Friday, February 25, 2005

Episode 17 - Cassandra Plots Her Next Move

SCENE ONE - Cedarville Police Department - Bunkel Division - Detective Squad Room

MARCIE: She called you?

STACY (Part sarcastic): Call me? Ohh yeah. I'd say she did. Left me a nice little voicemail.

DAVID (Half surprised someone would be so dumb): Wat a second. She left you a voicemail??

STACY: Yep! She said that she was the mother of Leo's child and that if I didn't fork over $400,000 she would go the media.

MARCIE: Do you still have the voicemail?

STACY: Yeah.

DAVID: You wouldn't happen to remember the phone number given, would you?

STACY: That's the reallystrange thing. There was no number. She must've used caller ID blocking or something.

MARCIE: Well....We can get that from the phone company. But we're going to need access to your phone. Home, cell, everything.

STACY (Not sure what Marcie has in mind but knows David & Marcie know what they're doing): Uhh....Yeah. Sure.

Captain Marshall walks in

CAPTAIN MARSHALL (To David & Marcie): Just got a few more complaints on that extortionist friend of yours. Ohh yeah, as if that wasn't enough, the mayor is now getting involved. So if I were you two leadbutts, I'd get on those two leads if I were you.

DAVID: We just got a third one.

CAPTAIN MARSHALL (Being his usual sarcastic self but not knowing how closely accurate his comment is): Yeah? How? Did it somehow manage to fly in here on a magic carpet?

MARCIE (Summarizing the captain's own words and smiling at David): You could say that.

DAVID (Before Captain Marshall can get a word in edgewise and smiling and winking back at Marcie): You're standing next to her.

Stacy, realizing who the man standing next to her must be, waves her hand as if to say "hello"

CAPTAIN MARSHALL (Noticing Stacy as he heads over to his office): Well....What are the two of you waiting for? The magic carpet to return? Get on it leadbutts.

Captain Marshall closes the door to his office as David & Marcie shake their heads as if to wonder what he thinks they've been doing all along.

SCENE TWO - Channel 4 Studios - Newscast Set & Weather Center

The 4:00 PM show is ending and the credits are rolling. Channel 4 Action News at 5:00 PM is about to go on the air. As we pick up the scene, Meteorologist Joe Weinstein is in the Weather Center and is preparing to go on the air. Meanwhile, Anchors Stan Morris and Lydia Marshall are on the set and are just seconds from going on the air with the preview and are about to give Joe his cue.

STAN (Reading the TelePrompter as music plays): Coming up next on Channel 4 Action News @ 5:00...

JOE (Reading the TelePrompter in the Weather Center as the same music plays): I'm Joe Weinstein in the Weather Center, a hurricane is on its way here to Cedarville. I'll have all the details.

LYDIA (Also reading the on set TelePrompter also as the same music plays): Plus a man once thought to have died in the recent New York Subway Bombing has been found alive. How did he survive? We'll have all the details & talk to some experts.

STAN: All this & more as Channel 4 Action News @ 5:00 starts RIGHT NOW.

The Channel 4 Action News theme music and graphics play for a few seconds as the voiceover announcer says the following.....

ANNOUNCER (Pre-recorded voiceover which only the viewers hear as the music is playing & graphics are being shown): You are watching Stan Morris, Lydia Marshall, Chief Meteorologist Joe Weinsten with Weather, and Jeff McGreggor on sports. This is Channel 4 Action News at 5:00.

LYDIA (As the camera focuses on her and Stan who is sitting to her right and as the theme music comes to a close): Good evening everyone. Welcome to this edition of Channel 4 Action News. I'm Lydia Marshall.

STAN: And I'm Stan Morris. We begin tonight with some Breaking News.

LYDIA: It appears as though as the next hurricane could be coming to a neighborhood near you as RIGHT NOW there is a hurricane off the coast of Cedarville.

STAN: That's right. And for all the details, we bring in our Chief Meteorologist Joe Weinsten who joins us LIVE tonight in the Weather Center. Joe, just how far out is this thing and how close is it to striking Cedarville?

