Mission Rejected

210: Diamonds Are For Errors

Episode Summary

There's a plot to kidnap North Korea's star baseball player...and Special Agent Chet Phillips is unavailable.

Episode Notes

There's a plot to kidnap North Korea's star baseball player...and Special Agent Chet Phillips is unavailable.

Written by
John Dowgin

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
Jill Ivey as Gift Shop Girl and Interpreter
and Bob Killion as Ron Jambo and The Admiral

Korean translations and voices by Edward Bong

Music, sound mixing and editing by
Pete Barry

Created and Produced by
Pete Barry, J. Michael DeAngeils, and John Dowgin

A complete transcript of this episode available here.

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

Episode Transcription

SFX - THE SOUNDS OF THE OCEAN. THE VOLCANO RUMBLES. A ZIPPER ZIPS, SOME SNAPS SNAP.

CHET (an awful English accent)
Vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred. Shocking. Positively shocking. Do you expect me to talk, Goldf-?

SFX - A DOOR OPENS

ATHENA
What do you think you’re doing!?

CHET
Check me out, my dark-souled darling! Is this a set of threads o what?!

ATHENA
It’d better be, I cashed in six favors to break the designer out of prison.

CHET
I’ve been a superspy for fifteen years but this is first time I’ve actually felt it! She always did enjoy a good squeeze!

ATHENA
You seem to be laboring under the delusion this wedding has anything to do with you! Now waddle your penguin suit over to the corner...

SFX - A COAT DROPS

ATHENA
And tell me how amazing I look.

CHET
Holy Mata Hari, what a dress! Is that organza or chiffon?

ATHENA
Kevlar. Can’t be too careful with our guest list.

CHET
Not since J Edgar Hoover has an agent of systemic chaos made a dress look that good!

ATHENA
That’s the sweetest thing you’ve said to me this hour.

CHET
Give me five minutes and I’ll top it tenfold, you pulchritudinous paragon of delinquency, debauchery, and dereliction.

ATHENA
I love when you get alliterative.

THE ADMIRAL
Hallo! Hope I’m not interrupting!

ATHENA
Your existence is an interruption!

THE ADMIRAL
I wanted to let you know the save the date cards arrived!

ATHENA
Did you tip the delivery man?

THE ADMIRAL
Just as you instructed. Eighteen times with armor piercing rounds.

SFX - A BOX OPENS

ATHENA
We hereby demand you save the date to celebrate the nuptials of--Chet Phillips and Athena O’Brien? WHAT THE CRAP! Why is his name first!

CHET
Huh. I was sure I’d sent the printer the layout you wanted--

THE ADMIRAL
I may have had some editorial input, Mister Doe. I learned a little bit about what catches the eye when I worked at the foot of William Randolph Hearst.

ATHENA
What catches the eye in this relationship is moi, you asinine aquatic addlepate! Send them back!

CHET
Are you sure it’s that important, my little--

ATHENA
YOUR LITTLE EXECUTIONER. Send them back or you’ll be sleeping in the guest room on our wedding night! And remember, our guest room is a fully functioning iron maiden!

SFX - A DOOR SLAMS AS ATHENA LEAVES

THE ADMIRAL
Heh. Women, Mister Doe. Can’t live with them, can’t turn state’s evidence on them without their legions of assassins hunting you down. Anyhoo. Chipwich?

SFX - A BUZZING DRONE FLIES INTO THE ROOM

CHET
ANOTHER DRONE?! At a time like this! What do they want now...

SFX - CLICK

MISSION VOICE
Good morning, Agent Phillips. In Woonsocket, Rhode Island tomorr--

CHET
NOPE.

SFX-CLICK

CHET
I think that’s the fastest I’ve ever rejected one of those.

THE ADMIRAL
Well. Woonsocket.

MUSIC: MAIN THEME

MISSION VOICE
Mission: Rejected. The story of the world's most secret agents...the backups. Tonight's episode: Diamonds Are For Errors.

SFX: THE BLEEPS AND BLOOPS OF THE BRIEFING ROOM. WE HEAR SOMEONE SHUFFLING THROUGH A STACK OF CARDS.

SKIP
No... no... is that it? No, that’s Elston Pritchett’s rookie card from ‘85. Wow. I never noticed how much neon was going on in the eighties.

SFX - DOOR OPENS

MCGRATH
What’s the word, skip-to-my -- WOW! What is all this??

SKIP
Careful, McGrath! Mind the seven train cases -- AND DON’T STEP THAT WAY, those tackle boxes are steel, you’ll break your toe!

MCGRATH
Is this some sort of test? Do I have to navigate this maze of boxes to keep my security clearance?

SKIP
Of course not... but that’s a great idea, I’ll bring it up with Section Chief Anders at my next tri-weekly brainstorming session...

MCGRATH
SKIP.

SKIP
Sorry. There’s a simple path through it all...

MCGRATH
It’s just a jump to the left?

SKIP
And then a step to the right.

MCGRATH
(Laughs)

SKIP
What?

MCGRATH
Oh.... we don’t have the time. Skip, is this your baseball card collection? How many--

SKIP
Seventy six thousand, three hundred ninety two. Since I’m between apartments, I’ve been keeping them here. But that’s fortuitous given our next assignment...

SFX - DOOR OPENS

GLORIA
Agent Granger, I have the plastic sleeving you requisitioned, is everything -- holy cow, a flea market exploded in here!

