THE QUEENS VIEW AFFAIR

[Book V, Act VI, Scene I. A Cave in Pharmaceutica. ALICE, AUSTIN, CLINT, HARVEY, SMOCK and MONTY are here, with AZZUGAS apparently keeping his word. Using directions given by the helpful DAVEY, the party have been travelling for a good ten minutes, and are clearly heading back towards the outside, as there is less and less evidence of the denizens of Pharmaceutica here.]

Monty : So, well played, chaps. We certainly fooled him, eh? Now, if you'd be so kind as to remove these cuffs, I'll be sure to do a sterling job of writing up your most excellent work here. Hm, yes, outstanding. Mr. Snyder will be so pleased.

Clint: [Scowls at Monty. To Austin and Alice] I can't believe neither of you had a gag! [To the party] Well, what the hell are we going to do with this traitorous tight-ass, anyway?

Alice : I can't believe that you think either of us would let a creep like him wear our gags!

Monty : Mr. Scar! Please! Don't tell me that you of all people was mistakenly taken in by my ruse!

Clint: [To Patience, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively] Want me to tie you up next, babe?

Patience: [Nastily] Yeah? And what were you gonna do when the demon beat us to a pulp, huh? Hmm, let me think... Oh right: Nothing. Sorry, Tweed, not buying it.

Monty : [Ignoring Patience] My plan to help us escape! I knew that Agatha was going to try and betray us, so I pretended to be the one doing it. I knew it would be difficult to kill Azzugas, but when I saw how well you brave folks were doing, I realised that the problem was instead one of how we would escape the mountain. I believe I did an excellent job negotiating our safe escape.

Monty : [Offended] Mr. Scar, surely I need no proof other than my unblemished record. Furthermore, surely it's a given that one as pompous as me would never stoop to treachery? Last Heather #6

Austin : [Looks suprised at Clint, picks up the device that resembles a small tazer] This, Mr. Scar, has many, [Looks at the device and shudders] many uses. Appart from being useful for delivering short, painfully nice, electrical shocks to the human erogenous zones, it can also be applied to the tongue, rendering it quite numb and useless for speech for several minutes. [Hands it to Clint]

Alice : Yay! That's really cool Aussie, it's just a pity you didn't give it to him earlier, then it might stop him calling people Bimbo all the time.

Austin : [To Alice, nodding his head once, in a tiny bow] Indeed Alice, a very cunning idea. I was however, suggesting that Mr. Scar us the device on Mr. Giles, to protect Mr. Giles from uttering any further traitorous remarks, which could further harm his defense in his trial. [Ponders a moment. To Azzugas] An just what exactly does the amulet or Orleon do?

Harvey : [Scratches a sideburn, furiously] Do you know troop, what used to happen to traitors in the army? They weren't given the opportunity to ever trait again! I vote we tie up the treacherous dog and throw him into the nearest deep bog, what! No one attempts to murder my niece and gets away with it!

Clint: [To Monty, suspiciously] What the hell are you talking about?!

Clint: [Skeptically] Uh huh. Can you prove that?

[Book V, Act VI, Scene I. A Cave in Pharmaceutica. ALICE, AUSTIN, CLINT, HARVEY, SMOCK and MONTY are here, with AZZUGAS apparently keeping his word. Using directions given by the helpful DAVEY, the party have been travelling for a good ten minutes, and are clearly heading back towards the outside, as there is less and less evidence of the denizens of Pharmaceutica here.]

Monty : So, well played, chaps. We certainly fooled him, eh? Now, if you'd be so kind as to remove these cuffs, I'll be sure to do a sterling job of writing up your most excellent work here. Hm, yes, outstanding. Mr. Snyder will be so pleased.

Clint: [Scowls at Monty. To Austin and Alice] I can't believe neither of you had a gag! [To the party] Well, what the hell are we going to do with this traitorous tight-ass, anyway?

Alice : I can't believe that you think either of us would let a creep like him wear our gags!

Monty : Mr. Scar! Please! Don't tell me that you of all people was mistakenly taken in by my ruse!

Clint: [To Patience, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively] Want me to tie you up next, babe?

