(The screen turns white as the town of Somerset is drawn line by line on the screen)
This... is Somerset.
The familiar shot of Somerset Hospital opens the day's episode, as we fade in on the fourth floor. Victoria is at the desk answering phones.
VICTORIA: Mr. Hennessey, your test results just came back. Dr. Kurtz is waiting to talk to you... no, I can't look at the results without you coming in. Dr. Kurtz will have to take care of that... (pauses as Alana walks in) OK, we'll see you in a bit. Thanks.
As Victoria puts down the phone she smiles, obviously knowing what went on last night.
ALANA: I suppose word has gotten out all around the hospital?
VICTORIA: Alana, no one's really wondering what happened. I just know you went to meet Mike for a beer because people at Giovanni's were talking.
ALANA: Ohhh... (Buries her head in her hands and shakes her head) I'll never live this down. (Raises head and smiles) Other than that, things went all right. Come, I'll tell you all about it.
VICTORIA: Oooo, the inner sanctum once again? I'm glad I'm about to take my break.
ALANA: It's not juicy, but it's news at least... no pun intended.
VICTORIA: Oh, that was bad. Bad. (Laughs as she follows Alana to the nurses' lounge)
We directly cut away from the scene to the police station, where Lt. Garfield is at his desk looking over some police reports when Jack appears at the door.
JACK: (Raps the door) Knock knock, lieutenant. Is this a bad time or is it always a good time in Somerset these days?
SCOTT: (Looking up) Hey, Jack. This will give me a chance to put the paperwork down and talk a little business with the community. Have a seat.
JACK: Don't mind if I do. I saw you up at the bar with Mike last night but didn't get a chance to say hi.
SCOTT: I think I was keeping Mike company until his date for the night showed up.
JACK: Really? The good journalist is keeping company with a woman? Alert the media. (Laughs) Wait, that didn't come out quite right.
(Scott nods as the picture fades to black and the Somerset logo appears)
Somerset. Brought to you today by Gleem, the toothpaste for adults. Fights cavities and freshens adult bad breath.
Alana and Victoria are in the nurses' lounge as they sip a morning coffee and Alana changes into suitable nurses' attire.
VICTORIA: I didn't know if you were going to go over to Giovanni's last night or not.
ALANA: Well, considering I really didn't have that much to do... it was either that or read a few more chapters of Harry Potter...
VICTORIA: Deathly Hallows?
ALANA: Please. Not even finished with the second book yet. And DON'T tell me how it ends. (Sips coffee and sits down) Mike's a nice guy. I just don't know if I'm ready to dip a toe into the dating pool once again.
VICTORIA: You can't let the actions of one relationship slow you down forever, Alana.
ALANA: Oh, I know that. Nick knew it too.
This is the first on-screen mention that Alana's ex-boyfriend was Nick Barclay. As the music builds, we shift back to the police station as Jack and Scott are chatting about city matters.
JACK: I wanted to show you one building in particular that I'm interested in and you tell me if there's anything fishy going on over there.
SCOTT: (Looks at photo) The People's Building? That's one of Somerset's oldest buildings. Hasn't been used in years.
JACK: But it's avoided the wrecking ball. I'm afraid George Cleypool will get his hands on it and tear it down. That's why I'm interested so much in the property. It's a catalyst for what I want to do.
SCOTT: Care to share?
JACK: In due time, Scott. Due time. (Shakes his head) I'm still getting everything in order.
SCOTT: Jack, need I remind you... you've got Wagner fishing around wanting to get clues, you've got Nick tied in knots over this and he just took over city management of Somerset not too long ago...
JACK: Both Mike and Nick are aware of what's up. I haven't filled them in on the full story yet, but suffice to say they are very interested in hearing it.
SCOTT: Is there a history behind all of this?
JACK: More than you'll ever know, Lieutenant. (Smiles)
Scott takes it all in as the camera slowly focuses in on him and the picture fades to black)
We'll return to Somerset in just a moment.
Back at the police station, Scott and Jack are still going over city details, but the conversation is slowly turning in another direction.
JACK: Once I get everything in order, I intend to let the city know of my plans. Until then...
SCOTT: Aren't you afraid that Cleybank Corporation's acting behind the scenes?
JACK: I've got resources, Lieutenant. Well-placed friends. They're going to tell me if they spot anything fishy when it comes to his activities.
SCOTT: Then I think you've got the bases covered, my friend. Keep me posted.
JACK: I will. (Rises up to leave but stops) Oh, by the way... I did overhear last night that your favorite model is returning to Somerset?
SCOTT: Not you too, Jack Martin. (Shakes his head)
JACK: Relax. I won't give you a hard time about it.
SCOTT: For the record, Annabella and I have been friends for a while now. You know that.
JACK: I know. I also know Giovanni will be very happy to have two of his kids under one roof. Has Giovanni gotten any indication yet when Annabella's coming home?
SCOTT: In the next week or so. She's finishing up an assignment modeling cosmetics over in Rome. Ah, the glamorous life.
(The music builds as the action switches back to the hospital and Alana and Victoria are finishing up conversation)
ALANA: Tori, Nick and I dated for two years... it didn't end well.
VICTORIA: You guys are okay now.
ALANA: Yeah. Now. But at the time, we were accusing each other of wanting to put our careers ahead of our personal lives.
VICTORIA: (Smiling) And then you did.
ALANA: But only after I broke up with Nick. It wasn't easy, trust me.
VICTORIA: Nick adored you. He cared for you. He still does.
ALANA: We've been down this road before. (The two are leaving the nurses' lounge and heading back into the hospital area) Nick has told me it's going to take time for him to get involved again because he feels he screwed things up badly.
VICTORIA: And you?
ALANA: That's why I'm kind of holding Wagner at arm's length. I mean, I do like him, but I'm not ready to throw away a year or two only to find out things aren't going to work.
VICTORIA: You should give it a try. You really should... (she sees Zachary in the waiting area) give it a try.
Alana notices Victoria looking at Zachary and smiles to herself as if to say take your own advice. The picture fades to black and the credits roll.
Join us each weekday afternoon at this time for the continuing story of Somerset. And on most of these same computers, be sure to watch Salem Lives, when Roman remains missing and is nowhere to be found. Weekdays on SONBC. The preceding program was pre-recorded.