'PUPPY LOVE'
By Sally Helmerich (sallyh@webuniverse.net)
With lots of thanks to Holly Surbaugh for the concept!

 

OPENING TEASER

FADE IN

EXT. DAY-JAILHOUSE, CATONSVILLE, MARYLAND

The jailhouse is an old cinderblock facility, relatively small in size. Catonsville is a small town, not accustomed to a great deal of police activity. The overall feel of the town is suburban, with a lot of greenery, but since it's early fall, there is noticeable change in the color of the foliage. It's a crisp fall day with blue sky, but there are thick clouds in the sky and a heavy breeze, warning that the weather could change at any moment.

We see a silver two-seater convertible pull up to the jailhouse. The camera pans in and we notice it's Yves Adele Harlow, looking supremely irritated as she pulls her sunglasses off. She walks slowly and deliberately towards the door.

CUT TO-

INT. JAILHOUSE, FRONT DESK

Yves is standing, passing something to the desk clerk. It's about 10 in the morning, and she's already dressed to kill in black leather jeans, her black leather motorcycle jacket, black leather high-heeled boots, and a red-silk T-shirt. Her hair is worn loose but has obviously been styled well.

DESK CLERK

Have a nice day, ma'am.

Yves glares at him, rolls her eyes, and shakes her head in disgust. A uniformed officer leads her to the holding cells.

YVES

(muttering under her breath)

Since when am I old enough to be called 'ma'am'?

Yves and the officer stop in front of one of the holding cells. The camera pans inside the cell and we see our heroes, looking weary and unshaven. Frohike, Jimmy and Byers are sitting on bunks with no sheets on them. Langly paces around restlessly but stops when he sees Yves and the officer standing at the door of the cell.

UNIFORMED OFFICER

The lady's posted your bail. You're free to go.

LANGLY

(glaring at Yves)

Took you long enough.

Yves raises an eyebrow and places her hands solidly on her hips.

YVES

You're lucky I came at all. You fellows are getting to be an expensive hobby. I should really have simply allowed you to rot here.

 

JIMMY

Hey Langly, that's no way to talk to a lady.

LANGLY

You're right, but this is Yves.

FROHIKE

(directing an angry glare at Langly)

Shut up, punk.

Byers looks resigned and unhappy, but he was raised to have good manners.

BYERS

Thank you for coming and for posting the bail. We'll pay you back as soon as possible.

LANGLY

(Glaring harshly at Byers)

With what? This was supposed to be our headline, man, and now we got bupkes!

All of them are now following Yves out.

FROHIKE

Yeah, some story. It was a shabby lead to begin with.

LANGLY

Oh, like we had something better to go with.

BYERS

So we're in a temporary dry spell. It's not as if it's going to be like this forever.

Byers turns to the desk clerk.

BYERS

Sir, we need the keys to our van.

DESK CLERK

Sorry, van's been impounded.

FROHIKE

What the-

YVES

(from a distance, waggling her keys)

Sorry fellas. The service doesn't include a ride home.

LANGLY

Bitch!

CUT TO-

EXT. STREETS, TAKOMA PARK, MARYLAND-DAY

The guys are nearing the area where their headquarters are located. As the morning sky indicated, the weather was likely to change, and it did. It's now raining, a moderate but steady rain. It's several hours later from the time they were released from the Catonsville Jail. All four of them are drenched and exhausted.

BYERS

I've always said we need better public transportation.

FROHIKE

What, so you can spend more time with the great unwashed?

LANGLY

Whaddya mean, six buses wasn't enough? With half hour waits in between? I'm gonna die of pneumonia out here!

(Stops, turns around)

Where's Jimmy?

The other two stop and observe that Jimmy isn't with them.

FROHIKE

Oh man, where the hell'd he go now?

LANGLY

Screw it, I'm going home. My feet are killing me.

He begins leaving the others behind, but at that moment, Jimmy approaches them again. He's carrying a collie puppy.

FROHIKE

Oh no..

LANGLY

Where the hell were you, man?

JIMMY

I heard what I thought was a dog, and sure enough, it was. Isn't he beautiful?

Jimmy strokes the puppy's head, gazing at it adoringly. Frohike rolls his eyes, Byers shakes his head, and Langly simply groans.

JIMMY

C'mon, guys. He needs a home.

FROHIKE

Jimmy, the last thing we need is a dog. It'll get fur everywhere.

BYERS

And we barely have enough for groceries for ourselves this week.

Jimmy gives them a pleading look.

JIMMY

Aw, c'mon. How can you say no to a face like that? Look at him! He's freezing!

The puppy is indeed wet and shaking. Jimmy removes his jacket and wraps it around the dog, despite the fact that his jacket is soaked and not likely to do much good for the puppy.

FROHIKE

It's easy. I just open my mouth and say no. Which is what I'm doing right now.

LANGLY

We should take him to the shelter.

JIMMY

(Horrified expression)

No way. They kill dogs there. No way is this dog going to the pound.

BYERS

Jimmy, he's a puppy. Puppies usually get adopted-

JIMMY

Please? Just till we can find a good home for him?

Jimmy cradles the dog closely. The dog turns to the others and gives them large, sad puppy eyes and whimpers slightly. Frohike shakes his head and mutters something inaudible under his breath. The others don't say a word.

END TEASER

FADE OUT

CUE THEME MUSIC

INSERT YOUR FAVORITE COMMERCIAL HERE!

FADE IN

ACT I

INT. GUNMEN HQ-EVENING

We see that our heroes have since gotten cleaned up and are in their sleepwear, even though it's only 7:30. Langly and Jimmy are clad in sweatpants under their bathrobes. Frohike marches into the TV area, his Hugh Hefner bathrobe wrapped tightly around him.

FROHIKE

(In a grumpy tone)

The Lions are playing, and that means that all of you shut up! I've had a long day and I'm not taking any lip from you critters.

LANGLY

(Staring up from the bowl of popcorn he and Jimmy are sharing)

Hey, it's not like you're the only one that got wet, dork! Chill out!

FROHIKE

I've already done that, just in case you didn't notice.

Frohike calls over to Byers, who's at his computer.

FROHIKE

Byers, get over here, pregame's almost over!

BYERS

Hold on, I'm just checking my email.

LANGLY

(Making a face and acting very much like a little boy on the playground)

Probably hoping he's gonna get a love letter from Susanne.

BYERS

(Looking up archly)

And you never look for anything from Katlyn, do you?

Langly and Jimmy clearly look uncomfortable and focus their attention on the TV. Frohike has settled into his chair, a fifth of J&B in one hand, a glass in the other.

LANGLY

How can you drink that stuff?

FROHIKE

It's antifreeze. It's for medicinal purposes.

LANGLY

It'd have to be. Stuff tastes like cat piss.

BYERS

(calling over to the others)

Guys, come here, I need you to look at this email.

