Mission Rejected Transcript – Episode 105 Totally Screwed

SOUND: WAVES CRASHING AS A CRUISE SHIP SAILS THROUGH THE SEA. THE CRUISE SHIP’S BELL RINGS.

MUSIC: STREEL DRUM BAND.

SOUND: CRUISE SHIP BAR MUSIC. CHEERS OF ‘SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS!”. SOMEONE SLAMS A GLASS DOWN. THE CROWD ERUPTS.

CHET PHILLIPS
Fifteen!

ADMIRAL
Ladies and Gentlemen, the ship’s new record holder, Mister John Doe!

SOUND: CHEERS

CHET PHILLIPS
Think you can top that, Admiral?

ADMIRAL
It wouldn’t be a fair match, Mister Doe. Alcohol does not affect my mind or body. Your liver would pickle before I hiccuped.

OCEAN GIRL
Mister Doe? What do you say we go lead the limbo contest?

CHET PHILLIPS
Limbo? Mission ACCEPTED!

SOUND: CHEERS

OCEAN GIRL (Very fast commercial legalese)
By accepting the limbo contest, you acknowledge we have recorded everything you’ve said since boarding the ship and may use said recordings as we please.

CHET PHILLIPS (super drunk)
Ex-squeeze me?

OCEAN GIRL
I said LIMBO!

CHET PHILLIPS
DARN TOOTIN’ YOU DID!

SOUND: CHEERS

ADMIRAL
Oh Mister Doe, I almost forgot, another drone arrived for you this morning.

CHET PHILLIPS
Huh? Oh sure, drones drones drones… Gimme a sec, sweetheart.

SOUND: DOOR OPENS, CLOSES. WE CAN HEAR THE PARTY, BUT MUTED

MISSION VOICE (on tape)
Good morning, Chet. The man in these photos is Lieutenant Brad Valerian of the Navy SEALs. In nineteen ninety nine, Valerian was killed while testing a secret weapon called the Deceptionem… or so we thought. Two weeks ago, an unknown party accessed Naval communication networks using a call sign known only to Valerian. Experts have determined the call originated from one of two locations: Vienna, Austria, or Orlando, Florida. Your mission, should you choose to accept is, is to investigate either loca–

CHET PHILLIPS
REJECTED!! LIMBO TIME!!!

SOUND: DOOR OPENS, CLOSES, WE’RE BACK TO THE PARTY.

CHET PHILLIPS
Hey guys, lemme send this drone back first–

ADMIRAL
Allow the crew to return your drone, Mister Doe. You go have fun.

CHET PHILLIPS
I like the way you think. LIMBOOO!

SOUND: CHET AND THE PARTY MOVE ON. THE ADMIRAL PLACES A CASSETTE IN A PLAYER, REWINDS, AND CLICKS PLAY.

CHET PHILLIPS (on tape)
Mission ACCEPTED!

ADMIRAL
Yes… go have fun, Mister Doe… MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…..

MUSIC: THEME SONG

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

SOUND: TAPE RIPPING OFF A ROLL, SKIP SINGING HAPPILY

SKIP GRANGER (Sing to the tune of “Happy Birthday”)
Happy mission to me… happy mission to me…

MACKENZIE
Skip?

SKIP GRANGER
McGrath! You’re here! So punctual for a millennial.

MACKENZIE
Yeah, um, what’s with the party hats? And the catering? And where’d that huge banner come from?

SKIP GRANGER
Kinko’s! Big sale on one hundred by fifty foot banners this week!

MACKENZIE
You could have gotten by with one.

SKIP GRANGER
But with four, you can see a banner no matter where you’re standing.

MACKENZIE (reading)
Happy First Mission EMF Team B?

SKIP GRANGER
It feels better if you sing it. Happy First Mission to–

MACKENZIE
Do I strike you as the ‘singing in public’ type?

SKIP GRANGER
We all have a voice inside us.

MACKENZIE
Mine is a mime. What is all this?

SKIP GRANGER
We have our first ‘not rejected by Chet Phillips’ mission!

MACKENZIE
Did Phillips die?

SKIP GRANGER
No! It’s a legit first crack at an honest to goodness EMF assignment! And that warrants a celebration!

MACKENZIE
You’re a middle child, aren’t you?

SKIP GRANGER
Of seven.

SOUND: INTERCOM CLICK

SKIP GRANGER
Gloria! Did the ice cream get here yet?

GLORIA (SOUND: ON INTERCOM)
Only the first four boxes!

SKIP GRANGER
Darn it, Groupon. Well, bring ‘em in anyway!

SOUND: DOOR OPENS

GLORIA
Where do you want the vanilla, Agent-OH HI MACKENZIE! How was your meeting with the judge?

MACKENZIE
It was felon-riffic, Gloria.

GLORIA
Did they consider your reprieve?

MACKENZIE
Nope. Apparently, when you both fail to retrieve the secret codes you’ve been sent to transcribe and drive an important asset to a psychotic break, it doesn’t count towards release.

GLORIA
Well, live and learn!

MACKENZIE
So, Skip, what’s this mission–

SKIP GRANGER
Wait. First, try this.

