Gotta put in some phone time tonight. Plus, dinner calls.
So, just popping in to post
You can find up to part 47 here
Continued from here
Selected items from UNS Q&A session with Rupert Giles, leader of the Taran United Watcher’s Council, pre-founding, circa September 2003. Camlin Tikri reporting.
The popular image of Wise Rupert Giles-rah is one of a man who is even-tempered, even-handed, and a dispassionate recorder of history. There is no doubt that his logical, calming influence on the more colorful personalities around him is one of the main reasons why the Taran United Watcher’s Council managed to take root and eventually thrive. One can only imagine how he’d react upon hearing about the internal squabbles and differences in philosophy that eventually lead to the United Council’s split.
One thing he probably wouldn’t be is surprised.
He has no illusions about the people around him and is able to judge them in that light. He hails his allies for their strengths, even as he admits to their weaknesses.
For all his logic and intelligence, there is no question that he harbors a great affection for the people around him and that he trusts them to do no less than their best under trying circumstances. He is, in addition, highly protective of everyone under his gaze, ranging from fellow Watchers and senior Slayers to the youngest and newest people to join the household.
Wise Giles-rah does not bear the -sen title after his name as too many people claim him as a Guiding Light: from the Council Honoria to the Council Educationary; the Slayer Buffista, Faithist, and Unitan sects; the Slayer Judiciary Committee; and on and on and on. He is too important to be claimed by just one, and so he is claimed by all. Even in our day in age, _Wise Giles-rah_ remains one of the few uniting influences on those who fight to protect humanity.
This fact would probably be the only thing that would surprise him.
Wise Giles-rah left behind him oceans of records, meticulously recording the trials and triumphs of the infant post-Sun’dayl world. Yet, for all those words, for all those records, he left little of his humanity behind for us to see. Meet the man behind the history in all his human, passionate glory in this exclusive UNS interview.
UNS: I’m so pleased that I finally got you for an interview. You’re a very difficult man to capture.
RG: Yes, well. I’ve been quite, quite busy. No rest for the wicked and weary.
UNS: Depending on whom you talk to, you’re a bit of both.
UNS: In my interviews I’ve gotten a...how can I say this? A very confusing picture of what goes on in this house.
RG: Rather not surprised. Frankly, I’m often befuddled by my colleagues’ use of language. Honestly, how can something be ‘of the bad’ I ask you. What is wrong with simply saying ‘bad?’ I fear for future generations of Watchers. Imprecise use of language is clearly the cornerstone of your current dilemma.
UNS: Not to mention outright lies, fictional accounts in Watchers’ journals...
RG: Ahhh, yes, well...I’m certain Xander had very good reasons for that. To be brutally honest, I actually found the journal entry in question to be very precisely worded indeed for our present-day purposes. Perhaps I shouldn’t be too surprised. He can, after all, correctly use the word ‘giddy’ in a sentence that applies to himself.
UNS: Are you actually advocating his falsifying and altering records?
RG: Oh my, someone is quite touchy, aren’t they? [leans forward to get a look at MemePad] Been doing a little creative editing, have we?
UNS: [snappish] Answer the question.
RG: I do believe you’re taking your ire out on the wrong individual. I’m certain you could perhaps get a better answer if you asked Xander. [leans back with a slight grin] Provided he didn’t rip your head off and then jump up and down on your gadget before you finished the question. [thinks about it] On second thought, perhaps I should pull him into this interview right now. I would pay very good money to see that.
UNS: [confused] You don’t like me very much, do you?
RG: [looks at UNS over his vision correction apparatus] You? I don’t know you at all. However, I suspect that you’ve been quite the disruptive influence. People talk to you and they walk away changed. Very rarely for the better, I might add.
UNS: [alarmed] Changed? What do you mean?
RG: The most immediate example that springs to mind is Robin. After your interview he breaks off his relationship with Faith. It was quite sudden and unexpected. Well, actually, I tell a lie. It was not unexpected, merely happened sooner than expected. [voice hardens] I’ll have you know that I’m now out a good fifty quid. I bloody well called a Halloween break-up and I most certainly should’ve won the pool.</span>
UNS: Pool? [nervous laughter] Oh, you’re having a joke at my expense. I should’ve realized...
RG: I’m bloody well being serious. I find it rather curious that Robin speaks with you and then, just like dominoes, one event leads to another event, leads to yet another.
