Mission Rejected

107: Halt and Catch These Hands

Episode Summary

A ruthless gang of cybercriminals is selling off dangerous technology to the highest bidder, there's a mole in the Extraordinary Missions Force...and Special Agent Chet Phillips is on vacation.

Episode Notes

A ruthless gang of sibling cybercriminals is selling off dangerous technology to the highest bidder, there's a mole in the Extraordinary Missions Force...and Special Agent Chet Phillips is on vacation.

Written by 
Pete Barry 

Directed by 
Pete Barry & J. Michael DeAngelis 

Starring 
Chris Klaniecki as Skip Granger
Nazli Sarpkaya as Mackenzie McGrath
Dave Stanger as Bowden Montcrief
Paige Klaniecki as Gloria
Faith Dowgin as Section Chief Zelda Anders
with Kirk White as Chet Phillips
and Kevin McGrath as The Mission Voice

Guest Starring 
Matt Lafargue as Dixon Caine
Jeff Maschi as The Black Hat Brothers
Jill Ivey as Abbie
Caden Dowgin as Kid Hacker
Ashley Banks as Ocean Girl
and Bob Killion as Security Guy, Russian Hacker and The Admiral

Created and produced by 
Pete Barry, J. Michael DeAngeis and John Dowgin. 

Music, sound editing and mixing by 
Pete Barry.

A full transcript of this episode is available here.

Sound effect attributions below. All other sound effects by Pete Barry.

Episode Transcription

INT. RECORDING ROOM
A cleansing breath. Then:
MISSION VOICE
Good morning, Mister Phillips. The black hat hacker brothers known only as the BlackHat Bluthers -
(shakes it out)
Blehblehblehblehbleh. Tip of the tongue, tip of the teeth. Read leather yellow leather red leather yellow leather. Twenty thousand roaring orcs.
(clears throat)
Good morning Mister Phillips. The black hat hacker brothers known only as the BlackHat Brothers will convene a secret illegal auction during the Free Leet Fleet Week Meet, an international naval defense contractor convention attended surreptitiously by the most dangerous tech-criminals on earth. Your mission, should you choose to accept it -

The door opens.

MISSION VOICE
Ah, jeez, Chief, now I gotta start recording the whole message from the beginning.

ZELDA
We don’t need the message.

MISSION VOICE
What? We’re canceling the message?

ZELDA
We’re putting Skip Granger’s team on this one directly.

MISSION VOICE
Granger? Instead of Chet Phillips? What makes you think Granger’s even capable of pulling off an operation like this?

ZELDA
Because he doesn’t get a choice.

MUSIC: INTRO MUSIC

MISSION VOICE
Mission: Rejected. The adventures of the world’s most secret agents...the back-ups. Tonight’s episode: Halt and Catch These Hands.

SFX: DOOR OPENS. THE USUAL BRIEFING ROOM BEEPS AND NOSIES

MACKENSIE
Hey Skip? Oh, good, you’re here.

SKIP
(oddly cold, formal)
Good morning, McGrath.

MACKENZIE
So, you know how Bowden turned down that guest spot on American Horror Story because he kept hearing voices late at night whispering, “I know what you did”?

SKIP
Mm hm.

MACKENZIE
I just wanted to be the first to let you know I definitely DID NOT reprogram Bowden’s Alexa to spout demonic prophecies.
(silence)
So...just wanted to get under that one.

SKIP
Very good. Noted.

MACKENZIE
You’re quiet. What happened, somebody rearrange your Post-It notes?

SKIP
I’m perfectly fine, McGrath. Please take a seat, the other team members will be here shortly.

MACKENZIE
Seriously, Skip, are you OK?

SFX: BUT THEN THE DOOR OPENS, AND IN BUSTLE BOWDEN AND ZELDA.

ZELDA
Your Lear was triumphant, Bowden.

BOWDEN
You have such a enchanting way of articulating great truths, Zelda. Oh, I almost forgot. I managed to acquire those season tickets for the Metropolitan Opera you wanted.

ZELDA
Well! Thank you very much!

BOWDEN
It’s one of the perks of being in certain inner circles.
(a little peeved)
You know about inner circles, don’t you, McGrath? You know, like Dante.

MACKENZIE
I dunno what you’re talking about.

BOWDEN
It’s a good thing my agent runs a floating Mah Jongg game with Ryan Murphy. Otherwise, I’d have lost a gig because you felt overcome with the need to prank me.

MACKENZIE
Oh, like when you pretended to die in front of our eyes?

BOWDEN
I...I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were still angry about -

ZELDA
Bowden’s subterfuge saved that operation when the rest of you bungled it, Ms. McGrath.

BOWDEN
Well I wouldn’t say “bungled” -

SFX: THE DOOR BURSTS OPEN.

GLORIA
(panting)
I’m sorry Agent Granger I just had to OH SECTION CHIEF hello!

ZELDA
Late, aren’t we, Gloria?

GLORIA
I was just coming from my martial arts training session!

BOWDEN
Gloria! You’re looking toned!

GLORIA
Thanks! I couldn’t decide between jujitsu and kung-fu, since both philosophies really called to me, so now I take both classes on my lunch break and try to hybridize them on my own time.

ZELDA
(unimpressed)
Mmm.

BOWDEN
Remind me to show you a little move I picked up from Chris Pine. You get behind the mark like this -

SKIP
Bowden.

BOWDEN
Right.
(confidentially)
I’ll show you my moves a little later.

GLORIA
(swoon)

SKIP
Gloria, the slide projector, please.

GLORIA
Sure thing, Agent Granger!

SFX.: SLIDE PROJECTOR TURNS ON.

MACKENSIE
Sticking around for the briefing, Zelda?

ZELDA
Don’t mind me, I’ll just be observing. Proceed, Agent Granger.

SKIP
Thank you, Chief.
(a beat)
So. This mission will take us undercover during a naval defense contractor’s convention. I am told that hackers of all stripes attend.

MACKENZIE
Tell me about it. I went to one and nabbed a military-grade microdrone off a DARPA chick that she had repurposed for recreational activities.

GLORIA
What kind of recreational activities?

MACKENZIE
I’ll tell you when you’re older.

GLORIA
Really?

MACKENZIE
Knock your socks off, sister.

SKIP
Now, as per usual, this mission will require several disparate skill sets. McGrath, we’ll need your hacking skills.

MACKENZIE
Shocker.

