Year One: Duquesa Bay

"As I Lay Dying"

Swimming along the shoreline, Darkfin is too ill to make it back to her lair at Concha Dos or even to her yacht at the Marina. Her transmogrification is completely out of sync, causing her body even more trauma.

Darkfin: (Stumbling onto the sand) Too much... too much at one time... I need to recalculate...

She tries to summon her trident but is too weak to do so. Aleta Oscura throws herself behind some bushes and begins to dry heave.

Darkfin: (Looking around) This is Beacon Point but I cannot... go home

Aware of her half-morphed and oddly colored status, Darkfin struggles to think for a moment as her head spins.

Darkfin: But I can go... close

Outside an abandoned farmhand house on the outskirts of the Fiore property, Hector Tapia and Dr. Stephanie Gates pull up in a van with blackened windows. Making sure that no one is around to see them, they carefully unload a stretcher containing the gravely ill Karl von Meer.

Dr. Stephanie: Don't lose his IV!

Hector: (Lifting the stretcher down) I see it, I see it

Dr. Stephanie: (Packing up some equipment) Are you sure you still have utilities for this place?

Hector: Only cold water from the pump but the electrical outlets should be OK, if not, I can bring in a generator

Dr. Stephanie: A generator would cause too much noise

Hector: (Pushing the stretcher along) Look, Stephi, it's not like you gave me a lot of time to plan this out!

Dr. Stephanie: I know, I'm sorry - this was not what I had in mind for my evening

The two are able to roll him up to the porch and then carry the stretcher up the stairs.

Hector: What exactly happened to him?

Dr. Stephanie: I'm not certain but I will move heaven and earth to find out

Hector: (Half smile) There's that one-track mind I know and love

Dr. Stephanie: (Raising an eyebrow) Now is not the time for that, Hector

Hector: See what I mean? - tunnel vision, it's very sexy

Dr. Stephanie: You know what would be sexy? - if you could get some heat going in this place and spare me the double entendre

Hector goes about fixing a fire in the old wood-burning stove as Dr. Stephanie checks Karl's vital signs.

Dr. Stephanie: (Taking the stethoscope out of her ears) At least his blood pressure has stabilized

Hector: (Noticing the gray pallor of Karl Senior) This hombre was never Mr. Fit 'n Trim but now he doesn't look good at all

Dr. Stephanie: Considering the amount of poison in his system, he looks remarkably well

Hector: (Shaking his head) Poison? - Christ... what kind?

Dr. Stephanie: I have a few theories - I'm still waiting for the lab to call me back with conclusive results

Hector: Why would someone want to poison Karl? - your asshole ex, I can understand, but not Karl - he's the good kind of upper class!

Dr. Stephanie: He's still a businessman worth over $300,000,000 - it's not hard to be a target with that kind of wealth

Hector: If this is paying the price, I'm happy being working class

Dr. Stephanie: Griffin mentioned that there's some kind of major deal in the works at Meeramar involving the PCOC

Hector: (Sly look) Really? - do you know what it's about?

Dr. Stephanie: I washed my hands of all that before the ink was dry on the divorce documents but Griffin knows something, so I assume Ben, Brad and Vicky are aware of it as well

Hector: (Stoking the fire in the stove) Huh

Dr. Stephanie: What has me worried is what if this deal has something to do with Karl's current condition? - are my children next?

Hector: I'm sure they'll be OK... ALL of them

Stephanie casts a glare a Hector.

Hector: Do you suspect someone in Karl's own family might have done it?

Dr. Stephanie: (Ponders for a moment) No, I can't imagine it... but it might be someone close to them

Hector: Could be... but it is pretty cruel of you to let his wife and kids think he's dead

Dr. Stephanie: (Looking out a window) It's the only way I know of right now to keep him alive

Hector: I still don't understand why we couldn't have kept him hidden somewhere at the hospital, you have a lot of loyal people there who would've kept their mouths shut

Dr. Stephanie: (Squeezing Karl's fingers) It's a risk I am not willing to take

Hector: (Watching her hand and becoming jealous) It seems to me like you're willing to risk a lot for him

Dr. Stephanie: (Sharply) DO YOU NOT WANT TO HELP US, HECTOR, IS THIS TOO MUCH FOR YOU?

