Narrator: Pandora Claire Darling had been trying to restore to her life some
semblance of equilibrium in recent days. After her life was shattered by the
revelation her mother was a hardened killer fighting an evil conspiracy that
might or might not exist, the respective tragic deaths of many of her family
members including said mother, and her former best friend's abrupt abandonment
of her, Pandy had been more than slightly distraught. For weeks she had looked
forward to her homecoming date with the school pariah, social-anxiety sufferer,
and saviour of her life Bobby Kurtzman as a wonderful dramatic return to the
world of her friends that would usher her back into tranquil normality. Now,
however, that dream was shattered. Pandora Darling could not seem to escape
the reach of the forces that had turned her life upside down, and she found
herself wondering who had kidnapped Bobby as she was chauffeured around by
the history teacher, local sex symbol, and evangelical Christian who had just
revealed himself to be a cold-blooded killer: Thomas Nielsen.
Pandora: My God! Mr Nielsen! You just killed that man!
Nielsen: Exactly! Thrilling, isn't it? I know you tried to do it too. Is
there anything more exciting, Pandora?
Pandora: Exciting? That's murder! You're the one who kept telling me I'd
go to hell for committing murder in my heart. I'm pretty sure that if that's
true, you'll go for committing it in a minivan!
Nielsen: Not if you're absolved, Pandora! The greatness of God is in his
forgiveness. How can we confess our sins if we have nothing to confess? How
can we be pardoned and granted entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven if we have
nothing to pardon? I know killing is frowned upon by our politically-correct
society, but we're only bringing people closer to their God. The more chance
they have to repent, the more glorious God can be in His mercy. The more we
trespass against others, the more chance each of us has to forgive those who
trespass against them, and thereby ascend triumphantly into the arms of our
Lord and Saviour. (reciting a mantra) "We must sin in order to be pardoned;
we must be pardoned in order to be received." Needless to say, we can't
really advertise our ideas much, though.
Pandora: Mr Nielsen, this is unbelievable.
Nielsen: I know! I couldn't believe it either when I first heard about it,
but based on our conversation a few weeks ago, and especially what happened
today, I think you're ready to join us.
Nielsen: That's right. I suppose you could think of us as our own sect. We
call ourselves Christians Absolving Sinful Kindnesses. We usually meet in
my basement. It's that house over there.
(fx: car stopping)
Nielsen: We all set up a time for after the dance since a few of us were
going to be tied up there. You can come on in and attend your first meeting
if you're inclined to become a member. Alternately, if you don't want to join
we could use you to help boost our own Expiation Potentials.
Pandora: What's that mean?
Nielsen: Sending you directly on to God so He in His mercy can have something
substantial of which to absolve us. It's really a win-win. Anyway, we can
start this evening by begging forgiveness for the theft of this van....
(fx: a tapping at the car window, the window being rolled down)
Mondi: Could I have a word with you in private?
Nielsen: Certainly, Gloria.
(fx: car door opening and closing. A cell phone being opened and 10 tones
being dialed. Ringing.)
Tabby: (phone filter through the conversation) Hello?
Pandora: Listen, Tabby. It's me. I need to talk to you.
Tabby: No, Pandy. I don't think you do. I didn't think I could take any more
of you before, but today was just the icing on the cake. Good-b...
Pandora: Wait! Bobby's been kidnapped!
Tabby: (choked) What? Oh, my God. Who could have-
Pandora: And so have I.
Tabby: Oh. Is Bobby with you?
Pandora: No! I'm at Mr. Nielsen's house. He's locked me in the van that belongs
to your favourite band, who also happen to have been the people who kidnapped
your crush. (vindictively) I hope your still happy with their "perfect
vision of the world as it should..." Wait. I have to go. I see him coming
back. Get the police over here and see if Caleb and Special K are still anywhere
around the school. Bye.
(fx:car door opening again)
Nielson: Well, golly, Pandora. I've just been learning some interesting things
about you. It seems your late mother was single-handedly responsible for the
deaths of four of our founding members, and she didn't even give them time
to repent. You were right when you said she was sick. It also seems that you
agreed to collaborate with her on a number of operations. I'm sorry, but although
I'm sure most of us would love to spend time sinning with you in multiple
ways, we just can't trust you not to kill us and take all the repentance for
yourself. We can't afford to have mercy. Cuff her, Gloria.
(fx: sound of handcuffs while Pandora protests)
Mondi: She seemed to think we were part of some kind of international conspiracy.
