THE QUEENS VIEW AFFAIR Book III, Act IV

[Book III, Act IV, Scene I. The White Room. ALICE, HARVEY, NIK, CHASTITY, AUSTIN, FAETAN and TOM are here. Everyone is now fine, and are all dressed in flowing white robes. The room is sparsely furnished, with a number of white leather couches and armchairs spread around, upon which various members of the party are draped.]

Alice : [Slowly stirring, and looking around, blinking] Are we in heaven?

Tom : [Also stirring] Well, hello.

Harvey : [Glaring at Tom] Gah! Hardly!

Austin : [Looks at his white robes] Errgh, oh my god, what sick, twisted evil scum did this! Pestillence is going to get some. When I have some power, then he will know my vengance! [Stares at his robes in disgust, has a look to see if he is wearing anything underneath that might look better]

Alice : Well, we all seemed to be okay now. [Looks at Faetan] Oh no! Your nose is still broken!

Faetan : [Growls] No it's not!

Alice : Oops! My mistake, sorry.

Faetan : [Gives Alice a 'never mind, your just a bit immature' look] Is this the room with no doors that Darius talked about? [Looks around, whilst checking her nose]

[It is true that there are no doors in the room.]

Alice : It could be - where the hell are we?

[There is a shimmering in one corner. Enter MARASMUS, a beautiful woman dressed in similar robes to the party. She puts a finger to her lips.]

Marasmus : Sh. [Gives a big smile] We don't really like that sort of language down here, Alice.

Austin : [To Marasmus] For Philli's sake, must even you wear these most unflattering robes? Is this still part of Pestilence's doing? He has one sick sense of humor. Would you mind telling us where we are, and *where* we can get some more practical clothing. I could get arrested for wearing this!

Marasmus : [Smiles benignly at Austin, scolding him with a wagging finger] Now, now, Austin, I know you're frightened, but there's no need to put on such a front. You're here with friends. [Glances at Tom] Well, mostly.

Tom : Hey now, I know what you're thinking -

Marasmus : [Still smiling, and shaking her head] No you don't. [Smiles even more broadly] But I know what you're thinking.

Alice : [Whispering to the others] Do you think she's stoned?

Austin : [To Marasmus] Scared? I'm not scared, what is there to be scared of? I have dieded twice today already and been to Hell twice, so the only thing that scares me now is being seen in public wearing this [Shakes his robes at her] But if necessity dictates I shall use it to cover my head.

Faetan : [To the party] What was that about Philli forming Iok and his team to persecute his minions? I knew it, Philli set us up to kill them because they wer'nt doing his bidding! They turned on him!

Marasmus : [Shakes her head, still smiling] Oh, Austin. I think you're terrified of dying, and terrified that the next time will be the last, but have it your way. I don't mind. [Looks at Faetan] Oh, come on, now, Faetan, even you don't believe that!

Austin : [To Marasmus, arms folded] Well come on then. Out with it? Where are we, why, what have you got to do with it, and why are you so dam smug?

Marasmus : I think, Austin, what you meant to say is, "Thanks for saving our lives, and why are you so serene?"

Chastity : [For once looking more tranquil than Nik] You'll have to excuse the lawyer. He likes to think he's totally in control, and when his delusions are shattered he tends to get a tad grumpy. Is this Heaven's reception lounge, by any chance? [Looks around] Its just as its described in the scriptures. I'd expected a bit more harp music though. Not that I'm complaining, of course. It's so calm.

Austin : [Ignoring Chastity with a wave of his right hand. Waggling his non-Maplin index finger] Our thanks would only be due if, and only if, we had good evidence to support your claim that you did save our lives, and that you were not responsible for us loosing them in the first place. However, the facts are that we did die, therefore our lives were not saved, but ressurected, and if you are in league with Philli, then it may be the case that you were in some way responsible for our untimely demise. Lastly, in the general definition of serene, arrogance in not included.

Chastity : [Shaking her head with a knowing smile. To Marasmus] I fear that Mr. Sleaze is confusing his resurrected life with his saved soul.

Austin : [To Chastity] As if you'd know the difference. A shiny white room and some bland-beyond belief robes and you think you're in heaven.

Alice : [Regarding Austin with a baleful eye] Then I guess you're not going to be serene very soon, are you, Austin?

Marasmus : [Shakes her head sadly, holding her hand up to Chastity] It's okay, Chastity, Austin is merely confusing confidence with arrogance, a common mistake. [Smiles calmly again at Austin] It is true that I didn't save your lives, that I ressurected you. However, I didn't claim to save your lives, merely suggested that what I believed you meant to say was "thank you for saving our lives", for that is the usual reaction here. To suggest that I am in some way responsible for your death is understandable given your current state of mind, but is, nonetheless, false.

Alice : [Tutting with annoyance] Oh, for God's sake, Austin, leave her alone. She didn't say we were in heaven, no one said we were in heaven, no one even thinks we're in heaven, we couldn't possibly be in heaven. [Pause, before turning to Marasmus] Are we in heaven?

Marasmus : No.

Alice : [To Austin, sticking her tongue out] See?

Chastity : [Looking a bit disappointed] Oh. [To Marasmus] Where are we then?

Austin : [To Alice] I didn't say we were in heaven, Chassers suggested that we were, rattling on about harp music and all. [Blows Alice a bitter kiss]

Faetan : [Quickly tightens her waist cord to better show her figure] So where are we? Is this another place in Hell? [Looks at her white robes]

Alice : [Sitting up on one of the tables, leaving the others in no doubt as to the absence of underwear beneath the robes] Well, Faetan, given that Austin is even more annoying than usual, there's a good chance.

Marasmus : You're not in hell. This is a sanctuary. [Smiles and opens her palms up] I provide a service to the people of Insomnia, and this is the waiting area before you return.

Chastity : Can you see what is going on down there until we return? [To Harvey] It sounded a bit like the rest of the horsemen had finally made their way into the town, judging by Adam's screams down the air tube! [Back to Marasmus, rubbing her tummy] Oh, and do you have any food here that isn't sandwiches?

Faetan : [Looks around, a little more calmly] Well, then. Our thanks to you for giving us back our lives. But who are you, anyway?

Austin : [To Marasmus, arms folded] Well come on then. Out with it? Where are we, why, what have you got to do with it, and why are you so dam smug?

Marasmus : I think, Austin, what you meant to say is, "Thanks for saving our lives, and why are you so serene?"

Chastity : [For once looking more tranquil than Nik] You'll have to excuse the lawyer. He likes to think he's totally in control, and when his delusions are shattered he tends to get a tad grumpy. Is this Heaven's reception lounge, by any chance? [Looks around] Its just as its described in the scriptures. I'd expected a bit more harp music though. Not that I'm complaining, of course. It's so calm.

Austin : [Ignoring Chastity with a wave of his right hand. Waggling his non-Maplin index finger] Our thanks would only be due if, and only if, we had good evidence to support your claim that you did save our lives, and that you were not responsible for us loosing them in the first place. However, the facts are that we did die, therefore our lives were not saved, but ressurected, and if you are in league with Philli, then it may be the case that you were in some way responsible for our untimely demise. Lastly, in the general definition of serene, arrogance in not included.

Chastity : [Shaking her head with a knowing smile. To Marasmus] I fear that Mr. Sleaze is confusing his resurrected life with his saved soul.

Austin : [To Chastity] As if you'd know the difference. A shiny white room and some bland-beyond belief robes and you think you're in heaven.

Alice : [Regarding Austin with a baleful eye] Then I guess you're not going to be serene very soon, are you, Austin?

Marasmus : [Shakes her head sadly, holding her hand up to Chastity] It's okay, Chastity, Austin is merely confusing confidence with arrogance, a common mistake. [Smiles calmly again at Austin] It is true that I didn't save your lives, that I ressurected you. However, I didn't claim to save your lives, merely suggested that what I believed you meant to say was "thank you for saving our lives", for that is the usual reaction here. To suggest that I am in some way responsible for your death is understandable given your current state of mind, but is, nonetheless, false.

Alice : [Tutting with annoyance] Oh, for God's sake, Austin, leave her alone. She didn't say we were in heaven, no one said we were in heaven, no one even thinks we're in heaven, we couldn't possibly be in heaven. [Pause, before turning to Marasmus] Are we in heaven?

Marasmus : No.

Alice : [To Austin, sticking her tongue out] See?

Chastity : [Looking a bit disappointed] Oh. [To Marasmus] Where are we then?

Austin : [To Alice] I didn't say we were in heaven, Chassers suggested that we were, rattling on about harp music and all. [Blows Alice a bitter kiss]

Faetan : [Quickly tightens her waist cord to better show her figure] So where are we? Is this another place in Hell? [Looks at her white robes]

Alice : [Sitting up on one of the tables, leaving the others in no doubt as to the absence of underwear beneath the robes] Well, Faetan, given that Austin is even more annoying than usual, there's a good chance.

Marasmus : You're not in hell. This is a sanctuary. [Smiles and opens her palms up] I provide a service to the people of Insomnia, and this is the waiting area before you return.

Chastity : Can you see what is going on down there until we return? [To Harvey] It sounded a bit like the rest of the horsemen had finally made their way into the town, judging by Adam's screams down the air tube! [Back to Marasmus, rubbing her tummy] Oh, and do you have any food here that isn't sandwiches?

Faetan : [Looks around, a little more calmly] Well, then. Our thanks to you for giving us back our lives. But who are you, anyway?

Marasmus : My name is Marasmus, Faetan.

Alice : Wow! Marasmus Faetan, Faetan, that's really a big coinky dink, isn't it?

Marasmus : [To Chastity] I'm sorry, Chastity, but I don't have any food here, but I'm sure we can get you some once you return to the town.

Faetan : [Starts visibly] Marasmus...Bane? If you are, I've been looking for you for a LONG time! Someone named Sky Tennetta told me to seek you out. Does the name ring a bell?

Nik: [In a low voice] Marasmus Faetan-Faetan,...hm, sounds familiar.

Alice : Then perhaps we should proceed with caution, Nik?

Marasmus : [Shakes her head] No, I'm just plain Marasmus, and I'm afraid I haven't heard of your friend. Why did he send you to me?

Chastity : It was Pestilence that technically sent us to you. [Grimances at the memory] Now I know how those roast locusts feel.

Faetan : Er, that's not what I meant - it was before I met you guys. [Looks at Marasmus] He told me you knew about the Hierophantic Knights.

Marasmus : Sorry, I've never heard of them. [Looks to Chastity, mildly concerned, but still with a serene look] Pestilence sent you here? How did that happen?

Chastity : We were all lying in a coffin with Tom's corpse, when suddenly, with a fart, a strike of a match, and a supposedly smart comment, Pestilence appeared along side us. He butchered a couple of us before finishing the job off with some flammable oil. [Shudders again with the memory] Now I know how crepe's Suzette feel. [Stops shuddering and rubs her growling tummy] Just before we were burnt, we heard Adam screaming in alarm and possibly pain.

Marasmus : Oh. [Face drops, and she turns away, facing the wall] I thought that they would leave us alone.

Alice : [Whispering to the others] She's still talking to us, right?

Chastity : [To Alice] In this instance I don't think it really matters, dear. [To Marasmus] Where would you be returning to in Insomnia? Does it have to be back in the coffin, or do you have an alternative?

Marasmus : Normally people appear in the graveyard, and just walk out the gates - I couldn't really make them reappear in the coffin, otherwise they'd be stuck, wouldn't they?

Alice : Hey! Adam said that the coffins are never sealed or filled in!

Marasmus : [With a smile] I'm sure you must have misunderstood him - they are always filled in.

Chastity : [To Marasmus] We are not in normal circumstances, though. If you can call being buried alive, tortured and killed one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and resurrected in a sanctuary normal, that is? You didn't answer my previous query. Can you put us back in Insomnia somewhere else, or does it have to be by the grave?

Marasmus : Forgive my not answering, Chastity, but I was distracted by the news that Pestilence was with you. The answer is yes, I can place you anywhere.

Austin : [Still irritated at the good humour of Marasmus] Where exactly are we?

Marasmus : [Gives a broad smile] Well, that's an interesting question, Austin. We're basically in a different dimension, which is orthogonal to your own - I can send people back and forth through it.

Alice : Are we safe here? Can Pestilence and the others get in?

Marasmus : I don't think so.

Alice : You don't think we're safe? Or you don't think Pestilence can get in?

[Suddenly the wall near MARASMUS bursts open, and PESTILENCE sticks his head through, grinning manically up at the party from about waist high.]

Pestilence : Heeeeeeeeeere's Pesty!

Marasmus : [Going deathly pale, and turning to Alice] The first one!

Alice : [Dead calm] Which was the first one again?

Marasmus : You're not safe.

Alice : [Still calm] Oh. [Thinks for a moment] Oh. [Panics] Aaargh! We're all gonna die! [Pause] Again!

Faetan : Haven't you got any weapons here? This guy is seriously dangerous, and seriously insane!

Harvey : Let's all calm down, troop! If this is a sanctuary as the lady said, then not even Pestilence can hurt us. [To Marasmus] Isn't that right?

Chastity : Hold on, shouldn't we be safe in the sanctuary? [To Pestilence] I was just starting to wonder if you'd died in that coffin.

Marasmus : [Backing away] No! The sanctuary doesn't force people not to do evil things, its just always been understood that no one does any evil there!

Pestilence : Well, I've sure got one hell of a headache, now that's pretty damned evil, don't you think? [Sniffs] Hey! That smells like Faetan! [Smiles] Amazing, she can bring you back to life, but she can't get the mark of Pestilence off you!

Nik: [Assuming "The Badger" defensive martial arts position] Caution everybody!

Faetan : [Growls loudly at Pestilence] There's got to be a weapon in here! [Looks around]

Alice : [Jumping slightly from Faetan's growl] Oh no! Now they've got a dog in here! [Looks around, and is only slightly relieved to see Faetan] Hm.

[PESTILENCE breaks in through the rest of the wall, revealing it to be nothing but cheap plasterboard. Following him in are BODDY and CONTAGION.]

Pestilence : Nice place you've got here, Mazzy*. [Looks around, nodding and smiling] I guess it would be a shame to have to kill you. Blood makes such a mess on white upholstery, don't you find, Death?

Boddy : Yeah, I know what you mean, but at least semen doesn't stain as much.

Contagion : [Smiles evilly at Marasmus] You know, I don't care if you tell us where the staff is or not, I'm so much in the mood for loving, I'm going to have you anyway.

Chastity : [To Marasmus] How do we get out of here. And how do we choose where we go? And what staff is that evil creature on about?

Harvey : What is going on here? What staff? And no-one is going to have no-one, this respectful lady saved...brought us back to life, so we'll defend her with our lifes! Right troop?

Nik: Right indeed. Such unlawful behaeviour cannot be tolerated.

Alice : You got it, Uncle Harvey! [Tries to draw her sword] Hey! [Looks down] My sword is gone! My clothes are gone! My [pulls out the front of her gown and looks down] Gasp!

Marasmus : He's talking about the staff of life force - it's what I use to bring people back from the dead. It can suck the life force out of a newly dead body, and create another life.

Boddy : Look, we can either kill everyone here and then get the staff, or we can get the staff first, and then kill everyone, it's your choice.

[PESTILENCE laughs, and he and BODDY high five each other.]

Boddy : Okay, how about this? Give us the staff, and we'll let you go free.

Contagion : [Glances back from Marasmus to Boddy angrily] Hey, I'm not leaving here until I've shagged all the women. [Turns back to the party and looks around meaningfully at the women, before turning back to Boddy] Well, all the good looking ones, anyway.

Alice : Humph! So Faetan and Chastity get away scot-free?

Marasmus : Please, just let them go, and I'll tell you where it is.

Faetan : [To Marasmus] You're not telling them anything! [Crouches before springing at the closest of the three horsemen in a grappling attempt]

[FAETAN leaps at CONTAGION, who catches her, and throws her against the far wall, smashing much of the plaster.]

Boddy : [Suddenly very serious] Hold it! Hold it! Let's all just calm down.

Contagion : I'm going to fuck her. Then I'm going to kill her.

Boddy : [To Contagion] No one's going to kill anyone, we came here to get the staff. [Turns to Marasmus] Where's the staff?

Marasmus : [Watching Alice check if Faetan is okay] I have to tell them.

Pestilence : [Dabbing one of his eyes with a delicate lace hanky] Oh, this is all so moving! --0-569219867-1032805593=:37982

Harvey : [Stands in front of Marasmus and Alice, looking at Faetan] Well, she certainly is a spirited little filly, eh! [Swings a punch at Boddy]

Faetan : [Stifling a grunt as she sits up] I'm all right, Alice. [Glares at Contagion] You don't have to tell them anything, Marasmus. Transport yourself somewhere else with the staff if you have to, we don't want these creeps possessing immortality! [Rises to her feet and crouches again, eyes fixed on Contagion as she snarls and measures him up]

[HARVEY connects with BODDY, and he reels back, just as PESTILENCE punches HARVEY, knocking him to the ground.]

Boddy : Ow! [Glares at Harvey] What the hell is wrong with you? [Grabs Pestlince's arm] Easy, tiger!

Boddy : [Points at Faetan] Down, boy. If you try that again, he'll kill you, and there'll be no coming back.

Pestilence : [Hand over chest] Oh no! No immortality for us! [Laughs] We've already got it baby! [Punches Boddy on the shoulder] At least, some of us do.

Marasmus : Do you promise to let them go if I tell you where it is?

Pestilence : [Laughing at her discomfort] You know, now I'm so annoyed I think I kill them if you do tell me where it is!

[BODDY says nothing, but gives a PESTILENCE a dirty look.]

Pestilence : Alright, alright, we'll let them go.

Faetan : [Gritting her teeth] Don't, Marasmus!

Marasmus : [Shouting at Pestilence] Get out of here!

Pestilence : [Gives her a reproachful look] You know, I - [glances behind Faetan] Hey hey hey! What have we here? [Bounds across the room, before shoving Faetan back hard into Alice, knocking the two to the ground] Here it is, in the wall! [Pulls out what appears to be a lance, with a point at either end, and a handle in the middle.]

Contagion : Alright! [Points at Faetan] Get into those stirrups woman, it's time for loving!

[PESTILENCE fires the staff across the room, so it strikes CONTAGION in the chest. It hits with such ferocity, that it bursts through his armour, and comes out the other side. His mouth falls open and he gasps in shock and pain, before falling to his knees.]

Pestilence : [Winking at Faetan] That's okay, little lady, I'm just here to help.

Faetan : [Somewhat flustered and confused] I... [Blinks at Contagion, then sneers] Yeah, eat it, sucka!

Alice : [In surprise to Faetan] Oh no, not another sexual remark!

Boddy : [Leaning in to look at Contagion] Hm, he does seem to still be alive.

Pestilence : [Also peering at him] Yeah, but he's not going anywhere. [Glances at Faetan before turning to Contagion once again] Is that a staff in your chest or are you just pleased to see her?

Faetan : [Frowns, snaps her fingers in disappointment] Darnit... Couldn't you kill him just this once?

Pestilence : I'm afraid not, but we could torture him a bit. Or [thinks hard] actually! [Points at Faetan] We could certainly kill you!

Austin : [To Marasmus, watching the circus] How come I don't remember being here this morning?

Chastity : I don't think now is quite the time for such questions, Austin. Best apply your mind to not getting killed again. [To Marasmus] How do we get out?

Marasmus : [A little panicky at Pestilence advancing on Faetan] Because, when I send people back, I always remove all memories of me and this place, that's why the people in Insomnia were trying to find out what was going on, even though lots of them have been through here. It's also why I wasn't surprised at how aggressive you were Austin, because we went through practically the same conversation already.

Marasmus : Like this, don't be frightened by the smoke. [Tries to click her fingers, but they just slide noiselessly against each other]

[The room fills with smoke.]

Alice : So, are we gone?

Marasmus : I don't know, normally it only works when I make the click.

Boddy : [Waving away some of the outrageous amount of smoke from his cigar] Try again. [Takes another drag] But calmly.

[MARASMUS clicks her fingers, and she and the party disappear in a puff of smoke.]

Pestilence : Aw, Death, you're just too nice.

Boddy : Well, it'll give Iok someone to blame for this. [Nods at Contagion.]

Pestilence : [Approaching Contagion with a pliers, and speaking really enthusiastically] This is gonna be great!

Austin : [To Marasmus] If you knew what I was goind to say, why didn't you cough up the reddies? [Sigh! Tries to smash a hole in the plaster board behind him using his dagger]

[Book III, Act IV, Scene II. Outside the Graveyard. ALICE, HARVEY, NIK, CHASTITY, AUSTIN, FAETAN, TOM and MARASMUS have just appeared outside the gates. There is a large crowd in the graveyard, clearly concerned about something.]

Marasmus : [To Austin] What "reddies" are these that you speak of, Austin?

Austin : [To Marasmus] The explanation that I asked for, and you knew I would ask for. Anyway, thanks for ressurecting me twice. [Looks to the large crowd] I wonder what happened to Tom.

Tom : Nothing happened to Tom! Old Mazzy here did the business on me too.

Marasmus : Please don't call me that.

Austin : [Turns round to see Tom. With a five gallon drum of bitter deadpan sarcasm] Oh, excellent. [Turns away] It's a pitty that Marasmus is not a bit more selective with her ressurections.

Chastity : Hmmmm, yes

Alice : [Looking from Austin to Faetan] Hmmmm, yes.

Harvey : Let's see what the commotion is over in the graveyard. [Strides through the gate]

Chastity : [Chasing after Harvey] I wonder if Adam Torque is Ok. He sounded in distress when we were in the coffin.

[The crowd are gathered around the grave into which the party were placed, and are digging it up. SVEN and CLINT are standing in the grave, clearly doing the most digging. SVEN is dressed as he was earlier, while CLINT is just wearing a pair of trousers. They have just opened the coffin, to reveal seven burnt bodies in there, and causing everyone, except CLINT, around to cover the faces from the smell. Also standing watching are ADAM and KELLY, the former wearing a dressing gown and smoking a cigarette.]

Adam : [Looking into the coffin] My God! Pestilence must have been responsible for this!

Clint : [Sniffing the air] Is it just me, or does enyone else feel a strange smell in the air?

Alice : [Following the others into the graveyard] It must be a really awful smell if Clint is complaining about it! [Pushes her way to the front of the crowd] What's going on, Stinky? [Sees the bodies in the coffin] Oh!

Clint : [To Alice] Bimbo! You're all alive! Is the lawyer with you? I think I can smell his aftershave; it's disgusting.

Chastity : I don't think I want to look. It's not something one should see, the remains of ones remains.

Harvey : True, good Sister, even if all that remains of one's remains are the tiniest remnants of remains.

Alice : We're all here, Stinky! You know, I knew you wouldn't rest for a minute when you heard they tried to cover us in, I just knew you'd be out immediately, demanding that they - [breaks off as she notices his half nakedness, and then looks to Kelly] Hey!

Adam : [To the party] Thank Phili! It worked, it worked! Oh, I was so worried!

Sven : [Popping his head up from the grave] Haw! Buried alive and set alight, and still they have the gall to wear those kinds of outfits in public, I love it!

Clint : [Noticing the outfits] Hey!, did you guys go to a party? You didn't invite me!

Alice : Like that would be the first time that's happened!

Adam : Those are the outfits that people always wear when they return. Did you find out anything?

Marasmus : [Steps forward] Hello, Adam. I'm the one responsible for bringing people back.

Sven : [Still in the grave] Well, hello there! [Gives his biggest, cheesiest smile.]

Marasmus : Hello to you, too!

Austin : [To Adam] What were those screams we heard from outside just before we died? It sounded like you were being attacked.

Chastity : We were most concerned. Well, that was until Pestilence poured oil over us all and set the coffin ablaze.

Adam : It was because I was terrified that my plan had gone horribly wrong. I never intended for any of you to be hurt, but thank Phili that you were saved.

Austin : [To Adam] Good, well now everyone is here and alive, and the mission you set us is complete, do you mind telling us eveything you know about shapeshifters?

Adam : Shapeshifters? I -

Benson : [Calling from the gate] Hello! Mr. Torque! There's someone approaching the gate, [goes pale] it's Corwyn!

Adam : [Panicking] We can talk later, in the meantime, we've got to kill him!

Faetan : [To Adam] Hey! You can't kill him, he's my great great grandfather! [Goes for a rugby tackle on Adam]

Chastity : [Looks at Tom for some reaction to Corwyn's arrival, then turns to Harvey] We could really do with our equipment. [FAETAN connects with ADAM, and knocks him heavily to the ground.]

Adam : What the hell is wrong with you?

[A number of nearby soldiers point weapons at FAETAN.]

Harvey : [Stepping in front of Faetan, thundering at the soldiers] Back off! [Glances at Chastity] I think, Sister, that we may need those weapons sooner rather than later.

Tom : [Calmly to Chastity] I know what you're thinking, Sister, and you're right. I did call him.

Alice : [To Austin] Hey, did you see when she dived at Adam, you could see the tops of her thighs? [Smiles.]

[To ALICE's dismay, a passing underground tram blows her gown up around her head, sparing her no modesty.]

Alice : Gah!

Austin : [To Adam] I appologise for miss Jarls haste, but Corwyn is her great great grandfather or something like that, and appart from that he spared our lives earlier. Perhaps we might talk to him first? [Waves back the soilders]

Clint : [Climbing out of the grave] I believe Corwyn will be satisfied when he finds out we managed to get inside. [Looks around, notices Marasmus] And I believe we haven't met yet! [Wink!]

Adam : [Lying face down in the dirt] I'll see what I can arrange.

Marasmus : [Smiles warmly at Clint] Hello, Clint.

Sven : [Elbowing Clint] Down boy! [Nods at Kelly who has turned her slightly psychopathic stare on Clint, before turning to Marasmus] That's Clint, and she's his girlfriend.

Harvey : Perhaps we could talk somewhere in private?

Chastity : [To Harvey, in a confused tone] Talk somewhere in, Private?

Harvey : No, Sister, I said "Talk somewhere, in private."

Faetan : I thought you said "Talk, somewhere in private."

Alice : I thought you said "Squibildy tibildy fibildy."

Adam : We can use my office.

Alice : Yay! Have you got some squibilidies there?

Adam : Er, yes. Yes I do.

[The party go to the office, and are joined by TOM, KELLY, MARASMUS and ADAM.]

Adam : [To Kelly] Why don't you put some clothes on?

Kelly : [Exasperated sigh] What-ever.

Alice : [Sympathetically to Kelly] Yeah, I get that a lot too.

[Enter CORWYN, NEFIRITIRI and ROURKE.]

Corwyn : Well, it looks like you were telling the truth!

Nefiritiri : [Fake smile at Marasmus] Hello, Marasmus.

Marasmus : [Coldly] Hello, Nefiritiri.

Clint : [To Marasmus] Just how many men do you know? [Pause] Hum, a woman with no long term commitments, I like it!

Austin : [To Clint] And I thought you just went for the young girls.

Marasmus : [To Clint] I'm not sure what you mean, Clint.

Chastity : [To Marasmus]Just ignore him, his obviously still giddy with emotion at seeing us again. Is there some history between you two girls? [Looking between Marasmus and Nefiritiri]

Marasmus : Oh, yes, there is some history.

Nefiritiri : We're sisters! [Gives a big smile, and stretches her arms out to Marasmus] Come on, Mazzy, give your old sister a big hug!

Austin : [To Clint, wiggling his eyebrows] Things are lookin' good bro.

Faetan : [To Corwyn] So why did you come here?

Corwyn : To be with you, Faetan. Don't you remember? The agreement was that, once you and the others got into Insomnia, we would join you.

Nefiritiri : [Puts her arms down] Mazzy always was the shy one.

Faetan : [To Corwyn] So, what's your plan, unc?

Austin : [To Faetan] Don't you mean grandfather?

Chastity : [To Austin] I don't know how she can be so civil to the man. He was planning to have future relations with his future relation, for Phili's sake! Well, not for Phili's sake for his own sake but...[pauses] oh, you know what I mean!

Faetan : [To Austin] Errm, yes [Wipes the sweat off her brow] It's been a long day.

Alice : Maybe she was talking to Harvey?

Corwyn : I think we should all sit down and try and figure out what the hell is going on here. [Takes a comfortable seat.]

[Everyone else also sits, with NEFIRITIRI and MARASMUS both going for the same seat, and getting involved in an undignified struggle which ends with each of them sitting on half the seat.]

Adam : [Clearly confused] So, Pestilence and Death killed Contagion? This is very, very surprising, but why? What's going on?

Alice : Actually, it isn't really all that surprising. When we first met Iok, Immaculata thought he was Pestilence, and when she said it, both he and Contagion got very angry, and told us that we were never to speak of him. Gasp! [Theatrically covers her mouth with her hand, before calming down again] I suppose it's okay now, though.