JOE (In the Weather Center pointing at some monitors all throughout): Well guys, I'll put it this way. The National Hurricane Center in Miami has already posted warnings up and down the coast, but that's not the bad news though. The bad news is that if all projections hold up as they are now, Cedarville will be Ground Zero of what *may* be a Category 5 hurricane by the time it gets here. It's already a Category 3 and is rapidly intensifying. Now, the energy driving this thing is simple. Lots of WARM water out in the Atlantic Ocean and NO land in between it and us. That's why this is so bad. Now that said of course, it doesn't neccessarily mean it *will* be a Category 5 when it arrives, but to be honest with you guys Stan & Lydia, it doesn't look good. As for the rest of our weather, I'll have that a little later on in the newscast. Meanwhile Stan & Lydia, back to you guys in the studio.

LYDIA: Joe, should people start boarding up and moving inland now or when should we start this process?

JOE: Lydia, as I said before, the warnings have already been posted. So people should already be beginning the process of boarding up and carrying out evacuation plans. If they don't, there'll eventually be a time when it'll be way too little way too late. Stan....Lydia?

STAN (To Joe): Alright Joe thanks a bunch. (To the viewers) Our Chief Meterologist Joe Weinsten LIVE from the Weather Center for us tonight.

SCENE THREE - The FonDuLac Hotel - Cassandra's Hotel Room

Cassandra Whitmore is in her hotel room watching TV. What is on the TV is Channel 7's 5:00 PM newscast, which is in the middle of reporting its daily capsule of big major stories from around the world. Baby Christopher is sound asleep in the bedroom.

7NEWS ANCHOR #1 (On TV): Also covering the world tonight, a man once believed to have died in the recent bombing of the New York City Subway system has apparently been found alive.

7NEWS ANCHOR #2 (Also On TV): The man had apparently been taken to a psychatric care facility and was registered as a "John Doe". Apparently when a friend of the man's family, a reporter for one of the local TV stations had learned of this "John Doe", she went to interview the doctors. When the reporter recognized the man and told doctors, she started contacting members of his family. At this hour, he is reportedly in the care of family. What a miracle.

7NEWS ANCHOR #1: What a miracle indeed. But we have a miracle of our own right here in Cedarville.

The newscast goes into Mark Devereaux's interview with Jennifer. Meanwhile, Cassandra opens up her laptop and logs on to the Channel 7 website. She knows of some friends who lost loved ones and is checking to see if the man is one of them. It is not. She then logs off and closes her laptop, but not before jotting down the 7NEWS Tip Line. She then picks up the phone in her room and dials the number. On the other end, a phone is ringing at the Channel 7 studio.

At the Channel 7 studio

STAFF MEMBER #1 (Hearing the phone and sees no one answering it, but is on the other side of the room and unable to answer it himself): Will somebody get that?

No one makes an attempt to answer the phone.

STAFF MEMBER #1 (Frustrated & rolling his eyes in the back of his head as he walks over to the phone): Jesus peoples. Has everyone suddenly gone deaf or something? The phone can't answer itself, ya know.

He then picks up the receiver.

STAFF MEMBER #1 (Talking to Cassandra, who's at the other end, on the phone): Hello....7NEWS Tip Line.

CASSANDRA (Talking to the Channel 7 staff member on the phone and not knowing just exactly how to word her question): Hello, is this the number to call in to report potential news stories?

STAFF MEMBER #1 (Trying not to make Cassandra sound dumb but still pointing out that she dialed the right number): Uhh....Well this is the 7NEWS Tip Line, Ma'am.

CASSANDRA: Great. Because I have a story for you.

SCENE FOUR - Channel 4 Studios - Satellite Center

Channel 4 Action News Reporter Stephanie Blanton is in the satellite center watching Channel 7's newscast on one of the monitors. Most in particular, she's watching, with much anguish and frustration, Mark Devereaux's interview with Jennifer. As we pick up the scene, she's brooding over how Mark Devereaux managed to get his story on Jennifer and be able to get it to air without even so much as a sanction from the local Journalistic Ethics Council.

