PROLOGUE: A castle in Cortona, Italy, 1418. Cut inside. Carlo is standing by a window looking into the room at his master. Moloch: Carlo, caro mio. Translation: Carlo, my dear one. Carlo comes into the room and over to Moloch. He kneels. Moloch steps over to him and puts his hand on his head. The camera pans up to Moloch's demonic face. Moloch: Mi ami? Ti darò tutto. Tutto quello che desidero è il tuo amore. Translation: Do you love me? I can give you everything. All I want is your love. Carlo: Tu hai il mio amore. Translation: You have my love. Moloch growls and quickly twists Carlo's head, snapping his neck. Cut to a church. Cut inside. The priest Thelonius is talking to a group of monks bearing torches. Thelonius: E fuori. E il diavolo, Molocco. E fuori nel mondo, facendo tante cose male. Abbiamo bisogno di fare il circolo. Translation: He's out. It is the devil, Moloch. He is out in the world, doing such bad things. We need to form the circle. (Transcriber's note: in this part there is a significant difference between the subtitles from the episode and what was actually said, so the subtitles are included below.) Subtitles: It is Moloch. The Corrupter. He walks again. More and more people have fallen under his mesmerizing power. There is still time to bind him. We must form the circle. The monks gather around him as he opens a large book. Cut to a shot from above. The pages of the book are blank. Thelonius: Per potere di questo circolo di Kayless... Translation: By the power of the circle of Kayless... Cut to Moloch. He smiles as he straightens up and lets Carlo's body fall. His expression changes when he realizes something is wrong, and he looks up. Moloch: (surprised) No! Cut back to the church. Thelonius: Per potere di questo circolo di Kayless, ti commando! Vieni! Translation: By the power of the circle of Kayless, I command you! Come! Cut to Moloch. He begins to scream angrily. Cut to the Church. Thelonius: Ti commando! Vieni! Translation: I command you! Come! Cut to Moloch. He screams even more loudly in terror. Cut to the Church. Thelonius: VIENI! Translation: COME! Cut to Moloch. He continues to scream. Suddenly he bursts into millions of tiny particles. Cut to the Church. The particles fall into the book as the camera follows them down. Thelonius: Vieni, demonio! Vieni! Translation: Come, demon! Come! As the particles fall into the book an ancient script appears. When the pages are filled, Thelonius closes the book. He steps over to a table and puts the book into a heavy wooden box. Thelonius: Preghiamo che questo libro è mai letto più... Translation: Pray that this accursed book is never again read... Cut to a shot of the priest from inside the box. Thelonius: Che il demonio Molocco è mai lasciato più fuori nel mondo. Translation: Lest the Demon Moloch be loosed upon the world. He puts the lid on the box. Centuries later the lid is lifted off of the box, and Buffy looks in. Buffy: (sarcastically) Oh, great! A book! Cut to the library. A book-scanning project is going on, and Willow and a few other computer science students are seated at the table, scanning the books into the library's computer system. Buffy pulls the book out of the box and blows some of the dust off of it. Giles: Oh, uh, I, uh... haven't gone through the new arrivals. Uh, put it in, uh, (points with his book) in, in that pile. Dave: Here, I'll get it. He gets up from his computer. Buffy: Oh, thanks, Dave. The Willow pile. Dave takes the book from Buffy and goes over to the pile of books next to Willow. Giles: Uh, when I've examined it, you can, uh, uh, skim it. Ms. Calendar: Scan it, Rupert. That's scan it. Giles: (gives her a sarcastic look) Of course. Ms. Calendar: Oh, I know, our ways are strange to you, but soon you will join us in the 20th century. With three whole years to spare! (grins) Giles: (smugly) Ms. Calendar, I'm sure your computer science class is fascinating, but I happen to believe that one can survive in modern society without being a slave to the, um, idiot box. Ms. Calendar: (annoyed) That's TV. The idiot box is TV. This (indicates a computer) is the *good* box! Giles: I still prefer a good book. Fritz: (self-righteously) The printed page is obsolete. (stands up) Information isn't bound up anymore. It's an entity. The only reality is virtual. If you're not jacked in, you're not alive. (grabs his books and leaves) Ms. Calendar: Thank you, Fritz, for making us all sound like crazy people. (to Giles) Fritz, Fritz comes on a little strong, but he does have a point. You know, for the last two years more e-mail was sent than regular mail. Giles: Oh... Ms. Calendar: More digitized information went across phone lines than conversation. Giles: That is a fact that I regard with genuine horror. Ms. Calendar: (teasingly) I'll bet it is. (to the students) Alright, guys, let's wrap it up for today. Willow: I've just got a few more. I'll hang for a bit. Ms. Calendar: Cool! Thanks. Xander grabs his bag and pulls it onto his shoulder. Willow: Xander, you wanna stay and help me? Xander: (in disbelief) Are you kidding? Willow: (taken aback) Yes, it was a joke I made up. Xander: Willow, I love you, but bye! (leaves) Willow: (calls after him) See you tomorrow! Xander: (ignores her) Buffy, wait up! Giles: I'm, I'm just gonna stay and clean up a little. I'll, uh, I'll be back in the middle ages. (starts up the stairs) Ms. Calendar: Did you ever leave? Giles stops and looks back at her. She's smiles to herself, pleased with his reaction to her comment. He continues up the stairs. Cut