19 HOURS EARLIER
Nina: Okay. Where did you learn how to do that?
Angel: Which part?
Nina: Doesn't matter. How are you?
Angel: I'm good.
Nina: You're not perfectly happy, are you? Cause I've got my wooden stake right here... Oh, that's not a stake... I know I brought it-
Angel: You're safe.
Angel: For the last... very long moment I haven't had a single coherent thought.
Nina: I'm gonna take that as a compliment.
Angel: You really should.
Nina: But now, the brow is back. If she's not on your mind, then...
Angel: Oh, there's - there's a lot more than usual going on.
Nina: You should get away. Vacation? You know the word? Go to Cabo, drink margaritas, midnight skinny-dipping, making love on the beach... Did you catch how I subtly included myself in your vacation package?
Nina: Too pushy, too needy, I never even said it. You should make love on the beach all by yourself.
Angel: I would be wonderful. I mean it.
Angel: There are - There are things that I have to do. Things that I've already set in motion that, uh... I know I've spent years fighting to get somewhere... to accomplish something... and now that I'm close to it... I don't like what I see, what I am.
Nina: You're a hero.
Angel: Oh, that word.
Nina: You're my hero.
Angel: I may not always be.
Spike: Like you're not even there. World trembled before your feet once. Now... padding around a place you don't want to be in, and the rabble don't even give you so much as a polite yawn.
Illyria: Do not presume I require any creature's attention.
Spike: Wouldn't dream of it, Blue. Still... you can't enjoy haunting this place. Less than what you were, not knowing what to do with yourself. Believe me, I've been there.
Illyria: And what do you know of it?
Spike: Long and fascinating tale. Ghost story, in fact.
Illyria: He and I are no longer having intercourse.
Spike: Y-ah. You wh-what?
Illyria: He has ceased communication with me.
Spike: Oh! Oh. Communi-
Illyria: My recent reversion to the Burkle persona disturbed him. And he will not tell me why.
Spike: You don't know? You may not think you're as powerful as you were, Highness, but looking like Fred, for some of us... it's the most devastating power you have.
Wes: Angel, we need to find this demon and destroy it before-
Angel: Somebody else dies? Yeah. I know, Wes. People are dying every day all over. This girl is just one more statistic.
Wes: Stacey. The statistic's name was Stacey Bluth.
Angel: Well, you know, we can't save everybody, and we can't sweat the small stuff.
Illyria: He showed no regard for my presence.
Spike: Not that you require any creature's attention... Hey, wanna go find something to hit?
Senator: And now my numbers are slipping. I didn't crawl my way up from hell and get installed in a human body just to have some pedophile steal my senate seat.
Gunn: Wait - he's a pedophile?
Senator: Not yet. But the public better think he is when you guys get through.
You're Looking in the Wrong Place
Wes: What am I looking-
Izzy: You know the Fells. All they can talk about is the baby. The baby's doing this now. The baby's doing that. What a wonder ritual sacrifice he'll make. Yak, yak, yak. Anyway, couldn't say enough nice things about you.
Illyria: Angel does not thing the casualties of this creature are important enough to avenge.
Spike: Yeah. I think corporate living's made him lose his love for the hunt. No worries. More for me then.
Illyria: It does not serve his interest.
Spike: What are you on about?
Illyria: I've seen this before with many rulers. Your leader has been corrupted.
Spike: Hey, hang on. In the first place, Angel's not my leader. In the second, what the bloody hell do you mean corrupted?
Illyria: It always begins the same. A ruler turns a blind eye to the dealings of battles from which he cannot gain... and a deaf ear to the counsel of those closest to him. As his strength increases, so does the separation between he and his follow-
Spike: You're wrong about Angel. Not that I don't think the sod could end up being a megalomaniacal bastard. It's just that if he did... I'd know it. I'd feel it.
Illyria: You'll have proof soon enough. A corrupted ruler on such a path sees treachery and betrayal all around him. He cannot suffer intimates and will eventually turn against them.
