Year One: Duquesa Bay

"The Other Sides"

Inside a darkened SCU laboratory, Erika is desperately trying to find out more about the toxin that nearly killed her father. Several experiments boil and bubble around her as she peers into a microscope.

Erika: This is most definitely anemone based but there is a secondary agent that I just cannot isolate... where have I seen this before?

Unable to concentrate, the von Meer daughter takes a step back from her work and dials out on the lab phone. She hangs up after one ring and then redials the number.

Erika: Remember the code - one ring, followed by three...

Pacing between the adjoining Quartz Lake Inn suites, Morrigan keeps one eye on Karl Sr. and another on a muted television tuned to KCON. All of the window shades are drawn but enough natural light creeps in to create eerie wall shadows. An already spooked McBride switches on the bathroom light for peace of mind but her ringing cell phone quickly shatters the mood. She counts the number of rings.

Morrigan: Hello?

Erika: How are you doing?

Morrigan: Hi... better I guess - how are you doing?

Erika does not immediately respond.

Morrigan: I know, stupid question - I only asked because... because you looked really sick when you left here

Erika: Don't worry about me

Morrigan: Someone has to

Erika: Stephanie is helping out

Morrigan: Right

Erika: I'm still working on the toxin

Morrigan: Any luck?

Erika: Luck isn't what I need right now

Morrigan: OK

Erika: Look, I apologize for being brusque, I'm rather tired at the moment

Morrigan: Hey, I'm impressed that you even used the word brusque

Erika: How's my father?

Morrigan: Oh, right, your dad - he seems pretty much the same, no drastic swings in his vitals

Erika: Good - has he been lucid at all?

Morrigan: No, I haven't even seen him open his eyes

Erika: Is his temperature still at 101.6?

Morrigan: (Checking something) Yep, it's been hovering around that level for the last hour

Erika: Is Big Joe still with you?

Morrigan: The front desk needed him - he's very freaked by the whole thing

Erika: Aren't we all?

Morrigan: But I think he'll come through - he's bringing me back something from the kitchen soon

Erika: When he does, please ask him for some ice - wrap it in some towels and place it under my father's feet and hands - it should help

Morrigan: I'll do that

Erika: Dr. Gates will check in on you two later tonight

Morrigan: What about you? - aren't you going to come over?

Erika: Once I find out what we're dealing with

Morrigan: You will, I know it

Erika: Um, I should get back to work then - I'll see you later

Morrigan: Um... how's KJ doing?

Erika: I haven't seen him

Morrigan: Joe told me that he's trying to hold it all together

Erika: For the sake of the company, I hope he does

Morrigan: Joe also told me that Ona Rosa was over at the house

Erika: And so were a lot of other people - you only need to worry about yourself and my father right now

Morrigan: Fine - but you can't stop me for worrying about you... 'bye

Erika hangs up the phone and strains against an oncoming migraine. She returns to her experiments but can't help scratching an irritated side of her neck. There is now blood under her nails.

Erika: Dammit, what is going on? - one problem at a time, please

Shelby Willis enters the lab and is not surprised to find Erika there.

Shelby: Girl, there is no problem in this room that is more important than being at home with your kin right now

Erika: What are you doing here, Shel? - I thought Calvin had a t-ball game?

Shelby: He is with a sitter because I was at YOUR HOUSE and that is exactly where you should be!

Erika: I will later - I need to finish this

Shelby: HORSE APPLES

Erika: Please, I can't get into this with you

Shelby: Help me understand what is going on in that crazy blonde head of yours

Erika: Maybe this is how I deal with loss?

Shelby: And maybe I'll sprout wings and become a ballerina

Erika crinkles her nose and unknowingly scratches at her neck.

Shelby: (Noticing the red patch) Precious Miss, what in the world is going on with your skin?

Erika: Nerves

Shelby: (Trying to get a closer look) It looks like something the CDC needs to see

Erika: Enough with the drama, Shelby, I've had more than enough lately

Shelby: It's more than just welts, those look like scales!

Erika: It's dry skin irritated by a rash caused from nerves and you're not helping!