MACKENZIE
Is that sushi?

SKIP GRANGER
Ahi tuna. Eat it before it goes bad, I may have ordered too much.

MACKENZIE
That depends, is the Ohio State Marching Band coming?

SKIP GRANGER
No, and not for my lack of effort.

MACKENZIE
Look, just tell me what this mission HOLY COW THIS IS GOOD. Is this from that place on fifth?

SKIP GRANGER
SHHHHHHH. McGrath. Over here.

SOUND: SKIP AND MACKENZIE SHUFFLE ACROSS THE ROOM

MACKENZIE (whispering)
What, did they classify the sushi place? It’s real fish, right?

SKIP GRANGER (whispering)
I don’t want to upset Gloria. With Bowden staying behind in Montana–

GLORIA
You’re sweet, Agent Granger.

SKIP GRANGER
How did you hear us from across the room?

GLORIA
Oh, I aced the agency’s ‘Distance Lip Reading’ training. Don’t worry about talk of Bowden upsetting me. His absence has given me time to work on myself, and now I’m completely over–

SOUND: THE DOOR OPENS.

BOWDEN
Morning, all!

GLORIA
BOWDEN BOWDEN BOWDEN BOWDEN!

MACKENZIE (mouth full)
Sushi’s awful, Bowden, stay away.

SKIP GRANGER
Bowden?!?!

BOWDEN
Let me finish this first, guys… “Uber driver’s… selection of… candy… wanting… No… full…size… Snickers… one… star.” There. The free economy at work.

GLORIA
OH BOWDEN I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE BACK!

BOWDEN
It’s so good to see you, Gloria!

SKIP GRANGER
Bowden, what are you doing here? I thought you’d started life anew as Heyward Johnson of Butte–

MACKENZIE
FINALLY.

SKIP GRANGER
— Montana.

BOWDEN
Poor Heyward got downsized. Couldn’t meet those quotas. Cattle husbandry is not for the squeamish.

MACKENZIE
Bowden. Believe it or not, it’s good to have you back.

BOWDEN
Why thank you, McGrath. It’s good to see you’re not yet incarcerated.

MACKENZIE
Is that a tattoo of a horseshoe on the back of your neck?

BOWDEN
No, it’s the imprint of an actual horseshoe. Doctors say it should heal in a year or two. Fun fact: when a cattle baron invites you to a Broncos game, he might not mean football. What’s with the banners and food? Has the agency been bought by Chuck E Cheese?

SKIP GRANGER
It’s our first non-rejected mission! Show of hands. Who’s been to Orlando?

GLORIA
ORLANDO??? Are we going to Disn–

SKIP GRANGER
No, Gloria.

GLORIA
Can we go after the mission? When I was a kid our vacations were never cool, we always went camping at Uncle Riley’s survival compound–

SKIP GRANGER
Gloria, don’t be distracted by frivolities! Just grab some sushi and ice cream and let’s begin. Now, this is our target. Wilfred Smails, hardware store owner. He may actually be Lieutenant Brad Valerian, former Navy SEAL presumed dead when an experimental weapon called the Deceptionem exploded.

MACKENZIE
Are you making these names up to make this mission sound cooler?

SKIP GRANGER
The Deceptionem, a name I am totally not making up, emits high frequency radio waves that disrupt its target’s brainwaves.

MACKENZIE
So it’s basically a mind bomb.

SKIP GRANGER
It’s called a Deceptionem.

BOWDEN
German for ‘deception’.

MACKENZIE
Latin, Indy. I’m sticking with ‘mind bomb’. Sounds cooler.

SKIP GRANGER
Everyone involved in the explosion was presumed dead until last week, when Naval intel detected a call sign known only to Valerian on their communications network.

MACKENZIE
He’s been in hiding?

SKIP GRANGER
Perhaps, but it’s possible that when the Deceptionem–

MACKENZIE
Mind bomb.

SKIP GRANGER
When it exploded, its radio waves wiped Valerian’s memory. One second he was a decorated Navy SEAL, the next his mind was a blank slate.

BOWDEN
So if this guy’s memory was wiped by the mind bomb–

SKIP GRANGER
Deceptionem!

BOWDEN
Sorry Skip, she’s right, mind bomb is cooler… what would cause him to send a years-old call sign?

SKIP GRANGER
That’s the million dollar question.

GLORIA
And here’s the one thousand five hundred sixty two dollar question, Agent Granger. Your catering bill.

SKIP GRANGER
Oof. Take the Amex from my wallet. The fifth one.

BOWDEN
Skip, you’re paying for this yourself? I can’t allow that. McGrath, give Skip some cash.

MACKENZIE
What?

BOWDEN
All that money you stole?

MACKENZIE
Wait, I’m being called cheap by a man who once cashed a seventy-five cent Dharma and Greg walk-on residual check?

SKIP GRANGER
I’m very disappointed in you. Our first real mission and all you two do is bicker like spoiled siblings.

BOWDEN
She started it.

MACKENZIE
Nuh-uh!

SKIP GRANGER
I swear, I will turn this secret mission around and we will go home!

