THE QUEENS VIEW AFFAIR

[Book III, Act II, Scene I. Beyond The Ring. ALICE, HARVEY, JEROME, CLINT, CHASTTY and FAETAN are here, apparantly zooming through some strange space.]

Alice : Wooah! At least, whatever is on the other side, we know things are about to get a whole lot better for us!

[The party suddenly appear in a large room, as though they have stepped through a similar ring, which is immediately behind them. CUBE and DEMPSEY MAKEPEACE are here. Everyone is back to normal now, but wearing the clothes they had on in hell. CHASTITY is no longer pregnant, while ALICE is once again.]

Dempsey : Thou harlot! Thouest and thou vile kin bring bile to my throat. [Punches Alice hard in the face.]

Clint : Oi!!! [Punches back Dempsey]

Chastity : [Looks down at her non-pregnant tummy] Thank Phili! [Looks up. To Cube and Dempsey] Who are you people?

Harvey : [Reaches for his sword, and finding that it is gone, also punches Dempsey] You blackguard!

[Both CLINT and HARVEY connect with DEMPSEY, sending him staggering back.]

Dempsey : Thou knaves! Cube, strike them!

Cube : [Irritated] Oh stop this at once, you boorish oaf! [Turns to the party, hands up in a placating motion] Gentlemen, ladies, please accept my apologies.

Alice : [Still shocked] Ow! [Looks down at her pregnant tummy] Aw!

Clint : [To Cube] What's this all about? [Looking at Alice and Chastity] Hey!, look, they're both pregnant now!

Harvey : [Looks at Chastity in shock] Sister! Er, congratulations?

Dempsey : [To Clint, rubbing his chin] Thou mammering weak-hinged canker-blossom! Thou surly tardy-gaited moldwarp! Thou surly motley-minded flap-dragon! Thou -

Cube : Oh, calm down Dempsey. [Gives an extravagent bow to Clint] I, sir, am Cube. This is Dempsey Makepeace. You will forgive him if he is a tad unsettled.

Chastity : That's OK, his vileness makes us gag as well, it's just that we've all only just agreed not to punch each other that stops us.

Clint : [To Cube] Makepeace, eh? Doesn't look much like a peace keeper to me. [To Chastity] Sorry sist, he [points at Dempsey] started it.

Dempsey : [To Clint] Sir, thou art a currish fly-bitten dismal-dreaming clack-dish! I was merely protecting the sanctuary.

Alice : The sanctuary?

Dempsey : Is that not what I had just sayest, thou cloth eared harlot?

Alice : [Annoyed to the others] What kind of sanctuary is this?

Clint : Hey, I like what you called me, that sounds nice! Now, haven't you seen us just coming out of the ring? Is that what you're calling a sanctuary? If so, shouldn't we be treated as holy people?

Cube : [Putting his arm around Clint] You will have to forgive my associate, we have been charged with guarding this entry to the sanctuary, and were warned earlier today by a - [puts his other arm around Alice and sneaks a look down the front of her dress] a - by a - by someone that there was a bunch of barbaric philistines about emerge, and that we should detain them.

Dempsey : Holy people? Thou and thy friends have nought but the stench of death and evil on thy clothing.

Alice : [Sniff sniff] I guess your body odour problem has just returned, Clint!

Faetan : Funny you should mention that... [Looks around] Did you see any lawyers come by this way?

Cube : [Removing his arms from Clint and Alice] Gasp! Can it be? Can you be the daughter of the great Himo Jarl?

Faetan : [Nearly falls over from shock] You know him! [Eyes narrow suspiciously] Are you friend, or foe, hmmmm?

Cube : [Smiles] Dear lady, if I were foe, rest assured that you would by now be dead.

Alice : We already have, it's not that big a deal.

Faetan : Hmph. [Moves her hand away from her scabbard] How do you know my father then? Did he pass through here?

Cube : Oh no, dear lady. I know of him only by reputation.

[Enter AUSTIN, through the only door leading out of the room. He is dressed immaculately in what is obviously a hugely expensive suit. He sighs and glances at the party in a bored fashion, before glancing at MAPLIN's nails.]

Austin : I see you finally made it, then.

Clint : Well well, if it isn't the sleazy lawyer. Back to business, I see.

Faetan : [To Cube] Wonderful, good-- [Pauses, glances at Austin out of the corner of her eye] It worked, I see.

Austin : [Taking out an impossibly delicate lace handkerchief and wiping his nose with it] Ah, Clint, back to baseness, I smell. [Gives a polite bow] It is a pleasure and a relief to be reunited with the party.

Austin : Ah, dearest Faetan, it is a pleasure to see that you are as eloquent as ever, and Alice, I missed you most of all.

Alice : Why did you leave us all there?

Austin : I was at death's door, and I knew that if anything happened to me, that you would all feel obliged to return to Sarasate's for me. I felt that I would better serve the common purpose if I were to return here, and [makes a fist and punches the air slightly] root for you all.

Clint : Charming as always, Lawyer. I see you got your toy back [points at Maplin], how handy.

Faetan : [Smiles, just a little, glances at Clint, then back to Cube] Where are we, exactly? How far from Queens View?

Austin : Indeed, Mr. Scar, imagine my relief when I discovered that freedom need not cost an arm nor a leg. However, speaking of toys, I wonder if you have been as fortunate.

Cube : Queens View? We are about two hundred miles from there.

Clint : And just why is that, Lawyer, you're interested? I thought that now that you have two fully functional wrists, you could play with yourself.

Jerome : [To Faetan] Jerome doubts if Mr Sleaze has even bothered to determine any such useful information. Jerome expects that Mr. Sleaze has most probably been in the bathroom preening himself since he returned, only pausing to order a new suit.

Faetan : [Looks at Jerome, blinks] Yes, I...suppose that may be so. [Glances uncomfortably at the ground] So where are we then? Further north? South?

Austin : Clint, you torture me with your simple ways. [Turns to Jerome, with an arrogant look] Do not confuse me with you and your geeky ilk, Doctor Trindle. I have spent the time since my return researching your likely location, in order that I could be here to facilitate the process.

Clint : If I do, then I've met my objectives. And which process is it that you're trying to facilitate?

Jerome : [To Austin] You mean that someone told you where we would appear and then transported you here whilst you inspected your nails. [Looks at Cube] Pray tell, since our untimely demise, what fate has befallen our beloved Queensview?

Austin : [Smiles at Jerome] How tragic that you must equate other people's effort with your own, so-called research. [To Clint] I went to great trouble, and in your case, some personal distress, to retrieve your belongings, and bring them here.

Cube : Ah, Queens View. Quite frankly, it's a mess, burning buildings, burning witches, that kind of thing, but there is an even more pressing issue.

Faetan : [Blinks, frowns] More important than the destruction of an entire city? What is it then?

Cube : [Spreading his hands in the air] The destruction of an entire civilisation!

Harvey : An entire civilisation, you say? Which one? If it's those devil worshipping southern blackguards, then I'm in favour of it!

Faetan : [Suddenly chokes and looks away, trying to clear her throat and hide her mouth] Too right, sir.

Dempsey : Thou knave, save thy foul opinions for thee and thy minions.

Cube : I'm afraid it's us and our civilised ways that are under threat.

Alice : Looks like you're going to be okay, Clint!

Alice : I'll save you Fae! [Grabs Faetan from behind, and tries, quite ineptly, to perform the Heimlich maneuver]

Harvey : Gah! By who? Have the southerners gained that much ground on us? How far are we from being wiped out?

Cube : We're not sure if they even are southerners.

Alice : [Giving Faetan another jerk] Gah! Are the northerners trying to wipe us out?

Austin : Alice, we are the northerners.

Faetan : Ulp! URGH! [Starts going green] Leave off, Alice! LEAVE OFF!

Alice : [Lets go, with a wounded look on her face] Where I come from, people thank you when they save you from choking to death, isn't that right Harvey?

Faetan : I wasn't CHOKING, I was... [Stops] Darn near tossed all my cookies...blech...

Alice : Of course you weren't, I just stopped you!

Faetan : No no no, you don't understand, I... [Pauses, sighs] Thank you very much, I appreciate it, Alice. [Rubs stomach, turning away] ...blech...

Harvey : What? Here we all are starving to death, and you have food to throw around? Confound it my dear, pass them around!

Alice : [Rubbing her hands together] That's one you owe me, Faetan. Right, that's one life saved, now, what's this about a civilisation under threat? [Does a double take on Cube, as though seeing him for the first time] Hold on a second, who are you people?

Austin : I am Austin Sleaze, Counseller at Law. [Shakes hands with Alice]

Cube : Good people, we are Hierophantic Knights.

Clint : I've never heard of Hierophantic Knights that start punching people they don't know [quick glance at Dempsey]. Anyway, what are you doing here, and which civilisation is under threat?

Faetan : AHHH!!!! [Clasps her hands together gleefully] At last!!! I've been trying to find you guys forEVER! I must join you.

Dempsey : Then there is much that thou does not knowest.

Cube : Oh, come now! That's all in the past! This is a Knight Sanctuary, we are just about to destroy the ring, for fear that some vile, disgusting creature may come through it.

Alice : [Muttering] It's a bit late for that.

Cube : Must you now? [Draws in close to her] Do you know about the initiation ceremony?

Faetan : No, sir...but whatever it is, I'll do it!

Clint : Anything?!? [Puts his arm around Faetan] Let me tell you all about it, Fae... [Wink!]

Cube : [Puts his arm around her waist] Well, first we need to find a room with a lot of candles, some soft music and, ideally, a lot of porn, then -

Alice : [Looks at Faetan incredulously for a few moments] Hey!

Chastity : [Pushing Cube and Clint away from Faetan] Stop that at once!

Faetan : Er...urgh...did you do the same thing to my father when he was initiated? [Face slowly goes more red]

Cube : Oh, we have someone else who looks after the mail recruits.

Alice : [Deadpan] I wonder who that could be.

Clint : [To Chastity] But... c'mon sist, the girl needs to be [start annoying finger quotes...] initiated! [end annoying finger quotes]

Chastity : [Sternly, pointing at Alice's stomach] There's been enough initiation going on here, thank you very much. [To Faetan] My dear, we are knights.

Faetan : [Blinks] You...you are? [Blinks, looks around at everyone] But...why didn't you tell me earlier?

Alice : Because you didn't ask! You were too busy jumping out of windows, punching people and losing talismans!

Faetan : If I'd KNOWN, I would have asked! And I didn't LOSE the talismans, they were stolen from me!

Alice : Well, if you had known, you'd hardly have had to ask, would you? So, by your own reasoning, the fact that you didn't ask meant that you did know, and if you did know, you would have asked, so what the hell are you talking about?

Clint : [To Alice] Cut it, Bimbo. [To Faetan] So, where were we? Oh, yes, the initiation.

Faetan : [Dizzied from Alice's 'logic' looks puzzled] Er...yes. How do I become a Hierophantic Knight?

Dempsey : [To Cube] Keepest thou thoughts pure, and useth thy larger head for thinking.

Cube : [Puts up his hands and smiles] Okay, okay. The truth of the matter is that I don't know. You don't ask the Hierophantic Knights, they ask you.

Faetan : [Looks around, eyes fall on Austin] He asked me.

Cube : [Looks to Austin] Then he shouldn't have. They are just initiate Knights, mere pawns, with no power to recruit other Knights.

Austin : [Checking his teeth using a tiny compact mirror, before glancing up] Incorrect, my dear. I issued a formal invitation for you to join with our party. I made no mention of the Hierophantic Knight organisation, nor did I make any claims to be acting on their behalf. The mere fact that you yourself have just admitted to not being aware of our membership within their number is proof that no such invitation was proferred. [Clicks the mirror closed, and places it into his pocket, frowning at Faetan] I suggest you withdraw your scandalous and scurrilous accusation immediately.

Faetan : [Glares] It wasn't an accusation. Jerk. [Folds arms, looks away with a surly expression]

Austin : You asserted that I was acting as an agent on behalf of the Hierophantic Knight Organisation. While one less locquacious than I may use a different word, the ultimate meaning is the same. Furthermore, your subsequent use of the word "Jerk" could be construed as an insult to myself, and I would ask you to refrain from it's use.

Alice : [Mouthing the word "pawns" several times, before saying it out loud, clearly very irritated] Pawns? Then what do you call Hierophantic Knights left guarding a big ring? Queens, is it?

Cube : My dear, I apologise if I offended you. We are here to destroy the ring, not guard it. However, we also do not have the power to appoint new Knights.

Faetan : [To Austin] Whatever you say. [Adds under her breath] Jerk...

Austin : [Smiles to himself] Excellent. Thank you for leaving no doubt in my mind as to my opinion of you. [To the others] I petition that we discuss the current crisis in private with the Knights.

Clint : Always looking for private sessions, eh Lawyer? You haven't changed a bit.

Austin : [Sniffs gently, and turns his palms up] Neither, it appears, have you, Mr. Scar.

Faetan : [Sneers at Austin, turns toward Cube] How close are we to Cross, then? I'm trying to pinpoint just how far south we are.

Dempsey : Knowest thou that Cross is three score and twelve leagues from here.

Cube : [To the party in general] Your exact location is not that important right now, what matters is the task we have for you.

Jerome : [To Faentan] Dr. Jerome K Trindle BSc. PhD's patented Planetary Locator-navi-gometer should be able to provide us with that information [Gets an oddly shaped box from his pocket and starts adding bits of wire to it] This is the colapsable field version, it will take a few minutes to assemble.

Alice : [Leaning over to look at it] Wow! Excellent. What does this wire do? And that one? And that? And - hey! [Steps back to reveal her hands have somehow been tied together with wire.]

Jerome : [Inserts a piece of wood and some metal into the box, and then fills it with water from his canteen] There, complete and excellent. A few calibrations and operations and Jerome shall have the answer correct to 3 decimal places, plus or minus zero point zero zero zero five miles. Adequate for our purposes I believe [Fiddles and adjusts bits of wire, including those wrapped around Alices hands]

Clint : Wow, it's cool to see your mind back to work, Jerry. Need any extra ingredients? Sweat? A little [annoying quotes] wind [end quotes]?

Harvey : Good doctor, now I'm never one to call myself a man of science, but, isn't it true that electricity, when mixed with water tends to have some magical hair raising results? [Looks at Alice] My dear, perhaps you should step out of this experiment and watch from the sidelines, eh?

Faetan : [Looks sorely tempted to convince Alice otherwise] Urgh... [Turns towards Cube] What about...Charlemagne, then? What news there?

Jerome : [To Harvey] On the contrary, colonel, Alice provides a perfect antennae earth, [To Alice] If you could just stand here [Tries to guide Alice to the appropriate spot. To Clint] No thank you Mr. Scar, your bodily excreetions are not required, and neither is your sarcasm. Jerome does not expect you to understand the finer machinations of a quark reflux-integration system. [Fiddles] Hmmm, something appears to be interfering with the device... [A bit of wire falls off]

Harvey : [Sighs with relief] Well doctor, perhaps you should try again later, much later, what!

Chastity : Perhaps the effects of our transferral from Hell has upset the more delicate parts of your equipment, Doctor?

Clint : [Muttering] Like his brain...

Harvey : Private Scar, now that's not helping anyone, is it! [Starts untying Alice]

Alice : You know, I'm quite sure that Jerome knows what he's doing. It's not like he's some kind of -

[Bzzzt! ALICE gets a shock from the machine, sending her hair sticking up on end.]

Cube : Charlemagne? We're a long way south of Charlemagne. Or what's left of it.

Jerome : [Concentrating on the device] No, it appears to be some kind of airborne solvent, interfering with the viscosity of the Dr. Jerome K Trindle BSc. PhD. sub-posnwatt-stickitgood glue. [As soon as HARVEY touches ALICE, he too goes rigid with shock.]

Austin : [Smirking to himself] And that, good Doctor, is what I believe they call conduction.

Faetan : You okay, Harv? [Touches Harvey's shoulder...but her already wild mane of hair stays pretty much the same though she stiffens slightly] Urk! [As FAETAN becomes familiar with the concept of conductivity, she too goes rigid.]

Austin : At least it would be a good way to keep them all together.

Harvey : [Eyes wide and shuddering] Ggggggahhhh!

Jerome : [To Austin] Dr. Jerome K Trindle BSc. PhD. wishes it be known that this device contains no electrical components. The electrical charge that Alice and the Colonel are experienceing appears to be the result of the unknown airborne solvent interacting with the Dr. Jerome K Trindle BSc. PhD. sub-posnwatt-stickitgood glue. [Looks around] Where could it be coming from? [Then looks at Sleaze and sniffs, then detatches the arial. Shouting] Sleaze! Your dammed aftershave exudes such a quantity of alchohol that it has ruined my device! [More bits fall of, most of it is now on the ground] May you be dammed to Hell forever! On Thu, 30 May 2002 conor.ryan@ul.ie wrote:

Alice : Oh, sorry, my mistake. [Lets go of the machine and turns to Faetan and Harvey, who are also now fine] I thought there was electricity there. [Flattens down her hair.]

Faetan : [Stares] Then how did your hair...no, never mind. [Turns towards the other two] What can we do to help?

Harvey : [Trying to smooth his hair] Damnably odd, what! So how do you two plan on destroying the ring?

Clint : And why do you have to destroy the ring?

Dempsey : With arcane methods unbeknownest to initiates like thou and thy kind. [Picks up a huge sledgehammer and starts smashing the ring.]

Cube : The realms are being swept by shapeshifters, who are trying to infiltrate all levels on both sides. If we leave the ring intact, it could facilitate this.

Alice : [To the others, while ducking to avoid a shower of grit from the ring breaking] How do we know that they aren't shapeshifters?

Faetan : [Shrugs] Not sure...maybe because they know an awful lot about the Hierophantic Knights.

Harvey : [Glowers at Dempsey] I see, very arcane.

Alice : So do you, and we've no proof that you're not one!

Faetan : Don't be a simpl-- Argh! I know next to nothing about-- Never mind, I don't have to prove anything to YOU.

Chastity : Now, now, girls. I think we've all been through enough together not to cast doubts over each other at this time. If you are still worried take solace in the advice I was given by my second husband, George - "Keep your friends close but your enemies closer". He was killed by his best friend in the end, you know. [Quickly wagging a finger at Alice and Faetan] And this is not the cue to start all that enemy of my friend nonsense again!

Faetan : [Inclines head sharply] Seems these two have things under control. Let's go take a look around outside, see what the situation is.

Alice : [Irritated, to Faetan] You know, I still don't understand why you're even with us! You insist on hanging around with us, yet seem to serve no purpose other than to annoy and punch us. Now, I know it was only Austin, but still.

[DEMPSEY continues smashing the ring, as CUBE begins to speak.]

Cube : [To the party in general] Perhaps you would care to hear of your next mission before leaving?

Jerome : [To Cube] Excellent! [Gets out a pen and paper. To Cube] Please proceed, without further ado.

Chastity : [Trying to waft away some of the ring dust with atea towel] That may be an idea.

Faetan : [To Alice] Good point. Why DO I suffer hanging around people like you, where my efforts are only met with criticism and pinheaded remarks? Do tell me, I seem to have forgotten.

Alice : [Ducking to avoid a smack of Chastity's "Hell's Kitchen" tea towel] You're the one who's following us around! If you hate us all that much why don't you just leave?

Cube : [Clearly a little taken aback] Ladies, ladies! We are trying to discuss a mission here.

Clint : Fight! Fight!

Faetan : You snotty little tart! The only reason I 'hate' anyone here is because of their constant IDIOCY and rudeness! Screw this, I'm going home.

Alice : [Shocked] What? [Swivels around to the others, so the tops of her fish net stockings are visible as her skirt follows her] Is she talking about me? [Back to Faetan] Well then, hit the road!

Faetan : [Snarls] Fine by me! I know these parts like the back of my hand...too bad I can't say the same for you. Have fun navigating the south!

Alice : You know, for someone who's going home, you're spending an awful lot of time still in the room!

Austin : [Very much amused at this] Dearest Faetan, perhaps I could be persuade to argue on your behalf.

Faetan : Dearest?! Bah! Just awhile ago I was nothing more than slime on your boot! Why the mood swing, lawyer? The only one who's been reasonably decent to me is Chastity! Of which I'm very grateful, sister. Good luck.

Austin : [Smiles and bows slightly] No mood swing, Ms. Jarl. I am accustomed to dealing with clients that I consider little more than slime.

Harvey : [Clearing his throat] Harrumph! I don't know what you're talking about girl! Have the rest of us not been decent? Did we not all fight side by side with you? Why, just two minutes ago my dear niece saved you from choking, what!

Clint : [To Faetan] Me, not reasonably decent with you? [Ducks to avoid a flying piece of the ring] You hurt me deep inside, Junior.

Faetan : [Turns on Clint] Don't call me that! The only one who can call me ridiculous names is Sven, and he's friggin' dead! He's...he's... Just leave off, all right?! I did the best I could!

Jerome : [Tapping the top of his notepad with his pen. To Harvey] Colonel, Jerome believes that the troop has engaged in quite sufficient banter for the present circumstances, and that it would now be profitable to learn the details of our next mission.

Harvey : [Clearly confused] Gah! Good Doctor, what has become of them? The backbone of discipline has been ripped from the troop!

Alice : [Sits down on a large piece of ring, folding her arms and letting out a huge exapserated sigh] So, have you left yet?

Clint : Aw, poor you, you're the only one who suffers, the rest of us are just a bunch of scumbags who have no feelings... Keep on like that, Junior, oh, sorry, Faetan, and you'll definitely never make it to become a Knight!

Faetan : [Glares at Alice, glances at Clint] Like it was gonna happen anyway... [Shakes her head, brushes past Austin as she stalks towards the exit]

Austin : [Taking out his handkerchief, and brushing himself down] Tut! Now that we've taken care of that business, perhaps we might listen to what the good Mr. Cube has to say?

Clint : [Looking at Faetan on her way out] Yeah, let's listen to Cube's mission. About time we have some action.

Cube : Okay. [Checks to see that Jerome has his notebook ready] As I was saying - [raises his voice to be heard over Dempsey's ring-smashing] as I was saying, there are shapeshifters infiltrating all levels in both sides of the conflict. No one is sure where they came from, but there are stories of them as mythological creatures. We have heard several tales of an item that can be used to identify them - unfortunately many of these contradict each other, relate to very different items, in different places, and are often related by very drunk people.

Clint : [Quickly hidding a bottle of Brandy back onto his jacket pocket] Ahem. Yes. Go on.

Cube : [Looking a little suspicious at the swishing noise in Clint's jacket] Yes, well. The Knights are dispatching several teams to area that are rumoured to have the item - we would like you to be one of those teams.

Jerome : [To Cube] Jerome believes that Mewt would have been able to identify the shapeshifters, as she would be able to read their minds. Do you know where Sven took her?

Cube : I don't know who Mewt is. And I don't know who Sven is.

Chastity : Mewt's probably gone up to Phili's glorious heaven with Sven. [Looking round] Where's that impetuous child Fatean gone? :-)

Alice : Probably looking for someone else to insult.

Harvey : Good Sister, you know the girl better than I. She seems like a brave fighter, but she does have a complete lack of discipline, as well as lack of respect for the party. Is this type of behaviour normal?

Jerome : [Walks to the exit] Faetan? Faetan? [To Faetan] Jerome feels that you misunderstand the intricate intra-communications of an elite team of knights. [jogs up to Faetan] This elite party was specially formed to execute extreemly unusual and difficult missions, and the banter that you have fallen foul of is meerly a cunning ruse that the party creates to mis-inform our enemies. The party is essentially unpredicatable, and as such the enemy have no chance of forseeing our plan of action. This is why you must not punch Austin, regardless of how offernsive he is.

Faetan : [Goes silent, looking at Jerome for a moment...then peers past him into the entrance to look at the others] Can I tackle him at least?

Austin : [Coldly] If you touch me again, I will kill you.

Alice : Jerome, she clearly doesn't want to be with us, she's already said that she doesn't like any of except Chastity, but for someone who's supposed to be going home, she hasn't got very far, has she?

Faetan : [Grins toothily at Austin] Threaten me again, I'll rip your arms off. [Turns back to Jerome] Look, you're a good guy. Despite what that female says, I'm fond of you all. But I'm not working where I'm not wanted.

Jerome : [To Faetan] Jerome believes that tackling Mr. Sleaze may hurt his frail body quite grievously, and result in further global warming when Mr. Sleaze dry cleans yet another suit.

Austin : I was not threatening, I was merely protecting myself. You have taken it upon yourself to attack me, and now to threaten me again. I vote that she be prevented from having further discourse with the party.

Alice : Which female? [Snottily] The snotty tart, I suppose?

Harvey : [Stepping into the space between Alice and Faetan] Okay, we've wasted enough time on this. These gentlemen are Knights, and I expect the troop to be on it's best behaviour in front of them. Now, [turns to Faetan] young lady, do you wish to be with our party or not?

Faetan : Honestly? Yes. But I get the impression that I am generally not wanted. And I won't be seen as some vile...cling-on.

Alice : [Muttering] I can't imagine how that could happen.

Harvey : [Turns to Alice, but looks back to Faetan] If you want to be a party member, you will have to act like one. [Turns to the others] Now, how do the rest of you feel about her joining?

Jerome : [To Faetan] Such is the way of the party, you yourslef were suprised to find out that we were knights, as so are the parties enemys, as they die on our blades! [To Cube] Please proceed with our mission statement [Ready to write on his pad] Alice : [Muttering] I can't imagine how that could happen.

Harvey : Just a moment, sir. [To Jerome] Doctor, this issue needs to be resolved once and for all.

Chastity : [To Harvey] We come against many foes in our fight against evil. The more with us the better I say. I'm sure she's had a difficult childhood as a soldier's child, but will eventually learn to accept the responsibilities, discipline and trust required to work within a group. [Looking intensely to Faetan] Won't you, dear?

Faetan : [Inclines her head silently]

Clint : [To Faetan] Was that a yes or a no?

Faetan: 'Twas a yes.

Harvey : Mr. Scar? Do you wish her to join the party?

Alice : Well, I don't, unless she agrees to stop punching, running off, insulting, and all the other stuff she does.

Austin : I would very much like her to join the party. I find her misplaced aggression in my presence most amusing. I already made a formal offer for her to join, and in the past few minutes offered to intervene on her behalf. Notice that, although her attitude to me is unclear, most likely, no doubt, due to her confusion over her level of passion towards me, my attitude to her is clear.

Faetan : [Blanches] GAH! You're delusional! I don't do love or passion or any of that crap...blech!

Clint : Shut up Lawyer. You are so annoying that even I feel tempted to punch you. [To Faetan] But I resist my temptation. As long as you control your temper, I have no problem with you sticking with the party, for now anyway.

Faetan : [Blanches] GAH! You're delusional! I don't do love or passion or any of that crap...blech!

Faetan : I'll...try. But it's difficult when I'm being insulted.

Chastity : [To Faetan] In the battle against evil, mustn't we fight with our minds as well as our fists? We all know you are skilled in physical combat, but you should use these insult exchanges as mental combat sparring. You will become the tougher warrior for it.

Alice : Oh for God's sake! When were you insulted?

Faetan : Err...all right, though I warn you it isn't my forte. Ahem. [Clears throat, glances at Alice] Every time you opened your mouth, practically.

Alice : Such as when I asked you why you were with us? And you stormed off?

Faetan : You have a very convenient memory, you know that?

Alice : You mean, in that I can actually remember things?

Faetan : [Sighs] You know what your problem is? You're mad that you're not the only nubile female in the group anymore, and that irritates you to no end. Well rest assured, honey, that ain't my game so go ahead and continue as you are. Keep flaunting all you want.

Alice : You know what your problem is, Faetan? You can't handle the fact that I'm so at ease with being a nubile female, and you can't handle me.

Harvey : [Deep sigh] Look niece, I know she has angered you, but this argument is getting us nowhere. If you expected an apology everytime Clint smelled too badly, or Austin was too slimy, or Jerome made you pregnant, do you think we'd ever get anywhere? Now, the question is, are you prepared to let her join the party? Either we all agree or it doesn't happen, that's the way it has always been with the troop.

Alice : I don't care if she joins or not, all I wanted to know is why! If the rest of you want her to join, despite the fact that she seems to think the only person that's done anything for her is Chastity, then that's fine. I don't care. Let her join.

Faetan : You could've just asked why without being all nasty, you know. I came to find you guys, because Claude Montague knew I was searching for a way to join the Hierophantic Knights. My father was one. It's sort of a family tradition, you know. Of course, so is the fact that Jarls have only male heirs, which is why things seem to be so askew. My father was a good man. The best. He and Sven used to adventure all the time when I was a kid, and so...I have to be like him. There's no one left to carry on the tradition, y'know? [Fumbles awkwardly] I didn't want to tell you though...I didn't know if you could be trusted. But now that I know you're of the Order, I suppose you have to be all right.

Alice : [Lowly to Harvey] Talk about faint praise, couldn't she have just said that without all the theatrics?

Harvey : [Makes a "calm down" gesture to Alice, before turning to Faetan] Very good, lass. Now, I suggest we put the whole business behind us. We are a troop, so there will be no fighting in the group, no storming off, no punching people and [glances at Austin] no suing people. [Turns to Cube] Mr. Cube, I believe you had a mission for us.

Cube : So, er, these shapeshifters. [Looks around to make sure everyone has calmed down]

Faetan : [Mumbling through gritted teeth] Must...stay...calm... [Takes a deep breath] All right, yes, the shapeshifters.

Alice : [Gives a theatrical gasp] What do you know about shapeshifters, Faetan?

Faetan : [Shrugs] Only what you hear around campfires. Nasty sorts, disguising themselves as people you love and trust. I always thought them to be legends until recently. Cube, Dempsey, what do you know about 'em?

Dempsey : A pox upon them and their houses! They are as candles, the better burnt out.

Cube : They are very real, but we believe they can be killed by conventional means.

Harvey : The troop encountered some before - in fact, two of the party members, Sister Chastity and Clint were taken over. As I remember, they almost killed us all.

Alice : That's right - it was when Jerome was dressed as a snotty tart.

[Everyone looks at ALICE, incredulous.]

Alice : Well, it was!

[A short silence passes.]

Cube : So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to follow up one of the leads we have on this artefact which is supposed to help identify shapeshifters.

Jerome : [To Cube] Jerome accepts this mission, and is sure that the rest of the party would be more than happy to oblige? [Looks at the others]

Alice : [Sulking] Does that include your new girlfriend?

Harvey : [Clapping Jerome hard on the shoulder, sending him staggering a little] By the saints, Doctor! It's good to see the old Queens View spirit again!

Jerome : [Clearly shocked by Alice's comment. Trots over to her. To Alice] Do not speak of such things, dear Alice, you know that Jerome has eyes only for you. [Tries to cuddle Alice] Rest asured, my love, that Jerome's heart is yours forever.

Alice : [Slipping away from Jerome] Yeah. Sure.

Austin : [Watching the two with some amusement] I too believe that we should embrace this mission.

Cube : Excellent - we have your tickets booked, and you leave in two hours.

Jerome : [Looking a bit ruffled at Alice withdrawal. Composes himself] Jerome recalls his previous battle with the deadly shapeshifters. He was disguised as a lady of the night, in order to trap some vile murderers who had been killing prostitutes. [Walks to center stage, fixing stares on the others] A furious battle ensued when the creatures, one in the guise of Lenin, two others as Chastity and Clint, attacked him and very nearly killed him, were it not for the valiant intervention of an anonymous hero, a mysterious coachman, who vanished into the night after saving Jerome's life!

Harvey : The very same mysterious coachman, I believe Doctor, that aided the escape of a murderer the previous night! We never established how a fellow could go from performing such a monstrous act one night, to such a one of mercy the following. Curious, eh?

Jerome : [To Harvey] Indeed Colonel, a moot point indeed. Jerome suspects that it is a case on mistaken identity, as so often is the case with shapeshifers.

Harvey : [Looking around] Eh? Look, none of the magic weapons we collected in hell came back with us! Except [points at Jerome] your sword!

Chastity : [To Alice] Did you manage to bring through that statue of Phili?

Alice : No, I wasn't carrying it. I think we left it behind.

Austin : Well, I'm sure you'll all be relieved to hear that I took the precaution of securing your belongings and equipment back in Queens View and transporting them here.

Jerome : [To Austin] Well, at least if something has gone missing the party will know who [emphasis] borrowed it. [To Temporidus] Do you know why you have survived passing through the portal whilst the other items we were carrying did not?

Temporidus : Quite obviously, because I am a [raises voice] wonder sword! While the other items were just cheap tat.

Austin : I make no claims for the safe transport of the items, Dr. Trindle, as I cannot vouch for their security while stored in Queens View. You may express your gratitude now.

Jerome : [To Austin, loudy, so that all can hear] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc [Pause] PhD. may consider offering his gratitude to you once he has perused his belongings and ascertained the condition of those belongings. [Looks around] Where are they?

Austin : [Points to a pile of boxes in the corner, clearly unimpressed at Jerome's lack of gratitude] There.

Alice : What is wrong with you Jerome? You run out after her [juts her thumb at Faetan] when she insulted all of us, but when Austin brings all our stuff here, you treat him like he's some kind of criminal. Well, I for one am glad of your help Aussie, and I trust you. Thanks. [Opens up the box marked "Alice"] Hey! Most of my underwear is missing!

[AUSTIN says nothing, but a curious smile plays about his lips. Meanwhile, FAETAN glares at ALICE, making a strange grinding sound with her teeth.]

Jerome : [To Alice, as he walks over to his box] Austin is a criminal, my sweet Alice. He stole from the church of Phili, in Queens View. [Jerome looks into his box]

[The box seems to contain clothes, a lot of electrical type equipment and a lot toilet roll inserts.]

Austin : A mere trumped up charge, for which I served an unjustly harsh sentence, and furthermore, a charge which was to be pardoned upon my joining of this party.

[Enter PETER DEADPAN.]

Peter : Oh great. I should have figured from all the singing that it was going to be my favourite party. his

Jerome : [Tick off items on his note pad as he looks through his box] Jerome sees that a small transportation fee has been levied upon his piggy bank. Three Gold pieces to be precise. [Jerome looks at Austins new shoes. Sigh!] Never mind. [To Austin] Bonus points for quick thinking Mr. Sleaze. [To Cube] Could you illuminate us as to our mode of transport, departure point and arrival point please.

Cube : Mr. Deadpan here will explain all this to you.

Harvey : [Peering closely at Peter] Tights? Gah!

Peter : We have booked you on a new cruise liner, the unsinkable Titan Ic.

Faetan : [Searching through her box, grumbling] Well, it all seems to be here.

Chastity : [To Harvey] We'll have to be careful, this time. We nearly lost you on our last sea born adventure. [Opens up her box to investigate its contents] invention of Coronation Chicken! Yummm

Harvey : [Checking his own box] In fact, Sister, you did lose me, what? A rum affair indeed. [Lifts his jacket out of the box, and sniffs it] Good God, Sleaze, what happened to this?

Austin : Perhaps you would like to discuss the matter with Mr. Scar?

Clint : [To Harvey] I kept your jacket safe while you were away, Harv. And if you don't mind... [picks up a box of condoms from Harvey's jacket left pocket] I've been looking for these for ages!

[HARVEY says nothing, but his mouth hangs open in a mixture of shock and disbelief.]

Alice : [Watching Clint pick them up] Like you've a lot of call to use them!

Harvey : [Spluttering] What - what kind of fighter carries little balloons with him?

Clint : [To Harvey] What do you think Chikaloons are made of? [Pulls a condom, streches it and then lets it snap] They have to be really strong not to blast with a chicken inside!

Alice : [Wrinkling up her nose in disgust] Eauh! You're supposed to throw them away once they've been used, Clint! [Thinks for a second] Eauh! Clint using a one! [Shiver.]

[PETER stands impassively, glaring at the party.]

Cube : Er, they were even worse earlier on.

Peter : Oh, I'm sure I can't imagine them standing around arguing with each other.

Chastity : [Picking her belongs out of the box, holding up a large pair of cotton sensible knickers and looking at Austin in a "just as well" manner. To Peter] Are you now a lone knight, or just a spare sidekick, without Sven?

Peter : [Snapping] No. I'm still with Sven. It's his day off today.

Austin : [To Chastity] I see you still have your flag.

Chastity : [To Austin] No, Austin, this is a tea towel from Hell. [Holds up a tea towel with the print "Welcome to Hell's kitchen" on it.To Peter] But I thought that Sven was dead?

Peter : [Face hardens even more] Yes. He is dead. I haven't found a suitable partner yet, but I'm sure I'll be given someone else to train soon, a new knight maybe.

Faetan : Gulp!

Peter : You have been booked on the maiden voyage of the ship, in a first class cabin.

Chastity : [To Peter] As a measure of group solidarity [Gives Faetan a nudge] I would like to nominate this Warrior as an apprentice.

Jerome : [To Peter] Yes, it may help to reduce the volume of arguments within the party if you were to do so.

Faetan : [Glares at Chastity, whispering] What are you doing?

Peter : [Curls his lip up in a mixture of distaste and contempt, while looking at Faetan, before turning back to Chastity] It is not your place to nominate anybody. The Knights are already aware of her [looks as though he is about to say something more, but doesn't, and instead clicks his fingers at Dempsey] Tickets.

Dempsey : Herest art thou ticket. [Hands a ticket to Peter]

Faetan : [Still peering at Peter sidelong] I thought Tom Sellsick had killed you. He even showed up in your...er...clothes. What happened?

Peter : He took my clothes.

Faetan : But how did you survive the encounter? Or him, whatever the case may be?

Peter : That's none of your concern. Only Knights may know.

[There are a few seconds of silence.]

Alice : [Slowly putting up her hand, as though in a classroom] How did you survive?

Peter : That's classified. Only high ranking Knights have access to that information.

Clint : And since there was clothes removal involved, can we have all the details?

Peter : [Rolls his eyes, and gives a weary sigh] Suffice it to say, he believed I was dead. Strange, how since being reunited with your party, I now wish I was.

Faetan : [Looking at Clint with a slightly disturbed expression, then back to Peter] How can we know that you're really you, and not a shapeshifter?

Alice : Oh! [Smiles] Oh, now that is just brilliant! Brilliant! [Applauds]

Faetan : [Smiles, a little bit, then looks back at Peter] You can see our need for caution, I'm sure.

Alice : You have got to be joking! You eat the face of me for asking you the question, and now Peter, a long time friend and, er, favourite of the party comes in, and you ask him the same question? Come on. [Turns to Peter] You, Peter, tell her that you don't have to prove anything to her.

Peter : No.

Clint : [To Peter] Was that no, I don't have to prove anything, or no, I won't tell her?

Peter : No, I won't tell her.

Faetan : Well...is there a way that you can prove you're not a shapeshifter at least?

Peter : [Looks Faetan up and down, his lip curled in the familiar look of disgust] No. Can you?

Faetan : No. That's why I was asking.

Clint : [Looks at Peter, then at Faetan, then back at Faetan] You surely have a good way to make friends! [To Peter] C'mon Deadpan, give us the tickets and the information. What are we supposed to be looking for?

Peter : [To Cube] Did you explain the mission to them?

Cube : I most certainly did.

Peter : Did you explain that the whole point of the mission is to find an artefact to identify shapeshifters?

Cube : I most certainly did.

Peter : Did you explain that we currently do not have that artefact?

Cube : I most certainly did.

Peter : Did you think they paid attention?

Cube : Actually, they spent most of the time fighting with each other.

Peter : Well, I guess we can be pretty sure that they are the real thing, then.

Peter : [Hands the ticket to Clint] You will be contacted once you are on board. I don't know what form the artefact will take, but the ship will make several calls to ports where you should be able to find more information. The most important thing is for you all to get on the boat and keep a low profile.

Harvey : Gah! An impossible task right at the start!

Faetan : Nah, we can do it. Won't be easy, but we can do it certainly.

Peter : Yes. I'm sure you can. [Turns towards the door.]

[Exit PETER and DEMPSEY.]

Cube : Well, that's about it - all your stuff is here, so I suggest you get changed and ready for the trip. Keep in mind that this is a high class ship - so while you can have weapons in your room, you will not be able to walk around with them.

Faetan : Gah! An impossible task right at the start!

Clint : [Pulling off his shirt] With you around, that's certainly impossible. [Looks through his stuff]

Faetan : [Glances at Clint, quickly glances away, a little red] Look, I didn't mean what I said earlier, I was just angry...

Austin : [Mopping his face with a pink satin and lace hanky] Yes. I'm sure it will be.

Clint : [Now unbuttoning his trousers] But you did say it, and now it's my turn to be angry with you. [Pulls his trousers down]

Faetan : Fine with-- [glances back] AAA!!! [Turns around even more quickly, face going beet red]

Alice : [Stepping back from her box, slipping her clothes on, but glancing over at Clint] Hm.

Faetan : [Peering down at her box] I see...good work, Austin. [Starts attaching various belt pouches, and hiding daggers here and there on her person]

Clint : [Putting on his own, dirty pair of trousers] What's wrong? [Looks down] Oups, my zip is open! Thanks, Bimbo!

Alice : My, I thought it may have been a penis, but it seemed too small.

Austin : [Putting away the satin and lace handkerchief] Ah, how sweet your voice is Faetan, when it isn't shoving aggression at your friends. Come now, people, I think we are in a hurry.

Faetan : [Looking awkward] NOT sweet...s'posed to be intimidating, dangit... [Puts on a vest and leather gloves] All right, let's be off.

Austin : You don't intimidate me, because I can see through you.

Faetan : See through me! What the heck does THAT mean?

Austin : [Smiles] You'll see. [To the others] Ready?

Harvey : Yes. Okay Troop, let's go - [notices Alice searching through her box again] Alice, you can check your luggage later, we should get to this ship as early as possible, just in case there are any problems. Mr. Scar - guard that ticket with your life, with your life sir!

Alice : [With a confused look] I thought I saw my pink satin and lace undies a while ago, but now I can't find them. Strange.

Austin : [With a glint in his eye] Very strange.

[Exit ALL.]

[Book III, Act I, Scene II. Boarding the Titan Ic. HARVEY, CLINT, ALICE, AUSTIN, JEROME, CHASTITY and CUBE are here, walking towards the the boat. There are hundreds of people milling about.]

Alice : So, if we're war, and have apparantly lost, and the sun isn't even in the sky any more, why are people still taking cruises?

Cube : I'm afraid that's the way the rich are, they are often too stupid to realise when they should stop spending money and that the holiday is over, however - [loses his train of thought momentarily as he see Alice purchasing a huge inflatable dinosaur.]

Alice : What? I could hardly go on a cruise without an inflatable dinosaur, could I?

Cube : Er, yes. Anyway, the ship doubles as a passenger and cargo ship, so it does actually serve a useful purpose too.

Chastity : [Searching through her bag] Where are my "Church of Phili" marketing packs? There's nothing like offering salvation and hope to the desperate and demoralised rich for bolstering the church coffers.

Austin : My most earnest apologies, Sister, but the luggage was over the weight allowance when it was being transported, and some non essential supplies had to be left behind.

Clint : We should provide the women with inflatable devices in case of an accident. [To Alice] Bimbo, you could use your dinossaur. [Looks at Chastity] Err, the sister has already been equiped by nature.

Chastity : [Searching through her bag] Where are my "Church of Phili" marketing packs? There's nothing like offering salvation and hope to the desperate and demoralised rich for bolstering the church coffers.

Austin : My most earnest apologies, Sister, but the luggage was over the weight allowance when it was being transported, and some non essential supplies had to be left behind.

Clint : We should provide the women with inflatable devices in case of an accident. [To Alice] Bimbo, you could use your dinossaur. [Looks at Chastity] Err, the sister has already been equiped by nature.

Alice : What are you going to use, Stinky? Your blow up doll?

Chastity : [To Alice] I think you'll find that he's planning to use his over-inflated ego.

Alice : [Wrinkles her nose up in disgust] Eauh! I thought he'd use that to help keep himself afloat!

Clint : You're making no sense as usual, Bimbo. Let's just board the ship. [To Cube] Are you coming with us?

Harvey : [Looks at Clint] I dont mind as long as that Peter person isn't doing the cabaret acts!

Chastity : [To Harvey] Why, Colonel, this is a side to you I not seen. Could the only chink in your armour be a morbid fear of men in tights?

Alice : Look, Stinky, my name is Alice, okay? I call you by your proper name, so I suggest you do the same for me.

Cube : No, I won't be coming, I just wanted to make sure that you got here okay. Look, here's where you give in your tickets.

[CUBE gestures to two men standing at the end of a gangplank, they are CAPTAIN JEDWARD SMITH, and STEWARD STEWART.]

Harvey : [Scratches his sideburn] No, not really sister. I just think it's Peter that I have a morbid fear of, tight wearing or no.

Alice : What if you were wearing the tights, Harvey?

Harvey : [Considers for a moment] I think I would still fear him, especially if they matched, what!

Chastity : [Sighs] I doubt I'll ever really understand the military mind. [Picks up her bag and heads onto the ship]

Stewart : [Smiling at Chastity] Well, hello lovely lady.

Chastity : Hello there, young man. My colleagues and myself would, oh [turns to Clint] Do you have the ticket ready for us all? Last from Sam #15

Austin : I wouldn't be surprised if he has already lost it, possibly in a crooked poker game, to a gentleman named Scarface, or perhaps Fingers.

Clint : [Producing the tickets] I'm not the one with the sleazy fingers, Lawyer. [To Stewart] Here are our tickets.

Alice : [As Stewart takes the tickets] Titan Ic? What happened to the Ia and Ib?

Jedward : Well, young lady, as you have surely heard, when the ship builders got around to the Titan Ic, they finally got everything right. This ship is unsinkable.

Alice : What about the Titan I?

Jedward : Unboardable.

Alice : The Ia?

Jedward : Unusable.

Alice : The Ib?

Jedward : Unsailable.

[Just as STEWART is about to hand the tickets over, enter BOSE HATWEARER, who walks through the middle of the party, smacking ALICE in the head with her unfeasibly large hat. She doesn't speak, but holds out her hand for JEDWARD to kiss.]

Jedward : Ms. Hatwearer, what a pleasure!

Stewart : Indeed, Ms. Hatwearer, it is wonderful to have you here.

Clint : [To Bose] Well hello darling! How you' doin'?

[BOSE turns to CLINT with a look of utter disgust, and sprays something at him, from an atomiser.]

Austin : My dear lady, may I introduce myself?

Bose : [Looking down her nose at Austin] No.

Chastity : [To Bose] Such rudeness! Such delusions of superiority! Such a ridiculous hat! You not on the high church council are you?

Bose : [To Jedward] There's someone speaking to me! Stop them at once.

Jedward : Of course, Ms. Hatwearer, my apologies. [Turns to Chastity making a "calm down" gesture]

[BOSE sighs with exasperation from having to put up with such rudeness from the proles, and walks passed the party, onto the ship.]

Faetan : I think we should kick her ass, and use that hat as another boat.

Chastity : [To Faetan] Calm now, dear. When Peter told us to maintain a low profile I don't think he meant that we should take care of Clints sloping forehead! He meant not duffing up anyone that may annoy us. [Looks after the disappearing figure of Bose] Although its a valid plan to remember should the Titan Ic not be as reliable as it's claimed.

Jedward : [Laughs heartily at Chastity] Most amusing Madam. This is the finest sea going vessel ever built. It is unsinkable, unsinkable I say!

Alice : [Peers over the edge of the dock at the bodies of several men floating in the water] What happened to them?

