Buck & Jane
A Death in the Family
Decker & Hayes
Epic Echoes
The Great Muppet Debate
Guard Duty
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Stage Blood



Like Daughter
Episode 7 - Curious George

By Charles H. Berman

George Batista
Voice on Phone
Emmanuel Blackstone

Narrator: George Armand Fulgencio Batista had never found himself in so humiliating a position. Glowing with pride last year at success of his well-known father, underwear model Francesco Batista, George had thought nothing of joining his favourite charity, the influential Carousel Agency to Save the Koalas. It seemed the obvious thing to do, and a great way to attract environmentally-conscious women. He'd never bothered to question how the koalas could be saved through the death of the apparently-evil Hope Darling and her family, but he somehow knew beyond any doubt that it was the right thing to do. Now the daughter he'd been entrusted to find and kill seemed to think HE was part of some kind of international conspiracy. He was starting to regret his original koala-friendly decision, but there was no way he was going to allow himself to lose his cool as the answer to Pandora's threat came into his mind.

George: OK. Go ahead.

Pandy: George, did you hear what I just said? We will kill you, and we will kill everyone inside that Event Center.

George: If it's supposed to be an unstoppable, hidden international conspiracy, do you twerps seriously think I would put my insignificant individual life before the good of the cause?

Bobby: George, I know you've never listened to me before, but hear me out; there are a lot of innocent people in that auditorium. (not so happy about it) I can definitely tell Pandy's not just making an empty threat here. What could possibly be worth getting them killed for?

George: (with an exasperated sigh) Koalas! Maybe you were too busy being a loser with your computers and Star Trek ever to notice, but the koalas are an endangered species, and (he begins to sound as if he is reciting) if some self-important, arrogant humans have to die in order to safeguard the integrity of our noble effort to be the saviours of these poor, neglected creatures, then so be it.

Pandy: (sotto voce) Conditioning, Bobby. It's hypnagogic. My mother taught me to recognise the signs anywhere.

Bobby: It's hypna-what?

Pandy: Hypnagogic. The suggestions are made during the period between consciousness and sleep. Just the sort of trickery you'd expect an organisation like CASK to use against its own members. I'm not surprised they all seem so fanatically devoted.

Bobby: But Pandy, isn't that the same thing that your mother used on you?

Pandy: (offended) That's totally different, Bobby. She was fighting CASK! These people are part of an evil conspiracy.

George: CASK isn't the evil conspiracy-- the people against us are! It's these koala-killing...

Pandy and Bobby: Quiet, George!

Pandy: I have no idea how you can compare them, Bobby. I hated the conditioning my mother gave me, but she did it because without it there was no way I would possibly help her fight this international plot to rule the world. CASK only conditions people so they'll be unthinking robots.

Bobby: The thing is, Pandy...

(fx: doorbell ringing)

Pandy: You get the door, Bobby. I'll keep watch on Baby Thong here until we can continue the interrogation.

Bobby: OK, Pandy.

(fx: after Bobby climbs the steps, a door opens)

Bobby: Tabby!

Tabby: Bobby-- it's good to see you.

Bobby: (relieved at the dose of normality) It-- it's good to see you too.

Tabby: And I'm sorry about before. I can get over being jealous of Pandy for you... eventually. I know it was really her you were interested in anyway.

Bobby: Well, yeah, it was ... (deeply disturbed by what he's seen lately) but that doesn't mean that always... I mean, I love Pandy... I'm really sorry it had to go the way it did. (flustered) But, how's the Social Knowledge Association going? To tell you the truth, I always wanted to start something like that, but I didn't want to mention it with Pandy around. I wanted to get out into the community like the real activists, and I could never get many people to join the PACTCCC.

Tabby: (gently) You didn't know many people. Besides, I think the “Political Agitation” turned the pacifists away, and the “Careful Consideration” turned away the activists.

Bobby: Hmm. I never thought of...

Tabby: Anyway, Bobby, that's what I came to talk to you about. You see, the first couple of meetings were really cool and the group was really bonding, but a lot of the people we got at the Association were a little... odd.

Bobby: How do you mean? Odd people can make some of the best political thinkers. I mean, obviously Jason doesn't count anymore, but Byron Vonmiglasov took a vow of silence once, Omar Schefftz goes on one-man missions, Alistair Golojinksky has the world's biggest collection-

Tabby: I mean, some of them thought Neo-Nazis were poisoning the drinking water, or that the world is controlled by newspaper editors using cyphers, or exposure to wristwatches influences thought...

Bobby: They're probably schizophrenics-- sometimes they show up at activist groups. They'll always believe somebody is conspiring against them. I don't really think you should worry about it.

Tabby: Except that they were, like, almost the whole group! That's the thing I needed to find you for… we’re totally actually being conspired against! I guess I just needed something to believe in after I found out about Caleb, so I designed the name of the group as bait. I was curious to see if Pandy was actually right about that acronym, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. At the most recent meeting we found one person outside tapping the phone, another trying to plant incriminating documents in my living room, and a third patrolling the street impersonating a private policemen.

Bobby: It doesn't sound like they were a very competent conspiracy if they got discovered as easily as that.

