Previously on Angel:
Landok comes through the portal.
Lorne: "Landok? Is that you?"
Cordy: "Does that mean that the tow of you are..?"
Lorne: "Cousins, yeah."
Librarian: "Fred disappeared five years ago. They never found her."
Cordy: "The vision! This Book! I think this is how we send him back. The portal works both ways."
Landok gets sucked back home through the portal.
Wesley: "Cordy's been sucked into the portal. She's in the host's dimension now."
Lorne: "They have *no* music there. Cordy is in a very bad place."
Fred: "They use you as a slave and then your body gives..."
Fred: "Oh no!"
Fred gets captured.
The guys jump through the portal in Angel's car.
Angel: "Why am I not on fire?"
Wesley: "Well, it is another dimension."
Vakma: "My cow is cursed!"
Cordy: "I don't know anything about a curse, okay? I just have these visions."
Silas: "She is indeed cursed with the sight."
They guys are standing in front of Narwek in the village square, bound.
Narwek: "For the crime of assault - you are to be detained in the dungeon until our royal highness passes sentence upon you."
Angel: "One - two..."
The guys attack the guards as they are being lead in, then freeze as someone clears their throat.
Cordy: "Hi guys!"
Gunn: "No way!"
Angel: "You're - safe."
Cordy: "Little bit. They made me their ruler."
The soldiers pull the boys to their feet.
Wesley: "But this is fantastic!"
Cordy: "Well, it's not like my throne couldn't use a few extra cushions, but I'm really not gonna complain because - throne?"
Wesley and Gunn hold up their chained wrists.
Wesley: "You could order them to release us!"
Cordy: "Yes. I really could."
Narwek: "Shall we gut the cows now that you might dine on their ignoble flesh, oh most high?"
Cordy: "You're most high if you think that's gonna happen. Besides, shouldn't there be some extended groveling first?"
Cordy: "Okay. - Off with their heads!"
Some of the guards draw their swords to obey as the guys flinch in the hold of the rest of them.
Cordy: "Just kidding."
The guards freeze with the blades only inches away from the guys' throats.
Narwek helps Cordy down the steps in front of her throne.
Narwek: "Your Majesty, I must protest. To allow dangerous criminals to roam free in your presence?"
Cordy: "You're gonna make me use my 'important voice' aren't you? - Leave us!"
The people in the room slowly file out and shut the door behind them. Cordy holds her arms open for a hug, and steps towards the guys (who are no longer chained).
Wes, Gunn and Lorne hurry towards her.
Wes: "Oh, thank god!"
Then past her.
Gunn: "Yes! Food!"
Lorne: "I thought we'd never see food again!"
They dig into the platters of fruit sitting on a shelf behind the throne.
Cordy turns to stare at them.
Angel: "What happened?"
Cordy turns to face him: "What's it look like? They jabbed me with hot pokers for a while and then (smiles) made me a princess."
Wesley (with his mouth full): "It doesn't make sense, does it? I mean, in a world where humans are slaves and chattel - why would they elevate one to monarch?"
Lorne: "You had a vision, didn't you, pudding?"
Cordy: "Uhm, yeah. And can I just say - visions? Not getting any easier. I mean, I'm still kind of vibrating - though *that* could be from the hot pokers."
Lorne: "See there? She had a vision. That explains it."
Gunn: "It does?"
Lorne: "Well, see there is this prophecy."
Angel: "A prophecy? Great. Because those always go well."
Lorne goes to lounge on the throne.
Lorne: "Well the priests that have been running this mess for the last several millennia, the Covenant of Trombli - humorless bunch. Anyway, they teach of a coming messiah."
Cordy goes up and pushes Lorne's feet off the arm of the throne and looks at him. Lorne gets up to let Cordy sit down.
Lorne: "The cursed one. A being with the pure sight, who one day will claim the throne and restore the monarchy."
Wesley: "When you say 'pure sight'..."
Lorne: "I mean a direct link to the powers that be. I mean her!"
Gunn starts laughing and Cordy turns to glare at him.
Gunn: "She's the messiah?"
Cordy: "It could happen."
Wesley: "It *has* happened. At least that's what these Trombli believe. And so long as they do, we might actually stand a chance of surviving this place long enough to find our way out."
Cordy: "How did you get in?"
Gunn: "The same way you did: opened a portal with the book."
Wesley: "We, ah, seem to have misplaced it though."
Cordy: "The portal or the book?"
Cordy: "I don't know about portals, but they've got books here. Those trombonal guys? They used some when they swore me in."
Wesley: "I've got to see those."
Cordy: "In kind of in a hurry to get back to the 'Cordelia is not a princess' dimension, aren't you?"
Gunn: "Okay, but say we *do* find the instructions, don't we still need one of those inter dimensional hotspots?"
Wesley: "Yes, that's true. - Angel."
They all turn to look at Angel and Cordy gasps as she sees that he is standing in front of a mirror - checking out his reflection.
Cordy jumps off her throne and hurries over to him.
Cordy: "He's reflecting!"
Wesley: "Yes the metaphysical laws which govern our world don't seem to apply here."
Gunn: "He can walk in the sun, too."
Angel is looking at himself and feeling his hair, trying to push it down.
Angel: "Okay - this is because of going through the portal, right?"
Cordy: "No. It always looks like that."
Angel turns to look at them.
