Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Episode 07 - The Search For Jennifer

Before we begin with today's episode, we first need to make a public
apology for a serious error in judgement which was made and later corrected
in our last episode. Towards the end of our last episode, there were
direct references to a place that another soap is set in. The author of
ATS DID NOT seek permission to use such a reference nor even consulted the
writer of that soap so that Jennifer's accident could somehow be written
into the soap (if the writer so chose). The soap involved was BEHIND
CLOSED DOORS and the reference that was made was to JLN, a place on BEHIND
CLOSED DOORS. Although such references WERE subsequently removed from the
epiGuide update, the ATS Forum, and the episode itself, the damage was
done. As such, the writer of that show has (apparently and perhaps quite
obviously) banned ATS from participating in ANY of the forums and other
activities associated with BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. We at ATS feel the actions
taken by BEHIND CLOSED DOORS were appropriate given the mistake we
made. If they had done the same thing to us, we're sure they' wouldve
expected similar action. As a result of our mistake and VERY POOR
execution of judgement, the only thing left is to apologize publicly for
our actions. We promise to NEVER repeat this again. We also apologize to
you, our loyal readers as well as those of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS any
embarrassment our actions may have caused.

With that, here is today's episode of AGAINST THE STORM

SCENE ONE - Channel 4 newsroom. Two months have passed by. It's now
approaching the New Year. Stephanie is on the telephone talking to one of
her connections who is also an acquaintance of Jennifer's. She, along with
David & Marcie have been searching tirelessly for Jennifer since she
disappeared Thanksgiving weekend.

STEPHANIE (to the person on the telephone) - Are you sure you haven't seen
her? When was the last time you talked to her? Ohh....Okay. Say listen,
if you do ever hear from her, PLEASE have her call me. Better yet, get the
411 on her whereabouts and you call me yourself. Okay? Got
it? Yeah. Okay. Bye.

(Her boss Roger walks up)

ROGER - Any luck yet?


ROGER - Well....I know your frustrated about your sister's disappearance
and all, but Steph, I need you on other stories too.

STEPHANIE - I know....I know....I know. But it just seems like this whole
thing with Jennifer's disappearance and the State Police finding a car
similar to hers shortly afterward seems more than *a little* suspicious.

ROGER - I know. But Steph.....What are you going to do if they don't find
her? Have you thought of that?

STEPHANIE (adamant) - I don't want to think about it Roger because I *am*
going to find her.

ROGER (wishing her luck) - Well....Okay. But in the meantime, will you AT
LEAST consider working on some of these other stories? We're getting
CREAMED by the other stations in town on these - most notably by Channel 7,
who broke this story (Handing her the story outline in question).

(Roger lays down a bunch of papers that appear to be story outlines for
Stephanie to follow-up on)

STEPHANIE - Yeah, I guess I can.

ROGER - Good. By the way, I mean YOU work on them. Don't just push them
off onto one of the cub reporters. Got it?

STEPHANIE (rolling her eyes in sarcasm) - Yes. I got it.

ROGER - Alright. I'll expect something for the 5:00 PM newscast tonight on
each of them.

STEPHANIE - (trying be reassuring even though she knows Roger isn't buying
it) - Don't worry, you'll have it.

ROGER - Okay.

(Roger walks away as Stephanie picks up the telephone)

SCENE TWO - Stacy's home office. Stacy runs a Real Estate Investment
business out of her home. She is on the phone with Trish, who is in her
office that's in her apartment where she runs an interior decorating
business. Stacy is looking at an email she got from Trish on her computer.

STACY (talking to Trish on the telephone) - Ohh....That wallpaper would
look NICE in the bathroom of that house.

TRISH (talking to Stacy on the telephone) - Yeah, I thought so too when I
saw it. There's another one. Did you get it?

STACY - Yeah, but that one doesn't look too good. It wouldn't look right
in any one of my properties.

TRISH (with a disgusting look on her face) - Ewwww....I suppose you're right.

(Trish's call waiting beeps)

TRISH (noticing the call waiting beep) - Oop....Got another customer on the
line. Can I call you back?

STACY - Tell you what, I'll call you later.

TRISH - Okay.

(Trish then answers the incoming call as Stacy hangs up. A few minutes
later, the phone rings. Leo, who is now stationed with troops in Baghdad,
Iraq, is on the other end).

