Mission Rejected

304: The Legend of Zelda

Episode Summary

Section Chief Zelda Anders is haunted by memories of her first case...and Special Agent Chet Phillips is playing video games.

Episode Notes

Section Chief Zelda Anders is haunted by memories of her first case...and Special Agent Chet Phillips is playing video games.

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
Jill Ivey as Harley
and Bob Killion as Hightower and The Admiral

Guest Starring
Eric Werner as Balthazar Montcrief
Pete Barry as Bud
Shannon Perry as Atlas
J. Michael DeAngelis as Royce Blayton
Dave Serfass as Sandy Bottoms
John Dowgin as Link Lynell
and Sarah Rhea Werner as Pat

"Oceanology Hymn" and "Chain Breaker"
Music by Pete Barry
Lyrics by J. Michael DeAngelis

Music, sound editing and mixing by Pete Barry

A complete transcript of this episode is available here.

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

Episode Transcription

INT. THE ADMIRAL’S BROADCAST ROOM

MUSIC: "There's No Place Like Home" on a rustic violin.

BALTHAZAR
And now, another tale from Lake Woebegotten, as told by Admiral H.R.R. Fletcher.

ADMIRAL
All is not well on Lake Woebegotten this evening, as word spreads that Chester Pilsbury, the town banker, has died. As the sun sets on Lake Woebegotten tonight, the people feel a loss - perhaps one that they can’t articulate. But even those who didn’t know Chester Pilsbury carried a part of him with them. Why, he was the smile on a newborn baby. He was that extra donut Baker Dan snuck you on Sundays. He was the bark of a happy puppy you unboxed on Christmas Day. He was, quite literally, the 3% interest on your 39 year mortgage. Yes, the people of Lake Woebegotten sit in a somber stillness tonight, wondering if that puppy is going to be as happy tomorrow, if the donuts will be stale, or if the baby will leave a surprise in their diaper. In that silence, a single voice cries out from the darkness - “BECOME ONE WITH THE OCEAN” The cry of Zeerox. All is right in the world.

SFX: A record scrathch

BALTHAZAR
That’s all the time we have for tonight, Admiral. Thank you once again for bestowing your light and knowledge upon us. We who are not worthy to grovel at your feet shall never forget it from this day until the end of the world! We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...we who -

ADMIRAL
That’s enough, Balthazar. Sing the song.

BALTHAZAR
And now let us all raise our voices and become one with the ocean!

MUSIC: Oceanology hymn plays on the organ.

BALTHAZAR
(Sings)
Oh lift me up on mighty waters!
Let's your tentacles stretch ever round!

SFX: A radio is switched off.

INT. BASEMENT

SFX: 8-bit video adventure game being played.

ATHENA
Sorry, Balthazar. I’d never tell Bowden, but you are definitely the WORST Montcrief. Though I guess that’s like picking the worst plague.

SFX: Door opens and Chet comes down the stairs.

CHET (Calling behind him, in his Mr. Hooper voice)
Now, you just remember, Skip, tell Mackenzie to stop putting corn dogs down the garbage disposal with the sticks still in them and you’ll be just fine.

SFX: Door shuts.

CHET (Normal voice)
Athena, I got it! I had to pretend I was there to replace the garbage disposal and...are you playing a video game?

ATHENA
Not just any old game, a classic! Even my dad liked playing this one. I found it in Skip’s storage. Who would have guessed Granger was an old school gamer?

CHET
Listen, I got Muldrake’s latest mission tape! We can get a head start - find out what the connection is to the Admiral and then -

ATHENA
And then discover Extraordinary Mission Dorks have already beaten us to it. I’m over it, Chet.

CHET
So you’re just going to play video games while the Admiral rules the world and Muldrake has your father?

ATHENA
No. I’m going to play video games until I come up with a better plan.

SFX: Video game sounds, text coming across the screen.

ATHENA
Digdogger hates certain kind of sound? Is that supposed to be some sort of clue?

CHET
You do you. I’m taking this mission.

ATHENA
Eat my sword, you disgusting rock booger!

SFX: Tape starts

MISSION VOICE (On tape)
Good evening Agent Granger. Reynard Muldrake requests you report ASAP to Riksförbund Municipal Arena in Sweden -  

CHET
Finally, something that sounds exciting!

MISSION VOICE
...where a bevy of well trained show rabbits await your inspection.

SFX: Drone clicks off.

CHET
Rabbits? I think this Reynard Muldrake fox is off their rocker. What do rabbits have to do with The Admiral? They can’t even swim. (Beat) Can they? Athena, help me out here.

ATHENA
Can I - just for right now, not worry about Reynard Muldrake or Skip Granger or The Admiral or missions or worry about my father and just...play my game?

CHET
Can I play too?

ATHENA
Fine.

CHET
Can we play Contra?

ATHENA
Rejected.

MUSIC: 8-BIT THEME SONG

MISSION VOICE
Mission: Rejected. The story of the world’s most secret agents...the backups. Tonight’s episode: The Legend of Zelda.

INT. SWEEDISH HOTEL

MUSIC: “BABY WHALE” played in the traditional Swedish way!

SFX: CURTAINS BEING PULLED OPEN

SKIP
Oh my goodness, we’re in Sweden! Gosh, Section Chief, look at that view! Is that Kebnekaise?

ZELDA
I don’t know, Skip. I’m not up on my Swedish mountains. At the moment, I’m trying to figure out how five people are going to share one hotel bed.

