Mission: Rejected Transcript – Episode 103 Cattle Call

SOUND: CRUISE SHIP’S BELL

ADMIRAL
Good evening, Mister Doe!

CHET
Oh! Hello there, Admiral.

ADMIRAL
Enjoying the view from the prow?

CHET
I, yes…sorry, most people aren’t able to sneak up on me like that.

ADMIRAL
Ah, I am one with the ship, Mister Doe, seamlessly integrated into every molecule of its sea-sprayed timber and lines.

CHET
R…ight.

ADMIRAL
I didn’t mean to startle you, sir. Just delivering another package.

CHET
Oh, thanks. I can’t get away from the office no matter where I am.

ADMIRAL
You need to relax more, my friend. Become one with the ocean.

CHET
Yeah, maybe another cocktail would –

ADMIRAL (slowly receding)
…yes, one with the ocean…

CHET
That guy’s…

ADMIRAL (In the distance)
One with the ocean…

CHET
…something else

SOUND: A TAPE RECORDER CLICKS ON

MISSION VOICE
Good morning, Agent Philips. Encoded into these audio files are the chemical structure of a hypothetical growth agent banned by the FDA. We have received intelligence that the beef-producers conglomerate CBAC
(“see-back”) is manufacturing this chemical. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to secure evidence of their operation at their cattle compound in Montana –

SOUND: CLICK.

CHET
They’re really making these choices tough. Beautiful, stress-free ocean cruise, or cow flops.

ADMIRAL (In the distance)
One with the ocean!

OCEAN GIRL (Even farther in the distance)
One with the ocean!

CHET
Yeah, sorry Chief. I think we’re gonna do a little recreation of the old lady from Titanic. Become one with the ocean.

SOUND: HE KISSES THE RECORDER AND CHUCKS THE TAPE OFF THE SHIP. IT MAKES A SPLASH.

MUSIC: MISSION REJECTED OPENING THEME.

ANNOUNCER
Mission: Rejected. The story of the world’s most secret agents…the backups. Tonight’s episode: “Cattle Call.

SOUND: AMBIANT SOUND OF THE BRIEFING ROOM. KNOCKING AT THE DOOR.

SKIP
Who is it?

MACKENZIE
Open sesame, Skip.

SKIP
That’s “Agent Granger”, and I need your pass phrase before is open the door.

MACKENZIE
…you’re kidding me, right?

SKIP
OK, I’ll make it easy on you: what does Ebenezer Scrooge call his pet badger?

MACKENZIE
I’m not answering your stupid jokes, Skip.

SKIP
Again, McGrath, it’s “Agent Granger”.

MACKENZIE
YOU OBVIOUSLY KNOW IT’S ME.

SKIP
What does Ebenezer Scrooge call his pet badger?

SOUND: A STRANGE WHINING ELECTRONIC SOUND, GETTING MORE SHRILL BY THE SECOND.

SKIP
What. What’s – AAAH!

SOUND: GRATING METAL. THE DOOR POPS OPEN.

MCGRATH
Morning, Skip.

SKIP
McGrath! You melted the electronic lock!

MCGRATH
Relax, I just overrode it. I guess it wasn’t built real well.

SOUND: DOOR CLOSES.

SKIP
You can’t just go around destroying agency property just so you can flaunt protocol!

MACKENZIE
“Protocol”’s just a word bureaucratic control freaks hide behind to make it hard for the rest of us to open doors.

SKIP
I am not a control freak, I am in charge of this operation! Code phrases are important! That was my whole job before I was promoted to field agent!

MACKENZIE
That is so much sadder than anything I imagined.

SKIP
Just…McGrath…go sit down until the others arrive and don’t touch anything.

MACKENZIE
Yessir, boss man.

SOUND: THE DOOR OPENS AGAIN.

GLORIA
…right this way, Mister Montcrief – Agent Granger, did you know the lock is smoking?

SKIP
Yes, Gloria, just, leave it and come in.

BOWDEN (COMING IN)
…when I’m, as they say, “undercover”, I really do become the person. Does that make sense?

GLORIA
Absolutely, Mister Montcrief.

BOWDEN
Gloria, come now, we’re practically old friends! You don’t have to continue with “Mister Montcrief”.

GLORIA
Oh, I’m not sure –

BOWDEN
My close friends call me “Bo”.

GLORIA
Oh!

BOWDEN
You can call me Bo.

GLORIA (very pleased)
Oh, all right, Bo.