FROHIKE

With two minutes till kickoff? Forget it.

LANGLY

Byers, man, the problem with you is you don't know when to call it quits. Come on over and watch some classic American Gladiator stuff.

BYERS

I think this could be important.

FROHIKE

Not as important as the Lions kicking off. One minute, now all of you, shut up!

BYERS

I'm not kidding.

FROHIKE

Neither am I.

BYERS

(Looking disgusted)

Does the name Jeff Axelrod mean anything to you?

LANGLY

Yeah, it does, and there's nothing good about it. C'mon, Byers, watch the game or there's gonna be no popcorn left.

Byers shakes his head in disgust, hits the print button, and waits for the page to come off the laser printer. We can hear the game starting.

BYERS

(Sticking the paper in Frohike's face)

Read this.

FROHIKE

Y'know, Byers, for a smart boy, you sure don't understand the meaning of, I want to watch the game!

LANGLY

'Sides, what would Axelrod be doing emailing us? He considers us peons, not even worth dealing with.

BYERS

It's not from him.

LANGLY

Good, then sit down and shut up. We don't have a story this week. Least we can do is watch

football.

JIMMY

Who's it from, Byers?

Jimmy wants to see the game, but he respects Byers completely and is curious about the email.

BYERS

Go ahead and read it.

It's obvious from Byers' expression that Jimmy was not his first choice for feedback, but he'll take whatever he can get.

JIMMY

Guys, you definitely want to read this. It's from PFAD. (Pronounced P-Fad)

LANGLY

(Looks up, vaguely interested)

As in, Privacy for Americans and Data? C'mon, we've checked them out, nobody pays attention to

them.

JIMMY

They've got a good cause.

LANGLY

Yeah, but they go about it all wrong.

FROHIKE

Shut up already!

The puppy comes bounding in the room. He's all excited, knocking over all the newspapers and magazines littering the table, leaping straight into Frohike's lap.

FROHIKE

Will someone get the mutt off me? Down I say!

Frohike makes a sweeping gesture to get the dog off his lap, and in the process, manages to knock over his glass and the bottle of J&B. The bottle hits the floor with a crash.

JIMMY

(Looking chastened, scooping up the dog)

Sorry about that, he just needs a little training!

FROHIKE

What he needs is a new address!

BYERS

Could I at least read the email to you?

FROHIKE

(groaning and looking disgusted)

You now have my undivided attention.

BYERS

According to PFAD, Softpage is developing and getting ready to release a product that will monitor all keystrokes of any user employing their web search engine.

LANGLY

(Scoffing)

And this is news because? All search engines monitor you, man. You know that. You didn't think I'd waste a bunch of time writing in a firewall so that ours can't be traced unless it was true? Besides, Softpage is trash. They write sloppy code, they use third rate programmers, and breaking through their so-called firewalls is so easy it doesn't even count for hacking.

FROHIKE

And let's not forget that PFAD has something of a credibility problem. Let's face it, the tactics they use aren't gonna win them any respect anywhere.

BYERS

They say they have proof.

LANGLY

They never have proof. They just think they do.

BYERS

They're also saying that they'll kidnap someone near and dear to Axelrod if he doesn't agree to stop production on the product.

Everyone stops.

FROHIKE

Does he have kids?

BYERS

A 12-year-old daughter.

FROHIKE

(Thinking)

Maybe we'd better take a look. But I'm telling you, this better be real.

 

CUT TO-

INT. MUSEUM WORKSHOP--NIGHT

The Professor, one of Yves Adele Harlow's contacts, is sitting behind a worktable. He's wearing a lab coat to protect his clothing as he works on a piece of Persian pottery.

EXT. MUSEUM WORKSHOP--NIGHT

Yves is at the door. She uses her card key in the reader to let herself in. She has exchanged her leather gear from earlier in the day for a dark business pants suit with a pale blue low-cut blouse underneath. Despite her efforts to look professional, she is not about to let her assets go unnoticed.

INT. MUSEUM WORKSHOP-NIGHT

YVES

I'm looking for something Etruscan.

THE PROFESSOR

I'm sorry, we don't have any Etruscan. But what about this lovely Persian vase?

YVES

I'm sorry, I'm only interested in Etruscan.

The Professor is satisfied that it's not an impostor, as this exchange was arranged earlier.

THE PROFESSOR

We have something we want. And you're going to get it for us.

YVES

You might consider the magic word.

THE PROFESSOR

(Lowering his glasses and looking disdainful)

And what would that word be?

YVES

(Coyly)

Please, of course.

THE PROFESSOR

We're not here to play games. Word has come to us that Softpage has devised some of the most privacy-compromising software that's been developed to date. We can't allow that product to be released. And you, my dear, are going to see to it that that happens. You need to get close to Axelrod.

YVES

(Rolling her eyes)

What do you suggest I do, sleep with him? Really, that's so unoriginal.

THE PROFESSOR

I don't care what you do or how you do it. But you will get that software. Is that understood?

YVES

I've already tried hacking their development systems. I can't break through their firewalls on this one - which is odd. Normally, their security, if you could call it that, requires roughly the talents of an orangutan to penetrate. Why, even you could do it.

The Professor is clearly irritated, but decides not to take her on. He's got a mission to complete.

THE PROFESSOR

Just secure the merchandise. Methodology is your department, my dear.

(His voice drips sarcasm)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I believe we both have work to do.

Yves departs, a look of complete disgust on her face.

CUT TO-

EXT. HOME OF JEFF AXELROD

The home is located on a hilltop in Reston, Virginia. It's done in Tudor style, very elegant. The house is surrounded by lots of tall trees and even though the cold has killed off most of the flowers, it's obvious that the gardens are well tended.

INT. HOME OF JEFF AXELROD-JEFF'S STUDY

Jeff Axelrod's study is furnished in Queen Anne style. There are mullioned windows done in stained glass, furniture made of solid cherry, and thick carpets on the floors. The technology he employs, however, is in sharp contrast to the antique appearance of the furnishings. Jeff appears to be in his late 20s, but his bio says he's 35. He's slender, wearing wire framed glasses, and his dark hair has gold streaks in it. The clothes he has on would be considered business casual. At the moment, he's on the phone, talking to one of his bankers.

Jeff is alternately lauded, besmirched, feared, and loathed in various circles, but one thing everyone agrees upon is that he's a good father. He's raising his 12-year-old daughter Tina by himself, with the help of household staff. The current crisis has been caused by just that.

JEFF

I can't be in New York tomorrow. My nanny just quit.

(Long beat while he listens to the caller).

Look, the product is on schedule and due to be released within the week. I don't see why I need

to be there, anyway.

(Long beat)

You have your priorities, I have mine. Now as soon as I can find the right nanny for my little girl,

I'll get there. In the meantime, you just have to take my word for it.