SKIP
It’s our financial reality, Chief. Be glad I had enough frequent flyer miles to fly us commercial. I had to find cheaper alternatives for the others.

ZELDA
Well, I’m going to use the Little Section Chief’s room before I have to share that too.

SFX: Zelda goes into the bathroom and shuts the door. The hotel phone rings. Skip picks up.

SKIP
Hello?

MULDRAKE
You’re late.

SKIP
Oh! Mister, Mrs., Miss or Preferred Identifier Muldrake! How did you know what room I’d be in?

MULDRAKE
You’re late, Granger! You now have less than an hour to complete this mission.

SKIP
We had to fly to Sweden! Cheaply! I had to connect through five different states, a Canadian province, London, and Prague! If you need us to be here earlier, a little assistance would have been nice. You strike me as someone with access to, like, I dunno private jets?

MULDRAKE
Private jets are for closers. Complete the mission and we’ll talk.

SKIP
Not for nothing, but what does this mission have to do with The Admiral?

MULDRAKE
Yours is not to reason why, yours is but to do...or die. I see the big picture, Granger. Your little mind isn’t ready to make these connections.

SKIP
You know, I don’t feel like we’re really bonding as shadowy agents of justice. Maybe if we could meet for lunch? Or coffee? It’s just that trust is a two way street...you know?

SFX: Bathroom door opening.

SKIP
OH! Gotta go. Bye...uh...mom. Love you.

MULDRAKE
Don’t let me down, Granger.

SFX: Skip hangs up

ZELDA
Were you just speaking to your mother?

SKIP
Ah...no. Wrong number. But she seemed like she needed some sonly love.

SFX: A KNOCK AT THE DOOR

SKIP
Oh good, the rest of team!

ZELDA
I can’t wait to get...cozy.

SFX: DOOR OPENS

SKIP
Välkommen till Sverige! Come in! Come in! I hope your flight was excellent.

BOWDEN
FLIGHT? Skip, you’re lucky we’re alive. That plane was looking to crash harder than Rosanne’s career.

MACKENZIE
No kidding. Skip, I know money is tight but an UnterEATS plane to SWEDEN? I don’t think that kid’s pilot’s license was even valid.

SKIP
Now, now, McGrath, we need to be supportive of our fellow gig economy freelancers.

MACKENZIE
Next time, I’m asking Phillipe to send his sky taxi for me.

BOWDEN
You’re still in touch with him?

MACKENZIE
He’s in my DMs.

SFX: SHE HANDS SKIP A BAG, TO HIS DELIGHT

GLORIA
Alright, let’s look on the bright side. We’re in Sweden! On a mission! Miss McGrath, the slide projector!

MACKENZIE
Oh. Was I supposed to pack that?

SKIP
Don’t worry, Gloria. I noticed it was still on the coffee table when I left.

SFX: PROJECTOR ON

BOWDEN
Never touch someone else’s props!

ZELDA
Enough. Let’s brief.

SKIP
You’re looking at the Riksförbund Municipal Arena, home of the yearly Kaninhoppning competition.

BOWDEN
This doesn’t have anything to do with Dean Caine, does it? If so, do restraining orders issued in LA apply in Stockholm?

SKIP
Kaninhoppning is the up and coming sport of rabbit show jumping.

MACKENZIE
NOPE. There is no way this has anything to do with Oceanology.

SKIP
Ours is not to question why, McGrath. Reynard Muldrake insists everything is connected. Even if we can’t see it yet.

MACKENZIE
Just like I can’t see the view out of our apartment because you blacked out all the windows. (Silence) That's right. You have nothing to say.

SKIP
Moving on. Today, the current champion, Rabbit DeNiro, is defending against up and comer Bunny Ellish. The Swedes have it on good authority that a militant arm of PETA is planning to explode a -

SFX: The rustling of a newspaper.

ZELDA
Oh my God.

SKIP
I didn’t even say what the plan was yet.

ZELDA
Is this today’s newspaper?

BOWDEN
Yes, I picked it up at the airport. What’s going on, Zel?

ZELDA
Gannon is dead.

BOWDEN
No!

ZELDA
Agent Granger, I trust you have things from here. I have to get back to the states.

SKIP
Is everything alright, Chief?

ZELDA
Just save the damn rabbits.

SFX: ZELDA LEAVES IN A HURRY.

MACKENZIE
What was THAT all about? Even for Zelda that was...curt.

GLORIA
Bo, what’s going on?

BOWDEN
That’s a long story. One I’ve only heard from Pat. Zelda doesn’t like to talk about it.

MACKENZIE
What does Zelda like to talk about?

SKIP (Reading the paper)
Looks like he died shortly after escaping from prison. It says here Gannon was a foreign operative.

BOWDEN
It was Zelda’s first case. The job that landed her at the EMF. Not even one year out of college.

MACKENZIE
When was that, the dark ages?

BOWDEN
Worse. It was the 80s.

MUSIC: HOLY SHIT, IT’S THE 80s!

BOWDEN
Ah, the 80s. 1987 to be exact. Regan ruled the land, Leonard Nimoy ruled the box office, and Emanuel Lewis ruled our hearts as “Webster”. Back then, our Section Chief was fresh out of college and pursuing her dreams.

FLASHBACK: INT. CLUB EDISON - DAY

SFX: THE BUZZ OF A GUITAR BEING CONNECTED TO AN AMP.

