Untitled Series, Working Title “Red”
Episode 102: “Enter the Baron”
EXT. HIGH ABOVE THE CAMPBELL HOME – MORNING
Classy, subtle spy music plays off in the background, creeping in as we descend from high in the sky on what looks like a paper airplane as it glides downward, until we get closer and see that strapped to it is Comrade Meow, a Russian Blue with a crimson armband with the Hammer and Sickle on it, and a high-tech gadget strapped onto his back. He slices a cord with one claw, and rolls out of the hang-glider and onto the roof, landing in a controlled sprawl, and immediately starts crawling down the roof. Then he goes vertical, claws extended, as he climbs down the side of the house, and leaps gracefully onto the pavement. As a cat, Meow's movements should be very fluid. He walks casually beside Bruce's car, and rolls underneath. Meow arches his back and the device latches itself onto the undercarriage of the car. Meow rolls over onto his back, and for a second he looks cute sort of sprawled as the camera looks down on him from the bomb's P.O.V.. Then he starts jabbing at it with his paws, and lights flash on, first red, then yellow, and he's about to push a final button when a mechanical dog leg stomps into the foreground. The foot belongs to K-99, who we're probably always going to know as BUD.
Stop it right there, Meow.
Meow hisses, and a purple gas pours out of his mouth. Bud's dog collar pushes forward and two little arms pop out as it begins to spin, blowing the smoke back at Meow. Meow rolls out from under the opposite side of the car and his ears shoot back, and he runs, but Bud stomps into view at the bumper of the car, stopping him dead. Meow bats playfully at the air a moment, then leaps, clawing a sprinkler in half as Bud sidesteps. Bud immediately pounces on him, slamming him to the ground, but as Bud lands Meow bends around unnaturally and climbs onto Bud's back. He raises his claws and is about to strike and we get a nice shot of the sun glinting off of Bud as the sun comes up over the house. There's a low, growling rumble, as Bud's footjets fire up, and both he and Meow are lifted into the air, smacking Meow into the overhanging roof.
Meow falls first, landing gracefully on his feet, and rolls out of the way as Bud lands, slightly cracking the pavement.
INT. KITCHEN – MORNING
Bruce in the kitchen is startled by the noise and spills his coffee.
What in the hell's going on out there?
CUT BACK TO:
EXT. CAMPBELL HOME – MORNING
Outside, where Meow has his back arched, and he coughs up a black ball that sprays smoke.
EXT. K-9 VISION - MORNING
Robotic canine vision, looking vaguely similar to Virtual Boy 3d, but in infrared. Most of the world is only dimly outlined, except for the cat, which pulses several shades of red before he rolls under the car. Bud cocks his head to the side, and K-9 vision zooms in on the door and hear it unlocks.
EXT. CAMPBELL HOME – MORNING
Bud stretches on his toes as a hologram "covers" him so that he now appears to be a normal Harrier, covered in short white, brown and black fur. He starts to bark at Meow under the car as Bruce walks outside.
What's wrong, boy?
Bruce gets down on his hands and knees to look under the car. In the dark, two shining, evil feline eyes open. Meow hisses, and Bruce jumps back, banging his head as Bud swats Meow in the head, knocking him silly (the sound effect really has to sell this one). Bruce sits up, rubbing his head.
Just a cat...
Bruce picks Meow up. Meow tries to fight, but he's too weak, and is carried into the house. As this happens, he tears the band from his arm and devours it.
INT. KITCHEN – MORNING
Bud follows him inside, and starts barking as Bruce sets the cat down on the kitchen table, and Meow arches his back.
It's okay, Bud. It's just a cat.
Bruce pats Bud on the head, and we can tell that the hologram must have texture to it from the way he runs his hand between his ears. Meow's back stays arched as he looks from the knives to a tea kettle heating on the stove to a waffle iron. Bruce lays a plate with a half-eaten steak and a teacup with milk in front of Meow. Meow sniffs at it, and reacts as if it were rancid, believing it to be poisoned. Bruce pets Meow's ears, head and neck.
Come on. It's not like it's poisoned.
At this the cat's ears go back and he lowers down onto the table, as if he's preparing to strike, and his eyes go to slits. Bruce is mostly ignoring him, and takes a chunk of the steak and tosses it down his pipe, and washes it down with the milk. The cat sits up straight, and Bruce strokes his chin. Bruce now has a milk moustache.
See. It's good.
Meow looks from him to the food, him and back again, him... and Meow begins to purr. Meow begins to eat, pausing to lap at the milk, purring loudly.
INT. FAMILY ROOM - MORNING
Family room. Teresa is reading the paper, CAITLIN is playing on the computer and TEDDY is playing with a truck on the carpet. We swivel around to hear Bruce talking through the door from the kitchen.