Wesley: "Angel, while we search for the proper incantation, it might save time if you go with the host. Hit the streets, see if you can document any - portal activity."
Angel: "I don't get it."
Wesley: "Well, the host knows this world, we need to ascertain if..."
Angel turns back to the mirror: "No, I mean why didn't anybody tell me about this? Look it's..."
Plays with his hair again.
Cordy: "Uh. You look good."
Angel checking himself out in the mirror again: "You're not just saying that, are you?"
Wesley pulls him away from the mirror.
Wesley: "Angel, please! Go with the host. (Angel bobs to look past Wes at the mirror, and Wes moves with him in an effort to stay in his line of sight) Track down his cousin Landok. Speak to his family and find out..."
Lorne: "Whoa, whoa, back up, back up. You want me to talk to my family? On purpose?!"
Wesley: "Well, it's that - or face the possibility of *never* returning to our own dimension again."
Lorne sighs then pulls Angel (still staring at himself in the mirror) towards the door.
Lorne: "Come on, gorgeous, you can stare at yourself in my grandmother's glass eye. Oh, and while we're here it's just Lorne, okay? To the people of Pylea a host is just one more thing to lay your eggs in."
Angel: "Yeah, yeah, fine. Hey, can we get my coat?"
Wesley: "The books Cordelia, can you get us access?"
Cordy: "Am I not the princess?"
One of the red robbed priests is pacing in a room where Silas is sitting at a table.
Barshon: "To allow her to wear the crown is a sacrilege!"
Silas: "She is cursed. She has the sight. We all agree."
Barshon: "Not all. - Why would the powers choose as their vessel this craven beast?"
Silas: "It doesn't matter why. She is our sovereign now and no harm must come to her. At least not until after the Com-shuk. If the princess survives the Com-shuk, *then* you may have her head, Barshon. But not before."
Angel and Lorne are hitching a ride on the back of one of the pasty faced villager's donkey carts.
They jump off as the cart passes in front of the dwelling of Lorne's family.
Lorne: "Boy. I'd give my left horn to not have to do this."
We see a group of Lorne's relatives, apparently engaged in some kind of horse play, in front of their dwelling.
The big figure in the middle of the gathering turns around to look towards them. Unlike the other demons of Lorne's kind we've seen so far, this one sports a full beard in addition to the usual attributes of his race.
Lorne: "Guess who's back."
Bearded demon: "Krevlorneswath? - Can it be true? I've often prayed that I might look again upon your face."
Lorne: "Well, you're in luck then."
The bearded demon spits in Lorne's face.
Bearded demon: "You have shamed our clan and betrayed your kind."
Lorne dabs at the spit with a handkerchief.
Lorne: "Thanks, mom."
Angel's head snaps up and he mouths 'mom?'
Mom: "Each morning before I feed I go out into the hills where the ground is thorny and parched, beat my breast and curse the loins that gave birth to such a cretinous boy-child!"
Lorne spreading his hands: "My mother."
Mom: "Your father was right. We ate the wrong son."
Lorne: "Well, enough of this sentimental reminiscing. Just a couple of quick questions, then I'll skeddadle. You remember back around five years ago when I first disappeared - did you notice anything - odd?"
Mom: "We noticed feasting and celebrations. Your brother Numfar did the dance of joy for three moons. Numfar! Do the dance of joy."
Numfar (who is, btw played by no other but Joss Whedon himself) starts some weird dance routine, which includes some kicks and hops as well as tapping himself repeatedly on the head.
Lorne: "Actually what I meant was more along the lines of a strange flashing, kind of a weird pulsating... (aside to Angel) You remember when I said we didn't have music in my world? Wish I could say the same about the dancing. (Back to his mom) lights. Really you couldn't have missed it. Big, bendy, swirly..."
Mom: "No longer do the dance of joy, Numfar!"
Lorne: "Nothing like that at all then."
Mom: "Now take your cow and get off my lawn!"
Landok: "That is no cow."
Landok pushed Lorne rudely out of the way and claps Angel on the shoulder.
Landok: "My friend! It is good to see you again. I would have perished in your strange world were it not for your bravery."
Angel shifts on his feet and throws a look over at Lorne.
Mom: "You know Krevlorneswath's cow?"
Landok: "He's Angel! The brave and noble drokken killer."
Angel: "Just Angel is really..."
Landok: "He is as valiant and courageous a warrior as I have ever known."
Mom: "Then he shall be welcome in our home and we shall will him. (Lorne's mouth drops open) Numfar! Do the dance of honor."
Numfar launches into another series of leaps and gestures, including the bunny-hop.
Lorne: "Landok, hi. Say, the drokken killer and I have a few itty-bitty portal queries and then we'll..."
Two relatives come up and pull Angel's coat off.
Landok: "We shall adorn my gallant friend in raiments befitting a warrior, that our neighbors may know of his valor."
Angel watching them take his coat into the house: "Uh, guys - no wire hanger because that's leather!"
Two other are dropping a necklace around his neck and drape an elaborate cape over his shoulders.
Angel: "Oh. Guys, hey, - all this isn't really... (Another relative holds a mirror up in front of him) Nice! He-hey!"
Looks over at Lorne while adjusting the cape.
Landok: "Come! You will be our guest of honor at the village feast. There you will tell the tale of your bravery and courage against the vicious drokken."
Landok leads a smiling Angel away.
Angel: "Hey, now, about the hair - do you think that..."
