Mission Rejected

208: Three Days of the Condo

Episode Summary

A cache of treasure from the Axis Powers is buried under a condo in Santa Barbara...and Special Agent Chet Phillips is unavailable.

Episode Notes

A cache of treasure from the Axis Powers is buried under a condo in Santa Barbara...and Special Agent Chet Phillips is unavailable.

Written and directed by
J. Michael DeAngelis

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

Also Starring
Ashley Banks as Athena O'Brien
Jean Pivetz as Quinn Corrino
Jill Ivey as Marlene
and Bob Killion as Bart Bradoff and The Admiral

Guest Starring
Jay Malarcher as Louis Friedman
Andrea A. Smith as Rosalie DeSalles
Dave Serfass as J.J. Prescott
Rebecca Serfass as Lucky
and Sarah Rhea Werner as Pat

Sarah Rhea Werner is the creator and writer of Girl In Space and Write Now podcasts. Find out more at www.sarahwerner.com

Music, sound editing and mixing by
Pete Barry

"Louis's Sweet Licks" written and performed by Matt DeAngelis of Die Tired. Check out their new album It Runs Red on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your music.

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

A complete transcript of this episode is available here.

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

Episode Transcription

INT. VOLCANO LAIR - COVE
SOUND: Ocean waves crash against rocks.

ADMIRAL (Singing)
Here comes the bride...all dressed in brides...brides brides br-brides brides brides brides brides br-brides....Funny. I thought there were more lyrics than that.

CHET
I appreciate the sentiment, old man, but she hasn’t said yes yet.

ADMIRAL
No indeed, Mr. Doe. In fact, I couldn’t help but notice that her first reaction was to chain us up in this cove...

SOUND: A giant wave crashes over them.

ADMIRAL
...at high tide.

CHET
It’s just foreplay. She’ll warm up.

ADMIRAL
Deep breath, here comes a big one!

SOUND: Another massive wave. They cough and try to catch their breath.

CHET
Just think what our honeymoon will be like!

ADMIRAL
Is that an invitation?

CHET
Definitely...not.

SOUND: Chet coughs and spits sea water.

ADMIRAL
You know, I’m starting to worry about you. I’m afraid you might actually drown. I, of course, am composed of 86.66% sea water, so this is quite rejuvenating for me.

SOUND: Wave

ADMIRAL
AH PURE REFRESHMENT!

CHET
Athena won’t let me die. This is just her playing hard to get. If I could just get these shackles off...

ADMIRAL
I for one am ecstatic that you and Athena might put your differences aside! Very big of you, after Lex and Archie went dark and Agent Corrino plummeted to her death in Athena's volcano.

CHET
DON’T TALK ABOUT QUINN. This whole situation with my team is just something that I Athena and I will need to work through in couples therapy, but I am willing to make that commitment.

SOUND: Drone approaching

ADMIRAL
Talk abut commitment, it’s our old friend the EMF quadroplane!

CHET
They have the WORST timing.

SOUND: A tape player on the drone clicks on.

ATHENA (On tape)
Chet. Admiral. It’s me. Athena. This little guy flew over the perimeter about an hour ago. There was probably a top secret mission for you on it, but I had some things I needed to say to you, so I taped over it.

CHET
She knows me so well.

ATHENA (On tape)
Listen, Chet, I know it may seem like I’m overreacting to your proposal by leaving you to drown at high tide, but BELIEVE ME, I am showing restraint. My first impulse was to throw you in the piranha tank! Can you believe those things COME STANDARD in these lairs? Anyway, leaving you to a slow, painful death has really given me time to think. I’ve decided I’m NOT going to kill you. Not just yet anyway.

ADMIRAL
That’s my Trixie! Always thinking ahead.

ATHENA (On tape)
And as for your proposal...

CHET
Here it comes!

ADMIRAL
I have a good feeling, Mr. Doe!

ATHENA (On tape)
Well, it’s like you always say, sweetie...REJECTED.

SOUND: Tape off. The drone files off.

ADMIRAL
Don’t despair, my friend, you still have me.  Uh-oh, this one’s a whopper! AND IT’S FULL OF CRABS!

SOUND: A wave crashes over them. Chet and the Admiral drowning while being pinched by crabs.

MUSIC: THEME SONG

MISSION VOICE
Mission: Rejected. The story of the world’s most secret agents...the backups. Tonight’s episode: “Three Days of the Condo.”

INT. MERLIN GROVE CONDOS - COMMUNITY ROOM

SFX: The murmur of a crowd milling about before a meeting.

FRANCES
Let me just get the Selectrex started.

SOUND: Frances starts typing on a keyboard.

LOUIS
Okay, everybody, I’m board president Louis Friedman and I’d like to call the 367th meeting of the Merlin Grove Condos Executive Board to order.

FRANCES
Don't talk so fast, Louis.

LOUS
Let’s start with roll call. Vice President Marlene?

MARLENE
Present.

LOUIS
Secretary Frances?

FRANCES
Present.

BART
Hi, Bart Bradoff, H302. I’d like to discuss the cloudiness of the pool water...

ROSALIE
That’s all you ever want to talk about, you old coot.

BART
I believe I have the floor...

ROSALIE
Rosalie DeSales, A101.

LOUIS
Owner concerns come after roll call.

BART
What about the pool water?

ROSALIE
I want to talk about the addition of security cameras in the courtyard.

SOUND: Someone makes a loud snoring noise.

MARLENE
We already have cameras in the courtyard. They were put in earlier this year.

ROSALIE
That’s my point EXACTLY! As you know, my unit is on the courtyard level! How do I know the security cameras aren’t being pointed into my window?

