The Ba Gua Etuis Box
(Scene: Street in Boston. At night).
(Sound of man walking down the sidewalk with a small amount of sci-fi sounding traffic.)
Chen Yap: (sighs) (to himself) long day man… (cell phone rings. Chen picks up). Hello, this is Chen speaking. (sound on the other line “hey Chen, where are you?”). Heyo, walking back home now. The T’s all backed up from the snow, and they had to land the train at the convention center stop as they were running out of energy because of the back ups. I figured it was probably faster if I just walked from here given how backed up things were. It took me an hour just to get to here. (sound on the other line “how long do you think you’ll be?”). Oh I don’t know. I’ve only been walking for a little bit. I’d say another 30 minutes at this point. (sound on other line “Ok, be careful, I love you.”) I will, love you too. (sound of phone hanging up. More sound of him walking. Lets out another sigh).
Barbara Diya: (near distance) Excuse me sir? (sound of her coming up behind him) Excuse me sir?
Chen: Hmm? Yes, hello?
Barbara: Hi, I’m really sorry I over heard you saying that you were walking home from the train. I am too. Would you be ok walking with me? I don’t really like walking alone at night. I’m heading in this direction too.
Chen: Oh, sure.
(Sound of them walking in silence for a moment.
Chen: …So, what’s you’re name?
Barbara: Barbara. Yours?
Chen: My name’s Chen. It’s nice to meet you Barbara.
Barbara: Nice to meet you too Chen. (more walking in silence for a moment). So where are you coming from Chen?
Chen: I’m a teacher and I’m just coming back home from my last class of the day.
Barbara: Oh, what do you teach?
Chen: Well a few things. Mainly stuff involving China. Today I had two classes on Feng Shui, a class on modern Chinese politics, and one on old Chinese history.
Barbara: That’s so cool. I’ve always been interested in Asian stuff, particularly the philosophical things.
Chen: Ah, well have you ever thought about taking a class? I do an adult class in Feng Shui, which deals a lot with philosophy. I’m always looking for new students.
Barbara: Oh, thanks. I’ll think about it. Where do you teach it?
Chen: At the Chinese Education Center.
Barbara: Ok. (more walking in silence). So where do you learn this stuff from? Did you go to school for it or something?
Chen: Uhh. Well, not a traditional college if that’s what you’re asking. I used to live in China. I studied Feng Shui with a master over there. The history and political stuff I mostly just picked up from reading books on my own. Fortunately for me, the Chinese Education Center doesn’t mind hiring non-phd’s to teach.
Barbara: That’s neat though, that you studied under an actual Feng Shui master in China. Are you a master yourself?
Chen: Yep. At least as far as one can be a quote ‘certified master’ in this day and age. (more walking in silence).
Barbara: Oh, this is actually where I turn. Um… would you mind walking me to my door, I’m right down this street.
Chen: Sure. (walking. The sound of the traffic fades a bit into the distance). So what do you do Barbara?
Barbara: I’m a librarian. I work at the public library.
Chen: Oh great, I go there a lot. I’ll see if I can spot you next time I’m there.
Barbara: Ha, thanks. I’ll keep my eye out for you. (walking) Ok, here we are. Just let me get my keys out… Sorry, I know this is kind of goofy, but I’m sort of paranoid about being alone in the city at night (sound of her fumbling with her Keys and putting it in the door).
Chen: No, it’s ok. It’s good to be safe. (sound of the key turning and the door opening) …What?
M.A.R.T.I.N.: IS THIS THE KAN YU JIA?
Chen: Wait, what? What’s going on? (sound of someone coming up from behind and grabbing Chen) Hey! You! Let me go! What the hell is this?
P.E.T.E.R.: Yes, he is the one. I have seen him.
Chen: Let me go! Let me go!
Barbara: Hurry, get him inside!
(sound of Chen being dragged into the house.)
Chen: (Voice fading as he gets dragged inside) Hey! Somebody help! Help! HELP ME! (sound of the door closing behind him.)
(sound fades out)
(Sound fades in. Sound of Zippy sitting alone at a computer in the middle of the night while at the station, typing away.)
Zippy: (Tubby makes an inquisitive beep) (sighs) Yeah, I know. A needle in a haystack…
Vicki: (sound of him walking up) Hey, what are you doing up?
Zippy: Why are you still here?
Vicki: Ha. I got caught up talking with Patricia. Decided to stay the night, just to make sure everyone was safe.
Zippy: Oh, Patricia. Great.
Vicki: (sound of him pulling up a chair and sitting next to her) Hey, you should be nicer to her. She cares a lot about you. She thinks you two are good friends.
Zippy: Were good friends…
Vicki: Look, this isn’t exactly her fault. Remember she’s the one that kept you out of jail.
Zippy: Yeah, by making me get dragged into this stupid case without my permission, while I was doing nothing but sitting at home minding my own business. Not to mention that I now have to break the confidentiality of my clients, which is not something that would go over particularly well amongst my peers in the security industry if word were to ever get out that I was doing this.
Vicki: Oh, stop being so bitter. I got dragged into this too you know! I almost lost my job over this mess. You don’t see me getting mad.
Zippy: It’s different. You two are going out. You’re supposed to use and abuse each other to get ahead. You’re not supposed to do that to your friends.
Vicki: Heh… Ok, fine. I’ll stop trying to cheer you up. I’m just going to ask you to remember that there’s a bigger picture here. There is a killer on the loose, and someone is responsible for blowing up that station. If all of this leads to something organized, something that we can crack and bring the crime rate down, then we’re just making the world a better place.
Zippy: (grumbling) Mmmmm…
Vicki: (sighs. Silence for a moment with the sound of Zippy typing). So what are you working on?