Something to do with Jehovah's Witnesses. As if we'd spend any time with them
in this world or the next! She was almost the singlehanded catalyst for the
foundation of that new Jehovah's Witness Protection Programme, which is one “accomplishment” to
her name, I suppose.
Nielsen: I think I'd go for an old-fashioned communal sacrifice today, Gloria.
Get everyone in on the absolution.
Mondi: Oh, absolutely. We can clear off the altar in the basement!
Pandora: Let go of me!
Narrator: Protesting madly, Pandora was taken to a small cell that looked
as if it had been hastily converted from a particularly poorly-maintained
broom closet before being briefly inhabited by dozens of unfortunate victims
of Christians Absolving Sinful Kindnesses. However, unable and now strangely
unwilling to divest herself of the rigid training that her late mother Hope
had instilled in her, Pandora had equipped her legs that morning with a convenient
set of materials for picking locks of all kinds. Unnerved by her own equanimity
at being locked in a small closet by a secret cabal of serial killers, many
of whom she knew personally, Pandora removed the comically simple handcuffs
around her wrists, broke out of the closet, and left through the front door
after overhearing Mr. Niesen's assembling sinners in the basement hotly debating
whether to sacrifice her while wearing goat masks or Knights Templar costumes.
Overcoming certain negative associations she had developed with the vehicle,
she entered the Caleb and Special K van and headed back down Mozart (pronounced “Mozzart”)
Street. She had only advanced a few feet when she was pulled over by a lone
Interpolitansky: (through door) Please exit the vehicle, Miss.
(fx door opens and shuts)
Pandora: Er, what can I do for you, officer?
Interpolitansky: Officer Orson S. Interpolitansky, at your service miss.
Defender of victims and persecutor of perpetrators. Warrior for right, blight
of crime. Champion of the innocent, bane of the guilty. Boon to justice...
Pandora: Yes. I know what the police are. I'm in a hurry. Is there anything
can do for you or are you eventually going to start doing you job and investigate
the house down the st-
Interpolitansky: Well, miss, I've had an anonymous report in over the telephone
indicating something to the effect that somewhere on Mozart Street there was
a large yellow van with “Caleb and Special K” written on the side,
and that that the driver was a kidnapper. Now, miss, I ask you, taking all
this into consideration, thinking with a rational mind, exerting all one's
effort in the accurate maintenance of our country's laws, how would you, were
you in my position, proceed to....
Pandora: I'd go down the street to number thirty-six because that's where
the kidnapper lives. I'm the one who was kidnapped. I just escaped from him.
That call was from my... friend.
Interpolitanksy: An an impartial officer of the law it is my solemn and sworn
duty to investigate all possible explanations for a state of affairs, but
I think that at this juncture it would be wisest for me, a defended of the
downtrodden at all times, to ask you to allow me to enter the relevant vehicle
at this time so that I might conduct a thorough search...
Pandora: Officer, I'm trying to save someonr who actually has been kidn-
Interpolitansky: I feel compelled to inquire, Miss, about the presence of
a bloody corpse so degradingly strewn across the back seat of this-
(fx: car door slamming, car starting, police siren, another cell phone
call being made)
Pandora: That policeman you instructed so brilliantly thinks I'm the kidnapper
and he's seen the body in the back of the car, so...
Pandora: Yes! The drummer Mr. Nielsen shot.
Tabby: Well, he was really ruining their sound anyway.
Pandora: Tabby, I'm being chased by the police!
Tabby: OK. Where are you?
Pandora: I'm just coming near to the school.
Tabby: OK. Lead him here. I know Caleb is still somewhere on campus. If that
story you were telling me is true, then he's the one that must have kidnapped
Tabby: Fine! It's looking pretty true. I see the van. Come through the after-hours
Pandora: OK. Talk to you in a minute.
(fx: two cars stop. The police siren stops. Someone gets out of each
Tabby: Pandy! God, I'm so sorry! You were right the whole time.
Pandora: Don't worry about it, Tabby. I'm just glad that...
Interpolitanksy: Excuse me, ladies. Pardon my interruption but in the fulfillment
of my duties I feel compelled to interject at the moment. My name, young lady,
by the way, is Officer Orson S. Interpolitanksky, at your service. Defender
Pandora: Before you take any action, officer, I'd like to see some credentials.
Interpolitanksy: Certainly, miss! Certainly! Only allow me a few moments
to retrieve a complete cv from my vehicle.
Pandora: That's fine. We'll wait.