ZELDA
One. Two. ONE TWO THREE FOUR!

MUSIC: HOLY SHIT, ZELDA IS A PUNK ROCK GODDESS.

ZELDA (Sings)
Mamma didn’t love me
Daddy loved me too much
The man’s got me down
Makes me wanna kick and punch!
I’M A RULER BREAKER! CHAIN SHAKER!
BAD MOTHER -

BUD
Alright, alright, that’s enough!

MUSIC: STOPS

ZELDA
What the HELL, Bud? You said we could do a sound check.

BUD
Consider yourself checked, Zelda. Now if you and Rats Domino wouldn’t mind, there are tables to set before we open.

ZELDA
We’re called Rat’s Dominion and you damn well know it. What’s the point of setting tables when they’re all going to be flipped over an hour from now?

BUD
I run a classy establishment. Now, would you like to earn your pay or not?

ZELDA
Ugh, fine. Harley, why don’t you see if you can boost the bass on that amp while I do this.

HARLEY
Check.

ZELDA
Atlas, you’re sounding good on the drums, but it sounds like you’re just falling into the high hat.

ATLAS
(PRIMAL ROAR)

ZELDA
And Hightower, would you please go over those chord progressions on your synth, they sound like a dying cat and not in a good way.

HIGHTOWER
Oh redo my cord progressions? Eeww. Heavy.

PRESENT DAY: SWEDEN

MACKENZIE
WAIT. You’re telling me Zelda was in a PUNK band?

BOWDEN
Rat’s Dominion ruled the midnight college radio scene of Arlington, Virginia!

SKIP
This is fascinating, but there’s a rabbit about to explode...

MACKENZIE
Keep your pants on, Skip.

BOWDEN
There’s always time for a good story.

GLORIA
Not if the rabbit is nuclear!

BOWDEN
Fine, we’ll walk and talk. Now, where was I? Oh yes. For a young Zelda Anders, fate was about to open the door...

FLASHBACK: CLUB EDISON

SFX: DOOR OPENS

ZELDA
Go away. We don’t open for another hour.

PAT
Oh, I’m sorry, I was just hoping I could get a cup of coffee.

ZELDA
Coffee? In the Anarchy Lounge?

PAT
Oh. Your sign says Club Edison - Coffee, Tea, and Sophisticated Conversation.

ZELDA
BUD!!

BUD
WHAAAAAT? Oh! A customer, hello! You want coffee? I’ve got coffee! Would you like a cappuccino? I’m dying to try out this new contraption I got.

ZELDA
Since when do we have coffee? And what’s with this Club Edison business?

BUD
Listen, Zelda, I was going to tell you after your set. It’s time for a change. Starting tomorrow, no more punk.

ZELDA
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Bud, that MTV scout is supposed to come this weekend.

BUD
Zelda, you’ve been saying that every weekend for a month. Maybe MTV has figured out what I already know - the punk is dead. Coffee is the future.

PAT
MMM. I can get behind that.

ZELDA
(RAGE)

PAT
Not that t I don’t love punk. Rat’s Dominion is my favorite band! Your anger really makes me...happy.

ZELDA
Who ARE you?

PAT
Oh, where are my manners? Pat Rose! We’ve actually met before, though I don’t think we’ve ever spoken.

ZELDA
Wait a minute. You were in Professor Blayton’s Criminology class. You were the chatty one.

PAT
And you were the silent brooding one. I like silent and brooding.

ZELDA (Flustered)
I gotta get this place ready to open. Enjoy your coffee.

PAT
I think I’ll stay for the show! Sounds like this might be my last chance to see you live.

ZELDA
Show’s not till 9.

PAT
That’s okay, I’m actually supposed to meet Royce here to discuss something.

ZELDA
Royce?

PAT
Professor Blayton.

ZELDA
You call him ROYCE?

PAT
Why shouldn’t I? It’s his name.

ZELDA
Oh my God, is he like...your boyfriend?

PAT (Laughs)
Oh my gosh no! That would be all kinds of wrong.

ZELDA
No kidding.

PAT
Also, I’m a lesbian.

ZELDA
WOAH! GEEZ! Keep your voice down.

PAT
I’m not ashamed of who I am. You don’t have to be either.

ZELDA
I...I’m not...I gotta get back to work. Like I said, enjoy your coffee - and keep your voice down, Bud is an old fashioned guy with old fashioned ideas...

BUD
And a magnificent lover named Ken.

PAT
Awww!

BUD
Here’s your coffee, sweetheart.

PAT
Thank you.

BUD
Honestly, Zelda, read the room.

PAT
I have to confess. I told Professor Blayton to meet me here specifically so I could see you. I asked Harley if you were seeing anyone.

ZELDA
You know Harley?

PAT
She’s in my D&D game.

ZELDA
What the f-

SFX: DOOR OPENS AND IN COMES PROF. BLAYTON - JOYFUL BUT BUMBLING.

BLAYTON
Ah! This is it!

PAT
Hi, Royce!

BLAYTON
Hello, Miss Rose. Didn’t this place used to be called The Head Space?

ZELDA
Apparently Bud likes to change with the times.

BLAYTON
Miss Anders! What a pleasant surprise.

ZELDA
Professor.

