Year One: Duquesa Bay

"One Minute After Midnight"

    Inside the von Meer estate, Erika ruminates on her recent events as Darkfin while her fingers glide casually over the keys of a grand piano. Out of the corner, a cloaked figure in an iron, vulpine mask softly approaches from behind.

Erika: (Not looking at him) You're early, Griffin

Griffin: Should I be flattered that you always know when I enter a room?

Erika: (Continuing to play) Try toning down your cologne

    Lifting his mask, the most handsome of the Martel brothers curls one side of his mouth into a grin and takes a seat on the piano bench.

Griffin: As much as I enjoy Palestrina's "Lamentation," we're going to be late unless...

    He looks disparagingly at her cut-off shorts and SCU sweatshirt.

Griffin: You plan on going as a homeless person or a California native

Erika: (Slowing her hand movements) What's the matter, Rif, don't you want to be fashionably late?

Griffin: Late, yes - miss half of the event, no - but, if you have something better for us to do in mind, I am more than willing to accommodate

Erika: (Rising) I'm afraid you'll have to accommodate yourself tonight, I'm not going

Griffin: (Trying to subdue his anger) What, another whale to save?

Erika: For once, it has nothing to do with my work... MOTHER

Griffin: THEN, WHAT?

Erika: I don't feel well

Griffin: (Feeling her cheek) Surely you can come up with something better than that

Erika: It's my time of the month

    Suddenly, Griffin grabs Erika's waist, bends his head and inhales deeply between her legs.

Griffin: Funny, there's no scent of this

Erika: (Pushing him back) YOU PIG

Griffin: And pigs have a brilliant sense of smell... and what I smell is another lie - tell me, what are you REALLY doing tonight, my love?

Erika: Anything but you

Griffin: (Trying a new tactic) Lydia and Penny will be so disappointed if you don't come

    His words give pause to Erika as Karl Senior and Pauline von Meer enter the room dressed like Louis the XVI and Mary Antoinette.

Griffin: (Turning to them) My lord and lady, might I implore you to convince your fair daughter here to grace us with her presence and attend tonight's festivities... TO HELP THOSE IN NEED?

Erika: Who is the one in need, Griffin?


Erika: Family name or social standing?


Erika: I feel your pain


    The tall, blonde woman glares at her shorter mother and then to her father who looks at the floor.

Karl Sr.: It is for charity, honey - besides, it's not like we all go out as a family every night

Erika: (Heading up the stairs) I wonder why

    She is met half way by KJ coming down the stairs as Superman.

KJ: (Leaping to the bottom) DA DA DA - it's a bird... no, it's a plane...


KJ: (Kissing his mother on the cheek) And you look like a heartless bitch, even without the costume

Karl Sr.: KJ

Erika: (Still watching from the staircase) You are more than welcome to use mine

KJ: As much as dressing in drag would thrill our sweet mother, I need to keep this theme since my date will be going as Lois Lane

Pauline: (Rolling her eyes) Oh, God

Erika: (Thinking for a second) Ms. McBride is still your date?

KJ: Yes - you sound surprised?

Erika: (Resuming her course to her room) I am... I thought she had better taste

Griffin: (Looking at his watch) Not that I don't enjoy the von Meer family bonding moments, but we all need to get going ASAP before the good caviar disappears

Erika: (Sighing) I'll be ready in five minutes

KJ: (Rushing out the door) UP, UP, AND AWAY

Pauline: (Leaning on her husband's shoulder) It would have been easier breeding Weimaraners

Karl Sr.: (Patting her back) But not as much fun

    At the Santa Conchita Lanes, Gracie and Zach enjoy a fine evening of "Disco Bowling" with their friends. As the lights twinkle around them and 70's dance songs blare from the sound system, Gracie takes a seat on the bench and stares at her shoes.


Gracie: I'm sitting this frame out, Eyes

Zach: (Plopping down next to her) What's wrong?

    Gracie's date, Hal, and one of the Mirabello twins giggle over a gutter ball.

Zach: (Watching them) Are you upset because Half keeps making eyes at Joenne?

Gracie: That's not bothering me... too much - I'm just pissed, that's all

Zach: Pissed about what?

Gracie: (Looking him in the eye) Aren't you pissed?


Gracie: We've busted our asses in town for years and Morri is here less than a month and SHE gets to go to the ball?

Zach: I can't believe I'm hearing this - you're jealous of THAT?

