Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Buffy: Save the Vampires

I wrote this many years ago under the pseudonym Buffyrat and put it up on one of the many fan fiction sites (I forget which) on the internet. It got some kudos, as I recall. In season four of the show Buffy goes to university, and I always thought there should be an episode that explores the university protest group scene (every university has one). I also wanted to follow up on an idea that occurs in a later episode, namely that vampires could feed off of willing victims and not kill them. When you think about it, vampires killing people doesn’t make sense. We are a renewable supply of blood for them – if they leave us enough to live. There’s also an in joke here to do with Sunnydale’s former mayor, Richard Wilkins, and the new mayor which only Australian readers will get. That’s all I’m sayin’…

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

Notice to reader: this episode happens in between season four’s ‘BEER BAD’ and ‘WILD AT HEART’.

“Save The Vampires”

by Russell Forden

TEASER

  1. EXT. A WOOD NEAR UC SUNNYDALE – NIGHT

Open on a GROUP OF VAMPS prowling through the wood, apparently looking for ‘food’. They walk carefully but confidently, keeping an eye out for people. Suddenly the last of the vamps throws up his hands and shakes uncontrollably, obviously in distress. He YELLS. The other vamps look around, puzzled and alert.

ANGLE: VAMP

We now see that the shaking vamp has been tasered. We also now see a FIGURE in the bushes, holding the business end of the taser gun. As the other vamps look around, their fangs showing, OTHER FIGURES appear from the bushes. We see it’s the INITIATIVE BOYS, all masked, all with taser rifles. Another vamp gets hit. He YELLS. Taser blasts go off everywhere. The other vamps panic and run for it.

  1. EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE WOOD – NIGHT

(CONTINUOUS)

We travel with the vamps that are left (about three) as they run through this other part of the wood. One of them stumbles as he runs. He gets up and keeps going, joining the others, who have now stopped. They look around, momentarily relieved.

VAMP ONE

Who were those guys?

Just as VAMP ONE says this he’s kicked on the chin by a leg belonging to a body OFF CAMERA. He looks up, hurt and surprised to see —

BUFFY

I just love it when they’re not looking.

Buffy starts kicking major vamp booty. The vamps fight, but are too panicked to do much to Buffy. One gets DUSTED and so the others run away – again.

  1. EXT. FIRST PART OF THE WOOD – NIGHT.

The two vamps left run back to the previous part of the wood.

VAMP ONE

Who was that girl?

VAMP TWO

I think it was the Slayer, dude.

VAMP ONE

Oh great!

VAMP TWO

Hey, isn’t this where those-?

Before VAMP TWO can finish his sentence he gets tasered. It’s a comedy of horrors for the last vamp – VAMP ONE – who by now is seriously wigged. He stands there, one poor lone vamp amongst the four or five INITIATIVE GUYS who now appear. He gives a GIRLY SCREAM and runs away, back the way he came.

  1. EXT. OTHER PART OF THE WOOD – NIGHT

VAMP ONE looks around and realises where he is.

VAMP ONE

Oh no, this is-

VAMP ONE runs straight back into the feet and fists of –

BUFFY

Come back for more? Glad to oblige.

BUFFY finally dispatches him (dusts him).

LONG CONTINUOUS SHOT TO A NEARBY HILL (OR TREE), where we see a couple of guys – UC Sunnydale students, ZAC and JOSH who’ve been watching the entire thing from their vantage point. Both are in the protest movement; Zac is earnest and at times self-righteous, and Josh is aggressive and confrontational.

JOSH

See, man, I told you. See what goes on?

BLACK OUT.

END OF TEASER

ACT ONE

5. INT. UC SUNNYDALE LOUNGE – DAY

FADE UP on a poster proclaiming a visit to UC Sunnydale by Sunnydale’s new mayor, Mayor Maldrum. We see a picture of said mayor on the poster: he looks as happy and cleancut and straight-ahead as – Mayor Wilkins.

Except for BUFFY and WILLOW the lounge looks curiously empty. Buffy and Willow stroll past a number of the posters, Willow looking at them while Buffy talks on seemingly oblivious of them. Willow is holding some A4 size posters.

BUFFY

Will’ I’m so glad Mr Reedy let me take his Popular Culture class after all.

WILLOW

But didn’t you drop that one because it was dull?

WILLOW starts to staple some of the posters she’s holding onto the Student Bulletin board. They’re posters for an environment club.

BUFFY

Nah, that was just me being all bitter and rejected. “Blonde girl”, ugh! Mr Reedy’s actually not so bad – when you learn to shut your mouth and let him talk.

WILLOW

So what are you doing? Do you get to watch any John Cusack movies?

BUFFY

Well, no. But I am writing an essay about ‘the proliferation of strong female stereotypes in television.’

WILLOW

Hey, Xena!

BUFFY

Scully!

WILLOW

And that other one…You know…

BUFFY

(quietly)

Yeah.

They head towards the lounge exit.

BUFFY

Of course it’s not like any of this is going to lead to meaningful employment of any kind, but that’s okay. It’s fun. I’m resigned to my job as champion of the oppressed.

WILLOW

And the modest.

BUFFY

Still, some recognition would be nice.

WILLOW

You want to be recognised?

BUFFY

Well, appreciation would be nice. You know, after Parker happened, and —

(looks around)

Where is everyone?

  1. EXT. UC SUNNYDALE LAWN – DAY

CONTINUOUS

As Buffy and Willow walk outside we hear the sound of a CROWD, some commotion building.

ANGLE: THE CAMPUS GROUNDS

We now see the entire crowd. It looks like some kind of rally. STUDENTS stand in front of a covered platform and lectern with Mayor Maldrum posters and Young Democrat posters plastered all over it. A number of STUDENTS hold placards with various slogans on them: “TAKE BACK THE NIGHT”, “ANIMAL RIGHTS”, “SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT”, etc.

ANGLE: BUFFY and WILLOW

BUFFY

What’s going on?

WILLOW

The new mayor’s visiting. It’s only been all over the campus, Buffy.

BUFFY

Oh. What’s he here for?

WILLOW

I dunno. Some kind of pep talk for the Young Democrats. It should be interesting. There’s a lot of people here who don’t like him. Should be some verbal fireworks.

BUFFY

Well, as long as he doesn’t talk about Ascensions and turn into a giant snake, I’ll be okay with him.

Buffy and Willow join the crowd.

ANGLE: THE CROWD

We see a limo pull up under a tarpaulin near the platform. It’s windows are tinted. The MAYOR and his AIDES get out. He’s wearing sunglasses. He quickly walks up the stairs and stands on the platform, ready to speak.

He smiles and acknowledges the crowd, particularly his enthusiastic supporters – the ‘Young Democrats’ – in front of him. They clap and cheer wildly. We also see OTHER STUDENTS nearby, who seem less enthusiastic. They look up at the mayor warily.

The mayor finally takes off his sunglasses and leans authoritatively on the lectern. Squinting a little and looking around for the position of the sun, he waits for the crowd to be silent.

MAYOR MALDRUM

Thank you. I’d like to thank the Young Democrats especially for inviting me here. It’s not often as mayor I get to address the younger people of the community. It’s really nice to see so many students interested in politics. It’s like the Sixties! I firmly believe, if America is to thrive, it is essential that you, our young people, show an interest in the political life of the community. Ever since my predecessor Mayor Wilkins’ unfortunate ‘accident’ there has been too much apathy.

A STUDENT

Who cares?!

Some students laugh weakly at this lame joke.

MAYOR MALDRUM

(not missing a beat) Well, I care! And I see that some of you do too. I see the environment, animal welfare, women’s rights and others are all represented here. I see the wonderful tradition of student protest is alive and well in UC Sunnydale. That’s great. We need to listen to and identify voices of dissent, because how else do we make Sunnydale safe and friendly if we don’t see the disaffected, and if we don’t do something about them –?

At this point, a couple of the students from the ‘wary’ group – SALLY and MIKE – speak up.

SALLY

(yelling)

Mayor Maldrum, uh, Mayor Maldrum!