Lorne shakes his head and looks over at Numfar, still hopping around.
Lorne: "Why, it's the homecoming I always dreamed of."
Follows the others, leaving the dancing Numfar behind.
Wesley is sitting at a table in the castle library reading a book.
Gunn: "You actually read this stuff?"
Wesley: "Hmm. It resembles certain demonic languages with which I'm - familiar, but - whole passages appear to be missing."
Cordy is looking at another book and Wesley spots the head of the animal engraved on its cover.
Wesley: "Fascinating. A hart."
Cordy: "It's not a heart, it's a bambi. And we expect him to read this teeny tiny print?"
Wesley: "No not h-e-a-r-t, h-a-r-t. A male red deer or staggard. Often associated with rural mysticism."
Gunn: "Yeah, they all got animals on them. Probably just a bunch of demon bedtime stories."
Wesley looks at the three books lying open in front of him on the desk.
Wesley: "Of course! The holy books are written in Trionic."
Wesley: "No one volume is complete without the other two. - Uhm. I-It's really one book broken up into three pieces."
Cordy: "Like a trilogy."
Wesley: "No. No. Much more complex than that. See this passage here (points at the first book), it continues in this volume here (points at the second) then concludes in this one (points at the third). The rhythm of the sentence structure - lets one know when to jump from book, to book, to book."
Gunn: "Anything about the portals?"
Wesley: "Impossible to say. It will take me some time to decipher them I'm afraid."
Cordy: "Starting to bore the princess."
Wesley: "Though I do seem to be finding references to the cursed one."
Cordy: "Really? There is stuff about messiah me?"
Wesley: "Contextually a - a verb."
Cordy: "Something I'm going to do?"
Wesley: "With a 'groosalug'"
Cordy: "What does that mean?"
Wesley: "I have no idea."
Gunn: "Sounds dirty if you ask me."
Cordy: "Nobody did."
Gunn: "Look. Why don't we just get somebody who knows this stuff to tell us what it means?"
Cordy: "Like who?"
Gunn: "Like one of them priests the host was talking about. These books belong to them, right?"
Wesley closed the middle book and sees that it has the head of a male sheep engraved on its cover.
Cordy: "Well, yeah."
Gunn: "Look, you're the one going on and on about how you're the princess. Can't you just make them translate 'em for us?"
Wes closes the second book. It has a wolf's head on the cover.
Cordy: "I guess I could. Yeah. Why not? Princess, not really taking a vote, is she?"
Wes looks down at the images on the covers of the three books, rearranges their order.
Cordy: "I'll make a decree."
Gunn looks down as well: "Wolf - ram..."
Wesley: "And hart. - I'm not sure the priests can be trusted."
The host is sitting on the side of the Village Square drinking as Angel is recounting some of his exploit to a group of kids.
Angel: "...and the scroll is just tipping from his fingertips, and his eyes lighting with fierce determination, and then whack! (Angel makes a chopping motion and some of the kids jump) I chopped off the evil lawyer-beast's hand and he screamed and he screamed and then I left."
There are appreciative exclamations and applause from the crowd and with a smile Angel gets up and jumps through a gap in the circle of children at his feet and walks over to Lorne.
Lorne: "Well, you're just a regular Hans Christian Tarantino, aren't you?"
Angel smiles up at him.
Lorne: "We should probably be getting back to the palace."
Angel's smile slowly fades.
Angel: "I really hate to disappoint the kids. They seem to be enjoying this."
Lorne: "Nice to be seen as a hero without all the pesky moral ambiguities you get back home, isn't it?"
Angel: "Yeah. - Maybe it is a little."
Lorne: "They see you a certain way. You start to see yourself that way. You become that image. I get it. I do. Because I know how they see me! Can we go?"
Landok comes over and claps Angel on the shoulder.
Landok: "Angel. You must again tell the tale of the sorcerer who could remove his limbs and reassemble at will!"
Lorne: "Right! Right. Because that's a good one."
Landok see two demons position a square block on the little platform in the middle of the square.
Landok: "Ah! It is time for the Bach-nal. (Grabs Angel by the front of his cape and shakes him) Angel, you shall swing the Crebbil!"
Angel grins and shrugs: "Yeah? Okay."
Lorne almost chokes on his drink.
Lorne: "The Crebbil? The creb... Angel, Angel!"
But Angel is already halfway across the square, Landok's arm draped around his shoulders.
Wesley hurries after Cordy as she enters the throne room.
Wesley: "Cordelia, you must listen to me!"
Cordy: "No, Wesley, I think I've heard enough. (Goes to sit on her throne) You want me to go back to where we'd be slaves? Sorry, don't see the upside to that."
Wesley: "Cordelia, there are forces at work here. You don't know who these priests are. Or what it is they serve!"
Cordy: "Look, you wanna go, go! But I have to stay here and - be a princess."
Wesley: "And com-shuk with a groosalug?"
Cordy: "Better than shoveling demon horse poo!"
Silas, followed by two other priests, walks in through the open double doors.
Silas: "Majesty. - Is everything alright?"
Cordy says yes at the same time as Wesley says no.
Gunn: "Yo, priesty, what's the four-one-one on this groosalug? (Cordy throws her hands up) What's that about?"
Silas: "Have you had a vision, Majesty?"
Wesley: "Yes. - Yes, she has had a vision. So... you may as well be candid with her. (Goes to stand next to Cordy) Or she'll know."
