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Ground State
Ground State

-- Quotes --

Written by Kristina

October 28, 1985. Gwen Raiden, a young girl dressed in a red winter suit, arrives at Thorpe's Academy with her parents. Her parents leave her with the head of the academy, and Gwen starts her first day of school. She sits outside, apart from the other children, eating her lunch wearing her winter suit and mittens. A young boy approaches her, and asks her if she is a freak. When he decides she isn't, he wants to let Gwen play with his toy car. Gwen tentatively removes her mitten, and reaches towards the boy. Lydia Thorpe, the head of the academy, realizes what is happening, and tries to stop Gwen, but she is too late - Gwen touches the young boy, and an electrical current passes between them. The toy car falls to the ground, melted, and the young boy is thrown back from Gwen.

Fred, Gunn and Angel are in Cordy's apartment, cleaning things up. Angel searches for clues to find out where Cordelia may have gone, while Gunn putters around in the background. Fred and Gunn tell Angel about their lack of success searching for Cordy over the summer, when Phantom Dennis keeps putting Cordy's belongings back on her shelf. Fred, in her frustration, tells Dennis that Cordy isn't coming back, but quickly apologizes to Angel. Angel assures Fred that they will find Cordy.

Wesley has his own gang of demon hunters now, and they are in a dark sewer, fighting a demon. They slay the demon, and Wesley sends his men off to finish the work. Angel approaches Wesley, and thanks him for finding him in the ocean. The thanks falls on deaf ears, as does Angel's apology for ostracizing Wesley. Ignoring what Angel has said, Wesley hands Angel a file, with all the research Wesley has done while trying to locate Cordelia. He doesn't believe she is dead, and directs Angel to Dinza, the dark demi-goddess of the lost. She may be able to help Angel, but he can't trust her - she is devious. Wesley leaves before Angel can question him further.

Angel arrives in Dinza's lair, searching for her. She knows who Angel is, and tells him that Cordelia doesn't need him anymore. But Angel informs her that he needs her. He tries to get more information from Dinza, and she tells him that if he uses the axis, he can find Cordy. He doesn't know if he can trust her, but Dinza says that she wants to keep him, but he has so much more to lose.

A girl wearing a tight and revealing red outfit enters a ritzy bar, and walks up to a man sitting a table. The woman is Gwen. She is now a professional thief, and the man at the table, Elliott, has hired her to steal the axis of Pythia (the same axis Angel wants). Elliott is not pleased with Gwen's flamboyant attire, and attitude, but she is the best thief for the job. Annoyed with Elliott, Gwen takes his watch, and touches it - when she throws it back on the table, it resembles the toy car the young boy tried to hand her. She walks off to prepare.

Fred has prepared a brief presentation on the axis, including cute diagrams. While she is talking, Angel is sketching on his pad. When Gunn is uncertain of what the axis looks like, Angel shows him his sketch of it. And then he shows his sketch of Cordelia - both are very lifelike. Fred informs Gunn and Angel that the axis is used to identify and find entities over dimensions, and that it is being held at an auction house rooted in the black market. She hasn't been able to come up with a plan that doesn't involve going to jail yet. Angel tries to reassure her by saying he's done this millions of times - well, maybe twice. Fred goes off to plan the heist, leaving Angel and Gunn to discuss how Fred has taken over in the summer. As Angel begins describing the weapons they'll need for the heist, we see someone else preparing the same weapons.

Gwen is preparing for grabbing the axis, readying her tools. She prepares down to the last detail, including putting on her red lipstick.

Wesley and Lilah are playing rough in Wesley's apartment. Lilah is trying to leave for a meeting - her first as the new boss - but Wesley won't let her leave. They get physical, and end up on top of a table. (Ewww).

Gwen is on the roof of the auction house, disabling the security system so she can get into the building. After she enters the auction house, Angel, Gunn, and Fred are climb up the side of the building, a la Adam West version of "Batman". After much huffing and puffing, they arrive on the roof, and Angel pulls the wires on the security system. They enter the auction house. Fred gives everyone their orders, and sends them on their way to secure the axis. Unbeknownst to them, Gwen is watching them through a security camera.

Fred walks into a computer room, and after uttering a small prayer ("please let my cellmate be gentle"), she takes the door off of a cabinet, and begins hacking into the computer system. At the same time, Gunn takes out a security guard, and Angel arrives at the vault room. Iron bars fall down, preventing him from entering the room. When he tries to lift up the bars, Gwen drops down, and tells Angel she put the bars down for a reason. She has the axis, and Angel tries to talk her into giving it to him, temporarily. She doesn't go for this idea, so Angel tries lifting the bars once again to fight with her. Fred finally manages to give Angel access to the vault room as Gunn arrives. They both charge in, trying to stop Gwen. She reaches out, and shocks Gunn. He falls to the ground - dead.

Fred arrives, and runs over to Gunn's dead body. When Gwen looks at Gunn, she sees the little boy she shocked to death. She pushes Fred and Angel out of the way, and shocks Gunn back to life, then runs off with the axis.

Lilah is in a destitute neighborhood, watching people through binoculars. She finds the one person she was looking for - Connor. Angel comes up beside her, looking for information on the client rich enough to want the axis. Lilah doesn't want to divulge the information, but Angel tells her that if she does, he'll forget that she was within fifty yards of his son. He also tells her that he can smell her and Wesley all over each other.

Gunn is admiring the tape of his heart beat, while Fred does busy work around her room. She wants to know if Gunn took his pill, and he jokingly tells her that he did (he's taking the whole dying thing a lot less seriously than Fred). Fred can't stand it, and flips out - she's tired of being the one in charge. She's tired of all the uncertainty, and the strain. Finally, she breaks down, telling Gunn that he died and left her all alone.

Gwen walks into an elevator of a large lobby, carrying a bag. She checks her lipstick in a mirror, and is startled to turn around and see Angel behind her. They start fighting as the elevator ascends. Gwen knocks Angel down, and takes off her gloves. While Angel is still on the ground, she straddles him, and gives him some major shockage. His heart starts beating, and Angel sits up and passionately kisses Gwen. He pulls away from her, saying he has to get out of there, as heavy bars block the exit from the elevator. Elliott appears - he's double crossed Gwen. The elevator is insulated so she can't control electricity to get out. He is going to gas her and Angel to death, then collect the axis, free of charge, for himself. Angel, using his preternatural strength, breaks through the insulation, just as Gwen begins to croak from the gas, and using Angel as a conduit for electricity, she is able to free them from the elevator.

Gwen goes after Elliott, but Angel prevents her from shocking him. Instead, he punches Elliott out. Gwen turns to Angel and says that anyone that horrible at stealing something has to be doing it for love. She turns, and leaves Angel and the axis behind.

Fred and Gunn are waiting outside of Angel's room, while Angel uses the axis. The room glows, but then the glowing stops, and Angel comes out. They gather in the lobby of the Hyperion, and Angel tells them that he found Cordy. She was beautiful, glowing, and helping out the good side. He knows that he won't be able to find her, but the fact that she's up there, watching over him, is comforting.

Cordy, however, doesn't want this comforting. She wants Angel to get her out of where she is, now.


The Usual
The Usual

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