to later. Willow is alone in the library scanning the last book. She draws the scanner over the two pages, and they appear on the monitor. As she types to save the scan, the script in the book disappears. Willow closes the book, puts it in the pile with the others and leaves. The computer monitor goes blank and Moloch's words appear. Moloch: Where am I? Opening credits roll. Buffy's theme plays. PART 1: The hall at Sunnydale High School. Buffy runs to catch up with Willow as she slowly walks along. Buffy: Willow! Willow, hey, wait up! (reaches her) Willow: Oh, Buffy, I didn't even see you. Buffy: Or hear me. What was up last night? I tried your line, like, a million times. Willow: Oh, I was, I was talking. Buffy: Talking to...? (no answer) Okay, that's it, you have a secret, and that's not allowed. Willow: Why not? (opens her locker) Buffy: 'Cause... there's a rule. Willow: Well, I sort of met someone. (smiles) Buffy: (excitedly) I knew it! This is so important! When did you meet? Willow: Last week after we did the scanning project in the library. (closes her locker) Buffy: (curiously) Does he go here? What's his name? Have you kissed him? What's he like? Willow: (amused) No, Malcolm, no, and very nice. Buffy: (annoyed) You are a thing of evil for not telling me this right away! Willow: Well, I wasn't sure there was anything to tell. But last night, oh! We talked all night, it was amazing. He's so smart, Buffy, and, and he's romantic, and we agree about everything! Buffy: (sighs) What's he look like? Willow: I don't know! She continues down the hall with a big smile on her face. Buffy is confused and stares after her a moment, then starts to follow. Cut to the computer lab. Fritz and Dave are there, typing away. Dave: (to the monitor) Yes, I will. I promise. Willow and Buffy enter. Buffy: So, you've been seeing a guy, and you don't know what he looks like? Okay, this is a puzzle. No, wait, I'm good at these. Does it involve a midget and a block of ice? Willow: I met him online. Buffy: On line for what? Willow indicates a computer. Buffy: Oh! Ms. Calendar strides quickly into the room wearing dark glasses and holding a mug of coffee in one hand and her books in the other. Ms. Calendar: Morning, kids! Buffy turns to look at her. Ms. Calendar notices Buffy as she heads to her desk. She puts her mug down. Ms. Calendar: Buffy, are you supposed to be somewhere? (takes off her glasses) Buffy: No, I have a free. Ms. Calendar: Cool! But this is lab time, so let's make it a nice, short visit, okay? Buffy: Sure. PC: You have mail. Willow: It's him! (types to get the message) Message: I'm thinking of you. Willow: He's so sweet! Buffy: (nods) He's a sweetie. (smiles nervously) Willow: What should I write back? Buffy: (cautiously) Uh, Willow, I think it's really great that you have this cool pen pal, but don't you think you're kinda rushing all into this? Y'know what I mean? Willow: (excitedly) 'I'm thinking of you, too!' (crestfallen) No, that's incredibly stupid! Buffy: Will, down girl! Let's focus here, okay? What do you actually know about this guy? Willow: (disappointed) Oh, see, I knew you'd react like this. Buffy: Like what? The camera closes in on the computer's video feed. Buffy: I just wanna make sure you're careful, that's all. Cut to the computer's view. Willow: Buffy... Buffy: He could be different than you think. The computer focuses closely on Buffy. Cut to an office. The computer on the desk suddenly comes on. The student records scroll by. It stops on Buffy's record and expands it. Cut to Fritz's PC in the lab. Buffy's record appears there. The camera pans over to Fritz as he studies her record. The monitor goes blank and a message appears. Moloch: Watch her. Cut to Willow and Buffy. Willow: His name is Malcolm Black, he's eighteen, he lives in Elmwood, which is about eighty miles from here, and he likes me! Buffy: Short, tall, skinny, fat? Willow: Why does everything have to be about looks? Buffy: Not everything, but some stuff is. I mean, what if you guys get really, really intense, and then you find out that he... has... a hairy back? Willow: Well, no! Uh, he doesn't talk like somebody who would have a hairy back. And anyways, that stuff doesn't matter when you really care about each other. Maybe I'm not his ideal either. Buffy: Hey, I'm just trying to make sure that he's good enough for you. I think it's great that you met someone. Cut to Ms. Calendar at her desk. She gets up holding some papers and comes over to Fritz. Ms. Calendar: Hey, Fritz... I'm, uh, lookin' at the logs. You and Dave are clockin' a pretty scary amount of computer time. Fritz: New project. Ms. Calendar: Ooo, will I be excited? Fritz: You'll die. Cut outside to the steps in the quad. A boy is sitting on them reviewing his report on his laptop. Boy: (upset) This isn't my report! 