(Long beat)

The Tiger project was something else altogether. It never had a chance. That's what I get for listening to the marketing drones. This was devised by my best technology people.

(Long beat)

You can say whatever you want, but the fact is, we're making money. Which is all you care about, anyway.

A little girl bursts into the room, crying. It's Tina Axelrod. She's wearing jeans and a T-shirt with Hello Kitty on it. Her dark hair is pulled back in a ponytail.

TINA

Daddy, I can't find Freckles!

JEFF

(To the caller)

I'll get back to you.

(He clicks off the talk button and looks up at his daughter).

What's wrong, sweetheart?

TINA

(Sobbing)

I can't find Freckles!

 

JEFF

(Looking puzzled)

I just saw him this morning. He was out in the yard. I thought you'd brought him in.

TINA

No, I didn't! I couldn't find him!

Jeff shakes his head and looks as though a headache is coming on.

TINA

Libby was supposed to take care of him! What if she took him with her?

JEFF

Tina, sweetie, Libby did not take Freckles. Libby left before I did. Right now, she's on a flight

back to Scotland, and believe me, she doesn't have Freckles with her. I'm sorry about Libby. She

got real homesick.

TINA

I don't care about Libby! I want Freckles!

Jeff puts an arm around his little girl.

JEFF

Tina, we'll find Freckles. I promise. But I have to find someone to take care of you.

TINA

I don't want another nanny! They all suck!

JEFF

But I have to travel sometimes, and I can't leave you here alone!

TINA

I wouldn't be alone if I had Freckles!

Jeff hugs his daughter and looks utterly helpless. As if his business worries weren't enough, now he has domestic problems galore. The phone rings again. It's another business associate.

JEFF

Sweetie, just excuse me for a minute, and I'll be right with you.

Tina reluctantly exits the room, still sobbing.

CUT TO-

EXT. AXELROD HOME-NIGHT

There is a rustling in the bushes and a light rain falling. We see the figure of Yves moving as softly as possible. She's in her black funky poaching gear and is attaching a tap to the phone lines going into the Axelrod home.

YVES

(Muttering to herself)

Whoever said this was a glamour job had no idea.

She freezes as she hears footsteps in the yard. It's Jeff and Tina, walking around. Tina is still very upset, but not as badly as before.

JEFF

(O.S.)

Don't worry, sweetheart. We'll find Freckles. We'll hit all the shelters in the morning and we'll post his picture everywhere. And in the meantime, we need to find someone to take care of you.

Yves' ears perk up like a cat's. She then frowns. She's thinking.

YVES

(sotto)

Hmm. A nanny. Well, it's not as if I'd have to change diapers or anything. How hard could it be? And access to the program…this could work out very nicely. Yes.

Once the voices of Jeff and Tina disappear into the house, Yves slips away silently.

CUT TO-

INT. GUNMEN HQ-NIGHT

The four guys are all at Byers' computer, learning more about PFAD and the person who sent the email. They're still in jammies, sweats and robes.

BYERS

The leader is Michael Levenstein. He's a UCLA educated lawyer.

FROHIKE

I still say he should have stayed in the land of the fruits and nuts.

BYERS

Had a great career in intellectual property law ahead of him, but became more and more disturbed

by what he was seeing, and formed PFAD.

LANGLY

He's not the one that sent you the email.

BYERS

No, that was Rachel Schiffman, his lieutenant, from all appearances. The group is small, about 20

members.

FROHIKE

20? And they're asking for our help?

BYERS

Maybe they don't want to resort to terrorist tactics this time.

LANGLY

Nah, they probably want us to.

BYERS

They said if we're interested-and we should be-they would meet us at the Squat and Gobble out in Towson at 10 p.m.

FROHIKE

I don't like it.

LANGLY

Nobody likes the Squat and Gobble.

FROHIKE

(glaring at Langly)

That's not what I mean and you know it.

JIMMY

I think we should at least talk to 'em. You know, you might not agree with their tactics, but

I think we should see what they want, especially if they wanna go about stuff differently now.

LANGLY

I don't like it, man. Last time I had a cheeseburger there, I had the runs for days-

BYERS

(appearing mildly irritated)

Langly, that's really in the category of too much information.

(He turns to the others)

I really don't think there's any harm in talking to them, and it might be beneficial. If what they're saying is true, we would at least be in agreement on the goal. I don't want to see something like this happen.

LANGLY

I'd wanna see the software first. I still don't think Softpage and its low rent geek brigade could pull it off. Besides, we'd have to get there, and the van's impounded and Jimmy's Trans needs a new manifold. Yet another thing we can't afford to fix!

BYERS

They don’t indicate directly, but there is the possibility of some money out of this, especially if it's true and we can take it national.

JIMMY

And we've still got Frohike's land yacht we could take.

FROHIKE

(Looking very pained)

I'm not that desperate for a date.

LANGLY

That'd be a first.

Frohike passes him the evil eye.

FROHIKE

So are you all just gonna stand around or are we gonna move out? Hurry up before I change my mind!

The others get up to get changed. Frohike walks off towards his room.

FROHIKE

(Muttering)

Why do I know I’m gonna be sorry I got talked into this?

END ACT I

FADE OUT

COMMERCIALS, COMMERCIALS, COMMERCIALS!

ACT II

FADE IN

INT. SQUAT AND GOBBLE RESTAURANT, TOWSON, MARYLAND-NIGHT

The Squat and Gobble, as the name suggests, is hardly a paragon of fine dining. It's rundown with old aluminum tables and vinyl chairs, a jukebox that doesn't work, and only one table of patrons, a man and a woman who appear to be in their late 20s. They're both drinking coffee and nibbling on sandwiches. They're both dressed in jeans and flannel shirts.

The Gunmen are dressed in their usual daytime attire. Frohike has added the alpaca vest to his clothing-for warmth, presumably.

FROHIKE

(sotto)

Fashion victims.

The others just stare at him, then at each other, covering their mouths to attempt from bursting into laughter.

BYERS

It's them. The descriptions fit.

The four move cautiously towards the table.

LANGLY

(sotto)

They could've picked a better restaurant. Man, I'm starved and there's nothing here I'm gonna eat.

JIMMY

We're not here to eat, Langly.

BYERS

Rachel Schiffman? Michael Levenstein?

Michael, a tall man in his late 20s, rises up, but Rachel, a sulky looking woman, stays seated. Her hair is very curly, worn in a wild fashion, in a shade of red that does not normally occur in nature.

MICHAEL

You're the Lone Gunmen. Have a seat. This is my partner, Rachel.

Rachel continues to nibble at her sandwich and doesn't say anything. The guys all pass a look that suggests they're thinking, PMS. None of the guys remove their jackets, but Frohike's alpaca vest is exposed under the unzipped portion.