Patience: [Nastily] Yeah? And what were you gonna do when the demon beat us to a pulp, huh? Hmm, let me think... Oh right: Nothing. Sorry, Tweed, not buying it.

Monty : [Ignoring Patience] My plan to help us escape! I knew that Agatha was going to try and betray us, so I pretended to be the one doing it. I knew it would be difficult to kill Azzugas, but when I saw how well you brave folks were doing, I realised that the problem was instead one of how we would escape the mountain. I believe I did an excellent job negotiating our safe escape.

Monty : [Offended] Mr. Scar, surely I need no proof other than my unblemished record. Furthermore, surely it's a given that one as pompous as me would never stoop to treachery? Last Heather #6

Austin : [Looks suprised at Clint, picks up the device that resembles a small tazer] This, Mr. Scar, has many, [Looks at the device and shudders] many uses. Appart from being useful for delivering short, painfully nice, electrical shocks to the human erogenous zones, it can also be applied to the tongue, rendering it quite numb and useless for speech for several minutes. [Hands it to Clint]

Alice : Yay! That's really cool Aussie, it's just a pity you didn't give it to him earlier, then it might stop him calling people Bimbo all the time.

Austin : [To Alice, nodding his head once, in a tiny bow] Indeed Alice, a very cunning idea. I was however, suggesting that Mr. Scar us the device on Mr. Giles, to protect Mr. Giles from uttering any further traitorous remarks, which could further harm his defense in his trial. [Ponders a moment. To Azzugas] An just what exactly does the amulet or Orleon do?

Harvey : [Scratches a sideburn, furiously] Do you know troop, what used to happen to traitors in the army? They weren't given the opportunity to ever trait again! I vote we tie up the treacherous dog and throw him into the nearest deep bog, what! No one attempts to murder my niece and gets away with it!

Clint: [To Monty, suspiciously] What the hell are you talking about?!

Clint: [Skeptically] Uh huh. Can you prove that?

Clint: [To Monty] Here's the plan. If you're just going to lie to us, we're gonna put you in the lawyer's contraption and torture you on the way to the nearest bog, where we'll toss you and let you slowly suffocate in the mud. but if you got anything interesting to tell us, we'll keep you alive a while longer. [To the rest of the party] Sound fair?

Smock: [Angrily] Shut up, traitor! [Kicks Monty in the shin. To Clint] I say we beat him to death with his clipboard. suggest,

Harvey : Now now cadet, private Scar! We're not barbarians here! There'll be no torture of prisoners! Just execution!

Smock: [Sweetly, to Harvey] But it wouldn't matter if his manner of execution was just a little slow and painful, would it?

Harvey : I think suffocating to death in a smelly old bog is slow and painful enough for one lifetime, don't you cadet?

Monty : [Clearly getting worried, but trying not to show it] Ha! I don't believe you sir, for you are far too disciplined to allow such an outrage.

Smock: I said shut up! [Kicks Monty again. Brightly to the party] Letís go find us a bog!

Monty : Ow!

[The party advance further, and can hear some voices up ahead. As they approach, the party recognise SNYDER's voice, he is talking to some others, and the party just catch the end of what he is saying.]

Snyder : .... bunch of scumbags. Monty, on the other hand [rounds the corner up ahead and stops, looking shocked] What? Who? What? ### Snyder is one of the senior watchers, and Monty's direct boss. Although he ### behaves in front of the party as though he barely tolerates them, there have ### been hints that he admires and geuinely really likes them. He saved their ### lives 4.1 at great personal risk to himself

Mr. Snyder

Patience: You always this articulate, Mr.... [arches an eyebrow]

Snyder : Yes? Yes? Finish your sentences young lady! [Steps back a little to take in the whole sorry scene] What happened here? What did you do to Monty? You, you, scumbags!

Clint : [Striking a match off Monty's chin, and lighting a cigar] Your boy went crazy, tried to sell us out to a demon. [Shrugs] Someone punched him.

[SNYDER doesn't reply, but is reeling at this information.]

Smock: [Steps foward. To Snyder, somewhat aggressively] Who're you?

