Alice: I only have my travel pack with me.
Austin: I don't have any makeup. I do have this, I suppose it may help. [Takes out a roll of material which unrolls into a master thief's disguise mini wardrobe, complete with mirror, with false beards, noses, ears, moustaches, glasses, monocles, teeth etc]
Clint: I can donate some rope for hair.
Clint: I think you're forgetting the hair on my back!
: [Aghast] You have hair on your back! Why? [Looks puzzled] Perhaps you are mostly Pithecus after all.
Charlie: [Assessing the others critically] I suppose these will have to do! [To Harvey and Dur, clapping her hands] Come along, now! We must have something that will suit the two of you.
Harvey: I truly hate clowns!
Alice: Of course you do, that's what you're supposed to do!
Charlie: [To Harvey, sympathetically] Naturally, we all do, Colonel! They are an abomination, but a necessary evil in this instance.
Alice: Now that everyone's enclowned, will we head out that door again? [Points to the door where the clowns chased the party from previously]
Harvey: Do we all need to cram into a tiny carriage? I believe that is the tradition!
Charlie: [Looks at Harvey in surprise] You certainly know a lot about clown culture! Are you sure you do not descend from their kind?
Harvey: Most certainly not, madam! I am surprised at your own surprise regarding clowns and their usage of tiny vehicles. I thought this was a well established fact, known by all normal people!
Clint: Yes, but since clowns aren't obscure enough for her, Chuck here knows nothing about them. It's just one of those things.
Alice: Plus, and I mean no offence, Charlie, but look at her, Harvey, [gestures to Charlie's sad clown suit] there's nothing normal about her. [Pulls the surprisingly grey and dowdy clown underpants out of er, somewhere in the back] Sad, really.
Harvey: Of all the strange things I've seen and heard since meeting you all, those are truly one of the strangest!
Austin: Alas, the results of a failing education system! People do not even know how to dress! [Checks his perfect nails]
Clint: Yeah, well, being snazzy dressers won't help us disguise ourselves as clowns, will it? Should we practice some terribly unfunny slapstick routines involving custard?
Harvey: Hmmm, oh I feel that a lot of precise will not be required!
Alice: Besides, Dur'll just eat any custard pies we have!
: I suppose everyone has some purpose in life.
Dur: Pie? Really? Where? [Starts searching the room]
Alice: However sad and pathetic it may be!
Charlie: [To the party, heading to the door] Right, let us go see if our clownish ruse fools those clownish fools!
Dur: And they have the pie, right?
[The party get to the door.]
Charlie: [Distractedly, to Dur] Yes, yes! All the pie your face can hold! [Goes to open the door] Get clowning, group!
Austin: Let's go! [Starts dancing]
Alice: [Picks up a previously unseen ladder and swings it around, narrowly missing Austin's head as his dance moves take him down low
] I'm ready!
[The party enter through the doorway, with ALICE initially getting stuck due to holding the ladder sideways.]
[Book XI, Act II, Scene VII. The Corridor. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY, all in clown costume, make their way along the path, lit up by HARVEY's brightly coloured nose. They come to a door, which, as before, looks like a car door.]
Alice: Well, go on, Aus!
Austin: Shh! Keep your voice down [Glances around casually to see if anyone is looking, then tries the door or pick the lock]
[AUSTIN tries the door. It is unlocked.]
Austin: [Carefully opens the door]
Clint: [Tries to engineer things so that he and the next through the door go through at the same time and become amusingly stuck.]
Charlie: [Tries to jam in alongside Clint, obligingly] Hurry! Double-time is funniest!
Alice: [With alarmingly bad timing, manages to get jammed in between Clint and Charlie
[The door swings open to reveal a tiny cramped little carriage, that only four people could fit into. It is otherwise empty.]
Harvey: [Nods knowingly and points at the carriage] Aha!
: [Gets into the carriage and searches for another way out] Why would someone make such a ridiculously small carriage?
Charlie: [To Austin] Perhaps the Colonel could tell us! [In a lower voice] He seems quite knowledgable in the ways of clowns!
Alice: [Climbs in beside Austin, also searching] What the hell kind of carriage has only one door? Harv, you're the clown expert, explain!
Clint: This is just wrong! A proper carriage should be enormous, hard on the horses, with plenty of room in the back for teenagers to hook up.
back on the 3rd.
Alice: Ew! I don't know what sort of things you like going on in the back of your carriage, Stinky, but I'm not a fan of awkward teen sex going on while I'm driving. It's very off putting!
Alice: [Sitting beside Austin] Well, we'll never fit everyone into this little clown car, will we?
Austin: No. There is barely enough room for my satchel. The rest of you will have to stay behind. [Gets into the carriage]
Alice: Is this even a carriage? It looks more like room in the shape of one!
: does it really matter? We are clowns after all. We can just pretend!
Charlie: [To Austin] That's getting into the clown spirit of things! [Gamely tries to cram into the carriage]
Alice: Quickly, Harvey, get in! There's only one space left, we don't want Stinky getting in and stinking the place up, or Dur... well, being Dur!
Dur: [Already climbing in] Hey! What's wrong with Dur!?
Clint: If a bunch of other clowns [gritted teeth] can manage this, so can we! [Starts flooding people as best he can to get them to fit, a la Tetris.]
Alice: I think we all know that, Dur!
[In one surprisingly smooth move, both DUR and CLINT try to get in at the same time, and, to everyone's surprise, fit in neatly.]
Alice: Hey! Did the car just get a bit bigger? It seems wider, right?
Charlie: [Nods awkwardly, bumping into Austin as she does. To Alice] Well, the carriage accommodated your hips, so I would say it is an engineering marvel!
Alice: Hey! At least it's better than having the build of a small boy!
: Who's Dur?
Charlie: [To Austin, helpfully] He is our servant! The one I give the coppers to when he satisfactorily completes a task?!
Clint: Or even when he satisfactorily attempts a task, which is probably more often! Now, let's arm ourselves. [Looks around for a custard pie or slapstick of some sort.]
: You gave him a name! How very modern. [Checks his nails casually]
Alice: How very uncouth -- one should never become too familiar with them!
Harvey: [Attempts to squeeze into the carriage] I say, that's a bit rough on the...man?
Austin: [Exasperated] Can we change the subject. Life is short! [Looks around the carriage] What the heck is going on here? How do we get out of this?
[HARVEY somehow squeezes in and the carriage expands just enough to fit him. He slams the door.]
Alice: Huh. So that's how clown cars work!
Charlie: [Delighted] Clever creations, are they not?! [Edges toward the steering wheel, trying to block Alice access] Now, I shall drive us away to safety!
Harvey: And don't spare the tiny horses!
Clint: And that means, Sarge, that you'd better let Alice drive. You drive like an old lady, and that's no way to disguise us as a bunch of clowns!
[Jams on the accelerator and saws away like crazy on the steering wheel.]
Alice: Whooo! I bet all you squares sure are terrified! [Notices the disappointing lack of terror] Hey! This isn't a carriage at all! This is just some lame little room with a fake steering wheel like they gave me when I was 18. [Pause] Er, I mean, 16... 12... 8... 4. Hey! Don't you judge me!
Harvey: If this is just a room, why do I suddenly feel travel sick?
: Conditioning perhaps? Do you often travel with the Sarge at the wheel?
Dur: I don’t think it’s travel sickness! Probably just regular disgust at having to adventure with the rest of us!
Harvey: Hmmm, well, we certainly are in close quarters, what! Perhaps it's the smell of clown grease paint!
Alice: [Darkly] It's something worse than clown grease paint, Harvey... much worse. [Dramatic pause] Much, much worse.
Clint: It's probably just my new cologne. I figure maybe we'll meet up with my long-lost love what's her name next and I want to be ready!
Alice: Lost? I think you mean in hiding!
Harvey: I think you may have taken eau de toilette a bit literally!
Charlie: [Wiggling to find a comfortable spot] Do calm down! Close quarters will always lead to unwanted sights and odors, such as a glimpse of Alice's sad undergarments!
Alice: Hey! It's laundry day -- laundry day!
[The door opens to reveal PENNY DIM and LUNI DIM, who start to climb in.]
Harvey: By the saints, the carriage is occupied! Occupied I tell you!
Austin: Do you have a reservation?
Charlie: [To Austin] I certainly do. Mine is that I fear they will not fit into this car!
Alice: I don't -- I lived on one with the Halfoats for a week until an oil company came along and made us move!
[The clowns don't care about any of this, and pile into the carriage, which somehow makes space for them.]
Penny: Ya gotta laugh, don't you? [Pushes a disgusting pie into Austin's face]
Harvey: I say, that's neither amusing nor hygienic!
Austin: [Screams in agony] Aaaaargh! [Tries to defend himself]
] Oh come on! What's funnier than someone getting pied?
[More clowns pour in and one hits ALICE right in the face with a pie.]
Alice: Ow! Hey! That really hurt!
[AUSTIN scrambles around looking for a weapon and lays his hand on a bulb horn, which he PARPS loudly in a PENNY'S face.]
Penny: [Laughs] That's it!
Charlie: [Whacks Penny with a rubber bludgeon that squeaks irritatingly when making contact] Get back, you brute!
Penny: [Laughs as the squeaky toy makes contact
[More and more clowns pour into the carriage, which keeps expanding.]
Alice: [Clubbing one with a rubber chicken] Actually, this is almost fun!
Dur: So why are we all cramming into this one room? Is there some kind of free lunch buffet about to be served?
Alice: Why can't you eat some of the floor pie that Austin has wiped off himself?
[The influx of clowns appears to have stopped, with about twenty clowns, including the party, all accommodated in the car.]
Clint: It would be a hilarious, very clown thing to do! [Tries his best to blend in by being deeply unfunny and a little disturbing.]
Alice: [Watching Clint sit there and do nothing] Oh please. That's not funny at all. [Hits him over the head with a rubber chicken] Now *that* is funny!
Austin: [Squirts Clint with his clowning lapel flower] I should add a little detergent to this. [Considers this for a most] Actually I already did! Tea-tree and Sea Kelp. Awful tree hugging hippy gunk, [Defensively] I needed to get rid if it somehow!
Alice: What is wrong with you, Austin? Who sneaked that into your bag in the first place?
[ALICE takes a custard pie to the face.]
Alice: Ow! Hey! We've gotta get out of here!
Harvey: [Glowers as a bucket of glitter is upended over his head] Agreed dear girl! This tomfoolery is quite annoying!
Alice: But what should we do? What normally happens with a tiny car full of clowns?
Charlie: [Considers the question] Drive comically in circles, honking the horn with irritating frequency?
Dur: Yeah, but which horns do we honk? These? [Honks his big rubber nose]
Alice: We can try! [Honks Dur's nose
] Ew! Why is it so wet?
[The clowning and honking continues, with the party getting pelted with pies and rubber chickens.]
Alice: We need to break this circle of honking and lampoonery!
Charlie: Well, the therapist was broken when we turned her techniques on her, but these clowns seem to revel in our clownery! [Muses] Perhaps they are vulnerable to tears? [Concerned] Though that may well only make them stronger!
Alice: They seem to have accepted us as part of their Clown Posse, so let's finish the act!
Harvey: What is the final act in a clown show? What is the pinnacle piece of tosh that ends their nonsense?
Clint: I think it traditionally ends with the audience booing them off stage?
Alice: Well, then, let's get on stage!
Harvey: Stage? Is there no end to the size of this carriage?
Alice: Surely the clown carriage full of clowns drives onto the stage?
Harvey: In a world of logic, that would make sense, dear girl. However, it would not surprise me that in this madcap place, it is the stage that would drive into the carriage!
Charlie: [Crossing colourful umbrellas with a nearby clown as though they were sword fighting] Perhaps, but one feels we need to try something different if we're ever to get out of here!
: How about a masquerade ball combined with wine tasting?
Alice: Yay! That sounds great! Where is it?
Harvey: Why, how wonderful! That would be just the thing to raise our flagging spirits!
Alice: But I don't see it! Where is iiiiiit?
Dur: [Covers his ears with his hands] Ack! Keep whining like that and maybe you will just annoy these clowns to death!
Clint: Good plan, Doc! Everybody whine now! [Whinily] Nooooow, dammit!
on these clowns, and now he's reduced to trying to whine them to death. =)
Charlie: [Covering her ears] You forget, these clowns are immune to whining, having spent years making children cry on their birthdays! Colonel, quickly, get us out of here before one of us is forced to stab Clint in the throat!
Harvey: [Begins pushing clowns out of the way, making for the door] Come all, an audience of terrified children await our nightmare making tomfoolery, what!
[Surprisingly, the CLOWNS move out of HARVEY's way to facilitate him getting to the door.]
Alice: [Punching one with a rubber sandwich] Just for good measure!
Harvey: [Still pushing] What's a collective of clowns? A troupe? That will do, make haste troupe, children to terrorise and all that!
Charlie: [Follows Harvey] Surely the collective is more sinister than that? A murder of clowns, one would guess?!
Alice: I think it's a Sinister of Clowns!
[HARVEY pushes the door open and everyone races out.]
[Book XI, Act II, Scene VIII. The Stage. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY race out of the clown car and onto a huge stage. Circus music BLARES and more clowns than could possibly have fit in the car come racing out too. The party can't see the audience due to the lights, but it appears as though one person is standing, clapping.]
Clapper: Whooo! [Clap, clap] Outstanding! Outstanding!
Austin: Who is that? [Tries to do a cartwheel]
Charlie: [Tries to juggle and handful of balls, peering into the audience] Someone with [huge emphasis] dreadful taste, no doubt?!
Harvey: [Attempting a robot mime] This must be the person responsible for our predicament!
Alice: [Trying to breathe fire, but only succeeds in drinking half a pint of petrol] It has to be!
Clapper: Bravo! Bravo!
Alice: [Does a double take] Deuce?
Charlie: [To Alice, pityingly] Poor girl, you see him everywhere! Remember, as I have told you many times, he is just not [finger quotes] into you!
Alice: No way! I'd know the scent of Honey Cured Ham anywhere!
[The lights go down... it actually is DEUCE, still on his feet clapping. LUCY is also there, she sits watching.]
: [Relieved to see Lucy. To Lucy] Are you okay? Did they hurt you?
Harvey: You know this person? [To Deuce] You there, what skullduggery is this?
Clint: And what're you doing with the alternate universe version of the lawyer's dead ex?
Lucy: I'm fine, Austin. Partly because I am part of them.
Deuce: [Slowing down his clapping] Outstanding! Outstanding! [To Harvey] It is a test, my good man!
Harvey: [Angrily] A test of what? And why?
Charlie: [Aghast] But I cannot be a test subject! Then I will be ineligible for co-authorship on the published results!
Deuce: [Laughs] Alas, that is true! But your success at the test will expose you to a whole world of science and stuff! Oh, the papers we'll write!
Alice: Oh man! Do we have to?
Deuce: [To Harvey] It's okay, big fella, we just wanted to make sure you weren't some HARMA narc.
Charlie: [To Deuce, huffily] Where are your Informed Consent Human Research forms, known colloquially as [finger quotes] ICHR-724-Js?! I do not recall signing anything of the sort!
Dur: Oh no! But I am terrible at tests! Its like med school all over again! [Aside to the group] And when I say med school, I of course mean the back alley organ black market!
Deuce: [Laughs at Charlie] Oh please! A census taker once asked me to fill out a ICHR-724-Js. I ate his satchel with a side of fava beans.
Alice: Wow! What did it taste like?
Deuce: It was a bit leathery. [Beckons the party to him] Come on, we have a lot to talk about. I'm about to blow your mind holes. All your fancy schooling' in the back alley won't prepare you for this.
Austin: [To Charlie] They are currently covered by clause 123.6.5, it's near the beginning of the document on page 1141. "the university will, from the Effective Date, use reasonable endeavours to introduce measures to ensure the the University will, as from the first anniversary of the Effective Date, aka the Implementation Date, comply with such of the Outstanding ICHR-724-Js Requirements that the Board, acting reasonably and following discussions with the University, considers are necessary and proportionate, having regard to the Board's position, as owner of and legal and ethical guardian in respect of use of ICHR-724-Js data and in the event that the University does not achieve such compliance by the Implementation Date, the University will continue to work towards achieving such compliance as soon as practicable,"
Deuce: [Looks Austin up and down] What are you? Some sort of Narc?
: Clear off! I was talking to Lucy.
Charlie: [To Deuce, flipping open a notebook] Tell me more about your research! What are you trying to learn?
Lucy: [To Austin] It's okay... these scientists are all the same. They all have the rock star mentality, but they take so many risks, well, it's understandable.
Deuce: Right now, we're trying to figure out why HARMA have such hold over people.
Harvey: Have you perhaps thought of asking a narc?
Deuce: We tried that. He said my breath smelled like ham and then arrested me for possession of controlled substances.
Harvey: Hmmm, I see. Tell me, why do you think these HARMA people hold such sway over the masses?
Deuce: Either Joe Nunpar and HARMA are talking a heck of a lot of good sense... or there's some dark magic at play that he's using to gain power.
Alice: Or maybe people are idiots!
Charlie: [Nods at Alice] I fear Alice may have the answer! [To Deuce] Have you any evidence of magic? Is Joe Nunpar in league with some demonic unicorn overlord?!
Alice: Yeah! Lots of people are idiots! No offence, Dur.
Deuce: [To Charlie] Not yet, but the Resistance is hoping to undertake a desperate and dangerous mission to bring a precious cargo of proof to one that can help prove it.
Austin: And you need a team to make sure this mission is successful?
Charlie: [Intrigued] How marvelous! To whom would this cargo be presented? What is the cargo??
Dur: Is it edible?
Harvey: I can assure you, we are not HARMA agents or spies. I'm curious, how would your horrendous tests have unmasked a spy? It seems to me to be nothing more than an act of cruelty. Clowns man!
Deuce: [Sheepishly] Yeah, fair point. The real test was Penelope, the Clown Test is just a side project to see how strong your wills are. We've had some interesting results so far. About 70% of people give up and curl into a tiny ball, and only 29.9% actually figure it out.
Alice: What about the other 0.1%?
Deuce: Became highly aroused.
Alice: Just there? Or during the test?
Deuce: Can't it be both?
Lucy: [Rolls her eyes] Yes, we need a team. We don't yet know exactly who to present the cargo to, but we believe that a highly skilled, well organised, laser focused, dedicated -- [turns to Alice] Please button your shirt up.
Alice: Sorry, I'm just a little... hot [licks her lips so Deuce can see] in this sexy clown suit...
Austin: So, hypothetically, if we had such a team, what is in the cargo they would carry?
Clint: And, hypothetically, would a team entrusted to carry this cargo be entitled to assault people who put them through wholly unnecessary traumas involving clowns?
Charlie: [To Clint, aghast] Assault?! But think of the SCIENCE!
Deuce: [Nods at Charlie's words] Quite right! Well said! [Gives her a smile]
Alice: [Looking a little worried] I like science too! You know... science and... stuff!
Lucy: [To Austin] It is a top secret sealed container. We don't know what's in it. The courier can't know. The person who receives it won't know, and even the one who packed it doesn't know.
Clint: Imagine the studies you can publish! "The Influence of Malicious Clown Pranks on Nasal Fracture." That sort of thing. It's *for* science!
: [To Lucy] Is this one of their ridiculous double blinded triple waste of time and tax payers money studies?
Harvey: So who does know about this cargo?
Lucy: [Looks at Austin] Are they always like this? Deuce just told you! The courier, the receiver and the one who packed it.
Alice: I thought he said he didn't know what it was?
Lucy: That's not the same as knowing ABOUT it. [Gives Austin a look of pity] Is this what you have to deal with?
Harvey: Well then, I for one have no interest in doing anything for you.
Deuce: Oh, pay no attention to her, Harvey! She's just a lawyer, they don't understand how to talk to humans! Sir, the moment I laid eyes on you, two things struck me. First, you have noble bearing of a hero, quite experienced in the ways of saving the word, second, you're a man who appreciates a good ham. Am I right?
: [To Lucy] Yes. They are always like this. In and out of days, years, across continents and dimensions. Always the same nonsensical bickering and questions. .
Charlie: [To Austin] It is perfectly reasonable to not wish to transport something without first knowing what it is! What if it is explosive? Or an overdue library book?!
Dur: Oh! And what did you think the moment you laid eyes on ME?!
Lucy: Plausible deniability. If you were questioned by Library Police and asked if you had an overdue library book, you would almost certainly give the game away.
Deuce: [Nods] Yeah, we all know the kind of pressure the LPs can put someone under.
Lucy: However, if you didn't know, and denied it, why unless they had some other overwhelming reason to search you, then you would be free.
Deuce: I thought... there's a guy!
Dur: [Crestfallen] Really? But I LOVE ham!
Deuce: [Squeezes his shoulder] We all do, buddy. We all do.
Harvey: Indeed, its an odd chap indeed who doesn't love a good ham!
Austin: [To Lucy, nodding towards Harvey] Please excuse the colonel, he is a social dinosaur, and knows nothing of equality and diversity.
Lucy: Yes, the tribulations one must tolerate when saving the world.
Deuce: [To the party] So, what do you say? Are you up for this? Delivering an unknown package to an unknown person in an unknown location facing unknown dangers?
Harvey: I guess you could say that our answer is...unknown! [Laughs long, loud and very alone]
Charlie: [Holds her hand up eagerly] No, I know! I know! [To Deuce] We WILL deliver the package!
Deuce: I knew I could rely on you!
Alice: [Steps in front of Charlie] I want to deliver it more than she does!
Deuce: Er... sure, I meant you, as in this group.
Alice: I knew that!
Harvey: [To the party] Are you sure you want to do this, troupe? It sounds more than a little mysterious!
: Of course! Saving the world is what we do ... best [Frowns briefly at the rest of the party]
Deuce: Well then, all that remains is to take a bunch of drugs and have a huge party! You know, for Science and Stuff!
Charlie: [Primly] We will do no such thing. We need to keep our senses sharp and be able to meet any challenges that may arise! [To Harvey] Wouldn't you agree?
Harvey: Absolutely madam! There is more than enough mystery involved already with this task without our group flying four sheets to the wind and chasing the cheese monster!
Alice: No way! I love being four cheeses to the wind!
[PENNY DIM burst into the scene.]
Penny: HARMA are here! They've found us! We're all gonna die!
Dur: Everybody scatter! Doctors and cowards first! And I'm both!
Harvey: [To Penny] Is this some poor excuse of a joke? Hoping we'll all run hither and thither while you stand chortling and tooting your horn?
Alice: [Roars laughing] Oh, he had me going there! And look at that scaredy pants Dur, running hither and tither! [Chortles and toots her horn]
Penny: No! They're here! Really! [Puts his hands on his hips and taps one enormous shoe on the floor so aggressively that his huge plastic lapel flower bounces around comically] Do I look like I'm joking?
Charlie: [To Deuce] Have you some sort of non-amusing transportation for us to borrow?
Deuce: Certainly! I --
[He breaks off as PENNY gets shot through the back of the head, splashing the party in blood and brains.]
Alice: Wow! [Applauds] Do it again! Do it again! [To the party] That was great! [Wipes some clown brain off her face] It almost looks real!
Austin: Time to go! [Looks for the non numerous transport] Who in hells name gave HARMA guns?
Harvey: [Pulling a clowns nose from his forehead with a wet spchulk sound] By the saints, perhaps he wasn't joking after all! [To Deuce] How do we get out of here with your cargo?