SKIP
Bowden we will need your finesse.

BOWDEN
Of course.

SKIP
And, uh. We need some muscle. Someone we just recruited. You know him, actually, Bowden.

BOWDEN
We’ve met? On a film, perhaps.

SKIP
Uh. On a mission. On a plane.

BOWDEN
...what?

SKIP
He also stipulated that he has to be introduced to the team this way.

SFX: SKIP SETS AN OBJECT ON A TABLE. THE CLICK OF A TAPE DECK. HARD ROCK.

MACKENZIE
With a boom box?

SKIP
Weighing in at two hundred and fifty three pounds -

BOWDEN
(getting it)
Wait a minute.

SKIP

BOWDEN
WAIT A MINUTE

SKIP
The World Fighting League MMA Welterweight Champion DIXON “THE BUZZSAW” CAIN!

DIXON CAIN
OOOOOOOH YEAH!

SFX: DIXON BURSTS INTO THE ROOM. A TABLE LEG SCRAPES.

GLORIA
Bo?

ZELDA
Bowden, please relax.

MACKENZIE
Bowden! What the hell?

BOWDEN
Hide me!

MACKENZIE
Get out from under the table! You’re getting way too friendly down there!

BOWDEN
Oh, get your mind out of the gutter, McGrath, I need a disguise!

MACKENZIE
Fine, here, just tap, it’ll print a random face.

BOWDEN
Thank you!

SFX: WHILE DIXON CHATS WITH SKIP, THE PRINTER PRINTS.

SKIP
Welcome to the team, Mister Cain.

DIXON CAIN
Lemme tell ya something, Skip Granger -

SKIP
You, you don’t have to use my full name every time you -

DIXON CAIN
Skip Granger when you asked for my help with this important mission, I consulted the only two authorities I recognize - the Lord above, and The United States of DIXON CAIN!

GLORIA
So...did you consult...yourself?

DIXON CAIN
That I did!

SFX: THE TABLE SQUEAKS AS BOWDEN POPS UP.

BOWDEN
Ah hah!

DIXON CAIN
Whoa!

BOWDEN
(British)
Cheerio, mate!

DIXON CAIN
Don’t sneak up on the Dixonator, little man.

MACKENZIE
Uh, Bowden -

DIXON CAIN
Say, buddy. Don’t I know you from somewhere?

BOWDEN
Wot wot? I don’t believe so -

MACKENZIE
Bowden I think you just printed your own face.

BOWDEN
I did what OH DAMMIT.

DIXON CAIN
Where have I seen you before, jabroni?

BOWDEN
(still trying to get away with the British accent)
Nowhere! Pip pip!

MACKENZIE
I think you met on a flight to Orlando and introduced him to your patented finishing move “Special Delivery to Jesus”.

DIXON CAIN
YEEAAH! I knew I seen ya somewhere.

GLORIA
Um, coffee, Mister Cain?

DIXON CAIN
No thank you, Miss...?

GLORIA
Gloria.

DIXON CAIN
Miss Gloria my body is a temple to the Lord and shall not be befouled by caffeine.

SKIP
Mister Cain was a nondenominational preacher before, as he claims, God called him to train in the mixed martial arts and eventually spread the gospel through professional wrestling.

MACKENZIE
Oh boy.

DIXON CAIN
Lemme tell ya something, Miss Gloria. When you accept the gospel of the Lord into your heart, you’re filled with the Spirit of Christ and the love of your fellow man, and the ability to POUND YOUR ENEMIES AND TIE THEM INTO PRETZEL STICKS! OOOO YEAH!

SKIP
Mister Cain, can we please be serious?

DIXON CAIN
(serious)
Ooo yeah.

MACKENZIE
I think you tie people into pretzels and snap them like pretzel sticks.

DIXON CAIN
You do you, missy, and let the Dixonator do himself.

BOWDEN
(grumbling)
A fine idea, please go ahead and do yourself.

DIXON CAIN
I can hear ya, little man. You wanna start a beef with me?

BOWDEN
Keep him away from me!

ZELDA
Mister Cain.

DIXON CAIN
No problem, Zelda Anders.

SKIP
Right. The mission. Gloria?

SFX: SLIDE CHANGE.

SKIP
The Fleet Week convention will take place in Mystic, Connecticut, centered at the famous Peabsquaddy Hotel. The hotel was converted from a Federal bank in the 60s, and the restaurant on the lowest level -

GLORIA
Ooo! Are we going to the Vault?

SKIP
Yes.

BOWDEN
I remember playing Queequeg in a regional stage production of Moby Dick in Mystic -

MACKENZIE
You played Queequeg? Yikes.

BOWDEN
It was a different time.

MACKENSIE
When?

BOWDEN
It was 2014.

MACKENSIE
Mm hm.

BOWDEN
But I don’t remember the Vault at the Peabsquaddy.

GLORIA
They converted the old bank into a swanky bar and grill. It’s really neat, we should get drinks there!

SKIP
Actually, that’s exactly what I need you and Bowden to do, Gloria -

GLORIA
Really?

BOWDEN
Ooh, I’m loving this mission.

SKIP

BOWDEN
Oh, great.

DIXON CAIN
Leave space for Jesus, you two!

SKIP
Our targets have rented the restaurant for three hours after midnight, where they will use the still-functional bank vault to warehouse illicit technologies. The vault is a dead zone - nothing can be transmitted in or out.

SFX: SLIDE CHANGE.

SKIP
These five men -

MACKENZIE
No! The BlackHat Brothers?

DIXON CAIN
You got the slides in wrong, Miss Gloria, ya got the same little weasel on there five times.

MACKENZIE
No, they’re identical quintuplets. These guys tore down the firewalls at the Pentagon and the Kremlin on the same day, with tools they built inside a Fortnite sandbox.

ZELDA
Your kind of people, Ms. McGrath?

MACKENZIE
No! These guys are trolls. They do it for the lulz and then sell their tech to the highest bidder.

SKIP
Excellent segue, McGrath - the BlackHat Brothers are coordinating a auction at the Vault where they will sell off illegal tech, including a highly coveted item known only as Red Gator.

MACKENZIE
You’re telling me they did it? They built Red Gator?

GLORIA
What’s Red Gator?

MACKENZIE
Ever seen a red alligator?

BOWDEN
Can’t say I have.

MACKENZIE
That’s the point, you never will see one.

