Mission Rejected

308: Total Eclipse of the BART

Episode Summary

McGrath gets inside information about a serial arsonist who wants to burn San Francisco to the ground...and Special Agent Chet Phillips is in the dining car.

Episode Notes

McGrath gets inside information about a serial arsonist who wants to burn San Francisco to the ground...and Special Agent Chet Phillips is in the dining car.

Written by
Paige Klaniecki & Chris Klaniecki

Directed by
J. Michael DeAngelis

Starring
Chris Klaniecki as Skip Gragner
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 Mr. Doe
and Kevin McGrath as The Mission Voice

Also Starring
Ashley Banks as Ocean Girl
Jill Ivey as Burrito Barker and TSA Agent
and Bob Killion as Burrito Barker and The Admiral

Guest Starring
Julia Morizawa as The Therapist
Jeff Barg as Jeff the Bard
Julia D. Wallach as Burning Man

Music, sound editing and mixing by Pete Barry

Songs by 
Paige Klaniecki (Lyrics) and Jeff Barg (Music)

Julia D. Wallach is the creator and star of Things(Un)Said.

A complete transcript of this episode is available here.

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

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

Episode Transcription

SFX: We’re in an office. A ticking clock on the wall.

THERAPIST
Do you know why you’re here, Mr. Fletcher?

ADMIRAL
Because my illustrious mind is the gold standard for psychologists and you wish to study its inner-workings to discover how it can be recreated in your patients?

THERAPIST
Not exactly. Community officials discovered you trying to force your way inside a wine fridge at the Total Wine off I-95, singing Vanilla Ice’s 90s classic, ‘Ice Ice Baby’. You were deemed more troubled than the average patron caught doing this and sentenced to six weeks of mandatory therapy in lieu of community service.

ADMIRAL
I fail to see the problem.

THERAPIST
You’re not allowed to climb into a fridge that you don’t own.

ADMIRAL
My friend, did you not see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?

THERAPIST
I’ve tried to block that out. What is that you’re holding?

ADMIRAL
Oh, this? Why, it is the Crystal of Neptune, of course.

SFX: An otherworldly hum

THERAPIST
You seem very attached to it.

ADMIRAL
I am its keeper, its oracle, and it’s biggest fan.

THERAPIST
Interesting. Talk about that.

SFX: Other worldly slithering noises as Mr. Doe and Ocean Girl manifest themselves to the Admiral. Their voices echo in odd whispers.

MR DOE
Jesus, what is it with this one? Doesn’t she know that ill fates befall prying eyes?

OCEAN GIRL
I think she’s rather pretty. I’d love to see that head of hers on a pike and sacrificed to Zeerox
as punishment for impeding his return!

ADMIRAL
She’s just a simpleton, she cannot comprehend the danger in the waters she’s diving in.

THERAPIST
I assume you were talking about me just now. But who were you talking TO?

MR DOE
Careful Admiral. Don’t give this woman anything.

ADMIRAL
I was speaking to the dashing Mr. Doe and the enchanting Trixie. They are my spiritual guides,
bridges into the mind of the almighty Zeerox!

MR DOE
... Or go ahead and tell her everything, you should definitely ignore everything I say!

OCEAN GIRL
The Admiral is being clever! He needs to get out of here and then we can destroy this simpleton.
Just tell the brain doctor whatever she wants to hear so you can get back to more important things.

ADMIRAL
Ah, marvelous idea!

THERAPIST
What is?

ADMIRAL
Madam, what do you want to hear? Tell me, and I shall tell it to you.

THERAPIST
Well... I suppose I just want to understand you a little bit more. About what you believe you’re
trying to do.

ADMIRAL
I am trying... to save the world.

THERAPIST
That’s a noble goal. How’s it going?

ADMIRAL
Progress is slow, but I’m in it for the long haul. But I cannot accomplish that in here, so you must release me from this soporific judiciary sentencing of feelings sharing, before I unleash the mighty tides upon your flesh vessel!

THERAPIST
You can leave any time you wish, Mr. Fletcher.

ADMIRAL
I-- I can?

THERAPIST
Of course. This whole thing, this therapy session, is all in your head, after all. A manifestation of your subconscious.

SFX: The Therapist's voice becomes distorted and creepy, like Mr. Doe's.

THERAPIST (Continued)
But I urge you to consider why that is, and ask yourself what you want and what you need. And consider: what if they’re not the same thing?

SFX: A train's horn blows! Suddenly, we're in a private car of a locomotive.

ADMIRAL
Ahhhh! What in Posiedon’s perenium am I doing on a train?

WAITER
Sir, I asked you what you wanted to eat and you said “Seaweed, hold the weed” and then I said “I hate when customers go off menu” And you said “Well then, bring me your finest Ocean Surprise!” and then you dazed off for three minutes and started to drool a bit until you came to just now and asked what you were doing here.

ADMIRAL
I see. And where is my Ocean Surprise?

WAITER
I don’t know what that is. Do you want some Pringles instead?

ADMIRAL
Rejected.

MUSIC: Main Titles

MISSION VOICE
Mission Rejected. The story of the world's most secret agents...the backups. Tonight's episode: "Total Eclipse of the BART"

SFX: Gloria struggles to open the office door. She is carrying a lot of stuff.

GLORIA
Ms. McGrath? Do- do you think you could help me carry this stuff?

MCGRATH
Sorry G, no can do. You can’t just listen to every nonsensical request Skip texts you with no
further explanation. And if I help you now, you’ll never learn.

GLORIA
I am curious why he asked for all this stuff: 9 canisters of Lysol wipes, 4 Mr. Clean Magic
Erasers, 17 Scrub Daddies???

MCGRATH
Well, his handle on Pokemon Go is ScrubDaddy17. But it’s probably just another one of his Marie
Kondo meltdowns, which you shouldn’t indulge! And now I get to say one of my favorite things: you should be more like me.

GLORIA
You know I’m supposed to be training you, right, Agent-In- Training McGrath? And you couldn’t pick up a roll of paper towels, but you brought a whole six pack of beer? Isn’t it a little early for
happy hour?

SFX: A can opening

MCGRATH
Hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere.

SFX: Door opening.

SKIP
You’re here! Thank goodness. We’re out of Swiffer mop heads, the collating corner is in desperate need of a wipe down, and we’re out of toner!

GLORIA
Agent Granger? Please tell me you didn’t ask us to come in on a Saturday to clean the office. The EMF has custodians for that!

SKIP
And miss out on all the fun? No way! It’s spring cleaning season!

MCGRATH
Skip, it’s the fall.

SKIP
Hey, it’s spring o’clock somewhere.

GLORIA
The science checks out.

SFX: Door opening. Bowden pops out of the closet, fighting with a shop-vac.

BOWDEN
Thank god you’re here!

GLORIA
Where were you?