RACHEL

(Looking directly at Frohike)

You're not supposed to wear dead sheepdogs, you know.

She returns to her meal as Frohike rolls his eyes and gives the others an I-told-you-so look.

FROHIKE

I was under the impression we were discussing data security, not animal rights.

MICHAEL

Well, we've been involved in that in the past, but he's right, let's stay on topic.

BYERS

First of all, do you have a copy of the software in question?

MICHAEL

(Looking incredulous)

No way could we get our hands on that. That's why we called you guys.

FROHIKE

(Standing up)

I'm not here to do your dirty work. This meeting's over.

Byers grabs the edge of Frohike's coat and pulls him down.

BYERS

At least listen to what they have to say.

LANGLY

(slightly mocking tone)

How the hell do you know it even exists? It's not like Axelrod's gang's a bunch of hotshot programmers. He mostly hires kids right out of college who don't know any better than to go to work in a third rate sweatshop.

MICHAEL

We've had…independent confirmation.

LANGLY

From who?

RACHEL

(Belligerent tone)

From a reliable source.

FROHIKE

What's the name of your source?

MICHAEL

(Laughing harshly)

I would think you, as journalists, would understand the importance of protecting a source.

RACHEL

(Clearly annoyed)

Oh, get real, Mike! It's not like she's gonna be a problem anymore. In fact, she should be home sweet home in Glasgow any minute now.

MICHAEL

(mildly embarrassed)

We confirmed the existence of the program through the nanny. Or should I say, former nanny.

RACHEL

Who we had to provide with a one way ticket home to get her to talk.

MICHAEL

What's the big deal, Rachel? We got a bargain fare. It was worth it.

FROHIKE

That's a switch from your usual tactics of burning down warehouses and vandalizing offices.

MICHAEL

(looking uncomfortable)

We realized that our credibility was being somewhat compromised by those activities.

FROHIKE

(snorting)

A law degree from UCLA and he finally figures that one out.

BYERS

Frohike, please.

(Turns directly to eye Rachel and Michael)

Before we go any further, you said something about holding someone near and dear to Mr. Axelrod. If you're involved in any form of kidnapping, then we have nothing more to say.

MICHAEL

I assure you we don't have Axelrod's daughter.

BYERS

Then who is it?

RACHEL

We can't say.

FROHIKE

I'm guessing it's not his ex-wife. He'd never pay up on that one, unless it's to have her knocked off.

BYERS

(Glaring angrily at Frohike)

Do you mind?

(He turns back to Michael)

If you don't fully inform us, then we can't help you. We don't like these sorts of situations.

MICHAEL

(sighing deeply)

We took their dog.

LANGLY

(incredulous)

Their…dog?

JIMMY

(horrified)

How could you? They're probably so broken up about this-

RACHEL

That's the idea, Neanderthal Man. Get him to talk, and promise to pull this off the market.

BYERS

(adamant)

Give the dog back. Then we'll talk.

Michael and Rachel eye each other. Rachel looks embarrassed.

MICHAEL

Uh…there's a problem.

JIMMY

What kind of problem?

RACHEL

(beat)

Uh…

BYERS

What's going on here?

MICHAEL

(hanging his head)

We can't find the dog.

JIMMY

(even more horrified than before)

You kidnapped the dog and then you lost it? How could you! What if that's his little girl's dog?

She'll be so sad!

RACHEL

Look, it's not as if we can't get her another dog. She'd never know the difference.

JIMMY

(clearly angry now)

Oh yes she would! You act like it's-like it's a part you can just swap out!

LANGLY

(shaking his long locks)

I don't believe this. You guys try to pull off a dognapping, and you can't even keep from screwing

that up. C'mon, let's go.

The four of them stand up to leave.

BYERS

Find the dog and return it to Axelrod. Then we'll talk. Not until.

CUT TO-

INT. FROHIKE'S CHRYSLER

Langly is seated up front with Frohike, with Byers and Jimmy bringing up the rear. It's raining outside, very lightly. Langly shivers.

LANGLY

When're you gonna fix the heater in this thing?

FROHIKE

When we can get our hands on a little do-re-mi. Which we're obviously not gonna do with those

losers.

LANGLY

I say, bag them, go after it ourselves.

BYERS

You said you didn't think Axelrod's people were capable of it.

LANGLY

His people aren't. But Axelrod, man, once upon a time, he was a hell of a software engineer. Not that he's probably looked at a piece of code in five years.

BYERS

It's claimed that he's still technically pretty hands on with his staff.

LANGLY

Yeah? Fooled me. But hey, if he developed this himself, maybe he's got a couple old pals working with him…

FROHIKE

He needs a new product. He's rich, no question about it, but he took a big hit in his divorce.

Axelrod may be a bastard, but she really took him to the cleaners. She's entitled to half the profits

of everything the company did before they were divorced.

LANGLY

And they haven't put out a new product line in two years.

FROHIKE

But she didn't say anything about products devised after the divorce. He's looking for a goldmine.

LANGLY

Yeah, well, if he's doing what they say he's doing, he's messed up.

BYERS

If that software exists, we have to get our hands on it.

FROHIKE

Without Huey and Dewey there screwing it up.

They all pass a look.

BYERS

We need a plan. We need to get close to Axelrod.

FROHIKE

I’m not kissing him.

JIMMY

We could have Langly do some consulting work for him.

BYERS

Won't work. He already knows about us, and Langly'd never get in.

LANGLY

Yeah, and I don't work cheap.

FROHIKE

What the hell do you call this?

CUT TO-

NEXT MORNING

INT. GUNMEN HQ-DAY

It's breakfast time, with the major newspapers spread all over the table. Jimmy is attempting to serve breakfast, but the puppy grabs the bacon off the plate of it he has just prepared. Every one is still in their jammies.

JIMMY

No, no, boy! Give it back!

LANGLY

I'm not eating it. Might as well let him have it.

FROHIKE

(not staring up from his newspaper)

That's the first time I ever heard you turn down food, Langly.

LANGLY

Look, I got standards. I wouldn't eat at the Squat and Gobble!

BYERS

Yes, but you don't seem to have a problem with Jack in the Box.

LANGLY

Jack in the Box is good!

JIMMY

You just like the commercials.

LANGLY

Do not! They suck!

JIMMY

I'm sorry about the bacon, guys. Want me to put on some pancakes?

LANGLY

Yeah, that'd be good. With chocolate chips.

BYERS

No chocolate chips!

FROHIKE

Will you two shut up-aargh!

The puppy has just jumped into his lap, spilling his coffee all over him. Frohike screams in pain, grabbing his groin area.

FROHIKE

That dog has got to go! Today!

He stomps off in a rage, moaning in pain.

LANGLY

Well, at least he doesn’t need an excuse for needing Viagra these days.

FROHIKE

(O.S.)

I heard that!

The puppy then tries to get in with Byers, sniffing under his robe.

