Season 1 Episode 2
Faith S1 Ep 2
"She defeated you? A mere girl?"
Luke dropped onto one knee before his Sire, the Master. He'd been a vampire for 200 years, but he didn't think it would matter if he lived to be a thousand, seeing the Master with his bald head, black suit, golden eyes, and ever-present fangs would always fill him with a feeling of dread. "She was strong, stronger than any mortal I have faced. I think she was a Slayer."
"Um, the last time a mortal faced you and lived was Madrid 1843, and you were young then, barely four decades old," the Master glanced around the huge candlelit cavern, his expression thoughtful. "Could it be, that she was a Slayer?"
"Let me bring her to you Master!" Luke didn't have to look behind him to know the shout came from Darla, a beautiful blonde who his Master had turned almost four hundred years and but for an indiscretion two hundred and fifty years ago would be his superior in the Master's court.
The Master looked at the former whore, his gaze searching, for a few seconds before shaking his head. "No," the eight centuries old demon declared. "When I am free from my prison," the Master rapped his fist on the invisible wall encasing him. "The Slayer is mine. It is too long since I fed on that richest of blood. Until then the priority is the Harvest."
"When Master?" Darla demanded eagerly.
The Master's mouth parted in a chilling smile. "Tomorrow night."
* * *
"They know who you are?"
"The broad strokes yeah," Faith resisted the urge to roll her eyes as she accompanied her Watcher and guardian through the school corridors towards the library. She'd avoided breaking the news last night about her identity being discovered, hoping that breaking the news somewhere more public would lessen the reaction. As a strategy it really blew. Four times in the ten minutes since they'd arrived he'd given her the 'the Slayer must work in secret' lecture. Pointing out that Xander and Jesse had overheard them both hadn't helped either. "But you -."
Faith and her Watcher stopped dead as they walked through the library doors to find Xander, Jesse, Cordelia, Jonathan, and Willow sat at the library desk. "Why didn't you tell us about the vampires?" demanded Cordelia her tone strident.
Giles turned to her. "Three people you said, there's five! What did you do put a bloody announcement on a poster and stick it to the school bulletin board?"
"God no," Xander chirped in. "Nobody reads that!"
"Posters?' Willow squeaked. "If you need posters making I've got some great softw-," the red-head's voice trailed off at her Watcher's glare.
"Look," Cordelia stood and strode over to them until she was standing just a foot from the Englishman. Faith hid a smile, damn the cheerleader had heart. "I want some answers now mister! How can there be vampires and how come she," the cheerleader pointed at her, "fights them?"
Giles stared at the tall brunette, apparently stunned that anyone would stand up to him like that. Finally the Englishman caved in. "Very well. The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon. He bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth, feeding... Killing some, mixing their blood with others to make more of their kind. Waiting for the animals to die out, and the old ones to return."
"And a hellmouth?" Willow’s voice was timid.
"My, you do have flapping ears don't you?" Giles grimaced. "When the Spanish settled here they called it 'Boca del Infierno'."
"Ah, the mouth of hell!" All eyes turned to Cordelia. "What? I have a Mexican maid."
Giles stared at the girl for a couple more seconds before continuing. "It's a sort of a portal between this reality and the next."
"Okay," Xander broke the long silence that followed her Watcher's pronouncement. "Now next question. What's the Slayer?"
"For as long as there have been vampires, there's been the Slayer. One girl in all the world, a Chosen One who hunts the creatures of the night," Giles explained. "Faith is the current one."
"Her!" Cordelia's eyes widened in disbelief. "She's meant to protect us all? We're doomed!"
"Hey!" Faith bristled.
Giles ignored them as he continued. "Alright. The Slayer hunts vampires, Faith is a Slayer, don't tell anyone. Well, I think that's all the vampire information you need."
Xander and Jesse exchanged glances. "Except how to kill them," Xander commented.
Faith rolled her eyes. "Hey guys, hate to break it to ya, but you two going all Butch & Sundance will only get you both killed."
"They've killed before," it was the first time she'd ever heard the terminally shy Jonathan speak. "We've all lost friends to them. Every month at least one of us will go to a funeral for a friend who's gone missing."
Suddenly Faith had an idea. "G, they could help-."
"Faith, I am not sending defenceless children in to fight vampires."