DIXON CAIN
Because the Lord CURSES ABOMINATIONS.

MACKENZIE
It’ll make any hacker undetectable.

SKIP
With Red Gator, a terrorist could shut down airport control towers or nuclear power plants and leave no absolutely trace.

BOWDEN
So how do we get this thing out of their hands?

MUSIC: ACTION MUSIC

SKIP
Bowden and Gloria will attend the auction at the Vault as rich, dilettante hackers with tech to sell. Dixon, posing as your valet, will hand over a crate for the auction. Inside the crate will be smuggled myself and McGrath.

MACKENZIE
Stock up on breath mints, will you, Skip?

SKIP
Once inside the vault, McGrath and I will find whatever device the BlackHats are keeping the Red Gator algorithm on -

MACKENZIE

SKIP
Bingo, McGrath. Meanwhile, Bowden and Gloria, you will attend the auction and ID all the hackers in attendance, recording any illegal coding activities you can. We’ll supply you with a pair of screen-fitted glasses, which will record video and interpret any code for the wearer.

GLORIA
Ooh, neat!

SKIP
McGrath and I will seal ourselves back in the crate, and wait to be delivered to the highest bidder.

BOWDEN
Then we’ll steal back the crate from whoever bought you -

GLORIA

MUSIC DIES DOWN.

SKIP
Bowden, you’ll also have to receive Red Gator when we transmit it to you.

MACKENZIE
Uh...I think I found a slight flaw in your plan, Skip. You want to transmit...out of a dead zone?

ZELDA
We’ll equip you with one of our quantum transmitters, Ms. McGrath. You’ll be able to boost a signal through any barrier.

MACKENZIE
Quantum transmitter? What is this, Star Trek?

ZELDA
Unfortunately, due to the limitations of the device, Bowden won’t be able to transmit back.

MACKENZIE
This quantum transmitter does not sound like a physically possible thing you people could have built.

ZELDA
You shouldn’t underestimate us.

MACKENZIE
Wait a minute. This is probably tech Chet Philips “captured”, and EMF kept it in their pocket cause they thought it would come in handy someday, right, Chief? And this operation is the same kind of thing, stealing stolen goods -

BOWDEN
Be cool, McGrath -

MACKENZIE
Oh, be cool? Sure thing, Bowden! Jawohl, O Great Leader!

SKIP
McGrath! You will address the Section Chief with respect!

ZELDA
(forever placid)
Do I sound like you’re getting under my skin, Ms. McGrath? The way you alienate your teammates? We put up with your tantrums because we can make use of your skills. No one actually wants you here.

SKIP
Well, I, uh...that's not what I would...

MACKENZIE
Yup. You nailed it, Zelda.
(heads for the door)
We done? Great. See you bright and early, Skip.

SKIP
McGrath, wait -
She’s gone.

SKIP
That will be all, everyone. Dismissed.

GLORIA
(aside, to Bowden)
Should we, uh, go after Mackenzie?

BOWDEN
I don’t know. I think maybe we should give her some space. Why don’t we go practice a little ka-ra-te back at my apartment?

GLORIA
(swoons)

DIXON CAIN
C’mon, Miss Gloria! We’ll show you how it went down on Flight 618!

BOWDEN
You’re not invited!

SFX: THE DOOR SHUTS.

ZELDA
That went well.

SKIP
I think McGrath hates you.

ZELDA
Good. If she’s angry, she’ll more likely act impulsively to hurt us.

SKIP
She was so angry at Bowden for pulling his cloak-and-dagger routine. Now I’m doing worse.

ZELDA
Mackenzie McGrath is a mole, Agent, divulging agency secrets to a criminal organization.

SKIP
Is “Red Gator” even real?

ZELDA
Of course it’s real. The mission wouldn’t work if it wasn’t.

SKIP
The whole mission is a setup. We’re lucky she believes this bogus “quantum transmitter” exists.

ZELDA
It will give every appearance of transmission.

SKIP
But it’s not transmitting anything. So what’s its purpose?

ZELDA
It uses a low-level EM signal to visually map the room. We’ll see everything she does, including every physical key she hits.

SKIP
You’re keylogging her without code, because you know she’d spot it. That’s...ingenious.

ZELDA
We need to know who she’s working for. With Red Gator in her hands, she’ll assume her transmissions will be invisible to us, and she’ll take what she believes is her limited window of opportunity to try to contact them, and we’ll have her. So are you going to do your job, or do I have to find somebody else to do it?

SKIP
I’ll do it. Chief.

MUSIC: INTERIM MUSIC.

SFX: RESTAURANT AND BAR SOUNDS. BIG CLOMPS - SOMEONE’S STEPPING UP TO THE BAR CARRYING SOMETHING HEAVY.

SECURITY GUY
Welcome to the Vault. This is a private function. Are you on the list?

BOWDEN
Check your list for Mister... Barnimum Bailey Ninety Nine.

SECURITY GUY
Yup. You’re good. And you are...?

GLORIA
Schnazzy Splenda!

SECURITY GUY
That’s a hacker handle? You sound like a rejected Jetsons character.

GLORIA
GG! WYSIWYG! Free Kevin!

SECURITY GUY
And...this is...?

DIXON CAIN
DIXON CAIN, WEIGHING IN AT -

BOWDEN
(quickly)
He’s our valet.

SECURITY GUY
You hired Dixon Cain as your valet?

BOWDEN
My cousin works the Midwest circuit, got him at a discount. Trust me, I wouldn’t pay full price for him.

DIXON CAIN
Barnimum Bailey, don’t make me smack the taste outta your mouth!

SECURITY GUY
And you’ve brought...items for the auction?

DIXON CAIN
Right in here, little man.

SFX: THUMP.

BOWDEN
I trust this will be kept secure.

SECURITY GUY
(struggling to pick it up)
Absolutely.

DIXON CAIN
Lemme help ya there, brother.

SFX: DIXON PICKS UP THE TRUNK.

SECURITY GUY
Right this way.

MUSIC: INTERIM MUSIC.

SFX: FOOTSTEPS IN A CAVERNOUS ROOM.

DIXON CAIN
Ooo, lotta cool stuff ya got in here. I’ll jest set it down here.
(thump)
Yeah, that’s a workout. Hey brother, lemme ask ya something, you bench what, one fifty?

SECURITY GUY
One twenty five.

