Episode 02: Of The Heart
New Watcher's Council
Two weeks after the collapse of Sunnydale
This was for the best. Kennedy wasn't quite sure why she believed the man who'd visited her last week, but she did. There was just... something about him. Something so different from everyone and everything else.
He'd told her Willow's future lay on a different path. He'd shown
her that future. Of course, it could have just been an illusion, a lie... but she didn't think it was. It hadn't felt like one. It had felt very, very real.
She believed in it enough to be doing this. Breaking up with Willow would be the hardest thing she'd ever done, but it had
to be done. The man was right. Willow was destined for so much greater things...
She nearly flinched when Willow came in to the room, smiling brightly at her, just
for her. Kennedy doubted she'd ever get to see that smile anymore.
When the red head hugged her, she had to fight the urge not to just rip away from her, not touch her. This was hard enough as it was. But, as painful as it was, this would likely be the last time she ever got to hug Willow like this.
Willow pulled away, tilting her head in curiousity. "What is it? You said you had something... some information?"
Kennedy took a step back, a deep breath, and wiped her damp palms on the back of her jeans. "Willow... I'm sorry, but this isn't working." She forced, forced
herself to keep watching Willow, watch the expression on her face as it crumbled, turned devistated.
"Wh- You- you can't mean that. Oh Goddess, it's something I did, isn't it? Whatever it is, I promise, I'll fix it..."
Kennedy shook her head, pressing a hand to Willow's lips, needing to get this all out without interuptions.
"It's nothing you did... You never did anything wrong, Willow. This time that I've spent with you... it's been the best time of my life. I love you... you have no idea how much. But I-" She stopped, taking a shaky breath, then continued.
"You're destined for something much greater than this. I should have seen it earlier, but... I'm really, truly sorry. I'm leaving for Cleaveland tonight. Please, please, don't try and contact me."
It came out harsher than intended, and Kennedy's heart nearly broke at the sight of Willow's tears. She forced the last few words from her constricted throat, while she could still speak at all.
"It wasn't me you were meant to be with. There's someone wonderful out there, waiting for you. Be strong."
With that, Kennedy walked out of the room, and out of Willow's life.
She wondered if doing the right thing was supposed to hurt this much.Episode 02: Of The Heart
Geo City Tunnels
An hour earlier
The tunnel was dark, but Echoes needed no light to see what he sought. It was right there in front of him, nearly glowing with the light...
The light of the evolved humans.
When he had trailed Manticore, his clone, to this city, when he had died to stop
Manticore, he had never expected these results. Evolved humans, evolved because something had woken inside them when he had released all his energy. Evolved because of him. And now, trapped inside this... cocoon.
Of course, he didn't disagree with the Boogiepop Phantom's method of dealing with the situation. It was, really, the best way. The world was not ready for them, and they were not fit for the world as it was now. He himself, at the highest stage of evolution that mankind would reach, was not really fit for the world. Not like this, anyway. Which is why he needed-
He didn't turn from his position. He already knew who was behind him.
"Yes, I'm back."
"This will not be a repeat of last time, I hope. You do not want me after you. You will not win."
He bowed his head, smiling. "I know. It won't be like last time. It will be different. She
will be with me."
The voice behind him sounded amused. "And when will she
He tilted his head, as if listening to something only he could hear. "...soon. Very soon."
"You know that they know you're back, and will stop at nothing to find you and lock you up again."
This time he laughed, turning around to face the person. Feminine features graced its face, dark brown hair framing it, but that was all that could be seen. A purple cloak covered the rest, and a purple hat was perched on its head.
"The Towa Organization is nothing, in the end. Still, I will be careful. You should do the same... Boogiepop."
"I am Death. I do not need to be careful." Boogiepop smirked, gliding backwards and disappearing from sight.
Echoes turned back to the cocoon, studied it in silence for a few minutes, then left as well.Scene 3
Narita Airport - Tokyo
Three weeks later
"Buffy, remind me again why you're
carrying the luggage and I'm
the one playing Translation Girl?"
"Because I'm Slay gal, with the bonus feature of super strength, and you're better with Japanese than I am? About all I know is maguro
Willow stopped walking so she could give Buffy an incredulous stare. "Tuna? You read my English to Japanese dictionary the entire flight over here, and all you can say is 'tuna'?!"
Buffy frowned, looking faintly puzzled. "So maguro
doesn't mean 'show me to the nearest mall'?"
Willow just blinked a few times before beginning to walk again. "Okay, I am definitely
not letting you speak while we're here."
Buffy was right in the middle of an indignant 'Hey!' when the two were approached by a woman. She looked to be in her thirties, Japanese, and-
"She's wearing tweed
!" Buffy stage-whispered to Willow, frantically. Willow just rolled her eyes, bowing politely.
"You must be Junmi Uotani, our contact. I'm Willow Rosenberg, and this is-"
"Buffy Summers. Yes, I know both of you." The woman bowed back, speaking in perfect, if slightly accented, English, then smiled at them. "Please, call me Junmi. It's an honor to meet you two. To think that you... well, this is no place for that. I imagine you're tired and want to get to the hotel."
Buffy nodded eagerly, nearly bouncing in place. "Yes. But before that... can we get something to eat?" This was punctuated by a loud growl from her stomach.
Junmi laughed. "Of course. I know just the place. If you'll follow me..."Scene 4
One month before
A figure, hidden by a red cloak and hood, stood in front of a long table of people.
"Red Dragon, what is your mission?"
"To rendevous with Spooky Electric. Capture Echoes, detain him, and bring him back to the Organization. Kill any evolved humans encountered."
One of the people at the table seemed to nod. It was hard to tell with the weak backlighting making them nothing but shadowy figures.
"Very good. Echoes is your number one priority. He must be caught at all costs. He can not
be allowed to roam free, instigate change in a society we have worked so long to preserve. Do not return to us until you have him. Is this clear?"
"You are dismissed."
The figure in red bowed, then backed out of the room, only turning around once the doors were closed behind it.
Red Dragon's head raised, and all that could be seen beyond the hood was a flash of red eyes and a hint of fang.
"Prepare yourself, Echoes. You won't be escaping this time."End Episode
Three, two, one, bang. Then you're dead. Sometimes I cry in my sleep, thinking about it. But who is this mysterious figure?
People don't think I notice much, but I notice a lot more than they do. Just like I noticed them.She is here.
Episode 03: One Two Three