BOWDEN
I do see each new assignment as an opportunity to further perfect my craft. Every human being has interiority. There are no small parts.

GLORIA
I know exactly what you mean. They have me pouring coffee in here but I’m gaining invaluable skills.

BOWDEN
How do you keep yourself sharp?

GLORIA
Do you see the tiny dots on the coffee cups? It’s a ternary code I invented.

BOWDEN
No!

GLORIA
This one’s Earl Grey with half-and-half.

BOWDEN
My favorite!

GLORIA (sweetly)
I know. I profiled you.

SKIP
Gloria, Bowden, may we please start this briefing?

GLORIA
Bo – Mister Montcrief – was just explaining how he uses Stanislavski’s method to identify with the human experiences of the people he duplicates.

SKIP
Well, get ready for a character study. We’re going to infiltrate a cadre of cattle barons!

MACKENZIE
Enough with the code phrases, Skip!

SKIP
That…wasn’t a code phrase.

MACKENZIE
Cattle barons?

BOWDEN
A dangerous breed, those cattle barons.

SKIP
I mean, the technical term is protein commodity investors, but I’m trying to use less jargon, McGrath.

MACKENZIE
I thought cattle barons should have gone out with apothecaries and stagecoach drivers.

BOWDEN
What’s wrong with apothecaries?

SOUND: THE DOOR OPENS. DR. LEGRANGE ENTERS. SHE SPEAKS WITH A STRANGE, VAGUELY EUROPEAN ACCENT

LEGRANGE
Heya, you know this doorknob’s on fire?

SKIP
Ah, Doctor Legrange come OH MY GOD.

LEGRANGE
Not a prob! Nothin a little CO2 can’t fix.

SOUND: FIRE EXTINGUISHER.

SKIP
Whew. Thank you Doctor. Folks, let me introduce Doctor Karol Legrange, she’ll be our team chemist and triage surgeon.

LEGRANGE
Right, whatcha got for me, Johnny?

SKIP
Uh, my name’s Skip –

MACKENZIE
That’s right, Skip!

SKIP
…and, as McGrath will tell you, I prefer Agent Granger.

LEGRANGE
Gotcha Johnny!

MACKENZIE
Bowden, you’re telling me you knew there were still cattle barons around?

BOWDEN
Oh, sure. You know, I landed a commercial just last year for the meat packing industry.

GLORIA
Really?

BOWDEN
I sang a little jingle, you know “It’s real neat to eat your meat!” Oh, they’re a mammoth industry.

LEGRANGE
Sure, zey was trying to clone a mammoth recently!

GLORIA
No!

LEGRANGE
The hocks on one of those things! Can you imagine? With some butter?

SKIP
All right, people, can we get organized here? Gloria, the slide projector!

GLORIA
Yes, Agent Granger.

SOUND: SLIDE CLICKS.

SKIP
Right, so. Doctor Legrange, what can you tell me…(click click)
…about this chemical.

LEGRANGE
Oooo zat’s a dandy. Looks like a designer steroid formula. You can tell by these little whosits on the ends, there.

SKIP
Very good, Doctor.

LEGRANGE
It’s a steroid on steroids, if you like.

MACKENZIE
I don’t like.

SKIP
Well, the FDA doesn’t like it either. This chemical – C-32 – is a highly illegal bovine growth steroid, and when cattle are treated with this, consumption of the resulting beef can lead to addiction.

MACKENZIE
Beef addiction?

BOWDEN
I can’t imagine what the country would become if we consumed beef as if we were addicted to it.

GLORIA
This is why I went pescatarian.

BOWDEN
Are you? We should get sushi sometime!

GLORIA
Yes! I know just the place –

SKIP
Gloria.

GLORIA
Yes, Agent.

LEGRANGE
So who in the name of Pete is making something like this?

MACKENZIE
Obviously, cattle barons are.

SKIP
As I said, McGrath, they don’t call themselves cattle barons anymore. They’re a national conglomerate under the umbrella name CBAC.

MACKENZIE
Which stands for…?

SKIP
The…Cattle Barons of America Cartel.

MACKENZIE
Uh huh.

GLORIA
They did incorporate in 1896.

SKIP
Now this is the last known photo of the major CBAC players. Millionaires, all of them. Old money. 1896 money.

MACKENZIE
I especially like how they all still wear cowboy hats and matching handlebar mustaches.

BOWDEN
Those are coming back.

MACKENZIE
Which? The hats, or –

BOWDEN
Handlebar mustaches are very popular with millennials right now.