STEPHANIE (To no one but herself and in frustration): Ohh Jen, why did you even commit to this interview?

Fellow ReporterValerie Wyndham walks in and notices Stephanie's brooding.

VALERIE: Still upset about that interview, eh?

STEPHANIE (Answering Valerie's question): Ohh Val, you have no idea how frustrated I am right now.

Valerie takes a close look at the monitor.

VALERIE: Well Steph, you did consult with a lawyer and the Ethics Council.

STEPHANIE: Yeah and look what it got me. An "I can't do anything" from the lawyer and a "There's nothing wrong here" from that joke of an "Ethics Council. You do know that the vast majority of those clueless morons are either current or former Channel 7 staffers, right?

VALERIE: You did what you could.

STEPHANIE (Referring to how Jennifer's face looks on camera): My god, look at this. If there was a face that has EXPLOITED stamped all over it, this would be it. They make her look awful.

VALERIE: You know what I think you need?

STEPHANIE (Sarcastic and thinking wishfully): Mark Devereaux's head on a fuckin' platter? Not to worry, I'm gonna have that. And gloat gleefully as I do.

VALERIE (Thinking she knows what Stephanie really needs): I think you need to go out and have some fun.

Wally Mashburn, one of the many interns working at the station, walks in.

WALLY: Hi Ms. Wyndham. Ms. Blanton, you have a visitor waiting for you down in the lobby.

Valerie smiles at this news

STEPHANIE: Ohh...Thanks Wally.

VALERIE (Trying to be nosy and playfully acting as though she's just caught Stephanie and knowing it couldn't possibly be Reporter Tom Fenton that's down in the lobby as he can be seen on live television on one of the other monitors in the room): Aha...So you and he *are* getting back together, aren't you?

STEPHANIE (Responding just as playfully): I'm not going to tell you. Besides, knowing you like I do, it'd be enough for you to start up that rumor factory of yours.

Valerie is widely known around town as being somewhat of a "Rumor Factory". Nothing bad. But definately very inquisitive and gossipy.

VALERIE (Trying to act as though she doesn't have a clue as to what Stephanie is talking about): Rumor Factory? What rumor factory?

STEPHANIE: You know what I mean. You're not the Hollywood Gossip Reporter around here for nothing you know.

VALERIE: Ohh....You think I might try to make a story out of it or something. Why would I do that?

STEPHANIE (Trying to tease Valerie): Ohh I don't know. Maybe it's because Brad Pitt turned you down again for like what....the umpteenth time now?

VALERIE (Admitting she'd been caught and sighing): Touche.

STEPHANIE: You know, maybe you ought to give that up.

VALERIE (Feeling insulted but yet determined): What? No way girl. You watch. I'm gonna land that hunk even if it's the last thing I do.

STEPHANIE (Not very hopeful at Valerie's chances): Good luck. You're gonna need it.

Stephanie starts to go back to what she was doing.

VALERIE (Reminding Stephanie of the visitor waiting for her in the lobby): Don't you have a visitor waiting for you downstairs in the lobby?

STEPHANIE: Ohh boy, you're right.

Stephanie leaves the room, leaving Valerie all to herself.

SCENE FIVE - Cedarville Police Department - Bunkel Division - Detective's Squad Room

David & Marcie Grant have just heard the message left in Stacy's voicemail box as Stacy dialed up her voicemail number using Marcie's desk phone and entered all the pertinent information. As we pick up the scene, David is winding up his conversation with the phone company that provides the voicemail box for Stacy as David & Marcie try to arrange to get a copy of the message left by the mysterious person onto tape or disc.

DAVID (To the person on the phone): Alright, thanks a bunch.

MARCIE (To David as he hangs up the phone): So, what do we have to do now? Go down and get it?

DAVID: No, actually they're sending a copy of it and all the neccessary paperwork to us via courier.

STACY: So, I guess this means I'll have to sign my life away I suppose....

DAVID: Naah. Not really. It's just a standard form they have to have. You know, so they won't get sued...

STACY (Sarcastically): Yeah right. Like I'm gonna sue them? I want this person out of my life. Anything they can do to expedite the process is fine by me.

