24 – Two Days Later – Hour 15
The following takes place between 9 am and 10 am
9:00 am – Jack, Chloe, Morris and Bill are all standing in front of a high school. It’s dark, and people are entering the school. The message on the marquee says “Basketball Game Tonight!”
Jack is standing in the same position as he was when he was reaching for Max’s shoe phone. He realizes they’ve switched to a new location and puts his hand down. He yells to no one in particular, “I can’t believe it! The first contact we’ve had with CTU in more than 12 hours, and I blow it! How are we going to get them on the phone?”
The rest of them look startled. “CTU?” says Bill. “You talked to CTU? Who was it? Do they know how to help us?”
Jack says, “It was Fenster. He made it to that computer room we were in before all this happened. He said that Cheng was brought in for questioning hours ago, and he isn’t the one we’ve been chasing.”
Bill asks, “Well, if it’s not Cheng… then who ARE we chasing after?”
Chloe smirks, “Fenster doesn’t know a TCP socket from a Unix domain socket. I’m not to take his word for it.”
Jack says, “I don’t know who it is. We’ll just have to keep playing this by ear. Every time we land some place, we’ve been close to the people we’ve needed to interact with.” He points to the sign. “They must be in there. Let’s go in and take a look around.”
9:03 am – They enter the high school and head towards the gym. Morris says he’s hungry, and heads for a concession stand. Chloe excuses herself to go find a ladies room. Jack and Bill stand in front of the entrance to the gym to look for anything familiar.
9:04 am – Morris returns with a hot dog and a soft drink, just as Chloe comes running around the corner. She says, “We have to get out of here!”
Jack says, “Chloe, calm down. What’s the matter?”
Chloe says, “I’ll tell you what’s the matter… Vampires!”
Morris is preoccupied with his food and doesn’t quite hear and asks, “Umpires?”
Three men come out from around the corner. They look pale white, have very red eyes, and … fangs! Chloe says, “No, you goofball! Vampires! Run!” She runs out the front the school. Jack, Bill and Morris decide they need to be someplace else too, and run after her.
9:06 am – By the time Jack, Bill and Morris reach the front of the school, Chloe is already halfway down the block. They run to catch up with her. They run to catch up with Chloe and see a young girl running towards them, and the vampires. As she gets closer. Jack yells, “You’re going the wrong way! There are vampires behind us!” She ignores this and runs past. Jack yells to Bill and Morris, “Catch up with Chloe! I’m going back to help!” He skids to a halt, and heads back after the girl.
9:08 am – Chloe starts to slow down. Bill and Morris catch up with her. Morris asks her what happened. Chloe says, “There was a guy around the corner outside of the girl’s bathroom. I figured that he was waiting for his girlfriend. When I came back out, he asked me if I wanted to make out. I told him that he was old enough to be…er, my younger brother. He told me that he was a lot older than that, smiled and showed his teeth! I got out of there as fast as I could… Wait? Where’s Jack?”
Before Bill or Morris can answer, two teenagers run up to the group and stop. One of them, a red-headed girl asks, “Um… Did you just see a girl run by here? Blonde, about my height, in a really big hurry?”
The boy, says, “Come on, Willow. We don’t have time for this. When Giles called, he sounded like he was in trouble. Buffy knows what she’s doing. She’ll kill them.” He runs off.
Willow yells after him, “Xander! Wait!” She runs after Xander.
Bill says, “Did he just say that blonde girl is going to kill someone? Is that some new teenage vernacular? I’m still trying to figure out WBAGNFARB means.”
Chloe says, “Jack’s back there! Come on!”
9:13 am – Jack catches up to the girl. She looks to have the situation well in hand, and appears to be an expert in the martial arts. She punches one of the vampires, and he falls back, landing on top of a parked car. Another vampire comes up to her from behind and grabs her, holding her arms down. She stamps his foot, and he releases his grip. She turns, pulls out two wooden stakes, and stabs him in the chest. The vampire disintegrates into dust. She turns back around, and sees the other two vampires are right behind her. She points towards the sky, and says, “Look! Flying turtles!” They both look up, and she stabs each of them in the chest at the same time. They disintegrate too. She starts to cough, turns back to Jack and says, “I have to remember not to take a deep breath when they do that. They always smell like burnt rubber bands wrapped in stinky cheese. Are you O.K?”
Jack still stares in amazement at what he just saw, and “Yeah, yeah… I’m fine. I came back because I though you needed help…
9:22 am – Xander and Willow catch up to Jack and Buffy, with Bill, Morris and Chloe close behind. Xander says, “Buffy doesn’t really shop in the ‘need help’ department. She’s pretty much a self checkout kinda girl.” He realizes what he just said. “… Not that she checks herself out. Buffy, that’s not what I meant.”
Jack asks, “How did all those vampires know how to do Kung-Fu?”
Buffy shrugs, “I’m not sure! I’ve always wondered that myself.”
Xander says, “Sorry, Buffy. We couldn’t keep up.”
Buffy says, “I know Xander. This was just a run of the mill vampire dusting. Nothing to worry about.”
Chloe says, “Nothing to worry about? What do you mean?! These were vampires! How can you say there’s nothing to worry about?”