GLORIA
It’s true, my brother has one.

SKIP
We received inside information about the production of this chemical in one of their Montana plants. The employee who provided us with this information is one Mister Heyward Johnson.

SOUND: Click click.

BOWDEN
Is this the man I’ll be duplicating?

SKIP
It is. McGrath?

MACKENZIE
Uh huh. One Heyward Johnson face coming right up.

SOUND: THE FACE PRINTER.

BOWDEN
Now watch this, Gloria. Watch how I delve deep to create the character.

GLORIA
Ooooh.

MACKENZIE
Did you tell Gloria about how you “delved deep” into Annie Willmont from the Sioux Falls Playhouse?

BOWDEN
Hey, now that is ancient history!

GLORIA
What was that?

MACKENZIE
I’m sure she’d love to hear about the methods you worked on her –

BOWDEN
SO AGENT GRANGER. This Heyward Johnson is a conscientious objector, yes?

SKIP
Absolutely. He’s a whistleblower within the company.

BOWDEN
Interesting. And what’s his position at the plant?

SKIP
…he’s a whistleblower.

BOWDEN
Yes, but –

SKIP
He blows whistles.

BOWDEN
Oh! So, he’s an…actual whistle, blower?

MACKENZIE
At a cow factory?

SKIP
It’s not a cow factory, McGrath, it’s a research facility, and Mr. Johnson is an animal psychologist who performs intricate behavioral tests using audio stimuli on cattle.

MACKENZIE
…so he’s a whistle blower.

SKIP
That’s what I said.

MACKENZIE
Irony strikes again.

BOWDEN
So what drives this man? Why betray the company that has employed you for your whole life?

SKIP
Well, I think within each of us there’s a desire to do the right thing –

LEGRANGE
Yah, like giving Christmas presents! Or making macaroni art!

SOUND: PRINTER FINISHES.

MACKENZIE
Here’s your face, Bowden.

BOWDEN
Thank you, McGrath.

MACKENZIE
Try not to get your whistle blown out in the field.

BOWDEN
THANK YOU MCGRATH.

SKIP
Now Mister Johnson has agreed to smuggle the chemical out of the plant to provide evidence for us, but employees are searched upon leaving the most secure parts of the facility. So a vial is no-go.

MACKENZIE
How’s he getting it out then?

SKIP
He plans to inject himself.

MACKENZIE
With, what, cow juice?

LEGRANGE
Ah, that’s a bad move, Johnny. That stuff’ll cause liver damage and muscle failure within twenty four hours.

SKIP
He’s aware of the risks.

LEGRANGE
He’d need a total blood transfusion just to survive!

SKIP
And could you do that, Doctor Legrange?

LEGRANGE
Aaah I see where you’re going with this. Well we’d have to get him out of there right away, but sure, I could do it.

BOWDEN
And I’ll be taking his place while he’s in our custody, I suppose?

MACKENZIE
And I can’t wait to hear my exciting job in all of this.

SKIP
You, McGrath…must hack into CBAC’s shipping database.

MACKENZIE
…great.

SKIP
Here’s the plan!

MUSIC: THRUMMING ACTION MUSIC.

SKIP
At exactly eleven hundred fifty hours on November the sixth, Heyward Johnson will inject himself with a full vial of the C-32 chemical compound.

SOUND: The C-32 serum being injected.

SKIP
He’ll then receive a message to pick up a shipment from the secure warehouse, planted by McGrath through the CBAC shipping system. Johnson will enter the shipping warehouse where we will have shipped Bowden in disguise, in an oversized crate.

BOWDEN
Don’t forget the airholes.

SKIP
Good thinking, Bowden, Gloria, mark that down.

GLORIA
Check, airholes.

BOWDEN
That was a joke…did you really not consider how I was going to breathe –

SKIP
Bowden will return to the job as Johnson, and Johnson will slip into a second crate. Once inside, Johnson will activate a hidden transmitter, and we’ll know it’s a go. McGrath will change the crate’s shipping manifesto so Johnson will be shipped to our secret facility across the border in Idaho, from CBAC’s facility in Butte, Montana.
(he pronounces it “butt”)
Once we have Johnson safely away, Doctor Legrange will –

SOUND: THE MUSIC DROPS OUT BECAUSE MACKENZIE CAN’T STOP LAUGHING.

SKIP
What, McGrath?

MACKENZIE
You said “butt”.