The mayor reluctantly acknowledges the student.

MALDRUM

Yes, is there a question there?

SALLY

Yes. Mayor Maldrum, if you’re so concerned about the safety of Sunnydale, could you please tell us what happened to your campaign promise to increase funding for Sunnydale’s inadequate police force?

MIKE

Yeah, where is it?

ANGLE: Buffy and Willow

We see that Willow in particular is starting to enjoy the event. She smiles at the questioners, hoping for more ‘verbal fireworks’.

As the mayor speaks we seem him look to his aides, pointing out the protesters to them, as if to say ‘get them later’.

MALDRUM

(taken a little off-guard)

Well, uh, there’s a simple answer to that. When I took office I instigated a review of Sunnydale’s record of crime and violence, and the review found that Sunnydale’s crime record is decreasing. As a result I couldn’t justify an increase in funding for the police. . .

The group of wary students, including Sally, HOWL in derision at this, the only intelligible part being:

MIKE

Who did the review?

But he’s drowned out.

ANGLE: ZAC and JOSH

During the commotion we see Zac and Josh in the crowd. Josh elbows Zac, encouraging him to take advantage of the lull in the speech to speak up, which he does.

ZAC

Mr Mayor, uh, Mr Mayor!

MALDRUM

–Yes? One final question?

There is a PAUSE as necks crane towards Zac. The crowd quietens down.

ZAC

What can you tell us about the existence of vampires in Sunnydale?

Some of the crowd act stunned. A large MURMURING is heard, and many heads turn to each other, puzzled. The mayor acts surprised too, but we can see that it’s not all that surprising to him.

MALDRUM

What did you say? Did I hear something about vampires?

ANGLE: Buffy and Willow

They look over at Zac, then look at each other, concerned.

BUFFY

Who was that?

WILLOW

That’s Zac. He’s in my environment group.

ANGLE: Zac and the mayor

ZAC

Yes. What do you know about the vampires roaming around Sunnydale at night?

MALDRUM

(blusters)

Uh, hoo, that’s news to me. You better take that one up with animal welfare (laughs slightly). . .I see my schedule here calls for a seminar with the Young Democrats. I’d like to answer more of your questions, but perhaps inside. Thank you UC Sunnydale.

He gives one final warning look at Zac as he leaves. The crowd starts to break up.

ANGLE: Buffy and Willow

BUFFY

We better go over and talk to him.

They move towards Zac. As they get closer we hear Zac and Josh talking to an INTERESTED GROUP OF STUDENTS who have converged on them.

JOSH

It’s true. We saw them last night in the woods. Some chick was beating them up.

Buffy, who had been thinking of saying something to them, now seems worried that the boys will recognise her as that ‘chick’. She nervously guides Willow away from them, but not before Josh looks over at her and seems to recognise her.

6. EXT. UC SUNNYDALE GROUNDS – A MOMENT LATER

BUFFY

That was weird.

WILLOW

Don’t worry. I don’t think anyone believed them.

BUFFY

No, but I apparently let them see me slay last night. I’ve gotta see Giles.

  1. EXT. UC SUNNYDALE GROUNDS – ANOTHER MOMENT LATER

Back with Josh and Zac talking to the crowd gathered.

ZAC

You don’t believe it, come on out with us tonight and we’ll show you!

  1. EXT. GILES’ HOUSE, COURTYARD – DAY

We hear MUSIC – ‘ROCK N’ ROLL’, BY VELVET UNDERGROUND (hey, it’s my fan script, I’ll put whatever I like, license clearances be damned!).

LYRICS

Ginny said when she was just five years old

There was nothin’ happinin’ at all.

Every time she puts on the radio

There was nothin’ going down at all (not at all).”

We see a sandaled foot tapping to the song. Then another foot tapping along. The feet belong to TWO GUYS (both obscured) sitting in a couple of lounge chairs. One is reading a trashy magazine. He’s revealed as XANDER! The other wears a Hawaiian shirt. It’s GILES! He’s shaking his head to the music and sipping from a cocktail glass (or maybe it’s a tumbler – not sure what kind of drinker Giles is). They’re enjoying their leisure time in the courtyard.

We hear Willow yelling OS. Giles and Xander hear her too.

WILLOW (OS)

Yoohoo, Giles, where are you?

Suddenly both Giles and Xander get up in a guilty panic. Giles gulps down the last of his drink and throws the glass in a flower pot. Xander loses the magazine and picks up a newspaper. Meanwhile, Giles grabs a handy tweed jacket, puts it on over his shirt and TURNS OFF THE MUSIC. They’re both just in time to present a picture of slightly studied calm, Xander perusing the job vacancies in the paper, Giles just standing there with a silly look on his face as Buffy and Willow appear.

BUFFY

(mocking)

Yoohoo?

WILLOW

Hi Giles. Hey Xander.

BUFFY

Wasn’t there music playing just then?

GILES

(strained)

Uh, I turned it off. I – I didn’t like it.

WILLOW

(looks at Giles’ setup)

Check out Giles and Xander in slacker mode!

BUFFY

I knew you two would bond eventually.

Xander and Giles look uncomfortably at each other.

GILES

(defensive)

I’ll have you know it’s actually hard work.

XANDER

I’m on the case with the jobs. (looking at Giles) And hey, I think I resent that!

BUFFY

Yes. Because (grabs hidden magazine and looks at it) reading trashy magazines, (grabs glass and smells it) and drinking – vodka? Yuk! – while listening to music is always hard work.

Giles and Xander can only look sheepish.

BUFFY (continued)

Giles, some guys saw me slaying vampires last night and just told the entire Sunnydale campus.

GILES

What? Oh dear.

WILLOW

We don’t think anyone believed them.

GILES

I see. Do you think these boys could be a problem?

BUFFY

Not sure. They did tell this big meeting with the new mayor that there are vampires in Sunnydale.

GILES

They said that? (different tone) The new mayor?

WILLOW

We saw the new mayor in action. He visited.

XANDER

Let me guess: he was feeling hungry, dropped by for a student sandwich?

WILLOW

Well, he talked a lot, without really saying much.

BUFFY

Pretty much your typical politician.

GILES

And what did this new mayor have to say about the vampires?

WILLOW

He brushed it off. ‘Wacky students’.

GILES

That’s helpful. Where were you patrolling when these boys saw you?

BUFFY

Woods near the university. You know, the same place where those two students were found last week.

GILES

Were you followed perhaps?

BUFFY

No, I’m careful about that. I think they were there already.

WILLOW

But why would they do that? Why go to a known murder scene at night?

XANDER

Maybe they were hoping for front row seats to another murder.

BUFFY

Eeuugh, ghoulish much!

WILLOW

You think so?

XANDER

Yes, namely their own – or that’s what it would’ve been if it wasn’t for Buffy. People can be such ghouls, Will’. They’ll line up in front of an accident and gawk for hours. I know, I’ve done it.

GILES

Yes, well that’s an interesting theory, Xander. Whatever the reason they were there I suggest that Buffy patrols elsewhere for a few days. Or at least until the problem with these students has been worked out.

BUFFY

I dunno. Where the vamps go, I go.

GILES

Of course. But it’s imperative that you don’t let others see you slay. So far we’ve been lucky that only two saw you, and they’re not believed. We want to keep it that way.

  1. EXT. THE WOODS NEAR UC SUNNYDALE – NIGHT

BUFFY is in the midst of slaying TWO VAMPIRES. She gets a couple of kicks in to one, but the other hits her to the ground while she’s busy.

ANGLE: JOSH and ZAC

Behind a nearby clump of bushes or mound JOSH and ZAC hide watching the fight. There are approximately SIX OTHER STUDENTS with them this time, one of whom we’ll later know as ‘Amber’. Some of them were the ones talking to Zac and Josh after the Mayor’s speech. The six students watch in amazement.

We watch the fight with them as Buffy executes a high leaping kick that sends one vamp flying. The other one rushes her from behind, but gets thrown over her shoulder.