LOUIS
The cameras point into the courtyard and out to the street. No one wants to look into your apartment. I won’t even come to your Christmas party. Not that I’m invited. Moving on to -

ROSALIE
Number two is about the photos I took of the garbage men. Why have they been taken down from the lobby bulletin board?

MARLENE
Because, one, you put them under a banner that said “Local Trash”, perhaps inadvertently seen as a comment on their character and, second, because YOU DIDN’T ASK THEIR PERMISSION TO HAVE THEIR PHOTOS TAKEN.

ROSALIE
Well, they come in and out of the building saying they’re the garbage crew, but how are people supposed to know that’s true? Any old robber or rapist could get a trash removal uniform and saunter into our building.

LOUIS
Hence the security cameras, Rose.

ROSALIE
Well, I think people have a right to know who has a right to be in our condo.

LOUIS
Noted. Third - and final - issue?

ROSALIE
Speaking of strangers, who is this creep you let move into A103? This guy is living right across the hall from me and I am getting some BAD VIBES.

MARLENE
Bad...vibes?

ROSALIE
Yes, Marlene, bad vibes. Like the way every woman under forty feels when they see you leering at them in the pool.

BART
Which is very cloudy!

LOUIS
Bart, the pool is closed until further notice, so just cool your jets, okay, man?

BART
(Grumbles)

LOUIS
Do you have a specific complaint to lodge here, Rose?

ROSALIE
Well...who is he? He SAYS his name is Mr. Hemingway, and that he’s a writer, but COME ON! I can’t find any record of a writer named Hemingway before six months ago.

LOUIS
You couldn’t have looked very hard.

ROSALIE
You know what I mean! I have a right to know who my neighbors are! And apparently this board doesn’t care WHO moves in here.

MARLENE
No, obviously, we would be concerned if he were violating the by-laws in any way, but we need more than just your bad vibes.

ROSALIE
Oh just you wait. I know the by-laws better than ANYONE. He’ll trip up. You just wait and see!

FRANCES
Oh, I spilled knish on my typewriter.

MUSIC: TRANSITION

INT. BRIEFING ROOM

SOUND: The comforting bleeps and bloops of the briefing room. McGrath, Bowden and Gloria are playing Clue. Dice roll onto the board and we hear Bowden move his piece.

BOWDEN
Two, three, four, five...six. Ah! The Conservatory at last. I’m afraid your time is up, Gloria. For, I, Bowden Montcrief, the WORLD’S GREATEST DETECTIVE, declare that the only possible culprit was Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with the lead pipe!

GLORIA
No, sorry, I have the lead pipe.

MACKENZIE
Wrong again, Bowden.

BOWDEN
That’s impossible! We’ve been playing this game for hours - we literally exhausted every possible choice.

MACKENZIE
But I thought you were the world’s greatest detective, Bowden.

GLORIA
It does seem rather odd. Are you SURE you dealt the cards right, Miss McGrath?

MACKENZIE
Oh, I’m sure.

BOWDEN (Suspicious)
Wait a minute. Gloria, give me the Solution Cards envelope.

GLORIA
Here you go.

SOUND: Bowden opens the envelope and pulls out the cards.

BOWDEN
Boardwalk, Marvin Gardens and Water Works? These are MONOPOLY cards!!

MACKENZIE (Cracking up)
I know! Oh Lord, I can’t believe how long I was able to drag that out.

GLORIA
You deliberately wasted our time?

MACKENZIE
Yeah.

BOWDEN
WHY?

MACKENZIE
I don’t know.

SOUND: The intercom buzzes.

MACKENZIE
This must be Skip. FINALLY. I can’t believe he missed that epic prank.

SOUND: McGrath answers the intercom.

MACKENZIE
Hey, Skipper. Where are you?

MISSION VOICE (Intercom)
Good evening, Miss McGrath.

MACKENZIE
Huh?

MISSION VOICE (Intercom)
In order to comply with new budget cuts, all EMF operatives must leave headquarters by 6pm Friday. It is now 6:01. Please return to your quarters and allow Mr. Montcrief and Miss Kovak to go home.

MACKENZIE
What kind of stupid new rule is that?

MISSION VOICE (Intercom)
Ours is not to reason why...

GLORIA
Why wouldn’t Agent Granger have told us about this?

MISSION VOICE (Intercom)
Agent Granger is no longer listed as an active operative.

ALL
WHAT?

MACKENZIE
That’s...that’s like literally impossible. This sounds like Prescott’s doing, that rat! I want to talk to him!

GLORIA
Fat chance. It’s bureaucrat appreciation weekend at Knott’s Berry Farm.

MACKENZIE
Then I want to see Anders.

BOWDEN
She went home at five. It’s her and Pat’s anniversary.

MACKENZIE
Well, I’m not going ANYWHERE until I get some answers about where Skip is.

MISSION VOICE (Intercom)
Come on, McGrath, I gotta lock up. It’s Roller Derby night.

SOUND: Intercom off.

BOWDEN
The man is an enigma.

MACKENZIE
This doesn’t make sense. Being an EMF agent is EVERYTHING to Skip.

GLORIA
He did take the last mission pretty hard.

BOWDEN
It’s true. He’s looked lower than Steve Sondheim at Patti LuPone’s birthday party.

MACKENZIE
Yeah, okay, but even he was going to quit - which I’m not saying he did - he didn’t even say goodbye.

BOWDEN
Just like Patti LuPone at Mandy Patinkin’s Emmy party.

MACKENZIE
I’m getting to the bottom of this. Time to do a little hacking on the mainframe.

SOUND: The sound of the power going out. The beeps and bloops stop.

BOWDEN
OH!

MACKENZIE
What?!?

BOWDEN
It’s a blackout.

GLORIA
No, I think it’s the budget cuts.

MACKENZIE
Fine. They want us out of here? Let’s get out of here. Gloria, get your car keys.