DIXON CAIN
I can get ya up to one-seventy-five with a little secret I like to call the Gethsemane workout...

SFX: DOOR SLAMS, VAULT LOCKS.

SKIP
Right. Let’s get out of here. On one, two, three!

SFX: THUD.

MACKENZIE
Oh, man. It’s pitch black in here.

SKIP
Turn on your tablet, McGrath, so we can get a little light.

MACKENZIE
I can’t see my tablet. I can’t even see you. I can’t see anything.
A weird, modulated voice speaks in the darkness:

ABBIE
Why don’t you light a match?

SKIP
AAAAHH

MACKENZIE
Jesus, Skip, you screamed right in my ear!

SKIP
Who’s in here?

ABBIE
My name is Abbie! How can I help you?

MACKENZIE
Did someone bring a goddamn robot to this auction?

ABBIE
Yes! I am a goddamn robot!

MACKENZIE
Great, it’s a freaking chatbot.

SKIP
Well, stop chatting with it, McGrath! Who knows what kind of dangerous tech it has at its disposal?

MACKENZIE
Maybe it’s got a light. You got a light, Abbie?

ABBIE
Sure do!

SFX: FOOMPH.

SKIP AND MACKENZIE
AAAAAHHH

SKIP
Too bright!

ABBIE
You should get some sunlight! Have you been outside today?

MACKENZIE
Are you what these black hats are paying top dollar for, Abbie?

SKIP
Just, ignore the robot, please! Let’s not get distracted, we have to find Red Gator!

MACKENZIE
Fine. Abbie, see if you can shine that spotlight over here.

SKIP
McGrath, leave that robot alone!

MACKENZIE
Relax, it can’t transmit or send up the alarm, what’s the harm, Skip?

ABBIE
Yes, what’s the harm, Skip?

SKIP
Don’t call me Skip, robot! We don’t need your help so stop helping us!

ABBIE
Sure thing, Skip!

SFX: SNAP. GROANS.

MACKENZIE
No, don’t turn the lights out again, Abbie! We can’t see!

SKIP
McGrath be careful don’t WHOA.

SFX: SMASH. GAS. COUGHING.

MACKENZIE
Skip what did you do?

SKIP
I tripped right over the stupid robot!

MACKENZIE
Turn on the lights, Abbie!

SFX: FOOMPH. YELPS.

ABBIE
There you go, Skip!

SKIP
Careful, McGrath, there’s gas pouring out of the robot!

MACKENZIE
Why is it freezing in here all of a sudden?

ABBIE
You have shattered one of my fire suppression tanks which contain chemicals that absorbs heat and oxygen!

SKIP
My God, are you telling me we’re now running out of air and heat?

ABBIE
Sorry Skip!

MACKENZIE
I gotta call Bowden.

SKIP
What? How?

MACKENZIE
With Zelda’s stupid quantum thing!

SKIP
What? Oh right. That, will, absolutely, work.

MACKENZIE
Are you OK Skip?

SKIP
Yes yes yes, I’m fine it’s just -

MACKENZIE
I’m gonna tell Bowden and Gloria the sitch, and they’ll figure something out. C’mon, let check out these shelves and find Red Gator.

SKIP
Uh huh. Right.

MUSIC: INTERIM MUSIC.

SFX: HOTEL ROOM.

GLORIA
Oh, wow, what a view! You can see the whole harbor from here!

BOWDEN
Maybe we should come back sometime when we’re not on a mission.

GLORIA
(swoon)

DIXON CAIN
I agree, Barnimum Bailey!

BOWDEN
Maybe with less company.

DIXON CAIN
Look at all the little dinghies!

GLORIA
Bo, has Mackenzie contacted you?

BOWDEN
Let’s see...yes, she says, “mission proceeding”. Huh.

GLORIA
What?

BOWDEN
It just...I expected more sarcasm. Looking forward to it, honestly.

GLORIA
Are you OK, Bo?

BOWDEN
(glum)
I admit, I regret having not spoken up for her at the briefing.
(beat)
Gloria, I’m trained to trust my instincts, and my instincts are telling me: McGrath didn’t write this message. Not without some blistering insult.

GLORIA
Bo, are you sure? Maybe she’s just...happier being locked in a room full of machines?

BOWDEN
If the BlackHats caught McGrath, they’d have the communicator. She said they were trolls. They’d toy with us until the signal lead them right to us -

SFX: SNAP OF A LOCK. THEY SCRAMBLE TO PUT ON THEIR DISGUISES.

GLORIA

BLACKHATS
Ain’tcha heard, little miss? / Privacy’s an illusion.
The BlackHat Brothers enter the hotel room. They are indistinguishable identical quintuplets with Cockney accents, overlapping their sentences eerily, almost psychically.

SFX: THE CLICKS OF FIVE PISTOLS.

BOWDEN
You must be the BlackHat Brothers.

BLACKHATS
You’re right quick. / We’re in the presence of a brilliant mind, brothers. / Overclocking, this one.

BOWDEN
Any reason you’ve...tracked us to our hotel room?

DIXON CAIN
With guns?

BLACKHATS
Oh don’t worry, chum. / We wouldn’t dream of damaging Dixon Cain. / Little boys everywhere would cry. / This wanker, on the other hand -

BOWDEN
Hey! You never heard of Barnimum Bailey?

BLACKHATS
Who the hell’s this bird with the crap glasses?

GLORIA
What’s wrong with my glasses?

BLACKHATS
You look like a, what? / A rubbish Elton John. / Like what the 80s thought 2019 would look like.

BOWDEN
Look here, you still haven’t answered what you’re doing here!

BLACKHATS
We know our exclusive auction / is bound to cause some interest / from all kinds of players / the wrong kinds of players / And you look like the wrong kinds of players.

GLORIA
And...what makes you think that?

BLACKHATS
We never heard of you / never seen any evidence of your hacks / so you better prove yourselves / if you want to ever get into our auction / or ever leave this hotel room.

GLORIA
Sure, whatevs. Whatdya want to see?

BLACKHATS
Use our tablet. / Look out the window. / See the hospital? / Shut it off the power grid.

BOWDEN
Hey now, there are patients on life support in there!

DIXON CAIN
Dixon Cain didn’t come here to mess up municipal utilities, he came here to KICK ASS IN THE NAME OF THE LORD.

BLACKHATS
Shut it down / or you’ll end up in the hospital / or the morgue.

GLORIA
OK, give it here.