Gunn goes to join them, wagging his finger at Silas in passing.
Gunn: "No lying to the messiah now!"
Silas: "Clearly her majesty has seen the groosalug because it has been summoned from the scum pits of Ur..."
Cordy: "Scum pits?"
Silas: "...and will arrive before night fall."
Cordy: "So that's the really close scum pits then."
Silas: "Everyone is very anxious for her majesty to com-shuk with the groosalug."
Cordy: "Of course! Why wouldn't they be? (Points at Wes and Gunn) Now these two? They didn't even know what the com-shuk was. - You tell them!"
Silas: "The com-shuk is a mating ritual."
Gunn aside to Cordy: "I told you it was dirty."
Cordy: "Yes. Exactly. The mating ritual - which is - great? (Laughs) It's been a really long times since I've had - a good com-shuk. So, uhm, (gets up) I'm just gonna run out for a minute - because I wanted to - ah, get it a gift! (Walks down the steps, turns and backs towards the open doors) And you know, groosalugs, hard to buy for. (Bumps into two priests, blocking the door) So, ah, - I should hurry."
Silas: "I'm must insist you do not leave the palace, majesty. The rebels are about. There are rumblings."
Cordy slowly walking with Silas back towards her throne: "Rebel rumblings."
Silas: "We doubled the palace guard."
Cordy: "Doubled, huh? Uh-huh. - But you will tell me when the groosalug gets here?"
Silas bowing: "Yes of course, your majesty."
Cordy steps back up to her throne: "Okay then. Well. Uh, you can go now."
Silas: "Thank you, your majesty."
Silas bows and back away, then all three priests leave the room shutting the doors behind them.
Cordy: "Let's get the hell out of here."
Lorne is looking for some way to get to Angel, but he is being lifted by two green demons and carried around the square. There are shouts of 'bring the crebbil!'
Lorne from behind the wall of demons: "Angel! Angel."
Angel smiles at Fred and gives her a little wave as she is being lead between to other demons towards the little platform. Angel is deposited on the platform. Lorne is bobbing up and down behind his mom and waving his hand in the air, still trying to get Angel's attention as he surveys the crowd.
Some one pushes a battle-ax into Angel hands and Angel grabs it reflexively.
Landok: "Strike quickly and true, Angel, then we can eat."
Angel looks down and sees that Fred is kneeling beside him, her head resting on the block that was set up there earlier. He looks from her to the ax in his hands.
Everyone is watching Angel up on the platform.
Angel quietly: "You expect me to..."
Mom: "Sever the cow's head from its body!"
Fred quietly repeating over and over: "Make it quick. Make it quick."
Landok: "It is a great honor to swing the crebbil at the bach-nal."
Angel lowers the ax and pulls off the necklace and cape.
Voice: "What is he doing?"
Angel quietly: "You want me to kill her?"
Mom: "The cow is a runaway. A scavenger, that sneaks down from the hills and plunders our food stores."
Angel looks down at Fred.
Angel: "She was probably hungry."
Landok: "Will you not swing the crebbil?"
Angel pulls Fred up: "Only if you force me to."
Lorne: "Here we go."
Lorne takes deep gulp from his mug.
Angel pushes Fred a little behind him, holding the ax up in front of him.
Angel: "Okay. We're gonna back up nice and slow and these nice folk are..."
Mom: "Stop them!"
Angel: "...are gonna kill us!"
One green horned warrior jumps up on the platform and Angel pushes him off. Another one follows and Angel kicks him back down.
Angel stops to look over at him as Lorne starts to sing: "...in the name of love - before you break my heart..."
All around the square demons are moaning and screaming in pain, covering their ears with their hands.
Singing the host slowly walks through the crowd towards the platform as if he was in his club back on earth.
Landok: "What strange sorcery is this?"
Angel picks Fred up in his arms and jumps off the platform while Lorne steps on top of it still singing.
Mom: "It burns! It burns!"
Mom drops face down to the ground.
Angel runs over to one of the horses the guards ride and jumps into its empty saddle, then motions to Fred.
Angel: "Come on!"
Fred grabs a hold of his hand and he pulls her up behind him.
Angel turns the horse just as two guards in a chariot pulled by two horses come charging into the square. Lorne see them coming towards him, one leaning out over the side holding a mace.
Lorne: "...think it o... Shi..!"
The mace catches him square in the middle and the screen goes dark.
Wes and Gunn are sneaking along a deserted corridor in the castle.
Wesley to Cordy: "Hurry up."
Cordy striding after them, her hands full of jewels and other stuff like that.
Cordy: "If you ever find a way to get us out of here, I want you to find me a dimension where some demons *doesn't* want to impregnate me with its spawn! Is that just too much to ask? What is it about me anyway? Do I put out some kind of come 'shuk' me vibe? I mean, you'd tell me, right?"
Wes and Gunn are pulling a stone trap door in the floor open to reveal some nauseous liquid sloshing around at the bottom of it.
Cordy: "Okay. Smells like I'll be mating with the groosalug."
Gunn has backed away from the opening. Wes drops the arm he had been holding in front of his nose and turns to Cordy.
Wesley: "You can do this, Cordelia. The sewage empties out beyond the castle. It's our only sure bet. Just - hold your breath."
Cordy: "Why can't we use the front door?"
Gunn: "You really think you'd be able to get your booty out the front door?"