BRUCE (filtered, O.S.)
Um... honey? I've been thinking a lot about what you said...
Bruce walks through the door from the kitchen holding Meow in his arms. Meow is nearly asleep, contented, but looks newly cautious now that he's in another room with new people, and stops purring.
And I got us a cat.
Teresa gives him a withering look.
You like cats- don't you?
That's okay. It's not for you. It's for...
Bruce looks frantically from Caitlin and Teddy to the coffee table, to them and back and finally points the cat, belly out, at the kids.
Our children? Do you think Teddy is old enough for a pet?
CUT TO: Teddy trying desperately to flare his nostril enough to fit a block in there.
Bruce drops Meow in front of Teddy, who picks the cat up and strokes his belly.
Heh heh… he's got lotsa nipples.
INSERT: CU ON THE CAT’S BELLY
Meow's belly has 4 pairs of nipples. It is from this that the cat will get his name, from Teddy: MR. NIPPLES. Teddy’s hand strokes the cat’s belly again.
BACK TO SCENE
Meow tries frantically to get away, not liking his tummy touched.
Caitlin slides off the computer chair and leaves the room while Teddy tries to give her the cat. Meow reaches frantically for the chair and gets flung into the wall, bounces and lands mid-back on the edge of the computer desk, then hits mid-neck on the edge of the chair, and finally lands flat on his stomach on the floor. After a pause, he lets out a muffled, weak, gargling "Mrrow" without moving.
Bruce, his eyes wide and his mouth open. He turns to face Teresa and flashes her a too-wide nervous smile.
INT. MILITARY PLANE, CARGO HOLD - SUNSET
Sam and Rickie are in the rear cargo section of a military plane. They’re dressed in black military clothing with pockets and belts and pouches and weapons everywhere (but not cluttered, it’s important that they look sleek). Special ops gear. Sam’s got a pair of dark goggles on his head (but not over his eyes).
What am I doing here?
Riding Bruce’s coattails.
Oh. But where am I riding them to?
Lovely little province just outside the Western Soviet bloc.
Because that’s where our little assassin came from.
So he wasn’t a soviet?
Not according to Bruce’s source. He’s a Communist, but their country still hasn’t made it into the Republic yet- which means they’re either stockpiling for membership dues or they’re working towards some impressive gesture to get the council behind their application.
But of I’m riding Bruce’s coattails, where is he?
He’s taking a commercial flight in; disguised as an English nobleman and communist by the name of Lo-
INT. AIRPLANE – SUNSET
Bruce is seated in a small two-prop plane. He’s dressed in a stodgy suit, probably a little too old-fashioned to be credible, dressed sort of like Scrooge. He’s got on a gray and white wig and a beard with muttonchops and a handlebar moustache. He’s talking to the Stewardess (because this is the 80s- and because “Flight Attendant” is ludicrous).
-rd William Newcastle II, my dear, charmed.
We’ll be arriving in the next ten minutes, sir.
Jolly good. I say, you wouldn’t happen to know what sort of fellow this Baron chap is, do you?
I am sorry, sir, but I am only a stewardess. I only dine with Baronets and the occasional Knight.
Perhaps the next time I shall bring you, but in the meantime I’ll have to sort out this Baron chap myself.
EXT. CASTLE STEPS – EVENING
The Baron and his entourage meet Bruce on the steps of his castle. He’s flanked by four guards, not to mention the two accompanying Bruce, and the one who was driving the Lincoln Bruce arrived in.
Welcome, welcome, Lord Newcastle. It is indeed a pleasure.
That pleasure, my good man, is entirely mine.
I was very pleased to receive your call so quickly.
We’ve been interested in your efforts for quite some time, old bean. Seemed you were ripe for a visit.
EXT. GRASSY KNOLL – NIGHT
Sam and Rickie are on what looks like part of the golf course. Sam kneels beside what looks like a manhole cover. During this conversation Sam unscrews bolts out of the cover.
Explain to me again what we’re doing here.
Well, the most blaring hole in the Baron’s security centers around his septic system.
Yeah. Alternative to sewers. All of your water waste collects in a big tank.
Sam pops off the cover and Rickie covers his nose looking away.
Sam stands and ticks off the tips on his fingers.
Among other things. Few quick tips. Don’t inhale; don’t lick your lips; and hold your nose- you don’t want to snort any of it.
Sam puts his goggles over his eyes.
All right. Follow me close, and don’t get lost.
INT. BARON’S STUDY – NIGHT
The Baron’s study has bookshelves built into the walls filled with classic novels. It has an incredibly high vaulted ceiling and a huge crystal chandelier. The Baron and Bruce are sitting in high-backed wing chairs sipping brand before a large fireplace (The Baron is “New Nobility” and has picked up most of his nuances from bad TV).
