(The small group sprints out into the main hub, with PHINEAS, CLEO and PETE bringing up the rear. We see a wide shot of the massive hub, so recently full of good humor and happiness, now in chaos as rancid black smoke rises in the distance. PETE is taken aback, the memory probably too much given how his parents died. CLEO quickly doubles back to gather him up.)
CLEO: Come on, Pete! We don’t want to lose you in all of this!
PETE: (shaking it off as best he can) Why do you care about me? I just met you!
CLEO: Because you stowed away just like I did. Us rule-breakers got to stick together. Plus…
(they catch up to PHINEAS, who CLEO decides to tease by giving a slap on the backside, which naturally disrupts his usual unruffled air.)
CLEO: I think this guy could stand to loosen up a bit.
PHINEAS: Madam, this is NOT the time…
CLEO: Any word, then?
PHINEAS: Nothing, I’m afraid. Business as usual.
(They all stand to watch as a group of uniformed men try to keep the crowd back. In the center of the fanning out formation is a woman in her thirties who wears the uniform very well: not thin, well built, with strong but still feminine features and a blonde bun jammed up inside her navy blue cap. She stands with arms akimbo, barking out orders.)
WOMAN: All right, everyone, stay back! This is for your own safety, please allow a perimeter until the situation has been neutralized! (Everyone seems to follow her orders and take a few steps back. PETE is surprised by this.)
PETE: Whoa. Who’s that?
PHINEAS: Clarissa Albright, chief of Safety and Security for the Time Equilibrium Service.
CLEO: It’s their job to make sure everything in our offices is looked after. Sadly, we get threats on an almost daily basis from some whackjob or another who wants to ruin the timestream.
PETE: Terrorists, huh?
CLEO: That’s putting it lightly. All of time and space is connected, through our minds, if someone were to damage that enough, they could–
PHINEAS: (butting in) That’s quite enough, Cleopatra. How are you so sure that the information you’re giving him will not prove cataclysmic?
CLEO: (sticking out her tongue) You’re just jealous I like him better than you.
PETE: (skeptical) Are you sure you’re really Cleopatra? You ain’t like my history books said you were.
CLEO: I’m as sure of that as I’m sure you’re standing next to me in your underwear, Pete.
(PETE suddenly remembers this and immediately shrinks in embarrassment.)
PHINEAS: Would you two stop flirting and try to find a way for us to investigate, please? Besides, he’s only seventeen!
CLEO: He’s a good looking seventeen… (PETE looks even more embarrassed.)
PETE: Only for a few months…
CLEO: (pulling a small card out of an intimate place in her blouse) call me sometime…
CLEO: Sorry, sorry! Sheesh, why don’t you go and talk to her, Phineas… I heard you two are close…
PHINEAS: Now, stop it.
PETE: Are those two…?
CLEO: Not yet. You see…
PHINEAS: Would you two please focus on the task at hand!
CLEO: Oh, relax, Bogg! There’s no Medevac, not even a medical officer on the premises, nothing. It’s just another nutcase with some fireworks.
PHINEAS: I can’t just relax, Cleo… not when there’s a possibility it could be… HIM.
PETE: Gettin’ real sick of hearing stuff I don’t understand, here…
PHINEAS: Well you’re the one who’s not supposed to be here!
CLEO: Boys… calm down. You’re going to cause a scene and… oh, hell. (They have attracted enough attention for CLARISSA to come over and investigate.)
CLARISSA: What’s all this noise abou— (She sees PHINEAS and almost immediately switches from authoritarian to uncomfortable)
Oh. Hello, Phineas.
PHINEAS: (likewise avoiding eye contact) Clarissa.
CLARISSA: Is there a problem?
PHINEAS: None, Ma’am.
CLARISSA: I don’t have time for interruptions.
PHINEAS: Yes, of course.
CLARISSA: Keep… keep it down over here. That’s an… order.
PHINEAS: Understood. Do you… need any help with anything?
CLARISSA: Situation is normal. Thank you for your concern, but you can return to your business.
PHINEAS: Yes, um… thank you. (she nods curtly and goes back to being on point. PETE turns to CLEO)
PETE: What the heck was all that about?
CLEO: Well, you see…
PHINEAS: (in a huff) If you MUST know, Clarissa and I will have a child.
PETE: What, she’s pregnant?
PHINEAS: Not yet.
PETE: Then how do you…. oh, wait… time travel?
PETE: Weird. So… are you guys, like, dating?
PHINEAS: We don’t speak about it.
PETE: Oh, but someday…
PETE: And she knows?
PETE: So you don’t really have a choice?
PETE: So what if…
PHINEAS: Can we please not talk about this any more?
PHINEAS: (turning back to the spectacle) I’d still like to learn some more about what’s going on… (he spots a security member nearby and leaves to harass him) You there! Phineas Bogg, TES Agent Alpha Six One: Answer me this… (PETE, still a little dumbfounded, turns to CLEO.)
PETE: He’s a little touchy about that, isn’t he?
CLEO: Well, if you knew who their son turns out to be…
PETE: (after waiting to see if she will divulge) Oh, come ON! Now you gotta tell me.
CLEO: (after another tense pause) Oh, all right. But you didn’t hear it from me.
PETE: Nah, I’ll say it was Elvis.
CLEO: (shooting him a look) Clarissa and Phineas have a son, and from the small amount of evidence we’ve been able to gather, the genetic markers all add up. Someday, their son will become a man named Maddox Mulcahey.
PETE: And who’s that? CLEO: Well, you know how I said we get a bunch of crazy people who try to attack us?
CLEO: He’s the one we’re actually afraid of. He’s a renegade, an enemy of time. He bounces from era to era: extorting, embezzling, killing, anything he can.
