Year One: Duquesa Bay

"Interlude of Weirdness"

Deep inside the caverns of the Kiyomi Mountains, "The Clergy" finishes a morning chant ritual and gathers to listen to their leader in the white robe. A figure in a blue robe reverently approaches the leader, genuflects and bows.

Blue Robe: We await your word

The white robe slowly circles around the blue robe and then suddenly kicks the figure across the floor.

White Robe: The word is disappointment

Another blue robe steps forward and falls to its knees.

Blue Robe: Although we had some difficulties, last night was moderately successful

White Robe: Please point out to me the success

Blue Robe: We have eliminated a major obstacle in Karl von Meer - drilling will now commence at a more rapid pace

White Robe: Tell me, where is his body?

The other hooded figures in the room all look at each other.

Blue Robe: (Trying not to stammer) At the morgue

White Robe: (Inching closer) Are you sure of this?

Blue Robe: Very sure

White Robe: Did you see the body with your own eyes?

The Blue Robe does not respond. In turn, the leader violently lifts it off of the ground with one hand.

White Robe: I asked you a question

The captive can only respond by choking and gasping. It is thrown back down to the ground.

White Robe: I am waiting

Blue Robe: (Sucking in air) I... we followed him... to the hospital... we saw him flatline in the ER... we assumed he was shipped... to the coroner's office

The leader slaps the subordinate hard across the head.

White Robe: ASSUME NOTHING - TWO OF YOU, GO NOW AND CONFIRM THE BODY

A pair quickly rises and exits the room.

White Robe: Does anyone else here care to justify how last night was a success?

Yet another blue robed figure speaks out.

Blue Robe: Forgive us, Master, we did not expect the aberration to adapt so quickly

White Robe: But she did, didn't she?

Blue Robe: We have figured out the modulation she used last night and we will be prepared for her the next time

White Robe: Her trident is not a concern, her physical alteration is!

Blue Robe: We are still working on theories

White Robe: Work harder - I want proven conclusions, not theories!

Blue Robe: Yes, Master

White Robe: Have we discovered the user of the rocket launcher?

Blue Robe: It was a government-issue rocket launcher favored by the CIA and the user was definitely female

White Robe: Another added element we do not need

Blue Robe: We are putting together a sketch of her face and we will hunt this woman down

White Robe: That can wait, I want all of you searching for The Marked One - is that clear?

A unanimous affirmative is heard from the gathering. Another blue robe enters the room and approaches the leader but does not bow.

Blue Robe: Actually, we do have a bright spot from last night... literally - BRING HER IN

Two other hooded figures drag in Amethyst Hill and throw her at the feet of the leader. She is covered in tribal mud paint and is missing her crystal necklace.

Blue Robe: I am certain she will be able to tell you where The Marked One is!

White Robe: (Kneeling and carefully lifting her face) Disclose her location

Amethyst: (Jerking away) Never, father... NEVER

Staring at the ruins of their former storefront, Penelope Renselier and Brad Martel sit on the curb in silence as firefighters and other emergency personnel secure the block.

Penny: (Studying Brad) You know, we could be in body bags right now

Brad: Almost got your wish, didn't you?

Penny: I never want to die like that - my death will be of my own choosing

Brad: Glad you think you have a say in that matter

Penny: What I want to know is where did Morri and Amy go?

Brad shrugs his shoulders and continues to stare off into space.

Penny: (Softly) We searched the rubble, bit by bit, FOUR times... where did they go?

Brad: (Hanging his head) Just be glad we DIDN'T find them

Penny: They couldn't have just vanished

Brad: Well, it appears that they did

Penny: There is something seriously psycho with those two... and I'm not talking about barging in on us last night without their clothes

Brad: These past several hours have been... I don't know

Penny: An interlude of weirdness?

Brad: That's why you're a wordsmith!

Penny: Did you notice the type of destruction?

Brad: What do you mean?

Penny: If you look at the surrounding buildings on our block, they look normal

Brad: (Eyeing the devastation) You think that looks normal?

Penny: Normal as in hit by a good-sized quake, yes - but look at our building...

Brad: Same thing

Penny: No... REALLY look

Brad: I must be exhausted and blind because I have no clue what you're referring to

Penny: Our building... or what's left of it... has a concentric implosion pattern while every other building is more random

Brad: (Finally seeing the difference) Huh, that's strange... AND?

Penny: What do you mean "and?"

Brad: And what does that tell you? - it's still destroyed, but in a prettier way - BIG FUCKING DEAL

Penny: It IS a big deal!

Brad: Why? - does that mean we'll get more insurance money out of it or that it will look better on the KCON news footage of local damage?

Penny: You just don't get it

Brad: No, I don't - and I don't really want to - we have other things to worry about

Penny: (Rubbing Brad's back) Stop stressing - you can get one of those SBA disaster loans or something

Brad: Not with my record

Penny: Then you can always ask your family

Brad: (Flinging a chunk of brick) Screw that!

Penny: Now is so not the time to be stubborn

Brad: Now is the time to shut the hell up, here come the cops!