Jedward : They were trying to fix a leak. [To Chastity] My apologies, Madam, but some of our more wealthy passengers are used to being in a situation where they can do as they wish. Please accept my apologies, and an invitation to the captain's table tonight.

Alice : [To the others] That's not the same as an invitation to the hockey mistresses changing room, is it?

Chastity : [To Alice] I don't think I want to know what you mean. [To Jedward] It would be hypocritically rude of us not to accept such a kind offer. [To the others] Shall we get settled in? [Holding out her hand. To Clint] The ticket?

Alice : God Almighty! He's already lost the ticket! Oh, brilliant, Clint, just fantastic!

Clint : Just calm down, Bimbo. [Points at Stewart, showing that it is him who holds the tickets]

Stewart : [Holds the ticket up] Yes, here it is.

Jedward : [Bowing slightly to Chastity] Stewart here will show you to your cabin.

[STEWART hands the ticket to CLINT, and steps back, to let the others walk ahead of him.]

Alice : Excellent, I love boats. [Steps onto the gangplank, and grabs the side] Oh, God, I think I'm going to be sick.

Clint : [Getting past Alice, onto the boat] I can't wait to taste the rum. [The others get onto the boat, with JEROME and HARVEY helping ALICE on. Once onboard, STEWART follows them, waiting there is MAX CAPACITY, who seems rather embarassed and a trifle nervous to see the party.]

Max : Uh, hello.

Clint : [Slapping Max on the back] Hello there! It's great to be on such a big boat, isn't it?

Faetan : [Peering over railing] I wanted to be a pirate so badly when I was a kid...it sounded like such fun, swinging on ropes and yelling 'ARGH!' at the top of your lungs.

Chastity : [To Faetan] Well your well practiced at the later. [To Max] Well young man. Are you looking forward to the cruise?

Max : [Stammering slightly] Ye-yes, yes, I am.

Chastity : Then why do you seem so nervous? Surely the anticipation of relaxation and sea breezes should calm you?

Max : I - I am relaxed. [Tries to whistle nonchalantly, but only succeeds in making a hollowing blowing sound with his cheeks puffed up.

Alice : Hey! Pointing at Max] Doesn't he look just like Bumch Um*? Austin, you were the most familiar with him, what do you reckon?

Austin : [Glances up from Maplin] So many fans, they begin to blur into each other after a time. [Peers at Max] It is difficult to say when he is wearing so many clothes.

Jerome : [To Austin] Jerome believes that referring to one individual as [Does finger quotes] 'so many' is incorrect, Bumch Um being your one and only [Does finger quotes] 'fan'.

Austin : [Smugly] Ah, jealousy from a geek, how quaint, if not sad. Dr. Trindle, while you may find it incredible that one who does not wear a bow tie has enjoyed such success with whatever individuals he has sought out, I find your misplaced criticism of mine demeaning for a man apparantly so well educated.

Jerome : [To Austin] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc. PhD. expects no less than that predictable, pennyless, retort, from one of your ilk, Mr. Sleaze.

Chastity : [To Harvey] I see our low profile slipping by the second.

Austin : One of my ilk being one of the beautiful people, no doubt, who, might I add, was responsible for arranging the transport of your belongings from Queens View. Do contain your envy, sir, it is most unbecoming. [Flashes a smile at Alice]

Harvey : Harrumph! Don't worry sister, I'm sure that no one will do anything stu - [breaks off as Alice gets tangled up in a pile of ropes, life jackets and bunting]

Alice : Ow! [Points at Austin] He distracted me.

Chastity : [Trying to help untangle Alice] Maybe we'd better get to our quarters. [Steps away from Alice, not noticing she's trailing some bunting and a banner saying "Hello Sailors"]

Alice : [To Austin] Surely that banner would be more appropriate for you?

Austin : [Smiles at Alice] Yes, yes, very clever. Most amusing.

Stewart : Your room is just down here. [Opens a door, and steps back to let the party in.]

Clint : [Getting inside the room] I wonder if they have a mini-keg in here.

[The room is quite lavish, and is actually a suite. CLINT has just entered the living area, and a large double doors leads into a huge bedroom.]

Alice : [Stepping through] Wow! Who's room is this?

Jerome : [Looks down his nose at Mr. Sleaze] I do hope we are not ALL sharing. [to Alice] This must be your room surely, adequate for a lady such as yourself [hold open the double doors for Alice and ushers her in]

Clint : It's mine. [Steps inside] Where do they keep the complimentary rum?

Alice : Wanna bet? It's mine! [Runs in passed him, through the double doors and jumps onto the bed, singing] Whoever's on the bed, own's the room! [Lands on the bed, but bounces straight off and lands on the floor with a thump] Ow!

Austin : [Walking in] Your new found superiority amuses me, Doctor. I find it interesting how you have suddenly chosen to direct your negative energy at me, rather than Ms. Jarl, who, despite your apparant enamour with Alice, seems to have caught your attention. [Smiles, and checks his immaculate nails.]

Stewart : [To Clint] Er, that's in the VIP suites.

Jerome : [To Austin] Your futile attempts to rile Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc. PhD. are [Pauses, raises his eye brows momentarily] not worthy of further comment. [To Stewart] Pray tell, good man, what rating of suit is this? Do we have access to lifeboats and other saftey equipment, equal to that of the [Finger quotes] "VIPs".

Austin : [Sitting down at the table in the middle of the room] I believe it was your fan remark that instigated this exchange, Doctor. Attempting to look haughty after the event will not fool even the most naive of party members into believing that you didn't start the argument.

Alice : [Getting up from behind the bed] Leave him alone, Austin, we all know you started it.

Austin : [Smiling at Jerome] I rest my case.

Stewart : Oh, there are only a few lifeboats and lifejackets on the boat, it's so safe, we don't need them. This boat is guaranteed unsinkable, there is absolutely no way that anything on this planet could even conceive of the merest possibility of springing even the smallest leak on board.

Clint : [To Stewart] Does that mean the boat won't sink?

Stewart : Absolutely.

[ALICE opens the other door in the bathroom, and a huge gush of water throws her onto the bed.]

Alice : Glug?

Jerome : [To Clint] They wish to imply that the boat won't sink. However, there is a difference between a boat sinking and boat being sunk, by aggressive actions taken by an enemy warship for example. We should be prepared for all eventualities, perhaps the Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc PhD. Iceberg-o-floaterama flotation device would come in handy. [Starts rummaging through his luggage] It rather cleverly uses compressed gas to instantly freeze a large quantity of water, sea water or other wise, in the shape of a giant seaturtle, with seats on, that can be used as a life raft for up to one week, depending on the climate. [Delves deeper into his box]

Chastity : [Quickly getting on the table to avoid the water] I hope that's just someone's champagne ice bucket melting!

Stewart : [As the water quickly subsides] Er, I suspect someone just left the tap running in there. [To Jerome] You are incorrect sir, even the most aggressive warship in creation cannot sink this vessel. I will say this one more time, and I say it with absolute certainty, this boat will not sink!

Austin : [With his feet up on the table, in case of wetting] When does this boat depart? And when will we dine with the captain.

Stewart : The boat will leave in five minutes, dinner will be an hour after that. [Makes to leave]

Faetan : Hang on there, where are the other rooms?

Stewart : Other rooms?

Chastity : You're not going to suggest that we are all to share one bed? [Looks round the group members. More urgently] You can't mean that we are all to share one bed? I'm a woman of the cloth, for Phili's sake!

Jerome : [Fingering his chin] No expense spared as per usual. Perhaps the ladies should sleep in the bed, whilst the men, and Austin sleep in this room [Looks at the soaking wet floor and frowns]

Alice : [Pulling down her wet t-shirt, and smiling at Chastity] Looks like it's you and me, Sis! [Glances at Faetan] Aw!

Harvey : Talking sense as usual, Doctor. [To Stewart] I presume the floor will be dried up?

Stewart : Yes.

Harvey : I presume there is a healthy supply of blankets and pillows in the cupboard?

Stewart : Yes.

Harvey : [With his stomach grumbling slightly] I presume there is a large selection of sandwiches in the room where all the water came from?

Stewart : No sir, that's the bathroom.

Harvey : Gah! Foiled at every turn!

Clint : [Getting inside the room] I wonder if they have a mini-keg in here.

[The room is quite lavish, and is actually a suite. CLINT has just entered the living area, and a large double doors leads into a huge bedroom.]

Alice : [Stepping through] Wow! Who's room is this? On Wed, 5 Jun 2002 conor.ryan@ul.ie wrote:

Jerome : [Looks down his nose at Mr. Sleaze] I do hope we are not ALL sharing. [to Alice] This must be your room surely, adequate for a lady such as yourself [hold open the double doors for Alice and ushers her in]

Clint : It's mine. [Steps inside] Where do they keep the complimentary rum?

Alice : Wanna bet? It's mine! [Runs in passed him, through the double doors and jumps onto the bed, singing] Whoever's on the bed, own's the room! [Lands on the bed, but bounces straight off and lands on the floor with a thump] Ow!

Austin : [Walking in] Your new found superiority amuses me, Doctor. I find it interesting how you have suddenly chosen to direct your negative energy at me, rather than Ms. Jarl, who, despite your apparant enamour with Alice, seems to have caught your attention. [Smiles, and checks his immaculate nails.]

Stewart : [To Clint] Er, that's in the VIP suites.

Jerome : [To Austin] Your futile attempts to rile Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc. PhD. are [Pauses, raises his eye brows momentarily] not worthy of further comment. [To Stewart] Pray tell, good man, what rating of suit is this? Do we have access to lifeboats and other saftey equipment, equal to that of the [Finger quotes] "VIPs".

Austin : [Sitting down at the table in the middle of the room] I believe it was your fan remark that instigated this exchange, Doctor. Attempting to look haughty after the event will not fool even the most naive of party members into believing that you didn't start the argument.

Alice : [Getting up from behind the bed] Leave him alone, Austin, we all know you started it.

Austin : [Smiling at Jerome] I rest my case.

Stewart : Oh, there are only a few lifeboats and lifejackets on the boat, it's so safe, we don't need them. This boat is guaranteed unsinkable, there is absolutely no way that anything on this planet could even conceive of the merest possibility of springing even the smallest leak on board.

Clint : [To Stewart] Does that mean the boat won't sink?

Stewart : Absolutely.

[ALICE opens the other door in the bathroom, and a huge gush of water throws her onto the bed.]

Alice : Glug?

Jerome : [To Clint] They wish to imply that the boat won't sink. However, there is a difference between a boat sinking and boat being sunk, by aggressive actions taken by an enemy warship for example. We should be prepared for all eventualities, perhaps the Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc PhD. Iceberg-o-floaterama flotation device would come in handy. [Starts rummaging through his luggage] It rather cleverly uses compressed gas to instantly freeze a large quantity of water, sea water or other wise, in the shape of a giant seaturtle, with seats on, that can be used as a life raft for up to one week, depending on the climate. [Delves deeper into his box]

Chastity : [Quickly getting on the table to avoid the water] I hope that's just someone's champagne ice bucket melting!

Stewart : [As the water quickly subsides] Er, I suspect someone just left the tap running in there. [To Jerome] You are incorrect sir, even the most aggressive warship in creation cannot sink this vessel. I will say this one more time, and I say it with absolute certainty, this boat will not sink!

Austin : [With his feet up on the table, in case of wetting] When does this boat depart? And when will we dine with the captain.

Stewart : The boat will leave in five minutes, dinner will be an hour after that. [Makes to leave]

Faetan : Hang on there, where are the other rooms?

Stewart : Other rooms?

Chastity : You're not going to suggest that we are all to share one bed? [Looks round the group members. More urgently] You can't mean that we are all to share one bed? I'm a woman of the cloth, for Phili's sake!

Jerome : [Fingering his chin] No expense spared as per usual. Perhaps the ladies should sleep in the bed, whilst the men, and Austin sleep in this room [Looks at the soaking wet floor and frowns]

Alice : [Pulling down her wet t-shirt, and smiling at Chastity] Looks like it's you and me, Sis! [Glances at Faetan] Aw!

Harvey : Talking sense as usual, Doctor. [To Stewart] I presume the floor will be dried up?

Stewart : Yes.

Harvey : I presume there is a healthy supply of blankets and pillows in the cupboard?

Stewart : Yes.

Harvey : [With his stomach grumbling slightly] I presume there is a large selection of sandwiches in the room where all the water came from?

Stewart : No sir, that's the bathroom.

Harvey : Gah! Foiled at every turn!

Chastity : [To Harvey] You'll just have to wait for an hour until dinner. [Takes a neatly folded towel from the end of the bed, unfoldeds it at places it over Alice's front, bib-like. To Alice] I don't think you should be stretching that wet t-shirt down like that, dear. The water has made it a quite transparent, and there are male persons present. Off you go and dry yourself off. [Looks round the men of the group glaring at any of them looking at Alice's chest]

Faetan : [Looking distastefully at bed] I think I'll take the floor too.

Alice : [Throwing off the towel] Good idea, Faetan. Stand up for women's rights. [Walks out to the bathroom to change, almost having someone's eye out on the way.]

Stewart : Well, ladies and gentlemen, if that will be all, I had better see to some of the other guests. I hope to see you all on deck in a few minutes when the ship departs. [Makes no move to leave, and just stands at the door, hand outstretched.]

Faetan : [Blinks at Stewart's hand...then shakes it hesitantly] Er...it was nice to meet you too. long visit! :)

Stewart : [Looks taken aback] Er, thank you. [Leaves his hand stretched out]

Harvey : [To Faetan] Gah! That's not how you do it! Have you any notion of how to behave to people? Here's how you do it. [Turns to Stewart and gives him five] Er, word, brother. [To the party] His people appreciate that type of vernacular.

Stewart : [Visibly disappointed] Yes. Word.

[Exit STEWART.]

Chastity : [Picking up the digarded towel] There's no pleasing some people. [To the others] Does anyone know how long this journey is meant to take?

Austin : [Helping himself to one of the complimentary cigars] I believe the journey lasts fourteen nights, but we may be on board for a shorter time, depending when the Knights contact us. Let us find the bar, for when the ship departs, the decks are crammed with moronic holiday makers, cheering deliriously at people on the dock who have no interest in them.

Alice : [Reappearing from the bathroom in dry clothes, wearing her inflatable dinosaur ring, shades and a huge straw hat] Let's get out on deck quickly so we can wave at the poor people on the dock, they love that!

Jerome : [Smiling] Jerome believes that that will depend on our destination, the number and duration of stops, and wether or not this vessel sinks before we get there, where ever it is that the party is going. [Looks puzzeled] Do we know where we a re going?

Alice : [Coming through the bedroom, knocking all kinds of ornaments of the dressing table with the dinosaur] Well, Jerry, that's never stopped us going anywhere before, has it?

Austin : [Blowing a number of smoke rings] I believe we are to keep a low profile until we are contacted by the Knights.

Jerome : [Coughing, waving the smoke away. To Austin] Must you pollute the air so? You may believe that you are a veritable prince but you do naught but leave noxious fumes in your wake and fettid ambience with those you pass close to.

Austin : Whereas you, Doctor Trindle, leave naught but noxious fumes from the bile that does spew forth so from your constant attempts to put me down in front of the others. However, in the interests of party unity, which has been tested so much recently, I shall refrain from smoking in the room, knowing that some [glances at Clint] members of the party are more sensitive to odours than others.

Alice : [Glancing briefly at Faetan, before saying nonchalantly] Whereas some are more sensitive to others than to odours.

Harvey : [Looking out the window] There seems to be a large crowd gathering on deck, shall we join them?

Chastity : Yes, lets. We wouldn't want to stand out from the crowd by opting to stand out from the crowd now, would we.

Alice : Well said, Chastity. [Heads out the cabin door, but her inflatable dinosaur ring gets stuck] Hey!

Austin : [Glancing from the inflatable ring to his his still smouldering cigar, before glancing up to heaven] Oh, Great Phili, my dost thou put such temptation in my way?

Harvey : Certainly not, dear sister! Come, let's wave at the civilian plebs!

Clint : I think we should split up. Some of you could go and investigate why are there so many people gathering in the deck, while me, I mean, me and the remaining members of the party, could go to the bar. The best source of information is always the bar.

Alice : [Trying to get back into the room] Well, if Clint and Austin went to the bar unsupervised, I suspect that the whole keeping a low profile thing would go out the window.

Harvey : [To Clint] Shows just what you landlubbers know about the high seas, eh! It's a well known fact that a bar onboard doesn't open until the ship has reached international waters, usually half an hour after sailing!

Austin : [Checking his watch] Half an hour? And how does the captain consume enough alcohol to be suitably intoxicated that he can [raises his voice to be heard over the awful squeaking of Alice's dinosaur on the door] control the boat?

Clint : Yeah, you know all about sailing now, don't you Harv? Anyway by the time we find out where the bar is, I'm sure the half an hour will have passed!

Harvey : [Opening the air tube on Alice's dinosaur, before turning back to Clint] Mr. Scar, enough of that talk! We are here to keep a low profile, and the best way to do that is to stay together. There will be no splitting up the party, no unwarranted alcohol abuse, and no unneccessary drawing of attention to ourselves, is that understood?

[A few seconds of silence pass, with the only sound audible being that of ALICE's dinosaur slowly deflating, until it is suddenly flat enough to fit through the door. She falls to the ground with a bang, and lands on the floor, tripping VASCO DE SAO NUNO GOMES, who just happened to be passing at the time. He falls to the ground, startled.]

Jerome : [To Vasco] Vasco? What are you doing here? [To the others] Remind me, did we part company with him under a cloud?

Austin : Indeed we did, but the cloud was caused by us!

Vasco : [Getting to his feet and helping up Alice] I am Vasco de Sao Nuno Gomes. [Pulls the dinosaur from her, and slays it] I claim the corpse of the animal that so aggressively attacked this woman for Prince Manuel, Prince John and His Holiness the Pope. [Blesses himself]

Faetan : [Blinks] Eh. Whatever floats your boat, go right ahead.

Vasco : [Looks either way on the deck, before stepping in, pulling Alice after him and addressing the party] I am so relieved that you are at liberty, the prison escape was not the finest hour of the Roving Band of Racial Stereotypes. [Looks at Faetan and gasps] Yet another lovely lady in your party!

Jerome : [To Vasco] And where, pray tell, is the Judas, Dicey, who doublecrossed us when we risked our lives to set the Roving band of Racial Stereotypes free from jail?

Faetan : Er... [Folds arms] Sounds like you had quite the adventure. How long ago was all this?

Austin : It was about a month ago. Despite the rank Mr. Clint and I advising against it, the party opted to break Dicey and the others of the Roving Band of Racial Stereotypes using little more than spangly circus outfits and a poorly rehearsed cycling pyramid act. The result was our own incarceration on a slave galley and a protracted voyage at sea for Harvey and some sailors.

Vasco : That was most unfortunate, but I urge you to keep your differences with my colleagues quiet for the moment for - [looks around, and then at the open door] further conversation must be done behind closed doors, let me check outside first. [Steps outside]

[Immediately, ALICE shuts the door.]

Vasco : [Knocking on the door] Please let me in.

Alice : [Confused] How can we let him in if the door is shut? It's like he wants us to do two different things!

Chastity : For Phili's sake! [Opens the door, drags Vasco quickly in and shuts the door again. To Vasco] We can hardly keep our difference with ourselves quiet, but we can try. Why should we want to work with your group again after last time?

Clint : And that double-crosser Dicey with you? I believe we have some unfinished business with him.

Vasco : [Holds his hands up quickly, brushing Chastity away from] Sister, while I normally do not complain about physical violence from the hands of the religious, I must request that you do not crease my suit. There are very many ladies on this ship that require seduction, so time is of the essence, and I cannot afford to waste any changing. I am not asking you to work with us, merely that you respect the undercover positions adopted by our members. [Glances at Clint] Brother Reilly is indeed on board.

Harvey : As far as I remember private Scar, Vasco took no part in our foiled escape attempt, or their contemptable behaviour during that attempt! Infact, I remember Vasco being very very absent leading up to and during the event!

Vasco : [Bowing deeply to Harvey] Honourable Colonel, I am ashamed to admit that you are quite correct. However, my absence was caused by an avoidable mission of deeply, deeply religious significance.

Alice : Wow! What was it? Some kind of undercover mission for the Knights? Rescuing a group of nuns who run a remote orphanage?

Vasco : Actually, making sweet and ecstatic love to lovely lady.

Jerome : [To Vasco, musing, sherlock holmly style] A you and your filthy band of racial sterotypes planning on sinking the ship, by any chance? Or hijacking it?

Harvey : By the saints, good doctor, I certainly hope that's not the case! The ships cook passed me on the way to this cabin, and I couldn't help but notice he had a pony tail and a look of terminal constipation! I'd hate to be a sabotuer or a hijacker who tried to get in his way!

Chastity : But Colonel, what could he do? He's only the cook! blonde pin-up girl?? :-)

Jerome : [To Harvey] Hmmm, that description reminds Jerome of a ships cook Jerome once met. Jerome believes that Pleasing Shegull was his name. Strange fellow, Jerome wonders if it is the same fellow, a long shot of course, but what with the roving band of racial sterotypes being here Jerome suspects that many more apparent coincidences may exter.

Vasco : [Leaning into Jerome angrily for a second] How dare you sir! [Leans back again, dead calm] We are on a sacred and holy mission sponsored by the Hierophantic Knights.

Alice : Hierophantic Knights? Those wasters, let's throw him over board!

Austin : Dearest Alice, we are the Hierophantic Knights, you are getting them confused with the Fundamentalist Knights.

Harvey : Best keep our eyes wide open, good doctor! [Turns to Vasco] So, good fellow, why are you all aboard the maiden voyage of this unsinkable ship?

Vasco : Good Colonel, I cannot say any more. You are surely aware of the secrecy employed by the Knights.

Alice : Hey! No one told us about it.

Vasco : Further proof of it's existence, if any was needed.

Faetan : More importantly, what do you want us to do for ya?

Vasco : Nothing. I wish for you to say nothing, for fear it will interfere with our mission. That is all I ask.

[The ship sounds a horn, and gives a shudder, as though about to pull away.]

Faetan : Some of us are surprisingly good at doing nothing... [Lifts head at the sound of the horn] Woot! We're off! Must be on deck... [Starts skitting towards the door]

Alice : [To Vasco] While some of us are surprisingly good at contributing nothing.

[FAETAN opens the door to reveal that there are a lot of people out on deck, and that the quay is also packed. People are throwing streamers and the like, and waving.]

Faetan : Darhar!!! I just can't WAIT to be at sea! Darrrr! [Grabs a streamer to throw it over]

Alice : [To the others] She's very happy all of a sudden, isn't she? What's happened to the sullen sulky Faetan we've all come to know and love?

Vasco : [Bowing to the party] I must leave now, I thank you for your co-operation.

[Everyone goes out on deck, with VASCO disappearing into the crowd.]

Chastity : [To Alice] Faetan's emotions seem to be very complex. When we're nice and safe she can still be angry and fed up, but she's happy as larry when we're all at sea!

Alice : And Larry is? Happy, I guess?

[As the party stand at the edge of the deck, a bunch of cleaners come in and mop up the room in record time.]

Clint : [Fiddling with a popper] So, what now? We just sit around waiting for something to happen?

[Behind Chastity a small boy shouting "Whoo-hoo" can be seen cartwheeling down the deck. A woman, probably his mother, is running after him crying "Stop it Larry, calm down. You're too happy"]

Chastity : [To Alice] I think it's just a common day expression. Lets go and see if we can recognise anyone on the quayside. [Goes out on to the deck, narrowly avoiding being cartwheeled over by a small boy] Tut, unruly child!

[CLINT's popper explodes, sending the top of it hitting ALICE smack in the forehead.]

Alice : Ow! Hey, that really hurt. Be more careful, will you?

[ALICE turns and throws her own streamer over the side, but the wind catches it, and blows it back onto the boat, where it wraps itself around the arms of a small boy who is cartwheeling along the deck, causing him to fall down some stairs. His MOTHER runs after him, screaming.]

Mother : Larry! Larry!

[Slowly, the ship pulls away from the dock.]

[Book III, Act I, Scene III. The Suite. CLINT, CHASTITY, FAETAN and JEROME are sitting in the main room, while ALICE and AUSTIN are in the bedroom, and HARVEY in the bathroom. CHASTITY is wearing a flowing white cotton habit, with a vivid deep purple scapulars, that has a gold braid edging and elaborate beading through it. JEROME is dressed in very smart evening tails, with a bow-tie and cumerbund, with his heavily brylcreemed hair parted perfectly down the middle, which sets of his over all clean look very well. FAETAN has an understated sleeveless red dress with black gloves, and simple gold chain around her neck with a pear-shaped red gemstone. CLINT is wearing a bright orange suit and shirt, with a lurid lime green tie that has some questionable stains on it.]

Harvey : [Coming out of the bathroom, in full military dress, dazzling everyone with the frighteningly bright brass buttons and gold epaulettes on his red coat.] Gah! Neice, what have you been up to in the bathroom with all that perfume? It smells like that high class bordello where I and some of the chaps had to spend six months hiding during Vietnum-num!

Alice : [Still in her ordinary clothes] What? I haven't even started getting ready yet, that's all from Austin!

Austin : [Examining his beauty with no small amount of satisfaction in the mirror] Ah! [Turns to Harvey, giving everyone a view of his dazzling white Hugio Choss tuxedo, immaculate shirt and velvet bow-tie] Colonel, unlike certain members of the party, I take pride in all aspects of my appearance.

Harvey : [Shining one of his brass buttons on his cuff] Perhaps, private Sleaze, but chemical warfare was outlawed back in '65, don't you know! Let's hope this dinner room is well ventilated!

Clint : Are you going to get ready, Bimbo? I don't want to miss the digestives. Or is it the starters?

Austin : [As Alice goes into the bathroom] But not, Colonel, before it was used on you, I fear.

Harvey : [Lost in memories] Ah that wonderful purple haze.

Alice : [Coming out of the bathroom with an entirely inappropriate leather dress that comes down to her thighs, and is tied across the front with large buckles] How do I look?

Harvey : [Swings around quickly and faces the door] Dearest Alice, perhaps it's time you got dressed?

Alice : [Laughs and squeezes Harvey's arm] Oh, Uncle, you are funny! [Walks out to the others, circling one finger by her right temple, mouthing the following silently to them] Purple Haze. [Loudly] Right, are we ready?

Chastity : [To Alice] I don't think you should be wearing Fatean's battle dress to dinner. Something a bit more elegant is in order. But time is pressing, I suppose. turned up in a similar leather dress and got pished during the dinner on Bacardi breezers and screached "private" comments through the guest speakers. Classy!

Jerome : [Smiling a big smile at Alice, offers her his arm to escort her to the dinner] The party shall feast like kings to.. and queens tonight.

Alice : Neither do I, Chas, that's why I'm wearing this! [Takes Jerome's arm]

Faetan : [Holding her sword, and looking unhappy] Damn this dress, nowhere to conceal my weapon.

Austin : [Watching Alice and Faetan with a smile, before sighing happily] Well done this suit, plenty of space to conceal my weapon. Surely, it is entirely inappropriate to go to this meal armed?

Harvey : What if everyone else is armed, but for us? What then, eh? What if a fight breaks out over the last chocolate eclair, or a scuffle over the creme broulee, fisticuffs over the last piece of flan?

Alice : You're not at a Short family reunion now, Uncle!

Austin : I believe the good Colonel is wise, and I shall keep my trusty dagger with me. [Pulls back his jacket to reveal an exquisitely detailed holster into which he puts his dagger.]

Clint : [Looking at his long sword] And how am I supposed to hide this on my suit?

Chastity : Even in a loose fitting robe such as this there is no way I can take my mace. If any trouble flares up I'll just have to put my trust in Phili, and hope there is an appropriate club like article available.

Alice : To be honest, Clint, I think it's the suit you should be trying to hide!

[There is a knock on the door.]

Clint : [Cleaning his nose on his suit's sleeve] What's wrong with the suit? [To the door] Who's there?

Stewart : [From outside the door] It is Stewart, I have come to fetch you for dinner.

Alice : There's nothing wrong with the suit, Clint, it's just a shame you didn't go for a green suit with an orange tie.

Jerome : [To Stewart] The party will be with you in one moment. [To the party] The ladies could support handbags, in which we could conceal our weapons.

Alice : Good idea, Jer! Who wants to put their sword in my bag? [Holds out a tiny purse that would struggle to hold a postage stamp.]

Jerome : [To Alice] A moot point Alice, the ladies would of course need to wear large handbags in order to conceal our lethal blades from our enemies.

Clint : We don't need to take our swords to the table, I'm sure if a fight breaks loose we can make do with whatever we find around. Now let's go, I don't want to miss the complimentary glass of Port.

Alice : Actually, Clint, on a ship one refers to it as a complimentary glass of Starboard. [Opens the door.]

Stewart : [Eyes widen at the sight of Alice and Clint] Er, um, good evening. I would like to escort you to the Captain's table.

Jerome : [To Stewart] The party will be with you in one moment. [To the party] The ladies could support handbags, in which we could conceal our weapons.

Alice : Good idea, Jer! Who wants to put their sword in my bag? [Holds out a tiny purse that would struggle to hold a postage stamp.]

Jerome : [To Alice] A moot point Alice, the ladies would of course need to wear large handbags in order to conceal our lethal blades from our enemies.

Clint : We don't need to take our swords to the table, I'm sure if a fight breaks loose we can make do with whatever we find around. Now let's go, I don't want to miss the complimentary glass of Port.

Alice : Actually, Clint, on a ship one refers to it as a complimentary glass of Starboard. [Opens the door.]

Stewart : [Eyes widen at the sight of Alice and Clint] Er, um, good evening. I would like to escort you to the Captain's table.

Jerome : [To Stewart] Then lead the way, good man. [Escorts Alice to the door] [STEWART leads the party along the deck, and into the dining room. There are already some people sitting at the captain's table, BOSE HATWEARER, WOLFGANG ARTURUS and SLIM PICKINGS. The table is laid out with name tags indicating where everyone is to sit. Sitting around are about forty other diners.]

Alice : Hey look, doesn't that look like some of the Pearces? And there, isn't that Irving? [Points at another table where Irving is sitting with Aramis D'Artagnan.]

Chastity : [Looking round the dinner guests, pausing at the Pearces] Hmmmmm. That'll polite chat whilst sipping soup ruled out then. [To Clint] I wonder what the odds are of you being randomly chosen to sit next to the Pearces are? [Looks to see where her name tag is]

Stewart : Good sister, you and your party are sitting at the Captain's table tonight. Your name tags are up there.

[IRVING stands up and gives the party a wave from his table.]

Daddy Pearce : [Talking to his sons, Ear and Pearse, but clearly wanting the party to hear] God damn! The stench of pig shit has suddenly gone way up!

Jerome : [Ignoring the Pearces completely, escorts Alice to her seat and seats her, then sits himself down. Nods towards the Pearces' table. To Alice] They appear to have let a rowdy bunch of vagabonds in tonight.

Clint : [Going towards his place, keeping an eye on the Pearces] This dinner is going to be spicier then I thought.

Bose : [Watching Alice sit down, and wiping her lip] Yes. So it would appear.

[JEDWARD, SLIM and WOLFGANG all stand up as the party approach. Meanwhile, IRVING waves at the party.]

Irving : Hi everybody!

[ARAMIS turns and looks, but doesn't say anything, and just smiles, playing with his moustache.]

Harvey : Ah! It's Irving Washington!

Stewart : Forgive me, Colonel, but I would be most obliged if you would sit at your table. Dinner is about to begin, and there will be time to talk to other diners after.

Wolfgang : [To the party] I am Wolfgang Arturus. We met in Hallbridges.

Jerome : [Gives Irving a wave. Then turns to Wolfgang] Are you sure? Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD does not appear to recognise you. What were the circumstances of our previous contact?

Alice : [Spreading out her napkin with such a crack that Bose gives a little jump] Sure you remember him, Jerry! He was the one with all the porn.

[Everybody sits down at their places.]

Wolfgang : [Gives a little laugh] I think the young lady may be confused. When you investigated those murders in Hallbridges, I let you use my study and consult some of my historical works. The young lady may have seen some fine art pictures there.

Alice : [To Harvey] What's he talking about Jerome? Confused? I'm not confused, I'm never confused.

Harvey : I'm Harvey.

Bose : [Gives a little gasp] Murder? How simply dreadful.

Clint : [Sits down][To Bose, nodging her with his elbow] Could, eh? We're actually a very important party. I could tell you all about our adventures later, if you care to join me on a night walk to the ship's head... [Wink!]

Bose : Please sir, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from molesting me!

Wolfgang : [Dreamily] He should be punished. [Snaps back to reality] Good sir, I would dearly love to hear of your adventures. After all, it's not every day that one meets up with a bunch of people who were impersonated by shape shifters twice, what? [Roars with laughter.]

[WOLFGANG suddenly realises that he is the only person who is laughing, and that the rest of the dining room is deathly quiet. There is a sudden "parp" from the table, causing everyone to look around.]

Alice : [Glaring at Clint] Well, it wasn't me!

Clint : [To Alice] How dare you. I'm a proper diner tonight, engaged in intelligent conversation with this lovely lady [points his finger at Bose, nearly sticking it on her eye] [To Bose] Anyway, haven't I seen you before somewhere?

Faetan : [Sits down somewhat awkwardly, frowning as she fusses with the skirt of her dress. Glances momentarily towards Aramis, says nothing, and nods to Slim] Hello.

Bose : [Haughtily] I'm sure you've seen my photograph in some magazines, but sir, let me assure you, I do not converse with someone who dresses like [waves limply at Clint] that to dinner.

Alice : [Sticks her tongue out at Clint] Ha! [To Bose, clearly nodding at her unfeasibly large hat which has a large bunch of fruit on it] What an interesting hat.

Bose : [To Jedward] Don't you vet these people?

Slim : [Curtly to Faetan] Hello. [Glares at the rest of the party] I suppose you've come to see another of my great ideas stolen from me?

Faetan : [Curtly to Slim] No, we came to eat dinner. [Glares at Bose] Clint's got more class and heart than a thousand of YOUR type. You're lucky he even spoke to you.

[ALICE looks at CLINT and makes a pretend shocked face.]

Bose : [Slowly turns her gaze on Faetan] How deliciously uncouth you are. My, what a lovely trinket you wear. [Shakes her head slightly, showing that she is wearing a huge blue jewel around her neck.]

[As she shows it off, there are a few gasps from the other diners, and several hushed voices along the lines of "that's it". STEWART sidles up beside FAETAN.]

Stewart : Madam, it is not accepted behaviour to speak like that to other guests. Dining at the Captain's table is not simply about eating.

Faetan : Why don'cha tell HER that? Or do I need a jewel the size of a cantaloupe around my neck too?

Stewart : Because Ms. Hatwearer knows when to remain calm. I urge you to do the same.

Alice : [Letting out a deep breath and smiling to herself before turning to Jedward] So, if you're the Captain, who's driving the ship? [Sharp intake of breath] We're all gonna die! Where's the emergency brake?

Faetan : [To Alice] No worries, he ain't the captain. [Jerks her thumb at Jedward] It was the other guy we met earlier alongside him.

Alice : You mean the steward? [Points at Stewart]

Jedward : [To Faetan] Very amusing madam, but I can assure you, I am the Captain of this vessel.

Alice : [To Jerome] Is this what they meant by keeping a low profile?

Chastity : [To Faetan] Of course he's the captain. Look at his hat, and all the braiding on his jacket. [Looks at Harvey's outfit and then back to Jedward's] Erm, with anchors on. [To Jedward] So tell me captain, how long will this cruise be?

Jedward : About two carriages! [Bursts out laughing]

[All the cruise staff nearby also roar with laughter, and all stop immediately a few seconds later.]

Jedward : My apologies sister, a little shipping humour there. The cruise will last -

Slim : [Interrupting] About two days before sinking! Taking you and all these morons with it!

Alice : [Insulted] Hey!

Slim : Not just you, [waves to the party] everyone! [Waves to the rest of the dining room.]

[The other diners, clearly not even listening to him, all cheer and clap, as though he has just made a great speech.]

Alice : [To Faetan] Now, that's another example of how not to keep a low profile.

Faetan : [To Alice, as though learning something new] Right, gotcha. [Turns back to Slim] So what makes you think it's gonna sink?

Alice : [Clearly taken aback at Faetan's reaction, turning to Jerome] You know, I think I preferred it when she spent her time growling at us!

Jedward : The ship will not sink. It is unsinkable. Why, it even says so in the brouchure! [Holds out a glossy brouchure.]

Alice : [Looking at the brouchure] Hey! This ship has only got three chimneys, the one on the brouchure has five and - [in disbelief] those two are drawn on in crayon!

[JEDWARD snatches the brouchure away from her.]

Slim : [To Faetan] Because I saw the plans for this deathtrap, and I know the reckless fool behind the its building. [Turns to the diners] You're all going to die! Die! Do you hear me?

[The DINERS whoop and cheer again.]

Slim : Aw, for God's sake, you can't warn some people. [Storms off.]

Chastity : [Watches Slim go] Can I have his bread roll, please?

Austin : What is wrong with your own roll woman?

Chastity : [Pushing the last crumbs of her own roll into her mouth. To Austin, with her hand in front of her face to try and prevent spitting crumbs over Austin and, more importantly, Jedward] It's finished. We wouldn't want to waste the spare one, would we? There are starving children in famine hit countries that would be grateful for it.

Faetan : [Reaches across for Slim's roll and tosses it to Chastity] Here ya go, Sis. Hope it keeps.

Jerome : [Looks around] Excellent, good to see everyone is getting along! [To Jedward] Jerome would like to know who built this fine ship, Captain?

Chastity : [Watches as Slim's bread roll sails down the entire length of the table, over the heads of Jerome, Harvey and Alice leaving a fine flour cloud behind it. Chastity makes to catch it but unfortunately she misses and the roll hits her on the head. But by luck it lands on her now empty side plate] Thank you very much, dear. Although may I just advise that when you get the chance you brush up on your high table ettiquette. [Picks a few of the larger crumbs from her hair]

Faetan : [Looks surprised] I'm using my fork, aren't I? [Spears her own roll with the fork and rips a chunk from it with her teeth]

Clint : [Nudging Bose with his elbow again] What a cool bunch we are, eh? [To Faetan] Pass the salt, please.

Chastity : [To Faeten] Most commendable.

Faetan : Why sure. [Puts down the roll, and a salt shaker sails through the air towards Clint]

Jerome : [Sigh!] Jerome believes that the party has spent too much time fighting and not enough time dining. Perhaps those who are new to etiquette could observe some of those skilled in the art [Looks at Faetan, then to Bose, then Austin] Err, but perhaps not [Eats a bit of roll in the proper manner].

Austin : [Delicately opening his own roll] Ms. Hatwearer, may I humbly apologise for the behaviour of my colleagues.

Alice : [Dusting some flour from her hair] For God's sake Faetan, we're supposed to be keeping a low profile, cop yourself on! [Takes a drink of water, and manages to spill most of it down her front.]

Stewart : [Standing between Harvey and Faetan] We do not throw food or condiments at the table. Please do not force me to ask you to leave.

Alice : [Hushed, to Jerome] What? She's throwing condoms around?

Faetan : Heh. [Glances towards Aramis' table to see if an empty seat is available] Hey, what happened to that nervous kid we saw earlier?

[The table with ARAMIS and IRVING is full.]

Alice : What nervous kid? You know, Faetan, with your unpredictable behaviour, a lot of people around you are nervous!

[SLIM storms out of the dining room.]

Alice : [Looks away from Faetan, and then looks around herself, puzzled] What happened to the salt cellar, Clint? I thought it was coming in your direct - [breaks off as she looks up at Bose's hat] Never mind.

Jedward : [Checking to make sure that everyone is calm, before turning to Jerome] Sir, in answer to your earlier question, this train was by North Western.

Clint : Train? I thought we were on a boat! [Suddenly looks at Bose's hat] [To Bose] Say, that's a fine hat you have there.

Jedward : Indeed it is, it is a new type of amphibious vehicle. It can sail through any water, and then, once it reaches land, it can be placed on tracks. The train part was built by North Western, and the boat part by South Western.

Bose : [Turning to Clint, showering Chastity, Jerome and Alice with salt as she does so] Thank you.

Jerome : [To Jedward] Ingenious! Do wheels, presently concealed in the hull of this vehicle extend onto a trak, so that the enormous traction power of the ships engines can be used for propulsion? [Drinks a little wine]

Jedward : Why, sir, yes! Absolutely! It is great to see such an educated man on board! If you would like, I could arrange a tour for you.

[Enter DUNCAN CONOR MACLEOD, dressed as a waiter. He is carrying a large tray of soup dishes up to the table.]

Duncan : [To Faetan] Awright hen, here's yer soup. [With an unconvincing French accent] Bon appetite. [He glances at the rest of the party and gives a big wink.]

Jerome : [To Jedward] Why, good captain, your generocity is most gratefully recieved, and Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc. PhD. speaks for the whole party in expressing gratitude for you hostitality. [Smiles at the others]

Clint : [Caught trying to get the salt off Bose's hat] Euh? Ah, yes, of course. Most generous. Gratitude.

Bose : [Turning quickly to Clint, but not quickly enough to see him lift the salt off] What are you doing?

Jedward : My pleasure.

Wolfgang : [To the others] I have already had the tour, and was quite impressed, but not as impressed as Jedward was when I increased the performance of his engines by two percent

Harvey : [To Wolfgang] Mr. Arturus, sir, earlier you mentioned something about us having escaped from shape shifters twice.

Wolfgang : [Watching a bread roll being thrown by Aramis right across the room at Daddy Pearce] Yes. Yes, I did.

Harvey : [Looking suspicously at Duncan] I say, that waiter just winked at me! Off with you soft lad! [Flicks his napkin in Duncans direction] Honestly, I've had more then enough of these sailor types!

Faetan : [To DUNCAN] Thanks. Er...thank you. [Grins at the flying roll, then looks at Aramis with a bemused smile]

Austin : [To Harvey] Yes, Colonel. I'm sure you have.

[DUNCAN slaps a bowl of soup in front of HARVEY with a growl, and moves onto ALICE.]

Daddy Pearce : [Loudly to the diners at his table] God dang it! Some yankee has just thrown some bread at me! Pearse Pearce : [Picking it up off the floor] I'll shove it up his ass! Daddy Pearce : God dang it, boy! I told you, no more of your damned homosexual talk!

Faetan : [Decides she doesn't want to know much more about the Pearces and sets in on her soup] So, Mr. Arturus... [Long pause] Hi.

Clint : [To Bose] Sorry for the hat. There was a... fly damaging it. It's gone now. [Throws the salt at Daddy Pearse]

Chastity : [To Harvey] I think some time giving lessons on table manners may have been time well used before dinner. We're at great risk of being thrown out of dinner.

Alice : Don't be ridiculous, Chastity, we're at the Captain's table, we can't possibly be thrown out.

[The salt cellar flies through the air and hits DADDY smack in the back of the head.]

Daddy : Ow! What in tarnation? [Looks back at the party] You God damned yankees!

[All the PEARCES jump up, knocking their seats back.]

Jedward : [Outraged] Stop this immediately!

Clint : [Looking at the Pearces, shaking his head] [To Bose] Some people really don't have any manners.

Bose : [Looking distastefully at Clint] Yes, so I see.

[DADDY, EAR and PEARSE PEARCE start advancing towards the table.]

Harvey : [To Clint] Private, you will apologise immediately! I dislike the Pearces as much as anyone, but we are here to keep a low profile.

Wolfgang : [To Faetan] Excellent, I see that the less evolved one [indicates Clint] has attempted to start a fracas. This time of barbarism, while peculiar to me, is still strangely fascinating.

Clint : [To Harvey] Chill out, Harv, I'll apologize. [To the Pearces, with a somewhat sarcastic voice] My most humble apologies. That salt cellar slipped from my hand, I was merely trying to add a bit of spice to this lovely dinner. I'm sure the Capitain will appreciate if we solve this matter as true gentlemen that we are all. [Looks around] Right?

Chastity : [To Jerome] Do you think anyone realises he's including himself there? [looks to Jedward to see his reaction to Clints gesture]

[DADDY punches CLINT hard in the face, knocking him back into BOSE, who's hat almost decapitates AUSTIN. AUSTIN, meanwhile, plucks a delicious looking apple from the hat, and takes a bite.]

Bose : [With a little scream] Help!

Austin : Excellent!

Jedward : Stewards! Stewards!

Faetan : [Stands up awkwardly, knocking her chair on the floor] I knew we should have brought weapons.

Alice : [Catching her bowl of soup, and throwing it over Daddy Pearce] Duck, Clint!

[The soup lands on DADDY, and he cries out in pain.]

Daddy : Argh! I'm gonna kill her!

Chastity : [Shakes her head] Oh, Phili, here we go again. [Pushes her chair back from the table and picks up a napkin to try and avoid any spills on her white robe]

Jerome : [Stands up. To Daddy] You sir, Should not have provoked her. Jerome suggests that you all clam down and appologise this instant, to the Captain for you barbaric behaviour!

[HARVEY and FAETAN start to make their way around the table.]

Faetan : Let's get them.

Harvey : [Angrily to Faetan] Now is not the time for one of your over reactions, girl!

Daddy : [Stands glaring at Clint] I've shown that damned yankee what I think of him. I'm finished, and if he is, then I will be more than happy to apologise to the Captain and the other diners, but I'm sure they understand that a gentleman's honour must be satisfied.

Aramis : [Moving from his table to near the Captain's with a flourish] Honour, sir? How strange that you should mention such a notion, for I find it preposterous that you are even aware of it! Pearse Pearce : Can I kill him, Daddy?

Clint : Can I kill him, Harvey?

Harvey : Stand down Private. No one is going to kill any one.

Daddy : [To Pearse] Alright boy, let's go back to our table.

[ARAMIS says nothing, and merely smiles at the PEARCES, playing with his moustache.]

Chastity : [Looking around as the scene calms down] Good. Now maybe we can get on with dinner. I came here for a bun feast not fight! [Returns to her seat at the table]

[There is a tense stand off for a few moments, but the PEARCES slowly slope back to their table, as does ARAMIS to his own. The rest of the party sit down.]

Bose : [Fanning herself] I do believe that I am feeling quite faint, I think I had better return to my room.

Jedward : Ms. Hatwearer, I hope you haven't been too disturbed by tonight's disturbance!

Wolfgang : [Watching with huge interest, taking notes all the time] Fascinating, fascinating!

Jerome : [To Bose] May I get you a glass of water, or perhpas something a little stronger?

Clint : [Still standing, looking at the Pearces] I'll sort them out later. [To Bose] Thank Phili I was here to protect you!

Bose : [Too upset to speak for a few seconds] No thank you. I simply cannot bear to be in the same room as that barbarian [indicates Clint any longer] I must leave.

[BOSE stands up to leave.]

Austin : [Smiling his dazzling smile] My lady, I would be honoured if I could escort you to your cabin, to ensure that you are not forced to witness any more barbaric acts.

[The two start walking out together.]

Alice : [To Jerome, after knocking back her glass of wine] I could go for something a little stronger, Jerry!

Bose : [To Austin, with some disbelief] Is he talking to me?

Austin : I'll endeavour to ensure that he won't do that again. It is simply shocking that the Captain of the ship permits such behaviour in the cabin.

[Exit AUSTIN and BOSE, with AUSTIN giving the party a big smile as they do. Meanwhile DUNCAN continues to serve the soup.]

Alice : Hey, mine is empty!

Jerome : [To Alice] Yes, Jerome believe that somone threw the last one away. It is customary to drink something a little stronger after the meal. Jerome is sure that a brandy will be served in due course.

