Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Handsome Man, Saves Me From The Monsters

Charlie Skinner was Crazy.

He identified with Don Quixote, an old man with dementia who thought he could save The World from an epidemic of incivility simply by acting like a Knight.

His Religion was Decency.

And he spent a lifetime fighting its enemies.

I wish he could be here to learn the name of his successor like I just did.
Our new boss, the new president of ACN, is MacKenzie McHale.

So this fight is just getting started.

'Cause he taught the rest of us to be crazy, too.

You were a Man, Charlie.
You were a Great, Big Man.

You're a piece of dirty filthy cheating scum, aren't you?

Absolutement!  And that is why I'll win.
Because I have the ability to think my way round problems rather than sticking to the straight, pre- programmed lines.  
That's why men, Lister, are so better than machines.

Oh, I don't know, you know.  

I had this Geography teacher, Miss Foster.  
She took us on a school summer camp trip to Deganwy.  
I had the tent next to hers, right.  
And in the middle of the night I was woken up by this really weird noise.  

•She• didn't think Men were better than Machines....

Angel and Fred are riding double through what looks like low mountain country.  Angel looks around then pulls the horse to a stop, slides off, and helps Fred down. 

"I don't think they followed us.  We should probably stay on foot.  In case they try to track us down. 
(Gives the now riderless horse a push to get it going)  
Come on." 

Turns to Fred and finds her staring at him. 

"You okay?" 

Fred claps a hand to the side of her head.

"Handsome man - saved me from the monsters." 

Angel looks at her with a slight frown. 


With that she runs off. 

"Hey.  Wait a minute." 

Hurries after her.

Fred runs through a wooded area, past a boulder.  Runs up then slowly makes his way along the boulder and into a cave. 
(Nice guitar/woodwind score music playing here.) 

Finds Fred (now wearing a pair of crooked glasses) busily adding to the carved symbols covering the walls of the cave. 


Fred hesitates for a moment then continues to write. 
Angel looks around the cave. Angel:  "Hey, great place." 
Slowly crosses the cave. 
Angel:  "You don't have to be afraid of me. Really. I-I'd never..." 
He comes up on a small pool of water and his attention is captured by his reflection in it. 
Angel:  "...hurt you?" 
Fred glances back at him, the quickly turns back to her carving. 
Angel:  "So, ah... So, you don't wanna talk to me?" 
Fred:  "I can't, huh?" 
Angel:  "Why won't you?" 
Fred:  "Because - you're not real. - Or I'm not real.  *Somebody* here isn't real and I suspect it's you.  So if you're not real, that means that my head came off back there and that I'm dead now.  Dead.  And with me being dead and you not being real I can hardly be expected to have some big conversation with you at the moment, because it's just a little too much pressure, alright?!" 
Angel holds up his hands:  "Okay.  Okay." 
Fred nods and turns back to her writing. 
Angel:  "What's that you're doing?" 
Fred looks up at the stuff covering the walls.  Some of it looks like the words form the book that opened the portal, other stuff resembles mathematical formulas. 
Fred:  "Uhm, I think I saw it in a dream." 
Angel:  "You've been here a long time." 
Fred:  "Always. - Not always." 
Angel spots something.  Picks it up.  It's a California drivers license for one Winifred Burke, living in Los Angeles, brown hair, 5'6", 114 pounds, expiration date 03-01-98. 
Fred turns around with a smile:  "I had a dream.  I had a name." 
Angel reads the license:  "Winifred." 
Fred hurries over and pulls the license out of his hand. 
Angel:  "You're the girl from Cordy's vision!" 
Fred:  "What?" 
Angel:  "They called you Fred.  You were studying to be a physicist." 
Fred:  "That's my dream." 
Angel:  "You disappeared from a library in Los Angeles five years ago." 
Fred shakes her head:  "Stop it." 
Angel:  "It's not a dream, Fred." 
Fred:  "It's not?" 
Angel:  "No." 
Fred:  "And my head's still on?" 
Angel gently pushes her glasses back up onto the bridge of her nose. 
Angel:  "Yeah." 
Fred smiles:  "You're real?" 
Angel smiles and nods. 
Fred's smile melts into a frown and she starts to shake her head as she moves a few steps away from Angel. 
Fred:  "No.  No, I don't want you to be real." 
Angel:  "Why?" 
Fred turning back to face him:  "Because!  You're nice, and you saved me.  And bad things will happen to you here.  (Shakes her head and looks down, twisting her fingers together)  Bad things always happen here." 
Angel:  "No, no, no. Nothing bad's gonna happen.  I-It's gonna be okay.  We-we can take you out of here." 
Fred:  "We?" 
Angel:  "Yeah.  Me and my friends.  We-we're working on a way to get out of here.  We can take you back." 
Fred:  "Can't get back.  There is no back." 
Angel:  "No, there is.  If we can open the portal...." 
Fred hurries closer:  "The portal!  She fell through the portal!" 
Angel:  "Who did?" 
Fred:  "That other girl.  I couldn't save her.  I was arrested.  They got her.  She's a slave.  She'll die!" 
Angel:  "Oh.  Cordy.  No, she's fine.  They made her a princess." 
Fred:  "They...  Really? - Oh.  (Looks down)  When I got here they... They didn't do that.  -  Well.  That's nice for her." 