BOWDEN
Skip had me wrangling a dastardly shop-vac in the closet. It nearly tore my beard off!

MCGRATH
At least now you’re prepared for The Brave Little Toaster’s gritty reboot.

BOWDEN
Is that finally happening? Who told you? Was it Kim at Paramount???

MCGRATH
Just... have a drink.

SFX: Bowden opens one and drinks

BOWDEN
Mmm the vaguely metallic corn taste of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

SFX: door opens. Zelda pokes her head in.

ZELDA
I saw the light on-- what are you all doing here? It’s a Saturday.

MCGRATH
We know. Skip doesn’t seem to. What are you doing here?

ZELDA
I... left my phone charger. I’m definitely not using the EMF super- computer to crunch numbers for my Fantasy Football League. I can’t believe my Anders All-Stars are losing to a bunch of randomly selected players on a team called Rando Calrissian.

BOWDEN
Zelda, Skip has coerced us into coming in on a Saturday to clean, a job that we already pay to have done-- I daresay, this an abuse of power.

SKIP
(offended)
An abuse of power??

GLORIA
You know I’m always happy to help Skip, but... I had to cancel my spelunking class for this.

MCGRATH
Well, it’s actually good that we’re all here, because.... Guys, we have a mission.

SKIP
You have a mission?? But that’s my job!

ZELDA
I’m not aware of any new missions.

MCGRATH
You wouldn’t be. This comes straight from a secret source at Reddit.

BOWDEN
Who?

MCGRATH
His Reddit Handle is Kid_Redditor, but you might remember him as K1d_H@ck3r.

SKIP
That snot-nosed punk from the County Faire who turned down my internship offer?

MCGRATH
He makes six figures at Reddit, Skip, he’s got better things to do than change the toner in your
copier.

ZELDA
So he’s given you a mission? How do we know he’s a legitimate source?

MCGRATH
Cool your jets Z, I’ll get to that. See you all might think of the internet as a place to watch cat
videos or Google how many potatoes can fit into a pillowcase--

BOWDEN
That was one time!!

MCGRATH
But the hacker community has our own secret subreddit that Kid Hacker mods, and sometimes he comes across pretty sensitive intel. Gloria, slide projector.

GLORIA
Oh Hell yes! I am loving this energy, Agent McGrath! Take ‘er away.

MCGRATH
Sit back and watch how a master gives a mission rundown

ZELDA
This will be... interesting.

SFX: Slide projector being set up.

MCGRATH
So you may have noticed there have been more wildfires than normal in the Pacific Northwest.

BOWDEN
Yes, I’ve read any paper in the last two years. And to think that maybe I could have stopped that
last fire, if only I’d been invited to the Pratt-Schwarzenegger gender reveal party.

GLORIA
Would you really have wanted to go to that?

BOWDEN
No... but I should have had the opportunity to politely decline!

MCGRATH
Guys, focus up!

SKIP
McGrath’s giving missions and I’m just along for the ride? I don’t like this new dynamic.

GLORIA
Lean into it?

SFX: Skip pops open a beer and sips.

SKIP
Oh! PBRs are spicy!

MCGRATH
They’re really not. Anyway, one might think that these devastating fires are all “accidents” caused by “millennials” and their “gender reveal parties” for their “babies”--

GLORIA
Why are you putting air quotes around “babies”?

MCGRATH
But that’s not the case. See, Kid Hacker tried to contact us through Skip’s personal
chickennstars247 email--

SKIP
(spit take)
You’ve been going through my personal emails again?

MCGRATH
See, someone wasn’t thorough enough in their inbox and completely missed this intel. Because according to Kid Hacker, some of these wildfires aren’t accidents. They’re arson. From Burning Man!

SKIP
There’s a man burning?? Oh no, we have to help him! Gloria, quick, add ‘fire extinguisher’ to your Target shopping list!

ZELDA
No, Skip. It’s Burning Man. It’s the biggest pop-up culture and community festival this side of
Amsterdam. And it most definitely is not a person committing arson.

BOWDEN
I understand your mistake, McGrath... But maybe check your facts next time? I always thoroughly research every role I play before performing them in front of an audience. Doing research was how I stole the show as Mitochondria in my 3rd grade biology play, The Who’s Tomm40.

MCGRATH
Are you all done being smug? Because actually, this is a different Burning Man.

GLORIA
Then why didn’t that get the air quotes??

SKIP
See McGrath! These briefings aren’t as easy as they look, are they? With everyone lollygagging and peanut gallery-ing at you? (Another sip of beer) You know, it gets less spicy the more you drink!

MCGRATH
According to Kid Hacker, this Burning Man is actually a serial arsonist-- hence the name-- and his next fire is going to be his opus. It’ll make all of California go up in flames. I’m talking burned-to-a- crisp, baked at Fahrenheit 451.

BOWDEN
You know, my friend Zach, you might have seen his films, he once gave me a recipe for chicken a la Galifinakis that is simply delightful! And the secret is roasting the chicken at precisely 451 degrees Fahrenheit.

GLORIA
Is that the thing you made me with the asparagus? That was good!

ZELDA
Can I have the recipe for Pat?

MCGRATH
Arrrrgh!

SKIP
Now you know what I deal with.

MCGRATH
Guys! My mission! That was right in front of Skip’s nose and he missed! Let me have this moment!

ZELDA
McGrath, you’re an Agent-In- Training. I admire the enthusiasm, but running missions isn’t easy.
Especially with “tips” that may be less than reliable.

MCGRATH
Trust me, Kid Hacker is solid.

GLORIA
Well, it sounds like, if it’s true, it might be something big.

BOWDEN
And I’ve been saying for a while now that we need to do something about these fires before they
reach the Vancouver film lots.

ZELDA
If you’re all going to do this, be careful. No one at the EMF has vetted this information... But if
Kid Hacker is right, something like this demands our attention. Good find, Agent McGrath. You have my -

SKIP
Hang on there. McGrath, do you have a mission plan? Any intel on Burning Man’s weak points?

MCGRATH
A plan? Uh, yeah: we fly out to Cali, meet Kid Hacker’s contact, do what we do best, kick some
Burning Man butt, and we’re home in time for Wheel of Fortune.

SKIP
We really need more of a plan.

ZELDA
You have my approval to pursue this, but Granger’s right: you’ll need to think this through
carefully, McGrath, to avoid any screw-ups. Granger, are you alright taking a backseat on this one?

GLORIA
HA! Skip is the biggest backseat driver I’ve ever met!

SKIP
I am not! But if you’re not going to stop for precisely five seconds at every stop sign, I’m going
to say something!

GLORIA
You had your stopwatch with you, you were waiting for me to mess up!

MCGRATH
Skip, c’mon. Trust me, I can lead a mission. How hard can it be?

BOWDEN
I love a role reversal film. John Landis’s Trading Places?
(finger kiss sound)
Magnifique. Give her a chance, Skip.