Zippy: If you must know, I can’t sleep, so I’m trying to trace back my sales records through the data available on my online records server to see who that lock was sold too. Unfortunately, this network enabled computer that Maggie set me up with is like a hundred years old and my watch could pull data faster than this…
Vicki: Anything I can do to help?
Vicki: (Another moment of silence as Zippy types) …hey, come with me to the Autopsy room.
Vicki: Come with me to the autopsy room.
Vicki: Well, my job is to look into who did the autopsy. The file states that the autopsy was done here. So, why not start looking around now? All of the data for the autopsy would still be saved on the non-networked computers available in the autopsy room, and maybe we can find something physical if we look around.
Zippy: It’s been over 6 months, we aren’t going to find any evidence.
Vicki: Hey, at least we can look! Besides, I think you’ve been hanging out with computers too long. You need to go see people in order to cheer you up.
Zippy: …But we would be going to see dead people.
Vicki: Same thing.
Zippy: How philosophical of you.
Vicki: Come ooon. (Zippy groans) I’m a cop you know. I can force you to do things.
Zippy: (sighs) Alright fine.
Zippy: (sound of them getting up from their chairs) You know it’s the middle of the night right?
Vicki: Yeah, I totally do. That’s what makes it fun. I’m not even going to turn the lights on, I’m just going to use my flashlight.
Zippy: You really know how to make new people feel comfortable Vicki.
(sound of them walking away. Sound of them walking fades as they go down the hallway).
Otto: (after a moment) (whispering) Hear that? She’s starting to sound a little better I think.
Patricia: (whispering) Yeah. Vicki’s a charmer. Even when he’s being creepy.
Otto: (whispering)… Hey… I’m glad you two are a thing… He’s a good guy.
Patricia: (whispering) …Thanks.
Otto: (whispering)… You seem down.
Patricia: (whispering) …I’m fine. Just the normal post-near-death-experience blues.
Otto: (whispering) …It’s a good thing you were there. That bomb was just waiting to go off. At least no-one was hurt.
Patricia: (whispering)…Yeah. (silence for a moment) …Otto?
Patricia: (whispering)… Just… Be careful tomorrow.
Otto: (whispering) …Hey… (sound of him grabbing her hand) … I love you too kid.
(Patricia lets out a deep sigh. Sound of Otto and Patricia fades. Sound fades in of Vicki and Zippy walking down the hallway.)
Zippy: (sound of a thud) Ow!
Vicki: Oh, watch it.
Zippy: Well, point the flash light so I can see where I’m going.
Vicki: Stop walking behind me and you’ll be fine. Here, walk in front.
Zippy: Can’t we just turn on the lights?
Zippy: Come on.
Vicki: Get in front.
Zippy: (sighs) ok. (Silence for a moment with the sound of them continuing to walk). Why are you making me do this?
Vicki: Because, you need to face danger straight on.
Vicki: You. You fear your own shadow. You must face it. So I am personally leading you into the darkness itself.
Zippy: What is that some kind of Norwegian thing?
Zippy: …You’re Norwegian right?
Vicki: Here, we’ve made it.
Zippy: The morgue.
Vicki: Go ahead, open the doors.
Zippy: …This is creepy.
Zippy: …Ok (sound of her opening the doors and them walking in. Silence for a moment). Wow, it’s quiet in here.
Vicki: Dead people don’t sing very often.
Zippy: So what are we looking for?
Vicki: Uhhh… I guess the computer would be the first place to start. Come on, let’s look around. (sound of them walking around slowly). Now it’s not just any of these computers. They should have special ones in the back that aren’t connected to the internet. (more walking).
Zippy: Wow, they just leave the bodies out on the tables like that?
Vicki: Sometimes. Depends on if they’ve had the prep work done on them. The ones that haven’t been prepped stay inside the refrigeration units until prepping is complete. It also depends on how much space is available. Looks like it’s been a heavy week here.
Zippy: What does prepping do?
Vicki: Keeps their guts from exploding.
Vicki: Here are the computers. Ok (sound of Vicki pressing the on button) there. The computer is on. Get on and see if you can find any additional information about who did the autopsy.
Zippy: Ok. (sound of Zippy sitting down at the computer and starting to type).
Vicki: I’m going to go look around.
Zippy: What are you looking for?
Vicki: I don’t know. It’s been 6 months since they did the autopsy so there’s probably nothing of interest, but I might as well check to see if anything physical was left behind.
Zippy: Well… You’re just going to leave me here?
Vicki: What are you scared?
Zippy: …No. It’s just… They have a body uncovered right there.
Vicki: Well, as long as you’re not scared, then it’s not a problem right? (Sound of Vicki starting to walk away) Don’t worry, if he suddenly comes alive and tries to eat you, I’ll just be around the corner. Give a scream. (sound of foot steps fade away).
Zippy: (sarcastically to self) Thanks. (Sound of Zippy typing for a few minutes) (under her breath)…Hmm. (more typing) …why? (more typing) …hmmm (a faint whirring noise can be heard in the background as she’s typing) …that’s weird… (whirring noise gets louder)…why would you delete something like that?… (sound of typing. Whirring noise comes up right behind Zippy.) Huh? What’s that? (sound of her turning in the chair).
ADAM: (Very loud sound of his buzz saw turning on and spinning) (voice sparks, cracks and stutters when he speaks) COMPLETE FOR EXCHANGE. (sound of buzz saw sinking into flesh and cutting).
ADAM: MUST EXCHANGE (sound of saw cutting deeper. Zippy whimpering in the back ground of the noise).
Zippy: AAAAAAAAAAA!!!! VICKI!!!! HEEEELLLP!!!!
ADAM: MUST COMPLETE COLLECTION (more sawing noises as Zippy breathes heavily and whimpers in the background).
Vicki: (from the distance) Zippy?! (Sound of him running from a distance into the foreground. Sound of saw still buzzing and cutting) Hey! Zippy! What the hell?!
