The Queens View Affair Current Scene (Book X, Act X)
Last update: 2018-12-14 16:20:01
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[Book X, Act VIII, Scene I. The Engine. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, SHOR and PAULINE are here, clinging onto the engine and screaming in as it skids inexorably towards a buffer stop that seems to be inexplicably spiky looking. The rail comes to an end in what appears to be an underground cavern.]
Pauline: We're all gonna die!
[The engine stops millimetres from the buffer and everyone breaths a huge sigh of relief.]
Pauline: [To Shor
] You saved us! You saved us all!
Charlie: [Drenched in sweat and coal dust, finally releasing her grip on the brake] HE saved us?!
Pauline: [Not noticing the Charlie-fist-shaped dents in the brake lever] You're right, he did save us! What a hero!
Austin: No he did not, the Sarge saved us! [Tisks. Takes a look around. Pats his satchel absent mindedly]
Pats his satchel absent mindedly]
Shor: Well I was sort of involved with the whole saving thing. [To Pauline] tracks?
Pauline: I did it myself. It's a great way to meet heroes.
[The train gives a minuscule lurch forward and taps the buffer, causing the entire thing to fly to pieces, sending everyone crashing to the ground.]
Charlie: [Picks herself off the ground creakily] Good riddance! What a dreadful train! [To Pauline] And you are an absurd woman! What if our colleague had not been able to reach you in time?!
Austin: [Nods in agreement with Charlie. To Pauline] And if it is such a good way to meet heroes, what have you done with all of the other heroes that you have met?
Dur: Do you really have to ask for all the lewd details?
Pauline: I don't know -- I've spent most of the last few years in hospitals recovering from horrific train related injuries!
Austin: [Satisfied] Well explains pretty much everything!
hospitals recovering from horrific train related injuries! Shor
: Well, I'm glad I was able to spare you from a hospital visit this time. You know, there are easier, less painful ways to meet heroes. Just drop into any Perky Hero coffee shop and you meet loads!
Clint: Or just turn up at any autographing session with enough cash in hand!
Charlie: [Looking around confused and uncertain] Who are you people? Did you force me to take some illicit drug?!
Alice: I have a better question -- who are YOU people? Did you force me to take some illicit drug?!
Shor: [Sits up] I don't know who you lot are! The last thing I remember is..., actually I got nothing. We're we drinking?
Dur: [Sits up and straightens his glasses, looking around] Our surroundings suggest much more than a drink…
Clint: [Sits up, holding his head] Haw! Like I'd ever go and get drunk with you! Whoever you are.
Alice: You do seem more like the type to be sipping cold milk rather than vodka martinis!
Charlie: [Looks at Dur more closely] Do I know you? You seem familiar--or perhaps the sort of person I would know! [Excitedly] Oh, I must be a brainy sort!
Shor: [To Charlie] You also look familiar to me, but I've no idea why! In fact, I don't even remember why I'm dressed to kill in this sharp suit!
Clint: [Noting the dead look in Shor's eye] Off hand, I'd say you were always dressed to kill, in a manner of speaking. Though now that you mention it, a couple of you guys look familiar to me, too. And as passing acquaintances, I have to ask - does anyone have any aspirin? I have a killer hangover!
Alice: [To Charlie] I think I recognise you too -- [looks at Shor] and you, although I've no idea why your head is so small relative to the rest of your body. [Looks Clint up and down] Are you going to try and kill us?
Shor: [Flexes his arms] I'll stop him if he tries anything! [Looks around at all the paraphernalia, to Clint] Are all of these drugs yours?
Clint: [Answering Shor and Alice both] I don't think so. Maybe?
Alice: Surely at least some are his? [Points at Austin]
Shor: That would not surprise me at all! [Checks his pockets] Hmm, no ID.
Austin: They are all mine! Keep your hands off!
Charlie: [Edges away from Austin warily] Indeed, you may keep them! [Checks her pockets. To Shor] I have no identification, either! Just this [flashes a swipe card] and [nervously eyeing Austin and Clint] NO money whatsoever! None!
Alice: Yes, I... don't have any money either. I do have a USB drive, though.
Austin: No money? Well you are out of luck then! There's nothing for free around here.
Dur: Well, it appears I have some 'money' [Dur riffling through his pockets] and this strange silver key. What do you suppose it is too?
Shor: Hey, I've also got a USB key, and a swipe card! I wonder where and what it accesses? We should search the place for a computer or somewhere with a card reader!
Alice: Could there be something in this... [looks around with thinly veiled disgust] room? Under one of the beds or something?
Dur: Yeah, and let me know if you find something to eat! I'm starving!
Alice: Well, I'm not going to look under some filthy bed! Maybe one of them could do it? [Indicates Austin and Clint]
Austin: [To Alice] You are the one with no money, why don't you do it? What have you got to loose? [Looks around from where he is, for key holes/doors, swipe card readers]
Clint: [Pulls out a vial of some mysterious blue liquid] All I've got is a couple of these, whatever they are. [To Dur] Don't eat them!
Alice: [To Austin] You're the one who apparently has no self respect, maybe you should do it? [Points into a corner] Look! There's a metal briefcase!
Charlie: [Eagerly reaches for the briefcase] Oh, perhaps our identification cards are here!
Alice: I'm sure I'm very important!
[CHARLIE takes the briefcase, but it is locked.]
identification cards are here!
Charlie: [Holds the briefcase. To Austin and Clint] One assumes one or both of you can pick a lock?
Dur: You know what they say about assuming!
Alice: Of course not -- we don't even know who they are!
Clint: [Unsure how to boot the briefcase open.] You know what they say about assuming!
Dur: Maybe my key will work! [Tries to snatch the briefcase to try his key in the lock]
By the way, Clint will check to see if his gun is loaded, but only once he can do that without being seen. He's scary enough as it is without pulling out a gun to boot!
Shor: You look the type who has a keyring somewhere with a gazillion keys on it. Almost as many keys as you have pens in your shirt pocket!
Austin: Just try the key before adding it to your collection.
Will do! On Tue, 17 Jul 2018 at 10:59, Tom Henderson
Alice: He doesn't look important enough to have the key to a briefcase like that-
[She breaks off as DUR's key turns and opens the lock with a click. He opens the briefcase to reveal a large metal flask, about 24" long and 12" in diameter, complete with scary looking biohazard symbol.]
Alice: [Backing away
] What the hell are you people up to?
Shor: You people? He's the one with the key, lady!
Austin: And the weapon of mass destruction! [Takes a closer look]
Alice: Don't you lady me, you... overblown waiter!
[Other than the symbol, the only other distinguishing mark on the flask is "Strabonis Industry".]
Alice: Strabonis? Anyone know what they do? Other than create weapons of mass destruction and cause amnesia in innocent people, that is!
Charlie: [Frowns] I do not know! [Hesitates] Or, at least, I think I do not! [Tries to shake the flask] Is there anything inside?
Austin: [Lights up a cigarette and blows some smoke rings at Charlie] Never heard of them, sweet cheeks.
Alice: [Covers her head
] Don't shake the bomb, crazy lady!
[The flask neither explodes nor rattles.]
Alice: I think I need a cigarette to calm my nerves. [Turns to Austin and gets a face full of smoke
] Ew. That's disgusting. Huh, I guess I don't smoke.
Austin: [Offers Alice a cigarette] First one's free [Winks at Alice]
Austin: [Offers Alice a cigarette] First one's free [Winks at Alice]
Shor: [To Alice] Don't do it! They'll kill you, and worse, turn your wonderful white teeth yellow!
Alice: [Squirms away from Austin] Keep your filthy cancer sticks to yourself! [To Shor] What do you think is going on? [Smiles a smile so dazzlingly bright that the rest of the party momentarily consider donning some shades]
Charlie: [Covers her eyes and gasps] Your teeth! I think perhaps they are radioactive!
Austin: Psychoactive more like!
Shor: Apart from being slowly murdered through passive smoking? I'm not sure, but ha, it's certainly going to be a thrill finding out!
Austin: [To Shor] You could speed it up [Stands up and offers Shor a cigarette, then notices the clothes he is wearing] What the hell am I wearing? [Looks at his clothes in disgust] Is this some kind of pantomime or stage show? [Looks around for a worthy suit]
Alice: [Covers her mouth
] Your clothes are quite disgusting.
[As AUSTIN searches in vain for a nice suit, ALICE sneaks a look at her teeth in a compact.]
Alice: Hey! These are truly luminous teeth! [Smiles at herself in the mirror
] Teeth you can believe in, teeth you can trust, teeth that stand for the things that truly matter, like family values. Anyone who doesn't support teeth like these is almost certainly a threat to national security who needs re-education.
Clint: Not a funny one of if it is!
[Sadly for AUSTIN, it looks like he's stuck wearing the suit.]
Alice: If it's any consolation, your t-shirt is so tight it makes you look quite overweight.
Hey guy, Aus isn't quite sure why, but he really wants to grab one of those vials from Clint and snort it down! ---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Conor Ryan
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 at 22:07
Subject: [qv] 10.01.048
To: Tom Henderson
Cc: dom , Colin Dinan , Heather Goggans ,
, Tom Henderson , QV Logger
[Sadly for AUSTIN, it looks like he's stuck wearing the suit.]
Alice: If it's any consolation, your t-shirt is so tight it makes you look quite overweight.
Austin: No, that's no consolation. [Stops looking for a suit and takes all of his clothes off]. Right, lets get this party started! [Tries to take a vial from Clint and snort it]
Shor: My God, have you never even heard of a stomach crunch!?
Austin: No, but I use condoms, so I'm pretty sure I don't have it. [Looks at Shor in disgust] You should look after yourself!
Alice: [To Clint
] Don't let him touch you! I bet he has Stomach Crunch! Stop him!
[CLINT stands up and smashes AUSTIN in the face with the flask, splashing the party with blood and sending him staggering across the room and back against the wall, where he falls to the ground. The rest of the party look on in horror.]
Alice: Oh. My. God. We're all going to die here.
I love Stomach Crunch!! Rather fortunately, Aus is now back to normal. On Wed, 18 Jul 2018 at 22:08, Conor Ryan
Alice: [To Clint] Don't let him touch you! I bet he has Stomach Crunch! Stop him!
[CLINT stands up and smashes AUSTIN in the face with the flask, splashing the party with blood and sending him staggering across the room and back against the wall, where he falls to the ground. The rest of the party look on in horror.]
Alice: Oh. My. God. We're all going to die here.
Alice: [To Clint] Don't let him touch you! I bet he has Stomach Crunch! Stop him!
[CLINT stands up and smashes AUSTIN in the face with the flask, splashing the party with blood and sending him staggering across the room and back against the wall, where he falls to the ground. The rest of the party look on in horror.]
Alice: Oh. My. God. We're all going to die here.
Shor: [Instinctively, rushes at Clint and attempts to kick him in the back of the knee, and grab him in a headlock as he falls backwards]
Charlie: [Rushes to insert herself between Clint and Austin] Stop, you must stop! We must work together to find our way out of this hellish place! [Raises a fist in the air and cries out] Resist! Unite! And so forth!
Crunch! Stop him!
flask, splashing the party with blood and sending him staggering across the room and back against the wall, where he falls to the ground. The rest of the party look on in horror.]
Shor: [Instinctively, rushes at Clint and attempts to kick him in the back of the knee, and grab him in a headlock as he falls backwards]
Alice: [Watching as Shor grabs Clint and starts to choke him out] Stop! Stop! Stop all of this! I don't know who any of us are, but I'm pretty sure anyone with a suit this nice and teeth this shiny [flashes her dazzling smile, causing the others to blink in annoyance and temporary blindness] is quite unused to this sort of riff-raffery!
Shor: [Looks down at Clint in surprise] What the hell? Whats going on here? [Releases Clint]
Dur: Oh don’t try to feign innocence now! You completely just attacked one of us!
acked one of us!
Alice: You totally went all psycho and hit an innocent man! [Looks at Clint, then Austin and then the flask] Okay, well, maybe not innocent, as he did hit him with a bomb, but still!
ttacked one of us!
Charlie: Indeed, you were all most inappropriate! You will fare better if you follow my lead, as I am clearly the most level-headed and intelligent of all of us!
Clint: If anyone's going to snort my mysterious vial of blue liquid, it's going to be me, dammit! And I'd need to be in late-stage stomach crunch to do that!
Alice: Maybe you're all suffering from Stomach Crunch? And myself and [nods at Charlie] are doctors? I mean, we are the most well dressed. [Points at Dur] And he's some sort of geeky lab assistant? [Thinks for a moment] Endocrine system! Hydrocephalus! Priapism! Hey! I bet I am a doctor!
Clint: C'mon! Lady doctors? Next you're going to tell me that one of you thinks she should be in charge!
It's pretty painful by the sounds of it! On 19 July 2018 at 12:44, Conor Ryan
Austin: [Regains consciousness. To Clint] What the fuck did you do that for? You don't even know what it is! [Spits out some blood on to Clint]
Clint: No, but I know *whose* it is. It's my mystery vial! You want to snort something, try looking around the room for it. Or ask her [gestures at Charlie] for some of her stash.
Austin: So how much do you want for it?
Clint: I'll let you know once I know what it is!
Alice: Oh my good heck! I'm quite certain that I'm not the sort of person who would ever be present for a ... narcotics deal! [Excitedly] Is that what this is?
Shor: And perhaps I'm a dashing secret service agent, sent to foil your drug deal! I am dressed the part! Hmmm, considering I just told you that, perhaps I'm not a very good one! Ha!
Austin: More likely that you are just trust funders looking for kicks, all Pretty Pony on the outside, but dead on the inside. [Casually check Maplin's nails and smirks] Trying to by some excitement!
Alice: And what does that make you? Some jittery mess with a sad tattoo hanging around in his underpants with a bunch of strangers trying to sell his [finger quotes] excitement?
Austin: Yes. [Pulls a wad of cash from his underpants] And it looks like I am pretty good at it.
Alice: [Looks at the wad, which is about 200 credits] Is that a lot?
Shor: Well, I've got about five thousand here, so either I'm really, really rich, or his excitement doesn't sell for a lot!
Austin: Nah, you're probably just a dealer too.
Alice: With that sort of surly attitude, I'm not surprised he's so cheap!
Charlie: And I have only 2000 credits, which must mean I am [gasps] middle class!
Alice: How unfortunate for you! [Takes out a wad of cash and counts it, before looking pale] A thousand! But I do have this USB drive -- I bet it has all sorts of important information on it!
Dur: I have some too [Counts out his 500 Credits], but surely most of my funds seem to be employed in pen collecting. Can I see the vial? Maybe I know what it is... It was my key that opened the briefcase after all.
funds seem to be employed in pen collecting. Can I see the vial? Maybe I know what it is... It was my key that opened the briefcase after all.
Charlie: [Looks with pity at Dur and Alice, turning her attention to Shor] I think we seem to be of a similar class, so let us take command! [To the others] Quickly, see if you can find a computer so that we might examine the material on the USB drive!
Clint: Man, you guys are poor! Well, don't go expecting handouts! [Tosses Dur a vial] Careful now, four-eyes. You break it, you bought it!
Alice: Hey! He's the one who had the key to the bomb! Don't give him more of your filthy drugs!
Dur: I don't need drugs, I need food! [Dur inspects the vial and whatever is in the case to see if he recognizes either]
[The case didn't contain anything other than the flask, and the vial doesn't seem familiar.]
Alice: So what do we do? No one seems to know who they are, and no one has ID. Unless.... [looks around
] maybe one of you is lying?
whatever is in the case to see if he recognizes either]
Charlie: I am certainly not lying, though some of the criminal elements [nods discreetly at Clint and Austin] could well be!
Austin: [Searches the room, for illegal substances and valuables] I have no need to lie, I just do it for fun!
Alice: Another lie, no doubt!
[AUSTIN expertly searches through the room and doesn't reveal anything of interest, except a single doorway.]
Shor: Aha, an exit! [Shor attempts to open the door]
Austin: [To Shor] After you.
[Just as SHOR reaches towards the door the party hear some gunshots from outside it.]
Alice: [Cowering on one of the beds, covering her ears
] We're all going to die!
Charlie: [In a loud whisper] Take cover! And arm yourselves! [Grabs a dirty fork off the floor and holds it with a shaking hand]
Shor: [Grabs a syringe in each hand and stands at the door]
Alice: I'll grab this bedside table! [Huffs and puffs as she fails to move it even a tiny bit
[More shooting from outside, then silence.]
Alice: Oh! I see what's going on!
Dur: Well, maybe you could enlighten the rest of us?
Alice: It's the legs you see -- the bedside table is actually nailed to the floor!
[Another shot rings out.]
Alice: Although, that doesn't really help us much in our current situation, does it?
Clint: No one panic! [Pulls out a handgun and quickly checks to make sure it's loaded.]
sure it's loaded.]
Charlie: [Brandishing the fork at Clint] Are you robbing us?!
Austin: [To Clint] Ready? [Opens the door just enough to peek outside]
Clint: [To Charlie] Nah. You don't seem to have much worth taking anyway!
take a position by the door.
[CLINT expertly pops out the magazine and verifies that it is fully loaded, before slotting it back in again. AUSTIN slowly pulls the door in only for someone to crash through it onto the floor. This is RANIEL DADCLIFFE, a man in his mid twenties who appears to have horns, and who has several gunshot wounds.]
Raniel: They've found you!
Clint: "They" have, have they? [To the group] Is anyone a doctor?
Charlie: I certainly have the confidence and gravitas to be one, but my main reaction to this man is morbid fascination with his wounds, not to mention mild disgust as his horns, so I suspect my expertise lays elsewhere.
Alice: [To Ratcliffe] Who are you? Who are "they"? [Looks around] And them! Who are these guys?
Ratcliffe: [Fading fast] The key.... the key...
Austin: [Alarmed] Who are they? And for that matter, who are we?
Alice: What key?
Raniel: You need to ... to make the key...
Shor: My God man, do we look like a metallurgical craft group to you? How would we make a key?
Austin: Perhaps we are the key. I'm clearly incredibly important, and people are dying for me. Probably fairly usual. And why else would I be this beautiful? [Looks at himself in amazement]
Alice: Oh please, you're not that attractive, except maybe in a cheap, androgynous kind of way, a bit of rough while one's husband is away on a business trip, who might be worth a hundred credits or so.... [Shakes her head] Ahem! [Looks at her hand] Hey! I'm a married woman, you know! Keep it in your pants, Mister! [To Raniel] Are we the key? Or do we have to make it?
Raniel: You have to make it! You need to ... [passes out]
On Tue 24 Jul 2018, 03:03 Conor Ryan,
Shor: We need to what? [Gives Raniel a big shake] Hey, wake up!
Austin: [Searches Raniel] Fat lot of use he was!
Charlie: Agreed, as if we needed to be further confused! [Hesitates] Though I do love a good mystery, so it is rather thrilling! [Looks at the others] Have any of you a key or key-related materials? [Searches her own pockets]
Austin: Perhaps the Vial and the flask are some part of the key? Maybe we pour the vial into the flask and shake it?
Alice: Or maybe that's what causes the bomb to explode? [Frowns as Austin searches] So... who shot this guy?
Charlie: [Boldly] I shall investigate! [Attempts to peer outside the door]
Alice: Careful! Maybe "they" are outside!
[CHARLIE pushes the door open and the party can see that there is another large room that has been somewhat shot up. There are two bodies at the entrance.]
Shor: More bodies! I'll check them out. [Goes over to the two bodies and will begin searching]
[SHOR heads to the bodies and quickly pockets two guns, as he begins to search through their pockets.]
Alice: Hey! How come you get the guns?
Dur: Ummmmm.... finders keepers?
Austin: [Searches around. To Shor] Are those still loaded?
They are! ---------- Forwarded message ---------
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2018 at 09:25
Subject: [qv] 10.01.111
To: Day, Kevin R (Irving) USA
Cc: Conor Ryan , Colin Dinan
, Heather Goggans ,Tom Henderson , Tom Henderson
, QV Logger
Austin: [Searches around. To Shor] Are those still loaded?
Shor: Loaded and ready for any trouble!
[SHOR finds some ID cards that holds up to the party. Both men appear to belong to an organisation called "Central Services".]
Alice: Central Services? Anyone recognise the name?
Charlie: No, but it sounds like a top-secret governmental agency! How thrilling! [To Shor, holding out a hand] Here, you had best let me have a gun, given that I am the most sensible member of this group.
Shor: Ha, I like your spirit! Do you know how to use one?
Alice: You know what's a good way to see if someone should be able to have a gun? If they say they want to have a gun, they probably should be allowed have one!
Austin: [Taking cover] I hope so!
Shor: That seems logical. I mean, why would somebody who didn't want a gun be given a gun!
Austin: [Shrugs, then nods at Shor] What next?
Charlie: [To Shor, enthusiastically] Oh, I almost certainly know how to use one. It seems quite rudimentary [makes a gun out of her hand and demonstrates, complete with irritating sounds effects], in any case!
Clint: Well, that rules out giving *her* a weapon! [Eyes Dur, and shakes his head.] And he's clearly not getting one. Give it to the drug addict [gestures at Austin.] There's no way that could end badly!
Alice: [Dives to the ground upon hearing the scary shooting of Charlie] Holy Joe Almighty! Get that gun off her! [Realises that it's just her finger, and gets up, dusting off her clothes, embarrassed] Er, yes, the drug dealer with the bad tattoo dressed only in his disgustingly stained and suspiciously small underpants is almost certainly more trustworthy than this... soccer mom!
Alice: [Dives to the ground upon hearing the scary shooting of
Shor: Yeah, I think I'm going to hold onto them both for now.
Alice: [Looks around this new room, which looks like some over the top New Age place, filled with over priced mystical crystals and the like] What is this place? I think I prefer the drug room!
Charlie: [Looks around the room disapprovingly] It appears to be a refuge for the deeply naive and easily led! [Eagerly exploring] Do you see anything that looks like a key? Or something that could be crafted into such?
Alice: [Looks around the shelves] It all looks like a bunch of baloney to me. Energy crystals, healing crystals, sacred crystals, crystal crystals.
Austin: [Behind the counter and rifling through the cash register] At least they seem to be making some money! [Pockets the cash]
Alice: Oh my god. Let's get out of here!
Clint: Now that we've got their money, sure, why not? Something I bet the owner of this place says all the time!
Shor: [Gestures towards the bodies] I thought this crystal nonsense was supposed to soothe, not enrage!
Alice: [Picks one up and reads the description] "Angel Aura Quartz creates a bubble of peace, tranquility and positive energy around you to help you release stress. It carries an uplifting, spiritual energy that heals your aura and brings energetic health. This rainbow point watches over you like a guardian from the universe, protecting your aura and bringing positivity into your energy field." [Sighs] I don't know, it certainly makes me feel more enraged!
Charlie: [To Alice] You sound more sensible than I initially thought! Perhaps you should be given a gun, after all! [To Shor] And, while we are on the subject, surely it is more in the spirit of cooperation and teamwork to give me your SECOND gun?
Alice: Yeah! Girl power and all that! Hand over your weapons now!
Clint: Giving a gun to a person who doesn't know how to use one is silly. You're liable to shoot yourself in the foot or, more importantly by far, to shoot me in the foot! [Eyes Alice.] But if she knows how to use one, you might as well give one to her. Otherwise it's just nag nag nag until you eventually just do it anyway!
Alice: Don't worry, sweet cheeks. If I shoot you, it won't be in the foot.
Charlie: [Indignantly] And where is MY gun? [Puts her hand out to Shor]
Shor: [Pockets the gun] I don't know.
Charlie: [Glares at Shor] I see. Perhaps we should move on?
Alice: [Also glares at Shor] Compensating for something?
Shor: [Smiles a cold, dead eyed smile as he caresses the bulge in his pocket] It makes me feel like more of a man!
Clint: I really hope that bulge in your pocket is the gun! [Heads for the door.]
[Book X, Act X, Scene II. A Busy Street. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and SHOR are here, having stepped out of "Crystal's Crystals", onto a busy street. The place is a blaze of neon and dodgy looking strip joints and bars, and the street is jammed with cars zooming by at speed.]
Alice: Oh man! Where are we supposed to go?
Charlie: [Wrinkles her nose as she surveys the area] What a dreadful place! Not a single book store in sight! Perhaps we could go to a bar to question some of the locals, and ascertain more about this place and our situation?
Alice: Or maybe some of those drug addled prostitutes on the corner? [To Austin] Maybe you know them?
Austin: [Looks over] Probably.
[Austin salvages what good clothes he can from the bodies. And returns to Alice]
Alice: [Looks him up and down] Marginally better.
Clint: So, let's go hit up the nearest drug-addled prostitute for information! [Looks around for one with a more or less full complement of teeth]
information! [Looks around for one with a more or less full complement of teeth]
Charlie: [To Clint] Very well, but I really should do the talking. I have a way with people, I suspect!
Clint: Oh yeah, you're a real pearl! Question away!
Austin: [To Charlie] You're suspect alright.
Alice: I guess she has the most experience with hookers!
[The party approach an almost-toothless hooker, WINDY DAY, who turns and glares at them.]
Windy: What the hell do you want? [Suddenly gives a huge smile, showing off her three good and four not-so-good teeth
] Austin! I heard you'd been killed!
Charlie: [To Windy, excited] You know this man? What is his name, and why did you believe he had been killed?
Windy: Why, sure, honey. This here is Austin Barracuda. He's got the most viciousiest mouth in all of Londoninnit. I haven't seen you for a few days -- I figured those weirdoes in the masks had got you.
Charlie: [Excited] And you know me, as well? My name is [finger quotes] honey? [Dismayed] Do not tell me I am also a [delicately] lady of the evening?!
] Is it? And... uh, okay, I won't.
Windy: [Does a double take on Alice
] You've got some neck showing your face in Londoninnit! You're nothing but a lying, scumbag bitch!
[ALICE is momentarily taken aback at these scurrilous allegations.]
Alice: [Magically putting her blindingly bright smile back on
] But my name isn't Honey!
Dur: Do you happen to know who we all are? Or just those with shady reputations?
Windy: Austin doesn't have a shady reputation -- he's one of us. That liar, though, yeah. Everyone knows who she is. [Nods at Clint] Everyone in Londoninnit knows who Clint Dingo is ... [looks down] er, no disrespect, Mr. Dingo.
Alice: So I'm famous? [Turns her smile up to 11] How glamorous!
Shor: Do you know me?
Austin: You wish! I think you are going to need to work on your pitch.
Windy: For 200 credits, baby, I'll know you!
Windy: For 200 credits, baby, I'll know you!
Shor: [Peels off 200 credits] Tell you what, for 200 credits, tell me about the people you do know, and why!
Windy: [Takes the notes and shoves them down the front of her shirt] Sure thing, baby! Austin Barracuda, he works the streets here, [points to Clint] Clint Dingo, he's, er, a local boss. Oh, and Alice Armadillo, she the spokesperson for the Beloved Leader, she's always on TV telling lies about how great he is and how much better our lives are even though we're stuck in the shithole. I'm just surprised you all haven't been killed by an angry mob yet, hanging out with the likes of her.
Clint: [Regards Charlie] See the benefits of listening to someone else!
Charlie: [Glares at Clint, irked. To Windy] Thank you for your assistance, fallen woman! Could you tell us more about this Beloved Leader--his guiding principles, his aims, and so forth?
Windy: You're kidding, right? Oh! I see, you're cops! You're trying to incriminate me so I get sent to a re-education camp!
Alice: [Raises her eyebrows] In your case, I think it would probably have to be an education camp.
Windy: Help! Help! Narcs!
Austin: [Panics] Help! Narcs! [Sides with Windy]
Charlie: [To Austin, gasping] Traitor! [To the others] Hurry, let us get away from this unruly person! [Looks for a bar to duck into]
Alice: Oh please! [Addresses the growing bunch of people who are gathering around them, all of whom look like either thugs, hookers or drug addicts, or, as in many cases, a disturbing combination of all three
] We are not [finger quotes
] narcs, we are here to help people build a better future. One where we can all live together in harmony.
[Everyone's attention is drawn to a giant screen on the side of a building that has, until this point, been showing ads for a selection of useless products. ALICE appears on the screen with a news ticker running along the bottom and a logo at the top of "UNN". The ticker reads "Beloved Leader Spokesperson Says Londoninnit should be razed to the ground".]
Alice: [The TV version
] Londoninnit is populated by thugs, hookers or drug addicts, or, as in many cases, a disturbing combination of all three. We are not here to help these people build a better future or one where we can live together in harmony! Oh no, they are sub human!
Alice: [The real version
] Uh... [to the party
] that looks a bit like me, doesn't it? Is that me?
Austin: [To Charlie] Honey? What are you talking about? Windy knows me better than I know any of you! [Backs off]
Windy: That's right, stick with me, Austin. Come on, let's go down here. [Points to a dark alleyway behind the party.
Alice: [Getting worried as people start to close in
] Er, maybe that is me. I'm sure this is all a misunderstanding.
[The party spot a bunch of men wearing scary looking unicorn masks waiting in the alleyway.]
Windy: [Gives a secret-but-clumsy nod to the men] Come on, Aus, you'll be safe with Windy.
Shor: Those masks sure would come in handy, what with Ms Compassion here being a tv star!
Dur: Would they be as useful as, say, getting the hell outta here!
Shor: The two don't have to be mutually exclusive! Let's get those masks, and then get the hell out of here, in disguise
Alice: So... it IS me on the screen? Oh holy Joe! Can this get any worse?
[The scary mask guys all draw weapons. There are at least eight of them. Just then a large van pulls up and the side door opens, revealing a bunch of heavily armed men wearing balaclavas. Although the gathering crowd starts to run, the UNICORN MASKS look set to fight.]
