INT. OFFICE BUILDING – MORNING
Everett adjusts his tie with one hand, jamming a finger into the third floor button in the elevator with his other. He glances at his watch and sighs. Third time this week, he thinks to himself, there's no way they're not going to say anything.
As the elevator, seeming to be moving at only a thousandth of its normal speed, slowly lifts him upward, he continues to adjust his suit. As the door opens, he is slicking back his hair, and as he steps briskly out of the elevator, he adjusts his cuffs. Nothing would be more embarrassing than showing up late and looking irresponsibly disheveled.
He walks quickly down the hall, past the interns and secretaries, into his meeting room. The board members are already there, of course, everyone in their seats, presentation set up. Nobody looks as he quietly slides past them to his seat at the head of the table.
"Ahh, Mr. Cunningham…" William Richards, the current CEO of Cunningham Housing Industry, says as Everett sits down. "How pleasant to see you again… We were under the impression that you wouldn't be able to join us this morning. Jerry, won't you fill Mr. Cunningham in on the bits he may have missed?"
"Right, right," an older man, last name Brady or Brown, says as he leans toward Everett, then begins to quietly speak to him. "We were just looking at a few of the options for the new housing development that is currently in planning. A few homeowners in the area are holding out, but with adequate compensation we believe we will have all of the land we need before the end of…"
Everett nods along as the lower board member speaks on with overly enthusiastic words about little details that Everett couldn't care less about, but he knows and they know that he might as well not even be there. In fact, with his mind's tendency to wander off, he isn't; not really.
"Where is Richards?" a man dressed in black and wearing a mask asks, harshly twisting the arm of Melissa, the head secretary of the third floor. "Show me, now."
She cries out in pain as the man shoves her forward without letting go of her arm. "B-but I don't know where he is!" she cries as he shoves her forward.
A second man rounds a corner, holding a gun. "Then you'd better find him, lying wench!"
The first man releases the secretary with a forceful shove and the second stands closely behind her, gun aimed toward her back. She walks forward slowly, steps unsteady and unsure as the gun lightly presses into her back. The other man walks around to her desk, gun held loosely at his side, and begins flipping through her papers.
"Listen here, strumpet," the man calls out, making Melissa pause and look back to her desk. The man standing behind her turns as well, raising his hands in a questioning gesture. "If there's something here that will tell me where that mongrel Richards is, you better tell me."
Melissa looks at the desk, fear evident on her face. She steps toward it, but then looks back at the man behind her. He nods and prods her to continue with his gun. She does, looking nervously to the side as she steps slowly forward, taking small, increasingly unsteady steps.
Both men focused on Melissa, Everett knows that this is his chance—he has to take them out while he is distracted. He pushes open the door he had been standing behind and manages to hit the man behind Melissa on the head with a large encyclopedia. The other man, startled, holds up his gun and takes a step back as his accomplice falls to the ground.
Everett quickly pulls Melissa behind him and blocks her from the man's aim. He holds his gun instead toward Everett, who steps forward slowly. The main raises the gun, aiming it seems for Everett's head. There is a shot, loud and close, but Everett is still whole. He uses the man's distracted surprise to his advantage and rushes him, wrestling the gun away before any real harm can be done.
"Call the police," he says, waving one arm frantically at the stunned secretary as he holds the invader against the floor.
Everett has the distinct feeling of being stared at. His grin slowly disappears as he realizes that sitting around him are thirteen questioning board members with judgmental eyes. Mr. Richards clears his throat and Everett, along with the other men, turn their attention to him.
"Mr. Cunningham," he says slowly, tilting his head slightly so he was looking down at Everett over an upturned nose, "would you care to join the discussion?"