Written by: Maverick
Directed by: Maverick
Transcribed by: Maverick

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They were created by Joss Whedon and belong to him, Mutant Enemy, 20th Century Fox Television and the WB television network. That is also their three sentence Prologue that appears below in quotes.

This is, practically speaking, a fictional transcript of an episode that has never been, nor will ever be, filmed. It is, perhaps, a new, hybrid fictional form, and, as such, it contains anything the author thinks necessary to tell the story. Everything that does not belong to others, per the above, such as the the story and plotline, are 1998 Michael J. Vavrek.

~~~~~~~~~~ Prologue ~~~~~~~~~~

"In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer."

Narrator: "Previously on Buffy."

The Cemetery around 10:30 p.m.

Claudia is watching Willow closely. Willow is twirling the pistol on her finger and it flies away.

Willow: Oops! (cringing and laughing at herself) (then speaking over her shoulder, not looking) Claudia, would you please get that for me, s'il vous plait?

Claudia approaches Willow from the back. Claudia's body morphs into a bending, predatory creature, and her face becomes insectlike. She reaches the back of Willow's chair and bends toward her.

The camera comes up behind Claudia and watches her bend toward Willow. Then the sound of a vicious growl is heard, and Claudia is suddenly being attacked from behind by a large, male vampire. She is pushed into Willow, and Willow is spilled out of her wheelchair onto the ground but she catches just so brief a glimpse of Claudia changing back to human form that she doesn't really believe her eyes. The vampire goes to bite down on the back of Claudia's neck and shoulder, but Claudia immediately sinks to the ground and there's nothing there--his teeth clack together sickeningly as he chomps on empty air. Falling further down, onto her back, Claudia then kicks backward and up and the vampire is knocked, flailing, off his feet and onto his back. Claudia is immediately on her feet, and the vampire looks up at her, fearfully, and he turns and runs away. Claudia looks first at him fleeing and then back at Willow as though deciding priorities. But just at that moment in the distance at the street, both Giles and Cordelia pull up in separate cars from separate directions. Giles must swerve, however, to avoid running into Cordelia's car and his tires and brakes squeal in protest.

Giles: (under his breath, angrily) Fortnightly driver. (Then he sees it is Cordelia) Oh, my dear. Are you all right, Cordelia?

Cordelia: (her eyes still squinted shut) Do you think this will involve points?

Giles: No. No, we never touched.

Cordelia: Okay, then (opening her eyes, then checking out her makeup in the rearview mirror) I'm fine.

Giles: Good. (Getting out of his odd car, he notes Cordelia is pressing her lips together and fluffing her hair. He looks up into the cemetery to see Claudia helping Willow back into her wheelchair) Oh, there you two are. What happened? And where are the boys?

Cordelia follows.

Willow: Oh, we were just attacked by a really big vampire, but Claudia handled it--and really neatly. Xander, on the other hand, has been acting strangely, and Oz went to see what Xander is up to. How was your date? (She smiles when he raises his eyebrows.)

Cordelia: (arriving) Xander was here? (to Claudia) I'm Cordelia Chase. But, excuse me, just who are you?

Claudia: Je m'appelle--Oh, en Anglais--I am called Claudia. How do you do?

Cordelia: I do just fine. Xander was here? (still looking for an answer. Willow nods.) What is that (indicating Claudia's beret) the Lewinski look?

Giles: Hold on, people. Look, I came over as soon as I found out--and I don't want to needlessly alarm you--but Buffy has been injured in L.A. Joyce just got the call and she called me. We're going down in Joyce's car. Willow, Cordelia, do you want to come with us?

Willow: Oh, my. Did Joyce say what kind of injury?

Giles: Car. Head. The doctors don't really know, yet, how serious it is.

Willow: But she's the Slayer, right, so she'll be all right? Right?

Claudia: If I have truly been called to replace her, she may be getting weaker and she may be badly injured.

Giles: Willow--sorry Claudia, but with all due respect--I didn't sense that Buffy was getting any weaker, so this injury is probably nothing she won't shake off in a day or two. Perhaps you should stay here, considering how weak YOU have been feeling.

Willow: Take me to my house. I'll bet Oz'll be there to report on Xander. And perhaps Oz will want to drive there himself.

Cordelia: Thanks, Giles, but with my parents . . I'm sure she'll be fine, though. I WILL call and send flowers.

