"He's gone", said Tianne looking at the place where she'd previously met the Mediator, "I was pretty sure he was holed up down here somewhere close to where I met him, but if he was then he's long gone now.

"So where do we go from here?" Ariadne asked wrinkling her nose, "Hopefully somewhere less smelly"

"I'd hoped that, even though he wasn't intimidated by my physical strength, we could get some information out of him about the place where they're keeping William."

"So, you would distract him and I'd read his mind while you were talking," Ariadne smiled.

"Yeah, that was sort of the general idea."

Tianne shrugged and lead Ariadne down another tunnel. They were going to finish this, even without assistance.

"If he is somewhere down here", Tianne thought, "then where is he. Is he busy doing something else entirely, or does he keep his own agenda in these matters?"

She thought back at the explanation that Computer had given her earlier on about what it had found in research on the net so far.


"Could you stop all those flashing images for just a moment. I can't concentrate"

All around her images flashed on the monitors of Computer, filling them with information as it sorted through both it's own files and what was available on the Internet. The speed at which they appeared made it impossible for Tianne to make heads or tails of anything. Not that she was likely to do so even if the texts and pictures had been appearing at regular speed.

"I'm not much of a reader, and just trying to think about all that information would make my head hurt - which would make me very grumpy"

The flickering of images on the screens came to an abrubt halt.

"Perhaps some more soothing image then," Computer suggested.

"I have the surveillance tape of your guest from last night sleeping"


"Young Ariadne has already been in here twice to view it. She seemed to find the images very pleasing"

Tianne let out something between a low growl and a mutter.

"Yeah, I bet she did. Now just tell me what you've found, plain and simple, no flashing lights no music, no sleeping half-naked men..."

Tianne paused for at moment.

"..just the facts, ok?"

"All myths about the Mediators seem to originate from the story of a certain Roland. A very powerful being that lived in the middle ages. He is always described as very powerful, some even describe him as a half-deity. But more likely he was some sort of wizard able to use both dark and white magic."

The image of what must be an old painting of the mythic Roland appeared on the screen.

"And he created the mediators"

"It would seem so," Computer continued, "He lived while the Inquisition was at the height of its power. Witchcraft and some pagan beliefs were on the rise, and considered a threat to the true faith. So even though he was very powerful, he was not able to save his own daughter from being tried as a witch, the Inquisition sensed his power and used their own countermeasures"

"You mean she..."

"Died at the stake, yes. Apparently this event was what drove her father over the brink"

Tianne looked at the next image on the screen.

"She is so young and beautiful. He must have loved her very much."

"It would seem so. I've found fragments of a letter from him to the head of the Inquisition with sentiments that these new beliefs, though often associated with the devil and forces of evil were trying to do good, and that the church in its efforts to eliminate its competition was aligning itself with evil."

"So, did he create the Mediators to fight the church?"

"No, his vengeance turned out to be directed at both good and evil. Since innocents were being hurt while these two forces struggled to gain the upper hand, he would deny both sides their victory. So he created a third force that would exist until humanity had found another way...

Tianne was lost in her own thoughts for a moment, she didn't know what origin her own powers had. Was she fighting for good, evil or just protecting the innocent ?

"... and so, they still walk this earth. Trying to uphold the balance between good and evil, so that none of the two may ever gain the upper hand. No information about the whereabouts of Roland is available, but it's believed that he perished while creating his army of moderators".

"Well, that's one way to put your all into completing your life's work," Tianne added.


Tianne kept thinking about the mysterious man who had created the mediators while walking through the underground passages beneath the city with Ariadne. If the mediator she'd met earlier was one of his creations, how would he perceive what she and Ariadne was doing. Would he help them ? Would he try to stop them ? Or would he perhaps see that William was just one of those innocent bystanders that needed protection ? In this case protection in the form of Ariadne and herself.

She halted in the middle of one tunnel, doing a quick mental recalculation.

"If I'm right, then according to the plans that Computer showed me, this should be one of the subterranean levels of the building"

"But it's not like there's any entrance," Ariadne objected.

"Well, we'll just have to make our own."

Tianne smiled and faced the wall. She was fully recharged and in control of all her powers, so this obstacle should be possible to overcome if she simply focused on one spot in the wall in front of her... and hit it with all she had.

She concentrated, and let loose with all she had, feeling the satisfaction of the bricks giving way to her fist like they had only been made of cardboard.