Spike: Guess I don't have to worry about that, cause Angel and me have never been intimate. Except that one...
Illyria: Mark me. He will murder one of you.
Drogyn: Actually, he already has.
Drogyn: I-I came to-to warn you-
Illyria: He's bleeding.
Spike: You're all torn up, mate. What did this to you, the Boretz, was it?
Drogyn: No. It was Angel.
Drogyn: He said Angel was afraid I'd find something in the Deeper Well, something that would uncover the truth about his involvement.
Gunn: In what?
Drogyn: Helping Illyria escape from her tomb.
Wes: I thought the release of her sarcophagus from the Deeper Well was predestined.
Spike: Yeah, what about that bit?
Drogyn: Well, that's what I thought at the time, but now I believe... Illyria's resurrection may have been planned.
Gunn: By Angel.
Lorne: Oh, that doesn't make a lick of sense. I mean, why would Angel want to spring an old one?
Drogyn: I don't think that was the point.
Gunn: Then what was?
Drogyn: Before he died, the assassin said something about a sacrifice... someone trusted and dear.
Wes: Are you saying that Angel was responsible for what happened to Fred?
Drogyn: He may not have chosen her specifically, but-
Lorne: Whoa! Let's put a kibosh on that sentence before it turns into an ass-kickin.
Wes: Gunn, this is Drogyn, the battlebrand, given eternal youth a thousand years ago. Demonbane, truthsayer... Watchers' Council.
Spike: Percy did a paper. Bully on him.
Spike: I'm not mising the fireworks. Hey, Illyria, you don't care about any of this nonsense, do you?
Illyria: The intricaacies of your fates are meaningless.
Spike: Well and good. You mnd watching over our friend Drogyn? Aw, come on. New place'll do you good. It's nice and cozy. Help yourself to some beer in the fridge. Switch on the telly if you get bored. And, uh, feel free to play a little Crash Bandicoot. Give you lot something to pass the time.
Illyria: Crash Bandicoot?
Angel: Okay, what's on your minds?
Lorne: The question is what's on yours?
Angel: Now, can we get back to business, or was there something else?
Wes: 'Business'? What business are we in, Angel?
Angel: Do I really have to explain this to you people? We're in the business of business. Oil, software, worldwide wickets. The product doesn't matter. It's the game that matters. Get to the top, be the best, have the most, win.
Wes: Win what?
Angel: You're still missin the point.
Gunn: That Angel talking? Cause it sounds a lot more like Angelus.
Angel: Oh, if I were Angelus, half of you would already be dead, just for the fun of it.
Angel: The truth is there's only one of us who ever understood how things really work. Lorne.
Lorne: Whoa. Hey, hey, hey. Can I not be the poster child for your nervous breakdown here?
Angel: You didn't judge. You didn't spend your life obsessed with good and evil. You do that, you get swallowed, lost in the minutia. Good, bad, Angel, Angelus - None of it makes a difference. I wish it did, but, you know, an ant with the best intentions or the most diabolical schemes is just exactly an ant. There is one thing in this business, in the apocalypse that we call a world that matters: Power. Power tips the scale, power sets the course, and until I have real power, global power, I have nothing. I accomplish nothing.
Wes: And how you get this power...
Angel: Isn't pretty. Isn't fun. You think it's Wolfram & Hart getting to me here, and maybe you're right, because they've shown us what power is. From day one, they've been calling the shots, and all we've done is get shot at. I have a chance to change that.
Lorne: And will you? I mean, not to play an old saw, but power does traditionally corrupt. You get high up enough, and, well, the people, they do start to look like ants.
Angel: I can't worry about that... the small stuff.
Harmony: Angel, that important phone call from... that guy about that thing, it's on line 3.
Angel: We're done here. I have to take this.
Spike: Yeah, the guy about the thing.
Wes: The small stuff that you can't worry about, would that include Fred?
Angel: I loved Fred.
Wes: That's not an answer.
