Narrator: South Tip is a bad place to be after dark. Parlortown’s poorest,
meanest streets are full of the hungry, the angry and the dead in no particular
order. If the casual pedestrian isn’t careful, he could become any one
of those in short order. Macy Hayes, of the Decker & Hayes Detective Agency,
didn’t care about this. For the past twelve hours she hadn’t cared
much about anything. She only acted, her actions as precise and mechanical
as a wristwatch.
Macy: (Certain, insistent) No, not a watch. (More
distant) I don’t
tick. No ticking. No (in imitation of the water) tick, tick, tick - (snapping
back, forcefully) Goals: find the files my ‘partner’ and my ‘secretary’ hid
from me. Status: Subordinate files located, location of other information
pending. Secretary resisted, was terminated. Step Two: Return to the base
of operations. Status: Completed. Step Three: (suddenly less certain) What
was Step Three? Something…(confused) warm and soft. Someone named Stella?
(certain) No, Lexi had mentioned Stella, whoever that was. It was Lexi who
wanted me to get some rest here, so that I could be ready for the next stage
of the operation. Right, the operation. That’s what this is all about.
Step Four is the important one. Step Four – (door opening) Who’s
there? Lexi? Lansberg?
McGuiness: Hey Macy! Thank God you’re all right.
Macy: (confrontational) Who are you? How do you know my name? Are you part
of the operation?
McGuiness: Hey, I’m a detective, not a doctor. I don’t do operations.
Macy: Then you don’t belong here. I must terminate you. All obstacles
to the operation’s completion must be terminated.
McGuiness: (placating voice) Woah, hon, put the knife down.
Macy: (Mounting hysteria) You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Lexi
warned me they’d try to stop me. Lexi warned me that they’d try
to stall the operation -
McGuiness: Macy -
Macy: - that they’d –
McGuiness: Macy –
Macy: STOP SAYING MY NAME AND BE TERMINATED!
McGuiness: Tell me about Daniel, Macy.
Macy: Daniel? (falling automatically into singsong rhythm) Daniel is safe,
but not for long. He likes to sing a very sad song. He really misses good
old Pops, but he’ll cry if you call the cops. One million dollars, one
month’s time. The punishment (falling out of rhythm) must fit…the… (as
if coming awake) Julie?
McGuiness: (clearly pleased) Hey Macy, guess you’re back to normal.
Macy: Julie? I think I killed Tommy…
McGuiness: Don’t worry, hon, you just shook him up. Now let’s
go, we don’t have much time.
Macy: Time? (Slipping back into crazy-mode) No, no we don’t. No time.
Tick. Tick. Tick… (crazy again) What am I doing? You are placing the
operation in jeopardy! You must be –
McGuiness: (clearly exasperated) Yeah, yeah, terminated. (thump) Jeez. There’s
no talkin’ to some people.
Narrator: Having pistol-whipped Macy into submission, McGuiness loaded the
unconscious detective into his car. Meanwhile, across town, at the office
of Decker & Hayes, the duo’s secretary, Tommy Potsdam, had been
in a staring contest with the barrel of a gun. This had happened only hours
before, when Macy had inexplicably barged in and tried to shoot him. The guy
behind it this time, Jason Drake, was currently on the phone.
Drake: Matt Lansberg? (it is totally not a pleasure) To what do I owe the
Lansberg: Since you’re holding one of my informants at gunpoint, Agent
Drake, I’d argue that you brought this on yourself.
Drake: One of your…(incredulous) The kid? Potsherd?
Drake: (irritated) Shut up, kid, the adults are talking. (cool
must really be strapped for help, Matt. This is the best you can do?
Lansberg: He serves a purpose. I don’t have the time or patience to
do better at the moment. And you? How goes the mission?
Drake: It’s gone south fast, no thanks to you. Without Hayes I’ve
had to go after Decker, who is stubborn and intractable. The local police
are barely even worth mentioning. Frankly I’ve spent so much time trying
to work around you I’ve made almost no progress.
Lansberg: (not sorry) I’m sorry to hear that, Agent Drake. I guess
we both know who’ll be back in the Director’s graces after this.
Drake: (slowly losing his temper) A Russian madman is peddling weapons on
American streets and you’re going to play office politics? Have you
lost ALL sense of perspective?
Lansberg: Now that Hayes has been broken it will only be a matter of time
before we apprehend Smerdyakov. All that remain are a few minor adjustments.
Drake: Adjustments? On an agent? (chuckles) Somebody did a sloppy job reprogramming,
Lansberg: (ruffled slightly) Nothing need be said about the matter! I’ll
have the Smerdyakov problem contained within 24 hours, Jason. Take that back
to the Director and tell him it’s not your fault you’re a second-rate
Drake: Arrogant, petty son of a whore. (returning to
the cold we’ve
seen so far) Well, Potsdam, this is awkward.
Tommy: What are you talking about?
Drake: Well, by now you’ve probably figured out that I came here under
false pretenses. You’re also the pawn of a man who’s deliberately
hindering my investigation in order to garner more political capital. To top
it off, I don’t much like your face. So I don’t really have any
choice but to fill it with bullets. (gun click)
Paige: No! (taser noise, Drake making appropriate sounds)
Tommy: What the hell are you doing here?
Paige: Saving your life, apparently. No need to thank me.