STUDENT ONE

Awesome!

STUDENT TWO

Ow!

ZAC

She’s good. How can she do that?

JOSH

Because she’s The Slayer.

ZAC

The what?

JOSH

The Slayer – she kills vampires for a living, or it’s her destiny or something. I saw her at university today. She’s a student. Her name’s Buffy Summers.

Buffy gets her stake out and dusts one of the prone vamps.

STUDENT THREE

My god, did you just see that? It turned to dust!

JOSH

That’s what happens when The Slayer kills them.

Buffy gets the last one in a particularly brutal style.

STUDENT ONE

Man that’s harsh!

They watch as Buffy puts her stake away, brushes the dust off and walks confidently away from ‘the scene of the crime’. They then turn away and consult one another.

STUDENT ONE (continued)

You know, I kind of feel sorry for the vamps.

STUDENT TWO

Me too. They didn’t have a chance.

STUDENT THREE

Poor vamps.

ZAC

Mean Slayer.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO

  1. EXT. UC SUNNYDALE GROUNDS – DAY

BUFFY walks along a path. A number of STUDENTS pass her or loiter in the background. Buffy’s apparently looking at her notes for her ‘female stereotypes’ essay.

BUFFY

(to herself, quoting from her notes)

“Before Scully the most positive female character in tv was Wonder Woman…” Uggh, that’s too long ago. May as well be Charlie’s Angels. What about Roseanne? Nah!

We hear some kind of COMMOTION OS. Sounds like a student protester emphasising a point about – vampires. Buffy looks up and sees the commotion.

BUFFY (continued)

What the?

ANGLE BUFFY’S POV: PROTESTERS

ZAC, JOSH and the others we saw last night sit or stand near a table set up on the university lawn, just near the LOUNGE BUILDING. A BIG SIGN along the front of the table says ‘SAVE THE VAMPIRES’. Zac and his supporters are explaining their group to a number of BEMUSED STUDENTS at the stand.

ZAC

. . .I’m telling you we’re not a bunch of loonies.

GIRL SUPPORTER – ‘AMBER’

We’ve seen them. Last night.

JOSH

And they were getting their asses kicked by –

(he sees Buffy, points)

– her!

Everyone turns to look at Buffy, who looks uncomfortable at first, then collects herself, giving the vamp supporters a steely glare. She comes up to them. The following exchange occurs in front of the ‘bemused students’.

BUFFY

I don’t believe it. Another bunch of vamp cultists. Do you have any idea how lame you are?

JOSH

Knock it off, Slayer, we know what you were up to last night. We saw you – killing vampires!

AMBER

You should be ashamed of yourself!

Buffy looks taken aback.

BUFFY

What – what are you talking about? ‘Killing vampires’.

ZAC

It’s what you do, isn’t it?

BUFFY

Well…no. Even if I were a ‘slayer’ as you call it – which I’m not – why should you care? Vampires – if they existed – should be killed.

ZAC

No they should not. I insist that vampires exist, and they have rights too. That’s what we’re trying to say.

BUFFY

What, the right to kill people?

ZAC

(hesitantly)

Well, at least the right to, uh, feed. The right to be free from persecution.

BUFFY

Argh . . !

Buffy looks fed up. She takes Zac aside, away from the onlookers.

BUFFY (continued)

Look, this is all very sweet, really. But don’t you get it? Take it from me, vampires are not very nice, and there’s the little matter that they kill people.

ZAC

But not if you kill them first.

BUFFY

That’s kind of the general idea!

Buffy breaks away from him. She directs the next bit to the onlookers.

BUFFY (continued)

What can I say? Loonies!

As she walks away Josh offers one final salvo.

JOSH

(accusingly)

We’ll shut you down, you-you heartless slayer vixen you!

  1. EXT. CAMPUS GROUNDS, NEAR WOODS – DAY

BUFFY is walking a path near the woods. She’s still fuming from her confrontation with the vamp supporters.

BUFFY

Stupid protesters.

(sarcastic)

‘Save the Vamps’, ‘You should be ashamed of yourself!’ Stupid… protesters.

She looks up and sees AMBULANCE WORKERS nearby, coming out of the woods. They carry a body on a stretcher. Buffy runs over to them.

BUFFY

(continued)

What happened?

AMBULANCE WORKER

He was found in the woods. Some kind of animal.

Buffy looks at the body. It’s MIKE, one of the protesters who spoke up at the Mayor’s rally. He has puncture wounds on his neck. Buffy stares at them. She seems puzzled – she thought she got all the vamps last night.

  1. INT. GILE’S APARTMENT – DAY

BUFFY enters and looks at GILES, who is OFF-SCREEN. BACKGROUND RUMBLE of TV – a soccer game.

BUFFY

I’m worried, Giles. There’s this new vamp cult on campus and vamps got another protester last night –

She stops dead. We now see Giles. He’s sitting on his sofa with XANDER and OZ, and they’re all watching TV.

BUFFY (continued)

– and you’re turning into a couch potato!

Giles seems to tear himself away from the TV as he looks at Buffy.

GILES

I’ve been listening to every word you said, Buffy. I agree, the situation is grievously serious, and –

Giles looks at the TV, we hear a BACKGROUND CROWD ROAR.

GILES (continued)

(suddenly venomous)

– that was off-side you stupid referee!

XANDER

Yeah, off-side. Could you explain that rule to us again, Giles?

OZ

So we’re on-side.

BUFFY

Guys! Giles!

WILLOW comes in.

WILLOW

Hi guys.

BUFFY

Willow, at last someone sensible’s here!

WILLOW

(sees TV) Ooh, soccer! Is Robby Fowler playing?

She goes past a frustrated Buffy and cuddles up with Oz on the sofa. Oz gives her a look somewhere between worry and wonder.

OZ

I didn’t know you liked Fowler.

WILLOW

(delighted)

Oh, my jealous Oz!

BUFFY

(getting annoyed)

Hey guys: dead students, wacky vampire rights protesters! Focus!

XANDER

Right, sorry Buff. I’m Focus Guy.

Xander tries to be ‘Focus Guy’. He concentrates, but he’s looking at the TV.

ANGLE: TV

Soccer player is tripped over. He squirms on the ground, holding his knee.

ANGLE: XANDER

XANDER (continued)

(laughs) Oh, that’s some good acting!

WILLOW

‘Oooh, me leg!’

XANDER

Giles, why do your soccer guys do that?

GILES

What do you mean?

XANDER

Pretend they’ve been tripped over or hurt by another player.

GILES

Free kick.

XANDER

Oh. Then I respect that.

GILES

It’s not always play-acting, Xander. We should respect –

Buffy TURNS OFF THE TV. She stands in front of the Scoobies, looking sternly at them.

GILES

– uh, Buffy, and listen to her when she has something to say.

A BEAT while Giles tries to regain dignity and the others look sheepish.

XANDER

Sorry Buff.

WILLOW/OZ

(together)

Sorry.

BUFFY

I’m feeling really unappreciated right now. Look, what are we going to do about the vampire rights protesters, because at this point I’m thinking of feeding them to the vamps?

WILLOW

(amazed)

Students are supporting vampire rights?

BUFFY

Yes. I had the pleasure on my way over here. Giles, it’s those guys who saw me slay the other night. They’ve rallied their own pep squad.

GILES

Indeed? This could be serious.

WILLOW

(still amazed)

I never thought students would protest about something like that.

XANDER

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t university students always protesting about something? Has anyone ever really paid any attention to them?

WILLOW

Well, there’s the Vietnam protesters.

OZ

Kent State.

GILES

And the civil rights movement. I believe there were students involved.

XANDER

Okay, but apart from that, what have they done for us lately?

BUFFY

Alright, forget about the protesters. What about the students the vamps have been targeting lately – and the one who was killed last night? Giles, I think he was one of the protesters at the mayor’s speech yesterday.

GILES

Are you sure?

BUFFY

Yes. He was one of the protesters who spoke up against the mayor. (turns to Willow) Remember Will – the guy up the front with that girl?

