[Book II, Act VIII, Scene I. The Day Room. AUSTIN, ALICE, CLINT, CHASTITY, JEROME, MEI and NURSE HERPES are here. The room has barred windows, and no furniture except for a seat for each person. NURSE HERPES is holding a clipboard on her lap, and is dressed in a traditional nurses outfit. All the party members are wearing regulation hospitals gowns and grubby white dressing gowns, that have clearly seen better days.]

Herpes : Now, we had started making some progress with yesterday's session, and, until Alice took off her underpants and Austin started eating his cigarettes, I was quite pleased. So, who's going to start us off today?

Chastity : [Looking around her, confused] Oh, by Phili, what's going on? Have I fallen into one of Austin's dreams - Strict nurses, pantiless girls, fag swallowing?

Herpes : [Leaning forward] Yes, Chastity, interesting start. Now, run with it, what else would be in Austin's dreams? What else could come through the door.

Alice : [Looks around, surprised] I took off my underpants?

Herpes : Oh, Alice. [Shakes her head sadly] That's one demerit for you, straight away. I told you not to repeat yesterday's performance. [Makes a big production of making an X mark on her clipboard.]

Chastity : [Dryly, to Herpes] Well, as you are in nurse, a doctor would be logical. Assuming that this is a hospital of sorts. [Leans forward] I suppose we've discussed Austin's delusions of grandeur, already?

Herpes : To be honest, Chastity, you should know this. However, given that we have spent about 90% of our time discussing that, I suppose it should come as no surprise that you've put it out of your mind.

Clint : What is going on here? [Looks at Nurse Herpes] Hey, [silly, useless pick up line] how you're doing? [To the others] I always liked nurses.

Chastity : [To Herpes] I'm all a muddle, my dear. Why are we all here again? Where is here?

Herpes : [Gives Clint a withering look] The question is not, Mr. Scar, how am I doing, it is how are you doing?

Alice : Isn't that what he just asked?

Herpes : That's a second demerit for you, Alice.

Alice : [Dismayed] Hey! [Normal demeanour] That's a bad thing, right?

Herpes : Yes.

Alice : [Dismayed] Hey!

Herpes : [Sighs and breathes deeply] This is Caplan. We are here, Chastity, to determine the extent of your collective madness.

Clint : Collective madness? Don't tell me we had another one of those mad parties that nobody can remember... [Tries to concentrate and think hard] Nope, the last thing I remember is the chikaloons. Damn!

Chastity : [To Herpes] Is that my collection of madness's, or the madness of the [waves arm round the group] collective? How are we to benefit if you can't be more precise. My first husband, George was a great believer in the 3 Ps, of which precision was one, and perseverance was another.

Herpes : Excellent. Excellent. Now, tell me about the events leading up to that.

Jerome : [Stands up] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD would like to protest in the strongest manner possible. He -

Herpes : [Turns and glares at him] Sit down, Mr. Trindle.

[A few seconds pass, as they stare at each other.]

Herpes : "Sit down!" I said.

[JEROME sits.]

Herpes : Now, go on. Tell me about what happened just before the [looks at her board] Chickaloons. On Fri, 14 Dec 2001, Conor Ryan wrote:

Herpes : [Dead calm] It is the collection of the collective's colletive madnesses, both at a group and individual level, both conscious and subconscious. Now, why don't you just tell me about the events leading up to the Chickaloons?

Austin : What happend? I thought we were at StarSearch?

Herpes : [Nodding, and making notes] Okay, so you were at StarSearch? And they were about to release Chickaloons? Why?

Clint : Is this leading somewhere? [Gets up] You know, I really don't belong here. Where's the way out?

Austin : We are the joint Mayors and I demand that we be released at once!

Herpes : [Smiles benignly at Austin] The joint mayors? Of course you are. Now, how is that you became joint mayors?

Austin : [To Herpes] Apparently, a legal vote was held during StarSearch, in which we were unanimously voted joint Mayors. Is this not the case? Why are we here? When can we leave? What are the conditions under which we would be permitted to leave this institution?

Chastity : [To Austin] Joint Mayor? Is that anything like a Porn King? Drugs? [To Herpes] I strongly dissapprove of these insults. Especially to a lady of the cloth, such as myself.

Herpes : [Makes to say something to Chastity, but turns to Clint] Mister Scar! Sit down at once! [Turns back to Chastity] Remember, Chastity, we established Austin's propensity to insult in an earlier session. Try to ignore it, and let's run with it. [Turns back to Austin] I'll thank you not to barrack me with questions.

Clint : [To Herpes] Who the fuck are you to tell me to sit down? [Pauses for a moment] Ok. [Sits down] But that's because I'm feeling tired!

Herpes : [Stares at Clint for a moment] That's two demerits for you, Mister Scar. I do not tolerate bad language in my group.

Chastity : [To Herpes]I quite agree. Well done. Just because we're confused it's no excuse for a mucky mouth.

Herpes : Very good, Chastity. Very well said.

Clint : Ok, it's our time to make questions, if you please. How long have we been here? And did we come here on our own, or were there more with us?

Herpes : [Putting her clipboard down on her lap] You know, Clint, that could be construed as barracking. However, I will remind you all once again, of the way we found you. You were all intoxicated with alcohol, drugs and cheese, wandering through Hallbridges, claiming to have been elected mayor during a talent show. There were several incidents of violence, public urination and flashing.

Alice : [Leans over to look at Clint] I wonder who that could have been.

Herpes : [Looking coolly at Alice] Yes. I wonder. [Looks back to Clint] You were then brought to us by the local police force, and they asked us to keep you here until we could establish exactly what is wrong, and if you pose a danger to yourselves and others. That was three weeks ago.

Clint : Three weeks? What has happened since then?

Herpes : We have been evaluating your mental health. You have been kept under constant observation and, might I add, [glancing at the clipboard] what you do when you think you're alone is quite disturbing. We started these group sessions last week - your memories may be somewhat hazy because we have had to keep you sedated quite a bit, certainly since the incidents with Nurses Syphilis and Gonorrhea. The next step is for you to undergo some rigorous testing.

Alice : What kind of testing? Maths and stuff, is it?

Clint : [Glancing briefly at Austin] Hum, what exactly did happen with those two nurses?

Herpes : That's all in the past now. It is all forgotten, and will stay that way. What is more important now is that we move on - you say that you believe you are mayors of Hallbridges, but, how can that be true? What kind of town has more than one mayor? Surely there should have been a proper election?

Chastity : [To Herpes] Ask Chief Inspector Tom Braider. He'll back up our story. He was at Starsearch(TM) when the vote was taken.

Herpes : But Chastity, Tom was one of those who helped bring you in here!

Austin : It was Toms suggestion that we collectively run for Mayor in the first place. I really don't care if I'm Mayor or not, but it would be nice to clarify the situation.

Herpes : You are not the mayor. None of you are. Nor did you win StarSearch, or [looks at her clipboard] kill a nephew of the devil, travel to the moon, go forward in time or get a magical talking sword. You are a bunch of crazies, a group of drug and alcohol riddled halfwits.

Clint : I hope for your own sake that you didn't hurt Beaucaphalus. He loves revenge.

Herpes : [Unimpressed] Yes. I'm sure he does. Now, are you prepared to admit that your story is false? That people don't get elected to public office due to their performance at talent shows?

Mei : [Appears to have a brief moment of clarity] Ah. Confusio say, to see the sanity of reality, one must first admit to the insane. I will meditate upon this truth now. [Reaches inside his karate gi] Um... [Pats his back pockets, front pockets, and generally feels all over his body] Hey! Who took my incense?

Clint : To be honest, I never really believed on that "we're the mayors episode. Politics are just not my scene.

Herpes : Very good Clint, I like where you're going with this. Now, admitting that it wasn't real was the first step -but why did you think it was true in the first place? We must explore that. [Glances at Mei] Now, Mei, you know that patients are not allowed combustable material.

Alice : Hey! No bras? That's not fair!

Herpes : [Points at Alice in an irritated fashion] That's three demerits. You know what that means, punishment time. [Calls out] Mister Smith! Mister Jones!

[Enter SMITH and JONES, two porters, dressed in white. They burst into the room, holding large bats*.]

Clint : Fucked up as usual, didn't you Bimbo? Now we're all in deep shit! [Pauses, then turns to Herpes] That wasn't bad language. I read it on the toilet wall.

Jerome : [Momentarily oblivious to their predicament] Dr Jerome K Trindle BsC phd knew something was up -he even made the comment that people couldn't get elected in a manner such as we did. [Looks down sadly at his hospital gown] They took Dr Jerome K Trindle's pocket protector. couldn't

Mei : [To Jones and Smith] I am afraid there has been some sort of mistake. If you will try a little patience, I'm sure we can resolve this. Confusio say, it doesn't have to come to blows. Now, I insist that someone tell me where my incense is. I am unable to function properly without it. [Makes a point of not complying with Nurse Herpes] [SMITH and JONES burst rush towards the party, and SMITH bops MEI over the head with his bat, knocking him to a heap on the ground.]

Herpes : [Glares angrily at Clint] Liar! You filthy mouthed liar! That is another demerit for you, Mr. Scar. And you know what three demerits means!

[JONES cracks CLINT across the head with his bat, knocking him to the ground, drawing blood from his forehead.]

Alice : [Horrified] Leave him alone! [Shocked look, as she turns to Herpes, momentarily distracted at the sight of Jerome trying to put a pen into a non existent pocket on the from of his gownu] How many demerits do I have?

Herpes : [Putting another check on her clipboard] With this extra one for being stupid? Four!

Jerome : [To Herpes] Please be kinder to dearest Alice, she has had a rough time of it, and the question she posed to you is not a particularly stupid one.

Herpes : That is one demerit for you, Mr. Trindle! I do not like being contradict by patients using such an overtly aggressive and sexual manner. In fact, let's make it [emphasises] two demerits!

[SMITH and JONES continue their clubbing of CLINT and MEI, both are now hurt, and somewhat disoriented, but conscious.]

Mei : Mr. Smith! Mr. Jones! Violence is unnecessary! I have warned you! [Despite being clubbed, MEI makes some kung-fu moves that are meant to impress but succeed only in amusing] Ha! Yu! Kyu! Yah-ah!

Jerome : [To Herpes] Overtly aggressive and sexual manner? It is clear, Madam, that your testing has not made you get to know Dr Jerome better! He's never hit anything in his life, and as for sexual... well may he say, ah may he say *ahem*... [Reddens and mumbles] Nothing. Dr Jerome k Trindle is very sexual. He's had sexual relations [stresses the word] Loads of times. And sometimes with other people! Ah... [looks around the room to find something to divert attention to] Mei! That's very good, you remind me of that fellow in that 80s movie. The one that did that crane kick and caught flies with his chopsticks.

Herpes : [Standing up] Enough! I will not listen to another second of this. [To Smith and Jones] I don't think the gentle approach is working. It is time to get rough.

[JONES blows really hard on a whistle, while SMITH reaches out and trips up MEI.]

Alice : [Hands over her ears] Ow! Hey, that really hurts!

Chastity : [Pushes her chair away from the "subduing" towards the door]Oh Phili preserve me, such upsetting violence.[Mumbles a prayer to herself]

Austin : [Staring at Herpes] I doubt if there is any point in keeping us here any more, there is nothing you can do to help us, you might as well let us go.

Herpes : Most certainly not! I - well, maybe it might be better to transfer you to another facility.

Mr. Smith : [Laughing at Mei] Hah! Look how the fool trips over! [Suddenly slips and falls for no apparent reason./

Alice : Hah! Look how the fool trips over!

[SMITH blows his whistle again.]

Alice : [Hands over her ears] Ow! [Steps back, and trips over]

[The door of the room flies open, and about twenty burly porters burst in. HERPES stands in front of them, but is knocked out of the way. They proceed to subdue the party in a less than gentle way.]

Mr. Smith : Mr. Jones, what are your feelings on the Electric SHock Treatment Facility?

Mr. Jones : Mr. Smith, I do believe that it will be very busy over the next few hours.

[Book II, Act VIII, Scene II. The Padded Cell. ALICE, CLINT, AUSTIN and ESTHER GREENWOOD are here. Each of the party members present are wearing strait jackets, and have recently been on the receiving end of a beating. There is no furniture in the room, and ESTHER is sitting against the wall opposite the party members, fidgeting nervously.]

Alice : [Just regaining consciousness, and very spiky of hair] What - what happened?

Clint : We got a beating Bimbo. Either that or it's one of those weird dreams again.

Alice : [Struggles uselessly against the strait jacket] You know, I swore I'd never be stuck in one of these again! Where are the others?

Clint : There's things on your past that should remain forgotten, Bimbo. As for the others, I have no idea. I was too busy being eletrocuted to notice where they were taken. [To Esther] Who are you, by the way?

Austin : [To the wall] Most of the things in her past were forgotten, as soon as they happened. God my head hurts.

Alice : While most of the things in your past, Austin, should be forgotten.

Esther : [Looking nervously at Clint] I - I'm Esther. Who are you?

Clint : I - I'm Clint. Why are you here, Esther?

Esther : [Fidgeting with a paper tissue, and not looking Clint in the eye] On account of my rage.

Austin : [To Esther] Why are you not in a straight jacket?

Esther : Well, [still looking down] I used to have to wear one, but after my treatment, I got a bit calmer.

Alice : [Struggling uselessly against her jacket] Sounds like you could do with some of that treatment, Clint. [Struggles again] Come on! [Struggles really hard, going red in the face] Aaargh! [The cell door swings open, and JEROME is thrown in, landing roughly on CLINT and AUSTIN. JEROME is wearing a strait jacket too, and his hair is all spiky.]

Alice : Nice punk look, Jerry.

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle has been subjected to all manner of humiliations and invasions. Not only was he beaten by those porters, but he was then subjected to a huge electrical shock. He is very, very angry.

Esther : [Rubbing her hands together nervously] Anger isn't good in this place.

Clint : Don't worry Jerry, we've all been through the same. But the look does suit you.

Jerome : [Mumbling, and genuinely grateful] Thanks Clint. [He struggles for a while, fruitlessly attempting to shrug off the jacket] Dr Jerome K Trindle once saw a fellow on Starsearch [TM] who could wrestle his way out of a straight jacket. The Dr watched him very closely.

Alice : And? How did he get out?

[ESTHER gives a little sigh, and wrings her hands again.]

Jerome: Well the poor fellow dislocated his own shoulders and somehow squirmed his way around. Once his arms were in front of him, the jacket was easy to take off, apparently. [Notices Esther] Is that how you were released from the jacket?

Esther : [Still not looking at anyone in the party] No, they released me.

Alice : Austin, you're good at squirming out of things, how about it?

Austin : [To Alice] The only thing that makes me squirm is you, sweet Alice. [To All] Of course the sensible approach to releasing ourselves from our current bondadge would be to ask someone who already has their hands free to release us. I wonder if anyone has their hands free [Looks around the room, then at Esther].

Alice : Of course, Austin, when you had that veneral disease, you squirmed then too.

[ESTHER says nothing, but just sits quietly, wringing her hands, sighing.]

Clint : [To Esther] Sweet girl, would you be so kind as to release us?

Esther : [Looking away from Clint] I can't - Dr. Puke would be very cross with me.

Alice : [Murmuring to Austin] Hey, Clint can be pretty smooth when he wants, huh?

Austin : [Wriggles over to Esther] But Dr. Puke won't be cross because if you release me, then I'll get you to strap me up again as soon as I have itched my itch [nods towards his groin] and Dr. Puke will never know!

Esther : [Looking at Austin's itch with wide eyed wonder] He's not going to masturbate, is he?

Alice : With him, you'd never know.

Esther : Oh, his penis is too small to see?

Alice : Well, that's not what I meant, but it is better.

Esther : [For once, looking Austin in the eye] Do you promise to let me tie you up if I do this?

Clint : Hey, the Lawyer can be pretty smooth when he wants, huh? going

Alice : Is this another remark about Austin's groin?

Austin : [Ignoring groin related comments. To Esther, sincerely] I promise, cross my heart and hope to die [looks at his bonds] Well I would if I could!

Esther : Well, okay. [Undoes the buckles on the jacket, so Austin is freed up]

Austin : [Wiggles out of the straight jacket, and kisses Esther on the cheek] Thank you sweet lady, a quick scratch and then you can help me put it on again [Goes over to Clint and undoes his buckles]

Esther : [Getting flustered] You know, you really shouldn't do that! Dr. Puke will be very angry! [Clearly wants to stop Austin, but doesn't want to touch him]

Clint : [Freeing himself from his bonds] Thanks Laywer. [To Esther] Don't worry, we'll tell him a little bird did it, not you.

Esther : [Very unhappy, and shaking her head] But he'll know that's not true - look! [Points at the wall] No windows!

Alice : [Curtly] A-ahem! Myself and Jerome are still stuck, maybe someone might let us free?

Austin : [To Esther] It's okay, Clint has some really good scratch...[turns his head and coughs as Clints BO wafts past] some really good scratching techniques [pulls Clints staight jacket off, then inspects the cells for potential exits]

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD would like to point out that he is still restricted, and is getting quite flustered. However, he would still prefer if the beautiful Alice were released first.

Alice : Aw, it's okay, Jerry, you go first. It's not like I'm not used to being tied up. [Smiles self depreciatingly, before realising what she's said, and getting flustered] I mean, you go first!

Esther : No! No one's getting free!

[The door has no lock, and is simply bolted from the other side.]

Austin : [To Clint] Try the telekinesis thing on the door bolt [Unbuckles Alice]

Alice : [Throwing the jacket off with expert ease] Thanks, Aussie.

Esther : [Very distressed] No! No! You must stop! Oh God, we're all going to suffer for this!

Austin : [To Esther, appologetically] Yes, we know. We won't be able to escape from this cell and they will punish us for removing our jackets, but it's what we do. [Gestures to the other in explanation] See?

Clint : [Turns to Esther and places his finger in front of his lips] Shhhht. [Looks at the door and concentrates hard]

Esther : [Holding her head in her hands] Oh no! No! You have to wait until bathroom time for that! They'll be very angry other wise!

[As ALICE unties JEROME, CLINT can hear the sound of people approaching.]

Clint : Damn these hospital locks! [Tries to kick the door open]

[A voice from outside can be heard]

Voice : Hey! You better stop that, or you will feel the crack of truncheon!

Alice : [Whispering to the others] Crikey, sounds like a cheap porn film!

Jerome : [Stands a respectful distance away and observes Clint, as one would a scientific experiment]

Esther : [Puts her head in her hands, and starts moaning slightly] Oh no, oh no, oh no.

Jerome : [In a hushed voice] We need a plan, even if we do manage to break down the door, how are we going to get out of this place? Those lunatics are out there with their truncheons, and I definitely wouldn't want to be on the tail end of that. Again.

Alice : Good point Jerry, but remember, although there is a lunatic with a truncheon out there, in here we have our very own lunatic. [Nods at Clint] No offence, Stinky.

[The party can hear the sound of a large bolt being lifted on the other side of the door.]

Austin : [Looking at the door] There comming...

Clint : And we're gonna give it to them! Let them come!

[The door opens, letting the party see MISTER BLAND, a porter, and MEI outside. MEI is barely conscious, and is being pushed along by BLAND.]

Bland : [Shocked at seeing the party free] What the hell are you doing?

Clint : Just having fun! [Tries to kick Bland in the balls] [CLINT's foot lodges in between BLAND's legs, causing him to crumple up, and his eyes to bulge in agony.]

Esther : [Covering her eys] Oh no!

Austin : [To CLint] Hold him down, I'll put a straight jacket on him [tries to put a jacket on Bland and gag him. To the others] Help me!

Bland : Help!

Alice : I'll help! [Reaches out to grab the jacket, but somehow puts her own arm into one of the sleeves]

[BLAND is now knocked to the ground, being held by AUSTIN and ALICE.]

Clint : [Helps putting the straight jacket on Bland]

Jerome : Quickly, let's drag him into the cell.

[The party drag him in, and do up the jacket. Incredibly, ALICE is now tied to BLAND, each with an arm in the jacket.]

Alice : Hey!

Austin : [Austin attempts to extract Alice from the Jacket] Ta-da!

[After a short scuffle, ALICE is now free, and BLAND is tied up, and gagged with another jacket. ALICE gives him a quick kick.]

Alice : Come on, talk!

[BLAND says nothing, but makes a lot of noise through the gag.]

Alice : Looks like this canary won't sing.

[ESTHER is now curled up in a ball in the corner.]

Clint : By Confusio, what is that creature with two arms, four legs, two heads and a naked left breast? The electric treatment I got must have affected my vision. [Rubs his eyes]

Austin : [Searches Bland for keys, items etc] Clint, Alice, could you please check that the coast is clear.

Alice : [Exasperated] We could be miles from the beach!

[BLAND has a key ring attached to his pants, with a huge bunch of keys hanging off it.]

Alice : [Noticing Austin finding the keys] Yay! Let's take his pants with us.

[BLAND notices ESTHER in the corner, and tries to call out, but his voice is muffled.]

Clint : Alright, let's get out of here! [To Esther] You coming?

Alice : [Looks at Mei, who is still tied up] Are you okay? Hey! [Slaps him across the face really hard] Hello?

Esther : Please! Don't leave me here - I'll be punished if you do.

Mei : Confusio say, never hit back a woman, even if it hurts. Confusio must had been restrained in a strait jacket when he said that.

Alice : [Starts undoing Mei] You know, I was only trying to stop you from getting hysterical.

Jerome : [Placatingly] Now, now! This is no time for arguing. Dearest Alice was only trying to help a bad situation. Now Mei, apologise to Alice and let's be on our way. [Considers Bland] How do we know that we can trust you enough to let you come along with us?

Mei : I am superior to any kind of arguying, my meditation overrides my instincts. [Looks at Jerome] Surely you're considering bringing Esther, rather than Bland. You seem to suffer from post-traumatic stress, a good old incense session would cure you before you can say one-incense-stick,two-incense-sticks,three-incense-sticks. [BLAND looks at JEROME with his eyes bulging, and tries to speak, but his voice is muffled by the gag.]

Alice : [Peers at Mei] This incense, do you smell it or smoke it? If the latter, has Jerome taken too much? [Begins pacing the room] Has Austin not taken enough? And, [stops abruptly] Wait a second - we're in a mental home! How long have we been here?

[BLAND looks at JEROME with his eyes bulging, and tries to speak, >but his voice is muffled by the gag.] > >Alice : [Peers at Mei] This incense, do you smell it or smoke it? If the >latter, has Jerome taken too much? [Begins pacing the room] Has Austin not >taken enough? And, [stops abruptly] Wait a second - we're in a mental >home! How long have we been here?

Jerome : [To Mei] Of course I meant Esther. I was testing you all! [To Alice] Alice Dearest, incense is harmless, just smells rather awful. And to answer your final well thought out and posed question, the good doctor has calculated by the growth of Austin's facial hair, the increased odour of our lunatic Clint here, and the ah... [glances at Alice's dark roots] and other scientific reasoning, we have been here: far too long.

Alice : Tut! Do you think you could vague that up a little for me, Jerry?

Austin : [To Alice] We have been here for about three weeks [Straightens an already perfect cuff, admires Maplin as if in a trance] I quite like it. The place has a certain peacefulness about it. The decor is quite awful though, the furniture non-existent, and there are no mirrors anywhere. No wonder everyone is mad in this place. [Strolls casually to the door of the cell] We really should get the hell out of this place and find out what is really going on. Phili will take care of Chassers, I'm sure [Smirks, eyes twikling].

Jerome : Well Dr Jerome K Trindle doesn't like to make statements about things Dr Jerome K Trindle BsC pHD is not sure of Alice! [Strides purposely over and shakes Austin] Snap out of it, good man!

[AUSTIN is now standing at the door of the cell, being shaken by JEROME.]

Alice : I think, Jerome, that it is you who should snap out of it.

Esther : Oh, you don't want to go out there!

Austin : [Shocked at being grappled. Slaps Jerome across the face] Take your vile hands off me, you fettid rat. Who the hell do you think you are! [Pushes Jerome away and straightens his clothes] My friends at the Monacow diners club will be most shocked to hear about this assault.

[JEROME steps back, shocked.]

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD was merely trying to calm everyone down - however, it is clear to him that you, sir, are in need of psychiatric attention. Do not strike Jerome again, or I will kill you.

Austin : [To Jerome] You were trying to calm me down by violently assaulting me and creasing my pyjamas? You appear to be quite loopy Dr. Trindle. [Walks outside the cell and looks for an escape route] Are you sorry lot comming or not?

Clint : I suggest we all just calm down, this place also gets on my nerves, but there's no need for arguing. [Looks at Mei] Dear Philli, I think I'm spending too much time with you. [To Austin] Lead the way, Lawyer!

Jerome : Incorrect, Sleaze. I was not violently assaulting you, I was merely applying a gentle, yet insistent force to ensure that your mind remained rooted in reality. Given that your level of obnoxiousness has reached, if not exceeded those levels we were forced to endure prior to our incarceration, I suspect I was successful. I put it to you, Mister Sleaze, that you should thank me, although I would accept it if the rest of the party were less than happy with me. [Smiles at Alice, as though expecting applause]

Alice : Jerome, the rest of us don't even understand you, let alone feel unhappy with you.

[AUSTIN opens the door, to reveal that there is a small five foot by five foot corridor, leading directly to another door. The further door has a handle. ESTHER covers her eyes.]

Austin : Curiouser and curiouser [Walks to the next door and opens it and looks through]

Alice : What's out there, Esther?

Esther : All the other cells - there are hundreds of patients here.

[AUSTIN opens the door, revealing that there is a huge DRAGON outside. The DRAGON, who's head is about the size of AUSTIN, looks in at AUSTIN. It is difficult to see behind the dragon, but it looks like there is simply bare rock.]

Jerome : [Peering around Austin, but still smarting at Austin's Loony comment] Ahem. The good doctor suggests that we may be better to find an alternate route, or begin to discuss our dragon fighting tactics.

Clint : If only I had a sword, I would kill the dragon myself! But since I don't, you better close that door, Laywer.

[The DRAGON sniffs AUSTIN curiously, inches from his face, causing AUSTIN to go rigid in terror.]

Alice : [Whispering, terrified] Wow, this is like that scene from Pure Acid Jark - when the really big one found the girl.

[The DRAGON sneezes all over AUSTIN, sending him and CLINT flying back into the room, and knocking everyone else to the floor. Fortunately, due to the padded nature of the cell, no gets injured. The DRAGON leans back from the door, and breathes a huge burst of flame off to one side.]

[The DRAGON sneezes all over AUSTIN, sending him and CLINT flying back into the room, and knocking everyone else to the floor. Fortunately, due to the padded nature of the cell, no gets injured. The DRAGON leans back from the door, and breathes a huge burst of flame off to one side.] Jerome ; [Clambering to his feet] The good Doctor proposes, that a) the dragon is allergic to Austin, or b) the dragon is allergic to all lawyers or c) the dragon has a cold. Perhaps if we could make him sneeze enough, we could scurry through. [Pats himself down] what I need now is a giant snuff box.

Alice : Giant snuff box? Jerome, we're in a padded cell! We don't even have clothes on, where the hell are we going to find a giant snuff box?

Esther : [Shaking her head slowly] Oh, I knew they'd be mad.

Alice : Giant snuff box? Jerome, we're in a padded cell! We don't even have clothes on, where the hell are we going to find a giant snuff box?

Esther : [Shaking her head slowly] Oh, I knew they'd be mad.

Jerome : [To Esther] You have seen this dragon before then?

Esther : [Looks at Jerome, startled] Actually, I was talking about you and your friends.

Alice : Perhaps we should have spoken to her about what was outside before stupidly throwing the door open. Didn't you learn anything at the tabernacle, Austin?

Clint : Well, since the Lawyer opened the door in the first place, I suggest he closes it. [Heads towards Bland] Now you and I are going to have a little chat.

[BLAND shakes his head, and despearately tries to speak.]

Jerome : [Smiles to himself] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD suggests that our esteemed lawyer friend is in a state of shock. I believe it is time to snap him out of it. [Leans over and gives Austin a huge slap across the face]

[The DRAGON roars once again, causing ESTHER to put her hands tightly over her head.]

Austin : [Shouting at the dragon from a safe distance] Okay there Mr. Smarty-pants dragon, keep your hat on. We have to have a lengthy discussion to decided nothing, before we do anything, so you might as well relax for now.

Jerome : Perhaps Jerome should strike him again!

[The DRAGON looks in, and breathes a huge breath of fire in, completely filling the room and engulfing the party.]

[Book II, Act VIII, Scene III. The Day Room. AUSTIN, ALICE, CLINT, JEROME, MEI and NURSE HERPES are here. This is the same room that the party were in previously. The room has barred windows, and no furniture except for a seat for each person. NURSE HERPES is holding a clipboard on her lap, and is dressed in a traditional nurses outfit. All the party members are wearing regulation hospitals gowns and grubby white dressing gowns, that have clearly seen better days.]

Herpes : [Looking up from her clipboard at patients] Now, things got a little fraught at the last session, so let's see if we can't put all that unpleasantness behind us.

Clint : What happened to the dragon? [Looks at Herpes for a second] I shouldn't really be asking this, should I?

Herpes : Oh, no, Clint. You can feel free to ask anything here. Remember last week we talked about the circle of trust? Well, we're all in the circle of trust now. [Writes something down in her clipboard] Tell me about this dragon, did anyone else see it?

Clint : [Pointing at Alice and Austin] They did! Ask them!

Austin : [Incredulously] Dragon? Do you mean a pantomime dragon or what? [To Herpes] What do you hope to achieve by detaining us here?

Herpes : [Coldly] For a start, I hope to cure you of that aggressive demeanour, Austin. [Marks her clipboard] That's one demerit for you. [To the others] Now, did anyone else see this dragon?

Jerome : Jerome saw it. It breathed fire on us.

Herpes : I see. And you are all here alive, unscathed. I'm sorry, Jerome, but giving in to hallucinations is a demerit. [As she marks the board, she glances at Alice] That's one for you too, Alice.

Alice : What? Why?

Herpes : Because I don't like you.

Austin : There was no dragon. No fire.

Herpes : [Smiles at Austin] Very good, Austin. Now, I would like to do a special group exercise with you. We need some equipment from the cupboard, will someone get it for me? [Looks over at a large cupboard on the opposite wall]

Clint : [Rubs his eyes] Huh? Was the cupboard there before?? I don't remember seing any furniture in this room. [HERPES says nothing, but simply marks her clipboard again.]

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle will get it. As a scientist, I am anxious to prove our [looks at Austin] most of our sanity.

[JEROME opens the cupboard door, and a huge pot of paint falls out and lands on his head, covering him in blue paint.]

Clint : That definitely proves how sane you are, Jerry. [To Herpes] Is he going to get a demerit for that?

Austin : [To Herpes] Would you like us to help Jerome?

Herpes : [To Clint] No, but you are, for your smart mouth. [Turns to Austin] Why, what on earth makes you think he needs help?

[JEROME is staggering around the room, covered in paint, with the paint pot on his head.]

Alice : Bec-

Herpes : [Interrupting] That's another demerit for you, Alice!

[The door opens, and SMITH, JONES and BLAND come in, and stand at the back of the room.]

Austin : [To Herpes] What is the intended outcome of the group exercise?

Herpes : You know what the intended outcome is. We wish to stop your group from hallucinating, we wish to cure you. You have heard several of your fellow members claim to have seen a dragon - others that Jerome needs some kind of help. There is clearly something wrong with you - we will keep you here in Caplan* until you are cured.

Austin : [To Herpes] Thank you, it is very kind of you to spend your time and resources curing us. Must we all stay here until we are all cured or may each of us leave when we are cured?

Herpes : [Smiling warmly at Austin] What a good question, Austin! Once an individual is cured, they may leave. All you need to do is sign a decleration form, indicating that you are no longer insane.

Mr. Smith : Mr. Jones, shall I show the form? Or will you?

Mr. Jones : I believe, Mr. Smith, that I will do it. [Pulls out a large form, and holds in front of Austin for him to see]

Clint : Hey!, why is the Lawyer sane and not me? It was him who opened the dragon's cell!

Herpes : Perhaps, Clint, because you believe that a dragon could fit into the hospital, and he does not. That's one demerit for raising your voice.

[ALICE gives a loud sigh of exasperation at this.]

Herpes : That's a third demerit for you, Alice. You know what that means?

Mei : It means you are a dishonourable tool of an oppressive regime who must be taken to task as dictated by your bad kharma.

Alice : [Dismayed] Hey!

Mei : I meant her. [Points at Herpes, before standing up, and picking up his chair]

Austin : [To Herpes] Do you have a pen with which I may sign the form please?

Herpes : [Whips what appears to be a thermometer out of her pocket] This is a thermopen - it works as both a pen and thermometer.

Alice : What? Austin - you know that's not tr-

Mr. Smith : [Catching Alice by the hair] Shut up!

Herpes : [Points at the door, and addresses Smith] Take that little whore down to the treatment room.

Mei : Noooooooooooooooooooo! [Throws his chair to Smith]

[The chair bounces off SMITH's shoulder, but he keeps a grip of ALICE's hair.]

Alice : Ow!

Herpes : Sign the form, Austin, sign the form!

[Enter MISTER BLAND.]

Mr. Bland : Is he giving you trouble, Nurse?

Clint : [To Bland] You! [Tries to attack Bland] [CLINT runs across the room to BLAND, but is brought down by a flying tackle from JONES. BLAND immediately moves in, and smashes CLINT across the head with his truncheon.]

Alice : Get off me! [Tries to elbow Smith, but is thrown to the ground, banging her head off a wall]

Herpes : You are trying my patience, Austin. Sign it.

Clint : Ow!

Mei : [Throws Clint's chair to Bland]

Austin : [Signs the form using his special unintelligible false signature]

Herpes : You may wait outside, Austin, while I check your personal belongings to validate this signature. [Quick smile] Just in case you really are insane, and sign the wrong name.

[CLINT's chair bounces off BLAND, who charges at MEI with his truncheon.]

Jerome : [Staggering around, still with the pot on his head] What's happening?

Clint : Nothing major Jerry, we're just having a good fight! [Tries to kick Jones in the head]

Mei : [Throws Alice's chair to Bland]

[The door swings open, and about twenty porters come in.]

Herpes : [To the party] Everybody sit down, and no one will get hurt. I will return in a few moments.

[HERPES starts walking to the door.]

Jerome : [Glumly] She's never going to release us. Dr Jerome K Trindle will end his days as a mad scientist!

Alice : No change there, then!

[The porters charge the group again, and dish out a similar punishment to the last time, to all the party members, including, much to his chagrin, AUSTIN.]

Mr. Smith : [Observing Bland smacking the unconscious Clint between the legs]I do believe, Mr. Jones, that Mr. Bland is somewhat overdoing it.

Mr. Jones : Yes, yes, I believe he is.

Mr. Bland : [Pausing a moment] He said disrespectful things about porters.

[All the porters pile on top of CLINT, hammering away.]

[Book II, Act VIII, Scene IV. The Padded Cell. ALICE, CLINT, AUSTIN, JEROME, MEI and ESTHER GREENWOOD are here. Each of the party members present are wearing strait jackets, and have recently been on the receiving end of a beating, CLINT in particular looks hurt. There is no furniture in the room, and ESTHER is sitting against the wall opposite the party members, fidgeting nervously.]

Alice : [Struggling to open a bruised eye] Ow. You know, this all looks very familiar.

Esther : What happened to you?

Clint : [Desperately trying to scratch himself between his legs] We had a fight. We lost. [Turning to Esther] Whatever happened with the dragon? You did see it, didn't you?

Esther : You mean Nurse Herpes, don't you? [Laughs nervously, but goes all serious] I mean, no. [Shakes her head vigorously]

Austin : [Giving the party a quisical look] How do we know that Esther is not a spy, working for our captors?

Alice : [Giving Austin a quizzical look] How do we know that you are not a spy, working for our captors? You seemed very friendly with the dragon.

Austin : [To Alice] What dragon? It is clear to me that we went to our victory party, got drugged and sectioned by our enemies, probably that milk drinking type, so that we would have to sign a document declaring that we were mad during the time of the election and therefore are forefit to the title of joint mayors. To boot someone got us out of the way so that they could take the credit for our actions, [Attempts to gesture exclamation, and then realises that he and Maplin are still in a staight jacket] once more philli deals to us from the bottom of the pack. [Fidgets around as if trying to get a glimpse of Maplins beauty]

Clint : Shut up Alice, they beat me up so badly that your voice echoes inside my head and hurts, even more than usual. [To Esther] Er, I suppose you wouldn't mind setting us free again? [Makes an innocent smile] Pretty please?

Clint : [To Austin] Will you all please shut up? Less talk and more work!

Alice : [Gives Austin her frustrated look] What dragon? I was talking about Nurse Herpes! [Sighs and bangs her head back against the wall in exasperation.]

[As her head hits the wall, it makes a satisfying thud against the padded material. ALICE smiles at this, and repeats it about twenty times, before stopping with an alarmed look.]

Alice : Oh. I think I'm going to be sick.

Esther : [To Clint] Well, I'm not sure if I should. You know, they were quite angry the last time, and, well, I'm not sure if you're all, well, [looks down, clearly uncomfortable] you know -

[She is interrupted by ALICE throwing up into the middle of the room, and all down the front of her jacket.]

Esther : [Glancing at Alice] Er, mad.

Austin : [Still fidgiting. To Clint, possibly sarcastically, but you are not sure] Work? Work! How can you think about work whilst the beautiful Maplin lies in bondage?

Clint : [Looking up] Dear Philli, help me, I'm surrounded by mad people.

Alice : [Coughing, before spitting up a chunk of diced carrot, and turning to Austin] I don't know, I guess it depends on what the person's job is!

Esther : [To Clint] Well, yes, that's what I'm afraid of. You know, you seem like a very sane, normal person, but I'm not sure about the others.

Jerome : [Looking to Austin] That young lady, Mr. Sleaze, is clearly insane. It is indeed a sad day when we are compared less than favourably to Mr. Sleaze.

Austin : [To Jerome] Your jealously has prevoked you to a new all time low. Whilst your insults a re so feeble you cannot hope to achieve a standing even close to that of my shadow, Dr. Trundle [Smirks and looks into an upper corner of the room. Beings subtly trying to escape from his straight jacket without the others noticing]

Clint : [To Esther] I know, you and I are the only sane people around here. [Looks at Alice momentarily] And I mean it. [Approaches Esther] That's why I trust you. But now I really need to get out of this jacket, my body hurts everywhere from the beating I took because of them [nods at Alice, Jerome and Austin].