MUSIC: TRANSITION

INT. MERLIN GROVE CONDOS - HALLWAY

SOUND: Skip is wheeling a heavy cart down the hall. He is struggling.

SKIP
Come on. Come on. Dang this stiff right wheel.

ROSALIE
Oh!

SKIP
Oh sugar.

ROSALIE
Mr. Hemingway! It is Mr. Hemingway, isn’t it?

SKIP
Oh yes, Widow DeSales. How are you?

ROSALIE
I told you, weirdo, you can call me Rosalie. Oh my, it looks like you have a lot of groceries. Why don’t I give you a hand?

SKIP
No, no. No, m’am, I can manage.

SOUND: They start to struggle over the cart. The contents sound metallic.

ROSALIE
Oh, that IS heavy! I'VE GOT IT. What have you got in there?

SKIP
Just the necessities.

ROSALIE
Are those radio parts?

SKIP
What? No! It’s the annual Can-Can sale at the Shop Smart! Can never have too much chicken and stars soup!

ROSALIE
Well, I’ll just help you put them all away. What are neighbors for?

SKIP
NO THANK YOU.

SOUND: Skip wrests the cart from Rose.

SKIP
I prefer to do it myself. And to be left alone. Please excuse me.

SOUND: Skip opens the door, but Rosalie grabs it before he can get all the way inside.

ROSALIE
I’m on to you.

SKIP
What do you mean?

ROSALIE
What are you hiding in there? A dog? A cat? A SNAKE?

SKIP
Let go of my door, please.

ROSALIE
This condominium is strictly NO PETS. It’s in the by-laws.

SKIP
I assure you, Mrs. DeSalles, I have no pets. I just like my privacy. Now good day!

SOUND: Skip manages to get the door shut.

ROSALIE (Gasps)
I bet it’s a potbelly pig.

MUSIC: Transition.

INT. ZELDA’S HOUSE - NIGHT

SOUND: Soft, romantic piano music plays.

ZELDA (Calling to someone in another room)
I decided to open the Chardonnay we got on the Napa trip. I thought it would go well with the fish. I hope it’s not too oaky.

SOUND: The doorbell rings.

ZELDA
Who could that be? Ohh...Pat, did you order me flowers?

SOUND: Zelda opens the door.

MACKENZIE
Heya, Zel. Hope you don’t mind some company.

ZELDA
What the HELL, McGrath?

MACKENZIE
Hey, it’s Friday night. Time for some team bonding. You already missed board games.

ZELDA
Get out of my house. Now.

BOWDEN
Hello, Zelda. Sorry to show up empty handed, but I didn’t know we were coming. Oooh, is that the Chardonnay from Napa?

ZELDA
BOWDEN.

GLORIA
Good evening, Section Chief. Happy anniversary. My goodness, it smells amazing in here! I hope we’re not interrupting anything special.

ZELDA
As a matter of fact, you are. We are just about to have a very nice dinner that my wife has been planning for days. So please, whatever this is, I don’t want to know about it. I don’t want to hear about it, and I certainly don’t want to have to clean it up later. So just go.

MACKENZIE
Where’s Skip?

ZELDA
Agent Granger is temporarily off duty.

GLORIA
See! It’s just temporary. Miss McGrath was worried.

ZELDA
Well, worry no more. I’m sure he’ll be back as soon as possible. Now if you’ll all go off and enjoy your weekend so I can enjoy mine.

SOUND: Someone new walks into the room. It’s Pat! Every word out of Pat’s mouth is pure kindness.

PAT
Zelda, do we have guests?

ZELDA
No we do not.

MACKENZIE
Oh my gosh! Are you Pat? THE Pat?

PAT
Guilty! Let me guess, you must be McGrath.

MACKENZIE
Mackenzie. McGrath. Mackenzie McGrath.

PAT
It’s so nice to meet you, Mackenzie. I’ve heard so much about you, I feel like we’re old friends. Just like this guy here...

BOWDEN
OH!

PAT
Hello, Bowden! Give me a hug!

SOUND: They hug

BOWDEN
Pat, it is SO GOOD to see you. Oh, your hugs are like MAGIC.

GLORIA
Can I get in on this?

PAT
Of course, come here, Gloria! MMM!

SOUND: Big hugs

ZELDA
Wait. How do you know Gloria?

BOWDEN
Unlike SOME PEOPLE, Pat accepted my invitation to see my one man “A Chorus Line”.

ZELDA (Half aside to Pat)
I thought we agreed we were going to skip that one, dear.

PAT
We have to support our friends in their endeavors. It was fine, you had to work and I had the night off.

MACKENZIE
Pat, I have so many questions. Where did you and Zelda meet? What do you have in common? What...is that delicious smell?

PAT
It’s trout with an orange saffron sauce. It’s just coming out of the oven. Hun, why don’t you set places at the table for our guests?

ZELDA
Oh no. They’re not staying.

PAT
You know I think you’re cute when you’re stubborn. Come on, Mackenzie, Bowden, Gloria - there are plates on the buffet. Annnnd...let me just grab the trout and then I’ll get an extra chair out of the study.

SOUND: Pat goes off.

ZELDA
Alright. You win. Agent Granger is currently working undercover. The recent wiping of all your identies provided us the rare opportunity to put someone in the field wih no trace of their past life. The mission came from Interpol through Prescott. Skip volunteered before I even knew about it. I’m sorry if it caused you any worry, but that’s the business we’re in.

MACKENZIE
Well, I want to talk to him.

ZELDA
You can’t. None of us can. He can’t risk breaking cover until he’s made contact with the target. I’m sorry. Truly.

MACKENZIE
Then I want to know where he is.

ZELDA
No.

BOWDEN
Tell it to us straight, Zelda. Is he in danger?

ZELDA
There’s risk inherent in any undercover operation.