Alice: It wasn't a gun, just a really well aimed crossbow bolt!
Deuce: It's not my cargo, it's yours! You're the ones who brought it here! [Points to a fire exit] Out there!
Clint: Haw! This, I can do! [Heads for the fire exit, flexes his foot, and boots it open with unnecessary vigor.] Ladies and cowards first, which means Dur, then it's a free-for-all!
niece yesterday. It's somewhat emotionally confusing.
Charlie: Follow that foot, group!
[The party race out through the fire exit, into a side street. Sitting there is the huge crate that the party picked up from Chino's China Shop in the last act.]
Alice: Is that the thing we're supposed to take?
Austin: I think so. I'm sure Mr Scar and Mr Dur will manage it.
Harvey: [To Austin] Really, jokes at a time like this? [Picks up one side of the crate] Come Mr Scar, make lively! There's not a moment to lose!
[CLINT grabs the other end.]
Alice: We better all help! Come on! [Also grabs as they start to heft it down the alleyway]
Charlie: [Helping with the trunk] How convenient the very thing we needed to deliver we already had in our possession! I think we can all agree my strong leadership has led us in the right direction!
Alice: Is that direction that we're trying to deliver something, but don't know what it is, who sent it, who's getting it, where it's going and we don't have a carriage?
Harvey: [Red faced and puffing] Why, that certainly sounds like an astute summary of our current direction, my dear girl!
Austin: The longer those things remain unknown, the better.
Alice: I don't know, Aus, I'd like to know how we're going to travel! Carrying this heavy box is exhausting! I mean... if I was actually carrying it rather than simply running along behind pretending to!
[The party are almost at the end of the alleyway. HARMA Officers come out the fire exit.]
Alice: There's no fire! That should be illegal!
Dur: Indeed! Did they file the proper paperwork to use an emergency exit in a non-emergency situation?!
Austin: [To Alice] Indeed, it is a terribly heavy box, and I'm quite exhausted already [Jogs along beside Alice, well away from the heavy lifting] However, it's better than getting shot at.
Alice: True, but honestly, Aus, don't you think they could run a little more quickly?
Austin: Well they are getting on a bit, can't push them too hard.
Alice: Perhaps we should encourage them? Heave! Ho! [Smiles] Hey! This is fun! We should lift really heavy crates all the time!
Charlie: [Lugging the box dutifully. To Austin and Alice] You two get back over here at once and help us! [In a low, urgent voice] Do you want the Colonel to have a stroke?!
Austin: We are helping, sarge. [Nods at Charlie's thighs] We're not all built for heavy lifting!
Alice: [Drops her head down] No... we don't him to have a stroke. [Helps carry the box] Oh man, this is way less fun when you have to carry it! What are we going to do about a carriage?
Dur: Can’t we just steal one like we usually do? Maybe those HARMA thugs came in one?
Clint: It's either that or steal a bunch of skateboards, which would be way more stylish but rather impractical. Perhaps we can arrange a taxi?
Austin: Okay already! [Puts a hand under the case, struggling grievously] Must I do everything around here!
[The HARMA officers charge, quickly bearing down on the party as they exit the alleyway and enter a main street, which is suspiciously empty, with not a car in sight.]
Alice: We should have called a Nuber!
[Book XI, Act III, Scene I. Main Street, Nostalgia. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY struggle into the deserted main street, with a bunch of angry HARMA goons racing up the alley after them. Suddenly a huge moving carriage pulls up in front of them. ANNA looks out.]
Austin: We are dangerous rebels! Why would help us? [Helps to put the crate into the van]
Charlie: [Helping lug the crate in the carriage] Indeed, you are risking your very life merely being seen in our presence, poor girl!
Austin: [Getting in beside Anna if he can] We are being hunted by heavily armed soldiers as we speak. How fast can this thing go?
Harvey: [Getting into the carriage] I say, what a stroke of luck! Thank you madam, and please, don't spare the horses! We are being chased, what!
Anna: Danger is my middle name! [Thinks] Actually, it's Mildred, but I got a taste for danger when I met your dashing leader in the back of the removal van! [To Austin] This can go... very fast!
Dur: Just like Alice does after a few glasses of wine? What are we waiting for!? [Blinks recognizing Anna] Oh, hello!
Austin: Excellent, let's put that to the test? [Intrigued] I am this party's leader, whom did you meet in the back of the removal van? Did he smell of Ham?
Anna: [Ignores Austin] Hi Dur! [Swoon]
Austin: [Edges away from Anna, assuming some form of potentially contagious insanity] Okay!
Anna: What should we do, Dur?
[The HARMA officers are bearing down quickly.]
Dur: [Fidgets uncomfortably under the scrutiny] Well… We should make our daring escape of course, dear. That way we can live to break the law another day!
Charlie: [To Anna, urgently] Hurry, we must go! You do want our Dur to live to see another day, do you not?!
Harvey: By the saints, is this yet another test scenario by that odd man?
Clint: [Clambers into the carriage] Nah, it's just a last-minute getaway. Right?
Anna: You got it, Dur!
[She revs up the horses and races down the alleyway, directly towards the HARMA officers who are still charging... slowly they realise they are charging towards an oncoming carriage.]
Anna: This is what you get for messing with my man!
Clint: Usually you get inept medical advice and a large bill!
Anna: Tell me about his large... bill!
[The carriage barrels down the alleyway, scraping the sides and sending HARMA officers diving for cover.]
Anna: Well? [Turns around to look at the party] Go on!
Harvey: Er, okay. [Begins clapping] Well done!
Charlie: [Hanging on for dear life] Yes, well done! Perhaps we should keep going in much the same vein???
Austin: Were too?
Anna: [Delighted] Dur! Your parents approve of us! [To Austin] I don't know, I'm not even looking at the road!
Dur: Now if only HARMA would let us live our law-breaking lives!
Austin: [To Dur, amazed] You have parents?
Alice: Ew! I thought he just came out of an egg or something! You know, like rats do!
Charlie: [To Dur, encouragingly] Do not listen to her, Dur. We know you were the product of human birth. [Sadly, to the others] Even nature gets it wrong sometimes, after all!
Anna: Well, of course you do... Mom! It is okay that I call you Mom, right?
Dur: Yeah! Can I call you Mom too?!
Alice: I think we should all call her Mom!
Charlie: [Shakes her head firmly] No, that would be inappropriate and factually inaccurate! Instead of finding a way to fill the gaping emotional holes in your lives, perhaps we could chart a course out of this dreadful place?!
Harvey: Agreed on all counts, dear woman! But we are still not too sure where. However, at the moment, I think our direction is anywhere but here, what!
Clint: Nah, it can always get worse. Anywhere *better* than here is what we should be looking for! I vote for some place where the weather is warmer and the natives are friendlier.
Alice: That's a good point, where are we going?
Austin: [To Anna] Could you recommend a good hold out that we could lay low in for an hour or so?
Charlie: [Nods] Yes, and you would not also happen to know who is in charge of the resistance around here, would you? And where their secret headquarters are located?
Anna: I certainly do know who the leader of the Resistance is! He's ever so handsome!
Alice: Oh god. She thinks it's Dur, doesn't she?
Anna: [To Austin, enthusiastically] No!
Austin: [To Anna] Do you have something else in mind?
Harvey: Who is the leader of the resistance?
Dur: Hey! I SHOULD lead a resistance! How else are we going to change all those pesky laws about needing ‘licenses’ to practice medicine? Pfft, as if the human body is THAT complex.
Charlie: [Absently hands Dur a copper piece. To Anna] I can assure you, our Dur is not the leader of the resistance. He is a servant, and a slightly hysterical one, at that! [Conversationally] Now, taking Dur out of the equation, who would your second guess be??
Anna: Oh. [Thinks hard] Let me see... uh... What's the Resistance?
Harvey: We are not narcs, if that's what you're worried about!
Anna: [Brightly] No! I'm not worried about anything, not with Dur at my side!
Alice: [To the party] I don't think she's part of any resistance, I think she's just some sad loser who thinks that Dur is interesting!
Dur: Then maybe we should start our own resistance!
Alice: We should resist any resistance that has Dur in charge!
Charlie: [Laughs merrily] Oh my, Alice I had no idea you could be so amusing! Dur--in charge?! [Composes herself] I should be happy to lead the resistance, but that still leaves us without a destination to deliver this trunk!
Alice: I thought Deuce was in charge of the Resistance! He's way dreamier than Dur!
Charlie: [Incredulously] I hardly think the quantity or volume of [finger quotes] dreaminess is an appropriate measure for a revolutionary leader!
Clint: I think you'll find that it's being a dreamer which is exactly the right quality for a rebel leader!
Alice: That's why an uggo like Stinky will never lead the revolution!
Anna: So, which direction?
Austin: Out of town? Head for the border?
Harvey: Indeed, out of town and then head west. In the direction of the rising sun!
Alice: I think we should go south... in the direction of the rising sun!
Charlie: [To Alice] For purely arbitrary reasons, one assumes??
Alice: No, it's a little thing called gravity! The sun goes DOWN, everyone knows that south is down! Where do you think we should go?
Austin: West is best! [Lights up a cigarette in an unfeasibly long holder, offers one to Alice]
Harvey: West it is then! And at a steady, yet brisk pace, dear woman!
Alice: [Takes the cigarette which she has to hold outside the carriage because the holder is so long] This is a mistake. We're all gonna die!
Anna: Unless Dur disagrees, West it is!
Dur: Anywhere is certainly better than here at the moment!
Anna: To anywhere... and beyond!
[The carriage zooms through the streets of Nostalgia and out the gate.]
Charlie: [Thrilled] How marvelous! West seems like a very daring direction, does it not?!
Austin: Possibly. Since we know we don't know where we are going, West is as good a direction as any, and it does sound good.
Clint: It sounds like the kind of direction after which some daft idiot is likely to name his or her child!
Charlie: [To Clint] How sweet! You have your baby names already picked out?!
Alice: I think that's adorable! Let's guess the names -- Ouest, Eeyeest, Noorf and Dave are my guesses!
Charlie: [Nods approvingly] Those are preferably to [finger quotes] Chardonnay Khaleesi or Deuce II, at least!
Harvey: These new fangled names are a nonsense, what! Whatever happened to the good old staples of Platoon, Battalion, Berserker, or even Singdon Smythe Shetterton Sharpley the Sixth?
Anna: Or Dur! That's a great name!
Alice: [Writing down] Hang on, Charlie, not so fast. What was the second one? Deuce...?
Charlie: [To Alice] Oh, do be serious! They both came from your Boffo Book of Baby Names! [To Harvey] Rather oddly named, though, as it was just one sheet folded in half with two names written inside!
Austin: What were the two names?
Charlie: Chardonnay Khaleesi and Deuce II! Alice's prized baby names! You know, the ones she tried to knit into a blanket that time?
Alice: I don't knit! I have people to do that for me! You know, the... knitting people, or whatever they're called!
Charlie: Oh, perhaps you DID have Dur do it, now that you mention it!
Harvey: I believe they're called servants, dear girl!
Dur: Well, how else do you expect me to keep my surgical sense sharp?!
Anna: You can play doctor with me any time!
Clint: [Shudders] You do know he's married, right, with lots of little green babies?
interdimensional demon thing several years ago.
Dur: Don't be a square Clint! That was in a completely different dimension!
Charlie: [Disapprovingly] That is NOT how fidelity works. No wonder you have such a dreadful marriage!
Austin: She did try to eat him, didn't she?
Harvey: [Shudders] By the saints, she had obviously poor taste all round! [To Dur] No offence meant!
Alice: Oh my god! The er... woman is dead!
Anna: Oh! A heartbroken widower... how romantic!
Harvey: Hmpfh! At least she didn't run off with another man, taking all her husbands wealth and possessions with her!
Anna: I didn't take all his wealth and possessions! I left some stuff behind... like that awful statue of his grandmother!
Charlie: [To Harvey, nodding to Anna] Oh, dear! You are not suddenly attracted to this woman, one hopes?!
Austin: It is not unusual for a servant to fall in love with one of the masters. It is pretty icky though. [Shudders]
Harvey: Well, certainly she has a shapely ankle, but no, I'm not.
Anna: I'm here with Dur, so I should hope not! I mean, what kind of woman do you think I am?
Alice: The kind who stole a bunch of her husband's money and a moving carriage to run away with some sad loser she only just met?
[ANNA thinks for a moment.]
Anna: I wouldn't call him a sad loser.
Dur: There, there dear. They are all just overly sensitive because our new tottering old friend was just conned in much the same way. Nothing to worry about with me though because I have nothing for anyone to steal!
Anna: Oh, I don't know... what about your heart?
Alice: [To the party] Oh my god. This is painful!
Charlie: [Wrinkling her nose] Dur, do control your woman. We are at work, so consider this space a place of business!
Harvey: Indeed! And that business is not business time, what!
Alice: Maybe it is a business arrangement!
Anna: Are you calling me a milliner?
Alice: Actually, I was implying that you might be a prostitute.
Alice: Well, if the cap fits...
Anna: So you ARE calling me a milliner?
Alice: [Thinks] Hm, actually, I kind of like her!
Clint: Me too. Let he who has not stolen a carriage for a god cause throw the first stone!
[BONK. CLINT gets hit on the head by a stone thrown by ALICE.]
Alice: Hey, it's not like I personally stole any of these carriages!
Dur: But did you IMPERSONALLY steal any of them?
Alice: [Gives Dur a long, sad look, before turning to the party] She can do better.
Clint: I admit he's something of a fixer upper, but let her be happy with her multidimensional widower!
Harvey: And let us be happy that we are on the move, away from those HARMA cads!
Charlie: [Nods at Harvey's words] Oh, indeed! I can practically feel our safety increasing by the minute! [Excited] Soon, we will find a place to stop for a rest and painstakingly formulate a well-developed plan. [Starry-eyed] With maps! And charts!
Austin: [Deadpan] You could make a chart of all the known unknowns.
Alice: I made a chart of the all unknown unknowns! [Holds up a blank sheet of paper] Whatcha think?
Harvey: [Looking at the sheet] Potentially it would have been more impressive had you not used a pen with white ink, dear girl!
Alice: Well, if I had used my sparkly gold pen, then they'd hardly be unknown, would they?
Austin: Unknown unknowns are, generally best left unknown.
Charlie: [Aghast] It is clear none of you are scientists! Those of us with inquiring minds cannot rest until we know everything!
Alice: So is it driving you crazy that you don't know what's in the box?
Charlie: [Excited] Oh, yes! Let us conduct experiments to ascertain what is in the box! [Whips out a notepad and starts taking measurements, mumbling numbers]
Austin: Will the first experiment be opening the box?
Alice: Certainly not! Deucie told us not to open it.
Charlie: [To Alice, incredulously] If you are going to live your life taking direction from Deuce, I fear for your future health and mental well-being! [To Austin] Opening it is the last step, of course. Only after we have conducted experiments to make an educated guess about its contents will we open to confirm the success of our work!
Alice: It certainly sounds like there's going to be a lot of note taking and other boring stuff!
Austin: Why not just open the box and find out. It's the only way to know for sure what is in there.
Harvey: I agree wholeheartedly! I mean, based on our earlier experience, there's every possibility that it's just a huge Jack in the Box, in the box! Hmm, or is that Jack in the Chest, in the chest?
Clint: Knowing Deuce, it's probably something stupid and pointless in there, but why tempt fate by opening it? If we really want to know what's in the box, surely the right answer is to have *someone else* open it for us while we wait behind a blast shield of some kind?
Anna: I know what we should do!
[The carriage hits a rock and flies into the air, turning upside gracefully as it does.]
Alice: I don't really see how that's going to help!
[Everyone gets pinned to the roof.]
[Book XI, Act III, Scene II. The Carriage. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and ANNA are in carriage that is flying upside down over a cliff.]
Anna: [Pumping the brakes] It won't stop!
Charlie: [Frantically grabbing for something solid to hang onto. To Anna] Is this part of your plan? Or has it all gone horribly wrong?!
Anna: [Dead calm] Don't worry. [Smiles] Dur will sort us out!
Alice: We're all gonna die!
[The carriage continues its flight through the air.]
Austin: Brace positions! [To Anna] You have flown this before haven't you?
Anna: Of course!
Anna: [Drops her head] No.
Harvey: [Grabbing on for dear life] By the saints, and I thought this day could not get worse!
Dur: Don’t worry gang! [Uselessly tries to cast Calm Emotions] There, we might all be heading towards certain doom, but at least we won’t be panicking!
[Alas, there is too much falling and screaming to successfully cast a spell. The fall is broken with a huge splash.]
Charlie: [Relieved, looks out the window] Are we safe?!
Dur: [All the color begins draining from Dur's face] What was that sound?!
Austin: Hopefully it is slightly sparkling mineral water, with a hint of rose.
Alice: [Peers out] I think we're safe! [Turns to the party] Crocodiles can't swim, right?
Austin: Of course they can swim! Have you ever seen one using armbands?
Alice: Oh. Well, I think we may be washed over the waterfall before they catch us.
Harvey: Are you sure they weren't alligators? Those scaly buggers have quite a pace!
Alice: I don't know, what kind of armbands do they wear?
Charlie: [Cranes her neck to check the waterfall] Are we closer to the waterfall or the crocodiles?!
Alice: [Blocking the window] I don't know! We haven't established yet whether they are crocodiles or alligators!
Clint: Can you see their teeth when their mouths are closed?
Alice: Not really, but there's so much blood it's hard to be sure!
Austin: [Checks himself for alligators] Whose blood is it?
Dur: [Cradling his knees in a fetal position] Who cares about crocodies or alligators when we are surrounded by the true terror! Water!
Harvey: I don’t think you’ll need to worry for too long, judging by the roaring sound of that oncoming waterfall, what!
Alice: What? You'll have to speak up, I can hardly hear you over the roaring sound of the waterfall!
[Whoever's blood it is, is isn't from the party.]
Austin: [Looks worried] Is it a little waterfall, or a big one?
Alice: I don't know -- it's too deep to tell!
Charlie: I doubt we can swim against the pull of the waterfall, so we had better brace ourselves for the drop!
Alice: The drop? Yeesh, could you vague that up, Charlie? I mean, there must be like, thousands of drops of water here!
Harvey: I believe the dear woman is referring to our imminent plunging over the edge of the waterfall, what!
Charlie: [To Harvey] Indeed I am, Colonel! [To the party] Hold tight, group! No doubt we shall be plunging dramatically any moment now!
Alice: Maybe if we all blow really hard in the opposite direction?
Austin: How did that work out for you the last time you tried it?
Alice: It's my first time!
Austin: I suppose we should be relieved! brace yourselves! [Puts on one of those in-flight neck cushions. To Anna] Is this carriage submersible too?
Anna: Yes! [Thinks hard] That means it can sink, right?
Austin: Only if we can still breath when it is submersed, and then surface again when we choose?
Anna: Uh... no, but on the bright side, we'll probably drown before that happens.
Clint: Maybe we'll get lucky and the wreckage will float. It means we'll get wet and we'll probably have to deal with Dur's panic attack, but with a great deal of luck we might even survive the experience... at least until the alligators fall on top of us!
Alice: Wait! I think we're going to be okay! I think that --
[The carriage lurches as it careers over the waterfall. Everyone gets a glimpse of how high up they are. They are very, very high.]
Charlie: [Gasp and grabs the side of the carriage frantically] Hold on, group!
Alice: Nooooooooooooooo [checks her watch
[The fall stops mid air.]
Harvey: Oof! [Looks around] I say, I believe we can fly!
Alice: I wonder if we can touch the sky!
Charlie: [To Alice and Harvey, gripping the wall desperately] Indeed, you cannot! Humans are not capable of independent flight, and when confronted by gravity, they will inevitably fall! [Scolding] If you listened to the first Science for Beginners lecture I gave when I joined the party, you would know that!
Alice: I did listen! Why else do you think I fell asleep so quickly?
Austin: [Tries to see outside] What stopped us?
Charlie: Perhaps we have all died, crushed by the fall, and we now exist only as formless thoughts? [Reaches over to pinch Dur on the arm] Are you solid?
Harvey: I think you'd best hope the answer to that is no!
Dur: [Eyes clinched shut] So long as I can’t SEE the water I don’t have to be afraid right?! Wait,[Blinks] did we stop falling?
Alice: [Wincing at Dur's scream of pain as Charlie pinches him
] I think we're stuck in a huge net! And look, there are a whole bunch of people here, having some sort of party!
[Strangely enough, this is true. There is a gathering of about thirty people, all dressed in cowboy gear, cheering and a-hollerin'.]
Austin: Out of the waterfall into the frying pan. Not as catchy as I would hope. Anyway they seem to be very glad that they saved us. Let's just hope that they don't do line dancing. [Goes green at the thought]
Clint: What do you suppose are the odds they're friendly? Or that they're cannibals?
Dur: Can't we take an optimistic approach to things once in awhile? Perhaps they are friendly cannibals!
Harvey: Or even very well fed cannibals who are currently not in need of a meal!
Austin: [Nervously] As long as they don't line dance, we'll all be fine.
Alice: [Looks out
] Hey! Are you a cannibal?
[One of the cowboys waves and answers.]
Cowboy: Yes! How did you know?
Charlie: [To Cowboy] Did you catch us as part of a grotesque hunting/gathering process, or are you merely helpful?
Cowboy: Hunting? Heck, no! We're here to help! We had a dream that we need to build a big net!
Charlie: How splendidly primitive! Could you assist us safely out of this net?
Harvey: And please, with as little yeehawing and thigh slapping as you can possibly muster! We've been through quite enough for one day!
Cowboy: Yeeha--, I mean, yeehoo!
Alice: But what about the cannibals?
Cowboy: What cannibals?
Austin: [Cautiously] What else was in your dream?
Cowboy: Not a whole lot. We just dreamt that a bunch of folks would need our help. We never dreamed that it would come true. [Pause] Wait, that's not quite true... we did DREAM it, we just didn't believe it!
Charlie: [Sensibly] And rightly so! Only very silly or simple-minded people believe their dreams come true.
Alice: Oh, what a sad world you live in, Charlie!
Cowboy: That was pretty much it, I guess. We just dreamed we should get a big net.
Clint: Well, that's right neighborly of you, pardner. [Begins struggling to get to safety.]
Harvey: Did all of you have the same dream? ;; Do the party still have the chest?
[CLINT pushes the door open so the party can see all the cowboys and cowgirls on the riverbank. The COWBOY talking to them is ANNIBAL SPECTER.]
Annibal: Yes sir!
Anna: [Whispers to the party] Sounds dodgy. Let's kill them all!
Charlie: [To Anna, in a low voice] We cannot just attack everyone we meet. Some may become allies! [To Annibal] How interesting! We should like to hear more about it [attempts to exit the carriage].
Harvey: [To Anna] Indeed, let us show some restraint! Have you heard of this group of people?
[CLINT and CHARLIE climb out of the carriage and onto the net. It is a reassuringly well constructed net.]
Alice: Who are they?
Anna: Well, I don't know!
Austin: I suppose we should be relieved at that!
Harvey: [Climbing out and trying to steady himself] By the saints, what a firm and welcome net, what! [Holds out his hand] I'm Harvey Kingston Short the third, very pleased to meet you!
Dur: Perhaps they are future soldiers in the resistance I am building!
Charlie: [Shakes her head, carefully attempting to cross the net] No, they would have greeted us with pants full of sandwiches, surely!
Annibal: [Shakes hands with Harvey] That's a mighty fine grip you got there, partner! Did y'all have the same dream?
