Year One: Duquesa Bay

"Evening Entertainment"

Docked in the mid-sized port of Duquesa Bay, a Meer-A-Mar Cargo ship carrying imported goods from Bulgaria rests quietly against the burgeoning night sky. Inside, a few members of its crew gather in a small room filled with various illegal weapons.

Crewman #1: (Polishing a machine gun) America does love its guns, doesn't it?

Crewman #2: (Unpacking a case of grenades) And I love its TV shows - hurry, it's almost time for "Ancient Space"

Crewman #1: Keep your mind on the job

Crewman #2: With the money we make from this, let's buy our whole town back home

Crewman #1: Are you joking? - I will visit cousin in Vegas, buy lots of pretty American girls

Crewman #2: There are pretty girls back home

Crewman #1: Yes, but American girls are easy

A voice from in back of the men startles them.

Darkfin: Just how easy do you think we are?

Coming into the light, Darkfin faces the two and casually smiles. One of them screams.

Crewman #1: (Aiming his gun at her) God save us, what are you?

Darkfin: I ask myself that on occasion

Crewman #2: KILL IT, KILL IT

Crewman #1: OH, wait a minute, wait a minute... captain said something about a show filming on the dock today - "Sigma Seven" I think

Crewman #2: SIGMA SEVEN? - I LOVE SIGMA SEVEN

Crewman #1: (Smirking at Darkfin) I suggest you turn around, forget what you saw here or I'll have the studio cancel your contract... understand?

Darkfin: Is that a wise move before sweeps?

Crewman #2: Hey, can you get me BogRee's autograph?

Darkfin: Sorry... how about I do my best imitation of R'xal?

With one quick flip, Darkfin is on top of the second crewman, knocking him out cold. Before the first crewman can get a shot off, she jams the gun back into his chest, cracking a few ribs.

Darkfin: (Picking him up by the neck) I want you to do me a favor

Crewman #1: PLEASE DON'T KILL ME

Darkfin: (Placing him at the ship's intercom) Call for help

Crewman #1: (Gasping) I can't... I can't breathe

Darkfin: (Tightening her hold) Then CALL... FOR... HELP

Crewman #1: (Into the intercom) INTRUDER... INTRUDER, DECK C... HELP ME

With a flick of her wrist, the crewman is sent flying into the corner. Darkfin calmly struts out of the room and waits in the main cargo hold as over a dozen armed crewmen arrive.

Darkfin: Hello, boys - I'm bored... wanna play?

As two of them open fire, she leaps into the air and takes out three of them with a rounding kick. She then pitches and rolls, taking out two more. A large man comes up from behind and grabs around her. She breaks his foot and flips him over onto a crate. One crewman with a gun keeps firing at her as she ducks behind several stacked barrels.

Crewman #3: (Searching) WHERE DID SHE GO?

Crewman #4: (Kicking over a barrel) I DON'T KNOW

Sticking to the wall above them, the green marine menace whistles.

Darkfin: (Waving) Excuse me, hi... up here!

Before the crewmen have a chance to react, she slams down hard on both. A crewman with a large machete lunges at her from the side, nicking her slightly on the back.

Darkfin: NICE MOVE, CONGRATULATIONS

With one hand, she bats the machete away and then with the other, spreads out her sharp forearm fin and slices through his neck.

Darkfin: My move is better

The remaining crewmen start to retreat and she chases after them. Now on the top deck of the ship, the captain looks around bewildered at the frightened crewmen.

Captain: What is going on here? - stop being cowards, turn around, and fight!

Darkfin: (Smiling) Maybe you should turn around

Captain: (Doing so) Huh?

With a quick gesture, Darkfin's trident flies out of the water and spears the captain through the chest. She pulls her weapon out of the body and glides down to the remaining crewmen, still desperately trying to flee.

Crewman #4: PLEASE, WE BEG YOU, LET US GO

Snapping off three, long, steel pipes from the ship, Darkfin tosses them to each crewman. She grabs her trident and takes a defensive posture.