Snyder : [Steps forward, drawing himself up to his full height, which is just slightly shorter than Smock] I'm Mr. Snyder, Principal officer of the Watchers. I know everything about the party, everything they've done, everyone they've spoken to and everyone they've ever spent any time with. [Slight pause] Who're you?

Smock: [Stands tall] Someone who could snap you like a twig! And you're in the way of these heroes, so step aside!

Patience: No need to be hostile to the nice man, kid. [Brightly, to Snyder] Hi there, blue eyes. I'm Patience. So tell me... how does a nice guy like you get involved in an organization that has members like [distastefully] Monty?

Snyder : [About to retort to Smock, but turns to Patience, looking a little flustered] Well, now, Miss, er, Patience, we need to establish what young Monty did.

Smock: Monty cruelly offered us up as a sacrifice to a demon, all for a stupid blessing! Heís a selfish traitor! [As an afterthought] And he called us names!

Patience: The kid's right. There, you see? Monty is a horrible person. Not at ALL like you, right? [Smiles at Snyder.]

Snyder : [Getting a little self conscious] Well, he certainly doesn't have the same kind of fun loving spirit, I suppose. I play the accordian, you know?

Austin : [Writing elegantly on a note pad. To Snyder] Monty is a traitor. We have witnesses who will testify to this in court. [Hands Snyder a wad of papers] Here is an account of his traitorous actions, and statements, witnessed by the party, and personal losses questionaires and claims, [Hands Snyder another wad of papers] that I have completed on behalf of each party member, served against the Watchers organisation of course, relating to the gross missconduct of one of your staff [Points at Monty]. We are prepared to negociate settlements.

Patience: [Gives a little shriek of delight.] I [emphasis] adore the accordian! You have to play for me! [Turns to give Austin a Nasty Glare] Don't pester the nice man, Sleaze. Take it out of Monty's hide, not of his!

Smock: [A glazed, bemused look comes over her features as Austin starts to speak in big words. She snaps back to reality when he comes to an end, and abruptly mimics him, pointing at Monty] Yeah! What he said. [To Patience, quietly] Are you all right?

Patience: [Making eye contact with Snyder the entire time] I'm more than just "all right," kid, I'm great! [Pauses, then turns to Smock.] Out of curiousity, why do you ask?

Smock: Oh, um, I just... didn't pick you for an accordion lover. [Gives a fake smile before looking to the others as if to ask if she's serious.]

Patience: [Shrugs] I have hidden depths, kid. The accordian is great, and accordian players, like all musicians, are sexy. Don't you think, Alice?

Patience: [Gives a little shriek of delight.] I [emphasis] adore the accordian! You have to play for me! [Turns to give Austin a Nasty Glare] Don't pester the nice man, Sleaze. Take it out of Monty's hide, not of his!

Smock: [A glazed, bemused look comes over her features as Austin starts to speak in big words. She snaps back to reality when he comes to an end, and abruptly mimics him, pointing at Monty] Yeah! What he said. [To Patience, quietly] Are you all right?

Patience: [Making eye contact with Snyder the entire time] I'm more than just "all right," kid, I'm great! [Pauses, then turns to Smock.] Out of curiousity, why do you ask?

Smock: Oh, um, I just... didn't pick you for an accordion lover. [Gives a fake smile before looking to the others as if to ask if she's serious.]

Patience: [Shrugs] I have hidden depths, kid. The accordian is great, and accordian players, like all musicians, are sexy. Don't you think, Alice?

Snyder : [Taking the papers from Austin, but not even looking at them] Sure! Sure! I'd love to play for you some time. I'm really good, I can even use the black keys and all!

Austin : [To Patience] Of course, I have no personal grieveances with Mr Snyder. [Smugly] The law dictates that such notices [Gestures to the wad of papers] must be served, by us, the aforementioned first-order victims and witnesses to the crime, lest we ourselves be accused of complicity in Monty's trechery.

Harvey : [To Snyder] It is as private Scar said. Your trusted member of your organisation when doolahlly and attempted to have us killed by a demon in return for super powers! Now, what do you say to that, eh?