Shelby: Sorry child - I have some lotion in my bag but it looks like you'll need more than a squirt or two

Erika: If you really... really want to help me, I could use your advice on the slide under the electron microscope

Shelby: (Taking a look) About time you asked for some assistance, did it maim you to do so?

Erika: Let me know if you reach the same conclusions about the levels

Shelby: You know, I know you don't get along with Pauline but your mother seriously needs you right now

Erika: (Checking some beakers) She has KJ

Shelby: She needs her daughter, more than ever - she not only lost her husband but the father of her children

Erika does not comment. She continues to work on her findings as Shelby does the same. Javier Sanchez rounds the corner and is surprised to see both women at work. He ducks behind a door before they see him and quietly observes the scene. Erika goes over to Shelby to check her findings.

Erika: You can't isolate it either?

Shelby: Not yet but I know who would be the perfect person to ask

Erika: (Nearly jumping out of her skin) Who?

Shelby: Sandy - yes, I saw him working on something like this the other day

Javier: (Revealing himself) Ladies, did I hear my name mentioned?

Back at the Quartz Lake Inn, Joe Tiszo is in the kitchen, preparing a meal for Morrigan.

Joe: (Muttering under his breath) This is wrong, all wrong

His sous chef overhears.

Chef: Did you need more parsley?

Joe: I have to stop this before it gets out of hand

Chef: Are you alright, Mr. T?

Joe suddenly leans against the sink and grabs his head.

Joe: NO - I REFUSE TO LISTEN

And with that, he rushes out of the kitchen. Back inside her suite, Morrigan takes Karl Senior's temperature.

Morrigan: Crap, it's gone up to 102 - I wonder what's keeping Joe?

She lets out a small shriek as the elder von Meer suddenly grabs her wrist and squeezes it.

Morrigan: Mr. von Meer?

Karl flutters his eyes until they fully open. He regards the figure before him.

Karl Sr.: (Weakly) Are... are you safe?

Morrigan: We're both safe... for now - how are you feeling? - is there anything I can get you?

Karl Sr.: I'm so... so proud of you

Morrigan: Uh, I'm not Erika... I'm Morrigan - your daughter will be here later

Karl Sr.: I'm proud... of both of you

Morrigan: What do you mean?

Karl Sr.: There's... more to come... so much more

He slips back into unconsciousness.

Morrigan: Mr. von Meer? - Karl? - where in the hell are you, Joe?

McBride scans the room for a minute and focuses on a plastic bucket.

Morrigan: I need to get that ice!

Zipping up her jacket, Morrigan throws the hood over her face and puts on a pair of dark glasses.

Morrigan: It's only down the hall... it's only down the hall

With bucket and key card in hand, Morrigan carefully peeks past the door to make sure no one is around. She dashes out and hurries along the corridor to where she thought the ice machine would be.

Morrigan: DUH, it's on the floor BELOW this one - of course - why must I always suck at numbers?

Ducking an on-coming maid's cart, Morrigan slowly and carefully creeps down to the other level. Two guests wait for the elevator causing McBride to wait for them. Moments later, she is safely at the ice machine filling her bucket.

Morrigan: You would think a place like this could afford ice in every freaking room

As she turns to leave, Morrigan can't help but feel she is being watched.

Morrigan: (To herself) STOP IT, you are just being paranoid

Climbing the flight of stairs, Morrigan feels a presence gaining on her.

Morrigan: Filet O'Fish, is that you playing hide 'n seek?

There is no response. Morrigan pauses at the door to her level and waits. A figure in a blue robe now comes up the stairs towards her.

Morrigan: NOT YOU CREEPS AGAIN

With all her might, the petite woman hurls the bucket of ice at the figure and tries to fly out the door. It is now mysteriously locked. The hood steps over the bucket and comes right up to Morrigan.

Morrigan: (Holding her key card up for defense) WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

The figure pulls the hood back to reveal itself.

Morrigan: AMY?

Amethyst: They have him

Outside the PCOC board meeting, an astounded KJ stares blankly at the wall as Griffin and the other members pass by. Several people offer condolences to the von Meer son and then head off in another direction.