Two police officers with a dog and a detective come over to Brad and Penny.

Detective: Are you two alright?

Brad: Considering we just lost our building and our business, I guess we are

Detective: Do you two need any help?

Penny: Keep on walking, that would help

Brad elbows her in the side.

Brad: We'll be fine, sir, thank you

The dog leads the officers over to the rubble and barks anxiously.

Detective: (Pulling out a photo of Morrigan and Amethyst) Have you seen either of these two women recently?

Brad: (Glancing at the picture) No, not recently

Penny: Why, what did they do?

Detective: One is a fugitive from justice and the other, we believe, is assisting her on the run

Penny: Cool

Detective: No, NOT cool - if you know where they are, we need to know... now!

Brad: Sorry, can't help you

Penny: Try looking in your underwear, maybe you'll find something of interest in there

Brad: (Shaking her arm) Penny, stop it!

Detective: Well, apparently our K-9 corps has found an interesting scent coming from your building

Penny: We specialize in candles and incense, not to mention the dead rats and gas leaks, I'm sure there are a lot of interesting scents coming from our building!

Detective: The dog is trained to pick up the scent of Ms. McBride and Ms. Hill

Penny: The dog is also freaked by the earthquake - animals are skittish and confused for days after

Brad: You are more that welcome to check the remains of our store if you don't believe us

Detective: (Walking off) I might just do that

Penny: Yeah, they might be hiding under a shard of glass, be sure to look closely you pig prick!

Brad: (Covering her mouth on the last two words) WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Penny: (Snapping Brad's hand away) WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? - "WE'LL BE FINE, SIR, THANK YOU" - WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?

Brad: Someone who is NOT looking for more trouble right now

Penny: Since when did you turn kiss-ass to authority?

Brad: Since I can't afford another strike on my record

Penny: You can't afford another strike on your bad boy rep - I might as well be with Jere

Brad: (Evil grin) But, you're not

Penny: (Leaning over to kiss Brad) No, I'm not

Around the corner, Jeremy Colvin is on his skateboard, observing the entire scene with Brad, Penny and the cops. He hesitates at first but then rushes over to the two of them.

Penny: (Shocked) HEY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

Jeremy: Looking for you... all night - I thought you were hurt

Brad: (Getting up) I need to make sure the cops don't try to plant anything

With quiet fury in his eyes, Jeremy watches Brad leave.

Jeremy: He's lucky there are cops around right now

Penny: (Flattered by the situation) Oh really?

Jeremy: Come on, we're going home

Penny: I'm not walking all that way

Jeremy: We'll take the bus

Penny: Fun

Jeremy: Don't you care about your family, have you even checked on them?

Penny: Mom and dad are in Sacramento, they're fine

Jeremy: Be grateful - the von Meers weren't as lucky

Penny: (Turning serious) Did something happen to fish lady?

Jeremy: Erika's dad died last night

Penny: NO WAY - that's horrible - I wonder if I should go over to their house?

Jeremy: You could... or you could continue to sit here in the dirt, making out with dirt

Penny: It wasn't like you were around

Jeremy: I had to work two jobs and lay down some fresh tracks last night!

Penny: As usual

Jeremy: Do you want to break up, is that it?

Penny: (Sighing) We'll discuss this later, let's go!

Inside the Fiore farmhouse, everyone is gathered to comfort an injured Anita and discuss last night's events.

Anita: (Hanging up the phone) Craig's doctor wants to keep him in the hospital for another day, just to be safe

Ona Rosa: I'll be sure to bring him some of my muffins later

Anita: (Biting her lip) Yeah, I'm sure he'll love your muffins

Javier: (Glowering at Anita) WE'LL go see Craig later - I still can't imagine how you two were able to jump out of the copter in time

Anita: (Staring at her broken wrist in a cast) Luck, I guess

Carmen: (Crossing herself) Not luck... the Lord!

Anita: Sure, ma, whatever

Frank: (Sitting in a recliner and lighting up a cigarette) Has the Coast Guard contacted you or Captain Phelps at all?

Anita: I have a meeting with them this afternoon - if Craig is up to it, we'll do a teleconference

Frank: They better give you two a medal

Anita: MEDAL, HA - we'll be stunned if we aren't booted out on our asses!

Carmen: 'Nita - such language!

Anita: Sorry, ma, but it's true - do you know how much those birds cost? - and we toasted the most expensive one at our base

Frank: (Banging his cane down on the floor) IT WASN'T YOUR FAULT - YOU HAD TERRORISTS TRYING TO KILL YOU

Anita: I'm sure they'll find a way to make it our fault

Frank: Homeland security... BULLSHIT

Carmen: Not you too, Francis!

Hector: (Looking out the window) Here we go again

Frank: WHAT? - I'm sorry for not being all PC like but it's time to close the god damn borders and send everyone who shouldn't be here packing!

Hector: Didn't your relatives come her illegally?

