(Close up of a young woman who is wearing rather too much make-up and whose nosejob was not a success)
(Caption: Harmony Kendall - Survivor of Sunnydale 99 Graduation)
Harmony: Cordy was my best friend.
Int: What do you think of them?
Harmony: Who? Oh, them. Well from what I heard Mr Giles was like totally mondo loopy. It just shows you can never tell, it's always the quiet ones who flip out.
Int: Did you know Willow?
Harmony: Please, I don't socialise outside my species.
Harmony: He carried Cordy's books once.
Harmony: That fat wannabe. Please, her mother was like so weird!
Harmony: Never heard of her.
Int: Did you ever see Buffy or Faith?
Harmony: I don't remember.
Harmony: She and Cordy went to the same nail bar.
Harmony: We bought some coke from him for Cordy's 17th. Other than that, he hung out with the other dopers.
Int: Can you tell me about Graduation?
Harmony: I saw Scott Hope get burnt up. Michelle Blake lost an arm. Larry Blaisdell is in a wheelchair now. Lisa Campiti and I hid under our chairs. They say Amber Grove is in the nut house now. Other than that I remember the screaming and the smoke. After my CNN interview I got sent a box full of these darling silver and white candles from a kindergarten class in Florida, plus bunches of flowers and four offers of marriage. My PR agent is handling all my offers now. I had a hairspray ad in Teen Vogue plus my apartment was in an In Style feature. Oh and my website HarmK.Com gets 10,000 hits a month. If you join the VIP section you get to see extra photos plus streaming video of my cheerleading routines. My article on Graduation was in Vanity Fair, it was ghostwritten but I had the byline plus this superhot photo of me where I had Sarah Jessica Parker's stylist. I have a walk on part in the next Disney movie. Plus Playboy and I are having talks. If I do Playboy it shall be tasteful and appropriate. Cordy wanted to be this movie star you know? So in a way I guess I owe this all to her. This is all for you Cordy. All for you!
(Close up of Tara)
(Caption: Tara - cult victim)
Tara: It was like a funhouse mirror held up to life. It's not like I expected this sort of thing to happen.
Int: Do you feel emotionally able to discuss your child?
Tara: No. My father is raising that child. I feel he will give it the wholesome upbringing it needs.
Int: Can you tell me how you got caught in the grip of this vile cult?
Tara: My mother died and I was pretty messed up. So my Dad thought that a new school in a new state would help me. So I transferred to Sunnydale. I felt so out of it. All those snotty girls like Cordelia and Harmony who were really into shoes and imported French hairspray. But one day in the canteen I met Xander. He told me to smile and gave me a Coca-Cola. He asked me to join his friends in the library.
Int: Whom did you meet?
Tara: Mr Giles and Xander and Oz and Willow and Amy and Buffy and Faith.
Int: Buffy and Faith were on school grounds?
Tara: Yeah all the time, nobody really noticed they never went to class. Faith wore these tight leather trousers and Buffy had these incredibly short skirts, I'm amazed no-one looked twice.
Int: What was your impression of Willow?
Int: And Oz?
Tara: He was nice.
Int: Were you and Oz close?
Tara: We smoked some stuff in his van once. Once we all went down to the beach to do some mystic ritual that Willow said would stave off some sea monster attack. We lit all these candles and chanted calling on the four elements and the Old Gods or was it Old Ones? We drank this potion and it rained and we all got soaked. The next day all the swim team got foot fungus from someone peeing in the showers. Willow thought it was a side-effect from the magic.
Int: You were part of the cult almost at once?
Tara: Yeah. The Valta came stuff came out later. Mostly it was just running around at night and shoplifting lip-gloss and candles. Oh and the chanting.
Int: Do you feel ready to talk about Mr Giles?
Tara: They could have used Mr Giles as a model for the word control, but when he lost it, he lost it big time. I saw him break things when he got angry enough. Anyway Mr Giles called me to his apartment. There was no-one else around and I got scared, I thought Mr Giles was throwing me out of the group. But he shut the door and he looked at me and he told me that there was this place called Valta and things from it were breaking into our world and we had to appease the light and dark angels who guarded the gateway to Valta by giving them the pureblood. I don't want to tell you this story.
Int: He's dead Tara, he can never ever hurt you or Amy or Faith again.
Tara: He looked at me and then he started backing me into the wall and he was scaring me and so I retreated until my back hit the wall of the apartment. He didn't stop until he had me pinned against the wall. This was Mr Giles - he was a librarian for god's sake! I tried to push him away but before I knew it, he had me on the floor.
Int: This must be very difficult for you. The viewers need to know, they need to know about this vile obscenity that is a black spot on American High Schools.
