Episode 11: There Can Be Only One


As junior year begins, Miles goes off to West Point and Dr. Armitage heads to England for some refresher courses, Juliet having learned all the fighting skills he can teach her with his B-minus in Martial Arts. As soon as he leaves, a letter from Rupert Giles is dropped on his desk, but of course, no one sees it.


Serendib, the rakshasha, is back in town, boldly ordering a drink at the Cobalt Club. Juliet and Billy approach her; she has learned from the fates that there is to be great evil coming into town on the train, or meeting it. And she came to warn Juliet about it. Juliet suggests she leave now, and Serendib considers; she wanted to renew her acquaintance with Kevin O'Connell, but he seems to have died and become a vampire, then died again. So she agrees to leave.


The gang stakes out the railroad station -- an express is due one minute before midnight. Four cowboy vampires show up to meet it, bearing all manner of guns and knives as well as their yellow, curvy fangs. Naturally, Juliet can't abide vampires, so she attacks, and the vamps scatter. One of them winds up on the far side of the tracks, taking shots with a shotgun, and Billy and Juliet circle around to ambush him just as the train pulls in.


Unfortunately, aboard the train are eight more vampires! They've robbed it, and are now unloading chests of gold and sacks of mail. Serendib, waiting patiently for the train, is accosted by one of the vampires. Alexandra fires her gun in the air and all eight of them turn and sweep the night with random fire, hitting nothing. Diligence, who is in the path of the bullets, is knocked flat and carried to safety by a small blond woman who then attacks the vampires using martial arts.


Juliet and the blond woman dispatch all the vamps, and the vampire horse they were going to load the loot onto. She identifies herself as Buffy Summers, here on the trail of the Clegg gang, a trio of vampire brothers from the 1880s. It doesn't look like any of the Cleggs were here -- in fact, that's probably them running from the back of the train right now!


Buffy and Juliet chase them and run into a purple-glowing glade where a short-haired tattooed man identifies himself as the Doctor. Like the Slayer, he's the current incarnation of a very old force -- he's the shaman who protects the village from outside dangers. In the 21st century, his village is the whole world, and the dangers from outside are demons, vampires and other unnatural monsters.


The Doctor says he's here because there aren't supposed to be two Slayers, only one.  Buffy's drowning and resucitation have caused there to be two Slayers, a change in the cosmic balance that might lead to incalculable side effects. He tells of the Broken Worlds, worlds where light travels at 22 miles an hour, or metal is water-soluble, or music destroys all sentient life. They are worlds where something went wrong, which is why he treats the two-Slayer problem so seriously. It could lead to the end of all life as we know it.


Billy suggests that maybe two Slayers is a good thing, but the Doctor isn't interested. He makes some passes and says he has conjoined the two Slayers' souls, so that when one dies, the other will receive her half of the Calling and become twice as powerful. Then Billy brings up Faith, who was both a Slayer and a vampire, and the Doctor gets annoyed with him. He suggests that unless one of them agrees to give up the role of Slayer to the other, one of them will surely die, and soon, to right the cosmic balance.


Buffy isn't willing to give up the job, and neither is Juliet. They don't seem too worried about upsetting the cosmic balance, either. The Doctor gives them one last warning and departs, just as Diligence arrives toting an armload of abandoned Western firearms.


Buffy says the Cleggs were after something called a bloodstone, which makes it so they don't have to drink blood. She sees the attraction -- if she were a vampire, she'd HATE drinking blood worst of all. Oh, and the whole killy, killy, undead demon of darkness thing. She'd hate that too.


The stones were being sent through the mail to Amanda Harrow, Alexandra's mother and the mayor of Arkham. Diligence recalls having found a package addressed to Ms. Harrow on the train, but he doesn't tell anyone about it. The sun starts to rise, and Buffy says she'll track down this Amanda Harrow and meet us after school, okay?


The new principal, a bull-necked former football coach named Mundy, arrives at the station and gets directions from Alexandra. He's full of plans to boost Arkham's football team, the Cephalopods (Go 'Pods!), to regional prominence, if not All-State. Alexandra mentions various academic matters, which clearly don't interest him at all.


School drags slowly by. When it's done, a cloud of darkness is spreading across the town, like a huge thunderhead cloud coming from a hilltop outside town. Diligence suggests he and Alexandra go into the geology lab and deal with the bloodstones, while Walker heads up to the hill and Buffy and Juliet go to the Harrow house, which is the logical place for the Cleggs to look for their missing stones.


On top of the hill is a shaggy red werewolf shaman, shaking his staff and throwing bones on a smoky fire. Walker attacks him, but it's a pretty even fight, and the darkness continues, allowing the Cleggs to ransack the Harrow's house during the day.


Buffy and Juliet fight the three Clegg brothers; the police arrive in time to shoot Walker as he gets between them and one of the Clegg boys. He's not badly hurt, but it does put him down while the Cleggs fight the Slayers. Meanwhile, Diligence and Alexandra smash the bloodstones one by one with a hammer, releasing clouds of little blood-ghosts with each blow. The Cleggs are staked, the bloodstones destroyed, and no further proof implicating Ms. Harrow in witchcraft is left anywhere.


Buffy declares the case well and truly closed and heads back to Sunnydale, along with an invitation to drop in if Juliet's ever in California. As it happens, they did want to go to San Francisco and get Diligence's father's body back, but haven't been able to raise the funds for a plane ticket, not to mention getting parental permission. But perhaps when Dr. Armitage gets back, he can act as chaperone ...