Gracie: NOT jealous... pissed

Zach: You mean to tell me you would rather be there with a bunch of dressed-up snobs instead of here eating stale nachos, drinking warm beer, and sharing the company of moi?

    Gracie says nothing.

Zach: OF MOI? - Fingers, I'm hurt!

Gracie: And I'm still pissed - I'm tired of being the "Nobody of Duquesa Bay"

Zach: That's not true... you're the eight-fingered "Nobody of Duquesa Bay"

    Justine Mirabello scores another strike.


Zach: (Ignoring her) Look, the only reason M&M got invited is because KJ wants to impress her and get her into bed, that's it

Gracie: I feel a little better

Zach: Thought so - AND, I told him she was going as Lois Lane

Gracie: (Evil grin) You ruined her surprise, that's mean!

Zach: Well, I couldn't take the chance of him going as "Spiderman" - that would've been WRONG

Justine: ZACH, NOW

Zach: (Pulling Gracie's hand) C'mon, I can't deal with Justine's gloat-fest if she wins - move those boogie shoes and let's kick her ass!

Gracie: How about I buy you another round of warm beer instead?

Zach: That might work just as well

    At her house, Morrigan puts the finishing touches on her hair and slips on the fake glasses. She admires herself in the mirror and then looks to a picture frame on her vanity that is wrapped with her rosary beads. It holds the image of her grandmother with her mother as a young girl.

Morrigan McBride: (Fingering it) I miss you two

    A familiar knock is heard at the door.

Morrigan: Come in, Amy

    The door opens and a loud, piercing, screech fills the room.

Morrigan: (Shaken) JESUS CHRIST

    Amethyst Hill shuffles in, all smiles, followed by two of her cats.

Amethyst: Do you think I'm an effective screamer?

Morrigan: (Trying to catch her breath) WHAT?

Amethyst: My friends say I don't scream very well

Morrigan: (Eyes wide) You scream fine!

Amethyst: YAY

Morrigan: What brought this topic of conversation up?

Amethyst: We were discussing the Chilean farming industry

Morrigan: Of course you were

Amethyst: WOW - you look really good, Morrigan - I still would prefer to see you in one of those expensive, elaborate gowns but that suit totally works!

Morrigan: Thanks, I hope this doesn't sound rude but do you mind keeping Roshumba and Amber outside? - this color is a cat hair magnet

    The slightly plump woman with the pixie face holds up the smoky, long-haired cat.

Amethyst: (East African accent) You, Ms. McBride, should be honored to carry my hair with you to your little soiree tonight - BUT, in deference to the woman who feeds me, I shall grant your request

    She places the cat outside and picks up the orange and white shorthair.

Amethyst: (Squeaky voice) From what I've heard about KJ, my hair on your suit will seem like a blessing compared to other stuff

    Morrigan rolls her eyes as Amethyst places the cat outside with the other.

Morrigan: I appreciate it, Amy

Amethyst: Just don't hold me responsible if a dead bird appears on your porch

    McBride's cell phone rings in her purse.

Morrigan: (Answering it) Hello?

    There is silence on the other end.

Morrigan: Is anyone there?

    A deep, eerie, male voice finally comes on.


    The shattered water made a misty din,
    Great waves looked over others coming in,
    And thought of doing something to the shore
    That water never did to land before

    The phone clicks off as Morrigan turns five shades of pale.

Amethyst: (Noticing) What's wrong?

    The petite brunette turns the words over in her head.

Amethyst: Morrigan?

Morrigan: Um, nothing, it was a crank call

Amethyst: What did they say?

    McBride runs over to her bookcase, and searches her old college textbooks.

Amethyst: What are you doing?

Morrigan: Trying to find my old poetry book - "that water never did to land before" DAMMIT, why can't I remember the rest of it?

Amethyst: What poem is that from?

Morrigan: That's what I'm looking for - the caller only recited the first few lines

Amethyst: (Sitting down) It came true!

Morrigan: (Pausing) What are you talking about?

Amethyst: Ansuz came up for you today

Morrigan: What is Ansuz?

Amethyst: It's the message rune - you need to be aware of meetings with people, both arranged and those that happen by chance!


Amethyst: I'm trying to give you a warning

    The sound of a car pulling into the driveway is quickly followed by the doorbell. Morrigan opens it and is stunned to see KJ dressed as Superman.

Morrigan: How did you know?