Alice: Do you have a sandwich in your pants?
Annibal: No, but I do have an enormous penis.
Clint: One hopes it's yours!
Annibal: One of 'em is.
Charlie: [To Annibal, intrigued] Oh, what species are you? I should like to hear more about your anatomical peculiarities!
Alice: Oh my god, Charlie, keep it in your pants!
Annibal: I'm human, lady. What species are you? Did you make us have the dream?
Clint: We're your bog-standard people, us! Just that some of us are more sheltered than others.
Harvey: Did your dream show anything else, or just to create a big net?
Annibal: Why don't you tell us, partner? Seeing as how you're the ones who gave us the dream!
Harvey: Why, I believe you then cooked a splendid, though meat free banquet for the new arrivals, what!
Charlie: [Nodding enthusiastically] Oh, yes! And then gave me two competent research assistants and drove me to a world-class library!
Annibal: Meat free? [Laughs] As if! [Thinks] We can help you out with research assistants, but sorry, lady, ain't no world-class libraries any more!
Charlie: [Disapprovingly] Clearly, we have also abandoned elementary school grammar, as well!
Clint: Well, yes. Elementary school grammar is for people in elementary school!
Harvey: [To Charlie] I'm not sure their schooling would have included grammar, dear woman. Probably more likely their sports days involved calf rustling, lassoo twirling for beginners and how to spit tobacco juice into a spitoon from varying distances!
Alice: All y'all need to calm down, there ain't nothin' wrong with the way they're talkin' y'hear?
Annibal: Yeah... now you're starting to sound a bit racist.
Charlie: [To Alice] Oh, do stop pandering to the locals! [To Annibal] When you and your group are not dreaming and constructing nets, how do you normally occupy yourselves?
Annibal: Come on down and I'll tell you all about it!
[Book XI, Act III, Scene III. The Riverbank. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY, ANNA, ANNIBAL and a bunch of folk in Western gear are here. ANNIBAL leads the party through what looks like a huge picnic.]
Annibal: We got chicken fried chicken, chicken fried steak, steak fried steak, steak fried chicken and some chicken fried fries. What would you like?
Harvey: [Mouth watering, looks suspiciously at the meat] Erm, I suppose you don't have any fish? What with being so close to a river and everything!
Charlie: [To Harvey, with a snort] Perhaps chicken-fried fish?!
Dur: All of the above please!
Clint: Dur's got the right idea! I'll have the same.
Annibal: Fish? Nah, there's not much meat in fish!
Alice: Do you have anything that's not fried?
Annibal: You could try the fries, they're not too much fried!
Charlie: [To Annibal, appalled] One assumes the life expectancy of your people is quite low?
Harvey: Indeed! [Points to the food] About as long as the life expectancy of your chickens, what! You are like the Cowboys of the Chikpocalypse!
Annibal: We prefer to say the More Horsemen of The Cickenpoxalpyse! [To Charlie] On the contrary, ma'am. We have excellent life expectancy. Why, my granpappy lived to the right old age of 23. [Grabs at his chest] Sonofa! That's my third heart attack this week!
Charlie: [To Harvey, disapprovingly] No doubt they also drink their tea cold! And leave the crusts on their cucumber sandwiches!
Annibal: [Grimacing through the pain] Cue... come ... bear? Sorry, lady, not sure what you mean. What kind of meat is that? [Face lights up] Is it bear? It's bear, isn't it? Hey, I like your style, cow-girl!
Harvey: Mmm, chicken fried cucumbear sandwiches...[stomach rumbles]. By the saints, what I wouldn't give for a ponnet full of southern chicken fried snakes feet at this minute!
Charlie: [Gasps] Colonel, no! Do not succumb to the temptation of those deep-fried coronary ticking time bombs!
Annibal: Chicken fried snakes' feet? [Laughs] You're definitely one of us!
Charlie: We are NOT. We have important work to do, as well as plans to live past the age of 30 [looks around] and, er, older!
Annibal: But what about the dream? Did y'all cause that?
Dur: Sure! We cause those kinds of things all the time by accident!
Annibal: [Scratches his crotch] Well, that's a real head scratcher, isn't it? Y'all could have been killed!
Harvey: That, I believe, is not an unusual event, dear sir!
Annibal: Maybe, but [loud scratching] the question is who made us dream that? And also how? And why?
Alice: Not to mention WHEN!
Annibal: No, we already knew that.
Austin: [Covering his ears] Please make him stop scratching. I fear injury to my delicate hearing.
Charlie: [To Annibal] Based on my understanding of the skills in this group, I can say with some confidence that we did not send the dreams to you. However, it does seem that the people responsible wished to assist us, so one concludes they are on the side of good!
Alice: [Nods] It's true, we're crap at that sort of thing!
Annibal: So what's so special about you that you need saving?
Harvey: It must be that we are just really, really good people, what!
Austin: [Casually admiring his nails] We have saved the world a number for times, and I have impeccably good taste. Do you need more reasons?
Annibal: Nope, that's good enough for me!
Austin: Excellent, I like you already. Thank you for saving my team.
Charlie: [To Annibal] Splendid! We do so enjoy working with the deeply naive and exceedingly accommodating! Could you assist us in freeing our carriage so that we may be on our way?
Annibal: Certainly not! Now we have to some singing and dancing!
Harvey: Could you not free our carriage first, and then have a sing and a dance about that?
Annibal: No sir. We can't go riskin' another hang and dash now, can we?
Charlie: What on earth is a hang and dash?!
Annibal: It's when you free someone or their vehicle and they race off before you can play a tune about it on your Geetar.
Alice: What's that? Is it something like a guitar?
Annibal: Kind of, but way more annoying.
Charlie: [Shudders] Perhaps you could play AS we leave? You know, something like a hillbilly car chase, to add whimsy to the scene?
Austin: Everyone loves a good carriage chase!
Annibal: Dang it! Why doesn't anyone like to hear our songs on the geetar?
Harvey: Perhaps you should invest in some good, serious instruments, such as war drums and trumpets!
Annibal: No way -- they're not sad enough!
Austin: I'm sure your geetar will be just fine. Why don't you play it on your carriage as you chase us, close enough so that we can hear of course!
Annibal: You don't use geetars for chasing -- that's banjo music!
Charlie: [To Annibal] Pardon my colleague! He is not familiar with the ways of the hills and so forth. Go ahead and play your [finger quotes] geetar, and we shall drive off into the sunset!
Alice: Oh god! Now we'll never get the carriage back!
Annibal: [Starts strumming his horribly out of tune guitar as he sings] Over end, neither left nor the right!
Charlie: [Claps loudly] Excellent! Now perhaps you could help us retrieve our carriage?
Harvey: Indeed, a fine, and more importantly, short, ditty!
Annibal: Hey lady! That's just the first line!
Alice: How many lines are there?
Annibal: A hundred.
Annibal: In this verse!
Charlie: [To the party] Let each line serve as inspiration in motivating you to help me unload our carriage! [Claps her hands] Come, group! Let us make quick work of it, and continue on foot!
Annibal: Drop kick me, Phili, through the goaaaaaal posts of life!
Alice: [Covers her ears
] It burns! It burns!
[A flaming arrow zips past the party and lands in the middle of them.]
Alice: Huh. Look, it burns!
Harvey: I believe that's an apt critical response what! We may also be under attack!
Alice: Us? I don't think so!
[Another arrow flies and gets caught in ALICE'S hat.]
Alice: That's just rude! I wasn't even wearing a hat!
Charlie: [Covers her head frantically] Take cover, group!
Austin: Were? [Looks around in a panic. Hides behind Alice]
Alice: [Ducks behind Austin] Man! It's getting really hot! Is there a fire somewhere?
Harvey: By the saints, its almost safer back in the river!
Charlie: [Horrified] But we cannot leave all of my research behind! Think of the loss to science and--yes, to mankind itself!
Austin: [Casually checking his nails] Every cloud has a silver lining!
Alice: [Points to some bushes] I think it's coming from there! Dur, rush in like crazy and scare them out. Harvey, Clint and Charlie can catch them with their swords. Aus, you and me need to check out what sort of chicken fried cheese they have here!
Dur: [Brandishing some questionable food stuffs from his trouser pantry] For the resistance! [Rushes towards the bushes]
Austin: [To Alice] Silver linings everywhere! I agree, we should check out the cheese. Just in case.
[An arrow thuds into DUR's shoulder and sends him flying.]
Harvey: By the saints! Man down! [Attempts to drag Dur to safety, shielding him as best as he can]
Austin: [Puts on some latex gloves and tries to help Harvey, lifting Durs hand] Take cover!
Charlie: [Tries throwing rocks at the attackers in an attempt to give Harvey, Austin, and Dur cover] You thugs! How could you attack our poor Dur?! He has not even had the opportunity to perform a botched surgery on you! What could you possibly have against him?!
Alice: Are you sure? Maybe we're dealing with some grotesquely scarred victim of a bungled surgery? I mean, it was only a matter of time before someone caught up with him. [Calls out
] Are you grotesquely and horrifically scarred?
[A FEMALE VOICE replies.]
Female: Certainly not! I'm quite attractive!
Alice: I don't know. Maybe it's his personality!
Harvey: [Dragging Dur to cover] Or another irate ex wife from a different dimension!
Austin: [Surprised] Do you recognise her voice?
Harvey: Not mine, [nods towards Dur] his! Seems to be quite the lothario, what!
Dur: [Feigning a mortal wound and howling pitifully] It’s true, it’s true! I am quite the playboy!
Anna: Let me sort out this bitch! [Rolls up her sleeves and storms towards the woods
[Enter VANESSA VAN HELVANSING, a dashing adventurer type.]
Vanessa: Who are you calling a bitch, bitch?
Dur: Now, now ladies! Don't fight over me, there's plenty of me for everyone to love!
Charlie: [To Dur] Do be serious! [To Vanessa] Were you just attacking us?!
Vanessa: No! If I were to attack you... [walks to one side and looks wistfully up to the sky] you would already be dead. [Holds her dramatic pose]
Harvey: [Looks upwards] Who is she talking to?
Austin: First lets just lear up a few anomalies. [Gestures towards Dur] Are you his ex?
Vanessa: Certainly not!
Anna: [Gasps in horror] Noooooo! [To Dur] You're cheating on her with me? How... how dangerous... how... intoxicating! [To Vanessa] You heard him, he doesn't love you, he loves me now!
Dur: Meeeee-yow ladies! I guess you never know when you are going to meet your future ex-wives, am I right? [Winks at Harvey] This guy knows what I mean!
Alice: Dur, you're a pig.
Dur: [Waving his hand dismissively at Alice] Is that Deuce over there?
Alice: Where? Where? [Cranes her neck to see him] Deucie! Deucie! [Smiles at the party] I knew he'd follow us!
Austin: [To Vanessa, looking disgusted at Dur] So, he is you ex or not?
Dur: That should keep her busy for a while! Now where were we ladies?
Dur: [Correcting Austin] FUTURE ex. [Winks]
Vanessa: [Gestures to Austin] Your friend here was trying to persuade me to kill you! No, I am not his ex, his current or his future! [Walks dramatically to the bank of the river] I have but one lover... danger!
Austin: [Looks a Vanessa in utter pity] You poor thing.
Charlie: [Nods solemnly] Yes, one imagines having Danger as a lover would result in all manner of social diseases!
Clint: That's a risk a true danger lover is prepared to take! Rather like we're prepared to risk letting Dur operate on us.
Harvey: Dan Ger? Don't know him, my dear. Is he the one who told you to rain fire down on us?
Austin: I thought she said danger? [Sighs. To Vanessa] How many lovers and ex's do you have around here? [Looks around]
Vanessa: Okay, well... one!
Charlie: [Primly] There is no need to discuss such personal matters with us. We only wish to be on our way, and not become embroiled in the sordid private lives of strangers!
Vanessa: That's just fine, I wouldn't want you to get involved in my sordid affairs. However, I will have to kill all of you.
Charlie: But you have only just met us. Very few of us tend to inspire that kind of violence instantly!
Harvey: Indeed, dear woman! I found you all initially rather annoying and perplexing, but I certainly didn't wish death on you! Now, I'm rather quite fond of you all!
Charlie: [To Harvey] What a lovely thing to say, Colonel! [To Vanessa, gesturing to Harvey] This man is a decorated war hero! [Horrified] Surely you do not mean to suggest that his opinion is not to be trusted?!
Austin: [Forlorn to Vanessa] Yes, why are you trying to kill us? We have only been in this dimension for a few days, and we came here to save the world, destroy HARMA if we can and stop any insane gods from destroying this world. Why would you want to stop that? [Frowns] Are you a HARMA supporter?
Vanessa: That sounds like just the sort of thing someone would say if they were here to destroy OUR world? And no, I'm not a HARMA supporter, but they are but an irrelevance compared to your crimes!
Austin: [Aghast] Crimes? What crimes?
Alice: Stealing a moving carriage, ruining a china shoppe, fleeing the scene of an accident, possession of.. oh wait, are you asking her or me?
Vanessa: I don't care about your petty larceny -- I'm here because of the genocide! [Pause] To stop it, not to cause it.
Austin: But we did not come here to commit genocide, we came to prevent it. [Curious] Who did you think we wanted to kill?
Harvey: Or are you here to stop these people stopping the genocide? Are you pro genocide?
Clint: Well, being pro-genocide isn't a crime as long as you don't actually go out and kill anyone! [Stares at Vanessa suspiciously.]
Charlie: [Raises an eyebrow at Clint's words] Perhaps not a crime, but one prefers not to associate with those who are pro-genocide! [To Vanessa, helpfully] They tend to be rather single-minded and have never read any interesting books!
Vanessa: It seems like you've both had a lot of experience with the pro-genocide movement!
Harvey: What makes you say that? Do you think this group is a collective of mass murderers?
Vanessa: The dark magic you used to get Annibal and the others here!
Austin: But we did not bring them here. Why would we? We have never even met them before now.
Vanessa: Just the sort of thing a liar would say! [Waves the treeline] Chaaaaarge!
Harvey: [Looks towards the trees for a few momentsI think this poor creature may suffer from deep seated psychological issues, troupe.
Vanessa: [Irritated] Can you give me a moment? [Storms over to the trees]
Alice: She seems to, but she also seems quite sure we are evil people. I wonder why? I mean, other than Stinky's rather peculiar confession!
Harvey: [Scratches a pricklish ticklish sideburn] Hmm, I wonder. You said that I resemble someone you know in your dimension. I wonder if that means there are people who resemble you, in my dimension? A group of pro genocide rogues, perhaps!
Austin: I thought that we were unique in this dimension, no duplicates. Wasn't that a known known? [Ponders] Perhaps that was the previous dimension, or another?
Charlie: Indeed, it is rather hard to keep up with one's dimension in our line of work! Perhaps there are duplicates of us in this world, though I think more likely this woman is simply mad!
Anna: She does seem like an idiot. No offence, Alice.
Alice: Uh... hm. [To the party] Let's steal one of the other carriages before the cowboys come back and start singing.
Austin: [Alarmed] Good idea! [Looks for the best available carriage] Let's get going.
Anna: Yes! Let's find one of the cowboys, beat him up and then steal his carriage!
Alice: Or... we could, you know, just steal one, now that they are all hiding!
Anna: What are you? Some sort of narc? Dur, I vote we boot this narc out!
Dur: That’s absurd dear! Why would we get rid of perfectly good narcotics?
Anna: Oh. Okay. I mean, I do too!
[VANESSA appears at the treelike.]
Vanessa: Oh great! You're still there! We're almost ready!
Dur: Um… Perhaps we should not be here when they are fully ready…
Anna: [Claps her hands] You heard the boss, people! Let's get a carriage!
Clint: Heck with that! We're in cowboy country -- we should borrow horses. Yeehaw!
Charlie: [To Clint] We must have a carriage so that we can take our chest with us! [Claps her hands more loudly than Anna] Chop chop! Let us get the chest and commandeer a carriage, quickly!
Harvey: I believe, dear woman, that these people refer to them as wagons!
Alice: I think she's bluffing! Let's see what she's got!
Harvey: I'm inclined to agree with you, dear girl! I think she's as nutty as a particularly nutty nut cake, what!
Austin: We still need a carriage and we still need to leave. You could just use your imagination.
[Enter VANN VAN HELVANSING, VANCE VAN HELVANSING and VANDAN VAN HELVANSING, three enormous and well armed men. They each hold bows with flaming arrows.]
[Book XI, Act III, Scene IV. The Picnic. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and ANNA are here, running from the hail of flaming arrows shot by VANESSA, VANN, VANCE and VANDAN. Each of CHARLIE, CLINT, ALICE and HARVEY heft the chest.]
Alice: Look! We might all fit in this carriage! [Points to the only non-flaming carriage]
Austin: [Rushes over to the non-flaming carriage and tries to get in] Don't just stand there! Get a move on. [Calmly] Alice, would you drive please?
Charlie: [Quickly tries to step in front of Alice and take the reins] Oh, let me, Alice! You can sit in back and do a bit of coloring. Wouldn't that be nice?!
Austin: Best let Alice drive, Sarge. Don't you need to record everything in your journal?
Alice: [Elbows her way to front
] He's right, Charlie, don't you have some graphs to draw or some such?
[The party clamber on, barely fitting in around the chest, with ANNA hanging onto the back. The carriage moves away slowly.]
Vann: Do not let the demons escape! [Fires a flaming arrow]
Clint: [Sticks his head out the window to put out any flames] Happy trails, guys!
Charlie: Why do they assume we are demons?! [To Clint] While you have your head stuck outside, do ask them, won't you?!
[Arrows rain down on the carriage, with CLINT narrowly avoiding one as he pulls his head in.]
Alice: [Driving super slowly] Oh my god! They're going to catch us!
Dur: Is she serious with this? Alice if you don't begin driving like your natural self, I will have no other option but to schedule you for a full physical to ensure you are not ill!
Alice: Well, if maybe y'all might grab those there banjos and start playing some of that there hillbilly chase music we might get this here chase started. Partner!
Harvey: [Picking up a banjo] Well, I don't know about hillbilly music, but perhaps this will suit! [Starts to play Flight of the Valkyries slowly and amateurly]
Charlie: [Hurriedly grabs a washboard and begins thumping on it awkwardly, trying to follow Austin's tune] Quickly, someone begin blowing rhythmically into a jug!
Alice: Me! Me! I've always been told that I'm great at blow jugs!
Charlie: [Urgently] You cannot be in the band! You are DRIVING! Aren't you?!
Austin: [Takes a Banjo and starts playing a Cotton Eyed Joe as best he can] The things I do to save the world! [Grimaces at his own playing]
[A huge hail of flaming arrows descends, only for the the carriage to zoom off as the hillbilly music starts.]
Harvey: And we are off! Perhaps eastwards this time, west was very much a poor directional choice.
Alice: You got it!
[ALICE turns the carriage at high speed, sending ANNA flying off and the party heading back towards VANESSA and the others.]
Alice: This way's East, right?
Charlie: North! Go Nooooooorth!
Harvey: Indeed! Basically, any direction but the one you're currently heading in, dear girl!
Alice: Oh my god! You're such a bunch of back side drivers!
[Swerves the carriage violently again causing the huge volley of flaming arrows to miss. Somehow the party bravely keep up their music playing.]
Alice: [Turning back to look at the party so she can't see that the carriage is heading straight towards the river] Better?
Clint: [Banging a couple of spoons together] Don't forget to stop and get Dur's groupie!
Dur: Yeah! She's my most trusted lieutenant of the Dur's Irrational Reign of Terror, or D.I.R.T for short! We're revolustionaries!
Alice: Say revolustionaries again and I swear I'll drive this thing straight into the river!
[This is exactly where the carriage is going right now!]
Dur: You already are!
Charlie: [To Alice, thumping frantically on the washboard] Try SOUTH, you absurd girl!!
Austin: [To Charlie] Temper temper. Does some one need to have quiet time?
Alice: I thought this was south!
[Too late! The carriage flies over the edge of the river, somehow climbing high enough to make it to the other side. It lands with a hard crunch, sending everyone sliding around as it bounces high in the air and flips several times, rolling over and over, until eventually it stops, right side up. VANESSA and the others look on in amazement.]
Vanessa: Are... are they still playing music?
Vance: That's some commitment to their sound.
Alice: Wow! Let's do that again!
Austin: [Finishes playing and tries to get up and straighten his clothes] Excellent driving Alice, looks like those loosers are stuck on the other side.
Alice: Thanks Aus! Shall we get out and taunt them?
Austin: Taunting is barely better than mockery, and quite beneath me. [Look at the enemy] I'll do it if I must. [Gets out of the carriage. Shouts at the baddies] Maybe you could take a bus?
Charlie: [To Austin, clapping her hands briskly] That seems a sufficient amount of taunting! Now, let us be on our way at once.
Vanessa: Hey! There's no need to be mean about it!
Alice: Yeah, by Felicia! [Drops her mic
[VANESSA and the others race to a nearby carriage and start it up.]
Harvey: By the saints, are they going to try the same thing? We should make a tactical withdrawal, just in case they do!
Alice: Only losers do that!
[The carriage starts racing towards the riverbank.]
Alice: Hm, maybe we should make a move after all!
Clint: [Taunts the villains further]
Alice: [Watching Clint's silent and motionless taunting, sighs] Zing.
Charlie: [Scolding] We shall have plenty of time to catalog and evaluate the effectiveness of each party member's taunts as we travel! We must depart!
Austin: Indeed Sarge, lets get the team moving. Staying here certainly wont improve Mr Scar's taunting. [Matter of factly] I thought my own taunt to be a little lack lustre, but then again, I am just too nice for that sort of thing.
Alice: [Laughs so hard that milk comes down her nose
] Oh Aus! You're so funny! That has cheered me right up after witnessing Clint's mediocre taunting.
[The party race to their carriage as the other one leaps into the air and starts to fly over the river.]
Austin: [Looks offended] The truth will out!
Alice: Look! They're going to make it!
[The other carriage certainly looks like it will easily make it across. The various VANS lean out, waving weapons angrily.]
Alice: I think they're really angry with Clint for having put forth such a lame effort!
Harvey: Perhaps they have mistaken him as a mime! Enraged they look!
Charlie: [Shakes her head] More likely they suffer from constipation as a result of their appalling diets!
Clint: Well now that they're properly angry, shall we make like a shepherd and get the flock out of here?
[The VANS all draw weapons... take aim...]
Alice: Oh man! They're going to hit us!
[A huge shark inexplicably leaps out of the river and swallows the other carriage whole.]
Charlie: [Astonished] Was that a freshwater shark, or a seawater shark with a poor sense of direction?!
Clint: That can't have been a river shark, surely! [Makes a mental note not to go swimming here]
Charlie: [Fretting] Oh, I wish I had taken some measurements while I had the opportunity! [Looks at the party hopefully] Did anyone make a sketch? Preferably a highly detailed one?
Harvey: By the saints, did you see the size of it?
Alice: Sure did. They say he's five hundred pounds of bottom-dwelling fury, don't you know. No one knows how old he is, but if you ask me, and most people do, he's a hundred years if he's a day. Got me a sketch of it, too. [Shows the party a picture of what looks like a brown splotch]
Harvey: Gah! What a shame it's out of focus! You could have made a lot of gold from selling it to the papers!
Alice: Aw man! If you can squint you can see it, though, right?
Charlie: [Peers hopefully at the sketch] I can see it, I think! Would you say its teeth are spear-like? Or serrated?