Faetan : Not really. They probably killed Contagion so they could use the resurrection staff on him. [Puts her chin in her hand with a sigh] Just once, I'd like to really connect my fist with his jaw... --0-1031309039-1032888068=:80149

Harvey : I'm sure it is, dearest niece, I'm sure it is! [To Adam] Indeed so. Struck him through the chest with a spear. I don't think he's dead, though. Seemed alive and annoyed when we left, but that was about it.

Marasmus : They didn't kill Contagion, and I'm not sure it is possible to kill any of them. [Sadly] I don't know what's going to happen now.

Nefiritiri : [Lighting a cigarette in a long holder] I should think it is rather obvious. The staff takes life from one end, and gives it at the other. He'll be stuck in your little padded cell for all eternity, caught between life and death, in unimaginable pain. [Blows out some smoke] Nice going, sis.

Alice : Aw! Don't you just love it when family get back together?

Faetan : [Glances around at the others, then to Marasmus. Quietly] Why did you let them have it? Surely it would have been better for a small handful to die than to let them take such a vital thing.

Marasmus : True, but the alternative was that a small handful would die, and then they would have got it. [Looks around at the others] They didn't want the staff to harm us, they wanted it to harm Contagion.

Chastity : I fear that may be too simple, my dear. If you, or we, had the staff we could resurrect anyone they killed, now that power is in their hands. I think that the torture of Contagion was just a sadistic distraction. --0-153468069-1032953735=:24403

Harvey : But I believe Marasmus did the right thing. She had no option. They'd have killed us, and her, and had the staff anyway, dear sister! She made a huge sacrifice by giving the staff, and I salute her for it! [Snaps a sharp salute at Marasmus]

Chastity : I couldn't agree more, Colonel, and she should be applauded for her thinking under such unusual duress. [Turns to Marasmus and gives her a polite golf style clap] I was just saying that they probably didn't only want the staff to torture Contagion. --0-1621877278-1032954761=:21350

Harvey : [A dark look passing over his face] Undoubtedly so, sister! The cads! Who knows what ill use they'll put that marvelous item to! What demonic entities will they ressurrect? And it also means that these townfolk will no longer get a Get Out Of Death Free card!

Alice : I've got a get out of jail free card, if that's any use. [Holds up a Monopoly card]

Marasmus : Thank you for your kind words. However, I suspect that if they wish to keep him trapped, they will have to leave him impaled upon the staff. So, while it is true that we have lost the ability to resurrect people, it is also true that we have lost a horseman of the apocalypse.

Chastity : [Slightly exasperated] My original point exactly. Anyway, we're going to need some sort of plan to defeat this evil. [Looks roung the assembled group] Any special weapons, methods or even ideas? Anyone? --0-1760696367-1032955458=:74051

Harvey : [Looks at Alices card] Well, you'll certainly never need that, dear niece, honest citizen and credit to the Short family, that you are! But [turns to Marasmus] surely they could raise a underling to full horseman status? An increase in rank, a new star on the lapel, access to the officers canteen and by the saints, a new foe to contend with! [Glances at Corwyn] niece, honest citizen and credit to the Short family, that you are! But [turns to Marasmus] surely they could raise a underling to full horseman status? An increase in rank, a new star on the lapel, access to the officers canteen and by the saints, a new foe to contend with! [Glances at Corwyn]

Austin : And what about our mission? Colonel, let us not forget that we are on a mission to find a way of detecting shapeshifters.

Adam : Shapeshifters? There are no shapeshifters! That is but a myth.

Corwyn : [Looking directly at Harvey] And who, Colonel, do you suspect the new foe to be?

Nefiritiri : What about these Hierophantic Knights you speak of? If they really are the glorious and wondrous [glances at Faetan] organisation you all seem to think they are, surely they could be of some assistance?

Faetan : [To Nefiritiri] Well, I'm not sure they actually exist yet, in the future, Sven is one, but he isn't at the moment [to Sven] Are you?

Sven : [Totally distracted, and watching Marasmus] Hm? Uh, no.

Marasmus : Not yet.

[Enter JIM IGNAWATSKI, bursting through the door in a panic.]

Jim : [Shouting] Hello! [Calms down] Sorry I'm late.

Austin : [To Jim, calmly] Do you know anything about time travel, shapeshifters or the Hierophantic knights? [Inspects the nails on his right hand]

Jim : [Terrified, as everyone turns their attention on him] Uh, uh, what was the first one again?

Alice : Oh for God's sake! It was - [breaks off, trying to think] time travel!

Jim : No.

Harvey : Shapeshifters?

Jim : No.

Harvey : Hierophantic Knights?

Jim : No.

Austin : [To Jim] How may we help you, or how may you help us, as the case may be.

Adam : He's my assistant. Or rather, one of them. I'm very important, you know.

Nefiritiri : [Still smoking, and clearly annoying Marasmus by it] If you people really are from the future, surely you know when the Knights were set up?

Austin : [To Nefiritiri] No, it's a secret organisation. We do however know how important Adam is. In the future Adam is a great leader, and alas, we saw [looking at Adam] you fall in battle, when we fought beside you against the horsemen. Which of the horsemen it was exactly, I don't recall [Looks at Chastity] Which one was it?

[ADAM beams with pride at this.]

Adam : Then I'm alive in the future too? Excellent! Come on, which one will it be? I'll be ready! We can prevent all kinds of catastrophes!

Alice : Hold on. [Holds a finger in the air and shuts her eyes, clearly trying to remember something] If you tell people what they're supposed to do before they do it then your telling them what to do could mean that they won't do the thing they're supposed to do.

Austin : That is a theory, which of course it is impossible to prove. I recall now who it was that killed you [Looks at Adam] It was one of Ioks sons. Perhaps it is best not to tell the who where and when's. It is enough to say that this son of Iok that killed you is the most foul creature I have ever encountered. He makes Pestillence and Contagion seem like quite asmusing fellows.

Chastity : [To Austin] None of them. Although Darius, aka Boddy, aka Death did come in at the end. I'm not surprised your confused though, as you were in a painfully compromising position at the time. [To Sven] He was pinned to an alter with his trousers down and a demon threatening to give him, how should I put it, seminal colonic irrigation. [To Austin, with a sympathetic look on her face] How awful.

Adam : Maybe, just maybe, this is where these Knights of yours were started? You've already said that several people here are members, surely it isn't just coincidence that we're here together. I think we should start the Hierophantic Knights here and now, a holy army to defeat evil. [With relish] With me as their glorious leader!

Corwyn : Not a bad idea, but I don't think you should be leader.

Adam : [Turning up his lip in distaste] Why not?

Corwyn : Because every time I see that damned lip of yours I want to smash it, and because if this thing is going to work, we're not going to have some pansy ass do-gooder running the show.

Alice : [Whispering to the others in the party] Well, this might go some way to explaining how the Knights ended up with such strange people in their group.

Harvey : Like who?

Alice : Well, Clint!

Clint : Aren't you being a bit too Fundamentalist about the whole thing, Adam?

Austin : [To Chastity] Trust a nun to remeber all of the sordid sexual details of the battle. [Stands up. To Corwyn and Adam] Why don't you each start a band of knights, one called the Fundamentalist knights, the other called the Hierophantic knights, one taking Adams views of how this should be done, the other Corwyns view of how things should be done. Both groups of knights having the same ultimate goal, but two different approaches. It's a sure fire strategy!

Marasmus : Let's not worry about who the leader is going to be. What matters are who the members are. [Looks around the room] How about this group as the founding members?

Nefiritiri : [Turning, so she's almost nose to nose with Marasmus] Even me, Sister dear?

Marasmus : Especially you, Sister dear. [Turns to the group] It is no harm to have at least some contrary members and opinions.

Alice : [Two thumbs up to Faetan] Alright! Looks like you're in! That job has your name written all over it!

Faetan : [To Alice] It takes two for there to be a contrary viewpoint, Alice.

Alice : Well, I guess we've got you [long, deliberate pause] and the world.

Sven : So, let's call this first meeting of the Hierophantic Knights to order. Our most pressing problem is Iok. What rumours have people heard about him? Do we know of any weaknesses?

Austin : [To Sven] This is where it get really tricky, you see, we killed Iok, but in the future. Not much help I guess, let me see if I can remember what happened. [Pauses in thought. To the others], all memories welcome, Alice, do you recall what happened?

Alice : Of course I do, Austin! He basically engineered a line up where all of us were brought in on some trumped up charge, and then one of us, probably Clint, had some job where we could not only make a lot of money, but also give the finger to the QVPD. It was to rob the Queens View Finest Taxi Service.

Harvey : Actually, niece, I believe you are confusing us with that film you saw recently, remember, The Unusual Suspects? The truth of the matter is that we did not kill Iok - Dangsten did, with something he called the Dagger of Soul Stealing.

[NEFIRITIRI and MARASMUS turn and exchange a surprised glance.]

Harvey : This seemed to kill him, but his life force somehow escaped, and travelled through a number of people until we eventually confronted him and killed him with a magical sword, known as Beaucaphalus The Wondersword.

Alice : [Sulking] Well, it was a really good film.

Austin : [To Harvey] So technically we did kill him using Beaucaphalus. At present we have Temporidus, who is apparently more powerful than Beaucaphalus. Is this not true Temporidus [Looks around for the sword]

Temporidus : [In Clint's scabbard] It is true, for I am the most powerful sword ever created! Tremble before me, the one true leader of the Hierophantic Knights.

Adam : Right. The question is, is he powerful enough to kill Iok?

[The door opens. Enter BODDY, carrying a flip chart and a portfolio case. He is dressed in a beautifully tailored suit, that even AUSTIN would be jealous of.]

Boddy : Hi gang, sorry I'm late. [Starts to put up the flip chart]

Austin : [Checking out Boddy] What a fine suit, Mr. Boddy. Where is your tailor?

Clint : [To Boddy] And while we're on a question asking mood, why do you insist on getting us into trouble only to save us immediately after?

Boddy : [Stops, and bows slightly to Austin] Why thank, you, Mr. Sleaze. A compliment from one with such refined taste as yourself is a compliment indeed. My tailor, alas, has since deceased. [Turns to Clint] I'm not sure what you mean but, [pops on a pair of glasses] I am here for a question and answer session, so shoot.

Adam : [Standing up] What the hell is this? [Points at Boddy] This - this is Death! Kill him! Kill him!

Corwyn : [Takes out a gun and points it at Death] My pleasure.

Boddy : [Dead calm] Put it down, pretty boy. [With a mixture of venom and distaste] And sit down. [Turns to Clint, about to say something, but turns back to Corwyn] And take that damned hat off. [Turns back to Clint] Sorry, excuse me. You were saying?

[CORWYN looks surprised, and glances at NEFIRITIRI, who simply looks back with a neutral gaze, watching as he sits back down.]

Faetan : [To Corwyn and Adam] It's okay! Austin suspected a long time ago that Death, or Mr. Boddy was some kind of double agent. He has saved us many times, whilst leaving the other horsemen to think he is one of them. Let's hear him out, this is our first chance to speak with him!

Boddy : Such reasonable people! [Flips over the first page on the chart, revealing a title that says "How To Kill Iok"] Any questions before we begin?

Faetan : Sure. How do we kill Iok?

Boddy : What? [Turns and looks at his chart for a few seconds, thinking hard] Ah, I see! [Adds a question mark, so it now reads "How to Kill Iok?"] Actually, I was rather hoping you lot could help me with that!

Faetan : [Knitting her brow] I thought you were on his side. What's your beef with him?

Boddy : I'm on the side of sanity.

Alice : [To the others] Oh no! We're screwed!

Boddy : Iok feeds of fear and violence. The longer this goes on, and the more people fight him, the more powerful he'll become. I've got a suggestion, but you won't like it.

Alice : Wait a second! The last time someone said that, I didn't like it. Not one little bit!

Faetan : As long as it doesn't involve a virgin sacrifice. So what is it?

Chastity : [Looking at Boddy suspiciously] I can already tell I'm noyt going to like this. It sounds like you may be suggesting that we don't fight him, and when all is wiped out he'll start to weaken. A sacrifice of at least the entire of Insomnia. I hope your not going to suggest that!

Boddy : [Turns a neutral gaze on Chastity, which, ever so slowly slips into a smile] Man, I knew there was something special about you lot, I just knew! [Takes off his jacket to reveal bright red stock-broker type braces] You're almost right, Chastity. Iok does feed off fear and violence, and off anger and fear. Part of the reason he's finding it so easy at the moment is because of the type of weaponry that people have. Every small dicked inadequate with a big gun thinks he is something important.

[Everyone's attention is drawn to TOM, CORWYN and ADAM, each of whom have a ludicrously large gun strapped to their waist.*]

Alice : [To Clint] Maybe we should get one for Austin?

Chastity : What makes you think Austin needs one?

Alice : Er, um [blushes slightly] needs what?

Chastity : A gun to think he's important, of course. [Slightly louder for Austin's benefit] As he knows that we consider him important anyway. [Gives Alice a smile and a wink] that I find smutty innuendo in innocent common day expressions? Outrageous!

Austin : [Laughs, brings out his sling] I'll stick with this thanks!

Alice : [Looks at Chastity for a few seconds, before looking down and blinking several times, after which she looks straight at Chastity again] Yes, that's right. Chastity.

Boddy : [Pointing at Austin] That's the spirit, my well endowed friend! [Turns to the others] The only way to resist Iok is with the kind of weapons this lot have - we have to destroy all guns and explosives.

[The table bursts into a cacophony of shocked and outraged voices. All the reporters charge out of the room and into the phone boxes.]

Austin : [Watching the reporters, laughing] Once more I make the headlines [Smiles gleefully] I can see the headlines now 'Austin Sleaze, well endowed spirited hero - a plan to save the world'.

Chastity : It'll make a change from for them to write a headline about you not involving the words thieving, scurrilous, blatant, unremorseful and disgraced. [Turns her head away from Austin with an audible sniff]

Austin : [Puts his sling away. To Chastity] Lets us not waste any more time with idle chitter chatter, Sister Chastity [To Mr. Boddy] Ahem, as you were saying Mr. Boddy.

Boddy : I was saying that the only way to defeat Iok is to put away the guns. To the destroy them.

Adam : [With a sneer] And what do you suggest we fight them with? Sticks and stones?

Boddy : You could always trying point that face at him, that's bound to scare him. [To the rest of the table] You must fight him with the traditional weapons of Good versus Evil. Swords, slings, arrows, maces and -

Alice : [Interrupting] Intelligence!

Boddy : Fortunately, no. What I was going to say was "magical weapons". [After a pause.]

Alice : [Irritably] Well go on!

Boddy : Magical weapons.

Chastity : Well, we are a bit short on magical weapons. Do you know where we can pick any more up? [To Adam] There isn't a museum in Insomnia that holds old weapons that some say may have magical powers, by any chance?

Faetan : [To Boddy] I thought that only magical weapons could harm the horsemen and Iok, so what use are any other non magical weapons, guns or swords?

Boddy : They're no use. However, guns make it him more powerful. He is only a single individual, and the rate at which he can act is directly effected by this.

Adam : There is a museum, but I'm not sure if any of the weapons are magical. If they are, they certainly haven't spoken.

Austin : [To Adam] We can examine them later. [To Boddy] So whos side are you on, and why?

Boddy : Like I already said, Austin, I'm on the side of sanity. [Starts to put his jacket on] I'll leave you good people to discuss this amongst yourselves.

Clint : So that's it, you're gone again?

Boddy : Yep. [Turns to fold up his flipchart, but turns back to the group] Actually, you can keep this.

[Exit BODDY.]

Chastity : I'm sure we'll see him soon enough. [To Alice] Any parting premonitions, Alice?

Alice : [Looks around the table] No, but I think Adam should go from left to right, instead of right to left.

Adam : [Gives Alice a curious look, before turning to the rest of the group] Well, do we believe him? It is in our power to do this.

Clint : According to our future experience, it has been done, so we should probably do it. [Looks at Chastity's 'mace'] I wonder if that counts as a fire weapon, Chassers.

Austin : [To Adam] In our extensive experience of fighting the horsemen and Iok, only magical weapons have harmed them, and in the case of Contagion, non magical attacks on him clearly made him stronger. Each time we cut him, the bit that fell off would turn into a mini Contagion, that would then grow to full size. As far as we know, they are all able to regenerate missing limbs etcetra, if those limbs are cut off or shot off using a nonmagical device.

Adam : So, we destroy all weapons such as guns and cannons then? All in favour, raise their hand.

Alice : [To Clint] Not too high, Stinky, we don't you killing off half the Knights at their first meeting, do we?

Faetan : [To Adam] Shouldn't we have an alternative weapon before we destroy the ones we have? The guns can at least be used as a deterrent, even if it's no use killing anyone with them.

Nefiritiri : Who do the guns deter? They simply get used by men to intimidate other men.

Marasmus : [Looking into the distance] There are other methods of intimidation.

Nefiritiri : [Making a big production of yawning] Why don't we check out this museum? There might be something there.

Clint : [To Marasmus] Where did you get your staff? It was certainly a magical weapon.

Nefiritiri : Yeah, Mazzy, where *did* you get your staff?

Marasmus : [Clearly uncomfortable] It isn't a weapon. Or, at least, it wasn't.

[Enter KELLY, now dressed again.]

Kelly : [Squeezing in beside Clint] Right, now we can start the meeting!

Nefiritiri : [Turns from Kelly to Nefiritiri] The question was, Mazzy, where did you get it?

Marasmus : I can't say.

Alice : Maybe you could try writing it down?

Clint : Or maybe you can say why can't you say? Or at least say why can't you say why can't you say.

Marasmus : I'm afraid I can't say why I can't say. [Holds up her hand to Clint] And no, I can't say why I can't say why I can't say.

Kelly : [Whispering to Clint] Maybe you should ask her if she can say why she can't say why she can't say why she can't say?

Alice : [Nodding slowly at Kelly's suggestion] Wow, that's one smart girl!

Clint : Sounds like she could be your great-great-great-great-grandmother. [Thinks about it for a moment, then looks at Kelly's tummy] Hey!

Chastity : [To Marasmus and Nefiritiri] When the good Colonel mentioned Dangsten's Dagger of Soul Stealing the two of you seemed to recognise the name. Well?

Alice : [Gives Clint a sceptical look] Don't even go there, Clint!

Nefiritiri : That's right. We did.

Marasmus : The Dagger of Soul Stealing is a weapon from another time, Chastity. It doesn't belong here.

Chastity : Does that mean to say that it is actually here? Where?

Corwyn : [With a snort of derision] Well, clearly Iok has it! Pf, nuns!

Tom : Yeah, nuns!

Chastity : There's no need to be like that. At least I'm trying to be constructive. [Goes over to the Flipchart] I wonder if Boddy has written anything else on this.[Lifts up the top paper to reveal the next piece]

Austin : [To all] We should go to the museum then, and examine the weapons and artefacts. [Pauses] It may also be worthwhile taking a look around the church, in case magical items were hidden there for time of need, like now. There may even be magical weapons burried in the graves of fallen warriors. [Casts a sideways glance at Chastity]

Clint : Typical Lawyer. Let's go rob churches and graves.

Austin : [To all] I am sure any of the deceased, were they alive, would gladly give us their magical weapons to save the lives of others. However, I doubt wether any of the graves contain anything of value, they would have been robbed long ago.

Clint : [Muttering] By your ancestors, of course.

Faetan : [Glares at Clint, tightening her mouth] Enough. Let's see this museum, then. [Stands up, not looking directly at anyone]

Alice : [To Clint] Actually, I think he meant by him, before we arrived. --0-1273566761-1033078235=:10669

Harvey : I think that private Sleaze does have a point though, I mean about checking the local church for magical weaponry, for after all, it was in a church where the good and dearly missed Dr Jerome and I found Beaucaphaulus! And I'm sure if we do find such a weapon, the good sister Chastity will first ask the local religious representative for permission to borrow said weapon! [Turns to Adam] And I trust we can borrow any suitable items from the museum?

Adam : But, of course, I shall set about drafting the order to destroy the weapons.

Corwyn : If there are only one or two, how do we decide who gets them?

Chastity : Bitter and painful experience has taught us that those most practiced and skilled with certain weapons should get the powerful ones. [Indicates towards Clint] Which is why Clint has our talking sword.

Austin : Well said Sister [To Adam and Corwyn] I found Temporidus during a battle on or escape from Hell, but, much as I would like to weild the great Temporidus, Clints skills with the sword are greater than mine, and so are our chances of survival when he wields Temporidus. Unfortunatly, the chances of finding a magical sling are very thin. I did hear of one once though.

Alice : Magical sling? Cool, what does that do? Make a sprained or limp wrist strong really fast?

Austin : [To Alice] Not that kind of sling Alice, the kind of sling that you use to fire slingshot bullets [Gets out his sling] Like this.

[As soon as AUSTIN produces the sling, everyone except the party hits the ground in a panic, as though he had taken out a machine gun.]

Alice : Right. So you need something else for the limp wrist, then?

Adam : [From under the table] Perhaps we should go to the museum now.

[Book III, Act IV, Scene III. The Museum in Insomnia. ALICE, HARVEY, NIK, CHASTITY, AUSTIN, FAETAN, CLINT and SVEN are here. The other Knights have set about destroying the weapons.]

Alice : Well, at least we managed to get rid of all the the others, they were really annoying. It's great just to have people that we li - [notices Faetan] er, well, it's just great.

[ALICE makes to knock on the door, but it opens just as she does so, causing her to punch the person who opened it right in the face. This is CRONYN MILDE, he staggers back in surprise and pain.]

Cronyn : Ow!

Alice : Oh no! Sorry!

Cronyn : [Now with a bloodshot eye] That's fine, really, it was my fault for opening the door. Is your hand okay?

Austin : [To Cronyn] You may have to wait until tommorow to find out about her hand, everything else about her was that bad already.

Alice : [Clearly not knowing what Austin is talking about] Well, I sure hope my wrist doesn't go all limp from it - what would we do if two people in the party were effected by it?

Austin : [To Alice] If your wrist went limp there would only be one person in the party with a limp wrist and that would be you, as no one else has a limp wrist. [To Cronyn] Please excuse her, she's one of these psychic types. Babbling gibberish all of the time, with the occasional precognitive insight.

Alice : Oh, I have an insight into you, alright, Austin, but it isn't precognitive.

Austin : [To Alice] Yes, but is it worth hearing?

Alice : In general, Austin, anything to do with you isn't.

Harvey : Enough, please! Come now, we must conduct ourselves with proper decorum. [Enters the museum, knocking over a priceless looking vase] Gah!

Cronyn : Oh, that's okay, it's my fault for putting it on that shelf. Sorry about that, I'm very sorry.

Clint : [Looking at a pre-historic skeleton] What a piece of crap. [Tries to touch it, but ends up pushing it, making it become a pile of bones on the ground] Gah! [Looks at Cronyn] I suppose that's your fault as well?

Cronyn : [With a sad look at the pile of dust and bones] Well, I suppose it is true that one wouldn't really expect to find a skeleton in a museum. How may I help you?

Clint : We're looking for magical weapons. Do you have any?

Cronyn : I don't believe so. We do have some weapons on display, but there's nothing to suggest that they are magic. They are mainly swords, you know, people don't have much time for them now, they really belong in the dark ages - we've got much more civilised since then.

Alice : [Glancing out a window where she can see the townspeople building a huge bonfire for guns, porn and cheese] So I see.

Austin : [To Cronyn] May we see the weapons that are on display, and any that are not on display to. I could appraise them for you and possibly determine wether or not they have any magical properties.

Chastity : Of course, appraise and steal are two different things.

[CRONYN escorts the party to a large glass case, where several large and impressive looking swords are held.]

Cronyn : [Unlocking the case] Please be careful now.

Clint : [To Faetan] As an older member of the group, I get to choose first. [Picks up a samurai sword] Hello Mr. Sword, do you talk?

Faetan : [Grabs the samurai sword from Clint] Don't be stupid Clint, you already have Temporidus, what more could you need, [To Temporidus] Ain't I right Temporidus?

Nik: [Having moved carefully around in the museum] My hands are deadly weapons, so I will not need a weapon. .... Just caution.

Clint : [Eyeing Faetan furiously for a while, before picking a viking sword] That's ok, that's a girl's weapon anyway. [To Nik] I thought you had enough caution as it is. But look around, there might be a caution display somewhere in the museum.

Faetan : [Puts the samuri sword down] To Clint, what's up with you? You have sex with a human for the first time and now you want two magic swords? Do you have some kind of insecurity complex?

Nik: [carefully walking around in the museum, slightly bewildered, talking to himself] A caution display, hmm, where is it.

Harvey : [Irritated to Faetan] Stop that at once, Private! We do not grab things off each other in this group.

[The sword that CLINT has picked up begins to glow.]

Delirious : Tremble, puny mortals, for I am Delirious the Thunder Sword!

Clint : Wahey!, it seems we've got ourselves a magical sword! [To Faetan] You can keep the samurai sword. I hope it's not too heavy for you.

Faetan : [Eyes widen for a moment...then she tightens her mouth and turns away] Fine. Creep.

Clint : [To Faetan] Weirdo.

Faetan : [Slams down the samurai sword, taking a deep breath] What the hell am I doing here?

[The hilt of another sword lights up, this is ARROGUS.]

Arrogus : I don't belong here!

Faetan : [Gives a start] Whoa... [Moves her finger along the blade's edge, making a fine cut on her skin] Agh...I don't care if it hurts...I don't care if it hurts...

Clint : [Looking at Faetan's bloody finger] I think you don't care if it hurts. [Picks up Arrogus with his left hand] Hum, I wonder if I can beat the Murphy's Book of Records for holding the biggest number of magical swords. [To the stand] Any more magical swords around?

Faetan : [Frowning] Don't be greedy, Harvey and Alice need a sword apiece. [Pause] And I don't care if it hurts!

Nik: Or any other magical weapons? [Mumbles to himself] A ring of cautiousness perhaps? --0-464049869-1033309311=:83856

Harvey : [Turns to Nik] Perhaps you will find a pair of enchanted gloves or suchlike! [Picks up Arrogus and holds it towards Alice] There you are my dear niece, a magical blade just for you!

Chastity : [To Cronyn] This is an inpressive display you same to have collected. Do you have a similar display of maces and clubs, or ancient religious artifacts?

Alice : Yay! [Reaches out for Arrogus]

Arrogus : Hey! I am Arrogus the Wondersword! I cannot be wielded by a girl!

Cronyn : [Taken aback at the swords] Er, we have some, on the display behind you there.

[This is true, there are a number of maces and suchlike, as well as a selection of religious type artifacts.]

Clint : [Looking at the display, and then to Chastity's 'mace'] Hum, they don't seem to match your current taste, Chassers.

Chastity : As long as they have the desired effect, my choice shall not be prejudiced. As my first husband, George would say, "Don't knock it if you haven't tried it".[To Cronyn] Would you be so good as to open the cases, so that I may inspect the relics?

Cronyn : But, of course. [Opens the cabinet.]

[Nothing here seems out of the ordinary, with the exception of a set of small round metal balls, each with the symbol of Phili on it.]

Alice : [Sweeping Arrogus around] This is going to be great! [Accidently knocks over a statue] Oops!

Arrogus : A magical blade, forged in the famed dwarven caverns of Beltubious mountain, and this is what I've come to!

[Some of the other swords are also glowing.]

Chastity : [Ducks down to avoid another of Alices sweeps and picks up the metal balls] These look interesting. [To Cronyn] Do you know their history? [Continues to looks at round at the maces, and artifacts whilst listening to Cronyn]

Harvey : [To Cronyn] Is this the first time these blades have shown magical qualitites, eh? [Turns to Clint] Looks like we're going to have a few new members of the troop, what! [Picks up Ostetentenacious]

Clint : Indeed! [To Hauterious] Don't worry, I won't pick you up. We have enough trouble with one vanity-infected member as it is. [Cheks out the other glowing swords]

Chastity : [Looking at the swords' case and then to the maces' case] I can't believe there isn't a useful thick mace in there somewhere. [To Cronyn] And what is the history of these balls of Phili?

Harvey : [Stops and leans close to Clint] An infected member eh? Well, word to the wise, private, get it checked out in the nearest clinic before it drops off!

Ostetentenacious : Behold, the might of Ostetentenacious!

Sven : Haw! A sword with personality, and a blade to match, no doubt. [Picks up Hauterious] What say you, fine blade? Shall we work together?

Hauterious : [Sniff] I suppose you'll do. For now.