SKIP (again mispronouncing it)
I said, “Butte, Montana”.

LEGRANGE
Hee hee, he said it again!

SKIP (Still saying “butt”)
I’m sure the residents of Butte don’t find…
(they all laugh harder)
…I mean –

LEGRANGE
Ze butt residents, you mean?

SKIP
There’s nothing funny about Butte, Montana.

MACKENZIE
You’re a butt Montana.

SKIP
McGrath, this is exactly the sort of insubordinate…can we not behave like children, please?

BOWDEN
At least it wasn’t Intercourse, Pennsylvania.

GLORIA
You’re terrible.

LEGRANGE
Who named half ze stuff in zis country?

SKIP
Are we seriously going to have a problem because this crew cannot handle going to Butte Montana –

MACKENZIE
I think it’s BEE-OOT, Skip.

SOUND: An awkward silence.

SKIP
Anyway…

SOUND: THE MUSIC STARTS AGAIN.

SKIP
Once we have Johnson safely at our facility, Doctor Legrange will perform the blood transfusion, saving Johnson and procuring the evidence needed to bring down CBAC. We’ll reverse the procedure and swap Johnson back, with no one the wiser. Any questions?

MACKENZIE
Uh, yes. Are these assignments gonna just keep getting more and more terrible?

SKIP
Just hack the system, McGrath.

MACKENZIE
I literally did it while you were talking about Butt Montana.

GLORIA
Nice work, Ms. McGrath!

SKIP
I don’t see how that’s possible.

MACKENZIE
Yeah, who would have thunk that nineteenth-century landowners wouldn’t use cutting edge internet security?

SKIP
They’re in the twenty-first century, McGrath, they just come from a long tradition.

BOWDEN
I have two questions, actually.

SKIP
Go for it.

BOWDEN
First of all, does anyone have an opinion of that sushi place down on Fifth Street?

GLORIA
That’s just the place I was thinking of! It’s amazing.

BOWDEN
Oh, wonderful. Do you want to go when I get back?

GLORIA
Yes!

BOWDEN
Not before, I’m afraid. I’ll be deep into my character, and a CBAC man would never eat sushi.

SKIP
Bowden!

BOWDEN
Yes! Question two. About my character. I’m still somewhat in the dark about why Johnson is doing this.

MACKENZIE
I was kind of wondering about that myself.

BOWDEN
What’s his motivation?

MACKENZIE
Every movie I’ve ever seen tells me this guy’s setting us up.

SKIP
He’s been checked out, it’s not a set-up.

MACKENZIE
Has he met you?

SKIP
Me? No.

MACKENZIE
Ah, it makes more sense then. He doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into.

SKIP
I think he is deeply distressed to discover that he’s been working for an unethical organization with no regard for human life and he wants to repay any damage he’s unwittingly done by turning state’s evidence.

BOWDEN
Huh. Quirky. He probably had some kind of childhood trauma, I can flesh that out.

MACKENZIE
I’d also like to just point out that my part in your plan seems to be to use five million dollars worth of state-of-the-art equipment to change a postage stamp.

SKIP
It’s a shipping label, and it is within my purview to requisition whatever resources and personnel I deem necessary to complete a task.

MACKENZIE
Sure.

SKIP
Now we’ve been lax about security so I’ve assigned us all code names –

MACKENZIE
Oh, for the love of god.

SKIP
It’s standard procedure McGrath!

MACKENZIE
What, did you name us after the Jackson Five?

SKIP
Ehhhh …………no?

BOWDEN
I call Jermaine.

SKIP
Fine, McGrath, you come up with a collection of five names but we’re DOING NAMES.

MACKENZIE
Whatever.

SKIP
Great. Let’s go, team.

BOWDEN
After you, Gloria.

GLORIA
Thank you, Mister Montcrief – Bo.

LEGRANGE
Yah, let’s all go to Butt Montana!

MUSIC: INTERLUDE MUSIC

SOUND: The CLICK of a radio. Bowden’s voice echos from within the crate.

BOWDEN
Fraggle Rock? This is Wembley. I’m in Outer Space. The package – that’s me – has been delivered to the Doc’s Workshop, and I’m ready to exit the container. Also, thank you for remembering the air holes, that worked out well. Over. (beat) Fraggle Rock? (beat, sigh) Have I been talking to myself this entire time? Well, at least I had a chance for a good vocal warm up.

SOUND: SUDDEN STATIC BURST

SKIP (AUDIO TAP)
We’re here, Wembley! McGrath – uh, Gobo – was being…obnoxious.

