Kendra stood at the foot of the stairs with tears streaming down her face. She was sobbing so hard, the words she was trying to form made no sense. She held her phone out in front of her. Xander, who was the first person to reach her, took the phone from her unresisting hand. Dru caught her as she collapsed and wrapped her arms around her. Vivian was at her side moments later, and took both Kendra’s hands in hers. Buffy and Giles exchanged looks. No one had ever seen Kendra cry, not even the day she’d come back from the dead, when Buffy had held her, crying her eyes out. Kendra was almost stoic about feelings. Vivian didn’t know it, but she had been the first person to witness Kendra’s tears.
“What happened, dear,” asked Vivian. “What’s wrong?”
“She called me. She called me and I couldn’t help her,” sobbed Kendra
“Put it on speakerphone, Xander,” said Giles.
“It’s my landline,” said Kendra, forcing her emotions back down. She took the phone and punched in her code.
The messages began to play. Kendra skipped the first message.
“Kendra! It’s me, Arundhati! I’m in trouble. I couldn’t remember the number for the council – so I called you. I was hoping you could let Buffy know… Oh God, Kendra, I’m in so much trouble. They killed him. They killed my husband. They’re after the baby. I remember reading this prophecy. I think it’s coming true. They want the baby so they can control the slayer line. It didn’t make any sense when Harold made me study it, but I remembered… “The Child of the Slayer is the key to slayer’s destiny…” You have to tell them. I’m sure it’s in his papers. Tell them I’m at the hotel Grace… but, Kendra, if I don’t make it… thank you for being my friend… tell Buffy and Charlie and Giles I…” there was a sound of banging on the door. Even on the message, it sounded very loud.
“My god!” said Giles.
“They’re here. I’m out of time. Tell them… I was happy. We were happy… please don’t be afraid to live, Kendra – we got a second chance… it was so good,” Arundhati was sobbing as she spoke. “Oh God Kendra… I wish you could have met them… my baby… and Prakash… I won’t let you down… but tell Buffy… she has to stop them… I overheard – when they were in my house… I think they’re somewhere in Las Vegas – that’s in America, right? You have to stop them or they’ll try to make a slayer army… Don’t worry about me, OK?” suddenly, Arundhati’s voice was deadly calm. “I won’t let them take my baby. I won’t let you down, OK? I love you, Kendra.”
The banging got louder. It sounded as if Arundhati tried to put down the phone, but she must have missed, because there were muffled sounds and more banging. Then there was a single horrible scream and the line, mercifully, went dead.
“Oh Jesus,” said Buffy, who covered her face and wept.