Jedward : [Clearly furious, and trying to hold in his anger] I am afraid that behaviour of your colleagues tonight has been unacceptable. I have no choice but to ask you to leave at the next port.

Chastity : [Looking round for Stewart to fill her soup plate up. To Jedward] Where is the next port?

Jedward : The next port is Hallbridges, where the mayor will be boarding, as well as many other importa- I mean, wealth-, I mean, first class passengers. We cannot have this kind of thing going on.

Harvey : [Glaring at Faetan and then Clint for a second] But Captain, we have paid for our cruise, can you not see that what happened was just, er, youthful hi-jinks?

Alice : [Looking puzzled] Mayor of Hallbridges? I thought we were the mayor of Hallbridges.

Jerome : [To Jedward] Yes indeed. Dr. Jerome K. Trindle Bsc. PhD. appologises most sincerely for the reproachable acts of several of my companions tonight. It appears that the strains and stress of prolonged warfare and combat have taken a most grevious toll on their minds. We shall disembark at the next port as you request, Captain. [Jerome sits and looks at Clint and Faetan with distaste]

[The rest of the dinner is put out.]

Harvey : [To Jerome] Doctor, once again, you show yourself to be one of the few sensible members of the party.

[ALICE, still with a mixture of water and soup on her dress, clears her throat.]

Harvey : Oh yes, niece. And you too.

[Cue faint sound of HARVEY grinding his teeth together.]

Wolfgang : I say, what a shame you are to be marooned! However, what is that you say about being joint mayors of Hallbridges?

Chastity : [To Wolfgang] We are not actually the disorganised rabble that we would appear. As a team we won the Starsearch(tm) talent competition to become mayors of Hallbridges. Unfortunately we were [looks round the group] gazzumpted before we could actually take office.

Wolfgang : Curious. The official line in the town at the time was that you were shapeshifters, so you were immediately impeached after [reads from his notebook] eating your adminstrative assistants [looks up again] and another mayor elected.

Jerome : [To Wolfgang] No. That is misinformation, a cunning ruse indeed. The party were drugged and then thrown into a mental asylum in order to stop them from becoming mayor.

Wolfgang : Curious indeed, Doctor. I wonder who could have done such a thing.

Clint : [Glaring at the Pearces' table] I don't know, but the presence of that bunch and the fact that we're passing through Hallbridges smells like conspiracy to me. [Picks some ice from a jar of ice cold water and puts it against his eye]

Alice : Who is the mayor of Hallbridges now? [Turns to Jerome] Can I have some wa- [notices Clint] Oh. Um, forget about it.

Wolfgang : Why, it is Tom Braider, the local police chief.

Faetan : Oh, isn't that nice... [Glances towards Aramis and gives a faint nod to the now empty seat across from her]

Alice : Nice? What? What's nice about that? All it means is that that loser Tom stole our mayorship!

[ARAMIS walks over to the table.]

Aramis : Well, I see by the vitality of the once dead people in front of me that the lovely and gentle Faetan was successful. Would you mind if I joined you for a moment?

Alice : [To Jerome] Lovely and gentle? Do you think he met a shapeshifter?

Clint : [Pointing the empty chair] Grab a seat. [Pause] So, do you know why are that bunch of loosers [thumbpoints at the Pearces without looking at them] on the ship?

Faetan : Go right on ahead. I wasn't expecting to see you again...glad that isn't the case.

Aramis : Oh, I am too. I am always glad when my travels bring me in contact with lovely ladies and [glances passed Faetan at Alice with a quick salicious lick of his lips] their lovely companions. [To Jedward] Captain, I hope you have not been offended by these good people, if they live half as well as they died, they are indeed heroic. [Helps himself to a generous glass of wine, and takes a good mouthful of it]

Jedward : I have no choice but to ask them to leave. It is not my choice, but after this my superior would insist on it.

Aramis : [Smiling to himself] Ah, the sea, a cruel mistress indeed.

Wolfgang : [Smiling to himself, somewhat dreamily] Hm, cruel mistress....

Faetan : [Shrugs] Sounds like Hallbridges needs a good looking into anyhow... [Digs into her meal]

Harvey : [Irritated] That is irrelevant. We were supposed to have waited on board and kept a low profile.

Aramis : What is this? A secret mission of some sorts?

Harvey : That sir, is none of your business.

Aramis : Ah, a soldier that knows how to keep information to himself. I admire that sir. [Takes another huge gulp of wine, and half turns in his seat to grab the ass of a passing waitress.]

[The WAITRESS gives a little scream, and turns angrily to ARAMIS.]

Aramis : More than a thousand apologies, my lady. Even after all this time I cannot control myself in the presence of such ravishing beauty.

[The WAITRESS smiles and giggles, before heading off.]

Faetan : Low profile or not, I can't stand seeing someone talk down their nose at us. [Shakes her head, grins at Aramis] I don't know how you do it...you could get away with murder!

Harvey : If you continue to behave like that, my girl, then I fear you had better get used to it.

Aramis : [Laughs at Faetan] Four times, Madam. Four times! [Serious face] But you understand, they were all of the most reprehensible character.

Alice : [Giggling even more foolishly than the waitress] Isn't he great?

Aramis : Any greatness apparant in me is simply the dazzling beauty around me being reflected. [Smiles a dazzling smile, before looking to Clint] Sir, I have offended you! You asked me a direct question and I did not answer. Were there not so much of this fine wine to drink, and if I was not sure that you were an heroic swordsman of epic proportions, I would offer to let you take me outside. [Hand over heart] I humbly apologise. [Smiles again] I am not sure why those gentlemen were on board, but they seem to be candidates for a good thrashing later on. [Thinks for a while] Perhaps, after I have made love to a beautiful woman. [Gives his dazzling smile again.]

Faetan : Ah. Ahem. [Clears throat, and leans in to speak more confidentially] I'm not sure who the captain's superior is, but might I persuade you to make amends somehow? It's a lot to ask, but I'll owe you one.

Aramis : Owe me one what? You know, I am itching to get at those Pearces. I shall speak with the Captain forthwith, and endeavour to convey the strength of character and general physical beauty of the party as a whole.

Jedward : [As dessert starts to be served] Excuse me everyone, I must apologise, but I have to leave. We have many perperations to make for the arrical of the mayor tomorrow morning.

Clint : Perperations? Arrical? Man, you better go to bed, this brandy is not for you! [Downs his own glass]

Harvey : [Stands] Once again, sir, I would like to apologise for the behaviour exhibited here tonight.

Jedward : [To Harvey] Thank you, sir. [Looks at Clint] Hm, yes. [Starts walking out, but stops to talk to Duncan on the way] Pierre, could you keep an eye on them, I think they very much upset Ms. Hatwearer, and we don't want her to get any angrier.

Duncan : Aye cap'n, she cannae take no more!

Jerome : [To Jedward] I take it that a tour of your fine vessel is now out of the question. [Looks dissapointed]

Jedward : [Looking back to Jerome] Yes sir, that is correct.

[Dinner is now almost finished.]

Chastity : [Waits until Jedward is out of earshot, before waving Duncan over] Duncan. didn't the captain call you Pierre? Are you on some sort of secret mission, is there a more sinister reason for going incognito

Duncan : [Coming over to the party] It's alright, hen, I'm on a secret mission, I cannae say no more.

Aramis : [Smoking a huge cigar, and offering them to the others] Secret mission eh? Seems to be a lot of them about. [To Wolfgang] Are you on a secret mission?

Wolfgang : I am on a mission alright, but it is not secret.

Clint : What is your mission then?

Jerome : [To Chastity] Jerome believes that the term 'working passage' is appropriate. Duncan is working to pay for his cruise. He has been ordered to appear French in order to lead the customers to believe that he, and the rest of the catering staff are French, and therefore culinary experts, rather than Scotsmen, therefore alcoholic barbarians.

Duncan : [Angrily] Look, Jimmy, Ah am French!

Wolfgang : [To Clint] To share my genius with the rest of the world. Sadly, most people are too dense to realise what a valuable reservoir of information and brilliance they see before them.

Aramis : [Gives Chastity a smile] I am too dazzled by the reservoir of beauty and grace that I see before me to be aware of anything else in the room.

Chastity : [Gives Aramis a sarcastic smile back] After the display of sinful drinking and lustful indulgence you've just displayed at the dinner table, of all places, I fear that it more a case of you being too dazzled by your baser urges to be aware of anything else in the room. [Picks up a dessert fork to begin tucking into the chocolate gateau just placed in front of her]

Aramis : [Laughs aloud] Ow! First blood to the good sister! [Loudly, to Duncan] Garcon! A glass of white wine to each beautiful woman here tonight, and an extra piece of gateau for the modest beautiful ones. [Gives a gracious bow to Chastity]

Harvey : Well, troop, I wonder if we should return to our cabin, in case there's any more trouble.

Chastity : [Looking panicky for a second] Hold on, there's more pudding to come. I suppose I could take it with me.

Aramis : Oh! Strike to Aramis! [Reproachfully] Sister, is it true that you have committed the sin of pride? However, in one so wonderful, I would have to understand.

Alice : [Excitedly to Jerome] Isn't he great? [To Aramis] Say something like that to me!

Aramis : [Eyes resting on Alice's buckles for a moment] My dear lady, how can you possibly expect me to even think, when such ravishing beauty sits before me, as barely restrained as my own baser instincts have been since I was so kindly invited to join you and your friends at this table.

[ALICE says nothing, but gives a mindless giggle and takes a big swig of her bacardi breezer.]

Chastity : [To Aramis] If being proud of the good work the Great Phili was done around us, then I am indeed guilty. [Glances at Alice becoming mopre giddy and flushed as yet another bacardi breezer is finished and then to Aramis. To Harvey] Maybe you're right, Colonel. Best make for our quarters as soon as possible.

Aramis : Ah, but that is not I accused you of being proud of, Sister. However, it is not becoming to argue with a lady of the cloth, and I humbly apologise if I have done anything to make you uncomfortable. Just give me a moment to take in all the loveliness at this table. [Slowly stands up]

Harvey : [Noticing Alice reach for and miss another drink] Yes, Sister. That would indeed be a good idea.

[IRVING WASHINGTON comes over to the table.]

Irving : Well, fancy meeting you lot here!

[AUSTIN arrives back, looking even more pleased with himself than usual.]

Faetan : [To Irving] Fancy indeed. Nearly all of Queensview and Hallbridges is onboard. Were they giving tickets away free or something?

Jerome : [To Irving] Jerome is sure that Faetan meant that in the general sense, not as a personal insult. Jerome aggres with you that there have been many unusual coincidences of late. Are you here on a secret mission?

Irving : [Taken aback at Faetan, but composes himself before turning to Jerome] Well, young Jerome, I suppose you could say that I am, but I'm also taking something of a holiday. There are a lot of potential customers here, and this could be our last chance to do some travelling for a long time. Did you hear about the Shapeshifters in Hallbridges?

Wolfgang : I, sir, am an expert on the subject.

Jerome : [To Irving] There may well be several shapeshifters onboard this ship at this present moment.

Clint : But we won't start pointing fingers around, right? [Quick look at Faetan]

Irving : [Ruffling Jerome's hair playfully] By gum, Jerome lad! I know from your sharpness that you're the real thing! [Sits down] You heard, I presume, the latest story about yourselves and Hallbridges?

Wolfgang : [Drumming his fingers impatiently on the table] I, sir, am an expert on the subject.

Aramis : [Clicking his heels together] I bid you all goodnight. I shall attempt to intervene on your behalf with the captain. Fortunately, the Captain is not nearly as beautiful as the ladies at this table, so I should be able to concentrate better. [Looks again at Alice's buckles as she gives another giggle, which is cut short by a burp.]

Chastity : [Staring at Aramis] You seem to have little problem concentrating here.

Irving : [Glances up at Faetan, before turning back to Clint and pointing at him excitedly] Top suggestion, lad! Top!

Jerome : [Does another central parting with two swift mocements of his comb] No, Jerome and the party are not yet privvy to the antics of our dopplegangers in Hallbridges. Please invest us with you tale of them, the evil ones.

Wolfgang : Well, [leans back, clearly about to become oratorical, but is cut off by Irving.]

Irving : It seems they returned to Hallbridges, and fixed an election by pretending to defeat some devils. They were quickly ousted by the townspeople though, who then elected a local policeman to the post.

Clint : Pretending to defeat some devils?!? That was a hell of a fight, so it was. It was us who defeated them!

Jerome : Jerome concurs. The devils were as real as can be and it was this party that desperately fought them and won.

Alice : You tell him, Clint! [Waves her bacardi breezer around, spilling much of it on the table]

Wolfgang : Actually, [gets interrupted again]

Irving : It was you? Very curious, then why would someone put out the story that it was shapeshifters?

[WOLFGANG stands up angrily, with a petulant look on his face.]

Harvey : I was not present at the time, Doctor Washington, but I am quite sure that Doctor Trindle is correct. [Glances over at the now well inebriated Alice]

Alice : I think I need to go pee.

Faetan : [To Jerome] That means the police are either shapeshifters, very stupid, or working for the bad guys, Pestillence and what's his name.

Alice : [Bangs her bottle down on the table] Tut! Dangsten is his name, don't you remember? The one who killed us all?

Faetan : [Jumps at the bottle banging on the table. To Alice] Shit, what is your problem? [Then looks at the state of Alice] Oh, obvious I guess. So this policeman is onboard? I am gonna kick his shapeshifting ass [Downs her martini]

Alice : [Glaring at Faetan] And what's your problem? Oh, that's right, although the symptoms are obvious the clues are from that. Didn't he [gestures at Irving, spilling more bacardi] just say that he was coming on board at Hallbridges? Do you listen to anything Chastity?

Chastity : That's Faetan, I'm Chastity.

Alice : Oh.

Clint : [To Wolfgang] Sit down, man. What's your view of the whole situation? [Downs yet another Brandy]

Wolfgang : [Glares at the party, but is clearly glad to be asked to stay, and so sits] Well, I've made an indepth study into shapeshifters. I have consulted every known piece of literature on the them and am in the process of writing up a learned dissertation on them.

Chastity : [Helping herself to more cake] Perhaps you could summarise your findings?

Wolfgang : It is unlikely that any but the most exceptional minds would understand. However, I would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Alice : Why is my lap all wet?

Wolfgang : Because your bottle is at too much of an angle.

Austin : [Checking his nails] I'm sure you would like to protect your intellectual data. I happen to have a special rate [pulls out a form] for intellectual property insurance, which will surely interest you.

Wolfgang : I have no need for such worries, for I am keen to have my ideas in the public domain.

Alice : [Holds her hand up] I have a question.

[A few seconds pass.]

Alice : How do you know if the shapeys have swapped someone you love? Or, [glances at Faetan] someone else?

Wolfgang : [Slapping the table with delight so hard that Alice drops her bottle in shock] Excellent question! It is a myth that shapeshifters can simply replace people unnoticed for, while they can adopt their physical appearance in most cases, they do not have the same kind of knowledge that the people had.

Jerome :[To Wolfgang] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle Bsc. PhD. observed that when the Chastity and Clint shapeshifters were encountered, on that fatefull night, they had all the knowledge and behaviour of the originals.

Wolfgang : [Slightly taken aback, although trying to cover it] Er, are you sure?

Chastity : Quite sure. They were with the party for at least twenty four hours before they attacked.

Wolfgang : Maybe Chastity and Clint told them all they needed to now?

Harvey : [Outraged] Are you suggesting that there was some kind of colusion between members of this party, and the shapeshifters? Are you?

Wolfgang : I say sir! Steady on! An open mind always explores all the possibilities. [Gestures at Irving and Jerome] These are men of science, they will tell you that.

Faetan : Can you tell us anything new about them, though? Maybe they're allergic to, say, being shot in the head with a silver bullet?

Wolfgang : [Slowly pulls his glare away from Harvey and turns to Faetan] Anything new? Anything new? My dear lady, how am I supposed to know what is new to you? For all I know, all my information is new relative to your own knowledge. However, I do not believe that there is a need for silver bullets or such like, for they can be harmed by normal means. Once dead, they revert to their normal state.

Clint : But is there any way to tell if a person is a shapeshifter? Surely there must be some differences.

Alice : Once dead, they revert to their normal state.

Wolfgang : That's true, but they are also incapable of imitating acne. I'm not sure if it's a vanity or physiological thing, but I suspect the latter.

Austin : [Seriously] Then, fellow party members, I urge caution whenever I return from having been alone, for with such a flawless complexion, they would have a wonderful landscape to paint.

Harvey : Acne? Well now, perhaps that explains why Adam claimed that people who caught Scalies were pure.

Jerome : [To Austin] Jerome suspects that a shapeshifter would have difficulty mimicing you overpowering aftershave, Mr Sleaze.

Austin : Why is that? Possibly because when you were working with them trying to determine better ways of mimicking the party you encountered problems in trying match my naturally attractive body aroma?

Jerome : [To Austin] Jerome can assure Mr. Sleaze that nothing about Mr. Sleaze is [emphasis] naturally attractive.

Austin : [Sneering at Jerome] I'm sure you are more au fait with what makes men attractive than I, Dr. Trindle.

Harvey : [Standing up] Troop, it is time to retire. I fear that there has been enough public disturbance tonight caused by the members of the troop without having yet another argument. Mr. Arturus, I thank you for your time, and hope that we may see you before we leave the ship tomorrow.

Jerome : [To Austin] Jerome undoubtedly is far less knowedgealbe about what makes men attractive than Mr. Sleaze. Jerome wastes little time on such selfindugent practice, whereas you, Mr. Sleaze appear to submerge yourself in it.

Austin : [Smiles thinly at Jerome] Although I am somewhat flattered that you find me so attractive, Dr. Trindle, I fear I cannot reciprocate. [Stands up] Bed, good Colonel sounds like a capital suggestion. Do you wish some help carrying Alice back?

Alice : [Looking rather rough, and snapping] I'm fine.

Faetan : [Yawns] Bed sounds good...urp...best meal I had in weeks.

Harvey : Then let us away!

[Exit ALL.]

Chastity : [Brushing chocolate crumbs from her robe] Yes, although I found the gateau a bit disappointing. [Get out of her chair, with support form the table] Oomf. Lets go. [Book III, Act I, Scene IV. The Suite. CLINT, CHASTITY, FAETAN, HARVEY, AUSTIN, ALICE and JEROME are here, having just arrived back.]

Harvey : I believe that we should rise early tomorrow and meet with that Aramis person. It is unlikely that he will change the Captain's mind, but it would be better for us to be alert tomorrow.

Alice : Let's have a game of cards before going to bed! Just let me go to the bathroom first. [Heads into the bedroom]

Clint : [Looking for his sword] With the staff they employ here, you better make sure they didn't rob anything while we were having dinner!

Jerome : [Jumps up to assist Alice] That is the bedroom, it is this way to the bathroom [Guides Alice to the bathroom]

Alice : [Calling from the bedroom] With the guests they have here, you better make sure they didn't rob anything while we were having dinner!

Harvey : A sensible suggestion, Mr. Scar. If that blackguard Dicey is also onboard, it is highly likely that our valuable possessions are already overboard.

[HARVEY checks his equipment too. There doesn't appear to be anything missing.]

Alice : [Confused] But, don't you have to go through the bedroom to get to the bathroom?

Austin : [Checking his nails] Ah, another smooth move by Dr. Trindle to find himself alone with Alice in the bedroom, I fear.

Chastity : [Eyeing up Jerome suspiciously] Or even worse in the bathroom.

[ALICE goes into the bathroom and shuts the door.]

Austin : Sister, I sometimes wonder if we two are the only moral members of the party.

[A loud, but contented sigh can be heard from the bathroom.]

Chastity : I don't know if I've ever been more insulted. You and I sharing the same morality indeed! [To the group] Does anyone else need to use the bathroom before we retire for the night? It wouldn't be proper for you men-folk to see the ladies in their nightwear.

Alice : [Staggers out of the bathroom, smoking a cheese joint] Hey! I thought we were going to have a game of cards. Just let me take a quick rest and then I'll be ready. [Crashes out on the bed, still dressed and with her shoes on, cheeserette hanging over the edge]

Austin : [Slightly loudly to be heard over Alice's snoring] Perhaps Sister, you should stay up all night to keep a vigilant eye out for any men folk sneaking into the room?

Clint : I agree with the Lawyer, we should take turns. [Goes over to Alice and takes the joint off her hand] Phili knows who might try to sneak in and drug us or something. [Starts puffing away] Hum, not bad.

Faetan : [Evil grin] No need for that, I'll be happy to assume that responsibility. [Hugs her sword happily, then drags out a pillow and blanket] I'll just sleep right by the door!

Jerome : [Checks to see if any of his things are missing, especially Temporidus] Just making sure that she was safely guided to her destination.

Harvey : [Coldly to Faetan] We'll take it in turns. You can have the first hour, then me, then Scar, Sleaze, Jerome and finally Sr. Chastity. I think Alice is, er, a little tired tonight. [CHASTITY shares the main bed with ALICE, while the rest take up various positions around the ship. Time passes, until on AUSTIN's watch, the entire group is woken by someone hammering on the door. It is about 3AM.]

Austin : Who's there?

Jedward : [From without] It is me, Captain Jedward.

Jerome : [To Harvey] Excellent Colonel. [Sets his alarm clock to the appropriate time] and gets out the Dr. Jerome K. Trindle patented ultra light porta-bed-omatica. [Straining under the weight, grunts, puffs, starts setting it up]

Austin : What do you want?

Jedward : [Hammers on the door] Open up!

Chastity : [Emerges from the bedroom wearing a nightgown with the print "I sleep with Phili"] Clint, you'd best ready you weapon. [To Austin] Let the man in when we're ready.

Austin : [As everyone draws weapons] Are we ready?

[Enter ALICE, staggering out of the bedroom, still dressed with one shoe on and with pillow hair. As she does the hammering on the door continues.]

Alice : What's going on?

Austin : We're ready.

[There is another dose of hammering, which AUSTIN interrupts by nonchalantly opening the door.]

Austin : Yes?

[Outside stands JEDWARD, and, although there are two men behind him, the party can't see them.]

Jedward : There has been a robbery! A terrible, terrible travesty of justice! It is a black, black day for the Titan Ic!

Alice : He woke us up to tell us this?

Clint : [Looking outside] It is a black day indeed. [To Jedward] What or who was stolen, and who's that travesty you're talking about? [Step forward PLEASING SHEGULL, the ship's cook.]

Pleasing : [Deep, dramatic sigh] A priceless jewel, the Part of the Ocean, has been stolen from Ms. Bose Hatwearer.

Alice : [To Chastity] Why's he here? What can he do? He's only the cook!

Faetan : [Frowns deeply, fists clench] We'll look around for it.

Pleasing : [Another deep sigh] Currently, you are the amongst the prime suspects. We are here to search your cabin.

Jedward : I'm afraid that is true - given the earlier fracas, and the fact that Mr. Sleaze here spent some time in her cabin.

Alice : Casing the joint, eh?

Jedward : [Sniff sniff] Speaking of which, can I smell cheese in here?

Alice : [After a pause, and with a terribly guilty look] No.

Faetan : [Narrowing eyes at Austin] That had better not be the case...

Austin : [Slowly turning his gaze on Faetan] Have you something to say?

Faetan : Do YOU?

Austin : Yes. And I shall repeat with more clarity it for those who are either too stupid or too aggressive to have understood it the first time. Your demeanour and tone suggested you believe that I was in some way involved, however, showing the total lack of ability to communicate your intent that we have all experienced, you were not able to articulate that, instead choosing to try and intimidate me.

[JEDWARD and PLEASING exchange suspicious glances.]

Pleasing : I know how to kill a man with my thumbs.

Jedward : Er, okay.

Clint : [To Jedward, while trying to dissipate the joint smoke] Do you have a search warrant?

Chastity : [To Clint] As Captain, I doubt he needs one. [To Jedward] I'm sure we have nothing to hide. [Looks at Alices guily expression] Well, in the way of stolen expensive jewels that is.I must tell you that I worry that this theft is the start of another conspiricy against us on our return to Hallbridges.

Jerome : Of course the Captain does not need a search warrant. This is his ship. [To Jedward] Please come in Captain. Jerome and the party offer their assistance in solving this crime, Jerome is sure he speaks for the rest of the party [Looks around everyone expecting aggreement. Ushers Jedward in]

Faetan : [Nods, leans against wall with arms folded] Go ahead.

Chastity : I would prefer to get changed back into my normal clothes. I'm uncomfortable as it is with members of the party seeing me so scantily dressed in my night attire, [fidgets for a moment with the turtle neck of her nightgown] let alone complete strangers. But if you insist.

Clint : [Now trying to crush the joint on the soft, cream-coloured carpet] Yeah, respect the privacy of a slav... servant of Phili.

Jedward : [Bowing slightly to Chastity] My apologies, but we must search the cabin immediately. [Glances at Jerome] As you have so rightly observed, sir, we do not need a warrant. While I and my highly trained assistant carefully examine your luggage, I would appreciate it if you would all empty your pockets.

[PLEASING immediately starts emptying the luggage on the floor, starting with CLINT's.]

Chastity : [To Pleasing] I'd wear protective gloves if I were you. Phili knows what state some of his garments may be in.

Jerome : [Empties his pockets (a watch, a handkerchief, some money, a piece of string, a notepad a pencil and a pencil sharpener and eraser. Then he begins carefully laying out the contents of his luggage] Jerome believes that the search wuold be greatly facillitated if each member of the party lay out the contents of their luggage on their respective beds, or bedding areas, as the case may be [Looking at Clints nest of blankets and empty bottles etc. Jerome keeps a careful eye on Temporidus (Who is carefully wrapped in a protective sheath)]

Harvey : I agree Doctor. That is far more acceptable than some constipated cook throwing our belongings about.

[HARVEY opens his own case, which contains a number of immaculately pressed shirts and other garments. He then empties his pockets to reveal that he contains nothing more than a handkerchief, some gold pieces and honeyed golden locust covered in pocket fluff.]

Harvey : Ah! I was wondering what happened to that! [Eats the locust.]

Alice : I don't have any pockets, but how do you know that someone mightn't have it concealed under their clothing? [Stands trying to look as innocent as someone in that dress can.]

Clint : [Emptying his left pocket, revealing a comb with broken teeth, a pig's intestines condom, 2 GP and an empty bottle of the rum served at dinner] [To Pleasing] Hey!, careful with that! [Pointing at an empty bottle of Louis XIV]

[PLEASING checks through it, and finds nothing incriminating, before turning to AUSTIN, who has a suitcase open, and also finds nothing.]

Austin : [Emptying his pockets, which contain some gold, a mirror, and quite a number of skin care products] As you can see, I do not have anything.

[The search continues for a few more minutes, with each of CHASTITY, FAETAN and ALICE having their bags checked.]

Jedward : So, er, it looks like it isn't here.

Pleasing : [Breathing heavily] You mean, it looks like it isn't in their luggage. [Looks at Chastity] It could be hidden under someone's clothing.

Alice : [To the others] Didn't I just say that? Or did I think it?

Chastity : [To Pleasing] Don't you even try to bodily search me. If you even try I'll scream loud enough to wake Phili, never mind all your passengers. [Runs her hands over her gown] I can hardly hide myself in this item. Now, if you excuse me, I'll retire to get dressed. [Picks a habit from next to her bag and turns to go into the bathroom, revealing the words "...in my heart" on the reverse of her nightwear]

Jerome : [To Jedward] Jerome believes that he observed a certain, disreputable Mr. Slim Pickings at dinner tonight. Perhaps he may have inappropriatley appropriated Ms. Hatwearers jewel.

Jedward : Perhaps. Everyone is a suspect. However, although Mr. Pickings has expressed reservations about this ship, I do not believe that he is a thief. I did you good night.

[JEDWARD, PLEASING and STEWART slowly back out of the room.]

Jerome : [Waits until Jedward and his heavies have gone] Perhaps Ms. Hatwearers Jewel has some magic power to help identify shapeshifters, and for this reason, one, or more, shapeshifters have conspired to steal the jewel, or [spins around to face Austin] Mr. Sleaze may have it concealed someplace.

Austin : Or perhaps you do. Or perhaps Chastity has it under her tent. However, it is counter productive to bandy about such accusations until one has some kind of proof. I suggest we all retire once again.

Harvey : Well, given the ungodly hour it is, it would probably be best if we all got some -

[HARVEY is interrupted by some snoring from ALICE, who has crashed out on the bed again.]

Clint : [To himself] Jerry and his conspiracy theories. [Pulls out a pen knife and a full brandy bottle from his right pocket] Thank Phili they never checked this one! [Opens the bottle and drinks]

[There is more hammering on the door, even more urgent than before.]

Jerome : [Calling out beside the door.] Who goes there? State your business, at this most ungodly hour?

Jedward : [From without] It is Captain Jedward, let me in!

Jerome : [Opens the door tolet Jedward in] What news Captain?

Jedward : There was one place we forgot to look.

[JEDWARD, STEWART and PLEASING barge in, and run up to the dressing table, where ALICE had left the top of her toothpaste.]

Jedward : Let's see. [Lifts up the toothpaste top] Hm, nothing there.

[The three charge out again, closing the door after them. Almost immediately, there is another knock.]

Jerome : [Clears his throat. Calling out beside the door.] Who goes there? State your business, at this [Emphasis] most ungodly hour?

Vasco : [From without, urgently] It is I, Vasco de Sao Nuno Gomes, and I apologise for waking you at this most distressing hour.

Jerome : [Opens the door to Vasco] How may we help you Mr. de Sao Nuno Gomes?

Clint : [To Vasco, hidding the bottle behind his back] Have you got a search warrant?

Vasco : [Surprised the party are still up] I need to speak with you urgently, in the privacy of your cabin.

Vasco : I do not want to search your cabin! I want to talk to you! To advise you! To warn you! To [looks passed Clint at the unconscious Alice] help you put the lovely lady to bed.

Chastity : [Still in her nightgown, puts her habit back next to her bag. To Jerome] Let the man in and close that door. These sea breezes cause treacherous drafts. [ a sudden gust lifts her nighty up to her knees before Chastity manages to quickly hold down the hem of her gown.] See? My modesty was nearly compromised!

Harvey : Gah! This is the soldier's quarters, not the high-command briefing room!

Vasco : [Bows slightly] Colonel, I understand your anxiety, but I wish to share important information with you.

Jerome : [Makes sure the door is closed. To Vasco] Please share this important information now.

Vasco : [Theatrically] There has been a robbery on the ship!

Harvey : [Yawns massively] Yes, we know. Now, if you'll depart our quaters, this troop needs it's shuteye! Good night to you sir! We can speak more on this in the morning.

Jerome : [To Vasco] The captain has recently informed us that Ms Hatwearer's jewel was stolen. Is this the same robbery to which you refer?

Vasco : [Taken aback at Harvey, but turns to Jerome] Yes, Doctor. But there is another, impending robbery that I wish to warn you about.

Harvey : Another robbery? My god, it's a crime wave on this damned ship! Tell me Vasco, do you know the when, the who and the why?

Jerome : [To Vasco] Please tell the party about this impending robbery now [Jerome unsheaths and reddies Temporidus for a fight]

Clint : Another robbery? [Quickly hides the Brandy bottle behind his back again]

Vasco : I do not know the when or the who, but the why? Well, the hold of this ship is full of gold. There is over twenty million gold pieces on board, to be used to fund the war effort. We have been told by the Knights that someone is going to try and steal it.

Austin : Hm, I wonder if the normal 10% finder's fee is applicable in this case.

Harvey : [Laughs] Ha Vasco, very good, you almost had us going there! Twenty million gold pieces indeed! Why, there's not that much gold in the entire universe! Ha! [Laughs long and loud again]

Vasco : [Clearly insulted] Sir! I am Vasco de Sao Nuno Gomes, I do not lie!

Jerome : [To Vasco] Deeds most foul my friend. You imply that the ship is going to be hijacked! Such evil must be stopped at all costs.

Harvey : Sir, I did not say you lie, I said you were telling a joke, and a good one at that! [Wipes tears from his eyes] Why, you'll be telling me this ship isn't made of wood next!

Chastity : [Shrugs. To Harvey] Well, the entire universe outside the church anyway. [To Vasco] But who's war effort needs all this money? Phili's war against evil? [pauses] Don't say the North is going to attempt to rise again?

Vasco : Okay, Sister. I shall not. [Turns to Harvey] My apologies sir, but I do not appreciate being laughed at when I try to convery information. May Prince Manuel, Prince John and his Holiness the Pope forgive my ire.

Harvey : [Bows to Vasco] And may they also forgive my laughter.

Vasco : [Stiffens, and then bows slightly to Harvey] I am sure they will understand.

Faetan : [Sitting down with her legs on the table] So why are you telling us? And why at [looks at the clock] 3.30 AM?

Vasco : Because once I heard that the necklace had been stolen, I thought that perhaps the same person may be behind both crimes.

Clint : So you're telling us that twenty million gold pieces is not enough for that person?

Harvey : [Scratches at a sideburn] Hmm, I'm not so sure. Surely if you were about to steal a huge amount of money, the last thing in the world you would do is steal a little necklace, thereby alerting everyone on the ship, and having security increased tenfold? A very dangerous thing to do!

Vasco : [Looks from Clint to Harvey, puzzled] Hm, I hadn't thought of that. But, why steal twenty million? One million is enough for any man? Perhaps the thief is so arrogant greedy, he believes he can get away with it.

Faetan : So you reckon that the thief is a man?

Vasco : I did not say that.

Faetan : You said "he".

Vasco : I did not mean to imply anything. A thief is a he, in the same way a beautiful car is a she. [Flashes his devastating latin smile]

Alice : [Stirring and blinking] Hey! Turn off the lights. [Falls asleep again.]

Jerome : [Smacking his fist into his palm] A cunning ruse! The theif stole the jewel first to test the ships security, to see how they respond to a security breach, analyse their weaknesses, keep them awake all night long, then strike when they are at their weakest! Ingenious!

Vasco : [Turns to Jerome] Yes, yes! That's what I meant to say.

Clint : And you decided to come here at 3:30 in the morning to tell us this? Was it that urgent?

Vasco : I thought it was best to warn you as soon as I heard, to ensure that you weren't surprised by the Captain. I believe that you were not involved, but after what happened at dinner, I wasn't so sure that he would.

Chastity : [To Vasco] It's hardly surprising, I suppose. He's only witnessed the superficial, bickering, unruly, self-centred first impressions of the group as a whole. Of course you know differently that he just hasn't had the chance to see what a warm hearted, well meaning, dedicated generous band we really are. On Tue, 18 Jun 2002 Pates@mri.sari.ac.uk wrote:

Austin : [Looking at Faetan] Thank the good lord Phili for that, or we'd really be in trouble then.

Jerome : [To Mr. Sleaze] They may suspect that we did it deliberately to distract suspicion. Jerome believes that Mr. Gomes would like us to believe that he came to inform us of this news, but infact, has come hither with voyeuristic intentions regarding the female constituents of our party.

Vasco : [Eyes narrowing at Jerome] Good Doctor, I came to you in good faith, and I will thank you not to question my motives. Clearly, you do not welcome my efforts, and I will leave. [Glances at the clock] I will be in my cabin at about ten o'clock, if you wish to speak with me, you may come. [Starts to leave]

Chastity : [Hurriedly To Vasco] Please forgive the doctor. He is very protective of the female members of this group. We do appreciate the efforts you have taken to keep us informed. What, pray tell will you be doing until ten o'clock?

Vasco : Well, Sister, the lovely ladies on this ship, they are very lonely! [Flashes the party a smile, and shuts the door after him.]

Harvey : Indeed Vasco, there is not much to do on this ship, could we not all meet up at an earlier time? Can't have the troop lounging around in bed until the day is almost done, what!

[Alas, it is too late, and VASCO has gone to pleasure the lady passengers of the Titan Ic.]

Austin : Speaking of lounging around in bed, perhaps we should carry Alice back into the bedroom and then get some sleep ourselves, to brace ourselves for when we are marooned at Hallbridges.

Harvey : How can you think of sleep at a time like this, private? With a robbery to thwart, and people to save and an early breakfast to scoff! The laziness of some of this troop! Begins snoring immediately

Chastity : Yes, we'll be weary enough with the disturbed sleep as it is!

[Slowly the party drift off to sleep again, with HARVEY managing to stay asleep standing in the middle of the room. The hours drift by until, on CHASTITY's watch at about 8.15AM, there is another knock on the door.]

Harvey : [Snaps awake suddenly] The laziness, I tell you! [Looks around slowly at the sleeping party and tsks] Honestly! [Goes to the door] Who is it?

Stewart : [From without] It is Stewart, may I speak to you?

Chastity : [To Harvey] Hold on [Rushes through to the bedroom, where urgent rustling of clothes and grunting sounds can be heard. 20 seconds later Chastity appears, with her habit on] Ok, you can open the door now. [Looks down to notice that in her haste she put her habit on backwards] Oh, I'll sort that later.

Jerome : [Gets up and opens the door] Please, Stewart, enter and unburden your mind of it's weighty load.

Clint : [To Stewart] Do you have a search warrant?

Stewart : I don't need a search warrant.

Faetan : Oh, so you're just going to come in again, throw our stuff all over the floor and throw us off the boat, is it?

Stewart : No, I'd like to come in, not throw your stuff around and not throw you off. I hope that's okay.

Chastity : Thank Phili. In that case come in. I've always hated having my bits and pieces being flung round the bedroom and then being tossed off this early in the day.

Jerome : [Stands aside to make Stewart center stage. To Stewart] Please speak now, for time is of the essence, what news do you bring us?

Alice : [Staggering into the sitting room] Oh, man, remind me to keep away from those bacardi breezers in future.

[Enter STEWART.]

Faetan : Look, we've already been told we have to leave the ship. What is it now?

Stewart : Er, now you can't leave the ship.

Faetan : What? Make up your mind!

Harvey : Eh? What do you mean we now can't leave the ship? What sort of operation are you people running here, where each order is superceeded by a thousand others? What chain of command do you have here? Why can't we leave the ship?

Clint : What do you mean, now we can't leave the ship?

Alice : [Massaging her temples] What are you talking about?

Stweart : We are now at Hallbridges, and the local police force say that, until the necklace is found, no one gets on and no one gets off.

Faetan : [Looking out the window] What about those people getting on now?

Stewart : They're rich.

Alice : [Confused] But - but I'm rich.

Stewart : [Interested] Oh, how much money have you got on you now?

Alice : Well, none, but Daddy looks after all that kind of thing.

Stewart : I'm sorry, but unless you're a shareholder or guest of honour, you must remain on board.

Austin : [Grooming himself in the mirror, turns to Stewart] But we are guests of honour. We are guests of probably the most honourable people on this planet! [Turns back to the mirror, adjusting his tie]

Alice : Speak for yourself! [Thinks for a moment] Hey! Oh God. [Buries her head in her hands]

Harvey : [Goes over and puts his hand reassuringly on Alices shoulder] There there my dear. [Temptingly] There's a lollipop in my bag with someones name on it! But only if she's a good, brave girl!

Alice : [Incredulous] You're giving a lollipop to Faetan? [Turns her glare at Faetan]

Faetan : [Holds her hand up] It's okay, you can have it, Alice.

Alice : Is it a tequila lollipop?

[From outside on the deck comes the sound of two men talking as they approach the door. One is JEDWARD, while the other, much louder, voice is unfamiliar.]

Voice : So, where are these hooligans, eh? We should clap them in irons for the whole trip!

Alice : [Suddenly going all pale with shock] Oh. My. God.

Austin : [Slumps infront of the mirror] Dear god, why me?

Harvey : [Suddenly jumping with joy] Oh! My! God! By the saints, surely this is impossible! [Walks towards the door and flings it open wide] You there, where's that fiver you owe me, you scoundrel? [Laughs loud]

Clint : I pity the guys they are talking about. To be clamped in irons for the whole trip mustn't be nice.

Faetan : They're talking about us. [Turns to Alice] Do you know him? Is he the police chief? Some kind of tyrannical bounty hunter?

Alice : [Shakes her head, clearly deeply shocked] It's Daddy! [Bolts into the bedroom.]

[Enter ALDWYN BASSET-SHORT, with JEDWARD. As soon as he sees HARVEY, he bursts out laughing.]

Aldwyn : By the saints, if that isn't Colonel Harvey Kingston Short III! [Vigorously shakes hands with Harvey] Gah! It's good to see you Harvey! Are you trying to control these damned hooligans and hookers I've been hearing about?

Jerome : [Smiling to Aldwyn] He has been trying his best, and succeeding admirably!

Harvey : [Beaming from ear to ear] Why, it is Aldwyn Basset Short, cousin and stalwart of the Bassets, yet only the second best of the Shorts! [Laughs long and loud] Hooligans and hookers, what? Don't know anything about them! But I think you know someone else in here! [Stands away from the door, laughing and gesticulating to Alice]

Aldwyn : Good to hear, what! [Looking at the empty seat that Harvey has waved to] Good God, don't tell me you've got old Thin Timothy from the old brigade her! Actually, Harvey, I was rather hoping young Alice was with you.

Clint : [Quietly to Faetan] This is where the whole family reunion thing goes on, with hugs and kisses and tears. Yuck. [Loudly, to the bedroom] Yo Bimbo!, your Dad is here to see you!

Austin : [Quietly to Alice] Oh dear Alice, just as well you're not wearing that lovely outfit from last night, yes? Let's just hope he wasn't attending the dinner!

Faetan : [Somewhat cryptically] Don't knock family reunions Clint, some of us wish we could have them.

[Enter ALICE, dressed in an ultra-conservative Victorian type dress, her hair in pig-tails and all her make up removed. The overall effect is that she looks about fourteen years old.]

Alice : [Gives her biggest, most innocent smile to Aldwyn, before speaking through clenched teeth to Austin] Shut up, lawyer. [Out loud] Daddy! It really is you!

Aldwyn : Ah, young Alice! [Looks her up and down] Gah, looks like you've been at the biscuits again, young lady! Putting back on all that weight again!

Harvey : But Aldwyn, it's the only way for a young lady to look! None of these stick insects or health freaks in our family eh! [Slaps Aldwyn on the back] I remember the times you used to go for the plump look yourself, when it came to the ladies on the back streets of Saigon back in [looks around suddenly at Chastity and stops].

Aldwyn : Ah yes, Harvey, they could crush a man's windpipe with their thighs! [Gives Alice a stiff hug] Your mother was worried about you, but I told her not to worry, that Harvey would never dream of putting you in any remote danger. [Turns to Harvey] Now, what's this I hear about hooligans, hookers, robbery and brawls? Apparantly Jakeward here was about to bring to see some blackguards who were causing trouble last night.

Jedward : It's Jedward.

Aldwyn : Of course it is, good for you, Jakeward! [Looks around, and appears to notice the rest of the party for the first time, and gives a little jump] Egads! Where did these people come from? They must be masters of silent maneuvers, eh?

Austin : [Offers his hand] Allow me to introduce myself, I am Austin Sleaze, expert on all matters legal and good. [Reaches into his pocket and takes out a card] Please accept my card. I think you'll find my rates are excellent. [Very quietly] Especially in the area of sibling divorce. [Smiles at Aldwyn]

Harvey : [Furrows his brows] Enough private Sleaze! [To Aldwyn] Yes, they are trained well to blend into backgrounds and in various other forms of guerrila warfare! I want to keep your daughter as safe as possible, so obviously, a little training in old school military techniques would never go wasted in any young gals upbringing, what!

Aldwyn : [Takes Austin's tiny hand in his own huge one and shakes it vigorously] A lawyer eh? Can't say I ever had much time for you blighters, but you're a necessary evil, what!

Faetan : Hello. [Offers her hand] I am Faetan Jarl.

Aldwyn : [Shaking her hand] Daughter of the great HIMO Jarl?

Faetan : [Shocked] Yes, have you heard of him?

Aldwyn : It's the damnedest thing, I once met him years ago, back in my army days when I was helping to put down a band of pygmy raiders near some village, he seemed a straight enough sort, and joined us for a while when we raided their village. I must say, those blighters certainly had sharp mangoes when they tried to resist!

Aldwyn : Of course, Harvey, of course. Not that there's much point in teaching young Alice, eh? Eh? [Tousles her hair] Wouldn't know one end of a sword from another eh? Eh?

Alice : [Clearly seething] Yes, Daddy.

Harvey :[Clearly troubled] Now, now Aldwyn, Alice is a fine girl and a credit to the Bassets, and an absolute delight for the Shorts! Why, I'd be as proud as punch if she was my own!

Aldwyn : Of course she is, of course she is. [Looks around to the others.]

Chastity : Mr. Bassett-Short, I am Sister Chastity Browne.

Aldwyn : [Shaking her hand] Actually, good Sister, it is once again Colonel Bassett-Short, as I have come out of retirement to deal with these southern devils. [Looks to Harvey] Of course, I don't have quite the same depth of experience as Harvey here, but I'm sure then men will get behind me when they hear my jolly enthusiasm and see the texture of my moustache. You know, the underclass are always impressed by well groomed facial hair!

Harvey : [Claps Aldwyn on the back heartily] Colonel? You son a goat, wonderful news! Just wonderful! But of course [to the others] it was Aldwyn here who always showed an amazingly cool head in the field, what! More experienced than most men I've ever met! What a soldier! [Salutes]

Aldwyn : [Does an extravagent salute back] No sir, I believe it was you who were the cool one. Why, who else would have the gall to finish his bath when the huns were over running our base camp that morning in Timpoonagawaga? By crikey, you kept scrubbing even as those men carried the tub off the battlefield!

Jerome : I am Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD. It is a pleasure to meet you sir.

[ALDWYN shakes JEROME's hand, almost crushing it as he does so.]

Aldwyn : A Doctor, eh? [Looks to Alice] Look here girl, a doctor, we might get you married off to this one, what! [Looks to Clint] And who is this gentleman?

Clint : [Shaking Aldwyn's hand] I am Clint Scar, a fighter and defender of good habits. [Quickly hides the empty bottle of Brandy with his leg] Myself and Harvey keep an eye on this crowd [looking at the others].

Harvey : [Laughs loudly] I thank you for the accolade, Colonel, but you know as well as I, the only reason I did not leave that bathtub was because some brigand [looks sideways at Aldwyn] had smeared the bottom of the tub with super glue!

Aldwyn : True Harvey, but if I had smeared the glue on the inside then those poor blighters probably wouldn't have spent the rest of the war stuck to that bath tub, what! Still, at least it gave us a convenient way to carry things around! [Turns back to Clint] That's a fine grip sir, a pleasure to meet you. [Sniff sniff] I say, Jakeward, there is something of an odour in this room, don't your cleaners ever come in? Now, where are those bunch of hooligans that you want me to have a word with?

Jedward : [Clearly terrified] Er, I, uh -

Aldwyn : Come on, man! Speak up! [Turns to the party] I hope your dinner wasn't interrupted last night by those blighters! Throwing bread and salt cellars around, punching people, getting drunk, dressing like cheap tarts, [shakes his head] the humanity of it all. I mean, that kind of behaviour is all well and good in the officer's mess, but we bally well can't have civilians behaving like that, eh? Eh? [Bellows with laughter]

Harvey : [Stops laughing and looks at Jedward] Oh, I'm sure what happened last night has been completely forgotten by all involved! Just high jinks among the younger passengers of the crew, no harm done and a whopping good night had by all. Do you not think so, steward?

Jedward : Er, well, there were some complaints -

Aldwyn : Excellent, excellent! Now, run along little chap, I would like to talk to my friends alone.