Giles: That would be nice. (to Willow) Come along. Claudia, I hope you don't mind. But, then, you've been taught to patrol alone, haven't you?

Claudia: Yes, indeed. I will be fine.

Giles wheels Willow toward his car. Cordelia walks along.

Cut to Giles driving Joyce's SUV; he seems to enjoy the way it handles. It is early morning but still dark.

Joyce hands him a coffee and goes back to biting her nails. Giles points out that the sun is almost rising.

Cut to the third floor of the Hospital.

Giles, carrying a small suitcase, and Joyce with her purse, arrive. They go directly to the nurses station and are pointed down the hall. They enter Room 323 and see Hank Summers sitting across the room facing toward them. He is dozing. Buffy's bed is the far one. A doctor is standing at the foot of her bed reading her chart. Joyce approaches Buffy on the opposite side of the bed from Hank and takes her left hand, the one without an IV. Hank looks up, sees Joyce, and gets to his feet. The camera stays back with Giles. Joyce and Hank converse quietly across the bed, while Giles motions for the doctor.

The Doctor: Yes?

Giles: Doctor, how bad is it?

Doctor: Pretty serious. She took a severe blow to the head and there's both internal bleeding and some swelling and we're concerned she will have neurological complications, so we're monitoring her very closely. We've taken steps to relieve the pressure; now we'll just have to wait and see if we've done enough.

Giles: I see. Doctor, I don't know exactly how to ask this, but Buffy is a very healthy person, and in the past she has been known to experience some rather amazing recuperations. Have you noticed a similar trend this time?

Doctor: That's odd that you should say THAT. I wasn't quite certain how to broach the subject, but I was going to comment, to the contrary, on her apparent run-down condition. As I was telling her father, she seems to be responding very sluggishly to any treatment we have given her. And actually, they had to administer a coagulant to even get her blood to clot after our brief surgery. This is not good. At all.

Cut to the Hospital lobby

A Policewoman enters the main entrance and goes directly to the Admissions desk. While she's standing there an enormously powerful-looking man, wearing an eye mask and dressed in an outrageously muscle-revealing vest, comes striding up behind her. He is holding flowers and he stands there folding his arms.

Admission Lady: (looking up) Yes, officer? (Then she takes in the large man and, alternatingly, she eyes the giant and the red phone on her desk.

Policewoman: I'm with Massive Mike, here (she indicates the giant with her thumb) of the World Wrestling Federation, and he's visiting his sick, young fans.

Admission Lady: Oh, how nice (dropping her guard). (To him, very loudly, like he's hard of hearing) How very nice of you, sir. I'm sure they'll be thrilled.

He grunts.

Policewoman: And by the way, I understand my niece has been admitted. I might as well drop in and see her while I'm here. Buffy Summers?

Admission Lady: Let me look. Yes, she's in 323.

Policewoman: Thank you. Come along, Mike. We don't want to keep the audience waiting.

- - - - - - Buffy Theme (Microsoft? A midi-Click on the HyperText.) (Netscape? Try the Symbol.)

The Hospital Lobby

The Policewoman and the Second Tarakan are standing at the Admission's Desk.

The camera pans up the hallway to a waiting room and Whistler can be seen reading a National Geographic and drinking a soda. When he glances up, he sees the Policewoman and her companion and he rises in such haste he completely forgets the magazine and the soda and the liquid spills all over the front of him and the magazine drops to the floor. He walks, then runs up the hall toward them, veering off only at the last minute toward the bank of elevators. Just two other people are there waiting for an elevator. The left door opens and the people who are waiting get on. Once the people can no longer see him, Whistler visually examines the elevators and quickly runs his hands over the walls surrounding them. Behind him, the two members of the order of Taraka are walking in his direction; they see the door about to close shut and begin to run to catch it. The door slides shut. Whistler steps back and away and watches while the Policewoman arrives and impatiently pushes the Up Button, but the elevator has gone. The large man grunts and growls.

Policewoman: (to the giant) Well, why didn't you just pick up something at a drive-thru on the way over?

The center elevator stops at ground level and the Tarakans enter, the man having to duck to get through the door. Whistler moves close, closer, and as soon as the door closes on the Tarakans, he pushes the Up Button again and begins to move his hands over the wall around the center elevator. Small electrical discharges emanate from his hands and his face wavers and distorts and his hat moves perceptively. The display shows the elevator pass the second floor but it never lights up for the third floor. According to the lights, anyway, it has stopped between the second and third floors.

