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San Francisco. Night.
Nicholas Oldman gets out of his car as his driver, Ivan, heads to the rear to get their luggage. As Nicholas turns towards the front of the hotel, he is accosted by a beggar. Nicholas says beggars should be banished, as they are annoying. He then places his hands on the beggar's head and the beggar sees a vision of himself drowning in a shower of coins. As more and more coins fall, the beggar is completely submerged and suffocates to death. Nicholas's eyes glow yellow as the beggar falls to the sidewalk. Nicholas turns to his driver and instructs him to take care of the body, before heading into the hotel.
The following day, Alex complains to Rachel and Kristin that Derek has left them with a new project while he is in Amsterdam. Rachel sarcastically adds that they wouldn't know what to do with a weekend off. While they are speaking, Alex and Kristin are chipping away at a stone artefact in the shape of a cube. Finished, Alex picks up the cube and suddenly sees a vision of a yellow rose and a table laden with food. While Alex is preoccupied, Rachel remarks that if she had been an ancient Chinese she would have found something more exotic to be buried with her. Kristin breaks Alex's spell by asking to see the cube and when Alex passes it to her, she sees a vision of herself painting outdoors. Rachel asks Kristin if she recognises the symbols, but Kristin says they don't look familiar, however a computer scan may shed more light. Rachel takes the cube from Kristin and she sees herself dancing in candlelight. She blinks and tells the others that she felt something curious. Kristin and Alex both admit to feeling something as well - vague feelings of excitement.
As Rachel is touching the artefact at the Legacy House, Nicholas is aware of everything that is going on. He looks very pleased and orders Ivan to bring the car around.
Legacy House - Control Room
Kristin is scanning the artefact and asks Alex when the consultant from London is arriving. Alex says sometime this afternoon and reveals that Nicholas Oldman is an expert on Far Eastern artefacts. Rachel, Kristin and Alex study the results of the scan on the large screen and are intrigued to find that it looks hollow and has no seams. Alex adds that the artefact is made primarily from stone with traces of lead, iron and titanium, which makes it almost indestructible. Rachel muses that there must be a way to get inside the cube and Alex suggest that Nicholas Oldman may have the answer. Kristin asks what they know about Oldman since she has been on Far Eastern digs and has never heard of him. Alex says she has seen his credentials and that the precept of the London House personally vouched for him. Kristin imagines him to be short, bald, officious and smelling of tobacco smoke. Amused, Rachel closes her eyes and says she pictures him as tall, chiselled, with blue eyes like Paul Newman. Alex says that the ideal man must have soft hands and big, brown eyes. Kristin reveals that she is partial to green eyes herself, but she'd settle for part-Adonis part-Einstein. Rachel trusts that she doesn't include Einstein's hair.
At that point, the girl-talk is interrupted by a phone call announcing the arrival of Nicholas Oldman and they all head to the hallway to greet him. Rachel opens the door to reveal a handsome man and they are pleased by what they see. Nicholas introduces himself and reveals that he has read their dossiers. He asks Rachel how Kat is enjoying the 4th grade and remembers he had a terrible time with long division. Flattered, Rachel smiles and agrees that she prefers to use a calculator. Nicholas then turns his attention to Kristin, asking her how she is enjoying the winter in San Francisco in comparison to Boston. Kristin admits that while she misses the snow, she does not miss the slush and the crowded trains. Turning to Alex, Nicholas tells her in French that he has read her work and it is superb. In French, Alex thanks him and says he's very kind. All three of the women are smiling and obviously find Nicholas very charming. Interrupting them, Nicholas asks to see the artefact and Alex leads him to the library.
In the library, Nicholas holds the cube and closes his eyes, savouring the moment. Rachel approaches him and asks if he felt something. Nicholas says he isn't sure, but maybe a tingling sensation. He asks Rachel if she felt something when she held the cube and Rachel says it felt like a subliminal thing - very subtle. Kristin asks Nicholas what he can tell them about the object and he suggests that it is from the Han Dynasty, which predates Christianity by 100 years. Kristin says that one of the provincial rulers of that Dynasty, Liu Sheng, was fixated by the supernatural. Nicholas congratulates her for doing her homework. Alex shows Nicholas some prints of the computer scan and he asks to borrow them. He tells them all that they have a lot of work to do but he has an appointment at the hotel and will see them tomorrow.
