Across the street from KCON, Takanachi and Isaacson relax on a hard plastic booth inside of a Krispy Kreme. Zach sneaks a bite of Gracie's doughnut while she's in the restroom.
Gracie: (Returning) I just realized something... I'm now tinkling in the key of C minor, I wonder if I have a kidney infection?
Zach quickly swallows and gives a thumbs up.
Gracie: (Aghast) DID YOU JUST TAKE A BITE OF MY DOUGHNUT?
Zach: (Innocent) Um... no - I "taste-tested" it
Gracie: (Flopping in the booth) Right!
Zach: Look, this was the last fresh doughnut they had with chocolate sprinkles
Zach: Aw, c'mon, we usual go about two minutes with this!
Gracie: I'm tired today
Zach: Is Half back in town?
Gracie: Heh, if he is, he hasn't called me
Fingers pushes the rest of the doughnut towards Eyes.
Gracie: Go ahead, it's yours
Zach: Are you sure?
Gracie: Yeah, I know how much writers make a year, you can't afford another whole one
Zach: (Stuffing it in his mouth) True
Gracie: Besides, I just remembered something Jeremy said
There is a long pause.
Gracie: Margarita men and double bacon cheeseburgers
Gracie: (Toying with him) You mean that DIDN'T make sense to you? - wow, Zach, you're losing your touch
Zach: But... wait a minute... I... HUH? - there's too much weird shit going on around this town, you don't need to add to it!
Gracie: My theory is that, one night, while we were sleeping, the ghost of Milton Bradley hovered over the entire Quartz County area, sneezed funky ectoplasm on us, and we all instantly became game pieces without our knowledge
Zach: Oddly enough, that DOES make sense - it would explain M&M's freakatude
Gracie: (Looking at her watch) Actually, I think this girl is an entirely different realm... she should be here soon
Zach: (Pensive expression) Hey Grace?
Gracie: What's that tone?
Zach: I've been wondering...
Gracie: Your father should have had that talk with you when you were 12
Zach: I'm being serious here - what if Morrigan shot that priest?
Gracie: Oh please, not you too?
Zach: Why, who else has been questioning it?
Gracie: Only every third person at the station - people are so easily swayed
Zach: Why aren't you?
Gracie: Zach, try to use your pea brain - what possible motive is there? - she's been here for less than a year
Zach: A lot could have happen during that time - a lot HAS happened
Gracie: Granted, trouble does seem to follow her around like a hungry stray but why would she go out and deliberately cause MORE for herself?
Zach: Maybe she feeds off of the drama?
Gracie: There are OTHER ways to create drama without offing a man of the cloth!
Zach: What if he put the moves on her?
Gracie: So what if he did? - she could have easily ended that situation with some harsh words or a sharp knee to the groin - not shredding the preacher's aorta with a hollowpoint
Zach: (Drumming his fingers on the table) I suppose
Gracie: Come on, if nothing else, she has covered countless crime scenes with her job and is the daughter of an LAPD detective
Gracie: High-ranking pig - you get the point - if she were to commit a crime, don't you think she'd be smarter in how she went about doing it?
Zach plays with his napkin and mulls over the statement.
Gracie: Hell, you and I could have come up with something better than what happened at St. B's - it was too clean, too easy - it is so obvious to anyone who dares look past the surface that she is being framed... of course, in today's world, no on ever does
Zach: That's what she WANTS us to think
Gracie: Dude, you have been watching X-Files for too long, give it up!
Zach: Someone wants to frame her WHY exactly?
Gracie: And you call yourself a journalist? - that is for us to figure out - I'd bet the house...
Zach: You don't have a house
Gracie: I'd bet the farm...
Zach: No farm, either
Gracie: I'd bet the rolling turd...
Zach: No one would ever take the KCON van as a bet
Gracie glares at him in silence.
Gracie: I'd bet my remaining eight fingers...
Zach: I'll take that bet!
Gracie: That it has something to do with the story she's currently working on
Zach: What is it?
Gracie: (Looking away) I don't know for sure
Zach: Well, that clears that up
Gracie: She said that she would get us involved when the situation became more "urgent"
Zach: (Folding his arms) URGENT? - she is about to get her ass hauled off to prison, I'd say that qualifies as urgent!
Gracie: One way or the other, we'll be involved
Zach: Am I supposed to read something into that statement?
Gracie: Morri knew she was going to get yanked at KCON, so she called me up to do a wipe of her hard drive before Turner and Kylee could get their paws on it
Zach: (Mouth open) DID YOU?