GLORIA (sniffling)
Just like my dad, the one time we were actually on our way to Dis–

SOUND: THE DOOR OPENS.

SKIP GRANGER
Perfect timing. Everyone, please welcome Doctor Biff Studebaker, professor emeritus of Psychology at the University of Phoenix.

DR STUDEBAKER
Morning everyone. Hey there, sporto. What’s cooking, chachi?

SKIP GRANGER
Doctor Studebaker was on the team of scientists who built the mind bomb- I MEAN DECEPTIONEM! Now I’M doing it!

DR STUDEBAKER
That’s right. If this guy took an exploding Deceptionem to the chin, it most likely turned him to fertilizer in a nanosecond.

BOWDEN
How illustrative.

MACKENZIE (mouth full)
I like this guy.

BOWDEN
Dear lord, woman.

MACKENZIE (mouth full)
Don’t judge.

DR STUDEBAKER
But if he survived, there’s a chance, as slim as Charo’s ankles, that its radio waves rewired his noggin. If that happened, his brain would begin piecing together a new identity based on fragments of people he’d met during his life.

SKIP GRANGER
So if Valerian had ever met a hardware salesman from Orlando–

MACKENZIE
–then it’s possible he would have assumed parts of that identity–

BOWDEN
–and ended up actually running hardware store in Orlando.

DR STUDEBAKER
Bingo, mouseketeers.

BOWDEN
I’m sorry, should we tell you our actual names?

DR STUDEBAKER
It wouldn’t matter, sparky.

SKIP GRANGER
When Doctor Studebaker was working on the Deceptionem, a prototype damaged his prefrontal cortex.

DR STUDEBAKER
It completely destroyed my ability to learn anyone’s proper name.

GLORIA
How terrible.

DR STUDEBAKER
Oh, it’s not so bad. For one thing, jury duty is a snap these days.

MACKENZIE
How did we trace the call sign to this Smails guy in the first place?

SKIP GRANGER
Intelligence traced the call sign to a Wi-Fi router with the nickname ‘Angela Lansbury Sexy Time’.

BOWDEN
I’m going to need a minute with that information.

SKIP GRANGER
An Internet scan found two routers in the world with that name–

BOWDEN
Two!?

SKIP GRANGER
— one in Vienna, one in Orlando.

MACKENZIE
And we’re starting with Orlando?

BOWDEN
Shouldn’t we start in Vienna? Surely we owe ourselves that much after all we’ve been through?

MACKENZIE
While you’ve been in Montana?!

BOWDEN
I’ve been here in spirit.

GLORIA
Oh, you have…

SKIP GRANGER
We’re handling Orlando, another team is handling Vienna, OK!

MACKENZIE
What?

BOWDEN
You said this wasn’t a rejected mission!

SKIP GRANGER
It’s not a rejected mission, it’s phase two of an unrejected mission!

MACKENZIE
Unreal. I’m getting more tuna…

GLORIA
Will you get me something from the mashed potato bar, Miss McGrath?

SKIP GRANGER
Look, Vienna is overrated, with their sausages and their boy choirs! Besides, I saw ‘The Third Man’, the whole place looked very run down! Let’s embrace Orlando and do the best darn job we can finding Angela Lansbury Sexy Time!

BOWDEN
Again with… these are not words that belong together.

MACKENZIE
What’s wrong with Angela Lansbury, Bowden! She’s a legend!

BOWDEN
She’s a teapot.

SKIP GRANGER
Our problem is that if Smails is Valerian, this call sign could be awakened repressed memory.

DR STUDEBAKER
And if classified info is oozing out of this guy’s brain like worms after a rainstorm…

MACKENZIE (mouth full)
Dude. I’m eating sushi here.

SKIP GRANGER
Who knows what else he’ll expose? Secret identities, code names. Our mission, which we have accepted–

MACKENZIE
Like we had a choice.

SKIP GRANGER
Freedom isn’t a choice, McGrath, it’s answers A, B, C, and D on the Great American Scantron! Our mission is to locate Smails, assess if he’s actually Valerian, and if so, bring him in. Now, Doctor Studebaker has a theory.

DR STUDEBAKER
The only thing that will dredge up memories wiped by the Deceptionem is a massive mental shock.

BOWDEN
We have to shock a Floridian? We’re only human.

SOUND: WHIR! POP! CLICK! GENERAL “HEY NOWS” and “WHAT THE’S”.

BOWDEN
What’s that sound–

MACKENZIE
Are those speakers?

GLORIA
I think so, but they’re almost transparent–

SKIP GRANGER
Virtual reality speakers! Top secret EMF tech. Nearly invisible and able to deliver a completely immersive audio experience with the click of a button.

SOUND: A CATTLE STAMPEDE

MACKENZIE
HOLY CRAP.

SKIP GRANGER
I can drop us in a cattle stampede–

GLORIA
YEEHAW!

BOWDEN
Oh God, not more cows!

SOUND: WIND AND SNOW

SKIP GRANGER
— or atop Everest, or-

MUSIC: Wagner’s Ride of the Valkeries

SKIP GRANGER
— in the middle of the Metropolitan Opera!