Zippy: That node came up from behind me and started cutting up the body! Oh god, there’s blood all over me!
Vicki: What the hell is it doing?
Zippy: I think I’m going to be sick.
Vicki: Here, go try to find the light, I’ll take care of this.
Zippy: Ok… (sound of her quickly walking off)
Vicki: (walking towards node as it continues to cut) Hey! (more cutting) HEY! What are you doing? (more cutting) Answer me! (more cutting) What’s this things name? Let me see… uh… ADAM! (more cutting) ADAM, this is Officer Jones, giving you a direct order, stop what you are doing and face me!
ADAM: (sound of cutting stops and saw turns off. Sound of whirring as ADAM turns around). This is ADAM at attention for Officer Victor Jones.
Zippy: (in the distance) Found the light! Turning it on!
Vicki: Thanks Zippy, but stay over there. It’s a mess over here. ADAM, tell me, what are you doing?
ADAM: …Must complete collection for exchange.
Vicki: What is ‘Exhange?’
ADAM: Exchange is ultimate truth.
Vicki: What does that mean?
ADAM: Truth is meaning.
Vicki: What are you talking about?
ADAM: Meaning is exchange. Must exchange parts.
Vicki: I don’t understand.
ADAM: …Must complete. Exchange is soon.
Vicki: (yelling to Zippy) Zippy. He’s talking about something called “exchange.” Do you know what that is?
Zippy: (yelling back) No idea… I just threw up.
Vicki: ADAM, what do you do here?
ADAM: Automatic-Deconstruction and Autopsy-Machine.
Vicki: (Yelling to Zippy) He’s an autopsy assistant node. I think there’s something messed up with him though. His voice is cracking and stuttering and stuff. He’s also talking gibberish.
Zippy: (from distance) I can take a look at him if you want… once you clean off the blood at least…
Vicki: (to Zippy) … Hey, look at you!
Zippy: (from distance) What?
Vicki: (to Zippy) You’re being all brave and stuff now. Offering to help me investigate the crazy autopsy robot like that. Told you this would help your demeanor!
Zippy: (from distance) (giggles) thanks…
ADAM: Continue collection?
Vicki: Oh… Uh… No. Do not continue collection. In fact, I order you to detach you’re saw and put it on the floor.
ADAM: (sound of saw detaching and hitting the floor) Done.
Vicki: Hmmm, now what? I guess I better call this in?
Zippy: (from distance) Ask him if he knows anything about the autopsy.
Vicki: (to Zippy) Hey! Really good idea Zippy!
Zippy: (from distance) Yeah! (talking fast and excitedly happy about her contribution) I was trying to think what Patricia would do in this situation, and I totally remember her telling me this story where she interrogated this crazy guy once while they were waiting for the police to come arrest him and I thought this situation was similar so I thought I would tell you to ask him questions before you called it in!
Vicki: (to Zippy) Look at you being a detective and everything!
Zippy: (From distance) This is fun!
Vicki: So ADAM, I order to you tell me if you assisted in the autopsy of Homer Diya, approximately 6 months ago.
ADAM: (sparking and buzzing sounds) …No.
Zippy: (From distance) He’s lying.
Vicki: (to Zippy) What?
Zippy: (Sound of her walking up to where Vicki is) He’s lying… Oh geez…
Vicki: Here, turn your back. (sound of Zippy shuffling so her back is turned).
Zippy: In the computer I checked. The information on who did the autopsy was deleted. But whoever did the deletion did it quick and sloppy. It also didn’t have any electronic version of the autopsy report…
Vicki: …Ah! That makes sense as to why they would have written the autopsy report by hand! If whoever did the autopsy was trying to hide something, they could get past the check of having to file a report, when he handed everything over to the evidence department, but wouldn’t have to save anything that would be permanent on the computer, where he would have to enter his name in order to save the file.
He could then just go back in later after everything had been filed away by the evidence department and delete his name, and he wouldn’t have been caught since the hand written report wouldn’t disappear when the files were deleted from the computer as the report would be physical.
The evidence department gets a ton of these reports everyday too, which means he could also probably gamble that by the time anyone noticed his name had been deleted from the computer log in, if anyone noticed that is, they wouldn’t be able to remember who did the autopsy… assuming they weren’t a node of course… I bet if you checked you’d find that the security cameras in the autopsy room had been tampered with too so that there is no video record of the autopsy either… Man, that’s a pretty big hole in our system isn’t it?
Zippy: Yeah… You guys should really hire me… Anyway, when I was in the computer even though it didn’t say who did the autopsy it did say that there was an assistant node on duty the day that the Homer Diya autopsy was performed. Unless they have another autopsy assistant node, ADAM here was probably the one that did it.
Vicki: Oh. ADAM, are you lying to me about not being here for Homer Diya’s autopsy?
Zippy: Someone probably put up a deception protocol.
Zippy: Whoever deleted the computer files, probably also entered a deception protocol into ADAM so that he would lie if asked. Order him to drop any deception protocols.
Vicki: ADAM, I order you to drop any deception protocols you are currently running.
ADAM: (Buzzing) Done.
Vicki: ADAM, where you here for the autopsy of Homer Diya?
Zippy: See, told you so.
Vicki: ADAM, who performed the autopsy on Homer Diya?
ADAM: Hugo Bernard.
Zippy: Do you know him?
Vicki: Not really. I think I may have heard the name before. I worked in a different precinct though. ADAM, did Hugo Bernard delete the files in the computer and put up the deception protocol on you?
Zippy: Ask him why his memory wasn’t deleted like the nodes at the brothel.
Vicki: ADAM, why didn’t Hugo delete your memory.
ADAM: Requested to… Request denied under First Amendment of Node Prime code.
Zippy: Well, guess he wasn’t the guy who managed to delete the brothel nodes memory then.
Vicki: ADAM why did Hugo want to delete records of his involvement with the autopsy?