Hector: (Defensive) DO YOU THINK I'D BE DOING THIS IF I DIDN'T WANT TO?

Dr. Stephanie: I don't know, WOULD YOU? - you're always the KING OF THE ANGLES - WHAT IS IN IT FOR YOU?

Hector: (Folding his arms) WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME? - HOW ABOUT A RETURN TRIP TO BURTEN PRISON IF I'M CAUGHT?

Dr. Stephanie: (On the verge of tears) JUST... JUST GIVE ME A HALF HOUR TO FIGURE OUT WHERE TO TAKE HIM AND YOU WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT ANYMORE

Hector: (Grabbing her arm) THAT'S NOT WHAT I MEANT

Dr. Stephanie: (Snatching her arm away) WHAT DID YOU MEAN, HECTOR, WHAT DID YOU MEAN?

Hector: (Lowering his voice to barely above a whisper) That maybe I want to do this without any angles, that maybe I want to do this for you, to help you... and Karl... because I sincerely want to?

Dr. Stephanie: There isn't a sincere bone in your body

Hector: (Evil grin) Yeah, there's one

Dr. Stephanie: (Can't help but chuckle) I suppose you're going to come up with a poem about it now?

Hector: I could try for a limerick

Dr. Stephanie: I've heard enough of your limericks for one lifetime... and I've also heard enough of your lies - do you actually expect me to trust you now?

Hector: Of all the people to call tonight, you called ME, why?

Unable to come up with an answer, the solemn woman can only look down at the dusty floor.

Hector: (Now standing by her side) I'll tell you why... despite all of the history between us

Dr. Stephanie: A history of blackmail and deception...

Hector: Despite ALL of that, I still love you... and I know you still love me

Dr. Stephanie: (Holding up her hand in protest) Let's not get into this NOW

Hector: (Taking her hand and holding it next to his heart) We share something that goes beyond the two of us, something that validates my existence no matter how flawed my existence may be

Dr. Stephanie is unable to hold back the tears and the two of them seek comfort in each other with an embrace.

Dr. Stephanie: (Quickly pulling back) I'm sorry... I'm overstressed

Hector: I can help out with that as well

Before she can answer, he bends in to kiss her. At first reticent, but now unable to resist, Dr. Stephanie returns it with fervor. Within seconds, Hector has her pinned up against a wall next to Karl Senior's bedside and begins to make love to her.

Dr. Stephanie: (In halting breaths) If I let you do this... are we even?

Hector: (Completely freezing) FUCK YOU, STEPHI - I WAS DOING YOU A FAVOR - I'll go see if I can find that generator

Dr. Stephanie: (Fixing herself) Please do!

Hector Tapia slams the door behind him. The loud noise causes Karl Senior to open his eyes.

Dr. Stephanie: KARL... KARL, CAN YOU HEAR ME?

Karl Sr.: HELP

Dr. Stephanie: I'M RIGHT HERE, KARL, WE'RE HELPING YOU

Karl Sr.: HELP HER... HELP HER, STEPHANIE, SHE'S IN DANGER

Outside the Martel mansion on Beacon Point, Griffin is on his cell phone.

Griffin: Still no signs of Erika? - don't worry, KJ, we'll find her, I promise - hold on, I have another call coming through, it might be her... RIKKA, IS THAT YOU? - hello, father - no, not yet - I'm at the house... no, there doesn't appear to be any major damage from the quake, just some plates and glasses - DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT'S A WISE MOVE RIGHT NOW? - FOR GOD'S SAKE, YOUR BEST FRIEND AND BUSINESS PARTNER JUST DIED A FEW HOURS AGO, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? - you know the board has to vote on that - no, NO - WE'LL DEAL WITH THIS AFTER I FIND ERIKA - END OF DISCUSSION

Griffin pitches the cell phone across the back lawn. He suddenly takes notice of the boathouse in the distance.

Griffin: (Running towards it) Of course!

Inside the boathouse, a completely changed Erika lies naked in human form amongst a pile of towels and lifejackets. She is shivering and sweating as Griffin bursts through the door.

Griffin: (Going over to her side) Why didn't I think of this sooner?

He gently stirs her from slumber.

Griffin: Rik... Rikka, wake up

Erika: (Eyes fluttering) Griffin?