BLAYTON
Long time no see. The purple Mohawk suits you. Barkeep? Gin and tonic for me, a sea breeze for the charming Miss Rose and a shot of vodka for the lass with the purple Mohawk.

ZELDA
Make it a double.

BUD
Coming right up.

ZELDA
Well, nice to see you, Professor Blayton, but if you’ll excuse me I have to finishing getting ready for the show. Thanks for the shot.

PAT
Actually, Zelda, I wasn’t entirely honest - Royce here would actually like to speak with you.

ZELDA
Me?

BLAYTON (Suddenly very serious)
Yes. It’s about the Russians.

PRESENT DAY: SWEDEN

SFX: In the background, Skip and Gloria try in vain to sort rabbits.

MACKENZIE
The Russians? Oh come on, Bowden, this is the most cliched 80s story ever.

BOWDEN
Cliches exist for a reason. 1987 was a tense time. The nation on edge from nuclear proliferation, mutually assured destruction, and the unresolved cliffhanger finale of “Benson” the year before.

MACKENZIE
HOW OLD ARE YOU?

BOWDEN
According to IMDB Pro, I’m 23 and always will be.

SKIP
Gloria! Is this Rabbit DeNiro or Bunny Ellish? I CAN NOT TELL THEM APART!

GLORIA
Oh no, I think it’s Marilyn Bunroe! We have to find the right rabbit before the final show jumping round! Bowden, Skip and I will take the longhairs. You and Miss McGrath take the cottontails.

BOWDEN
Rodger that. Gives me an opportunity to resume our story. Now, where was I? Ah yes, the mysterious Professor Blayton...

FLASBACK: CLUB EDISON

BLAYTON
Miss Anders, you are about to be brought into a very small circle. In order to do that, I need to have assurance from you that you will never repeat what I tell you. You don’t have to agree with what I say, but I need you to respect it’s secrecy. Pat believes we can trust you. Is she right?

ZELDA
What is all this?

PAT
Please, promise. It’s a secret to everybody.

ZELDA
Alright. I promise. Weirdos.

BLAYTON
I’m not only a professor of Criminology, I am also a recruiter for the CIA. Every year, I take the best and the brightest from my class and bring them to the farm. Like Pat.

ZELDA
You’re a CIA agent!?

PAT
Well. Agent-in-training.

BLAYTON
I had my eye on you, too, Zelda. You were one of the sharpest students I ever had, but your counterculture affiliations made you a tough sell. However, right now, that’s exactly what we need. Your bandmate, Leonard Gannon, has been selling government secrets to the highest bidder.

ZELDA
I don’t know anyone named Leonard.

PAT
He’s your synth player. Did you not know that?

ZELDA
Hightower?

BLAYTON
Yes, that is his codename. And codes are exactly what he specializes in. He delivers his information through music, sending out secret messages in the cord progressions. Rather ingenious.

ZELDA (Laughing)
This is a joke, right? Bud, am I on Candid Camera? Where’s Allen Funt?

BLAYTON
Oh, I wish this was one of TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes, Miss Anders, but it’s deadly serious.

PAT
For the most part, we’ve left Hightower alone. The information he was selling was mostly minor, and honestly, sitting in the audience of a Rat’s Dominion gig became the perfect training ground to spot foreign operatives.

BLAYTON
Your audience is a veritable who’s who of the spy world.

ZELDA
Bull. Our audience is hard core. And you know what? If Hightower really is selling government secrets - which he’s not - GOOD FOR HIM. Screw the government and screw the both of you.

PAT
It’s nuclear codes.

ZELDA
What?

BLAYTON
Mr. Gannon has come into possession of a set of nuclear codes. Codes, that in the wrong hands could expose vulnerabilities in our first strike systems.  It could mean the end of star wars.

PAT
Millions of people could die.

ZELDA
Why are you telling me this?

BLAYTON
We’d like you to stop him. Cancel the show.

ZELDA
NO! There’s an MTV scout coming this weekend.

PAT
Is it Kurt Loder? I love his no nonsense reporting.

BLAYTON
Then perhaps play a different set list. Some standards -

ZELDA
Standards?

BLAYTON

ZELDA
That’s it. I’ve had enough. Have your coffee and get out. Thanks for wasting my time, screws.

SFX: Zelda storms off.

BLAYTON
I knew this was a mistake. We’re going to have to go with the more drastic option.

PAT
Well, put the team in position, but give her a little time.

MUSIC: 8-BIT TRANSITION

INT. CLUB EDISON - BACKSTAGE

SFX: Harley tuning her bass as Zelda comes bursting in the room.

HARLEY
What’s up, Zel?

ZELDA
Are you in a Dungeons and Dragons game?

HARLEY
Totally. I am Navi, Elven Warrior!

ZELDA
Ugh. Do you know what Hightower’s real name is?

HARLEY
Leonard. Did you...not know that?

ZELDA
Where is he?

HARLEY
Think he’s having a smoke out back. Hey, you really think the MTV guy is coming?

ZELDA
I always think he’s really coming. Make that bass sing, Harley. Tonight’s the night.

SFX: Zelda goes out a backdoor and into

EXT. CLUB EDISON - BACK ALLEY - CONTINUOUS

BOTTOMS
Then we have an agreement, I’ll - (Noticing Zelda, he shuts up.)

HIGHTOWER
Oh hey, Zelda.

ZELDA
Who’s this?

HIGHTOWER
This is a big night, Zel! Let me introduce you to the talent scout for Rat Cage Records!