WILLOW

Oh, Mike. I know him – knew him. He was in my environment group.

GILES

And he was speaking up against the mayor? Is it possible there’s a connection with the mayor?

XANDER

(sarcastic)

Is the mayor involved? No, say it isn’t so!

BUFFY

Well, the mayors in this town do seem to have a habit of coming over all demon-y.

WILLOW

(excited about this lead)

Oh yeah, and he was-he was hiding from the sun! Did you notice, he kept under cover all the time?

OZ

The mayor’s a vampire?

BUFFY

Maybe. Or a demon of some sort. I think it’s worth checking out.

GILES

Yes, this is all very interesting, but politicians usually don’t stifle criticism with murder.

OZ

Not here at least. Or, not usually.

XANDER

But what could be more ingenious than to attack your critics by killing them?

WILLOW

I think you meant ‘psychopathic’.

XANDER

I stand by my words. And have you ever noticed the mayor’s name? ‘Maldrum’ – it’s like ‘redrum’?

BUFFY

Yes, because backwards that would spell ‘murdlam’. Very sinister.

OZ

It’s a combination. ‘Murder’ and ‘bedlam’.

XANDER

Right!

Xander and Oz hi-five each other.

BUFFY

Mayor-involvement or not, I think I’d better keep a close watch on the protesters – especially that other student who spoke up against the mayor. Who was she, Will?

WILLOW

That was Sally Wilson. I’m going to see what I can find out about Mayor Murder.

XANDER

And Bedlam.

  1. EXT. SUNNYDALE CAMPUS GROUNDS – NIGHT

SALLY WILSON and another student – ‘WILL’ – come out of a faculty building. They’re talking protest stuff. Sally seems particularly motivated – she’s still upset about Mike’s death.

SALLY

I don’t care if it’s dangerous!

WILL

I’m just saying we might get a better turn-out if it’s here.

SALLY

But we’re preaching to the converted here. If we do the march down the main street of Sunnydale we’ve got a better chance of getting the message out.

They walk along a path and pass a tree. We see BUFFY beside it, watching Sally. She follows as they go. Sally seems to cry a little.

WILL

Okay. I guess it’s not the time for arguing. Are you okay?

SALLY

Yes! I just know this is-this is what Mike would’ve wanted.

WILL

You’re the boss. Take it easy.

Will takes a path away from Sally.

SALLY

Bye.

Sally walks slowly along her path alone.

ANGLE: BUFFY

BUFFY

Okay Sally, let’s see if you can stay out of trouble.

Buffy follows Sally along the path.

ANGLE: SALLY

A NOISE OS. It sounds like a struggle, someone in danger – a girl. Sally stops and looks towards the noise coming from an isolated thicket. It comes again, this time it’s a distinct call for help.

VOICE (OS)

Help! Can someone help me?

SALLY

Hello? What’s wrong?

The Voice SCREAMS.

Sally looks around, sees she’s the only one there who can help. She leaves the path and cautiously goes toward the thicket.

ANGLE: BUFFY (answering her own question)

BUFFY

Nope!

  1. INT. WILLOW AND BUFFY’S DORM – NIGHT

OZ and WILLOW sit on Willow’s bed. Both are facing away from each other, their backs propping each other up. Willow types into her laptop, searching the ‘net for info on the mayor. Oz practices a guitar riff on his unplugged electric guitar.

WILLOW

What’s that? That sounds new.

OZ

It’s a song I’m working on.

WILLOW

Sounds good.

OZ

Well, it would be good – if I could play properly.

WILLOW

Good old Oz. I praise you, and you run yourself down.

OZ

Okay. (suddenly confident) Damn I’m good!

WILLOW

Yes you are. Don’t you forget it, mister. You know, you and the Dingoes could go all the way, I really believe that.

OZ

You think so?

WILLOW

Yes. You’re talented, and smart. You could be whatever you want, Oz.

OZ looks as if he’s thinking about the possibilities of success for the first time. He’s intrigued.

OZ

Hmmm. Barring full moons, of course. But I’ll bet Veruca’s band make it big long before we do. They’re good.

WILLOW

(looks concerned) Veruca? You think she’s good?

OZ

(sensing her jealousy)

Uh, yeah, she is. But I said ‘they’.

WILLOW

(looking at computer screen)

Oh. Hey, I’ve finally got him, Mayor Mayhem!

Oz turns around to look at the screen.

WILLOW (continued)

And it’s juicy. Before the election apparently two of his rivals mysteriously disappeared, all but forfeiting the race to him.

OZ

Sounds like our guy.

  1. EXT. SUNNYDALE CAMPUS GROUNDS – NIGHT

Back with BUFFY and SALLY. Sally runs into the thicket and sees a GIRL sitting on the grass seemingly in distress. The sound of SOBS.

SALLY

Are you alright?

The girl turns around. Her sobbing face turns into a devious smile as she’s revealed as – a vampire.

VAMPGIRL

I am now!

Sally SCREAMS. Another VAMP – a MALE – comes out from nowhere.

SALLY

Please, don’t hurt me.

MALE VAMP

(wickedly)

Oh, we will.

Suddenly, Buffy appears.

BUFFY

No, you won’t.

MALE VAMP

Slayer!

Buffy fights the Male Vamp. He gets a few hits in to Buffy, but she manages to knock him down. As the Girl Vamp begins to move in she takes advantage of the pause to tell Sally –

BUFFY

Run!

Sally runs off as the Girl Vamp swings a kick at Buffy, which she blocks. Buffy holds on to the leg and unbalances the Girl Vamp, who falls over. Buffy sees that the Male Vamp is up again and ready to rush her, so using all her slayer strength she swings the Girl Vamp around by the leg like a baseball bat and knocks the Male Vamp over with the Girl Vamp’s body. They both go sprawling in a heap. (I don’t know how the stunt team would do this gag, but I’d sure like to see them try! It would be cool!)

Just as Buffy is taking out a handy stake, ready to dust the prone vamps, we hear –

CHANTING VOICES

Save the vampires! (CLAP CLAP CLAP) Save the vampires! (CLAP CLAP CLAP)

BUFFY

Huh?

The chanting and clapping gets LOUDER and LOUDER until we see it’s JOSH and ZAC and some of their PROTESTER FRIENDS. Some are holding torches, some are holding placards. They walk straight towards Buffy, getting in between her and the two vamps.

BUFFY

What are you doing? Get out of the way!

Still chanting, they begin to circle Buffy. Zac and Josh break off and come toward Buffy.

ZAC

We know what you’re trying to do, Slayer.

JOSH

We won’t let you do it.

As they speak the two vamps sneak off away from Buffy.

BUFFY

You and who- (seeing the vamps make their exit) Hey, they’re getting away!

The protesters CHEER as they watch the vamps get away. Some wave their placards in appreciation.

BUFFY

(disgusted)

I don’t believe it!

BLACK OUT

END OF ACT TWO

ACT THREE

  1. EXT. SUNNYDALE CAMPUS GROUNDS – DAY

CLOSE UP of SALLY’S face enclosed in a body bag. Her eyes are closed and we see puncture marks on her neck. She’s dead. A hand zips up the bag, covering her face.

AMBULANCE WORKER (OS)

Well, that’s another one. You’d think these kids would be more careful.

We now see that it’s the same ambulance worker who spoke to Buffy previously. A number of STUDENTS sadly look on. The ambulance worker and ANOTHER AMBULANCE WORKER load the body into an ambulance.

A DIFFERENT ANGLE

We can see a GROUP OF STUDENTS gathering around ZAC and JOSH and their protest group. A long line of STUDENTS are waiting to sign on to join the SAVE THE VAMPIRES group. They talk excitedly amongst themselves. JOSH and AMBER sit at the table, happily dealing with the new recruits.