MCGRATH
I have to admit, Skip, I never pegged you as a baseball fan.

SKIP
Really? Baseball is a perfect blend of strategy and instinct ensconced in pastoral tradition! I actually pitched for my high school team.

MCGRATH
Hey, you’re preaching to the choir. I love ballpark snacks. Hot dogs, cracker jacks, roasted peanuts...

GLORIA
The smell of the grass, the roar of the crowd, the crack of the bat...

SKIP
And STATISTICS!

SKIP
No other game can be so beautifully numerized across the decades, history crystallized on each and every player’s card! Look! I can tell you with a 98.2 degree of certainty how James Woozenpuffer of the 1936 Wichita Falls Spudders would have pitched to Josiah Muggs of the 1962 Sarasota Sun Sox! All based on unsullied mathematics!

MCGRATH (softly)
Do you think he wants to be alone?

GLORIA (softly)
I think maybe I want him to be alone?

SFX - DOOR OPENS

BOWDEN
Morning all-- hey, cool! Is this a new ‘Magic the Gathering’ series?

MCGRATH
Guys. Hush. Please don’t rob me of seeing where this is going.

BOWDEN
Interesting designs, I’m not sure I’m familiar with this artist. Though I haven’t played since I got kicked out of Helen Mirren’s Tuesday night game after the Rat Shaman incident. Strong power and toughness... WOW. 301 mana cost!

SKIP
That’s a batting average, Bowden--

BOWDEN
A bat? It’s a flying creature!?

GLORIA
Bo, these are baseball cards.

BOWDEN
Huh? Oh. OH. Of course, I knew... right. Heh! Baseball! I love it so! Got any LeBrons or Tom Bradys?

SKIP
Bowden, come now. It’s the twenty first century, there’s no need to pretend you know anything about baseball to appear masculine.

BOWDEN
Amazing, that’s just what the casting director said before dismissing me from my audition for ‘Major League 4: Out of Rehab’.

MCGRATH
So is this some sort of three/eighths life crisis thing going on here, or...

SKIP
No, McGrath. This is mission prep!

SFX - SLIDE PROJECTOR CLICK

SKIP
You’re looking at Jim Bob Reynolds Stadium in Rhode Island, home of the Woonsocket Turkey Vultures minor league baseball team. Tomorrow, they’ll host an exhibition game against the North Korean National Team.

GLORIA
Impressive!

SKIP
Not really. The Turkey Vultures last recorded a win on July 5th, 1997, and then only because their opponent forgot to show up for the game following a particularly rowdy Independence Day barbecue.

MCGRATH
So the North Korean propaganda folks...

SKIP
... are desperate for good press and have scheduled what should be an easy win. They’ve also convinced Kim Jong-Un that the Turkey Vultures will actually be the New York Yankees in alternate uniforms.

MCGRATH
You’d think with all the KPop that dude would be in a better mood.

BOWDEN
So what’s the EMF’s interest in all this? Is one of the players a mole?

SKIP
No--

GLORIA
Are we going to steal top secret intelligence?

SKIP
Uh-uh--

MCGRATH (VERY excited)
Are we going to kidnap a Korean national for ransom?

SKIP
No, McGrath... and frankly you got a little too excited about that.

MCGRATH
Hey, I’ve got my bucket list.

SFX - SLIDE CHANGE

SKIP
Our mission is to protect Jung-hoon Hoo, star pitcher of the North Korean team.

MCGRATH
Well. I’m on board with this plan.

BOWDEN
Not an unattractive man, I suppose--

GLORIA
Um, sure, if that’s your type, I guess, maybe--

SKIP
It’s all right, you can acknowledge the obvious.

BOWDEN
That man looks like an angel had a baby with Kim Soo Hyun.

MCGRATH
He can visit my pitcher’s mound twice an inning.

SKIP
Gloria, anything to add?

SKIP
Sorry, I’m too lost in his eyes for extemporaneous conversation. Come back to me in five.

SKIP
Fair enough. But Hoo is more than just a pretty face. He holds every major Korean Baseball Organization record for both pitching and hitting. And in an infamous World Baseball Classic moment, he hit a line drive so hard it struck and killed the opposing pitcher.

MCGRATH
Good intel, I’ll be sure not to bring that up on our first date.

SKIP
On top of all this, Hoo also happens to be Kim Jong Un’s favorite nephew. Apparently he always laughs at the Supreme Leader’s Borat impression.

BOWDEN
Heh heh. ‘My wife... is in gulag!’

SKIP
We’ve received word from a deep cover agent that Hoo is in danger of being kidnapped during the Rhode Island trip.

MCGRATH
Hold on. This doesn’t add up. There’s a legit lead that Kim Jong Un’s nationally famous, movie star gorgeous nephew is in danger--

GLORIA
-- and the case fell to us?

BOWDEN
It does feel like something the NSA or the FBI would’ve snatched up.

SKIP
There’s... some question about the agent bringing us the lead.

SFX - CLICK

BOWDEN
WOW. Parachute pants and a mullet for the eighties win.

SKIP
His name is Lieutenant Colonel Ron Jambo, US Special Forces. And while his fashion sense leaves much to be desired, but his service record speaks for itself.

SFX - CLICK

GLORIA
Delta Force, Ranger school, three medals of honor...

BOWDEN
Thirty-nine purple hearts!

MCGRATH
Redacted missions. Redacted medals?