Angel: Then I guess you don't get one.
Wes: It doesn't make any sense. Angel never cared about power.
Lorne: Well, he's never had any to care about, has he? Not real power, even as Angelus, and then just like that, he's king of the mountain. It's quite a view from up there. Tends to make people want things. Even if they start with the best intentions, Angel's seen real power, and he's not looking away. He's gonna go for it, Wes.
Nina: That's typical. You sleep with a guy and he sends your entire family out of the country. No, wait, that's actually not that typical at all. You couldn't just not call?
Nina: I want to be with you if there's trouble.
Angel: You don't want to be with me. You don't wanna be near me.
Nina: Because I might get hurt?
Angel: Cause I'm the thing that'll hurt you.
Nina: You're the most amazing man I've ever met, but you're a crappy liar.
Illyria: I play this game... it's pointless and annoys me... and yet, I'm compelled to play on. Does that not-
Hamilton: Well, looky, looky who's making friends.
Hamilton: So I hear you're living in a tree now.
Drogyn: The tree is the entrance to the Deeper Well. I live in a cave. It's really quite pleasant.
Hamilton: I'm sure it's a peach.
Lindsey: The Circle of the Black Thorn.
Lorne: Sounds like a little sewing club for pirates.
Lindsey: It's a secret society.
Gunn: Never heard of them.
Lindsey: That's cause they're secret.
Wes: They're evil.
Lindsey: Sure. But evil's not the point. Power is.
Lindsey: To be a Black Thorn is to be the senoir partners' instrument on Earth. Doesn't get bigger than that.
Wes: Angel dedicated his life to helping others, not because he had to, but because it was a path he'd chosen. If he's been swayed from that, influenced... then maybe there's still time. We can bring him back. He'd do the same for any of us, regardless of our actions.
Lorne: And what if he's skipped too far down that evil brick road?
Demon: The circle entwined.
Group: Embrace the worthy son.
Demon: The thorn draws blood.
Group: The thorn is the power, and the power is absolute.
Demon: Welcome to the fold.
Sebassis: Kudos, child. I must say, it's gratifying to see you've returned to form, Angelus.
Angel: It's still Angel.
Sebassis: Ah. Well, what's in a name, eh?
Vail: Your son, he kills quite well.
Angel: What I do here is my business. You don't like how I conduct it, you can leave... before I kill you.
Wes: Kill us? Hard to believe we're having trouble trusting you.
Angel: Just telling it like it is.
Wes: Then we have a problem.
Angel: I guess we do.
Angel: All right, we have 6 minutes.
Spike: Til what?
Angel: The glamour collapses.
Spike: When did this all start?
Angel: Two months ago. With a kiss. Though it didn't hit me till later that night.
Wes: Cordelia gave you her visions?
Angel: One-shot deal. She put me on the path, showed me where the real powers are.
Angel: We're in a machine. That machine's gonna be here long after our bodies are dust. But the senior partners will always exist in one form or another because mankind is weak.
Lorne: Uh, do you want me to point my crossbow at him, cause I think he's gonna start talking about ants again.
Angel: We are weak. The powerful control everything... except our will to choose. Look, Lindsey's a pathetic halfwit, but he was right about one thing. Heroes don't accept the way the world is. The senior partners may be eternal, but we can make their existence painful.
Wes: You wanna take them on.
Angel: We're in a machine. The Black Thorn runs it. We can bring their gears to a grinding halt, even if it's just for a moment.
Spike: About time we got our hands dirty.
Angel: This isn't a keep-fightin-the-good-fight kind of deal. Let's be clear. I'm talking about killing every... single... member... of the Black Thorn. We don't walk away from that.
Lorne: Do we crawl away, at least?
Angel: 10-to-1, we're gone when the smoke clears. They will do everything in their power to destroy us. So... I need you to be sure. Power endures. We can't bring down the senoir partners but for one bright, shining moment, we can show then that they don't own us. You need to decide for yourselves if that's worth dying for.