BOWDEN
I wish I could have given him some coaching. Skip doesn’t know how to delve into a character’s soul.

GLORIA
Alright, well, maybe we should let the Section Chief and her wife enjoy their anniversary...

MACKENZIE
The section chief can have peaceful dinner alone with her wife - as soon as she tells me where Skip is.

ZELDA
McGrath, you KNOW that I can’t.

PAT
Is everyone good with Chardonnay? I could uncork a red if that’s to your liking.

MACKENZIE
It IS to my liking.

SOUND: Pat uncorks the wine.

PAT
Well, get on in here, Mackenzie!

MACKENZIE
Is that green beans almondine?

GLORIA
And panzanella salad?

BOWDEN
And Parker House rolls?

ZELDA
Bowden.

BOWDEN
Sorry, Zelda, but it would be rude to refuse your wife’s hospitality.

PAT
Now don’t fill up on those rolls, Bo. There’s crème brûlée for dessert.

MACKENZIE (Mouth full of green beans)
Zelda, you are one lucky woman!

ZELDA
I used to think so. Yes.

MUSIC: TRANSITION

INT. MERLIN GROVE CONDOS - SKIP’S APARTMENT

SOUND: Skip plucks at an electric guitar. Sadly.

SKIP (Singing)
Sometimes I feel like I spy...sometimes I don't.

SOUND: Radio burst.

PRESCOTT (On radio)
Mr. Hemingway, this is Mr. LeClare calling. Mr. Hemingway, come in.

SKIP (Distasteful)
I read you, LeClare, this is Hemingway.

PRESCOTT (On radio)
Excellent. I’ve been on the horn with Interpol. They’re very anxious for an update. Have you found any evidence of...the assets?

SKIP
The buried treasure?

PRESCOTT(On radio)
THE ASSETS.

SKIP
No. If there’s anything buried here, it’s truly buried. I will say we can rule out the courtyard. Sadie Thompson and the gardening committee tear it up every other Tuesday as they strive to find the perfect arrangements for the azaleas.

PRESCOTT (On radio)
What about the competition? Have you made contact yet?

SKIP
NO! The description you gave me is that of a Caucasian male in his 60s of average height and build and balding. Interdepartmental Liaison Prescott, I’m not sure you’re aware of this, but that describes EVERY MAN IN THIS BUILDING EXCEPT ME.

PRESCOTT (On radio)
Careful with the real name there, buckaroo. You should know better. We don’t know who’s listening.

SKIP
That’s another thing. I’m not one to question orders, but why did I have to build this long wave radio from scratch? Why couldn’t I just use a secure phone?

PRESCOTT (On radio)
We suspect that our suspect suspects we suspect him. Which leads me to suspect that he’d suspect we’d be using a secure mobile phone - and I suspect he’s got way of tapping into that. Better to go with the unexpected.

SKIP
I suppose.

PRESCOTT (On radio)
I have to tell you, Mr. Hemingway, there’s a lot riding on this. We can’t have another one of your little “whoopsies.”. You don’t think you’ve been made, do you?

SKIP
No. I’ve done just as you’ve instructed. I keep a low profile, blend into the background. Nobody here even notices me. Except...

PRESCOTT (On radio)
Except?

SKIP
Rosalie DeSales. She’s my neighbor across the hall and she’s incredibly nosy.

PRESCOTT (On radio)
Damn it. A LOL. I was afraid of this.

SKIP
Sir?

PRESCOTT (On radio)
L-O-L. A Little Old Lady. The bane of the undercover agent. They know everything. See everything. Put their nose in everybody’s business. You need to be careful, Mr. Hemingway. You only have two more days to beat the competition to the treasure.

SKIP
I thought we weren’t supposed to call it that!

PRESCOTT
Well...YOU'RE not. Over and out.

SOUND: Radio off. Sad twang of the guitar.

SKIP (Singing)
Swing low...sweet chariot...coming forth to carry me home.

SOUND: Urgent knocking at Skip’s door.

SKIP
Mrs. DeSales, I have told you for the last time, I want to be left al -

SOUND: Skip opens the door and is startled.

SKIP
OH. You’re not Mrs. DeSales.

LOUIS
Well, thank goodness for that! Louis Freidman, I’m the condo board president. Realized we hadn’t properly met, and I do like to get to know all the neighbors...could I come in?

SKIP
This isn’t a great time.

LOUIS
Thanks. Mr. Hemingway - it is Hemingway, right? Not Ernest, I suppose.

SKIP
Yes, actually. My parents were big fans.

LOUIS
Of his writing?

SKIP
No, his drinking.

LOUIS
Hey - neat ham radio! Did you get these parts of the internet?

SKIP
Well, I tried, but I kept missing the UPS man. Seems the intercom buzzer on the gate is broken. Why can’t you just give the delivery people gate passes?

LOUIS
See that, Ernest, that’s EXACTLY what I came up here to talk about!

SKIP
The gate?

LOUIS
IDEAS! We need young blood on the board. I don’t know if you’ve taken a look around here, but you bring the average age down by about three decades. I know you’ve only been a short time, but I think you should run for a seat in the upcoming election.

SKIP
Oh, well, I don’t know about that. I’ve barely just moved in, and I’m on a deadline at work and honestly, my life is a bit of a mess right now.

LOUIS
Well, I find when things are tough, it’s good to have someone to talk with. Maybe your dad?

SKIP
No, he's passed.

LOUIS
Your boss?

SKIP
Not on good terms.

LOUIS
Brother?

SKIP
Under the sea.

LOUIS
Friend?

SKIP
I...sort of left my old town abruptly. They probably don’t even realize I’m gone.

LOUIS
Well, you’ve got Louis Friedman. Any time you need to talk, you don’t hesitate to come up to D602 and get it off your chest.