SKIP
Colonel Jambo has won five service awards so secret they don’t exist. For the past several years, he’s been gathering intelligence around the Korean DMZ. But his reports began to garner less and less attention in 2015, when they became primarily about his efforts to train a small lizard he’d found in his bivouac. In 2016, he claimed he’d trained the lizard to file tax returns, at which point his reports were officially classed ‘suspect’.  

GLORIA
Suspect? He’s a basket case!

MCGRATH
Hey, the Army had better eat crow if that lizard’s 1040-EZ shows up.

BOWDEN
Zelda wants us to chase a lead from a shell shocked Delta Farce!?

JAMBO
Say that to my face.

SFX - GASPS/SCREAMS OF SURPRISE

JAMBO
I said say that to my face.

GLORIA
Behind the slide projector screen!

SKIP
Close, Gloria. Colonel Jambo is a master of concealment. He’s not behind the slide projector screen--

SFX - SOMEONE STEPS FORWARD, MORE GASPS AND SCREAM.

JAMBO
I am the slide projector screen.

BOWDEN
HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!

JAMBO
A desert shaman of the Cahuilla tribe taught me the way of the flat rock. Helps that every bone in my body has been broken fifteen times.

SKIP
Team, meet Ron Jambo. He’ll be joining us in Rhode Island.

GLORIA
Colonel, when I called you a basket case, I meant no disrespect--

JAMBO
Sometimes the world needs a basket case to keep the lungs of freedom full of the oxygen of liberty. But you. Say it. To my. Face.

BOWDEN
Well, um by Delta Farce, sir, I of course meant the underrated 2007 Larry the Cable Guy film...

JAMBO
Not that face. This one.

BOWDEN
He wants me to talk to the lizard, doesn’t he?

JAMBO
HE’S GOT A NAME.

BOWDEN
WE HAVEN’T BEEN INTRODUCED!

SKIP
Bowden, say hello to Colonel Jambo’s pet skink, Emile.

BOWDEN
Hello... Emile. I’m sorry if I offended you. (BEAT) Is that... all?

JAMBO
One second. (BEAT) Yeah he’s cool.

SKIP
Colonel Jambo’s psychological file--which I suggest we all familiarize ourselves with-- says that under periods of extreme stress, he will communicate solely through Emile.

JAMBO
The skink’s got my back.

MCGRATH
We could all die at the hands of North Korean operatives in Woonsocket and this would still be my favorite mission.

SKIP
Colonel. Please explain why you think Jung-hoon Hoo is in danger.  

JAMBO
I was in my bivouac one evening playing Go Fish with Emile...

BOWDEN
You play Go Fish with a skink?

JAMBO
Have to. He cheats at poker. I sensed a North Korean military jeep approaching. It wasn’t a usual patrol route so I investigated. After I neutralized the jeep’s driver with a silica gel packet, I--

MCGRATH
A what now?

JAMBO
I know twenty six ways to kill a man with silica gel.

GLORIA
How, other than making them eat it?

JAMBO
Huh. Twenty-seven ways.

SKIP
Getting back on the subject...

JAMBO
I found this in the jeep.

GLORIA
It looks like... a train ticket?

MCGRATH
I can barely see what it says.

BOWDEN
Woo... wait, that says Woonsocket.

GLORIA
But what’s all over it?

SKIP
That would be the blood of the jeep driver Jambo ‘neutralized’.

JAMBO
Silica is a harsh mistress.

GLORIA
How do we know the soldier carrying these items wasn’t just assigned to the team’s security detail?

JAMBO
I’d never seen him before, and I know all the top Korean personnel. Only the best of the best get assigned to Hoo’s security detail.

MCGRATH
Well, Hoo comes first.

SKIP
We all agree this lead is thin...

BOWDEN
You could strain cheese through it.

JAMBO
The skink heard that.

SKIP
But North Korean and American relations being what they are, no one wants to risk an international incident. Interdepartmental Liaison Prescott has asked Section Chief Anders to investigate. She’s liaised with  the State Department to ensure extra security for this event. Only Hoo and his security detail will know his timetable and means of transport. But she still wants us on site. I’ll brief you on the plan while we’re en route.

SFX - Skip breaks out into laughter.

SKIP
HOO COMES FIRST! HA! WELL PLAYED!

JAMBO
Is he always like this?

MCGRATH
Buckle up, Jambo. He’s your worst nightmare.

MUSIC: TRANSITION

SFX - A CROWD NOISES OF A BASEBALL STADIUM. A DOOR OPENS.

MEDIA GUY
All right, if you just step in here Mister Milsap, and let me say once again, what an honor it is--

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Yes, you’ve mentioned it once or twice or... seventeen times...

MEDIA GUY
We just don’t get many living legend sports journalists in Woonsocket! The last time the national press wrote about us was when we broke the single A record for consecutive ten run losses!

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Well, bad press is better than no press at all!

MEDIA GUY
Yeah, that’s not true. Anyway! Make yourself comfortable and once the North Korean team is done warming up, I’ll send them in.

SFX - DOOR CLOSES

BOWDEN
Skip, I’m in position.

SKIP (on comms)
Very good, Bowden. Is your cover holding up?

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
‘Why hello there, I’m world renowned sports journalist Elmer Milsap, and I’d just love to an in depth interview with Jung-hoon-Hoo!

SKIP
Not bad! The fact that Milsap is a noted recluse should keep us out of another ‘JT Peppermason in Lackawanna’ mishap.