SKIP
I just don’t think--...

GLORIA
See? I told you. Biggest backseat driver.

SKIP
Well... I guess I can’t be against any mission that has an eco- conscious goal, even if I have
every reason to be skeptical of the source, the format, the lack of thorough planning with
color-coded tabs on folders... Fine. As long as this isn’t just a plan to get out of Spring/Fall
cleaning!

MCGRATH
Psh, who would do that? (overlapping)
Get packed guys, we’re heading to San Francisco!

SKIP
(overlapping)
Alright team, prepare yourselves. We’re headed to-- oh.

TRANSITION MUSIC AND WE’RE IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT

SKIP
Ugh. San Francisco. Woof.

GLORIA
Why don’t you like San Francisco, Skip?

SKIP
Are you kidding? It’s far too laid back! Look at that youngster, he doesn’t have a belt on his
shorts, the hooligan!

GLORIA
Hey, I like shorts! They’re comfy and easy to wear!

BOWDEN
And you look great.

GLORIA
I’m just excited to ride the trolleys. I’m starting to think it’s the closest I’ll ever get to
experiencing the magical tram ride at Disney World.

SKIP
Well McGrath. You think planning missions is so easy? Let’s see you lead one! Where are we staying?

MCGRATH
Hang on... I’m looking for an AirBnB now.

SKIP
NOW?! McGrath, lodging in major cities books up fast, you have to reserve at least 72 hours in
advance to ensure that--

MCGRATH
Found one! And guess what: It’s in the Mission District.

SKIP
Alright. Game recognize game.

BOWDEN
And how exactly are we getting there?

MCGRATH
I figured we’d walk, right?

GLORIA
Ha!

BOWDEN
Ha ha ha. That’s a joke, right? It’s like 12 miles away!

SKIP
McGrath, did you do any prep for this mission? At all?

MCGRATH
I did a six hour debrief with Kid Hacker last night!

SKIP
You two were playing Call of Duty!

GLORIA
Guys? Bowden and I actually spent the long Arbor Day weekend here last year, and in planning that, I became very familiar with all of the SF transport options.

BOWDEN
Twitter said Charlize Theron was in town and Gloria got us from Ocean Beach to Flora Grubb Gardens in 20 minutes. Too bad it ended up being Ansel Elgort in a wig.

GLORIA
To get from the airport to San Francisco’s Mission District, you have several options. You can take a taxi, which picks up at the airport’s southern gate. You can take one of seven different bus routes. Or you can take the BART subway system! It’s an underground rail line as well as one of the main contributing factors to San Francisco’s high walkability score! Enjoy the speedy service and relatively clean status of SF’s BART system, today!

MCGRATH
Okay, great! Now that Gloria has advertised the subway into the ground, let’s get going.

TRANSITION MUSIC TO THE MISSION DISTRICT. BUSTLING BART STATION ENTRANCE AND GENERIC WEST COAST URBAN HUBBUB

GLORIA
Here we are, team: the Mission District! Now, our AirBNB is just two blocks west of here.

MCGRATH
Let’s drop off our bags, then we’ll head to the rendezvous point with Kid Hacker’s contact.

BURRITO BARKER 1
Get your El Farolito Burrito: carne asada, carnitas, sour cream, world- famous homemade tortillas and guacamole, and more!

MCGRATH
--Wait. Did you say homemade guac?

BURRITO BARKER 1
Made fresh on premise every day!

MCGRATH
Skip, hold my bag.

SKIP
Ok, just let me adjust mine-- OOF!

SFX: McGrath throws her bag at Skip and runs to El Farolito. She yells “Be right back!”

SKIP (CONT’D)
Ow. It hit the pocket with my keys. See now, Gloria, this is exactly the kind of thing that a team leader can't be doing. Frivolous distractions can mean the difference between life and death! I hate to say it but...It seems my concerns were founded. Leading a mission takes meticulous planning and a tiger-like hunger that McGrath just doesn’t have.

MCGRATH (In the distance)
Oh man, I’m so hungry!

BURRITO BARKER 1
Alright!

GLORIA
This is her first time leading a mission, give her some time. Plus, I’d much rather, happy, docile,
belly-full McGrath lead us than hangry McGrath.

SFX: Everyone shudders

BOWDEN
Besides-- I don’t blame her. These are Mission District burritos we're talking about.

SKIP
They’re that good here?

BOWDEN
You have no idea. You never forget your first bite of a Mission District burrito.

SFX: McGrath returns, eating a burrito.

MCGRATH
(through bites)
Mmm, they weren’t kidding, this homemade guac is singular!

SKIP
How many burritos did you get?

MCGRATH
(through bites)
3! How could I choose between al pastor, carnitas, and carne asada?

BURRITO BARKER #2
Best chorizo in the Mission District, pollo cooked to perfection! WAY better than El Farolito's.

MCGRATH
Ooh, best chorizo? Pollo? I’ve gotta try some!

SKIP
McGrath, we have to get going-- the mission? And besides, how different could theirs be?

GLORIA
That's La Taqueria. Here in SF, taco joint preferences say a lot about you.

BOWDEN
It’s true. If you're not an El Farolito Chico, you're a La Taqueria Muchacha.

SKIP
Has the burrito turf war here always been so gender-binary?

MCGRATH
Just give me five minutes. Skip, hold my burritos.

SKIP
I - really? Let me just adjust your bag fir-OOF!

SFX: Mcgrath throws her burritos at Skip and runs.

SKIP (CONT’D)
Oh! These do smell pretty great.

MCGRATH
(calling over)
DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, SKIP! THOSE ARE MINE!

GLORIA
Ok, she might be getting a bit off track. You may have to step in.

SKIP
I'll try to nudge her along. But I am not a backseat driver! (calling) McGrath! Mission Leader!
Where to next?

SFX: McGrath walks back over, eating guac.

MCGRATH
Kid Hacker arranged for us to meet his contact: a conductor on the Red Line of the BART system. This guy was an associate of Burning Man’s, but apparently he’s ready to turn on him. Kid Hacker said to meet him on the train that stops at the Civic Center at 3:10. He’ll find us and take us to Burning Man’s HQ. G, how do we get to the station?

GLORIA
The Civic Center station is one of the biggest commuting hubs in the entire San Francisco County. Found at the intersection of 8th, Market, Hyde, and Grove, and right next to Fermentation Lab gastropub...

TRANSITION MUSIC TO A CITY METRO STOP. BUSTLING AND A SUBWAY PULLS AWAY

MCGRATH
Our train is one minute out. Thank god-- I forgot about the pulpy smell of urine that fills subway
stations.

BOWDEN
It’s called ‘ambiance’ and it’s exactly the thing that made FearNet’s ‘Midnight Meat Train’ an
instant classic.

SFX: Screech as a train pulls in.

GLORIA
There’s our train!

