Year One: Duquesa Bay

Thirty Minutes After Midnight

Inside the emergency room of Bay Valley Medical Center, Penny and George Renselier wait as Lydia is treated for her wounds.  Brad Martel paces in the hall, eyeing Penny as her father speaks on his cell phone.

George: Yes, we're waiting to hear now - no, we're still not sure what happened - it was terrible, I'm so glad you weren't there

Realizing his daughter is glowering at him, he turns in his seat and speaks in a hushed tone.

George: I'll be by tomorrow - I love you, too

Penny: (Arms folded) I have no idea who your new playmate is and I could, quite frankly, care less BUT I do care about my mother, YOUR WIFE, who is going through multiple levels of shit right now - stick the cell up your ass and show some respect!

The elder Renselier thinks about a retort, decides against one and quickly puts the phone away in his pocket as Brad chuckles in the corner.  Dr. Stephanie Gates emerges from the other room.

Penny: Aunt Steph, is mom alright?

Dr. Stephanie: A few cuts and bruises, elevated blood pressure, she'll be fine

Both Renseliers breathe a sigh of relief.

Dr. Stephanie: She's very lucky - the gash to her neck, if it were three centimeters deeper, Lyd would be in real trouble right now

Penny covers her faces and rubs it.

George: Can we see her?

Dr. Stephanie: Sure, go on in - she's sedated but still coherent

Penny: (Pausing) How are the others that were brought in? - Mr. Braemar?

Dr. Stephanie: Mostly minor wounds, Mr. Braemar is the only critical one - he's in surgery right now

Inching closer, Brad is standing in back of Penny.

Dr. Stephanie: (Looking at her niece and her son) The paramedics say if it weren't for you two, he'd be dead right now

The scruffy man and the exhausted girl look at each other and then quickly look away.  The Renselier daughter goes inside to see her mother.

Dr. Stephanie: (Watching Brad watch Penny) Why are you really here, Bradley?

Brad: (Scratching his face) To check up on Mr. Braemar, of course... actually, mom, I was wondering if I could stay with you for a few days?

Dr. Stephanie: What happened?

Brad: I was kinda evicted

Dr. Stephanie: Again?

Brad: IT WASN'T MY FAULT

Dr. Stephanie: No, it never is

Brad: I asked dad but he only told me to grow up - Grif and Vicky won't return my calls - Ben said I could stay with him but Claudia insists I sleep in the garage

Dr. Stephanie: What about your friends? - you know what, forget about those creeps

Sighing, she fetches her house key from her pocket and tosses it to Brad.

Dr. Stephanie: We'll discuss this further when I get home

Brad: (All smiles) Thanks!

Dr. Stephanie: (Hearing her name paged) I'm not doing you any favors

She takes off as Brad tries to peek inside the door at Penny.  Lydia opens her eyes and squeezes her husband's hand.

Lydia: George - I need to...

George: (Patting the hand) Shh, you need to do nothing but rest, doctor's orders!

Lydia: Penelope - please get my assistant on the phone

Penny: Mom, that's not a good idea right now

Lydia: PLEASE

Penny: (Diving into her father's pocket) I don't have Brenda's number with me

Mrs. Renselier rattles off the number as her daughter rolls her eyes and dials.

Penny: Hi, Bren - yeah, mom's fine - she wants to know... WHAT?

Lydia grabs the phone out of Penny's hand.

Lydia: Brenda, what's going on? - WHY ON EARTH WOULD THEY TAKE THAT?

George: What's wrong?

Penny: Along with the Duquesa's Tears, some mission statue was stolen

Lydia: Keep me informed, I'll be there as soon as I can

Throwing the phone down on the bed, Lydia tries to keep from crying.

George: Did they steal anything else?

Lydia: DIDN'T THEY STEAL ENOUGH?

Penny: Mom, calm down

Lydia: Brenda and the police checked through everything a half dozen times - the only two items taken were the necklace and the mission statue

George: I can understand the necklace but what's so special about that statue?

Lydia: It doesn't make any sense, we have several of those very same statues in storage - they were mass produced by the Chumash for the Spanish missionaries to sell back in Europe - they have a value of several hundred dollars, tops!

George: Try not to think about it now, Liddy - let's concentrate on getting you home

A nurse comes in to take her vitals.

Nurse: (To Penny) Ms. Renselier, there's a young man in the hall waiting to see you

Penelope storms out of the room to find her boyfriend Jeremey hanging out by the vending machines.

Jere: (Rushing over to her) Pen, are you OK? - Gracie called and told me...

Penny: Why weren't you at the ball?

Jere: Sorry, I didn't really feel like going - besides, I had to help out at Techtonic - I GOT TO DO MY OWN SET, isn't that rad?

Penny: FUCK YOU

She turns and heads back into her mother's room.  Watching from the side, Brad saunters over to a confused Jere and snickers.