(A BRIEF NOTE ON POSSIBLE DIRECTING STYLE HERE (presumptuous, I know, but I’ve gotta mention this): It would be nice if this section was done in a kind of video clip kid’s style. That is, lots of HAND-HELD CAMERA, SUBJECTS LOOKING OCCASIONALLY AT THE CAMERA, ACTING VERY CASUAL, SOME QUICK CUTTING BETWEEN SUBJECTS, OVER-EXPOSED LIGHTING, AWKWARD FRAMING, OVERLAPPING DIALOGUE, ETC. Hopefully, the following account of the interview between Zac and the Reporter will give an idea of this. The overall impression should be of busy activity, of some kind of exciting buzz building around the ‘save the vampire’ group. It should almost look like a student documentary about the group.)

ZAC can be seen nearby talking to a GIRL who it turns out is a reporter for the Campus newspaper. She has a tape recorder and pushes a microphone in his face. A NEWSPAPER PHOTOGRAPHER is also with her, taking snaps of Josh and the protesters. We CLOSE IN on Josh and the reporter.

REPORTER

Your ‘save the vampire’ group seems to be gaining popularity. Is this just a fad, a joke, or are you really serious?

ZAC

Have a look around you, do you think the people joining us here aren’t serious? We’re very serious about this-

INSERT SHOT: ANGLE ON REPORTER AND PHOTOGRAPHER TALKING TO SOME NEW VOLUNTEERS IN THE QUEUE

REPORTER

Have any of you seen the vamps?

Photographer takes snaps as they talk. INSERT PHOTOS TAKEN, WITH ‘CLICK’ SOUND FX.

GIRL

I have.

GUY

Naw, not me.

REPORTER

Really?

END INSERT SHOT. RETURN TO ZAC INTERVIEW

ZAC (continued)

Last night we stopped the Slayer from killing a couple of our brothers and sisters of the night, and we intend to continue hindering her or anyone else who thinks vampires are fair game.

REPORTER

How-how seriously do you think vampires are threatened by this, uh, Slayer as you call her? Isn’t she just doing her job?

ZAC

You could ask the same thing of Hitler’s Nazis. But she’s not the only one. The campus contains a group of sinister hooded commando-types who also hunt down and kidnap helpless vampires-

INSERT SHOT: ANGLE ON REPORTER AND PHOTOGRAPHER STILL TALKING TO VOLUNTEERS IN THE QUEUE

GUY

I don’t really think they exist. I don’t care.

REPORTER

So why are you joining the group?

GUY

It’s just, I dunno, kinda cool.

Photographer takes a SNAP of GUY and GIRL. They do a ‘cool’ pose, with the girl flashing a PEACE SIGN with her fingers. INSERT PICTURE TAKEN, WITH ‘CLICK’ SOUND FX.

END INSERT SHOT, RETURN TO ZAC INTERVIEW

ZAC (continued)

The information we have so far is that our vampire numbers have been depleted by up to at least 40 per cent in recent times, directly due to the activities of the Slayer and these commandos. We have to put a stop to them now, and that’s what our protest group is about.

REPORTER

What other activities do you have planned for the group?

ZAC

We can’t give away too many details, but we’re definitely participating in the march down mainstreet this afternoon. Look out for our banner!

REPORTER

Well, I see you’ve certainly got a passion for your cause. Thank you and good luck!

ZAC

Hey thanks!

END VIDEO CLIP KID’S SHOW STYLISTIC EXPERIMENT

  1. INT. BUFFY AND WILLOW’S DORM – DAY

Focus on a depressed BUFFY, lying on her bed looking despondently at her old CLASS PROTECTOR AWARD. There is tape around the middle, where ‘Sunday’ broke it.

The door opens. WILLOW, GILES and XANDER come in. Xander is in mid-speech.

XANDER

…You’ve gotta hand it to that new mayor, he’s slippery. Hey Buffy.

GILES

Hello Buffy.

WILLOW

We’re not sure about him yet, Xander.

BUFFY

Hey. What’s up?

XANDER

Willow got the dirt on the mayor last night.

WILLOW

Two of his running mates were killed during the election.

BUFFY

Oh. Sounds very mayor-ly.

Xander walks over to Buffy, looks significantly at the Class Protector award she’s holding.

XANDER

So, got your class protector award out, Buff. You’re either re-living old glories or wondering where it all went wrong.

BUFFY

Mmm, it’s the second one.

Xander sits on her bed, interested.

XANDER

Out with it – tell uncle Xander your problems.

BUFFY

…They won’t let me do my job.

XANDER

Who?

BUFFY

(getting agitated) That vampire rights group, that’s who. Last night I was following Sally –

GILES

Sally?

WILLOW

One of the protesters who annoyed the Mayor.

BUFFY (continued)

– and she of course got mixed up with some vamps (fell for the old damsel in distress trick, believe it or not). And I was in the middle of slaying them when those do-gooders came and interfered, and the vamps got away. (she pouts)

WILLOW

They got away? What about Sally?

BUFFY

She ran when the big bad vamp showed her big teeth. She’s safe, I think. No thanks to that vampire rights group. Vampire rights – huh! What about Slayer’s rights? The right to a good meal, a bath and a dead vamp each day. It’s all I ask. (she pouts again. I like it when she pouts)

XANDER

(triumphant) So they were trying to get Sally – who as it so happens was next on the mayor’s hit-list of things to do/kill! See, I told you, he’s a wrong guy! (sudden idea) In fact, in fact, I bet he’s in with this protest group!

WILLOW

What?

XANDER

He could be using them to get people to think vamps are great big puppies.

GILES

Not really good for their modus operandi, Xander.

XANDER

Huh? (looks blank)

WILLOW

(translates) Keeping their existence a secret.

XANDER

Oh.

GILES

But this attack on, uh, Sally would at least seem to lend credence to a connection between the mayor and the recent vampire activities.

XANDER

See, I told you, smart guy.

GILES

I’m not saying the connection is with this vampire rights group, Xander, but it’s certainly worth investigating further. If the mayor really is using vampires or this vampire rights group to silence dissent, then that’s-that’s…

XANDER

Wrong?

GILES

Uh, yes.

WILLOW

(brightly)

I could snoop around and see if anything’s up. I know a few of ‘em.

XANDER

That’s right. Willow’s down with the whole bleeding hearts protest thing. Let her snoop.

BUFFY

Or not. It would be incredibly stupid of them to accept Willow in their group. They must know she’s my – the Slayer’s – best friend. Who’d believe she wanted to protect vampires?

  1. EXT. MAIN STREET, SUNNYDALE – DAY

TIGHT SHOT on WILLOW walking amongst a group of VAMPIRE RIGHTS PROTESTERS, yelling –

WILLOW (and PROTESTERS)

Save the vampires! (CLAP CLAP CLAP) Save the vampires! (CLAP CLAP CLAP)

WIDEN on the PROTEST PARADE going down the main street of Sunnydale. BIG CROWD of ONLOOKERS. We see a CAMERA CREW apparently from a local TV station filming the parade. Willow and her vampire rights group, including JOSH, ZAC and AMBER holding placards pass on. A lot of the CROWD look on incredulously, SOME with smirks on their faces. But SOME look serious, worried even: is this a joke, or is it real? A COUPLE OF PEOPLE look on angrily. It’s mostly unspoken, but these people have lost loved ones to vampires.

ANGLE: ANGRY MAN

ANGRY MAN

Filth! (he shakes his fist at them)

The camera crew seems to be focused on Willow’s group, for its novelty value and the reaction it’s stirring. The CAMERAMAN walks along with them, filming.

ANGLE: SCARED YOUNG GIRL

We focus on a SCARED YOUNG GIRL in the crowd who looks intently at Willow’s group and the cameraman. She turns to her MUM next to her, who seems worried.

GIRL

(worried)

Mommy, are vampires real?

MUM

(reassuring)

No sweetheart, they’re just making a joke is all.

ANGLE: NEXT PROTEST GROUP

Behind Willow’s group is what appears to be an ‘anti-Mayor Maldrum’ group. They hold placards of Maldrum’s election picture defaced by texta, with the text saying things like ‘VOTE MALDRUM FOR CORRUPTION’, etc. This was part of Mike and Sally’s group. We see WILL, the guy who was talking to Sally last night. He looks sad. He holds a picture of Sally with ‘FOR SALLY, R.I.P.’ on it.