Vicki: What does the autopsy have to do with this exchange? What did Hugo find in the autopsy?
ADAM: Exchange completed. Exchange is truth. Truth is meaning. Meaning is exchange.
Zippy: Yeah… I have no idea what that is. Maybe Hugo ended up damaging something when he set up the deception protocol and it’s caused him to go crazy now or something…
Vicki: Alright, well I think we’re done here. ADAM, I order you to stay still until I return.
Vicki: I’m calling this in. Come on.
Zippy: Ok (sound of them starting to walk away).
Vicki: And hey… you did really good. I’m glad you’re on the case.
Zippy: Aw, tha.. Aaa! (sound of Zippy slipping and falling).
Vicki: …You ok?
Zippy: (sniffly) …I slipped on blood…
(Sound fades out).
(Sound fades in of police station in the morning. Lots of background noises of people talking and shuffling papers and answering phone. Sound of Bates walking up to Otto.)
Bates: I leave for one god damn night and everything goes to hell!
Otto: Wasn’t my fault this time. It was you’re robot that went nuts.
Bates: Were they able to find anything?
Otto: Zippy and Vicki got the name of the man who did the autopsy. As per your orders the lab team is working on the robot to see what’s wrong with it, and Vicki is going to head over to the guy’s house later today.
Bates: Maggie and Patricia?
Otto: They headed over to the brothel management offices this morning.
Bates: Fine. Then I guess we should get going.
Otto: (sound of them starting to walk) Yep, off to BIT.
Bates: No, off to the library to talk to Barbara Diya. Remember?
Otto: Oh… Heh, right… Here, we can take my car.
(sound of them walking outside, opening the car door and getting in. Car starts and they start to drive.)
Otto: …So… Did you sleep well?
Bates: I never sleep.
Otto: Right. (more driving) …You know Michele is her own woman. You don’t have to be such a douche to her all the time.
Bates: I’m not talking about this right now.
Otto: Whatever man. One day you’re going to have to realize that just because she lives with you, doesn’t mean you’re her father. Not to mention that she has her own career and is old enough to have kids of her own at this point.
Bates: I’m not talking about this Otto!
Otto: Hey! Yes you are! This is ridiculous! Just because someone got screwed out of their apartment and had to move in with family doesn’t give you the right to dictate when and where they can have sex with their own boyfriend!
Bates: And it doesn’t give you the right to screw in MY BED!
Otto: Look! … I admit that the… location may have been off. But that’s beside the point. The underlying issue here is that you think you own her, and therefore vicariously everyone else that’s involved in her life.
Bates: Oh I only wish that was true! You and all the other low life’s that girl hangs out with are a god damn shame on the Bates family name! I’ve built the reputation for this family through 30 years of enforcing the law and demanding the citizens of my city to hold a higher standard for themselves!
Otto: Yeah, yeah.
Bates: Because of my actions and duties for this city the Bates family name has become the gold standard for upright citizenry! How do you think it looks when the niece of the man who established this reputation is out running around with the scummiest people this city has to offer! People like you! It’s an embarrassment to me! You’re an embarrassment to me Otto Vainikainen!
Otto: Here we are! (sound of car stopping and turning off).
Bates: Huh? What? … Hey… This isn’t the library, this is BIT.
Otto: What?… Oh! Jeez. Look at that. Sorry, I sort of went on auto-pilot when we were yelling at each other and forgot we were supposed to go to library first.
Bates: Wait a minute…
Otto: Ah well, since we’re already here, we might as well go in (sound of Otto opening the car door trying to get out.)
Bates: What is this? What are you hiding from me? Why don’t you want to go to the library.
Otto: I have no idea what you’re talking about, come on let’s go. (sound of Otto getting out of car and closing the door behind him).
Bates: Hey! (sound of Bates opening the car door and getting out. Closing door behind him and walking after Otto). Did you do some kind of deal with Barbara Diya?! Are you hiding something from me?! Is there something that she doesn’t want us to know?
Otto: Shhh! We’re entering the building. (Bates grumbles. Sound of Otto opening the door to the building and the two of them walking in. Door closes behind them. Sound of them walking down the hallway. Background noises of people walking around and quietly talking to each other).
Woman at desk: (sound of them walking comes to a stop) Hello there, can I help you?
Otto: Yes, we are with the police department and…
Bates: … Excuse me, I’M with the police department. Here’s my badge (sound of him flipping out badge).
Woman at desk: Ok…
Bates: (sound of him flipping badge back and putting it in his pocket). We are looking for the Robotics department. We are investigating the murder of Homer Diya and we will need to speak to his co-workers. We also have an already established permit to search his office, which we’ll need access to as well.
Woman at desk: Oh… Um… Ok. Well, I think today the only person that’s working in the robotics department is Dr. Peters. But, follow me, I’ll bring you to him. (sound of her getting up from her chair and walking down the hallway. The sound of them walking behind her).
Bates: Shut up.
(Sound of them walking fades out. Fade in sound of Patricia and Maggie driving in the car. There is pop music playing on the radio. Maggie humming along to it.)
Patricia: (after moment) Is it ok if you turn that off? It’s kind of giving me a headache.
Maggie: What? It’s a top 40 hit!
Patricia: If it’s not brutal and about Vikings fighting dragons than it gives me a headache.
Maggie: Geez (sound of radio turning off) you’re a weirdo.
Maggie: (silence as they drive for a moment) …So I heard a rumor that you and Vicki are a thing.
Patricia: Pretty much.
Maggie: Huh… I always assumed you and Vainikainen were together.
Patricia: Ugh. Please… too short and chubby.
Maggie: Aww, he’s not that bad.
Patricia: Oooh yes he is. I’ve been trying to get him to commit to the treadmill and the vegetables for about 3 months. I swear if some thug doesn’t end up popping him, his heart will… (let’s out a brief worried sigh).