Harvey : I sure there were complaints, steward! The rolls were harder than basalt, and the promised creme broulee didn't make an appearance, what! The large fuit basket contained fruits that tasted like wax, and the candles were scented! Scented!

Faetan : They weren't candles, they were fruit! And that wasn't a basket of fruit, it was a basket of candles!

Jedward : Yes, yes, of course.

[Exit JEDWARD.]

Aldwyn : What a queer fellow, what! [Sits down, glancing at his watch] Ah, just about time for an early morning snifter, eh? Eh? Alice, run along and get us some brandy and ports, and don't forget to get yourself a glass of milk while you're at it.

Alice : Yes, Daddy.

[Exit ALICE.]

Clint : [Screaming after Alice] I'll have my morning double wishkey!

Aldwyn : Haw! Sounds like you spent some time in the army, my lad. Harvey, I just know you and he are like brothers!

Harvey : [Darkly] No.

Aldwyn : [Guffaws loudly, punching Harvey and the shoulder] Still the joker, eh, Harv? [To Clint] The things this man used to do for brandy, haw!

[Enter ALICE with a tray of drinks, including a large glass of milk. Her face is like thunder as she comes in, but brightens up again as she enters the room.]

Clint : Ah, thank you sweet Alice. [Picks up a glass] I suppose we should make a toast, to celebrate our meeting, what! [Quick glance and smile towards Harvey]

Faetan : [Peers at Alice for a few moments, then stands up to take the tray] I've got it. Go ahead and spend some time with your da. Er, your father, I mean.

Alice : [Looks back at Aldwyn who's roaring laughing at Clint] It's fine, thanks, he's busy.

Aldwyn : [To Clint] What? A toast, what! Top idea, that man. [Turns to Harvey] You know these fine people better than I, Harvey, why don't you do the toast? [Laughs] As long as you don't tell the story about the vicar and the camel, what? [Roars laughing again]

Faetan : [Looks at Alice, looks at Aldwyn, looks at Alice] You okay?

Harvey : [Laughs loudly and raises his glass] Now that's not a story for polite society! Gah, it's not a story for any kind of society! [Taps his glass with a knife] To the continued success and happiness of our troo...group, I drink to all of your health! Let the rest of our voyage pass without incident!

Aldwyn : [Holds his glass aloft] Without incident? Not likely with two old boys from the Upper Cratle Tiddlywinks team of '51! [Knocks back his drink]

Alice : [To Faetan] I'm fine. [Turns to Aldwyn and holds her glass of milk up in toast, before drinking it.]

Aldwyn : So, what are you lot doing on this old tub? One last blast before civilisation as we know it falls apart?

Clint : [Looking in astonishement to Harvey and his drink] Err... yes, a last blast. [Downs his drink]

Aldwyn : Top, top, I say! Have you chaps heard about the gold on board? This old frigate is carrying a huge amount of gold. I'm one of the shareholders of the company who financed it, so I was allowed roll around naked on it! Haw! Makes a change from having to do it on all those puppies at home, eh, Alice? Eh?

Alice : Yes, Daddy.

Faetan : [Blinks] I must not have heard right... D-did you just say you roll around naked on puppies?!

Aldwyn : Well, live ones, we're not savages, what!

Faetan : [Stares] Why on EARTH would you-- No, I decided I don't want to know. [Downs her drink in one swig]

Clint : [Ready to grab someone else's drink from the tray] How's your milk, sweet Alice?

Jerome : [Looking at Alice in her victorian dress, downs his brandy. To Aldwyn] Is all the gold from you family fortune in this vessel, Colonel?

Alice : [Staring at Clint with a slightly psychotic look] Very refreshing.

Aldwyn : Oh, God no! However, I am one of the share holders, so I do have some money tied up here. It's just as well too, as I've heard that there is supposed to be a gang of brigands aboard, with the intent of stealing the gold. Outrageous, what!

Harvey : Outrageous I tell you! Outrageous! What's this world coming to, Colonel! Demons in the south, thieves in the north, why, the whole shebang reminds of the campaign of Cremosomeyunguy in Vietnumnum, 69! You remember, when the locals stole our cake mix from the galley! By the saints, how they paid dearly for that!

Aldwyn : By God yes! It's one thing for them to ambush our foot soldiers, but another thing altogether to disrupt the Thursday night poker game!

Faetan : So, er, Colonel, why are you on board? Are you staying for the whole trip.

[The party is disturbed by a sudden gulp from ALICE.]

Aldwyn : Gah! Control yourself girl, stop making such a bally savage of yourself, what? [To Faetan] No, I merely came on to see the finished product, and do a bit of hobnobbing with the local dignitaries and the like. [Glances at his watch] Curses! I'll have to meet that mayor of Hallbridges in a few minutes, he's just about to come on board.

Harvey : The mayor of Hallbridges, eh? Why, I'm sure we'd all like to meet that man. Infact, Colonel, we've met him before, and I'm sure he'd be just delighted to meet us again! By the saints, Colonel, but it's good to have you around! [Snaps a sharp salute to Aldwyn]

Jerome : [To Harvey] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc. PhD. concurs with your view, colonel. It would also be good to meet the mayor of Hallbridges. There are many questions Jerome would like to ask the mayor.

Aldwyn : [Saluting back] I shall arrange it immediately, come with me!

[Exit ALL out onto the deck. They make their way to where some new passengers are boarding. Standing there greeting people are JEDWARD and STEWART. Already boarded is BRANDY, who is walking off in the opposite direction, with some stewards carrying her cases, and just coming aboard is TOM BRAIDER, wearing a mayoral chain, and waving graciously to people.]

Aldwyn : There's the bounder, can't say that I like politicians myself, but this man spent some time in the constabulary, so he can't be all bad.

Austin : [Removes a sheaf of papers from his jacket] Please fill out the following forms, placing one question on each, and I will ensure the mayor of Hallbridges both receives, and replies to each in kind. For a small fee, of course. For as you no doubt know, it is not proper protocol for the head member of the towns council to reply to questions thrown at him by any old member of the public. Unless at election time, of course.

Harvey : [To Aldwyn] I know exactly what you mean, Colonel, a bunch of treacherous swine to the end! [Turns to the others] Did you see that woman Brandy is here!

Aldwyn : [To Austin] Forms? Let's not waste our time on forms! Why, if we had to get Alice here to fill one out we'd be waiting all day, isn't that right girl? [Laughs loudly.]

Alice : Yes, Daddy.

Aldwyn : Anyway, this bounder is getting a free trip on my company, so I'm sure he'll talk to you if you want to get autographs or something. Mr. Scar, you have the air of a diplomat, so perhaps you should go first.

[TOM boards, and shakes hands with JEDWARD and STEWART, before turning to ALDWYN, not seeing the party yet.]

Tom : Ah, what an honour it is to be aboard such a fine sea going vessel, with an army of men in sailor suits doing my every bidding.

Harvey : [Almost chokes on his drink] Good heavens no, Colonel, the man is no diplomat! Damned good man in a fight though, what!

Aldywn : [Breaks off from shaking hands with Tom] Gah! Harvey, are you okay? It is bally well easy to choke on these drinks! [To Alice] Quickly girl, get Harvey another drink.

Tom : [Seeing the party] Oh, um, er - well met, how great it is that even in these troubled times, such close comrades and allies as ourselves have been brought together.

Austin : [Arches an eyebrow] Why, have you some friends coming aboard?

Tom : [Laughs nervously] Well, you know, as mayor of Hallbridges, everyone's my friend! [Walks forward to a small podium with a microphone which he taps to make sure it is on] People of Hallbridges, I, ah, declare this day to be Titan Ic Day!

[The people on the dock cheer wildly.]

Clint : [To Aldwyn] I believe we have some unfinished business with Mr. Blazer. Something to talk about in private.

Harvey : Colonel, private Scar! Someting to talk about in private, Colonel!

Aldwyn : [Clapping his hand on Tom's shoulder] Is this true, Blazer?

Tom : I believe so, but I am in the middle of a speech!

[Off to one side, the others can see ALICE putting out a cigarette, before returning with another drink for HARVEY.]

Aldwyn : Look sir, this man [juts his thumb at Clint] is responsible for the moral wellbeing of my daughter, and when he says he wants to speak with you, that's what you'll do!

[Some security men start approaching the group.]

Austin : [Steps forward and flashes his bar ID] If one of you take one more step towards my clients, you'll find yourselves in a court of law sooner than you can sing the first verse of Let My People Go! If you harm the smallest hair on my clients head, I'll make sure the judge wears a black cap during your trial, and you know what that means! [To Braider] Come quietly for that chat Braider, or by justices scales, I'll air your dirty underwear in public! And to hell with an injunction! Security man #1 : Er, who is your client?

Jedward : [To Aldwyn] Sir, I am sorry, but I cannot allow this.

Tom : It's okay, I always have time to talk with my fans. Let's go to my suite, and we can discuss things there.

[Book III, Act I, Scene V. Tom Braider's Suite. TOM, ALDWYN, CLINT, CHASTITY, FAETAN, HARVEY, AUSTIN, ALICE and JEROME are here, having just arrived in. The suite is huge compared to the party's one, and has a large table in the middle.]

Aldwyn : [To Austin] I like the cut of your jib, young fellow. The scent of soap is a little too strong for my liking, but I admire the manner in which you handled him. Gah! I can't abide bullies! [To Alice] Don't just stand there, girl, get us some drinks.

Alice : [Deep, but quiet, sigh] Yes, Daddy.

Tom : Er, so, how can I help you?

Austin : [Sniffs at himself] I think you'll find, friend Colonel, that that is the scent of success! No stranger to it yourself, I'll warrant.

Aldwyn : I bally well know that smell alright, but when I last smelled in the army, those chaps didn't success, what! [Roars laughing, elbowing Alice as he does, causing her to spill some of the drinks she's just poured out] Eh? Eh? Oh, look, you clumsy girl, be more careful!

Alice : Yes, Daddy.

Tom : Look, I'm in a hurry, what do you want?

Chastity : [Finally getting a word in past all the military guffawing. To Tom] We'd like to know what happened to us after we were elected Mayors of Hallbridges. We've been hearing some slanderous rumour that we were shape shifters and dispatched off to a secure area. Next we hear you are mayor. I think we are due an explanation.

Austin : [With pen and paper poised] And you can be sure that each word is being noted down and cross examined! These people are witnesses.

Faetan : And remember, these people were there when it happened, so don't you dare try and lie to us.

Aldwyn : [Nodding his head in admiration at Faetan] Well said, girl. How great it is to see such a strong woman, you could learn a lot off her, Alice.

Alice : Yes, Daddy.

Tom : Well, it was like this. [A look of shock and horror comes over his face as he points back at the door behind the party] Oh my GOD!

Chastity : [Continuing to look at Tom] We're not falling for that old politicians trick "there's something behind you".

Tom : Er, sorry, I thought there was something behind you. Look, I'm not sure what happened - I heard that you had won StarSearch(TM), and was on my way to congratulate you, when someone produced some kind of machine that can determine shape shifters. By the time I got there, all that was left was a small bowl of jelly for each of you. The townspeople were terrified, leaderless and hopeless, so I did what any one would do, I called another election immediately.

Clint : [Still looking at the door behind them] I still can't figure out what's wrong with the door.

Aldwyn : Let me see it. [Grabs the door and swings it open, smacking himself in the face with it] Gah! Damned civilian doors, what?

Tom : [Composing himself] Now, if that's all, I have a lot of work to do, so please leave my room.

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc. PhD. does not recall seeing any machine, or any bowls of jelly. Why were we abducted and thrown into the asylum, and who committed this heinous crime?

Chastity : I can't tell if your lying or not. You are a politician and your speaking, so you should be lying. But you also have the training of the police force ingrained into you, technically rendering incapable of telling a lie.

Harvey : Very civic of you Braider! And who was this person who invented the machine, Wolfpack, or gang, or whatever that rum coves name is?

Tom : I have no idea, I'm sure. I can only go on what I was told. You might want to take the matter up with Matty Feeler.

Aldwyn : [Still staggering slightly from the door] Bowls of jelly? Asylums? Gah, I hope this was before you met these people, Alice!

Alice : [Looking down guiltily] Yes, Daddy.

Tom : [Bows slightly to Chastity] Correct sister. As a police officer the only behaviour I know is good, the only manner of speaking true, and the only manner of interaction intimidation - I mean, co-operation! [To Harvey] I do not know. I was not there when the machine was used.

Jerome :[To Tom] So you claim that you had nothing to do with our abduction and being thrown into the asylum?

Harvey : All easily explained Colonel, but it will have to be on the QT for now! Too many ears listening, top secret, coded messages and all that! Just like my sister Beryls great doll snatch, back in '51, remember? [Laughs loudly]

Chastity : Your sister Beryl's great doll snatch? What ever happen to the days where children's dollies were anatomically androgynous?

Jerome : [To Chastity] Jerome believes that the Colonel was referring to the inappropriate appropriation of the doll, not any of it's anatomical features.

Clint : [Looking from Chastity to Jerome] Yes, yes, I know what you mean.

Harvey : [Quietly to Jerome, but in a Harvey type of quiet] Eh? What? Has the sister had a little too much to drink? Didn't understand a word of that!

Austin : [To Jerome, looking at Aldwyn and Harvey] I wouldn't be too sure about that, Jerome.

Tom : [Confused at all this inappropriate talk of dolls] That is correct, I had nothing to do with it.

Harvey :[To Tom] So how did you know there was a machine involved, eh? What do you say to that!

Chastity : [To Jerome] Good. That's one less moral crusade I have to embark on when I return to the convent. [To Tom] As a politician, surely standard phrase is "I have no knowledge of that incident". Anyway, where is Matty Feeler now-a-days? Prepaing for another show?

Tom : Matty told me.

Aldwyn : [Taking some ice out of Alice's glass of water to hold up to his forehead] Tricky little customer, isn't he, Harvey? An answer for everything, what!

Harvey : Gah, curse these politicians! Slimier than a turk smeared in grease at a turkish wrestling match, what!

Tom : Sorry Sister, but my policeman's bluntness and honesty often overcomes my inbuilt politician's propensity for lying. As for Mr. Feeler, I believe that he was brought to a mental asylum, apparantly after his experience with the shapeshifters.

Aldwyn : [To Alice] Shapeshifters? Asylums? Scantily dressed girls greased up for Turkish wrestling? I'm glad you're not involved in all this!

Alice : [Taking a drink of her milk] Yes, Daddy. [Looks curiously at the milk, as though there is a strange taste off it.]

Austin : Oh, how convenient for you, Mr Braider, that the only witnesses you mention, the only ones who could corroborate your story, are beyond our reach, and by fact that having being institulionalised, are not credible even were they to take the stand!

Tom : [Pointing at Austin] Do not take that tone with me sir! I am a victim of circumstances, and have had the limelight thrust upon me! I did not seek public service, but I stepped forward when I was needed. Furthermore, if, as you claim, that he is not a credible witness due to his time in an institution, is it not also true that you yourselves are not credible witnesses?

Austin : Only a madman would call any of these people as a credible witness, and therefore, by me not doing so, prove myself perfectly sane. But moments before [consults his notes] you said you yourself called a new election! How, as you now claim, does that mean you did *not* seek public service? Surely those who do not seek public service would *not* call a new election!

Tom : By that argument sir, you are both sane and insane, which suggests to me that you are quite insane. I stand by what I said, I did not actively seek public service, but when I saw the state of distress that the town was in, it was obvious to me that the only way to save the town was to step forward. There is a difference between those who do not actively seek public service and those who do not care for their town. I can assure you, sir, that I am in the former category, not the latter.

Austin :And how many candidates stood forward for election as the mayor of Hallbridges? I'll warrant one! And that, sir, was you! A dictatorship with which to strangle the liberties and democracy of all it's citizens! It this not so, Mr Mayor?

Tom : It is not. There were a number of candidates. [To Aldwyn] I appreciate that you have some influence on this ship, but I must insist that you take these people from my room.

Aldwyn : Gah, cantankerous individual, isn't he? Come on, let's leave. [To Chastity] If you'd like, I can tell you all about that doll snatch, why [a smile comes over his face] I have to admit I was buried in it up to my neck, my neck I say!

Harvey : [Glowering at Austin, turns to Tom] Good day to you Mr Mayor, and I for one can't wait to meet with you again! An absolute pleasure!

Chastity : [To Aldwyn] I think you'd better just keep that story to yourself. Especially with your daughter present. [Turns to leave the room]

[Exit all party members, back to their own room.]

Aldwyn : You know Harvey, I've been enjoying your company, and of course the girl too, that I think I'll stay on board for a little while. [To the party in general] What do you say? [Gives Clint a pretend angry look] I know you won't object, what!

Harvey : [Claps Aldwyn on the back] Why, Colonel, that's the best news I've heard all day! Sterling stuff, just capital! Hope to catch the thieves in action eh! The only thing stolen on this ship will be the wrongdoers hopes of getting away scot free! Ha, oh, apart from that womans necklace, of course!

Aldwyn : Excellent! There is a special suite set aside for shareholders, so myself and young Alice can take that. Spend a little quality time together, what? Won't that be great, girl, eh? Eh?

Alice : Yes, Daddy.

[Exit ALICE and ALDWYN.]

Austin : Alice seemed overjoyed with the family reunion, did she not. I'd say it was quite a success.

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD also believes it was a great success, and further believes that the demure look suits Alice very well.

Faetan : [Sitting down on the table, feet on a chair] No disrespect, Harv, but what are we going to do about Aldwyn? If the Knights get in contact what are we going to do about Alice? What happens if he realises that her new found plumpness isn't a result of too many biscuits?

Harvey : [Scratches absently at a sideburn] Hmm, we'll detonate that bridge when we come to it, my dear. But Colonel Aldwyns one of the best, you should all be overjoyed at his offer of aid! I must admit though, poor Alice seemed to get a rough time of it! Perhaps you, Faetan, could call on them soon and ask if Alice can come out to play? The colonel won't be able to refuse that, what!

Clint : Alice and Fae, giggling in the playground, isn't that sweet! [Sits down] I think I'm going to be sick.

Faetan : Play?

[The door opens, and ALICE comes in and slams it after her, leaning back against it, and gives a huge sigh with her eyes shut, before looking at the rest of the party.]

Alice : Not a word, okay?

Faetan : [Growling at Clint] Keep that up, and I'll *make* you sick!

Clint : Sorry Fae, couldn't resist. [To all] So, what are we going to do now? Should we try to make our own investigation on the robbery of the jewel? I think the best way would be to mingle with the other passengers. The best place to do that is the bar, obviously.

Harvey : [Gives Alice a smile] You must be delighted your dad is here, dearest niece! [To Clint] If by mingle, you mean fight with, then I say no, private Scar! And certainly not in the bar! Remember troop, that Brandy woman is onboard! First thing is to find out, covertly, what she's doing here. I'll warrant my next serving of creme broulee, that she'll be involved with the attempted robbery!

Alice : [Taking out a cheese doobie from down the front of her dress, and helping herself to one of the glasses of brandy from earlier] You've got a point, Stinky, but [lights up the cigaratte and takes a huge, satisfying drag] we're going to have to keep things under control this time. And that means no throwing stuff at people or insulting people, no matter how big their hats are.

Faetan : Look, I'm just not used to being spoken down to like that, and it's hard to sit by when someone does it to my - [pauses, as though thinking about her next word] to the people I'm with. If we can keep away from her, we should be okay.

Alice : [Takes another drag, followed by a gulp of brandy which makes her wince] Yes, Harvey.

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD believes that an investigation of the bar would be an appropriate avenue of investigation, and is sure that the more belligerent members of the party can conduct themselves appropriately. Isn't that correct, Clint?

Austin : Maplin also feels the need to manfully grasp a glass of Gringripper '69, showing how the light reflects off his beautiful creamy surface.

Alice : Funny, I thought there was only one thing that you could manfully grip, Austin.

Jerome : Then it is decided, we shall go to the bar, and mingle with the good people there, and to our utmost not to punch, stab, gouge or insult any one.

Clint : [With a cheer] Agreed! [To Faetan] So please behave.

Faetan : [Grins] Like you're the best example I've got, Pearse puncher? It's a shame Austin hadn't stolen it...I was all ready to sing his praises for shoving it in the face of that snot.

Chastity : Enough of that sinful talk, my girl! Robbery and aggression are nothing to be proud of. [Sigh] Even with all the tithes the church has, sometimes forcibly collected, they still haven't figured out a way to teach that to people. [Glances at Alice] Alice, are you sure you should be doing that with your father on board.

Alice : [Putting the cigarette out in the glass, and snapping snottily] Yes, Sister.

Faetan : C'mon Alice, why don't you just tell your old man how it is? No shame in being a warrior, the rest of these guys can attest to what you've done.

Alice : What do you mean? I'm not ashamed of anything! I'm not hiding anything from him!

[There is a knock on the door, and ALDWYN's unmistakable booming voice calls out.]

Aldwyn : Hello!

Alice : You haven't seen me! [Legs it into the bathroom.]

Faetan : Whatever. [Opens the door] Sir?

Aldwyn : Ah, Ms. Jarl, thank you, what! [Walks into the room and claps his hands] It seems like young Alice is tired, probably from the excitement of seeing me! She's taking a rest, [thoughtful] strangely enough through, she insisted on picking the room with a port hole that overlooked the deck, rather than the water. Anyway, [eyes up the cigarette in the brandy glass] what mischief are you lot up to?

Harvey : [To Aldwyn] Aldwyn old boy, come in, come in!

Faetan : We were just talking to--I mean, about your daughter.

Harvey : Confiscated from a lout in steerage! Honestly, the way some of these plebians stagger about the boat, in their tam o shanters and knobbly wooden sticks, you'd think they owned it! By the saints, he's won't be smoking in the no smoking section again, the oaf!

Aldwyn : Haw! Well done sir, it reminds me of that time I caught another oaf not smoking in the smoking section! By God he knew what it meant to smoke after he had eaten all those cigarettes, what! [To Faetan] Good, good. A fine girl, fine girl. A bit too much like her mother in the smarts department and her devotion to biscuits, but a fine girl. Tell me, how's your father? It must be six months since I've spoken to him. How's that business of his?

Faetan : Oh, he's-- [Double take] Wh...what...? Six months?! That's impossible, he... Where was he?!

Aldwyn : [Momentarily disturbed by what appears to be the sound of someone's teeth grinding coming from the bathroom] He was on Delerium, an island just south east of here, in fact, it's the next stop for this ship. Why are you so surprised?

Faetan : [Fidgets, looks at her feet] I thought he'd... But that's not important now. We have to see if he's still there! Oh, he'd be a tremendous asset to this party, he's the most frightful warrior that ever lived...truly legendary!

Harvey : [Gasps] You mean your father is Conan? Awwwwwwwww! You're no fun! Not even a hint? Will we get to find out more on the island?

Aldwyn : [Booming even louder than before] Party? Party? [Turns to Harvey with a look of accusation] Party?

Jerome : May Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD interject for a moment -

Aldywn : [Bursts out laughing] Haw! You haven't changed a bit, you old dog! Arranging a party behind my back as a surprise, what! I can't wait for it! [Goes serious for a moment] We'll have to see if we can't arrange for the good Sister Chastity to baby sit Alice while we're out cavorting. [Turns to Faetan] If your father's strip club is anything to go by, he certainly will be a fearsome party warrior! Woooooooooo!!!! This must be why Sven couldn't say anything about him!

Aldwyn : [Momentarily disturbed by what appears to be the sound of someone's teeth grinding coming from the bathroom] He was on Delerium, an island just south east of here, in fact, it's the next stop for this ship. Why are you so surprised?

Faetan : [Fidgets, looks at her feet] I thought he'd... But that's not important now. We have to see if he's still there! Oh, he'd be a tremendous asset to this party, he's the most frightful warrior that ever lived...truly legendary!

Harvey : [Gasps] You mean your father is Conan?

Aldwyn : [Booming even louder than before] Party? Party? [Turns to Harvey with a look of accusation] Party?

Jerome : May Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD interject for a moment -

Aldywn : [Bursts out laughing] Haw! You haven't changed a bit, you old dog! Arranging a party behind my back as a surprise, what! I can't wait for it! [Goes serious for a moment] We'll have to see if we can't arrange for the good Sister Chastity to baby sit Alice while we're out cavorting. [Turns to Faetan] If your father's strip club is anything to go by, he certainly will be a fearsome party warrior!

Faetan : [Slightly bewildered] What? No no...he didn't run a strip club or a talk show! He's a Hierophantic Knight after all.

Harvey : [In a gentle manner] Faetan, dear girl, there's no need to be embarassed about your roots! We're not going to laugh at the truth!

Aldwyn : A what? [Laughs for a moment] Like all fathers, he probably told you a little white lie to romanticise his real job. Why, for years young Alice believed that I was a high powered property dealer!

Jerome : What was your job sir?

Aldwyn : [As though it's obvious] I was a high powered property dealer! [Turns to Faetan] It's a fine establishment, you should be proud of him!

Faetan : But it IS true!! He and Sven went out quite often to rid the world of evil... There's no reason why he'd open up a strip club. It must be someone else. Maybe he had a cousin and never told us.

Austin : [Interested] Tell me Mr Basset Short, what's the exact address of this strip club? I think I'll need to scope out this establishment extensively, and report my findings in a proper legal manner! You'll find my rates for such exhausting work quite reasonable, I can assure you, dear Faetan!

Chastity : Of course it is dear. [To Aldwyn] What kind of awful sinfulness went on in this place?

Aldwyn : Why, I suppose it must have been a cousin. This chap was tall, very broad shouldered, and long red hair that was always dirty, blue eyes that had the look of someone who's been smoking too much cheese, oh, and a permanent five o'clock shadow! Can you imagine that? [Laughs loud, until he catches Chastity's eye] Er, well, that's what he looked like.

Clint : I believe the Colonel isn't talking about a male strip club, Lawyer.

Faetan : [Shakes her head] Couldn't be him, then...he loved his hair, took great pride in washing it. But still...if we have time, I'd sure love to check it out.

Aldwyn : [Almost spitting he's so angry] Damned right I'm not! [Claps Clint on the back thunderously, turning to Harvey] By crikey! I can see why you and he are such friends! [Turns back to Austin] You keep your filthy thoughts to yourself, my [almost spits it out] man! Gah, it was bad enough with Alice's brother, Fabian, and his collection of ninth century eastern wedding dresses, but suggesting that I have been to a male strip club, owned by this girl's father's cousin, no less, why, it is outrageous, outrageous!

Austin : Then I'm sure you shouldn't have a problem gaining employment there, Scar, when you sword arm goes as limp as that other part of you!

Aldwyn : [Calming down] I don't mean to pry, my girl, but surely you should know where your father is. [Tries to whisper, but sounds almost as loud as a Harvey whisper] You know, I did hear that before he set up the strip club he was a fine warrior, but lost his nerve in a fight in his home town.

Faetan : Bah, lies! He was struck down in battle with his worst enemy, and died a true hero's death. [Puts her hand on her heart] He would never have abandoned Cross.

Harvey : [Cupping his hand to his ear] What's that Colonel? Can't hear a damned word! Not since that demob concert for the boys back in Tet, '68! That damned drummer played his drums far too loudly! Strangely enough, sounds just like the blackguard you described running that club, what!

Clint : I certainly wouldn't mind working there, Lawyer. I'm not sure about you - too many women around?

Austin : Was that his pet name for you?

Aldwyn : Gah, that drummer was far dirtier and bore far more of the hallmarks of too much cheese consumption, Harvey! [Turns to Faetan] Lies? Lies? I am merely telling you what I saw, and no more.

Faetan : Huh, what? [Glances at Clint] Oh, him. Last X 3 #63

[There is the sound of a large bang from the bathroom.]

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD will investigate.

Harvey : Indeed Faetan, my cousin is no liar, and I'll ask you to remember it! Perhaps it's this blackguard who's running the club is the liar!

Jerome : [Returning from the bathroom] The, er, window was open.

Aldwyn : [Loudly to Harvey] Colonel! I thank you for your defence, and I salute you! [Gives an extravagent salute to Harvey]

Faetan : [Glances towards the bathroom with a concerned frown] Too right, Harvey, I was referring to the rumors, not Aldwyn... So does anyone object if I pop off briefly to check this place out? I want to find out just who's impersonating my father. He DID say that his name was Himo, didn't he?

Harvey : [Spins around and salutes back] The honour is mine to salute such a bastion of virtue and the very essence of the military mind, Colonel!

Aldwyn : Colonel, you embarass me with your praise!

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD certainly would not mind checking out this individual.

[The door swings open, and ALICE comes in, panting and dishevelled, clearly having taken a bit of fall recently.]

Aldwyn : Alice, gah! Look at the state of you! Quickly, into the bathroom and tidy yourself up.

Alice : Yes, Daddy. [Goes back into the bathroom]

Harvey : Then it's a done deal, lads! As soon as this ship reaches the island of Delerium, we'll check out this club and sort out this impostor!

Clint : [To himself] Mingling in the bar, checking out strip clubs... this trip is definitely going to be a great party!

Faetan : [Smiles to Harvey, not having heard Clint's response] Excellent, thanks. [Glances sidelong at Aldwyn] You know, Alice has grown up into a remarkable young woman, wouldn't you say? Very strong, very able. Mightn't she best come along with us? With her unique...views...she might see something we wouldn't.

Aldwyn : It certainly is, soldier! It certainly is. [Lowers his voice once more, to the traditional Short family shout] However, I'd appreciate it if you could keep things down around my daughter, she has delicate sensibilities and is unfamiliar with the whole experience of alcohol, drugs, strippers and bars. She's much more into flowers, frills and puppies.

Aldwyn : Yes, yes, of course she has. [Gives Harvey a knowing smile] As long as myself or Harvey is there to chaperone her, I don't think there'll be a problem.

[ALICE returns from the bathroom.]

Harvey : [Beams at Alice] Ah, here she is now! Poor thing, stomach must be upset by the motion of the boat! [Turns to Aldwyn, and lowers his voice a notch] You know women and sea travel, what!

Faetan : [A bit bolder] She might even go incognito, 'what.' Dress like one of us, in traveling garb. That way she wouldn't stand out.

Aldwyn : Ah, yes, of course, and you know Alice's stomach and biscuits, eh? Eh? Come on, Alice, we're all going to the bar to find some thieves.

Alice : Yes, Daddy. [As she walks passed Faetan, she glares at her and hisses] Shut up!

Faetan : [Hissing back] TELL him! He should know!

Alice : [Eyes wide in anger] No!

Aldwyn : [Escorting Alice out the door] Now, there's no need to be frightened, Alice, myself, Harvey and uncle Clint will be here to protect you.

Alice : Yes, Daddy.

[Exit ALDWYN and ALICE, but leaving the door open, so clearly expecting the others to follow.]

Faetan : Anybody have a clue as to what the hell is going on with them?

Harvey : Come come, lads! [Bows to Chastity and Faetan] And ladies, of course! We've some thieves to catch and I daresay, breakfast to scoff!

Chastity : It seems that the Alice we all know and love wasn't always quite the tearaway that we have become accostomed to.

Faetan : Breakfast...sounds good. Let's go.

[Exit ALL to the dining room. It is similar to the previous night, with people sitting around eating. All those familiar to the party are here, sitting at various tables, including ARAMIS, the PEARCES, IRVING etc. There is one spare table.]

Aldwyn : Ah, this looks like a fine table. [Sits, and says loudly to the party] So, did you lot see that bunch of hooligans last night? They could be suspects in the robbery!

Clint : [Pointing at the Pearces table] They're sitting right there, Colonel!

Faetan : [Shrugs and sits down] Always had sort of a weak spot for 'bad boys,' I guess.

Aldwyn : [Looks at Clint, before turning and glaring at the Pearces] Those people, is it? [Turns back to Faetan] Which of them were you married to?

Austin : [To Faetan] Ah, hence your devotion to Austin.

Faetan : [Blinks] Devotion? Nah. I usually go for guys like Clint...'cept they bathe more often. And I'm not married, Aldwyn. Especially not to rats like those.

Austin : Indeed Aldwyn, those are the perpitrators of last nights debacle. Ruffians and law breakers! You should have a strong word with the owners of the ship, preventing their ilk from gaining passage. Of course, if you'd like me to draft a legal document pertaining to the aforementioned, I'll willingly do it for a trifling fee.

Aldwyn : I hope you weren't hear to witness those goings on, those ruffians. Why, if my daughter had to witness any such insane goings on as people throwing salt cellars about, why, I'll thrash them within an inch of their lives. [Turns around to face the Pearces] Within an inch of your lives, do you hear? Daddy Pearce : The whole God damned ship can hear you.

Aldwyn : Good. [Satisfied]

[ARAMIS approaches the table.]

Aramis : Ah, good morning. [Looks around the table, but does a double take on Alice] Well, well, someone I didn't get to meet last night?

Alice : [To Aldwyn, by way of explanation] I went to bed early last night, Daddy, when the others were in here.

Aldwyn : That's my girl.

Aramis : [With a playful smile] Is she?

Faetan : Yes, that's our Alice. Daughter of Aldwyn. Have you met previously? [Grins]

Harvey : Yes indeed she is, Aramis! I'd like to meet Colonel Aldwyn Basset Short, major shareholder in this venture and a man of unquestionable repute! Aldwyn, meet Mr Aramis, a good and courageous swords man, with a charm and rare wit sharper than his foil!

Aramis : [Raises an eyebrow at Harvey, before looking to Faetan] I am quite sure that we did not meet before. [Alice breathes an audible sigh of relief, but Aramis continues loudly] For I am sure that I would remember a soldier of such noble bearing and important standing as the good Colonel. [Bows deeply] It is an honour sir. Of course, I have seen your daughter before, but not looking like this.

Aldwyn : You have?

Alice : [Hoarsely] You have?

Aramis : I have. It was in a wonderful, glorious dream. I dreamt that I met you on the island of Bacardi, but you are even more wonderful in the flesh. [Makes a big production of kissing her hand]

Aldwyn : [Laughing, and sounding quite like a donkey] Island of Bacardi, what! Excellent, sir, excellent! Isn't he a card, Alice?

Alice : Yes, Daddy.

Faetan : Aramis, you ever been to the island of Delerium?

Aramis : Indeed, dear lady, and it is indeed a dark place, although I believe that some loathsome men enjoy it. It is a place quite inappropriate for a group such as this. It is, I fear, inhabited by nothing other than pimps and rugby players.

Faetan : That is where our course will be taking us. Someone is disgracing the Jarl name, as a strip club owner is going under the name of my late father. [Pause] Out of curiosity, why would a ship full of snobs be heading to such a loathsome place, if indeed it IS so loathsome?

Chastity : [To Faetan] If there is one thing that the rich like to do away from prying eyes, on a far off island for example, is indulge in loathsome practices. [Shakes her head] Such is High Society.

Jerome : Jerome believes that it is an appropriate moment to confirm our plan. We disembark onto the island of Delerium, locate and reconoitre the establishment being run by the impostor Himo Jarl. Alice will dress in a less conspicuous manner, Mr. Sleaze will take care of legal matters, Colonel [Looks at Harvey], Colonel [Looks at Aldwyn], Clint and Jerome will protect Alice from the ill sounds and sights of such a place. What action should we follow upon locationg the impostor?

Aramis : Absolutely Sister! [To Faetan] The reason a ship full of snobs [smiles to the rest of the group] present company excepted, of course [carries on] is because it is such a loathsome place. [Shakes his head sadly] The things that go on there, men drinking wine out of prostitutes shoes and other, far worse things that I daren't taint this wonderful company's ears with. [To Alice] I hope I haven't shocked you too much.

Alice : No, not too much.

Aldwyn : I think you should bally well insist the fellow has a bath, what! Good Doctor, while it gratifies me no end, [thunders out] no end [normal voice] that yourself and Uncle Clint will protect my daughter's piety and purity, I will be able to do that myself. I have an office on the island, a sort of tourist business that caters for snobs who wish to tour the more loathsome parts of the island. Alice can either stay on board, or come to the office with me and read some comics.

Alice : Yes Daddy, reading comics sounds like wheeze.

Harvey : Ha, that's sorted then! When do we reach this island of debauchery?

Aldwyn : We should get there about about eighteen hundred hours, Colonel. [To the rest of the party] That's 5PM to you civilians. [Laughs aloud, but then stops abruptly] No, 7PM! 6! Gah, confounded civilian clocks! [Spots Duncan] You! Get us some breakfast - I'll have fried everything and a brandy, while my daughter will just have half grapefruit. [Pretend scolding to Alice] We'll have to look after you, girl, or we'll have to start calling you Pudge again, what!

Alice : Yes, Daddy.

Duncan : [Sullenly, to the party] Awright, moan sewers, what'll it be?

Harvey : Like the Colonel, I'll have fried everything two. Infact, make that two fried everythings! And [smacking his lips] now that I have the taste for it, another double brandy!

Austin : I for one, believe my heart is an essential part of my body, so I'll have a diet mineral water and dry water biscuit. Unsalted. And this mornings copy of Legal Law Court Minute By Minute Non Libelous News.

Duncan : Awrigh' Jimmy.

Aramis : My friends, I spoke with the Captain, but it seems that some one else got there before me. [Takes a long look at Adlwyn, before looking around at the party] I'm glad to hear that you'll be on board for the whole trip. I'm sure it will exhilirating [flashes his brightest smile] in all sorts of ways.

Chastity : [To Duncan] I don't like to start the day with anything too heavy, so just a fruit juice and a small bowl of dry muesli for me. Oh, and a side plate of bacon, sauages, beans, eggs and a couple of slices of fried bread. Oh, what the heck, as we're on a liner, throw in a couple slices of black pudding as well. [Looks round the other diners] And some hash browns.

Jerome : [To Duncan] Je prendrai un plein petit déjeuner continental, et une eau-de-vie fine.

Harvey : Goodness doctor, if it tastes like it sounds, it'll certainly be a big mouthful, eh!

Duncan : [To Chastity] Right ye are, hen! Ah'll be back wi' the food soon and will get more orders then. [Looks at Jerome] Er, okay. Bon soir, or, matin, or whatever the fuck it is. [Storms off mumbling and cursing to himself]

[Enter BRANDY, who comes over to the table.]

Brandy : [With a huge, wonderful smile] Well, hello!

Aramis : Oh now, come on! Surely this is illegal! How can one table have so many such beautiful women at it! If this continues, why, the captain will have us put off the ship! [Stands up]

Harvey : [Stands also] Madam, we have no desire of your company this morning, good day to you! [Sits down again]

Brandy : [Puts her hand to her breast, but doesn't look too shocked] Colonel, can it be true? [Looks around to the others] What have I done to offend you?

Aldwyn : [Whispering, in typical form, to Harvey] Steady on old boy! What is this about?

Chastity : [To Brandy] You seem to have misunderstood the Colonel's [Looks at Harvey] That's you Colonel [Turns to Aldwyn] Not you, Colonel [back to Brandy] order. He was ordering a drink, and not addressing you.

Clint : [To Brandy, ironic voice] Hi, Brandy. [Turns to the others] Anyway, where's that butler gone? I haven't order my breakfast yet.

Austin : I believe this woman eat Harveys pie on last meeting when his attention was elsewhere. A despicable act, don't you think?

Brandy : [Warmly, with a wonderful smile] Hi Clint, I know that you can't be angry with me, but, you know, I think the girls aren't too happy with you.* [Sits down]

Aramis : [To Clint] Hm, you old heartbreaker!

[DUNCAN returns, loaded down with food, and passes it around to those who've ordered, and then stands staring glumly at CLINT, notepad in hand.]

Harvey : [Startled and incredulous] Did you? Well madam, than I'll have even less dealing with you!

Brandy : Oh, now, don't tell me that you're still angry after our little tiff, are you?

Harvey : I believe we are woman, and it would wise for you to find another table!

Chastity : [To Brandy] I would ask what you are doing on this ship, but considering its destination I presume that you've a case full of wine-proof shoes with you!

Brandy : [Looks around the table, smiling at everyone] Well, I'm sure that we have plenty of time to become friends again. [Gives Austin a particularly warm smile] There's always a special place in my heart for you, sweetie. [Gets up] I'm sure I'll see you all at Himo Jarl's place. [Gives a nod to Faetan, and walks off]

Faetan : What? How the hell does she know who I am?

Aldwyn : Well, [munching a huge sausage] it sure sounds like there's a story there, eh? Eh?

Harvey : Indeed Colonel, I'm sure there is! But, by the saints, a story should never get in the way of a good breakfast, eh! [Munches loudly on a huge fried chicken]

Aldwyn : Too true, too true! [Looks to Alice with her grapefruit] Tuck in girl, tuck in!

Alice : [Points behind Aldywn and cries out] Oh no!

[As ALDYWN turns to look, ALICE grabs a handful of CHASTITY's black pudding and shoves it into her mouth, washing it down with half her coffee, before returning to her angelic look.]

Aldwyn : [Turning back] What is it, girl?

Alice : [Muffled through all the food] Nomfing Dadfy, sforry!

Chastity : [Looks at Alice in surprise, slack jawed. So surprised is she at this food pilfering that an entire slice of black pudding rolls off her tongue and falls back onto her breakfast plate, nestling in with the scrambled eggs and some beans. Looking down at her plate] Hmmm. At least I've some black pudding left. [Quickly puts the slice back in her mouth and chews it down feverishly]

Clint : [Putting away his fork, after a failed attempt to rob Chastity's slice of black pudding] Damn. Almost.

Jerome : [To Clint] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc. PhD. could not help but notice your abysmal attempt to pilfer one of sister Chastity's black puddings, and [pauses to breath] finds it necessary to imbue upon your naive bonce, the knowledge that you may order as many black puddings as you are able to consume, simply make the request to the waiter and he shall provide.

Clint : [Puzzled] Euh? Can someone translate, please?

Chastity : [Pauses to swallow the mouthful of food she's eating and waves a fork in CLints direction] What Jerome was saying was "Get your own, morning breath!", in a couple more words.

Jerome : [To Clint, slowly] You may have as much food as you can eat. Order it from the waiter. The Waiter is called Duncan. [Eats his croissant. Drinks his coffee. To the party] The party should consume a solid breakfst meal, as one never knows when one will recieve one's next meal, and the party don't want to march on an empty stomach. [Nods to Harvey]

Chastity : Good point, Doctor. [Turns to call to Duncan, pointing at her place setting in a circular motion] Same again please, waiter. [Glances at Alice. To Duncan] With a double helping of blackpudding this time.

Faetan : [Nods at Jerome] Well spoken. [To the waiter] Protein. Bacon, eggs, sausage, a side of steak... And a large glass of milk. [Peers at Chastity's black pudding, one eyebrow raised] What kind of stuff is that? Is it sweet? pudding is...erk!

Duncan : [Angrily to Jerome] Mah name's nae Duncan, ye daft bam! It's [pauses to look at his name tag] Marcel.

Aldwyn : Extra black pudding? [Roars with laughter, spraying crumbs around] Better keep that away from Alice! [To Alice] You were always a bit too partial to that, young lady!

Alice : Yes, Daddy.

Clint : [To Duncan] I'll have a big fry then. With an extra dose of white pudding.

Chastity : [To Faetan] Aaah, Black Pudding, [Prongs a piece of black pudding on her fork and holds it up adoringly] one of the great creations of Phili's civilised society. It's essentially congealed pig's blood in a length of intestine bound with all the goodness of rusk and bits of fat. Truly a culinary masterpiece. Not to be confused with the Scottish haggis, of course, which has oats and minced animal parts. [Licks her lips] Another taste sensation [crams the pudding slice in her mouth eagerly]

Jerome : [To Chastity] The doctor concurs, black pudding is indeed a great creation, and far superior to white pudding, a laughable substitute.

Clint : [To Duncan] Make that two extra doses of white pudding. My favorite laughable substitute.

Jerome : [To Clint] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc, PhD is suprised at Mr. Scars choice of puddings, the white pudding contains no blood, and is low in protein value in comparison to the black pudding.

Clint : I never said I don't like it, Jerry, I just asked for an extra dose of white. See, you put two portions of white pudding in a glass, with one portion of black in between them, throw in a raw egg, hose it all with a good dose of red wine, and swallow it in one go. White pudding is more absorbant for the wine. [Smiles to himself] Mommy used to do it for breakfast.

Jerome : [To Clint, watching him do the puddings, eggs and wine in a glass] Ahh, that is more like the Mr. Scar I have analysed so many times.

Aldwyn : [Tucking vigorously into his food] I say, Harvey, this is an eclectic bunch you've got here, and no mistake, eclectic, I say, eclectic! [Turns to Alice] Can you spell eclectic?

Alice : [Looks terrified for a moment] Er, A, K -

[ALICE is interrupted by PEARSE PEARCE storming over to the table. It isn't clear who he's addressing, but, from the manner in which his gaze roams around, and from the amount of food spewing out of his mouth as he rants, he's rather interested in the whole party.]

Pearse : God damn you yankees, ah just know there's a streak o'yellow down your God damned backs. What in tarnation have y'all been sayin' about me and muh Daddy? Uh huh huh, shake it, shake it!

Aldwyn : [Does his donkey laugh again] Excellent! Excellent! Breakfast theatre!

Chastity : [To Pearse] What are you talking about. We've just been having a discussion about great puddings and...[pauses] ah, I see where the confusion may have come in.

Pearse : [Pointing angrily at Chastity] You dog gone God damned bitch, there ain't no way no one ain't going to get away with no bad mouthing the Pearses!

Aldwyn : [Applauding] Superb! [Gives a slight nod towards Chastity] And brava to you, dear Sister, for joining in with this thespian, what!

Chastity : [To Pearse] Does that mean you are threatening people who [emphasises] haven't bad mouthed the Pearses. Oh, well, in that case you can go back to your table happy that you have nothing to do here. [To Aldwyn] This is no act, Colonel. This man is as serious as his grammar is poor. Such use to the double negative, it can get so confusing at times. Education standards in certain parts of the country are sadly lacking I fear.

Jerome : [To Aldwyn, noding towards Pearse] He does a very good act of being in an advanced stage of the vibro-enfaecsaloiterus disease, a parisitic deseased contracted from the consumption of contaminated faeces. Or perhaps he really has got the disease. It would account for his excessive shaking.

Pearce : [Does a quick, Elvis style shimmy, before turning to the party] I ain't gone done and used too many of no God damned negatives!

Aldwyn : [Realisation slowly dawning] I shall have him thrashed within an inch of his life, within an inch, I say!

Pearce : [To Aldwyn] These know-nothing, no account cattle rustlers have gone and fibbed about me and muh Pa! And no one gone done tells no lies about me and my Pa! [Turns to Jerome] I'm gonna cut you up, geek boy!

Jerome : [To Aldwyn] Cattle rustlers? Jerome suggests that this man [gestures at Pearce] is completely insane, and therfore a danger to this vessel and all onboard. He should be restrained in one of those sound proof padded cells down on W-deck until we can safely move him to a mental institution.

Aldwyn : Deck W, eh?

Alice : No, Daddy, deck W.

Aldwyn : [Looks at Alice for a second] Hm. [Looks back to Jerome] Good idea, Doctor. In fact, I was going to suggest I take you all down there anyway, to show you the vault. The padded cells are also there.

Pearce : You God damned yankee bastard! I'll git muh sister to kick your ass boy! I'm gonna [thinks for a second] Oh. Okay.

Chastity : [To Pearce] Look, sonny, just go back to you breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day. I'm sure your father wpuld agree. [Looks over to the Pearce's table to see what Paw Pearce is doing]

Pearse : What in tarnation has it go to do with you what my Daddy is up to, huh? Huh? [Turns to look.]