Amethyst: For her sake, let's hope you're not faster than a speeding bullet

KJ: Very cute, Amy, very original, too - are you ready, Lois?

Morrigan: (Arms folded) Who told you, Gracie or Zach?

KJ: The latter

Morrigan: I should've known - KJ, how well do you know poetry?

KJ: Roses are red, violets are blue...

Morrigan: I'm serious

KJ: So am I - since I went to a private college, I didn't have to take any General Education classes for my degree - the little poetry I did learn in school left my brain the second the semester ended, why?

Morrigan: (Taking his arm) Just curious - let's go!

Amethyst: Have a good time, you two... and stay alert

    The woman with blonde cornrows picks up one of her cats and pets it as they drive off.

    At the Quartz County Museum, people bedecked in all sorts of elegant costumes begin to arrive. They are met by tight security and escorted to the Etruscan Antiquities Hall, the main chamber for the event. Lydia Renselier, dressed as a flapper, is speaking with the Mayor of Barcelona about the "Duquesa's Tears" pearl necklace on display. Her daughter Penelope sports the wings and looks of a devious dragonfly.

Penny: (Searching the room with her eyes) I should've known Jere wouldn't show

Lydia: (Smiling as the mayor walks away) Did you say something, darling?

Penny: I said you have a nice turn out for this charade - is El Mayor pleased?

Lydia: He seems to be, he couldn't stop kissing my cheek

    Penny starts to say something but decides against it.

Lydia: I was slightly concerned that he might have a problem with the room

Penny: Well, we couldn't really hold it in the modern art wing or the sculpture garden and the Native American cubbyhole barely holds a field trip class

Lydia: (Wiggling one of Penny's wings) My thoughts exactly!

Penny: (Making a face) EWW

    A tall man with a curly dark hair and striking eyes makes his way over to them. He is dressed as a Southern Gentleman from the Civil War era.

Penny: Daddy, so nice of you to show up!

George Renselier: (Kissing his wife) We're still trying to get enough votes to pass the irrigation bill - damn environmentalists keep getting in the way - you look lovely, Lyd, is that a statement of irony you're wearing?

Lydia: (Taking her crutch and hitting him on the behind) I thought you'd get a kick out of my interpretive Charleston

George: (Turning to his daughter) Hey pumpkin, you look all insect-like

Penny: Huh, I was going for the marsupial look, guess I failed

George: Can I get you ladies something to drink?

Lydia: Mr. & Mrs. Cathbert have been asking for you - we should go over there and say hello

George: Good thinking, I could always use another campaign contribution

Penny: (Biting her lip) I'll catch up with you two later, I need to pee

    The Renselier daughter buzzes over to the bathroom as Pirate Craig enters the hall, followed by Anita the sulking bar wench.

Anita Fiore: I so cannot believe I'm here... in THIS costume!

Craig Phelps: It flatters your tits and ass

Anita: (Smiling at a couple of women across the room) I should be offended by that statement but I'm not

Craig: That's why I said it

Anita: ONE HOUR, and then I'm leaving

Craig: (Taking some hors d'oeuvres from a tray) That's all I ask

    He looks around the room.

Craig: Maybe we should've picked up your sister?

Anita: (Stealing a shrimp from him) She called me and said Sandy was taking her for sure

Craig: (Trying to hide his disappointment) It's about time he acted like her husband

Anita: (Watching his reaction) Uh-huh

    Douglas Martel arrives with his wife, Ursula. He's in a hockey uniform and she's wearing a revealing Versace gold dress.

Doug: (Looking around) Liddy did a great job putting this event together

Ursula: (Sniffing) Not bad

Doug: I still think you should've dressed as a cheerleader

Ursula: (A touch of her Slavic accent still intact) I dress up as a freaking alien for your TV show everyday - I want to look like a real woman at night

Doug: (Ogling her up and down) And, you do

Ursula: Now that I have you aroused, Dougie, please talk with the writers tomorrow - I want Rojilio killed off

Doug: But everyone LOVES Rojilio!

Ursula: I know - his fan mail is starting to outnumber mine and his ego is out of control - it's time for R'xal to blow up his asteroid!

Doug: (Sighing) I'll see what I can do

Ursula: Let's go say hello to the Mayor of Barcelona, he's an old friend of mine from the clubbing days back in Europe

Doug: (Looking at his watch) You go ahead, I need to give my regards to a business associate

    As the guests mingle about the room, a shadowy figure runs across the museum rooftop and enters an air conditioning duct. Morrigan and KJ arrive at the ball, shortly followed by the von Meers, Griffin and Erika.