She looked back at Ariadne, who was smilingly doing a mock-bow.

"I see now that you've been practicing 'The way of Tiannes exploding fist'. Most excellent"

"Well, don't join the joy-luck-club just yet, we still have to face what's inside the building"

Tianne got a small Mag lite torch from her belt and shone a small beam of light through the hole she'd made in the wall. It was about three or four feet wide, and should be enough to admit both of them if nothing was waiting for them on the inside, but the room seemed empty. Perhaps some kind of storage?

"Well, we did the breaking part, so I guess this is where we do the entering", she said and grabbed Ariadne and showed her feet-first through the hole in the wall, following close by as soon as she could let go of her partner.

She was still trying to get her bearings in the dark inside when a disembodied voice from somewhere suddenly spoke.

"Almost too predictable...."

Straining to find out which direction the voice was coming from Tianne suddenly noticed a hissing sound from above.

"Hey wait, that smell...."

She wanted to continue the sentence with something along the lines of "Gas! Lets get out of here", but suddenly found that she couldn't concentrate on making the words form in her mouth. Instead just keeping herself upright became almost impossible with the room suddenly spinning out of control around her, so the only sound ended up being the two girls falling unconsciously to the floor.


Ariadne awoke in semi-darkness, so the first of her senses giving her any idea of her surroundings was the strangely familiar smell and the hearing something move in the darkness at the other end of the room. Waiting for her eyes to adjust to the darkness she moved cautiously toward the other end of the room. She'd only moveda few steps forward when a snarl caused her to halt again. Ariadne felt a chill run down her spine as she realised that the sound came from a large catlike animal now moving towards her. As it moved toward her she could see that it must be a tiger and that the two other animals approaching behind it were a panther and a lion.

"Martial arts is probably not going to be enough to help me with these kittens," she thought to herself, feeling a slight panic. Reaching inside herself she tried to call her mental defenses forward, hoping to block the approaching animals. But instead of theforceful blast she'd been able to use in training against Tianne she could only produce a feeble nudge that wasn't going to move anything.


"I don't remember setting the alarm this early," was the first reaction from Tianne to the whirring metallic noise that abruptly pulled her out of her sleep. But the bright lights in the room quickly convinced her that she was far away from home.

The three things that were in the room with her looked like something out of a science fiction movie, except they were real and looked very menacing.

"I suppose none of you are going to make coffee for me".

This got their attention, and all three robots started moving towards her. Cursing that she couldn't resist the kind of bravado that had provoked their reaction she started looking for any openings in the defenses of her new opponents.

New seemed to be the operative word here, because neither of them seemed to have any scratches in the red paint thatcovered their upper "body" or the dull grey metal that was their limbs.

"Target is no longer inactive," informed the dull metallic voice of one of them. "Initiate termination sequence," added another.


Ariadne was still backing away from the approaching tiger when she noticed that she wasn't the only person in the room. Huddled in the corner a bit to the left of her was William.

"William, you ok?" she whispered in his direction.

"Right as rain. Been trying to avoid attracting the attention of these kitties while you were out"

Ariadne cursed herself for being careless enough to actually draw them towards him. What kind of protector was she anyway if she ended up doing more harm than good. "Nothing can happen to this guy, I really like him" she thought.

Suddenly something clicked in her mind as she went over that thought again. She had been trying to defend herself, searching for something to harm the animals with. Perhaps a different strategy was in order.

"You know what? I really like cats. Don't you?", she suddenly straightened up and even shot a quick smile at William.

"What? Has your mind gone off luv? We're almost lunch for these nasty buggers and your best defence is trying to flatter them to death?"

Ariadne took a first cautious step towards the tiger. It didn't move, but it didn't attack either.

"Something like that, yes," Ariadne replied and motioned for him to get up and follow her.

"Well it bloody well seems to work. How'd you do that?" William asked as the big cats seemed to relax and let them move through their ranks unmolested.

"Like I said. I like cats," Ariadne replied, grinning.

"Since my powers are acting up so I can't hit them with much force I tried instead to use my power to project my like of cats around us. So they don't see us as a threat anymore. I'm guessing that I probably make a nice purring sound in their minds right now.

"You're an awfully clever young woman you know"


"Initiate termination sequeeezzz .. gzzzrt... Initi..."