BYERS

No! Stop that! Jimmy, do something about this dog!

LANGLY

There's a nice Chinese restaurant down the street.

JIMMY

Look, he's only a baby. Let me work with him. It'll be fine, I promise.

A scream is heard in the distance. It's Frohike.

FROHIKE

(O.S.)

I'm ruined for life!

LANGLY

And he's just discovering that now?

CUT TO-

EXT. AXELROD HOME-DAY

It's about 9 in the morning. Yves is standing on the porch of the Axelrod residence. Her attire is conservative but casual-jean skirt, long-sleeved T-shirt, black low-heeled shoes with black tights. She's wearing a dark raincoat, as there is still some mist in the air. Her hair is drawn back into a conservative do. Her only concession to her usual look is her Ferrari-red lipstick.

She presses the bell, and an 8-chime sounds. The door is answered by a woman in what looks to be a housekeeper's uniform.

HOUSEKEEPER

Yes?

YVES

Yes, I have an appointment with Mr. Axelrod. I understand he's looking for someone to take care

of his daughter.

HOUSEKEEPER

Libby only quit yesterday. How you know this?

YVES

From a friend of a friend who heard through the grapevine that Mr. Axelrod was having some trouble with his domestic help.

The housekeeper is suspicious.

HOUSEKEEPER

Your name?

YVES

Dara Howell Seevy.

HOUSEKEEPER

Hold on.

She slams the door behind Yves, who is wearing a look of, this might be harder than I thought. The door opens a few minutes later.

HOUSEKEEPER

You can come in now. And lemme tell you, Mr. Axelrod he got no trouble with this domestic

help. I been with him six years now. Only the nannies, they come, they go.

YVES

I see. Well, I'm sure young Christina and I will get along famously. I think his troubles have

come to an end in that regard.

HOUSEKEEPER

His troubles never end. That ex-wife a his, what a bitch!

The housekeeper knocks on the door of Jeff's study.

JEFF

(from behind the door)

Come in.

Jeff is staring at some reports in front of him, but looks up a moment later. He clearly wasn't expecting Yves Adele Harlow to be in his midst, or anyone of her ilk. His eyes all but pop out of his head as he removes his glasses.

JEFF

Well, hello. You're Ms. Seevy?

YVES

Please, call me Dara. And I've had plenty of experience working with children.

She hands him the resume she faked together last night. He pretends to study it, but his hormones have clearly gotten the better of him.

YVES

You're welcome to do a reference check, if you like.

(All of Yves' former 'employers' are out of the United States, mostly in the Caribbean and Great Britain)

JEFF

No, no, I think that's all right.

He's clearly smitten with Yves.

JEFF

When could you start?

YVES

Right now, if you'd like.

JEFF

That'd be great.

YVES

Where is Christina?

JEFF

She's in school right now. But here, let me show you around, so you know where everything is by the time she gets home.

Yves smiles to herself as if to say, that's the idea.

CUT TO-

INT. GUNMEN HQ-DAY

The others are trying to work, doing some additional referencing on various software companies that have invaded the privacy of unwitting users. Trying is the operative word here-the puppy is having a hard time sitting still and is demanding constant attention while tearing the place apart.

FROHIKE

Jimmy! Do something about the mutt! Now!

BYERS

Why don't you take him for a walk?

JIMMY

I don't have a leash for him.

LANGLY

Get one.

Jimmy departs with the puppy, presumably to make a trip to Petco. The others stare at each other and groan.

BYERS

(Sighing)

So what're we going to do about this?

FROHIKE

About the dog? Jimmy has to find it a home.

LANGLY

Hey, it's just a puppy, it's real cute, just has to be tamed. Or get some Ritalin.

The other two stare at him as though he'd turned traitor on them.

LANGLY

Hey, sue me. I like dogs.

BYERS

Actually, I wasn't talking about the dog at all. Have we decided if we're going to

follow up on this lead?

LANGLY

I've tried hacking into Softpage's system all morning, and I'm getting nowhere with anything

like Schiffman and Levenstein described last night. Everything else, I got in with my eyes closed. Seems weird.

BYERS

If this product is as important to their future as we were told that it is, then it'd be no wonder that

getting at it might be a bit difficult.

LANGLY

It's not there. It's not on the corporate database. It's being stored somewhere else.

FROHIKE

Did you try hacking Axelrod's private accounts and databases?

LANGLY

Got his IP addresses, but that's all I can get so far. Everything's majorly encrypted, and we're not

talking standard 56-bit, either. What I'm trying to do is get into his email accounts and check out

who he's talking to, but so far, no dice.

FROHIKE

Keep trying.

LANGLY

Well, duh!

BYERS

Maybe we should attempt to meet with Axelrod.

FROHIKE

(Scoffing)

He won't do it. He's come out publicly against hackers time and time again. And he knows of us.

In one of his last press conferences, he labeled us by name. And it wasn't the first time.

LANGLY

Yeah, he can come down against us, but he's got no problem with invading the private lives of millions of users. How's that for a double standard?

BYERS

Langly, somehow, I don't think we're in a particularly good position to talk about double standards.

LANGLY

We don't have double standards. We just do what's right.

BYERS

We try to do what's right. Sometimes it's not so clear what right is.

Although there is one thing I'm sure of.

FROHIKE

And what's that?

BYERS

The puppy. That's a purebred collie. That sort of dog is bound to be missed by its owners. I'm

positive that that's no stray.

LANGLY

Byers found it in a shed by one of the warehouses in our elite neighborhood.

BYERS

Levenstein and Schiffman were saying they kidnapped Axelrod's dog. We need to find out

what kind of dog they had.

LANGLY

So what're we supposed to do? Walk up, ring the bell and say, hi, what kind of dog did you lose?

BYERS

Actually, I was thinking that Yves might be helpful in this regard, but I've been unable to reach her. Have you guys heard from her?

FROHIKE

Nada. Then again, I'm not sure I'm so anxious to bring her into this. We already owe her money.

LANGLY

Yeah, and if we bring her in, if there's any reward money for the dog, she'll grab it and run.

BYERS

She did bail us out.

LANGLY

Yeah, so she can play with us. Now she's got something over our heads. She likes it that way.

BYERS

This is turning into a morality debate, which is all well and good, but we need to decided, are we going to find that software or not?

FROHIKE

We haven't even confirmed its existence.

BYERS

They claimed it was confirmed by the nanny.

LANGLY

The nanny, sure. What would the nanny know?

CUT TO-

INT. AXELROD HOUSE-DAY

Jeff and Yves have obviously been conferring about the care of Tina and Jeff has shown Yves the entire home. They're now sitting down in the kitchen, having coffee.

JEFF

So Dara, what brings you to the United States? I'm sure that being a nanny was not your original plan.