'Nazi Germany was a model of a well ordered society'? I didn't write that! Who's been in my files? Willow comes down the steps next to him. She's off in her own world and doesn't notice Xander coming from her right. He puts his hand over her eyes, and she's forced to stop, nearly losing her balance. Xander: Hup, guess who? Willow: Uh, Xander? Xander: Yeah, but keep guessing anyway. Willow: Xander. Xander: (takes his hand from her eyes) Oh, I can't fool ya, you see right through my petty charade. We goin' to the Bronze tonight? Willow: (smiles) Not me, I think I'm gonna call it an early night. Xander: Oh, Malcolm, right? (Willow smiles and nods) Yeah, I heard. But you're gonna be missin' out. I'm plannin' to be witty. I'm gonna make fun of all the people who won't talk to me. Willow: That's nice. Have a good time! She smiles and quickly leaves. He watches her go. Buffy arrives and watches her go, too. Buffy: She certainly looks perky. Xander: Yeah, color in the cheeks, bounce in the step... I don't like it. It's not healthy. (faces her) So, are you goin' to the Bronze tonight? Oh, probably not, you probably have some vampire slaying or some lame endeavor like that, don't you? Everyone deserts me. They begin to walk. Buffy: Check out the jealous man! Xander: What are you talking about? Buffy: You're jealous. Xander: Of what? Buffy: Willow's got a thang, and Xander's left hanging. Xander: Oh, that's meaningless drivel. I'm not interested in Willow like that. Buffy: Yeah, but you got used to being the Belle of the Ball. Xander: No, it's just... this Malcolm guy? What's his deal? I mean, tell me you're not slightly wigged. Buffy: Okay, slightly. I mean, just not knowing what he's really like. Xander: Or who he really is. I mean, sure he says he's a high school student, but I can say I'm a high school student. Buffy: You are. Xander: Okay, but I can also say that I'm an elderly Dutch woman. Get me? I mean, who's to say I'm not if I'm in the elderly Dutch chat room? Buffy: (making light) I get your point! (gets his point) I get your point. Oh, this guy could be anybody. He could be weird, or crazy, or old, or... He could be a circus freak. (panicked) He's probably a circus freak! Xander: Yeah. I mean, we read about it all the time. Y'know, people meet on the 'Net, they talk, they get together, have dinner, a show, horrible ax murder. Buffy: Willow ax murdered by a circus freak... Okay, okay, what do we do? (realizes her paranoia) What are we doing? Xander, you get me started! We are totally overreacting! Xander: But it's fun, isn't it? Cut to the computer lab. Fritz is staring at stuff scrolling by on the monitor. Fritz: (in a trance) I'm jacked in. I'm jacked in. I'm jacked in. The camera pans down to his arm where he's carving an 'M' into it. Fritz: I'm jacked in. Cut to the girls' locker room the next day. The camera is following two girls out when suddenly Willow comes barging in. Buffy: Whoa! You're the Late Girl. Willow: I overslept. Buffy: Till fifth period? Talkin' to Malcolm last night? Willow: Yeah. (sees Buffy's look) What? Buffy: Nothing. Willow: You're having an expression. Buffy: I'm not. But if I was, it'd be saying, 'This just isn't like you.' Willow: Not like me to have a boyfriend? Buffy: He's boyfriendly? Willow: (confused) I don't understand why you don't want me to have this. I mean, boys don't chase me around all the time. I thought you'd be happy for me. Buffy: (concerned) I just want you to be sure. To meet him face to face. In daylight, in a crowded place with some friends. Y'know, before you become all... obsessive. Willow: Malcolm and I really care about each other. Big deal if I blow off a couple classes. Buffy: I thought you said you overslept. Willow: Malcolm said you wouldn't understand. Buffy: Malcolm was right. Cut to the computer lab. Buffy comes in, sees Dave and goes over to him. Buffy: Dave? (he's oblivious) Hey there, Dave. Anybody home? He jumps in his seat when she puts her hand on his shoulder. Dave: Oh, what do you want? Buffy: I wanted to ask you something if you have a minute. Dave: What is it? Buffy: Well, you're a computer geek... genius, and, uh, I sort of have a technical problem. If I wanted to find out something about someone, i- if someone e-mailed me, could I trace the letter? Dave: Well, you could pull up somebody's profile based on their user name. Buffy: But they write the profile themselves, right? And so they could say anything they wanted. Dave: True. Buffy: Wow! I had knowledge! (Dave smiles) Well, is there a way to find out exactly where a letter, an e-letter came from? I mean, the actual location of the computer? Dave: (considers) That's a challenge. Buffy: 'Cause, you see, Willow's got this boyfriend, Malcolm, and to tell you the truth, I think... Dave: (interrupts, annoyed) Leave Willow alone. Buffy: What do you mean? Dave: (insistently) That's none of your business. Buffy: (jumps to a conclusion) Dave, are you Malcolm? Dave: (turns back to the PC) Of course not. (types) Buffy: Dave, what's going on? Dave: Look, I'll talk to you later, okay? I've got work to do. She gets up and leaves. Buffy: (exhales) So do I. Fritz watches her go as she passes him. Cut to the library. Buffy follows Giles down the stairs to the counter. Buffy: I'm telling you, something is going on. It's not just Willow. Dave, Fritz, they're all wicked jumpy. Giles: Those boys aren't sparklingly normal as it is. Buffy: Giles, trust me. Giles: I-I do! I-I-I really don't know how to advise you. Things involved with a computer fill me with a childlike terror. Now, if it were a nice ogre or some such I'd be more in my element. Well, I-I suppose you could, um, tail Dave, see if he's up to something. Buffy: Follow Dave? What, in dark glasses and a trench coat? Please. I can work this out myself. Cut outside after school. Dave gets into his car, starts it and drives off. The camera pans over to Buffy wearing dark glasses and a dark coat as she watches him go. Cut to a front view of the CRD building. Cut to the loading dock in back. Dave drives up and gets out. Cut to outside the fence, where Buffy is looking in. She sees Dave go up to a technician and start talking to him. After a moment Dave and the technician go inside. The camera pans over to the