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GROUND STATE

TITLE CARD: Gills Rock, Wisconsin. October 28, 1985
HEADMISTRESS: Mr. and Mrs. Raiden, welcome to the Academy. I"m Lydia Thorpe.

MRS. RAIDEN: We can"t thank you enough-after all we"ve been through.

HEADMISTRESS: Honestly, I should be thanking you. Your gift to the school was quite generous. We"ve already invested a portion of it into the accommodations for Gwen"s... special needs.
MR. RAIDEN: When should we come back?
HEADMISTRESS: Classes end June third.

MR. RAIDEN: Well, here you go, Gwen. You"re finally going to school. Exciting, isn"t it?

MRS. RAIDEN: You be a good girl, now. You hear me? Be good. And remember we love you.
MR. RAIDEN: Thanks again. We"ll see you in June. June, all right?
HEADMISTRESS: Hello, Gwen. I"m Miss Thorpe. I"m gonna take you up to class now. You must stay away from the other children, of course, but I"m confident you"ll learn my other rules very quickly.
No, Gwen.
YOUNG BOY: Are you a freak?
YOUNG GWEN: I don"t know.
YOUNG BOY: Guess you don"t look like one.

YOUNG GWEN: Thanks.
HEADMISTRESS: OK, kids, inside. Inside now.
YOUNG BOY: You can hold on to this if you want.
HEADMISTRESS: Oh! Gwen! No! Oh!

INTRO

FRED: Smell anything?
ANGEL: Cordelia. Maybe some old incense or candles. Strangely enough-lemons. Lots and lots of lemons.
FRED: I might have gone a little nuts with the floor polish. Wanted the place to look nice for when the landlords start showing it.


ANGEL: It does. Look nice. Nice and empty.

FRED: You should"ve seen the size of the dust-bunnies under Cordy"s bed. More like dust sperm whales!
ANGEL: I can"t believe it"s been three months.

FRED: We paid the rent for the first couple, but then things got sorta tight, and, well, big apartment, no one living here...
ANGEL: Phantom Dennis! Does-does he know anything about Cordy, where she might be?
FRED: He"s just ticked we haven"t brought her home already.
ANGEL: We will, though. Soon.
FRED: Absolutely.
ANGEL: You said you already tried talking to Lorne in Las Vegas.
GUNN: Yeah. Emphasis on the word "try."
Fancy-ass surround sound. Fred!
FRED: Already packed the band-aids, buddy. From the exactly twice we"ve been able to get a hold of him, we know that Lorne is keeping his eyes peeled, but... so far all"s quiet on the psychic front.
GUNN: Did you show him the box?
FRED: See that one, with the pictures? That stuff was on the table the night Cordy disappeared. It"s mostly personal stuff. Didn"t mean much to us, but you might see something.

ANGEL: What about the police?
GUNN: Uh, let"s see. Abandoned car. Empty apartment.
FRED: No signs of violence. No plans for travel.
GUNN: Please file a missing person"s report.

FRED: And have a nice day.
GUNN: But, hey! That was only the first time. The next seven times, they left out the nice day part.
ANGEL: Something must"ve happened to her that night. Something big.
GUNN: Well, you guys were supposed to meet up.
ANGEL: I know why I wasn"t there.
FRED: Sure. Banished to the ocean depths by your ungrateful snot of a son.

GUNN: Not that she"s bitter.

ANGEL: I appreciate you guys looking out for Connor all summer. It"s just-he"s confused. He needs time. That"s all.
FRED: Right. Time, and some corporal punishment with a large heavy mallet. Not that I"m bitter.
Oh. Damn it, Dennis! She"s not coming back! I"m sorry, Angel. I-I didn"t- I meant the apartment. I-
ANGEL: It"s OK, Fred. Anyway, we"ve got tons of room back at the hotel. We can keep everything safe.
FRED: It"s just-you count on stuff, you know. Things being where you left them. What happens if you get back and they"re not there?

ANGEL: You go find "em.
WESLEY: Jones, Brownstreet-left flank!
ANGEL: Need help?
WESLEY: No. Thanks.
So, Mr. O"Leary"s being kept in a motel. How original. Free him. Report to base. Have Diana close out the file. Hawkins, back of my car.

ANGEL: Running your own game now, huh? I never got the chance to thank you. Finding me. Bringing me up. Must"ve been hard for you. No map. All that water.

Look what-what went down between us... I had a lot of time down there-to think. You know, about the way things went, the way they could"ve gone. I just want you to know, as far as I"m concerned, we"re OK again.
What"s this?
WESLEY: What you came for. That"s everything I have on Cordelia"s disappearance.
ANGEL: Did your own investigation?

