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Business at Dinner
(Five people sit around a table for dinner, chatting amongst each other in a polite manner. At the head of the table sits James Moriarty, millionaire philanthropist and business mogul. He nervously fiddles with the wine glass in front of him. To his right sits, Sean Connery, a recently retired member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He makes small talk with Kevin Bacon, executive manager of a relatively successful investment firm, who sits across the table. The other two seats are occupied by Sandy Waters, celebrity and activist, and Martha DuPont-Moriarty, James’ ex-wife and co-owner of Moriarty industries. The odd bunch, who’s only real connection, is business dealings with Mr. Moriarty is rather awkward, filling the air with small talk and the occasional sounds of silverware clattering against plates. Moriarty raised his glass)
James: A toast.
(The others join him in raising their glasses)
James: To good business.
(The others look around at one another awkwardly, but before they can sip from their glasses, the room goes black. A general surprise and gasp fills the black space. Then suddenly, a gunshot rings out, which is met with even more alarm. Slowly the lights flicker back on. All eyes are on James who is now slumped over, blood dripping from his shirt. In the middle of the table sits a smoking gun, fresh from the shot)
Kevin: Good lord! Is he…
Sean: Dead? It would appear so. Maybe he has a pulse!
(Sean rushes over to Moriarty, feeling for a pulse in his neck and arm)
Sean: He’s dead.
(Martha lets out a horrified gasp, collapsing to the floor)
Kevin: Oh dear!
(He rushes over to Martha’s side; however he is cut off by Sean mid stride)
Sean: Don’t touch her! Don’t go anywhere near her.
(Kevin steps back surprised, then turns red with rage)
Kevin: Surely you don’t believe I had anything to do with this atrocity! I never.
Sean: I not ruling anybody out. Somebody shot Moriarty, and I don’t see anyone but us in this room.
(Kevin shoots Sean a dirty look, then resolves to sit down in his chair, putting his face into his palms. Sean opens up his phone in an attempt to call the police, however, he is met with a dead screen; no signal available)
Sean: Damn, no signal. I can’t exactly leave to get the police either, not while I’ve got the suspects gathered.
Kevin: How dare you accuse me!? How do we know you didn’t murder him? You certainly had the motive for it!
Sean: What are you blabbering about?
Kevin: James was the reason you lost your job! Pulled a few strings with the bureau after you started looking into his business practices. I heard all about it. What’s to say that you didn’t kill him for revenge? Some sort of sick twisted karma!
Sean: Karma? Hah. I still had him by the throat with those inconsistences. Even if he did get me fired, I still had the power to expose him to the world. I figured he invited me here tonight to pay me off or something. Killing him would just be ridiculous. Plus this whole fiasco is sloppy, has amateur written all over it. Someone unfamiliar with guns and killing. Someone like you.
(Kevin stands from his chair in a rage)
Kevin: WHAT REASON WOULD I HAVE TO KILL JAMES!?
(Sandy, coming forward, breaking away from her dazed shock began to speak softly)
Sandy: He was liquidating your company…I heard him tell somebody on the phone when I first arrived. He was going to sell it off for the money.
Sean: Sounds like motive enough for me.
(Kevin in a panic, takes steps away from the table)
Kevin: AND WHAT OF YOU!?
(He points at Sandy accusingly)
Kevin: Mrs. Eco-Warrior! Surely you must’ve been outraged by Moriarty’s other practices as well! All those innocent animals forced from their forests!
(Sandy expression becomes fierce)
Sandy: Shut up.
Sean: That’s right…and those arrests for eco-terrorism.
Sandy: Shut up!
Kevin: It was you wasn’t it!? Wasn’t it!?
Sandy: SHUT UP!!!
(Sandy lunges at Kevin, attacking him as he falls over in surprise. She stands quickly before Sean can stop her, and grabs the gun off the table. She aims it at Kevin and Sean. Kevin stands slowly.)
Sean: Let’s just stay calm…we can work all this out.
Sandy: I didn’t kill him.
Sean: I’m sure you didn’t, but let’s just put the gun down…
(Kevin begins to step slowly backwards. Quickly her turns and runs for the door. Sandy pulls the trigger, shooting Kevin who falls to the ground dead. Sean lunges at Sandy. A fight ensues over the gun. A shot rings out. Sandy slowly falls to the ground dead. Sean rushes to Kevin’s body to check for signs of life, dropping the gun on the ground. At this moment, Martha awakens from her feint. She slowly sits up, seeing the deady bodies littering the floor and the man hunched over the corpse of Kevin. Slowly she reaches for the gun, picking it up and aiming it at the figure. She fires. Sean drops to the ground, dead. She stands quickly, almost falling over she catches herself on the table. She looks at James’s hunched body and begins to cry. She grabs the glass of wine and begins to drink. Her legs begin to tingle and suddenly give out beneath her. She can’t move, she is paralyzed on the floor)
Martha: What’s happening to me!?
James: The serum is quite fast acting actually.
(Her eyes lock on the source of the voice. Slowly the slumped man at the table begins to stand, brushing off his shirt. He makes his way to the gun lying on the ground next to Martha, puts on gloves and picks the weapon up. Martha watches in terror)
James: The effects will wear off in about twenty-five minutes, but you don’t really have that long.
(He pulls up a chair next to her paralyzed figure)
Martha: But why?!
James: Oh it’s nothing personal really, just good business. You see, I’ve begun investing money into a Columbian firm that’s willing to do what it takes to make the big bucks. However, there have been quite a few obstacles in my way lately to dealing with them. First I had to deal with the old firm we worked with, managed by a dear friend of mine, Mr. Bacon.
(He smiled sinisterly)
James: I chose the capitalist path, milking the company for everything they had, liquidating everything they owned. Kevin was not too excited about this move, so he stalled the transactions, fighting me at every turn. He needed to be dealt with. Then came “Super Detective Connery”. With all this stalled business occurring, he began investigating the talks with the Columbians. I hoped to eliminate him as a threat by getting him fired, but even then he was still dangerous. There’s nothing like bad PR. Am I right? So he also needed to be dealt with. Then came our unstable actress friend over here, or should I say “Eco-princess”. When she found out I was speaking with the Columbians, she began to target my businesses with her little eco-terrorist buds. Drastic action needed to be taken to ensure that she would in no way harm the deal of course.
James: Funny how these problems deal with themselves isn’t it? (Laughs to himself) And now all we have left is you. My dear, sweet, ex-wife. A.K.A. owner of half the shares to Moriarty Industries. You would have never approved of such a drastic change in investing, endangering the deal altogether. And well let’s be honest, maybe this is a little personal after all.
(Laughs to himself again)
Martha: You’re a monster…
James: In the eyes of the American public, I’ll be a living martyr. Escaping death after a murderous rampage evolving numerous individuals with various motives.
James: The authorities are already on their way. Goodbye Martha, it’s just good business.
(He fires the gun. He then sits back down in his chair, aims the gun into his right shoulder and fires again. Moments later officers storm into the room)
Officer: Looks like that tip we received was right after all. We got four dead, possibly five.
(He makes his way to Moriarty)
Officer: Hey heads up guys! Moriarty’s still alive! Get an ambulance quick! Guy must be made of bricks to survive an assassination attempt like this.