Season 2, Episode 1: Anaconda, Montana

Audible scuffling and some sort of fighting. Children in the background/playground noises.

DERRICK THE BULLY: Hey, you. Yeah you… give me your backpack.

YOUNG DMITRI: Derrick, not today.

DERRICK THE BULLY: Are you talking back to me, nerd? Don’t make me come over there. I’ll punch your lights out.

YOUNG DMITRI: No… please don’t… my mom just gave it to me for Christmas. Can’t you just use yours? This one’s got my name embroidered on it… you don’t want it…

DERRICK THE BULLY: Did I ask for your life story, nerd? Give me the bag or else.

YOUNG DMITRI: Okay, okay. Here it is. Take the stupid backpack. Are you happy? Now, just leave me alone. 

DERRICK THE BULLY: Where’s the money?

YOUNG DMITRI: What money?

DERRICK THE BULLY: Your lunch money, stupid. Why isn’t there any lunch money in your bag? Where’d you hide it? 

YOUNG REBECCA: Cut it out! Leave Dmitri alone! 

DERRICK THE BULLY: [Mocking tone] Ohhh, is that your girlfriend? You’re going to get your girlfriend to tell me to stop? What are you going to do, Rebecca? Cry until a teacher comes and tells me to be nice? Tell them that I hurt your feelings? Little baby is sad because your boyfriend lost his backpack. Wah, wah.

YOUNG REBECCA: I’m not joking, Derrick. Leave him alone.

DERRICK THE BULLY: You can’t tell me what to do. 

YOUNG REBECCA: Back off, Derrick, I mean it. He didn’t do anything to you.

DERRICK THE BULLY: He did something when he didn’t give me his money. What are you gonna do? Stop me? Are you actually gonna hit me?   

YOUNG REBECCA: Alright, but you asked for it.

Intro Music

NARRATOR: You’re listening to Husk.

KATHY: Rebecca, you really shouldn’t have punched that boy. Getting into fights is really serious. He could have gotten hurt and you could have been expelled. Is that what you want? You want to get expelled from school? That’d go on your permanent record and you’d have to live with it forever. Who’s going to hire you if you get expelled for punching another kid? This suspension is bad enough. You can’t just go around punching people. Who told you that’s okay?  

YOUNG REBECCA: I’m sorry, Mom, I just… I just… well, he was gonna beat up Dmitri. I had to stop him.

KATHY: Next time use your words. I am so embarrassed. You’re grounded for the next two weeks. No tv. No movies. No computer. Nothing. You got that?

YOUNG REBECCA: Two whole weeks!? That’s like half a month! I’m going to miss everything! That seems like forever!

KATHY: Don’t stick your tongue out at me, young lady. You should have thought about the consequences before you hit one of your classmates. Suspended for three days… I can’t believe it. Just wait until your father hears about this. He’s going to be so upset. We taught you better than this. And Dmitri, I’m going to have to tell your mother all about this too. She’s not going to be happy when she hears that her son was involved in a fight today. I am so disappointed in both of you. You know both know better.

YOUNG DMITRI: [Sniffles] I’m sorry. He took my backpack! Rebecca was just trying to help me. She would have never started it otherwise. He was beating me up and she wanted him to stop. It’s all my fault.   

KATHY: Well, I hope that you both learned your lesson. I don’t ever want to get a call like that from your school ever again. This is your one free pass, you got that?

REBECCA VO: That was the way things have always been. We’ve always stuck up for one another even if it meant getting into stupid playground fights. Dumb stuff. Whether it worked or not, it’s nice to always have someone in your corner when things get rough.

That’s why I have to drive to Anaconda, Montana. I’m still that little girl who’d punch Derrick over stealing Dmitri’s backpack. Dmitri’s still the little boy who’d take the blame for a fight that he didn’t even throw a punch in. We get each other, and that’s worth breaking the committing crimes for.