MCGRATH
Kid Hacker said to board the front car, so let’s hustle.

SFX: They rush through the crowd. The car doors slide shut.

GLORIA
Now, where’s that contact?

SFX: The subway's intercom buzzes and over it we hear a guitar flourish.

BOWDEN
Wait....

JEFF THE BARD (LOUDSPEAKER)
(singing)
Welcome aboard, fair ladies and gents;
To Jeff’s BART Red Line, please don’t mind the scent.
The ride will be short, so please take your seat.
We make our next stop on good ol’ Powell Street

SKIP
No...

BOWDEN
Wait a minute.

MCGRATH
That’s our contact? It can’t be...

GLORIA
You don’t think...

BOWDEN
It is. Jeff, my old roommate. Jeff from the Renaissance Faire. Jeff the Bard.

SFX: THEY ALL START POUNDING ON THE CONDUCTOR'S DOOR. JEFF CONTINUES TO STRUM OVER THE INTERCOM.

MCGRATH
Hey Jeff! Hey you! Mr. Pantalooned- Meth Chef! Quit hiding that little conductor hatch, you coward!

GLORIA
What do you think he’s doing here in San Francisco?

SKIP
Up to no good, I’m sure!

MCGRATH
Kid Hacker did not tell me this is who we were meeting.

SKIP
McGrath, this is why you always need to thoroughly research every aspect of a mission beforehand!

MCGRATH
(banging on door)
Jeff! Get out here so I can punch your dumb, mustached bargain-bin Walter White face back to
Renaissance!

JEFF THE BARD (LOUDSPEAKER)
I warn you, good ma’am, don’t make a scene;
This speeding metal train could toss and careen.
I accept your concerns from whence last our roads clashed
But distracting the driver may result in a crash

GLORIA
He has a point. I’m trained to survive crashes in bi-planes, motorcycles, blimps, but I wouldn’t
know what to do if a subway crashed!

MCGRATH
Don’t you all remember what he did? Tested methamphetamines on actors at the Renaissance Faire, drugged me, and then got away?

SKIP
He made me ride a whole horse!

BOWDEN
I had it worst of all! In college, he didn’t respect my bathroom privacy!

GLORIA
Yes, I understand but we have to stay focused on the mis--

MCGRATH
I’m calling time out on the mission, guys-- we got another fish to fry.

SFX: THEY ALL BANG ON THE DOOR AGAIN

TRANSITION MUSIC INTO A LITTLE FURTHER DOWN THE LINE. EVERYONE IS STILL BANGING.

BOWDEN
(out of breath)
Okay... he’s not... coming out. Maybe... we need... to rethink... our strategy.

GLORIA
(a little peeved at the shenanigans)
Soooo....maybe we should get back to the mission?

JEFF THE BARD (LOUDSPEAKER)
(Singing)
All passengers, please alight here!
As the end of the line draws ever more near.
Please watch your step as you go on your way;
And most importantly: have a wonderful day!

SFX: little conductor panel slides open

MCGRATH
Hey, he opened the conductor’s door window!

JEFF THE BARD
(Singing)
Except for you lot, stay were you are
Our villain’s destination is not very far.
With patience you’ll follow the Burning Man thread,
So don’t get off here, there’s treachery ahead.

SFX: The panel slides closed.

BOWDEN
Huh?

MCGRATH
Jeff, you piece of --

SKIP
Uh uh ah, McGrath, McGrath!

MCGRATH
Get back out here! Guys, help me get this door open. I’ve got a score to settle. We are not
following Jeff down an abandoned subway tunnel.

SKIP
But we need to get to Burning Man’s headquarters.

SFX: The train starts up again.

BOWDEN
We’re moving again!

JEFF THE BARD (LOUDSPEAKER)
(Singing)
Get comfortable my friends, and please take a seat-

MCGRATH
I can’t believe you all would just let him get away with what he did!

SKIP
We won’t, but right now we just need to--

MCGRATH
Hey Jeff! You pantalooned turd, don’t think I forgot what you did to me. You sick, pathetic, lump of nothing! I’m gonna hack Spotify, hack iTunes, hack SoundCloud, I’ll even hack Myspace and make sure that no one has to hear your mediocre music ever again!

SFX: The strumming stops suddenly. The door opens.

GLORIA
He’s coming out--

SFX: Jeff storms past him and stomps through the train car until he gets into the next car. He
opens the door, goes in, and slams it behind him. On the other side of the door, we can faintly
hear a sad, melancholic tune being plucked out.

GLORIA (CONT’D)
He’s shut himself in the other car!

BOWDEN
McGrath, I think you hurt Jeff’s feelings. This is exactly what he did in college every time he
failed an a capella group audition-- shut himself in his room, cry, and sing Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t
Make You Love Me all night.

GLORIA
Um... who’s driving the train?!?

SKIP
We need to get Jeff out of there, but first things first, we have to--

MCGRATH
Woah! Skip, who’s leading this mission?

SKIP
McGrath, I’m looking around and I’m honestly not sure. Make me sure!

MCGRATH
(flustered)
Okay... um... you’re right. First, the train. Bowden, take the wheel.

BOWDEN
ME??

MCGRATH
Yes you!

BOWDEN
But I don’t know how to drive this.

MCGRATH
You’re an actor! Act like you do!

SFX: Bowden goes into the small train conductor compartment

BOWDEN
Oakie doakie. Hmm. Huhh.
(calling)
Hm. I think I found the carburetor!

SFX: QUICK TRANSITION TO A FEW MINUTES LATER.

GLORIA
(doing a voice)
Jeff the Bard? We’d like to, um... buy some amphetamines, please?
Maybe some red ones... and some blues? Can you come out so we can do... drug commerce, please?
(normal voice)
This isn’t working, Ms. McGrath, Bowden’s the one who can do a perfect Stringer Bell impression, not me!

SKIP
And you told me to build a magnetic override for the door out of the AM- SWAP on my phone... I
don’t what that means. I don’t even know how to put my phone on silent!

GLORIA
It was going so well until you all yelled at him and scared him into the other car!

SKIP
McGrath, we need Jeff to help us take down Burning Man. What do you think we should do?

MCGRATH
Break the door down and make him help us, or I’ll kick his ass like I should have back in Ohio.

GLORIA
Agent McGrath, I know how you feel about Jeff, but right now, we're on a runaway subway car speeding into a super villain's hideout, and as much as I love him, I don't know that Bowden can stop this thing.

BOWDEN
(calling)
I think I’m getting the hang of it!

GLORIA
We need Jeff. Then as soon as this is over, he'll be in our custody. He's going to jail for what he did.

MCGRATH
Fine. Bowden, is there anything up there that will tell us what Jeff was up to?

BOWDEN
(calling)
Well, there is this shoebox under the control monitor. It’s labeled: ‘Susan AKA My secret box of
secrets and backstory. For my one-man memoir show.’