(fx: footsteps, car door noise in background)
Tabby: Is this guy for real?
Pandora: (realising) He can't be. I can't really read his car in the dark,
but I can tell that doesn't say “Carousel Police.”
Tabby: Well, yeah. How big a rock have you been living under?
Pandora: My mother died, Tabby.
Tabby: Yeah. Sorry. Carousel has been hiring private police to bolster the
Pandora: That's a terrible idea!
Tabby: Jason Brandt came up with it. (imitating Brandt) “Don't ever
believe you don't deserve a police force just because you can't afford to
Pandora: That explains a lot. Come on, let's start searching the campus while
Officer Whatsisname looks for his resume.
(fx: footsteps begin)
Tabby: Let's try the history rooms and computer labs first, in case Bobby
Pandora: What makes you think you know better where he would go?
Tabby: Where do YOU think he would go?
Pandora: (sighing) History rooms and computer labs. Come on. (pause) Tabby,
I can understand how you got upset. I heard enough of your Caleb-worship over
the years to know it must have been a dream come true when they asked to come.
Tabby: Thanks, Pandy. (audibly upset) I don't know if I can take any more
of this. I looked up to Caleb more than anyone else in the world. If you listened
to their music you'd never believe they could do something so awful. I mean,
when I read Bobby's blog and found out he liked them too-
Pandora: Free CD came with one of Brandt's tapes.
Tabby: I know. Limited-issue rare live recording of “The Problem to
Answers.” (pause) Pandy, do you think Caleb was always an evil conspirator--
even when he was with Susan?
Tabby: Caleb and Susan Krumb. The greatest musical couple in history.
Pandora: Hm. Sounds like it. I don't know how much of what my mother believed
was true, but I know there are people out there doing some terrible things,
and they're associated with those letters C-A-S-K. She died trying to stop
them; I guess the least I could do for her now is to fight them here.
(She begins mournfully humming a simple tune)
Pandy: What's that?
Tabby: It's Caleb's first song. “The Key to the World.” (singing) “The
key to the world is harmony,/ The key a world of bliss./ The key to the word
is to listen to me,/ And we'll all think just like this...”
Pandora: I still think they kind of suck.
Tabby: (sobs minutely) Pandy, that was the most...
Bobby: Hi, guys!
Tabby and Pandy: Bobby!
Pandy: We thought you were kidnapped and the whole time you were sitting
there on the internet?
Bobby: I WAS kidnapped! I was just making sure I updated my blog about it.
This is the most exciting thing that's happened to me since... the last few
times I was kidnapped.
Pandora: You BLOGGED about it?
Tabby: I can't wait to read it!
Pandora: Bobby, I don't know if the best way to fight an secret international
conspiracy is to write about it on the internet. If I weren't so glad that
you sur... HOW did you manage to escape anyway, Bobby?
Bobby: Well, I knew Caleb was in with Jason Brandt, and made it pretty easy
for me to convince him I was on his side. I still remember everything from
Jason's tapes. Can you imagine he doesn't really believe any of that?
Pandora: So Caleb just let you go?
Bobby: Well, I had to promise to spy for him on you. It was really interesting.
There's a whole code, you see, like in Ham radio, so...
Pandora: Bobby, I'm sure that's really fascinating but we kind of have to
go right now because I'm being chased by a freelance policeman who thinks
it was me who shot the drummer from Caleb and Special K.
Bobby: Well, Caleb said you shot the whole rest of the band.
Pandora: Er, I wouldn't be surprised if a member of an international evil
conspiracy happened to be the lying kind, Bobby.
Bobby: Yeah. I guess you're right, Pandy.
Tabby: We need to find a back exit to the school. We left that policeman
at the front putting together some kind of portfolio for us to prove his credentials.
Bobby: You're sure this guy is dangerous?
Interpolitanksy: Yes. Very sure. Put your hands up, please. I am not afraid
to fire. It has come to my attention in recent minutes from certain extremely
reliable sources that you, sir, and you, ladies, have been associating of
late to an inordinate degree with members of an evil international conspiracy
known as CASK. For this, and for the knowledge contained in your implant chips,
you will have to die.
Narrator: Will Mr. Nielsen's sinful club ever be found out? Who is the mysterious
Caleb? What must Bobby do for him? Who is Orson S. Interpolitanksy? What does
his resume say? What are his motives? Will he kill our intrepid heroes? You
have a chance of finding out the answers to some of these questions in next
week's episode of Like Daughter: "CASK and Ye Shall Receive."