MCGRATH (AUDIO TAP)
No sweat, Boober.

LEGRANGE (AUDIO TAP)
That show gave me nightmares! With the bottomless pits –

SKIP (AUDIO TAP)
How are things progressing?

BOWDEN
Fine, fine! No problems.

SKIP (AUDIO TAP)
You’re sure?

BOWDEN
Worries for another day, Fraggle Rock! I’m just going to slip silently out of this container into the docking warehouse, and no one will be the wiser. Here I go.

SOUND: THE BOX CREAKS OPEN. WAREHOUSE NOISES. IT SOUNDS LIKE A CATTLE BARON CONVENTION OUT THERE. A GROUP OF CATTLE BARONS APPROACH THE CRATE.

CATTLE BARON 1
JEEEEHOSEPHAT, Johnson!

BOWDEN
Oh, sorry!

CATTLE BARON 2
What in tarnation you doin in that box?

BOWDEN (subtle Midwestern accent)
Inspection, chief. Gotta make sure those crates are in tip-top shape.

CATTLE BARON 1
Sounded like you was talkin to somebody in there.

BOWDEN
I…was. I was talking to the shipping container.

CATTLE BARON 1
Talkin to a box?

BOWDEN
It’s part of an ongoing experiment. We talk to the cattle, and then for the control group, we talk to inanimate objects. See? GOOD JOB, BOX. Uh. HEEL.

CATTLE BARON 3
Well, I’ll tell ya whut, we scienced differnt in my day.

CATTLE BARON 4
No lollygagging around, Johnson, back to work!

BOWDEN
Yessir!

SOUND: THE CATTLE BARONS MOVE ON.

BOWDEN
Hoo doggie. That was close. OK we’re in.

SKIP (AUDIO TAP)
Thank God.

BOWDEN
I’m affixing this bug to the wall of the dock –

CATTLE BARON 1 (OFF)
Crimanetly, Johnson, stop talkin to that box!

BOWDEN
Yessir, chief! OK gotta go.

SKIP (AUDIO TAP)
Be careful, Bowden!

BOWDEN
Not a problem, Boober. For here on out, this mission’ll be a piece of Doozer stick.

MUSIC: INTERLUDE MUSIC

SOUND: THE BRIEFING ROOM SOUND. THE DOOR OPENS.

GLORIA
Oh, Agent Granger! You‘re back from Montana already?

SKIP (lost in thought)
Uh huh.

GLORIA
The Section Chief didn’t say…I didn’t receive any emails. Was the mission successful? Should I ready the briefing room? (beat) Are you all right? Agent Granger?

SKIP
Oh, yes, thank you Gloria, I’d love some.

GLORIA
Um…oh, Ms. McGrath!

SOUND: THE DOOR SHUTS.

MACKENZIE (utterly shell-shocked)
Gloria. Yeah. Yeeeeeeah.

SOUND: MACKENZIE COLLAPSES IN HER CHAIR.

GLORIA
Everything OK? (silence) I haven’t received any reports yet, I’m sorry if I’m not up to speed, or aware –

SKIP
No no no no no, there is no, report, yet –

GLORIA
Oh.

SKIP
We’re still, you know, compiling data. Doctor Legrange is down in the lab, analyzing some results, she should be joining us soon.

GLORIA
Oh, sure. And…Bo? Mister Montcrief? Is he coming?

SKIP (preoccupied, to himself)
Right, right. No problem.

GLORIA
Ms. McGrath? Mackenzie? Are you all right?

SKIP
You know what, maybe she just needs some coffee.

GLORIA
Would you like some coffee, Ms. McGrath?

(Silence.)

SKIP
YO MCGRATH.

MACKENZIE
Yeah, I’ll take a bourbon.

GLORIA
I don’t think we have –

MACKENZIE
I’ll take moonshine. I’ll drink calamine lotion at this point.

GLORIA
I think…maybe…I’m sorry did you say Bo would be –

SKIP
Mister Montcrief won’t be joining us today Gloria why don’t you get coffees for everyone. Espresso if you got it. Yup. We need some. Positive energy. After. That.

GLORIA (Scared)
Okay….

SKIP
So. Uh. I guess. We should do a post-mortem.

MACKENZIE
OH MY GOD COULD YOU USE A LESS APPROPRIATE WORD.

GLORIA
Do…

SKIP
I…was, that, an actual request?

