Year One: Duquesa Bay

"If"

Inside his Meeramar office, which has been retrofitted with extra security measures, Griffin Martel speaks on his private phone to Erika.

Griffin: How are you doing this morning?

Erika: I can see clearly... out of one eye

Griffin: Do you want me to come over?

Erika: I'm fine, Rif, really - look, I am truly sorry about the accident, I'll have my father stop by the dealership and pick you out a new car later

Griffin: That's really not necessary

Erika: Yes, it is

Griffin: Rikka, I own the dealership

Erika: Ah... right

Griffin: I can pick it out myself - what I'm more interested in is why you didn't report the accident to the police when it happened?

Erika: I thought KJ explained it to you last night? - it was mostly my fault, I didn't want the insurance company hassle

Griffin: Yes, but now we have the complication of Morrigan McBride - have you seen the papers today?

Erika: She did not shoot that priest

Griffin: They're investigating her as the main suspect

Erika: She's being set up

Griffin: How do you know?

Erika: It's just a feeling I have

Griffin: How very scientific of you

Erika: I working on the postulate this very moment

Griffin: Once again, KJ's superlative dating selection is bringing a stench to the family - Morrigan has been nothing but a Samuel Beckett wet dream since she arrived in Duquesa Bay - stay away from her

Erika: Any other orders, Sire?

Griffin: Are you coming into the office today? - there is an exciting new development that I want to discuss with you... in person

Erika: Listen, we're still on for that weekend in Napa but I just can't be bothered today - I have too many tests going at the lab

Griffin: (Growing angry) Have Shelby do them

Erika: She has her own to do

Griffin: (Shouting) YOU FUCKED UP MY CAR, THE LEAST YOU COULD DO IS SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR THE BUSINESS... AND TO ME

There is a short silence on the phone.

Erika: You're about to have a meeting with your father, aren't you?

Griffin: Yes, why?

Erika: I'll see what I can do later this afternoon

Griffin: We could have lunch

Erika: (Clicking off) Goodbye, Griffin

The middle Martel brother snaps his phone off and sighs. His large Samoan assistant knocks on the door.

Griffin: You may only enter if you bear good news

Assistant: (Carrying a large wooden box and smiling) I believe it is, Sir

Griffin: (Standing up) Is that what I think it is?

Assistant: (Setting it on the table) It just arrived by special messenger

Griffin: (Eagerly opening it) Excellent!

The two stare at the industrial-sized drill bit sitting in a velvet-lined compartment.

Griffin: (Picking it up) I can't believe how light this is

Assistant: The prototypes were most successful - not the exact same composition as what we're searching for but close enough to be of great assistance

Griffin: (Looking at his watch) The timing couldn't have been better

Assistant: They have been mass-produced and the shipment is expected to arrive in a week's time

Griffin: Huh, we'll actually be ahead of schedule for once

Assistant: They sent you this first one as a special gift

Griffin: I suppose we should give it an official designation

Assistant: Actually, Sir, they already have - the DM5

Griffin: (Thinking for a minute) You've got to be kidding me

Assistant: It's the fifth and final version since this project began

Griffin: (Gritting his teeth) "DM?"

Assistant: (Looking away) Um... they named it after your father

Griffin: (Putting it back in the box) Of course... I want this stored in my private vault, even with all of the new security measures, I do not feel comfortable keeping it here

Assistant: Shall I do it now?

Griffin: (Slamming it shut) In a few hours, I might as well show it to the man whose initials it bears

At the Duquesa Bay Yacht & Polo Club, Douglas is preparing his horse for a practice match with a few business associates.

Doug: (Putting out a cigar) I'm telling you, Collins, this new first baseman we just signed is pure money - he can barely speak English but who the hell can these days?

The group of men chuckle as a call from Griffin rings through to Doug on his cell.

Doug: (Sighing and answering it) What's the problem now, son?

Griffin: No problem, father - in fact, I think you're going to be please with what I have...

Doug: This will have to wait until I get back to the office, I'm busy

Griffin: But

Doug: I'll see you in a couple of hours

The Martel patriarch stuffs the phone in his gear bag and shakes his head.

Doug: Christ, you would think that with four sons at least ONE of them would have my backbone

Collins: What about your daughter?

Doug: What about her?

Collins blinks.

Doug: Oh, well Vikki is quite capable... for a girl - but she has her place on the bench

Collins: Heh, true - we are going to need her shortly - but I do think that Griffin is doing a good enough job

Doug: "Good enough" does not cut it in my book - he has a lot more to learn - now, Bradley has the balls but he's too busy thinking with them right now

Collins: There's no hope for Ben?