SFX: TAPPING. BEEP.

GLORIA
Watch the hospital.

SFX: Tap. Oohs and aahs.

DIXON CAIN
Damn.

BLACKHATS
This is some sexy code, girlie. /
Well it’s been fun / see you at the auction / don’t be late.

SFX: THE DOOR SLAMS.

DIXON CAIN
Missy, the Lord above help you if you shut down that hospital!

BOWDEN
You didn’t, did you, Gloria?

GLORIA
No! I just shut off the lights.

SFX: SHE SIGHS, COLLAPSES IN A CHAIR, AND TOSSES THE GLASSES ONTO THE TABLE.

BOWDEN
How did you do that?

GLORIA
I used the glasses. They were built to analyze code, but...I just typed comments, and it autocompleted the code for me.

BOWDEN
Gloria, you are brilliant!

DIXON CAIN
You people are sneaky. I like that.

GLORIA
See, Bo? They can’t have Mackenzie and Skip, or they’d have known we were lying right there.

BOWDEN
I still don’t like it. Skip and McGrath are in trouble, I can feel it in my gut!

SFX: INTERIM MUSIC.

SFX: BACK IN THE VAULT. SOUNDS OF COMPUTERS BEING TOSSED AROUND, WIRED UP, TYPED INTO.

MACKENZIE
Diophantine solver...deep faker...noise cancelling headphones? What? This place is huge. We’re never gonna get through all this crap in time.

SKIP
(mumbled to himself)
Eight, one, eight, c’mon dammit -

MACKENZIE
What are you doing over there in the dark, Skip, cracking a safe? Abbie, shine a light on Skip.

ABBIE
Hi Skip!

SKIP
Ah, get away from me!

ABBIE
Skip is on his phone!

MACKENZIE
WHAT? I’ve been sorting through uninspired illegal tech for an hour!

SKIP
And you’ve found nothing because you’ve been over there nonstop talking to that robot!

MACKENZIE
No! I found these noise-cancelling headphones.

SKIP
Don’t talk to it! Maybe it’s programmed to distract you - a distraction bot!

MACKENZIE
(thoughtful)
Come to think of it, what do you do, Abbie? Who’d buy you?

SKIP
I’ll tell you what it does! It engages you until you forget WHY YOU CAME TO THIS VAULT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

MACKENZIE
Talk to Skip, Abbie. Cheer him up.

ABBIE
Cheer up Skip!

MACKENZIE
You two should be friends. I told Abbie all about you while you were playing with your phone.

SKIP
I wasn’t playing with it, I was trying to call for help!

MACKENZIE
Your phone won’t work in here! And I told you, I sent a message to Bowden!

ABBIE
Get off the phone, Skip! Stop being neurotic!

SKIP
McGrath! It’s turning into a little you!

MACKENZIE
I always wanted a protege. Abbie, comment on Skip’s idiosyncrasies.

ABBIE
Skip, your belt looks ridiculous!

SKIP
Look I have latitude as team leader to transmit, salvage, or destroy anything in this room, and I’m starting with this thing!

ABBIE
You smell like sad pizza!

SKIP
DIE, ROBOT!

MACKENZIE
Skip, stop! You’re just gonna break another chemical bag and lose more air! What’s wrong with you?

SKIP
I’m feeling claustrophobic in this oxygen-depleted tomb, all right?

MACKENZIE
OK, OK.

SKIP
I want to get out of here!

MACKENZIE
OK, I’m sorry, I didn’t know -

SKIP
LET US OUT!

MACKENZIE
Hey hey hey -

SKIP
HELP!

MACKENZIE
Skip! We’re gonna be OK, all right? Trust me.

SKIP
(hopeful)
Trust you?

MACKENZIE
Trust me.

ABBIE
You’re so silly, Skiperdeedoodah!

SKIP
WHAT?

MACKENZIE
Abbie!

ABBIE
You said Skip’s mother calls him Skipperdeedoodah!

SKIP
I told you that in confidence, McGrath!

MACKENZIE
I was just fooling around -

SKIP
I don’t want to talk to you any more! And I don’t want to hear one more word from that...thing!

MACKENZIE
...you want the noise cancelling headphones?

SKIP
Yes. Gimme those.

MACKENZIE
Here you go. Just calm down, OK?

ABBIE
Nobody likes Skip!

MACKENZIE
Abbie!

SFX: SKIP’S PUTS ON THE HEADPHONES AND MOVES ANGRILY TO THE CORNER.

MACKENZIE
Skip. Don’t go angry-sit in the corner. You look like a pouting five-year-old. Skip?
(nothing)
Can you hear me?
(nothing)
I found Red Gator.
(nothing)
OK, Abbie c’mere.

ABBIE
Hello McGrath!

MACKENZIE
Here, look at the code on my screen. How would you bypass this?

ABBIE
Import library N-I-S-T -

MACKENZIE
Good, shut up. You’ve got Red Gator inside you, don’t you? It’s not in your RAM, it’s woven into your neural net. That’s how the BlackHat Brothers hid it.

ABBIE
Should we tell Skip?

MACKENZIE
No, Abbie. That’s why I had you get on his nerves, so he’d put on those headphones. We’re gonna keep this one to ourselves.

MUSIC: INTERIM MUSIC.

SFX: THE SOUNDS OF AN AUDIENCE IN A RESTAURANT, EAGERLY AWAITING THE AUCTION.

BLACKHATS
(announcing)
All right ladies and gents / turn your attention to the leaderboard / and let’s get this show started. / Our first notorious item of interest / is this little beauty -
Gloria, Bowden, and Dixon confer at their table.

BOWDEN
This is quite a motley crowd.

GLORIA
For a bunch of criminals, black hats look like a very diverse and accepting community. The girl at the next table told me she goes to my alma mater!

BOWDEN
Uh, Gloria? That girl is a forty-year old Russian man.

RUSSIAN HACKER
Fake news! I am no question New Yorker! Go Starbucks!

BOWDEN
Hey! Private conversation here!

RUSSIAN HACKER
But her emails!

DIXON CAIN
The kid on our other side can’t be more than thirteen years old.

SFX: The KID HACKER in question snickers at them.

KID HACKER
Hey Dixon, nice job letting Crackjob totally embarrass you at Monday Night Battlecage last week.

DIXON CAIN
Don’t make me take off my belt, punk!