GLORIA
Do you think…

MACKENZIE
PLEASE GET ON WITH IT, SKIP, BEFORE I JUMP OUT THE WINDOW.

SKIP
Right, yes.

GLORIA
Do you think, um, Mr. Montcrief will be back sometime this week?

SKIP
OK people, focus! Look. I know there were some bumps.

MACKENZIE
Yeaheheh! Bumps.

SKIP
I think that –

MACKENZIE
Yup. It was one real big BUMP, that was it.

SKIP
I don’t think we should consider the mission a total failure.

MACKENZIE
OH YOU DON’T?

SKIP
Doctor Legrange has assured me that we may actually be able to retrieve the chemical information that we need to put the nail in the coffin –

MACKENZIE
THE COFFIN? JESUS CHRIST.

SKIP
I mean, you know, put it to rest –

MACKENZIE
The final rest?

SKIP
McGrath, I’m getting a little impatient with your rather surly attitude –

MACKENZIE
Oooooooooo

SKIP
…and I’d like your quiet attention while I debrief you from the mission.

MACKENZIE (sweetly)
Gooo ahead, Skip!

SKIP
I mean, you should be aware that some risks are inherent in this line of work –

GLORIA (panicking)
Uh huh, sure.

SKIP
…and, sometimes, it just, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs!

SOUND: KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.

SKIP
WHAT?

SOUND: Mumbles behind the door

SKIP
Come in!

GLORIA (still panicking)
I think they fixed the lock on that door, Agent Granger.

SKIP
Well, would you please open it for whoever it is, Gloria?

GLORIA (near tears)
Yes, sir.

SOUND: DOOR OPENS

BOWDEN
Well, I got here as soon as I could that was terrible.

GLORIA
BO!

BOWDEN
Oh hi, Gloria, I’d die for a coffee if you don’t mind.

SKIP
Bowden! What are you doing here?

GLORIA
Oh I’m so glad to see you Mister Montcrief I was really afraid you wouldn’t make our sushi date.

BOWDEN
What? Oh! Yes, I’m so sorry, Gloria-

SKIP
BOWDEN!

BOWDEN
Yes, sir?

SKIP
What. Are. You. Doing here?

BOWDEN
Well, I caught the red-eye from Missoula and I’m extremely jet-lagged, so I’m sorry if I’m a little scattered – thank you so much Gloria, I really appreciate it.

GLORIA (crying)
You’re welcome, Mister Montcrief.

SKIP
You’re supposed to be Johnson! What happens when they see he’s gone?

MACKENZIE
Skip, who cares?

SKIP
You don’t break protocol just for –

BOWDEN
Look, I’m sorry, but it is standard procedure to debrief once –

SKIP
No, you don’t leave a mission to debrief, you debrief after the mission –

MACKENZIE
Do you think the mission is still going on?

SKIP
It’s, I don’t know, it’s in a gray area.

GLORIA
I THINK WE SHOULD ALL BE QUIET AND LET SKIP DEBRIEF EVERYBODY SO SOME OF US CAN FIGURE OUT WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON.

SOUND: Silence. Music, first active, then more tentative.

SKIP
Right, so at twelve hundred hours we made our move. Johnson entered the shipping warehouse, Bowden stepped out of our crate, and returned to replace Johnson at his post.

SOUND: CRATE OPENS

SKIP
Johnson then went to enter our prepared crate…

SOUND: CRATE CLOSES

SKIP
Well…See I didn’t realize that when the shipping route on a crate is changed, the warehouse roster switches the crate positions. So…by the time he got to the dock, they had switched crates.

MACKENZIE
Maybe you should tell Gloria what was in that crate, Skip?

SKIP
…there was a large electric combine harvester. Newer model, doesn’t even use gas! Yeah. So. All you have to do is turn it on.

GLORIA
Oh.

SKIP
And it…starts harvesting.

SOUND: The combine harvester whirs violently.

SKIP
And it was pitch black in the crate so…Johnson was looking for the transmitter he had been told to activate…and activated the machine inside the crate.

GLORIA
Oh. So. The whistleblower. Was…

MACKENZIE
Combine harvested.

GLORIA
Hooooly shhhhhhmolies.

BOWDEN
He was a good man. Killed in the service of his country.

SKIP
He died an American hero.

MACKENZIE
He died a meatball hero.

SKIP
MCGRATH!

MACKENZIE
What? I’m gonna have nightmares about that for twenty years!

SKIP
You weren’t even there!