Jack interrupts, “Chloe, we’re fine.” He turns to Buffy, “We landed outside of the high school and went in. Those vampires chased us out of there.”
Xander looks suspiciously at Jack, “When you say ‘landed’… Do you mean ‘arrived – landed’, or do you mean ‘I flew here in my space ship, take me to your leader – landed’? Guys, I don’t like the look of this.”
9:25 am – Jack explains, “We’ve been traveling from place to place, trying to chase after some terrorists. About every hour, there’s a flash of light and we all end up some place completely different. We usually end up some place where someone can help us…” Xander walks around Jack, looking for any signs of alien antenna. Jack continues, “So, uh… You must be it?”
Willow says, “This sounds like something for Giles.”
Buffy says, “Yeah, let’s take them to Giles.”
Xander isn’t so sure. “OK, but don’t come crying to me if some alien pops out of one of their chests and wraps itself on your face.”
Willow says, “Check. Won’t blame you for any alien face grabbing.”
9:34 am – They arrive back at the high school, and with some coaxing get Chloe go back inside with them. The basketball game is still going on. Everyone else at the high school seems to be completely oblivious to the fact that vampires were creeping around earlier. The group heads for the school library.
9:35 am -Buffy introduces Jack, Bill, Morris and Chloe to Giles, the school librarian. Buffy says, “Giles is my watcher.”
Morris asks, “What’s that? A nice word for ‘stalker’?”
Jack explains what’s been happening to them as Chloe and Bill take a look around the library. Giles says, “Extraordinary! This sounds like you’re caught in some kind of temporal vortex.”
Bill protests, “There’s that term again, ‘temporal vortex’. What can we do about it?”
Jack explains, “We’ve had contact with some other people that used that term, is there anything you can do to help us?”
Giles says, “I wish I could. The library is filled with books on demonology, incantations, and all manner of extra-dimensional creatures. I’m pretty well-versed in what’s in these books, but I can’t say that I’ve ever run across an hourly inter-dimensional gateway. Certainly not one that travels along with the people it’s being used on.”
Morris says, “Certainly not.”
Chloe pushes a book she had been looking at back into its place on the shelf and asks, “What I don’t get is, why are we always behind those terrorists, or whatever they are? We move on to the next place every hour, but they already seem to have been able to get started on whatever they’re doing long before we arrive.”
Giles says, “It’s quite simple really. If they’re jumping the same way as you are, chances are they left your home dimension before you did. When you went through that portal, it probably threw off all their calculations. It’s likely they’ve traveled on a different timescale. While you are traveling from place to place every hour, they might be traveling in a way that makes them arrive hours, or even days ahead of time.”
9:39 am – A blonde-haired man suddenly bursts into the room, and says, “There’s trouble at the Wharf Club Restaurant.”
Xander says, “Do you want us to follow you, Lassie? Is Timmy down a well?”
The man does not look happy about that comment. He says, “If it wasn’t for her…” He points at Buffy, “…I’d be picking you out of my teeth with my knife.”
Morris looks alarmed. “Nice friends you have… We usually just exchange insults with each other, not death threats.”
Willow says, “Oh, that’s just Spike. He and Xander don’t get along. Spike doesn’t like him because Xander’s a smart alec, and Xander doesn’t like Spike because he’s a vampire.”
Chloe drops the book she’s holding. “A Vampire? I thought you people killed vampires?!”
Buffy says, “We do! We do! …As a rule. Pretty much. The bad ones. Only the bad ones.”
Chloe gets more hysterical now. “Only the bad ones? Only the BAD ones?? How can you tell if they’re good or bad? Just assume their good until… ‘Oh! Oops! I thought he a good vampire until he gave me the ultimate demonic hickey on my neck!’”.
Jack says, “Calm down, Chloe.”
Chloe doesn’t stand for this. “Calm down? CALM DOWN? Jack, these are vampires we’re talking about here! Real LIVE…well, dead….undead? WHATEVER! They’re real vampires! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the blood drained out of me today.”
Spike says, “Nice little speech there. Now, can we get on with it?”
Buffy says, “I’m going with Spike. Willow and Xander, you help Giles look up what you can about that guy dressed in the black hood.”
Jack is startled by what Buffy just said. “Black hood? What guy dressed in a black hood?”
Spike sits down and mutters, “Fine, I’ll just wait here and freak out the hysterical one a bit more while you two have a nice conversation.”
9:43 am – Buffy says, “We’ve been trying to track down someone for the last couple of days. The only glimpse I’ve got of him is that he’s wearing a black hood. He’s organizing the vampires. We can’t tell if he’s a demon, a human, or what.”
Jack says, “I’ll tell you what it sounds like…”
Spike says, “Like..’Ooh, help me! The big bad is going to get me?’”
Xander says, “Shut up, Spike!” Spike snarls at Xander.
Jack says, “It sounds like the people we’ve been chasing after. I’m going with you.”
Chloe exclaims, “Sorry, Jack, but I’m not going!”
Jack says, “Chloe! We have to stick together!”