Gunn indicates the stuff she's carrying: "That booty."
Cordy: "Oh. I just wanted a little something to remember my reign by. Is that so wrong?"
Wes helps Gunn to drop down into the sewer.
Gunn groaning: "Ooh - god."
Wesley holding out his hands to Cordy: "Come on."
Cordy wrinkling up her face: "You first."
With a sigh Wes drops down into the sewer. A heartfelt 'eew!' echoes up.
Cordy eyes the opening then slowly maneuvers herself into place to climb down.
Silas: "We've been looking for you, your majesty."
Cordy looks up and sees a couple of priests as well as several guards.
Silas: "Someone must speak to the servants about leaving that door open."
One of the guards shuts it.
Cordy straightening up: "Uh. Yeah. It's kind of whiffy in there. (Looks down at the stuff she is carrying) Oh. Ah. I just thought I would have this stuff - appraised!"
Silas: "Your majesty, the groosalug approaches."
Cordy: "Oh. - Good."
Gunn and Wes come out of an opening in the castle walls that is half obscured by foliage, looking a bit grubby. Wes is coughing into the sweater he was using to cover his mouth and nose against the stench.
Gunn looks back towards the opening.
Wesley: "She didn't make it."
Gunn: "Now what?"
Wesley: "We find Angel."
Angel and Fred are riding double through what looks like low mountain country. Angel looks around then pulls the horse to a stop, slides off, and helps Fred down.
Angel: "I don't think they followed us. We should probably stay on foot. In case they try to track us down. (Gives the now riderless horse a push to get it going) Come on."
Turns to Fred and finds her staring at him.
Angel: "You okay?"
Fred claps a hand to the side of her head.
Fred: "Handsome man - saved me from the monsters."
Angel looks at her with a slight frown.
With that she runs off.
Angel: "Hey. Wait a minute."
Hurries after her.
Fred runs through a wooded area, past a boulder. Runs up then slowly makes his way along the boulder and into a cave. (Nice guitar/woodwind score music playing here.)
Finds Fred (now wearing a pair of crooked glasses) busily adding to the carved symbols covering the walls of the cave.
Fred hesitates for a moment then continues to write.
Angel looks around the cave. Angel: "Hey, great place."
Slowly crosses the cave.
Angel: "You don't have to be afraid of me. Really. I-I'd never..."
He comes up on a small pool of water and his attention is captured by his reflection in it.
Angel: "...hurt you?"
Fred glances back at him, the quickly turns back to her carving.
Angel: "So, ah... So, you don't wanna talk to me?"
Fred: "I can't, huh?"
Angel: "Why won't you?"
Fred: "Because - you're not real. - Or I'm not real. *Somebody* here isn't real and I suspect it's you. So if you're not real, that means that my head came off back there and that I'm dead now. Dead. And with me being dead and you not being real I can hardly be expected to have some big conversation with you at the moment, because it's just a little too much pressure, alright?!"
Angel holds up his hands: "Okay. Okay."
Fred nods and turns back to her writing.
Angel: "What's that you're doing?"
Fred looks up at the stuff covering the walls. Some of it looks like the words form the book that opened the portal, other stuff resembles mathematical formulas.
Fred: "Uhm, I think I saw it in a dream."
Angel: "You've been here a long time."
Fred: "Always. - Not always."
Angel spots something. Picks it up. It's a California drivers license for one Winifred Burke, living in Los Angeles, brown hair, 5'6", 114 pounds, expiration date 03-01-98.
Fred turns around with a smile: "I had a dream. I had a name."
Angel reads the license: "Winifred."
Fred hurries over and pulls the license out of his hand.
Angel: "You're the girl from Cordy's vision!"
Angel: "They called you Fred. You were studying to be a physicist."
Fred: "That's my dream."
Angel: "You disappeared from a library in Los Angeles five years ago."
Fred shakes her head: "Stop it."
Angel: "It's not a dream, Fred."
Fred: "It's not?"
Fred: "And my head's still on?"
Angel gently pushes her glasses back up onto the bridge of her nose.
Fred smiles: "You're real?"
Angel smiles and nods.
Fred's smile melts into a frown and she starts to shake her head as she moves a few steps away from Angel.
Fred: "No. No, I don't want you to be real."
Fred turning back to face him: "Because! You're nice, and you saved me. And bad things will happen to you here. (Shakes her head and looks down, twisting her fingers together) Bad things always happen here."
Angel: "No, no, no. Nothing bad's gonna happen. I-It's gonna be okay. We-we can take you out of here."
Angel: "Yeah. Me and my friends. We-we're working on a way to get out of here. We can take you back."
Fred: "Can't get back. There is no back."
Angel: "No, there is. If we can open the portal..."
Fred hurries closer: "The portal! She fell through the portal!"
Angel: "Who did?"
Fred: "That other girl. I couldn't save her. I was arrested. They got her. She's a slave. She'll die!"
Angel: "Oh. Cordy. No, she's fine. They made her a princess."
Fred: "They... Really? - Oh. (Looks down) When I got here they... They didn't do that. - Well. That's nice for her."
Cordy is sitting on her throne. A girl is polishing the nails on her right hand.
Cordy: "You're sure this is a good first date look? I don't want to seem too easy. I was thinking something more in a nice tailored suit - of armor. - So, so I figured we'd start slow. A few dinners, some light conversation, nothing too heavy and *then* in three or four years, if we still feel like we're hitting it off okay, we'll ah..."