Doug: (Scowling) No - the last shred was snuffed out when he married KCON's queen dom and became "Mr. Claudia Steel"

Collins: (Shrugging) Well, there's always baby Ivan

Doug: Nah, I can tell already that he's going to be high maintenance like his mother - just by the way he craps his diapers

Collins: (Raising an eyebrow) That's a unique paradigm

Doug suddenly notices a man loitering at the far end of the field.

Doug: (Recognizing him) Um, gentlemen, you all go on ahead - there's a matter I need to take care of real quick

He saunters over to the man with large ears and the two take a walk over to a secluded area.

Doug: You must have something for me to show up here

Man: Sure do, Mr. M - I'm not sure you're gonna like it much

Doug: (Squinting) I doubt I'll like it at all - hand it over

The man gives him a small video camera with a playback monitor.

Doug: (Getting frustrated with the buttons) How do you work this asinine thing?

Man: Uh... here, allow me

The man switches on the player and Doug watches images of Ursula, wearing nothing but Captain Phelps' unbuttoned uniform shirt, sitting astride a naked Craig, flash by. After a moment, he silently places the viewer on top of a small slate wall and takes his mallet to it.

Doug: (Smashing it to bits) HOW DARE YOU - I SAVED YOU - I MADE YOU - YOU ARE THE MOTHER OF MY SON

He pauses to catch his breath.

Man: They'll be meeting at his place later - so... do you want me to fix this little problem?

Doug: (Walking through the pieces of the player) NO - there are some matters a man needs to handle himself

Man: Right - about my fee?

Douglas whips around with the mallet still in his hand.

Man: (Backing off) Ooh, you know, just... uh, just send it on in to the office - and if there's anything else I can help with

Doug: Get lost... NOW

The man does as he is told while Martel returns to his associates.

Collins: Everything alright?

Doug: Yes - perfect - but I need to take care of some business, please go on without me

As Griffin prepares to go before a hastily called meeting of the Pacific Coast Oil Cartel, Erika shows up at his office.

Griffin: (All smiles) You decided to take me up on my lunch offer?

Erika tosses him a sack containing two salads to go.

Erika: (Taking a seat) Let's get down to business - what was so important that you guilt tripped me into coming over?

Griffin: (Gesturing to the box) I have something inside here that's going to floor you

Erika: (Adjusting her extra pair of glasses) Not another "dildo in the magic box" gag

Griffin: (Evil grin) I nearly killed Sister Marie Sabine with that in Ghent

Erika: Are we here to reminisce?

Griffin: Actually, what's in this box will astonish even you, dear - I'm getting ready to present it to the board but I wanted you to see it first... actually, I wanted my father to see it first but he's not here

Erika: And I am... lucky me

Griffin opens the box with a flourish and takes out the drill bit.

Erika: That actually looks painful

Griffin: It goes on the end of an industrial drill

Erika: (Unimpressed) Was there a sale at SEARS?

Griffin: The DM5 is the state-of-the-art tool we'll be using for our next project

Erika: DM5?

Griffin: Just some silly title designation - here, you're the scientist, have a look!

He presents it to a suddenly piqued Erika who can't help but notice how similar it is to Nereidium.

Erika: This... this metal is so light - what is it?

Griffin: It's some kind of alloy our R&D team came up with - it's not exactly what we were hoping for but it should get the job done

Erika: Why do I have the feeling that you're going to be drilling for more than oil?

Griffin: (Hesitant) Well... yes, I guess you could assume that

Erika: What is it?

Griffin: I can't really say at the moment except that the metal we're going after will make this drill bit seem like talcum powder compared to pure cocaine

Erika: (Trying to remain cool) That's a pretty boastful claim - as a scientist, I am extremely skeptical until there have been numerous studies to back up those words

Griffin: Believe me, once we tap this vein, there will be no need for studies - this is a natural resource that will revolutionize the world with its industrial applications

Erika: Don't you mean military?

Griffin: (Taking the bit and putting it back inside the box) The military IS an industry, Erika

The von Meer daughter studies a beaming Griffin.

Erika: IF all goes according to plan - one thing I have learned over the course of my experiments is that you can never predict unknown variables

Griffin: There will be no unknown variables - if there are, we'll simply eliminate them... in fact, one is already out of the way

Before she can respond, Douglas barges in.

Doug: OK, what's so important, Griffin?

Griffin: I was just showing Erika and now I'm about to show it to the PCOC board

Doug: (Going right over to the box) Is this what we've been waiting for?

Griffin: Yes... the DM5

Doug: (Throwing open the box and checking out the bit) Huh, they named it after me, that's the least they could do with all the money I've spent on this venture

Griffin: (Sour expression) We could send it back and wait for your image to be engraved on it?