Darkfin: Do as your captain said... stop being cowards and fight!

The three crewmen look at each other and then spread out to surround her. The next few moments are a flurry of clanging metal as Darkfin uses her trident as a fighting staff, whirling it around, smashing the pipes and knocking down two of her opponents. She trips up the last one as he tries to run, uses the tips of the trident to pick up the crewman by his jacket, carries him to the side of the ship and pitches him over.

Darkfin: (Calling down after him) The water is a bit cold tonight, don't swim too long

With no one else to attack, she goes over to a certain spot on the deck and retrieves a black diver's watch and notes the time.

Darkfin: (Strapping it to her wrist) Not a bad time for regular humans, not a good time if I stand any chance against the cloak freaks

With a deep sigh, she takes one last look around her and dives gracefully into the water below.

Inside the Fiore family farmhouse, Frank and his wife Carmen prepare a small dinner for their family. Craig Phelps plays ball with Ona Rosa's children as she watches on with her sister, Anita.

Ona Rosa: (Half smile) Craig isn't just playing with the kids, he's actually trying to win

Anita: (Sipping a Corona Light) Yep, that's Crunch, he's always looking to score... speaking of which, where's your husband?

Ona Rosa: (Scowling) He's staying late for a department meeting, he'll be here shortly

Anita: Uh-huh

Ona Rosa: Nita, don't start

Anita: I'm not starting anything... that hasn't already been started

Hector Tapia pops his head out of the door and calls to his nieces.

Hector: Your mom needs some help in the kitchen, girls!

Ona Rosa: We'll be right in, Tio

Running out and catching the ball, Anita stops the game between Craig and the kids.

Anita: Get on in and get cleaned up, supper is almost ready - Crunch, go help Oni with the salad

Craig: (All smiles) My pleasure

Anita: (Following in after him) Yeah, I'll bet

As everyone gathers at the table, Frank is already seated at the head of it, glaring at his empty plate.

Anita: (Bringing out the rolls) Don't lift a finger to help, Dad

Frank: (Now glaring at Anita) I can't lift my arm, let alone a finger

Ona Rosa and Craig appear from the kitchen with the salad and a pitcher of lemonade.

Craig: You know, Frank - I could talk to my buddy at the gym, he's a professional trainer, I'm sure he'd be more than happy to recommend some exercises for you

Anita and Ona Rosa roll their eyes at each other at the anticipated answer.

Frank: Another time, maybe - will someone let Bucko in?

Ona Rosa: (Rushing to the back door) I'll get him

Anita: (Banging down some plates) Do we have to have the fucking dog at the dinner table? - he's filthy!

Carmen: (Entering the room with a casserole) And your mouth isn't? - Nita, SIT

Anita sighs and does as she's told as Craig makes an amused face at her. A large, German Shepherd/Bloodhound mix bounds over to Frank and settles at his feet.

Frank: (Struggling to pat him) There's my boy, there's my boy!

After Ona Rosa seats the children at a smaller table in the other room, she returns to where the adults are gathered.

Ona Rosa: (Taking a seat) It all looks delicious

Craig: (Looking at Ona Rosa) Yes, very tasty

Carmen: Thank you - Hector, please say grace for us

Everyone clasps hands except for Frank who begrudgingly touches his wife's hand with his fingers.

Hector:

Drinking when we are not thirsty
and making love at all seasons
madam: that is all there is
to distinguish us from
the other animals

Frank: What the hell does that mean?

Anita: Maybe Bucko can explain it to you

Frank: It doesn't mention the Lord, it doesn't mention food...

Carmen: It was lovely, Hector, gracias

Hector: It's by Pierre-Augustin de Beaumarchais

Frank: I don't want to hear a freaky Frenchman's poem at my table!

Anita: (Shoveling in a mouth full of vegetables) If you heard it in the bathroom, would it make a difference?