SKIP
Thank you. That’s actually, very nice.

LOUIS
Your guitar! Is that a Fender? Oh, come to daddy!

SOUND: Louis picks up the guitar and plays some SWEET LICKS.

SKIP
Wow, you’re really good!

LOUIS
Eh, I just fool around. I’ve got a Gibson myself. You can come up some time and we’ll jam...or better yet, I’ll bring mine down here and we can really piss off Rosalie!

SOUND: They both laugh.

SKIP
Thank you.  I’d like that.

LOUIS
Say, do you like Clue?

SKIP
DO I? Oh man, at my old place, Friday night was always board game night. I really do miss it.

LOUIS
Well, come on up to old Casa De Friedman! I’ve been itching for a game!

SKIP
REALLY? Can I be Mr. Green?

LOUIS
Son, you can be whoever you like. Tell you what, I’ll even make milkshakes, how does that sound?

SKIP
With whipped cream?

LOUIS
Is there any other kind?

SKIP
NO!

MUSIC: Transition.

INT. ZELDA'S HOUSE - SAME

SOUND: Soft piano music. People enjoying a delicious dinner. Coffee being poured.

PAT
There you go, Mackenzie. Gloria?

GLORIA
I really shouldn’t. Too much coffee this late at night and I’ll never get to sleep.

PAT
I also have decaf!

GLORIA
Well, how can I say no?

SOUND: Pat fills Gloria’s cup.

ZELDA
Like this: [Imitates Gloria] “No, thank you. It’s really quite late, we should be going. I don’t need any coffee.”

MACKENZIE
Coffee is a RIGHT.

PAT
I’ve heard that.

BOWDEN
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

ZELDA
It’s just coffee, Bowden.

BOWDEN
If this is “just” coffee, then I’m “just” a two time Webby award nominee.

GLORIA
And that meal! I’ve never tasted anything like it!

PAT
I always think a meal is more delicious when it’s shared with friends. So, here’s to friends old and new! Cheers!

SOUND: Clinking of coffee mugs.

MACKENZIE
Come on, Zelda, it doesn’t count if you don’t look every person in the eye!

ZELDA
(growls)

PAT
You know, this has been a really special night. When Zelda and I got together, we couldn’t celebrate. Not really. Not the way other people could. Then, a few years ago, when we could finally make our union legal - well, a judge friend of ours married us on her lunch break. To have all of you with us tonight has been a pleasure. There’s a lot of love in this room. Zelda and me. Bowden and Gloria. The love of all of us together, of friendship. Yes, even you Mackenzie. She won’t say it out loud, but I know that Zelda feels the same.

ZELDA
Well. I, mean...

PAT
She loves you all, and she loves Skip Granger too. That’s why my beautiful, compassionate wife is going to tell you where you can find Skip, you can all go help him, and then she and I can enjoy the end of our anniversary evening together.

MACKENZIE
Woah! How did you know?

PAT
Mackenzie, you carved “where is Skip” in the mashed potatoes.

MACKENZIE (Mouth full)
And they were SO GOOD, by the way.

PAT
Thank you. Zelda, will you help our friends?

ZELDA
You. Alright. Skip is in Santa Barbara.

BOWDEN
They’re reviving Santa Barbara and they got SKIP and not me?

ZELDA
The city, Bowden, not the soap opera. He’s at the Merlin Court Condos, where Prescott believes there is a buried trove of wealth from the Axis Powers.

GLORIA
Nazi Gold?

BOWDEN
Franco Silver?

ZELDA
Mussolini Bronze.

MACKENZIE
Why would Prescott send Skip on a treasure hunt?

ZELDA
We got word from Interpol that a descendant of one of Mussolini’s generals has taken up residence at the condo and is also after the bronze. Could be trying to fund a Fascist movement here in the states. Or worse, donating to the RNC.

MACKENZIE
Gloria, get the car fired up. We’re heading to the airport.

GLORIA
Aye, aye!

BOWDEN
Ah, my old mistress, the red eye to LA! We can drive up the coast from there and be at Skip’s first thing tomorrow.

ZELDA
Do NOT blow his cover, McGrath. Not only would you be putting him in danger, but who knows what Prescott will do to you.

MACKENZIE
Don’t sweat it, Zelda. That treasure is as good as found.

PAT
Here, I’ve packed you each a doggy bag. Extra rolls for Bowden.

MACKENZIE/BOWDEN/GLORIA
Awww.

PAT
That airplane food...that’s a real nightmare. Go find your friend.

MACKENZIE
Oh yeah!

BOWDEN
Gloria, put some of those rolls in your bag. That'a girl.

SOUND: They leave.

ZELDA
You are an extraordinary woman.

PAT
Now, I know you’re going to worry, so I slipped a tracker in Mackenzie’s coffee. It should be in her bloodstream by now. You’ll be able to monitor them from here.

ZELDA
You always know the best thing to get me!

PAT
And, as bonus, it should last for about three months, so you can peek in on her as needed.

ZELDA
It’s like Christmas!

PAT
Well, I’m not the head of the CIA for nothin’.  Happy anniversary, Zelda.

SOUND: They kiss

MUSIC: TRANSITION

INT. MERLIN GROVE CONDOS - REC AREA - MORNING

SOUND: The pool drips and sloshes in the background.

SKIP
This is EMF Agent Skip Granger recording his progress on Operation: Settle for Bronze. I am beginning my search in the recreation area of the condo. I will proceed in an orderly grid -

ROSALIE
Who are you talking to?

SKIP
Ah! Widow DeSales! What, uh, are you doing down here?

ROSALIE
To ask you the same thing. The rec area is closed until the pool water has been cleared up.

SKIP
Closed for use, but I’m just taking a little constitutional. This building has fascinating architectural details. I’m a bit of an architect myself.

