Narrator: Pandora Darling watched her homecoming date, Bobby Kurtzman, as
he slept off the events of the previous night on her couch. The evening had
been ruined by a kidnapping, crazed cultists and an insane policeman, and
she figured he’d earned some rest. Since inheriting her late mother’s
quest to defeat a vast evil conspiracy, Pandora hadn’t had much sleep;
she felt a brief stab of envy for him. Suddenly, he twitched and snarled.
Bobby: (snoring, then groggily awake) Hey Pandy.
Pandora: (relieved) Hey Bobbysox. Sleep well?
Bobby: (yawning) Pretty well. How are you feeling? You were shook up last
Pandora: I was. Still am, I’ve just got it more under control now.
Bobby: Totally. I’d never know you’d beaten up a corrupt cop
Pandora: That’s good. Police don’t usually take well to that
sort of thing.
Bobby: (nervous laugh) No kidding. So…where is he?
Pandora: He’s in the basement. Don’t worry; he won’t be
waking up…for a while.
Bobby: Good. Man, could you believe that guy?
Pandora: (laughing) What, you mean all the (hysterical
Rob Glass impression) “Orson
S. Interpolitansky, guardian of goodness, snuggler of puppies…”
Bobby: (also laughing, in silly Robert Glass voice) “I went to college
and know karate, with which I defend justice!”
(laughing, cut short very suddenly by a long kiss. After it breaks, a beat)
Bobby: (too quickly and apologetic) I’m sorry, I don’t know what
came over me, I just.
Pandora: Cool it, Bobbysox. If I minded, you’d know.
Bobby: Oh. Good.
Pandora: Listen, I found this thing on the cop after I … got him secured.
Bobby: Woah, neat! Looks like some kind of special flash drive.
Pandora: A what now?
Bobby: It stores memory and is totally portable. This end must plug in to
a computer, but it doesn’t look familiar…
Pandora: That makes sense. I found what it fits in.
Bobby: A clock?
Pandora: That’s what it looks like. Watch this.
Bobby: Wow! That’s crazy!
Pandora: That’s my mom for you. This must be how she got information
from CASK agents about their activities.
Bobby: It’s some kind of recording device?
Pandora: I guess so. Maybe this end acts like a microphone.
Bobby: Maybe. Look at these folders; “Innocuous, January 2005,” “Innocuous,
December, 2004,” “Innocuous, November, 2004,” sounds like
Officer I. didn’t do much that was interesting.
Pandora: Mostly, yeah. But then there’s this one.
Bobby: “Red Flags?”
Pandora: I think it’s able to sort through what it hears based on programmed
Bobby: That’s some pretty advanced technology, especially in such a
Pandora: World-spanning conspiracy, they can probably afford some fancy stuff.
Bobby: So what are these “Red Flags”?
Pandora: Mostly recordings of my mom.
(the recording plays, as if taking place in a dojo where people are practicing)
Hope: No, I’m an airline stewardess. After all the hijacking scares,
I figured it’s time to learn a little self-defense, you know what I
Bobby: The cop knew your mom?!
Pandora: Apparently she spent some time at the Carousel Academy School of
Bobby: Your mom? But these are less than a year old, and your mom was some
kind of crazy ninja!
Pandora: I think she may have been trying to infiltrate them. Follow the
Bobby: Carousel Academy School of…CASK. Oh, man.
Pandora: What’s that saying? It isn’t paranoia –
Bobby: - if everyone’s really out to get you.
Pandora: I guess it’s the world that’s out of its mind, while
we’re still sane.
Bobby: So your mom infiltrated a CASK cell to gain their confidence?
Pandora: I guess so. I’d better check it out.
Bobby: You can’t be serious!
Pandora: My mom died fighting these people, Bobby. I need to stop them.
Bobby: Then I’m going with you.
Pandora: Are you crazy?! You could get killed!
Bobby: I’ve made it this far, right?
(voices begin rising, culminating in shouting)
Pandora: So far you’ve been lucky! That won’t last!
Bobby: That’s a chance I’m willing to take!
Pandora: I can’t watch my back and yours at the same time!
Bobby: I can take care of myself!
Pandora: No you can’t! You’ll get us both killed!
Bobby: I don’t want to live without you!
Pandora: What the hell does that mean?!
Bobby: I LOVE YOU!
Pandora: (normal voice, tearful) Do you really?
Bobby: (quieting down more gradually, but no less intensity
of emotion) Of
course. Why do you think I’ve stuck with you this far? I want to be
with you, no matter what. I don’t understand any of this, Pandy. Secret
conspiracies, insane policemen, assassinations … your life’s like
a Dan Brown novel. But if it’s what happens to you, I want to help you,
every step of the way.
Pandora: Everyone I’ve felt that way about is dead.
Bobby: (lame joke voice) Then I guess there’s an opening for me, right?
