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From thewb.com

Wesley continues translating the Scroll of Aberjian, trying to determine what its prophecies say about the vampire with a soul. While he struggles with a difficult word, shanshu, Cordelia spots an interesting article in the paper - Lindsey McDonald has been promoted to junior partner at Wolfram & Hart. He had an opportunity to change, Angel says, but he didn't take it.

A bit later, Wesley thinks he may have figured out what shanshu means - death. But Angel doesn't seem concerned by this.

Meanwhile, in a field behind their office, the Wolfram & Hart lawyers welcome a new demon to the world - Vocah. Vocah is not happy that they've lost the Scroll of Aberjian - he says the "raising" cannot be performed without it. Lindsey says he'll get it back, but Vocah prefers to get it back himself. When he hears Angel has it, he's even less happy: "I am summoned for the raising, the very thing that was to bring this creature down to us, tear him from The Powers That Be, and he has the scroll?" Vocah explains that being in possession of the prophecies, Angel's connection to The Powers That Be is complete. He vows that all avenues to The Powers shall be cut off from Angel - and that he will reclaim the scroll.

Back at the office, Wesley expresses concern to Cordelia that Angel had little response to the prophecy of death. He believes it's because Angel has nothing to look forward to, that he must go on forever in the world, but always cut off from it. When Angel arrives, Wesley says he hopes he's wrong about all this, but now might be a good time to consult the oracles.

Angel doesn't want to see the oracles, but Vocah does. The oracles tell him they do not counsel his kind, and will not speak to him. But he's not there for conversation. He's brought a weapon.

Later, as Cordelia is out shopping for a gift to cheer up Angel, Vocah walks past her, and brushes up against her hand. When he walks away, Cordelia has a screaming headache, and visions, and neither will stop.

Back at Angel's, the phone rings - it's the hospital calling about Cordelia. When Angel rushes out the door, Vocah steps in, and steals the Scroll of Aberjian from the weapons cabinet.

At the hospital, Angel finds Cordelia strapped to a bed, writhing and screaming from the visions and headaches, which haven't stopped. Meanwhile, Wesley has returned to Angel's, and discovered that the weapons cabinet has been broken into. He's also discovered something else.

As Angel drives up to the office, the building explodes. He rushes inside to find Wesley unconscious. Paramedics rush him to the hospital - just down the hall from Cordelia. Angel tells her he's going to make things right, that he's going to get her back. And then he notices a sign on the back of her hand, where Vocah touched her.

He takes a drawing of the sign to the oracles to ask for guidance, but enters to find the oracles have been killed. As Angel stares in disbelief at their bodies, the ghost of one appears. She tells Angel that the mark on Cordelia's hand is from Vocah, warrior of the underworld, who killed her and her fellow oracle. Vocah wants Angel weak, so he opened Cordelia's mind to all those who cry out in pain and need. She tells him that he needs the Scroll of Aberjian to stop Vocah. Only the words of Anatole can remove the mark and save Cordelia. "Like so many of them, he hides behind man's law," she says. "Stop him."

Vocah has already begun the ritual to bring about the raising. In the middle of the room a large wooden box sits atop a pentagram on the floor, with five vampires chained to the box and standing in the points of the pentagram. "As it was written," he reads from the Scroll of Aberjian, "they shall prepare the way, and the very gates of hell shall open . . . And the world shall know the beast, and the beast shall know the world."

Suddenly, Vocah senses something and stops his incantation. That something is Angel, who followed the Wolfram & Hart lawyers to the ritual site. He bursts in and begins to fight Vocah. Lindsey, knowing he'll suffer if the raising isn't completed, picks up the scroll and begins to read, trying to continue the ritual. He is successful, and soon the vampires turn to a swirl of dust that circles the box and is then sucked into it. Then a beam of light shoots from it, knocking Lindsey to the floor. As the other W&H lawyers remove the box from the room, Angel and Vocah continue their fight. Finally, Angel yanks off Vocah's protective mask, and puts his sickle through his face, killing him.

Now only Angel and Lindsey are left alive in the room. Lindsey picks up a weapon and approaches Angel. Angel asks him for the scroll, but Lindsey refuses. He says he sees that what happened there was foretold, which doesn't bode well for Angel. He knows that Angel needs the words of Anatole to heal Cordelia, and says it was foretold to sever all Angel's connections to The Powers That Be. With that, he puts the scroll over an open flame.

But Angel throws his sickle at Lindsey, taking his hand off at the wrist, and his hand, and the scroll, fall to the floor. "Don't believe everything you're foretold," Angel says. He picks up the scroll and walks out.

At the hospital, a mostly-recovered Wesley sits by Cordelia's bed, and reads the words of Anatole aloud. They work. Cordelia comes back, with a new appreciation for the amount of pain in the world, and the evil to be fought.

Days later, at their temporary office at Cordelia's apartment, Wesley continues to pore over the Scroll of Aberjian, hoping to figure out what the lawyers raised in that box. While he translates and cross-references, he determines he may have made a mistake - he thinks shanshu may not mean that Angel's going to die, but rather that he's going to live. "The vampire with a soul," he translates, "once he fulfills his destiny, will shanshu - become human. It's his reward."

To fulfill his destiny, Angel merely has to survive the coming darkness, the apocalyptic battles, a few plagues, and a few fiends that will be unleashed upon the world. To Angel, that doesn't sound so bad. For the first time in a long time, he has something to look forward to, and that brings a smile to his face.

But their work is not done - there is still the business of that box. In the bowels of the W&H building that box sits, and inside that box sits a naked woman, scared and shivering. That woman's name is Darla.




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