Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks & C. Nathaniel Richardson
At Titan HQ, Victor and Tyler approach the closed doors of the Titan board room. Victor motions to Tyler to stop before entering.
VICTOR: Now. Remember what we planned. This has to go down properly.
TYLER: Victor, as long as you have Kate and her kids on board, it tips the balance.
VICTOR: That's true. And having my vote plus Brady's proxy vote will make all the difference. If we lose the TV station, we are never going to get the public support for the fracking operation. We need that station, dammit. Nothing, and I mean nothing can go wrong today.
Hope knocks on the door of the MadWorld lab, seeing Nick closing up his briefcase. Nick, hearing the knock, looks up and smiles, seeing his cousin.
NICK: Hope! What a great surprise. How are you?
Nick walks over and gives Hope a big hug.
HOPE: Good to see you. Got time for lunch?
NICK: You know, I was just about to head out for lunch. I just gotta stop off at my place quickly for a sec, do you mind tagging along?
HOPE: No, no. No problem at all.
NICK: Great. Uh...give me one sec. I just gotta run to the bathroom and we can go, okay?
HOPE: Sure! I'll just wait here.
Nick steps out of the lab, leading Hope to immediately begin casually snooping around. A bottle on one of the shelves catches Hope's eye, and she reaches up to grab it.
Will steps into his living room, where Sonny is prepping lunch. Will smiles as he walks over to his fiancee and kisses him quickly on the lips.
SONNY: Hey. How's Ari?
WILL: Oh, I just laid her down to sleep, so she'll be out for awhile.Gabi's gone to run some errands. Which is perfect because I need to share some news with you.
WILL: Yeah...well...you know how your uncle Vic is involved in this whole...EnerNext business?
Sonny looks at Will with an almost suspect look in his eyes, trying to figure out where he's going with this.
SONNY: Yes. And you also know how I feel about that project.
WILL: Well, that's it. I know you're dead set against it because of the environmental damage and the pollution it could cause--
SONNY: ...Will cause, Will. Not to mention, don't you think it's really convenient that they're planning to do all this fracking right near the poorest section of Salem?
WILL: I know, but...you know, this could be good for people in those areas too, no? I mean...the jobs that that could create--
SONNY: ...Will. They will be spending all that money in health care. The pollution...Salem would be completely inhospitable if they go ahead with this fracking operation.
WILL: Oh come on. Lots of places do this, and they're just fine.
Sonny pauses and looks at Will with confusion.
SONNY: Will, why are you so defensive of Uncle Vic's fracking project. What's going on?
Hope grabs a pill bottle from the shelf and opens it.
Hope puts it back on the shelf, not sure if she should be thrilled or disappointed. She keeps looking before hearing the door swing open, and Hope jumps back into an awkward waiting pose as Nick walks in.
HOPE: Yeah! Let's go!
Hope looks back into the lab, trying to think of any other place Nick could have hid any pills before they walk out, and Nick closes the door.
Will stumbles over his words, trying to formulate the best way to tell Sonny the truth. Sonny pours himself a glass of juice and takes a drink as Will explains himself.
WILL: Well...see, I ran into Aunt Maggie yesterday, right?
SONNY: (through his drink) Mmhmm.
WILL: And, well, I had written an article that I'd had published on a blog. I showed you that article, yeah?
Sonny nods as he sits down on the sofa next to Will.
SONNY: Yeah, I know which one. That was a really good article.
Will smiles, still flattered by his husband's praise, even if it's almost expected of Sonny.
WILL: Thank you. Well, Aunt Maggie liked it too, and the next thing I know, I get this call from this man, Tyler Houston.
Sonny's expression changes immediately when Sonny hears the name. Will pulls out the contract Tyler handed him from his bag and shows it to Sonny.
SONNY: Oh no, not...
WILL: And...Sonny, he liked my work so much that...offered me a job. A good job, I'd be the one writing all public relations releases for EnerNext.
SONNY: Oh no, NO way.
Will is taken aback by Sonny's visceral refusal.
Victor opens the doors to the board room to find a room filled with executives from various divisions of the corporation, including Kate, Billie, Lucas, and Justin. Tyler walks in alongside Victor, and the two prepare to sit down at the head of the table.
VICTOR: Good afternoon, everyone. I trust we will be able to settle this with some expediency, as my grandson's so-called memorial service will be held later this afternoon.
Kate looks over to Lucas, hiding her mouth with her one hand as she whipsers to him.
KATE: Poor old fool still thinks there's a chance that boy's alive.
LUCAS: Well, he's right. There's no body.
KATE: That means nothing, it's all just an attempt to keep the votes in his favour and you know it.
Victor continues to speak, grabbing an envelope from Tyler as he continues his announcement to the room.