WESLEY: I don"t think she"s dead. I can"t say for certain, of course, but I don"t believe she"s in our dimension any longer. Beyond that... was a road I couldn"t follow. No living thing can.

ANGEL: Who"s Dinza?
WESLEY: One of the Eleusian mysteries. A dark demi-goddess of the lost. Only the dead can enter her presence, and those that do, she often traps for eternity.

ANGEL: Sounds cheery.
WESLEY: I managed to locate her lair, but obviously couldn"t enter myself.

ANGEL: This Dinza can tell me where Cordy is.
WESLEY: No. The most she"ll tell you is where to look. Just beware. Dinza isn"t remotely trustworthy.

ANGEL: What should I do, then? Send her a gift? Sacrifice? Unholy fruit basket?

Knock, knock. Door was open.
Or it was a second ago.
DINZA: Are you lost?
ANGEL: Keep it up, you"re gonna make me seasick.
DINZA: I doubt it.
I think it would"ve happened before now. Tell me, do you miss the sound of the waves?

ANGEL: You-you know who I am.
DINZA: I know you were lost. I know all the lost things.
ANGEL: Really? City of Atlantis? Holy Grail? Jimmy Hoffa.
DINZA: Lost love.
ANGEL: So you know why I"m here, who I"m trying to find?
DINZA: She is far from you, champion, and needs you no longer.
ANGEL: I need her.
DINZA: They think that you should join them. That I should never let you out. But who listens to the dead. The Axis of Pythia rests close by. What you seek can only be found inside the Axis.
ANGEL: The Axis?
DINZA: An ancient power bridging all dimensions. Find the Axis, and find your lost one.
ANGEL: Why should I trust you?
DINZA: Because I"d love to keep you... but you have so much more to lose.

MAN: I thought I said discreet.

YOUNG WOMAN: What? Do you see nipple?
MAN: You"re late.
YOUNG WOMAN: You"re screwing me. The Axis of Pythia is worth 33 million dollars. You told me it was worth six.
MAN: The Axis is merely a mystical object. It has no inherent monetary value-

YOUNG WOMAN: Blah, blah, polysyllabic b-lah. I need a drink. Waiter, I"ll take a redcoat, up, double the voddy, and can I get one of those swizzly things? Just love those. You were saying?

MAN: My appraiser priced the Axis at exact-

YOUNG WOMAN: Eighteen percent of its true market value. And seeing as how I steal stuff on commission, that"s like getting me for eighty percent off. Now, let"s be honest, Elliot...
Do I look like a blue-light special to you?


ELLIOT: The street value is irrelevant. I only want the Axis for my own private collection. Now, as I recall, we had already settled on a rather substantial fee.

YOUNG WOMAN: Say it with me, big guy. Co-mis-sion. This my stuff? Auction house perimeter. Security system. Vent work. Vaults.


ELLIOT: Make the delivery to a private high rise downtown. I"ll be waiting in the penthouse, and then we"ll transfer the balance of your fee.

YOUNG WOMAN: Which we both know is gonna have a lot more zero"s on the end of it, right?
ELLIOT: You know, Gwen, you came to me very highly recommended for your, uh... for your talents. But I have to admit, I was expecting someone a bit more... professional.

GWEN: I am a professional, and we professionals don"t like taking the bone.

ELLIOT: Gwen, that is a twelve thousand dollar watch.
GWEN: And now it"s surrealism.
Thanks for the drink.
FRED: The Axis of Pythia. Forged from the tripod of the Delphic oracle, the Axis, a metal arch set into a marble base, stands approximately two feet high and weighs 18 pounds.
ANGEL: Here. To give you an idea.

GUNN: Wow.
FRED: Is that- You didn"t draw that?
ANGEL: Huh? Yeah, I just, you know, scribbled it down out of one of the books.
FRED: Oh. Nice.
Um, the Axis is said to have been imbued with many mystical qualities, one of which is finding souls or entities across dimensions.

ANGEL: Entities, like...
GUNN: Cordelia.
FRED: Wow. That"s just-
GUNN: Oh, hey, baby. I liked your little... your ghost guy.
FRED: I haven"t slept, Charles.
GUNN: So, we need the Axis. How do we get it?
FRED: Currently, the Axis is being held in the vault of Chandler"s Auction House, an establishment firmly rooted in the black market. Black market means money. Money means security.
ANGEL: But not to worry, "cause I beat the building plans out of a snitch who thought I was dead.
FRED: The building plans are only half of it. Just because we know where it is, doesn"t mean we can get to it.