[DADDY PEARCE has his feet on the table and is eating some beans straight from the tin. As the party look at him, he leans over slightly and gives a rip roaring fart that shakes some of the cutlery and crockery on nearby tables.]

Pearse : My Daddy is too much of a classy guy for you even to be talkin' about!

[Two men in white coats arrive, and grab hold of PEARCE.]

Alice : Gosh, it's handy those men in white coats were standing around, wasn't it?

Aldwyn : They're the waiters, Alice.

Alice : Oh, [thinks for a second] so they just wait around for someone to go mad?

Aldwyn : [To no one in particular] She just opens her mouth and out it comes!

Clint : That's OK Colonel, we've become quite used to it!

Aldwyn : [Laughs] Oh, Uncle Clint, the patience you must have! [A bit more serious] Now, would you like to accompany this ruffian down stairs? You will be able to see the vault as well as the cutting edge mental therapy treatments the ship has.

Clint: [Desesperately trying to swallow his mixture] Sounbs like a goob ibea.

Aldywn : [Looking around at the massive amount of food still left] Well, if we've all eaten our fill, I think we can leave the scraps for some of poor people in steerage. It might make them stop drinking all that whiskey and making all that noise with violins and bodhrans, what!

[ALDWYN starts heading out with the waiters and PEARCE, who doesn't seem to be unhappy about being tied up.]

Alice : [Glaring at Clint] Thanks, Uncle Clint! [Gets up, grabbing some sausages as she does so.]

Chastity : [Gets up from her chair] That'll do me until Lunch-time anyway. [To Harvey] I must say, I'm intrigued to find that a luxury cruiser has a facility for mental therapy. [Follows Aldwyn, the waiters and Pearce]

Clint : [After slamming down someone's half empty wine glass] Yeah, let's go check this lunatics' hole.

Chastity : [Clearing her throat. To Clint] No, Clint, I said mental therapy. I don't think they'll be examining him down there. [Points awkwardly to her bottom] If they do, I'll be making sure to avert my eyes.

Jerome : Every large sea going vessel has containment facilities for the insane. What else would one do with the mentally insane at sea?

Aldwyn : [Laughs heartily at this] Oh come now, Sister, we can't have a prisoner smuggling in contraband, can we?

[PEARSE suddenly begins struggling.]

Aldwyn : See? The blighter is already concerned. [Calls out to the waiters] Make sure he gets a thorough going over, what! Don't spare the gloves, eh? Eh?

Harvey : Gah! Back in the great war of the Nacific, the insane were thrown to the sharks! Can't have people running around in their underwear during a battle, eh?

Alice : Apparantly not. [Panicky] I mean, no!

[Exit ALL, including DUNCAN and STEWART, who are bringing a now distressed PEARSE PEARCE.]

[Book III, Act I, Scene VI. Deck W. DUNCAN, STEWART, PEARSE PEARCE, ALDWYN, CLINT, CHASTITY, FAETAN, HARVEY, AUSTIN, ALICE and JEROME are here, having just climbed down a number of staircases. At the bottom of the staircase is a huge metal door.]

Stewart : [Slapping on a rubber glove] I love my job.

Pearse : There ain't no way, no how, that no God damned Yankee ain't gonna stick no God damned glove up no God damned ass of mine, boy!

Jerome : Indeed, underwear alone is not suitable battle fatigue, nae, ask any fine battle hardened Scotsman. There is necessity, however, on this glorisous vessel for such mental health accomodation as we find here, in the darkest reachs of W-deck, due to the fact that the rich and famous often over do merrymaking on long cruises like this, and they and their proud families do not appreciate being thrown to the ravenous blood lusting sharks.

Jerome : Indeed, underwear alone is not suitable battle fatigue, nae, ask any fine battle hardened Scotsman. There is necessity, however, on this glorisous vessel for such mental health accomodation as we find here, in the darkest reachs of W-deck, due to the fact that the rich and famous often over do merrymaking on long cruises like this, and they and their proud families do not appreciate being thrown to the ravenous blood lusting sharks.

Aldwyn : Ah, good Doctor, you clearly are familiar with the wealthy. Ah, the number of relatives that have spent time in the asylum. [Smiles to himself, before coming back to reality] Er, all on her [nods at Alice] mother's side, of course!

Austin : How do we get in?

Duncan : It's an automatic door, as you approach it, it opens itself.

Alice : Cool! Just like on Shoe Trek! [Walks up to the door, and promptly bangs into it]

Aldwyn : Gah! Stupid girl, you're not doing it properly. [Strides boldly up to the door, and bangs into it, before turning angrily to Alice] See what you've done? You've broken it!

Alice : Sorry Daddy.

Jerome : The door appears to be in a most grievous state. [Flicks a switch beside the door] Perhaps this on off switch will turn it on, encouraging its expected modus operandi.

Chastity : [Pulls up a tarpaulin revealing an industrial drum next to the door marked "The Slippy Slimy Cavity Search Lubricant Co.". To Pearce] Hmm, I wouldn't be so sure about your last statement.

Austin : [Examines the drum] Ah, the connoisseur's choice. [Nods politely to Pearse] I would not be overly concerned about your plight. The sensation need not be entirely unpleasurable.

Alice : Unless they've some in the fridge.

Austin : True, Alice, very true.

Aldwyn : The fridge, you say?

Alice : Um, I -

[ALICE is saved by someone shouting from inside the door.]

Voice : [With over dramatic pauses between each word] Who is it?

Jerome : [Loudly, with over dramatic pauses between each word] It is Mr. Duncan Conor MacLeod, Mr. Stewart Steward, Mr. Pearce Pearce, Colonel Aldwyn Bassett-Short, Colonel Harvey Kingston-Short the third, Mr. Clint Scar, sister Chastity Browne, Ms. Faetan Jarl, Mr. Austin Sleaze, Ms. Alice Bassett-Short and Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc PhD. Who are you?

Chastity : It's shareholder Colonel Aldwyn Basset-Short's party, with a lunatic needing attention.

Duncan : [Punching Jerome in the arm] Ah told yae, mae name is not Duncan, it's Marcel!

Austin : Last night you claimed it was Pierre.

Duncan : Er, that's my evening name.

Voice : [With the same irritating pauses] What's the secret knock?

Alice : I know! I know! It's the knock that you must give before you are let in, and [with some satisfaction] it's secret!

[For once, ALDWYN says nothing, and just shakes his head sadly.]

Chastity : [To Duncan and Stewart] Do you know the secret knock?

Duncan : Nae, hen, if we did, it would hardly be a secret now, would it?

Jerome : [To the Voice] We cannot disclose the secret knock as such an action would compromise the secret status of the knock.

[A few seconds of silence pass, and then the door opens. PLEASING SEAGULL is standing there.]

Pleasing : But, you really do know it, right?

Chastity : [Quietly to Jerome] Cunningly logical, Doctor. [To Pleasing] Yes, of course. Do you?

Jerome : [Blushing noticably. To Chastity, with a shy smile] Why, thank you sister Chastity.

Pleasing : Of course. [Taps out a knock : "da da de de da da de de".] Now, let's hear one of you do it.

Alice : I'll do it. [Taps out a knock : "di du di do do do do do", before smiling proudly] What do you reckon?

Aldwyn : Gah! That's not it girl, it's this. [Taps out a knock "do do do do do do do do".] Now, let us through!

[PLEASING makes no move, and just sighs heavily, standing in the way of the door.]

Jerome : [To Alice] That was very close, but Jerome thinks there should be a tiny difference at the end [Taps out a knock : "da da de de da da de de".]

Pleasing : [Clearly seething, and still speaking in his annoyingly slow monotone] That's not it.

Alice : [Looking around at everyone, clearly confused] They all sounded the same to me!

Duncan : The first two sounded right, but that last one [nods at Jerome] och, hoots, it sounded worse than a bagpipes shoved up the arse of a flatulent pig, mon!

Jerome : [To Duncan] Jerome expects that Mr Macleod has experienced that sound many times, from deliberatly close proximity.

Duncan : [Headbutting Jerome] Get that stitched, Jimmy!

Aldwyn : Gah! What's going on here?

Clint : [To Duncan] Asshole. [Punches him back]

Harvey : [Claps Aldwyn on the back] Gah Colonel, just like the Christmas parties in the officers mess, eh what! [Takes a deep breath] Stop this foolishness right now, troop!

Faetan : [Livid, to Duncan] You do that again and I'll kick my foot so far up your butt, the shoelaces will fly out of your mouth!

Clint : [To Duncan] Asshole. [Punches him back]

Harvey : [Claps Aldwyn on the back] Gah Colonel, just like the Christmas parties in the officers mess, eh what! [Takes a deep breath] Stop this foolishness right now, troop!

Faetan : [Livid, to Duncan] You do that again and I'll kick my foot so far up your butt, the shoelaces will fly out of your mouth! [CLINT cracks DUNCAN on the jaw, and sends him reeling up against a wall.]

Duncan : [Rubbing his jaw] Ah told him more than once, mah name isnae Duncan Conor MacLeod! [Points at Faetan] And Vascae told him too. [Looks away, but turns back to Faetan again] If yae put yer foot any where near me, I'll break it off.

Pleasing : [Gives a deep sigh, and speaks in his characteristically irritatingly slow fashion] There will be no more violence here. [Narrows his eyes] Unless I'm the one dishing it out.

Aldwyn : [To Harvey] Too right, old soldier, too right, except we're not involved, and there's not nearly the same amount of hair pulling, what!

Chastity : [Goes up to the door] Knocking always sounds different on the other side of any solid object. After listening to twelve children playing in the next room for years I should know. [Taps out a knock : "de de da da de de da da".]

Alice : That's right Chas, see how different this sounds. [Taps out a

knock : "de de da da de de da da"] Now, compare it with this. [Bangs her head against the door : "thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk"] Oh, I feel a bit sick.

Aldwyn : [Rolls his eyes in impatience] Oh for God's sake girl! [Storms in passed Pleasing] Let me through.

[PLEASING, not pleased at this, steps back out of the way.]

Harvey : [Looks at Pleasing] Excuse me, sir, but I believe, judging by your white smock and white hat, that you are the cook. Be so good as to whip us up some elevenses, nothing too elaborate, what, perhaps some pheasants, doves eggs and a side plate of golden honeyed locusts, there's a good chap!

Pleasing : [Seething with anger] It's my day off.

Alice : [Staggering in passed Pleasing] So, what's in here again?

[It is a large room, with a huge vault opposite the door that the party are standing outside of, and there are a number of small cells around the side.]

Duncan : [Following her in] This is the brig, hen, it's where we're going to keep him [juts his thumb back at Pearse] and maybe him [points at Jerome] if he cannae learn to keep his trap shut.

Jerome : [Looks at Duncan] Did that make you feel better? You really should see someone about your low selfesteem problem. Did your mother forsake you when you where but an innocent, helpless infant? Were you denied the nutrient of your mother's bossom? [Turns his back on Duncan. Follows Harvey]

Duncan : Actually, ye damned Sassenach, it did. Ah asked yae tae say nothing, but yae had to act clever. Well, smart ass, yae didnae look too clever haven't tae get yer mates to help yae, did yae?

Aldwyn : [Somewhat perturbed] This is all most distressing, what! Waiters head butting guests, what's the world coming to, eh? Eh? [To Jerome] Shall I have him clapped in irons too?

Jerome : [Turns to Duncan] If you had half a brain you would have noticed that Mr. Scar retaliated without any request being made by Jerome. [To Aldwyn] Yes, he is an animal without mind, a savage beast, barely able to communicate verbally.

Clint : [To Aldwyn] Ah, Jerry, always joining in the acting! And what a great scene this has been. I must personally thank the ship's management! [Winks at Jerome]

Aldwyn : [Loudly, to Alice] Acting? What's he talking about, girl?

Alice : I think my nose is bleeding.

Duncan : If you had half a brain, you wouldnae have tried to rile me. There's no point in getting pissy with me now, when you know that you were the cause of it all.

Jerome : [To Duncan] Rile you? Jerome calls you by the name your most unfortunate parents gave to you, and you attack me! How ignorant can you be! You did not request that the present company [Gestures to the other] and Jerome refereed to you as Pierre by night or Marcel by day, you merely insisted that these were your names, without rhyme nor reason is your madness.

Duncan : Ye're a dirty Sassenach liar! Vascae tald yae that we were on a secret mission, [shouts] secret! Then ah told yae that ma name was Pierre, but you chose not ta respect that.

Stewart : Er, Marcel?

Duncan : Shut up! [Storms off, barging into Jerome as he does so]

Aldwyn : [Starts applauding, but stops when no one else does] So er, is this part of the dinner theatre?

Austin : [Watching the exchange with a smile] Doctor, while your nonsensical argument might have some hope of working on an irate Scotsman, I do hope you realise that you are quite wrong. Even the most dimwitted of people would have assumed that we were not to address him by his real name, as he was travelling incognito. I submit that this is another example of the party failing to keep a low profile.

Jerome : [To Austin] What kind of imbecile would believe that Pierre-Marcel was a Frenchman? He does not speak the French language, dialect or accent, nor, as you have probably noticed, does he have any of the manners of a Frenchman, although he is almost as obnoxious. Why should we care what their foolish mission parameters dictate?

Clint : [Starts cheering loudly] Great acting. Superb! [To Austin, in a low voice] Shut the fuck up, we need the Bimbo's father on our side.

Alice : [Rubbing her forehead] What? Pierre-Marcel isn't French? Wow! Aren't these actors great, Daddy?

Aldwyn : [Dismissively] Of course they are, that's their job. But, I suspect that he wasn't really French, why, when was the last time one of those bounders ventured out without their bicycle, beret and string of onions around their neck, what!

Austin : [To Clint] Do not take that tone with me, I am not the one compromising our position. [Loudly] Who's father?

Clint : [To Faetan, ignoring Austin] Trust me, I really understand why you punched him. [To Aldwyn] So, shall we see the safe?

Faetan : [To Clint] Do you want me to punch him again?

Aldwyn : [Pointing at the huge vault] That's it, Uncle Clint. Unfortunately, we can't get in. It is sealed until the ship reaches it's final destination.

Chastity : Is it wise to keep all that money in the same area as the mental patients and bad people?

Aldwyn : Of course! Deck W is where we keep things away from everyone. It's not like the mad people can break in or anything, this vault is made from the strongest steel and the finest locks under the direction of one of the finest lock smiths to ever live! It's not like anyone can just wander in!

[As STEWART ties PEARSE to some shackles, BRANDY arrives, knocking at the door.]

Brandy : [Smiling sweetly] Oh, hello! I seem to be lost.  Aldwyn : Of course! Deck W is where we keep things away from

Harvey : [To Pleasing, pointing at Brandy] Gah! What is this? Take care of that stranger! [To Aldwyn] This is looking worse than the mutiny of the Monty, what!

Aldwyn : Hold on, Harvey, I bet she's an actress, what!

Alice : That's one way of describing her.

Brandy : [Smiling warmly at Aldwyn] Oh, sir, you have a discerning eye.

Pleasing : [Breathing heavily] Sorry, Miss, but you'll have to go.

Brandy : [Whispers something to Pleasing, before stepping back] Go on, just for a moment.

Jerome : [To Aldwyn] Now there is a woman who should most certainly be put in a cell. The last time we encountered her she paralised us, including Alice, with poisoned throwing knives and left us to die in the cellar of Mr. Brown's house.

[ALICE looks in shocked horror at JEROME.]

Aldwyn : Poisoned knives? Dying? What's all this about, Alice?

Alice : Nothing Daddy! It was [glares at Jerome] another dinner theatre thing.

Brandy : [Smiles an even warmer smile] I can act all sorts of parts.

Jerome : [To Aldwyn, flustered] She did poison us and leave us all to die, the most foul witch Brandy should be burned at the stake! [Points at Brandy]

Alice : [Flushed with anger] You're the one who should be burned at the stake, Jerome K. Trindle! Everyone knows that I wasn't involved! [Turns to Austin] Tell Daddy I wasn't poisoned!

Austin : I cannot tell a lie. [Pauses for an eternity] At the time the alleged incident took place, Alice was with me, for, Mr. Bassett-Short, we are in love, and wish some day to consider getting engaged. Isn't that right, sweet Alice.

Alice : Er, [slowly] yes.

Austin : [Quickly steps towards her and kisses her passionately, before turning to Aldwyn] Sir, I apologise for letting my animal instincts get the better of me in front of you. It will not happen again, I can assure you.

Aldwyn : [Confused and irritated] It had better not, what! Harvey, do you know what that [nods at Jerome] bounder is talking about?

Harvey : I believe the poor Doctor has let himself get carried away with all the acting around, Colonel sir! [To Jerome] It's ok boy, the act is over for now.

Jerome : [Looks anoyed. To Harvey] Is it [Looks around] May those assembled proceed then?

Aldwyn : [Regarding Jerome with a baleful eye] Hm, yes. I see. [Immediately switches back to his normal booming cheerfulness] Well! That's about all there is to see down here, why don't we all head back upstairs?

[ALICE, still being leaned back by AUSTIN, tries to mouth the words "Thank You" to HARVEY, but is cut off by yet another passionate kiss from AUSTIN, who pulls away suddenly.]

Austin : Dearest Alice! No! We must not, think of your father, girl!

Alice : Yes, Austin.

Aldwyn : [Starts walking out, taking Brandy's arm as he does] Well madam, you must tell me all about that play where you poisoned the others, what!

[Exit BRANDY and ALDWYN.]

Pleasing : You better all leave now. [Pulls up some tarpaulin to reveal a barrell of "The Slippy Slimy Cavity Search Lubricant Co."] I've got work to do.

Pearse : Hey!

Clint : [To Austin] Well played Lawyer, the geek nearly blew it away. [To Alice] Did you survive that?

Austin : [Bows slightly to Clint] I was glad to help. [Puts a finger into his mouth, and extracts something from his tooth, before holding it out to Alice] A piece of your grapefruit, I believe?

Alice : [Staggering slightly] Phew! I think I'm going to be okay. [Gives Jerome her cross look, before turning back to Clint] Let's catch up, we don't want Daddy spending too much time with her. [Thinks for a second] I think I may need a cigarette after that!

Austin : You know when you've been Sleazed.

[Exit ALL to the suite, where ALDWYN is standing outside on his own, but beside VASCO and ARAMIS, who, although they are standing near each other, don't appear to be together.]

Aldwyn : I think I'm going to get some sleep now, a few too many early morning brandies, what! [To Alice] You can stay with your friends, as long as Clint or Harvey is there to make sure that nothing untoward happens with him. [Nods at Austin]

Jerome : [Looks shocked at Austins behaviour and Alices response. Follows silently looking all deshevilled]

Alice : [Looks shocked at Jerome's shocked look, before kissing Aldwyn on the cheek] You go and have a rest Daddy, I'll be down after you in a while.

Aldwyn : [Leaning back from her] Steady on, girl! You know my feelings on public displays of affection, what! [Sternly to Austin] This had better not be your doing. [Turns to Harvey] You old goat! How wonderful it is to be back with you again! [Hugs him.]

[Exit ALDWYN, towards his own cabin. Both ARAMIS and VASCO are left, and both clearly are waiting for the party to invite them in.]

Clint : [To Aramis and Vasco] So... are you waiting for us to invite you in?

Jerome : [To Aramis and Vasco, holding the door open] Please come in and have a drink. Mr. Scar has some fine brandy. Aramis & Vasco : [To Clint, in unison] Yes.

[They look at each other, surprised.]

Vasco : I am sorry, I thought he was speaking to me.

Aramis : [Laughs aloud] No need to worry friend! Any one who can put up with this bunch of debonair and devastating dishes is a friend of mine. Let's go in and see what we can do to that brandy of Clint's. [Huge, theatrical bow to Clint] With your permission, of course, my good sir.

Vasco : [Serious tone] I have a matter of the utmost urgency and privacy to discuss with the party.

Faetan : Might as well include ol' Aramis, he already knows who we are. just been frantic and constraining! But soon, soon...

Clint : [With a dirty look at Jerome] Yes, yes, come in...

Vasco : [Clicking his heels together, nodding at Aramis] No disrespect sir, but we are not acquainted. I am on a mission of the utmost political and religious importance, and am not at liberty to discuss it with people that I am not familiar with.

Alice : And you consider yourself familiar with us?

Vasco : [Eyes linger on Alice's new look for a few seconds] Alas, not familiar enough.

Aramis : [Bows extravagantly to Vasco, taking his hat off] Far be it from me to get in the way of a mission of such importance.

Clint : [Putting a full Brandy bottle in his suitcase, and pulling out a half-empty bottle of cheap rum] I think Aramis can stay. He's helped the party more than once. [Shows the bottle] Wanna drink?

Alice : [Quickly, and loudly] Yes! [Grabs the bottle and slugs back no inconsiderable amount, spilling it over her face and down her front.] Hey! That brandy tastes really strange!

Vasco : [Bows slightly to Clint] As you wish. [Looks up at him] I hope this is not intended as a slight against the Roving Band of Racial Stereotypes. Already actions [turns his look on Jerome] have been made that could be construed as aggression. Remember, we are on the same side. [Backs out the door.]

Aramis : [Moving swiftly to Alice, and drying her face with an impossibly delicate lace hanky, before turning to Clint] You, sir, honour me with your vote of confidence. I can only hope that it is but a matter of time before we find ourselves back to back, surrounded on all sides by dastardly enemies with beautiful lady hostages in need of rescue.

Jerome : [Siddles up to Alice and shyly gives her a beautiful red rose] Jerome appologises most humbly for his less than egregious behaviour, 'twas bourne of a passion for life and a hatred for those who destroy it with careless heart.

Chastity : [Watching Vasco leave. To Harvey] What would be an aggressive action if punching someone in the face is only construed as aggression? Short management deadlines - don't you love 'em?!

Alice : Oh, it's not that easy, Dr. Trindle. I'm so angry with you at the moment that, well, I even consider Faetan more of a friend than you! [Turns her back to Jerome and faces Faetan] No offence. [Makes a big deal of folding her arms to show Jerome how annoyed she is] Humph!

Faetan : [Drumming her fingers impatiently on the table, and speaking through gritted teeth] None taken, I'm sure.

Aramis : [Watching the exchange with a smile playing about his lips] Ah, romance always plays us a merry tune that is difficult to dance to!

Alice : [Turning around quickly, and snatching the rose from Jerome] That's mine, I believe! [Turns back again]

Harvey : [Watching Alice painfully pull the thorns out of her hand] I'm not sure I know what the difference is, Sister, but I believe he was referring to Dr. Trindle calling Duncan Duncan, and not calling Duncan Pierre, or Duncan Marcel, not Private Scar's punching of Duncan Duncan, Duncan Pierre, Duncan Marcel or what ever the fellow is calling himself now.

Clint : I didn't punch that many people.

Jerome : [To Alice's back, on both knees, almost a tear in his eye] Over many moons will Jerome strive to regain the passion of his beloved's pained heart. Though wracked with torment Jerome will persevere lest rival steal his prize [Clutches his hands to his heart].

Chastity : [Trying to lift Jerome up by the arms from behind] Doctor, please. You are making an awful spectacle of yourself. [Turns her head to the still open door Vasco went out of] Look at all these complete strangers watching.[ A couple of passengers wander past the door, paying no attention at all. Shouting out the door at the unsuspecting strangers] Go on , shoo! Mind your own business!

Jerome : [Looks alarmed at Chastity, stands up, straightens himself out] Yes, y-yes sister. [Goes to the bathroom] Paaarrrph! peeeewwwwharp-par-harpp-par-eeee. [Several loud nose blowing noises from the bathroom. Moments later Jerome returns]

Chastity : [Aside quietly to Jerome] Maybe you should lay off the beans and black pudding at breakfast for a while. I don't think it's mixing too well with this sea air for you. [Discreetly wafts her hand back and forth before going over and closing the outside door. To Aramis] Now what did you need to tell us, dear?

Jerome : [Hangs his head low. To Chastity] Yes, but Jerome did not have beans and black pudding at breakfast, he had croissants, jam, a sparkling mineral water and a brandy.

Chastity : [To Jerome, in a tone of realisation] Aaah, Jam [emphasises] and brandy. No wonder. [Looks back to Aramis]

Jerome : [To Chastity] Why would not eating jam or not drinking brandy make the sweet Alice love me more?

Chastity : The consumption of alcohol and sugary foodstuffs are no way to a woman's heart, my dear Doctor. Nobody is attracted to a toothless drunk.

Austin : [Smiles at Chastity's naivete] Correct, Sister. No woman would be attracted to a toothless drunk.

Alice : [Clearly embarassed at Jerome, turns to the people who started looking in the door after Chastity told them to leave] What the hell are you looking at? Get the hell out of here! I never want to see any of your ugly faces again. [Slams the door shut] Oh no! I left my bag outside! [Opens the door once again where the shocked people are still standing, and says, in a small voice] Excuse me, that's my bag. [Picks up her handbag]

Aramis : I have heard of a terrible criminal on board, by the name of Vitun Kusipaa. Are you familiar with that name?

Clint : Ah, yes, Vipun Kusitaa. Wasn't that the name that priest that died in that church in that town said, before he died? Man, this trip is getting better and better!

Alice : No, it was Vitun Kusipaa. Brown said it too, didn't he?

Aramis : Ah, even a party as pure as yours has been touched by the awful evil that is Kusipaa.

Clint : [To Alice] That's what I said, Vipun Kusitaa. [To Aramis] What do you know about him?

Aramis : He is supposed to be Southern. Some say his father was Northern. For a long time, nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but from what I've heard, anybody could have worked for Kusipaa. You never knew. That is his power. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

Faetan : [Intrigued] And he's supposed to be on-board...? How interesting! That would explain the theft of the friggin' huge diamond...thing. [Waves her hand vaguely]

Alice : So, [dusting her hands] that solves that! Vitun Kusipaa stole the necklace!

Aramis : Ah, sweet, innocent and pure Alice, I fear that nothing is solved. Firstly, Vitun Kusipaa is not the kind to ever do anything himself, he always gets other people to do his work, regardless of whether they know it or not. Secondly, given that there is an enormous amount of gold on board, I would wonder if he would bother with such a trinket. Thirdly, I do not believe that I have ever heard of any one who can identify him, and fourthly, [inclines his head slightly] and for this I beg your forgiveness, but I cannot believe that one so beautiful as yourself would be able to solve such a crime, for if you could, then it would be a crime itself that you would have brains to match your stunning beauty.

Alice : [Clearly delighted, but trying to hide it] You don't think that's going to work on me, do you?

Aramis : [Bows deeply] Then it is a crime! For you do possess brains that more than match your incomparable beauty.

[ALICE gives her blonde giggle, while ARAMIS winks over at FAETAN.]

Jerome : [To Faetan, then turning to the rest of the party] It could be anyone, anyone at all. It could even be Ms. Hatwearer herself, a cunning disguise I do suspect, who would suspect her of being Vitun Kusipaa!

Jerome : [Clears his throat loudly. To Aramis] You appear to know a great deal about the most fettid Vitun Kusipaa. You even speak of him as if you admired him, you defend his name too well Jerome thinks. Might it be that you are Vitun Kusipaa? [Gives Aramis a very stern look]

Faetan : [Looks even more intrigued] I hadn't thought about that... Is it true, Aramis? Are you him?

Aramis : [Looks from Jerome to Faetan and back again, with smile playing about his lips, before bursting out laughing] Excellent! Excellent! My friends, you must have a very high opinion of me indeed, to think that I may be him. However, I do not have quite the same ruthless streak as he, for I, as was observed by the good Sister, am far too much of a hedonist for that. Kusipaa is evil like you've never come across. I heard a story about him once, when some of his colleagues turned against him and killed some of his family. He burned down they houses they lived in and the stores they worked in, he killed people that owed them money. And like that we was gone. [Puffs into his hand] Undergound. No one has ever seen him again. He became a myth, a spook story that ciminals tell their kids at night. If you rat on your pop, Vitun Kusipaa will get you. And nobody ever really believes.

Chastity : I find that hard to really believe. You quite often find that the same people and names crop up whenever a certain type of event occurs. You just have to examine the usual suspects.

Aramis : Ah, would that it were that simple, Chastity! That's how it always begins, five of them brought in on a trumped-up charge to be leaned on by half-wits. What the cops never figure out, and what I know now, is that these kinds of men would never break, never lie down, never bend over for anybody.

Alice : [Giving Aramis a peculiar look] You know, I think I'm getting deja vu.

Austin : What?

Alice : I think I'm getting deja vu.

Austin : [Theatrical gasp] Didn't you just say that?

Harvey : So how will we recognise this Kusipaa bounder?

Aramis : I'm afraid I do not know, sir. I was rather hoping that your group might have some information on him yourselves. However, if not, then I shall leave, as I would like to get some rest this afternoon in order to prepare myself for the carousing and debauchery of tonight.

Clint : Debauchery? Make sure you call in to collect us on your way. [Pause] Erm, because that Kusitaa fellow might be around, so we need to keep our eyes open.

Faetan : Not to mention the fact that someone is impersonating my Da, so let's not get carried away here, Clint.

Jerome : Well at least we can be fairly sure that Vitun Kusipaa is a male. Perhapse the trecherous, muderous Brandy knows who he is.

Clint : [Sudden look of realization] Maybe she is he? [Pause] I mean, he is she?

Alice : Hey! That's right! Remember, when Brown was killed, the only person we actually saw in the house was her. All we saw was someone in a hooded cloak killing Brown [turns to Aramis] could it be true, Aramis?

Aramis : [Sitting down, with his feet on the table] I don't know, I never thought of it that way. [Smiles] Wow! Beautiful and dangerous, that sounds like a woman I'd like to know! [Glances at Faetan] You seem pretty dangerous to me.

[FAETAN says nothing, but just looks away, blushing.]

Aramis : [Continuing] I always assumed Kusipaa was a man, but I'm sure that, despite their natural grace and beauty, women can be evil too.

Clint : [Casual glance at Faetan] You can say that again.

Faetan : [Glares back at Clint] What's that supposed to mean?

Clint : Oh, you know, it means, errrr... [points outside] Oh look, the sun's getting down, it's almost time for dinner. We should go and wake up the Colonel.

Jerome : [To Faetan] Little of what Mr. Scar utter has any meaning of value. He is a man of action, not words, inasmuch as 'action' does not involve bathing.

Faetan : Or thinking, I guess.

Aramis : Well, as the redoubtable Mr. Scar has so keenly observed, we will soon be arriving at the island. Perhaps you might wish to speak with the other gentleman before disembarking? He seemed rather anxious to be in your company, and not just the kind of anxiety that any man would feel having been in it for a short time.

Alice : What does that mean? We make people anxious, is it?

Aramis : [Smiles back at her] It didn't, but it could have, and would still have been true.

Clint : Nah, he's boring. You're way more fun.

Aramis : Ha! Sir, you embarrass, yet delight me with your praise. However, it is a well known fact that the Portuguese are an exceptionally boring race.

Alice : But he's so dishy!

Aramis : [Taking some snuff] My dear lady, why settle for dishy when you can have dishy and debonair? [In one swift movement is across the room, inches from Alice]

Harvey : [Stepping between them] Yes, yes, yes. Thank you, Aramis.

Aramis : Unless there is something else of import, I suggest we drink our fill of brandy, and sing raucous and bawdy songs until Sr. Chastity feels compelled to pray for our souls.

Clint : Yeah, let's drink some Brandy! Pity there's none left, but I'm sure we'll have loads in the bar. Lead the way, Aranis.

Jerome : [To All] Jerome wonders where this Vasco fellow has take flight to? [Opens and looks out of the door to see if he can see Vasco]

Chastity : [To Aramis] I think you can taken as read that I've said a few prayers for the sake of your souls. [Looks to Clint] So have required more prayers than others.

Alice : I bet you didn't have to say many for mine, Chas, seeing as how I'm such a good girl and all!

[JEROME peeks out and sees that VASCO is outside, a short distance up the deck, clearly waiting.]

Jerome : [To Vasco] Senior de Sao Nuno Gomes, please come inside and partake in our hospitality, good sir. [Beckons Vasco inside]

Clint : [Quietly, to Faetan] I hope that doesn't mean I'll have to give him some Brandy. I hardly have enough for myself.

Faetan : I noticed you've only got about ten bottles stashed in the bag of yours.

Alice : Hey! What's going on here Stinky? Let me see that bag! [Reaches into Clint's bag and pulls out the first thing she finds] Eauh! [Holds her hand away from her, to show that she has caught hold of sock, that is now sticking to her] Help! It won't let go!

Vasco : [Bows deeply to Jerome] I thank you for your gracious invitation, sir. [Enters the room]

Aramis : I will leave you in peace, dear people.

Jerome : [Bows to Aramis] Fare thee well good sir, and may many a handsome wench fall under the spell of your charm and wit. [Holds open the door for Aramis]

Aramis : Fret not, dear lady. [Draws his sword with lightening speed, and knocks the sock from Alice's hand, before turning to Jerome as he steps out] As long sir, as I do not fall under the spells cast by the lovely ladies that you so courteously accompany.

Alice : [Pointing to the sock] Wow, look! It's stuck to the wall!

Vasco : [Waits until the door shuts] I am very angry with you.

Clint : [To Vasco] Look here, if I don't wash my socks, it's my Phili damned business. You don't have to be angry about that.

Vasco : [Thinks for a moment] Yes, of course it is. [Glances at the sock slowly and painfully unsticking from the wall] However, I am also angry at the manner in which he [points at Jerome] has treated Duncan.

Clint : Which Duncan? Duncan Duncan, Duncan Pierre or Duncan Marcel? I didn't punch them all, by the way.

Vasco : You know very well who I mean. However, it is not the punching that he objected to, in fact, where he comes from, a punch to the jaw is considered a term of endearment. His complaint stems from the fact that he [again points at Jerome] deliberately and callously set out to destroy his cover.

Harvey : Oh come come, good sir! It wasn't a very convincing disguise, wouldn't fool an infant! I mean, the man couldn't even remember his name, what!

Vasco : With all due respect, good Colonel, it has been fooling the crew on this ship. Admittedly, this has been aided by the fact that the majority of them and the owners are morons, but -

Alice : Hey!

Vasco : But the fact remains, his security was deliberately compromised. I would ask you to give me an undertaking that this will not happen again.

Clint : Give you an undertaker? There's no need to exagerate, man!

Vasco : [Bowing slightly] If you compromise the security of our mission again, it is you who will need the undertaker.

Clint : [In a mocking voice] Well excusez-moi! [Normal voice] If your mission was that important, you would have learned to keep a low profile, like we do. [To all] Right?

Alice : Yeah! [Sticks her tongue out at Vasco] You don't see us fighting with each, or throwing bread rolls or salt cellars around, or getting punched, or throwing bowls of soup over people, or insulting passengers, or jumping out windows because we're afraid that Daddy will find us!

Vasco : [Puzzled at this] I cannot confirm or deny that.

Clint : Let's just forget the whole thing. I've got a bottle of fine brandy here for us all to drink [brings out the nearly empty bottle of cheap rum]

Chastity : [To Vasco] Senior, please forgive my colleagues [gestures towards Jerome] previous indiscretions. As is common place in the scientific community, his obsession with facts and details can quite obscure the practical implications of his actions in the real world. I'm sure his intentions were not malicious, but perhaps just not fully thought through.

Alice : [Starting to feel the effects of her early morning brandy] You know, I think I'm going to take a down sit. Sit down!

Vasco : Be that as it may, good sister. You have been warned.

[Exit VASCO.]

Harvey : Well troop, according to Aldwyn the ship is due to dock at Delerium in three hours. Goodness knows what is waiting for us there in the shape of this girl's father [gestures to Faetan] so, unless there is any other business, I suggest we take a short rest, so that we'll be refreshed and sober to deal with it.

Chastity : [To Jerome] Doctor, will you be a bit more tactful with you ascertains in future. Phili knows we have enough enemies without generating any more.

Harvey : I'm sure the Doctor will be just fine, as we all will be. Now, Niece, I would like a word with you in private.

[Exit HARVEY and ALICE into the bedroom.]

[Book III, Act I, Scene V. The Suite. HARVEY, CLINT, CHASTITY, FAETAN, AUSTIN and JEROME are here, with ALICE having returned to ALDYWN's room earlier.]

Harvey : Now troop, so as not arouse suspicion amongst our many enemies on board, I have arranged with Aldywn to put on a private boat for us. It will leave a short time after the other passengers to ensure that we can slip ashore unseen, in case there is something unwelcome there for us.

Austin : And how, dear Colonel, did you explain this desire to the good Mr. Bassett-Short?

Harvey : I told him that young Alice was afraid of crowds.

Jerome : If Jerome may interject for one moment, he would like to clarify his earlier actions with regards to a certain Scottish-Frenchman. Jerome found Marcel-Pierre's impersonation of a Frenchman such total and utter [Pauses] spoor, that he did not even consider the possibility that anyone had been fooled by it, and therefore did not believe it to be an integral part of his cover. However, Jerome is once more amazed by the stupidity of the security on this vessel, as they seemed to believe Marcel-Pierre to be genuine.

Harvey : Be that as it may, good doctor, and I for one cannot believe that anyone was fooled by his disguise, it may be better to keep out of that mans way for awhile. Remember, I myself, was previously the object of his ire, and I can tell you, just ignore the rascal!

Austin : Once again, I would remind the party of our instruction to keep a low profile. If party members could refrain from antagonising others, and from getting involved in issues that do not concern them, this matter would be considerably easier.

[There is a huge knocking on the door, as though someone is trying to break it down.]

Chastity : [Looks up to the ceiling] Phili preserve us, who now? [Starts counting to herself on her fingers] We've had Aramis, Vasco, the captain, Duncan, and [puts her hand down] oh never mind. I wonder if that's one of the Pearces? [Calls through the door] Hello who is it?

Harvey : Perhaps they can't hear you, dear sister, with all that infernal banging! [Roars at the top of his voice] Who is it?

Aldwyn : [Roaring from without, and still banging] It's me, Aldwyn! And the girl. Can you open the door? I can't hear a damned thing with all that banging!

Harvey : [Flings open the door] Come in, Colonel! And dearest Alice, come in! [Gives Aldwyn a fine salute]

Jerome : Perhaps it is a form of norse code [Beginns writing down the pattern of knocks on his note pad] A M, M T J F O O O W O P [Stops writing] If it is norse code then they are practically illiterate. Probably a member of the crew, or a seagull perhaps?

Austin : [Sighs] Oh wonderful, another two hours of hand waving and deafness inducing, ahem, repartee!

Chastity : [To Austin] Now, now, don't be so cynical. [To Adlwyn] Come in, Colonel. Why do you seem to be in such a hurry?

Jerome : Perhaps it is because he is in a hurry [Realises what he has just said and blushes. Goes over to his box and footers with some gadgetry]

Harvey : [Roars with laughter, slamming his hand against the door] Why doctor, that's just the funniest thing, what! Capital, I say, just capital!

Aldwyn : [Roars loudly with his donkey-like laugh] Excellent, Doctor, excellent!

Alice : [Loudly, to be heard over the knocking] Daddy, maybe you should stop knocking now?

Aldwyn : What? Oh, yes, of course!

[ALDWYN mercifully stops knocking.]

Aldwyn : So, are we ready to go ashore?

Harvey : [Wiping tears from his eyes and still shaking with silent mirth] Why of course, Colonel! This group is ship shape and ready for some recon, all under the guise of some much needed r 'n r, what! [Picks up his bag and gives a huge wink at Alice]

Austin : [Picks up his briefcase, admiring Maplin while doing so] I believe I'm ready. I have [pats the briefcase] the proper and required writs, supoenas, patent applications, removal of small annoying children from public transport decrees, Jarl trademark copyright infringment document and of course, a small yet oh so discreet picture taking device for gathering evidence of this impostors sordid dealings in and among the denizens and workers of the libellously named strip club. Around eighty five rolls of film should do it. [Thinks for a moment, musing to himself] Perhaps they sell more in the souvenir shop.

Jerome : [Carrying a small medical type bag] Jerome is also prepared for this, our most perilous mission to date [Smiles at his own joke. Pats his bag] An exceptional collection of Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc. PhD's patented and patient pending devices, including the awesome talk-to-others-far-away-portable-phonotelegnomicomatica.

[Exit ALL to a lifeboat, with STEWART sitting in it. Everyone piles aboard, and it is lowered to the sea.]

Stewart : [Doing the rowing] I'll have you folks ashore in just a few minutes. I explained to all the other passengers that you didn't want any fuss made when you arrive, so it should be all very quiet.

Jerome : [Coldly] Where ignorance is bliss 'tis headache inducing to be wise.

Harvey : That's exactly how we want it! Ah, it'll be good to stretch our legs on dry land again, eh lads!

Alice : That's a strange thing to say, Jerome.

Aldwyn : [Tutting in irritation] God girl, keep your ignorance to yourself, what! [Strains to look at the shore] What's going on there?

[There appears to be a large crowd of people on the shore, with a banner, that is just too far away to read.]

Aldwyn : Alice, read that banner.

Alice : I can't, Daddy.

[ALDWYN says nothing, and just sighs.]

Clint : Probably a party. This reminds me of when I went to the Wahaii islands, where they receive you with flowers and topless women. [Smiles at the souvenir]

Alice : [Taking a telescope from Stewart] I'll use this too see. [Unfolds it and holds it up to her eye, jamming it in hard] Ow! Hey, that really hurt!

Faetan : [Looking over at the banner as the boat gets closer] It says "Welcome Polly Darton and Rurt Beynolds". Who are they?

Chastity : [Excitedly] Polly Darton and Rurt Beynolds? They're famous actors! They must be coming off the boat too!

Harvey : Pah! Actors! By the saints, there's not one who's good enough to shine an infantrymans blood stained boot!

Jerome : Polly Darton, is she not the actor famous for her unfeasibly large eyes?

Alice : I'm not sure, Jerry, but I suppose she would have to have really big eyes if she was to be able to see her unfeasibly large breasts properly! Anyway, this is going to be great, Polly Darton and Rurt Beynolds? are only the greatest actors of their generation! Who could forget Smoking and the Candidate? Or Canalball run?

Aldwyn : [Glaring at Alice] They're all a bunch of wasters! Queers, lesbians and perverts, the lot of them!

Austin : She has eyes? [Takes a discreet photo of the crowd] Every one a potential stalker. Or client.

Alice : [Under her breath] Speaking of queers and perverts...

[The boat pulls near the quay, and it is clear that the crowd is actually cheering for the party.]

Faetan : What the hell is this?

Jerome : It appears that someone has incorrectly informed these people that the aforementioned famous actors where onboard this vessel in order to ensure that our arrival here is anything but discrete. They may even blame us for the absence of the actors. Perhaps two of us should cover our heads with blankets and pretend to be the actors, long worn from many photography and press engagements.

Aldwyn : [Loudly] What nonsense! Surely they know enough about these people to be able to tell the difference?

[The boat is now quite close, and one of the people on the quay, dressed in a tuxedo and holding a clipboard steps forward nervously. He is HANS VAN EDERVEEN.]

Hans : Uh, hello. [Gives a little wave, and looks at Harvey] Are you Polly Darton?

Austin : [Snickers into his sleeve]

Clint : [Adresses the crowd, shouting] They're coming!, they're coming! We saw them getting into their boat 5 minutes ago!

Jerome : [Quickly covers himself and Alice with an overcoat. To Alice] I believe that it would be prudent to pretend that you and Jerome are Polly Darton and Rurt Beynolds, avoiding the press and public. [Loudly] No photo graphs please!

Harvey : [Incredulous] What? What? What did he say?

Hans : [Brightly, to Faetan] Mr. Beynolds?

Faetan : [Angrily] What the hell is wrong with this guy?

Harvey : Absolute oaf, my dear! Away with you, lunatic, before you feel my glove across your face!

Hans : [Looks to Clint, before turning to the huddled mass that is Jerome and Alice, and pointing at them] There they are!

[The crowd gives a huge cheer.]

Alice : Good idea, Jerry, but let's pretend I'm Polly.

Hans : [Makes a placating gesture with his hands] I'm sorry, it was just all the excitement of knowing that they were really coming.

[The boat pulls alongside the quay, and the crowd pushes forward to see the famous actors.]

Jerome : Excellent idea Alice, you do have beautiful eyes, Jerome will be Rurt.

Alice : Thanks Jerome, but don't let your eyes linger too long on my [pause] eyes, or Jerome will be hurt!

Harvey : [Turns to Stewart and lowers his voice] Who knew you were bringing us over here?

Jerome : [To Alice] Jerome thinks the lady dost proffer harsh words to the one who woos her. If Jerome's gaze offends thee then he shall gaze upon thee no longer.

Alice : You know well that I wasn't talking about my eyes, Jerome K. Trindle. And don't think I'm still not angry with you for you-know-what.

Stewart : [To Harvey] Well, we only told those that we really had to.

Aldwyn : Who was that?

Stewart : Er, everyone that came ashore!

Austin : Good God, Trindle! I should sue you for inducing nausea, just on principle! [Shakes his head angrily]

Harvey : By the saints! You told everyone! [Turns to Aldwyn] I'm afraid Colonel, we will have to take your leave sooner than planned. Every minute counts, for it's only a matter of time, if not too late already, that this Jarl character hears of us!

Aldwyn : Exactly who did you tell?

Stewart : There weren't that many, honestly! Just Mayor Braider, the Pearces, Mr. Aramis and Ms. Brandy.

Clint : Why would you go and tell them in the first place? And the Pearces? Of all the people! [Looks at the crowd] Well, might as well take advantage of the situation now.

Stewart : Er, I told them in case they might have let something slip accidently!

Harvey : [Nods] Yes indeed, I suppose that makes sense, what! However, looks like your precautions have come to naught, damn that tattlers hide! [To Aldwyn] I say Colonel, can we go to your office and attempt to shake off this frenzied crowd?

Aldwyn : Good idea, Colonel, but I'm not sure how many of the bounders will just wait outside. [Steps onto the dock] Make way, make way!

Clint : [To the crowd] You head Rurt! Make way, c'mon! [To Alice, in low voice] Might as well play ball.

Chastity : [To Clint] Why are you doing a Wharry Bite impersonation? The crowd aren't expecting him. And if you do plan to fiddle with yourself, please don't tell us, unless its a warning to avert our eyes! [To Aldwyn] Which way to the office, Colonel?

Alice : Now is hardly the time for silly games, Clint!

Aldwyn : [Barging through the crowd] Follow me! [Holds up a huge umbrella for the party to see]

Harvey : Follow that brolly, troop! [Begins barging through the crowd] Step lively!

[Everyone follows ALWDYN, with ALICE and JEROME having some difficulty. Soon they get to a large office, still pursued by the crowd.]

Aldwyn : [Addressing the crowd] Now, Mr. Parton and Ms. Beynolds are going to be staying at my office for a while. However, later this evening, they will meet up with anyone who signs up for a deluxe tour, what!

Chastity : [To Aldwyn] Colonel, I hope you're not planning to hoodwink these poor, deluded, star-struck people.

Aldwyn : [Laughs, as he ushers the party in] Oh, God no! Just having a little fun, what!

Harvey : [Claps Aldwyn on the back] Like it, old man, I like it! That should do wonders for your business, eh!

Austin : [Follows into the office, but turns to the crowd] There will also be an autograph signing later today. I will be selling tickets personally for this event, over there.

Harvey : [Turns to the others] Damn and blast it, a fine pickle and no mistake, what! How will we get out of your office without being seen by half the town! Think, people!

Chastity : Is there a back door to the office? Or maybe we could tell them that we are just decoys and the film stars are somewhere else.

Alice : I don't know about that Sister, I'm not much of a back door girl.