Griffin: This was always your favorite place to play hide 'n seek

Erika: (Still weak) What... what happened?

Griffin: You tell me - I find you cold and naked in here and, to put it mildly, you smell like rotten fish!

Erika: I took a little swim

Griffin: I can see that

He suddenly turns away and becomes anxious.

Erika: (Sensing his mood) What's wrong?

Griffin: (Swallowing hard) You haven't heard yet, have you?

Erika: (Sitting up) Heard what?

Griffin: I have been practicing these words in my head for the last two hours...

Erika: WHAT, GRIFFIN, WHAT HAS HAPPENED?

He turns to look her in the eye.

Erika: (Utter panic) OH NO, SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED TO MORRIGAN

Both are shocked by those words.

Griffin: Um... no - this has to do with your father

Erika: DAD - WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO DAD?

Griffin's mouth turns dry.

Erika: GRIFFIN

Griffin: (Biting his lip) He... he died, Erika

Erika is thunderstruck by the news and remains motionless.

Griffin: It was a few hours ago - Pauline and KJ were there with him...

Erika: No

Griffin: My mother says it was a massive heart attack, she did everything she could do...

Erika: NO... NO NO NO - YOU'RE WRONG - ALL OF YOU

Griffin: (Taking her arm) Come on, we need to get to your house

Erika: (Beating on his arm) YOU'RE WRONG, GRIFFIN - THIS IS NOT HAPPENING - I WOULD HAVE FELT SOMETHING

Griffin: (Holding back her arms) Rikka

Erika: I WOULD HAVE FELT SOMETHING... I would have felt something

Griffin pulls Erika into his arms as she begins to sob.

Tossing and turning on her cot in the wine cellar, Morrigan McBride continues to drift in and out of consciousness as her throbbing foot has finally stopped bleeding. She dreams of her childhood and a day spent picnicking with her then pregnant mother, Deirdre. A six-year-old Morrigan runs through the grass and deliberately falls into a puddle of mud next to some wild daises. She looks up and giggles at her mother who is now joined by a robed priest. The two sit on a marble bench and speak as Morrigan inches closer to hear what they are saying. She tries to see the priest's face but is unable to do so because of the hood covering it.

Deirdre: (Watching Morrigan) That's my little nature girl - give her a field of flowers and she's content

Priest: As it should be

Deirdre: (Now scowling) My husband likes to joke that we should plant her ankle-deep in dirt under her favorite elm out back and see if she grows

Priest: That's an apt description

Deirdre: It's a description of a grave

Priest: Not necessarily

Deirdre: Please don't patronize me, father - we know she has one foot in it already

Priest: Lower your voice, the child can hear you

Deirdre: She's a smart girl, she senses it

Priest: It's not Morrigan's time yet - there is a lot ahead of her, first

Deirdre: (Holding her protruding stomach) I know

Morrigan: (Jumping up) MOMMIE, MOMMIE, WHY ARE YOUR EYES GLOWING?

Deirdre: (Quickly putting her sunglasses on) They're not glowing, Honey, it's a reflection from the sun

Morrigan: PRETTY - OOH, LOOK AT THE BUGGERFLY

Deirdre: That's a beautiful butterfly, isn't it, Mo?

Morrigan: (Chasing it) I CATCH IT FOR YOU

Deirdre: Don't hurt it, Sweetie!

Priest: Remember, Morrigan, we are all God's creatures

Deirdre: (Watching her daughter) I wish I never had her

Priest: You didn't have a choice

Deirdre: I always had a choice

Priest: (Firmly) No, you did not - she was meant to be - she has a mission that must be fulfilled... for all of us

Deirdre: A mission she never signed up for - a mission I created for her the second she was conceived - and, for that, I will never forgive myself

Priest: It's in Fate's hands now

Deirdre: (A tear falling from her eye) I love her more than anyone or anything, my own life included, how could I have done this to someone I love? - how can I do this to my own daughter?

Priest: The moment she left your womb, there was nothing more you could do to protect her - you can only try... and prepare her the best you can for what lies ahead - the same you will do for your son when he is born

Deirdre: How do you know it's going to be a boy?

Priest: I know... and so do you

Deirdre sighs and leans on the priest's shoulder.