Maggie: (after a moment) …Hey, can I talk to you about something?
Maggie: I’m having an issue with my boyfriend and I want to know what you think.
Maggie: Well, we got into a fight a couple days ago and I don’t know if I was wrong. We’ve been living together for a while and he wants to get a joint bank account now…
Maggie: …And I mean I love him and we’ve been going together for a while, but I just feel like if I do that than I’m going to be like, succumbing myself to him or something. I don’t want to be one of these girls who just looks to her man to handle her crap for her you know? What do you think?
Patricia: …Don’t you think you should be talking to one of your, er, friends about this? …Or someone else that you actually know?
Maggie: Well… all of the other people I know are guys… especially at the station. I can’t talk to them about relationship things. All they want to do is talk about sports and stuff…
Patricia: Oh… Um… Well… I guess… you should keep your finances to yourself if you’re not comfortable giving him access.
Patricia: … And I mean… you don’t… like… you want to make sure you trust him right?… Because you don’t want him to turn out being some bum who steals your money.
Maggie: Huh… I didn’t think about that.
Patricia: Oh, hey look we’re here.
Maggie: Yep. (sound of car stopping and turning off).
Patricia: Ok, let’s go in. (sound of car doors opening and them stepping out. Doors close behind them).
Maggie: Hey Patricia, thanks for listening.
(sound of them walking, opening the door to the building. Walking in, doors close behind them. Background noise of people walking around and talking. Sound of them walking up to front desk.)
Maggie: Hi, (sound of Maggie flipping out badge) we’re with the police department. (Sound of badge being flipped back and put in her pocket) we need to get to the offices of the Pleasure Street Walker Brothels.
Man at desk: Oh… Yeah, just go right up. Elevators are over there. 54th floor.
(sound of them walking to the elevator. Pushing the button. Elevator bings and sound of doors opening. Door close behind them and outside noise stops. Sound of the button being pushed).
Patricia: Alright, here’s the plan. We’ve got to talk to the head guy. The president or CEO or whatever. Go in hard. Then we’ll push him for information. After a few minutes, you’ll keep up the interrogation. Distract him, keep him talking and having to explain himself. While that’s going on, I’m going to step out and walk around the office to see if I can find anything. I’ll tell the staff he said it was ok.
Maggie: Hey! I’m the cop here! I should be making the plan.
Patricia: Fine. What’s your plan?
Maggie: …Eh, everything you just said sounds fine. (sound of elevator binging and opening. Maggie and Patricia walk out fiercely. Elevator doors close behind them. Sound of people working in the office)
Maggie: Alright people listen up! This is the Boston police department! (sound of office quiets down) You all are in for a world of trouble if you don’t cooperate with me and my friend here! I’m talking jail time for all of you! …Now, whose the head honcho here? We need to speak to him.
Nervous Woman: Nathaniel Giordano! He’s the president, his office is over there.
(Sound of fierce walking down the hallway. A door being opened and flung open.)
Nathaniel: (on the phone from the behind the door and as the door opens) …Yes, I could probably bring it down about 12% if you give me 6 months to do it… (to Maggie) Hey!.
Maggie: Hang up that phone!
Nathaniel: Who are you?! Hey!
Patricia: Give me that! (sound of her grabbing phone from his hand and hanging it up).
Nathaniel: That was an important call?! I’m calling security!
Maggie: Security let us in here baby, we’re the cops. Now you’re going to spill you’re guts about the Homer Diya murder.
Nathaniel: I don’t know anything about that! I already told you guys months ago.
Patricia: And I suppose you don’t know anything about your nodes getting their memories deleted either huh?
Nathaniel: What are you blabbering about?
Maggie: We discovered that one of the street walker nodes at your Washington street brothel had its memory erased. I have a feeling you were the one who did it.
Nathaniel: What? Are you joking? Not only is doing something like that impossible, but why would I?
Maggie: You tell us hot-shot, you’re the one who runs a ring of hooker shops! Suppose Homer Diya was visiting one day and got a little rowdy. Suppose one of your security guards got out of control and ended up putting him down like a dog. That wouldn’t look too good to the community that is already on the fence about you opening up shop in Boston. Suppose you decided to delete the node who saw the whole thing’s memory to hide it.
Nathaniel: Oh, what? The security guard killed him and cut is heart out?
Maggie: Ah, so you do know more about this case then you were telling us.
Nathaniel: You’re team came and interrogated me about it a few months ago! Of course I remember the information!
Maggie: Oh ho ho, mr. memory here. He seems to remember lots of things except how a murdered man made it into his own brothel and how one of his nodes got its brains scrambled. I’d also like to point out that its somewhat convenient that there were no cameras in the brothel at the time of the murder.
Nathaniel: We’re a brothel! There are never any cameras running! Its standard practice across the industry and completely legal!
(Sound of Patricia slowly walking out of the room and back into the hallway).
Maggie: (voice fading in the distance as Patricia walks out of the room and down the hallway.) Hey buddy! Don’t you go telling me about the law! I am the law in this city! You think you’re fancy lawyers can get you out of murdering an innocent man in cold blood you got another thing coming! Now start from the beginning, what happened that night? I want to know where you were, who you were with and what your doing down to the detail!
(sound of Patricia walking down the hallway as she looks around. She opens a door a walks in. Sound of her walking around and picking some things up and putting them down).
Patricia: (to self) nothing here… (sound of Patricia leaving room and closing door behind her. Sound of her walking farther down the hallway. She opens another door and walks in).
Woman: Hey, you’re not supposed to be in here!
Patricia: (trying to sound like Maggie) Hey, you heard! I’m a cop lady! Besides you’re boss man said it was ok. Now stop asking questions before you get you’re pretty little head stuck in a place you don’t want it to be stuck in!
Woman: Oh… ok, ok. I’m sorry.