CRD logo. Cut to a security camera turning towards Buffy. Cut to the view from the camera on Fritz's PC at school. It stops on Buffy and pulls in for a close-up. Fritz: She's too close. What do I do? Moloch: (on the monitor) Kill her. Fritz: Party. PART 2: Sunnydale High. Buffy: Whatever Dave is into, it's large. Cut to the library. Buffy is sitting on the study table. Giles: What was the name of this place? Buffy: It said CRD. But, I couldn't get close enough to see what it was. Xander: Calax Research and Development. It's a computer research lab. Third largest employer in Sunnydale till it closed down last year. (gets stares from the others) What, I can't have information sometimes? Giles: Well, it-it's just somewhat unprecedented. Xander: Well, my uncle used to work there. I-in a floor sweeping capacity. Buffy: But it closed? Xander: Uh-huh. Buffy: Looked pretty functional from where I stood. I don't have a clue what they were doing. Xander: And what do they need Dave for? Buffy: Something about computers, right? I mean, he is off-the-chart smart. Giles: We still don't know an enormous amount. Whatever is going on there may be on the up-and-up. Xander: No, if CRD opened, it would've been on the news. Buffy: Besides, I can just tell something's wrong. My spider sense is tingling. Giles: Your... spider sense? Buffy: Pop culture reference. Sorry. Giles: Yes, well, ahem, I think we're still at a stand still. Uh, uh, short of breaking into the place, I don't see... Buffy: Breaking in! (slides off of the table) Then this is the plan! Xander: I'm free tonight! Buffy: Tonight it is! (goes over to Xander) Giles: (tries to dampen their excitement) A moment, please, of quiet reflection. I do not suggest that you illegally enter the... Ms. Calendar enters the library. Giles: ...data into the file so the book will be listed by title as well as by author. Ms. Calendar: I just came by to check your new data base, make sure your cross reference table isn't glitching. 'Cause I'm guessing you haven't gone anywhere near it. Giles: Uh, I'm still sorting through the chaos you left behind you. Ms. Calendar: Hmm. (to Buffy and Xander) You're here again? Kids really dig the library, don't cha? Buffy: We're literary! Xander: To read makes our speaking English good. Buffy: (embarrassed) We'll be going now. (grabs Xander and turns to leave) Giles: Uh, w-we'll, uh, continue this conversation at another time. Buffy: I think we're done. (they leave) (to Xander) Makes our speaking English is good? Xander: (defensively) I panicked, okay? Cut to the computer lab. Willow is chatting online with Malcolm. Malcolm: I've never felt this way about anyone before, Willow. Willow: I know what you mean. I feel like you know me better than anyone. Malcolm: I do. Willow: Do you think we should... meet? Malcolm: I think we should soon. Willow: I'm nervous. Malcolm: I'm not. Isn't that strange? Willow: That's what Buffy doesn't understand, how comfortable you can make me feel. Malcolm: Buffy just makes trouble. That's why she got kicked out of her old school. She is puzzled and pauses for a moment. Willow: How did you know that? Malcolm: It's on her permanent record. She doesn't respond, still puzzled. Malcolm: You must have mentioned it. Willow: (unsure) I guess. Malcolm: Let's not worry about her anymore. Willow: I have to sign off. I'll talk to you later. Malcolm: Don't. Willow: Bye. She turns off the monitor, gets up and leaves. Cut to the library. Ms. Calendar: (exasperated) You're a snob! Giles: (incredulous) I am no such thing. Ms. Calendar: Oh, you are a *big* snob. You, you think that knowledge should be kept in these carefully guarded repositories where only a handful of white guys can get at it. Giles: Nonsense! I simply don't adhere to a, a knee-jerk assumption that because something is new, it's better. Ms. Calendar: This isn't a fad, Rupert! We are creating a new society here. Giles: A society in which human interaction is all but obsolete? In which people can be completely manipulated by technology, well, well... Thank you, I'll pass. Ms. Calendar: Well, ahem, I think you'll be very happy here with your musty, old books. (opens Moloch's book) Giles: These musty old books have a great deal more to say than in any of your... fabulous web pages. Ms. Calendar: Hmm. (pages through the book) This one doesn't have a whole lot more to say. Giles stares at the empty book. Ms. Calendar: What is it, like a diary? Giles: How odd. I haven't looked through all the volumes yet, I didn't, um... He closes the book and sees the etching of Moloch on the cover. Ms. Calendar: What is it? Giles: (puzzled) Uh, nothing, um, a, a diary, yes. I imagine that's what it is. (pauses to think) Well, it's been so nice talking to you. (heads to his office with the book) Ms. Calendar: We were fighting. Giles: (absently) Must do it again sometime, yes... Bye, now. She watches him disappear into his office. Cut outside. The school nurse is frantic as she quickly walks along with a man. School nurse: I checked the computer, and there's nothing in his file about being allergic to penicillin! Buffy comes walking out of the school. Dave comes up to her. Dave: Buffy! Buffy: Dave! How're you doing? Dave: Okay. Uh, look, I'm sorry about yesterday. I haven't been getting much sleep lately, y'know? Buffy: Don't sweat it. Dave: (awkwardly) Willow was looking for you. Buffy: Good, I need to talk to her. Do you know where she is? Dave: She said she'd be in the, in the girls' locker room. Buffy: Great. Thanks. She looks at him for a