ROSALIE
I thought you said you were a writer.

SKIP
Well, I write about architecture.

ROSALIE
Name one of your books.

SKIP
Pardon?

ROSALIE
Name one of your books. I’d love to read one. In fact, I’ll order one off the internet right now from my phone! Just tell me the name.

SOUND: She types on her phone.

SKIP
Well, I mostly write articles.

ROSALIE
For what magazine?

SKIP
Architectural Digest?

SOUND: Typing

ROSALIE
There are no articles by Ernest Hemingway on their website.

SKIP
I’m a ghost writer.

ROSALIE
UNDER WHAT NAME?

SKIP
I.M. Pei?

ROSALIE
I don’t know what your deal is, mister -

SKIP
OUCH!

ROSALIE

SKIP
Ouch! M’am, could you please not jab your finger into my solar plexus? That really hurts.

LOUIS
Leave the boy alone, Rosalie, or the board is going to bring you up on a harassment complaint.

SKIP
Thanks, dad - er, Louis.

ROSALIE
Oh, there he is. 7:15 on the nose as usual. I could set my watch by you, Louis.  

SKIP
What do you mean?

ROSALIE
This one’s almost as slippery as you, Hemingway. He comes down here every morning at 7:15am, and comes out at 3:20pm using the maintenance entrance in the court yard.

LOUIS
I have told you. I’m trying to fix the pool. I would think, as such a concerned resident, you would appreciate that I’m trying to save us some money by making the repairs myself. Now, let Mr. Hemingway go, and leave me to my work, would you?

ROSALIE
Alright. But I’ve got both my eyes on BOTH of you.

SOUND: Rose shuffles off.

LOUIS
Sorry about that. Are you okay?

SKIP
Yeah, I’m fine. You know, Louis, maybe you can help me. I’m quite interested in some of the architectural choices down here. The patterns in the tile are very distinctive.

LOUIS
It’s an old building - there’s stuff from a 100 years ago and stuff the maintenance staff did six weeks ago. You live here long enough, it all just blends together. Anyway, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a pool to fix. Still on for our jam session?

SKIP
Tonight at 7, just in time for Rose to watch Jeopardy! Wouldn’t miss it! We can keep working on the song we’re writing.

LOUIS
I’ve got some ideas for the bridge!

SKIP
Down low!

LOUIS
Right on.

SOUND: They low five and Louis walks off.

SKIP
Right. Resuming operation. The recreation area is original to the building with a unique terra cotta tile floor. Every third tile has a decoration carved into it. I would describe them as follows - green clovers, blue diamonds, purple horseshoes. Man, I should hae had breakfast today. Wait, this is odd, one of the horseshoes is painted gold. It’s faded a bit with time, but it’s definitely there.

SOUND: Jackhammering

SKIP
What in blazes? Mr. Friedman? Louis? LOUIS?

SOUND: Jackhammering stops

LOUIS
Oh, hey kiddo. I thought you left.

SKIP
What are you doing?

LOUIS
This pool is all junked up. These pipes should have been replaced years ago, but there’s no way to access them without tearing up the deck.

SKIP
Shouldn’t we hire a contractor or something for that?

LOUIS
We SHOULD, but thanks to Rosalie we can’t. She rabble roused enough residents to vote down our last budget. So, it’s either me and my engineering degree or the pool stays closed. Listen, I don’t wanna sound like Rose, but this area is closed. I don’t want to blow your ears out with this thing.

SOUND: Jackhammering

SKIP (Barely audible)
I understand.

MUSIC: TRANSITION

INT. CAR

SFX: The open road. Air conditioning.

BOWDEN
I spy with my little eye, something that starts with the letter...Q.

GLORIA
Q? Really? Hmmm...

MACKENZIE
Jesus. I knew a road trip with the two of you was a gamble. Can you not be quiet for TWO SECONDS?

BOWDEN
I’m sorry, McGrath, but I’m just trying to stay awake. I must have had too much of Pat’s coffee. I didn’t get a wink of sleep on the flight.

MACKENZIE
So just take a nap now. We’ve got about an hour.

BOWDEN
Oh no. I keep to a very strict sleep schedule. Imparted to me by none other than Sidney Poitier! No cat naps for me - once I shut my eyes, it’s a full eight hours every time.

GLORIA
It’s true. We have to leave the lights on A LOT.

MACKENZIE
Okay, that does it.

SOUND: McGrath accelerates.

BOWDEN
Woah! Easy there, Mario Capretti!

MACKENZIE
I am going to make this trip a short as humanly possible.

BOWDEN
In that case, turn off at Exit 16. I learned a shortcut while I was briefly Demi Lovato’s collagen provider.

GLORIA
OH! Qdoba! My turn! I spy with my little eye...

SOUND: The car speeds away.

INT. MERLIN GROVE CONDOS - HALLWAY

SKIP
Report #3. My surveying activities for the day have been interrupted until at least 3:30pm while work is carried out in the pool area. Being in the lowest level of the condo, I believe it is the most likely spot for buried treasure.

ROSALIE
Hemingway!

SKIP
MRS. DESALES WHAT IS IT NOW?

ROSALIE
If you’re going to have visitors, you should be here to greet them!

SKIP
I’m not expecting any guests.

ROSALIE
They were at the gate. Very suspicious looking. Came in a rental car. License plate THX -

SKIP
How do you know they were here for me?

ROSALIE
I went out there and asked them. They were trying to use the buzzer, but we all know that has been broken for months. I keep telling the board to fix it!

SKIP
Well, maybe if you voted to pass the budget, things might actually change for the better around here.

