Inside a small cavern deep beneath the Kiyomis, Amethyst Hill lies curled up on the ground, shivering. Still without clothes, she rocks back and forth, trying to meditate as a folded, blue-colored robe is placed next to her. The Leader of the Clergy enters the chamber and now stands before the prisoner.
White Robe: (Picking up the blue robe and trying to cover her with it) Stubborn child, why must you always defy me?
Amethyst: (Pushing the garment away) I'D RATHER DIE THAN WEAR THAT
White Robe: Considering the temperature will drop to the low 30's in here, you just might
Amethyst: Don't worry, I won't be here that much longer
White Robe: (Reclining against a rock) Oh really?
Amethyst: (Struggling to sit up) You have either two choices - kill me or let me go - and since I'm still breathing, the first option seems a little weak
Gasping for breath, she is suddenly raised to her feet without a hand touching her.
White Robe: Did I not teach you about overconfidence?
Amethyst: (Narrowing her eyes) Yes... YOU DID
The Leader momentarily loses power and snaps backward as Amy gains control over herself.
White Robe: (Now clapping) Brava, your mother would be so proud
Amethyst: (Turning away from the figure) I will NOT let you get to my soul!
The leader silently summons two subordinates in brown robes.
Amethyst: (Watching) You can force whatever you want on me, physically, but I will never comply
White Robe: We shall see
With a simple gesture, the leader directs the other two to keep the squirming woman in place as the blue robe is quickly wrapped around her.
White Robe: (Gently pulling the hood around her face) Why must you struggle against your destiny, why?
Amethyst: It is no longer a destiny I choose to follow
White Robe: HA, as if you had a choice in the matter!
Amethyst: There is always a choice
White Robe: Come, come - I raised you better than that
Amethyst: YOU DIDN'T RAISE ME AT ALL
White Robe: (Now pacing) Not so long ago, you were a very willing participant in this - why do you think the Marked One ended up living under your roof?
Amethyst: I will admit to being led astray by your prophecies - NO LONGER
White Robe: Fight me all you want but you cannot fight what will be - you are aware of the time - you watch the constellations at night
Amethyst: I am also aware that plans do not always go accordingly
White Robe: How very true - follow me!
With the brown figures on either side, Amy reluctantly follows the leader through the cavern into an open chamber. They are looking down from the craggy rock cliff.
White Robe: You are indeed right for I cannot kill my own flesh - but before I return you to your pretty kitties and precious vegetable garden, you might want to consider this...
The leader snaps his fingers and four blue robes appear at the bottom of the chamber. They are carrying in a limp, badly battered man with his eyes blindfolded. Amy angles for a closer look.
Amethyst: No, no... not him - PLEASE
White Robe: We found your friend wandering, looking for something... or someone
He does not respond.
White Robe: Now that you are aware of the price, be sure to bring us Morrigan by tomorrow eve
Outside the von Meer estate, an enraged Erika has Stephanie pushed up against the sidewall of the garage.
Erika: MY FATHER DID NOT DIE
Stephanie: (Struggling) ERIKA, STOP THIS AT ONCE
Erika: NOT UNTIL YOU TELL ME THE TRUTH
A florist van pulls up into the driveway, causing both women to step back.
Stephanie: I know you're upset, honey, but this is not going to help
Erika: And I know you're lying to me, Stephanie, you have the same guilty eye twitch as your son
Stephanie: What did Griffin say to you?
Erika: Griffin has nothing to do with this... but I know you do - you know I can do just about anything in this town with my family's name and money and if that means buying every single coroner from here to San Diego to tell me the truth about what really happened, I will!
Stephanie rubs her face and stands in silence.
Erika: KJ and my mother might be too grief-stricken to question the "foul-up" with his body but I don't believe it, not for a second - and since you were the last attending physician to see him... DO YOU NEED ME TO KEEP SPELLING IT OUT FOR YOU?
Stephanie: Erika, PLEASE
Erika: Or maybe we'll bring Kylee Shepperton over here and let the KCON viewers decide!
Stephanie: ENOUGH - get into my car!
Erika: This better not be a diversionary trip
Stephanie: You'll see
The two hop into a tan SUV and take off.
At the abandoned field house on the edge of Fiore Farms, Hector Tapia paces beside the bed of an unconscious Karl Senior.
Hector: I'm going to have a hell of a time getting you into the car by myself
He starts to pack some medical equipment in a bag.
Hector: Stephi is going to kill me, especially if you drop dead... but my family suspects something is going on down here - Francis is already knee-deep in his own shit with the shooting, I'm not about to involve the others
Riding down a dirt path on her motorcycle, Anita comes up on the house and searches for her uncle.
Anita: TIO - HEY, HECTOR, DONDE ESTAS?