Faith decided not to point out she was hardly approaching retirement age. "No I didn't mean that. I meant they could help research," the part of the job she hated the most. "Help me train when you're banged up and cover for me when I have to skip class for Slayer stuff."
* * *
Giles hesitated. This was hardly Watcher procedure but then there had never been such a situation before. And the assistance would come in handy and judging from the look of desperate hope in his daughter's eyes, she was obviously fearful that by pushing these other children away from her Slaying she would lose them completely as friends. "Very well. But no patrolling."
His agreement was rewarded with a beaming smile that was a million miles away from Faith's usual smirk and swept away his misgivings in an instance. "Thanks G."
He nodded at his charge before turning back to the others. "Now, our first order of business is to find out all we can about the Master and this Harvest he's planning."
"Great!" Cordelia's face fell. "Say, this researching doesn't mean we have to wear tweed right?"
"No Cordy," Xander reassured the anxious girl. "You can keep on wearing hooker wear."
"Especially the short skirts," Jesse leered up at the shapely brunette. "I really like them."
* * *
Luke approached the Master and knelt before him. A smile on his face, the Master offered his hand. Luke lowered his lips and kissed the proffered appendage. The Master turned it over to offer the underside of his wrist. Luke opened the cuff of the Master's sleeve and pulled it back before sinking his fangs into the Master's wrist, drinking some of the blood before releasing the wrist.
The Master beamed, apparently unfazed by having his blood drunk. "My blood is your blood. My soul is your soul."
Luke replied. "My body is your instrument."
The Master stepped down to his childe and drew a three-pointed star on Luke's forehead with the blood still flowing from his wrist. "On this... most hallowed night... we are as one. Luke is the Vessel! Every soul he takes will feed me. And their souls will grant me the strength to free myself. Tonight I shall walk the Earth, and the stars themselves will hide!"
Darla glared from the shadows. By rights as oldest childe she should be the Vessel, one mistake over two centuries ago and still she hadn't regained the Master's favour. One day though, she silently promised, one day she and not Luke would be the Master's right hand!
* * *
"Oh dear, oh dear."
Faith glanced up, her heart clenching in fear. The last time she'd heard Giles use that tone was when he discovered who Lothos was. "What's the sitch G?" she kept her tone light even as her blood began to race.
"It appears the vampire Luke was a young adventurer turned two hundred years ago by the Master."
"Who is?" Cordelia prompted. "Jeez, hurry it up I've a nail appointment tonight!"
Her Watcher cast the Queen of Sunnydale High an irritated glance before continuing. "A German by the name of Nest who was turned approximately eight centuries ago." Faith winced, bad but not as bad as it could have been. "He disappeared around sixty years ago. I now believe from tonight's research that he attempted to open the Hellmouth to unleash the demons-."
"Doing that would make this world open season for demons then?"
"Indeed," Giles nodded at Jonathan's quietly asked question. "But something went wrong. An earthquake struck the town, swallowing up half of it, killing hundreds. However, a fortunate side-effect of this earthquake was that whatever ritual the Master was attempting backfired, trapping him in the Hellmouth."
"And this Harvest is to set him free?" Faith guessed.
"Precisely," Giles nodded. "It comes once in a century, on this night. The Master can draw power from one of his minions while it feeds. Enough power to break free from his prison. The minion is called the Vessel, and he bears this symbol."
"I'm betting the Vessel will be Luke."
"Maybe," Giles jumped up and drew a three pointed star on the whiteboard. "But to be certain that you are getting the right vampire, you must kill whoever is sporting that on their forehead."
"Dust the vamp, no Harvest?" Faith queried.
"Simply put yes," Giles replied. "The next question though is where the Harvest will take place?"
"That's easy," commented Xander, she noticed the teen's eyes were suddenly serious, suggesting a depth she hadn't believed he possessed. "They're goin' to the Bronze."
"And," Giles stared at the young man. "How can you be sure?"
"Come on." Xander rose. "All those tasty young morsels all over the place?"
Faith nodded and jumped to her feet. "Makes sense. Well thanks guys I'll see ya -."
"No way," Xander shook his head. "You're not cutting us out."
"Look," she spoke slowly, enunciating every word for the special needs amongst the audience. "Me Slayer, you not so much."
"Actually Faith," she sighed at her Watcher's voice. "I might need to evacuate the place."
"K," after a second she nodded. "But no John Wayne crap, got me?"
