Scene One: Conference room, GLOBE Relay Station, Pleasantview, Alabama. Monday morning, 10 a.m. Mr. Winter is searching all his pockets for the key to the embarrassingly mislabeled "Doomsday Clock." Seated at the table are the Skipster, Buffy Pleasant, Glory Becker, John Slate, and Kitt Kittridge.
Mr. Winter: Okay... I know I have it here somewhere... Ah! Eureka! (He produces a key and tosses it on the table with a flourish.)
The Skipster examines the key closely.
Skipster: Umm... Mr. Winter? By any chance, have you received a piece of mail lately that announced that you may have won a car if you bring a key down to the dealership?
Mr. Winter: Why, yes, I did, Skipster! Just the other day I got a big postcard from Pleasantview Toyota. (brief pause) I like those Toyotas! They're dependable and get great petrol mileage. (brief pause) Why?
Skipster: Because I got the same postcard. There was a cheap plastic key attached that looked... exactly like this one.
Mr. Winter: That's great news, Skipster! So we've both won Toyotas!
Slate: Uhh, no, Mr. Winter. I think the Skipster is saying that this isn't the key we're looking for.
Glory: Think, Mr. Winter! What were you wearing when GLOBE delivered the Doomsday Co... Clock?
Mr. Winter (thinking hard): Well... it was Saturday, and I was the only one here... I was listening to Vivaldi on the stereo in my office. I believe I was wearing my little pants...
Kittridge (laughing out loud): "Little pants???"
Mr. Winter (indignantly): Bermuda shorts to you, Mr. Kittridge! It was rather warm here in the building, as I had shut off all the air conditioners to save money. Yes! That's it! I believe I put the key in my little pants!
Buffy: Wait! I think the dry cleaners picked those up this morning! I'll call Sudsy Doodle Cleaners & Laundry, to see if they found the key! (Buffy exits.)
Kittridge (sighing): So now we have a device that can destroy the world, with the activation key in the possession of Sudsy Doodle! (shaking his head) Please tell me I'm having a bad dream.
* * * * *
Scene Two: The secret lair of a secret villainous organization known -- only to themselves -- as ENEMA. ENEMA is comprised of a motley bunch of terrorists, criminals... and former Tea Party activists. Three swarthy men are sitting around a table monitoring what looks like a tracking device.
Head Honcho Swarthy Man: Gentlemen, phase one of our plan is complete. The Doomsday Key is well on its way to its destination.
Second Swarthy Man: Yes. Soon the world will know of the power ENEMA alone possesses.
Head Honcho Swarthy Man:: And if they do not capitulate to our demands, we will destroy them all!
Third Swarthy Man (shifting uncomfortably in his chair): Umm... question? Not to rain on anybody's parade, here... but I was was just thinking. (brief pause) May I have permission to speak freely, sir?
Head Honcho Swarthy Man: By all means.
Third Swarthy Man: Well... I was just wondering... if the world refuses to "capitulate to our demands" as you so succintly put it... and let's say we actually did destroy the world... wouldn't we be blowing ourselves up in the process?
Head Honcho Swarthy Man smiles, calmly pulls out an automatic pistol, and shoots Third Swarthy Man dead.
Head Honcho Swarthy Man: I hate people that over-analyze things...
* * * * *
Scene Three: Conference room, GLOBE Relay Station, Pleasantview, Alabama. Monday morning, 11 a.m. Still seated at the table are the Skipster, Glory Becker, John Slate, and Kitt Kittridge. Buffy Pleasant is entering the room through the automatic sliding doors.
Buffy: Bad news, sir. Sudsy Doodle only does pickups and deliveries on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Mr. Winter: So they found the key? Great!
Buffy (patiently): No, sir. Today is Monday. Whoever picked up your little pants was not an official Doodle Driver.
Slate: So we were duped by the Doodle Driver?
Glory: It doesn't sound like it was a Doodle Driver duping us. It sounds more like a dubious double for the Doodle Driver.