Alice: Teeth? I thought it had a beak!
Austin: Serrated. [Looks at the river] Shame.
Alice: Why? What's so sad about that?
[Bubbles and blood float to the surface of the river.]
Alice: Ah. I see. Well, lucky that she didn't leap out and catch us then, wasn't it? I guess it's probably down to my driving... I mean, some might say hero!
Dur: Some, but not us! Perhaps we should be on our way…
Alice: Thanks Dur! You're so nice!
Charlie: [Claps her hands. Anxiously] Right, follow me, group! If even Dur thinks we have dallied too long, I fear we are in very deep trouble already!
Alice: Oh please. You're such a "glass is half full of poison that will kill me and everyone within a a hundred feet of me" kind of person!
[A bloody hand clamps onto the riverbank as someone starts to pull themselves out of the river.]
Alice: Oh. Maybe that wasn't shark blood?
Austin: Time to go! Alice, would you be a darling and drive?
Clint: Time to be heroes again and run away!
Harvey: Wait! Are you really going to leave that person get ripped to pieces by that shark?
Alice: Maybe he might drown first?
Clint: I'm assuming that the owner of that hand has ripped her way out of the shark and doesn't want our help!
Charlie: [To Harvey] Come, Colonel! Let us assist this poor wretch! [Hurries to assist the survivor]
[VANESSA somersaults onto the bank, a shark fin in her mouth. She spits it onto the ground in front of CHARLIE and HARVEY.]
Alice: [Revving up the horses] Come on! Let's go!
Harvey: [Stops in his tracks] Yes, I think that perhaps, we had better go!
[Several other bloodied hands and arms grab onto the bank as ALICE puts her hand on the horn, which plays "La Cucaracha".]
Harvey: [Watching the hands rise from the water] By the saints, zombie shark victims! What fresh hell! Come dear woman, we must get to the carriage immediately!
Alice: Let's go! Come on!
Harvey: To the carriage! Wagon! [Attempts to help Charlie into the carriage]
[Everyone loads into the carriage as ALICE roars off as fast as it can go, which is to say, not really that fast. VANESSA and the others start to run.]
Alice: I don't think they're zombies! I think they just killed a shark!
Harvey: Either that was a pathetic giant shark, or they are incredibly powerful aquatic combatants!
Alice: It was a pathetic giant shark that seems to be a long way from the ocean! And... was it trying to protect us?
Austin: Why would it try to protect us? Did some one train a shark to protect us? [Looks at Charlie] Sarge, how far have you taken your cryptozooology studies?
Alice: That would be so cool! We could never be defeated! He'd come everywhere with us! [Thinks] Oh, unless we had to go upstairs... then he wouldn't really be all that good at all!
Austin: Perhaps Sarge could do some more [jazz hands] splicing and grow a guard shark with legs? [after thought] and lungs.
Alice: Oh! And maybe with a top hat and monocle! And maybe a pocket watch... because then he'd look sharp!
Austin: Great. We need this by Friday, Sarge, can you action that?
Harvey: I think you're overlooking the one serious flaw in your top hat, monacle wearing, stairs climbing shark protector, troupe! It was just roundly beaten by that lady and her goons!
Austin: We were just accessorising. It would be way cooler than a pug in a handbag.
Alice: It does seem surprising that they were able to beat up our shark! Maybe they were the demons!
Charlie: [Enthralled] Perhaps they WERE demons! [To Austin, eagerly] And, by all means, I should be delighted to work with you on your shark project! Let us gather samples and begin!
Alice: Hang on a sec. Are we gathering bits of shark or getting the hell away from those scary guys who just ate a shark?
Charlie: [To Alice, astonished] How can I interview them and ascertain their demonic ancestry if we run now?! And what of my project with Mr. Sleaze?!
Clint: What I have to say you may not be ready to here, but Sarge, some monsters aren't interested in science and stuff and should only be studied after appropriate safety precautions have been taken.
Alice: Oh my GOD! His name is Austin and he's sitting right there! And anyway, Stinky, you're way more monstrous than Aus!
Clint: And I shouldn't be studied without first taking precautions!
Austin: [To Charlie] I was not suggesting a collaboration, I thought this was your line of work. I could draw up some IP rights documents if required?
Harvey: Perhaps we can discuss after we have made our escape! I'm not sure we can count on land dwelling sharks helping us out again if we're caught by those rogues!
Charlie: [To Harvey, reluctantly] Yes, perhaps you're right, Colonel! [To the group] Let us flee at once, in dramatic fashion!
Clint: Ha! This is the life! [Looks around for something he can use to slow the slavering horde]
which gives me time to email.
[The carriage splutters along, slowly getting away from the rampaging horde.]
[Book XI, Act III, Scene V. The Rickety Carriage. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT and DUR are here, driving as fast as they can in a westerly direction.]
Alice: Uh, so I don't really know where we're going. I'm just driving as fast as I can.
Charlie: Indeed, none of us know! Do any of you see any signs of life? Other than the people who were possibly trying to kill us earlier? [Looks out the window and scans the horizon]
Alice: Not really. Who were they? And that shark was... surprising! It's like a bunch of people seem to know we were coming.
Charlie: [Modestly] Well, I am rather well-known in certain academic circles. Perhaps there was a press release?!
Dur: Or maybe someone printed Wanted posters of us again?
Austin: They didn't look like the reading types.
Alice: Don't be silly, Dur, who would want you? [To Charlie] But what did the press release say? Kill these people?
Harvey: Possibly something along the lines of, Wanted, Dead Or Deader! She seemed to recognise you, but not me!
Austin: And she seemed to think that we were practising the demonology. [Looks worried]
Alice: And not in a good way! [Mutters to Austin] I know, I know, but she's sitting right there!
Charlie: [Huffily] Demonology, like cryptozoology, is a perfectly respectable field of study!
Austin: So you're not into it for the fame, money and the men?
Alice: Forget her fame, money and men, how do we know there aren't more crazies waiting to attack us? [Thinks] Or save us?
Harvey: I think its a safe bet dear girl, to assume there are many crazies on our path, both foul and fair, what!
Charlie: [Nods at Harvey's words, jotting on a notepad as she speaks] Indeed, we must be ready for anything and ever vigilant! [Mutters to herself] Spear-shaped teeth, fresh water. . . .
Alice: And don't forget its really long beak and red stripe on its back!
Clint: I thought the stripe was green?
Austin: It wasn't a stripe, it was a houndstooth pattern!
Charlie: [To Alice, scolding] Your sketch did not capture any of this finer detail! [excitedly scribbles notes of the party's dubious observations]
Harvey: I must say, I believe you are being made fun of, dear woman! However, saying that, I thought it quite odd when it played a brief battle call on its bagpipes!
Alice: That wasn't bagpipes, it's how Charlie sounds when she's excited!
Charlie: [Furiously writing and muttering] Bagpipes . . . excited. . . ! [Stops and reads her notes, flushing] You will all be sorry when I conveniently forget to mention you in the footnotes of my article on my thrilling new discovery!
Alice: Will we? [The carriage suddenly screeches to a halt]
Charlie: [Grabs a nearby seat, lurching] Alice, we do NOT have time to stop for a comfort break!
Harvey: [To Alice] By the saints, this is certainly not the place to discuss who does, or does not get mentioned in a future book! I did not think such a thing would concern you that much, dear girl!
Alice: Forget whether I'm going to be the second or third author -- I'm more concerned about that rickety bridge we're about to drive over. [Points at the almost comically badly designed bridge up ahead]
Austin: [Takes a look] Looks like a PFI. Best stay clear of that!
Harvey: What is a piffy? Looks more like a rickety old bridge to me!
Alice: PFI. Partly Financed Indecision. It means he'd like to buy it, but isn't sure he can afford it. I don't think we can drive across it.
Charlie: [Nods] Right, Dur you cross it on foot, and if you survive, we shall follow one by one! [Discreetly looks at Alice's hips] Wisest that Alice should go last, I think.
Dur: Why do I have to cross it first?! You KNOW I'm the most cowardly out of all of us! And it's not like there's a free meal waiting for me on the other side!
Alice: [Nods at Charlie's words] Good idea, Charlie, that way I'll know if it is safe to cross! [Peers over the edge] It's just a gorge, maybe we should just go down and climb back up the other side?
Harvey: I'm not sure we would get the chest back up the other side. [Steps gingerly onto the bridge]
Austin: So we should look in the chest and see if it's worth carrying with us.
[HARVEY puts a toe on the bridge and it creaks massively, with multiple small pieces of wood falling off.]
Alice: Looks like you were smart to suggest I go last, Charlie!
Charlie: [Alarmed] Yes, upon reflection, I think we had best avoid this bridge! [Looks at the chest skeptically] Can we really carry this with us? Some of us are extremely weak and lacking in muscle tone! [To Dur and Austin] No offense!
Harvey: [Steps quickly back from the bridge] Deathtrap! [Turns to the others] We've no problem getting the chest down, gravity will take of that. It's the return journey up the other side that is the problem, what.
Alice: Let's see, it's about thirty feet deep and another thirty or so wide. It's fairly steep on the other side, alright, but with the bulk afforded to us by Charlie and Clint, I think we can get it up.
Charlie: [Defensively] You try being married to an accomplished pastry chef and giving birth to two of his children and then see how YOUR hips fare!
Alice: Ew! Is that an invitation to some sort of threesome? Yeeesh, Charlie!
Harvey: Indeed, madam! Well, let's try to get this down and back up again, before those rogues catch up with us!
Austin: Is no one else curious about what is in the box? It could be kidnapped damsel in distress, or a demon, or a vast wealth in gemstones, or the latest secret hair conditioner formula from Vibal Bassoon, or free sandwiches?
Harvey: Or perhaps inside that chest is a smaller chest and inside that is another smaller chest and inside that is an even smaller chest and so on until there is a chest so small it would not even fit a gnats handkerchief!
Charlie: We COULD try dropping the chest into the chasm and see what is inside? [Fretfully] Though if we break what is inside, perhaps it will spell doom for the entire world!
Alice: Hang on second! [Turns to Austin] Vibal Bassoon, you say? You know, maybe Austin is right? Maybe we should open it!
Austin: [Tries to open/pick the lock on the chest] Let's see ...
[The chest appears to be completely sealed.]
Alice: If we dropped it and broke it, it might make it harder to carry!
Clint: Is now really the best time to be doing this? Shouldn't we wait until we've put a few armies between us and the baddies?
Alice: Listen! Someone's coming! From the same direction we did!
Harvey: I'd imagine that's the army of shark beating goons which are following in our wake!
Charlie: Quickly! Let us enter the chasm!
Alice: [Steps onto the steep side] Careful! You don't to [slips and falls, tumbling over and over until she hits the ground] fall.
Harvey: [Concerned] Are you alright dear girl? That was quite a graceless tumble, what!
Alice: [Leaps to her feet] I'm fine! [Thinks] Maybe a little dizzy...
Austin: [Tries to climb down carefully and help Alice] Don't move! you may have broken something!
Alice: I have broken something! I heard it crack!
Dur: [Panicking] Someone call a doctor! Oh wait! I AM a Doctor! [Goes to examine Alice]
Harvey: [To Alice] Ah, you are in the good hands of the doctor, all will be right with the world! [To the others] Someone help me with the chest, we are running quite out of time.
Alice: [Shows the grotesque statue of a cat with a preposterous pink bow that she stole from the China Shop] What do you think, Dur? Can you fix it? Or do you know as little about china as you do about humans?
Charlie: [To Harvey] I'll help you, Colonel! [Grabs the chest and prepares to descend]
Dur: [Inspecting the broken cat carefully] I'm afraid this is going to require surgery my dear girl. Exactly what part of your body did this fall out of?
Charlie: [To Dur] There is no time for that now! Help us carry this chest at once!
Alice: [To Dur
] My pussy? It fell out of my pocket!
[CHARLIE, CLINT and HARVEY manage to climb down with the chest without any drama.]
Austin: [Once the chest is down] Excellent work team! [Stretches after all of the exertion]
Harvey: Now the fun really starts! [Points upwards] Getting this back up the other side!
Clint: Seems like a job for Alice, Dur, and the lawyer to me!
in 8 days they'll let me back in..
Harvey: [Laughs long, loud and alone]
Charlie: [To Clint, scolding] This is no time for your [finger quotes] comedy, Mr. Scar! Let us all work together to make it to the top, despite our many shortcomings [nods discreetly at Austin and Dur].
Alice: Quite right! Austin and I have neither the physique nor the rough hands for such an enterprise! [Looks up] Maybe those guys could help? [Points to a bunch of ninjas who are clinging to the underside of the bridge]
Harvey: By the saints, I don't think they're the chest carrying type! Chest carving, perhaps, and I don't mean carpenters!
Alice: How come they can hang on the bridge without it falling?
Austin: Perhaps there is another shark in the water to motivate them
Harvey: Perhaps they're the support ninjas!
Alice: Aw! So, they sneak up on someone who's feeling blue and cheer them up? That's really nice!
[One of the NINJAS looks down.]
Ninja: Oh my god! Do you think you could stop talking for just two minutes? Can we get some peace and quiet? You know, you don't have to blurt out every thought that comes into your empty head!
Alice: [Smiles and tears up] He sounds just like Daddy!
Harvey: [Roars at the ninjas] You there, no need to be so blasted rude, what!
Charlie: [To the ninjas, helpfully] You might find that bridge easier to traverse from the top side, rather than the bottom!
Ninja: Sh! We're waiting to ambush someone!
Austin: You should have repaired the bridge first!
[The ninja, DAMBE CAPOEIRA, hangs upside down from his legs.]
Dambe: What are you talking about? This bridge is perfect. It has the soul of a warrior and the grace of a princess. The wind whistles through its majestic structure giving a sound not unlike sleeping pandas. Now, all of you, stop bothering us and get the hell out of here!
Austin: [Indignantly] Charming! [To Charlie] Sarge, round up the team and let's get moving! [Carefully goes to the edge of the river and looks for a way across.
Harvey: [Looks at the chest] You know, we'd be out of here far more quickly if a few of you chaps helped us up the gorge with this chest!
Dambe: Look, you fat bastard! We're about to -- hey! They've got a chest too! Where did you get it?
Harvey: [Huffily] None of your business, you skinny git! Asking us stupid questions, or insulting us unnecessarily is not going to get us out of here any quicker you know! [Sucks in his stomach]
Charlie: [To Harvey, reassuringly] Just think of it as soft muscle! [To the ninjas] How exciting! What is in your chest?!
Dambe: We don't have a chest! We're about to ambush someone to take theirs and destroy it.
Austin: We should really stop troubling these people, they are clearly very very busy. Let's get going.
Harvey: I'm not sure about that, they just seem to be hanging around! [Laughs long, loud and alone]
Alice: Are we really going to let them ambush someone? I mean, they seem like dicks, don't they?
Alice: No offence.
Dambe: Oh, okay.
Harvey: Hmm, you mean that group with the chest who were following behind us? With a chest? A big, important looking one.
Austin: That would be the most rational conclusion. We should leave before they get here!
Charlie: [Cheerily] Good luck with your ambush! [To the party] Quickly, let us be on our way!
Dambe: Go on! Get out of here you losers!
Alice: [To the party] Are we really going to let them ambush those other chest bearers?
Charlie: I thought they were waiting to ambush us, and we cleverly outwitted them!
Alice: [Clearly confused
] Oh. Yeah... that's what I thought too. [Sniggers
] Stupid ninjas!
[As the party start to heft the chest up the other side, they hear another carriage approaching from the same direction they were coming.]
Harvey: [Huffing and puffing] Come troupe, we must be quick before we become engaged in this battle!
Dambe: Just be quiet! We're about to ambush a Hierophantic Knight, these guys are smart!
[The carriage stops.]
Clint: [Quietly, to the party] Hasn't met many of the Hierophantic Knights, has he?
Dambe: [To the other ninjas] They've stopped. I think someone abandoned a carriage just before the bridge. What kind of idiot would do that?
Clint: [To the party] Think we can trick them into taking the bridge?
Alice: I don't know... it looks pretty heavy.
Austin: [Nods] And they would have to have terrible taste in bridges [Does a double take] No, he meant walk over the bridge!
Dambe: Why the hell would they walk over it when they have a perfectly fine carriage?
Harvey: They'll need to push the other carriage out of the way first! Or drive it over the bridge!
Charlie: [Boldly] We must assist this Knight! If she--or he!--has another chest, perhaps we could work together to gain a better understanding of our present, rather ill-defined goals!
Harvey: But what if this knight is one and the same as the lady who spoke to clouds, attacked us without provocation and quite literally, dejawed a shark?
Alice: Surely she wasn't a Hierophantic Knight? She wouldn't have attacked us!
Austin: Exactly. Let's go before we get killed in someone else's fight!
Alice: [Scrambling up the hill, pausing to look back] Come on, then, and don't leave the chest behind!
Charlie: [Indignantly] Get back here and help us with this chest! You should be ashamed of yourself, expecting a frail old man [gestures to Harvey] to do a job you are too lazy to do!
Alice: Should I? I've spent my whole life having frail old men do things for me -- they're called staff! Besides, [gestures to the red faced and puffing Harvey] he's as strong as an ox!
Austin: Several oxen.
Alice: In fact, it's a little insulting to suggest he's not capable of it. You know, you should be ashamed of your ageist behaviour, Charlie!
Charlie: [Defensively] I never said he was not capable, just elderly and frail!
Dur: They sound kinda like you're saying the same thing!
Alice: In that case, let the poor old man lift the chest up!
Harvey: [Obviously annoyed] By the saints, we'd be up there by now if not for all this jibber jabbering! Onwards!
Austin: It's certainly not quality listening. [COnsiders this] Although somewhat better than Country music.
Alice: Come on, let's help if it'll stop them complaining so much!
Harvey: Once we get to the top, we can then see what's what with this Knight, what!
Charlie: [Excited] Perhaps it will be someone we know, and we can coordinate efforts!
[The carriage races across the bridge just as the party heft the chest up to the other side. DAMBE and the other ninjas clamber over the edges and on top with incredible dexterity.]
Dambe: Halt or we shall kill you!
[Book XI, Act III, Scene V. The Bridge. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, having heaved their chest up with an unusual display of teamwork. They can see the ninjas standing in front of carriage all holding flaming arrows. A man's voice comes from within the carriage.]
Man: Perhaps you could just lend me one of your outfits. Your fashion sensibilities are so ghastly that I would gladly kill myself to be free of it, sir!
Alice: Hey, is it just me or does the bridge look perfect now?
Harvey: By the saints, you're right, dear girl! Perhaps we only imagined it being a rickety old affair!
Dambe: We want your chest, you demon loving scumbags!
Man: [Still not visible] Demon loving? Well, yes, my colleague is rather gruff, but I wouldn't describe her as a demon.
Harvey: [Mopping his brow] I don't recognise that persons voice, do any of you, troupe?
Charlie: [Listens carefully] It is difficult to tell, but those ninjas seem very anti-demon, do they not?! Most intolerant!
Dur: Well, not everyone has been married to a demon like you and I have. They have no idea what they are missing out on!
Alice: I was married to a demon too. I killed him and ate his brain.
Dambe: Step out now! [Fires a lit arrow onto the carriage roof.
[The man alights from the carriage, it is SEBASTIAN LITE, a Hierophantic Knight that both ALICE and AUSTIN have met and got on well with in the past. SEBASTIAN wears a preposterously ruffly shirt and other fine clothes.]
Charlie: We must assist this man! His manner of dress suggests he is entirely vulnerable to bullying and violence!
Alice: We know him! Austin and me -- he's a Knight!
Austin: And his dress sense has not improved since then, not one bit.
Alice: Are we going to stand here making unkind comments about his fabulous suit? Or are we going to help him?
Austin: I suppose we are fairly close in size. He's a heavier build, so one of my dancing enabled suits might work [Gets out a fabulous red suit] What do you think?
[The carriage starts to reverse, but the wheel has been clamped -- ninja style! SEBASTIAN dashingly defends himself as TARA TURQUOISE, who also met ALICE and AUSTIN, leaps out with and axe.]
Tara: What the hell is going on? Did you tell them it was a rental?
Harvey: [To Alice and Austin] And did you part on good terms, when last you met?
Alice: [Draws her sword] Yes! Come on! Chaaaarge! [Starts racing towards the bridge, but stops] Or did we? [Thinks] Yes, yes we did. Chaaaaarge!
Harvey: Wait, which side are you attacking?
Charlie: [To Harvey, charging after Alice] Defend the poor man in the ladies' blouse, Colonel!
Alice: [Stops at Harvey's question] Uh... yeah, what she said!
Harvey: Very well! [Races towards the nearest ninja and performs a flying karate kick]
Clint: Haw! [Charges at a ninja and tries manufully to twist his head off.]
Austin: [Carefully puts the beautiful suit away then readies his sling] His taste in clothing is so awful! [Shoots at a ninja]
Alice: [Pulls out her nunchucks and starts swiping them around viciously
] Back off, Ninjas, or you'll [bonk, hits herself in the face with one
[HARVEY flies through the air with surprising grace and connects with one of them, sending him flying over the bridge. CLINT also surprises one and, although he fails to remove his head, does force him over the edge. TARA takes advantage of the surprise and stabs one through the heart.]
Sebastian: Well, this is quite delicious!
Dur: Maybe it is more functional than it is stylish? [Sounding hopeful] Maybe it Is better for storing pantswiches?
Clint: Shouldn't be too hard. An inner pocket, reasonably sized, with a washable insulating removable liner should do the trick.
[A ninja, quite rightly, kicks CLINT in the face and sends him flying over the edge of the bridge, somehow hanging onto the wall.]
Dur: Are you mad! Why would you wash it, you lose all the additional flavoring that way!
Harvey: Man down! [Attempts to help Clint pull himself back up]
[DAMBE stabs HARVEY in the back as he pulls up CLINT.]
Dambe: You had the chance to escape! You -- yurk! [Blood seeps out through his mask]
Sebastian: [With his sword stuck through the back of Dambe's head] What a tiresome individual.
Austin: [Frowns at his sling. Tries to shoot a Ninja again] Take that!
Charlie: [To Dur, attacking the nearest ninja with a sword] See if you can find a doctor to help the colonel!
[AUSTIN successfully shoots the ninja in the face. He staggers back only to get stabbed by TARA, who gleefully cleans her sword on his beautiful black ninja outfit. The remaining ninjas quickly clamber over the edge and disappear.]
Sebastian: I say! That was most bracing!
Dur: I keep telling you, I AM a doctor! [Dur tries to stop the colonel’s bleeding with a pantswich and cast a healing spell on him]
[Much to everyone's surprise, HARVEY's wounds appear to heal.]
Sebastian: I say, you chaps. Jolly good show! [Does a double take] Fellow Knights?
Charlie: [Looks at Harvey in astonishment] Colonel, have you some sort of magical healing powers you neglected to mention?!
Alice: Maybe he's a doctor! Wouldn't that be great, Dur? Having a doctor be part of the party?
Austin: It would be a great relief. Maplin agrees.
Sebatian: A Knight who's also a doctor? What a time to be alive!
Harvey: [Opens and closes his mouth a few times and takes off his coat] Why, I've no idea whats what! Apart from the ruination of a damned fine jacket! [Pokes his finger through the knife rip]
Charlie: What a relief to finally have a doctor with the group! [To Sebastian] Yes, we are Knights! Do tell us all about your mission!