Clint: I hate to agree with Honey or encourage her delusions of leadership, but now would be a great time to be somewhere else! [Ducks through the nearest door]
leadership, but now would be a great time to be somewhere else! [Ducks through the nearest door]
Charlie: [Delighted] Indeed, I think we can all agree with the scary crime lord that I am the clear choice for leadership! [Follows Clint]
[CLINT and CHARLIE burst in the door, followed quickly by the rest of the party. They crash into an even seedier looking room than they woke up in, much to the surprise of a man inside, TUCOWS, who leaps up from snorting a line of ants.]
Tucows: What the hell? [Pulls out a gun
] I know you didn't just burst in my door!
Clint: [Points at Charlie] It was her idea!
Dur: Would it make any difference if we only did it to escape a very dangerous situation?!
Clint: [Points at Charlie] It was her idea!
Tucows: [Looks at Charlie before addressing Dur] That would make it worse! Bringing a senator into my house! [Does a double take on Clint] Oh! Mr. Dingo, sir! I didn't see you there. Come in! Come in! [Peers out into the street where there's now a massive shoot out going on] Hm.
Clint: I'm having a trying morning, friend. [Nods at Alice and Charlie] You can see why! We'll just slip on out the back, if you don't mind.
Tucows: Ah, a good old fashioned kidnapping, eh? Good for you! [Points to another door] That'll let you out the back, Mr. Dingo, sir.
Shor: You mentioned a senator! What senator?
Tucows: [Going through the door and leading the party through a hallway] Senator Caribou -- [points at Charlie] her!
Alice: Oh! No wonder people didn't like us -- what with her being a tool of the er, man, and all.
Austin: Honey Caribou? Sounds like a barbecue recipe.
Tucows: No, it's Charlotte Caribou, although she calls herself Charlie, as though having a friendly name makes her less awful.
Shor: Well, it certainly helps explain the superior, bossy air, anyway!
Charlie: [Delighted] How wonderful, my name isn't Honey! [To Shor, nodding] Indeed, I felt certain I was a much higher quality sort of person than the rest of you! Class will tell, you know.
Alice: What? What will it tell?
Austin: You may have been a "much higher quality sort of person" at some point, but you clearly spend a lot of time with prostitutes, gangsters and drug dealers. Which one are you?
Alice: Ew! I certainly hope not a prostitute. That's just disgusting.
Charlie: [To Austin] Perhaps I was gathering all of you for a photo opportunity to illustrate the sorts of dodgy characters my campaign is decidedly against? Voters love that sort of thing!
Dur: I still have no idea who I am though! Judging by all these pens, maybe some kind of writer?
Shor: Perhaps you're writing Charlotte's memoirs.
Alice: And you did have that bomb -- maybe you're into Science and Stuff? You know, a virgin who came to this seedy place to lose his virginity? [Looks him up and down] And failed.
Clint: Well that's just not right! C'mon, kid, let's go get you laid.
Shor: [Peels off 200 credits and offers it to Dur] There you go, seize the day, and all that! And so what if she's missing most of her teeth!
Alice: He probably only needs a hundred, I mean [nods at Austin] he seems cheap, doesn't he?
Austin: You seem to like it cheap [Winks at Alice]
Alice: Never trust a winker.
Austin: Do you trust anyone? [Looks surprised]
Charlie: [To Alice and Austin] If you two are quite through with your disturbing flirtation, let us move on! I have important powers to wield and a government to run!
Alice: [To Austin] No, but some less than others. [To Charlie] So... do we work together? If so, what are we doing in this awful place? With these awful people? [Looks at her watch] At this awful time? [Peers out a window] In this awful weather? [Checks out her reflection in the mirror and smiles so brightly everyone flinches at the brightness of the reflection] And with this dazzling smile?
Dur: Well it certainly seems like we were working together BEFORE losing our collective memories, it may have been something important.
Alice: Maybe what we were doing caused us to lose our memories?
Shor: We may have also been working against each other, and it all came to a dramatic head in that room, before we somehow all passed out. I mean, what do a senator, a propaganda talking head on television with an incredible smile, a man ho, an underworld gang leader, a virgin scientist and a super spy have in common?
o a dramatic head in that room, before we somehow all passed out. I mean, w= hat do a senator, a propaganda talking head on television with an incredibl= e smile, a man ho, an underworld gang
Alice: Wait, are you the man ho or the virgin?
Shor: [Tuts and shakes his head] Obviously neither. Let's get out of here!
Austin: My guess is man ho or male stripper. Does that suit have Velcro seams?
Clint: I know what they have in common! They all lie for a living and will do anything for a credit!
will do anything for a credit!
Charlie: [Shakes her head] That cannot be it. I am a trusted--and no doubt beloved--public official who works only to serve the common good with no thought of profit!
Clint: [Scoffing] You're a senator, honey, not the local librarian. I suspect you and your bodyguard and propaganda minister and boy toy and accountant came to me to pay me off for some reason!
Alice: Wait a minute, are you the hooker or the gang guy?
Tucows: Hey! This is Clint Dingo -- he's no hooker.
Austin: [To Alice] I'm the dam hooker, have some respect, please!
Alice: Perhaps if you didn't wantonly use such profanity I might have some for you. Might.
[The shooting out the front suddenly gets closer and someone has clearly entered the house.]
Tucows: Quickly! We better get out the back!
Charlie: [Nods approvingly] It is best to take pride in your work, no matter how degrading it is!
Alice: [As the party moves towards the back of the house] Yes, I suppose not everyone can be as devoted to public service and loved as much as me! [Spots a dartboard with her face on it] Hey!
Tucows: Er, it was Joemas present! They were the hot item last year!
Shor: How could anyone even see enough to aim at it? Even the teeth in the photo are blinding!
be just another dart board with a stabable picture on it. You guys surely remember how it was the most sought after gift of the season? At least, until there were so many injuries.
Austin: Let's go before we're added to the list! [Takes the darts out of the dart board as he leaves]
Shor: [To Alice] Let's hope you got some royalties out of that! If not, you're probably owed a fortune! I wonder how many pub tvs were destroyed by drunk darts players when you were on the air?
Alice: Further evidence, as if it were needed, that commoners shouldn't have TVs in pubs. Or pubs!
[The party burst out the back door into a trashy looking back street.]
Alice: Where will we go?
Clint: The last place they'd think to look for us - somewhere classy! [Looks around optimistically.]
Alice: Then let's go to my house!
Austin: [Looking smug.] That is a fantastic oppor... idea. Genius idea!
Alice: Excellent! [Thinks] Uh... where is it?
Charlie: Perhaps we could go to your place of work and ask them?
Alice: Great idea! [Pause] Where's that?
Tucows: Unicorn City, of course! What's going on with you guys? Are you all suffering from... what's that word? I can't remember?
Dur: Sounds like you are afflicted with it then, my friend! Good luck with that!
Tucows: Yeah, and good luck getting back to Unicorn City, [sneers] my friend.
Austin: Is it really, really difficult?
Tucows: Not for them [points to Alice and Charlie] but the rest of you
better have some secret weapon.
;;; Colin is out today
Shor: Like a huge bribe?
Tucows: [Eyes light up] Yes I would!
Clint: Would a cunning disguise do the trick?
Austin : It probably would. I'll have to think of one for you. [Deep in thought]
Tucows: Unless you can disguise yourself as one of those two women, you're probably out of luck.
Alice: [Smiles her dazzling smile, causing everyone to flinch from the glare] It certainly won't be me. His teeth are way too yellow. Those ones that he still has. That are in his mouth.
Austin: She could wear an extra flouncy dress and we could hide underneath?
Alice: That's a great idea! I just know I'm the kind of girl who always wears flouncy underwear and such! [Takes a quick peak down the front of her skirt and frowns] Hm. Must be laundry day.
Shor: There must be some other disguises available! We could draw a moustache and beard and glasses on?
Charlie: [Discreetly checks her underwear and gasps] One could hide several hams in those elaborate flounces! [Muses] It must be some sort of government-issued undergarment. It certainly is not the sort of thing a sensible, high-powered leader would wear.
Alice: [Jealously regards Charlie] You mean like the one she has?
Charlie: [To Alice, helpfully] Your use of the pronoun [finger quotes] one is so confusing in that sentence, we do not understand what you mean! Try rephrasing! [To Shor] Perhaps those of you less famous could pretend to be my obsequious, overworked staffers!
Shor: I'd potentially agree, if I knew what obsequious meant. Or overworked, for that matter!
Alice: [To Charlie] You are one bitch. Clear enough for you? [To Shor] Overworked are what people like me are, no doubt trying to make life better for the likes of the rest of you!
Clint: While people like me don't do a job at all and manage to make our lives better without you!
Alice: I'm sure that's why the likes of aren't allowed into [to Tucows] what's the place called again?
Tucows: Unicorn City.
Alice: [To Clint] Yeah!
Clint: And here I thought it was the system trying to keep honest, hard-working entrepreneurs such as myself down!
Alice: Not at all. It's all about keeping honest, hard-working point one percenters like us up. We don't want to put you people down, we just want to be above you. A rising tide lifts all boats, Joecare for all!
Shor: Sounds to me like someone is getting their memory back!
Austin: Perhaps we should get moving before she remembers everything and has us all shot!
Alice: Don't be ridiculous, I would never order anyone shot! Now, I'm sure that the Beloved Leader may occasionally recommend a vigorous relocation of a bullet into some soft tissue of a Prob, but that's entirely different!
[The shoot from outside dies down.]
Tucows: Uh oh! That's not good!
Austin: I have an odd feeling that I am late for my multiple personality group therapy. It's at 11am [Looks for a clock. Sighs] I'll just have to talk amongst my-selves until I get there.
Tucows: Tell yourselves that whoever won that gun battle is about to come in here and shoot at least some of you!
Alice: Even me?
Tucows: Look, lady, it's only because of Clint that I haven't shot you!
Alice: Well, that's just rude.
Austin: It sounds very respectful to me! [Looks around] Is there a back door or window?
Shor: [Draws his two guns] Bring them on! I prefer a straight shootout to all this sneaking around! I think.
Tucows: There's a back door! [To Shor] Not in my house you don't -- my Mom will be back soon and she'll be mad if the place is shot up again!
Charlie: [To Shor, pulling him to the back door] And perhaps you prefer sneaking around, after all! More experimentation is required before you can be sure, so let's start now!
Alice: Does that mean he should shoot or sneak?
Tucows: Sneak! [Checks his watch] Mom should be here by now. She hates when there's a bunch of gangster stuff going on!
Dur: I'm starting to hate it too! Do you maybe have a map we can borrow?
Austin: Perhaps your mother stopped the gangsters from fighting?
Tucows: [Looks terrified] I hope not! [To Dur] Sure, but it's a map of Snively Land. [Hands him a map] It's been closed for ten years, ever since space mountain caught on fire due to pollution.
Shor: [Reluctantly puts his guns away] Wouldn't want to upset your mother!
[Enter MAMA TUCOWS, a
scary looking woman, dragging one of the men in a unicorn mask in by the
Mama: Algernon Mary Tucows, there had better not be
any gunplay going on in here!
Tucows: No, Mama, honest!
[She clips him hard across the ear.]
Don't you lie to me, boy!
Clint: [Edging toward the door] No guns, ma'am, just providing shelter for some passing strangers. A fine young man! But now that the violence has stopped, we best be moving on. Thank you for your kind hospitality.
for some passing strangers. A fine young man! But now that the violence has stopped, we best be moving on. Thank you for your kind hospitality.
Charlie: Oh, indeed! Most appreciated! [Looks at the masked unicorn man. To Mama Tucows] Has he been, er, naughty? Would you like for us to see him out for you?
Mama: [Clips Clint across the head] Don't you lie to me, Dingo! I knew you when you were a young pup tradin' baby giraffes for Jingle Jangle! [Glares at Charlie] I'd like to see you bein' hanged! Right to work my ass! [Grabs a rolling pin]
[Enter MAMA TUCOWS, a scary looking woman, dragging one of the men in a unicorn mask in by the ear.]
Mama: Algernon Mary Tucows, there had better not be any gunplay going on in here!
Tucows: No, Mama, honest!
[She clips him hard across the ear.]
Mama: Don't you lie to me, boy!
[Enter MAMA TUCOWS, a scary looking woman, dragging one of the men in a unicorn mask in by the ear.]
Mama: Algernon Mary Tucows, there had better not be any gunplay going on in here!
Tucows: No, Mama, honest!
[She clips him hard across the ear.]
Mama: Don't you lie to me, boy!
Charlie: [Primly] You are addressing a Senior Member of the BLP, madam! You might show a little respect. After all, we are fighting to keep everything great!
Mama: Out! All of you out!
Dur: I think we should listen to her, Senator, I think she means business!
Shor: I agree completely! A mad mother is a thing to avoid!
Alice: We will not stand for being pushed around like this!
[MAMA moves in menacingly.]
Alice: Quickly! Out the back!
Dur: [Panicking] Holy Joe, run away! Retreat! [Makes for the back door]
Austin: My mother is soo much nicer! She really appreciates how super I am! [Walks out of the back door]
Clint: [To the party men] So are we really determined to get into Unicorn City and to stick with those two [indicates Alice and Charlie] rather than doing the sensible thing and abandoning them at the earliest opportunity? Because I think I might know a guy who knows a guy who can help.
Charlie: [Nervously eyeing Mama, joins the others in exiting] Yes, no doubt I have terribly important City Council business to attend to!
Shor: Go go go!
[The party race out through the back door and out onto the street.]
Mama: [Clipping Tucows across the ear again
] What did I tell you about high level political operatives?
Tucows: [Cringing in terror as he grabs his ear
] No high level political operatives in the house after 6PM!
[Book X, Act X, Scene III. A Dingy Back Street in Londoninnit. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and SHOR are here, racing away from MAMA TUCOWS. The street is filthy and covered in trash and drug paraphernalia, with all sorts of disgusting lowlifes eyeing the party aggressively.]
Alice: Oh Holy Joe! This just gets worse and worse!
[A huge black car starts racing down the street towards the party, causing the lowlifes to scatter as it zooms towards them.]
Clint: Now there's a metaphor for you! The man running over the little guy just to get what it wants! [ To Alice and Charlie] I assume that's yours?
Alice: I'm quite sure it's mine. I almost certainly have a security team that protects me. [Nervously steps behind Shor, just in case, eyeing the oncoming car]
Shor: Holy Joe, its Gun time! [Takes his guns out and aims at the car]
Charlie: [To Shor] Do be careful! These could well be my beleaguered staffers, rushing to my aid--or even simply loyal BLP voters!
Clint: You think you have supporters in *this* neighborhood? Have you been getting into the drugs when I wasn't looking? [Checks to be sure she hasn't - we can always sell those later!]
Alice: Oh. BLP? So not the BBLP, then? How very.... unsurprising.
[The car skids to a halt sideways, so that the driver's door faces the party. The window glides down to reveal the driver, BIERCE PROSNAN, a devastatingly handsome man in a tux, holding a vodka martini. He looks the party up and down before taking a sip.]
Bierce: Shor Flamingo. I hardly recognised you without a martini in your hand.
Shor: [Still aiming the guns] You recognise me?
Austin: [To Shor] Is that your man? So you go for the daddies!
Bierce: [Sipping his cocktail] I certainly do, old man. You told me that if you hadn't checked in by 9PM I should come looking for you in that Crystal Shop. The absence of a check in coupled with the shoot out and subsequent massacre suggested that things didn't quite go according to plan. [Looks Austin up and down] You could do better.
Charlie: Splendid! And you no doubt know me, your faithful government representative, and should like to rescue me?! That is, all of us, of course!
Shor: The Crystal Shop? I really don't remember that! What do I do, apart from wear tuxedo's and quaff martinis?
Austin: [To Shor] Yep, you are pretty NonJoe alright! [Sighs and admires his own beautiful arms]
Alice: Didn't we just come from the Crystal Shop? Isn't that where we woke up?
Bierce: [To Charlie] I certainly do know you, Senator Caribou, Shor here is your bodyguard. [Nods to a bunch of guys coming out the back of Mama's house] Perhaps we should continue this conversation in the car?
Shor: [Aghast] I work for the senator? I must keep you safe, mam! [Grabs Charlie and bundles her into the back of the car, using himself as a shield]
Charlie: Oh, now I understand! [To Shor] You are clearly carrying some of my money for me, making me the wealthiest person here. Now, [gives her hand to Shor] escort me to the car, if you would.
Alice: [Dismayed] How come I don't have a goon? Surely I'm more important than her!
Bierce: You had a crack team of elite bodyguards, sworn to protect you under any circumstances.
Alice: Where are they?
Bierce: Their charred remains are in your burnt out car two streets over. It was destroyed with a car bomb, then shot up and then had a large piano dropped on it.
Alice: Why would anyone want to do that to my bodyguards?
Dur: Perhaps they had a strong hatred against the make and model of the car and your bodyguards were just collateral damage?
Alice: [Thinks for a moment] Yes, that must be it. A clear hatred against that fine, precision engineering. [Gets into the car and addresses Bierce] Do you know why we're in Londoninnit?
Bierce: No, but it must be something hugely important.
car and your bodyguards were just collateral damage?
Charlie: [Being bundled away by Shor, delighted] Well done, Flamingo! [Calls back to the others] Do hurry into the car so we may flee this violent place at once!
Dur: [To Bierce as he gets into the car] You don't happen to remember me, do you?
Bierce: I'm afraid not. Perhaps I stole your lunch money some time? Or slept with the girl that you fancied?
Austin: We'll leave that one with you to mull over, sweet cheeks! [Gets into the car, tutting] Senator, you really must get a nicer set of wheels if you care going to take me on road trips! I am not used to slumming in it jalopies like this!
Charlie: [To Austin, exasperated] Holy Joe! One cannot waste taxpayer money on such frivolities!
Alice: Honestly, the gall of these people! Do you think we have credits to burn? [Opens up a mini fridge and takes out some cocktails]
Shor: Don't you dare light that, you'll pit the senators health at risk! Plus yellow your teeth!
Alice: Oh please, you think that these are .... I mean, yes, yes of course. Ahem. I'm sure I don't smoke. It must be the amnesia! Ew! Filthy thing! [Takes a long, delicious sniff of it] It should be thrown away. I mean, how did I even know it was there in the first place and [points out the window] gasp! Look at that! [Pockets the cigar]
Clint: I'll take one! I don't mind the risks. To me or her.
Shor: And I know exactly where ill stick it, still lighting, if you try! No one harms the senator!
No one harms the senator!
Charlie: [Smiles approvingly at Shor] Thank you, Flamingo! [In a low voice, putting a hand delicately to her ear] And do see if you can get that woman [gestures to Alice] to lower her voice.
Clint: Remind me - is there some reason you people think I take orders from you? Given where we were when we met, you obviously came to me. I'll stick with you long enough to solve the mystery of what's going on here, but no more. Now, are we going to Unicorn City? If so, perhaps some of us [looks to himself, Dur, and Austin] should get in the back way. I doubt you people should be seen with me any more than I should be seen with you!
Alice: Given where we met, maybe you kidnapped us! I have a USB stick, maybe there's a hint on that?
Shor: I have one also. [To Bierce] Let's get out of here! First stop, somewhere with a computer!
Bierce: [Reversing up the street at a hundred miles an hour] Shor, you wound me. [Does a handbrake turn and spins the car around so it is facing the right direction] Surely you know I would never travel without such a device?
somewhere with a computer!
Charlie: Excellent suggestion, Flamingo! [Excited] How thrilling! I do hope we shall have to uncover many clues and solve fiendishly clever puzzles!
Austin: [To Beirce] Where is you computer? [Looks around the car. Sighs] Your ride is so NonJoe! I suppose I'll just have to make do.
Bierce: [Looks at Austin in the mirror] Oh please. Like you've ever been in a car like this when you weren't giving a blowjob to someone. There's a laptop in the compartment beside you.
Shor: Holy Joe Bierce, eyes on the road! Not looking where you're going could definitely harm the senator! [Looks for the laptop]
[SHOR pulls out a laptop and opens it. It displays "Laptop Locked. Retina Scan Required".]
Austin: [To Bierce] My clients have far superior transport. This is no time to get all jealous, honey pie.
Bierce: Sure they do.
Alice: This is no time for your jealous nonsense and showing off! I bet this is my laptop! [Grabs it and looks into the camera]
Laptop: Access Denied.
Alice: That's so nonJoe! [Petulantly slams it shut]
Charlie: Let me try. [Opens it and peers at the camera. The laptop unlocks]
Shor: [Sighs and holds the laptop screen towards Bierce] Perhaps a very quick, safe glance at the retina scanner, when we stop at the next red light?
Austin: [Sees the laptop] Holy Joe! Look at the size of that thing, Who did you buy that from? Eddie Flintstone?
Clint: I'm sure it was taxpayer money wisely spent...
Charlie: [Excitedly] Oh, perhaps it is government issue, as you suggest! Let me try! [Reaches for the laptop]
Shor: [Hands the laptop to Charlie] There you go senator, careful now, those edges are precariously sharp!
[CHARLIE looks in the camera and the laptop unlocks.]
Alice: Surely there is some regulation about bringing government issued equipment to Londoninnit?
Austin: It would probably require a retinal scan and a security escort?
Charlie: [Delighted] Marvelous, let us examine those USB sticks!
Alice: [Sticks hers in and looks at the contents; there are two video files, one called "Alice" and the other "Contents"] Huh, I wonder what it is. [Double clicks
"Alice: and it starts up. It is a video of Alice talking directly to the camera]
AliceCamera: Alice, if you're watching this, it means you have lost your memory. Whatever happens, do not watch these videos with anybody else. [Gives a dazzling smile at the camera and the video ends]
Alice: [To the party] Wow. [Thinks] I really do have a fabulous smile, don't I?
Austin: We should watch the other videos!
Clint: What do you think the odds are it's her homemade pork?
Shor: You think it's a cooking video? It's all a bit elaborate just to store videos of her secret pork recipe, isn't it?
Clint: These things are sensitive!
Austin: Never underestimate the Joe of the pork!
Alice: You people disgust me! I would never have any pork related material on my laptop. And besides, you saw the trustworthy lady in the video, she said not to watch the other video with anyone else. I believe her!
Austin: I think that she was using reverse psychology, asking you not to do it to get you to do it. She's clearly pretty smart, and with a smile like that what could possibly go wrong?
Charlie: [Nods eagerly] Oh, indeed! All of the evidence suggests we should all watch the video at once! [Excited] Perhaps she will share a secret family recipe for *jam=C3=B3n ib=C3=A9rico de bellota*!
d all watch the video at once! [Excited] Perhaps she will share a secret fa= mily recipe for jam=C3=B3n ib=C3=A9rico de bellota!
Alice: Hm... maybe. [Glares at Charlie] I don't know what that is, but it sounds foreign!
Shor: Well, are you going to watch the video? If not, I'll try my USB drive.
Dur: Yeah, turn it on and let’s get some popcorn! This could be good by Joe!
ood by Joe!
Alice: Okay, okay, I'll try. [Double clicks the icon and a password dialog box pops up] Huh, what's the password?
Clint: Try "password". You never know!
Alice: Okay. [Tries "password", "1234" and all the usual suspects] That's not great.
Charlie: Curious. Why would you put a password on something that you only intended to need access to if you lost your memory?
Austin: Perhaps a poorly thought through plan? Or the password is something really obvious? [Looks at the USB key to see if there is anything written on it]
Alice: That seems highly unlikely. [Holds the USB key up and all that is written on it is "USB"] Yes, I will try that. [It fails]
Austin: How about 'Alice', or 'pork' or 'ham'?
Shor: Holy Joe, but this is frustrating!
Austin: Or 'Holy Joe' or 'Joe'? [Thinks hard] "Joe Joe"?
Alice: Maybe! [Tries them all, but to no avail.]
Charlie: Let's think this through. You need a password to access the video and you set it knowing that you would lose your memory. Given that we knew nothing when we came to, it surely isn't something like Joe or some common name? I mean, she didn't even know her name was Alice until a while ago!
Shor: What about something like white teeth, dazzling smile, dentists delight?
Clint: Or "Iforgotmypassword" or something like that?
Dur: Or maybe it is confirming your own instructions, like "I'm Alone" or something?
[All of these are tested and rejected by the computer with a fairly obnoxious "Wah wah".]
Bierce: [Getting annoyed at the constant Wah wahing
] Perhaps it is written down somewhere?
Austin: [Rolls his eye] Keep up Be-arse! I already suggested that. [To Alice] Perhaps you just leave it blank, or type 'blank'.
Alice: That doesn't seem like a very secure password. [Tries both]
Laptop: Wah waaaaaah!
Bierse: [Mildly amused at Austin's tetchiness] Perhaps it is written down somewhere?
Charlie: [To Alice] Do you have anything in your pockets that might have a password written on it?
Alice: [Turns out all her pockets] Nothing! Where else could it be written?
Alice: [Turns out all her pockets] Nothing! Where else could it be written?
Shor: Any tattoos?
Charlie: [To Shor, exasperated] Holy Joe, man! She isn't a sailor! [To Alice] Could it be something with those peculiar teeth of yours?
Alice: Certainly not! [Thinks] Er, well, I don't know.... [Rolls up her sleeves and, tattooed, or at least written in thick ink is "AHJ123CCkitten"]
Austin: Bingo! Try that!
Alice: Bingo? No way! It's way more likely to be this thing! [Types it in, and the video unlocks.
[The video starts to play. ALICE appears.]
AliceVideo: If you're watching this, it means that something has gone wrong. You can only trust the animals and, under no circumstances trust Bierce.
Alice: [To the party
Dur: The animals? Why would you trust animals? Can you speak to them or some other such nonsense?
Alice: I think a more pressing question is who is Bierce?
Bierce: I am.
Dur: Should we be discussing this in front of you-know-who?
[The car stops and BIERCE turns around, gun in hand.]
Bierce: Sure, why not?
Shor: Holy Joe, steady on man, don't point that anywhere near the senator! Or any of us, for that matter!
Charlie: Good Lord! Why would anyone want to point a gun at me?
[Bang! BIERCE fires and shoots CHARLIE in the face, covering the rest of the party in bits of brain.]
Alice: We're all gonna die!
Dur: Maybe this is why we aren't supposed to trust him! Make with the shooty shoots by Joe!
Austin: Because you are the enemy! How dumb are you?
Alice: [Hits Bierce with the laptop as he shoots again, narrowly missing the party] Who's got the guns?
Shor: Senator! [Still holding the guns from when he was aiming at the car earlier, aims and fires both at Bierce]
Bierce: I say, Shor, this is dashed bad form of yo-
[SHOR fires both guns twice into BIERCE, killing him.]
Alice: [Covered in bits of brain, skull and scalp
] Can people stop shooting please?
Shor: [Shouting] Holy Joe that was loud! [Slowly flicks some brain from his tuxedo with a gun barrel, where it sticks to the window]. I guess I've just been fired.
Austin: [Removes an eye ball from his shirt. Shocked] Totes Non Joe!
Alice: [Looks out the back window] Those guys who were chasing us are back again!
Austin: Perhaps you should drive us to safety?
Alice: You think? [Considers this] Yeah, I think I'd be a good driver! [Peers out the window at van speeding up fast behind them] You guys better get shooting!
On Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 7:27 AM Conor Ryan
Shor: [Opens the door, leans out and begins shooting at the van]
Alice: [Climbing over the front seat
] Ew! He's all bloody!
[SHOR blasts away at the van, hitting the windscreen and causing it to swerve.]
Alice: I'm stuck!
Dur: [In the fetal position] Where can we go to be safe?
Austin: [Tries to search Bierce, and get his guns/ammo clips and valuables. Worried] This is sooo Non Joe!
Alice: [Watching Austin grabbing Bierce's gun and cash] Hey! A little help here!
Dur: [Trying to push Alice over the seat] Get us out of here!
[With an almighty shove, DUR sends ALICE through the gap so her face is crammed up against BIERCE's crotch.]
Alice: Ew! I think something awful happened down here! [Presses the accelerator, sending the car zooming forward
] Some grab the steering wheel, I can't see anything!
Austin: [tries to grab the steering wheel and heads for Unicorn City] That's normal for that position!
Clint: [Nonchalantly lights his cigar, then grabs the wheel.] Lets try not to get pulled over. It might be difficult to explain!
[CLINT and AUSTIN grab the wheel and the car swerves like crazy, but managing to avoid being rammed by the other van.]
Alice: Is it going well? I feel like it's going well!
[The car mounts the footpath and screams along at 100mph, sending hookers, pedestrians and various street food vendors running in panic as CLINT and AUSTIN struggle for control of the wheel.]
Austin: [To Clint] Your drive like a drunken hooker! Let me drive!
Clint: Here, take this while I get in some target practice! [Leaves the wheel to Austin and retrieves his gun. ]
[AUSTIN swerves back onto the street, still pursued by the van, which has now been joined by two more. SHOR and CLINT fire out the back, hitting one of them, which immediately gets out of control and crashes. To AUSTIN's horror, a family of ducks inexplicably starts to cross the road.]
Clint: Floor it! We've got more important things than ducks to worry about at the moment!
Alice: [Jams on the brakes] Hey! Duck Lives Matter!
Shor: Our lives matter more! Holy Joe, go go go! We don't have an unlimited supply of bullets here!
Alice: Then why the hell are you trying to kill a bunch of innocent ducks with them?
Austin: She has a good point there.
[The ducks successfully cross the road.]
Alice: Thanks Austin, someone has to stand up for the rights of ducks, and this administration cares for the rights of all birds.
[The other vans are bearing down as CLINT and SHOR fire at them, causing them to swerve.]
Shor: Well, are you waiting to see if they preferred the original side of the street, and decide to cross back!?
Austin: [To Alice] Ready when you are!
[The car zooms off again, hotly pursued by the vans, one of which clips the back, in spite of taking gunfire from SHOR, and sends the car sliding into oncoming traffic.]
Alice: Woooooaaaaah! What happened there? Are we still doing okay?
Clint: No problems! I'm sure they'll get out of our way.
[Horns BLARE as the party career down the street, sending other cars crashing into each other. The van pulls long side, on the right side of the road with the side door open, revealing two men with a huge machine gun pointed at the party,]
Alice: Yay! I'm getting a good feeling about this. A real good feeling!
Shor: You're about to experience about a hundred thousand little bad feelings as soon as they start shooting. Jam on the brakes hard and let them pass, then take the next side street!
Austin: [tries to handbrake turn through the corner. To Shor ] Dam backseat driver! Leave it to the professionals!
Alice: We know what we're doing!
[Somehow, in perfect synchronisation with AUSTIN, ALICE slams on the clutch as the car slides around the corner. It takes heavy fire from the van, though, which destroys the back tires. AUSTIN struggles to keep the car straight as the rubber flies off.]
Dur: [Screaming in terror from the back seat] Perhaps you can strategically crash us somewhere that will give us a tactical advantage!? Someplace easy for us to hide and get away!?
[One of the other vans rams into the back of the party, sending the car sliding before hitting the pavement and flipping over, turning several times before coming to a rest. The party are all dazed, and look up in horror as the van pulls to halt and a masked (balaclava) man steps out, pointing a machine gun at them.]
Man: Traitors. You are all going to die.
Dur: We're not traitors, are we? You must have us confused with someone else!
Man: I'm not confused. [Lifts the gun
[Another van ploughs right into him and his comrades, knocking them down. The side door opens. Inside sits CHARLIE GECKO, a woman who bears a startling resemblance to the late CHARLIE CARIBOU.]
Alice: What the hell? Who are you?
Charlie: Come with me if you want to live.
[Book X, Act X, Scene IV. The Streets of Londoninnit. ALICE, AUSTIN, CLINT, DUR and SHOR are scrambling out of the wreckage of their car, with CHARLIE still in her van.]
Alice: What the hell is going on? [Spots people standing around filming the scene with their cell phones
] Uh oh!
Charlie: [Urgently waving the party to join her in the van] Quickly, we must go to Unicorn City! [Excitedly] We have ever so much to discuss along the way!
Alice: [Fixes on her dazzling smile and addresses some of the cameras] circle spent some time in Londoninnit on a fact finding tour. As soon as we get disinfected, we will report our findings! [Leaps into the van] Who are you?
Charlie: A scientist and visionary! I come from [dramatically] the past--in search of all of you!
Shor: [Getting into the van] You know us?
Alice: She certainly knows me, [to Charlie] don't you?
Charlie: [Excitedly] Only by reputation! [Looks Alice up and down] You must be the lawyer, correct?!
Alice: Uh... no! How about now? [Gives her most dazzlingiest of dazzling smiles]
Dur: Please excuse our.... uh.... associate. She lives on a diet that consists mostly of attention. How about me, do you know who I am?
smiles] consists mostly of attention. How about me, do you know who I am?
Charlie: [Nodding enthusiastically] You must be the mathematical genius!
Shor: Did I hear you correctly when you said you've come from the past?
Alice: The past? Oh, holy Joe! This is getting worse and worse!
Clint: Don't we all come from the past? It's kind of how things work!
Austin: [Jumps into the van] You are a lawyer? God help us all!
Alice: Yes, but some thugs like you still live there!
Austin: [To Charlie] How old are you then?
Alice: Well, her fashion sense is so dated I'm inclined to believe she is from the past!
Charlie: Indeed, I come from the past [dramatically] in a machine of my own design! [To Austin] Who can keep up with such frivolities when there are such wonders in the world?!
Alice: Quite right! We live in a wonderful time -- The Beloved Leader is indeed benevolent and kind!
Lady from Conor # 18
Shor: In a machine of your own design? [Looks around] Are you claiming you invented the van? You're clearly mad!
Austin: [To ALice] She was refering to me, of course [Checks his nails smugly] "Wonder of the world"! I like the way that sounds!
Charlie: [To Austin] Oh, are YOU the lawyer? [To Alice, explaining] The enormous ego suggests that he might be!
Alice: He's no lawyer! He's a hooker! A rent boy, a gigolo, a festering sore on the skin of society!
Austin: Jealous, much?
Charlie: [Puzzled] Oh! [To Austin, hopefully] Are you also a great civil rights leader, fighting for the rights of your fellow downtrodden, disgraced outcasts from society?
Alice: [To Austin] Not at all. [To Charlie] Hardly!
Austin: [To CHarlie] Yes to the first two, no to the third, I'm not fighting for her rights [points at Alice]
Shor: We really should get going! Unless we all want to end up like the senator!
Alice: I'm sure we'll be fine, what with our finely trained bodyguard and all. [Flashes her smile at Shor
[The driver of the van, HEWIS LAMENTON turns around.]
Hewis: We can get going, but we're probably all going to be killed. [Heavy sigh
Austin: [Sighs] You think you have problems! You know nothing!
Charlie: [Exasperated] Drive, Lamenton! And keep a stiff upper lip, for goodness' sake! [To the party, eagerly] I am delighted to have finally found all of you! You are descended from greatness, you know!
Dur: No, we don’t! I still don’t even know WHO I am, let alone who I am descended from. Though I do remember something about a company called “Indus”…
Hewis: [Looks at Dur in the mirror and gives a long sigh
] I don't know who you are but I can tell you what you are.
[Another couple of vans are approaching, with heavily armed men hanging off of and, rather peculiarly, on top of them.]
Alice: Er... can we go? [To Charlie
] You're the one who invented the van, can't you tell him to get it moving?
Austin: [To Charlie] Decended from greatness ... do go on. [Casually caresses, his left forearm, lovingly]
Alice: How disappointment your ancestors must be. I, on the other hand, surely represent the pinnacle of evolution for my family! [Pokes Hewis
] Come [so whiningly that her voice nearly shatters the windows of the van
Hewis: Great. Now I'm deaf.
[Just as the other vans move in, HEWIS slams the party's into reverse, so they are zooming along a pedestrianised street sending people diving for cover. The van rocks madly, sending the party scrambling all over the place.]
Hewis: [Dead calm
] Oh, I'm not deaf. That's a pity, because then I wouldn't have to hear the endless pain of the world.
Charlie: [Watching Austin, alarmed] I fear the greatness may have become a good deal diluted! [To Hewis] Drive, man! Chop, chop!
Clint: You really need to hire better help, lady!
Austin: At least happiness won't distract him from his driving! [Hangs on to something. To Charlie] I never dilute, I always use pure!
Hewis: [Sad sigh] I'm never appreciated. I should have become a funeral director like my Mom. [Does a handbrake turn to spin the van around 180 degrees before zooming through a shop window and into a huge shopping centre]
Alice: Where are we going? [Looks out a window] Yikes! Is this what passes for shops in Londoninnit? Such tragic fashion, such empty shelves, such... well, such a surprising amount of penises.
Hewis: [Sighs] Yeah, we're actually driving through the public toilets.
Alice: That doesn't really explain what those two unusually hairy gentlemen are doing with that donkey, though, does it?
Hewis: Don't spend much time in Londoninnit, do you?
Clint: I think that's probably for the best for all concerned. It does remind me to bring a few more animal handlers into the organization, though! [Glances over at Dur.] Say, are you looking for a job?
Alice: He has a job -- didn't he say he worked for a company called Indus? And then the driver said that he knew what that made him.
Hewis: [Sad sigh] I did, but no one asked me what I meant.
Alice: Sonofa! Someone should have asked him what he meant by that. Oh well, I guess we'll never know!
Charlie: [To Hewis, excited] What does that make him? What is Indus?
Shor: Yes, what does that make him?
Hewis: A poisoner and a murderer. Indus own a company called Strabonis, which makes all sorts of [takes his fingers off the wheel, causing the van to swerve dangerously, almost mowing down a couple of naked men in what must the largest and most disgusting men's bathroom in the universe] medicines, many of which are nothing more than poisons designed to rot the minds of people.
Alice: Strabonis? That sounds familiar... hm. [Looks at the flash in Dur's arms, which has "Strabonis Industry" written on it] Oh.
Austin: That is soo NonJoe! They should put in prison for shifting dodgy gear like that!
Alice: Forget that! Was he trying to poison us?
Dur: I don't remember!
Alice: Liar! We all wake up in a room with no memory and one of us, that works in the Poison Factory, happens to have a flask of poison with him, do you think that's a coincidence? [To Shor and Clint] One of you should punch him hard.
Charlie: [Claps her hands] Oh, yes! Do! That will give me a hint as to which of you is the famous fighter of the group! [Quickly] But do not punch him HARD. He is a valued member of this group!
Alice: Is he? Why on earth would we need a poisoner? Who poisons us?
[The van bursts out through a large plate glass window and onto a street. Incredibly, HEWIS manages to avoid hitting anyone, and the one remaining pursuing van immediately crashes. Up ahead is a 40 foot high picture of JOE NUNPAR, looking stern and virtually the same as he was when the original party dealt with him.]
Alice: [Carrying on
] In what would be a really, really embarrassing place to be found dead?
Shor: You were going to poison the senator when she was still alive! Outrageous! [Attempts to headbutt Dur]
[Fortunately for DUR, the crazy driving sends SHOR flying just before impact, causing him to miss.]
Dur: Come on Gang! We've been through so much together and we don't really KNOW if I was trying to poison you all or not! At least it wasn't my best friend that shot the senator!
Alice: You are shameless! And under the watchful eye of The Beloved Leader, too! [Gestures to the giant photo of Joe Nunpar that towers over the street]
Shor: Holy Joe, I've no idea if he was even a friend! He could have been lying. You could be lying! Perhaps you remember everything!
Dur: Hey! [Pointing at the picture] What the hell?! Don’t tell me that unicorn loving bastard is running things. And what the hell are these in my pocket? Snacks?
Austin: A quick visit to a registered toxicologist should sort out who has been drugged and what with, or otherwise. I recommend that until that point that we all stay our acusations lest we fall foul of slander legislation, if that is indeed part of our current locales' Jurisprudence. [Looks at the other for their responses. Suprised] What on earth are we all wearing?
that unicorn loving bastard is running things. And what the hell are these= in my pocket? Snacks?
Alice: [Does a double take between Dur and Austin and back again] U-u-unicorn loving bastard? Are you referring to The Beloved Leader? [Looks at Austin] What?
Charlie: Yes, unicorns! We must go to Unicorn City to [vaguely] fulfil our destinies!
Dur: Beloved leader? Fulfil our destinies? [To Austin] Are they acting crazier than normal?
Alice: Don't act like you don't know who the Beloved Leader is! [Waves at the picture of Joe]
Dur: Oh sure, I know who he is. He's the biggest jerk in all the realm! Say is this some kind of fancy carriage or what? [Starts playing with buttons]
Clint: [To Shor and Alice] Is it just me, or are those two acting even stranger than normal? I say we take no chances!
Austin: [Looking at the car] It is a rather elegant piece of engineering, I grant you that.[Looking at the poster of Joe] What in the Realms is Numpy doing on that huge billboard? [Looks around in disgust] What new form of Hell is this?
Clint: Hey! Londoninnit may not look like much, but it's home.
Shor: Ha, and home is where the heart is! [Laughs loudly, before looking at the guns in his hands] What are these strange sticks?
[All sorts of drawers and compartments open as DUR hammers away at buttons, including one with a selection of drinks, more weapons and one with a bunch of black sacks.]
Alice: I think you people have gone quite mad! Quickly, put these sacks over your heads before things get any worse!
Shor: What, have you gone quite mad, a sack? And mess up my splendid hairstyle? Wait, what's happened to your teeth? They're. So. White!
Alice: [Smiles so hard Shor has to momentarily cover his eyes] Why thank you! They are white with the Joe of Love!
Shor: Is that a new brand of toothpaste?
Alice: [Gasps in horror at this heresy] Sh! He'll hear you!
Charlie: [Alarmed] Will he?! [Urgently] Oh, do be quiet, all of you! I shall rescue you, and then we shall save the world from this madness!
Austin: Save us from what exactly? Overdue library fines? [Takes a gun, checks to see if it is loaded, looks for a bottle of brandy, and examines a sack]
Alice: [Watching as Austin searches through everything
] Save you from yourselves! And me from you!
[Bang! The gun goes off, narrowly missing SHOR and putting a hole in the van. Even worse, AUSTIN only finds a half consumed can of beer and the sacks look like sacks, nothing more than heavy black material.]
Charlie: [To Austin, shocked] Give me that gun before you kill us all!
Austin: [Unloads the gun and puts it away carefully wiping his prints off first] Why would need to be saved from us? I am your best friend!
Alice: You must certainly are not, you filthy article!
Dur: Oh! Oh! [Looks at Austin, eyes brimming with hope] Does that mean the position for your NEW best friend is open?!
Alice: Oh please. Slip him 20 credits and he'll be your bestie for ten minutes.
Charlie: [To Alice, primly] Friendship that has to be bought is not authentic friendship!
Austin: Everyone has their price. [To Dur] You cannot afford me.
Clint: That's why his occupation works!
Alice: Who cares about how much this crack whore costs! What I want to know is why they [gestures to Austin, Shor and Dur] are behaving even more strangely than before!!
Austin: [To Alice] For Phili's sakes Alice, I'm a lawyer, and I have no idea why I am dressed in these awful clothes! What has gotten into you?
Shor: Good doctor! [To Dur] Do you think this is some illusion, brought about by these noxious fumes emanating from this odd carriage?
Clint: Looks like the only sane ones left are me and [regards Alice icily] this person. I think I'd be better off without all of this hassle! It's contagious and I don't want it! Imagine, a rentboy thinking he's a lawyer... [Tries for the door]
Alice: So he is a doctor? Just the sort of person who'd know about poisons!
[CLINT opens one of the doors of the van and it is immediately smashed off as HEWIS zooms past another car.]
Alice: Aieee! We're all gonna die!
Charlie: [To Clint] Oh, do be careful! [To Dur, excited] Oh, you're the doctor?! [And Austin] And you're a lawyer? I knew I had the right people!
Shor: Why, of course you have the right people, Ms Parker Kensington! Who else would we be!
Alice: What the hell? Where are we?
Shor: Where we are is in the final death throw days of the foul fascist theocracy of Nunpur!
Austin: That sounds like a considerable opportunity for the emancipation of the nation! How may I help?
Shor: By taking up arms and rising up against our oppressors, brother! Alone we stand divided, together we are united in righteous anger towards Nunpar and his brainwashed minions!
Austin: [Excited] We have started a civil rights movement, the like of which this world has never seen! [Begins writing furiously, pauses, looks up] Is everyone on board with this?
Shor: The downtrodden and the despised, the destitute and the deplored, our brothers and sisters who have for too long been crushed under the turd covered heel of Nunpar and his ilk, those of us who were not born with the correct genetic makeup, or in the correct post code, or without the trappings of inherited entitlement, all are on board, brother!
ur brothers and sisters who have for too long been crushed under the turd c= overed heel of Nunpar and his ilk, those of us who were not born with the c= orrect genetic makeup, or in the correct post code, or without the trapping= s of inherited entitlement, all are on board, brother!
Austin: That's pretty good [Makes some more notes] The battle for freedom begins!
Alice: [Looks around] Oh. My. God. [Excitedly] Is anybody else in a lab strapped to an ECG at the moment? [Covers her eyes] Ow! There's a really severe glare off the window! [Gets dazzled by the reflection of her own teeth]
Shor: We are all labrats, forced into the cruel experiments and deprivation of Nunpar and his white coated zealots!
Alice: Well, that's cryptic. Say, are you any relation to Shor Scar? The lumbering halfwit [to Dur] no offence [carries on] who hefts crates around in the University?
Charlie: [To Shor, intrigued] Ms. Parker-Kensington? Do you know me by another name?
Alice: [To Charlie] Can you not see me? Or are you just rude? [Enthusiastically] This is fascinating! One wishes one had one's trusty notebook!
Charlie: [Shielding her eyes from the glare of Alice's teeth] One could hardly miss you! And I quite agree, most fascinating! [Hands Alice a notebook] Here, I always carry extras!
Alice: Excellent! [Leafs through the pages] Ah! Colour coding and cross referencing, most organised! Don't you find it fun? One of the most interesting aspects of my own work is how clearly organised all futures are from a mathematical point of view.
Austin: [Looking down at his clothes in a most tragic fashion, before looking at Alice and Charlie] Good god, two notebook wielding weirdoes?
Charlie: [Starry-eyed] Oh, what fun we will have, comparing notes, cross-referencing them, indexing and archiving them for posterity!
Shor: We will be far too busy bringing mayhem and justice to the Nunpar! A chronicle of righteous retribution will be kept, but indexes, cross references and archives can be dealt with after we was the filth of Nunpar from the streets!
Hewis: More likely you'll all forget in two minutes who you are and go back to being incredibly annoying. More incredibly annoying. [Heavy sigh]
Shor: Nonsense brother, the fire of retribution lights my very veins, my very core vibrates for justice and the oncoming battle to gain our freedom from oppression! I am vengeance!
Clint: Oh my god, make it stop!
meetings all day long once I woke up.
Alice: [Applauds happily] Wonderful! Wonderful! Different instances from multiple branching points! Once I present these findings, they'll never dare burn me at the stake!
Charlie: [Astonished] Are you familiar with my work?! How thrilling! [Alarmed] Wait, what do you mean, burn you at the stake?!
Alice: I'm not sure -- it depends on what your work is! I fear in my time that I am in a cell, under threat of death for heretical teachings in the form of Prescienetics. [Looks around] Clearly, however, I evade death and my work is embraced by scientists, mathematicians and engineers all over the world!
Charlie: [Elated] You are Dr. Alice-Kensington Sleaze?! What an honor is it to meet you! [Intrigued] And you are currently sharing a body with some sort of [searches for the words] game show host?
Alice: Yes! I'm not entirely sure what that is, but if it is someone that has disturbingly bright teeth, then yes! And you are?
Shor: She's someone on the TV, some talking head for Joe Nunpar, not a scientist. [scratches his head] I feel very confused.
Alice: Oh. So Joe Nunpar is still alive in this Course. Well, that's quite disappointing. [Peers closely at Shor as though examining an insect] Ah! I believe this instance has returned? Aside from confusion, how do you feel? Any irregular heartbeats? Uncontrollable bowel movements?
Shor: I feel a near overwhelming urge to shoot at things!
Alice: Fascinating! Are you some sort of hoodlum? Thug? Redneck who shoots at beer cans and otherwise adorable woodland creatures?
Charlie: [Excited] Should we run some experiments on all of them [nods to the party absently]?
Alice: [Does a double take] What? What are you talking about? Experiments? Certainly not, it's just not true to say that the Beloved Leader sanctions unauthorised and anonymous experiments on his citizens, this is merely fake news propagated by the enemy of the people, sowing seeds of fear and doubt amongst his children. [Smiles her dazzling smile]
Clint: [Looks around slowly] I'm surrounded by lunatics! Stop the car, dammit!
Hewis: No stopping.
Austin: [holding his head] what the nonjoe was that! There was totes two of me in one head at the same time! What a looser the other me was!
Alice: Me too! Although the other me was smart and intelligent -- although seemed to be somehow... [gasps in horror] anti-Joe!
Charlie: Incredible! It seems you may be sharing a body with multiple versions of yourself from other time periods! [Excited] Oh, there are ever so many experiments I should like to subject you to in order to confirm my theory!
Shor: Look, who are you? Why do you look so much like the senator? [Narrows his eyes] Are you the senator?
Charlie: Oh my, no! I am a scientist and inventor from the past, come to find all of your! [Holds out her hand] I am Charlie Gecko!
Alice: This sounds like a highly improbably fake news story to me! Why did you [sarcastically] come from the past to find us? I mean, I can understand you wanting to meet me, but these others? I mean, no disrespect, but yeesh!
Shor: If you're from the past how did you know we even existed?
Alice: [Pales] The weirdo heretic who occupied my body seemed to think it was possible to travel in time and seemed to know a type of mathematics called Prescienetics that could tell the future.
Austin: [Nonchalantly] I agree, it's just a fairytail. How could there possibly be a nice and intelligent version of you anywhere except in fantasy? [Roles his eyes]
Clint: Let's just hope that doesn't happen again! You people are weird enough add it is without being possessed by bizarro versions of yourselves!
to the party.]
Hewis: It's not a fairytale. It's fact. The sooner you believe it the better. Not that it'll make any difference.
Austin: Well, it's not a very good fairytail is it! I have heard soo much better! Me, a civil rights lawyer! Lols!
Charlie: [To Austin] Perhaps it is about your potential, rather than the reality. Perhaps you COULD be a civil rights lawyer!
Austin: [Smug] I'm sure I could be many things [Checks his nails casulally. Sighs]
Shor: Where are you taking us?
Alice: [To Austin] Oh please! She's not trying to hire you for some sick psycho sexual role playing where she's dressed as a saucy maid and someone who looks just like Joe Nunpar is punishing her horribly with cane that looks like a unicorn horn! Er, or something like that, er.... less specific.
Hewis: [To Shor] We're going to smuggle you all into Unicorn City.
Alice: Even the .... Londoninnit people?
Hewis: Even the Londoninnit people.
Shor: To what end?
Hewis: To [dramatically and with uncharacteristic enthusiasm] To save the world!! [Back to his normal sad sack demeanour] Although it'll probably fail.
Dur: Can we get a snack on the way?
Charlie: [To Dur, hopefully] To give to underprivileged children?
Alice: There are no underprivileged children, that's just a myth propagated by the anti-Joe establishment. Perhaps if their parents didn't spend all their welfare cheques on cheese and fast food, these so-called children, if indeed they may so be called, would not be so underprivileged.
Austin: [To Alice] You are making the work of a civil rights lawyer sound more attractive by the second!
Clint: It's amazing how much her job is fundamentally the same as yours, isn't it?
Austin: [Darkly] Everyone has a price. Some just sell their soul as well as their body. [Looks sadly at Alice]
Alice: [Smiles super brightly at Austin] Well then, I'm sure glad I didn't sell mine -- either one! My moral fibre is still extra super strong. [To Hewis] I can get us all into Unicorn City, simply by threatening to have the children of the guards at the gate taken from him and thrown in juvie for six years for re-education purposes, so that's not a problem. My question is, why would I want to bring these people with me and to change the world?
Hewis: Because you think it's okay to threaten the children of the guard at the gate.
Alice: [Looks taken aback] I do think that... or at least, I did. When I had that weird out of body experience, though, I felt like it was a monstrous thing to do. Hm.
Clint: Why don't we just bribe my guy instead. It's better for everyone! Except her [regards Alice] who he probably won't help on principle.
Shor: I think I know a way in which doesn't involve threatening to kipnap and murder children. It's through a back alley Poodle Bar.
Alice: Oh please! You have contacts in the illegal deep fried poodle industry, but you look down on child kidnap and murder? [Thinks] Yeah, I suppose they do sound a lot worse, now that I come to think of it. What the hell is wrong with me? [Angrily to the party] Yesterday I would have dismissed the occasional child disappearance as collateral damage in the noble struggle of Holy Joe Nunpar against the Non-Joe attitudes of the barbaric Londoninnit dwellers!
Charlie: [To Alice, reassuringly] It is all of the competing voices in your head. [Cheerily] But do not worry! If you can learn to keep everything straight, you may be able to keep from lapsing into full-blown psychosis!
Alice: Oh man! I'm so freaked out that I think I might need a cheeky have fried poodle to steady my nerves!
Shor: Fried poodle with a side order of crunchy larks legs.
Austin: I have an odd appetite for golden honeyd locusts? [Looks mortified] How discusting!
Austin: [Grimaces] Oh god! Golden Honeyd locusts are starting to sound even more appetising!
Alice: [Stomach rumbling so massively that the car shakes] Dear Joe! What am I saying? I know that a nutritious and adequate HARMA Approved Replacement Meal Article would be more than enough and that I should be happy to have it!
Alice: What's happening to us??
Charlie: We really haven't time for any snacks, so if you will all just discipline yourselves to stay focused on the task at hand, our mission will go much more smoothly!
Hewis: A back alley Poodle Bar that has an entrance into Unicorn City? I think I know the place. Hold on. [Revs up the engine like crazy and roars off. Three feet later he jams on the brakes
] Here we go.
[Everyone looks out the window.]
Alice: John Jameson's brick shop?
Hewis: Don't be ridiculous. It's the one beside it.
Alice: James Johnson's brick shop?
Hewis: Go in and ask for Fifi.
Austin: [Gets out of the car] I think I'll get a new brick while I am here.
Alice: [Also getting out
] I would never by a brick in such a [looks around suspiciously
] dingy place.
[Enter ALL into the Brick Store.]
[Book X, Act X, Scene V. James Johnson's Brick Store. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and SHOR are here, in what must be the most boring brick shop that anyone has ever been in. Sitting at a counter made of bricks is the most bored teenager in the world, JEREMY JOHNSON.]
Jeremy: [Sees the party
] Ugh, god. I'm sooooooo bored.
Dur: Well then perhaps you can help us? We are looking for Fifi... I think...
Jeremy: [So bored and lazy he can barely hold his head up] You think or you are?
Alice: Look young man, that is no way to talk to your elders and er.. [looks at the others] well, your elders. Now, answer him immediately!
Jeremy: Yeesh, Grandma, don't get your knickers in a twist!
Alice: They're not in a twist, they're just a bit bunched up because the elastic isn't what it was, and I'm only wearing these ones because it's laundry day.
Jeremy: I never thought I'd meet someone who was even less interesting than brick selling.
Austin: Well it's your lucky day. What will you aspire to next?
Shor: Wait, is fifi a person or a type of brick?
Clint: Does it matter? You. Fifi. Now! [Pauses] Please.
Jeremy: Yeesh, alright, alright! Keep your old man hair on! Go down to the back brick display and push on the red brick.
Alice: [Peers down the back] Aren't they all red?
Jeremy: No. Some are burgundy, others are wine, coquelicot, crimson, flame, folly, magenta, maroon, mahogony, oxblood, raspberry, redwood, rose, rosso corsa, ruby, russet, rust, scarlet, terra cotta or vermillion.
Shor: I see, so what we really need is something red to compare against, to identify the correct coloured brick. [Stares coldly at Jeremy] Like blood, for instance.
to identify the correct coloured brick. [Stares coldly at Jeremy] Like blood, for instance.
Charlie: [Nods approvingly] Indeed, a sample of the color would be most helpful!
Jeremy: [Swallow hard] Er, or maybe I could just push the brick for you?
Alice: [Wrinkling her nose at the unpleasant smell that has suddenly hit the air as she looks Jeremy up and down] That's more of a yellowy red, really, isn't it?
Shor: [To Jeremy] I think that would be very wise. And certainly less painful. [Sniffs] No less warmer and wetter, though.
Jeremy: C-certainly! [Squeaks past the party and pushes a red brick, causing the whole wall to slide up revealing a metal door, which he knocks on
[A slot opens up and a pair of eyes, presumably belonging to FIFI appear.]
Fifi: Did you pee yourself again?
Charlie: [To Fifi, helpfully] I believe he may have soiled himself, though in either case he should probably see a doctor! [Excited] Now, could you assist us? We need to get to Unicorn City!
Fifi: I don't know anything about that, that would be illegal. I'm merely the proprietor of an illegal back alley deep fried poodle establishment.
Alice: Isn't an illegal back alley deep fried poodle establishment illegal?
Fifi: It's something of a grey area.
[The delicious aroma of deep fried poodle wafts over the party.]
Austin: Can we discuss these matters over a bowl or seven of deep fried poodle?
Fifi: Certainly! [Shuts the peephole and opens the door, revealing a busy kitchen in the background
] Welcome to Fifi's!
Austin: [Heads on in] Is your produce locally sourced?
Charlie: [Enters the room, eyeing Fifi's outfit] How, er, clever of you to waste no part of the poodle!
Fifi: Everything but the bark! [To Austin] Of course -- we have a small army of urchins who trawl the dog walking parks at night!
Shor: I'd imagine you're also quite fortunate that you don't employ a cook with poor eyesight!
Clint: Or that you get diners with poor eyesight instead!
honest to goodness sleep last night to make up for it.
off-leash dog park. Occasionally, the eagles make off with a poodle,
Fifi: The cook does have poor eyesight, but I've managed to avoid being sauted.
Alice: Fast moving?
Fifi: No, I'm the cook. Fortunately, the diners are quite discerning and would never deign to eat human flesh when there's some deep fried poodle ears around. [Holds up a delicious looking plate of them]
Alice: Oh my god! [Takes one and takes a tiny bite] Hm. [Swishes it around in her mouth for a moment] I see. [Stuffs the entire thing in mouth] Nom nom nom!
Charlie: [Regards the ears with interest] Given that we humans consume all manner of flesh, I can see no reason why these should not be perfectly acceptable! After all, it isn't as if you are frying adorable kittens. These are merely dogs!
Alice: [Chomping on a braised tail pom pom] Mm! Tastes like a fluffy cloud!
Austin: [Nibbling on a teriyaki sweetmeat] Perhaps we should get a table and a menu?
Alice: [Stuffing some glazed toenails in] Goof ifdeaf!
Shor: Do you have any Extra Yappy sauce?
Austin: And a side of pickled Chihuahua?
Fifi: [To Shor
] Whiny or shrill?
[The party quickly gather around a dingy looking table, surrounded on all sides by cages of barking poodles.]
Fifi: [To Austin
] Alas no. The demand for handbags made from Chihuahua skin in which to hold Chihuahuas has skyrocketed.