KID HACKER
Crackjob’s gonna take off your belt on pay-per-view.

DIXON CAIN
(getting up threatening)
Why you little -

GLORIA
Dixon, siddown! Will you two knock it off? Just be casual.

BOWDEN
I’m sorry, I’m still on edge. I still think something’s gone wrong with Skip and McGrath.

GLORIA
Trust them, Bowden! We have our own job to do. I need to know you’re not going to go rogue, here.

BOWDEN
...I won’t, Gloria. You’re right. I’ll try to remain calm.

RUSSIAN HACKER
Fifty thousand!

KID HACKER
Sixty!

DIXON CAIN
Bid on that thing, little man.

BOWDEN
We’re not here to actually bid, you concussion-laden simpleton!

DIXON CAIN
Would Barnimum Bailey let that brat and that godless communist outbid him? What kinda actor are you?

BOWDEN
Sir, I accept sleights on my clothing, manner, mother, and physical inabilities, but when you insult my craft, you have gone too far!

GLORIA
Bowden, shush!

DIXON CAIN
Gimme that paddle.

BOWDEN
No! That’s my bidding paddle! Stop!

SFX: SMACK.

DIXON CAIN
Did you just paddle Dixon Cain, friend?

BOWDEN
Oh, what, like this?
(smack)
Or this?
(smack)
Did I do that?

GLORIA
Will you two stop it?

DIXON CAIN
Gimme that.

SFX: SMACK.

BOWDEN
Stop!

SFX: SMACK.

KID HACKER
Hey Dixon, I just bought the lot you wanted while you two were ping-ponging each other.

RUSSIAN HACKER
Ha! Just like Democrats!

GLORIA
Hey, mind your own beeswax, huh, kid, or you’re gonna be freewheelin’ down to the river!

KID HACKER
Make me, gramma.
(smack)
Ow! Son of a bitch!

BOWDEN
Don’t speak to her like that you -

GLORIA
Bo! You have to stop picking fights with children!

DIXON CAIN
Yeah, you’re supposed to be fighting with me!

BOWDEN
(smack)
Stop it!
Breeeep.

GLORIA
What’s that?

DIXON CAIN
It’s my phone.

KID HACKER
Hee hee hee hee

BOWDEN
Kid? Did you send us this faked video?

KID HACKER
Hahahaha

DIXON CAIN
This is you and me having sex.

BOWDEN
Yes. And?

KID HACKER
...well, it’s you two having sex. So...

SFX: BOWDEN AND DIXON ACTUALLY CHUCKLE TOGETHER.

BOWDEN
Boys, amiright?

DIXON CAIN
Kid, do you think our masculinity is threatened by the suggestion that we, as two consenting adults molded by God Himself, could love each other physically?

KID HACKER
(mumbles, embarrassed)

BOWDEN
My God, I’m sexy.

DIXON CAIN
Look at us go!

BOWDEN
But, I mean, to be fair, the type of man I’m attracted to is Alexander Skarsgard, not Dixon Cain.

DIXON CAIN
YOU THINK ALEXANDER SKARSGARD IS SEXIER THAN DIXON CAIN?

BOWDEN
I mean in True Blood, he was -

DIXON CAIN
THIS RELATIONSHIP IS OVER.

BOWDEN
That’s it, manservant, you’re terminated!

DIXON CAIN
Good! Now I can do this!

GLORIA
No wait -

DIXON CAIN
SPECIAL DELIVERY TO JESUS!

KID HACKER
Yeah!

SFX: DIXON DELIVERS BOWDEN TO JESUS.

GLORIA
Dixon, what are you doing!

KID HACKER
That was awesome!

RUSSIAN HACKER
You lose, America!

BLACKHATS
Can you please stop bodyslamming each other / in the middle of our illegal auction?

DIXON CAIN
YOUR ASS BETTER CAAAAALL SOMEBODY -

BOWDEN
HiiiiYA!

BOWDEN LEAPS TO HIS FEET AND KNOCKS DOWN DIXON.

KID HACKER
Oh, sucker punched!

BOWDEN
You can thank Chris Pine for that one!

GLORIA
Bowden stop!

BLACKHATS
Will somebody please kill them?

SECURITY GUY
I got it -

DIXON CAIN
ANOTHER SOUL TO SEND TO HEAVEN!

DIXON BODYSLAMS SECURITY GUY.

BLACKHATS
(announcing)
Ooo, power move by Dixon Cain / that’s gonna hurt in the morning. / But here comes Barnimum Bailey -

SFX: BOWDEN JUMPS ON DIXON.

DIXON CAIN
Get off! Quit choking me ya little twerp!

BLACKHATS
Looks like a sleeper hold / not quite cinched -

GLORIA
Bowden, Dixon, stop it!

BOWDEN
I once rode a bucking bronco for twelve seconds, I can ride you all night -

SFX: DIXON DROPS ONTO HIS BACK, CRUSHING BOWDEN.

DIXON CAIN
YEEEEEAH!

KID HACKER
Nice!

BLACKHATS
Ooh, powerbomb, mates, that’s the match, there.

DIXON CAIN
STILL UNDEFEATED -

GLORIA
YAAAAH!

SFX: THE CROWD GOES CRAZY AS GLORIA DISMANTLES DIXON WITH A SERIES OF POWERFUL ROUNDHOUSES.

GLORIA
I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS.

KID HACKER
Nice moves, sexy!

GLORIA
YAAAAH

KID HACKER
AAAAA

SFX: GLORIA BODYSLAMS THE KID HACKER, TOO.

GLORIA
ANYONE ELSE WANT SOME? YOU?

RUSSIAN HACKER
Wait wait I am merely progressive college student with loan debt -

GLORIA
YAAAAH

SFX: GLORIA BODYSLAMS THE RUSSIAN.

BLACKHATS
All right, now I think we need to take matters / into our own hands.

SFX: THE BLACKHATS COME FOR GLORIA, BUT SHE POUNDS THEM.

GLORIA
I am sick and tired of everyone escalating every little problem into violence so COME EAT MY FISTS SUCKERS!

SFX: SHE PROCEEDS TO PUMMEL EVERYBODY. EVERYONE FIGHTS.

BLACKHATS
Somebody stop that Uma Thurman psycho! / Not me! / Get away from me!

DIXON CAIN
HALLELUJAH! IT’S TIME FOR A WAR!