Tabby: They aren't, but now I can't get rid of them.

Bobby: Why don't you tell the police?

Tabby: That's part of their plan; nobody would believe anybody that was in my Association about them. They're called the Conspiracy Against Schizophrenic Kooks. I know because they “accidentally” left a memorandum on the floor. It was all about fooling Chuck Kane into thinking Hope worked for the KGB. They think they can do whatever they want as long as they conspire against paranoid schizophrenics, because then nobody else will believe they really exist.

Bobby: And we define schizophrenics by their delusions.

Tabby: Exactly!

Pandy: (distant) Bobby! Where are you? We're supposed to be conducting some kind of urgent investigation in the basement, in case you forgot.

Bobby: (shouting downstairs) Sorry, Pandy! It's just I ran into...

Tabby: (sotto voce) Don't mention me!

Bobby: ...the wall. I stubbed my toe. I'll be down in a minute. (quieter) So you think the Conspiracy Against Schizophrenic Kooks is the real CASK?

Tabby: That's what I wanted to talk about… and I'm actually glad I found you here instead of Pandy because I'd really rather not face her. Since I found out the Conspiracy Against Schizophrenic Kooks is real, I've been talking to some of the Social Knowledge Association members looking for, like, parallels in all the different CASKs. Pretty much, CASK isn't an ideology; it's a meth...

(fx: door opening)

Pandy: Bobby, where the hell are you? I had to start the interrog....

Tabby: (horrified) Oh, my God! Pandy, I knew you were a backstabber, but I didn't think you were... an actual back stabber! Whose blood is that?

Pandy: Erm... your... prom... date's. (quickly) But he's a member of CASK, Tabby; I know it! It's really a worldwide conspiracy. Carousel Agency to Save the Koalas. Just like Caleb and Special K. Wherever that acronym is. They're out to do evil...

Tabby: Like torture and mutilate people for information?

Pandy: It's necessary! (recitation-esque) If some evil members of a clandestine and malevolent organisation must have their lives taken away in the furtherance of the safeguarding of those of innocent members of the general public, we are morally justified in administering this vigilante justice, on the bas...

Bobby: You said he was conditioned in his sleep, not evil!

Tabby: You've been conditioned, too! You're becoming CASK! CASK is the conditioning and the training and the torture and the murder, not some kind of plan for world conquest. CASK's goal is for people to be like you're becoming!

(fx: phone ringing, receiver being lifted)

Pandy: Hello?

Voice on Phone: (breathes into receiver)

(fx: hanging up)

Bobby: Who is it?

Pandy: Just breathing.

Tabby: That's them. They followed me!

Bobby: Who?

Tabby: The Conspiracy Against Schizophrenic Kooks. They did the same thing at CSKA. And that guy in the window is the same guy who creeped in our window!

Bobby: What guy in the... AH!

Pandy: OK, Tabby. If I'm supposed to be CASK too, then why would a CASK group be spying on my house?

Tabby: Don't you get it? They more they fight you, the more you fight them. The more you fight them, the more you train and kill, and the more CASK you become. Now, I'm going downstairs to find out what you've done to George.

(fx: door opens)

George: George is going to use one of his remaining fingers to pull this trigger on all of you unless somebody explains to me what CASK originally stood for, you lunatics, and why you're all so bent on destroying the koalas!

Pandy: OK, Geoerge. Calm down. I'm sorry about the torture. Maybe we could go get a cup of coffee and...

Bobby: Pandy!

George: I don't date crazy chicks. Now start talking fast. What's actually CASK?

Bobby: You're CASK!

George: Try again, Captain Kirk. My father chose the CASK acronym as bait. He wanted to know why the Carousel Academy School of Karate was out to get him.

Pandy: I don't know, George! I just know that my mother trained me to fight some kind of conspiracy, and her mother trained her, and it ended up killing them both. I believe you don't know anything about it now, George. I'm so sorry about all that with the knife downstairs, but believe me – I don't know anything about it either-- how did you get free? And how did you get a gun?

George: Conspiracy Against Schizophrenic Kooks broke in and freed me. My father found out about them and hired them. He wanted to antagonise some of the people who were working against our koala group. Somehow they showed up and...

(fx: window breaking)

Tabby: The window-creeper!

Emmanuel Blackstone: George, keyword Adelaide.

George: Yes, sir.

Emmanuel Blackstone: Bobby, keyword Emboldened.

Bobby: Yes, sir.

Emmanuel Blackstone: Tabitha, keyword Krumb.

Tabby: Yes, sir.

Emmanuel Blackstone: It's an honour to meet you, Codename Potato. I'm Codename Grapefruit. Emmanuel Blackstone, in the outside world. My condolences on Codenames Cauliflower and Eggplant, but you'll be joining them shortly.

Narrator: Who is Emmanuel Blackstone? How is he controlling the minds of Tabby, George, and Bobby? What does the Conspiracy Against Schizophrenic Kooks want? Is CASK a real organisation, or a state of mind? Is George a pawn of his conditioning, or has he been lying? Will Pandora survive this latest threat? If you are curious about the answers to these questions, the wisest course of action would be to listen to the next episode of Like Daughter: Abandon All Hope.

Go to Episode 8