Jere: What's your problem?

Brad: Jere, Jere, Jere - little boy, she is SO out of your league

The young man stiffens up and clenches his teeth.

Jere: (Scanning Brad's cowboy costume) You better hurry or you'll miss your YMCA number

Brad: Heh, you better hurry and grow some dick before your girlfriend turns elsewhere to find it

The two get in a shoving match.

Brad: Chill out, dude, I was just giving you some friendly advice

Jere: (Trying to get in a solid punch) You know what you can do with your advice!

Brad: (Pushing Jere back into a chair) Hey, I wouldn't want you to hurt those magic music hands of yours!

A hospital orderly rushes over and escorts them out of the building.   Jeremey takes off on his bike as Brad zooms by him in his black truck.

Brad: (Stopping and rolling down the window) Styling wheels, man, I'm sure the ladies love riding on your handlebars!

The Martel brother cackles and takes off again.  About a half mile down the road, his truck makes a grinding noise and lurches to a stop.  With a mock wave and smile, Jeremey rides past him.

As the turmoil in and around the Quartz County Museum lessens just a bit, KCON's best field producer, Gracie Takanachi, finishes collecting and editing her footage as the Daily Beacon's Zachary Isaacson trots over with his notes.

Gracie: Did you find Morri yet?

Zach: No, and there a few other people missing as well - I saw Griffin and he's frantically looking for Dr. von Meer

Gracie: Huh, maybe they panicked and ran for the hills, I know I'd still be running from this mess

Zach: It doesn't seem like M&M to run

Gracie: (Checking some wires) I know - and that's what has me really concerned

Zach: Before I was kicked out by the cops, I saw a ton of blood and spent ammo in the courtyard, more than just a jewelry heist went down here tonight

Gracie: (Watching another emergency vehicle take off) Was anyone killed?

Zach: I can't get a confirmation but I highly suspect so

Gracie: (Taking a deep breath) OK, keeping the train wreck in mind, we are NOT going to think the worst

Zach: (Thinking the worst) Right

Gracie: Morrigan is probably following a lead somewhere and she'll get in touch with us when she's ready

Zach: That or her body will float up somewhere

Gracie: (Bopping him on the arm) ZACH

Zach: WHAT? - you told me to think about what happened with the train wreck!

Gracie: Look, we have jobs to do, let's just do them

Isaacson notices a disheveled Kylee Shepperton hurrying over to them.

Zach: (To Gracie) Speaking of jobs

Kylee: Grace, do you have some notes for me to look at?

Gracie: Benny said Steel was coming over to do the stand-up?

Kylee: (Fixing her makeup) Well, Benny is wrong - Claudia is not here, I am, let's go!

Zach: Gee, Kyleekins, how come you just got here? - weren't you supposed to be at this fancy shindig?

Kylee: (Setting up for the shot) You're in my way, Zach, MOVE

Gracie: (Handing Kylee her notes) Funny, I haven't seen Mr. Gates around, either

Kylee: If you MUST know, we were both tied up in meetings with the network executives

Zach: Were Prussick knots involved?

Gracie: (Checking in with the station) Closing in on one minute

Kylee: (Putting in her IFB) Look, I wanted to be here - getting stuck in a meeting was not my first choice

Gracie: (Under her breath) "Stuck" is the operative word you corporate fuck doll

Kylee: EXCUSE ME?

Gracie: (Fake smile) I said, "it's a good thing you're here afterall"

Zach swallows his laughter.

Kylee: Because of the deal we struck at the meeting tonight, you will have a paycheck this week, Ms. Takanachi, you'd be wise to remember that!

Gracie: And you'd be wise to remember your in cue - 30 SECONDS

Still tracking the cloaked figure running with the large sack, Morrigan edges close to the waterfront.  The thickening fog is making it more difficult to see.  The figure starts to slow down in the sand.

Morrigan: (To herself) What do I do now?

The figure pauses and looks towards the sea, waiting.  Stumbling over a large clump of washed up kelp, Morrigan has an idea.  She grabs a long strand of the thick vegetation to use as a rope and carefully approaches the figure.

Morrigan: (In her mind) On the count of three... one, two, HAAA

She throws the kelp rope around the figure and pulls it tight against him.   He's thrown to the ground and remains motionless.

Morrigan: GOTCHA - what's in the bag pal?

Figure: (Deep and eerie) You'll figure it out

Instantly recognizing the same voice that warned her on the phone earlier, she carefully goes to check the contents.  The figure snaps the seaweed around him and deftly hurls Morrigan towards the ocean.  Landing hard in the surf, the KCON reporter screams for help as the figure calmly gathers the sack and heads off into the fog.  Trying to recuperate from her head fin injury, Darkfin hears the commotion and swims over to investigate.  She observes Morrigan now running along the beach, batting at the fog around her.