MCGRATH
Great. Gloria.

GLORIA
On it.

SFX: Gloria goes into the conductor's booth

MCGRATH
I did not sign up for this.

SKIP
You're our mission leader!

MCGRATH
I didn't think everything was going to go all ape shit!

SKIP
But this is what leading a mission entails. Sometimes, even if you plan perfectly like I do, things go ape ship. And as team leader, you've got be ready in case that happens.

SFX: Footsteps as Gloria returns.

GLORIA
Did you just say "ape ship"?

MCGRATH
Okay, a box of papers. Sounds like a job for Agent Granger.

GLORIA
Here you go.

SKIP
Great. Thank you, Gloria. Looking inside here-- just piles of photographs, scraps of random musings, newspaper clippings, a toothbrush... a TOOTHBRUSH? Goodness was he living in here?

MCGRATH
He should be living in jail!

GLORIA
It looks like a bunch of rejection letters from different Renaissance Faires. Looks like Jeff had
trouble finding work after what he pulled in Ohio.

BOWDEN
(calling)
The theatre industry talks!

GLORIA
And look at this: a waiver for volunteering at the San Francisco Substance Abuse Rehabilitation
clinic.

MCGRATH
Jeff was volunteering?

GLORIA
To help people, struggling with addiction. Looks like he was trying to clean up his own mess.

SKIP
Wait. Look at this. It’s a brochure that’s been torn in two. Putting the pieces together it says...OH.

MCGRATH
Oh jeez. “Welcome Brochure for Our Newest Mind-Molded Oceanologist Trainees” And it’s dated the day after we escaped Athena’s volcano.

SFX: Gloria knocks on the car door.

GLORIA
Jeff? We, um... found your secret box. Were you... brainwashed by the Oceanologists? Just as you were trying to turn your life around?

MCGRATH
Damn.

SKIP
Wow... that can’t have been easy. Remember how destabilizing it was when J.J. Prescott hit us with the Deceptionem?

BOWDEN
(calling)
I missed twelve auditions in those months!

MCGRATH
I don’t believe it. It really seems like Jeff was trying to start fresh and do some good.

GLORIA
I think he’s still trying to. That’s why he tipped off Kid Hacker. But what do we do now?

SKIP
McGrath?

MCGRATH
Okay.

SFX: She knocks on the door. Jeff strums sadly.

MCGRATH
Jeff? I’m sorry I yelled at you. I lost my temper. Almost like you drugged me again with that crazy amphetamine, right?
(she laughs. No response)
Too soon. Look, Jeff...I know what it’s like to try and turn your life around. To stop operating like
one of the bad guys and start working with the good guys. It’s hard to start all over. Burning Man’s out there and we need your help to find him or he’ll hurt a lot of people. I guess what I’m saying is: help us Jeff the BART, you’re our only hope.

SFX: The door slides open.

JEFF THE BARD
(Singing)
Thank you, McGrath, for your words of remorse
I’ve summoned my courage to help right the course.

SKIP (Overlapping)
You did it, McGrath! Your first real apology!

MCGRATH (Overlapping)
Shut up. We will never talk about this again.

JEFF THE BARD
(Singing)
We still have a chance ‘fore the West Coast is gone
And Bowden my friend: the autopilot’s turned on

BOWDEN
Ahhhh....I knew that.

GLORIA
But Jeff: do you have any information about what to expect at this secret subway lair? You know, that would help us actually take down Burning Man?

JEFF THE BARD
(singing)
To be sure, I can tell you all you wish to know
It’s in this fair song from my solo- man show
Now, listen ye well for the info you need
You’ll find it tucked nicely in verse 73

BOWDEN
73? Good god this mission goes from bad to worse.

JEFF THE BARD
(singing)
Young Jeffrey was born on a dark stormy night,
With blackest of clouds and lightning most white--

GLORIA
Jeff, do we really have time for all this?

JEFF THE BARD
(singing)
Young Jeffrey was born on a dark stormy night,
With blackest of clouds and lightning most white--

MCGRATH
(interrupting)
You’re starting again? Can we maybe skip ahead to the important part?

JEFF THE BARD
(singing)
YOUNG JEFFREY was born on a dark stormy night,
With blackest of clouds and lightning most white--

SKIP
I’m happy he’s reformed, but why is it that teaming up with ne’er-do- wells always results in--
and I don’t use this word lightly-- shenanigans?

BOWDEN
Don’t interrupt, you’ll make him start again! Jeff never could start a song in the middle.

GLORIA
Well, settle in folks. We’re going under the Bay again. This is gonna be a while.

MCGRATH
Alright then. Carnitas time. Come at me burrito numero quatro.

SKIP
McGrath, how can you eat the many burritos and not get sick?

MCGRATH
My stomach was made for burritos.

SFX: TRANSITION TO MUCH LATER, FEELS LIKE FOREVER. THE SUBWAY IS STILL GOING.

JEFF THE BARD
(Sing at the top of his lungs, a rock opera)
AND THE HORSE AND THE KING AND THE BREAD AND THE RING
ALL CAME AROUND TO HEAR THE BLIND MAN SING
THEIR MINDS BECAME ONE AND THEIR HEARTS BECAME WHOOOOOOOOLLLLLLEE.......
(a beat)
AND THEY GOT BACK ON THE TRAIN TO SEOUL!

GLORIA
It’s over. So long! And confusing!

MCGRATH
It was good, but he probably could have cut three or four of the extended lute solos.

BOWDEN
I’ll give him this: he did an excellent job playing while doing that one-man marionette show.

SKIP
But at least now we have some info on Burning Man’s lair. Now all we need is a plan.

MCGRATH
Go ahead, Skip.

SKIP
No. Let’s you and I plan this one together.

SFX: TRANSITION TO AN ABANDONED SUBWAY STOP. A SLIGHT ECHO. Doors slide open.

JEFF THE BARD
(Singing)
Good luck to you all on this dangerous quest
Driving is hard and I’m due for a rest.
I’ll stay parked right here, I won’t go and roam;
When you’re done, come back here and we all will go home

SKIP
Well McGrath, want to do the honors?

MCGRATH
Gladly.

MUSIC: Mission planning theme

MCGRATH (Continued)
Alright team-- we know from Jeff’s song that the Oceanologists forced him to work with Burning Man when he was brainwashed, and that Burning Man operates out of this abandoned subway station. We also know that his plan is to sabotage all the water mains in the area to flood Muir Woods with gasoline. He’s got a trigger mechanism set up here so the gas fire can be started remotely. We know from Jeff’s intel that Burning Man isn’t going to be here today. Apparently he has his nephew’s birthday party so he put the ignition on a timer.

SKIP
I’m still not clear why he doesn’t just enact his scheme tomorrow.

MCGRATH
Skip, of all the absurd missions we’ve been on, this is where you have an issue of rationality??