Tommy: Keep away, you spying witch!
Paige: Now that’s gratitude for you.
Tommy: Keep away, or I’ll…(at a loss for
what he’ll do,
scrabbling noise) I’ll shoot!
Paige: You wouldn’t shoot me.
Tommy: (losing it) Paige, in the last twenty-four hours I’ve been held
at gunpoint twice for extended periods by crazy people. It’s entirely
possible that I will shoot you.
Paige: (sighs) Okay. Your call. (dragging sound)
Tommy: What are you doing?
Paige: Well, Julian should have found Macy by now and brought her back to
my place. This guy seems to know the people who took her, so hopefully I can
talk him into helping us piece together what’s going on. It won’t
be easy, now that I’ve Tased him, but I’m sure he’s been
Tommy: You know where Ms. Hayes is?
Paige: Of course I do, I’ve been keeping tabs on her for a while.
Tommy: More spying.
Paige: (exasperated) YES, Tommy, more spying. That’s how I knew you
were in danger. That’s how I know that Macy’s being held hostage
by the CIA. That’s I know that there’s over six gallons of bio-weapons
and three nuclear warheads in Parlortown right now and that if we act fast
we have a chance of capturing the guy behind it. But no, you’re too
busy whining about your ‘right to privacy’ and your ‘personal
space’ to understand the bigger picture. I thought I knew you better.
(getting tearful) I thought you’d understand that people are safer when
they look out for each other. I thought you’d be happy that I cared
enough to keep an eye on you. I hoped it’d make you feel less lonely,
so you wouldn’t need to hang around coffeehouses every night or shiver
while you sleep, waiting for someone to hold you. But you don’t care.
You just want to be alone. (angry, on the verge of crying) Well, fine then!
(through sobs) Take your stupid, lonely, pointless life and screw yourself
Narrator: Paige picked up Drake’s armpits again and started dragging.
Tommy heard her progress down the hall to the elevator, then the sounds of
doors opening and closing. He sat down heavily, dropping the gun. He stared
into space, gun in hand, trying to sort through the verbal sandblasting he’d
just suffered. As he began to put together the pieces in his mind, a slim
brunette walked in.
Lexi: Knock knock?
Tommy: (Trying to recover himself) Ah, yes, sorry, ma’am. May I help
Lexi: I hope so. The elevator was in use, so I took the stairs. (Uncertainly) I think I’m on the right floor. This is Decker & Hayes Detectives,
Tommy: (relieved, back on familiar ground) Why yes. Neither Ms. Decker nor
Ms. Hayes are in, I’m afraid, but I can take your information.
Lexi: Thank you. By the way, have you seen a blond man in an expensive suit
come through here?
Tommy: (clearly campaigning for Worst Liar Ever) What? Oh, um, no, not at
all, never seen a man matching that description.
Lexi: You’re a bad liar, Tommy boy.
Narrator: Tommy barely had time to register that the woman had pulled a gun
when there was an explosion of sound and a bullet in the head derailed his
train of thought. There was blackness Night had never been a kind mistress
in Parlortown – she preferred to skulk in alleys and tenements, waiting
for the unwary. As the sun rose that morning over South Tip, however, it marked
the end of a surprisingly quiet night – many the neighborhood’s
worst prowlers hadn’t shown their faces at all. Stella Decker, the second
half of the Decker & Hayes Detective Agency, stumbled sleepily into the
establishment of an old friend.
Mama: (shocked) Stella, baby, what happened to you? You look like hell.
Stella: (sounding bushed) Long night, Mama. Tired.
Mama: What’s that in your hand?
Stella: Nothin’. (metallic clang)
Mama: Oh my God, this is a crowbar! It’s covered in…oh my god!
You beat someone to death with a crowbar?!
Stella: (too tired to make excuses) Yep. A couple. Two. Three. Twelve.
Mama: Jesus Christ, WHY?!
Stella: Ran outta bullets.
Mama: Stella, what happened? I thought you’d grown out of this.
Stella: Spiders. Freakin’…Spiders. Put ‘em down. Every
one. ‘Cept Vasquez, but he’s next. Want sleep now.
Mama: (That makes it okay) Oh, Spiders. What’d they do this time?
Stella: Tasha. That’s where she’s been all these years, Mama.
Mama: That girl you used to go with? THEY had her?
Stella: (Falling asleep) Almost twenty years. Raped her. Beat her. Paid ‘em
back. (light snoring)
Mama: (After a beat, in a gentle whisper) Sleep well, my little avenger.
Narrator: Meanwhile, as Stella was drifting into dreamland,
Macy was slowly regaining consciousness. She seemed to be lying on a futon
surrounded by take-out
Chinese food containers, candy wrappers and computer parts. The far wall
was a web of multicolored threads connecting pushpins with labels like "Mayor
Glass", "New York Stock Exchange" and "UFOs". Macy
could make out her own name among the mass, though what it was connected
to seemed hard to tell. A skinny girl with blond dreadlocks came in, smiling.
Paige: Ms. Hayes, right? Hi! We’ve been waiting for you.
Narrator: Now that Macy’s been recovered, can she be deprogrammed after
her brutal torture? Will McGuiness and Paige be able to stop Smerdyakov? Will
Stella reap what she sows in her gruesome quest for revenge? Find out in the
next episode of Decker & Hayes: The Last Spider.