After he has gone, an amused Rachel comments that Nicholas is very interesting. Alex adds that he is also very charming. Laughing, Kristin tells them to admit that they think he is very sexy. Alex laughs and Rachel appears to deny it, saying that Nicholas is not her type, except for the eyes which were "killer blue". Alex argues that they were brown and Kristin is adamant they were green. They all laugh, but are very smitten.
Nicholas studies the computer prints and tells Ivan that it only seems like yesterday when the cube was in his grasp before it was snatched by Liu Sheng - an act that cost him his life. Now two thousand years later, the Legacy has unearthed the cube and it has fallen into the hands of three lovely ladies. He is looking forward to collaborating with them. Ivan asks why he doesn't just take the cube and Nicholas reveals that the women hold the key to opening it - they just don't realise it.
It is late at night when Kristin answers the door to find Nicholas standing there. He apologises for disturbing her so late and Kristin says that it is okay since she was studying the cube. Nicholas reveals that he couldn't sleep and would really like to see the cube again. Kristin hesitates and then says she'll go see if Rachel and Alex are still awake. Nicholas urges her not to bother since he only needs a few minutes and he knows that Kristin is the real scholar. Flattered, Kristin leads him to the library where Nicholas picks up the cube. Watching him, Kristin says he must have a kinship with the artefact. Nicholas says every archaeologist spends his or her lifetime searching for his or her own Holy Grail. Kristin asks if the cube is his Holy Grail and Nicholas says time will tell.
Nicholas hands the cube to Kristin and asks her to describe what she feels. Taking the box, Kristin says she feels something ancient and important. Nicholas urges her to look deeper and to tell him what she really feels. Kristin closes her eyes and moves a hand across the surface, telling Nicholas that she feels life trying desperately to get out. Nicholas moves to stand behind her and reaches his right arm around her, his hand hovering near her throat. Kristin continues to tell him that she feels passions and desires. Nicholas tells her that the cube is her - full of life trying to burst free. He continues to tell her that she is too bound by social mores to let herself be truly free. Nicholas moves in front of Kristin and says he can see into her heart and that she has the soul of an artist. Excited, Kristin admits to having paints and canvas but has never had the time. Nicholas says it’s not a matter of time but a matter of letting go the passion inside. Again, he moves behind Kristin and places his hands on either side of her head. Kristin is swept away with her emotions and Nicholas tells her he will help her discover that side of her nature. Kristin sees herself by the shore, painting a picture of the landscape before her. Nicholas tells her she is capturing the vibrancy of the colours on the canvas and with each stroke she is becoming more alive until she is one with her surroundings.
Kristin suddenly breaks from the spell and asks Nicholas what happened. Nicholas reveals that he has opened her soul. Kristin says it was so real and that she could smell the ocean. Nicholas says she was swept away by her passion and asks if she enjoyed her release - the freedom. When Kristin says yes, Nicholas tells her that they have a special bond and he wants to be the one who releases her passions. Standing before her, Nicholas urges her to close her eyes and reaches for her hand. Nicholas's eyes begin to glow and he scratches a finger along Kristin's palm, which begins to bleed. Nicholas pulls out a small vial and fills it with her blood. Finished, he closes the wound and licks droplets of blood from his fingers, moving away. Kristin opens her eyes and says they have only just begun. Nicholas tells her it is late and that he will return. Kristin sighs and tells him she will be waiting. Nicholas says he knows and leaves.
Legacy House - Library
The following day, Alex tells Rachel that Kristin didn't sleep in her bed all night. They enter the library and are surprised to see Kristin in front of a large canvas, painting the landscape from her vision. She is dressed in a long shirt with bare legs and has smudges of paint on her face. When they call to her, Kristin is oblivious at first. Finally getting her attention, Alex wonders why Kristin suddenly started painting. Kristin says that Nicholas brought on the urge and she tells them that he visited last night. He helped free her soul. Both Rachel and Alex are surprised by her admission and ask why she didn't wake them. Kristen vaguely says that he came to see her. Alex asks if she has been painting all night and Kristin replies that once she started it just felt right. Rachel advises her to take a break, but Kristin says she has so much to do. Alex and Rachel leave her to it.
In the Control Room, Rachel expresses doubts that Nicholas was even there. She picks up the phone and asks security who verify that Nicholas did indeed visit last night. Worried, Alex decides to question Nicholas about his motives but Rachel urges her to wait until he arrives later that afternoon. Alex says she has a funny feeling about Nicholas's intentions and decides to go see him anyway.