Harvey : I'm afraid it's too late for that, good sister. [Looks out the window] I mean, look at them, they're a frenzied mob! I'm afraid they won't believe a word about the real actors not being here.

Aldwyn : No problem, Harvey! All we have to do is tell them that the actors are not coming out the back door, then they'll all rush around there, and you and your friends can simply saunter out the front door. The girl can stay here with me and read a book with a lot of pictures of bunnies in it.

Alice : Actually, Daddy, if it's okay, I'd like to go out, and, er, pick some flowers, while the others are at the bar.

Aldwyn : [Glances at Faetan, shaking his head] Such a girlie. Okay, young Alice, off you go.

Harvey : Such genius! By the saints, Colonel, it's a cunning plan, eh!

Aldwyn : [With an extravagent salute to Harvey] Sir, any cunning I have is as a result of observing you! [Opens the front door] Right, you oafs! They are going to sneak out the back door, and I want none of you blackguards, [booming] none of you, I say, to hide there waiting for them.

[There is some murmuring amongst the crowd.]

Person #1 : Gee, he sounds really serious. Person #2 : Yeah, we'd better not go around the back. Person #3 : I know what you mean. Come on, let's just go home.

[The crowd begin to slip away.]

Austin : [Looking in disbelief out the door] I may have just found my financial nirvana. [Swings around to Aldwyn] Tell me Colonel, how is the real estate around this island?

Aldwyn : Almost impossible to get hold of, impossible, I say! [Turns to Alice] What are you still doing here, girl? You're not going to find flowers in an office, eh? Eh? [Looks to one side and sees a huge bouqet of flowers in a vase.]

Alice : Yes, Daddy. [To the others] I'll see you here later, and we can get back on the boat together, as Daddy will be staying on the island. Now, I'm off to [big wink at Harvey] pick some flowers.

Aldwyn : Gah! Don't tell me you've picked up that tic again, girl!

Alice : No, Daddy.

[Exit ALICE.]

Clint : Right, I think we should break up. Some [quick glance at Faetan] should chase that Jarl impersonator, whereas the rest of us should investigate the ... ermm... amuzement sites. They're always a good source of information.

Harvey : Well Aldwyn, your genius plan worked perfectly! I salute you sir! [Snaps a salute] Now, I think we should all go to this club and find out what's what! [To Faetan]You must be champing at the bit, my dear! We'll delay you no longer, let the enquiries begin, lads! [Hefts his bag over his shoulder]

Faetan : [Deftly dodging a smack from Harvey's bag] Yes, let's check out this impersonater. [To Aldwyn] Sir, do you know the name of this bar that he is supposed to run?

Aldwyn : [Looking at Faetan] Jarl's Juicy Jugs!

Faetan : [Outraged] What?

Aldwyn : That's the name of the bar - it's one of those healthfood places, what!

Harvey : [Face darkens] This is sounding worse by the minute, what!

Austin : So who goes to the bar, and who visits the local amusements? Personally, I think we should all stay together, considering the result of our usual tavern visitations end with death, murder and spilled drink, covered up magnificently by an inferno.

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD, believes that this could be good news. Juice bars are quite the in thing with the nerd crowd.

Aldwyn : Of course, this is a strip juice bar.

Faetan : [Growling at Austin] Let's just go to the bar.

Harvey : Indeed private, we should not split up under any circumstance! Can't have the troop divided and vulnerable, now can we! Hut hut, lads, let's check out this [almost spits] health bar.

Austin : [Arches an eyebrow] Is there a full moon?

Faetan : If you do one, I'll make sure to stick my boot in it. [Grins at Austin]

[Exit ALL, to the main road, where ALICE is waiting.]

Harvey : Why my dear! Have you finished picking flowers already? [Looks around Alice] Not very successful, eh! But don't worry, my dear, you should never underestimate the cunning prowess of flora!

Alice : [Not looking happy] Well, I tried to pick that one [points at a nettle] but it bit me!

Clint : Don't worry girl, Uncle Clint will take care of it. [Tries to cut the nettle, only to get bitten back] [Pause] Erm, so, shall we go?

Alice : Have you got something for me, Harvey?

Harvey : Just one moment, private Scar! Observe dear Alice, how such a beast can be tamed. All's you need to do is firmly grasp boths sides of the leaf between thumb and forefinger, thus. Gah! [Jumps back in pain, before kicking the offending plant]

Jerome : Actually, good Colonel. If you don't mind, it is merely a matter of mind of matter. If you believe that the plant cannot hurt you, then it won't. [Breathes, and centres himself] I believe. [Bends over to pick it up, but gets stung] Ah!

Faetan : I look after this. [Takes out her crossbow, and shoots at the nettle, and just grazes the side. The bolt ricochets off a nearby stone, then off a wall, only to fly back and wedge itself in her hair] Bah! Damned plants! [Pulls out the bolt and throws it on the ground] Let's go!

Harvey : [Turns to Alice, giving one last scowl at the nettle. He hands Alice his bag] There you go, my dear.

Chastity : [Looking at the nettle] I guess that proves it. Island Flora is hardier than its Mainland relations. No wonder Sister Gurn used to avoid the nettle soup.

Alice : [Taking the bag off Harvey] Thanks, Uncle Harvey! [Steps into a telephone booth and starts changing.]

Faetan : [Looking at Alice in the glass telephone booth] What is she doing?

Jerome : I suspect that Alice has not realised that the walls of the booth are clear.

Austin : [Points in the opposite direction] Oh, that mob is returning again! [Takes a sneaky picture of Alice, and turns back to the others with a smug look]

Harvey : [Spins around, then looks back suspiciously at Austin] You there, avert you eyes! [Hurriedly removes his jacket and holds it in front of the telephone box]

Alice : [Stepping out, dressed in her normal clothes and armour] Ta-da!

Faetan : [Pulling the hem of the back of Alice's skirt out of the waistband] Can we go now? Aldwyn said it is over there [juts her thumb behind her] somewhere, I suspect it won't be too hard to find, I just hope it isn't too rancid.

[The party look behind FAETAN to see, just about four doors down, a huge building with "Jarl's Juicy Jugs" written on it, and a noisy animated neon sign of a well endowed woman lifting two large jugs.]

Clint : Cool, they've got drinks there. Drinks and beer, Phili blessed this island!

Harvey : Remember your brief, private Scar! We're on a fact finding mission, and that's all! There will be no enjoyment for you here today!

Jerome : Yes, a nice er, jug of orange juice would be most refreshing at this moment. Perhaps someone slightly more control over their temper should lead the way in, Faetan. No offence.

Faetan : [Sourly] None taken.

Alice : [Brightly] I'll do it!

Jerome : Er, actually, I was thinking or either myself, Chastity, Harvey, Austin or Clint.

Alice : Hey!

Jerome : Colonel? Perhaps you'd like to lead the way?

Chastity : [Looking up disapprovingly at the sign.] If this place has a certain brandy and bruly men trading insults looking for a fight I doubt if we'll ever get Clint out. Phili protect us .[Makes towards the door. Turning to the group] You know, I can't help feeling that the demon from the soul-twister is about to pop up!

Harvey : Why certainly, good doctor! Now troop, none of us know what levels of depravity happen behind these doors, so be prepared for all eventualities! Good sister, perhaps you'd like to say a silent prayer for us while we enter? [Takes a deep breath and pushes open the door]

Faetan : If he does, he'll have to get in line for an ass kicking, because I'm getting pretty mad.

Alice : Hey! What did Chastity do to you?

Faetan : [Grumbles under her breath for a moment] Nothing.

Clint : [Pushing Harvey impatiently] C'mon, c'mon, let's go. Lead the way, Colonel.

[Just as HARVEY pushes open the door, someone pulls it in from the other side. It is ARCADIA FERRARI, a beautiful blonde woman in a very severe looking leather outfit and wearing dramatic make up. She takes a drag of her cigarette, and looks HARVEY up and down.]

Arcadia : Well, hello.

Arcadia : [Turning her gaze on Clint] My, you are impatient, aren't you? Last Conor #81

Chastity : [To Alice] What a Tart.

Harvey : [Bows formally to Arcadia] Well hello, my dear woman. We're looking for a place to have a few drinks and shoot the breeze. Do you know of such a place?

Alice : [Just finishing her make up] What? Hey! [Points at Arcadia with her eyeliner pencil] She's almost got as much make up on as I do!

Arcadia : [Steps back from the door to let the party see inside] How about this little old place?

[The bar is huge, although there aren't too many people in it. It is clearly a strip club of some sort, and there are a number of scantily clad women dancing, being ogled by filthy looking men. The party recognise some of the customers dotted around the bar, including TOM and WOLFGANG, sitting at a walkway, BRANDY sitting at a table, the PEARCES at another table and ARAMIS, sitting down with two beautiful women at yet another.]

Clint : [To Arcadia, while stepping in] When do you finish work? We could go for a tour of the island...

Chastity : [Looking in the door and then at CLint] Well that just leave the make of brandy then.

Harvey : Why, this is just ideal, my dear! Can we have a private booth?

Arcadia : [Rubbing her leather clad body against Clint] Honey, you should be asking when I start work, because then we could go for a tour of the island. [Takes a huge drag on her cigaratte, and sucks the whole thing into her mouth. A few seconds later, she sticks her tongue out to reveal that she has tied a knot in the cigarette, which is still lighting.]

Alice : Wow, that girl's got class!

Austin : [Stepping inside, looks around and begins wringing his hands together slowly and smiling] Excellent, just...excellent.

Arcadia : Certainly, how about here? [Shows them a booth.]

Alice : Looks great - but can you clean up the salad cream?

Arcadia : Sure thing, honey. [Scrapes up the salad cream off the seat with her finger and sucks it]

Clint : [To Arcadia] How about you get me a double whiskey, and then we can start our... business?

Harvey : Wonderful, my dear girl! [Carefully avoids the smudge of salad dressing and seats himself]

Chastity : [Looking at the booth] Aaah, a private booth. [To Harvey] For an awful moment I thought you were making a uniformed dancer request for "Private Booth". [To Arcadia] I hope you've just washed your hands. Otherwise it could be unhygienic. [Takes a seat away from the still glistening freshly wiped area]

Arcadia : [To Clint] Not so fast, tiger, I'll send a waitress over. [Looks to Chastity] I'll make sure to dip them in something, Sister.

[ARCADIA walks towards the bar. Meanwhile, ARAMIS calls over from his table.]

Aramis : [With a girl under each arm, a brandy in one hand and a huge cigar in the other] Greetings! I thought I would check out this den of iniquity before you arrived. Say hello to Crystal and Felicia, I don't know which is which, but they are taking turns in stunning me with their beauty.

Harvey : [Trying not to stare at either] Indeed sir! And what do you make of this den of iniquity? Have you met everyone working here?

Clint : [Starring at a waitress with a cat's tail attached to her leather tight outfit] I would leave that part to me, Harv. I won't mind meeting the workers.

Aramis : [Taking his arms off the girls, and leaning forward] Give me a chance, Colonel! Worshipping such Goddesses as these is not a task to be taken lightly!

Faetan : Is the owner here?

Felicia : [Turning her gaze on Faetan] Himo is always here.

Austin : Hello ladies. If you require any advice concerning harrasement at work, or minimum wage issues, or even tax relief on certain performing costume purchases, let me tell you I'm your legal representitive. [Whips out two cards] Austin Sleaze. It'll be a pleasure doing business with you!

[The cat's tail waitress notices CLINT's gaze, and walks over to him.]

Lola : Hi, I'm Lola. Lola Maserati. [Licks her lips salaciously] Is there anything I can do for you?

Lola : [Hands over her own card to Austin] Lola Maserati. It'll be a business doing pleasure with you.

Clint : There's loads of things you can do with, I mean, for, me. But you could start by getting me a double whiskey.

Austin : [Smiles back and takes the card] Why, you look just like the cat who'll get my cream.

[FAETAN says nothing, but is clearly getting angrier and angrier, with her face growing red, and the odd grumbling noise coming from deep within, as she fiddles with an ashtray.]

Lola : [To Clint] Certainly. [To the rest of the group] What would you like? [Smiles at Austin] You'll have to talk to Himo about that.

Alice : [To Faetan] So, er, is one of these your mother?

Faetan : [Breaking the ashtray in shock] Oh, shut up, you dumb bitch!

Clint : [To Faetan] Shhh! Remember, low profile. [Pinches Lola's behind]

Lola : Naughty, naughty! Shall I just get a brandy for everyone?

Alice : [Glaring at Faetan with her angry face] Well, I'll have one for myself, let the others share if they want.

Jerome : [Loosening his bow-tie] Er, Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD will just take a glass of water.

Harvey : [Angrily] Faetan! There's no call for that language, my girl! And Alice! [Softens slightly] Well, um, these ladies are far too young!

Clint : [To Alice] Oh sweet Alice, you know you shouldn't drink that. What ever happened to your glass of milk?

Alice : [Smiles sweetly at Clint] Aw, thanks Uncle Clint, for thinking of my health. However, I don't think I'll chance drinking any creamy substances in this place.

Faetan : [Biting her lip, but clearly has had too much, and barks at Lola] You! Where is Himo Jarl?

Lola : Why, he's in the back office.

Faetan : Tell him I want to talk to him.

Lola : Who are you?

Faetan : Just tell him.

Lola : What-ever. [Walks to the back room.]

Chastity : [Picks up a menu. To Lola] Can I have a Vanilla Coconut cream suprise please. [Pauses for thought, looking at the area of seat Arcadia cleaned] On second thoughts best make that an orange and carrot crush.

Harvey : [Sits back, hand on hilt] Now we'll see what's what, eh! I want everyone ready for anything! Keep your eyes open and [glances at Clint] your hands to yourself.

Jerome : [Perspiring heavily, and clearing his throat] Jerome is ready for [croak] anything!

Brandy : [Turns at looks at the party, giving them a little wave] Hello.

Clint : [Giving Brandy the finger] Hell no.

Brandy : [Smiles warmly back at Clint] That'll change.

[Enter HIMO JARL, coming from a back room. He is talking to LOLA as he approaches, but stops dead in his tracks when he sees the party, and a look of shock comes over his face.]

Himo : Fae?

Fae : [With a similar look of shock] Da?

Alice : [Whispering to the others] He doesn't look exactly like what I expected!

Clint : [To Alice] At least she'll stop boasting about her [quotes...] Da from now on. Hopefully.

Austin : [Whistles to himself and takes some forms from his briefcase] Just what we need here, Parental Negligence Form, XV-01200. [Looks around the bar] Congratulations Faetan, ten percent of everything! You're going to be quite a rich woman! Sign here, and here and here. You'll find my fee will only pinch a smidgeon!

Alice : Oh, shut up, Austin. [Turns to Clint] No way, that's the great and heroic [loudly, causing everyone in the bar to look] HIMO [normal voice] Jarl?

Faetan : [Standing up, staggering towards him slowly] What? What happened to you?

Himo : [Notices Brandy sitting down, and makes brief eye contact with her, before turning back to Faetan] Come on, Fae. We need to talk.

Harvey : [Pats Faetan tenderly on the arm] Go on dear, we'll we waiting here for you.

Faetan : That's not him! That's not him! He's dead! He died a hero's death!

Himo : In Cross? It wasn't what it looked like. When Jaxon took you, I was told you were dead. [Holds his hand out to her] Come on.

[FAETAN slowly takes his hand, and the two walk to the back room.]

Alice : Amazing. It is just amazing how a father and daughter can know so little about each other.

Clint : Yeah, and she got to go to the back room for free.

Harvey : [Sadly] Tragic isn't it, dear Alice! We must all thank the Philli for how lucky we all are, eh!

Alice : [Nodding] Too true, things would never be like that with me and Daddy!

[A brief silence descends on the table.]

Alice : Hey! Shouldn't we go and check on her? Just in case there is some kind of shape shifter thing going on?

Harvey : More likely it's Himo who's going to be looking for help, what! But either way, you're correct as usual, dear niece! Let's check to make sure!

Jerome : Perhaps we should slip around the back? We can try and see in that way? Last for Conor #111

Chastity : [To Alice] It does the heart good to see your concern considering the anamosity between the two of you earlier. Maybe best let the Colonel or Myself go in to check, all things considered. I doubt if Faetan would appreciate you barging in at this time.

Alice : Hey! I can be subtle, Chastity, I don't have to just barge in on things. It's not Faetan you're talking to, you know! [Turns to Jerome, irritated] What the hell are you doing, Jerry?

Jerome : Er, braiding this flowers together to spell out your name.

Alice : Oh, out of my way. [Stands up, turning back to Chastity and the others] You know, being the only other woman in the party, I'm the only person who can understand Faetan's situation. Believe it or not, there were times when relations between Daddy and me weren't perfect, but we were able to sort them out with a good, honest and open discussion. I think I should go, but, so should we all, just in case there's a problem. Now, let's just go outside, and peek in the window.

Harvey : But dear sister! Perhaps the poor girl could do with a female shoulder to cry on! [Realises suddenly what he's said and goes bright red] As well as an ecuminical one, of course!

Alice : [Gives Harvey a strange look] What do you mean? [Looks at Chastity] Oh.

Austin : [Gets up from the table] Sounds good to me. I'm quite proficient at that task!

Harvey : Right, it's decided! [Stands] We all stay together! Let's covertly survey the situation!

Chastity : [Looks at Harvey] Hmmmmm [Looks at Alice] Hmmmmm [Looks at Austin] Hmmmmm. [Stands up] Yes, lets get out. The sleaze in here is starting to assault my sense of decency!

[The party slip out, watched by ARAMIS, BRANDY and the PEARCES, and make their way around the back of the bar. There is a small courtyard, where FAETAN and HIMO are talking, with an archway that backs onto the side street where the party are now.]

Alice : [Whispering] Okay, let's peek around the corner.

[JEROME, gets on his hands and knees, and peeks around. Just above him is CHASTITY, above her CLINT, above him HARVEY, above him ALICE, above her AUSTIN. All that is visible are the six heads.]

Faetan : [Hugging Himo, and bawling crying] I thought you were dead.

[Very quickly, in shock, JEROME and CLINT look at each other, CHASTITY and HARVEY look at each other, and ALICE and AUSTIN look at each other. Instantly, they switch, so JEROME looks at CHASTITY, CLINT at ALICE, and HARVEY at AUSTIN.]

Harvey : [Shocked] By the saints! She's leaking!

Chastity : [sighing] By Phili, isn't that a lovely sight.

Alice : What is? Somebody really upset? You know, Chas, I'll never understand nuns!

[Enter ARCADIA FERRARI.]

Arcadia : Sorry to interrupt, Himo, but that person is here to see you know who.

Faetan : [Glares at Arcadia] I'm Faetan Jarl! My father's business is my business.

Himo : [Slowly disentagling himself] Sorry, Fae, but I have to do this. Wait in the bar with your friends, and I'll collect you in a few moments.

Chastity : Quick back to the bar!

Austin : Oops, time to go! [Takes a quick close up picture of the tears and walks back towards the front entrance of the bar]

[The party scramble out from the back street, and burst in through the door of the bar, literally diving back to their seats, with, of course, everyone sitting in the wrong order, and in front of the wrong drinks. Seconds later, enter FAETAN from the back room.]

Alice : [Picking up the drink in front of her] Look, Brandy and the Pearces are gone! [Looks at the milky drink in front of her] Hey!

Harvey : [Puffing and panting, looks up innocently at Faetan] Ah, here she is! How did it go, my dear?

Faetan : [Stiffly] I'd rather not talk about it yet.

Alice : [Consolingly] You know, Fae, not all of us can have good relationships with our parents. You know, the easy back and forth I have with Daddy didn't just -

Faetan : I don't care! Just back off, Blondie, okay?

Alice : Oh-kay! [Takes a drink of her milk, before giving it a very curious look]

[ARAMIS approaches the table.]

Aramis : Ah, most lovely of parties! I have news that may interest you, concerning Vitun Kusipaa.

Harvey : [Turns from Faetan to Aramis, and bows] News, eh? We'd be glad to hear it! Here, have a seat!

Chastity : Then please sit down Aramis. [Trying to slide along the seat finding it a bit difficult, before realising that shes sat down in the place Arcadia wiped] Oh no. A sticky habit.

Clint : [Quickly changing the milky rum in front of him with the double sexy whiskey in front of Jerome] Yes, yes, tell us about it.

Aramis : It appears that your friend, the delightful Brandy, was here to meet Vitun Kusipaa.

Alice : [Still with her milk moustache, looking at Faetan] You mean?

Faetan : No! There's no way! [Looks around] The Pearces are also gone, where are they?

Aramis : They were here to meet Mr. Jarl.

Harvey : So, Kusipaa and Me Jarl are not one and the same?

Faetan : Of course they're not!

Jerome : [To Aramis] Do you know where Ms. Brandy went?

Aramis : I believe she is in a room upstairs.

Harvey : [Bows to Faetan] My apologies, Ms Jarl! Well troop, what do you think? Upstairs and confront Brandy, or pursuit of the Pearses?

Clint : [Getting up] I think we should go pay her a visit...

Jerome : It could be dangerous for a group of us to venture upstairs, [bows slightly to Faetan] the ownership of this establishment by Ms. Jarl's father notwithstanding, so Jerome suggests we go outside, and attempt to look in the window.

Aramis : [Pointing at a window, that has a stained glass picture of a woman with massive jugs] They are directly above that window.

Harvey : I don't much like this sneaking around, but, if needs must! Doctor, you are correct. Walking boldly upstairs would be a very dangerous move. But I didn't notice a ladder or suchlike outside! How are we to look in an upstairs window?

Alice : We could recreate the human pyramid we did in the circus!

Austin : [Scoffs] It would never work without our spangly costumes. Plus, presumably the magic dust helped too.

Harvey : [To Jerome] Doctor, could you perhaps create some sort of bionic shoe? One jump and we'd be there! Surely a man of your incredible mind would find it a simple feat!

Clint : [Getting up] Shut up lawyer, you're not going to be able to use this as an excuse to put on some sparkly mini skirt that makes you look like a hooker.

Alice : [Visibly disappointed] Gah!

Clint : We don't need the dust - that time we were on a bike, this time time we'll be holding one up. [Juts his thumb back at a confused looking Alice]

Jerome : [As the party arrive out at the window] Indeed, Colonel, that is an excellent idea. However, for the idea to be feasible, I suspect one would have to try and produce some sort of clown shoe / jack rabbit hybrid, which, unfortuntely, we neither have the time nor the equipment to attempt.

Harvey : [Clicks his fingers in disappointment] Gah! I suppose that's why I'm just a soldier, and you're a prize winning scientist! [Looks up at the window] Okay troop, let's form that pyramid! Same as the circus!

Austin : [Sighs] Very well! [Stands between Harvey and Clint]

[JEROME says nothing, but gives a kind of sheepish, self conscious look. Meanwhile, the party line up, with HARVEY, AUSTIN and CLINT across the bottom. On the next row are FAETAN and JEROME, while ALICE climbs up to the top.]

Alice : [Sticking her foot into Austin's face, and another into Clint's crotch] Maybe you should stay out of this one, Sister, Faetan can do the job and is, er, a bit light- her hair is longer! [Grabs hold of Faetan's hair to pull herself up]

Faetan : [Angrily] Ow! That hurts!

Alice : I'll say it does! It's like a briar, you should condition it once in a while, Faetan!

Harvey : Good sister, perhaps you can be our lookout, and inform us of anyones approach, eh, what! [To Alice] Well dear niece, can you see anything?

Alice : [Peeking in the window, slowly drawing herself up to it] Hey! There's no one there! [Squints in] It looks like they're in the room across the hall. Hold on. [Takes out a small metal cylinder, about eight inches long] Good job I brought this, eh? [Examines it] Oops! [Puts it away] I meant, this! [Takes out Stewart's telescope, and opens it up, taking a look through the window, which sheopens very slightly]

Faetan : What's going on?

Alice : Sh! I can see Faetan, and she's calling someone Vitun. Yep! She's definitely talking to him. Hang on, it looks like he's about to come into view, yes, it's.... [Surprised voice] Oh.

Harvey : What's that? What's going on dear niece, who is it? And did you say Faetan? Perhaps you meant Brandy, which, you'll get no more of, young lady!

Alice : Yeah yeah, that's what I meant. There he is! [Turning to the party, holding the telescope in her hand] I just saw Vitun Kusipaa, [looks Faetan in the eye] It's Himo Jarl. [Looks back at the window] Oh no!

[The window explodes in a burst of flame, throwing the party away from the wall.]

[Book III, Act I, Scene VIII. Outside Jarl's Juicy Jugs. HARVEY, ALICE, CLINT, CHASTITY, FAETAN, AUSTIN and JEROME are here, with all except CHASTITY having been thrown to the ground by the force of the blast. Two large carriages have just screeched to a half, one at either end of the street. What appear to be indians, leap out, and start charging, although it isn't clear whether it is the party or the building that they are charging at. All the indians are in the traditional warpaint and feathers outfits, and are carrying all manner of fearsome looking axes. The three indians nearest the party are SEAN, PADDY and GEAROID.]

Alice : [Shaking her head, and looking up] Oh no, another hallucination! Oh well, the last time I saw indians, they were really friendly, and I just bet these ones are the same.

Sean : [Pointing his axe at Alice] Bagsies I get her scalp!

Paddy : No fair, I wanted it!

Sean : I'm getting it!

Paddy : Me!

[The two square up to each other.]

Gearoid : Ah now, let's not be savages about this. Sean did say it first, so he's the one who gets to cut the top of her head off and eat the brain out of it raw.

Clint : [Getting up, to Gearoid] I wouldn't try that if I were you. She bites back, and besides you'd starve - there's not much inside her head.

Alice : [Drawing her sword] That's right, Clint! [Thinks for a second] Hey!

[The other indians start advancing on the entrance, while the main three and a few others move towards the party.]

Paddy : [Making a "woo woo" indian sound with his hand] Kill the evil ones!

Alice : [Confused] But, aren't you the evil ones?

Harvey : [Angrily] By the saints chaps! We've no quarrel with you, just move on somewhere else, eh! But if you touch a hair on my nieces head, by god, you'll have me to answer to!

Paddy : Sure 'n begorrah, that sounds like a threat.

[The indians move in, weapons drawn.]

Austin : [Stepping behind Clint] I think the party should kill those indians, quickly now, strike them!

Clint : [To Austin, while drawing his sword] Don't you try anything back there, Lawyer! [To the Indians] About time we have a proper fight. En guarde!

Austin : Not to worry, Mr. Scar, I am here merely to ensure that none of those sneaky indians attempt an assault from the rear.

Alice : [Drawing her sword, glaring at Austin] But who's going prevent you assaulting his rear?

[The INDIANS advance.]

Gearoid : In the name of the Fundamentalist Knights, prepare to die!

Chastity : [Holding her mace readily] Hold on there. We are Fundamentalist Knights.

Harvey : [Drawing his sword and stepping in front of Alice, laughs] In the name of the Fundamentalist knights! Do you claim to be of their order? Eh?

Sean : Sure 'n beggorah, we are, to be sure!

Alice : [Stepping to the side of Harvey, and talking so only the party can hear her] I thought we didn't like the Fundamentalist Knights - weren't they Adam's bunch of losers and [turns and stares at Sean] since when do Indians have an Irish accent? What's going on here? [Back to the party] I think we should kill them on principle, because they sound so like Dicey!

Austin : [Ducking behind Alice] Touch me and I'll have you in court before my scalp hits the ground!

Harvey : I think we'll have to kill them out of necessity, dear niece! Forget principle. They mean to have our heads, and a good old fight is the only way to keep them. You know how unreasonable Irish people are, for goodness sakes, eh! The only reason they understand is a fist in the face or a bottle of whiskey over the head!

Chastity : [To Alice] My dear, I think it is usually quite a good idea to be friends with any savage horde looking to collect fresh scalps. Many a fine Missionary of Phili has failed to realise this at their peril.

Clint : [Looking from one side to the other] Here we go again, all talk and no fight.

Alice : Savage horde? You mean like [angry face, as she spits out the name] Hope Masterson?

[More indians climb out of the carriages, so there are now ten of them advancing on the party, with all manner of savage looking befeathered axes. Another bunch are heading into the bar, while one has headed across to the opposite side of the street.]

Sean : Ye dirty bunch of lying bastards! We were told that there'd be a tricky bunch tryin' to protect that dirty hound Jarl, and something tells me ye're related!

Faetan : [Pulling out her sword] That's my father, [shouts] fear me! [Runs at Sean with her sword.]

Alice : [Turns to Clint] Well, you should know by now that you can always rely on Faetan to turn a tense situation into a brawl!

Chastity : [Sighing] At least it makes a changes from her attacking someone for not having heard of her father!

Harvey : [To Faetan] Hold there, private! We've no intention of protecting Jarl, infact, quite the opposite, I'd say! Faetan, that man can't be your father! He's an impostor!

Clint : Now this is definitely becoming interesting! [Checks out the reaction of the indians]

Chastity : [Looking across to the opposite side of street. To Austin] Be careful, Sleaze. One of the indians seems to be trying to draw you out by loitering around the sex shop.

Alice : [To Chastity] Just wait until she attacks someone for not saying anything about him!

[FAETAN and SEAN clash, and she hits him, drawing blood.]

Faetan : [With typical Faetan hysteria, foaming at the mouth] Fear me! [Turns and glances at Harvey] You shut up!

[EXTRA #1 and CHASTITY clash, with CHASTITY receiving hit, while each of HARVEY and GEAROID, and ALICE and EXTRA #2 clash, with no one receiving an injury. PADDY and CLINT, on the other hand, both strike each other.]

Paddy : Ye bastard! You even smell evil!

Austin : Perhaps, sister, if you spent more time in conversation with your God, and less time checking out the rubberised sex toys in that window, the predicament we now find ourselves in, would not be quite so grave.

Alice : Gah! Another place we can't hide! [Glances at Austin] If you spent less time trying to look up my skirt and more time trying to help us, the predicament we now find ourselves in would not be quite so grave!

[The indians seem unperturbed by the revelation about FAETAN's father, and attack again. This time around, CHASTITY, ALICE and FAETAN get hit, as do GEAROID, EXTRA #2 and PADDY.]

Faetan : [Nearing loss of control] That hurt! [Glances over her shoulder at the door] Look! The rest of them are going into the bar!

[The INDIAN on the far side of the street glances around himself surreptiously, and slips into the sex shop.]

Austin : [To Alice] It's hard to look up your skirt, Alice my dear, being hitched into your knickers at the back, the way it has been since you last visited the ladies room.

Chastity : [Attacks Extra #1] Phili protect me!

Alice : Actually, Austin, I meant the skirt that you stole out of my luggage in Queens View!

Harvey : Have at you, you feathered buffoon! [Swings at Gearoid]

Clint : Have at you too, you ugly Irish Indian! [Swings at Paddy]

[The indians begin to close in around the party. Although they are not wearing any armour, they clearly have some kind of magical protection.]

Sean : [Holds his axe up and kisses it] Glory to the Fundamentalist Knights!

Alice : Eauh! You know, I had him down as an axe-kisser right from the start!

[There is another round of combat, with CHASTITY being struck by EXTRA #1 and EXTRA #3 who has come in from the side. HARVEY both hits and gets hit by GEAROID, while ALICE gets hit by EXTRA #2 and EXTRA #4 who's just joined in. FAETAN and SEAN both strike each other, but she is also hit by EXTRA #5 who has joined the affray.]

Jerome : Alice! I'll help you! [Fires three magic missiles at Extra #3 and strikes him]

[Enter BRANDY, standing at the upstairs window, looking down at the melee, with a peculiar smile on her face.]

Harvey : [Looks down at his would] Gah! Damn and botheration! The ruination of yet another, perfectly good shirt! [Glares at Gearoid] You're going to pay for that, me lad! Glory to the Hierophantic Knights! [Swings at Gearoid]

[BRANDY opens her hands to reveal that she is holding a small, glowing orb, which she drops in the middle of the group. There is an explosion of enormously bright and warm white light, which envelopes the group. When it subsides, all the indians are lying on the ground, and the party appear to be unharmed.]

Brandy : [Smiles warmly at the party] Gee, does this mean we're friends again? [Climbs over the window ledge, and eases herself down, landing beside Austin, which, considering the height of her heels is no mean feat.]

Faetan : [Grabbing Brandy's arm] Where's Da?

Brandy : [Smiling sweetly] Let go of me, or I'll break your arm.

Chastity : [Looking round at Brandy ] Is it just me, or does this group seem to specialise in getting help from dubious sources. And hadn't someone best check that Indian in the sex shop. [To Austin] Not you, you'll never come back out. [Quickly turning to Clint] Or you, for similar reasons! Maybe I'd best go and see, as I won't be presented by temptation [heads towards the sex shop window]

Alice : [To Chastity] Well, he's [juts her thumb at Austin] is dubious, and hasn't helped us. [Quickly flattens the back of her skirt, to make sure that it isn't tucked into anything]

[There is a brief stand off between FAETAN and BRANDY, before the latter lets go, and turns to the party.]

Faetan : Come on, inside!

[The INDIAN comes out of the shop, loaded down with brown paper bags, and, upon seeing CHASTITY, drops everything and runs.]

Jerome : Maybe we should see what he has, for, er, evidence. [Adjusts his bow tie.]

Austin : [Turns to Brandy] Not that I didn't appreciate your help, but explain yourself, woman! Why did you help?

Brandy : I was asked to, by my old [thinks for a second, licking her lips lascivisouly] friend, Himo.

Faetan : [Rigid with anger] Come on! Come on, you losers! Don't just stand there!

Harvey : [Swings around to Faetan] Listen to me, private! I'm getting very tired of your constant badgering of the other members of my troop and complete insubordination! If you want to enter the bar, then bloody well go in! If not, then stay here and stay quiet! We'll be with you when we've finished here. Gah!

Faetan : Yeah? Well I'm sick of your troop standing around bitching about nothing when there's work to be done. Follow me in when you're finished, it should be just about bed time then!

[Storms into the bar.]

Brandy : My my, she's definitely Himo's daughter.

Clint : [To Brandy] At least she doesn't play dirty tricks on us, unlike you.

Brandy : [Flutters her eyelids at Clint] Aw, Clint! Don't tell me you're still sore about that whole [waves her hands around] paralysing poison and starvation thing, are you? [Taps one of the Indians] Not when I just saved your life from this lot. [Takes out a dagger] Quickly, let's cut their throats and get out of here.

Chastity : shouldn't we find out why they were attacking first? [Bends down and picks up the Indians brown paper bags] I'll get these. There may be something useful in them. [Starts to quickly look through the bags whilst walking back to the group]

[CHASTITY searches through the bags, but it isn't apparant to the rest of the party what she can see. They do get the occasional glimpse of rubber, chain and plastic, including an entirely inappropriate looking corset made of leather and steel spikes.]

Alice : [Wide eyed at the corset] That's mine!

Jerome : [To Brandy] Just a moment, Ms. Brandy. We are not in the habit of murdering people, I must insist you desist.

Brandy : [With some surprise] But, you were trying to kill them just a few moments ago.

Harvey : [To Brandy] No, don't. Just leave them as they are. [Bends and rolls back one of the extra's eyelids.] How long will they be out for?

Brandy : That depends on how much people prod them in the eyelids, but, anything up to an hour. Look, if we're not going to kill them, we had better get out of here.

Clint : Let's go check on the kid. [Goes inside]

Brandy : [Grabbing Clint's arm] Hold on there, Slick. We've got to get as far away from this building as possible - she'll be okay, Himo will see to that.

Harvey : I think we should give her some time to calm down on her own. Time to get her head together. An hour or two, perhaps. > > Clint : Let's go check on the kid. [Goes inside] > Chastity : [Still looking in the bags] Fish flavour? I don't fancy that much! [Gives the bag with the corset to Alice] This might well make useful armour for you. [Pulls out a HUGE dildo with stainless steel studs all over it] But I think I'll keep hold of this offensive weapon. A police truncheon, unless I'm mistaken! [Hands the remaining bags to Jerome] Maybe you can invent something with the rest of the contents, although I'm a bit confused about the magazine with midgets in rainbow wellies on the cover! [Hangs the "truncheon" proudly from her belt and follows Clint into the bar]

Alice : [Taking the armour off Chastity] Harvey! [Sigh] You sound just like Austin!

Jerome : [Taking out a leather harness] I think I may have found a holster for your truncheon, Sister! [To the others] Maybe we should listen to Brandy, it could be dangerous inside.

Harvey : Agreed doctor, it would certainly be foolhardy to place our heads within the lions den. [Turns to Alice] Dear niece, perhaps we should seek refuge once more within the good Colonels office. I'm sure you must be missing your father already.

Austin : [Staring at Chastitys truncheon] That is second hand, you realise.

Alice : Who? [Blinks a few times] I mean, yes, yes! [Turns to Austin] How do you know? Did you use it? Have it used on you?

Brandy : Whatever you're going to do, we had better do it quickly. That building is going to be destroyed very soon, and it's quite possible that another carriage full of those Indians will be coming.

Austin : [To Alice] Your skirt wasn't the only thing I took from your bag. That's how I know.

Harvey : [Looks up and down the street] Okay troop, let's get out of here. This is what is known as the calm before the storm. Let's go to Aldwyns.

Clint : Are we going to leave the kid behind?

Alice : [To Austin] Did you take my blouse too? [Looks a bit more closely] Oh no, that's your own, my mistake.

Brandy : [To Clint] Chances are, she's already with Himo, and they're already gone out of the building. Now, where's this Aldwyn you speak of?

Jerome : [Points down the street] About five minutes walk, that way.

[From around that corner comes yet another carriage, packed with more indians.]

Harvey : [Looks towards the bar] Yes, for now. She'll be far better off calming down and coming to her senses on her own. Agreed?

Brandy : Forget her, let's get onto that other carriage and get out of here!

Harvey : Agreed, and double quick, troop! [Opens the carriage door] After you, dearest Alice.

Alice : [Climbing on] Thanks, Harvey, I'm just surprised Austin didn't try to squeeze on first, such is his bravery.

Chastity : [Climbs into the carriage after Alice and puts the "holster" from Jerome on, and slots in the "truncheon"] That's funny, it would appear that, when holstered, the truncheon sticks out in front of me. [Swings round, nearly clubbing Clint in the head] Hmmm, not very practical, in my opinion. It could get stuck anywhere! [Takes the "truncheon" off, rehangs it on her belt and removes the holster]

Austin : [Looks into the carriage] Ah, so there wasn't an indian hiding in there, ready to jump out at whoever entered first.

Alice : [Watching as Austin gets into the back] No, but I think he's hiding under your seat, shivering like the coward he is. [Thinks for a moment] Oh no, that'll be you, in a few minutes.

Brandy : [Slides into the front seat beside Clint and Alice, grabbing the reigns] Let's go! [Starts the carriage up with screech and smell of burning hooves, hotly pursued by the other carriage.]

Harvey : All in, on the double lads! [Jumps on top of the carriage and into the driving seat] Right troop, who can read a map and tell me where I'm supposed to be going?

Alice : [Taking out a huge map, as Harvey realises that Brandy is in the seat] I have a map, Harvey.

Jerome : [Looking of her shoulder] Yes, but that's a map of Egypt, we're on Delerium.

Alice : So?

[Before JEROME gets a chance to answer, that map is blown out of her hands, and into the INDIAN carriage.]

Alice : Oh no! Now we'll never get to see the pyramids!

[Book III, Act I, Scene IV. The Getaway Carriage. HARVEY, ALICE, CLINT, CHASTITY, AUSTIN, JEROME and BRANDY are here. BRANDY is driving, with CLINT and ALICE beside her on the front seat, while HARVEY, CHASTITY and JEROME are on the second seat. AUSTIN is by himself on the back seat. They are being hotly pursued by the INDIAN carriage.]

Brandy : [As the carriage flies around a corner with a squeal of tyres] We've got to get rid of them before we attach any more attention.

Alice : You mean like three police carriages chasing us?

Brandy : Yes, that sort of thing.

Alice : No, there [points back] are three police carriages chasing us.

[This is indeed the case. The police carriages, easily identifiable by their positioning of two naked dwarves, one painted red, and the other blue, on their roofs. Each dwarf in a pair takes it in turns to call out.]

Blue#1 : Neeee! Red#1 : Naaaw!

Clint : Wait a minute, why are we running away from the police? We didn't do anything!

Brandy : [Screeching the carriage around another corner] Because this is Delerium, and the police are even more rotten than most! The reason I was talking to Himo was to tell him that the Fundamentalist Knights are on the island and were about to kill him. The cops are part of it too.

[Screeches around another corner, but the other carriages are still gaining.]

Clint : What about that explosion?

Harvey : Indeed, you could have killed us all!

Brandy : [Smiles at Harvey] I could have, but I actually saved all of you. As for the explosion, well [Checks her watch, before counting calmly] Three, two, one.

[For a few seconds, nothing happens save for the other carriages getting ever closer.]

Brandy : [Distressed] Oh no! They must have got to him! They must have -

[She is interrupted by a large explosion from back in the direction of HIMO's place.]

Brandy : [Calm again] I mean, there it is.

[The other carriages are almost upon the party now, and they can see that several people in the other carriages have bows and are preparing to fire.]

Red#1 : Neee!

Blue#1 : Hey! I'm supposed to do Nee - you do Naw!

Red#1 : I can do what I want!

Blue#1 : Yeah? Well, fuck you!

[The two begin brawling.]

Austin : They're still gaining on us! We should through out anything superflous to requirements and lighten the load! [Looks at Chastity] Of course, some could just volunteer.

Alice : [Turns and glares at Austin] Superfluous to requirements? You know, the only thing that surprises me is that [points at him angrily] you are still with us!

Chastity : [To Austin] Feel free to jump off Lawyer. I realise that your proffession are more used to chasing after the police carriages. [Looking round at the carriages] O Phili, We might need some help here [Closes her eyes and mumbles a prayer]

Harvey : Come on troop, let's all pull together and stop this constant in-party bickering, eh, what! [Glares at Austin] Now, suggestions for getting away from these corrupt officers of the law?

[Suddenly, the lead horse in the Indian carriage stumbles, and their carriage loses control, crashing into a nearby wall and exploding into a firey ball of flame.]

Alice : [With her shades on] Cool! You know, I think we're going to get out of this after all!

[Thump. A crossbow bolt hits the back of ALICE's seat, having been fired from one of the police carriages. The police are now gaining, with the one that has the now fighting DWARVES the nearest.]

Brandy : [To the others] Come on! Don't you have any missile weapons?

Harvey : Of course we do, what kind of operation do you think I run here, young lady?

Brandy : I could venture a suggestion, but suspect that this is not the appropriate time! [Turns to Alice] Here, you take the reins.

Alice : [Surprised] Me? Yay!

Harvey : [A fearful look briefly passes his face as he notices Alice taking the reins, before standing and knocking an arrow in his bow and firing at the closest carriage]

Jerome : [Exchanges a quick glance with Harvey before turning to Brandy] Are you sure that's the wisest thing to do?

Brandy : At this stage, the only possible means of escape I can envisage is through the use of some reckless and foolhardy driving. I suspect that of all those present in this carriage, Alice is the most likely to provide that.

[The carriage suddenly veers onto a footpath, sending pedestrians scattering in all directions, and smashing straight into MISTER PAPPODOPOLUS' fruit stall, covering the party in water melons, rotten apples and other, assorted fruits.]

Alice : [Standing up, and screaming wildly] Yeeeeeha! [Swings the whip around wildly, barely missing the rest of the party with it.]

[Two of the cop carriages are following, while the other didn't make the turn in time. One of HARVEY's arrows strikes one of the POLICEMEN, who was aiming at the carriage.]

Austin : [Flicking bits of water melon from his shoulder, glares at Brandy] And what good is it if we die in the process? [Fires an arrow at the closest carriage]

Clint : [Picking up a pineapple and throwing it to the driver of the other carriage] Go on Bimbo, lead the way!

Harvey : [Delightedly eating a bit of water melon] By the saints, now that's a Short! Who else would feed the troop, and plot our escape route at the same time! [Beams proudly at Alice]

[CLINT throws the pineapple to the other driver, who, with a puzzled expression, catches it. Meanwhile, ALICE turns completely around in her seat to face HARVEY.]

Alice : Aw! Thanks Harvey!

Brandy : [Angrily to Austin] Feel free to get off, Pretty Boy. I'm sure no one will miss you. [Fires at the same carriage as Austin.]

[Both AUSTIN and BRANDY hit a POLICEMAN who was just about to fire. He falls, discharging his arrow as he does so, sending it ricocheting all around the POLICE carriage with the traditional zinging sound. It strikes the DRIVER, who was distracted by the pineapple, sending the carriage out of control and into the window of a local MISS FRELSIDGES.]

Alice : [Still facing the wrong way] Excellent! Now there's only one left!

Harvey : [Delighted, raises his arms from side to side] Everythings going so well!

Jerome : [Terrified, pointing out the front of the carriage] Alice! Look out!

[ALICE turns to the front again, just as the carriage ploughs through SENOR SUCCIONADOR DEL PEGAMENTO's glue stall, and on through SENORA MUCHOS DE POLLOS chicken stall, showering the party in glue, chickens and feathers.]

Alice : Pff! [Spits out some feathers, and swerves back onto the street] Where are the cops?

[The POLICE CARRIAGE skids on a particularly slippy chicken, and overturns. The party's carriage is still tearing down the street, sending people running in all directions.]

Harvey : [Claps Alice on the back and spits some feathers from his mouth] By the saints, what a trooper, dear niece! You certainly gave them the run, eh! [Tries to remove his hand, but realises it's stuck]

Chastity : [Pulling chicken feathers out of her hair] It's like the last night senior girls dorm pillow fight in here, except with less ripped night gowns. [Stops and stares down at her front, where an entire chicken is now stuck] Oh, no. How embracing. If only I'd kept that holster on!

Alice : Yeah, and to think there were people in this carriage who thought I wouldn't be able to do it. [Suddenly spots Aldwyn in the middle of the street] Oh no! [Swerves hard to avoid him, and crashes through a large hedge, ploughing into the middle of a large policeman's picnic.]

Brandy : [As the cops begin starting up their carriages and following] Ah, now I see the inherent danger of having her in control.

Alice : [Crashing through a huge picnic table, sending cops with party hats diving for cover] I know what you mean, Sis. If we just loaded up the carriage with grass and cheese, we'd be right back to those days. [Glances behind her] Are we being followed?

Jerome : Er, there are about a hundred of them after us.

Alice : [Looks ahead at the huge ravine, before turning to the others] Well, will we go for it?

Austin : [Rubs at his suit in disgust] Oh, as if the glue and chickens weren't enough, she has to now liberally douse us in topiary! What next, a custard pie factory, perhaps?

Alice : Hey! Now that's a good idea, Austin, I'm starving!

[The carriage plunges through the huge painting of the ravine and onto a large street. There is a sign post here that says "Factory Street".]

Alice : Keep your eyes peeled for pies, folks!

Harvey : [Eyes light up] Mmmmmm, could we be so lucky, do you think? Surely something has to go wrong soon! This run of luck can't last forever, I say!

Alice : What could possibly go wrong?

[ALICE suddenly jams on the brakes, sending the carriage screaming and lurching to a halt, right in the middle of the street. All the POLICE carriages also try to stop, with the result that many of them rear end each other, crash into walls or simply explode, for not obvious reason. Absolute silence reigns for a few moments.]

Clint : [Looking around, then breaking the silence] I remember this from a dream I had. We were being followed by a 100 cop carriages and suddenly we overturned and all the cops crashed. [Suddenly looks at the cops carriages] Oh. I see.

