Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
Abigail sits next to Jerome, as they drive down the road toward the DiMera Tower. Abigail seems on edge, anticipating what could be on Nick's flash drive. Jerome senses Abby's tension and looks over at her, flashing a smile that helps comfort her.
JEROME: I will say this is nothing like any first date I've ever been on.
Abby laughs, looking over and smiling at Jerome as he oscillates his gaze between Abby and the road ahead.
ABBY: Yeah, it's...pretty unusual, I'll admit.
JEROME: Well, look, I'll help you however you need. Sounds like this is pretty important so...
ABBY: I think it is.
Abby looks down at the flash drive in her hand, she looks at it, curiously.
ABBY: I think whatever's on this drive...could change a lot of lives.
Nick sits confidently at the conference table in the Titan board room, sitting next to Percy. A small stack of letter-sized envelopes lay on the table in front of them, as he watches the other board members mill about, conversing solemnly in their seats.
Billie Reed, for one, is especially discomforted by Nick Fallon's relaxed air, knowing what the meeting has in store. She looks over at Kate, who looks unusually at ease, given the circumstance. Kate has her game face on, something her son, Lucas, does not share. He looks back at Billie, trying to hide his worry.
John Black walks in, a similarly solemn expression on his face, as he silently catches Billie's eye. She gives him a worried look, which John mirrors, as he sits down across from her and her family members at the table. He nods over to an equally-worried Justin, who sits next to him.
Eventually, realizing the entire board is present, Tyler finally calls the meeting to order.
TYLER: I, umm...I think we have everyone. So...let's call the meeting to order.
The board members settle in their seats, as Tyler looks around the room a moment, waiting to begin.
TYLER: We...ummm...we're calling the meeting today due to a series of rather...unfortunate events that have occurred in the preceding few days which are hitting our business rather hard.
Tyler takes a moment, looking over at Justin, then Nick, before turning back to the rest of the board, a certain sadness in his voice.
TYLER: Ah...(clears throat) first off, our CEO, Victor Kiriakis has unfortunately suffered a heart attack, and is currently in an induced coma at University Hospital while he recovers from surgery. In the meantime, Justin Kiriakis and myself are acting as interim co-CEOs, as per Victor's request, outlined on Page 4 of the presentations before all of you.
As Tyler speaks, Kate looks over, glaring at Nick, who winks back at her from across the conference table. Kate rolls her eyes at Nick's smug demeanour and cockiness. She leans over toward Lucas as he whispers snidely to her.
LUCAS: Imagine how good it would feel to smack that irritating smirk off Nick's face?
KATE: I know the feeling. But just remember how good it'll feel to watch him do it all by himself.
Lucas sighs, having doubts about Kate's strategy.
LUCAS: I hope to God you're right, Mom.
KATE: I always am.
Tyler carries on with his address to the board, ignoring Kate and Lucas' asides.
TYLER: Additionally, we've fended off an attack to our internal servers. As some of you may have heard. Last night, Nick Fallon prevented a complete and total destruction of our company's mainframe server, and cloud server, preventing the loss of millions of important documents and files, not to mention saving this company. I think we owe him a debt of gratitude.
Justin looks over at Nick, unsure if he shares Tyler's sentiment. Kate, Billie, and Lucas all look at each other, equally unimpressed. John stares ahead, giving his best poker face the entire time.
TYLER: I hear that Nick has a few words for us, and I would like to give him the opportunity to speak to you all. Without further ado, Nick Fallon.
Nick gets up immediately, confidently smiling at the board, who look on with a mix of indifference and, in some cases, dread.
NICK: Thank you. I have to say that...I appreciate all of your efforts. I thank each and every one of you for inviting me here today, and giving me the floor, even if it's just for a few moments. If you'd indulge me, I would like to use this moment to do something very unusual for someone in my position.
Kate looks over at Billie, resting her head on her hand as she leans on the armrest of her chair.
KATE: Here we go.
Nick looks around the room, and grabs the stack of envelopes from the conference table. He holds them tightly in his hands, as he smiles broadly, and speaks earnestly and professionally, looking each board member squarely in the eyes as he looks around the room from his place at the table.
NICK: I would like to put forth a motion. And before you respond to that motion...I would like to make my case for it. I think, once you hear everything I have to say...you'll find it all...extremely compelling.
Nick holds the envelopes in one hand, gently tapping them against his other hand as he carefully studies the faces of everyone in the room.
He smiles again before finally speaking.
NICK: I am proposing making a change. To appoint myself, with the close, guiding assistance of longtime professional, and trusted colleague, Tyler Houston, as new permanent CEO of Titan Industries.
The room stirs, incredulous at Nick's outrageous manoevre. Kate tries in vain to hold in her amusement at the spectacle Nick is making of himself, while Lucas and Billie look her way, more concerned.
Billie looks over at a frustrated Justin, looking his way with a defeated look.
Nick relishes the reaction he's getting. Looking around the room with his trademark smirk while watching everyone react.
Adrienne walks through Horton Town Square, shopping bags in hand as she races through to get back to her car.
ADRIENNE: Gotta get this home before the boys get back.
Stopping a moment before she leaves the square, Adrienne heads to the bench by Tom & Alice's tree, and lays her bags down, digging through her bag to find her car keys.
ADRIENNE: You can't get into your car with only mind power, Adrienne. They haven't invented that yet.
Finally digging her keys out, she grabs her bags and quickly turns to dart out of the square.
ADRIENNE: Got 'em.
As Adrienne turns, she runs immediately into a woman who's to her left. Not realizing who it is, Adrienne begins to apologize profusely before she stops dead in her tracks.
ADRIENNE: Oh my God, I'm so sorry, I...
Adrienne looks up, realizing the person standing before her is very familiar.