ZELDA
Talent scout? He looks like a friggin’ butler.

BOTTOMS
Every bit as charming as you said she’d be, Mr. Gannon.

ZELDA
Your name really is Leonard Gannon?

HIGHTOWER
Yeah. How...did you not know that?

BOTTOMS
Forgive me, where are my manners? Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Bottoms. Sandy Bottoms.

PRESENT DAY: SWEDEN

MACKENZIE
(HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER)

BOWDEN
What?

MACKENZIE
Sandy BOTTOMS? Bowden, is this a true story or the start of a really bad porno?

BOWDEN
McGrath, if you’re going to keep interrupting me, we might as well just be...uh, what is it we’re supposed to be doing with these bunnies?

MACKENZIE
I thought you knew!

BOWDEN
Well. Let’s hope none of these are the bomb.

MACKENZIE
Guess we’ll find out. Pretty soon.

A brief pause.

BOWDEN
Shall I continue?

MACKENZIE
Might as well.

BOWDEN
Excellent.

MACKENZIE
I always knew listening to one of your tales would kill me.

BOWDEN
It seems Sandy Bottoms had arrived with an offer Zelda couldn’t refuse...

FLASHBACK: CLUB EDISON

BOTTOMS
I’d like to offer you an exclusive contract with Rat Cage Records.

HIGHTOWER
Alright!

BOTTOMS
Naturally, we feel Rat’s Dominion is the perfect addition to our catalog.

SFX: He hands them a contract.

BOTTOMS
If you’ll just sign here.

HIGHTOWER
Yes, sir!

ZELDA
Wait, wait, wait. You’re just HANDING US a contract?

BOTTOMS
Your reputation in the scene proceeds you. The contract is, of course, contingent on my approval of tonight’s show. I’m particularly looking forward your song...I believe it’s called “Burn Everything.”

HIGHTOWER
OH YEAH. That one has a killer cord progression.

BOTTOMS
Delightful.

ZELDA
Mr. Bottoms -

BOTTOMS
Sandy. Please.

ZELDA
Sandy. Do you mind if I look this over? We need time to discuss it as a band.

BOTTOMS
Not at all, my dear lady, not at all. Shall I join you backstage after the show?

HIGHTOWER
Yeah! Come to this door, I’ll let you in.

BOTTOMS
Capital, Mr. Gannon. I think I’ll go find myself a seat at the bar. Does this establishment serve a Pimm’s Cup?

ZELDA
Well, sort of. Instead of Ginger Ale, Bud uses Jolt Cola.

BOTTOMS
Capital. Well. Break legs.

SFX: He goes off.

ZELDA
Hightower, what the hell is going on? Who was that man?

HIGHTOWER
Sandy? He’s a talent scout! What is with you today?

ZELDA
I just had the STUPIDEST conversation with a couple of suits from the university. They’ve got me all worked up.

HIGHTOWER
I told you. All going to that school got you was a pile of debt. Which you shouldn’t pay back.

ZELDA
They tend to come after you if you don’t.

HIGHTOWER
For awhile, but eventually the school will just sell off your debt to a collection agency and they’ll sell it to another and then another. Pretty soon, they’ve written you off. And you’ve got yourself a free bachelor of arts in criminology. Yeah, I take it back. Going to school is a great con.

ZELDA (Laughing)
The punk life, huh?

HIGHTOWER
The punk life.

ZELDA
You know, those two suits had me half believing you’re an information broker.

HIGHTOWER (laughs)
What? No.

ZELDA (Laughing harder)
So stupid, right?

HIGHTOWER
You make it sound so classy. I’m a fence!

ZELDA
WHAT?

HIGHTOWER
I met a guy on the Anarchist’s BBS. Uses the handle “Hacks by Talon.” He’s gotta be a hacker or somebody DEEP in the government with an axe to grind. He feeds me the info, I sell it and I put half the money in an off-shore account for him, and I pocket the rest. Pretty rad scheme, right?

ZELDA
But selling info to the Russians...

HIGHTOWER
Whatever. I don't care. Russians. Chinese. Homegrown Anarchists. I’m agnostic. Go forth and destroy, comrades!

ZELDA
I get the sentiment. I just thought we’d change the world with our music.

HIGHTOWER
We still can. Sandy is going to hook us up. We get a record out there, we’re sure to get on MTV - then we’ll really start to get people’s attention!

ZELDA
And you’ll stop fencing information after that?

HIGHTOWER
I’m stopping tonight. Talon says he got shut out of the system. Guess they’re onto the hack. Tonight’s my last sale, but it’s a big one.

ZELDA
Don’t do it.

HIGHTOWER
Oh come on!

ZELDA
I don’t know that I’ve been told the whole truth, but if it’s half as bad as they made it sound... I think this information is too dangerous to sell. Lots of people could be killed.

HIGHTOWER
It’s a COLD war, Zelda! It’s just machismo and one-upmanship. You think the Russians don’t already have this info? They’re only buying it to see if it backs up what they already know.

ZELDA
What if you’re wrong?

HIGHTOWER
I can’t pass this money up. I’m in a bad spot.

ZELDA
You just said that after tonight, we’re set! Bottoms is going to make us all rich. So let’s get out there and get that record deal.

HIGHTOWER
We can’t.

ZELDA
What?

