"Capers and Kippers"
With the shades drawn and the room darkened, Morrigan types away on her keyboard as the Cowboy Junkies "Pale Sun, Crescent Moon" CD plays softly in the background.
Anon1: Why are you not safe, Morrigan, have you been threatened?
MMcB: not overtly
MMcB: it's just a bad feeling i have
Anon1: Then I do not know what I can assist you with
MMcB: it's called 'being there' for me
Anon1: I am right here
MMcB: your cave is not here
Anon1: This is the best I can do right now
MMcB: u still haven't told me what's wrong
Anon1: I made a miscalculation earlier and, as a result, I am ill
Anon1: No -- I ate some bad fish
MMcB: y can't i help u?
Anon1: You can help me by staying right where you are
MMcB: i know i can get to concha dos - i'll bring u some maalox
Anon1: For the final time, NO, do not come here under any circumstances
MMcB: i'm being watched, is that it?
Anon1: It is a valid assumption
MMcB: excuse me while i hold up half of a peace sign to the hidden cameras
Anon1: We cannot risk meeting, at least not until I have my strength back
MMcB: when will that b?
Anon1: I am uncertain
MMcB: tell me one thing
Anon1: If I can
MMcB: r u Nunashish?
Anon1: Ah, reading up on Chumash legend finally?
MMcB: answer the question
Anon1: No, there is nothing mystical about me, I am my own kind
MMcB: as u have said b4 - what about The Clergy?
Anon1: That, I cannot answer - they revealed themselves to me the night of the charity ball
MMcB: no rumors about them before?
Anon1: Only rumors, nothing solid
MMcB: i saw Joenne Mirabello tonight
MMcB: the feds r salivating over the magic metal
Anon1: That is not surprising
MMcB: is this the only location for it?
Anon1: In this country, yes - there are only two other sources in the world
Anon1: I cannot tell you now
MMcB: this whole thing is insane
Anon1: It is actually saner than you would believe it to be
MMcB: whatever - i don't think she knows about u - the specifics, that is
Anon1: Try to keep it that way for as long as possible
MMcB: i'm really tired all of the sudden, please see me tomorrow
Anon1: I shall try
MMcB: no, u shall DO - feel better - 'night!
Overwhelmed with the need for sleep, Morrigan flips off her computer and barely makes it to her bed. She is out the minute she hits the pillow. Over the next hour, she is confronted with wild dreams. They include blurry images, muffled voices, symbols that don't make sense to her, and the last thing she feels is an overwhelming sense of coldness. She screams and opens her eyes. Standing at the foot of her bed is a naked Amethyst, wearing a solitary crystal around her neck.
Morrigan: WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN HERE?
Amethyst: (Blank expression) You must come with me... NOW
Inside the Duquesa Bay Yacht & Polo Club's main dining room, Zach finishes touring the small dance floor with Justine. They wave to KJ having dinner with his parents and return to their table.
Justine: (Sipping her drink) I must say, Zachary, I am very impressed - how did you ever get us in here?
Zach: (Trying to figure out what kind of bread he's eating) A source owed me a favor
Justine: What's the occasion?
Zach: Can't I take a beautiful woman out for a decent meal?
Justine sits in silence and raises an eyebrow.
Zach: (Sighing) OK, OK, I need some info
Justine: (To the waiter) Another shrimp cocktail, please!
Zach: (Sarcastic) Be sure to save some room for dessert
Justine: (Winking) Oh, not to worry, I will
Zach: So, now that you know my ulterior motive, can you please tell me about J...
Justine: Father Greg? - or should I say Father Greg's parts?
Zach: (Stunned) Um... right, yeah, go on
Justine: (Impressed with herself) Actually, you should be glad that I'm here to tell the tale at all - I was nearly caught by my boss - thank goodness he had to stop and chat with big boob receptionist because it gave me the extra seconds I needed to get the body back in storage and look all innocent
Zach: (Chuckling) Justi, you never look, "all innocent"
Shooting a squinty-eyed glare at her dinner companion, Ms. Mirabello says nothing.
Zach: (Retreating into his salad) Ahem... please continue
Justine: As I was saying, once I got the padre back all snug in the fridge, I made up a random excuse as to why I was leaving early and went directly to the SCU lab with some tissue samples - Shelby Willis helped me out with the testing
Zach: Is it wise to get her involved with this?