Clint: [Puffing away on his cigar. To Snyder, getting impatient] And make it snappy, would ya? We got places to go.

Austin : [Musuing] And we still don't know what the amulet of Orleon does. [Looks around] Where is that Azzugas chappie when you need him?

Snyder : [Irritably looking over at Clint and Harvey] Don't you rush me, you scumbags. [Mops the sweaty top of his head with a filthy hanky]

Alice : [To Patience, rolling her eyes] Yeah, accordian players are almost as cool as drummers.

Monty : Please, Mr. Snyder! They're lying!

Snyder : [To Austin] Amulet of Orleon? [Snarls] Don't tell me you gave that to a demon!

Smock: Monty did! [Points accusingly.]

Patience: Hey, that was Monty who did that. You'll flay him for us, right? [To the others] Don't worry, the nice, talented, beautiful accordian player will flay Monty for us. [Enthusiastically] Isn't he great?

Snyder : [To Monty, shocked] You scumbag! Is that true? [To Patience, in a much calmer voice] Is that true?

Alice : [Watching the Snyder/Patience interaction with a mixture of fascination revulsion] Hey! [Reaches out and tilts Snyder's head back so that he is now looking Patience in the eye]

Austin : [To Snyder] No, Mr. Giles gave the amulet or Orleon to the demon Azzugas. [Points at the wad of papers] The details are all in there, pages 339 to 345, sections 142.12 to 142.18 cover that part of Mr. Giles's trechery. [Calmly] Please tell us what the amulet does.

Clint: [To Patience] What the hell?! What on earth do you see in that twirp? You coulda been the woman behind the Big General!

Monty : Oh come on, Snyder! You would have done it too! You don't even like them, you're constantly calling them scumbags!

Snyder : [Glances at Patience for a moment, before defiantly stepping forward and prodding Monty had in the chest] Yeah, but they're [juts his thumb back at himself as he emphasise] my scumbags. [Looks around the party] Don't any of you scumbags have a gag to put on this idiot? [To Austin] The Amulet of Orleon is used for inter-dimensional travel, it can be used to summon very powerful demons who can't otherwise exist in this plane.

Alice : We're on a plane? I thought we were in a mountain!

Smock: [Crosses her arms with a smug look on her face. Taunts in a sing-song voice] Monty's in trouble. More'n bigger trouble.

Alice : [Leans in confidentially to Clint] Strictly speaking, Clint, if you want to have someone behind the Little Corporal, it's probably going to be a guy.

Patience: [To Clint, ticking off points against her fingers] He bathes regularly. He's a snappy dresser. He's adorable. And [shivers a little] he's a musician. How do you expect to compete with that? [Warmly, to Snyder] Well, Alice has all sorts of toys. She has to have a gag. Or I could just hit him for you.

Harvey : [To Snyder] Perhaps you could gag him with that handkerchief you just used to mop your brow?

Austin : [Grabs the fun tazer from Clint's bag] Perhaps we could just use this [Tries to fun tazer Monty on the lips, then tongue] It should last for at least 5 minute, then we can do it again.

Snyder : [Looks at the filthy snot and sweat soaked hanky and nods] Good idea, Colonel. [Blocks Austin] Behave yourself, Scumbag. We're not in the business of torturing people. [Holds up the disgusting hanky to gag Monty]

Monty : No! Please! Use the taze - mmf! [Gets gagged]

Patience: [Delighted] Ha! See, I told you this lovely man would know how to handle Monty! He's so masterful!

Clint: [To Patience, annoyed] Hey, I decked the guy, you know.

Patience: True, and I'm sure we're all very impressed. But anyone can hit somebody; not every knows how to take control of a situation like Mr. Snyder here.

Harvey : [Give Patience a dubious look, before turning to Snyder] And what, may I ask, are you doing here?

Snyder : [Going all coy] Oh, please, Miss Patience, call me Norbert. [To Harvey] I came here to warn you of an impending attack of smugness.

Patience: Okay, [with emphasis] Norbert. That's a beautiful name. Don't you all think that Norbert is a beautiful name?

Clint: [Sulking] No!

Harvey : Actually, I think it sounds like a name you'd give some cutsey young fluffy dragon fluffy toy, what!