KJ: This is pretty cool!

Morrigan: (Still preoccupied with the phone call) Yeah

    They proceed to the main room and start to mix.

Pauline: (Aside to her husband) She looks ridiculous in that suit - is Ms. McBride too poor to afford a real costume?

Erika: (Overhearing) Actually, I think she's the best dressed here

Pauline: (Scowling) KJ could've bought her something better

Karl Sr.: You're unhappy when a woman takes our son's money and now you're upset when one doesn't - let's get some champagne

Griffin: I'll go get some for all of us!

Pauline: Thank you, Griffy

Erika: I'll just have some water, please

Pauline: Erika, the alcohol might do you some good

    Lydia and George come over to them.

Karl Sr.: (Shaking his hand) George, how's Sacramento?

George: Flat and dry, with a lot of hot air... politics as usual!

    They all fake laugh.

Pauline: (Giving Lydia a hug) Honey, you should be so proud - this is a FABULOUS party you threw together - I'm able-bodied and I couldn't have done all of this!

Erika: (Smiling meekly) What my mother means is... NICE JOB

Lydia: (Winking) I know, Rikka - I'm really glad you made it, we never get to see you anymore

Erika: I've been busy

Pauline: If you figure out with what, please let me know

Lydia: Penelope has been asking for her favorite fish lady

Erika: I'll be sure to say hi

Lydia: She's probably hiding in the bathroom

Erika: (Taking off) Smart girl

    On the way, Erika is suddenly stopped by the site of the Duquesa's Tears in a massive glass display case, surrounded by security guards. She peers closer at the three-strand choker of white and black pearls, held together by an emerald centerpiece. The seemingly silver clasp is what really has her attention. In the reflection of the glass, she detects the furtive glances exchanged by the guards.

Griffin: (Coming up behind his date with the champagne) It's pretty but I can have a necklace made for you that's 10 times more beautiful

Erika: (Taking the drink) You know I'm not into jewelry

Griffin: If you stare at this piece any harder, you'll shatter the protective case

Erika: (Sipping) Hmm... remember that time in boarding school when we accidentally broke the window in that Belgian cathedral?

Griffin: (Slight laugh) Not one of our finer moments

Erika: Yes, it was

Griffin: Is that a smile?

Erika: It's the alcohol

Griffin: Then, by all means, let me fetch you some more!

    After circulating around the room several times and meeting Santa Conchita Valley's society members, Morrigan and KJ retire to their own little corner by a marble pillar.

Morrigan: I have to say, I'm having a wonderful time tonight, KJ, thank you for inviting me

KJ: It is my pleasure - everyone you've met is absolutely taken with you... as am I

Morrigan: (Deliberately ignoring the last comment) Well, when they weren't referring to me as "that dog lady on the news," it was nice

KJ: We don't get a lot of heroes around here

    Lydia and George wave and start to make their way towards them.

KJ: Actually, I take that back, here comes one now

Morrigan: I bet she hates being called that

KJ: She does but it's true

Lydia: (Kissing KJ) Sweetie, I'm so happy you're here and THANK YOU for that most generous contribution

KJ: Hey, no problem - and I know it's going to a good cause!

George: (Taking Morrigan's hand and squeezing it) Ms. McBride - I see you're making your way around town

Morrigan: (Raising an eyebrow at the assemblyman) I enjoyed our interview the other day

George: It was mutually beneficial

Morrigan: You have a real presence before the camera, as well as, a wonderful way with words

Lydia: How do you think he got elected?

    All four fake laugh.

Morrigan: Mrs. Renselier, I am deeply impressed with this museum, I understand you are the driving force behind it all?

Lydia: (Pretending to be modest while George shakes his head) Well, I don't know about driving force, but it is my passion, that's for sure

Morrigan: (Glancing at Mr. Renselier out of the corner of her eye) I find the sculpture garden to be the most enchanting

George: I absolutely agree, it is my favorite area, too

Lydia: (Losing the smile on her face) Come, George, let's leave these two young ones in peace, we have to say a few words to the Braemars before they leave

George: Of course

Lydia: KJ, it was so nice to see ALL of the von Meers here tonight

KJ: It will probably be another year before that happens

Lydia: Ms. McBride, keep up the good work at KCON

Morrigan: It was great meeting you, Mrs. Renselier

KJ: (Watching them walk away) It's not fair, George has all that hair at his age and mine is starting to recede already

Morrigan: (Something clicks in her head) You're a very handsome man, KJ, with or without... hair... hairy

KJ: (All smiles) Ya think?