GUNN: Surveillance cameras.
Electric gates.
ANGEL: Laser sensors.
Handprint Recognition.
FRED: Not to mention armed guards.

GUNN: Yeah, but if it"s an auction house, can"t we just, you know, E-Bay it? How much is it?

ANGEL & FRED: 33 million dollars.
GUNN: I think my lungs have coffee.

FRED: We"re still working on a plan, but so far, it involves being sent to prison and becoming somebody"s bitch.
ANGEL: Nobody"s going to jail, Fred. I told you, a heist like this, I"ve done it a million times. OK, maybe twice, but I"m good at it, I swear.
GUNN: Uh, you"re not counting the time we stole the crazy-making death shroud that nearly killed us right?
ANGEL: The point is, this is how we find Cordy, so this is what we"re gonna do.

FRED: OK. I"m just gonna take these and go over the details and see if I can, I don"t know, whip something up... Say, a plan. OK.

ANGEL: I"m really strong, if that helps.

FRED: OK.
GUNN: That"s my girl. Large and in charge. OK, teensy-weensy and in charge.

ANGEL: It"s amazing how she stepped up when I was gone. Kinda reminds me of Cordy.

GUNN: Angel, say we use this Axis thing to find her. What then?
ANGEL: Then, we do whatever it takes to get her back home, where she belongs.

GUNN: OK, so what are we gonna need for "Operation Chance In Hell"?
ANGEL: Hmm. I can only guess. Probably some repelling hooks. Flashlights, obviously. Aerosols. What else?
GWEN: Thanks, Nick.
LILAH: Ooh. I can"t stay
WESLEY: You said you could?
LILAH: Big meeting in a couple hours... Potential client... First time as the new boss.

WESLEY: Not interested.
LILAH: I just want you to know why I"m going first tonight.
WESLEY: If I let you go at all.
LILAH: You mean, like you let your little slave girl go? Justine, is it?

WESLEY: So, you finally heard about that?

LILAH: I heard. I"m betting she heard a few things, too.
WESLEY: The walls are soundproofed. Though she did call you "impossibly loud."

LILAH: And all this time, you"re lying through your teeth. Wes is so apathetic. Wesley doesn"t care.
WESLEY: I had to raise him. Angel is- necessary.
LILAH: For what?
WESLEY: Fighting people like you.

LILAH: Good news is, you might"ve done me a favor. Soon as he dried off, Angel kicked Connor out of the hotel. Poor little guy, friendless, homeless... umm... looks like Connor"s gonna need someone who cares, like a big sister, or a... Mrs. Robinson, if that"s what he"s into. I thought you liked the bad girls, Wes.


WESLEY: I don"t need to hear your evil plans.

LILAH: No, it just turns you on, knowing I have "em.
WESLEY: Shut up, Lilah.
LILAH: Make me.
ANGEL: Come on.
GUNN: Man, this is so much harder than it looks on Batman.
FRED: ...and thirty yards west. This is the junction. All right, I"ll be in here trying to hack into the vault"s security system. Charles-

GUNN: Secure the escape route. Guard"s station, one floor down.
FRED: Disarm and contain. Angel, hit the vault, wait for system shutdown, then steal the Axis.
GUNN: You are so hot right now.
FRED: Go. Guys!
GWEN: Yeah, that"s not good.
FRED: Please, let my cellmate be gentle.

GUNN: Look out! Tried to warn ya.

ANGEL: Help me out here, Fred.
Not exactly what I had in mind.
GWEN: You know, I put that down for a reason.
Fred"s monitor"s message: "Vault Electrical Monitor. System Interference. Malfunction."
FRED: No! I haven"t even gotten into the electrical system, so that- That means-

GUNN: We got company.
ANGEL: Who are you?
GWEN: Who are you?
ANGEL: I asked you first.
GWEN: What are you, seven?
ANGEL: Tell me you"re not here for the Axis.

GWEN: I"m not here for the Axis.
ANGEL: You"re lying.
GWEN: I"m fibbing. It"s lying, only classier.

ANGEL: What?
GWEN: Technically? I"m exciting the subatomic particles with electrical energy and then bouncing "em off each other before they hit ground state. I just love that folks go for this hi-tech stuff. Electricity comforts "em. Suckers.