The heel of Tiannes boot came down on the remains of the head of the robot. It went quiet. "Heels may not be practical for running, but sometimes they do pack a mean punch," she thought, smiling to herself.

She kicked the head in the direction of the rest of the debris lying on the floor. It made a metallic noise and lay still.

She looked down.

A green print circuit was lying on the floor, obviously something that had fallen out of the head of the robot during the fight.

She bent down and picked it up. Of course the components made no sense to her, but there was a name on the print itself 'Guetzer inc.'. Somebody had made this, so they might tell who had ordered it. Ariadne would be able to get that information out of them.

Throwing the print circuit on to the pile already on the floor she left the room to go looking for her partner.

The corridor outside seemed deserted, except for one person turning around the corner further along. Tianne caught herself in shouting out "Is that you William?", but thought it better not attract any attention. She moved along the corridor, looking for a door that might look like it was keeping somebody she knew captive inside.


"I knew you were gonna save me," William said, looking directly into her eyes. His eyes reflected both trust and honesty in a way that suddenly overwhelmed her. "Can't put my finger on it luv, but from the moment I woke up on the floor of you flat. I've had this feeling that I was safe with you. "

Araidnes heart almost skipped a beat. "He feels safe with me," she thought and even though she wouldn't quite acknowledge the feeling she added the quiet thought "safe with me, not me and Tianne."

Tianne!!! She'd almost forgotten about her, perhaps she was in trouble somewhere else in the building.

"We need to get out of here! Any chance that you know how to pick a lock William?"

"Not really. But then I don't remember anything about what I used to do before. Odds are that I'm probably really just a haberdasher with a wife and two kids," he looked at her again, "But somehow I hope not."

"Wishing sure won't make the door open", Ariadne replied, while making a wish of her own.

The next moment the door came crashing in.


"We have to get William out of this place," Tianne said stepping over the door lying on the floor, slightly out of shape and surrounded by pieces of the hinges and frame.

"I'll take him with me and make sure he's safe. You should try to get some info on who these guys are"

"I've made sure he was ok so far, haven't I", came the unusually non-perky reply from Araidane.

"Look," Tiannes voice had an added commandeering quality to it, "You're the one that has a handle on this sneaky business and you'd be the best to get the information."

Ariadne stepped closer to her. Even though she was almost a feet and a half shorter than Tianne there was a certain resolve in the way she still looked right back at her.

"So, I'm the sneaky one. Perhaps I'm not the only one getting sneaky."

"What do you mean ??? Look, I'm just saying..." Tianne paused, "What's wrong with you. I simply asked you to get some information. What's so difficult about that?"

"I'm not the one using my fists to solve every problem around here, so don't try to patronize me about being the smart one here!"

Tianne could feel her patience reaching it's end. She had to act now, if they just stood around here arguing the soldiers might recapture William.

"We haven't got the time to discuss this now Ariadne. Come on William", she said, reaching out for his arm to drag him along.

She didn't even see the blow from Ariadnes fist coming before it hit her shoulder. Ariadne didn't have extraordinary strength like herself, but the strike to the deltoid hurt just the same.

"Get your hands off him bitch! He's minem," she suddenly heard Ariadne snarl.

She wasn't sure what was going on, but something must be influencing Ariadne. If she was loosing it, Tianne knew she had to protect William so that he wouldn't be hurt no matter what she tried.

Ducking another blow she advanced toward Ariadne. "Look, we have to stay focused here.. William needs to..."

"William needs me", Ariadne broke her off.

"Look.." was as far as she got before Ariadnes punch hit her straight on the jaw. She lost her balance and landed somewhat roughly on her butt, wondering how such a blow could ever get her off her feet. Wasn't she supposed to be super-resilient?

Behind her she could hear Williams voice.

"Ermm... ladies. It's not that I don't appreciate the whole fighting over my person thing. But don't we 'ave another way to resolve this than beating the crap out of each other?"

"There is, William" came a voice from the doorway beside them, "but it involves revealing your true nature."

Tianne and Ariadne both turned to face the Mediator who had moved up to them during the argument without any of them noticing. He stepped forward and grabbed William by the shoulder.

Tianne noticed how his hand suddenly seemed to get an orange glow, almost as if it was hot, but William didn't seem to be in any pain, more like he was surprised at the sudden surge of energy that seemed to shoot out from the hand of the Mediator.

"No!!!" Ariadne shouted. As the orange glow ran along the hand of the Mediator onto the body of William.