Snyder : [Gazing at Patience] Gee, I think you've got a lovely name too!

Alice : This uh, smugness?

Snyder : Yes, I thought it only fair to warn you.

Clint: [To Patience, hopefully] Say, you didn't happen to sample some of that potion I downed, did you?

Patience: [Exasperated] Of course not! I only took my potion, so we could beat up the demon!

Snyder : [Defensively stepping in front of Patience] Look, you scumbags, leave her alone! I'm trying to give you a warning here, to help you, but you're too dumb and pigheaded to even notice!

Clint: [To Snyder] Huh?! What warning?

Snyder : About the smugness, Scumbag!

Patience: [Inordinately pleased, with a huge smile.] Aww, that's so sweet of you, Norbert. I can take care of myself, but still, that's so sweet! [Gives Snyder a big ol' hug]

Austin : [To Snyder, rolling his eyes. Slightly sarcastically] Please Mr. Snyder, do tell us more about the impending attack of smugness.

Snyder : I'm going to take him back to the Watchers Council.

[MONTY gets all panicky, but can't escape or speak.]

Snyder : It's okay, Monty, they won't do anything too harsh.

Alice : What are they likely to do?

Snyder : Probably throw him in a bog.

Snyder : [Gives Austin a look of disgust] It's not you that needs to be worried, it's [waves at the party] them. About you.

Austin : [To Snyder, quite pleased with himself] But you haven't told them *why* I will be obscenely smug, in the near future [Smiles, brimming over with satisfaction and restrained smugness]

Snyder : [With disgust] Because of the Austinites.

Clint: Who the hell are the Austinites?! [To Austin] Your back-up singers? Buncha fruity little freaks that all dress like you?

Patience: [Glued to Snyder's side, or what little of it she can reach] Austinites? What are they? Demented people who worship the lawyer?

Austin : [Smiles even more, looking as though he might explode in smugness. Spins once on his right heel, checks his nails nochalantly. To Snyder, casually] The Austinites. Tell us all about them. [In hales and exhales with a deep sigh of satisfaction]

Snyder : [Nods at Patience] Yep. [To Clint] More the second than the first. Apparently they think he's a god. [Notices how close Patience is, and perspires a little more]

Harvey : [Laughs long and loud for a long, long time]

Patience: And why would they think anything so stupid as that? [Notices that Snyder is sweating and carefully hides a triumphant smirk.] Why, Norbert, are you hot? Here... [Wipes his head down with the bottom part of her t-shirt.]

Clint: [Snorts] Yeah, thanks for that. So, what the hell are you gonna do to this idiot? [Makes an obscene gesture at Monty]

Clint: [Looks Austin up and down] He doesn't look more smug than usual. What's the worry?

Smock: Wow... [Gazes adoringly at Austin.] Are you a god now? Awesome! That's even better than a hero! I always knew you were super great!

Snyder : [Gazing at Patience] Gee, I think you've got a lovely name too!

Alice : This uh, smugness?

Snyder : Yes, I thought it only fair to warn you.

Clint: [To Patience, hopefully] Say, you didn't happen to sample some of that potion I downed, did you?

Patience: [Exasperated] Of course not! I only took my potion, so we could beat up the demon!

Snyder : [Defensively stepping in front of Patience] Look, you scumbags, leave her alone! I'm trying to give you a warning here, to help you, but you're too dumb and pigheaded to even notice!

Clint: [To Snyder] Huh?! What warning?

Snyder : About the smugness, Scumbag!

Patience: [Inordinately pleased, with a huge smile.] Aww, that's so sweet of you, Norbert. I can take care of myself, but still, that's so sweet! [Gives Snyder a big ol' hug]

Austin : [To Snyder, rolling his eyes. Slightly sarcastically] Please Mr. Snyder, do tell us more about the impending attack of smugness.

Snyder : I'm going to take him back to the Watchers Council.

[MONTY gets all panicky, but can't escape or speak.]

Snyder : It's okay, Monty, they won't do anything too harsh.

Alice : What are they likely to do?

Snyder : Probably throw him in a bog.