Carmen: NITA

Craig: (Holding up his glass) I'd like to make a toast... to a wonderful meal and to the extremely kind and extremely beautiful Fiore women, CHEERS

Ona Rosa: For that, Craig, you are getting an extra slice of my cherry pie

Anita laughs to herself.

Hector: I had an interesting meeting today with a lovely young woman

Anita: Was it in the vertical or the horizontal position?

Carmen and Ona Rosa flash Anita a cross look.

Anita: Hey, what's wrong with a geometry question over mixed greens?

Hector: Actually, it was an interview

Frank: Hallelujah, you're finally getting a real job!

Hector: A NEWS interview, Francis - Morrigan McBride is doing a piece on the county correctional program

Anita: (Throwing down her napkin) Aw, man!

Ona Rosa: What's the matter, Sis, did she turn you down?

Anita: I can't stand her, she's freaking everywhere - sticking her nose in where it doesn't belong - we have enough problems trying to figure out Aleta...

Craig gives her a sharp poke under the table.

Hector: Well, she seems like a sweet, well-informed, respectable journalist - she asked very intelligent questions

Anita: You just want to bang her, you old goat!

Carmen: Ay, m'hija, por favor

Frank: Did someone forget to feed the goats?

Hector: I have a chance of banging her long before you do

Craig: (Laughing and giving Hector a high-five) NICE

Anita: Whatever, I just wish she'd high tail it back to Montana or wherever it is she came from

Frank: Montanans - bastards, all of them

Anita: Dad, you're drooling on the chipotle

Ona Rosa: So, Craig, any new leads on what exactly happened that night at the museum?

Craig: Not really, since the necklace - most of it - was recovered...

Anita: Thanks to US

Hector: And, don't forget, Ms. McBride

Anita scowls at her uncle.

Craig: It's technically out of our hands now - we're still doing spot checks for the statue but I am more than certain it's long gone

Carmen: Poor Lydia returned to work yesterday, she is just devastated by the whole thing

Frank: That woman should be fired!

Ona Rosa: Aren't you being a little harsh, Dad?

Frank: They're just coddling her because of her condition - Carmie, butter me another roll...

Anita holds her mother's hand down as she reaches for the butter dish.

Frank: AND because she's a WOMAN - if it were a healthy white man in her shoes, his ass would be tossed like a pizza

Hector: If it were a healthy white man in her shoes, I would hope he'd be wearing matching eye shadow

Craig: (High-fiving Hector) Tapia scores again!

Carmen: Unfortunately, there are those at the museum who feel the same way

Ona Rosa: What about you, Mom?

Carmen: It wasn't her fault, no one could've predicted what happened - besides, Lydia is my biggest supporter for enlarging the Chumash section, I don't want to lose her

Frank: DAMMIT, CARMIE, MY ROLL

Anita: (Holding her mother back again) GET... IT... YOUR... SELF

Frank: FINE

There is an awkward silence as everyone watches the older man struggle for the butter. After five minutes of listening to him grunt and groan, Anita reaches over and butters him a roll.

Anita: Here, spare us the drama

Ona Rosa's cell phone goes off and she eagerly answers it away from the table as everyone goes back to eating.

Ona Rosa: (Returning) That was Javier, he'll be here shortly - do you mind if he brings Shelby and her son with him?

Carmen: Of course not, I'd love to have them, there's more than enough food!

Frank: I DO NOT WANT THAT JIGABOO AT MY DINNER TABLE

Carmen: SHH, the children might hear you!

Hector: Francis, c'mon

Ona Rosa: Geez, Dad, that's not right

Anita: Look, I know the stroke addled half of your brain but THINK about what you're saying before you say it out loud!

Carmen: His internal editor is gone

Anita: STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR HIM - FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, DAD, YOUR WIFE IS MEXICAN

Frank: She's not black!