SOUND: CLICK, THEN SILENCE

SKIP GRANGER
You’re impressed. It’s OK, you can say it.

MACKENZIE
It’s moderately–

BOWDEN
–somewhat–

SKIP GRANGER
Yeeeeeeeeeees…?

MACKENZIE
OK, fine, it’s impressive!

SKIP GRANGER
WOO-HOO!

SKIP GRANGER
Doctor Studebaker’s specialty is using familiar sounds to ease PTSD in veterans. But for us, he’s going to use these high tech speakers to design an immersive audio experience that inflames Valerian’s deepest fears.

GLORIA
Ooh! I hear they have immersive audio experiences at Dis–

SKIP GRANGER
GLORIA.

GLORIA
Sorry, I just get so excited!

BOWDEN
But if the speakers can induce a traumatic experience in this Maybe SEAL, what do you need us for?

DR STUDEBAKER
Because it won’t be enough, Big Bird. We need something that will blow his mind six ways from Sunday.

SKIP GRANGER
According to Valerian’s psychiatric profile, he’s had an intense fear of the ocean since childhood. He always felt he’d die at sea. It’s one reason he joined the Navy, to overcome that fear. He also had a domineering father, a man for whom nothing was ever
good enough. This drove Valerian to join the SEALS, but his father passed away before he was commissioned, leaving these issues unresolved.

DR STUDEBAKER
If we can design an experience that plays on both of these deep seated traumas, he’ll fall apart faster than a Stephen King ending.

SKIP GRANGER
And here’s the plan to do it.

MUSIC: Exciting “planning” music

SKIP GRANGER
We arrive in Orlando at oh-nine- thirty Saturday. Separate flights. We meet at Alpha Base Alpha at oh- ten-forty.

BOWDEN
Is Alpha Base Alpha–

SKIP GRANGER
It is NOT an AirBNB.

SOUND: COLLECTIVE SIGH

SKIP GRANGER
It’s an AirBNB Plus.

MACKENZIE
Oh for the love of–

SKIP GRANGER
Saturday afternoon, McGrath will infiltrate Smails Hardware and place this sensor on the security pad. When Smails enables his security at the day’s end, it will transmit the lock code to us.

MACKENZIE (mouth full)
Got it.

SKIP GRANGER
With the security code, I’ll sneak back in after dark and set up the speakers in Smails’ office. At oh- nine-hundred Monday, when Smails arrives for work, we begin playing a subtle audio panorama designed specifically by Doctor Studebaker to play on Valerian’s darkest fears. Once he’s about to snap, Bowden will enter the store disguised
as Valerian’s father, pushing him over the edge. I’ve transmitted images and sound files from FBI data banks so you can research your role.

BOWDEN
An Actor Prepares.

MACKENZIE
Maybe watch Jaws Four again, to be safe.

BOWDEN
Mario Van Peebles once screened that for me at this summer house. Underrated masterpiece, Jaws Four.

MACKENZIE
OK, you do not get to rag on Angela Lansbury if you call Jaws Four an underrated masterpiece!

SKIP GRANGER
Let’s go, team!

MUSIC: Transition

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Begin recording. This is Section Chief Anders debriefing Agent Skip Granger on the fallout of their operation to investigate missing Navy SEAL Brad Valerian.

SKIP GRANGER
Our first non-rejected mission!

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
What?

SKIP GRANGER
Just wanted that on the record, our first non-rejected mission. (beat) The Orlando part, it hadn’t been rejected, so the mission–

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Would you call it a ‘mission’ or a ‘fiasco that I hesitate to call a dumpster fire because I do not wish to besmirch dumpsters or fires’?

SOUND: A LOOOOOOOOOONG PAUSE.

SKIP GRANGER
I jotted down some takeaways…

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Let’s begin with your arrival.

SKIP GRANGER
Pressing on. Good.

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
You assigned your team staggered flights to Orlando.

SKIP GRANGER
According to mission protocol.

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
When did you learn that Agent Montcrief had gotten into an altercation with a vacationing child on his flight?

SKIP GRANGER
When it went viral on Twitter.

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
It’s still trending. Shall we?

SOUND: TAP, TAP. EVERYTHING IN ITALICS IS PLAYED OVER COMPUTER SPEAKERS: AUDIO AMBIENCE OF AN AIRLINER, AND A CHILDREN’S SONG, ‘BABY WHALE’, BEING PLAYED ON A LOOP.

SINGER (On tape)
Baby whale! Doo doo doo do doot! Baby whale! (etc)

FLIGHT ATTENDANT (On tape)
Sir, you must stop abusing your flight attendant call privileges.

BOWDEN
I can’t take the song anymore! Plus this damn brat has been kicking my seat since Charlotte! Give me that!

SOUND: A CHILD WAILS.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT
Sir! You cannot take the child’s small personal electronic device!

SKIP GRANGER
Agent Montcrief had gotten deep into character as the mission objective’s abusive father.

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Unfortunately for him, this child’s father was MMA welterweight champion Dixon ‘The Buzzsaw’ Cain.

SKIP GRANGER
Well, now, uh…

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Your report says that Cain promptly incapacitated Montcrief with his signature move, a chokehold known as “Special Delivery to Jesus”.