BOWDEN
From your lips to Daniel Day Lewis’s ears. I’ve also been going over your research material...

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION SOUND TO ELSEWHERE IN THE STADIUM

SKIP
You didn’t take them out of their sleeves, did you?!

BOWDEN (on comms)
Nope, all your cards are safe and covered. But quiz me.

SKIP
OK... what was Turkey Vulture’s starting pitcher Will Hoovestadler’s ERA last season?

BOWDEN (on comms)
Three-point-four. By the way, it’s commendable how many baseball players care so deeply about the Equal Rights Amendment! They’re coming back. Bowden out.

SKIP
Ok and REMEMBER DON’T TAKE THEM OUT OF THEIR SLEEVES GRANGER OUT.

MCGRATH
Perhaps it would have been wise to have taught Bowden what all the little numbers on the backs of the shiny cards actually mean, Skip.

SKIP
He’ll be fine. Throwing out random numbers authoritatively is the best way to pass as a baseball expert in most circles.

SFX - CLICK

SKIP
Gloria, are you and Jambo in position?

GLORIA (on Comms)
Um... maybe? We were supposed to rendezvous at the stadium gift shop, but I can’t find hide nor long stringy hair of him.

SKIP
Let me know when you’ve found him, Granger out.

MCGRATH
We’ve lost our mission expert in the gift shop, have we?

SKIP
Things can only look up from here.

MCGRATH
That’s what they said at the aft of the Titanic.

SKIP
I think the best thing you and I can do right now is--

MCGRATH
Same stadium, different games.

SKIP
During his interview, Bowden will slip your tracker onto Hoo.

MCGRATH
If he misses, I can do it.

SKIP
Bowden won’t miss.

MCGRATH
A girl can dream.

SKIP
With Hoo being tracked, you’ll--

MCGRATH
Monitor the stadium for suspicious transmissions in his vicinity.

SKIP
While Gloria and I help Jambo watch for anything he deems suspicious.

MCGRATH
Is there anything I can do while we’re waiting for Bowden to plant my goods on pretty pitcher boy?

SKIP
Yes. Here are the schematics to the stadium’s closed circuit TV system.

MCGRATH
I was thinking more along the lines of a food run...

SKIP
It couldn’t hurt to have a view of the whole facility.

MCGRATH
Pretzels, maybe churros...

SKIP
You should be able to tap into their main feed here.

MCGRATH
Fine. Spycraft now. Churros later.

MUSIC: TRANSITION

GIFT SHOP GIRL
Step right up and get your Turkey Vultures hats and jerseys...

GLORIA
Excuse me, you haven’t seen anyone loitering around here, have you? Big muscular guy, sort of a thousand yard stare going on.

GIFT SHOP GIRL
Not today. ‘Thousand yard stare appreciation night’ was in May.

GLORIA
Great, Gloria. You had one job, and you’ve managed to lose a commando and his pet... WAIT!

SFX - GLORIA LETS OUT A SKINK CALL, THEN THE PITTER PATTER OF LIZARD FEET

GLORIA
There you are, Emile, what a good little skink! Now where’s your--

JAMBO
Well played, Agent Kovac.

SFX - SKINK NOISES

JAMBO
Pipe down, narc, I’ll deal with you later.

GLORIA
How did you do that, I looked for you in that rack of jackets!

JAMBO
You didn’t check the pockets. Where did you learn the mating call of the Korean ground skink?

GLORIA
I fell down a TED talk rabbit hole on YouTube one weekend. I’ve heard things that can’t be unheard.

JAMBO
Very... QUIET. You smell that?

GLORIA
This is a minor league baseball stadium, I smell a lot.

JAMBO
I smell walnuts. And walnuts are the favorite snack... there he is. Boris Kuznetsov, mastermind of the Russian political kidnapping consortium Zoy Pohititeli.

GLORIA
Where, behind the boy scout troop?

JAMBO
Kuznetsov is a master of disguise. Check out the third scout from the right.

GLORIA
That scout does seem a little tall. Look, he’s moving toward that service door!

JAMBO
Then so are we.

SFX - RUNNING, A DOOR OPENS THEN CLOSES.

GLORIA
Looks like an equipment room.

SFX - CLICK

GLORIA
Come in Agent Granger, this is -- Hey! Give me that back, it’s a state of the art communicator!

JAMBO
It’s a state of the art give away our position noise making thingy.

SFX - CLICK

KUZNETSOV
Freeze. And for the love of God stop talking.

GLORIA
Good thing I didn’t give away our position, huh?

JAMBO
Hello, Kuznetsov. Been a while.

KUZNETSOV
Kuala Lumpur in ‘08, eh Jambo? What a surprise to see you in this hemisphere. And showered.

JAMBO
I accidentally walked through a sprinkler this morning. I’d ask what brings you to Woonsocket... except I already know.

KUZNETSOV
I’m sure. Too bad you won’t be telling anyone about it--

SFX - A KARATE KICK, KUZNETSOV FALLS

GLORIA
Don’t you macho types ever shut up long enough to fight?!

SFX - A HUGE SMACK DOWN BRAWL

GLORIA
Jambo, look out -- OK, you’ve got this under control -- WOW, femurs shouldn’t do that -- JAMBO! PUT THAT SILICA GEL DOWN!

SFX - THE FIGHTING STOPS

GLORIA
He’s out cold. Now tamp down the testosterone and let’s search him.

SFX - RUSTLING

GLORIA
What’s this?