Frank: That was a very long time ago and NOT THE POINT - times have changed, the land of infinite wealth is long dead and forgive me for not wanting to see my tax dollars spent on those who want to BLOW UP MY DAUGHTER

Anita: (Smiling at her dad) Aww, thanks papi

Carmen: Francis, PLEASE watch your blood pressure

Javier: Terrorists... is that really the conclusion the authorities have come up with?

Anita: Pretty much

Javier: But it wasn't, was it?

Anita: I have no idea - I cannot even begin to explain what I saw last night and I'm not sure I want to

Carmen: (Extremely agitated) You should FORGET what you saw last night, be happy that you are here with your family and concentrate on healing yourself

Anita: I need to concentrate on finding my bracelet - I think I might have lost it at the hospital

Carmen: (Looking away) Don't worry, I have it in a safe place

Anita: (Turning to face her mother) Where is it? - AYYY, bastard rib!

Ona Rosa: (Jumping up) Let me go get you some fresh ice for your bruises

Anita: Will everyone stop it, por favor? - I'll be fine, really, just let me be - I'm more worried about dad now that McBride has high-tailed it out of town

Ona Rosa: There is no way they can come after him as a suspect

Hector: (Still staring out the window) Don't be so sure

Carmen: Can we please deal with one family crisis at a time?

Ona Rosa: That reminds me, I need to make a casserole and bring it over to the von Meers - KJ must be devastated

Javier: Right, poor KJ - he gets to inherit a fortune!

Ona Rosa: Don't be so mean, Javier - do you forget how you felt when you lost your father?

There is silence in the room.

Ona Rosa: Remember that Erika is affected as well

Javier: I wonder if they were finally able to find her?

Anita: She's missing?

Javier: KJ called three times asking if she was at the lab last night

Anita: Huh... that's odd - I still can't believe Old Man Karl kicked it

Carmen: I will stop by the church later and have a mass said for him

The phone rings in the kitchen and Ona Rosa answers it.

Ona Rosa: Anita, it's for you!

Anita: I don't want to talk to anyone

Ona Rosa: It's someone named Marcy Nolan?

Anita: (Jumping off of the sofa) I'll take it in the other room!

Javier: Oh, I almost forgot - Frank, while we were driving up, we thought we saw the lights on in the old bunkhouse - are you doing something down there?

Frank: No, I'm not - it must be those damn squatters again - Carmie, bring me my 12 gauge!

Carmen: NO, NO MORE GUNS - WE DO NOT NEED YOU IN ANOTHER MESS

Hector: (Holding up his hand) Stay seated, Frank, I'll go take care of it!

Javier: Need some help?

Hector: NO... thanks - I can handle it!

Hector is out the door and on his way. Anita watches him from the kitchen window.

Anita: (On the phone with Marcy) So, can you come over? - WHY? - I'd really like you to be here for me now... that's a total excuse - OK, you know what, NEVERMIND - when you decide to break away from fantasy land and learn how to relate to REAL human beings instead of characters on a stage, LET ME KNOW

Anita bangs down the phone and sulks for a moment.

Anita: (Heading out the side door) I better see if Uncle Hector needs some help

At the von Meer estate, Erika sits silently in the living room, itching at a tiny patch of scales under her fingers. She observes the activities around her. Griffin speaks on a phone, Ben is in the kitchen with Joe making lunch, Shelby is lighting candles and doing some kind of ceremony with pineapples, Tim is speaking with concerned neighbors and Kylee is doing a report for KCON in the front yard. Coming from the master bedroom, KJ sluggishly ambles down the stairs with Dr. Stephanie.

Dr. Stephanie: (To KJ) That should hold her for awhile

KJ: (Rubbing his bloodshot eyes) Thanks, Steph

Dr. Stephanie: Keep an eye on your mom and I'll be by later tonight to check in on her

Erika: (Going over to them) Is she going to be alright?

KJ: Steph had to tranq her up

Dr. Stephanie: She'll be fine, she just needed a little something to calm her down

KJ: I just don't understand how the hospital could make such a stupid mistake - no one authorized dad... his body... for release

Dr. Stephanie: I know - I'm on my way over there right now to clear all of this up

KJ: (Trying not to cry) We need to say goodbye to him!

Dr. Stephanie: (Hugging KJ) I know, we'll figure it out, I promise

KJ: (Kissing her on the cheek) Thanks Steph... ooh, I smell Joe's soup - can I get you anything before you go?

Dr. Stephanie: No thanks, Kage, you make sure you get some rest!

Erika watches her brother walk away and then shoots a frosty glare at Stephanie.

Erika: Let me walk you to your car

Dr. Stephanie: (Putting her arm around Erika) How are you holding up, Kiddo?

Erika: Remarkably well

Dr. Stephanie: That advice wasn't just for your brother - you need some rest as well

Erika: I realize that

Dr. Stephanie: I noticed you itching earlier - it's probably from nerves - I have some cream that will help

Erika: (Making sure they are out of everyone's view) Actually, I need your help with another matter

Dr. Stephanie: Anything, Sweetie

Erika: (Grabbing Stephanie by the neck and pinning her against the side of the house) WHERE IS MY FATHER?

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