JUNIOR CAIN (On tape)
Dad! Make him give it back! Dad!

DIXON CAIN
Hey! You make my boy cry! Now I make you cry!

SOUND: A VIOLENT STRUGGLE, AIRPLANE PASSENGERS REACTING.

BOWDEN (on tape, being choked)
Hey! Watch the suit! It was… a gift… from… Nick Lachey!

SOUND: TAP TAP. THE VIDEO ENDS.

SKIP GRANGER
Which segues into my first takeaway, do not allow agents to sit near MMA champions on flights.

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Down an agent before the mission even starts. Impressive.

SKIP GRANGER
Yes, but all team members not detained by the TSA convened at Alpha Base Alpha at the appointed time.

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
At what point did it become apparent that Alpha Base–

SKIP GRANGER
Was not a secure location?

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Let’s go with that, sure.

SKIP GRANGER
When the Hermenklemper family of Tacoma, Washington, returned from SeaWorld to inform us they had one day left on their AirBNB rental.

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Is one of your takeaways to not use AirBNB to book secure mission headquarters going forward?

SKIP GRANGER
Numbers two and six. Wrote that one down twice.

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Good idea. So. Walk me through this debacle from there.

SKIP GRANGER
First, I decided to enhance the location’s security protocols.

SOUND: FAST TRANSITION (MUSIC OR WHOOSH CUT) INTO THE SOUNDS OF KID’S PLAYING…

SKIP GRANGERTimmy, Tommy, I told you this room is OFF LIMITS. Do not make me get your father!

SOUND: The kids run off

SOUND: DUCT TAPE RIPPING

MACKENZIE
You’re duct taping the keyhole?

SKIP GRANGER
Never know who might peek inside.

MACKENZIE
We know exactly who’ll peek inside, Timmy and Tommy Hermenklemper from Tacoma!

SKIP GRANGER
Done. Let’s get to work.

MACKENZIE
Wait, where’s Gloria?

GLORIA (muffled, she’s outside)
Oh, wow! So with the fast passes you just walk on the rides?!

SKIP GRANGER
Gloria!

GLORIA (muffled)
Sorry, I’ll find you later, I want to hear all about the new stuff! Agent Granger, yesterday the Hermenklempers spent the day at–

SOUND: DOOR OPENS, CLOSES.

SKIP GRANGER
Get in here, Gloria! Focus!

GLORIA
Right. Focus. Though you should see little Timmy’s Mouse Ears! They’re covered with images of history’s great copyright attorneys! Wait… what’s that smell?

MACKENZIE
Nothing. It’s nothing.

GLORIA
It’s awful–

DR STUDEBAKER
Is it fish?

MACKENZIE
LOOK. Ever since the briefing I’ve had sushi cravings, and the gas station up on I-Ninety Five had some in their minimart, so–

SKIP GRANGER
You ate gas station sushi!?!?

MACKENZIE
I BLAME YOUR SENSUOUS AHI TUNA,

SKIP GRANGER
Look. I downed a bottle of pepto. You’ve got two hours out of me, tops.

SKIP GRANGER
No time to waste. Let’s get you to Smails’ Hardware.

MUSIC: Transition

MACKENZIE
Skip, this is McGrath.

SKIP GRANGER
Who?

MACKENZIE
Grrrrrr. Echo Base this is Red One.

SKIP GRANGER
Copy Red One.

MACKENZIE
Location is as expected. Moving in.

SKIP GRANGER
Be careful, McGrath. Remember, we don’t know how much of Valerian’s old personality has resurfaced. This man, however mild-mannered, may be a killing machine.

MACKENZIE
You should really consider a career as a motivational speaker, Skip. Red One out. (beat) OK. Keep it together. Just plant this device on the security pad and go home. (beat) Hello, I’m in a bit of a hurry, I was wondering…

SMAILS
Hey there! Good morning little lady! How’s it all going for y’all?

MACKENZIE
I’m fine, thanks, can you–

SMAILS
See that stretch of weather done moved in off the gulf, eh? That’s gonna be some storm coming in now. I’ll tell ya, I remember a storm done come through here back in ninety three–

MACKENZIE
Did you hear the ‘in a hurry’ part?

SMAILS
–it done dredged up the ol Renata Gay trawler that sunk out in the glades back in thirty six, well it was thirty six if you ask old man Nillson and thirty-seven if you ask Joseephus Willoughbby–

MACKENZIE
Listen, time is short–

SMAILS
And that there trawler, hoo doggie, you ain’t lived till you’ve smelled mackerel pulled off the bottom of a swamp after nigh on eighty years–

MACKENZIE
Glory to Dixie! I’m looking for Willfred Smails!

SMAILS
Well, you done did found him, lil’ missy, he’s me!

MACKENZIE
Of course he is. I have a very important question and I need the answer VERY quickly.

SMAILS
Well, that’s our motto here at Smails Hardware, the answer you need as fast as we can dig it up! I remember one time, I think it was ought-six, guy came in here with a half mown lawn two hours afore his daughter’s backyard wedding, seems a gator had come up and engaged in an act of physical love with his John Deere–

MACKENZIE
This is Florida, all right. Mister Smails, I need a recommendation for a security system for my small business.