Silas: "Your majesty."
Silas points towards the door: "The groosalug."
Cordy: "Say, don't you think it would add an air of feminine mystery if I were to, you know, not be here?"
She tries to get up but is pushed back down into her throne by a bluish hand on her shoulder.
The double doors open and wheezing, bulky demon with horns shuffles in, a sack slung over it's shoulder.
Cordy to one of her attendants: "Kill me now."
She looks back to find a handsome warrior following the beast into the throne room. He claps the beast on the shoulder.
Groo to beast: "Just put those anywhere."
Groo walks up to the throne and kisses the back of Cordy's hand.
Angel and Fred are walking outside between some low boulders.
Fred: "I've never been to the palace before. I've seen it up there, on that hill, watching me."
Angel: "We just gotta find my friends."
He slows, scans their surroundings. Two bucket-head soldiers on horseback, swords drawn come around a boulder.
Angel: "Get down."
Angel pushes Fred to the ground and tries to shield her with his own body, as the first guard charges and tires to swipe them with his sword.
Angel: "Look, you may see something that might frighten you, but I'm your friend, okay?"
Angel jumps up to engage the guards as they come at them again while Fred runs to cower against the side of a boulder.
The first guard charges Angel and he ducks under the sword, turns to find the second guard almost on top of him. He morphs but instead of his usual vamp face appearing the morph continues until his whole face turns green and bumpy, framed by some almost horn-like protrusions, while his hands turn into claws.
Fred flinches a little as Angel leaps to pull the second guard of his horse. Angel lays into the downed guard with wild ferocity. The guard screams as Angel literally rips one of his arms off and tosses it aside. Seeing this the other guard turns his rearing horse, and flees.
Angel buries his head against the guard's throat and the guard goes motionless. Lifting his head Angel looks back at Fred, cowering against her boulder.
Fred, shaking her head: "Bad things always happen here."
Growling, Angel leaves the soldier and makes his way over to Fred, who tries to make herself as small as possible. Angel leans in close to her and sniffs. Blood is smeared around his mouth and coloring his teeth. There is a piece of meat hanging form one fang.
After a moment Angel abruptly turns to look over his shoulder and leaps away from Fred in a sudden flash of motion.
Fred draws a few gasping breaths, then looks over at the mutilated corpse of the guard lying a few feet away.
Groo: "An animal. A-a beast! To my people I was nothing more than this."
Cordy is sitting on the throne attentively listening to the groosalug telling his story.
Groo: "Can you not see why?"
Cordy: "Not exactly. You seem pretty good to me."
Groo: "You are truly beneficent. Such - compassion - to ignore the flaws of my - polluted birth."
Cordy: "Well... huh?"
Groo steps closer, goes down on one knee and takes hold of one of Cordy's hands.
Groo: "Why the odd curve of my mouth (pulls her hand to rest against his lips as he pulls them back into a smile) the odd - bulging of my limbs (pulls her hand over to feel the muscles of his upper arm) the heart (pulls her hand against his chest) beating in the wrong place."
Cordy swallows heavily. Groo lets go of her hand and turns away, Cordy just catching herself before she falls forward out of her throne.
Groo: "As I matured these - defects became more apparent. The Covenant soon determined there could be no mistake. There was *cow's* blood in my veins."
Cordy: "So? Heck, I'm all cow! Err, human."
Groo: "No, no! You - you are *beyond* cow or good. You - you are the transcendent one."
Cordy: "I am?"
Groo: "You've been cursed by the powers."
Cordy: "Tell me about it!"
Groo: "For my people to be part cow is to be less than whole. There was nothing I could do to prove my worth. I was - incapable even of performing husbandly duties with any of the females of my tribe."
Cordy: "You mean you are..."
Groo: "Anatomically equipped to mate only with a human."
Cordy: "Good to know."
Groo: "I was cast from my village. Cut off from my liver givers. Forced to make my way on my own."
Cordy: "My parents were busted for tax fraud and my trust fund dried up over night."
Groo: "I - sought to end my suffering."
Cordy: "Get out!"
All of the attendants and the groosalug turn and file towards the door as Cordy watches with her mouth dropping open.
Cordy: "Ah, no. Wait!"
They stop to look at her. Cordy points at Groo.
Cordy: "He can stay."
The rest of them file out and close the doors.
Cordy: "Go on. You sought to end your suffering."
Groo: "I-I *foolishly* entered every contest of skill and daring that I could in an attempt to snuff out my pathetic life. - But even at *this* - I failed."
Cordy: "You did?"
Groo: "I *won* - every match. I - *vanquished* every flame beast. I *defeated* every drokken. It seemed nothing could stop me. - The Covenant had no choice but to bestow upon me the name groosalug. The brave - undefeated."
Cordy's eyes are riveted to his.
Constable Narwek enters, followed by two guards leading a gagged and bound Lorne between them.
Cordy never taking her eyes off Groo: "What?"
Narwek: "There has been a disruption at the bach-nal. The prisoner is ready for your swift and cruel punishment."
Cordy: "Handle it, will you? I'm in the middle of something."
Narwek: "Execute the prisoner."
Cordy finally looks away from Groo towards the door: "Wait! -Hang on!"
She jumps off the throne and runs towards the door: "Pardon him. I-I pardon him. Pardon him. Ah, release him. Now! (Pulls the gag out of Lorne's mouth) Oh, baby, are you okay?"