Tara: [Hands Harvey a purple velvet jacket with huge puffy sleeves] Here, Doc, take that one.
Sebastian: First, my inquisitive friend, tell me how you and these fine people came to be in a position assist us. Taking them from behind, as it were.
Austin: Using our cunning, skill, and fabulous acting we talked our way past them [Casually check his nails]
Tara: Unlikely. It seems far more likely that you abandoned your carriage and sneaked under the bridge, thus taking them from behind. [Grins evilly] I like it!
Austin: Shh! [Looks around in case some one is spying] Don't give it away!
Tara: Oooh! Good idea! Come on, you can ride with us, that is, as long as you don't mind sharing a luxurious carriage that's disturbingly well stocked with Louis XIV and a variety of exotic cheeses?
Austin: I believe that I speak for all of us in that we are most glad to accept your fine offer.
Tara: Great! It's just a pity you're a damned dirty narcotics agent! [Holds a knife to his throat
] Who are you people?
[TARA is remarkably strong and she holds AUSTIN hard against the side of the bridge. The slightest move could slit his throat.]
Austin: Heirophantic knights!
Tara: [Pushes the knife harder] I know that! How did you know we would be here? Why were you waiting?
Austin: Those ninjas told us that you were coming, and that they were planning to ambush you and steal your trunk.
Alice: It's true!
Sebastian: But how is that they didn't attack you people?
Dur: [Nervously] Our charming good looks?
Charlie: [Modestly] We outsmarted them with a clever ruse!
Sebastian: [Laughs at Dur] I like this one! [To Charlie] Do tell! It seems like you abandoned your carriage and somehow knew they were here! What made you not cross the bridge?
Austin: The truth is ... erm maybe one of the others should tell this one?
Dur: We were too scared? At least I know I was!
Harvey: It's a damnably curious thing! When we first approached the bridge, it looked ramshackled and barely held together! The epitome of rickety! Now however...[gestures towards the bridge]...it looks as if newly built!
[TARA and SEBASTIAN exchange a curious glance and she lets AUSTIN go.]
Sebastian: Innnnteresting! And do you have one of these? [Opens up the trunk of their carriage to reveal an identical crate]
Charlie: [To Sebastian, excited] Yes, we do! Does it have some sort of [mysteriously] mystical properties?!
Tara: It's a stupid box. [Stomps away and sits in the carriage]
Sebastian: [Nods, grinning] Yes it does! And it doesn't like when someone [points to the carriage, covering up his pointing finger even though Tara is already inside] tries to open it!
Austin: But we really should try to get them open. We need to know what is inside!
Sebastian: Agreed! [Hands over a thick metal tray] Best put that down the front of your pants... just in case!
Austin: [Looks from the Tray to his tailored trousers] Do you have anything a little more contoured?
Alice: Need a little help, eh, Aus?
Austin: A kind offer, but now is hardly the time! [Looks in his satchel for a groin guard. Mutters to himself] I'm sure I had two of these, there was a rather beautiful one in evening blue leather with silver studs.
Sebastian: [Observing as Austin takes out the groin guard] Rather understated, isn't it?
Charlie: [To Sebastian] What protections should the rest of us take?! Are the contents of the box terribly dangerous?
Austin: [Putting on his groin guard. To Sebastian] Absolutely, I had it made to go under my Jiu jitsu outfit. [Does some beautiful but rather gentle looking Jiu Jitsu punches, To Charlie] This is one of those 'protect your self first, discuss the danger later' type things I think?
Sebastian: On the contrary, it's more of a hide behind a very large rock while some idiot with a groin guard loses his penis trying to open a magical box type thing.
Austin: what we clearly need is an idiot with no penis.
Alice: Dur! This could be your moment!
Dur: Ha! Wait…. Hey! Tell that to my terrifying hoard of demon babies!
Alice: If they weren't so terrifying, I would! Anyway, weren't you the mother in that situation?
Dur: I choose not to remember… because it was TERRIFYING!!!
Alice: Huh, kind of like what ex-patients of yours say!
Harvey: [To Sebastian] So chap, where did you get your chest, and do you know where you're delivering it to?
Clint: Does anyone have a blast shield we could borrow? Or an expendable peon?
Sebastian: [To Harvey] It was really most remarkable. I found myself in a Frills 'n Flounce shop -- you know, for shirts -- when it was raided by HARMA officers. The owner of the shop pleaded with me to take her chest. And then, well, there were all these clowns, some sort of fake psychologist!
Charlie: [Gasps] That is quite nearly what happened to us, though we were not shopping for frills and flounces!
Austin: And it was a fine china shop. Or it was before we arrived.
Alice: Thanks to some frankly grotesque driving by someone who shall remain nameless, it was partially destroyed. So you guys had to deal with clowns too?
Sebastian: Yes, although, really, the whole thing was quite transparent. We simply breezed through the test. Other than Tara breaking the nose of one of them.
Harvey: Yes, they were incredibly annoying, what! We were attacked by HARMA officers during our test. So, must look at the positives!
Sebastian: And do you know where you are taking this chest?
Clint: I think to a zoo? I wasn't terribly clear on that bit!
Harvey: To a zoo? I don't think I had any idea where we were taking it!
Charlie: [Nodding] Indeed, the instructions were rather unclear! [To Sebastian] What were your instructions?
Sebastian: We were told to get it to The Tiger, that's when we had that delightful time with the clowns.
Alice: Tiger? We brought it to The Panther! That's Deucie, we're kind of an item, you know.
Sebastian: Oh! That's great! He talks about you all the time! You're Pixie Stix, right?
Alice: Uh... yeah!
Clint: See? To a zoo!
Harvey: [To Clint] I stand corrected, sir!
Austin: Or perhaps he just made it all up. He does have an odd sense of humour.
Alice: He does. And he says zoo too often. Why does he keep saying zoo? Is he homesick?
Charlie: [To Alice, helpfully] They prefer to call them slums, I believe.
Alice: Oooh! How exciting! Is that where all the [lowers her voice] poor people live?
Harvey: I believe so, dear girl! Twenty families to a room, so I hear! And those are the lucky ones!
Charlie: [Brightly] But the crushing density of tightly packed bodies provides the warmth they need to survive the harsh winters, so it all works out quite well, really.
Austin: [Sudders at the thought] It sounds like hell. No, worse than hell. Even Mistoheusto wasn't that bad.
Charlie: [To Austin, reassuringly] Oh, WE need not live that way. [In a lower voice] Only Dur and Mr. Scar!
Austin: [A huge sigh of relief] Oh, that's okay then.
Harvey: [Sighs deeply] Once again, I am reminded of the loss of my ancestral home! A slum might someday be almost welcome!
Clint: [Nods in agreement.] At least there, they find the right uses for lawyers -- target practice -- and scholarly papers -- wiping your butt!
Alice: Oh please, like that butt of yours has been near anything that could even remotely be used to wipe it!
Austin: [Winces at Alice's comment] Shall we get moving? [To Charlie] Could you muster the team and get them going please.
Sebastian: Ooooh! How delicious! A leader! A strong woman ordering you about! You must be so weak!
[TARA pokes her head out the carriage.]
Tara: Quit your yakkin' and get your ass in here!
Sebastian: Yes, Tara. Sorry, Tara. [To the party] Anyone know how to remove a Ninja Clamp from a carriage?
Charlie: [To Austin, gesturing to the Ninja Clamp] Mr. Sleaze, is this within your skill set?
Harvey: If not, we can possibly swap your clamped wheel for one of our unclamped carriage wheels.
Austin: [Examines the clamp and will remove it if possible] The things a lawyer must do to save the world!
Clint: Oh gosh no, we wouldn't want you to have to do your job! [Goes to get the spare wheel down, just in case.]
[AUSTIN sets to work, humming and hawing as he examines the lock.]
Alice: Wow, Stinky, you have a real spare tyre, don't you? No more panstwiches for you!
Harvey: Now now, dear girl! Fat shaming is most unbecoming, what! [Sucks in his gut]
Charlie: [Nods at Harvey's wise words. To Alice, eyeing her hips] Also, those who live in fat houses should never lob handfuls of fat at others!
Alice: Hey, keep it in your pants, lady!
Harvey: [To Sebastian] Do you have any idea why those ninjas wanted to kill you and take your chest?
Sebastian: None whatsoever, my well dressed friend! And nor do I have any idea how it is that you fine people all just happened to be here at the right time to come to our assistance!
Charlie: Perhaps we should join forces, given that our mission is so similar!
Austin: [Casually removes the ninja clamp] Well, that was a fiendishly cunning lock. Just as well I was here.
Alice: It certainly seemed to take a long time!
Austin: As no one has ever managed to pick a ninja clamp before now, it is a world record. [Looks casually impressed by his own brilliance]
Charlie: Splendid work, Mr. Sleaze! Now, let us depart at once!
Harvey: Let us hope we all fit, what! And do not come upon any more rickety, then not rickety bridges! Or ninjas for that matter!
Alice: Maybe we should give Austin a round of applause for being so great?
Harvey: I believe his modesty would abhor such an act, dear girl!
Clint: I'm just surprised he didn't bill us at his hourly rate!
Austin: Absolutely Colonel. No fuss please. If I stopped to be appreciated every time, I'd never get anything done!
Charlie: Excellent attitude, Mr. Sleaze! Praise only makes one weak and needy. That is how many parents ruin a child and doom them to a lifetime of emotion-driven poor decision-making. [Glances discreetly at Alice and then nods to her, just in case the glance was TOO discreet]
Alice: Oh, I know what you mean! That's why Daddy always pretended that he was disappointed in me. [Puts on a gruff voice
] No daughter of mine will date a whole soccer team... or, you read like a three year old, or, that's the last time I'll bail you out of jail... [smiles
] or even the classic, yes, we've changed the locks to stop you from getting in. Oh, how we laughed. [Thinks
] Although, it WAS raining. And they DID change the locks. And I had lost my shoe. Hm.
Sebastian: Smashing! Let's get into the carriage before there are any more fond childhood memories.
[Book XI, Act III, Scene VII. Sebastian's Carriage. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY, SEBASTIAN and TARA (driving) are here. Both chests are strapped to the carriage. Tara is driving quite fast, but in a controlled way.]
Sebastian: [To the party] Did you know where you were going?
Charlie: Not really, I am afraid! What were your plans?
Sebastian: We didn't have any -- and yet we found you at just the right time to save us. How delicious!
Austin: So where are you heading to?
Sebastian: I don't know! All I know is that we're bringing our chest there... as are you very... fine people, it appears!
Harvey: So perhaps any direction we go is the correct direction!
Dur: Seems a little TOO convenient, doesn’t it?
Alice: And didn't those cowboys seem to magically know where we would be so that they could save us?
Charlie: Perhaps we should all wish very hard, at the same time, to arrive at our destination?
Alice: Great idea! [Closes her eyes tightly for a moment, mumbling to herself, only to open them again] Yay! It worked!
Clint: Are you seriously suggesting we adopt the power of positive thinking, Sarge? Shouldn't you, as a scientist, be worried about sample size and good statistics before you get into pyramid power and healing crystals?
Alice: But it did work!
Austin: Did it? [Looks around to see if it's true]
Harvey: [To Alice, excited] Did you actually wish that you were in this carriage, with us? And here you are! Remarkable!
Charlie: [To Clint] How can one know the laws of science work precisely the same way in each dimension without experimentation?! This appears to be a world where things work in our favor for no particular reason, so that bears investigation!
Alice: [To Harvey] I did wish I was here with all of you! [Lowers her voice] Well, other than Dur, of course!
Harvey: [Nods in understanding] Not all miracles can be perfect, dear girl!
Alice: I guess whatever's in those boxes knows what it's doing, right?
Dur: [Stuffing a pantswich in his mouth] Either that or it is bending reality at random! How fun!
Austin: Let's hope that the more boxes we get together the more things go our way! [Ponders] Perhaps that's why we don't know where we're going, because it's luck created by the boxes? Just luck! Let's get going! West!
Alice: I think we should go west!
Tara: I want to go west!
Sebastian: West is best!
Clint: Westward, ho! [Pauses.] That's "ho" as in "go that way," not "ho" as in you, Alice.
Alice: Aw, so not jolly, then?
Charlie: [To Alice, helpfully] No, he is implying that you are a lady of ill repute, colloquially known as a [finger quotes] ho. [Wisely] The term is often used in a type of primitive [finger quotes] music that is spoken, rather than sung.
Alice: Gasp! Certainly not! Stinky wouldn't say that, would you, Stinky? Not after I wished you were here!
Dur: [Finishing his pantswich smugly] Bet you wish you had wish someone you wished wasn't here was here!
Austin: Unlikely! So, West it is. [Gets a comfy seat]
Harvey: [Sitting back in his seat, to Sebastian] How did you two meet? Was it due to the box, or were you travelling companions prior to finding it?
Sebastian: We're old pals, chums... mates!
Tara: He's a damned dirty stalker who's been following me for at least three dimensions.
Sebastian: We go way back. So far back that we met you before you were you.
Charlie: [Intrigued] Before we were conceived?! In the womb? Or do you mean in terms of psychological development relating to the idea of self-awareness?
Sebastian: Ooooh! Doesn't she sound intelligent! Actually, what I meant is that we knew another version of him -- which is highly surprising.
Charlie: Yes, are familiar with both versions, as well! Is this the first time you have encountered this phenomenon?
Harvey: By the saints, it's difficult to comprehend that there can be multiple versions of each of us!
Sebastian: Yes it is! [To Charlie] It's the first time we've encountered THIS particular phenomenon. A Hierophantic Knight with two different Realisations? How delicious!
Clint: Looks a little old and tough to me!
Sebastian: Perhaps, but I don't have the same experience of ... tasting men that you appear to.
Charlie: [To Clint, scolding] Cannibalism is nothing to joke about in front of Dur! [In a low voice] We do not want him to develop a taste for human flesh!
Clint: [Quietly, to Charlie.] It might come in handy next time we need to dispose of a body!
Sebastian: Oh, who hasn't had to consume the corpse of a high ranking government official in a bid to cover up a crime?
Charlie: Quite right, Colonel! [Hopefully] Though, perhaps the remark was intended for humorous effect? [To Sebastian] Was it?
Harvey: I truly hope I speak for us all... no one!
Sebastian: [To Charlie
[The carriage continues to speed west until it suddenly skids to a halt.]
Tara: Uh... you're gonna want to see this!
Charlie: [To Tara, excited] Is it another chest?!
Tara: [Turns to Charlie, smiling for once] It's a volumetric crapload of chests! It's a god damned reunion is what it is!
Clint: Maybe they're breeding?
Austin: Not everything is about breeding Mr Scar. Rather fortunately in your case. [looks out of the window.]
Alice: And also, Stinky, breeding usually involves more than one person.
[Everyone cranes their necks out various windows to see that they are bearing down on a small cottage, along with another fifty carriages, many of which are souped up fancy sports carriages. They can see dozens of Hierophantic Knights driving, including BODDY, IVAN MARSTERS, WILLOW, JUSILLA and DARIUS, all coming from different directions at high speed.]
Charlie: [Excited] Oh, we shall organize a conference, with ever so many sessions! [Quickly] I call the keynote!!
Alice: We don't have time to listen to your boring speech about Organising and Stuff! What the hell is going on? It's like we're all heading to that tiny cottage!
Austin: It would seem to be the obvious thing to do. [Checks his nails]
Charlie: [Concerned] I do not think a tiny cottage would be an ideal place for a conference of this magnitude! We should look for a reasonably priced hotel instead.
Austin: [Smiling] Well it has already stated by the looks of it. Do you want to skip the keynote and go and find a bigger venue? I'm sure Alice will take notes for you [Winks at Alice]
Alice: If by taking notes you mean draw pictures for a funny little flip book animation then yes!
[The carriages all pull up outside the cottage, completely surrounding it.]
Austin: [To Alice] I think that's what they do. [Gets out of the carriage]
Harvey: [Stomach rumbles massively] Perhaps this is a very fine roadside eatery! Must be, judging from all their customers!
Alice: Check this one out, Aus! [Runs through a huge flip book animation of what appears to be a black circle that doesn't move
] And, of course, that's just the first part!
[The other Knights climb out of their carriages, many of them looking quite suspicious and uneasy. MACBRINDLEWORTH, legendary Hierophantic Knight and party animal that the party have met a couple of times, climbs out of a tiny sports carriage holding a martini glass.]
Charlie: [To Mac] Well, yes, OUR party is here!
Mac: [Gives Charlie a suspicious look] Does your party have martinis? And cheese? [Looks Alice up and down] And hookers?
Clint: Even better, we have someone who would do anything to be the keynote speaker!
Austin: And we bought friends we don't know very well but they have lots of cheese!
Alice: One of them is really nice!
[TARA climbs out of the carriage, looking angry, but brightens up.]
Tara: Mac! How the hell are you and why aren't you dead yet?
Mac: Will that be the topic of your keynote?
Tara: [Giggles foolishly] If you like!
Charlie: [Indignantly] I am giving the keynote!
Clint: What we have here is a dispute which can only be resolved in the best scientific manner -- whoever offers the organizers the better bribe gets to be the keynote speaker.
Mac: I can think of at least four things more important than who's going to give the keynote at your non-existent conference. [Holds up a finger each time he adds one] Why the hell are we all here? Who is in that cottage? How have I not got any cheese? Who is responsible for find my hooker? And most importantly, what in Phili's name happened to my martini?
Charlie: [Flustered] A world-class conference must be envisioned before it can become reality! We are in the planning stages! [To the group] Come, let us go see what is happening in this cottage!
Austin: Let's just hope it's a party and not a conference! [Thinks] Or afternoon tea, or brunch. Anything but a conference.
Alice: Anything would be better than that!
[The party approach the cottage and can't help but notice that everyone else, including MAC, step back, clearly ready to dive for cover behind their carriages.]
Austin: They are making room for us. About time.
Alice: Making room for us to do what?
Harvey: It would seem, the ones to spring a trap!
Austin: So no red carpet then? [Gets out of the carriage to see what is going on]
[The party are already out of their carriage. Everyone else has stepped back slightly behind their own.]
Alice: It's like they know something about [points at the cottage] this mansion. [Spots Boddy] Hey, what do you know about this mansion that I don't?
Alice: Such as?
Boddy: It's a cottage not a mansion.
Alice: [Triumphantly to the party] See?
Charlie: [To Boddy] What is inside the cottage?
Boddy: Either nothing at all, someone who will be very surprised or... the most dangerous creature in the Realms.
Austin: Not the best of odds. Mr Dur, would you care to take a look inside and see what is in there?
Alice: Good idea, Aus, he's the most... brave.
Clint: That'll be the day! What are you guys waiting for? We've survived collapsing realities and now you're chickening out about a cottage? Haw! [Boldly goes to investigate where no one has investigated before.]
[CLINT strides away from the carriage and the door to the cottage swings open to reveal what appears to be a naked old man with long hair and beard; this is HERMAN KNIT.]
Herman: [Blinks in the light
] Eh? What's going on here? What are all you people doing?
Clint: [Hastily closes his eyes as he steps back outside.] Bimbo, lawyer, I think this is more your scene.
Austin: What is the problem Mr Scar? Were you expecting sheep?
Alice: Don't taunt him, Aus -- he's just had another romantic disappointment!
Herman: [Peers at the party] Can't say that I've killed you before. Who are you and what the, excuse my language, heck are all you doing here?
Austin: We have a delivery for you [Gestures to the trunk] Were you expecting it?
Harvey: And do mind your language sir, there are ladies present! No excuses for that sort of behaviour! Or for not wearing attire, for that matter!
Charlie: [Shielding her eyes, to Harvey] Yes, we can only hope that one of these chests contains a dressing gown!
[The party look at the chest and unmistakable blood seeping out of it.]
Herman: Did you bring a crate of body parts to my house?
Clint: Maybe, but I bet that's not the first time this has happened to you...
Harvey: By the saints, what have we being carrying all this time!
Herman: Never mind that! How did you find me?
Charlie: I am not altogether sure. It seemed we all just knew to come here!
Harvey: I certainly hope you've the kettle on! It would be the only thing you do have on! [Laughs long, loud and alone]
Herman: Did you bring an Aspect of the Demon here?
Clint: [Shrugs.] Maybe. Seems like the kind of thing we'd do. Sarge, get a clipboard and pen so this guy can sign for his deliveries.
Charlie: [To Clint, irked] That is NOT what my clipboard is for! [To Herman] Aspect of the demon? Could you elaborate? [Takes out a clipboard and prepares to take notes]
Herman: [Snatches the clipboard from Charlie and smacks Clint on the nose with it, knocking him to the ground covered in slightly more blood and snot than usual] You people better explain just how you found me before I get miffed.
Alice: You mean you're not already miffed?
Herman: Just kind of irked. [To Harvey] Pardon my language.
: We came this way because it seemed to be good idea. We don't even know where this is.
Herman: [Rips open the crate with his bare hands revealing a stack of body parts
] What the hell? [Glares at the party with a terrifying glare
] I'm going to kill you all! Every last one of you!
[MAC timidly steps forward, now holding a filled martini.]
Mac: Mr. Knit, sir? If I may...
Herman: [Turns his glare on Mac] No! [The martini glass shatters]
Alice: [Whispers to the party] I think they know each other.
Charlie: [Horrified, backing away] Perhaps there was a mix-up in delivery?! The whole process was rather vague, after all!
Austin: [Looks at the body parts] Are these the body parts of demons?
Herman: That's what they want me to figure out!
Austin: Is that something you like doing? Like a hobby?
[MAC shakes his head as a warning, but it's too late.]
Herman: It was a hobby... once. [Walks to one side and looks up wistfully] I was once full of joy... I had a beautiful wife... gorgeous children...
Alice: [Covering her eyes as she mutters to the party] Did he have underpants too?
Austin: [Alarmed at Mac's head shake, tries to run and hide in the carriage] Is his analyst around?
Charlie: [Riveted, listening] Oh, where is your family now?! On holiday?
Herman: No, they're dead. All dead. Killed in the most grotesque and gruesome fashion.
Clint: Hmm. Usually that kind of thing drives a man to become an "adventurer" of some sort!
Alice: Who did this terrible thing? What utter monster could be capable of such an awful act? What ... [spots Mac cringing and ducking behind his carriage] Oh. It was you, wasn't it?
Herman: [Turns and stares at the party with an icy, terrifying look] It was.
Dur: [Still looking into the box of limbs] Ummm.... are you going to eat these?
Mac: Oh boy. This is not going to to go well. [Takes out a syringe full liquified Epoisse de Bourgogne and shoots it into his arm, collapsing to the ground.]
Herman: [Storms over to Dur and grabs him by the throat, holding up high
] No! I swore I would never eat another demon limb again! How DARE you people bring them here!
[What little modesty was provided by his long beard is now gone as he holds the now choking Dur aloft]
Alice: Oh my! [Fans herself and turns to Charlie] He really does have the most enormous... beard!
Dur: [Kicking his feet uselessly while choking] What... if... I... *gurk* eat... them... for... you?
Herman: You... you'd do that for me? [Slams Dur down on the ground] Just for that, I'm going to let you and your friends have a head start.
Alice: Ew! Do we have to eat head?
Dur: A head start for what? Eating? Running? Both at the same time?
Clint: Does it matter, doc? They're your two best skills!
Charlie: [To Herman] Are you sure there was not some sort of misunderstanding? MacBrindleworth is a Knight of some esteem! Perhaps it was another aging, similarly built man with a drinking problem?