Hector: (Dropping the bags) Shit!
He rushes out the door before she can come inside.
Hector: 'Nita - I thought you had a Coast Guard meeting to get to?
Anita: (Trying to peer inside) I do but I wanted to make sure everything was cool down here... is it?
Hector: It's fine, perfecto!
Anita: Es verdad?
Hector: Really - just a few vagrants looking for some shelter
Anita: This is not the Hotel Fiore
Hector: Where is your compassion, chica?
Anita: I'm pretty much out of it these days - especially with all of the weird crap that's been happening
Hector: (Still blocking the door) They are just harmless vagrants
Anita: Good, they can go be harmless under the pier with all of the others
Hector: I cannot believe I am hearing these words out of your mouth - forget compassion, where is your tolerance?
These words freeze Anita momentarily.
Anita: I will not tolerate my family in danger
Hector: Like I said, they are harmless - in need of a roof and a good meal
Anita: Then take them to the mission, let JC come up with the loaves and fishes to feed them
Hector: They pose no threat to Frank and Carmen
Anita: How can you be so sure?
Hector: I've seen enough in prison to know whom I can trust
Anita: You always have to throw that out there, don't you?
Hector: My instincts are reliable
He looks down at her wrist in a brace.
Hector: Can you say the same about yours?
Anita: That's a low blow
Hector: You never did say what really happened to you and Craig in the copter
Anita: Quit trying to change the subject
Hector: I'd like to know
Anita: That makes two of us
Hector: You know, you can tell me anything - you always have
Anita: I know that and I would if I could - para seguro!
Hector: You've also been tight-lipped about this Marcy woman
Anita: (Sighing) Literally
Hector: Is she just another one of many or is she special to you?
Anita: Look, Hector, another time - what I really need to know is if you know anything about my bracelet?
Hector: You mean abuelita's?
Hector: Not much, that's your mother's legacy - it was passed down to her - why are you curious?
Anita: I need to find out more about it... there's something about it
Hector: I could ask your mother for you?
Anita: (Glancing at her watch) No, that's OK - I need to take off for my meeting - wish me luck... and I want these bums off of the property, pronto!
Hector: Do you honestly think I would put my own sister in danger?
Anita: Not intentionally - now go ask Oni about one of her charities and get them another place to stay - hell, here's twenty bucks, take them for some tacos when you leave
Hector: They'll be gone before you get back, I promise
Anita: (Walking back to her bike and waving her hand) Gracias!
On the way to the Fiore property, Stephanie explains what she knows about Karl's poisoning to Erika.
Erika: (Softly) Thank you for taking care of him
Erika: Have you isolated the toxin yet?
Stephanie: Not entirely, there is still a very strong chance he could die
Erika: (Eyes filled with tears) I'll figure it out in the lab but first I must see him
Stephanie: We're almost there
Erika: I'm sorry for the way I treated you earlier - I was upset
Stephanie: You still are... and have every right to be
Erika: How come you trusted me?
Stephanie: I've known you since before you were born, Erika - there's no way you could have done this to your father - and you were well on your way to figuring the situation on your own
Erika: But you still suspect my mother or KJ?
Stephanie: No, but I don't know who they are in contact with - I just can't take the chance of more people knowing - having you know is enough of a risk
Erika: Can we trust Hector?
Stephanie: It was a spur-of-the-moment decision but I believe it was the right one - no matter what has happened between us, we share a unique bond
Erika: She has your eyes, you know
Stephanie: Please, not now
Erika: Forgive me
A radio news update blares the latest headlines, focusing on the supposed death of Karl. Stephanie goes to turn it off but Erika stops her.
They now mention the on-going manhunt for the still missing Morrigan McBride.
Erika: (Rubbing her hands) I need to find her before they do
Erika: Nothing, nevermind
Before Dr. Gates can question the von Meer daughter any further, Anita Fiore comes zooming down the road towards them.
Erika: Dammit, we don't need to deal with her right now!
Stephanie: Keep calm and let me handle this
Stunned by the sight of Stephanie's SUV headed down the back road to her property. Anita slows down and pulls up alongside the window.
Anita: (Taking off her helmet) Dr. Gates?
Stephanie: Hello, Anita, how are you?
Anita: What are you doing here?
Stephanie: I have some business with your Uncle Hector
Anita: (Spying Erika in the car) Really? - huh, I must say that I'm kinda surprised to see you here, Dr. von Meer... sorry about your dad
Erika: (Gritting her teeth) Thank you
Stephanie: I was just taking her on a ride to clear her head - we need to speak with Hector for a moment and then we'll be on our way
Anita: He's probably still at the field house taking care of some bums
Stephanie:(Nearly choking on her breath) Bums?