Consider this an interview, my dear Baron. What have you done that should impress me?
An excellent question, Newcastle.
Lord William, if you please, but never Bill.
Yes. Bill is a terrible bastardization of a very noble-sounding name.
Indeed, fit only for chimney-sweets and loo-scrubs.
Hah! Yes, I recently discovered a higher-ranking man on my security detail who preferred to be called Bill. He sponges up the septic leaks in the basement now.
INT. BASEMENT – NIGHT
CU on the nametag of Bill, then zoom out as Sam changes into the uniform. Rickie is hunched over spitting and hacking next to a tied and gagged BILL, who’s in his skivvies. They are in the basement where all of the pipes and the furnace and other assorted early 20th century technology should be.
I thought it would have gone without saying that you shouldn’t try to talk while we were under.
Rickie doesn’t say anything because he’s busy coughing up refuse offscreen.
That’s easy for you to say.
EXT. GOLF COURSE – NIGHT
Bruce is watching the Baron are prepare to drive off a tee. They are on a course lit entirely with stadium-type lighting.
I must admit, Baron, that this sport is entirely Greek to me.
The Baron looks up from his concentration and gives him a steely look.
There are those, Newcastle, who would see that brand of honesty as exemplary.
The Baron slices beautifully, and there’s an insert shot of the ball hitting the green.
I am not among them.
EXT. GOLF COURSE GREEN – NIGHT
Bruce is putting just a few feet from the hole. The Baron stands on the opposite side of the hole. Bruce makes a put, but too hard and too fast, and it bounces off the Baron’s shin, making him grab his shin, then quick cut (this is stolen blatantly from a Tom Hanks movie- if at all possible the brand name on Bruce’s putter should be Hanks, and the name on the Baron’s driver should be Gleason).
INT. ELECTRICAL ROOM – NIGHT
Sam and Rickie are installing a modem into his phone system.
This is a modem. It’ll allow our fourth outside to hack his network, steal his files and roast his infrastructure.
Question. Why don’t we just shoot him and leave?
We still can’t get hold of the Director. Without D we can’t get clearance to terminate, but the Section Head okayed an asset freeze.
INT. BASEMENT – NIGHT
Sam and Rickie are looking over a set of blueprints of the Baron’s castle.
Our int. points to a climate-controlled vault here. That’s where we’re going- try and crack open his files, steal anything pertinent, and torch the rest. We have a second team hitting a storage facility in the neighboring village, which is where we suspect he’ll have kept his back-ups.
Okay, but what really concerns me is guards.
Don’t worry, we should be able to handle-
No. I mean- I want a fresh change of clothes.
Well, unless we do something stupid, we shouldn’t be encountering any more guards.
But there’s a post right here. On guard, maybe two if we’re unlucky.
Yes. And we’d have to walk through this open hallway here, almost surely compromising the mission. I’m sorry, but I think you’re just going to have to-
INT. DINING HALL – NIGHT
Bruce and the Baron are having dinner at a long dining table, with thirty places set between them and candles burning. On the wall in the middle of the table is a twice life-size portrait of Stalin.
-take it right up the kazoo. Bloody Yanks think they own the entire sphere. It warms my heart to hear someone giving them a bit of their comeuppance. But let’s down to brass tacks, shall we? The British quarter of the Communist Party is largely minimalized, but suffice to say you’ve managed to enter into the party as a whole’s periphery.
Is that all? I would have thought six high level assassination would warrant more than a peripheral acknowledgement of my existence.
Well, as our intelligence seems to point, only three of the assassinations succeeded. Three of six is excellent, for a beginner, sir, but I’m afraid it takes better than that to ruffle my knickers.
Only 3 you say? I’d hoped for better results than that
Yes, well I asked Santer for a lovely young thing with nice teeth, and the only thing greeting me Christmas morning was my ugly old moo of a wife, and it would take a sight more than a saint to get me to venture a go at her chimney
Bruce guffaws loudly at his own wit.
INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE THE VAULT
Sam and Rickie are standing at the corner leading into the hallway outside the vault.
This is it.
I can’t help but notice there haven’t been anymore guards.
Yeah. Don’t know what to tell you. Int. tells us they never leave this place unguarded. They must have pulled the guards to double the detail on Bruce.
Can he handle that?
Sam just smiles.
You don’t happen to know how to crack a safe like this, do you?
No. Don’t you?
Yeah, but I’m lousy at it. We could be here all night while I fiddled with it. I prefer a slightly more direct approach.
Sam pulls out what is obviously an explosive device from Rickie’s pack and smiles.
INT. DINING HALL – NIGHT
Gas, I should think.