"Now that's settled," Cordy beamed. "Who's coming with me?"
Jesse's face paled. "Oh crap," Faith's enhanced hearing heard him say. "I'd rather fight a vampire." Finally the youth raised a hand. "I'll come with you." Faith had to fight back a laugh at the sickly look on the boy's face. If that was what love did to you, you could keep it.
* * *
Donny looked up from his position at the door of the Bronze and smiled. His life was good, his position as bouncer having two advantages over any other club in town. One, all the young talent, no over-the-hill hags in here. And two, the teenage boys didn't know enough about fighting to give him any trouble if they got rowdy. All in all, he was on easy street. Hearing the sound of approaching feet he looked up to see a very hot blonde leading a gang of six guys to the club. " I need ID," the blonde was past him and in the club before he had time to react. " Hey! Nobody gets inside until I get some sorta..."
His voice trailed off when one of the men, a hulking giant even bigger than him, growled in his face. "Inside now."
* * *
"Guard the door," Luke ordered as he shoved the doorman before him. "No one in or out. Larry," he turned to one of his childes, a former LA. Cop he'd turned in the early thirties. "Find the power and turn it off. I really hate this music."
Once the music was turned off Luke climbed up on the stage. "Ladies and Gentlemen! There is no cause for alarm. Actually," he paused and vamped out, "there is cause for alarm. It just won't do any good." Luke roared with laughter as the crowd began to scream, glorying in their terror. "This is a glorious night! It is also the last one any of you shall ever see. Bring me the first."
One of his minions dragged out the doorman. "What do you guys want, man, huh? You want money? I got money," the bouncer stuttered. Luke stared at his victim, enjoying his horror. "Man, what's wrong with your faces? I know some really good skincare products."
Tiring of his prisoner's ramblings, Luke snatched hold of him by his hair, pulled his head back and plunged his fangs into his neck, drinking him dry in seconds before flinging the body to the ground. "Next!"
* * *
"Yes! Oh yes!" The Master looks up to the ceiling as he feels the power his vessel has sent him course through his veins. Soon he will have the strength to escape. Soon.
* * *
"Damn it!" Faith glared first at the locked front door and then at her Watcher. "What have I told you before, we need a new car. I could have run here fast than that scrapheap!"
"Now," Giles looked faintly injured. "Hold on. That car is a classic young lady."
"Guys, focus," Cordelia broke in. When they'd arrived the cheerleader was already in the parking lot filing her nails as Jesse attempted to keep his last month's meals down. "They've already started. Can you break the door down?"
Faith stared at the door for a second before shaking her head. "Take too long. I'll go in through the skylight. You guys go in through the back way and get everyone out. No heroics," she shot a warning glance at Xander.
* * *
Climbing to the club's flat roof took a matter of seconds, unpicking the skylight lock even less. Man, cross her B&E skills with her new powers, she'd be the best thief ever, Faith mused as she dropped onto the shadowy landing above the stage. Pushing aside thoughts of what might have been, she looks down, eyes narrowing when she noticed Luke stood below her..
"I feel him rising. Every soul brings him closer! I need another! Tonight is his ascension. Tonight will be history at its end! Yours is a glorious sacrifice! Degradation most holy. What? No volunteers?!"
"Fuck," Faith vaulted over the landing railing and onto the pool table opposite the stage. "Long-winded bastard aren't you?"
Luke's eyes widened. "Get her!"
Two demons lunged at her, one from each side. Instantly Faith snatched the cue up from the table and thrust it left and right, staking them both in quick succession before somersaulting off the table to land on the floor. "Really lame," another vampire lunged at her. She sidestepped the attack, leaving a foot behind for the vampire to trip over. The moment the vampire hit the floor, she thrust her stake through its back. "They don't make vampires the way they used to."
She turned to face Luke only to catch a thunderbolt right to her jaw, lifting her off her feet and dumping her to the ground. Shaking it off, she rolled to her feet, a half-second before a stamp to the head. "K, so big guy wants a little one on one with the champeen does he?" Faith gestured towards the vampire. "Come get some."
* * *
Giles' heart stopped as he forced the back door open, using larcenous skills learnt in his pre-Watcher past, and saw his tiny girl fighting a vampire easily twice her size. "It's not right," he whispered, in front of his very eyes he saw the very reason why he'd resisted becoming a Watcher in the first place. Young girls shouldn't have to fight demons, it was a job for adults, the inhumanity of it all.
