Year One: Duquesa Bay

"Through The Hooking Glass"

Staggering around her lair under the island of Concha Dos, Darkfin tries to figure out what exactly what went wrong with the fresh-water transmogrification.

Darkfin: (Clutching her head) This... this is bad

Her hand shaking, she throws her pen aside and takes out a mini tape recorder.

Darkfin: (Squinting at her watch) It's been about five hours since I took a dive in the family duck pond - the morph was complete but everything else... is completely off the scale - temperature fluctuations, hypersensitivity, severe aggressive behavior... I nearly fed on Ben's youngest

Taking her vital signs, she slumps down and sits cross-legged on the sandy ground.

Darkfin: I have the overwhelming urge to jump into the seawater before me again but I'm afraid it might trigger a more adverse reaction - I need to revert to a fully human state once more

Shivering, Aleta Oscura reaches over to a trunk and pulls out a wool blanket.

Darkfin: (Wrapping herself up in it) It's so... so cold

She glances up to still see the earlier IM chat she had with Morrigan still on the screen.

Darkfin: (Exhaling slowly) You are going to have to get through tonight without me - I need to rest... recuperate... DAMMIT

Images of a smiling McBride, ominously surrounded by hooded figures, flashes in Aleta Oscura's mind.

Darkfin: (Rubbing her eyes) Yet, I also have an overwhelming fear that something is horribly wrong - I must go ashore!

Not noticing the urgent e-mail from KJ now flashing on the screen, Darkfin tosses off the blanket and summons the trident into her hand.

Darkfin: Two hours back by boat is too long, I need to swim, I need to go... NOW

Hurling herself into the water with every ounce of strength she has, Darkfin feels no immediate reaction. She continues to swim across the ocean towards Duquesa Bay. Upon surfacing, there is a drastic change in her coloring.

Darkfin: (Staring down at her body) So much for camouflage

Finishing her evening rounds at Bay Valley Medical Center, Dr. Stephanie Gates prepares to leave.

Stephanie: (On her cell phone) I will not have this argument with you again, Hector... no, I will not meet you there, leave it alone!

She snaps the phone shut and returns some charts to the nurse's front desk.

Nurse: All set, doctor?

Stephanie: Pretty much - it looks like it's going to be a quiet night - please be sure to check Mr. Wilkins' Foley in twenty minuets

Nurse: No problem - any fun plans?

Stephanie: (Sighing) I finally thought I'd have the opportunity to see my daughter but, surprisingly, she's busy

Nurse: (Checking her computer screen) Ooh, got a new one rolling in - a 62-year-old white male, possible MI

Stephanie: (Walking away) Not my problem, I'm officially off duty

Nurse: Uh, it says here the patient's name is Karl von Meer

Stephanie: (Freezing) KARL?

Nurse: The ETA is two minutes

Stephanie: (Running) CALL THE TRAUMA TEAM AND TELL THEM I'M ON MY WAY

The ambulance finally arrives and rushes in Karl with a panicked Pauline and KJ beside him.

Stephanie: WHAT HAPPENED?

Pauline: (Sobbing) We were just having dinner... and he... he slumped over - HELP HIM, PLEASE

Stephanie: Did he eat something bad, was he choking at all?

KJ: No, no... not that we could tell!

Pauline: (Hitting her son on his arm) FIND YOUR SISTER, NOW

KJ: (Exasperated) I'M TRYING, I'VE TRIED EVERY WAY TO CONTACT HER, SHE'S NOT ANSWERING

Pauline: THEN GO OUT THERE AND LOOK FOR HER, KJ

KJ: I SHOULD STAY

Stephanie: I want you two to wait out here, I'll let you know as soon as I know something, I promise

Pauline: I'M NOT LEAVING HIM

KJ: MOM - please, let her work, we'll just be outside!

Giving a reassuring squeeze to Pauline's hand and a quick nod to KJ, Stephanie closes off the ER room and attends to the elder von Meer.

Stephanie: (To the EMT) What are his vitals?

EMT: BP 90/60 and dropping fast, pulse is erratic at 150, shallow breathing, in and out of consciousness...

Stephanie: (Checking Karl out herself) DAMMIT

EMT: Two lines were started en route but we can't get a good flow going

Stephanie: His color is bad... KARL, KARL, CAN YOU HEAR ME?

His eyes slowly flutter open for a moment.

Karl Sr.: Steph?

Stephanie: Yes, Karl, right here - can you tell me anything?

Karl Sr.: (Struggling) You... you need...

Stephanie: (Leaning closer to him) What?

Karl Sr.: To protect her...

He abruptly vomits a putrid substance into his oxygen mask.

Stephanie: (Clearing his airway) DEAR GOD, WHAT IS THAT SMELL?