Morrigan: (Trying to catch her breath) I know he went in this direction... I think - DAMMIT - WHERE ARE YOU, YOU HOODED COWARD?

Darkfin: (Following her at a distance) That sounds familiar

In the skies over Duquesa Bay, Lieutenant Fiore pilots the helicopter as Captain Phelps searches the waters below with a large spotlight.

Craig: They HAVE to be here

Anita: We've search up and down, there are no boats - our teams in the water have given the all clear - I don't know about you, but I'm tired of dancing in the dark

Craig: Keep looking

Anita: FOR GODSAKES CAPTAIN, there's nothing out here except a lonely seal and increasing fog - we need to get back

A disgusted Craig frowns at the fog and slams his hand against the window.

Anita: Look, the police have every road in and out of town blocked off - we will continue to search every ship that leaves the Bay area for the next year if we have to - if that necklace is still here, we'll find it!

Craig: (Sighing) You're right, lieutenant, let's return to base

After running up the coast for several miles, a bewildered Morrigan collapses on the shore as she realizes her increasingly painful shoulder was dislocated by being thrown by the cloaked figure.

Morrigan: (Looking up into the fog) This is stupid, that guy is long gone - I need to go back and get help

As she starts to her knees, she feels two, cold, slimy hands firmly grab a hold of her neck.

Darkfin: (In back of Morrigan) Remain still or die

The odd, female voice is not the one of the cloaked figure.  Overwhelmed by the same feeling she had on the night she first entered town and again in the Santa Conchita River, McBride tries to keep as calm as she can.

Morrigan: Who are you?

Darkfin: Your worst nightmare

Morrigan: Can you be a little more original?

Darkfin: Tell me about the man in the robe

Morrigan: (Gasping) I would if I could breathe

Darkfin: (Only slightly loosening her grip) Did he say anything to you?

Morrigan: Not really, I saw him running from the museum with a sack, I followed him here

Darkfin: You never lost sight of him?

Morrigan: Would you mind taking your slimy hands off me?

Darkfin: ANSWER THE QUESTION

Morrigan: Maybe for a few moments but never for very long

Darkfin: (Disturbed) He must have friends

Morrigan: Do you have friends?

Darkfin: (Looking up at the approaching helicopter) Do not worry about what is in back of you, focus on what is directly in front of you!

Suddenly, Morrigan feels a sharp blow to the back of her head and blacks out.  As Craig gives one last sweep with the spotlight, he notices movement by the tidal pools.

Craig: DID YOU SEE THAT?

Anita: What?

Craig: I just saw something

Anita: (Tugging on his costume sleeve) Blackbeard's treasure?

The captain aims the spotlight on the shore and discovers a woman's body.

Anita: OH GOD

Craig: TAKE IT DOWN

The Coast Guard helicopter quickly descends and lands on the shore.  Craig runs over as Anita radios for assistance.

Craig: (Gently turning her over) JESUS, IT'S MCBRIDE - she's alive!

Anita: (Running up to them with a first aid kit) What is up with this chica?

Craig: (Checking her over) It looks like someone konked her pretty hard in back of the head

Anita: An ambulance is on its way

Craig: (Administering smelling salts) Ms. McBride, MORRIGAN - do you understand me?

Covered in sand and soaked in sea water, she gags on the smell and flutters her eyes.

Morrigan: What... what happened?

Craig: Why don't you tell us?

Morrigan: Where did...

Thinking of the cold hands around her neck, she stops herself before she says anything more.

Morrigan: Captain Phelps?

Anita: (Getting in her face) Finish your thought - "where did" WHAT?

Morrigan: (Now sitting up) Where did the guy go I was chasing?

Craig: (Looking around) What guy?

Morrigan: I saw someone running away from the museum with a sack

Craig: I KNEW IT

Anita: What did he look like?

Morrigan: I don't know, he was in a hooded robe

Craig: Why didn't you go for help?

Morrigan: I didn't have time and I didn't have my cell phone

Anita: Then what happened?

Morrigan: I caught up to him, we struggled and that's all I remember

Craig takes off to search the area as Morrigan slowly rises to her feet.

Anita: (Giving her a hand) Maybe you should stay on the ground, you have one wicked welt on the back of your head

Morrigan: (Pulling away) I'll be fine

Anita: (Noticing the unusual red marks around the woman's neck) Did he try to strangle you?

Morrigan: Uh, I guess

Anita: Did he say anything?

Morrigan: (Reflecting) Focus on what is directly in front of you

Craig: ANITA

The lieutenant bolts off in the direction of her captain's yell with Morrigan staggering behind.  All three stare at a tidal pool illuminated by Craig's flashlight.  The Duquesa's Tears lie among the tiny starfish, anemones, urchins and limpets.

Craig: Blackbeard's treasure for sure!

 

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