Alice : [Insulted by Clint] Hey! There's nothing wrong with me, I just felt a bit ill. And now I've got some piece of food stuck to my tongue, now, what it is it? [Sticks her tongue out, trying to see the tip. There is, of course, nothing on it]

Jerome : [To Austin] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD is humbled by your wit, Mr. Sleaze. Subsitituting the "i" in Trindle for a "u" is sheer genius, and would put Woscar Ilde to shame. However, it was mere accident that I insulted you, for it was Mr. Scar that I felt we were being compared unfavourably to. It was my ire at being restrained in this place once again that caused me to use your name instead of his.

Esther : [To Clint] You trust me? Really?

Clint : [To Esther] Of course I trust you! Look around you - a mad scientist, a lawyer speaking to the walls, a young girl vomiting and banging her head against the wall, and a chinese guy who says nothing and just dreams about incense! You and I are the only really sane persons here, and we don't need to be restrained.

Esther : [Clasping her hands to her chest] That's right! We are the only sane ones here. [Grabs Clint by the shoulders] But what then? What will we do when I open your jacket?

Mei : May I state, Mr. Scar, that it is because of the reckless behaviour of some of the members of this party, namely you, that we ended up in this place. [Keeps away from Clint, as if running away from his body odour]

Alice : [Turning to one side, to look at Mei, with her tongue still sticking out] Whath? [Puts her tongue in] What are you talking about? The last thing I remember before this whole hospital thing was being elected mayors.

Clint : [To Esther] We will sit down and talk about our lifes, we will share memories, and maybe, just maybe, we will share something more [Tries to make an innocent smile].

Alice : [Turning to Clint] Oh my God! I think I'm going to be sick!

Esther : [Starts untying Clint] Oh yes, that sounds splendid! Maybe then we could go on a picnic, and talk about feelings for several hours! And, oh! Oh! I know! I could spend three or four hours going on and on and on about some completely impractical plan I have for my life, slowly realise that it just won't work, and then spend another two hours explaining how it is really all my younger sister's fault that it won't work, because Mammy and Daddy loved her more than me! [Big smile as she finishes untying Clint] What do you say, Clint?

Mei : Of course you're right, sweet Alice. But the reckless behaviour of Mr. Scar will not help us getting out of this place. If only I could get my hands on a couple of patchouly incense sticks, we would all be able to relax and concentrate on the task of getting out of here, rather than wasting our time chatting with crazy people [nods towards Clint].

Clint : [Removing himself from the strait jacket] Thanks, but no thanks. Maybe another time. [Goes over to Jerome and starts untying him] Don't forget to thank me.

Alice : But [pause, as though she is deep in thought] he's the only one of us that is untied.

Esther : [Following Clint, and hanging on to his arm] But when? I thought we were going to do it now. And, I thought you said that you weren't going to let the others free.

Jerome : [Standing up] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD thanks you, Mr. Scar. [Starts untying Alice]

Clint : [With a sudden look of realisation on his face] But of course dear Esther, we could do it now. Do you know where we could go for a pic-nic, just you and me, away from this awful place and these awful people? [Looks briefly at Jerome untying Alice's vomit coloured strait jacket]

Jerome : [Geekily] That colour looks really good on you, Alice!

Alice : [Wryly] Thanks Jerome. [Slips out of the jacket, and wipes her face with it, before starting to untie Austin]

Esther : Aw, thanks Clint! Let's do it now. Of course, we're not supposed to leave the cell - well, not unless we're sane, of course. I haven't seen the gardens yet. Do you like gardens? I like flowers, but you can't really eat them, which is funny, because some of them have names that sound like food.

Jerome : [Slowly and staring at Esther incrediously] Aha. Yes, well shall we then proceed?

Clint : [Wispering to Jerome's ear] Want to take my place? I can't stand her much longer.

Jerome : [Shaking head vehemently and whispering even quieter back to Clint] No thanks, she's all yours buddy! [Flashes what he hopes to be a devestatingly handsome smile at Alice]

[ALICE squints in the glare of light beaming of JEROME's pearly whites, but, when she recovers, smiles back, which is only slightly spoiled by the large piece of broccoli stuck to her front teeth.]

Esther : No - no. Its just me and Clint going on the picnic. [Takes his arm] Come on, Clint, let's leave the crazies here with their unfeasibly bright teeth.

Clint : Let's go then. [Points at Alice] They've had enough food anyway.

Esther : Okay, but how can we get out of the cell? We're not allowed go out through the door.

Austin : [To Clint] You could use one of those spheres if anyone has one? [Admires Maplin, and Maplin gracfully stretches himself, joyously free of the staight jacket. Gasps, almost silently, in awe of the sight of the beautiful Maplin...]

Alice : Yes, quickly! Everyone check their gown to see if there is an orb hidden in one of the pockets. [Flattens her gown] Oh. No pockets. Great idea, Austin.

Austin : Perhaps we could barge the door open, we would need a battering ram though, a large solid piece of wood like material [Looks around the room and stops, when looking at Alice] Alice, would you care to help.

Alice : You know Austin, while I'm as surprised as the others that you aren't more familiar with a padded cell, I suppose I had better not sit back and watch you involved in a useless search. There is clearly nothing here that can be used. Even someone as sane as you should be able to see that. [Smiles sweetly at him, showing that her piece of broccoli has, if anything, got larger.]

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD believes that it would be possible to simply barge the door down.

Esther : Oh no! You can't do that! They'll be mad!

Clint : What do you suggest we do, sweet Esther? We need to get out so that we can have our picnic! Just the two of us! How are we going to do that, if we don't leave this room? [Faces the others for a second, making signs of wanting to puke of disgust]

Austin : [To Clint and Alice] Could one or both of you please break the door down, I am sure that the hostital is insured for all damages caused by paitents, and that you will not be held responsible for your actions as you are already cretified to be clinically insane.

Alice : Clinically insane? Why? Because we hang around with you?

Esther : [To Clint] I don't know - I just don't think they'll be happy if you kick the door down. They punished me the last time, you know. Of course, things are different now, now that you are here to protect me.

Jerome : [Amused] Yes, now that Clint is here to protect you. [Turns to the others] Dr Jerome K Trindle BsC PhD suggests we pummel, shatter and wreck this egress and take our freedom back!

Alice : Jerome! There'll be time for that later. Right now we've got this door to open! Come on, hurry! [Lowers her voice, and mutters confidentially] Quickly, before we're forced to listen to more of Clint's smooth talk.

Jerome : [Rolls up his sleeves] Right, dearest Alice, Dr Jerome K Trindle BsC PhD will Open The Door. [Rushes at the door to batter it down] [JEROME bangs off the door, and staggers back, but has definitely caused at least a crack on the other side.]

Alice : Go on, Jerry! You can do it!

Jerome : [Rubs his shoulder] Right you are, dearest Alice, from the sound of the crack on the other side of the door, a sudden applied pressure right here [Points] Should do it. [Addresses everyone] Stop me now, or forever hold your peace. [Rushes at the door again]

[JEROME smashes through the door, and falls into the corridor. This is the same corridor as before, and there is another door at the other end, with a handle.]

Alice : [Sigh] What a man!

Esther : [To Clint] I prefer the gentle type like you, Clint.

Austin : [Does a short golf clap] Well done doctor Trindle, a smashing effort [Doesn't laugh at his own joke]

Jerome : [Standing up, pretending that his shoulder isn't aching] Why thank you, Mr. Sleaze. I am proud to be further evidence that geekiness doesn't imply lack of strength.

Alice : You know, isn't it strange that there was a dragon outside the door the last time? And even stranger that, although he breathed fire all over us, no one was hurt?

Austin : [To Alice] Some form of illusion perhaps, to fool us into believing that we are mad. [Walks up the corridor and opens the door at the far end, expecting another illusiory sceen]

[AUSTIN opens the door, revealing it to open out onto a huge drop, with a massive fiery pit down below. In the distance, several dragons can be seen flying around. There is an enormous heat from the pit.]

Alice : If that's an illusion, Austin, how come I was able to cook a marshmallow in the heat?

Jerome : Probably because that's not a marshmallow, merely an illusion.

Alice : Gah!

Jerome : [Smiles] Dearest Alice, the world is a vast mystery, and Dr Jerome K Trindle, the detective.

Alice : Well, Dr. Trindle, if you're such a great detective, then why is our padded cell in a fiery pit, guarded by flying dragons?

Jerome : [Thinks for a second, in the classic thinker's pose] Simple, it's not. We are being fed hallucinogenics, either through the airconditioning, or through and food we may have imbibed and can't remember eating. Places such as this rely on strong drugs to keep their patients malleable and suseptable to their brain-washing.

Alice : [Serious face, and nodding in agreement] Yes, yes. I see. Yes. [Pause] Er, so what does that mean?

Austin : [Turns to Alice] It means that this cliff is not really here, and that we can walk through, just like the heroic future me, the one with no taste, who jumpped through the illusionary flames, twice as I remember. [Turns back to the pit] I think he was suicidal and very, very lucky. [Adjusts his tie, and then realises that he is still in a hospital gown]

Alice : Funny how the backs of those hospital gowns never tie quite right, isn't it? [Shiver]

Jerome : Interesting theory, Mr. Sleaze. If only we could find someone as reckless, suicidal and lucky as your future self. [Looks at Clint, who still has Esther hanging on his arm] Well, two out of three isn't bad.

Clint : [To Esther] What do you see in this room?

Esther : [Gushing] I only see you!

Austin : Oh well, this whole thing could be a dream [Closes his eyes and gingerly takes a step forward, checking the floor as he goes to see if it is real or not]

[AUSTIN slowly puts his foot outside the door and, miraculously, doesn't fall.]

Alice : [Big smile] Cool! [Serious] Hey! What's going on here? What kind of hospital would do this to patients? [Turns and points at Esther] Maybe she's behind it? Maybe she's actually Nurse VD?

Esther : You mean Nurse Herpes?

Alice : See! Get that ridiculous rubber mask off! [Grabs Esther by the nose and starts pulling]

Ester : Ow! Gedder off be!

Austin : [Takes another step and then slowly opens his eyes] Perhaps this is a large tellivision screen, that I am standing on.

Jerome : Austin Sleaze on television? Now that is a frightening thought. [Turns to see Alice is still trying to get Esther's mask off] Alice, no!

Esther : Help! Clint! Help!

Clint : [Grabs Alice's arm] [Whispering to Alice] Stop Bimbo, we might still need her. [To Esther] Poor thing, are you okay? [Tries to check if the face really is a mask]

Esther : [Crying and throwing her arms around Clint] My hero! She really hurt me! [Starts to cry]

[ESTHER clearly is not wearing mask.]

Alice : [Sulkily] There's no need to be such a baby about it. [Folds her arms and frowns at Jerome] It looked like a mask to me.

Jerome : Er, some of these new masks are very convincing.

Austin : [Keeps walking carefully, with a hand slightly outstretched to avoid walking into a wall etc. To the others] Are you still bickering? I expect as much from you proles you know, you have no ability to plan, make descisions nor do you have any sense or responsibility.

Alice : [Insulted] No sense of responsibility? Well, I'll show you - [looks up above Austin] Hey, what do you think would happen if one of those dragons crashed into Austin?

[AUSTIN seems to be floating a good thirty feet over a huge fiery pit, but looks as though he is walking on very clear glass. There are some dragons above him, all of which look very real.]

Austin : [Keeps walking carefully.] I believe I may have to retract my formerly orated criticisms concerning the decor in our present accomodation. [Austin has a fixed expression showing concentration extreemus (To remind himself that this is an illusion/ hallucination)]

[A dragon suddenly begins flying towards AUSTIN at speed.]

Alice : Oh no! Look! What's going to happen if it hits him?

Clint : Run, Laywer! Run!

Austin : [Closes his eyes and continues walking forwards, shaking noticably] Tra-la -la -la la, If only Chassers were here now, looking nice and plump and holy as she does. [Straightens his sleeves, keeping his eyes closed]

[The dragon plunges down towards AUSTIN, but simply passes through him. Just up ahead, a small door opens, apparantly out of nowhere. Enter MR. BLAND.]

Mr. Bland : [Punching Austin hard in the face] You bastard, get back in there!

[AUSTIN is knocked down, and seems to lie floating in mid air.]

Alice : [To Clint] Come on, we've got to help him!

Clint : [To Esther] Allow me. [To Alice] Shall we? [Runs towards Bland] Chaaaaaaaaaaaaarge!

Mr. Bland : [Taking out his truncheon] Stop! You'll fall!

Esther : [Sigh] He's so brave!

Alice : Yeah. [Runs out after Clint]

[SMITH and JONES also appear, as ESTHER begins running out too.]

Austin : [Tries to kick Bland hard in the nuts from where he lies, if Bland is close enough]

[AUSTIN kicks out, but only succeeds in hitting BLAND in the side of the leg. In return, he crashes his truncheon down on AUSTIN's thigh.]

Mr. Bland : I'm going to kick your ass, boy!

Mr. Smith : Mr. Jones, would you like to take the one with the b.o.?

Mr. Jones : Mr. Smith, that sounds like a very fine idea. You are welcome to the blonde.

[SMITH and JONES attack ALICE and CLINT respectively. SMITH punches ALICE, sending her reeling, with her hand catching ESTHER in the eye, while CLINT and JONES fall to the ground, grappling.]

Esther : [Holding her eye] I've been blinded! Help!

[JEROME steps into the scene.]

Jerome : This had all better stop.

[SMITH hits CLINT on the back of the head with his truncheon, causing him to let go of JONES.]

Mr. Jones : I am in your debt, Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith : It was my pleasure, Mr. Jones.

[JEROME fires a magic missile at JONES, causing him to recoil in pain and shock.]

Mr. Smith : Mr. Jones, are you okay?

Mr. Jones : I will be, Mr. Smith, after I've cracked a few heads.

Alice : Strange time for poultry products, huh?

Mr. Jones : [Cracking his truncheon across Alice's head] I said heads, not eggs, you fool!

Clint : [Trying to make Mr. Jones trip by hitting him in the knees] Way to go, Jerry!

Esther : Clint! Clint! I won't be able to see your beautiful face any more! [Enter DOCTOR PUKE, through the strange looking door. He is very distraught.]

Puke : Stop! Stop, I say! [Looks back in the door angrily] Dr. Semen? Dr. Snot? This must stop now! Now! Now! [Goes very calm and quiet] If that's okay.

Clint : [To Mr. Jones] Did you hear him? You have to stop! [Goes very calm] Stop, must stop. [Suddenly tries to hit Mr. Jones again] Bastard!

Jerome : Clint! Use the force. [Whispers to the others] We should try to run past them if we can

Alice : Good idea, Jerry. [Runs through the door, but stops just inside it, calling out in a shocked voice] Hey! What are you doing here?

[CLINT strikes out at JONES, causing him to stagger, and steady himself with his hand.]

Mr. Jones : Mr. Smith, I was considering stopping this. What are you feelings on the matter.

Mr. Smith : Mr. Jones, I believe the behaviour of the patient deserves a level three beating.

Austin : [Gets up and tries to kick Bland in the nuts again] Mr. Bland, have a kick in the nuts.

Austin : [Gets up and tries to kick Bland in the nuts again] Mr. Bland, have a kick in the nuts.

[BLAND catches AUSTIN's leg, and holds it up, so AUSTIN is now hopping to stand up.]

Mr. Bland : [Producing a large knife] Hello, Mr. Mad Patient, have a knife in the nuts.

[ALICE walks backwards slowly into the room, followed by GARY and RECKLESS, each of whom are holding a sword to her throat. As the enter, the pit and dragons disappear, leaving everyone in a large, plain room with three doors. One leads back to the cell, the other is the one that BLAND and company came through, while the third is still shut.]

Gary : Everyone stop, or we'll kill the bimbo.

Alice : You better do as they say, they must have some poor girl back there.

Clint : [Looking at the empty walls] What the heck is going on here? Is this some kind of hollydeck? [Notices Gary and Reckless] Oh boy, I think we're going to have fun!

Gary : [Pushing Alice away with his hand] Too right, you bunch of drongos, we're gonna mess you up.

Alice : Maybe there's a way out here! [Opens the other door, and runs out, but crashes into something and falls to the ground.] Er, there seems to be something in the way.

[Standing in the doorway is a huge, bearded, hairy figure, ZUG.]

Gary : Zug, please kill Clint. Zug; [Looks at Alice, and listens to Gary's voice, before placing his hand on the collar around his neck. He then picks her up with one hand and raises her into the air] Now what do we have here...dinner?

Austin : [Now very Angry, tries to poke Bland in the eyes and free his leg] Unhand me you degenerate scum!

Mr. Bland : [Leaning back, to easily avoid Austin] Okay. [Swings Austin's leg, sending him flying across the room, sliding along the ground with an irritating high pitched sound of skin burning on floor]

Alice : [Being held in the air by Zug] Hey! Put me down! [Kicks Zug in the stomach]

Gary : [Opening out his hands, so his palms face the party, and, as he does so, blue flames spark along them] Please desist everyone, or there's going to be some suffering.

Zug: [Raises a finger to Alice as he is holding her up in the air with the other hand] Be nice or your head goes in Zugs tummy!!

Alice : [Looking Zug up and down, seeing that he is about 6' 9"] Don't you have a beanstalk somewhere to guard?

Gary : [Sniggering, giggling and snorting like a madman] Isn't he great? Man, I love technology! Show them, Reckless.

Reckless : Sure, Bruce. [Holds up a candle like object that is making a strange buzzing sound.]

Gary : Not that!

Reckless : Sorry, Cobber. [Puts it away and takes out what appears to be a remote control]

Zug : [Smiles with his gnarled teeth exposed at Alice, then uses his free hand to search her for something sharp to pick his teeth with]

Clint : Okay, does anyone wish to explain us what the fuck is going on in here?

Puke : Let's all just calm down here, okay? Dr. Semen, Dr. Snot and I are here to help you. You are all very ill.

Alice : Well, my wrist is very sore, anyway. [Looks at Zug] Put me down, you brute!

Zug : [Looks at Gary, after Alice made the comment to Zug.]

Gary : Shake her, Zug! Shake her hard!

Zug : [Places his other hand on Alice and begins to shake her violently] Zug make woman go shakey shakey.

Austin : [Tries to grab the control from Reckless, in a swift and stealthy manner]

Clint : [Runs towards Reckless, to divert his attention] Yo bastard, it's party time!

Reckless : Hey cobbers, that ain't right, it just ain't fair dinkum!

[The two crash into him, sending the control sliding across the floor.]

Zug : [Dropping Alice] Hah! Zug show you what it feels like. [Picks up the control, points it at Reckless and presses a button] Yeeaaargh! [Gets a huge electric shock]

Alice : No, you fool! That won't work. [Snatches it off him] Look, you're wearing the collar, so obviously if you press the control, you get a shock. Now, if I press it, on the other hand. [Points the control at Gary, and presses the button.]

[ZUG goes rigid with shock.]

Alice : [Face drops, and becomes a mixture of surprise and disappointment] Oh. [Lets go of the button, and speaks in a small voice] Sorry.

[BLAND, SMITH and JONES pile in on top of AUSTIN and CLINT, as GARY slips out the door behind him.]

Austin : [To Zug, straining to think in simple terms] Smash the control box Zug, the box causes the shocks!

Alice : Actually, Austin, it's the collar that causes shocks, see how the sparks come out of it when I press the button. [Goes to press it again]

Jerome : [Interrupting her before she presses it] Alice, there might be a release button on the control, see if you can find it.

Alice : [Showing the control to Jerome] No, there's just this button, that when I pressed it gave him a shock.

Jerome : What about the button beside it?

Alice : Oh, I didn't see that one. [Presses a second button.] [As soon as ALICE presses the button, there is a distinct click from ZUG's collar, and it opens wide.]

Gary : Curse you, Trindle, but you're too late!

Zug : [Reaches up and takes the colloar off, then smashes it in his hands. A broad smile comes over his face and he lets out a might war cry.] Zug is now free.

Clint : [To Zug, pointing at Gary] Kill, boy, kill!

Zug : [Retrieves his mighty sword, and grasps it with both hands, before letging out a mighty war cry and charging Gary.] Now you turn into food for the dogs. AIEEEEEEEE.

[RECKLESS dives through the door, followed closely by MR. SMITH and MR. JONES, who are too late, and end up having the door slammed in their faces.]

Mr. Smith : What is your current view of our situation, Mr. Jones?

Mr. Jones : [Looks around the room] I think we're fucked, Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith : [Watching Zug swipe his huge sword around] I think, Mr. Jones, that you are somewhat understating the seriousness of our situation.

Zug : [Zug swings his large sword at Mr. Smith with all his might.] AIEEEEEE.

Clint : Yeah, aieeeee him down! [To Jerome] Nice one Jerry, setting the beast free, now what do you think he'll do to us once he's finished with them?

Mr. Smith : [To Zug] Stop! Cease this behaviour immediat-aaagh! [Zug's sword slices across his chest, dropping him to the ground in a pool of blood.]

[BLAND and JONES immediately put their hands up, as JONES kneels down with SMITH.]

Mr. Jones : Mr. Smith, I believe you are injured.

Mr. Smith : Indeed, Mr. Jones. It appears that death is only around the corner.

[ALICE peers around the corner of the door that ZUG came in through.]

Alice : Well, I don't see anything.

Esther : [Catching Clint's arm] Oh, Clint. You must stop him, you can't let him continue. Surely such mindless violence is abhorrent to one such as you with the soul of a poet.

Clint : [To Esther, while enjoying the scene of Mr. Smith cut in half] Yeah.

Alice : Ah, Clint. You must stop him, you can't let him continue. Surely such mindless violence is abhorrent even to one as brutish as you! [Turns to Zug] You there, hairy fellow! Hello!

Clint : [To Alice] Ok ok Bimbo, you're right I guess. Let's not kill them. [Kicks Mr. Jones in the balls] You said not kill them, right?

Jerome : [Grimacing at the violence, then smiling widely] Right you are Clint! Just incompacitate them some! [JONES doubles over in agony, as CLINT's kick connects with a particularly sickening squelchy sound. JONES screams in agony, and doubles over.]

Smith : [Grimacing in sympathy with Jones] Phew! I'm glad that didn't happen to me, it's gotta hurt. [Looks down at his huge, gaping wound] Oh. [Dies]

Alice : [In horror, to Jerome] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, what is wrong with you? You know, I don't really expect much from Clint, who's little more than a barbarian and this [points back at Zug] person who's a - a [looks at Zug, and adjusts the angle of her arm upwards so she's now pointing at his face] who's got a really scary beard, but you! [Points back at him] Don't you think it would be a little more in your line to suggest locking them into our cell? You know, sometimes I think I'm the only person here with any dignity! [Stands glaring at Jerome for a few seconds, out of breath from her rant, before suddenly reaching behind her] Hey! My gown's open at the back!

Clint : [To Alice] Bimbo, focus. [Points at Jones] I'm done here, where are we going to put him? The padded cell?

Alice : Brilliant idea Clint! Man, I'm sick that I didn't think of that! [Sits down by the wall, arms folded, with a huge sulky face]

Austin : [Tries to kick Bland in the nuts again] Zug help me!

[AUSTIN swings his leg around quite dextrously, but doesn't connect well, only catching BLAND's thigh. In one quick movement, BLAND pulls out a knife, and holds it up to AUSTIN's throat, so he is now using AUSTIN as a shield.]

Bland : Okay, you've had your fun. You won the battle, fine. There's no need to try and torture us, and attack helpless prisoners.

Alice : Like you did, you mean?

Bland : That was different, it was in the name of medicine.

[ZUG approaches AUSTIN and BLAND slowly, sword in hand.]

Puke : No! Zug, no!

Austin : [To Zug] Kill him Zug! [Tries to dexterously escape Blands grip, grabbing Bland by the nuts and crushing if he can]

[AUSTIN grabs BLAND in the crotch, and tries to squirm loose, but not before BLAND inflicts a deep wound, from collar bone to jaw, on the left side of AUSTIN's neck. Both AUSTIN and BLAND fall to the ground.]

Alice : I'll get him! [Smashes a chair over Bland's head, knocking him out, before picking up his knife and turning to the others, waving it around] Can we all just stop this please? Look what's happened now! Austin, are you okay?

Jerome : [Gives a sudden twitch, like someone waking up] Sorry! Excuse me, I seemed to drift off for a second there. Now, are we going to put them in the cell?

Clint : [Barely avoiding Alice's waving knife] Let's drop them in the padded cell and then get the hell out of here. [Starts dragging Bland by his left leg] [To Zug] You coming with us?

Zug : Zug will protect those who saved his life. If you accept him, he will join your party.

Alice : [To the others] Sounds good to me - but how do we know he isn't some cunning spy, sent by the Fundamentalist Knights?

Jerome : I suspect the chicken bone in his beard may be a clue.

[The porters are pushed into the cell. There are two other doors out of the room, the one that GARY and RECKLESS left through, and the one that ZUG entered from.]

Austin : [Horrified that Bland was real and not a hallucination, on hand over the cut, dramatic amounts of blood all over the place, lying, apparently near deaths door] Zug, kill Bland. [To Alice, desperately] Sweet maiden, hold me now, for my time in this world is short, may I kiss thine sweet lips one last time that I may die in peace... [Faints abit] uurgh...

Clint : Quit it Laywer, I'm sick of this place and want to get out of here. Keep your theatrical representation for later. [Heads towards the door from where Zug came in] [To Zug] Is this the way out?

[ZUG lifts his sword at the cowering BLAND, who is just inside the door of the cell, but ALICE interrupts him by tapping on his back.]

Alice : No, Zug, you're not going to murder this man, no matter what Austin says, okay?

Zug : Okay, lady.

Alice : [Kneels down beside Austin] You know, this whole dealing with blood thing isn't really my forte, it should really be Chastity here. [Leans in to look at the wound, before asking] One last time? Hey!

Zug : [Putting down his sword, and shoving Bland and co. into the cell] No, that's where Zug keeps his stuff.

Puke : The exit is the door that Dr. Semen and Dr. Snot left through, now let me see this man. [Kneels down near Austin]

Alice : It's okay, I've bandaged up his hand. [Proudly] You know, I used to be very squeamish around blood.

Puke : His hand? It was his throat that was cut. [Pulls back part of Austin's blood soaked gown to show her] Now, I'll just tend to this. [Proceeds to do so, hardly pausing as Alice faints at the sight of the blood]

Jerome : [Attempts to catch Alice as she faints] Are you qualified to do that, Puke? [Fans Alice's face] Wake thee up, fair maiden.

Puke : If by qualified you mean "bothered to do anything", then yes.

Alice : [Coming too] What's happenning? Are we still torturing people?

Jerome : [Nodding at Puke approvingly] Ah yes, a man after Dr Jerome K Trindles BSC, PhD's own heart. Tell me good man, did you study at Yale? [To Alice] No, my sweet, we're freedom bound.

Alice : Freedom bound? So we're tied up but free? [Confused] Huh?

Puke : [Looks at Jerome, about to say something, but glances at Clint and Zug, and thinks better of it] Maybe we could all go into the back room and discuss what's going on here?

Clint : I believe you're not really in the position of discussing anything. [Looks at the others] How about if we just leave this cursed place?

Jerome : Nominated and seconded by I, Mr Scar! Lead on!

Puke : [To Jerome] It seems, Dr. Trindle, that we may not be as similar as you would like to believe. If you wish to leave without even speaking to me, that is your business. Your equipment is in there [points at Zug's room] and the way out is through there [points at the door that Gary and Reckless left through.]

Austin : [Now patched up? To Puke] Thank you Dr. Puke. So tell me, what was going on here? Were we victims of political shennanigans?

Puke : [Glaring at Jerome] I do not know, but I feel that I am a victim of such shennanigans with this group. I was merely attempting to help you.

Esther : [Taking Clint's arm] Oh, Doctor Puke, you must understand, Clint sometimes lets the red mist get in the way, such is his appetite for adventure.

Austin : [Raises his eyebrows momentarily] Very well, thank you Dr. Puke, and I hope you recover from any suffering that you may have endured whilst in close proximity to our party, however, you must understand of course that we have been subjected to many attacks, of many forms, whilst in this place. [To the party] Lets us collect our belongings and leave [Walks into the room with the equipment and gets his belongings (If able)]

[The now bandaged AUSTIN walks to the room, which contains the party's clothes and bags.]

Puke : I do appreciate that, sir, but you must appreciate my confusion at what seems to happenning. As far as I was concerned, this was a bona fide hospital, imagine my surprise when I saw that Dr. Semen and Dr. Snot seemed to wish to cause you mental and physical harm.

Alice : Dr. Semen and Dr. Snot? Gary and Reckless, is it?

Puke : I believe so, but I was not on first name terms with them, we merely had a professional relationship.

Alice : Like with a hooker, huh?

Zug : [Zug begins to clean his large sword of blood.]

Esther : [Going into the clothes room] Come on, Alice, let's make some tea for the men, we can make them some sandwiches too.

Alice : [Looks behind her for a second, and then turns to Esther, pointing at herself] Me? Make sandwiches? [Laughs] Yeah. [Turns to Zug] So, Zug. What's your story? You seem to have a very big, uh, sword.

Clint : [Putting Harvey's jacket on] Yeah, tell us about it. [Searches for Beaucaphalus]

Austin : [Returns from the equipment room dressed in a fine 'Wexter-Bong' evening suit and Vesolli shoes. Checks that polish on his nails briefly. Whips out a small mirror and check his bandage and then hair] Let us go, we have little time to loose, this whole hospital thing appears to have been designed to slow us down, side track us whilst the enemy are up to something. [opens the door to the way out and has a look]

Zug : Bigger is always better, at least that's what I'm told.

Alice : [To Zug] Funny, I'm always told that size doesn't matter.

[AUSTIN tries the door, but it is locked.]

Jerome : [To Puke] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD, would like to enquire as to your involvement in this, and also as to the whereabouts of Chastity and Mei.

Puke : Chastity? Never heard of her. As for Mei, well, I think there was an unfortunate incident in the EST room.

Austin : Mei, my, what a shocking way to die! [Tries to pick the lock on the door if there is one?]

[AUSTIN sets about picking the lock, but is interrupted by ALICE shaking his shoulder.]

Alice : Hang on there, slick. How about the rest of us get dressed before you open the door? Just in case, you know.

Puke : [To Austin] So, am I correct in thinking that Dr. Semen and Dr. Snot were lying when they claimed that you and your party were psychopaths with delusions of grandeur?

Alice : [Going into the other room] They were lying about us, anyway!

Austin : [To Puke] Dr. Semen and Dr. Snot are not doctors at all, and I am surprised that they did not try to kill us. They are known to us as Reckless and Gary. What they are up to I am not sure, but I am certain that our party are not psychopaths and that someone or some party wanted us out of the way. Mei is dead, Chastity missing, and we are lucky to be alive.

Alice : [Coming back out of Zug's room, now dressed, giving Clint a quick look] Well, most of our party aren't psychopaths!

Puke : Missing, eh? I would be concerned about her. Since Esther and I arrived here last week, things outside have become very strange. I fear for my very life, and for poor Esther's physical well-being too, of course.

[ESTHER is trying to give CLINT some sandwiches that she's just made for him.]

Jerome : [Watching Esther and Clint, muttering to himself] Not to mention her mental well-being. WLast from Conor #142

Jerome : [Coughs slightly] Or his for that matter. Come now! Though it may be entirely a relative theory, nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future is of the essence, and something that we have little of. We must depart swiftly.

Clint : [Eating one of the sandwiches] [To Esther] Hey, so you've been here only for a week? [To Puke] We've wasted enough time. If you want to come with us fine, you'll help us getting around and in turn we'll protect you.

Esther : [Indignantly to Jerome] Don't you talk about my Clint like that! He's a real hero! He was the one who - well, he killed the - the - well, he did a lot of brave stuff!

Puke : [Enigmatically] I hope he is very brave, because if you are to survive outside, he will have to be.

Esther : [Before Puke can get a chance to answer] Oh Clint! I'd [huge emphasis] love to come with you! [Smiles and nods at the sandwich] There's more where that came from, and more than just ham sandwiches too, if you know what I mean!

Alice : [Rolling her eyes] Oh, so just because she can make more than one type of sandwich, the girl's a genius.

Jerome : [Pauses for a long moment at Alice's comment then turns to Puke] Brave? What exactly is different about the outside to what it was when we arrived weeks ago? Has war broken out or something?

Austin : [Continues picking the lock. To Puke] You don't happen to have a key for this door do you?

Zug : Why are you trying to waste time picking that lock? [Zug kicks the door with his full weight.] Hey do you have any sandwiches left for me to eat, all this work is making me hungry.

Puke : Yes, as a matter of fact I do.

[PUKE takes out a key and approaches AUSTIN, but ZUG connects with the door before he gets there, and smashes a huge split down the centre.]

Esther : Well, there are some sandwiches, but I don't know if Clint is finished yet.

Clint : [Takes a bite out of several of the sandwiches, but puts all but one of them back] I'm okay, let the big guy have some. [Finishes the one he kept.]

Puke : [To Jerome] Has war broken out? If by that you mean, has the war moved here, the answer is I don't know. When we arrived, all the houses and farms around on fire, in fact, if Queen's View wasn't protected by the peculiar shield, I suspect it too, would be on fire.

Zug : [To Puke and Jerome] Even if Queens View isnt on fire, there should be plenty of refugees from the war, and soldiers moving around to get to the battles.

Jerome : [Surprised at Zug] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD must admit he was wrong, gentle Zug. He had the mistaken belief that you were some kind of unmannered, cultureless oaf, as this has been his experience with brawny sorts in the past.

[JEROME turns to look at CLINT, who is throwing peanuts high in the air, and catching them in his left nostril, much to the delight of ESTHER, who applauds everytime he catches one, and shoots it out onto the floor by holding his right nostril closed and breathing down hard.]

Jerome : Jerome's error notwithstanding, what of these refugees? What are your intentions towards them, Zug?

Alice : [Ping! Gets hit in the forehead by a stray nut] Ow! [Rubs her forehead, and, much to her dismay, when she looks at her fingers afterwards, there is a smear of green.] Hey!

Zug : Refugees have first hand knowledge of whats going to be coming our way. It would serve us well to question them, and perhaps get a few supporters to join us.

Austin : [Takes the key from Puke and opens what is left of the door and looks out] What a smashing day it has turned out to be [Looks at what is left of the door with throw away concern]

Jerome : [Clearly struggling to reconcile Zug's insightful views with his bedraggled appearance] Yes, Zug, that is true. It may a good idea to get them to support us, after all, we are bringing the Scalies cure to Queens View. [Looks closely at Zug] You will forgive me, Mr. Zug, but I am surprised at your eloquence and grasp of local politics, which was belied by your earlier violence, quality of speech and all round quantity of hair.

Alice : Hey! I've got long hair and I'm not stupid!

[Silence descends on the room for a few uncomfortable moments.]

[AUSTIN grasps the door handle, causing the entire door to come off in his hand. He caustically throws it to one side, revealing the outside to the party. It is still* very dark outside, but the whole countryside is lit up by numerous fires.]

Alice : You know, I think I recognise this place - I think we're really close to Queens View!

Zug : [Watches the fires and scans our immediate area for any ongoing hostilities.] Would you happen to know of any indescreet ways into Queens View? I dont think we should walk right down main street if a war is going on out there. [Despite the fires outside, there doesn't appear to be anybody around.]

Puke : Well, there is supposedly a shield around Queens View, so it should be safe in there, although, getting in could be a problem.

Esther : [Brightly] I bet Clint could think of a way to get in!

Clint : Yeah baby, sure. [Eats another sandwich]

Austin : [Turns to Zug] I think we should find a descreet way in, an indescreet entrance could be dangerous, and I am sure that this party could discuss a myriad of brilliant and dangerously indescreet ways into Queens View for many weeks before takling any action at all.

Alice : Do I detect a note of sarcasm, Austin? Hm, [to no one in particular] I guess that means no one wants to hear my idea about building a huge wooden horse, so.

Clint : Why don't we take a look outside? Do a bit of scouting around. Who knows, we might even come across Gary and Reckless - I'm in the mood for killing. [Does a dramatic pose]

Esther : [Swoon] Oh, Clint, you're so brave.

Clint : Yeah, thanks, now please let go of my leg.

Jerome : [Peering through the door] Cautious investigation may well be indeed the order of the day!

Clint : [Kicking away the remains off the door, barely missing Jerome] Cautious? Forget that! [Draws his sword, and turns to Zug] Let's kick some ass.

Esther : [To Alice] How can you stand to be in the same party as him? [Sigh, wistful look at Clint]

Alice : [Unimpressed] Sometimes I wonder that myself.

Zug : I thought it was about time someone mentioned cracking some skulls. [Zug holds his massive sword, and walks out into the open.]

[As ZUG walks out, he suddenly runs into CHASTITY, almost taking her head off with the sword.]

Chastity : [Ducking to avoid the sword] Careful! [Points an accusing finger at Zug] Young man, didn't your mother ever teach you not to play with pointy objects? You know, its all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Zug : [Zug grabs Chastity with one hand, and lifts her up off the ground.] Didn't you ever learn to be polite to people 5 times larger than you wench. Zug will make you go splat if you dont apologize right now.

Austin : [To Zug] I would put her down if I were you, before you catch something nasty.

Chastity : [To Zug screaming and bashing him with her handbag] Unhand me you brute! This is no way to treat a lady! Did your mother teach you nothing?

Austin : [To Zug] I would put her down if I were you, before you catch something nasty.

Zug : I think I already caught something nasty, lets see if it can fly.

Zug : [Opens Chastity's handbag with his free hand and user her lipstick to draw funny faces on her face as he holds her up.] draw

Austin : [To Zug, whilst checking his nails] Although I am no fan of Chassers, and am interested to see if she can fly, like a witch I suspect, I do believe that it would be in you best interests to put her down. She is a healer, believe it or not, and only heals people that are nice to her, such is the way of the Philli-stiens [Smirks] [CLINT and ALICE exchange startled looks.]

Clint : Come on, Bimbo, we gotta stop this!

[The two jump on ZUG, bringing him, CHASTITY and the two of them sprawling to the ground.]

Alice : No, Zug! She's with us!

Zug : [Tries to fall on Chastity, so Zug foesnt end up on the bottom of the pile.] pile.

Austin : [Sidesteps the whole mess] It is sooo nice to be working with professionals once more, don't you think so Doctor Trindle?