MACKENZIE
I was on the headsets, I heard it happen! So I’m sorry but it’s hard to deal when your team leader purees a man!

SKIP
Me?

MACKENZIE
This all is your fault!

SKIP
How?

MACKENZIE
The crate wasn’t where it was supposed to be! You should have known that!

SKIP
YOU hacked the system, McGrath, and if you had taken more than thirteen seconds while cracking jokes –

MACKENZIE
I DON’T EVEN WANT THIS JOB.

GLORIA
Is Chief Anders is going to hold someone responsible for this?

MACKENZIE
It ain’t gonna be me! I had to work fast just so we could have that Jigsaw Killer crate shipped to Idaho for you guys! If it weren’t for me, CBAC would’ve found whistle blower whistle-blown all over the inside of one of their shipping crates!

SKIP
Then who gets blamed, McGrath?

MACKENZIE
You’re in charge, right? Take one for the team, “team leader”!

SKIP
Oh, so now I’m your team leader?

MACKENZIE
Well what’s your beloved protocol tell you to do?

SKIP
Protocol says that there’s an inquiry, the mission gets scrapped, you go back to prison, and the rest of us probably get fired.

GLORIA
I don’t want to go back to the White House.

SKIP
God. I’ll tell you, this is about the most nightmarish situation I’ve been in since I enlisted.

SOUND: THE DOOR OPENS. SOMEONE COMES IN AND SLAMS A HEAVY OBJECT DOWN ON THE TABLE. A DISGUSTING SLOSHING NOISE.

LEGRANGE
Jeez-o-man, what a way to die in Butt, Montana!

MACKENZIE
Is that…

LEGRANGE
Oh yah, here he is.

SOUND: LEGRANGE OPENS THE CONTAINER. HORRIFIED GROANS.

SKIP
Dr. Legrange!

GLORIA
I’m going to be sick now.

MACKENZIE
Can we please not put a bucket of person on the table with our complimentary coffees?

LEGRANGE
Don’t worry about it! It’s all good news!

SKIP
How is this good news?

LEGRANGE
I managed to extract the chemical right outta zis goop.

SOUND: SHE STICKS HER HAND IN THE GOOP, LETTING IT DRIP BACK INTO THE CONTAINER.

SKIP
Ugh, Doctor, there’s no need to –

LEGRANGE
So we got it! We nailed em!

MACKENZIE
Wait. So. We actually have the evidence?

LEGRANGE
You got it, Johnny!

MACKENZIE
I’m not Johnny either.

SKIP
How long until it’s admissible?

LEGRANGE
Wellll zat’s a good question. We gotta analyze it to match up against their manufacturing techniques, find a chemical signature, make sure there aren’t little bits o spleen in there –

SKIP
How long, LeGrange?

LEGRANGE
I’d say six months to two years.

SKIP (sighs)
But we’ll have an ironclad case then?

LEGRANGE
Without a doubt! Hey, I’m excited, this was the most successful mission I ever been on!

SOUND: SHE SLAPS THE COVER BACK ON THE CONTAINER.

LEGRANGE
I gotta get back to the lab, but I just swung by to give you zat good news.

SKIP
Thank you, Doctor.

SOUND: THE DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES.

BOWDEN
Uhh. Would it be wasteful if I didn’t drink my coffee?

GLORIA
I think we’re all in agreement with the coffee.

SOUND: THEY ALL THROW AWAY THEIR COFFEES.

MACKENZIE
Can we vote to kick her off the team forever?

SKIP
Well, she did salvage the mission.

GLORIA
So it’s a success!

SKIP
Barely.

GLORIA
That means –

SKIP
That McGrath still goes to prison and you all get fired, but I’ll probably only get a reprimand.

GLORIA
Oh.

MACKENZIE
She didn’t salvage the mission! She needs two years!

SKIP
Yes, well –

MACKENZIE
They’re gonna know Johnson is dead TOMORROW when he doesn’t show up for work!

BOWDEN
Well, then. He’ll have to show up.

GLORIA
What? What do you mean?

BOWDEN
Well, you see…I’ve got to go back.

GLORIA
What?

MACKENZIE
Wait, so…you’re gonna assume Johnson’s identity for two years?

BOWDEN
Well, it’s funny, they have a really good health plan. And the salary track and pension plan is, well, nothing to sneeze at.

MACKENZIE
Bowden, that is the goddamn stupidest reason to do anything –

SKIP
I have to agree, Bowden, I don’t think that that’s going to work.