JAMBO
It’s a morse code key... a Korean morse code key.

GLORIA
Why would an international kidnapper in Woonsocket need to translate Korean Morse?

JAMBO
A better question. Who in Woonsocket is going to be sending messages in Korean Morse?

(A long beat.)

GLORIA
Are you going to answer that or---

JAMBO
No, it was rhetorical.

GLORIA
Oh I thought you were doing a whole buildup thing...

JAMBO
Oh, that would’ve been cool, but no. We better find our way out.

MUSIC: TRANSITION

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
And, Jung-sshi, is it true that in 2019 you threw 188 strikeouts?

SFX - Jung-sshi speaks Korean.

INTERPRETER
Yes.

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
And that same year, you threw 130 innings and won 9 games?

SFX - Jung-sshi speaks Korean.

INTERPRETER
Er... yes.

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Well, I think that’s all I need! Good luck in the game, ol’ sport!

SFX - A SHOULDER CLAP. CONFUSED KOREAN.

INTERPRETER
Jung-sshi says, ‘Mister Milsap, your reputation precedes you across the Pacific...”

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
He’s too kind!

SFX - Jung-sshi speaks Korean.

INTERPRETER
He particularly enjoyed your article on the great Rivera. He reads it often for inspiration.

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Well, thank you, Rivera certainly was a great........ pitcher?

INTERPRETER
Yes, he was!

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Good for me!

SFX - Jung-sshi speaks Korean.

INTERPRETER
But Jung-sshi is confused. Normally during interviews, the subject is asked...  probing questions.

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Hmm. OK. Ever meet Bong Joon-Ho? Oh! Does he like American sitcoms?

SFX - Jung-sshi speaks Korean.

INTERPRETER
Mister Milsap, Jung-sshi must begin warm-ups. Perhaps we will see you at the post-game ceremony. Jung-sshi will receive the key to the city! Which sounds quaint, but as a North Korean, I’m not surprised American city defenses are so weak.

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Well, I wish I could stay, but...

INTERPRETER
Also, Jung-sshi has a surprise for you! He has arranged with the host team for the great Elmer Milsap to do the game’s radio play by play!

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Me? Is that a thing I actually do--

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
You’re too modest, Mister Milsap! It has been many years, but surely you remember your call during game seven of the World Series!

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Did I call for pizza or Thai?

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION

SKIP
They want you to what? Milsap hasn’t done play-by-play in years!

BOWDEN (on comms)
Well, don’t tell North Korea, apparently he’s a big hit there! It’s OK, I’m an actor, I can handle this role. Just tell me what to do.

SKIP
Watch and tell everyone what you’re seeing. Think of it as audio drama.

BOWDEN (on comms)
AUDIO DRAMA?! I wouldn’t be caught dead debasing myself for so low a--

SKIP
Just sit at the mic and talk to the tens of thousands of listeners.

BOWDEN (on comms)
Well, when you put it that way--

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION

BOWDEN
... we’ll have the starting lineups in just a few minutes here at The Coop, home of the single-A Woonsocket Turkey Vultures. I’m Elmer Milsap and hoo-boy do I know a lot about baseball as I’ll prove over the next, errrr....How long do these things take?

SFX - TRANSITION TO AN INNER ROOM WITHIN THE STADIUM.

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (over radio)
The scoreboard says three balls which I’m not sure is right, I can only see one on the field. Hoo’s got that one ball, and he’s looking at the guy on his left... now he’s looking ahead at the guy in the mask... He’s doing the leg thing and.. it's another throw over the old stop sign looking thingy...

SFX - A DOOR OPENS

SKIP
McGrath, what’s taking so long!

MCGRATH
Please tell me they record these broadcasts, Bowden has already said five things that could be my next ringtone.

SKIP
You came down here to hack the stadium’s closed circuit TV!

MCGRATH
Yeah, well, that diagram you gave me of their closed circuit network? Quite the work of fiction.

SKIP
But public records show contractors in here for months installing it, it’s state of the art!

MCGRATH
Oh, it’s state of the art all right. Except there’s only one camera in the whole building.

SFX - CLICK. SKIP GASPS

SKIP
A center field camera trained on the catcher!

MCGRATH
Yep. This whole system is designed to let the Turkey Vultures steal their opponent’s signs.

SKIP
Woonsocket must have been Native American for ‘lousy cheaters’. Is nothing sacred!

MCGRATH
Well, churros are pretty good.

SFX - CRACK! SOMEONE ON THE FILED HITS A HOME RUN. THE CROWD CHEERS.

MCGRATH
Hey. At least the cheating is working. The Turkey Vultures are smacking pretty boy around like a pinata in anger management class. Hoo just gave up another home run.

SKIP
Another? What’s the score?

MCGRATH
Let’s turn up Bowden and see.

BOWDEN(on the radio)
-- here's the throw! And wallop! Listen to the pigskin hit that rubber! It’s over the wall and now it’s 26-0 in favor of Woonsocket!

SKIP
Something’s not right. Hoo is the best pitcher in Korea, he should be Bad News Bearsing the Turkey Vultures. Where’s my program?

SFX - PAGES SHUFFLE

SKIP
OK. This next batter is Julio Del Ruiz Castrada De Canasta. Last season he had a 515 slugging percentage against right handers.

MCGRATH
Is this that ‘authoritative number throwing’ you were talking about or does it mean something?