Lorne sighs then spots the groosalug.
Lorne: "Not as good as you obviously. - Should I call them back? You could borrow the cuffs."
Cordy looks towards Groo then begins to push Lorne out the door.
Cordy: "Listen, I'll get right back with you. You're pardoned, absolved, shoo!"
Lorne: "Uh, what about... Where is Wesley and Gunn?"
Cordy, closing the door: "Oh, I'm sure they're fine."
Wes and Gunn are walking through the forest.
Gunn: "We're lost."
Wesley: "Nonsense. I've been following the sun. We're headed due west, back toward the village."
Gunn: "Which one?"
Wesley: "Which village?"
Gunn: "Which sun? There're two of them. Alternate dimension? We're lost."
Wesley stops and holds up a hand for silence.
Gunn: "You're having a Blair witch moment?"
Wesley: "Something's hunting us."
Gunn smoothly slides in to stand back to back with Wes.
Gunn: "Palace guards?"
Wesley: "I don't know."
They pivot together to survey their surroundings. Suddenly the Angel-beast appears on top of a rock, then jumps off, knocking both of them to the ground.
Wes and Gunn pick themselves up and turn to look at the Angel-beast, fanning out so that the beast can't come at both of them at once.
Gunn: "What the hell is it?"
Wesley stumbles on a rock and falls. The beast runs towards him hesitating a moment at the sight of the branch that Wes is holding in front of him. At the same time Gunn begins to pelt the Angel-beast with rocks.
Gunn: "Come on! Come on!"
The Angel-beast turns and Wes spots Angel's tattoo showing briefly through a rip in his clothing.
Wesley: "It's Angel!"
Gunn glances at Wes and the beast leaps, knocking him to the ground.
Gunn is straining to hold the Angel-beast off far enough to keep out of the reach of its fangs.
Wesley: "Angel! Can you hear me? Angel! Angel?"
Fred slowly dips her hand into a leather pouch hanging by her side. When she takes her balled hand back out it is dripping with blood. She slowly raises it up into the air.
We can still dimly hear Wesley calling Angel's name, but the sound of his voice is being drowned out by a heartbeat like thudding underlying a haunting woodwind tune as the Angel-beast slowly straightens up and looks over towards the blood covered fist.
The Angel-beast slowly moves closer to Fred and, with her fist still raised, Fred slowly backs up, leading it away.
Wesley hurries over to Gunn and notices deep scratches marring his left shoulder.
Wesley: "Oh, you're hurt."
Gunn: "What the hell just happened?"
Wesley: "That strange wild girl saved us - from Angel."
Gunn: "Something very freaky is going on here."
Wesley: "I have a suspicion I may know what. Angel's vampire-self - has been sublimated somehow - by this dimension."
He picks up a handful of wet mud and gets ready to smear it over Gunn's scratches. Gunn holds up a hand.
Wesley: "It's okay."
Gunn lets him pack the scratches with mud.
Wesley: "Only his human side as surfaced since we've been here..."
Gunn: "You mean being able to walk around in the sun - seeing his reflection, like that?"
Wesley: "Yes. And now, for whatever reason he's accessed his demon, but he can't find the balance he normally would in our world. His demon-self has totally overcome his human side."
Gunn: "So that's what the thing inside of him really looks like?"
Wesley: "In its purest form."
Gunn: "That's nasty."
Wesley: "Can you walk?"
Wesley: "We've got to help him."
Wes helps Gunn to his feet.
Wesley: "You alright?"
Before they haven taken more than a few steps screaming figures start to drop out of the trees surrounding them and in a few moments they are surrounded by a group of humans carrying crude weapons.
Gunn: "Oh, good. More fun."
Fred is slowly backing across her cave. The Angel-beast follows her until it comes up to the edge of the little pool. It looks down and seeing a monster looking back swipes at the water, destroying the reflection. It sits and stares down as the image reforms slowly. Draws its claws across it slowly and watches the image break up and reform again. With a groan the beast suddenly morphs back into Angel, who staggers back from the edge of the pool. He takes a few stumbling steps away then collapses into a shivering, gasping heap in a little patch of sunlight in the middle of the cave, his back to Fred.
Fred slowly walks over to him and reaches out a hand towards him. Looks at her still bloody hand and slowly pulls it back without touching him.
Night has fallen over the castle. Groo and Cordy are still alone in the throne room.
Groo: "And that, my princess, is my story in full. When the Covenant summoned me I was vanquishing the Mogfan beast that bedevils the scum pits of Ur."
Cordy after a beat: "Uh, that's a great story. And you are a great groosalug. But - I'm not your princess. - The truth is, I'm not anybody's princess."
Groo: "Have you not the curse?"
Cordy: "The visions? Oh, yeah, I've got visions coming out of my ears, sometimes a little blood, too, but - that doesn't make me a princess. That just makes me - kind of weird."
Groo: "I do not understand."
Cordy stands up: "Where I come from, who I really am - is so far from being a princess, you have no idea. (Sighs) I'm an actress."
Groo: "I do not know this word."
Cordy: "Actress? It means - when I'm finally lucky enough to get the gig, other people tell me what to do, where to stand, how to move, what to say..."
Groo: "You are the concubine of your village."