Pandora: (gentle, quiet) Fine. We’ll go together. But first, give me
Bobby: Um…okay. Where are we going?
Bobby: Okay. What’s upstairs?
Pandora: There’s something I want to do.
Narrator: Several hours later, Pandora and Bobby walked into the Carousel
Academy School of Karate. Inside, she was greeted by a tall, well-muscled
man in a master’s robes.
(Same dojo sounds as on recording)
Chuck: Afternoon, kids. What can I do for you?
Pandora: We’re actually hoping to find out more about the school.
Chuck: Well, I’d be the person to talk to. Charles Kane, Dean of the
school. Nice to meet you, Miss…?
Pandora: (after a pause, finally getting it) Oh! I’m Pandora, and this
Bobby: Pleased to meet you, Mr. Kane.
Chuck: Call me Chuck. Pandora, that’s a very distinctive name. Your
mother gave it to you?
Pandora: Why do you ask?
Chuck: (trying not to give away too much; secretive) Well, a friend of mine
had a daughter named Pandora, who’d be about your age. Hope Darling?
Pandora: That’s my mom.
Chuck: I thought so. Come to my office.
Bobby: (whispering) Pandy, what are you doing?! This guy’s CASK.
Pandora: (also whispering) I don’t think so, Bobby. Mom trained me
to recognize people lying, and he wasn’t kidding when he called her
a friend. Either way, he recognizes me, so we might as well go with him until
we know more. Just play along, okay?
Bobby: Okay. But I still think this is a mistake.
(door shuts, dojo sounds fade)
Chuck: That’s some privacy, at least. I was so sorry to hear about
your mother, Pandora. She was a good woman, fighting the good fight.
Pandora: Wait, you know about her…thing?
Chuck: The conspiracy? Of course! First time we met was when she saved me
Bobby: She saved your life?
Chuck: You better believe it. I was on one of her flights, guarding a client – I
was private security at the time, Blackwell – and she warned me just
before the hijackers made their move. After that, we started talking, trading
combat stories, things like that.
Pandora: She told you about CASK?
Chuck: She explained how she knew about the hijackers and how she was fighting
the conspiracy they were part of. Since then, we kept in touch, comparing
notes on weird things we saw and heard about that could be part of CASK. She
was the one who convinced me to come to Carousel after my contract with Blackwell
was up and take over the school of karate.
Bobby: But the acronym…we thought…
Chuck: I didn’t like it when Hope suggested it, either. Too obvious,
I told her, especially with Academy and School being redundant. But she said
it’d help us lure out operatives in the area, thinking it was a cell.
So far, she’s been right on the money.
Pandora: Members of CASK come here to meet?
Chuck: Not all of my students are members, so Hope had to come in for herself
and start to tell who was who. But yeah, a few at every level, a couple in
every class, and none of them seem to suspect that I’m working with
their most vicious enemy the whole time.
Pandora: (casually suspicious) Why didn’t she ever tell me about you?
Chuck: She couldn’t risk compromising our secret, especially as some
of the students began to catch on. Also, she said you weren’t comfortable
with her hanging around men.
Pandora: (after a pause, icily) I don’t see what that has to do with
Chuck: Well, after your father died, she was just worried that you’d … take
the presence of another male figure the wrong way… (trails off, embarrassed)
(awkward silence. Sound of shuffling)
Bobby: (a little too loud and friendly) So, did Mrs. Darling tell you which
of your students were CASK?
Chuck: (eagerly jumping on a new topic) Yes, I kept the list at my house
for safekeeping; I can get it to you by tomorrow.
Bobby: Cool! After that, what do you think the next step should be, Pandy?
Pandora: (sighs) Well, Mom started this thing. I need to finish it.
Chuck: I’m glad to hear it. That means I can give you this.
(sound of rummaging around, as in a closet)
Pandora: Give me what?
Chuck: Your mom always knew she ran the risk of getting killed before she
finished teaching you. She figured you’d find your way here eventually,
and that if you were ready, I should put her plan into effect.
Bobby: Her plan?
Chuck: She called it the “Kill-Situation Assistance Contingency.” (pause)
Hey, don’t look at me, the name was her idea. Anyway, I’m supposed
to give you this box and help you however I can.
Pandora: This looks like really advanced technology. How does it even work?
Bobby: Look at this, over here.
Pandora: Looks kind of like a camera.
Bobby: It may be a retinal scanner. Put your eye to it like a telescope.
(computer beeps, a click)
Pandora: It worked! It’s open!
Chuck: Looks like there’s a recorder in here.
(click of recording going on)
Hope: Hey there, Potato. If you’re listening to this, I guess I’m
Narrator: New friends, but also new questions. How will the Kill-Situation
Assistance Contingency work? Can Pandora trust Chuck Kane? What is her next
step in the fight against CASK? Like Daughter continues next week with “Pandora’s