Justine: I trust Shel, we belong to the same Weight Watchers group
Zach: And that automatically grants loyalty?
Justine: It's the same kind of loyalty you have for your pool-playing buddies
Zach: Wow, are you ever screwed!
Justine: Bad example - how about this, we take tennis lessons from the lady sitting at the table to your left
Zach: (Craning his neck) Mrs. von Meer? - really?
Justine: Don't sound so shocked, I can do more than bowl, you know
Zach: (Taking her hand and kissing it) I know
Justine: So, now that we've established Shelby as a trusted source, do you want to hear about our findings?
Justine: It turns out Father Gregory Porter is really "Father John Doe"
Zach: What do you mean?
Justine: Try to follow along, Newspaper Boy - here, I'll simplify it for you... he's NOT whom he CLAIMS to be
Zach: And whooom exactly would he be?
Justine: Good question! - I have no idea - the better questions are "why does he have different body parts" and "how could he technically be over 200 years old?"
Zach: (Dropping his fork) WHAT?
Justine: Shhhh - we're in an exclusive club, a club I want to belong to someday, please behave appropriately
Zach: (Trying to find his voice) Those... those were some pretty powerful conclusions you came up with there, Justi, care to elaborate?
Justine: I know, and that's why Shelby and I went over them a half a dozen times and each time, the results were the same - this man, and I use the term lightly, has several different organs from several different people and yet they all worked harmoniously and without rejection... until...
Zach: Until what?
Justine: I'm not sure - but the bullet was the least of his problems
Zach: How is this possible?
Justine: I wish I knew - but it gets even better... the bone sample we took, dates him at around 200 years of age
Justine: Exactly! - and, of course, my boss is sitting on all of this information, I don't know who he's involved with or what his deal is
Zach: You need to find out
Justine: Eh, no - that's your job, I want to keep mine - why don't you ask Morrigan? - she's the epicenter of this weirdness, maybe she knows something about "the man" she shot?
Zach: I don't think she shot him
Justine: (Digging into her shrimp cocktail) Then, I don't want to find out who did
Zach: (Absently) Huh, and I just wanted to find out about Joenne
Justine: (Aghast) WHAT ABOUT JOENNE? - IS SHE INVOLVED WITH THIS?
Zach: Shhhh - remember, you want to get into this club?
Justine: I DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THIS CLUB...
Everyone turns around and looks.
Justine: I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT MY SISTER
Justine: TELL ME, ZACH
His cell phone starts to ring.
Zach: (Answering it) Hold on... hello?
Gracie: It's me
Zach: Where are you?
Gracie: I'm on my way back to KCON - when I wiped Morri's machine, I left some dummy files as a decoy and installed a tracker program to signal me when someone tried to access them
Zach: I'm on my way
Gracie: NO, stick with Justine and try to find out some more info - I'll let you know as soon as I know something
Zach: I'll be there in ten
Isaacson starts to leave the table.
Justine: You are not going ANYWHERE until you finish about Joenne!
Zach: In the car, c'mon, HURRY
KJ and his parents watch as Zach and Justine rush out of the room.
Pauline: (Picking at her entree) I swear, the element the club is attracting lately is cheapening it by the second
KJ: (Chewing) Whatever you say, mom
Pauline: It's one thing for your sister to be antisocial and rude in a place like this but when commoners do it, that's just abysmal!
Karl Sr. (Staring at his pasta) Erika is rarely in a place like this these days
KJ: Commoners? - are we in a royal palace? - behold, ye thin body and golden tan, thou art truly a serf in queen's robes!
Karl Sr.: (Sweating) Son, please don't torment your mother with Elizabethan English at the diner table
Pauline: I'd rather have him torment me with that instead of dating that troublemaker McBride
KJ: (Sighing) Here we go again
Pauline: Look, Griffin tells me that Meeramar is on the verge of something big, you need all of your focus on that, NOT this girl's constant problems
KJ: Dad can handle it
Karl Sr. (Chugging his water glass empty) I want NOTHING to do with Martel's PCOC project, we need to keep Meeramar as far away from this mess as possible
Pauline: THAT'S NONSENSE, KARL
KJ: Why do you say that, dad?