The clouds were low and hairy in the skies
Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes

KJ: Huh?


KJ: (Leaning against the pillar) Are you okay?

Morrigan: Yeah, I'm... I'm sorry, I'm just being weird - let's go get some more of those delicious crab cakes

KJ: Lead the way!

    As they start to walk, his cape catches the lighting sconce on the pillar.

Morrigan: Here, let me get that for you

KJ: Thanks, Lois

    As she unhooks the cape, a tiny, square piece of metal with circuitry falls to the ground.

KJ: (Looking around) I didn't break it!

Morrigan: (Picking it up and examining it) Relax, Superman

KJ: If I did break it, I'll pay for it

Morrigan: (Checking out the sconce) I don't think it has anything to do with the light - it's not the same material and I can't find a place it would've fallen out of

KJ: Then, toss it in the trash and let's go get those crab cakes

Morrigan: (Still looking at the square) It has to have some kind of purpose

KJ: Does everything have to have a purpose with you?

Morrigan: (Without missing a beat) Yes

KJ: Ooh, Ona Rosa finally made it - let's go say hey

    In a small corridor leading to the restrooms way on the other side of the building, Penny Renselier dries her tearstained eyes with a rough paper towel and takes out a cigarette.

Penny: (Struggling with her lighter) Fuck you, Jere

    Wearing leather chaps and dressed as a sheriff from the Old West, Bradley Martel ambles out of the bathroom, spots Penny and makes his way over to her.

Brad: (Striking a match against his face and lighting her cigarette) You're too young to be smoking

Penny: (Exhaling smoke at him) And you're too old to notice... Uncle Brad

Brad: (Taking her cigarette and smoking it) You're adopted, we're not blood

Penny: (Grabbing her cigarette back) So you keep reminding me

Brad: If you don't surrender... your cigarette... I'm going to have to arrest you

Penny: (Trying to burn him with it) You'd like that, wouldn't you?

    The younger Martel brother knocks it away, pulls out a pair of handcuffs and slowly rubs them across her lips. She snags them out of his hand and chucks them across the room.

Brad: Go pick them up

Penny: Make me

    Brad slowly uses his body to push her up against the wall. Not resisting, she allows him to feel her up.

Brad: (Breathing heavily into her ear) Where's your boyfriend?

Penny: (Looking off into the distance) Not here

    The two kiss wildly for a few moments.

Penny: (Stopping him) If the concept of incest doesn't freak you out, how about statutory rape?

Brad: (Fondling her breasts) I've been in jail for worse

    He takes her hand and guides it between his legs.

Penny: Nice gun, Cowboy

Brad: Pull the trigger... I dare you

    With one, swift move, the Renselier daughter knees him in the groin, sending Brad backwards to the floor.

Penny: Bang

Brad: (Struggling to his feet and trying to catch his breath) You... little bitch... I'm going to nail you for that

Penny: (Lifting up her skirt) Nail it to the wall, babe... if you can

    Before Brad can reach Penny, Erika comes from around the corner and steps in front of him.

Erika: Bradley - it seems your brother Griffin is in need of entertainment this evening - why don't the two of you go off and play with yourselves?

Brad: (Still looking at Penny) Rikka, what a surprise - you actually left the lab

Erika: (Getting in his face) Leave... now

Brad: (Hobbling off) I'll catch you later, Dragonfly!

Penny: No, you won't

    The girl gives Erika a huge hug.

Penny: Glad you're here, Erika

Erika: (Still watching Brad) I'm sure you are

Penny: Ah, I could've handled him

Erika: You're playing a very dangerous game, Penelope

Penny: (Taking Erika's mask and holding it to her face) It's my game to play

    Two guards walk by, look them over, and continue on.

Erika: (Following them with her eyes) Tell me, is your mother using a different security force tonight?

Penny: How the hell should I know?

Erika: Did you not help her with the arrangements?

Penny: I suppose - I think the Mayor of Barcelona brought his own detail... why?

Erika: Just curious

Penny: Since you're the only other person I know that's here that doesn't want to be here, could you please bust me out of this nightmare?