Cordy: "Felt like one sometimes. Last job I had you should have seen the horrible thing they made me wear! It was this tiny, skimpy, exploitative... (Looks down at her present, skimpy outfit) Uh, nothing like this!"
Groo: "Have they no eyes in this village?"
Cordy: "What do you mean?"
Groo: "Can they not just look upon you and *see* that you are a princess?"
Cordy after a beat: "I'm not."
Groo: "No. Pardon my impudence, majesty, but you are wrong. The Covenant has declared it so."
Cordy: "It doesn't matter what they say."
Groo: "Then *you* declare it so. You declare it with your bearing and your beauty - and the mercy that I have seen you bestow upon one of your subjects this very day."
Cordy: "He was a friend of mine."
Groo: "Then if you treat all of your subjects this way, you will do much good."
Cordy: "It's a beautiful dream. Really it is. But - it's not real."
Groo stepping close: "Why not?"
Silas is pacing in front of some other priests.
Silas: "Parchment! She's asked for parchment."
Priest: "Some strange cow mating ritual?"
Silas: "No. She wants to make proclamations."
Silas: "She's decided she can do some good."
Priest: "Then the com-shuk has not yet taken place."
Silas: "I think it's time to send our princess a message."
The human rebels are gathered around a fire in the woods. Wes and Gunn are tied to a stake to one side of it.
Rebel: "I know how we send a message to the princess. - We storm the palace."
Leader: "That'd be suicide. Our entire number would be wiped out in minutes."
Rebel: "Yeah, but it'd be a message."
Wesley: "Excuse me. I couldn't help overhearing."
Wesley: "It's all right Gunn, I believe we can help these brave men."
Leader: "Shut up, reconnaissance-cow-scum."
Wesley: "Now see here, I've told you already. We're *not* reconnaissance cows."
Rebel: "We tracked you coming from the palace. Don't lie."
Wesley: "I'm not lying. And if it's a message you want sent to the princess, then I *know* we can help."
Gunn: "Shut up, Wesley."
Wesley: "Well, we just happen to be close personal friends with the princess."
Gunn closes his eyes and lets his head drop. The rebels laugh.
Rebel: "They know the princess."
Leader: "Close personal friends, huh?"
Wesley: "I can prove it. In my wallet... uh, ah, the leather holder in the back of my leg coverings."
The leader walks over and pulls out Wesley's wallet.
Wesley: "That's it."
The leader flips the wallet open to reveal a picture of Angel, Cordy and Wes, all smiling.
Leader: "It's true. They know the princess."
Wesley: "Now, if your organization would just draw up some sort of list of demands we would be more than happy to present it directly to her majesty."
Leader: "Lets do it. Have Sasha write up a list of demands."
Wesley to Gunn: "There, you see?"
Leader: "Shove the list in their mouths, put their severed heads on sticks and display them outside the princess' window."
Gunn: "Have I mentioned just how glad I am I decided to leave my people behind in LA so I could come here to die?"
Fred is filling a pot with water from the pool and carries over to where Angel is lying on a pile of blankets facing away from her. He is still shivering slightly and breathing in small ragged gasps.
Fred dabs at his neck with a wet rag.
Fred: "Are you feeling any better?"
Angel doesn't react.
Fred: "It's okay. You don't have to talk. I'm used to it."
Angel muttering: "They, they saw it. They, they looked right at it. They saw it..."
Fred: "Saw what?"
Angel: "The monster... They-they saw what I really am. - I can't go back. Not now. I can never go back. No..."
Fred: "It's okay. You - you could stay here."
Fred looks around her little cave, while Angel lies there breathing raggedly.
The groosalug and Cordy a lounging on the steps to her throne as Cordy writes up her proclamations.
Cordy: "And this one will free the slaves and outlaw polyester. I know it hasn't actually been invented here yet, but I'm a forward thinking monarch."
Silas and two other priests enter. One of them is carrying a small pedestal, the other a silver platter with a domed lid. They set down the pedestal and set the platter down on top of it.
Cordy: "We didn't order anything."
Silas: "Get out cow."
Groo gets up and leaves. Cordy gets up and goes to stand in front of Silas.
Cordy: "Hey. You can't call him that. He is groosalug, the brave and undefeated."
Silas: "He is that only because I say he is."
Cordy: "Groo! Where are you... Huh, he just left."
Silas: "He understands the way of things."
Cordy turns to face him.
Cordy: "Yeah? Well, the way of things is going to change around here."
Silas: "Is that right?"
Picks up a rolled parchment and holds it up.
Cordy: "I've got - proclamations!"
Silas knocks the parchment out of her hand.
Silas: "Foolish girl."
Cordy: "Hey! Who's wearing the tiara around here, pal?!"
Silas: "The Powers have seen fit to place their gift in you."
Cordy: "You got that right."
Silas: "But let us be clear. You have no authority here."
Cordy: "But I am the princess."
Silas: "The princess, like the groosalug, is a tool of the Covenant, nothing more. - You will do what we tell you to do. If we tell you to mate, then you shall mate."
Cordy: "You can't force us to..."
Silas: "And if we tell you 'silent' you shut your cow mouth!"
Cordy folding her arms in front of her: "Pardon me?"
Silas: "Pardon - your majesty? Don't you feel you have done enough - pardoning..."
Silas reaches over to lift the lid off the platter.
Silas: "...for one day?"
Cordy looks down and gasps as she sees Lorne's severed head lying on the silver platter.