Snyder : [Gives Austin a look of disgust] It's not you that needs to be worried, it's [waves at the party] them. About you.

Austin : [To Snyder, quite pleased with himself] But you haven't told them *why* I will be obscenely smug, in the near future [Smiles, brimming over with satisfaction and restrained smugness]

Snyder : [With disgust] Because of the Austinites.

Clint: Who the hell are the Austinites?! [To Austin] Your back-up singers? Buncha fruity little freaks that all dress like you?

Patience: [Glued to Snyder's side, or what little of it she can reach] Austinites? What are they? Demented people who worship the lawyer?

Austin : [Smiles even more, looking as though he might explode in smugness. Spins once on his right heel, checks his nails nochalantly. To Snyder, casually] The Austinites. Tell us all about them. [In hales and exhales with a deep sigh of satisfaction]

Snyder : [Nods at Patience] Yep. [To Clint] More the second than the first. Apparently they think he's a god. [Notices how close Patience is, and perspires a little more]

Harvey : [Laughs long and loud for a long, long time]

Patience: And why would they think anything so stupid as that? [Notices that Snyder is sweating and carefully hides a triumphant smirk.] Why, Norbert, are you hot? Here... [Wipes his head down with the bottom part of her t-shirt.]

Clint: [Snorts] Yeah, thanks for that. So, what the hell are you gonna do to this idiot? [Makes an obscene gesture at Monty]

Clint: [Looks Austin up and down] He doesn't look more smug than usual. What's the worry?

Smock: Wow... [Gazes adoringly at Austin.] Are you a god now? Awesome! That's even better than a hero! I always knew you were super great!

Snyder : [To Patience, in a shaky voice] Just a little! They, uh, something to do with him dying and prophecies and something I think.

Alice : Well, what happens to Monty now?

[SNYDER says nothing, and just keeps looking at PATIENCE.]

Alice : Hello?

Snyder : What? Oh, I'll bring him back with me, [still doesn't take his eyes off Patience] but I might need someone to help me guard me, I mean, him.

Harvey : And what will be his fate once you've taken him back? We honestly do not need another ex-party member hell bent on bloody revenge at some date in the future!

Snyder : I told you, we're gonna throw the scumbag in a bog. After a fair and honest trial, of course.

Patience: [Brightly] Maybe I should go with you and help guard Monty. After all, like the old man says, we wouldn't want him to escape and come back for revenge!

Smock: [Still looking enamoured of Austin, to Patience] Sure, that's a great idea.

Austin : [With a big smug smile on his face. To Smock, generously] Well, cadet, I couldn't have done it without your help. [SIghs in pleasure] Of course, it wasn't easy, dying to save the world several times, desperatley rescuing the rest of the party from the jaws of death [Shakes his head] more times than I care to recall [Chuckles. Waves his hand dissmissivley] Of course I didn't expect any compensation for my actions, but becoming a god was only natural. What else could I have done. [Beams a super smug smile at Smock and the others]

Smock: [Hanging on Austinís every word] Woah... I was so sad when you were dead, but now youíre not dead, and youíve come back even better, and now I know a god! [To the party, positively thrilled] Isnít that cool?!

Alice : [Dryly] It's very cool. [To Patience] Can I come with you?

Patience: [Gives Austin a disgusted look.] Look, Aussie, I know we owe you and all, and don't think I'm not grateful or anything, okay? But if you don't stop fellating yourself I'm definitely going to be sick. [Turns back to Snyder, suddenly sweet and smiling again.] So can Alice come with us, Norbert, or would you rather it was just the two of us? Plus Monty, of course.

Smock: If you don't stop rubbing against that sweaty little man [emphasis] I'm going to be sick.

Clint: [Stunned. To Patience] You gotta be kidding me! You're gonna head off into the sunset with this idiot?!

Austin : [Smiling plesantly to Patience, with a lighthearted and caring chuckle] Oh, come now Patience. Whilst I understand your desire to thank me and worship me, I need not your gratitude or prayers. After all, I am a god. [Plesantly] None the less, your gratitude is well recieved. [Looks around, inhaling the fresh air deeply. To Smock] Ahhh. Well it's good to see you again cadet. Glad you made it through that one.