9:44 am – Chloe says, “No dice, Jack. I’m not! You don’t make fun of Bill because he’s afraid of heights! You don’t make fun of Morris because he’s afraid of monkeys!”
Xander interrupts and asks Morris, “You’re afraid of monkeys? Seriously?”
Chloe continues, “Just get back here before the next hour is up. Then we’ll get on with it.”
Spike gets up and announces, “I’m leaving,” and does so.
Buffy heads for the door too. Jack follows her and says, “Fine. You stay here. I’ll be back later.”
9:50 am – Spike, Buffy and Jack stand in front of the Wharf Club Restaurant. It is completely quiet.
Jack asks, “Are you sure it’s the right place?”
Spike leans over to look at the menu that’s posted on the outside wall, and says sarcastically, “Hmm! Well, let’s see what’s on the breakfast menu, shall we? ‘Blood sausage’, ‘Awful Waffle’, ‘Pansnakes’… Hmm… I don’t know, sounds like your typical breakfast fare…”
Buffy says, “Stop it, Spike! We’re going in.”
9:51 am – They all look into the windows of the place, and it seems completely deserted. The front door is unlocked, so they head inside. They spread out, and start to look around.
The restaurant looks completely normal, for the most part. Nautical decorations cover the walls up to the top of the very tall ceiling. Place settings are laid out on the tables. A neon sign that reads, “Vampires Will Rule The Earth” flashes on the back wall.
They cautiously walk through the front of the restaurant. Jack starts heading towards the back doors which lead to the kitchen. Buffy whispers loudly, “Don’t go back there! It’s probably a trap!”
She and Spike start walking towards Jack. Spike doesn’t look the least bit concerned, and speaks in his normal voice, “About to walk right into a trap! Pffft! Mate, you have a lot to learn about vampires. You’re going to have to leave it to the profess…”
There’s a loud bang, and a net comes off the floor and scoops Buffy and Spike high into the air.
Spike finishes, “…ionals.”
Suddenly the room is swarming with vampires. Buffy yells, “Jack! Look out!” A vampire that was about to grab him from behind misses Jack by inches. Jack rolls on his back over the top of one of the tables grabbing silverware has he goes. Four vampires run at Jack.
Jack starts flinging cutlery in all directions. A couple knives actually meet their marks, but the vampires laugh as they pull the silverware out of their chests. Spike yells, “Are you an idiot? You have to use wooden stakes!” They continue to close in on Jack. Jack picks up a chair by its back legs, smashes it on the table in front of him, and in one fluid motion throws the wooden chair legs at the oncoming vampires. This time the damage is done, and two of the vampires turn to dust. There are two vampires left. Jack runs towards the kitchen.
9:54 am – Jack bursts through the doors, looking for anything he can use as a weapon. One of the vampires comes through the kitchen door, just in time to catch an airborne frying pan right in the face. Jack follows this up with a wooden stake to the heart. The vampire turns to dust as it hits the floor.
The next vampire through the door is more cautious, and ducks as one of the knives goes flying past its head into the door frame. The vampire pulls the knife from the wood, and starts towards Jack. Jack holds a knife in front of him to ward off the vampire. The vampire says, “Mmmmm… Jack Tare-Tare. They said you’d do this. That’s the way I like it: a bit of fight in my meals.” He lunges towards Jack, who dodges away easily. “I thought you learned your lesson? Knives can’t kill vampires!”
Jack lunges forwards and stabs the vampire in the stomach and says, “No, but I’d bet that hurts!” The vampire screams and throws Jack away from him. Jack lands on a prep counter and falls onto the floor. The vampire removes the knife from its stomach.
9:56 am – Still on the floor, Jack scrambles under a table towards the door. He looks around the corner, and doesn’t see anything, so he starts to head for the dining room. A hand reaches down from the counter, and grabs Jack by the neck and lifts him off his feet. Jack struggles to get away as the vampire continues to hold him by the neck. Jack’s feet are off the ground, and he gasps for air. Jack punches the vampire in the stomach several times, but it has no effect.
The vampire says, “They said to finish you off quickly, and then we could have The Slayer. I was thinking of breaking your neck, but you’ve been so much trouble I think it would be better to watch your face as the last bit of blood leaves your body.” The vampire opens its mouth and leans in to bite Jack on the neck. Jack closes his eyes.
THWACK! A cross bow bolt shoots through the air, hitting the vampire in the back. Chloe is standing with a crossbow at the kitchen door. Jack looks down and sees the tip of the wooden bolt sticking through the vampire’s chest, an inch away from his own. The vampire shrugs, says, “Can’t win ‘em all”, and crumbles to dust. Jack drops to the floor, gasping for air.
9:58 am – Chloe drops the crossbow and runs to Jack as Bill and Morris come through the kitchen door. Jack whispers in a raspy voice, “I thought you were afraid of vampires.” Chloe shrugs and says, “Being bitten by one, yes. Killing them, no.”
Outside in the dining area, Buffy’s friends help Spike and Buffy down from the net as Jack, Chloe, Morris and Bill come out of the kitchen.
9:59 am – There’s a bright flash.
Jack, Chloe, Morris and Bill are standing in a parking lot.
10:00 am – Time’s up!