HIGHTOWER
Not if you want to go the high and mighty route. Bottoms will only sign us if we play “Burn Everything.” And that’s the song I coded the message into. We play it and the Russians get the codes. We don’t -

ZELDA
And no Sandy Bottoms.

PRESENT DAY: SWEDEN

MACKENZIE
No.

BOWDEN
Whaaat?

MACKENZIE
I’m sorry. Zelda has never ONCE in her life said the name Sandy Bottoms.

SKIP
McGrath!

MACKENZIE
JESUS.

SKIP
Do you know Sandy Bottoms?

MACKENZIE
Skip, you scared the hell out of me. Where have you been?

SKIP
Identifying which rabbit is the bomb. What have you two been doing?

BOWDEN
Oh. Same. Same.

SKIP
Come on, Gloria found the bomb! It’s Rabbit DiNiro! And he’s already at the gate for the final course. We have to stop him before he explodes! Follow me to the show jumping stage!

MACKENZIE
Bowden, do you ever get the feeling that some of these missions are made up just so Skip can indulge in his weird hobbies?

BOWDEN
Consistently.

FLASHBACK - CLUB EDISON - BACKSTAGE

SFX: The club has started to fill.

HARLEY
Looks like a hot crowd, Zel.

ZELDA
Is the MTV guy out there?

HARLEY
I dunno. What does he look like?

ZELDA
I dunno. Like a suit, I guess. But an MTV suit.

HARLEY
Mmmm...what about that guy at the bar talking to Bud?

ZELDA
Let me see. Ugh. No, that’s just Professor Blayton. You didn’t happen to see where Pat went did you?

HARLEY
OOOOOH! Do you think she’s cute? Cause she thinks you’re CU-TE.

ZELDA
Harley! She’s...alright, I guess. For a suit.

PAT
Well. A suit-in-training.

ZELDA
Jesus, don’t sneak up on people like that!

PAT
Sorry. It’s kind of the first lesson at spy school.

HARLEY
Huh?

PAT
Harley, will you excuse us a second?

HARLEY
Oh sure.

SFX: Harley goes off.

PAT
Big crowd tonight.

ZELDA
Rat’s Dominion is hot.

PAT
Have you spoken with Hightower?

ZELDA
Yes.

PAT
And?

ZELDA
There’s a big record scout in the audience, contract in hand. We’re playing the song.

PAT
A record scout, eh? Can you point him out? In the crowd?

ZELDA (Scanning the room)
Mmmm. Over there. At the opposite side of the bar from Blayton.

PAT (Laughs)
SANDY BOTTOMS?

ZELDA
How do you know the scout for Rat Cage Records?

PAT
That is not a record scout. That is MI-5’s man in Havana. He’s a spy, Zelda.

ZELDA
You’re lying.

PAT
Do you see that man in the front row? That’s Dimitri Koeing, KGB. Over there by the jukebox? That’s Kenny Tashahari, freelancer for the Japanese. Oh and right there? Coming of out the ladies’ room in the absolutely killer leather booths? Vera Sprang - German Intelligence. Back row, slick black hair? They just call him Bongo Bongo. Your audience is a who’s who of intelligence agents and black market buyers.

ZELDA

So you’re telling me that these people have only been coming to get stolen information from Hightower?

PAT
Yes. And if you don’t stop him...Sandy Bottoms will. The CIA can’t officially operate on US soil, but MI:5 can. He’ll take him out. He’ll take ALL of you out if he has to.

ZELDA
You know, Hightower is almost as dumb as you are.

PAT
What’s that supposed to mean?

ZELDA
Hightower is a stooge. He’s just passing on leaked information from hacks. Hacks BY TALON.

PAT
We know that. So?

ZELDA
So. We don’t have a first date till you figure it out.

SFX: Zelda walks away.

PAT
Oh heck yeah.

MUSIC: 8BIT TRANSITION

CLUB EDISON - BAR

BOTTOMS
Bud, I must tell you, this is truly the most unique Pimms Cup I have ever had. The Jolt Cola really gives it...a punch.

BUD
Wait till you hit the blue raspberry Pop Rocks at the bottom!

BLAYTON
Well, well, well. If it isn’t Bland, James Bland.

BOTTOMS
Oh, is Timothy Dalton here tonight? Ah, Royce, your savagely pedestrian humor never fails to disappoint. Unlike Ishtar. So much talent. So few laughs. Oh well, once again I seem to be cleaning up a mess for the Americans.

BLAYTON
Just make sure Hightower is eliminated. You may have to take out the rest of the band and some of the crowd. Otherwise it looks like a hit.

BOTTOMS
Yes, I do know how to do my bloody job. I thought yours was to talk to boy out of it.

BLAYTON
Seems my plucky trainee couldn’t deliver. Enjoy the drink. Bud - add this to my tab.

BUD
You got it.

BLAYTON
Boy, this is really expensive!

SFX: The crowd goes wild. Harley and Hightower come running out.

ZELDA
HELLO ANARACHY LOUNGE!

SFX: Cheers.

ZELDA
We’ve been told that starting tomorrow, Bud’s turning this place into a coffee house.

SFX: Boos

ZELDA
So, if you’re in the market for a grade A asshole...this Bud’s for you!

SFX: Laughter and cheers.

BUD (From the bar)
Very funny.

ZELDA
Atlas, kick it!

ATLAS
(PRIMAL ROAR)

MUSIC: Atlas SMASHES into the drums. Hightower starts playing on the synth. Harley kicks in on bass.