Car rumble

REBECCA VO: Anaconda, Montana… Anaconda, Montana… I never thought that I’d be hurling down I-90 in the snow towards Anaconda, Montana. It’s barely even on the map. Not that anyone uses a physical map anymore, so it doesn’t matter. Map or no, though, this is worth it. Dmitri is alive and waiting for me. Just a few hours away. I just need to make it down the interstate before the police figure out where I’m going and send someone after me. Probably saw me at that gas station. Maybe a few other cameras along the road as well. I wish I’d at least covered my plates or something. Oh well, can’t change that now. Just have to keep moving forward.   

My mom and dad are gonna be awake by now. They’ll see the pork chop on the counter, my phone in my room, and they’ll know that something is up. Or the cops will have come by to talk to them. I don’t know how any of this works, but I’ve watched enough crime shows to know that I’ve thoroughly screwed myself over and that this is the part where I’d be binging ice cream and yelling at the criminal to cover their tracks a little bit more effectively.   

The car starts beeping/indicating that the check engine light is on. 

REBECCA: Oh shit. Check engine light and some other light... flashing. Okay… that’s fine. This will be fine.  

Classic White Russian move. Stops working right at the top of a snowy hill in Idaho. Never just stops in a nice residential neighborhood with a friendly repair shop nearby. No, that would be too easy. This vehicle demands a challenge. [Continued beeping] Okay, okay. I get it. I’m pulling over. Hold your horses.  

Registration, tampons, granola bar, gas station receipts... CAR MANUAL. Okay. Check engine light… not flashing. The other light… Okay, sure… that’s a thing. Good to know, good to know. Okay… let’s just um… open it up and see if anything seems weird? That’s what you do, right? Take the bull by the horns and fix it from the inside out. Hmmmmm…

Car pulling up beside her and a window rolling down. 

STRANGER: Hey there, you doing okay out there? 

REBECCA: Oh, um… a light went on in my car and I’m just trying to figure out what it is. Should just just be one of these tube-y things?

STRANGER: I’ll tell you what, I’ll pull over and help you check it out. I used to be a mechanic. We’ll get you up and running in no time. Don’t want you caught on top of a hill like this in the dark. The visibility around here isn’t the best, especially in all of this snow.  

REBECCA: Thanks so much. My car can be temperamental. [Mumbles to self] Oh shit. This is how I die. Be cool. Don’t get Bundy’d.

STRANGER: What’s that you’re saying?

REBECCA: Oh nothing, just glad someone stopped to help.

STRANGER: No problem. Sucks to be broken down with this much snow on the ground. Winter’s no joke around here. I’ve lived around these parts since ‘95 and this is one of the worst winters I’ve ever seen. Something about a polar vortex and global warming. I’m no weather man, but I do know that it’s damn cold out.  

Plus, this hill’s pretty steep. Don’t want to slide down this thing. You’d go crashing off the edge and who knows how long it’d take to find you. At least ‘til the spring thaw. I’ve seen it happen a couple of times before. Not a pretty sight. Not a pretty sight at all. Frozen bodies, the whole bit.

REBECCA: Oh yeah, wouldn’t want that… next time I’m choosing somewhere tropical to drive. This is a bit much for me… [laughs nervously]

STRANGER: Hmm, the tubes are looking alright. Sometimes spiders make little nests in there and it causes the light to go on, but that’s not the case here…

REBECCA: Spiders? Seriously?

STRANGER: Where are you from?

REBECCAL Um… Oregon?

REBECCA VO: He walks around to the other side of the car, checking it over. I feel judged. He pops his head up at me over the top of the car.

STRANGER: Oh, right, the license plate’s a dead giveaway. Wait, you don’t pump your own gas in Oregon, do you?

REBECCA: No… why?

STRANGER: Let me check your gas cap… now let’s see here… sometimes... oh, yep. That’s it. You have to turn it on until it clicks. You hear that?

[Click]

CLICK. Make sure you hear that sound when you close the cap. Got it?

REBECCA: Thanks for your help.

STRANGER: Let’s make sure that was it. Why don’t you start the car and check the light?

Slight sounds of the guy fumbling a little bit with the gas cap as Rebecca turns on the car.

REBECCA: Looks like we’re good. Thanks so much for your help.