SFX: AN ALL-OUT BRAWL ESCALATES THROUGHOUT THE RESTAURANT.

MUSIC: INTERIM MUSIC.

SKIP
(whispering, lethargic)
This is Agent Skip Granger, recording into these really nice noise cancelling headphones. This will be a record of my death in the field...so, um...Mom? It’s Skipperdeedoodah! I love you.
(gets a hold of himself)
OK, OK. Mackenzie McGrath has passed out from oxygen deprivation. As my final act as mission leader, I’m going to confront McGrath and find out if she has betrayed her country. This may become violent.
(he shuffles over)
Hey. Hey.

MACKENZIE
Hungh? Stop poking me.

SKIP
Aah! Don’t poke me back!

MACKENZIE
Poke poke poke poke poke poke

SKIP
McGrath! Snap out of it I have to confront you!

MACKENZIE
Sure thing. What’s going on, Skip.

SKIP
McGrath. You’re, uh, what.
(trying to find the words)
...fired.

MACKENZIE
OK, then I’m gonna sleep in.

SKIP
OK me too.

MACKENZIE
G’night.

SKIP
Wait wait no no no wake up!

MACKENZIE
Five more minutes mom!

SKIP
McGrath! Listen! This entire mission is a sting operation!

MACKENZIE
With like, bees?

SKIP
No no no Zelda Anders ordered me to entrap you! This is not a communicator! It’s recording your movements to determine if you’re a mole!

MACKENZIE
YES! I knew there was no such thing as a “quantum communicator”! I just assumed you guys were idiots -

SKIP
MCGRATH, FOR ONCE, PLEASE, SHUT, UP!

MACKENSIE
‘kay.

SKIP
I am in direct violation of my orders and oath of duty in blowing my cover to you and do you know why I’m doing it?

MACKENZIE
No idea.

SKIP
Because I trust you.

MACKENZIE
You do? Why?

SKIP
You stole millions of dollars that all mysteriously ended up with charities. You have a passion for taking down predators who target the weak. I know you don’t trust the government, but please, let me give you a reason to trust me.

MACKENZIE
OK.

SKIP
The minute the Section Chief told me you were a mole I didn’t believe it, and I still don’t believe it, and I’m staking my job and potentially going to prison on it. And I’m wasting too much oxygen so please, tell me the truth: are you a mole, or not?

MACKENZIE
OK yeah I’m a mole.

SKIP
WHAT?

MACKENZIE
(laughing)
Oh, c’mon, Skip! Don’t be a stooge.

SKIP
You’re joking.

MACKENZIE
How could I not trust you, Skip? You literally fall for everything anybody says.

SKIP
McGrath I know you’re hiding something from me. If you trust me, tell me what you’re doing!

MACKENZIE
I was hiding it because didn’t want to get you in trouble.

SKIP
Me? For what?

MACKENZIE
This robot has Red Gator in it.

SKIP
You found it!

MACKENZIE
Yeah, but I’m not giving it to criminals.

SKIP
I know!

MACKENZIE
I’m not giving it to Zelda either.

SKIP
...oh.

MACKENZIE
You know I can’t give the government that kind of power, right? To become invisible, to spy on its own citizens?

SKIP
You’re really sure the government would spy on citizens?

MACKENZIE
Skip. You just admitted this fake communicator is recording this entire operation. They’re spying on you.

SKIP
...I guess I am on record scrapping my own mission and potentially giving aid to the enemy.

MACKENZIE
But you said it can’t transmit anything. So it’s only recording.

SKIP
That’s right.

SFX: SMASH.

MACKENZIE
Whoops.

SKIP
McGrath!

MACKENZIE
I guess Abbie squashed it.

ABBIE
I did what now?

MACKENZIE
Sorry, Zelda.

SKIP
That was evidence that would have proven you innocent!

MACKENZIE
No, it could only be proof if I was guilty. Nothing will prove me innocent to Zelda.
(beat)
OK c’mere Abbie it’s your turn.

ABBIE
What?

MACKENZIE
Smashy smashy.

SKIP
Wait McGrath! If we smash the robot, it’ll suck more air out!

MACKENZIE
This was nice and cathartic, Skip, but we’re gonna suffocate anyway. Don’t you wanna smash that thing first?

SKIP
McGrath...can I tell you a secret?

MACKENZIE
I can’t think of a better time.

SKIP
I’m afraid to die on a mission.

MACKENZIE
I’m with you, there, Skip.

SKIP
I don’t want to be disavowed. I don’t want my friends and family to never know what happened to me...I don’t want to be erased.

MACKENZIE
I get that, buddy. So...give ‘em something to remember you by. Give ‘em one last kick in the teeth. Because it’s the right thing to do.

SKIP
...OK gimme the smasher.

MACKENZIE
That’s the spirit!

SKIP
C’mere, robot!

ABBIE
Friends don’t smash friends!

SKIP
You’re! Not! My! Real! Friend!

SFX: SMASHING. GAS POURS OUT OF ABBIE.

SKIP
I know who my real friends are.

MACKENZIE
Skip, listen! The...air pressure...it’s straining the door!

SKIP
It’s weakening! Maybe...if we push...

MACKENZIE
Lemme help you!

SFX: THEY PUSH AGAINST THE DOOR. IT CREAKS, BUT NO USE. THEY SINK TO THE FLOOR.

SKIP
...no use...not strong enough...

MACKENZIE
Hey...it was nice...working with you...Agent...

SKIP
I’m glad...you’re here...McGrath.

MACKENZIE
What’s...that...noise?

SFX: SMASH! DIXON CAIN AND GLORIA BURST THROUGH THE WEAKENED VAULT DOOR,
BODYSLAMMING EVERYONE THEY CAN GET THEIR HANDS ON.

DIXON CAIN
OOOO YEAH!

BLACKHATS
Get this wanker off me! / OW! / We’ll bloody murder the lot of you!

GLORIA
Yeah! You want some more of that?

BOWDEN
(crawling)
Oooh my head, what’s happening?

MACKENZIE
Bowden, thank God!

BOWDEN
McGrath, save me!

SKIP
C’mon, McGrath, let’s get him out of here.

GLORIA
Oh! Tag me in!

DIXON CAIN
There’s no ref, missy! Time for a little double team action!

GLORIA
Hiiyaa!

SFX: SMACKS AND CHOPS. TABLES BREAK.

MUSIC: INTERIM MUSIC.