Erika: Your parents are here and I don't want you out alone with Brad wandering around

Penny: Come with me to Vesper's house, you can help us with our math homework!

Erika: That actually sounds like fun but I need to check something out

Penny: (Disappointed) Fine

Erika: I'll tell you what, go back to the Etruscan Hall, STAY AWAY FROM BRAD, and I'll drive you to Vesper's in about 20 minutes


    Erika takes a deep breath and scans the rooms as she follows Penny back to the party. She runs into Captain Phelps and Lieutenant Fiore on the way.

Erika: Craig, it's a pleasant surprise to see you here

Craig: I could say the same thing, Dr. von Meer

Erika: With our jobs, I suppose we don't get to socialize that much

Craig: True

Erika: (Barely acknowledging Anita) Lieutenant

Anita: (Smiling at a cocktail waitress) Yeah, hi

Erika: I was wondering, Captain, do you know any of the security guards here tonight?

Craig: No, I don't see any of my guys or extras from the sheriff's department - why?

Erika: No real reason - have a good evening

Craig: (Nodding) Dr. von Meer

    He watches her walk away as the cocktail waitress returns Anita's smile.

Craig: I wonder what that was about?

Anita: (Licking her lips) What? - I wasn't paying attention to what she said

Craig: (Noticing the cocktail waitress) I thought you wanted to leave after an hour?

Anita: (Watching the woman slowly make her way towards her) I found a reason to stay

Craig: (Looking over to Ona Rosa) I don't know which one looks more stunning tonight, Erika or your sister?

Anita: Jesus, between you and KJ drooling all over her, why don't you ask Oni out back and take turns doing her on the steps? - she would be appalled, at first, but then she'd get off on the attention of two REAL men

Craig: Don't talk about your sister like that!

Anita: Why? - she's not a fucking saint... well, maybe she is but I don't have to bow down to her, that's your fantasy

Craig: (Sizing up the cocktail waitress) And that's yours?

Anita: She's bringing me oysters, what's MRS. SANCHEZ bringing you?

Craig: Funny, I would think you'd be crazy over the leggy blonde that just spoke to us?

Anita: (Still watching the cocktail waitress) Erika von Meer is not just an iceberg, she's the entire continent of Antarctica and, as big of a blowtorch as I am, I know when to save fuel

    The cocktail waitress is now directly in front of them.

Anita: Especially when there are tastier marshmallows to torch - later, Matey!

    The captain watches the two women leave and returns his attention to Ona Rosa. Mrs. Sanchez, dressed as a Native American shamaness, is surrounded by KJ, Morrigan, and her conquistador-clad husband, Javier.

KJ: I swear, if it weren't for Ona Rosa's advice, I'd still be in the courthouse right now

Ona Rosa: You flatter me, Kage, the truth is this case had a lot of loop holes to close and we both found ways to close them in time

Javier: (Looking at his watch) How nice

Morrigan: Dr. Sanchez...

Javier: Please, call me Sandy

Morrigan: Sandy... sand

Javier: Pardon?

Morrigan (Ignoring him):

You could not tell, and yet it looked as if
The sand was lucky in being backed by cliff
The cliff in being backed by continent

Javier: What are you talking about?

Morrigan: Forgive me - what I meant to say was THANK YOU for your expertise on my sample from the other day

Javier: I take it the results were to your satisfaction?

Morrigan: (Glaring at him) Mr. Hajanian was MOST helpful

Javier: Glad we could be of service

    Anita passes by and smiles at all of them as she leaves with the cocktail waitress.

Morrigan: (Scoffing) Lieutenant Fiore is some piece of work

Ona Rosa: Yes, my sister inspires that reaction in a lot of people

Javier: At least she inspires something

Morrigan: I'M SO SORRY, I forgot you two were related

Ona Rosa: (Still stung by her husband's comment) That's alright - KJ would you mind introducing me to your new law partner?

KJ: Sure thing

    The two leave.

Javier: If you'll excuse me, Ms. McBride, I need to speak to the university president and her husband

    Left alone, Morrigan tries to remember the rest of the poem in her head when she spots two security guards looking at their watches at the same time and then checking another lighting sconce like the one the metal square fell out of earlier.

Morrigan: Something is definitely not right here!

    She reaches for her cell phone and remembers that all electronic devices had to be checked with security before anyone could proceed to the hall. This causes her to run out of the room with Erika noticing.

Erika: (Following) What is our intrepid reporter up to now?