Priest: The Marked One has already been born

Deirdre: Please don't call her that!

Priest: It is her birthright

Deirdre: Her name is MORRIGAN

Priest: (Looking up at the sun) You wanted some time alone with her before the baby is born - I suggest you enjoy the remains of the day

With that, the priest takes his leave. Morrigan watches him from behind a rock and then runs over to her mother with a limp and a closed fist.

Deirdre: What happened to your foot?

Morrigan: I dunno, it kinda hurts

Deirdre: (Reaching) Let me see

Morrigan: (Stepping back) No, Mommie - look, I brought you a present

Deirdre: Really? - how thoughtful of you, what it is?

Morrigan: (All smiles) Something as pretty as your eyes

The young girl opens her hand to reveal two torn off wings of the butterfly.

Upstairs at the Quartz Lake Inn, Big Joe Tiszo deals with an excruciating headache and flails about his residence.

Joe: (Grabbing his head) NO, NO MORE - I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THEM ANYMORE

The sound of the ringing phone finally draws his attention. He fumbles with it and answers hoarsely.

Joe: Hello? - KJ - no, I haven't been answering my phone all night - I have a terrible migraine - no, I haven't seen Erika but I'll check around for you... what happened? - WHAT? - NO, HOLY MOTHER OF GOD - I'M SO SORRY, MY SON - I'LL BE OVER THERE AS SOON AS I CAN

Hanging up the phone, Joe falls to his knees and says a silent prayer.

Joe: (Crossing himself and drying his tears) There's one thing I have to do first...

Carrying some hot cider and a bowl of vegetable soup, Joe makes his way down to the wine cellar without anyone noticing. He sets the meal on a box beside Morrigan and covers her with another blanket. As he turns to leave, the blood-curdling shriek from the young woman causes him to jump.

Morrigan: (Springing up) MOMMIE, MOMMIE, HELP ME

Joe: (Running over to her side and comforting her) Ms. McBride... Morrigan, it's alright, it was just a bad dream

Morrigan: (Eyes darting around) Where... where am I? - what am I doing here with you?

Joe: Amethyst brought you here - don't worry, you're safe!

Morrigan: WHERE DID AMY GO? - IF THE POLICE CATCH HER...

Joe: She'll be fine - she has her father's instincts

Morrigan looks at him for a moment.

Joe: I brought you something to eat

Morrigan: (Realizing she's hungry) Thanks... I've heard good things about your soup

Joe smiles but continues to look troubled.

Morrigan: Mr. Tiszo...

Joe: Joe, please

Morrigan: Joe... I also know what you were in your past

Joe becomes even more on edge.

Morrigan: I want you to know that I did NOT kill Father Greg, I swear to you on my life - you have to believe me!

Joe: I do... if I didn't, I would not be providing you sanctuary

Morrigan: Thank you - I'll be out of here as soon as I feel better

Joe: NO, you must stay here - it is not safe for you out there

Morrigan: I've already placed Amy in jeopardy, I will not do the same to you

Joe: (Turning red in the face) There has been enough DAMAGE out there tonight, I will not risk you becoming another victim!

Morrigan: WHAT HAPPENED TONIGHT? - DEAR GOD, DID SOMETHING HAPPEN TO ERIKA?

Both are stunned by the words.

Morrigan: I meant... KJ

Joe: No - but their father...

Morrigan: WHAT HAPPENED TO KARL?

Joe: He... has passed on

Morrigan: HE'S DEAD?

Joe: Yes

Morrigan: NO - HOW?

Joe: I'm not sure yet - I'm on my way over to the house

Morrigan: (Getting up) I'm going with you

Joe: OUT OF THE QUESTION

Morrigan: (Pained expression) DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND, I NEED TO BE THERE FOR... I JUST NEED TO BE THERE

Joe: DO YOU REALLY WANT TO TAKE THE CHANCE OF THE POLICE INTRUDING ON THEIR TIME OF SORROW AND LOSS?

Morrigan: I... suppose not

Joe: Stay here, stay well, and stay safe - I will return with more news

Morrigan: (Slowly sitting back down on the cot) There has to be something I can do?

Joe: (Making his way back up the stairs) You will

 

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Surfaced on July 1, 2000
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