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    Written by: Bruce Hancock   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Mark Piper

Wayne asks the boy, "What's your name?" Tick tells him, "Richard Brinkley - but my nickname's 'Tick'." Wayne stares at him and then says, "Sorry, mate - someone's playing a joke on you. I don't have a son." He goes to close the door again. Tick holds his hand out to stop it again, though, and says, "It's true. Moya told me." Wayne gasps in surprise, "Moya?" Tick tells him, "My mum. She always talks about you - especially when she's drunk. Please don't send me home. Mum will belt me - especially if she found out I came here." Wayne murmurs, "You'd better come in." Tick steps inside and asks, "Can I stay? Please?" Wayne smiles at him, but says, "You can't stay." Tick asks, "Don't you believe me?" Wayne muses, "Richard Brinkley..." Tick nods, "Yeah." Wayne says, "And your mum's name's 'Moya'?" Tick nods, "Yeah." Wayne asks, "When were you born?" Tick replies, "15th June 1977." Wayne pauses and then says, "OK. Come over and sit in the study. I've got to make a 'phone call." Tick cries, "I mean it about home: I can't go back." Wayne assures him, "Don't you worry. No matter what happens, no one's going to hurt you again."

A short time later, Wayne dials a number on the 'phone in the lounge room. Meanwhile, Tick emerges from the study and runs across the hallway. He goes and listens at the lounge room door as Wayne says on the 'phone, "John. Wayne Hamilton... Yeah... I want you to contact the Registrar General's Department. I want a copy of a birth certificate... Richard Brinkley... K-L-E-Y." He listens and adds, "Date of birth... name of the father... all that." He listens again and then snaps, "I don't care what day it is. Pull strings; that's what you're paid for." He hangs up. A smile on his face, Tick runs back across to the study and sits down at the desk. Wayne walks in and Tick comments to him, "Great computer!" Wayne smiles, "Why don't I set you up with a computer game? I have to go out for a couple of hours." Tick asks, "Where?" Wayne tells him, "I want to see your mum. I want you to give me the address." He adds quickly, "It's not that I don't believe you; I just want to be sure." With that, he feeds a disc into the computer and adds, "There's a book over there: it explains everything." Tick comments, "They're easy enough." Wayne starts up the game. Tick hands over a piece of paper with Moya's address on it. Wayne then tells him, "There's a 'fridge full of food if you're hungry." With that, he heads out. As soon as he's gone, Tick picks up the 'phone on the desk and dials a number. When it's answered, he says, "Hello? Moya, it's Tick McCarthy - at the Hamiltons'. I told Wayne he's my father... No, she doesn't know. I did it myself. Wayne's coming over to your place." He listens and then gasps, "You can't - they'll put me in a home." He listens again and then warns, "Alright - but if you tell the truth, you're going to miss out on that money..."

Charlie serves a tray of tea things in the lounge room at her house and calls for Alison and Tick. Alison comes in and mutters, "I can't find him." Charlie comments, "He's probably off exploring somewhere; you know what ten-year-olds are like!" She then goes on, "Actually, I'm glad we're alone: I was hoping for some advice." Alison asks, "What about?" Charlie sighs, "You wouldn't believe the trouble I'm having with Janice. The poor girl means well, but she's treating all the customers like juvenile delinquents. She's becoming very bad for business." Alison just retorts, "I wouldn't worry: you're not going to have a business much longer - not unless you get rid of Wayne as a partner." Charlie mutters, "You're not going to start all of that again, are you?" Alison points out, "It's not just me, Charlie; Caroline's been saying the same thing." Charlie tells her, "Caroline is saying Wayne made me sign a paper absolving him of all financial responsibility." Alison asks, "And did you?" Charlie sighs, "Of course I didn't. Don't you think I'd know if I did?" Alison tells her curtly, "He might have slipped it in amongst the partnership papers. You could have signed it without realising." Charlie mutters, "Nonsense. If this paper exists, why didn't Caroline find it?" Alison points out, "You know what Wayne's like: he probably sleeps with it under his pillow!" Charlie retorts, "I also know what Gordon is like. Wayne wouldn't dare try anything dishonest with me; Gordon would crucify him." Alison comments, "He mightn't find out. None of us might - unless I can get into Wayne's computer..."

Tick is sitting playing Pacman on the computer in the study at Dural. The game comes to an end and Tick stands up. He wanders over to the cabinet by the window and picks up another floppy disc. He puts it in the machine. 'Hamilton Industries' flashes up on the screen. Tick types on some keys, but then gets an error message: 'Access Denied. Procedure Terminated.'