The Lois Lane look-alike stops at the security table with long line ahead of her.


Everyone ignores her except for the one, nasty comment of "wait your goddamn turn, lady."

Erika: (Lowering her mask) Is there a problem, Ms. McBride

Morrigan: Dr. von Meer - you wouldn't happen to have a phone, would you?

Erika: No... but there is one in Lydia's office, I'll go get the key from her

Morrigan: NO, there's no time for that - just show me where her office is and I can get in

Erika: (Fascinated) Follow me

As the two hurry up the stairs, Morrigan unwittingly speaks the lines of the poem out loud.

Erika: May I ask why you're reciting Robert Frost?

Morrigan: (Grabbing Erika by the shoulders and almost losing her balance) YOU KNOW THAT POEM?

Erika: Yes, "Once By The Pacific" - why?

Morrigan: (Her voice strained) HOW DOES IT GO, HOW DOES IT GO?

Erika: (Clearing her throat)

    The shattered water made a misty din,
    Great waves looked over others coming in,
    And thought of doing something to the shore
    That water never did to land before
    The clouds were low and hairy in the skies
    Like locks blown forward in the gleam of eyes.
    You could not tell, and yet it looked as if
    The sand was lucky in being backed by cliff,
    The cliff in being backed by continent.
    It looked as if a night of dark intent
    Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
    Someone had better be prepared for rage.
    There would be more than ocean water broken
    Before God's last Put out the light was spoken.

Morrigan: (Sweating) WHERE IS HER OFFICE?

Erika: First door on the right

Morrigan runs over, and with a few items from her purse, picks the lock open in seconds.

Morrigan: (Grabbing the phone and dialing) C'mon, Gracie, ANSWER

Erika stays outside the door and listens.

At the Techtonic Nightclub, Gracie is in the middle of a set when her phone vibrates.

Gracie: (Barely able to hear over the music) WHY ARE YOU BOTHERING ME?


Gracie: (Going over to a somewhat quieter corner) Morrigan, is that you? - what's the matter, not making any new friends? - at least try to establish some potential sources



Morrigan: I... I don't know... SOMETHING... something is very wrong here

Gracie: You're not making any sense

Morrigan: Some creepy guy called earlier and read me an ominous Robert Frost poem, then I found this strange metal square and the security guards are making me very uneasy

With those words, Erika bolts out of the building.

Morrigan: I'm telling you Gracie, something is going down here tonight, I'm not sure what

Gracie: Look, take a deep breath, lay off the champagne and think for a minute

Morrigan: I am NOT drunk

Gracie: I'm not saying you are

Morrigan: Remember my green hand dreams?

Gracie: (Growing concerned) Did you have another one?

Morrigan: No, but it's that same feeling of dread - I can't explain it - PLEASE GET OVER HERE

Gracie: Okay, give me a few minutes to find a replacement DJ, drag Zach out of Justine's mouth and then we'll be right over

Morrigan: (Hanging up the phone) Thank you

She returns to the hall.

Morrigan: Dr. von Meer, I appreciate... Dr. von Meer?

Not far from the museum, Erika rips off her costume and dives into the ocean. As Darkfin, she returns to the party and is stopped by one of the guards before entering.

Guard: And what are you supposed to be, Neptune's whore?

Darkfin: (Snapping his neck with one twist) For you, the Angel of Death

After disposing of the guard's lifeless body behind some bushes, Darkfin passes through the door, checks to make sure no one else is around and then scales the wall.

Morrigan paces in the Native American section and suddenly freezes at one of the dioramas.

Morrigan: (Looking around) I just saw a shadow move, I know I did!

KJ suddenly enters the room, causing Morrigan to scream.


Morrigan: (Shaking) SHIT, KJ, I'm sorry

KJ: (Holding her) What's the matter?

Morrigan: Can we go back to the main room, PLEASE?

KJ: (Bewildered) Sure, let's go

Morrigan: Maybe Gracie's right, I think I had too much to drink

KJ: I can take you home if you'd like?

Morrigan: (Locking her eyes on the necklace) Shh, Lydia and the mayor are about to present the Duquesa's Tears

In the eaves of the ceiling, Darkfin locks her eyes on Morrigan.

Lydia: (Approaching the podium) Ladies and gentlemen, this has been such an exciting evening, I want to thank you for...

All of the sudden, every light in the museum goes out, followed by a large crash and people screaming.

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