The right elevator opens in the lobby and it disgorges people. Whistler gets in and pushes 3. He is alone. He pulls out a cell phone and pushes a button.

Cut to the bank of elevators across from the Nurse's Station on the 3rd Floor.

On the 3rd floor the right elevator arrives and Whistler gets off and heads toward Room 323, which is up a hall and around a corner. As he rushes into the room, Whistler sees that Giles is standing uncomfortably at the foot of Buffy's bed. Buffy is still unconscious. Joyce is now seated behind the bed, closest to Buffy and to the right of Hank.

Whistler: (approaching Giles) Mr. Giles. You don't know me but I'm a friend of Angel's. The Order of Taraka has been directed against The Slayer and is on its way upstairs right now to kill her. We've got to get her out of here immediately.

Giles looks at the helpless Buffy and then back at Whistler.

Giles: I don't suppose I have the time to question your credentials.

Whistler: No, the Tarakans are stuck in the elevator, but only just briefly.

Cut to inside the elevator.

Massive Mike jumps up and knocks the trapdoor open. Then he jumps up and grabs hold and pulls himself up and through it. Finally he is standing on top of the elevator, inside the shaft, looking up at the cable. He tries to grip a cable but his hands slip because of the grease. Then he reaches up, at the height of his forehead, and is barely able to reach the doors to the Third Floor. Reaching behind his neck into the area under his vest, he withdrawls a long thick butcher knife which he then tries to wedge in the door.

Cut to Buffy's hospital room.

Giles rushes into the room pushing an empty wheelchair. Whistler is not there.

Giles: Sorry, Joyce, Hank, but some evil people are coming to harm Buffy. We've got to get her out of here. We shouldn't move her but it can't be helped.

Giles goes to the bed, lowers the railing, and begins to pull back the sheet.

Hank: (rising) Now, just hold on a second. Why would anyone want to harm Buffy?

Joyce: Hank, Buffy is in a lot of trouble in Sunnydale and certain people would like her out of the way. Trust Mr. Giles, Hank.

Hank: I will not. Here, you, Giles. Stop that. We really shouldn't move her.

Hank comes around the foot of the bed and moves forward to grab Giles arm to restrain him. But Whistler comes up suddenly behind him with a hypodermic and injects Hank in the arm. Hank flinches and turns angrily, but almost immediately he relents and looks confused, then he collapses into Whistler's arms. Whistler lowers him gently into a chair.

Whistler: (to Joyce) Won't hurt him. (to Giles) Not much time.

Joyce: (to Giles) Do you know this guy? (indicating Whistler)

Giles: I wish I did. But, we'd better do as he suggests.

Cut to back inside the elevator.

Mike has his fingers in the middle of the door and he groans and his muscles bulge as he tries to pull the two sections apart. Finally he gives a monstrous heave, accompanied by a howl of effort, and the two halves begins to separate. Another heave and it is open a foot. He moves to the left and works on that side only and it gives slowly and the right side also moves a bit in conjunction. Finally he is satisfied; he has produced a two foot gap in the door. He lets it go and goes back and reaches down inside the elevator. The policewoman grabs his meaty hand and he pulls her up till she grasps the opening, then he positions himself and pulls her the rest of the way up and through the opening. Once she's standing on top of the car, he boosts her up to the opening he has made in the door to the 3rd floor.

Cut to Buffy's hospital room.

Giles scoops Buffy up from her bed and places her in the chair. Then he pulls a sheet off the bed and wraps it around her and ties her to the chair as Joyce unhooks the bags of intravenous drips and places them with Buffy in the chair. Joyce looks at Buffy and then at her husband and then up at Giles.

Joyce: (grabbing her purse and the suitcase) Let's go.

Giles pushes Buffy out toward the door. Whistler points down the hall away from the main elevators, toward the service elevator. Giles pushes Buffy the way Whistler points; Joyce follows. Whistler also follows but he goes along touching the first number, the 3, on each door with his right hand and it releases and falls down into his left hand. When he has collected several of these, he runs back up the hall toward the regular elevators and he quickly replaces numbers on several doors. Then he hurries back toward the service elevators.

Cut to the regular elevators.