EMT: HE'S CRASHING

Stephanie: GIVE ME A BAG

EMT: PULSELESS V-TAC

Stephanie: CHARGE THE PADDLES... HOLD ON, KARL, PLEASE

With lights and sirens blaring, several cop cars pull up to Morrigan McBride's residence. The two lead detectives strut up to the front door and bang on it.

Detective 1: OPEN UP, MS. MCBRIDE, WE HAVE A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST

Detective 2: PLEASE DON'T MAKE THIS DIFFICULT

An officer hurries over to them from around the garage.

Officer: No one's home - I checked the main house and there's no sign of the landlady, either!

Detective 1: (Smacking the door) SHIT

Detective 2: PUT OUT AN IMMEDIATE APB FOR BOTH

With the sirens blaring behind in the distance, Morrigan stumbles along the creekside, using the brush for cover. The hand of a nude Amy is forcefully pulling her.

Morrigan: (Out of breath) STOP... AMY, STOP, PLEASE

Amethyst: WE NEED TO KEEP MOVING

Morrigan: (Wincing at her cut, bare feet) You didn't even give me a chance to put on my shoes!

Amethyst: (Looking up at the sky) There is no time

Morrigan: I really appreciate what you're trying to do for me... but I can't outrun the police

Amethyst: It's not the police I'm worried about... C'MON

Morrigan: Why are you naked? - what is that light coming from your crystal?

Amethyst: (Sharp tone) WHY IS THE BOTTOM OF YOUR LEFT FOOT GLOWING?

Morrigan: OH, GREAT

Amethyst: Let's go, we're almost there

Morrigan: Where?

Amethyst: TRUST ME, MORRIGAN, YOU HAVE TO...

Inside his recently purchased storefront, Brad Martel reluctantly goes through some paperwork.

Brad: (To himself) I'll show you, father, Griffin is NOT the only Martel that can handle a business

Doug and Stephanie's youngest turns up the sound system and blasts the music of a local industrial band he manages. He does not hear Penelope Renselier enter.

Penny: (Sneaking up behind him and covering his eyes) Is that a new track from "Ministers of Toxin?"

Brad: (Jumping) FUCK

Brad pushes her off and steps back to see the startled girl.

Brad: PENNY... whoa, I am so sorry - I didn't know it was you

Penny: (Trying not to look hurt) Obviously

Brad: (Trying to hug her) C'mere

Penny: (Now pushing him off) GO TO HELL

Brad: Seriously, it's not a wise move to be lurking around in an abandoned building, especially in this part of town

Penny: (Smirking) You seem to be perfectly comfortable here

Brad: I was... until you made me soak my shorts

Penny: Soaked with exactly what?

Brad: As much as I get off on your little nympho-tease routine, I'm not in the mood tonight

Penny: That's unlike you, Bradley

Brad: (Going back to his paperwork) Tell me about it - why aren't you with your mom at that museum meeting?

Penny: She's a big girl, she can handle it without me... make someone else carry her coffee for once

Brad: And good old Uncle George?

Penny: (Miffed) In the state hole called "Sacto" or the sub hole called "Tim" - one or the other... or both

Brad: Should I ask my dad to talk to him?

Penny: It's no use... let's change the subject please

Brad: OK

Penny: (Biting her lip) You know, we haven't even decided on a name for this place yet

Brad: (Checking a calculator) I think "Weird Crap For Sale" says it all

Penny: Is there anything I can do to help?

Brad: (Not looking at her) Go home

Penny: (Pissed) ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Brad: LOOK, I need to concentrate and I can't do that if I'm staring at your tits all night!

Penny: (Smiling and flashing her bra) You'd only STARE at my tits all night?

Brad: (Rubbing his flushed cheeks) What is it, a full moon out tonight or something? - why don't you go play with your puppy dog and let a real man get back to work?

Penny: HEY, YOU WANTED ME IN THIS BUSINESS WITH YOU

Brad: I do and I want to get this business off the frigging ground but that's taking more time and more money than I had originally planned

Penny: I can help you, I'm smart

Brad: I KNOW you are but I need to get this paperwork finished by morning

Penny: (Folding her arms and walking off in a huff) Fine, maybe I WILL go play with my puppy dog... Jeremy is awesome at licking my face!

Brad: (Before she reaches the door) WAIT

Penelope stifles a grin and slowly turns around.

Penny: Yeeeees?

Brad: (Sighing) Amy was here earlier today setting up a bunch of her candles and crystals in the back room

Penny: (Jealous tone) Amy?

Brad: Amethyst Hill

Penny: Yeah, I know who she is

Brad: Maybe you could double-check the SKU's?

Penny: SKU's?

Brad: "Stock Keeping Unit"

Penny: Right...

Brad: Thanks

Brad, once again, attempts to finish his paperwork when Penelope shrieks loudly from the other room.

Brad: (Scrambling over) WHAT'S WRONG?