Harvey : I wouldn't get too jumped up about it, private Sleaze. Why, once back in Vietnumnum, '68, we happened across an isolated tribe who worshipped a wellington boot, obviously discarded by it's presumably one legged owner, some time previously, what!

Snyder : [Gives Patience a wink] Nah, baby, let's leave her alone, she's gonna have to go to that conference. [Puts his arm around Patience and gives Monty a tug] Now, let's amscray outta here and do some lovin'. [Nonchalantly pops a cigarette into his mouth and lights it, taking a deep, satisfying drag] Ahh! [Face screws up a little and he starts coughing] What the hell! I thought those things were supposed to be fun!

Austin : [To Harvey] Well, it is most unfortunate for you to be worshiped less than a wellington boot Colonel, even if that tribe was quite mad.

Smock: [To Austin] Me too! But we only made it on account of you and your scary finger. That thing you did with Azzugasí eyeball, [disgusted and impressed] that was gross! Now that youíre a god and everything, do you have awesome new powers? Like can you crush a man's will just by looking at him? Or can you topple huge towers with a flick of your finger? Or can you create a race of pigs that actually do fly?

Patience: Give me a minute Norbert. [Gives Alice a quick hug.] Alice, it's been fun. [Likewise hugs Smock.] See ya around, kid - I'll give you another driving lesson next time, 'kay? And hey, sorry to make you sick... you'll understand when you're older. Really. [Shakes Harvey's hand.] Take care, Pops. [Slightly inclines her head to Austin.] Aus. [Takes Clint aside for a few minutes and ends up by giving him a friendly arm punch. To Snyder:] Right then, let's go.

Smock: [Taken aback by Patience] What? Are you really going? But... but he's... [Frowns before hugging her again.] I hope I never understand.

Snyder : [All giddy] See you, guys! Come on, Patience, just wait until you see my bottle top collection - I've already got two!

[Exit SNYDER and PATIENCE, walking back out the way SNYDER came, leaving a stunned party behind them.]

Alice : I don't know which is more disturbing, that the two of them have got together, or that people think Austin is a god!

Clint: [To Smock] Join the club, kid. [Enter CHASTITY, glancing behind her at the disappearing SNYDER and PATIENCE.]

Chastity: [To the party] Just as I thought. You look utterly lost without me!

Alice : Did he say a conference? What was that about? [Looks at Austin] Oh no!

Austin : [To Smock, modestly] Being a brand new god I haven't tried things like makeing new races [Wave dismissively] or stuff like that. I expect I find out all that stuff soon enough. [Ponders] I wonder if there's anything I cant do?

Smock: Ah! [Hides behind Clint. Peers around at Chastity] Aren't you trying to kill us?

Clint: [To Austin] Get laid? [To Chastity] Chas?! Where'd you come from?

Smock: Oh. [Looks up at Clint before scampering around behind Alice. To Chastity, suspiciously] So what do you want?

Chastity: [To Clint, wrinkling her nose] What do you mean? I came from that direction [points back from the way she came]. [To Smock] For your own safety, I would find another cowering place, dear. Mr. Scar's backside is not exactly his best side [waves her hand in front of her nose a few times to make the point].

Chastity: [To Smock, sweetly] Do be quiet, little girl. Remember: children should be seen and not heard. [To the rest of the party] Where is Mr. Giles?

Alice : Good question! The last time we saw you, Sister, you were puking up down a side alleyway having lost one shoe. [Thinks for a moment] Oh wait, that wasn't you, that was ... someone else. Last time we saw you, you were telling everyone you weren't a nun. How's that working out for you?

Harvey : Yes indeed, ex-sister! You've given up your vows, left your order, turned your back on religion! And in answer to your question, that rogue has been carted off after trying to have us all killed! I tell you this, never trust the quiet, bookish ones!

Clint: [Proudly] But I decked him! Twice.

Austin : [To Chastity, genuinely] Good to have you back Sister. I hope that you have overcome the trials of confessing to your lies. [Checks his nails. Sincerely] Of course, if you're looking for a new god to worship, I'd be quite happy to oblige.