Cronyn : [To Chastity] I'm afraid the information is somewhat vague. I believe that they are some kind of explosive devices - there are some documents somewhere relating a story of how of someone was blown into the following week by one.

Clint : They look like those balls you were touching in Hell, Harv.

Sven : [Takes a few practice swipes with the sword] Holding balls in hell, eh? Phew, they sure come up with some sick punishments there, don't they?

Harvey : I think you misunderstand, good sir! The private means those orbs [points].

Sven : [Smiles for a second] My apologies, good sir. [Clicks his heels together and bows down.]

Hauterious : I'm sure he played with them because he has none of his own.

[The following sword and party member combinations now exist : CLINT and TEMPORIDUS, FAETAN and DELIRIOUS, ALICE and ARROGUS, HARVEY and OSTETENTENACIOUS, and SVEN and HAUTERIOUS.]

Faetan : Come on, come on, we're wasting time over here! Let's get out of here and kick some butt!

Harvey : [To Sven] I say old boy, but could you put your sword back in it's sheath! For else I fear a visit to a blacksmiths will be required! [To Faetan] We'll go when we're good and ready, and not a moment before hand! The entire troop is yet to be kitted out with weaponry!

Sven : Of course, Harvey. [Slips a sheath over his big weapon.]

Alice : [Rolling her eyes at Faetan] Kick who's butt? We don't even know where they are! [Puts Arrogus away]

Arrogus : Hey! I was not built to be left in a scabbard!

Alice : You know, I'm pretty sure I've heard of these swords before.

Harvey : Eh, dear niece? What's that? Where have you heard of these magical weapons?

Alice : [Getting self-conscious as everyone turns to her] Um, [fiddles with the hilt of Arrogus] what magic weapons?

Faetan : [Looks at Sven and rolls her eyes, before turning back to Alice] Sort of like the one you have in your hand, Alice.

Sven : [Laughing aloud] Haw! What a pair, what a pair! [Puts an arm around each of Alice and Faetan]

Alice : When we were in Garaganfarhur's catacombs - remember? We met some swords there.

Harvey : [Eyes open wide] By the saints, what a memory you have, my dearest niece! [Smiles brilliantly at her] But the puzzling thing is, why they didn't recognise us in the future when we've met them here in the past.

Faetan : Ah yes! That's right, I remember. [Peers at Delirious] But I don't remember hearing this one speak in there. I wonder where it ends up, then?

Delirious : Do not speak of me as though I am a mere object, as banal as your own personality! I am a [loud voice] Thunder Sword!

Alice : [Sniggers] I guess he knows Faetan pretty well.

Arrogus : [In Alice's scabbard] At least she didn't try to put me into her scabbard when there was another sword there already!

Alice : [Annoyed] That could have happened to anyone.

Sven : [To Harvey] How far into the future was it?

Harvey : [Scratches a sideburn] Well, it was actually in Hell, so I don't quite know. All of this time travelling business is far too confusing for this old soldier! [Slams his fist into his palm] Gah, if only the good doctor was still here, he'd be able to give you an answer to the nearest second! [Slumps his shoulders in shame]

Alice : We don't know how far in the future - that's part of the problem, but could it be so far that they forgot us?

Arrogus : Forget you? How on *earth* could we forget such a heroic group of geniuses like yourselves?

Alice : Yeah, good point.

Sven : [Takes a look at the orbs] Well, they don't look especially magical. I was rather hoping we might find some of the glowing variety, that's normally an indication that there's something going on.

Austin : Well, we should take them anyway, for who knows how useful they may turn out to be. I'm sure Chastity would be only too happy to have Philli's orbs in the palm of her hand.

Alice : Of course, it would also be a new experience to have someone else's in your hands too.

Nik: [Returning after having wandered around] Look, I've found this box. It has a note on. [Reading aloud] "I send this to you to show how I feel, Pandora". Should I open it?

Austin : [Yawns massively]

Chastity : I'll call to Phili when the time comes. It's never a good idea to trouble the almighty with just idle queries. [To Nik] Best not, you never know what may inside. [To Clint] Didn't you know a girl called Pandora once?

Alice : [Waving her hand in front of her face] Eauh! Stinky Austin breath!

Faetan : [To Nik] It depends on where you got it from. It also depends on who she sent it to. [Thinks for a second] It may also depend on what she wanted to convey to that person.

Sven : [Nudges Clint] Haw! I'd say our Clint has known his fair share of women. Now, unless there is anything else, I suggest we get ready for the fight.

Clint : What about any other magical weapons that may lay around? Are we just going to leave them here?

Sven : Are there any more magical weapons?

Cronyn : Not that I know of, but there are other weapons here.

[CRONYN gestures to a large display of axes and spears.]

Harvey : Well private, we know where to come if we need to re-supply our armoury, so, yes, I think we should leave now and find out how the weapon burning is going!

Austin : Then let us go to the church, where the local clergyman may be able to recognise those orbs. [Furtively blows into his palm and sniffs before nodding, satisfied]

Alice : Surely the local clergyman has visited the museum before! In fairness, the guy is living here!

Faetan : How many times did you visit the museum in Queens View?

Alice : Queens View had a museum?

Harvey : Very well then! [Bows to Cronyn] My thanks sir, you have been most understanding and patient with us, and you can rest assured that we will return these items at a later date! Now then, let's be off!

Austin : [To Alice] It certainly had! But from memory, one had to pass by the hallowed doors of Moes Tavern to reach it. The operative word being pass.

Alice : Oh, well, that explains that then. [Thinks] Hey!

[Exit ALL.]

[Book III, Act IV, Scene IV. The Town Square in Insomnia. ALICE, HARVEY, NIK, CHASTITY, AUSTIN, FAETAN, CLINT and SVEN are here, having just stepped out of the museum. ADAM is here, supervising the destruction of some of the weapons. The square is full of people holding swords and daggers, as well as one man, BENSON HEDGES, who is holding a spoon. Several of the people are singing hymns with MARASMUS, while NEFIRITIRI is sitting looking bored, filing her nails.]

Alice : Wow, looks like old Adam has them whipped up into something of a religious fervour!

Nefiritiri : [Dryly] Yes. It's a riot.

Harvey : [To Nefiritiri] There's not enough long hairs being truncheoned by the local police force for this to be classed as a riot, my dear! Back in '56 we were sent in as a peace keeping force to quell an unruly mob in the little province of Stonehenged, and let me tell you, that little meeting cost me seven prized mahogany truncheons, three finely woven shirts and my regimental knobkerry! Damned long hairs!

Nefiritiri : Hm. Yes. No doubt they were marching for peace or something similarly tiresome.

Marasmus : [Spots the party approaching, but turns back to the choir] Keep singing, brothers and sisters, keep singing for the Lord with love in your hearts! [Turns to the party] How did you get on? [Flutters her eyelashes at Sven]

Harvey : [To Nefiritiri] Ha, even worse! A childrens playground no less! [To Marasmus] Hello my dear woman! Indeed, the mission was a success! We now have in our possession some magical weapons of power, plus a mysterious, unopened box.

Austin : [Examines Nefiritiri's nails] Now that is what I call excellent manicurmanship! Such rounding!

Nefiritiri : Hm, yes. [Gives Austin a baleful look, before turning to Harvey again] A mysterious, unopened box? [Glances at Faetan for a second, before turning back to Harvey] I'm sure you do. Anything else?

Harvey : [Scratches his head in thought] No, just the swords and the mysterious unopened box. And the orbs. Why do you ask, dear lady?

Nefiritiri : [Glances at Marasmus for a second] Orbs, you say?

Marasmus : Colonel, you must be careful about unleashing weapons. It would be terrible for you to introduce something to this world without thinking about the consequences of it first.

Harvey : [To Nefiritiri] I do indeed! [To Marasamus] My very thoughts spoken aloud, my dear woman! Do you know anything about these wonderswords?

Faetan : [Glancing at Sven...then Marasmus...then Sven again] Huh. [Sits down, holding Delirious to examine it better in the sunlight]

Nik: [In a low voice, to Harvey] I don't need anything, my hands are deadly weapons.

Alice : [Muttering to herself] Just as well we're not depending on his personality.

Delirious : [Being held by Faetan in the sunshine] See how the sun sparkles off my tempered steel! Behold the beauty that is my power!

Harvey : [To Nik] So you keep on saying, lad! But how deadly are they? I myself am an exponent of various martial arts and can kill a man with the merest flick of my thumb, should I so choose! Perhaps we can train together when we have less pressing matters, eh? Don't want to get rusty!

[ADAM approaches the group.]

Adam : How did the magical weapon search go? We're nearly done here, and word has been sent forth, to destroy all such weapons as this foul and evil machine. [Holds up a gun disdainfully]

Alice : Did you ever hear, Adam, of the theory that guns don't kill people, people kill people?

[ALICE takes the gun, and immediately drops it, causing it to discharge. A cry of pain is heard from a guard on one of the walls, before he falls over the far side.]

Adam : Hm. Yes. But guns make it that little bit easier, don't you think? [Delicately takes it off her, muttering to himself] Amateur!

[The gun, of course, immediately discharges again, shooting another guard in the back, who was looking down over the wall at his now dead friend.]

Austin : Certainly Colonel, many a golden honeyed locust has quivered at the approach of your deadly hands.

Harvey : Indeed, these weapons are a menace to society! And especially to the town guards, by the look of it. The sooner they are destroyed, the better for all! So, shall we visit the church, troop?

Adam : The church? Why, I'm the local priest! What information do you want?

Alice : I want to know why it is that if you throw a rock at a speed of ten miles per second out of a carriage going two miles per second it goes at twelve miles per second, while if you light a torch in the same carriage, the speed the light travels at is a hundred and eighty six thousand miles per second, and not a hundred and eight six thousand and two miles per second.

Adam : [Thinks for a second] Er, because the speed of light is constant in all directions at once?

[ALICE seems satisfied with this explanation.]

Harvey : [Looks open mouthed at Alice for a moment, before beaming with pride] That's my niece! [To Adam] We would also like to know about these orbs we found in the museum. Do you know anything about them?

Adam : [Takes one of the orbs] I'm not sure - they are definitely some kind of weapon. Explosive perhaps? We should destroy them, just in case they might be useful.

Faetan : In case they're useful? I'd sure like to shove one of these up Iok's [grins and pauses] well, if they are explosive, we should use them.

Austin : [To Adam] Ha, a typical ecunemical response, anything not understood must be the work of a satanic agency and should be destroyed! Well, Adam Torque, I ask you this. What if these orbs are a weapon placed on this earth by Philli himself, for they bear his seal, for use on just such an occasion as this, the apocalyptic rising of the four horsemen. And you decide to destroy them. And if these are weapons of unknown power, it's also possible that upon destruction, they will also destroy most of this planet!

Clint : Also if you decide not to destroy them then we won't have to listen to all the legal bullshit the Lawyer so proudly spits out at any occasion.

Austin : [Looks at Clint in surprise] Oh, it speaks! Why next I imagine it'll painting the likeness of deer on the walls of caves! [Brushes imaginary dust from his lapel]

Adam : [Taken aback] Er, well, I just assumed that all weapons of mass destruction should be destroyed, to save all of us.

Harvey : And so they should, old boy! But, these orbs may very well be a weapon of mass salvation. I for one do not think they should be destroyed, but kept by us until we can identify their use.

Adam : Perhaps, but I suggest that they be divided amongst us, for fear that someone, drunk with the power instilled in them by the Orbs of Destruction, should suddenly swing to the dark side.

Harvey : We are here to help you people out of a jam, sir! There is no need to go accusing us of deceit or questioning our loyalty!

Adam : I am not accusing you of deceit, sir, I am merely trying to protect you from yourselves! If that which causes us temptation is taken from us, then so is the temptation. We are destroying our own weapons lest we be tempted to use them, is it really so difficult for you extend this courtesy to us?

Harvey : By the saints man! Never a more honourable bunch of people has ever joined together to fight evil as this troop you see before you! However, in the interest of fairness, we'll concede your point and split the Orbs of Salvation between us. However, sir, I urge you not to attempt their destruction, but put them away in a safe place!

Austin : Well Adam, are you satisfied with these terms and conditions? [Takes a sheaf of paper from his pocket] Please sign here, here and here if you are in agreeance.

Clint : [To Adam, in low voice] Make sure you read in between the lines.

Austin : Don't listen to the poltroon, Adam. The only lines he's familiar with are those found on the seat on his underpants.

Alice : Of course, one would have to wonder how you know about those, Austin.

Adam : [Reads through the form] Well, yes, it seems to be okay. [Takes half the orbs.]

Harvey : Right then, that's all sorted lads! Good sister Chastity will hold onto our half, and you keep yours safe and sound. Now then, to the most important item on the agenda, luncheon!

Alice : Yay! Just as long as it isn't more sandwiches!

[The gates of the town are suddenly smashed open. When the dust settles, the party can see that IOK, PESTILENCE and DARIUS (wearing a helmet) are standing there, each holding a machine gun in each hand.]

Iok : Behold, the day of judgement has arrived.

Alice : [Angrily to Adam] Hey! I thought you were supposed to have guards on the wall?

Adam : We did, but all but two of them were singing hymns and destroying weapons.

Clint : And then you and Alice just killed them, didn't you. That's just great. [Draws Temporidus]

Harvey : Well, too late for reprisals now, lads! [Takes out his sword] Well then wondersword, ready to do some bad guy smiting?

Faetan : [Swings Delirious about] Right, about time we had a chance at these guys!

Ostetentenacious : I hope they are worthy opponents, for I will not taint my blade with the blood of those who do not challenge me.

[BODDY points his machine gun at the party and opens fire, causing them all to dive for cover.]

Pestilence : [Unloading his gun in the direction of the choir] This is great, Death, they'd believe anything!

Austin : [Takes out his sword] Does anyone fancy a cup of coffee? There's a delightful cafe just around the corner. Fantastic mochacino!

Alice : What the hell are we going to do now?

[The gunfire continues, as the three mercilessly mow down the people as they run for cover. All members of the party have managed to find cover behind the wagons, as well as MARASMUS, NEFIRITIRI and ADAM.]

Nefiritiri : Well, I'm sure glad we got rid of all our weapons.

Clint : [To Adam] Tell those people to get into the church! If it is a sacred place, they might be protected.

Adam : Good idea!

[ADAM stands up to shout at the people, only to have his hat blown off by a bullet.]

Chastity : Maybe you could just shout it to them?

Adam : Into the church! You'll be safe in there! Petition the Lord with prayer for protection!

Harvey : By the saints, these civilians are sitting ducks! We must provide them with cover, troop! [Picks up a rock and throws it at Pestilence] I say, over here you malignant oaf!

Faetan : What the hell is the point of having these swords if we can't get at them? [Slams the swords angrily against the carriage in front of her]

Delirious : Hey! I'm a magical sword, don't use me to hit some damned carriage!

[Many of the people make it into the church, while others make it behind other shelters. However, there are well over a hundred dead.]

Marasmus : [Crying liberally] Oh, this is terrible! And now we don't have the staff any more either!

Alice : [In disbelief, to Nefiritiri] Is she complaining about not having any maids?

Nefiritiri : Darling, she would complain even if she had some.

[IOK heads towards the church, while PESTILENCE makes his way through the middle of the square, towards HARVEY's carriage. BODDY, on the other hand, wanders into the Mochachino Shop.]

Austin : [Looks up from behind the carriage] And they sell coissants to die for! they sell coissants to die for!>

Harvey : Damn and blast! They've split up, we'll have to do the same! Dear niece, you, Clint and Faetan try to head off Iok, I'll face Pestilence here and help you out as soon as I'm done!

Alice : How are you going to face him, Uncle? He's got a gun, and you've got a sword! [Takes out her bow]

[IOK steps into the church, while PESTILENCE stands in the middle of the square, picking off survivors. Meanwhile, BODDY steps out of the Mochachino shop eating a croissant and drinking a large double decaf latte.]

Boddy : Mm-mm, this is a tasty croissant!

Harvey : Hmmm, you have a point there, dear niece! But our conventional weapons have no effect on the cads, what! Gah! Perhaps it's time to test one of those orbs! Can one be placed on the end of an arrow, perhaps?

Austin : [Shakes a fist at Body] Now that's just plain evil!

Faetan : [Firing an arrow at Pestilence] Die, you scum!

Clint : [To Marasmus] Any bright ideas? A lot of people are dying here!

Marasmus : [Looks across to Nefiritiri] What do you think?

Nefiritiri : [Thinks for a second] I think he's right. There are a lot of people dying.

[There is an explosion in the church, and the windows are blasted out, with flames also pouring out.]

Nefiritiri : And I think a whole lot more are about to die.

[IOK steps out of the church, on fire.]

Iok : [Standing outside the church, arms spread wide, a large dagger in his hand, and shouting] Seth! Come to me!

Harvey : [Shocked] By the saints, this is a disaster! [Shouts to Pestilence] Why are you doing this? Why?

Pestilence : [Stops shooting people] Gee, I - I don't know. [Face drops] Aw, reek! I meant to [emphasises] not kill people today, I'm always making that mistake.

[The ground begins to shake, as though a fairly substantial earthquake is about to start.]

Chastity : [Handing the orbs to Harvey] Here, Colonel, being a man, you know more about playing with balls than I do.

Clint : Guess sending all those people into the church wasn't a good idea after all. [Looks around at the earthquake] Are we going to have a close encounter of the seth kind?

Harvey : [Accepts the orbs and hands one to Clint] Go on soldier, you've the best aim in the group! Right between the eyes, lad! [Looks at Iok] Don't tell me he's conjuring up Seth?

Austin : [Takes out his sling, aims and fires at Iok]

Chastity : [Calling across to Alice] Are you getting any premonitions, dear?

Alice : Er, I think there's going to be an earthquake?

Nik : I urge caution.

[Between the two groups of party members, a sudden rip appears in the ground, and an enormous green tentacle appears. AUSTIN, meantime, fires a stone that bounces off IOK.]

Harvey : Aha, the foe appears! [Swipes at the tentacle with his sword]

[HARVEY slices with ease into the tentacle, causing thick, purple blood to come out. However, the tentacle is about six feet thick, so he hasn't severed it.]

Alice : Let's get him!

[CLINT, CHASTITY, ADAM, MARASMUS, SVEN, FAETAN and ALICE all join in, hacking away at the tentacle. All those with magical weapons strike and draw blood, and genuinely appear to be weakening it.]

Nik : [Backing off a little] I urge caution, my friends.

[Another huge tentacle appears behind NIK, and two others appear towards the gates of the town.]

Iok : This is it! This is it!

Boddy : [Handing his coffee to a fleeing passer by] Hold this. [Takes out his sword] Now this I've got to see.

Clint : [Hacking away at the tentacle] Is this of any use? There's more tentacles appearing!

Harvey : Keep at it, troop! [Hacks and slashes at the tentacle] By the saints, this thing must be huge!

Alice : Worse than that, Clint, the one we've wounded seems to be healing itself - I bet you wish your tentacle could have done that, eh?

Nik : Caution, I must insist we show caution. If we don't show caution we will surely -

[NIK's words of caution are cut short as a tentacle from behind plunges through his back and pops out of his chest.]

Nik : [Looks down at the tentacle protruding from his chest] I fear that no amount of caution will reverse my current situation. Unless! Yes, if I can get my hands on a - [dies.]

Austin : There's nothing we can do here! Let's get out now before we're surrounded by these things!

Faetan : No way, Austin! Come on! [Leaps onto the tentacle and begins hacking]

Austin : Alright, but we'll regret it, I'll tell you that for free! [Fires his sling once again at Iok]

Clint : [Hacking away] I guess that coffee break will have to wait for a while, Lawyer!

Harvey : [Admiringly] What a spirit that girl has! Come on lads, keep at it! [Continues hacking away at the tentacle]

[The tentacle sweeps northwards, knocking FAETAN off, and pushing ADAM, CLINT and CHASTITY to one side, while MARASMUS, SVEN and HARVEY are pushed towards IOK.]

Iok : [To Harvey] You dare attack Seth! I will kill you for that!

Adam : This is our chance! [Throws one of the orbs at Iok]

Sven : [Swings his sword around] I don't think so, Iok. I -

[The orb hits SVEN, and there is a small explosion, which knocks HARVEY and IOK to the ground. When the smoke clears, SVEN and MARASMUS have disappeared.]

Harvey : [Turns to Iok] We'll see about that, foul fiend! Come on Ostetentenacious, let's smite this aberration of nature! [Swings at Iok]

[HARVEY's blow catches IOK in the side, and he grimaces in pain, but catches hold of HARVEYs arm with his own, flaming arm, before headbutting him, and knocking him back against the carriage, winded from the blow.]

Iok : [Throwing Ostetentenacious to the ground behind him, before holding the Dagger of Soul Stealing up high in the air] And now, you will become sustenance for Iok Sotot, Eater of Souls!

Alice : [Trying to get over the tentacle] Harvey!

Harvey : [Gasping for breath, takes the orb from his pocket and throws it at Iok with all his might]

Iok : Nice try! [Hits the orb with all his might, sending it flying towards Alice, before swinging the dagger at Harvey]

Boddy : No! [Barges into Iok, knocking him off balance, but causing him to cut him from just inside his left shoulder, right across his chest and stomach, down to the top of his right thigh] Argh!

Alice : [Seeing the orb] I've got it! [Reaches up to catch it, but it sails through her hands and hits Austin, who disappears]

[BODDY falls on top of HARVEY, while IOK staggers to regain his balance.]

Faetan : [To Iok] Hey, Lord Idiot! Leave the old man alone!! [Swerves to dodge the tentacle, tearing towards Iok with a snarl]

Chastity : [To Clint] I'm not so sure these orbs are for destruction. Possibly they're more orbs of salvation.

Clint : [Looking at his orb] Chastity, I don't care what they are, as long as we can get rid of Iok and Pestilence with them. What do you reckon?

[AUSTIN and ALICE join FAETAN trying to get to HARVEY. Just as IOK makes to stab him with the dagger, however, PESTILENCE grabs OSTETENTENACIOUS and stabs IOK in the back with it, much to his surprise.]

Iok : [Gasping in pain] Pestilence?

Pestilence : How sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful brother. [Stabs Iok with the dagger of sword stealing.]

Chastity : [To Harvey] Colonel, to us. There's nothing worse to get entangled in than other peoples' betrial.

Harvey : Indeed, Sister Chastity, that is good advice! [Scrambles up, but looks at Boddy, who is very badly wounded] What will we do with him?

[As the party gather together by the house at the north west corner of the map, a harsh, cold wind suddenly blows up around them, centering on PESTILENCE. A blue mist drifts from IOK towards him, as huge forks of lightening crash into the ground all around him, in true "Highlander" style.]

Alice : Hey! This is just like what happened when Dan stabbed Iok - man, is he bad at picking his henchmen, or what?

Chastity : [Calling over the crashing lightening to Harvey] Leave him, and remember to keep your sword down. [Points towards the sky] The lightning!

[PESTILENCE puts on a strange face, which is a peculiar mix between pain and joy, as the lightening appears to wrap itself around him.]

Harvey : [Not happy at leaving Boddy, but edging towards the others] If you're sure that Phili would approve of such actions, Sister.

Clint : [Pulling out his sword] This is our chance to get him - let's charge him!

Alice : What? We're going to kill him, and get him to pay for it? I like your style, Clint!

Chastity : [Viewing Harvey's discomfort at abandoning Boddy] Oh for Phili's sake! [Rushes out of cover to Boddy and starts to drag him to cover. To Harvey] Come on then? Give me a hand. You men. Honestly! You'd think this was a Dolf Marris song!* you dieing..."[sob]

Clint : [Joining Chastity draging Boddy] Let's hurry up then, because I've got a magical sword and Pestilence is there for the taking!

Faetan : [Eyeing the tentacles skeptically] Uh...what about this little problem?

Chastity : [Continuing the drag Boddy. To Faetan] Never mind the tentacles, concentrate on Pestilence! to "Dottingham"

Alice : Let's get him, Stinky!

[ALICE, CLINT and FAETAN are on one side, while CHASTITY and HARVEY are on the other, pulling BODDY towards them. AUSTIN is keeping a watch on the action as the lightening subsides.]

Pestilence : [Grabbing Boddy's ankle] Uh uh, he's coming with me.

Clint : No he's not, nerd boy. [Swings Temporidus with all his might at Pestilence] [PESTILENCE leans back to avoid the blow, but CLINT catches him across the chest.]

Pestilence : Trying to kill a man when he's weakened so you can capture a hostage, eh? Well, I've got to admire it, but it's not going to happen.

[PESTILENCE produces an orb similar to, but not identical to the ones the party found earlier, and both he and BODDY begin to fade from sight.]

Clint : Fleeing like a chikaloon, eh? Don't worry, we'll meet again, and I'll finish the job then!

Adam : I've got him! [Throws one of the orbs]

Faetan : [Watches the orb sail at nothing, her expression bland] Yeah... Okay, so now we worry about the tentacles...? [Hacks at one]

Alice : Are we sure we shouldn't worry about the -

[ALICE doesn't to finish her sentance, as the orb strikes FAETAN, smack in the middle of her bland expression. There is a burst of light, and all the party lose consciousness.]

[Book III, Act IV, Scene V The Town Square in Insomnia. ALICE, HARVEY, CHASTITY, FAETAN and CLINT have just appeared. Everyone feels like they have just woken from a terrible hangover, and are all very disoriented and nauseous. Standing here are THE VERMINATOR, KERSEY HAIRPIECE and PEBBLES RAMBO.]

Verminator : [Speaking very stilted] Ah hah. Hah. Hah. See how weak they are, for sure we will win a glorious victory against these puny beings. [Kicks Harvey in the stomach, and grabs his sword.]

Kersey : [Easily wrestling Clint's sword from him, and speaking with what is practically a hoarse whisper] It's best this way, my friend, otherwise I'll have to kill you, and, while the act of killing does bring me pleasure, the quality of it is not effected in any way by the kind of person who is on the receiving end of it.

Pebbles : [To Alice] Zhwu? Give meesa, zwhurd.

Alice : What?

Pebbles : [Angrily] Givemeesa zwhurd! Givemeesa zwhurd!

[PEBBLES punches her in the face, and grabs her sword. ALICE, in reply, merely vomits all over him.]

Chastity : [Raising herself to her elbows, and shaking her head painfully] By Phili, I feel like a I've had a Tuesday night in Limerick! [Looks up at Verminator, Peebles, and Kersey] Who are you people? Where did you come from? Where did the Horsemen go? [Looks around the square]

Verminator : [Spraying a cloud out of some kind of aerosal at Chastity] I am the Verminator!

Alice : Hey! What happened to the town?

[ALICE's confusion is understandable, for the town looks very different now, and is barely recognisable. Most of the buildings have been destroyed, and there is one heavily fortified one roughly where ADAM's house was.]

Pebbles : [To Alice] 'sif dindno!

Alice : [Looks puzzled for a second] Right.

Chastity : [Waving her hand in front of her face, coughing and trying not to wretch] Stop that. We are on the side of good here! What has happened to the town?

Faetan : [Trying to pick up her sword] Who the hell do you think you are? I'm gonna -

Kersey : [Kicking the sword away from Faetan, and speaking in the same tired whisper] You're gonna do nothing, other than come quietly. [Turns to Chastity] Since the civil war broke out, we're all that stands between salvation and insanity.

Alice : Hm, I wonder which one you're closer to.

Pebbles : [Leaning over Alice, and pointing at her while he speaks] Doanchew zay were inzayin!

Chastity : [To Kersey] Which civil war? What sides are fighting? And where do you want to take us?

Kersey : [Adjusts his toupee slightly] The War of the Knights. We are about to take you to jail.

Pebbles : [Gives Clint a little kick in the side] Mwah, oogonna rottin jail.

[All the magical swords have been collected by the three.]

Chastity : The Fundamentalist Knights and the Hierophantic Knights? Pardon me for asking more seemingly daft questions, but what year is this?

Verminator : It is the year 1512. You are all under arrest.

Alice : [To the others] 1512? Oh no! We've gone back in time again!

Faetan : [Looking somewhat dazed, staring across the empty square] We...we tried to save them...

Verminator : Save them? I do not think so. You are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people.

Pebbles : [To Faetan] Yeah, yurdeones to uh, blame.

Clint : Oh boy, I think we messed it all again. [Pointing at Adam's house] What's with the safe house there?

Verminator : It is the headquarters of the Fundamentalist Knights.

Pebbles : [To the party in general] Onnurfeet.

Alice : Er, excuse me?

Pebbles : [Perfectly clearly] What I said was [back to normal] onnurfeet.

Faetan : [Blink] Yeah...jail sounds good...won't screw anyone or anything... [Blink] Stupid Philli.