Nicholas tells Ivan to call for Room Service, as they are about to have a guest. He looks very satisfied.
Later, he invites Alex into the room as she informs him that she came to discuss the cube. Nicholas asks if she brought it with her and Alex removes it from her bag. Nicholas holds it and announces it to be quite incredible. Alex asks him to tell her about it. Nicholas repeats that he thinks it is from the reign of Liu Sheng and may hold fascinating secrets. When Alex questions him about the secrets, Nicholas gets upset and accuses her of interrogating him. He puts the cube down on the table in front of Alex. Alex accuses Nicholas of coming to the house last night and encouraging Kristin to paint, adding that Kristin painted all night. Nicholas says he merely encouraged her to pursue her dream. Alex maintains that Kristin has changed and it is unhealthy. Nicholas argues that it is a passion and someone with that passion created the cube.
Sitting down next to Alex, Nicholas hands her the cube. He urges Alex to feel herself within it. Slightly embarrassed, Alex takes the cube and tells him that she feels an overwhelming power, which is confined. Nicholas tells her that it is passion, wanting to be set free. Uncomfortable, Alex gets to her feet and says she has her passion under control. Nicholas comes up behind her and says she has had it under control for too long. She is a woman with acute senses that have become dulled. Nicholas takes Alex's hand and begins to stroke her face with his free hand. He tells Alex that he can help her see clearly again - to see the world in all its magnificent glory. Alex begins to fall under his spell and closes her eyes when urged. Nicholas places both hands on either side of her head and Alex sees a vision of the yellow rose and the table with the food. In the vision, Alex picks up a glass of wine and savours the taste and then smells the yellow rose appreciatively. Nicholas tells her that she is in a place where her senses can run wild and increase in intensity. Everything has awakened.
Alex suddenly pulls out of the vision, asking Nicholas what just happened. Nicholas tells her she awakened and asks if she is hungry. When Alex says she is starving, Nicholas leads her into the next room where a table is laden with food just like in the vision. Alex looks delighted. Nicholas picks up a large, juicy strawberry and raises it to Alex's mouth. She takes a bite, savouring the taste with rapture. Nicholas tells Alex that she is very special to him and he knew it from the moment they met. He wants to help Alex appreciate the world and Alex asks him to help her. Nicholas asks her to close her eyes. He takes her hand and scratches her palm, collecting the blood in a vial, closing the wound. Finished, he tells Alex to return to the house. Alex argues that she wants to explore her senses with him and to awaken. Nicholas says they will and Alex will have a whole new life.
Rachel is in the Control Room writing on a clipboard when Kristin comes in. She is wearing a long, figure-hugging, white dress and looking very relaxed. Rachel does a double take and asks how she is feeling. Kristin throws her head back and says she is feeling wonderful. Rachel asks if she got any sleep but Kristin says she wasn't tired. Turning back to her work, Rachel asks if she'll help decipher the symbols from the cube. Distracted, Kristin looks around and finally asks where it is. Rachel tells her that Alex took it with her when she went to see Nicholas. When Kristin reacts with jealousy, Rachel presses her for information on what really happened between her and Nicholas the previous night. Kristin tells Rachel it is none of her business. Slightly stunned by Kristin's response, Rachel diverts their attention back to the symbols but Kristin shows no interest. She finally leaves, telling Rachel that she is going back to her painting, but wants to know when Alex gets back.
Alex is in the kitchen, unpacking large quantities of food when Rachel comes in. Astonished by the display, Rachel wryly asks Alex if she is hungry. Biting into a plum, Alex says she's famished. Alex begins to enthuse about the taste and colour of the plum much to Rachel's amusement. Alex asks Rachel if she has ever truly paid attention to the colours around her. She indicates a painting of fruit and tells Rachel that she always looked at the colour as being red but now she can see the vibrancy and the variety within the color. Confused, Rachel asks how the meeting with Nicholas went and is astounded when Alex declares Nicholas to be wonderful. Alex admits that she was wrong about him.