ZELDA (Aside to Hightower)
Listen. Don’t play the code. Bottoms is a spy, not a record agent. Do the right thing.  

HIGHTOWER (Aside)
Sorry, Zelda, turns out there’s something better than the punk life and it’s money.

ZELDA (Aside)
Just do an amazing set and MTV is gonna take care of us!

HIGHTOWER (Aside)
Wake up, Zelda. We’re never going to be on MTV. I’m doing this, so don’t stand in my way. Das vadanya, comrade.

MUSIC: Hightower starts playing his weird discordant tones again - the code.

ZELDA
SCREW YOU HIGHTOWER.

SFX: Zelda whacks Hightower with over the head with the mic stand.

HARLEY
STAGE FIGHT!

ATLAS
(PRIMAL ROAR)

SFX: Cheers as chaos explodes in the club. Furniture being thrown! A door is ripped off its hinge. Atlas and Harley keep playing through the chaos.

BUD
Hey! Pay me for the door repair charge!

PAT
I told you Zelda would come through.

BLAYTON
Well done, Pat. Well done indeed. Now I suggest we disappear.

PAT
I know it was you, Royce.

BLAYTON
Pardon?

PAT
You were the one feeding Hightower the information.

BLAYTON
Don’t be absurd.

PAT
The hacks were done “by Talon.” That’s a damn anagram of Blayton. How could I be so stupid not to see it?  

BLAYTON
Listen, Pat...

PAT
And then you roped me in to make sure he got taken out. You used me to clean up your mess.

BLAYTON
Now you listen to me. Hightower was just an asset. We needed to know who the buyers were for this information and now we do. And now he knows too much. It’s just the way we do business sometimes.

PAT
There’s NO WAY this was an authorized operation. What about all the money in the offshore account?

BLAYTON
You know, you are starting become a bigger problem than Hightower.

SFX: Blayton smashes a bottle against the bar and Pat gasps.

BLAYTON
Lucky for me, you’re about to die in a bar fight.

SFX: Gun cock.

BOTTOMS
Not so fast, professor.

BLAYTON
Bottoms!

BOTTOMS
Her majesty does love it when I bring her treats back from America. Especially one that’s broken the nuclear armistice agreement in a bey ways.

BLAYTON
You limey British bas -

SFX: Bottoms digs the gun into Blayton’s side.

BOTTOMS
Tut tut. Nice and gentle now, professor. Come on.

MUSIC: Transition

SFX: It’s a little later on. The bar fight has ended and the police are clearing the place out.

SECURITY GUY SR
Leonard Gannon you have the right to remain silent.

HIGHTOWER
What? I got arrested?

SECURITY GUY SR
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law...

HIGHTOWER
Aww. Heavy.

SFX: Hightower is lead off.

ZELDA
What’s going to happen to him?

PAT
If he cooperates, he’ll be put in protected custody in federal prison. Maybe witness protection if he can identify Professor Blayton as his source.

ZELDA
I guess we both lost friends tonight.

PAT
Well, they teach us not to make friends in this business. But he was my mentor.

ZELDA
Hightower wasn’t much of a friend, but he was a hell of a synth player.

MTV GUY
Excuse me, Zelda Anders?

ZELDA
Not now.

MTV GUY
It’s just that -

ZELDA
CAN’T YOU SEE I’M TALKING TO SOMEONE.

MTV GUY
I’m sorry to interrupt. My name is Link Lynel. I’m from MTV.

ZELDA
Oh screw you, NARC.

MTV GUY
Excuse me?

ZELDA
Atlas, grab him!

ATLAS
(PRIMAL ROAR)

SFX: Atlas puts him in a serious choke hold.

ZELDA
Who are you? FBI? DOD? Canadian Royal Mounted Police?

PAT
I think he’s...really MTV.

ZELDA (Letting him go)
OH MY GOD I AM SO SORRY.

MTV GUY
What is wrong with you? That was insane! And I’ve had dinner with Ozzy Ozborne!

BUD
Sorry, you have to excuse our Zelda. She’s had a rough day. Come on let me buy you a drink.

MTV GUY
Thanks.

BUD (As they walk away)
You know, I think music videos are dead. Have you ever thought about just following around some real people in the real world....

ZELDA
Oh, Atlas, I’m so sorry. I think I just blew your chance at stardom.

SFX: Atlas’s usual roar turns into a cough and now we hear her real voice for the first time - it’s HERMIONE PICKLE!

PICKLE
Oh, never mind all that. It was my father’s dream for me to be a punk drummer. All I ever wanted to be was a cartography expert. Goodbye, Zelda. Good luck with life and all that.

SFX: Pickle goes off, tripping over everything as she does.

ZELDA
I guess Rat’s Dominion won’t be changing the world.

PAT
But you still could. What you did tonight - it was selfless and amazing. The government needs more people like you and less people like Royce Blayton.

ZELDA
Let’s say - theoretically - that I joined up. Would I get to see more of you?

PAT
Theoretically...that would be very likely.

ZELDA
Then I think I’d like that. But Jesus, not the CIA. This cloak and dagger business, it’s not my style.

PAT
Zelda, I have no doubt you’re set for something extraordinary.

MUSIC: 8BIT TRANSITION

PRESENT DAY: SWEDEN

MACKENZIE
(Vomit Noise)

BOWDEN
Whaaat?