The policewoman emerges from the elevator and Massive Mike is right behind her. She bypasses the nurses's station and rounds the corner and then she's at Room 323. Pulling her gun, she bursts into the room, where two elderly patients are lying in the beds. Mike, wielding his large knife, follows right behind her. The patients look at the Tarakans and then at each other and in unison they push their nurse's call buttons.

Cut to another Room 323

The door says 323. The Tarakans rampage into the room. Again they draw a blank. Hank lies unconscious off to the side in a chair. They exit and look down the hall and several other rooms are numbered 323.

Cut to the other end of the hall.

Down the other end of the hall, a service elevator opens and Giles wheels an unconscious Buffy into it, while Joyce follows. There is already a nurse, a black lady, in the elevator. Whistler brings up the rear, hurrying in, and he is followed by an orderly who just makes it before the door begins closing. Whistler looks back up the hall while the door closes and sees the policewoman standing there with her pistol drawn looking confused.

Joyce: All this running and I didn't see anyone to run from.

Whistler: We're just a half step ahead of them.

Giles: When we get downstairs, Joyce, you stay with Buffy while I get the car.

The camera in the elevator takes an angle that falls below the head of the orderly but which allows you to see light glint off something being withdrawn from his whites. Suddenly you see him pull out the full, larger-than-normal butcher knife, and the camera rises to show the third member of the Order of Taraka, the guy with the glasses. He moves forward and slices through the air towards Buffy's head. Joyce sees him just in time and steps forward and partially blocks the blow by raising her leather purse, but it does glance off and it cuts her, and she begins bleeding profusely. Giles reaches for the man's arms and pins them against the wall, and Whistler goes for the hand wielding the knife, but it's the other passenger, the nurse, who begins whaling on him with her handbag at the end of its strap. She pummels him once, twice, and a third time, and then suddenly he disassembles--not into worms as we've seen before but--into around twelve homunculi, and these red little men swarm toward the passengers in the elevator. The black nurse screams, "Jesus, help me. Lord, save me," as she swipes and kicks and knees at them. Giles has two of them around his feet biting his calfs. Joyce screams, as one tries to pull itself up on her skirt, then screams again as one gets on the chair with Buffy and goes for Buffy's throat. Whistler has been fiddling with the back of Buffy's wheelchair and he manages to detach a metal arm off it; he steps forward and whaps the one on Buffy and it goes flying off. Then, he beats the one off Joyce and catches another one that gets on the chair, again heading toward Buffy's head.

The door opens and Whistler pulls Buffy's wheelchair out with one hand and uses the aluminum bar to beat the creatures off him with the other. Giles and Joyce follow him out into the hall and once they have room to swing, they finally beat the little red men-like entities off them.

Whistler: (pointing to a sign that says emergency exit) There.

He wheels Buffy forward, as Giles helps Joyce, now white-faced and cradling her still bleeding arm. The little creatures disperse. Whistler backs through the crash bar of the door and bursts out into the sunlight and looks around. Giles leads Joyce out the door and looks around desperately. Luckily he spies Oz's van, then Oz himself, as Oz leans out his window just about to pull a ticket from the dispenser to enter a parking lot.

Giles: (to Whistler) There. (pointing toward Oz's van) Our friends are arriving.

Suddenly, Whistler lets out with a ear-piercing whistle, and Oz looks up, confused, sees them, backs up, and heads in their direction.

Screeching to a halt, Oz arrives with Willow as his passenger.

Giles: (to Oz) We're being chased. Any room in the back? We need a place where Buffy can lie down.

Oz: Sure.

Giles: Let's get her in there quickly.

Whistler opens the back to reveal a clean, carpeted, uncluttered interior with guitar cases strapped to the left wall and a cot of sorts near the right. Right behind the front seats there is a partition between the driving area and the open back, with just a small access channel in the center. They unwrap Buffy, then Whistler steps up into the back and throws the sheet on the cot, and Oz comes back and helps Whistler, as Giles lifts Buffy from the chair and hands her to them, and they lay her on the cot. Just at that point the policewoman and Mike come through the exit door. Giles grabs Joyce and seats her on back of the van and rolls her inside. Then he steps up himself and pulls the back door closed.

Giles: Oz, get us out of her. I think the police lady has a pistol.

Suddenly the van jumps as Oz guns it and the tires squeal with delight.

Cut to the hospital exit watching the van speed away.