Anita: Yeah - I should be helping out but I need to report to HQ
Erika: (Scowling) Don't let us keep you!
Anita: Actually... I still have a few moments - maybe I'll follow you two back in case you need an extra hand
Erika: (Peering at the wrist brace) How IS your hand, Anita? - are you sure you can handle a motorcycle with your injury?
Anita: I can handle it fine... thank you for your concern
Erika: How exactly again did you hurt it?
There is a long, silent pause.
Anita: You know what? - I actually do need to get going - please give your family my condolences, Rikka... my sister should be over there with a casserole soon - if there's anything else we can do, be sure to give us a call!
Erika: (Monotone) Thank you
Stephanie: Bye, Anita!
And with that, the two vehicles drive off in opposite directions. Stephanie and Erika reach the field house just as Hector is loading some equipment into his car.
Stephanie: Hey, Hector - what are you doing?
Hector: I'm getting him out of here - Anita almost found out and it's only a matter of time before Carmen and Frank start stumbling around - WHAT IS SHE DOING HERE?
Without saying a word, Erika rushes inside to see her father.
Stephanie: It's okay, she's safe
Hector: Are you sure about that?
Stephanie: I'm not sure about anything anymore
Hector: We still need to get him out of here
Stephanie: Where are you taking him?
Hector: I have some friends up north that owe me a favor - they have a cabin about two hours from here
Stephanie: NO - he'll never survive the trip!
Hector: I'm running out of options, Stephi!
Stephanie: We'll take him to the Quartz Lake Inn
Hector: Oh right - we'll just check him in with the baggage
Stephanie: Big Joe will take care of us
Hector: You're bringing in another outsider? - this whole town will know about Karl by nightfall
Stephanie: Joe is a former priest, he can be trusted
Hector laughs and shakes his head.
Stephanie: Let's move
They hurry inside to find Erika silently grasping her father's hand and holding back the tears.
Erika: (Barely above a whisper) His vitals are very weak
Stephanie: (Coming over and checking Karl) I know, sweetie, but we have no choice - help me with his transfer
Erika: Where are we going?
Hector: (Packing up more gear) To the Quartz Lake Inn
Erika: Of course - Joe is back at the house but I know how to get in through the wine cellar
Stephanie: (Unhooking an IV bag) Let's make it quick but careful
Erika: (Looking up) Mr. Tapia
Hector: Hector, por favor!
Erika: Hector... thank you for everything
Hector: No problem - it has actually given me some wonderful source material for my current literary project
Stephanie: (Exasperated) Still dreaming about the great unwritten novel, Hec?
Hector: It's almost done, it really is
Erika: (Double checking everything) I think we're all set
Stephanie: (Putting a hand on the senior von Meer's leg) Hang on, Karl, time for another ride
Hector: Let's go!
Now dressed in a velour jog suit borrowed from the Quartz Lake gym, a fully cognizant Morrigan anxiously awaits Joe Tiszo's return.
Morrigan: (Still limping with her bandaged foot) This is crazy, I need to do something - I can't just stay here!
She pulls the hood of the jacket over her head and packs a few bottles of water in a sack.
Morrigan: I have to get to Concha Dos... I have to get to her
Before Morrigan can climb the stairs leading out of the cellar, a service elevator suddenly opens on the opposite side.
Morrigan: (Under her breath) Shit!
She hobbles quickly in back of some wine racks and observes the scene before her. Hector, Stephanie and Erika wheel in Karl senior. Morrigan gasps in astonishment causing Erika to look in her direction.
Hector: Did you hear something?
Erika: (Turning away) No, keep him steady - his blood pressure is fluctuating
Stephanie: It was probably just a rat - let's hope Joe gets back soon so we can get Karl into a proper room
The three continue to set up Karl in the cellar as Morrigan is frozen silent.
Hector: I'm going back upstairs to keep an eye out - do you need anything?
Stephanie: As tempting as Joe's chardonnay is, I think we'd be better off with some water
Erika: Actually, Steph, would you mind getting it? - I'd like to spend some time with my father alone
Stephanie just stares at Erika for a minute.
Erika: Don't worry, I'm not going to kill him
Stephanie: (Guilty expression) I was not thinking that
Erika: (Taking her hand and squeezing it) Yes, you were thinking that... thank you for being so protective of him
Stephanie: I'll be back in a few minutes - come on, Hector
After the two leave, Erika places a soft kiss on her father's forehead and casually makes her way towards the wine racks. Morrigan holds her breath and slowly creeps behind another rack. The two play a short game of maze chase until Morrigan ends up backing into Erika.
Morrigan: Oh... hi - your father's okay - are you okay?
Unable to find the right words to respond with, Erika reaches out and pulls Morrigan into a hug.
Surfaced on July 1, 2000
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