SKIP
(playfully)
Since you’re debriefing the plan, I thought I’d fill in as Snark Shark.

MCGRATH
I need to get to the fuse board in the main control room to access the timed ignition mechanism and take it offline. But we know from Jeff that the control room door lock is voice activated and can’t be hacked. However, Jeff’s voice, as Burning Man’s former henchman, should be enough to do it. Bowden, think you can get me in?

BOWDEN
(as Jeff,singing)
Young Jeffrey was born on a dark stormy night,
(as Bowden)
Ugh, I know he’s good now, but imitating Jeff. I feel nauseous.

MCGRATH
Gloria and Skip, in case Bowden and I get into trouble, you’re our fail safe. Take that air duct into
the central HVAC system and cut the wire controlling the mechanism that redirects gasoline into the pipes. Remember, Jeff weirdly and specifically said the wire you have to cut is a deep pewter grey color. With luck, we should be in and out in twenty minutes and can be back at Farolito’s by dinner time.

GLORIA
Burritos on me!

SFX: TRANSITION TO INTERIOR HVAC. SKIP & GLORIA CRAWL THRU.

GLORIA (CONT’D)
I know it’s pointless to try and rank the missions we’ve been on in order of weirdness, but this
one feels up there.

SKIP
But honestly-- this might be one of my favorites: Jeff turned over a new leaf! I’d love to see more of that. Can you imagine if Kristatos O’Brien turned his potato empire into a potato democratic commune?

GLORIA
With liberty and tater tots for all!

SKIP
Now that we’re working like a team, McGrath is doing well. She’s really stepped up. It looks like
it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out.

SFX: They stop moving.

GLORIA
Um, Agent Granger? This looks like the gasoline routing mechanism that Jeff sang about, right?

SKIP
Right, but... these are all colored wires. There aren’t any grey ones!

GLORIA
Oh no! I think Jeff is color-blind!

SFX: TRANSITION TO MAIN CONTROL ROOM. A DOOR CREAKS OPEN. BOWDEN AND MCGRATH ENTER.

MCGRATH
Nice job with the Jeff imitation, Bowden. You just duped a Silicon Valley VFlip Series voice recognition lock.

BOWDEN
I hope you recognize the gravity of what you asked me to do. An imitation of Jeff? That’s a low
point of my career and I’ve done brunch theatre.

GLORIA (COMMS)
Ummm. Ms. McGrath? There’s a problem.

MCGRATH
It wouldn’t be one of our missions without it. What’s wrong?

GLORIA (COMMS)
Well, turns out Jeff is colorblind and so when he told us to cut the pewter grey wire, he didn’t
know there isn’t one of those. We’ve got everything from cerulean to cinnabar, but nothing even close to pewter!

BOWDEN
Can you just cut them all?

SKIP (COMMS)
That could cut off all the water in the entire Bay Area completely, and in a fire-based mission, I
can’t imagine we want that.

MCGRATH
Okay, then just come meet us here, I’ll shut this down quick and then we can get back to the BART before anything else goes wrong.

GLORIA (COMMS)
Roger that!

MCGRATH
Okay, so that looks like the fuse board interface. Let’s see...

SFX: McGrath typing.

MCGRATH (CONT’D)
Hm... okay, it might take me some time to get in. This system is older than I anticipated.

SFX: A gun cocking

BURNING MAN
(A woman’s voice)
Yes, I clearly spent too much money on the VFlip Series and should have upgraded from Windows 95 instead. Now, who are you and how did you get in here?

MCGRATH
Are you... Burning Man?

BOWDEN
You’re not a man! I Sorr, you don't PRESENT as a man, I shouldn’t assume...

BURNING MAN
I'm not.

BOWDEN
Okay.

BURNING MAN
The perfect cover. Now, tell me who you are before I--

BOWDEN
(fake voice)
We’re... salesman! Here to talk to you about upgrading your fuse board interface from Windows 95!

BURNING MAN
Nope. Try again.

BOWDEN
(different fake voice)
We’re... custodians? Here to clean up your dusty subway lair?

BURNING MAN
Nope.

BOWDEN
Okay, I got nothing.

BURNING MAN
I know you’re here to try and stop my plan to burn down California.

BOWDEN
(snaps his fingers)
That’s right! We are, you monster! Why would you do such a thing? Think of what you’d be destroying! The San Diego Zoo? The California Raisins? West Coast Burritos?

MCGRATH
If you’re willing to give up the burritos, you really are a monster. I can’t wait for my chorizo
one.

BOWDEN
Which one is that?

MCGRATH
Number five.

BOWDEN
See, McGrath gets it.

BURNING MAN
You see, I belong to an ancient sect called the Flameologists, dedicated to cleansing the world
with fire so the glorious Earth can begin anew.

BOWDEN
Flameologists??? Are you kidding!?

MCGRATH
For real. What are you, an Oceanlogist knockoff?

BOWDEN
We just dealt with your saltwater counterparts.

BURNING MAN
No, the Oceanologists are the knockoff! Didn’t you hear me? We’re MOST ancient! It is time for an Earthly renewal and the resurrection of our Glorious One. Humans have taken harmed the Earth for far too long and we will fight back.

MCGRATH
With... fire?

BURNING MAN
Of course, you fool!

MCGRATH
Yep. Total Oceanologist knockoff. Who’s your God, Zippo?

BURNING MAN
...No.

MCGRATH
This is absurd. I can’t believe we have to waste time stopping this.

BOWDEN
Yes, and yet we will! We’re here to stop your plan--- wait. Is that Chris Evans?

BURNING MAN
(fangirling)
What? The Fantastic Four’s Human Torch? He’s here??

MCGRATH
Yeah. That's what he's known for.

SFX: Bowden lunges and knocks the gun out of her hand.

BOWDEN
Hi-keeba!

BURNING MAN (CONT’D)
Hey, my gun!

BOWDEN
First lesson of stagery: Never turn your back to the audience. McGrath, shut the system down, I’ll hold her off!

SFX: Bowden makes fighting noises.

MCGRATH
I’m trying but God, this system is antiquated! It’s like you and your pop culture references.

BURNING MAN
Are you...? you’re not even touching me.

BOWDEN
I learned stage combat, not real combat!

BURNING MAN
Well, I learned real combat.

SFX: She punches him.

MCGRATH
Hang in there, Bowden! (to herself)
Okay, so if this shunt control proxies over to this node, then... wait, that doesn’t make sense...
Ugh, I don’t have time to learn a system more outdated than the Furbies craze. I need to crash the whole system and fast.

BOWDEN
McGrath! Your burrito!

MCGRATH
Yeah, I’m real hyped to eat it, but this is not the time!

BOWDEN
No, use it!

MCGRATH
What?

BOWDEN
Now!

MCGRATH
Oh!
(sad)
Oh. Yeah, that should fry out the whole system. Well, here goes nothing!