He is astonished by the state of the room. It is filled in every corner with lit candles, strategically placed crystals hanging from the ceiling, and elaborate chalk drawings.

Brad: WHAT THE FUCK DID SHE DO IN HERE?

Penny: (Delighted) You lying bastard...

Penelope goes up to Brad and kisses him passionately on the lips.

Penny: You knew I was coming all along

Brad: (Still baffled) Um...

Penny: (Backing him against a wall) You always know when I'm coming... I can't believe you staged this whole thing just to get between my legs

Brad: I... I... yeah, OK, whatever

Unable to resist any longer, Brad now initiates the kissing and the two begin to consume each other. Amy and Morrigan burst through the door.

Brad: AAAAHHH

Amethyst: Sorry to interrupt

Morrigan: (Scanning around) What are we doing here?

Brad: I WAS ABOUT TO ASK THE SAME THING

With a quick jerk, Penelope knees Brad in the groin.

Penny: (Eyeing the naked Amy) YOU SICK FUCK, NO WAY AM I DOING A THREE-WAY

Brad: (His voice an octave higher) I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S GOING ON, HONESTLY, I DON'T

Falling into a cross-legged position in the corner, Amethyst begins to rock and chant loudly.

Penny: (Turning to Morrigan) What is she doing?

Morrigan: I don't know

Morrigan studies Brad and Penny for a moment.

Morrigan: (Slapping Brad hard across the face) HOW OLD IS THIS GIRL, DUDE?

Penny: DON'T SLAP HIM

Brad: (Near tears) I DIDN'T TOUCH HER

Morrigan: YOUR HAND UP HER SHIRT SAYS OTHERWISE

Penny: MIND YOUR BUSINESS, LADY, WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE?

The whole building begins to shake.

Brad: (Ducking and covering) EARTHQUAKE

Amethyst: MORRIGAN, GET IN THE CENTER OF THE ROOM, NOW

Morrigan: WHY?

The increasing sound of deep chanting is now heard from outside of the building as an eerie glow floods the windows.

Penny: DOES ANYONE ELSE HEAR THAT?

Amethyst: (Pleading with McBride) JUST DO IT, DO IT NOW

Brad: WE GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE

Amethyst: DON'T OPEN THE DOOR

As Morrigan heads for the center of the room, her left foot is instantly drawn up to the center of a pictogram on the ceiling. She screams in pain as Brad and Penny watch helplessly and Amethyst continues to chant.

Captain Phelps and Lieutenant Fiore patrol the marina in their USCG helicopter.

Craig: (Looking at his watch) Is this wise?

Anita: Our sources say the police will be arresting McBride anytime now

Craig: Maybe we should be hovering over her house?

Anita: No, we need to be hovering over Aleta Oscura's casa - and we are

Craig: What if she's already on shore?

Anita: We have a tail on our KCON chica, she's all alone except for her wacky landlady and a couple of cats

Craig: (Softly) Amethyst Hill?

Anita: Yeah... enjoying a pleasant flashback?

Craig: That was a few years ago

Anita: (Chuckling) I remember

Craig: She gave great head but was too much of a space case for me

Anita: Amy's a lot less maintenance than your current "warrior moon queen"

Craig: That's debatable

A slight bump is felt throughout the helicopter.

Anita: What was that?

Craig: You probably hit an air pocket... or a bird

Anita: It didn't feel like that at all - something else is wrong

The lieutenant checks her instruments.

Anita: We've taken on weight!

Craig: How is that possible?

Anita: HOLD ON, I'M GOING TO TRY A FEW MANEUVERS

She attempts two sudden turns and then comes to slow hover near the shore.

Anita: Everything seems to be fine - I don't understand it

Craig: CHECK OUT YOUR BRACELET

Anita glances down and notices it all aglow.

Anita: (Poking at it) JESUS

Craig: Is it some bizarre Saint Elmo's Fire type deal?

Anita: I have no clue, it's only done this a few other times before - my folks freaked out when it did

Craig: I think we better head back to base

Anita: NO... she's here - can't you sense it? - I bet that's what the weight is... KEEP IT STEADY FOR ME, PHELPS

Anita twists her body and tries to search the back of the helicopter. She now cranes her neck out of the door and attempts to look under it.

Craig: (Barely audible) Fiore

Anita: ONE SEC... I THINK I SEE SOMETHING... IT'S HER, SHE'S HITCHING A RIDE

Craig: (Louder) Fiore

Anita: CAN YOU BANK LEFT A BIT?

Craig: (Shouting) FIORE

Anita: (Returning) WHAT, CRAIG, WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?

Craig: (Pointing) THERE... ON THE CLIFF

Anita follows his stare and is horrified by what she sees.

Craig: TELL ME YOU SEE THAT

Anita: I... I do

Craig: MY GOD

Anita: Save us all!

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Surfaced on July 1, 2000
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