SKIP
It means Hoo should throw him curve balls inside. Look, the catcher is asking for a curve ball inside. But Hoo’s shaking his head...

SFX - CRACK! CHEERS!

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (on the radio)
OHHHHH GRANNYPANTS he put the hammer down and slapped little Black-Eyed Suzie to the Pacific Ocean and back!

SKIP
He threw a fast ball outside and gave up another home run! Hoo is purposely throwing this game!

MCGRATH
But why fly seven thousand miles just to serve up batting practice to the gang that couldn’t hit straight?

SKIP
One mystery at a time. First we need to find Gloria and Jambo--

JAMBO
We found you.

MCGRATH
AHHH! STOP THAT!

SKIP
Good lord, Colonel, how did you disguise yourself as a fire door?!

GLORIA (with a slight metal echo)
It’s surprisingly simple!

SKIP
Gha, Gloria, where are you?!

GLORIA (metal echo)
In the heating ducts! Colonel Jambo’s really good at teaching this stuff! He says I can overcome any obstacle as long as I put my mind to it!

JAMBO
I said as long as you put a mine through it. But your way works too.

SKIP
How’s the reconnaissance going?

JAMBO
We found Boris Kuznetsov, boss of the kidnapping consortium Zoy Pohititeli, hiding in the crowd.

SKIP
WHAT? Where is he now?

GLORIA (metal echo)
Unconscious in the equipment room.

JAMBO
He got Jambo’d.

MCGRATH
You practice that, don’t you?

GLORIA (metal echo)
Kuznetsov also had this on him!

MCGRATH
Gloria, you’re still in the ducts.

GLORIA (metal echo)
Right! Can somebody open this vent?

SFX - BANG BANG CLICK. EMILE LETS OUT A CRY. GLORIA DROPS IN TO THE ROOM.

GLORIA
Thanks, Emile. Skip, this is what we found on Kuznetsov.

SKIP
A Morse Code key?

JAMBO
Korean Morse.

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (over radio)
Some of the broadcasters nearby have pointed out that Hoo is only he's only using two kinds of throws, a fast one and a curvy one, so from here on I promise to paint an even more descriptive picture than I’ve already been with the mellifluous tones of my voice--

SKIP
Two pitches? Hoo usually throws three... wait. McGrath, can we rewind this tape?

MCGRATH
Sure, but why?

SKIP
There might be more to Jung-sshi than meets the eye...

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Now the... man-for-all-seasons... gives the ball back to the biiiiig poppa, and here's the throw, and... I think the angry bystander behind the catching-man said strike. Oh! I know that one! Ten pins! Well the crowd is absolutely bonkers with anticipation as the next man... trolleys up to the ol’ sack of potatoes and... here’s a throw, it’s the curvy kind, and a big hit up to the guy in the back middle field... A THIRD CATCH! And everyone gives up and runs away...

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (over the radio)
The Turkey Vultures are sitting back down, but the numbers board says they’re up 27 to 1, so, good for them--

SKIP
Hoo’s pitches to end the first: fastball, fastball, curve.

MCGRATH
OK, so assuming you’re right that a fast ball is a dot and a curve is a dash, Hoo’s first inning pitches spell out... SX7 FLEET POST.

SKIP
What could that mean? Fleet? Ships? And what’s SX7? Maybe we’re barking up the wrong tree--

JAMBO
What’s your gut tell you, agent?

SKIP
That we should have gotten churros.

MCGRATH
THANK you!

JAMBO
Not your stomach, your gut! The part of you that’s learned from every painful failure in the field! The part that tingles when you know the mercenaries are planning to take off from the airfield you’ve been watching for days! The part that tells you when the monkey in the next tree is looking at you like you’re banana substitute!

GLORIA
WHAT GOES ON IN NORTH KOREA!?!

SKIP
My gut tells me we’re onto something... but the data!

JAMBO
THE HELL WITH THE DATA!

SKIP
QUIET! THE DATA WILL HEAR YOU!

JAMBO
Trust your gut, Agent! Are we onto something?

SKIP
I... I...

JAMBO
I’M TOO WORKED UP, SAY IT TO THE SKINK!

SKIP
Yes! We’re onto something! Something about SXZ FLEET POST.

MCGRATH
I’ve started decoding the second inning, the next word is CEREMONY. SX7 FLEET POST CEREMONY...

GLORIA
There’s a ceremony after the game!

MCGRATH
SX7 Fleet... hold on...

SFX - MCGRATH TAPS AT A KEYBOARD

MCGRATH
I was right! SX7 Fleet is a rental car license plate, registered to an Avis in Providence!

SKIP
That’s why Hoo kept ignoring the catcher in the first two innings... he had to throw the right pitches to send this message!

GLORIA
He’s trying to tell the kidnappers what rental car he’ll be in after the game!

MCGRATH
Hoo is helping plan his own post-game kidnapping!

SKIP
What inning is it?

SFX - CLICK, the radio comes back on

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (over comms)
The eighth inning is over, only one to go, I’m pretty sure...

SKIP
Colonel, does Boris Kuznetsov ever work alone?

JAMBO
He doesn’t go to the bathroom without his crew covering his ass. Which is a hell of a sight in a Starbucks.

SKIP
We can’t let this game end until we’ve found the rest of Kuznetsov’s kidnappers. Gloria, Jambo, start scouring the stadium. McGrath, it’s snapface time. I need the face on this baseball card.

MCGRATH
Who’s Danny Hobart?