Austin: [To Boddy, worried] Is he "someone who will be very surprised" or, "the most dangerous creature in the Realms" ?
Boddy: [Leaping into his carriage and firing up the engine] He's both.
Mac: [Still hiding] There's no mistake. He's been pissed at me for a long time. Ever since the second time he killed me.
Herman: [To the party
] Run. [To the general crowd
] I'll eat your demon meat, but first I will kill three Knights. The last three who arrive in Acedia will die in horrific pain.
[Beep! TARA honks the horn of the carriage.]
Tara: Let's go!
Harvey: But wait! He's just one naked man, and there must be [quick count] over a hundred knights and assorted onlookers! Are you really going to let him kill three of you, for sport?
Charlie: Agreed, Colonel! [Dramatically] Charge that naked, hairy man, everyone!
Alice: [Defiantly steps in front of Herman] That'll be 10GP!
Austin: Why would we want to go to Acedia anyway?
Sent from ProtonMail mobile -------- Original Message -------- On 10 Apr 2020, 09:39, dom
Mac: Run, you fools! Before he kills you!
Austin: [From the carriage] Come on! Let's go!
Charlie: Oh, dear! Come along, group! [Attempts to flee]
[TARA revs up the carriage as the party climb aboard.]
Alice: What's up with this guy that all the Knights are so terrified of him?
Sebastian: He's the First Knight!
Charlie: Ooooh, how interesting! [Disapprovingly] He has rather a poor attitude about the rest of us, though!
Austin: Why is no one else fleeing? And why in the Realms does he want to kill us? I'm a very nice person. He doesn't even know me! [Looks deeply offended]
Austin: Why is no one else fleeing? And why in the Realms does he want to kill us? I'm a very nice person. He doesn't even know me! [Looks deeply offended]
Sebastian: Because he gave you a head start! He WILL kill three Knights. He hates us because he's the one who made us.
Clint: Well, that's fathers for you!
Dur: [Looking indecisive] But if we leave now, who is going to eat the demon limbs?!
Sebastian: Herman. And then he'll come looking to kill us!
Clint: Well, let's not be the closest when he finishes, then. We've got a world to save and being dead will make that harder.
Alice: What happens if he eats some demon?
Sebastian: Something terrible!
Charlie: Why did we bring demon parts to him then?! [Disapprovingly] That seems like a badly considered plan!
Austin: Well it was a very poor plan. Most of it was completely unplanned. By us at any rate.
Alice: Although, to be fair, Aus, if we had planned it, it would have been much poorer.
Sebastian: Herman can destroy living demon parts by eating them. When he does, though... phew!
Austin: [Looks alarmed] Bad old man flatulence! [To Tara] Drive! Drive now!
Harvey: So, lets see if I have this correct in my head. We've been duped into delivering a chest to some demon limb eater who, in lieu of a gratuity, has threatened to kill three knights? [To the party] Are you knights?
Charlie: [To Harvey] Indeed, we are! [In a lower voice] There isn't much to it, really. Primarily it just means we end up getting invited to rather lively weddings and baby showers from time to time!
Harvey: And I assume, your very lives threatened by mysterious naked demon limb eaters?
Alice: Just one, really, but ever since Charlie married him, he's been much nicer.
Tara: Herman wasn't always like this -- he was the first Knight, but when he tests flesh for demonic presence, a part of him turns dark. People close to him die.
Austin: Well, let's get out of here then. [Looks at Dur and Clint] Unless you two are bravely volunteering?
Harvey: Agreed, we should be on the off, what! And with speed!
Dur: [Already starting to run] Volunteer for what?
[The door of the cottage is kicked open from the inside as the carriage (which contains everyone, even the currently running DUR!) zooms away.]
Alice: [Glances back] To confront whatever he's just turned into!
Austin: Something like that [Looks back to see what came out of the cottage]
Clint: Other than each other, which three knights do we like the least, and should we take time to hobble them, do you think?
Alice: [Glares at Clint
] What if they're already in the carriage with us?
[The party glance back to see that HERMAN is now dressed and shaved, and wears a natty suit. He holds what looks like a small cannon gun that he points at the back of the party's carriage.]
Herman: I'm comin'! [Fires the cannon]
[Book XI, Act IV, Scene I. The Carriage. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY, SEBASTIAN and TARA are here. A huge explosion rocks the carriage and it slips and slides, but TARA keeps it under control.]
Alice: Yeesh! This guy means business!
Charlie: [Holds onto the carriage] Not to worry, we are well used to hazardous, life-endangering carriage rides! [Looks pointedly at Alice]
Harvey: By the saints, why is he permitted to eat demon limbs if this is the consequence? Bad breath or flatulence is one thing, post meal, but this is quite extraordinary, what!
Alice: [To Charlie] Oh! Do you want me to drive?
Sebastian: This is the only way to test if a body part came from a True Original. The cost is high, but they are so dangerous that it is worth it.
Harvey: I see. [Scratches a pricklish ticklish sideburn] Excuse me if this is common knowledge amongst you types, but what the blue blazes is a True Original?
Charlie: [Excited, whips out her notepad] Oh, DO tell! In as much detail as possible!
Sebastian: An orginal demon, of course! [Looksat the blank faces] Oh, so you've never seen one?
Austin: We might have. We have met a lot of demons and angels, and gods, and demi-gods, etc, etc
Sebastian: True Originals are insanely dangerous killing machines who represent true evil. They're also very into shameless self promotion, so if you met one, you would know.
Charlie: [To Alice] Perhaps your ex-husband?
Dur: [To Charlie, pointedly] Or yours.
Charlie: [To Dur, exasperated] Do be serious! I have no ex-husband!
Clint: Truly, it's remarkable how many of you guys have been marrying demons or the like!
Alice: When you look at our dating pool, Clint, are you really surprised? Bonald was a demon and he was really scumbaggish.
Sebastian: Was he scumbaggish and over a hundred feet tall?
Sebastian: Then he wasn't a True Original.
Charlie: Studies show that most adults meet their spouse at work [looks appraisingly at the men of the party]. Is it any wonder some of us found we needed to dive a little deeper into the dating pool, so to speak?!
Austin: No, not at all. We're all very glad you did. Relieved, in fact! [Smirks]
Harvey: Are you seriously telling us that True Originals are over one hundred feet tall? Surely they would stand out quite noticeably! And be better known!
Charlie: [Laughs] Ooooh, I know what this is now! [To Sebastian] Is this the Hierophantic Knight version of a so-called [finger quotes] snipe hunt?
Sebastian: The last True Original was destroyed thousands of years ago. It seems like maybe some of it got into this dimension.
Austin: Bits of it? Surely those bits would have all rotted away by now?
Sebastian: Oh, sweet, naive Austin. True Originals don't rot away -- it's not like they die or anything. Their parts, no matter how small, can survive on their own.
Austin: Oh, sour, polished Sebastian, what do these parts, no matter how small, do?
Harvey: Apart from getting eaten by strange and naked old men, thereby turning them into rage fuelled murderers?
Sebastian: Well, darling Austin, I should think that depends on the body part, would you? I suspect the fingers are used for poking, the tongues used for tasting and the genitals, well, you get the picture.
Austin: [Dead pan] Well, charming and tastefully dressed Sebastian, surely even the finger of a 100 ft tall demon needs to be attached to an arm, in order to poke.
Sebastian: That is true, my most... deliciously attired Austin, but even a part of a finger can be attached in some way, typically completely absorbed. Hence the need for someone to test various body parts.
Austin: I am sure that one would know if one had absorbed a 100 ft tall demon's tongue!
Sebastian: That depends on how much of they absorbed.
Charlie: [To Sebastian] Can anyone absorb these parts?
Dur: [Looking shocked] Honestly Charlie, what would your husband think of you absorbing another demon's parts!? [Elbows Clint] Heh, see what I did there?
Charlie: [To Dur] No wonder you avoid bathing as a ploy to dissuade intimacy! You have a fundamental misunderstanding of sexual intercourse!
Austin: Considering his last partner, that is hardly surprising!
Alice: That and his years of medical malpractice and dangerous lack of training and ability to speak to humans!
Sebastian: [To Charlie] Oh no, one is born with the Aspect of the Demon.
Clint: Oh, that. Doesn't one of you guys have that?
Alice: Do we?
[The carriage slows down.]
Tara: I think there's a problem with one of the wheels!
Charlie: [To Clint] Just because I am married to a former demon does not mean anything with the word demon attached to it applies to me!
Sebastian: Let's see what's going on. [Draws his sword] Let's be careful here.
Austin: [Draws his dagger] This is not a good time to get a flat.
Alice: [Peers out] It looks like we're in the middle of nowhere... not sure there are many hiding spaces here!
Dur: Sure there are! [Hides behind Alice]
Charlie: [To Dur, sharply] Come along! If there is a tire to be changed, surely that will fall to someone like you or Mr. Scar! [Heads out to investigate the tire situation]
] Ew! There's a creepy guy behind me!
[The party get out and check the back wheels. They seem fine.]
Austin: I expect it's just Mr Dur, the help. [Goes to look and check]
Clint: Are you sure that's right? Normally, the help gets paid.
Charlie: [To Clint, indignantly shaking a copper piece at him] He is very often given extraordinarily generous tips!
Austin: [Looks surprised] Do they get paid? Not really my area, but if it makes you happy, I don't see any harm.
Alice: [Disapprovingly] I don't know, Aus. The next thing you know they'll be organising labour unions and demanding a fair hourly wage. Imagine the chaos!
Clint: Gosh, you mean Dur might want to be treated like an actual human being? Imagine that! But it won't be relevant if we're killed by a demon-eating madman.
Austin: Sounds awful. [Takes a deep breath] Let us not dwell on such negativity. Now, what was troubling you?
Alice: Good lord, Stinky! Don't start giving him ideas! [Calls back to Tara] Are you sure there's something wrong? We can't find anything?
Tara: Actually, I'm sure there's nothing wrong.
Austin: [Uneasy] So what's the problem?
Harvey: Indeed, why have we stopped?
Charlie: [Clutching her sword] Surely it is too soon to stop for a rest?
Alice: Well, I didn't want to say anything, but I could do with going for a pee!
Sebastian: Sorry old friends, but it's nothing personal!
[The carriage starts to move away quickly.]
Harvey: I say, what skullduggery is this! [Tries to run after the carriage]
Alice: [Also running after the carriage] Hey! What the hell? Do you think you're going to win the race with us out of the carriage?
Sebastian: We don't need to win the race. We just need to get there before you!
Charlie: [Horrified, calls out] This is no way for a Knight to behave!!
Dur: Really? Because it seems like this is exactly the kind of thing that we might do!
Clint: Yeah, I think you guys are just mad because we didn't do it to them first. Now, let's find some horses or something.
Austin: [Looks around to see where they are] Anyone see a vacant carriage anywhere?
[The party appear to be in the middle of nowhere.]
Alice: I know where there are some horses!
Charlie: [To Alice, astonished] Are you familiar with this area?!
Alice: Of course not!
Dur: Then how do you know where we can get some horses from?
Alice: I didn't say I knew where we could get them, just that I knew where there are some.
Clint: You aren't, by any chance, thinking of the horses attached to that carriage over yonder? [Points at the party's distantly receding carriage.]
Alice: The carriage that so recently unceremoniously ejected us? [Beams] Yes!
Austin: And do you have some special rapport with those horse that will make them come back to you if you call them?
Harvey: [Smiling delightedly] Perhaps you have the hitherto undisplayed skill of a horse whisperer, what! One word from you and those bally horses will about turn and gallop back to us, keen for apples or sugar lumps, or both!
Charlie: Do be serious! I am much more likely to have such skills, given my remarkable ability to tame and train cats! Such skills are no doubt transferable.
Alice: [Claps happily at Harvey's words] That would be terrif! Don't worry, I'll give you some tips on how to get those little horrific balls of fur and claws to love you once I'm finished whispering to the horses. [Very, very loduly] Here horsey horsey! Heeeeere horsey! [In such a shrill and high pitched voice that everyone covers their ears] Heeeeeeeeeeeere H-for!
Charlie: [Helpfully] No, no, no! No self-respecting horse will come when called! [Pulls out a bit of string from her knapsack and hands it to Alice] Here, try waving this at them while I open a tin of tuna. That should get them bounding our way in no time!
Alice: Charlie! Oh my god! What is wrong with you? If you open that in front of Dur we'll never get any peace again! Every time someone touches a can he'll expect to get some food!
Austin: [Looking at the string and tuna] I think Alice's banshee scream is more likely to work.
Alice: Well then. Now we wait. I sure hope you all have the patience for this. Because you know what you're like. Some of you are very impatient. [Drums her fingers on a nearby rock] Oh my GOD! Where are those horses? We've been here, like four hours!
Harvey: Hmm, [looking over his shoulder] perhaps we should make haste in the direction the horses departed and meet them on their way back!
Alice: Yes, good idea! I can see the others are getting kind of restless. No doubt someone needs to pee.
Charlie: [To Alice, helpfully] Try not to think of water flowing it various forms, such as the insistent trickle of rain in a downspout after a spring shower!
Alice: You mean, things like rivers flowing? [Crosses her legs]
Austin: Or chilled Champagne pouring from the bottle to the glass.
Charlie: [Nods gravely] Or those dreadful garden fountains that feature nude, urinating children!
Austin: Or when the staff forget to turn the tap off. [Shakes his head in concern]
Dur: Horse! It’s whats for dinner!
Clint: Unless they don't come when Alice calls, in which case *we* may be what's for dinner instead!
Alice: Uh... I think the horse might be behind that bush there.
[She races behind the bush. An almost deafeningly loud SIGH comes out, followed by an even louder gushing of... let's just say champagne.]
Dur: Well, it certainly pees like a horse!!
Austin: She always has. [To the party] Anyone else need a pee? [Gets a small telescope from his satchel. Looks around for any form of transport]
Alice: [Comes out from behind the bush
] No sign of any horse there!
[AUSTIN scans the horizon and makes an annoying "Aha!" sound.]
Austin: Aaahaa! Farmhouse ahoy! [Neatly puts his telescope away.Marches off towards the farmhouse]
Clint: Good thinking, lawyer! We can get some horses, maybe a dead pig for the doctor, maybe a live sheep for you!
live sheep for Clint!
Austin: No thank you Mr Scar, I like most human beings prefer our own species for company. The sheep are all yours.
Harvey: [Walks towards the farmhouse, leaping across a newly formed champagne river] Lets hope this farmer has a carriage we can purchase, or borrow. Or horses. Or worst case, cows!
Alice: Cows? Are they things that milk comes in?
Charlie: [To Alice, scolding] We haven't time to indulge your city girl fantasies about life on the farm! Farms are filthy, foul-smelling places, and one never learns meets attractive, muscular farmboys who exist merely to seduce one and teach Important Lessons about What's Really Important in Life! [To Harvey] I shall give you a hint! It is NOT being a successful, professional woman who does not desire children!
Alice: But how is the high powered woman to learn that without visiting a small town at Philimas where she accidentally bangs into and spills coffee all over the dreamy local boy who's family run inn is in trouble because a mean property developer is about to run them out of business? Where the dreamy local boy has no time for Philimas and somehow finds the high powered woman annoying and, believe it or not, slightly funny, particularly given that they knew each other when they were kids and she had a real crush one him? Anyway, he's too busy organising the annual Philimas concert to raise money for orphans, knowing it might be the last one, but when our high powered woman bakes a bunch of wonderful Christmas cookies just after he brings back the impressive Philimas tree, they end up decorating it together and then go for a walk in the snow where they meet some carol singers, and then they go back home and, just as she's about to leave the inn, they realise they are standing under mistletoe! [Beat] I mean, that's just science, Charlie.
Austin: [Alarmed. Looks from Charlie to Alice. To the others] Did we just die and go to hell or something? [Looks around]
Alice: [Sing songy voice] Only if you don't believe in Philimas!
Harvey: [Wiping a tear from his eye] By the saints, truly a touching Philimas tale, if ever I've heard one!
Alice: Look! There's another carriage coming! Oh, it's a Christmas miracle!
Clint: Bah! Such stories don't understand the true meaning of Philimas - prove to your loved ones how much you care by spending on them, on the one day of the year we're all supposed to be nice to each other before getting back to screwing each other over at the drop of a hat for the rest of the year.
Charlie: [Nods] Quite right, Mr. Scar! It is a celebration of excess and capitalism under the protective mantle of poorly understood folktales! [Waves to the carriage] Hello?!
Alice: It's Mac the Knight!
[She's correct. MAC's carriage, crammed with floosies, zooms towards them.]
Clint: [Dubiously] Maybe he'll prefer to give us a lift rather than having his floozies around to give *him* a ride?
Austin: only one way to find out! [ Heads to the Farmhouse]
Harvey: And is this Mac likely to try and kill us all?
Charlie: [Muses thoughtfully] Good question! Perhaps it depends on whether or not we have met this version of him!
Alice: We met him half an hour ago! I bet he's way more likely to help us than hang out with some floozies!
[The carriage zooms on by with MAC mooning the party as it does.]
Austin: [Forlorn] I guess he didn't recognise us?
Clint: I'm pretty sure he did! But if one of us had a carriage full of floozies and was on the run from a homicidal lunatic, I'm not sure he or she would stop to dismount the strumpets and pick up the rest of us, so why would he do differently?
Harvey: I thought knights were renowned for their chivalry and strict moral code? I guess the stories are all just stuff and nonsense, what!
Austin: I think most of those stories of chivalry and strict moral code are about a few knights like Peter, and myself.
Alice: Do you? [Shakes her head sadly] Do you, really? [To Harvey] Yeah, we're not those kind of Knights. I mean, Dur is one!
Charlie: Yes, his inclusion does diminish the institution, unfortunately. But we mostly work for the greater good of all humankind, though some of our methods are less noble than others!
Harvey: And no doubt a gaggle of floozies also weights the moral dilemma!
Alice: Hey! Floozies are people too! You know, they don't let just anyone into U Flooz!
Charlie: [To Alice] Oh, is that your alma mater?
Alice: [Drops her head] You know, they don't let just anyone into U Flooz.
Charlie: [Reassuringly] I have no doubt you were at the top of your class!
Alice: Sadly, they don't let just anyone into U Flooz.
Dur: What about nobodies, do they let nobodies in?
Clint: I think the main thing about getting into U Flooz is the application of large amounts of cash or alcohol.
Alice: [To Dur] Spoken like a true Floozalum!
Dur: [Excitedly]Really?! Do they grant medical degrees?
Alice: Oh my god! Am I the only one here who didn't get into U Flooz?
Clint: [Nods sagely.] Looks like it, Bimbo!
Austin: Where did you send your application? U flooze HQ in Queensview?
Harvey: Possibly medical degrees specialising in certain communicable diseases, what!
Charlie: [Intrigued] It sounds much more impressive than the title would suggest! [To Alice] Tell the Alumni Committee that you refuse to endow another building until they change the name. That will get their attention!
Alice: I never met the Alumni Committee, and no, Aus, I didn't contact U FLooze HQ, I just spoke directly to one of their field agents. I met him in a shady bar one night. He seemed to think that I had a great chance to get in. I mean, I had never heard of it before, but it sounded cool!
Austin: [Makes a note] Sounds like we may have a rogue agent. Do you remember his name?
Harvey: Sounds like it was some slimy chancer, attempting to take advantage of a lady!
Austin: It does indeed. There are always those willing to abuse the system, cut corners, and exploit others.
Alice: No, I'm sure he was legit! He even had the official FBI t-shirt. His name was Ben Dover.
Austin: [Looks relieved] I've never heard that name before. Certainly not on the management committee, nor in advertising, HR, catering [Flicks through a list], lighting, entertainments, H & S or procurement. Nope. A rogue.
Alice: Oh man! So there's no such organisation as the Federal Boobie Inspectors?
Harvey: Hmm, not an official governmental organisation, that's for sure, dear girl!
Charlie: [Wearily] Oh, Alice! What have we told you many, many times about speaking to strange men wearing trench coats?!
Alice: But I wasn't wearing a trenchcoat! [Thinks
] Oh. I see. Well, that's all very disappointing!
[Stomps off in the direction of the farm.]
[Book XI, Act IV, Scene II. The Farm. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, walking across a field towards a farmhouse.]
Alice: What are all these crunchy brown pies doing lying on the grass?
Clint: [Solemnly] It's an old farm game. You try to get people to step in as many as possible, and the more they've stepped in, the more sophisticated they must be!
Charlie: [To Clint, chuckling] Oh, these simple country folk and their absurd beliefs! [To Alice, firmly] Do not fall victim to their spurious reasoning! There is clearly no correlation between stepping on those bits of ground and one's sophistication.
Alice: [Bends down and looks at one of the pies] Well, it reeks, almost as bad as Clint, which suggests that stepping in them almost certainly correlates with lack of sophistication. I mean, just look at Clint!
Charlie: [Excited] Let us conduct research! [To Dur, commandingly] Step on one of these bits of earth, and we shall assess the resulting change to your relative degree of sophistication!
Dur: [Already smeared in pie all over] Did it help?
Alice: Well, you look filthy, smell disgusting and look really, really pathetic... so, yeah, I guess it did!
Austin: [Looks at Dur with disgust] Just when things could not get any worse, you make it worse!
Alice: That sounds like a challenge!
Harvey: [Moving as far from Dur as possible] Let us hope it is a challenge which goes unanswered, eh!
Charlie: [Scribbling furiously on a notepad, muttering] In both appearance and odor . . . marginally improved . . . more data needed to determined perceived level of sophistication. Field research required. . . .
Austin: [Uncomfortable. Physically distances himself from Dur] Can we get going?
Harvey: [Stepping quickly] Very much agreed!
Alice: Ah reckon there be an old boy down yonder. [Beams happily] That's how they speak on the farm!
Charlie: [Sternly] That is not how WE speak down on the farm! We must communicate clearly at all times, avoiding slang and colloquialisms as if lives depended upon it!
Clint: I reckon we might could do that, pardner.
Alice: [Shakes her head] Nope. I saw a really interesting documentary on how these people speak. I'm an expert in it.
Harvey: How wonderful! Why don't you give us all an example of your mastery over their terminology?
Charlie: [Quickly] Or, better yet, we could witness it ourselves, first-hand, by interacting with the locals!
Alice: [Glares at Charlie] I would be happy to act as your guide. Now, point me to where the scantily dressed and improbably attractive stable boy is. I mean, is at. That's how they said it country style.
Clint: Surely you mean the naive and impressionable milkmaid with the massive milk jugs! Find her and you'll find the improbably attractive stable boy.
Alice: No, no, no! That's not what happened in the documentary! The delightful and attractive niece of the Lord of the Manor goes to get her horse and finds him there, standing looking moody and dreamy.
Austin: Well, let's just hope for both.
Clint: Ah, chapter 17!
Charlie: [To Harvey, gesturing broadly to the rest of the party] This is what happens when adults fail to form meaningful intimate relationships with other adults!
Austin: Why do people in long term relationships think that they are better than everyone else?
Alice: Because we are! Some day you might have a relationship as wonderful as me and Deucie, and then you'll understand Aus!
Austin: [Sighs] I was including myself in my comment. Whilst I have not seen Amelia in sometime, that is no different to the rest of us.
Charlie: [To Alice] Oh? Is that why you so desperately wish to undertake a fantasy relationship with an imaginary farmhand?
Austin: You seem to have mistaken me for someone else. I am not desperate. Sociable perhaps, but not desperate.
Alice: But you are into the farmhand?
Austin: [Checkings his perfect nails] What in the realms are you talking about now? We are in a field. This is farmland and we are in it?
Harvey: Well, we should knock on the door and see if this moody farmhand has a carriage he can let us rent.
Alice: Oooh! I bet you will be "in" the farmhand before too long, Aus. Boom chikka boom!
[A truly enormous arrow, about six feet long whizzes overhead and lands about twenty feet from the party.]
Clint: I don't remember *that* part of "Molly the Merry Milkmaid"! [Looks for a spot in which to take cover.]
Charlie: [Gasps and covers her head] It's a giant arrow trap, quite obviously triggered by weak double entendre!
Harvey: By the saints! Yet another warm welcome awaits!
Alice: [Hiding behind an enormous cowpat
] Look! There he is!
[ALICE points to PETE HANEY, a farming type in his fifties struggling to reload an immense crossbow that is about twenty feet across. He can barely lift an enormous bolt onto it.]
Harvey: To Alice] Hmm, is that your dreamy, moody farm hand?
Clint: Hello there! Do you need a hand reloading that crossbow?
Alice: [To Harvey
] No, I think that's Austin's one!
[PETE looks up.]
Pete: That would be great, thanks!
Austin: Hardly! Let's go help him. He obviously missed whatever he was aiming at.
Clint: [Calling over.] Alright, we're coming out to help you reload, and then we'll get back over here so you can shoot at us again!
Pete: Gee, that's real square of you folks! It's this winding mechanism here, it's a real pain to turn. I gotta be careful about trespassers you know, we get a lot of people poking around about Bessie.
Clint: I just bet you do! We're actually looking for something else, though. The... uh... lady here wants to talk to your farm hand, and we'd like to rent a carriage or something.
Harvey: That's the TrueAim 2.0 if I'm not mistaken! The winding mechanism on that particular model was always prone to jamming if not oiled at least six times a day with TrueAim-CostlyGlide(TM) lubricant.
Pete: [Taken aback] Why sir, you certainly know your weapons! And I must say, you have the demeanour of a man who's told many a kid to get off his lawn!
Charlie: [Shakes her head ruefully] Really, you should have bought a CostMore NeverJam 3.0. [Muses] Though, to be fair, that does require quite a lot of CostMore NeverJam Lubricating Jam!
Harvey: [To Pete] I am a military man, with a military mans knowledge of all things created to kill other military men, innocent onlookers and other and suchlike collateral damage. And why yes, sir, I get most annoyed at people trampling through my azaleas, the cads!
Alice: [Stomach rumbling massively] I wish I had some CostMore NeverJam Lubricating Jam!
Pete: NeverJam 3.0? Well, lah-di-dah, Miss Fancy Pants! [To Harvey] Me too, friend! That's why I hate trespassers so much!
Austin: I prefer the Nightstalker Costanarm with the auto lubricator v1.0. Sometimes the old ones are the best. Very reliable and [Gestures to the ballista] Much easier to load and transport.
Pete: Ah, old school eh. Not a bad device... They had a propensity to catch fire, but man, they sure doubled as a fine masturbation device.
Austin: [Looks horrified] I, I would not recommend using it for anything but the purpose it was designed for.
Charlie: [To Austin, scolding] Perhaps farm life is very lonely! Certainly, the smell would deter potential suitors. [To Pete] No offense!
Pete: None taken, your majesty! And, by the way, the smell never deterred Bessie!
Harvey: And this Bessie being the object of your trespassers desire?
Clint: Please, Colonel, there are innocent ears present! [Gestures at Dur.]
Pete: She's the most attractive pig in three counties!
Dur: Can we meet her?!
Pete: You sure can! She's just out playin' with the young 'uns!
Harvey: Piglets? Is she a proud pig mum?
Charlie: Oh, how darling! They are so sweet when they are young, almost kittenish!
Pete: [Beams] We sure are proud parents! Come on! [Starts walking towards a house]
Harvey: Erm, eh? [To the party] Did he just say what I think he said?
Alice: No, Uncle Harvey, he didn't say he had a big spread consisting of steaks, chops, a soused pigs head, complete with apple, golden honeyed locusts, jellied eels, thrushes ankles, snakes feet, crispy popadoms and curried Brussels sprouts.
Austin: [Sighs. To Pete] Do you have a carriage and horses trained to pull it?
Pete: Yes sir, I certainly do! Ah, there's Bess! Bess, come on and meet our new friends. They hate kids on their lawn almost as much as I do!
[Enter BESS HANEY, a pig wearing lipstick, walking on her four legs up to party.]
Charlie: [To Bess, uncertainly] Hello, er, madame?
Dur: [Wiping away the drool as best he can] What a charmer!
[Rather rudely, BESS doesn't appear to answer CHARLIE, and instead starts sniffing around the base of a tree.]
Pete: Oh, she's just shy. [Gives Dur a look] Yeah, she's a cutie, ain't she?
Clint: She's the kind of vision that one doesn't soon forget, anyway!
Pete: Keep your paws to yourself, boy!
Charlie: [To Pete, reassuringly] Oh, not to worry! Not even Mr. Scar would not entertain such a perversion!
Austin: Let's hope not. Sarge, we need transparency here. Alice, could you use your linguistic skills in the local patois to ask this man if he has a carriage?
Alice: Sure thing, Aus, I know all sorts of words and stuff. [Thinks for a moment] What's a patois?
Austin: [[Sighs] Just talk to him in the same way he talks.
Charlie: [To Alice] Though take care that you understand what you are actually saying! [To Austin] One does not wish to become accidentally betrothed to a farm animal, etc.
Harvey: Indeed so, dear woman! Let's be cautious incase he's attempting to offload any offspring on potential suitors!
Austin: Perhaps we should just walk? Walking is relatively safe.
Alice: But it's too slow, we're in a race! [To Pete] You there, bumpkin! [Speaks slowly and loudly] Can we have your [does some vroom-vroom noises] car-riage? Mucho dinero, oui? [Turns to the party and gives them a thumbs up]
Pete: [Scratches his head] You better talk to my lovely wife about that. She makes all the decisions.
Charlie: [To Pete] Would you first like to ask her if she will speak with me? One does not wish to presume!
Pete: Sure thing. [Calls out
] Betts! Betts?
[Enter BETTS HANEY, an improbably attractive young woman.]
Betts: Oh, quit your hollerin'! [Smiles at the party
] Hi there! He showing off his pig again?
Charlie: [To Betts, relieved] Oh, how splendid! At first I was not sure [glances discreetly at Bess] I would be able to communicate with you. Now I can see it will be possible, as long as I make certain allowances for poor grammar usage and sloppy diction.
Betts: Well, excuse me, your majesty!
Charlie: [Amused] Oh, no! Even everyday citizens practice good hygiene where we live, not just royalty!
Austin: [To Betts, continuing Bett's humor] Her royal highness, Queen of Chuckles, master of all libraries, high inquisitor of all systematic reviews, and first of the obsessive hand washers, would like to know if we could borrow a carriage?
Harvey: Or a brace of horses, if you do not have a carriage, my dear woman! [Bows to Betts]
Dur: I thought we were looking for something to ride? Not something for dinner!
Betts: Why, sure you can borrow a carriage. You look like good, honest folk. [Looks the party up and down] Well, like folk. I do have a chore for you, though.
Clint: [Nodding] That's usually how those things go. Alice here is your gal for milking cows, Charlie for setting up a rota of some sort, the colonel oversees it all. I handle things which require immense strength, Dur does general menial labor, and the lawyer... uhhh... also contributes.
Austin: Management, Health and safety, S.O.P.s. Compliance. Those sort of things.
Betts: Well, goll-lee, you folks sure do use a lot of words. All we need is a good old fashioned piglet hunt. It'll help us and also prove that you are good farm folk. After all, it wouldn't do to lend our carriage to no city slickers, would it?
[BETTS, PETE and even BESS all roar laughing.]
Alice: [Laughs along, a little unnerved] Sure! [To the party] What are city's lickers?
Harvey: I believe it's a type of long tongued lizard, common in these parts, dear girl.
Alice: Ew! No surprise that even an ignorant country bumpkin wouldn't want to lend their carriage to one, then!
Betts: Are you talking about me?
Alice: Uh... no.
Harvey: [To Betts] I believe there was a mention of some piglet location chore? Surely one went to the market, one is here at home, one can be found gorging on roast beef, while another looks on enviously, and you will no doubt hear the tears of the last soon enough.
Betts: Ah, yes, quite helpful, thanks, but there are several others, racing around their pen.
Charlie: We have just the crew for this task! [Nods to Dur, Clint, and Alice] Into the pen, chop chop!
Alice: We're going to have to cut them up? Ew!
Betts: Nope. All of you got to go get some piglets. Otherwise how do we know you're not some lizard types?
Dur: Is this like bobbing for apples in that we have to catch it with our mouths and we get to eat what we catch?
Betts: No, it's more like running around in a pigpen trying to grab tiny squealing balls of rage who could take your hand off with one bite.
Charlie: [Cheerfully] In you go, Dur! If you lose your hand, we will fashion one for you out of wood, not to worry!
Clint: Don't think for one second that we're going to do all the work and you can share in the credit. This isn't graduate school!
Betts: The weird smellin' fella's right -- you all go in together.
Austin: We'll have it done in a jiffy. [To the party] Come on you lot, catching those piglets!
Charlie: [Reluctantly] Very well, but I only have so many grey suits! If I keep sacrificing them for tasks better done by servants, I might be forced to wear less professional clothing, like [casts her eyes over Alice] others.
Alice: Who likes makeovers!
Betts: [To Austin] Everyone gets a piglet. Including you, pretty boy.
Austin: But I do not want a piglet. Why would I want a piglet? My team are perfectly capable of catching them all for you, and it is most kind of you to give them some.
Betts: Aren't you cute? We're not giving you the piglets, you're getting them for us. That's the cost of borrowing our carriage. You need to prove you're good farm folk or you're going to have get walking.
[Off in the distance another carriage from earlier zooms by.]
Harvey: Hmm, we really do need to get moving, or else that maniac will be breathing down our very necks! [To Betts] Lead the way, dear lady! Time and tide wait for no piglets, what!
Betts: What about Princess?
Alice: Oh, I'll do it!
Betts: No. [Points at Austin] Him!
Austin: Flattery will get you no where. But it is appreciated.
Charlie: [To Austin] Come along, Mr. Sleaze! We will find a dry cleaners at the earliest convenience, not to worry!
Austin: [Puts on a pinafore, gloves and PPE gear on top of that and holds his hands out for Charlie to give him a piglet] I'll lead from the front, as usual!
Betts: Oh, this is gonna be great! [Rubs her hands together] We don't just hand them out, you gotta go catch 'em. Much hilarity will ensue!
Hi folks, In this next scene, the party will each try to catch a piglet. Each time I make a post, I will roll (online using a verifiable source!) six 100 sided dice. I'll show the order they came up in and we will interpret them this
way: Alice Austin Charlie Clint Dur Harvey To catch a piglet, a character most roll 90 or more. Each time we reroll, there will be a +5 bonus added, to reflect that it gets easier. If you roll natural 10 or lower, some misfortune will befall your character, but only in an amusingly humiliating way. A natural 5 or lower means something truly disgusting happens. The natural 5 or 10 mean that these can happen even in the second and subsequent rolls. I won't roll in every post, but will always tell you in the post immediately beforehand that it's about to come. Here's the dice roller I'll
https://www.wizards.com/dnd/dice/dice.htm It will show all the dice rolls that I make today. To be absolutely fair, I've done one roll which you can later use to verify that the game is fair. The dice rolls
are: 30,77,81,35,52,35,+0 The +0 is something added on automatically, so just ignore it. This means Alice would have got 30, Austin 77 etc., so no one would have caught a piglet, but neither would anyone be humiliated. Next scene coming up right now, and the first piglet post will be once the scene is up and running!
[Book XI, Act IV, Scene III. The Pig Pen. BETTS, ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, all having entered into the huge pen in which six screaming piglets race around.]
Betts: Okay, go get them!
Alice: [Cautiously approaching] Maybe we could reason with them?
Dur: [Wipes away a tear] Reminds me of growing up at mom’s house!
Alice: Although, surely this place is cleaner and has better furniture?
Austin: They look very odd moving around without apples in their mouths.
Charlie: [Pacing the pen, ready to spring] They are darling little things, aren't they?! I do hope we do not hurt them!
Austin: [Tries his praying mantis Hero move, to catch a piglet] Shh!
Alice: [Looking guiltily at her sword] Oh. So we're NOT trying to kill them? [Puts her sword away]
Charlie: [To Alice, down on all fours in Downward Facing Pig position] Do be quiet! This maneuver requires focus!
Clint: [Spits on his hands and rubs them together.] Get over here!
which I thought neither
Alice: Focus schmocus! You think I'm going to be outwitted by a screaming bag of pink? [Grabs at the nearest piglet
[ALICE immediately goes face first into a suspiciously deep pool of pig shit, while each of AUSTIN and CHARLIE easily swoop theirs up, the former doing so in such a maddeningly efficient way that his suit is somehow cleaner and more pressed than before. CLINT, DUR and HARVEY all miss, with HARVEY getting the closest.]
Betts: [Applauds] Do it again! Do it again!
Dur: [Gives a thumbs up to Alice] Now we match!
Charlie: [Hanging onto her wriggling pig, gleeful] Well done, Mr. Sleaze! Perhaps the next time we discuss advanced wrestling maneuvers, the others will listen more closely!
Alice: [Looks disgusted at Dur
] Does your mouth always taste like this too? [Leaps at the pig
[ALICE's pig just evades her, pausing for a moment to give her the middle trotter. HARVEY and DUR come close, with DUR doing an impressive somersault in his attempt, while CLINT merely collides with a fence post.]
Betts: [To Austin and Charlie] I'm starting to think that only you two are real farm folk!
Austin: Never give up hope! [Feeds his piglet some parma violets]
Harvey: By the saints, these are wily little piggies! Are they covered in grease? [Harvey will perform a hero move]
Charlie: [To Harvey, helpfully] Try getting on all fours! It makes them think you are one of them and builds trust!
[HARVEY does a backflip and lands in front of his piglet, easily scooping it up, while each of ALICE and DUR deftly snatch theirs up as CLINT staggers around on all fours, crashing into a post. Meanwhile, AUSTIN's piglet delicately munches on his snack.]
Charlie: [Exasperated, frustratedly wrestling with her wriggling pig to keep it from escaping again] Really, Mr. Scar! Surely you have a stronger natural affinity for these creatures than the rest of us! Focus on your inner pig!
Austin: Heaven knows he has had plenty of practice at that!
Alice: Be the pig, Clint! Phili knows, you do it often enough!
Harvey: [Encouragingly] Come on chaps, pluck up the little porkers!
[CLINT desperately throws himself onto a piglet, stunning it long enough that he grabs it by the tail, causing it to squeal unhappily as he drags it into his arms.]
Alice: [Covered from head to toe in pigshit] Not very dignified, is it?
Austin: I expect the pig has had better days. Mr Scar, I'm not so sure. This may be his finest hour.
[She regards CLINT. He's a filthy mess; his hair is dishevelled, he's filthy, his clothes are torn and his piglet is urinating all over him.]
Alice: Huh. I believe you might be correct, Austin!
Charlie: [To Clint, encouragingly] Do not despair, Mr. Scar! No doubt there are plenty of naive young farm girls who will find this new look of yours appealing!
Clint: [Confused.] What new look?
the 3-year-old and the
to not only lock but soundproof
Alice: This dapper, man about town, look.
Harvey: Indeed so, even the air seems somehow fresher! [To his piglet] Doesn't it little Rashers, doesn't it seem fresher, what!
Charlie: [Jealously tries to speak to her wriggling piglet] There now, er, Professor Fluffington, are we not the very best of friends? Far more successfully bonded than other piglet-party members?
Alice: [Laughs at Charlie] Oh, Charlie, you don't know how to handle animals the way us farm folk do. [Holds up her piglet] Don't you, Karl Porkerfeld? Aw, look! He's asleep! [Gently tries to wake Karl] Er, oh. Hm. Maybe we should get that carriage!
Harvey: [Looks closely, before covering Rashers eyes] Ah yes, I see, we should definitely be on the off, what!
Alice: Poor sleepy Karl Porkerfeld!
[BETTS and PETE applaud the party as they let themselves out of the pigpen.]
Pete: Well I'll be, that was the funniest thing I saw since Auntie Madge got her beard tangled in the mangle!
Charlie: [Gasps] Did Aunt Madge survive the mangler?!
Clint: Knowing aunts, I'd be more worried about whether the mangler survived Aunt Madge!
Pete: Oh, she was fine. I mean, we had to cut her out of it and that mangler was never the same, but the beard soon grew back.
Austin: Always good to hear a happy ending to any story. Where shall we put the piglets?
Pete: You can put their adorable pink tushies down in the pen over there. [Points to a nearby pen]
Alice: [Lays Karl Porkerfeld down in the pen] Goodbye sleepy pig!
Austin: [Puts Fionnghuala down in the pen requested] Here, have some extra parma violets.[Gives the piglet a few more sweets and a cautious pat]
Clint: [Deposits his recalcitrant pig with just a bit of care.] If there's any justice, I'll be seeing you again, fried and stuffed between two slices of bread. Now, about that carriage...
Harvey: [Turns his back to the party and leans over into the pen] Bye bye Rashers, hopefully you'll grow up to be a big and strong pig! [Turns back to the party with a suspicious bulge in his coat] Harvey's
Charlie: [Deposits her piglet in the pen] Goodbye, Professor [frowns] Whiskerton? Our time together was special and memorable!
Pete: Don't be sad. Betts will look after them. [Hands Charlie the keys of the carriage] Now, make sure you bring it back, right?
Charlie: [Accepts the keys gleefully] Of course! [To the party] To the carriage, group!
Dur: [In disbelief] Sure, that would be a first!
Alice: Don't say it right in front of him!
Pete: In front of who?
Alice: Uh... no one! [Heads to the carriage
[BETTS walks past holding a bloody baseball bat.]
Betts: Have a good drive!
Harvey: We most certainly will! [Hurriedly heads towards the carriage]
Alice: Aw! Is she going to play baseball with the piglets? That's kind of sweet!
Harvey: Possibly, dear girl. By the saints, why am I suddenly thinking of the term, when pigs fly?
Clint: Looks like bacon for lunch. Much healthier than demon arm!
Charlie: Perhaps we had better make our exit while the farm folk are, er, occupied in no doubt wholesome country pleasures?!
Alice: Good idea! [Stops and looks at the carriage, which has "Haney's Pig Killery" painted on the side] Not exactly subtle, is it?
Harvey: Indeed so, about as subtle as a baseball bat to the head, what! Come all, let us be away before the knight killer appears!
[The party race off, the awful thumping sound of the baseball bat barely audible over the roar of the carriage.]
Alice: Who's got the map?
Charlie: [Hopefully] If I have a map, can you tell me where we are going?!
Austin: [Carefully peeling off the protective clothing] Oh the Sarge will have one. She's very organised like that.
Alice: We're supposed to be going to Acedia! Remember, last three there get killed?
Harvey: Well, let us hope we are not amongst the final three to arrive, dear girl!
Charlie: [Digging through her knapsack] I cannot find a map! Dur must have eaten it! [To the party] Perhaps we could find the nearest library?!
Austin: I don't suppose we could simply avoid Acedia for ever? That way no one will die, as there will never be a last three. It's not as if we have ever wanted to go there. It's not exactly the destination of the century.
Alice: Not a bad idea, Aus. And just as long as that demon eating madman will abide by that logic, we'll be fine. [To Charlie
] Maybe those people on that bridge up ahead have a map?
[Up ahead is a bridge that crosses over the road that the party are driving on. It looks like it is packed with people.]
Clint: I've got it. [Sticks his head out the window.] Pardon me, boys, is this the Acedia highway?
Alice: Oh god, is he trying to flirt with them?
[The people on the bridge are too far to hear yet, but the party is getting closer and can see that there are hundreds of them on the bridge, several of whom are holding banners.]
Harvey: I say, what's all that kerfuffle?
Charlie: [To Harvey] They have the look of outside rowdies, wouldn't you say? [Wearily] I do hope they are not hairy and unwashed types grousing about various governmental programs, waving poorly constructed signs riddled with grammatical errors and rhetorical fallacies!
Harvey: [Shudders] Let us hope not, dear woman, for where so ever outside rowdies congregate, bongo players and fire jugglers are sure to spontaneously appear!
Austin: I can smell them from here!
Alice: I bet they're just dreamy man bun types, who don't live by any rules except their own, and they even disobey those ones!
[The crowd on the bridge start to cheer as the party approach. They can see that the largest banner reads "Death Race 1285"]
Dur: [Looking worriedly at the sign] Oh if only they had taught us how to read in medical school!
Charlie: [Reading the banner, flabbergasted] Death Race?! Who would want to race to his or her death?
Alice: Only a fool! Or an idiot acting like a fool! Hey look, those guys there have a banner for Team Queens View! I wonder if Queens View has a team in the race. Boy, they must be a bunch of idiots!
Clint: What kind of odds do you think we can get? Might be worth placing a wager - if we lose, we'll be in no shape to collect on it anyway.
Harvey: [Scratches at a pricklish, ticklish sideburn] I say, you don't think that we are in this Death Race already, do you? The last three to arrive at that town are slaughtered. Why, it sure sounds like a race to me!
Alice: If we are, then it's a very poorly named race, isn't it? I mean, would Life Race be a better name? Anyway, I bet we're the favourites!
Austin: With me leading the team how could it be otherwise.
Charlie: [Irked] You may excel at piglet wrangling, Mr. Sleaze, but I lead this group! [Crossing her arms defiantly] And we will NOT be participating in a so-called [finger quotes] Death Race!
Alice: If anyone's going to be driving in a Death Race it's going to be me!
Harvey: If anyones going to be dying in a Death Race, let us hope it's not us! [Roars out the window at the crowd] You there, unwashed types, move aside, what!
Austin: [To Charlie] Sorry Chuckles, but at no point did I promote you to the leader of this group, nor did I retire. Now, if this is a Death Race, we are going to win. Alice will drive.
Charlie: [To Austin, huffily] Fine, see how well you do in your precious race without my organizational and research skills!
[As the party zoom beneath the bridge the crowd give a huge cheer. An excited commentator, MURRAY STALKER, last seen Book V, Act VII, Scene V as commentator at the Scientist Fights, speaks into a microphone.]
Murray: Harvey complains to the crowd for something that doesn't make any sense, and they just love it! And, unless I'm very much mistaken, the Queens View party have taken the lead!
Dur: Hear that? Sounds like we are winning! [Pulls out a pantswich for a quick mid-race snack]
Austin: [To Charlie] Neither did I demote you, Sarge, don't just give up like that it gives the team a bad role model. Now, what can we do to win? Let's focus on that.
Clint: Well, for one thing we can check whether "taking the lead" means we're the most or the least likely to die. And if the former, we can discuss a few changes at the top! I say we put the Colonel back in charge, what?
Alice: Who are we going to check with, Clint? With you? I think you're hardly likely to know!
Charlie: If only you knew someone who excelled at research! Perhaps such a person could learn the rules of this race and save the day for everyone!
Alice: Oh, Charlie! Yes, we can take a hint! Come on, I bet you know someone who excels at research!
Clint: Yeah, but is this really the best time to be looking for Deuce?