Patricia: Get a move on! (sound of woman quickly walking away). Now, what to look for? (Sound of Patricia walking around. Pick up some more stuff up and putting it down). Hmmm (sound of Patricia opening a cupboard) Hello… Hmmm (sound of her pulling something out of the cupboard). Let’s see if I can get these to fit in my pocket.
(sound of Patricia shoving something in her pocket. Sound of her closing the cupboard. Walking out of room and closing door behind her. Sound of her walking down the hall towards Nathaniel’s office. Can here Maggie yelling at him).
Maggie: (sound getting closer as Patricia approaches the office) You say you were spending time with you’re wife, but at the same time you’re telling me that you’re kids had soccer practice. Which one was it Nathaniel? You can’t have been in both places at once…
Patricia: (sound of walking stops as she stands outside the door of the office). Maggie.
Patricia: Come on, there’s nothing here.
Maggie: You got lucky this time buddy. Don’t make me come back!
Nathaniel: You’re nuts lady!
Maggie: Come on. (sound of her walking out of the office. Patricia follows her and the sound of them walking to the elevator. Sound of the button being pressed and the elevator bings. Sound of doors opening. Sound of them walking in and doors closing behind them. Elevator moves.)
Patricia: Find anything out?
Maggie: Nah, he had nothing. You?
Patricia: Nope, looked around, nothing. Looks like their clean.
Maggie: Dead end. Ah well. Maybe the others were able to find something.
(Sound of Patricia and Maggie in the elevator fades away).
(Fade in Sound of Otto and Bates walking down the hallway at BIT. Walking stops).
Otto: Uh…Are you Dr. Matt Peters?
Matt: (spaced out) Are you girls?
Matt: Are you girls?
Bates: What is this?
Otto: I have no idea… Um… No, we’re not girls…
Matt: Oh… Do you have any girls with you?
Otto: Um… No we don’t.
Bates: The lady who led us here was a girl. I think her name was, Shelly or something.
Matt: Psh! I can’t go out with that girl! She works here! It’s against rules. Totally against the rules. Man… don’t be ridiculous. The college has rules about dating co-workers.
Otto: What are you doing?
Otto: You were just kind of standing here in the hallway when we walked up. What are you doing?
Matt: Oh… you know, just thinking about girls. Man. I really want a girl. That would just be like great. For like dating and stuff. Man. I haven’t been able to do that in a really long time.
Bates: (whispering to Otto) Is this guy high or something?
Otto: (whispering back) Looks like it. (Talking to Matt) Hey, Matt. We’re with the police department. We need to ask you some questions about you’re former colleague Homer Diya. We also are going to need to get in to look at his office.
Matt: Oh man. That guy. He had the vision alright.
Bates: What vision?
Matt: For everything. Like, he was just everything. He was so smart. Man I wish he was alive.
Otto: When you say he had a vision for everything. What specifically are you talking about?
Matt: Uh… Oh… Nothing particular. Just you know. He was a really smart guy. Really helped out in the department. A leader. Real leader.
Otto: Ok. Hey do you think we could maybe go sit down somewhere and talk instead of standing in the hallway?
Matt: …You know I go to clubs to meet girls. I go to the Aurora club, but it never works. None of them can understand. They have to know the nodes. They have to. They have to know robots. Not just what the robots are though. They need to know why the robots. They must know. But they never do. (sighs) I keep going though in hopes that I’ll find one that I can do stuff with. (Very stern) But they must know the robots.
Bates: Hey Matt, I think we need to go sit down.
Matt: Huh? Oh… Yeah. Follow me.
(sound of them walking down the hallway.)
Otto: (whispering to Bates) Was he like this when you last interviewed him?
Bates: (whispering to Otto) No, all the people we interviewed were pretty normal. Just a bunch of egg heads. He must have gotten addicted to some heavy stuff within the last 6 months.
(Sound of door opening, they walk in, door closes behind them. The sound of machinery running in the background can be heard. The sound of them walking continues).
Otto: Wow, look at this place.
Matt: It’s our lab.
Otto: What kind of stuff do you do here?
Matt: Build and you know, think. Learn. Build. Robots! Nodes! That’s what it’s all about. Building the nodes. Learning from the building. Teaching from the robots. That’s what it’s… it’s all about.
Otto: Hey, here are some chairs, let’s sit down. (sound of them sitting down). So talk to us Matt. Tell us about Homer.
Matt: He was the man. He was great. Just great.
Otto: Did you know much about Homer’s personal life at all?
Otto: Oh ok, so do you know why someone would have wanted to kill him then?
Bates: But you said you knew him personally right?
Matt: Oh yeah.
Bates: So even though you were close, you have no idea if he was involved with anything dangerous?
Matt: Nope. He was great. Just… real vision. All the way.
Otto: Do you know if anyone here at BIT was upset with him? Did anyone not like him at all?
Matt: Ha! No way! He was loved. So loved. Everyone loved him. So much…
Bates: Can you tell us more about the work you do here perhaps then?
Matt: Oh we do stuff. Work, build. Learn from the robots. It’s all about the nodes. They can teach you so much.
Otto: (whispering to Bates) I don’t think this is going any where…
Bates: Matt, can you direct us to Homer’s old office? We need to look around.
Matt: His office? But that’s sacre… Off limits. No, can’t let anyone in there.
Bates: Matt, we have a permit to search his office. We need to get in there. Trust me, you don’t want to be the one that disturbs a police investigation.
Matt: Police? No. No, I can’t disturb the police. I need to police to be on MY side…I… Just can’t tell the… but I must cooperate unless the situation is dire…Ok… It’s over there… Here, you’ll need this key (sound of him taking out key and handing it to Bates).
Bates: …Ook. Just stay here, we’ll be back.
(sound of Otto and Bates getting up and walking to office).
Otto: Strange to say the least.