SMAILS
Well, I got a bunch of different options, all depending on your number of doors, your budget–

MACKENZIE
What do you use?

SMAILS
Oh, on my doors? I got me a Samson X fifteen digital combo lock.

MACKENZIE
Can I take a look at it?

SMAILS
Of course, missy.

SKIP GRANGER (over the headset)
Good job, McGrath. Place the device and get out of–

SMAILS
That things so secure I don’t even mind closing up to go bowfishing down on the Silver River tomorrow.

MACKENZIE
Tomorrow?

SMAILS
Yes’m. Little bit of a mental health day. Read those are good for ya, saw one article about it in Time and another in Guns ‘N Ammo.

MACKENZIE
Guns ‘N Ammo. Huh. Oops. Hold on, my phone’s ringing.

SMAILS
Is it? I don’t hear–

MACKENZIE
Buzzing.

SMAILS
Don’t hear no buzz neither–

MACKENZIE
It’s a subcutaneous buzz. Excuse me just one moment.

SOUND: MACKENZIE MOVES TO THE BACK OF THE STORE.

MACKENZIE
Echo Base, code red. Smails is going to be closed tomorrow.

MUSIC: “Baby Whale” comes over the headset on a loop.

SKIP GRANGER (on headset)
Sorry, McGrath, you’re going to have to speak up.

MACKENZIE
What’s that in the background? Is that Baby Whale again?

SKIP GRANGER (on headset)
The Hermenklemper child is watching a ten hour supercut of children’s videos. And so is–

GLORIA (in the background)
THIS SONG IS SO CUTE!

SKIP GRANGER (on headset)
Hell is an Orlando AirBNB. Now what’s the code red?

MACKENZIE
Smails is closing the store to go fishing tomorrow.

SKIP GRANGER (on headset)
No! That throws off the whole plan!

MACKENZIE
Well, you better think of something fast, because we have to OH GOD roadside sushi repeating.

MUSIC: Transition

SKIP GRANGER
Doctor Studebaker!

DR STUDEBAKER
You rang, hot lips?

SKIP GRANGER
We’ve got to get these speakers into Smails Hardware and spring our trap today, even though our actor is in a TSA holding pen and our computer expert is about to technicolor yawn Exxon Ahi!

DR STUDEBAKER
A puzzler, I grant you. Get Jiminy Cricket in from the other room.

SKIP GRANGER
Gloria!

SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES, WITH THE “BABY WHALE” SONG AUDIBLE IN THE ROOM BEYOND WHILE THE DOOR IS OPENED.

GLORIA
Man, that is catchy! Almost as catchy as “It’s a small–”

SKIP GRANGER
ZIP IT. Gloria, load the VR speakers in the van. Doctor Studebaker, is there a way to deliver one concentrated shock that’d knock Smails into next week, psychologically speaking?

DR STUDEBAKER
There might be, Buttercup. Did your actor send ahead his cache of agency issued costumes?

MUSIC: Transition

MACKENZIE
Back this way?

SMAILS
Yes, miss, that’s the ladies room, just head past the stack of nudie mags and the rack of official NASCAR collector plates!

MACKENZIE (under her breath)
Oh, Florida…

SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES.

MACKENZIE
Light switch light switch…

SOUND: LIGHT SWITCH CLICKS, MACKENZIE GASPS

MACKENZIE
Oh sweet mother of… Echo Base, this is red one, are you incoming?

SKIP GRANGER (over headpiece)
On our way. Where are you?

MACKENZIE
In the Smails Hardware ladies room, which is also possibly the largest collection of Angela Lansbury memorabilia this side of the Atlantic. GOOD GOD, this woman was the Queen of TV Guide–

SMAILS (outside the door)
Afternoon, how can I help y’all here at Smails Hardware?

DR STUDEBAKER (outside the door)
Step aside sir, Doctor Biff Studebaker here and these are my assistants. We have a Life Alert call from your ladies room.

SMAILS (outside the door)
Well, just head right on back, mind the nudie mags!

SOUND: DOOR OPENS, CLOSES

SKIP GRANGER
McGrath!

MACKENZIE
Skip!

GLORIA
Miss McGrath!

MACKENZIE
Gloria!

DR STUDEBAKER
Oprah!

MACKENZIE
Doctor Studebaker! This bathroom is bigger than it looks.

SKIP GRANGER
Here’s the new plan.

MUSIC: Transition

GLORIA
Excuse me, mister Smails, sir!

SMAILS
Yes’m, how can I be of assistance?

GLORIA
We’re trying to figure out what’s made the young lady sick. Can you tell us absolutely everything that’s gone on in the store today?

SMAILS
Tell y’all everything?

GLORIA
Everything.

SMAILS
Well, bail out the kayak and call me Hezekiah, I can do that!

GLORIA
Head into the bathroom, please, and discuss it with my colleagues.

SOUND: DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING

GLORIA
OK, Gloria. Remember what Agent Granger said. Assemble the speakers as quietly as possible.