ANGLE: BUFFY

Buffy watches the parade. RILEY passes by and notices her.

RILEY

Hey Buffy. I didn’t figure you for one who liked parades.

BUFFY

Everyone loves a parade. Especially when their friends are in it.

She smiles as she sees Willow go past, seemingly enjoying her undercover role. Riley identifies her and looks surprised.

RILEY

Is that Willow with the Save The Vampires?

BUFFY

Yes. (looks at him) She’s, uh, going through a phase.

RILEY

A phase? Hope it’s a short one!

Buffy then looks at the next group, and sees Will holding the picture of Sally. Her smile turns to a frown.

She goes up to Will and walks along with him. Will seems dazed.

BUFFY

Uh, excuse me, what’s that all about? (pointing to Sally’s picture) What happened to Sally?

WILL

Didn’t you hear? They found her near the woods this morning. She was killed by some wild animal. Same thing that happened to Mike.

BUFFY

I’m sorry.

Buffy looks over at Willow’s group, she sees Josh laughing and having a good time. It makes her angry and she runs over to him.

BUFFY (continued)

Hey, hey!

JOSH

Oh, it’s you, Slayer. Don’t you have any little old vampires to beat up?

BUFFY

I would, if you weren’t getting in the way of my job.

Buffy steps in front of him and stops him dead in his tracks. She confronts him, angrily. The entire parade seems to stop. Sensing a photo op, the camera crew come into view. We see the ANGRY PEOPLE, including the ANGRY MAN in the nearby crowd.

JOSH

Get out of my way, Slayer!

Buffy

Sally Wilson is dead because of you, you slime. You and your stupid, irresponsible group.

JOSH

Aw tell it to someone who cares.

Josh tries to push Buffy out of the way. Buffy reacts instinctively and punches him out. He falls to the ground heavily.

As the camera crew moves in to film this, the Angry People in the crowd CHEER and CLAP Buffy – who’s anger is now replaced by a guilty ‘what have I done?’ look. Both Willow and Riley look on nearby, bemused.

  1. INT. GILES’ HOUSE – DAY

WILLOW and OZ rush into Giles’ place, where GILES and XANDER are watching TV (again) – some kind of MUSIC VIDEO SHOW. Willow is particularly excited. Buffy comes in sheepishly behind them.

WILLOW/OZ

Hey/Hi.

GILES

Hello all.

XANDER

Hey guys. Pull up a chair. We’re just watching old guys from the Seventies playing music. Giles is getting all teary and nostalgic.

WILLOW

(sitting down) Turn on the news, silly – Buffy’s gonna be on TV!

Giles changes the station.

XANDER

What?

BUFFY

(sarcastic)

(sitting down) Thanks, Willow!

ANGLE: THE TV

We watch the TV with the Scoobies. A FEMALE NEWSREADER gives a report of the demonstration in Sunnydale.

NEWSREADER

…A student demonstration in Sunnydale turned violent today when citizens clashed with the demonstrators in Sunnydale’s main street.

We see footage of the ‘Angry people’ from the crowd arguing heatedly with Josh and Zac and others in their group. There is some pushing and shoving on either side. We then see…Buffy hitting Josh to the ground.

NEWSREADER (continued)

The violence was apparently sparked off during an incident between this young woman and an individual from a group called (incredulous)

‘Save The Vampires’.

ANGLE: SCOOBIES IN GILES’

WILLOW

There she is!

Willow, Xander and Oz watch enthusiastically, smiling at Buffy and sharing some yummy snacks Xander has produced. Giles looks conspicuously unimpressed. Buffy cringes and tries to hide in her chair.

ANGLE: THE TV

NEWSREADER

We spoke to the young woman, a Miss Buffy Summers, shortly after the incident.

The program cuts to a pre-recorded interview between Buffy and ANOTHER FEMALE REPORTER in Sunnydale. Buffy looks very uncomfortable being interviewed.

REPORTER

Miss Summers, what made you lash out against these protesters?

BUFFY

Well, I don’t like what they’re doing. They shouldn’t be supporting vampires. It’s crazy.

REPORTER

It certainly is. But you did a great job standing up to them today. I think a lot of people appreciated what you did.

BUFFY

Really? Uh, thanks.

Buffy looks both pleased and embarrassed.

ANGLE: THE SCOOBIES IN GILES’

The Scoobies applaud and cheer her.

XANDER

Yay Buff!

BUFFY

Knock it off, you guys!

Despite her protests, Buffy seems happy with herself. She’s finally received the public appreciation she’s secretly craved, and it gives her a new resolve.

ANGLE: THE TV

NEWSREADER

A representative for the Save The Vampires group had this to say.

ZAC at the demonstration.

ZAC

I know it sounds like a crazy stunt, but it’s true: vampires really exist; and we want to foster a greater understanding and acceptance of them. With this in mind, we’re organizing a special ‘students in solidarity with vampires’ vigil for tonight…

The rest of this TV news report is only heard INDISTINCTLY UNDERNEATH the Scoobies’ talk at *.

NEWSREADER (OS)

We asked Sunnydale’s mayor, Ian Maldrum, for a comment on the situation.

MALDRUM (OS)

These, uh, violent demonstrations are of course very disappointing. But let me assure you, they’re a rarity. Sunnydale is a friendly town.

REPORTER (OS)

And what about these reports of vampires?

MALDRUM (OS)

(laughs)

That’s nonsense. It’s obviously some kind of student prank.

*ANGLE: SCOOBIES AT GILES’

(Above news report starts here UNDERNEATH the following)

OZ

(concerned, to Willow)

Are you going to that?

WILLOW

I think I might.

GILES

A “vampire’s vigil”, it sounds dangerous. I don’t know if you should go, Willow.

BUFFY

(springing into ‘action’ mode)

It’s probably just more of their anti-Slayer hijinx. Not a problem – I won’t be patrolling.

GILES

No? Why not?

BUFFY

Because you and I are gonna pay a visit on this mayor.

GILES

A visit? (He thinks about it, and it begins to make sense) Quite right.

XANDER

(slightly hurt, looking at Oz)

And what are we going to do? Knit doilies?

BUFFY

(firmly)

You’ll be following Willow and her group – in stealth mode.

XANDER

(happy, to Oz)

We’re gonna be stealthy!

The Scoobies are all standing, ready for action now. They’re focused on Buffy and her plans, the TV now ignored.

BUFFY

Giles and I will show at the vigil after we’ve visited the mayor. You guys keep an eye out for vamps.

REPORTER (Off Screen)

Ooh, can’t wait for that! Back to you, Gail, from this student prank at Sunnydale…

  1. INT. MAYOR’S HOME – DAY

We watch the tail-end of the TV report on the MAYOR’S TV. We hear, then see him LAUGHING, sitting in front of his TV in his plush mayor’s loungeroom. He suddenly turns serious. He says to a nearby MINDER:

MAYOR MALDRUM

Get out the limo.

  1. EXT. STREET NEAR THE CAMPUS – DUSK

ZAC and JOSH walk along the grounds, near the road. They both wear dark, hooded coats, with the hoods turned down. Josh seems slightly nervous, but Zac has a quiet confidence.

JOSH

Are you ready for this?

ZAC

Ready as I’ll ever be.

A CAR comes up beside them. It’s a LIMO. The limo’s horn BEEPS them, a tinted window slides down. They go up to the limo and look inside. MAYOR MALDRUM’s in the limo.

MALDRUM

(friendly/sinister)

Hello boys…

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT THREE

ACT FOUR

  1. EXT. WOODS NEAR THE CAMPUS – NIGHT

A group of HOODED FIGURES holding candles wander through the woods. As they get close we see that it’s WILLOW and the rest of the VAMPIRE RIGHTS PROTESTERS walking towards the ‘vigil’ site. Willow seems nervous and expectant. She knows the vampires like to roam these woods. She speaks to AMBER.

WILLOW

Are we there yet?