STACY (picking up the telephone and assuming it's Trish) - Wow....That was

LEO (perplexed) - Huh?

STACY (apologetic and noticing the caller ID) Oh my god. Sorry
sweetie. Thought it was Trish.

LEO (laughingly) - Hahaha. I haven't been Trish for as long as I can
remember. Happy New Year babe.

STACY (with a giggle) Happy New Year to you too sweetie. I miss you.

LEO - Miss you too babe. Also wanted to call and wish you a belated Merry
Christmas too. Tried to call several times and left some messages, but
apparently you've been pretty busy.

STACY - Yeah. Sent you a few emails, but I guess you were probably out or

LEO - Yeah. So how's everything back home? Have they found Jennifer yet?

STACY - Nope. Stephanie says they're still looking. Nobody seems to have
a clue.

LEO - Ohh geez. Say hey, do me a favor. Next time you talk to Stephanie
or Marcie, tell 'em how sorry I am to hear about Jennifer. That's sad. I
mean, I know she's not perfect, but I certainly wouldn't want to wish
something terrible on her.

STACY - I know. Brad's taking it pretty hard.

LEO - Why is HE taking it so hard?

STACY - Because he's the last known person to have seen her alive. And
according to Marcie, he's THE prime suspect in her disappearance. Anyway,
enough of that kind of talk. Lord knows you see and hear enough of that
where you are. I'm sure THE LAST thing you need to hear is the same o'
same o' happening in the homefront.

LEO - Well...When you see what I see every day, it's easier to take when
news of it comes from the homefront.

STACY (with a smile) - Well....I was kinda hoping we could change the
subject to ohh...say....little sweet nothings.

LEO (imagining what Stacy means by that comment and smiling) -
Ohhh....Ho....Ho....Ho. Yeah baby.

(Stacy and Leo exchange sweet talk over the phone for several minutes)

STACY - So, when ya comin' home?

LEO - Not sure babe. They're thinking it might be May or June. We've all
got a little betting pool on when our deployment will end.

(Stacy hears the call waiting beep and sees that Trish is calling back)

STACY (laughing at Leo's last comment) - I can imagine. Say hey, I'd you
know I'd LOVE to talk some more but I'm on my office phone and Trish is
trying to call me. We're working on a project together. Myabe we can get
together via videophone sometime?

LEO - Aww babe....Let Trish go to voice mail. But yeah, we should hook up
sometime. Can't wait to see you. How 'bout New Year's Eve your time?

STACY (smiling at the mention of New Year's Eve) - It's a date. See you
then. Love you.

LEO - Love you too babe. Bye.

STACY - Bye.

(Stacy hangs up the phone after Leo does and then proceeds to return
Trish's call)

SCENE THREE - The crash site. David & Marcie are on site talking to the
accident investigators for the State Police as they try to piece together
what may have happened to Jennifer. They are walking the site just as
though it were a homicide investigation back in Cedarville.

DAVID - So this is where you found the car matching the description of
Jennifer's, eh?


MARCIE - And you're sure there was ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NO form of
identification around, huh?

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - Heh...If there were, don't you think we would've
recovered it by now?

MARCIE (apologetic) I'm sorry. I suppose you're right.

DAVID - Well.....From what Brad said, she did have her purse with her.

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - If she did, it must've fell out. If that happened,
her cards can be anywhere - AND EVERYWHERE. Problem is FINDING them in
this thick tall brush.

DAVID - What about her license plate?

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - Nothing more than a mangled piece of twisted
metal. Assuming what we found WAS a license plate, we sure as heck can't
read any of the numbers now. If we were able to, we wouldn't be standing
here having this conversation as we'd just simply run the plate and contact
the next of kin on record.

MARCIE - That would be either me or Stephanie.


MARCIE - Yes. My sister Stephanie. She's a reporter at Channel 4 in

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - Well I'm gonna be blunt with you. Whoever took her
either took her to a hospital outside of Cedarville or they're trying to
"play doctor" as it were by "healing her the natural way" if you get what I

DAVID - Unfortunately we do. And without any form of ID on her, she's a
Jane Doe wherever she is

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - If that's the case, my advice at this point would
be to use Channel 4 to make a plea for anyone who has seen her to call
you. Basically what I'm saying is TAKE TO THE AIRWAVES because that's
really the best shot you have.

