Duty Bound: Act I

Duty Bound
Written December 2001
Rated PG-13
Synopsis: Madeline must determine whether or not an operative is working with Red Cell by using “any means necessary.”

Disclaimer: The characters within are property of LFN Productions, Warner Bros., and USA Network. The following songs were also used: “Rods and Cones” by Blue Man Group on their album Audio from EMD/Virgin Records, “Softly Softly” by Sweetback featuring Maxwell on Sweetback’s album Sweetback from Sony/Columbia, and “Firestarter” by The Prodigy on their album The Fat of the Land from Warner Brothers.  No infringement is intended.

A Youtube version of “Rods and Cones” can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRtaQcVhNGE
A Youtube version of “Softly Softly” can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQp2kRVluZc
A Youtube version of “Firestarter” can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmin5WkOuPw


ACT I

FADE IN

INT. SECTION ONE COMMON AREA – MORNING

Camera pans upward to the Perch, where OPERATIONS is standing, looking at his panel with disinterest. Occasionally, he glances down as if watching for someone. Angle to OPERATIONS’ POV. Madeline is walking across the room. Angle OPERATIONS; he is smiling. He hurries down the stairs to greet her as she reaches the corridor.

OPERATIONS

Madeline.

MADELINE stops long enough for him to catch up then continues walking. Although he is grinning, her expression is blank.

MADELINE

I’m on my way to meet Mr. Scott in Van Access.

OPERATIONS

Yes, I saw that Oversight sent him to us for a while. I
was thinking of assigning him to Franklin.

MADELINE

No, that’s not necessary. I’ll take him.

A brief hint of jealousy passes through OPERATIONS’ eyes, but he quickly recovers.

OPERATIONS

You’re sure he won’t interfere with your workload?

MADELINE

Although he’s not second-in-command, he is Two’s chief
strategist. He may prove to be resourceful with some
missions aside from the McMillan case.

OPERATIONS

Very well.

(pauses)

There is another matter I’d like to discuss.

MADELINE

Go ahead.

OPERATIONS

(hesitates)

Do you think we could do it somewhere more private?

They reach their destination, and MADELINE looks at him.

MADELINE

Come by my office when you have a moment.

OPERATIONS

(smiling)

Thank you.

The steel doors to Van Access swing open, and a tall, sinewy man steps through. He is handsome by any standards, with wavy blond hair and green eyes that sharply contrast against his olive skin. He is well-groomed, wearing an expensive Armani suit. He looks at MADELINE and smiles broadly.

SCOTT

Madeline!

He takes her by the elbows and kisses both of her cheeks before pressing his lips to her briefly. Angle OPERATIONS; he folds his arms across his chest and frowns.

MADELINE

Hello, Boyd. It’s been a while.

SCOTT

At least a year. You’re even more beautiful than I remember,
if that’s possible.

MADELINE

Time has been kind to you as well.

SCOTT finally looks at OPERATIONS and holds out his hand. OPERATIONS doesn’t move, his arms still folded across his chest. Taking the hint, SCOTT pulls his hand back.

SCOTT

Thank you for your help with the McMillan situation.

OPERATIONS

Madeline will be working with you while you’re here. She’ll
set you up with quarters and an office. There’s a briefing
in an hour; I’d like you to bring my operatives up to speed.

SCOTT

Of course.

SCOTT takes MADELINE’S arm, and they walk off, chatting randomly. Angle OPERATIONS, looking irritated and a bit hurt.

CUT TO:

INT. MADELINE’S OFFICE – DAY

The door slides open, and MADELINE walks in, followed by SCOTT. He glances around the room appreciatively before noticing the brightly colored orange flowers on the metallic stand in the center of her office. He walks over to them.

SCOTT

Beautiful! These are birds of paradise, aren’t they?

MADELINE is impressed and smiles, standing next to him.

MADELINE

I didn’t know you were a horticulturist.

SCOTT

I’m not. But I knew you were, so I did a little studying.
Now we have something to talk about over dinner.

SCOTT leans closer as if to kiss her, but she backs away.

MADELINE

Business before pleasure, agreed?

SCOTT

(as if that had been his intention all along)

Of course.

MADELINE

You’ll probably want to go to your office to prepare for
the briefing.

SCOTT

(slyly)

Not necessarily…

MADELINE steps in the way of the door sensor, and it opens.

MADELINE

The briefing is in forty-five minutes, and Operations doesn’t
tolerate tardiness.

SCOTT stands in the doorway, smiling at her.

SCOTT

The game is afoot.

He kisses her hand and walks away. Angle MADELINE, as she sizes up her opponent.

CUT TO:

INT. BRIEFING AREA – DAY

OPERATIONS stands on one side of the table, holding the remote control. Seated are MADELINE, SCOTT, NIKITA, BIRKOFF, DANFORTH, WALKER, and DAVENPORT. OPERATIONS clicks a button, and a blue screen pops up. It shows a 3-D rotating image of a light red-haired man with a moustache.

OPERATIONS

This is Alastair McMillan, the chief liaison to the Cardinal.
For three years, Section Two has been handling the situation,
but successive failures–

(he looks directly at SCOTT)

–has brought the case to our area. Boyd Scott, Section Two’s
chief strategist, will be joining us due to his expertise
with McMillan and his past experience with the case.

