Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #29

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Episode #29
Several Days After #28

COURTNEY hobbles in on her crutches and approaches CHUCK, the manager of the rink. He is a friendly man in his mid-40’s who she is obviously comfortable around.
CHUCK: Oh, hi, Courtney! How’s the knee doing?
COURTNEY: It’s alright … I’ve started physical therapy.
CHUCK: That’s good to hear. So how soon before you’re back on the ice?
COURTNEY: Actually, no one’s really sure. The doctor said I may never be able to do double and triple jumps again.
CHUCK: Really? That’s terrible.
COURTNEY: Well, if that is the case, it only gives me more reason to catch whoever did this to me.
CHUCK: Now that’s the attitude I like to see. So, is there anything I can do for you?
COURTNEY: Actually, that’s what I came to see you about.
JAMES paces back and forth anxiously. ALAN enters the room in a rush.
ALAN: Okay, boss, everything’s ready to go.
JAMES: Good. Finally. We need to get out of here as soon as possible.
ALAN: I know. (beat) I still can’t believe that Tim managed to call King’s Bay.
JAMES: I’m wondering who he called and how much he told them.
ALAN: He obviously had time to say what he wanted to, ‘cause he was hanging up when I caught him.
JAMES: Damn him! Getting in the way of my plans yet again!
Alan backs off slightly as James roars.
JAMES (CONT’D): But there’s no turning back time to fix it. We’ll just have to get out of here as quickly as possible, before anyone from King’s Bay shows up to get in my way.
The roar of a helicopter is heard as it approaches the clearing. It settles several feet above the ground. A rope ladder drops into the empty clearing. Four POLICE OFFICERS (two men and two women) climb down it, followed by BRENT and SARAH. All six are clad in bulletproof, protective gear.
SARAH: I don’t believe we’re doing this.
BRENT: We really have no choice, Sarah.
He waves the helicopter away and it begins to ascend.
BRENT (CONT’D): No one forced you to come along; it was your own choice.
SARAH: I know, I know. This whole thing just seems so out there, like from a movie or something.
BRENT: Tell me about it.
He glances around for a while before spotting the compound in the distance. He points at it.
BRENT (CONT’D): There it is, people. James Robbins’ hideout. Remember, Tim said that James has a massive staff and some very odd things in this place, so use utmost caution at all times. Now let’s go save the three of them. (beat) I just hope we’re not too late.
COURTNEY and CHUCK are in the midst of a conversation.
CHUCK: I’ll do anything to help you out, Courtney.
COURTNEY: It’s actually pretty simple. All I need you to do is give me the security camera’s video tape from that day.
CHUCK: The day you got clubbed in the knee?
Courtney nods to verify this.
CHUCK (CONT’D): We keep the last few weeks’ worth of tapes in my office. Let me run and go get the one you need. I’ll be right back.
Chuck heads off to retrieve the tape.
COURTNEY: (sotto voce) With any luck, I’ll be able to find the guy who hit me on that tape. I just hope I got a good enough look at him to be able to spot him.
A tired TIM and CLAIRE wait in their cage restlessly.
CLAIRE: How much longer is this gonna take? I can’t wait to get out of this stupid cage.
TIM: I don’t know – I still can’t believe they caught me on the phone.
CLAIRE: I tried so hard to distract Alan—
TIM: I know you did. You were still pulling him back when he walked in the door. (beat) But it’s been a couple of days since I called Brent. He should be getting here soon.
CLAIRE: I wonder when my dad is planning for us to leave.
TIM: Sometime tonight, I know. I heard him talking to some of the guards. I have no idea where he’ll take us, though.
CLAIRE: I doubt he’s decided yet. He’s got a couple of hideouts around the world that we could end up at. At this point, I’ll take anything over this cage.
TIM: That’s a good point. I feel like an animal in here. Do you think we might be able to make a getaway tonight?
CLAIRE: I don’t think we could get Travis back yet, and I wouldn’t leave without him.
TIM: Yeah. (beat) Maybe Brent’s officers will get here before we leave tonight.
