Welcome to the first of a few entries to start off the year for those of you who have been reading along and especially for those of you who haven't (so far). 2014 at my DAYS blog have seen a very exciting year (hopefully more exciting than on TV anyway), filled with intrigue and excitement.
This first entry for 2014 will be going over one of the central stories I've been working on for 2014, and will continue well into the new year. The saga of Titan and it's big oil partner, EnerNext.
EnerNext: The Corprate Saga Continues
Upon Nick Fallon's misadventures in the river in the Winter of 2013 at the hands of Gabi Hernandez, Kate Roberts, and Sami Brady, Nick was presumed dead. However, a nature-loving Brit by the name of Percy rescued Nick from a wet and icy death, taking him to his secluded cottage in the woods north of Salem, where Nick was able to recuperate, as well as plot his revenge against everyone who had wronged him.
Speaking with Percy at length during those long days in the cabin, Nick discovered a plan by a major energy company, EnerNext, to buy up all the land in the rural area north-west of Salem. The area was found to have a potentially lucrative fossil fuel deposit buried beneath it, mostly in hard-to-access tar sands in the soil. EnerNext needed to purchase Percy's many acres of land to commence their fracking operations. However, as Percy is an environmentalist, and avid owl-watcher, he could simply not sell his land, knowing the owls he found so fascinating would be driven away by the clear-cutting, and the extreme amount of pollution created by EnerNext's operation.
Nick grew sympathetic to Percy's problems, and, upon blackmailing Kate Roberts into rehiring him at Titan subsidiary MadWorld, promised to assist him in taking down EnerNext, if in exchange, Percy assisted him in taking down Nick's enemies. Luckily for both of them, they shared a few enemies in common.
After researching the situation, Nick decided to find an ally in the press to help him in his mission. He tracked down Nicole Walker, who worked as an investigative reporter for Titan TV. Nicole, desperate to get a foothold in the news business once again after her disasterous stint working for Eric Brady at St. Luke's, was initially repelled by the story of a local birdwatcher reticent to sell his land to a corporation. She was equally repelled at the thought of dealing with a convicted murderer and all-around sleaze like Nick. But the more she dug into the story, the more the story excited her. Here was a story that could really launch her career back on track. The only missing piece of the puzzle was: Who was pulling the strings to get the funding and the local backing for the project?
Nick did some digging, and uncovered the very convenient truth, that EnerNext was dealing very closely with a local firm, one that Nick could easily use to his and Percy's advantage: Titan. This was less convenient for Nicole, however. Confronting EnerNext's CEO at the company's press conference held at Horton Town Square. Her barrage of tough questions for Tyler Houston, EnerNext's CEO, ranged from the environmental impact of the fracking operations, to the perception of environmental racism by virtue of the much richer oil deposits near the more affluent east end of Salem. After several minutes of questioning, punctuated by a gathered crowd of hundreds of protesters, eagerly rooting for Nicole as she put Tyler on the hot seat, Tyler finally was rescued by a visibly angered Victor, who erupted from behind the temporary stage built for the conference. Tyler announced at that moment that Titan would be acquiring EnerNext's operation.
Nicole was stunned and angered, having put the fate of her career in jeopardy now that she realized that the very people she was fighting in this story were her own employers. Nicole confronted Nick about the revelation, realizing almost instantly that Nick knew that Titan and EnerNext were to merge, and didn't say anything to her about it, as it would inevitably lead to Nicole giving up the story. However, Nicole didn't realize that while she was making a fool of herself at the press conference, Nick was covering his bases, and broke into Nicole's office at Titan TV, attempting to steal back the information Nicole had collected about EnerNext during her investigation. What he came away with wasn't what he was looking for, but was much more beneficial to him.
Upon opening the folder, Nick discovered evidence that Nicole had withheld from Eric regarding the identity of the doctor that created the drug cocktail used by Kristen DiMera to rape then-Father Eric, as well as the makeup of the drug itself. When Nick confronted Nicole with the evidence, Nicole was forced to continue working on the story, consequences be damned. But Nick knew to keep everything under the radar, as he had another ace up his sleeve.
While digging for information, Nick stumbled upon Sheryl Connors, MadWorld's newest graphic designer, in a dark office with her friend Jordan Ridgeway. However, Nick recognized the two immediately as their true identities, Kaylie Matthews and Siobhan McKinnon: Environmental activists accused of blowing up a bank in Canada during the G8 Protests. Nick knew that they were both where they weren't supposed to be, and that they all had the same goal: bring down EnerNext and Titan. By threatening to out Sheryl and Jordan as their true identities, Nick secured their complicity in his plans.
However, none of them were aware that Kate Roberts was already a step or two ahead of them. With Kate insanely jealous of Jordan's budding relationship with Rafe Hernandez, Kate had hired a private investigator to find out any information he could about Jordan Ridgeway's past. But, after sneaking into Jordan's apartment and uncovering her collection of fake IDs, it took very little time to find out who Jordan really was.
Presenting the proof of Jordan's real identity to Roman Brady, Kate hoped to be rid of Jordan once and for all. Not so. Due to a legal loophole, Kaylie (Jordan) and Siobhan (Sheryl) had been acquited for the bank bombing in Canada. Roman knew that the two women were up to something, however, and agreed to help Kate find some answers before it was too late. Roman approached the ISA to bring Kate's daughter, ISA agent Billie Reed back to Salem, under the guise of working alongside her mother at MadWorld Cosmetics, all the while actually protecting her and helping her take down Sheryl and Jordan.
The next step in Nick's plan would be to break apart all the elements that would allow the fracking project to become a reality. Knowing that Titan TV was a crucial element in Titan/EnerNext's plan to make the community see the benefits of the oil sands project, essentially rendering Titan TV to little more than a source of corporate propaganda, Nick set about ensuring the TV station became an entity independant of Titan. Knowing that Victor's brazen dismissal of FCC regulations, and basic journalistic principles would not sit well with the Titan board, and also recognizing not only would it look better on Titan if they shed the money-losing TV operation, he set about influencing (read: blackmailing) the members of the board that he could control. Namely Kate.
Using what he knew of Kate's involvement in his attempted drowning, Kate is tasked with influencing the vote against Victor's plans to retain Titan TV, thus giving an independent voice to the news against the EnerNext oil sands project, allowing Nicole to continue investigating and reporting the potential dangers of allowing the project to come to fruition, and breaking apart the Titan empire piece by piece, all under the guise of saving Titan's shareholders money.
Who stands to gain from Titan's loss of their TV station? And who is giving Nick orders? None other than Stefano DiMera.
Are Nick's intentions simply to right past wrongs and save Percy's land from destruction at the hands of big oil? Or is there something much more sinister at work?
Please feel free to comment and to ask questions. And thanks all of you who read my Days of Our Lives every week! Happy 2015!