Gracie: Of course
Zach: JESUS, GRACIE, THAT'S TAMPERING WITH POSSIBLE EVIDENCE THEY COULD NAME YOU AS AN ACCOMPLICE
Gracie: SHHH, would you please keep your voice down?
Zach: No one heard, they're too blissed out on deep-fried fat and sugar
Gracie: No one saw me do it - I was careful
Zach: Let's hope so
Gracie: What concerns me is that someone else was going through her files before I got there
Zach: Probably Kylee or Turner
Gracie: No, Shepperton's perfume lingers for hours and Gates doesn't have the patience to crack an encryption code
Zach: Who, then?
Gracie: I'm keeping my eyes and ears open - at least I was able to make a copy of her story notes and I made a duplicate for me... just in case
Zach: Did you read them yet?
Gracie: (Sighing) Briefly skimmed
Zach: AND? - what is the story about
Gracie: I can't tell you... not yet
Zach: (Throwing his napkin in disgust) OH, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD
Gracie: Sorry, Zach, I made Morrigan a promise not to crash the party yet - besides, you will be involved soon enough, BELIEVE ME, but if too much comes out at once, things will get screwed up majorly for McBride... for all of us
Zach: Takanachi, I am stunned - you've known me for YEARS, you've known Morri for MONTHS - this is insane!
Gracie: (Soft voice) Look, I have to go with my gut on this and my gut says go with McB's plan - I can't explain to you why, you'll simply have to trust me
Zach: (Sour expression) Gracie, I don't want to see you get dragged down into her ever-growing quicksand pit
Gracie: We both have been sinking into this mess the minute she stepped foot into town
Zach: Why do I get the feeling it's not going to miraculously stabilize either?
Gracie: (Glancing out the window) I think I just saw her car, switch the subject!
Zach: (Smug) Well, I have been sitting on a little secret of my own - a Sig Seven secret involving our favorite warrior moon queen
Gracie: (Clasping her hands with joy) SHE'S BEING DEPORTED
Zach: Serbia is probably looking pretty damn good to her right about now - apparently, hubby Martel caught her with another man
Gracie: OOOH, WHO?
Zach: (Pulling at the corners of his eyes and donning an exaggerated accent) Ancient Chinese Secret
Gracie: (Smacking him on the arm) For the last time, I am JAPANESE you racist Jew bastard, now spill it!
Zach: (Evil grin) Someone you know
Gracie: Personally or professionally?
Zach: A little of both - it's someone you can't stand
Gracie: That's everybody, narrow it down!
Zach: Who was sporting a nasty shiner last night at Muldoon's and blamed it on "an errant volleyball smash?"
Gracie: (Grabbing the table) NOOOO
Gracie: NO WAY
Gracie: (Making a disgusted faced) CAPTAIN CRUNCH?
Zach: It wasn't Count Chocula
Gracie: R'xal and Phelps... EEEEEEEEWWWW
Zach: I know the feeling - question is, do we put it up on our Sig7 website?
Gracie: Is it substantiated?
Zach: Judging by Old Man Martel's sudden broken wrist from a "polo accident," - I'd say OH YES
Gracie: Write it in obscure enough language to free us from potential lawsuits and I'll post it up there by tonight
Zach: Excellent, I'll e-mail it to you later
Wearing a dark trench coat, dark glasses, and a silk scarf over her head, Morrigan enters the doughnut shop and heads over to Zach and Gracie.
Zach: Do we hound you for your autograph or are you going to flash us?
Gracie: Shut it, Zach - how are you doing, Morri?
Morrigan: (Taking a seat) I'm a virtual prisoner in my own home - I can't concentrate enough to read but I did make an amazing discovery... more like two... first, TV really sucks - second, I know I'm getting old when I'd rather watch PBS over MTV
Gracie: Is anyone bothering you?
Morrigan: Only a dozen menacing messages on my machine so far, KJ's security team has kept neighbors from egging the house... oh, and Amy tells me it's a good day to play the lottery
Gracie: (Giving her friend a hug) I'm sorry
Zach: Did she tell you which numbers?
Gracie: (Scowling at Zach and then returning to Morrigan) Did you reach your dad?
Morrigan: He's in the South of France with Nancy and her sisters - I didn't want to bother them yet
Zach: Maybe you can fax them when they're strapping you into the electric chair?
Gracie: DAMMIT, ISAACSON, SHOW SOME COMPASSION
Zach: WHY? - I'M BEING KEPT OUT OF THIS LITTLE CLIQUE, WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Morrigan: CHILDREN, CHILDREN, PLEASE - I assume by your statement, Zachary, that Gracie let something slip
Morrigan kicks Takanachi under the table.