CLAIRE: Now that’s wishful thinking.
TIM: I don’t care at this point. I just wanna get our kid and go home!
CLAIRE: So do I, Tim. More than anything.
TIM: Then we better hope that Brent’s men get here in time.
BRENT, SARAH, and four OFFICERS approach the gates of the compound.
BRENT: Okay, guys, this is it. Now we want to proceed with extreme caution. I bet this place is full of armed guards.
OFFICER #1 (MALE): How do we get inside?
BRENT: I don’t want to alert them that we’re here – it might cause them to do something drastic. Remember, we’ve got two innocent people and an even more innocent baby in there. I want to move in very quietly and pick one of the locks.
Sarah gestures toward the fence, which is made of vertical steel bars and has barbed wire on top of it.
SARAH: How do we get inside the fence? It’s topped with barbed wire.
BRENT: It shouldn’t be too hard. We’ll just saw out a few of these steel bars and climb through.
OFFICER #2 (FEMALE): Good idea.
BRENT: Let’s get to work, guys. We’ve got quite a job ahead of us if we wanna rescue those people.
COURTNEY puts the security tape into the VCR.
COURTNEY: (sotto voce) I really hope I find the guy who hit me in the knee on this tape. It’s my only chance to identify him. And if I can find him, then maybe I can link him to Shannon.
Her mother HELEN enters the room.
HELEN: What are you up to, Courtney?
COURTNEY: Can you believe this? I got Chuck at the rink to give me the security camera’s tape from the day I got hit in the knee.
HELEN: It wouldn’t be on there, would it? I thought it happened across the arena from the entrance.
COURTNEY: It did … but I’m thinking that maybe I can spot the guy who hit me when he goes in or out.
HELEN: I’ll watch with you. Maybe I can help somehow.
Helen takes a seat on the couch. Courtney follows, using her crutches to get there; she uses the remote control to fast-forward the tape.
HELEN: Aren’t you going to start at the beginning?
COURTNEY: No, I figure since no one else saw him lurking around that day, he couldn’t have come in too long before he actually hit me.
HELEN: Good observation.
COURTNEY: So I’m gonna fast-forward into the early afternoon so that we don’t have to watch the whole morning for no real reason.
She hits "play" as she finds a good spot to start and they focus their attention on the video.
JAMES and ALAN stand beside the jet as the WORK CREW works to get it ready in the background.
JAMES: We’re really running out of time. I’m getting more and more nervous.
ALAN: If Tim even managed to call anyone who could do a thing with the information he gave them, I doubt they’d get here late at night. They’d probably wait until the morning, at least.
JAMES: That’s a good point, Alan. But still, I’m worried. I would rather just get out of here and not have to give any more thought to the possibility of being caught.
ALAN: I feel the same way, boss. I’m sure we’ll get out of here in plenty of time. Don’t worry.
JAMES: I hope you’re right, Alan. The thought of spending the remainder of my life in a jail cell makes me violently ill.
Time has obviously elapsed since the OFFICERS, BRENT, and SARAH were last seen. They appear less energetic but still determined. They have now sawed through the steel bars of the fence and are busy picking the lock of the front door.
OFFICER #3 (FEMALE): We’ve almost got it.
SARAH: Good. This is taking forever.
BRENT: I can’t wait to get in there and save Tim, Claire, and Travis.
SARAH: I personally can’t wait to stick James Robbins behind bars for the rest of his miserable life.
BRENT: That too.
SARAH: I can’t believe how badly he’s hurt his daughter. All these years, she knew he was involved in criminal activity, but she didn’t turn him in – she was loyal, even if it would have been better to tip off the cops. She never even let him know that she knew. But then he goes ahead and meddles in her life and nearly kills her husband. He gets mad that he was found out and kidnaps her son as "payment"? What kind of man is this? He’s gotta be insane.
BRENT: He’s also gotta be very dangerous.
SARAH: I know. We need to be careful. I hope we get to Tim and Claire and poor little Travis before it’s too late.
BRENT: So do I.