Both girls hesitated, unsure what to do. How could they fight the Mediator with the powers they had?

William seemed to be dissolving where the orange light hit him. As if his human skin was only a shell behind which something else had been hiding all along.

"Stop it!!! You're tearing him apart," Tianne chimed in, unsure what was really happening.

It seemed that energies were meeting, merging in a strange miasma where the power of the Mediator hit William's body. Yellow rays reached out of his body, suddenly striking out from him, hitting Tianne who instinctively dived for cover, but she was too late to avoid being hit.

The yellow ray didn't feel unpleasant, as she had anticipated. Actually it didn't feel any way at all as it hit her, but she bounced back to her feet feeling oddly invigorated as more rays struck her.

Half of Williams body had already dissolved into strange energies, and with a sudden flash of blinding yellow light the rest of it suddenly disappeared. Leaving both Tianne and Ariadne reeling with dizziness.

Ariadne was the first to shake the effects of what had happened off.

She lifted her face from where she had fallen during the flash of light.

"Why??? Why did you do that to him???"

The Mediator was silent at first.

"I did this because of what he is, and what he was doing to you", came the reply. Still in the same deep unemotional voice.

He turned to walk away, Tianne noticed as she rolled over on her back and tried to get up again.

"That's not an answer!!!" Ariadne cried out, "I HATE you!"

Without warning she let fly with a full mental blast against the back of the Mediator. Who seemed shaken for a moment, almost toppling while his cloak seemed to glow shortly as if almost on fire.

Ariadne seemed not to have enough power to follow through with a second attack, so the Mediator straightened himself and continued walking down the corridor. Ariadne got to her feet. She still hadn't gotten used to her power coming and going like it had for the last couple of days, but right now she felt up to taking on anybody to get some answers.


"Hey wait," Tianne yelled down the corridor, "Don't you dare walk out on me this time."

To her surprise she actually managed to get him to pause.

"Look, I've had it up to here with this dark, brooding and mysterious stuff. Either you start telling me something about what is going on, or so help me god I'll beat the crap out of you."

The Mediator turned around, and Tianne realised that even though she was taller than Ariadne she still seemed to be small compared to him.

"... or at least give it a try," she added, less sure of her self.

"You know of my origins," his deep calm voice stated.

Anger still won out over intimidation for Tianne.

"You're a Mediator... and they aren't supposed to exist, but here you are - mediating or interfering or whatever it is that you do."

"I am a Mediator, which means that I cannot allow the scales between good and evil to be tipped in favour of any of the two. But I can give you some information about what was being attempted here tonight."

Tianne stood unmoving, folding her arms across her chest.

"Ok, spill..."

"The robots you fought earlier, they were prototypes your adversary was testing out. His ultimate plan was to create an entire army of them."

Tianne shrugged.

"They weren't that powerful, I took on three of them singlehandedly."

"Yes, to power a whole army he would have needed something else, more power, which is why he was targeting you two."

"Us? You mean Ariadne and me were the targets and not William."

The Mediator fell silent again for a moment.

"I'm sorry, but this William - he never existed. He was the creation of your enemy, existing only to absorb your power while being around you. Your source of power is rooted in good, but it can still be corrupted and subverted if drawn out of you - and that is what he was trying to do. He was placed with you, then retrieved to collect the power he had already siphoned off you."

Tianne shook her head with disbelief. Her heart felt suddenly very heavy and her stomach tightened in a knot. Until now she had been running on anger and adrenalin, but realising how much she had allowed the unknown enemy to get under her skin and manipulate her feelings made her feel sad and empty.

".... and being complete fools we actually went in and retrieved him so he could do the same again."

"Yes, to get to your powers they needed something that you would not want to loose at any cost, so that you'd keep it close even when your powers were fading. But you weren't retrieving him, you were picking up a new one. Your adversary has created multiple copies, since extracting the energy he picks up from you ends up destroying the vessel that carried it."

Tianne felt a short surge of hope. Perhaps there was another one out there that they hadn't found yet. That felt sort of comforting, though she knew she would never be able to get close to him without the danger of loosing her powers.

"But where did his image come from? And why just one guy ? If they had used one guy for each of us we'd just have gotten all cuddly with them and never noticed anything."