Morrigan: I want you to know that you will be brought in on this, I promise... but not now
Zach: (Pounding his fist down) WHY?
Morrigan: Because I know your competitive nature - you will be salivating to get this story to print and I just cannot take that chance!
Zach: (Sitting back in astonishment) YOU WANT TO OUT-SCOOP ME
Gracie: (Bopping him on the thigh) NO, IGNORAMUS, SHE WANTS TO SAVE YOUR FREAKING LIFE
Morrigan: This story goes beyond all of our journalism careers, not only are our lives at stake, all of the Santa Conchita Valley is at stake, the country... even the world
Zach: (Shaking his head) PLEASE - is this where the ominous music kicks in? - Gracie, you're the DJ, fire it up!
Morrigan: I really don't have time to debate this with you, Zach, it will all become exceedingly clear very soon - right now, I need you two to tell me everything you know about Joenne Mirabello
Zach: Does this include bedroom habits?
Morrigan: (Turning to Takanachi) Gracie, I need you to tell me everything you know about Joenne Mirabello
Gracie: Uh, I don't know all that much - she and her sister were born and raised here two steps above poverty - they love each other but never really got along too well - Justine was the brainy one while Joenne was always the wild one - she does temp work and studies dance... that's about it
Zach: Don't forget the PCP
Morrigan and Gracie: WHAT?
Zach: Crack and acid weren't enough for Joenne, she did some dust... until she was busted by the same cops she works for now - doncha love irony?
Morrigan: Go on
Zach: As a child, Justi was thrilled with some books and a microscope but Joey was always sullen - the "unaccompanied minor" on the airplane looking for a real family - at first, she found that family on the streets, but now, thankfully, she has a real sober family with her dance class
Morrigan: (Staring Zach in the eye) Can she be trusted?
Gracie: Why, is she a source?
Morrigan: (Still staring at Zach) CAN SHE BE TRUSTED?
Zach: (Shrugging his shoulders) I would trust Justine before her sister, I can't really say for sure
Gracie: IS JOENNE A SOURCE?
Morrigan: Maybe... or a significant complication - I've gotta go
Before Gracie and Zach can say anything further, Morrigan dashes out the door.
Gracie: (Gritting her teeth) DAMN
Zach: I think I need another doughnut!
Inside the Quartz County Coroner's Office, Justine Mirabello waits for her boss to leave on a golf outing. Once she knows it is safe, she sneaks into the high security cold storage area and retrieves the body of Father Greg.
Justine: (Wheeling it into the autopsy room) Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned... I lied to my supervisor about the real reason I was staying late - to check your hole-i-ness out - I have also taken the Lord's name in vain on multiple occasions, mostly concerning my sister, and have had daily carnal thoughts involving one Zachary Isaacson and a jar of extra chunky peanut butter
Over the next twenty minutes, Justine pokes and prods, taking notes on her observations.
Justine: (Into her mini recorder) The level of necrosis throughout the body is astonishing, especially for a seemingly healthy 41-year-old man
Justine takes some tissue and fluid samples, storing them in her backpack.
Justine: Why Father Greg, whomever did you get your liver from? - I have to do some more testing but I'm reasonably sure it's not going to match the rest of your body - in fact, I'm guessing it's several times older than your body, if it IS your body... now who needs to confess?
She struts over to a portable CD player and turns on Bruce Springsteen's "The Ghost of Tom Joad" and continues her examination.
Justine: (Stunned by her findings) This is not even irrational, it's more like "a-rational" - nothing makes the slightest bit of sense - this is beyond Tiki Bonfiglio bizarre
Before she can continue, she hears her boss' SUV pull into the parking lot.
Justine: (Panicked) HOLY SHIT, pardon me Father, he wasn't supposed to be back this soon!
Inside a small dance studio, Joenne Mirabello rehearses to Rage Against the Machine's version of "The Ghost of Tom Joad." As she finishes, she is startled to hear polite applause. She turns around to find Morrigan leaning against the entrance, watching.
Joenne: Why are you here?
Morrigan: It's time to trade stories, Ms. Mirabello
Joenne: I didn't call for this
Morrigan: (Approaching her) Well, I just did - shall we go somewhere?
Joenne: (Grabbing a towel) OK... since you want to play that way, we might as well go to the place in question
Morrigan: (Heading for her car) Let's dance!
Surfaced on July 1, 2000
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