UNS: I, unh, what do you...
RG: [ticking points off on fingers] Robin breaks up with Faith. Xander, who’s shown positively no interest in putting in for the betting pool, let alone saying ‘boo’ about the business, suddenly is pulled not just into witnessing the end of Robin’s relationship with Faith, but also verbally attacks Robin over it, thereby further cementing Robin’s belief that he was right in ending the relationship. Faith, for whatever reason, is now visibly supporting Xander, whereas before they may have simply agreed on certain things in house meetings, which, although this behavior is clearly confusing him to no end, may force him to re-evaluate Faith. [leans back] I find that rather fascinating, don’t you?
UNS: [stumbles] I, unh, honestly...I don’t see how...[hardens voice] Robin and I were merely talking about his philosophies about Watching and Slaying. It is most certainly not my fault if he had an epiphany during the interview.
RG: [half-smile] ‘Epiphany’ is such a marvelous word. I so hate to see it misused.
UNS: Are you accusing me of...
RG: [innocent expression, hand over heart] I? I accuse you of nothing, dear lady. Had Robin been merely a single case, I could find it in me to want to believe you. But let us consider the case of Buffy, shall we? By the time you were through with her, she began hiding in her room more often. Frankly, I thought it was well nigh impossible for her to retreat any more than she has done since we first came to this city, but somehow you managed to help her do just that.
UNS: [cringing] There may be...oh futch...there may have been a bit of a slip of a tongue on my part.
RG: Indeed? So Robin’s case was not a slip of the tongue, I suppose?
UNS: The two incidents are unrelated! [stands] This interview is over!
RG: [stands, grabs UNS, forces UNS into her seat, leans over UNS in a threatening manner] Oh, I’m not finished with you quite yet. Andrew seems determined to step up his ‘get Xander happy’ campaign. Willow remains utterly mystified why you kept on her about relationships between various members of this household. Xander spent time after your interview threatening to roast Faith very slowly over an open pit, which is what makes his sudden involvement in Faith’s personal life so surprising. I could continue the list, and much as I’m rather tempted to do so, I will merely point out that the only person who walked away from you more confident in herself was Dawn and only Vi remains unaffected by your touch. I would add Faith to the list of the unaffected, but it appears you got her in the end through Robin.
UNS: [raised eyebrow] That’s a fairly thin thread of evidence. It wouldn’t stand up in front of the Inter-Colonial Witnesser Ethical Committee.
RG: [returns to seat] If that’s anything like the Press Complaints Commission in my native land, I’m fairly certain nothing less than a picture of you naked with a water buffalo as you accept scads of cash from a Saudi prince while singing ‘O Canada!’ at the top of your impressive and no doubt silicon-enhanced lungs would turn the tide in my favor.
UNS: [furious] Why you...[grabs breasts] I’ll have you know that these are real.
RG: [unperturbed] The simple fact of the matter is, you are quite right. Most of the subtle changes can no doubt be blamed on misinformation, miscommunication, and in the case of Willow, the work of an incompetent tabloid reporter with only scandal mongering on her mind. [small smile] But I suspect you are not incompetent. I suspect quite the opposite, actually.
UNS: [taken aback] I, unh, thank you?
RG: You say whatever incident happened with Buffy was the result of slip of the tongue? [waves hand to stop UNS from speaking] I rather believe you there. You seemed quite embarrassed when I brought it up. But you clearly overstepped your bounds with Robin and what’s more, you know it.
RG: Please. Don’t bother lying. You were far too defensive. [leans forward, troubled] The larger question that haunts me is, ‘Why?’
UNS: [closes eyes] Off the record?
RG: You are the one holding the recording device. I see no choice for me in this scenario.
UNS: [small voice] I’m scared.
RG: [surprised] I don’t understand.
UNS: [embarrassed] We’re in the past and if we do something wrong...[starts again] If something goes wrong, we won’t have a home. It’ll be gone. All of it. Our lives. Our families. Our universe. Everything. And if that happens, no one knows what’ll happen to us. We may be stuck here, or we might...we might...
RG: Cease to exist.
UNS: [nods] The thing is, I can’t tell the others. They already think I can’t pull my own weight, not that I want to pull my own weight, what I mean is...I don’t know what I mean. The thing is they’re worried about it, but if I say I’m worried about it they probably won’t listen to me. I offered Catherine a suggestion to, you know, push things in the right direction but...well, most Watchers whatever Council they belong to are just too futching stubborn about what they think is right for their own good sometimes. I just...I just want to go home. I’m not a Slayer, I’m not a Watcher, Prima witch, or a doctor. I’m just me and I never, ever thought I’d be in a situation like this.