[CHASTITY lands back first, with the others landing on her, winding her badly.]

Clint : Wahey! Clint saves Chastity again!

Alice : She's with us, Zug! You're supposed to be protecting us, now, apologise to her immediately!

Jerome : Indeed, Mr. Sleaze. It seems that our time in the asylum has been well spent. Sr. Chastity? Are you okay?

Chastity : [Gasp, gasp, To Jerome] Well! Don't just stand there looking gormless, help me up! [Still sitting in the mud] My first husband George would never have idled when there was a lady in need of assistance.

Jerome : Of course, Sister, my apologies. [Helps Chastity up] Where have you been, Sister?

Alice : [Grabbing a huge handful of Esther's sandwiches, and turning to Chastity] Look, Sister, I made you some sandwiches!

Chastity : [Unruffling herself, brushing of some mud with an inadequately small tissue] Well, after winning Starsearch we were kidnapped and I managed to jump from the back of a moving carriage, escaping our captors. I landed safely by doing a controlled landing that my second husband George taught me whilst we were on holiday in the countryside. He was in the army you know. [Pauses to make sure everyone is listening] Then I found a convent where I had my other injuries tended to thanks be to Philli. Not knowing where the party were, I decided to return to Queens View, but found that all the buildings within 5 miles of the Queens View except THIS one were burning. So I came here only to be assulted by this [Points at Zug, shaking finger] Thing!

Alice : Outrageous! Absolutely outrageous!

Jerome : Yes, dearest Alice, it may appear that way, however, I believe that Zug was merely trying to protect us. Sister, we have been held captive by the evil Gary and Reckless, as was Zug here. Together we escaped, but not before Gary and Reckless did.

Alice : [Looks at Jerome, confused] What? I was talking about the fact that she didn't even look at the sandwiches I lovingly made for her! [Holds up a squashed bunch of sandwiches, covered in finger prints and the occasional teeth marks, which are pouring salad cream out onto her hand] Look, there's chicken, and [looks at the sandwiches] some kind of brown thing, and that white cream!

Chastity : [To Alice] My first husband, George, always insited on prioritising his actions, tending to the most important first, only then discussing menial things such as sandwiches, Alice [Takes a sandwich] You have put far too much cream into these Alice, it's gushing everywhere.

[ALICE gives CHASTITY her cross look, before licking off some of the cream that's spilled on to her hand.]

Alice : [Thinking for a second] That's not cream.

Austin : [To Alice] Suprise, suprise, Alices' face and hands, once more covered in 'not cream' [Walks further from th building to see more (if there is anything else to see)]

Alice : At least it's not my own "not cream", as is all too often the case for you, Austin dearest. [Smiles sweetly at Austin, which is only slightly ruined by the "not cream" dribbling down her chin]

[The building that the party was in is a plain wooden structure, about 100' square. Everyone can now see that there are several fires burning around the countryside. Off to one side is what looks like a huge white glass dome where Queens View would normally be. It is about four or five hundred yards away.]

Chastity : [To Alice] Just ignore that smutty Mr. Sleaze, dear. [Tastes some of the 'not cream'] What did you put into these delightfully unrefined sandwiches?

Alice : I put in [pause as she thinks long and hard] some [mumbles something incoherent.] Hey look! What's that thing over Queens View?

Jerome : [Has also been studying the dome] My God! Dr Jerome K Trindle BSc PhD does declare that the semi-spheric, glass structure looks like it may be some kind of bio-dome!

Alice : [Looks intently at Jerome for a few seconds, before glancing from the sphere back to him a few times, after which she points over in the direction of Queens View again] Hey look! What's that thing over Queens View?

Jerome : [Looks back to Alice and says slower than previous] My God! Dr Jerome K Trindle BSc PhD does declare that the semi-spheric, glass structure looks like it may be some kind of bio-dome!

Austin : [To Alice] It is a shield to protect Queens-view. It is just like you skull protects your... brain. [Frowns at Alice, then checks his finger nails] Shall we advance?

Alice : [Looking from Jerome to Austin a few times, and tapping the side of her head, giving a strange metallic knocking sound as she does, before slowly pointing at Queens View, about to say something.]

Clint : Look, Bimbo, it doesn't matter, okay? Point is -

[CLINT is interrupted by some strangely girlish screaming from ZUG. A fly is buzzing around his head, causing him to panic madly. Soon, the fly gets caught in a spider's web. As some spiders come out to digest the fly, ZUG leans in close to them.]

Zug : [To the Spiders] Zug will protect those who saved his life. If you accept him, he will join your party.

[While watching ZUG, the party notice that there is a house only about a hundred yards away that, like the ohters around is burning. This one, however, seems to have a lush grassy patch just beyond it, which stands out amongst the black earth.]

Chastity : [Puts down the sandwich] Now Alice, don't you worry about the dome, let the men worry about that, I'm sure Dr. Trindle has everything in hand, don't you Doctor? [Looks at Jerome. Then walks over to Alice] Look at the state of you girl, [Wipes some mud and 'not cream' from Alices face using a handkerchief that she licks first]

Alice : [Pulling away from Chastity] Okay, okay! Look, we're clearly going to have to get into Queens View, otherwise the priceless cure that we've risked life and limb to bring back will be useless. Speaking of which, where is it?

Clint : [Juggling with some small glass flasks] I have it. [Smash. Two of them break on the ground] Well, we didn't really need that much of it, did we?

Austin : [To Clint] Excellent, the fate of human kind lies in the hands of CLint, who has just doomed sixty-six percent of all humans. Please be more careful, the enemy look like they are winning already, without your help, let us not make it any easier. Let us proceed [Starts walking towards the green patch at the nearby house]

Clint : Calm down lawyer, I have it in a safe place.

[The party walk towards the grassy area, but are called by someone from the burning house. It is a woman, but is out of sight at the moment.]

Woman : Hey! Come on, dinner will be burnt!

Chastity : Mr. Sleaze! Always so quick to critisise, I'm sure one bottle will be plenty. My second husband George always used to say "Where there is a will, there is a way" often in prayer before bedtime. [Gesturing towards the green area] Now come along everyone, I'm sure Dr. Trindle will have something interesting to say about that green patch. [Starts marching, stops and looks at Jerome] And where oh where is that strange little Mei chap? He is always late.

Jerome : [Looking back from the woman to Chastity] I'm afraid Mei is late again.

Puke : That is correct, apparantly there was an accident in the EST room.

Alice : Well, that's [emphasises] suprising. [Bursts out laughing, but then stops] Hey!

Woman : Come on, hurry up.

Chastity : [To Alice] Oh, hush your foolish mouth, child. Show a little more respect. [Approaches the woman, but looks back at Alice] I hope you behave yourself a little better with this lady, now let's see what she wants. [Addresses the woman] Hello there!

Olivia : Come on, now, or dinner will be over done!

Alice : Hey, doesn't she look familiar?

Jerome : Indeed, we encountered her in Cointreau, some time ago. She was quite harmless, if a little insane then. Jerome believes we will not come to any harm if we speak to her.

Alice : But her house is on fire.

Jerome : Not all of it.

[The party, accompanied by ESTHER and DR. PUKE go into OLIVIA's garden.]

[Book II, Act VIII, Scene V. Olivia Apron's Kitchen. ALICE, CLINT, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, JEROME, PUKE, ESTHER and OLIVIA are here. The house is burning quite strongly, although the kitchen is relatively undamaged. There is an enormous amount of food here, all of which is meat. The table is covered in it, as are all the counter tops. There is a small fire in the kitchen, that has clearly spread from another part of the house.]

Olivia : Now, now! Sit down everyone, before the food gets cold.

Alice : Not much chance of that!

Jerome : [To Olivia] Do you know who we are?

Olivia : What kind of question is that? Of course I know who you are! You're that lovely Oleson family from over the mountain. Now, come on, sit yourselves down.

Austin : [To Olivia] Do you remember me, Jimmy-ray? [Checks his nails for shine, polish and chic]

Chastity : [To Austin] Please don't, Austin, the poor woman is confused enough already. [Looks around the kitchen and all the cooked meat. To Olivia] I must congratulate you on your fine spread. It's good to see a woman who obviously takes pride in her duties in the kitchen. [Picks up a huge cooked leg joint] Is this Ostrich?

Austin : [To Chastity] What? I am Jimmy-Ray, am I not? Olivia? [Tastes some of the more expesive looking roast]

Chastity : [To Austin, sighing] I suppose so. It would be a shame to upset the her after all her sterling culinary efforts. [To Clint] Em, who were you again? Jim-Bobbit, wasn't it? just become a new Dad (hence my absence) - a 10lb 10oz baby boy called Angus - who is doing very well !! If only he'd sleep a bit more....(yawn)..

Olivia : [Looks at Austin, confused] No, I'm Olivia, and you are most certainly not Jimmy-Ray. You know, if you weren't a guest in my house, I'd - I'd clip you around the ear and make you sleep in out in the pen with the pig tonight.

Alice : [Two thumbs up to Clint] Alright Clint, a chance for you to have some success with the ladies at last!

Olivia : [Turning to Chastity] No, dear, that [points at a tiny looking chicken, about two inches long] is.

Chastity : [To Olivia, holding up the large joint] Well what's this?

Olivia : [Flustered] That's a cigarette.

Austin : [To Olivia] What are you doing living here, so close to Queens-view? WHy did you move?

Olivia : Well, we all felt that Cointreau was getting too dangerous. My young 'uns were spending a lot of time on the streets, driving around in carriages late at night, hollering and whooping at those tarty girls who often walked around at night with skirts that are far too short.

Alice : [Indignanty] So it was your children who were doing that?

Olivia : Er, well, it was simply too dangerous, so we moved here instead.

Clint : [Grabbing some bloody steak, but having to pull his hand away quickly to avoid being crushed by a burning beam] So, you reckon you're safer here?

Olivia : Well, we did.

Chastity : [Throws down the cigarette in disgust] Oh, horrible thing! I've never smoked ever since that parlour game I played with my third husband, George. The lights went out and I was to try his special cigarette. It didn't taste very special to me. Disgusting habit! [To Olivia] Who's been setting fire to the town?

Olivia : It isn't the town that's on fire, it is all the buildings outside it. Some terrible, evil men came, and set fire to everything.

Clint : [Picking up the cigarette and having a quick drag] Nah, wouldn't go for that. [Throws away the cigarette and takes out a cigar. The cigarette almost immediately starts another fire in the corner of the kitchen, which ESTHER tries to put out.]

[Enter FAETEN JARL, coming through an interior door, carrying a large bag.]

Fae : Okay, Olivia, I've got some clothes for you and - [breaks off on seeing the party] who are you?

Austin : [Austins eyes light up like super novae trapped inside diamonds. Cooly and calmly to Fae] We are [Introduces everyone, pointing as he speaks] Chastity, Clint, Alice, Jerome and I am Austin. We have been battling against evil for many years and right now we appear to be loosing. [Looks Fae up and down, smiling] And who are you?

Clint : [Gives Fae a toothy grin, showing his gums covered in bits of steak and blood, before giving his best pick up line] How're you doin'?

Fae : [Ignores Clint, before turning and speaking coldly to Austin, clearly unhappy with his eyeing her up] I am Faetan Jarl and, incredible as though it may seem, I am looking for a group of people with your very names.

Alice : Wow, what a coincidence! Well, good luck finding them. [Picks up what looks like some curried meat and eats some, before turning to Olivia] Mm-mm! What's this?

Olivia : [Shocked] Cat!

Alice : What? I've just eaten cat?

Olivia : No, it's cat food.

Alice : [Glances to one side, where a huge tom cat is hissing at her] Oh, phew! [Suddenly realises what she may have eaten] Hey!

Faetan : [Stares at Alice a few moments, blinks, then shrugs as she turns in her chair again] So, I, ah...understand that you face a lotta difficult tasks and such. What is it that each of you do...best?

Clint : [Sucking deeply on his cigar] For me, that's gotta be loving. [Tips some ash onto some meat]

Alice : Wait a second - who are you? Why are you looking for us? Why do you want to know? Are you a spy? An agent? An infiltrator? A Narc?

Faetan : No. [Grins ferally] For now, a traveler in search of answers. Other than that, I can't say much more. So what are your plans now? [Fingers a piece of 'smoked' ham, ha ha ha..., then tears off a hunk with her teeth and begins chewing]

Jerome : Ms. Jarl, at the risk of sounding ungracious, I [points to himself] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD would like to point out the incongruity of asking our plans while at the same refusing to divulge any pertinant information about yourself. Why are you in this house? What is your connection with this lady?

Olivia : [Fanning herself] Is anyone else a little warm in here?

Clint : [Putting out the fire on Olivia's sleeve] Just a little.

Faetan : [Smiles at Jerome, but says nothing in response. Turns to Olivia] Dear lady, you are a gracious host. But seeing as how the weather is so lovely, why don't we turn this meal into a barbecue outside? Besides...smell that nasty smoke from Clint? [She dramatically waves her hand in front of her face, passing a quick wink to Clint. Faetan coughs.] "Let's step out for some fresh air, shall we?

Clint : [Big smile] Don't mind if I do. [Gets up, revealing to the others that he has tucked the corner of the tablecloth into his shirt, and drags the whole lot onto the ground] Come on, Ma, it's time to go.

Alice : I suppose it would be safer if we left. I'll get the cat. Here kitty, kitty, kitty! [Reaches out to the cat, only to pull away again quickly after hearing a deep growl from the animal]

Chastity : [To Fae] We are here to help. That's all you really need to know at this time, my dear. [Points to Olivia] Now I suggest that you take this good woman to safety. And any information you can give us about that strange structure over the town would also be beneficial.

Jerome : [Excitedly] Yes. Dr Jerome K Trindle is most interested in the reasons pertaining to said dome over Queens View, and why Gary and Reckless felt it pertinent to keep us in abhored captivity while, apparently it was constructed, and what lies now within the structure? The inhabitants of Queens View - have they been forced into their own horrid captivity of some sort? [Counts off on his fingers] It may well also be that some kind of environment catastrophy is imminent, in which case, Dr Jerome K Trindle must immediately start to construct breathing apparatus to filter the air. It may well also be a kind of algae breeding ground, to feed the world population, kind of like mana in the old testament, or perhaps it's completely malleable, and we can easily pass through it, our own microatoms melding for a second as we pass through the substance, or perhaps it's simply an illusion to keep intruders out. Or perhaps.... [Jerome trails off, positively quivering with the possibilities] Dr Jerome K Trindle simply must know!

Austin : [Looks with vague interest at Jerome for a brief moment, turns to Faetan slowly, inhales deeply, and appears to savour the scent, smiles briefly] Shall we go now? Does anyone have any objections to leaving this burning house? Shall we put it to a vote? May I suggest that Fae and I just pop outside whilst you all decide what you are going to do. [Heads for the door]

Faetan : [Peeeeeers after Austin, expression unreadable] Sounds fine to me. [Attempts to steer Olivia out of the house, and will pick her up bodily if needs be!] Olivia, I need to show you my...er...horse. I forgot to feed him.

Olivia : [Letting herself be led out] Horse, you say? You know, I was afraid the whole dinner was going to be ruined for the want of that last meat, but oh, happy day! [OLIVIA and FAE go out after AUSTIN, followed shortly by the others.]

Puke : [To Jerome] It is excellent to see that you are, indeed a man of science. I know nothing of the shield, save for rumour and hearsay.

Alice : Hey, rumour and hearsay are our bible!

Chastity : [Tries to give Alice a clip round the ear] Blasphemous child! The Good book of Phili, by definition, is our bible. And you'd be best not to forget it, as we are doing his good work. Rumour and hearsay are just coincidental companions or [making a point of glaring at Alice] maybe bedfellows.

Alice : [Hand to ear in shock] Strange bedfellows, me? [Points at Austin] He's the one you should be giving out to about that!

Puke : Er, all I've heard is that who ever is setting the fires is trying to get into Queens View, and is having difficulty because of the shield.

Austin : [Looks at Alice and raises on eyebrow just a little] At least my love life sounds interesting. [To Puke] Oh, you are still here! [Muses] Shall we have a quick look at that patch of green grass just over there, it could be another of these 'sanctuary places'.

Puke : I think I may return to Caplan*, and take this lady [gestures to Olivia] with me. Esther, perhaps you would accompany me? I think we will be safe there, as it is the only surrounding building that hasn't been set alight.

Esther : I don't know if I can be parted from Clint.

Clint : [Grabs Esther, leans her back and kisses her roughly] You'll just have to wait, babe. I've got some demons to kill. [Looks up to the others] Are we checking out that Sanctuary, or what? [Drops Esther, causing her to hit the ground with a thump.]

Austin : [To Puke] That sounds like an excellent idea. Goodbye. [Turns to Fae, smiling] So, Fae, it must be quite lonely traveling without company for so long. I must say, it has been a while since I had any. I was beginning to think that the world was not worth saving. Shall we [Ushers Faetan towrds the 'green patch']

Faetan : [Quick smile to Austin] I can manage, thank you.

[PUKE, ESTHER and OLIVIA head towards the asylum, while the party head towards the sanctuary.]

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc PhD, would like to ask why this person is accompanying us? And how she knew to look for us?

Faetan : Jerome, right? Look, I'm afraid I can't get into the details of it, but I was told by someone very important and high ranking to meet up with you and help you in any way that I can.

Jerome : Who was this person?

Faetan : [With some pride] Claude De Montague.

Chastity : [To Faetan, concerned] I hope you didn't take any of his drinks. Quite the worst publican in the land. Shocking hygiene. And terrible manners.

Alice : No, Chastity. It was Claude, not Clint!

[The party enter the sanctuary. It is similar to the previous one, with beautiful lush grass and fruit covered trees. The entire area is about 20' square, and very much stands out due to the darkness and bleakness of the surrounding area.]

Clint : [Makes a clicking sound and points at Fae] You'll be safe in here, this is a sanctuary. Nothing bad or evil can happen here.

[Enter DOBBIN, popping up from a push. He is holding a crossbow.]

Dobbin : Shut up, you fucker! I'm gonna kill you, I'm gonna kill you all.

Faetan : [To the party] It's a regular paradise.

Alice : It's okay, Fae, he tries to kill us every so often.

Austin : [To Dobbin] You are an idiot. We did not kill your parents, you incompetent fool. Everytime you attack us you just get hurt, so why don't you just run along like a good little boy and stop bothering us with your blubbering nonsensical accusations. Your accusations against us have no basis in any reality known to humankind, and as such, and forthwith I shall be recommending you for enrollment in the nearest mental health facility.

Dobbin : See? More reason for me to kill you, you bastard! Still got that thong on, huh? Well, do ya? Go on, give me one reason why I shouldn't kill you all now.

Chastity : [To Dobbin, sighs] If you hurry down the road you'll be able to chat and arrange an appointment with one of the doctors from a certain mental establishment. Now run along and stop wasting our time. We have Phili's work to do. [Steps towards Dobbin waving her hands towards him] Shoo, shoo!

Austin : [To Chastity] Go Chassers, you could take the unplesant excretion Dobbin to Caplan yourself. [Turns his back on Dobbin, to face Faetan] Anyway, sorry about the intrusion.

Dobbin : Hey! I'm talking to you! I'm going to kill you! [Looking to one side] Mr. Darius, they won't take me seriously!

[DARIUS appears, sliding onto a comfortable looking tree branch, close to the ground, a short distance from both DOBBIN and and the party.]
Darius : [Eating some popcorn from a ludicrously large sized container] Well, Dobbs, I guess you've got to show them you mean business, haven't you?

Faetan : [Taking out her sword] Er, shouldn't we be concerned about this?

Chastity : [To Faetan] Well, suspiciously curious anyway. Whenever he pops up like this it's usually at least interesting. Perhaps we should make sure of something first though. [To Alice] I heard Clint making some smutty about your bottom in an asylum goun, my dear. You may want to give him a slap now while you have a chance.

Chastity : [Relaxes a little. To Faetan] Put the sword away in this area, dear. Your only hurt yourself. [To Darius] What do you want now, foul creature.

Chastity : [Quickly draws her mace and carefully steps away from Dobbin] This is not the Sanctuary we would believe to be, everyone. [To Darius] What do you want now, foul creature.

Austin : [To Faetan] Darius, yes, he is truly an evil to be reckoned with, beware of anything he does to help you, because he only ever helps another if it helps himself. [Turns to face Darius] He has nearly killed us several times, betrayed us several more, and now we see him playing with the insane fool Dobbin, for his own amusement.

Chastity : [To Faetan] Well, suspiciously curious anyway. Whenever he pops up like this it's usually at least interesting. Perhaps we should make sure of something first though. [To Alice] I heard Clint making some smutty about your bottom in an asylum goun, my dear. You may want to give him a slap now while you have a chance.

Alice : [Big smile] Aw, thanks Clint! [Thinks for a second] Hey! [Turns to Clint, but does nothing but look at Chastity] I'm not going to be caught like that twice.

Dobbin : [Shouting, so some saliva pops out of his mouth] Don't ignore me! By Phili almighty, don't ignore me or there's going to be some killing!

Faetan : [A gleam lights up in her eye, and she turns a feral smile to Dobbin] Do you know how to wield a blade? If so, why don't we spar...it's been too long for me. [still grinning, she hunkers down a bit] that kid.

Dobbin : I will show you how brilliant I am with a blade, when I kill your friends, and then cut out your still beating liver and shove it in your face.

Darius : [Still munching on popcorn] Wouldn't it be a lot scarier to cut out her still beating heart?

Dobbin : I think that would be too scary. [DOBBIN's crossbow suddenly goes off, shooting a bolt that narrowly misses FAETAN and AUSTIN.]

Dobbin : Holy shit! [Starts to reload]

Faetan : [Snarls viciously] You filthy maggot! [lunges at Dobbin, intending to knock him to the ground and punch his face if she succeeds] You're gonna PAY!

Clint : Faetan! No!

[FAETAN dives at DOBBIN, fists swinging, but, just as soon as she is about to connect, there is a flash of light, and suddenly, she is lying in a heap on the ground. DARIUS gives a roar of laughter, and applauds, spilling some of his popcorn.]

Darius : Man, this is classic!

Dobbin : [Looks around, stunned, before raising his arms in the air] I'm the king of the world! Kneel, before your new ruler! [Points at Faetan, who's lying on the ground, stunned] I may spare you, despite your cheek, for I find you attractive, and may wish to use you sexually. [Looks to Alice] Of course, you've got that whole slutty bimbo thing going on too, which is kind of cool, even though mother wouldn't have liked it, not that it matters now [raises his voice to a high pitched scream] not since you killed her! [Reloads his crossbow, and speaks calmly] I want you all to surrender, before I start killing.

Faetan : [Spits disdainfully, rising on her arms and knees] Go to hell!

Alice : [Kneeling down beside Faetan] Are you okay? [Throws a huge mug of water over her before she has a chance to answer, but somehow ends up with most of it on herself] Glug!?

Clint : You know something Dobbin, I think it's about time we killed you.

Faetan : [Panting faintly, brow creased in confusion... she pats Alice's knee, and rises to her feet] That sounds about right. [pulls a knife from her sheath, gripping it in a way that might be recognized as ready to be thrown] Because APPARENTLY, this clown is NOT good with a sword! *I* say it's just a load of crap!

Darius : You're not going to take that from a woman, are you Dobbs?

Jerome : [Quietly to Faetan] This is a sanctuary - any harm you try to do to another here ends up being done to you two-fold.

Dobbin : [Throws his crossbow to the ground, and pulls out a huge sword, that he can hardly lift] Okay, I tried to be nice to her, but now I'm just going to kill her. [Makes a few jabs at Faetan, who is still a good few feet away. It is clear that none of them are meant to hit her, merely intimidate her. However, as he can hardly hold the sword up, it doesn't work so well.]

Clint : [Grabbing a handful of popcorn off Darius] Off you go. [To Darius] Where'd you get him? What's going on with the two of you?

Darius : Just figured I'd use him to show you lot how trustworthy I am.

Faetan : [Nods gratefully to Jerome for the information, and begins to smirk once she understands how the place works] HA! Now this IS pathetic! [scoffs at Dobbin] I've seen hamsters put up a better fight than you! [sticks her knife back into her sheath]

Dobbin : Know the name of your slayer! Know the name Dobb - [swings his huge sword at Faetan, and is cut off by a huge blast.]

[Everyone is engulfed by a blinding light, which has no shock wave, and doesn't appear to hurt anyone. When it recedes, DOBBIN is lying on the ground, with a huge wound from his left shoulder to his right thigh, gaping open, with small flames on it.]

Darius : [Now wearing some shades, and taking a quick toke off a cheeseratte] Man, that was intense. [Breathes out the smoke, and throws the joint away] Now, before we go any further, let's all remember who warned the party about the sanctuary in the first place, shall we?

Faetan : [Crosses her arms, spits] You think we're instantly going to trust you, because you bring some unsuspecting goober along and set him up so he can get killed? BAH! [narrows her eyes] You want to give a token of good will, why not put out that fire and do something useful?

Darius : [Smiles] Mm, feisty! I like that.

Alice : Hey! I'm feisty too!

Darius : No you're not, you're just cantakerous. [Turns back to Faetan] You want me to put the fire? Sure. [Steps over to Dobbin's body, and urinates on the fire. When he's finished, he points at Faetan with a determined look] I don't know who you are, and I don't particularly care, but you better check with your new friends before you start getting pissy with me. I've known them a hell of a lot longer than you.

Alice : [Whispering to the others] Doesn't he have a really small winky?

Darius : That's my finger I'm pointing at her, you halfwit.

Faetan : [Smirks] Pissy? *I'M* not the one who urinates randomly on things like some sort of nappy mongrel! [frowns] Wretched heathen. *I* am the great Faetan Jarl, daughter of Himo Jarl! [squats next to Dobbin, takes out a handkerchief and starts pressing it to his wound] Take it easy now, lad... [As FAETAN speaks, DARIUS has his leaned to one side, and is snoring. Shortly after she finishes, he pretends to wake up.]

Darius : It's not random, Faetan, if it was, I might accidently do it on you, or on [waves his hands around as though trying to think of something] or on Lord Bauth, or anyone.

Clint : What the hell are you doing here, Darius?

Darius : You know, shootin' the breeze, meeting up with some of my old buddies, putting out the odd fire, that kind of thing. [The unfortunate DOBBIN is quite dead.]

Faetan : [Mutters under her breath] Poor fool... [stands up, glares at Darius, and stiffens with suspicion...but says nothing else]

Jerome : [Tersely] Darius, you're the last person we need to associate with right now. Either tell us why you're here, or move on. We have bigger fish to fry!

Chastity : [To Darius, looking around at the burning buildings around them] Just putting out fires? You're not responsible for the wanton destruction of the surrounding area then? Or are you just here to see what you can use, or manipulate, as you can't get past the dome round Queens View? Last time we met in a sanctuary you were just trying to get us to bring out the dagger, were you not? As my Second husband, George would say, after a bizarre assault by a strange girl down the docks, "Once bitten twice shy". [Innocently, to the rest of the group] He said he was only asking for directions. I've never understood it.

Darius : [Smiles at Jerome] Dear, sweet Jerome. How wrong you are - I'm the first person you should associate with. [Looks to Chastity] I wouldn't say I'm responsible for the destruction of the whole area, you know what Dangsten is like! But, Chastity, your suspicion wounds me! Okay, Dangsten did get the dagger off you, but he never got a chance to use it, because you got back to Cointreau just in time, arriving in [emphasises] just the perfect spot. And how was this achieved? Oh, that's right, Uncle Darius came through for you with the orb.

Faetan : [Crosses her arms, glaring at Darius] I haven't seen this much pointless wind since the chili-eating contest of Terjon! [grimaces faintly in remembrance of the smell] Get to the point!

Austin : [Smirks. To Faetan] You have come to the right people for pointless wind. Or perhaps I should say, pointed wind. [Smiles at his own joke and briefly checks his nails]

Faetan : [Looks off-balance for a second, shifts her gaze to Austin.] [grumbles under breath] Puns are for the weak...

Chastity : [To Faetan] But weak puns are for the strong - and speak up, girl. So you see, you are actually standing with a group harbouring one of the strongest winds in the land. [Stepping away from Clint] Although some people have stronger ...erm... winds than others. But enough of this nonesense, it's very unproductive. [To Darius] For Phili's sake, what are you have for us then, if you're generous?

Faetan : Hmph. [Sidles over to Austin, still glaring fiercely at Darius. Lowers voice conspiratorially to Austin] So...what's this about an orb?

Austin : [Whispers to Faetan] THey are, in this case, a magikal transportation device, they open a portal to another place throught which one may walk, or jump as the case may be. No pun was intended, weak or otherwise. [Inhales Faetan's scent, deeply]

Darius : [To Chastity] Well, I would have thought a little gratitude from you might be in order, but, nonetheless, I wanted to put myself at your disposal, in case I could be of some use in giving you information. [Bows formally at the party, and glances up, holding his position.]

Faetan : Good, he'll make an excellent packhorse... [Glances at Austin out of the corner of her eye, frowning at something]

Darius : [Straightens up, and does a yapping motion with his right hand] Blah blah blah blah! Does she serve any purpose other than to try and insult people?

Faetan : [Puffs up indignantly, shoulders back] You wanna piece of me, Arnie Scarfsakegger? C'mon! I'll show you just what else I can do!

Chastity : [To Faetan] Please, my dear. Lets cease this unproductive bickering. [To Darius, sighing] Very well, I will acknowledge that you have been, at times, quite helpful. You must admit, you do associate yourself with an unsavoury gathering. If you were one of my children, I wouldn't let you hang around with them. It would be straight back to Bible class for you!

Austin : [To all, completely ingnoring everyone elses conversations] I have an idea, try this one for size [Clears his throat] A three-legged dog walks into a saloon in the Old West. He slides up to the bar and announces: "I'm looking for the man who shot my paw." [Smirks]

Alice : [Tearing up] Oh no! Someone shot the dog's father? [Sniff]

Darius : [Nodding sadly at Chastity's words] Yes, dearest Sister Chastity, it is true. I do spend too much time with an unsavoury bunch, but hey, I like you too much! [Gives a strange smile to Faetan, and leans forward, chinning jutting out, which he points to] Go on, right here, as hard as you can.

Faetan : Foolish little man... [grins nastily] Why don't we step outside? I'll even let you take the first move!

Darius : I've a better idea. Why don't you step outside and wait until the grown ups are finished? I don't know who you are, and, to be quite honest, don't care. The party are here to do an important job, and I am trying to help them. All you're doing is making it more difficult with your tiresome posturing. Why not try and co-operate? When we try to do things on our own, they are difficult, but when we help each other, why the [thinks for a moment, and then his face becomes a picture of serenity] the Sky is the limit. [Smiles at Faetan] What do you say? Best buds?

Austin : [Searches Dobbin's corpse for items of interest. To Darius] Why do you not supply us with the information you intend to give us and then run on back to your friends?

Faetan : [Growls] I don't trust you...and even more importantly, I don't like you. Do what you will, but don't do it within five feet of me. [snorts, stalks over to a bare patch of grass and does what she does best...begins brooding and glaring]

Darius : [Gives Austin a superior look] You know, I've a better idea. I'll just run on back to my friends now. If you're too stupid to accept help, that's your own problem. [Turns and begins walking out of the Sanctuary]

Clint : Look guys, are we sure we want to just let him go? [AUSTIN has discovered a purse of gold, and some personal items, such as pictures etc. on DOBBIN's body.]

Darius : [Glances back] Don't worry, sweetie pie. Darius knows where he's not wanted - you can stay here and rot with these losers if you want to.

Alice : Hey!

Darius : Oh, sorry. I mean, you can stay here and rot with these losers and that Bimbo if you want to. [Steps out of the sanctuary]

Austin : What a strange chap, I ask him if he will tell us what he came to tell us, and then he refuses and stomps of in a huff. Stroppy little fellow.

Jerome : Perhaps if he was given a chance to speak, instead of simply insulted, [gestures to Faetan] even by one who has never met him, he might have been of assistance. However, the fact remains that we must get into Queens View to deliver the cure.

Alice : [To Austin] Did the dog find the man who shot his father?

Faetan : Bah, if it was THAT important, he would have spat it out without going on his little ego trip. Better off without him, *I* say. [looks only faintly ruffled now, and scratches the tip of her nose] He's got that shifty look to him.

Alice : And what do you know about it? Austin's got a shifty look about him, but we still keep him in the party!

Faetan : [Narrows eyes at Alice, then at Jerome] All right...you want to trust in a maggot like that? Fine. You clearly aren't the ones I was looking for after all. [stands to her feet, brushing grass from her trousers] I'll leave, and you can carry on with ill company all you like! Just be careful you don't end up like HIM. [points at Dobbin, sneers, and storms away in the opposite direction that Darius took]

Clint : [Does a "handbags a twenty paces" move] Oooh!

Alice : [Calling after Faetan] We don't need your permission to hang around with ill company, [with pride] we've got Clint!

Austin : [looks through Dobbins photos and personal effects, using gloves if any have urine on them. To Alice] No, the guy got off the charges, he had a good lawyer. [The pictures are clearly family photos, as well as documents from his childhood - e.g. school diplomas, certificates for an "Under 7" drawing competition etc.]

Alice : Hey! I won one of those!

Clint : Yeah, but you were eighteen at the time. [Looks after Fae] You know, that's the fourth person who's left the party one way or another in the last few days.

Chastity : [Looking after Fae and then after Darius] Sometimes I really tire of all this. Life is so much quieter in a building filled with vows of silence. [In the background, Faetan might be clearly seen mounting her horse, jamming a helmet down on her wild black hair. She doesn't urge the mount forward, though...she seems to be peering at the party to see which way they'll end up going, once they make a decision and move]

Austin : [Idly drops the worthless photos, checks the gold to see if it is real] I believe that we should be making a move, before it gets dark. [Walks over to where Faetan is waiting]

Faetan : [Tries to hide extremely pleased smile by appearing gruff and stern] Well spoken. You're the leader of the party, right?

Chastity : [Looks up at the perpetually dark sky. To Clint] I take it he was refering to the darkness of evil. We'd had be best getting on though. [Walks towards Faetan] No, my dear, he's the lawyer of the pack.

Faetan : [Grins even more, having a harder time repressing it] Well met, sister. I've never traveled with one of the cloth before.

Alice : [Petulantly] Oh, great! So we let Darius storm off, but run after her?

Clint : Well, you gotta admit it, Bimbo, she does have a cool pair of sunglasses.

Alice : Shut up, Stinky. So, [calling out to Austin] leader. What do we do now?

Austin : [To Alice] Follow me. [Austin heads for the dome covering Queens-view]

[The dome is about thirty feet away. When the party approach it, they can see that it appears to be a kind of shimmering white light.]

Jerome : Curious. It doesn't appear to be solid, but is clearly not see through. Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD hypothesises that it is not possible to simply pass through it.

Chastity : I know it seems obvious, Dr. Trindle, but does the shield go under ground, in your opinion.

Jerome : I believe it does, Sister. However, I have nothing to base that belief on other than the hope that whatever scientists were responsible for its construction took that precaution. It wouldn't be much of a shield if it could be penetrated by a little boy and spade now, would it?

Austin : [To Clint] You could try pushing your sword through the shiled, and then try digging under the shield with your sword.

Clint : I know little boys and spades excite you Austin, but I'm not sticking anything into that shield. We don't know how deep it is. Jerome, what would happen if someone touched it?

Jerome : Good question, Clint. However, it is impossible to answer. One may simply brush off it, or one could get a shock so severe that nothing would be left save for a pair of smouldering sandals.

Alice : Which do you reckon it is?

Jerome : My guess is somewhere between the two.

Chastity : [Searching through her pockets] Does anyone still have an Orb. I was sure we had a spare one still.

Austin : I would surmise, based on previous evidence and experience, that this shield maybe very much like the shield around Browns house. We may be able to get in because we are Knights. [To Alice] Alice, do you have any premonitions about the shield?

Alice : [Shrugs] Nope, but like I said before, Austin. The time I got one, I didn't seek it out, it just came to me. That said, just because I don't get anything about this, doesn't mean there isn't anything wrong with it.

Clint : I think it's different to the last shield, we could see through that one. [Picks up a pebble and throws it at the shield.]

[It immediately bounces off with a flash of sparks, and strikes the unfortunate ALICE on the forehead.]

Alice : Ow! Watch it, will you, Stinky? That really hurt! [Looks at Austin] I'm getting a premonition now that someone is going to kick Clint up the ass.

Faetan : Wonder if this thing affects people inside...can *they* perhaps find a way out of it, or is it only a one-way type of deal? [rubs chin thoughtfully, and dismounts to pick up a handful of plucked grass] Maybe it doesn't have much effect on organic material. [tosses grass at shield]

[FAETAN grabs a handful of the blackened grass, and, when she throws it at the shield, it sizzles and burns.]

Alice : I guess the question is, is the shield there to keep people on the outside from getting in, or those from the inside getting out? Of course, another question is : what the hell is that thing sticking into my back?

Clint : Oops, that's my sword, Alice, sorry.

Faetan : [Takes a step back from the shield, blinks...blinks again] Well, I'M not gonna touch it! Dr. Puke and Esther came this way, didn't they? Let's do a perimeter search. Maybe there's an entrance somewhere.

Jerome : [Blinking] Let us take stock. THe blackened grass is dead - it's once living cells are now components of carbon and such stuff. It's inanimate. I wonder what would happen were a living substance attempt to pass through it?

Clint : We could get Zug, and throw him through it. He's back at the asylum with Dr. Puke and the others. [Points back at the asylum]

Alice : Didn't Dr. Puke say that the shield was protecting the town? If it was possible for people to just wander in there, surely he'd have taken the mad people in there? And actually, if it was possible for people to just wander in there, well, it wouldn't really be a shield at all, would it? And, you know, does it strike any one else as a bit mean that we left poor old Dobbin's body out in the open where any waster or thief [glances at Austin] could interfere with his body?

Faetan : [Glances from Clint to Alice, ponders for a moment] This might sound a bit grim, [smiles] but why don't we see what happens if we toss Dobbin through it? If he makes it through, then I'll give it a go, and we'll find a shovel to lay him proper.

Clint : Cool! Actually, I just thought of a way to send some organic matter through. [Leans over, holding one nostril shut, and breathes down hard, causing a substantial ball of snot to shoot out and hit the shield] Fnark! [The snot disappears amongst more sparks] We'd better try Dobbin to be sure.

[The party head back to the sanctuary, where DOBBIN's body is still waiting patiently.]

Alice : Pooh! Do they always smell like that when they're dead?