SCOTT

McMillan has been on our most wanted list for quite some
time, but he always manages to evade capture. He’s been
taking up too much of our resources, and since Section
One is rather effective in matters such as these, I’ve
come to ask for your help.

OPERATIONS

Please give Mr. Scott your assistance whenever needed.
Birkoff, what do you have for us?

BIRKOFF

(straightens)

We’ve pinpointed McMillan to one of three possible locations
in the country. A small farmhouse in the central region, a backwoods
lodge near the eastern border, and an old warehouse in the south.

SCOTT

(shaking his head)

McMillan isn’t the type to stay in the area. It’s likely he’s
moved to a more secure location. Where are you getting your intel?

Angle BIRKOFF; he looks both insulted and irritated. OPERATIONS shares the latter of the two emotions.

OPERATIONS

(sternly)

I would appreciate it if you would give the same amount of
respect to my operatives as you would to your co-workers
at Two. Birkoff’s intel is sound; I checked it myself.

(looks at the other operatives)

Davenport, you’ll take a four-person team to each of the
sites and search for any evidence that McMillan may have
been there. Nikita will be working with you while Michael
is in Somalia.

(pauses)

You leave in twenty minutes for the first location.

BIRKOFF, NIKITA, WALKER, DANFORTH, and DAVENPORT get up to leave. SCOTT stands and addresses OPERATIONS.

SCOTT

With all due respect, I think multiple teams would be more
effective. If he is at one of these sites, he won’t have
a chance to run.

OPERATIONS

If you hadn’t failed the last three years of missions, we
wouldn’t be in this situation now. We are stretched too
thin to spare a few extra teams. In all honesty, McMillan
is not our top priority.

(pauses, waiting for a rebuttal that he knows won’t come)

The profile stands.

OPERATIONS glances at MADELINE as he exits. She watches him go, a blank expression on her face. SCOTT looks over at MADELINE, visibly angry.

SCOTT

Is he always like that? What he says, goes?

MADELINE

He is in charge.

SCOTT

How can you stand it? I doubt you even get a word in edgewise.

MADELINE doesn’t reply; she gives him an unconcerned shrug.

SCOTT

Well, I’m glad I’m not second-in-command.

(chuckles)

I admire your tenacity, Madeline.

MADELINE smiles slightly, and the two walk away. SCOTT puts his arm around MADELINE’S waist, and she doesn’t resist. Camera pans upwards to OPERATIONS, who has been watching the whole thing and does not look happy.

CUT TO:

EXT. FARMHOUSE – DAY (continuous music: “Rods and Cones” by Blue Man Group)

The team is running toward the first location, the farmhouse. DAVENPORT kneels down by a wooden fence, WALKER and DANFORTH roll underneath it. NIKITA follows, then runs ahead of the rest of the team. The four of them meet up by the door. At DAVENPORT’S nod, NIKITA kicks open the door, and WALKER and DANFORTH burst through, guns poised for action. The room is empty. The team splits up. Camera follows NIKITA as she runs up the stairs, searching for McMillan. She looks through the doorways but finds nothing. The house is empty. The team meets back by the front door, everyone shaking their heads.

DAVENPORT

(into headset)

There’s nothing here. The house is empty.

Camera to Comm as BIRKOFF glances at MADELINE. SCOTT is beside her.

BIRKOFF

What do you want them to do?

MADELINE

Have them run the bio-scan, then move to the next location.

BIRKOFF

(into headset)

Run bio-scans over the area then proceed to second location.

Camera to FARMHOUSE. DAVENPORT nods to his team, who has heard the command, and they remove their scanners. Scene DISSOLVES to the second location, the lodge. It is dark outside. The team runs through a heavily-wooded area, dodging pine trees, and approaches a log cabin. In the same fashion as the first mission, NIKITA breaks down the door and WALKER and DANFORTH push through. And, like last time, the place is empty.

DAVENPORT

(into headset)

There’s no sign of McMillan.

Camera to Comm. This time, OPERATIONS has joined the small cluster of BIRKOFF, MADELINE, and SCOTT.

BIRKOFF

Run the bio-scan and proceed to third location.

Angle OPERATIONS; he does not look pleased. Scene DISSOLVES to the third location, a large warehouse. It is now dawn. They go in by twos; WALKER and DANFORTH in front, NIKITA and DAVENPORT in the rear. It is one large room with numerous crates–but no people. The team looks around, searching behind all of the boxes, staring upwards at the rafters. The place is empty once more.

DAVENPORT

(into headset, tired)

The warehouse is deserted as well. Want us to run bio-scans?

Camera to Comm. OPERATIONS throws down his earpiece and storms off. BIRKOFF watches him go nervously.

BIRKOFF

(into headset)

Affirmative on the bio-scans. Then return to Section.

BIRKOFF puts his earpiece down as well, glancing at MADELINE and SCOTT. SCOTT’S arms are folded across his chest, probably thinking they could have saved a day had OPERATIONS followed his plan. MADELINE is expressionless as she turns and walks away. Off BIRKOFF scratching his head in frustration, we…

FADE OUT

Advertisements

Comments are love - post yours here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: