[Book II, Act V, Scene I. Sven And Peter's Hotel Room Bathroom in Hysteria. SVEN, PETER, JEROME, ALICE, STEPHEN, CLINT, AUSTIN and CHASTITY are here, having appeared in a burst of light, and all are standing, with some difficulty, in the bath. There is also a maid here, FRANK, who looks somewhat taken aback at the sudden appearance of the others, and disregards her toilet cleaning duties, presumeably due to shock.]

Frank : [Running around screaming, waving her arms and feather duster in the air] Aiieee! We're all gonna die!

Stephen : [Takes a look at Frank] Shriek! Take us back! Take us back!

Alice : Take us back? [Looks incredulously at Stephen] Ex boy, er, girlfriend of yours? boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EAB0.5D5E51E0" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Stephen : [To Alice] Oh, give me credit for some pride, at least! [To Frank] Hey, we're not going to hurt you!

Frank : [Settling slightly, but still holding her duster as though it were a weapon] What witchcraft is this?

Sven : Haw! Dear [gets a look at her] er, lady, there's quite a simple explanation for this, and [laughs to himself] you'll get such a kick out of it when you hear it, [giggles again, quite infectiously, so everyone, even Frank is becoming amused] oh, golly me.

[Time passes.]

Frank : [Point the duster accusingly] The explanation?

Sven : Well, I think I'd better let one of these mob explain. [Smiles good naturedly at the party, before muttering under his breath] Come on guys, you're the battle-hardened adventurers, surely you can come up with something! boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EAB1.F05558D0" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Alice : [Nodding in agreement with Chastity] Yeah, Stephen tells it best!

Austin : [Butts in, stepping out of the bath, smiling] Basically, we were sitting in the audience in a theatre, when they asked for some volunteers, to get into a box, as part of a theatrical stunt or something, and then here we are! Remarkable is it not? [Takes Frank by the hand, surveys the room] My, this bathroom is wonderfully clean. Well done.

Frank : [Giggling like a foolish schoolgirl] Why thank you! I sure do love those magicians - Daniel Pauls and his lovely assistant, Debbie McGrin, they're my favourite, especially with all their rope tricks [puts on a silly accent] lotta knot!

Stephen : Erm, well, we're ah, what I'm trying to say, wait, well, [shrugs his shoulders helplessly] We're drain inspectors.

[Fortunately, FRANK is too busy doing her DANIEL McPAULs impression for AUSTIN to notice STEPHEN's feeble suggestion.]

Alice : [With a raised eyebrow] Drain inspector? We're standing in a bath, and the best you can do is claim that we're come kind of pants police? boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EAC0.6E29D6B0" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Alice : [Holds her hands up, and looks shocked] Wow! I knew nuns were out of touch, but this? Sister, Drain Inspectors were set up in the early seventies, you know, the age of the flare? It was their job to ensure that people wore the regulation pants. Or, in some cases [looking at Clint] that people actually wore pants. boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EAC8.8062EEE0" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Alice : Did he only where them in there? Or did he ever come out of the closet?

Austin : [To Chastity] Perhaps he had confiscated them from some unclean nonbelievers, thereby helping those lost sheep onto the path of light.

Alice : Eauh! There were sheep involved too? No wonder you joined a convent, Chassers!

Frank : [Calming down] Well, I suppose I'd better be on my way, I can come back later if you'd like. [Makes a doe-eyed look at Austin]

Austin : [To Frank, whilst walking out of the bathroom towards the front door to see Frank out] My itinery for today is a little convoluted, so, if you like I'll leave a note for you at reception tommorow with a suitable meeting time perhaps. [Opens door for Frank, smiles, slaps her on the bum as she exits]

[FRANK departs, giggling like a foolish teenager from AUSTIN's flirting, who then shuts the door after her.]

Alice : I gotta say, Austin, you make a gorgeous couple!

Sven : [Coming out of the bathroom, with sounds of a toilet flushing behind him] So, friends, Peter and I must soon be on our way - what are your plans now?

Clint : [Appearing behind Sven, hair wet] Well, do we still need these? [Points at pendant] And how do we get rid of these? [Points at tatoo]

Stephen : Well I for one would like to keep both. I've grown quite fond of my tattoo, and would like to keep it as a souvenir of my time spent with you lot.

Sven : [Putting a big, burly arm around Stephen] Haw! Excellent! He wants to keep the tattoo [serious face] seriously Stephen, we need that back - why don't you just get a picture of them, or something?

Austin : [Grimaces after Franks has gone and the door has closed. To Sven] How about some healing? And what purpose did those pendants serve anyway?

Sven : Can do, Austin, sir. We can bring you all back to the prime of your health - and even bring back whoever is in the Soul Sanctuary. The pendants are holy and sacred items that recognise when a particular danger has been experienced, and then caused the tattoo to take the appropriate shape.

Alice : Cool! The pendant knows when there's danger? How does that work?

Sven : Afraid I don't know, little lady, that's the job of the techies and eggheads in the back room. All I know [looks a little disturbed as he sees Alice peering into the bathroom] is that they work together.

Stephen : [Sighs, and hands his pendant to Sven] There you go, young friend! [Gestures with his thumb to the door] So, where are we anyway, Hysteria?

Clint : [Low voice, to Alice] Did you see them? The eggheads?

Alice : [Looks around to check no one can overhear, before leaning in very close to Clint, and, whispering confidentially] I don't think so, but, from what I heard, it is quite common for the nerdy and geeky types to have their heads shoved down the toilet, so if we just wait a while we'll - hey! [Suddenly notices Clint's hair dripping onto her] I hope that's from the shower!

Sven : [Gives Stephen a huge punch of gratitude to the shoulder] Ha! That's the spirit, friend! [As Stephen rightens himself] That's right, we're bang in the middle of Hysteria - its an interesting place, but you'd want to be careful what you say to the locals, they're a little twitchy.

Austin : [Scowls at Clint. To ALice] Sven meant the other backroom, sweetie, the proverbial one.

Stephen: [Rubs his arm and glares at Sven] That really hurt! [To the others] Listen, I've been thinking when I was in that toilet, and well, it's time for me to go and make a movie. Well, I hate long goodbyes, so, [goes to the door] byebye. [Opens the door] I'm sure we'll meet again someday soon, don't know where, don't know when. [Blows an airkiss to everyone one and leaves the room]

Clint : [Looking puzzled] Huh? The faggot has decided to leave the party? I must be dreaming. Somebody pinch me please!

Alice : [Calling after him] Hang on! Why are you leaving, Stephen? There's no need for that - I think we'd all like you to hang around.

Alice : [Angrily to Clint] I'll do better than that, Clint! [Smack! Slaps him across the face.]

Stephen : Well, a few reasons, Alice. Firstly, I've not been a member of the party at all, I only tried to save your lives in Cointreau, at great expense to my job and life, and have been entangled in your mission ever since, until now . Secondly, and real importantly, the callous insensitivity shown by everyone but Alice, at the death of poor old Lenin. Thirdly, I've had more than enough of Ol' Stinky One Nut. And fourthly, showbusiness is in my veins, and I just gotta go and make a celluloid epic!

Clint : Ow! Hey!, I'm not dreaming! Thanks bimbo! [Opens one of the bottles from Dirty Betty's]

Alice : Well, if you've got your mind made up. [Gives him a hug.]

[PETER and SVEN look at each other and smile. On a tree outside, a pair of birds look at each other and sing, while on the road below, a dog that was chasing a cat stops, and the two of the walk into the sunset paw in paw.]

Conor Ryan wrote:

Stephen : [Hugs Alice back] Well, guess I like long goodbyes, after all! Take care, most of you, and I wish you the best of luck with finally losing Clint.

Clint : [To Stephen] Aw c'mon Hyperberk, no hard feelings! Here, want a taste? {Hands Stephen the bottle from Dirty Bettys, with a brownish liquid inside goodbyes, after all! with finally

Austin : [To Stephen] Good luck. Anytime you require research material for your next action adventure, you know where to look. Here take this, you'll need it. [Hands Stephen a card for a very expensive tailor] All of this adventuring takes it's toll on ones garments. [Although Austin looks as if all of his clothes are brand new]

Chastity : [Tuts loudly] Goodness Clint, leave the man alone, would you! If he's made up his mind, then so be it. I'm sure Phili will forgive him for the way he is, but keep him safe on his journey also. Goodbye Mr Hitchberg, please don't forget to make a donation to the monastery in Queens View, from time to time.

Alice : [Steps back from Stephen with a smile, standing between Austin and Clint] You'd better get out of here, Stephen.

Stephen : Thank you sister, I think. [To Clint] Clint, do you have a forwarding address, incase I come across your testicle on my travels? I could post it to you. I'm sure it's so small that the postage would be quite reasonable. Good day! [Leaves the room]

Clint : Typical. Dumps an insult and then leaves the room, affraid of the answer. [Opens the bottle and smells it] Yickes! Where did Betty get her drinks?! [Throws the bottle into the bathroom]

[STEPHEN turns and walks out, revealing to all a "Kik me" note, obviously stuck to his back by the now sniggering ALICE.]

Alice : [To the others] What? He'd have done it to me!

Sven : I suggest we remove whoever is in the soul sanctuary, and then cure all your wounds, unless anyone has another suggestion?

Chastity : [Looks at Alice] Dear girl, what am I to do with you! If that soul sanctuary contains your uncle, you can be assured that I'll be taking up the matter of your behaviour over the last few months with him almost immediately!

Alice : I hope you do, Chastity, and I'll be sure to tell him about your behaviour!

[A short time later, SVEN and PETER have drawn a large pentagram on the ground, which is adorned with candles, incense and a small ham sandwich.]

Alice : [Looking at the sandwich, as she sits into the pentagram] What's that for?

Peter : Lunch. [Picks up the sandwich and eats it.]

Alice : [Shaking her head] Man, I'll never get use to all this hocus pocus, jiggery pokery!

Sven : [Producing yet another orb, which he holds in front of Alice, and makes an incantation in some incomprehensible language.]

[There is a puff of smoke from the orb in SVEN's hand, and HARVEY stands in front of the party, coughing.]

Clint : Holy smoke! It is Harvey!

Harvey: [Breaks wind thunderously] By the saints, what the blue blazes is going on? [Looks around in confusion] Oh excuse me ladies, how ill mannered of me! [Teeters uncertainly, before sitting down heavily] Gah! I've been shot! [Holds his hands to his throat and gasps for breath. After a moment he opens one eye and feels at his throat again] Eh? [Sees Alice] Oh dear niece, are we in heaven? [Spies Austin] Gah!

Alice : [Momentarily shocked, but the smells the flatulence, and turns to Clint] Yes! Yes it is! [Runs to him and embraces him] I'm so glad it was you Harvey, because I didn't like the idea of Lenin being in me at all!

Harvey : [Gives Alice a huge bearhug] Well, this old soldier is happy to see you, me dear! But...[looks around the room]...where am I? Where's the ship? The purple cloud? Patch? [Points at Peter] Dear God, what is that thing? You private, what outfit are you with? The Pink 15th? [Holds his head] Aaah, I have a headache that bangs like a Howitzer 52!

Austin : [To Harvey] Touche! We meet again. Not heaven, Hysteria.

Peter : I am with the Lost Boys.

Alice : Sit down Harvey, a lot has happened since the boat. You've been dead for a while, we were marooned on a desert island, stuck in a never ending party, pursued by cops, caught in a bar room brawl, got on tv, were in a car chase, put in jail, spent time in a cupboard, set fire to a bar, got tattooed, killed a really bad guy, set fire to the bar again and saw a really scary waitress. Oh yeah, and we're no longer together. [Points at the quiet Jerome, before sitting back, arms folded, as though happy with her explanation.] boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EDCF.923B8000" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Sven : Sr. Chastity, two soul sanctuaries have been placed within Alice, which can be filled if and when a member of your party dies. Clearly, when the good Colonel's time came, his spirit entered one, and has resided within ever since.

Alice : [Irritably] Up to no good? I've just helped save Harvey's life, as well as providing a convenient insurance for everyone in the party [points a thumb at herself] except me, and you ask me if I've been up to no good? You know, it seems to me that the person who's been up to the [emphasises] most good is - hey! [Turns to Sven] How long am I going to have these? [Points to her stomach]

Sven : [Gives a nervous smile] Why don't we see what we can do about curing people's injuries?

Alice : Good point - [points at Stephen] I mean, we really want to get rid of that. [Pause] The tattoo I meant! Sheesh!

Sven : I'll take the pendants back, if you don't mind - the tattoos will disappear after that.

Clint : 'bout time; this beer is clearly not going to do anything for my health!

Sven : [Producing yet another orb] This, friends, will cure all your wounds. [Drops the orb in the middle of the party, which causes it to explode in a blue light which envelopes everyone. When it dies down, everyone is back to full health, and all bruises, cuts, etc. are now gone.]

Alice : So what do we do now?

Clint : Since no-one has any ideas, I suggest we go find a bar here in Hysteria and drink to the good health of the Colonel. And finally get proper beer!

Sven : [Putting Clint in a headlock] Ha! Excellent idea mate! [Clint throws him to the ground, and both get up, looking pretty ruffled] if you lot haven't any fixed idea, I've somewhere that you might want to check out.

Alice : Before we do that, we really should think about what we want to do. There are a lot of loose ends - Eva should be warned about Adam Torque, we might want to sort out Black for giving us those drugs - which, by the way, we all seem to have gotten over without too much trouble, then there's the business of the murders and shapechangers in Hallbridges, not to mention bringing the cure for Scalies back to Queens View!

Harvey : [Stands up slowly and rubs his stomach] Why, dear niece, we find the nearest eatery and gorge ourselves on the finest delicasies known to mankind! By the saints, I'm famished!

Austin : Well said Alice, the mystery is not yet solved, my super sleuthing friends. I must check up on my contract terms with regards to me having executed my duties with regards to the contract enabling my freedom from the unlawful and incorrect accusations against me, to be gained upon solving the mystery.

Alice : [Taking Harvey's arm] You know, Uncle Harvey, you haven't changed a bit. Let's talk about this in the bar.

Alice : As far as I remember Austin, you were only supposed to stay with us until we found out what caused the whole affair at Queens View - we've done that, and killed Iok. Now, it seems to me that you could probably head off if you wanted to - but there is that whole souls connected together forever thing that Marasmus was talking about, and you seem to be involved. Of course, I'm sure we can't force you to stay, if you don't want to.

Harvey : [Taking Alices arm] Indeed, private Sleaze. Nothing holds you to this troop but loyalty. [To Alice] But dear, you mentioned that Maria was in danger from that blackguard Colonel Nunpar! What danger? Why, if that fiend lays one finger on her, I'll...I'll...[goes red with pent up rage]...gah!

Alice : She's not in danger from Colonel Nunpar, she's in danger from us!

Austin : [Musing, hand on chin, lookling out of the window] The financial gains that we have recieved from our valiant efforts have been nonexistent, as have opportunities to create such. But I have met some exceeding wealthy and powerful people in my time in the party. Shall we go and dine, as Harve suggests. Then I may ponder our financial predicament further.

Clint : [To Alice] What's he about? [To All] Let's get those well deserved drinks so! [Punches Sven very hard on the arm] Will you join us, Viking?

Alice : [Stepping aside as Sven staggers passed her] I think he means he's miffed that a round of drinks cost him most of his gold back in the Under City.

Sven : [Grimacing] Hah! I'll look forward to a drink with you, sir!

[Exit ALL.]

[Book II, Act V, Scene II. The Hotel Bar. SVEN, PETER, JEROME, ALICE, HARVEY, CLINT, AUSTIN and CHASTITY have just entered. There are no other customers in the bar, and the only other person is TOM SMOOTH, the bartender.]

Tom : [With a certain amount of panic in his voice] Ack! Customers! And we're totally under staffed! No beer! No alcohol! [Looks down] No pants! Conor Ryan wrote:

Harvey : [Slams his fist on the counter] A drink for me and my battle weary troop, my good fellow! And food! As much as you can carry to the table!

[TOM says nothing, but just looks at HARVEY terrified, shaking his head and sweating profusely.]

Austin : [To Tom] Allow me to help [If Tom accepts or freezes, Austin will go behind the bar and help himself to a drink, if there is one, and steal anything worth stealing - checks the till] boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EDE1.AD0FC410" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Tom : [Shouting] No! [In a normal voice] No. I'll bring you down some drinks and food in a second.

[ALICE sits down at a nearby table.]

Tom : No! Don't sit there! Its just not safe!

Harvey : [Sits with Alice.] Come everyone, sit! Let us drink to life and living! By the saints toenails, I thought I was done for back on that ship! [Breathes deeply and slams his fist on the table, before laughing hugely] Hah, what a good day to live!

Tom : [With a worried look] You're going to have to keep it down, sir, the other customers might get carried away. [Begins pouring out drinks]

Clint : [Looks around for other customers] Huh? [To Tom] Young lad, do you have any Jameson, by any chance? Otherwise Louis XIV will do!

Tom : [Stuck in a frenzy of drink pouring, and speaking through clenched teeth] Got - to - pour - the - drinks!

[There are now at least fifteen Temple Shirleys poured out.]

Alice : [Going to the bar and picking up one of the drinks] Wow! It really does look like there's a little curl in there! [Looks more closely] Eauh!

Austin : [To Tom, pinching Toms bum] You don't happen to have any contraband hidden in your back passage do you?

Tom : [Slapping Austin across the face] No! [Breathes deeply to calm himself down, before turning to Clint] No, we've no Louis XIV, I'm afraid. Its been put on the list of banned substances, along with cheese.

Alice : [Wide-eyed at Austin] Crikey! And I thought the whole gay thing was gone now that Stephen has left!

Clint : [To Alice] Apparently no; how come I'm not surprised... [Drinks some of his Temple Shirley] Yuck!, women's drink! [To Tom] Won't you give me a glass of the strongest drink you have in the bar, please? Thanks!

Tom : [Pours out a glass of some kind of whiskey] There y'go. [Slides the glass along the counter towards Clint, who is at the opposite end of the bar] Oh no! Its going to fall off the edge! Make sure you catch it! Don't let it drop!

[The glass, of course, is still miles away from both CLINT and the edge of the bar.]

Tom : [Covering his eyes, but with a crack between two fingers so he can still see through] I can't watch! boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EE5F.F4228260" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Harvey : Well, good sister! I'd dare say that the young barkeep is merely intimidated by us! How often does such a dashing regiment enter his establishment? [Bangs the table] Never!

Austin : [To Harvey] It may be the case that Tom is nervous because this land has very strict laws, and that we are, in fact, under surveillance at this precise moment.

Harvey : Ha sister! What an espionage agent you'd have made! You definitely took the wrong vocation! Of course, not that there's anything wrong with being a bride of Phili, goodness no! [Goes redder still] In fact, how I sometimes wished I could have been a member of the cloth, rather than a lean mean killing machine, born to hack and slash! [Looks casually around the bar] But why would someone want to spy on us? [Yelling] Come out your scurrulous dogs! You there, hiding behind the sherry, face me like a man!

Clint : [Crawls over the bar to reach the whiskey glass which is quite far away] Hey! What's this? Ice cubes on my whiskey?!? [Fishes them out with his fingers, and then downs the glass] Another one if you please, Tom.

Alice : [Looking from behind the sherry bottle] Er, that was me, Uncle!

Tom : [Breathing a huge sigh of relief as Clint narrowly averts the near disaster of whiskey spillage] Who says I'm nervous?

Harvey : [To Tom] The chef does, young fella! So confront him about it, and place our food order while you're at it!

Tom : Er, okay.

[Exit TOM through some swinging doors.]

Alice : Gosh, Uncle, its so great having you back, I can't tell you how much I've missed having a strong male in the apartment. [Pause] Did I say apartment? I meant, party.

[Some shrieking can be heard from without the doors, and a voice other than that of TOM's can be heard saying "There's what? There are customers out there? What the hell am I supposed to do about it?".]

Harvey : Gah! What is it with this town and questions? Must even the smallest sandwich come with an unasked for sidesalad of queries? [To Alice] My thanks Alice, it feels wonderful to once again breathe the coppery aroma of guts 'n glory!

[The swinging doors are pushed open a tiny bit, and there are clearly two people peering out.]

Alice : [To Sven] So what's the story here, Sven? What's wrong with these people?

Sven : There's nothing wrong with them, they are always just a little... uneasy. Many towns in the Realms were built at pivotal intersections between heaven and hell, and are often affected by certain, overpowering emotions.

Alice : [Wrinkling up her nose] You mean, like from Clint?

Sven : No, I said "emotions".

Harvey : Well, I don't like the smell of these emotions at all, not one little bit! [Looks at his drink] Drink not another drop, troop, we must be ready for anything they throw at us. Not one crumb to hit that floor, understood? [To the two behind the door] You there, show yourselves! I can't abide guerilla tactics! boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EE86.EC3AAAB0" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

[Enter TOM.]

Tom : The food will be ready in just a few moments.

Sven : [Pushing a few umbrellas of his Temple Shirley to one side] So, what do you lot plan to do next?

Austin : [To Sven] So is there an entrance to heaven around here someplace?

Harvey : Gorge myself! Rest, then gorge myself again! An army walks on its stomach, don't you know! [Looks closely at Sven] Hey, you there, sir, what's your name and rank, and why are you sitting so close to my niece?

Peter : Because he wants to play monopoly with her later on.

Sven : [Loudly and formally] Sir, I am Sven Goring, Member of the Hierophantic Knights and [looks at Alice and smiles] and sir, I mean no disrespect for either you or your niece. [Lifts his glass in salute to Harvey] It is an honour to share a table with you, sir. [Takes a drink, before turning to Austin] An entrance to heaven, you say? Haw! It is quite simple, my esteemed friend, to enter, one must simply die! Of course, that might also get you into hell, eh? Haw! [Slugs down some more drink, but somehow, an umbrella becomes lodged in his throat] Gack!

Tom : Oh no! He's gonna die! He's gonna die! boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EE8A.928AA070" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible. Conor Ryan wrote:

Harvey : Zounds! Man down! [Jumps from his chair, rolls across the table, sending drinks flying, and drops down behind Sven, before rising shakily and performing the heimlich manouver] Medic!

Alice : [Goes around the front, to see if she can spot the umbrella coming out] Go Chassers! [Chastity gives a hard tug] Oh no! The umbrella has opened in there!

Clint : Oh, quit the excitation, will ya all? [Punches Sven on the back] There, spit it out!

[Somehow HARVEY joins CHASTITY and the two of them give an almighty tug, which, in combination with CLINT's punch, causes the now opened umbrella to shoot out and into the middle of the room.]

Alice : [Applauding] Wahey! Do it again! Do it again!

Sven : [Staggering slightly, before turning to Harvey, slapping him on the shoulder] Hah! Well done that man! I thank you sir - I knew immediately from your bearing what kind of man you would be. [Turns to Chastity, and does an ostentatious bow] Sister, I am in your debt. [Looks at Clint at smiles, before doing a pretend boxing move on him.]

[TOM disappears into the kitchen for a few moments, before staggering out under a huge tray of food.]

Alice : [Looking at the tray] Wow! They've got steaks, chops, a soused pigs head, complete with apple, golden honeyed locusts, jellied eels, thrushes ankles, snakes feet, crispy popadoms and curried brussel sprouts!

Harvey : [Retaking his seat] You are most welcome sir, however, it may teach you some discipline, for this whole sorry affair would have been avoided had you followed my orders and abstained from that dandified beverage! [Suddenly smells the food] Ah, by the saints, what a veritable banquet! [Scoops a handful of snakes feet before the tray touches the table and sucks them one by one through the tiny gap between this two front teeth]

Sven : Haw! Undone by a homosexual drink! Sir, I am ashamed. [To Tom] A lot beer, young man, [thundering] and now!

Tom : [Terrified] Er, do you want me to bring you it, or for me to drink it!

Sven : Ha! Even the servant wants to get in on the celebration! Do both sir, and be quick about it.

Alice : [Momentarily disturbed by the strange suction sound from Harvey] Wow, Unc, I never knew you were into Snake's Feet. I prefer the modern way to ingest them though. [Takes a handful and puts them on a clean table, before pushing them into a neat line with her credit card. Next, she takes out a 100GP note, rolls it up and uses that to snort up a goodly portion of them] I say Goddamn! [Wipes her nose with the back of her hand, making a disgusting snort as she does so.]

Harvey : [Momentarily distracted from munching on a golden honeyed locust] My, dear niece, what dashed funny eating habits you young people practise these days! My, these locusts are superb! [To Tom] My compliments sir

Clint : [Taking a handful of snake's feet and throwing them into his mouth, with half of them dripping off his chin] This food is delicious! The perfect complement to the b... - hey!, Tommy boy, where's my beer?!

Alice : [Waving her arms around slowly in time to the jukebox which, of course, is turned off] Its not just the eating habits Uncle its absolutely everything to do with it because its not like alcohol when everyone gets really aggressive and partisan and has no interest in other people oh no its not like that at all everyone gets really understanding and wants to talk and talk and talk and understand what other people are going through and just sit with each other and hug total strangers who've accidently spilled your bottle of water that cost 10GP which is really unfair because the bar owner knows that we all get really dehydrated but then again we're not going to be doing any drinking so I suppose it is only fair that they make their money somehow. [Closes her eyes and carries on dancing to the imaginary music.]

Tom : [Horsing back some beer] Glad you like it! [Staggers out to the table with tray of mugs of beer, spilling most of it on the table, the food and most of the party.] Sorry its so late!

Sven : [Trying to pick up a jellied eel, which keeps slithering away from him] So anyway, I think we were going to discuss your next move?

Harvey : [Peeling off a cheek from the pigs head, turns to Alice] Gosh, and that's snakefeet, is it? [To Sven] This pigs cheek, and then some curried sprouts, sir! A hierophantic knight, eh! I've not heard of your order since the campaign of '37, I thought most of your boys had been wiped out by the muslin hordes while attempting to retake the holly land? A most rum affair, and no doubt. Cut my military teeth on that campaign, as a young lieutenant in the 5th, fusiliers, don't you know! By the saints, how resplendesent we all looked in our polished armour, standing in rank after rank of shining military testosteroned fueled glory! To arms, came the battle cry, and we were off, rampaging through the countryside on a frenzy of killing and mutilating! [Takes a huge bite from his pig cheek] Oh happy days!

Sven : Haw! [Rips off a piece of pig meat, and bangs it against the remains of Harveys, as though they were clinking glasses, so they are, literally, cheek to cheek] You must have been some kind of a hellraiser in your day sir. [Takes a bite of cheek] Those were dark days for the Knights, indeed, and many of our number fell to those Cotton Worshippers, but we have always been in the background, only making ourselves known when necessary, and believe me, [looks around at the rest of the party] it is necessary now. [Continues with his meaningful look, clearly expecting shock and horror from the party, but is somewhat disappointed to get only snoring from Alice's direction.]

Harvey : Gad, sir, what stirring words! [Licks his pigs cheek] But pray tell, why is it necessary for the knights to show themselves now?

Clint : [Pulling out one of the pigs' eye balls, bitting it, sucking the inside with a loud noise, and then spitting the remaining shell] Well for one they did bring you back Harvey. This party desperately needed some real men around - after Lenin died, I was the only one left, surrounded by faggots and women!

Harvey : What's this? Fag..[Stares at Austin] Eh? What's all this about? Explain yourself, private Scar! What are you insinuating about private Sleaze? [Pops a curried brussel sprout into his mouth]

Alice : [Waking up] Aw yuck, Uncle! Don't eat his eye, only digusting, sick, twisted people eat pig's eyes. [Looks at where Harvey got the "eye" from] Oh sorry, my mistake.

Sven : Colonel, surely you are aware of what is happenning in the Realms? The North has lost the war, and we are being over run by Southerners. Devils such as Pestilence Sotot are struggling for control, and crazed oppressive fascists such as Adam Torque are seizing their opportunity to gain power for themselves.

Clint : And faggots are all around!

Austin : [To Harvey] Are you of a homosexual disposition? You look like you've had your ways with many a fine young recruit. [Skewers an eyeball and scoffs it in one]

Harvey : [Gasps in shock, before slamming his fist on the table] What? What impudence is this, private Sleaze? How dare you, you lilly livered cur! [Rises from the table, quaking with rage] Outside, you mound of vile excrement, and I'll run you through!

Alice : [Angrily to Austin] You shut your mouth - the only one around this table who could be described has having any homosexual interests is you [points a snake foot at Austin, but, of course, it is so tiny, no one can see it] Mister Sleaze! Just wait until I tell Uncle Harvey about what you did in the Under City with your bumchum, Bumch Um!

Harvey : [Still standing and quivering with rage] Typical of the yellow mongrel you are, silent when required to be a man! By the gods, you are a despicable specimen, private! Well, shall I have satisfaction, Sleaze? The gauntlet has been thrown down, and I await you to grow a backbone!

Austin : [To Harvey] We are not in the army old man. You appear to be suffering from dellusions of grandure outwith your abbilities, and I carfully take this time to remind you that you are but a humble jailer, with a very pretty nice who has no idea what happen between Bumch and I in the Undercity, and I see any such allegations as slanderous in the upmost.

Alice : [Standing alongside Harvery, taking up almost exactly the same pose] The only satisfaction he has with bones, Uncle Harvey, is when he's been experimenting with someone's back passage!

Alice : And what about your slanderous allegations about Harvey? What the hell is wrong with you, Austin? I thought we had seen the back of the evil, mean Austin in Pestilence's place, but here he is again, as odious, ignorant and arrogant as ever!

Austin : [To Alice] I have never, nor shall I ever experiment with anyones back passage. I decline your offer of satisfaction as I do not take pleasure in battling with deranged, insane geriatrics. Your saliva does stain so. [Check for splatters]

Harvey : [Incredulously to Austin] Hah, the words of a coward, Sleaze! You tell me to mind my place in life, when it is you, [snorts], sir, who should realise how short your life has become! Now, I've challenged you to a duel, do you accept, or shrivel away like the petticoat you secretly wear! Or are you man enough to apologise for that slur on my character? Decide quickly, boy, for my arm itches to swing a blade at your straw filled head!

Alice : The only thing deranged about Harvey, [waves at the others] and the rest of us, for that matter, is that we put up with you and your nasty ways, Austin. How dare you insult him like that?

Sven : [For once, looking concerned] Hey guys, we're all friends here, aren't we? boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EE9F.03832130" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Clint : [Punching Sven's shoulder] Sure we are! [To Harvey] C'mon colonel, leave the dirty lawyer mubbling about the invoices he forgot to write when selling his own back passage, and let us feast on this fine table! [Looks at Austin head to toes] Besides, challenges and duels are only valid between men!

Austin : [Smiling, almost laughing, To Alice] What insult? I have never insulted Grandad here [Points at Harvey. To Harvey] I could not enter a duel with anyone for, 'no reason', what would be the gain? And as for your honor, I am afraind to say that honor does not exist. It is a concept invented by ruthless war leaders to fool the proleteriat army into thinking that they have a personal interest in dieing for a cause. [Sips his beer]

Harvey : Gah! How's this for a reason? [Punches Austin in the jaw, knocking the beer from his hand.]

[AUSTIN falls back on the ground, covered in a combination of beer, snakes feet, locusts, sprouts and bombay mix.]

Alice : [Outraged] Hey! I didn't know there was any bombay mix!

[TOM runs around the bar, screaming.]

Austin : [Gets back up, does a bluff punch and kick Harvey in the groin as hard as he can] Take this, retard!

[AUSTIN tries a kick, but it catches the table, knocking over ALICE's glass of beer.]

Alice : Gah! [Draws her sword]

Sven : [Stands up, and points a finger at Alice] This is between them, Alice, its not up to us to get involved.

Clint : Wahey!, a fight! [Sends his mug flying through the bar, and breaks a chair on the table] Yeeeeeeehah! [Punches Jerome - not too hard, might wake him up]

Harvey : [Red with rage] By the saints, dirty tactics old blouse! [Pushes the table aside and throws himself, punching, at Austin]

Austin : [To Harvey] So did that make you feel better? Needlessly attacking and unarmed man? Assulting an inocent customer? What sort of pervert are you that you derive pleasure from assulting those you know are not as strong as you. Were you bullied at school. Did the big boys take advantage of you? [Crawls onto a different seat, checks his clothes and takes another beer] Sheesh!

[As AUSTIN pulls himself away, HARVEY crashes another punch, and knocks him to the floor again, bleeding from the nose.]

[Meanwhile, CLINT's unprovoked attack on JEROME sends him flying to the ground.]

Jerome : [Looking up in panic] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc PhD, BH (Broken Hearted) demands to know what you are doing, sir! [Doesn't get up, but stays lying on the ground]

Sven : [Attempts to get in between Harvey and Austin] Okay guys, enough's enough. [Turns to Austin] Why don't you just apologise to the Colonel? I'm sure that'll be then end of it. Yaaaah! Just had Miguel in here, bursting his ass laughing! Conor Ryan wrote:

Austin : [To Sven] Apologise for what? Being alive, not being burly enough to engage in retarded brawls! [Legs it away from Harvey]

Harvey : [To Sven] Sir, my honour has been offended, being referred to as a homosexual, and I cannot, and blast it, will not, back down until I have either an apology, or the satisfaction of a duel!

Austin : [To Harvey, from a doorway] I did not refer to you as a homosexual you idiot, I simply asked after your sexual prefernce, Two completely different things I can assure you! I as a Lawyer would never make such a mistake as it would be slanderous and finacially repugnant!

Sven : [Holding his hand out to pull up Austin] I think he wants an apology for you claiming that he had his wicked way with new recruits, and your question did suggest that you believed he was the way of Stephen. Come on now, Austin, there's no need for this.

Jerome : [Looking up at Clint] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc PhD demands an apology from you sir!

Alice : [Pointing her sword at Austin] You liar! You claimed he looked like he was one!

Tom : [Hiding under a table] We're all gonna die!

Austin : [To Harvey] Very well, I hereby appologise to you Harvey Klingston-Snort, for suggesting that you may have had undesirable interactions with new recruits. Do you accept my appology and are you prepared to 'call it quits' from now on?

Austin : [To Harvey] I mean Charles the IIIrd, not Short. Pardon me.

Harvey : [Shouts in anger] You sir, are even a bigger fool than I first took you for. You apologise, yet deliberately make light of my name at the same time! Why? Why, I ask you, must you be such a bloody fool? Apologise Sleaze, properly, or die! That is my final word on the matter!

Austin :[ To Harvey] It was an honest mistake. You have after all just assulted me, beating me around the head with extreeme predjudice. There are several witnesses.

Alice : All I witnessed was you insulting Harvey, and then, in an uncharacteristically spineless way, claiming that you didn't. Even your derangement of his name was a pathetic attempt to insult him further. [Speaking softly] Austin, we all know you were wrong, and none of us want to see this, so why don't you just apologise? [Face takes on a confused look] We're all in this together, so while Harvey is wrong to hit you, you surely can see that he is doing it because you goaded and insulted him into doing it? [Looks at Clint] As for why you hit Jerome, I've no idea, but would guess its because you're a psycho.

Harvey : [Puffs himself up. To Austin] I, sir, am Harvey Kingston Short, ex-colonel of His Majesty's 5th, fusilier regiment, don't you know. [Thinks for a moment] Okay, Mr Sleaze, I'm willing to accept your apology about what just happened here today, but please be very careful with your accusations in future. Some of the rest of our troop might react violently if such a slur were to be voiced! Now, where was I? Ah yes, the curried sprouts!

Austin : [To Alice] I have just apologised. The missnaming was a genuine mistake. I have just suffered head trauma. [Pats his wounds with a silk hankerchief] If Harvey wishes to murder me then so be it. I can hardly believe that you all just stood there and let him assault me like that. I could have been killed. [To Sven] Any healing powers left, I appear to have been mugged.

Clint : Aw!, no more fighting? Oh well, at least there's still some beer! [Gives his hand to Jerome] Sorry old boy, I got carried away by the fight and wanted to hit a standing object, but your numbness fooled me!

Sven : [Puts his head back and gives a huge laugh] Haw! For a moment there, you lot had me going. There have been some questions raised about your suitability, but being able to rough house without any ill feeling is a good thing in my book.

Alice : Really?

Sven : Yep. [Takes out a book and shows her a page]

Alice : [Reading from it] Enforced male chastity?

Sven : Oops, wrong page. [Flicks it over]

Alice : [Reading again] Yep, that's just what it says here.

Jerome : [Stands up, nose to nose with Clint] Sir, I demand an apology for your unwarranted assault. [Slaps Clint across the face]

Sven : [Watching Jerome and Clint] Haw! They're at it again. [Smiles to himself, shaking his head, before turning to Austin] No, I'm afraid we can't give out healing potions when the wounds were inflicted in such a wasteful manner. [Shrugs] Not my idea, but you wouldn't believe the paper work involved in healing people.

Jerome : [Shakes Clint's hand] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc PhD graciously accepts your apology, and is glad that he did not have to become involved in a physical fight with you, as he believes that it would likely result in his maiming. However [looks forlornly at Alice] such a turn of events may cause the object of his desires to feel some sympathy towards him.

Peter : [Sneering] Well, this is certainly a party chosen by Phili. boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EF37.03B99E70" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Austin : [Ignoring Peter. To Alice] Remind me to purchase some lessons, in fact hundreds of lessons, in humor for your uncle. Even Stephen [Raises his eyebrows] would have seen the fun in that one [Smiles to himself. Wipes a bit of blood off his nose] As for being chosen by Phili, I have never heard such nonsense. Once more we are merely privy to the mechanism by which a power that is in control of those without power, the proletariat and folks like ourselves, to boot, enforces their control. In this case, by convincing the populace that some divine power exists that follows or every move, and helps us and protects us if we abide by it rules, allegedly. These rules being passed to us by 'Priests' and such like, who apparently work for this power. Sad really. [Looks at Chastity, examines his blood free face in a small pocket mirror] boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EF37.9C3124C0" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Austin : [To Chastity] So you would like me to purchase some humor lessons for you too. [To all] Can anyone here laugh? Does not any one know what it means to be funny? boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EF39.B4AE25A0" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Austin : [To Chastity, Chuckling] Oooh, Handbag! That is more like it.

Harvey : [Laughing long and loud] Hah, sister! Capital! Just capital! You obviously don't! Hah! What a truth! [Wipes his eyes and takes big lungfuls of air] By the saints funny bone, you have me at a loss! That's going into the troop notebook! [Takes out his notebook, and shaking with mirth, writes an entry]

Alice : [Big sloppy smile at Austin] Aw, isn't that lovely? Austin wants to buy some humour lessons so he knows how to be funny, gosh! What a great guy! You know, the old Austin would only have made sneaky underhand remarks about you, Harvey, whereas the new, improved, version 1.01 doesn't do that at all!

Harvey : Indeed my sweet, indeed! [Wipes the final tears from his eyes and sits down] Now then, to business. What word of the scalies cure? Do we have it in our possession, or is the world already rid of the disease?

Alice : Remember, Unc, the Scalies cure is in Hallbridges. We never got a chance to bring it back to Queens View because [pauses momentarily as she notices Peter, who has been sneering at Chastity since her "chosen by the mayor" speech] er, because we were helping out in the murder investigation, remember? There were doppelgangers murdering prostitutes and the like?

Sven : [Leaning in, interested] And why did you all end up in Cointreau?

Alice : Well, our investigations lead us to a Mr. Brown, but before we could continue, he blackmailed us into coming to Cointreau to assassinate someone.

Sven : [Angrily] Blackmail? Outrageous! [Hammers his fist on the table in a manner that Harvey would be proud of.]

Alice : Too right. He gave us some drugs that he claimed were addictive, and that he wouldn't cure us unless we did this awful deed. The strange thing about it, is that after we managed to lose all of our drugs, we went through a short withdrawl period, and then we were all fine.

Sven : Carpenshet.

Alice : It's true!

Sven : No, Carpenshet is probably the drug he used. It isn't addictive, as it wears off after just a few hours. Whom were you sent to Cointreau to kill?

Alice : Maria.

Harvey : [Nearly falls off his seat in surprise] What the blue blazes? Maria? Tell me it's not so, my dear! Tell me you weren't actually going to go along with this dastardly deed!

Alice : Er, its not so. [Avoids Harvey's glare] We weren't actually going to go along with the dastardly deed.

Austin : [To Harvey] Of course not, it was a set up by Torque, to make Eva love him, trick her into believeing that he was the good guy, by making us look bad.

Harvey : [Scratches a sideburn] Hmm, that villain Torque, eh? [Drums his fingers on the table] Right troop, I think we should track down this Brown fellow and give him a taste of his own medicine! He will no doubt lead us to Torque, and from there, we can save the lovely Maria. What say you? boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EF52.729889D0" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Harvey : [Goes bright red, before standing and snapping a salute at Chastity] My thanks, good sister, 'tis a pleasure to be back among you, what! [Sits again]

Sven : Haw! A party, hell bent on revenge! Excellent! I've a good place for you to go first, I think it will help you out.

Harvey : Indeed sir? Well, any aide from an honerable man such as yourself is much appreciated! [Takes out his notebook, flicks to an empty page and waits, pen poised over paper] Pray, continue, there's a good fellow!

Sven : I suggest you take yourselves down to the Triple Rock church, its just at the end of this street, and see what the local priest, Reverand Cleophus Brown has to say for himself. boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EF65.78D36870" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Peter : He's very fat, has a big white beard and dresses in a bright red suit.

Clint : Err... Brown?

Harvey : [Scribbles some more in his book] Well, this Brown fellow seems to be a most jolly fellow! Perhaps private Sleaze will be able to buy some of his humour lessons off of him!

[PETER looks surprised at CLINT's answer, but lifts his glass in salute, and gives a slight bow of his head in CLINT's direction.]

Alice : [Tutting in frustation] Oh, come on, Uncle! [Impatiently] Get with the program, will you? Brown was the name of the guy who gave us the drugs and sent us off to kill Maria, while the reverand that Sven is telling us about is called the Reverand Cleophus [pauses] er, [small voice] Brown.

Harvey : Hmmm. Quite. Well troop, I think a visit the reverend is in order. [Stands up and jogs to the door, pausing only to scoop up a handful of golden honeyed locusts] Hut hut!

Sven : Well friends, it looks like this is goodbye. [Stands up] We wish you the best of luck, where ever your travels will take you next.

Harvey : Hail and well met, fellow! What a pleasure it was to meet another military mind in this most unlikely of locations! [Walks from the door and slaps Sven on the back with his open palm] Good luck to you, sir! [To the party] My, what a most capital chap, that, eh! Well done, sir!

Sven : [Puts one arm around Harvey] Ha! I'm just sorry you weren't there for the big battle with Pestilence, you'd have loved it! [Points at Austin with his other hand] I'm gonna miss you, boy!

Austin : [Extravagent rolling of his hand] I thank you for your assistance, good Sven. boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0EF72.530A2D60" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Clint : [Grabs Sven in a headlock, rubs nuckles in his head] Ah!, great Viking, I'll definitely miss ya! [Throws him to the ground]

Sven : [Lying on the ground, laughing, before looking to Chastity and smiling, before saying, after a short pause] I'm going to miss you too, Chassers. [Leaps to his feet, and turns to Clint] You old bastard! [Does some pretend boxing on Clint] You look after this bunch, you hear? [Turns to Jerome] You know, we never really got to know each other, but I just know you're a good guy. Come on, come here and give me a hug!

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc PhD doesn't believe in physical intimacy between males.

Sven : Haw! [Strides across the room, and almost crushes Jerome with a hug, pinning his arms to his sides.] Well, we best be off.

[Exit SVEN and PETER, shutting the door behind them.]

Tom : [Tears in his eyes] I'm gonna miss that guy! [Hugs Harvey]

[The door opens, and SVEN pops in again, with an orb in his hand.]

Sven : [To Alice] You didn't think I was going to forget you, did you? [Throws the orb to her, which, predictably, she misses.]

Alice : [Hands raised high above her head, even though the orb was thrown at waist height] Oops! [Puts her arms down, and looks at Sven coyly] I know we're going to meet again.

Sven : Oh yeah?

Alice : In the cold place.

Sven : [Big smile] Ha! [Makes a gun shape with his finger and thumb, which he points at Alice, and pretends to fire.] Bang!

[Exit SVEN.]

Harvey : Well, let's get on with it then! To the church!

[Exit ALL, with HARVEY pausing momentarily to peel TOM off him.]

Tom : [After everyone is gone, talking through the kitchen door to the chef] What a great group! Just a pity they didn't get a chance to taste some of your extra double fudge chocolate fudge cake.

[The reply is inaudible.]

Tom : [Smiling to himself as he clears away the mess, before his face suddenly snaps into a frown] Hey! They left without paying! Bastards!

[Book II, Act V, Scene II. The TRIPLE ROCK CHURCH. JEROME, ALICE, HARVEY, CLINT, AUSTIN and CHASTITY have just arrived at the door. It appears as though one must pass through an office to gain access to the church. There is a man here, standing beside a desk that has a name tag on it. The tag reads "GOLGOTHA SMARM".]

Alice : [Pointing at the desk] Aw! Look at that, they've given the desk a name, isn't that cute?

Golgotha : [Scowling at Alice] That's my name!

Alice : [To the others] No wonder he looks so miserable, I wouldn't be happy either if someone named a desk after me.

Clint : Hello Mr. Go-get'her, we would like to have our confession by the honourable Reverend [small voice] brown.

Golgotha : [Glaring haughtily at Clint] Who? Speak up, there!

Clint : [Looks around as if uneasy] Errrr... [Low voice, closer to Golgotha] You know, [Even lower and closer] Mr. Brown.

Golgotha : [Squirting some air fresherner at Clint] I have neither the time nor inclination to do this. If you have a request, please make it clearly, distinctly and without forcing me to inhale bath breath.

Clint : [Waving away the freshener] Poo! [To Golgotha] Clear and distinct requests? That's for the lawyer here [points at Austin]. I just need to ask for forgiveness to Phili for my sins - and the Honourable Reverend is the only person who can help me! So I'll let you deal with the legal aspects with the lawyer, while I find my way. [Tries to move ahead to get access to the church]

Harvey : Hold, private! [To Golgotha] Confound it man, we're here to speak to [checks the Troop Note Book] Reverend Cleophus Brown, on a matter of upmost [still reading his notebook, suddenly bursts out laughing and reads aloud] "You obviously don't!" Oh good sister, what mirth you've brought to this old soldier! "You obviously don't!" [Laughs long and loud]

[And very, very alone.]

Golgotha : [Angrily to Clint, pointing at him.] Stop where you are sir! I think you'll find your way into the church blocked, for it is protected by an impenetrable bond!

Alice : [Touching the red velvet rope strung between two stands, that goes across a door] You mean this?

Golgotha : Precisely! There is a service in progress, so it is impossible to speak with the Reverend at this moment in time. Now, be off with you, and take your friend with the bath breath with you!

Alice : Bath breath?

Golgotha : [Irritated] Yes, I can't pronounce bath properly.

Alice : You mean, bad?

Golgotha : [Exasperated] Yes, that's what I said, bath.

Harvey : [Wiping tears from his eyes] Listen friend, we were asked to drop in and see the reverend, by a friend of his. I cannot stress the importance of our audience, what! What time does this service finish? [Reaches into his pocket] Gah! My pocketwatch is missing! the importance

Clint : I believe it's the first time someone says a good thing about my breath... Thank you! [Smack!, Clint kisses Golgotha in his forehead] [Puts serious face] Now, we want to attend the service. This is the house of the Lord, it's supposed to be opened to everyone!

Golgotha : [Feverishly mopping the lipstick stain off his brown] Animal! You animal! [Checks himself out in the mirror, straightening his tie] I just knew something bath was going to happen today. [To Clint] If you wish to attend the service, there is, of course, no reason why you shouldn't. If you wish to wait for the Reverend to be finished, there is, of course, no reason why shouldn't. If a friend of the Reverends suggested you speak with him, there is, of course, no reason why he would not wish to talk with you. The service has just begun, and will finish in about two hours.

Alice : [To Harvey] I have your watch, Uncle. I took special care of it when I though you had died. [Takes out a small leather bag, and pours its contents onto the desk. It contains all manner of springs, wheels, cogs and hands, before turning to Harvey, beaming] There! As good as new! Conor Ryan wrote:

Harvey : [Looks sadly at what was once his watch] Ga...why dear niece, how kind of you to keep it with you, and in such, er, [through gritted teeth] perfect condition also! [Puts everything back in the small bag and puts it in his pocket. He smiles at Alice]

Alice : [Smiles selfconsciously at Harvey] Aw, thanks. Now, what time is it, I wonder? I better check my watch? [Takes out her watch, it is clearly a man's watch] Do we really want to spent two hours in a service?

Clint : I've got a better idea... [Lights a cigar, and then screams] Fire! Fire! Everybody out, there's a fire in the church! [Blows smoke from his cigar to a smoke detector, if there's any]

Golgotha : [Smashes a nearby glass that has "Break in Case of Fire" written on it and takes out the hose] There's no need to panic. [Turns the hose on Clint with, it must be said, no small amount of satisfaction]

Harvey : [Laughs loudly] Hah, trooper! It was about time you had a bad!

Clint : [Dripping water] That was refreshing, thanks! [Relights his cigar and starts puffing away] Now, where were we? Oh yes, [screaming] Fire! Please evacuate the church!

Alice : [Looking intently at Clint for a moment] Look at that big scar on his face! Oh, my mistake, its just a streak of clean! [Looks back at her watch] Hey! This isn't my watch, someone's stolen it!

Austin : [To Golgotha] What trickery is this? An innocent girl has had her property purloined, even as she queues to pray reverentially at the altar of Phili. [Puts Maplin to his brow theatrically] I am shocked and saddened that one with such pure motives finds herself the victim of such an evil crime! [Surreptiously pockets a handful of Golgotha's "After Service" Mints with his other hand.]

Golgotha : [Taken aback, although it is not clear whether it is by Clint trying to smoke the sodden stogie, or by Austin] Er, robbery, in the church? That's about as likely as him getting that cigar going!

Austin : Perhaps! Perhaps not! That is what we have to find out! Mind if I have a mint?

Golgotha : Well, they're really only for after the service.

Austin : Is there bureaucracy at every turn? Lack of imagination... (-: On Fri, 8 Jun 2001, Conor Ryan wrote: boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0F016.E96793C0" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Golgotha : [Not bothering to look at the card, and giving a huge sigh] As I already told you, there is a service on inside, you are more than welcome to go in. However, there is a funeral taking place, so I would ask you to refrain from smoking or making noise.

Harvey : [Looks left and right] Well, there's nothing else for us to do, so why don't we wait inside for the service to finish, eh! [To Golgotha] You have no objection to us sitting inside, good sir?

Clint : [Still trying to light his cigar] Ok, let us go in so! [Moves towards the inside of the church]

Chastity : Not so fast, young man! [Whips the cigar from Clints mouth and squishes it underfoot] You're not smoking that thing in a church, Mr Scar! Filthy habit! And I don't want a peep out of you!

Golgotha : I thank you sister, for sparing me the ordeal of having to stop him. I am all in favour of entertainment in the church, in fact, I like to think of myself as the guy who puts the fun in funeral, but I can't abide with pungent smoke in the church.

Austin : [Popping a mint into his mouth] So what is the watch situation? Young Alice's watch has been taken - are we to leave the scene of the crime? [To Chastity] Are you suggesting that we [barely concealed smirk] pray for its return?

Harvey : Eh? What's this? Someone has stolen Alice's timepiece? Gah, the red faced cheek of some people! Six months in bootcamp is what they need, that'll put some backbone into 'em! [Roots in his pocket and withdraws a small leather pouch] Poor niece, here, you can have my watch until we find the scum who stole yours! No, take it, I won't hear another word about it!

Clint : [Arms streched to the air] Praise Phili! Let's get on with this, shall we?

Alice : [Getting all teary] Aw! Thanks Uncle Harvey! [Takes the watch] Oops, I've spilled some of it - no matter, I'm sure they weren't important parts. Look, why don't you borrow this one while I have yours? [Hands over the other watch]

Austin : [Shaking his head sadly] Oh, to live in a litigious society.

Harvey : Bless you, my sweet! [Takes the watch, and glances at it, his brow furrowed. With a shrug he places it in his pocket] Now then, troop, let's go inside the church and take a pew.

[The party slowly troop into the church. The service has already started, and the church looks packed, although there appears to be some space up near the top. Up in front of the altar is a coffin, covered in flowers. A preacher, REVEREND CLEOPHUS BROWN, is up in the altar.]

Cleophus : And now people. [Pause, as though he is thinking] And now people, when I woke up this morning, I heard a disturbing sound.

Mourners : Praise the lord! Hallelujah! [Much waving of fans, and the occasional clap.]

Alice : [Quietly to the others, who are all standing by the door] Oh no! The only seat is up the front!

Clint : [To Alice] Well bimbo, I guess we'll have to sit there so! [Shouts with arms in the air] Hallelujah! [Moves towards the seats]

Chastity : [Throws her eyes to heaven at Clint's outburst] Now everyone, let's just try to move quietly and inconspicously to the the top of the church! Oh, dear, my second husband, George hated arriving at a service late, in fact, he'd refuse to enter the church, and instead, visit the local bar, and spend the time repenting his tardiness! [Walks quietly down the aisle]

[The whole congregation turns to look at CLINT walking up the middle of the church. There is a mixed reaction, with some looks of disgust, but with several calling out "Amen!", "You say it brother!" and the like.]

Austin : For once, Clint appears to have a good idea. [Strides boldly up the church behind Clint, crying out] I feel the Lord within me today! [Claps a member of the congregation on the back] Hallelujah brother! Can you feel the Lord's love?

Alice : [Noticing that Cleophus is waiting for the other two to take their seats, and turning to Harvey] Time to get churched up?

Harvey : [Takes Alice by the arm] It certainly is, dear niece, it certainly is. [Walks down the aisle and laughs to himself] Just think, next time you do this, it might be the good doctor Jerome waiting for you at the altar!

Clint : [Making his way by the lonely person by the coffin] What a lovely day to praise the Lord, wouldn't you say sister? I feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel the joy! Allelujah!

Cleophus : [Shouting, more with passion than anger] I said! I heard a distubing sound!

[Some sombre organ music begins in the background, as the party take their seats.]

Alice : [To Harvey] Have I got a lot to tell you! [Glares at Jerome] About the [spits the word out] gentleman!

Mourner : Shh! We're trying to listen to the sermon!

Chastity : [Picks up an outrageously huge fan and starts fanning herself]

Clint : [To Cleophus, waving his arms] Who's in the house? Clint's in the house!

[Gasps of shock and horror come from the congregation, and the party can hear cries of "Sinner!" and "Who let the devil in here?"]

Alice : [Now wearing a white hat and white gloves, and speaking in a Texan accent] Why fiddle de dee, I do declare - [points at Clint] sinner! [Produces a fan, about half the size of Chastity's] Who all let the devil in here?

Cleophus : [Pointing at Clint] That, my friends, is part of the sound! What I heard was the jingle-jangle of a thousand lost souls. Various mourners : A thousand souls, reverend!

Cleophus : And now! A thousand and one!

Chastity : [Tuts to herself and flaps her fan in Clints direction] Oh, do be quiet, Mr Scar! Don't show youself up in front of Phili himself!

Harvey : [Mops his sweating brow with his handkerchief, nodding his head in agreeance with the reverend, muttering] Uh-huh, that's how it is, alright! Shaw is!

Clint : [Standing up, ignoring Chasts advice] The mighty of Phili is in me! Hallelujah! Praise the heavens!

Austin : The good Sister is correct Clint, we're hear to show our love to the Lord! [Smirks to himself]

Alice : Why Missy Chastity, I do declare that you're the sanest person in this here whole county. [Gives a mindless giggle, covering her mouth her fan.]

Cleophus : I said, "A thousand and one!" But I'm not just talkin' about the souls of those now gone. Various Mourners : Oh no! No you ain't sir!

[The sombre music continues.]

Cleophus : I'm talking about the soul of modern man and woman! Conor Ryan wrote:

Harvey : [Shakes his head] Ain't that the truth! [Yells] Tell us about the souls! [Stops and looks shocked at himself]

Chastity : Colonel! [Flaps her fan rapidly] Please sit and be quiet! All of you! Just wait till I get you home! [Blocking : 0.00 - 0.10] [The entire congregation, as well as CLEOPHUS, go quiet. CLINT and HARVEY are now the only people in the church on their feet.] [Blocking : 0.11 - 0.16] [CLEOPHUS starts dancing, mainly waving his arms straight out in front of himself.] [Blocking : 0.17 - 0.26] [The entire congregation, still sitting, begin a hand-jive, rolling their hands over each other, and alternately pointing them up in the air. Some clap in time to the beat, but everyone, except the party is getting into the music.] [Non-Blocking : 0.26 - 0.36]

Harvey : [Begins rocking his shoulders from side to side,head nodding] [Nonblocking 0.26 - 0.36] [ALICE begins clapping in time to the music.] [Blocking 0.26 - 0.32]

Alice : Why, Miss Chastity, I'm quite sure that I do not remember church as fun as this, why just at all those people, with such rhythm. [Blocking 0.32 - 0.36]

Austin : [Still sitting, but doing a simple dance by putting his two hands first to one side of his body, then to the other] If Lenin was here, he'd say they're all drunk on religion. [Non-Blocking : 0.26 - 0.36]

Chastity : [Finds herself opening and closing her fan in time to the music] [Blocking 0.37 - 0.39]

Harvey : Crazy beat! [Non-blocking 0.39 - 0.44]

Harvey : [Starts playing air-guitar, waving his guitar up and down, Status Quo style] [Non-blocking 0.39 - 0.49

Chastity : Realises she's strumming with the fan and stops, sitting bolt upright, fan closed and griped by her folded hands in her lap]

[Most of the congregation are now on their feet, still clapping and hand jiving.]

[Blocking 0.44 - 0.53]

Cleophus : And the lord spoke to me, and he said that now is the time for judgement, and now is the time when I must see if my servants are pure enough of heart to fight the good fight! [Produces an electric guitar.] [Nonblocking 0.53 - 1.04] [ALICE stands up, and starts waving her arms in the air, while AUSTIN turns around on his seat, looking at the congregation.] [Blocking 0.53 - 1.04] [CLEOPHUS plays a killer solo on his guitar.] boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0F04A.8EA9FCC8" This is a multi-part message in MIME format. [Nonblocking 1.05 - 1.15]

Clint : [Stands on his seat and plays an imaginary saxophone] [Blocking 1.15 - 1.21]

Cleophus : [Pointing randomly into the congregation] Because the Lord demands faith, the Lord demands enthusiasm! The Lord demands that his soldiers fight the good fight!

[Various CHURCHGOERS around the room begin calling out, apparantly to CLEOPHUS.]

[Blocking 1.21 - 1.31] Churchgoer 1 : I will fight for you Lord! Churchgoer 2 : Lord, please show me the way to the righteous battle! Churchgoer 3 : Lord, let me be the weapon that stamps out injustice! Churchgoer 4 : [Less loudly than the others] Lord, if its okay with you, I'd rather just stay at home. [Nonblocking 1.31 - 1.35] [All the people in each seat begin to dance in a line, with those in the seat in front of the party dancing to the right, while those in the party’s seat head towards the left. CHURCHGOER 5, who is beside CLINT, bangs into him unceremoniously, almost causing him to drop the imaginary sax.] [Blocking 1.31.-1.35] Churchgoer 5 : I say sir! You cannot hold up the prayer of dance like this! and into the seat in front. Conor Ryan wrote: [Blocking 1.36-1.42]

Harvey : Dear niece, I think we should follow the crowd on this one! Let's move ourselves to the seat in front! [Stands up] [Blocking 1.42 - 1.47]

Alice : Why, I do declare it would be the righteous thing to do, Uncle Harvey. [Turns to her left, and begins to move.] [Nonblocking 1.47 - 1.54] [JEROME begins to follow the CHURCHGOER at the end of the party's seat, who has now moved into the front row. ALICE also follows, but carelessly knocks a fragile looking glass sculpture of flowers off the coffin as she does so. Incredibly, it lands on the floor, but doesn't break.] [Blocking 1.50 - 1.56]

Chastity : [Tuts] Just when I was getting comfortable! [Follows Harvey and sees the glass sculpture fall] Oh Alice, you clumsy child! [Non-blocking 1.56 - 2.01]

Harvey : [Bends and picks up the sculpture, replacing it on the coffin] [Blocking 2.01 - 2.06] [Everyone dances along and sits down in the front row, as the music tails off. The rest of the congregation sit down after the music finishes.]

Cleophus : And now, my friends. And now, the Lord will seek volunteers, volunteers, I say, who will join the good fight, so that our dear departed brother may rest in peace. [Looks at the row where the party are sitting] Do I see before me, nine souls good and true?

Harvey : Aye, that you do, reverend! Most stirring music, good sir! Most stirring! [To Alice] Don't you agree, dear niece?

Alice : [Fanning herself quickly] Why, y'all know that I sure do done love that mus-

Cleophus : [Pointing to another row] And do I see before me, yet more soldiers of the Lord?

Austin : [To the others] How long must we listen to this? boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0F279.77131DC0" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

Harvey : Indeed! [Crunches loudly on a golden honeyed pocket fluffed locust.]

Cleophus : [Face like thunder, turns and points at Chastity] Do not interrupt the Lord's work! We are at prayer here! We are trying to lay to rest our dear departed brother! [Hand to forehead] Oh woe! That a sister of Phili thinks she can interrupt a service like that. For shame!

Austin : [Sneering at Chastity] Quiet, Chastity! [Sits back and smiles.]

Harvey : [Speaking of course, far too loudly] Dear sister, it might be prudent for us all to hold our tongues until this fantastically funky funeral is finished! Then we can approach the reverend and identify our names, ranks and purpose, what! Lst from Colin #60

Clint : [Mimiking Harvey's voice, to Chastity] Yes, that sounds like a very good idea, what! boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0F292.7678A920" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible. [CLEOPHUS says nothing, but glares at the party, while all around, echoes of disapproval for the party's ignorant ways can be heard.]

Alice : [Leaning forward and glaring at Chastity and Harvey, waving her fan back and forth in an irritated fashion] Why, Lordy Lordy! I do declare you are behaving more like commoners outside a working mans club, than educated people in the service of the crown. [Blocking 0.00 - 0.09]

Cleophus : [In anguish, addressing the roof] Lord! How must it pain you, when soldiers turn their back on you? How must it tarnish this celebration of Your good, when the show disrespect in Your house? [Nonblocking 0.09 - 0.19]

[The bottom doors open, and a bunch of soldiers enter, and divide into three groups; one at either side of the church, and the third, larger group, taking the center. They march up the church.]

Harvey : Aha! Finally, some sense from private Scar! Capital! [Suddenly remembers where he is, and turns to the reverend] I say, terribly sorry, what! Do continue! [To the bereaved family] My apologies, dear people! How rude of me! [Nonblocking 0.19 - 0.24]

Clint : [Turns around and faces the soldiers in an alarmed way, putting his hand ready over his sword] [Nonblocking 0.20 - 0.23]

[Suddenly most of the congregation begin screaming, jumping over pews and generally panicking. Those around CLINT scream that little bit more hysterically.]

[Blocking 0.20 - 0.23]

Alice : [Hands over her ears] What the hell is going on here? [Blocking 0.24 - 0.28]

Harvey : [Turns and sees the soldiers] I say, what's going on here! [Non blocking - 0.26 - 0.34]

Harvey : [Pulls back his coat and rests his hand on his sword. He steps in front of Alice and shields her] [Blocking 0.28-0.33]

Alice : [Still wearing the gloves, pulls out her sword] Aw! Harvey! I can't see! [Accidently pokes him in the ass with the tip of her sword] Oops! [Nonblocking 0.33 - 0.43] [The SOLDIERS start attacking the CONGREGATION, beating them savagely with clubs.] [Blocking 0.33 - 0.36]

Cleophus : Put down your weapons! This is a house of prayer! [Non-Blocking 0.37 - 0.43]

Harvey : [Moves into the aisle, rubbing his arse with one hand, drawing his sword with the other] [Blocking 0.37 - 0.40]

Harvey : [Grimace of pain] Ow! [To Chastity] Good sister, keep your head down! [Blocking 0.38 - .043]

Clint : Ho Lord, this is a miracle!, a boring funeral is suddenly transformed into a fight! Hallelujah! [Nonblocking 0.43 - 0.48]

Clint : [Draws his sword and jumps acrobatically onto the Reverend's stand] [Blocking 0.43 - 0.45] [The SOLDIERS stop attacking, and stare at the party.] [Nonblocking 0.45 - 0.47]

Cleophus : [Shouting] Help me brothers! I am being attacked! [Blocking 0.45 - 0.48] [The SOLDIERS move up by the party, so they can get a clear attack, but don't do so. Currently, everyone is standing still.] boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0F298.F14BEE90" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible. [Non Blocking - 0.53 - 0.60]

Harvey : [Slowly positions himself in front of the coffin] Blocking [0.53 - 1.02] [As if on cue, the SOLDIERS begin to attack.]

[Each of JEROME, ALICE, CHASTITY and AUSTIN get attacked by a soldier each, with all four receiving blows from their clubs.]

[ Nonblocking 0.53 - 0.56]

Cleophus : Help me, brothers and sisters! For I am being attacked!

[The soldier nearest HARVEY turns, weapon in hand, ready to strike.]

[Blocking 1.03 - 1.05]

[The top right door opens, and a MAN calls out.]

Man : Clint! Get the others and follow me! [Blocking 1.05 - 1.08]

Harvey : I'm so sorry about this! [Swings the coffin around so it is sideways and pushes it towards the soldiers] [Blocking 1.05 - 1.12]

Clint : [To Cleophus] Shut up!, Hallelujah! [Turns around] Who the... [To the others] Quickly, let's move back! [Non-blocking 1.12 - 1.17]

Clint : [Acrobatically jumps to near Austin, and will try to help him against the soldier] This is war, Peacock! Conor Ryan wrote: [Nonblocking 1.09 - 1.15] [The coffin spins around and flies at the soldiers, pushing them back slightly, but then topples over. The cover cracks down the middle and out pops the naked corpse of an incredibly fat man.] Chief Mourner 1 : Oh no! They swore they'd put his good suit on! Churchgoer 9 : [Dressed as a funeral director, but with a suit several sizes too large for him] Gah! [Shakes a fist in Harvey's direction.] [Nonblocking 1.15 - 1.21] [As more and more SOLDIERS pour into the church, they keep forcing their way to the front. There is another round of attacks, and all party members end up being struck.] [Blocking 1.15 - 1.21]

Man : [At the top door] Come on! Get the hell out of here - you'll never be able to stand up to that lot! boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0F29C.5B471920" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible. [Blocking 1.21 - 1.23]

Clint : Quickly!, let's retreat! [Nonblocking 1.21 - 1.26]

Clint : [Moves back towards the back door - the church back door!] [Blocking 1.22 - 1.28]

Harvey : The man speaks sense! Everyone fall back towards the door, I'll deal with as many as possible! Smartish now Alice, good sister! [Starts moving back] [Nonblocking 1.25 - 1.32] [CLINT and CHASTITY run to the door, which the MAN holds open, and are soon followed by ALICE, JEROME and AUSTIN.] [Blocking 1.25 - 1.32]

Man : Harvey! Come on! We haven't got much time!

[The SOLDIERS seem bewildered at the party disappearing through the door, and don't attempt to follow.]

[Blocking 1.33 - 1.36]

Harvey : Cowardly curs! Picking on a funeral party! [Non Blocking 1.37 - 1.42]

Harvey : [Turns and runs to the door] [Blocking 1.37 - 1.41]

Man : [As Harvey runs through] Yee-ha! [Follows the party through and slams the door behind him] Quick! They'll see it in a second! [Blocking 1.41 - 1.46] [The party continue to run down the corridor, followed by the man, and can hear noise from behind that suggests the soldiers are following. The corridor is made entirely of tiles, and suddenly begins shaking, with some of the tiles coming off, from walls, ceiling and floor. It now appears as though the party are very high off the ground, as it looks like there is huge drop through the floor.] boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0F2E2.AB9BFC92" This is a multi-part message in MIME format. [Blocking 1.46 - 1.51] [The walls, ceiling and floor of the corridor continue to peel off, until all that is left is a rickety rope bridge. Everyone stops and looks back, to see that the MAN had stopped much earlier, and is back at the start of the bridge.] [Blocking 1.51 - 1.57]

Man : Uh oh! [Starts cutting the rope with his sword] Looks like coming here wasn't such a good idea after all! [Blocking 1.46 - 1.49]

Harvey : [Looks down and gasps] By the saints! What is this?

Alice : [Grabbing one of the ropes at the side to steady herself] What the hell is going on here?

Austin : [Suddenly noticing how high up they are] Aiieee! [Clings to some of the rickety wooden slats that make up the floor] Help me! I can't take heights!

Man : [Continuing to cut through the rope] Don't worry, you're only about a mile up! [Points down, but no one can see the bottom]

[Predictably, the party are about halfway across the bridge, which extends around a hundred metres in each direction.]

Harvey : Gah, a trap! Quickly now, to the other side!

Clint : [Starts running as fast as possible to the other side of the bridge - the one opposite of the man's]

Alice : Run, Clint Scar! Run!

[Too late, he has cut through his side and the bridge falls, taking all the party with it. Everyone grabs on to the side, and some how no one falls, even as they hit a bare cliff at the opposite side.]

Man : Ow! Man, that's gotta hurt!

[Currently, everyone is clinging to the bridge, in the following order : CLINT, CHASTITY, ALICE, AUSTIN, JEROME and HARVEY.]

Harvey : [Winded and gasping for breath] Dear niece, are you alright? Good sister? [To Clint] I say up there, you on top! Can you climb up the bridge, helping the sister as you do? Quickly, before that treacherous swine starts to pick us off with arrows!

Clint : [Tries to climb up the rope until the other end]

Man : [Now somehow standing on the opposite side of the ravine (the side the bridge is still attached to] Treacherous swine? Harvey, that wounds me! If you do need to address me by name, I would be most obliged if you would use my name, Darius.

Alice : No, he's Harvey!

Darius : O-kay.

Harvey : [Puzzled] What? I say! How did the bounder get over the ravine? What trickery is this? How do you know our names? Why do you want us dead?

Darius : [Peering over the edge at Clint climbing up] Woah! That's pretty high, folks. [Encouragingly] Go on, Stinky! You can do it! [Then, with a hurt voice] Dead? I don't want you dead, I just want you to be [tears up a little] to be [composes himself with a deep breath] to be the best you possibly can.

Alice : [As one of her shoes slips off, striking first Austin, then Jerome and finally Harvey] Oh no! I've just lost my left shoe! From my favourite pair and all!

Austin : [Rubbing his sore forehead, and speaking with barely concealed contempt] That's your right shoe!

Alice : Oh. Oh, well that's okay so. Just as well that I have these gloves, otherwise I could have got some severe rope burns.

Clint : [Up to Darius] Oiii! No stranger is allowed to call me stinky! Wait until I get up there! [Keeps climbing] Mind waiting for a while? 'tis rope's very long...

Darius : Gasp! Now that really hurts, calling [emphasises] me a stranger! You know, just for that, I'm going to cut the rope. [Begins sawing away at the rope]

Alice : Oh no! Clint! Let him call you Stinky! [Her hat blows off] Aw! This day just gets worse and worse! [Looks behind her, only to see that the hat has somehow blown onto Austin's head]

Austin : [Checking himself out in a mirror which he produced from somewhere beneath his cloack] Hm, not bad. Not bad at all.

Harvey : Ghrrmf fhsrr mshhh! [Pauses and takes the shoe from his mouth] I said, stop cutting this instant! How can you hope to make us better by cutting the rope? It seems to me that you will only succeed in making us flatter! Let us up!

Darius : Yeah, that's how it would seem, alright. ["Wipeout" begins playing.] [Blocking 0.00 - 0.05]

Darius : [Finishing cutting the rope, and lip-syncs the laugh, before calling out] Wipeout!

[Everyone begins falling.]

[Blocking 0.06 - 0.10]

Alice : Austin! Be careful with my hat!

Austin : Truly I will - for it is so large, I believe it may serve us as a boat. [Flashes her a smile] Missy Alice. >

Clint : [Still climbing] Oh!, I didn't realise you weren't a stranger! Have we met? By all means, call me [pauses, gasps] stinky... boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C0F335.47188760" This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible. On Tue, 12 Jun 2001, Paul Dobek wrote: [Blocking 0.11 - 0.14] [The party fall towards what looks like a huge ocean, but, just as they are about to hit the water, each one lands on a surfboard, and, incredibly, everyone stays upright. The boards are moving at a pretty fast rate.] [Blocking 0.14 - 0.20]

Alice : Wow! This is brilliant! [Surfs across Harvey, so she is in front of Austin, and reaches out, grabbing her hat back] Thank you! [Nonblocking 0.20 - 0.23]

Austin : Totally rad, Dudette! [Nonblocking 0.23 - 0.33]

Harvey : [Waves Alices shoe in the air] Ha, dear niece, I have your shoe! [Shifts his weight slightly on the board, waves his arms a bit and takes off after Alice] [Nonblocking 0.27 - 0.30]

Alice : [Swerving her board away from Harvey] Whoo! Surf's up! [Blocking 0.33 - 0.36] [The colour of the water changes from clear blue to a brilliant rainbow colour. The water looks extraordinarily beautiful, and everything is really bright.] [Blocking 0.36 - 0.39] [Off to one side, where, strangely enough, there is no water, the party can see Queens View. There are people walking around the streets, and everyone seems in good humour.] [Blocking 0.39 - 0.44]

Clint : Thank Phili for those drinks from Betty's, they've messed up my brain. What a ride!! [Makes a jump with his surfboard] Yeeeeeeeeehaaaa! [Blocking 0.45 - 0.51]

Harvey : [Spots Queens View] What? Where are we? More trickery! Woaaah! [Nearly falls in]

[CLINT sails gracefully through the air, and lands perfectly.]

Alice : Alright, Clint! Hey look, we're there too! [Points into Queens View, and the party can be seen sitting around a picnic table, cheering and joking. As well as the party, Joan Sloane, Immaculata, Stephen and Lenin are there] [Blocking 0.51 - 0.56] [The wave the party are riding crashes over Queens View and everyone in it. Looking back, however, the party can see that neither the town nor the people in it appeared to suffer any consequences.] [Blocking 0.57 - 1.07]

Harvey : Dear niece, how happy you just looked! [Spots a tube and aims for it, disappearing into the watery funnel] [Blocking 1.07 - 1.10] [HARVEY reappears at the other side of the funnel, and joins in with the party convoy.] [Nonblocking 1.11 - 1.19] [Off to one side, the party can see what looks like a group of soldiers preparing for warfare, they are heavily armed, and there is a lot of barbed wire and fire around.] [Non-blocking 1.19 - 1.28]

Clint : [Grabs his sword and stands by, in an amazing balance between a disciplined soldier and an irreverant surfer] [Blocking 1.19 - 1.23]

Clint : Let's surfin' take 'em! [Nonblocking 1.23 - 1.26]

Alice : Like, for sure, dude. [Blocking 1.23 - 1.29] [As the party surfs passed the soldiers, they can also see IOK SOTOT, DANGSTEN BLACKHEART and PESTILENCE SOTOT standing nearby.] [Blocking 1.30 - 1.36] [The wave that the party is riding on crashes down on top of the soldiers and the other three, as it recedes, all the weapons, soldiers etc. are washed away, being replaced by a beautiful lush meadow.] Conor Ryan wrote: [Blocking 1.37 - 1.43]

Harvey : By the saints, not a man left alive! What could it mean? Woooah! It looks like the crest of the wave is a herd of wild white stallions! Tick follows tock, troop! [Blocking 1.44 - 1.48]

Alice : I don't know Unc, but I think its a safe bet that we're not in the church any more! [Points over to one side] Hey look! Its us! [Nonblocking 1.49 - 1.59] [The party can see themselves, that is, JEROME, HARVEY, ALICE, CHASTITY, CLINT and AUSTIN, standing off to one side, it looks as though they are all fighting.] [Blocking 1.49 - 1.54]

Austin : [Surfing over a bit to get a better look] Curious, it does appear to be us - and even curiouser, why do I feel like a Guinness? [Blocking 1.55 - 1.59]

Harvey : [Swishing his board left and right to gain speed] Perhaps it shows some of us in combat with the Malefics! [Blocking 1.59 - 2.03]

Austin : [Dodging and weaving to get better balance] Perhaps, but what is "it"? And where are we? Do you want me to post again, or wait until someone else gets involved? I'll be going in the next 15 mins or so... Conor Ryan wrote: [Blocking 2.04 - 2.10]

Harvey : Well, a group hallucination perhaps? [Claps his hands together, almost tossing him off the board] The banquet may have been drugged! [Blocking 2.08 - 2.18] [The wave crashes down on the other party, but they leap out of the water, and each jumps at their corresponding party member, knocking them off the surfboards.] [Blocking 2.18 - 2.21]

Alice : Help! The waves are too strong, I can't swim! [Blocking 2.21 - 2.35] [Slowly, everone, including both original and new party members sinks beneath the huge waves, as the surfboards disappear.]

[Book II, Act V, Scene III. Friday, February 7th, 1997. The Library. Outside it is dark, and there is a terrible storm raging. The lights flicker occasionaly. Enter ALICE and WADSWORTH.]

Alice : Am I the first?

Wadsworth : [Lecherously] Oh no madam.

Alice : [Looking around the room] So there is someone else here?

Wadsworth : Oh no, madam, you are the first to arrive.

Alice : Hm.

Wadsworth : Please, feel free to help yourself to brandy. I will see that your luggage is brought to your room.


Alice : [Opening the brandy decanter and sniffing] At least they've got good taste in brandy. [Pours herself out a generous measure, and looks around nervously.]


Wadsworth : This is Dr. White. Sir, please help yourself to a drink.


Clint : [Seeing Alice] Hellllo charming lady, very nice to meet you! My name is Dr. White. [Extends his hand to Alice]


Wadsworth : This is Mr Black. Sir, please help yourself to a drink.


Harvey : [Wearing a long overcoat, purple felt trilby at a rakish angle and a silver scarf, catches sight of Clint and stops dead] Oh my giddy aunt, that plagaristic whore is among us! Madam, turn not your back to this potato-chomping rogue, lest his crude dagger strike thee between the blades! [Tips his hat to Alice] A brandy, barkeep, if you will! The rain doth fall outside, yet inside [points to his throat] tis dryer than a baboons eardrum! [Slumps into a chair]


Wadsworth : This is Ms. Scarlett. Madam, please help yourself to a drink.


Chastity: [Looking fabulous in a Ducci blouse, Ermani skirt, and DNKY hat] Doctor! What a pleasant surprise. And Harvey, I haven't seen you since the party after 'The Speaker and the Marker'. [To Alice] And you are?

Harvey : Pouring me a brandy, I do believe! [To Chastity] But Ms...Scarlett, I'm not sure we're acquainted, I would surely have remembered such ravishing beauty! For yours is a face that could launch a thousand ships, and I am your Troy, besieged by your admirers!

Alice : [Shaking hands with Clint] And I am Ms. uh, Green. It is a pleasure to meet you Dr. White. [Turns to Chastity] I'm not [over emphasises] really the bartender, the nice Mr. [turns to Harvey, puzzled] I'm sorry, but I'm thinking pink, but I know that's not it.

Chastity: [Blushing] Oh you are such a card, Mr Montgommery-Carruthers. [To the others] We've met on several occassions, and this is a private joke we share. Look. [Takes out a programme from the play entitled 'Male Intellects ... missing something?]

Chastity: [To Alice] Don't worry dear. [Goes over to the bar] Miss Green, what's your fix?

Alice : [Turns away from Harvey to look at the programme, and gives a little laugh] Male insects from Venus? What a funny name. [Stares intently at Harvey] Montgommery-Carruthers, eh? Doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of us though, does it?


Wadsworth : [Makes as if to speak to Chastity, but stops, composes himself and gives a huge smile] Madam, if I may be so bold. My employer would be much indebted to you for the use of an alias tonight, and to respect the other guest's aliases too.

Alice : [Holds up her glass of brandy to Chastity] I'm doing fine, Miss Scarlett, I was just about to pour a drink for Mr. Mont - Mr. um, [points at Harvey] him. [Gestures at the copious amount of spilled brandy and ice cubes on the tray and floor]

Wadsworth : Perhaps I might look after the drinks?

Harvey : Black, Ms Green, I am Mr Harvey Black, thespian, and at your service! [Gets up from the chair, bows, and slumps back in the chair again. To Chastity] This book of yours, I've never heard of it! Male Intellects from Venus, what poppycock! [Examines the autograph]

Wadsworth : [Handing around some drinks, and speaking to Harvey] Perhaps, sir, you would be more comfortable if I took your hat and cloak?

Alice : [Taking another brandy from Wadsworth] You're going to give it back, though, right?

Wadsworth : Indeed, madam.

Alice : [Nodding sagely at Harvey] You always want to check that kind of thing.

Harvey : [To Chastity] Hmmm, indeed, it is one of mine! The play was forgotten to me, for I am in...[waggles his hand in front of his face] so many, such is my versatile talent. [Takes off his coat and hat, but places his scarf around his blazer, tossing one end behind his back. He gives them to Wadsworth] Well, is everyone here? What time is dinner? [Takes a sip of his drink] Hmm, not the usual elegant fayre my delicate palate is used to, but not entirely distasteful!

Alice : [Ducking to avoid a smack in the eye from Harvey's unfeasibly long scarf] Isn't he just great? [Wrinkles up her nose] I just love the way he speaks, he's like the guy from To the Manor Born.

Wadsworth : We are still waiting on two guests, sir. [Bows slightly to Harvey] We will have dinner as soon as they arrive.


Alice : [Lighting up a cigarette] So, does any one know what this is all about?

Harvey : [Laughs] My dear Ms Scarlett, I'm sure my accent sounds just like that of Peter Bowles, to of course, the coarse, but believe me, I sound nothing like that second rater! He hails from London town, whereas I do not! Ha, To The Manor Born and The Irish RM, such a stretch of talent, nes pas! [Takes out a cigarette, and places into a huge gold holder, around six inches long, lighting it] And no, the purpose of this quaint little get together is not known to me.

Alice : [Glares at Harvey] My name is not Ms. Scarlett, it is [surreptitiously checks out a letter in her hand] it is Ms. Green.

Harvey : [Sniffs] I was speaking to Ms Scarlett. [Brushes one of his fingers along a coffee table and examines it for dust. With a grimace he rubs his finger on the back of a chair] My goodness, let us hope the dinner is better than the decor! Such vulgarity to make even Liberace blush! [Suddenly, to Alice] I received a letter from Anon, did you likewise?

Alice : [Taken aback at Harvey] I - [looks down at the letter in her hand, for a good five seconds, before looking back at Harvey and holding his gaze for another five seconds] No.

Clint : [To Alice] Mind not the words of Mr. Montgommery-Carruthers, err, Black, for he is merely a second grade actor. [Pauses, thinking] Did I just say second grade actor? How unprecise of me - he cannot be stated to be among those that are called actors, for he has no knowledge of what art is. [Intellectual pose] Aristotle claims that art is an imitation of nature. He classifies the arts by the object imitated and by the medium and manner in which it is imitated. [Glimpses at Harvey, then back to Alice] One cannot say that Mr. Black's manners are natural, nor his sexual desires to be of human nature. Therefore, he cannot be stated to be an actor.

Alice : [Looks at the other three] So, does everyone here know each other? Miguel Nicolau wrote:

Harvey : [Laughs] Perhaps you should have been the one called Green! An eloquent speech sir, but more effective the first time I heard it, when Sir Ian McKellan used it to put that blaggard Ken Brannagh in his place! For truth, an original thought the man does not possess!

[ALICE says nothing but opens her eyes widely, takes a deep breath and then a big gulp of her cognac. Enter WADSWORTH and JEROME.]

Wadsworth : This is Mr. Mustard. Sir, please help yourself to a drink.

Jerome : Thanks Waddy, now make sure you're careful with my luggage, there's a lot of designer duds in there.

Wadsworth : I will be sure to treat them with the respect they deserve. [Exit WADSWORTH.]

Jerome : [Wearing some smart leather trousers and a leopardskin t-shirt with "Jeromeskin" written across the front, stands and looks around at everyone] Well, hi there, everyone. [Walks to where the brandy is, and pours himself a glass, before turning back to the others, clearly getting the atmosphere] So, is this a party, or what? [Takes a generous drink]

Clint : [To Harvey, shaking his head sadly] Denial, the ultimate form of self-defensiveness... [Suddenly notices Jerome, with his eyes wide open] Who are you, err... sir?

Harvey : [Waggles his cigarette in greeting, inhaling deeply] Greetings, Mr Mustard, I am Harvey Black, reknowned and talented thespian, this [points to Chastity] is Ms Scarlett, in the corner guarding the drinks tray is Ms Green and the other man is some no talented little shit whose name I care not to remember! Welcome to our collective blind date!

Jerome : [Puts down his glass and points both index fingers at the "Jeromeskin" on his chest] I'm Mr. Fun!

Alice : I thought you were Mr. Mustard.

Jerome : I am, but I think the mood here needs a little lightening, don't you? [Flashes her a smile]

Alice : [A little embarrased] Well, I'm a little frightened of storms. [Turns away and looks out the window, where the rain is still lashing against the glass.]

Jerome : [Picking up his glass again, and holding it up in salute to the others] Ms. Green, Mr. Black, Ms. Scarlett, [turns to Clint] and you sir, it is a pleasure to be here, who knows what adventures lie ahead. Conor Ryan wrote:

Harvey : Oh Christ! [Finishes off his brandy]

Clint : [To Jerome] Dr. White, at your service. [To Alice] Fear not the wrath of the elements, my dear. [Gently posing his hand on her back] Along the centuries, mankind has managed to dominate it. I can safely affirm that we are in safety here. LAst from Mr. Smooth #25

Alice : [Turning her head to look at Clint] But can you? Given the circumstances that we've just met under? And that there seems to be some, shall I say, tension, between you and Mr. Black?

Harvey : [Gets up, picks up a poker and stokes the logs in the fire] Indeed, Ms Green, who can say we are in safety here? We could all be lambs to the slaughter! Oh Ulrich, let not thy furrowed brow grow weary, for we are all but leaves in the storm, our lives are just whimsy in the hands of the Gods! [Whacks a log with the poker] For truth, we court doom!

Chastity: I wouldn't worry about that, Miss Green. It's a well known fact that Sciences and the Arts don't get along. I do know that these men [Smiles at Clint and Harvey] are perhaps the best in their respective professions. [To Alice] Why, if you ever need a shot in the arm, go and see one of Harvey's plays.

Chastity: [Breaks out into rapturous applause] Bravo! BRAVO!

Alice : [Applauding Harvey] Oh excellent! Excellent, Mr. Black! [Whispers to Clint] Didn't understand a word. [To Chastity] He's a doctor? Wow! I thought he was an actor!

Harvey : [Stands from the fire and bows to the room at large] Twas nothing, why, my Hamlet would melt your hearts! [To Chastity] Indeed, Ms Green has a point, is there a doctor in the house? [Laughs loudly]

Jerome : Now, now. I think we're all being a bit formal here, don't you [spins and points] Chastity? Lets all go by our first names. I'm [points at the name on his t-shirt]

Alice : Your name is Jeromeskin?

Jerome : Ha! [Smiles] Just the first part.

Alice : Je? Is that a French name?

Jerome : No. No, it's more than that. [Moves his hand across his chest]

Alice : Well, I'm very pleased to meet you, Jeromesk. My name is -

Jerome : [Shouting] Jerome! My name is Jerome! [Enter WADSWORTH and AUSTIN.]

Wadsworth : This is Mr. Green. Sir, please help yourself to a drink. [Exit WADSWORTH.]

Austin :[Pokes his head round the door, hands his suitcase to Wadsworth] Ahh! Gee, there y'all are. I wuz believin' I was loss an' then the Lord found me! Praise Jesus, an God bless y'awl. [Walks in, nodding and smiling at each person in turn] Allow me to introduce myself, incase any of y' dun no me, I is the Reverend Austin Brown. [Looks at Alice] Hey thar sweet thing dus I know you? [Gets a drink] Mayhap I jus dun a song for ya, called "Sweet peaches, cream an, apple pie"

Harvey : [Taken aback] My good god, man, there's no need to shout at the poor thing!

Jerome : [Stares at Harvey] Hm. At least you've got good hair, I suppose.

Alice : [About to say something to Jerome, but turns to Austin, squirming and giggling like a schoolgirl] Mr. Rob- Mr. Brown! I'm your number one fan! [Keeps squirming, like someone who needs to go to the toilet] Oh, when my friends find out that I met you, they'll just die! [Offers him her hand] My name is Alice, I don't think we're allowed to use our real names here.

Clint : Oh. My. God. It's the western screamer. [To Alice] Let not this man sing, I mean, scream, to you, my dear. For the sake of your ears health.

Alice : [In mock horror] Well, I can tell that you don't know much about the music industry, Dr. White! What we have here is a genuine superstar, [clasps her hand to her breast] oh, who can forget "What colour is pain?" [goes all teary] or "My pick up is so empty without your hog in the back"? [Takes out a tissue, and dabs her eyes.]

Harvey : [Face like thunder since Austin entered, goes over and pours himself a large brandy]

Austin : [Takes Alices hand and shakes it, staring at her] That's a mighty fine dress you got there young lady, who got that for you?

Alice : [Coyly putting her head to one side] Oh, some guy. Well actually, my husband.

Harvey : [Keeping his voice neutral] I see your husbands taste in clothing is as fine as it is in his women! [Drinks some brandy]

Alice : [Smiles at Harvey] Why thank you. [To all] You know, I think there's just a little tension in the room. Why don't we go along with Jeromesk's idea, and use our first names? I always find that dinner parties are so much more enjoyable when they are that little bit informal. Now, to start the ball rolling, my name is Alice.

Jeromesk : My name is [enuciating much too clearly] Jerome. I apologise if I raised my voice earlier, I meant no disrespect.

Clint : It's sad, really, to see a man denying his tendencies with female courteousness.

Alice : [Wagging a scolding finger at Clint] Now now, Dr. White. Take a deep breath, release the negative emotions and start again. [To the others] I got that from a great book "How to Empower Your Relationships Through Empathy", brilliant book. Can't remember the author, but he was on Oprah and oh [pauses, takes a deep breath] he understood people so much.

Harvey : [Sadly, to Clint] It offends me to the soul to hear a robutious periwig pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags!

Austin : [To Clint] Indeed, a sad case. If only he would let Jesus come into his heart. [Smiles that country smile] Praise be.

Alice : [Hands clasped together in admiration of Austin's wise words] I hope you brought your guitar! LAst from Conor - 05.04.042

Harvey : Dear God no! As the great Seneca said, this is a fault common to all singers, that among their friends they never are inclined to sing when they are asked, unasked, they never desist.

Clint : [Smiling at himself] That is actually my book, dear Alice - may I call you Alice? I'm surprised you don't remember me, but then again I see that the power of my words has taken your heart by storm. I can explain you most of my life philosophy, if you would like me to; I feel this is going to be a long long night! [Muttering to himself] And I really hope the screamer didn't bring his guitar...

Austin : [To Alice, tapping his chin with one finger] I sure do, sugar plum, I might just have a song for you too. [Goes to the door and brings in a guitar, does a practice strum, on foot on a chair, starts playing] Ahem, There was a young girl from Texas, she knew no good from bad, [winks at Alice] ....

Harvey : Oh what fresh hell is this! [Walks over to the fire and whacks a few logs with the poker]

Alice : [Captivated by Clint] Your book? Well, I think there's going to have to be some autographing done soon. Come on, lets listen to Austin singing.

[Enter WADSWORTH, with a pained expression on his face.]

Wadsworth : [Looking with disdain at Austin] Sir, while [smiles a huge cheesy grin] while some guests may enjoy your music, I'm afraid I will have to ask you to refrain from playing in everyone's company. That is, of course, unless someone wishes to hear the music.

Jerome : Well, I don't.

Wadsworth : [To Austin] Perhaps sir would permit me to place his instrument upstairs, in his bedroom?

Austin : [Mid corus] ...Paraise the Lord...we all love Jesus...[Sees Wadsworth] Oh sure! I'll have Alice in my rooms later for a few recitals. [To Alice] You interested Honey bee? [Winks at Alice] Mayhap, you folks would prefer if I read from the good book [Gets a large looking Bible from his pocket]

Harvey : [Giving a log a particularly venemous whack] Wadsworth, I'll give you a hundred dollars to break it into a thousand pieces!

Alice : [Face drops as she speaks to Austin] No. Lets just listen to some music later on.

Wadsworth : [Taking the guitar from Austin, and smiling at Harvey] Oh no sir, I couldn't possibly take any money from you. It just wouldn't be right. Dinner will be served momentarily.


Alice : [Lighting a cigarette, looking at Harvey] So, you're not a music fan, then?

Clint : Mr. errrr... [looking at Harvey] what's your colour again? Anyway, one cannot compare music with Mr. Brown's performance. Music is the vibration that touches the soul - not the scream that raises the hair!

Alice : Aha! But if you use enough hairspray, then no one can scream loudly enough! [Smiles, proud of herself, but her smile slowly disappears as she realises she's made no sense, and she quickly finishes the rest of her brandy] Anyway. Anyway, like I said earlier, I think we should all use each other's first names - its so much friendlier. Clint, meet Harvey. Harvey, this is Clint.

Harvey: [Sniffs] Dear girl, I find familiarity doth breed contempt. I desire that we be better strangers!

[ALICE doesn't speak, but just stares angrily at HARVEY, lower lip jutting out.]

Chastity: [To Austin] My name is Chastity. I don't believe we've met, but I have seen you around.

Clint : [To Alice] Sweet dear, myself and Mr. Black have acquainted previously. He managed to ruin one of my master pieces, "The cat and the nipple", a brilliant piece for which Mr. Black had the lead role. His acting was so atrocious, that the play was a disaster.

Harvey : [Suddenly] Oh God, what are we doing in this foul place? What is going on here? Why have we been brought together and left simmer? Can I assume that we all received a letter from...a friend, inviting us to this mausoleum?

Alice : [Turns to Clint, turning her demented stare on him, which suddenly snaps into a wonderful, bright smile, and then to a concerned look] That must have been awful for you, you poor man. [Looks around, before adding] Are you sure it wasn't because he was so nasty to people?

Harvey : [Angrily to Clint] Bullshit, you half baked prole! An actor is only as good as his script, and yours wasn't fit to wipe my ass! I tried to salvage your, hah, masterpiece, and your ruined!

Clint : [To Alice] That only added to it, my dear. Let not that man's foolish manners disturb you. He who tries to fool the others only fools himself.

Clint : [To Harvey] One can easily detect a disturbed soul by the speed at which it slips out of control! Control yourself, Mr. Black!

Jerome : I wonder what kind of demented host we must have that he wishes us to endure this. [Makes a big production of placing an index finger in each of his ears]

Alice : [Watching Jerome] Now that's something I could do with.

Jerome : I would be happy to oblige. [Removes his fingers, and stands really close to Alice, fingers poised to enter her ears.]

Alice : Please don't make me use my mace.

Jerome : As you wish. [Steps back, and blocks his ears once more]

Alice : [Takes out a cigarette, which Jerome lights] Well, let's all see how well he can control himself.

Harvey : [Laughs, perfectly calm] Merely illustrating my point, Dr White. I am an actor. And I am acting. [Thumbs his nose at Clint and takes a large gulp of his brandy]

Alice : [Smiles sweetly at Harvey] Badly.

Chastity: [To Alice] I suppose you know all there is to know about control.

Alice : [To Chastity] Er, no. Should I?

Chastity: Yes you should if you wish to reach the higher social echelons like myself.

Alice : [Faintly amused] I'm sure that my husband and I have reached heights that most people may only dream about.

Harvey : [Hands trembling slightly, lights a cigarette, inhales deeply and blows an explosion of smoke towards the ceiling] Where the hell is that butler? Is everyone here?

Alice : Well, clearly not, because, [points at Harvey with her cigarette] Mr. Black, the butler isn't here. [Opens her hands in a gesture that clearly says "just how stupid is this guy?".] Sigh.

Harvey : I meant real people!

[ALICE makes to say something, but just nods slowly at HARVEY, clearly not only knowing exactly what he means, but also agreeing.]

Jerome : [Angrily] What kind of person would subscribe to that view? Sir, you sicken me! Just because a man does a fair days work for a fair day's pay doesn't reduce his manhood! How dare you sir! You may strut and fret about the stage, pretending that it is real life, but that man out there, and millions like him, strut and fret about the stage of life!

Harvey : [Nods his head, faintly amused] Indeed sir. I feed my muse watching their struttings and frettings, as I'm sure, you feed your fat purse preying on their insecurities?

Jerome : Indeed I do not. I am a designer sir, in fact, you may well have heard of my clothing line - Clothing With A Conscience.

Alice : Gasp! Oh my God! I just got a pair of real leopard skin pants from that line - they are just too gorgeous!

Harvey : [Sniggers disdainfully] Yes, indeed, the baby seal fur coats. I've heard of it, or what is it the animal rights people have dubbed your range, Clubbing WithOut Conscience?

Jerome : [Haughtily] The animal rights people are quite happy that there is no cruelty involved in my work. [Sneers at Harvey] I wonder if you could make the same boast!

[Enter WADSWORTH, with a huge smile.]

Wadsworth : Ah! Getting acquainted, I see. Dinner will be served momentarily, so perhaps you might all be kind enough to get ready to move across to the dining room?

Clint : To calm a hungry stomach is to calm an angry mind. [Pauses] I believe we should all get something to eat. [Makes to move to the dinning room]

Harvey : [Obviously trying to think of a retort, gives up] Indeed, food! Well, arguments are to be avoided, methinks, they are always vulgar and often convincing.

Alice : Yeah, Clint. Good idea. [To Wadsworth] Where's the toilet?

Wadsworth : In the bathroom.

Alice : Where's the bathroom.

Wadsworth : Down at the end of the hall.

Alice : I'll catch up with you.

[Exit ALICE, towards the bathroom.]

Jerome : Strange then, that you are the exception, having provided an argument that was extremely vulgar, but not even remotely convincing. [Checks out his appearance in a convenient mirror] Let's eat.

Harvey : [Arches an eyebrow] Rather like your toupee, you mean?

Chastity: [Pointing towards the bathroom] Poor Alice. I heard in one of my candlelight suppers last week that she's going through some hard times with her husband who, by all accounts, is a very nice man indeed. I forget his name. Anyway, it looks like she's taking it real hard if you know what I mean [makes motions of drinking] Glug glug!

Jerome : [Looking at Harvey] How easy it is to imagine how a man could drive someone to drink.

Clint : And whom might that man be?

Jerome : Oh, it's a toss up. [Exit ALL, to the Dining Room.]

[Book II, Act V, Scene V. The Dining Room. Friday, February 7th, 1997, 7.15pm. ALICE, JEROME, HARVEY, AUSTIN, CLINT and CHASTITY are here, having just entered. The table is lavishly decorated with expensive china and cutlery. There are a number of paintings on the wall.]

Alice : [Face lights up] Wow! Look at this! Its all so beautiful! Aw, the flowers on the table, and the Dresden China! Oh! Oh! Real Oaxaca silver for the cutlery, and this table and chair suite, it [almost lost for words] it's genuine Mahogany Queen Anne Chairs! [Huge smile of wonderment at the others] And look at that! [Points at one of the paintings] Its a genuine Ryan - oh, the colours! The textures! What a fantastic room!

Jerome : [Faintly amused] Yes, it is rather nice.

[There appear to be name cards at the table. The colours on the map indicate where each one is.]

Clint : My dearest Alice, I see you have an accute sense of taste. Somehow that doesn't surprise me, coming from a woman of your style. More than that, your opinions are precise and clear, showing that there's a brain behind all your beauty. [Philosophers' pose] The greatest beauty comes from within; never judge a book by its cover. [End of pose] LAst from Miguel #2

Alice : [Gushing] That's just SO right! Wow, you're so clever. [Sits down at her seat] Come on everyone! I'm starving!

Chastity: [Sits] Oh wow! I'm between my two favourite men!

Austin : [To All] Let us say grace. [Clasps his hands prayer style, closes his eyes] For the food we are about to recieve, we give our thanks to the Lord almighty! [In an evangelical style] Praise Jesus, praise the lord! Amen.

Chastity: [Rolls her eyes] Oh pur-leez.

Jerome : [Slipping into his seat] What's wrong dearie? Too much churchin' going on for you? I'd say you could do with a few prayers being said for you.

Alice : [Making a big deal of blessing herself after Austin's prayer] A-men!

Clint : [Ironically] Dear God... [To Chastity] Well mam, I'm sure we've got a lot to talk about during this meal! But first - [flicks his fingers] garçon, du vin rouge s'il vous plaît.

Austin : [To Clint] You desire to partake in the blood of the saviour? Amen. [Points at Clint] See how the Lord has found his lost sheep, and taken to his breast!

Clint : [To Austin] Hum, I remember the last discussion we had about the existence of God... I also remember you storming out of the room after my brilliant logic defeated you! Really, making a woman out of a chop... Looks at this pretty face [puts hand below Alice's chin], how can you even suggest that such a perfect being is in fact inferior to us men? A-woman I say, not a-men!

Austin : [To Clint] There you go again, making up 'facts' as and when you please. When God created womankind it was because Adam requested of the Lord [Crosses himself] Praise his name, [Looks back to Clint] The greatest creature that the Lord could create, to accompany Adam in the garden of Eden, and the Lord created Eve. [Pointing at Clint] Only a sinner would twist my words!

Alice : [A trifle embarassed at all the touching] Maybe some wine would be a good idea after all. [Calls out, a little too loudly] Wadsworth!

[Enter WADSWORTH, appearing before ALICE is even finished calling his name.]

Wadsworth : May I be of some service?

Austin : [To Wadsworth] Please serve the you lady here with a drink, that servant of Satan [Points to Clint whilst holding a crucifix] Has molested this poor, innocent, fragile, [Overdoing it, a hint of sarcasm] ... pure girl, and a drink or two may settle her nerves.

Clint : There you go again, treating women as a company creature!! Also, how do you explain that in your [finger quotes] book of truth [end quotes] Eve is created from a spare body part of Adam? Religion is like soap-powder. In essence all soap-powders are the same, but through clever marketing pitches, we consumers begin to feel that our particular soap-powder is somehow superior to that used by others. That's called branding, and [spots Wadsworth] oh, here's the man I wanted. Garçon, du Chateau de St. Valenciennes, rouge, resèrve de 1996. charset="iso-8859-1"

Chastity: Marvellous choice. [To Austin] So what's your latest popular = music hit? I heard a very nice song the other day, called 'True Colours'. = Will you be doing something similar? [WADSWORTH wanders around and pours drinks for everyone.]

Alice : [Impressed at Clint's knowledge of wine] Yes, yes, I think I'll have the [thinks hard] white wine please.

Wadsworth : I shall return presently with the starter.


Clint : What? I didn't even have the opportunity of trying out the wine! [Picks up glass looking through it] Humm, colour is nice, a touch of mahogany in a red carpet. [Smells the wine, closing his eyes] I sense Mediterranean odours, a sunset in an italian village, watching the people go by... [Drinks some wine, gargling it around his mouth first, in an extravagant and noisy fashion, before finally swalloing it] Ah!, fruity but not too much, a sense of warmth and companionship, and... [pauses] a rather enjoyable after-taste, not too sweet, not too sour. [Opens his eyes and looks around the table, to make sure everyone watched the show] Magnificent!

Alice : [Watching with no small amount of admiration, before picking up her own glass] Hm, let me see. [Drinks some wine, gargling it around her mouth first, in an extravagant and noisy fashion, before leaning back to swallow it. Unfortunately she coughs as she does so, causing wine to come out her mouth and nose. A short coughing fit later, and after she has wiped tears from her eyes with a napkin, she speaks again] Magnificent!

Austin : [Gets a hankerchief out of his pocket, turns away from the others and makes a nose blowing - snorting kind of sound, followed by some sniffs] Ooh, yeah, praise be. [Downs half his glass of wine and makes lip smacking noises as if savouring the taste, following Clints lead] Yep, it's a good one alrighty! [To Alice, squinting at her slightly] So, has the Lord blessed your parents with any other children?

Alice : [A little taken aback, but smiles at Austin] Indeed he has, I have an older brother, he's a lawyer.

Austin : [To Alice] You know, you maybe shouldn't drink so fast. It reminds me of a time, long ago, when I drank too much. [As if to dispel any disbelief] Yes, me [nods at Alice] and when I woke up, low and behold, someone filled with the thoughts of demons had robbed me. And in this way the Lord showed me the evils of drunkeness. [Smiles and nods curtiously]

Alice : [Wiping the last of the white whine off her chin] I don't think its really any of your business how quickly I drink. [Lights up a cigarette]

Jerome : You know, it strikes me as strange that a so-called caring and understanding singer such as yourself, Austin, should be so quick to attack and condemn someone else.

Clint : He who never sinned may throw the first stone. [Turns to Austin] You seem to have forgotten your own literature.

Alice : [Indignantly] His literature? [Folds her hands, glaring at Austin with the cigarette hanging out of her mouth] I know for a fact that Austin didn't write that, Jesus said it. Its right there in, er, Paul, er, Luke, er, the bible. [Unfolds her arms and taps some ash into the ashtray, with most of it landing on the tablecloth]

Harvey : [Knocks his wine back in one gulp] Hah, if ever there was a subject to start a war, then religion is that odious topic! Why don't we avoid the subject altogether, so this meal may pass as peacably, and dully, as the last supper itself! For as the great bard himself said, "This is the silliest stuff that I ever heard"

[Enter WADSWORTH, carrying a tray with six bowls of soup. He smiles broadly at HARVEY.]

Wadsworth : Wise words indeed sir, it would be easier if you were all friends. [Proceeds to give out the soup, starting with Jerome and working clockwise around the table.]

Alice : [Pointing at the top seat with her cigarette] Who's that for?

Wadsworth : Why, madam, given that it is your cigarette, I presume it is for you.

[ALICE seems happy with the explanation, and takes another drag.]

Harvey : [Looking at the empty seat] Are you actually joining us at the table, Wadsworth? [Harvey doesn't look too happy about this]

Wadsworth : Oh no, sir. I am but a humble butler. The seat is for the seventh guest, Mr. Boddy. [Hands out the rest of the soup.]

Harvey : Mr Boddy! No doubt a stony adversary, an inhuman wretch, uncapable of pity, void and empty from any dram of mercy! Who else would serve [almost spits] broccoli soup! [Pushes away his bowl]

Wadsworth : You misunderstand sir, I am not Mr. Boddy. He is the seventh guest.

[Everyone's attention is drawn to ALICE, who makes a disgusting slurping sound as she drinks some of her soup.]

Clint : Ah, a lady altogether! [To Wadsworth] So why isn't Mr. Boddy known by a colour, like the rest of us?

Austin : [To Clint] Because he is the host. Your logic fail you once more!

Wadsworth : [Big smile at Clint] I'm sure I don't know sir. Enjoy your meal.

[Exit WADSWORTH. As he leaves, JEROME takes a drink of soup, making a slurping sound almost as loud as ALICE's.]

Alice : Tut! [Rolls her eyes at Jerome's vulgarity.]

Harvey : [To Austin] As we all hope someday your voice will!

Alice : Didn't Wadsworth say that Mr. Boddy was another guest?

Alice : [Dropping her spoon into her soup with a clatter] Please! Will you all just stop sniping at each other? Wouldn't it be more in all our interest to try and figure out why we're all here? You know, in my husbands line of work, I'm used to trying to keep the peace with guests who don't get on too well together, but this is ridiculous!

Austin : [To Alice] Indeed, quite correct, Mr. Boddy is the reason why we are all here I guess. That's why we're [Does quotes fingers] anonymous and he is not. [Squinting at Alice] Your brother, is he called Bud, by any chance?

Harvey : And what line of work is your husband in, Ms Green?

Alice : No.

Jerome : Well, it seems strange to me that we have been asked to be anonymous, as clearly some of us know each other, and some of us [gestures to himself] are quite famous. Maybe there is some connection between us?

Alice : Please, call me Alice. My husband is a senator, but I don't think I should give his real name, because Dick isn't involved in this. I mean, because he isn't involved in this.

Jerome : And I hope Dick gets you lots of things?

Alice : [Embarrassed] Well, yes, I do get a lot out of Dick.

Harvey : You must have a happy marriage, sharing so much in common...Alice. I mean a love of meeting and greeting, wining and dining, of course. Tell me, do you reside in Washington? I was in a play, One More Hour Till My Next Cup Of Tea, set in that wonderful capital, a few years back. Perhaps you've heard of it?

Alice : I'm afraid I haven't, what channel was it on?

Harvey : [Tuts loudly] It was, as I said, a play. In a theatre! No doubt sucking on your soup too loudly to hear me the first time, dear girl. [Dabs his mouth delicately with his serviette]

Alice : The sucking must have been very loud for me not to have heard you say it was in a theatre. I thought you said it was set in Washington. In answer to your question, I live part time in there, the rest of the time I live in Boston. What about you?

Clint : [To Alice] Wait a minute. In Washington? Wouldn't your husband be Dick Nixon by any chance? Keeping it all anonymous, of course.

Harvey : Oh, where'er my muse takes me! At the moment I live in the village, New York, during theatre season, out of season, I move between my homes in Tuscanny, and in Notting Hill, London. [Yawns] The life of an actor is a life of business class lounges and champagne at thirty thousand feet, sadly!

Alice : [Getting flustered] Er, I don't think it's fair to bring him into this.

Jerome : [With an evil grin] Then it is Dick Nixon! [Slurps some more soup] So, a politician's wife? Is it true that the only politicians that aren't corrupt have corrupt wives?

Alice : [Angrily] That's totally untrue! [Calming down] There are plenty of female politicians.

Jerome : The village, New York? But, of course you do. I myself proclaimed long ago that San Francisco is the only place to live, away from the pretention of LA, and the grime and second rate actors of New York.

Harvey : San Franciso, a fine town if your likes run to fog and homosexuals. Mine don't, which is why I leave it to those who do.

Austin : [To Jerome] Away from the three legged cat plagues that seemed to follow you around the states?

Jerome : [To Harvey] Oh, you don't like fog then? [Drinks some wine, before turning to Austin] I don't try to avoid that issue, in fact, I have been known to be involved in their benefit events. Like someone else around this table, I believe. [Smiles sweetly at Austin]

[There is silence for a few seconds, broken by ALICE taking another unfeasibly loud slurp of her soup, causing everyone to look at her.]

Alice : Well, it's not me!

Harvey : [To Alice] And what kind of things do you do, being a senators wife?

Alice : I - well, I think I've spoken enough for the time being. What about the others? What do you do?

Jerome : I have no problem throwing off my anonymity. I am Jerome Viannini, world famous fashion designer. I have taken a small amount of time out of my busy schedule for this little soiree and, to be quite honest, am beginning to wonder why.

Austin : [To Jerome] Perhaps you wanted to bury the myth surrounding the way you make your catskin gloves so soft?

Jerome : And what myth do the Good Old Boys tell of my catskin gloves?

Austin : [To Jerome] I sure have no idea. I heard nothing from the Good Old Boys since their unfortunate freak accident when the river boat they were playning on went over the falls.

Harvey : And what a tragedy that was! I suppose it would make good subject matter for one of your, aha, songs, though.

Jerome : And their heading straight over the falls at full speed had nothing to do with the fact that you were playing at the nearest dock, I suppose?

Alice : [To Clint] And what about you, Clint? What do you do?

Harvey : Drinks like a fish and writes terrible plays, amongst other things.

Alice : [Confused] I thought you were Harvey?

Clint : [To Alice] Mind not the words of that looser - he who points a dirty finger has done bad things with it first! I'm a scientist, a life scientist. I invented the FEWD, which you all are surely familiar with, and also wrote the bestseller "How to Empower Your Relationships With Empathy". I know you've read that one, Alice! [Winks his eye at Alice]

Alice : The FEWD? Wow! Not too many men can honestly say they've made the world a sweeter smelling place!

Harvey : [Looks at his fingers] Indeed, these fingers have lifted one of your scripts, and no amount of scrubbin can remove the taint from the rubbish found within!

Jerome : [Leaning over to look at Harvey's fingers] Not to mention the taint from all the nose picking that must be going on!

Austin : [To Jerome] He does tend to leave an indestrucateable stain wherever he goes.

Harvey : Well, it would appear to be the only thing to eat in this godforsaken house!

Alice : [Drinking the last of her soup] Not true.

[Enter WADSWORTH, who begins collecting the soup dishes.]

Wadsworth : [To Harvey] Not to your liking, sir?

Harvey : Correct, Wadsworth. I only hope the next course has been prepared for those with the finer palete in mind!

Wadsworth : [Picking up the last of the dishes] I'm sure that even one with a palate as educated as your own will enjoy the next course.

[Exit WADSWORTH with the dishes.]

Austin : [To All] Sounds ominous.

Harvey : [To Austin] You never know your luck, it might be grits 'n beans.

Alice : [Horrified] Beans?

[CHASTITY suddenly gives a jump, as though she has just been given a shock.]

Chastity : [Adjusting a bracelet] Excuse me, but my FEWD is set to extra sensitive. [To Clint] It is simply a life saver. [Glances at Alice] Perhaps you should consider investing in one, dear?

Alice : Perhaps you should pay more attention when yours goes off?

Chastity : Now, that doesn't sound like something the diplomatic wife of a senator would say, does it?

Austin : [Sarcastically] Hot dang, that would be so fine, jus me an' ma hog chowin' down on grits 'n beans. [Seriously] Do you always take the piss out off people who is different to you?

Harvey : Don't be silly, old boy! Of course I don't take the piss out of y'all.

Alice : [Lighting another cigarette] Well, I remember from Clint's book, How to Empower Your Relationships Through Empathy, that when people are aggressive, it is usually because they lack self confidence, that it is all a front. I think there was something else too, about relationship frustration or something, Clint? I'm sure you could say it better, but the point was [looks puzzled] hmm, what was the point again? Oh yeah, people who are aggressive are really only small, scared little boys.

Chastity: [To Alice] I've often wondered, Alice, what it must be like being married to a senator. Don't you wonder what he's up to when he's away from you, or do you travel with him?

Alice : Oh, it's a wonderful life. I help out an awful lot with all kinds of senatey type work.

Jerome : [Raising an eyebrow] Senatey type work?

Alice : Yes. Sometimes we are apart, but I trust him completely, Dick would never do anything dishonest. What do you do Chastity?

Clint : [Trying to stop grinning] Yes, I know the senator, he's a very sensitive person. Oh, and he's very fond of you, Alice! I could never think of him trying to cheat on you!

Alice : Aw, thanks Clint. So, not only do you know Harvey, and [unsure of herself] Austin? But you're also familiar with my Dick? So, who here know each other? Maybe that will tell us something about why we're here.

Clint : Very good, Alice. [Philosopher's pose] He who finds the root will be lead to the leaves! I see you've learned a lot from my book! [Another dirty wink flies straight to Alice]

Harvey : [Throws his eyes to heaven] Sitting around this table reminds me of the premiere party for Silence Of The Lambs! There we all were, chatting and networking, I was between Jody and Dino, when Tony H turned to me and asked me to pass the salt! [Loud laugh] Oh these Welsh!

Austin : [To Alice] So I expect that you own a great many pairs of shoes, you being a senators wife and all? How many pairs you got?

Clint : That's about the most intelligent question you've asked up to today Austin. It's good to see you making some progress.

Alice : [Acting all coy from Clint's attention] I don't really have that many, only about two or three.

Jerome : Only two or three pairs of shoes?

Alice : No, silly! About two or three hundred pairs.

[Enter WADSWORTH with a huge silver tray of covered dishes.]

Wadsworth : [Smiling] Indeed, I can testify that Madam did bring an unusually large number of suitcases with her.

Alice : Oh, they were just hair care products, all my shoes are still outside in the Mercedes. [Confidentially to the diners] The last time a man asked if he could take my bag, he just took it and ran off. I'm not going to caught like that a sixth time.

Harvey : [Obviously annoyed at having his story ignored. To Wadsworth] Listen man, where the hell is Boddy, so we can find out what this nonsense is all about and we can finally get out of this wretched place!

Clint : [Looking at the covered dishes] I'm having this feeling of déjà vu... [To Alice] That actually means "already seen"; it's french you know. [Wink!]

Jerome : [Looking at the covered dishes] I'm having this feeling of déjà vu... [To Alice] That actually means "already seen"; it's french you know. [Wink!]

Alice : [Staggered] Wow! I just got that feeling, you know, when you think you've seen something before? I can't think of the term, but I think it's some kind of Spanish phrase.

Wadsworth : [Finishing putting out the dishes] I'm sure Mr. Boddy will be here presently. In the meantime, why not enjoy your meal? Bon appetite.

Alice : [Smiling at and raising her glass to Wadsworth] Ah, Italian!

Wadsworth : No madam, it's French.

Alice : [Flustered] Er, I meant the food.

Wadsworth : [Thinks to himself for a moment] French would probably adequetely describe that too. charset="iso-8859-1" =20

Chastity: [To Alice] In answer to your earlier question, I don't = actually work. My high society engagements take too much of my time. Fortunately = my previous husbands have all made sure I am well looked after. I would probably not have to work, even if I lived to a million [laughs].

Austin : [To Alice] Wow, that's a lot of shoes! So many, in fact, that you could open a shoe store! And give the profits to a worthy charity of course, like Jeromes beloved kittens with one short leg charity. Of course, you could just give the money straight to Jerome and he will sort out all that charity tax refund messing.

Chastity: [To Jerome] So, you know your whereabouts in the tax minefield, do you?

Harvey : [To Chastity] Husbands? How many have you gone through?

Jerome : I am familiar with it, but I am more familiar with charity events. In fact, that's where myself and Austin met, we were both helping out at a Short Legged Kittens (kittens with one leg shorter than the other three), and had a wonderful time, although, I think there was some snow there, wasn't there, Austin?

Alice : [To Austin] A shoestore? Don't be so ridiculous.

Chastity: [To Harvey] Four.

Alice : [Emphasising the "s"] Husbands? No wonder you don't have time for anything else. Now, I'm starving! [Lifts the lid of her dinner, revealing to all that there is a steaming pile of shit there] Eauh! God! [Slams the cover down and turns to Wadsworth] I don't think I can go for this fancy foreign food, Wadsworth.

Harvey : Four? My god, woman! Interesting, so we have in our merry little group, a senators wife, a very rich multi-divorcee, a fashion guru tax consultant, a world reknowned actor, a country and western, ahem, singer, and Clint. What could tie us all together, I wonder? Apart from the rope of circumstance!

Jerome : [Tentatively lifts his dish, it also contains a pile of crap] Hm, maybe it might be appropriate for Austin to play some music during dinner?

Alice : [Lights another cigarette] I need a smoke.

Harvey : [To Austin] Why don't you sing that song, "I Put My Ex In A Straight Jacket, And Now He Just Drools All Day Long." That's one of yours isn't it? [Cautiously lifts his lid]

Clint : [Slowly lifts up his dish cover to seee what's underneath]

Austin : [To Harvey] I am a preacher, I serve the Lord, I sing to spread the word. [To Jerome] Certainly, would love to, if Wads here could fetch my guitar. I don't recal snow at any of the charity events, though I do remember all those little kittens that had cut themselves on something sharp, probably playing in the razor grass again huh?

[Both HARVEY's and CLINT's dishes contain the same as ALICE and JEROME's.]

Jerome : [Smirking at Austin] Don't recall the snow - I guess snow sometimes has that effect! Especially when its been cut - maybe that's why you're thinking about razors?

[WADSWORTH stands impassively by.]

Harvey : [Shocked] I say, Clint, some bounder has left one of your scripts on my plate! [Lifts the lid fully so all can see the steaming pile of shit on his plate]

Clint : Yes, you're right, Harvey. And look, all the fumes, and the smell! It certainly was played by you!

Jerome : Ladies! Ladies! Down, please! Wadsworth, what is this?

Wadsworth : Faeces sir. [Leans over and sniffs] Human faeces, I believe.

Harvey : [Standing, to Wadsworth] What the hell? How dare you serve us this!! I am leaving this instant! [Walks to the door]

Wadsworth : [Stepping in front of Harvey] Please sir! I must insist that you do not leave this room. [Dramatically] No one must leave this room! [Thundering] No one! Not one person.

[There is a ring on the door bell.]

Alice : [To Wadsworth] Shall I go out and get that?

Harvey : Finally, Mr Boddy! Some answers at last!

[There is a stand off for a few seconds, as HARVEY and WADSWORTH glare at each other, and the tension is broken by another ring.]

Wadsworth : I will thank you to remain here, sir.


Jerome : So, as the good Mr. Harvey put it earlier, what is it that ties us together? We've got an actor, a widow, a designer, an inventor, a singer and a wife, most of whom live in different towns, but many of whom have crossed paths before.

Alice : [Taking a letter out of her purse] Well, I got a letter, inviting me here tonight.

Jerome : As did I.

Harvey : I also received a letter. Curious though, Ms G..Alice, for when I asked you earlier, you denied receiving a letter! I wonder how much else has been an untruth? [Twirls around to face Alice] What say you, Mrs Nixon, hah, if that is even your name?

Alice : [Taken aback, and looking to the others for support] I - I only denied it because you were being so aggressive to me, because I didn't want to talk to you, [eyes filling up with tears] like I don't want to now! [Makes a sulky face] I think I want some chocolate ice cream. [Picks up a fork and removes her dish] Eauh! [Slams the lid down again]

Harvey : [Flicks his scarf over his shoulder and swoops over to his seat once again] Do not cry Alice, I was just making sure you were not one of...them! Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe I know why we are here. Comrades, our cover has been blown and we are all now at the mercy of the CIA! [Sits back, satisfied and sniffs at his wine glass]

Clint : [Showing some discomfort] What are you talking about man? Do you have some secret you are trying to hide from us? And why would the CIA serve us plates full of faeces?

Jerome : I'd rather be tortured by the CIA than tortured by listening to your rantings.

[The door opens, enter WADSWORTH, and MR. BODDY.]

Wadsworth : May I present Mr. Boddy.

Boddy : [Smoking a joint] Well, well, well, looks like the party's already started. [Looks over at Alice] Hey Honey, I think we'd better find something to perk you up a little. [To Harvey] Still talking shite, Harvey?

Harvey : Just trying to inject a little dramatic blood into this mundane grouping! [Stands] What the hell is the meaning of all this?

Boddy : [Calmly sitting down] I'm sure I don't know. I was sent a letter, inviting me to dinner. [To Wadsworth] Anything for me to eat?

Wadsworth : Oh yes, indeed sir. [Leans in through the serving hatch, and takes out a covered dish, identical to the others]

Harvey : [Exasperated, sits back down again] So, you would have us believe that you are another lamb to the slaughter? If that is so, how do you know us all by name?

Boddy : [As Wadsworth places the dish in front of him] Hey Harv, easy boy. [Puts out the joint] What makes you think I know you all by name? For example, I don't know Alice. [Turns to Alice] What's your name, dear?

Alice : [Unnerved] Alice.

Boddy : Pleased to meet you, Alice. [Lifts the lid off his dish, and bends down, making a big production of smelling it] Ah, my favourite! [There is a huge, mouth-watering steak with all the fixin's on the plate.]

Austin : [Lifts the lid on his plate, if it is excrement he will put the lid back down, walk round to Boddy, introduce himself and pinch some chips]

Boddy : [Wolfing down his food as Austin approaches] Hey Austin, ain't you got no gee-tar on you, boy? What in tarnation is goin' on with this here food? I say dang, it sure do done be mystery, boy, [turns to Alice] ain't that right, gull?

[ALICE ignores him.]

Harvey : [Places a cigarette in his holder and lights it, inhaling deeply. To Boddy] What did your letter say?

Boddy : [Between mouthfuls of steak] Merely that you lot would be meeting up this weekend to discuss some of your er, problems. [Picks up a glass and waves it at Alice, clearly looking for some wine] The letter contained an impassioned plea to help one of you, because, you see, I'm in a position to make one of you a very attractive financial offer.

[ALICE looks surprised, but leans over and tips the ash of her cigarette into the glass.]

Boddy : What did your - [makes to take a drink, but stops, surprised] what did your letters say? [Puts the glass down] Hey, Wadsworth, how about some wine?

Wadsworth : Don't mind if I do, sir. [Pours out a generous measure of red wine, and tosses it back.]

Harvey : Mine said to turn up for dinner, as you would have some information for me, which I would find, beneficial.

Austin : [To Boddy] My letter said you would make me a very attractive financial offer, amongst other things. Though I still don't get the plates full of shit.

Boddy : Plates full of shit?

[ALICE lifts her lid and shows BODDY.]

Boddy : [Bursts out laughter] Wadsworth! You old dog!

Wadsworth : [Offended] Sir! It was not me that chose the menu!

Jerome : I got a letter like Aus and Harv.

Alice : Well, I didn't.

Jerome : What's that in your hand?

Alice : [Looks at the letter in her hand] Oh sorry! I mean, I [emphasises] did get a letter.

Chastity: I also received a letter from you.

Boddy : [Popping a piece of potato into his mouth] From me? I don't think so. Show me the letter.

Chastity: [Reads her letter again] Oh do beg my pardon! I was told to meet you here and the letter was from A. Friend. [Turns to Austin] Hey, what's your real name. It's not Friend is it?

Harvey : My letter was sent from "A Friend", which I doubt very much. And who, in Gods name, did choose the menu, Wadsworth? You?

Austin : [To Chastity] Why would I write a letter to myself. [Gets up and starts poking around the room, to see if anyone is spying on the party, e.g. through eyeholes in a painting or something]

Harvey : Why? To falsify your reasons for being here, of course. To make us think you are one of this group, when really, you are masterminding the entire affair! Hah varlot, I do find it cowardly and vile!

Boddy : [Laughing] Hey, Wadsworth! They're great! [Gives Chastity a peculiar look] You know honey, I find it hard to believe that you've ever had a real friend. Of course, [popping the last of his food into his mouth] it can be surprising what money can buy you, don't you think?

Wadsworth : [Smiling at Harvey] Sir, I can assure you that I did not choose the menu. I am merely acting under instructions from my employer. [AUSTIN wanders about the room, but doesn't appear to find anything.]

Jerome : [Peering at Harvey] Why on earth would anyone pretend to be associated with any group that has [points at Harvey] you as a member?

Wadsworth : Can I interest anyone in dessert?

Alice : [Looking past Wadsworth into the kitchen at some more covered dishes] You know, I think I might pass on it.

Boddy : [Laughing] Hey, Wadsworth! They're great! [Gives Chastity a peculiar look] You know honey, I find it hard to believe that you've ever had a real friend. Of course, [popping the last of his food into his mouth] it can be surprising what money can buy you, don't you think?

Wadsworth : [Smiling at Harvey] Sir, I can assure you that I did not choose the menu. I am merely acting under instructions from my employer. [AUSTIN wanders about the room, but doesn't appear to find anything.]

Jerome : [Peering at Harvey] Why on earth would anyone pretend to be associated with any group that has [points at Harvey] you as a member?

Wadsworth : Can I interest anyone in dessert?

Alice : [Looking past Wadsworth into the kitchen at some more covered dishes] You know, I think I might pass on it.

Austin : [To all] This all just reminds me of the last supper. Praise the Lord. Only It's like the first dinner, and the food is quite literally shit, excepting Boddys here of course. Where are you from Mr. Boddy?

Harvey : [To Wadsworth] Your employer? And who, pray tell, is your employer?

Boddy : [To Austin, after wiping his mouth with a napkin] Well now boy, I don't done think that it ain't God dang business boy. [Smiles at him]

Wadsworth : [Gives a huge toothy grin to Harvey] Hm, no dessert then. Well, if everyone is in agreement, then I suggest we go to the library for some coffee and brandy, where I believe my employer will make his wishses known. [Opens the door, and stands at it.]

Harvey : Onward then! I await the evenings events with baited breath! [Flicks is scarf over his shoulder and swoshes out of the dining room]

Austin : [Looking glum and sulky] Sheesh! What a wanker. [Lights a cigarette and smokes it taking deep draws, staring at the floor. To Wadsworth] I suppose you're going to piss in the Brandy?

Wadsworth : [Broad smile] No need sir, I've already done it.

Jerome : Okay, to the library then.

Alice : I have to visit the bathroom, I'll catch up with you.

[Exit ALL.]

[Book II, Act V, Scene V. The Library. Friday, February 7th, 1997, 8.15pm. WADSWORTH, MR. BODDY, JEROME, HARVEY, AUSTIN, CLINT and CHASTITY are here, having just entered. The room is as it was earlier, but the used glasses have been removed. The storm outside is getting worse, and wind and rain are constantly hammering against the windows.]

Wadsworth : [Pouring out some brandy for everyone] I trust every one would like another drink?

Boddy : Why don't you just get to the point?

Wadsworth : [Taking out a large envelope] Sealed in here are instructions from my employer, they are to be opened after dinner. [Opens it, and begins reading.]

Chastity: Well?

Wadsworth : [Smiling and putting the letter into his pocket] Yes. Yes, very well indeed.

Austin : [To Chastity, in a tense] Give him a moment to read it, for fucks sake! [Clenched teeth, under his breath] Jesus, some people. [Puts out his ciagrette and shakily lights another one]

Harvey : God almighty! [Thumps the sideboard] What is this all about? [Enter ALICE.]

Alice : Hi everyone! I hope I haven't missed anything Wadsworth you haven't told everyone what's going on yet have you because I hate being the only one who doesn't know what's going on like that time when we were on holidays in Aspen and I was the only one who brought a suitcase of bikinis and didn't have any sweaters or hats or skis and how was I supposed to know that it was going to be cold there because Colorado is always really hot anyway. [Deep breath] I think I could do with a cigarette. [Grabs a brandy and lights a cigarette.]

Wadsworth : No need to worry, Madam, we haven't started yet. [Turns, with a flourish to the others] The reason you have all been brought here is that you do have one thing in common, [dramatic pause] you are all being blackmailed! [The room is lit up by a timely flash of lightening.]

Alice : [Jumping, and spilling her drink all over Harvey] Jesus H Christ on a bike! What the hell was that? [Realises what she's done] Oops, sorry. Here, let me clean it up.

Harvey : What the hell! [Jumps up and starts brushing his trousers. To Alice] Look, just stop! Stop I tell you! Just get away from me, you clown!

Alice : Don't you call me a clown, you fucking pompous ass! It was just an accident! [Notices the others watching herself and Harvey, before offering lamely] Well, it was.

Clint : [Pretending not to be nervous] But ah dah who oh dah... doh! [Deep breath] What are you talking about, Wadsworth?

Harvey : [Glaring at Alice] My best trousers! [Dries himself off as best he can, before sitting again.] Now, what was this nonsense about blackmail?

Wadsworth : [Theatrically] I'm talking about blackmail, Dr. White. I'm talking about appropriation, larceny and buccaneering.

[The room is lit up by another huge flash of lightening.]

Wadsworth : I'm talking about people pretending to be something they're not, people who are liars and fakes!

Jerome : [Snidely] That's your best trousers? Figures.

Wadsworth : [To Harvey] Nonsense, is it, Mr. Black? Are you claiming that you are not being blackmailed?

Harvey : [Sweating slightly] Don't you get pissy with me, staff! Of course I'm not being blackmailed!

Chastity: Indeed. Why would anyone want to blackmail Harvey? I mean, what information could anyone possibly have on such a reknowned actor?

Wadsworth : Shall I read out the root of the allegations? [Pause] Sir?

[Everyone shifts uncomfortably.]

Harvey : [Looking most uncomfortable] I'm sure it's nought but a pack of lies! And no doubt libelous to boot. [Places a cigarette into his holder and lights it, inhaling deeply]

Wadsworth : If it is nought but a pack of lies, then why are you paying the money every month? [Whirls around to Chastity] I did not say that Harvey was the only being blackmailed, for you [points at Chastity] yes you, Ms. Scarlett are also paying a substantial amount of cash out each month.

Clint : I feel a lot of nerve coming from you, servant! Just chill out and give me some brandy, will you? And make sure not to piss on it!

Chastity: Well I don't know about that at all. My accountant takes care of my wealth. [To Harvey] May I have a cigarette? [To Austin] Do you know any good solicitors?

Harvey : Of course. [Takes out a cigarette, gives it to Chastity and lights it. To everyone] Yes I pay out a sum of money each month, for otherwise, if these lies leaked out, my reputation would be in tatters! There is no proof needed to ruin a career in the acting business! And that is exactly what this anonymous fiend preys upon!

Jerome : Do you know what this person claims to be blackmailing us for, Wadsworth? [Turns to the others] I presume we're all being blackmailed for something or other?

Wadsworth : Indeed I do. [Looks at Boddy] As does Mr. Boddy.

[BODDY says nothing, but raises his glass to the others, and makes a "click click" sound.]

Harvey : [Angrily] If you are behind this, Boddy, let me tell you that your hours on this planet are numbered! I swear to God!

Chastity: [To Jerome] What's grating me is having to look at you in those disgusting clothes. Fashion designer, hah! You've got as much fashion sense as Alice has willpower.

Chastity: [To Jerome] What's grating me is having to look at you in those disgusting clothes. Fashion designer, hah! You've got as much fashion sense as Alice has willpower.

Alice : What the hell is that supposed to mean? All you've done is sit back making bitchy remarks at people all night, there's more to being high class than having expensive clothes and a superior attitude, you know! There's [breathes heavily for a few seconds] there's a lot more! [Turns and looks at Boddy for a moment, but then stops.]

Jerome : [To Chastity] What's grating me is having to look at you.

Clint : Ok, enough of this. [Pulls the letter off Wadsworth hands] Let's read what this [quotes...] host has prepared for us! If he doesn't manage:

Clint : Ok, enough of this. [Tries to pull the letter of Wadsworth hands, but fails to do so] Oh come on, we're sick of this stupid game! Tells us what your [quotes...] host wants from us! What is it? Money?

Harvey : Christ almighty! [Coughs on a lungful of smoke] I'll gladly carry on paying money each month rather than having to endure another moment of this shit!

Chastity: [To Alice] The only thing you know about class is the difference between class 'A' and class 'B' drugs.

Alice : You bitch! [Makes a grab for Chastity, catching her by the hair, and pulling her to the ground.]

Wadsworth : Ladies! Please! There are ... [lamely] ladies present.

Clint : Ok, enough of this. [Tries to pull the letter of Wadsworth hands, but fails to do so] Oh come on, we're sick of this stupid game! Tells us what your [quotes...] host wants from us! What is it? Money?

Boddy : [Joint in mouth, applauding] Wooh! This place rocks!

Chastity: [To Alice] You're not worthy of being a Senators wife. You are a disgrace!

Alice : [Slapping Chastity across the face, shouting] Shut up!

[BODDY gives a cheer, and does some shadow boxing, still in his seat.]

Wadsworth : [To Clint] Stop them! Stop them!

Harvey : Ladies, please! [Tries to stand between them both] This is just what our esteemed host wants us to do! [Shouts] And chaos did reign supreme amongst the Carthagians! And they all didst weep and wail for the passing of their civility!

Alice : [Pushes Chastity away, and stands up, smoothing down her hair and unruffling her clothes] Just keep her away from me. [Points at Chastity] You know nothing about me - nothing! [Makes to attack her again.]

Jerome : [Catching hold of Alice] Alright, alright, enough's enough. Lets all just calm down, okay?

Boddy : [Wiping a make-believe tear from his eye] Oh man, this is all so beautiful! I'm so glad I was invited.

Clint : And you did have to open your mouth again and disturb us with your smelly breath! [Tries to hold Alice back] There there, no need to fight! He who lifts the sword is bound to fight for his life!

[CLINT catches ALICE and holds her back.]

Alice : Okay, okay! Let me go.

Boddy : So, if there are no more theatrics, I'd like to carry on. [Looks inquisitively at the others] Chastity? No bitchy remarks to make? Harv, are you sure you don't want to bore us with some shite quote that has nothing to with the conversation? [Glances at Austin] Or does the good ole boy have got done a song to sing about the Lord?

Austin : I do not.

Harvey : What fools these mortals be! Continue, knave!

Boddy : [Takes a long, satisfying drag on the joint] My employer, who wishes to remain nameless, has a proposition. He wishes to relieve one of you from the burden of blackmail. One of you will have all your money returned, and will never have to worry about hearing from him again. [To Harvey] What sayest thou now, kind sir knight? [Does an extravagent bow.]

Harvey : I say you are a dead man walking!

[WADSWORTH closes his eyes and covers them with a hand.]

Boddy : [Standing up] And I say that you're full of shit. If you want to take a pop at me, come and get it. [Adopts a boxing stance]

Austin : Go on Harv, take him down, ream him.

Harvey : [Looking very unsure of himself] I'll wait to see what he has to say first. [Stubs his cigarette out]

Boddy : Oh, stirring words of bravery, Harv! Okay, here's how it's going to be, team. [Pulls over a chair, and sits on it backwards, leaning on the back, looking at the others] My employer has agreed to let one of you six off - but the question, which one? Which of you is worthy? Which of you is not a lowlife scum that deserves to rot in hell?

Chastity: Why, that would be me. [Takes a step forward]

Boddy : Well now, I guess whatever you're being blackmailed for is something very innocous so. And if that's the case, then I guess you won't mind telling the rest of us what it is, will you? [Everyone looks at CHASTITY.]

Austin : [Stares at Chastity, lights another cigarette from the but of the existing one, which he then drops on the floor and treads out] What? What are you goofing off about now? You takin about Alice here? [Deep drag of cigarette] I'll write a book about all this when I'm drying out in the Batty Fraud Clinic.

Austin : [To Chastity] So, sure I go there, I got to spread the word where it's most needed, bars, clubs, prisons, brothels. Wherever sin is greatest, I try to make amends. That's probably why the Lord led me here. When you've been workin for the Lord as long as me you know haw to fit in, walk the walk, talk the talk, all in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord [Crosses himself] Praise him. [Goes into Evangelical mode, arms wide again] May all you sinners gatherd around here tonight, repent you sins and come into the arms of God.

Alice : No way! He's a flasher too?

Boddy : Chastity's got a point there, Austin. I'm sure she's familiar with your visits to a certain house of ill repute. And as for confessing? I don't think you confessed to all your fans and congregation that you were in jail, or that you spent two years drying out in a clinic in France. If you really mean that you don't care, then I suggest you turn and walk out that door right now and head for home. Make sure you have an order for Sunday's papers though, because you can bet they'll have every last detail of your dirty past and dirtier lies. In fact, I'd prefer if you leave, get out of my sight!

Jerome : [Enjoying this] Well Austin, what's it going to be? Are you gonna back up those strong words?

Harvey : A far greater crime is his spreading of popularity of that evil redneck pasttime, line dancing

Boddy : Sure it could, but I don't recall any of the rest of them agreeing to have their dirty laundry washed in public, although, [glances at Jerome] I'm sure need it done badly enough. Anyway, [smiles] I'm not sure I'm finished with you, Austin. [Glances down at his letter] Wow! Grew up on a trailer park in Arkansas? [Looks around at everyone] Now, whadda y'all make of that? A far cry from the stories you tell people, eh, Austin?

Alice : Why are you doing this to us?

Boddy : Feeling some sympathy for Austin, eh? Well done, Alice, you really are a caring woman. I suppose bringing up the trailer park was probably going too far - no one should have to have that made public. I'm sorry Austin.

Austin : [Deep drag of the cigarette] There ain't nuthin wrong wiv bein' brung up in a trailer park, we is jus' as good as the rest of yuh. Ain't that so Alice, darlin? [Lights another cigarette] I dun pretty good considerin where I started. Thats how we wus shown by Alice's pappy, jus trying to get a few bucks, stealin wus all we knew. I'm differen' now.

Alice : [Going deep crimson] I don't know what you're talking about. [Rubs her nose a few times]

Jerome : [Clapping his hands together] So! Another connection comes out! Alice and Austin, hmm, did you ever get together I wonder? Oh, you probably didn't, unless you're cousins! [Laughs aloud]

Harvey : [Laughs loudly at the joke] Poor Austin, I had no idea! Gods! How the son denigrates from the sire!

Austin : [To Harvey] And how about you, you're a failure, your critics laugh at you, you're the butt of the establishments jokes, not that I care, so why are you hear?

Chastity: [To Alice] So that's where you picked up your little habits, the trailor park. And what would the senator say if he found out? Why, I'm sure he would leave you.

Harvey : Sir, you look at me while you speak, yet nothing you say implies that it is to me that you speak!

Austin : [To Harvey] So what are you being blackmailed for, Harve? [Lights another cigarette] What skeletons are lurking in you're 'Closet'.

Austin : [To Harvey] Well you tell me, you've seen him much more recently than me.

Harvey : [Darkly] That's true, you could have at least visited the poor chap!

Austin : [To Harvey, shruging] What for, he was a lost case, and my research was complete. Anyways, he had you.

Clint : What's this? Another long lost lover of Harvey's? What favour did you get from him? Who's brilliant play did you ruin after you slept with him?

Harvey : [Almost sounding strangled with rage] How dare you, Malcolm! You don't have a clue what you're talking about!

Jerome : [Flapping a limp wrist at Harvey] Oh, you bitch! [Laughs aloud]

Harvey : Fuck you! Fuck all of you! [Lights a cigarette, not bothering to use his holder]

Boddy : Man, this is great fun! Will it all come out? So far we've got an actor who's been covering up his homosexuality and propensity for sleeping with producers, and then we have the holier than though country and western singer who's a liar and ex-con. [Looks around at the others] Go on, it's good to confess! [To Alice] Y'all sure would benefit from gettin' it off yer chest, gull.

Alice : [Folding her arms defensively] If we don't have to, I'm certainly not telling people what I'm being blackmailed for.

Jerome : Well, if its worse than being some trailer trash from Arkansas, it must be terrible! [Laughs aloud again, hardly able to contain himself at the others' misfortune.]

Austin : [To Jerome] Probably not as bad as being a kitten mutillator though. [Flips Jerome off 9Gives him the finger)]

Jerome : [Holds his hands up as though at gun point] If you want to insult someone, you should make sure that people can first understand you.

Austin : [To All, pointing the finger, speaking loudly] What jerome means is that you others probably don't know that most, it not all, of the kittens with one leg shorter than the other three, for which Jerome organised charity events, had a short leg because Jerome had cut the foot of these kittens off, himself, and pocketed the money from the charity.

Jerome : [Nostrils flaring] You bastard! [Points at Austin] Not true! [Shouting] Not true! Not true! [Flips over a convenient table, sending glasses and bottles crashing to the floor] I'm going to kill you! [Squares up to Austin]

Boddy : [Ticking something off on his sheet] Ah, Jerome, guilty of organising sweat shops and using genuine, endangered animals for his material. Now, that's a crime for the nineties, if ever I saw one!

Harvey : His fashion line is the crime of the nineties, if ever I saw one!

Austin : [Pulls out a 0.5 Desert Eagle, a chrome one with mother of pearl hand grips, and the insignia 'The Duke', points it at Jerome, holding it in two hands. Red faced and overreacting and screaming:] Freeze motherfucker! I'll blow you away if you take another step, dung ball! blow

Alice : For god's sake, Austin, but that thing away!

Jerome : I might have known, someone like you would react this way.

Chastity: [Screams shrilly] Aaaaaaaaaaaaagggggghhhhhhhhh! [Tries to hide behind a couch or other large object]

Boddy : That had better be a fake, boy, or I swear know that I'll kill you.

Harvey : [Drops his cigarette in shock] God almighty man! [Stamps out the cigarette quickly]

Austin : [To Boddy] Mind your own fuckin' business, bin raker. [Gets out his small chrome tube and has a snort] Hallelujah! [Smiling again. To Jerome] Back off real slow, or Wads here will have some extra cleaning to do tonight. Praise the Lord, for he has given me the power to fight evil!

Clint : And are you sure it is loaded, Austin? An unloaded gun is like a cigarette without tobacco; useless!

Jerome : Alright, no need to panic. [Steps back slowly]

[BODDY and WADSWORTH exchange glances, with the latter looking very worried.]

Boddy : [Dead calm] Put that away, Austin, or I'll knife you quicker than an American tourist in Limerick.

Alice : Put that away this minute, Austin Roberts! Ain't you ever gonna learn? I swear, I'm gonna done kick your ass if you don't put it away!

Clint : Shut the fuck up Boddy, you're the one that started this situation! And you know nothing about Limerick anyway!

Boddy : [Stands up slowly] Put it away, now.

Boddy : I know that an academic was recently murdered there, Clint.

Austin : [Puts the heat away] Okay already. [Backs off] I'm backing off here! No harm done. I aint never heard of Limerick no how.

Harvey : Oh who gives a fuck about some shit hole in Ireland! There's a man with a very large gun here! Now Austin, put it away! You don't want to end up in prison again, do you?

Clint : [To Boddy] What the...? Hey Austin, don't put that away yet! We may still need it after all...

Alice : [Shaking with fear and anger] What the hell are you doing bringing a gun here for? What the fuck is wrong with you? Honestly, don't you people have any idea how to do business? You know, its quite obvious that none of you have the remotest idea how to act professional!

Clint : [To Alice, visibly stressed] And what the fuck do you know about business? Your only professional commitment is to let your husband use your name to laundry money, while he was fun with his mistress! Did I just say mistress? I ment mistresses, my apologies!

[ALICE goes pale, and looks around at the others, lower lip quivering, but says nothing.]

Boddy : [Sharp intake of breath] Good stab by the Limerick man! Is there any comeback?

Alice : [On the verge of tears] That's not true!

Boddy : I'm sure we're all glad to hear that.

Alice : Well, do you know how Clint knows my husband? He met him when he tried to bribe him to get a licence for his FEWD device - the same licence which someone else applied for just months beforehand, and who just happened to die in a tragic stabbing [makes the quotes sign with her fingers] accident. [Nose to nose with Clint] Murderer! [Whirls around to Chastity] No, I wasn't talking to you, you pointy nosed bitch, but I could have been, but at least Clint ain't no Goddamn whore!

[BODDY glances up from his notes and he and WADSWORTH exchange incredulous looks.]

Clint : You stupid bitch! [Slaps Alice across the face]

[ALICE staggers slightly, putting her hand to her face, but says nothing.]

Boddy : Sure 'n begorrah, 'tis like being back in the ould country! Stabbin's, shootin's, men slappin' women, ah, it brings a tear to the eye.

Clint : [Furious look at Boddy] Shut the fuck up you idiot, or otherwise I'll show you what a Limerick stabbing session is! [Points at Alice] Look at what you pushed me to do!

Harvey : [Disgusted] Typical paddy! If you're not beating your women, you're drinking yourself to oblivion! Oh, these animal men!

Clint : Does someone feel this smell? Oh!, it's just Mr. wide-arse talking again...

Austin : [To Clint] What the fuck did you hit her for? Jesus give me strength. You people remind me why I started using coke. [Lights another cigarete. To Clint] Alice is just another victim of the evil capitalist world we live in.

Alice : [Breathing heavily, and staring at Clint] I'm sorry, Clint. [To the others] I need to use the bathroom.

[Exit ALICE.]

Harvey : Well Clint, proud of yourself, eh? What was all this about a murder in Limerick?

Clint : None of your business. And I mean it!

Harvey : [To Clint] Well, my spud munching friend, [gestures towards Boddy] my guess is we're going to hear all about it, anyway.

Boddy : Wow! Is this intense, or what? So, it looks like everyone's secret is out. Let's see, [reading from his list] Harvey sleeps with producers to get parts, Austin has led a life of crime [looks up] and is armed, [looks down again] the inappropriately named Chastity is a prostitute who is suspected of murdering one or more of her husbands. [Pauses to take a sip of brandy] Our Jerome uses endangered species and sweatshops to create his dubious clothing line, while the lovely Alice helps her darling husband launder money, so that just leaves Clint. [Looks up at him, sympathetically] The guy who murdered the man who really invented the FEWD, [glances back at the page] oh, and there's something here about potato addiction.

Clint : [Red with anger, throwing to the ground whatever remains on top of the table] Who do you think you are? Exposing our lifes like this? I'll have to agree with the preacher - you are a dead man walking!

Harvey : [Embarassed, sits down by the fire and lights a cigarette] Must cut down on these things! I feel like I've had a hundred since arriving at this god forsaken dump!

Jerome : [Sits down on a chair as far away from the others as possible] Who told them, Jerome? I knew you shouldn't have told that bitch Susan about it, she blabbed about it the same way she blabbed about you not being able to get an erection.

Boddy : [Watching Jerome with a smile on his face, before turning to the Clint] Excuse me, Clint, but it was your fellow guests that exposed each other. I merely filled in the blanks. [Looks around at the others, speaking harshly] Perhaps if you all weren't so dumb and greedy, then your actions wouldn't be common knowledge. Now, if we're all finished with the hysterics, maybe you might take some time to listen to my employer's proposal. Well?

Clint : [Sits down, blank face staring at nothing] Whatever.

Harvey : What? We're the greedy ones? Jesus, having to pay a huge amount of money each month to some vile blackmailer doesn't strike me as the dictionary definition of greed. Well? What's your proposal?

Boddy : I'll take that as a yes. [Leaning forward] Okay, as I tried to say before you all start outing each other, my employer has decided that one of you will be relieved of your debt. That is why you were all brought along here tonight, and I'll thank you not to vent your ire on me, or threaten me or any of that kind of rubbish. I'm here to help, I'm a facilitator. [Smiles at Harvey] And the blackmailer isn't that vile, he's really kind of cute - I think you'd like him! [Enter ALICE.]

Alice : [Rubbing her nose, and taking her seat, but glaring at Clint] Touch me again and I'll kick your ass.

Harvey : [Cheeks flush in anger, but says nothing]

Boddy : [Rolling up another joint, clearly relishing the discomfort of the others] So that's basically the situation, you know, think of it as an opportunity, and not a problem Clint. A chance to overcome difficult odds. To pit your wits against the greatest minds that science has to offer. Alice, you may prefer to think of it as being on a gameshow. [Sits back, apparantly satisfied]

Clint : I thought you were going to give us the details of your [finger quotes...] employee, rather than keeping on slagging us!

Austin : [Solemly, to Boddy] So you're making a choice between two murderers, and animal mutillator/child slaver, a money launderer, and a guy who has serverd his time for his crimes, but not actually killed anyone or anything. So I guess it's between me an Alice here? [Lights another cigarette and drops the empty packet on the floor] Gee, I wish Alice's Papy was here, he'd sure show you not to mess with the Bundys. [Shakes his head] Gasoline and a lit cigarette go a long way in persuading. I could write a real good song about that. If I could write good. [Looks glum] I just have to write them in my head you know. Yup, the good Lord moves in strange ways. [Looks at the floor vacantly, puffing away on his cigarette]

Clint : [Says nothing, just looks at Alice with guilty eyes]

Austin : [Passes Alice a cigarette, that he lights first from his one. To Alice] Just like old times gurl, me you, some murderers, a farmer and some hogs. [Looks thoughtful] I could write a song about that too. I reckon the government must poison the trailer park water supply, to make us dumb so as we cant think good and stuff. Like reading. I nearly dun reading the bible too. Hey Maybe theres a song in that too. Wads get my guita....[Sees the lack of enthusiasm in the others and shuts up and smokes]

Harvey : It's between you and Alice? Don't make me laugh! You think you deserve to have your debt cancelled, when you stick a weapon in our faces and threaten us all? Bullshit, my boy, bullshit! I am the only member of this gathering who has not broken the law. For mine is a crime of nature, truly, I deserve to be the one. Last mail gone done sent from Dom #105

Alice : [Taking the cigarette] All we need now is a pickup truck, a tattered couch and some stolen beers, and it'll just be like my twelfth birthday again. [Looks angrily at Clint]

Boddy : [Clapping his hands together] Okay Clint, I can see you're a man who means business. [Turns to Chastity] Not your kind of business, you understand. [To the others] Okay, here's the scoop. The house has been sealed, for the next forty eight hours, no one comes in, and no one comes out. Somewhere in the grounds, there's a key hidden. Whoever finds the key will be forever absolved from their debt - the rest of you will have to pay extra for them [smiles] I will see to that.

Alice : [To Harvey] Oh, shut up, will you? Let's try and see what's going on here before we have to listen to your shite about how brilliant you are! [Sniffs, and rubs her nose, before taking a long drag of her cigarette.]

Harvey : How uncommonly rude! And so uncommonly common, to boot.

Alice : [With a snort of derision] I'm not wearing boots!

Jerome : Boddy, if the key is hidden in the grounds, and the house sealed, how are we supposed to find it?

Boddy : It was just a figure of speech - you will be able to go out into the grounds, just not beyond the inner wall. The plan is, tomorrow morning, I'll give you a map, and the six of you can set off. What a fine adventure it will be!

Harvey : [Pours himself a brandy] That I very much doubt, Boddy! This whole thing is unworkable! Why should any of us help each other to find this ruddy key? And when one of us does, whats to stop the trigger happy hick from putting a bullet through each of us?

Boddy : [Shrugs] You don't have to help each other, but mark my words, no one person will be able to find it on their own. As for the man with the very big gun, well, I suggest he hand it over, because I, for one, don't feel safe with it floating around. [Turns to Austin] Well, are you going to hand it over?

Harvey : Good grief man! The only thing worse than Austin having a gun is you having that gun! Put the thing in a safe, lock it and throw away the key!

Wadsworth : [Producing a very small key] Sir, there is a safe in this very room. I can lock it in there, and we can throw the key away, if it will make everyone else feel safer.

Boddy : Sure, why not?

[WADSWORTH opens the safe.]

Austin : [Calmly] The gun's a fake. [Looks at Chastity] Somewhat like you, in fact.

Harvey : Is there room in there for a guitar also?

Austin : Why? Do you want one to play after we lock you in?

Wadsworth : The gun, sir?

Austin : I said, it's a fake - there's no need to take it.

Harvey : Regardless, I think we would all sleep more soundly knowing you no longer have it, fake or no.

[AUSTIN hands the key over to WADSWORTH, who pockets it.]

Clint : [To Harvey] Just think how much more soundly we'd all sleep if your [does the quotes] "weapon" was also locked away!

Boddy : [Standing up] Now, if there's nothing else, I suggest everyone retire to bed. You've an interesting day ahead of you tomorrow.

Harvey : Yes, there is something else, Wadsworth, put that blasted gun in the safe and throw the key away. As of the now!

Wadsworth : Certainly, sir. [Takes the gun and locks it in the safe.] I shall throw the key out the front door.

[Everyone follows WADSWORTH to the front door, which he opens, before firing the key through it.]

Boddy : Now, unless there's anything else, I suggest you all go and get some shut-eye, y'all will need some good rest for tomorrow, folks!

Austin : [To Alice] Fancy listening to some guitar music in my room, for old time's sake? I know it's not quite the same, what with the bedroom being larger than your entire trailer, but I'm sure it will be fine.

Alice : I think I'll pass on it.

[Book II, Act V, Scene VII. The Main Hall. Friday, February 8th, 1997, 6.15am. WADSWORTH, ALICE, JEROME, HARVEY, AUSTIN, CLINT and CHASTITY are here, having just entered. Everyone is wearing dressing gowns and their night clothes. The storm is still raging outside, and has been all night.]

Alice : [Looking extremely tired and puffy, wearing a pink towel dressing gown and huge furry slippers] Why on earth have we been dragged out of bed at this hour?

Wadsworth : [Clearly overwrought about something] Because something terrible has happened - Mr. Boddy has been murdered!

[The hall is lit up by a huge flash of lightening.]

Alice : Murdered? Are you sure?

Wadsworth : He was shot in the head, right through the eyes.

Harvey : [Rubbing sleep from his eyes, stops abruptly] My God, are you serious, man?

Wadsworth : Absolutely! Come with me!

[WADSWORTH runs up the stairs towards BODDY's room, followed slowly by the grumbling guests. He pushes the door open, revealing BODDY's body, lying on the bed, shot between the eyes. Everyone crowds around the doorway, looking in.]

Alice : Wadsworth! You don't keep the room very clean, do you? Look at the state of it!

Wadsworth : The room has been searched, madam. I believe that whoever killed Mr. Boddy ransacked his room.

Harvey : [With a theatrical twirl of his hand, loudly] I do believe, that whoever ransaked this room, killed. Mr Boddy!

Jerome : On the contrary, Harvey, I think it is more likely that whoever killed Mr. Boddy, ransacked the room!

Alice : [Nodding in agreement] Yes, yes. That sounds far more likely.

[BODDY has been shot right between the eyes. Everyone slowly squeezes into the room, and stand around the bed.]

Alice : So, hands up everyone here that's killed someone before.

Wadsworth : [To Alice] Looks like no one's talking.

Alice : So what do we do? Just stand around here staring at each other?

Jerome : [Staring at Alice] Sounds good to me.

Alice : [Pulls her dressing gown tightly around her] I hope whoever killed him kills you next.

Austin: [Lighting another cigarette] It might not have been any of us that killed him. It could have been suicide, or his 'Boss' could have done it?

Clint : Could even had been you, Wadsworth. You've clearly shown that your inocent looks are a fake.

Harvey : That's certainly a possibility! [To Wadsworth] Is there anyone else in this house?

Austin : [To Wadsworth] Have you called the Police yet? We should call the Police, and lets forensics sort it out [Gets out a mobile phone and starts dialing]

Harvey : No point, they can't get in, and we can't get out! Besides, hands up those who want their pictures splashed all over the papers, as a murder suspect! Tell me this, Austin! You've been inside once, do you want to go back so readily? After all, you were the one pointing a gun in peoples faces!

Austin : [To Harvey, slightly edgy] Are you dumb or what. Everyone saw my fake gun being put in the safe, dumb ass.

Harvey : I saw a gun being put in the safe, certainly! Whether it is still there, or not, I do not know! And we only have your word for it that it was a fake, and let me tell you, your word doesn't hold much integrity here! How many others brought weapons with them, I wonder? [Examines the Boddy, but doesn't turn his back on the group]

Austin : [To Harvey, incredulously] Well some else must have a real gun, as my one was fake. Are you searching the body to make us think you weren't the murderer, as the murderer would have already searched the body, or are you accustomed to feeling up corpses. I bet you're getting a real kick outa that.

Chastity: [To Austin, cleverly] How do YOU know that the murder weapon was a gun?

Harvey : [A look of disgust on his face, wraps his red silk dressing gown even tighter about himself] Oh my God, what a diseased mind you have! You are disgusting! Absolutely disgusting! Goodness, is there any end to your depravity! [To the others] What type of man thinks about molesting cadavers, people? The same type of man who would callously put a bullet between someones eyes, that's who!

Austin : [To Chastity, sarcastically, agitated] Perhaps the bullet hole in his head is why, Ho. Are you blind aswell as diseased?

Harvey : [Angrily] Okay Wadsworth, this has gone far enough! A man is dead, we're all tired and hungry, and I demand that you unlock the bloody door immediately! I will not spend another minute in this house! And I certainly don't want to die here!

Alice : Well, you certainly seem to be an expert on this, Austin, as you were a few years ago too. [Looking at Austin’s phone] I agree with Harvey, there’s no point in calling the police, it would just be plain stupid. Unless, of course, the murderer wants to kill someone else, in which case we could all be in danger – help! Help! Call the police! Call the police!

Jerome : [Arms folded] I, for one, don’t see what the problem is. This swine was blackmailing us, and now he’s dead. Why don’t we just go back to bed, have a good rest, and get the hell out of here tomorrow morning?

Wadsworth : Because, sir, it looks as though the evidence against all of you is missing, because it is impossible to leave the grounds without the key, and finally, because one of you is a homicidal murderer who may kill again!

Alice : I make that two homicidal murderers. [Points at Clint and Chastity.]

Wadsworth : [Angrily back to Harvey] As I already told you, there is no way out of the grounds! I can unlock the front door, but you will still be stuck here!

Harvey : [Shouting] Do you really expect us to believe, sir, that you don't know where the key to the outside gate is hidden? Well, Wadsworth, I don't!

Austin : [To Harvey, in an evangelical fashion, arms raised] Hey, hey, calm it down now, we all stand here before Jesus Christ, our Lord, a recently deceased man lying at out feet. Boddy wasn't blackmailing us, his boss was. So we should think about burying him in a proper christian fashion. I do the ceremony, me being ordained. Praise be!

Wadsworth : I don't care if you believe it or not - its the truth! Do you think I'd willingly stay amongst a bunch of murderers and lowlife scum?

Alice : Chastity seems to have no problem doing it every day of her life!

Jerome : I don't see why we should bury him, lets just leave him here, or put him in the fridge or something. It would be more in our line to discover which of you killed him, and, indeed, to try and find out if there really is a boss - or was the whole thing some elaborate ruse? Maybe you should suggest that they tie up and torture Wadsworth? Do you think? It might be going a little too far at this stage, but Clint would probably go for it, and maybe Chastity, but what about the others? [Squints at Austin] He can't be for real, so he'd probably be on for it too. [Goes all thoughtful.]

Clint : I say, why don't you just chop off one of his hands, and then bring him to a charity show? Oh that's right, he's dead. [To All] I say we should bury him, or the stench will be unbearable before long, trust me. [Realises what he just said] I mean, I saw that on TV.

Alice : For God's sake, Clint! How long do you think we're going to be here? No one's burying no one, right?

Jerome : So you do want him buried?

Alice : What?

Jerome : Your double negative is proof positive, which means we should bury him.

Alice : Shut up! Wadsworth, I know you have a key to this place, give it to me, I have to get out of here! That's the only thing he [points at Harvey] has said all evening that I agree with.

Wadsworth : I don't have the key!

Alice : Liar!

Harvey : Why would this so called boss kill Boddy, and steal back his property, namely, the blackmail evidence? Everyones room should be searched, for whoever has the evidence, also ransaked the room, and as pointed out earlier, killed Boddy. [Darkly] Unless of course the evidence has been destroyed.

Austin : [Looks at the others] Yeah, we should bury the dude. [Lights ANOTHER cigarette, passes one to Alice] So, one of you murdered Boddy, or he comitted suicide, and made it look like murder. Also one of you could be his boss [Looks at Wadsworth to see if he flinces or glances at the real Boss] Chas and Clint have killed before, Jerome is no stranger to mutilation, blood and guts. Alice here is too sweet to do it, and Harvey's alledged blackmail reason is thinner than ice in Hell. [Turns to Harvey] So Harve, what were you really being blackmailed for? Huh, what you did was sin but hardly unusual these days, not worth paying money for, could even be good publicity. [Nodds, smiles, lights another, has a snort]

Harvey : [To Austin] That is what I'm being blackmailed for! And as you well know, yourself, how many of your records would sell if your fans really knew you were as pink as a panther? Exactly! None! And that's exactly the number of London gangster plays I'd star in if the public knew the truth! And what would my poor mummy think?

Alice : [Takes the cigarette, but snorts in derision at Austin] What boss? Its pretty obvious that Boddy is the guy doing the blackmailing, after all, why else would he have all the information on us? [Points her cigarette at Wadsworth] Come on Wadsworth, we know you have the key, after all, [dramatically] he had the key to the safe! Give it to us, give it to us now or we'll, we'll get Clint to hit you. Go on Clint, give him a slap.

Wadsworth : [Backing away from Clint] I don't have the key! As unbelievable as it may sound, I'm also little more than a prisoner here!

Alice : [Producing a tiny gun from a dressing gown pocket] You're a liar Wadsworth! Let us out of this fucking place, or I swear I'll shoot you!

[Everyone backs off, except the terrified WADSWORTH, who just stands there, shaking.]

Wadsworth : Madam, please! I don't have the key!

Alice : Liar!

[ALICE shoots WADSWORTH in the heart, and he falls back onto the ground.]

Jerome : [Puts his hands to his head] Oh my God! [Turns to Clint] That just happened, right?

Harvey : [Jumps backwards in alarm, stares at Wadsworth, then back at Alice] Good grief, White! You've killed him! You've killed him!

Jerome : What? Someone's just been killed? [Looks at Wadsworth, as though seeing the body for the first time, then turns to Clint] You murderer!

Harvey : Damn! I meant Ms Green, not White! [Points at Alice] Her! She murdered him! She murdered them both!

Alice : [Shaking, holding the gun hanging at her side] Not true! I didn't murder him, it was self defence!

Austin : [To Alice] Go girl! Hey, mabye now we can go get some real chow. Who's for finding the kitchen an cookin up some beans and bacon? This all reminds me of the time I spent inside, except we didn't have guns, you had to make your own knife if you wanted to... [Looks at the others staring at the body of Wadsworth]

Harvey : I don't really care what your excuse is, Alice, just who the hell will get us breakfast now? [Looks glumly at the bodies, and tries to smooth down his bed hair] Boddy I understand, and must say, applaude, but the butler? [Sighs] Oh dear Antonius, your foes lie at your feet, yet your heart plunges with them!

Alice : I didn't kill Boddy! [Looks at the butler, and begins tearing up] I didn't mean to - he just, he was keeping us prisoner! [Bursts into tears, and covers her face with her hands, dropping the gun as she does so.]

[The gun falls to the ground, and fires, sending a bullet ricoheting all around the room, narrowly missing several of the others.]

Harvey : [Dives for cover] Christ almighty, she's trying to kill us all! Someone get that gun off her!

Clint : [Grabs the gun from the ground] Well well, a S&W Model SW40G, they sell a lot of them these days! [Points the gun at the others] Now, nobody moves until I say so. [No one speaks for a few moments, as everyone freezes. Suddenly, the window is blown open by the raging storm outside, startling everyone.]

Jerome : Give me that! [Tries to grab the gun from Clint.]

[There is a brief struggle, but CLINT pushes him back, and resumes pointing the gun at the others, menacingly.]

Alice : [Wiping her nose with the back of her hand] Jerome moved.

Clint : [To Alice] So did you. [To the others] Ok, now whoever killed Buddy surely stole the key of the house, or at least stole the blackmail evidence. So I humbly suggest that that person comes forward, or we'll have to empty Alice's gun. Let's see, there's 5 of you, and there's 5 bullets, goodness gracious that's a perfect match!

Harvey : [Peeks up from behind the bed] Oh great, now I feel so much safer! By Bartholemews beard, Clint, what in Gods name are you doing? And besides, your logic is flawed, my Irish friend, you presume that Alices gun was fully loaded before she killed Boddy and the butler, which would mean four bullets, not five. Now supposing she killed a few motorists who cut her up on the motorway, an old woman who got in her way in the supermarket queue, the car park attendant who scratched her car, the waiter who brought her a cup of tea instead of coffee, and so on, so forth, why, my spud munching chum, the gun you hold might be empty!

Clint : [To Harvey] I am not your friend, and if you keep moaning like that I'll stick this gun up your arse and pull the trigger, to see if there are any bullets left. [Pauses for a moment] Then again, I might not do that. You'll probably enjoy it.

Harvey : At least I wouldn't have to suffer another moment of your foul, vulgar company! [Ducks down behind the bed]

Alice : [Standing in front of Clint with her hands up] Not to mention the waitress at breakfast yesterday morning - when she brought out my bowl of cornflakes there were only about two hundred of them there, when my friend clearly had at least two hundred and fifty. [Screws her face up angrily] That evil bitch, she had never even met us before! Then, on the way out, there were all those kids skateboarding, [emphasises] deliberately making that scratching noise with their wheels on the road. Then all those people in their cars, driving slowly, driving in the wrong lane, driving with their stereos blaring, driving too fast, refusing to get out of my way, even though I clearly had right of way because of the Merc.

Jerome : [Wearily] And how many of them did you kill?

Alice : Oh, I didn't kill any, I only fired one bullet from the gun. [There is a collective groan from the others.]

Chastity: Look! It's plain for all to see that if we want to get out of theis house, we have to find the real culprit of this murder. [To Alice] What were you doing when the murder happened?

Austin : This is all a bit like that board game, Cluedo, or somethingorother, except theres two stiffs, three or possibly four murderers, the gun is the murder weapon for sure and the players are all blackmailing each other. [Lights a cigarette, kicks Wadsworth to see if there is any life] Nope, he's definetly a gonner.

Alice : Er, here. I just shot him.

Chastity: [Screams] SO YOU ADMIT IT!

Harvey : And I was sleeping soundly...God almighty, would someone shut that bloody window, I can't hear myself enunciate!

Clint : [To Alice] Chastity asked you WHAT you were doing here, not WHERE were you. [Looks at the gun] Ok, enough of this, let's count the bullets in the weapon [pulls the cartridge out of the gun]

Harvey : [Sees that no one goes to shut the window, sighs and gets up from the bed, going over to close the open window, then dives at Clint, trying to knock the gun from his hand]

[JEROME walks up to the window, and opens it as wide as possible, despite getting showered in rain and feathers as he does so.]

Alice : [Exasperated, to Clint] Okay! I'm sorry! I'm just a bit fraught at the moment, I need some aspirin. [Calms herself] This is clearly a trick question - I shot him, you all saw that, and you were all here at the time. Now, I know that Harvey doesn't pay much attention to what the rest of us do or say, but I think it is also clear that he wasn't asleep at the time, for he was here, right in front of us!

[CLINT opens the cartridge, revealing that there are four bullets, of the original six.]

[HARVEY slams the window shut, trapping a few feathers in it, before jumping at CLINT, sending the gun flying.]

Alice : I've got it! [Stands directly beneath the falling gun, arms stretched up.]

[The gun sails through her outstretched hands, and smacks her squarely on the forehead, before spinning off beneath a large dresser.]

Alice : Ow! [Put her hands to her forehead]

[The cartridge also hits the ground, and, incredibly, causes one of the bullets to discharge, and sends a bullet ricoheting all around the room, narrowly missing several of the others.]

Jerome : [Holding his hands to his ears] That has got to stop!

[HARVEY and CLINT are lying in a heap on the ground.]

Clint : [Throws a punch at Harvey]

Harvey : [Brings his leg up forcfully between Clints legs]

[CLINT punches HARVEY smack on the nose, but crumples up as HARVEY's leg makes contact.]

Alice : For God's sake! Stop this!

Harvey : [Gets up holding his nose] Fucking muck savage!

Jerome : [Stretching under the dresser to get the gun, but turning to Harvey with a sneer] And which Shakespear play is that from?

Clint : [Getting up, voice slightly affected] Once again, trying to win something out of someone's crotch. Your childhood nightmares keep hunting you, I see.

Austin : Why don't we all just try find a way out, or bust down the front door or something, since we all know eachothers blackmail problems, we could make a pack or whatever they call it?

Alice : Because the front door isn't the problem - the problem is the gate. Before one of you killed him, Boddy said we would have to go into the grounds tomorrow.

Jerome : [Pulls the gun out from under the dresser] Okay, where are the bullets? I won't feel safe until I have some way of protecting myself from you lot.

Harvey : [Glaring at Clint. To Austin] It is called a pact. And how would that help us? We don't know what to do from here! We were to receive instructions from Boddy and Wadsworth in the morn, but, looks like she [indictates Alice] put paid to that, did she not! [To Jerome] And who, will protect us from you, I wonder? [Looks for the bullets, and if he spots them, will grab them]

Austin : [To Alice doing the wobly sarcasm head thing] Okay, missy, bust down the fucking gate then [takes a drag, starts rifeling through Wadsworths clothing] I for one reckon that the good Lord has ensured that this piece of shit dies so that we can go to the kitchen and get us some decent scran.

[Both HARVEY and ALICE see the cartridge first, and make a grab for it, but HARVEY gets to it before her.]

Jerome : [Pointing the gun at Harvey] Give me the cartridge, or else.

Alice : If I remember rightly, the gate was huge, there's no way we could break it down. And the fence is electrified. And there was a really big dog outside the gate.

[AUSTIN searches through WADSWORTH's clothes, and produces a small key.]

Alice : Hah! I knew he had the key, I just knew it!

Harvey : [Puts the cartridge in his dressing gown pocket. To Jerome] No.

Austin : [To Alice] We could shoot the dog with the gun before we try to open the gate. If this aint the key to the gate we could shoot the lock open, if we aint all dead 'cos of some trigger happy jerk. This reminds me of that great film, 'Escape from Alleycathouse' or something, you know, with that Clint Westforest geeze.

Jerome : Alright, you asked for it. [Closes his eyes and squeezes the trigger, which gives an audible click.]

Alice : [Rolling herself a joint from some material on Boddy's bedside table] I suppose we could, but that's not really an inconspicuous way to get out, is it?

Harvey : [Open mouthed, sits heavily onto the bed] My God! O, were mine eye bans into bullets turned, that in a rage I might shoot them at your face! Varlot!

Alice : Who's he talking to?

Harvey : Him! [Points at Jerome] The one who has as little honesty as honour! The man who would have shot me dead mere moments ago. [To Alice] We could leave, possibly, and go on as before, but one of you now holds the evidence against us, one of you now hope to profit out of our misery! But which one?

[An eerie silence descends on the room, which seems to last for ages.]

Jerome : I wasn't going to shoot you, you oaf, I knew there were no bullets in the gun. I suggest we search this room thoroughly, then check Wadsworth's. After that, given the ungodly hour it is, I am going to lock myself into my room and get some rest. Boddy indicated that he was going to give us a map tomorrow, and that there some kind of task or adventure that we were going to have to do.

Alice : What about the key that Wadsworth had? Why don't we just use that to let ourselves out?

Clint : [To Alice] A rested mind works better. I suggest we go back to our beds and have some sleep, but only after we flush the bullets down the toilet. Also, could that small key be the key to the safe?

Harvey : It's possible, I suppose, but I thought Wadsworth threw the key away last night? We all saw him do it.

Alice : Well, we saw him throw [emphasises] a key away - maybe we should check to see where that one fits?

Austin : [Crosses himself, clasps his hands] Please o great Lord, who art so Holy, help us in our hour of need, just like when you helped Moses, and lead us swiftly to the location of the safe.

Clint : Let's check his own bedroom first, maybe.

Harvey : Indeed, perhaps we'll find his wallet, giving his full name and address, so at least we can write and tell his family that their husband, father, son will not be coming home this Christmas, due to the fact that he's been brutally shot dead for no apparent reason!

Alice : [Breathing heavily] Well, they must be very unfortunate if all three were killed. Anyway, it wasn't for no apparant reason, [starts to get upset] its because he was keeping us prisoner here, and because I was really nervous, [starts to cry] and I didn't mean it to go off! [Runs out of the room, towards her own bedroom.]

Jerome : Well, its always the insane ones, isn't it? I think we should check the safe, to see if Austin's gun is gone, because, if you look at the bullet hole in Boddy's head, it clearly couldn't be caused by Alice's tiny one.

Clint : [Pointing at Harvey] Who's he talking to?

Austin : [To Clint] Who cares? He's lost it, if he ever had it. Lets go check the safe. [Walks to the door way, has a look for Alice] I reckon Alice got the papers.

Harvey : [Stands up and wraps his dressing gown tightly about himself] Why do you think she has the papers? Her gun was clearly not used to kill Boddy. Did you see or hear something during the night?

Alice : [Rejoining the others]Why would I have the papers? I didn't kill Boddy. Just because Boddy's body is here, near Waddy's body, doesn't mean that this body made it a body, it could have been anybody who killed Boddy.

Jerome : Well, lets check the safe first, and then we can go through her undergarments. Then we'll check her room.

[Everybody proceeds to the safe.]

Harvey : How do you suppose Boddy was killed, without any of us hearing the gun shot? Or a struggle?

Alice : I think he was shot.

Harvey : [Annoyed] Yes my dear, I think we already established that fact, a multudinous number of minutes ago. What I'm asking, is how nobody was awakened by the noise! Whose rooms are adjacent to his?

Jerome : Well, there's only Clint's room that was adjacent - while Austin's was across from it. [Turns to Clint] What do you say? Did you hear anything? Or was there too much potato in your ear?

Jerome : Well, there's only Clint's room that was adjacent - while Austin's was across from it. [Turns to Clint] What do you say? Did you hear anything? Or was there too much potato in your ear?

Harvey : [Scoffs] Between the ears, you mean! Well, as I said earlier, I heard nothing until Wadsworth nearly broke down my door with his pounding.

[The party arrive at the safe.]

Alice : [To Clint] Well? Did you hear anything?

Clint : [To all] No, I did not hear anything. And before you come with your smart insinuations, the gun used could have a noise reducer attached. Why even Alice's gun comes on a package that includes one!

Alice : Well, it is a bit strange that none of us heard anything. A gunshot would have woken up everyone in the house. Apparantly. [AUSTIN tries the key, which fits the safe. He opens it, revealing the safe to be empty.]

Alice : Austin's gun - it's gone!

Clint : Well well, so we now know which was the murder weapon. The question remains though, how come none of us heard the gun shot?

Harvey : Ha, looks like we know what the murder weapon is! The first murder, that is. [Swings around to Austin] I thought you claimed that your gun was a fake? Why would someone steal it? [Clicks his fingers dramatically] By jove, what if Wadsworth killed Boddy, after all, Wadsworth had the key, or at least, he had it in his pocket during the search! Whether someone else put it in there, I do not know. [To Chastity] What about making us all a nice cup of tea, my dear?

Chastity: Why certainly. Anything for my favourite actor. Erm, where do you suppose the kitchen is?

Austin : [To Harvey] My gun was fake for sure. It was cheap plastic, nine buck from the local store back in Arkansas. I didn't hear nothing either, and I for sure wouldn't drink any tea that poisonous ho brewed [Points at Chastity, stubbing out his cigarette butt on the floor]

Chastity: [To Austin] It's not like you to refuse hospitality. I would have thought you're the type to pay for women to look after your [pauses for effect] desires.

Harvey : A most salient point indeed! The only man who knew the whereabouts of that room now lies in eternal slumber. [Looks downcast] Hah, the answer lies in the great bards work, Hamlet! Let's hold a seance, and ask Wadsworths shade of the kitchens whereabouts! Though I'm sure [looks at Alice] he'll have a few words for you also!

Clint : [To everyone except Harvey] Here he goes again, mumbling to himself.

Harvey : [Turning to Clint] As has been pointed out previously..[derisively], you cannot hear people because of the voluminous amount of spud congealing in each ear! When others hear eloquence, you hear muttering, when others hear oratory splendor, you hear nowt but mumbling.

Austin : [To Clint] Yeah, what the fuck is wrong with that guy? [Looks at the others] Anyhow, I was just thinking that there could be someone else in the house that we don't know about, mayhap they shot Boddy.

Clint : [To Austin] And there he goes again! About your idea, maybe there is indeed someone around the house, maybe we should look around to make sure that we're the only people here.

Harvey : [To Clint] Oh, and what will you do if you find that someone...stab them to death, I suppose!

Clint : [To Harvey] I detect a certain defensiveness from you, must surely be from the trauma you went through on your childhood. I can give you the number of a fellow psychiatrist, I'm sure there'll be a vacancy on his institution. [Pauses] Oh, and please stop addressing your words to me. It is rather annoying.

Harvey : There's many a man hath more hair than wit, and you are such.

Clint : [To all EXCEPT Harvey] So are we going to stay here listening to the mumbling of a madman, or are we going to search the rest of the house?

Jerome : Interesting, Clint, how Harvey is one of those men with more wit than hair, but how little wit and much shine of head he has!

Alice : [Still blushing after Harvey's seance remark] I think we should search the house - at the very least, we should check Wadsworth's room. Maybe which ever of you killed Boddy used a silencer? Surely someone in the house would have heard the gun going off?

Harvey : [Runs his fingers through his luxurious locks] Unless he wasn't killed in the house, but outside, trying to escape from this damned crypt! And then dragged up to his room. Notice how little blood was splattered around the room?

Clint : Boddy was trying to escape?!? Boy, you really are retarded. I'll call the shrink for you. [Produces a Ericsson 9110 from his pocket and starts dialing] Ah crap, network is down, not even wap services!

Alice : [As they all walk back upstairs] Well, notice how little blood was spilled in the hall and on the stairs - none!

Jerome : [Sneering at Clint's puny phone] That's what you get for using one of those pathetic European phones, you need a good old American phone. [Reaches into his dressing gown pocket and pulls out an unfeasibly large phone, at least two feet long, complete with coin slot] Hello? Hello? I'm at a murder scene, I need the cops.

Operator : Please insert two hundred and thirty dollars in quarters and dimes.

Jerome : Confounded deregulation!

Harvey : [Coldly] Yes fool, Boddy was trying to escape! Was he not also invited to this gathering by the blackmailer? Was he not also a prisoner here? Was he not also trapped in this house with your odious visage?

Alice : [Stopping on the stairs] Hey - where are we going? Wadsworth hardly slept upstairs, did he?

Harvey : Well what about the room opposite yours, Alice. Perhaps that's his?

Clint : [To Jerome] Well, if you americans weren't so wierd using your 1900 mobile network that only works here, maybe then... [Looks at Alice] Wait a minute, how do you know that Wadsworth did not sleep upstairs? Did you go into his room this night? Maybe trying to get the key of the house, in exchange for some body services?

Jerome : Hah! At least it works. [Dials 1-900-MURDERS] Damn! Engaged.

Alice : [Taken aback at Clint, stands in silence for a few seconds, before speaking indignantly] No!

Harvey : [Confused] Body services? What, are you some kind of panel beater?

Alice : I said "no"! God, I think I need a drink. [Continues on up the stairs.]

Austin : [To Alice] I don't think the great Lord almighty wastes his time dispensing drinks to the likes of you, not even Abraham, when climbing the mount of olivio, carrying his onlt begot son Issac got a drink. And we're just going up the stairs, I'll bet the mountain was loads harder than that.

Clint : Well I for one say that a drink would be very good now. He who relaxes the mind eases the pressure.

Alice : [Breathing heavily and staring at Austin] Yeah, but I bet Abraham didn't have to put up with you!

[The party arrive at the door.]

Jerome : Well, who's going to open it? There could be anything in there.

Austin : [To Alice] Thats just what I'd expect from a murderous sinner. [Opens the door] and goes in.

Harvey : I will, for I know one thing, you are not in there, and that is reason enough for me. [Turns the handle]

[Both HARVEY and AUSTIN go for the handle, which AUSTIN gets first. This is a bedroom, similar to the guest rooms. There are clothes here that clearly suggest to even the most dimwitted guest that the room belonged to WADSWORTH.]

Alice : So, who did this room belong to?

Harvey : [Looks in disbelief at Alice and shakes his head] It's Wadsworths room, my dear. Getting back to a previous point though, what made you think that he wouldn't be sleeping upstairs?

Austin : [To Alice, laughs] Dam girl you've got a dry sense of humor. [To Harvey] She only shot the guy dead a few minutes ago and she cracks a funny drier than the Popes wine cellar, at his expense. You gotta love that. Praise the Lord. [Begins searching the room FBI style]

Alice : Hah! How did you know this was his room? [Folds her arms in satisfaction] Anyway, don't servants always sleep in a small, cold and overcrowded room off the kitchen? That's what they told me, anyway.

[AUSTIN sets about searching the room, going through drawers and cupboards. With about half of them open, he encounters a drawer, that contains not only the envelope that BODDY had earlier, but also AUSTIN's gun.]

Austin : [Takes the gun and the envelope and starts reading it out aloud] Jackpot!

Harvey : Well, open the envelope, lets see what this is all about! [Looks closely at Austins gun]

Jerome : Not again! [Dives at Austin, knocking him to the ground, sending the envelope and gun flying high into the air.]

Alice : Okay, this time I've definitely got it! [Smack. The gun hits her on the forehead] Ow. [Smack. The envelope hits her on the head] Ow! Paper cut!

[The gun is lying on the floor. Incredibly, it hasn't gone off.]

Austin : [Attempts to kill Jerome, head butting, eye scraping, biting, throttleing,, kicking, in a frenetic crazed animal sort of way] Mother fucker!

Harvey : [Bends and picks up the gun, examining it]

Jerome : Aiieee! [Screams like a girl, and curls up into a ball to get away from Austin]

Alice : [Still rubbing her head, catches sight of Harvey] Oh no! [Resigned, puts her hands up]

Harvey : It's definitely a fake, a useless prop! Allow me to demonstrate. [Fires the gun at the ceiling, directly above him]

Austin : [Gives Jerome a good 'n violent redneck-trailier-park-in-Arkansas kicking, then takes a deep snort, gives Jerome one last kick, sneers] Dumb shit!

[JEROME doesn't reply, and just lies there moaning.]

Alice : [Steps in front of Austin, and slaps him across the face] Leave him alone! Look, we're all stuck here, let's try and find out what is going on rather than just attacking each other. [Bends down to Jerome] Are you okay?

Jerome : Does she want to give us a blow job, Jerome?

Alice : [Stunned] What? [Turns back to Austin] He's all yours.

Harvey : [To Austin] Before you add to the rising death count, what was in the envelope?

Alice : [Gets down on her hands and knees to go through the contents of the envelope] Its all the stuff about us. [Holds them up to the others, still kneeling down] There's nothing else - didn't Boddy say we'd be given a map tomorrow?

Austin : [Ignoring Jerome] There was nothing in the envelope that we didn't talk about last night. Just the same stuff [Snorts some more coke, looking a bit ragged, lights a cigarette]

Alice : [Still kneeling] So what do we do now?

Harvey : Well, the map has either got to be here, or in Boddys room. [Starts searching the remaining drawers and cupboards]

[HARVEY's search reveals another gun, of similar size to AUSTIN's, with a silencer on the barrel.]

Jerome : [Getting up off the ground] Oh Christ, don't tell me that he's got another gun.

Alice : Oh - Okay.

Austin : [To Alice] Search the entire house I guess.

Harvey : [Sniffs at the barrel] And recently fired, too. People, I believe we have the murder weapon! [Empties the bullets into his hand, and places them into his dressing gown pocket] What will we do with this...[waves the gun]...thing? We can flush the bullets down the toilet, and perhaps lock all the guns in the safe, then flush away the key.

Austin : [To Harvey] Hell no, we might need them to get out of this place. One person gets the gun, another the bullets, that way it's tricky to kill anyone see?

Alice : I'm sure you could find another way.

Clint : [To Austin] Glad to see someone with a bit of sense in this Maniac Mansion! I'll take the gun, if you please.

Harvey : [Scratches his head with the gun] Half of this group are known murderers, and we have two guns, with two sets of bullets, plus, a number of us know each other, so there could be a few secret allegiances among our merry band. I think we'd all feel a whole lot happier knowing that these weapons are no longer accessible to any of us. I vote we put the guns in the safe, and the bullets in the sewer.

Austin : [To Harvey] So, you take both guns, and I'll take all the bullets, since I hate your guts theres no way there will be any co-operation. [Smiles at himself]

Clint : This mumbling noise really is getting quite annoying. I can think of a very good use for these guns and bullets right now. [To all] I think we might need these guns, so let's divide them between us.

Harvey : [Nods his head] Jerome has one gun. [Throws Alices cartridge to Chastity] Here, you take these. [Throws Wadsworths cartridge to Austin] And I'll hold onto this [tucks the gun into his silk pyjamas].

Jerome : What the hell? I agree with Withnail here - dump the ammo in the sewer, and smash the barrels of the guns with a hammer. The sooner we destroy the weaponry, the safer we'll all be. Then we'll only have to worry about the likes of you. [Points at Austin]

[ALICE says nothing, and just sits on the floor, looking sad.]

Austin : [Laughs at Jerome] Squeal piggy! [To the others] Lets' search this place to the bone [Begins ransacking the place]

Chastity: It would appear that there are several people here who would like to have the evidence destroyed. [Looks at those who suggested throwing the guns away] I wonder why? Fingerprints, maybe.

Harvey : [Sighs] Of course my fingerprints are on the gun, I was holding it two seconds ago. Chastity, perhaps the main reason suggested for destroying the guns is that one of you killers would not be able to gun the rest of us down!

Jerome : [With a snort of derision] Fingerprints! What about psychos holding the guns? [Looks at Austin gleefully trashing the room] Look at that! Which of us is safe with him here?

Harvey : Indeed, but he's also the only one, excluding you and me, who isn't a murderer! Yet.

Austin : [To Jerome] Yeah, are you gonna stand there crying like a baby, and attack people every time they pick up a plastic gun or do you wanna help me and the other [Points at Harvey] non homocidal maniac get out of this place before the world runs out of three legged kittens. [Shaks his head] Talk about sick. [Stops ransacking, looks up at the wall] You know, this all kind of reminds me if the last supper... [starts ranscking again, with more looking this time, less trashing]

Harvey : [Curiously] In what way? I must say, in all the times I heard that story, the vicar left out the part about the eating of shit, double murders, the grevious bodily harm, the multiple threats, the weapons, the drugs and damned Irish.

Jerome : Not to mention the trailer trash, violence and psychos! [Steps over Alice to look at what Austin is finding] Looks like there's nothing else here. [Turns to the others] What do we do now? Search the house? [Looks at his watch] Hm, 6.50 - I, for one, am exhausted, and don't want to rely on filthy drugs to keep me awake. I could do with some sleep, and then have my coffee and cigarette at the normal time when I wake up.

Austin : [To Jerome] Whatever! [To Harvey] What's Irish anyway, is it like coke? [Rubbing something sticky looking off his hand, onto a sheet] Yeah, I could do with some shut eye too, see you guys in the morning. [Heads to bed]

[Exit AUSTIN.]

Jerome : Well, I feel a whole lot safer now. I think it is a good idea to get a rest though, God only knows what we're going to have to go through to get out of this place. Boddy said we'd have to go through some kind of test to make it out - my guess is that we'll have to figure out what that is before we can escape.

Harvey : Sleep? My God man, how could you sleep at a time like this! I have more andrenaline pumping through my veins than the first time I played Lear at the Old Vic! We should search Boddys room for the map, and if we don't find it, search each room until we do!

Jerome : [Tiredly] Look Harv, people are tired, angry and tempers are frayed. Why, even you, on occasion have been less than a gentleman. Everyone has been involved in at least one fight and at least one of us [gestures to Alice, sitting in silence on the floor looking very pale] is a homicidal maniac.

Harvey : Okay, fine, sleep it is then. But I shant catch a wink, I just know it! [Yawns massively] Thinking about the map, it sounds like it's useless to an individual anyway, so even if someone does steal it, it'll be a waste of their time.

Jerome : Okay - let's all meet in the library at ten.

[Exit JEROME.]

Harvey : [To Alice] Would you like a hand up, my dear? [Holds out his hand]

Alice : [Doesn't take his hand, but looks up, clearly in a state of shock] I just shot the butler.

Harvey : [Softly] Come, come my dear, have a sleep and a think for yourself, and I'm sure it will all look better in the morning. I mean, after all, he was only a servant, and did serve us broccoli soup for starters! Why, unnecessarily shooting him in the heart is almost too good for him! [Clears his throat] Um, yes indeed.

Chastity: [Heads towards her bedroom] I hope there's a lock on my door.

Alice : [Slowly pulls herself up using Harvey's hand] Do you think he's really dead?

Clint : [Shaking his head] I truly cannot believe this guy. How does he manage to spit out such rubbish at a consistent rate? [To Chastity] Here, I'll walk up with you.

Harvey : I...I don't know. I don't believe anyone checked. But tell you what, if he's still lying there after you have a nice sleep, then it's safe to assume that he is. Come on, get some sleep, you'll feel better in the full light of day.

[Exit ALL.]

[Book II, Act V, Scene VIII. The Main Hall. Saturday, February 8th, 1997, 10.15am. JEROME, HARVEY, AUSTIN, CLINT and CHASTITY are here, having just entered. Everyone is now dressed in normal clothes, and there is some noise coming from the dining room. ALICE opens the door of the dining room, and is wearing an apron over her clothes.]

Alice : [Brightly] Ah! There you all are at last! Come on, your breakfast will be getting cold.

Harvey : [Surprised at Alice] Oh, breakfast, excellent!

Austin : [Lights a cigarette, takes a deep drag and exhales]

Clint : [To Alice] Hummm, what is that black smoke coming out of the kitchen?

Alice : Oh you big silly, Clint! [Smiles broadly at the others] I've got pancakes, waffles, eggs done over easy, sunny side up, broiled, scrambled and boiled. I have bacon, sausage and hash browns. The pancakes are divided into stacks of Swedish, French, German and Buttermilk, with a choice of Blueberry, strawberry and apple toppings. There is steak, ommlettes and Belgian waffles. Strawberries, sour cream and a variety of cheeses are also available. [Turns and looks at the thick black smoke pouring out of the kitchen, before turning back to Clint] What smoke?

Harvey : [Inhales deeply] My goodness, the smell is wonderful! I've not eaten in over twenty four hours, and am famished! How am I to feed my muse, if I'm not able to feed my own belly? Eh? [Throws his scarf over his shoulder] Eh?

Austin : Maybe we should let the place burndown, it would destroy the evidence against Alice [Looks around for a fire extinguisher].

Clint : Alice dear, the smell is lovely! [Tries desesperately to breathe from the thick smoke, while avoiding the flying scarf which narrowly misses his eye] [To Harvey] Good morning to you to, prieck.

Austin : [Grabs a big black fire ex. and heds to the kitchen, keeping low and a hankerchief tied over his mouth, to Alice] Shit girl, don't you know nuthin about houses?

Harvey : [To Clint] Not even your corpulently ugly visage could put me off my breakfast this morning, potato boy!

Alice : [As Austin pushes passed her] Sure I do, they are used for pulling carriages.

[AUSTIN goes into the kitchen, and, as he opens the door, reveals that the thick black smoke is all coming from a tiny cigarette in an ash tray.]

Austin : [Sprays out the tiny cigarette with the extinguisher, goes and looks at the food and has a hunt around for any potential emtpty poison containers, in the bin etc, To Alice] Hey gurl, where did you learn cooking?

Clint : [Moves into the living room, following the smell of food]

Alice : [Watching, as Austin searches the dining room/kitchen area] Now now, Austin, there's no need to be like that. I always loved cooking, I find it very theraputic.

Jerome : [Sitting down at the table, in the middle of which is a huge pile of food] Not to mention all those years spent in the kitchens at Dennys.

Alice : [Tightens her lips, and glares at Jerome, breathing heavily, before snapping back into a smile, and laughing] No! [Shakes her head from side to side] Silly!

Harvey : [Licks his lips] Oh, this is just wonderful! Such a spread I've not seen since the premiere party for Breakfast At Tiffanys! [Sits down and tucks into some pancakes]

Alice : [Pouring out some coffee for Harvey] Well, I'm not sure if it'll be as good as that, but hopefully it will fill the gap. [Starts pouring it out for the others too]

Jerome : [Picking up a sausage and sniffing it] Find anything, Austin?

Harvey : [To Chastity] Chasity, you must try some of these pancakes, they're simply to die for!

Alice : [Sits down and starts eating] I'm glad you enjoy them Harvey. Now, isn't it nice that we can all just sit down in peace and quiet and have a nice meal?

Jerome : [Lasciviously sucking the top of his sausage, clearly for Harvey's benefit] Mm-mm. Delightful!

Harvey : [Looking at Jerome, eyebrow raised] Hmm, let me see. You live in San Francisco and design ladies clothes for a living. You cry like a baby when you're hit and can't fight back, and you hate sports. What could that mean, I wonder?

Austin : [Scoffs a huge amount of food, in a glutenous manners, after saying grace] Praise the Lord, she can cook! [Winks at Alice] Hey Alice, you done us a right good feed here.

Jerome : [Slams his sausage down on the table, where it lands on a conveniently placed dollop of whipped cream] You're a fucking faggot who's being blackmailed because you've been taken up the ass by countless horny bastards - what could that mean, I wonder?

Harvey : [Calmly, sucking syrup from his fingers] Actually, you're wrong, old chap! I do the taking. I'm the one who does the business, the horny bastards, as you call them, are the ones who have the business done to them.

Alice : [In the middle of handing a large plate of sausages to Austin, pauses, with her face sagging momentarily] Erm, that's interesting Harvey.

[The noise of someone slamming the door can be heard from the hallway.]

Harvey : [Jumps out of his seat] There is someone else in the house!!! [Goes to the kitchen door and peeps out]

Clint : [Stands up and grabs one of the knifes]

Alice : [Theatrically] The breakfast! The breakfast! It'll go cold!

Jerome : [Standing up, and looking at Clint] Ah! The Limerick man suddenly feels at home!

[HARVEY pushes the kitchen door open slightly, revealing an angry looking dwarf, shaking out an umbrella. He has clearly just come from outside.]

Clint : [Looks at Jerome, and makes the "I'll cut your throat" gesture] [To Harvey, whispering] Go get him!

Harvey : [Throws the door wide open] You there, who are you and what are you doing here?

Mason : [Looking very irritated, and a little surprised at Harvey] What? Whom am I? I am none other than [pulls himself up to his full, unimpressive height, and bellows] Mason Storm!

Clint : You look very impressive Mason. What, I mean who, are you?

Mason : [Marching towards the kitchen, with his wet, all leather suit squeaking as he does so] Out of my way, Paddy, I want to talk to Wadsworth.

Clint : Well it just so happens that Wadsworth is not around, he went for a long trip, and left me replacing him for a while. So all house matters are to be dealt with me, d'youknowatImean?

Harvey : [Blocking Masons way] Hold it there, little fellow! What do you want to speak to Wadsworth for? He's, erm, sleeping right now, bit of a gin demon [makes a drinking motion with his hand] when he gets going!

Mason : [Pushing his way passed Harvey, into the kitchen] I know that you are a lying punk, [hands on hips, as he stares up at Clint] d'you know what I mean? [Looks over at Chastity and Alice] Well, helloooo ladies! [Gives them a big smile]

Harvey : Hang on a minute, [taps Mason on the shoulder] how in Gods name did you get into the house? I was told that there is no way in, and no way out!

Mason : [Squeezing in between Chastity and Alice, forcing them both to shove over] Well, Harv, its like this. [Turns to Alice] Hey sweet cheeks, how about some coffee? [Turns back to Harvey] You lot better start truthin' up about Wadsworth, or there's going to be no key found. Once you tell me where he really is, and why he isn't answering his phone, I'll tell you how I got in. [Grabs a hand full of pancakes with a filthy hand, and wolfs them down]

Harvey : [Looks in disgust at Mason] Jesus, another bloody stranger who knows who we all are! [Sighs] Wadsworths dead, shot by Boddy, who's also dead, shot by Wadsworth. We found them both in Boddys room this morning. So we're here, and haven't a clue what's going on, or what we're to do to get out of this horrible place.

Mason : [Almost choking on a piece of pancake] Holy shit! [Spits a huge chunk of half chewed pancake onto the table] Dead? Where is he?

Harvey : [Looks at the half chewed pancake for a moment] Dirty little article! As I said, they're both in Boddys room.

Mason : [Taking some coffee that Alice has offered him] Well, where's that, Einstein? [Looks at the coffee] No frappacino?

Alice : Er, gracias senor, but [lamely] no hables Espanol?

Clint : [Still holding the knife] Hummm, I thought you knew the house!

Mason : Heyack! Heyack! [Coughs up some more pancake onto the ground] Did you? Wow. Clint is wrong - man, that must be a really unusual experience! [Holds one nostril shut with his right index finger, and snorts down, causing one last piece of pancake to shoot out onto Chastity's plate] Now, how about one of you kind people show where the bodies are?

Harvey : [Disgusted] We'll all show you where the bodies are, come with me! [Walks towards Boddys room]

[Everyone follows, up to BODDY's room. The two bodies are as they were left.]

Mason : Wow! [Checks Wadsworth] He's dead alright. What kind of cowardly swine would kill a butler?

Alice : [Blushing] I'm sure whoever did it thought Wadsworth was trying to kill them.

Mason : I thought Boddy did it?

Alice : [Pauses for a second, staring at Mason] Yes.

Harvey : Well, that's what it certainly looks like, does it not. We found them like this, obviously we've moved them to search for pulses and what have you. What do you think they fought over?

Mason : [Idly picks his nose as he speaks to Harvey] I'd say they were probably a bit pissed that each of them had a gun. [Pulls his finger out of his nose] Hey! Some more pancake! [Pops it in his mouth, before continuing to talk to Harvey] Come on, Stretch, lets head back to the kitchen, I'll tell you what's going on there. Come on, team! [Walks out of the room]

Austin : [Quietly, to Alice] Well, well sweety pie, looks like the gay idiot got you off the hook...for now. Wouldn't it be just terrible if someone were to let it slip what really happened to poor old Waddy! The Lord himself hates a sinner, and I'm not so sure I can lie without risking invoking his wrath! Oh fiddly-dee-dee, but what's an honest, god fearing man to do?

[Laughs to himself and follows Mason]

Harvey : [Looks at the two bodies] Didn't seem too overly concerned about them, did he? I wonder who the devil he is? Do you think he's behind all of this?

Alice : [To Austin] I don't know what you mean - they killed each other, we all saw it. I mean, none of us saw it, we just saw it after they did it.

Jerome : [Following out] Maybe not behind, but definitely involved.

[The party arrive at the kitchen, where MASON is gorging himself on the food.]

Mason : So, how about you tell me what happened last night, I'll see if I can fill in any holes. [Winks at Alice] Have you got any holes that need filling?

Alice : [Eyes narrowing at Mason] I can think of one right away.

Austin : [Smirking, to Mason] I'd be careful of that one if I were you, you just never know when she might go...bang! The Lord has seen fit to give her a bit of a fiery temper.

Alice : [Pouring out some coffee for people] And guess who's likely to be on the end of it next?

Harvey : [To Mason] Firstly, why don't you tell us why you have visited this house of Hell?

Clint : [Throwing the knife to the center of the wooden table] So Mason, what do you have to tell us? Us, [emphasising] murderers, devious priests, faggots and the like? [Accepts some coffee from Alice]

Harvey : Indeed, [points at Clint] why have I been forced to breathe the same air as that potato scoffing, halitosis suffering, professor stabbing, piece of second rate murdering shit!

Mason : [Squeezes the top of his sinuses] Neayark! Neayark! [Breathes out] Sorry, just some sinus problems, pancakes often irritate them. Now, I can see that you're all a little tense, so I'll choose to over look the rudeness that's been shown to me since I arrived. [Takes another pancake, and squashes the whole thing into his mouth, before continuing to speak, showering the others in crumbs, hair and saliva] I believe each of you has a business agreement with my employer. Boddy was supposed to tell you last night that there is a way for one of you to get out of it - I'm here to help. Neayark! [Snort] <>

Harvey : [Steps as far away from Mason as possible, brushing crumbs from his scarf] Boddy did tell us that, said something about giving us all the information this morning, but alas, it was not to be. [Pauses for a moment] Don't tell me we still have to go through with this nonsense! Good God, erm, man, there are two people lying dead upstairs, this has gone far enough!

Mason : Heah! You don't have to go through with anything - you can wait for the boss to come and open the gates, but surer than a fly can fart, you're all going to be screwed even more if he finds you didn't even try, and particularly when he finds out how badly I've been treated - crumbly pancakes, no welcome at the door, cold coffee, abusive Irishmen, smarmy country and western singers - you know, [picks up a piece of toast, and points it at Harvey] it's just as well that I'm the forgiving kind, otherwise you'd have no chance of getting the key. [Throws the toast to his mouth, but overshoots, and it flies over his head, right onto Chastity's hair.]

Austin : Well, Mason, the good Lord does help those who help themselves! And as you seem to have helped yourself to our breakfasts, let me ask you one thing. [Takes a drink from his coffee] Have you ever given any thought to devoting your life to Jesus, our saviour? For a small donation to my church, you too can proudly wield a Jesus diploma for all to see and be humbled by. So, how many will I put you down for?

Mason : Heah! [Throws a five dollar bill on the table] Give me ten. [Turns to Alice] I need to take a dump, you see, and what with Wadsworth being dead and all, I just bet there's no bog roll in the john.

[ALICE doesn't reply, and just wrinkles her nose up in disgust.]

Austin : [Looks angrily at the five dollar note, then picks it from the table, rolls it up and smiles] I'll just check if there's any toilet roll, brother Mason. Back in a moment. [Exits the room]

Mason : So team, what's the scoop? What did they tell you before their ill fated argument?

Harvey : Boddy told us that one and only one of us would have our debt cancelled, and the others would have to pay extra to compensate. He said that we would have to work together to find a key and whoever found it, would no longer have to pay each month. Wadsworth didn't say much of anything, showed us to our rooms and said goodnight.

[MASON says nothing, but just sits there, with his face racked with concentration.]

Alice : Boddy said something about going on some kind of adventure today, that he would give us a map.

[MASON doesn't reply.]

Alice : [Waving her hand in front of Mason] Hello?

Clint : [To Mason] Hey snorty, wake up!

Austin : [Enters the room] Hey everybody, did anyone notice the light shining through the glass door pane, the way the light catches the floating dust motes, the way they sparkle and spin, dance and glow, such a merry dance they lead! The good Lords work in all its glory...just wonderful! [Looks at Mason] What's up with him, someone poisoned him or something?

Mason : [Paaaaarp! Lets loose a ripsnorter of a fart] Aaaah! [Face creases into relief]

Alice : Oh God! [Steps back from him, looking a little woozy.]

Mason : Okay people, [stands on his seat] let me just get one thing straight from the start. I think you're all scummy lowlifes, none of whom deserve [pauses for a second, and shifts to enable him to give another fart - parp] none of whom deserve any kind of mercy, but lucky for you, my employer is insisting on it. Now, [pushes the plates and ware out of the way, causing some of it to fall on the floor and break] hey, Stretch [points at Harvey] wanna pick that up?

Harvey : [To Mason] Are you talking to me? Who or what is a, a...stretch?

Mason : Yep, I'm talkin' to you buddy, move it, or you won't be picked to get the key. Now, [rubs his nose with the back of his hand] here's where we are - [plonks a large plate of pancakes on the table] and here's the gate. [Pours some A1 steak sauce on the table] There is no way to get out that gate without the key - and that, my friends, is what the next two days will be all about.

Harvey : [Annoyed] Pick it up yourself, after all, you're closer to the ground, you odious little goblin!

Mason : [Sneering, and pointing at Harvey] Okay, Stretch, here's how it works. When you find the key, you'll need my [points at himself] help to get it. I don't know how much Boddy told you about what your task will entail, but, mark my words, it will be dangerous. [Looks around at everyone] For everybody, including me! Now, if, by some chance, I don't make it to the end alive, none of you will get the key. Furthermore, if you displease me, or call me names, like Stretch [points at Harvey] here is doing, I might not be inclined to help that person get the key, should they be the one who makes it to the sanctuary. [Smiles and folds his tiny arms] What you folks need to learn is how to co-operate, and I'm here to help you do just that - you're nothing but a bunch of selfish bastards, who need one of the good guys like me to show you the error of your ways.

Alice : [Shocked] Dangerous? No one said this was going to be dangerous!

Mason : Look, toots, you don't have to try if you don't want to - you can just stay here. Anyway, its not that dangerous, unless you're all very stupid. [Smiles to himself] Or very slow to co-operate. Anyway, look on the bright side, the people most likely to kill someone aren't coming.

Alice, Clint and Chastity : What the hell does that mean?

Mason : [Puts his hands up, mock defensively] Woah! I meant Boddy and Waddy!

Austin : [Examining his fingernails, to Mason] Have you finished? Are we finally ready to look for the key?

Mason : [Smiles at Austin] You lot will never be ready to look for the key, this moron here [points at Harvey] is proof of that.

Alice : [Offended] Hey!

Mason : No, that [points at Harvey] moron.

Harvey : [Offended] Hey!

Mason : [Jumping down off his chair, before turning and pointing at Harvey] I won't forget this - I'll have my revenge on you!

Alice : Hey!

Mason : No, [sigh] never mind. Now, are you all ready?

Clint : [Limerick accent] Just tell us what to do, ya gobshite. [Pauses, looks around] I mean, let us start.

Harvey : I, for one, am eager to be about this task, for the sooner we find the key, the sooner I can escape this maddening crowd!

Austin : Well praise be, the majority of our little flock finally agree on something! Hallelujah! Why, I just might compose a little ditty to celebrate the event, and call it 'Today we all agree to find the rusty key, to liberty. Golly Gee."

Mason : [Walking towards the kitchen door, before turning back to Harvey] I can tell you one thing, it won't be you who finds it, Stretch!

Jerome : [Smiling at Harvey] I see you continue to amass fans, where ever you may be.

[Everyone follows MASON to the front door, which he opens. It is still lashing rain outside.]

Mason : Okay. [Points passed where everyone's car is parked] There is a small manhole just beyond the cars, that's where we must go. [Starts to put on his rain gear, before turning to the others] Well? Off you go, I'll come out when the cover is off.

Harvey : I refuse to venture into a sewer! I am an actor of great reknown, not some rat feeding on the faeces of those above! [To Clint] Goodness, Malcolm, I'm sure your mother will be most delighted to see your return!

Jerome : [Peering out into the torrential rain] Curious, Harvey, how you refuse to physically enter a sewer, yet your mind is rarely out of one.

Harvey : And what fun it has, looking at your tiny, impotent penis while you sit and squat!

Jerome : Unlike you, Harv, mine doesn't get erect from watching men squatting in front of me.

Mason : Come on! [Pulls on his coat] Look guys, if you're not prepared to open the grate, then we might as well all head back in and wait for forty eight hours, because we'll be going nowhere.

Austin : Fourty eight hours? You mean I have to stick these two flirting with each other for another two whole days? Goddamn, boy, I'm going to have to book myself a long term trip to France after I get out of here!

Chastity: [Recovers from staring at the dwarf] Well I suppose we better get along with it. I'm not sure how much supply Alice has left.

Mason : [Peers at Alice] Supply?

Alice : She's just trying to be smart. You know, supply? Where you say one thing, but mean another?

Mason : Oh-kay. [Turns to the others, irritated, squeezing his sinuses as he does] Neayark! Neayark! Come on guys, get the grate open.

Jerome : [To the others] Do we have any choice?

Harvey : My, what a foul morning! [Takes his coat and hat from the cloakroom, putting them on and adjusting his purple felt trilby to a rakish angle] Hah, elements, do your worst, for now I am protected by Saville Row!

Austin : [Looking at Harvey with distaste] Come on Harv, get the manhole open, after all, it's not the first time you've poked around a hole leading to a load of shit, is it?

Harvey : [Laughs humourlessly] My fear is that your music will be deafening as soon as we get the cover off, you ignorant hillbilly!

Jerome : [Wrapping his coat around him tightly] Come on, lovers, if you can pull yourselves apart from each other, let's go. [Steps out into the wind and rain, and walks towards the manhole.]

Harvey : As Virgil was heard to remark to Constantine, alea jackta est. [Takes hat pins from his coat pocket and pins his trilby to his hair and follows Jerome]

Autin : [Looking at the torrential rain] I'm sure it will only take three people to lift the cover. Well, get going Clint, idle hands makes devils work!

[No one says anything for a few moments, and wait for CLINT.]

Mason : [Looking at his watching, whistling a merry tune] You know, you guys haven't a chance of making it through the next two days at this rate.

Alice : [After waiting a few seconds] Oh, for God's sake, I'll do it. [Looks out into the wind and rain that is struggling to remove Harvey's hat] I don't know, hat pins! Why on earth couldn't he just use an umbrella? [Pulls out her umbrella from the hatstand and opens it, knocking everyone to the floor] Okay, here I come! [Tries to get out the door, but can't fit the umbrella through, so stops, and turns around, backing out, only to get the handle out, before the top of the umbrella gets stuck. She re-enters the house, closing the umbrella, and then walks out, before saying with no small amount of satisfaction] Hah! [Once she is outside, she opens the umbrella again, and, of course, it is immediately snatched by the wind, and whipped out of her hands high into the air] Gah!

Austin : [Sighs loudly and glares at Clint, before tutting and heads into the rain, humming his hit 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Stetson']

[There is a large crow-bar beside the manhole, around which JEROME, HARVEY, ALICE and AUSTIN are standing.]

Jerome : [Shouting to be heard above the wind and rain] Okay! I'll prise it up, and the rest of you lift it up. [Sticks the bar in and lifts it a few inches up]

Harvey : [Bends] Okay everyone, on the count of three, lift! [Looks at the others] Quickly now, I feel my hatpins straining in this cursed tempest! [Everyone's face becomes creased with exertion and, although it moves, it hasn't come up.]

Jerome : Come on! One more time, on the count of three, lift!

Alice : Lift? I thought we were trying to push it back down!

Austin : Lord, give me the patience and strength to get through this task! All together now, and a one, and a two and a one two three!

Clint : Ok ok!, if Austin is going to sing while doing it then I might as well help, to get it open as soon as possible! [Looks at Harvey's ackward position] Hey!, no farting! s

[Together everyone lifts, straining until, eventually, the cover comes off and is thrown to the side.]

Alice : [Putting her head back, letting the rain fall on her face] Whoo! We got it!

[It is absolutely lashing rain now. There seems to be some kind of ladder at the side of the manhole, leading down into darkness.]

Harvey : [Peering into the darkness] There could be anything at the bottom of this ladder! Did anyone see any torches in the house? [Takes out his lighter, reaches into the hole and ignites it]

Clint : [Looking at Harvey's pityful attemp to ignite a lighter under lashing rain] Go ahead Harvey, you can do it!

Harvey : [As if speaking to a child] Yes Clint, I can, that is why I'm holding the lighter into the sewer, thereby blocking the rain with my body, while the flame is safe from the wind, due to the sheltering aspect of the walls of the sewer. [The lighter ignites momentarily, showing that the ladder descends quite deeply, before being blown out by the rain.]

Jerome : [Shouting to the others] Lets go back to the house, the Porg will probably have a torch.

Harvey : [Muttering curses as he stands up, but doesn't look anyone in the eye] Good idea, lets get a torch! [Shakes his fist at the sky] Damn you!

Clint : [Looks at the extinguished lighter with no small amount of satisfaction] [To Jerome] Who's the Porg?

Jerome : [As they walk back] The Person Of Restricted Growth - as opposed to a PORI [juts a thumb at Alice, who has somehow managed to get smacked on the head by her umbrella, which has just fallen to earth at a huge speed.]

Alice : Ow! [Picks up the umbrella and holds it over her. Unfortunately, all the canvas has long since been torn off by the wind, so she is left with the skeleton of the umbrella.]

[They arrive at the door, where the others are still waiting.]

Mason : Alright! You actually helped each other - excellent! And [looks at his watch] it only took two hours to agree to co-operate on lifting something.

Austin : [To Mason] We need some torches, as the path ahead is as dark as our Lords journey to Calgary. Do you have any?

Mason : [Touching his nose] Neayark! Of course I do, I never go anywhere without my torch.

Harvey : Well, shall we proceed downwards, for this tempest doth chill me to the core, and makes much mirth of mans grip over his environment!

Alice : [Shivering from the rain] Yeah, and the storm is pretty cold too! [Everyone heads back out, so now they are all standing around the manhole.]

Mason : Okay, which of you is brave enough to go first?

Harvey : [To Mason] You have the torch, so you should go first. Besides, you people are more used to travelling underground, what with all that digging of caves and singing about gold business!

[MASON doesn't reply, but turns on his heel, and starts walking back to the house. As he does so, there is a huge clap of thunder.]

Jerome : [Shouting at Harvey] You moron! How the hell are we supposed to go down now?

Harvey : [Shouting back at Jerome] What? You're the one who called him a porg! I hadn't even noticed until you said it! It's all your fault! Your fault!

Clint : [Pointing at Harvey] Why do I have to put up with him? [To Mason] Errr, Mr. Porg, I mean, Mason... Just ignore Fagglet here, don't let him get to you! He who is higher than the words of the crowd is bound to be a King!

Jerome : [To Harvey] I may have said something nasty about him, but at least I said it behind his back!

[MASON carries on, either not hearing CLINT, or pretending not to.]

Harvey : Oh for goodness sakes! [Jogs after Mason, keeping a firm grip of his hat] Excuse me, Mason, I do apologise for my rudeness! I had no idea that you were so touchy about your...urm...physical restrictions. I promise, as the Bard is my guide, that I will not be so insensitive again! I mean, I have the greatest respect for Alexander the Great, and Napoleon for that matter!

Mason : [Stops abruptly, and turns around, glaring in fury at Harvey] Give me your hat!

Harvey : What? Why, it's far too big for you! Urm, I mean, it's hardly your colour!

Mason : [Stands, one hand on his hip, the other outstretched] You heard me, your hat or your lives!

Alice : [Wiping some rain from her eyes] For God's sake, Harvey, just give him the hat!

Clint : [Whispering to the others] Let's see just how [finger quotes...] low will Harvey go to get out of this one!

Mason : [Tapping his foot impatiently] I'm waiting!

Harvey : [Touches his hat, caressing it's fine felt lines] But, well, it's sentimental, present from my...never go anywhere without it, my favourite purple hat! [Pulls out the hatpins and grudgingly hands it over to Mason] Please, be gentle!

Mason : [Snatching the hat] Ah! Thanks. [Rubs it against his face] Mmm, velvety! Now, come on, Stretch, let's get back. [MASON walks back to the manhole, where everyone is standing, soaked.]

Mason : Okay guys, who's going first?

Clint : Where are the torches?

Harvey : [Looks forlornly at his hat, before pulling his scarf out of the neck of his coat and spreading it over his head, tying it under his chin and tucking each massive end back into his coat. To Mason] Give me the torch and I'll go first.

Mason : [Tosses the torch to Harvey] There y'go, Harv. [Shivers] Woah! I think I'm getting a bit of a chill. [A-choo! Sneezes into Harvey's hat, before turning to the others with an incredulous look] Its just so soft!

Alice : Can I have a feel? [Stretches out her hand]

Mason : Sure. [Wipes some snot off the hat and onto her hand]

[ALICE says nothing, but looks at her hand, bewildered.]

Harvey : [Grabs the torch, turns it on and with a face like thunder, begins climbing down the ladder]

Chastity: Next! [Starts after Harvey. Looks at Alice] Are you sure you want to come down, Alice. I heard you keep falling off ladders.

Alice : I heard you once made sense. [Shrugs] I guess we both heard wrong. [Goes to follow Chastity, but so does Jerome, causing them both to get stuck. A short, undignified struggle later, they are both free.]

Jerome : After you.

Alice : No, after you, I insist. [JEROME goes down followed by ALICE.]

Mason : Well Austin, are you going to follow? I know it would be better if there was some of your music playing, as it would suit the smell, but we can't have everything now, can we? [Glances at Clint, smiling] Unless we steal it, I suppose.

Austin : [Raises an eyebrow] The Lord does work in mysterious ways, and you are obviously my cross, Mason. [Descends the ladder after Alice]

Mason : He works in ways more mysterious than you think, Billy-Bob.

[Exit ALL, down the manhole.]

[Book II, Act V, Scene IX. In the Sewer. Saturday, February 8th, 1997, 11.15am. ALICE, MASON, JEROME, HARVEY, AUSTIN, CLINT and CHASTITY are here, all fairly wet. They are in a small cave, and the light from the torch shows that there are a couple of wooden torches to one side, as well as a longsword. There is no evidence of a sewer, and the ground is simply earth. There is, however, still a pretty terrible smell coming from up the hallway.]

Alice : [Looking around] This doesn't look like any sewer I've ever seen.

Jerome : Do you spend a lot of time messing about with sewers?

Mason : [To Jerome] Probably not as much time as you've spent messing about with sewers. [JEROME doesn't reply, but clenches his fists.]

Harvey : [Looks around] My goodness, not at all what I was expecting! Very curious, very curious indeed! No! It couldn't be, could it? [Moves towards the broadsword and reaches for its hilt]

Austin : [Holding his nose] Damn, that smells worse than Alices pappa's trailer in a heat wave, the time the chemical toilet exploded! Whoooweee! Remember that Alice?

Alice : [Coldly] No. [To Mason] What's going on here, Mason?

Mason : Well, you were all invited to dinner to meet Mister Boddy, and you all came because you're such a greedy bunch you couldn't resist the chance to get some cash, but, allegedly, Boddy and Wadsworth killed each other. Then I arrived, got Harvey's hat, and you opened the manhole cover. Then we all climbed down, and found the sword and some torches.

Alice : Dinner, you say? Hm.

Harvey : [Holding the sword, holds it aloft] Finally, the Dane is reunited with his trusty blade! [Looks at it closely] I've no idea how it got here, but I'm positive that this is the prop I used playing Hamlet at the Alephi on Broadway!

Chastity: [Exclaims] Oh, I saw you in that! You were simply amazing. Quite simply the best rendition of Hamlet ever, closely followed by Gel Mibson in the movie of the same name. [Roots in her handbag] I think I still have my ticket stub in here somewhere...

Alice : Hamlet? Are you sure that wasn't Mad Snacks? [To the others] I'm a big fan of Gel's.

Jerome : What the hell is going on here, Storm? What are we expected to do? Why on earth would anyone give that fool [points at Harvey] a sword?

Mason : You've gotta ride this thing out to the end, sonny boy. You may need some protection and, after you so foolishly threw away the bullets, well, you just better hope Harvey knows which end is which for his weapon. [From above comes the sound of someone putting the cover back on the manhole.]

Harvey : [Shouting] A foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is man! How often do...What? Who's up there?

Austin : [To Mason] No one threw away bullets, Storm. I have a cartridge right here.

Mason : [Smiles thinly at Austin, and laughs a little] Well well, how enterprising Austin. [The torch flickers, dropping the room into darkness for a while, but then lights up again.]

Alice : [Slapping Harvey across the face] How dare you!

Mason : [Smiles at Alice and Harvey, before looking up at the cover] I guess you'd better get that gun ready, don't you?

Harvey : [Holds his hand to his face in surprise. To Alice] What? What did you do that for?

Alice : As if you don't know! [Turns her back on him, arms folded, as the torch dims, and stays dim.]

Austin : Just be thankful she didn't have a gun! Speaking of which, Harv, give me yours. I gotta feeling we're going to need it!

Jerome : Hold on a second! You're going to have a loaded gun? I think I'd feel safer if Alice had it! [Glances over at Alice, who has just frightened herself with a shadow puppet from the flickering torch] Well, maybe not, but there's no way you're going to have it!

Harvey : [Still shocked, to Alice] Madam! I have no idea what you're talking about! I plead my innocence in whatever circumstance makes thee vexed with me! [Looks at her back a moment longer, before turning to Austin] The gun? Well, I'm not sure I should...[looks again at his sword, lovingly] For truth, 'tis no match for my blade of finest toledo steel! [Takes the gun from his trousers and passes it to Austin]

Jerome : Are you out of your mind, Harvey? I think I should get Alice's bullets from Chastity, seeing as how she's no fucking use anyway, is she Jerome? No she's not, she just stands around most of the time and didn't even say hello to you this morning.

Mason : [Smiling broadly in the ever dwindling light] Well well, I'm sure everyone's feeling a whole lot safe now. [To Alice] Your gun?

Alice : Its a figure of speech.

Austin : [Takes the gun and loads it, testing its weight] Say hello to Mr Desert Eagle, people. Locked and loaded!

Jerome : [Grabs Chastity's handbag] Give me that! [Starts rifling through it, throwing its contents onto the ground]

Alice : [As the torch gets even dimmer, speaking with no small amount of panic] For God's sake! Forget the fucking gun! Get one of those torches lit!

Harvey : [Takes the lighter from his pocket and lights another torch] There to go Alice, nice and bright! Now you can see well enough to slap people again for no good reason!

Chastity: [Starts crying] Look what he's doing [points at Jerome] Put my stuff back in the bag.

Jerome : [Curling up his lip and snarling at Chastity] Shut up you dumb bitch, I'm just trying to make things a little safer for all of us.

[HARVEY's lighter, miraculously still working despite the rain, produces a flame, which immediately goes out.]

Alice : Oh, well that's a whole lot better Harvey, thanks!

Mason : Neayark! [Snort] Point of information! Those torches really only work when they have oil on them.

Austin : [Smiling] Guess you've blown your chance at becoming hubby number six, Jerome! Chastity, just give him the bullets and he'll leave you alone!

Jerome : [Finding the bullets] Its okay Austin. [Loads the gun and throws Chastity's bag back to her, still leaving all the stuff on the ground] I've got them now, just think of how much safer we'll all be now we've got two guns. [The torch is now almost out.]

Alice : [Lighting her lighter] Please! Please, someone get some oil for the torches!

Harvey : [Looking with distaste at Jerome] A moment Chastity, and I'll help you. [To Mason] Where do we get oil for the torches?

Mason : You know, Harvey, I'm kind of glad you asked me. There is some oil hidden behind a [waves his fingers in a mock-magical fashion] secret panel, in this very cave. However, given that none of you have any kind of expertise in anything short of sordid dealings or, [glances at the now teary Alice] in some cases, no expertise at all, it is unlikely that you will find it, unless I tell you where it is.

Clint : [To Mason] Alright, I wanted to go through all this nice and quietly, but you really are driving me crazy. [Raises his voice] Where is the fucking panel??

Harvey : [To Mason] Hah, sir, but you are wrong, for perhaps you missed my stint as Aladdin in the pantomime of that same name a number of Christmasses ago, in Blackpool, no less, the pantomime capital! And what lauds my fine performance yielded! [Yells at the top of his voice] Open seseme! [Pulls and tugs at the various torches]

Mason : [Does a handbags at ten paces stance] Oooh! I'll tell you what, I want two of you to sing a little song for me, and then I'll tell you where it is. Harvey? Seeing as you were so cool about the whole hat situation, I'll let you pick the singers. [Smiles back at Clint, arms folded] [Predictably, nothing happens.]

Mason : Come on Harv, I know you'll get a kick out of this. Come on, two names, please!

Harvey : [Stops his tugging and turns to the others] Hmmm, goodness, two people to sing a song! [Looks at Austin] That rules you out, no amount of oil is worth that! Well, I'm sure we'd all love to hear Clint and Jerome duet!

Clint : No fucking way! You know Harvey, I don't know who's worse, Mason who is having fun at our expenses, or you who plays along! At least he's got the excuse of having to follow orders!

Harvey : As far as I can see it, Clint, we could all do with a little cheering up, a lightening of mood, and this is just the thing! And for Gods sake, who apart from us will hear you? Now, don't be such a stick in the mud!

Jerome : This is ridiculous! I'm not going to sing!

Alice : [As her lighter runs out of fluid] Oh no! Please! Please! [Starts to cry.]

Jerome : [Turns to Clint] Do we have any choice?

Clint : For fuck's sake! [Whispering to Jerome] Which songs do you know?

Jerome : Well, there's one about a dwarf, but that would probably make him even madder. [Clears his throat, and begins to sing] Roll out the barrel, roll out the barrel of fun...

Clint : [Looking nervously to each size] Roll out the barrel, we've got the blues on the run!

Jerome and Clint : Now's the time to roll the barrel, for the [emphasising] gang's all [high note] here.

Mason : [Applauding] Whoo! Excellent!

Clint : Now; the oil, please.

Mason : Oh, okay. [Takes a can of oil out of his pocket and throws it to Clint.]

Harvey : [Laughs loudly as Mason produces the oil, before taking a torch, covers it in oil and lights it] Ah, that was just the morale boost we all needed!

Mason : Neayark! [Snort, snort] Thanks Harvey, I figured you'd enjoy that. Now, I reckon that the tunnel will fit two abreast, so who's going to lead the way?

Alice : [Calming herself down, wiping her eyes] How about whoever has the weapons?

Jerome : [Looks back uneasily] I'm not so sure about that.

Alice : Well, you could let me carry one of the guns.

Jerome : [Looks back uneasily] I'm definitely sure about that!

Clint : Are you sure you know how to use those weapons?

All : Yes.

Jerome : Okay, Austin can go in front with you, Harvey. I'll take the rear - I know you're used to that position, but I'm sure it'll be okay.

Austin : I'll go in front, for I walk in the light of the Lord, and his grace will be my protection! [Hefts his weapon] With a little help from this baby!

Mason : Excellent - I suggest the two lovely ladies in the middle, then myself and Stinky, followed by Jerome. That okay with everyone?

Harvey : [Tuts at Jeromes comments] Prepubescent imbecile! [To Mason] Who the hell is Stinky?

Mason : Well, there's only one of us here who stinks of potatoes! [Waves his hand back and forth under his nose] Come on, let's get moving!

Austin : Harvey, I warn you now, yea though I walk beside you in the valley of the dark, touch my ass, or any other part of me, and I'll blow your goddamn head clean off! [Stands at the corridor] Coming?

Harvey : [Annoyed] Well honestly! As if I'd have any interest in some ex-jailbird, crooning, happy clapper, freak! [Stands next to Austin, his sword in one hand, the torch in the other, and looks back at the rest of the group]

Jerome : [Following Chastity and Alice into the tunnel] With all this talk of blowing, he soon will be.

Mason : Okay, there are four torches. I'll take one - who else?

Alice : [Quickly] Me! [Grabs one]

Mason : [Almost knocked down with the ferocity of Alice grabbing the torch] Okay! Anyone else? Or do Aussie and Harv want to get going?

Clint : [Grabs one torch from Mason, without a word]

Mason : Oooh! Some fun this is going to be! Let's get those weapons draw people, God only knows what's around that corner.

Harvey : God...and you.

Mason : Why, Harvey! I'm, I'm hurt! I'm saddened and shocked that you believe that I have any idea about what's up ahead.

[Swif! A trap door opens, sending AUSTIN and HARVEY sprawling into a pit.]

Mason : [Continuing unabated] I mean, I am totally shocked about that trapdoor opening. And, [turning to look at Jerome, who has also disappeared down a pit] I sure didn't see that coming.

Alice : [Teetering on the edge] Woah! [Holds her torch up] Look, in the wall across there, there's a panel open, and there's a .. a .. [turns to Chastity, open mouthed in disbelief.]

[Across the way there is what looks like a small press slid open, about three foot square. Sitting there is SCARY MARY.]

Scary Mary : Hee hee hee! Hello boys and girls!

Chastity: My God! It's hideous. What is it? [Looks away from Scary Mary]

Alice : My God! It - it is disgusting! [Looks away from Chastity to Scary Mary] Who are you?

Scary Mary : [In a scolding voice] Naughty, naughty!

[Bzzt! HARVEY and AUSTIN get a shock.]

Scary Mary : You must always say Scary Mary when you talk to me.

Alice : Scary Mary.

Scary Mary : No, [makes as exasperated a face as a glove puppet can] you must say Scary Mary at the end of each sentance you say to me.

Alice : Okay. Who are you, Scary Mary?

Scary Mary : I'm Scary Mary! Whoo-ho-ha ha!

Austin : Alice! Shut the hell up! [To Scary Mary] What's going on here? Let us up immediately!

[Bzzzt! HARVEY and AUSTIN get another shock.]

Scary Mary : Hee hee hee! Guess who didn't say Scary Mary!

Alice : [Hand up like a school child] I know! I know! It was Austin. [Short pause] Scary Mary!

Chastity: Why are you hurting them Scary Mary?

Scary Mary : Because, unlike you, you good little girl, they didn't show respect for me. Now, seeing as you are being so nice to me, I'll tell you what the story is here. I can let them free, but there is a cost associated with that - a pretty severe electric shock. If I do that, the guy at the back will also be let free, at no cost to him. On the other hand, if he offers to accept a much less severe shock, then the other two get away scot free.

Alice : Okay, Scary Mary. So, if Jerome agrees to take a small shock, everyone gets off. Otherwise, Austin and Harvey each get a big shock, and have to wear kilts?

Scary Mary : [Looks at Chastity, before turning back to Alice] Something like that.

Alice : But what is a severe shock, Scary Mary? It's kind of hard to measure, isn't it?

Scary Mary : True - so imagine it like this. If people's health could be measured in points, then a severe shock would take over half their health, while a less severe one would take about a fifth. Its up to Jerome, but the rest of you may advise, as you see fit.

Clint : [To Jerome] C'mon kitty skin, be a sport and make that effort!

Jerome : What? You can't be serious! I've got nothing but hassle and abuse from both of them, especially that fool Austin.

Alice : Aw come on, Jerome! You know they'd do it for you!

Clint : Well, actually they wouldn't; But that just goes to show how superior you are over them! [Philosopher's pose] He who sows his seeds for free, will harvest for eternity.

Alice : [Eyes filling with tears] That's the truest, most beautiful thing I've ever heard! [Hugs Clint]

Clint : [Holding Alice in his arms] Tears of joy are the nectar of gods. Don't waste them on a simple man like me, dearest Alice. [Wipes the tears of Alice's face]

Austin : Unless you can persuade Jerome to help us out, you may well end up wasting them on myself and Harvey. Come on, Jerome, we did give you the gun, didn't we?

Jerome : True enough, Austin, I just suppose I kind of had my heart set on having Harvey asking me really nicely, and telling me, in the most sincere manner, of course, that he is really sorry for forcing me to sing.

Msaon : [Applauding] Excellent, excellent! I couldn't have come up with some more twisted myself!

Alice : Some more twisted what?

Mason : You know, I'm getting a feeling that you might fall down the next pit.

Alice : If I spend any more time with you, I think I'll throw myself down one.

Mason : Want a hand?

Alice : Only if its a round of applause for having thrown you in a pit.

[MASON doesn't reply, but takes out a notebook, onto which he writes something, glancing up occasionaly, to give ALICE the odd meaningful look.]

Austin : [Starts peeing all over the pit to make it short circuit, to Mason] Where is your forgiveness? You are evidently trying to teach us something, but intend to torture us into compliance, rather than make us see the light. Jesus forgave everyone, and through his example, [Getting more evangelically enthusiastic] people saw the light, and they repented their sins and let the good Lord into their hearts. Amen. [Even mosre spirited] I could help you to let the grace of the Lord almighty into your heart. Just make a small donation to my parish and come to service on Sunday and salvation is yours. [Sounding faithfully genuine] I can free you from the evil spirits that infest your body, mine is the way, the light, come to me brother, Mason, only through the power of God can you survive! Hallelujah brother! [Stops peeing, has a deep snort from a small silver object, wipes his shoes on the backs of his calfs (you know the 'quick polish thing')]

Austin : [Starts peeing all over the pit to make it short circuit, to Mason] Where is your forgiveness? You are evidently trying to teach us something, but intend to torture us into compliance, rather than make us see the light. Jesus forgave everyone, and through his example, [Getting more evangelically enthusiastic] people saw the light, and they repented their sins and let the good Lord into their hearts. Amen. [Even mosre spirited] I could help you to let the grace of the Lord almighty into your heart. Just make a small donation to my parish and come to service on Sunday and salvation is yours. [Sounding faithfully genuine] I can free you from the evil spirits that infest your body, mine is the way, the light, come to me brother, Mason, only through the power of God can you survive! Hallelujah brother! [Stops peeing, has a deep snort from a small silver object, wipes his shoes on the backs of his calfs (you know the 'quick polish thing')]

Harvey : [To Jerome] Why do you want an apology for making you sing? It was a wonderful rendition of that classic tune, and I don't think I'm assuming wrongly here, but, you've actually gone up in our estimation! wonderful but, you've

Austin : [To Harvey] He hasn't gone up in my estimation, it sounded like someone cutting the legs of kittens.

Harvey : Oh! Well, if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, then I don't know what is!

Jerome : Hm, I think I've made my mind up.

Alice : [Still staring at Austin's crotch] Wow! That looked like a penis, only smalle! Scary Mary : Eee hee hee hee! Looks like its shock time!

Harvey : [Quickly] Okay Jerome! I'm sorry for making you sing a song, for forcing you to utilise your heretofore hidden talents. Perhaps soon you will get the chance to force me into designing a spring collection, for what goes around, comes around.

Jerome : Well Jerome, did that sound like he was sorry? Yes, it sure did, but the hillbilly is trying to mock us, wasn't he? He was, and he caused that sharp, burning pain on the left side of your head again, didn't he? Its a pity Harvey will get hurt, but hey-ho!

Alice : [Wagging her finger at Austin] Oh come on, Austin! This was always your problem. Just apologise for your rudeness to Jerome, and you'll be okay - otherwise you could get really hurt. [Turns away, but turns back again] Oh, and for God's sake, don't take that thing out again I bet its even smaller than Mas- um. [Looks at Mason]

Mason : Got something to say? You looking for an injection of some vitamin M? Ruff! Ruff! [Does a few pelvic thrusts.]

Clint : [To Jerome] Do you truly believe that Harvey is sorry? He's just trying to save his arse! As for the so-called priest, he definitely could use a short-circuit on his neurones; remember, he who suffers lears, and learning is what differentiates mere animals from us humans.

Harvey : Well potato boy, we've certainly learned a lot from your company then, have we not!

Austin : [To Alice, whilst having a snort] I was never rude to Jerome, just honest, the truth never did no one no harm. I can take this no problem, if I must suffer to save others then so it shall be! The Lord will help through these dark times of need. If you all came to Jesus we wouldn't be here in the first place.

Alice : He who suffers lears? [Confused] You mean, someone who goes to a lot of plays?

Jerome : Scary Mary! I think you should electrocute the other two. [SCARY MARY obliges, and HARVEY and AUSTIN scream in agony. The two are left in an untidy, urine soaked heap on the floor. The floor of the pit slowly slides up, until they are level with the corridor. JEROME's pit also raises up, but he doesn't appear to have suffered any ill effects.]

Harvey : [Outraged, to Jerome] You sadistic bastard! [Turns to Austin] You idiotic bastard! [Suddenly catches sight of Scary Mary] What the hell is that thing?

Clint : [Pinching his nose] Ouch. That's gotta hurt.

Alice : Never mind that! Look at that thing! [Points at Scary Mary.]

Jerome : Sadistic bastard? What the hell is wrong with you? I'm just trying to look out for myself - I certainly wasn't going to let myself get hurt so that moron [points at the urine soaked figure of Austin] could insult me and get off scott free. I'm sick of his shit!

Austin : [To Jerome, another snort, propped up on an elbow] Amen brother, that hurt bad. I just want you to know that I am here for you, as Jesus is here with us now, whatching over us. See how I am still alive, thanks to his grace, saving me from certain death at your sinful hands. [Colapses closer to the floor]

Harvey : What! Try getting urinated on that same moronic hillbilly hick, then electrocuted by a...a...[looks lost for words, and stands there, shaking his finger at Scary Mary]...a bloody glove puppet with tits! [Tries to smooth down his newly acquired smoking, spiky hairstyle] Scary Mary : [Covers her face with her hands] Oooh! Scary stuff Harvey, are you ready for what else is to come?

Alice : [Reaching over to Austin, grabbing his coke case] I think he's had enough of that! [Lifts it up, away from him, but is slips, covering her in cocaine] Woah! [To the others] Did you see what [drawls] Gawd just did to me?

Harvey : God didn't do that, you did! [Takes out a fly swat from his coat] I knew it, you're a narcotics agent! [Whacks Alice with the flyswat]

Alice : [Rubs the back of her head] You'd better be careful! Jerome, give me your gun!

Jerome : Not while the hillbilly has one!

Alice : I don't have a gun!

Jerome : She doesn't make much sense, does she Jerome? No, but she's got nice boobs.

Alice : [To no one in particular] And they trust this guy with a weapon more than me? [The panel in front of SCARY MARY slides shut again.]

Mason : Neayark! Better get on your guard team - I think something else is coming up!

Clint : Hey Mason, I'm quite seriously getting sick of this crap! No amount of money is worth this kind of treatment! Worse, no amount of money is worth having to smell Austin's urine!

Mason : [Putting his hands up to Clint] What can I say, Clint? I'm really, truly sorry - I never thought that we'd have to witness that. [Looks more thoughtful] Of course, I would have thought that you'd have liked it.

Clint : Then again you don't know me do you? He who speaks of the unknown just fools around with words. Are you hiding a certain weakness from us, Mason? Some childhood nightmare? Speak your mind! Don't be afraid, we're all together in this mess anyway!

Mason : [Smiles thinly at Clint] Sorry, my mistake. It was just, you know, rich man's piss and all that.

Austin : [Stirring, and looking up at Alice] You fool! Look at what you've done!

Alice : [Covered from head to toe in cocaine] What makes you think it was me? [From around the corner ahead comes the sound of someone whistling "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."]

Clint : [Face suddenly brighting up] Tada, tada tada tada [Singing along with the tune]

Harvey : [Looking at Clint] And two minutes ago he was giving me grief for making him sing! [To Mason] So, what little nasty surprise have you planned for us now?

[Enter CONTAGION SOTOT, turning the corner, singing. His body is covered in chains, and there is barbed wire wrapped tightly around him, pinning his arms to his sides, drawing blood. On his head is a crown made up of barbed wire, which has been forced down so hard that it, too, draws blood.]

Contagion : [Singing along with Clint] De de, de de, de deh!

Alice : [Paling beneath her liberal coating of cocaine] Oh my God!

Mason : [Reaching into his coat, and drawing an unfeasibly long sword] Better get those weapons ready, boys! Its Contagion Sotot!

Mason : Believe me, Harv, this was not part of the plan!

[CONTAGION doesn't speak, but just gives a big, broad, bloodstained smile at the party.]

Clint : [Whisling fading away] Tada, tada... ta... What the hell is that?!?

Mason : Its about two days too early! [CONTAGION still doesn't speak, but raises his fore arms slightly, snapping one turn of the barbed wire, causing some of the barbs to dig further into his skin.]

Austin : [Standing up, drawing his gun] What the hell do we do?

Harvey : [Steps back in alarm] Yea, tis hideous! God almighty, he's covered in barbed wire! [Turns away in disgust. To Mason] Christ almighty, is Clive Barker blackmailing us?

Contagion : [Snapping another strand of barbed wire, and sighing in ecstacy] Oh, yeah!

Mason : [Pushing Harvey] Come on! Kill him!

Harvey : [Lowers his sword, shocked] Kill him? I'm not killing anyone! Come off it, man, I've seen plenty of special effects in my time, especially on my short lived stint on Space 1999, where I masterfully played the part of Xyyyst, the humourous space poodle, and I tell you this, [points at Contagion] that fake blood fools me not! Paying blackmail for being gay is terrible, but I'm not fool enough to pay for killing some drugged up extra you decide to trick us into murdering!

Clint : Now it would really be a good time for those with guns to use them. [To Harvey, Austin and Jerome] Hello? Helllllllllo?

Alice : [Breathing a sigh of relief, with a hint of colour coming back into her cocaine covered cheeks] Phew! Thank God for that. Those special effects are pretty amazing, aren't they?

[CONTAGION snaps the final band, and starts walking towards the group.]

Mason : Kill him! For God's sake, Harvey, come on!

Austin : [Takes out his gun, but doesn't point it] He could be right - the evil dwarf could be leading us away from the path of righteousness. And, my friends [pauses a moment to snort some coke off Alice's sleeve] and, my friends, we must not let ourselves be led astray!

[CONTAGION continues walking towards the party, is now whistling "Born in the USA". He is just about two feet from HARVEY and AUSTIN.]

Harvey : [To Mason] We're not a pack of poltoons, Mason! This is a set up if ever I've seen one! No, no, and thrice, no! If you're so adamant about killing him, do it yourself [points at Masons sword and backs away from Contagion]

[CONTAGION turns slightly to get passed HARVEY, but pauses immediately in front of him, and gives an even broader smile to him, and tips his thorny crown at HARVEY, before continuing on towards ALICE and CHASTITY.]

Austin : [Gun lowered] Well Harv, I gotta admit, the Lord is shining through you today. [Claps Harvey on the shoulder.]

Harvey : [Looking troubled] Hmm, then why do I suddenly feel filthy? [Turns to Contagion] Hey fella, you can stop now, your act has been blown! Get out of here, or there'll be trouble! Didn't you hear, the dwarf wanted us to murder you! I said get out of here! [Taps Contagion on the shoulder]

Clint : [To Harvey] But, but... you've always been filthy! [Looking at Harvey's sword] Are you going to use that or what?

[CONTAGION doesn't answer, but continues to edge his way through the party, pausing to give a wink at CHASTITY, before turning to and smiling broadly at ALICE. MASON has now backed into JEROME.]

Jerome : [Pushing Mason back, and pointing the gun at him] What the hell is wrong with you?

Harvey : [To Clint] Listen spud boy, we're not all blood thirsty murderers here! I'll use it if I have to! [To Contagion] Listen friend, I've asked you once, let's put you somewhere safe and sound for the time being until you come down from whatever you're on! [Tries to grab at Contagion and push him away from Alice]

Jerome: [Holds up gun and backs away a few steps] Jerome doesn't know who did your outfit, but Jerome thinks spandex would have worked better. Try to reason with him ladies, he's obviously a victim of Calvin Klein.

[HARVEY grabs onto CONTAGION, trying to avoid catching his hand on the barbed wire. He catches hold, but CONTAGION doesn't appear to even notice, and reaches out and catches ALICE by the throat.]

Alice : Choke! [Speaking in time as Contagion shakes her] I - don't - think - this - is - special - effects!

[With a combination of pulling ALICE to him, and swinging his head at her, CONTAGION gives ALICE an almighty head butt, showering the rest of the party in blood. When he lets go off her, she drops in a heap to the ground.]

Harvey : My God, Alice! You asked for it, fucker! [Tries to stick his sword through Contagions back]

Jerome: Now that was quite unnecessary! Prepare to feel the wrath of Jerome Vivianni! [Using both hands to keep the gun steady, aims at Contagion] Should we do this Jerome? We must Jerome, we must. Step off pal, NOW!

[CONTAGION bends slightly as HARVEY's sword sticks into him, but he doesn't pay any more attention to it, and totally ignores JEROME. He zips down his pants, and kneels in front of ALICE, pulling her skirt up.]

Contagion : [With blood coming from his nose after Harvey's attack, starts to sing] Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide..

Mason : Shoot him! Shoot him!

Harvey : Mason, stop this charade right now! This has gone way too far! [Realises what Contagion is about to do, swings his sword back, and swipes at Contagions neck with all of his might]

[HARVEY's blow smashes into CONTAGION's neck, causing his mouth to drop open, and eyes to bulge with fear.]

Contagion : [To Alice, with blood pouring out of his mouth onto her] You know, I'm kinda glad that our first time is special.

Alice : Get him off!

[JEROME closes his eyes and squeezes the trigger, shooting CONTAGION in the head, showering HARVEY and AUSTIN in blood and brain.]

Alice : [Looking at Contagion's twisting and twitching body in disgust] Eauh! I guess its true - some organs do keep working after death!

[CONTAGION's body drops to its knees, still in front of ALICE.]

Mason : Have at you! [Stabs Contagion in the side.]

Harvey : [Looking wide-eyed at Contagion, then to his sword dripping with blood. Slowly he wipes gore from his lips]! We've killed him, [turns to Jerome] well, you've killed him. [Sits down heavily] What have we done? [Looks suddenly at Mason with absolute hatred] Right Mason, you're next to go unless you tell us what the hell is going on here!

Mason : Okay. Here's the whole story -

Jerome : I didn't mean to kill him - I - I -

Contagion : [Turns his badly injured head to face Jerome] That [emphasises] really hurt.

Jerome : I didn't kill him!

Clint : [To Jerome] Kill him again! Kill him again!!!

Harvey : [Jumps up in alarm] Good grief! That's impossible! Alice, get away from him, quickly! [Swings his sword at Contagions neck once more]

[JEROME fires again, blowing away most of the remains of CONTAGION's face.]

Mason : Aw, man! Talk about overkill!

[CONTAGION falls to the ground, saying nothing.]

Austin : [To all] That guy isn't normal, even if he was on drugs [Licks some blood, brains 'n coke off Alice]

Austin : That guy wasn't normal, like, human, [To Mason] WHo the fuck was he?

Mason : Ha! [Stabs Contagion] Have at you! [Stabs him again] Low down swine.

Alice : [Still lying down] Who was he?

Mason : Nice pants, Alice. [Turns to the others] Okay folks, as you might have guessed, this guy [kicks Contagion, who's fingers are beginning to twitch] is not human. He is here to wreak havoc on the earth, and you, my friends, have been selected to stop him.

Alice : Us? Why? I'd like to know who selected us - I'd give him a piece of my mind!

Jerome : [Shocked at what he's done, and picking a small piece of brain off Harvey's coat] How about giving him a piece of Contagion's?

Harvey : Hang on a theatrical minute here! Not human? Havoc on earth? We've been selected? Broccoli soup? Too much, too much! [Points his sword at Mason] You're telling us that the evil bastard who has been blackmailing us for many years now wants us to save the planet? Wants us to save his ass so he can carry on blackmailing us? Is that your story?

Mason : [Thinks for a moment] Er, no.

[CONTAGION lets out a low moan.]

Harvey : [Looks at Contagion] By the bards beard, some people just don't know when they're beaten! [Tries to chop off Contagions head]

[HARVEY hacks through CONTAGION's neck, cutting his head off.]

Alice : Oh God, I think I'm going to be sick. [Snorts some of her jacket sleeve] Urgh, I think I just snorted some brain.

Jerome : [Leaning forward and picking something off her upper lip] No, I think you'll find that that is spleen.

Alice : Phew, for a minute there, I thought it might be something disgusting.

Mason : Cutting off his head won't stop him. He'll be back.

Alice : [Brightly] Like the Terminator?

Mason : No, you dumb bitch, that was a film. This is real life, he'll come back and kill you all!

Austin : [To all] That shouldn't be difficult, I think I'm nearly dead already. Let's get the hell out of this nightmare before [nods towards Mason] butt boy kills us with another weird space alien thing. [starts limping back to the manhole]

Harvey : Well, how the hell do we kill him...permanently?

Jerome: [Helps Alice to her feet]: Perhaps for the sake of the ladies we should also chop off the other head of this monstrosity? [Pulls out a koala bear skin hanky and offers it to Alice] Here darling, do wipe off some of that mascare.

Clint : Good idea, then maybe you can wrap in on that [points at the hanky] and offer it as a token of good will to Harvey. I'm sure he'd love that.

Jerome:[to Clint] Excellent suggestion! But do you think it will remain firm enough for his purposes?

Harvey : Oh do fuck off, Jerome. I know, you can take it to remind yourself of what an erection looks like. After all, it's being a long, long time since you've seen one.

Clint : You on the contrary Harvey see all sorts and kinds every day.

Harvey : Good point, spudmunch, for you certainly are the biggest dickhead I've seen today.

Clint : Typical self-defensiveness. All this talk about dicks, being soaked in urine; you clearly have a psychological problem. Did you Daddy abuse you when you were young? It must have been terrible - but please spare me the details.

Jerome: Well, should we run or should we continue to mutilate this bondage queen? And what should we do about this headless rapist? Storm, any suggestions?

Alice : [Exasperated, to Clint and Harvey] Please! Shut up! We've got a serious situation here! [Takes the hanky from Jerome, and rubs it against her face] Mm - beautiful and soft, it is a masterpiece! [Blows her nose in it with an unfeasibly loud parp, rendering it soaking wet.] Thanks Jerome.

Mason : [Turns and points at the exiting Austin] Stand where you are, you coward! Get back here!

Alice : Coward? You're calling him a coward? Which of us was crying like a girl because of the dark earlier on?

Mason : That was you, I think.

Alice : Oh. Right.

Mason : [To Jerome] We should run. [To the others] I don't know how to kill this guy, all I know is that he can be killed, and that you lot are the only ones who can do it. I'm part of your training program, but you weren't supposed to meet him for a while.

Jerome: [To Alice] You can keep that, dear. Consider it a gift from an admirer. By the by, if we should survive this ordeal, Jerome would like to photograph you in his private studio. Jerome has a new line of kangaroo jumpers about to debut, and you would be just delicious in them [passes her his card, which is made from zebra hide]. Of course we'll have to do something about your hair. [To Mason] For once I'm completely behind you Storm. Let's run! [Glances at the retreating Austin] Oh, let him go if he wants. Of course, his only source of nose candy is our lovely Alice here.

Alice : [Suspiciously, to Jerome] Only if I'm wearing one - I've been through that whole pocket thing before. [Shudders] Is there any point in going back after Austin?

Mason : Only if you're in the habit of wandering up blind alley ways, wasting both time and effort.

Alice : Okay. [Starts to follow Austin]

Mason : [Turning the opposite way] I think we should go this way, and lets be careful about it - I've no idea what's ahead.

Harvey : [To Mason] We have to go after him, firstly, if we are the only ones who can stop him, then we all should stick together. Secondly, I prefer having him where we can all keep an eye on him. And thirdly, and most importantly, he has one of the guns, which we need.

Mason : He's going nowhere. The cover was put on the manhole just after we came down. Anyone stupid enough to go up there will be back soon enough, looking suitably foolish.

Alice : [Coming back, looking pretty foolish] Er, so should we just carry on?

Jerome: I hardly care if he comes or goes. [Examining his fingernails] I wonder though, what will his fans think, when they learn that he ran away like a yankee coward?

Mason : [With a southern accent] Suh! I say, Suh! You have offended the man! I say, suh, he will not rest until his honour, I say his honour, has been satisfied.

Alice : [Unimpressed] We all don't done talk like that.

Harvey : Lets carry on in any case. [Picks up Contagions head] Alas, poor Contagion, I knew him well! I think we should keep this with us, as I think when he does come back to life, he'll have lost the head. [Looks around for somewhere to put the head, before sticking it ontop of his sword]

Mason : Okay, but who takes his place in front?

Alice : [Wrinkling her nose up at the sight of Harvey's sword] Please don't tell me you're going to walk around with that disgusting head.

Jerome: Yes Harvey, and what about that awful thing on your sword?

Harvey : [Sniffs] I could do without your face, Jerome, and without your neck, and your hands, and your limbs, and, to save myself the trouble of mentioning the points in detail, I could do without you altogether.

Alice : Even his winky in a hanky?

Harvey : [To Alice] You mean the same hanky you just used to wipe your face and mouth with?

Alice : No, one of the ones he has in his case.

Harvey : [Shakes his heads in confusion] What case?

Alice : The case he had with him when we arrived.

Jerome : At the risk of injecting a little sanity and common sense to the proceedings, I suggest I join Harvey at the front. Billy Bob can take up the rear. [A thin smile comes across his face.]

Mason : [Peering into the darkness where Austin went] Where is that fool?

Jerome: Don't worry Jerome. If he makes a move to touch you, use the gun. Look how nicely it worked on the nasty rapist. But Jerome didn't kill him, right? No Jerome, the maniacal homosexual who is appraising your anatomy is the killer.

Harvey : I don't know why, but for some reason I'm thinking of coctail sausages.

Jerome: Do you have to pee?

Harvey : What a curious question, Jerome. No, I do not. But don't worry, I'll be sure and tell you when I do [gives Jerome a huge wink]

Jerome : [Points his gun at Harvey] Keep back.

Austin : [Returning, with a scowl on his face] Still here? [Looks down at Contagion] Why haven't you killed him yet? Look, he's still moving.

Mason : Neayark! [Snorts] As I already told you, he cannot be killed. We have to get moving. [To Harvey] Are you going to take that [points at the head] with you?

Austin : [To Harvey] Do you think he's Jesus in disguise?

Harvey : [Looks at the ruined head] No, if anything, he's the anti-jesus. The kind who turns wine into water.

Mason : Neayark! Always looking for a little head, eh Harvey? Unfortuntely, he doesn't need the head. Look. [Points at Contagion with his sword, showing that where the head was removed has now healed over. Growing at a visible rate is a small lump from there.]

Alice : What? He's growing a new head?

Mason : Yes. If you cut anything off him, it will grow back.

Alice : What? So he could grow a new foot?

Mason : Yes. If you cut anything off him, it will grow back.

Alice : What? So he could grow a new hand?

Mason : Yes. If you cut anything off him, it will grow back.

Alice : What? So he could grow a new leg?

Mason : Yes. If you cut anything off him, it will grow back.

Alice : What? So he could grow a new arm?

Mason : Yes. If you cut anything off him, it will grow back.

Alice : What? So he could grow a new, you know? [Points to her crotch.]

Mason : No, because he has a penis.

Austin : [Looks horrified, wide eye, wasted kind of look] The Anti-christ? Holy shit! [Calms down, wide eyes still] We could make a lot of money out of this, lots of people will need the services of a preacher. I always thought he had horns though. [Looks vacant, sees the other exit]

Harvey : [Throws his eys to heaven, and Contagions head to the ground] Well, does that mean that if only his head is left, that he'll grow a new body out of his head? [Looks worried] Let's be away, as of the now! does

Austin : We should chop him up into as many small pieces as possible and take a bit each, and keep chopping them to bits so that he can't attack us.

Alice : [Looking down at Contagion] I know which bit I don't want! So Mason, why won't that work?

Mason : [Shrugs] I don't know, sweet cheeks. I guess it could, but look [points at the now sizable lump] it is growing pretty fast, I wonder if even a group with as many swords as us would be able to keep chopping him up.

Austin : How about electrocuting him in the pit? Or burning him, yeah, soak him in petrol, set him on fire. Met him in acid?

Harvey : Look, that's academic. We don't have acid, unless you include Jeromes wit, we have no fire hot enough to cremate a body, and if we chop him into a million pieces, we run the risk that each separate part is capable of becoming a whole, so let's just get of here, shall we?

Austin : [To Harvey] Hey, relax dude, Austin is here, everything is cool. Lets go [Leads the way, into the unknown]

Alice : He's right, Austin. As fun as all those things sound, we don't really have any choice but to carry on, do we?

Jerome : [As Austin pushes his way to the front] Hang on there, Slick. Are you going to go up front? Not that I'd object to being at the back, but you don't look too healthy. I mean, not quite as pale as Alice, but pretty peaky all the same.

Austin : [To Jerome] Like, Jesus already just saved me from electrocution, then the Anti-christ, I'll be fine, you guys stick with me and the Lord and everything will be just peachy, you'll see. [Swaying slightly] Follow me, and you will see the light, brother.

Harvey : [Shrugs] Well, I suppose if Contagion is going to come at us, it'll be from behind, so Jerome, you might be better guarding the rear.

[Almost immediately, a huge pit opens up, inches from AUSTIN and HARVEY. There are massive flames crackling up to the roof.]

Alice : [Wearing a pair of Gucci shades] Wow! I didn't think you meant it literally, Austin!

Jerome : [Anxiously looking behind him] Er, are you sure you're okay up there, Austin?

Harvey : [Steps back quickly, and looks at Mason] Do you not think we've been through enough already, Storm? How do we get across?

Austin : [Stares at the pretty flames, smiling]

Mason : Nearak! [Pinches his nostrils closed for a few moments, making all manner of disgusting noises] I don't know.

[The flames die down, revealing that there is an open panel in the wall across the pit. Inside the panel is none other than SCARIER MARY.]

Scarier Mary : Moowoohahahaha!

Alice : Wow - she's nearly as scary as Scary Mary!

[A tiny rock falls from the roof, and smacks ALICE on the head.]

Alice : Ow! Hey!

Harvey : [To Scarier Mary] What's the meaning of this? Why have you blocked our path?

Scarier Mary : Wah ha ha ha! Because I want you to know fear that you have never known before! Nothing will have prepared you for what is about to become you!

Harvey : [Gasps in shock] Fear that I've never known before! What do you call everything that's happened in the last twenty four hours?

Alice : [Whispering confidentially to Harvey] That's usually called a day.

Austin : [Calmly, wide eyed, walks up to Scary Mary and tries to pull her from her perch] In the name of the Lord I smite you foul demon.

[AUSTIN starts to walk towards her, but is beaten back by the flames.]

Scarier Mary : Aha! To avoid Scarier Mary's ire, and to leap across this fire, all your party will gain, if one of you suffers pain.

Mason : Come on! We need to get out of here!

Scarier Mary : If I need to reply, your pain will multiply.

Alice : Hey! I don't know if any one else noticed, but she looks really like the last one, doesn't she?

[Behind the party, CONTAGION's head is taking shape, while the head that was cut off is clearly now growing a body.]

Jerome: [Looks back at Contagion and shudders] Jerome wonders how much pain? What if he throws his rolex into the fire? Will that suffice?

Alice : Or maybe if we just listen to you for ten minutes Jerome, that would surely be enough. [Pause] A rolex you say?

Clint : [To Scarier Mary] Why do we need to swallow our pride, just to get to the other side? [With emotion] Is pain really necessary, oh beautiful Scarier Mary? [Looking back at Contagion] We just want to get by, and really on the fly!

Alice : [Impressed at Clint] That sounded really great, because that puppet I hate. I hate every little bit, because she's put us in, er, difficulty.

Scarier Mary : I need a volunteer, one who doesn't mind fear. If one becomes scarred, your progress I will not retard.

Jerome: Jerome volunteers. He doesn't mind being scared. Or did you say scarred? [Suddenly looks nervous]

Clint : Tell me Alice dear, do you mind fear? Ignore pain and you'll be blind, your body will suffer but not your mind!

[There is a flash of light, and JEROME is thrown to the ground.]

Alice : [Bending over Jerome] Jerome! Speak to me! Speak to me! [Sniff sniff] Pooh! [Waves her hand in front of her face] You know, I'll never get used to the smell of burnt hair.

[The flames don't change, and SCARIER MARY continues to stare impassively at the party. Meanwhile, MASON glances back anxiously at CONTAGION.]

Mason : Eah, point of information! Dead bad guy coming to get us!

Jerome: Ow. [Groans] She did say scarred, didn't she Jerome? [To Alice] What? Hair? Burnt? Nooooooo! Tell me, do I resemble Michael Jackson after that unfortunate Pepsi commercial? [Uses the wall to climb to his feet] Ouch. Maybe one of us has to jump through the flames? I'm afraid I'm not much for jumping.

Austin : I can jump through the flames. If you want. Anything to get away from you psychos [Smiles at the smouldering Jerome. Feels his pockets, doesn't seem to find what he's looking for] I figure this must be Hell, it sure matches the description in the good book, the An-ti-Christ, pits of flames, pain, agony and imps [Nods at Mason]

Clint : [Looks at Jerome and Austin, shakes his head, and turns to Scarier Mary] Well now Alice is a sweet, and seems fast with her feet! She is not stuck by fear, so maybe she should volunteer. [Looks back at Contagion, and continues in a hurried pace, to Alice] Alice our fears are to blame, but will you please jump the flame? Hurry deciding what to do, there's a monster just behind you! Be brave on your deed, and should you fail to succeed, our memories we will write, of your lovely flamely flight, for your grand-children to read!

Harvey : I think Alice has been through enough for one day, don't you think? We've all now been injured in some form or manner, except for our potato sniffing companion here [gestures at Clint]. Perhaps you should jump the pit, o man of little wit.

Alice : [To Clint] And you are a git, who's full of shit. [Looks at the crackling flame] I'm not going to jump across that! You can try if you want Austin.

Scarier Mary : A second person to come forward, who shall feel the wrath of my sword.

Austin : [Sarcastically, in monotone] I shall try, if I fail I die, to succeed in the deed will require speed, but I have none and my coke is done. [Gets down on one knee, crosses him self and says a quick prayer. Takes a big run and jump]

Alice : [As Austin jumps] No!

[The flames leap higher as AUSTIN jumps into the them, and totally envelope him. When they die down, there is no sign of him.]

Mason : Neayark. [Snorts up some phlegm, which he coughs out onto the ground in front of everyone] Nothing like a good old fashioned southern barbecue!

Harvey : [Staring at the flames] My God, not a thing left of him! [Clicks his fingers] People, perhaps this is the only way through! Remember in the Greek Odyssey, Hercules must pass through a wall of flames to find Phoebes, but the flames are not real, mere illusion! [Gestures back at Contagion] Besides, what choice do we have! [Closes his eyes and leaps through the fire]

[HARVEY sails through the air, and is immediately obscured from view by a fiery ball. When it dies down, there is no sign of him.]

Alice : This can't be true! [Reaches out to touch the flames] Ow!

Chastity : [Screams] Oh my God, Harvey, no! [Sobs] Oh, what a tragedy, the finest actor known to mankind, dead! Dead! I bet you he is! [Removes a handkerchief from her bag and weeps into it]

Jerome: My god! [Looks at his burns] What did they mean, the flames aren't real? The crazy lemmings! [Covers Contagion with his gun] Now what? Does anyone smell burnt flesh?

Chastity : He wasn't crazy, he was the bravest man here! [Sniffs and blows her nose] And his like will not be seen again! I'd bet anything on it! [Puts her hanky back in her bag and sniffs again near Jerome] All I can smell is the odour of burning cheap, guady fabric.

Jerome: If you don't shut up you'll soon be smelling the odour of burning frigid, gold-digging bitch. Now stop making a nuisance of yourself and help us figure out a way across that pit.

Chastity : [Shocked] Oh my goodness, never, ever, in all my years have I been spoken to in such a manner, and by such an, an, [obviously straining for a word]...ill bred oik! [Folds her arms and looks at the ceiling]

Alice : [Angrily to Jerome] Shut your dirty filthy mouth you fucking prick! [Grabs him by the lapels] I've had enough of your shit! Now stop abusing us, and get us the fuck across the pit!

Mason : Point of information - it is hypocritical in the extreme to use such foul language when criticising someone else's way of speaking.

Alice : [Lets go] Okay, I'm sorry - I'm just a bit taken aback at all of this. Now, the zap that got Jerome didn't seem to come from the pit, and it definitely hurt him - and when I tried to touch the flames, it definitely hurt me, but when they jumped through them, it definitely didn't hurt them. Hm.

Clint : [Looking at the flames] Oh-oh. [Looking at Contagion] OH-OH! [Looking at the flames again] Here goes nothing! [Jumps through the flames]

Jerome: [Looking sheepish] Jerome is sorry. [To Chasity] Jerome is sensitive about his clothes. Perhaps you will forgive Jerome? [Watches Clint jump] Harvey took the sword, Austin took the gun, now Clint has jumped and its time we all run! Ladies first. I'll cover you.

Alice : [Looks back at Contagion] Oh no! He's standing up. Look! His severed head has grown little arms and legs, aw, isn't it cute? [Smiles benignly at the severed head.]

Contagion's head : You fucking whore, get back here so I can screw your brains out.

Mason : [Smiling at Alice's obvious dismay] Too late!

[All the rest jump through the flames.]

Scarier Mary : Now through the flames you have leapt, it is time for, oh what the hell, there's no one here to listen anyway. [Takes out a cigarette and lights it] Ah! [Book II, Act V, Scene X. Beyond the Flames. Saturday, February 8th, 1997, 11.45am. ALICE, MASON, JEROME, HARVEY, AUSTIN, CLINT and CHASTITY are here, all unhurt by the flames. They are in a room that measures about 20' by 20', and which has a number of wooden benches around. There are two doors in the room, one marked "A" and the other "B".]

Mason : Phew - I thought you'd never figure it out!

Alice : I still haven't. [Holds a piece of paper out in front of her.]

Mason : Look. [Takes the paper, and starts pointing at various parts] These three are cats, while the last picture is of a shelving unit.

Alice : So?

Mason : So.... [sigh] so it is really difficult to see which is the odd one out. [Hands the piece of paper back to Alice.]

Harvey : [Angrily to Mason] So, you knew how to get through the flames but couldn't be bothered to tell us! Why? You've told us we've been selected to kill Contagion, by whom? Who are these damned puppets who seem to run everything?

Chastity : [Obviously relieved] Oh Harvey, you're alive! I feared the worst when you jumped through the fire! I thought to myself, who now can play the part of Fineas Fogg in 'All The Kings Crisps', who now? Who? [Wipes a tear from her eye]

Austin : [To Mason] I need a doctor more than I need your dumb games. I'd rather pay the blackmail than die thank you very much. [Gets up and goes to open and look through Door A, if he can]

Mason : [Calmly to Harvey] It wasn't that I couldn't be bothered, it was that I wanted you to learn to trust each other. You've got a pretty arduous task ahead of you - and a large number of tasks to overcome before you're even remotely ready to take on Contagion. He was supposed to be miles away from here - now that he's come, well, I think you're all going to be killed.

Alice : Oh no!

Mason : Except you.

Alice : Phew.

Mason : You'll be raped. Then killed.

Alice : What??

Mason : Hey, don't shoot the messenger!

Harvey : Well, that was just the little morale boost we all required! What next? What's with these two doors?

Chastity : [To Jerome] Masons right, we must all stick together and trust each other. So, [to Jerome] I'm sorry we had that little fight earlier...friends?

Austin : [Pulls and pushes furiously at door A, twisting the handel if it has one, and will open it if he can] Shit! Let me out of this mad house! [Looks at the roof] Is this some kind of test? Some crazy fool backmails me and everone I hate and then tries to get us to kill the Anti-Christ, you of all should know I only did it for the money! [Pulls at the door, will attempt to pick the lock if it's got one]

[There is no budge from the door, and poor AUSTIN can't open it.]

Alice : Maybe you should ask Harvey for a hair pin?

Jerome : [To Chastity] Friends. I agree, it is much more likely that we'll get out of here with a little co-operation, than ranting and raving at a door.

[Another panel slides open, SCARY MARY is behind it.]

Scary Mary : Eee hee hee hee hee! Hello boys and girls!

Mason : Scary Mary! We're in trouble - Contagion is here!

[There is an audible gulp from SCARY MARY.]

Harvey : Actually, not quite true. There are now two Contagions here.

Harvey : [Quickly]...Scary Mary.

[Enter SCARIER MARY, popping up beside SCARY MARY.]

Scarier Mary : Two of them? What the hell do you mean?

Mason : Oh, for God's sake, put away those damned puppets!

Scary Mary : [To Scarier Mary] We don't like him, do we, Mary?

Scarier Mary : No we don't, not at all.

Scary Mary : Not at all at all.

Scarier Mary : Not at all at all at all.

Harvey : [Exasperated] Sorry to interrupt, Scary Mary, and Scarier Mary, but in answer to your question, we cut the head off the original Contagion, and the two separates became two wholes, making two Contagions.

Austin : [Looking at the Marys] Oh dear, we're all going to die. [Sniffs the air, then looks at himself and sniffs his coat] I stink of piss, I'm locked in a cave with seven crazies and two of them are glove puppets, and I'm about to be killed by two Anti-christs. [Tries door B, banging on it] Let me out of here!

Alice : Crazies, are we? Well, who here urinated on an electrified surface? Who insisted on going in the front even though he's leaving a trail of blood after him? Who jumped into a pit of fire without even knowing what it was? Who got all frightened and started crying because [sarcastically] it was soooo dark?

Mason : Er, that last one was you.

Alice : So you keep saying.

Mason : Anyway, [turns to the Marys, shouting] Contagion! [Tries to grab one of them, but can't reach]

Austin : [To Alice] I was trying to short the system so that I .. we wouldn't get electrocuted. I went infront because Contagion was behind us, and jumped through the pit of fire because Mason said this was training, not killing like Contagion, and it was you, not me that blubbed 'cos it was dark n all, soo there...

Alice : [Nose to nose with Austin] Trying to [makes the commas sign with her fingers] short it with [points at his crotch] that? Figures!

Jerome: [To Chastity] Yes let's be friends. Jerome doesn't know what came over him. Mother would be so disappointed. We need to work together now. As much as some of us hate each other [quick glance at Austin] this Contagion person hates all of us to a much higher degree. This is a life or death situation here. [Sits on a bench] Mason, I think you need to fill us in now.

Mason : I think I want to be filled in myself! [Glares at the Marys] I think you should tell us what the hell is happenning! [Back to the group] Look guys, I know as little as you.

Alice : Really?

Mason : Well, maybe not you, but the others. I was hired to bring you through the training course, and deposit you on the island, I wasn't supposed to even get to see Contagion - it's those bastards [juts his thumb at the Marys] that you need to talk to. [Jumps up to try and catch one, but misses again.]

[There is silence for few moments, with the only sound MASON's panting and some whispering between the MARYs, who are taking turns in talking into each other's ear in a most annoying fashion.]

Alice : [Turns, surprised, to Mason and looks at him for a few seconds before calling out] Hey!

Clint : Ok, will someone help me, I want to catch one of them [pointing at the Marys], if there's two of us we might be able to reach them. [Pauses] Anyone but you, Mason.

Mason : [Folding his arms, grunting] Suits me, because I'd help anyone but you, Clint.

Scary Mary : I'll cast a spell on anyone who tries to catch me.

Scarier Mary : If someone tries to catch me, I'll turn them into a toad.

Scary Mary : If someone tries to catch me, I'll turn them into a toad, cut them into three pieces, and then turn each of those pieces into a crow.

Scarier Mary : If someone tries to catch me, I'll turn them into a toad, cut them into three pieces, and then turn each of those pieces into a crow, which I'll then feed to three different crocodiles.

Clint : [Reaches up to grab Scary Mary]

Jerome: [Pretends to stroll nonchalantly towards Mason, then rushes to grab Scarier Mary] Damn dirty sock!

Scary Mary : [Scream] He's got me, Scarier Mary!

Scarier Mary : [With a deep voice] Ow! He's [normal voice again] he's got me too!

[With JEROME and CLINT pulling the puppets to them, the puppetteer is pulled into view. It is MILICENT FLUFF.]

Milicent : [As her hands slip out of the puppets] Now, there was no need for that!

Mason : That, my [spits] friends, is Milicent Fluff. I suggest you take up any complaints with her.

Jerome: [Puts his hand in Scarier Mary and says, in a high voice] Now Fluff, tell me what's going on before I get angry. If I get angry a cowboy will appear and slap you upside the head.

Clint : [Puts his hand in Scary Mary and says, in a high voice] If I get angry a cowboy will appear and slap you upside the head, and will steal your magic wand.

Austin : [Snorts some powder off Alice] Cowboy? I know a song about a cowboy. [Looks around as if hoping to find a 6 string]

Harvey : [To Millicent] Alright...[looks unsure]...missy, what is going on here! Why have we being dragged to this terrible place? Answer me!

Alice : [Slapping Austin] Stop that! You're taking up more mohair than coke! [Dusts herself off, sending all the lovely cocaine onto the earthy floor.]

Milicent : [Smacks Clint over the head with her wand] Hey! Only I can use the puppets! Is it true that Contagion is coming after you?

Alice : [Frustrated, shouting] Just answer the question, will you?

Milicent : [Calmly, but clearly somewhat frustrated herself] How can I answer the question if I'm the one who asked it?

Harvey : I asked my question first! Besides, we've answered your question already, twice, in fact! Now, I feel the red mist descending, so answer my bloody question!

Clint : [To Milicent, still using the puppet and the annoying high voice] Well well, what's causing such a fuss? Oh yes, Contagion is after us!

Milicent : [Hands on hips] Oooh! You naughty, naughty man! Now, I know you are all a little tense at the moment, but if Contagion really is chasing you, we're probably all going to be killed. So, [condescendingly] all I'm trying to say, is that there is a little confusion of whether or not there is someone chasing you.

All : [Shouting angrily] There is!

Milicent : [Calmly] Yes. I know there is confusion, but is he chasing you?

Alice : [Grabs Scary Mary and starts choking her] You stupid bitch!

Jerome : Yes, he is chasing us.

Milicent : Hm. [Drums her fingers against her chin] There are really only two possibilities for escape.

Chastity : I do believe you are avoiding Harveys question, [looks her up and down in distaste] Milicent. Perhaps it's time to tell us why we've been plunged into this vulgar predicament, why, and by whom? Now please, my patience is not limitless.

Milicent : [Looks a little unhappy] Okay, but he's not going to be happy. I give [momentous voice] Cocan The Barbarian.

[There is a flash of light, and a man dressed in a Roman Centurion's garb stands in front of the group, looking quite surprised.]

Cocan : [Looks at the group in astonishment] What the hell is going on here?

[Suddenly, a huge patch of ice covers the floor, making it difficult for people to pull their feet up from it.]

Clint : Another weirdo? This is starting to look like the warden in St. John's Hospital, by the time when everybody went wacko and the whole place looked like a very sick mask ball!

Harvey : [To Cocan] Exactly my question, what the hell is going on here? Why have you picked us to fight Contagion? Why are you dressed as a Roman, and why have you just frozen my feet to the ground? [Thinks for a moment. To the others] You know, no one is ever going to believe us that any of this happened.

Austin : [To Milicent, clenching his fists, angrly] Just tell us how to get the fuck out of this place before I kick the shit out of you. [Looks seriously agitated, almost dribling]

Milicent : [Taps Austin gently on the head with her wand] Speak not so aggressively, Austin, for I am here to help. You will find that door B is now unlocked, but I warn you of this, Contagion will follow you. [Turns to Cocan] Why are you a Roman?

Cocan : Because I'm two days early, that's why. [Turns and smiles at Clint] Hey! [Punches him in the shoulder in a friendly manner] You old bastard! [Looks at Harvey] Believe me, Harv, it wasn't me who brought the ice, that looks like Contagion's doing. [There is a burst of snow in the room, showering everyone in flakes.]

Cocan : [Smiles broadly at the now shivering party] Okay guys, you can pick door B, you can stay and fight Contagion, or you can go with your fairy godmother. [Draws his sword, and points at Milicent, who does a little curtsy.]

Harvey : [Tuts] Yet another stranger who feigns familiarity! So, what you're saying, is that we can go through Door B, where Contagion will track us down, or we can stay here and Contagion will kill us, or we can go somewhere with this gender unspecific fantastical freakshow. Is that what you're saying?

Cocan : [Somewhat amused, to Harvey] Yeah, that about sums it up. And hey, could you make your decision quickly, you wouldn't believe how cold this metal gets. [Taps his crotch, which, under his long top, makes a clunking noise.]

Mason : [On seeing Alice's eyes light up] Its his armour.

Alice : [Scowling at Mason] I knew that.

[There is another burst of snow in the room, which appears in the centre, and hangs in the middle like a giant snow flake, before once again showering everyone in snow.]

Harvey : Well, where is Milicent going to? We've not been told that yet.

Milicent : [Pinching Austin's cheek playfully] See how easy it is to be friendly when you try?

[Another burst of snow and ice appears in the centre of the room, and this time it hangs there. It is now freezing here. Milicent starts waving her wand around, and the outline of another door, in the opposite wall to the others, appears, lined with flame.]

Milicent : [Turns to Harvey and bonks him over the head with her wand] Tut! You filthy man! I am bringing you to safety, that's all you need to know.

[The blob of snow and ice hanging in the centre of the room creaks as it gets larger.]

Harvey : [Rubs his head] Well, lead on, dear...lady, for I fear that Contagion is about to appear.

Milicent : [Smiles at Harvey] But of course. [Jumps through the new door and disappears.]

The floating chunk of ice smashes to pieces, showering everyone with snow and ice. Standing in the middle of the floor is CONTAGION.]

Contagion : [Points at Cocan] You were there when he died. You will suffer for that.

[Seconds later, CONTAGION's HEAD (that was cut off) also leaps through. It has grown a tiny body, and is about twelve inches in total, and is holding a tiny sword.]

Mason : Neayark! [Snorts back some phlegm] I'm outta here! [Jumps through the door]

Chastity : [Gasps at the second Contagion] Goodness, however does he keep his balance? [Looks at the door] Ladies first! [Turns and jumps through the door]

Harvey : I believe it's time to trip the light fantastic! [Grabs Alice gently by the arm] Come on! We must get out of here!

Austin : [Gives Contagion the finger, Jumps through the door]

[HARVEY and JEROME jump through the door, soon followed by JEROME.]

Cocan : Hah! [Swipes his sword at Contagion, before calling to Clint] I knew you'd stay Clint, I knew you couldn't pass up the fight. You never lose it, no matter where you are, or who you are, you can't shake what you are!

Clint : But I don't know who you are, or where is this, or when he'll die, or why they went! And what to do, how to kill? [Tries to kick the little Contagion in the head]

Cocan : Hah! [Slicing through Contagion's arm, knocking him back] How to kill? That's a pretty good question, my friend.

[CLINT kicks the cute little CONTAGION in the head, but, somehow, CONTAGION snaps his jaws around CLINT's foot, and bites down hard, drawing blood.]

Cocan : I'll get him, Clint! [Swipes his sword, cutting Contagion's head in two.] Now go on, get through the door!

Clint : [In shock and horror looking at his foot] I'm bleeding!, I'm bleeding!, help!!! [Jumps for the door]

[CLINT jumps through the door, and appears in yet another room, the dining room of the house. All the others are here, as well as MILICENT, and the table has been laid out for meal.]

Alice : [Sitting down in one of the chairs, rubbing her eyes with her hands] I don't understand this.

Milicent : Well, the good fairy saves the day! [Seeing no one congratulate her] Again!

Jerome: Good job, Harvey. Clint, good to see you made it. What happened to Cocan the Centurion?

Milicent : [Glaring sourly at Jerome] No wonder she left you. [Turning to the others] Cocan will be okay, he knows how to look after himself. [Sits down at the table, and calls out] Marcus! [Calmly to the others] Now, I think everything will be explained.


Marcus : Hey folks, what's the buzz? [Looks taken aback] Woah! Looks like we've been through the wars, some of you look almost as bad as poor old Wadsworth!

Alice : [Whispering to the others] Doesn't he look very familiar?

[Bonk! MILICENT smacks ALICE on the head with her WAND.]

Alice : Ow!

Milicent : Don't mumble.

Jerome: [To Milicent] Left me? No one leaves Jerome Viannini. Jerome does the leaving. Now stop hitting people with that wand. If you don't, Jerome will give your sock friend here to Austin to wear on his urine soaked foot. [Sits down at the table and looks expectantly at Marcus]

Austin : [To Jerome] Good point [To Milicent] Could you point me to the bathroom, mister?

[MILICENT simply looks back at AUSTIN, and doesn't reply, but merely smiles to herself.]

Marcus : Well team, here's the scoop. [Takes out a huge cigar and lights it] Although you all probably find this hard to believe, there is a whole other world outside your pathetic, selfish and self obsessed lives. There are people who don't live for scoring points off others with mean spirited and caustic remarks.

Alice : [Sticks her tongue out at Austin] See?

Marcus : [Inhaling deeply on his cigar] Thanks for that demonstration, Alice. Anyway, while people like you spend your time stealing, lying and cheating, this other group of people spend theirs fighting evil, slaying demons and generally making the world a safer place for people like you to screw over. [Looks over at Clint's foot] Hey Clint, you're making a bit of a mess there, Wadsworth won't be happy with all the blood all over the place.

Austin : [To Milicent] Could you tell me where the bathroom is, miss?

Milicent : Yes. Yes I could.

Harvey : People please! If it wasn't for Milicent opening that door, we might even now be lying in a pool of our own intestines, our spleens lying six feet away, our hearts in the mouth of that strange beast! Yet, no one has given thanks to our, um, host...ess. Thank you Milicent, for saving us all. [Sits down and roots in his pocket for his cigarettes, before taking out a mass of crushed sodden cardboard] Nooooooooooooo!!!!!

Milicent : My pleasure, Harvey. [Reaches over and taps the cigarettes with her wand, causing them to revert to their original shape and condition.]

[MARCUS continues to smoke, as though waiting to be questioned, and puffs out a large smoke ring in the direction of the table.]

Clint : [Looking down at his foot] Oh no! This is the only pair of shoes I've brought down here, wherever we are! [Sits down at the table, and uses the table cloth to bandage his foot] Wadsworth won't be happy, ha! He made a much bigger mess in his own room.

Harvey : [Smiles at Milicent, before removing a cigarette and lighting in gratefully. He then offers one around] So, Marcus, what is going on here? I've got to hell you, this morning has been one hell of a trip!

Chastity : [Takes a cigarette from Harvey and inhales as he lights it, before blowing a dainty ring at the ceiling] Oh my, yes, that was much needed! What a morning! [To Milicent] I'd kill for a nice cup of tea.

Milicent : That's precisely what we're concerned about, Chastity.

Marcus : [Taking another huge drag, as Clint pulls the tablecloth off the table, sending all the food, ware, elaborate flower arrangements etc. crashing to the ground] Strange, Clint, how you can take the man out of dark ages, but you can't take the dark ages out of the man. [Turns back to Harvey] I'm [pauses] we're amongst those who fight the good fight.

[Enter WADSWORTH, who makes a big smile at the group.]

Wadsworth : Hello.

[ALICE faints.]

Clint : [Falls from his chair] Wada-wada-wada-wads... worth?

Chastity : [Screams loudly, smokes, screams loudly again, puts out her cigarette, screams and then faints]

Wadsworth : [Gives an even larger toothy grin] At your service, sir.

Harvey : [Stands up] But, you were shot dead! We all saw your body!

Wadsworth : Yes sir, it came as something of a surprise to me, too.

Harvey : Which, the being shot, or the coming back to life?

Marcus : [Applauding loudly] Alright! Good question, Harvey!

Wadsworth : [Smiles broadly at Harvey] Why, being shot, of course. However, I bear her no ill will. [Leans over Alice and gives her some smelling salts.]

Alice : [Looks up at Wadsworth] I shot you.

Wadsworth : Yes.

Alice : You were dead.

Wadsworth : Yes.

Alice : Now you're alive.

Wadsworth : Yes.

Alice : So I can't be done for murder?

Wadsworth : Yes.

Alice : Phew!

Wadsworth : I'm glad that my unexpected survival brings you such happiness, madam.

Alice : Aw, that's not what I meant!

Clint : [Slowly tries to put the now red cloth over the table, and some of the broken plates] [To Wadsworth] Errr... I didn't do it.

Wadsworth : Of course you didn't.

Harvey : [Looks closely at Marcus, before clicking his fingers] You're Boddy! [Sits down again] Please, someone explain what is going on here. Why are we here? Who was that Contagion person?

Marcus : [Rubbing his hand through his new highlights] Correct, I was Boddy. Now I'm Marcus - still a cool guy, but probably not as much fun as Boddy. [Puts his hand into a pocket, and throws a bunch of (separate) keys onto the table] Here it is folks. Your chance to escape. None of you will be blackmailed again, unless, of course, you mess things up again, which is probably what will happen. Or, you can stay here and listen to what I've got to say.

Alice : [Prompting] And Contagion is?

Marcus : He's the devil. He's come here to open a gateway from hell that will unleash a thousand demons, who will roam the earth and rape, torture and pillage until mankind is no more.

Alice : [Relieved] Oh, so he's not too bad, so?

[There is a few moments silence as everyone stares incredulously at ALICE, before realisation dawns on her.]

Alice : Oh, he's here to [emphasises] open the gateway? Now I see the problem.

[All the keys on the table look identical.]

Harvey : [Scratches his head] Look, is it just me, or does all this seem a little...fantastical. I mean, yesterday, I cared for nothing more than a new script to arrive on my divan, a nice glass of port and my dear old mum. Now, there's people who come back to life, the devil, magic wands, puppets, evil dwarfs and cross dressing godmothers. And not to forget a ruined purple felt trilby. This is not your usual run of the mill turn of events, unless of course, you're invited to a Terry Gilliam party!

Chastity : [Moans and opens her eyes] I've had the strangest dream, I...[looks around the room and moans]. Oh why is this happening to us? [To Marcus] What will happen if we don't go along with this. What will happen if we decide to leave?

Marcus : Not at all, Harv. It is all fantastical, but it does exist, and that's a fact. You've all witnessed it, unless, of course, you think you're under some kind of mind control drug, but only a fool would think that.

Alice : Hey! I bet we're all under the control of some kind of... some... some kind of.. hmm.

Marcus : The choice is yours, folks. You can choose to go back to your own world, back to the drudge and sleaze, and hope that this was all a bad dream, or, [big smile] you can take a look at our world for a while. You can help change things, help other people for once.

Jerome: Who are these other people you mentioned, these so called good guys. Why can't they come and fight Contagion if they are so adept at it?

Marcus : Nothing, you're free to leave this minute. There will be no repercussions for you. Well, maybe the world will end, but then, we'll all be effected by that, won't we?

Milicent : Tell them about the knights.

Marcus : [Nods at Milicent] There is a secret society, called the Hierophantic Knights, that have existed for thousands of years. We are members, and what you are about to do is part of the test to become Knights.

Alice : Cool! So we're about to become Hierophantic Knights?

[WADSWORTH, MARCUS and MILICENT all laugh loudly at ALICE's foolishness.]

Marcus : [Still laughing, and wiping a tear from his eye] Whoo! Sorry, excuse me. [Composes himself] Well, we're some of them, but there's something special about Contagion, none of the existing knights can kill him. There are some candidates being tested, and they'll be sent on a mission to kill him.

Harvey : I thought we were being sent to kill him?

Marcus : Well, that's where it all gets a bit confusing.

Alice : Oh that's where it gets confusing? And there was I thinking it got confusing the moment I set foot in the house!

Marcus : When they try to kill him, they will make a slight mistake, and that mistake is what you met in the sewer. [As Alice looks intently at Milicent] No, the guy who tried to kill you. Your task will be to kill him.

Alice : Let me get this straight. This other group, who aren't knights yet, and are the only people who can kill this Contagion thing, are going to make a mistake, that somehow we have already seen, which is Contagion, and, although they are the only ones who can kill him, we have to kill him?

Marcus : [Looks over to Milicent for a few moments, before they give each other a brief nod] Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Alice : I'm confused.

Jerome: How did Wadsworth come back to life?

Austin : [To Marcus] So, it follows that we are the other group, but some weird stuff is going on so as we didn't know it? [To Milicent] Please do somthing with your wand to remove the smell of piss from me.

Chastity : Was it really necessary to blackmail us for all of these years? How did you people know back then, that this was going to happen? And if so, why then didn't you inform us, giving us plenty of time to train and prepare, instead of near bankrupting us all? A cynical mind might think that we've been played like a crooked game of blackjack. Is this how the Hierophantic Knights deal with the people whose help they need? [Laughs] It doesn't surprise me that we will never be Knights, we're nowhere near ruthless enough!

Marcus : [Smiles broadly at Chastity] Not to mention that you jump to conclusions too quickly! The Knights weren't blackmailing you; in fact, you aren't all even being blackmailed by the same person. We simply stepped in and took over. I suggest, Chastity, that the reason you believe that you have been played like a crooked game of blackjack is simply that you do have a cynical mind. However much you would like to believe it, the position in which you found yourself, a whore with four dead husbands and a huge blackmail bill, is no one's fault but your own.

Wadsworth : [Smiling nervously] Now, let's not get fraught. [To Jerome] Sir, the Hierophantic Knights are on a mission from God. Occasionaly, he sees fit to present us with an artefact for restoring one's life.

Milicent : [To Austin] Certainly. [Taps Austin with her wand. Immediately he is covered from head to toe in steaming and rank horse shit.]

Chasity : [Bursts into tears] You evil bastard, Boddy, or whatever your name is! I was only asking a question, there was no need for you to attack me after all I've been through! You belong with Contagion! [Puts her head in her hands and weeps]

Jerome: [Holding his nose] Storm seemed to think that Contagion's appearance in our world was two days early. Can you account for that? Has something gone awry in your perfectly laid plans? [To Chastity] Please, hold yourself together.

Austin : [Furious, starts scooping the horse shit off himself and throwing it at Milicent] Take this, bitch!

Jerome: Austin! Please, aggravating her more is not likely to help your predicament. [Gives Marcus a look of "See what I've had to put up with"] I suppose you want Jerome to design our soldiers of God outfits. I see us in polar bear white...

Austin : [To Jerome] Shut the fuck up kitten mutillator, life was shit enough without these faggots telling me I have to kill the anti-christ [Points to Milicent, Marcus and Wadsworth. Takes a key from the table, and storms out to find a bathroom, and have a wash]

Chastity : [Stops crying, removes a tissue from her bag and blows her nose with a honk. Sadly, almost to herself] I just don't know anymore.

[A large dollop of horse shit smacks MILICENT square in the mouth, and she clearly swallows some of it. The shock is such that she falls back off her chair, making everyone wish that she had worn underwear.]

Milicent : [Jumping up off the floor, pulling out a gun] I'm gonna shoot him in the face!

Marcus : Ah ah! Fun's over Milicent - you did provoke him after all. [MILICENT scowls at MARCUS, put waves her wand around, until both her and AUSTIN have had all smells of urine and horse shit removed.]

Marcus : [To Chastity] Oh, shut up. I'm sick of your whining. Your tears may work on others, but I know what you're really like.

Harvey : [Watches Austin storm out of the room] One down. To be honest, I'm intrigued about this whole proposition! My muse is hungry and needs feeding, and this sounds just the meal ticket. Dangerous, certainly, but no more so than taking a night bus in London. [Slams his hand on the table] I will do it, by the bards beard! But for a price. And that price is, my favourite purple felt trilby, returned to me as new as when I first gazed lovingly upon it's aristocratic elegance! the trilby,

Austin : [Walks back into the room looking very clean, and a bit surprised in a frowning way, scowling to Milicent] Thanks. [Sits down in a clean chair, lights a cigarette and takes a deep draw] I would like to appologise for refering to you ... lady and gentlemen as faggots. [Nods and smiles] You wouldn't happen to have any charlie around here any place would you?

Marcus : I'm sure Alice has some. Anyway, I can hardly remember where we were. [Thinks for a moment] Right - I was just trying to explain what it is you are needed to do. I won't lie to you, it will be dangerous, and there's a chance that one or more of you may get hurt. However, it is up to you if you want to do it or not. Maybe you feel you may need some redemption for a life of stealing and grabbing, or maybe you just think you should leave. The choice is yours.

Harvey : What are the specifics of the task? Does it begin with a large lunch? Being electrocuted does wonders for ones appetite!

Marcus : Well, you might notice that your Irish friend pulled most of the food onto the floor - probably to make himself feel more at home - but there's plenty on the table. [To Jerome] Now, the whole two days early thing. He has been in this world since Monday*, but we didn't expect that he'd get off the island where he appeared. That's why Mason was so surprised. The plan was to get you through your training, and then bring you to the island.

Alice : [Lets out a huge sigh] I think I need to go to the bathroom. [Gets up and walks to the door, turning to Austin for a moment] You coming? [Exit ALICE.]

Austin : [Follows Alice like a rat out of a fryingpan. To Alice] Why can't you do it at the table like we used to back home, all this high life made you proud? [Exit AUSTIN].

Marcus : [To Mason] Well, Harvey is looking for his hat back - I take it you've got it?

Mason : [Takes out the now-filthy hat, and throws it to Harvey] There, it is too filthy for me anyway.

Jerome : So Marcus, if these people who were supposed to kill Contagion aren't Knights, then who are they?

Milicent : A group of wonderful musicians, poets and authors.

Harvey : You still haven't told us what connects us all together. Why us? [Dubiously lifts a silver lid on the table]. You mentioned something earlier about our lives being linked through different times and different ages, but I'm afraid I don't understand.

Harvey : [Looks at his hat] Hmmm, perhaps I didn't make myself understood. I asked for my hat in its original condition, in its perfect condition, its condition before that Mason person got his grubby little hands, and pretty much every bodily fluid known to mankind, on it.

Marcus : [Taking another deep drag of his cigar] Incredible as it may sound, your six souls are inextricably linked together. In every lifetime each of your souls experience, that body is somehow drawn to the others.

[Enter ALICE and AUSTIN.]

Marcus : Sometimes you may know each other, as the trailer trash here do, or you just may share certain traits, as Harv and the potato eater do, but there's always something, always something that brings you together.

Jerome : Why?

Marcus : That, I can't answer. What I can tell you, however, is what the connection is between you and the other group of people who are. They are one of your previous incarnations, and the six of them travel around together.

Alice : Previous incarnation? Wow! I just knew it! What was I? Don't tell me, a.. scientist? Or a teacher? Or an inventor? I just know its something like that - tell me its something like that!

Marcus : [Sucking on the cigar, making it glow brightly] Its something like that.

Clint : [Looking sideways to Harvey] Still bitching after all that's happened . [To Marcus] Can I have one of your cigars? I suddenly feel like trying one. And can you put the whole thing in simple terms? He who complicates what is easy is short in vision and will not go far.

Marcus : [Reaching into his pocket and handing one to Clint] Sure. Okay, to summarise, several hundred years ago, the planet was almost destroyed in a cataclysmic war. An adventuring party were chosen by God to prevent evil from winning, and, despite a few mishaps, they succeeded. In the coming years, their souls were reincarnated several times, until we see the beauties here in front of me. Due to a miscalculation, Contagion escaped to the twentieth century, and can only be killed by their six souls.

Alice : Then what was all that stuff about bribery and tests?

Marcus : The party need to become knights if they, and their reincarnations, are to defeat Contagion. Part of the test is to see if the most miserable, messed up and selfish of their collective incarnations could pass a test. This is why Contagion chose this time to escape to, because he wants to kill you before you pass the test.

Alice : [Makes a face] So what you're saying is that we're currently the worst people we could be?

Marcus : Oh, God no! Each of you individually gets far worse! [Turns to Milicent] I'm reminded here of a certain goat farmer in Wales in the seventeenth century.

[MILICENT doesn't reply, but bursts out laughing, and sneaks the occasional glance at CLINT, each of which results in another roar of laughter.]

Marcus : [Picks up Harvey's hat] If you don't want it, I'll take it. [Pops it on his head] How do I look?

Harvey : [Cheeks flushed in anger] Look, all I'm asking for is my hat. My favourite hat, to be returned to me! That's all I want. All I'm asking for is the return of a much loved object of mine, resplendescent once more in it's former immaculate glory. Why must you be so boorish about this whole business?

Marcus : Because if your attachment to and vanity associated with something as pathetic as [takes off the hat] as an admittedly nice hat is such that you would refuse to come along unless it is cleaned, then sir, we could do without you. [Stands up and shouts] Open your eyes man! In the last two days you've seen more than most will in their lifetime! Do you want to throw that away over stupid pride? Or do you want to become part of something magnificent? Your previous incarnations were characterised by their bravery, honour and selflessness. [Loses his stride momentarily as Milicent suppresses a laugh] Do you want to sully them with your price taggery?

Harvey : [Roars] Damn fucking right I do! That hat is not just a concession to my vanity, it is a part of me, a part of who I am, of what makes me who I am! [Roars even louder] And do you think, sir, that any of us should willingly join a bunch of jokers who seem to delight in ridiculing, mocking, and manipulating us for their own amusement? I ask you this, which is more important, your mission, or your seeming delight in crushing our spirits?

Marcus : [Sits down and looks calmly at Harvey] The key is on the table. You may leave if you wish. In fact, how about this? If you leave, I'll see to it that your hat is cleaned and sent to your home within two days. [To the others] There will be a car calling for us in the next five minutes, anyone who wants to come is welcome to. I would like you all to come.

Alice : [Touching Harvey on the arm] Come on Harvey, surely you can see how important this is? We have to do it. Is your hat bigger than this? Is your hat bigger than the whole world?

Mason : [To no one in particular] Well, his head certainly is.

Marcus : [Clicks his fingers and points at Mason] Enough!

Harvey : [Glares silently at Mason, before turning to Alice, quietly and exhales loudly] No, of course my favourite hat isn't bigger than the whole world, but I can't understand why they would take such delight in ridiculing the only thing I've asked for from them. It shows a deep seated nastiness that I've never before come across, and makes me wonder how we will be treated by their kind on this mission. They want everything from us, perhaps even our lives, my dear, yet their every deed shows me how little concern they have for those lives. If I go along with this, they win. Perversely, if I walk away, they also win.

Marcus : And if you just keep going on and on about it, we all lose! Look Harvey, the whole hat thing was between you and Mason, nothing to do with me. If you've got a problem, take it up with him. Now, while I'll resist the temptation to comment on someone as mean spirited as yourself commenting on my nastiness, I will ask you to make up your mind. Are you in? [Dramatic pause] Or are you out?

Harvey : [To Marcus] I'm in. [To Alice] You know, I always knew that I was destined for greatness!

Austin : Sounds like the offer of a lifetime, no more endlessly screwing morons out of their pitiful earnings in a vain attempt to find happiness in life [Looks surprised as he tinks over what he just said, then proud, as if the new owner of profound]

Marcus : [Smiles broadly at Harvey, and speaks calmly] Wow, that was intense. I bet you'd be great in action films. Okay everyone, unless anyone wants to back out, please get your stuff together. You won't need much, as we will equip you with all you really need. Unless there are any more questions?

Marcus : [Getting up] Don't worry, Aus. I'm sure we can find a moron or two for you to screw. [Looks at Alice] Something wrong?

Alice : Yes, I can't get my foot into my shoe.

Marcus : That's not your shoe, that's a gravy jug. [Gives Austin a "see what I mean" look.]

Chastity : [Rises from her seat and shakes her head] Let's just get this over with.

Marcus : You know, Chas, that's what I like about you, your enthusiasm!

Clint : Well I for one wouldn't mind if the fuc... I mean, fairy would do something with her wand to cure my foot. In case you haven't noticed, I'm bleeding here. If you're all so powerful and we're all so important, how come we're not treated properly? For the first time in my life, and hopefully the last, I have to agree with Harvey.

Jerome: Jerome Viannini, designer of Clothing With a Conscience, trade marked, will not back down from this challenge. Do I have time to call my mother and let her know where her Jerome is? Also, Clint is right. Jerome has been bruised and burned, to say nothing of being served a plate of steaming shit for supper. How about some goodwill? If you can bring Wadsworth back from the dead, surely you can heal our injuries.

Marcus : [Puffing on the last of his cigar] Yeah, you'd think that, wouldn't you?

Milicent : [Takes out a glowing orb, and places it in the middle of the table] This will cure you.

[The light in the orb burns with an incredible intensity, until the room is lost in white. When it burns out, everyone has been restored to full health.]

Alice : Does this cure all our health problems?

Milicent : Yes.

Alice : [Hopefully] Even...?

Milicent : That too.

Alice : Alright! [Two thumbs up and a big smile to the others]

[Book II, Act V, Scene XI. Inside Mr. T's Van. Saturday, February 8th, 1997, 2.30pm. WADSWORTH, MILICENT, MARCUS, ALICE, MASON, JEROME, HARVEY, AUSTIN, CLINT and CHASTITY are here, with WADSWORTH driving, MARCUS in the passenger seat, and the others in the back. Everyone has one small rucksack with them.]

Harvey : [Looking around the inside of the van] Its not quite what I'm used to, Marcus, I must say. Where on earth did you get it from?

Alice : [Looking out the window at some gold chains that seem to be wrapped around one of the front wheels, before turning back to Harvey] Crazy fool!

Marcus : We find it a good way to travel without attracting too much attention.

[The van starts up, and accelerates away from the house, leaving a huge skid mark in the driveway. It then smashes out through the gates, knocking over a surprised savage looking dog, before driving the wrong way up a one way street, through a pedestrianised road and finally an orphanage playground where the local police are having a picnic.]

Harvey : [Looking out the back window, noting that no one is trying to follow them] So it would appear.

Jerome: Oh Harvey, always at the back door. [To Marcus] So are we going to have our test now?

Clint : Would that be the island where Contagion appeared? In that case, will it not appear there again? I'm still having a hard time believing that my foot is no longer hurt.

Marcus : Not for a while, we have to get to the island first. [Turns on the radio, where a dance version of the A-Team theme starts thumping out.]

Clint : Would that be the island where Contagion appeared? In that case, will it not appear there again? I'm still having a hard time believing that my foot is no longer hurt.

Jerome: [To Clint] Perhaps you could invent one of Millicent's glowing balls. The one that healed us, I mean.

Harvey : [To Clint] If you'd like, I could stamp on it for you. [Turns to Jerome] Who knows, maybe he did invent it!

Marcus : [Turning around, speaking over the music] It is the island where Contagion appeared, and once you get there, he will return pretty sharpish. To try and kill you as it turns out. The island is called Maboobahboobah.

Alice : Maboobahboobah? That sounds familiar.

Marcus : Its a small island close to the island of Mahoobahooba. You may have heard of it in the papers recently, there was a giant golden statue found there recently.

Clint : Yes Harvey, you would just love to play with my balls wouldn't you. [To Marcus] If he's going to get back there as soon as we get there then why are we getting there as fast as you dare?

Harvey : You're so busy playing with them yourself, I doubt I'd ever get a chance.

Marcus : There is a gate from his world to ours on the island. Once the gate is blocked, he will die - that's the only way he can be stopped. The plan is to fly you lot there, and for you to block it before he gets back. In fact, what I hope is that he arrives just as you seal it, so you can see him disappear into a puff of dust, before returning to your lives new and enriched people. [Smiles and chews on his cigar] I love it when a plan comes together!

Austin : [Looking through his rucksack to see what is in it] How do we seal the gate thing?

[MARCUS doesn't answer, and just turns away, whistling the A-Team tune.]

Chastity : Hello? [Exasperated sigh, before turning to the others] This is just yet another example of the terrible in which we're being treated.

Clint : [Opens his bag to examine it as well] I believe you've been asked a question, Marcus. Us being so important and all, can you not answer it?

Marcus : [Turning back] Heh, strange as it may seem, we don't know yet. We're pretty sure that the other group will figure it out, and get a message to you.

Alice : Other group? The one we're supposed to be reincarnations of?

Marcus : Yup.

Alice : I thought they were in the past?

Marcus : Yup.

Alice : So if they're in the past, why don't you know what happened?

Marcus : I don't really know, all I know is that it is something do with a strange kind of [waves his hands around vaguely] time distortion vortex thing caused by the statue.

Marcus : Simply put, Clint, no. [Everyone is thrown to one side as the van swerves across four lanes of highway traffic.] With you being so important and all, I'm sure you will be able to soon.

[The van screeches to a halt at the state border. There is a WOMAN and MAN sitting here wearing brown uniforms, with a large bucket on a table in front of them.]

Woman : Any fruit?

Wadsworth : [Considers for a second] No, we're fine, thanks. [The van tears off with a squeal of rubber, heading towards a small air strip.]

[ALICE turns on the light in the back of the van, allowing everyone to see into the mysterious bags. Inside each is a tracksuit, a flask, some sandwiches, a torch and a large towel.]

Alice : Not exactly what one would expect for killing a devil, is it?

Harvey : Ah, but look at the sandwich, my dear.

Alice : [Picks one of the packs up, and reads the label, agonizingly slowly] Irish Rail Tuna Fish Sandwich. [Shudders, and drops the sandwich, before crying out] What have we become?

[The van crashes through a wire fence, and starts heading towards a runway.]

Marcus : Its okay, Austin, you don't have to fly anywhere. [ALICE turns on the light in the back of the van, allowing everyone to see into the mysterious bags. Inside each is a tracksuit, a flask, some sandwiches, a torch and a large towel.]

Alice : Not exactly what one would expect for killing a devil, is it?

Harvey : Ah, but look at the sandwich, my dear.

Alice : [Picks one of the packs up, and reads the label, agonizingly slowly] Irish Rail Tuna Fish Sandwich. [Shudders, and drops the sandwich, before crying out] What have we become? [The van crashes through a wire fence, and starts heading towards a runway.]

Marcus : Its okay, Austin, you don't have to fly anywhere.

Austin : [To Marcus] I guess you've never seen the A-team?

Alice : [With a smile] That's what you think! [Injects something into Austin] Hah!

Clint : Irish Rail Tuna Fish? They're yuckie, like! [Notices the Limerick accent, and tries to compose himself] What's with the tracksuit, are we going for a workout?

Marcus : [Bouncing up and down as the van hits another bump] No, but that's usually an outfit that's associate with killing people, isn't it?

Harvey : [Looking at Alice's syringe] Isn't that just a pen?

Alice : [Exasperated] Oh, well thanks for telling everyone, Harvey! How can you expect him to go unconscious now?

Austin : [Falls unconscious slowly, purely for Alice's benefit] I feel ever so ...

[ALICE sticks her tongue out at HARVEY.]

Harvey : Christ almighty, I think I preferred it when they were fighting! [Takes out the shiny tracksuit and shakes it at Marcus] You sir, you don't seriously expect me to wear this, do you? With not even my favourite hat to save my dignity?

Alice : [Under her breath] It'll take a whole lot more than a hat to do that. [The van screeches up beside a small aeroplane.]

Marcus : Okay folks, this it. Wadsworth will fly the plane, and Mason will go with you, to make sure you don't get into too much trouble.

Austin : [Wakes up, looks at Mason then at Marcus, straight faced] Thank God Mason is comming, I feel so much sfaer already. [With not a hint of sarcasm, much!] Wouldn't Scary Mary be better?

Clint : What? Wadsworth will fly the plane? After this bus trip I'm about to throw up, and he'll fly the plane?

[Enter SCARY MARY, popping up from somewhere beneath MILICENT.]

Scary Mary : Hee hee hee! Hello boys and girls! [Needless to mention, MILICENT cannot do ventriloquism, so it is quite obvious that she is talking.]

Alice : [Scratching her head] How does she do that?

Harvey : [Rolling his eyes] Why does she do that? around now, Wadsworth? PLEASE? around now, Wadsworth? PLEASE?

Wadsworth : [As the van lurches around, making all kinds of blood curdling screeching noises] Its okay, I know this place like the back of han - [bumpf! The van rolls over something, and he turns back around] Hm, never liked that dog anyway.

Scary Mary : [Covering her eyes with her hands] We're all gonna die!

[The van skids to a halt, millimetres away from the plane, right along side it.]

Alice : How are we supposed to get out when the van is parked right up against the plane?

Jerome : [Opens the door] The door is on the other side. Wow Jerome, she's really dumb, isn't she? Not like Mother at all. Then again, Jerome only rarely got such a large erection for Mother.

Alice : [Slapping Jerome across the face] You disgusting pig!

Jerome : Hm, just as well that you didn't say the next part Jerome. Which? The part about the wine bottle? No, the one with the Acapulco shirts. [Jerome gives a brief shiver.]

Alice : I really don't want to get on plane with him.

Clint : And I really don't want to listen to your moanings anymore!

Alice : [Taken aback] Oh, er, I'm sorry. [Looks down, embarrased] I mean, you - I - [slaps Jerome again]

Jerome : Ow! What was that for?

Alice : As if you don't know! [Storms off the van huffily, getting her legs tangled up in some of the rucksacks, before eventually staggering out onto the tarmac.]

Harvey : [Smiling humourlessly at Clint] You really spread joy everywhere you go, don't you?

Clint : Not as much as you spread your legs. [To Wadsworth] Are we going? [Takes the sandwich from the rucksack and checks for the validity date]

Harvey : And this you know from all the time you've spent watching my rear end, no doubt, hah! Methinks the lady doth protest too much! Moowahaha! [Gives a thundering laugh that rocks the whole van] Scary Mary : You've got a very annoying laugh.

Harvey : And you're just a glove puppet that could easily be shoved down your puppet master's throat.

Wadsworth : [Opening the plane door and turning to Clint] Of course sir, after you. I think you'll find that the sandwiches expired some time around '95.

Jerome : [Horrified] A sandwich from 1995?

Wadsworth : [Eyes narrowed and dramatic voice] Eighteen, ninety five.

[Everyone gets onto the plane, including WADSWORTH, MASON and MARCUS.]

Marcus : I reckon I better come along with you, to make sure you don't all get up to any mischief. There is an airstrip on the island, right beside where the Statue was found, we're going to land there. Just wait until you see the statue.

[The engine of the plane starts up, after about fifteen attempts by WADSWORTH.]

Clint : Sandwiches from 1895, and a butler who drives his van like a mad man and can't even start the plane's engine. The world is doomed alright!

Wadsworth : I can start the engine - I just can't land the plane. [Turns to the window and gives a big wave to Milicent, who has a toy plane that she is pretending to crash.]

[Slap. MARCUS covers his eyes with his hand.]

Jerome : What is this statue of?

Marcus : [As the plane begins to gather speed] Its a forty foot dildo, made out of solid gold.

Alice : Wow! Now that's valuable in all kinds of ways!

Chastity : [Haughtily] Yes, I bet it could be used as a gag.

Alice : Actually, I was thinking of a club.

Chastity : Why? Does it remind you of an organisation you were once in?

Alice : [Takes out a hip flask, and throws some of it at Chastity] Oops, excuse me, my drink spilled. [Puts it back again, as the plane lurches into the air.]

Austin : [Looks into his bag blinking alot, straining to see in the dark] I ain't flying, I hate flying. You try get me on a plane, I gonna kill ya.

Marcus : [Pointing to another, rickety, plane] Its that one, Wads.

Wadsworth : Of course, sir. [The van hurls itself towards the plane, but he turns around completely in his seat to face Clint] Oh not to worry sir, it will be far less bumpy, for there is no road to hit off, unless we crash, of course. [Laughs out loud, still facing the terrified partners.]

Chastity : [Cleaning herself off] I suppose I should just be surprised that there was anything left in it. A forty foot dildo? Made of gold? Isn't that a strange thing?

Jerome: [Scoffs] Not really. Not considering Contagion's behaviour. Look at how he treated Alice. It was like watching Harvey on the casting couch. But of course Harvey would be wearing his purple hat. [To himself] Jerome is wondering why Contagion didn't come after Mrs.Tharkington? Does that denote a discerning eye? [Looks around nervously] Are there any parachutes on this plane? Last ffrom Peter #38

Alice : [Haughtily] I don't find it even remotely surprising that he wasn't interested in her - I'm sure he's probably an ex client, anyway.

Chastity : Of yours? I'm sure you probably don't remember them all dear, that's okay. Of course, it is surprising that he didn't leave a bottle of Jack Daniels for you, that's normally what people of your sort charge, isn't it?

Jerome: Jerome would be willing to pay a lot more than that.

Alice : [Touched] Aw!

Marcus : As far as we know, the statue wasn't put there by Contagion, but it was connected to him being able to travel across time. Now, we have no idea where it came from, or how it works, just that there must have been some incredibly sick individual behind it. [The plane passes over Mahoobahooba, a popular resort somewhere off the coast. The group can see that there is another island just beyond it. As the plane approaches, there is suddenly a huge amount of turbulence.]

Wadsworth : [Turning back around in his seat] Sorry, Jerome, no parachutes. We exchanged them for cotton, which we could sell on the black market. Then we bought eggs at three cents a piece, and sold them all again at two cents - pretty cunning, eh? [Smack! A bird crashes off the front window the plane.]

Jerome: Now why can't my accountant come up with a scheme like that? What Mother? No, we can't kill him yet. We'll wait until he lands. Then we'll do him just like daddy. Jerome is a good boy, mommy.

Harvey : [Shifting away from Jerome as much as possible] But Wadsworth, how did you make any money?

Wadsworth : Aha! Simply by selling them in volume! [Points out the window] Look! Maboobahboobah! [Out the window, the party can see an island, in the middle of which is a huge golden statue.]

Austin : [Looking at the statue] Hey, that must be worth a fortune! Where did all the gold come from Wadsworth?

Wadsworth : [Swerving the plane downwards with a sickening lurch] That is a mystery sir. All that is known is that the statue was built sometime in the late fourteenth century. [Suddenly, a huge number of sea gulls appear in the sky, and start flying towards the plane.]

Clint : But with such a statue appearing in an island, surely there'll be loads of reporters and tourists around, no? [Noticing the seagulls] Wads, watch out for the gulls, or are you planning on painting the plane in seagull-blood red? [The plane dives underneath them, but they double back, and carry on.]

Wadsworth : This is incredible! I can't shake them!

Alice : [Throws up all over Clint] Oops! Sorry, I was never a good flier!

Marcus : [Fastening his safety belt] The island is out of bounds at the moment, there shouldn't be anyone on it. We're only able to get on because Wadsworth here flew in under the rader.

Harvey : [As the plane lurches] Flew in under the influence, more like!

Clint : What's with the seagulls? I always heard that they like stinky fish. [Looks at Alice and the mess she made] Ok that explains it.

Alice : [Clinging to her seat] Sorry Clint, but I couldn't help it, not with you being so close to me and all!

[As WADSWORTH struggles to control the plane, he flies straight into several hundred of the seagulls. They smash through the front window, the side windows and get caught up in the engines, causing them to stutter and stall.]

Marcus : Wadsworth's been hurt! He's unconscious!

Alice : [Screaming hysterically] We're all gonna die!

Harvey : Dear God in heaven, this can't be how it ends! [Empties the contents of his flask over Wadsworths head] Wake up, man!

Clint : [To Marcus] So? You can bring him back to life, but you can't make him conscious again? [Looking around] Where are the parachuts? [Panicking] We're all gonna die! [Gives a huge kiss to Alice] Sorry babe, it's that last request thing.

Alice : [As Clint pulls back, now wearing a vomit moustache] Okay. [Punches him in the eye] Sorry Clint, it's that last request thing. [Turns away, shaking her hand] Ow!

Marcus : [Flinching as the contents of Harvey's flask strike him] No! I can't bring him back to life, and make him conscious again - those orbs aren't cheap, you know!

[The plane is heading in to crash land in a particularly dense piece of forestry land.]

Clint : [To Alice] Hey!, was that only because I didn't pay, or is this the way you treat all your customers? [To Marcus] But I thought you were rich now, all with the eggs at 2 cents and everything!

Alice : [Annoyed, turns to Chastity] I just said that! [The plane comes in too low and fast over the trees, and starts to brush against the tops of some of them.]

Jerome : [Looking out the window at a huge, colourful bird that is staring back in] Ah! Parrot Plimsols, what a great idea!

Harvey : [Terrified] Its a shame that idea is going to end up embedded in a coconut tree!

Marcus : [Hands up blocking his face as the plane cuts through some foliage] We were, but Milicent blew it all on shoes. [The plane is getting lower now, and the statue is just up ahead, looming above the trees.] [As WADSWORTH slumps over the controls, the plane dives into the trees, making it difficult to see. Suddenly the whole plane is lit up by a huge arc of lightening that seems to bounces from the statue into the plane.]

Alice : [As the plane cuts its way through the trees] What the hell was that?

Clint : [Pushes himself to the front of the plane, and tries to grab the handle to pull the plane up]

Harvey : Oh thank you God! As if being blown apart by a plane crash isn't bad enough, you've decided I should be electrocuted first by a giant dildo! Oh the irony! [As CLINT stands up, the entire plane fills with light, and smashes against a tree, sending him to the floor. The plane rips through the forest, lower and lower.]

Mason : Neayark! I think we're going to crash! [The plane smashes headlong into a tree, and everything goes dark.]