STRANGER: No worries. Happy to help. I’ve been stuck on the side of the road plenty of times. Just pass it forward some day. Safe travels.

REBECCA: You too!

Car pulls away

REBECCA VO: Okay, so that was a serial murderer situation waiting to happen. Let’s just hope that the White Russian holds out until Anaconda. I don’t want to try my luck with random murder-y dudes in the dark again. Not a good look. Just gonna put on some tunes and keep my eyes on the road.

Sounds of Rebecca flipping through different radio channels.

RADIO VOICE: You can just say it as it is. The whole parish has had their say in the matter. Bogus claims.  

REBECCA: Oh Bayou Beast is on. I haven’t heard this one is a while.

RADIO VOICE: Go and check the records. I been down to the station plenty to clear things up. They just needed somethin' to chatter about. Waggalin' their gums at each other. The people love their gossip as much as they love Jesus. There’s a sayin’ round here: Keep no light in your attic, so you got somewhere to hide your secrets. And the folks in this area all got big dark attics.

And that’s fine and all, until some racoon comes clawin’ through ya roof come breedin’ season. Lookin’ for a place to nest. That wild animal’s gon’ set your secrets loose.

SEAN’S VOICE: What’s cooler than listening to Husk? Listening to it a week early and then walking around and having a secret that no one else knows about. Become a patron at patreon.com/abiglobal or go to our website at huskpodcast.com and click on the word “donate” in the upper right hand corner. Every bit of support counts. Plus, then you can walk around with that secret smile. Everyone will want to know.

Phone ringing.

MARTIN: Hello?

GINA: Hi. Is this Martin Dale?

MARTIN: Speaking. Are you aware that it’s 6 in the morning right now? You don’t call people at 6 in the morning. WHO IS THIS?

GINA: Sorry. Good morning. This is Officer Gina Sorenson with the Portland Police Bureau. Do you know where your daughter Rebecca is at the moment? It’s urgent.

MARTIN: I’m not sure at the moment, but I’m guessing she’s probably in bed. Again, let me remind you that it’s 6 in the morning on a Saturday when most people are asleep. You don’t just call people like that. What is this about?

GINA: Rebecca was involved in an incident last night and fled the scene of a shooting at Faraday Lake. Officer Morrison, the chief of police, was wounded and taken to the hospital. We don’t know if Rebecca was the one who shot him, but well, she fled before we could question her. We have a ballistics team working at the scene now, but need to talk to her immediately.

MARTIN: Are you crazy?

GINA: Sir, Please.

MARTIN: Faraday Lake, that’s where the investigation is going on for Dmitri... Why would she be there? You’re sure you’re talking about my Rebecca? Rebecca Dale? This doesn’t sound like her. She doesn’t get involved in this kind of thing.  

GINA: We’re talking about your Rebecca, sir. Officer Warren and several others have placed her at the scene at the time of the shooting. We’re just trying to gather facts at this point. We don’t know what she did or didn’t do. We do know that she fled in her car, so we’ve put out an APB for her and are working on a few leads. We have security footage of her at a gas station in Troutdale yesterday evening. She stops for a few minutes, fills up her tank, makes a purchase in the convenience store. Paid in cash and the trail goes cold after that. We’re working with the Troutdale Police Department and a few other jurisdictions to track her down. Do you have any idea where she might be going? Any relatives out that way she might be trying to get to? Anything that could point us in the right direction?

MARTIN: Capture? I’m sorry, officer, I had no idea she was even gone. I have no idea where she’d be going or who she’d be with, but I’ll let you know if she comes home. Let me call her. Jesus, you don’t need to capture her. I’m sure this is all a huge misunderstanding. She probably didn’t even know what was going on and just got scared. You all been hounding her for weeks about her best friend’s disappearance. You’ve got to expect her to be a little jumpy, right? Imagine being in her position.

GINA: I sure hope so. We take any kind of gun violence very seriously at the bureau and her disappearance does unfortunately make her a suspect, especially given her interest in the Ivanovic investigation. Scared or not. You call me if you hear anything from her, alright? Believe me sir, I want to clear her name just as much as you do, but she’s making it really difficult to do anything.