MACKENZIE
That line was so lame. Even saccharine sweet Pat wouldn’t have said that.

BOWDEN
I may have put a theatrical button on it, but it basically happened that way and, as you know, Pat and Zelda have been together ever since.

SFX: The crowd in the arena cheers. Skip and Gloria running up.

GLORIA
Oh my goodness, that was the most thrilling moment of my life!

SKIP
Gloria, you were amazing!

MACKENZIE
What did we miss?

SKIP
Gloria just ran Rabbit DeNiro through the entire show jumping course WHILE defusing the bomb he was carrying!

GLORIA
When he did his triple oxer over the little mud pit, I was able to cut the fuse just in time!

SKIP
AND WON FIRST PLACE!

GLORIA
Yes, well, stopping the bomb from exploding was the real reward. But the gold medal is nice.

BOWDEN
That’s my girl!

SKIP
Come on, gang. The award ceremony is in just a few minutes. Then the pickled herring Smörgåsbord is on me!

MUSIC: 8BIT TRANSITION

EXT. ARLINGTON PARK - DAY

SFX: Birds chirp. Footsteps approach. It’s Zelda.

ZELDA
Thanks for coming.

PAT
Of course!

ZELDA
Don’t turn around. I don’t know who’s watching. You just sit on your bench facing that way and I’ll sit on mine facing this way.

PAT
I guess you heard about Hightower. I’m so sorry.

ZELDA
Was it you?

PAT
Excuse me?

ZELDA
Killed during a prison escape? After over thirty years? Come on, Pat. I’ve been in the business long enough to know how it works. And I know he’s been feeding you information from inside the prison for years.

PAT
He was a useful asset for many years, yes.

ZELDA
And then he outlived his usefulness?

PAT
I can neither confirm or deny...

ZELDA
Of course.

PAT
How’s everything going? Are you any closer to bringing down The Admiral? It seems like everyone I meet nowadays is an Oceanologist.

ZELDA
Are you Reynard Muldrake?

PAT
Who?

ZELDA
Reynard Muldrake. The voice who says they’re feeding us intel on the Oceanologists, but mostly has us on a wild goose chase.

PAT
You mean rabbit hunt.

ZELDA
So it IS you!

PAT
No. But I’m keeping eyes on you. Did you think I was just going to let you operate a shadow agency without knowing how you are? Or where you are?

ZELDA
Are you talking as the head of the CIA right now or as my wife?

PAT
As your wife. Why do you even have to ask?

ZELDA
Because I don’t know who to trust any more.

PAT
I didn’t have anything to do with Hightower’s death. I promise. He was a prison informant. He made a lot of enemies on the inside. I wish I could have protected him for you. I know despite everything, he was your friend.

ZELDA
I miss you so much.

PAT
I miss you. Come home.

ZELDA
I can’t. If the Admiral came for me and you got hurt...I don’t even want to think about it.

PAT
I’ll run the name Reynard Muldrake through the system. If something comes up, I’ll send word through a friend.

ZELDA
Thanks. I have to go. Please don’t turn around - I’ll never go if I can see your eyes.

PAT
I love you, Zelda.

SFX: But Zelda is already gone. Pat sighs.

MUSIC: 8BIT END THEME

MISSION VOICE
Mission Rejected was created by Pete Barry, J. Micahel DeAngelis and John Dowign. 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 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 Harley, and Bob Killion as Hightower, Security Guy Sr, and The Admiral.

Guest Starring Eric Werner as Balthazar Montcrief, Pete Barry as Bud, Shannon Perry as Hermonie Pickle, J. Michael DeAngelis as Royce Blayton, Dave Serfass as Sandy Bottoms, John Dowgin as Link Lynell and Sarah Rhea Werner as Pat

Music by Pete Barry. Lyrics by J. Michael DeAngelis. Sound editing and mixing by Pete Barry.

Want to support Mission Rejected? Join our Patreon for as little as $1 a month for behind the scenes stories, mission dossiers, bonus audios and more. I would be personally thrilled - THRILLED - to have you as a Patron. Not that we'll ever meet, of course, but trust me, it would be so much fun. Go to www.patreon.com/missionrejected to find out more.

This has been a Porch Room production, copyright 2021 Extraordinary Missions Limited.

INT. SWEDISH RESTAURANT

SFX: Dining noises.

BOWDEN
Skip, I have to hand it to you. This place serves the finest pickled herring I have ever had.

GLORIA
Have you tried the ones with extra brine? Amazing.

SFX: Footsteps approach the table. The voice is instantly recognizable to us, but older than we last heard it.

BOTTOMS
Excuse me, Ms. Kovak?

GLORIA
Yes?

BOTTOMS
I thought that was you. Congratulations on your win. Well rabbited!

GLORIA
Thank you. Mr...

BOTTOMS
Bottoms. Sandy Bottoms.

SFX: McGrath drops her fork.

BOWDEN
Great Scott!

MACKENZIE (Mouth full)
No way.

BOTTOMS
Yes way. I see my reputation proceeds me.

SKIP
Proceeds you? You’re like...the James Bond of the spy world!

BOTTOMS
Yes. Quite.

SKIP
What are you doing in Sweden?

BOTTOMS
I was asked by an old friend to make sure you were all in one piece, but I can see you are more than capable. In fact - I was wondering if we might be able to help each other out regarding a certain...nautical subject?

MUSIC: STINGER