Cordy is sitting on her throne.  A girl is polishing the nails on her right hand. 
Cordy:  "You're sure this is a good first date look?  I don't want to seem too easy.  I was thinking something more in a nice tailored suit - of armor. - So, so I figured we'd start slow.  A few dinners, some light conversation, nothing too heavy and *then* in three or four years, if we still feel like we're hitting it off okay, we'll ah..." 
Silas:  "Your majesty." 
Cordy:  "Yeah." 
Silas points towards the door:  "The groosalug." 
Cordy:  "Say, don't you think it would add an air of feminine mystery if I were to, you know, not be here?" 
She tries to get up but is pushed back down into her throne by a bluish hand on her shoulder. 
The double doors open and wheezing, bulky demon with horns shuffles in, a sack slung over it's shoulder. 
Cordy to one of her attendants:  "Kill me now." 
She looks back to find a handsome warrior following the beast into the throne room.  He claps the beast on the shoulder. 
Groo to beast:  "Just put those anywhere." 
Groo walks up to the throne and kisses the back of Cordy's hand. 
Groo:  "Majesty." 
Cordy:  "Oh."

Angel and Fred are walking outside between some low boulders. 
Fred:  "I've never been to the palace before.  I've seen it up there, on that hill, watching me." 
Angel:  "We just gotta find my friends." 
He slows, scans their surroundings. Two bucket-head soldiers on horseback, swords drawn come around a boulder. 
Angel: "Get down." 
Angel pushes Fred to the ground and tries to shield her with his own body, as the first guard charges and tires to swipe them with his sword. 
Angel:  "Look, you may see something that might frighten you, but I'm your friend, okay?" 
Angel jumps up to engage the guards as they come at them again while Fred runs to cower against the side of a boulder. 
The first guard charges Angel and he ducks under the sword, turns to find the second guard almost on top of him.  He morphs but instead of his usual vamp face appearing the morph continues until his whole face turns green and bumpy, framed by some almost horn-like protrusions, while his hands turn into claws. 
Fred flinches a little as Angel leaps to pull the second guard of his horse.  Angel lays into the downed guard with wild ferocity.  The guard screams as Angel literally rips one of his arms off and tosses it aside.  Seeing this the other guard turns his rearing horse, and flees. 
Angel buries his head against the guard's throat and the guard goes motionless.  Lifting his head Angel looks back at Fred, cowering against her boulder. 
Fred, shaking her head:  

"Bad things always happen here."


Growling, Angel leaves the soldier and makes his way over to Fred, who tries to make herself as small as possible.  Angel leans in close to her and sniffs.  Blood is smeared around his mouth and coloring his teeth.  There is a piece of meat hanging form one fang. 
After a moment Angel abruptly turns to look over his shoulder and leaps away from Fred in a sudden flash of motion. 
Fred draws a few gasping breaths, then looks over at the mutilated corpse of the guard lying a few feet away.

Angel is sitting at the head of the conference table, tapping his fingers impatiently as he stares at the room full of empty chairs. He rolls his head, shuffles and stacks papers, then leans forward and stares at the speakerphone.

(impatiently presses a button on the speakerphone)

(over speakerphone)
I know! I called everyone. They're just...

Not here. I can see that. 
If they were here, I wouldn't be alone. 
Why am I alone?

(walks into the conference room)
Well, you can be super grouchy.

(presses a button on the speakerphone, turning it off, then looks up at Harmony)
The meeting?

Everyone's otherwise occupado, boss. 
Wesley's stuck baby-sitting Miss "I used to rule the world, bow down before me, minion scum." 
(puts her hands on her hips and shakes her head)
Why aren't we killing her, again?


(sighs thoughtfully)
(leans on the back of a conference table chair)
...if we had a really big one.

Where is Gunn?

Oh. The hospital still. You know, from when Wesley... 
(mimes stabbing)
and Lorne's kinda M.I.A. since...


(nods sadly)
Okey-dokey then. 
(shrugs with false cheer and exits)

(enters carrying a briefcase)
Where's the rest of the crew?

Apparently not coming.

But this is an important meeting.

At least somebody....

My first official parley as a very loosely affiliated member of the... what are we? 
(puts his briefcase on the conference table)
Tell me we're not Scoobies. 
(unlatches the briefcase)

We don't have a...

A name? Well, that's probably for the best. 
You'd want to be "Angel's Avengers" or something.