The policewoman has her pistol out and she fires off four shots. Mike grunts and groans.

Policewoman: I DID shoot for the tires.

The van careens around a corner and is gone.

The giant barks again.

Policewoman: Yeah, right--like we're going to catch a teenager in a van. Let's just leave--before the police show up. Let's go clock out. I only hope we can find all of Pieces's pieces.

Cut to inside the back of Oz's van.

Shots ring out and hit the back. Everyone inside ducks. Whistler moves to the front to talk to Oz.

Whistler: (to Oz) Hello, young man. You can call me Whistler. (to Willow) Hello, young lady.

Oz: (pointing) Oz, Willow. Thanks for your help, sir.

Willow: Hello. Yes, thank you. Buffy mentioned you.

Whistler: Did she? Yes, I did meet her. If you would, Oz, please stop right up here, HERE, and let some of us out.

Oz brakes hard and pulls over. Whistler hangs on.

Whistler: And then you might as well take Buffy back to her house in Sunnydale. We can't risk hospitals. Just get her out of the Los Angeles metro area post haste. The assassins won't follow her to Sunnydale.

Whistler goes back to Giles who is hanging Buffy's two intravenous bags high up on a hook on the side of the van. He then checks that they drip. Joyce sits on the floor holding her arm and looking over at Buffy.

Whistler: Your car is at the hospital, right?

Giles: Yes. Yes, it is.

Whistler: We'll get out here; you can go back and get it while I stay with the Missus. She needs immediate medical attention for her arm; she's going into shock in case you haven't noticed. Oz will take Buffy back to her house. The Order of Taraka was only commissioned to operate in L.A. County--this time--so Buffy'll be quite safe. WE, however, need to check something out here.

Giles: Yes, yes, of course. Did I thank you for your help?

Whistler: Yes. You're certainly a polite bunch. You're very welcome.

The back door opens and Oz looks in.

Willow: (from the front) Giles, I need to talk to you ASAP. It's about Xander.

Giles: Is he in any immediate danger, Willow?

Willow: Don't know. He's gone to hell.

Giles: Haven't we all? But, sorry, nothing we can do about Xander until after Buffy's safe.

Cut to the tunnel entrance to Hell.

The giggling is still sounding in the background while Xander, arm in a sling now, the ambient light seemingly stronger, walks down a tunnel-like stone corridor. Wooden doors are arranged every so often on the one side. Then the giggling cuts off. Acknowledging the quiet with his eyes, he looks up in relief. Stopping, he approaches a door and puts his ear to it. Nothing. He looks intently at his watch; then he listens to it. He shakes it and listens again. Then satisfied, he turns his attention to the door again and listens. Still nothing. He grabs the door handle and his left hand recoils from the heat. Reaching in his jacket pocket, he pulls out a knit glove, puts it on, and tries again. But the door won't budge.

Xander goes on to the next door in the corridor. He pulls at it and again the door seems sealed shut. The third door, however, has a Post-it Note stuck on it. He leans forward and reads, "Here, Dummy." He listens--nothing--twists the door knob with his left, gloved hand, pulls it open a foot and he peers inside. It is a large room, like a hall, filled with many people seated at long tables; a few other people are milling about; but they have all stopped whatever they were doing and are all looking directly back at Xander. There should be a lot of sound but there is absolute silence. All of the people have stopped to see who is coming through the door. He shuts the door quickly and leans his back against it, breathing heavily. Then he moves down to the next door which also sports a Post-It Note. This one says, "No, THERE, Dummy." He shrugs, curls his lip to the side in a nervous snarl, and goes back to the previous door.

Xander: (to himself) At least they know who they're dealing with.

Then, drawing a water pistol in his left hand and making a try at a sign of the cross with his broken right arm, he pulls the door open and enters, closing it behind him. The people look up again, momentarily, but then noise descends on the room and they quickly resume their noisy activities. He removes his hat out of courtesy. As it turns out, they are in the middle of those two very American activities: smoking and playing Bingo. "O-69" There is a caller on a raised stage with a lit number board behind him; beside him, he has a popcorn-popper-like clear box and numbered ping-pong balls are bouncing merrily around inside it. 69 lights up on the number board.