Verminator : Do not speak ill of the Holy One. [Kicks Faetan hard in the side, knocking her to the ground]

Pebbles : [Angrily to Faetan] Onnurfeet.

Harvey : I say, chappie! Stop that at once!

Faetan : [Coughs and wheezes, then starts to chuckle] What kind of god allows the mass slaughter...of people...like that? Heh... [Grins unnervingly at Verminator] Where was HE when Seth showed up for his big tap number? Where was HE when little children were being massacred? There IS no Philli, and you know it.

Chastity : [To Faetan, scolding] You can't say you didn't deserve that. Blasphemous Child. [Starts to carefully get up onto her feet] [To Pebbles] In the name of Phili, don't be so rough. Have you never heard of the Givova convention?

Verminator : [Punching Faetan again, knocking her to the ground, drawing blood] I told you to stop. [Turns to Chastity] No.

Alice : Hey!

Kersey : [Waving his sword between Alice and Harvey] No one make a move. If she is too stupid to keep her mouth shut, then she's going to be in big trouble.

Alice : Oh no! Looks like Faetan is screwed!

Faetan : [Tsks, spits out blood and stays where she's at] You also said 'honor feet'...make up your mind...

Chastity : [Says nothing but looks at Faetan and shakes her head, almost smirking, readying herself to wince again on Faetan behalf]

[After giving CHASTITY time to prepare herself, THE VERMINATOR kicks FAETAN once again.]

Harvey : For God's sake, man, stop!

Alice : [With a tut of disgust] I don't know which is worse, the fact that he keeps hitting her, or the fact that she keeps saying stupid things! Shut up, Faetan.

Kersey : Yeah, shut up, Faetan.

Pebbles : Myeah, shu'up, Ftn.

Faetan : [Grimaces, gritting her teeth, and clutching her arms around her stomach] I don't care if it hurts...I don't care if it hurts...I don't care if it hurts... [etc.]

Kersey : Now, everyone, stand up, and get in line.

Chastity : Carry on the way you are and there soon won't be more hurting ever again. [To Pebbles] Who is your Leader?

Pebbles : Amtock.

[Everyone gets to their feet, except FAETAN, and are all clearly still worse for wear.]

Alice : [Impatiently to Faetan] Get up. I don't know what theatrics you're playing at now, but forcing us to watch you get beaten up while there's nothing we can do to either stop it or join in is probably the most stupid thing I've ever seen.

Faetan : [Slowly gets to her feet, muttering at Alice] Thedayyoucancallmestupid....

Alice : Tut! Now you're even more difficult to understand than him! [Waves at Pebbles]

Pebbles : Yutalkinboutme?

Alice : Er, no?

[The party are marched towards what appears to be a jailhouse.]

Faetan : [Shambles stiffly along, glaring darkly around] What happened to Corwyn? He still around? --0-569377030-1033670307=:7251

Harvey : [Loudly] I say sir, this is an absolute outrage, taking us away to prison like this, for a crime we know nothing about! Outrageous!

Kersey : Wanting to know where that traitor Corwyn has got to is reason enough.

[The party are brought to a cell, with a large, solid metal door.]

--0-1191559595-1033729189=:99425

Harvey : Aha, so Corwyn has something to do with this, eh! Can't say I'm in the least surprised, no offence meant Faetan, but I could tell he was a bit shifty, working with Sellsick and who have you! Gah, once again, we are wrongly tarnished with brigands infamy!

Alice : [Gives Faetan a baleful look] Well, some of us are, anyway.

[THE VERMINATOR starts to unlock the door.]

Faetan : [Enraged] What stupidity is this? The Hierophantics and the Fundamentalists have the same goal, to kill the Horsemen!

Faetan : [Does a stupido at Alice] Always so helpful Alice.

Kersey : They might have the same goal, but they don't have the same means.

[The door swings open, to reveal AUSTIN sitting inside. He has a big bushy beard, and needs a haircut, and his clothes are rather tattered and torn. He is surrounded by legal documents and books.]

--0-743275467-1033729615=:28326

Harvey : By the saints, she is at that! [Gives a big smile to Alice] She is the light of my life! [Looks at the Verminator] You there, under whose instructions are we being held?

Alice : At least one of us is, Faetan. [Looks inside] Austin? Is that you under all that hair?

Verminator : By Adam Torque, the leader of the Fundamentalist Knights.

[The party are shoved in, and the door locked behind them.]

Austin : [Stands up] Alice? Faetan [Whoops for joy] The rescue party has arrived [Rubbs his hands together, then sees the guards] Ohhh, [Looks down trodden again. To a sparkling and shiny Maplin] Never mind, we still have two days.

Alice : Two days? What happens in two days? [Thinks for a second] Are you going to get a haircut then? --0-490476220-1033730087=:799 >[The party are shoved in, and the door locked behind them.]

Harvey : By the saints, private Sleaze! What's going on here? You disappeared only moments ago, when hit by and orb, and now look at you! How long have you been kept here? --0-269127856-1033730703=:24879

Harvey : [Gasps in surprise] Six months? And they plan to execute you in two days! This is an abominable situation! Under whose orders? Adam Torques again? The scoundrel! We came here to help him, and he bangs one of the troop in prison, hires these three heavies, and arrests us! [To the Verminator] On what charge is this member of my troop to be executed?

[Although HARVEY shouts out the door at the VERMINATOR, there is no answer.]

Alice : Six months? So where have we been? And where's Nik? Hey, I bet his caution saw him escape the carnage, and that, this very moment, he is riding with an elite group of adventurers to rescue us! No fear, Austin, we're going to be out of here within the next two minutes, no doubt about it.

Faetan : [To Alice] Nik wasn't hit by an orb, he was killed by a tentacle [Looks round the cell for potential escapes/ weaknesses] He might be in Hell I suppose.

Alice : Wow, poor Nik. I guess it goes to show that being cautious isn't always the way to go. [Becomes a little sad and tearful] I'm really going to miss his - his - um, the way he used to - to - hm. [Perks up and turns to Austin] So, what's going on, Aussie? What's been happenning for the last six months? Other than uncontrolled hair growth, of course!

Austin : [Frowns and combs his immaculate beard with a comb made from wood splinters and hair] Yes, rather shabby. Not much one can do about in this place [Looks at the papers on the floor] Well I have mostly been trying to save my life, but alas my efforts have only mamnaged to keep me alive for 6 month and two days it seems. [Dryly] At least I have lived long enough to set eyes upon you beauty one last time. [Picks up a grub off the floor and feeds it to a little baby bird he has made a paper nest for in the corner].

Alice : [Lowly to the others] I was wondering why there was such a stink of bird shit in here!

Harvey : Well, Private, it is good that you have kept fighting the good fight. Tell us, what is happenning? How goes it with the Knights? Where is that fellow Sven? Surely he didn't stand idly by while you were thrown in jail?

Clint : And why have you been around for six months, whereas we have just arrived? And is this the future, the past, the present or something else?

Alice : Quite clearly, Clint, this is the past. That was established [waves her hands to illustrate her point] ages ago.

Harvey : True Niece, but perhaps he was referring to the time relative to when the orb was thrown - so that would suggest this is the future.

Alice : Of course, if we're experiencing it now, it is really the present, so it's actually the future, the past AND the present. Hm. Anyway, the point is, six months have passed.

[Enter KELLY SHORT*, standing outside the cell window. She is carrying a basket, and looks about six months pregnant.]

Harvey : [Looking from Kelly to Clint with a raised eyebrow] Your work, private?

Austin : [To Harvey] I have tried to contact Sven by getting Kelly to pass him messages, but I fear that none of the messages have ever reached him, why I do not know, perhaps he is dead, or in the future, slightly ahead of you lot. It seems that you all have skipped 6 months in time, something to do with those philli balls. I have prepared lenghty legal defense for each of you [Points to several piles of bound papers with everyones names on] Faetan's is the best, she probably has the best chance, but it might not make any difference. [Catches anothe bug and feds it to the chick. Softly spoken] come on little fella, got to get big for Phillimass.

Alice : Preparing defences for us? Caring for a chick? Befriending a woman that you know you won't have sex with? Oh my God, Austin! What have they done to you?

[The window is just too high for KELLY to see in, but she calls out.]

Kelly : Austin? Are you there?

Faetan : [Looks at the bump, then at Clint] My, my, those were pretty cold nipples. [Smiles at Clint] Daddy-o.

Alice : [Looks from Clint to Kelly, and back again] Right.

Austin : [To Kelly] Yes Kelly I am still here, although I wouldn't mind popping down to the tavern if you'd be so kind as to open the door.

Faetan : [Moves next to Austin] You said I had the best chance...why's that? I woulda thought they'd knock my block right off considering I'm some future brat of Corwyn's.

Clint : I'm sure it's not my doing anyway. If Sven has been around for the six months, he could have done it. [Pause] Right?

Kelly : [To Austin] Right. I'll be back in a second.

[Exit KELLY, disappearing from sight.]

Harvey : Unlikely, my lad. Sven isn't the type to take advantage of a naive young girl, to just hop into bed with some starry eyed young thing, or to put a lady in a compromising position and then just disappear, whereas you, sir, well, are!

Clint : Right. Naive young girl. Right. Well, I didn't choose to disappear, did I? Plus, I usually carry a pack of strawberry flavoured pig skins, but I couldn't guess they would burst that easily, could I?

Faetan : [Disgusted] For pity's sake, just take some responsibility! You screwed her, and now you're part of Alice and Harvey's heritage! Get over it!

Alice : Hey! How do you know she's related to us? I don't see any similarity!

[Enter KELLY, back into view.]

Kelly : Austin, I couldn't open the door. Remember, you're in jail, and the guards won't let me just walk in.

Harvey : [With a very concerned look] Oh dear. [Recovers] Bah! That means nothing! Nothing!

Kelly : Who else is in there?

Austin :[Chuckles] Strawberry pig skin, oh dear Clint [Chuckling hard, holding his sides], you must learn one day that cheap does not necessarily mean good. On the other hand it is very hard to prove that any man is the biological father of a child. All of these types of cases center around disproving fatherhood, usually. And I believe that you are biologically advantaged towards the latter.

Faetan : [Folds her arms crossly, glaring towards the wall] Hmph...

Alice : If she is in some way related to us, I'm pretty sure that the number of candidates for the father is small, because people in our family don't just go sleeping around and getting pregnant out of wedlock!

[Pauses just long enough for everyone to get the irony of this remark.]

Alice : And anyway, Austin, you've got that saying wrong. I've heard Daddy say it loads of times - cheap and nasty doesn't necessarily mean bad. [Smiles satisfied at Austin, before thinking of something, and looking startled] Hey!

Chastity : [To Faetan] Yes dear? Do you have something to say?

Faetan : Hell yeah! [Pauses] But I don't think it would be appropriate.

Chastity : [Smiles sympathetically] Well, I doubt it could be any less appropriate than what you said earlier about Phili [blesses herself] but it is often wise [glances at Alice] to keep one's mouth quiet and be suspected of ignorance than to open it and confirm all suspicions.

[ALICE makes to say something, but stops, puzzled.]

Kelly : [A bit more loudly] Hello?

Clint : I never thought I would do this, but... [Takes one more look to Kelly's tummy, and then to Austin] Lawyer, I think I'm gonna need your services.

Faetan : [Ignoring Kelly] Well...yeah, I didn't mean any offense to you, Sister Chastity, it's just... I'm so friggin' pissed off! The people I thought were heroes suddenly aren't, the knights are nothing more than a chance meeting where they just decide to slap on a catchy title to themselves, and nothing was done about the slaughter of all those people! [Slumps] I'm frustrated as hell, and there ain't a thing I can do about it!

Kelly : Is that you Clint? Yay! I knew you'd come back! I knew it! I bet you're being in there is part of some cunning plan to help Austin escape. How can I help? [Searches through her basket] Look, I've got a toy trumpet, you can have that!

Alice : [Suspiciously] Why would we want a toy trumpet?

Kelly : In case you need to engage the services of a difficult child.

Alice : [Nods slowly in agreement] Hey, this girl's got the smarts alright.

Harvey : [Unhappily] As long as she didn't catch them from Clint.

Alice : [Taking the toy trumpet from Kelly, and turning to Faetan] Well, if you're that frustrated, maybe you should get Clint to help you out! In the meantime, I'll cheer you up. [Tries to play a merry tune on the trumpet, but succeeds only in making an annoying noise.

Harvey : And what makes you believe nothing was done about those people, Faetan?

Faetan : Uh, the fact that they were all shot and killed while the tentacles went on a rampage? I mean, how many times are we gonna see entire cities being ravaged and burned, for crying out loud?! First Cross, then Queens View, now Insomnia...and who knows how many others!

Austin : [To Kelly] Kelly, could I borrow two of your hair pins please, only it's been so long since I have visited a salon that `my hair keeps getting in my eyes.

Harvey : [Gives Faetan a curious look] Eh? [Turns to Chastity] I believe the girl is becoming hysterical. [Turns to Faetan and speaks loudly and slowly] I know that. I meant revenge, retribution, that kind of thing.

Kelly : Of course, I'll push one into the one of those scones that you love so much.

[Cue much grunting and pushing.]

Kelly : Er, the scone is a little too hard. I'm sure Clint could do it, though!

Austin : [To Kelly] Okay, pass them through and I'll get Clint to do it. [To Clint] I think you'll find my legal fees are quite agreeable.

Faetan : [Bitterly] Yeah, I'm sure he could... [Turns to Harvey] Retribution won't bring 'em back. Yeah, it'll make me feel better for a little bit... [Sighs] Just give me a few minutes to sort this out. I'm confused as hell.

Alice : [Watching Faetan with a smile playing about her lips] Actually, Faetan, I think it's that your as jealous as hell, and as confused as Austin's hair.

[KELLY passes the scones and clips through the window, trying to sneak a look at the heartless CLINT.]

Harvey : Well, my dear, what else do you expect to be done for them eh?

Faetan : [Blanching at Alice's remark] What are you TALKING about?! Crazy... [Shakes her head, clearing her throat uncomfortably as she turns back to Harvey] I guess our first step would be to get back those swords...?

Alice : Sorry, Faetan. What I meant to say was "as confused as your hair".

Harvey : I think our first step would be to get out of here. [To Kelly] My dear, I think Clint is, er, ill at the moment. Perhaps we could ask you a few questions?

Kelly : Of course.

Harvey : What are you doing here?

Kelly : I've been coming every day to bring food to Austin, they have only been feeding him bread and water.

Faetan : [Scowling, muttering to herself] Hair is not confused...it's intimidating and feral...like me...

Alice : So your hair is like you, and you claim to be confused, so therefore your hair is confused!

Harvey : [Sigh] Austin, what happened when you reappeared?

Austin : I was set upon by a bunch of maladorous thugs. Apparantly the attack by Iok and Pestilence caused a split in the Knights. Unfortunately for me, and now you, Insomnia is held by the newly set up Fundamentalist Knights. It is only by virtue of my incredible legal skills that I haven't been summarily executed.

Faetan : [Sincerely] At least that's one thing we can be grateful for. So what's up with Adam? I thought he was throwing that orb at Pestilence, what's he got against us? I mean, besides declaring that Boddy could be trusted about burning the firearms...that's beside the point.

Austin : I do not believe that Adam was attempting to harm us with the orb. Like many overzealous religious fanatics [unneccessarily long gaze at Chastity] Adam appears to have lost sight of his goals. Such was his ire at the massacre, and the subsequent acceptance of the aforementioned massacre by several heretofore unmentioned members of the abovementioned Hierophantic Knight organisation including, but not limited to Corwyn, Nefiritiri and Tom, that he set up the rival organisation. It is quite possible that he meant only to do good with this organisation, but I believe it has got out of control. To wit : all manner of innocent occupations have now become illegal, for example, the eating, smoking or otherwise imbibing of cheese, and the sound of laughter and other such disturbances and nuisances in public areas.

Kelly : [Unhappily] Not to mention the way unmarried pregnant women get treated.

Alice : [Glaring at Clint] I can imagine.

Faetan : But...cheese is good!! What the hell?! How does cheese factor into ANY of this?

Alice : Cheese IS good! That's what they don't like about it - the fact that people can enjoy it! You know, I could never understand how if a guy gets drunk on ten pints and vomits all over the table it's put down to high spirits, but if a girl smokes one cheese cigarette too much and loses her bra, it's a public order offence.

Faetan : I guess it would depend on the girl, I'm sure anyone would hate to see some huge porker frolicking about with her top off. That's just wrong.

Alice : [Nodding sympathetically at Faetan] Ah, personal experience? Well, just another few pounds, and you'll be fine.

Faetan : [Confused] Buh?

Clint : [Trying to stay away from Kelly's view] So, err, how are we going to get out of here?

Faetan : [To Austin] Whaddya think, slick? Can you pick the locks? [Grins]

Chastity : [Dusting down the open window ledge with a look of distaste. To Austin] The conditions you've been kept in are most unsatisfactory. I only hope that the rigours of existing here for the last six months haven't harmed too much your manual dexterity. Or have you found a cunning way to maintain it?

Alice : Surely if "Slick" here could just pick the lock to get out, he would have done so, [turns to Austin] Right, Slick?

Austin : [To Chastity] I have been working dilligently on your defenses [Points to the thick legal case files piled neatly on the floor. Shows Alice the two hair pins in a 'V' sigin, and attempts to pick the lock if there is one] However, negotiating with Kelly in order to make good my escape has been difficult, to say the least. Her mighty intelligence is second only to the exceptionally crafty nematode.

Alice : [With a look of disgust at Austin] I see, Slick, that six months in jail has done little to change your complete lack of gratitude to any one foolish enough to try and help you.

Chastity : Now, now dear, lets give him the benefit of the doubt. [Looks at Austin preening himself] Well, maybe not. I wonder if we are to be taken in front of Torque. We may at least find out whats been going on!

Alice : Maybe, but if even Austin hasn't been able to slither out of here, what hope do the rest of us have? Anyone got any ideas? What about you, Marasmus?

[ALICE, along with everyone else in the cell does a double take upon realising that MARASMUS is now in the cell. She puts a finger to her lips in a shushing motion to ALICE.]

Alice : [Loudly] What the hell are you doing in here, Marasmus?

Austin : [To Alice] Help what help? [To Marasmus] Now we are getting somewhere. It is most good to see you again Marasmus, please do not attempt to wipe my memory again or nodoubts you will feel the hostility of the ignorant tongue once more.

Marasmus : Whereas now, Austin, I appear to feel the hostility of the informed tongue.

Alice : [Taken aback at Austin] Oh. From the conversation earlier, I assumed that this wasn't the first time she was here - especially when she talked about the scones you liked so much.

Austin : [To Marasmus ] Well if you think 'Good to see you again' is hostile I would not like to see you angry.

Marasmus : Oh, believe me, Austin, it is not a pretty sight.

Alice : So, Marasmus, what are you doing here?

Marasmus : I'm here to help you escape.

Alice : [Big smile] Excellent! [Leans in close to Marasmus and speaks more confidentially] Do you think you could help some of the others too?

Clint : [To Marasmus] Wait a minute, now. How did you find out that we were all in here, and also why didn't you come and rescue the Lawyer before? It all sounds very complicated to me.

Austin : [To Marasmus] Okay, what's the plan? [Looks at Alice, and Laughs] That, was a good one! [Dryly] I haven't heard a joke in six months.

Alice : [Indignantly to Austin] Hey! [Turns to Marasmus] You don't have to rescue him!

Marasmus : [To Clint] I have certain abilities Clint - I can see things that other people can't, and sometimes see through things.

Alice : Wow, so, do you know what colour my underwear is?

Marasmus : [Flicks her eyes down at Alice for a second, before looking away quickly] If you were wearing some, yes.

Faetan : [Standing up quickly] Is Sven all right, too? What of Corwyn?

Clint : Oh. Ok. [Pause] But that still doesn't answer my previous question, why didn't you come and rescue the Lawyer before?

Chastity : [To Marasmus]Well I for one am glad to see you. As you can see, we're all still abit confused as to whats been going on. Can you shed any light on what's happened since the battle in the square six months ago?

Austin : [To Marasmus] I believe we should make good our escape first, Chassers, before they notice Marasmus is here.

Chastity : Considering your experience due to the length of your incarcaration, you are probably correct. [To Marasmus] You plan, my dear?

Marasmus : Very wise words, Austin, [To Faetan] Corwyn and [with the slightest hint of a blush] Sven are fine. Now, someone will throw a rope in through the window, the end of which will be attached to a large donkey. You can use that to escape.

Alice : That's a great a plan, Marasmus. [Spreads her arms wide] Where are we going to find a donkey in here? [Looks at her watch] At this time of night? [Looks over at Chastity for a second] Ah.

Marasmus : Yes, Chastity, I do. In this case, the plan is to tie the rope to the bars, and then the donkey will pull the window out of the wall.

Alice : You know, Marasmus, if the donkey was outside the jail, it might work better.

Marasmus : Er, yes, good idea Alice.

[ALICE beams and gives MARASMUS two thumbs up.]

Faetan : [Rubs her hands together] Whew, what a relief! Thanks Marasmus, that's what...three times now you've saved our bacon?

Marasmus : [Smiles her sweetest smile at Faetan] That's what Hierophantic Knights do for each other.

Faetan : [Rubs her hands together] Whew, what a relief! Thanks Marasmus, that's what...three times now you've saved our bacon?

Marasmus : [Smiles her sweetest smile at Faetan] That's what Hierophantic Knights do for each other.

Faetan : [Smile fades] Yeah, well... Yeah. [Shifts uncomfortably, looking towards the window] --0-293100247-1034028567=:25506

Harvey : [Bows to Marasmus] Once again, my dear lady, we find ourselves in your debt, eh! You certainly do epitomise the spirit of the Knights, and I thank you! But tell me, after we escape the gaol, is there a safehouse available where we can, I believe the term is, hole-up, until the heat dies down?

Marasmus : I'm afraid not - the heat has reached such levels that it will soon feel like hell itself. We're breaking you out not to hide you away, but to thrust you into the worst danger imaginable.

Alice : You mean, worse than running naked across a rugby pitch in Limerick?

Marasmus : [With a sympathetic look] Even worse than that, sweet Alice.

Clint : What do you mean? You're setting us free to send us to something even worse? What can be worse than being killed in two days' time?

Faetan : Teh! [Hands on hips, with a cocky lopsided smile] I say bring it! We've already BEEN through hell! Ha HA!

Alice : [Looking at Faetan's black eye and swollen lip] While some of us also look like it. [Turns to Clint] You know, technically, only Austin is going to be killed in two days time, so I suppose you could just stay here while the rest of us escape.

Marasmus : [Gently to Clint] We've got to stop Pestilence. He has become more powerful and even more insane since he killed Iok. It is unlikely that every one who enters his castle will survive.

Chastity : [Coughing] Entering Pestilence's Castle? Maybe we'd best get out of prison and out of Insomnia before considering assaulting Pestilence's stronghold. As my third husband, George would say "Don't try to run before you can walk". [Looks out of the window] Now where is this large ass you say you have?

Audience : [Cheering and whooping] It's behind you!

Marasmus : Oh, no it's not!

Audience : Oh, yes it is!

Marasmus : Oh -

[Thankfully, this torture is stopped by a GUARD banging on the door, and shouting in.]

Guard : Hey! This is a jail and not a - a - a [tails off, embarrassed] place where you have pantomimes.

Marasmus : [Joining Chastity at the window] Jim is outside with it. He assured us that he is a skilled animal handler.

[Enter into view, JIM IGNATWASKI on all fours, wearing a saddle, with the DONKEY on top of him holding a rope.]

Alice : [On her tip toes to see out passed Marasmus and Chastity] Wow, a man being ridden by a donkey! You know, it's something of a relief to know that - [stops mid-sentance, and thinks better of what she was going to say, and turns away, whistling a merry tune.]

Chastity : [To Marasmus] Well, he wasn't kidding. I don't think I've ever seen anyone get a donkey to do that before. It's not quite how I'd imagined it though!

Austin : How curious to hear that you spend time imagining such activities, Sister.

Jim : [Getting out from under the Donkey] Right. [Turns to Kelly] You throw the rope in, and I'll hold the donkey.

[KELLY takes the rope, and tries to throw the whole thing in the window, but somehow only succeeds in getting tied to the donkey.]

Kelly : Hey!

Austin : [Puts his arm out of the window to catch the rope when Kelly throw it next] Come Kelly, have another go!

Chastity : [Sighing and shaking her head] It's like watching Haurel and Lardy in action. Someone get ready to catch the rope.

Jim : I, uh, I'll help her. [Starts to untie her, in a flurry of denim, hair and rope]

[A few seconds later, both JIM and KELLY are tied to the DONKEY.]

Alice : [Nodding sympathetically] Man, how many times have we all been caught like that?

Faetan : Er, none?

Alice : [Puzzled for a second, before looking at Chastity] Um, roughly the same as the rest of us? [Thinks hard] Although... maybe more given that she spends so much time thinking about donkeys.

[A passing GUARD helpfully unties the two. Once he has departed, JIM throws the rope up again, which AUSTIN catches.]

Austin : [Skillfully ties the rope to the bars in a way that make any onlooker realise that he has ties alot of ropes to a lot of bars before...] That should to it [To Jim and Kelly] Okay, pull!

Alice : [Looking at Austin's handiwork] Mm, yes, very nice. I see, and I particularly like what you've done here. [Points to one, extremely complicated knot]

[JIM and KELLY pull with all their might, but the window doesn't budge.]

Austin : [Looking at this sorry scene. To Jim] Tie the rope to the donkey, and get the donkey to pull the rope [To Marasmus] No expense spared on the break out team I see.

Chastity : [To Alice] You seem to know alot about knots, my dear. [To CLint] I think that your door bursting skills may be of use here. We'd best get something to hold onto you with, though. We wouldn't want falling out, would we?

Marasmus : I'm afraid we blew ninety percent of the budget on special satchels. [Shows her bag to Austin, which has "Hierophantic Knights - Ultra Secret Symposium on Peace, 1512" written on it in gold] They wouldn't have been my choice, but Corwyn insisted on us using real gold.

Alice : [To Chastity, with a stage voice] "Not" really! [Bursts into uncontrollable laughter, punctuated by the occasional snort, before calming down] Actually, it's just interesting to see them from this side for a change. [Gives another giggle, shaking her head slowly, and clearly speaking to herself] Not really!

[Eventually, after going through cycles of tying the rope to KELLY, to himself, to a lamp post etc., JIM gets the rope tied to the donkey, which then starts pulling slowly. The bars begin to bend slowly, and will clearly break soon.]

Austin : [Ignoring the chatter, stares at the bars, willing them to break, snap, vanish or whatever] Go, go, go.

Clint : Aw, come on! [Kicks the window as hard as possible]

Harvey : [To Clint] Come on, Private, help me lean this table against the door, it may buy us some precious time when the guards try and get in. [Stars heaving the table across the floor.]

[The bars begin to snap, and the window starts coming out.]

Austin : [Sigh!] Only Insomnia would have theatical, tension building, cliff hanger bars. [Sits and waits for the window to go through]

Chastity : Come now, Austin. I understand your impatience, but it is expected. When was the last time we encountered a bar without a bit of a fight? [Turns to towards the window, looking quite pleased at her own wee pun]

Austin : [Looks around the room to see if there is another Austin being impatient] Philli is going to get such a kicking when I catch him. [Rubs his eyes in fatigue]

[CLINT helps HARVEY lean the table against the door, just as the window pops out.]

Alice : Yay! Let's go!

[Incredibly, JIM has a number of horses ready for the escape.]

Austin : [Gets through the window quiker than a builder can cut through your powerlines (Instant). To Jim, do you have a razor?]

Jim : [Handing the reins of a horse to Austin] I do, but you're on suicide watch, what with being sentenced to death and all, so you'll have to wait until we get back to base for that. Oh, and I'll be needing your shoelaces.

[The others in the cell can hear the door being unlocked.]

Harvey : Quickly, troop! Hut! Hut!

Chastity : No time to dally! [Quickly climbs through the window]

Austin : [To Jim, looking at his shoes laces] No, that's stupid, I'm free now [Helps the others through the window]

Clint : Come on, everyone out fast! Harv and me we'll watch your back.

[CHASTITY is soon out, followed by FAETAN and MARASMUS.]

Harvey : Quickly, niece, that table won't hold them for long.

Alice : Right! [Grabs Austin's pet bird and throws it out the window] Fly, my pretty! Fly!

[The bird sails out the window and sinks like a stone.]

Alice : Gah! [Climbs out the window, but stops in the middle] Hey! What about all our stuff?

[The door opens. Unfortunately, it opens out, so the table simply falls through the door.]

Harvey : Gah! Foiled at every turn. Quickly, niece! [Gives Alice a gentle poke, and then follows through.]

Chastity : [To Harvey] Careful, Colonel. We've already had one unfortunate poking accident in the group[Briefly turning to Kelly] You are OK there, my dear? [Turning back towards the window] Alice, look out for the baby bird! [Covers her eyes with her hands, whilst still peeping through her fingers] I can hardly look!

Austin : [To Chastity, looking at Kelly's tum] That was hardly a poking accident, these things never are. I even saw a case once where a girl, who was very definitely pregnant, claimed to be a virgin! [Chuckles] But she had a brilliant lawyer, and her claim was proven to be true. I even suprise myself sometimes.

Austin : [To Faetan] You can if you don't have enough money for a good lawyer. You see, if a woman is a virgin, how can she possibly be entitled to financial child support from any man? [Mounts a horse]

Faetan : Oh. [Ponders this a little more, then she straightens as she understands] Oh, I see. [Looks chagrined, then grins] Right, let's get outta here!

Chastity : [Getting onto a horse] Hold your horses, young Lady. The rest of the party are still to join us. [Calling up] Come on. Make haste.

Austin : [To Faetan] Yes, in the dark world of law, almost anything is possible. Of course, to surmount the impossible requires religion.

Faetan : [To Austin] I don't think our lives are bound by fickle gods. We make our own paths. [Glares up at Clint] And mistakes. Philli has nothing to do with it.

Chastity : [To Austin] Close, Austin. Just the word seemingly missing. [Looks concerned at the window] Come on, for Phili's sake. We don't have much time. [Looks around to check for any guards] --0-1454305376-1034104589=:69423

Harvey : By the saints, troop! Keep your minds on the task at hand, eh! [Mounts a horse and helps Alice onto hers] Stealthily does it, now! [The party tear off with a screech of horses, uselessly pursued by some town guards, blowing whistles at them.]

Alice : [Ducking] Hey! That one almost hit me!

[Exit ALL, to safety.]

[Book III, Act IV, Scene VI. The Hierophantic Knight Headquarters. This is a small encampment about three miles out of Insomnia. MARASMUS, JIM, AUSTIN, KELLY, ALICE, HARVEY, CHASTITY, FAETAN and CLINT have just arrived. There are about fifty or sixty people here, milling around. Coming to meet the party is SVEN, with a big smile on his face.]

Sven : Haw! I just knew you'd make it back, I just knew it!

Alice : Austin had a pet bird!

Sven : [To Austin] You old dog, and I bet it wasn't the first. Soon you'll be as bad as Clint! [To the group] Everyone okay?

Faetan : [Nods] A little disoriented, but we're fine. What the hell happened, Sven? Why the sudden rift between the Fundamentalists and Hierophantics?

Clint : [Throws a strong punch at Sven's shoulder] Ah! I knew you'd be behind all this! But Fae is right, give us the news. This whole time travelling thing is very confusing.

Faetan : [Eyeing Clint skeptically] 'Fae'...?

Chastity : [To Faetan] Obviously you've been more accepted in to the group. For some reason some people start to mess around with your name. Like certain people calling me [mumbles a bit] Chassers.

Alice : That's right - and when people start calling you by a funny nickname, like Fake, Wire Hair or even Cranky, then you'll know you're really part of the group, [very short pause] Faetan.

Sven : Well, Clint, [gets momentarily put off by Kelly's sad face watching Clint and himself] the - uh, the problem started with the massacre. Over 300 people died that day, and the motives of not only your friend Boddy, but also your own, were called into question. This caused the split, with Corwyn and some of the others claiming that the end justified the means, while the rest of us started a new group, called the Fundamentalist Knights, which were supposed to go back to basics, [face grows dark] at least, that was the idea.

Clint : [Trying to avoid Kelly's stare] What? If burning all the weapons isn't getting back to basics, then what is?

Chastity : Aah, a Back to Basics Campaign. I remember an old leader the church once had, a converted army officer if I remember correctly, instigating a back to basics policy, trying to make everything nice bland. Later we found out that he'd been eating away from home in an Indian restaurant, making a mockery of the whole thing! Back to basics seems to be a good idea, but its not always totally practical!

Marasmus : That's the risk you run in that kind of thing, Chastity, the leader is often the weakest link. [Turns to Clint] It's not just about weapons, Clint, it's about the way people treat each other, about being kind to each other, about [holds Sven's hand] loving each other.

[SVEN and MARASMUS squeeze each other's hand for a few moments, and look into each other's eyes, smiling, while some pretty birds sing, only slightly disrupting the embarrassed silence.]

Harvey : [As discreetly as only Harvey can be] A-ahem!

Sven : Sorry, Colonel. The problem was, Adam and his people started to go over the top, and started imposing all kinds of crazy laws, in the belief that if people were more puritan in their ways, that Phili would help them.

Alice : Come on, how crazy can those laws be?

Sven : [Casts a gaze over the party] Right now, between you, I reckon you are currently in violation of at least forty two of them - twenty four of which are being caused by you and Clint alone.

Alice : [Two thumbs up to Clint] Alright! We're number one!

Sven : The laws cover everything from outlawing public laughter, to the banning of cheese consumption, right up to a hugely complex system of laws governing relationships.

Chastity : Well I suppose there are times when public laughter is not necess...[Breaks off, looking round the group for their reaction. Quickly] Emm, that's just over the top interpretation of the good book. Ridiculous!

Alice : [Gives a surprised look at Chastity, before whispering to Clint] Next she'll be saying that there are times when public cheese consumption is inappropriate. [Checks her pockets for something, and clearly can't find it] Gah! Damned cavity search!

Faetan : What was Corwyn doing during this?

Sven : Well, Corwyn and the rest of the Hierophantic Knights took a very aggressive line - effectively destroying anything and anybody that didn't try and fight against Pestilence.

Marasmus : Soon after it became clear that Adam was abusing his power, we left the Fundamentalist Knights, and tried to convince the Hierophantic Knights to be more moderate.

Chastity : And did it work? [Looks around] I had expected we'd have seen Corwyn or at least one of his odorous flunkeys by now?

Marasmus : Corwyn is here. When we caught up with him and the others, and put our case to him, there was yet another split. Two of Corwyn's men, Tom and Rourke, took some others and joined with Pestilence.

Austin : [To Marasmus] Did they say why they joined with Pesty? [Wiggles his eyebrows at Faetan, as he smirks at his own joke]

Chastity : I must say that things are starting to align up with the world, we've come from. Adam Torque, the religious zealot, leading the fundamentalist knights, the Hierophantic knights in Slanted Opposition, Pestilence's henchmen, Sven's reputation.

Austin : [Nips into a nearby tent]

Alice : Maybe history repeats itself?

[A scream comes from the tent that AUSTIN entered.]

Harvey : So, what happened with those orbs?

Sven : The orbs freeze someone in time - you lot were frozed for six months, I managed to get that information from Adam before we left.

Austin : [Returns from the nearby tent, smiling devilishly. He has had a hair cur, a shave, a wash and manicure. He is teeth are a dazzling polished white, his smile more impressive than Pricess Leah's pout with lip-gloss. He is wearing a Wexter Dong white shirt with solid gold cufflinks, a red cruched velvet Cha-Cha Redbum afternoon suit, and a devilishly racey pair of Smelvin Jyne calf and cobra skin shoes] Aah, that's better. [Walks over to the party who will suddenly be aware that someone near to them is wearing exceptionally expensive aftershave...] So, what about the orb that got me? Was I too hot to freeze or what [Checks Maplin's manicure, and smiles at Faetan]

Clint : [Sniffing the air] Gosh, do you feel that? Someone here smells even worse than me!

Alice : [Looks around, and then sniffs the air] Nope, you're still the worst.

Sven : [Shielding his eyes with his hand from the glare off Austin's teeth] The orbs have a setting which dictates how long the time trap will work for - yours was only set for a week. I believe Adam's plan is to set one for the maximum time, and attack Pestilence and Boddy with it.

Austin : [Smiling at his fabulous shoes, stands near to Alice to mask out Clints pong. To Sven] I see, Adam is using the old 'Someone Elses Problem' approach. Send them so far forward in time he won't have to deal with them. Only we know it doesn't work out like that.

Marasmus : That's the basic idea - he was hoping that, by the time the effect has worn off, people would have figured out a way of destroying them. Now, given that you have come from the future, if he does succeed, it looks like his reasoning is flawed, unless there is some wonderful new technology in the future?

Alice : If anything, the weapons here are, or, at least were, better! That doesn't make any sense.

Marasmus : Oh. Hm, it actually might make a whole lot more sense than you might imagine. [Enter CORWYN and NEFIRITIRI, the former resplendent in a dark blue suit and matching sunglasses, the latter dressed all in leather and smoking a cigarette.]

Faetan : [Stops admiring Austin's shoes and turns to face the pair] Ah! There you are! [Grins happily]

Nefiritiri : Oh great, another tearful reunion. [Looks at Kelly's sad face] Oh, God, take her away, please, I can't bear to look at such unhappiness.

Marasmus : Maybe you should be careful about how much you spread, so.

Nefiritiri : [To the party in general] Has she told you about how loving each other yet.

Corwyn : [To Faetan] Well, great grand daughter, if you really are a descendent of mine, you'll help me convince this lot to launch an all out attack on Pestilence.

Faetan : Of course we should! But we'll need to get the Wonder Swords back, not much we can do against 'Pesty' otherwise. [Grins at Austin]

Austin : [To all] Yes, good point Fae, we cannot harm old Pesty without magical weapons. [Give Faetan the once over and smiles]

Faetan : [Smiles sheepishly, scratching the back of her neck] Heh! Ah... [Blinks and shifts her weight to the right foot] So, w-we should sneak back to the jail, after reading the list of idiot rules...just so we don't draw TOO much attention to ourselves by accidentally breaking one.

Nefiritiri : [Watching Faetan and Austin with a wry look] Oh great, now these two are at it. Pesty? I don't know whether to puke or to laugh.

Faetan : [Face reddening] We are NOT going at it! Quit changing the subject!

Austin : [To Corwyn and Nefiritiri] Have you assembled a troop yet?

Nefiritiri : [Pointing at Faetan] Note the flushed cheeks indicating sexual excitement. [Smiles at Faetan] Is that close enough to the point for you?

Marasmus : Oh, leave her alone!

Corwyn : [To Austin] If by troop, you mean an elite force of highly trained combat specialists, the answer is no.

Chastity : [To Corwyn] Well we're here now.

Faetan : [Quickly] Yeah, we're about as 'leet as you can get. [Scrubs at her cheeks as though trying to get the red out]

Alice : Speak for yourself, Faetan! [Thinks for a second] Hey!

Harvey : How are we going to get the swords back? That will be a difficult and dangerous mission, I'll bet.

Corwyn : Actually, it will be quite easy.

Austin : [Looks at Corwyn] Good. [To Nefiritiri, looking her over, grinning] You look ready for action, feeling fiesty?

Faetan : Ahhhhhhh! [Clasping hands together] Such brilliance! No wonder you're considered to be such an upstanding figure in our heritage! What's the plan?

Nefiritiri : Feeling Fiesty? [Glances at Faetan for a second, before looking back to Austin with a smile] I thought that's what you wanted to be doing.

Corwyn : [Bows slightly to Faetan] The plan is for Marasmus and Nefiritiri to teleport in, grab the swords and teleport out. [Lights up a cigar] Coming up with brilliant plans is always easy when you've got genie sisters on your side.

Clint : [Glancing at Chastity] No wonder I never come up with plans like that.

Faetan : [Clearing throat uncomfortably, avoiding looking at Nefiritiri] Y-yeah, I guess it would be, huh? Well bokey!

Austin : [To Nefiritiri, smiling] Ita est, non nunc est bibendum. quotation)

Faetan : [Blink] Whadja say?

Chastity : [To Clint] Enough of your funny looks, mister. Just be thankful you have a holy sister on your side.

Austin : [To Faetan] I said 'Yes, but now is not the time to play'. We have some seriously heroic deeds to perform. The moonlight and goodtimes come later.

Faetan : Er...maybe... [Looks to Marasmus] So is it possible, then? There won't be any danger to you two, will there?

Austin : [To Faetan, nodding to Nefiritiri's leather catsuit, smiling] In a suit like that Nefiritiri's the most dangerous thing that's going to happen for months.

Nefiritiri : [Makes pretend claws at Austin with her fingers] Roar!

Marasmus : If only her claws were as sharp as her clothes, then we'd really be set.

Nefiritiri : If only they were as sharp as your tongue, then there'd be trouble.

Corwyn : Despite the good natured banter you see before you, these two are great pals, like sisters in fact.

Alice : I thought they were sisters?

Corwyn : Well, yes, I suppose they are.

Chastity : That's alright. This group is a prime example of good natured banter coupled with active efficiency.

Nefiritiri : Right, off we go.

[Exit NEFIRITIRI and MARASMUS into a nearby tent.]

Corwyn : Let's all wait in my tent - there are a lot of comfortable cushions there, and we can get a bite to eat.

Kelly : [In a small voice] Er, what will I do? [Looks timidly at Clint]

Corwyn : Ah, sling your hook, Austin is out of jail, so we don't need you any more.

[A look of outrage comes across ALICE's face as she turns to CLINT, clearly waiting for him to reply before saying anything.]

Clint : [Looking behind him first, and then to Alice] Geez Bimbo, you look so red I thought there was a naked three headed monkey behind me! [To Kelly] Come on, you can join us. You won't be the first pregnant Short to hang out with the group.

Kelly : [Claps with joy, and grabs Clint's arm] You know, that's the most romantic thing I've ever heard.

Alice : [To Corwyn] You know, I find it all too easy to believe that Faetan is your descendant.

Corwyn : [To Alice] You know, I find it all too easy to believe that you are Kelly's descendant.

Alice : Hey, flattery doesn't work on me!

Clint : [With a look of "please, get me out of this movie!" on his face] You know, that's most romantic thing I've ever said. And the last. [To Corwyn] I hope you have a good bottle of liquor; I'm desesperately in need of it.

Kelly : Wow! He's romantic, and he wants to ply me with drink! This is going to be great!

Corwyn : [To Clint] I'll give you some of the medium liquor now. Wait until the kid comes, then you'll need the good stuff.

Faetan : [Rubbing her forehead] Just tell her the truth, Clint.

Alice : And what truth is that, Faetan? --0-685568071-1034202235=:73159

Harvey : While we're left guessing upon the profundity of Faetans last statement, I would also like you to think about another matter which is giving me some concern, what! If we commit the troops and attack Pestilence in this timeframe, I'm convinced that we will fail abysmally. For if we succeed, this very troop will not need to face that rotten cad at some stage in the future! But we already know that we will fight him in the future, and win. [Scratches at a sideburn] Gah, this time travel malarkey fair gets ones dander up, what!

Faetan : [Smiles tiredly] That as much as he cares about her and her future progeny, fact is we need him out there to fight Pestilence, and we need him when we go back to our own time. He won't be able to stay on and take care of them.

Alice : [Tartly] I'm sure Kelly knows that Clint has a duty to the party, Faetan, don't you, Kelly?

Kelly : Of course I do. [Short pause] Who's Clint?

Alice : [Points him out] Him.

Kelly : Oh.

Alice : [To Harvey] Maybe we won't fail dismally, maybe we were the ones responsible for sending him to the Under City in the first place? Maybe we kill him and someone else resurrects him closer to our time?

Chastity : [To Harvey] We can't sit around wondering what all the distant future permutations are of our actions now. The slightest action now may actually have huge implications later on. We can't tell. All we know is that evil is here, now, and we must do our damnedest to wipe it out. As my Second Husband, George once said, "Stop your dithering, get on with it." He was an amateur philosopher you know.

Austin : [Inspecting Mapiln and smiling] He was certainly an amature.

Sven : Haw! [Thumps Austin on the back, sending him staggering forward a step or two] I love it - good natured ribbing in the party. You sir [points at Austin with a big smile] are without doubt a professional! [Serious face] However, the good Sister is, as always I'm sure, right. We have to do our best to stop Pestilence, once he's out of the way, we can concentrate on those shapeshifters.

Chastity : [Scowling at Austin] Yes, good natured ribbing of dearly departed loved ones! Priceless. [To Corwyn] You mentioned something to eat earlier. Sandwiches I take it?

Austin : [With a fake dreamy expression] Nothing quite like a good natured ribbing, Chassers! Although I personally don't go for deceased family members, but 'each to their own!' [Smirks at his pun] As I'm sure George would say.

Chastity : [Annoyed and slightly upset] I'll thank you not to presume anything about my beloved George, whether it be action or thought. Or George, or George, come to think about it.

Austin : [To Chastity] I wasn't talking about any of your Georges, I was talking about another George I once knew [Looks at Alice crosseyed]

Chastity : [To Austin] I'd have expected a lawyer to come up with a better spin than that! Enough of this. [Turns away from Austin. To Corwyn] Which tent is yours?

Austin : [To Corwyn] Sounds like you got lucky there fella. [Turns to Sven] So, what do you know about shapeshifters?

Alice : Wow! You knew a George that Chastity WASN'T married to? What are the odds?

Corwyn : [Points towards the largest tent, which looks more like a castle] That is my one there, good Chastity, and yes, we have a large selection of sandwiches, including [with relish] cheese!

Alice : Does it come with relish?

Corwyn : [With relish] Yes!

Sven : [To Austin] Not very much, I'm afraid. They appeared about four months ago, fighting on Adam's side. They can take pretty much any shape, as long as it is roughly the same size as them. The incredible thing, however, is that they fight like things I've never seen. They never give up, even when they have clearly lost a fight. We've tried to capture some, but they all have tablets of poison.

Alice : And they attack you with those? [Puzzled] Surely all one would have to do is keep one's mouth shut? Oh yeah, now I see, they are a pretty dangerous weapon.

Sven : True, young Alice, and it wouldn't surprise me if they stoop to such levels as spiking our drinks and slipping pills into our sandwiches, but these guys eat the tablets themselves, to prevent us from finding anything about them.

Austin : [To Sven] Then we should hire some to fight for us, and insist on only paying them after battles!

Sven : Good idea, Austin, but there is one fatal flaw - their fanatical devotion to Adam.

Clint : You're right Sven, but I think the lawyer's idea is not that flawed; surely we can't convince loads of them to fight for us, but if we can convince just one, then he might be able to impersonate Adam, and convince all others to fight with us! [Smiles at himself] Was that a good idea or what?

Austin : [To Sven] And how does Adam know the difference between a shapeshifter and a normal person? How does he control them?

Alice : Good idea, Clint, but there is one fatal flaw - their fanatical devotion to Adam.

Sven : I don't know, but the rumour is that he has a special item to identify them. Of course, it was Kelly who got us this information, so perhaps she can talk for a bit?

Kelly : He has a special item to identify them.

[Time passes.]

Corwyn : Right. We don't know how he controls them, but if it is a mind control type thing, I would be very surprised. He's never shown anything like that kind of ability before.

Austin : [To Sven and Corwyn] It is essential that we get this item that identifies shapeshifters. However, we may already have been infiltrated buy shapeshifters, they could be anyone of us [Looks at Chastity] Well, almost.

Chastity : In our previous encounter, Adam could only tell the difference because Shapeshifters couldn't catch Scalies. He insisted that all his followers had Scalies, so that he knew they weren't shapeshifters. [To Austin] Well you've certainly changed shape recently, from an dishevelled tramp to an arrogant lawyer! Maybe we should kill you just to be on the safe side?

Austin : [To Chastity] Kill me in the name of Philli? That's just the kind of bigotry that gives you bible bashers a bad name.

Chastity : In our previous encounter, Adam could only tell the difference because Shapeshifters couldn't catch Scalies. He insisted that all his followers had Scalies, so that he knew they weren't shapeshifters. [To Austin] Well you've certainly changed shape recently, from an dishevelled tramp to an arrogant lawyer! Maybe we should kill you just to be on the safe side?

Austin : [To Chastity] Kill me in the name of Philli? That's just the kind of bigotry that gives you bible bashers a bad name.

Alice : Whereas it's an entirely different kind of bigotry that gives people like you a bad name, Austin!

Corwyn : Just because the shapeshifters can assume the form of a person doesn't mean that they know how to act like them too. If one had come in here, we'd surely have noticed the difference in behaviour. Although, maybe some of the newer people....

Harvey : [To Chastity] That sister, would definitely suggest that there is an item to distinguish them. Why, if that bounder Torque could tell them apart simply by looking at them, then the whole Scalies fiasco would never have happened. [Becomes thoughtful] I wonder, when do they turn against him?

Austin : [To Alice] Yes, an entirely different kind of bigotry alltogether. You see, I do not claim to be 'holier than thou' all the time. 'Better looking and dress than thou' perhaps.

Harvey : [Tutting in annoyance at this conversation] What has Pestilence been up to? More of the same?

Sven : Far, far worse, I'm afraid. Much of the land has been destroyed, and hundreds of thousands are dead. For some reason, he has chosen to have his base near here - and rumour has it that every night he has a sumptuous banquet of human brains and hearts. We've seen no sign of your friend Death, however.

Chastity : With our group together, I'm sure Death isn't far away.

Alice : It's not really his style though, is it? To stay out of sight for six months. Maybe he was really hurt by Iok? Didn't Pestilence say that Boddy wasn't immortal?

Faetan : But something's going to happen to make him that way...same as Sven, perhaps.

Sven : Immortal? Well, I can't say I disapprove!

Alice : Are we sure that Boddy, in our time, is immortal? Even Sven, given that he, you know...

Austin : [To Alice] What? Died? Are you forgetting that we have all dies several times and come back to life, [Checks his nails] Some of us have done it twice in one day.

Alice : [Muttering to herself] And still it wasn't enough. [Loudly again] The point is, surely there's a difference between dying and being resurrected, and not being able to die at all?

Faetan : Unless Boddy's like that fabled John Smith, who dies constantly under unfortunate circumstances, and is always brought back to life through more unfortunate circumstances... Otherwise I'd think he would be excessively old during our time.

Alice : John Smith? [Shrugs] I always thought it was that couple who kept dying - you know, John and Jane Doe. [Shakes her head] Man, they're really unfortunate.

Harvey : Unless he also travelled forward in time?

Faetan : Huh...hard to say. In the meantime, maybe we should be forming a strategy for Pestilence's keep while the two sisters get the swords. [Glancing between Sven and Corwin] Are there any blueprints, or maps? Information about the place?

Corwyn : Yes, we do have some information, but no map, unfortunately. It seems like the entire ground floor of the castle has been converted into some kind of huge restaurant - every night at 10PM Pestilence has dinner there. That's when we plan to attack him.

Faetan : Excellent! Perhaps he'll be sluggish from his gory feast, which would make it that much easier to strike! Wah ha!

Austin : [To Faetan] There was one battle where we fought them that they were vunerable for a short time, I think it was on the stage at StarSearch (TM).

Faetan : [In awe] You guys were on StarSearch?! Ha... I can't imagine what talents you all decided to display...

Austin : [To Faetan] We were in a pitched battle with the horsemen at the time, we defeated the horsemen who fled as they were vunerable, and the audience thought the whole thing was a show. We won, we were drugged and betrayed by the local lawenforcement and mayor.

Alice : Not only were we on, but we won! With the highest score ever! We even beat a guy who had a big jar of old snot! And, [dramatic pause] we were elected mayors of Hallbridges on that very night! [Goes serious a second] Hey, then we ended up in a mental institution.*

[SVEN and CORWYN exchange worried glances.]

Corwyn : I don't know if we can guarantee a post prandial torpor - he eats the organs for strength.

Faetan : [Nodding] I see, I see... So what made them vulnerable?

Alice : It was when they were trying to ressurect Pestilence, as far as I remember. They became vulnerable when they tried to open a gateway to hell to pluck him out.

Faetan : So you've beaten Pestilence before. That's reassuring at least! Tell me what I should know, please. What are his tactics? What took place?

Austin : Perhaps there is a way to make them vunerable again? Maybe they have a magical item that protects them, some kind of magical shield, or perhaps it is a spell. If Philli created them, he would know, if he exists [Looks at Chastity] I doubt it.

Alice : [Wrinkles up her nose and gives a little shiver at the memory] Let's just say it wasn't pleasant. Since this whole thing started back in Queens View, it was by far the worst experience. His tactics were basically freak us out completely and then pick us off. Oh yeah, and try and cut open someone's stomach with a rusty scalpel.

Sven : Phili created them? That's kind of unlikely, isn't it?

Corwyn : Is it? I wouldn't be so sure. The guy's a God damned sadist.

Harvey : Do we have any choice but to venture in and look?

Chastity : I don't think so. As for Phili, and the presence of evil, this has been a debate for generations. The church get on with their good business by following the deep philosophy of the Prophet Tobius - [In a Cornish accent] " Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do all day"

Clint : So you actually do it all day in convents? Man, no wonder you were married three times!

Alice : Maybe those marriages were just for getting in some practice?

Chastity : [Annoyed] The only thing you need practicing at, Miss, is keeping your mouth shut. [Turns to Clint] And you, you brute, perhaps when you've married once [looks at Kelly, clearly indicating what she is talking about] then maybe you might be in a position to question other people's morals! [Calms herself down with a few deep breaths] Now, where are these sandwiches?

Faetan : Yeah...being frozen for six months leaves one famished!

Alice : [Still taken aback at Chastity's outburst] Not to mention cranky!

[The group enter CORWYN's tent, which is furnished like an Arabian sultan's would be, full of opulent cushions and rich carpets. A huge chandelier hangs from above, illuminating the huge pile of cheese sandwiches on a low table in the middle of the floor.]

Alice : [Sitting cross legged at the table, and taking a bite of a sandwich] Oh. My. God. [Looks to the others with huge surprised eyes] This is the nicest cheese sandwich I've ever tasted!

Corwyn : [Laughs] Just wait until it's time to pass the Pipe of Cheese, an old custom we borrowed from the Indians. [Turns to Faetan] Looks like someone gave you a pretty severe going over, want me to castrate them?

[Everyone's attention is drawn to the sound of ALICE almost choking on a cheese ball.]

Clint : Hey Bimbo!, leave some for rest of us! [Pause] We're also hungry, you know. [Starts eating a double cheesesandwich] Hey-not-bad-at-all [Crumbs of cheesesandwich fly over the whole pile of sandwiches]

Sven : I'll see your double, and raise you a sandwich! [Picks up three sandwiches and squashes them all into his mouth]

Faetan : [Grins at Corwyn] Nah... We can't screw up the past TOO much. Only one I can kill or render infertile is Pestilence, y'know? The others... [Rips a chunk of sandwich with her teeth and chews happily] ...I think a severe beating is in order next time we cross paths! Heeee! --0-1349953228-1034289242=:79508

Harvey : I certainly agree with that, Ms Jarl! But troop, do take it easy on the cheese, eh! Can't have us all going into battle, unclear of mind, fuzzy in logic, all mellow yellow like some bunch of edamned hairy hippies, eh! We're here to make war, not love!

Alice : And don't you forget that, Clint!

Corwyn : [Laughs at Faetan] Are you sure you're my descendent? The bloodlines must get contaminated by pacifists somewhere along the line. Anyway, how do you know you wouldn't be screwing things up by not castrating them? [Takes out a huge wooden pipe, at least two feet long, and starts pouring some grated cheese into the top] Chill out Harv, a little bit own't hurt you.

Clint : You listen to the man, Harv! [Takes four sandwiches and puts them into his mouth] Dis-jeez-iz-berry-good! [Crumbs fly all over the party members]

Chastity : [Shielding her eyes as crumbs fly like hail stones] I agree with your concerns, Colonel, but most things a fine [Looking to CLint] in moderation. [Picks up a sandwich] It may not be good for the sword, but its good for the soul. After everything, the group needs a brief spot of R&R. In moderation of course. Don't you agree?

Harvey : In moderation, yes. But a Clint Scar style orgy of cheese eating, no.

Alice : [Watching Clint and Sven excitedly] Me next! [Grabs five sandwiches and tries to squashes them into her mouth] Atch dis! [Almost immediately starts choking on them and and spits them out onto the floor] Maybe Harvey's right?

Sven : Haw! The cheese eating has reached it's peak. The good Colonel is correct, of course, let's not over do it. [Glances over at Corwyn who is just starting to light the huge pipe, before turning back to Clint] But when Pestilence is dead, it's gonna me and you!

Chastity : [Looking surprised, glancing between Clint and Sven] Oh well, each to their own. I'm sure we can all celebrate in our own way, but Clint, don't you think Kelly's feelings would be hurt? You with Sven?

Kelly : I'd be hurt, but [flutters eyelids at Sven] I'd understand.

Sven : [Bursts out laughing] Haw! Excellent, sister, excellent! A member of the religious making homosexual innuendo, I've just got to admire the irony! I salute you, Sister.

