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>> Episode 8 - ALTERNATIVE ENDING by Mike Petinarelis <<

The 2ndSite brand has been MURDERED!
 
 

Why We're Doing This
2ndSite is re-branding. So we decided to kill our old brand off in the format of a murder mystery story, released in 8 episodes, which you can read here at www.brandmurder.com. In conjunction with each episode, we will release a podcast that tells you how things are evolving and describes the business case for such an experiment. Sign up and follow along!

Who We Are
2ndSite is an online billing service that is incredibly easy to use for small businesses, freelancers, consultants and their clients. It saves time, helps businesses save money and get paid faster. First released in May 2004, the service now has 40,000 users. Find out more or try it for free (fully functional, nothing held back) at www.2ndSite.biz.

 

Episode Eight:
Alternative Ending

Winning alternative ending by Mike Petinarelis

Announcer Voice: Last time on The 2ndSite Murder Mystery...

Barney: Let's go back to the evidence table. It seems all of you are orally fixated, so I can't say I'm surprised poison was the method. Kathy, you have a dizzying array of tupperware in your purse. Jeff seems to hoard cookies. Daniel smokes clove cigarettes. Mike is addicted to Red Bull. Levi's girlfriend bakes. That leaves Joe again as the anomaly. Joe, are you sure you aren't hiding food somewhere?

Joe: Nothing. I'm clean.

Barney: Of course you are. We've got enough on you already. Murph, this will all have to be submitted to the lab. This is everyone's last chance to save us a lot of legwork. With poison, we're looking at premeditated murder, but it will go easier for you if you fess up now.

Murphy: Anyone?

Barney: Fine, if that's how it's going to be. Let's get ready to head downtown.

The 2ndSite Murder Mystery Theme which sounds like a Law & Order vs Psycho Remix plays as the faces and names of the cast and crew flash on the television screen. All actors are starring as "themselves".

Episode Eight

Barney: Fine, if that's how it's going to be. Let's get ready to head downtown.

Daniel: Wait!

All heads turn to look at Daniel.

Daniel: I can't take this any longer. I've got a confession to make. I know who murdered The Brand.

Everyone simultaneously: You do?!

Daniel: Yes... Yes, I do. I think it's important that you all come with me and take a look at this.

Daniel leads them out of the boardroom right to Jeff's cubicle.

Daniel: Look... under there. In his hockey bag.

Jeff: What the...??? Today's not even Wednesday. What's my hockey bag doing here?

Jeff starts to reach out for his hockey bag but Barney grabs a hold of him and restrains him.

Barney: Murph, check it out.

Murphy gets down on one knee and retrieves Jeff's hockey bag from under Jeff's desk. He reaches inside and pulls out a shin pad.

Murphy: Is this supposed to tell us something, Daniel?

Daniel: Check the end pocket.

Murphy unzips the end pocket of the bag and pulls out... a skate. He holds it up for Daniel and shoots him a look to let him know that he's losing his patience.

Daniel: The other end pocket.

Murphy pulls something out of the other end pocket and hands it to Barney.

Barney: <Inspecting the item in his hands> What... is it?

Daniel: The murder weapon, of course!

Jeff: Dude... that's no murder weapon. That's my skate lace tightener. Besides, The Brand was poisoned not... whatever you'd do with one of those.

Daniel: Oh... ya. <Beads of sweat start to form on Daniel's brow> Well, whaddaya know. I guess everyone is innocent. Back to work everyone <clap, clap>.

Mike: What's wrong with you, Daniel? You're acting a little weird. And just so you know... the only people that are allowed to clap people back to work in this place are me and Joe.

Joe: That's right. Now sit down and relax, Daniel. I think you need to take a load off your feet. <Motioning to Levi> Get him one of his clove cigarettes will ya? I think he keeps a stash in his bottom left drawer.

Daniel: NO! Er, I mean... no thanks. I'm okay. Really.

Daniel goes to stand up but Barney pats Daniel on the shoulder to sit him back down.

Barney: <Motioning to Murphy> Find his cigarettes.

Murphy leaves Jeff's cubicle area and goes to search Daniel's desk while the others wait for him to return.

Murphy: Barn! I think I've found something!

Everyone rushes to Daniel's desk except for Daniel who stays behind and starts tip-toeing towards the exit. Levi catches him in the act, grabs him by the scruff of the neck and brings him along as well.

Barney: Whatcha got?

Murphy: You're not going to believe this. I didn't find his cigarettes but I found something else. Seems like our little Daniel was telling the truth about one thing... he hated whenever the office got calls for the Second Sight Psychic Hotline...

Daniel: See! I told ya...

Murphy: But... not for the reason he wants us to believe. How do you explain this?!

Murphy produces a document of some sort. On it is written the following:

This certifies that
Daniel Tsang
is the owner of ten thousand (10,000)
fully paid and non-assessable shares of the common stock of
Second Sight Psychic Hotline Dot Com

Kathy: What does this mean?

Barney: It's elementary, my dear Kathy. It seems like your boy Daniel wanted The Brand dead after all. You see, every call that came in to your offices for Second Sight the Psychic Hotline hurt his bottom line. Sure, when Daniel answered the calls he did his best to re-direct them to the proper number. But anyone else that answered the phone wasn't as inclined to assist the caller as they didn't really see them the way that Daniel saw them... money in the bank.