Alice: Is there ever a time when it's NOT a good time?
Harvey: And in the likely event of not finding this Deuce person, is there an alternative? I'm sure this good woman [bows to Charlie] could tell us the rules of this race, if only we could get our hands on a rule book! And by the way, how in the blue blazes does this announcer know our names, what?
Charlie: [Delighted] Splendid, we just need to pop into a local Visitors' Center, and I shall commence researching this event! It should only take an hour or so, depending on the quality of assistance and materials available.
Harvey: Surely one of these onlookers will have a copy of the rule book to hand! Racing sports bring out all types of fact and statistical, what's the word, overcoat? No. Anoraks! That's it! Anoraks!
Alice: Like that guy? [Points to the nerdiest man in the Realms, MOSTLY MAX, who is standing beside a barrier that's blocking the road
Harvey: [Glances out the window] Egads, the very epitome of the word, what! [To Max] You there, do you have a rule book we can borrow? Quickly, throw it through the carriage window!
Max: Sir, this is an official checkpoint for Death Race 1285. All racers must check in here and sign the official register.
Harvey: I did not see that written in the rules. Do you have a copy of the rule book to hand?
Charlie: [Eagerly] Oh, yes! We should be ever so grateful to obtain a copy of the rules. One prefers to win fairly!
Max: I certainly do! I never leave home without it. [Proudly holds up a massively thick book that looks like it has a post-it book mark on virtually every page]
Murray: I'm not sure what's happening here, but the Queens View party have failed to check in! Martin, what do you think? [Pause] Martin? Martin?
Austin: [To the Party] Do we want to check in? It sounds very dangerous. If we don't check in, we're not in the race!
Alice: And you know what that means, right?
Dur: That we don’t have to race to the death?
Clint: C'mon, doc, where's your sense of adventure? Besides, when have we ever been that lucky?
Harvey: I must admit, this all does seem quite a complicated and convoluted way for a demon-limb eating psychopath to determine who he's going to kill!
Alice: [To Dur] Well, I don't know, do I? I haven't see the rule book! But yes, it does seem unnecessarily complicated. Just the kind of thing a psychopath would do!
Austin: [To Max] What do the rules say about those who are not registered?
Max: [Pushes his glasses back and takes a hit of his inhaler] Rule 34, subsection D, paragraph ii, clearly states that those not registered may not take part in the Death Race. However, you are registered. You haven't yet checked in for this leg of the race.
Charlie: By whom were we registered?! Normally, I handle paperwork and such for the group, and I do not recall completing any such forms!
Dur: And what happens if we don't check in?
Clint: Gee, Sarge, ensuring that the paperwork gets done properly sounds like a job for the leader, and no competent leader would let a lapse like this slip!
Max: The paperwork has been done. It was fully completed by a Mr. Herman Slink.
Alice: Herman Slink? Is he a scary demon eater who might kill us?
Max: That's the man. [Waves a scolding finger at Dur] Guideline 4 clearly states that all teams should check in at predetermined locations so that they can get some rest, interact with the public and give interviews. Those last two, as I'm sure you know, are covered in Guidelines 17 and 24, respectively.
Charlie: [Excited] Oh, I should be delighted to provide interviews! I have so much valuable information to share with the scientific community.
Max: Excellent! I'm pleased that you are adhering to Guidelines 4, 17 and 24. [Points to a parking space] You can park over there.
Dur: Park? How do you win a death race while parked?
Max: You can't! That would be a clear violation of Rule 231, subsection C, paragraph xii!
Austin: So how do you win a this death race?
Max: [Impatiently] Have you even read Rule 912, subsection E, paragraph iv?
Austin: No, we have never seen the rules.
Clint: [Wearily] Which rule would we violate if we asked to see the rulebook?
Max: Oh! Well, that's not great! No wonder you're in last place! I mean, Guideline 1 suggests that racers should try to be familiar with the rules.
Max: Rule #2. Racers shall not consult the personal rulebook of any race official. [Shrugs] I think it's to stop bribery!
Charlie: [To Max] Ah, but doesn't it say in Appendix G that all racers must be given their own copy of the rule book? [To the party] Wouldn't it be dreadful if we had to file a complaint?
Max: [Scornfully] There is Appendix G! Everyone knows that the appendix was removed!
Charlie: [Triumphantly] Was it? What about the Memo on Appendix G, which called for the reinstatement of Appendix G? Frankly, I doubt your copy of the rules is up to date. Perhaps I could examine it for you, though I really must get to my interviews!
Dur: So we aren't allowed to bribe an official, but what do the rules say about assaulting a race official and taking their copy of the rules? It is a death race after all...
Austin: Temper temper! [Carefully scopes out the scene to see if there is a copy that he could 'borrow]
Harvey: Lets park up and see about getting our hands on some pre race sustenance, what! I'm famished! I'm sure we can discuss the rules with someone other than this pen pushing type!
Max: Oh, the race is already started. It started back at the shack when Herman Slink gave you the head start. Come on, you can park up over here. I'm glad you chose to go along with the guidelines. [Points to a parking space]
Charlie: [To Alice, in a low voice] Hurry, do let us park and try to investigate our current perplexing situation!
Alice: No problem, I really great at parallel parking.
[ALICE reverses the carriage at high speed and smashes into another carriage even though there is space enough for five carriages.]
Alice: Let's just straighten up...
[She crashes the gears and eventually pulls forward, hitting the carriage ahead, before crashing them again and reversing back.]
Charlie: [To Alice, covering her head in horror] At least we've stopped!
Austin: Parking with authority, as usual, Alice!
Alice: You got to let people know not to mess with you!
Max: [Still grimacing] Er, great. Now, let's bring you back to meet your team.
Charlie: [Surprised] But we already have a team!
Max: Oh. So... you have your own cheerleader? Mechanic? Grizzled old racer with a drink problem who'll die in freak accident moments after figuring out a strategy for you to win?
Clint: Alice, me, and Harv?
Max: [Disappointed] But we've got the perkiest of cheerleaders! The crankiest of mechanics! The drunkest of ex-drivers!
Alice: [Sulkily] I'm perky!
Clint: Well, now that we've sorted that out, let's just... err.. borrow a copy of the rules, and then be on our merry way! I'll just be cannibalizing this mysteriously crunched carriage for spare parts... [Checks if anything can be salvaged from the wreckage of Alice's parking job.]
Harvey: And I barely drink! Just the odd few bottles of wine during breakfast lunch and dinner, followed by a champagne chaser before bed!
Austin: [Looks horrified] You'll be joining the QueensView temperance society if you're not careful!
Max: Look, let's just go into the rest area. The guidelines suggest you stay here for eight hours. I can also --
[A terrible CRASH sounds as CLINT roughly kicks the front bumper off one of the carriages that ALICE drove into.]
Max: Er, that's my carriage!
[Book XI, Act IV, Scene IV. The Rest Area. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and MAX are there, walking towards a large tent from which the sounds of raucous music and dancing comes. Sitting outside smoking is KELLY CASSIDY, a bored looking cheerleader who clearly has seen better days.]
Max: Ah! There's your cheerleader now!
Kelly: Oh god. These losers?
Charlie: [To Max, looking at Kelly disapprovingly] We request a replacement cheerleader, one with more pep! This one is quite inadequate.
Harvey: And she definitely seems a bit light on the cheer, what!
Kelly: I've got pep coming out of my beep! Anyway, if you wanted to choose your cheerleader, you shouldn't beeping well have come in bleeping last.
Austin: Could you talk without censoring your own speech?
Charlie: [To Max] Must we really contend with such negativity? This will not cheer us on efficiently!
Austin: Wont she? I think she's pretty emo. We need to be cool to get ratings!
Kelly: [Glumly] It's the bleeping cheerleader code. I took an oath. [To Charlie] Look, lady, you're last to arrive by hours. You've got no chance.
Alice: Oh come on! Say it with pep! Yoooooooooou've [pause] gotnochance, rah!
Dur: Hey, I had to take an oath too! Of course I immediately forgot what the oath was…. But I still said the words!
Kelly: That doesn't surprise me.
Clint: Well, if we're coming in last place, you could cheer for three of us to live! That'd be cheertastic!
Kelly: And what if you get killed? What do you think that will do to my reputation for the next Death Race?
Alice: No racer will want you as their cheerleader so you'll end up being picked last by some suckers who accidentally killed a piglet?
Kelly: Well, that's a bit more specific than I had in mind, but, yeah, something like that.
Charlie: So, how will you help ensure we win?
Kelly: I don't care if you win or not. I'm mainly interested in sitting around bored making mean remarks about other girls.
Alice: Hey! I like her! We're going to be besties!
Kelly: [Rolls her eyes] Stop being so fetch.
Alice: [Applauds] She's so cool she can even make fetch a thing!
Clint: [Confused.] The jive talk you kids use these days...
Minnie and Elsa.
Austin: [Upbeat] So what did the previous winners do to win?
Charlie: [Hopefully] Did they show a remarkable ability to conduct and organize research? [Gesturing to the rest of the party] And also demonstrate superior grooming skills [nods to Austin], deep military experience [nods to Harvey], and [looks at the others helplessly] so forth?
Harvey: Indeed, sir! I blame the influence of the modern postal service what! Anyone these days can send and receive literally tens of letters a day! In fact, people can sign up to become disciples of C list celebrities and receive dozens of unsolicited status musings and update letters from them! And they in turn then send out musings and updates on those letters to their own disciples, who in turn do the same thing! Those poor postpeople are walking their tired feet to stumps delivering them all!
Alice: Oh please! Surely photos of my avocado toast for breakfast is worth a few bloody stumps!
Kelly: Mainly the last couple of winners cheated, fought and drank their way to a victory in a way that was only possible because everyone else was worse at cheating and fighting and drank too much!
Harvey: [Brightening up] By the saints, we may still be in with a chance, troupe!
Austin: So, the Sarge is on research, Alice is our driver and offensive driving tactics, the Colonel is on guerilla warfare, Mr Scar on biochemical warfare tactics, deployment, and dirty tricks, and Mr Dur is the team medic. We can all do drunkenness whenever we have the good fortune. [Checks his list] I will be the party leader as usual, and i'm also on sabotage.
Alice: Really? What's that? Some kind of new form of cheese? Go on, I'll take a cheeky half sabotage!
On Fri, 22 May 2020 at 11:24, Conor Ryan
Austin: It could take many forms. A cheeky half Hebridean Blue, for example, at the right time and place, could put the oppositions driver to sleep.
Charlie: [Excited] And we could make false driving licenses that shows our opponents' licenses are expired! We would have the road all to ourselves instantly!
Alice: Wow! We can do that? Let’s make one for me that says I’m queen of the world, that way we can drive as fast as we want and won’t have to worry about cops and their “driving too fast” or “you’re a danger on the road” or “you hit those pedestrians”.
Harvey: Gah! If only we had a printing press to create those licenses! And pictures of our opponents to put on those licenses! And a laminating machine to laminate those licenses! Gah! Gah! And thrice gah!
Alice: Surely our surly cheerleader knows where to some fake IDs?
Kelly: I'm 31 years old.
Alice: Then why do you need a fake ID? Weirdo!
Clint: Obviously so she can pass herself off as younger and [finger quotes] hang with the cool crowd.
difficulties of drinking tea in zero G.
Charlie: [Delighted] I have been told that I am rather [finger quotes] cool! [To Clint] My postdocs think I am both very humorous and familiar with the customs and conversant in the vernacular of the younger generation!
Alice: What do the rules say about hanging with the cool crowd during the Death Race?
Kelly: Nothing. There's a whole bunch of guidelines, but only an idiot pays attention to them.
Clint: I don't suppose you'd care to tell us where the other competitors are and help us sabotage their carriages?
‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ On Friday, May 22, 2020 5:31 PM, Tom Henderson
Kelly: No, that would be against the rules, and I swore to uphold the rules as part of my oath. Why don't you just go to the hospitality for the rest period as in the guidelines?
Charlie: Well, one does prefer to follow the rules! [To the party] Let us make our way to hospitality, group! It sounds quite pleasant.
Harvey: Certainly dear woman! It sounds quite welcoming, what!
Alice: Oh god, is it a lemonade and cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off type affair?
[The party approach a large tent, from which the delightful sounds a string quartet waft.]
Charlie: [Listening approvingly] It certainly sounds like that sort of event! How marvelous!
Austin: We should just get going. Get a head start!
Alice: I thought the rules said we had to go in?
Kelly: No, the guidelines do. The rules don't mention it.
Austin: Great, lets get going then. We can tell them we have to go get fuel, and get a substantial head start in stead.
Harvey: But, but...sandwiches!
Alice: His name is Dur! And he's coming with us!
Harvey: [Shudders] So be it!
Charlie: So, the guidelines may be ignored but the rules must be followed, but no one who has ever won has paid attention to either? Do I have that correct??
Kelly: Uh... yeah, I guess that's about the size of it.
Clint: [Philosophically.] As in life, so in a death race. It's almost poetic. Fortunately, we're a bunch of life's real winners here.
Alice: [Looks from Clint to Dur] Sure.
Charlie: [Dramatically] Back to the carriage!
Harvey: Agreed, dear woman! A head start might just help us keep our heads!
Austin: It's also good practice in a death race to keep your head. Does anyone have a preference for on board films or music?
Charlie: None! We must have total silence so that we may concentrate fully!
Alice: No way, Joseph! We need some proper driving music. I'm thinking... [evil smile] Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows!
Dur: Who cares what we listen to while driving, let's pick up food for the journey!
Alice: Best not to let him into the fancy music/sandwich tent, or we'll never get out of here. [To Dur] There are sandwiches in the carriage!
Harvey: [Brightening] Are there, dear girl? Then what are we waiting for? Sandwiches for our stomachs and heads for our necks, that's the way!
Clint: Well, if we're going to win this, we'll have to jettison any excess weight we can, so say goodbye to padding for our bottoms!
Austin: No one was ever going to pad your bottom Mr Scar. Nothing is lost in that respect.
Alice: I don't know, Aus. Look at how enormous it is! It seems like there is a lot of padding there already.
Austin: I'd rather not.
Charlie: [Primly] Do stop sexually harassing one another, please!
Dur: Yeah! Go back to regular harassment, please!
Charlie: [Nods approvingly at Dur, handing him a copper piece] Indeed, that would be much more appropriate.
Harvey: Well people, let us sneak to our carriage, and aim to avoid all race officials! They may try to prevent our head start, what!
Kelly: So you're just going to sneak out of here quietly so no one knows you've got ahead of them?
Austin: Yes, do you have a better plan?
Kelly: No, I'm just really excited to be part of such a devious and underhand plan. [Points to a small gate beyond the tent] If we sneak out that way we won't run into any race officials who'll start moaning about the importance of guidelines.
Charlie: [Delighted] Marvelous! One might even say a good reason for CHEER! [Looks expectantly at Kelly]
[KELLY leaps onto a convenient chair.]
Kelly: [Blaringly loud] Hey you! Queens View fans! [Clap, clap] Hey you! Queens View fans! Step right up and clap your hands! [Clap, clap]
Alice: It's just so catchy! Hey you! Queens View fans! [Clap, clap] Hey you! Queens View fans! Step right up and clap your hands! [Clap, clap]
Harvey: By the saints dear girl, quiet please!
Austin: [Covering his ears] Stop! we have not sold tickets yet!
Kelly: [Blaringly loud] Hey you! Queens View fans, let's go beat those also rans! [Clap, clap, clap. Then, somehow even louder] Let's get going before they see, we're not gonna stop for tea!
Charlie: [To the party, in a low voice] Hurry, let us make our escape, whilst our cheerer poses a distraction!
Clint: Piece of cake. Sneaking out of parties during a distraction is probably our best-developed skill!
Kelly: Gooooooooooo stealth escape! Rah!
[ALICE points to a window in the tent, at which dozens of Knights now stand looking out.]
Alice: [Whispers] Do you think they've seen us?
Clint: Those guys? Who cares? They're dying soon anyway.
Alice: Not if they realise we're sneaking away early and they get ahead of us!
Charlie: [To Kelly, hissing] Do please cheer something more helpful, preferably something that signals we are all on our way for a long nap and not up to mischief!
Kelly: Let's go Queens View, let's go sleep now! [Clap clap]
Ivan: [Standing at the mesh window, addressing some of the other Knights] Are they sneaking off and do they think we can't hear and see them?
Clint: Haw! They don't suspect a thing! Those fools!
Alice: Idiots! Now, come on, let's get into our carriage and race away, leaving the fools here standing staring at that mirror. Hey, maybe we should moon them?
Charlie: [Laughs weakly and waves at Ivan] Oh, hello! We did not see you there. We were just off to take a long rest.
Austin: Rest? I thought we were doing a training exercise? [Look of realisation] Oohh, rst. Yes. off for a long rest.
Harvey: [Stretches massively and yawns] By the saints, I'm absolutely done in! A big sleep is whats required!
Ivan: [Gives a huge yawn] Yeah... I'm suddenly quite tired too!
Charlie: [To Ivan, sympathetically] Yes, I think we should all turn in for a nice long rest!
[BODDY looks up from where he appears to be snorting parmesan off a hooker's rear end.]
Boddy: Boy, I'm really done in too!
[The entire tent starts to slowly walk to the door, yawning and stretching theatrically.]
Charlie: Marvelous, we should all retire for a good night's sleep and resume the race when all drivers are well-rested and alert!
Austin: It is in the guidelines.
[MAX appears as the racers all walk quickly from the tent.]
Max: But wait! There's the night's entertainment! Folk songs and spoon playing!
Clint: It's probably against the rules, but maybe you and your friends could enjoy their performance without us!
Charlie: Yes, I fear too much spoon-playing might over-excite us and keep us up all night! Best to make it an early night.
Max: But there's a luxury hotel set up for you! Each room has it's own safe!
Alice: It's own safe what?
Max: Space. It's like a little cocoon that you can sit into and all scary noises of the world are blocked out.
Austin: So what is the problem? That sounds great!
Max: [Relieved] It's just it's back over there, in the opposite direction. There's nothing over where you're going other than your carriages.
Austin: Yes, we will check our carriage before our power naps.
Charlie: Very wise, Mr. Sleaze!
Ivan: Us too!
Boddy: And us!
[All the other Knights join in.]
Max: Oh, okay, then. Just don't take too --
[MAX is barged out of the way as the entire group of racers walk quickly to their carriages.]
[Book XI, Act IV, Scene V. The Racer Tent. MAX is here, sitting dejectedly by the tent. MACBRINDLEWORTH, with a bunch of floozies hanging onto him.]
Mac: Hey, where's everyone gone?
Max: They're in bed! Back in the hotel. The guidelines say the race should pick up again at 11AM tomorrow.
Mac: Right, ladies. To the hotel!
[Book XI, Act IV, Scene VI. The Carriage. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and KELLY are here, stuck in a huge traffic jam, with everyone honking horns indiscriminately. Up ahead, two carriages are wedged in the gate, blocking everyone, while just outside the gate are an array of TV reporter carriages, with a bunch of reporters excitedly addressing cameras.]
Alice: Look at that! Some idiot has got stuck! Honestly, do these people even know how to [scraaaaaaape, the carriage drags against a post] drive?
Austin: Clearly not. How are your off-road driving skills? Do you think the carriage is capable?
Charlie: [To Austin] Excellent suggestion! [In a low voice] She is marginally less likely to kill pedestrians or crash into buildings off-road!
Alice: Challenge extended! [Starts to drive across the grass, through some lovingly sown crops] Hey look! There's some guy standing the middle of the field. Do you think he wants us to stop?
Dur: As opposed to us driving over him? Maybe?
Alice: [Looks out
] Hey! Get out of the way!
[The man doesn't budge, and just stands there, arms raised shoulder height from his body.]
Clint: Well, if he doesn't get out of the way, he hasn't got a brain!
Alice: He'll get out of the way.
[He doesn't. ALICE jams on the brakes and the carriage plows into the man, making a disgusting crunching sound as it does.]
Alice: Did we hit him?
Dur: I'm not getting out to check just to become your next victim!
Alice: Do you think he's okay?
Clint: I bet he's got a stake up his bum, and that's far worse than anything you did to him!
Charlie: [Horrified] Oh, if only we had a doctor! I shall go see if anything can be done for this poor man.
Alice: I don't know, Stinky, it could be beautiful!
[CHARLIE leaps out and checks out the victim. It's a scarecrow, and is quite dead.]
Austin: What an odd thing to do. Put a fake man way out here in the middle of nowhere.
Alice: Yeeesh, Austin! Dur is sitting right there! [Looks around] Hm, where are all those birds coming from?
Austin: I have no idea, let's not hang around to find out! [To Alice] Let's get moving!
Harvey: By the saints, his days of scaring crows are well and truly at an end! It's just truly strawful! [Laughs long, loud and alone]
Alice: [Shakes her head sadly at Harvey] Oh, Harvey. [Looks around] I don't know, Aus, the place is totally fenced in! All those news carriages are parked outside the gate.
Charlie: [Gasps] Are the crows now seeking their horrible vengeance?!
Austin: From past experience you are pretty good at driving through fences!
Alice: [Defensively] Only accidentally! Anyway, these look pretty sturdy. All those media carriages would have come in otherwise.
Harvey: Perhaps we can hack an exit through a few of the fences!
Austin: Perhaps Mr Scar can flex his boots to make a suitable exit for us?
Charlie: [Examines the fencing] Perhaps we could disassemble part of it ourselves?
Dur: Or perhaps we can try something more daring! [Look for any large stones he can cast Stone Shape on in an attempt to make a small ramp.]
[DUR waves his hands vaguely and a large part of the wall folds down into a delightful looking ramp.]
Austin: [Looks from Dur to the wall and back] Curiouser and curiouser!
Alice: It's a pity he didn't do that when... when... I mean... [looks shocked] good job, Dur? Wow, are we on drugs right now?
Charlie: [To Dur, beaming] Oh, I knew those years of patience and training would pay off, in time! [Hands Dur TWO copper pieces]
Dur: [Swallows the two copper pieces] Now if only the human body was as easy to work on!
Clint: Say, can we use that to hobble the other wagons?
Dur: I don't know, can we?
Alice: Don't be ridiculous, Clint! The other carriages aren't made out of stone. Yeeesh!
Harvey: I say, you people just never fail to surprise, what! However, standing here will soon lose our advantage!
Charlie: Excellent point, Colonel! [To Alice, dramatically] Onward, driver, and do not spare the horses!
Alice: Chaaaaarge! [Runs up the ramp, stopping at the top, panting, sweaty and red of face] Gasp!
Harvey: By the saints, dear girl, have you never heard of cardio?
Alice: I've heard of it, but when would I ever need to speak it?
Charlie: [Urgently] Just a little further! Keep going!
Alice: Hey! Why don't we just take the carriage?
Austin: [From the carriage. Puts down his newspaper] That would be a great idea.
Alice: [Staggers back] I'm kind of surprised you didn't think of that, Charlie!
Charlie: [Indignantly] That was what I meant! [To Dur] YOU understood the orders, did you not?!
Alice: Just because he THINKS he understood doesn't mean that he did, does it, Dur?
Charlie: [Glaring at Dur, waiting impatiently] Well?!
Alice: [Triumphantly] See? He doesn't even realise you're talking to him! Notice the dull look in the eyes? The way he doesn't even realise his hand is down his crotch?
Dur: [Looking between Charlie and Alice while they argue and absentmindedly eating a pantswich] What?