[Enter NEFIRITIRI and MARASMUS, loaded down with weapons.]

Alice : So, no luck, then?

Chastity : [To Sven] Homo-what? I was talking about you partying with Clint and leaving the poor girl behind! [To Nefiritiri and Marusmus] Any complications girls?

Nefiritiri : None whatsoever. We got your weapons, and a few more besides. [Dumps a pile of swords on the ground.]

[All the swords begin complaining, with cries of "ow", "hey!" and "I'm a Wonder Sword, you can't treat me like this!"]

Austin : [Examining the swords] My my, what a wonderful pile of wonderful wonderswords. I wonder what Adam was doing with them all.

Marasmus : I think he was trying to figure out how to destroy them.

Sven : [Picking up Hauterious] Well, let's put them to a better use! --0-1481836309-1034343476=:8746

Harvey : Thank you, troop. We need to stay frosty if we are to have any chance with defeating that scurrulous rogue! [To Nefiritiri] And thank you madam for retrieving our weapons. [Looks down at the swords] I say, which one of you wonder weapons is Ostententatious?

Ostententatious : How dare you confuse me with this rabble! Remove me immediately! --0-785472625-1034343952=:37386

Harvey : [Raises his eyebrows and shakes his head a little] Well of course, my trusty and modest blade! [Picks up Ostententatious]

Alice : Hi, Arrogus! [Picks him up]

Arrogus : Still with the little girl, I see.

Nefiritiri : Come on. Everyone grab a sword, and let's go. We'll have to rush if we're going to be on time for Pestilence.

Chastity : [Finishing off her sandwich] Has anyone seen Phili's balls?

Marasmus : No, I think Adam has taken them himself - he seems to have a particular attachment to them.

Faetan : [Grabs Delirious] Right, let's go kill some bad guys!

[Some of the others help themselves to swords, with NEFIRITIRI taking CALLAESTHETIA THE WONDERSWORD, AUSTIN getting SABSQUATULATER THE WONDERSWORD, CORWYN helping himself to CONCEITETORIOUS THE WONDERSWORD, and KELLY and JIM getting BOEOTICUS THE WONDERSWORD and LYSERGICUS THE DREAMSWORD, respectively. There are just two swords left, TEMPORIDUS, and another.]

Marasmus : [Taking the other sword and handing it to Chastity] Here you are, Chastity, I think you'll suit each other. This is Boadehilde the Wondersword.

Chastity : [Taking Boadehilde the Wondersword] Thank you my dear. Unfortunately I'm not at all skilled in swordplay so, unless this sword can bestow the necessary skills on me, I can probably only cut cake with it. [To Boadehilde] Can you manage that?

Boadehilde : [In a scolding tone] What kind of question is that, young lady? I'll thank you to mind your manners when you're with me! You won't be gorging yourself on cake and whatever else it is young people today eat at those orgies where you almost all seem to spend your time! Keep your heart pure, my dear, and I will do the rest.

Austin : [To Sabsquatulater] So, swordy, can you do the same for me?

Sabsquatulater : Hell no! The first sign of trouble and I want you to leg it out of there. I've never even got a nick or scratch, my steel is perfectly flawless, and your mission is to ensure it stays that way.

Alice : [Looks from Chastity to Austin] I think you'll both be fine.

Clint : [Picking up Temporidus] Never mind these museum display swords. You've been to hell and back, so you're almost a member of the group. I'll make sure you're the one chopping Pestilence's head off.

Temporidus : You and me, Clint, to the end!

[Exit ALL.]

[Book III, Act IV, Scene VII. Outside Pestilence's Castle. SVEN, NEFIRITIRI, CORWYN, SVEN, JIM, MARASMUS, JIM, AUSTIN, KELLY, ALICE, HARVEY, CHASTITY, FAETAN and CLINT, and associated wonder swords have just arrived. There are about fifty or sixty people here, milling around. The castle is quite large, and has a wall around it.]

Sven : Right, we don't know too much about the castle, but it seems that the most vulnerable spot is at the back. We may need someone to pick the lock to help us in, so Austin? How are you at sneaking in through someone's back entrance?

Austin : [Glaring at the snickering Alice] I can get passed any lock.

[The group move around the back, where there is a huge gate, that is slightly ajar.]

Chastity : Is it just me or does that seem a bit careless. Though I suppose it fits Pestilence's arrogance to have a large castle and then leave the door open!

Sven : He does seem to think he's invincible, so maybe he only has the castle because of the desirable address, and not the security.

Chastity : His confidence is his weakness. It shall be his undoing. That and all our magical swords, of course. [Pats the hilt of Boadehilde and starts to sneak up to the door, keeping out of any line of sight from inside]

Clint : [Follows Chastity in] As a great philosopher once said, we should proceed with caution. [The gates swing open, revealing ADAM, THE VERMINATOR, KERSEY and PEBBLES.]

Pebbles : Less trow bl.

Adam : Well said, Pebbles, let's teach these heathens a lesson! [Throws an orb right into the middle of the party, causing them all to scatter.]

[The orb explodes with light on impact, causing half the group to disappear, leaving only the party, CORWYN, MARASMUS and SVEN.]

Alice : Let's get them!

Clint : I'm sick of all these balls thrown everywhere. Fight like men! [Throws a blow at the Verminator] Hasta la vista!

Chastity : [Pulls out Boadehilde] For Phili! If there is one thing he doesn't like its a power-hungry zealot twisting his word.

Faetan : [Brandishes her sword, grinning viciously at Kersey] You're gonna pay for messin' up my face, toad! [Lunges at him]

Boadehilde : Too right, Chastity, that's our job!

[SVEN and ALICE both attack ADAM, causing him to drop some of the orbs, but they don't explode. Both hit him, and knock him to the ground.]

Alice : Yay, Arrogus!

[HARVEY and FAETAN zone in on KERSEY, who strikes FAETAN, and only HARVEY hits him.]

Corwyn : [To Chastity] Right Sister, let's see what you can do!

[CORWYN and CHASTITY strike at PEBBLES, with CORWYN striking him, and receiving a blow back.]

Verminator : [To Clint] That is my line. I will kill you for that!

[THE VERMINATOR strikes CLINT, and receives a blow back.]

Austin : Perhaps, Clint, if you left a some space, I could assist.

Sabsquatulater : Easy! It's all under control!

Faetan : [Staggers a step, then grins ferally] Nice, Harv! Uwaaaaaa! [Slashes again] Die you fiend!

Chastity : Golly, this sword-play takes a bit of getting used to. [Looks at Pebbles] Best get practicing. [Takes another swipe at Pebbles]

[SVEN falls to the ground from the force of the blows.]

Sven : [Holds his sword to Adam's throat] Call them off, Adam. There's no need for us to be enemies.

Adam : Stop! Drop your swords!

[ADAM isn't quick enough to prevent another round of combat, and HARVEY and FAETAN both hit KERSEY, who staggers, quite hurt.]

Harvey : My pleasure, my dear!

Boadehilde : Come on, Chastity, you'll get used to it!

[CHASTITY and CORWYN hit PEBBLES, who manages to hit CORWYN back.]

Verminator : I am the Verminator, I am unstoppable!

[CLINT strikes the VERMINATOR.]

Adam : Stop! Drop your swords!

[Slowly, the three drop their swords.]

Faetan : Teh! [Spits to the side] That's what you get for protecting Pestilence!

Clint : [To Adam] Are you out of your mind? Six months ago you were on our side, if I remember correctly!

Verminator : [To Faetan] You are a stupid woman! We are not protecting Pestilence, we are here to kill him! I should have killed you when we had the chance.

Corwyn : [To Faetan, nodding at The Verminator] Is that the guy who beat you up?

Adam : On your side? Six months ago you were on my side, until these maniacs took over! They only want to kill Pestilence so they can replace him with themselves, and join the side of Death!

Faetan : [Squints at Verminator, then nods to Corwyn] Yup. That's him.

Corwyn : [Puts away his sword, and walks up to the Verminator] So, you like beating up women, do you?

Verminator : I like to punish the sinners, yes.

Corwyn : Okay. [Punches the Verminator in the stomach, catching him unawares and winding him] I like to punish sinners too.

[THE VERMINATOR doubles over in pain, and, quick as a flash, CORWYN pulls out a small knife with which he cuts open the front of the VERMINTOR's trousers. He quickly pushes him onto his back, tripping him by putting his foot behind his legs, and some how catches him by the testicles, so he is suspended about six inches off the ground.]

Verminator : Aiiie! Please!

Corwyn : [Holding the knife up to the Verminator] There's only one punishment for people like you.

Adam : For the love of God, no!

Sven : Aw, Corwyn!

Alice : [Covering her eyes] I can't watch! [Opens her fingers a tiny bit so she can watch]

Clint : Cool! You'll have to teach me that trick! [To Adam] Is this your elite troop of choice to kill Pestilence? [Pause] Have you learned nothing about Pestilence yet?

Faetan : [Clasps her hands together, eyes shining with hero worship] Wwwooooooowwwwww... My family founder is AWESOME!! [Moves to Corwyn and whispers something in his ear, her eyes flickering towards Clint as she grins]

Harvey : Sir! I must insist you put down that man's testicles immediately!

Corwyn : [Listens to Faetan for a second, before giving a toothy smile to Clint] Sure, Stinky, no problem, as soon as we're done here. [Slices a testicle off the Verminator]

[The VERMINATOR screams in agony, before doubling up in pain, crying uncontrollably. CORWYN, unperturbed at this, throws the testicle away, and looks at the mess on his hands, before wiping them clean on the VERMINATOR's jacket.]

Alice : [Mouth open in horror] I don't believe it! [Looks at Faetan in astonishment] Why didn't you stop him?

Adam : [Covers his eyes with a hand for a second] Now, Sven! Now do you see why he shouldn't be part of our fight? He is a maniac, a sadistic madman! [Turns to Clint] We learned that only very special weapons can kill him. Your swords aren't worth a curse against him.

Faetan : [To Alice] I *did* stop him! Otherwise that guy would be missing quite a bit more of his equipment!

Clint : Yeah, but enough is enough! As much as I would like to see the guy dead, there's no need to torture him like that! [To Adam] Look here, we have a common goal - destroy Pestilence. We know for sure that magical swords can kill him, as I myself cut Pestilence's head off in the future with a magical sword. So why don't we work together?

Faetan : Tuh...he'll be fine... [Grumbles, then polishes Delirious] Good sword...

Alice : [To Faetan, with disgust] You make me sick. [Turns away] Chastity, tell her she's evil.

Chastity : Well, I was going to offer to, er, bandage him, but perhaps not.

Corwyn : [To Faetan, nodding at Alice] She's a prissy little cow, isn't she?

Adam : For Phili's sake, let us go! That man needs medical attention.

Alice : [Turns and glares at Corwyn] So what? That man needs psychiatric attention.

Adam : [Looks to Clint] Maybe you do, but that doesn't mean it will happen this time. I'll work with you, but only if you can keep that maniac away from me.

[The back door swings open.]

Delirious : Good? Good? I am a Wonder Sword!

[It is difficult to see who is at the door, but they are giving a slow, ironic clap.]

Clint : [Trying to spot who's opening the door] If this is who I think it is, then there's another maniac to get rid of first. [The figure is illuminate by some soft blue light coming through the door. It is PETER BORST, who bears a startling resemblance to both PETER DEADPAN and MILICENT FLUFF.]

Peter : [Still clapping] Oh, now this is just brilliant.

Faetan : [Nudges Corwyn with a grin] See? Don't listen to Alice, the fruity guy thinks you're brilliant.

Corwyn : Yeah, I think you were right about her.

Peter : [Curls his lip up in a look of digust at Faetan] I don't think he's brilliant, and I don't think you're brilliant. In fact, I think you're little more than savages who deserve worse than the painful death that Pestilence has waiting for you.

Pebbles : [To Kersey] Lessgedoudofhere!

Kersey : [Slowly] Yes. Good. Idea.

[PEBBLES and KERSEY grab the VERMINATOR, and run out.]

Faetan : And where do you get off, you hoity toity fruitcake? Who the hell are you, anyway? [Shifts her grip on Delirious] If you're with Pestilence, you're in a heap o' trouble!

Peter : I think you mean, if you're not with Pestilence, you're in a heap of trouble.

Sven : [Letting Adam get up, and calling to Peter] Hey, you look like a smart guy, nice clothes, pleasant demeanour, why are you involved with him?

Peter : Oh, please. Is this where you try to convince me to join the side of Phili? The side where half of you wait to ambush the other half? Where you torture a man outside the very building where you're supposed to be fighting evil? [Opens the door] Anyway, you had better come in.

[There is a huge room behind him, with everything decorated in light blue. From the smell and coolness, it is clearly some kind of food store.]

Faetan : [Muttering to Corwyn] As if we'd ever want someone that weird on our side... [Glances towards the door suspiciously, but shrugs] Ah well, looks like we've been expected at least. [Moves towards the door]

Alice : Don't you want us to put our weapons away?

Peter : [Exasperated sigh] I don't care what you do with them. You're not going to be able to hurt Pestilence.

Adam : [Now on his feet, and holds out his orb proudly] I've - we've got this!

Peter : [Bursts out laughing] If their swords can't harm him, why are you wasting your time with that? [Laughs again] I'm sorry, but that's the most stupid thing I've ever seen!

Adam : [Indignantly] Well, what colour do you think it should be?

[Enter KERSEY, almost on tip toes, clearly not wanting to disturb anyone.]

Kersey : Sorry! We forgot this! [Picks up the testicle.]

[Exit KERSEY.]

Faetan : [Enters the room and peers around] So is this where he keeps all the guts?

[PETER leads the group into the room. As he does, even his clothes seem to turn the same shade of light blue as the rest of the room. The food stored in the room is simply bodies. They are all naked, and arranged in bizarre and disturbing ways, e.g. orgies, stacks of children etc. There are also several that have had their skulls cut open, and a number that are hanging from the ceiling, and that have had various organs cut out of them.]

Peter : [With a sardonic smile to Faetan] Wow. You're just so cool. Nothing bothers you, does it?

[Everyone is now in the room, except ADAM who is trailing behind slowly, clearly terrified.]

Faetan : [Calmly] Of course I'm bothered. But they're dead, and we can't do a thing about it. If you're expecting me to wet my pants or lose my lunch, you've got a long wait.

Clint : [With a look of disgust on his face] [To Peter] And nothing bothers you, does it?

Peter : [Stops, and turns around to Faetan] It won't be as long as you expect. [To Clint] Many things do. Just not this. I have learned to accept what I cannot change.

Sven : But you can change it! We can all change things!

Peter : Right. [Turns around and keeps walking]

Faetan : [Looks back at Adam] Hey, you coming?

Adam : [Takes a deep breath, and steps through, snarling angrily at Faetan] I'm coming.

Alice : [To Faetan] Are you going to get Grandpa to torture him too?

Faetan : [To Adam] Arr, that's the spirit! [To Alice, blinking] Him who? And I didn't GET Corwyn to torture anyone. No one manipulates a Jarl!

Alice : But you encouraged him.

Faetan : I suggested an alternative.

Alice : Sure you did.

Sven : Come on, now, girls, this isn't the place for this. I'm sure Faetan would have stopped him from hurting the guy if she could.

Corwyn : [Laughs] This lot are great, Faetan!

Faetan : [To Corwyn] Yeah, I know! Say, maybe after this is done, you can teach me a few pointers...I mean, you were FAST!

Corwyn : Sure, maybe I can show you with Clint.

[PETER reaches another double doors in the far wall, and pulls them open, revealing a huge kitchen beyond. Everything in the kitchen is green, and there are stacks of human hearts and brains stacked up all over the place.]

Faetan : [Looks around, frowning] This is stupid. Let's just burn the place down.

Clint : [To Crowyn] I don't think I'll want to learn anything from you after all.

Corwyn : Not even how to be a real man?

Peter : [Glances at Faetan] No, you're stupid, and a blow hard.

Alice : [Whispering to the others] Okay, he IS Peter Deadpan, right?

Clint : [To Corwyn] No, because that's something you're yet to learn. [Whispering to Alice] I think he is, but we've messed up the past so much by now, that I don't think we should do anything about him. If he really is Deadpan, he'll soon join up with us and help us out.

Faetan : [Holding up hands with an 'o' mouth of surprise at Peter] Holy frijoles! Pestilence's cakeboy says such mean things! I think I'm gonna cry! Or boke.

Clint : [To Faetan] Will you shut up? I think you're spending too much time with your relatives; [Glances at Corwyn] in fact, I begin to understand where did your bad habits came from. But keep them for yourself, will ya?

Faetan : [Snarling at Clint] And *I* think you should be sterilized, you pimp!

Alice : Why don't you get Corwyn to do it?

[The group has reached the door. PETER turns around to face them.]

Peter : If you think I say mean things, wait until you meet Pestilence.

Clint : [To Faetan] I'll tell you what, first I'll kill Pestilence, and then we'll sort our problems outside. [To Peter] Do you know Pestilence well? Why do you say magical swords will not hurt him?

Peter : Because they won't. At least, the ones you have won't. The cheap tat that you carry around isn't worth an empty threat from her. [Nods at Faetan]

Alice : [Grabbing her necklace and holding it up] Hey! These are real pearls!

Peter : Not that cheap tat, the cheap tat you are all carrying around as waeponry.

[All the WONDERSWORDS object loudly to this, and there is chorus of calls of "I say!", "Bad form!" and "Let's show him what we're really made of!"]

Sabsquatulater : [Austin's sword] Hey, maybe he's got a point, maybe we should regroup and think about this. Or at least, have one member of the party hang back to observe?

Austin : [In aggreement] Yes, you know, to watch our backs, we don't want Pesty sneaking up behind us and catching us unawares. [Maplin swipes the air with Sabsquatulater]

Peter : [Curls up his lip in disgust] If you are too terrified to enter, just say so. [Makes finger quotes] "Pesty" as you so cleverly put it, will not sneak up on you. He is just beyond these doors. [Gestures to the set of double doors just ahead.]

Austin : [Looks behind him] Who are you talking to?

Clint : He's clearly not paying attention. [To Peter] Hellooo! We're here to face Pestilence, and that's what we're going to do. So no-one's going to run away with their tales between their legs. [Quick glance at Austin]

Peter : [To Austin] I was talking to you.

Austin : [To Peter] Well don't say stupid things then. If we were terrified we would have hardly have come round to his place to kill him would we? [Maplin brandishes Sabsquatulater] What has Pesty got to protect him from magical swords then?

Peter : [Rolls his eyes and turns away from Austin] I almost hope he does kill you. [Knocks on the door]

Alice : Hey, look how Peter's clothes have now changed to green!

[This is true, PETER now matches the room perfectly.]

Austin : [Waits then knocks on the door again. To Peter] I don't think anyone is at home. [Grimaces at Peters clothes] Does he force you to wear that?

Faetan : Typical of people in a position of power...always making you wait. I'll bet he's sitting in a chair that's higher off of the ground, too.

Peter : [Grimaces at Austin's clothes] I'm sure if he wanted to torture me, he'd make me wear something like yours.

[The doors of the room are slowly pulled in from the next room. As they open, the party can see that it is TOM and ROURKE who are opening the doors. Each is dressed in a beautiful suit, with a dark red sash. This room is a lavish dining room, with luscious carpets and curtains, illuminated by hundreds of candles. Sitting at the end of a large table at the opposite side of the room is PESTILENCE.]

Corwyn : [To Tom] You traitor!

Tom : [To Corwyn] You sell out.

Faetan : [Sneering in disgust] We should've left you dead. What kind of idiot sides with the people that killed you in the first place?!

Austin : [Check that the party are not being followed. To Harvey] I'll just check that we're not being followed, with all the scum around here you can never be too careful.

Harvey : Harrumph! I think I know what kind of scum you are talking about, Private! Let's all go in, it's all hands to the pump now!

Tom : [To Faetan] The same kind of idiot who is smart enough to know which person is the strongest.

Faetan : It's not about strength. [One last glare, then moves forward] So where's Death? He's usually lurking around somewhere waiting to smirk at us.

Tom : [Laughs at Faetan] We'll see.

Boddy : [Calling out from the side of the room] I'm here.

[BODDY is off to one side, in a wheelchair, and looking decidedly unhealthy. At the opposite side of the room is a twelve piece orchestra, who begin playing some classical music.]

Pestilence : [Sitting at the table, surrounded by mounds of food] Ah, the guests have arrived!

Clint : [Drawing his sword] I hope we're not too late. Have you started without us?

Austin : Guests! No one said we had been invited to dinner [Looks at Corwyn] Did you know about this? [To Peter] What's on the menu?

Faetan : [Starts to sneer at Boddy, then the expression of nastiness fades] You look like hell! What happened?

Boddy : I was grazed by the dagger of soul stealing, saving someone's life.

Pestilence : [Watching Boddy for a moment, before turning back to the others] What a brave little soldier he was! [Scoops up some brains from the plate in front of him, and coyly sucks his fingers] Well, you're not so much guests, more the entertainment.

Chastity : You evil scum, I'm going to kill you. Come on, Boadehilde!

[CHASTITY raises her sword, but suddenly stops, and, with a terrified look on her face, looks down at herself and begins screaming.]

Chastity : No! Get them off me! Get them off!

Faetan : Chastity! [Moves towards her] There's nothing on you, Chassers, he's playing with your mind! C'mon, girl!

Austin : [To Faetan] Don't worry about her, she's mad as a hatter anyway. She still believes in Philli, despite having been in Hell. What kind of god would let his nuns get tortured in Hell by demons?

Chastity : Nooooo! [Starts to rip her clothes off]

Sven : Come on, old girl!

[As CHASTITY continues to tear her clothes off, PETER joins the band, and begins conducting, while TOM and ROURKE laugh at her.]

Corwyn : [Steps towards Pestilence] Right, you abomination, this is where it ends.

Pestilence : [Standing up, showing that he has a ludicrously large napkin tucked into his shirt] No, my friend. This is where it begins.

[PESTILENCE moves his hand across him in a slapping motion, and, although CORWYN is at least twenty feet away, he falls to the ground with a try of pain, clutching his face.]

Faetan : [Muttering to Austin] Apparently a nonexistant one.

Alice : [Wide eyed and open mouthed at Austin] What? What the hell is wrong with you? You're almost as much of a bitch as she [points at Faetan] is!

[CHASTITY continues her panicked stripping, until she is entirely naked. She pauses, panting and short of breath, before suddenly turning to the others.]

Chastity : [Shouting] Stop looking at me!

Alice : [Muttering to herself] I wish I could.

Marasmus : [Slapping Faetan across the face] Shut up! Just shut the fuck up! I'm sick of you and your shit!

Faetan : [Snarling] Right! I'll do you for that! [Charges at Pestilence rather similarly to Corwyn]

Pestilence : [Holds his arms up in triumph] Whoo! Girl power! You go, Faetan!

Faetan : Yeah, you're gonna-- [Skids to a halt, then stands frozen, staring at some unseen personage] You... What...? [Takes a step back, paling] This can't be right! You can't...NO! [Starts to jerk back, left hand trembling] GET OFF!! NOOOOOOO!!! [Falls to her knees, twisting her head first to the right, then the left, craning her neck back] Get that thing away from GMPH! [Starts to gag, then wrenches violently to the left, vomiting] Stop, please! STOP!

Clint : [To Harvey] That almost sounds like what she deserves, but we can't let a bastard like this treat our women this way, can we? [Pause] I take the right, you take the left. [To the group] If we all charge together, maybe he won't be able to concentrate on all of us at the same time!

Harvey : [To Sven] Gah! The troop is falling apart!

Sven : [To Marasmus] Do you have any ideas what we should do?

Marasmus : I think we should castrate Clint.

Alice : [Nods in agreement] Yes, I see. [Stops and makes a puzzled face] What? [Gives a shudder, and staggers a bit] Ow!

Harvey : Good idea, Clint, but I'll have to get that blow job from Private Sleaze first. What's wrong, Niece?

Alice : [Clearly in pain] Other than you wanting a blow job from Austin? Um, I think I'm in trouble here.

[ALICE's stomach is clearly expanding.]

Pestilence : [Eating some more brain with a disgusting slurping sound, which is just audible over the triumphant music playing] Mm-mm, this is a tasty frontal lobe!

Austin : [Starts backing away towards the other door they came in earlier]

Clint : [To Marasmus] Hey, that's a pretty good idea, that way Pestilence won't be able to torture me! [Starts unzipping his trousers] [To Austin] Why are you leaving Lawyer, affraid to see something you'd like?

Tom : [Shoves Austin to the floor] No you don't, pretty boy.

Adam : [Rushing forward] Let me see! [Grabs a handful of brains and starts eating them]

Faetan : [Looks over at Corwyn] Corwyn, no! [Starts to cry] Please! [A large, tell-tale wet patch appears on the front of her trousers]

[The music suddenly stops.]

Peter : [Turning to Faetan] Three minutes.*

[PETER turns back to the band, and they continue.]

Austin : [To Clint] On the contrary, Clint, I love suckling on a smelly unwashed, half castrate. It really makes me hot. [Puts on a pair of puce marigolds and licks his lips]

Marasmus : I'm sure he'll be able to find another way to do it. [Picks up a rusty spoon] Come on, get it out.

Harvey : [Laughs at Austin] Before you do him, you'll do me, Private, and by crikey, you'll do good job, or we'll get Marasmus to cut off your family jewels next. [Lobs out his penis]

Alice : [On her hands and knees, now looking about six months pregnant] Oh, God!

Corwyn : [Getting up, so the others can see he has lost an eye, and has a huge cut across his face] It's okay, Faetan, Grandpa is here now. [Zip. Undoes his trousers]

Sven : [Waving his sword about] What torture have you for me, Pestilence? Or are you prepared to fight?

Pestilence : Fight? After having had such a large meal? I think we'll get something extra special for you.

Austin : [About to try and unzip Tom's trousers, stops and puts some knee pads and shuffles over to Harvey] Oh dear, a little shriveled and old there Colonel. Never mind sir, Private Sleaze will soon have you fluffed into shape.

Harvey : [Slaps Austin across the face] Gah! How dare you describe my privates like that, Private! I can always go and screw her, [juts his thumb at the ever-increasing Alice] you know!

Pestilence : [Looks directly at Sven] Let's see what you've got.

[The two look directly at each other, and, although SVEN doesn't buckle, he's clearly feeling the strain.]

Pestilence : [With a smile] Wow! You're really good!

Corwyn : [Kneels down behind Faetan] Alright, gorgeous.

Faetan : No! Please!

Austin : [To Harvey, repositioning after the slap] Why thank you sir, Private Sleaze has been such a bad boy. [Puts on some fire-engine red lipstick] The Colonel's genitelia are fine specimens sir. Nunc est bibendum.

Clint : [Now with his trousers down, to Marasmus] Well, the spoon? You're taking too long, I've got a bad guy to kill after this, you know!

Marasmus : Shut up! [Grabs Clint's penis roughly]

Harvey : [Turns back to Austin] Well done, Private. [Positions himself, although there is a look of disgust on his face.]

[Suddenly, everyone stops, upon hearing a strange squishing noise from SVEN. His left eye has burst out of it's socket, and sprayed PESTILENCE with blood.]

Pestilence : [Applauding] Outstanding! Outstanding! You really are wasted with this bunch of morons.

Sven : [Staggering, but staying on his feet] Never! [Swings his sword at Pestilence]

[The blow narrowly misses PESTILENCE, who jumps back from it with a smile, and draws his own sword.]

Pestilence : [Catching Sven in the midriff, causing him to double over in pain] Are you sure? [Takes out a ball, that appears to have hundreds of spikes on it, and throws it on the ground] This is one of my favourite toys from the Glory Days. When it goes off, it fires over two hundred bolts. Join me, and I'll stop it and let your friends go free.

[The band begin playing some very tense music.]

Faetan : [Trying to squirm away from Corwyn] Please! Please, don't do this!

Corwyn : [Grabs the back of Faetan's trousers] This won't hurt a bit.

Pestilence : [To Sven] You've got until 11 to decide. [Holds out his watch, which is a ludicrously over sized Mickey Mouse watch, that says it is only two o'clock.] Hm. [Taps the watch, causing the hands to whizz around until it is now 11PM] Looks like time's up!

[The ball begins shaking, just as the music picks up.]

Sven : No! [Jumps on the ball, and covers it up]

Clint : [Looking at the band] Geez, what's with all the noise? A guy can't get castrated in peace anymore!

[PETER glares at CLINT for a moment, before glancing at SVEN.]

Sven : [To Peter] You can make a difference! We all can!*

[The ball explodes, but SVEN takes the full brunt of the blast.]