People pass by Xander, puffing on their cigarettes, ignoring him, and he moves cautiously forward and then begins to walk, and he goes over to the raised stage where he is drawn to a sharply-colored box which sits there. As he looks around, he notices that for the most part the images of the people and the room in general are hazy, indistinct, almost transparent, even despite the cigarette smoke that hangs blue in the air, but this wooden box, 3 feet wide, 2 feet tall, 2 feet deep, richly-stained wood, is seemingly solid and substantial. On the Box are two buttons: one is marked "NEW TO HELL?" and the other says, "INFORMATION ON THIS VENUE." This box is not a particularly high-tech-looking device--it has a simple cloth mesh covering a speaker that is located above and between the two buttons.

He looks around to see if anyone is noticing him--they are not--and he casually pushes the button marked "NEW TO HELL?" Immediately all activity in the room ceases and freezes in place, and a pleasant female voice, sounding like Majel Barrett Roddenberry, emanates from the box.

The Voice: "Welcome to hell. We have plunked you down at this location entirely at random, but, be assured, we know where you are, and we will always know where you are. Even now, as you listen to this, your punishment is being designed and custom-crafted with you in mind. We will be striving to accomplish two purposes: to maximize your suffering during your stay with us (uses an echo effect) which will be forever (returns to normal sound) and to create an environment which will punish you, yes, but which will do so as artistically as possible. Now, it may take a day or it may take several years or it may even take many years to create your unique venue--we don't rush the creative process such as some we've heard about--six days, indeed! Mawhaaahaa!

"In the meantime, you will be free to roam your new home and view with genuine horror the predicaments of your fellow inhabitants. We invite you, just generally, to get a feel for the place. Take advantage of this now, as, once you are assigned to your eternal damnation, you will no longer be free to move about--you will be relegated to your own venue and be required to suffer in place, to be viewed, in turn, by other newbies. By the way, you ARE, temporarily, TOURISTS in hell, but, as you might have guessed, management reserves the right to subject you to our most important product--pain--and we will inflict it upon you at irregular intervals and we will apply it capriciously to different parts of your body. Just consider it part of the ambiance.

"Please push the other button on each of these boxes to obtain specific information on each site you visit. This is sometimes very important to fully appreciate the sheer perversity of the punishment you will be seeing.

"A final word: We like to think of ourselves as artists. Pain, in its myriad forms, is the paint on our pallette, and each Venue is our canvas. Because our audience is limited, however, if you would fill out a comment card and drop it in the box on the way out, your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you."

That completed, the room once again explodes into a bazaar of activity and noisy discussion. "N-37" is called and lights up on the board. Xander looks around. Of all the hazy people in the room, only one seems more substantial, more sharply colored and distinct than the rest. She looks up expectantly at the caller. She is an older, grandmotherly-type lady with a print dress and grey hair. "B-3" is the call. Her face brightens. "Bingo" she yells. Xander looks over at the management of the place--the caller--to gauge his reaction. But, then, behind the caller, Xander notices, on the number board the O-69 blinks and goes out and O-67 lights up to replace it. This seems so obvious to Xander that he has to stop himself from pointing it out. The lady has her hand in the air and an attendant comes over to her, picks up her card and begins to read, "B-3, I-21, N-37, O-69."

The caller: 0-69 was never call. No Bingo.

"No Bingo," is echoed through the crowd.

The woman: (crestfallen) But I heard it.

"No Bingo," is the many-faced answer. She shrugs and is immediately ravaged by a pain so severe that her face contorts.

The woman: Okay! (to no one in particular) (then to the crowd) I don't believe it. You people are the dumbest bunch of yahoos I've ever encountered. I know I heard 0-69, and the sooner you admit it and give me my money, the sooner you can look yourself in the mirror and say I don't care what Lucifer says I'm going to play this game fair and square.

From the Crowd various people pipe in with: "Whaddya mean?" "Shut up." "Let's move on." "Is she hearing things again?" "What was the last number called?"

The lady: (putting a cigarette in her mouth and trying to get a lighter to work) I know I heard O-69. Does anyone else have O-69 covered?

Silence. The lady keeps trying to get her lighter to work but it will not flame for her. She picks up a book of matches and tries to strike one, but it will not spring to life. Finally, she takes the cigarette out of her mouth and drops it on the table.

A man's voice in the crowd: Make her sit out the next special.

She shrugs and then end up twisting with pain.

The lady: I'm not going to do that and there's nothing wrong with my hearing. Anybody else have O-69 marked?