YVES

(doing her best to be very convincing)

The truth is, I hope to study software design and development here in the United States. It's the best place in the world to be trained. But that costs money, and I've got to earn it somehow. And I do love children.

JEFF

That's great. It's nearly time to pick up Tina. Would you like to come along?

YVES

Actually, I think it would be best if you picked her up yourself and told her about me first. She might find it a bit shocking to have a total stranger in the car without any advance warning.

JEFF

You know, you're right. It'd probably be best to give her a heads up first. But I can tell you two are going to get along famously already.

Jeff grabs his keys and his cell phone.

JEFF

I'll be back in about 20 minutes.

YVES

(Smiling)

See you then.

She waits until she hears Jeff's car no longer. She's eyeing the study, with all intentions of going in there, but she's stopped by the housekeeper.

HOUSEKEEPER

Here, let me make you a snack.

YVES

Really, Lupita, that's not necessary, honestly.

HOUSEKEEPER

No, no, I'm making one for little Tina, you'll have one, too. And if we're gonna be working together, we might as well get to know each other.

Yves gives a private, pained look, but then smiles brightly at the older woman.

YVES

Of course. Absolutely.

CUT TO-

INT. AXELROD KITCHEN-DAY

Nearly 20 minutes have passed, and it's all Yves can do to fight off the boredom of listening to Lupita the housekeeper yatter on.

A door is heard opening offscreen, and a child's voice is heard, telling Jeff about her school day. Jeff and Tina Axelrod enter the kitchen.

Yves and Tina study each other.

JEFF

Tina, this is the lady I told you about who's going to be your new nanny. This is Dara. Dara, I'd like you to meet my daughter, Tina.

One thing about Yves: She is genuinely nice to children. While being a nanny is hardly her idea of a terrific job, she does enjoy kids. They're the only people she can trust in the world. Yves stands up and holds out her hand.

YVES

A pleasure to meet you, Tina.

TINA

You're not from Scotland, are you?

YVES

No, I’m from England. Quite different.

TINA

That's good. Libby was from Scotland. All she ever wanted to do was go back there.

YVES

Well, I'm not going anywhere. As I was telling your daddy, I'm very interested in living here.

So tell me, Tina-I see you prefer to be called Tina-what would you like to do this afternoon?

TINA

I have to find Freckles.

YVES

(Puzzled)

Freckles?

JEFF

(slightly embarrassed)

Her puppy. He went missing yesterday. I promised her we'd look for him today.

Yves surely hadn't counted on locating a lost dog as part of the job description, but she has learned to be adaptable.

YVES

Of course we'll look for Freckles.

CUT TO-

EXT. AXELROD HOUSE-NIGHT

Byers, Langly, and Frohike park the land yacht some distance away from the house and go through the wooded areas to get to it. Jimmy has been left home to babysit the dog-the guys are worried that even further destruction will ensue if the puppy is not supervised.

LANGLY

I dunno. He's got no fences up. Guy's not paranoid enough.

BYERS

He probably has the best security system money can buy, and there are signs all around saying 24-hour armed response. And it does indicate that there's an electronic dog fence.

FROHIKE

I hate those. The dog gets too close, he gets a shock. It's cruel.

LANGLY

Only cruel if we get shocked. And the ground's still wet.

BYERS

Let's get the tap on his phone line and get out of here.

They move towards the phone lines going into the house, stop, and examine the equipment.

FROHIKE

I'd say someone's been here already.

LANGLY

I'm guessing it wasn't the losers from last night. I don't think they could pull this off.

BYERS

It's a simple wiretap and video surveillance module. A child could do it.

LANGLY

Which leaves them out.

FROHIKE

I never thought it would happen, but for once, Langly, I've got to agree with you.

BYERS

Well, this does make our job easier. All we have to do is plug into the frequencies in this thing and we can watch the entire show from the comfort of our own home.

LANGLY

Be better if we had the van.

FROHIKE

Be better if we could afford to get the van out of hock.

BYERS

If we can get our hands on that software, then I don't think we'll need to worry about being able to afford to get the van out.

FROHIKE

From your lips to God's ear.

CUT TO-

INT. GUNMEN HQ-NIGHT

Frohike, the king of all things surveillance, is setting up the remote observation from his computer terminal

LANGLY

You ready there?

FROHIKE

Plugged in and ready to go. We've got audio feed. Problem is, since we couldn't get in the house, we'll have to download and then separate the voice feeds.

LANGLY

I'm on it.

BYERS

The video feed only has one location. It appears to be an office or study of some sort.

LANGLY

Probably where Axelrod does his million dollar deals after hours.

FROHIKE

I’m getting something. Langly, start separating out the vocals.

The three work intently.

BYERS

I've got a video. It's Axelrod on the phone.

LANGLY

Audio coming right up.

The three listen.

JEFF

(O.S., over the audio mixer)

Listen, this product is going to make us billions. That's billions with a B.

BANKER'S VOICE

(O.S., over the audio mixer)

I'm concerned that the public is not going to react well to this. You do recall the Lotus incident, don't you? They were absolutely convinced that their product was going to make them richer than Croesus. And then the public got wind of it, and it decimated the company.

JEFF

That's the beauty of it. ISP's, search engines, whoever, can pay for the licensing fee. The user never has to know. It's completely invisible. And completely hackproof.

BANKER'S VOICE

Well, since you claimed you wrote it yourself, I'm sure it's done well. But users have a way of

finding these things out.

JEFF

Not this time they don't.

The three look at each other.

LANGLY

He did it. He actually built the product. Himself. Probably just marketing it under his company name so he can get the legal protection.

BYERS

Unfortunately, nothing's more difficult to pierce than the corporate veil. Langly, is there anyone else in the house?

FROHIKE

He's got a kid and a housekeeper. If PFAD is correct, the nanny quit yesterday.

LANGLY

Shush, getting something.

He makes some adjustments on the equipment.

TINA

(O.S., though the computer speakers)

Do you think we'll find Freckles?

YVES

(O.S., through the computer speaker)

Of course we'll find Freckles.

FROHIKE

Son of a-is that who I think it is?

LANGLY

Shush! Keep listening!

The three men listen intently. Jimmy arrives in the room, trying to control the puppy.

JIMMY

Hey, what're you guys doing?

LANGLY

Quiet, man! We're trying to get a fix on this!

JIMMY

(taking the leash off the errant dog and cuddling him)

That's Yves!

LANGLY

(Laughing slightly)

No way, man. No way would she be taking care of someone's kid.

FROHIKE

I don't know. She was pretty good with the Senator's baby when he was here.

YVES

(O.S., through the computer speakers)

We'll find Freckles, don't you worry. Get some sleep now.

JIMMY

That's definitely Yves. But what's she doing with a kid?

They all look at each other.

FROHIKE

Somehow, I doubt taking care of the kid is her real motive. Nannies don't make that much

money.

