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Pilot: The Six Hundred Dollar Man
STICKLER (groggily): Wha-?
GOLDMAN: Up and at'em, agent. Daylight's a-burnin'.
STICKLER: Where am I? Who are you?
STICKLER (CONT.): Why is my mouth all numb?
GOLDMAN: All right. I gotta lot of work to get through today, so I'm gonna make this quick.
I'm Oscar Goldman, Senior Deputy Director here at OSI, a top-secret intelligence agency within by the US government.
STICKLER: I've never heard of it.
GOLDMAN: Yes, well, apparently you missed the part where it was top-secret.
You were recently involved in a horrific accident ...
STICKLER: I remember! I was riding my bicycle down the street when I a hit a pothole and crashed. I don't remember anything after that.
GOLDMAN: Look, this is going to go a lot quicker if you leave the exposition to me.
Lucky for you one of our field operatives happened to be driving by at the time of the incident. He rushed you back here, where our top medic, Dr. Rudy Wells, went to work immediately. Rebuilding you. Improving you. You've been unconscious ever since the operation.
STICKLER: My god. How long was I out? What year is it?!
GOLDMAN: I don't quite know how to tell you this, but ... it's 1977.
STICKLER: Oh. That's the same year I went for the walk.
GOLDMAN: Yes, all this took place about 40 minutes ago.
Fortunately your injuries were relatively minor: the first bicuspid on your left side was knocked out when you hit the pavement, and you skinned your elbow. Rudy was able to replace the tooth with bionic implant, and cover your wound with some state-of-the-art synthetic flesh.
GOLDMAN: You're more machine than man now, agent. That tooth gives you chewing abilities far beyond those of ordinary citizens.
That's why we want you to come work for us.
STICKLER: Uhm. Well, thanks, I guess. But I already have a pretty good job at the Betamax factory. And I'd have to discuss it with my wife before I accepted any offer, you understand.
Speaking of which, I should probably call Debra and let her know I'm okay. Can I use that phone?
GOLDMAN: I'm afraid not. You see, to your wife and the rest of the world, you're a dead man.
STICKLER: Come again?
GOLDMAN: I don't think you fully appreciate the enormity of the situation, agent. OSI is a shadowy organization that often has to work outside the law. Now that you work for us, it's crucial that we eradicate all traces of your former life. Already our disinformation specialists are spreading your cover story, that you were killed by a pack of civets.
STICKLER: Actually, I read in Nation Geographic that civets are solitary animals.
GOLDMAN: See? Disinformation. Those guys are real pros.
The point is, contacting with your wife would leave her open to reprisals from our many enemies.
STICKLER: What kind of enemies?
GOLDMAN: Mostly other secret robot-making societies. And bigfoot.
STICKLER: Look, this is ridiculous. I don't want to work for OSI, I've never heard of bionics, and the "state-of-the-art prosthetic flesh" you put on my elbow is a Band-aid with pictures of the Fonz on it. I'd like to go home to my wife and kids now, if you don't mind.
GOLDMAN: Nobody wants to work for OSI, agent -- we're here because duty demands it. Your extraordinary bionic powers are a gift, but with them come great responsibility, a responsibility to serve this great nation and defend it from the malevolent forces that want to do us harm.
No one knows about the great work we do here. But that's okay. We don't do it for recognition, or fame, or money. We do it because no one else can.
GOLDMAN (CONT.): This is your first assignment, agent, should you choose to accept it. The United States needs your help. Will you answer the call? Or slink back to your ordinary, uneventful life?
GOLDMAN: I knew we could count on you, agent.
STICKLER: So I'm actually an agent now?
GOLDMAN: No, of course not. I'm just calling you that because I haven't bothered to learn your name.
GOLDMAN (CONT.): Those are Steve Austin's receipts from his last mission. I need you to go through and fill out the appropriate reimbursement forms. We'll need those in triplicate -- one copy to submit to the Senate and two for our files -- and we're plumb out of carbon paper, so you'll just have to fill each form out three times.
Also, you'll have to redact anything that looks classified -- which is pretty much everything, so just go nuts. And make absolutely certain you black-out the names of any massage parlors or escort services. Jesus Christ, that guy's so randy you'd think we'd given him a bionic johnson. I don't blame that Sommers broad for faking amnesia when she had the chance.
The crapper's down the hall on the left. That's the breakroom over there. If you drink any coffee, put a quarter in the can -- we ain't running a charity, here.
I think my work here is done.
STICKLER: So what's your story.
HINES: I went to the doctor with appendicitis. After the operation I woke up here. Oscar said they had quote-unquote rescued me from the hospital and replaced my removed appendix with a bionic one.
Now I'm the receptionist. It's a pretty boring job, seeing as no one knows our agency exists.
Posted on July 19, 2006 to Storytelling