ROSALIE
The budget? HA! Louis Friedman wouldn’t know a balanced budget if it bit him in the ass. Cuts to maintenance, suspending long time vendor contracts! And the expenses! Security cameras are one thing, but motion detectors? I drew up a perfectly reasonable budget myself. Let me show you. I keep copies.

SKIP
No thank you! What about these visitors?

ROSALIE
I told ‘em to pound pavement.

SKIP
What did they look like?

ROSALIE
Two girls and a dope who looked just like the guy in the ads for my back cream.

SKIP
Bowden! Oh no. Excuse me, Mrs. DeSales, I have to go.

SOUND: Skip runs off.

ROSALIE (Calling after)
I still want to show you that budget!

EXT. MERLIN GROVE CONDOS - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

SOUND: Skip running.

SKIP
Please be wrong. Please be wrong.

SOUND: Skip collides into a group of people.

MACKENZIE
Ouch! Jeez, watch where you’re - SKIP!

SKIP
MCGRATH!

BOWDEN
I should have recognized those frenzied footsteps anywhere!

MACKENZIE
You didn’t think we’d let you go on a treasure hunt ALONE did you?

GLORIA
Oh, Skip, it’s so good to see you!

SKIP
Sh! It’s Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway.

BOWDEN
No, I don’t see it. You’re a Dave Barry at BEST.

SKIP
What are you doing here? How did you even know where I was?

MACKENZIE
You ever meet Zelda’s wife, Pat? Turns out, she’s AMAZING. She got Zelda to give up your location.

SKIP
That is unacceptable. You have to go. Please, go now. I am handling this myself.

BOWDEN
Uh oh. Somebody’s gone all Christian Bale.

MACKENZIE
What is with you, Skip?

SKIP
Please, go. You’re putting yourself in danger.

GLORIA
That’s sort of our job.

SKIP
The last time you followed me on a mission, I got us captured, brain washed and very nearly killed.

MACKENZIE
Is that what this is about? Skip, nobody blames you for what Prescott did to us.

BOWDEN
Not to mention you then saved us and all of Washington, DC!

SKIP
Not me. Ken Anderson.

MACKENZIE
Oh boy. Okay, I can see you’re going through something, Skip, but we’re all here now. Let us help you finish this mission.

SKIP
How did you even get in? The gate buzzer is broken.

GLORIA
We just tried every apartment until one of them worked.

SKIP
Really? Which one?

MUSIC: Transition

INT. MERLIN GROVE CONDOS - ROSALIE’S APARTMENT

SOUND: Eager knocking at the door.

ROSALIE
Alright, alright, keep your pants on. I’m coming.

SOUND: The door opens.

ROSALIE
Oh, it’s you!

SKIP
Mrs. DeSales. I’d like to take a look at that log book of yours.

SOUND: Tranisition noise

INT. MERLIN GROVE CONDOS - REC AREA

SOUND: Jackhammering. Then a THUD.

LOUIS
Pay dirt.

ROSALIE
FREEZE, SUCKER!

LOUIS
ROSE! For the love of -

SKIP
Find what you’re looking for...Louis?

LOUIS
Ernest! Yes, I uh, think I found the bad pipe. What are you doing down here and who are your friends?

MACKENZIE
State Condo Inspectors. We’d like to take a look at your budget.

GLORIA
We’ve had reports of some very suspicious cuts.

BOWDEN
We thought we’d start with the sorry state of this pool...

LOUIS
Hey, aren’t you the guy on my back cream tube?

BOWDEN
Oh, a fan!

MACKENZIE
Whatever. We’re in California, everyone’s an actor. Gloria here is the new face of Christian Mingle.

GLORIA
Wha - oh, yes. I am. Praise single Jesus!

SKIP
Louis, I need to ask you to move away from that hole you just made.

ROSALIE
Slowly or I’ll ventilate you!

LOUIS
You’re holding a rolling pin.

ROSALIE
And I know how to use it, Louis. MOVE.

SOUND: Rose pushes Louis aside. Everyone gasps.

ROSALIE
Is that...gold?

SKIP
No, it’s bronze! Sweet, glorious, bronze!

MACKENZIE
Smile!

SOUND: McGrath snaps a photo of Louis. There’s some beeping and she reads.

MACKENZIE
Louis Friedman. Real name Ultorico E. DiRenzo. Great-grandson of Enio Reali, personal valet to Mussolini himself.

LOUIS
Bah fongool!

ROSALIE
Enio Reali? He was the original architect of this building!

GLORIA
He must have smuggled the bronze out of Italy when the war was over and then hid it in the foundations of this building.

BOWDEN
Skip, I only see a few bars of bronze. This is hardly a treasure trove.

SKIP
Gloria, find a way to drain the pool.

GLORIA
Found it!

SOUND: The pool empties. Gasps!

MACKENZIE
Would you look at that? There must be three dozen stacks of bronze in there!

SKIP
You figured out the code embedded in the tile long ago, didn’t you, “Louis”? You followed the golden horseshoes right to the pool. You got yourself elected to the board, then closed the pool off due to cloudy water.

MACKENZIE
Water that was allowed you to hide the bronze as you dug it up.

SKIP
You made sure your budget would never get passed so you could ensure that the repair work would HAVE to be carried out by you. You could dig for the bronze in peace.

LOUIS
And I would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for you and your meddling friends.

ROSALIE
You’re a real jerk, you know that, Friedman? Or DiRenzo or whatever your name is.

LOUIS
How did you figure it out, kiddo?

SKIP
My friends showed up, and the ONLY buzzer that works is yours? Why would you want to make sure YOUR guests had unfettered access to the condo but no one else’s? And who would have been coming by? Thank goodness for the Widow DeSales and her little black book.

ROSALIE
I keep track of everybody who comes in and out of this place. Date, time, description and license plates.

BOWDEN
The Gladys Kravitz maneuver.