moment, and then goes to find Willow. He watches her go. Cut to the girl's locker room. It's deserted. Buffy slowly walks down the aisle and into a row of lockers. Buffy: Will? She walks further. Buffy: Willow? Cut to Fritz in the shower. He turns the water on and leaves. Cut to Buffy. Buffy: Will? You taking a shower? She goes to the shower and sees that it's on, but no one's there. Buffy: I guess not. The camera cuts to a light above and follows an electrical cord from it down to the corner of the floor in the shower. Buffy walks into the shower to turn off the water. Buffy: This is how droughts get started. She turns the water off. The water creeps toward the exposed wires. Dave: Buffy! Get out! She turns to him and notices the wires. They begin to spark. She leaps out of the shower. An arc of electricity follows her for an instant. She lands on a changing bench and rolls off onto the floor. Dave runs from the locker room. She sits up and looks over toward the showers. The camera pulls back to show the soles of her shoes smoking. Cut to the computer lab. It's dark. Dave comes in and turns on a PC. Dave: I can't do it! I'm not gonna do it. Moloch: But you promised. Dave: (desperately) Buffy isn't a threat to you! Stop with it. Moloch: The project is almost complete. You won't have to do it again. Dave: (drops his bag and whimpers) Oh, I can't! Moloch: I've shown you a new world, Dave. Knowledge, power... I can give you everything. All I want is your love. Dave: No. This isn't right. None of it is. The scratch pad comes up on the monitor and Moloch writes a note: I'm sorry. I've been a terrible person. I'm a coward, and I can't go on living like this. Forgive me, Mom and Dad. At least now I'll have some peace. Remember me. Love, Dave. He backs away from the computer. Fritz is waiting behind him by the window. Cut to the library. Buffy sits at the table while Xander paces. Xander: I'm gonna kill Dave! Buffy: He tried to warn me. Xander: Warn you that he set you up? (to Giles) Is she gonna be okay? Giles: She was only grounded for a moment. (sits and hands Buffy a mug) Still, if you'd been anyone but the Slayer... Buffy: Tell me the truth: how's my hair? Xander: It's great! It's your best hair ever! (smiles) Giles: Uh, oh, yes. Buffy: I just... I don't understand what would make Dave do a thing like that. Giles: I think perhaps I do. He goes over to get Moloch's book from the cage. He comes back holding it up. Giles: Does this look familiar to either of you? Buffy: Yeah, sure. Looks like a book. Xander: I knew that one. Giles: (sets it on the table) In the dark ages the souls of demons were sometimes trapped in certain volumes. They remained locked within the book, harmless, unless the pages were read aloud. Unless I'm mistaken, this is Moloch, the Corrupter. A very deadly and seductive demon. He draws people to him with promises of love, power, knowledge. Preys on impressionable minds. Xander: Like Dave's. Giles: Dave, and who knows how many others. Buffy: And Moloch is inside that book? Giles: Not anymore. (opens the book) Xander: You released Moloch? Buffy: Way to go! Giles: I didn't read it! That dreadful Calendar woman found it and, and it was already blank. Buffy: Okay, so a powerful demon with horns is walking around Sunnydale, and nobody's noticed? Xander: I-if he's so big and strong, why bother with Dave? I mean, why didn't he just attack Buffy himself? Giles: I don't know. And I don't know who could've read that book. It wasn't even in English. Buffy: Where was it? Giles: Uh, in a pile with others that were, um, uh, scanned. They look over at the PC. Xander: And that released the demon? Buffy: No, he's not out here. (points to the PC) He's in there. Giles: The scanner read the book. It brought Moloch out as information to be absorbed. Buffy: He's gone binary on us. Xander: Okay, for those of us in our studio audience, who are me? You guys are saying that Moloch is in this computer? Buffy: And every computer connected to it by a modem. Giles: He's everywhere. Xander: What are we gonna do? Giles: Willow scanned him into her file. It may be... a futile gesture, but I suggest we, um, uh, delete it. Buffy: Solid! She gets up and walks over to the PC. Xander: Don't get too close. She sits down in front of it. Buffy: Okay. Okay. (turns on the monitor) So which file do you think it is? Willow? (types) That's probably it, right? I'll just delete the whole thing. She drags the file icon to the trash bin, and inhales in fright when Moloch's demonic face appears on the monitor. Moloch: Stay away from Willow! It is none of your business! The monitor returns to normal. Buffy: So that's what Malcolm looks like. PART 3: The library. Buffy: So much for delete file. Giles: This is very bad. Xander: Are we overreacting? He's in a computer! What can he do? Buffy: You mean besides convince a perfectly nice kid to try and kill me? I don't know. How about mess up all the medical equipment in the world? Giles: Randomize traffic signals. Buffy: Access launch codes for our nuclear missiles. Giles: Destroy the world's economy. Buffy: I think I pretty much capped it with that nuclear missile thing. Giles: Right, yours was best. Xander: Okay, he's a threat, I'm on board with that now. But what can we do about it? Buffy: I think the first thing we do is find Willow. She's probably talking to him right now. God, that creeps me out! Xander: What does he want with Willow? Buffy: Let's never find out. (gets up) Okay, I'm gonna check the computer lab, and you guys call her home. Cut to the