"G-Man," Xander whispered from beside him. "What do we do next?"
"Yes," shaking off his self-disgust, he turned to the young man and his companions. "Get them out, quietly now!"
Xander nodded before approaching the dazed crowd, Jesse by his side. "C'mon! Let's go! C'mon! C'mon! C'mon! C'mon!"
As the youths reached him, he guided them out of the door, whispering exultations even as he kept one eye on his girl. "Hurry up! Come on! Through this door! Come on! This way!" Suddenly a snarling weight hit him in the back, knocking him to the ground.
* * *
A snarl on his face, Luke charged her. Faith retaliated with a full spinning hook kick that sent her rival stumbling into a pile of chairs only for the vampire to spring up immediately and come at her swinging wild haymakers. A grin on her gace, Faith ducked beneath the clumsy attack, coming up behind her adversary and planting a powerful elbow in his kidney.
"Argh!" Luke roared in pain before attempting a backhand punch that she grabs at the wrist, holding the arm tight as she plants a rapid trio of kick in her rival's midsection. "Noo!" the vampire screamed as he pulled loose and slammed a solid right into her mouth, bloodying it.
Faith grinned. Damn, these vampires thought they hit hard? They wanted to try getting thrown across the room by their Ma at five years old, this wasn't shit! "Have a taste," she taunted before spitting the blood welling in her mouth at the vampire, snatching up her stake and lunging at her rival. "Shit!" Faith cursed as Luke grabbed her wrist just inches from the target and lifted her into the air, throwing her into a pile of boxes by the stage.
* * *
The moment she saw the Watcher hit the floor, Cordelia started forward. Gathering her courage, she planted a foot in the blonde vampire's stomach. "Hey!" the instance the vampire looked up, she flung the holy water bottle into her face. The demon screamed in agony, the right side of her face blistering, but her satisfaction was short-lived as the vampire leapt to her feet and back-handed her to the ground.
"You little bitch!" screamed the wounded demon as she advanced on her.
* * *
Faith looked up to see Luke towering over her supine form, a vicious grin on his face. "I always wanted to kill a Slayer."
"Yeah well," her foot shot up to catch the demon between the legs. "I always wanted to make a vampire sing soprano." She rolled backwards to her feet. "Shame only one of us gets our wish."
"Bitch!" The doubled-up vampire charged her. Caught by surprise, she was only partially able to get out of the way of the on-rushing monster, being caught across the face by a bulky shoulder, knocking her off balance and into the wall behind. Dazed, she grabbed a musical stand. "Metal cannot harm me child," Luke sneered.
Faith flung the stand into the light above her, shattering the glass. "Sunlight can." The shocked vampire looked up into the darkness. Faith used the diversion to draw her stake and plunge it into the vampire's heart. "In about eight hours dumbass."
* * *
Darla smiled to herself as she strode towards the stunned girl. Oh she was a pretty one alright. But she wouldn't be for much longer, not after she'd flayed her face off, inch by torturous inch.
Suddenly two youths were between her and her prey, holding crosses in their shaking hands. "Back off!" ordered one of them.
Darla glared at them. It would only take a second to take all three of them. She glanced to her left to see Luke explode into dust. A second she didn't have. After a final snarl she raced out of the back door.
* * *
The Master fell to his knees, the walls of his invisible prison growing stronger just as he'd been about to break free. "No!" his eyes glowed with an even greater intensity than normal. "That bitch! You'll pay!"
* * *
"So no Master rising then," Faith smirked as she led her dazed Watcher back to his car.
"For now anyway," Giles looked at her. "You did well tonight Faith."
"Uh, thanks." Faith looked down at the ground, as confused as always at the praise. G was always saying nice stuff to her, how hard she trained, how smart she was, weird shit like that. She didn't get it, guys would compliment her sure, when they wanted to get her on her back, but G didn't try anything. "Say, your head took a pretty bad bang right?"
"Yes," her Watcher winced. "Indeed it did."
"So, maybe you need someone to drive us home. Say me?"
"No it does bloody not!" Giles' eyes widened in horror. "Once being driven by you was quite enough!"
"Hey, I was a wicked car booster back in the day!"
"You drive with all the grace of a blind elephant!"