OFFICER #3: (hushed) We’re in! We got through!
They slip the door open and slide inside silently.
HELEN and COURTNEY both appear bored as they continue to watch the video.
COURTNEY: I can’t take much more of this!
HELEN: Just be patient, Courtney.
COURTNEY: I’m literally going to go insane if I have to watch five more minutes of perfectly normal people walking in and out of a building!
HELEN: I’ll admit it’s not exactly riveting, honey, but we have a reason for doing this. The police can’t charge anyone with this until you pinpoint the person who did it. We need to identify him.
COURTNEY: I know, Mom, but this just plain sucks!
Helen raises a finger to her lips to silence her daughter and points at the television again. Courtney continues to watch it, frustrated.
COURTNEY: I don’t understand where he could be … it was around this time that I got hit. He has to be in there.
HELEN: Could you just have missed him?
COURTNEY: Maybe … I’ve been a little bit distracted the last few minutes. I’m positive I could I.D. him if I saw him!
She grabs the remote control and raises her finger down over the "rewind" button, but suddenly freezes as she stares at the TV.
HELEN: What is it, Courtney?
COURTNEY: That’s him, Mom! On the TV – I found him!
JAMES and ALAN wait as the small CREW prepares the jet for flight.
JAMES: How much longer is this gonna take? I’m getting a bad feeling about this …
ALAN: Don’t worry, boss. There’s nothing to worry about. Not a thing.
The PILOT approaches them.
PILOT: Mr. Robbins, we’ll be ready to take off in a few minutes. Why don’t you round up the rest of the passengers while we wait?
JAMES: Sure. Thanks.
The pilot exits.
JAMES (CONT’D): Come on, Alan, let’s go get Tim and Claire.
ALAN: Do you want me to go get the baby?
JAMES: No, I’ll have someone bring him aboard separately. I want to make sure we get those two on the plane without any trouble.
They head off.
BRENT, SARAH, and OFFICER #4 (a man) creep into the hallway, where they come face-to-face with a compound GUARD. He pulls out a handgun and holds it up to them.
GUARD: (roughly) Can I see some I.D.?
He fingers the beeper on his waist, ready to press it to sound the alarm if necessary.
BRENT: I don’t think we’ll be needing any of that.
He pulls out a larger handgun and his police badge.
GUARD: (cowering) I guess not.
SARAH: Why don’t you give me the gun?
The guard is trying desperately to remain cool, but his composure is slipping away.
GUARD: What’s to stop me from shooting all of you on the spot?
BRENT: Two things – first of all, there’s more of us spread around the building, so it’ll only do so much good; second, this.
He holds the gun up close to the guard’s face. Sarah manages to grab the gun from the guard’s grip during this moment.
GUARD: Fine – please don’t kill me. What do you want me to do?
BRENT: Just step into this room.
They pull the guard aside into a nearby room.
Establishing shot.
COURTNEY approaches the front desk with HELEN in tow. Before either can speak, DETECTIVE SIMMS, a good-looking man in his 30’s, approaches them.
SIMMS: Courtney, I’m glad to see you. What can I do for you?
COURTNEY: Actually, this is pretty big.
She fishes through her purse and pulls out the SECURITY TAPE.
COURTNEY (CONT’D): Detective Simms, this is my mother, Helen Chase. Mom, this is Detective Simms. He’s in charge of my case.
They exchange greetings.
SIMMS: So what’s this you have for me?
COURTNEY: It’s the security camera video tape from the day I was attacked.
SIMMS: This should be helpful. We can have you take a look at it—
COURTNEY: I’m one step ahead of you.
SIMMS: You already looked? Did you—?
COURTNEY: (interrupting) I found him.
SIMMS: Wow. Good work. (beat) Come down to my office. We should have a look at this thing and see if we can make some progress.
Courtney, Helen, and Det. Simms head out of the scene.
TIM and CLAIRE wait in their cage.
TIM: Will they just come get us already?
CLAIRE: I know. This is gettin’ really old.
The sound of the steel door opening is heard. Both Tim and Claire look eagerly towards it and are surprised.
