One Life To Live
Thanks to Jeff Vickers, for supplying some really detailed Eterna history!
The Underground City of Eterna (February 1989)
Long the topic of ridicule, Eterna is a juicy piece of OLTL history - a real, one of a kind story
Several stories began to converge as Viki pressed her search for her missing daughter. Roger's presence in town was troubling, as if he held the answer she had been looking so hard for. Continuing to investigate her father's past, Viki was shocked to stumble upon records of an unexpected nature - documenting the existence of a place called Eterna and illicit dealings with a man by the name of Danton Gordon - could he possibly be related to Roger?
Actually, Danton was Roger's father ... an architect hired by Victor Lord to design a fantastic underground city. Both Roger and Michael Grande had vague recollections of growing up in a totally different world ... a world they felt still existed somewhere in the vicinity of Llantano Mountain. Gabrielle, using her budding relationship with Michael to do some snooping, was also hot on the trail of Eterna.
At the same time Leo Cromwell, another former resident of Eterna, was also searching for an entrance to the city. He distinctly remembered it was located on Llantano Mountain (where, he couldn't be quite sure) But Leo had a very serious motive for wanting to enter the city ... legends of stolen gold that had been hoarded and hidden within the city's walls. He enlisted his daughter Christine to look for a way in - she, in turn, asked Wade Coleman for help, believing that her father had gone insane and could hurt himself or others.
As a delicate snow began to fall, Tina took Gabrielle to Llantano Mountain, planning to show her friend where she and Cord were planning to build a house of their very own. It was then that they discovered a small opening in the rock beneath them; an opening that appeared to lead into a tunnel. Curious as ever, Tina and Gabrielle descended into the ground to explore. Before long, the terror began when Tina became caught in a trap constructed by Eterna's architects. Promising her help, Gabrielle raced back to Llanview, where she found Viki at Wanda's Place and begged her to come help. Gabrielle drew a symbol on a napkin; the trademark symbol of Eterna, and told Viki that all her questions would be answered if she came. Viki did, giving the napkin to Wanda and making her promise to keep it safe. When Wanda called Llanfair later looking for Viki, she described the symbol on the napkin to Cord. Roger, hearing the description, told Cord he knew where Viki, Gabrielle and Tina were and the two quickly headed for Llantano Mountain.
Having saved Tina, Gabrielle and Viki ran in to a shocked Cord and Roger. In addition, another guest startled them all. It was Michael, who had found his way back into the city. He had gone quite batty and, brandishing a gun, threatened to kill them. In the fight that ensued, a gun went off. The vibration set off an avalanche, which sealed them in, along with Leo, Christine and Wade, who had found another way in, through a fissure in the mountain's wall.
Beginning to panic, they raced ahead through the tunnel, hoping to find another way out. What they found was shocking.
The nine Llanviewans converged on Eterna ... a stunning underground city, complete with bedrooms, kitchens, libraries ... and a nifty golden angel statue that stood watch over the place. Through some amazing technology, they were able to breath clean air and as their stay in Eterna turned from hours into days into weeks, they learned its origin via a gigantic (I mean huge!) television screen that descended from the ceiling, playing a videotape of Eterna's creator - Danton Gordon; Roger's father.
But Eterna soon became hell. Leo's gold-hungry hunt was scaring the rest of them as he nearly snapped on several occasions. Cord, Tina and Gabrielle were busy blaming Michael for their predicament, while Roger told Viki the truth about her lost child at long last. She'd met and fallen in love with Roger after he'd escaped Eterna. She'd become pregnant - a horrified Victor had Viki hypnotized by a man named Lysander Clair during childbirth. As a result, Viki was actually her alternate personality Niki Smith when she went into labor. (Larry Wolek delivered the child) and when Viki came out of hypnosis, she had no recollection of her pregnancy or Roger. Victor had given her child to Roger to raise and told him to stay away from her for eternity. Roger had raised the child with his new wife. That little girl was now Megan Gordon. Viki was shocked, especially since she and Megan were just short of bitter enemies.