Alice: [Looking at the cages of sad little poodles, smushing their faces up against the side, pleading for mercy, for clemency, for any hope of redemption
] Hey, do we get to pick our poodles and then club them to death with little hammers? [Suddenly does a double take
] Hey! What the hell are we doing here?
Shor: [Checking the menu] Well, don't know about you, but I'm about to have some Cockadoodle Poodle Noodle!
Austin: [Picking up a menu] Yes, I'm famished!
Charlie: [Tries to snatch the menu from Austin] We haven't time to stop and eat. We really must be going to Unicorn City!
[CHARLIE yoinks the menu from AUSTIN only to immediately have it yoinked by ALICE.]
Alice: We haven't time to argue about not having time to eat! We really must be going to Unicorn City!
[HEWIS yoinks the menu from ALICE.]
Hewis: We have time to argue about not having time to argue about not having time to eat. We really must be going to Unicorn City. For all the good it'll do.
Dur: Perhaps we have time to place a to-go order for fried poodle and waffles?
Fifi: As long as you're happy with medium rare, sure. [Thinks] Wait.. waffles? What the hell kind of freaky weirdo are you?
Austin: Don't mind him, he'd eat anyting! [TO the party] We should get going before he starts eating the furniture!
Fifi: Fine, no problem. The bill is ten thousand credits.
Clint: [ Looks expectantly at Alice] Surely pocket change to you!
Alice: [Cheeks puffed up and full of poodle fixin's] I wasn't the only one who had some -- I don't even eat Teribarki sauce!
Clint: C'mon, does he [gestures at Austin] seem like the kind of person who can afford this fine dining experience?
Alice: And what about all the Poodle ears? Who ate all of those?
Hewis: That was you.
Alice: Well, I don't have ten thousands credits on me. [To Fifi] Will you take a -
Fifi: [Holds up his to stop her] No.
Clint: [Sighs and reaches for his wallet. To Alice] Someday, and that day may never come - but we both know it will - I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this as a gift. [Pays for the poodle]
Charlie: [Primly] Well, now that is settled, I think we can all agree that you should listen to me and follow all of my instructions in future! I advised we not stop and eat, as you may recall.
Alice: Oh please! [Wipes some Teriyappi sauce off her face] Who stopped to stuff her face full of sauted tail pom-poms?
Shor: [To Alice] You?
Austin: This is so NonJoe! I don't want to grow old and die in this place! Let's get going people! [Heads for the door]
Alice: [Spewing bits of poodle as she talks] Fake news! [To Austin] Where are you going? Isn't there some sec-
Fifi: [Holds his hand up] Yes.
Austin: And can you show us where it is please?
Austin: Well that is very generous of you. We are planning on saving the world, and we usually do that for free, so you don't have to pay us anything.
Fifi: Of course. For ten thousand credits.
Alice: What? You're going to pay us ten grand just to show us? [To the party, excitedly] We can get some more of that poodle you all like so much!
Fifi: [Shakes his head sadly] Alas, no.
Shor: Well, let's not be hasty. Perhaps we can take a doggy bag with us as payment.
Fifi: Ten grand. Or else.
Alice: Or else what?
Fifi: Or I won't tell you where the door is.
Alice: How about we get one of the ruffians [waves at Austin and Clint] to punch you in the face?
Fifi: [Takes out a huge meat cleaver] Then you find out why we say our product isn't 100% poodle.
Austin: How about you give us the ten grand, and then we give you ten grand and then no one has to declare it on our tax returns?
Clint: [Sighs and reaches for his wallet. To Austin] Someday, and that day may never come - but we both know it will - I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this as a gift. [Pays Fifi]
Fifi: Excellent. There's the door. [Points at a glass fronted freezer full of poodles]
Dur: Did we just get conned? We want the door into Unicorn City my good man, not the door into your freezer!
Clint: If he just conned us, that would have been a tragic mistake.
Fifi: I guess we'll never know.
Alice: Where's the door to Unicorn City?
Fifi: At the back of the freezer.
Charlie: Splendid! Let us go at once, and no more dilly-dally! [Heads for the freezer]
Charlie: Splendid! Let us go at once, and no more dilly-dally! [Heads for
[The party check out the freezer, which is choc full of frozen poodles.]
Alice: [Stuffing her pockets with bits of poodle] Where is the door?
Shor: Perhaps there's a special poodle we need to poke! [Begins randomly prodding frozen poodles]
there is another door in the back of the freezer.]
Alice: [Still pocketing poodle bits] Nope, no sign!
there is another door in the back of the freezer.]
Charlie: [Excited] Look, there is a door! [To Shor and Alice, starting to lug poodles out of the way] Help me get these poodles moved, chop chop!
Austin: [Rolls his eyes] Too much to expect them to have fresh, locally sourced organic poodles I suppose! There are places soo much nicer than this. we should all go out sometime. [Heads for the door]
Alice: I never eat poodle!
[CHARLIE pulls open the door and everyone peers into a long dark tunnel.]
Alice: This doesn't look like Unicorn City!
Hewis: That's not the city, rather it's a tunnel through the impenetrable wall that has stood for 800 years. It leads to Unicorn City.
Shor: [Steps forward and grabs a frozen poodle, before swinging it menacingly] There'd better not be anyone waiting to ambush us in the tunnel!
Austin: [Looking at the frozen poodle club] I kind of hope there is!
Alice: [Ducking to avoid being poodled] If the wall is impenetrable then how come there's a tunnel here? For that matter, how come there's a gate?
Hewis: [Stares at Alice] How on earth don't you people know this? What are you? Suffering from amnesia?
Dur: How about you pretend that is the case and explain everything to us as if we were. That way we're all on the same page!
as if we were. That way we're all on the same page!
Charlie: Indeed, we have paid quite handsomely for access to this tunnel, so help in using it surely comes with the cost!
Hewis: You didn't pay me for access to the tunnel! I don't get anything out of this, other than a slap in the face! Look, everyone knows the Legend of The Gate. When Joe erected the wall, he deliberately left a small vulnerability in it so that any [finger quotes] good souls outside could dig their way in. When that eventually happened, the Gate was put up -- and yes, it took 300 years, but it's not like they had access to the sort of weaponry and explosives that we have now.
Shor: Well, let's not let those 300 years have been spent in vain.
Alice: And what about this no doubt illegal and unsanctioned tunnel?
Hewis: Over the years some high tech mechanisms have been found to make smaller holes than the main gate.
Alice: This doesn't seem that small.
Hewis: It gets narrower further on.
Alice: How narrow?
Hewis: It's about two inches in diameter.
Alice: Two inches!
Hewis: It widens after about a hundred feet.
Austin: Luckily we skipped lunch!
Clint: [Eagerly] Say, does this mean we get to blast our way in?
Hewis: There's no need, we can just walk in.
Shor: Walk in, through a two inch gap? My poodle club wouldn't even fit through that!
Charlie: [Helpfully] Could we perhaps shrink ourselves at the crucial time?
Shor: Hmm, is that something people from the past could do?
Charlie: [Laughs] Oh my, no! That sounds more futuristic, wouldn't you say? [Looks at Alice hopefully] Have you invented shrinking technology, by any chance?
Alice: No, but I'm sure the boffins will get right on it. [To Hewis] Why are you wasting our time taking us through a tunnel that we can't fit through? We spent good money on this -- I'm just glad it wasn't mine!
Hewis: [Sighs] There's a trapdoor about twenty feet up, before the tunnel starts to narrow, we can get out there.
Austin: How do we get through the trap door if it's 20 feet up?
Alice: Oh please! [Rolls her eyes] Obviously we form a human pyramid!
Hewis: Or we could just walk up to it.
Austin: I'll take the walking option. Far more sensible [Rolls his eyes] So what is the trap, on the door?
Charlie: [Nods emphatically] No pyramids. We are not cheerleaders! [Looks at Alice and Shor] Well, not all of us, anyway!
Hewis: [Gives an exhausted sigh
] Yes. The trap is on the door.
[The party walk the requisite twenty feet and find a trap door.]
Alice: Hey! Maybe we could use this instead of the one that we need cheerleaders for? [To Hewis
] Does this one have a trap?
Alice: Well, then. Why on earth would we ever want to use the other door?
Clint: Does this door lead to where we want to go?
Austin: My understanding is that it goes to Unicorn City, our desired destination. [Looks a little surprised at himself]
Hewis: [Exasperated] Yes! How many times do I have to tell you? Open the door, climb the ladder and get into the white car waiting there for you.
Alice: I think maybe just ONCE!
Hewis: Oh. [Thinks] Yeah, fair enough.
one into the car smells!
[AUSTIN pulls the door open to reveal a metal ladder set into the wall.]
Alice: Thank Joe! We're almost home!
[AUSTIN pulls the door open to reveal a metal ladder set into the wall.]
Alice: Thank Joe! We're almost home!
[The party climb to the top of the ladder and get to another metal trap door.]
Alice: [To Austin and Charlie, who are ahead of her
] Knock on the door!
Charlie: [Excitedly knocks on the door
] Oh, I do hope someone answers!
[A voice answers from above, this is PROF CHARLES "TRUCE" BASSETT-KENSINGTON-SLEAZE.]
Truce: Yeesh, hang on!
[The trap door opens to reveal an immaculately dressed man who smiles down at the party.]
Truce: Ah! The heroes!
Prof.Charles "Truce" Bassett-Kensington-Sleaze
Shor: Yes, that's us!
Truce: [Shines a flashlight over the party] You certainly seem attractive enough! Come on up, [dramatically] we've got a world to save! [Frowns momentarily before flicking a piece of dust off his sleeve] And you better make it quick, we've got a schedule to keep! [Holds up a clipboard]
Austin: Do we have time to visit your tailor?
Charlie: Professor Basset-Kensington-Sleaze! I am delighted to see you again. How can I assist you in keeping this group on schedule? [Whips out a slightly larger, slightly shinier clipboard of her own]
Truce: [Helping Austin up] Alas no my... attractive if somewhat poorly clothed friend. He is far too busy creating the most exquisite panda skin codpiece for me. [Shrugs] It's gonna take him a long time. [Finger gun] Click-click!
Alice: [Looks down her nose at Truce's finger gun to Austin] That sounds awful, you should be ashamed of yourself.
Truce: [Smiles at Alice] You know what you need? A good sound spanking from an attractive scientist wearing a panda skin codpiece. Perhaps with some sort ping pong bat.
Alice: [Blushes] Well... I never!
Truce: Then maybe it's about time, Pixie Stix!
Truce: Dr. Gecko! [Big smile and salacious lick of his lips as he looks her clipboard up and down, lingering on the shininess.]
Alice: [Fanning herself as she tries hid her blushing
] Hey! I thought we were on a schedule!
Truce: We sure are, Pixie Stix! [Points to his own clipboard
Alice: [Reading from it
] One PM, five minutes of flirting with the party?
Truce: I know, it's lame, but we are in a rush. [To Charlie
] Let's get everyone into their overalls.
Charlie: [To Truce, scolding
] Professor, do behave professionally! [Awkwardly brandishes her clipboard so that Truce can behold its glory better
] Hmm, yes, I can see from my inventory sheet that I have overalls for everyone! [To the party, handing out overalls
] Put these on at once, chop-chop!
Shor: [Takes an overall from Charlie and tries to squeeze himself into it
] It's a bit snug.
Truce: [Helps Shor pull it up, so that they are facing and his arms are around Shor's back
] Let's see what we can do! [Gives it a heft as the two get very, very close
Alice: Mine is huge! [Shows that her Shor-sized overalls are too big
] And why are we wearing overalls?
Charlie: This is how one dresses in Unicorn City! [To Truce and Shor, disapprovingly tapping her clipboard
] There really isn't time in the schedule for horseplay, you know.
Deuce: On the contrary -- I think you'll find that there is two minutes allotted to it in the next ten minutes. [By way of explanation to the party
] I always leave two free minutes out of every fifteen for horseplay. It lightens the spirit and, even when there is something quite serious going on, I can save up the time and use it for a quick pee at the end of the hour! [One quick heft and Shor somehow fits into his overalls
Austin: So, back to more serious things [Zips up his overalls
] Are we talking Panda skin or baby Panda skin ... and what about the lining?
Truce: Oh please, don't insult me! [Good naturedly
] Baby, of course! And the lining? [Gets a bit dreamy and puts his arm around Austin
] The lining, my friend... are you familiar with albino baby seals?
Austin: [Leans his head onto Truce's shoulder
] Yes, but I prefer to pretend that it's the first time, every time, if you see where I'm coming form?
Clint: [Slips into his overalls resignedly
] This had better be worth the time I'm not spending running my evil empire!
Truce: Sure do, little buddy, I sure do! [To Clint
] Not to worry, friend. If this works, you won't have an evil empire!
Clint: Well that's hardly an incentive, is it?
] Well, you got me there, friend! But deep down, way deep down, in a part of you that you don't want to world to see, you know that it's a good thing, right?
Clint: No? But if we can screw over our dear leader, I'm in anyway!
Shor: How do these incredibly restrictive overalls help overthrow an evil empire?
Austin: Indeed, they seem like a step in the wrong direction?
Truce: I guess they weren't exaggerating about that amnesia, then, eh? This is what everyone wears in Unicorn City -- we have to blend in. We wouldn't want to end up on the wrong side of the FPs, would we?
Shor: The FPs?
Truce: [Putting on his overalls
] Fashion Police.
Charlie:Now, really, is it such a hardship to wear these uniforms when it will keep you safe and able to move freely about Unicorn City?!
] I'm sure Joe knows best.
] That's the spirit! Now, let's all go to Unicorn City!
Truce: [Pointing to the blandest of bland white vans at the end of the street
] This will let us blend in nicely. Let's go!
[Everyone bundles into the van.]
[Book X, Act X, Scene VI. A van, racing through Unicorn City. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, SHOR and TRUCE sit in the back of a van being driving by HEWIS. Outside is the blandest looking city imaginable, filled with depressed looking people wearing the same overalls as the party.]
Truce: Good to be home?
Clint: [Looking around
] Not my home! I'm a pilgrim in any unholy land here!
Alice: [Watching the sad and depressed population strolling around
] It seems to have lost some of its vim!
Truce: I know you guys are probably still suffering from amnesia, but did Raniel tell you anything useful?
Shor: Was he the guy with the horns? He didn't say much before he was killed. Something about a key. A key we had to make.
Charlie: How thrilling! [To Truce] Have you a pneumatic die grinder and vise grips?!
Truce: I sure do!
Alice: [Amazed] Are you in the habit of making keys?
Truce: No. [Gets a little dreamy]
Austin: [Oddly excited] Ooh is it a CP3119-99 Chicago Pneumatic Industrial 1/4" Direct Air Die Grinder? Those are the best!
Truce: Better than that, my friend -- it's a CP3119-99A, the one with the self mounting assembly! [To the party] But, er, let's say this equipment can be used for making a key.
All: This equipment can be used for making a key.
Truce: You seem very sure, but a key to what?
Shor: We have absolutely no idea!
Truce: That's what I thought.
Alice: So what is it for?
Truce: I don't know -- what I meant is that I thought the same thing! [Checks his watch and then looks at his schedule] We only have 48 minutes to figure it out.
Charlie: [Looks at her watch and gasps. To Truce] If only you had not wasted so much time flirting and engaging in horseplay!
Truce: What about all the time you wasted colour coding and cross-referencing? And really, the flirting, was it time wasted? Really? I mean, look, [holds up his schedule] it's there in black and white. Scheduled. Efficient, cold and clear. I've had just about enough of your micro-managing, Puddin' Pop!
Alice: [Peers at the schedule] What's that at
2:45PM? Seduce Charlie? Is this how you seduce people?
Truce: [Shrugs and gives a smile] Hey, different strokes for different folks. [Holds up a previously unseen ping pong bag] Speaking of strokes...
Alice: [Blushes] I don't see that on the schedule!
Truce: [Points at the schedule] At 4PM. [Puts on some super dark shades and places a red light in the middle of the van]
Alice: What's this? To make the van look even sleazier?
Truce: No. [Taps the light and the van is filled with dazzlingly bright light]
Austin: This should be good, where's the popcorn?
Austin: [Shielding his eyes] My goodness! Is that really necessary! If you turn that off I can provide everyone with eye drops if required!
Alice: [Covers her eyes
[Mercifully the light turns off.]
Alice: [Looks around, startled, before calming herself
] Ah! Another time jump!
Clint: Suppose for the sake of argument that you people aren't just crazy. How are we going to figure out what key to make? Do you have any leads? Does it have anything to do with why we were all gathered together when we woke up, maybe?
Alice: My theory is that we all consumed some Chronofibre. [Looks around] Well, assuming that it has been invented, of course! Has it? [Looks around expectantly]
Charlie: [Excited] Oh, I do hope so! [To Truce] Has it?!
Shor: I'll tell you what has been invented brothers and sisters, and that is the bourgeois class system which lessens the working classes to the level of animal!
Truce: Indeed it has! By our friends in Strabonis industries!
Truce: Uh... sure, that's true, and we're here to stop it from being built!
Clint: [Looking around in confusion.] But only through the power of nonviolent resistance! [Spots Shor and does a double take.] Hey, my brother, I thought you were dead!
Shor: My passion and fervour for our cause of justice makes me invincible to the Nunpar criminals!
Austin: We must unite the people!
Clint: If the Nunpar is Joe, he must go!
Alice: No offence, but people are idiots! We need to avoid this problem completely!
Austin: Ignoring the problem won't make it go away. [Enthusiastically] We need to teach the people to forget their differences!
Alice: Oh please! That's about as realistic as teaching a Rana Temporaria third order differential equations! You're trying save a drowning man by scooping the ocean out with a spoon -- we need to stop him falling in the water in the first place!
Austin: [Aspirationally] I'm not trying to save a drowning man, I'm trying to save the ocean!
Charlie: [Inspired and starry-eyed] Oh, let us do both! Future generations will sings joyous songs of our soggy exploits!
Dur: What the hell is going on? Who are you people and why do you want to drown someone? I most certainly will not stand for it!
Alice: No, we're not trying to save someone, it's just that my colleague here misunderstands my analogy. [To Austin and Charlie] You see, in this scenario, the man is people in general, and the ocean is the oppressive HARMA regime!
Shor: And that ocean will be boiled to salt by our righteous ire, and that salt will be rubbed into the eyes of our oppressors!
Austin: Hm, I'm confused. I thought in this scenario the oppressors were the ocean?
Alice: Oh my god! Look, we don't have the time for this!
Truce: Actually, we do, but only another minute and a half. [Shows the schedule which has, to no one's surprise, five minutes allocated for "senseless arguing over semantics".]
Dur: And what's on the schedule after that?
Truce: I have a minute set aside for useless discussion about the level of granularity of the schedule.
Alice: And after that?
Truce: Five seconds for collective eye-rolling.
Alice: Hm, it does seem a bit too fine grained doesn't it?
Truce: [Offended] Hey! [Taps the schedule] Time and a place, and all that!
Charlie: [Nods approvingly] We should never accomplish anything otherwise! Now, perhaps we should try to find some help making this alleged key?
Austin: Unless the key stems the flood of inhumane treatment from HARMA, I say we don't bother with it.
Alice: Forget the flood! What we need to do is to stop HARMA from taking over in the first place!
Truce: Does this look familiar to any of you? [Holds up a Gavid's chart
Alice: Huh. These do seem familiar -- HEEs, no doubt!
when they were trapped outside during a
Energy Events", which are branching
Clint: Oh dear, they all seem so violent!
Alice: All the more reason to avoid them!
Shor: Is it possible to avoid them? Surely it's as inevitable as the bourgeois sampling the working classes underfoot!
Truce: No! That's the great thing about Prescienetics! Once we know the sequence of choices that led to something happening, we can avoid them!
Charlie: Isn't it splendid?! [Modestly] You might even say it is the greatest invention in the history of mankind!
Charlie: Isn't it splendid?! [Modestly] You might even say it is the
Shor: Actually, I think you'll find that it's gunpowder.
Charlie: [Scoffing] Oh, the power to destroy and maim is more valuable than the power to shape history itself?!
Charlie: [Scoffing] Oh, the power to destroy and maim is more valuable than
Alice: Actually, I think the greatest invention is the science that the time machine is actually based on, after all, that's the really creative part!
[To Alice] You are correct, but who invented that science?
Alice: [Momentarily startled, but then speaking with pride] I believe you'll find that it was me!
Truce: Sure, but the one who actually got the time machine working is the real genius here. Well done, unknown inventor of the Truce-o-matic 5000! [To the party] That was the missing part that was added to the time machine.
Alice: There are two different things. One is the time machine that Truce here used to bring Charlie here and that we can use to send something back to when the wall first went up, and the second is Chronofibre, which I believe everyone here consumed prior to waking up in that room.
Austin: [To Alice] This has dramatic implications in jurisprudence, but we should save the people first!
Alice: Well said! We don't have a moment to lose! Now, we only have the ability to send one thing back, ideally something that can be used to destroy the wall. We could repurpose some of Truce's rather disturbing sex toys to fashion a key of some sort, but what lock should it fit? Isn't that what Raniel said? We have to make a key?
Charlie: Yes, and we have conventional key-making materials [helpfully gestures to the pneumatic die grinder and vise grips], but we know nothing of the lock!
Truce: We better figure it out quickly because the time machine will run out of power in thirty minutes, and we better send something back to help them get through the wall!
Dur: Maybe we will better know what kind of key we need to make if we could see the lock?
Truce: That's just the problem! We don't know what the lock is -- just that there's a big wall there!
Dur: Then perhaps the key is more metaphorical, rather than physical?
Alice: Maybe! Maybe we need send something else back to help break down the wall? Didn't Hewis say something about that earlier?
Hewistalking about how the wall was penetrated
Austin: I think he said that Joe deliberately left some small holes in the wall? Perhaps a map of those holes?
Shor: [To Truce] According to your schedule, when do we realise how to solve the key problem?
Clint: Obviously the key is a message of peace and love!
Truce: [To Shor] Four hours ago.
Alice: [To Clint] It could be. [Nods] It could. Or, you know, maybe something useful? [Looks at Austin] There could well be information about the wall and any weaknesses, but where would it be?
Hewis: [Turns back and speaks ominously] The Horn.
Charlie: [Eagerly] Oh, do let us go at once!
Alice: Phew! It's obviously a nicer place than Hewis made it sound -- right?
Truce: It is the epicentre of evil in Unicorn City. It is the place where hope dies. Where ambition turns to ash, and where joy turns to an endless bureaucratic nightmare of form filling, waiting on hold and scrolling through pages and pages of confusing and meaningless user agreements.
Clint: [Wisely] These sorts of places will no longer be necessary when the bloodless revolution comes.
Austin: Sounds like it would burn well.
Clint: We need to stop them, bet there'd better not be any violence! Or, if we can avoid it, bad manners. At least, that's what I think.
[The van rounds a corner and the party can see an enormous building towering into the sky that is shaped just like a unicorn horn. It is dazzlingly bright, particularly amongst the drab background.]
Alice: How are we going to find this horn?
Shor: It's the shard of evil, the horn of our horrendous oppressors, brothers and sisters! Our journeys end!
brothers and sisters! Our journeys end!
Charlie: [Looks at the Horn appraisingly] Well, it IS in rather bad taste, but I shouldn't think it was as bad as all that!
Truce: I kinda like it. It's the Heads that I would be more concerned about.
Austin: The Heads? Who or what are they?
Charlie: [Disapprovingly] But surely he is just The Head? I find this erratic use of pluralization quite disturbing!
Austin: Perhaps 'Joe' is simply the name for the management team? So, what's the plan?
Truce: No, Joe is one of the Heads.
Alice: Who are the other ones?
Alice: [To Austin] The plan is to find out about the wall, but perhaps we should understand this whole Joe/Head situation first?
Austin: Perhaps we could meet them for tea, cake and a chat?
Shor: We should gouge the eyes from each heads sockets, rip the tongues from their mouths, for all their injustices carried out over the years!
Austin: We must first establish guilt, surely?
Charlie: [Looks at Shor, alarmed] Are you quite all right? [To Austin, in a low voice] Perhaps someone needs a nap--or heavy sedation?!
Alice: Look! No one's going to gouge anyone's eyes out, and we certainly won't be having tea and cake with them. These have both been illegal for centuries!
Truce: The Horn is the seat of power in Unicorn City and is heavily guarded, as senators and other political types spend a lot of time there.
Shor: Plotting how best to trod the working classes underfoot, how best to extinguish joy and hope in those they deem sub human, no doubt!
Austin: What a nasty bunch! How do we get in there to investigate? [Ponders. To Clint] Is that stuff in the tube, chronofiber, by any chance?
Alice: If only we knew someone that HARMA trusted, who could simply walk in! [Looks at the flask] I guess there's no way of knowing.
Truce: It is.
Charlie: [Excited, to Truce] Oh, but Professor *Basset-Kensington-Sleaze is trusted by HARMA, are you not?!*
Truce: We-ell.... there have been some stories, rumours really, that are just unkind and cruel, that may have somewhat compromised my credibility and ability to get us in there.
Austin: Well, Charlie is a dead ringer for the senator, that is probably our best approach to getting in, perhaps you could borrow some, erm, believable clothing and pretend to be the senator?
On Wed, 26 Sep 2018 at 12:13, dom
Alice: Really, Truce? Are they really untrue?
Truce: Untrue as in unproven!
Alice: [To Austin] Good idea -- senators wear drab white overalls, so, check!
Shor: And as I was previously the guard dog of the fascist senator, my appearance would not be suspicious to the stormtrooper goons within.
Charlie: How thrilling! I shall say you are my underpaid underlings! [Snaps her fingers at Dur] Fetch me a coffee, at once!
Alice: And my [smiles her migraine-inducing smile at the party
] disturbingly bright smile would also not be out of place, given that in this time, somehow a descendent of mine has become voice of the oppressor. I'm sure she was working from the inside to help bring down the regime, though, don't you think?
Truce: What matters is that you're here now, Puddin' Pop!
[The van pulls up a short distance from The Horn.]
Hewis: I can only stay here for a few seconds, otherwise the van will be vapourised. [Points to an ominous looking gate surrounded by scary looking barbed wire and men in what appears to be hard metal suits
] That's the way in.
Dur: Let's get this over with, I have sick and downtrodden people that urgently need my help!
Alice: Right! Everyone stick with me! [Opens the side door] And whatever you do, be cool. [Puts on some shades and steps out, getting her foot tangled up on a safety belt, falling to the ground] Ow! Help! They've got me! We're all gonna die!
Austin: [Untangles Alice's foot] I thought we were being cool? Or are we to be cool whilst you panic? [Considers this] I'm easy either way. [Straightens the cuff on his overalls]
to be cool whilst you panic? [Considers this] I'm easy either way. [Straightens the cuff on his overalls]
Charlie: [To Austin, helpfully] Perhaps she meant we should physically remain cool in temperature? For some sort of scientific experiment requiring chilled human tissue?
Alice: I was er... just checking out the view. [Looks up
] Yep, that's a tall tower right enough. Now, let's go! Hewis, it's okay for you to-
[HEWIS zooms off into the distance.]
[Book X, Act X, Scene VII. Outside The Horn. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, SHOR and TRUCE are here, being eyed menacingly by a bunch of "Unigoons", which everyone recognises as elite HARMA officers who's main qualifications seem to be humourlessness and an even higher level of dickishness than one would normally associate with HARMA.]
Alice: Right. Let's do this thing.
Clint: But in a peaceful, nonshouty sort of way. It's important not to lower ourselves to their level.
[One of the Unigoons, CHOCO TOMPARS, approaches the party.]
Choco: State your business.
Clint: [Mildly] The Senator would like entrance, please.
mild-mannered secretary or something.
Choco: What senator? State your business or we will shoot.
Charlie: [Steps forward commandingly] This senator! I am on important government business, along with my staff! [To Austin] You! Fetch me a sharp pencil! [To Shor] You! Get me those notes on Senate Resolution 467-23 parts Q-V!
Austin: [Looks round to see if there is a pencil or writing implement anywhere]
Choco: Oh, sorry, Senator! [Takes out a large, gun like device] Let's just do your retina scan and we'll be fine.
Charlie: [To Choco, eyeing the gun] Certainly, if you feel insecure in your authority to allow me to pass, though I should really prefer not to muss my mascara before the big vote! [Bats her eyelashes awkwardly]
Choco: Present your eye or we will shoot.
Alice: [To the party] Fascinating! She clearly is an ancestor of the Charlie from this time, but will her retina be close enough?
Charlie: [To Choco] Very well, but if I look like a raccoon in the publicity photos for the vote, I shall blame you! [Nervously presents her eye to Choco]
Choco: I'll live with the disappointment. [Scans Charlie's eye and looks at the result] Hm. 72% match?
Alice: Is that good?
Choco: What do you mean "is that good"? Of course it's not!
Alice: Actually, what I meant is if is good considering.... [turns lamely to the party] you know, the um... thing? Tell them man!
Clint: Considering the senator's recent cataract surgery? I'd say it's about what you'd expect.
Austin: Better than you would expect, and not surprising with Joe's personal eye surgeon! The finest work in the city!
personal eye surgeon! The finest work in the city!
Charlie: [Nods quickly] Yes, I am so pleased to learn my eye is practically back to normal after my recent surgery! [Adds lamely, covering her eye] Ow!
Shor: I can personally vouch for the Senator's eye surgery.
Choco: And you are?
Alice: Give me strength! He's personally vouching for the Senator's eye surgery!
[CHOCO points his scanner at SHOR.]
Choco: We'll see! [Reads the result and looks worried
] Er, I mean, that is, I see. Please, go ahead!
Shor: You have inexplicably detained and delayed the senator, a senator who is recovering from major eye surgery, I add, on this important day! You will be hearing about this! [Leans closely towards Choco] I hope you still have your government issue civilian overalls!
Choco: Gibber! No, I had to hand them in this morning to prevent an unauthorised absence from work!
Charlie: [Looks at Choco in disgust] You make me sick! [To Shor] Let us go, and quickly! This fool has delayed us long enough!
Shor: Indeed! [Heads past Choco]
Dur: Disgusting. [Walks past
[CHOCO's head drops.]
Clint: Tsk! [Walks past
[CHOCO's head drops further.]
[CHOCO's head drops even further.]
Truce: Man, you should be ashamed.
Choco: Yeah? How's that donkey?
Truce: First off, it wasn't a donkey, and second... [looks at the party
] hey, why am I taking guff from some Unigoon who's harassing a senator with an eye transplant?
Austin: And a peeping-tom too!
Choco: [Drops his head again
[The party enter the foyer which is completely white and sterile, with dozens of Unigoons standing around on guard. They walk up to a huge secretary's station where an aggressive looking secretary, CAROLE KANE, sits with her arms folded, staring at the party.]
Charlie: [Curtly] Do watch your tone! You are speaking to a Senator!
Clint: [Gasps] Senator, the ache in your eye is no reason to be snippy! What if word got back to your constituents?
Carole: Oh please. It's not like you people do anything, is it? Now, what do you want? You're wasting my valuable time.
Alice: What were you doing before we came?
Carole: Sitting here stewing in anger because I am so bored with having nothing to do.
Austin: What would you like to be doing?
Carole: Finding out what the hell you people want!
Charlie: We are going to The Horn, of course! And you are delaying our progress with your questions!
Carole: This IS THe Horn! I am not delaying your progress, because you've already got here. Now, unless you actually want to do something here, I suggest you leave!
Shor: And what a good suggestion it is too. Come along senator.
Charlie: Indeed, I underestimated your wisdom, young lady! [To Shor] Let us hurry, for we have important work to do. [Waves the party to follow her] Forward, staff!
Alice: Uh... are we really just going to leave?
[The party turn to look at TRUCE talking CAROLE.]
Truce: How's the neck? Did it heal up?
Carole: [Giggles foolishly
] It had a rash for aaaages!
Charlie: [Watches Truce and shudders. To the party] This sounds like a private conversation, so we had better leave them to it! [Attempts to go past the receptionist desk and into the building]
Austin: Sounds like personal hygiene is not quite up to scratch around
Shor: That should be reported, senator.
Dur: Poor personal hygiene is one of the leading causes of disease among the poor and down trodden. It should be considered a crime!
[An alarm BLARES and CAROLE leaps up, screaming.]
Carole: Help! Help!
Truce: Yeeesh, dumpling! Take it easy!
Carole: Not you, them! [Points accusingly at the party
] Stop them!
[A bunch of Unigoons come racing towards the party.]
Shor: [Shouts at the unigoons] What's the meaning of this?
Dur: Perhaps the time for questions has passed and we should make haste to our objective?
[One of the Unigoons, BARRY PARIS, steps up to SHOR.]
Barry: Good question! What IS the meaning of this?
Charlie: Indeed, why am I, an important Senator, being kept from my important business? [To Barry] Do have a word with those guards, would you?!
Barry: Being an important senator, you know full well you need to check in with Cheryl.
Barry: Whatever. Check in with her and state your business. [Sighs] Senators! Democracy would run a whole lot more smoothly if we didn't have any voting!
Clint: Say, do you think a proposal to that effect would make it through?
Barry: [Shrugs] Doesn't really matter, does it? Now, what do you people want here?
Charlie: Well, Cheryl, we are going to examine the wall in advance of an important vote on infrastructure and maintenance!
Carole: Carole! My name is Carole! And if you want to examine the wall, then why are you in here? This is the The Horn! There's no wall here!
Alice: But there is information about Infrastructure and Stuff, right?
Carole: Well... yes.
Truce: And Maintenance and Stuff?
Carole: I suppose...
Charlie: [Nods vigorously at Truce's words] Precisely my point! We should like to examine all of the Infrastructure and Maintenance Stuff!
Carole: Oh, well, okay. Then in that case, you better got to Room 538-291.
Truce: Thanks Cheryl. Maybe a bit later we might have a bit of an old... [does a choking motion with his hands]
Carole: [Giggles mindlessly] Oh, you!
Alice: Ew! [Heads to the elevator]
Austin: Gross! [Heads to the elevator]
[The party head to the elevator where ALICE presses the button impatiently.]
Alice: How much time before we have to use the you-know-what, Truce?
Truce: Uh.. it's in the freezer, so it's good for a few months.
Truce: Wait, what are we talking about again?
Alice: The time machine!
Truce: Oh! Fifteen minutes.
Charlie: [To Truce] Do stay focused on our goal! Time is of the essence! [Lets out a chortle that ends in an undignified snort] You see, the meaning of the idiomatic phrase in this instance relates both to our need to move quickly, as well as the fact that our goal is to find a TIME machine!
Clint: Ah, it's by telling dad jokes that you're going to try to fit in with the old men in the Senate?
Shor: I think the only way of fitting in with those old ignorant fascists is by turning yourself into a xenophobic, rascist and bigotted old pervert.
Shor: I think the only way of fitting in with those old ignorant fascists t. than that, because essence also is another word for extract, and we use concentrated Chronofibre! [Guffaws and holds his ribs, shaking with mirth]
Alice: [Presses the lift button repeatedly] Oh my god!
han that, because essence also is another word for extract, and we use concentrated Chronofibre! [Guffaws and holds his ribs, shaking with mirth]
Charlie: [To Truce, nodding enthusiastically] The meaning works on several different levels, thus increasing the humor exponentially! [Laughs so hard she can barely breathe]
Austin: Distilled humour!
Alice: For the love of god! [Hammers at the button, and eventually the elevator arrives] Saved by the bell1
Shor: I was enjoying the Muzak! What was that,the Death March played on a xylophone?
Alice: I think it was the Deaf March. [Climbs in and hits 538]
Austin: Ahh, a great band, "The Grateful Deaf", that was real music!
Alice: No way. Give me the Deaf Kennedys any day! Too funk to druck, now that's what I call music, too.
Charlie: [Listening, clearly baffled] Oh, yes! I, too, enjoy chamber music and other trendy musical styles!
Clint: Maybe we should do our best not to draw attention to ourselves? I don't think music, or laughing, are on the list of officially short-lived activities. Besides, the sooner we get this over with, the lower the chances that we have to keep listening to the comedy stylings of Heckle and Jeckle here, and thus the lower the chance that I'm forced to break my vow of nonviolence!
[The elevator bings into life and zooms up.]
Alice: So we're going to waltz in and ask to see a map of vulnerabilities? Is that really going to work?
Truce: Maybe if we sashayed?
Clint: What we need is a distraction. Someone that will appeal to their grotesque sensibilities. Someone like... him! [Nods towards Austin.]
Truce: I like him fine. I think he's a very attractive man!
Charlie: Perhaps we can suggest that our interest in the wall's vulnerabilities relate to a study into fortifying our defenses? That seems a senatorial sort of thing to take an interest in!
Shor: That sounds plausible, and you could enhance the lie by claiming l that you've heard from a source that the great unwashed masses are planning to attempt a breach!
Alice: [As the party reach the allotted door] Oh, and everyone say things like "Go with Joe" to sound like we're true believers!
Austin: Go Joe! Even catchier!
Alice: Are you trying to get us killed? That sort of enthusiasm doesn't go down well in Unicorn City!
Austin: [Boringly deadpan] Gojoe.
Alice: Take it down a step or two and you'll be fine.
Charlie: [To Austin, nodding] Humorous, but it lacks the sophistication of my word play!
Austin: [Sadly] That was not a joke, it was woefulness.
Alice: Much better. [To the party] See the hollowed eyes? The slack jaw? He fits in better now.
Austin: [Woeful] Thank you for your kind words. If only they were more than a single shining star in the eternity of darkness that is the nights sky of my soul.
Alice: Hm. Now you're just trying too hard. It's kind of bring me down.
Austin: [Sadly] Weep no more, woeful knights, weep no more. For Austin your sorrow is not dead, sunk though he be beneath this dystopian floor.
Truce: It's amazing how less attractive everybody is when they quote Milton. [Opens the door and walks in, greeting the person inside loudly] Hello my friend!
Shor: Milton? Isn't that the stuff they disinfect babies bottles with? Anyway,prepare to meet our first xenophobic racist pervert senator!
Alice: No, they disinfect babies with it. [Shudders
] Filthy things!
[The party enter the room.]
[Book X, Act X, Scene VIII. Room 538-291. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, SHOR and TRUCE have just entered, sitting inside is a nervous young HARMA officer, WALLY WALTER-WALL.]
Wally: Uh... how can I help you?
Charlie: Hello, young man! I need to see all of our files on the structural integrity of the wall right away. Urgent Senate business! [Gestures to Shor] Hand the files to him, if you would.
Shor: [Waits three seconds] Well,what's keeping you?
Wally: Uh, but I don't anything about it.
Alice: Aren't you the Wall Guy?
Wally: [Sighs sadly] Yes.
Dur: We don't need to know what you know and don't know, Son, we just need the files.
Wally: What if I don't know anything about files? Do you want to know that I don't know that?
Clint: Not in that tone we don't!
Wally: Uh... how about this tone? [Licks his lips salaciously] What if I don't.... know anything [sucks his finger] about files? [Pause] Do you want to [takes off his glasses and flutters his eyelids] know that I don't [licks his lips again] know that?
Austin: Errm, nope. Do you like Milton?
Wally: I'm not sure I can get his tone right, but... [dramatically] What if 't be true I don't wot aught about files? Doth thou wanteth to wot yond I don't wot yond?
Austin: Hmm, not bad, how about T.S.Eliot?
Clint: [Confused.] Wot?
Wally: I don't think he knows much about walls, and even if he did, he's dead.
Charlie: [Relieved] Good, we could use fewer poets if you ask me! [To Wally] If you do not have access to the files on the wall, who does?
Austin: Are there any files on the wall?
Wally: No, they're all in the computer.
Alice: Why are you the Wall Guy if you don't know anything about walls?
Wally: I think it was all some horrible misunderstanding on account of my name, Wally Walter-Wall. I don't even like walls, I'm way more of a window guy.
Austin: May we see the files on the computer?
Wally: Uh, the computer's broken. [Steps in front of a screen that's clear turned on]
Austin: Oh, [tries to duck to the side to see what is on the screen]
Wally: No! [Blocks him
[AUSTIN feints to the other side and soon gets a look at the screen, much to WALLY's horror.]
Wally: No! Please! Please don't judge me! I just get so... lonely up here. There aren't even any windows. Just this hyperrealistic drawing of one, look. [Points to what looks like a child's drawing of a window
[No one looks at the drawing of the window, but instead the entire party are drawn to the unspeakable perversions on WALLY's screen.]
Alice: Is... is that basically a woman in standard issue HARMA overalls?
Truce: Not quite -- look, she missed a button halfway up and you can see part of her stomach. [Sighs sadly
] Oh, the youth of today.
Austin: Joe would be very, very, sad about this.
Charlie: [Shields her eyes and gasps] Quickly! Pull up the records on the wall so we ladies needn't be subjected to this [darkly] PORNOGRAPHY.
Dur: Precisely. Perhaps if you let us access the files we need, we will ‘forget’ to mention it to him.
=E2=80=98forget=E2=80=99 to mention it to him.
Wally: I don't even know how to use it! I just use it for playing Solitaire and, well...
Alice: Playing solitarily?
Wally: [Drops his head] I always feel bad afterwards.
Clint: Not that you should be doing it, but are you sure you're doing it right?
Alice: Maybe he hasn't had as much practice as you, Clint?
Charlie: [To Clint, giggling] She means to suggest that you spend a lot of time on your own, which is rather sad and depressing! [Thinks again] Wait, that's a dreadful thing to tease someone about! Perhaps he cannot help the many things others find repulsive about him!
Austin: [Changing the subject] It's a pity there are no windows, it's a lovely day today.
Alice: I was suggesting nothing of the sort! [Rubs Clint's arm reassuringly] I was merely suggesting that he has considerable experience of masturbation!
Wally: Aw! I wish I could see it, but someone has to be in this office at all times.
Clint: Go on. We've got this covered and you can go see the day and enjoy a bit of me time.
Austin: [Nods in agreement] Yes, the Heads are always having nap times.
Wally: Really? [Big smile
] Wow! Great! I'll just get my, er, magazine.
[Opens a drawer and pulls out a plain brown paper bag, out from which pops a magazine called "Harmandate". The cover has a picture of a man in HARMA overalls, coyly looking over his shoulder at the camera.]
Wally: [As the magazine falls to the floor
] I only get it for the articles on cars!
Truce: You should look at the porn too, it's pretty good.
] Yes, I'm off to the toil-- er, window, I mean, outside!
[WALLY races out.]
Alice: [Shakes her head sadly
Austin: [Waves goodbye to Wally, then turns to the computer] So, this is a computer?
Truce: Yes! Being from the past, none of you have even the slightest notion of the information superhighway that is at our finger tips. Every conceivable piece of information is online here in HARMA HQ. [Moves the mouse.
[The screen displays "CONGRATULATIONS! You are our 100,000th visitor of the day! You have won a myPad!". TRUCE clicks it away and goes to the "HARMA Advanced Research Machine Access" site.]
Alice: Really? Ask it where my socks are!
Truce: [Types in
] Where are Alice's socks?
Screen: She is wearing them. If not, she should be immediately arrested for gross indecency in a HARMA building.
Alice: [Lifts her trousers to show her socks
] Wow! This thing is great!
Charlie: Oh, how marvelous! Ask it whether or not I shall receive a promotion to full professor!
Truce: Sure! "Will Charlie receive a promotion to full professor?"
Screen: No, because such a position serves no useful purpose other than as a receptacle for coffee and ungraded exam papers.
Truce: Don't take it hard. It always says something snarky about professors. Ever since education was made illegal they're reputation is just awful.
Alice: What was it like before they were made illegal?
Truce: Way worse! Everyone hated them!
Clint: Ooh, ask it if we have time to be asking it silly questions!
Charlie: How dreadful! Professors are adored in my era. I was even given a charming pet name, [finger quotes] Chilly Charlie. [To the party, explaining] I believe it is a reference to my naturally relaxed personality, phrased in student vernacular.
Alice: Those crazy kids -- in my era it would meant that they didn't like you!
Truce: Niiice. [To Clint] No need, it's right here. [Shows him the clipboard] We have ten minutes to figure out what we're going to send back in the time machine, so if we want to get information about the wall, we better do it right now!
Austin: [Watches Truce stop typing, and hands him a wet wipe] Here, you should probably use this.
Truce: For what? What do you think he....
[DEUCE trails off as everyone's eyes are drawn to the minimised picture that WALLY had been trying to hide earlier.]
Truce: Oh. Oh yeah, this just ... um, disgusting?
] Oh... Truce!
Truce: Yeah! [Nods, now quite certain
] Disgusting! [To Austin
] That's what you meant, right? [Cleans his hands
Austin: Yes. Though I understand why you would overlook such a possibility. Who ever thought of combining a miniature library machine with erotic images was clearly on to a money maker. All be it a rather distasteful one.
Clint: When the revolution comes we'll have to find a better use for these things. Maybe educational texts or something.
Shor: My guess is it will be primarily used for sending pictures of cats dressed in amusing outfits. ;; Sorry for my absence Thurs and Friday. Bloody flu bug
Truce: That's only in the Dark Web -- HARMA expressly forbid the dressing of any animals in human clothes; something about it being the thin end of the edge towards inter species marriage.
Austin: Is it not enough to ban it on the ground that it is tasteless!
Alice: Oh please! What could be more adorable than seeing a bunch of puppies dressed in 1920s-style gangster suits posing beside jazz instruments?
Charlie: Oh, I know! I know! Seeing kittens dressed as detectives with little magnifying glasses clutched in their tiny paws, following mice paw-prints!
Alice: [Sceptical] I don't know... I don't quite understand that scenario. I mean, surely in the cat/mouse relationship, it would be more appropriate for the mice to be detectives, searching down clues for some savage kitten serial killer?
Austin: None of that sounds educational in anyway!
Alice: [Defensively] It's also not doing anything to help us find flaws in the wall!
Shor: Search for Wall Blueprints.
results. Hm, that=E2=80=99s more than we can realistically examine in nine = minutes.
results. Hm, that=E2=80=99s more than we can realistically examine in nine = minutes.
Charlie: How narrowing it to reports on breaches of the wall? Or repairs?
Charlie: How narrowing it to reports on breaches of the wall? Or repairs?
Truce: Let=E2=80=99s try repairs. 82 million!
Alice: What? How could it be more?
Truce: [Shrugs] Idunno, but we=E2=80=99re down to eight minutes to figure o= ut what to send back to break the wall down.
Austin: How about "Secret escape routes through the wall"?
Truce: [Tests it out] One hit!
Shor: What does it say?
Shor: What does it say? back, with a blaring alarm sounding out. The words "Access Denied" flash repeatedly on the screen.]
Truce: Access denied.
> [TRUCE clicks the link and the screen starts to flash red and back,
Shor: Quickly, ask it why?
Clint: Can we log in to the senator's account from here?
Charlie: Oh, do so! Perhaps I have access. [Frowns] I hope they ask for optical verification and not a password, though!
Deuce: [Clicks away at the computer
] Let's see!
[The monitor immediately challenges for a password. Meanwhile, the alarm is still going off.]
Alice: I think we better get out of here. Whatever we send back to the past to let them blow a hole in the wall certainly won't be plans for the wall! [Thinks
] Or whatever sad excuse for pornography they have in this hell hole.
Charlie: How disappointing--all of that subterfuge gone to waste! [To the group] Hurry, before we are detained by HARMA goons!
[There's an awful banging on the door and voice calls out.]
Voice: Goons! [Bangs again
Charlie: [Gasps] Just as I feared! [Looks around quickly] Is there another way out?
Truce: The only ways out of these offices is either through the door or the window!
[Everyone turns to look at where they would have expected there to be a window. There is none. The banging continues.]
Alice: Come on! We better let him in, but we need an excuse for why the alarm went off. [Thinks
] Or at least an unsuspecting victim we're prepared to sacrifice!
Shor: [Pushes his weight up against the door]
Alice: How much time before we have to use the time machine?
Truce: Five minutes!
Charlie: [Snaps her fingers] We can blame the pitiful man with the filthy urges! [To Truce] Not you, the other one!
Truce: You mean throw that pathetic, worthless and lonely loser to the wolves who will almost certainly torture him to death? [Big smile] I like it!
Austin: [Tries to open the door. To the Goons] Where have you been? The senator has been waiting for minutes. This post should be manned at all times!
[SHOR lets AUSTIN opens the door, to reveal a party of Unigoons outside, including BARRY PARIS that the party had dealt with earlier.]
Barry: What? No it shouldn't! This is that loser Wally's office -- what's going on?
[SHOR lets AUSTIN opens the door, to reveal a party of Unigoons
Austin: [Demanding] Where's Wally? I do hope you did not let him go awol!
Austin: [Nods] Can you fix this awful alarm, or do you need someone with higher authority?
Shor: We came into the room to investigate this crazy ruckus and found it empty!
Barry: No, it needs some with Supergoon authority!
Truce: Ahem. [Taps his watch with his clipboard to get the party's attention and then mouths the words "Four Minutes"]
Clint: Then you'd better get one, and find Wally while you're at it, hadn't you? We'll leave you to it. If you're ready, Madame Senator?
Dur: Maybe we can send back the dangerous chemical we've been carrying around with us?
Barry: What dangerous chemical?
[Everyone looks super guilty.]
Charlie: The dangerous chemical spilled by that dangerous pervert!
Charlie: No, not you! The other one!
[The party race out, slamming the door after them.]
Truce: [To Dur
] I think you mean the Chronofibre -- that's what we use to send something back. Come on, think! We only have three minutes to send something back -- remember, they don't have weaponry to damage the wall back when it goes up first.
Clint: Could we send back some kind of explosives?
Alice: Yes! That would mean that as long as they get close to the wall, they could just blow it open. [Thinks] Although we still don't know what "make a key" means.
Charlie: [Hopefully] Well, a key opens a door, so perhaps blowing a hole in a wall could be argued to perform a similar function!
Alice: We don't have much time to debate it, so we better focus on getting something explosive. Truce, is there some secret, well protected stash of explosives?
Truce: Yes, but it is so well protected that even the bazookas that they store in the rarely locked and poorly guarded room beside it can't pierce the wall.
Austin: Has that theory been tested recently, or at all?
Truce: Not by me, no, but the HARMA propaganda machine seems confident!
Shor: There's only one way to find out! Bazooka time!
Austin: [To Shor] Remember just to blow the doors off!
Alice: To the Bazooka Room!
[The party race down the corridor.]
] Does anyone know where the Bazooka Room is?
Shor: Of course, it's the one next to the room with the explosives. Hmm, perhaps a bazooka isn't the best option. Too late now though!
[The party continue running, and soon realise they have run around in a circle and encounter BARRY PARIS, who's peering out of WALLY's room.]
Alice: [Struggling for breath
] You! [Stops and pants hard
] Where's... where's the bazooka room?
] That's classified! Do you know how poorly locked and rarely guarded that room is? I can't just go telling people where it is!
Shor: The senator is on a bazooka room inspection, and that is the bazooka room she is due to inspect!
Barry: With all due respect, she should know where that room is! I can tell you the location of most rooms, but not, my friend, the Bazooka Room.
Clint: [Diplomatically] The senator's memory isn't what it used to be after that traumatic eye surgery!
Clint: [Diplomatically] The senator's memory isn't what it used to be after that traumatic eye surgery!
Barry: Oh, sorry to hear that. [Writes something down and hands it over]
Alice: [Reading the note] "I won't tell you where the Bazooka Room is".
Shor: Tell you what, why don't you direct us to the room next to the bazooka room. That way we can find our own way the rest of the way, and you'll still have followed the rules!
Barry: Oh please. What sort of idiot do you take me for?
Austin: [To the party] Please! Don't disrespect the man! We shall instead continue the senator's reporting in a different room. [Looks at Truce's clipboard] Now, where is the Gunpowder Room?
Barry: That's downstairs -- Room 2-023.
Charlie: [To Barry, with a gasp] So near the Bazooka Room?! That seems like poor planning.
Shor: Just as well you're here to inspect them, senator! I think you'll be making a lot of recommendations!
Barry: Oh! So you DO know where there Bazooka Room is? Niiice. You really nearly had me believing you were just some sort of impersonators!
Austin: Well done, you passed the test with flying colours! Keep up the good work.
Barry: Will do -- I need to keep a close eye on that computer. There is [whispers] pornography there! [Goes back into Wally's room]
Charlie: [Dramatically] To the Gunpowder Room!
[Everyone high fives and hugs each other as though someone has just scored a fantastic goal.]
Truce: Er, where is that again?
Alice: Beside the Bazooka Room!
[Book X, Act X, Scene IX. A Hallway. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, SHOR and TRUCE are here, standing across from two doors. One has all sorts of forbidding looking "Entry Prohibited" type notices on it, while the other is slightly ajar.]
Alice: [Pointing to the open door
> [Book X, Act X, Scene IX. A Hallway. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE,
Shor: I'll check. [Peeks around the door]
Truce: [Looks the up and down] I've never wanted to kill something more in my life!
Shor: [Turns and grins] I know, right?
Austin: Let's check and see if it's open first! [Checks the door for traps and then check to see if it opens, if safe] What is he blast radius of a bazooka?
traps and then check to see if it opens, if safe] What is he blast radius of a bazooka?
Charlie: [Ponders] Let me see [scribbles notes on a notepad, muttering numbers to herself] right, carry the one and, er--[shrugs and holds her hands apart a few feet] this much?
Truce: That looks about right. [To Austin] The rest of us will stand over there while you fire it. I suggest you stand [points to a spot] there, so you don't get any blowback.
Austin: [To Truce] What a preposterous suggestion! [Walks to a very very safe distance]
Truce: [Watching Austin walk way, way down the hall] Hm. I guess it'll have to be someone else then! [Looks at Shor and Clint] I'd do it only... well, you know.... I don't want to.
Austin: [Calls to Truce] Chicken!
Truce: Normally I prefer ham, but it's so hard to get real meat in this place then, sure, I'll have some chicken!
Charlie: [To Truce, decisively] We have no time for snacks! [To Shor, nodding at the bazooka] Didn't you suggest you enjoy enjoy this sort of thing?! Well, hop to! [Claps her hands commandingly]
Clint: I hope no one is hurt! If we weren't in such a hurry I'd object to this as being too much like violence!
Shor: [Picks up the bazooka and aims] Watch out for any rebounds!
[BLAM! SHOR fires the bazooka and a shell hits the door of the explosive room full blast, before coming zooming back at him. He ducks at the last second as it narrowly misses him and zooms down the hallway.]
Alice: [Inspecting the door
] It's barely even scratched!
Truce: We've got 45 seconds before the window for the time machine closes!
Charlie: Oh, dear! Perhaps we could use the bazooka in the Gunpowder Room? Surely that would be a tremendous blast. [Hesitates] Or kill us all instantly!
Austin: It's for the people! to Save the world! Let's do it! [Pauses] And you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs!
Alice: But how do we get in there?
Truce: Twenty seconds! We're going to have to send something back!
Alice: We can't get through this [taps the door] crazy material whatever it is, so we can't send back any explosive powder!
Austin: As Charlie said fire the bazooka into the Gunpowder room!
Alice: That's what he just did! [To Shor
] Try going through the wall!
[SHOR obliges by firing the bazooka inside the Bazooka Room at the wall of the Gunpowder Room. Once again, nothing happens.]
Truce: Twenty seconds!
[Alarms sound and flashing lights go off.]
Alice: I think maybe someone heard us!
Austin: Oooh, well fire the bazooka into the bazooka room!
Truce: Fifteen seconds!
Charlie: [Wails] It isn't working! Hurry, we had better flee so we do not end up in detention!
Truce: We better send something back before we go, or your ancestors won't be able to do anything!
Charlie: [Offers a notebook jammed with scribbled notes] Here are some of my notes! [To the others] Do any of you have anything you could send?
Truce: [Lamely] We could offer them some of Austin's chicken? You know, the stuff he was eating when the bazooka was first fired.
Alice: Never mind the notes and chicken, what can we send them back that will blow something up?
Charlie: Can we send the Bazooka back? Or a barrel of gunpowder?
Truce: Seven seconds! [Takes out a tiny gun like device, which he fills up with something from Dur's flask
[Bunches of heavily armed Unigoons appear, racing down the corridors towards the party.]
Alice: That's it! The bazooka!
[SHOR tosses the bazooka onto the ground beside the notes and no chicken.]
Truce: Two seconds! [Fires the time machine, causing the bazooka, notes and no chicken to disappear.
Austin: That was not as glorious as I had hoped. [Looks glum]
Dur: So.... how will we know if it worked?
Truce: Hm. Well, I guess we didn't change the past, then?
Alice: Of course not, that's impossible, it's already happened. However, what we have done is created a wealth of new branching points, opening a whole new world of possibilities for our ancestors to take a different path to us.
Truce: Huh. Then... when you said that we could change the past, you were....?
Alice: Lying. I didn't think you'd help otherwise.
Truce: What happens now?
Alice: Either we get thrown in jail and horribly tortured for the rest of our lives, or we each grab a bazooka and go out in a hail of glory!
Dur: Not much for choices are they? Hopefully whoever is on the other side of that time machine fair a bit better!
Austin: [Sighs] Well it was nice knowing you all. [Goes to try an get a fully loaded Bazooka ]
Alice: [Grabs one and checks it out
] These seem quite straightforward!
[The Unigoons are charging from every direction, led by BARRY.]
Barry: Put those down immediately! [To another Unigoon
] How the hell did they find that room?
Truce: [Picks one up
] I guess this is it! [Points it at the oncoming Unigoons
Charlie: [Grabs a bazooka and points it at Barry] Tell your goons to lower their weapons! It is almost certainly a high crime to threaten the life of a public official!
Barry: Everybody, take aim and fire at will!
Clint: [Steps into the way to protect the party] Is this a bad time to mention that I'm a pacifist?
[Bang! CLINT gets shot in the face, spraying the party in blood.]
Alice: Kill them all! [Fires her bazooka at Barry
Dur: Some part of me always knew it would end like this! [Picks up a bazooka and starts firing]
Truce: [Starts firing into the Unigoons] I sure hope the other branch turns out better than this!
Alice: [Also firing] It can't be any worse!
Shor: [Fires at rocket at Barry. Delighted] This couldn't be any better!
Charlie: [Opens fire.To Shor] Couldn't it?! I could do with less blood and brains, personally!
Dur: And Less death. I’m sure our pacifist friend could have done with less death…
with less death=E2=80=A6
[Exit ALL in a blaze of glory.]
[Book X, Act X, Scene X. A corridor in Queens View. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and SHOR are here, having just stepped out into the corridor from the room they had occupied with TIMOTHY BLEARY in Act X, Scene V. Every stands still for a few moments.]
Timothy: Dues! Dues! Hey! Can you hear me?
Alice: [To the party
] What the hell was that?
Timothy: It's me, dues! Hello!
Austin: No, something far more disturbing than a filthy, naked hippy!
Charlie: [Excited] How thrilling! We appear to be key players in a vast, complex, multi-dimensional, time-traveling storyline! Just as I always dreamed I would be when I was a girl!
Alice: Forget that! [Even more excited] Did you guys see how white my teeth were? What a time to be alive!
Dur: [Cowardly once again] I'd rather focus on not ending up like that other me, thank you very much. There is so much rubbish left in the world to eat! I'm too young to die!
Austin: And I'm too beautiful to, but that didn't prevent the other me from dying [strikes a dramatic pose] standing up for what he believes in, equality, fraternity and excellent fashion. [Sigh!]
Alice: Er, so, if there is some truth to the visions, then where is the bazooka?
Charlie: [Looks around] Are we in precisely the same position we were? Perhaps the bazooka is hidden somewhere safe!
Alice: I think we are -- maybe the bazooka appeared in the same place it was sent from? You know, maybe time travel and Prescienetics are rotationally, spatially and temporally invariant? Hey, now not only do I know math I know a whole pile of new words too!
Austin: What does Prescienetics mean?
Alice: [Shrugs] Idunno. I just remember other Alice saying it when she was trying to impress Truce. And why not, eh? I mean, wow!
Clint: Well I for one refuse to believe it's true! Imagine, me as a wimpy pacifist!
Alice: I thought it was adorable! Maybe that is who you really are?
Clint: [Hurt] Hey! I didn't accuse you of being a collaborating sellout! So, this alleged bazooka... I guess we'd better go look for it or something.
Shor: That was a really odd sensation! Did anyone else just have a vision of being tortured in the basement? I'll bet that's where the bazooka is!
Alice: That's right! And that's where we were in the future too!
Charlie: [Excited] Marvelous! Let us go to the basement at once!
[The party load into an elevator and start heading down.]
Alice: Does anyone remember the thing about us needing to make a key?
Charlie: Oh, indeed! But we still do not know what the key is, do we?
Alice: No! And I hope we don't need it to open a door like we couldn't blow the bazooka through!
Shor: Very true! However, I'm sure with our usual grit and determination, we will find a way!
Clint: [Clearly trying to make up for being a wimpy pacifist in the visions] Preferably one involving mindless cartoonish violence!
[Bing! The lift hits the correct floor.]
Alice: You're trying a bit too hard, there, Stinky. You're kinda embarrassing yourself!
Charlie: [To Clint] Indeed, we now understand that underneath your thuggish exterior lurks the gentle soul of a [vaguely] poet or painter or some such, and you needn't try to explain. We will shield you from life's ugly realities!
On Thu, 18 Oct 2018 at 10:09, Heather
Alice: Oooh! So it's all an act? All this time, he's aching to love and be loved! I bet he has all sorts of sad and depressing poems about saddos who pretend to be on the spectrum and who lock themselves in their bedrooms listening to Rye Mechincal Comance while writing in their diary about how the so-called [finger quotes] mean blonde chick broke their heart by pretending she was going to prom with them. I mean, as if!
and be loved! I bet he has all sorts of sad and depressing poems about
Austin: [To Alice] Have you been reading his diary again?
Alice: It's not a [dismissively] diary, it's an Emotion Journal!
Charlie: [To Clint, shuddering] Do keep that thing away from me, along with the pink, fuzzy, strawberry-scented, heavily bejeweled pen you use to write in it!
Alice: I know, right? He could have someone's eye out with tall those little charms hanging off it!
[Finally, the door of the elevator slides open revealing the hallway in which JESSIE encountered the party in the previous timeline.]
Dur: Is this the place then? [Looks around for a bazooka]
Austin: [To Alice] After seeing it they may wish they never had! [Peeks out of the elevator]
Alice: It seems to be, but I don't see any bazooka. [Points to a large door] Isn't that where that weird guy in the suit was?
Shor: It certainly was!
Austin: [Tuts and rolls his eyes] Philistines and reprobates!
Alice: Do you think that maybe the weirdo in the strange suit now has a bazooka?
[Everyone turns to look at AUSTIN.]
Alice: No! The other weirdo!
Alice: Hey! Be careful Aus, or you-know-who will have to take some time out to write about you in his Journal of Trampled Feelings!
Clint: [Pulls out his journal of trampled feelings and adds a note with a sparkly pink pen] Dear diary - when the lawyer roasts on the griddle, he shall not be alone.
Charlie: [To Alice, in a stage whisper] Shh! He [points at Clint] can hear you, and we haven't time to cope with floods of tears!
Alice: Yeesh, Clint. There is a door over there that needs kicking -- wouldn't that do more for your manliness than writing with... hey! That's my pen!
Clint: Not any more! [Applies boot A to door B] And not any more!
[CLINT bashes the door open, revealing what appears to be a bathroom, much to the surprise of (presumably) JESSIE CRAVEN, who is sitting over a bucket in the middle of the floor (about three feet away from the toilet) with his Hazmat suit on a table beside him. The suit is clearly spread out and covering something.]
Jessiewithout his suit
Clint: [Gingerly lifts the hazmat suit with Alice's pen]
Dur: Ha! Caught you with your pants down! Errr.... now what do we do with him?
Shor: Perhaps we should stick his head in the bucket! Mess up his hair!
Jessie: You could start by passing me some toilet paper!
[CLINT lifts up the suit to reveal the bazooka.]
Jessie: Hey! That's private property!
Clint: [Yoinks the bazooka] Yeah, but you won't be able to use it with your head stuck in a bucket.
Jessie: My head isn't stuck in a... oh. I see. [Grimaces] At least I'm no longer constipated.
Charlie: [Wrinkles her nose] Yes, we shall leave you to pull yourself together and reconsider some of your poorer life choices!
Austin: What an odd hobby. You should try to get out more.
Jessie: I can't, not since the wall and shield came down.
Alice: You should at least use the toilet when you're... well, you know!
Jessie: The toilet? No way! Do you know what people do in them?
Austin: Urinate and defecate. That was too easy, next!
Jessie: Precisely! So why would I want my delicate tushie beside such disgusting emissions?
Austin: [Confused] Surely you each have your own personal toilets and wash rooms?
Shor: Rather than just a personal bucket?
Jessie: I wish! I have to share with some guy and some lady. I mean, sure, he buys me food and she washes my socks, but still!
Austin: You share a bucket with your parents?
Charlie: [Shudders] One hopes so, and that these are not strangers with fetishistic disorders!
Jessie: [Offended] No! Don't be ridiculous! I don't share a bucket with my parents! I am expected to share a toilet with them, though, and you should see what they do in there!
Dur: Wait, did you say the wall and shield came down?
Jessie: Of course not, don't be ridiculous! Only a fool would think that! [Stands up] That's the most insulting and degrading thing I've ever heard!
Alice: [Shielding her eyes] You totally did say it!
Jessie: Oh. [Thinks] Sorry about that, when I said down, I mean up. Dad to pass the cornflakes and instead I accidentally stabbed him in the face with a spoon.
Shor: You have some serious parental issues! Wait a minute, what are you going to do with our bazooka?
Jessie: What the hell is a bazooka? I mean.. [looks over at the bazooka] that's my bazooka. Go get your own!
Austin: That is our bazooka, and we know how to use it. Relinquish all claims to it now or Mr Scar will read his diary to you.
Dur: [Looks at Austin in shocked horror] You monster! Err…. I mean… forgot what side I was on their for a minute. [Looks at Jessie sympathetically] Just give us what we want, man. No one should be subjected to THAT kind of torture!
n=E2=80=A6 forgot what side I was on their for a minute. [Looks at Jessie s= ympathetically] Just give us what we want, man. No one should be subjected = to THAT kind of torture!
Jessie: No! Get your own bazooka! Anyway, I love reading other people's diaries -- you should hear what Mom and Dad get up to when I'm not in the house!
Alice: [Covers her eyes again] Aw, god! Please, please for the love of god, make him put on pants!
Dur: Well, at least we TRIED to do this the easy way! [Dur tries to take the bucket and shove it on Jessie's head]
[In one surprisingly swift and smooth movement (unlike JESSIE's one earlier!) DUR snatches the bucket and upends it over JESSIE, much to his surprise and, to the party's horror, apparent enjoyment.]
Alice: Can someone please put some pants on him? Or at least through a towel, or, er, sheet, over that thing?
Jessie: Hey! What's going on?
Dur: Or we could, you know, leave. I think our 'business' here is concluded? [Dur also tries to snatch the hazmat suit, just in case.]
Alice: Maybe he could tell us the best place to use the bazooka?
Jessie: [Still with the bucket on his head] I could! I could! I know the best place to use the bazooka! [Short pause] What does the bazooka do?
Austin: You can use it in various ways. We are going to use it to free the people from oppression! [Pauses] I mean save the world!
Jessie: That's what I was going to do with it too! [Takes his bucket off] Well, once I had established that it couldn't be used as a sex toy. It can't, right?
Charlie: [Shaking her head solemnly] No, it cannot. [Brightens] But you can help it fulfil its destiny by suggesting a good place to blow a hole in the wall!
Jessie: There's no good place to blow a hole in the wall, not since the shield went up. [Peers at the bazooka] Are you sure it can't be used as a sex toy?
Shor: It would probably end very badly for you!
Alice: What do you mean there's no good place to blow a hole in the wall?
Jessie: It can't be done with the shield in place. Impossible!
Dur: What if the shield was down? Hypothetically speaking?
On 10/19/2018 11:14 AM, Day, Kevin R (Irving) USA
review request this week earlier today, and I'm finishing writing a couple of papers with coauthors from 3
trying to do my actual job, i.e. research. I've been swaaaaaamped.
Principally it seems to involve paperwork. =)
From: Tom Henderson
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2018
To: Day, Kevin R (Irving) USA ; Conor Ryan ; Colin Dinan
Cc: Heather Goggans ; dom ; Tom Henderson ; QV Logger
Re: [qv] 10.010.070 On 10/19/2018
11:14 AM, Day, Kevin R (Irving) USA
Principally it seems to involve paperwork. =)
On 10/19/2018 02:55 PM, Day, Kevin R (Irving) USA
academia in some way that involves going back and forth between the US and Ireland
of some sort. I could be wrong!
Jessie: Then if you had something capable of creating an explosion or firing a canon, you could probably burst right through.
Charlie: [Nods] I see! And how would one remove these shields?
Austin: We could ask them nicely to take them down?
Jessie: We could, but they'd be as likely to actually do it as that lady who washes my socks would be bother ironing them! [To Charlie] I don't know how to take them down, but there are weird looking handles in this room. Maybe they are related?
Shor: Where are the handles?
Jessie: [Points to one end of the room
] There. [Then to the other end, which is about thirty feet away
] And there.
[The handles are large metal grips, although it isn't clear how or even if they move.]
Alice: What happens you try them?
Jessie: I fell of the chair.
Alice: But they're only three foot off the ground.
Austin: Well, we should try those immediately. Mr Scan and Mr Rag can operate one each, at the same time?
Alice: Austin! Do you really think we should let Dur operate on anything?
Dur: Better that I operate a lever now than have to try and put you back together later, don't you think?
Alice: [Stares at Dur for a moment before turning to Clint, clapping her hands] Come on, Stinky! This lever won't just pull itself!
Clint: I'll pull the hell out of this lever. Doc, when you're ready!
Alice: On the count of three... one, two...
Dur: Wait, are we pulling ON three, or AFTER three?
Clint: I thought we were pulling on five?
Alice: Oh my god! Just pull them already!
[Somehow CLINT and DUR pull in perfect unison. Nothing happens. They push in perfect unison. Nothing happens. They heave. They heft. They pant. They grunt. Not even a tiny movement.]
Alice: Whatever we need to do, it's not that.
Charlie: How disappointing! [Scans the room for other things to tug or push] Could we try something else?
Alice: [Running her hand along the wall] I think there's absolutely nothing else here. [Shrugs] Weren't we supposed to make a key?
Shor: Well yes, but nobody knows what that means or how we go about it
Alice: Or even where the lock is!
Jessie: This is The Lock!
Dur: And? What about they key?
Austin: Perhaps we are the key? In the vision we all had our hands on the wall when it opened?
Shor: It's definitely worth a try!
Clint: I've said that about most of the worst experiences in my life!
my last two referee reports and then back to regular service.
correspondence between the authors and the referee has become
a report to "help resolve the controversy." Ordinarily I'd make an
to the same journal later this week, so that seems unwise. Science!
personal feuds over trivial things. =)
[Slowly everyone places a hand on the wall, followed by their second one. Still nothing happens.]
Jessie: Oh! I know! I know! [Places his hands on the wall
Alice: Somehow, even less has happened!
Charlie: [To Jesse] How do you know this is The Lock?
Jessie: That's what everyone here calls it.
Alice: Why is there a toilet in the lock?
Jessie: There's always a lock on toilet, that's just commonsense. Otherwise the Sock Lady would keep bursting in on you and be all like "Hey, that's not what I clean socks for!"
Shor: Do you know why they call it the lock?
Jessie: Because this is the room where the shield can be turned off. I don't know what's so special about it or even how it works though. Hey, did you say that you had made a key?
Jessie: Oh, that's a pity, because that would be handy. [Looks around the room thoughtfully] But where would the key go? Literally the only things in here are the handles.
Austin: [Searches the room] Perhaps something i hidden beyond sight?
Alice: Could it be the toilet?
[AUSTIN searches everywhere except the toilet and finds nothing.]
Jessie: No, I bring it in each day with me?
Austin: Could it be in the toilet room? Perhaps Mr Scar to check?
Dur: Wait! I think I’m getting an idea. [Burps deeply] Nope. Just gas….
Alice: Alas, Aus, this is the toilet room. [Points at the toilet] So look, this room is The Lock, and we think we have to do something with those handles, and our future selves told us that we have to make a key, and all we know is that we're all in some way involved.
Jessie: And me!
Alice: No, you're just some sad loser with Mommie issues.
Charlie: [Examines the handles] Perhaps we could try putting our hands on these at the same time? [To Jessie] Not you, though. No offense!
Jessie: Offence taken!
Alice: Which one should we put our hands on though? [Points to handle #1] This or the other one [handle #2]. They are about thirty feet apart, so although we could all put our hands on one, it's not like one of us can touch both at the same time.
Dur: What if we form a chain by holding hands and then try pulling the levers?
Austin: It's worth a try I suppose. [Sighs]
Jessie: Okay, but I'll only join in the chain if everyone takes off their pants!
[Ignoring him, the party form a chain, with DUR at one end and CLINT at the other. CLINT grabs onto one lever and, as soon as DUR touches the other one, everyone jerks up straight as energy flows through them. The two levers light up brightly before the entire wall in front of them slides down. There is another one behind it, but it looks like a normal, bazookable type.]
Alice: It worked! Dur, you're a gen-- oh man, I hate when he does that. Now we'll never hear the end of it!
Dur: [With his pants around his ankles] Hey! I thought we were all going to do it!
Alice: [Irritated] Am I really the only one here not wearing flouncy underwear?
Alice: But it's laundry day, Aus, don't you see? Otherwise I'd be totes flounce too!
Austin: Well of course you would, what else would you be wearing! [To Alice] Would you care to try the Bazooka?
Clint: Don't worry, Bimbo, I'm not wearing flouncy underwear! Fire away!
Jessie: You know, there's about to be another Destabilising Event any second now. If that bazooka thing makes much noise, it might attract some attention.
Alice: [Picks it up
] I'm sure it'll be fine. [Fires it at the wall, sending Jessie scrambling for shelter
Jessie: What the hell?
[The room is filled with dust, which slowly starts to clear. The wall is clearly damaged but hasn't collapsed. Meanwhile, sirens blare and the party can hear footsteps fast approaching.]
Alice: Huh. I thought that would knock the whole thing down.
Charlie: [Assessing the damage] Perhaps another blast is in order?!
Clint: Do we have more ammunition? [Shoulders the wall speculatively]
Alice: No! That was it!
[Just before CLINT hits the wall a bunch of HARMA officers appear, led by GAVID, who had been leading the questioning in the previous timeline, along with LINDA, the super punchy HARMA officer who AUSTIN appears to be having some sort of disturbing affair with.]
Linda: [Clearly not able to see the damage in the wall because of where the party are standing
] What the hell was that noise? What are you people doing? You are about to be arrested and punched, punched a lot, as a matter of fact! You know what, forget that! Maybe we'll just kill you here and now! What do you say to that?
Austin: [Carefully takes of his jacket. To Linda] Perhaps you and I can settle this one on one?
Linda: No! No more thinking with the little Linda! [To the HARMA Officers
] Prepare to shoot!
[The party spot that the wall is starting to creak. Clearly it is on the verge of falling.]
Gavid: No! You know they are parts of many High Energy Events! You can't do that!
Dur: [Aside to the group] Perhaps this is the part of the vision where we all touch the wall together, but instead of just touching it, maybe we were pushing it down?
Linda: Don't you touch it! If you do, things will be worse for you!
Alice: Worse than killing us?
Linda: Well... yes!
Alice: [To Dur] Sounds like that wall is looking to be groped!
Dur: Excellent! Grope is my middle name! All together group! [Tries to push on the wall]
Austin: [Puts his jacket back on] Keep your hands to yourself please. [Pushes on the wall]
Clint: And here I thought your middle name was Ti! [Pushes on the wall.]
Alice: I think you mean "All together, grope!".
[ALICE touches the wall, along with CHARLIE and SHOR.]
Linda: You idiot weirdoes! [To the HARMA officers
[The entire wall comes crashing down, revealing beautiful sunlight on the party's faces for the first time in what feels like years.]
Linda: Don't you know what you've done?
Alice: Yeah! Saved Queens View from you bunch of crazies! [Smugly folds her arms
] Who are the idiot weirdoes now?
[A massive DRAGON appears at the hole beside the party and gives a deafening roar scaring the bephili out of everyone.]
[Book X, Act XI, Scene I. The Hole in the Wall. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and SHOR are here, cowering down from the massive dragon. At the other end of the room stand LINDA and a bunch of HARMA officers, all looking terrified, but blocking the exit.]
Alice: So, on the plus side, HARMA didn't kill us and we got the wall down, but on the possibly negative side, there's a huge scary dragon outside.
Austin: [Shaking] Perhaps you could talk to it nicely, ask it to go away?
Charlie: [Fumbling nervously with her notepad] It's magnificent! Hurry, we must collect data for my ground-breaking study! [To Austin, handing him a notepad] You, make a quick sketch of it! [To Alice, handing her a thermometer] You, take its temperature! [To Dur, handing him a jar] You, gather a stool sample!
Dur: No way! I’m not letting that thing turn ME into a pantswich!
we must collect data for my ground-breaking study! [To Austin, handing him = a meter
] You, take its temperature! [To Dur, handing him a jar
] You, gather a
Alice: At least you don't have to stick this in his mouth! [Looks at the thermometer
] Oh. It's way worse than I thought.
[The DRAGON sticks its head through the hole, above the party, who are crouching down by the wall and breathes a massive breath of fire into the room, catching most of the HARMA officers but leaving the party completely unharmed.]
Alice: Oh man! His breath is almost as bad as Clint's!
Dur: No way! I=E2=80=99m not letting that thing turn ME into a pantswich!
Austin: [Shakily drawing the dragon] It's not wearing pants!
Alice: [Looking appalled at the burning bodies] It could be worse Aus -- at least Clint has pants on him!
Charlie: [Gasps, looking at the crispy corpses] My notes could have been burned! [To the party] Quickly, we must find a fire-proof place to hide!
Alice: The only way out of here is through the burning corpses! Maybe we could just stay curled up here?
Dragon: [In a thunderingly loud and gravelly voice] Who are you?
Dur: [Cowering] Nobody! Nothing but charred corpses in here! You got us all! Good job!
all! Good job!
Charlie: [To the dragon, waving her hand eagerly] Do not listen to that charred corpse! I am very much alive and would be delighted to speak with you about an extensive study of your feeding and breeding habits!
Dur: [To the rest of the group] Well, I guess if you are going to study the feeding habits of dragons, there is no better way than being inside it's digestive track...
Shor: [Stands up] I'm Shor Goldenhair, a hero. We are the ones who created the hole in the wall.
Austin: [Sneaks off in tears, whilst Shor is distracting the dragon, to look for Linda]
Dragon: [Slowly lifts a savagely pointed claw and points them out] Then this must be [points at Alice] Austin, [Charlie] Dur, [Clint] Charlie, Alice [to Austin] and Clint [points at Dur]?
Charlie: [Aghast] I should say not! I am Dr. Charlotte Parker-Kensington, esteemed researcher and author of innumerable well-received journal articles and several notable monographs, not a simple-minded servant who stores sandwiches in his pants! [To Dur] No offense!
Shor: You're not the best at differentiating genders, I guess! Frying them to a cinder yes, but telling them apart, no.
Austin: [Carefully searching through the corpses. sobbing] Fisty-cakes, sweet heart, are you okay?
Clint: [Eyes the briquets that were once HARMA officials.] It doesn't seem real likely, eh? Plenty of more fish in the sea, that sort of thing.
[FISTY CAKES is not okay, she's burned to a crispy bit.]
Dragon: [Points a gnarled finger nail at the party
] I have one thing to say to you.... [takes a deep, raspy breath
Austin: [Sobs] I sort of liked her!
Charlie: [Awkwardly pats Austin on the shoulder] There there! At least she died doing what she loved!
Alice: Yes, she was very... er... mumble mumble. [To the Dragon
] So, uh, what did you have to say to us? [Swallows hard
[The DRAGON pulls its head up so that it is an inch away from ALICE. It is huge, and the head alone is at least six foot long. It snorts out through its nostrils, filling the air with an acrid sulphur smell.]
Dragon: [In a super nice conversational tone
] I just wanted to say thanks! You guys are the best!
Charlie: [To the dragon, delighted] How kind of you! [Hesitates] Er, how do you know us, again?
Austin: [Straightens his cuff and stands up] I expect that we are famous through out history, for saving the world so many times?
Dragon: [Laughs so hard that soot comes down his nose, before composing himself] Yeah, sure! Actually, I was sent here to recruit you. You lot have the reputation of being FODs.
Austin: FODs? Could you expand that TLA?
Dragon: Friends of Demons!
Alice: Huh! Some of us have been more than friends, if you know what I mean! [Glares pointedly at Charlie]
Dragon: I know! You were married to one, right?
Alice: Uh... sure, [defensively] but I did kill him and eat his brain!
Dragon: You don't get much more demony than that!
Austin: Apart from those of us who have eaten hundreds of demons! [Proudly] That's more demony , [Ponders] Although I was not married to any of them, just hungry.
Clint: It's always nice to meet a fan!
Charlie: [To the dragon, excited] As FODs, are we entitled to any benefits? And do F&FODs qualify for extra benefits?! [To the party, explaining] Friends and Family of Demons, naturally.
Dragon: Sure! You don't get killed instantly!
Clint: Now that's a benefits package I think we can all appreciate.
Austin: [To the Dragon] So, what's the plan?
Shor: Not a slow death, hopefully!
Dragon: No, no, it won't be *slow*. At least not for all of you. Why don't you hop on my back and I'll take you to the Cliff of Misery?
Austin: That does not sound like a fun place, why would we want to go there?
Charlie: [Nods emphatically] Indeed, I should prefer the Cliff of Good Cheer!
Dragon: Nah, the Cliff of Misery is way more fun than it sounds, and the Cliff of Good Cheer has been less fun since it fell into the ocean. Also, if you don't come with me I'll kill you all.
Austin: I can't speak for the rest of you on this occasion, but I find that argument very persuasive. [Gets on the dragon]
Shor: [Jumps on the dragon] Few would counter argue it! What is at the cliff of misery?
Dur: [Hopping on the dragon’s back] Why would you have to kill us? I thought we were friends?
? I thought we were friends?
Dragon: Did you?
Alice: [Climbs on] Are you wearing any pants?
Dragon: Nah, I'm going commando, baby! You haven't lived until you've pooed on someone from the air! The Cliff Of Misery is where The Gang of Four hang out.
Clint: [Boarding] I see... Say, does this flight come with a meal?
Dur: [Produces two sandwiches from his pants and offers one to Clint] Pantswich?
Austin: I expect they have laid a buffet out for us on the cliff. What do the Gang of Four want with us?
Dragon: [Looks at Clint and licks his lips] It sure does. [To Austin as he takes off, now with everyone on his back] I'm not sure. There was some disagreement when I left. It was a fairly even split.
Charlie: [To the dragon] And who are the Gang of Four? What is their mission statement, etc?
Dragon: I think it's best that we wait until we get there before I tell you any of that. I wouldn't want to have any jumpers now, would I?
Shor: Can you give us a few hints?
Dragon: This party knows most of them. Well, at least, they know most of the original Gang of Four.
Austin: Iok? Dangsten? Surely not!
Charlie: [Excited] Oh, is it the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?! How thrilling!
Dragon: They're way scarier than those guys.
Alice: The *original* Gang of Four? What are they now?
Dragon: Not sure, but they change from time to time. You know, the Band of Five, the Clan of Six, the short-lived and poorly organised Loose Association of a hundred and twenty four.
Charlie: [Shakes her head primly] I do not care for the sound of that last group at all! At least we are dealing with a group that respects structure and organization. [To Dragon] Why should we be scared of a sensibly well-organized group?!
Austin: [Does a double take at Charlie] What, like HARMA? Because they destroyed the world? [To the Dragon] Oh! Darius, Mr Boddy? Peter?
Dragon: [Big smile] You guys know Peter Deadpan?
Austin: [Enthusiastically] Yes, he's awesome isn't he! What a great guy! [Sighs in satisfaction] We have know him for aeons!
[Sighs in satisfaction] We have know him for aeons!
Charlie: [Shudders] Really? It seems to me we see him constantly!
Dragon: He's great! If it wasn't for him I'd never have quit smoking!
Clint: Spreading cheer and joy throughout the land, that's what he does!
Alice: Who else is there?
Dragon: That depends, doesn't it?
Clint: How many Gangs of Four have their been and do they share any members?
Dur: All I want to know is if they have any food! My pantswich reserves are running dangerously low!
are running dangerously low!
Charlie: [To Dur, in a low voice] Do be quiet! Do you really want to put the idea of a quick snack in the mind of this creature?!
Shor: [Shudders] It would be warmer at least in the belly of the beast! And this wind is wreaking havoc on my perfect hair! I almost look, tousled!
Dragon: Now that you say it, I am getting quite peckish! [To Clint] There has really only been one Gang of Four, but the membership varies, so yeah, there's overlap.
Alice: And sometimes there is more than four in the Gang of Four?
Charlie: [Disapprovingly] How absurd! It sounds like just the sort of nonsense that Mr. Deadpan would endorse!
Dragon: Doesn't it? [Big smile] He's just great! Once he put a banana on either side of his heads and said he had horns. It was the funniest thing ever!
Alice: [Deadpan] Yes. It sounds hilarious.
Dragon: You guys will like the Gang of Four. It's all great fun all the ti - huh! [Looks down for a moment]
Austin: [Very much not looking down] What is it?
Dragon: Huh. Look at all those people down there!
Alice: [Peers over the side] Wow! They're so teeny tiny! What are they doing?
Dragon: It looks like they're refugees. Things in the Realms are pretty crazy right now. They must be fleeing away from danger.
Charlie: And what is the Gang of Four position on the [finger quotes] craziness in the Realms?
Shor: Are they fleeing towards, or away from the direction we are heading?
Dragon: [To Charlie
] Hang on a second, [to Shor
] they're kind of at an angle to it, but watch this!
[The DRAGON swoops in fast and breathes a devastating blast of fire into the refugees, setting many of the alight and destroying all sorts of makeshift vehicles, all while the party cling on for dear life.]
Dragon: [Roaring with laughter as he pulls up, before turning back to Charlie
] What was that again?
Austin: I think she was asking what the Gang of Four are trying to achieve?
Clint: Some kind of humanitarian relief, perhaps?
On Wed, 31 Oct 2018 at 16:02, Tom Henderson
Alice: I think maybe what she meant was are you out of your tiny mind?
Dragon: First off, it's not tiny, it's the size of a large garden shed. Second, I'm a dragon, this is what I do. What did you think?
Alice: I thought you were one of the nice ones!
Dragon: [Swooping back down and flaming another bunch of panicking refugees] I am one of the nice ones!
Charlie: [Horrified] Well, do stop burning people alive whilst we have important business to attend to with the famed Gang of Four or So!
Clint: Yeah, I think our meeting probably is more important than incinerating a bunch of random refugees, right? [Coaxingly] They'll probably have talon food for you at the meeting anyway!
Shor: That was really unnecessary!
Dragon: Of course it was! [Winces] Ow! Hey! I've just been shot! The cheek of them!
Austin: Surely if you attack them you can expect them to retaliate?
Charlie: [Quickly] Indeed, and surely the activities of pitiful creatures such as these are beneath your notice? No need to roast anyone! Your point has been made and your dominance asserted!
Dragon: It wasn't one them -- it was one of you!
Dur: Certainly not I, I hope!
Austin: Who would do something so stupid and reckless? [Looks at the others] Oh.
Alice: Well, it wasn't me! I hate being on a dragon when it crashes and dies, everyone knows that!
Charlie: Certainly, I would not do something so absurd! [To the Dragon, helpfully] Perhaps it was just an old squash injury flaring up?
Clint:And it wasn't me.. newbie? Did you shoot our ride?
Dragon: It was definitely one of you, and it's way worse than my old squash injury. We're going down!
Clint: [Holding on tight] Sounds like something Alice would say! Don't worry, we've survived her driving, we'll survive this!
Shor: Can you crash into something soft?
Dragon: And save the asshole who stabbed me? No way, I'm going to find the worst possible place to crash?
Alice: [Hopefully] Pillow factory?
Charlie: [Holding on for dear life] But how can you be sure you will not also perish in the crash?! Isn't that just giving the attacker what he/she wants?!
Dragon: Just the kind of twisted logic an attacker would use!
Austin: Errm, but also true! You could just land carefully and then work out who shot you?