SFX: Mcgrath slams her greasy, saucy burrito onto the control panel. SMooosh! FRTIIZZZZZZZ!
EXPLOSIONS!

MCGRATH (CONT’D)
I think that did it. Good call, Bowden.

BURNING MAN
No! You and your burrito! You’ve ruined everything!

SFX: Footsteps as Skip and Gloria run in.

GLORIA
Oh, looks like Burning Man is about to flame out! HA! Pun.

SKIP
You’re outnumbered! Turn yourself in now and save us any more hassle than you’ve already caused.

BURNING MAN
Never! I’ve got a hot air balloon waiting for me at the airport. You’ll have to catch me first.

SFX: She runs away.

BOWDEN
Well. Alright then.

SKIP
Asking them to turn themselves in will work one of these days.

GLORIA
We have to catch her! Quick, she’s heading to the BART!

TRANSITION MUSIC BACK TO SUBWAY TUNNEL. THE TEAM RUNS IN

JEFF THE BARD
(singing)
Welcome back friends, I missed you so much--

MCGRATH
(interrupting)
Jeff, did you see Burning Man?

JEFF THE BARD
(singing)
Yes ma’am, I did! She took the last car;
She drives to the airport but it’s very far.
Hop in! We’ll get her! We must make much haste!
But it is rush hour so expect some delays.

SKIP
Hurry, there’s no time to lose!

SFX: QUICK TRANSITION TO SUBWAY CAR. SILENCE EXCEPT THE TRAIN RUMBLING ALONG PLODDINGLY.

GLORIA
Well. Another exciting chase!

BOWDEN
Yeah... but just following another subway from one stop to the next kind of undermines the
excitement a bit. It’s not exactly Fast5.

MCGRATH
And I don’t even have my last burrito!

SKIP
What?

MCGRATH
Long story. I’m sad now. Never got to taste the chorizo.

BOWDEN
Cheer up, McGrath. This is San Francisco. There are always more burritos.

SFX: Silence while they wait.

SKIP
Sooo, does anyone wanna play I-spy?

MCGRATH
In a subway tunnel?

SKIP
Sure! I spy with my little eye, something that is midnight taupe...

TRANSITION MUSIC - BUT IT BECOMES APPARENT IT'S ACTUALLY GLORIA PLAYING.

GLORIA
So glad I brought my pocket marimba! You never know when you’ll have a chance to create relaxing elevator music.

SKIP
Bowden, your maraca mastery is really something else!

MCGRATH
Guys, knock it off! Are we almost there?

GLORIA
Yes! We just passed the San Bruno stop, known for its beautiful San Bruno City Park, which features picnic tables, a playground, a ballpark, a municipal swimming pool, and an indoor basketball court once used for training by the San Francisco Warriors basketball team! And it’s right before the stop at the airport.

MCGRATH
Alright team, get ready to chase as soon as we get off.

SFX TRANSITION TO AIRPORT

AIRPORT RECORDING
For the safety of you and your fellow passengers, please report any suspicious activity.

SKIP
Anyone see her?

MCGRATH
There she is in the TSA line! Let’s push through and get her!

SKIP
No, you can’t!

MCGRATH
Why? She’s right there!

AIRPORT RECORDING
For the safety of you and your fellow passengers, please report any suspicious activity.

SKIP
See? Don’t forget how antsy people are at airports. We don’t have tickets, and if we get arrested
by TSA, we’ll never stop her in time.

MCGRATH
Ugh, you’re right, Skip.

GLORIA
Hang on, I’ll buy us the cheapest tickets to anywhere on my phone. Once we have tickets, we can follow her through security!

MCGRATH
Hurry!

SFX: Fast phone tapping sounds.

GLORIA
Oh! There’s a great deal right now, $25 for a one-way ticket for each of us to Boise, Idaho if we act now. I mean, I’ve always wanted to see Boise’s Old Idaho Penitentiary Site -

MCGRATH
Gloria!

GLORIA
Right, sorry! Okay, got them. To the TSA waiting line!

SFX: QUICK TRANSITION TO TSA waiting line. The team is painstakingly waiting. Again.

MCGRATH
Ugh, that guy’s flying with sandals on? He’s the real villain.

GLORIA
Bowden, don’t forget to dump out your Tab soda.

SKIP
Ahh, look! Burning Man just got through!

GLORIA
Don’t worry, just... twenty six more people til our turn.

SFX: QUICK TRANSITION TO A TERMINAL.

BOWDEN
Finally! Skip, quadruple knotting your shoes seems excessive.

MCGRATH
There she is! Burning Man!

HIGH AIRLINE PASSENGER
I’m heading to Burning Man too!

SKIP
But there’s a TSA agent right over there, and we can’t afford to arouse suspicion, or we might give Burning Man the chance to escape.

MCGRATH
Or one of us does arouse suspicious and gets TSA to apprehend both them and Burning Man on purpose.

SKIP
Ah. But...but who?

SFX: Strumming guitar

JEFF THE BARD
(speaking) I’ll do it.

SFX: Everyone gasps.

BOWDEN
He speaks!

SKIP
You can’t! You haven’t been trained in proper takedown protocol!

MCGRATH
Jeff can do it. If there’s one thing every ex-con knows how to do, it’s how to get caught. But Jeff, why would you want to do this?

JEFF THE BARD
It’s my turn to apologize to you.

MCGRATH
Go get her, Jeff. And thanks. Apology accepted.

SFX: Jeff strums and sings ‘JEFF!!!’ until there’s a crash and the sound of a splintering guitar
and snapping guitar chords.

BURNING MAN
What the? Jeff? What are you doing? Stop it! Stop it!

SFX: Jeff wrestles Burning Man to the ground. The crowd around them goes ‘ohhhhhh’, in wincing pain. Then awkward silence. The group runs over.

GLORIA
That's gotta hurt.

TSA AGENT
What’s going on here? This is suspicious activity! You, Renaissance Minstrel: you and this other
normally dressed person need to come with me. You’re under arrest!

GLORIA
Hey Burning Man! Looks like your plan of making a hot-air balloon escape was all hot air and no
balloon.
TSA AGENT
Ma’am, if you don’t stop with the bad puns, I’ll have no choice but to bring you in too.

GLORIA
(affronted)
See. This is why people hate to fly.

TRANSITION MUSIC TO THE EMF HQ

ZELDA
...I had to get Pat involved to get Jeff out of custody and call in a favor with Sundar Pichai to
get that viral video clip of Jeff’s apprehension of the perpetrator scrubbed off the internet.

BOWDEN
You know the CEO of Google? Can he scrub Balthazar’s IMDB page off the internet too? Not that I'm trying to erase my memory of him, but uh...