SOUND: ZIP. CLICK.

GLORIA
Let’s see… these instructions are just a bunch of pictures… well, I’ll give it the old college try!

SOUND: CLICK. CLICK. SNAP!

GLORIA
Oh dear.

SOUND: CLICK. SNAP. TWANG!

GLORIA
That can’t be good. Oh… I hope the team is all right, locked in a small space with a potential soulless killing machine…

SOUND: Throughout the rest, we can hear Gloria struggling to set up the speakers, grunting and muttering to herself.

SMAILS
So twas around nine forty five or so I reckon that the UPS guy finally done arrived with the shipment of ball peens and router bits we’d done been expecting since July last and I can tell you it wasn’t Dunrites fault at’all the way Ralph said it was, Ralph being the UPS driver–

MACKENZIE (under her breath)
You said tell us everything, huh?

SKIP GRANGER (under her breath)
I had no idea.

SOUND: FROM OUTSIDE THE DOOR, A SNAP, A CRASH.

SMAILS
What in ternation was–

SKIP GRANGER
Oh, just our colleague setting up a gurney. Please, continue.

SOUND: AS SMAILS CONTINUES, WE HEAR GLORIA SPECTACULARLY FAILING TO SET UP THE SPEAKERS, INTERSPERSED WITH THE OCCASIONAL ‘OH WILLIKERS’ OR ‘GOSH’ FROM GLORIA.

SMAILS
Well, anyways, I remember this one time that Ralph, he couldn’t have been much older than six at the time cause I remember it was right around that same time that Ida Mae Peoples over at the Piggly Wiggly came down with a condition done caused her to just shout the word ‘frankincense’ any time she felt the need to make an ablution–

SOUND: A KNOCK ON THE DOOR.

GLORIA (outside the door)
Agent– er, I mean Doctors, I’ve got everything assembled!

SKIP GRANGER
OH THANK GO– Mister Smails, we’re going to transport this lady out of your store and you can go back to your perfectly normal day in your perfectly normal store of normalness. Sound normal?

SOUND: DOOR OPENS.

SKIP GRANGER
All right miss, if you just come HOLY MACARENA, Gloria! What in the–

SMAILS
What in bleeding tarnation did y’all do to my store!

GLORIA
Doctors, may I speak with you… (in a hushed tone) I got the speakers set up!

SKIP GRANGER (hushed)
Every display rack is on its side!

GLORIA
Those speakers are complicated!

SMAILS
Aw, g’oldurnit, this is going to take hours to clean up! No way I can go fishing tomorrow!

SKIP GRANGER (hushed)
Gloria, you unintentional genius!

GLORIA (hushed)
Can you put that in the report?

SKIP GRANGER (hushed)
OK, everyone, the plan is back on track! Let’s go back to Alpha Base Alpha while Smails is busy cleaning up, and start the audio program–

GLORIA (hushed)
Wait… do you hear that?

SOUND: EERIE, UNDERSEA NOISES

SMAILS (disturbed)
Hey… what’s that there noise…

DR STUDEBAKER
It’s my immersive audio deprogramming track! Someone has started it!

MACKENZIE
But who could be at the AirBNB–

SKIP GRANGER
Alpha Base Alpha–

MACKENZIE
WHO COULD BE MESSING WITH THE CONTROLS? There’s nobody there but– (beat) Oh… oh no…

SOUND: AT ALMOST UNIMAGINABLE VOLUME, THE TRANQUIL SEA NOISES BECOME…

SINGER
BABY WHALE/DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO/BABY WHALE/DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO-DOO–

SMAILS
AHHHHHH!!!!!!

SKIP GRANGER
You damn Hermenklemper kids!

SMAILS
GREAT GODS ALMIGHTY! Make it stop! Make it stop!

MACKENZIE
Wait… Lieutenant Valerian was afraid of the ocean!

SMAILS
Make the whales stop!

DR STUDEBAKER
This song is ripping his mind apart way faster than what I’d dreamed up! I gotta get this on vinyl!

SOUND: OVER TOP OF ‘BABY WHALE’…

BOWDEN (through the speaker)
— part of their group, I can prove it! Listen! Skip! It’s Bowden! The TSA confiscated my phone, can you tell these… what is it, Hermenklempers? Tell them I’m part of the party–

SKIP GRANGER
Bowden?! Oh no, he thinks we can answer him…

MISTER HERMENKLEMPER (through the speaker)
Excuse me, sir–

BOWDEN (through the speaker)
Listen, pal, I’ve had a day and a half from hell, and if you think I’m leaving–

MISTER HERMENKLEMPER (through the speaker)
But another renter just showed up, he thinks he’s booked this place for tonight too! It’s a huge mess. If we could just have a quick family meeting…

DIXON CAIN (through the speaker)
You!

BOWDEN (through the speaker)
Oh merciful heavens!!

MACKENZIE
Is that Dixon ‘The Buzzsaw’ Cain again?

SOUND: SMACK! BANG! CRASH! AS THE BEATING CONTINUES OVER THE STEADY MONOTONY OF ‘BABY WHALE’ AND OCEAN SOUNDS

DIXON CAIN (through the speaker)
You ruined my kid’s vacation, now I ruin you!