Skipster: Ah-ha! The Doodle Driver was not merely a double, then, but a divergent deputy from a dastardly den of dangerous desperadoes?
Kittridge: Can I play, too? (brief pause) How about... We're desperately digging for direction, and we're getting diddly-squat, dudes!
Mr. Winter: Ooooh. Nice one, Mr. Kittridge.
Skipster: So... speaking of direction, wouldn't something that valuable have some sort of tracking device?
Slate (snapping his fingers): Yes! Wasn't there a little black box sitting on this table a few hours ago?
Mr. Winter: Oh, that! I thought it was pretty, with the blinking lights and all, and I put it in my office as a paperweight.
Kittridge leans back and sighs, rolling his eyes.
Buffy (glaring at Kittridge): I'll go get it.
Buffy exits, only to return a moment later with a small black box. She places it on the middle of the table. They all stare at it.
Skipster: Okay, John. You're the tech whiz. What is it?
Slate: It's a rudimentary tracking device, Model RS-100, orginally manufactured by Tandy Corporation, and sold at Radio Shacks nationwide. It was a big seller back in '89.
Kittridge (sarcastically): Oh yeah. I remember getting one for Christmas! Look, genius, can this gadget help us or what?
Slate: Well, let's just turn it on and see. (Slate flicks the switch on. More lights start flashing. Suddenly the device shuts down.) Damn! The batteries must be dead. (opening the battery compartment) Anyone have two triple-A's?
Mr. Winter: Check the old batteries, Mr. Slate. If they're from Radio Shack, we can get free replacements for life! (proudly) I'm a member of the battery club!
Glory: Hang on... (She opens the battery compartment of the remote to the video screen and produces two triple-A batteries.) Here ya go!
Slate: Excellent! (Slate inserts the new batteries. The tracking device starts back up.) Interesting. The LED readouts are obviously coordinates, and they are slowly changing. (looking up) The key is on the move! (Slate gets up and runs to the map on the wall.) It looks like it's now in Prattville, Alabama. (He studies the readouts for a moment.) It also looks like it's headed due north at slightly higher-than-average highway speed.
Skipster (thinking for a moment): Mr. Winter? Did GLOBE provide this station with a plane?
Mr. Winter: Why, yes indeedy, Skipster! A very pretty Piper Cub. Bright yellow! And...
Skipster (cutting him off): Never mind. I have something that will do a pretty good job of tracking that key from the air. So! (looking around) Who's up for a plane ride?
Everyone except Kittridge raises one hand. Buffy raises two hands. Mr. Winter notices.
Mr. Winter: Miss Pleasant, I cannot allow you to go on this mission, as you are not yet a qualified field agent.
Buffy: Mr. Winter, I want to do this! Please give me a chance to prove myself.
Mr. Winter (shrugging): Well, since you put it like that... All right. You may come along, too. After all, I can't get into any more trouble than I am now.
The Skipster and Glory look at Kittridge.
Skipster: Here's your chance for some adventure, Sparky.
Kittridge: Wow. Tracking a key from 25,000 feet in the air. Sounds breathtaking.
Mr. Winter (fixing Kittridge with an icy stare): Mr. Kittridge! Ever since you've arrived here, all you've done is whine and complain. Now we are presented with a mission that may or may not be successful. It is imperative that my staff give total cooperation in this matter. In other words, Mr. Kittridge... (leaning forward and speaking softly) you can either shit or get off the pot.
Kittridge sheepishly raises his hand.
Kittridge: Aww, well... You guys probably need my expertise anyway.
Glory: And I'm sure we're all dying to know what that is. (brief pause) C'mon, Sparky... Let's roll!
Buffy slides her arm through the Skipster's.
Buffy: Wow! A real adventure! This is gonna be so much fun!
Slate: Just give me a few minutes to round up some stuff we may need...
TO BE CONTINUED...