The caller: There is something wrong with your hearing, Millicent. And you'll sit out the next special until you promise to listen closer.

Xander wanders over to the Box again and pushes the other button. Everyone stops except, as he notices, for Millicent who picks up her cigarette and tries to get the lighter to work again.

The Voice: Early in her life Millicent Stone sold drugs to grade school children from her little white cape cod house near a grade school. (During this narrative, the woman's face grows progressively more emaciated, then mottled, and finally scabby, her mouth becoming grotesque with haphazard, rotten teeth.) She also enticed several children into her house and taught them to perform sex acts to quote-unquote jump start the old man. But she destroyed any pictures she ever took of the children and thus was never successfully prosecuted. Among these children, however, she is responsible for two suicide deaths and six ruined lives. That was when she was young. Later in life, she endeared herself to us again. She was at Bingo when her own house burned down; she had carelessly left a cigarette burning when she ran out the door in a hurry to be on time for the early bird special. Her quote-unquote old man, old and sick at this point in his life, perished in the fire; that was not so bad, no big loss, but the house next door also burned killing a mother and her two small children. Interestingly, the only thing our Millicent truly loved was the game of Bingo. At this Venue she has been consigned to play a very boring game with no chance that she'll ever win; and, by the way, she will never get that cigarette lit. Plus, she must harangue the other to avoid pain. She has been at this for (pause - different voice) twenty-five (back to normal voice) years so far. This venue has won our Palm Frond Award with Silver Clusters.

Activity resumes at the Venue. Xander immediately heads for the far door. But then he stops briefly and turns to look back at the woman who, still ugly, throws down her cigarette again in disgust. He transfers his squirt gun to his right hand and turns the knob with his gloved left one and goes through.

Cut to the Venue of the Spanish Inquisition.

Xander closes the door behind him, and is in a dungeon where a man is being tortured.

Xander: (looking around, speaking to himself) Wait'll I tell Willow--hell is just like the Holideck.

The man being tortured is covered only by a diaper-like cloth wrapping. He is filthy-dirty and his body is being stretched on a rack. Alongside the rack stands another man dressed in a cowled habit. This monk works a lever that transfers his directional force into a rotational one, which pulls the shackles binding the tortured man's hands and feet in opposite directions. The man on the rack screams, and Xander, on instinct, rushes over and shoves the monk aside and releases the tension. Then Xander discovers, to his surprise, that the monk is sobbing. Once the rack loosens, the man being tortured immediately stops screaming, but then, suddenly, it is the monk, now, who goes into convulsions and drops to the damp ground in pain. This hooded figure, then, crawls along the ground, obviously in great physical distress until he once again can get his hand on the lever and is again applying pain to the man on the rack.

Xander: (scratching his head--he has the watch cap on again--but now takes it off and puts it in his pocket) Evidently, Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore.

He looks around and spies the explanation box built into the stone wall, and he goes over and pushes the Venue button.

Female Voice of the Box: Darius of Madrid allowed four hundred and thirty-seven men to be imprisoned and tortured unmercifully because he would not stand up to King Ferdinand's Chief Inquisitor Torquemada and insist that specific charges be levied and recorded against each accused. He also should have insisted that any defendants should then be allowed to submit evidence to refute these charges in a court, before any of them could be removed from society. Instead he allowed the court procedures, which were totally his responsibility, to be subverted; he hid from the process, not wanting to soil his hands and involve himself in such base endeavors. He sanitized killing. So, now we have put him front and center in the torture process and he now, himself, gets his hands very dirty indeed. He has been torturing people (pause - different voice) five hundred eleven (back to normal voice) years so far. By the way, we change the accused at lease once a month.

Xander: (heading for the far door) Change is good. But the person or his diaper?

He opens the door and passes through.

Angel in Hell in the Venue of a Harem.

Angel is walking through a Sheik's harem where extremely seductive girls in gauzy, skimpy outfits doing sensuous dances. He has to walk among the girls and can't help but watch them as he walks. They dance for a man who lounges on silk pillows and who watches intently as the girls go through their paces. Up ahead, through the door Angel is headed towards, Darla and three henchmen arrive. Angel's face vamps when he sees them, and he turns and runs back the way he came. He is almost through that door but Darla just catches sight of him.

Darla: There he is. His real blonde wants him back for some entertainment. Catch that two-timer.

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Unbecoming2: Lies Told by a Child (Part 2 of 4)

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