PETE: Why? I mean, a dad like Phineas might be annoying, but… why?
CLEO: Because he can, Pete. Because he’s bored, and he wants to make all of time and space his plaything. He’s a genius, he’s a world-class athlete… and as far as he’s concerned everyone… everything else is beneath him.
PETE: Sounds like a real nice guy. How the hell did that happen?
CLEO: That’s just the thing… we don’t know yet!
PETE: And we can’t figure out?
CLEO: Not without doing severe damage to the timestream.
PETE: Of course. So… what do we do?
CLEO: We just pray that this wasn’t the work of Maddox. (PETE looks over to PHINEAS, who is still interrogating a security officer, who can only offer weak, indistinct words punctuated by the occasional shrug or shaking of his head over the slowly dispersing crowd.) PETE: I suppose he feels responsible, huh? It being his kid and all?
CLEO: I think you’ve known Phineas long enough for him to think everything is somehow his fault.
PETE: Yeah, he seems a little… (PETE looks around a bit, noticing the still large crowd of rubberneckers) Wait, Cleo?
PETE: Does this kinda stuff happen often?
CLEO: Too often, unfortunately.
PETE: And is there always a crowd?
CLEO: Yeah, and that usually means it takes twice as long to clean it up.
PETE: So… is there any chance that this is a distraction?
CLEO: From what?
PETE: I dunno… is there any other part of this place a guy like Maddox might want to sneak into when everyone’s looking over here?
CLEO: Well, yeah, but they’ve all got security detail of their own, obviously.
PETE: Would anything get them away from their post?
CLEO: Not unless something big happened… (PETE waits for a second, as if waiting for that big thing to happen. Slow camera pans, zooms, etc… and nothing happens)
PETE: (exhaling) All right, let’s go get Phineas before he annoys someone to death.
(CLEO laughs and follows him over to drag PHINEAS away from the security officers. As they are about to grab him, another massive explosion rips into the first bulwark of the Quad. Everyone is thrown forward onto their faces as debris begins to rain down on their hastily covered heads and necks.)
PHINEAS: (scrambling to his feet) What the hell is going on?! (he turns to check with the security officer, but he is either unconscious or dead. We don’t have time to check because the camera pans to a short, thickly set gentleman in a tailored suit that he looks ready to bust out of. His hair is short, black, and mowed into a flat top, giving way to heavy eyebrows, a roman nose, and a strong jawline with dimpled chin. He is handsome, but a brutal sort of handsome as he stands amid the smoke and rubble, proud of posture and broad of chest.)
PETE: What was that?! Cleo, are you all right?
CLEO: (hauling herself up and massaging a sore spot in her lower back) Yeah, I’m fine… Phineas, what is it? Can you see?
PHINEAS: (his voice coming through the smoke) Get the boy out of here, Cleopatra. And yourself, too.
CLEO: Why, what is it?
(the smoke parts and we can see PHINEAS shielding PETE and CLEO, with the three themselves being shielded by what looks like ten officers)
PHINEAS: It’s Atwater. Clarissa! Can you hear me?
CLARISSA: (her voice cutting strongly through the smoke as she approached what’s left of her force, desperately trying to ensure the safety of the onlookers)
I can hear you. Is it really him?
PHINEAS: Yes… yes it is.
(The strong man looks down at PHINEAS, his eyes growing cold and his brows lowering)
CLARISSA: (Immediately getting on a radio earpiece) We have confirmed – Atwater in the Quad. I need all available S&S personnel here on the double. Atwater is in the Quad, I repeat…
(she isn’t able to give her repeat as Atwater leaps through the air in her direction, landing directly in front of her without saying a word. She throws a good looking punch, but Atwater catches it and wrenches her arm around, causing her to groan in agony. PHINEAS hurries to her aid, hurling himself bodily at the aggressor, but even PHINEAS’ considerable size does little to phase Atwater as PHINEAS bounces sadly off. It does, however, distract Atwater long enough that the other personnel are starting to arrive and, with an angry snort, Atwater turns and runs off inside the hole blown in the wall of the Quad, the officers hot on his heels. PETE and CLEO run up just as medical personnel are seeing to CLARISSA and PHINEAS.)
PHINEAS: (shooing away a male nurse) I’m all right, damn it all! Check on her!
CLARISSA: (to the nurse) Patch me up and get me in there.
(she gestures with her good arm into the Quad)
NURSE: I don’t know if I can…
(she grabs the nurse roughly by his collar and hauls him in close, seething)
CLARISSA: Do it.
NURSE: (with a nod and a gulp) Yes, ma’am.
PETE: Who the hell was that guy?!
PHINEAS: (slowly getting to his feet) David Atwater, number two on our most wanted list.
CLEO: He operates as Mulcahey’s muscle and bodyguard.
PETE: I can see why.
PHINEAS: (fixing her with a glare) Cleopatra… did you tell Mr. Rodney about… him?
CLEO: Yes, Phineas, I did. And what’s more–
PETE: (stepping between the two) We don’t have time for this! Cleo, where else would Maddox want to be in this building?
CLEO & PHINEAS: (in unison) Probably R&D…
(CLEO shoots him a glare)
The kid was talking to me, Bogg.
PHINEAS: Then you take him! I’m glad to be rid of him.
(we see a closeup on PETE, then, feeling just a little hurt as a result of PHINEAS’ words.)
PHINEAS: (realizing he’s been cruel) He’s probably right, Cleo. You two should… go on and check.
(she tosses her headset to CLEO)
Take this and radio if you find anything. Oh, and try not to tell the kid in his underwear any more of my dirty laundry, all right?
(CLEO nods and the two take off for the Berg Wing.)
PETE: Those two are more alike than they admit, huh?
CLEO: You have no idea.