Wayne is standing in the hallway at the mansion. Janice approaches him and he smiles, "Just the person I wanted to see. Can we talk somewhere in private?" Janice indicates Fiona's room and replies, "We can go in here. Aunt Fiona's out." They step into the room. Wayne then tells Janice, "I came to ask your advice." Janice smiles, "What about?" Wayne tells her hesitantly, "You see, about ten years ago, I had, um... a friendship with a girl called Moya. It was all above-board at first, but then it went further. I guess we were too young. To cut a long story short, she got pregnant." A look of shock crosses Janice's face and she sits down. Wayne goes on, "I was prepared to accept my responsibilities: marry Moya... have a family... The problem was she didn't want any part of it - including the child. There was no way I could let her get rid of it." Janice demands, "Did she?" Wayne assures her, "Luckily I convinced her not to. Wouldn't have been able to live with myself otherwise." Janice comments sourly, "So, you've got a child." Wayne nods, "A boy. Richard Brinkley." Janice murmurs, "I had no idea." Wayne tells her quickly, "No one does. See, when he was born, Moya cut me off completely; just disappeared, taking Richard with her." Janice asks, "Why?" Wayne shrugs, "You tell me. I spent months trying to track them down. It was no good. I never saw them again - 'til this afternoon. A boy turned up at the house, out of the blue; said he was Richard Brinkley." Janice asks, "Have you rung the Registry Office?" Wayne replies, "They're checking the records now." He continues, "From what he says, his mother hits the bottle pretty hard and belts into him." Janice murmurs, "Poor child. There's nothing wrong with a bit of discipline now and again, but you can go too far." Wayne nods, "Yeah." He then asks, "Do you think I've got any chance of getting custody?" Janice tells him, "I don't know. The mother usually gets custody, and if she's been looking after him for the last ten years..." A beeping sound fills the room suddenly. Wayne removes a pager from his pocket and looks at the display on the screen. It says 'JOHN'. He tells Janice, "Could be news: it's my solicitor." He walks over to the 'phone and starts dialling a number. When the call is answered, he says, "Yeah, it's Wayne." He listens and then smiles, "Yeah. Thanks." He hangs up, turns to Janice and tells her, "They found the birth certificate. He is my son. Moya might have all the legal rights, but if she's the type of person I remember, she might also be willing to sell them - if the price is right..."

A while later, Wayne pulls up in his car outside Moya's house. He climbs out and starts walking up the path. Moya is doing some more weeding and Wayne calls over to her, "Moya." Moya turns and looks at him. He then says, "Must be surprised to see me." Moya stands up and snaps, "You've got a nerve." Wayne says meekly, "I know it doesn't mean much after so long, but I am sorry about what happened." Moya just snaps, "You're sorry? How do you think it feels being a single mother for ten years?" Wayne tells her, "Richard turned up - this afternoon. It's obvious you haven't been handling the pressure too well. Told me you've been drinking... and you've been hitting him." Moya growls, "The ungrateful little--" Wayne interrupts and says quickly, "It's alright: I'm not accusing you. I came to help. Why don't I look after Richard from now on?" Moya snarls, "You've got to be joking." Wayne points out, "It would be a lot easier - for you... for him..." Moya snaps, "I wouldn't let you have Tick in a million years - and no court would, either." Wayne stares at her.

Alison opens the door to the study at Dural and marches inside - to find Tick sitting at the desk. Looking taken aback, she demands, "What are you doing here?" Tick tells her, "I saw some bloke drive off from here so I thought I'd take a look around." Alison mutters, "I have been looking for you everywhere. How did you get in?" Tick replies, "Through the window." Alison warns him, "You can't go climbing into other people's houses any time you feel like it." Tick just shrugs, "Why not? Wasn't locked." He then says, "Seen the computer? It's a beauty!" Alison, however, just orders, "Go back to Charlie's and wait for me." Tick asks her, "How long are you going to stay here?" Alison sighs, "Just a few minutes. I won't be long. Now, go on." Tick walks out of the study. Alison immediately goes to the safe, unlocks it, takes out a disc, puts it in the computer and starts muttering at it, "Come on." After a few seconds, she snaps, "Damn." The 'Access Denied. Procedure Terminated' message is flashing on the screen. Tick steps back into the room suddenly and says, "Let me do it." Alison growls, "I thought I told you to go back to Charlie's." Tick insists, "It'll be faster if you let me show you." Alison tells him curtly, "I am quite capable of working a personal computer, thankyou. Now, go home." Tick turns and walks out. Alison types something else into the computer, looking frustrated.

Standing in her garden with Wayne, Moya Brinkley snaps, "I'm not arguing any more. Tick stays with me." Wayne warns, "That's not very smart, Moya. I could make life unpleasant, if I wanted to." Moya mutters, "You can't threaten me." Wayne, however, tells her, "I have money, Moya. You give me Richard and you could do very well for yourself." Moya asks, "If I don't accept?" Wayne says menacingly, "There are other ways to convince you..." Moya turns away, a smile crossing her face. She then murmurs, "Seems I don't have any choice, then..."