Clint : Only when somenone's pissed all over them. [Short pause] Apparantly.

Faetan : [Makes a grim face, pulls on gloves] All right, I'll load him on Martin. [hauls Dobbin up and tosses him over the saddle of her horse] Who wants to give him the ol' heave-ho? [looks at Clint, already expecting the answer]

Chastity : One thing does strike me as curious. As much as Darius likes to manipulate others towards his own ends, it does seem strange that he'd bring along Dobbin just to see his humiliating demise. Maybe there is something about Dobbin we missed, before you throw him into the shield. If we take him outside the Sanctuary, I can humbly ask Phili for guidance.

Faetan : [Shrugs] Seems like we've got plenty of time, I don't see what it could hurt. names right in the 'last from' part? Dominic is Austin, and I'm pretty sure Chastity is played by Cheridan...please correct me if I'm wrong on any of them!

Chastity : If you would allow me. [Leads the horse and Dobbin out of the Sanctuary, lays her hands on a dry part of Dobbin, and looks towards the dark sky] Phili enlighten me.

[DARIUS approaches from one side, with a strange smile.]

Darius : Throwing a dead kid through the shield - man, that's class!

Faetan : Oh, so you're here to take his place. [cracks knuckles]

Chastity : [Releases her hold on Dobbin] Bless you Phili. [To the group] It appears that, predictably, Dobbin is as mundane in death as he was in life. [Turns and sees Darius. To Faetan] Might I suggest, Dear, that you don't engage yourself with Darius, to avoid another unproductive clash of personalities. [Walks just into the Sanctuary. To Darius] For once, I am glad you returned. Maybe we can all conduct ourselves in a more civilised manner this time.

Faetan : [Incredulously] You don't seriously believe he was sent by a god?! [takes off her glove, rubs hand over face, grumbles] I bet father never went through anything like this...

Chastity : [Coughing in shock. Wide-eyed] What Darius, one of Phili's chosen? I don't know if that's more preposterous or blasphemous. I was praying over Dobbin and thanking Phili for his guidance. [Composing herself. To Darius] Can you tell us anything about this barrier and how to get through it.

Austin : [Still wearing gloves, stands Dobbins body up beside the shield, and lets it fall into the shield] Goodbye Dobbin [Waves as the body fall into the shield]

Faetan : [Grins widely, obviously pleased] Now that's more like it!

[There is a huge crackle and bang, followed by the stench of singed flesh and burnt urine soaked clothes. DOBBIN's body is thrown onto the ground near the party.]

Alice : [Wrinkling up her nose, and waving her hand in front of her face] Now there's a smell I thought I'd never encounter again.

Darius : [Joining Chastity in the sanctuary] Sister Chastity, thou art as wise as thou art beautiful. I will attempt not to engage your new friend again, as I fear that clashing wits with her would be like dueling with an unarmed woman. [In a serious voice] Yes, I can tell you about the shield.

Faetan : [Sniffs, grumbles to herself as she wipes down Martin's saddle] He can, but he won't...not without a price...

Darius : [Smiling broadly] Wow! She's just so negative! She's great! Maybe my price will be for you to say something nice - nah! That would would be too much to extract. Look, you obviously don't know the party very well, and aren't familiar with our history of co-operation, so I'll just clarify my position. I'm here to tell you how to get passed the shield, and answer any other questions you may have.

Alice : [Pulling up her skirt slightly to show she has two odd socks on] Where's my other blue sock?

Darius : Left back pocket of your backpack.

Alice : [Checks the bag] Hey! How did you do that?

Clint : It was hanging out of the pocket! We could all see it!

Faetan : [Sighs with a faint growl] All right, I'll bite. How do we get past the shield?

Alice : [Whispering to Faetan] Best not to bite, we're in the sanctuary, remember?

Darius : The answer is that you can't. The shield is impenatrable - it goes about fifty feet underground, as I'm sure the good Dr. Trindle would have hypothesised.

[JEROME doesn't answer, and just smiles self-consciously.]

Darius : The Hierophantic Knights don't mess around when they put up shields, you know.

Faetan : [Looks startled for a moment, then regains composure] No, I wouldn't imagine so. What did they put up the shield for?

Chastity : [To Darius] So is this shield is similar to the one protecting the house, then. Only Hierophantic Knights can pass through it [glances at Faetan] That might be a problem.

Darius : [Looks to the rest of the party] Any guesses, folks?

Alice : [Putting her hand up, like an excited school child] I know! I know! To protect the town!

Darius : [Makes to say something to Alice, but thinks better of it] Well, yes, but why?

Darius : No, Chastity. The Hierophantic Knights take their shield building pretty seriously - no one gets in, and no one gets out. working perfectly... [rapidly tapping fingertips together]

Faetan : So, basically, if we want to go in, we have to all become knights. [dryly] And here I thought it would be something difficult! Where do I sign up?

Darius : [Looking straight at Faetan] No, Chastity. The Hierophantic Knights take their shield building pretty seriously - no one gets in, and no one gets out.

Chastity : [To Faetan] I think he means that no-one, not even Knights can walk out or in. [To Darius] Well that leaves magical means, like an orb, or an until recently forgotten secret network of passages that go under the barrier and come out on in Queens View.

Alice : Is that true, Darius? Is there a secret network of passages that go under the barrier and come out in Queens View?

Darius : Yes.

Alice : And do you know where they are?

Darius : Of course not, if I did, they'd hardly be a secret, would they? Okay, the reason that the shield is around Queens View is that it, like Hysteria, is built on a Hellmouth. There is one under the church.

Faetan : Refresh my memory [to anyone], what's a Hellmouth?

Austin : [To Faetan] A hole in the ground that connects this world to Hell, once you are in it is very difficult to get out.

Faetan : Oh. Oh joy. Isn't the church considered sacred ground? I'd think you wouldn't find things like that meshed together. [pauses] Well what's in Queen's View anyway, really? Anything worth going in and out of Hell for?

Chastity : [To Faetan] These portals into Hell are usually shut by powerful magical seals, which of Good of Phili can help preserve. We came across a Hellmouth previously under a tower in Hysteria. We battled with Darius's evil colleague Dangsten there. Darius displayed his now characteristic ambiguous allegiances by working with the Evil Dangsten but leaving behind some orbs to save the souls of a couple of the party. [To Darius, theatrically] For which we are of course eternally grateful.

Darius : [Gives Chastity an extravagent bow and smile] Anything worth going in and out of hell for? Well, how about getting in to Queens View?

Faetan : Yeah? And why's everyone willing to risk their necks to get in? Not to mention the fact that you'll have to do it all over again if you get tired of the place.

Jerome : I presume, Darius, that you have a mechanism for doing this?

Darius : But of course. It isn't simply a matter of walking into hell and back out again - if it was, things would be pouring out of the Hellmouth. I have a special talisman that will let people pass through, and nothing down there can harm you while you have it. That is, of course, unless you are evil yourself, in which case you will get stuck down there.

Faetan : Last I heard from you guys, you were do-gooders, so this shouldn't pose a problem for any of us. [to Darius] And what is it you want for the talisman?

Darius : For the talisman, I want nothing. Save for the respect, and dare I say it [becomes emotional] the love of those I respect the most. [Normal voice] Oh, and Austin too!

Chastity : [Glancing round the party, pausing on Austin. To Faetan] Unfortunately, not all of us are exactly "do-gooders", but we aren't intrinsically evil. [To Darius] I feel the more pertinent question is, do you have any other talismen, and if not are you willing to give or lend your own, or tell us where we may get some. Also, will we all need one each, or will one be enough for us all to pas through the Hellmouths? [awkwardly] Erm, please.

Alice : Some of us are do-gooders. [Looks from Austin to Clint]

Clint : [Brightly] Not me! [Draws his sword and swipes it about] But I'm on a mission from God.

Darius : You know Chastity, you were always my favourite, always so wise, so caring. Each person will need a talisman, and I just happen to have a box of them here. Unfortuntely, due to my some of my somewhat, shall we say, misguided behaviour of late, I'd rather not chance going through there.

Faetan : [Smirks] You'll get my gratitude if these things really work. Maybe even respect. 'Til then, you'll have to forgive any skepticism I might have when it comes to such piddly things as, oh, I don't know, venturing into Hell. [scratches the tip of her nose]

Austin : [Take a Talisman but does not put it on, and examines it instead] Thank you, Darius. [To Chastity] I am not even vaguely evil compared to the like of you, you poor, misguided Philliphile. You falsely accuse the innocent and torture them, bind them in slavery and get all aloof with them when they are suffering. I wouldn't be surprised if you had a tail and clove hoofves. [Stands waiting for one of Chastity's predicatable comebacks] [DARIUS has a box of the talismen (mans?), each of which is like a small orb, tennis ball sized, with a number of spikes on it.]

Clint : [Taking one too] So this will protect us in hell, huh?

Darius : Yes - but don't take them off. If you do, someone down there will just steal it, and you'll be stuck.

Austin : [To Darius] Why should we believe that these are the talismen you claim them to be? It seems like another trap to me. We can get into Hell without thme, and if they don't work we are in serio....fucked. [Pauses,examines the talisman somre more] How can we tell if they are real? Why don't you just tell us your cunning plan to trick us, and then we will go and fall for it anyway?

Darius : You know Austin, you were always my favourite, always so suspicious, so untrusting. I have no plan, cunning or otherwise, and have no wish to trick you. I only want to win back your trust, admiration and favour. Look, you can take them if you want, or you can go back to your original strategy of standing around the shield throwing stuff at it.

Faetan : [Frowns at the box, picking one up gingerly with a gloved hand] Do they have to be on your person, or... [pauses] Well, how do you wear the suckers? [sighs in resignation]

Austin : [To Darius] Or we could find one of these underground tunnels into Queens-view and get in that way. Perhaps there is one from the hospital. Society families use them to take their insane family members to and from the hospital with out anyone knowing.

Alice : [Nods in agreement with Austin] Yes! That's right! During the night, after another episode of strange behaviour, the people from the sanitarium would come up to the house and - [notices the others watching her] and, well, that's what I've heard, you know.

Darius : Perhaps you could Austin, or perhaps I was lying about that for entertainment value, for sweet Alice. [Turns to Alice] You know Alice, you were always my favourite, always so much fun, always so trusting.

Faetan : [Glances at Austin and nods] Worth checking out at least...but if the shields go 50 feet underground...well, I'm not sure just how deep those tunnels go.

Chastity : [Ignoring Austins anti-religious rant, To Faetan] I doubt whether it would be worth our time, grasping at that straw. With the conviction of our ways and the love and power of Phili in our hearts I think you'll find that [pauses, clears her throat and sings] Hell ain't a bad place to be, [turns and points to Jerome, still singing] I said, Hell ain't a bad place to be. [Starts to do a strange walk/hopping movement whilst strumming her mace, before realising the spectacle she making of herself. Stops suddenly looking awkward, brushing down her habit] Erm, I'm sure.

Austin : [To all] How can you doubt her sanity? Let us all got to Hell because a mad nun thinks it will be okay. Running at the shield seems to be a better and more enjoyable prospect.

Chastity : [To Austin, gesturing towards the shield] Be my guest, Lawyer. Don't let us stop you!

Austin : [Incredulously] You see, she really doesn't get it. [To Darius] Where is the nearest entrance to Hell, not including the aforementioned Hell mouth in Queens-view?

Clint : Maybe if she did get it, she wouldn't be so uptight. [Does a few pelvic thrusts]

Darius : With the talisman, you don't need an entrance. Each of you puts one around your neck, and then dips them in this special concentrate I've had made up. [Holds up a bowl of what looks like gruel]

Alice : [Sticking her finger in and tasting it] Hm. Interesting taste, what's in it?

Darius : Mainly turtle faeces.

Alice : Yes. I see. I thought I could get that taste alright.

[CLINT takes a pendant and puts it on, as does FAETAN with hers.]

Chastity : [Takes a pendant and puts it on. To Clint] Young man, I've mothered twelve children. I've had enough of that to last me a lifetime. And please refrain from wafting your cheesy areas around. You're threatening the sanctity of this sanctuary.

Alice : Yeah, I guess twelve times is enough for anyone, eh, Faetan? [Smiles as she picks up a pendant] Yeaaark! [Goes rigid as though getting a shock, with blood coming out of her nose and left ear, before finally letting go, and dropping to her knees.]

Chastity : [Rushes to Alice's side, without touching her, To Darius] What's happening to Alice. She may be many things to many, many men, but evil isn't one of them.

Darius : I'm not sure - premonition, perhaps? [Picks up the talisman Alice had]

Alice : [Looks at Chastity, dazed] Ow.

Austin : [Smirking] Thinking, perhaps?

Alice : [Glares at Austin] Shut up, asshole. [Wipes some of the blood from her nose, and looks at it for a few seconds, before looking up at the others] I don't think we're going to like it in Hell, regardless of how much at home some of us will be there.

Faetan : [Pointing at Alice and looking at the others] Which one of you is responsible for this ... liability? She looks like she needs some serious help.

Alice : [Still sitting down, looking at Faetan, shocked] What I want to know is which one of us is responsible for you still being here? The only help I need is in understanding why we are putting up with you in the first place. You know, when I first saw you, I thought you looked like* Clara, but now I know you behave like her too. You'd want to shut up before I kick your ass. [Looks beneath her] Aw, I'm sitting the damp spot, can someone help me up?

Clint : Like that's the first time I've been asked that. [Gives Alice a hand up.]

Chastity : [Standing back up. To Alice] What did you see, my dear?

Alice : [Rubbing her eyes with her hands] I can't describe it, Chas, it was awful! Everyone was there, everyone we've killed since this whole thing started - and they had me, Austin and Clint and - and - [breaks off in sobs and gasps]

Darius : [Unmoved] What can I say? Hell ain't no weekend in Limerick.

Faetan : [To Alice] Do you get these psychic visions often, I mean like, in battle and stuff?

Alice : [Trying to calm herself down, rubbing her eyes] Not often, and when people get pissy with me after having them, it doesn't really help.

[JEROME offers her an immaculately pressed handkerchief, which she blows her nose in once with a loud parp, and transforms into a disgustingly filthy and sopping wet, moth-eaten rag.]

Jerome : [Getting the handkerchief back] Er, thanks. [To Darius] This suggests that your talisman won't work.

Darius : No. It suggests that some of you might be too stupid to keep them on once you get in.

Austin : So how must one wear the talisman so that it may be best utilised? I don't suppose these come with a guarantee or Trading Standards kite mark?

Darius : You place the chain around your neck, and it holds in place. Look, even Clint has already figured it out!

Clint : You better not be lying to us Darius, or I'll kill you.

Darius : You know Clint, you were always my favourite, always so gentle, so kind, so clean.

Faetan : [To Darius, hands on her hips, in a doubful tone] So how long do these things work for, after we have dipped them in the turtle shit?

Darius : You've got about ten minutes tops. Once in there, I would advise you to proceed at top speed to the Hell mouth, it'll be a God damned miracle if you make it there intact.

Clint : What?

Darius : [Bursts out laughing] No worries, kids. It'll only take a minute to get to the mouth - you'll probably be able to see it once in there.

Austin : [To Darius] And what about the huge altar stone that is probably blocking the Hell mouth? How do we get out? [Winks at Faetan]

Darius : There's no altar stone in Queens View. The whole town channels the power of Phili onto that point, and, coupled with the fact that it is beneath the church, nothing can get out of there. Except mortals of course.

Faetan : [Growls] I still don't like this whole idea...but we might as well get it over with now. One more question though...say we want to leave Queen's View. How do we do THAT?

Jerome : [Idly] Dr Jerome K Trindle is amazed at this combination of science and religion.

Darius : [With an enigmatic smile] I don't know, maybe you might try to track down a few Hierophantic Knights.

Faetan : [Visibly stiffens...narrows her eyes suspiciously at Darius, then moves forward to speak quietly] You seem to know a lot about me. How long have you been watching?

Darius : My dear, you make the mistake of believing I actually care about you.

Faetan : And you make the mistake of thinking I seem to enjoy being followed. Don't do it again.

Chastity : [To Faetan] Now, now, my lass. Don't be so ungrateful towards the strange untrustworthy man. You haven't even said thank you for the talisman [Smiles. To Darius] Have you fallen out with Dangsten, then? [sacastically] That would be a shame. Did he spot your double dealing?

Faetan : I'M not saying thank you until AFTER we get into Queen's View. [pauses] Er...who's Dangsten?

Austin : [To Faetan] Nobody inparticular, just this sad excuse for a life really. That is a rather nice shirt you are wearing there, is it Poultri et Banani?

Faetan : [Blinks] Er, no...someone hand-made it for me, actually. [shifts faintly] Thanks, glad you like it.

Chastity : [To Faetan] Basically, Dangsten is powerfully evil. We've crossed swords with him several times, with varying outcomes. I am sure that we will defeat him eventually, because we have Phili behind us. We are chosen by him for this great quest against evil. [Looks around the group] Well, if we are all ready, shall we make our we into Queen's View? [Turns to Dangsten] Unless you have anything else we need to know? Like the recipe for the dip, in case we need to use the talismen again, or Alice gets a taste for it.

Alice : [Looking up from the bowl, face and hands covered in dip] Hm?

Darius : It's okay, I've got more. [Smiles warmly at Faetan] My, my! Aren't we arrogant? You think I've got the time or inclination to follow you? You are so unimportant in the grand scheme of things that you can't even begin to imagine how little I care about you - you have come to my attention due to your involvement with this group, and nothing else. [Takes out a jar of Uncle Neb's magic dip] Now, unless there's anything else?

Chastity : [Looking at Alice, goes to takes jar from Darius] Maybe I'd best take that. Are there any other varieties of dip done by this Uncle Neb?

Darius : But, of course! In the kitchen, he's a real wizard. The Hierophantic Knights don't have just any kind of losers working for them, you know? [Casts a baleful eye over everyone in the sanctuary] Well, not usually. Once the six of you have dipped your talisman in, the fun will begin. [Gives the jar to Chastity]

Clint : I'm kinda looking forward to seeing hell, it won't do any harm to check out the place where most of my family are now. [Dips his talisman in]

[JEROME also dips his in.]

Yahoo flipped out and didn't deliver it to two people at least. So, here goes again!

Faetan : [Holds her breath to avoid the smell] I'm gonna regret this... [dips in the talisman and wraps it up in a cloth, securing it in an inner pocket of her jacket]

[Everyone else follows suit, and soon all of them have been dipped.]

Darius : Enjoy the ride!

[The party is consumed by smoke and light, and disappear. DARIUS leaves the sanctuary, and walks passed DOBBIN's still smouldering body. DARIUS takes out a cigarette, and leans over DOBBIN.]

Darius : Sorry about that, old buddy. [Lights the cigarette of some of Dobbin's glowing clothes] I had to show them how trustworthy I am. [Walks off into the distance.]

Austin : [Puts his on and then dips his in, and the covers it with a freezer bag and tucks the unsightly bauble under his shirt.] 'Twas a good life.

[Book II, Act VIII, Scene VI. The Depths of Hell. ALICE, CLINT, AUSTIN, JEROME, FAETAN and CHASTITY have all appeared in what seems to be a cave deep underground. All around them are flames, burning on the walls, and what appear to be rivers of fire running far beneath them. There are skeletons and rotting corpses everywhere, covered in all sorts of disgusting maggots. Incredibly, some of the rotting corpses are clearly alive, and are desperately, if not rather naively, trying to cry for help. The sound of people screaming is deafening. Standing around the party, looking at them, are MOE MOE, LENIN BUCKLEY, JOAN SLOANE, IOK SOTOT, EAR PEARCE, KENNY WHERE?, KENNY WHAT?, NOSE PEARCE, ANNABEL MOLE, PARSON NATHANIEL, ADAM TORQUE, GIANLUCA BERTONE, ROURKE, TOM SELLSICK, DOOP SNOGGY SNOGG, ORLA HONEY, MR. BROWN, CAPTAIN PATCH, WILLING PIKER, SLUG, MR. SMITH, BETA, DOYOUWANNA TRYHARDER, TORVILLE DEAN, SPANDREL WHIGOW, VINCENT VAN COUGH and literally hundreds of others.]

Lenin : [Who's eyes are missing*] Welcome to hell, comrades! [Leans his head back and laughs, revealing that his mouth is full of all sorts of disgusting insects.]

[As he laughs, so does everyone else gathered around, so the noise is deafening.]

Alice : [Dropping to her knees, hands over her head] Phili on a horse! It wasn't that funny.

Faetan : [Gasps] Crikey! [pause] I *did* forget to feed my horse! [casts a mean eye around at the people surrounding them] So this is hell. How charming. I was afraid it was going to be something truly horrible, like Teletubbies.

Alice : [Still crouched down] *You're* here, aren't you?

Rourke : [Prodding Clint] You bastard, you killed me! Ear Pearce : [Shoving Chastity] I don't done know who you are, but I sure don't like you!

[All the others start pushing and shoving various party members, criticising them for the manner in which they were killed. Soon, everyone is pushed back to back, as the crowd gets tighter and tighter.]

Faetan : [Casting glance at Alice, frowning, then turns back to crowding mass] Come on now...let's not argue about who killed who... [unhooks flask of ale and tosses it away from the hellmouth] Look! Free beer!

[Despite all the pushing and shoving, FAETAN's beer flies out, and is grabbed by some of the people at the back of the crowd. One of them manages to get it and immediately skulls it. A look of total disbelief on his face followed shortly by an agonising scream, as his throat his burned from the inside out by ale.]

Clint : [Pushing back at Rourke, and turning to Faetan] Hey, when we get out of here, I think I want some of that!

Tom : [The only one of the crowd who is calm] This is hell, you fool. That man was an alcoholic; part of his eternal torture is that he can't ever have the thing he truly desires.

Clint : [Nudging Jerome, and nodding to Alice] Bit like you, eh, Doc?

Chastity : [Looking around, actually looking quite pleased] I'm glad to see so many familiar faces down here where they belong, in eternal damnation! [Her mood visibliy drops into confusion,as she looks into the damned crowd] Is that Father Paul Jon? What's he doing down here? He was head of the church 30 years ago! Phili protect us all [Says a little prayer]

Rourke : [Laughs at Chastity] Praying to Phili here? Of all places? Where the hell do you think you are?

[Everyone else joins in the laughter.]

Tom : [To Alice] Remember me, baby?

Alice : [With a slightly deranged look] Yes. [Punches Tom as hard as she can, but her fist simply goes straight through his face] Eauh!

Faetan : [Looks amused] Now that's odd... Let me try. [punches at Tom too, then at the nearest non-party member to see what happens]

Chastity : [To the laughing masses] Huh, mocking Phili, no wonder you're all going to spent eternity in Hell. [To Rourke] You laughter has no effect on me. Do you think I'd become a Nun if I couldn't handle people laughing at me? [Pauses] Hmm, that didn't come out right at all. [To the group] Enough of this. We've got to get going. We were told that we would come to no harm whilst wearing a talisman, so lets go.[ Makes sure her talisman is tucked away in her habit and swings her mace at Rourke] Out the way, abomination!

[FAETAN swings at TOM, but he catches her arm, and starts dragging her into the crowd. Immediately, she is grabbed by MR. BROWN, CAPTAIN PATCH and SPANDREL, who pull her to the ground and pile on top of her. ROURKE, meanwhile, has just had his head knocked off by CHASTITY. It flies across into the crowd, where it is stamped on by a careless damned soul.]

Rourke : [Immediately growing a new head] That really hurts! [Puts on a pair of sunglasses]

Faetan : [Snarls loudly] Let go, maggots! I'll have your ears for that! HEY!!! Whose hand was that?! [struggles and bites, enraged]

Jerome : What's going on? The talisman doesn't seem to be working as advertised!

[The crowd on top of FAETAN are getting more frenzied, and elicit the occasional scream from her.]

Clint : Alright, fun's over! [Grabs the nearest person, Torville, who screams in agony at Clint's touch, and immediately jumps away.

From the pile of bodies emerges TOM SELLSICK, holding FAETAN's talisman.]

Tom : Fresh meat!

Austin : [Whips out a crucifix of Phili (A rather nice one that he saved from the burnt church) and brandishes it high] In the name of Phili, get back you scum!

[KENNY WHAT? reaches out and snatches the crucifix off AUSTIN, and bites the top of it off.]

Kenny : Mm! I haven't eaten a good religious icon for ages!

[The mess of bodies on top of FAETAN continue to bite and scratch at her, although as ALICE and CLINT try to intervene, many of them move away.]

Faetan : [Keeps fighting, though perhaps not as violently as before] AUGH! [winces] Knew we couldn't trust that pernicious black-browed hobgoblin...

Chastity : [Goes to help Faetan with her mace] I wonder if the talismans protective power only works if it's worn. I'm sure I so Faetan put hers in her pocket.

[CHASTITY, ALICE and CLINT beat off the rest of them, so there is now a space around FAETAN, who's clothes are all torn, and who is covered in scratch marks. Every so often, someone tries to make a grab at her, but is prevented from doing so by one of the party members kicking at them. When they make contact, they tend to burn, or cause some similar damage to, whoever they hit.]

Alice : Good point, Chas, but whatever the reason, we've got to get out of here fast.

Faetan : [Looks at the other party members, her expression solemn as she regards them for a long silent moment...] THOSE @#$&#@%@#% RUINED MUM'S SHIRT!!! [angrily struggles to her feet, enraged]

Austin : Of course they only work if they are worn, Darius clearly stated that to be fact, and it was witnessed by us all! [Frowns at the vanishing crucifix] Once again Phili gives no help whatsoever to his slaves. [Sprays some air freshner around] Chastity, you could try singins some hyms. It will make me run away at least!

Chastity : [To Faetan] Put the talisman on , Child, and have faith. It never does any harm to have faith. [To the group] Form a ring round Faetan and lets get over to the Hell mouth. I don't want to be here longer than we have to. [To Austin] I realise you don't mean it, but it's a good idea. [Starts to sing] "If you are bad or don't act well, you will be sent straight to Hell. On the fires you will fry, with evil demon's poking your eye. In the ovens you will bake, and you will feed on solely stale cake."

Faetan : [Looks around frantically] That one guy *stole* my talisman! Where'd he go?! [to Austin, whispering] I noticed you weren't wearing yours, either...better put it on.

Jerome : [Musingly] It does seem that the talisman's do work, though how or why I don't know. Perhaps it does carry strong religious repurcussions, or perhaps its simply that the vile smell of turle droppings cause them to stay away.

Austin : [To Faetan with a half frown] I am wearing my talisman, it's under my shirt as it did no go with my Hugio Choss suit. At all. [Tried to get to the Hell mouth.

Clint : [Tries to grab the talisman off Tom Sellsick] [To all] We've got to get the hell out of here! [Alas, TOM SELLSICK has disappeared, and is nowhere to be seen. AUSTIN moves towards the mouth, followed by the rest of the party, who form a tight ring around FAETAN. They are all followed by a huge group of lost souls, who make the occasional grab at FAETAN, but are obviously repelled by the party members.]

Alice : I don't think it has anything to do with the smell, Jerome, it's actually quite pleasing. [Opens her mouth and breathes at Jerome.]

Jerome : [Staggering slightly, and going quite green] How true, dearest Alice. [Cough]

[What appears to be the hellmouth is upright, about six feet in diameter. The edge looks like it is made of stone, while the surface seems to be shimmering flame.]

Alice : Hey, how do we know this is the hellmouth?

Chastity : [To Alice] Well, it looks like one. Just like the illustration in one of the old books of Phili, in the chapter called "Phili visits the Hell". [Looking at the surrounding area] I'm not sure that I see anything else that could be one.

[Across from the party, a huge mouth opens up, that looks like a giant human mouth, the lips of which are covered in sores, and have a large split in them. Most of the teeth are rotten, and the stink from its breath is almost as bad as that of Alice's.]

Mouth : You bastards! I've got a special place for you!

Chastity : [Smells the Mouths breath] Phwoah, potty breath! [Turns towards Alice] Phwoah, potty breath! [Turns to Clint] Phwoah, potty breath! [Turning back To Mouth, waving her hand in front of her face] And who might you be?

Alice : [Waving her hand at Chastity] Pooh! Chastity breath!

Mouth : [A huge tongue comes out and licks the lips, and the mouth makes a kissing motion at Chastity] I'm Hell, Chastity.

[Suddenly, the ground beneath FAETAN begins to open up.]

Austin : [To Mouth] And where might that be?

Mouth : Up my ass. Oh no, that's right, hell isn't supposed to be fun for you!

Faetan : [Clinging to Clint and Alice] Help! Help!

Alice : Ow! That's my hair you're hanging on to!

[The ground beneath FAETAN snaps shut again, taking the heel off her boot, but not hurting her.]

Chastity : [Pulling Faetan away from the opening fissure] Step quickly now, dear. [To the group] I think this place is just trying to confuse us. We are looking for a Hell mouth, and have been confronted by a mouth called Hell. I think we should place our faith in the glorious illustrations of Phili and go for the flame filled frame. Anyone disagree. I don't think we have time for our usual intellectual debates this time. for

[The party stagger over to the frame, while the mouth screams abuse at them. A highly localised rock fall starts above FAETAN's head, and follows the group.]

Faetan : Ow! [Trying to protect herself, but now bleeding from the head and face] Let's get out of here!

Alice : Maybe she wouldn't get hurt if someone gave her a loan of a talisman?

Austin : [To Chastity] I think you might just be correct, for a change. [Heads for the Hell mouth flame frame. To the others] Follow me, we are running short of time.

Clint : [Putting a hand over Faetan's head] Okay, lawyer, off you go! [A rock hits Clint, but bursts into dust once it does] Hey, cool! [Sticks out his tongue and catches another one] It's like a party in your mouth!

[The frame is just in front of the group. It isn't hot, although it does look like there is flame there, which is totally opaque.]

Chastity : Best foot forward, everyone. It's not the first time we've jumped through fire, and it probably won't be the last. See you on the other side. Of the portal of course, not this mortal coil. [Jumps through the fire]

Austin : [Tutting] I really should have bought a cameraman with me. I would make front cover of Chime magazine, Austin wearing Hugio Choss suit, in the fiery pits of Hell, I can see it now [Steps through the door] [As AUSTIN and CHASTITY step through, the ground beneath FAETAN forms into several hands and arms, which stretch up to grab her.]

Clint : Ladies first! [Hurls Faetan through the mouth.]

Alice : You're such a gentleman, Clint.

Clint : [Bowing down] After you, Bimbo.

Alice : Thank you, Stinky. [Steps through.]

[Just as ALICE steps through, so does CLINT, so they both get stuck, and end up squeezing through in a most undignified fashion.]

Jerome : People, please! Not in front of the hands!

[TOM SELLSICK appears behind JEROME, wearing FAETAN's talisman.]

Tom : I'll be waiting here for you, Jerome.

Jerome : It'll be a cold day in hell before any of us return.

[There is a sudden flurry of snow, that leaves TOM and JEROME knee deep in the stuff.]

Jerome : Yes. Well. I won't dignify that with another comment. [Steps through.]

Tom : [Making a telephone gesture with his right hand] Call me!

[Book II, Act VIII, Scene VII. Beyond the Hellmouth. ALICE, CLINT, AUSTIN, JEROME, FAETAN and CHASTITY are here. CHASTITY and JEROME entered first, followed by FAETAN who was thrown in, then ALICE and CLINT who fell in, and finally JEROME, who has just stepped in. This is a cool, windowless room, with several torches on the walls. The room is about 30' square, with a large door at the opposite end.]

Alice : For God's sake, Clint, will you cop on?

Clint : [Jumping to his feet, and helping Alice up] Sorry about that, Bimbo. Hey, you know, your breath smells really nice today.

Alice : Oh God no! Does anyone have any breath freshener?

[FAETAN is getting up slowly, clearly the worse for wear. No one else seems to have received any injuries.]

Faetan : [Rocks and sways on feet, then quickly leans against wall with arms crossed] Well that wasn't too bad...all things considered. [fingers torn clothing, frowning] Those jerks...

Clint : [Lights up a cigar] I always like a smoke after saving a beautiful woman. [Gives a rather scary "come hither" look to Faetan]

Faetan : [Fake smile] I hate the smell of cigars.

Jerome : [Inspecting Faetan's bedraggled appearance] Dr Jerome K Trindle sees that it would appear that we would have to find some kind of healing soon. That mob wasn't kind Faetan.

Faetan : Got a point there... [pauses for a moment, then grins lop-sided] But it was worth it! I haven't heard of ANYONE going in and out of hell like that! But YOU guys did! I'll admit, my first impressions weren't favorable... [inspects them all with a gleam in her eye] ...but hey, every now and then it's kind of fun to be wrong.

Clint : It's okay baby, you'll come to love the smell.

Alice : [Looking at Faetan] I'll admit, my first impressions weren't favourable but, [smiles at Faetan] but hey, that hasn't changed. [To the others] Are we to be responsible for this .... liability? She joins us, clearly knowing who we are, but refuses to say who she is or how she knows us. Then she got really pissy with the one person who tried to warn her about the talisman, before not even thanking us for saving her life. Who are you, Fake Tan? If that's your real name! [Looks to Clint] Clint, no one will ever get used to that smell - and no one will get used to the smell of your cigar, either.

Faetan : [Glares, then stiffens despite the wounds] I am Faetan Jarl, daughter of the great and heroic HIMO Jarl! [waits expectantly for everyone to gasp in awe] DON'T tell me you've never heard of him... [growls]

Alice : [Thinks for a second] Okay.

Clint : Kind of quiet down here, isn't it?

Chastity : I would have thought that after all that commotion you would have been glad of a moments peace. But I would normally suppose that after all the dirt and sweat of Hell you'd want a bath too, so my logic may be flawed.

Alice : Isn't it strange that there's no one guarding the place? Or is it? Chastity, you're the one who's the expert in all this hocus pocus stuff.

Austin : [Breaking the silence. Looking towards each party member, straightening a cuff as he goes] HIMO Jarl? [To Faetan, in a surprised tone] Why do you think we should know who he is? Perhaps he uses an alias? [In an inquisitive and encouraging manner] Is he a knight?

Faetan : [Turning away from Austin] He was a very brave man, who was murdered. [Draws her sword, and turns away] Let's see what's down here.

[Walks down to the door.]

Alice : [Folding her arm] Can someone explain to me why she is with us?

Chastity : [To Alice] Phili workings in mysterious ways. He can provide help in many shapes and forms. [Follows Faetan to the door, and has a listen] If remember correctly, didn't Darius say the Hell mouth came out under a church?

Jerome : Indeed he did, Sister. I hypothesise that the church is used to seal the mouth.

Faetan : [As Chastity approaches] Look! Something's happened here.

[FAETAN points to a pile of bodies near the door, there are four of them there, and quite a lot of blood.]

Austin : [To Chastity] You wouldn't care to cast a healing spell on my rather nasty neck wound, would you? [Points to his neck wound] to

Alice : You always were a pain in the neck, Austin.

Clint : [Checking the bodies] Looks like it was done very recently - they are still warm.

Chastity : [Looking at the dead bodies, shaking her head] Finding dead bodies in churches has been happening all too often recently. Where's the respect for the church gone? I blame rock music myself. That strange looking rock star, Barbara Bundy, is probably behind it all! [To Clint] How were they killed? And are there any clues as to who they were?

Clint : [Lifting up one of the bodies, that has several stab wounds] I think this guy was stabbed - same with the rest of them, except this one, [points at one of them, who's face is badly beaten and torn] who seems to have a lot more injuries.

Alice : Hey! I think I recognise one of them, are they town guards?

[It is true, they are all local boys.]

Chastity : [To Alice] Did you know any of them?

Alice : [Tries to look Chastity in the eye, but can't, and instead looks down at her feet for a good ten seconds] No. I, uh, I think I saw Harvey talking to them. Or something.

Clint : Look, there's a cupboard there to one side - it looks like it could be big enough to fit someone inside it.

Chastity : [Goes over to the cupboard and listens for any noise inside] Hush everyone while I listen.

Austin : [Completely ignoring the chitter-chatter about corpses. To Chastity] So I take it that you are refusing to heal my neck wound then Chassers?

Faetan : Here. [tears off strip of already torn shirt, near the base; passes to Austin] Wad that up, it'll at least stop the bleeding.

Chastity : [To Austin] My dear impatient Mr. Sleaze. [Looks to see what wound Faeten is patching up] Hmmm, maybe you are a bit more unhealthy than I first thought. I'll help you [pauses] again. We wouldn't want you to be the [emphasises]"injured party" would we [Smiles at her pun] Let me. [Lays her hand over Austins neck wound and closes her eyes in prayer] Heal this sinner, O Phili, so he can go about your work.

[The door of the cupboard swings open, and COLIN MURPHY falls out onto the floor, holding a sword.]

Colin : [Looking up at the party, shocked] What the hell? [After what seems an age, the wound on AUSTIN's neck heals up. Meanwhile COLIN tries to get up with his sword, but CLINT stands on it, snapping it back to the ground.]

Colin : [Jumping back] What the hell is going on?

Faetan : [turns away from watching Austin's healing] Good question. Why are you hiding in a small cabinet? Hm? [folds arms, still cross]

Colin : [As though it were obvious] Because I'm guarding the hellmouth!

Faetan : [lifts eyebrow] Wouldn't it be easier if you could actually see it? [gestures back at hellmouth]

Austin : [To Chastity] Thank you Chassers, your witch craft is comming along well. [To Colin] It seems as though you failed in your attempt to protect the Hell mouth, because you hid in the cupboard [Austin checks the leather gloves (That he is wearing) making sure that they are on tightly in a customs officer manner]

Colin : Maybe, but if I'd stay out then I'd probably have been killed by the same thing that just killed these guys. [Looks to Austin and Clint] How did you just get out of there?

Faetan : [kneels down to inspect the bodies as well, frowning] What is this thing...and where is it now? In Queen's View?

Colin : I'm not answering any more questions until I know who you are, and how you came through the hellmouth.

Alice : Don't you know, she's the daughter of the great and heroic HIMO Jarl! She doesn't have to be polite, or need to thank any one for help, even when they've just saved her life. [Points angrily at Colin] Don't tell me you've never heard of him.

Colin : Er, okay.

Austin : [To Colin] You are a bit aggressive for some one who hid in the cupboard whilst their comrades were slaughtered. [Austin begins searching the bodies for any 'useful clues or items' in a swift and extreemly carful not to get dirty manner]

Colin : I hid there so that there'd be some one to tell everyone about the awful demon that sprang from hell.

Faetan : [slams her fist into a wall] You know what Blondie, SHUT...UP! I am this close [measures with her fingers] to mashing your nose into your face!!!

Alice : [Unimpressed, folding her arms] And is that closer than it was when I saved your life in hell?

Clint : [Sucking deeply on his cigar] Excellent - chick fight!

Jerome : [Standing between Alice and Faetan, visibly perspiring] Ladies, I'm sure there's no need for that kind of negativity.

Chastity : [To Alive and Faetan] Girls, Girls! Stop this bickering this second. We are here on Phili's business to battle evil and save te people of Queens View. I think that your personal differnces should be put aside until after we are finished. [Glances to CLint disapprovingly ]If for no other reason, it will leave Clint to get on with the job in hand and not indulge in his sordid little fantasies.

Chastity : [To Alive and Faetan] Girls, Girls! Stop this bickering this second. We are here on Phili's business to battle evil and save te people of Queens View. I think that your personal differnces should be put aside until after we are finished. [Glances to CLint disapprovingly ]If for no other reason, it will leave Clint to get on with the job in hand and not indulge in his sordid little fantasies.

Clint : That's one thing you can't take away from me, Sis! [Shuts his eyes, and a dreamy expression comes over his face]

[Meanwhile, AUSTIN has finished searching the bodies, to find that they have been stripped of all valuables.]

Faetan : If anyone has any further remarks about my father, all debts of gratitude are off! [Glares at Alice] All right, so there's a demon out there. Are we going to go kill it or what? [Wipes blood from lip and storms out of the room]

Chastity : [While Clint's eyes are closed, touches his lop-sided trouser packet area with her mace] Don't be so sure, my boy. Your already half way there. [Removes her mace, smiles and steps back]

Alice : So there actually is a debt of gratitude? It's about time you acknowledged that.

[COLIN steps in front of FAETAN, blocking her.]

Colin : I'm sorry - but you're not going through there.

Clint : [Eyes flick open, and look at Chastity] Guess who'll be in my fantasy tonight, Chastity?

Austin : [Looks 'oh, well, never mind' dissapointed at his search. Sees Faetan stomping out] Hmm, some evening primrose oil maybe required [Sees Clints obliviousnes, whispers to Clint] Time of the month! [Looks around the room for any other 'clues']

Faetan : [To Alice] Yeah, and I already repaid you by not throttling you where you stand. [Glares at Colin] And who's gonna stop me? Get outta my way!

Chastity : [Takes Faetan aside. Quietly] My dear, I'm sure that you father would be proud of your self belief and determination, but you must try to be a little less headstrong. We have no idea what is out there, so bursting out the door isn't a good idea at the moment. [Smiles] Bear with us.

Faetan : [Remains quiet for a moment, looking at Chastity] All right, Sister. All right. I'm not exactly feeling top form anyhow. [Slumps against wall, arms folded, looking towards the door]

Alice : [Yawning at Faetan's words, and making a big production of moving her hand back and forth in front of her mouth] I'm scared. [To Colin] Look, you know who we are - she's [juts a thumb at Faetan] she's with us. Although we're not entirely sure why.

Colin : Okay, but you better be careful going up there - the demon that came through just before you went up there too.

Faetan : [Grins at Alice, and scratches her nose with her middle finger extended] All the more reason to hurry. We don't want to see anyone else get killed.

Alice : [Calmly and sweetly to Faetan] Why are you here? You clearly don't like us, you've had a problem with me right from the start, so give me just one good reason why you should be with us.

Faetan : [Laughs] *I* had a problem with you? Other way around, sister. I already told you why I'm here, I promised that I'd serve the party. And one thing I don't do is break a promise. You can 'ditch' me if you like, but I'm still going to follow. I'm honor-bound.

Alice : [Suddenly wide-eyed with surprise and anger, pointing angrily at Faetan] What? Might I remind you that you're the one who described me as a liability back at the sanctuary when I got the premonition? And, might I further remind you that the only person who wasn't able to work out how to wear a necklace was you! For some reason unknown to me, the others agreed to let you join, but all I'm asking is that you act like a party member, just back off on your aggression and negativity, show a little gratitude and good grace when someone helps you and just - just be a bit nicer. You don't see the rest of us bitching and sniping at each other, do you? [Turns to look at the others] Okay, bad example, but you know what I mean.

Faetan : [Massages forehead with a sigh] I'm a fighter. I'm *supposed* to be aggressive and negative. Tell you what, don't talk ill of my father, and I won't speak ill of you. I wasn't taught any good graces, but I ... suppose ... I could put a little more effort into it.

Alice : I didn't speak ill of your father - I merely repeated what you said! Anyway, that happened after you said that I was [stops, and takes a deep breath] Okay, if you took offence to that, I'm sorry, but there was none meant.

Colin : [To Clint] This is all very beautiful. Is this where they hug now?

Clint : I sure hope so!

Faetan : [Rolls her eyes, looks to Alice] Is he always like that?

Alice : No, he usually smells much worse.

Colin : Where's the Colonel?

Clint : [Straightening his jacket] He's gone off with some sailors. [Seeing Alice's demeanour changing] Once we've got this Scalies thing sorted, we'll get him back though.

Colin : Well, I suppose you'll have to get your leader back too, especially if you're going to try and track down the demon.

Faetan : [Looks around] So there IS a leader? Where's he at? Or she?

Alice : He's - he's indisposed at the moment, but as soon as we're done here we're going after him

Faetan : [Looks pleased] Ahhh, I see! NOW I understand the reason to getting into Queen's View! There certainly is plenty to do here... [Glances to Colin] You know anything about that shield? Was it put up because of the demon?

Colin : The demon only just jumped out about ten seconds before you did, so it didn't go up for him. It's all very mysterious actually; no one knows who put it up, but after it did go up, some strange artifact appeared in the town park. It is constantly producing food and drink, so there is no shortage.

Jerome : Are people not upset about not being able to get out of the town?

Colin : Not really - once news of what was happenning outside filtered through, everyone was terrified. It's the best thing that could have happened. No one knows who put it up - some say Phili himself did it, others say that it was some secret organisation of knights, while others say that Iok Sotot* did it.

Faetan : [Rubs chin] And now we've got some THING running around out there...and there's no way to evacuate people just in case it gets real bad. [Glances up and about at everyone] We'd better hurry, then. [Unsheathes sword] Shall we? [Gestures to the door with a grin]

Alice : What manner of demon are we talking about here? Is it the [glances at Clint] foul smelling, two headed, scaly scary monster type? Or maybe the four inch tall mischevious leprechaun type who plays all kinds of funny tricks and might join our party as a kind of light relief side kick, who doesn't really contribute, but looks great and says amusing things?

Clint : [Muttering] Like we need another one of those.

Colin : Actually, he looked like a normal man, quite a good looking one with a moustache. [Gets a little flustered] Not that I found him attractive or anything, of course.

Chastity : I should hope not too, for men fancying each other is a mortal sin, although I'm not sure on the churches position on men fancying demons who look like men. [Pauses for thought] Anyway, it looks like Tom Sellsick must have used Faetans talisman to escape from Hell.

Alice : Mortal sin? That true, Austin?

Colin : I don't know what he's going to do up there - but there are a lot of people in Queens View at the moment, what with the play going on and all. They came in just before the shield went up, and are stuck here now, but since there's so much food, they are happy.

Faetan : Tom Sellsick? So that's his name... Well, he will DIE. It's his fault I look like crap now! [points to her badly wounded self...glancing at Chastity nervously for a moment and looking away] At least we know what to look for, let's go.

Jerome : [To Colin] What is this play you speak of?

Colin : Surely you've heard? It's called the Queens View Affair, about an adventuring party that was put together after the original murders in the town.

Alice : [Face lighting up] Wow! That sounds great!

Colin : [Enthusiastically] Yeah! They're such a bunch of losers, it's hilarious!

Alice : [Shocked] Hey!

Austin : [To Alice] How would I know? I don't fancy men. [Disgards the gloves he was wearing]

Faetan : [Glances at Austin, then Chastity, then Alice...] I think I missed something... [Shrugs] Come on, we have to FIND this guy and beat the crap out of him!

Alice : [Smiles to herself at Austin's answer] Of course you don't.

Colin : He shouldn't be too hard to find - look at what he did here. Just look for the screaming and panicking crowds, he'll be the one they're running from.

Alice : [To the party] Just so's we're clear - he's not talking about the crowds running from Clint's b.o.!

[COLIN pushes the door open for the party.

Chastity : [To Faetan] Wait a moment. Let me look at your wounds. I'm not sure if Phili will grant me another healing gift. [Lay her hands on a couple of Faetan's wound and prays] O'Phili, use me as the vessel for your healing love.

Faetan : [Starts to stammer] I don't think it'll-- [Silences herself, glancing nervously everywhere except at Chastity, and bites her lip]

[Some of FAETAN's deeper wounds glow slightly, and close up somewhat.]

Alice : I thought that was only supposed to work once a day.

Faetan : [Looks completely floored at the healing...stands there speechless for a long moment, staring at her arm...] Th...thanks... Thank you. [Blinks, her brow creasing faintly] Um. Let's go. [Scurries out the door quickly]

Chastity : [To the rest of the party, out of earshot of the scurrying Faetan] Hmmmm, there's something funny about that girl. [Follows Faetan out the door]

Alice : I'll say. She's all thanks when a God can cure her in his own church, but one someone pulls her out of hell itself all she can do is make unkind remarks about hair colour.

[Everyone follows FAETAN, and come out in a large church, which certain members of the party recognise as the Queens View church.]

Alice : So, Austin. Does this place look familiar?

Faetan : [Keeps about twenty paces ahead of everyone, avoiding the party members as her sword remains tightly clenched in hand] Seems quiet in here, too. [Pokes the organ, starts looking around for signs of death]

[FAETAN touches one of the keys of the organ, and the party hear what appears to be a count in on a hi-hat, one, two, three, four. The church is then filled with the sound of "Clementine" played on the pipe organ.]

Jerome : [Hands over his ears, speaking loudly] I think it must be on demo!

Faetan: [Straining to hear Jerome as she leaps back in startlement. Yells over loud music] WHAT? IT'S A DEMON?! [Growls at organ, stabs her sword at it] DIE!

Jerome : [Standing in front of Faetan, protecting the organ, and shouting to be heard] No, Faetan! It is technology, and technology is never evil!

Alice : [Now standing besidethe organ] Hey look, it's got a bunch of buttons for picking out different sounds. [Presses "trumpet", and the church is filled with the deafening sound of Clementine played on the trumpet, to which Alice does a little dance.] Cool! [Presses "dog", and the church is filled with the sound of Clementine played through high pitched dog barks] Wow! Hey, I wonder what this one sounds like. [Presses "rap", and a rappers voice booms out.]

Rapper : Yo! That bitch Clementine, her ass be mine, but now her ass be lost and gone 4 ever, those fucking ducks they drowned the bitch.

Alice : [Tries vainly to block out the sound by standing in front of the pipes, cringing in embarassment] Turn it off! Turn it off, before someone comes in!

Chastity : [Looks in horror at the organ] Outrageous, such foul language. I'm just glad that there aren't any impressionable youngsters in here! [Switches off the organ] There, that's better. [To Faetan, wagging her finger] Let this be a lesson to you, young lady, never fiddle with other peoples organs!

Alice : That's right, Chastity. Just as well that there were no fucking impressionable youngsters here.

Chastity : [Angrily] Alice. Language! [Takes a bar of incense soap out of her pocket, and presents it to Alice] Take this, go over to the font and wash your mouth out this second! [Glances round the group] After you've done that, it probably wouldn't do any harm to give the soap to Clint.

Faetan : [Glares apprehensively at organ, as though it will attack] Anyhoo...let's get out of here. [Walks to the door]

Alice : [Looking down] Sorry Chastity. [Takes the soap, but it immediately slips out of her hand and fires across the church] Er, how about I just take a drink of coke instead?

[Enter FATHER GOUGAL McDIRE, one of the local priests.]

Gougal : Ah now, what's all this noise about? You know, we can't have any rap in the church - not since we had those priests from A.L., anyway. [Recognition dawns] Sister Chastity? Is it really you? Ah now, I never knew that you were a rapper. [Does a feeble rap pose] Yo, bitch! [Laughs self consciously]

Chastity : [Looks at Gougal disapprovingly] Hmmmmm, Greetings Father McDire. Can you tell us any news from around here. [Quickly, pointing] Oh, and watch out for that soap on the floor.

Faetan : [Picks up soap] I've got it, no worries. [Glances at soap...glances at Clint. Eeeeeeevil smile, starts moving after him] Oh Clint, luv...c'mere!

Austin : [Has a quick scan around the church, looking for any 'clues'] We appear to have come full circle, and are back in the church in Queens-view once more, the place where I was originally press-ganged, and blackmailed into joining this party. Perhaps the end of our mission is nigh.

Alice : [Whispering to Austin] It's pronounced [emphasises the "t"] night.

Clint : [To Faetan] Bring it on, baby.

Gougal : [Slips and falls] Ow! [Looks at Chastity] Didn't see the soup.

Alice : [Confused] But, Faetan picked it up.

Gougal : Oh. Yes. That's right. [Stands up and dusts himself off]

Alice : Anyway, it was soap, not soup!

Gougal : Okay. Anyway, what can I do for you?

[The church looks the way one would expect it to, and doesn't seem to have suffered any recent distress.]

Faetan : [Starts lathering up Clint's hair with font water and soap, looking pleased] We're looking for this jerk...he doesn't look like a jerk, though, he's got a moustache and might be sporting one of these. [Pauses to lift Clint's talisman] You see anyone like that come through here lately?

Faetan : [Tapping soap in hand] What female in her right mind would want to bathe in a tub of filth from your body? You have to have a PRE bath first before I'd even consider bathing with you. [Grins at Austin] Now Austin, he smells pretty good.

Clint : So what you're saying is that you're considering having a bath with me? Excellent. [Lights up a cigar.]

Gougal : Er, now, you can't be doing that. There's no smoking in here.

Clint : There is. Look, I'm smoking.

Gougal : Oh. Right.

Austin : [To Faetan] Why thank you Faetan, it is a pleasure, once more, to meet someone with taste. The scent I am currently adorned with is Hugio Choss, as is my suit. [Walks over to Faetan and shows her his shirt] My shirt is by Thumby Hillfingerer, not my utmost favorite, but okay for roughing it with this rabble [Nods towards the party. To Faetan] Your exquisite boots, my sweet, are they Cha-Cha Redbum? I do so like her wardrobe this year. [Austin admires Maplin for a moment, watching Maplin flexing gracefully in his Hugio Choss sleeve] Maplin quite likes it too.

Austin : [To Faetan] Why thank you Faetan, it is a pleasure, once more, to meet someone with taste. The scent I am currently adorned with is Hugio Choss, as is my suit. [Walks over to Faetan and shows her his shirt] My shirt is by Thumby Hillfingerer, not my utmost favorite, but okay for roughing it with this rabble [Nods towards the party. To Faetan] Your exquisite boots, my sweet, are they Cha-Cha Redbum? I do so like her wardrobe this year. [Austin admires Maplin for a moment, watching Maplin flexing gracefully in his Hugio Choss sleeve] Maplin quite likes it too.

Faetan : [Starts smiling] Maplin? Who is this Maplin? [Looks around] A pet of some sort? I'm not sure of the designer for the boots...I'm just peeved I lost the heel off of one of them. I definitely need a new blouse. [Sighs as she fingers her tattered shirt] You know the town pretty well, right? Perhaps you can show me where the best shops are.

Chastity : [To Faetan] My dear, I'd be careful how you manipulate your torn clothing. It would not be seemly to expose yourself in front of the menfolk. [Looks at Clint and Austin again] Especially these menfolk. [Goes to the door to have a look outside the church]

Austin : [To Faetan] Maplin is the most beautiful creature in existence, I shall introduce you when there is an appropriate time. [Looks at her boots, nodding] They might well be Cha-Cha Redbum, they do so get the juices running, the smell of quality Italian leather, hand stiched, silk lined, smooth as ivory [stares for a moment] if you know what I mean. [Smiles and looks Faetan in the eye] It has been some time since I have had a chance to peruse the latest on the catwalk. This town is little drab I must admit, but I do know all of the best places that it has to offer, perhaps you would like to come to my place some evening, for a little drink, and then we can hit a party if you like?

Faetan : [Raises an eyebrow...looks at clothes] They ain't so bad. [Looks to Austin, vaguely interested] What type of party do you mean?

Alice : Here, Fae, you can borrow something of mine. [Takes out a highly inappropriate tiny top that would struggle even to fit Alice in her non-pregnant state] Isn't it great? [Whispers] Maplin is what Austin makes love to.

Austin : [To Alice] Do you have to be sutch a jealous, crude, smutty girl? Why can you not be more like Fatean? [Looks at Faetan and smiles]

Faetan : [Turns top in her hands, lips quirked] Hmmm... You know, this would look really good with a Marani leather vest and a lace blouse... Thank you, Alice. [Grins, and grins at Austin as well, basking in the attention] Let's go after Chastity...we'll lop off Tom's head and hit the town.

Alice : No, Austin, I don't, but when I'm in the presence of someone as smarmy and self-loving as you, why, I just can't help it. [Turns to Faetan] You know, you'll only spoil it if you cover it up. The top, I mean.

[CHASTITY opens the door to reveal that the town is going about its business as normal, with people wandering back and forth.]

Faetan : [To Alice] Right, but it's pretty cold out right now. Sunbathing though... [Smiles happily with a sigh] I haven't done that in awhile. [Walks forward, folding the top as she peers out into the town] I was afraid of that. Tom probably killed the guards just because they would've stopped him from getting out and about, there's no need for him to massacre people at random. He'll blend in only too well witht he populace.

[It is surprisingly bright outside, much like one would expect for the current time (mid-afternoon). There is the usual mix of people walking around, including the odd town guard.]

Jerome : Perhaps we should meet with the mayor, to establish what exactly is going on?

Alice : Good idea, maybe he could tell us - hey! Look at that! [Points at a poster on the wall, advertising the "Queens View Players". The poster even has a url : http://www.queens-view.com/qvp/] Is that the play Colin was talking about?

Austin : [Sees the 'Players'] Oh my sweet Phili, I had completely forgotten about that.

Alice : [Shocked] Who picked these people?

Jerome : [Chuffed] Indeed, Mr. Poindexter is most certainly a handsome man.

Faetan : [Suddenly has a 'coughing fit' and keeps her mouth covered with her hands as she turns away from the poster.] Ahem... [Thumps chest, regaining control] Well, I'm curious to see what they've produced. Maybe if it's peaceful enough we can take a break and catch the play.

Alice : [Still shocked] I think we should find out about these people and the lies they are telling about us!

Faetan : I wouldn't say they were lies, exactly. It's a play...mostly an over-exaggeration on certain things. You might have fun! But bring some rotten vegetables and fruits and eggs to throw at the actors if it's NOT fun. [Grins] That's the best part about a bad play.

Alice : Clint, you've got the rotten eggs, don't you? Oh, that's right, you just smell like them.

Clint : At least, unlike you, Bimbo, I don't eat them.

Alice : Maybe you should, they might improve your bad breath. [To the others] What are we going to do? Check out this play? Or try and find Aubrey?

Chastity : Maybe we should go and see the good mayor. He'd best be warned that Tom Sellsick is at large in the town, and he can update us on the shield, Scalies, etc. I would suggest a quick visit next door to the Convent to report in, but considering certain personalities within the party maybe that had better wait. [glares at Austin] Some Sisters are not as easy going and forgiving as myself.

Faetan : [Inclines her head once] Agreed. Most likely the play won't start until nightfall anyhow... [Looks at bright sky] ...which may be several hours in coming. How dangerous is this Tom guy? I'm wondering if we shouldn't split up or pair off to go look for him.

Austin : [Laughs at Chastity. To Chastity] If I were a nun in the convent it would be you that I was scared of. [To Faetan, in a deadly serious manner] Tom is a strictly don't split up or pair of kind of problem. That way he can kill us in one spell, without having to run around looking for us all.

Faetan : [Looks faintly baffled] Er...all right... So he's a spellcaster? All I know about him is that he's got one helluva grip.

Austin : [To Faetan] He is excetpionally dangerous, and probably wants to kill us all, since we killed him. Hey may of course attempt to press charges against us, but I wouldn't worry about that. I expect he will have difficulty trying to convince the police that he is dead, since they are dead and he is not in Hell.

Alice : [Nodding in agreement with Austin] Tom is extremely dangerous, he almost killed us on several occasions - if just two of us confront him, we'll probably get killed. Anyway, who'd want to be in a pair with Clint?

Clint : Depends on what it's a pair of! [Sexy growl]

[The party head towards the mayor's house.]

Jerome : Remember, people, that we had some difficulties here the last time we tried to contact the mayor. [To Faetan] The last time we were in the town, the Guardians of Uprightness had arrived, and the town was choked with bureaucracy. It took several hours, much form filling, and finally an intervention by the lovely Eva before we found out what was happenning. Joe Nunpar, the leader of the G of U, was in charge, and Aubrey, the mayor was demoted to head of administration.

Austin : I doubt if Nupar is here now, surely he will still be in Hall bridges. Why don't we find the Mayor. He may know where there is a good party tonight, I have a new Smelvin Jyne suit to wear. [Checks the shine on his shoes (Several passersby sheild their eyes), and smiles]

Faetan : [Nods as they walk] So there's a possibility that this Aubrey guy might not be mayor anymore. Well, whoever has the job, [shrug] I'll make sure we're admitted, or at least talking to someone of importance. After all, my father's name must have had SOME influence in this part of the world. [Clenches hands into fists] Or else I'm gonna be ANGRY.

[The party arrive at the door of the mayor's house.]

Alice : It would be great if it did, Faetan. Erm, what was his name again?

Faetan : [Barely repressed growl] HIMO. [More calmly] He had a lot of other names too. Dragon Killer, Beast Slayer, Whalloper of the Antiochs...the rest can get a bit silly, however. [Pounds loudly on door]

[Just as FAETAN is about to knock on the door, it opens, and she narrowly avoids punching AUBREY in the face. Standing behind him are HIEDI FRIECHENVURGENFURGERBURG and CYRIL B. WHINE.]

Aubrey : [Ducking down] What the hell?

Faetan : [Blinks, steps back with hands on hips] We're here to see the mayor, it's quite urgent... [Trails off, noticing HEIDI and CYRIL. Suddenly has another 'coughing' fit.] You guys go ahead and explain, you know...[snicker, cough] more than I do.

Heidi : [Clearly a large girl in an outfit that is straining to stay intact] Vat is zis? Vy are you laughing at me? Vy do you hate me? You don't even know me!

Cyril : [Sniggers selfconsciously, and then looks around the party, with his eyes lingering on first Faetan, and then Alice, before speaking in an irritatingly quiet voice] Hi. [Sniggers again]

Aubrey : [Taken aback] Oh, hello. Where's Gary?

Faetan : [Clears throat, thumps chest with her fist] Oh, I wasn't laughing. Just a faint coughing spell I get now and then, pay no heed. [Waves her hand to dismiss the matter, and steps back to let someone else do the talking while looking around the area with seeming interest]

[HEIDI barges throught the party, and comes face to face with ALICE, who she looks up and down.]

Heidi : Hmm.

[HEIDI walks off, followed by CYRIL who gives FAETAN one last look, before sniggering and moving away.]

Jerome : Gary? What do you know about Gary?

Aubrey : Just that he's the new leader of the party, along with Reckless, of course.

Chastity : [To Aubrey] When did you last see Gary and Reckless? I take it you gave then this appointment?

Aubrey : [Standing back to let the party in] Why, no. They told me that you had appointed them - after you were deemed insane. I haven't seen them for about a month or so ago.

Faetan : Interesting... [Walks inside after the others] Any idea where they're at now?

Jerome : Insane? We're not insane!

Alice : [Mutters under her breath] At least, most of us aren't.

Aubrey : Oh, so it isn't true that you spent time in an mental asylum?

Jerome : Er, actually it is.

Aubrey : [In an understanding tone] Ah. [To Faetan] I'm not sure where they are - they dropped off the script, and we haven't seen them since before the shield went up. They were supposed to bringing the others back from the asylum. Are you mad too?

Chastity : Mad? Mad? Sometimes she is livid!

Alice : [Whispers to Aubrey] Just don't tell her you don't know who her father is.

Aubrey : But, I don't even know who she is.

Alice : Man, you're just making it worse for yourself.

[The group arrive at his office, which he opens. This is the room where the party met back in Book I, Act I, Scene II.]

Faetan : [Glances around, grunts in approval, and finds a chair to sit in] Probably the most urgent matter at hand is that Tom Sellsick is in town. [Crosses legs, frowns] And he's not in the best of moods.

Aubrey : [Out of the side of his mouth to Alice] Is that her father?

Alice : No.

Aubrey : [Out loud] Who's Tom Sellsick?

Alice : There's also the matter of those actors! What's that fat girl doing acting as me? [Grabs some biscuits off Aubrey's desk and throws herself onto a large armchair, so that her pregnant bump is unmistakable]

Aubrety : Er, poetic licence?

Chastity : [To Aubrey] Suffice to say that Tom Sellsick is evil and has already killed some of the town guards just this very day. He is now a large in the town. He is very dangerous, that is why we came here on our arival, to let you know.

Aubrey : Are you sure? How did he get in with the shield?

Faetan : Same way we d-- [Suddenly does a double-take to Alice, her eyes going wide] GAH! I didn't know you were preggers!!! [Goes pale]

Austin : [To Faetan] Twins. Philli only knows who the father is.

Faetan : [Turning in her seat to Austin] Twins?! [Goes even more pale] And you guys are letting her fight...?! [Takes a deep breath, calms a bit] Anything else interesting that I should know about? I still don't know who Maplin is...

Chastity : [Aside to Faetan] Austin embraces vanity like its a sin going out of fashion. He has so much of it that he needs to create a personality for his hand to handle the overflow.

Austin : [Smiling at Faetans reaction] Alice is as tough as you get, a veritable Jean d'Arc. You would not believe the size of the guys who got her pregnant [Goes a bit glazed for amoment] Obscenely over muscled. You shall meet Maplin in good time my dear, when there is ample time to appreciate his glory.

Faetan : [Sits still for a moment, digesting that tidbit of information] Ahhhh...okay, now it all makes sense. [Grins] Now, Austin...just what did you mean by 'I will meet Maplin in ample time to appreciate his glory,'...hm? [Still grinning]

Austin : [To Faetan] I said WHEN there is ample time, a spare hour or so.

Faetan : Ahhhhh... [Smiles non-committally] Well, we'll see. [To Chastity] About the healing back at the church...I was under the impression that most 'clerics' were only able to perform those tasks once a day. You must have some sort of special icon or talisman that enhances that?

Austin : [To Faetan] I believe that it is the case that 'clerics' are only able to 'reliably' perform once a day, [Muses] and I speak from personal experience, [Looks slightly dissapointed] however, the cleric in question often seems to have a little bit extra that she can squeeze out, if she cares to do so.

Faetan : [To Austin] I noticed you had a religious icon earlier in... [glances quickly at mayor] ...in that one place. Are you associated with the church as well?

Austin : [Frowns. To Faetan] Not by choice, I was blackmailed into enforced slavery by the Philliites. I have been promised freedom upon the completion of this mission, although I doubt their honesty. I attempted to use the religious icon to help the cause, and unsurprisingly it did not work. I do not believe in Philli, nor will I ever do so, as I have seen no evidence to suggest that it exists. To the best of my knowledge, Philli and it's entourage is a method of controlling the proletariat, through a systematic series of lies, brainwashing, fear and misinformation, to cause mass paranoia, undermining the spirit of the proles in order to control them, and feed upon them like leeches sucking the nutrients from their victims.

Faetan : [To Chastity] Phili's love? Pfeh... Well, you must be someone very special to this Phili indeed. I doubt it was due to anything on my behalf.

Chastity : [To Austin] Hmmm. "Controlling the proletariat, through a systematic series of lies, brainwashing, fear and misinformation, to cause mass paranoia, undermining the spirit of the proles in order to control them, and feed upon them like leeches sucking the nutrients from their victims.", you say. Sounds more like the work of lawyers.

Austin : [To Chastity] No, it sounds exactly like Philli-ites, Lawyers don't pretend that Philli gives them the right to punish people.

Chastity : [To Austin] No, they make up their own laws to do that.

Austin : [To Chastity] No, you are quite incorrect. The Judiciary and the government make up new laws and revise old ones, Lawyers are never involved in this process. [Gives Chastity that 'you're usefull, but as mad as a mad-hatter at a chimps tea party' look]

Chastity : [To Austin] Until the twisting and manupulating phase of the proceedings. [Gives Austin a "You're useful, but I wouldn't trust you as far as I could throw you" look]. Anyway, enough of this, we've work to do. As the saying goes "This is nearly as unproductive as a drunk old lecturer at the College of Riddles". [Looks thoughtful for a moment] What a strange saying, I wonder what it could refer to? on Monday !! Oh well...

Faetan : [Smirks] Or rather, WHO it could refer to. [Ponders things for a long moment] Well, belief in Phili or no, you've a rare talent for healing, Sister. [Looks to Austin] Have you always felt this way, religiously speaking? Or did something happen to change your mind?

Alice : [Who has been eating a biscuit, lost in her own little world for the last few minutes] Huh? [Looks around at the others] What were you saying?

[A huge chunk of ceiling falls off the roof and misses CHASTITY by millimetres]

Aubrey : Er, it doesn't matter. Where's Harvey, by the way?

Austin : [To Aubery] He went off with some sailors [Steps further away from Chastity and looks at the ceiling. Ponders] It seems that a drunken master riddler heard you. [Raises one eyebrow] What a pitty he has not got better aim.

Alice : Once we've got this Scalies thing sorted out, we're getting him back. Now, what was this about Gary and Reckless?

Aubrey : They arrived a few weeks back, to keep us informed about what was going on - they told us about you all being thrown in the asylum, and that they would return with the Scalies cure. Unfortunately, the shield went up before they returned.

Austin : [To Aubrey] We believe that Gary and Reckless spiked our drinks with drugs and had us enrolled in the asylum. We have the cure, is seems Gary and Reckless drugged us so that they could take the scales cure from us.

Aubrey : Hm, okay. I suppose if you do have the cure, that makes sense.

Clint : [Produces the vials] Here we go - be careful you don't drop any, Aubrey.

Alice : You know, wouldn't it be awful if they swapped the cure for coloured water?

Chastity : [Brushing plaster from her shoulders, to Alice] Come now dear. What are the chances of that. You didn't let the unique, valuable, life saving, civilisation restoring vials stray from your sight did you? [To Aubrey, nervously glancing towards the ceiling] Please, tell me you don't have a piano practice room above this office. Or an elephant jugglers training school.

Aubrey : Actually, it's the Batman recreation society.

Alice : Of course they were out of my sight - we were in jail for three weeks!

Faetan : [Puzzled] Bat...man? [Puzzles some more] In any case, we'll just have to have an expert examine the cure to make sure it's not something awful, such as lethal poison cleverly disguised to taste like cherry cough medicine. [Leans forward in chair] What about these Hierophantic Knights...are they still here? Can I--or, rather, we--speak to them?

Aubrey : [Clearly taken aback for a second] Uh - um. [Composes himself] What Hierophantic Knights?

Faetan : [Narrows eyes] The ones that put up the shield. THOSE Hierophantic Knights. I don't see any other Knights around, do you?

Aubrey : I - I don't see any Knights at all.

Faetan : Look, are you the mayor, or aren't you?! Where are the people that put up that shield?!?! [Clenches arms of chair angrily] I *need* to speak with them!

Aubrey : [Stands up angrily] Yes! Yes, I am the mayor, and no one speaks to me like that. How dare you suggest that I'm lying, how dare you!

Alice : [With a mysterious smile] Sven is here, isn't he?

Aubrey : [Goes pale] Er, um, no.

[The door opens, enter SVEN GORING.]

Sven : [Bellowing with laughter] Ha! Typical! You spend good money putting up a shield to keep the riff-raff out, and still they find a way in!

Faetan : [All traces of anger fade as she squeals happily, leaping out of her chair and pouncing at Sven] You haven't aged a DAY!!! You must tell me your secret! [Hugs Sven fiercely]

Sven : [Arms wide, but patting Fae on the back] Woah! Depends on what secret you're talking about.

Clint : [Getting up off his secret] Sven! You old bastard! [Hits Sven on the shoulder as hard as he can, causing him and Fae to stagger slightly.]

Sven : [Gently disentangling Fae from him, and looking to Alice] Hey, shooter, how're you doing?

Alice : [Broad smile] I'm not too bad.

Chastity : [To Sven] I might have know you'd have something to do with this shield. Where's your sidekick?

Austin : [Remembers Sven's sidekick and grimaces. To all] So did Gary and Reckless steal our scalies cure or not?

Sven : [Lets go of Fae, and does a few pretend boxing moves on Clint, before marching across the room to Chastity] Haw! Chastity, don't you ever change! Old Peter is helping out with the Queens View Players - they needed someone to make the costumes.

Faetan : [To Sven] I didn't know you were friends with these guys...well, that must mean they're the real deal, then! [Steps back, fists punched into hips] Man... Unbelievable...

Sven : [A bit unsure] Ye-es, but much as I'd like to brag about being your friend, I'm afraid I don't know you, do I?

Faetan : Of course you do! Don't you... Well, it has been over fifteen years... [Scratches her head, then grins] Remember Himo Jarl's brat? The one that kept taking off with your helmet?

Sven : [Gives Faetan a curious look] Himo Jarl? [Snatches Fae's glasses off her, and his face lights up in recognition] No way! [Grabs Fae in a headlock, and begins rubbing the top of her head playfully] Haw! The monster has grown up!

Faetan : Huzzah! Ger'off me! [Snickers, tries to twist away] You ogre!

Chastity : [Wiping a tear for her eye, sighing] It's just like the show "Shocker Stunner" with Billa Clack. [Looks at her hand to realise that it's now covered in a thick paste made from tears and ceiling plaster dust]

Sven : [Lets go of Faetan] Excellent - it's just great that you've found this mob, they're a top group. [Looks at Alice] I just know you and Fae are best friends!

Alice : [Selfconsciously looking away] Er, we're like sisters.

Faetan : [Guffaws] We started off on the wrong foot, actually... But that doesn't matter now! I've got a question to ask of you... You know of father's...er...alignment. I want to be what he was. I thought you might have a few leads? [Smiles hopefully]

Jerome : [Says nothing, but quietly clears his throat and nods approvingly]

Austin : [To Faetan] What was he? What do you mean by alignment?

Faetan : [Mouth opens, then shuts as she glances at Sven...then looks back to Austin] He was a great warrior, of course. And I have good reason to believe that he was a Hierophantic Knight as well. That is why I'm looking for them...so I can be one of them.

Aubrey : Excuse me, but this is my office and -

Sven : [Slapping Aubrey on the back] Too right! This is the perfect place for a private conversation, and it is a great idea for you to wait outside. [Escorts Aubrey outside and shuts the door after him, before turning to Faetan with a smile] Well now, that's great to hear, but the Hierophantic Knights are a pretty secretive bunch - you could already have met some and never known.

Faetan : FAH! I think I'd be able to tell... I mean, I'm pretty sure you're one of them. You and Da, always whispering about this and that... Anyhow, ol' Claude sent me to these guys, [gestures at the party with a wide grin] and told me they might have some leads. But I had to make sure they were the real thing, you know. Now that I know for sure, and the annoying mayor is gone, I think we can talk freely. [Grins again, looking pleased as punch at everyone in the party]

Sven : [Bows extravagently in front of Fae] You have found me out, monster.

Alice : Talk freely? [Sigh of relief] Excellent! Clint, you've really got to do something about your personal cleanliness, it is digusting. Austin, everyone thinks you're gay. Chastity, no offence, but a beard should only be worn as a disguise, not a fashion item. Fae, you're way too pushy, you'd better back off before you really annoy anyone, and Jerome, well, you're just so quiet at the moment you're really creeping me out. [Smiles happily, but becomes a little uncertain, looking at Fae] Er, that's not what you meant, is it?

Chastity : [To Alice, with a face like thunder] No, that's not what she meant! [Rubs her own chin, occassionally grimacing]

Alice : [Quietly] Oh. [Turns and looks out a window] Wow, look at all the cows out there.

Clint : That's a picture, Bimbo.

Alice : I knew that.

Faetan : [Looks completely unruffled] Bah. I yam what I yam. If people don't like it, to hell with people! That is...if they haven't been there already... [Still blissful, still ignorantly pleased with her discovery of Sven being a Knight]

Sven : Good to see that no one's changed. Now, troop, as you probably guessed I'm responsible for the shield - but I'm pretty curious as to how you lot got in, and what's this about a demon in the town?

Chastity : [Frustratedly] Enough of this prittle prattle, we need to crack on. [To Sven] Where will make best use of Scalies cure? It needs to be tested and put into production. [To the party] We've all come so far, but there are still so many things to do, for example, find Harvey. The good Colonel will be fed up eating dry biscuits with seamen by now!

Sven : I guess at the base of the shield. It is possible for things to be pushed out through a tiny hole - it can't fit people or anything like that, but the cure would be fine. But, the demon?

Faetan : [Snorts, eyes flashing with anger again] Quite a NASTY and contemptible man named Tom Sellsick. He stole a talisman in my possession and used it to get out of Hell. [Scratches her neck, looking uncomfortable]

[Enter PETER DEADPAN, who looks at the party with barely concealed contempt.]

Peter : Oh wonderful, she gave a talisman to one of the most evil men to ever live - that's really the kind of person the Hierophantic Knights want in their number.

Faetan : [Temper suddenly flares] I didn't give it to him, you imbecile! He initiated a dogpile! Now if you don't mind, this is a PRIVATE party! OUT! [thrusts finger towards door]

Peter : [Ignoring Faetan, and speaking to Sven] I see that she will fit well with the party.

Faetan : [Upper left lip curls a la Elvis, turns to Sven] Who's the fanboy? [Jerks her thumb at Peter]

Sven : [Loudly, smiling] He's the greatest partner a man could have!

Peter : Furthermore, he's not a Hierophantic Knight wannabe, who thinks that eating spinach and acting aggressive is the way to become one. They don't just admit any old losers, you know. [Looks around the room] Well, not usually.

Faetan : [Snarling] RRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!! [Suddenly leaps at Peter, arms outstretched with the intent of tackling]

Clint : Alright! This is just like being on the Jenny Jessy Rapheal show again!

