Giles
said to Jocasta.
"Travers?" Jocasta asked.
"He got control to oversee the investigation since my name was on the
"That son of-," Jocasta muttered. Before she could finish Giles turned to
"James, I‘m not sure if it has anything to do with Tyrell and Rayne‘s
escape, but what have you been able to discover about the Dayson
break-in?" Giles asked.
"Well, the official story is that the facility was broken into," James began,
"but my theory is that it was actually broken out of." When everyone
looked confused, he continued. "See, according to the laboratory
administrator, an intruder broke in and stole a data rod belonging to Dr.
Martin So, one of the researchers there. But according to their internal
correspondence, the data rod isn‘t the only thing missing. A clone is also