Janice sits down with Fiona at Fiona's dining table, saying, "I don't know what's wrong with me, Aunt Fiona: I seem to spend half my time snapping at people these days. You... that young boy, Tick... the people at the gym. Some of them are complaining, I know: Charlie told me." Fiona suggests, "Maybe you should just change the way you deal with people. Maybe you're just a bit too quick to judge; if people feel you disapprove of them, they're going to react badly." Janice just says, "I'm thinking of going bush, Aunt Fiona. I visited my parents after lunch: my father showed me an advertisement for a job in north-western New South Wales." Fiona asks in surprise, "Doing what?" Janice tells her, "As a governess on a property." Fiona says quickly, "Janice, that's not for you." Janice, however, "Why not? I'd be minding three children; living with them. I could really get involved." Fiona asks carefully, "You sure you're not running away from a problem?" Janice demands, "What problem?" Fiona says hesitantly, "I think you feel you'll never have a family of your own, and looking after children... it's a substitute, isn't it?" Janice glares at her and snaps, "Don't be ridiculous. I've never heard such rot." With that, she stands up and marches out. Fiona sits at the table, looking worried.

Out in the hallway, Janice goes and leans against the stairpost, looking worried. Wayne bounces in through the front door suddenly and smiles, "Hi! I saw Moya. She agreed to give me custody. It took me a while, but when I explained the sort of life I could give him, she came round; realised it was all for the best." Janice tells him warmly, "I'm glad." Wayne goes on eagerly, "I've got heaps to do. I've got to buy him new clothes, to start with. Do you want to come with me?" Janice says warily, "I don't know. What's going to be open?" Wayne insists, "We'll find somewhere. Please. I need the help. It's my first time, remember? Besides, the practice will do you good: you'll be shopping for your own kids one day." Janice looks down at the ground, sadly.

Alison is still muttering at the computer in the study at Dural. Tick is pacing around and he sighs, "Let me do it." Alison warns, "Tick..." Tick tells her, "Press <Control> and the letter 'Y' at the same time." Alison mutters, "I know what I'm doing, thankyou." Tick walks over and types <Ctrl> 'Y'. A message appears on the screen: 'Access. Select file.' Tick smiles, "Piece of cake. Want me to take over?" Alison stands up reluctantly and lets him sit down. She then tells him, "I'm after a file on a gymnasium."

Fiona opens the door to her room at the mansion to find Charlie standing there. She lets her in, smiling, "Hello, Charlie. You out on an afternoon drive, are you?" Charlie replies hesitantly, "Yes... I was just passing by and just thought I'd drop in." She stands there nervously. Fiona asks, "How's Ginny?" Charlie smiles, "Fine. Her designs are coming along very nicely - and she's smartened up her own appearance, too, I'm pleased to say. Well, of course, she had to, didn't she, dealing with all those bigwigs in the fashion industry." She laughs nervously. Fiona murmurs, "I suppose so." There's an awkward silence. Fiona then says warily, "Charlie, was there anything in particular you wanted to talk about?" Charlie replies hesitantly, "It's very delicate, darling. It's about the gym - and Janice: I'll have to let her go." A look of concern crosses Fiona's face.

Out in the hallway, Wayne and Janice walk in from outside, Wayne enthusing, "He'll love them - especially the red shirt. I might whip back right away; I can't wait to see his reaction. Thanks for your help." With that, he walks off. Janice heads off to her room, just as Fiona and Charlie emerge from Fiona's room, Fiona saying, "Just let me see what I can do first, Charlie, that's all I'm asking." Charlie tells her, "I can't give you too long, darling. As far as I can see, Janice is simply the wrong person to be working at the gym." Janice stops in her tracks on the stairs as Fiona murmurs, "Yes, I understand she's making things difficult for you." Janice steps back downstairs quietly as Charlie gasps, "Difficult? I'm meant to be operating an exclusive gymnasium! The staff need to be chic... glamorous... Unfortunately, Janice has all the glamour of a drill sergeant." Fiona nods quickly, "Like I said, leave it with me a while. Maybe I can get the message across to her tactfully that she's just got to change." Charlie warns, "It's going to take more than mascara and lipstick." Fiona, showing her out, says, "I realise that." Charlie shrugs, "I suppose I can let you try - but I don't think there's much hope." She heads off. Fiona steps outside with her. Janice, looking horrified, heads into Fiona's room and closes the door behind her. She looks around, glumly, and then walks over to a mirror on the side table. She picks it up and looks in it as Fiona comes back. She says to her aunt sadly, "'All the glamour of a drill sergeant...'" Looking shocked, Fiona murmurs, "Darling..." Janice tells her, "I was standing on the stairs, Aunt Fiona." Looking worried, Fiona says quickly, "You don't want to take any notice of everything Charlie says. There are those amongst us who were never meant to wear leotards and leg warmers; I'm certainly one of them." Janice, however, murmurs, "It's not just that, Aunt Fiona. I'm hopeless with people, too - especially the ones who are close to me." Tears well-up in her eyes and she cries, "People don't like being with me. They only talk to be polite; all the time, they just can't wait to get away. I hate myself. I'm boring and I'm ugly." With that, she runs out and off upstairs. As she does so, she passes a young man coming the other way. He looks at Janice and then asks Fiona, who's run after her, "What's going on?" Fiona looks at him and sighs, "I just really wouldn't know where to begin." She pauses and then appears to think of something, going on, "Maybe I would. Tony, didn't you say you were going to the university revue this week?" Tony nods, "Yeah." Fiona asks, "How would you like to take Janice?" Tony stares at her and chuckles, "Get serious!" Fiona asks, "Why not?" Tony tells her, "All my friends will be there. She'll stick out like a...; well, she just wouldn't fit in." Fiona says seriously, "Tony, Janice has had a couple of really hard knocks lately; in fact, she's had a very rough time. She might not be Miss. Australia, but she's a lovely girl who badly needs someone to pay her a little bit of attention. I know you like her." Tony insists quickly, "Not as a girlfriend I don't." Fiona persists, "Couldn't you just ask her as a friend? They do still exist, don't they? Please? For her sake?"