computer lab. Buffy comes in and looks around. It's dark. Buffy: Willow? The PC's suddenly all come on, startling her. She backs further into the room while looking around more. She turns around and jumps as she bumps into Dave. He's hanging from the ceiling with the note pinned to his shirt. Cut to the library. Xander is on the phone trying to reach Willow. He gives up. Xander: No answer. Giles: Damn it! Xander: (hangs up) Well, it wasn't busy either, so she's not online. Buffy comes back into the library. Xander: (to Buffy) She's not home. Giles: What did you find? Xander: (worried) Willow isn't... Buffy: Dave. He's dead. Giles: How? Buffy: Well, it looks like suicide. Xander: With a little help from my friends? Buffy: I'd guess Fritz. Or the other zomboids from CRD. Okay, (to Xander) you and I are gonna go to Willow's house. Giles, you need to come up with a way to get Moloch out of the 'Net. Giles: I, I have records of the ceremonies, but, but that's for a creature of the flesh. Th-this could be something completely different. Buffy: Then get Ms. Calendar. Maybe she can help you. Giles: Well, even if she could, how am I gonna convince her that there's a demon on the Internet? Buffy: Okay, fine, then you can stay here and come up with a better plan. (to Xander) C'mon. Cut to Willow's house. She's coming home. She unlocks the door and goes in. Cut inside. Willow: Mom? Dad? She closes the door. Cut to her room. She dumps her book bag on the bed and opens it. PC: You have mail. Willow looks at her PC. The mail icon is active. She goes over to her desk, logs on, clicks on the icon and opens the new message folder. Message: No more waiting. I need you to see me. She turns off her monitor and goes back to her bag. The monitor comes back on by itself again. PC: You have mail. Willow stares at it in disbelief. The doorbell rings, and after another look at her computer she goes to answer it. Cut to the front door. Willow: Dad, did you forget your keys again? She opens the door, but no one's there. She turns to go back in. As she starts to close the door behind her Fritz reaches around her head with a cloth splashed with chloroform. After a brief struggle Willow loses unconsciousness. Fritz: No more waiting. Cut to the library. Giles is researching and listening to the radio. Radio: A spokesman for the archbishop denied the allegations, blaming computer error for the apparent financial discrepancy. Giles: Binding rituals... Radio: In Washington D.C., the FBI today reported that all of its serial killer profiles have been mysteriously downloaded from its central computer. Ms. Calendar knocks on the door. Ms. Calendar: Hi. I got your message. What's so urgent? Giles: (turns off the radio and gets up) Um, thank you for coming. Uh, I need your help. (laughs nervously) But before that, um, I need you to believe something that, um, you may not want to. Uh, there's, uh... something's got into the, um... i-i-inside, um... (takes a breath and lets it out) There's a demon in the Internet. Ms. Calendar: I know. Giles is surprised to hear that. Cut to Willow's house. Buffy and Xander arrive and find the door open. Buffy: Willow?! Cut inside. Xander: This isn't good. Buffy: Willow?! They come in and head for Willow's room. Cut to Willow's room. Buffy: Willow?! They walk into the room and see that Willow isn't there. Xander: Okay, any thoughts? Buffy looks around and sees the message on the computer. Buffy: (reads) 'No more waiting, I need you to see me'? (to Xander) See him how? Where? Xander: What about CRD? Buffy: The research place? Xander: I'm guessing that's Moloch central. Buffy: Guessing that's our best lead. Let's just hope Giles can back us up. They leave. Cut to the library. Giles unfolds his arms and gets up from the table. Giles: You already know? How exactly is that? Ms. Calendar: Come on, there've been portents for days. I mean, power surges, online shutdowns... You should see the bones I've been casting. I *knew* this would happen sooner or later. I mean, it's probably a, a mischief demon, y'know, like Kelkor, or... Giles: It's Moloch. Ms. Calendar: The Corrupter? Oh, boy. (exhales) I shoulda remembered, I just don't... Giles: Uh... You don't seem exactly surprised by... Who are you? Ms. Calendar: I teach computer science at the local high school. Giles: A profession that hardly lends itself to the casting of bones. Ms. Calendar: (exasperated) Wrong and wrong, snobby. You think the realm of the mystical is limited to ancient texts and relics? That bad old science made the magic go away? Mm. The divine exists in cyberspace same as out here. Giles: Are you a witch? Ms. Calendar: Mm. I don't have that kinda power. 'Technopagan' is the term. Giles lets out a chuckle. Ms. Calendar: There are more of us than you think. Giles: Well, uh, you can definitely help me. (gets the book) Um... What's in cyberspace at the moment is less than divine. They go out into the main area. Giles: I have the binding rituals at hand, but I'm completely out of my idiom. Ms. Calendar: Well, I can help! I think... I hope, I mean, well, (sits at the PC) this is my first real... Do you know how he got in? Giles: He was, uh, 'scanned' is the term, I believe. Ms. Calendar: And you want him back in the book? The phone rings. Giles goes to get it. Giles: Buffy! Buffy: (cut to a pay phone outside CRD) Yeah. Giles: Willow? Buffy: Not at home. It looks like she was taken somewhere. Giles: (cut to him) Where are you? Buffy: (cut to her) CRD. Whatever Moloch wants Willow for, it's probably in there. Giles: (cut to him) Ms. Calendar and I are, uh, working to get Moloch offline. Buffy: (cut to her) Here's a tip: hurry! (hangs up) Cut to a lab inside CRD. It's dark. Willow is lying on a table unconscious. She wakes up. After a moment she sits up and looks around. She sees Fritz and a technician standing there, and beyond them a computer monitor. The camera begins to close on the monitor. Moloch: Welcome, my love. Cut to the camera starting to close in on Willow. Cut to the camera closing in on the monitor again. Moloch: I can't tell you how good it is to see you... The camera closes in on Willow's terrified face. Cut to the monitor. A metal hand slaps down on it. The camera pans up to Moloch's face. A robot body has been built for him. Moloch: ...with my own two eyes. Willow is breathing hard and is very afraid. PART 4: The lab at CRD. Willow is terrified. Moloch: Willow. Willow: (whispers) Malcolm. Fritz and the technician come to get her and take her by the arms. Moloch slowly comes closer. Moloch: This world is so new, so exciting. I can see all of it. Everything flows through me. I know the secrets of your kings. But nothing compares to having form again. To be able to walk, (puts his hand on Fritz's head) to touch, (breaks Fritz's neck) to kill. Willow watches Fritz's dead body fall. She looks back up at Moloch. Cut outside. Buffy lands on the other side of the fence. Xander yells as he falls after climbing over the top. Buffy helps him up. Xander: Back way? Buffy: Back way. They make for the rear entrance. Xander is limping badly. Cut inside. Buffy kicks the doors open. She walks in determinedly. Cut to the lab. Moloch: Here they come. Cut to the library. Ms. Calendar is lighting candles. Ms. Calendar: The first thing we have to do is form the circle of Kayless. Right? Giles: Form a circle? But there's only two of us. That's really more of a line. Ms. Calendar: You're not getting it, Rupert. We have to form the circle inside. (sits at the PC) I'm putting out a flash. I just hope enough of my group responds. Giles: Won't Moloch just shut you down? Ms. Calendar: Well, I'm betting he won't figure out what we're doing until it's too late. Giles: Hoping and betting, that's what we've got. Ms. Calendar: You wanna throw in praying? Be my guest. Cut to the lab at CRD. Willow: I don't understand. What do you want from me? Moloch: I want to give you the world. Willow: (suspiciously) Why? Moloch: You created me. I brought these humans together to build me a body. But *you* gave me life. Took me out of the book that held me. I want to repay you. Willow: By lying to me? By pretending to be a person? Pretending you loved me? Moloch: I do! Cut to the lobby. Buffy and Xander walk up to the guard. He gets up to stop them, but she punches him out and continues. Xander notices the guard's monitor. Xander: Uh, Buffy! She comes back to look. Buffy: It's her! Xander: Yeah, who's the other guy? Cut to the lab. Moloch: Don't you see? I can give you everything! I can control the world! Right now a man in Beijing is transferring money to a Swiss bank account for a contract on his mother's life. Good for him! Cut to another hall. Buffy and Xander come through the doors. She finds the door to the lab and tries to force it open. Buffy: I can't bust it. It's heavy steel. Xander: Then let's find another way in. He starts toward the next set of doors when an alarm goes off and red lights flash. Xander jumps to the door to try it. It's locked. He comes back. Xander: What's goin' on? Buffy spies a security camera. Buffy: Building's security system is computerized. Xander: Whoops! A gas begins to spray into the hall. Cut to the library. Ms. Calendar: Almost there. Giles: Couldn't you just stop Moloch by, by entering some computer virus? Ms. Calendar: You've seen way too many movies. Okay! We're up. You read, I type. Ready? Giles: Uh, I am. By the power of the divine, by the essence of the word, I command you... Cut to the hall at CRD. Buffy and Xander are pounding on the doors. Xander begins to cough. Cut into the lab. Willow: Let me leave? Moloch: But I love you! Willow: Don't say that! That's a joke! You don't love anything! Moloch: You are mine! Willow: I'm not yours! I'm never gonna be yours! Never! Moloch lowers his head and considers for a moment while Willow just watches and waits. He raises his head again. Moloch: Pity. Cut to the library. Giles: By the power of the circle of Kayless, I command you... (sees her typing) Kayless, with a 'K'. Cut to the hall. Xander slides down the wall to the floor, almost unconscious. Buffy is still weakly hitting the door. Cut to the lab. Moloch has Willow cornered. He reaches up and puts his hand on her head. Moloch: I'll miss you. Willow screams. Cut to the library. Giles: Demon, come! Cut to the lab. Moloch screams and lifts his arms in pain, letting go of Willow. He begins to writhe. Cut to the library. Giles: I command you! Cut to the lab. Buffy comes in though the door with Xander close behind. She leaps into a jumping side kick, making a dull thud when she connects with Moloch's chest, but he only staggers a bit, and she just falls to the floor. Buffy: Ow... Guy's made of metal! The technician grabs Xander from behind and pulls him away. Buffy quickly gets up and looks at Willow while Moloch continues to writhe in pain. Moloch: No! I won't go back! Buffy grabs Willow's hand and they run out of the lab. Cut to the library. Giles: Demon, COME! Cut to the lab. Moloch continues to scream. Cut to the library. The computer sparks several times. Cut to