VICTOR: Now on that note, as we have no actual confirmation of Brady's untimely demise, I move to have his place on the board retained until such time as there is an official death certificate issued by the coroner's office.
BILLIE: Well, Victor, that could take months!
VICTOR: I'm well aware of that. I'm not jumping the gun on this. Brady is family, and I'm not giving up on him, unlike some of his so-called friends in this damn town. So on that note, and in the absence of his father, I will act as Brady's proxy on today's vote.
Kate rolls her eyes and looks to Lucas again.
KATE: Told you.
LUCAS: But will that give him enough votes to win?
KATE: Not sure, there's a couple wild cards. But I will say this, if Victor does get his way, start looking for a new job. Fast.
Victor opens his briefcase, pulling out paper packages which he begins handing out to the members of the board gathered around the table. Once the paperwork is handed out, Victor continues.
VICTOR: Now, the matter at hand today is a motion put forth by one of our board members, one that I am fundamentally opposed to, I might add. It is, as a costcutting matter, whether or not to shed our television operations. I need not explain to you the service our TV station will provide us in the fight against the loopy treehuggers who want to shut EnerNext down. If we shut down the TV station and sell it off, sure it will save us some money. However, if we don't get this fracking operation on the right side of public opinion, this company will be in very real danger of brankruptcy, and we can't let that happen.
Tyler steps in at this point, continuing Victor's statement.
TYLER: Now, I would like to have the board member who put forth the motion to have their say. Justin?
Justin Kiriakis stands, buttoning his suit jacket button as he begins. He begins with a bit of trepidation, but picks up steam quickly, as his lawyer instincts kick in.
JUSTIN: Ahh yes. Thank you, Tyler. Now, as I am legal counsel for Titan, and, by extension, EnerNext, I have brought forth this motion to prevent any possible...concerns we may have down the road, particularly with regards to any potential anti-trust lawsuits, as well as a particularly glaring conflict of interest between Titan TV and its reporting on the EnerNext deal.
Kate leans over once again, to Billie this time, and whispers her rolling commentary yet again.
KATE: Uh oh. Dear old Uncle Vic's gonna have some choice words for little Justin.
Billie looks at her mom with a smile, trying not to laugh.
BILLIE: (whispering) Mom, stop!
KATE: (whispering) Well, it's true! If I'd done something like this, Victor would've had me hung.
Justin tries to ignore Kate and Billie, barely giving the faintest of eye rolls as he continues to make his case to the board.
JUSTIN: While I am fully in support of the EnerNext proposal, I...do think we would be better off long term avoiding possible FCC fines, that could be in the region of tens of millions of dollars, if not more. The revenue from the EnerNext deal may not be enough to offset the potential disastrous effects of the FCC fines, and we may end up in an even worse situation than we're in already. Thank you.
The board members flip contientiously through the handouts provided, and there is a bit of a pause between the end of Justin's speech and when Victor rises back up from his seat at the head of the board room table to finish up.
VICTOR: Thank you, Justin. Now, with that, I would like to quickly ask if there are any concerns or questions from the board before we vote.
Victor takes a quick pause, looking around the room, as do all the other board members, eager to see what the others in the room have to say. When no one speaks up, Victor continues.
VICTOR: Very well. In that case. We will commence voting. If in favour of retaining Titan TV, vote Aye. If you're in favour of divestment, vote nay. Tyler Houston.
VICTOR: Nelson Hamilton.
VICTOR: Justin Kiriakis.
Victor looks at his nephew with a look of disappointment, as the vote continues to the next board member.
VICTOR: Michael Browning.
VICTOR: Billie Reed.
Billie breathes in deeply before responding.
Victor's expression changes immediately, as he looks Billie's way, shooting daggers from his eyes. He continues the voting, with a much more bitter tone in his voice.
VICTOR: Lucas Horton.
Lucas responds, never taking his eyes off his mother.
Victor looks at Lucas and Kate, noticing the communication happening between them just with their eyes. Lucas almost mouths to his mother.
LUCAS: I hope you know what you're doing.
Kate nods her response to Lucas, before the inevitable. Victor almost spits out Kate's name.
VICTOR: Kate Roberts.
Kate turns her glare the way of Victor, and, staring him down as if facing the devil himself, responds cooly.
Victor holds his stareat Kate for a moment before looking back out to the board room before him.
VICTOR: Victor Kiriakis. Yay. And naturally, as John nor Brady is present, I will be voting for Brady by proxy, and I--
The moment these words escape Victor's lips, the board's attention is pulled away suddenly by the board room doors opening. Victor and Tyler quickly turn around, shocked by the abrupt noise behind them.
Before them, John stands in the now-open doorway, nodding his greeting to the room, with a cool confidence.
JOHN: Sorry, I'm late, everyone.
Victor looks at John with a stoic look, but dread lingers behind his eyes.