It's evening-time. Alison and Tick are still sitting in the study at Dural, Tick typing away at the computer. Alison suggests, "One more attempt at the password. What do you say? What is it...? What would Wayne choose for a password?" Tick asks, "Has Wayne got a pet dog or something?" Alison muses, "The only thing Wayne's got is a warped sense of humour! It would have something to do with Charlie..." She pauses in thought and then says, "Charlie's got a dog. Try 'Isabella'." As Tick types the letters into the computer, he asks, "Does Wayne own all these companies on these files?" Alison nods, "Yes." Tick goes on, "I knew he must have been a rich man when I heard you talking to Moya." Alison frowns suspiciously, "Talking to Moya about what?" Tick replies, "Me pretending to be Wayne's son." Looking shocked, Alison tells him, quickly, "Forget you ever heard that. We weren't really going to do it." Tick finishes typing in the password and a page of data appears on the computer screen, headed 'Gymnasium Scam Data File'. Tick tells Alison, "I'm glad I did hear. Wayne wouldn't have believed me, otherwise." Alison gasps in horror, "What did you tell him?" Tick replies, "That I was his son." Alison cries, "You shouldn't have. He's a very dangerous man. You can't go messing with him." Tick cries, "I'm not going back into another home. I'm not going back." With that, he runs off. Alison stands there, looking frustrated. Tick runs out of the study and straight into Wayne's arms, as he arrives home. Tick cries to him, "Don't let her take me away." Wayne laughs, "Let who take you away? What are you talking about?!" Alison marches out of the study. Wayne demands immediately, "What's going on?" Tick tells him, "She's trying to take me away. She wants to put me in a home." Wayne glares at Alison and suggests curtly, "You'd better start talking, Alison." Alison tells him calmly, "It's all a fraud. Tick is not your son. I found him this afternoon at the boarding house. Tick's a street kid, dumped by his mother and living off his wits. And just for the record, Moya is not his real mum." Tick cries, "She's lying. Moya is my mum." Alison goes on, "Tick overheard a plan I had to pass him off as your long lost son. It's something I'm not particularly proud of so I stopped the idea before it got off the ground. Not that the idea was all bad: it would have made you look quite a fool - which is all you deserve, considering you tried to convince everyone Caroline was insane." Wayne stares at her and then mutters, "The last-minute guilt is the part I find hardest to believe." Alison shrugs, "Think what you like. I decided I wasn't being fair to Tick, that's all." Wayne comments tersely, "Never knew you were such a bleeding heart." Alison replies, "You live and learn. Still, the fact is, you don't have a son - thus, no male heir to the crooked crown." Tick pipes up, "I'm telling the truth. Cross my heart. You are my dad." Wayne tells him gently, "I know." He then turns to Alison and says, "I checked out the birth certificate and my name's right there on the bottom as the father." Alison sighs, "Tick, tell him." Tick cries, "Tell him what?" Alison replies, "That Moya isn't your real mother." Tick cries, "But she is." Wayne growls, "Lay off the kid, will you? I know what you're doing: you're trying to prevent me from enjoying my own son because of Caroline. Well it won't work: Caroline is around the twist and she got that way all by herself. There's no way you're taking it out on me and Richard." Turning to Tick, he assures him, "We're staying right here - together." He then smiles nastily at Alison...


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