Pestilence : Woah! [Pretends to take off a hat, and hold it against a chest] What a man, giving his life so his friends could live! [Walks towards Boddy] A greater sarcrifice than even you made, Death, to save this bunch of arrogant scum. [Spins around to face them] Look at you, is this the best that Phili can do? You're typical religious, you spend so much time fighting with each other, mutilating each others genitals, having kids and screwing each other that you don't have time to deal with the likes of me!

[The moment SVEN got hit by the bolts, everyone felt a change. Suddenly, MARASMUS let go of CLINT's testicles, while HARVEY pulled away from AUSTIN, feeling only the gentlest of brushes from his lips. CORWYN backs away from the still weeping FAETAN, who is calming down, while ALICE is sitting on the floor, looking as though she is about to give birth any second. ADAM has stopped forcing food down his mouth, and is now trying to spit it out.]

Faetan : Sven...? [Wipes at her face self-consciously and clears her throat] Sven?! Dear Philli NOOOOO!!! --0-1861473906-1034624033=:48023

Harvey : [Jumps back and quickly zips himself up] By the saints, Sven! [Sees Alice gasping on the ground] Dear niece, you're hurt! [Runs to help her]

Clint : [Pulling away from the rusty spoon, pulling his trousers up] Gah!

Faetan : [Sits up, closes her eyes and shudders, gulps some air] All right... [Moves to her feet, brushing some carrots off of her shirt, and staggers towards Alice] You ain't lookin' so hot, girl. What can we do?

Alice : [Panting] Well, you start by not making any fat jokes, and then getting me a lot of gherkins and some salad cream.

Pestilence : [Pretends to wipe tears from his eyes] Oh! This is all so beautiful! They're all friends again! [Swipes his sword around] Who's next?

[BODDY launches himself off his chair and stabs PESTILENCE hard between the shoulder blades, much to the shock of TOM, ROURKE, PETER and the BAND.]

Peter : [To the party] Get out! Get out while you can!

Clint : [To Peter, while finishing to zip himself up] That's just not the way this party works. [To Temporidus] Let's get this bastard once and for all!

Faetan : No, Clint! The swords won't work! [Runs jerkily towards Sven] Someone, help me get the big guy outta here!

Alice : [Snarling at Faetan] I said, no fat jokes!

Boddy : He's right, the swords won't work, get out! Get out!

Clint : No! We can't just run and hide forever, let's get the bastard once and for all! [To Harvey] Harvey? What's the plan?

Austin : [Stands up and takes off his knee pads and marigolds and then whips out a mirror and removes his lipstick. Goes to help Faetan get Sven out] Come on girl pull [Hauls at Svens feet to drag him out]

Pestilence : [Using the table to pull himself up] Yeah, Clint, you tell 'em! Come on, you and me!

Harvey : [To Clint] It's not forever, Private, it's just for now. [Grabs Boddy, and helps him out.]

[Currently, AUSTIN and FAETAN are pulling out SVEN, while PETER is helping ALICE, and HARVEY helping BODDY. CORWYN, meanwhile is trying to hold back TOM and ROURKE with his sword.]

Tom : Poor Corwyn, suddenly not as pretty as he used to be.

Corwyn : [Growling at Tom] Let's see if you're immune to magic swords, Sellsick.

[PESTILENCE looks around the room and starts roaring with laughter.]

Pestilence : [Shaking his fist at the ceiling] Is this the best you can do? Is this the best?

Clint : [Goes alongside Corwyn, to hold back Tom and Rourke] [To Harvey] Hurry up then!

Pestilence : Aw, Clint! And I thought you were different, I thought you were special!

[The band resume playing, with triumphant music booming out as the party scurry off.]

Tom : Good riddance!

[TOM and ROURKE slam the door of the Dining Room as the party step out.]

Peter : Keep going, we've got to get out of the house.

Austin : [Helps Faetan pull Sven all the way out of the house] Heave! Fuck he is one big lad! I'm glad I didn't have [Strain] to [Heave] give him [Heave] a bj. [Thinks] Rather Sven than old Harve though. [Grimaces]

[The party drag themselves out of the house, with the sound of PESTILENCE's laughter ringing in their ears, and the band playing some type of fancy jazz music. Eventually, the party come out into the back yard.]

Alice : [Struggling to keep up with the others] Well, that didn't really work out quite as well as we expected!

Clint : [To Peter] Why the fuck didn't you tell us he was that powerful, rather than making us go through all that?

Peter : [Dusting off his sleeve] I did tell you.

Clint : I know you did, but you didn't sound very convincing.

Peter : It's not my fault that you're too stupid to take advice.

Clint : So why did you help us to get out, then? [Checks to see how Sven is]

[SVEN is quite dead, having been hit by over a hundred bolts.]

Peter : It was something the Viking did. I have spent years listening to the meaningless rhetoric of the religious, and the empty threats and posturing of people like them [waves at Corwyn and Faetan] but this was the first time I genuinely saw someone with the courage of their convictions.

Boddy : We had better get out of here - we're still too close to Pestilence for comfort.

Austin : [To Clint] I advise you to take that as a personal attack. [Checks Svens vital signs]

[There is some shimmering off to one side, just outside the gate, and those who were caught in the initial orb thrown by ADAM appear. These include NEFIRITIRI, JIM and KELLY.]

Nefiritiri : [Wide eyed with surprise at the state of the party] What happened?

Austin : [To Nefiritiri] Pesty, one, us, nil. [Uses a dramatically white and clean handkerchief to cover Sven's face] Are you any good at ressurections?

Nefiritiri : Ressurections? Not without the staff of life force. [Looks at Marasmus] Can you remember where you left it?

Marasmus : [Buries her head in her hands] Can we just go back to the camp, please?

Austin : [Consoles Marasmus] Hey, we'll get him back. We have seen him alive again in the future, so he has to come back. We can go and get the staff of life force, or something else will come up I'm sure. [Gives Marasmus a hug]

Kelly : [Walks over and looks Alice up and down] Wow! How long were we gone for? Did Clint make you pregnant too?

Alice : Oh, God no!

Boddy : [Now able to walk] Come on, let's get out of here.

[Exit ALL. CHASTITY is still naked, ALICE still heavily pregnant, CORWYN's eye is still missing, but BODDY seems stronger than before.]

[Book III, Act IV, Scene VIII. The Hierophantic Knight Headquarters. NEFIRITIRI, CORWYN, SVEN, JIM, MARASMUS, JIM, AUSTIN, KELLY, ALICE, HARVEY, CHASTITY, FAETAN, CLINT, PETER and BODDY are here, having just arrived back, carrying SVEN's body.]

Corwyn : Well, it looks like we're screwed, unless of course the Cake Boy here was lying. [Holds his sword up to Peter's neck] Well? What about it? Were you protecting Pestilence?

Peter : [Dismissively] From your skilled and frightening attack? Hardly. [Wrinkles his nose up in disgust at the wet patch at the front of Faetan's trousers] Do you want to boke?

Clint : [Taking his jacket off, and offering it to Chastity] [To Peter] I think bad taste jokes are out of order now, even if directed at someone who deserves them.

Chastity : [Knocks the jacket away from Clint] Keep it away from me!

Faetan : [Squirming a little uncomfortably with her wet trousers] I deserve them? Why? Because we stood up to Adam's dumb henchman? You're going soft Clint, too much time with Kelly. [Turns to Alice] You got any clothes I can wear?

Alice : Yes. [Makes no move to get any.]

[BODDY is stretching, and flexing his muscles, having clearly improved dramatically since PESTILECENCE's house.]

Austin : [To Corwyn] Much as I find Peter's demeanour as appealing as Pestillences faeces, I believe that he would make a better friend than an enemy. [To Fae and Chastity] I'll go and find you ladies something to wear [Winks at Faetan and pops out the door]

Clint : [To Chastity] Oh, fine! [To Faetan] Hum, I see the bad temper has returned.

Faetan : [Gazes at Alice for a few seconds] So it would appear.

Alice : [Sitting down awkwardly] So, what the hell just happened?

Faetan : We survived, strangely enough. I honestly didn't think we'd be coming out again.

Austin : [Returns with a pair of skin tight black leather leggings, brown leather riding boots with spurs, soft padded leather body armor with studs and some silky black lingerie and hands them to Faetan. Then he turns to Chastity and gives her a large white hessian robe, a rainbow coloured poncho with 'Philli is Love' embroidered on it in gold thread, black cowboy hat and some very comfy looking sandals] There we are now, [To Faetan] Easy on the swashbuckling there girl

Chastity : [Snarling at Austin] Keep that away from me, I'm fine. A little cold, but fine. [Shivers uncontrollably]

Boddy : [To Faetan] There are two possible reasons that we're still alive. First, maybe Pestilence did it because he enjoys torturing people, and wants to see you turn up and fail pathetically again, and the second is that the [raises his voice] Good Lord Phili [normal voice] helped you out.

Alice : [With a confused look] And what's the last reason?

Boddy : Er, it doesn't really matter.

Faetan : Austin, you're a godsend! [Bundles up the clothes with a grin] I think I heard a river nearby...be back in a few. [Squeezes Austin's shoulder as she walks past and nips off to find the river]

Austin : [Smiles at Faetan, then frowns at Chastity] Would like a blanket or something? [To the others] Well, Peter helped us leave, Boddy joined in the fight against Pesty, Sven took the Hero's path and I didn't see any sign of Philli, unless Mr. Boddy here is Philli in disguise?

Chastity : Nothing! I don't want anything touching my skin!

Boddy : [Bowing in front of Austin] I thank you for your accusation, Austin, but it is not the case. [Straightens up] Your buddy Phili is a queer fish. He's not one for interventions, for the most part, rather, he's a big fan of balance. [Gestures with one hand] Someone here does something selfless, [gestures with the other] someone there gets a reward. [Gestures to Corwyn] Torture a man by cutting off his testicle here, [gestures in the general direction of Pestilence's house] someone like Pestilence gets a little stronger.

Alice : [Trying, unsuccessfully to cross her arms across her now huge pregnant bump] Oh, well done, Corwyn.

Faetan : [Comes back freshly bathed, wearing the clothes Austin gave her, and toweling her still-spiky hair] Whew... [Sits next to Corwyn] Did I miss anything good?

Austin : [To Faetan, smiles at her flash clothes] Not really. [To Boddy] So what nice thing did Pestillence do that we have to see a naked shivvering nun?

Chastity : [Shivering] Shut up, lawyer. [To Peter] What did Pestilence do that we have to still have Austin in the party?

Corwyn : [To Faetan] Nah, Pesty's sidekick here, [nods at Boddy] is saying that we can only kill Pestilence with kindness.

Boddy : [Turns a cold gaze on Corwyn] Are you going to bark all night, little doggie, or are you going to bite?

Faetan : [To Boddy] That was uncalled for. [Pause] And unnecessary. So... [shifts, leans forward with elbows on knees] ...what we need to do is really unify as a team...right? [Looks skeptical]

Alice : Great idea, Faetan. Of course, you and Corwyn can castrate anyone who doesn't help out.

Chastity : [Shouting at no one in particular] Stop looking at me!

[Everyone turns and looks at CHASTITY for a moment.]

Corwyn : [Stands up and draws his sword] I'll bite.

Boddy : [Leans over, and tips his chin] Off you go.

[CORWYN swings at BODDY, who whips out is own sword and parries easily, before smashing it hard down on CORWYN's, knocking him to the ground.]

Boddy : [Holding his sword to Corwyn's throat] Now, that's that sorted out.

Corwyn : [Curling up his lip in disgust] You're very spry for someone who couldn't move a few minutes ago.

Faetan : [Watching Corwyn lose to Boddy] Deja vu... [Shakes herself, stands up] Come on now, Corwyn, what we need to do right now is plan. Boddy, you were saying something about how we kill Pestilence...?

Boddy : [Putting away his sword] I wasn't. I was saying how we can weaken him, but it's going to take some very special and powerful magic to make him vulnerable to your swords.

Faetan : Any idea what kind of magic that would be? [Helps Corwyn up, fussing over him]

Alice : I think it has to be very powerful and special.

Harvey : I thought it was special and very powerful.

Alice : No, it was definitely very special and powerful.

[Time passes.]

Alice : Hey! Aren't Marasmus and Nefiritiri genies?

Nefiritiri : Yes.

Alice : Maybe you could use your magic to come up with a way for us to figure out what we need to make him vulnerable? [Beams proudly]

Austin : [To Boddy] But if we are kind to Pesty won't Philli balance our kindness by making Pestillence do more evil? [Does a quick stare at Chastity then looks back at Boddy]

Boddy : Not even Phili is that much of a sadist. [Helps himself to one of Corwyn's cigars, that were on a nearby table, before sitting on the table, with his feet on a chair] By showing kindness, or at least, co-operation with Pestilence, he will find it more difficult to do evil to you. [Lights his cigar]

Austin : [To Boddy] What proof is there that Philli exists? And as he is a bit of a sadist, is he related to Seth?

Faetan : [Looking at Boddy] Yeah, you act like you have met him, or at least I hope you hvae met him? [Looks suspiciously at Boddy] Who are you working for?

Chastity : Proof? What more proof could you possibly want? Have you yourself not been raised from the dead? Seen Sven come down from heaven to pluck us from Seth's icy grip? [Waves at Faetan, causing a rather disturbing ripple down her side] Did we not all see this child cured of her wounds in Queens View? Do not mock what you don't understand, Mister Sleaze.

Boddy : Like I said before, sweetie, I'm working on the side of sanity.

Clint : Being kind to Pestilence, is that what you call sanity?

Boddy : No, I'd call that insanity, but it is only through the the apparant insane actions that the sane can bring sanity to an insane world.

Austin : [Looks at Chastity and laughs] That isn't evidence, those are the delusions of your fanatical mind. [To Boddy, seriously] So that is why we were selected to form this party, because we are apparently insane in our actions, but sane in our deeds? [Checks Maplins perfectly manicured nails and nods]

Boddy : [Shrugs] I don't know why you were selected, or who selected you for that matter. Clearly, it wasn't Phili, seeing as how you don't believe in him and all.

Chastity : [Shakes her head at Austin] The only fanatical mind here is you, Austin. You were resurrected twice in a single day, and yet you still claim that this was a delusion of my fanatical mind. The only fanatic here is you, with your refusal to believe, even in the face of incontrivertable proof.

Boddy : The point I was making is that, to even get near Pestilence, you have to throw off all your natural aggression and arrogance. Pretty difficult for you, I know, but that's the kind of guy Phili is.

Austin : [To Chastity] Certainly I was resurected twice in one day, but it was clearly Marasmus using the staff who resurrected me, not Philli. There is no evidence to support the existence of 'Philli', where as Marasmus is clearly visible and as real as the rest of us. If 'Phillii' does exist, behind the scenes, as you suggest, then he allowed me to be killed twice in one day, and is therefore guilty of second degree murder, twice in one day.

Chastity : I think you can be sure, Austin, that if Phili was responsible for killing you, that you would have stayed dead. Marasmus, are you personally responsible for resurrecting this sorry specimen?

Marasmus : No, I merely used the staff.

Alice : Oh, for God's sake, will you all just shut up? You [points at Austin] stop being such an asshole, you [points at Chastity] put some clothes on.

Peter : I fear that you are asking them to ask against their very nature.

Austin : [Flat hand 'stop' up to Alice] That's just the kind of aggressive remark that empowers Pestillence with greater power, so try to think more before you speak. [To Chastity] I have said Marasumus used the staff to resurect me already, so try to listen and think before you speak.

Alice : Whereas the problem with you, Austin, is that you [emphasises] do think before you speak, and all your little mind is capable of doing is trying to come up with ways to upset people, whether it's accusing me of being aggressive, claiming Phili doesn't exist or making some unkind remark about Faetan's hair.

Chastity : I fear I gave up listening to you a long time ago, lawyer, for, although you look at me when you speak, nothing you say makes even the slightest sense to me.

Boddy : [Looks across to Peter] What do you think?

Peter : I think they're so concerned with scoring cheap points off each other that they haven't a chance.

Austin : [To Boddy] I have to aggree with Peter on that one. [Lights cheese doober and blows a small but perfectly formed pair of smoke rings] We, as a party have to change our ways, and learn to be much more tollerant of each others .... [Pauses and blows another pair of smoke rings] ...well just be much more tollerant and not bicker I guess. [To the party] Hands up who thinks interparty-member-mutual-tollerance should be upheld? It gets my vote.

Clint : A proposal like that coming from you, Lawyer, is as serious as saying that you're straight. [Pauses, looks at Austin's cheese doober] Then again, I believe that we should all smoke the chee... peace cheese pipe, and relax for a while.

Chastity : If the question is do I think it should be upheld, then it has my vote. If the question is do I believe that you will uphold it, then I fear not.

Alice : Look, Chastity, if even Austin is prepared to not be an irritating swine, then surely we can all go along with it. [Holds her hand up] Come on, everyone, hold your hand up. [Looks to Clint] You can just nod.

Harvey : Harrumph! While I'm not normally one to approve of such democracy, I can see the benefit of it. However, I think it is safe to say that most of the party already exhibit a large degree of tolerance anyway, and it is only certain members that have to be persuaded to modify their behaviour.

Nefiritiri : I have an idea for something that will make Pestilence vulnerable, but the problem will be exposing it to him. We can make it small enough for him to eat, but your task will be not only to get close to him, but to persuade him to eat something, too. [FAETAN Quietly puts up her hand, glancing at CORWYN with a smile, then AUSTIN]

Alice : Okay, so the crankier members of the group have agreed to keep their castrating under control for a while - does anyone have an idea of how we can use this newfound co-operation against Pestilence? How can we get him to eat Nefiritiri's object?

Faetan : [Brightly] I could cook it with my curry! No one can resist THAT!

Alice : No, Faetan, we want him to EAT it. It would have to be mixed in with something we know he likes.

Austin : [Musing] Pestillence does appear to have a penchant for brains. Not easy to get hold of when you are endeavouring to be good.

Peter : It depends on who's brain you're talking about.

Boddy : [Looks over at Peter and smiles] True. [To the party] Remember, we're talking sarcrifice here, folks. If you do something that hurts you personally, because someone else can get a direct benefit, then our buddy Phili will help out.

Alice : I once went into a shop, and they had two different jars of brains. One contained brains from blondes, the other from lawyers. The cost of the blonde ones were 1GP a pound, while the lawyer brains cost a 100GP per pound, so I walked up to the shopkeeper and asked him to explain why there was such a difference in price. He looked around him, to make sure no one else was listening, and then leaned forward and asked me if I had any idea how many lawyers it takes to make up a pound of brains!

Austin : [Wipes a tear from his eye and blows another smoke ring] Of course, the late hero Sven currently has a brain that he won't be needing any longer, and alothough it is bad taste to desicrate his body, I'm sure that he will understand once he has been ressurected. I'm sure that Pestillence would delight at the idea of eating Svens brain.

Clint : I don't get it. [Pause] And I'm not blonde.

Faetan : [Horrified] Absolutely NOT! Besides, Pestilence has plenty of brains in his fridge, perhaps we could sneak back in and nab one.

Alice : [Laughing at Clint] Yeah, but you're not a lawyer either! [Laughs, and then stops, looking puzzled] Hm. [Suddenly does a double take on Austin] Eat Sven's brain? You must be joking? We couldn't do that to him, could we?

Peter : [Rolls his eyes at Faetan] Have you listened to anything that's been said here today? The whole point of giving him Sven's brain to eat is that it does cause pain to most of the people here. You yourself showed how little you cared about the other innocents that were murdered for Pestilence's dinner.

Faetan : [Narrowing her eyes] Don't you dare try to cheapen my feelings. You don't know a thing about me, or how I was affected my what I saw. We're NOT giving up Sven! He's too important to the future!

Austin : [To Faetan] Hmm, yes, it's confusing is it not. Pestillence feeds on pain, but our sacrifice and our pain will weaken him. Sven's brain is the perfect sacrifice, pain from us, more appealing to Pestillence than any other brain we have, and Peter is our man on the inside, to deliver the goods.

Peter : [Yawning at Faetan] My apologies, but it is difficult not to assume that you have cheap feelings, when you clearly hold everybody else's in such little regard.

Harvey : Easy, Faetan. Austin's right - Sven has to get resurrected in the future, we've already seen that.

Boddy : Actually, that's the only part the lawyer has got wrong. If we use Sven's brain, or any other part of him, for that matter, to do this, then he's gone forever. No means of ressurection short of a divine intervention will bring him back. [Takes a big drag of his cigar and blows out a huge amount of smoke] Like I said, there has to be some sarcrifice. If you knew he was going to come back, what kind of sarcrifice would that be?

Faetan : [Staring, stunned] N-no! He saves too many lives, we can't use him! Use MINE if you have to! That won't disrupt any timeline, yeah?

Peter : [Exasperated] Oh! [Shakes his head] Are you really so arrogant that you believe your death is going to cause even a fraction of the upset that Sven's would? [Gestures to Boddy] Like he just said, the rest of you are supposed to feel pain at the sarcrifice, not relief!

Faetan : [Somewhat hurt] How would YOU know that no one would care if I kicked the bucket? You're not one of us...

Peter : I know lots of things. I know that you're not one of them. I know that your behaviour since meeting Grandpa has shocked and disgusted them. I know how disappointed Sven was with what you did outside Pestilence's house. I know

Alice : Hey, hey! Is this the new found interparty-member-mutual-tolerance that we voted on?

Peter : [Still looking at Faetan] No. My apologies. [Turns to face the rest of them] Sven had more impact on the rest of the group than any other person, there is no question of that. I know you claim to have come from the future, and maybe the fact that you've seen him there guarantees he'll come through somehow, but all I can say is that I hope you're right. Sven touched me in a way I'd never been touched before.

Alice : [Muttering to Clint] Oh no! Don't tell me he's blaming Sven for making him gay!

Boddy : [Unperturbed at all the emotionalism] I wouldn't be so sure. Maybe they've experienced it in their time line, but, if they get back, there's no guarantee that things will be as they left them. [Takes another drag]

Faetan : [Clings to Corwyn's arm, glaring darkly at Peter] There has to be another way.

Peter : [Looks back with a neutral gaze] If there is, let's hear it.

Faetan : [Looks back with an equally neutral gaze] ... ... ... [Looks away] I don't know. But why do we have to do it right now? Can't we sleep on it, see if something else comes up? I mean... Sven was the kindest, purest man I've ever known! Why the hell would Philli demand we kill him off for good? It doesn't make sense! boundary="Boundary_(ID_uQxLSLI3OBp6FsR4oE3kkQ)" --Boundary_(ID_uQxLSLI3OBp6FsR4oE3kkQ)

Harvey : Although I am loathe to say this, I think it's what Sven would have wanted us to do it, troop! He died in battle to save our lives, and I'm convinced that he would give every part of himself to the cause if it would help us to defeat Pestilence. And don't forget, [points to Svens body] this is not Sven, it's just meat! Sven already sits with Philli, and I'm sure he's looking down and laughing at our indecision, eh! And also, I don't think we've seen the last of him. It seems to me, that reincarnation can happen with or without the corpse. Why, many of this very troop have been resurrected, and even as I speak, the good doctor Jerome awaits his chance, and who knows where his body is! Apart from many hundred years in the future, that is.

Boddy : [Gives a look at Peter, before turning to the party] Phili doesn't demand it, Phili doesn't give a shit. If you help yourselves, he'll help you, if you don't, he won't, end of story. [To Harvey] I just told you, no ressurection short of a divine intervention is going to bring him back. I don't know who this good Doctor Jerome is that you speak of, but I think it's a fairly safe bet that Pestilence didn't eat him.

Faetan : [Smiles faintly at Harvey, then sighs with shoulders slumping] I guess it is what he'd want. Are we going to do it now? --0-1571105212-1034850750=:15894

Harvey : [Sighs] I think now is indeed the time for this cruelest of deeds, my dear. For every second we delay, more innocents end up in Pestilences larder.

Clint : Not that everyone cares, of course [quick glance at Faetan]. [To Peter] You do it, I suppose you got used to it when working for Pestilence. --0-2071764162-1034853224=:66364

Harvey : That's another point, Clint. How is Pestilence going to know that it is Svens brain he's dining on?

Austin : [To Boddy] How do we know this isn't another one of your tricks? If it kills Sven forever, that's good for Pestillence.

Boddy : It doesn't matter if he knows or not - what matters is that you know, that you all freely enter into this. The effect it will have on Pestilence is that his will will be weakened, and that will be enough.

Alice : [Smiling] He just said will will!

Boddy : [Glances at Alice for a second, before turning back to the group] Sven showed earlier that his was strong, which is why Pestilence couldn't make him do the same kind of outrageous things you did.

Boddy : What tricks have I played on you?

Austin : [Deep breath] Well, now, where do I start? You tricked us into destroying the shield over Queensview. You tricked us into getting caught by Brandy, splitting us up from Adam...and now possibly into destroying Sven. I notcied that you asked us to stop makeing cheap remarks at eachother, but Peter here is still dealing them out.

Boddy : [Looks at Austin with faint amusement for a few seconds] First, I've never heard of Queens View, I don't know of any Brandy outside of the drink and, as far as I can see, Adam is still here, looking as repulsive as ever. Finally, the remarks being dealt out by Peter, regardless of their cheapness or otherwise, have nothing to do with me.

[As if on cue, ADAM scowls at BODDY.]

Peter : [To Austin] I am not dealing out cheap remarks. I was merely trying to argue with her [nods at Faetan] why your idea of using Sven made sense.

Clint : OUR idea? If I remember correctly, it was your buddy Boddy that kept insinuating we should use something that would hurt us. [To the party] I'm starting to think this is not a good idea.

Boddy : I'm not his buddy, and it was Austin who suggested you use Sven, not me. Why would I bother trying to trick you? Pestilence would have killed you back in the house, and if it wasn't for Peter and me, you would all either be dead, raped or giving blow jobs to each other. [Thinks for a second] Here's an example - I received this [pulls open his shirt to reveal the huge scar he got from Iok*] from the dagger of soul stealing, and by rights, it should have killed me, because the damage it did is so bad that, apparantly, in my later lives, I'll still** have this scar. Why didn't it kill me? Because it was an unselfish act, saving his [points at Harvey] life at the risk of my own. Immediately after, I'm so badly injured I can hardly walk, but, after risking my life a second time, to distract Pestilence from killing all of you, I get miraculously healed. That's how it works, that's why people like that moron [points at Adam] will never succeed, because they spend all their time trying to stamp out all enjoyment when all Phili really wants is for people to get along.

Adam : How dare you!

Boddy : How dare I? How dare I? No, how dare [points aggressively at Adam] you claim to be part of a group that wants to do good. [Looks back at the party, fire burning in his eyes, jutting his thumb at Adam] They're all so fucking miserable from their lives of denial that they spend all their time making sure that no one else gets any enjoyment either, and they are so busy at that, they don't even notice the real evil in the world. [Shakes his head, almost in admiration] You know, people like him are even worse than Tom and Rourke, because religious intolerance is such a source of negativity. Man, who else but Seth would be ironic enough to use Phili's own worshippers as one of his greatest weapons?

Austin : [Blows another pair of perfect smoke rings, like eyes floating across the room] Well, I must say we have been doing alot of helping ourselves, and indeed that is how I got here in the first place. So, where does Philli fit into that? When do I get to go home?

Clint : Don't act so innocent, Boddy. Although it was Austin who suggested the use of Sven's brain, it was you who kept insisting that we should use the brain of someone dear to us. And as for all your deeds and the rewards you get from Philli, well I seem to remember us helping you escape from Pestilence's palace, and also dragging Sven's body out of the place; where's the reward for that?

Boddy : [Smiles warmly at Clint] My sparkling company? [Seriously] I don't know, maybe the sarcrifice wasn't great enough - maybe carrying one extra person with you as you ran isn't quite as strong as almost being mortally wounded and scarred for [emphasis] lives. [Glances at Austin] You boasted earlier about the number of times you have been ressurected, maybe that's your reward? Or possibly you are only with this group for what are ultimately selfish reasons, and have such a repulsive natural arrogance and negative effect on others that Phili has chosen not to reward you materially. [Shrugs] Of course, I don't claim to speak for Him, so that's just a possibility.

Faetan : [Stands to her feet, face void of expression] I think I'll go for a walk. Let me know when you're finished cutting out Sven's brain.

Austin : [To Boddy] I was not sent on this mission by choice, it was either this or prison, but having said that I could have left a long time ago as there is nothing to stop me leaving, the original mission was long ago complete, so I am here by choice. That sacrifice was mine. [Passes the cheese to Clint] So, Philli cannot make an appearance because if he did his existence would be proven, and if that happened you would know that he would heal you if you sacrificed yourself, and therefore self sacrifice would not be a selfless act.