GLORIA
OH MY GOD!

MACKENZIE
How am I feeling bad for Bowden!

SMAILS
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

MUSIC: Transition

SKIP GRANGER
The sounds of a severe beating from a father figure coupled with the ocean-themed song’s reprisal caused Smails to suffer a complete mental break. Doctor Studebaker brought him down with a high dose of sedatives.

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Good thing you had a psychologist on your team.

SKIP GRANGER
I don’t think he was carrying them in a professional capacity.

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Looking over your final comments–

SKIP GRANGER
Now, those I stand by. With time, we may be able to prove that Smails is Valerian, and–

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Chet Phillips’ team found the body of Lieutenant Brad Valerian during their investigation in Vienna.

SKIP GRANGER
Say what now?

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
It seems back in nineteen ninety- nine, an enemy agent found him wandering the forest after the Deceptionem explosion. He was transported to Vienna, tortured until he divulged the call sign we detected last week, and killed.

SKIP GRANGER
So… why did the enemy wait all these years to use that call sign?

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
We don’t know yet, but we’re investigating.

SKIP GRANGER
Ah (beat) Is there anything my team can–

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
You can resume standard duties.

SKIP GRANGER
‘The time being’, being…

SECTION CHIEF ANDERS
Until Phillips rejects another mission.

SOUND: MUSICAL TRANSITION. THE SOUNDS OF A HOSPITAL ROOM. SOMEONE EATING.

HOSPITAL INTERCOM
Paging Doctor Oveur, Doctor Oveur, Mayo Clinic on the white phone…

GLORIA
Here, have some more.

BOWDEN

Mmm. Thanks so much for helping me eat, Gloria. The doctor’s say I should regain use of my extremities in a day or so.

HOSPITAL INTERCOM
The WHITE phone.

SKIP GRANGER
Hey guys.

BOWDEN
Skip! What’s wrong?

HOSPITAL INTERCOM
The OTHER white phone.

SKIP GRANGER
Just met with Anders.

GLORIA
And we still have jobs?

SKIP GRANGER
Yep.

BOWDEN
Good, I already filled out COBRA forms for Heyward Johnson this week, I’m not doing it again.

GLORIA
So what’s wrong?

SKIP GRANGER
Nothing, just… Phillips team…

BOWDEN
They did it? Again?

SKIP GRANGER
Again. And again and again.

BOWDEN
Chin up, sport. We’ll grab the brass ring one of these days.

SKIP GRANGER
Thanks guys. I’ll catch you round.

SOUND: SKIP CLOSES THE DOOR BEHIND HIM.

BOWDEN
Would you pass me some more of this… what is it?

GLORIA
Ahi tuna.

BOWDEN
Delicious. It was so nice of McGrath to bring me this. Where’d she say she got it again?

GLORIA
She didn’t say. And for some reason, she was chuckling…

MUSIC: BABY WHALE SONG

ANNOUNCER
Mission: Rejected was created by Pete Barry, J. Michael DeAngelis and John Dowgin. This episode was written by John Dowgin and directed by J. Michael DeAngelis. It starred Chris Klaniecki as Skip Granger, Nazli Sarpkaya as Mackenzie McGrath, Dave Stanger as Bowden Montcrief, Paige Klaniecki as Gloria, Faith Dowgin as Section Chief Zelda Anders, with Kirk White as Chet Phillips and Kevin McGrath as the Mission Voice. Guest Starring were Ashley Banks as Ocean Girl, Matt Lafargue as Dixon Caine, Dave Serfass as Wilifred Smails, Leon Malloy as Mr. Hermenklemper, Natty Leach as the Shadowy Voice and Bob Killion as The Admiral and Security Guy. Music, lyrics, sound editing and mixing by Pete Barry. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MissionRejected and support us on Patreon at www.patreon.com/missonrejected for bonus material, exclusive audio and more. This has been a Porch Room production, copyright 2019 Extraordinary Missions Limited.

SOUND: WE’RE BACK ON THE OCEAN. SOMEONE CLOSES A DOOR. RAIN, THUNDER AND LIGHTENING.

ADMIRAL (Singing softly)
Baby whale. Doo doo doo. Baby whale. Baby whale..

SOUND: RADIO CRACKLES TO LIFE, AND SOMEONE FIDGETS WITH A DIAL TONE.

SHADOWY VOICE (Over radio)
Rider on the storm seven six six.

ADMIRAL
ID confirmed. Report?

SHADOWY VOICE (Over radio)
The ruse was a complete success. EMF intercepted the outdated Naval call sign, and then believed our falsified ‘Mission Accepted’ response from Chet Phillips. Now, they think the target was found dead in Vienna.

ADMIRAL
Excellent. Our control over Phillips and his communications is complete. When will you arrive in Singapore?

SHADOWY VOICE (Over Radio)
Oh-eight-th irty using passport L. Your girl contacted me with the rest of the arrangements.

ADMIRAL
Looking forward to meeting you, Lieutenant Valerian. Muahaahahahaaa!

MUSIC: END STINGER

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