Narrator: Things aren’t always the way they appear. Especially
in a place like Parlortown, where the harlots could be loving mothers, the
authorities could be crooks, and the detectives, our modern knights in shining
can have a far darker past than imagined. Stella Decker knows this better
than anyone else. A gangster-turned-private eye, she’s seen it all the
time. Crime bosses masquerading as tax consultants, assassins playing the
part of girlfriends, and now, hitmen pretending to be distraught fathers.
In the murky depths of Parlortown’s South Tip, Stella made a visit to
Celeste "Mama" Wang, a madam with a heart of gold, hoping to find
a lead on this enigmatic case. In the process of doing so, Stella’s
client Derrick Washburn arrived with a thickening of the plot and a loaded
gun. With the help of Mama, Stella knocked him out and tied him up with
the intent of finding out what’s really going on…
Washburn: (Groans) One thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight…
Mama: Honey, you’re going to need more than a bunch of numbers if you
plan on leaving some time soon. South Tip’s cellars are full of forgotten
bodies the boys in blue never got around to finding.
Stella: Wait, Mama. This might be something important.
Washburn: The way it used to be…was so much different.
Mama: Dear, I hope you start making some sense soon. I’d hate to see
what would happen if I had to call up the rest of the gang.
Stella: Why have you been looking for Macy? I’d hate to be the one
to break it to you, but you’re not exactly her type.
Washburn: (Regaining his senses slowly) I’ll take that as a compliment.
Her type isn’t a safe one to be near?
Stella: Just what are you insinuating?
Washburn: Untie me first.
Mama: Not gonna happen, shiny shoes. Give us what we need to know, first.
Then we’ll consider it.
Washburn: Impeding an agent of the U.S. government is a pretty serious offense,
Miss Wang. Don’t think the CIA won’t be looking for this body
if it winds up in a cellar. Go on, check the credentials. Right coat pocket.
Narrator: Stella reached into the man’s coat pocket and withdrew a
wallet. In it was a card with his picture on it and the CIA logo, indicating
his status as an operative. The name read "Agent Jason Drake."
Stella: So you’re a fed…
Drake: If you want to call me that, sure.
Stella: What do you want with Macy?
Drake: It all started in 1988 when Hayes and her old partner, runs by the
name of Lexi Grayson, was working with us on a mission in Russia. The Cold
War was almost over and the Ruskies had the KGB team up with them for this
one. They were to off an ex-general in the Russian army who was causing some
trouble with his arms sales. A renegade called Smerdyakov. Grayson was to
sneak into his office and do the deed while Hayes stood guard outside and
made sure no one interrupted. Evidently, things didn’t go according
to plan. We just got word that Smerdyakov is still alive and well…and
he’s not happy with how either us or the mother country’s been
treating him. What’s more, Grayson’s gone turncoat. We know she’s
part of a terrorist cell that Smerdyakov is leading somewhere in this very
area. Grayson was never happy with Hayes leaving the Agency for Cross, but
there’s more to it than that. She has something that Smerdyakov needs.
Your partner’s in over her head.
Stella: I doubt you’re here to keep her from drowning.
Drake: Of course not. I’m here to see if she can pull Smerdyakov out
of hiding. Truth be told, I don’t have a son. I’m not even married.
That was just a story to get me closer to Macy.
Stella: With all these lies floating around, how can I be sure your story
isn’t one of them?
Drake: How else would I know so much about Agent Hayes’ past? The only
other group that knew so much was Wexler & Cross…and, well…I
don’t think any of them can tell me much of anything anymore given their
condition. Now, if 20 Questions is over, can you untie me?
Narrator: Stella and Mama exchanged looks.
Stella: Why don’t you sit this one out and let the big boys play, eh
Drake? Mama, can you take care of the suit until this shindig’s through?
Mama: No way. Dear, I love you to death, but I’m not going to keep
some fed holed up in here for God knows how long.
Drake: Besides, you need me. You don’t stand a chance at finding Smerdyakov.
He keeps too low of a profile. Your best lead is Grayson, and even she’s
tough to track unless you know the kind of people I do.
Narrator: Stella weighed her options for a few moments. Go it alone, possibly
getting help from McGuiness who knows even less about this case than her,
or bring Drake along for the ride even if his story does still seem fishy.
Finally, she made her decision.
Stella: Mama, untie the rope. Drake, you better not be more trouble than
Drake: Trust me. I’m not.
Stella: You did already kill a good friend.
Drake: What makes you think I did that?
Mama: It could be the gunshots we heard before you came in, or you admitting
to murdering him, you psycho.
Drake: I said I dispatched with him.
Stella: That means you killed him.
Drake: It could mean I killed him. It could also mean to dispose of something
or to complete a task. In this case it’s the latter. Follow me.