MACKENZIE
I ran those plates through our system. [With very accurate Italian accent] Alberto Calavicchi, Umberto Magarelli, Amelia Fonzerlli...

SKIP
Are you a dialect coach?

MACKENZIE
No, I've been doing DuoLingo.

MACKENZIE
All descendants of Mussolini’s minions and all, conveniently, in the demolition business.

SKIP
The Sons and Daughters of Little Italy.

LOUIS
Make Italy great again!

ROSALIE
Look at all that precious metal! What’s there alone could pay to have this whole rec area re-done - and who knows how much more is under here.

GLORIA
Well, bronze is only worth about $1.90 per pound. Just eyeballing this, I’d say you’ve got...about 3,500 pounds of bronze. So that’s...

ROSALIE
Six thousand, six hundred and fifty dollars.

MACKENZIE
What a rip off!

SKIP
This particular bronze is of historic value. I’m sure the government would be willing to pay a more than fair price to the condo association in exchange for it. In fact, I bet they’d even redo this whole rec center if you let them tear it up to find the rest.

ROSALIE
What till that old coot Bart Bradoff hears about this. He’s going to flip. I’m gonna call him.

SOUND: Rose takes out her cell phoe and dials.

SKIP
I just need to ask you one thing, Louis. Did you know I was a secret agent? Were you spending time with me just to keep me off your scent?

LOUIS
No, kiddo. I actually liked you a lot. Gotta work on those guitar chords though.

SKIP
Another father figure down the drain.

MACKENZIE
Cheer up, Skip. At least your nosy next door neighbor turned out to be an alright dame.

ROSALIE (On the phone)
That’s right, the feds are gonna pay for a whole new pool! Water jets, a sauna, the works! Only thing is, work can’t start until they excavate this crime scene. Could take years! You’ll probably be DEAD before it ever opens, you old crank!

SKIP
We better go home before she finds out about my pygmy pig.

MACKENZIE
Did you bring Ham Rockwell?

SKIP
No. Liza Spamelli.

MUSIC: END CREDITS

MISSION VOICE
Mission Rejected was created by Pete Barry, J. Michael DeAngelis and John Dowgin. This episode was written and directed by J. Michael DeAngelis.

It starred Chris Klaniecki as Skip Granger, Nazli Sarpkaya as Mackenzie McGrath, Dave Stanger as Bowden Montcreif, Paige Klaniecki as Gloria Kovak, Faith Dowgin as Section Chief Zelda Anders, with Kirk White as Chet Phillips and Kevin McGrath as The Mission Voice.

Also starring Ashley Banks as Athena O'Brien, Jean Barry as Quinn Corrino, JIll Ivey as Marlene, and Bob Killion as Bart Bradoff and The Admiral.

Guest Starring: Jay Malarcher as Louis Friedman, Andrea Smith as Rosalie DeSales, Dave Serfass as J.J. Prescott, Rebecca Serfass as Lucky, and Sarah Rhea Werner as Pat.

Sarah Rhea Werner is the creator and writer of the Girl in Space and Write Now podcasts. Find out more at www.sarahwerner.com

Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MissionRejected. Support us on Patreon for exclusive content, bonus audio and more at www.patreon.com/missionrejected. This has been an Porch Room production, copyright 2020 Extraordinary Missions Limited.

INT. VOLCANO LAIR

SOUND: Someone struggling to climb out of the volcano, pushing a heavy metal access panel from below.

QUINN
Come on, Quinn. Come on. Almost...there.

SOUND: Quinn launches herself on to the floor of the base.

QUINN
I thought Archie was crazy when he made us take that volcano survival vacation, but I guess joke’s on me.  Alright. Get up. Find Chet. Get out.

SOUND: In comes Athena and Lucky with Chet and The Admiral. The Admiral is wincing in pain with every step.

ATHENA
Come on, you two. Lucky, find some soothing ointments or something.

QUINN
Shit. Gotta hide.

SOUND: Quinn ducks behind a computer bank.

ATHENA
I gotta say, Phillips, you really took that crabbing like a man. The Admiral over here was crying like a baby, but you just...took it.

CHET
I had something to live for.

ADMIRAL
Ah yes, we all want to see the next Indiana Jones movie.

CHET
I meant Athena.

ADMIRAL AND LUCKY
AWWWWW.

ATHENA
Shut up.

QUINN (Whispers)
What?

ATHENA
Chet. I’m a super villain. You’re my nemesis. It doesn’t work. Look, do Batman and Catwoman go to town in their tight leather outfits every now and then? Sure they do - but let’s not mistake sex for love.

CHET
I’m not your nemesis. EMF is your nemesis. Skip Granger is your nemesis. Skip Granger took your father prisoner. Skip Granger blew up your satellite dishes. Skip Granger destroyed the Deceptionem. What did I ever do except follow you all over the world so I could propose?  

LUCKY
Jeepers.

ATHENA
I don’t know.

CHET
What do you want, Athena?

ATHENA
I don't know.

CHET
What do you want right now? It’s yours. You want the Admiral? Here, have him!

ADMIRAL
Now, now. No one likes a turncoat, Mr. Doe.

CHET
Tell me what you want.

ATHENA
I want the EMF destoryed. Ruined. Ended.

CHET
No problem. A drone is bound to show up with a new mission. We’ll take it from there.

ATHENA
Alright, you’ve bought yourself at least that much. Let’s get you in a nice oatmeal bath.

ADMIRAL
I prefer cream of wheat.

LUCKY
With peaches!

ADMIRAL
WIth peaches! Delicious!

ATHENA
Oh Jesus.

SOUND: They all go off.

QUINN
WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Phillips, this better be one hell of an act you’re putting on. I gotta get back to EMF...now. (A beat.) I hope this place has a boat.

MUSIC: STINGER