The Mediator was silent at first. It gave Tianne time to reflect on how William had just come into her life and almost immediately awoken these feelings in her even before she knew anything about who or what he was. Even to the point where she had been willing to fight Ariadne over him. She felt sick, used with an urge to just get out of there. But underneath it anger was rising again. She would not allow them to get away with it.

"..there are things, that are not clear to me at present. This William was clearly not of this world, yet he seemed to be drawn from your subconsciousness. How your opponent came up with him is not clear to me."

Tianne straightened up.

"So now would be a really good time for you to give me his name and address, so I can go and beat the crap out of him. Perhaps he can fill me in on the details afterwards if he is still able to speak."

The reply from the Mediator was very firm.

"No, I cannot interfere any further. I must maintain balance. I have helped you when the scales were tipped in your disfavor, and I might help you again in the future."

"But you'd just as well help the sleaze balls that arranged this if the scales are tipped the other way?...."

The mediator turned once more and started to walk away. Tianne could not help noticing that the back of his hooded robe seemed almost scorched where the mental blast from Ariadne had hit him. He must have known that he might be killed, and still he had done what he saw as his duty.

"I'm a Mediator, I must mediate or cease to exist. I'm sorry...."

"Yeah, whatever! That's some burn-mark you got there. Are you sure you're okay?"


"Buffy, are you ok?"

Rileys voice seemed to be coming from far away, but when she opened her eyes, his face was right in front of her. Concern for her wellbeing showed clearly in his face, so instinctively she started doing a mental inventory.

She was in bed, check, right number of limbs, check, feeling a bit sluggish, but otherwise ok.

"I think so? What happened?"

Suddenly she noticed that Willow was there in the room with them. How did she get here?

"You were like out cold for almost two days Buffy", Willow explained, "Sleeping all the time."

"Though not the kind of sleeping Buffy I'm used to", Riley continued. "Tossing and turning like that - I'd almost say you were fighting in you sleep."

Willow let out a brief nervous laugh, "Maybe you were sleep-slaying. You know like sleep walking, only not really walking, but ..."

Realising that the others had already gotten the point Willow let the sentence trail away unfinished.

Buffy sat up and shook her head, trying to gather her thoughts.

Then suddenly it hit her.

"I had the strangest dream. An none of you were in it.... actually even I wasn't in it... even though somehow I was..."

"Seems that the making sense department is closed for repairs and remodeling, " Riley commented.


Riley smiled at the sudden frown from Buffy, she always looked cute trying to get a handle om something that confused her. Always trying to be in control of things.

"Just an attempt at humor. Obviously not one of my strong points."

"You have lots of strong points", Buffy assured him, "Enough to stake a whole football team of vampires."

Then she frowned again, trying to remember the details of her dream.

"I was like this superhero... and I was working with another girl who also had powers... and we were fighting .... over ... Spike?"

Buffy grimaced at the name, like biting into a lemon.

"Spike ? Superheroes ? Boy, thats some weird dream?"

"Perhaps its some residual magic energy from that spell I did, where you..."

Willow caught herself, not sure how much Buffy had ever told Riley about her brief magic-induced engagement to Spike that could have resulted in marriage.

"..or maybe it was something you ate", offered Willow, "Spicy food sometimes makes make people dream the weirdest things. I remember reading that some writer got an idea for a book after a meal of spicy crabs. I wonder who that was..."

Buffy still looked pensive.

"No, not something I ate. I had dinner with mom and Dawn so they should have the same kind of weirdness, which they haven't. Have they?"

Concern for her mom and sister suddenly jumped to the front of her attention. She'd assumed that they were ok, since Willow and Riley hadn't mentioned them, but what if...

"Nope, nothing wrong here" came Dawn's voice from the door to her room, "I always said that you were the weird sister, butno one ever listens to me."

Relieved that Dawn was all right Buffy let the remark pass.

"You mom's alright ", Riley assured her, "She had to go to work at the gallery, so she asked me and Willow to look after you."



"D-do you think your dream was some sort of prophecy?" Willow asked while hading the coffee-mug over to Buffy. Buffy was feeling a little less confused now that she'd had time to shower and put on some clothes.

"Nah , can't see myself becoming a superhero.. that is, apart from being the Slayer of course", Buffy replied, then she paused, "... didn't you call me a superhero yesterday Riley?"

"Did I?"

"Yeah, you know - when you asked me to attack you and not hold back, and I hit you so that you hit the wall.. and I really shouldn't mention that episode again ever, should I?"