Clint : [Taking the cheese from Austin] [With a puzzled look on his face] Eur.. that's right.

Marasmus : [To Faetan] I don't want to do it either, Faetan, probably even less so than you, if you can believe that, but it does seem to be the only way. [Looks to Peter] I presume we can prepare him in private?

Peter : We can.

Boddy : [To Austin] Not necessarily. I have no doubt that Phili exists, but that doesn't preclude me from being healed. In fact, my being healed is further proof that he exists, so, if your reasoning was correct and that proof of his existence would prevent my being cured, then I put it to you that he would not have cured me in the first place. The problem you have, Austin, is that you are unable to understand people doing good acts simply because they want to. I saved Harvey's life because I wanted to, not because I thought it would get me some brownie points later on.

Harvey : And I thank you for that, sir.

Boddy : [Nodding back] My pleasure. [Back to Austin] If you intend on going into Pestilence's house solely to see what kind of reward Phili will give you, then I'm afraid you're in for a nasty shock, and your negativity and selfishness will drag us all down. However, if you go in there with the sole purpose of killing Pestilence, well, who knows what will happen?

[Time passes.]

Alice : Er, Phili?

Boddy : Correctomundo!

Alice : [To Clint] I think Austin's had quite enough of that for now!

[PETER and JIM carry SVEN out of the room, followed by MARASMUS and NEFIRITIRI.]

Faetan : [Nods her thanks to Marasmus and sits down again. To Boddy] So why did you mow down all of those people with a machine gun, hm?

Austin : [To Boddy] But that is why we went there in the first place.

Boddy : Not me, Faetan, I didn't mow any people down.

Alice : So it was someone else who was shooting at us?

Boddy : No, that was me, but I didn't hit anyone, and that's not, as you wish to believe, a result of my poor shooting ability.

Faetan : Oh. [Shuts up]

Boddy : Sure, but this time it's different, this time you'll be using the weapons of Pestilence against him. At least, you'll have access to them, that's why only those who are there for purely good reasons will survive. Like any weapons, in the hands of a fool, they are unpredictable.

[Suddenly everyone's attention is caught by ALICE letting a knife spring out of her hand and almost stab CHASTITY.]

Alice : Oops!

Chastity : [Darkly, to Boddy] I see what you mean.

Faetan : [Blink] Are you saying that the Wonder Swords are Pestilence's weapons...?

Alice : But you were the one who persuaded all those people to give up their weapons, a whole lot less would have died if they hadn't have done that.

Adam : That's right! You tricked us!

Boddy : [To Alice] True, but their sarcrifice and belief was what left Iok open. Sure, a couple of people died, but so too did Iok.

Adam : [Outraged] Over a thousand people died!

Boddy : What can I say? You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. [Pauses as an awful cracking sound can be heard from the direction where Peter and co. went] Any cook will tell you that.

Boddy : No.

Faetan : Okay, good. [Shudders at the noise, looking overly interested in a blade of grass]

Alice : [Blink] Are you saying that the Wonder Swords are Phili's weapons...?

Boddy : No.

[Time passes.]

Harvey : Well, this old soldier believes it is time to go to sleep. I suggest the troop take it easy tomorrow until we are ready to return to Pestilence's house.

[Exit ALL.]

[Book III, Act IV, Scene IX. The Hierophantic Knight Headquarters. ADAM, NEFIRITIRI, CORWYN, MARASMUS, JIM, AUSTIN, KELLY, ALICE, HARVEY, CHASTITY, FAETAN, CLINT, PETER and BODDY are here, having just met up in CORWYN's tent. It is now 8pm in the evening. Both NEFIRITIRI and MARASMUS look absolutely exhausted.]

Boddy : Is Sven ready?

Peter : Yes, but we have a few more preperations for the party. [Opens up a large trunk, which contains tuxedos] For the gentlemen. [Opens up another, which is full of ball gowns] For the ladies.

Faetan : [Stares at the trunk like it's full of vipers] What the hell is THIS for?

Peter : [Deadpan] Wearing.

Faetan : [Bluntly] No way in hell. You can't fight in a ballgown! Well...maybe YOU could...

Peter : That's precisely the reason why you should wear them. You can always rely on the sharp tongue of yours as weapon, although, without any wit behind it, I doubt you'll ever cause any real damage with it.

Austin : [Selects a Tux that will fit him perfectly and puts it on infront of everyone, allowing them to see his real leopard skin thong. To Faetan] If you like you could wear my tux and I'll wear your ballgown, in the name of sacrifice of course! [Checks the fit of the tux in a mirror and smiles]

Faetan : [Laughs] That's all right, fits you better anyhow. Uhh...hm. [Paws through them, as if moving through a pile of dirty underwear] Ugh... They're so dainty!

Alice : [Looks through the dresses excitedly, as if moving through a pile of treasure] Yay! They're so dainty!

Peter : And you, unfortunately are not. [Moves his hand over an imaginary pregnant bump in his stomach] You are about ten months pregnant after that little clash with Pestilence.

Marasmus : [Looking very pale and tired] Don't worry, Alice, Peter is a genius with the darning needle, and he modified one just for you.

Austin : [To Alice] Isn't that kind of the nice man, your own modified darning needle just for you! [Turns to the party] I suppose if we are going to sacrifice ourselfves we might as well look good when we do it. It has been nice knowing you all [shakes the Colonel by the hand, then salutes him]

Alice : Absolutely, Austin! Hopefully I'll be able to use it to stab someone with! [Makes her angry face at him]

Harvey : [Salutes back] I must admit, Private, you weren't always, or ever, for that matter, my favourite party member, but I admire the manner in which you are approaching this.

Clint : [Picking up a tuxedo] Well I don't understand why are you all so exited and laughing; as far as I'm concerned, my best friend is about to be murdered forever by our own hands. And I'm still not convinced this is a good idea. [Grumpily puts on the tuxedo, over his dirty shirt]

Alice : We're not happy about it either, Clint, but what else can we do? It's like Uncle Harvey said - this is exactly what Sven would have wanted.

Austin : [Lights another cheese doober] I do believe that we have exhausted all other avenues available to us, so we might as well try what Boddy and Peter suggest.

Clint : [To Alice] Doesn't mean you all have to be so happy about it; if I didn't know better, I'd say you didn't care. [To Austin] As for you, Lawyer, I thought you were genuinely trying to discuss the point of the whole thing, but I suppose you were just making noise as always.

Austin : [To Clint] I am, I have, and it's worth a try. --0-743528867-1034875176=:5078

Harvey : [Putting on his tuxedo] Now now troop, let's have some of this new party harmony we've all agreed on. There should be no more fighting and bickering until our mission is complete.

Alice : [Sticking her tongue out at Clint] Yeah! Anyway, Clint, you do know better, so why are you even hinting that we don't care about Sven? My God, it's almost like talking to Austin, you're such a sophist! [Turns to Austin] No offence.

Clint : I see no reason for Faetan's good humour, or your excitement when choosing a dresss. For all I know, I'm going to a funeral, not a party.

Alice : [Looking down, embarassed] Maybe we just don't want to think about what lies ahead of us.

Boddy : [Also changing into a tux] Right, has everyone got something to wear? [Looks at Clint] We're not doing this because we don't care about your friend, we're doing it because we do care about killing Pestilence, which I suspect you do too. This is all part of lulling him into a false sense of security.

[Silence descends, and nobody speaks for what seems an age.]

Adam : Where's my tux? And where's my magic sword, for that matter?

Boddy : You don't need any. Only people going to Pestilence's house get them.

Adam : What? [Appeals to the party] Oh, now, come on!

Austin : [TO Everyone] So who is in and who is out? Faetan : Knock it off, Clint. If we're gonna die, then the last thing I want is to go out being angry at you. [Prods the dresses distastefully] Which one am I supposed to wear?

Alice : [Looking down, embarassed] Maybe we just don't want to think about what lies ahead of us. Boddy : [Also changing into a tux] Right, has everyone got something to wear? [Looks at Clint] We're not doing this because we don't care about your friend, we're doing it because we do care about killing Pestilence, which I suspect you do too. This is all part of lulling him into a false sense of security.

Austin : [Selects a suprisingly adventureous gown, that was right at the botton of all of the clothes. To Faetan] There you are, that should fit you perfectly [Hands her some matching gloves and shoes]

Faetan : Ah. I must have missed that one. Thank you. [Looks at the shoes with a somewhat worried expression] Gah...Forget fighting, I'm gonna have to worry about WALKING! [Slumps off to a convenient corner around the bend to change out of view]

Austin : [To Faetan] There are some silk dancing slippers here if they are better?

Faetan : [Coming out, having dressed] Yeah, that'd be better... [Stops bristling, takes up the slippers] Thanks, these are much-- GAH! I don't have to wear make-up, do I?! [Bristles]

Austin : [To Faetan] No, you don't need it. Just work out how to hide your sword under your dress and you'll be fine. [Checks himself in the mirror, then olgs Maplin for 15 seconds]

Faetan : [Smiles warmly, ceases bristling, and tentatively sidles towards Austin before kissing his cheek] There. Now I have one less regret. [Hikes up her skirt to strap Delirious to her leg]

Clint : [To Boddy] How do you know Pestilence will fall for it? I seem to remember seeing him alive and well in the future. In fact, if Sven is not alive in the future, then he won't hand me Beaucaphalus, and I won't be able to kill Pestilence. [Puts on two right foot shoes] This whole thing doesn't make sense. Faetan : It's worth the risk. Wasn't it some pointy-eared philosopher that said something about...uh...lives of many more than the few...or... Never mind, I never was good at philosophy. [Hands Clint a left shoe]

Austin : [Looks totally suprised to get a kiss on the cheek from Faetan, then smiles at Faetan as she hands Clint a left shoe. Winks at Maplin then has one last check in the mirror. To all] Excellent, everyone ready? [Looks around] I believe that Pestillence may suspect a trap, but also will assume that it will be pathetic compared to his great powers. His arrogance shall be his down fall.

Faetan : All right! Let's hear it for arrogance!

Austin : [TO Everyone] So who is in and who is out?

Adam : Where's my tux? And where's my magic sword, for that matter? Boddy : You don't need any. Only people going to Pestilence's house get them. Adam : What? [Appeals to the party] Oh, now, come on!

Austin : [TO Everyone] So who is in and who is out?

Alice : [Shaking her head in sympathy at Clint at Faetan] No, he needs _two_ left shoes!

[Everyone is now dressed, except for ADAM.]

Adam : Where's my tux? And where's my magic sword, for that matter?

Boddy : You don't need any. Only people going to Pestilence's house get them.

Adam : What? [Appeals to the party] Oh, now, come on!

Austin : [To Adam] You almost had me executed, who's side are you on?

Adam : [Spluttering] I - I never tried to have you executed! I welcomed you with open arms! In fact, *I* was the one who caused you to be resurrected! Tell him, Marasmus!

Marasmus : [Tiredly] Well, he did bury you in the graveyard.

Harvey : [Indignantly] As well as the rest of us, alive!

Austin : [To Adam] So why did you put me in jail and order my execution after my six month legal battle to prove my innocents?

Adam : Because [pauses, and looks down] um [looks up again defiantly] because some of the others, uh, like the .. the Verminator, they thought you were guilty of having dealt with the devil, and I figured that, well, because you were such a brilliant lawyer, that you would be able to come up with a really good explanation, and that the best way I could help was to - to get the guards to put you in jail, to, um, to - to help focus you!

Boddy : [Rolls his eyes] Oh my God, not only can he not be relied upon to tell the truth, he's too dumb even to lie convincingly!

Austin : [To Adam] Well, it seems to be an appropriate time to let bygones be bygones, unconvincing lies aswell. We have more important things to do [Turns to the mirror again to check his black bow tie, which is immaculate, turns back to the party smiling] Shall we go? Is our late hero's gift prepared?

Adam : [Stamping his foot] I don't have a tux! I don't have a magical sword! I demand to be properly equipped - demand it, do you hear?

Alice : [Irritated] Even Sven can hear you, and he's dead!

Peter : [Pulls back the tent flap to reveal what appears to be a large tray, that clearly contains a body, beneath a sheet] All the preperations are finished. However, I must insist that no one remove the sheet until we are with Pestilence.

Clint : You can't ask us that! [Gets closer to the tray, as if getting ready to remove the sheet]

Marasmus : [Steps in front of Clint, holding the sheet] Please don't, you don't know what we had to go through to do this. It's best if it comes as a surprise.

Adam : [Looking around, annoyed] I will not be ignored!

Faetan : [Looks up from fiddling with her gloves] Huh? Who said that?

Adam : [Pointing angrily at Faetan] I demand respect!

Alice : [Hanging her clothes on Adam's outstretched arm] So, Marasmus, are you okay? Yourself and Nefiritiri don't look so well.

Nefiritiri : Making our artifact took a lot out of us.

Faetan : [Looks at Marasmus quietly for a moment, then finishes pulling on her glove] You two have been really great about all this. Thanks.

Adam : [Throwing Alice's clothes on the ground] This is outrageous! Outrageous!

[BODDY leans over and grabs ADAM by the collar, before headbutting him, miraculously not showering the party in the spray of blood that comes out.]

Boddy : Sorry, but he was starting to grate on me. [Looks directly at Nefiritiri] So, how much did it take out of you?

Nefiritiri : Everything. From both of us. This had better work.

[Currently, everyone is dressed up in their finery, except CHASTITY who is naked, save for some splatters of blood and snot from the now unconscious ADAM.]

Faetan : Ah, peace and quiet... [Glances over at Chastity] Chastity, hon? Do you want something to wear?

Alice : Yeah, Chassers, all the cool kids are doing it!

Chastity : [With a look of barely concealed contempt] You're doing it.

Alice : [Smiling] Yeah! [Thinks for a moment and goes serious] Hey!

Boddy : Come on, Chastity, you've got to do it. I'm sure Peter has something special for you.

[PETER escorts CHASTITY out of the room.]

Clint : So what is the plan? We just come in, give him Sven's brain to eat, he gets weak, and then we attack? Sounds a bit too easy.

Boddy : That's exactly the plan. We simply walk in, no threatening words, no posturing, nothing. The less aggression we show him, the less he can show us. When we do attack, each person just sticks their sword into him, and leave it there.

Faetan : Yeah, and why the fancy duds? We're not gonna be dining with the creep!

Boddy : Of course we're not, well, not unless you really want to, but he doesn't know that. We've got to make him think we're playing the game on his rules.

Austin : [To Boddy] Could you clarify what those rules are, please?

Faetan : [Nods a little] Yeah, I guess that makes sense, then. All right...let's go do this.

Boddy : Just that beings like Pestilence feed off fear - the more terrified you are, regardless what posturing you use to cover it up, the stronger he will be. The calmer and more resigned we all are, the more power we have. It'll come down to a battle of wills, if ours is stronger, he'll eat the artefact, and then we kill him.

Alice : If ours is weaker?

Boddy : Then he'll kill everyone and eat our brains.

Austin : [Looking dismayed] Oh, does any one have any vallium? [Lights another cheese doober and put some in his pocket] Not that I am terrified or anything. Just a little aprehensive. [Inhales deeply from the doob, hold his breath and then blows a volley of smoke rings]

Faetan : What a charmer he is. [Rolls her eyes] This is going to be tough, about the fear factor. He knows what terrifies us, how do we protect ourselves?

Boddy : [To Faetan] We don't, we make no effort, and that's what will confound him. [To Austin] Don't even think about smoking that in Pestilence's house, or he'll have your cerebral cortex in a sandwich quicker than a Scotsman would drink a free whiskey.

Austin : [Puts the Doob out quickly and take the other out of his pockets and put them aside] So we have to be straight and not terrified at the same time. We should all have something to concentrate on so that we don't get scared.

Alice : Why don't we just empty our - [breaks off, staring into space]

Boddy : [Watches Alice for a few seconds] Right. [To Austin] Not a bad idea, but concentrate on something that, although warm, will still keep you focused. All the time we're in there, you'll have to concentrate on not letting him control you. I'll give the nod when to attack.

Marasmus : No. I will.

Boddy : [Surprised] Okay.

Faetan : Yes. That would help. [Glances over at Corwyn apprehensively] Will you be coming along?

Corwyn : [Glances at Boddy] Yes.

Boddy : [Gives a quick smile back at him] It will be an honour to have you along.

[PETER and CHASTITY arrive back, chatting happily, with CHASTITY dressed in a ballgown.]

Chastity : [Laughing good naturedly] Oh, Peter! You are so funny, you remind me of my second husband, George.

Peter : [Deadpan] That's great. I'm really thrilled to hear it.

Chastity : [Still smiling] Oh, he's great!

Faetan : [Smiles warmly at her, then at Corwyn and bows her head] Good. That'll make it easier, then. Corwyn, if we get through this...there's something I'd like to talk to you about.

Corwyn : Sure. [Puts on his sword]

Boddy : [Brandishing a glowing sword that no one has seen before] Everyone got their magic weapons?

Marasmus : [Picking up Hauterious*] I'm ready.

[The group step over the unconscious form of ADAM, and start walking towards PESTILENCE's house. MARASMUS is leading, with PETER and BODDY immediately behind her. In the next row are FAETAN, AUSTIN, ALICE and CHASTITY, behind them are NEFIRITIRI, CLINT, HARVEY and KELLY while at the back are JIM and CORWYN. CLINT, HARVEY, CORWYN and JIM are carrying the stretcher with SVEN on it. Soon they arrive at PESTILENCE's house, and stop just outside the gate.]

Marasmus : Okay. This is it. Everyone ready?

Faetan : [Grins ferally] Bring it.

Boddy : Okay, if any one needs to speak during this, keep it down, so only we can hear okay?

[The group enter the back yard. As soon as they do, all their clothing takes on a black tinge. For example, the ladies gloves turn black, as do all the men's bow-ties. As soon as everyone sets foot in the yard, the band start playing loudly.]

Marasmus : [Taking a deep breath] Let's go. [Starts leading the group towards the door]

Austin : How amusing. He is going to provide music for his own death.

Faetan : A little ironic indeed. [Still grinning]

[The group pass through each of the rooms they did the last time. Again, their clothing changes colour to match the ambient lighting of each room, and, eventually, they get to the door of the dining room. The doors are slowly pulled open from the inside.]

Boddy : Right. Keep it together.

[(0:25 into the music). TOM and ROURKE are pulling the door open, and PESTILENCE is standing at the table, wearing a viking hat.]

Pestilence : Wow, colour me impressed!* What a nice effort everyone has made!

Faetan : [Glances around] Interesting music, I must say. That helmet doesn't really become you, though.

Pestilence : Oh, I don't know. I thought it might remind you all of your dear departed friend, I'm sure you miss him terribly. And, of course, his very big horns.

[The group still keep walking towards him, agonisingly slowly. Although he is still calm, PESTILENCE is definitely intrigued at what is going on.]

Clint : [Moody, but trying to keep calm] I'm sure you're a big fan of horns yourself. --0-1408431391-1034971632=:5624

Harvey : [Laughs long and loud, before stopping and looking at Clint in puzzlement] Eh? [Turns to Pestilence and smiles] Hello again.

Clint : [To Pestilence] We've decided to come and join your party. You certainly have outgrown our own Phili in power. Mind if we take a seat? [Makes a quick sidestep in time with the music]

Austin : [To Pestillence] A fine hat you have there, sir.

Pestilence : [Bows ostentatiously to Austin] A fine taste you have there, my good fellow. [Glances at Clint] By all means, take a seat.

[There is, of course, no seat visible.]

Boddy : [Whispering to Clint] Stay together. Whatever happens, stay together until you get the signal.

Clint : [To Pestilence] I think I'll stand. [Sidesteps back to the party]

Harvey : [To Clint] Best for the digestion anyway, private! [Adjusts his dickie-bow] Quite a swank affair you have here, Pestilence!

Austin : [To Pestillence] Fine music too.

Pestilence : Well, I try to do my best! [Gives a big smile, quite obviously unnerved at the calmness of the group]

[SVEN's still covered body is placed on the table, while the group line up. In the front row are AUSTIN, ALICE, CLINT, MARASMUS, FAETAN, PETER and BODDY, while in the back are NEFIRITIRI, CHASTITY, HARVEY, CORWYN, KELLY and JIM.]

Pestilence : [Beaming at the stony face Marasmus] A surprise, for little old me? Well, what can it be? [Smiles at her]

[(1:24 into the music) MARASMUS grabs the edge of the sheet covering SVEN, and sweeps it off with one dramatic tug. To the obvious shock of PESTILENCE, she has revealed the naked body of SVEN, having been cooked in its entirety. It is surrounded by vegetables, and is on a bed of crisp, iceberg lettuce*. The stench, now that the sheet has been removed is almost overwhelming, and PESTILENCE staggers slightly, and most of the party to step back a bit, clearly feeling ill at the sight and smell in front of them.]

Alice : [Murmuring to the others] Oh my God!

Harvey : [Turning quite green, turns and gags, before looking at Pestilence] By the saints, I can't abide lettuce!

[PESTILENCE says nothing, but slips back onto his chair, obviously shocked.]

Marasmus : [(Music 01:54)] Between you and me, Pestilence, I would recommend the cock. I know from personal experience that it is exquisite. [Smiles coldly at Pestilence] You don't mind something a little salty, do you, Pestilence?

[PESTILENCE doesn't answer, and just looks back at her with fear bulging in his eyes.]

Nefiritiri : Someone pour him out a glass of wine, a little bit of alcohol always makes this type of thing easier to swallow.

Austin : [Shying away from the corpse, covering his nose and mouth with a silk handkerchief] Oh, my god. [Looks to Nefiritiri, whispers] What the flip, that's disgustingĦ I'm

Harvey : [Looks in surprise at Nefiritiri, before a strained smile reappears on his face] A glass of wine would probably be just wonderful, and I am only too willing to oblige our host, what! Hmm, red I think! [Pours a glass of wine and offers it to Pestilence]

[PESTILENCE wordlessly takes the glass from HARVEY, who then moves back to his position.]

Marasmus : [Calmly] Eat it.

Nefiritiri : Eat it.

Corwyn : Eat it.

[PESTILENCE shakily brings the glass to his lips and knocks it back. He is now perspiringly heavily, and picks up a fork.]

Jim : Uh, eat it.

Kelly : Eat it.

Peter : Eat it.

Alice : Eat it.

Austin : Eat it. [Pours Pestilence another glass of red wine, puts it on the table beside Pestillence, in the appropriate place, then steps back into position]

Harvey : There's a good fellow, can't have you wasting away, now can we! Just dig in and enjoy!

Clint : EAT IT!

[PESTILENCE says nothing, but grabs the glass of wine, and drinks it back too, with his fork shaking madly.]

Pestilence : [Glancing at Boddy] Death?

Boddy : Eat it.

Chastity : Eat it.

Faetan : Eat it.

Marasmus : [With relish, and a triumphant smile] Eat it.

[PESTILENCE shakily digs the fork into SVEN's penis, and pulls off a small chunk, before looking up at MARASMUS.]

Marasmus : That's a good boy.

[PESTILENCE brings the fork up to his mouth, and swallows the chunk, before jumping back, and landing on the floor.]

Marasmus : [To the others] Nice and slowly, let's surround him. [Walks around the table and stands in front of Pestilence, with her sword drawn.]

[(Music 2:16). CORWYN, BODDY and JIM join her, forming a circle around PESTILENCE.]

Harvey : [Looking quite ill] Very well, madam! Come now troop, do as the lady says, eh!

Austin : [Nice and slowly walks around the table and stands beside Pestilence, with his sword drawn, looking unusually calm]

Clint : [Trying to contain the rage in him] Oh, what's wrong? Didn't like the salad cream?

[PESTILENCE doesn't reply, as, agonisingly slowly, everyone else joins the circle, until he is completely surrounded.]

Marasmus : [Matter of factly to the others] The trick here, my friends, is to leave the sword in. [Holds up Hauterious for Pestilence to see] For Sven. [(Music 3:04) Plunges the sword deep into Pestilence's chest.]

Pestilence : You bitch!

Marasmus : Yes.

[Each of JIM, CORWYN and PETER stick their swords in too, making sure to leave them there.]

Harvey : [Looks at his sword] Well Ostetentatious, how about it? [Without waiting for a reply, he sticks his sword into Pestilence]

[PESTILENCE gives a gasp of pain, and uses his hand to stop himself from falling over. During all of this, all the Wonder Swords have remained perfectly quiet.]

Alice : For Sven! [Sticks her sword into him]

[CHASTITY, AUSTIN, KELLY and FAETAN each stick their swords in.]

Clint : I've done it before, but never with as much enjoyment. [Sticks his sword in Pestilence's neck]

Marasmus : [Smiling with glee at this] Well? [Looks at Boddy]

Pestilence : Et tu, Boddy?

Boddy : [Does an irritating "click-click" and points at Pestilence] Never forget which side I'm on. [Plunges his sword deep into Pestilence.]

Pestilence : [With a gasp of pain] The unkindest cut of all!

[The ground directly beneath PESTILENCE begins to sink, pulling in the carpet and table. TOM and ROURKE seem to be rooted to their spots on the carpet, and are clearly being pulled towards it too, as are the band.]

Pestilence : [As he begins sinking] I curse the city built over this castle to forever fear what lies beneath. [To Corwyn] I curse your lineage to forever be tainted by arrogance and aggression that almost prevented you from entering here [to Chastity] I curse you to do what you pretend to do [to Austin] I curse you to be what you say [to Clint] for your stupidity in being with this group, I curse you and your lineage forever to be tainted with a special kind of stupidity. And you, Marasmus, who has enjoyed watching my demise so much, I curse you to darkness. [Is now about three feet into the ground] To the others, who are so unimportant that I don't even know your names, may you and your forever be wracked with a complete lack of confidence. And you, Death, the revenge I will have on you is too unspeakable to mention.

[The party have to leap from foot to foot to stay standing, but everything else in the room is being dragged into the hole. The band, as they edge towards the lip of it, begin playing "Nearer my Phili to thee."]

Alice : [Unsteady on her feet, whispering to Harvey] Hey! He forgot to curse us! [Gives him two thumbs up, but accidently pokes herself in the eye with one of them.]

Harvey : [Teetering unsteadily] By the saints, so he did! [Gives Alice two thumbs up, but accidentaly pokes her in the eye with one of them] Gah! I'm so sorry, dear niece!

Corwyn : Let's get the hell out of here - the whole place is collapsing!

Marasmus : [Throwing the sheet over Sven's body] Someone carry Sven.

[As PESTILENCE gets sucked down, ALICE returns to her normal size, and CORWYN's face begins to heal.]

Harvey : [Looking a little annoyed at something, grabs Sven] Here private Scar, give me a hand with Sven! Come now Alice, run!

Clint : [Helping Harvey with Sven] Let's get out of here!

[ROURKE and TOM are dragged passed the party.]

Tom : Hey! Help us! Come on, after all we've been through together! I'm stuck!

Alice : Can you move?

Tom : Barely!

Alice : Right. [Grabs the bottle of wine, and smashes it over his head, before turning to the others] Sorry, but I had to give him a taste of his own medicine!*

[The group charges out of the dining room, as everything from the house gets sucked in.]

Corwyn : Yeeha! [Smashes up some crockery on the way through the kitchen]

Harvey : [To Alice] My dearest niece, I would applaude you if I was not otherwise occupied, but, [gets distracted by Corwyn] By the saints, you can tell whose relation he is, can't you! Come on, let's just get out of here! Hut hut, Clint!

Alice : Um, [looks around, confused] yes, yes, you can. Hey! Where's Marasmus?

[MARASMUS is not with the party.]

Harvey : Eh? Gah, where is she? Someone check if she's still in the dining room while we get Sven out of here! Clint, would you do it? Swap places with Alice! She may have being sucked into the hole, somewhere dark, as per Pestilences curse!

Boddy : I'll get her. [Steps back into the dining room momentarily, before reappearing with Marasmus, who is bleeding from the eyes] Looks like Pestilence doesn't mess around with his threats!

[Exit ALL, seconds before the entire building falls down behind them.]

Alice : Hey! That's it, it's all over!

[Even though it is now 11pm and quite dark, the clouds part over head, and some brilliant sunshine pours down onto the party.]

Harvey : [Places Sven on the ground and gives Alice a massive hug] Well done troop! Well, well done! An absolute credit to the armed forces!

Alice : But, what's going here? Look! [Points up at the sky.]

[A brilliant ray of sunshine illuminates SVEN. The missing piece from his penis heals, but, in doing so it is now at least twice as large as it was. Slowly his skin turns from a nice brown cooked colour to his normal colour, and his hair grows back.]

Sven : [Sitting up] Hey! What happened?