Episode 7: Desert Rose
The Cast rolls into Roswell, NM. They decide to stay and check out the cheesy tourist traps and even get a “tUFO” Burger (made of Tofu). Bob complains that this is distracting them from the mission, Tara reminds him they are not on a mission but a vacation. A couple of times during the day Willow notices a coyote, first in the road (no surprise) but then again at the restaurant.
They check into a local motel (“where all the aliens visiting our galaxy stop!”) and proceed to get down to some very hot and heavy sex. Hot being the operative word, since the air is out. Bob materializes in the room interrupting Tara’s demonstrating what she can do with that mouth other than sing. Tara blows up and begins yelling at Bob. He leaves, she feels bad and goes to follow him.
Willow, the moment now gone, decides to get her clothes back on when she sees the coyote in her room. Scared at first she watches as the coyote grabs her new boots and runs out the door. Willow chases after it.
Tara returns with Bob in tow. He feels bad and agrees not to do that again (his player though is less enthused!) then they notice Willow is gone. Nothing has been moved and there is no struggle. A quick search shows nothing. Tara calls on Cordy, who takes a long time to respond. She says something is up with this place. Like it is in some metaphysical fog. She also asks Tara why her body temperature is so high. Tara asks Cordy to find Willow. She tries for a bit and says that see can’t find her anywhere. It is like she has been removed from this plane. Tara freaks, Cordy says to try scrying, see if that helps. Tara scrys and nothing comes up. She gets angry at Cordy for not finding her and Bob for making her run out, she waves her arm and the TV in the room catches fire. Tara runs to get the fire extinguisher to put it out. Cordy asks her what the hell is going on and Tara can’t explain it. In fact the only difference she has noticed with herself is she has been more excited than usual, and in the carnal way.
Tara tries to scry again, this time the crystal lands on Area 51, some 900 miles away. Tara asks Cordy to orb them all there. She can’t. She doesn’t know why herself, but the area is off limits to supernaturals, and Angels and Whitelighters are forbidden to go there. Tara tells her fine. She will go by herself then. She packs up the car and gets ready to drive out there with Bob protesting all the way. He tells here how it is the most heavily guarded military base there is and there is no way she could get in. Tara says that is they are holding Willow then that is the only thing that might stop her, but she doubted it. Slamming the car into drive she heads out into the night.
Willow meanwhile is still following the coyote. She either lost track of her steps and of time cause she finds herself in the middle of the desert. The coyote stops, drops her boots and then gets up on its hind legs and shifts (but not shape shifts) into Oz (complete with clothes). Willow tells it that she knows he is not Oz. Coyote tells her he took a shape she would trust and he admitted, he thought Oz was cool. He says he is only borrowing this visage. Willow asks if that means Oz is dead. Coyote does not answer that. She asks him what he wants. He tells her, ”you.”
Tara is still driving, but her adrenaline is now running out and she is falling asleep at the wheel. Bob tries to keep her awake, but even though he can touch her (she is magic) he is having trouble. Something about the desert is effecting him. At this point to stay awake I have the two players both tell me stories about Tara and Bob as they see them. They story is one of when Tara was in an equestrian contest and she wanted to ride a horse that was much too spirited for her (she was 7 or 8). She rode the horse anyway and did well, but soon lost control and was thrown and hit her head. She talked about how bad she felt because she lost, and Bob talked about how he sat with her night after night until she regained consciousness. This is an expanded version of a brief outline I had given both Bob and Tara’s players back in Episode 2. I gave them quite a few extra drama points for this. They continued driving until Tara finally did fall asleep at the wheel. Bob tried to wake her but the car smashed into an invisible barrier around the base. Tara hit the steering wheel hard and was knocked out. Bob was even thrown out of the car due to the magical nature of the barrier. We cut to a scene of Tara falling out of the car, bleeding from several deep cuts on her head.
Willow instantly feels the pain and wants to go back to Tara. Coyote says she can’t, not yet, because there are still things she needs to learn. Coyote explains that the world is about to change. It changes all the time, but this time will be big, maybe too big. He tells Willow she is the agent for change and that she is destruction. Willow denies this saying that future won’t happen now, Leviathan won’t enter this realm. Coyote says Leviathan was only the blunt tool of change, it was always Willow that was going to change it. He tells her that whether it was Leviathan or the time after Tara was killed, she was destined to destroy the world. She argues saying no, that won’t happen, besides she has Tara and every reason to remain in the world. Coyote just laughs. He says “Like it or not Willow Rosenberg. You will destroy the world and There. Is. Nothing. You. Can. Do. About it!”
Bob has gotten to Tara, who is in really bad shape. He calls for Cordy, but she has trouble orbing in. Bob, desperate, uses some of Tara’s own blood and calls for Cordy. She materializes, though it is obviously painful. (Player asked if in Bob’s past he would have seen “blood magic”). Cordy tries to heal Tara, but it is taking longer than it should. She doesn’t know if it is because of all the magical interference or something else. She says it is almost like Tara is not a witch anymore. They get her stabilized only to have a group of soldiers surround all three of them. They are arrested and taken to the base.
Willow is still arguing with Coyote. He tells her not to feel bad, he is also an agent of change and change is good. He asks her if she has even noticed the changes within herself over the last few days. She says nothing. But finally she asks, if she is change, what is Tara? Coyote only says, that is something she will need to find out. She tells Coyote she wants to see Tara now. He pauses and finally says, “ok. Just go over that ridge, there will be people expecting you.” Willow walks on and Coyote has shifted back to a coyote. She gets to the ridge and sees the base of Area 51. There are soldiers there who seem surprised she snuck up on them. They arrest her as well.
Tara, Bob and Cordy are all handcuffed (yes even the ghost) and lead into the base. The base CO, a Lieutenant General Ashby. He laughs at them, saying he has been expecting them for some time since they fouled up their Bureau business last year. He looks at Bob and says to him a Marine should know better than to drag his little girl into a fight that will get her killed. But he laughs anyway and says they might as well come on down and see what it is they came all this way to see since they were never going to leave this base ever again. The Lt. General goes on about Roswell and how everyone knows what happened in Roswell and how there are thousands of conspiracy nuts out there spreading this tale in sixteen thousand different ways. He stops and laughs, and says “do you know how much money a snow job like that would cost Uncle Sam? And I got every idiot Fox Mulder-wannabe with a camera and a website keeping my secrets for me.” He goes on.
“Everyone knows what happened in Roswell New Mexico in 1947. But I am here to tell you ladies and gentlemen, that everyone is wrong.”
He flips the switch for lights and bunch of high watt halogen-lamps fire up to show a holding area with one prisoner. He is trapped, spread out like a butterfly in an insect collection. His skin is bruised and his long wings are tattered and torn. Once they must have been magnificent and white as snow.
Tara gasps. Bob says “dear lord”. Finally Cordy says “Oh God! It’s Uriel.”
To Be Continued…
(Notes after I post Episode 8: Heart of Light)