Griffin: That went much better than I had expected... so, what are your thoughts, Kage?

KJ: I think I need a beer

Griffin: This is a moment of glory - it should be toasted with a bottle of the best champagne

KJ: I'm still trying to grasp what we are celebrating

Griffin: It will make more sense when you study the files and I expect you to stay late and do so

KJ: Man, I need to go home... be with my family

Griffin: THIS is how you can be there for them - right now, we're on schedule and everything is going smoothly for once

KJ: My father just died and now you're talking about some magic mystery metal that's going to revolutionize the world?

Griffin: It's going to turn the almighty oil cartels into yesterday's news

KJ: Do we need to destroy a mountain rage and the bay floor to get to it?

Griffin: A hill here, some fish there - in the overall scheme of things, it's called progress

KJ: (Rubbing his head) I really need that beer

Observing from the conference room, Judge Victoria Martel ambles over to her brother and KJ.

Victoria: Don't forget, Grif, father expected you to call him as soon as the meeting finished

Griffin: (Scowling) Yes, I am aware of that... I'll be right back

The middle Martel brother rushes off as Victoria smirks and gives KJ a large hug.

Victoria: How are you doing, junior?

KJ: I'm trying to find the words right now

Victoria: I'm so sorry about Karl

KJ: Thanks

Victoria: Need a beer?

KJ: Oh yeah

Victoria: Let's go get one

KJ: First, could you please explain to me how and when all of this happened and how we... how you got caught up in it?

Victoria: We'll need more than one beer

KJ: I mean, you of all people, Vic - you're as tough as my sister when it comes to the environment, I certainly did not expect to find you at this meeting

Victoria: (Looking down the hall) Believe me, this is the last place I want to be

She nods for him to come closer to her.

Victoria: (Barely above a whisper) Do you remember the Duquesa Bay legends? - and I'm not just talking about the romantic one involving the beheaded monk and his royal mistress...

KJ: Sort of

Victoria: Well then, forget Griffin's files for now - I highly recommend you go back and reread the history of this area

KJ: Don't you think I have enough to do besides chase after fables?

Victoria: Keep an open mind

A distraught KJ leans back against the wall and inhales deeply. Victoria takes his hand and gently pats it.

Victoria: I honestly did not want you to get tangled up in this greedy web of havoc - I didn't want my brother or Meeramar or our families involved... but we no longer have a choice

KJ: What do you mean we don't have a choice? - we always have a choice!

Victoria: Not this time, KJ

KJ: That's bullshit

Victoria: Listen, my preferred piece of advice to you is to run... to run as far and as fast as you can get - believe me, I tried, but I also know what's coming and there's no way to get away from it

KJ: Jesus, Vic, you're making it sound like the freaking Death Star is upon us - sorry, Yoda, I need to go home to my family and crack open a cold one

Victoria: And that's exactly why I stayed in this - to protect MY family

KJ: From what?

Victoria: With your father gone, you need to sprout a large hairy pair of your own - watch your back, watch your mother's back - and especially... your sister's!

At the von Meer estate, Lydia and Penny Renselier are the only ones remaining to keep Pauline company. Dr. Stephanie Gates drops by to check up on things.

Pauline: (Clutching a bible) Thank you for being here, Liddie

Lydia: (Clutching her crutch) I flew back the minute I heard what happened

Penny: (Under her breath) Not because your own daughter was nearly killed in an earthquake

Lydia: I'm sorry, sweetie?

Penny: Nothing... can I get you some water, Mrs. von Meer?

Pauline: Thank you, Penelope, it's nice to know I can count on you when I can't even count on my own children

Penny: (Getting up) Yeah

Penny traipses down to the kitchen where she finds Dr. Stephanie sniffing at a plate of cold cuts.

Penny: You'd get a better high off of a Sharpie

Stephanie: Oh, Penelope - you startled me!

Penny: Sorry, I had to come down for some water... and some air

Stephanie: You don't... you don't do that with pens, do you?

Penny: Relax, doc - I learned my lesson eating paste as a child

Stephanie stares at her.