MARCIE: Well, it ain't like they haven't been sued before.

STACY: Yeah, you're probably right.

DAVID (Looking like a man deep in thought): I've been thinking. Why don't we change our tactics?


DAVID: Why not sweet talk the captain into letting us borrow $400,000 and we do exactly as this person wants. Put it out there and see if they pick it up.

MARCIE: Do you honestly think Captain Leadbutt will let us borrow $400,000 from the Department's General Fund to set up a trap to nab an extortionist? You must be crazy.

DAVID: Well if the Mayor is giving him lip service as he says he is, I can't think of a better or faster way to get him off the captain's back.

CAPTAIN MARSHALL (Overhearing their conversation from his office): Neither can I. Set it up. I'll get the money. But if you two birds lose it, I'll turn those two badges of yours into saucer places and have both of your heads on a platter. Got it?

DAVID (Surprised yet also ecstatic): Yes sir.

David & Marcie look at each other with stunned looks on their faces as Captain Marshall closes the office.door.

SCENE SIX - Baghdad, Iraq

It's now 0600 & the dawn of a new day in Baghdad. Tony & Tyrone are looking for Leo at Baghdad International Airport to see if he has reported to the transport plane, which is on the tarmac waiting for him, as per Gen. Breyton's orders. As they expected, they learn that he's nowhere in sight. As we pick up the scene now, they are now just outside his quarters where Leo is sleeping. Along with them is the Iraqi Taxi cab driver they met the day before, who has just pulled up. They also have a few other soldiers, mostly buck privates who are all chomping at the bits to pull what they think is a good practical joke on one of their superiors. But as we're about to find out, the cab dirver has a few ideas.of his own.

TYRONE (To the cab driver as he stands outside the driver's door): Good, you're here. Listen, we're just about to go in and get him. When we do, we'll put him and one of us in the back seat and you'll take over from there. Got it?

IRAQI CAB DRIVER (Speaking in English as though he was speaking to one of his customers): Yes sir.

Tony, Tyrone and the rest of the gang go inside Leo's Quarters to roust him out of bed. Meanwhile, the cab driver waits till all of them are inside and out of sight and then picks up his cell phone and dials a number.

IRAQI CAB DRIVER (In Arabic to the person at the other end of the line): I'm on site. The Americans have just gone inside to get my passenger.

MYSTERY VOICE (In Arabic to the cab driver): Do they suspect anything?

IRAQI CAB DRIVER (In Arabic): No. They do not. They have no idea what is about to hit them.

MYSTERY ARABIC VOICE: Alright. Make it look as though you are complying with their wishes. But do not take them to the terminal. Park the car in an adjacent parking lot. I'll have men waiting.

IRAQI CAB DRIVER (In Arabic): Yes sir.

The commotion inside really begins to heat up as Leo has been awakened.

MYSTERY ARABIC VOICE: The trial starts in two hours. It's imperative to get the American and whomever else you can get here within the hour so they can be prepared.

IRAQI CAB DRIVER (In Arabic & noticing the soldiers emerge from Leo's Quarters with Leo kicking and screaming): Not to worry sir. They will be. I have to go now.

The cab driver quickly hangs up his phone just as they arrive with Leo, who is immediately placed in the back seat via the driver's side. Tony gets in on the passenger side. Tyrone & friends are laughing.

TONY (Trying to control his laughter): Tally ho driver. Take us to Baghdad International Airport.

Leo is struggling to figure out what just happened while the driver takes off.


* Leo & Tony realize they are in trouble. Will they be able to get out before its too late?

* David & Marcie spring the trap which they hope will nab the extortionist. But the surprise could be on them. What is it?

* Jennifer is transferred to Cedarville Memorial. Will her care there help to bring back her memory?

* Trish & Michael have their romantic dinner date. But will it end with a night of love and romance?

* Everyone makes preparations for the hurricane.

All this & more on The NEXT Edition Of AGAINST THE STORM. Don't miss it.

See you all next time. :-)

Against The Storm is Copyright 2005 Pat Cook & Jeeper One Media - All Rights Reserved.