MARCIE - What about all of her other papers like her registration, proof of
insurance, etc.

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - If they still exist, they're out there -
SOMEWHERE. 'Fraid I can't be more specific than that. We've had
bloodhounds searching high and low for the victim and/or any form of ID we
can stumble across since we arrived on scene. That was over two months
ago. At this point, as far as my boss is concerned, the victim was able to
get up, walk away, get help, but never reported the accident.

DAVID - So even if she is found, she's still going to hit up for failing to
report an accident.

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - As far as my boss is concerned, yes.

MARCIE - What about you?

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - Personally, I think something just doesn't sit
right with the explanation my boss wants me to put in my final report. I
think she was taken. Probably by Good Samaritans who didn't know who she
was and couldn't find any ID on her who then simply dropped her off at the
nearest hospital and let the doctors try to figure out who she was.

DAVID - Or....

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - Or she could've been taken by a group of these
"naturalists" who think they can cure someone simply by using old fashioned
methods dating back to the caveman days or whatever. Either way, it's not
good. And assuming that either is the case, she certainly isn't or wasn't
in any position to report the accident. Assuming of course that your
missing persons case IS the accident victim we're looking for.

MARCIE - One final question. Do you believe she might've been run off the

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - Hard to tell. We can't even get anybody to come
forward to tell us what they saw.

DAVID - So this is pretty much a cold case for you guys, right?



INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - None that we could use.

MARCIE (shaking her head) - This is weird. This is all too weird.

DAVID - Honey, I'm sure these guys did all they could.

MARCIE - I wish I could be convinced of that.

DAVID (trying to explain Marcie's behavior) - You'll have to excuse my wife
Lt. Trombley. Since the person we're looking for is her sister, this case
is a little "personal" if you know what I mean.

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - Of course. Best of luck in finding your
sister. Unfortunately though, I'm gonna have to file my report as per my
boss' orders. I had hoped I might one final clue to solving this. But I'm
afraid we're no closer now than we were when we were first dispatched
here. What a waste.

MARCIE - Well....You have our number if you should ever come up with anything.

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - Yep. Sure do. I'll see to it you guys get a ring
even if I have to do it myself. Ready to go Pete?

PETE - I've been waiting on you buddy.

DAVID - Well....Thanks for the time.

INVESTIGATOR TROMBLEY - No problem. Good luck.

(The two investigators drive off. David & Marcie head back to their car)

SCENE FOUR - Brad's Apartment. Brad is seen lying on the couch taking a
snooze. He is dreaming about seeing Jennifer with Steve and the argument
he had with her two days later


Brad opens the door, thinking he's walking into the bathroom, but is
shocked to see Steve & Jennifer kissing. He says nothing, but is stunned
into virtual immobility. His breathing becomes labored as he is filled with
rage. As such, he tries to talk, but can't speak. He's trying to say
Jennifer's name, but can't get past the J in her name. Overwhelmed with
shock, Brad leaves the room, but Jennifer, still caught up in her lust and
passionate necking with Steve, hears the door close.

"Why did you stop Jennifer". Steve asks.

"I thought I heard the door close", she says.

"Now you imagining things". Steve says.

"NO. I swear I heard the door shut", she says as she approaches the door to
open it.


(Brad is seen tossing and turning on the couch)

BRAD DREAM SCENE TWO - The confrontation he & Jennifer had in his apartment
the day of her accident

SCENE THREE - Brad's apartment. Brad is seen answering a knock on his
door. He opens it and finds Jennifer on the other side.

BRAD - What do YOU want?

JENNIFER - I came to tell you how sorry I am. Can I come in?

(Brad lets Jennifer into his apartment, though he's at a loss as to why he

BRAD - If you think I'm just gonna say "all is forgiven", YOU ARE SADLY

JENNIFER - I know. But Brad, I still love you?

BRAD - LOVE??? You don't even know THE MEANING of the word.

(Jennifer starts to cry)

JENNIFER - But Brad....

BRAD - You know, I don't even know WHY I even let you in. YOU are the one
who RUINED WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE **OUR** WEDDING by letting Steve in the

JENNIFER - I didn't even know he was in town. And even if I did, I
certainly wouldn't have invited him to the wedding, much less let him into
my dressing room.

BRAD (sarcastic) - Well you sure did a GREAT job of keeping him out.

(Jennifer is really crying now)

JENNIFER - Ohh....Brad.....PLEASE......

