Year One: Duquesa Bay

"Holy Water, Sacred Ground"

Finishing a telephone conversation, KJ von Meer bangs his fist down on the kitchen table in his family's mansion and heads into the main parlor where his sister, Erika, is tinkering around with a Dvorak tune on the piano. He flops onto the leather sofa and sighs.

Erika: (Still playing) What's the problem, dear brother, and you better not say my music

KJ: No, I'm just at a loss as to what to do next

Erika: Do about what?

KJ: Morrigan

Erika ceases playing and softly steps over to his side.

Erika: (Taking a seat next to him) What about Ms. McBride?

KJ: Things aren't looking real good - I was just on the phone with Sutter and he says that the case against her is firming up

Erika: She hasn't even been officially charged yet

KJ: It's only a matter of time - they want to make it as airtight as possible before going through the formalities

Erika: Well, Sutter isn't the only criminal defense attorney out there - maybe you should talk to...

KJ jumps up in anger and faces his sister.


Erika: (Taking his hand) Kage, relax - I'm sorry - I wasn't trying to be disrespectful, I was just trying to offer a suggestion

KJ: (Now pacing) Don't you think that I have been racking my brain, trying to come up with other solutions? - Sutter is the best criminal defense attorney in all of California and he's doing this as a personal favor to me

Erika: I know - but we have resources, we can get whom or whatever we need to help Morrigan

KJ: You try convincing her of that - she insists on paying me back for the legal fees and for the security around her house

Erika: (Scowling) Silly pride

KJ: Would you act any different if you were in her shoes?

Erika: I suppose not... I wish I could do more

KJ: Right now, you're the best thing going for her - it was damn lucky you literally ran into her that night

Erika: It's only a partial alibi

KJ: A partial alibi is better than no alibi at all

Erika: Maybe I could change my story to make it more beneficial to her

KJ: NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT - do you even know what you're suggesting?

Erika: I want to protect her interests

KJ: WHY? - you barely know her - you wouldn't even lie for mom's DUI and here you want to protect a possible murderer?

Erika: (Curt) You think she did it?

KJ: No... but I am more than a little curious as to why you would be willing to risk perjury for her?

Erika: (Standing up and looking away from him) She's not like the others you've dated, is she?

KJ: (Now on the defensive) Um... no, not al all

Erika: (Turning to face him) You care for Morrigan very deeply, don't you?

KJ: (Half smile) Yeah... is it that obvious?

Erika: (Returning the smile) Kinda... I don't want to see that ruined because of a timing technicality

KJ: Sis, I really appreciate what you're trying to do for me but it's not going to happen - your story needs to stay rock solid, if the prosecution has the slightest hint that you're willing to waffle for Morrigan, you're dead in the water and so is her defense

Erika regretfully nods in agreement.

KJ: Besides, I will not have my sister sink any deeper into this mess - two of the most important women to me are already in enough trouble

Erika: Two?

KJ: Morri and Oni

Erika: (Stunned) Ona Rosa Sanchez? - what does she have to do with this?

KJ: (Wringing his hands) Sutter told me of another card to play but it's out of the question

Erika: What are you talking about?

KJ: After Morrigan, the next highest-ranking suspect is Ona Rosa's father

Erika: Frank Fiore can hardly move around!

KJ: But he can fire a gun with no problem and his prints are all over the murder weapon

Erika: That's purely circumstantial

KJ: I've seen cases stick on less - Sutter wants to actively shift the focus onto him

Before Erika can respond, the alarm on KJ's watch sounds.

KJ: Listen, mom and dad are at the club, I promised to have dinner with them - wanna come with?

Erika: No, not really

KJ: C'mon, you need to get out - I'm tired of arguing with you about this

Erika: Another time, I promise - I'm not up to dealing with mother in a public setting tonight

KJ: You need a good meal

Erika: I have something waiting for me in the fridge - besides, I was hoping to have some time to myself to rest

KJ: (Throwing up his hands) Fine, the house is all yours then, have fun!

Snatching his sport coat, KJ strides out the door and zooms off in his Porsche. After making sure she is truly alone, Erika heads for the kitchen and opens the freezer. She reaches behind a box of Dove dark chocolate ice-cream bars and retrieves a syringe filled with a clear solution.

Erika: (Popping the cap off of the needle) Time for a special treat!

She promptly sticks the syringe into her arm and injects all of the serum into a vein. She recaps the top and tosses the syringe into the garbage compactor.