Dragon: You're all part of it! You all must die! [Starts to fly out over a huge body of water]
Shor: Why would we want you dead? You just rescued us from that place! I for one, am grateful.
Dur: [Starts panicking wildly at the sight of water] Let’s be reasonable! We’re FOBs, remember?! [Dur tries to cast ENTHRALL on the Dragon]
sonable! We=E2=80=99re FOBs, remember?! [Dur tries to cast ENTHRALL on the Dragon]
Charlie: [To the dragon] Wait, won't it make the Gang of Four angry if you fail to deliver us?!
[In spite of DUR's spell, the DRAGON continues his flight over the water, climbing higher and higher.]
Dragon: Sure, but I'll be dead, what do I care? Isn't that what you wanted? Murderers!
Shor: Of course that's not what we wanted! We didn't even know you existed until 5 minutes ago, when you toasted those harma goons!
Dragon: Oh, so I'm not important enough for you to know? [Climbs even higher, the air getting cold and thin now] Well, excuse me, your majesty!
Clint: Say, if someone on dragon air here stabbed our ride and it wasn't one of us, we must have a stowaway. We should find him!
IT had a major
Alice: It does seem like the kind of thing she would have done, but I think she's just a crispy bit now!
[Higher and higher the dragon goes, now with smoke pouring out from under him.]
Alice: That can't be good!
Charlie: I think perhaps we had better take our chances with a water landing! [Attempts to stab the dragon]
Dragon: Ow! What the hell?
Alice: Charlie! What's going to happen when we crash?
[The dragon keeps getting higher, but starts to make a weird wheezing sound.]
Dragon: I'm starting to stall, we're too high!
Charlie: [To the dragon] Then perhaps you should reverse direction?!
Dragon: Oh, you'd LOOOOOVE that, wouldn't you?
Alice: [Peering over the edge in alarm] I think we'd all love that. [To the party] I think this guy is a total idiot! [To Dur] No offence!
Shor: There must have been some medical reason for the good doctor to try and puncture the dragon at 10000 feet above sea level!
Austin: !0,000 feet? Is that all? It looks much further to me [Looks pale]
Dur: I didn't! And I wouldn't! Anything that keeps me away from the terrible wet horror below is fine in my book! Higher! Higher!
Alice: [Soothingly and surprisingly calm] Don't worry Aus, we're no more than eight thousand feet from the shore! [To Dur] We're not angry that you tried to stab the dragon, Dur, we just want to know why you did it?
Dragon: I'm pretty angry about it! And by the way, we might be only eight thousand feet from the short, but we're 15,000 feet in the air.
Alice: Eeek! We're all gonna die!
Clint: Are you sure you didn't get shot by a random refugee who didn't want to be incinerated? That seems more likely than the doc choosing to stab you, and much more likely than him choosing to stab you and then doing a good job of it!
Dragon: [Still climbing, although sputtering and wheezing in the cold, thin air] Huh, maybe you've got a point there, but still, it's a bit of a cheek isn't it? What the hell is wrong with them?
Austin: [Deadpan] You would think that they would be more appreciative of the warmth you provided, not to mention the barbq.
Dragon: I know, right? I mean, what the hell? I've a good mind to [stalls and passes out]
Alice: Uh, that can't be good!
Shor: No, not very good at all! Perhaps if we keep his wings extended, we can glide the 8000 feet back to shore!
Clint: We'll do that, and while we do, doc, patch up our dragon! How different can it really be from patching up a person? I mean, sure, you don't know anything about dragon physiology, but, well...
Dur: In my defense, I don't know that much about human physiology either! [Tries casting a cure spell on the Dragon]
Austin: [Grimly holding on] I recommend leaving your defence to some one else!
On Tue, Nov 6, 2018 at 4:23 AM dom
[DUR's spell doesn't seem to have much impact, and the DRAGON begins to plummet down, making a deafening sound like World War 2 airplane about to crash into the sea. A bunch of oxygen masks fall from the roof.]
Alice: [Hanging on for dear life, face contorted by the wind
] That can't be good!
Austin: [Grabs a mask and puts it on] Crash positions!
Charlie: [Fumbles for a mask, frantic] Perhaps the water will cushion the impact! [Brightens] It would be wonderful to survive this, as it would make a marvelous addition to my study on dragons!
Alice: And also, you know... we'd be alive!!! [Reaches under her seat and pulls out the life jacket bag] Wouldn't want to plummet 20,000 feet into the sea on the back of a passive dragon without one of these babies! [Fumbles through the bag and pulls out a piece of paper] What the hell? "IOU one lifejacket"?
Shor: [Enthusiastically] We are plummeting really quickly! In fact we may be the fastest things in the world right now!
] We are plummeting really quickly! In fact we may be the fastest things in the world right now!
[The party career towards the sea, faster and faster.]
Shor: Mind you, that salt water is going to play havoc with my perfectly conditioned hair! [Bashes the dragon on the head] Wake up!
Clint: [Bracing for the crash, and buckling his safety belt] I see you got your medical training from the same place Dur got his!
Austin: [Reading a laminated piece of paper] Read the safety instructions! Is this a Black Dragon 5A or 4B?
instructions! Is this a Black Dragon 5A or 4B?
Charlie: [To Austin, exasperated] Do be serious! How can we determine that if we cannot see and measure his genitals?!
Alice: For god's sake, Aus! Don't just jump to the end of the instructions! [Grabs it and flips it around to read] "Congratulations on the purchase of your new dragon! This instruction booklet refers to Black Dragon 5A, 4B, 3X, Yellow Dragon 4, Blue Dragon 8 and Krupps Toastermatic 4000." [Shows the party] Huh, look at that, it's a toaster AND it's got a clock!
Shor: [Looking at the instructions] The Toaster matic 4000, the ultimate in clock based toasting dragon technology. Toasts your bread in four thousanths of a second!
Alice: Actually, it's kind of funny when you think about it, you know, as we're about to be toast anyway! [Laughs and then stops
[The DRAGON smashes into the water at what feels like a thousand miles an hour, plunging deep into the icy water, almost certainly killing everyone on board.]
[Book X, Act XI, Scene II. The Icy Water. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT and SHOR are here, each bursting to the surface, gasping for air.]
Alice: Wow! Is everyone okay?
Charlie: [Nods in astonishment] Yes, but how is it possible?! According to the laws of science and stuff, we should have all died horribly and instantly! [Gasps] And without publishing my ground-breaking findings on dragons!
Alice: [Looks around] But where's Dur?
Charlie: [Looks around hurriedly] No doubt he cannot swim, pitiful thing! [Calls out] Dur! Flail around a bit and we will come save you!
[The water is quite rough and there's a strong wind blowing, so it's tough even for the non-pathetic party members to stay afloat.]
Alice: Oh no! Poor Dur! It's his worst nightmare -- dying while getting cleaned!
[The water is quite rough and there's a strong wind
Austin: I doubt that he can distinguish the two! Where is the auto inflating life raft? [Looks around] Which way to the shore?
Alice: I can barely even see, the water's so rough. Hang on, can anyone else hear that?
[Just audible over the sound of the water comes what appears to be a woman counting; 300, 301...]
Alice: [Points in the direction
] I think it's coming from there!
Charlie: [Calls out] We can hear you, Dur! We are coming for you! [Tries to swim toward the voice]
[The party slowly and painfully fight their way towards it and see a small pier. The water smashes down on them as they try to pull themselves onto it, all the while hearing the count; "350, 531...".]
Alice: I think there's a small house on the pier. Maybe it's coming from in there?
Clint: Could be! [Heads for the little house on the pier E]
Austin: [heads for the house] I hope they have a nice hot stove and soup!
[The party get to the pier but can't get out of the water, as it is so rough it just throws them hard against it as the counting continues "396, 397..."]
Alice: Gah! Look at that! There's a life belt on the pier! If only we could reach it!
[An almighty wave slams AUSTIN hard onto the pier and he grabs onto it, pulling himself out of the water.]
Austin: [Drags himself on to his feet. Points at the life belt] Come on you lot! One of you should throw the life belt for the others! [Sighs and goes to get the life belt, making sure one end is tied to the pier, then throws it to Alice] Do I have to do everything myself!
Alice: [Grabs onto the belt just as Charlie and Clint pull themselves out too
] Thanks Aus! [Climbs out and helps Austin haul Shor onto the pier
[The voice continues "475, 476..."]
Alice: It's definitely not Dur, but it is coming from that house.
Clint: Poor Dur may be some fish's pantswich. To the house!
Austin: Where is that dammed Dur chap? [Scans the ocean. To the party] I'm sorry, but it is really bad form to leave a servant to drown. We must do what we can! [Throws the life belt back in] Okay, let's go [Heads to the house]
Alice: Poor old Dur. He was such a good... uh, well, hm. Poor old Dur, anyway.
[The party turn to the house and are surprised to see a woman sitting looking directly out the window at them, brushing her long blonde hair and counting. This is SHARESHEE LANNIGAN.]
Shareshee: 498, 499, 500. [Looks over the party
] You're very wet.
Shor: Vey observant, and we are also dishevelled! May I borrow your brush?
Clint: Say, you didn't see that dragon crash? Was there a scrawny servant type who made his way to shore already?
Shareshee: [To Shor] Certainly not! This hairbrush is priceless -- the handle made from baby elephant tusks and the bristles made from hedgehog spines marinated in a delightful vintage of cognac for 12 years. [Looks at Clint] A dragon crash? What on [dramatic sigh] earth are you talking about?
Austin: Oh, just another dragon crash. That's a very nice hair brush, where did you have it designed?
Charlie: [To Shareshee, helpfully] Perhaps you are too self-involved to notice large objects falling from the sky right in front of you? [To the others] I suppose counting brush strokes is terribly taxing for some.
Shareshee: [Looks Charlie up and down, frowning at her hair] I should say that that's rather obvious. How far did you get, dear? Two? [To Austin] By an artist in his nineties who lives in a remote village high in the mountains. He use to make but two of these a year; when he would finish one, the entire population from the nearby village would throw celebration, [wrinkles her nose in disgust] BrushFest, or some such, I believe, and queue for hours just to get a look at the hair of one of the test models.
Charlie: [Smoothing her hair down self-consciously. Haughtily] It appears you will be of no help to us and our likely dying or dead servant, so we must be off!
Shareshee: [Looks at herself in a mirror, admiring her perfect make up] While I am sure that the death of one servant is tiresome, it hardly warrants such rudeness and aggression towards me. I am quite sure that if you knew who I am, what my position is and where you are trespassing, you wouldn't threaten me so.
Austin: So who are you, what is your position, and why is it that we are trespassing?
Shareshee: [Standing up] I am Princess Shareshee of House Lannigan! Ruler of this domain! Protector of the land! You are trespassers because you have come into my private Both House!
Alice: What's a Both House?
Shareshee: Impudent fool! It is a house that's both a house and a boat!
Austin: So you would like us to leave?
Shareshee: You may shower me with expensive gifts. If so, I shall consider not having you beheaded and fed to the swans.
Shor: I'm sure the old man [gestures towards Clint] could shower you with lice, but that's about it.
Sharesee: Lace? Go ooooon!
Clint: [Considers saying something about a golden shower, but decides to keep it rated PG instead.]
Alice: If she's the ruler of the land, how come she's in here by herself, where any bunch of [vague gesture at the party] weirdoes, perverts and stalkers could just wander in and kill her?
Sharesee: Silence, vile trollop!
Charlie: [To Sharesee, haughtily] Despite what her clothing, hair, and make-up choices suggest, Alice is not as morally ambivalent regarding sexual relationships as one might assume! In fact, she has a tendency to make inappropriate matches with disinterested men and cling to them, so in a way she is rather a strong proponent of monogamy!
Alice: [Defiantly] Yeah!
Sharesee: How dreadfully boring. [Starts to brush her hair again] Why are you here? Tell me and tell me quickly before I summon the Royal Personal Guard to throw you into the sea.
Shor: You could summon the Royal Guard to help us look for our esteemed missing doctor!
Sharesee: First of all, it is not [with disdain
] the Royal Guard, it is the Royal Personal Guard! And why should I waste their time on you?
[Everyone's attention is drawn to a cough from the doorway. This is CELLO HANNIGAN.]
Cello: Oh please. Is she yakking about her Personal Royal Guard again?
Shor: It seems to be a favourite topic of conversation!
Charlie: [Nods knowingly] Oh, I see! [In a low voice] She is a delusional sort that one humors, the way we did with Dur's fancies about being a doctor! [To Sharesee, placatingly] Yes, you are terribly important!
Austin: Almost as important as me.
Sharesee: I'm way more important than you, and my hair is far, far nicer!
[Storms off in a huff, having to walk around CELLO, who's blocking most of the doorway.]
Cello: [To the party
] What's your story? Some sort of invaders?
Austin: No. We were kidnapped by a Dragon, and then we killed the dragon and it crashed just off the pier.
Clint: And our beloved doctor slash servant is missing!
Austin: [Adds hastily] Although we don't call him Doctor Slash to his face, obviously.
Cello: Kidnapped by a dragon, eh? Sounds highly unlikely, but I like your style. [Smiles] And I like that you have so enraged Sharesee, and honestly, any group who have a friend called Dr. Slash sound like someone I want to party with -- unless he's some sort of monster who performs horrific surgeries on people, then I'd have to kill you.
Alice: What if he didn't deliberately perform horrific surgeries? What if it's just incompetence?
Cello: Then as long as he doesn't perform any on me, I probably wouldn't have any problem with him.
Charlie: Oh, we try to prevent him from performing any surgeries at all, and have him fetch things for us instead. [Sighs] Though now that he is missing and presumed dead, I fear he will be of even less use to us now!
Sharesee: This is all a lie, a total fabrication designed to deceive us into telling them about the jewel!
Shor: I assure you it's all the truth!
[SHARESEE steps back in once more.]
Sharesee: Lie! [Races back out
Cello: This whole dragon thing seems a bit unlikely, but I'll go along with your story. [Gestures to a chest
] There are some dry clothes there and [produces a bottle of brandy from a nearby cupboard
] this will warm you up. In the meantime, you can tell me who you are and what you're up to.
Austin: [Tries to find the finest suit or clothes] Well,I'm Austin Sleaze, the leader of this rabble, and our legal representative. We spend most of our time trying to save the world, and partying. [Casually checks his nails] This is the Sarge [Introduces Charlie] and the Hench [Introduces the rest of the party] and Alice [Introduces Alice]
[The clothes are all somewhat old fashioned, mainly Renaissance type ones, with lots of puffy sleeves, long dresses and pantaloons. AUSTIN finds the closest approximation to a suit, a fine silken affair involving tight pants and puffy sleeves.]
Alice: [Getting changed
] Actually, I think you'll find that I'm the leader of the rabble! My trusty sidekicks often like to pretend that they're in charge. [Examines her completely over the top gown in the mirror
] Hm, not bad, although a bit long. [It comes down to her ankles
Cello: The name's Cello Hannigan. Good to meet you. [Pause
] I think you'll find that that's actually a curtain. The dresses are slightly longer.
Charlie: [To Cello, fishing out a long-sleeved floor-length drab grey dress with a fiendishly high and elaborate lace collar] Splendid to meet you! We are seeking our lost companion, Dur. Timid, pasty fellow? Always hungry and often reaching into his pants?
Cello: His own pants? [Thinks
[There's a knock in the window and the party see SHARESEE outside.]
Sharesee: Liars! [Ducks down
Cello: Doesn't sound familiar.
Alice: Where *are* we?
Cello: This is Townagain.
Shor: Is she safe to be left outside without supervision?
Cello: She's fine. I give her the occasional punch to keep her in line. She doesn't much like it but everyone else thinks it's great.
Austin: You are not, but any chance, related to Spruce, or Geneva Hannigan, are you?
Cello: Spruce? Yeesh, I hope not. There are no hippy-trippy names in my family. If I had relation called Spruce I'd punch her in the face.
Austin: [Considers this] So how long have you been in Townagain?
Cello: All my life.
Clint: Life sentence, eh? That's tough!
Cello: It could be worse -- I could spend my whole time brushing my hair, like Sharesee. She has very punchable hair.
Shor: What did she mean about a jewel?
Charlie: [Nods understandingly] Oh, indeed! You show admirable restraint. Perhaps you could assist us in searching the shore for our companion?
Cello: Oh, it's what everyone in Townagain is talking about. Some fabulous shiny sparkling thing that someone found. [To Charlie] I could try to get some of the townspeople if they're not too busy gazing at the jewel.
Austin: That sounds like we should investigate the situation. [Adds] Someone may have seen Dur.
Alice: [Lowly to Austin] You want to steal the jewel, don't you?
Austin: [Quietly to Alice] No, that would be unethical, foolish and reckless.
Alice: Oh! [Gives Austin a big stagey wink
] Gotcha! We're not gonna steal no jewel, no sir!
[Everyone's attention is drawn to another one of the windows, where SHARESEE is outside, knocking angrily.]
Charlie: [Looking at Sharesee, alarmed] She seems rather disturbed, doesn't she? Perhaps we should go and admire the jewel!
Clint: [Grabs the bottle of brandy that Cello put out and knocks some back] What's the rush? Cello here has the right idea!
Cello: [To Charlie] Sure, but you probably want to have a better story than you crashed here on the back of a dragon.
Clint: What are the odds that Dur *is* the jewel, do you think?
Alice: You have actually met, him, right, Stinky? [To Cello] What's a better story than crashing on the back of a dragon? How about we flew here with wings made out a two dozen chickens and a bunch of glue?
Cello: It might be better, but it's even less believable!
Shor: We could just say we were in a shipwreck. But then we are exactly what she claims we are, liars!
Cello: Ship [frowns] wreck? I'm not sure what that means.
Charlie: You are familiar with the concept of a ship, one assumes? [Whips out a soggy notepad and sketches a pitiful little boat]
Cello: [Shakes her head slowly] What is it? Some sort of hat?
Charlie: [Surprised] Do your people not travel by water?!
Cello: [Laughs] Of course not! Why, you might as well ask if we travel by steak! Water is for drinking -- some people think it's for washing, but, meh, that's an over rated waste of water.
Austin: [Visibly cringes] How in the Realms do you stay clean if you don't wash?
Cello: Washing's overrated! [Snorts with derision] You're as bad as Sharesee!
Austin: [Looks at Sharesee] We muyst not stay here to long, we don't want to end up like her!
Cello: Yeah, that constant preening is very annoying! She brushes her hair so much I'm surprised there's any left!
Clint: [Anxiously] You people have heard of alcohol, though, right? As an alternative to drinking water?
Shor: In the name of all things holy and unholy, where are we? Are we in the old man's version of heaven?
Cello: Don't like brandy, eh, pretty boy?
Shor: To drink, yes in moderation, not to bathe in!
Clint: Seems like heaven to me! Now we just need some nerds to pick on, a few brawls to pass the time, and it's practically utopia.
Cello: Let's go to Quincy, there's bound to be a bunch there!
Charlie: Oh, how marvelous! Is there a library in Quincy? Or a top-notch research university?!
Austin: They might not have gone much beyond building the students union.
Cello: It's way better than that -- it's a bar!
Austin: [Hopefully] No books?
Cello: [Laughs] Only the one they use to prop up one of the tables!
Charlie: How barbaric! [To the party] Certainly, that is no place for civilized people!
Alice: [Rubs her hands together gleefully] I think we're finally home!
Shor: Well, if that's where the path takes me, then let's go!
Austin: Phew! That's a relief. Let us go and drown our sorrow of the recent pasing of our late sla ... servant ...Errm, Dirt? Dur! [Frowns. To Alice] He was called Dur, yes?
Alice: That's cold, Aus, real cold. You know full well his name was ... um... mur?
[Exit the party.]
[Book X, Act XI, Scene III. The Streets of Townagain. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, SHOR and CELLO are here, heading away from the house where they met SHARESEE. It is quite dark and the party can see several small one and two storey houses dotted around, as well as an absolutely enormous tower a short distance away, that looks to be at least a hundred storeys high.]
Alice: What's the story with this Quincy place? Why are there so many nerds there?
Cello: Oh, they're all there to see the jewel. Geeks!
Austin: What is so geeky about seeing the jewel?
Clint: The part where they don't even try to talk to her?
Cello: [To Austin
] When you see the jewel, you'll know. [To Clint, scornfully
] The jewel is not a she!
[Three scantily dressed women carrying large bags barge passed the party and race towards another building, giggling with excitement. This is LEIA, MEIA and TEIA.]
Austin: [Watches the fan club run past] Is the jewel also called Peter?
Cello: No. [Dramatic pause] Dur.
Clint: [Smugly] Hah!
Alice: [Looks at Clint with a mixture of pity and disgust, before turning to Austin] Wow, Aus, you totally called it! [Gives him a big thumbs up] And Clint said that only a fool would think that!
Shor: [Delightedly] You've found the good doctor! How wonderful!
Clint: [Aggrievedly] Hey!
Alice: Austin the hero! [Gives Clint her mean look] And you couldn't his name! Poor old.... I want to say... Fur?
Austin: My, my, what a topsy-turvy place this is! [To Alice] His name is Dur, I believe. I wonder why they call him the jewel?
Shor: I would have thought that obvious, because the good doctor is an absolute treasure amongst men!
absolute treasure amongst men!
Charlie: [Shakes her head, thinking] No, it can't be something as unlikely as that. Perhaps it is because his hands are often in his pants, and it is a reference to [finger quotes] family jewels, as they say in the vernacular?
Austin: Well, let's go and find out why. It seems unlikely that there is any literal reason for the name.
Alice: So Dur is alive? Austin, you really ARE a hero!
[The party and CELLO walk up to the door that LEIA, MEIA and TEIA ran into moments go. It is a bar called "Quincy".]
Cello: [Standing at the door
] Sigh. So you people just want to come in and gawp at the Jewel too?
: No, not particularly, but there are times that one must do things for the greater good.
Charlie: We have no interest in gawping at our colleague, but we wish to have him rejoin the group so that we can direct him to fetch and things or perhaps taste things that might be poisonous and so forth!
Alice: We might poke him with a stick, as long as it is very, very long!
[CELLO pushes open the door to reveal a packed bar, filled with scantily dressed women, gasping and swooning, clearly all gathered around something or someone in the corner of the bar. There are plenty of men too, all clearly very happy, many high fiving and shaking hands with each other.]
Alice: This can't be our, Dur? Can it?
[Someone bangs into ALICE, shoulder to shoulder, almost knocking her down. This is WILLO' HOLLYBEA, a woman wearing more make up than everyone else in bar put together.]
Willo': He's not YOUR Dur, he's OUR Dur! [Pouts and poses as though someone is taking a photograph of her
Austin: No, he's ours. I have his papers. He is registered, fully vaccinated, trained and insured.
Willo': [Gives a super fake laugh] Hahaha! So funny! Hashtag LOL! I'm Willo' Hollybea, who are you?
Alice: Hi Willow, I'm --
Willo': No, it's Willo'.
Alice: Uh, hi, Willo.
Willo': No. Willo'.
Willo': No, you're still not getting it. It's [high pitched squeal] o'!
Alice: [Rolls her eyes] Hm, is it?
Willo': Hashtag saymyname, hashtag respect. [Sucks in her cheeks to do a duckface pose at another unseen camera]
Austin: [Looks around] Is your carer with you?
Shor: I'm Shor Goldenhair, a hero and a travelling companion of Durs. What do you do here, Ms Hollybea?
Dur: [Waves excitedly and calls out to the group spraying his new worshippers with bits and pieces of the feast he has been gorging himself on] Oh hey guys! Where have you all been?
On Mon 19 Nov 2018 at 14:03, Day, Kevin R (Irving) USA < Kevin.Day@lehighhanson.com>
wrote: Nice to meet you, hero, you may call me Willo'. [Poses beside him] Hashtage real life hero.
Alice: [To Dur] What the hell is going on here?
Dur: [Looks around and back at Alice a little confused] You act like you’ve never seen a feast before!
you=E2=80=99ve never seen a feast before!
Charlie: [To Dur, sternly] What did I tell you about pretending to be the boss? [To Austin, wearily] This is what comes of treating serving staff like colleagues!
Dur: I did nothing of the sort! [Looks around] It's not my fault that they think I am something special! I just did what I always do, ran away screaming. No thanks to any of YOU I might add!
Dur: I did nothing of the sort! [Looks around] It's not my fault that they
Teia: Hey! Back off, lady! Don't you speak to the Jewel like that!
Willo': Yeah! Anyone who travels with a true hero should know that!
Clint: Anyone who traveled with a real hero would!
Willo': Ew! Why is the old guy talking to me? Hashtag smellslikedeath.
Charlie: [To Willo', perplexed] What do you mean by [finger quotes] hashtag? Is it some sort of peasant slop? [To Dur, sternly] Do avoid it if it smells like death! Likely it isn't safe to eat!
Clint: Do you really think that could stop our Dur?
Alice: I wish we could stop your odour, Stinky!!
Willo': [To Charlie] If you have to ask, Grandma, then you're too old and enfeebled to understand. Hashtag ourworldnow. [Does the Shaka sign with her hand]
Alice: Why on earth do they think that Dur is some sort of jewel?
Cello: Because of his tattoo.
Shor: The doctor has a tattoo? What of?
Dur: I do? What does it say?
On Tue, 20 Nov 2018 at 13:01, Day, Kevin R (Irving) USA
Cello: It's on his back.
[DUR turns his back to let the party see, as the various people in the bar ooh and ah at it.]
Alice: "No regerts, never don't not give up". Yeesh, Dur, who did you get to spell that for you? Me?
[Everyone, including ALICE, roars with laughter.]
Alice: [Stops laughing after a few seconds] Hey!
[This is completely untrue. The tattoo appears to be of a labyrinth.]
Charlie: [Intrigued] Oh, how interesting! What does it mean?!
Dur: How the heck should I know, I don’t even remember getting it!?
Willo': [Looks at Charlie with some disgust
] Hashtag OutOfTouch! That's the map of Florian Hall!
Alice: [To the party
] She's very irritating. [To Willo'
] Hashtag VeryAnnoyingHashtag!
[WILLO' responds with slow shake of her head.]
Austin: [To Alice] Can you draw the solution onto the maze, if there is one?
Alice: Ew! I'm not going touching him! I mean, no offence, Dur, but you are repulsive!
Dur: [Returning to stuffing his face greedily] No offense taken! [Thinks about it] Hey!
Meia: [Gets in Austin's face] What do you mean "if it can be solved"?
Austin: [Calmly] Hashtag notallmazeshaveasolution.
Alice: Let's hear it for the clean shaven short mazes!
Meia: That can't be right! Why would he have the tattoo if it doesn't have the solution?
Austin [Sighs] Stares at the tattoo for a minute. Okay, it does have a soluton. Must I do everything muyself!
Austin: [Sighs] Yes, yes, very well. [Looks for some good brandy]
Dur: Well I certainly can’t do it myself, it’s on my back!
Alice: [Hands Austin a large dagger
] Can you draw the solution onto the maze, if there is one?
[There seems to a distinct lack of good brandy in the place, as most people are drinking beer.]
Austin: [Takes the dagger] I think that might invalidate his insurance, I'll do it in ink first [Puts on some latex gloves, and draws the solution on with a pen]
Dur: [Giggling girlishly, sending partly masticated bits of food spraying] It tickles!
[The party watch as AUSTIN traces out the solution.]
Meia: [To Austin
] See? I told you there was a solution! [Disgusted
] And you said there was no solution!
Austin: Hey! I said that there *might* not be a solution, and have just proven that there is! [Checks out Meia] What do you do around here?
Meia: Look at how I'm dressed! What do you think I do?
Austin: [Pretending it's a game] Dancing?
Alice: I'd have to go with either hooking or slave girl.
Meia: [Offended] Hey! I'm a librarian!
Clint: Hooking it is, then! What's supposed to be at the center of this Florian Hall?
Dur: [Accusingly at Charlie] Hey, you didn't tell me they had THAT kind of girl at libraries! What else have you been hiding from us!
of girl at libraries! What else have you been hiding from us!
Charlie: [To Dur, patiently] Only in a world where you are considered a jewel! In normal worlds, librarians dress sensibly and appropriately!
Clint: [Scoffing.] According to the fine experts at Big Un's, all librarians are secretly sexy but disguise it by wearing nerdy glasses. And they would know!
Shor: [Laughs loudly] Our local librarian, Miss Tutalot, certainly wore glasses, but was also about ninety and had a beard. I think she falls outside your Big Uns classification!
Alice: When I was in boarding school, our librarian, Miss Amanda Peeling certainly didn't wear glasses, as she didn't read all that much. She was also the gardener, school cook and phys ed teacher.
Charlie: [Aghast] One librarian for your entire collection?! We had a dozen, each with his or her own abstruse speciality. [Sighs dreamily] My, they were a dashing lot, all stylish tweed and jaunty walking canes!
Alice: That sounds a bit more like that seedy drug dealer who used to hang around outside the school offering to take photos of the girls. He said he could give people a start in modelling.
Willo': [Strikes a pose and does a severe duck face] You've either got it or you don't.
Austin: [To Willo'] Well let us know when the test results are in. [To the party] I prefer librarians dressed and looking like Meia, it's clearly far more appropriate than tweed.
Willo': Hashtag Fail!
Alice: Where is this Florian Hall place?
Cello: It's the huge tower in the middle of the town.
Shor: What's in there? What's the maze a map to?
Cello: The Gang of Six.
Alice: I thought it was a gang of four?
Cello: [Disinterested] Did you? [Drinks some beer]
Shor: Perhaps this is a rival group, because as we know, the gang of four are always the gang of four, regardless of the number of gang members in the gang!
Alice: They certainly have them outnumbered! [To Cello] Are they the same as the Band of Five or the Clan of Six?