BRENT, SARAH, and the four OFFICERS enter the room. They are awestruck by the enormity and ridiculous nature of the room.
OFFICER #2: This is insane.
SARAH: He put you guys in a cage?
CLAIRE: Where else could he stick the only normal people in this whole building?
TIM: How’d you guys get in here?
BRENT: Let’s just say that the guards aren’t as tough as they seem when you steal their guns and stick one in their face.
CLAIRE: What about the security system?
SARAH: We picked the lock and overrode the security code, thanks to one of our specialty officers here.
Officer #3 takes a modest bow.
TIM: How’d you find this room?
BRENT: We got the guard to tell us. Not hard at all.
CLAIRE: I’m so glad you guys are here! How’s everything at home?
SARAH: It’s fine, it’s fine. But enough with the small talk. Let’s get you guys the hell out of here.
Brent and Sarah head towards the cage.
BRENT: How do we—?
CLAIRE: There’s a lever by the door.
Officer #4 points to one of the two levers.
TIM: Not that one! It’ll drop us into the vat of acid!
OFFICER #4: I guess that wouldn’t be a good idea.
He gestures to the other lever and Claire nods in approval. He pulls it, and the cage moves over to the walkway, where Brent and Sarah are now standing.
SARAH: This is absolutely amazing.
BRENT: This is absolutely insane!
SARAH: How do we get you guys out of the cage?
Tim thinks for a moment.
TIM: Oh, crap! You need a key to open the lock.
CLAIRE: Can’t you guys pick it?
OFFICER #3: We can certainly try.
She moves over to get to work on the lock. Just as she begins, the sound of the door opening is heard. All turn to the door as JAMES and ALAN enter.
JAMES: What the hell is going on here?
TIM: We’re having a party.
JAMES: I don’t believe this. Alan, call for backup!
Officer #1 grabs Alan and holds a gun to his temple.
OFFICER #1: I don’t know if that’s such a good idea.
ALAN: Maybe not.
Claire and James exchange looks of hatred across the room.
Establishing shot.
DETECTIVE SIMMS sits behind his desk; COURTNEY and HELEN are seated across from him.
SIMMS: This is amazing, Courtney.
COURTNEY: What, that I was able to point him out so easily?
SIMMS: No, that we actually have evidence of him doing this.
SIMMS: This guy is a notorious hitman. His name is Dave Roberts. We’ve been waiting to nail him for years, but we never had any solid proof of him assaulting someone. The one time we did, he got out of the country and avoided arrest. There’s been an outstanding warrant on him for some time.
HELEN: Wow. (beat) Courtney, who would hire a hitman to attack you?
COURTNEY: I think I know exactly who would.
JAMES, ALAN, BRENT, SARAH, and FOUR OFFICERS stand around on the walkways. TIM and CLAIRE remain in the cage.
JAMES: Claire, who are all these people?
CLAIRE: That’s Sarah, Tim’s sister, and her husband, Brent.
JAMES: Intelligence obviously doesn’t run in the family. Why did they personally come down here?
TIM: They’re both cops.
JAMES (THINKING): Dammit! I can’t believe this!
TIM (CONT’D): You’re through, James – there’s no escaping now.
JAMES (THINKING): We’ll see about that.
Alan pulls James aside.
ALAN: Boss, maybe we should just turn ourselves in. Maybe we’d a good deal if we—
JAMES: No! I’m not admitting to anything. If they ask, the baby’s not here, okay?
ALAN: (intimidated) Fine. Sure.
BRENT: Why don’t you just show us where the baby is now, James? There’s no point in having anyone get hurt if we have to fight you for this.
JAMES: I don’t think that’ll be happening. You see, I have no idea where my grandson is.
TIM: That’s such bull!
JAMES: Tim, you know as well as I do that Travis isn’t down here. Isn’t that right?
James moves over to the lever and motions as if preparing to pull it.
JAMES (CONT’D): Isn’t that right?
Out on the obvious tension in the room, as James stands poised to send his daughter and son-in-law to their deaths.

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