[Just as FAETAN is about to connect, PETER pulls an incredible karate type move which tosses her over his back, landing back first on a table containing number of ornaments. The table and all the ornaments smash as FAETAN crushes them with a ferocious crash, and lands on the floor, dazed.]

Alice : [Looking around] You know, I don't wish to brag, but I did warn about something like this happenning. [FAETAN shoots PETER a dark look, rising shakily to her feet and retreating to a dark corner to sulk and fuss over her wounds]

Sven : Haw! Still mad for horseplay, monster, I love it! Isn't she great, Peter?

Peter : She's wonderful. She really stretched me there.

[The door opens, and AUBREY enters, looking in horror at the smashed table.]

Aubrey : Er, is everything alright in here?

Faetan : Peachy! [Starts grumbling under her breath] Rassumfraggin'hoochiecoochiescrawnyweaselfink.... Rassumfraggin'hoochiecoochiescrawnyweaselfink....

Austin : [Ignoring the others conversations and fighting. To Alice] Which ignorami think I am gay?

Aubrey : Right then. [Shuts the door]

Alice : I think Faetan might be hurt, I'll see what I can do. [Walks over to Faetan] Er, there there.

Sven : Okay team, what's next on the agenda? Demon hunting or disease curing?

Faetan : [To Alice] It's nothing, don't worry about it. [Smiles, glares at Peter, then smiles at Alice again]

Chastity : [To Sven] Is there a central spot where your sheild is powered? Tom Sellsick may well be looking to deactivate the shield, leaving Queens View open to attack. [To Faetan] Will you please control yourself and be more careful my dear. Otherwise when we get round to battling evil you'll go dead as quickly as an over-aggressive person who's injured themselves needlessly during the day.

Sven : There is a central spot, and I can bring you there. However, the shield is unbreakable, even at that point, unless you've got the special Hierophantic Knight key - and even I don't have that.

Faetan : [Stops giving dark looks to Chastity] Who does?

Sven : I don't know - I guess my controller has one, or maybe knows where it is, but possibly not. The Hierophantic Knights are a very secret and well structured organisation. Information is not passed around freely.

Faetan : [Looks relieved] Good. Well, unless anyone else has a differing opinion, I vote we spread the cure first and THEN take out Tom. [Looks around to see if anyone else says differently]

Austin : [Sushes Sven with enthusiastic hand waves. Indignantly] Sush, sush, I am not gay. He is gay [Points accusingly at Peter]

Faetan : [Blinks, looks at Peter] I thought that wrist movement was a little...[hand wavers in mid-air, then she grins at Austin...deciding she quite likes him now]

Sven : [Loudly] Haw! [Puts a huge arm around Austin] It doesn't matter to me if you're gay, Austin. It doesn't matter to any of us, we're all friends here, isn't that right?

Peter : And what is telling you that? Your gay antennae?

Sven : [Still holding Austin] That's right Faetan, there's no one who can flick his wrist quite like old Peter here, isn't that right, Panster?

Peter : [Smiles at Austin] I am merely a product of my surroundings.

Chastity : I'm glad we're all so happy. [To Sven] If the shield is safe, lets quickly deal with the Scalies cure, and then deal with Sellsick, before anyone loses the andidote again [Glances towards Alice] Does anyone know how the scalies cure is administered? [ALICE says nothing, but looks back at CHASTITY. A few moments pass in silence, and she glances back behind her, only then realising that CHASTITY was speaking to her.]

Alice : Um, Jerome?

Jerome : It depends on the mechanism on the shield. Typically, cures of this sort are airborne, so if there is some way in which we can get the cure on the outside of the shield, it should be effective. Assuming, of course, that it actually is the cure.

Faetan : So let's get someone to analyze it. You're a science type, aren't you Jerome? Can you take a close look at it and figure it out?

Jerome : We could return to my house, and I could analyse it in my laboratory. However, that could take several hours.

Alice : No way, you're house is only five minutes walk from here!

Jerome : True, but the analysis may take some time. However, what difference will a few hours make?

Faetan : [Nods] Good. We can head over there...I'll cook us some lunch, we can eat and rest, and then kick Tom Sellsick's trash!

Austin : [To Sven] You may not care what I am, but, just for the record I am not gay, nor have I ever been gay, and I will never be gay.

Faetan : Noted. [Looks extremely pleased, rapidly tapping her fingertips together with a wide grin]

Austin: [To Faetan] Why thank you Fae. It is nice to see that someone around here pays attention to their leader. [To all] Let us go swiftly to the good doctor's house and test the aforementioned liquid. [Quickly checks his appearance in the mirror (only 20 seconds) and walks to the door]

Chastity : Agreed. We can't go any further in our cure of Scalies until we're certain the it is indeed the cure we hold. [To Jerome, gesturing towards the door] Shall we?

Faetan : [Watches Austin's departure for a few moments...glances at Sven] You're coming with us...right...?

Sven : Actually, Peter and I will help the good Doctor test the cure, while the rest of you can feast upon Faetan's sumptuous meal.

Jerome : Good thinking, Sven. However, due to the intricacies of the work, and the propensity of the party to bicker and claim not to be gay, I suggest they wait elsewhere.

Alice : Okay, we can wait in Uncle Harvey's house.

[Exit ALL. A few moments later, enter AUBREY.]

Aubrey : Right! Now, this time I won't be fobbed off, I demand to know what is - hey! Where are they gone?

[Book II, Act VIII, Scene VIII. The Town Park. ALICE, AUSTIN, CLINT, CHASTITY, PETER, SVEN, JEROME and FAE are here, on the way to HARVEY's and JEROME's houses. There is a a large group of people in the park, watching something.]

Alice : Hey, what's going on here? [Takes a look]

[MELANGE SPANKER (CHASTITY), CYRIL B. WHINE (AUSTIN), HEIDI FRIECHENVURGENFURGERBURG (ALICE), BOOGER POINDEXTER (JEROME), DICK DIRTY (HARVEY) and VIC SWEET (CLINT) are on the stage.]

Alice2 : [Eating a huge sandwich] Vat are ve going to do? Ve have become separate from Gary! Ve are all going to die!

Jerome2 : Simple, we just open this cupboard. [Opens a cupboard, and is immediately showered by items pouring out of it, much to the amusement of the audience.]

Clint2 : [Flicks a limp wrist at Jerome2] Oh! You silly girl! [Giggles camply]

Peter : [To the party] You've got to hand it to them, it's uncanny.

Harvey2 : [Wiping his nose with his sleeve] I have a plan - how about we wait here until Gary finds us?

Austin2 : Good idea, Gary is so handsome and clever, he'll be able to triangulate our position using Alice's mass, Harvey's smell and Clint's perfume.

Chastity2 : [To Clint2] Triangulate? You mean he's going to shave your pubic hair?

[The audience whoop and cheer like a sitcom audience would.]

Faetan : [Raaaaaises an eyebrow] The scriptwriter seems a bit...off. Or on crack.

Austin : [To Faetan] The crowd do not seem to be much better.

Alice : Who are they meant to be?

Clint2 : Oh, Alice, I know, we could grease ourselves up, and slip through the vent. Most of us could fit through.

Alice2 : It is too small. [Looks from her sandwich to the vent] I vill not fit through there. Vy do you make suggestions that I cannot use? Vy do you hate me?

[ALICE2 and CLINT2 begin fighting, with CLINT2 slapping ineffectually.]

Austin2 : [To the audience, apparantly with nothing to do with the action on stage] I have a very small willy.

[ALICE2 and CLINT2 begin fighting, with CLINT2 slapping ineffectually.]

Austin2 : [To the audience, apparantly with nothing to do with the action on stage] I have a very small willy.

Faetan : [To Austin, snorts in agreement] What a bunch of hicks! The people in this town must've all been born brain-damaged! [Pauses] Present company excluded, of course.

Sven : Haw! I think you'd better sort out that Gary when you get a chance, guys.

[Exit SVEN, PETER and JEROME.]

Chastity2 : [Sexy growl at Jerome2] What do you say, big boy?

Jerome2 : [Nervously] I say the town of Queens View is lost unless Gary comes back.

Chastity : [Looking between the actors on stage and the real party] If this is what the crowd think we are really like, maybe it's best they don't realise who we are. I must say though, they seem to have cast Gary as one of us.

Faetan : [Watches Sven leave with a disappointed look, then turns back to the play and makes a face] Bah, I want to see who's playing Gary. Look at 'em! [Gestures at the crowd] Lapping it up like stagnant horse water! Ooooo...if only I had some rotten tomatoes...

Alice : Didn't Aubrey say that Gary wrote the script? Maybe that's why we're all made to look like such losers? [Glances around at the party] Then again, maybe not.

Harvey2 : [Scratching himself idly] You know, Gary wouldn't approve of all this fighting - this is what we were like before he sorted us out. [Tries to separate Clint2 and Alice2]

Clint : [To the others] I can't take any more of this, let's just get out of here.

Faetan : [Makes a face] Agreed, this is raunchy. I bet this Gary is trying to compensate something...especially with that line from 'Austin.' [Jerks her thumb at Cyril] Eh, let's get outta here. [Starts walking]

Chastity : Theres nothing like a good walk in the park spoiled. Let get something to eat. [To Faetan] I take it you are a good cook, my dear. I used to cook the pastries in the convent, but had to stop as the rolling pins kept mysteriously disappearing. Phili knows where they were going and what they were being used for.

Faetan : [Looks puzzled] I don't know... They make good bashing weapons. Good for cracking eggs AND heads! [Looks pleased] I'm a great cook, everyone says so. Wait until you try my curry, it's the bomb!

Clint : Excellent - the hotter the better, babe. And that goes for the curry too!

[The party arrive at HARVEY's house, and the door, of course, is locked.]

Alice : Okay, who's got the key?

Faetan : [Frowns] How long has this Harvey guy been gone? The foodstuffs might have rotted in his absence. [Peers in the window]

Alice : [Angrily to Faetan] Don't tell me you've never heard of him!

Chastity : [Looks towards the sky/shield] O Phili, not again. [To Alice] Alice, don't you have a key to [emphasises for Faetan's benefit] your Uncle's house.

Alice : Well, I was never too good with keys, and Uncle Harvey wasn't keen on giving them out to people.

Clint : Let me try. [Takes a key out of his pocket, and unlocks the door] How's that?

Chastity : Very good Clint, although it obviously raises questions as to why Harvey entrusted with a key and not his niece Alice. [Pauses for thought for a second] No, maybe not.

Alice : Hey! How come you've got a key?

[CLINT says nothing, but points at ALICE and makes an irritating "click-click" noise. CLINT pushes open the door, with some difficulty, as there is a huge pile of junk mail blocking it, most of which is addressed to "The Occupier, 9764 Jeopardy Lane".]

Chastity : [Goes through the door picking up some of the junk mail, looking through it] This is such a waste of Phili sent resources. [Hold up a plain brown envelope with "Randy Man Supplies" stamped on it] The postman should know that Randy Mann doesn't live here. I remember when the posty would know every man and woman on his round. [Sighs in a nostalgic "those were the days" way]

Alice : Randy Mann? He lives two doors down. [Staggers in over the huge pile]

Faetan : Alice, where's the kitchen?

Alice : Haven't a clue.

Jerome : [Also searching for the kitchen] Dr Jerome K Trindle would like to examine the contents of the refrigerator. With the right conditions, microscopic organisms would flourish. Luck might have it that they could be the air born pathogen to cure the scalies!

Faetan : [Investigating] Be my guest...I'll let you open 'er up, how about that? [Searches for kitchen]

Jerome : [Still looking] Right. I'll be taking some slides, and viewing the spores under a microscope. Dr. Jerome K Trindle is very excited!

Faetan : [Grins to Jerome] Good... Where did you learn about all this stuff anyway? It's gotta come in handy.

Jerome : [Proudly] Dr Jerome K Trindle bSC pHD attended all of the best universities and colleges. He also subscribes to Linux Users Monthly, which instills in him a great deal of wickedly useful information. [Begins to pat his various pockets] Dr Jerome is sure that he once had a microscope in his pocket.

Chastity : [Looking around the room] Doctor, maybe it's in your home, where you were headed with Sven and Peter? What did you do with them? [Quietly] Not that I can blame you, what with Peter's comments and Sven boisterous behaviour, it'll be much easier to concentrate here.

Faetan : [Looking cross] Peter the Cakeboy... Sven is the top cheese, though, he's great. [Suddenly brightens cheerfully] If you ever need help, he'll ALWAYS come through! He's a real hero!

Alice : Chastity's got a point Jerome, aren't you in the wrong house?

Jerome : [Suddenly flustered] Er, that is correct. In his enthusiasm to set about analysing the phials, Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD inadvertantly went to the wrong house. Excuse me, I feel most foolish for having gone to the wrong place. Jerome's sense of direction is normally perfect. I will leave now. [Opens a door, revealing an incredibly messy room, with women's clothes everywhere]

Alice : Hey! That's my room!

Jereom : [Shuts the door] Jerome apologises. He is not having good luck with directions today. [Tries another door, it is the kitchen] Perhaps I'll just leave by the door we came through.

[Exit JEROME.]

Alice : How do you know Sven, Faetan? What did you mean that he hadn't changed?

Faetan : [Pauses in her padding towards the kitchen] I mean he hasn't changed. At all! He's still happy as a lark. He hasn't acquired a single wrinkle in his face at all. Isn't he somethin'? [Sighs with hero worship clearly written all over her]

Alice : We're all aware of how great Sven is. But [sigh] the question was, how do you know him? [Sighs with impatience clearly written all over her.]

Faetan : Eh? [Shaken out of reverie] Oh. Ah, he was one of Da's friends. He used to play with me when I was little, we had such fun. Probably one of the rare few that didn't act like I was some delicate little female.

Austin : [To Faetan] I take it that you believe that I am not gay?

Faetan : [Laughs] Not unless I misinterpreted your offer to introduce me to Maplin... [Raises eyebrows with a grin, then moves into the kitchen to see if there's anything to cook with]

Alice : If you don't think he's gay, then you *must* have misintrepreted his offer to introduce you to Maplin!

Austin : [To Faetan, smiling] Excellent! The others do tease me so [does a smiling 'naughty naughty' waggling finger at Alice in a totally not gay fashion] sometimes.

[The kitchen is immaculately clean, and incredibly well organised. There is a larder here, packed with all sorts of non-perishable goods and military style rations.]

Alice : That's probably because of the way you tease others so!

Faetan : [Grins] Never said I wasn't a tease... [Starts pulling various things from the shelves, hm'ing and haw'ing over different ingredients...then she freezes...peeeeeers over her shoulder at the others] FAMILY SECRET RECIPES! [Slams door shut]

Alice : Hey! Is she looking at my family secret recipes?

[From within the kitchen comes the sound of a few clinks and clangs of various cooking implements being set out, a few thumps, a few splashes of water...then silence for a long moment...]

Austin : [To Alice] What? [Sarcastically] You mean all of those times that I have indirectly referred to you as a lesbian?

Alice : [Looks at the kitchen door for a few moments, before turning back to Austin] I care not what you talk to yourself about when alone in the bathroom with Maplin.

[Suddenly the sounds of chaos begin! The clanging is loud, and it sounds as though a major battle is being fought in the kitchen]

Faetan : YAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

[More clanging and banging]

Faetan : You want some'a this?! DIE!

[Pong pong pong bong CLANG!]

Austin : [Looks at Alice] No, no I am sure you don't care at all about all of that gossip about you. So I wont tell you. Since you don't care [Looks in a mirror and checks his perfect hair]

Alice : [Raising her voice slightly to be heard over Faetan's din] That's okay, Austin. I'm quite sure the gossip about me couldn't be any worse than the truth - that I joined a party with a raving homosexual.

Clint : I'll see what's going on in there. [Goes into the kitchen, shutting the door behind him.]

[Silence from the kitchen/peanut gallery... Then the noise resumes with renewed and fervent vigor]

Faetan : [Breathlessly] Ha HA! Eat this!

[Wham wham wham wham wham wham wham...]

Faetan : Arrr be darrrr!!!

Clint : [From the kitchen] That's not how you do it, look. [Sounds of someone hammering, followed by the sound of hundreds of glasses breaking.]

Alice : [Still smiling at Austin] I refer, of course, to Stephen.

Faetan : [From the kitchen] Hey hey HEY! This is MY secret family recipe, I think I know how to DO it! [More bashing, more shrieking]

Faetan : [From kitchen] No, HARDER! You have to punch the cookie dough when it rises! Beat some sense into it... Yeah, like that!

Clint : Aargh! My arm's on fire!

[There is a knock on the outside door. ALICE opens the door, and enter DOCTOR PROCTOR and NURSE TERSE.]

Proctor : Good afternoon. It has come to my attention that your party has arrived back in town - may I come and and interlocute with you and your colleagues?

Terse : We want to talk.

Faetan : [From the kitchen] Quick, put baking soda on it! [Pause] AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! NO! That's vegetable oil you fool! [Sounds of maddened flapping of cloth]

Clint : Hey, that cloth tastes pretty good!

[The kitchen door opens, and CLINT staggers out, covered in flour and soot, with a small fire burning on his arm.]

Proctor : You appear to have combusted - while this may be a novel method of calefaction, I cannot say that I approve. Perhaps one of your colleagues might extinguish it.

Terse : Put out the fire.

Faetan : [Pokes her head out the door, her gaze moving to Proctor and Terse. She stares suspiciously, as though suspecting them of stealing her recipe.] I'll be done in five minutes. No interruptions! [Wags finger sternly, then slams door shut]

[More frenzied noise and death threats from the kitchen]

Austin : [Looks into the kitchen for a smirk] Hmmm, a well lubricated kitchen.

Clint : [Flapping his arm around, putting out the fire] So, Doc, what is you want?

Proctor : [Eyeing the kitchen suspiciously] Perhaps when the cook is finished?

[Five minutes passes, with the noise growing steadily louder and louder...A bell 'dings' cheerfully]

Faetan : [Emerges from the kitchen with a grin that would put a crocodile to shame, holding a large steaming mass of...something...in a large rectangular skillet] Mmmmm...I love the smell of chicken curry! Heeee! Well, go ahead and dig in! It's deh-LICIOUS!

Austin : [Tastes some of the curry, checking first to see if it is too hot] How much input did Clint have to this?

Clint : [Smiling broadly at Austin] I left my mark on it. [Sound of a zipper being pulled up]

Alice : I love the smell of chicken curry too [sniffs, and then staggers slightly] woah - let's just get a take away.

Clint : Let me see. [Scoops up a finger full of greenish brown slop and tastes it] Excellent.

Alice : [Lowly to Clint] You just burned your finger, didn't you?

Clint : Yep, but the pain makes you forget about the taste.

Terse : [Knocking impatiently on a hall table] How much longer do we have to endure this?

Austin : [Looking more than a bit green] Where is the bathroom? [Walks off looking for the bathroom in a hurry]

Faetan : [Ignorant of Terse] Why would you want to forget about the taste? It's something to be savored... [Stabs a chunk of bright yellow chicken and pops it into her mouth, watches Austin walk away] What's his hurry? Oh...how polite. He's making sure our guests have plenty! [Spoons up two plates and passes them to TERSE and PROCTOR]

Terse : [Ignores Fae] I'll help him. [Takes out a rubber bag and huge tube out of her bag, and opens up a nearby door for Austin] What the hell happened in here?

Alice : [Irritated] I didn't get a chance to tidy it before we left, okay?

Proctor : [Looking with distaste at the curry] Do you wish me to perform a scientific analysis on it?

Faetan : [Eyes narrow, rumbles in a low demonic voice] EAT IT.

Proctor : [Looks passed Faetan at Alice] Can you keep her under control?

Alice : If you're asking me, you know you're in trouble.

Proctor : True. [Looks to Chastity] In the absence of the Colonel and the Doctor, and given the current incapacitation of Mr. Sleaze, I beseech you, Sister, to be the voice of reason.

Austin : [Comes back from the bathroom with an appropriately large smile on his face] What a lovely curry that was Faetan, your cullinary expertise knows no bounds. A glass of wine perhaps, to wash it down. [Goes into the kitchen to looks for the wine cellar]

Faetan : [Suddenly beams cheerfully, to Austin] Why thank you! [To others] HA! See? SOMEONE knows gourmet when they taste it! [Looks smug]

Chastity : [To Faetan] No doubt he does. [Looks dubiously at the curry] Unfortunately, when I entered the convent one of the vows I took was a vow of bland food. This may be, ehm, too good for me to eat without breaking my promises to Phili. Such a shame after all the hard work you put in.

Austin : [Returning from the kitchen with a bottle of wine and one glass, which he sips from. To Chastity] I don't recall that vow stopping you eating exciting and exotic foods before? You gorged yourself on many honey-coated locusts, amongst other exotica, after we got out of the undercity. [Savours his wine] I must say, the Colnel had an acceptable taste in luncheon wines.

Faetan : [To Chastity] It's all right sister...there are still some cookies that you can enjoy! [Cheerful 'ding!' from the oven timer]

Faetan : Speak of the devil! [Rushes off to get the cookies]

Chastity : [Nervously] Great. [To Austin] Best charge me up a glass of that wine. I think I'll need it. Oh, and thanks for nothing for contradicting me! [To Proctor] Nothing can control a woman in a baking frenzy. If you don't want to get involved I'd hide behind the curtains if I were you.

Faetan : [Frolicks out of the kitchen with a large plate of normal looking cookies] Now don't THESE look good! [One cookie falls off the edge of the platter, chipping the edge of the table and falling with a loud 'whump' on the floor] Oh, whoops! [Picks up cookie, tosses it into the trash can]

Trash Can : CLANGITY CLANGITY CLANG!!!!

Chastity : [Aside, To Austin] Best make that a large glass. [Takes one of the cookies and carefully tests it with her teeth] They're very firm, aren't they.

Faetan : [Beams] And look, they've got chocolate chips! [Points them out enthusiastically, and pours a glass of milk to dip the cookie into]

Austin : [Gives Chastity an 'okay, if I must' look and nips off into the kitchen, and returns moments later and hands Chastity a bottle of Buckfast and a mug] There you are, your favourite.

Chastity : [Gratefully takes a glass of milk and tries to dunk in a cookie. Unfortunately, the glass is just too narrow for the cookie to reach the milk, and cracks the glass perfectly down the middle, each half falling in opposite directions and the milk sploshing down the front of her habit] Oh! [Takes the mug and Buckie from Austin] Ah, the holy bionic tonic. Brewed by the religious brothers in the Abbey.

Faetan : [Lifts an eyebrow, staring at the bottle] It honestly goes a lot better with milk. [Then grins happily] I'll bet no one else can say that their cookies are so top notch that they're best suited with fine drink! [Gnaws at cookie contentedly]

Alice : [Grabs the bottle of buckfast and takes a few huge gulps out of it] Ah! [Puts the bottle down, to show that she's somehow now got a milk moustache.]

Proctor : [Slipping on some rubber gloves, before picking up one of the cookies, which he tries, unsuccessfully, to break in half] Yes. I see. [Sits down in a convenient chair] Perhaps, when you are finished with this, we might talk.

Terse : [Coming back from the toilet, with her bag full] Mr. Sleaze?

Faetan : [Swallowing hard bits of cookie] Talk about what? Not that retarded excuse for a screenplay, I hope. [Bristles]

Austin : [Turns to Terse whilst sipping away at his wine and refilling his glass] Yes?

Terse : [Holds the bag up] This will help clean your insides.

Proctor : It is precisely the play that is going on at the moment that I wish to speak of.

Faetan : [Angrily to TERSE] It's CURRY, not rat poison! [Turns to PROCTOR] What about it? And who plays the part of Gary, anyhow?

Terse : That remains to be proven.

Proctor : The thespian in question is Gary himself.

Austin : [To Terse] My insides are clean, it is Alice that requires internal cleaning. [To Proctor] Please speak freely.

Alice : What he means, Nurse Terse, is that he's so anally retentive, it would be dangerous to try anything.

[NURSE TERSE harrumphs, and goes back into the bathroom.]

Proctor : The situation is that -

Alice : [Interrupting] Careful, there, Doc. "Speak freely" doesn't always mean as freely as you might think!

Proctor : Thank you. I have great concern over this Gary person, and expressed reservations when he arrived in the town. I believe that he is trying to sully the good name of your party.

Faetan : [Snarls] Rotten maggot-pie... Well I'VE traveled with these good folks, and I've got some prestige in my family name! I'll bet I can set things straight! [Clenches hand into fist]

Alice : Her father was HIMO Jarl - [points angrily at Proctor] Don't tell me you've never heard of him!

Proctor : [To Fae] Dear lady, if it were the case that mere aggression, poor culinary skills and a particularly loud voice were enough to reverse the falsehoods, supressio veri and downright distortion of the facts, I am sure that the party could rely on you. However, I suspect a somewhat more subtle plan is required. Do you know where Gary is now?

Faetan : [Nods at Alice in one of those 'you tell him!' kind of gestures] He's probably waiting for his big debut on stage. [Suddenly looks inspired and picks up several cookies with an evil smile] Let's go welcome him!

Alice : [Picks up one of the cookies] Do we hate him that much? [Suddenly pulls her hand away] Ow! It cut me!

Faetan : [To Alice] Er? What do you mean? These are trail rations. [Pockets the cookies, then starts to frown] The EGGS are for throwing. These are too precious. [Pats pocket]

Proctor : Yes. I see that the investigative and patient skills of the good Colonel are sorely missed. Did the mayor not tell you that Gary is not in the town?

Austin : [Takes some biscuits and puts them in a cloth bag, then breaks up the biscuits into slingshot size pieces in the kitchen and returns] Bite size pieces. Can we kill Gary. He has a very small penis [Smirks]

Alice : And you know this, how?

Faetan : [Shrugs] Maybe he saw the first half of the play and determined to put himself out of his misery. [Smiles]

Proctor : [Turns away from Faetan to face Austin] The issue is not whether you can kill the aforementioned interlocuter, it is if you know where he is. Last from Conor #82

Chastity : [To Alice] Didn't you see him in the [glances at Procter and Terse] special hospital more recently? What happened to him then?

Alice : We did - that was earlier this morning. Just before we escaped, he and Reckless got away, and ran outside, but we didn't see anything there, save for all the burning buildings.

Proctor : Incensed and combusted abodes?

Alice : No, burning buildings. Dangsten and his guys were terrorising the countryside.

Faetan : [Quirks her mouth for a moment] Why is it so vital that we know this psycho's location, anyhow? He's not in Queen's View, isn't that what matters most?

Proctor : My concern is not with the here and now, not with what we know to be not a danger, but with the future, the unknown, the uncontrollable. The townspeople have come to believe that your party is a heroic group of courageous intrepids, but Gary's screenplay is changing all that, giving him a grip of power on the town. If he is outside the town, what is he doing? What awaits us if and when the shield comes down?

Faetan : I think it's prudent that we worry about one demon at a time. We've got Sellsick on our hands here, and a cure to deliver. 'Til that's done, there's not a whole lot that we can do as far as I know.

Austin : [Writing with incredible speed on a large pile of paper] I need everyone to sign this [Starts getting everyones signatures] We shall get a court injunction immediatley, to stop the progress of the play since Gary has abused several civil privacy and slander laws, and has not recieved our agreement in anyway, whatsoever. [Insists that everyone signs the huge legal document, including the witnesses, the doctor and nurse] Then we shall have him arrested, flung in prison and sued to the end of the world. [Smiles satisfiedly]

Faetan : [Impressed] Nice going... [Signs the document] I still think it'd be more fun to just punch him in the face, but it isn't as financially profitable.

Alice : Not so fast, Austin! I think I'll just take a quick look at the fine print first. [Starts reading, painfully slowly] The heretoforementioned and statutory rights of the abovementioned and previously annotated - Gah!

Chastity : [To Austin] For once you legal methods are a good idea. How long will this take to come into force? [To Proctor] Is the court open today?

Alice : I'm not signing anything, at least not until Daddy gets a look at it.

Proctor : If you will excuse me, I see that my services and advice are not wanted here.

[Opens the door.]

Faetan : Hey, we're all pretty vocal about our opinions. Just because we're not begging on our hands and knees doesn't mean you're not permitted to share yours. [Looks about to ask something more, then quiets]

Proctor : While my calm exterior belies the overwhelming gratitude I feel to you, madam, I wish to return to my home. If you and your party want to speak with me further, the others will be able to direct you. [To Chastity] As for the court, I believe it to be in session tomorrow morning.

[Exit DOCTOR PROCTOR and NURSE TERSE.]

Faetan : BAH! Who needs him anyhow! [Soothes a wound on her left arm] Doctors are for the weak!

Alice : [Shaking her head] No, it's normally just for half an hour.

Faetan : [Grins at Alice, blinks sleepily] Maybe we should rest up and take a few watches while we wait for Jerome's analysis. Been a long day for me.

Alice : Good idea, he'll probably be at it for hours. I think we should all slope off to bed.

[There's a knock on the door, and it opens. Enter SVEN, PETER and JEROME, all smiling broadly.]

Jerome : We've got it - this is the cure alright!

Sven : [Slapping Jerome on the back] Haw! This guy is great! I've never seen anyone so at home in the lab. [Pulls out a chair for himself, revealing that someone has stuck a note to his back, with a complex high order differential equation written on the back]

[JEROME and PETER both laugh as he reveals it.]

Sven : What's that? [Takes the note and reads it, before bursting out laughing] Excellent! You guys!

Faetan : [Brightens up upon seeing SVEN] Hey, you're just in time! The curry is still piping hot and fresh! Just like Mum used to make, eh?

Sven : Excellent! [Scoops a finger full and tastes it] Mm-mm! Put me down for two bowls.

Peter : [Takes a taste] Hm-hm. Put me down for two ant-diarrhea tablets.

Faetan : [Glares furiously at Peter] Who said YOU could have any? Jerk...

[PETER takes on a completely neutral look, holding FAETAN's glare, and takes another taste.]

Peter : Better make that four.

Faetan : [Eyes go wide] Why you son of a mother... [Suddenly makes a lunge at him, snarling] kick. Or punch. Or headbutt...

Austin : [Steps away from the hormones, carfully putting the legal document away. To Jerome] Excellent. I have drafted a legal document that will stop Gary from besmirching our good names. [Shows Jerome where to sign] We should take this to the Mayor and get his blessing too, after informing him that we have the Scalies cure of course. I take it that all tests went well on the cure. When do we release it? [Shows Jerome where to sign the document]

Chastity : Faetan, Stop it! It'll just end in tears!

Faetan : [Screeches to a halt] Grrrr... I'm gettin' angry! [Storms off into the kitchen to start cleaning up the dishes, smashing several accidentally as she grumbles and numbles]

Peter : My my, what an angry woman.

Sven : [Slapping Peter hard on the back, making him stumble slightly] Haw! That's my Peter, always up for a bit of horseplay!

Jerome : [Casts an eye over the legal document] Yes. I see. It all seems in order. [Signs] The question is, do we release the cure now, or in the morning? It is getting rather late.

Faetan : [From the kitchen] Does the timing really matter so much? Maybe you could do half now, and half in the morning.

Jerome : Whatever the timing, we should do it all at once. The question is, do we do it now, or rest for the night?

Chastity : Maybe best released in the morning, with daytime usually being busier than nighttime more people will receive a dose. Lets rest for tonight.

Alice : Okay, shall we go to bed?

Jerome : [Jumping up, happily] Yes!

Alice : I meant, should we all just rest?

Jerome : I knew that.

Sven : Haw! [Puts an arm around Jerome] Sexual politics in the party, I love it! Right gang, I suggest we all stay in Jerome's place - there are plenty of rooms there, and it would be better if we were all in the same place in case something goes wrong. Peter and I will go on guard while you rest yourselves. [Looks to Fae] I think there's even a cook in his house, but not a patch on you, monster!

Alice : [Pales] Oh. My. God.

Faetan : [Comes out of kitchen, drying hands with non-flaming dishtowel] Agreed. But let's set up a watch. Tom Sellsick is still on the loose, we don't want him sneaking up on us when we're all vulnerable.

Clint : A wise decision, sist. [Goes to the kitchen and returns with a bottle of the finest rum] I can't believe Harvey didn't even open this. [Opens the bottle with his teeth] Night cap, anyone?

Alice : No, never wear them.

Sven : [Grabs the bottle off Clint] Drinking? In my party? [Throws back a huge mouthful] Arr!

Faetan : [Grins fondly at Sven] Right then, let's shove off. Been awhile since I've enjoyed a bed. [Rubs the back of her neck with a happy sigh]

Chastity : [Grabs a handful of cookies and puts them in her pocket] Best stock up. Being scientific or technical, Jeromes house will just be full of cold stale pizza and flat fizzy pop.

Alice : Yeah, I know what you mean, Fae, it's been a while since I enjoyed myself in bed too. [Guilty look] I mean, enjoyed a bed.

Faetan : [Looks pleased at Chastity's choice, then nods at Alice] Ya know what, you're all right! [Walks out the door]

Clint : You're right again, sist. [Goes back again to the kitchen and returns with two more bottles of rum] Stocked up and ready to go.

Alice : [Looks after Fae] Hm.

Sven : [To Alice] Come on, shooter, you can tell me what you've been up to. A mental hospital, I hear, about time! [Laughs loudly, as he puts his arm around her]

[As soon as SVEN touches ALICE, there is a shower of sparks between the two, sending them both to the ground.]

Faetan : [Jerks around, stares] What the hell?! [Runs back] The curry never made anyone do THAT before!

Chastity : I don't know whether to be worried or not. [Loudly to Alice] Had another premonition, dear?

Sven : [Gets up] What's going on Alice?

Alice : I don't know - as soon as you touched me, I got a huge flash of you drowning.

Sven : Well, we're miles from the sea, so I wouldn't worry about it. Look how long it's been since old Stinky here saw water!

Faetan : [Points at Sven] Don't you EVER drown, not without MY permission! [Reaches out to help Alice up] These premonitions...do they happen often?

Austin : [To Sven] So how do we know that you are not Tom Sellsick in disguise? [Puts the legal docs away. To all] I think we should release the cure now, before it gets stolen, dropped, blown up or lost in Hell or something like that. Are there any good reasons for not releasing it now, good doctor?

Alice : [Pulling herself up] Not very often. This was only the third - the last one was of us all getting attacked in hell, but that didn't happen at all, it must have meant something else.

Sven : [Puts an arm around each of Faetan and Alice] Don't worry, monster, I'm not going anywhere.

[Exit ALL.]

Sven : [Stops and turns] You don't, Austin, and that's a good question.

Peter : Other than the fact that there is only one of Sellsick, and two of us, and that we were in the town before he was, a fact which he couldn't have known, given that he was dead and all.

Jerome : No, Mr. Sleaze, there's no reason why it can't be done now.

Austin : [To Jerome] Then, good doctor, I propose that we should release it now, lest the human race be doomed by a minute of extra sleep. I for one will sleep better knowing that we have just saved everyone from Scalies.

Jerome : It does make sense, as it should only take a few moments to release it. Sven, I trust you do not object?

Sven : [Bows slightly] Of course not. How could I object to the vigilance of my favourite party?

Chastity : Ok, lets do it then.

Sven : The shield generator is hidden in the cellar of Moe Moe's tavern - no one has gone near it since the child's body was found there.

[Everyone heads towards the tavern. It is now getting dark. The party are soon interrupted by NURSE TERSE, running towards them.]

Terse : Help!

Faetan : [Draws her sword] What is it? What's happened?!

Terse : When we got back to the house, there was someone there, going through the Doctor's things. When he saw us, he went crazy, and attacked the doctor in the most [covers her face] oh my God, the most disgusting way I've ever seen. You must come and help him.

Alice : [To the others] Is there anything we can do? Would it be better to get Doctor [slowly] Proctor? Oh. I see.

Faetan : Arrr be darrr! Lead the way, nurse, we'll save the good doctor! [Considers choice of the word 'good' but keeps it to herself]

[Book II, Act VIII, Scene IX. Doctor Proctor's House. ALICE, AUSTIN, CLINT, CHASTITY, PETER, SVEN, JEROME, FAE and NURSE TERSE are here. The door is wide open, and there is a huge smear of blood on it.]

Terse : [Running to the door] He's just in here!

Alice : [Drawing her sword] Let's go.

Faetan : [Charges in, sword drawn, lip curled] Doc?! HEY DOC! Where are ya! [Starts searching around] [DOCTOR PROCTOR is lying in the hall, propped up against a wall. He is holding a hand to his face, which is covered in blood. ALICE and SVEN enter too.]

Alice : [Slipping on some of the blood] Woah!

Sven : [Bending down to look at him] What happened? [Takes a close look, but looks away, with a sickened expression]

Faetan : [Sucks in her breath] Oh, Doc... [Removes glove, pressing her fingertips to his throat to see if he's got a pulse] [He is alive, barely. The house has clearly been ransacked.]

Alice : What the hell are we doing? The guy needs a doctor! [Looks at Nurse Terse] Or a nurse!

Faetan : [Steps back to allow the Nurse to hopefully treat Proctor] Did you get a glimpse of the person that did it? [Eyes narrow] Was he, perchance, sporting a really ugly moustache?

Terse : Well, I wouldn't say it was ugly, but it was covered in blood from where he bit the doctor. [Bends down to try and start bandaging up the Doctor]

Faetan : [Growls faintly] Let's get that cure administered now... I'm gonna find this creep and make him pay! [Stands up and thrusts gloves back onto fingers]

Clint : [Starts searching the house for Tom] Hello Tommy Boy, Clint's got a surprise for you! [Draws his sword] [Everyone enters, and searches around. Although the surgery has been ripped apart, there is no sign of anyone.]

Faetan : [Grunts] Nurse, is there anything that you need from us?

Terse : No, I can look after him from here.

Alice : Then why the hell did you come looking for us?

Terse : I panicked, okay? It's not every day I see someone's face being bitten off!

Faetan : [Frowns darkly] We can't let this happen again. [Moves to the door, anxious to be off...a pained look twisting on her face] I should go...it's...my fault he got out in the first place.

Sven : [Pointing at Faetan] Hold on, a second, monster. No one's going off on their own. I think we should follow Austin's suggest to get the cure off as quick as possible, and then track down Sellsick. With the shield in place, he can't escape. Come on, Fae, are you with me? Remember, a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link!

Peter : [Watching Alice pick her nose with her little finger] Then I guess we're screwed.

Faetan : [Hesitates, moves her wrist around in a circle and staring at her sword] Right... Yes, let's get the cure off before anything else happens. [Nods slowly]

Sven : Haw! [Slaps Fae hard in the back] That's the spirit, soon you'll be as enthusiastic as Peter here!

Peter : [Dryly] That would be a thrill.

[Everyone heads across to Moe's Tavern. The bar, on the ground floor is a mess, and covered in dust.]

Sven : This way, guys. The shield is generated by a device down below - we hid it here to make sure that no one gets at it. [Glances behind the bar] You know, when we're done, I think we should do something about the whole alcohol situation.

Sven : This way, guys. The shield is generated by a device down below - we hid it here to make sure that no one gets at it. [Glances behind the bar]You know, when we're done, I think we should do something about the whole alcohol situation.

Jerome : [Excitedly]Dr Jerome K Trindle Phd, BsC is welcoming the opportunity to examine first hand the mechanism of the shield. He suspects it is controlled by large magnets. An electrically charged particle moving in a magnetic field will experience a force, [Puffs himself up proudly], a force which is known as the Lorentz force pushing it in a direction perpendicular to the magnetic field.

Sven : Yeah, Jerome. I'm sure you're right, but the tech boys look after that, I'm just an end user.

[Every one heads down to the cellar. It is as it was when the party was here before, with WILLIAM HUXLEY's grave still open.]

Sven : We put the shield in the grave - a little bit gruesome, but Peter thought it would be ironic to use the thing that started all the trouble in Queens View to help stop it.

[The group stand around the edge of the shallow grave. Inside is a small silver cylinder, with a cone at the top.]

Jerome : [Pulling on a pair of asbestos gloves] Here we go! [FAETAN stands guard at the door, glancing back occasionally at JEROME and the others, with her sword still in hand.]

Faetan : Do it quickly, this place is making me nervous.

Austin : [Readies his slingshot. Moves close to Faetan] Yes, it is rather creepy isn't it.

Faetan : Not creepy, per se... I just don't like the idea of having only one exit. [Shrugs] I don't get scared...fear is for the weak!

Austin : [Moves closer yet to Faetan, and inhales (through his nose) deeply] And alertness is for the alive.

Faetan : Ah...well, er...yes. It's always good to be alert. [Turns her head faintly towards Austin] What are you doing?

Austin : Preparing for battle [Nods towards the door]. Tom is no pushover, but you appear to be well equipped [Smiles at Faetan] This is not quite the party I had expected, perhaps there will be a better one later.

Faetan : [Chuckles throatily] Well, I'm not properly attired for a party anyhow...and I'm sure you wouldn't want to drag along someone with scrapes, cuts, and bruises...no matter how fashionably they might be situated on one's person. [Grins, keeping eyes on exit above] But it IS tempting.

Clint : Aw, so sweet, the lawyer found a friend. [Pause] Yuck.

Alice : Clint, you've got the cure, lob it out.

Faetan : [Turning her head to glare at Clint] At least his arm's not on fire.

Alice : Which is surprising, considering all the friction it is normally exposed to.

Clint : My arm's not the only thing that's on fire when I see you. [Pause] No Bimbo, I'm not talking about you.

Austin : [To Alice] You can be such a smutty girl sometimes Alice. Most of the time, infact. [To Jerome] Please release the cure before some huge tentacled monstrosity emerges from the walls and drags us all down to the fiery pits of Hell.

Alice : [Smiles] Aw, thanks Aussie! [Looks at Clint] You better not be taling about me, Clint. Come on, give the cure to Jerome.

Faetan : [Growls at Clint] Just hurry up and pour the vial, will you?! [Still stares up at the exit, face growing red with embarrassment]

[Suddenly, there is a deep, bassy sound from middle of the room.]

Alice : What's that? Is it coming from the shield?

Jerome : I believe it is not.

Clint : Of course. [Pulls out a bottle from his pocket, but it falls from his hands and smashes on the ground] Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrgh!!! My rum! I hate when this happens! [Pulls out the vial of Scalies cure from another pocket] Here, take this before it falls as well! Hum, I wonder if it tastes good.

[The noise is deafening, and feels as though it is coming in waves, clearly from somewhere in the centre of the room. Everyone can feel their eardrums vibrating, and tears coming to their eyes, the noise and vibrations are so bad.]

Jerome : [Takes the cure] What the hell is going on? [His hands are shaking.]

Clint : Use the phial, Jerry!

Faetan : [Slowly clutches her sword more tightly, clenching her teeth] It's not just...the center...of the room... [Turns to look at Austin, eyeing him suspiciously] There's...something...coming from you...too...

Jerome : [Shouting] I'm trying! [Turns the phial very slowly over the shield, and the liquid begins to pour out, incredibly slowly.]

Alice : [Very slowly, and rather echoey] What's - going - on?

Sven : [Hands over ears, speaking like Alice] It must be the key!

[TOM SELLSICK suddenly appears at the doorway, moving at normal speed, which, compared to FAE and AUSTIN is blindingly fast.]

Faetan : [Snarls loudly] Oh no...you're not getting away with anything! [Moves to intercept Tom, forcing her limbs to move through what feels like thick molasses]

Austin : [Moves as fast as he can to try and protect Jerome, realising that this is the only thing that he might be able to do at this speed. Grits his teeth] Protect Jerome!

Alice : [Draws her sword] Come on! [Starts moving slowly towards the stairs] Hey! My pendant is getting really hot!

[SVEN and PETER similarly draw weapons and start running towards the stairs. The noise, incredibly, is getting worse.]

Tom : [To Fae] I know what you're thinking, he's too evil to live, and you, you're right. [Grabs Faetan by the shirt and headbutts her, pushing her back down the stairs, which she proceeds to fall slowly backwards down.]

Faetan : [Lies stunned for a moment...gets back up and takes out a knife with her other hand] Austin's right, Sven, keep Jerome out of harm's way!

Alice : [Pulls off her talisman] Look! It's glowing hot!

Jerome : The cure is in. [Starts to pull off his pendant]

Tom : [Grabs Austin] Where do you think you're going, pretty boy? There's the little matter of you killing me to discuss.

Austin : [Takes off his pendant as quickly as he can]

Sven : [Shouting] No! Don't let him kill Austin, the party musn't be broken up, not now of all times!

[The shield generator begins to vibrate, and parts start to come off it. Meanwhile, AUSTIN, rips off his talisman, only to receive a backhander from TOM, which sends him over the banister, and onto the ground.]

Tom : [Producing a crossbow, and smiling] Dipped in Doctor Proctor's best!

Faetan : [Being closest, starts running to interpose herself between Tom and Austin] Get outta the way, lawyer!

Tom : [Pointing the crossbow at Austin] You fucker, this will make you pay. [Squeezes the trigger.]

[Just at that moment, the shield generator bursts into pieces, and everyone moves at their normal rate again. The bolt flies towards AUSTIN, but FAETAN dives over him.]

Sven : No! [Dives over Faetan, and takes the bolt in the back] Ow. Oh, shit. [Rolls off, onto the ground.]

Tom : [At the top of the stairs] Bastard! [Throws the crossbow onto the pile of bodies.]

Faetan : [Moves to Sven, horrified] NO! You idiot, why did you do that?! ARGH!!!! [Glares red hot death up at Tom] @#$&@#*$@#*&$@#*$*@#!**@&*!!!!!!!!!!! [Hurls dagger at him]

[The dagger narrowly misses TOM.]

Tom : [Points both index fingers at Faetan, and smiles] That's two I owe you, honey bunny! [Turns and runs out the door.]

[PETER bounds up the stairs after him, with a more determined look on his face than anyone would have though possible. He is followed by ALICE.]

Jerome : Er, I think the shield is no longer functioning.

Clint : [Charges against Tom] Die! Better yet, die again!

Faetan : [Oblivious to everyone else, hovers over Sven, hand on his cheek] Sven? Are you all right? C'mon, you're invincible, tell me you're okay... You're not hurt... [Squeaks in a small voice] Right?

Sven : [Looking up at Faetan] Oooh. I think I'm hurt, monster.

Peter : [Stops at the door, and turns to Alice and Clint] Stay back! Stay together - the shield is down, you better be ready for what's coming. I'll deal with him. [Carries on]

Alice : [Stops on the stairs, and turns to the others] I suppose we'd better stay?

Faetan : [Strokes Sven's shoulder] But you're not gonna die... You're NOT! I'll go back and get you if you do, you hear me?! [Turns head up to look at Chastity] You've worked one miracle today, sister...can you fit another one in your schedule?

Austin : [Assuming that he has taken his talisman off, takes a shot at Tom with his sling shot] Suck on this Pukemerchant! [Alas, TOM is long gone, and AUSTIN's shot just ricochets around the bar.]

Chastity : [Kneeling beside Sven] I fear I may have exhausted my spiritual power for one day, but I will try. [Mumbles a prayer, before speaking loudly] Oh, Lord Phili, do not desert your servant at his time of need.

[Nothing happens.]

Faetan : [Bites her lip, drawing her brow down angrily] Well...thanks for asking anyway... [Lifts head] Someone go get Nurse... No, I'll get her. If anybody has medical knowledge, keep Sven comfortable. [Stands to her feet, moves to limp up the stairs]

Jerome : Let us take Sven to her, that will be quicker.

[JEROME, CLINT, FAETAN and ALICE lift up the groaning SVEN, and head out of the tavern. Once outside, the party can see that the shield is gone, and that the town is as dark as the outside. There are sounds of people screaming coming from everywhere, and a number of horsemen are rampaging about the town.]

Alice : Do you think it's Dangsten and the others? On Thu, 14 Feb 2002, Conor Ryan wrote:

Clint : Sven, why did the shield break?

Alice : For God's sake, Clint! Can't you see he's ill!

[ALICE accidently steers them into a pole, knocking SVEN's head against it.]

Sven : Ow! [Looks up at Clint] Those talismans that you were wearing, they must have had keys hidden inside.

Austin : [To Sven] I believe that it was the talismen, once again Darius plays us a double edged sword.

Faetan : [Sputters angry nonsense for a few seconds] I knew that Darius slimebag couldn't be trusted! [The party enter DOCTOR PROCTOR's house, where NURSE TERSE is in the hallway.]

Terse : What happened?

Chastity : [To Faetan] One of these days Phili's justice shall be brought against him. [Pulls out her mace, looking around for any horsemen] Quickly, lets get to Proctors house. Hopefully Nurse Terse will still be there. We don't want to come up against the horsemen just yet. the avalanche of QV posts.

Jerome : We believe he has been shot with a poisoned arrow.

[They bring him in and lay him on a bed.]

Terse : I'm the nurse, let me decide if he's been poisoned or not. [Examines him for a few moments] He's been poisoned.

Faetan : [Impatiently] Can he be cured? There has to be an antidote, right? [Looks continuously more crazed] A doctor wouldn't keep some deadly poison around in his house without keeping an antidote for it! That's...that's just inSANE!

Chastity : [To Terse] Sellsick said something about "Doctor Proctors best". Does that mean anything to you?

Terse : We didn't have poison. He must have made it up himself using other materials from the Doctor's office as ingredients.

Sven : How does the poison work?

Terse : If it is what I think it is, it attacks the lungs. Filling them up with pus until, well.

Terse : I presume it means that he used materials from here.

Alice : Until what?

Faetan : [Looks pale] Until he drowns. [Stares at Alice]

Chastity : Quickly. Hold Sven upside down and keep his mouth open. That'll hopefully drain the lungs until we can get together an antidote. I heard of a similar thing with ill sheep. cattle diseases.

[ALICE looks down from FAETAN's stare, and gives a shiver.]

Terse : That is the most preposterous thing I've ever heard. It is much better to simply wait and watch him die.

Faetan : [Howls in shock] NO IT'S NOT!!!! [Stoops next to Sven] There has to be something we can do...put him in stasis, freeze him, anything...! Sven, what do you want us to do for you?

Sven : [Clearly in difficulty] There's nothing to do, monster. This is it. Just don't let it finish with all these pissy looking faces gazing at me! You, Stinky, get over here so I can give you a thump. [Cough, choke, spits up a chunk of green goo]

Faetan : [Eyes as wide as dinner plates] Sven...you...I mean...no... [Stutters for a moment, then flees the room]

Clint : [Cleaning the green goo from his face] I'll miss you big guy. [Pointing at Alice's tummy] Hopefully we'll meet again?

Sven : [Weakly, and speaking softly so Clint has to lean to hear him] I'm afraid not, Stinky, that's only for you mob. [As Clint leans in, Sven leans over and punches him hard in the stomach] Hah! Gotcha! [Flumps back on his back] [FAETAN waits outside, listening, and shudders, muttering various words like 'blood' and 'death' and 'revenge' and 'blood' some more]

Chastity : [Kneeling next to Sven, holding beads in her hand, waiting to perform the last rights. To Terse] Is he dead yet?

Sven : [Indignantly] No, I'm not! You look after this mob, Chastity, and make sure they take care of Faetan, too. [Looks at Jerome] See you, doc. [To Austin] I know you're too upset to thank me for saving your life, but that's okay. [Looks over at Alice] You got anything to say, shooter?

[ALICE just shrugs, tears in her eyes.]

Sven : [Fading away] I'm going to see you again?

Alice : [Nods] In the blue place.

[SVEN gives her a thumbs up, and dies.]

Clint : You bastard, dying on us like that. I wish I had some Louis XIV to drink to your honour.

Austin : [Looking all trying not to cry (because Sven has died), in a well hidden but unmistakebly tear jerky voice] He ruins my best suit and then dies, and he expects me to thank him!

Sven : [Eyes shoot open, and he turns to Clint] You got it, Stinky! Check my bag. [Reaches over and punches Clint so hard on the arm he nearly falls down] I forgot to say - look out for Peter, he's a great friend, he'll help you now. [Dies. Really, this time.]

Chastity : [Bows her head in prayer, shaking the beads over Svens face] Take care of his soul, O'Phili. [looks up at Peter] Would you like to say a few words for deceased.

Faetan : [Walks back into room with a...scary...smile on her face] We have to go. There's some killing to be done, and I intend it to be given by those maggots on horseback.

Clint : Poor Chastity, she's so taken aback that she forgot Peter went after Tom Sellsick. [Looks at Sven] What a great friend, until the end. Hum, I wonder where his bag is. [Looks for the bag]

Alice : Can we all just calm down a second. Chastity, Peter isn't even in the house, he went after Tom. Faetan, I know you're upset, but these guys are serious. If we take them head on, we'll lose.

Terse : What is going on outside? They seem to be out of control. They've even broken up the play.

[CLINT finds SVEN's bag.]

Faetan : [Still with an eerie smile] If we don't take them on, a lot of innocent people are going to cark it. Besides...keh heh...I'm a dead man walking...or woman...like it matters...keh heh heh...

Alice : Should I slap her across the face?

Faetan : Sure, why not? Could be fun...you might never get another chance...maybe you'll win a kewpie doll!

Austin : [Looking concerned at FAETAN] You smell rather nice for a corpse, [Pauses looking even more concerned] are you feeling okay Fae?

Alice : [Turns to the others] What's a kewpie doll?

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle believes we must form a strategy. Sven is dead. Peter is missing. Tom is loose. We can only presume that Dangsten, Darius and the band are rampaging through the town.

Faetan : [To Austin] Oh yes, oh yes, I'm in tip top shape...I'M not the one that got shot in the back with a poisoned bolt...even though I *should* have been, but nooooo... Sven had to mess everything up... [Head swivels about with a swaying motion to Jerome] How 'bout I go out there and kill as many as I can, yeah?

Austin : [Sigh! starts rummaging through Svens bag] The question is, did the cure for Scalies get delivered or not?

Alice : I suppose that depends on who she wants to kill, doesn't it?

Jerome : Indeed, Alice. If she wishes to kill the actors, I suspect she will succeed. However, it is not a trivial task to confront Dangsten.

Clint : [Pushing Austin to the side] Sorry lawyer, this one's for me. [Tries to find the bottle of Louis XIV on Sven's bag] I'm just looking for a special artifact.

Clint : [Pushing Austin to the side] Sorry lawyer, this one's for me. [Tries to find the bottle of Louis XIV on Sven's bag] I'm just looking for a special artifact.

Alice : God almighty, the poor guy hasn't been dead for two minutes, and already you're fighting over his stuff!

[CLINT produces a bottle of the elusive Louis XIV.]

Alice : [Distracted] Of course, it wouldn't be the done thing to not have a drink for his memory.

Jerome : [Beseeching] Dangsten? Darius? The band? The hellmouth? The end of the world as we know it.

Alice : I know but... Louis XIV, Jerome!

Chastity : [To Clint and Austin] Will you two stop squabbling like to children! Is there anything useful in Sven's bag? If previous encounters are anything to go by, we'll need some help in defeating Dangsten, Darius and the other evil riders.

Faetan : [Fixes eyes on the bottle...starts to look pissed] LEAVE IT! There are more important things to do now, places to go, people to KILL! You want a plan? Howzabout I waltz out there and distract Dangsten, you guys shoot him with whatever projectile weapons you've got, and we lop his flea-infested head off?

Jerome : It is a reasonably cunning plan, but flawed in several places. First, the entire plan is build around the assumption that he can be distracted from his goal; previous experience has suggested otherwise. Secondly, Dangsten cannot be hurt by conventional weapons, regardless of their aeronautic characteristics. Thirdly, for you to "lop" his head, or any other appendage, for that matter, off, you would presumeably have to possess a magical weapon even more powerful than Beaucaphalus the Wondersword, which, I believe is currently in Gary's possession.

[The party is suddenly distracted by a terrific high pitched screaming from outside. ALICE opens the window, only for the party to see ANIMAL riding passed, with GARY being dragged along after, tied by a long rope to his horse.]

Jerome : I see. Our task has suddenly become a whole lot more complex.

Clint : [Opening the bottle] I say we pay our respect to old Sven. [Drinks a little and then passes the bottle to Alice] [Clears a tear from his eyes] I am not crying, it's the Louis XIV.

Alice : To our deceased friend, to Sven. [Throws back a large drink, and passes it to Jerome.]

Jerome : Er, yes. [Drinks a tiny amount] Oh dear, I think I'm drunk. there, so I'll just post it again!

Faetan : [Barks a sharp laugh] HA! I wonder if he's gonna put THAT in the Queen's View sequel! [Vaults out the window, intending to give chase]

Jerome : No! Not on your own!

[He seemed to be heading towards the church.]

Faetan : [Laughs maniacally] Just try and stop me! Oh some heads are gonna roll... [Draws sword and gives chase]

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD urges caution. If we follow in the same cavalier fashion, we could all end up dead.

Alice : On the other hand, Jerry, Sven did ask us to look after her.

Clint : [Closes the bottle and keeps it on the jacket] I say we knock her down, drag her back in here, and let Jerry come up with a plan. Last from Miguel #89

Chastity : The horsemen must be going to the Hell mouth. If they have something to open it up, all hell will let loose. [pauses] Literally.

Alice : I guess they're going to try and do whatever it was we stopped them from doing in Hallbridges - bring Pestilence back. They already have Contagion, so if they have the four of them, maybe they'd be able to open it?

Jerome : Clint, go get her.

Clint : Anyone care to come? Alice? Lawyer, wanna save your only friend? Follow me! [Rushes out to the street to drag Faetan back]

Austin : [Has a look through Svens bag for anything that might be useful, then has a swig of Louis XIV] May he rest in peace! Not going to get much of that round here [Puts Svens things back into the bag and hides them somewhere close so that they don't get 'borrowed']

Alice : [Climbing out after Clint] Has she done anything to help us so far?

[CLINT catches FAETAN with a diving tackle, that sends her sprawling to the ground, while ALICE catches up, and helps hold her down.]

[FAETAN isn't moving too fast, and has paused to stab a suspicious looking bush]

Faetan : DIE!

Clint : Ok Bimbo, let's get her back. I'll hold the feet and you hold the arms. [Between them, CLINT and ALICE drag the squirming FAETAN back to the house.]

Alice : I presume we should go through the door, rather than lobbing her through the open window?

Faetan : [Struggles and shrieks] Noooo! I want revenge! I want Tom's head on a platter! I want...! [Goes limp, with a single sob] I want my Sven baaaaack...

Alice : Wow, she must have been even closer to Sven than we were. I guess it makes it all the more ironic that she was the one who let Tom Sellsick escape out of hell, huh?

Jerome : Dearest Alice, you do realise that she can hear you?

Alice : [Indignantly] Clint! I thought you were supposed to knock her out!

Faetan : [Croaking] Yes, please do...I don't feel so good.

Alice : Okay. [Picks up a nearby bottle to smash over Faetan's head]

All : No!!!!

Alice : [Looks at the bottle, which is, of course, the Louis XIV brandy bottle] Oh. [Puts it down carefully, and picks up a large vase, which she hits Faetan with.]

[Of course, FAETAN isn't knocked out, but is soaked and covered in flowers.]

Faetan : [Blinks for a moment...then plucks a flower from her face to stare at it] Snapdragons... They were Sven's...favorite... [Eyes get big and watery]

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD would appreciate it if we could all stop for one moment. We are all upset at Sven's death, but the best way to avenge it now is to prevent Dangsten from resurrecting Pestilence, after all, that is why Sven was here in the first place. Now, can we have some useful and productive ideas?

[Crash! ALICE cracks another vase off FAETAN's head, alas, this doesn't knock her out either.]

Faetan : [Starting to get some sense knocked into her...and out of her...] Okay, thank you Alice, I'm quite unconscious now.

Alice : [Holding a huge glass ornament in her hand] Oh - okay. If you're sure. [Looks away, puzzled.]

Faetan : QUITE, quite sure, thank you. [Takes a deep breath, exhales slowly] All right...so what are the key elements needed to bring back this Pestilence guy? All we have to do is eliminate one of them and we're set, right?

Jerome : [Thoughtfully] Ye-es, so it would seem. But Dr Jerome K Trindle believes that if something sounds too easy to be true, it most often proves to be precisely the opposite. [Walks to Alice and gently reclaims the huge glass ornament, puts it on a table] Oh how I wish I had my probability generator with the resurrection plugins to determine the exact percent chance that we will be able to do this!

Faetan : [Nods] Okay, so let's inventory what we've got. I have a sword, and since I'm not part of the original party, I'm expendable. However, both Austin and I are in bad shape. [To Terse] Do you have any sort of healing medicine we might be able to utilize?

Jerome : [Glancing around at the assembled party]Dr Jerome K Trindle believes that the probability of being healed here is better than average. [Pulls a pencil and a notepad from his pocket. The pencil has a fluffy orange plastic troll head on the top]Interesting side note: a race of people invested millions of dollars in inventing a pen that could write in space. Their counterparts simply used a pencil. As I am doing now. The point? Simple solutions are usually staring right at us, and we fail to recognise the. Let's not do that this time. [Looks to Faetan] Right, inventory.......

Terse : I've got a glass of milk and a small bar of chocolate to console you.

Alice : So the answer is no?

Terse : Yes.

Alice : So you do have some healing medicine?

Terse : No, you see, I said yes meaning no.

Alice : Yes meaning no? What the hell is going on here?

Terse : Look, I can bandage your people up, but I don't have anything to magically cure them.

Faetan : [Sighs] I don't think we have time for bandages. Look, if we don't get out there right now, I'm betting that WONDERFUL screenwriter is gonna cark it. So, unless anyone has any special tricks or items, we're just gonna have to bust in after them.

Chastity : I can't promise anything, but the good Sisters of Phili at the convent may be able to help. Thats if its still in one piece, being next to the church.

Alice : Hold on a second - I don't think Gary's rescue should be our top priority. He's imprisoned us twice, killed Mei, hypnotised one of the more attractive party members into thinking she was in love wiht him, and now he's written this ludicrous screenplay about us, which has somehow convinced all the townspeople that we're an unattractive group of morons. [Shouts] And I'm not unattractive!

Faetan : [Clapping a hand to her ear and wincing] I thought you guys said he was going to be used to bring back this Pestilence guy. [Looks at Chastity] That's a novel idea. We'll need to be at full strength before facing off against so many.

Austin : [To Jerome] Did the scalies cure get correctly delivered or not?

Faetan : [Shakes her head] I don't think there's any way to tell, boyo. We'll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best. I like Chastity's idea, shall we go to the convent and see what can be done? It IS close to the church as well.

Alice : We weren't talking about Gary, Faetan - what we were talking about was Beaucaphalus the wonder sword, a sword that was given to us by Marasmus Bane. Gary stole it off us when he imprisoned us. That's what we need, not that other smarmy git.

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD believes that the cure has been delivered. The shield did not break until after I had poured it all in.

Chastity : Wasn't Gary being dragged towards the church, last time we saw him. Beaucaphalus will either be there, or maybe more likely, in Gary's house. It probably depends on whether Dangsten's evil horde know that Gary has the sword.

Alice : What? Dangsten's got a hooker with him? This just gets worse and worse!

Jerome : I believe we should proceed with as much alacrity as possible, there is no time to waste. Shall we first visit the convent to see if any of the kindly nuns can help us?

Faetan : [Suddenly alert] Marasmus Bane! After this is done, remind me to ask you about Bane. Where is Gary's house, in relation to the church?

Alice : [Jumping back in surprise at Faetan's animation] Well, the church is over there. [Points out the window] And Gary doesn't live in the town, so I suppose it could be anywhere, really.

Faetan : [Thinks for a moment, rubbing chin...then snaps her fingers] I'll bet you he was going to use the sword as some sort of prop in the play. We'll probably find Beau...what'shisface...at the stage. But you're right, nuns first, let's go!

Austin : [Looking shifter than usual, peeks out of a window] Let's go and see the nuns, some of them might still be alive. [The party take their leave of DOCTOR PROCTOR's house, and go across to the convent. The town is in chaos, and the party can see ANIMAL, MORTICE and STRAHD riding around, burning houses and killing people. There is no sign of either DANGSTEN or DARIUS. The convent is on fire, and there are several nuns outside it, including SR. MARY BEARD and SR. MARY MOUSTACHE.]

Sr. Mary Moustache : Sr. Chastity! You have returned!

Sr. Mary Beard : God bless the holy and reverend Sr. Chastity.

Sr. Mary Moustache : And you have brought the kind and wise Dr. Trindle with with!

Sr. Mary Beard : God bless the clever and generous Dr. Trindle.

Sr. Mary Moustache : And [looks at Austin, then to Clint, then to Alice] the young Ms. Bassett-Short has got married!

Sr. Mary Beard : God bless the sanctity of her marriage, as we know that one pregnant outside of wedlock would not dare approach the convent.

Alice : Gah!

Faetan : [Covering quickly] It's a shame the father of the child couldn't be here... Sisters, we're in dire need of healing, particularly Mr. Sleaze. [Points at Austin] Might we beseech you for your charity and aid?

Sr. Mary Moustache : [Horrified] Mr. Sleaze? [Blesses herself]

Sr. Mary Beard : God bless us and save us from the evil Austin Sleaze. [Throws some holy water at Austin]

Alice : [To Faetan] Your buddy Austin has something of a history with the local nuns.

Chastity : Good Sisters, Phili be praised that you are still alive, albeit slightly singed. [Gently pats out some of the glowing hairs on

Sr. Mary Beard's whiskers.] Some of our party are injured, will you be able to help. We need to the at our best to erradicate this evil [gestures to the town scene and burning Convent,To Austin] And You, keep your thieving hands away from any valuables this time. That includes the Holy Sisters. After all this chaos has died down, the good work and word of Phili will be needed even more than ever.

Faetan : [To Austin, shocked] You stole from NUNS?

Chastity : [Quickly answering before Austin can get in a word, whilst glaring at Austin] Yes, he did. And has shown no repentance since.

Alice : [Folding her arms, with no small amount of satisfaction] Not such a nice guy now, eh?

Sr. Mary Moustache : Gasp! She has no wedding ring!

Sr. Mary Beard : God bless and save us, she has committed one of the few crimes worse than stealing from the convent. [Turns a holy water hose on Alice]

Alice : Ow! Hey! That's really cold!

Faetan : [Uncorks water flask] Hey, could I get some of that? Just in case we have to fight any denizens of hell...

Sr. Mary Moustache : Of course, dear. May we tend to your wounds too?

Sr. Mary Beard : God bless and protect the mysterious, yet polite, stranger.

Clint : [Winking at the sisters] Hello ladies, remember me, Clint Scar? I'm sure glad to see you again!

Faetan : [Looks immensely relieved] Yes, please, sisters!

Sr. Mary Moustache : We remember you, Mr. Scar.

Sr. Mary Beard : God save us and protect us from the foul smelling and foul mouthed Mr. Scar.

Sr. Mary Moustache : Indeed, Sr. Chastity, yours is a heavy cross to bear.

Sr. Mary Beard : God bless and protect the patient Sr. Chastity Browne.

Chastity : Thank you for your kind words and prayers, Sisters. I must admit, at times I have found the going hard. By Phili's love sees myself, and some of my companions through. Even though some of them are most unworthy.

Alice : [Hair flat and soaking, not looking happy] That's right. She hangs around with some real lowlifes.

[SR. MARY BEARD and SR. MARY MOUSTACHE say some prayers near FAETAN, who immediately looks better.]

Faetan : [Flexes her fingers, grins widely] Thank you... Thank you very much! I feel great! sorry about that!

Faetan : [Flexes her fingers, grins widely] Thank you... Thank you very much! I feel great!

Jerome : Dearest Sisters, while I am aware of how evil, sinful and distasteful you find Mr. Sleaze, we are on a holy mission to save the town. It would greatly help our cause if you could arrange for some healing for him.

Sr. Mary Moustache : We have heard no apology from him, and cannot help him until he helps himself.

Sr. Mary Beard : God helps those who helps themselves.

Jerome : [Watching sagely] The good doctor Jerome gave a high probability for your healing, even without the probability generator!

Faetan : [Turns to Austin] Come on, Austin... We need you on this one. It can't hurt.

Alice : [Tying back her hair] Yeah, Aussie, come on. You can do it.

Jerome : {Dignified, like} C'mon Aussie. Dr Jerome K Trindle admonishes it's not like you've never done it before!

Sr. Mary Moustache : Clearly, an apology will not be forthcoming.

Sr. Mary Beard : God bless us and protect us from the evil Sleaze.

[SR. MARY MOUSTACHE and SR. MARY BEARD head away, helping put out the fire in the convent.]

Alice : [Angrily to Austin] You moron! Sven died to protect you, and now you're too stupid even to protect yourself. What do you think is going to happen if you get killed? Valuable space [points to her stomach] will be taken up because you're too arrogant to apologise for something you were caught doing red handed!

Faetan : [Disappointed] We'll just have to take extra caution. Let's go find the sword, eh?

Austin : [To all] They are completely nuts. [Nods towards the nuns] I have never stolen anything from a nun. They contrived and blackmailed me into this mission and then give me naught but abuse. They are of less value than the mud in which they tread and I am deeply sorry that Sven has lost his life inorder that I aight be saved and therfore be able to continue with the mission. I personally do not believe that those nuns are worth saving, they are scum. [Stomps off a few paces, obviously still gutted at Svens death. Tries feebly to straighten some of the wrinkles from his suit]

[The party go to the church. There seems to be no sign of any of the horsemen outside, but there is definitely some activity in the church, with the sounds of fire and explosions coming out.]

Alice : [Drawing her sword] Just so I've got this straight, we can't harm them with our weapons, we have no healing spells left, we don't know what they are trying to do, and we don't know how to stop them, right? [Takes out Sven's hat from her bag, and puts it on] Let's go!

Faetan : [Tries not to look at hat, but does anyway and looks like she wants to steal it] Right then! For Sven! [Draws sword, charges forward to lead the way]

Austin : [To Faetan and the others] I have never stolen fromm a nun, I did once attempt to relocate a chalice from a church to another locale, but since it was stolen in the first place I believe that it was not an ill deed.

Alice : Yeah, yeah, yeah... Tell it to the judge. [Follows Faetan inside]

[The church is in a terrible state, but there doesn't appear to be anyone here.]

Faetan : [Tenses up, looking around suspiciously] Where's Father Gougal? And Colin? [Moves forward cautiously, peering down the pews and looking around]

Clint : Jerry, is it really a good idea to charge like this, without being able to hit them at all? I suggest we try to find Beau first, and heal the Lawyer, before trying anything. His relocation techniques might still come in handy.

Alice : [To Clint] Maybe Dangsten has Beaucaphalus? Animal did have Gary earlier on.

[GOUGAL crawls out from beneath a pew.]

Gougal : Thank God! Thank God!

Alice : It's okay, young fella, we're here now.

Gougal : [Looking up] Huh? I was talking about finding that copper piece I dropped last year. [Looks around the church] What happened here? I don't think it should look like this at all.

Faetan : [Keeps glancing around, with an amused smile] We're trying to figure out what happened... [Starts creeping towards the entrance to the cellar] they came out of

Clint : On the contrary, I find it rather cozy. Have you seen anything of what happened? [Looks at the pew Gougal crawled from] Ok, I suppose not.

Chastity : [To Clint] If you think this is cozy I'd wager that you bedroom could do with a good tidy up. Not that I would bet, as its sinful. [looks around the devastation inside the church, mutters] Sacrilege, Sacrilege. Look they've even trampled on the flowers at the door. Evil fiends. [Shakes her head]

Alice : [Looking at the bottom of her show, which has a flower stuck to it, before putting it down, and looking at the others] Bastards!

Gougal : I think someone went downstairs - down the mouthy thing.

Faetan : Only one? You didn't happen to see some nerdy guy being dragged along as well? [Slowly takes a few steps down the stairs, looking around cautiously]

Austin : [Looking back in fashion, not a ruffle in sight, just a few scars] Lets go and see what is afoot. [Heads towards the cellar] All of the trouble seems to involve the church of Philli. [Whimsically] Purely circumstancial I'm sure.

Chastity : And there always seems to be a lawyer chasing after the trouble. [Sarcastically] Purely circumstancial I'm sure.

Alice : [Whispers to Chastity] Is that when a guy has his [points to her crotch] you know, lad snipped?

Faetan : [Motions to Austin with an upraised palm, whispering] Keep back...let me go first to make sure it's safe. [Creeps forward another step or two] [Everyone is now at the top of the stairs.]

Jerome : I presume they are going to try and resurrect Pestilence. The time we interrupted this, Dangsten said that they were unprotected during the ceremony. That could be turned to our advantage. Furthermore, they had a number of artifacts with them, if we can take just one, and make our escape, it is quite possible that not only could we foil them, but live through this day.

Faetan : [Nods, whispers] I'll try to grab a few. [To Austin] Get that slingshot ready, eh?

Austin : [Readies his sling shot with a particularily nasty sharp piece of one of Fae's cookies. To Chastity] I am only here because your lot forced me to be here.

Alice : [Makes a shocked look at the cookie piece] Austin, I know Dangsten is a relative of the devil and all, but don't you think that's going a little too far?

Faetan : [Confused, glances back, sees cookie...looks PISSED] My baking is NOT a weapon of deadly force! [Moves forward more quickly, teeth tightly clenched as she tries not to growl]

Austin : [To Faetan] It merely represents the futility of attacking Dangsten with none magical weapons, i.e. we might as well feed him high quality home bakeing.

Faetan : [Brow furrows, but looks slightly soothed] Seems a waste of good food if you ask me... Hmph...

Alice : Well, it's a waste of food, anyway.

Jerome : Mr. Sleaze, remember that what I said earlier - the last time they tried to perform this ceremony, they were vulnerable to conventional weapons. Now, while one may be stretching the definition to describe Ms. Jarl's baking as a conventional weapon, I believe it still qualifies.

Faetan : [Muttering under her breath] Fine, fine...now let's get going. If I don't kill something soon, I'm going to get really cranky!

Clint : [Muttering] As if she wasn't cranky enough already...

Austin : [To Jerome, sarcastically] Oh, sorry, I didn't hear you [Stares at Jerome, giving him that 'you take everything literally you idiot' look]

Jerome : Your sarcasm has no place here, Mr. Sleaze. I was merely trying to help. [To the others] Weapons at the ready? Let's go!

[CLINT and FAETAN charge down the stairs, followed by ALICE and AUSTIN, and finally CHASTITY and JEROME.]

[Book II, Act VIII, Scene X. Beneath the Church. CLINT, FAETAN, ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY and JEROME have just come down the stairs of the basement, and are in the room outside the Hellmouth. Lying outside the door of the Hellmouth room is COLIN MURPHY. The door is open, and the party can see DANGSTEN, DARIUS, STRAHD, ANIMAL and MORTICE, standing around the mouth, chanting an incantation.]

Jerome : [To the party] Stop! Let's not show our hand yet. They haven't yet brought back Pestilence, so we can still stop them. However, this is not the time for rash action, no, it is not the time for charging blindly into certain death. As my old mentor, Professor Frankelhoffer used to say, consider the facts Jerome. Consider everything, even those facts that may not appear to be related. Consider what has happened before. Consider any related literature. Consider even unrelated literature, because -

Alice : [Interrupting] Jerome? We get the point, but I suspect we don't have the time to stand around here talking for hours on end, possibly making enough noise for them to hear us.

Jerome : [Injured] I am sorry, dearest Alice. I was merely advising caution.

Alice : Fine, but just do it quietly, okay? [Wipes her nose with a paper tissue that she then throws on the ground. Needless to mention, when it hits the ground it smashes, and makes a noise not totally unlike a large plate smashing] Oops!

[Mercifully, those in the hellmouth room don't hear.]

Faetan : [Inches forward, whispers to party] Well, whatever you guys decide, Darius is mine. [Kneels next to Colin, lightly slaps his cheeks] Hey, lad! You all right?

[The unfortunate COLIN is dead from a cut throat.]

Alice : So, what's the plan?

Clint : I say we charge as before. Me and the bimbo might be able to kill another of them, and the kid [pointing at Faetan] might even help.

Alice : Kill one of them? And what happens then, Stinky? There isn't an unlimited supply of soul sanctuaries, you know!

Chastity : Perhaps we could use Clint's bottle of brandy as a type of petrol bomb.

Alice : I know this could be the end of the world, but let's go crazy, okay, Chastity? That is Louis XIV you're talking about.

Faetan : [Glares hotly at Clint] I think that's a good idea, actually. Austin can use his sling to take out the corpse guy from behind. After the bomb goes off, we charge, stab...and I get Darius!

Austin : [Looking doubtful] I am dressed to kill, but I wasn't thinking in a litteral fashion at the time [Examines his shoes to see if they look any different to how they looked 1 minute ago. Readies his sling and bullet]

Chastity : [Looking at Austin's sling and bullet] Hmmmm, "Death by Chocolate Chip". That'll make an interesting menu description for future Church tombolas. I must remember it.

Faetan : [Sulks, mutters to self] My cooking rules...