RG: That explains that then. But why are you talking to me?
UNS: You backed me in a corner and I just...look, the stuff with Willow? She was my third interview and I was still looking for a hook and that seemed the most likely because of my interview with Faith.
RG: Which no doubt is part of the reason why Xander was so furious after speaking to you.
UNS: Right. Buffy was a slip of the tongue, like I said and I honestly...it just popped out of my mouth. Dawn gave me a piece of her mind. And Violet...well...I can’t say anything, except it’s probably the one interview that went right.
RG: [looks doubtful]
UNS: It’s the truth. Not that you have reason to believe me. [mutters] Hada, I wouldn’t believe me either in your shoes.
RG: So at least tell me why you set out to sabotage Robin. It doesn’t make any...[light dawns] Good Lord. Catherine’s also shown an untoward interest in...I never would have suspected if it wasn’t your blasted stunt. It’s part of your timeline, isn’t it?
UNS: You see...
RG: [waves hand] Good lord woman! Don’t tell me! What I’m suspecting is...[stops] ‘bad’ is not quite the word I’m looking for. Surprising perhaps. [pauses] Or perhaps maybe not.
UNS: I don’t...I don’t understand.
RG: [leans back, looks thoughtful] In your poor attempt ‘helping’ history along, it occurs to me that you perhaps don’t have the highest opinion of people. I sense a lack of trust that in the end humanity will muddle through without a deus ex machina in the form of pretty blonde reporters with captivating voices.
UNS: Things weren’t right. They weren’t what I’ve read and I was afraid that if I didn’t do something...
RG: [sadly] Things rarely are what they were, I suspect. Perhaps events would’ve unfolded the same way without your help. It was blindingly obvious that Robin and Faith were not long for this world due to their conflicting personalities. At best you may have moved up the timetable by a month. Perhaps two. [glares] Even though I firmly believe that it would’ve been precisely one month and 11 days from today.
UNS: [dispirited] So you think I violated my ethics, maybe ruined my career, all for nothing.
RG: [sighs] Hard to suss out, that. [pauses] The human heart is a funny old thing, Ms. Tikri. I’ve seen it accomplish great things and stumble into foolishness. It can work miracles or it can work curses. Following your heart...and I do believe you did that in this case...
UNS: Fear. It was fear.
RG: [smiles] That, too. But you’re missing my point. The heart will have its way, whether it’s tomorrow or next year or the year after that. I’ve seen hearts pull the world back from extinction. I’ve seen hearts lay down their lives in a ray burning of light when the hour was darkest. I’ve seen hearts be willing to tear themselves asunder and Slay the one they loved to save the world. I’ve seen not one, but two vampires fall in love with a Slayer and I’ve seen that Slayer express a certain amount of affection in return. I’ve seen witches fall in love with werewolves, other witches, and Slayers. I’ve seen a high school outcast fall in love with a vain beauty queen and a normal man fall in love with a 1,200-year-old ex-demon. None of them has walked away unchanged, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. But the point is, the heart grows from that and in its own time discovers its happiness. It is well worth keeping in mind for future, I’d think.
UNS: [cynical] Quite the speech. Should I wave a flaming torch now to show my appreciation?
RG: [raises hands and smiles] You do sound quite like myself in my younger days. Although I’ve fairly certain I would’ve used the torch to set an old fuddy like myself on fire and then would’ve urinated on him while he writhed in pain.
UNS: [grins] Lovely way to ruin your image.
RG: [mischievous] But isn’t the truth much more captivating?
UNS: [smiles] That it is. [pauses] I’ll make you a deal. I come clean if you do.
UNS: What do you say we set the record straight? The whole truth and nothing but the truth. I’ll even leave in this part of the interview
RG: [studies UNS] Deal. But only in the interest of setting the record straight on whatever god-awful assumptions your people make about us. [tilts head] I suppose that means I’ll have to trust you, won’t I?
UNS: [quietly] Deal. [louder] So, let’s start. Again. [thinks about it] Why don’t we start with this: is there anything you want to say to the people of the future?
RG: [looks directly ahead, slight smile on his face] From all the people who once were to all the people who will be: Hello...