At that moment, Kristin storms into the room and demands to know why Alex went to see Nicholas. Alex haughtily replies that she doesn't have to answer to her and that she and Nicholas have something special. Kristin accuses Alex of deluding herself since she was the one Nicholas claimed was special. Rachel, caught in the middle, asks what it going on, but Alex merely says she wouldn't understand. Rachel says that Nicholas has done something very ugly to both of them, but Kristin argues that what he did was beautiful. Rachel asks Alex for the cube so she can continue her research and Alex hands it over very reluctantly. Rachel asks if she can leave the two of them alone in the room without them killing each other. Kristin tells her not to worry since she has no desire to be in the same room as Alex - she leaves. Looking satisfied, Alex returns to her eating. Rachel tries to reason with Alex, but Alex tells her that she is experiencing life fully and the food is just a metaphor. She holds up a pineapple and urges Rachel to feel its texture. She tells Rachel that her senses are soaring and she intends to soar along with them. Rachel just looks at her, before leaving the room.
Back in the Control Room, Rachel studies the scans of the cube again and notices a green, swirling essence inside it.
Nicholas holds three vials in his hand. Two are filled with blood and one is empty. Satisfied, Nicholas tells Ivan that he only needs a contribution from Rachel. Ivan asks why these women and Nicholas explains that they were blessed by Boh Jing when they touched the cube. They share a special bond that makes it all the more satisfying to bring them to his side one by one. Ivan asks what will happen once he has the cube. Nicholas tells him that Boh Jing will imbue him with power and he will be unstoppable. Ivan asks if he intends returning to the Legacy house, but Nicholas says Rachel should be curious enough by now to seek him out.
Legacy House - Kitchen
Alex is sitting with her feet on the table, eating from a plate. Rachel comments that Alex is still eating and Alex says she is discovering the world around her and urges Rachel to try it. Rachel says her life is just fine - she has a wonderful daughter and friends she loves - although she is worrying about one of them. Alex tells her not to worry and that she worries for Rachel. Rachel tells Alex that she needs to show her something, but Alex says she's not interested. She licks the plate in her hand. Rachel grabs the plate and pulls Alex to her feet, dragging her out of the room. Alex just manages to grab a glass of wine from the table as she passes.
Kristin is already in the Control Room looking at the scans of the cube with the green essence. When Rachel and Alex enter, Kristin asks what it is. Rachel says she doesn't know but it looks alive. Alex says that is impossible since the cube is over 2,000 years old and nothing can get in or out. Rachel says there may be some way that they haven't discovered yet. Kristin suggests they search the dig records and Rachel pulls them up on the computer. Kristin reads aloud an extract from a record.
Rachel says that was what they felt when they touched the cube, but Alex says it is an old wives tale. Rachel argues that it makes sense, but Kristin also scoffs at the idea the cube is an Aladdin's Lamp with a genie. Rachel is adamant that Nicholas wants that genie. Alex suggests that one of them go to see Nicholas, and she and Kristin immediately argue over who should go. Rachel tells them that she is going and they both stalk off in the huff.
Nicholas tells Rachel that he appreciates her coming to see him since he's been looking forward to talking to her alone. Rachel tells him about the essence inside the cube that appears to be alive. Nicholas is fascinated. Rachel asks him what he is hiding, but Nicholas assures her that he is looking for answers just like her. He points out that Alex was also suspicious of him. Rachel remarks that Alex and Kristin seem to be in some other world and wonder what he did to cause it. Nicholas says he merely helped them explore their depths and asks Rachel if she would like to try it. He leans forward, almost kissing her. Rachel pulls back and says she'll pass. She didn't come for a psychic make over. Nicholas tells her that he detects romance within her but she is hiding it. Rachel is adamant that Nicholas's tricks aren't going to work with her. Nicholas, undaunted, asks her to dance but Rachel resists. Nicholas pulls her towards him and they begin a slow, seductive dance. Rachel continues to resist him, but eventually falls under his spell. Nicholas moves up behind her and places his hands on either side of her head. Rachel begins to have a vision of herself dancing in candlelight. Disturbed, Rachel suddenly pulls free but Nicholas urges her to close her eyes. Nicholas takes her hand and as his eyes glow, he prepares to scratch Rachel's palm. However, Rachel opens her eyes and pulls away from him before he can do anything. She questions him about Boh Jing. Nicholas asks if this is a test. Rachel warns him to stay away from Alex and Kristin.
After Rachel has left, Ivan comes into the room and asks Nicholas if he got her blood. Nicholas says no but he will, adamant that Rachel will submit to him.
Rachel tries to convince Alex and Kristin that Nicholas is evil. Alex is lounging on the sofa, eating again. Kristin sits on another sofa with a paintbrush in her hand. They both tell Rachel she is being ridiculous and they like what he did to them. Rachel points to Kristin's painting, which is a distorted representation of her vision and asks her if that is really a reflection of her soul. Kristin accuses Rachel of being jealous because Nicholas doesn't think she is special. Frustrated, Rachel turns to Alex and tells her she is on a binge that is going to make her sick. Rachel tries to get them to see that Nicholas is using them to get inside the cube, but Kristin and Alex refuse to listen and leave the room.