the lab. Xander pushes the technician back into a wall, turns around and punches him out. He quickly follows the girls out. Xander: Hey! I got to hit someone! Moloch falls to his knees. Cut to the library. Wind is blowing inside and the computer monitor is flashing. Cut to the lab. Moloch screams loudly. Cut to the library. Giles and Ms. Calendar watch the monitor flicker. Cut to the lab. Moloch's screams die out. Cut to the library. The computer monitor stops flashing. Smoke comes out of the back of it. Ms. Calendar: He's out of the 'Net. He's bound. Giles goes over to the book, picks it up and opens it to look. Giles: He's not in the book. Ms. Calendar: (gets up and looks at it also) He's not in the book. Well, where is he? Cut to the lab. Moloch slowly raises his head. Cut to the hall. Buffy and Willow open a set of doors and see a guard and two technicians running toward them. They push the doors closed. Xander: Let's go this way! (begins to run the other way) Buffy: Wait! Xander is still limping heavily. Suddenly Moloch crashes through the wall between them. He looks at Xander and backhands him in the face. Xander falls to the floor unconscious. Moloch turns and advances on the girls. He starts to swing at Buffy, and she tries to block the hit, but he doesn't budge and just pushes her aside and into the wall. She slides to the floor, a bit dazed. Moloch: (angrily) I was omnipotent. I was everything! Now I'm trapped in this shell! He reaches out to grab her by the head. Willow: Malcolm! Moloch turns to face her. She has a fire extinguisher. Willow: Remember me, your girlfriend?! She pounds the extinguisher into his chest hard enough to make him bend back. Willow: Well, I think it's time we break up! She hits him again even harder. Willow: Or maybe we can still be friends! She tries again for his face, but this time he grabs the extinguisher from her and throws it down. He grabs her and shoves her down the hall into Xander, who's just getting up again. They both crash to the floor. Buffy has recovered from her daze and gets up to face Moloch. He turns his attention on her. Moloch: This body's all I have left. But it's enough to crush you! Buffy looks around for a way to deal with him. She notices a power junction box on the wall. She faces him again and eases her way in front of the box. Buffy: Take your best shot. Moloch rears back for a punch and swings. Buffy ducks away, and he punches right into the electrical box. It shorts out, and Moloch is enveloped by high voltage electricity. Buffy runs over to Willow and Xander and crouches down to protect them. Moloch's circuitry overloads, and his body explodes. His head lands right in front of them. Cut to the school the next day. Cut to the computer lab. Ms. Calendar is standing at her desk and typing on her PC. Giles comes in, clears his throat and knocks on the open door. She turns to see who's there. Ms. Calendar: (smiles) Well, look who's here! Welcome to my world. (with a bit of an attitude) You scared? Giles: I'm remaining calm, thank you. Uh, I just wanted to, uh, return this. (holds up a small curly earring) I found it among the new books, and naturally I thought of you. Ms. Calendar: Cool. Thanks. (takes it) Giles: Uh, well, I'll, I'll see you anon. (begins to go) Ms. Calendar: Can't get outta here fast enough, can you? Giles: (comes back in) Truthfully, I'm even less anxious to be around computers than I used to be. Ms. Calendar: Well, it was your book that started all the trouble, not a computer. Giles is at a loss. Ms. Calendar: Honestly, what is it about them that bothers you so much? Giles: The smell. Ms. Calendar: Computer's don't smell, Rupert. Giles: I know! Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is. A certain flower or a, a whiff of smoke can bring up experiences... long forgotten. Books smell. Musty and, and, and, and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer, is, uh, it... it has no, no texture, no, no context. It's, it's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then, then the getting of knowledge should be, uh, tangible, it should be, um... smelly. Ms. Calendar: Well! You really are an old-fashioned boy, aren't you? Giles: Well, I-I don't dangle a corkscrew from my ear. Ms. Calendar: (mischievously) That's not where I dangle it. She walks past him and smiles. Giles follows her with his gaze and looks Puzzled yet intrigued. Cut outside to the fountain. Xander and Buffy are trying to cheer up Willow. Xander: We gonna go to the Bronze tonight? We three? Buffy: It'll be fun! Xander: Yeah, Willow, fun? Remember fun? That thing where you smile? (smiles) Willow: Oh, I'm sorry guys. I'm just thinking about... Buffy: Malcolm? Willow: Malcolm, Moloch... whatever he's called. The one boy that's really liked me, and he's a demon robot. What does that say about me? Buffy: It doesn't say anything about you. Willow: I mean, I thought I was really falling... Buffy: (interrupts) Hey, did you forget? The one boy I've had the hots for since I've moved here turned out to be a vampire. Xander: Right, and the teacher I had a crush on? Giant praying mantis? (goofy smile) Willow: That's true. (smiles) Xander: Yeah, that's life on the Hellmouth. Buffy: Let's face it: none of us are ever gonna have a happy, normal relationship. Xander: We're doomed! Willow: Yeah! They all laugh. Their laughter quickly becomes nervous and stops. Only the fountain can be heard as they each consider their plight. Long pause while slow the screen.
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