Chastity : [Looks behind her at the decimation] What a waste of life! [Looks down] Sorry, my poultry friend [Clubs the poor chicken stuck to her front with her new truncheon, sending chicken wings, giblets, feathers and head spraying up over the carriage. Only three tail feathers remain attached to her habit. Looking at the truncheon in surprise] Gosh, not for recreational use then?

Harvey : By the saints, sister! That is certainly a formidable weapon! Imagine being locked in a cell with a number of policemen giving you what for with those, eh! [Another few moments pass. There are a few impatient coughs from some of the undamaged police carriages, as though waiting to take their cue from the party.]

Jerome : Er, is there some reason that we are stopped, Alice?

Alice : Yep.

Jerome : And, um, do you want to share it with us.

Alice : Look, [points over the front of the carriage] There's a family of ducks crossing the road!

[In one movement, all the cops stand up in their carriages to see this.]

Cops : Aw!

[The ducks finish their crossing.]

Alice : Let's go! [Revs the horses hard, and tears off]

[The party have put a bit of space between them and the cops, who were slower off the mark. They have now double backed, and are just passing MISTER PAPPODOPOLUS, who angrily throws a raisin at the carriage. He misses, but when the front wheel hits the raisin, the carriage overturns, and slides across the road, crashing into the window of a shop with "Flyd's Investigations" written above it.]

[Book III, Act I, Scene X. Flyd's Investigations. HARVEY, ALICE, CLINT, CHASTITY, AUSTIN, JEROME and BRANDY are here, lying in the wreckage of the carriage and shop window. Miraculously, as the party recover, it becomes apparant that no one is injured. Crouched over ALICE is CHARLES FLYD.]

Alice : [Opening her eyes, and crying out in shock] Eauh! There's a man with one really big eye leaning over me!

[The others look to see FLYD, crouched over ALICE with a huge magnifying glass that he is holding up to her forehead. His other hand is slowly stroking her hair.]

Flyd : Mmm. Silky.

Harvey : You there! [Strides over to Flyd taps him on the back] You get away from my niece this instant! [Helps Alice to her feet]

Flyd : [Turns and peers at Harvey] Right. Niece, eh? Right. [Steps back and writes something in his notebook]

Alice : [To the others] Now was that good driving, or what?

Clint : [To Alice] What.

Flyd: [Straightening up from Alice] Urrr...My shop.

Alice : [Loudly, to Clint] I said, "Now was that good driving, or what?" [Turns to Flyd] Er, sorry about your window, but, well, you'd hardly notice, would you?

[The shop is completely destroyed, and looks like a bomb has exploded in there.]

Harvey : [Turns to Alice] It was just the most wonderful driving in the world, dearest Alice! [Turns to Flyd] Sir, I feel I must apologise profusely for our rude entrance into your establishment. We'll just be leaving! [Starts shooing everyone out of the shop]

Alice : [Sticks her tongue out at Clint, before turning back to Harvey] Thanks Uncle Harvey! [Starts climbing over some melons to get out.]

Brandy : I think we could be in trouble here, the cops will be upon us in a few minutes.

Austin : [Dusts himself down, before looking around] Do you have carriage damage insurance, Mr, I presume, Flyd? If not, then I can procure the correct documents, [lowers his voice] dated yesterday, just for you at a very special, and I'm sure you'll agree, fair sum of money. Perhaps we should all leave the scene before the police arrive.

Alice : [Laughs at Austin] Tut! Surely it's whatever loser was driving the carriage needs insurance! [Thinks for a moment, and her face drops] Hey! [Walks over to Austin] That'll be yesterday's date, right? [Touches her hair where Flyd had rubbed it, before bringing her fingers to her nose and smelling suspiciously.]

Flyd: [eyes wide] Insurance? Nope. Get in though. Cops are coming. [Meaty arm waves deeper into the wreckage] Come on. [Huff and puff]

Alice : [Leaning back slightly from Flyd's arms, and whispering to Austin] Crikey! He smells even worse than Clint!

Jerome : [Apparantly unphased by Flyd's odour, which is almost as bad as Clint's] Thank you, good sir, but what is behind here? Where are you taking us? And why?

Flyd: [Sigh-jowls waggle] Backway. Urr. I have some questions for you. Mind the cesspool. [points towards a door in the back]

Alice : [Gives a shiver, before whispering to the others] You know, there's something about this guy that makes me very uneasy.

Brandy : [Clapping her hands together] Right! Now that you're in safe hands, I'll take my leave of you.

Harvey : [Places a handkerchief over his nose] Let's hope this back way is well ventillated, what!

Jerome : [To Brandy] Where are you going?

Brandy : I have some business to attend to, [gives her trademark warm smile] you can thank me for saving your lives later. [Looks to Flyd and gives him her brightest and best smile] You look after them, you hear? Especially Alice, as she loves big men.

Flyd: [Clambering over wreckage] My desk. [Holds up busted drawer front]

Flyd: [Eyeing Alice] Urr. Yep. Me too. Michael Francis, USBR Wildlife Biologist Bayfield, CO Peace Deathhunter, Ravenloft999 PBEM Brubaker Stormdiver, Crystal Spheres PBEM Haggus Piebald, Abred PBEM Bartholomew, Crystallis Reborn PBEM Roberto Mantalban, Eponderosa PBEM GM, Angel's Wrath PBEM

Harvey : [Bows to Brandy] I thank you, dear lady, but you must know, I do not trust you. Nor will I trust you the next time we meet. But again, my thanks.

Alice : [Stepping back slightly from Flyd] Er, do we all have to go under his desk?

Brandy : [Smiles once more at Harvey, before blowing a kiss to the party as she slips out the broken window] Remember, that's one you owe me!

[Exit BRANDY. In the distance, the party can hear sounds of sirens approaching.]

Harvey : [To Alice] Alice dear, you stay behind me! [To Flyd] Well, sir, lead on!

Flyd: [Gasping with exertion-places fat hand on door and shoves] Opps. [Pulls--door swings in and smacks fallen horse-Storage closet revealed.] In here if you please.[Smile]

Alice : [Clearly a bit freaked at Flyd still eyeing her up] Er, let's just go out the back, and let him follow. [Starts picking her way across the wreckage, before turning to Clint] Come on, Stinky, you can go first.

Alice : [Looking in through the door] Er, what's that?

Clint : [To Alice] Leaving your belongings around again, Bimbo?

Alice : [Thoroughly confused] What? [Looks around] Did we just crash into a different dimension or something?

Austin : [Shakes his head] Yet another lunatic met on our unceasing odyssey exploring the frailty of the human condition.

Flyd: Secret storage closet. Access to the alley. Duh.

Alice : [Pokes the back of the closet with her sword, revealing there to be a door there] Well, what do you know! [Turns to Austin] Back into the closet for you, eh?

[There is indeed an false back to the closet.]

Clint : Well then, we better get through it. Duh. to the

Alice : Off you go, Stinky! Conor's last: #23

Flyd: [Taking notes] Hee hee. Stinky. Thats funny. [Pulls, then pushes the door open]

Alice : [Glances at Flyd, before stepping through] Yep, it looks okay through here. Hey! What are all these cobwebs doing here?

Harvey : You certainly won't find it funny, sir, when you've been in his company for any length of time!

Flyd: Naturally supporting the interior ecology of my carriage-house. [points across the dark room to another door.] My kitchen lies yonder. Anyone else hungry? [begins to drool slightly]

Harvey : [Eyes light up and he rubs his stomach] Food, sir! Why yes, I'm famished! Please, lead on!

Flyd: [Waddles acroos carriage house floor and pushes-then pullls the kitchen door open. Smells of braising meat waft.] Welcome to my house. It is a rental, but suffices nicely for entertaining. [To Harvey] Thirsty too?

Alice : [Trying to brush off some of the cobwebs that she's got tangled up in her hair] As long as it's alcohol!

Austin : Alice, it won't help your case one bit when the police crash in here and find the driver of the carriage inebriated! I mean, you can barely walk a straight line sober!

Clint : The Lawyer is right. I'll take care of the alcohol, least the police find it. [Looks for a bottle of anything]

Harvey : I'm sure a small drop would do us all the world of good, private Sleaze. To soothe the nerves, what! I must say, sir [to Flyd], it's quite the, erm, bachelor pad you have here.

Alice : [Haughtily, as she follows Flyd] As if you, Austin, knew anything about [emphasises] straight lines!

Flyd: [Stuffing himself through the doorway] I have rum and brandy. And Turkey, ham, beef, pork, quail, rabbit, goose, frog's legs and pheasant. [Leads into a well lit kitchen that is like a cramped butcher shop. Many dead things line the walls and the oven is radiating a fine smell of mutton. Cluttered with cooking implements. Knives and the like.]

Alice : [Walking into a hanging frozen chicken] Ow! [Sits down] So, Mr., er, Flyd, thanks for helping us out.

Jerome : Indeed sir. I am Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD. It is a pleasure to meet you. [Thrusts his hand forward to Flyd]

Flyd: Well sir, I am the [emphasis] renowned Mr. Charles Flyd, Investigator, at your service. Perhaps you have heard of me? Now, through there to the sitting room. Make your selves [emphasis] comfortable [Eyeing Alice more.] The Liquor is on the cabinet. Help yourselves while I prepare a bite to snack on. [Rummaging in kitchen-clatters and crashes]

Jerome : Of course, sir. Let me introduce my associates. The lovely Ms. Bassett-Short [points at Alice], Sr. Chastity Browne [who waves her "truncheon" at Flyd] Colonel Kingston Short and Mr. Clint Scar.

Harvey : And I am Harvey Kingston Short the third, ex colonel of the Kings Reach fifth fusileers, don't you know! [Bows to Flyd] A pleasure to meet a man who is interested in the finer things of life, such as food.

Flyd: Pleased to make your acquaintances, one and all. [Comes to engulf hands politely, leaves a sweaty residue. Grabs tray of turkey legs and settles heavily into a much abused reclining chair] Here! Eat! We can talk over our snack. [Grabs two turkey legs and passes the tray.] What brings you to my shop? [Chews noisily]

[The party are all standing at one end of the kitchen, while FLYD potters about the other end, banging pots and pans.]

Alice : Excuse us one moment.

[The party form huddle, with someone peeping up every so often to look at FLYD.]

Alice : Okay, [sniff sniff] hey Clint, not so close! What do we think about this guy? Do we trust him?

Flyd: Fusileers, eh? [Licks fingers, draws foth a pencil and takes notes]

Austin : Why are we huddled in this strangers abattoir with the police only a few feet away, no doubt on the other side of the closet! We should be miles away from the scene of the accident! I for one do not trust him.

[The party break their huddle, upon being accosted by FLYD and his turkey legs.]

Alice : [Smiling sweetly at Flyd] Mr. Flyd, Austin here is a lawyer, and he doesn't trust you. Now, while that's normally enough for me to like someone, I am kind of curious as to why you helped us. [Takes a bite of turkey leg, that gets caught up in some of the cobweb still stuck to her hair, and so ends up taking a big mouthful of turkey, web and small spider.] Mm! That's really good! [The party break their huddle, upon being accosted by FLYD and his Flyd Beaming] Thank you. You looked like you might be of service to me. You see I am working, on my own mind you, on a little [emphasis] mystery. You may be able to help me. [pulls out magnifying glass and examines the turkey leg Alice bit from] Interesting overbite.

Clint : And what is this [emphasis, annoying finger quotes] mystery you're working on?

Alice : [Through a mouthful of turkey, web and spider legs] Hey! It all fitted in, didn't it?

Jerome : And what, Mr. Flyd, may I ask, is this mystery?

Flyd: Well, my good man, there seems to be a [emphasis, even more annoying finger quotes] secret portion of this island about which I can find absolutely nothing! Curiousity is killing me. And do not worry about the constabulary. I have some connections there, never fear. [to Austin] Nice hair, sir. Do you have it styled or is that your natural curl? [Waits with notebook poised.]

Alice : [Leaning in and speaking confidentially to Flyd] That's about as natural as Clint's body odour. [Suddenly inhales Flyd's odour, and staggers slightly, before leaning back again] Maybe the secret portion of the island contains Irish indians? [Brushes away the cobweb that now attaches her to Flyd.]

Harvey : A mystery eh, always did love those! Perhaps this portion of island contains hidden treasure, or mysterious smuggles with large wollen pullovers and beards! Or perhaps they are breeding an ancient form of life, using amphibian eggs and ancient mosquito poo. By the saints, we must find out! Tell me, what do you know so far? You say you are in with the police on this island. What do they know of this secret section of island! [Turns to Chastity] For this mystery, sister, we'll need a hamper full of sandwiches and lashings of ginger beer!

Austin : [Unimpressed, to Flyd] Mr. Flyd, I do not have a curl. [Leans forward a little, and points to his perfect hair] My hair is straight.

Alice : [Smirking] It wasn't your head hair that he was talking about.

Flyd: [Through mouthful of turkey] Nice, nonetheless. Now, as to this [annoying finger quotes with turkey legs] mystery zone. It is my suposition that therein resides some evil cult-like operation. Perhaps composed of smugglers, who can say? I need to find out, and I believe you [with emphasis] people can be of some service. The police purport to know nothing, I suspect they live in fear of the [turkey quotes again] mystery zone.

Flyd: Irish Indians? Really? That had not occurred to me. [replaces turkey leg with pencil and scribbles furiously in notebook.] My dear woman, there are, in fact, no Indian in the entirety of Ireland, unless you count the immigrant [emphasis] Indians, from India directly, I mean. I do believe I once encountered a cabbie of that descent not so long ago. Nice chap. Do you like Indian food? [Chew. Chew.] I love it myself. [Gets up and opens the cooler to look for left over tandoori rice dish from last week.]

Austin : [Unimpressed, to Flyd] Mr. Flyd, I do not have a curl. [Leans forward a little, and points to his perfect hair] My hair is straight.

Alice : [Smirking] It wasn't your head hair that he was talking about.

Flyd: [Through mouthful of turkey] Nice, nonetheless. Now, as to this [annoying finger quotes with turkey legs] mystery zone. It is my suposition that therein resides some evil cult-like operation. Perhaps composed of smugglers, who can say? I need to find out, and I believe you [with emphasis] people can be of some service. The police purport to know nothing, I suspect they live in fear of the [turkey quotes again] mystery zone.

Flyd: Irish Indians? Really? That had not occurred to me. [replaces turkey leg with pencil and scribbles furiously in notebook.] My dear woman, there are, in fact, no Indian in the entirety of Ireland, unless you count the immigrant [emphasis] Indians, from India directly, I mean. I do believe I once encountered a cabbie of that descent not so long ago. Nice chap. Do you like Indian food? [Chew. Chew.] I love it myself. [Gets up and opens the cooler to look for left over tandoori rice dish from last week.]

Clint : All this discussion is very nice, but I can't concentrate properly without a drink...

Chastity : [To Harvey] Colonel, I fear that you're been reading too many "Fantabulous Five" stories. Mysterious smugglers with large woollen pullovers and beards would be as suspicious as carriages full of lilted accented persons dressed as Indians. [pauses] Hmm, I see your point. And I must say that a picnic hamper and a refreshing drink of fizzy pop would go down well. [Looks around the kitchen, wiping her hands on a nearby tea-towel, and then struggling to let it go] Although perhaps from an outside caterer.

Flyd : [Peers at Clint with his good eye] Drink, eh? [Scribbles something down in his notebook] I think there may be some here. [Opens up a large press, and is immediately covered in hundreds of small balls, pouring out of it] Perhaps not. [Opens another, which is jam jacked full of all different types of bottles of spirits] Yes, yes. I thought as much.

Jerome : If, as seems likely that Indians are not indigenous to Ireland, then we can safely assume that those we just encountered are not Irish. Furthermore, given that Ireland is some four thousand miles from here, and generally held to be populated by [glances at Clint] drunkards, aggressive women and people of uncontrollable tempers, that adds to the evidence countering their Irish extract.

Harvey : Very true doctor. Plus, had they been Irish, they would no doubt have attacked each other, and paid us no heed whatsoever! Why, I believe this secret portion of the island must be connected in some way to Himo Jarl!

Chastity : [To Jerome] Are you suggesting, Doctor, that a large group of war painted Indians, brandishing sharpened axes, calling out for fresh scalps are pretending to be Irish to make people scared of them?

Jerome : [To Chastity] It is a possibility, Sister. However, there are far more frightening races that could have been chosen. Consider the scary coefficient of angry Scotsmen, impatient Italians or even, [blesses himself] humorous Germans. However, if, as seems likely, these Indians are from the so-called secret area of the island, they are probably not involved with Jarl - why then would they attack him.

Alice : You know, maybe they met an Irishman who influenced them? Or someone who wants people to think they met an Irishman? So, maybe they didn't meet an Irishman?

Austin : Assuming another nations identity for petrification purposes is not only immoral, but illegal also! I shall have to remind one of these indians of that very thing when we next cross paths. I'm sure they'll need some form of legal representation.

Alice : [Looks Austin up and down] What about assuming a human being's identity?

Austin : [Muses for a moment] I can see why you would worry, dearest Alice, but must warn you, if I'm to represent you in that particular case, my fees would not be cheap!

Alice : Unlike your suit.

Austin : And what would you know, seeing as the only type of suit you are familiar with is a law suit!

Alice : You know, Austin, I'd rather see you in a law suit than your birthday suit.

Austin : Now not even you believe that, Alice! [Looks in a mirror and adjusts his tie, flashing a grin at his reflection]

Alice : True, because, to believe it, I'd probably have to care.

Flyd : [Taking notes on the exchange] Fascinating. Fascinating. [Points at Alice's pregnant tummy] I presume he's not the father?

Alice : What? Certainly not!

Flyd : [More notes] Ah, that makes sense. [Mutters to himself as he writes] Most probably haven't had sex with each other yet so.

Harvey : Enough, private Sleaze! The thought of seeing you naked is enough to lose my considerable appetite! And I'm wasting away as it is! [Takes a turkey leg and munches on it happily]

Jerome : Er, I believe we were discussing these Indians. Who, or what, has made them adopt these peculiar mannerisms?

Chastity : Mr. Flyd, I would thank you not to sit there musing about the intimate workings of this group and concentrate on the job in hand. What do you know about the activities of Himo Jarl on this Island?

Flyd : [Stares at Chastity] Would you? Would you indeed? [Makes a note on this] Himo Jarl? [Flicks through his notebook] Ah, yes. He owns a local bar, and provides employment for a number of well endowed local ladies. Clearly, this bar is a hotbed of illicit dealings, given the number of people who go in and out at regular times, apparantly oblivious to the Bacchanalian delights contained therein.

Harvey : I'm not sure how much of the bar will be left by the time the indians have finished with it.

Chastity : Too true, Colonel, although I'm not so sure if that isn't a bad thing. [To Flyd] While we're on the subject of names, does the name Vitun Kusipaa mean anything to you?

Harvey : [Hopefully] Or the name, golden honeyed locusts, perhaps?

Clint : Not to mention the name Louis XIV.

Flyd : [With a twinkle in his eye] Ah, Vitun Kusipaa. The arch villain. I have conducted much investigation into the matter, and have come to the conclusion that there is no Vitun Kusipaa. [Looks at Harvey] Honeyed Golden Locusts? Hm. [Looks at the bottom of his shoe] Ah! I knew it! [Plucks one off and places it on the table]

Flyd : Ah, the erstwhile Louis XIV. I am afraid he hasn't been seen in these parts in a long time. Tell me, have you also been investigating the Kusipaa phenomenon?

Harvey : Well, let me tell you that you are wrong, fellow! Vitun Kusipaa does exist, and is very much alive! [Gestures to the locust] Do you have any more, preferably pre-trodden on?

Flyd : Hm. [Rubs his forehead with his hand, and says nothing for a few seconds.]

Alice : [Breaking the silence] So, um, these indians. What do we think? Someone came in and turned them into Irish?

[FLYD doesn't look up, but mumbles a little to himself, before waving vaguely to the side of the room.]

Flyd : There may be some on the floor over there.

Chastity : [Watching Harvey franticly look around for any sign of the locusts] I take it that we do know some things you don't, Mr Flyd, then. Perhaps a trip to the mystery zone, via the bar, is in order. Obviously after the police have gone ro outside.

Flyd : You know some things I don't? Quite possibly, quite possibly. It is also possible that you know some things you don't.

Alice : [Surprised at Chastity's words] Well done Chastity! [Gives a thumbs up to Clint] See Clint? I told you she was okay, [back to Chastity, smiling] you know, Chas, some of the others were starting to think that you were a bit of a hard ass, but now you've suggested we go and get some beers before checking out the indians, I know you're okay!

Chastity : Well thank you, Alice, although my intentions were more to see what happened to the Jarls, and to make sure that that den of moral depravity had been raised to the ground, than to stop off for light refreshment.

Alice : Oh.

Jerome : Good idea Sister, let's see what the situation is there, but let's be on guard - some of the indians may have waited. Mr. Flyd, perhaps you know of a back entrance to the establishment?

Flyd : Yes, yes. It was well known for it's back entrances. Let us away! [Leaps up with surprising agility, and strides to the door, only to pause for a few moments, panting and short of breath.]

[Book III, Act I, Scene XI. The Ruins of Jarl's Juicy Jugs. FLYD, HARVEY, ALICE, CLINT, CHASTITY, AUSTIN, and JEROME are here, having come up a side alley. The building is still smouldering, and has been almost completely destroyed. Some of the girls from the bar are standing around, looking quite out of place in their skimpy outfits. They include ARCADIA and LOLA.]

Alice : Wow, it's in even more of a mess than I remember it!

Chastity : [To Arcadia and Lola] Rejoice girls, fate has seen fit to release you from your smiling, laughing and flirtatious life of exploitation. Now you are free to follow your dreams, by Phili.

Lola : But my dream was to be a skimpily dressed pole dancer in a sleazy club where digusting and unattractive drop silver pieces into my underwear. [Looks at Flyd] Don't I know you?

Flyd : Quite possibly.

Arcadia : You were friends of Faetan, weren't you?

Alice : Well, that's probably a bit strong, but we do know her, yes.

Chastity : Can you tell us what happened after the indians burst into the bar?

Arcadia : Himo disappeared into the back room, but came back out again just as Faetan entered. We all tried to get out then, because Brandy said that the place was going to explode - Himo and Faetan returned to the room together, and that was the last I saw of them.

Chastity : [To the group] Maybe we'd best have a look in the back room?

Clint : [Looking at the destroyed remains of the building] We'll have to find the door first. [To Arcadia and Lola] Hi girls! Arcadia and Lola : Hi Clint!

[LOLA walks up to CLINT, and whispers something in his ear.]

Arcadia : [Pointing at what appears to be the centre of the explosion] That's, or was, the back room.

Austin : [Examines his perfectly clean nails] Well, Clint? Was she simply washing your ear? Or did she have some information? Last freom MP: #9

Flyd: [Brandishing notebook and magnifying lens-examines ear in question-takes notes] Very interesting. [Emphasis] Very Interesting.

[LOLA steps back from CLINT, and smiles at FLYD, before stepping up to ALICE, and whispering in her ear.]

Alice : [Jumping back, rubbing her ear, and sticking her finger in it, making a disturbing squelching sound as she does] Eauh! [Looks at Clint with a disgusted face] I hope that thing wasn't in your ear too!

Clint : [To Austin] As a matter of fact she did wash my ear. As for information, nothing that could help the party. [Quick wink and tiger growling at Lola]

Alice : [Gives a visible shiver] Aw, yuck! [Rubs her own ear]

[LOLA turns away from ALICE, and makes a similar growl at CLINT.]

Flyd: [Waving notebook at Lola] My dear, would Arcadia be about this evening? I would dearly like to chat with her as well.

Arcadia : I'm here, Mr. Flyd.

Flyd: Ah, yes. Forgive me darling. The ears have me distracted. [Waddles over-huffing and puffing] Perhaps you would be so kind as to illustrate to us the approximate prior location of various furniture [pauses] before the blast. [steps on something crunchy-winces]

Arcadia : The furniture? Well, that priceless antique vase you just smashed used to be on a shelf over there. [Points into space] Where there used to be a wall. Why do you want to know this?

Jerome : I believe Mr. Flyd is searching for clues. It is a well known fact that dispersal of furniture in the aftermath of an explosion sheds much light on the force and type of the blast. However, I am not sure what use that information would be now.

Flyd: Miss Chastity, if you would be so kind as to stand here, where the shelves used to reside. [Gestures broadly] I shall undertake and examination to determine not only the direction and strength of the blast, but the origin of the explosives and thence the likely culprit in this case. I am expecting Irish Indians may be to blame. They are notoriously explosive in temper.

Chastity : It is Sister Chastity, Mr. Flyd. [Walks slowly over to the appointed spot.]

Alice : Poor old Chastity, left on the shelf again.

Jerome : Mr. Flyd, I believe it has already been established that the explosion was caused by Mr. Jarl himself, [turns to Arcadia] is that not the case, Ms., er, Ferrari?

Arcadia : Yes, Himo set off the explosion.

Flyd: [Indignant] Now, who is running this investigation? [Pauses tyo tuch the end of a portable measuring tape in Chastity's bodice before stretching the tape across the room.] Of course Himo set off the explosives himself, but the question remains as to why. I believe that chair used to reside here Austin. Would you be so kind as to assume a chair-like position here?

Austin : I believe the most pertinent question is why are we putting u p with [emphasises] your impertinence sir! There is nothing to be discovered here, and I would be much obliged if you could direct us to the likely whereabouts of the indians, and / or secret part of the island.

Chastity : [Picking up the end of the tape] Mr. Flyd, much as I am loathe to agree with the lawyer, I fear I must. [Lets go of the tape, so it goes flying back into the mechanism] Please do not interfere with my person again, it is a most unbecoming practice. Now, precisely what do you hope to achieve here?

Flyd: [Dangling tape measure absently from one hand-Slack look on face] Impertinent. Yes. Quite right. [Holds tape in his mouth to scribble more notes] Who shall drive then, Sir? I am at your disposal.

Flyd: Clues Madame, clues! Urr. [Emphsis] Sister Chastity I mean. When one is examining the darker doings of humanity, it is often fruitful to dig through the refuse first. That way the worst is behind you, no? Was this wonderful establishement not Himo's bread and, urr, butter? I, for one, would have avoided blowing it up, were I in his shoes. Which were quite nice. Perhaps the good Mr. Jarl was trying to conceal something with this explosion, something which we can still find.

Clint : [In the middle of Arcadia and Lola, looking at one and then the other] I suggest we body search the witnesses of the blast. We might find some clues.

Alice : Clint, that is the most stupid thing I've ever-

Lola : [Interrupting, holding her hand up and jumping up and down excitedly] Me! Me! Me! Me first!

Austin : Perhaps Jarl was expecting reinforcements for his enemies? And knew that this was the best way to remove a large number of them. After all, he did obviously have access to powerful weapons, such as that employed by the lovely Brandy.

Flyd : It appears to me, that given the absence of bodies other than those befeathered unfortunates [waves vaguely at some Indian bodies] we can assume that Jarl and his daughter escaped

Jerome : [Leaning over an indian] It strikes Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD, that there is a small chance that one or more of these may not be dead, and waiting for an opportunity to ambush us.

[The INDIAN that JEROME is leaning over snaps into life, and with a cry swings his axe at him, catching him in the chest.]

Chastity : Doctor! [She rushed over behind the Indian and attempts to cosh him over the head with her new "truncheon"]

[CHASTITY brandishes the truncheon like a professional, and it slams against the side of his head, sending him staggering. The rest of the party draw weapons also, but CHASTITY's blow was enough to kill of the already injured injun.]

Alice : Jerome! [Runs to his side, accidently poking him with the tip of her sword]

Jerome : Ow! [Looks down at the huge axe in his chest, before looking to the rest of the party] Does it look bad? Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD can take the truth.

[The wound is clearly fatal, and it is amazing that he is still alive.]

Austin : [Crouches, with his dagger drawn, as though ready to pounce in any direction] I believe our first course of action should be to ensure that there are no other survivors waiting to attack us. To lose one party member is unfortunate, but to lose two, as I'm sure Dr. Trindle would agree, would be careless.

Chastity : [Rushes over to look at Jeromes wound, looks up at Jerome] It's only a flesh wound, Doctor.

[A look of relief to come over Jerome's face]

Chastity : And of course skeleton cleavage and internal organ trauma. I'm afraid that my minor healing powers would not be up to the job. [Turns to Alice] I hope your special tummy still works my dear.

Alice : [Peering at the wound] You mean that in that it throws up everytime I can see someone's still beating heart through a gaping wound in their chest?

[A look of horror crosses JEROME's face.]

Alice : Oh, not yours Jerome!

Harvey : Don't worry Doctor, we'll get you back.

[JEROME begins to slip away, eyes closing, blood coming out of mouth, nose etc.]

Chastity : [Snaps at Austin] Well, go and check the other Indians then and let me be with the Doctor. [Turns back to Jerome] Phili will protect you. [Says a prayer over Jerome]

Austin : [Walking over to some of the other bodies] Yes, Phili will protect you Jerome, see what a good job he's doing at the moment.

[JEROME expires.]

Flyd : [Watching the action in silence, tapping his pen against his teeth] You all seem remarkably calm for having just witnessed the death of a comrade.

Harvey : Sir, it is ever the soldiers burden to carry the death of a comrade on his shoulders, and to get on with the task in hand. Believe me, we are heart broken, but us men must show uncommon strength in such situations, so the weaker members of the party, the ladies and private Sleaze, can draw courage from it.

[A purple mist drifts from around JEROME's body, and swirls quickly upwards, before swirling quickly and dramatically around ALICE, before disappearing with a crash and what appears to be a small flash of lightening.]

Flyd : [Apparantly unperturbed at this, but making notes all the while] I see. Very interesting. [Turns away to investigate a cupboard, but turns back again, as though just remembering something] Oh, you know, that purple mist is intriguing, what is it about?

Chastity : It was the soul of our fallen comrade, Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD, of course.

Flyd : Curious. [Takes out a magnifying glass and peers at Alice's stomach, and steps back, as though surprised] Ah, the wonder of magnification!

[ALICE says nothing, but is clearly wondering if she has been insulted or not.]

Flyd : I hypothesize that the soul of Dr. Trindle and this young Lady's pregnant bump are in some way connected.

Clint : Hum, the man's got a brain! [To the others] We have to find an orb to bring him back. Any ideas?

Flyd: [One good eye widening slightly in interest] Orb, you say? [Notes carefully] [To Alice] May I examine your belly, my dear lady? [Smiles-bad teeth and all.]

Alice : [Steps back] Only if you're thinking of using a telescope!

Chastity : [To Alice] I'm not really sure if that was such a good suggestion. Next he'll be holding a telescope in one hand and asking if anyone has a handy speculum.

Flyd: [Sighs heavily-jowls waggle] Of course, of course. Has anyone a telescope I might borrow? Well, perhaps another time, then dear Ms. Alice. [Flyd moves to examine the deceased Jerome-he leans forward sniffs-and shudders. His great fat bulk shivvers in waves and his eyes roll back in his head-apparently in a fit of some sort. It passes in a moment and his expression clears.] Let me see here. [Looks about the blasted room once more, clambering clumsily over broken furniture and burnt paperwork.]

Clint : For a servant of Phili, you have some very dodgy ideas, sist!

Chastity : [To Clint] Unfortunately, I my line of work, I have had to help the victims of all sorts of perverted deviants. Some of them didn't even work for the church!

Clint : But you do, sist.

Alice : What's a spe - [thinks twice about speaking] Where are we going to get an orb? Maybe the Indians?

Austin : Upon what do you base that suggestion, Alice?

Alice : [Lamely] Er, because they are always involved in hocus pocus voodoo things and have a special, er, relationship with the land and birds, and [tails off] that kind of thing.

Chastity : [Wagging a finger at Clint] It is the act, not the practical knowledge that damns us, Mr. Scar. You would do well to remember that. For example, you know how to wash but it does not make you clean.

Austin : Whereas you, Sister, claim not to know how to act offensively, yet still manage to.

Chastity : If you find a few home truths offend your twisted world of spin so be it. [To Flyd] I take it you know where this mystery zone you speak of is? :Last from Conor: #44

Flyd: [perched on rubble pile-sweating profusely.] Whew. [Wipes face with handkerchief, plucks bits of Irish Indian from the pile and examines them closely under his lens, then returns to taking notes.]

Flyd: [From rubble pile-hastily dropping Indian bits] Oh, Urrr...Um, Yes, quite so! By process of elimination I have deduced the nearly exact location of our [still annoying finger quotes] mystery zone. [Begins drawing a map in the dirt]

Alice : [To Chastity] It's not his twisted world of spin you need to worry about sister, there are plenty of others, far worse, in that strange mind of his.

Austin : Better a mind cluttered with twisted fantasies than a mind so uncluttered it is vacant.

Alice : [Jumps onto Flyd's map] Yay! And Alice is the first to enter the mystery zone! [Looks around, visibly disappointed] You know, it looks just like the wreckage of the bar. [Shouts at Flyd] Hey! Can you hear me in here?

Flyd: [Wincing at Alice's shouting] Urr...Um, Yes, Miss Alice. Quite well. [Adds to notebook in large letters-B...I...M...B...O.] Now if we were to [emphasis] drive to the location, perhaps we would have a better view. [Raises greasy eyebrows at Alice and the rest.]

Clint : [Looking at the notebook] At least he got something right. [To Flyd] Well, do you have a wagon for us then?

Flyd: [Climbing to his feet red-faced] Urrr. Hmmph. Taxi? [Dusts off flabby buttocks with heavy slapping motions-dust fills the room.]

Alice : It can hardly be a secret location if some sweaty taxi driver knows where it is, can it?

Austin : Perhaps the redoubtable Mr. Flyd can instruct said taxi driver?

Clint : Right, that's the solution then. [Starts shouting to no direction in particular] TAXI! TAXI!

[Almost immediately, a large yellow carriage pulls up.]

Alice : [To the driver] To the secret area, immediately!

[The taxi speeds off, almost knocking ALICE, who has just opened the door, to the ground.]

Clint : Woha! I've never hail a cab this fast every since I went to Few Cork!

Alice : [As the taxi disappears into the distance] I hope he's not going to expect a tip for that!

Chastity : If he does it'll be "Wait for your fare to get on board before heading off" waing to be read!

Clint : So how are we going to get to the secret place?

Chastity : We'll have to ask Mr. Flyd, as no-one else here knows where it is. It's a secret. [To Flyd] Can't we hire a carriage somewhere around here?

Flyd : [Turns and gives Chastity an incredulous stare, before speaking loudly] Yes! [In a calm voice] Yes, we can. However, one might want to consider purchasing the optional comprehensive insurance, depending on who will be driving the vehicle.

Alice : [Moving her hands as though they were on a steering wheel] Brrm! Brrm! Eeeeeeek!

Harvey : Yes, Alice. However, it would only be fair to let one of the others have a turn at driving.

[Everyone else breathes a sigh of relief.]

Austin : [To Flyd] Well sir, where might we procure a vehicle?

Flyd : At the blacksmiths, just over there. [Points down the street, but starts walking in the opposite direction, stopping after a few seconds when he realises the others aren't following] Well? Aren't you coming?

Chastity : [Loudly to Harvey] That's very fair thinking of you Colonel. [Quietly to Harvey] and even with saving legal costs through Austin, we'd never have enough money for the premium! [Turns and smiles at Alice] Could you talk us through that [exaggerates] amazing last manoeuvre, young Alice.

Clint : [Whispering, to Chastity] Don't wind her up. [To Flyd, pointing down the street with one hand, and to Flyd with the other] Errr, where exactly is the blacksmiths?

Alice : For sure, yes. The team worked super hard all weekend, and had done a very good job on the car, so we had a very good package. We struggled initially with grip on the harder compound tyres, as well as downforce through the chicanes, but after the first few laps the tyres came into the sweet spot. We decided to stay out longer because -

Austin : [Interrupting Alice, by standing in front of a newspaper that is lying on the ground] While I am sure it would be interesting to try and understand what, if anything, Alice was thinking about when she rolled our carriage, I do not think this is the time to do it. [Calls out to Flyd] Mr. Flyd, where are you going?

Flyd : Home. Aren't you coming?

Flyd : [Pointing back in the opposite direction] Sixty four metres that way.

Chastity : [trudging after Flyd] I hope for your sake that you're dragging us all the way back to your home to pick up some essential equipment, and not because you didn't finish that tray of food at our last visit.

Flyd : Actually, the original intention was to pick up essential equipment, but I am rather concerned about this unfinished food of which you speak. Not to fear, we will be able to investigate that once we arrive.

[Exit the party, after the puffing and panting FLYD.]

Lola : [As they disappear] Hey! What happened to the body searches?

Arcadia : Typical man, promising you a world of romance, and leaving you so desperate and pathetic that you look to a cavity search for some sort of sexual relief.

Lola : I didn't say anything about sexual relief!

Arcadia : [Embarassed] Er, let's make sure there aren't any more indians left.

[Book III, Act I, Scene XII. Flyd's Back Room. FLYD, HARVEY, ALICE, CLINT, CHASTITY and AUSTIN are here, in what appears to be some sort of office. It is extremely untidy, with papers and half eaten sandwiches strewn about.]

Flyd : Right. [Searches through a desk, tossing papers all over the place] These should do. [Stuffs some papers and other, unindentifable objects into a bag] Okay, I think I'm ready. [Holds up his bag in one hand, and puts a hard, black case on the desk.] Although, we might address Miss Chastity's sandwich concerns first.

[The case is like a violin case, but in the shape of a small dog, with four legs, head and tail.]

Chastity : [Pointing at the case] What, pray tell, is that case designed to carry?

Alice : [Jumping up and down excitedly, holding her hand aloft] I know! I know! [With relish] A snake!

Flyd : Hm. [Makes another note in his notebook] Actually, it is for my cat, Fluffy.

Alice : [Disappointed] Don't call me Fluffy.

Flyd : Okay. [Nods several times]

Clint : [Searching around] There's gotta be a drink cabinet here somewhere. [Pause] We need bottles of drink, they might be useful to use as bombs, right sist?

Flyd : [Stepping close enough to Clint so that he (Clint) can smell his sweaty body odour] That as may be, sir, but you shall not use my bottles of drink!

Clint : [Stepping away from Flyd] That's ok, I think we'll be able to use [emphasis] you as a biological weapon. Phew!

Alice : [To Clint] Well, Stinky, now you know how the rest of us have felt with you and your cheesy odour following us around for the last few months!

Harvey : Indeed so, dear niece, indeed so! In fact, Mr Flyd, be so good as to make a note concerning our transportation. The note should read, ensure vechicle has a soft top, which can be lowered quickly and effortlessly for ventilation purposes, what!

Flyd : What?

Harvey : What?

Flyd : What?

Austin : Much as this conversation fascinates me, I would suggest we carry on with it at the blacksmiths.

Flyd : [Tapping his teeth irritably with his pen] Yes, yes. Let's do that.

[Exit ALL to the Blacksmith's, which is just down the street from the still smouldering ruins of Himo Jarl's. The door is shut, and the typical sounds of smithing are coming from within.]

Flyd: [Shaking case lightly and putting his ear against it] Hmmm. [To Austin] Would you be so kind as to make introductions for us with the blacksmith? I believe I have a slight problem here.

Chastity : [To Flyd] Is there something the matter with your cat? I'm not surprised, keeping it shut up in a case like that! When I kept pets, I always made sure my pussy was clean, healthy and regularly inspected by the local vet. [To Austin, gesturing towards the Smithy door] Mr. Sleaze, are you free? Richards was considered sexy!

Chastity : [To Clint] Why do you always want to break doors down? Is it a hormonal thing or just an adopted ethic of brutal force and ignorance. [Goes up to the door, knocks politely but loudly.] Coooeeee, anyone home?

Austin : [To Clint] Why would I need to break the door down, when we could simply employ your head to smash it to bits?

[A female voice calls from within.]

Voice : Come in if you're rich, beautiful and smart!

Alice : Yay! [Pushes the door, although it is clearly marked pull, and makes a disappointed face] Hey!

Harvey : Why good sister, it's a part of a young lads development, the need to smite barriers, younger sisters and soft lads! Tis natural! However, most do grow beyond it when the family jewels drop, eh! Hmmm, perhaps because he's lacking one, he is somehow regressing! Gah, if only the good doctor was here, I'm sure he'd have a fascinating and indeed, quite interesting explanation! Tell me, private Scar, do you feel the urge to climb a tree? Or scrump apples from the nearest farmer?

Flyd : [Cocks and eye at Clint] One [writing feverishly] family jewel. Right.

Harvey : Ah, dear niece! It opens like so! [Pushes the door] Gah! It's locked!

Harvey : Why good sister, it's a part of a young lads development, the need to smite barriers, younger sisters and soft lads! Tis natural! However, most do grow beyond it when the family jewels drop, eh! Hmmm, perhaps because he's lacking one, he is somehow regressing! Gah, if only the good doctor was here, I'm sure he'd have a fascinating and indeed, quite interesting explanation! Tell me, private Scar, do you feel the urge to climb a tree? Or scrump apples from the nearest farmer?

Flyd : [Cocks and eye at Clint] One [writing feverishly] family jewel. Right.

Harvey : Ah, dear niece! It opens like so! [Pushes the door] Gah! It's locked!

Austin : [Sigh] Perhaps they might lower their standards and let in those who are rich and beautiful this time. [Looks around the party] Well, perhaps I should enter and negotiate a lower standard for the rest of you.

Chastity : [To Flyd] There isn't a less exclusive Blacksmiths nearby, is there. This one seems pretty fussy as to its clientele.

Flyd : Madam Chastity, they are even less fussy about their staff than they are about their clients. [Pulls the door open.]

[Enter ALL, into the main office of the Blacksmiths. Sitting here is BROWNIE JACQUES, dressed up in a bright suit with an even brighter smile on her face. There is a large window here, overlooking the work area, where several blacksmiths are working on horses, many of which are jacked up, or are on horse lifts etc.]

Brownie : How can I help you [gushes] lovely people today? [Smile drops a little] Oh, hello Mr. Flyd, if this is about the squeaky leg on your horse, I'm afraid both Mr. Smith and Mr. Black are out today.

Clint : [To the others] I'll handle this. [To Brownie] Hello lovely girl, we're looking for a ride.

Brownie : Well, hello. I'm Brownie Jacques, what type of ride did you have in mind?

Clint : Well, you know [starts a horse riding motion], that kind of ride. You look like an expert.

Chastity : [To the group] Is anyone else here starting to feel a bit embarrassed?

Brownie : [Giggling foolishly] Oh no, [emphasises] you look like an expert!

Alice : [With a snort of derision] Oh, for God's sake! We just want a carriage! [Sighs to others] What kind of place are we in that Clint's chat up lines are working?

Austin : [To Alice] A Blacksmith's Smithy, naturally?

Chastity : [Nodding in agreement] Where grimy, smelly, sweaty men rule the roost.

Austin : [To Chastity, nodding] Hammering, banging and sweating on those little ponys and powerful, muscular stallions.

Chastity : [Grabbing hold of Austins arm] Careful, you seemed to get a bit faint there. remember that far back :-S

Alice : Better get him a chair before his imagination runs away with him.

Austin : [Holding to Chastity's arm] Why thank you, sweet Alice, perhaps you could find one big enough for both of us? up with the next door neighbours daughter looking abit 'tubby',

Alice : [Smiling sweetly] Unlikely, dear Austin, that I could find one large enough to fit not only the two of us, but your inflated ego, too.

Austin : [To Alice, smiling sweetlier] I am sure you could fit anything in if you wanted to.

Alice : [Glances behind Austin] I guess so, but you'd probably have to take your head out of there first, though.

Harvey : [Gives Alice a confused look, before turning to Brownie] Good afternoon, miss. We're here to rent a carriage from you. I presume you give favourable ex soldier and defender of justice and liberty rates?

Brownie : [Running her finger down through a list on her desk] I'm afraid not, but I can give you a medium sized carriage for the price we normally charge for a compact.

Alice : Wow, you sell make up accessories too?

Harvey : I see. And how many does a medium sized carriage fit? Oh, and it must have a soft top also! And front mounted mounts. Can't abide those rear mounted horses!

Austin : [To Harvey] The things you have to put up with, in our line of work, Colonel. [To Brownie] Does the deal include comprehensive insurance, a complete damage waiver, a driver, footboy and platinum class accident recovery service?

Clint : Or in exchange, will you come with us? [Wink!]

Brownie : [Giggling once more] Oh you are [emphasises] so bad! So bad! [Long, loud and irritating] Sooooo bad! You are -

Alice : [Arms folded, and annoyed] Look, what do we get with the carriage? [Glares at Clint] I don't know what's going on with you and the women on this island Clint, but frankly, I don't like it.

Brownie : Oh-kay! [Looks at Austin] That is a standard deal and doesn't include any extras - if you want them, you'll have to pay. We have a large and comprehensive array of insurance offers, staff and colour schemes, all detailed in this pamphlet.

[Boom. She drops a huge, six inch thick book on the desk with a bang.]

Alice : Hey! That landed on my finger!

Flyd : [Wincing] Actually, that was my finger.

Alice : Oh, [angry face at Brownie] anyway, you be careful.

Harvey : [Glances at the manual] Is there a shorter version, my dear? We are in a bit of a rush, what, so unfortunately, don't have the time to peruse all of your offers. Our basic needs are a carriage, team of horses, what is the policy with the feed bags? I presume you give us a full bag, and we refill the bags when we are finished with the carriage?

Brownie : Yes, that's the way it works - or, you can buy a full bag from us here, and just return it with whatever is left. [Looks around for a second, to make sure no one is eavesdropping] But, between me and you, it is cheaper to just bring it back full, as the food here is very expensive.

[Everyone is momentarily distracted by the sound of FLYD, munching from a feedbag that he is holding in his hands.]

Harvey : I see. Indeed. Well, that sounds just the ticket! We'll go for your basic eight seater, six horse power, front mounted soft top model, my dear. And we shall replace the oat bags! [Winks at Brownie and lowers his voice] Thanks for the tip off!

Austin : [Finishes reading the last page of the catalogue, puts the magnifying glass away. To Brownie] We will take the basic package with the comprehensive damage waiver, the excess set at 5 gold crowns, the basic coachdriver in white with the gold trim evening tails with the berret, and the level 3 insurance policy.

Brownie : Er, which is it? [Looks confused at Austin and Harvey, before looking to Clint for reassurance.]

Flyd : Perhaps, comrades, it might be best not to bring along a driver, as I'm sure that some one of you can drive. [Sees Alice's eyes light up] I'm sure that some other one of you can drive.

Harvey : By the saints, of course we can drive! [To Brownie] Ignore the lawyer, my dear. We wish to travel without creating too much suspicion and I feel, the only person who would ride around in a carriage as described by him, must to be home by midnight before it turns back into a pumpkin, what!

Clint : [To Brownie] Why don't you come with us? You can sit on top, and ride the whole way.

Austin : [To Clint] You are planning on a short journey then?

Brownie : I'd love to, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to stay here. You see, it's almost eleven, and the workers get really disappointed if I don't flash my boobs at them during their coffee break. Now, if I could just get a credit card imprint?

Flyd : [Handing over his Wastercard] I'll look after this.

Harvey : Private Scar, I'm afraid it's against regulations for us to place innocent civilians in danger on our behalf. I'm afraid she can't accompany us.

Clint : [To Brownie] Your loss then. Another time, baby. [Wink!, and hand gun gesture]

Harvey : The carriage?

Brownie : [Looking up from where she is tracing out Flyd's card] In a second!

[BROWNIE finishes, and hands the card to FLYD.]

Brownie : Your carriage is just outside, drive carefully!