(frowns, mocking)
"Angel's Avengers," that's... 
(stops himself as he ponders the sound of it)

So what's on the agenda? 
(reaches into his briefcase)

(leans over his papers)
Uh, I have assignments for people...
(looks up as the sound of a pop-top opening comes from Spike)

(Angel glares)
I'm listening. 
(holds up a beer can)
With beer. 

(glares at Spike)
Forget it. You know what? 
This isn't a meeting. This is you being annoying. 
(stands, sighs heavily, looks out the window)

(grabs a paper from the stack where Angel was sitting)
Hey, bullet points. Classy. 
(pauses to read, then holds up the paper to Angel with contempt)
Why am I always reconnaissance? I should get a decently flash gig like "save the girl" or "steal the emerald with the girl."

(stares at his feet)
"Handsome Man, Save Me From The Monsters."

Exactly! Or... What's that now?

That's the first thing Fred said to me. In Pylea. 
(paces behind his chair)
She was trapped, hiding, afraid. 
Nearly crazy. Crazy. But brave. 
I should never have let her come here. 

Bad things always happen here.

Hate to break it to you, mate, but bad things always happen everywhere. 
Besides, she wanted to be here. It was her choice.

Was it?

You're fixing to do something stupid, aren't you?

Done it. Came here. 
Spend every day lying to myself about making The World a better place.

Welcome to The Planet. 
We all paint on our happy faces every day, when all we really wanted is to pound the neighbor's missus, steal his Ben Franklins, and while we're at it, not think about the third of The World that's starving to death. 
(walks toward the window, looks out)

I'm not saying that I can fix everything. I just... I... I have to do better. 
The senior partners have a plan.

Yeah, the prophecy. 
That ever-lovin' Apocalypse you keep going on about.

Yeah, which Apocalypse? The one last year or the year before that? No, the senior partners are up to something now, and I'm not waiting for them to spring it on us. 
We're through operating in the dark.

Wes and Gunn are walking through the forest. 

Gunn:  "We're lost." 

Wesley:  "Nonsense.  I've been following the sun.  We're headed due west, back toward the village." 

Gunn:  "Which one?" 

Wesley:  "Which village?" 


"Which sun?  There're two of them.  
Alternate dimension?  We're lost." 

Wesley stops and holds up a hand for silence. 

Gunn:  "You're having a Blair witch moment?" 

Wesley:  "Something's hunting us." 

Gunn smoothly slides in to stand back to back with Wes.

Gunn:  "Palace guards?" 

Wesley:  "I don't know." 

They pivot together to survey their surroundings.  Suddenly the Angel-beast appears on top of a rock, then jumps off, knocking both of them to the ground. 

Wes and Gunn pick themselves up and turn to look at the Angel-beast, fanning out so that the beast can't come at both of them at once. 


"What the hell is it?" 

Wesley stumbles on a rock and falls.  The beast runs towards him hesitating a moment at the sight of the branch that Wes is holding in front of him.  At the same time Gunn begins to pelt the Angel-beast with rocks. 


"Come on!  Come on!" 

The Angel-beast turns and Wes spots Angel's tattoo showing briefly through a rip in his clothing. 


"It's Angel!" 

Gunn glances at Wes and the beast leaps, knocking him to the ground. 

Gunn is straining to hold the Angel-beast off far enough to keep out of the reach of its fangs. 


"Angel!  Can you hear me? Angel!  Angel?" 

Fred slowly dips her hand into a leather pouch hanging by her side.  When she takes her balled hand back out it is dripping with blood.  She slowly raises it up into the air. 

We can still dimly hear Wesley calling Angel's name, but the sound of his voice is being drowned out by a heartbeat like thudding underlying a haunting woodwind tune as the Angel-beast slowly straightens up and looks over towards the blood covered fist. 

The Angel-beast slowly moves closer to Fred and, with her fist still raised, Fred slowly backs up, leading it away. 

Wesley hurries over to Gunn and notices deep scratches marring his left shoulder. 


"Oh, you're hurt." 


"What the hell just happened?" 


"That strange wild girl saved us - from Angel." 


"Something very freaky is going on here." 


 "I have a suspicion I may know what.  
Angel's vampire-self - has been sublimated somehow - by this dimension." 

He picks up a handful of wet mud and gets ready to smear it over Gunn's scratches.  Gunn holds up a hand. 


"It's okay." 

Gunn lets him pack the scratches with mud. 


"Only his human side as surfaced since we've been here..." 


"You mean being able to walk around in the sun - seeing his reflection, like that?" 


"Yes.  And now, for whatever reason he's accessed his demon, but he can't find the balance he normally would in Our World.  
His demon-self has totally overcome his human side." 


"So that's what the thing inside of him really looks like?" 


"In its purest form." 


"That's nasty." 


Can you walk?" 




We've got to help him.

No comments:

Post a Comment