Meanwhile, above ground, the family and friends of those in Eterna were desperately searching for their loved ones. Michael Grande's wife Alicia (Marcia McCabe) discovered a map of Eterna among her husband's belongings and brought it to Clint, Asa and Renee. Using the map as well as Victor's full confession, which was found on an old audio tape with the map as a guide, they pinpointed the position of Eterna and began to drill. From below, the clan used a newly-discovered transmitter to send hazy signals of help to the rescue workers. Clint stood watch day by day as the drilling continued, hoping they would find a spring or other body of water that would open the way to Eterna.
Down below, things reached a crisis. Leo discovered the gold he'd been looking for and threatened to kill them all. In a fight with Michael, he fell from a precipice to his death. The drilling from above was causing Eterna to crumble as the city began to fall apart. It truly looked to be a hopeless situation. Then, Gabrielle nearly killed them all by turning gold-hungry. She grabbed the golden staff that the angel statue held in its hand. This set off a series of deadly booby traps that threatened to destroy the entire city. Immediately, Eterna began to self-destruct. Tina nearly plummeted to her death in a hidden abyss. Cord and Roger barely dodged a falling rock. The walls began to crumble as explosions were detonated everywhere. Rushing to the transmitter, they were barely able to hear Clint from above. Viki told him goodbye and then they all settled in for the worse. Ash, soot and debris came pouring down as fire began to sweep through the city. Viki buried her face in Roger's shoulder moments before a gigantic explosion rocked Eterna. When it was over, they were shocked to see light from above - literally - the explosion had opened a fault line in the rock. It was their last chance to escape. Rushing for the light, they barely avoided the final echos of Eterna's last breath. As they raced into the arms of their shocked loved ones, the angel statue tipped from its pedestal and fell to the ground, consumed by the ravaging flames.
Viki and Megan; Megan and Max
Emerging from Eterna, Viki had plenty of problems to face. Not the least of which, was confronting her new-found daughter Megan. At first, Megan refused to accept Viki as her mother. "I already have a mother who loved me and cared for me and taught me how to read and write," she told Viki. "Get out of my life!" But as time passed, and Roger encouraged his daughter to accept Viki as her mother, Megan and Viki slowly grew closer; slow, being the operative word.
One day they sat down at Llanfair and chatted casually about their lives. Megan told Viki that she'd always admired her for being a journalist, and Viki told her daughter that she enjoyed watching Fraternity Row. The next day, Viki visited the set and played a nurse. The bond between Megan and Viki grew stronger as they got to know each other better.
Megan also began a full-fledged romace with Max Holden. Though they continued to banter and bicker and call each other names, the attraction could no longer be denied. Max and Megan quickly rose to the status of supercouple as they carried out their affair in the bed, in the countryside, in the diner...
The Fraternity Row Stalker
As memories of Eterna began to fade away, another serious problem rushed in to take its place. Bo, as executive producer of Fraternity Row, was faced with a deadly truth: there was a copycat killer stalking the set of the soap opera, using previously scripted death scenes as actual reality. First, the producer Randy was nearly killed by a falling chandalier, then Bo was attacked, and new arrival Audrey Ames (Fia Porter) was nearly strangled to death when her scarf found its way into a fan. Bo found a connection in the crimes ... they all seemed to tie back to Mari Lynn Coleman. Someone, who was infatuated with Mari Lynn, was attempting to murder anyone who disappointed her in some way: Randy had made unwanted advances toward Mari Lynn, Bo himself had removed her from a crucial role in the show, knowing she'd rather spend time on the moutain looking for her husband, while Audrey had taken Mari Lynn's part. In short, there was a psychopath on the loose. As Sarah Gordon was brought on board as expert advisor to a storyline dealing with blindness, even she was nearly a victim. Bo teamed up with Melinda Cramer to root out the culprit.
Helping them were Jon Russell and Mari Lynn herself, whose marriage fell apart shortly after Wade's return from Eterna (he eventually left town with Christine). There were two prime suspects: Casey, the autistic stagehand, and Neil, another stagehand with a deep love for Mari Lynn. On a location shoot at a nearby church, the copycat killer made one final move. He pushed over a stone gargoyle from atop the church, in an attempt to kill Sarah who was standing below. Bo saved her from a gruesome death and the killer was apprehended - it was Neil Delaney.