Harvey : [Bows to Brownie] My thanks, dear lady! [Turns to Flyd] Why thank you, sir! It was very kind to offer your Waster card. We shall reimburse you at our earliest convenience! Right then, to the carriage!

Flyd : Not at all, I feel partially responsible for the death of your friend, and want to help out however I can. [Takes another fistful of horse food and heads out.]

[Everyone arrives at the carraige, which is as ordered.]

Alice : [Clearly a bit sulky] So, who's going to drive?

Harvey : [Shows a momentary panic] Well, I suppose I could, and dear Alice, you can sit next to me! [Holds up a set of tiny reins attached to the main ones] Look! You can pretend you're driving!

Alice : [Looks from Harvey to the reins and back again, biting the nail of the little finger on her left hand] Er, maybe someone else should have a turn, after all, I did get to go front the last time. [Climbs onto the back seat.]

Flyd : Ah, excellent. This will be a chance for us to chat, my dear! [Clambers, with some difficulty, onto the carriage, and squeezes in beside Alice, almost crushing her as he does so.]

Clint : [Sitting besides Harvey, taking the little reins] And away we go!

Harvey : Perhaps private Scar, we should wait for the others to clamber aboard before setting off, eh! Sister, private Sleaze?

Austin : [Climbs aboard, sits down beside Alice and offers her a strawberry liquior chocolate and has one himself. To Alice] The Colonel is over doing the cover a bit is he not?

Alice : [As Austin tries to squeeze between herself and Flyd] Gasp! Austin, why don't you just sit in the other seat?

Flyd : No problem, I will move, I'm sure you too have much sexual tension to express through innuendo.

[FLYD laboriously climbs into the middle seat, where he is joined by CHASTITY.]

Chastity : [Gets into the carriage and sits down opposite Alice, coughing slightly and waving her hand in front of her face] They always over do the airfreshener in these hire carriages.

Harvey : [Sniffs] If you ask me sister, [glances at Clint], they do not use enough of the stuff! Right then, [flicks the reins] giddy up!

Austin : [To Flyd] It is not sexual tension, I merely wish to kiss this [Gestures to Alice, smiling] sweet maiden on the lips, that I may know her soft, delicate touch once more.

Clint : [Flicks the little reins] Yeehaa!

Alice : Once more? Have you been trying to interfere with me while I was asleep again, Austin? [Takes the sweet from him]

[The carriage tears off with a huge screech of rubber, and HARVEY swerves to avoid the unfortunate MISTER PAPPODOPULUS, who is on his way home from the hospital.]

Harvey : Out of the way, I say! Damned civilians, should keep them off the streets, what!

Alice : [Watching Mr. Pappodoulus trying to get up on his crutches] Hey, that guy looks really familiar!

Flyd : Good Colonel, I've taken the liberty of writing out some instructions for you. Do be so kind as to follow them to the letter, and we should soon reach the secret area, meantime, I will take a quick - [puts his head to one side and starts snoring loudly.]

Harvey : Gah, he's asleep! We'll never know what he was going to take now! [To Clint] You're the map reader, private! Take his note and tell me where to go.

Alice : [Loudly to be heard over the sound of Flyd's snoring] Eauh! Flyd is drooling on me! At least, I think that's drool.

Harvey : [Hands back a spare nose bag] Here, my dear, this should keep the drool away!

Clint : [Taking the instructions from Flyn] Right, here we go.

Alice : [Looking at the nosebag] Well, I'm sure I don't know how my wearing this will prevent him from drooling on me!

[With CLINT's instruction, HARVEY takes the party well out of the down, and they continue for a good two hours. The road becomes windy and narrow, and the party haven't seen any people for over an hour.]

Harvey : [Shifting on his seat] By the saints, my bottom, much like Mr Flyd, has gone to sleep. [To Clint] How much longer do the instructions say to go on for, private?

Clint : Mine is still awake [Fart]. [Looks at the map] It says to keep going forward. [Turns it upside down] Or is it go back?

Alice : [Impatiently] Oh, for God's sake! You are clearly holding it the wrong way! [Leans over and snatches the map, turning it over] Hey! It's all blank!

Harvey : By the saints! Have we be following a blank map all these hours? [Looks closely] What's that gibberish on the back?

Alice : [Peering over] It appears to be some sort of map.

Harvey : [Peers into the distance] I say, is that a snake lying across the road? [Heads straight towards it, before pulling suddenly on the reins] A rope! Everyone duck down!

[HARVEY jams on the brakes, and the carriage skids to a halt, about an inch from the rope. The rope is about three feet off the ground, and is tied to a tree trunk on one side of the road, while the other end runs up the side of the cliff on the right hand side, where it is tied to a huge boulder, in true "Road Runner" style.]

Alice : [Pointing further down the road] Hey look! There are some indians on either side of the road!

[This is true. Each side of the road is overlooked by a huge cliff, and a number of indians are waiting on either side, a little further down.]

Clint : Hum, it's in situations like these that we could use some Alice driving. [Points at Flyn] Better wake him up, we're going to have some action here!

Harvey : [Starts reversing the carriage] Put your heads down, there in the back! Can't see a thing!

Alice : [Looking behind] There's another carriage behind us, coming up fast!

[FLYD wakes with a start.]

Flyd : What's happenning? [Looks at the rope] I conjecture that the mass of the carriage times the estimated speed given a constant acceleration distribution across the horses will be less than the potential energy contained in the rope from the large rock.

Harvey : [Looks at Flyd] If you're saying that someone should cut the rope, then I agree with you! [Looks at Clint] Private, would you do the honours? After all, it is your fault we're on this damned road!

Flyd : Cut the rope? [Does a few quick calculations with his notebook] Yes, I suppose that could work too.

Alice : [Folding her arms] I don't want to say anything, but you know, when I was driving, I don't recall us getting lost, or trapped by Indians, or being sucked up by a huge twister and spun into the air with a bunch of trees, small houses and cows.

Clint : [To Alice] Then don't say anything. [Steps out to cut the rope with his sword] Damned indians. Next thing they'll start shooting arrows at the caravan!

Clint : Hum, it's in situations like these that we could use some Alice driving. [Points at Flyn] Better wake him up, we're going to have some action here!

Harvey : [Starts reversing the carriage] Put your heads down, there in the back! Can't see a thing!

Alice : [Looking behind] There's another carriage behind us, coming up fast!

[FLYD wakes with a start.]

Flyd : What's happenning? [Looks at the rope] I conjecture that the mass of the carriage times the estimated speed given a constant acceleration distribution across the horses will be less than the potential energy contained in the rope from the large rock.

Harvey : [Looks at Flyd] If you're saying that someone should cut the rope, then I agree with you! [Looks at Clint] Private, would you do the honours? After all, it is your fault we're on this damned road!

Flyd : Cut the rope? [Does a few quick calculations with his notebook] Yes, I suppose that could work too.

Alice : [Folding her arms] I don't want to say anything, but you know, when I was driving, I don't recall us getting lost, or trapped by Indians, or being sucked up by a huge twister and spun into the air with a bunch of trees, small houses and cows.

Clint : [To Alice] Then don't say anything. [Steps out to cut the rope with his sword] Damned indians. Next thing they'll start shooting arrows at the caravan!

Paddy : [To the other indians] Hey! That's a great idea! Everyone, get your bows out!

Alice : [To Clint] Yeah, and I'm the one who has to keep their mouth shut!

Clint : It wouldn't be fun otherwise. [Cuts the rope, and jumps into the caravan] [To Harvey] Give it full throttle, Colonel!

Flyd: [Clutching his pussy case to his prodigious belly and hiding behind Alice] Eek! Irish Indians! Urrr. [To Harvey] I mean, drive on my dear Sir! With all haste, lest we be forced to sell Miss Alice to purchase our freedom. [Flyd slumps low in his seat, eyes even with the bottom of the window, eyes wide with terror.] full swing soon. Conor is doing a splendid job with Flyd in the mean time.

Alice : Hey! [Prods Flyd in the chest] If anyone is going to be ejected from this carriage, Mister, I suspect it will be who ever is trying to hide behind their cat case!

Chastity : [Give Flyd a disapproving shake of her head] Lets hope then that the price of freedom is measured by the kilo. We may get credit for later encounters. [Looks up at the indians preparing bows and arrows] Best hurry, Clint, I don't fancy racing down this gully under a hail of arrows.

Alice : Come on, cut the rope!

Harvey : Dear Alice, the private has already cut it. Now, full speed ahead! [Whips the reins]

Alice : Cut the rope, Clint! Oh no, we're going to bring the boulder down on top of us!

[The carriage tears passed the cut rope, with no danger of dislodging the boulder. As the party approach the area where the other indians are, they begin showering the road in smaller boulders.]

Harvey : Damn their blasted raw hides! We'll rip the carriage apart going over this road! Ah, who cares eh! It's rented anyway. [Whips the reins again] Lose a volley of arrows at those cads, what!

Chastity : [Putting her arms up to protect her head whilst trying to dodgy any rocky missiles coming her way] I know I didn't want arrows coming down on top of us, but this isn't quite what I had in mind. this and topple it over the edge" sized?

[The rocks continue to fall, and are clearly aimed at stopping the carriage rather than destroying it. Meanwhile, ALICE, CLINT and AUSTIN all let loose a volley of arrows, but only succeed in hitting one of the indians, PADDY.]

Paddy : Ow! Hey, that really hurt!

Flyd : [Bouncing up and down with the speed] Hm, I don't believe that we are likely to kill many of them at this rate.

Alice : Do you want to try firing an arrow from the back of a moving carriage?

[FLYD doesn't answer, and just puts his hands up in a placating gesture.]

Alice : Of course, if the object we were trying to hit were closer, and larger, then I'm sure we'd do a whole lot better.

Harvey : Gah! Is that carriage behind gaining on us?

Austin : [To Alice] Perhaps we should ask them to line up neatly whilst we shoot them one by on from point blank. [Shouting to the Indians] You should know that we cannot be held resposible for any injuries that you incur whilst vandalising this vehicle!

[A murmur of discontent runs through the indians, but they keep pouring the boulders onto the road. There is quite a number now, and it is clearly going to be very difficult to get over them.]

Alice : Go on, Uncle Harvey, we'll easily get over the rocks!

Flyd : The carriage behind does appear to be gaining, but at a relatively slow rate. However, I conjecture that if we were to crash, then they would most likely increase this rate. [Mops his brow with a filthy handkerchief]

Chastity : [Looks up and witnesses one of the Indians putting his back out whilst trying to lift a oversized boulder. Shouts] You were warned. You've only yourself to blame! [To Harvey] Never mind the other carriage, Colonel, just you concentrate on avoiding the rocks already on the road. [Glances back along the road to look for the other carriage]

Austin : [Shouting to the Indians] You should stop now, and unblock this public highway. What would happen if there was a fire here? The wilderness you call home would be destroyed as the fire brigade would be denied access by the rock you now throw! Think about your futures, your families!

Harvey : [Furiously swinging the carriage from side to side to avoid the rocks] Less talk, more arrow firing, troop! Injured Indian : [Still rubbing his back] Hey, maybe he's got a point!

Paddy : [Angrily] Would ye shut up? Ye dirty Sassenach bastard! We've lived in isolation for the last three hundred years, why the hell would we want a fire brigade?

[The party's carriage strikes some of the rocks on the edge of a pile, and begins to bounce around.]

Alice : Oh no! The other one is gaining!

[Another volley of arrows is let loose, this time the INDIAN with the sore back is hit several times, including once from PADDY.]

Injured Indian : Hey!

Paddy : That'll teach you to talk like that in front of me!

Austin : [Uses his sling to shoot gearoid, leans over Alices lap, so that his head rests on her right banger, providing support whilst he aims] Yes, Colonel!

Chastity : [Suprised, to Austin] Congratulations, Austin. Your logical reasoning has started the sort of internal bickering and fighting normally reserved for our own group.

Harvey : Well done, private Sleaze! A masterful plan!

Alice : [Sitting back, with her arms up and wide] Hey!

[Another volley of arrows from CLINT and AUSTIN results in another indian getting hit.]

Other Indian : Ow! Screw this, I'm going home.

[The carriage is bouncing wildly now on the rocks.]

Harvey : [Bouncing up and down on the carriage seat] By the saints, this road is impassible! If we keep going, we're going to get a burst horse shoe, I'm sure of it. [Suddenly the carriage gives and almighty lurch, and Harvey is barely hanging on] Gah, it's starting to shake! It's starting to shimmy! It's starting to ...

Alice : [Helpfully] Shudder, Harvey?

Chastity : [Grabbing hold of a railing] Topple?

Harvey : By the saints, I will if I ever see Mister Flyds handkerchief again, dearest niece! [There is a tremendous crack as the coupling breaks, separating the carriage from the horses, who streak off into the distance] Gah!

Clint : Right, pit crew! Everyone to the back of the carriage with your weapons. Stop the second carriage, and steal their horsepower!

Alice : [Removing Austin's hand from her] Steal stuff off their carriage, Clint? Where do you think we are? Limerick?

[The carriage completely loses control, and begins to spin, but, miraculously, gets wedged in the narrow road.]

Alice : [Hands over her eyes, and opening her fingers just a crack to peek] Have we crashed yet?

Harvey : Thankfully not Alice! We're perfectly safe, apart from the Irish Indians hoping to take our scalps, what! Ha, almost light relief after all that carriage malarkey!

Paddy : Alright, ye dirty bastards, surrender, or we'll pour these rocks down on top of you. There's not a man here who wouldn't relish the chance to kill off Himo Jarl's team of assassins. Injured Indian : Actually, would it be okay if I was excused? My back is really sore.

Paddy : Well, there's hardly a man here who wouldn't relish the chance to kill of Himo Jarl's team of assassins.

[The other carriage has slowed, but is still approaching.]

Harvey : What? What the blazes are you talking about man? We've nothing to do with Himo Jarl! And we're certainly no ones assassins! [GEAROID throws a tiny pebble off the ridge, and hits ALICE on the head with hit.]

Alice : Ow! Hey, watch what you're doing, will you?

Paddy : [To Harvey] Oh, the master said you'd try to lie your way out of this, but that's not going to happen, not even if you had all the pockets in Delerium!

[The other indians all roar with laughter at this.]

Harvey : What? Pockets! Irish? [Quietly, but of course, everyone can hear] Don't tell me that rogue Dicey is involved in this!

Chastity : [Looking round the laughing indians in confusion. To Flyd] Is there something about pockets on this island that we should know about?

Alice : [To Harvey] Okay.

Flyd : Not that I am aware of. I have put much effort into studying what might lay beyond this area, and none of it suggested that pockets might have any special significance here.

Harvey : I see. [To the indians] We don't want to trick you! We've nothing to do with that Jarl character! [The INDIANS begin climbing down to the road, and it is now apparent that the other carriage contains more of them.]

Gearoid : Step out of the vehicle with your hands in the air, and lean up against the side of it.

[In an instant, ALICE grabs something from her pocket, and shoves it into her mouth, swallowing hard.]

Alice : [Smiling selfconsciously at the others watching her] Sorry! It's just a kind of a reflex action whenever I hear that. [Pause] We've got twenty minutes to get to our hotel.

Austin : [Shoots Gearoid with his sling shot] You do fifty years inside for this! Highjacking, kidnapping, assault, grand theft carriage, blocking a public highway!

[The stone narrowly misses GEAROID.]

Gearoid : [Ducking, and standing up straight again, pointing angrily at Austin] This is your last warning - surrender now or we'll be scrapin' bits of assassin off the road for the next year!

Austin : [To Gearoid, shouting] We are not assasin you idiot, if we were do you think a bunch of incompetent girl guide like you would be able to capture us?

Alice : [To Flyd] Austin is a lawyer, he's used to being involved in delicate negotiations.

[One of the INDIANS fires an arrow and hits AUSTIN, making him stagger back.]

Flyd : So I see.

Alice : [Looking up at the Indians, hand shading her eyes from the sun] And actually, Austin, I don't think they're girl guides - they're more of a group of semi-militaristic, strange outfitted of people who spend time in tents. [Thinks for a moment] Hm, maybe they are girl guides?

Austin : [To the Indian who shot him] I'll see you in court, ABH, and I'll be claiming dammages [Holding his damaged jacket lappel] This is going to cost you. [Scribbles some names on a piece of paper.

Clint : [Looking at Austin scribbling, then at Flyn, then back to Austin] As if one scribbler wasn't enough. [To the indians, while drawing his sword] Just what is your problem? Look around - we are NOT Jarl's band of killers. So go on and tell your boss Dicey you got the wrong people.

Flyd : [Watches Austin writing with a curious cocked eyebrow] Hm. Right. [Starts writing himself]

[Several of the INDIANS are now on the road, and are walking towards the party.]

Gearoid : [Also on the ground] Don't you take the name of our Lord in vain!

Chastity : If ever you wanted an example of a false Lord, there it is!

Alice : So Dicey is their lord? No way!

[Bonk! ALICE gets smacked in the head by a large stone thrown by GEAROID.]

Alice : Ow!

Gearoid : There'll be no more taking of his name in vain, or, by his forty coats and fifty pockets he'll smite ye good. Now, everyone, get your hands up, or we'll do this the hard way.

[The INDIANS from the other carriage get out too. The party is clearly surrounded and outnumbered. Only a fool would suggest they fight their way out.]

Alice : [Whispering to the others] Should we try and fight our way out?

Chastity : I realise that it goes against the group tradition not to do things the hard way, but this would at least give us the chance to see what that dastardly irish rapscallion is up to. Oh, and we won't be killed or badly beaten in the process.

Alice : Badly beaten? [Points at her head] Look! Might I remind you that I just got hit in the head by a rock, just for saying Dicey!

[Bonk. She gets hit again.]

Harvey : Alright! That's enough! [Turns to the others] Well troop? I agree with the good Sister, I don't think that we have any choice.

Clint : Whatever you say, Harv. We should then choose one of the intelligent members of the party to do the talking with the indians. [Looks to Austin and his notebook, then to Flyd and his notebook, then Alice and her bleeding head] Hum. Right. Off you go then, Harv.

Harvey : Right - [turns to Flyd] You sir, you claimed to have some knowledge in the area, do you know how we surrender to these blackguards.

Flyd : Indeed, Colonel. [Flicks back through his notebook, finds the correct page and reads through it for a few moments, before turning to Gearoid] We surrender.

[Book III, Act II, Scene XIII. The Indian Camp. FLYD, HARVEY, ALICE, CLINT, CHASTITY and AUSTIN are here, having been escorted to the camp by the INDIANS, including SEAN, PADDY and GEAROID. The camp is the stereotypical Indian affair, with teepees scattered around. The party have had all their equipment and weapons taken off them, and have just been brought to a large tent.]

Sean : [To Paddy and Gearoid] Let's leave them in here for a while, the sarcrifice isn't for another twenty minutes.

Austin : [Looks for an escape route] This doesn't sound good.

[The party are pushed into the tent, sitting there is a man, NIK TRENSEN. The INDIANS laugh and call after the party, jeering.]

Gearoid : You'd better decide between yourselves which of the virgins is going to be sarcrificed, otherwise the Master will not be happy.

Nik : [Sitting cross legged on the floor, with a calm expression] Hail, and well met, friends.

Harvey : [Looking worried at the virgin remark, and putting his arm protectively around Alice] Don't worry, dear, I won't let them take you.

Alice : Er, thanks.

Austin : [Looking bemused] What virgins? [Looks around, at Jerome, then Nik] Ohh, Jerry or Nik I guess, [Looks at Flyd] Are you untouched?

Alice : [Irritably to Austin] Jerome is dead!

Harvey : Yes, but was he a virgin, niece?

Alice : I'm sure I don't know!

Flyd : Untouched as in not mad? Or virginal? I shall assume the latter, and the answer is that I am not.

Austin : [Looks astounded at Alice] Dead? [Looks around, and doesn't see Jerome] In the name of Philli, when did that happen? I thought there was something missing. This is getting worse by the minute. Poor old Jerry. [Looks a bit upset]

Alice : No! [Jabs Austin in the chest with her finger] You're getting worse by the minute.

Nik : [Spreads his palms in a peaceful gesture] Let us all calm down.

Austin : [Recoiling fro Alice] Hey, do you always assault the grief stricken when they have just been given the news of the untimely demise of a loved one? [Straightens out the 'jab' indent on his jacket. To Nik] I presume that since you are a man of the cloth, that you are a virgin?

Alice : No, I never do, but when someone who was there at the time claims they didn't even know the person was dead, I think I'm quite entitled to assault them!

Nik : One must be wary of making assumptions, for they are sandy foundation upon which many follies are built.

Austin : [Looks at Alice] You are sooo selfish, you're all [In a fake Alice voice] Me, me, me, me, I'm entitled to this, I want that. [Takes a huff and goes to the other end of the teepee]

Alice : [Follows him] I'm selfish? Which of us was so wrapped up in themselves that they forgotten that Jerome was dead?

Austin : [To Alice, distresseed] Look, I was under alot of stress at the time. I obviously blocked it out of my mind as a kind of self defence mechanism, okay?? So I don't need the like of you jabbing at me and claiming the right to jab me because I am traumatised, okay? [Stares at Alice waiting for an appology]

Alice : Under a lot of stress? Why? Because you [theatrically] weren't talking about yourself at the time, no doubt! Moron.

Nik : [Sighs deeply] I sense trouble, brough about by worry.

Flyd : [Watching the two, nodding his head occasionaly, before turning to Nik] Nonsense. Man and woman. Friction.

Nik : I beg your pardon?

Flyd : Friction. Friction, friction, friction, orgasm, sandwich. That's a Flydism.

Austin : [I a outbust of grief] I'm sorry Alice [Hugs Alice, lovingly] I just need a big hug.

[ALICE tries to get away, but can't, and stands there in his embrace.]

Alice : Er, there there, there there. [Pats Austin on the back]

Flyd : [Pointing at Austin's crotch from a distance with his pen] Friction.

Austin : [Stands back from Alice, getting a quick grope in as he does it. Straightens out his jacket] Well now. So where the hell are these virgins we have to choose between?

Nik : I believe they were rather hoping that your group would contain some. However, I further believe that it is unlikely that such an infamous group of assassins such as yourself would spend much time with virgins.

Austin : [To Nik] Certainly not as much time as we would like to spend with virgins. [Pauses to think about virgins for a while] Now, are they accusing us of being assasins working for Himo, or of being assasins trying to kill Himo?

Nik : I think they believe you work for him. Their leader sent them into the city to kill him, but it turns out most of them were killed by you.

Chastity : And who, may I ask are you?

Nik : I am Nik Trensen. I have travelled from afar to meet with the peace loving indigenous tribe of Delerium.

Alice : And what happened when you met them?

Nik : They beat me up and cooked my horse for dinner.

Clint : [With a look of horror in his face] They cooked your arse for dinner? [To Austin] Sounds like your kind of indians, Lawyer.

Alice : If they decide to cook the biggest ass in our party, Clint, I suspect it'll be you. [Whispers to Chastity] You see, it's not you because I meant ass as in annoying person, not really big bottom. [Gives her a big wink]

Chastity : [Grumbling to herself] And you consider Clint the biggest ass this party has?

[ALICE says nothing, but smiles and gives CHASTITY two thumbs up.]

Harvey : Enough talk of all this virgin nonsense, eh! Nobody is going to be sacrificed today! And especially not for that Irish fool! Did I hear correctly that those indians referred to him as their Lord? What utter maddness!

Flyd: [Nods sagely at Harvey. Draws notes in the dirt with a fat finger.] Madness indeed, dear Sir, but the madness of a genius. [Flyd's eyes shine with admiration while his face runs with perspiration, the handkerchief is once more in use] Extreme situations call for extreme measures. [Mr. Flyd tucks away the filthy kerchief and plops to the ground on his wide arse. He rolls his eyes back in his head and begins muttering to himself and waggling his fat fingers as if waving away flies, which he succeeds in accomplishing. His eyes rolls back forward and he appears to be listening to something the rest cannot hear.] Madness...yes indeed.

Alice : [Watching Flyd] So, I think the two most pressing questions at the moment are : do the Indians have a secret stash of Mesceyote? And, if so, has Flyd consumed it?

Austin : [To Alice] I thought the virgin question was more important than that. [Examines Maplins nails and smiles in a majestically self-satisfied manner] Of course, virgins consuming Mesceyote has a certain appeal.

[FLYD suddenly snaps back to normal, and looks at the party.]

Flyd : I think the most pertinent question is how we can make our escape. The tent is well guarded, and the guards seem to believe that their God is amongst them. Furthermore, they seem quite certain that there will be some sort of sarcrifice, and that they will be helpin themselves to our scalps before long. In fact, the only point of debate amongst them seems to be whether or not Alice's hair is really that colour.

Alice : What? Hey! [Furious] You know, it's one thing to try and sarcrifice us, but this is going too far!

[NIK, who has stayed cross-legged throughout the last few minutes, begins a low, but irritating chant of "Hom".]

Chastity : [Looking at Nik] I hope he's trying to achieve an enlightened state and contact some for help! [Looks round the base of the tent to see if is possible to peek under the side at any point]

[The base is quite low, and CHASTITY can really only make out a large number of pairs of legs moving about.]

Harvey : [To Nik] You there, chappy. What is your story?

Nik : Forty three years ago, far to the north, on the icy ridges of Scadera, the chief of The Snow-Warrior Tribe rejoiced. Though he was an old man, his young bride had given him another son. The son was given a warriors name, only pronounceable in the tribes savage tongue. Growing up, the young man didn't quite fullfill his fathers wishes, not being a savage fighter like all his brothers. Some speculated, that his likeness to-

Alice : [Interrupting] Sorry, excuse me, but we're a caught for time, you know, what with us about to be sarcrificed and all, so could you just give us the short version.

Nik : [Surprised, yet still calm] This is the short version.

Harvey : How about you just tell us the part about you being captured by the Indians?

Nik : I had heard rumours of a tribe living on this island, a tribe of highly enlightened individuals, who held peace and learning above all things. I was somewhat dismayed when my attempts to contact them resulted in my imprisonment. They appear to have a leader who is not of their tribe, and seem to be under the impression that he appeared out of thin air.

Austin : [To Nik] That is entirely plausible. We have done that trick many times, but unfortunately we have no spare orbs. [Pokes a peep hole in the tent to see out the back]

[The canvas is very heavy, and would need to be cut. Enter GEAROID, leaving the door open, so the party can see that there are a number of guards outside.]

Gearoid : Infidels, have you a virgin to sarcrifice?

Clint : [To Nik] Are you a virgin?

Nik : My body is a temple for purity and goodness, in word, thought and deed. I am not concerned with the unnecessary score keeping so often associated with males who have such low self esteem that they are only capable of improving it by consorting with females of even lower self esteem.

Flyd: [Wagging his head sadly, jowls flapping] A virgin!

Gearoid : [Visibly disappointed] Er, well, we were really rather hoping for a female virgin. Or, possibly a female who's prepared to pretend she's one. [Turns to Alice] What do you say?

Alice : I say it's unlikely that you'll get Chastity to do such a thing.

Clint : [To Gearoid] Look, the man's a virgin, it's the best we can come up with. [Points at Alice and Chastity] No-one would believe they are virgins anyway.

Harvey : [Elbowing Clint in the ribs] Hah, well done, lad, you're really acting up a storm there! [Gives Alice a big wink]

Gearoid : Well, [looks at a piece of paper with writing on it] in the absence of a virgin, we'll settle for any good looking female you've got. Just think [glances at Alice] soon the Lord will take you to heaven.

Clint : [Slowly and casualy approaching Gearoid] Good looking female? Look around you! [Points at Alice] That's the worst Bimbo you'll ever get; I doubt your God will be pleased with her.

Flyd: [Whispering to Austin] Urrr...[Bad garlic toast breath and all] Say there, What do you say about plotting and escape from the Irish Indian Death Trap? I have taken note of several potential avenues of escape, but...umm I need a distraction and a sandwich. Or perhaps a sandwich and a distraction?

[ALICE looks around her, mystified, trying to work out whether or not she's been insulted.]

Gearoid : To be honest, he just wants a blow job, so I'm sure she'll do.

Austin : [To Gearoid] So the virgin won't actually be killed, they just have to perform fellatio upon God? [Whispering to Flyd] What kind of distraction do you require?

Alice : [Incredulous, to Austin] You know, Austin, while it mightn't be a big deal for you to do it to someone like Dicey, I can assure you that most girls don't just go around giving oral sex to men with red hair who think they're god!

Flyd : [With his stomach growling at Austin] I had rather hoped that the sandwich would be forthcoming first, but in the meantime, I would suggest trying to take their leader hostage. Perhaps if someone could get close enough to er, grab him by some appendage, and hold tight, we could put ourselves in a stronger position.

Clint : [Still getting closer to Gearoid] So where do we stand? Are you going to give the guy a blow job, Bimbo, or what?

Austin : [To Flyd] Excellent idea. [Austin attempts to grab Geroid by the balls and hold on tight]

Alice : What? Don't I even get offered dinner and a movie? [Notices Harvey giving her a curious look] I mean, no, of course not, what kind of girl do you think I am?

[AUSTIN grabs GEAROID by the crotch, showing surprising familiarity with the region.]

Gearoid : Argh! [Punches Austin hard]

Alice : Crikey, it's just as well that he's got such a strong grip from all his practice, isn't it!

Austin : [Still holding on for grim death] Help me for fuck sake!

Alice : [Exasperated] Didn't I just [emphasises] say I wasn't going to suck it?

Harvey : Right you are, Private! [Grabs Gearoid]

[All the INDIANs who were outside, start pouring in, wielding axes.]

Flyd : Hm. Actually, what I meant was to grab the actual leader, not this particular chap. I'm not entirely sure where we go from here.

Harvey : Or even this particular chaps, chap, what! Ha! [Throws a punch at the nearest indian] Behind me ladies! Stay out of harms way!

[HARVEY punches the INDIAN, receives an axe in the shoulder in return.]

Alice : This is crazy, there are too many of them!

[The tent is quickly filled with INDIANS, so that it is now almost impossible to see/move/give oral sex in the tent, which is getting close to full capacity.]

Clint : Well, I didn't want violence, but since everyone wants it... [Throws a kick in the balls of the nearest Indian]

Austin : [Tries to crawl out of the tent in the chaos]

[The tent becomes absolutely solid with people, so no one can move, but AUSTIN still manages to slither through the door, only to be confronted by DICEY, holding a large sword, also here are some more INDIANS.]

Dicey : Sure 'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, between me forty coats and me fifty pockets I do declare in front of holy Mary and all the saints except saint George that if it isn't me old mate Austin.

Austin : [Stands up and removes all dust and creases from himself in one swift flash of his defluffer. On one knee. To Dicey, in Austins best courtroom style] We meet again. You appear to have done very well for yourself, I see, and I was wondering, sir, if your omnisence would care to show great mercy upon us and set us free? [Clasps his hands] Perhaps? [Muses] We could pay your greatness to compensate for our misdemeanours, if that would apease your wrath?

Dicey : [To one of the Indians] Pull off the cover of the teepee, so I can see the others.

[This is done, revealing a big ball of people, all apparantly stuck together.]

Alice : [To Paddy] Hey! Get your hand off there!

Paddy : [Sniggering] That's not my hand.

Dicey : Sleaze, I am going to have you killed. Then I'm going to kill the rest of your stinking party, for what you tried to do to me. Don't think you can buy your way out of this - the Fundamentalist Knights told me all about you and Himo Jarl. Quite simply, langar, it will be a pleasure sarcrificing you.

Austin : [Stands up, dusts off his knee. Then begins this speech] Believe whatever lies you like. [To Dicey] The facts remain that we helped rescue you, and today was the first time that we have seen Himo Jarl. Though this seems worthless to point this out, we are also Fundamentalist Knights, and fought evil alongside Adam Torquemada in his last battle. Can you really trust your information sources? How can you be sure that I am not speaking the truth. Who controls your information sources? Do you? It is said that every truth must be guarded by a million lies. How many lies have you been told by those you trust, and them by those they trust, and so on? They may have believed the lies they told you to be true. It is like a game of Chinese whispers, you can never tell what the original truth was. If you are in no doubt of our guilt then you have nothing to loose in killing us. If however, there is an inkling of a doubt, then perhaps you could set us free if we compensated you and your people in some way.

Dicey : [Shouting] How dare you speak about the Knights like that! How dare you!

[All the INDIANS, who are now climbing off the various party members whoop and cheer, clearly expecting to see some blood.]

Dicey : [Stops for a second] Although, what's the compensation you're talking about? [Notices the surprised looks from the indians] I mean, what's this Holy and Sacred compensation for your sins against me that you are talking about?

Alice : [To the others] If he's going to offer a blow job, one of you can do it. evil then way.

Austin : [Seeing no response other than silence from the masses, looks Dicey right in the eyes] We could not avoid what happened to you and your warriors, it was an unfortunate act of fate in which we were powerless to intervene. We did try to mend the accident. [Arms stretched out] We were innocents, caught in the turmoil of a greater power!

Dicey : [Looking over the party] What kind of compensation did you have in mind?

Austin : [Looks suprised] Why, [Pauses] Financial compensation would be my offer, if we could compensate you for any losses that you have accrued, then we could bury the hatchet and call it quits.

Clint : [Looking around at all the armed Indians] Well if you want to bury all the hatchets, you better start getting your shovels, because I'm not going to do it.

Harvey : [Spits a feather out of his mouth] Gah! Yet another good tiff ruined! Dicey, what have you been told about us and Jarl?

Dicey : Sure 'n all, wasn't I told that ye were a bunch of backstabbin', murderin', lyin' bastards who hardly ever give out blow jobs. [Thinks for a moment] Oh that's right, I wasn't told that, [points angrily at them] I found it out when ye double crossed the Roving Band of Racial Stereotypes! I have it on good account that ye were mates with that no good Jarl -

Alice : Hey! Just because she travelled with us doesn't mean we were [finger quotes] mates!

Dicey : Huh? No, I meant Himo Jarl - but I did hear that you were travelling with his daughter, who, by all accounts was a far nicer soul than the lot of ye put together!

Alice : [Muttering to the others] I guess the intelligence network on Delerium leaves someting to be desired, huh?

Harvey : Firstly, don't blame the child for the crimes of her father. She travelled with us for a while, but that was all. Secondly, no one back stabbed you. Infact, sir, you will remember that we attempted to rescue your no good hide, and almost got killed in the process!

Dicey : Maybe that's what you wanted me to believe! [Looks around the party with a baleful glare] There was talk of compensation, but I've had enough of the lot of ye! The price of freedom is 10,000GP per person.

[Pauses to allow the crowd to gasp with shcok.]

Dicey : An' ye've got four minutes to hand it over. [Turns to the Indians] Better get the pot on the boil, lads, we'll be eatin' well tonight!

Flyd: [Rummaging through pockets, looking worried. To Clint] Urrr. Can I borrow a few pieces of gold? It seems I have forgotten my wallet in the carriage. [Turns, to Dicey] Say, don't we even get a last meal? What kind of barbarians are you anyway? Um. Oh, right. Never mind. Did I happen to mention I am not with these folks? [Spreads his chubby hands wide in a placating gesture, allowing full access to the reek of overactive nervous sweat to the nearby Indians]

Alice : [Shocked] What? Hey! [To the others] Didn't I say we shouldn't have brought him along? Didn't I? Didn't I?

Harvey : Actually, niece, I don't think you did.

Alice : Well, I think I should have!

Dicey : Alright, if you're not with this crowd, then the price is 20,000GP!

Austin : [To the party] Does anyone have enough to bail us out? [Looks at Flyd] How much was in your wallet? [To Chastity] Chasers, do you have any of that wonderful church gold and jewelry with you? [looks over at the pot of boiling water, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, thyme, sage, chillies, garlic. Frowns] That is going to ruin my suit. [To Alice] would you rather die than give him a blow job, swetie? I'm sure he would let you get pissed first, then it would be just like any other friday night. We'd allbe most grateful.

Flyd : I have approximately 4GP on my person.

Alice : [Whispering angrily to Austin] You know, now I think I'd nearly be prepared to give him one if he [emphasises] DID kill you!

Dicey : [To Gearoid] How's the pot?

Gearoid : [Stoned off his face] Hey man, I'm getting kind of hungry, man.

Dicey : [Watching the boiling water bubbling over the side of the pot] Maybe someone else should be in charge of the pot.

Austin : [Looking a bit peeved] Ten thousand gold pieces each? Twenty 'K' for Flyd? Dam [Looks exceptionally dissapointed. Looks around to see if there is any chance of escape. Fumbles in his underwear for a moment and pulls out a small pouch] Well, I suppose I have no choice [Pulls the 'Part of the Ocean' - Bose Hatwearer's priceless necklace, out of the pouch and holds it up into the sunlight for all to see it's glittering wonder. Spoken to all and the crowd] This is worth nearly a million gold pieces.

Dicey : [Grabbing the necklace] Well, that'll do nicely!

Alice : [Incrdulously to Austin] What? You stole it? What the hell happened to keeping a low profile?

Austin : [To Alice, snapping] I didn't steal it, she gave it to me for services rendered! She just made a fuss about it so that she could claim on her insurance! [Calms down. To Alice] Hey! I just saved all of our lives! Why are you still angry?

Alice : Why am I still angry? Why am I? [Thinks for a few seconds] Um, actually, I'm not sure.

Austin : [To Alice] Good, then we may continue our journey. I wonder where our coach horses got to? [Looks around to see if the Indians have them. To Dicey] Thank you oh great one, for showing your mercy in sparing our lives. I apologise for not having the correct change to pay you the exact amount you requested. You will just have to keep the other nine hundred thousand gold pieces as a token of our appreciation of your mercy.

Nik: [Tagging along in the rear] : It is enlightening to see that people are able to solve situations like the aforehanded, without having to resort to unnescesary roughness.

Austin : [To Nik and the party] Let's get out of here before they resort to necessary cannibalism.

[The INDIANS are still gathered around, watching curiously. A number of their stomachs are making grumbling noises.]

Dicey : [Looking around at the Indians] Er, see how they have given me a gift, to win my favour.

Gearoid : I thought you said you were going to smite them but good? The whole tribe has turned up in anticipation of a great feast. And, there seems to be quite enough for everyone here.

Clint : [To Chastity and Flyd] He's obviously talking about you.

Harvey : Enough of that, private! [Turns to Dicey] Well, looks like it's time for you to tell your worshippers that they're having a vegetarian meal tonight, Dicey! Don't know much about them myself, but I there seems to be plenty of grass available.

Dicey : Of course, there's really nothing to stop me from just keeping the necklace and cooking you, is there? [Turns to Gearoid] You'd better get my special cooking forks - they're in my private tent. [Nods in the direction of a metal tent with a burly guard outside it]

Alice : Hey! So now instead of being eaten, we're going to be robbed, and then eaten? Great plan, Austin!

Clint : And all this because you didn't want to give him a blow job. [Quietly, to Harvey] Any ideas on how to escape this one, Harv?

Alice : [Waving at Dicey, addressing Clint] Be my guest!

[GEAROID starts to unlock the metal door, with the guard standing to one side.]

Nik: [Slowly approaching Dicey, speaking in a slightly shocked voice] What an unlawful conduct!! [Now in a much calmer voice.] Much as it displeases me to resort to violence, normally the first refuge of the incompetent, I must dishearthen you with the fact that I am well-wised in several forms of unarmed combat, and that my hands are deadly weapons.

Alice : [To the party] Wow! His hands are deadly weapons, Clint's B.O. can kill a man at twenty paces, I wonder what other natural weapons we have.

Chastity : How about your sharp tongue, dear?

Alice : True Sister, [sweet smile] especially when matched with your razor sharp wit.

Dicey : [To Nik] Are you still alive? [To some of the Indians nearby] I thought I told you to kill him.

Indian : Kill him? I thought you said to hill him.

Dicey : What? What the hell does that mean?

Indian : I don't know, that's why we kept him in the tent!

Clint : [To Dicey] OK, I'm tired of your little game. [To the indians] This man is a liar! He's fooling you! And he's made of Irish bacon! EAT HIM!

Flyd: [Stops pinching himself about the middle and glances up at DICEY, drooling] Irish Bacon? Yum! [Scribbles more notes and tears a page from the back of his notebook, holds it up and waves it. To the Indians] Hey, I've my mother's recipe for Irish Bacon Flambe! What luck.

Nik: [In a somewhat loud, but calm voice] The man is truly a false God. Any true God would be able to summon a gust of wind, if he wanted something blown away. He would not ask a young girl to do it.

Chastity : [To Alice] If all it took was a gust of wind to achieve deity status this group would be practically stuffed full of false gods. [Points to Austin] The God of blowing hot air. [Points to Clint] The God of blowing foul hot air. [Points to Flyd] The God of passing wind.

Alice : [Laughs] Yeah, [points at herself] the Goddess of blowing - hey!

Dicey : Kill them!

[The INDIANS don't seem to be entirely sure of what's going on, but are clearly about to attack.]

Harvey : [Pointing at the metal tent that Gearoid opened] Look, let's get in there and regroup, we're never going to be able to make a break for it.

Chastity : Good Idea, Colonel. [Points at the cooking pot and shouts] Look out your pot is boiling over and putting the fire out! [Looks for the indians to be distracted and makes a break for Dicey's metal tent] [CHASTITY moves with surprising speed, and barges GEAROID out of the way. Much to his dismay, he crashes into the BURLY GUARD and the two become entangled.]

Alice : [Jumping in surprise at Chastity's speed] Wow! There must be a tea towel sale in there or something!

Nik: [Moving slowly towards the metal tent, face towards the indians] Quickly, I'll cover your retreat. Maybe we can still resolve this without violence.

Harvey : By the saints, niece, she certainly has well honed bargain hunting skills, what! Come troop, to the tent! [Grabs Alice by the hand and rushes towards the tent]

[ALICE runs with HARVEY, and, predictably, falls almost immediately, in front of the oncoming FLYD.]

Alice : [Seeing Flyd bear down on her] No! [Realises how slowly he's running] Hm. [Takes her time in getting up, and dusts herself off before following Harvey]

[AUSTIN also makes a break for it, while CLINT joins NIK in walking slowly back.]

Austin : Nothing quite like being chased by a thousand sweaty Indians, hungry for your body!

[Everyone is now inside the tent, and NIK, slams the door. The tent is bare except for a large wooden chest, and a huge stone circle, similar to the one the party came through when they encountered DEMPSEY and CUBE, off of which CHASTITY has just pulled a large sheet.]

Alice : Lock the door, quickly!

[Thunk. Somebody on the other side locks the door.]

Alice : Hah! Fools!

Chastity : [Gesturing towards the wooden chest] Austin, I believe you are the most experienced in opening such containers. Experienced in all sorts of ways. [From without, the party can hear DICEY shouting in anger.]

Dicey : Sure 'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, between me forty coats and me fifty pockets I do declare in front of holy Mary and all the saints except saint George that locking them in is the stupidest thing I've ever heard!

Gearoid : But, master, you are a God, why not use your powers to kill them while they are in there? We can then feast upon them.

Austin : [To Chastity, smiling] Yes, indeed I am a master of opening and entering, my speeches in court are revered world wide. [Checks the box for traps and then examines and tries to open the box/pick the lock]

Alice : [Looking at the ring] You know, this looks just like the one Dempsey and Cube were trying to destroy.

[AUSTIN makes a number of irritating "hmms" and "I sees" before popping the lock open.]

Chastity : [Looking at the ring with Alice] Presumably Dicey used this to appear to the Indians. No wonder they were amazed as he appeared from thin air. I wonder where it goes, though? Hopefully there will be something in the box to help us use it. [Turns to Austin] Well, Austin? What's in the box? The suspense...

Nik : [Looking at the ring] I have read about these, but I never believed they existed. [Becomes somewhat animated] Apparantly, they were built by a secret organisation called the Hierophantic Knights, and can be used as transportation devices. How amazing it is that one just happens to be here, right where we need it.

Chastity : [Mumbling to herself] Hmmm, a path that only knights can use, but not all of the group. Deja vu!

Nik : Not neccessarily - legend has it that some had the ability to transport any one. It is merely a matter of setting the destination.

[Outside, there is a lot of shouting, and DICEY is clearly trying to calm down the INDIANS.]

Clint : Again work for the brainy members of the group. [Looks around at the party] We're doomed.

Alice : Look, there's a bolt in here, too. [Locks it] Hah, even if they figure out how to open the one outside, they'll still be stuck!

Nik : [As the bolt outside gets opened] Where should I set it for?

Austin : [To Nik] What choices do we have? Monaco?

Nik : I believe that you can choose anywhere. Shall I set it for Monaco?

Austin : [To All] Who has the map?

Alice : What map?

Harvey : [To Austin] Private, don't you think it would be more in your line to suggest returning to the ship, for [tries to whisper, but still booms] you know what! [Taps his nose slightly]

Austin : [Looks at Harvey, blankly. Looks at the others blankly. Then looks back at Harvey blankly. To Nik] Excellent idea, set the destination to the ship Titan Ic.

Nik : Right - the ring will send us to the ship.

[Suddenly there is a whole lot of banging on the door.]

Dicey : Let me in! Let me in!

Austin : [To Dicey] Push the necklace under the door and I shall consider it!

Nik : The ring is ready to go - we can set it so that it will reset itself in ten seconds, so no one can follow us.

Dicey : There's no space! Open it up, open it up! I'll save you all then, I promise!

Austin : [To Nik] Set the ring so that it will reset in ten seconds please. We should all go now. [To Dicey, shouting furiously] We paid you one million gold pieces infront of hundreds of witnesses, and you welched on your part of the bargain. You lie and you cheat, we don't want your help! We can't trust you, Limerickish-backstabber! [Waits for Nik to ready the ring]

Clint : Right, off we go then. [To Nik] I suppose you could come with us. We do have a spare bed, now that Junior has gone to join her father. Unless you plan on staying around for dinner [nods towards the bolted door].

Nik : [Bows slightly] I would be honoured to accompany you.

Alice : [To Flyd] What about you? Are you going to come?

Flyd : My dear, I will not rest until your Doctor comrade has been restored. You may not think it from looking at me, but I am extremely upset by it, in fact, I haven't eaten or slept since it happened.

Alice : But, it only happened a few hours ago.

[FLYD's stomach growls angrily at ALICE in reply.]

Harvey : Let's go.

[Jumps through the ring, and disappears, followed quickly by CHASTITY and NIK.]

Clint : [To Alice] Of course, we could open the door, and disappear in thin air in front of the indians. Then we could come back and be teated as Gods! [Pauses for a moment, looking at the others] No? Ok, I tried. [Jumps through the ring]

Flyd : [To Alice and Austin] While I know you two are probably dying to scratch your sexual itch, I would urge you to wait a while, and follow me.

[Climbs through the ring.]

Alice : [To Austin] I don't know what he's talking about. [Looks at the ring] I'm just looking forward to diving onto that big bed. [Jumps through.]

[The banging on the door continues, and the bolt is about to snap.]

Austin : [Pulls the chest open and grabs the contents and jumps through the ring. TO Alice] Me too!

[The door bursts open a second after AUSTIN disappears, and a number of INDIANs fall to the floor with the force of their battering.]

Paddy : [Theatrical gasp] They've disappeared! They must be Gods too!

Dicey : [Being held by some of the Indians] Nonsense, I'm the only God here!

Paddy : In that case, bring them back.

Dicey : [Looking sadly at the hugely complex controls on the ring] Er, I can't.

Paddy : [Smiling sympathetically] Well, you know what that means?

Dicey : What?

Paddy : Irish stew for everyone tonight!

[All the INDIANs cheer loudly.]