Alice : [Nodding in agreement] Too right, Fae. Your cooking kicks ass - who else has cooked something that can be used as a weapon.

[JEROME points at ALICE, and begins to speak, but is interrupted.]

Alice : That was different, Jerome. Someone accidently choking on something I cooked is very different to someone using it as a weapon. You know, much as it pains me to say it, I think the bomb idea might work.

Faetan : [Getting increasingly angrier, closes eyes, rapidly counts to ten under breath] Austin, you've taken the most injuries, so you stay out here and watch our backs. Tom Sellsick is still out there, and I don't want him sneaking up from behind. [Nods to cellar door] Keep the sling handy. something to light the brandy. :)

Alice : [Whispers to Chastity, but far too loudly, so everyone else can hear] See how easy it is to pretend there's something good about her cooking? [Normal voice] Jerome, do you want to see if you can get those torches lit?

Jerome : But, of course. [Takes an unlit torch from a sconce and jiggles it around a bit, before banging it off the wall, after which it lights up] There you are, Alice.

Alice : [Taking the torch back] Aw, it's gone out!

Jerome : If you hold it at the bottom. [Squeezes the bottom of the torch, so the flame comes back] See? It will work now.

Alice : Okay, so, once the bomb is in, what then? There are five of them there.

Faetan : [Hunkers low, gathering others into a huddle] Clint will lob the bomb. Immediately after doing so, Austin hits the corpse [points to Mortice] with the sling. After the explosion, we charge. Alice and Clint, you make the lead. Alice goes for the long-haired rat [points at Animal], and Clint, you go for the nappy guy [points at Dangsten.] I'll head to the right, Chastity follows to the left after Alice. Jerome, you come up from behind and finish off the corpse if Austin's sling doesn't do the trick. And I'll take down Darius. If you finish off your opponent, help out the person closest to you. Comments? [Lifts her eyebrows]

Alice : [Who was fumbling in her bag while Faetan was talking, and now turns to her, paper in one hand, crayon in the other] What came after "Clint"?

Austin : [To Faetan] You appear to have won the prize for 'most optimistic plan ever'. How about [pausesfor dramatice effect] we all attack Dangsten, and if we are lucky we may kill him.

Alice : [Beaming, punches Faetan on the shoulder] Well done, Fae! Good on you.

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD, must agree with Counseller Sleaze. Simply rushing in blindly is unlikely to produce any result other than our deaths. Perhaps it might be better to steal the object from them that they will use to resurrect Pestilence. Hallbridges. good man!

Faetan : [Sighs] I still want to kill Darius... Okay, fine, Jerome you seem pretty quick on your feet. We'll keep the others off your back while you grab it and run. The rest of us follow as soon as we're able to get away. How's that?

Jerome : Given Mr. Sleaze's propensity for light fingeredness, particularly within the confines of a church, perhaps it might make more sense for him to appropriate the Ressurection device. Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD, has just noticed that Dangsten has it. Perhaps we should reformulate our plans to take that into account.

[Inside the hellmouth room, the chanting continues. Every so often, the mouth gives a rumble, and the surface bubbles, as though boiling.]

Austin : [Hurried calmness] We should hurry team, why don't we all attack Dangsten and I'll grab the box, then we regroup here and leave, possibly killing Sellsick on the way.

Alice : Okay - what about the bomb, though? Do we want to throw that in first? Then the rest of us try and clear a path to Dangsten?

Faetan : [Nodding anxiously] Yes yes, fine. Austin, take extra caution. Let's do this, eh?

[Everyone moves down closer to the door, with AUSTIN now holding the bottle of Louis XIV.]

Alice : Aussie, do you think one last swig would make a difference? If this is it, I'd like to die with a sweet taste on my lips.

[JEROME coughs slightly.]

Alice : Thanks Jerome. Thanks for making what's possibly my last few minutes alive awkward.

Jerome : Actually, Alice, I felt it appropriate to point out to Faetan the consequences of joining with our party. [To Faetan] We have two soul sanctuaries, where a person's soul may reside if they are killed, for future reclamation. Unfortunately, not only are we not sure if all of us could take one, we are quite sure that you cannot. If you die here, that is it.*

Alice : [Embarassed] That's what I meant, way to make her feel bad, Jerry.

Clint : Are you all out of your mind? Using Louis XIV as a bomb???

Faetan : [Sighs] Look, I'm not afraid of death. If I'm dead, I'm dead. I know more people on the other side anyhow. And if we pull this off, I'll personally pitch in to buy a new bottle. Light 'er up.

Jerome : Mr. Scar, while I know that you may have an unnaturally strong attachment to that bottle - just consider the amount of brandy that the townspeople will give us if we stop this!

[The chanting in the hellmouth room gets a little louder and somewhat faster.]

Alice : Go on, Clint, it's a worthwhile sarcrifice, we all need to put the greater good ahead of our own, selfish needs for this. [Whispers out of the side of her mouth to Clint] But one last drink wouldn't hurt, okay?

Clint : Where have you read that, Bimbo? [Opens the bottle and takes a drink] Ok then, let's just waste the most precious liquid in the world to start up a fire. To hell with it! [ALICE says nothing, but watches CLINT drinking the brandy with huge, sad eyes, and a quivering lower lip.]

Clint : Ok Bimbo, stop the puppy eyes and have your last drink as well. [Passes the bottle to Alice]

Alice : Yay! [Grabs the bottle and takes huge drink, but smacks the bottle off her front teeth, and ends up spilling a not inconsiderable amount down the front of her shirt] Ow!

Faetan : [Groans] So much for a distraction... I may as well waltz in topless. Shall we just charge?

Alice : [Confidentially to Faetan] You don't ever want to waltz topless into a devil worshipping ceremony - and you certainly can't charge for it.

Faetan : [Growls] We don't have time to bicker anymore, let's GO! [Stands up and hefts her sword]

Alice : [Looking unhappily at the end of the brandy] Go on, Clint, you'd better take this. Lob it in when you're ready. [Takes out her sword]

Jerome : [To Clint] May your aim be strong and true, Mr Scar. Remember to take into account air vectors, wind resistance, the flight path of the object.

Clint : [Closing one eye and trying to make a very rough aim at the party around the mouth] Resistance is futile, Jerry. They will be assimilated.

Jerome : Assimilated. Right. Sure. [Watches Clint's aim] Easy does it, man!

Clint : [Swinging the bottle to get more launching power, almost crashing it against a wall] I'm sure I'll be able to get them... maybe a bit more to the right... [moves to the left] Yeah, this is the perfect launching position.

Alice : Assimilated? [Looks at Austin] I think that's another gay jab, Aussie. Come on, Clint, let it rip.

Jerome : [Nervously] Come on man, Dr Jerome K Trindle says, throw it already!

Alice : [Putting her hand to her forehead, and peering into the hellmouth room] Has he? I don't see it.

Alice : [Putting her hand to her forehead, and peering into the hellmouth room] Has he? I don't see it.

Jerome : [Fondly] Dearest Alice, it was a figure of speech on the good Dr's behalf. He is yet to throw it.

Alice : Come on, Stinky, let it rip!

Faetan : [Crossly] What are you waiting for, the World Series?

Clint : [Moving yet to the left] I just gotta make sure I get it... Here goes nothing! [Pauses to think] Actually, here goes a lot! [Throws the bottle]

Austin : [Alarmed at the sudden action, takes a shot at Dangsten] Go, go!

Faetan : HUZZAH! [Charges happily towards Dangsten, sword at the ready]

Alice : Hang on a second, I've got a better id- [too late, it's thrown.]

[Just as the bottle enters the room, all those around the hellmouth finish their chant, and raise their arms triumphantly in the air. All, that is, except ANIMAL, who was a little behind in the chant, and raises his arms a few seconds later. The bottle lands just beside DANGSTEN and explodes, setting him on fire.]

Dangsten : Ah, what's this? [As the flame envelopes him, he staggers, and the resurrection box flies out of his hand.]

Alice : [Breathing deeply, then making a disappointed face] Hey, I thought it would smell nicer than that. [Steps away from Clint, and sniffs again, her face becoming the picture of serenity] Ah.

[The other four in the room, turn and look at the party.]

Austin : [Runs to grab the resurrection box] [The rest of the party charge into the room, weapons waving, as STRAHD, ANIMAL and MORTICE move to intercept. DARIUS doesn't move, and watches the action impassively.]

Dangsten : [Leaning back, arms stretched out, completely ablaze] This is too perfect!

[The CONTAGION fingers on his armour all scream in pain at the flames.]

Alice : [Pointing at the hellmouth] Look!

[The shimmering surface of the mouth seems to have turned to a very viscous liquid, and is pouring onto the floor.]

Clint : [Trying to divert Dangsten's attention from Austin] Hey there, have we arrived too late? We didn't want to miss the cozy fire gathering. [Pulls out his sword] En guarde.

Faetan : [Seeing liquid] Gah! [Sprinkles some holy water at it with her other hand, attacking anyone (besides the party) that comes too close.] [The liquid is pouring quickly now, despite it's thickness. The drops of holy water sprinkled by FAETAN appear to hiss and sizzle, but do nothing to stop it. CLINT and FAETAN both strike DANGSTEN, and seem to cut chunks of burning flesh off him, but he doesn't appear to react.]

Jerome : They must have opened the hellmouth first, this is a very, very bad thing.

[MORTICE grabs hold of CHASTITY, who swings back with her mace, smashing him on the hand, while ANIMAL goes to block the entrance.]

Alice : Go on, Austin!

[AUSTIN grabs the box, which is covered in the strange, yellowish substance pouring out of the hellmouth.]

Faetan : [Elated] Woo hoo! [Turns and swings her sword at Mortice's neck in a lopping motion, to help Chastity]

Clint : [Tries to defend Faetan's back as she helps Chastity, throwing yet another blow at Dangsten] This is just so easy! [Muttering] Too easy, really, something must be wrong... [FAETAN swings and cuts deep into MORTICE's shoulder, causing him to turn and emanate a half scream, half hiss at her. CHASTITY too swings, and connects in the crotch area, but elicits nothing like the kind of reaction she would have hoped for. MORTICE pulls out what appear to be a tiny skull, which he throws into the ground in front of CHASTITY, after which it bursts into thick black smoke, which causes her to cough and retch violently.]

Strahd : [Grabs Austin's hand] I'll have that please. [Leans in to bite the hand, revealing that he is a vampire]

Alice : I don't think so! [Swings her sword at Strahd's face, and connects, sending him staggering back]

[CLINT, in the meantime, swings at DANGSTEN, who doesn't even try to avoid it, and hits him once more. This time, he does seem to hurt him.]

Dangsten : [Calmly] You're running out of time.

[The liquid on the ground begins bubbling, although it is only lukewarm to the touch. The air becomes thick with vapour.]

[FAETAN throws holy water at STRAHD]

Faetan : Har, die fiend! [Strikes at MORTICE again]

Austin : [Tries to smash the box]

Chastity : [Swipes at Mortice with her mace] May Philli fill you with his love!

[The holy water splashes across STRAHD and ALICE, both of whom scream.]

Strahd : [To Alice] What the hell is wrong with you?

Alice : [Indignantly] She got some in my eye! [Swings her sword and connects with him]

[JEROME fires a magic missile at MORTICE, while CHASTITY hits him with her mace. In return, he grabs her wrist, causing her to drop the mace. ANIMAL stay watching, drumming irritatingly on his thighs.]

[There are a few sparks around DANGSTEN, and, just as CLINT is about to hit him, the vapour suddenly ignites, and the ensuing explosion sends everyone into the liquid.]

Alice : Cough! [Looks up] What the hell was that?

[No one attracted any damage, and only DANGSTEN was left standing. The church is now waist high in the liquid, and the hellmouth has fallen over. There is a steady stream of liquid shooting out of it up through the roof. The explosion caused quite a bit of damage, and there are several holes in the wall, including one near AUSTIN, that, although it narrows, appears to open up again further in.]

Austin : [Tries to collect himsels and open the box using more dexterous cunning, guile and sleight of hand then ever before] Shit!

Clint : Don't let them distract you! [Tries to throw a blow at Dangsten's feet, to make him fall]

Faetan : [Stands back up, shaking out hair with disgust] How vile... [Stabs at Mortice]

Chastity : [Turns and charges at Animal] We must get out of here! Sleaze! Bring the box. [Readies her mace for a head removing swipe at Animal]

[AUSTIN opens the box, somehow sheltering behind ALICE and CLINT. No one else can see into it, but his face is lit up by a golden glow, and he looks almost hypnotised by it.]

Strahd : Enough! [Grabs Alice by the collar and headbutts her]

Alice : Ow! He just broke my nose! [She drops to the ground, with blood streaming from it.]

Dangsten : [As Clint's sword hits him and bounces off] I guess I'm gonna have to kill you again, and so close to hell, and all. It just seems so right. [Pulls out a huge black sword in one hand, that the party recognise as Temporidus the Wondersword, and in the other, Beaucaphalus the Wondersword] Let's rock.

[FAETAN hits MORTICE, but her blow just bounces off this time, while JEROME fires another magic missile, causing him to let go of CHASTITY.]

Mortice : Three against one? You still have no chance. [Backhands Faetan, burning her face with the coldest hand imaginable as he does so.]

Faetan : [Staggers back, stunned] Schnikes! They're invulnerable now! [Retreats a few steps, then hacks her sword at one of Dangsten's arms...cause he's the grossest]

Clint : [Tries to kick Dangsten's hand that holds Beaucaphalus] Give that back to me!

Austin : [Staring into the box hypnotised] My beautiful...vile, [hears Chastity's shout. Gasps, desparately trying to snap out of the trance] Gnnnnnn. More beautifl than Maplin, yet more vile than flip-flops [Austin shudders at the thought, takes a deep breath and tears his gaze away from the box and starts for the door]

[Both FAETAN and CLINT hit DANGSTEN, but neither do any damage. DANGSTEN, in the meantime, swings and hits CLINT twice, knocking him to the ground with a splash.]

Alice : No, Austin! You'll never make it, get out through the hole here!

[STRAHD makes a grab for AUSTIN, and catches his jacket, but a combination of the liquid from the ground, and AUSTIN's natural sliminess, he gets away. CHASTITY throws all her weight at ANIMAL, but simply bounces off. He grabs her, one hand on her mace, the other on her throat, and takes a bite out of the mace, before throwing her hard against the wall, to the right of AUSTIN.]

Jerome : I'll clear him. [Fires his last magic missile at Animal, who, much to Jerome's dismay, catches it, balls it up, and rubs it into his hair.] Oh.

[MORTICE, meanwhile, punches FAETAN again, in the side, causing her to double up in pain, and fall to her knees with a splash.]

Alice : [Who's just been splashed by Faetan, and who's face is covered in a mixture of liquid, blood and snot] Hey! Be careful, I don't want that stuff getting all over me!

[ANIMAL gives a huge burp.]

Faetan : [Coughs for breath, staggering shakily to her feet and retreating further] Come on, follow Austin! [Moves to the side of the hole to let the weaker members pass through first, grabbing a torch from the bracket to fend off any attackers]

Austin : [Tries to escape through the nearest hole] No, no, more disgusting than flip-flops! Flip-flops with white socks and garters! [Looks almost sick at the thought]

Chastity : [Gets up and runs to help Austin, screaming in a commanding voice] Philli aid us in our minute of need! Smite these vile intrusions upon you beautifull world! [AUSTIN, ALICE and CHASTITY run through the hole. STRAHD grabs FAETAN, and pulls her up, ready to bite. DANGSTEN starts to run passed CLINT, while MORTICE tries to pass JEROME, who is also running towards the hole.]

Alice : Keep going, Austin! The hole is too small for Dangsten to fit through.

Faetan : [Shrieks] Keep away from my neck, you pervert! [Fumbles for holy water canteen to dump the last of it on him]

Austin : [Keeps going as fast as he can] What do I do with this box?

Alice : Hang onto it, and see if we can get away!

[The hole tapers off, so there is a very small gap, through which people can just about squeeze through.]

Strahd : [Jumping back in pain from Faetan] Bitch! I'm going to suck you dry! [His upper lip has been burnt by the holy water, and is fizzing with pus, making it look a little like he's got a milk moustache.]

[JEROME and CLINT both make it to the tunnel, with DANGSTEN tripping over the latter. Now everyone is in the tunnel, with the exception of FAETAN who is just outside, but who isn't being held.]

Jerome : Come on, Fae! [Calls up ahead] Get through that hole! [FAETAN grits her teeth and dashes for the tunnel, dodging past DANGSTEN if she can]

Austin : [Tries to slip through the hole and out] Grrrunh! [AUSTIN slips through, nicely greased up from the liquid in the hellmouth room, followed by ALICE, who, of course, gets stuck.]

Alice : Oh no!

Jerome : Hold your sword the other way, Alice, and you'll get through.

[She does, and she does.]

Dangsten : [As Faetan skips over him] Get back here! [Grabs hold of her ankle, pulling her to the ground, and burning her as he does so, as he is still on fire.]

[STRAHD and ANIMAL move in to help DANGSTEN.]

Chastity : Rready to help her through or smite and evil that attempts to follow. To Faetan Come along now young lady! This is no time for heroics.

Faetan : [Eyes narrow] Hands off! [Hacks wildly with her sword at the arm that holds her leg, lip curled back in a snarl]

Clint : Chas, get through the hole! [Kicks the hand that is holding Faetan's leg]

Chastity : [Worried, proceeds out towards Austin and Alice, praying] Oh, Lord, you are the best, you are the only God, and we believe in no others. Please help your humble servants, oh great one, blessed art thou, oh holiest of holys.

Faetan : [Smiles grimly at Clint] I can't hurt him, big guy. Get outta here, protect the others! [Jams the heel of her other boot at Dangsten's face]

[Just as DANGSTEN starts dragging her towards him, FAETAN's boot comes off completely, sending him flying back, and her shooting forwards. Quickly, herself and CLINT jump through the hole.]

Dangsten : [Turns to Darius angrily] What the fuck was that? You better get after them, [spits out the word] brother.

Darius : [Calmly takes out a cigar] My pleasure. [Lights the cigar off the still burning Dangsten] Brother. I think it is time to reintroduce Contagion to the equation. [Book II, Act VIII, Scene XI. The Tunnel. CLINT, FAETAN, ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY and JEROME have just come through the hole in the church, and seem to have landed in a large, cool and dry tunnel, which leads away from church.]

Alice : [Snort] He - he broke my nose!

Jerome : Is everyone okay?

Faetan : [Grins lop-sidedly] Never better! [Smiles at Clint, speaks in a quieter voice] Hey, I owe you one...thanks for comin' back for me.

Clint : [To Jerome] Easy for you to say that, Jerry, you're the only one unharmed. [Looks back at the tunnel] Damn, that bastard has got Beau!

Clint : [Punching Faetan on her arm] No probs, kid!

Jerome : I was merely expressing my concern for the rest of the party, Mr. Scar. I will thank you to not direct your ire at me.

Alice : Did I over hear Darius say something about Contagion? What was that about?

Faetan : [Looks rather happy, despite the situation. Turns to Alice] I'm not sure...what's Contagion? Or who? What an unfortunate name!

Austin : [Looking pissed off and worried] What the hell are we going to do? Contagion, Dangsten and Tom Selsick! What do we do with this box, there must be something we can do. [Realises that he is covered in goo] Euurgh! Oh, my gods, [Looks around to check that no non-party members are looking, and furiously starts cleaning his suit] Ruined, ruined I tell you!

Faetan : [Runs her hand through her hair, flicks away the good] It's the end of the world as we know it... [Shrugs] And I feel fine! Well...mostly. C'mon, Aussie. Let's regroup somewhere safe so we can rest and recover from our wounds, and plan something. A counterattack, a place of refuge... [Suddenly brightens] We could seek out the help of the Hierophantic Knights! All we have to do is find Peter Deadpan, he's got hook-ups! I'm sure they'll have some means or method to fight back! [Frowns] Of course, we'll have to actually put UP with Peter...

Clint : What do you mean? I'm not going to put anything UP Peter!

Faetan : [Dryly] I doubt anything would fit with that stick up his butt anyway. Stay focused. [Claps Clint's shoulder, turns to others] Let's find Sisters Moustache and Beard to get our wounds healed. They might have some information waiting for us as well.

Austin : [Finishes wiping the goo off himself with a damp cloth and then produces a 'micro drycleaner' from his jacket and proceeds to groom further] Okay team, Fae's idea sounds good. [Starts heading towards the exit] Peter may know what to do with this box. [Still preening. To Fae] Do you think this suit will eveer be the same?

Faetan : [Grins, slumps her arm around his shoulder as they walk] I think before long it'll be better than new, Slick. Nice fingerwork back there.

[Enter ARAMIS D'ARTAGNAN, a dashing swordsman, who leaps in front of the party, having been hiding further up.]

Aramis : Halt! Who goes there? [Extends his sword, pointing it at the party, and flicks his hair back with his other hand] Answer me quickly, before I kill you.

Faetan : [Smirks] We just escaped with our lives after fighting demons. You're really not that intimidating at the moment. BUT, I suppose you should know that these are a group of sharp and fearsome warriors from Queens View. *I* am Faetan Jarl, daughter of the great HIMO Jarl. [Cues to Alice so she can say her favorite line]

[There are a few seconds of silence, as everyone waits for ALICE, who's still making all kinds of disgusting snorting and sniffing noises with a hanky.]

Aramis : [Clearly not waiting any more] Hi-

Alice : [Suddenly realising what Faetan said, growling] Don't tell me you've never heard of him!

Aramis : [Gives an extravagent bow to Faetan] But of course not, I met Himo Jarl on several occasions, and we even clashed swords once or twice. It is just a shame we were never on the same side.

Faetan : [Eyes Aramis warily, even though she's beaming on cloud nine since someone finally recognizes Himo's name] I don't believe we have the pleasure of your name... Nor do I know which side you're choosing to be on now.

Aramis : Dear lady, it wounds me that my fame has not preceeded me. I am Aramis D'Artagnan. Judging by your bedraggled state, I suspect there is trouble in the church, is this true? [Takes a snort of some snuff, and then wipes his nose with a beautifully delicate lace handkerchief]

Faetan : [Blinks...this clearly isn't what she expected] To put it lightly... What are you doing here?

Aramis : [Gives a mischevious smile] I am here to rob the church.

Alice : [Looking at his backpack] And put it into that bag? It'll never fit.

Aramis : Not the entire building, just some of the valuables. My team of experts and I have spent the last three weeks searching out these tunnels.

Clint : And where is your team of experts? [Looks around for a while] Say, is this going to take long? We're dying to get out of here. Literally.

Aramis : [Tweaks the point of his excessively gelled moustache] Girls, I've someone for you to meet. This is Cheridan and Eve - a little gift to me from a kindly genie. If it wouldn't be too much to ask, what is it that you are running from?

[Enter CHERIDAN and EVE.]

Alice : [Bending down to look at them] Aw! Aren't they gorgeous? Hey, doesn't Eve look a little stoned?

Eve : Shut the hell up, you dumb bitch.

Alice : Hey!

Faetan : Say, quite the mouth on that one. How charming. [Looks back at Aramis] Well today's your lucky day, they struck hair gel. It's overflowing like there's no tomorrow back there, someone could make a fortune off of it. Care for a free sample? [Smiles sweetly, proferring a slime-ridden glove to Aramis]

Aramis : [Wrinkles his nose up in disgust, and blocks it with his delicate handkerchief] I think not. However, it takes more than a foul smelling odour to frighten off [raises his voice] Aramis D'Artagnan!

Alice : [Whispers to Clint] Looks like you'll have to resort to more conventional methods.

[Some of the liquid is beginning to pour out of the hole.]

Clint : Are you Dobbin's cousin? You sure act the same way. I hope you're not trying to finish the same way he did. [Starts walking] Let's go guys, I've had enough of moustache characters for one day.

Jerome : Right you are, Mr Scar. Dr Jerome K Trindle declares we should use the nearest egress at hand and be done with this business.

Aramis : [To Clint, pointing his sword at him] I will thank you to mind your manners, sir. I have told you my business, and have asked what lies beyond that hole that stinketh so. Please, do not irk me. You wouldn't like me when I'm irked. [Looks behind him] Miguel, Dominic, Sam!

[Enter DOMINIC, MIGUEL and SAM, similar creatures to EVE and CHERIDAN.]

Jerome : [Peering at the three newcomers] Perchance are these creatures of bungled scientific experiment? [To himself, quietly] To study is to understand! Perhaps we hold the key to existence in these three. [Aloud] Dr Jerome K Trindle BSC PhD would ask who these three are?

Clint : Where the hell did you get these from? [Looks back at the hole] Oh.

Aramis : They are friends of mine - gifts from a grateful genie. Now, I would be grateful if you would tell me what is up ahead.

Clint : Well, to tell you the truth, all hell broke loose back there. And we're just not in the mood to stay here chatting with you.

Jerome : Well said, Mr Scar.

Faetan : [Starts walking] I don't know about you guys, but I definitely think a bath is in order. I have to find my horse, it's got a spare change of clothing for me... Pleasure meeting you, Mr. D'Artagnan. [Grins wryly]

Aramis : If you wish to flee adventure, that is your business. But I, Aramis, with the help of my new partner Darius, will not. [Turns to Miguel and co.] Come on!

Faetan : Darius?! DARIUS?! [Eyes go wide, takes a deep breath preparing for a tirade. Fists clench and tremble, shaking with rage] Darius is a slimy piece of molding cheese that floats disgustingly in a pile of diarrhea-infested pirahna waters! He is the scum that floats on the cataracts of a saucy old man that beats helpless ducklings with his cane! Do not trust him, for he will slice your gullet like a festive bit of roast beef! I haaaaaaaaaaaaate him! [Eyes wild, crazily so] Ooooo, if only I could meet him again with my blade, he would surely taste the glory of my wrath!

Aramis : I have no reason to trust him, nor have I any reason to trust you. Darius showed me some secret network of passages that lead into Queens View - until recently they were blocked by a shield.

Chastity : That'll be the network of passages he told us he knew nothing about! [To Aramis] Up until that comment I wasn't sure if you were related to that amoral dandy Sleaze, [points towards Austin, who's still wrapped in vaining trying to rescue his suit], but to knowingly go into partnership with Darius sinks you lower than he.

Faetan : [Snorts] Yeah, ask his last partner DOBBIN how their little joint venture worked out. You'll be eaten alive if you go back there...literally! There's a vampire, a zombie thing, some giant nappy guy named Dangsten, a half-beast monster thing with sharp, pointy teeth... Ah, but I'm sure these things wouldn't trouble the likes of YOU, o dashing adventurer!

Chastity : [Suspiciously looks at Aramis's little helpers, and then at her bitten mace] I'm going to need a replacement weapon. A quick visit next door to the Holy Trinity Convent of Phili weapons locker may be in order.

Aramis : [With a wry smile] Good sister, while your comments offend me, your cloth inspires awe in me. While your dealings with Darius may have coloured your opinons of him, I humbly submit that it is unreasonable for them to colour your opinions of me.

Alice : [To Chastity] Hey, Chas, didn't we kind of go into partnership with Darius when we took the talismans off him?

Faetan : We didn't have much choice, then. [Sighs, to Aramis] Look, you can go in there if you REALLY want to, but I whole-heartedly don't recommend that you do. The vampire in that cavern was rather ravenous. What kind of bargain did you make with Darius anyhow?

Chastity : [To Alice] That wasn't a partnership, my dear, we were tentatively accepting a charitable donation to the good cause of Phili's work. Something that the church is quite happy to do - sometimes by force. We had nothing to gain from it, and at the time thought that Darius had naught to gain also, although this proved not to be the case.

Austin : [Finishes his dry cleaning and then starts to fix his hair, removing all traces of goo. To Chastity] That is not true sister, you are lieing. We were well aware that Darius would do nothing for us unless it benefited him. What we did not know was how it would benefit him, and we were, therefore, unable to avoid such benefits accruing in favor of Darius, as is the case , in this case.

Faetan : Bah... [Waves her hand dismissively] We don't have time to stand around discussing Darius' lack of merit. Let's hurry to the convent, we have work to be done.

Aramis : It was a simple bargain. He knew that the shield would be coming down - I think he said that he had a bunch of brainless lackeys that were going to turn it off. Once it went down, myself and the others came in, with the intention of liberating certain items from the church - taken, I believe, by force. I was to pay him 20% of their worth as a finders fee.

Alice : [Looking around] Oh no! Not only do we have Dangsten to worry about, we've now got those brainless lackeys too!

Jerome : [Looking up the tunnel] Where does this tunnel come out?

Aramis : Just outside the town. I think something had happened before I arrived, because when I did, Darius was burying somebody.

Austin : [To Aramis, whilst checking his hair in a slim-line pocket mirror] What where these certain items? We have just been in there and saw nothing of value. [Slowly, to Alice] When Darius was refering to brainless lackeys, he was refering to this party.

Chastity : That could have been Dobbin's body. The tunnel may well come out next to the Sanctuary.

Alice : [To Austin] Oh. Okay.

Aramis : He said that there were some golden statues in there, all from a series of sculptures of little known Gods. There was a God of Vanity, a God of Body Odour, a God of Nerds, a Goddess of Morons, a Goddess of Hypocrisy, and one other - I think it was a dog.

Alice : [Looks at Austin, shocked] Hey!

Faetan : What are golden idols doing in a church that worships Phili? That doesn't make any sense at all! Let's get out of here, since the tunnel leads to the sanctuary. And thus, next to my horse! Gooood. [Looks pleased] And some dry clothes...ale...cheese...

Chastity : [To Aramis] Having not met Darius very often you may not be aware of his trickery and derogatory attempts humour. I feel he may have been making reference to this very party, in his description of these idols. He likes to amuse himself thus.

Alice : Goddess of Stupidity? So who was that?

Jerome : It was the Goddess of Morons, and, er, I'm sure I have no idea who it could be.

Aramis : It seems as though I may have misjudged Darius after all. However, I believe that I shall examine the church - or at least send one of my helpers in.

Faetan : [Snickers] Hope they can swim!

Austin : [Looking at the helpers] Hmmm, that Dominic is a handsome chap isn't he. [To Artemis] What nature of creature are they?

Aramis : They are Merglins. And yes, Dominic is very attractive, but a little contrary.

[EVE produces a little car from nowhere and drives into FAETAN's shin with a thump. The other Merglins head towards the hole, through which the liquid is now pouring freely.]

Faetan : [Irritated, pushes car away with foot] Away from me!

[ARAMIS and the Merglins go over to the hole. ARAMIS lifts DOMINIC in, but he is immediately thrown out, gutted.]

Aramis : Dominic! No!

Faetan : [Stands up quickly] What the hell?!

Austin : [Sighs, gets out his sling and readies a bullet] So much wasted talent around here. Okay, team, to the convent now [Starts walking to the convent]

[As AUSTIN starts heading out the tunnel, ARAMIS starts climbing up through the hole. Almost immediately, he comes flying back, nose bleeding. Straight after that, three CONTAGIONs, each about four inches high, leap out, and are immediately engaged by the remaing Merglins.]

Alice : Oh no! We better help him.

Jerome : I think, dearest Alice, that this means Contagion is now working with Dangsten.

[Enter DANGSTEN, STRAHD, ANIMAL and DARIUS, from the opposite end of the tunnel. The tunnel is now ankle deep in the liquid.]

Dangsten : Excellent, Darius. Raise their hopes, only to dash them again. [To the party] It ends here.

Faetan : [Hefting sword, locking eyes with Darius] Good...I was hoping we would cross paths again. There's no sanctuary around THIS time to save your worthless hide! Last from Eve #55

Chastity : [To Faetan] No! We need magic weapons to hurt them now. Quick, back through the hole. We've more chance getting past Contagion whilst he's occupied and through the church. [Rushes towards the hole, waving whats left of her mace at Contagion to keep him at bay]

Darius : Remember what I said, Dangsten, that one's mine. I've got something special for her.

Faetan : [Grins ferally] Ah, Darius, you were always my favorite... So untrustworthy, so slimy, so conniving...

Darius : [Smiles back] Flattery will get you nowhere, dear.

[MORTICE sticks his head through the hole, and smiles at CHASTITY, who bats one of the CONTAGIONs out of the way, unfortuntely, two more leap onto her, and start biting.]

Alice : [Drawing her sword] Oh no! Chastity's in trouble!

Jerome : [Draws his dagger] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD believes that we are in trouble.

Faetan : [Looks back at Chastity, an odd look of concern on her face. Whirls back towards Darius] Call those things off!!!! [Runs to help Chastity]

Chastity : [Uses her mace to bat off the Contagions whilst retreating back towards the group. Angrily, to herself] Foolish Woman. After all that time telling the girl not to just rush in! [FAETAN runs to CHASTITY, but it is too late, as the CONTAGIONs easily finish her off.]

Jerome : Fae, no! If you hit them, they will multiply!

Dangsten : [Swinging and hitting Austin] Well, well, well, hello lover.

[STRAHD pushes passed AUSTIN, heading towards ALICE, JEROME and CLINT.]

Faetan : [Keening a war cry] Leave them alone, carrion-eaters! Beasts who prey upon the lame! Face ME! [Rushes to aid Austin and the others]

Austin : [Rams the open box of ressurection into Dangstens face] Ciao, slave boy!

Dangsten : [Laughs loudly, as he cuts deep into Austin's chest] What a moron! [Takes the box, and tosses it Animal] Look after that for me.

Clint : Bastards! [Charges at Strahd, and hits, but his weapon does nothing but unbalance him.]

[A purple mist seems to drift up from CHASTITY, and whisp around the tunnel. Some seems to be attracted to the hole, while the rest towards the opposite end of the tunnel. Meanwhile, FAETAN charges up to join CLINT, while JEROME dives passed ALICE on top of DANGSTEN, daggers drawn.]

Jerome : Alice! Get out of here - at least that way three of us will survive. [FAETAN doubles up with Clint, fighting desperately with sweat streaming from her brow, mingling with sweat and grime]

Faetan : [To Clint] Well...'twas nice knowing you, lad...

Jerome : [Tries to stab Dangsten in the face, but the daggers slide off Dangsten's cheeks and just lodge themselves up his nostils] Bah, Dr Jerome K Trindle knew that he should have worked on that Emergency Instantaneous Tunnel Escape Unit rather than patenting the Trindle Bovine Flatulance Powered Beverage Warmer. [Shouts over his shoulder] Go, my Alice, go!

Clint : [Swinging to avoid a blow from Stradh] I have no intention of dying yet. But you better leave with Alice now, 'cause if you die you're gone forever!

Faetan : [Smiles, striking at Strahd's kneecap] So will you. There's only two spots, right? We've lost Austin and Chastity... I'm not running 'til everyone else is gone. I'd be sullying the Jarl name if I fled like a coward!

Clint : [Watching as his sword bounces off Strahd's crotch] Ok, then how about we just back up and protect Alice and the others? I love a good fight, but this one is just not fair.

Jerome : [Tries to push himself off Dangsten, using the daggers to push on, attempting to take them and retreat to the group] There's always more safety in numbers, as my old Mathematics tutor, Varol Cordiman used to say. [Over his shoulder] How's Alice doing? Is she away yet?

Faetan : [Laughs tiredly] Working on it, luv! You protect her...we'll watch your back.

Alice : But who's going to watch my front? There are a bunch of Contagions down here!

[The mist from CHASTITY swoops around ALICE, and disappears. At the same time, a similar mist develops around AUSTIN.]

Dangsten : [To Jerome] Don't insult me. [Swings his two swords and hits Jerome, knocking him to his knees]

[STRAHD swings at CLINT with a large sword, and hits him. DARIUS stands in the background, smoking a cigar.]

Clint : [To Strahd] Ouch!, that hurt! [Again tries to kick Strahd's hand, hoping to knock the sword off his hand] Where's a green man in tighs when we need one?

Faetan : YOU @#$@#&$#@$&@!$&!@&$!!!!!! [Drops her sword, hauls off and attempts to punch Strahd in the face]

[Seconds after CLINT speaks, a pair of green tights clad legs appear coming through the hole. Meanwhile, the purple mist from AUSTIN swirls around ALICE.]

Alice : [Happily] Yay! [Turns to Dangsten, pointing] Now you're gonna get what's coming to you!

[Enter TOM SELLSICK, wearing PETER DEADPAN's clothes.]

Tom : [Doing a pose for Alice] What do you think? Is it me?

[As FAETAN dives at STRAHD, and CLINT kicks him, he drops his sword, but throws her to the ground in front of DARIUS. DANGSTEN, meanwhile, hits JEROME, the first blow just below the chin, which sends him to his knees, and the second across the face, showering the tunnel in blood. The mist from AUSTIN begins to swirl about ALICE.]

Dangsten : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD, RIP.

Faetan : [Clutches at Darius' collar] Don't kill them...please don't kill them!

Clint : [Tries to grab Strahd's sword and retreat to protect Alice] It is a good day to die.

Darius : Okay, [emphasises] I won't kill [emphasises] them. [Stabs Faetan just below the ribs with a tiny dagger]

[The familiar purple mist rises from JEROME's body, but is quickly sucked into the liquid on the ground, causing some bubbling as it does so.]

Dangsten : [As Clint grabs Strahd's sword] You know, I always liked you, Clint. [Swings both swords, and hits Clint twice.]

Alice : [Back to the wall] No! Please!

Faetan : [Groans...pulls out dagger] Beat it, Alice! You're all that matters now! [Shoves past Darius to attack Tom with the dagger]

[FAETAN pushes passed DARIUS, but then slips to her knees, still holding the dagger. As she does, the purple mist rises from CLINT, and quickly dissipates into the blue liquid.]

Dangsten : [Holding one of his swords up to Alice's throat] Remember how I said the last time we met that I let you live because I chose it?

[ALICE just nods.]

Dangsten : I've changed my mind.

[Cuts her throat, sending her to the ground.]

Faetan : [Suddenly winces, stumbling] Arrgh...you filthy...you poisoned me...! [Falls to knees] Son of a britch... [Topples forward, unconscious]

Dangsten : [Rolling Alice over with his foot] Watch this, three for the price of one.

[Three differently shaded purple mists drift out of ALICE, and blow towards the exit of the tunnel, but are soon sucked into the liquid, with the usual bubbling.]

Dangsten : [To Darius] I'm sorry I doubted you, brother. Killing them here so that their souls would be sucked into hell was truly classic. [Looks at Faetan] Is she dead?

Darius : [Puffs deeply on his cigar] Well, that's why I get the big bucks. Let's go, she's dead.

[Exit ALL.]