Nicholas and Ivan are taking a walk. Nicholas reveals that once he has transformed Rachel he will have no need for any of them and Rachel will be the first to die - slowly.
Legacy House - Control Room
Rachel sends an electronic message to the London Legacy House for information on Nicholas Oldman. She receives the immediate reply that they have no record of him and he is neither a sanctioned member nor a consultant to the Legacy. Realising that he is a fraud, Rachel continues her search.
Later in the library, Rachel confronts Alex and Kristin with her information. Alex insists that it must be a mistake because she saw his credentials and the London House vouched for him. Rachel states that Nicholas is obviously a master of illusion because she has cross-referenced all the dig records along with the records of every archaeological university department in the world. There is no trace of Nicholas Oldman. Kristin asks Rachel to account for the fact that Nicholas knew who they were. Rachel says that he obviously did his homework and they shouldn't underestimate him. Alex, still not convinced, asks who he can be. Rachel answers that whoever or whatever he is - he's dangerous. Alex and Kristin laugh at Rachel. Rachel resolutely declares that Nicholas has taken part of their freewill, but Kristin accuses her of trying to rationalise her own fantasies. Alex urges Rachel to accept Nicholas for who he is instead of going on a witch hunt. Exasperated, Rachel tells them that Nicholas tried to scratch her palm with a fingernail. Just then, both Alex and Kristin falter as they have a memory of Nicholas doing the same thing to them. Seeing that she is at last making progress, Rachel says he obviously needed their blood for something. Alex vaguely states that it must have something to do with the cube. Rachel urges them to wake up.
Nicholas receives a phone call from Alex expressing her worry for Rachel and urging Nicholas to come to the house to help her. Nicholas readily agrees. Hanging up, Nicholas tells Ivan that he almost has Rachel and all that she requires is a nudge. Ivan asks if he trusts them. Nicholas says that Alex is fully under his control. He tells Ivan that he loves dealing with humans because they are so predictable.
Alex, dressed in a revealing green outfit, lets Nicholas in. He compliments her on her choice of outfit and immediately asks to see Rachel. Alex shows him into the library where Kristin and Rachel are waiting. Both of them are dressed seductively. Nicholas compliments Rachel on her attire and she insists that it is all down to him. She asks for his help in releasing her inner self. Pleased, Nicholas picks up the cube, hands it to Rachel and urges her to feel its power. Rachel looks enraptured and Nicholas urges her to let go. Alex comes over and takes the cube from Rachel, placing it on the piano. Nicholas, believing he has Rachel in his power, lifts her hand to scratch it but Rachel backs away. Nicholas asks her what is wrong and Rachel tells him he is wrong.
Nicholas turns and watches as Alex pricks her finger and lets the blood drip on to the cube. Nicholas asks what she is doing and Alex tells him she is giving something back, as she moves away to let Kristin repeat the gesture. Nicholas grabs Rachel and says they've gone far enough. He places both hands on Rachel's head and demands they give him the cube. He begins to send visions to Rachel and she cries out in pain. Nicholas says they have a stalemate because the cube won't work without Rachel's blood. Rachel holds up a finger with a single drop of blood and tells Nicholas that she gave at the office. Smugly, Kristin holds up a vial with Rachel's blood and lets it drip on to the cube.
Boh Jing's spirit is released and Nicholas tries desperately to make him obey him, but Rachel shouts that Boh Jing works for them. The spirit whirls around the room, leaving destruction in its path, finally attacking Nicholas. Boh Jing enters Nicholas and destroys him, before returning to the cube.
At that moment, Derek's voice can be heard in the hallway, asking if anyone is home. He comes into the library and sees the destruction. He asks what happened and Rachel says they were merely exploring their inner selves. All three women have secretive smiles on their faces and Derek looks very confused.
"The cube is you, isn’t it? Full of life, trying to burst out, brimming with passions and desire, but too bound by social mores to let yourself be free… I see the soul of an artist." Nicholas Oldman’s description of Kristin.
"What you feel is passion. Your passion, screaming to be set free…You are a woman with acute senses that have become dulled." Nicholas Oldman’s description of Alex.
Description last revised: 01-JUN-2003
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