GLORIA
Bo, you’re an actor! You don’t need this job! You don’t have to –

BOWDEN
Look, honestly? I’m finally getting this man, this whistle blower. His innermost thoughts and desires. And the impulse that makes a man say, my life is worth sacrificing for the greater good. That’s real nobility. That kind of character doesn’t come along every day, and when you can use your craft to embody that kind of selflessness… well, my friends, I just need to play this part out.

SKIP
That’s, um. That’s actually very inspiring, Bowden. Very moving.

BOWDEN
Well. I hope so! It’s what I’m trained to do. Move people.

SKIP
If you think you’re ready for that kind of deep undercover –

BOWDEN
Again, to embody another human being, that’s what I do.

SKIP
Then we’ll keep Johnson’s alibis and the mission protocols in place.

BOWDEN
Wonderful! So…I have to hurry to catch that flight.

SKIP
Good working with you, Mister Montcrief.

BOWDEN
You too, Agent. Ms. McGrath.

MACKENZIE
Uh…yeah. Good luck, Bowden.

BOWDEN
Gloria. I’ll miss you. I’m very sorry I’m bailing on the sushi.

GLORIA
If I’m, um, ever in Montana, Mister Montcrief, may I look you up?

BOWDEN
You can look up Heyward Johnson. And I’ll always be waiting.

SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
SKIP
OK. I’m going to tell Section Chief Anders that CBAC’s automated security countermeasures killed the real Heyward Johnson during our extraction. Bowden will take his place until we can come up with an extraction plan. She should disavow the operation until we can collect the proof needed to bring down CBAC for once and for all.

MACKENZIE
So…you’re OK with lying on record and covering up the screw-ups?

SKIP
Johnson gave his life to get us this information. We should make his death count for something.

GLORIA
Get these bastards.

SKIP
Yes. Thank you, Gloria.

MACKENZIE
OK. Whatever you say.
(beat)
I actually think it’s the right move, Agent Granger.

SKIP
Thank you, McGrath.

MUSIC: OUTTRO MUSIC.

ANNOUNCER
Mission Rejected was created by Pete Barry, J. Michael DeAngelis and John Dowgin. This episode was written and directed by Pete Barry. It starred Chris Klaniecki as Skip Granger, Nazli Sarpkaya as Mackenzie McGrath, Dave Stanger as Bowden Montcreif, Paige Klaniecki as Gloria with Kirk White as Chet Phillips and Kevin McGrath as The Mission Voice.  Guest starring were Ashley Banks as the Ocean Girl, Karen Yang as Dr. Karol Legrange, Dave Serfass as a Cattle Baron and Bob Killion as The Admiral, The Security Guy and a Cattle Baron. Music, sound mixing and editing are by Pete Barry. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MissionRejected and support us on Patreon at www.patreon.com/missionrejected for exclusive content, bonus audio and more.  This has been a Porch Room production, copyright 2019 Extraordinary Missions Limited.

SOUND: COWS LOWING. SOMEONE PLAYS A PAN WHISTLE.

BOWDEN
Back! Heed your whistling master, you flank steaks! (under his breath)
I’ve never worked with such poorly trained farm animals since I played Militant Animal Rights Activist Number Five in Okja.

SOUND: Someone approaches.

BOWDEN
Oh! Hi. I’m just…here to meet with the bosses.

SECURITY GUY
Right this way, pardner.

SOUND: THE DOORS CREAK OPEN.

BOWDEN
My God.

SOUND: CHAOS IN THE BOARDROOM – PISTOLS SHOOTING, RODEO ROMPING, YEEEEHAWING SHENNAGINS.

CATTLE BARON 4
Well, if it isn’t Heyward Johnson!

CATTLE BARON 1
Good news, son! Y’been permoted for yer groundbreaking work in the field of shipping container psychology.

BOWDEN
Oh! Well. Thank you, sir.

CATTLE BARON 2
O’ course, ye gotta pass…a little test first.

BOWDEN
What…what?

CATTLE BARON 2
You gotta last at least five seconds on ol’ Bessie here!

CATTLE BARON 3
Ain’t that right boys?

BOWDEN
Oh, well, I – AAH!

SOUND: THEY DRAG BOWDEN ONTO A BUCKING BRONCO. HE YELPS AND HANGS ON FOR DEAR LIFE AS THEY CHEER HIM ON.

BOWDEN
Oh boy! Woah! Woah nelly! Ohhhhh….

MUSIC: END STINGER

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