AMBER

It’s just up ahead.

WILLOW

So, uh, what’s this vigil all about? How are we gonna show our ‘vampire solidarity’?

AMBER

You’ll see.

As they pass on we see XANDER and OZ following them in the rear.

ANGLE: OZ AND XANDER

OZ

(worried)

Where are they going?

XANDER

I don’t know, Oz.

OZ

I don’t like it.

ANGLE: WILLOW’S GROUP

Willow and her group come to a clearing. They stand around expectantly, waiting for – what?

We see a movement on the other side of the clearing. Something’s coming through the woods from the other direction. It’s a group of VAMPIRES. They stand on the other side, waiting.

Willow and some of the others start in surprise.

WILLOW

Vampires.

ANGLE: XANDER AND OZ

From outside the clearing:

XANDER

Vampires?

ANGLE: WILLOW’S GROUP

ZAC and JOSH come forward.

ZAC

Don’t be scared, they won’t hurt.

We notice a couple of the vamps are the ones who got away from Buffy the other night. They smile in acknowledgement at Zac and Josh. One, the ‘LEADER’, comes forward, and Zac comes forward to meet him. They size each other up, and nod to each other.

LEADER VAMP

So, I hear you and your group’s got convictions. I respect that. Don’t understand it, but I respect it.

He looks around indulgently at the humans and back at his ‘posse’.

LEADER VAMP (continued)

I wonder: how far are you willing to take ‘em?

23. EXT. THE MAYOR’S GROUNDS – NIGHT

Within the mayor’s garden we see a GUARD patrolling. He stops near a window of the house, looks around suspiciously, then walks on. From a nearby bush BUFFY and GILES poke their heads out. They’re both dressed in black, and like Xander and Oz are apparently doing some stealthy stuff of their own, staking out the mayor’s home.

GILES

(whispered)

I’m not sure this is such a good idea, Buffy.

BUFFY

(whispered)

Of course it is, Giles. You’re just out of practice is all.

GILES

I don’t think I was ever in practice for this kind of thing. The mayor’s sure to have surveillance cameras around here somewhere. He probably already has his goons onto us.

BUFFY

(amused)

‘Goons’? You should hear yourself.

GILES

I’m just anticipating being knocked out cold – again.

BUFFY

C’mon.

She leads him to a window.

  1. INT. MAYOR’S HOME – NIGHT

From inside the room we see Buffy and Giles looking in at the window. We hear what sounds like A MAN BEING TORTURED, AND SINISTER LAUGHTER.

ANGLE: THE MAYOR

Mayor Maldrum is seated in a comfy chair, wearing a dressing gown, sipping a glass of something red (blood?) and laughing at the TV, which is apparently showing a horror movie. Sipping the dregs of his glass, he gets up and goes to a small cooler nearby. He grabs a container of tomato juice and pours himself some more. Still laughing a little at the TV he goes over to a cabinet. He opens it, and as he reaches for a cigar box we see two seemingly HUMAN HEADS proudly on display inside the cabinet.

ANGLE: BUFFY AND GILES

Buffy and Giles see the heads as well. They start in surprise. Buffy senses something behind her, and looking around she sees two of the mayor’s ‘GOONS’ standing near her and Giles, pointing guns at them.

  1. EXT. THE WOODS CLEARING – NIGHT

Back at the ‘vigil’, ZAC is sitting on the ground and apparently letting a FEMALE VAMP drink from his arm. He has a fanatical look on his face as he addresses his fellow VIGIL-KEEPERS, including WILLOW, who look on apprehensively.

ZAC

I do this of my own free will, so that they may live. And anyway, she won’t kill me.

WILLOW

(doubtful)

She won’t kill you?

ZAC

No. Didn’t you ever give blood?

WILLOW

(confused)

Uh, yes.

ZAC

That’s all we’re doing here. The vamps have given me their word that they only want enough to feed. They won’t kill anyone.

LEADER VAMP

In fact, it’s in our interests to keep you alive – (he smiles) for next time.

ANGLE: XANDER AND OZ IN NEARBY WOODS

XANDER

Why don’t I find that comforting?

OZ

(worried)

We should get Willow out of there, now.

XANDER

Just a few minutes, Oz. We should wait for Buffy.

ANGLE: VAMPS AND VIGIL-KEEPERS

The Female Vamp finishes feeding off Zac. She seems reluctant to relent, but the LEADER VAMP gives her a stern look. A couple of Zac’s friends help him up and put a bandage on his arm. He’s weak, but seemingly okay. He invites AMBER to try it.

AMBER

Does it, does it hurt?

LEADER VAMP

We can bite you so that it feels like the softest love-bite.

(aside to VAMP COMPANION, ‘sotto voce’)

Or rip your throat out more painfully than you can imagine!

(continued)

Come. Any more volunteers?

Reluctantly or willingly a number of ZAC’S PROTESTERS, including Amber, come forward.

Willow looks on, scared but surprised. It all seems to make a kind of wacky sense.

ANGLE: XANDER AND OZ

XANDER

Talk about dying for your cause.

  1. INT. MAYOR’S HOME – NIGHT

BUFFY and GILES are pushed into the mayor’s TV room by his two GOONS, still holding guns on them.

MAYOR MALDRUM

Welcome Slayer. (to Giles) And you – you must be her Watcher, whoever you are.

GILES

Rupert Giles to you.

BUFFY

If you know I’m the Slayer then you know what I did to your predecessor.

Buffy and Giles share a conspiratorial look. Giles takes his glasses off (probably), ready for action.

BUFFY (continued)

What do you think I’m gonna do to you?

Buffy and Giles spring into action, both disabling the mayor’s two goons. Buffy kicks one across the room, while Giles knocks the other down with a punch. Their guns clatter away from them. Giles and Buffy then turn toward the mayor, ready to take him on.

ANGLE: THE MAYOR

The mayor seriously wiggs out, TURNING INTO A HIDEOUS-LOOKING DEMON WITH BRIGHT, GLOWY EYES. His arms make a ‘raising’ motion, and both Buffy and Giles rise up into the air, helpless to move any further. Buffy gets a stake out, and just as she’s about to throw it, the mayor makes it fly out of her hand and embed itself in a wall with a nod of his head.

BUFFY

(disappointed)

Oh!

Defeated, Buffy and Giles talk nervously as they dangle in mid-air, knowing they’re at the mayor’s mercy.

BUFFY (continued)

Giles, what is he?

GILES

Uh, a Dnavech demon I think.

BUFFY

What’s it do?

GILES

Um, its specialty is levitation and, uh,

(uncomfortably)

decapitating its victims.

BUFFY

Oh great. How do we stop-?

At this the mayor makes a downward motion with his hands, and without ceremony Buffy and Giles promptly hit the ground hard.

The mayor REVERTS TO HIS HUMAN APPEARANCE. He signals to his two goons, who have now recovered. He is now all civility.

MAYOR MALDRUM

Sean, Scott, help them up!

The two goons – SEAN and SCOTT – quickly move to help Buffy and Giles, both a bit groggy, up from their fall.

MAYOR MALDRUM (continued)

Put them on the couch. Be gentle!

Sensing now that the mayor means them no harm, Buffy and Giles let themselves be coaxed to the couch. Giles is, of course, much the worse for wear than Buffy, and rubs his bruises.

GILES

So, I take it you’re not going to decapitate us, after all?

MAYOR MALDRUM

Wouldn’t dream of it, Mr Giles.

GILES

(desperate understatement)

Good!

A BEAT while the mayor studies them, sizing them up, curious.

MAYOR MALDRUM

But, why are you here, spying on me? Have I done something wrong, something heinous to cause the Slayer and her Watcher to come after me?

BUFFY

Well, there’s those two students you didn’t like who got killed.

GILES

And the two decapitated heads in your cabinet over there looked pretty suspicious, I thought. They wouldn’t be your rivals in the election, would they?

MAYOR MALDRUM

They would.

GILES

Thought so.

MAYOR MALDRUM

It’s not as ghoulish as it seems, I assure you.