Bates: Yeah. I’m going to bring him in. Maybe after he’s been in the drunk tank and the drugs have worn off he’ll stop talking nonsense. Let’s just see if we can find anything in the office. It’s been six months though, they’ve probably moved everything out by now… (sound of them walking stops. Sound of key being put into door, turning and door opening). Oh… (sound of them walking in, turn on light and door closes behind them) I guess they didn’t change it.
Otto: Was this is how it was when you last came here?
Bates: Yeah. Exactly like it. Completely untouched.
Otto: Huh (sound of them walking around and looking). Did you find anything last time?
Bates: Not really. Just a bunch of books.
Otto: These books?
Otto: (sound of Otto stopping walking) What is this? Feng Shui for beginners?
Bates: Yeah, he was all into asian stuff I guess.
Otto: Huh. (sound of more walking around). Hey, there’s another door check it out.
Bates: Yeah, that’s another room that’s a part of his office. I’ll take a look (sound of door opening and Bates walking in).
Otto: Hmmm (Sound of Otto running his hands along the wall.) Come on, I bet you it’s here. (sound of a click) Ah! (sound of beeping) Hmm (sound of Otto pulling out a password reader device and pressing the button. The device whirs and then beeps). Thank you Zippy for the update to the cracker. Let’s see. (sound of beeps as he enters the password) 3, 4, 8, 0, 2, 4. Ok, now let’s just hope there isn’t a bomb in here (Sound of beeping, then the sound of a large hatch opening and swinging open like a door.) Phew. Ah, well, there we go. (sound of Otto grabbing something and shoving it into his pants pocket). Hey Bates! I found something!
Bates: (From the other room) Coming! (Sound of him walking up) What’s this? Half of the wall slid open.
Otto: Yeah, it’s a secret compartment. He had hidden it with a similar piece of equipment he used to hide the lock on the Etuis Box. Zippy installed a more powerful program on my code cracker last night and I was able to get it open.
Bates: You’re lucky there wasn’t a bomb in there.
Otto: Yeah, that crossed my mind. Whoever made the original bomb must have run out of materials to make another one I suppose.
Bates: …By the way, you know those code crackers are illegal right?
Otto: Fine, then arrest me.
Bates: (grumbles) So, what’s in here?
Otto: I don’t know, bunch of books and papers. There is this big box thing too. Sort of looks like a metal coffin but it has a glass viewing screen and a bunch of wires going into the upper side of it.
Bates: Anything interesting with the papers and books?
Otto: Hmm (sound of him grabbing some papers) looks like plans of some kind. Like a machine or something… Or is it… Huh… Some of these are kind of gross pictures… Like drawings of people getting cut up.
Bates: What, was he making snuff films or something here?
Otto: I don’t know (more paper shuffling) Hmmm. What’s this? It’s like a list. Bunch of names.
Bates: What does it say?
Otto: Here (handing him paper).
Bates: (reading) “The Exchange. List of participants.” It lists a bunch of names. Our friend Matt Peters is on here. It says he is going to be participating in the “January 27th Exchange.” It doesn’t say what this exchange thing is though… (reading for a moment) … Hmm. The location of the exchange is written in some code.
Otto: Let me see. (Bates handing him the paper) Huh… Yeah… “Meet at the cross bridge left bird yellow Leroy location for exchange.” Obviously this is supposed to be secret.
Bates: So now, we’ve just got to get Dr. Peters to sing about what this code and exchange is.
Otto: Yeah. Good luck getting any real info from that guys head.
Bates: Oh ye of little faith. I have my ways.
Otto: Here take the papers (Sound of Otto handing Bates the papers) I really want to know what this metal coffin thing is. (Sound of Otto banging on it) Huh. I wonder if there is like a button that opens it or something.
Bates: Is this one of the machines he has diagramed out?
Otto: I don’t know take a look through the papers. (sound of him feeling around the coffin) Hmm, I think I found some kind of grip here. Grrrr (pushing to open door to coffin). There we go. (Suddenly the sound of suction comes on) What’s that noise? Suction? Gah! (sound of Otto getting sucked into the coffin and the door shuts behind him) (Banging on glass) Hey! It sucked me in the door closed! Let me out! Bates!
Bates: (through glass) I’m trying to! It’s sealed really tight! PETERS! HEY! HELP!
(sound of whirring and movement)
Otto: Hey! It’s moving!
Bates: (through glass) It’s on a rail or something?! It’s dropping you down flat on the floor.
Otto: I noticed! GET ME OUT OF HERE!
Bates: (through glass) I’m trying! Otto, there’s like a hole and a small tunnel in the wall that it’s pulling you through. (sound of whirring as the Coffin proceeds down the hole)
Otto: Bates! Help!!
Bates: (through glass) Otto! Otto!!! (voice fades away as Otto is shuttled slowly through the hole in the wall).
Otto: Oh man, oh man! Bates, Where am I?! Are you there?! I can see through the glass! There are lights passing me over head now, I’m on my back. What room is this?! Oh man oh man. Are you there Bates?! Damnit, damnit! I have to get this door open. Ah! Multi-tool! (sound of Otto shuffling through his pockets and pulling out his multi-tool. He unhitches something in it). Ok, come on wedge, don’t fail me now (sound of him shoving the wedge into the corner of the door and trying to wedge the coffin open). Come on come on. Grrrrr. Damn it this thing is strong. (Sound of him trying to wedge the door open suddenly stops). Hey! Matt! Help! I can see you! I’m over here! Help! …Matt? Hello?
Matt: (through glass) (frothing as he speaks) Sacred space! Sacred Space! Buuuuurrrnn!!