MARTIN: You got it.

Phone hangs up. Musical interlude.

MARTIN: Oh, Rebecca. What did you go and do that for? Now you’re really in some big trouble…

KATHY: [Yawning]  Who was that on the phone so early in the morning?

MARTIN: Officer Sorenson of the Portland Police Bureau.

KATHY: Oh, that nice lady police officer that’s been helping on Dmitri’s case? She’s so kind. Does she have any updates about the case ? I bet she heard something and called us right away to give the good news.

MARTIN: It was about Rebecca - she said that…

KATHY:  Oh, they cleared her, didn’t they? That’s great news! I knew that they would. Let’s make a celebratory breakfast. I got waffle mix on special at the store the other day and we could add some blueberries… I think we have a few in the fridge… I’m so glad that they finally got their heads on straight.

MARTIN: No, Kathy, no. She went back to Faraday Lake last night. The police officers found her there and one of them got shot.

KATHY: Shot?

MARTIN: Officer Morrison, remember him?

KATHY: Oh no, that’s terrible.

MARTIN: The officer on the phone thinks Rebecca may have shot him. That Rebecca shot someone. Shot someone.

KATHY: Rebecca? Are you hearing yourself right now? Of course not. She’s never even used a gun. Not even a squirt gun. Seriously, sometimes it’s like you don’t know our daughter. I’m sure she was just at the wrong place in the wrong time.

MARTIN: I don’t think you understand. She returned to the scene of Dmitri’s disappearance in the middle of the night and someone ended up getting shot. That’s suspicious, Kathy. Really suspicious. We are going to need a damn good lawyer. It’s going to be that much harder to clear her now. I’m glad that the gun wasn’t hers though. They said that she fled after the shooting and they saw her at a gas station in Troutdale filling up her car and buying snacks. How are we supposed to argue against video evidence? We’re screwed. 

KATHY: Oh no, no, no. Rebecca… this is bad, isn’t it?

MARTIN: Really bad. Who knows if she went over state lines already. I hate to ask, but do you know where she’d be headed? Not to tell the police or anything but I need to know to know so that we can find her before the police do. Honey. Where would she go?

KATHY: I have no clue.

[Kathy sees the uneaten pork chop]

Oh no.

MARTIN: Oh no, what?

KATHY: She never got to eat that pork chop that I left out for her and it stayed out overnight.

MARTIN: Uh, I think we have bigger things to deal with than a pork chop right now.

KATHY: Yes, but she was excited for pork chops. She knew that last night was pork chop night. I wrote it on the calendar and everything. Maybe she wouldn’t have gone and done that had she remembered that last night was pork chop night.   

MARTIN: Let’s focus. Our daughter is a wanted fugitive suspected of a friend’s disappearance and the shooting of a police officer. We need to figure out where she is. I’m going to go check her room. Just let me know if you think of anything. This is… serious, Kathy. Don’t check out on me here.

KATHY: Of course. You’re right. I’ll focus.

Sounds of Martin walking up the stairs and opening a door.

MARTIN VO:  I’m in disbelief. How could she be implicated in something like this? How can there be a misunderstanding this severe? How could she think going back there was a good idea? Sometimes I wonder about her.

I go upstairs to her room and cross my fingers she’s in her bed. She’s not. I sit down at her desk and see her phone there. That’s unlike her. Not a good sign. Her computer’s still on. There’s a tab open to Google maps. Damn, she must have been in a hurry to leave this open. I print out a screenshot. Oh, this is bad. Oh my god, this is really, really bad.

KATHY: [From downstairs] Did you find anything?

MARTIN: Yeah, but you’re not going to like it.

MARTIN VO: I go downstairs and check for the envelope behind the bookcase. Kathy is pacing in the kitchen drinking tea out of a huge mug. I can’t tell if she’s registering anything that I’m saying or if she’s just checked out at this point. Couldn’t blame her either way.

Walking steps downstairs

MARTIN: Yep. Just like I thought. She took the money stash too. Kathy, I think Rebecca’s on her way to Anaconda.