ZELDA
Jeff’s past transgressions mean he still has a debt to pay to society, but I’ve arranged for him to
do his time in an EMF holding cell here instead of federal prison. I thought his eleventh hour
assist had at least earned him that much.

SKIP
Agreed. Hey, we should get him a new lute!

ZELDA
He’s actually requested a trombone.

GLORIA
Oh no.

SKIP
I will say, for McGrath’s first time leading a mission, we apprehended our man. Burning Man, who wasn’t, in fact, a man...or burning.

ZELDA
Be that as it may, there are still witnesses who may remember your faces at the scene, so I’m going to ask you all to refrain from flying Spirit for the foreseeable future.

MCGRATH
(sarcastic)
Not fly Spirit? Oh no.

ZELDA
But I will concur with Skip. Well done, Agent-In-Training McGrath. You made a fine team lead.

MCGRATH
Thanks Z. Parts of it were fun, but I now have more appreciation for what you have to deal with, Skip.

SKIP
I mostly deal with you.

MCGRATH
Hey, we all have our parts to play.

ZELDA
Two other things. First, Agent Granger, the office looks very clean. Nicely done.

SKIP
I live my life by one simple code: keep spring cleaning with you, all through the year.

ZELDA
Second: Agent McGrath, this package arrived for you this morning.

SFX: She hands McGrath a box. McGrath opens it.

MCGRATH
It’s from Kid Hacker. A little baggie and a note! “Thanks for taking care of Burning Man. Here’s
something for you to burn. Ha ha. Get it?”

GLORIA
Oooooh! That’s Trip the Light Fantastic! That’s an excellent strain of San Francisco-grown
marijuana! Oh, I can get my one-hitter. Her name's Sandra Day Smokeconnor.

BOWDEN
Not in front of the boss, Gloria.

GLORIA
Right. Sorry.

ZELDA
Or we can go back to my place. I’m sure Pat would love to see you all.

MCGRATH
We’ll want some food too. I’ll order some shawarma.

BOWDEN
Not burritos, McGrath?

MCGRATH
They don’t have El Farolito or La Taqueria here. Wouldn’t be the same.

SKIP
Well, actually... back in the Mission District, I was curious about the burritos too so I snuck
into La Taqueria and well...

SFX: He takes something out of his bag.

MCGRATH
The chorizo burrito!

SKIP
I never got a chance to eat it, but now I think... I want you to have it. A Mission District
burrito for a mission well lead.

MCGRATH
Aw, Skip! I’m legitimately touched.

ZELDA
Well, McGrath is taken care of, but... I could eat.

BOWDEN
Gloria?

GLORIA
I thought you’d never ask! Our neighborhood has many excellent culinary experiences to offer. From the delicate desserts baked fresh daily at Marrakesh to the elegant food stylings and eco-conscious delivery packaging of La Ambiance, you’ll be sure to find an excellent dining experience, enjoyed in- restaurant or delivered right to your GPS-location...

MUSIC: END CREDITS (Gloria continues to rattle on under the credits.)

MISSION VOICE
Mission Rejected was created and produced by Pete Barry, J. Michael DeAngelis, and John Dowgin. This episode was written by Paige Klaniecki and Chris Klaniecki 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 Mr. Doe, and Kevin McGrath as The Mission Voice

Also Starring Ashley Banks as Ocean Girl, Jill Ivey as Second Burrito Barker and TSA Agent
and Bob Killion as First Burrito Barker and The Admiral

Guest Starring Julia Morizawa as The Therapist, Jeff Barg as Jeff the Bard, and Julia D. Wallach as Burning Man

Julia D. Wallach is the creator and star of Things Unsaid, an original audio drama mystery series with supernatural overtones. Find out more at anchor.fm/thingsunsaid

Music, sound editing and mixing by Pete Barry.

Do you crave more Mission: Rejected? Of course you do, I've been adding subliminal messages to every episode to trigger a Pavlovian response to my dulcet tones. Scratch that burning itch by becoming a $5 Patreon and get a bonus audio every month! Join us at www.patreon.com/missionrejected for sweet relief that lasts all month.

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

SFX: A TRAIN CHUGS DOWN THE TRACKS

PASSENGER (ON PHONE)
Yes, and I said to him, if you needed an extension on your Spelunking 101 term paper, you needed to let me know before the deadline! And also not via the Tik Tok! ... I know, these kids these days -

SFX: BOOM! Train door is kicked in.

CHET
Where is he?

PASSENGER
What?
(into phone)
I’ll have to call you back.
(hangs up)

CHET
I’m looking for a man with barnacles in his beard and seaweed in his veins.

PASSENGER
That sounds like a Super Mario Bros character.

SFX: Chet grabs him by the lapels and pulls him up.

CHET
(Seething)
I know he was here. Are you one of his Ocean Bureau stooges? TALK.

PASSENGER
I’m the dean of an non-accredited Spelunking college! I just got on at the last stop - I don’t know what you’re talking about.

CHET
Then you can get out.

PASSENGER
No, this is my compartment and - hey!

SFX: Chet throws the man out of the compartment.

CHET
I can smell his salty sweat on everything.

SFX: The cabin door opens.

WAITER
Is there a problem, sir?

CHET
The man who was in this room before Professor Plum out there -

WAITER
Yes?

CHET
Where was he going?

WAITER
I think the Black Rock desert. Maybe he was going to Burning Man, six months in advance.

CHET
He wanted something. Here on the train.

WAITER
Yes.

CHET
He was going to receive it in this room?

WAITER
That was the idea, but he left before I could get it.

CHET
What was it?

WAITER
I’m not sure I can tell you -

SFX: Chet pins the waiter against the wall.

CHET
Listen to me, friend. I’ve been hopping trains for weeks searching for a madman, and I’m pretty sure the person who’s paying me to do it is off their rocker, too. So you’re gonna answer me. Is this thing he was waiting for still here on the train?

WAITER
Yes.

CHET
Bring it to me.

WAITER
Marcel? Fetchez l’object. Vit! Vit!

SFX: A server rushes in and dumps a PLATTER on the table.

CHET
Let’s see what you were after, old man. Take off the lid.

SFX: The waiter takes the domed cover off the platter. The contents SQUIRM. A short pained silence.

WAITER
He called it an “Ocean Surprise”. He demanded we make it for him. He described it as “a salted jellyfish pie covered in caramel and rainbow shrimp icing, garnished with a martini olive and a live octopus.”

CHET
Where’s the olive?

WAITER
That’s the surprise.

CHET
(Manic laughter) If I jumped off this train and just laid on the tracks, how long until the next one comes by to run me over?

WAITER
Can I get you a drink, sir? You seem stressed.

CHET
Heineken.

WAITER
Very good, sir.

SFX: The waiter pulls out an ice cold one and pops the top. Chet sighs, takes a big mouth full and then almost chokes.

CHET
IS THAT AN OLIVE?

WAITER
Surprise.

MUSIC: Stinger