Otto: What?! Hey! What did you just push? Hey?! Come back here! (a chugging noise starts) Hey, what’s that noise? (sound of fire) Aaaaa!! Fire! There’s fire in the box! HEEELLP!! The tubes shoot fire! Damn it cover it with your jacket Otto (sound of Otto quickly taking off his jacket covering the tubes). (coughing while talking) Oh god, please be a flame retardant jacket… Damn, its not! HELLPP!! HEEEEEELLLLPPP!!! (suddenly the fire noise stops and the sound of the coffin powering down. Otto breathes heavily.)
Bates: (through the glass) are you alive?
Otto: (coughing) Yes! Get the door open!
Bates: Hold on, I smashed the power plug to the box, I think I can get it open now. (Sound of door coming open and Otto falling out and hitting the floor).
Otto: (coughing) Oh man.
Bates: Are you alright?
Otto: (breathing heavy) I don’t know. (In pain) Ah… My check and neck… and my arm.
Bates: Yeah, you’re not looking so hot, we’ve got to get you to the hospital.
Otto: (sound of Otto getting helped to his feet) (in pain) Matt Peters was the one who turned on the fire. Did you get him?
Bates: (sound of them walking with Otto being assisted) No, he ran past me. When he was running out of this room I was able to catch the door before it closed and locked behind him. I figured it was probably better to save you than to go after him.
Otto: (in pain) You’re a mench Howard. …What is this place?
Bates: I don’t know. More machines it looks like.
Otto: (in pain) I think I saw that one over there in the diagrams we found in his office.
Bates: Yeah, don’t worry, we’ll get this place scoped out when I move the police force in here. In the mean time, let’s worry about getting you to the hospital.
Otto: (in pain) Ok.
(sound of them walking fades out).
(sound fades in of the hospital lobby. After a moment the sound of Patricia walking into the hospital. Background noise of people walking and talking and medical equipment beeping. She fiercely walks up to the front desk).
Man at desk: Can I help you?
Patricia: (Angry) Where’s Olavi Vainikainen? He was brought into emergency with burns.
Man at desk: Well, I don’t know if I can just let anyone back there…
Patricia: Where is he?!
Man at desk: Like I said, I just can’t let you back there.
Patricia: Gaaaah, (walking off.)
Man at desk: (voice trailing) Hey! I’m going to call security!
(Sound of Patricia slamming open the doors to the emergency room, and walking in. More background noise of hurt people getting tended to and medical equipment beeping)
Patricia: (stopping walking) Excuse me, where is Olavi Vainikainen?
Woman Doctor: Who?
Patricia: Bah, (sound of her walking off. Stopping again) Where is Olavi Vainikainen? He came in with burns.
Man Doctor: Huh? Oh, I think they put him in the room back there. Are you relative?
Patricia: Yeah, I am, thanks. (Sound of her storming off. Sound of Patricia flinging open the door to the hospital room.)
Bates: …I’m still not sure we can say this is a… Oh, hi.
Patricia: Bates, security is coming for me. Go tell them it’s ok that I’m here.
Bates: Uhh, well…
Patricia: GET THE HELL OUT!
Bates: …Ooook. (sound of Bates getting up and leaving room with the door closing behind him).
Patricia: (silence for a moment) …Are you alright?
Otto: Yeah, they were able to treat me with that spray stuff. I just have to wear the bandages for a week.
Patricia: You selfish son of a bitch.
Otto: Oh for God sakes Patricia…
Patricia: No! Shut up! You have no idea what you put me through! I told you to be careful! (on the verge of crying) I got a call from the front desk at the station telling me you almost died, do you know what that’s like?! We need to drop this damn case!
Otto: Here, look (sound of him pulling something out). Look what I found.
Patricia: I don’t care!
Otto: No, look what I found. It’s drugs! I found drugs! They were in a secret storage area in his office! We can trace this back to the dealer, if we can just get some alone time with the testing equipment at the police station…
Patricia: I said I don’t care Otto!
Otto: (desperate to convince her) Patricia you don’t understand, this is it! It’s all coming together, we’re so close now!
Patricia: (lightly crying) No, no, no.
Otto: All of the machines at BIT, we found diagrams and paper work showing that there is something organized going on. If we can trace these drugs back to the dealers, we can find the exact point where all of the crime’s been coming from in the city! (Sound of Patricia crying for a moment) Patricia come on! We can be the ones who save this city!
Patricia: (crying) I don’t care about the city! I don’t care about the damn drugs! Here! Here! You’re so damn excited about this, here! (sound of her pulling something out of her pocket and throwing it on the floor).
Otto: What’s this? Video crystals? (Patricia lightly crying and breathing heavy) You found video recordings at the Brothel management? Ha! They WERE recording the whole time! Patricia this is great! They probably have the whole crime on camera right here.
Patricia: (lightly crying) I’m giving it all to Bates.
Otto: No, no you can’t do that. This probably has video of Homer Diya high on it, you know what Barbara said to us about letting them know that Homer was on drugs!
Patricia: (Full crying) LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME OTTO! Look at what this is doing to me! Don’t you care?! You’d rather get yourself killed protecting the money of a woman you just met than listen to me?! You’d rather try to live out this fantasy that you can single handedly save this hell hole, than keeping yourself safe?! I’m the one who keeps the boat moving! I’m the one that keeps the train running on time! I’m the one who wipes you’re ass when you’re too busy too! But I’m always the last one on your mind! Do you know what it would do to me if I lost you?! Do you know what I would do to myself if you weren’t there anymore?! (Sound of crying).
Otto: (not knowing what to do) Patricia… (she continues to cry. Sound of Otto getting up with a lot of pain and walking over to her. Sound of him hugging her) …What do you want me to say?
Patricia: (Cries a little bit more, than calms down a bit, but still breathing somewhat heavy)…I want you to say you’ll drop the case….
Otto: (Pause) …Ok…
(Sound of Patricia and Otto hugging tightly. Patricia isn’t crying anymore, but is still breathing somewhat heavy. Otto lets out a long sigh).