KATHY: No. Don’t say that. Please don’t say that. After all this time, I thought that was behind us. Why would she be headed there? What does she know?

MARTIN: I printed this off from her computer. I think she must know something about my days at ABI.

KATHY: I told you to keep your work at work. Never in this house. We are done with ABI and done with their science. Why would she head there anyway? Do you think she’s just at her wits end and headed to the first place she heard about at the dinner table growing up? Maybe she’s in danger? Should we call Olga? Maybe Olga knows what’s going on. 

MARTIN: [Interjects quickly] Don’t. Don’t call Olga. We need to be very careful. If I’m right, all of this may be connected to Dmitri and ABI. We can’t risk tipping off Olga. She’d tell the police in a heartbeat and that would put Rebecca at risk. Dmitri too. You’re just going to have to trust me on this one. Let’s just keep this between ourselves for the time being.

KATHY: Martin, you didn’t… I know you used company resources to help him but I never thought that it’d haunt us for the next 20 years. 

MARTIN: I had to. It was the only way to help him. You told Olga what kind of work I did. At the same time… when they discovered what he was…

KATHY: He was what, Martin? A child? A sick child in need of help? 

MARTIN: [In frustration] No. He’s half Husk. 

KATHY: Half Husk? What does that even mean?

MARTIN: I never really went into it, but my work at ABI revolved around the Husk, a race very similar to ours with advanced gene therapy technology. They’ve been visiting earth for a long time, carefully avoiding detection. And Dmitri is half Husk.

KATHY: Half? Meaning his father was one of these?  [Kathy laughs] Oh Martin, please! A little too much time in the lab!

MARTIN: Kathy. Isadora. Dale. Listen to me, please! Yes. So, when Dmitri got sick, I was able to utilize some of our research to make him better. I was just trying to help. But that type of stuff comes at a cost.

KATHY: Oh no, no, no, no, Martin. What did you do?

MARTIN: I tried to keep him away from her after we found out. But Deborah was hellbent on monitoring him after. You have to understand that I had no choice but to let her keep tabs on Dmitri after. I would’ve lost my job or worse. My hands were tied.

KATHY: And you’re just telling me now?

MARTIN: I’m sorry… I’m so sorry. What was I supposed to say?

KATHY: I can’t even look at you right now. How could you do that to Dmitri? How could you lie to me about what you were up to for so many years? Who are you?

MARTIN: I’ll fix it, Kathy, I promise, I’ll fix it. If Rebecca is headed that way, she probably knows about the research somehow, or at least has a vague idea. I’m going to go and I’m going to get this sorted out.

KATHY: Sorted out? Sorted out? Martin. You bring my daughter home. You bring Dmitri home. You make all of this go away. Do you understand? You’d better, Martin. You’d really better. We could lose both Rebecca and Dmitri in this and, if we lose them, you can count on me being gone too.

MARTIN: I promise that I won’t let that happen.

KATHY: Show me. Don’t tell me. You started this. You finish it. And if you don’t finish it right...

MARTIN: Honey… don’t say that. I will.

House door. Car opens as Martin throws his duffle bag in. Car door closes and the engine starts up.

MARTIN VO: I never thought I’d have to make this drive again. 12 and a half hours east  and 8 years back to another time. Rebecca just please be okay when I get there. They’re going to narrow it down eventually… Please, you don’t know what they’re capable of, let me find you first.

End Credits. Radio fuzz into a song.

NARRATOR: Husk is created and produced by Emma Brown & Sean Abplanalp. Associate producer Elliott Jacobson. For a full list of cast, go to our website at huskpodcast.com.

Corinne Sharlet song

NARRATOR: “Firing Line” is an unreleased track from Corinne Sharlet’s debut EP, set to be released this fall. Follow her to find out about shows and music releases at corinnesharletmusic.com. Don’t forget to go check out her awesome music on Instagram at Corinne.sharlet . That’s C-O-R-I-N-N-E dot S-H-A-R-L-E-T. Or on facebook: Corinne Sharlet Music. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a new episode.