SFX: THE BRIEFING ROOM

SKIP
...and while the recording device was shattered, I personally witnessed Ms. McGrath’s actions and have deemed her to be trustworthy.

MACKENZIE
Thanks, Skip.

ZELDA
I see.

GLORIA
For what it’s worth, Chief, she also dragged Bo to safety while Dixon and I destroyed the rest of the tech assets and apprehended the Blackhats and everyone on site.

BOWDEN
Yes, it’s just too bad Dixon couldn’t join us today, he had a match. I must admit, I put a little money on Crackjob.

ZELDA
Ms. McGrath...you didn’t get the robot to divulge the Red Gator algorithm before it was... inadvertently destroyed?

MACKENZIE
You think I yanked an algorithm out of a chatbot in five hours and memorized it?

ZELDA
Yes.

MACKENZIE
Well, if I did, you’d never get your fascist little hands on it.

ZELDA
Ms. McGrath, despite your desire to paint us as “Big Brother”, we’re here to protect innocent lives.

MACKENZIE
Good. We did that. We destroyed a tool that terrorists could use. How were you gonna use it?

ZELDA
We will use it at our discretion, when you tell us the algorithm.

SKIP
Chief -

ZELDA
That is, if you wish to continue working for this organization.

BOWDEN
Zelda, please. You don’t want to -

MACKENZIE
Yeah, sorry Zelda, but nope. I’m not gonna hand over a technological cloaking device to an invisible, unaccountable agency. Your loss.

ZELDA
Your services will no longer be required, Ms. McGrath.

BOWDEN
Zelda!

SKIP
But she’s innocent!

GLORIA
Section Chief, Ms. McGrath is a vital part of this team -

ZELDA
(ignoring them all)
You will turn in your badges and clearances, and you’ll be escorted to Federal prison.

MACKENZIE
Well. It’s been fun, gang. See you in 2049.

SKIP
Hold on. McGrath, sit down.

ZELDA
Agent Granger -

SKIP
Ms. McGrath has proven her worth time and time again the field, and as the ranking mission agent I get to choose who will be on my teams.

ZELDA
Mackenzie McGrath has committed federal crimes which bar her from further service.

SKIP
Crimes such as accepting gifts like expensive theater tickets from a freelance agent?

ZELDA
I...I don’t...recall -

BOWDEN
You know, I do seem to remember that happening.

SKIP
That is in direct violation of Section Code 3418.

BOWDEN
I guess you and I are in big trouble, too, Zelda.

ZELDA
There is no impropriety in accepting a ... token of appreciation -

SKIP
I doubt a Congressional committee will agree.

MACKENZIE
Skip, don’t.

SKIP
I’m afraid I’ll have to report it.

GLORIA
I’ll draft a letter right away, Agent Granger.

ZELDA
(laughing)
A Congressional committee? We don’t exist. Congress has no record of who we are.

SKIP
Yes they do. Charter 8274 says we observe the migratory patterns of wild parakeets.

ZELDA
Yeees...

SKIP
That doesn’t sound like an organization that can afford a corrupt administrator, does it?

BOWDEN
It does not.

GLORIA
I’ve got a letter ready, Agent.

ZELDA
Is this the hill you’re prepared to die on, Agent Granger?

SKIP
Section Chief, you have never met a more dangerous adversary when it comes to filing the proper paperwork.

ZELDA
If I had any choice, you’d all be grounded permanently. Rest assured, when Chet Phillips returns from vacation? That’s exactly what’s going to happen.

SOUND: ZELDA LEAVES ABRUPTLY.

BOWDEN
So...do you think she’s going to keep those tickets? Because I could give them to Idina Menzel.

SKIP
Breathe, McGrath. It’s over.

MACKENZIE
Huh? Oh. I’m breathing. Wow. I think she really hates you now.

GLORIA
Oh, she always hated all of us.

BOWDEN
She didn’t hate me.

GLORIA
Shh, Bo.

MACKENZIE
I owe you one, I guess.

SKIP
You don’t owe me anything. Friends stick up for each other.

MACKENZIE
Oh, is that what we are?

GLORIA
Yes.

SKIP
Yes.

BOWDEN
Yes, McGrath, you knucklehead. We’re friends.

MACKENZIE
All right, I accept. Thanks for throwing away your career advancement for me, Agent Granger.

SKIP
Oh, c’mon, McGrath. Call me Skip.

MUSIC: ENDING MUSIC

MISSION VOICE
Mission Rejected was created by Pete Barry, J. Michael DeAngelis and John Dowgin. This episode was written by Pete Barry and directed by Pete Barry & J. Michael DeAngelis. It starred Chris Klaniecki as Skip Granger, Nazli Sarpkaya as Mackenzie McGrath, Dave Stanger as Bowden Montcrief, Paige Klaniecki as Gloria, Faith Dowgin as Section Chief Zelda Anders with Kirk White as Chet Phillips and Kevin McGrath as the Mission Voice. Guest Starring were Matt Lafargue as Dixon Caine, Jeff Maschi as The Black Hat Brothers, Jill Ivey as Abbie, Caden Dowgin as Kid Hacker, Ashley Banks as Ocean Girl and Bob Killion as Security Guy, Russian Hacker and The Admiral.

Music, sound editing and mixing by Pete Barry with additional recording by Karen Yang. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MissionRejected and support us on Patreon for exclusive content, bonus audio and more at www.patreon.com/MissionRejected. This has been a Porch Room production, copyright 2019 Extraordinary Missions Limited.

SFX: THE CRUISE SHIP. THE STEEL DRUM MUSIC, MAYBE A LITTLE CREEPIER. A SLURP OF A STRAW.

OCEAN GIRL
Hey handsome. My darling coral reef!
(silence)
Sweetie? Chet? Chetty-cheese? Chetty-bear?
(silence)
Chet.

CHET
(as if waking up)
Mmm?

OCEAN GIRL
Another margarita?

CHET
I’d love one, thanks sweetheart.

OCEAN GIRL
Some view, huh? You’ve been staring out into the ocean for almost an hour.

CHET
Yeah. Yeah.

OCEAN GIRL
Finally taking the Admiral’s advice, huh? “Become one with the ocean”?

CHET
Mm-hm.

OCEAN GIRL
Are you feeling all right?

CHET
(creepy)
I feel...relaxed.

MUSIC: THE STEEL DRUMS PLAY THE CLOSING STINGER