BYERS

Yves doesn't do anything unless there's something in it for her.

Byers is suddenly aghast and turns pale.

BYERS

What if she knows about the software…and she's trying to get her hands on it?

LANGLY

Maybe she's just hot for Daddy.

FROHIKE

(Shrugging)

He is considered to be a chick magnet. Although they never seem to stick around. Probably the daddy thing.

LANGLY

Guarantee you this, though. She ain't in it for the good of the American public.

JIMMY

I wonder who Freckles is.

LANGLY

Beats me. We gotta get to that software before she does, though.

FROHIKE

We need a plan.

They all stare at Byers.

BYERS

Why are you all looking at me?

CUT TO-

INT. AXELROD STUDY-NIGHT

Yves nee Dara Howell Seevy knocks lightly on the door, which is ajar. Jeff looks up, motions her in.

YVES

She's off to bed, Mr. Axelrod.

JEFF

Please, call me Jeff.

He pulls his glasses off his nose and rubs the bridge of it, then his eyes.

JEFF

What a day. But your coming here made it a lot easier, let me tell you.

He studies her, still standing in the doorway.

JEFF

Please, sit down.

Yves takes a seat on the sofa.

JEFF

You've had a long day. Would you care to join me in a glass of Gamay Rouge?

YVES

I don't drink while I'm on duty.

JEFF

Tina's in bed. I'd say you're off duty for the night.

YVES

Well, a small glass, thank you.

Jeff gets up and heads for the kitchen. Yves studies his desk, checking to see if there is anything obvious lying about. She hears his footfalls and hurries back to the sofa.

JEFF

I have this stuff sent from Napa to me. It's well worth the shipping costs.

He pours a glass for each, and sits down at the other end of the sofa.

YVES

Tell me about your business. It seems you're quite the self made man.

JEFF

Self made, but my wife participates in devouring half of it. At least. I foolishly agreed to allow her half the profits of every product that was released prior to our divorce. What we really need is a new product line. But you don't want to hear about software tonight. By the way, my banker insists I have to be in New York by noon tomorrow. I may have to stay overnight. Is that going to be a problem for you?

YVES

Not at all.

A slightly awkward silence ensues.

JEFF

So…tell me about yourself.

END OF ACT II

STILL MORE COMMERCIALS. GET UP, HAVE A SNACK.

ACT III

FADE IN

INT. GUNMEN HQ-NIGHT

The Gunmen have been listening for quite a while to Yves and Jeff talking.

FROHIKE

Let me know when they get to the good parts.

LANGLY

Well, he's getting kind of drunk. I don't think she's gone that far. Right now, it's all personal stuff. Well, the stuff she made up about Dara Howell Seevy. And him bitching about his ex.

FROHIKE

Ex-wives. Punishment for lust.

LANGLY

So is that why your hand's your best friend these days? I thought it was just because you were ugly.

Frohike glares at him.

Jimmy is petting the now-sleeping puppy.

BYERS

At least the dog's being quiet now.

JIMMY

He really is a good dog. You'll see.

BYERS

Jimmy, you have to find him a home. He really can't stay here.

JIMMY

Why not?

FROHIKE

Because of the equipment. Because we're gone so much. And to be truthful, we can't afford him. He's not going to be happy here, Jimmy. There's no room for him to play-

LANGLY

Shut up! They're talking about something! Something about what kind of dog the kid has.

They all fall silent.

LANGLY

He's talking about how he had a collie growing up, and when his daughter wanted a dog for her last birthday, he got her a collie.

Frohike, Byers and Langly look at Jimmy.

JIMMY

But he's got no collar!

FROHIKE

Jimmy, think! How hard is it to remove a collar?

LANGLY

Hey, the way that dog jumps around, could be a real challenge.

JIMMY

This can't be the dog they're talking about!

FROHIKE

Why not? He said it's a collie puppy, and he checked all the shelters around. They have a reward posted, too. Not a single call.

LANGLY

I bet it's their dog.

Jimmy looks terribly forlorn.

JIMMY

I had a dog growing up. I loved that dog. I still miss her. I miss having a pet. I don't understand why you guys don't like animals.

BYERS

That has nothing to do with it. I always had cats when I was young, and I wouldn't mind having Another. But let's face it, we don't have a lifestyle which is really conducive to pet ownership.

FROHIKE

(Gently)

Jimmy, you'll have to face it. This is someone else's dog. He doesn't belong here.

LANGLY

Yeah, and no way can we have a pet with a name like Freckles around here. It's wussy.

JIMMY

I think it's a nice name.

BYERS

Does anyone have a suggestion here?

FROHIKE

(Musing, stroking his unshaven chin)

I think perhaps a little visit to Chateau Axelrod might be in order tomorrow.

BYERS

That'll be too late. Yves will have the software in her possession, and God only knows who she'll turn it over to. My guess is that it's not the Washington Post or the New York Times.

LANGLY

Whoever it is, she'll be making a bundle off it.

BYERS

I say we go tonight.

LANGLY

What, another late night foray?

(He groans)

And what if it's not their dog? Besides, what're we gonna do? Say, we'll give you back the dog

if you hand over the software?

BYERS

Unlike most of the people we meet in our line of work, Axelrod has demonstrated that he can be semi-reasonable. Maybe we could just talk to him.

LANGLY

I don't think it's gonna work.

BYERS

I think we have to give it a try.

FROHIKE

He's going to New York tomorrow morning.

BYERS

And Yves has the run of the house. She'll probably get to it as soon as he passes out.

Jimmy is staying very quiet and looks very sad.

JIMMY

Isn't it kind of rude to stop in on people late at night?

FROHIKE:

(Kneeling down by Jimmy)

Listen, if that's his daughter's puppy, they won't care what time we show up.

Jimmy winces.

JIMMY

She did sound real sad about her puppy.

LANGLY

And if this isn't hers, she's gonna feel worse and then her old man's gonna be real pissed and we lose out on the software totally.

(He turns to Byers)

What if being the voice of reason doesn't work with him?

BYERS

Then we go to the media.

LANGLY

We ARE the media. But we don't have proof.

BYERS

But we have Yves on the inside. And we have incriminating statements from Axelrod himself, his conversations with his bankers.

FROHIKE

It'd never hold up in court.

LANGLY

We're not planning on taking the guy to court.

FROHIKE

Figuratively speaking. Without proof, we can't get the mainstream media to pick up the story.

BYERS

I think we have enough proof with his statements.

FROHIKE

I think we're going out on a limb here.

LANGLY

I think I don't feel like going out.

Frohike rolls his eyes heavenward.

FROHIKE

C'mon, Langly. I'll buy you a Grand Slam.

CUT TO-

INT. JEFF'S STUDY-NIGHT

Yves are on the sofa, much closer now. Jeff has his arm across the back of the sofa, as if he's nervously debating about slipping it over her shoulder.