Tara: I felt his hands grasp me in a grip I knew would leave bruises. I lay on the cold floor and then I felt his teeth bite into my shoulder. He spoke then, he said my blood was good and rich and strong and pure.
Int: Would you like to take a short break?
Tara: I looked up then, ready to plead or beg if necessary. I had never seen that expression on his face, and I never wanted to see it again. At that moment I think I would have done anything he wanted.
Int: What happened then?
Tara: He said Willow had read the stars and that Amy and I were ready. He said it would be my honour to be first and then it would be Amy's turn.
Int: He meant to make this pureblood baby?
Int: Buffy was already pregnant by this time did you know this?
Tara: Yes. Faith was the loyal handmaiden she told me. Xander was so happy. Willow had spent months consecrating the dagger. But they couldn't be sure Buffy's was the one that's why Amy and I and Faith had to be fruitful. We had to give of ourselves.
Int: What did you do?
Tara: He said I should be blessed. He said it was my place, my honour and that Buffy, Amy, Faith and myself would be sisters of the blood and we would bring forth the pureblood. My muscles went rigid when he said abruptly. "You're mine." That voice caused cold warnings to crawl down my spine. I had to force myself not to flinch away from his touch. He looked hungry and I was afraid. But I just lay silent, impassive staring up into the ceiling. I gave up - I didn't want to lose them. Sometimes, driven to desperation, you have no choice but to give what others crave. Even though they are lies. Isn't this what you want to hear?
Int: It was soon after this he had Faith sleep with Oz.
Tara: Yes. All of us in the group would give of ourselves. Except for Willow who couldn't have kids. All of us would give of our flesh and blood. Faith and Oz. Buffy, Amy, me and Mr Giles. Xander and that chick he was sneaking off with.
Tara: Yeah Anya, Cordy's pal. We all knew about her. Mr Giles was pleased. Mr Giles was not so pleased when she left town, he told us one day that if he ever heard any of us talk of leaving, we'd regret it.
Int: When was it decided to kidnap Cordelia?
Tara: I'm not sure. Willow came up with it and got Oz to grab her. But it all went badly because Oz was stoned out of his mind, he had been supposed to feed her this potion to sedate her but he hadn't given her enough and she was awake and fighting and Xander panicked and grabbed the knife Buffy had been using to make sandwiches and he just gutted her. What was really creepy was that he kept screaming about his father as he knifed her. Oz just stared. Willow was trying to pull Xander off and screaming that he was ruining it and Cordelia was bleeding so much blood and Amy was puking. Faith wouldn't help and Mr Giles was screaming because Buffy's baby just started coming and I wanted to run away but Willow grabbed me and told me to hold Buffy down while she got the baby out. So I held Buffy and Willow took the baby out and slapped it until it cried. Mr Giles never even looked at the baby; he just dragged Xander into his bedroom and beat him for ages. We thought he was dead. I held the baby and Willow told Amy to clean up the blood and then Willow started screaming because Faith was gone. She ran screaming for Mr Giles and Mr Giles stopped beating Xander. Mr Giles came out and he was holding a broken baseball bat and he wasn't even breathing heavy and he hit Willow and told her she was stupid. And he looked at Amy and me and told us to scrub every inch of his apartment with ammonia and he, Oz and Willow wrapped Buffy and Cordy up in bedsheets and dragged them out to the car.
Int: Buffy was dead?
Tara: None of us knew first aid. She was bleeding buckets but she wasn't dead. So Mr Giles and Willow drove off with Buffy and Cordelia. I wrapped the baby in my sweater and left her on the sofa and Amy and I scrubbed the apartment with ammonia. Everywhere, even the ceiling. We did Mr Giles' bedroom last. Xander was lying on the floor. He was bruised but he was awake, he got up and helped us scrub the bedroom. Later Mr Giles came back and he told us Buffy and Cordelia had been taken care of. He then said Faith had gone and we were to speak of her no more. He did say she was carrying the black seed to pastures new. Then he told us that we all had to pay penance for the errors made.
Int: Did he say how?
Tara: Yes. He told us that penance had to be paid at Graduation.
Int: Were you pregnant at this time?
Tara: Yes. As time had passed, a noose had tightened around my throat. All of our throats. Mr Giles took over our lives and we didn't realise until after just how completely he controlled us all. It seemed that the more he took, the more he wanted. Not only our bodies but also our every dream, hope and thought was his. Step by careful step, he moulded and shaped us. "You belong to me." I heard him say. I knew in that moment that I would never be truly free, not as long as he lived. I could run but I couldn't hide. I knew that he would find me and the truth was that I didn't dare find out what he would do if I tried to leave. I knew then that I was owned and that I was his to do with as he pleased. That's when I knew he had to die.
A commercial comes on. It is for dishwasher salt.