Soft and Rounded Edges
BtVS by Whedon and ME; Charmed by Spelling and the WB; the BBC children's television series by Ragdoll Productions.
Angel Season 3 episode 'Sleep Tight' transcript and several lines of dialogue found at http://www.buffyworld.com/angel/transcripts/060_tran.html
Paige Matthews waved at the smiling children. They waved back until she clicked the camera off.
"So, you have the money?" the slightly gruff baker asked.
"Here you go," she said, paying up. "Thanks for letting the kids behind the counter today."
"Hey, anything for my little boy, he seems to have got a kick out of it. When did you say this would be on TV again?"
"Depends on whether the show gets picked up for another season or not. Just playing it safe."
Some parting words and a free blackberry-drop cookie later Paige made it safely outside the shop, lugging the heavy camera equipment.
Ducking behind a tree, she used her inherited whitelighter powers to orb back to the holding dimension.
The Quonset hut sat on the edge of reality. It was sparsely furnished but the chairs were comfortable. Hundreds of screens decorated the walls, most relaying information from the cameras hidden in the 'flowers' outside.
The sky was a faintly glowing mist, a kind of perpetual twilight.
The grass was very green.
The main monitor showed a bulky yellow figure bouncing a huge rubber ball.
Piper Halliwell, skilled witch, sat up straighter in her chair as her sister orbed in.
"I'm back," Paige said, smiling as she plugged wires into the camera and uploaded the film for the residents to enjoy. "Anything happen?"
"I made it rain by pulling those levers," Piper said, waving her hand vaguely. "They enjoyed the puddles, but it seemed sort of useless. No sun, no rainbow, no chance of flooding."
"Yeah, but I hear they really love the Christmas snow. Thanks for filling in for me. I'm supposed to get footage like that at 'night' when they're all in bed but I was kind of distracted by some really good TV..."
"It's alright. So, this is what you're doing as part of your whitelighter training? Watching some of the largest minds of the galaxy run around like preschoolers because they grew too smart for their bodies?"
"Hey, it's free babysitting by responsible adults. Even though this bunch of Elders aren't living in... themselves
anymore, they want their bodies well-fed, exercised and entertained."
"What were they to begin with? I can't exactly see aliens running around with that kind of antenna."
"They were humans, I guess, it didn't come up... This place just warps anybody who enters it directly, giving them some kind of weird half-life. It's a good thing that everything out there has soft and rounded edges. If one of them was hurt, we couldn't leave this hut."
"Hey, can I handle this 'pinwheel' alarm," Piper asked, grabbing the microphone. "I'm good at getting 'kids' to bed."
"Sure, no rush, they just have to be safely underground before I tell the machine it's safe to jump realities again. They're pretty high on some security measures here, but not others..."
"Where's it going this time?"
"Oh, it's just going to mimic the dimensional coordinates of some nightmarish world called Quor-Toth. Not some place anyone in their right mind would orb to, so it should be a pleasant night."
Angel, souled vampire and detective extraordinare, stared down the middle-aged man and younger woman who were holding his only son captive. The lawyer and her commando team weren't helping matters much either, but he did have them at gunpoint...
The immaterial and oddly wrinkled demon was being ignored by all sides. They didn't see him as much of a threat because he was intangibly out of phase and therefore impotent.
They were wrong.
Sahjhan raised his hands and shouted: "Lekko najine forkahdio!"
Flames and magical fireworks announced the creation of a large and hungry
looking portal grasping at the fabric of reality. The area on the other side looked suspiciously tranquil, but the demon shrugged it off and turned to face the stunned onlookers.
"What you are looking into is the Quor-Toth, the darkest of the dark worlds. So - I can widen the portal and you can all be swallowed up by a world you can not begin to imagine - or you can keep your word and kill that child," grinning evilly at Lilah and the commando team who had selfishly sought to betray him. "Now!"
"No child is getting killed on my watch," Piper yelled as she and her sister appeared on scene.
"Besides, that isn't Quor-Toth," Paige commented. "It's strongly guarded though, so no running into it either."
"Huh," Sahjahn snorted in disgust. "Maybe I can't threaten you with exile to a true hell dimension right now, but I can still expand it well beyond my ability to control. Who knows how much of LA I can wipe out. Not good for property values, you know."
"This is giving me a headache," Lilah groused. "Just shoot everybody and I'll bribe somebody to fill out the extra paperwork."
"Hello," Angel said, not noticing Holtz and Justine slowly edging towards the portal with his baby. "This is me still holding a gun on you. If we all just calm down and give Sahjahn a second I'm sure he can correct his mistake and open a portal to the real Quor-Toth... Wait, what am I saying... Don't you have somebody on retainer you can just banish him with? If it's a matter of pay, I could go halfsies."
Holtz took this moment to sweetly squeeze Justine's hand and then use all of his strength to kick her into the two witches, throwing them off-balance long enough for him and the baby to vanish into the portal.
!" Angel yelled as he ran towards the portal, only to bounce off a shield hastily erected by the witches.
"I'm sorry, it's too late. If you look, you can barely see..." Paige said, grabbing his hand in an attempt to comfort him. "Let me take you to a better vantage point."
"So, that's it. There's nothing you can do for him?" Angel murmured around the last of his tears.
"No, once you're in there, you're pretty much stuck. You don't age either, or at least they don't... It might be different for Connor, but I don't think..."
"We'll ask around and we'll contact the Elders, but I believe that's it."
"Well, at least he seems to be happy," Angel said, looking at the newly created bright sun shining out of the video monitor. Connor's face stared out of the center of the artificially yellow sun and giggled happily. "I guess the place is better off with a sun anyway... Wait, what happened to Holtz?"
Inside the green mound that served as the home for the semi-intelligent bodies of four of the Powers that Be, the residents had awoken from their slumber and found a new friend.
"Whoa, what is it? What is it," the yellow one asked.
"I dunno, LaLaa," the purple one said, bending over to look at the mobile vacuum cleaner that had once been a battle-hardened hunter. "Eh-oh, whatever you are. Eh-Oh. Eh-Oh."
"It's cute," the red one said as the vacuum cleaner approached and slurped up her food. "Uh oh! It ate all my tubby custard! Bad!"
"Uh oh! Poor Po! What a Naughty Noo-Noo!" Dipsy, the green Teletubbie, yelled... and that was that.