Lord Newcastle, I am appalled.
Not mine, good heavens. Yours, I should think. Perhaps a leaking main in the kitchen caught the pilot.
I assure, we have no gas in this castle.
My mum assured me of the same thing about women most of my life, and I believed her until my wedding night, a right disgusting affair that was. Since, I’ve taken to think that ladies do not break the silence til after their wedding to keep from offending the menfolk, and leave their odors festering within their bowels for several decades until they use youth and strong drink to trick unsuspecting boys into the folly of marriage.
INT. VAULT – NIGHT
Sam and Rickie wade through the smoke into the vault. Sam looks on with purpose, designing the scene in his mind while Rickie is just dumbfounded by the entire thing.
We aren’t going to douse these pages individually, are we? Could take hours.
Didn’t you wonder why your pack was so much heavier?
Sam reaches into Rickie’s pack again, and pulls out another device.
Firebomb. Explosion coats the room in a slow-burning fuel similar to napalm. Then it lights. Catch.
Sam gently tosses the firebomb at him, and Rickie catches it.
Now, we’ll need to push these cabinets ov-
Only he didn’t quite catch it, fumbles it, then drops it.
INT. DINING HALL - NIGHT
This second smaller explosion is smaller, but it still is very audible.
There it is again. I say, you may wish to have your kitchen-man keep the pilot going, before one of your glorious tapestries is lost to the flame.
There was no gas explosion, Whitecastle. We are under siege. Guardsmen!
Well, I suppose I’ve tried to diffuse this situation peacefully.
Bruce stands up slow and deliberate, drawing his pistol and dropping the accent.
But I’m going to have to ask you not to move any further. You can all toss your weapons to the floor, them come over here and lay down.
There’s a moment of hesitation as the Baron and guards exchange glances.
Do as he says. He is much better than you.
The guards comply.
I shall see you all thoroughly disciplined later.
Bruce says the next line into his sleeve.
How we doing Sam?
INT. VAULT – NIGHT
The vault is dark and there’s smoke pouring everywhere. There are small fires dancing all over the floor.
If the rookie were as good at setting fire to files as he is his own leg we’d be in Amsterdam already, but another 90 seconds and we’re clear. 4?
INT. TECH VAN - NIGHT
The inside of the tech van is crammed with equipment. Radar, computers. It should look like the interior of a spyplane, if only because it’s the automobile equivalent. Sitting in a spinning chair welded to the floor is FOUR.
I’ve been done ten minutes, filling his harddrives with a thousand pictures of wieners.
INSERT: CU COMPUTER SCREEN
On the screen is a four-way split-screen of men eating hot dogs in buns, all looking suggestively at the camera.
BACK TO SCENE.
INT. DINING HALL – NIGHT
Bruce is again talking into his sleeve.
Hurry it up, Sam, we’re getting clear.
Bruce walks over to the Baron, who’s got a disdainful smirk plastered across his mug.
Baron- like to thank you for your hospitality- and because of it I’ll offer you a friendly warning- stay out of our business. If you want to contribute to political causes we won’t stop you, but if you cross swords with the department I’ll be back. And I won’t be brining a team- just a bullet. I’m asking that you not make me come back here- the language is hard, the women are ugly, and the toilets are cold. Stay out of espionage, Baron, you don’t get a second warning.
Bruce puffs on the cigar one last time, then flicks it onto the portrait of Stalin.
INT. JET – MORNING
Sam and Bruce are sitting in their seats, sipping their drinks. Sam has a martini, Bruce is drinking a rum and Coke. Sitting next to them, completely immersed in his laptop, is Four. He isn’t even aware that they’re talking.
Well, Bruce, how do you think it went over?
Don’t know. Something about the way he eyeballed me at the end... I don’t think this is the end of him. When we get back I’ll talk to the Washington branch, see what we can’t get in the way of sanctions.
You think that’ll be enough?
Hard to say. But making a few phone calls sure as hell beats flying back to this country to have to kill people.
No argument there. This has got the ugliest citizenry I’ve ever seen. I’m not a man of discriminating physical tastes, but Jeezus, I wouldn’t touch any of these women with a ten-foot pole. Well, I might poke ‘em with it, because I like poking fat people. They kick and squeal like frightened piglets.
Speaking of... where’s the rookie?
Oh, the pilots wouldn’t let him in the people part of the plane smelling like he did.
You didn’t leave him behind, did you?
No no... they said they had a “special” place in the cargo hold that would be just right for him.
Special? Did you ask what they meant by that?
INT. CARGO HOLD
There’s a specific little section of the plane cordoned off as a pigpen. Rickie is sitting in the middle of it, sleeping quietly, with pigs crawling all over him.
Honestly, I didn’t really want to know.