Erika: (Yawning and talking to herself) I'll let this settle into my system for a few hours and then drive up to Quartz Lake to complete the freshwater submersion testing

The von Meer daughter goes back into the freezer for one of the ice-cream bars.

Erika: (Preparing to open one) Once this has been accomplished, it will be one less hurdle to deal with and I can...

Erika suddenly becomes rigid and saliva begins to pour out of her mouth. Her whole body starts to tremble as she grabs a hold of the counter top to keep from falling over.

Erika: NO - it... wasn't supposed... to happen... this quick - AAARRRGGHH

She smashes a stack of porcelain dishware to her left and charges out the back door. Sprinting across the property, a snarling Erika rips off all of her clothes as if she were on fire.

Erika: (Diving into the duck pond) I have to change, NOW

Within seconds, the transformation into Darkfin successfully takes place. Although she has physically stabilized, her instincts and emotions are hyper sensitive.

Darkfin: (Leaping out of the pound) I NEED... TO FEED

She goes through half a dozen ducks in less than a minute. Covered in feathers and blood, Aleta Oscura sets off through the woodland properties of Beacon Point's ultra elite, attempting to make her way to the sea.


In the vast backyard of the Martel Estate, Ben and his three children are enjoying a barbecue by themselves.

Ben: OK kids, who wants to try daddy's famous Blue Cheese Canadian Bacon Burger?

Palmer: (Jumping over with is mouth open) I WANT ONE, I WANT ONE

Kayla: (Practicing her dance moves next to the pool) EWW - when is mom going to get here?

Ben: You know she's working late at the station

Kayla: (Twirling) When isn't she working late at the station?

Ben: Granddad will be here soon

Kayla: Big thrill

Ben: Kay... watch that attitude

Kayla: Where's Auntie Ursula?

Ben: She's... um, gone on a little trip to a spa up north, she'll be back soon

Palmer: (Making a fierce face) GIMME BURGER, RRRRRR, FOOD

Palmer grabs it and stuffs nearly a half into his mouth.

Ben: Don't forget to masticate, son

He sticks his tongue out with chewed food on it and grunts.

Kayla: Palmer, you are SO disgusting!

Ben: (Looking around) Where's your sister?

Kayla: (Rolling her eyes) Off searching for bugs - I'm going inside to wait for mom

Ben: (Shouting) HANNAH, DINNER

In a bush on the far end of the property, little Hannah is examining a clump of earthworms she dug up. She shows them to her teddy bear.

Hannah: (Laughing and poking at them) WIGGLY

She is suddenly scooped up by Darkfin and is brought within inches of her face. The young girl gasps but does not scream. The two stare at each other in silence for a moment. A large smile crosses the girl's face and she carefully reaches out her hand and pats the top of Darkfin's head.

Hannah: POINTY

Attempting to control her ragged breathing, Aleta Oscura slowly sets the child down. Hannah picks up one of the worms and kindly offers it to Darkfin.


Like a shot, Darkfin takes off again. Palmer ambles through the bushes towards his sister.

Palmer: Dad is getting mad - come eat now!

Hannah: I wanna stay here

Palmer: If you don't eat your burger, I will

Hannah: Maybe green monster lady want some

Palmer: The only monster around here is MEEE - RRRRRRGGHH

Hannah squeals as her brother chases her back towards the house. Now at a deserted part of the shoreline, Darkfin swims into the bay and seeks out new pray. She is instantly rewarded with a challenge.

Darkfin: (Tracking her target) This should help

After finishing her successful attack on the shark, a sated and depleted Darkfin swims backs to her lair beneath the island of Concha Dos.

Darkfin: (Staggering to her lab table) This... did not go... as well... as expected

She collapses to the ground and curls up in the fetal position.

Arriving at the Chumash burial grounds inside the Kiyomi State Park, Morrigan gets out of her car and is followed by Joenne Mirabello.

Morrigan: (Studying her surroundings) Why have you directed me here, Joenne?

Joenne: I thought it would be appropriate since this is the battleground - is it not, Morri? - or do I call you the "Marked One" or was it the "Annointed One?"

Morrigan: I'm not sure what you're talking about

Joenne: PLEASE, no more games - I think you have enough plates to spin already - don't add one more

Morrigan: Why don't you tell me what you think you know?

Joenne: (Climbing some rocks) Nu-uh, Babe, you go first

Morrigan: (Reluctantly joining her) These hooded freaks, what you call "The Clergy," are after me for some reason - I believe they have framed me for the murder of Father Greg to stop an investigation I was beginning - an investigation into these grounds - grounds that are very valuable and not just for Native American history

The two sit in silence for a moment.