ANGEL: What- are you?
GWEN: I"m a freak. What"d you think?
ANGEL: Um, yeah, you know, I"m sure there"s lots of other nice expensive things that you could steal in there. It just doesn"t have to be the one-
GUNN: Where"s the bogey?
ANGEL: In there. She"s after the Axis.
GUNN: She? As in she took out the four armed guards downstairs?
ANGEL: That"s good to know.
GWEN: So long, handsome.
ANGEL: Listen, I need the Axis. It"s an ancient mystical relic-
GWEN: It"s fun for a girl and a boy. I like to think of it as... mine.

ANGEL: Please.
GWEN: Please? Are you kidding me? Hey there, Denzel.
ANGEL: I"m trying to find someone. Someone very important to me, and the Axis there, it"s my only shot.
GUNN: Come on, he"s telling the truth.
GWEN: Oh, well, golly, if you say it"s true... So what? You just wanna... borrow this thing?

ANGEL: You can do whatever you want with it, as soon as I find her.
GWEN: Her? Of course it"s "her." Two questions, then. One: do you really love her?

ANGEL: Yeah, I do.
GWEN: Two: on a scale of one to ten, exactly how stupid do you think I am?
Don"t answer that.
ANGEL: Way to go, Fred.
GWEN: Let go!
GUNN: A little help here! Ahh!
ANGEL: He"s dead.
FRED: No. No. No.
GWEN: Move! Sorry, honey. Just like starting a Chevy. There we go.
FRED: Angel, we gotta get to a hospital.

ANGEL: Miss me?
LILAH: Only in the sense of... no.
ANGEL: How"s it going, Lilah? Still knocking "em dead at Wolfram and Hart?

LILAH: You could say that.
ANGEL: I wasn"t sure, what, with all the charity work you seem to be doing down here.

LILAH: You know, I was just telling someone how deeply I care for the homeless. Let him off pretty easy, didn"t you?
ANGEL: The kid messed up, he knows he messed up.
LILAH: Oh, God. The return of the moral high ground? This is that "guilt is it"s own punishment" thing, isn"t it?
ANGEL: Kind of my specialty.
LILAH: Whatever. I don"t get it. Lemme guess. You"re just gonna bird-dog the kid "til he gets weepy and... pulls a prodigal.

ANGEL: I"m not here for him, Lilah. I"m here for you. Earlier tonight, the Axis of Pythia was stolen from Chandler"s Auction House.

LILAH: Black market. Upscale.

ANGEL: Thief was too. What you might call specialized. The kind only people like your clients can afford-

LILAH: And you want the name of the buyer. Look, Angel, I know you"ve been out of loop for a while, but I"m still evil. I don"t do errands unless they"re... evil errands.

ANGEL: I think you"ll run this one.
LILAH: Why? What"s in it for me?
ANGEL: Just this once, I"ll ignore the fact that you were within 50 yards of my son. Just this once.
LILAH: So much for moral high ground, huh? It"s interesting. You... coming to me for help.

ANGEL: You know what I find interesting? The fact that I can smell you and Wesley all over each other. Start making calls. You got an hour.
GUNN: Kinda looks like art, doesn"t it? I call it "takes more than that to kill me, punk." "Punk" is what makes it art.


FRED: Did you take your pill?
GUNN: "S hard to believe these little pointy jobbies are the difference between life and death.
FRED: Did you?
GUNN: You handed it to me.
FRED: So, what was it like?
GUNN: What"s what like?
FRED: Being dead. Gone. See anything interesting? White light? Shirley MacLaine?

GUNN: Nothing. I don"t-I don"t remember.
FRED: All it was was luck. If that woman hadn"t come back again...
GUNN: Fred, we"ve been through this. You would"ve done CPR. I know you-

FRED: What if I hadn"t been there?
GUNN: Then Angel would"ve picked me up and Flash Gordon"ed me to the ER.
FRED: Sure, but, then again, it could"ve been too late, and Angel would have had to swear blood-lusty vengeance on the woman that killed you, and we all know how well that one works out.
GUNN: Fred, what the hell?
FRED: I am so sick of holding everything up around here. First Wesley leaves, then Angel, and Cordy. I-I"m sick of taking care of everything and paying bills and making peace and plans and keeping my chin up- God, I am so sick of my chin being up!


GUNN: You know what, just electrocute me now, "cause I don"t know what kind of alien female thing-
FRED: I thought it would get better when Angel came back. I-I thought I would finally be able to breathe again.
GUNN: Fred, no one forced this responsibility on you-
FRED: Well, who else was gonna do it? Who else was gonna hold everything up after you left me all alone? You died and left me all alone!
GUNN: Shh... It"s OK, baby.
ANGEL: Nice color.
GWEN: OK. After I kick your ass, I"m gonna ask about that.
ANGEL: I don"t wanna hurt you.
GWEN: That"s what they all say.
I don"t usually enjoy the hand-to-hand this much.
ANGEL: Maybe you haven"t been doing it right.
GWEN: Why are you not toast?
ANGEL: I"m not even warmed up.
GWEN: Oh, really.
I can fix that.
Warm enough?
You"re alive.
ANGEL: You felt that? My heart...
GWEN: It was beating. It doesn"t, does it?
ANGEL: Cordelia! I gotta get out of here.