Gabrielle's infamous baby-switch
Brenda McGillis was going through one rough pregnancy. With the father of her unborn child dead, she turned to Larry Wolek for comfort, which he readily offered. Larry and Brenda became very intimate over time, even as her pregnancy was put to the ultimate test. She became unconscious and was inadvertantly trapped in a room where radioactive testing was being conducted. Yet, she survived and readied to give birth to a baby.
At the same time, Gabrielle was shocked when Michael's very pregnant wife Alicia Grande (Marcia McCabe) strolled into town, wanting to reconcile with him. Gabrielle and Alicia were driving late one night, when a fight at the side of the road suddenly turned tragic. Jon was beating up Audrey's no-good boyfriend Blade, when Audrey suddenly tried to run from them. Unfortunately, she ran in the path of Gabrielle's car. Gabrielle swerved, smashing into Audrey, then lost control of the vehicle and careened off the road and through a guardrail. Audrey, Gabrielle and Alicia were rushed to the hospital. Alicia gave birth to a baby son, Rick (named after Michael's father Garrick), but didn't survive her own injuries and died shortly thereafter. Audrey was pa
ralyzed from the waist down and Gabrielle was just fine.
Not far away, Brenda gave birth to a little boy as well; her little Steven. Steven and Rick were rushed to the neo-natal unit and wound up side by side in separate cribs. Gabrielle stumbled from her own bed, sick with the news of Alicia's death, and into the room where Rick and Steven were. She walked sadly over to little Rick's baby and was horrified to see that the baby was dead - the trauma sustained during the car wreck had been too great. Gabrielle made a tough decision. She knew that Alicia's death would destroy Michael - but losing his little son as well would kill him. Then, half out of her own mind, Gabrielle switched Brenda's baby with Alicia's.
Needless to say, the plan worked. Brenda was devastated to learn that her baby had died (but who could question it, after the trauma it had suffered in nine short months). Michael was also in turmoil over Alicia's death, but having their child made it easier on him. Over time, he grew closer to Gabrielle, who still felt pangs of guilt over her deceit of Brenda. But Brenda refused to believe her baby was dead - she had a gut instinct that little Steven was still alive. She pushed away Larry and her new admirer, Dan Wolek (Michael Palance), who had returned to town as a doctor.
Gabrielle's plan didn't stay secret forever, of course. When it was discovered (over six months later) that Michael's Rick was actually Brenda's Steven, Gabrielle went to trial for her crime. Michael even tried to strangle her to death when he learned of her deception. Gabrielle pleaded guilty by reason of insanity, and was defended by Jon Rusell. Jon was forced to find a way to show the jury that Gabrielle was an unstable woman when she committed the crime. To do so, he was forced to make Max admit on the stand that had continually and constantly yanked Gabrielle's emotions, first telling her that he loved her, then telling her he loved Megan. Max, under pressure from Jon, was forced to admit before everyone (including Megan) that he still had feelings for Gabrielle. Megan, in tears ran out of the courtroom. Max tried to win back her love, but this time it was too late. Meanwhile, Gabrielle was found guilty by insanity and she and Tina (who had known of Gabrielle's plot and didn't tell anyone about it) were sentenced to a halfway house.
Austin Buchanan terrorizes Llanview; Megan becomes "Ruby"
Asa's no-goodnik nephew Austin arrived in town during 1989 and quickly proved he was slime. He learned of Gabrielle's little baby-switching escapade and used the event as an opportunity to blackmail her. He also took a liking to Sarah, who was at the time, falling madly in love with Bo. When he made advances on Sarah, only to be shot down by her, in a fit of rage, he brutally raped her. Sarah was devastated (and pregnant with his child). She went to Bo and the police and told them what had happened, but when Austin found out, he tried to kill her. Trapping her in a storage room, he was about to kill her, when she somehow managed to shoot him. Sarah then tumbled into a metal storage rack, which toppled over on top of her, causing her to have a miscarriage. (These events are shaky in my mind, but they're pretty close)
When Bo, Clint and Cord arrived, they were in shock. Bo rushed Sarah to the hospital and ordered Clint and Cord to take care of Austin's body. Father and son hauled him up to Llantano Mountain and buried Austin safely under four feet of dirt. Little did they know that Austin was still alive. Moments after they dusted off their hands and left, Austin's hand rose up from the ground like a bad scene from a horror flick. He was still very near death, and barely managed to stumble to a nearby house, where he received medical treatment until he was able to stand on his own two feet. His murder was never reported by Bo, Sarah, Clint or Cord, as they didn't want Sarah to have to face a trial. Sarah and Bo attempted to rebuild their lives.