SKIP
A Turkey Vulture relief pitcher.

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Hoo mowed down those last three batters like a hot knife through  Kimchi. Which reminds me, some of you kids may not remember a show on PBS a few years ago, Acquaintances, similar to Friends but better acted, one whole episode revolved around kimchi...This is interesting, the Turkey Vultures are changing throwers. I guess that’s a thing you can do. Coming on is number sixty nine, Danny Hobart!

SFX - HIS COMMS BUZZES

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Uh, excuse me listening audience, I feel a coughing fit coming on...

SFX - BOWDEN CLEARS HIS THROAT

BOWDEN
Gloria, what is it?

GLORIA (on comms)
OK, you need to know who’s really coming in to pitch...

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION

SKIP
OK Skip, deep breaths. Keep this game going for as long as possible. Hopefully the ol’ ‘Granger special’ isn’t too much for these guys...

SFX - CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! QUICK TRANSITION TO THE BROADCAST BOOTH

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Well, so far Hobart has thrown the ball five times, and the Korean team has hit it over the wall five times. Now I’m starting to wonder just how many extra balls they have lying around this place...

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION TO THE BOWELS OF THE STADIUM

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (over the radio)
Gotta wonder if the Turkey Vultures coaches are happy with this turn of events....

JAMBO
I don’t know, coach, got anything to say about it?

REAL COACH (Tries to talk throuhg his gag)
M-hmm-mrmmr-wmmmm-hmmmM!

JAMBO
What about you, real Danny Hobart?

DANNY HOBART (also GAGGED)
M-hmm-mrmmr-wmmmm-hmmmM!

GLORIA
Jambo, stop taunting them! They’re not going anywhere. Now, are Kuznetsov’s gang of kidnappers as good as you are at concealment?

JAMBO
Better. They once had a clandestine meeting in a sushi bar. Every one of them was disguised as a different roll.

GLORIA
So they won’t expose themselves until absolutely necessary.

JAMBO
Is there a sushi bar in this stadium? I’LL KILL ALL THE SUSHI!

GLORIA
Jambo, quiet your instincts and think! If you were a world class kidnapper and you needed to stay concealed until the last possible minute...

JAMBO
But I had just found out where I needed to be to pull off the job...

GLORIA AND JAMBO
VALET PARKING!

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION BACK TO THE PITCHER’S MOUND. CRACK!

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (on radio)
And now one of the Woonsocket coaches is making a visit to the little hill...

MCGRATH
Wow, Bowden’s right. These masks are hot. Skip, everyone in the dugout is getting suspicious.

SKIP
Gotta keep the game going, McGrath, it’s the only way to stop whatever Hoo’s planning.

MCGRATH
Everyone in both dugouts. Hoo’s been eyeing you very strangely.

SKIP
Really? I think I’m settling in.

MCGRATH
You’ve given up twenty three consecutive home runs, Skip.

SKIP
In my defense, one bounced off the center fielder’s head.

MCGRATH
Well, here’s the thing. Gloria just radioed on comms. Jambo thinks the kidnappers won’t show themselves until the game’s about to end.

SKIP
So... we need to start getting these guys out?

MCGRATH
Exactly. I’m going to pull you for an actual pitcher and we can--

SKIP
McGrath, please. I... I think I can do this.

MCGRATH
The data disagrees.

SKIP
The hell with the data.

SFX - MCGRATH PUTS THE BALL BACK IN SKIP’S MITT

MCGRATH
The hell with the data.

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (on the radio)
And the Turkey Vultures are making a bold choice, leaving Hobart in the game. Feels like the equivalent of Joel Schumacher giving Chris O’Donnell a second crack at Robin, not that I’ve a personal axe to grind there or anything...

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION TO THE PARKING LOT

GLORIA
Jambo, here it is! SX7 Fleet! This must be Hoo’s rental car!

JAMBO
If Skip’s right, then we’re surrounded by master kidnappers.

GLORIA
All I see are Teslas!

JAMBO
They love Teslas.

SFX - WHOOSH! SMACK!

GLORIA
Nice catch, Jambo! What is it?

JAMBO
Silica gel. The enemy is nigh.

SFX - A HUGE FIST FIGHT ENSUES - QUICK TRANSITION TO THE PITCHER’S MOUND

SKIP
All the stats say I should pitch this guy inside. But my gut says outside fastball. All right, gut. Let’s see what you’ve got.

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (on the radio)
And here’s Hobart’s next throw...

SFX - CRACK

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (on the radio)
And it’s hit pretty far... but higher than the last 23 balls...

SFX - CHEERS THAT KEEP GOING

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (on the radio)
The guy in the corner caught it! Is that...  Yes, it’s an out! The first one Hobart’s managed! Well, good for him! This game has taken a turn for the somewhat dramatic now, with the score 27 to 25. But Danny Hobart has his first out, and man oh man are the fans behind him!

SKIP
This guy eats up fastballs. Let’s throw him one.

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (on the radio)
Another high one, but the guy in the other corner moves under it...Another out!

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION TO THE PARKING LOT. THE FIGHT RAGES.

JAMBO
BATTLE ROAR! BATTLE ROAR!

GLORIA
Jambo, This isn’t war, it’s Woonsocket! You’ve incapacitated all of the kidnappers!

JAMBO
I’ve taken it too far... again... this is what Emile’s always warning me about...
(he begins to sob) I have no sense of proportion... It all stems from my toilet training issues, I know this deep down...