Erika turns aside to stifle a laugh.

Doug: Is everyone gathered?

Griffin: Yes, they're waiting in Conference Room 4

Doug: (Gingerly putting it back in the box) Fine, give me your notes and let's go

Griffin: Notes? - but I'm giving the presentation

Doug: (Heading out the door) Not anymore - come on, get a move on, I have to be somewhere shortly

Griffin: (Looking at Erika and then to his father) WHY DON'T YOU GO THERE NOW? - I HAVE THIS UNDER CONTROL

Doug: I'm sure you do, son, but this is much too important for you to screw up in the slightest way

Erika: Douglas, why don't you let Griffin give the presentation? - if I remember correctly, the last presentation YOU gave resulted in half of the room falling asleep while the remainder either cracked jokes or picked their noses?

Doug: (Cocky smile) Is this the official von Meer family stance, Erika - since I don't see your father or brother participating in this?

Erika: (Strutting past him and out of the room) They have better things to do... as do I

The two Martel men watch as she slams the door behind her.

Doug: Jesus, boy, you let a woman fight your battles for you?

Griffin: Am I giving the presentation or not?

Doug: C'mon - we'll both do it

Griffin: (Huffing) Fine

As he starts to walk off, his father grabs his shoulder.

Doug: (Nodding back to the box) Aren't you forgetting something?

Griffin glares at his father, grabs up the box, and rushes out. Doug now receives a call on his cell from Ursula.

Doug: (Gritting his teeth) Hello, Legs - yes, I'm on my way to a meeting - it looks like I'll be busy all night... right... love you too

Outside on his condo patio, Captain Phelps barbecues some steaks while a naked Ursula relaxes in the hot tub.

Craig: You know, we've been seeing each other for weeks now and I have no idea how you like your meat cooked?

Ursula: (Finishing a margarita) Craigy, we are just having sex, please don't turn it into anything more than that

Craig: Um, so do I take that as a "well done?"

Ursula: As long as you serve it with mushrooms, I will be happy

Craig thinks for a moment and then dashes into the kitchen where he quickly picks some mushroom slices off of a pizza in the fridge.

Ursula: Back in Montenegro, my Papa grew the best mushrooms, they were the pride of our village - last week at this Sigma 7 charity event, we had to chase these shiny bald cancer kids around giant paper mache day-glo colored mushrooms - haven't these poor children suffered enough I thought?

Craig: (Returning to the patio) I'm sorry, I missed what you said

Ursula: How fortunate for you - really - I love it here, it's so humble and peaceful

Craig: (Opening himself a Diet Coke) Thanks... I think - actually, it won't be very peaceful starting next weekend, I'll have my daughter for a whole month while the ex goes off on some new age spiritual retreat

Ursula: This better not interfere with our rendezvous

Craig: We'll figure it out but I do want you to meet my little girl

Ursula: (Sighing) I already have one child I've pawned off on nannies, what's one more?

Craig: She's a big fan of your show

Ursula: I am NOT wearing the R'xal costume

Craig: (Flipping over the steaks) Don't worry, "Bogree" is her favorite

Ursula: WHAT?

Craig: Only because she watches "Life's Little Lessons" all the time on The Rerun Network

Ursula: (Grimacing) Marcy... MARCY, MARCY, MARCY - heh, maybe if I had anglicized MY name, the public would be more adoring

Craig: Marcy Nolan is not her real name?

Ursula: Try "Marta Noliakas"... and she has to have her moustache waxed once a month

Craig: Ooh, I wonder if Fiore is aware of that?

Ursula: Who is Fiore?

Craig: My lieutenant - a new suitor of your co-star

Ursula: Tell him not to waste his time, she has a finace

Craig: You have a husband

Ursula: I see, it's OK for him to screw around but not me?

Craig: That's not the point - and, besides... it's not "he" - it's "she"... Anita Fiore

Ursula: (Jumping out of the tub) Is this true?

Craig: (Finishing up the dinner) It's all I hear out of her mouth besides Dark... er, work

Ursula: (Hugging Craig) Wonderful - I have some new leverage now

Craig: Like your husband being the executive producer isn't enough of an 800 lb. gorilla?

Ursula: (Now kissing Craig) Gorilla... how apt... make love to me

Craig: But the steaks are done?

Ursula pushes the plates aside and the two stumble back into the hot tub. A loud thump is heard from the other side of the wall as Doug comes crashing through the bushes with his mallet in hand.

Doug: YOU'RE GONNA BE DONE NEXT, PHELPS - AND THIS TIME, NOT BY MY WIFE

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