Cello: [Exhausted sigh] Look lady, are you here to drink so much that you puke yourself unconscious or not?
Alice: Ew! No!
Cello: Well then stop bothering me with your nerd talk and go hassle Irman instead.
Charlie: [To the group] I do not know who this [finger quotes] Irman is, but I approve of his/her stance on drinking oneself into unconsciousness! [To Cello] Where might we find Irman?
Cello: Nerding it up in his house being a virgin, I suspect.
Clint: Tell you what. You guys go hang out with the nerd, and I'll stay here and drink 'til I pass out. Sounds fair?
family for Thanksgiving tomorrow morning, returning to Houston on Monday morning, back to work Monday afternoon.
Alice: Oh for god's sake, Stinky! We just spent... what? Minutes looking for Dur? If we let you off by yourself we may never find you! [Thinks] Although....
Austin: But just think, free of that smell! The fresh air!
Alice: The lack of name calling, the complete absence of some barbarian farting along to them tune of What The Hell is That Smell? Ah!
Shor: The lack of the sound of creaking joints, the lack of the smell of pee!
Alice: No, we'd still have that. [Nods at Dur]
Charlie: [Firmly] We cannot spare any of the party, not even those with many, many glaring deficiencies!
Alice: Phew! [Thinks] I mean... hey! Is that a dig at me?
Austin: No, of course not, she is referring to herself. She is as self deprecating as ever!
Alice: Aw! Poor old Charlie! Come on, let's go to the boring nerd house with all the tedious books, you'll have a great time there!
Shor: And we can dlfind out all about this maze. [To Dur] Good doctor, are you coming with us?
are you coming with us?
Charlie: Of course he is! [Hands Dur a copper] Do stop playing with these horrid girls now, and carry these books for me [hands Dur a huge stack of books].
On Thu 22 Nov 2018, 3:27 p.m. Colin Dinan
Austin: [Sighs, and gets a beer if he can] I wonder who the six are. Peter and 5 others. Hmm.
Saturday, so no spoilers please! D On Thu, 22 Nov 2018 at 15:54, Colin Dinan
Alice: I'm confused. If Peter is one of them, why would we want to seek them out?
[ALICE looks around at the others.]
Alice: Right? Well, hopefully the geek Irman will set you people straight.
Shor: I don't know who Peter is.
Charlie: [To Shor] Do hope you never find out! He is a dreadfully annoying little man!
Alice: [Nodding at Charlie's words] You're lucky, Shor. Very lucky. [Sighs deeply and looks off into the distance for a moment before turning back to Shor] Very, very lucky.
Shor: [Laughs loudly] Bearing in mind everything that's happened in the last few days, that's debatable, Ms Basset Short! Should we go and visit that reclusive nerdish virgin?
Dur: The real question
is: Will he still be a reclusive nerdish virgin after Alice visits him!
Alice: That depends on how nerdy he is, I do have some standards, you know!
Austin: [To Shor
] Peter is quite the most excellent person to have ever lived. You will most certainly consider yourself lucky should you get to meet him!
Charlie: [To Shor] Pay no attention to Mr. Sleaze. Like many who come into contact with Mr. Deadpan, he appears to have been brainwashed or possibly bribed into finding him tolerable! [To the party] Now, let us go interrogate this virgin!
Clint: Is that what they're calling it these days? Sounds like a job for Bimbo and the lawyer to me!
Alice: No doubt it does, Stinky, but then again, you are an idiot. [To Dur
] No offence!
[Exit the party, along with WILLO'.]
[Book X, Act XI, Scene IV. The Streets of Townagain. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and SHOR are here, along with WILLO'.]
Alice: So where's the virgin?
Willo': [Points at Clint
] There. Hashtag oldmanvirgin!
Austin: Have you been trying to read my diary again?
Austin: I doubt very much that Peter is a virgin.He's much too wonderful.
Shor: [To Willo'] I'm glad you have come with us to keep us current. Still got a bag full of hashtags to deliver, no doubt?
Clint: Totes don't encourage her!
Willo': [Stands close to Shor as though posing for a selfie] Hashtag goodhairstaystogether! [Glares at Clint] Why is the old guy talking to us?
Charlie: [To Willo'] We find it best not to let him wander around on his own!
Willo': He does seem old and confused. Hashtag smellslikepee.
Austin: [To Willo'] By any chance, do you have transport?
Willo': Transport? No, why would I want such a thing?
Austin: For racing around at high speed, of course. What else?
Willo': It sounds positively awful. I am happy to be where ever I am! Hashtag gladtobehere. [To Shor
] Isn't that right? [Squeezes his arm
[SHOR yelps in pain and flies to the ground.]
Willo': What's wrong with him?
Charlie: [To Willo', quickly going to help Shor] Perhaps a better question is what did you DO to him?!
Austin: [To Willo'] What's right with him?
Shor: [Sits up slowly] What was that? The pain was intense! Even my hair hurt!
Willo': Not the hair! He has such beautiful hair! Almost as nice as mine! [Turns and poses for an unseen camera] Hashtag goodhairday. I didn't do anything to him! I just touched him, like this. [Touches him again, but nothing happens]
Dur: Stand aside so that I may examine the patient!
Willo': [Waves the party out of Dur's way] Let the Jewel through! He will be able to save him!
Austin: But save him from what? [Looks at Willo' suspiciously]
Willo': I don't know, I'm not a doctor, am I? Why don't you ask the expert?
Dur: You can’t expect me to know such things when a man’s life could be hanging in the balance, man! [Inspects Shor’s wound] Ah yes… it is exactly as I feared. This man suffers from being-a-little-baby-it is!
life could be =A6 it is exactly
Shor: Well Doctor, I of course trust you implicitly. However, I've never heard of this malady! Is it serious?
Willo': Ew! [Steps away from Shor] Is it contagious? Hashtag SaveShor! Hashtag beingalittlebabyitisAwareness! Hashtag PinkAndYellowRibbon!
Clint: Can we get on with things before I resort to hashtag MindlessCartoonlikeViolence?
Austin: Just out of curiosity, how mant years young are you?
Willo': You're worse than Cello, old man! Are you afraid you're going to die of old age? [Does a duck face pose for the unseen camera] Hashtag YouthAndBeauty!
Willo': Hashtag BarelyLegal! [Does another pose]
Alice: I never thought I'd say this, but let's get to the library!
Shor: [Stands up weakly] Yes, let's be on our way. Let's not leave my new found debilitating illness hold us back from our meeting, Ms Basset Short!
found debilitating illness hold us back from our meeting, Ms Basset Short!
Charlie: [Starry-eyed] Oh, we shall have a wonderful time! [Assessing the party, gestures to Shor and Austin] The two of you shall work together manning the card catalog and searching the stacks for the books I need while [gestures vaguely to everyone else] the rest of you will follow behind and carry books!
Alice: Books? Hold on a second, no one said anything about books! What the hell use are books?
[A male voice calls out from behind the party.]
Voice: How else are you going to level an unbalanced table?
Austin: He has a point. Who knew books could be so useful!
Alice: I totally knew they could, you also need them for balancing on your head when walking around in deportment lessons!
[The party turn to see this book expert. It is DUPLO DAWSON, a man on horseback, who appears to be naked from the waist down.]
Duplo: And for throwing at nerds! [In a friendly tone
] You must be the weird and scary foreigners, I'm Duplo Dawson! Duplo by name, Dawson by nature!
Charlie: [Intrigued] Oh, are you a centaur?! I have always wanted to [gasps and shields her eyes]--you, sir, are no centaur!!
Alice: I don't know, Charlie, he's hung like a horse!
Willo': That is the horse! [To Duplo] Where are your pants?
Duplo: Huh? [Looks down] Sonofa! Today was laundry day, and I didn't have any clean ones. Crashbag LaundryDay.
Willo': [With disgust] It's HASH [pause] TAG!
Duplo: [Shakes his head] Nah, that doesn't make any sense. Crashbag ItsCrashbagNotHashtag.
Austin: So, Duplo, what CrashbagOtherUsesDoYouKnowOfForBooks ?
Duplo: Loads! You can build forts out of them, or tear pages out and throw balled up paper at girls you like.
Austin: You can also cut out a secret storage space in the middle, so that it still looks like a book, but isn't really. And fire lighters, great for lighting fires. [Muses]
Clint: You can probably use them to keep Dur fed in an emergency situation.
Duplo: Hah! You guys are o-kay! I don't think you're a bunch of sad losers at all!
Charlie: [Nods eagerly] Certainly not ALL of us, no indeed! [Hesitates] Wait, have you heard of us by reputation?
Duplo: Yes! I heard that you were a bunch of barbarians who tried to kill Sharesee.
Sharesee? Did you really believe her?
Duplo: Maybe they were jealous of her hair? You know, she believes she has the most beautiful hair in history. Each one of them has a name.
Alice: Yes, that does mean she's less crazy!
Shor: I think I may have seriously underestimated her brilliance!
Austin: It is common for the less attractive to underestimate the brilliance of the attractive. [Sighs as examines the brilliance of his nails]
Willo': [Defensively] I think your hair is way more attractive than hers, Shor! It's almost as good as mine! Hashtag GoodHairDays!
Shor: That's only because I was dunked in the sea! Hashtag CrustyHippySeaHair!
Willo': [Looks at Alice] Ew! So I see!
Charlie: [Impatiently] Yes, but we were just on the way to the LIBRARY, were we not? [Firmly] All of you can discuss your so-called beauty routines on the way! [Claps her hands commandingly] To the library!
Duplo: It's just over here.
[DUPLO leads the party to building 07, in the north east corner of the town. They can see a huge building in the middle of the town, marked #48.]
Duplo: Here we go, this is where all the nerds go.
Austin: [Nods approvingly] It's a good idea to put them all in one building. Keeps them out of the way, so that no one will see them by accident. [Shudders at the thought]
Alice: [Looking at what appears to be a normal, although slightly larger than nearby ones, house] Is this really a library?
Duplo: No, it's Irman's house. It's where all the nerds hang out. Why would we want a library?
Austin: You wouldn't, but that is a dangerous question to ask! Best not to mention them. [Looks around warily]
Dur: That depends on what kind of library! If you fill it up with strippers and booze, you could be visionaries!
Alice: That sounds like the library at the University I went to.
Shor: You attended University?
Alice: [Puzzled] No.
Irman: [Shakes his head sadly, tutting to himself] You people appear to be ... horrifically poorly organised. Do you have an agenda for this meeting?
Clint: Give Charlie 20 minutes and she'll have one, color coded and even laminated, which we will promptly ignore.
Charlie: [Haughtily] I think you will find we are quite well-organized and efficiently led! [Modestly] Cataloging is one of my passions, and I have a great many files on each of the party [brandishes several bulging, brightly labeled folders with names of members of the party on them].
Irman: [Disapproving] We'll see. I have seen many people claim cataloging as a passion only to later see them confuse Authority Terms with Authority Files! [Scans through the folders, making an impressed humming sound] Ah, I see you have adopted Dewhey's Hierarchical Taxonomy of Personality Disorders and Faults for your group members. [Runs his finger down the coloured tabs on the side] I see. You poor, poor lady. I have never wanted to hug someone more in all my life -- although, that would be quite improper. Perhaps a handshake. [Holds his hand out to Charlie, shaking slightly and perspiring a little]
Alice: [To Duplo] What's wrong with him?
Duplo: I don't think he's ever touched another living person before.
Charlie: [Shakes Irman's hand firmly] It is a pleasure to meet someone with a zeal for order! [In a lower voice] And you find these [nods to the files] shocking, you should see the confidential files on the group! [Primly] Though you haven't the proper clearance, I'm afraid, so that would be most inappropriate!
Irman: [Nods solemnly in agreement
] Of course! Once you have proper clearance in Townagain I will show you the copious notes and records I have on the townspeople. You would be surprised at how often it is [finger quotes
] laundry day. [Shakes her hand
[CHARLIE gives a shriek and flies back from IRMAN, landing on the ground.]
Alice: What the hell did you do to her?
[CHARLIE looks groggy but not seriously injured.]
] That's just what mother said would happen if I touched any other woman! I mean, if I touched a woman!
Austin: Did she say why that would happen? [Helps Charlie up]
Charlie: [To Irman, scolding] Well, perhaps you should have listened to her! [Lifts herself off the ground shakily, staying clear of Irman]
Irman: Maybe I should! [Looks at Austin and pales] Uh... [peers inside his pants and gives a huge sigh of relief] Nothing!
Charlie: [To Irman, astonished] Was that really the first time you ever touched a woman?!
Irman: Certainly not! That is the most preposterous and outrageous thing I've ever heard!
Austin: [Deadpan] What other women have you touched, and when and where did you touch them?
Irman: Mother. Lots of times. In the kitchen mostly.
Austin: [Dissapointed] Is that all?
Irman: [Defensively] Sometimes in the sitting room!
Clint: You hussy!
Irman: [Proudly] That's right!
Shor: So apart from touching your mother in her kitchen and sitting room area, that was the first lady you've touched?
Irman: That was no lady, that was my mother! But yes, that is true. I've touched and been touched by many men, though -- things can get quite racy in the library you know... late night research... cataloging... [loosens his bow tie] cross [licks his lips] referencing...
Charlie: [Fans herself distractedly] Do stop talking such smut! We must remain focused on our goals and have no time to recall highly charged erotic nights in the stacks, when we emerged covered in little more than dust and papercuts!
Irman: [Straightening his tie
] Yes, of course! This is hardly the time to reminisce that night we catalogued the entire collection of Farry Lynt Wood Etchings! Please, come on in! What can I do for you? And please, forgive the mess!
[The party enter the immaculately tidy house.]
Alice: Er... we want to know about the Gang of Five, or Six, or whatever they're called.
Irman: [Tuts irritably
] Oh, this won't do, this won't do at all! [Straightens a book on the shelf
] There, much better!
Shor: Er, about the Gang?
Austin: Have any of them ever touched you?
Irman: [Laughs] Of course not! [To the party] How about some tea? Da-Hong Pao? Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong? [Starts boiling some water] The Gang of Six never leave Florian Hall. That's the huge tower in the middle of the town.
while the next tallest building they've seen so far is just three
Charlie: [Nods, intrigued] Oh, do they suffer from some sort of collective agoraphobia?
Irman: Hm, I don't know, I've never thought about it. This is how it's always been, though. Legends say that some day someone will figure out how to get in there.
Dur: Maybe that's what this map is for. [Points to his back with his thumb.]
Irman: Fascinating! [Drags Dur across the room to a magnifying glass and scans over it
] Hm, you could be right. There is a huge circular spire at the top of Florian Hall, and all the legends -- well, all those from reputable sources -- suggest that the Gang of Six reside up there.
Vintage Narcissus Wuyi Oolong, please. How long to you brew it for, and what is the recommended temperature?
Irman: Good for you. I always say that it is a relief when those of us not blessed with traditionally appreciated, valued and useful brainpower at least have some sort of spatial skills that may come in useful when moving wheelbarrows and whatever else it is people use for manual labour. [Holds up the tea with a smile] Good choice! The first brewing is a mere 20 seconds, which often frightens the uneducated, but that is a necessity when it comes to the multiple brewing steps. I believe in a 98 degree boil. There's no need to get too violent, is there?
Austin: [Unimpressed. Dryly] Not if you are blessed with traditional brainpower.
Irman: That's the spirit, my good chap! Now, where did this map come from? And what makes you think it may be related to Florian Hall? The circular shape notwithstanding, of course.
Dur: I don't remember getting a tattoo, so you know, divine etchings and current circumstances are the only reason we have for believing it is related at all!
Irman: Ah! Very mysterious! It does suggest some sort of divine hand or.... [sniffs the air] intoxication? Where did you wake up with this tattoo? [Reproachfully] Was it Quincy?
Clint: Please, does Dur look like the type to frequent such establishments? It's not an all-night all-you-can-eat chip shop!
Irman: [Looks Dur up and down] Well, quite frankly, yes he does! However, it is getting late. You are more than welcome to stay here tonight. [Thinks] Unless you're a bunch of thieving murderers, in which case I'd prefer you stay elsewhere.
Shor: That's very decent of you! The only thing I could murder is a good shower!
Irman: Showers for everyone!
[DUR screams like a girl.]
Irman: Er, showers for anyone who wants them?
[Book X, Act XI, Scene V. The Upstairs Sitting Room. IRMAN, ALICE, AUSTIN (both newly showered), CLINT and DUR are here, lounging around, waiting for SHOR and CHARLIE, each of whom is in their own room. A selection of sandwiches has been quickly eaten/pantsed by CLINT and DUR, and the others are drinking some hot cholocale.]
Alice: I don't understand. It's basically watery chocolate?
Alice: But... why?
Irman: To help you relax.
Alice: I'm confused, it seems like some sort of trick. [To the others
] It's a drink that doesn't have alcohol?
Charlie: [Emerging from her room wearing an improbably high-necked, long-sleeved, floor-length drab grey dressing gown, looking pale and shaken] Group, I do not wish to upset you, but something dreadful has happened! I have been given [pauses tragically] a tattoo!
Alice: Oh man! Did you mis-spell something? People are always doing that. A friend of mine, let's call her Alison, wanted to get a tattoo saying "No regrets", but accidentally got "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and he'll eat forever, unless he doesn't live near the sea or some sort of river, in which case there's no point in teaching him how to fish, and where did you get that fish in the first place, way out here in the desert? Are you sure it's even a fish?". It took her ages to have it removed. Well? Go on, then! Show it do us!
Shor: [Steps out of the shower room with a towel around his waist. To Dur] Doctor, I seem to have broken out in some sort of ugly rash! Is it a part of my bigbabyitis malady? [Turns to show a big tattoo on his back]
Alice: Yikes! What is it? Does yours look like that, Charlie?
Charlie: [Unhappily] Not precisely, but it is not dissimilar! [Quickly sketches lines on a piece of paper] It's looks like this, but naturally I am not going to bare my flesh to all of you. [Indignantly] I am not Alice, after all!
Alice: Aw, poor Charlie! You have nothing to be ashamed of! Well, hardly anything! [Gives her a hug, mouthing to the party
] She does!
Austin: [To Alice] Well, if everyone was as perfect as me, we would not need the word 'perfect'! [Looks worried and rushes to the bathroom to check for undiscoverd tattoos]
Alice: [Watching as Austin comes back in with a huge look of relief on his face] Oh no! You have one too?
Austin: No. I am still formidably beautiful. [Sighs in relief and sips some hot chocolate] Thank you for asking.
Dur: I can think of only two possibilities. First, is that my immaculate tattoo is contagious and is slowly spreading through the group. Or second, in a fit of ugly jealousy the two of you copies me and tattooed yourselves! Can’t something good happen to ME guys?!
Austin: [Struggling with the concept] Errm, well your tattoo does hide some of the dirt?
Clint: Can those two tattoos be fitted together somehow?
Alice: Can they? How?
Charlie: [To Clint, flushing] Get your mind out of the gutter, Mr. Scar! I am a married woman!
Austin: [Tries to copy the tattoos on to his note pad and fit them together] Does anyone else have a tattoo?
Alice: No, we=E2=80=99ve all either washed or are Clint.
Alice: No, we=E2=80=99ve all either washed or are Clint.
Shor: So why just the three of us? Do you think it's because we had direct contact with the people here?
Alice: Well, it certainly isn't because you've got the best hair!
Shor: Thanks, it is rather magnificent! I can't believe he had coconut and crushed fairy wing conditioner!
Alice: That was conditioner?? Ew! No wonder I've got fairy wing stuck in my teeth!
Lady from Conor # 21
Alice: That was conditioner?? Ew! No wonder I've got fairy wing stuck
Shor: But on the plus side, you do have fresh minty hair!
Charlie: [Helpfully] Ground fairy bones also make an excellent book-binding adhesive, though it is rather tedious harvesting them!
Alice: Not as tedious as reading the books, though! [To the party] So what's with these tattoos?
Shor: I think one appears the first time each of us has contact with a local.
Alice: Huh. So if we say, poked Irman here with a stick, we'd then get one?
Dur: Is it polite to go around poking random people with sticks?
Charlie: [To Dur] Only if you are trying to determine whether or not they are dead! [To the party] Are we so sure these tattoos are to be desired?! They look dreadful!
Alice: They do look awful, but surely they mean something!
Austin: They might not. The risk to our personal destinies, is far too high. Well for those of us with destinies, at least.
Alice: Maybe they just mean the person is marked for dooooooom! Anyway, shouldn't get go and talk to the Gang of Six? We do have the map on Dur's back, right?
Shor: Well, either a map or a bigbayitis rash!
Alice: [Looking at the map] Can't it be both?
Charlie: [Excited] To the Gang of Six, group! [Hesitates, frowning] Oh, I do hope there ARE six of them, and they are not a Gang of Fluctuating Size. That sort of sloppiness can be most disconcerting!
Irman: How are you going to find them?
Alice: [Pointing at it] With the map? Didn't you say that the map showed where they were?
Irman: No, I said that it's a map of Florian Hall.
Alice: And where is the Gang of Six?
Irman: Florian Hall.
Austin: We ourselves are a gang of six. Perhaps we should legislate for specific gang sizes?
Alice: We're more of an organisation of six -- does anyone understand what this guy is talking about?
Clint: Maybe he's saying that the gang is in a maze but not necessarily at the center?
Irman: Oh no, they're at the centre alright. The problem is getting into Florian Hall.
Clint: I'll probably regret asking this, but how is that a problem?
Alice: Yeah, [stands beside Clint, puffing up her muscles] surely someone can just kick the door in? Or [leans down near Austin, mimicking the action] skilfully pick the lock? Or even [stands beside Dur pretending to rub tears from her eyes] cry and cry until they're let in?
Irman: No. You can only open the door if you walk the line.
Charlie: Oh, like some sort of sobriety test? [Assesses the group skeptically] Well, I shall be able to pass such a test, at least!
Alice: I wouldn't worry about it. Those sobriety tests are just the first one -- if you're arrested for driving a carriage while intoxicated, there's always that other test they do back in the station, you know, the one where... uh, huh, I guess that's not really a test, is it?
Irman: [To Charlie] Not in the least. To walk the line, you must first know the line. Do you know the line?
Alice: Is the line "you're very annoying"?
Irman: That is not the line.
Shor: [To Irman] Do you know the line?
Austin: Is it the line between Good and Evil? Or Life and Death? Or just a yellow line painted on the ground?
Irman: Alas, I don't. The people of Townagain have waited a long time for someone who knew it so that they could gain entry to Florian Hall. [To Austin] More of an imaginary line.
Dur: What happens if we don't know the line?
Irman: Then you don't get to get into Florian Hall, and maybe that tattoo isn't a tattoo of a map, and is instead a scab from acute Crybabitis. [Shrugs] You should get the doctor to look at it, she can tell the difference.
Charlie: [Thrilled] Oh, it is like a scavenger hunt! [To Irman, flipping a notebook open and poised to write] What clues can you give us to help us determine the location of this so-called doctor?
Irman: Yes! Yes, of course! She's in Number 10.
Alice: [Standing in front of a noticeboard having pinned various pictures of the party and the townspeople to it, along with a map of the town the party have seen so far] Number 10, eh? [Writes it on a piece of card that she affixes to the board, connecting it to pictures of the tattoos with string] What could it mean?
Irman: Uh, her house is Number 10.
Austin: [Helpfully] It's probably where she lives.
Clint: Could the new tattoos be a hint about this line? They look rather line-like to me. Maybe we all need to get them, just in case?
Alice: So do we all need to touch this guy?
Clint: I certainly hope not! Uh, no offense.
Austin: Keep trying Mr Scar, one day you might not be offensive.
Alice: Don't give him false hope, Aus. We all know he's just getting worse!
Austin: [Sadly] Hope is all he has.
Charlie: [Nods] Indeed, we do not wish him to become a burden to us, and the hopeless tend to be a mopey and inert sort!
On Thu, 13 Dec 2018 at 09:40, Heather
Austin: Speaking of inert, let's get a move on with this plan. Perhaps we should all get the 'tattoos', there is only one way to find out. [Tries to hold Irman's hand]
[AUSTIN successfully holds IRMAN's hand. IRMAN seems happy about it.]
Alice: Huh. So much for that theory!
Shor: Perhaps it's got to be a different person each time.
Austin: Indeed, it makes sense. And a different tattoo each time. [Keeps hold of Irman's hand]
Irman: [Happily holding Austin's hand] Interesting hypothesis! How shall we test it? Do you want to return to Quincy and touch a few Townagainiens? Or shall we proceed to the good doctor's to see if this could all be explained away by a simple case of Crybabitis?
Alice: [Still poring over her evidence board] Given that we still have no clue where this doctor is, what they look like, what their name is or even what their profession is, we should return to Quincy. [Thinks hard] Number 10.... number 10... maybe it's a combination of hexatridecimal and binary numbering systems?
Charlie: [To Alice, snapping her fingers] That's it! The doctor's house number must be number 10! [Relieved] I am so glad I was able to solve this difficult puzzle, thanks to my extensive notes and sharp reasoning skills!
Austin: Let's go and confirm these hypotheses. There's northing quite like real evidence to muddy the waters!
Irman: Splendid! Let's go, [emphasis] groupe! [To Austin] One finds that injecting some foreign phrases into a scientific endeavour such as this will keep some of the less focused members of the groupe interested.
Clint: I see you've found a brand new soulmate, lawyer. [To Irman] Don't get too attached - the last one was turned into charcoal by a dragon earlier this week.
Irman: Charcoal? Fascinating! And this soulmate, can you describe him? title and the like?
Clint: Uh, she specialized in kinky sadomasochistic sex games, so... what, would that be the computer science department, maybe?
Austin: She was a combatant, specialised in unarmed combat. Not particularly kinky, or sadomasochistic. Just a bit fighty.
Irman: How disappointing. Nevertheless, let us talk to the good doctor!
Alice: But where? Where will we find this doctor?
[Book X, Act XI, Scene VI. Number 10 Townagain. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, SHOR and IRMAN, still holding hands with AUSTIN, have just arrived at House #10, on the west side of Townagain, having walked passed Florian Hall (#48 on the map) which is a huge tower that dominates the rest of the town.]
Alice: I don't get it, *this* is where the doctor is?
Charlie: [To Alice] It is our best lead, in any case! Follow me, group! [Knocks briskly on the door of #10]
[Almost the instant CHARLIE knocks on the door it opens a crack, held in place by a chain, and a woman, DR. FLORENCE HONEYDON'TAGAIN, peers out.]
Florence: [Eyeing the party suspiciously
Austin: We have some staff with suspected Babyitis, would you give them a checkup?
Florence: Certainly! [Unlocks the chain and opens the door
] Come on in! Let me just find my poking stick!
[FLORENCE's house extremely messy, filled with boxes and towering stacks of papers that loom ominously over the party as the walk in.]
Alice: Uh, does she have a Mini Peep stuck in her hair?
[Strangely enough, this is true. There is a tiny Mini Peep stuck in FLORENCE's mop of unwashed and uncombable hair.]
Dur: You have your own poking stick?! [Whistles] Fancy!
Florence: [Turns and peers at Dur] Why, yes, young lady, yes I do! [Looks him up and down] Is that a sandwich in your pants or are you just pleased to see me?
Dur: [Smiles] Both!
Florence: Oh my! [Looks him up and down] I do so like a nice pantswich!
Dur: Finally! Someone who appreciates what I bring to the table! [Offers Florence a pantswich]
Charlie: [To Dur, beaming] Oh, Dur! You have finally found an equal! [To the party, in a low voice] Do NOT let this woman touch you. She is clearly a delusional incompetent who merely fancies herself a doctor.
Alice: [Watching in horror as Florence takes a bite of the pantswich] I don't know whether it's adorable or horrifying! I mean -
Florence: [Holds her hand up to Alice as she swallows a huge chunk of pantswich] Just a moment. This is -- excuse me -- a damned fine pantswich. [Picks up a huge stick] Right! Where's the girl with the thorn in her foot?
Dur: I believe it is that one [Points at Austin]. Honestly, most days I have trouble keeping track of which one is which....
Florence: [Takes another bite and offers the rest to Dur] I know, I know... they do all look alike. A bit girlish, I think. I mean, [points at Alice] this one almost looks female!
Florence: Sir, you need to came down! [Turns to Austin, holding her stick] This won't hurt a bit. Just drop your pants and bend over.
Austin: [Still holding hands with Irman] Certainly not. Perhaps you should poke one of those with tattoos?
Charlie: Indeed she will NOT. [To Florence, gesturing to Shor] Can you tell us anything about this young lady's tattoos?
Florence: [Takes out a smaller poking stick as Shor shows off his back muscles and examines it] This is clearly not a case of Babyitis. [To Dur] Notice the absence of tears, screwed up face and puffed out sulky lips?
Dur: Perhaps you should poke him a little harder?
Florence: Or maybe with a bigger stick?
Alice: Let's face it, she's about as useful a doctor as Dur! I mean, any idiot could poke someone with a stick. [Picks up a handy stick to demonstrate, but accidentally pokes herself in the eye] Ow!
Clint: Nicely demonstrated, Bimbo!
Florence: It's a tattoo alright. Who wants some stocking salami?
Dur: I do, I do!
Florence: [Laughs good naturedly] I knew you would! [Peels a slice of salami off her leg] The stocking helps keep it in place when my legs get too sweaty! [Feeds it to Dur]
Alice: This is the most grotesque thing I've ever seen!
Clint: Say, does anyone else think it's strange that we keep on running into gender-swapped alternate universe versions of ourselves here? First Shor and Sharesee, and then Charlie and Irman, and now this?
Dur: [Eats the salami without delay] Mmmm! So warm! Now that we have confirmed the nature of the tattoos, what do we do next?