GLORIA
Wait! There’s one kidnapper left!

JAMBO
THIS ISN’T THE LIFE I WANTED FOR YOU EMILE!

GLORIA
JAMBO! HE’S COMING FOR US! TIME TO BLOW THINGS OUT OF PROPORTION!

JAMBO
MY SELF-IMAGE IS THE GREATEST IMPEDIMENT TO MY OWN HEALING!

GLORIA
Oh for the love of--HIII-YA!

SFX -GLORIA KNOCKS OUT THE KIDNAPPER

JAMBO
Wow. You’ve got a lot of pent up hostility, lady.

GLORIA
Skip! The kidnappers are incapacitated! We did it!

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION BACK TO THE PITCHER’S MOUND

SKIP
Not yet we haven’t.

BOWDEN AS MILSAP
Two outs, Hobart trying to pull victory from the jaws of defeat from the jaws of victory... and coming up to hit is none other than Jung-hoon-Hoo!

SKIP
Uh-oh. He looks especially angry...

MCGRATH (over comms)
He received some sort of message in his dugout before he came to the on deck circle, Skip. There’s a good chance he knows the jig is up.

SKIP
No time to worry about that. This is one day Hoo will not be on first.

SFX - SKIP GRUNTS AND PITCHES. SMACK! EVERYTHING SLOWS DOWN

SKIP (Slow Motion Effect)
Huh. Time appears to have slowed... probably because there’s a line drive coming straight at my face. Wait. HOLY SH--!

SFX - A BALL SMACKS INTO A MITT. THE CROWD GOES NUTS!

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (on the radio)
HOBART CAUGHT IT! It was pure survival instinct, because that ball was going to send his head all the way to Providence, but Hobart caught it AND THE VULTURES WIN!

SFX - QUICK TRANSITION BACK TO THE PARKING LOT

GLORIA
Skip did it! He made the final three outs of the game!

JAMBO (still sobbing)
AND IN THE FIFTH GRADE ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS PLAY THE OBOE! BUT NO! I HAD TO GO OUT FOR WRESTLING!

GLORIA
Ohhh, we’re gonna be here a while.

SFX - TRANSITION MUSIC BACK TO THE FIELD. FANS CHEERING. A PHONE BUZZES.

SKIP (quietly)
Oh, my new phone! Section Chief Anders! You got my message!

ZELDA (over phone)
I did, Agent Granger. You were absolutely right. Our North Korean office pressured their contacts, and found out Hoo was planning his own kidnapping in the hopes of fomenting an international incident to embarrass the United States.

MCGRATH
Ha! We’re the United States, we require no assistance embarrassing ourselves!

ZELDA (over phone)
Good job, Agent Granger. Though I do have one word of advice.

SKIP
What’s that?

ZELDA (over phone)
Work on your leg kick. You should be getting five more miles per hour on your fastball. Anders out.

SFX - CLICK

MCGRATH
You did it, Agent Granger.

SKIP
And I owe it all to an undercover operative who talks to a skink.

MCGRATH
There’s a lesson there.

SKIP
As soon as you figure out what it is, please let me know.

BOWDEN AS MILSAP (Over the PA)
Here to present the key to the city to the Korean National Team, Woonsocket’s Mayor Macklestein!

WOONSOCKET MAYOR
As Mayor of Woonsocket city, in the county and the... hey, excuse me!

SFX - A KERFUFFLE AT THE PODIUM

JAMBO
People of Woonsocket! Today, heroes struck a victory of freedom! Not on the base paths, but in the shadows, fighting for our liberties in a great game with no trophies!

MUSIC: PATRIOTIC MUSIC BEGINS TO PLAY UNDER JAMBO’S SPEECH

JAMBO
We should never forget these heroes of our nation’s true struggle...

GLORIA
Where’s that music coming from?

MCGRATH
I spotted speakers in his lapels, I think he carries it with him.

JAMBO
... like we’ve forgotten those captured by our enemies long ago!

BOWDEN
I get the sense this might go on.

JAMBO
... men who sweat blood while covered in muck, dreaming of finding a way home to a country who loves them as much as they love it!

SKIP
Should... we... just... go?

MCGRATH
Only if we can get churros on the way.

MUSIC: END TITLES

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

It starred Chris Klaniecki as Skip Granger, Nazli Sarpkaya as Mackenzie Mcrath, 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, Jill Ivey as Gift Shop Employee and Interpreter, and Bob Killion as Ron Jambo and The Admiral.

Korean translation and voices by Edward Bong. Music, sound editing and mixing by Pete Barry.

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @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 2020 Extraordinary Missions Limited.

MUSIC FADES

SFX -WE HEAR CRICKETS IN THE BACKGROUND. JAMBO IS STILL TALKING.

JAMBO
But as he fought drug runners and terrorists from Mongolia to Kashmir, he came to realize how much his mother had actually loved him! How she’d sacrificed to send him to schools with the best ROTC programs! How she’d scrimp and save to make sure there was always enough silica gel for him to--

GROUNDSKEEPER
Hey bud, almost done? Everyone’s gone home, we need to power down the lights.

JAMBO
These words need sayin’.

GROUNDSKEEPER
You do you, pal. Oh by the way, a shipment of jerseys just came in, I got about a thousand packets of silica gel I’m about to toss.

JAMBO
I’ve said what needs to be said. Let’s roll.

MUSIC: STINGER

SFX - SKINK CRY