Anjelica flashes a quick smile, looking ever the professional as her insincerity drips out of every word she speaks.
ANJELICA: Well! Adrienne! Isn't it lovely bumping into each other like this?
Adrienne looks on at Anjelica, stunned and visibly displeased.
Abby unlocks the door to Nicole's office at WXIR, letting herself and Jerome in. Jerome turns on the light as Abby fumbles with her keys, trying to put them in her purse.
Closing the door behind them, Abby steps over to the computer and moves the mouse, waking the computer from its sleep. She plugs the flash drive in and waits impatiently, as she sits down in Nicole's office chair, Jerome standing over her.
ABBY: And now we wait.
Tyler stands up at the conference table, as the rest of the room still reacts to Nick's motion. Holding up his arms, Tyler attempts to calm the room down, calling out over the din.
TYLER: Excuse me, everybody! I need order, please.
After a moment the room quiets down again, prompting Tyler to continue.
TYLER: Look, I know what Mr. Fallon has suggested is...highly unorthodox...to say the least, but...well, let's hear him out.
Tyler finishes his sentence, a grave feeling in him that expresses itself plainly in his voice. Tyler sits down, clearly dreading what's to come, as Nick smiles and nods graciously at Tyler.
NICK: Thank you, Mr. Houston. So...I expected that...eruption. To put it mildly. However, I'm sure a lot of you don't know quite why this company is so important to me....and why this job is so important to me.
Nick steps out from behind the table, and begins to pace the room, starting by pacing behind the head of the table, where Tyler and Justin are seated beside him. Tyler refuses to turn to watch Nick, needing to stare straight ahead as Nick carries on. Justin looks around the room, while leaning his chair to ensure he can see Nick as well.
NICK: You see, a lot of why we're all here today is down to a very important project started by me many years ago. Titan's alternative fuels project, was patented by myself. Unfortunately, since being acquired by Titan, the project has laid dormant while all of you pour billions of dollars you do not have down the drain pursuing a fossil fuels project that will never see the light of day.
Nick stops behind Percy's seat at the table. He turns to look out at the room.
NICK: And why is that?
Nick puts his hands squarely on Percy's shoulders, causing Percy to startle slightly.
NICK: This man. Percy Ruggles. Surely you all remember Percy. The lone holdout of your plan to devastate the local agriculture and air quality in your attempts to filter tar from the ground by the Salem River?
Nick lets go of Percy's shoulders, holding his arms out to pose a question to the group.
NICK: Why do that when you have a completely workable project right here that is 100% sustainable? Why waste millions manipulating politicians to force people from their homes...when you have everything you need to supply every person in Salem with all the power and energy they need with my patent?
Nick laughs as the group remains dead silent. He nods, knowing they remain unmoved.
NICK: That's what I figured. Your egos don't want to believe you could be wrong about this. That you squandered all this potential because you wanted to own the rights to this and never use it. Just so you wouldn't have to deal with the threat. Well that ends today.
Justin, fed up of Nick's grandstanding, gets up from his seat and holds a hand up to Nick, trying to convince him to stop.
JUSTIN: Nick, that's enough! Now--
NICK: No! No, Justin. It's not.
Nick steps back away from Justin, laughing as headache begins anew. Nick's vision blurs as a piercing pain shoots through him once again, Nick stops a moment before continuing his response.
JUSTIN: Nick, are you okay?
NICK: I'm fine....woah, I am SO fine. Better than any of you will be in a few minutes. Believe me.
TYLER: Nick, I think we may have...had enough now.
Nick laughs as Tyler awkwardly tries to get Nick to stop his raving.
NICK: (laughs) You....(laughs) you are the last person who should be trying to get me to stop right now, Tyler. And you know it.
Nick breathes in, leaning over, and looking straight into Tyler's eyes with a crazed, laser-focused intensity.
NICK: Besides, the fun is just about to start.
Billie squirms as Nick gathers himself together and walks over to his seat at the conference table. He still holds the stack of envelopes, but also opens his laptop bag, pulling out a single manila envelope, which he drops in the middle of the table. The entire group remains stone silent as they watch Nick drop the envelope down.
NICK: You see, I have been keeping tight surveillance over eeeeevery one of you here at the Titan HQ these last few months....and you know what? You people are some pieces of work. Not a single honest thought or word between any of you. You know that?
Nick cackles as he points at the envelope in the middle of the table.
NICK: THIS....this is the fact sheet detailing every falsehood contained in your sham of a proposal for the EnerNext oil sands. Every half-truth, every outright lie, where it came from, and the money trail that led to it being printed, and propagated throughout the state, and beyond.
Nick looks around the room, feeling oh-so-satisfied as he surveys the ghost-white expressionless faces of the Titan board members.
NICK: And guess who has all this info? WXIR! The same station you geniuses were so damn ready to rid yourselves of so you could free up capital to invest in this big SCAM!
Nick smiles, seriously amused by the situation, as Justin looks over, trying not to panic, at an unsurprised Kate. John looks over at Billie, then back at Kate, still maintaining a poker face, but a tinge of concern is there if you look closer. Tyler looks down, unable to hide his worry.
As Nick's last words are spoken, we see Abby and Jerome at Nicole's computer, as the document from Nick's flash drive appears on the screen.
NICK: (voiceover) And very soon everyone in Salem, and beyond is going to know the truth about what you've all done.
The title appears in bold on the screen:
EnerNext & Titan: Fraudulent Arguments in Environmental Impact Study & Associated Payoffs
Abby draws herself up, stunned by the headline alone, as Jerome looks at the screen, knowing the impact this has on his and Sheryl's own aims.
ABBY: I think I need to call Nicole.
Abby grabs her phone from her purse and frantically makes a call to Jerome, as Jerome looks intensely at the screen, certain that he needs to read more, and now.