BRAD (shaking his head) - You know...I can't even believe you. Then again,
maybe everyone was right. Maybe YOUR REPUTATION OF WRECKING MARRIAGES
*DOES* speak for itself. I don't even know why I even thought I actually
had a chance with you. Yeah, I was just setting myself up for a big fall

JENNIFER (out of desperation) - Brad....I LOVE YOU. I never wanted to hurt

BRAD - Yeah....Well you sure did one hell of a job trying to prevent it in
the first place. THAT is what you should've done.

JENNIFER - I love you.

BRAD - Is that all you can say?

JENNIFER - I'm sorry. I'm so so so sorry.

BRAD (nodding his head) - Yeah....Well....GET OUT. GET OUT BEFORE I THROW

JENNIFER (really desperate now) Brad....Please.....

Farley. As far as I'm concerned, the two of you can elope. Either way, I
don't give a fuckin' shit anymore. GET OUT.

(Jennifer opens the door and walks out sobbing in tears)


(Brad is now sitting up. His breathing is heavy. He looks as though he
just had a nightmare)

BRAD (Talking to himself) I've got to stop being so hard on myself &
blaming myself. I know I had nothing to do with her disappearance. But I
just can't get it out of my mind.

SCENE FIVE - An Internet Cafe - Baghdad, Iraq. Leo & a few of his buddies
are enjoying their meals and each other's company when another group of
soldiers approach just as Leo finishes telling a joke.

LEO (finishing his joke) - ....And that's why the pimp and the hooker got
married. Get it?

(Leo & his buddies laugh their heads off)

MIKE (who's with the group joining Leo & his buddies and chuckling about
what he thinks he heard) - What's this about a pimp and a hooker?

LEO - Ohh....nothing. Just BS.

LAUREN - Heard you were back here, but didn't believe it until I saw you
just a few seconds ago.

LEO - Yeah. I'm back to my ol' "Johnnie Appleseed" self. No more feeling
bogged down with married life.

BUTCH (one of Leo's buddies) - You really don't mean that, do you? From
the pictures you've shown me of your girl, she's a BABE.

LEO (with pride) - Believe me - NO ONE knows that better than me. But what
she don't know 'bout what I do here ain't gonna kill her.

MIKE - I dunno 'bout that man. If you keep playing with fire, you're
eventually gonna get burned.

LEO - If I do, I do. Given what we face, I think I have a right to do
pretty much what I want.

(Butch and Mike look at each other knowing what they both are thinking)

BUTCH - Well....Time for me to go. Gotta go on patrol. Comin' Joe?

JOE - Yep.

(Butch & Joe leave as Mike heads to another part of the cafe)

LEO - So what brings you here babe?

LAUREN - For starters....Lunch. Bartender, menu please.

LEO - Surely you didn't come all the way down from Tikrit just for lunch.

LAUREN - No. Figured I'd hook up with hubby back home while I was here.

LEO - Really?


LEO - Seen Cassandra around lately? She's my "home-away-from-home"
babe. You know.

LAUREN - Nope. Last I heard she was sent home.

LEO - Sent home? Really? Why?

LAUREN (stunned) - You don't know?

LEO (looking as if he needs a clue) - No.

LAUREN - You don't remember you and her romping around in the back of an
Apache Helicopter on your last night here last summer?

LEO - Oh my god, how could I forget? Best sex I ever had.

LAUREN - Yeah.....Well about two months later, I tried looking for her for
something I needed her for and that's when she told me she was being sent home.

LEO - Did she say why?

LAUREN - Oh yeah. And how....

LEO - Okay. So tell me.

LAUREN - Leo....She's pregnant. And YOU, my dear friend, are the proud
father to be. Congratulations Mr. Appleseed.

(Mike and several of Leo's other buddies are cheerful and rooting him on as
Leo begins to see his free-wheeling life crumble before him as camera fades
to black)

ON THE NEXT EDITION OF "Against The Storm"

* Leo's "military mistress" Cassandra makes her debut - And future travel
plans to Cedarville

* David & Marcie pitch the idea of an on-air plea on Channel 4 to
Stephanie, but how will her boss Roger Thornton take it?

* With his free-wheeling lifestyle on active duty crumbling, will Leo tell
Stacy about Cassandra? Will Stacy finally tell Leo about her pregnancy?