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Angel : After the Fall, issue #9

Issue #9 brings us back to the present day. The people and demons of the HelL.A. have gathered in downtown to watch the battle between Angel and the designated champions of the demon lords. Angel has been joined by his old friends, who are there to help him. But the sight of Ghost!Wesley turned Illyria into Fred. Spike explains to Angel that she has been reverting to Fred on a fairly regular basis.

The scene cuts to Gunn and his crew, who are watching the fight. Gunn is surprised to see Angel's friends back together again fighting at Angel's side, but he seems to have already known that Angel would make it through the fight. The demon champions, incensed that Angel is getting help, decide to attack the human bystanders. Angel mocks the demon lords for not fighting their own battle against him in the first place. Gunn sees Angel goading them and is worried about the consequences of the lords killing Angel. He raises his crossbow to kill Angel himself (why the consequences of this should be different than the lords themselves killing Angel isn't clear).

Each of the lords had a Hagun Shaft, a weapon designed to kill an immortal being. Gunn and his crew tried to steal the Hagun Shafts from Wolfram and Hart the night they blew up the building.

Spike explains to the others that the lords are going to use these weapons to kill Angel. Connor assumes this is some form of suicide on Angel's part. He tries to talk him down from it, a speech that ends in a babble-fest with Connor admitting he has a thing for Gwen. In the meantime, the lords raise their weapons against Angel. Suddenly, Angel turns and raises a hand. They demon lords explode. Angel did not kill them, however; the Hagun Shafts they were each holding did. They are designed to for suicide--that is, to kill the immortal holding them. Angel and Wesley knew about the weapons and let the story leak that they were weapons that could be used to kill an immortal. They were distributed to the lords to kill Angel, and became the tool by which Angel killed the lords.

With the lords dead, there is now a power vacuum in HelL.A. that things even worse than the lords can slip into. Angel and the gang retreat to regroup and decide what to do against them. They make the Hyperion Hotel their new old place of business (old new place?)

Meanwhile, Gunn realizes the gang being back together is exactly what he needs to carry out his plans, whatever they might be.

The humans of HelL.A. rally around Lorne, who has done well for the people of his own fiefdom, Silver Lake.

And Wesley takes Fred to see his own remains. The sight of them turns Fred back into Illyria. Wesley had Angel retrieve his body for him after Angel recovered from his fall on the first night. Wesley had hopes he could use it in a ritual that would break his contract with Wolfram and Hart. To that end, Wesley also contacted Cordelia to get the help of the Powers That Be. He attempted the ritual, and though it didn't work, very briefly, his ghostly form felt a breeze and saw the most beautiful leaves on the ground take flight. But that's all the powers for good could do for him in this hellish place. Wesley realized he must play the role Wolfram and Hart want him to play, because that will give him a chance to help Angel.

In the present, Illyria explains to Wesley that Fred is still inside her. Certainly, Fred's feelings are still a part of her. She takes Wesley's body into her possession and leaves.