But Austin was bound to return, and did. He terrorized Sarah by calling Llanfair and whispering her name. He broke into the clinic for the blind, where he nearly killed one of her patients. When it came down to his final wrath of fury, Austin took Roger, Viki, Clint and Megan captive on top of the newly-constructed Palace Hotel and threatened to kill them all. He fired at Viki, who fell to the ground and was about to kill Megan when Clint shot Austin dead. But the traumatic incident was enough to make Megan snap. Seeing her mother shot had a serious effect on her psyche: it turned out that Megan had an alternate personality as well. Like mother like daughter! Ruby Bright was her name, and she was a free spirit.
Ruby/Megan ran off to Atlantic City, donned a brunette wig, and flirted with some of the high-rollers she encountered. One of them was none other than former Llanview slime Marco Dane (Gerald Anthony). Marco cheated one of the gamblers in the casino and when the man came after him, Marco grabbed Ruby and hit the road. They traveled for weeks, and Marco actually came to fall in love with Ruby/Megan. But Megan didn't stay submerged forever, and when she finally came around, she demanded that Marco take her back to Llanview.
The Crown Jewels of Mendorra
After their wedding Tina and Cord finally could be happy, unfortunately, Tina decided to pull another of her famous schemes. She became infatuated with the lost crown jewels of Mendorra, which had been stolen in Europe and now lay scattered across the country. Stumbling upon a gigantic diamond, Tina ooohed and ahhhed and decided she had to have rest of the jewels for herself. But there were others looking for the jewels as well: most notably Elizabeth Sanders and her nasty grandson Jamie, who was quite familiar with Tina already. And what would a good revenge plot be without Tina's old friend Ursula, who quickly jumped into the fray.
Once again, Tina found herself being held hostage, this time by Elizabeth and Jamie. Ursula made a surprise appearance, terrorizing Tina even further, and strapping her to a faulty homemade electric chair. Cord, as usual, came to the rescue, backed by Bo and the FBI, who surrounded the building as Jamie held Tina hostage. Then, as mayhem broke loose, Cord snuck in, forced a showdown between Jamie and himself. Jamie and Cord duked it out; Jamie was shot and Elizabeth was carted off to Statesville. Ursula, however, escaped. Tina gave up her quest for the jewelry and the crown jewels were returned to their rightful place in Mendorra.
The Daisy Awards
Marco and Megan shared plenty of adventures while together in Llanview, even though Megan decided to continue her romance with Max. When Megan was nominated for a Daisy Award (equivalent of an Emmy) for her work on Fraternity Row, she found herself contending with her rival star, Spring Skye (Sharon Schlarth). To prevent Megan from making an appearance at the award shows, Spring locked Megan and Marco in a meat closet. At the last moment, they sprung the lock and raced to the studio. Spring was just heading out on stage to perform the final number, so Megan grabbed some golden drapery, turned it into a stunning gown and went out to compete with her rival. Spring and Megan kept up their comical antics in a wonderfully-choreographed number to the beat of "Here's to the show!"
When it was over, Megan won the Daisy Award and used her acceptance speech to thank her family and friends and especially ... Max, who grabbed her around the waist and planted a kiss on her lips.
Marriages in trouble
Viki and Clint ... Roger ... Julia
The rock-solid marriage of Viki and Clint Buchanan suffered some serious setbacks during 1989, not the least of which was the arrival of Gabrielle's mother and sister, Julia and Debra Medina (Linda Thorson, Lucinda Fisher). While Viki's growing relationship with her daughter Megan was bringing her closer to her ex-love Roger, Julia was taking an interest in Clint, who was fuming at the Viki/Roger scandal. Julia encouraged Clint to follow his dream of constructing an Old West theme park in Arizona. When Clint finally became fed up with Viki's constant contact with Roger, he and Julia headed down to Arizona to begin renovation on the ranch. Viki later went down to Arizona and ordered him to return home, or their marriage was over. As always, Clint obeyed Viki's beck-and-call and returned to Llanview, leaving Julia high and dry.