JEFF

Now I really don't want to go to New York.

YVES

(In a playful tone)

Now, work before play, I always say.

JEFF

May I ask you something?

YVES

Yes.

JEFF

Are you…involved with anyone?

YVES

No. I'm a free woman.

JEFF

Would you feel free to…kiss me?

They slide into an embrace, but are abruptly stopped by the front doorbell ringing.

JEFF

Who the hell could that be? How could they get past the electric fence?

Yves wears a look of alarm on her face. She can only guess who's there, although she's hoping it's not who she believes it is.

YVES

Maybe you should call the police.

JEFF

Just a minute.

He gets up and heads for the front door.

CUT TO-

INT. FOYER AXELROD HOME-NIGHT

JEFF

Who is it?

BYERS

(O.S., from the other side of the door)

I think we have your dog.

Jeff stares up at the video monitor. He sees four rather raggedy looking men. Jimmy is holding the puppy. He hesitates a moment, then unlocks the door and disables the alarm system. He opens the front door.

JIMMY

Is this your little girl's dog?

JEFF

Freckles! Yes, that's Freckles-

He stops abruptly. He recognizes who the three others are. His expression turns angry.

JEFF

You'd better not have had anything to do with this.

BYERS

Believe me, sir, we didn't. But we do need to talk to you. May we come in?

Jeff shakes his head.

JEFF

What about?

FROHIKE

About a new product line you're about to release. The one you're not planning on announcing to the public.

JEFF

That's supposed to be secret! How the hell did you find out?

He's visibly pale. Yves comes silently into the foyer. Frohike recognizes her.

FROHIKE

Evening, Yves. Or should I say, Dara? Is that who you are tonight?

Jeff turns to her, horrified.

JEFF

Do you know these people?

YVES

Regrettably, yes.

JEFF

(Shaking his head)

I knew it was too good to be true. Good help is so hard to find these days.

He's looking very depressed. He turns to the guys.

JEFF

You might as well come in. You've got a lot of explaining to do.

FROHIKE

Not half as much as you do.

The puppy is all excited. Jeff picks up the puppy and allows it to lick his face.

CUT TO-

INT. AXELROD KITCHEN

JEFF

And what are you going to do if the software is released?

YVES

Print it up in their silly little rag, of course.

JEFF

(Turning to Yves)

And what were you planning to do with it? Is that really why you came here?

He looks utterly dejected.

YVES

(appearing mildly embarrassed)

Yes, it was. But-

JEFF

Spare me.

BYERS

I guarantee that if we run this story, the mainliners will pick it up. And that could ruin your company, Mr. Axelrod.

 

JEFF

You don't understand. As you can see, we live nicely, but everything from my older product lines, my cocaine-snorting, child-neglecting ex-wife gets to walk off with half of the profits. It's really eating at me. I wanted something that was just for Tina and me. And maybe another person I could come to share my life with who was interested in doing something other than ripping me off.

He stares pointedly at Yves. She actually has the grace to look embarrassed.

FROHIKE

I think I understand a hell of a lot better than you think I might. I had one of those ex-wives myself.

The others all stare at him, surprised. He's never spoken of his ex.

FROHIKE

Frohike Electronics Corporation was actually doing a tidy little business. But we split, and she got it all. The house, the kids, the profits. At least you have your kid.

JIMMY

And now she has her puppy back.

JEFF

(Looking sad)

Yes, she does. And for that, I thank you.

BYERS

That should matter more to you than any money you could make from your product.

JEFF

It's a good product. Marketers are clamoring for such a thing. And it's completely invisible to the consumer.

BYERS

That's why it's so wrong.

JIMMY

Your little girl loves you. Don't you want to be the kind of dad she can look up to and be proud of? I mean, I'm sure she is -

(he recognizes his gaffe)

but when she gets older, maybe she'll be real sad about this. Knowing her dad did something that just wasn't cool

Jeff leans against the refrigerator.

JEFF

What would you do in my position?

BYERS

Destroy any and all copies of the software, with us witnessing it. Do that, and we'll never breathe a word of it to anyone.

JEFF

Dara? Or whatever your name is?

YVES

Fine.

JEFF

(sucking in a deep breath)

All right. Let's do it.

CUT TO-

EXT. AXELROD HOUSE-NIGHT

The guys and Yves all file out. Yves isn't saying anything.

LANGLY

(Looking at Yves)

Gee, you're awfully quiet.

Yves places her hands on her hips and looks genuinely upset.

YVES

(Dripping sarcasm)

I just want to thank you boys for once again ruining my evening. I liked him. He's a nice guy.

FROHIKE

(Scoffing)

Yeah, sure.

JIMMY

Would you care to come back for a beer, Yves?

The others look at him like he's nuts.

JIMMY

(Shrugging)

Well, I mean, we did kind of barge in there and all.

YVES

(Coldly)

Thank you. I'll pass.

The guys head for their car parked down the street. Yves starts the other way, as her convertible is parked in the garage. Before she steps into her car, she reaches into her purse and the camera zooms in on a CD-ROM, which she is fondling affectionately.

YVES

(To herself)

Almost every copy is gone.

CUT TO-

INT. GUNMEN HQ-DAY

A few days have passed. The Gunmen are at work on another story, and it's about to go to press.

FROHIKE

Hopefully, we can get some money out of this one. We at least exposed PFAD and their tactics.

BYERS

The hush money Axelrod gave us at least got the van out of impound.

LANGLY

Yeah, and we can have groceries again. Jimmy better hurry up and get back. I'm dying for a Cherry Garcia fix.

FROHIKE

He must've really wanted us to keep quiet. We didn't even ask for a payoff.

LANGLY

Never turn down cash, that's what I always say.

BYERS

It's not as if he had to buy our silence. We gave our word.

FROHIKE

Yeah, but nothing speaks louder than cash.

CUT TO-INT. MUSEUM WORKSHOP-DAY

Yves approaches the door and identifies herself. The Professor is inside.

THE PROFESSOR

And did you bring me the late Roman period tablets I requested?

YVES

(Coldly flinging the disk at him)

It's here.

THE PROFESSOR

Well done. You'll be paid well for this.

Yves says nothing, but leaves in silence. She looks rather upset, as if the price of what she did was rather too high. The professor shakes his head, wondering what's gotten into her.

CUT TO-

INT. GUNMEN HEADQUARTERS-DAY

BYERS

Jimmy's back.

LANGLY

Well, finally!

Jimmy is let in by Frohike.

FROHIKE

Oh no. Not again.

Jimmy is standing in the room, carrying a large, black cat.

JIMMY

I found him at the supermarket and he looked so cold and hungry. Please, can we keep him?

The others just groan.

END ACT III

END SCRIPT

FADE OUT

CLOSING CREDITS