He gets some more tomato juice out of his cooler and offers it to them (they refuse).

MAYOR MALDRUM (continued)

Tomato juice? They – my election rivals – were Dnavech demons like myself, and according to our law, in an election the loser’s lives are forfeit.

BUFFY

Sure must cut down on candidates.

MAYOR MALDRUM

(laughs) Yes. Incumbents do have an easy time of it!

GILES

What if they’re human?

MAYOR MALDRUM

Who?

GILES

Election candidates.

MAYOR MALDRUM

Oh no no. There are no human election candidates, not here in Sunnydale. Never have been. This is the Hellmouth: this is home, and we like to keep it that way. When Mayor Wilkins died there was no question that his successor would be another demon. I admired my predecessor for the way he ran his office; but he was a fanatic, a megalomaniac, he went too far. It’s a fine line we walk we Sunnydale politicians: keeping the people happy, keeping the demons happy, the vampires.

GILES

What about the murdered protesters who criticized you?

BUFFY

And the vampires?

MAYOR MALDRUM

The vampires are your responsibility, my dear. And you’re doing a very good job, if I may say so.

At this Buffy actually seems to glow with pride.

MAYOR MALDRUM (continued)

As for the murdered students, I swear I didn’t have them killed. I admit, it was damn convenient, but I really don’t have much to do with vampires these days – except when they’re involved with those damn fool vampire rights crusaders. I warned them not to reveal their existence. If Sunnydale’s secrets get out that will be the end of it. The people will leave in fear, and no more nice little hellmouth.

GILES

Uh, are you saying that vampires are involved with the vampire rights group?

MAYOR MALDRUM

Yes. It’s what that vigil’s all about.

At this Buffy looks worriedly at Giles, both thinking about Willow and the protesters. They prepare to take off.

  1. EXT. THE WOODS CLEARING – NIGHT

Back at the vigil the VAMPS are happily munching away on VOLUNTEERS. People are getting up bandaged, but okay. One GUY who’s getting bandaged has a euphoric look on his face.

EUPHORIC GUY

Man, what a rush!

ZAC observes the proceedings with pleasure.

ZAC

See, it’s not easy, but vampires and humans can get along together. We don’t have to kill them, and they don’t have to kill us.

He sees WILLOW looking on uncertainly.

ZAC (continued)

C’mon Willow, don’t be a wallflower.

Willow makes some tentative steps. It looks like she’s actually going to let herself be a vamp meal!

ANGLE: XANDER AND OZ IN THE WOODS

They’re still watching proceedings, but OZ has had enough.

OZ

That’s it, I’m not waiting for Buffy.

XANDER

Oz!

Oz comes out from hiding and walks into the clearing.

OZ

Willow, don’t!

Willow, who’s about to be taken by a vamp, looks around and sees Oz. It’s as though she’s been in a trance, and now she’s snapped out of it.

WILLOW

Oz!

Oz’s sudden appearance startles everyone. Some of the vamps who are feeding look around angrily. One VAMP bites viciously into the neck of his ‘meal’ – a kind of automatic response, as though getting as much blood as he can before he has to run. His ‘meal’, a GIRL, SQUEALS timidly.

JOSH, THE VAMP LEADER and some others confront Oz, who’s now joined by a nervous Xander.

JOSH

What gives you the right to crash our party, Hitler-boy?

OZ

Soup kitchen’s closed.

XANDER

(to the volunteers)

Don’t you people have any idea how much danger you’re in?

AMBER comes forward. She tries a conciliatory approach.

AMBER

There’s no danger here. The vampires are simply what they are. They have a right to live.

XANDER

Well, technically, they’re not alive.

ZAC

Look, you don’t understand. The children of the night are simply misunderstood. We’re here to prove vampires and humans can peacefully co-exist…

At this point the girl who was viciously bitten by the vamp collapses in his arms, dead – the vamp has taken too much blood. He looks up guiltily.

VICIOUS VAMP

Oops!

Amber looks around, sees the dead girl, and SCREAMS.

This sparks off a panic. The rest of the vamps, sensing the panic and having difficulty holding back, decide to revert to ‘type’.

VAMP LEADER

(resigned)

Ah to hell with it. Stupid do-gooders, let’s kill ‘em all!

Cue mayhem! The vamps start grabbing volunteers, volunteers start SCREAMING and running. Xander and Oz throw punches at a couple of vamps and try to move Willow out of danger.

We hear MUSIC on SOUNDTRACK. The song is ‘What’s Going On?’ by Marvin Gaye (hey, it’s my script, clearances be damned, yada yada yada…).

Most of the fight is in SLOW MOTION with emphasis on the song and its lyrics.

LYRICS

Mother, mother there’s too many of you crying.

Brother, brother, brother there’s far too many of you dying.

You know we’ve got to find a way

To bring some loving here today.

Father, father we don’t need to escalate.

See, war is not the answer

For only love can conquer hate.

You know we’ve got to find a way

To bring some loving here today.

As the song plays in BACKGROUND BUFFY and GILES appear. They quickly size the situation up and join in the fight. Buffy lands a kick to a vamp just before he can bite a very frightened Josh.

WILLOW

Buffy, thank God you’re here!

XANDER

About time!

Buffy and the Scoobies fight the vamps, with some of the volunteers (those who haven’t run away or been bitten), including Zac and Amber, lending a hand. Kicks and blows are traded in SLO MO. The surviving volunteers fight with great determination, fueled by a sense of outrage and betrayal.

MUSIC FADES INTO BACKGROUND.

Buffy encounters the Vamp Leader and recognises him as one of the vamps that got away before.

VAMP LEADER

Slayer!

BUFFY

We meet again. This time you won’t get any help.

She throws a punch, which connects; but the VL gets one in on her as well, knocking her to the ground.

VAMP LEADER

I don’t need it.

Buffy springs back up and brandishes a stake, facing the VL confidently.

BUFFY

Oh yeah?

She springs and flips over him – via wire trick – and lands behind him. Caught off-guard, the VL is staked from behind by a cocky Buffy, who doesn’t even look back to see him go to dust.

Sensing defeat, most of the vamps that are left start running off. Of the volunteers who stayed, only Josh, Amber and Zac are still standing, looking exhausted and feeling very foolish. Amber is CRYING.

Buffy and the Scoobies walk up to them. Willow in particular has a look of deep compassion for them – she understands something of what they were trying to do. Buffy looks ‘superior’ and is about to crack a pun at their expense; but on seeing the hurt in their eyes, thinks better of it. She and her gang walk past, leaving the volunteers to think on their folly.

BLACK OUT

END OF ACT FOUR

TAG

28. EXT. UC SUNNYDALE – MORNING

BUFFY, WILLOW and OZ walk along the campus grounds. STUDENTS everywhere.

WILLOW

So Mayor Maldrum turned out to be demon-y but not so evil after all?

BUFFY

No – unless you lose an election to him. That protest group has broken up now, I take it?

OZ

After last night, oh yeah.

WILLOW

It’s a pity…

(off their looks)

I mean, it’s sad when a student’s natural enthusiasm for protest is stifled.

They pass by AMBER, who acknowledges them then looks away, embarrassed.

WILLOW (continued)

Hey Amber.

AMBER

Hey.

Some weird and worrying things about last night are obviously going on in her headspace.

Noticing Oz and Willow’s apparent tiredness, Buffy offers some sexual innuendo.

BUFFY

You two look tired. Last night’s hijinx keep you up?

OZ

Well…

WILLOW

(laughs, grabs Oz)

Well, it was exciting, Oz rescuing me and all.

BUFFY

He was quite the man of the hour. I’m told a few more seconds and you would’ve been donating blood the hard way.

OZ

I don’t think so. You weren’t gonna let them do that, were you?

WILLOW

Of course not.

Oz puts an arm around Willow as they walk on. Willow at first looks indignant at Oz’s suggestion. But we linger on her, and unseen by Oz and Buffy, a look of uncertainty registers there.

BLACK OUT

END OF SHOW

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