Cord and Tina ... Debra
When it came out during Gabrielle's trial that Tina had known about the baby-switch for months without telling anyone, Cord exploded. He accused his wife of reverting to her trampy, deceitful ways and then demanded a separation. While Tina was spending her time at the halfway house, Cord found comfort in the charming ballet dancer Debra Medina. Debra and Cord flirted with each other on-and-off for months until Tina was released and did her damnest to break them up. The story came to a head in early 1990.
Rafe and Delila
Times were also tough for Rafe and Delila Garretson. Rafe was spending all of his time at the police station while Delila was singing away the hours at Rob Coronal's club. When Rafe demanded that his wife stay home more often and take care of their daughter Samantha, Delila balked. When a recording executive happened upon Delila and offered her a six-month tour around the country, she accepted. Delila pledged to Rafe that she'd be back in six months. Unfortunately, those were the last words she said to him. Delila never returned from her tour and Rafe simply vanished into thin air (Thus exited actors Shelly Burch and Ken Meeker).
Larry and Brenda ... Dan; Andy's arrival
While Brenda spent most of the year in tears, searching for her dead baby Steven, she was pushing Larry away. Dan tried to jump in and take his father's place. He succeeded for a short time, as Brenda temporarily fell for his charms. A jealous Larry had some choice words for his son.
About that time, Max walked into his bar one night to find a young woman tearing the place apart; smashing bottles and overturning tables, the petite, fiery brunette (!) claimed to be Andy Harrison (Bronwen Booth). When Max told her the name didn't ring a bell, a tearful Andy shoved letters in his face. They were letters to Max from his mother, written when he was just a young boy. Max was stunned: his mother had walked out on his family when Max was just a child and had never heard from her again. He certainly had never seen the letters Andy was waving at him. Andy claimed to be his half-sister ... their mother was dead and she was angry that Max had never responded to any of the letters. Max promised her he'd never received them and later learned that his father Wingate had kept them from him.
Andy and Max eventually reconciled and she went to work for him at the bar, where she ran into Dr. Dan Wolek one day. Andy pined after Dan for months, even when he had his eyes set on Brenda. When Brenda married Michael Grande (see 1990), Andy and a heartbroken Dan dated several times, but Dan's eyes remained focused on Brenda...
The adoption ring; Tina's scheme; Max is shot
When Tina was released from the halfway house, she quickly needed a way to get back into Cord's good favor. (He was falling for Debra Medina at the time) Tina went to work for Lord Love the Children, a non-profit organization that searched to place "the right child with the right home." The charity was run by the wonderfully caring and religious Ambrose and his wife Selena. But things went awry when Tina befriended a lonely little girl who claimed that she still had a mother and a father.
A curious Tina began to snoop around in Ambrose and Selena's files. At first, she thought she was just being silly and even went to Ambrose with what the little girl had told her. Ambrose quelled her fears, but later he told Selena they'd have to keep an eye on Ms. Tina Roberts. As Tina got to know the little girl more, however, a nagging worry kept eating at her. She told Cord about the situation and they broke into Lord Love the Children late one night. Tina found the girl's doll laying carelessly in the hallway and instantly knew something was wrong.
When Tina and Cord dug further into the mess, the shocking truth was revealed:
Ambrose and Selena were using the charity as a cover for an illegal adoption ring: they were kidnapping children and selling them to the highest bidder. Tina and Cord were about to go to the police when Ambrose enacted his final plan. Luring Tina, Cord, Max, Viki and Roger to a warehouse the night of New Year's Eve, he locked them inside with plastic explosives and told them they would all die. The group panicked, quickly turning the warehouse inside out looking for the bomb. When Roger found it, it was quickly disarmed. Ambrose came storming back into the warehouse, brandishing a gun. When Max made an attempt to tackle him, Ambrose fired, nearly killing Max. Cord and Roger wrestled the gun from his hand and Selena and Ambrose were shipped off to prison. Max barely pulled through emergency surgery under Dan and Larry Wolek, but miraculously recovered.