Buffy looked sheepishly at Riley, who just smiled.

"But you did say I was strong as Spiderman."

Riley thought about that for a moment.

"You're right. I did say that. Actually we're dropping comic book references all the time. Xander is always comparing us to the Avengers.. and there's this Scooby thing."

"Maybe that's it", Willow interrupted, "Sometimes you dream stuff from something somebody has said to you during the day. Like this time when Tara said that we were...".

Suddenly the expression on her face changed in mid-sentence.

".. but we should really focus on your dream. Maybe that was the cause of your dreamy superpowers?"

"Well, it certainly makes as much sense as them coming from some weird orb-like thingy bought at a garage sale," Buffy agreed.

"What do you mean orb-like?" Dawn chimed in.

"Just, you know this round object, made of glass or crystal.... colored like smoke."

"You mean like the one that mom and me brought home from the garage sale the other day."

"You what?"

"We brought it home the other night. It was very cheap and mom wasn't sure if she was going to keep it here at home of sell it at the gallery. I'll get it..."

Dawn jumped out of her chair and headed for the living room.

"Dawn! Be careful , that thing might be...."

The crash broke off the rest of the sentence. In the silence following it they could all hear the quiet "Oops" coming from the living room.

Riley and Willow were already waiting for Buffy to explode and yell at Dawn for being clumsy, like she seemed to do lately. But instead Buffy just went over to refill her cup of coffee.

"Well, I guess we'll never know."


"So, when did you become Mr. Home & Garden all of a sudden?"

In the darkness of the office Wesley had been so focused on the computer screen that he hadn't noticed Cordelia entering.

"Sorry?" he muttered absentmindedly as he turned around.

"That glass vase you're looking at. Not that it wouldn't look nice around the office, but with the kind of clients we keep, I'm thinking something more industrial strength would be more suitable. For my apartment on the other hand it would..."

"Eh, Cordelia, it's not a vase, it's an orb."

"Are you sure? Because I'm pretty sure I've seen some Finish designer vases that look like it."

"I'm sure it's an orb", Wesley answered, "However it also seems now to be unavailable."

"And we need an orb because...?"

Cordelia looked a bit worried. It had been more than a week since her last vision, which was one absence that went unmourned by her. So, if the Powers That Be hadn't sent them on any mission right now, what was Wesley looking for.

"This orb has... or rather had... at least was alleged to have.... some interesting interdimensional properties. It seemed to be the instantiation of some kind of potential that exists on a multiversial level."

"Meaning... what ? For those of us that don't think of a good time as hunkering down with a thesaurus."

Wesley fidgeted a bit, trying to look like he was adjusting his glasses. Cordelias knack for cutting right to the heart of the matter still took some getting used to for him, even though they had now been working together for almost a year.

"You know that there are other dimensions or should I say worlds besides the one we live in?"

"Yes, demon-hellmouth places with things that look like giant squids with a bad hair day. If this belonged to any of them we don't want it."

"It's not quite like that", Wesley continued, "Some theories say that there are other dimensions of the non-demon variety, where some of them may even resemble our own world quite a lot."

"So, this is from one of those worlds?"

"It is difficult to say where it originated from. According to some sources there are powers at work that, even though they cannot rival The Powers That Be, have their own agendas and join in the struggle between good and evil in their own way."

"A number of my manuscripts have mentioned that orbs like this have appeared in the vicinity of a local heroic person and enhanced his or her powers."

"It has never been reported seen in this dimension, but recently an occult broker let it be known that he had located one and thought he could purchase it within a couple of days."

Cordelia looked unusually thoughtful for a few moments.

"So, you were hoping that this orb-thing had turned up to help Angel."

Wesley turned off the computer screen.

"Yes, that was my intention. Since lately Angel has seemed a bitdistracted from his work, I was hoping that this could help him refocus. But tonight my source informed me that the orb seems to be lost again."

"Did he say how?"

Wesley shook his head.

"No, they do not reveal much information, for fear that other buyers might get to the item before they do themselves."

"So, some dark and evil force managed to destroy the orb before Angel could get hold of it."

"Yes, it would seem so," Wesley replied, rubbing his forehead.

Cordelia wasn't so easily discouraged though.

"But you say that these things just mysteriously turn up near the hero that needs them? So maybe that one wasn't meant for Angel, but for somebody else."

"Yes, I guess we'll never know for sure."