Penny: That was a joke

Stephanie: This is not really the time for jokes

Penny: Maybe it is - I know the biggest joke of all is going on upstairs with Rikka's ma humping her bible like it's going to bring back her dead husband or something

Stephanie: Maybe it brings her comfort

Penny: Like when was the last time she was in a church? - when was the last time she did something for someone else that wasn't self-serving?

Stephanie: That's not the point

Penny: Of course not, hypocrisy never is!

Stephanie: Are we talking about Erika's mom... or yours?

Penny: Heh, might as well throw them all in the same pool... of course, we'd have to put floaties on my mother, first

Stephanie: Such a cynical young girl

Penny: I like "jaded realist hottie" better - when a big scary problem comes along, I don't go running back to childhood, desperately clinging to myths to solve my problems for me because I'm too stupid to think for myself - for Pauline, it's the New Testament, for my mom, it's Cinderella... what's your pick, Auntie Steph?

Stephanie: I don't have a pick

Penny: See? - you're a woman of science, you know better

Stephanie: Science doesn't solve everything

Penny: It solves enough

Penny goes to grab something out of the refrigerator and hums to herself as she does.

Stephanie: (Thinking out loud) You have his exact same habit

Penny: Excuse me?

Stephanie: Oh... um, a man I know does the same thing - hums to himself when he's upset

Penny: What makes you think I'm upset?

Stephanie: A mother can always tell

Penny: (Snapping open a bottle of water) Heh, that's not what Brad told me

Stephanie: What does that mean?

Penny: It means we have some issues with our so-called families

Stephanie: Young lady, you are very fortunate compared to a lot of other girls your age who are simply struggling to survive

Penny: I know, believe me, I know - I feel the pain of the universe the very second I open my eyes

Stephanie: No, Penelope, you know the pain of your sheltered existence being challenged by unfair circumstances

Penny raises an eyebrow at the woman who does the exact same back at her.

Stephanie: I am sorry about your mother's condition and I know the situation with your father is less than ideal but they are here for you and they both love you dearly... surely even you can see that?

The goth girl thinks for a moment. Lydia comes to the head of the staircase and looks down towards the kitchen.

Lydia: Penelope?

Penny: Yo, what up?

Lydia: Stop talking like you're black, you weren't raised in a ghetto - are you bringing the water or not?

Penny: It's on the way

Lydia: Please hurry, Pauline is parched

Penny: Ooh, alliteration

Stephanie and Penelope watch Lydia struggle back to Pauline's room.

Penny: Be careful where you're walking, mom!

Lydia: Yes, dear

Penny turns to go upstairs but pauses.

Penny: (Looking back at Stephanie) You know, the absolute best and worst day of my life is yet to come - when mom finally dies, it will be a huge burden lifted off of my shoulders...

Stephanie: But?

Penny: But I don't want her to leave me

Stephanie: Your mother's love will always be with you, no matter what

Penny: Maybe I don't want to leave her?

Stephanie: It's a natural part of life... to leave

Penny: (Lumbering up the stairs with the water) Yep, so I've noticed

Deep inside a cave, Amethyst leads Morrigan to where the Clergy are holding their captive.

Morrigan: (Whispering) You haven't said two words since we left the inn, are you going to explain to me what's going on?

Amethyst: I can't

Morrigan: Try

Amethyst: I don't have enough time

Morrigan: My foot is starting to hurt again

Amethyst: That's to be expected

Morrigan: Why are you dressed like one of them?

Amethyst: Shh... we're almost there

They come upon a chamber of stalactites and stalagmites. In the middle of the polished floor lies a bound and blindfolded man guarded by a cluster brown hoods.

Morrigan: (Shocked) Zach

Zach: (Struggling against the ropes) C'mon, people, no one told me what the safe word was - I'm all for a few rope tricks, I even got some cowboy chaps in the closet but this is ridiculous - my circulation is cutting off!

Morrigan: Apparently, not to his mouth

Morrigan goes in for a closer look as the white robed leader enters the cavern.

Morrigan: Great, it's that supreme jerkoff again - so, what's your plan besides trading me in for Eyes?

Morrigan turns around to nothing. The sound of her own breath fills the air.

Morrigan: Amy... Amy?

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