Joenne: Hmm, I don't think you've told me everything

Morrigan remains tight-lipped.

Joenne: BUT... since you've told me SOMETHING, I guess I can take a turn... you're right, these grounds hold something that is very important - The Clergy wants it and so does the United States government - what exactly "IT" is, no one is saying for sure... at least not to me - do you know?

Morrigan: (Nonchalantly) I believe it might be oil

Joenne: BZZZZ, WRONG - don't try to screw with me - anyway, digging for the aforementioned "IT" substance is imminent and that has Uncle Sam shitting his shorts - you see, forget about The Clergy, if it falls into the hands of a private corporation...

Morrigan: They beat Washington to the oversized moneybags of global profit

Joenne: (Applauding) Very good!

Morrigan: How long have you been... "researching" this project?

Joenne: I have been on this assignment for over a year now

Morrigan: Has anyone else worked on it?

Joenne: (Taking a deep breath) Uh, the one before me... was killed by The Clergy or at least we assume it was them

Morrigan: I'm sorry but not surprised - tell me more about them - are they human?

Joenne: WAIT A MINUTE, WAIT A MINUTE, WAIT A MINUTE - I've have given you more than enough info, it's your turn to spill some truth

Morrigan: I don't know what else I can tell you

Joenne: Why are you so important to them?

Morrigan: I wish I knew

Joenne: (Smacking Morrigan on the arm) YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW DAMN WELL

Morrigan: I have an idea but it's not proven

Joenne: I'm listening

Morrigan: (Facing Joenne) Tell your superiors that if they keep me out of prison, I will tell them EVERYTHING they want to know - got it?

Joenne: Even about the "aberration by your side?"

Morrigan: (Cheeks flushing) What are you talking about?

Joenne: The Clergy think someone... or something... is helping you - I think they're right

Morrigan turns on her heels and begins to walk away. She is stopped by the sight of a rock painting and stares at the symbols.

Joenne: (Studying McBride's reaction) Look familiar?

Morrigan: (Taking a step back) Um, no - I just wasn't expecting to see this

Joenne: You really need to bone up... ha ha, pun intended... on your burial ground knowledge

Morrigan: I was hoping to talk with Carmen Fiore

Joenne: That's not likely to happen now, is it? - try the public library, Miss Journalist

Morrigan: Do you know what these symbols mean?

Joenne: A few - you see, the Chumash believed that the universe is made up of Three Worlds - the surface of the Earth is compared to an island surrounded by an ocean - this makes up the Middle World - above this lies the Upper World where powerful supernatural beings like Sun, Moon, Morning Star, and other "First People" live

Morrigan: Sounds similar to most religious mythologies

Joenne: It gets better... below The Middle World lies the Lower World, inhabited by dangerous creatures called "Nunashish" - these beasties come up to the Middle World at night to do their terrorizing

Morrigan: (Softly) Fascinating

Joenne: I'm still trying to figure out the robes and chanting part - most likely a tradition from the Spanish settlers

Morrigan: Tell me more

Joenne: I don't know about you but I've had my fill of Nunashish to last a lifetime

A crow suddenly flying out of the trees startles them both.

Morrigan: Maybe we should go

Joenne: Yep, the sun is setting, I don't want to be here in another ten minutes

The two hurry back to the car and drive away. Morrigan drops off Joenne at the dance studio.

Morrigan: (Out the window) Talk to your superiors and let me know if we have a deal or not

Joenne: (Winking) We'll be in touch, one way or the other!

Morrigan speeds off and takes Joenne's suggestion. She stops at the library and checks out several source books on the Chumash. As she is leaving, an older woman shouts at her.


Now in tears, Morrigan arrives home and quickly locks the door behind her. She tries to study the books but her mind is racing. She logs on to her computer and sends an instant message to Darkfin.

MMcB: r u there????

There is no response. Morrigan sighs and goes to make herself some soup. She returns awhile later and finds a message.

Anon1: I am -- what do you want?

MMcB: i need to see u 2nite

Anon1: Impossible

MMcB: why?

Anon1: I am too sick

MMcB: what happened?

Anon1: It is not your concern

MMcB: it IS my concern -- are u in your cave?

Anon1: I will be fine tomorrow

MMcB: i'll come to u

Anon1: NO

MMcB: WHY?????

Anon1: You are not safe here

MMcB: i'm not safe anywhere



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