Daniel: <Blurting out> All right! All right! I did it! Business at Second Sight Psychic Hotline was taking a turn for the worst... all because clientele kept confusing it with The Brand! When my dividend cheques from the Psychic Hotline were no longer supporting my gambling habits and expensive cigarettes I knew what I had to do. I had to get rid of The Brand. I wouldn't had to have taken such drastic measures if you all took two seconds of your time to give those calling in for the psychic hotline the right telephone number!! Was that too much to ask?!?!

Jeff: Dude... <matter of factly> Why didn't you just sell your shares and buy stock in another company?

Silence fills the air as the unmistakable look "why-the-hell-didn't-I-think-of-that" crosses Daniel's face. His body stiffens and only his eyes roll from one person to the next as he looks at each person in the room for just a split second. Everyone is looking at him with the same expression. An expression that he correctly interprets to be "ya-you-idiot-why-the-hell-didn't-you-think-of-that".

Daniel: <Throwing his face into his hands and again blurting out>...
I can't believe I killed the brand!! <Breaks into an uncontrollable sob.>

Mike: s...aaaand CUT! All right guys, that was great! Lunch is here so let's take a break and then we'll take it again from the top.

Everyone in the room breaks into self-appreciatory applause as the two extras, Barney and Murphy, straight head for the sandwich platter that's just arrived. Not far behind is The Brand who is being helped up off the floor by Mike. Joe, Levi and Jeff all head to the water cooler to discuss last night's sporting events while Kathy passes Daniel a tissue to wipe his ‘tears'.

Kathy: <Patting Daniel on the back> That was your best performance yet, Daniel. Good job!

Daniel: Thanks. I sure am gonna miss The Brand though. I can't believe they won't let him out of his jury duty. We need him. Our clients need him.

Kathy: That's the way things go. It's his civic duty. Who knew it would be such a high-profiled case he'd be thrown on though? Those can take months... even years! Besides, I'm excited about meeting The New Brand. <Looking left, looking right and then whispering> Rumour has it he's even better than our current Brand.

They both look over at the table that the sandwich platter is at. Barney and Murphy are sitting down and chatting about other extra work they've done in the past while The Brand is standing over the platter with a sandwich in both hands just munching away as if this was his last meal. In a way, it would be.

Daniel: I guess you're right. But how come I have to be the bad guy? Why couldn't it be one of them?

Daniel motions over to the water cooler. Mike has joined the others there. Someone has said something funny and they can all be seen laughing it up. Jeff and Levi high-five each other. Joe and Mike attempt a high-five that goes wrong as only their thumbs make contact and they both almost end up slapping the other in the face. More hysterics.

Kathy: We better discuss that thought over a sandwich before The Brand eats them all. But, who knows? Maybe they just wanted to pick the person who would seem to be least likely to do such a thing.

Daniel: Go on...

Kathy: Well, you're probably the shyest in the group. I guess their hope is that the readers would think that you just weren't capable of such a dastardly deed. <Places an arm over Daniel's shoulder and begins to lead him towards the platter.>

Daniel: <Voice deepens> Oh? Nooooo???

Daniel looks sideways directly into the camera. His normally brown eyes have turned into large yellow cat eyes. His glasses magnify them which makes the sight even more disturbing. Vincent Price's laugh can be heard as the theme from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" plays in the background.

<Screen fades to black.>

 
Do you think you’re
Sherlock? The 2ndSite
brand has been
murdered
and the first person
to correctly guess the
culprit (who), the motive (why),
and the means (how), will win a really
cool prize.
 
 

The Suspects

Michael McDerment
Michael McDerment Michael has been partying involved with internet technologies since 1999. An entrepreneur and internet marketing consultant with two successful start-ups to his name, Michael is dedicated to helping his clients get more from the internet. Like many entrepreneurs, Michael talks faster than he writes and can deftly juggle and keep his eye on hundreds of balls at one time. But perhaps he is not juggling... perhaps he is plotting murder...?!

Joe Sawada
Joe Sawada In 2000 Joe received his Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Victoria, specializing in the development of efficient algorithms. (Just in case you think he’s a nerd, Joe is one of those guys you’d never think was this smart because he’s so cool. That's why we don't trust him).

Levi Cooperman
Levi Cooperman Levi is a professional engineer with a B.Eng from the University of Victoria. He is able to grow a beard faster than Superman and can leap a building in a single bound. Before joining 2ndSite, Levi managed projects at Apex Systems Integrators Inc., where his clients included Canadian Tire, Nestlé, and Parmalat. Did we mention he can grow a beard in seconds? All serial killers have beards...hmmm.

Kathy Donoghue
Kathy Donoghue Kathy graduated from City University London with an MSc in Information Systems & Technology. She comes to 2ndSite from PricewaterhouseCoopers and GE Capital where she led many successful web-based IT development and knowledge management projects. Kathy is from the east coast where everyone is nice...too nice...

Jeffrey Sarmiento
Jeffrey Sarmiento Jeff is a consummate perfectionist and ace designer. Jeff-fun includes developing Flash web sites, PHP solutions and snowboarding and he will not hesitate to take on any double black diamond he comes across. Jeff is also obsessed with washing his car (some say his left arm is twice the size of his right arm because of this). Obsessiveness is freaky...we trust him, but we don't trust him if you know what we mean...

Daniel Tsang
Daniel Tsang A recent graduate from University of Toronto's Computer Science programme, Daniel develops new functionality (back-end) for 2ndSite, and answers support requests. Daniel is our resident film critic, and knows when to fold 'em in Texas Hold 'Em. He seemed upset when the Brand died...maybe he's bluffing?

 
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