GWEN: What the hell is going on?
ELLIOT: Well, that should be obvious... to a professional like yourself.
ANGEL: It"s a double-cross.
GWEN: I"m now slow. I know it"s- Shut up! Is he one of yours?
ELLIOT: No, I thought he was yours, what, with the... tonguing and all.
GWEN: In his dreams.
ANGEL: Not even close.
ELLIOT: It doesn"t matter.
GWEN: The job"s done. Elliot, you don"t have to do this.
ELLIOT: I have no choice. The job you did for me was a train wreck. The noise, the publicity, that little stunt you pulled in the bar-


GWEN: That was just a joke-
ELLIOT: Professionals are discreet, young lady. You, on the other hand, are a freak. A dangerous freak. Which is why I had them remodel the elevator you"re standing in. More of a retrofit, really. Low-teched the whole thing with six inches of Plexiglas separating you from any available current. Tempered Lucite.



ANGEL: He"s gonna seal us in and turn on the gas.
GWEN: What are you, Lex Luthor?
ELLIOT: What do you think, I"m gonna stand here and duke it out with electro girl?

ELLIOT: No, don"t worry. Uh, I"m told that the gas is very fast-acting. You"ll be dead within... uh, whoops- Where does the time go?

ANGEL: OK, there"s gotta be something. Get down! Now! Get low!
GWEN: Ow! You jackass! You get low!
ANGEL: I don"t need to. I don"t breathe.
GWEN: Gee, must be a real turn-on for the girlfriend.
ANGEL: Utility panel-right about here, you think?
GWEN: Plastic"s too thick, you lunk-head. I can"t get through to blow the charge.

ANGEL: Simple question! It is here or not?
GWEN: Yes! It"s there.
ELLIOT: We should be finished here any time now. Uh-huh. I see. Uh-huh. Well we had the tuna casserole last Thursday, Molly.

GWEN: If I die-
ANGEL: You"re not gonna die!
GWEN: Nice kiss.
ANGEL: OK.
ELLIOT: Get rid of him.
GWEN: I expect to get screwed. Professional thief. Hazard of the biz.

ELLIOT: Just wait a second, please...

GWEN: What I don"t appreciate, Elliot, is being called a freak! That"s my word. And I get cranky when people like you use it.

ANGEL: Gwen, think about this...
GWEN: Ever been struck by lightning, Elliot? I"ve been struck by lightning 14 times. It"s not my fault. I just attract it. You know what else attracts lightning? Maggoty little norms like you.

ANGEL: So you"re a freak. Boo-hoo. So what?
GWEN: Excuse me?
ANGEL: I think you"ve already figured out I"m not the poster-boy for normal. Sometimes, you gotta let go.

GWEN: Hey! I wanted to do that.
ANGEL: You were gonna fry him.
GWEN: Was not.
ANGEL: Don"t fib.
GWEN: Fine. Did you at least break his nose?
You"re really gonna use that Axis thing to find her, aren"t you? It figures. Anyone that bad at stealing stuff has got to be doing it for love. Bummer.

FRED: Do you think he found her?
GUNN: Yeah.
FRED: But she was beautiful?
ANGEL: God! There was all this light around her, and the light seemed to be made up of ... pure joy. And warmth.
GUNN: You think higher beings get to take vacations?
ANGEL: The way I saw it, felt sorta permanent.
GUNN: Too bad. Could"ve all gone to Vegas.

FRED: Guess we should"ve known back when she started that glowy thing, the powers were up to something.

GUNN: Yeah, but who thought it would"ve been this?
ANGEL: To tell you the truth, it doesn"t surprise me. In some small way, maybe it even makes it easier, knowing the good she"s doing up there. Even if I can"t see her or talk to her, it"s like...she"s still on my side.

FRED: Doesn"t mean you miss her any less.

ANGEL: No. All those months, under the water, I kept thinking to myself I gotta get home... to Cordelia. I get back and I find out that she"s gone. I keep thinking, I gotta get Cordy back home. Finally I find her, and I realize she already is home. Where she belongs.
CORDELIA: What are you? Deficient? Get me out of here!

The end
 
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