Narrator: Drake led Mama and Stella toward the stairs where they could hear
distant groaning. At the bottom, they could see Lucky clutching his foot to
his chest in agonizing pain. Blood oozed out of a hole in his boot.
Mama: Mr. White?! Oh God!!
Lucky: You crazy son of a bitch! What did you do to my foot?
Stella: Call an ambulance, now!
Narrator: Later, Stella found herself in yet again the sterile, uncaring
environment of the hospital, hoping beyond hope that yet another one of her
friends survives a senseless shooting. It seems like history has a nasty habit
of repeating itself in Parlortown. This time, however, it wasn’t the
familiar presence of Macy, Tommy, or Julian in the room with her, but that
of the still-dubious Agent Drake. After a long, uncomfortable silence in the
waiting room, Drake decided to speak up.
Drake: What’s on your mind?
Stella: What’s on my mind? In the last 24 hours, I’ve met two
old friends so close that they were like family to me, only for some crazy
jackass to come along and shoot them, putting them in here. That’s what’s
on my mind. And guess what? I don’t even know why it happened either
Drake: Stella…he wouldn’t let me in.
Stella: So you had to shoot him?
Drake: Yeah. I had to keep up appearances. The plan was to wound him so people
knew I meant business, take you out of there at gunpoint, then explain everything
to you personally so I wouldn’t blow my cover in front of those two.
Now, at least one person who shouldn’t know about my operation does.
Stella: (Dripping with sarcasm) Well, I’m sorry to be an inconvenience.
(Beat) Look, I’m going to see how Tasha’s doing. After that, we
can start following up these leads of yours. And you better be here when I
get back. CIA, mafiaoso, whatever. I don’t care who you are.
Narrator: That said, Stella got up to ask the receptionist if it was still
visitation hours. Elsewhere in town, Tommy Potsdam was en route to the apartment/office
of Paige Rose. With Stella’s Visa being overdrawn, the check turned
out to be the only option they had. Passing the Blue Light Diner, Tommy couldn’t
help but remember the fiasco that went on there, landing Macy Hayes in prison
and his girlfriend six feet under. A few blocks down and three stories up,
he found the door to Paige’s apartment ajar with a sign hanging off
the doorknob reading "Out to Lunch"
Tommy: Silly girl. Makes a living off looking into other people’s things
and she can’t even put a little effort towards keeping others from doing
it back. Well, I’ll just drop off the check inside.
Narrator: As a precaution, Tommy knocked on the door a few times. When he
was certain she was still out, he stepped in. Paige’s housekeeping skills
were about as sloppy as her security. Take-out food containers, papers, and
other things were strewn about the place. He found some relatively uncluttered
portion of Paige’s desk to place the envelope Stella had given him.
Tommy: That part’s done. I do say. Miss Decker and I keep a far cleaner
ship than this Paige woman.
Narrator: As he started for the door, Tommy heard the phone ring. It took
everything inside of him to resist the well-conditioned urge to pick it up
and say "Decker and Hayes." He continued for the door instead, letting
it ring until the answering maching picked up. He stopped when he heard an
McGuiness: Yo, this is McGuinness. Kudos on the bug in her room, kid. I could
use someone like you in my offices. Been a while since I’ve had a partner
too, and not in that way. McGuiness and Rose. Call me if you’re interested.
Anyway, I also called to thank you on the intel. I knew there was something
suspicious about that Grayson and Lansberg. I might need your services a little
bit more. Leads aren’t coming easy with these two. Gimme a call back
when you can, babe.
Tommy: Good God! She is bugging us!
Paige: Now I feel hurt. All this time, I’ve been nothing but a bother
Tommy: Paige, you’re back!
Paige: Damn right, I am. What the hell are you doing in my apartment?
Tommy: Dropping off your check. What the hell are you doing invading my employer’s
Paige: That’s none of your concern. Julie and I figured you wouldn’t
approve, so we kept it a secret.
Tommy: Bloody right I wouldn’t! Miss Decker needs to know about this,
as well as these Grayson and Lansberg fellows.
Paige: No, Tommy! You don’t understand!
Tommy: Out of my way!
Narrator: Tommy pushed past Paige and bolted down the stairs before she could
say another word. He ran in a dead sprint until he got back to the office.
Tommy: Miss Decker! Miss Decker! I was right! Paige is spying on us!
Narrator: He got as far as his desk before he felt another presence in the
room, and it wasn’t Stella’s. Turning, he saw a gun trained on
him. It’s holder: Macy.
Macy: Kid, I think that’s the least of your worries, right now.
Narrator: Nothing at all is how it appeared at first glance
and now both Stella Decker and Tommy Potsdam are yearning for the way it
used to be when
things were simpler and you knew what side everyone was on. What is Macy
doing? Did Paige and Julian really plant bugs in Stella’s office? Is
Agent Drake telling the truth? The plot thickens in the next episode of
Decker & Hayes:
"Secrets & Lies."