Anita: So, is she a wetback? - is Oni part spic? - what am I?

Frank: You're just a big dyke but at least you have the decency not to bring your deviant whores to the dinner table

Anita: Note to self: bring deviant whores over for tamales next Tuesday

Ona Rosa: Nita, don't exacerbate it

Carmen excuses herself from the table in tears.

Hector: At the turn of the century, Francis, ITALIANS... along with people of Irish, Polish, and Chinese heritage, were considered to be the dregs of society

Frank: SHUDDUP AND GET A REAL JOB

Craig: I'm 1/4 Estonian Jew, do I still get pie?

Anita: (Looking at her pager) The pie, THANKFULLY, will have to wait - we're being called in on a Delta Code... let's move!

Craig: (Jumping up) Ona Rosa, please thank your mother for me, dinner was enjoyable

Ona Rosa: It was?

Craig: The food was

Ona Rosa: (Half smile) I'll save you some pie

Anita: Oh, Captain, let's go!

At the KCON station breakroom, Morrigan is picking at some stale coffee cake with anchor Dan Henshaw.

Dan: Seagull guano - I've had spectacular results with it!

Morrigan: Does it work for African Violets?

Weatherman Austin Ortega boogies into the room and grabs a Diet Coke from the refrigerator.

Austin: CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON - whatchy'all talking about?

Morrigan: Bird poop and flowers

Austin: Keep talking... once I leave the room

Morrigan: Chickenshit!

Dan: That's actually good for legumes

Austin: Hey, Morey Eel, are you coming with to Techtonic? - Gracie promised me an all-disco set

Morrigan: Sorry, Dallas, I need to stay and finish editing my story on the county correctional program

Austin: Mmm, men behind bars, can I help?

Morrigan: Another time, maybe... please tell Gracie I'll catch her gig this weekend

Austin: (Leaving) Cool - hey, Danny, I suppose you don't want to go?

Dan: They're having a Korean War retrospective on the History Channel tonight

Austin: Aw damn, I forgot to set my VCR... LATER

Dan: You should set your VCR, you might LEARN something!

A call comes through on the extension phone in the room.

Dan: (Answering it) Yes... really? - uh-huh, will we be going live? - right, I'll tell her

Morrigan: What's up?

Dan: That was Benitez, apparently, something is happening at the dock with a Meer-A-Mar ship, Kylee's too far out of range, you need to go cover it - we'll be doing a live stand-up in 20 minutes

Morrigan: (Jumping up) OH, GREAT

Dan: And just say no to urea!

Morrigan: (Halting) Excuse me?

Dan: Never use urea-based nitrogen to feed African Violets, it gives them root burn

Craig and Anita thoroughly inspect the ship, along with the severely injured or dead crewmen.

Craig: Looks like our friend struck again

Anita: (Carefully looking at one of the broken pipes) Mm-hmm

Craig: I really did enjoy dinner tonight, thank you for inviting me

Anita: You need to get out more

Craig: I'm serious - my family never spoke at dinner, my ex-wife only talked about herself at dinner - this was GREAT

Anita: I'm glad someone enjoyed it

Craig: You really should cut your father some slack - his judgment might be a little off but he's been through a lot

Anita: The stroke was 18 years ago, not 18 minutes ago - I am SICK and tired of people trying to excuse his horrific behavior and attitude on a tiny clot in his cerebrum

Craig: You're lucky your father survived

Anita: Am I?

Craig: Lieutenant!

Anita: Captain, don't make me replace you with a deviant whore at dinner next week

Craig: (Taking a long look around) Well, I think we've seen everything we need to see here, let's head on back

Anita: Hold on...

Craig: What?

Anita: (Trying to retrace the footsteps in the attack pattern) There's something... something not right about this time

Craig: What do you mean? - it's the same MO

Anita: Yeah, but slightly different - it's like... it's like she was PRACTICING for something

Morrigan: (Coming up behind them) Practicing for what?

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