Karl Sr.: BECAUSE... what he's... cough... getting into... wheeze... is going to... gasp... bring us all down
Pauline: (Concerned) Karl?
KJ: Dad, are you alright?
Karl Sr.: (Losing the color in his face) I feel... very cold
The elder von Meer slumps over into his dish.
Takanachi arrives at the station and sneaks in the side entrance. She cautiously approaches the darkened newsroom floor and makes her way towards Morrigan's cubicle. She hears a light tapping on a keyboard.
Gracie: (Peering around the corner) CLARK - WHAT IN THE HELL
Jason: (Jumping up) SHIT, GRACIE, YOU JUST GAVE ME A HEART ATTACK
Gracie: (Angry) WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON MCBRIDE'S COMPUTER?
Jason: (Forcing a smile) What are you doing here so late, G-sneak? - everyone's in studio
Gracie: DON'T PULL ANY DIVERSIONARY BS AND ANSWER THE QUESTION
Jason: (Calmly) I'm just... I'm just trying to find something, that's all
Gracie: (Folding her arms) And what exactly would that be?
Jason: I don't need to answer to you, Fingers
Gracie: Do you want to answer to Gates?
Jason: (Smirking) Is that a threat? - because if it is, I'm sure Turner would LOVE to find out who diddled around with this computer... and my money is on the one with the cute, squishy face standing before me
Gracie: (Aghast) How... wh... SQUISHY? - why do you think it's me?
Jason: (Casually glancing around) I don't see anyone else here, do you?
Gracie sighs and tries to think of what to say.
Jason: Look, if you must know, I'm trying to find out what story McBride was working on before she left - everyone here assumes it's a big one and everyone assumes that it's going to be passed along to Kylee if it hasn't already
Gracie: That's not the only thing that's going to be passed along to Kylee
Jason: So, I figured I'd beat her and everyone else to the punch
Gracie: Why? - you're a sports reporter!
Jason: And that's exactly the reason - you think I want to be stuck shouting final scores the rest of my life? - I want to be a real journalist
Gracie: You do realize you're in broadcast, right?
Jason: Yeah... does Eyes have a job for me at The Beacon?
Gracie: Are you ready to live on peanuts and drive a Geo Prism?
Jason: (Grimacing) Oooh
Gracie: You'll be a chick magnet for sure
Jason: (Flirtatious) As long as I attract one chick in particular, I'll be fine
Gracie: (Blushing) HEY, I'M SUPPOSED TO BE MAD AT YOU
For the first time, the two of them relax and chuckle.
Jason: Seriously, I know I can do this and do a great job with it, I just need to break out of sports and this story will hopefully be my ticket
Gracie: Um, you do know that Morrigan is on the verge of being carted off to prison?
Jason: (Genuinely remorseful) Yes... and I'm real sorry about that - she seems like a sweet girl and if there's anything I could do for her, I would, but I also have to think of my career and the too few opportunities that are out there, especially for people like us
Gracie: I know
Jason: I mean, Christ, no one is circulating out of these jobs anymore - no one can advance up as long as people like Henshaw and Steel have their asses parked there for eternity
Gracie: Heh, did you hear about that anchor in LA finally dropping at 80?
Jason: See what I mean? - I know it's a harsh move to pull on McBride but the game goes on
Gracie: You could try doing what Shepperton does but I don't think Gates is your type
Jason covers his face and gags. Gracie suddenly notices a cut on his upper wrist.
Gracie: Jason... can I ask you something?
Jason: (Holding up his right hand) Word
Gracie: You've been sporting some rather nasty bruises and cuts lately - what is up with that?
Jason: (Short pause) You know I like to play hard - my pick-up games get brutal, no question
As Gracie mulls over this response, the sound of the elevator interrupts.
Jason: NOW WHO?
Gracie: Dammit, we're both going to get our asses kicked for being here - quick, let's hide in Ortega's cube and peek out over his Diana Ross dolls
Jason: (Following her) Good idea
Both are stunned to see a hooded figure float out of the elevator and head their way.
Jason: (Whispering) Who in the hell is that?
Gracie: WHAT in the hell is that?
Surfaced on July 1, 2000
® All Rights Reserved, 2000-2018
Contact the Webmaster