Chastity: [To Austin, icily] I have no need for a so-called [finger quotes] new god, Mr. Sleaze. And, Colonel, I would have expected more respect from you! You used to be such a gentleman! [Covers her face in a tea towel and sniffs noisily, body trembling with emotion]

Austin : [To Chastity] Oh, well, good to hear it. [Playfully] I don't know if I could really be bothered with all your snivelling anyway.

Harvey : [Taken aback] And a gentleman I still am, dear ex-sister! But a confused one! I mean, what rank to apply to an ex-member of a religous order? [Scratches at a sideburn] But I must say, it does warm the cockles of this old mans heart to see you again!

Alice : [Nods] That's right - the only thing worse than Austin thinking he's a god is someone else thinking he's a god!

Chastity's confession

Alice : [Shrugs] Surely you should be glad that some things haven't changed, Sister! Wait, you still are a Sister, right?

Clint: Enjoying the view, Chas? [Does a hip thrust before pulling his pants back up.] We tied Monty's hands with my belt. Got a spare?

Chastity: [Shielding her eyes in horror while she digs through her bag] For Phili's sake! Have some decency, Mr. Scar! [Hands Clint a long flowery scarf] Here, this will have to do.

Patience: [Gives Austin a disgusted look.] Look, Aussie, I know we owe you and all, and don't think I'm not grateful or anything, okay? But if you don't stop fellating yourself I'm definitely going to be sick. [Turns back to Snyder, suddenly sweet and smiling again.] So can Alice come with us, Norbert, or would you rather it was just the two of us? Plus Monty, of course.

Smock: If you don't stop rubbing against that sweaty little man [emphasis] I'm going to be sick.

Clint: [Stunned. To Patience] You gotta be kidding me! You're gonna head off into the sunset with this idiot?!

Austin : [Smiling plesantly to Patience, with a lighthearted and caring chuckle] Oh, come now Patience. Whilst I understand your desire to thank me and worship me, I need not your gratitude or prayers. After all, I am a god. [Plesantly] None the less, your gratitude is well recieved. [Looks around, inhaling the fresh air deeply. To Smock] Ahhh. Well it's good to see you again cadet. Glad you made it through that one.

Harvey : I wouldn't get too jumped up about it, private Sleaze. Why, once back in Vietnumnum, '68, we happened across an isolated tribe who worshipped a wellington boot, obviously discarded by it's presumably one legged owner, some time previously, what!

Snyder : [Gives Patience a wink] Nah, baby, let's leave her alone, she's gonna have to go to that conference. [Puts his arm around Patience and gives Monty a tug] Now, let's amscray outta here and do some lovin'. [Nonchalantly pops a cigarette into his mouth and lights it, taking a deep, satisfying drag] Ahh! [Face screws up a little and he starts coughing] What the hell! I thought those things were supposed to be fun!

Austin : [To Harvey] Well, it is most unfortunate for you to be worshiped less than a wellington boot Colonel, even if that tribe was quite mad.

Smock: [To Austin] Me too! But we only made it on account of you and your scary finger. That thing you did with Azzugasí eyeball, [disgusted and impressed] that was gross! Now that youíre a god and everything, do you have awesome new powers? Like can you crush a man's will just by looking at him? Or can you topple huge towers with a flick of your finger? Or can you create a race of pigs that actually do fly?

Patience: Give me a minute Norbert. [Gives Alice a quick hug.] Alice, it's been fun. [Likewise hugs Smock.] See ya around, kid - I'll give you another driving lesson next time, 'kay? And hey, sorry to make you sick... you'll understand when you're older. Really. [Shakes Harvey's hand.] Take care, Pops. [Slightly inclines her head to Austin.] Aus. [Takes Clint aside for a few minutes and ends up by giving him a friendly arm punch. To Snyder:] Right then, let's go.

Smock: [Taken aback by Patience] What? Are you really going? But... but he's... [Frowns before hugging her again.] I hope I never understand.

Snyder : [All giddy] See you, guys! Come on, Patience, just wait until you see my bottle top collection - I've already got two!

[Exit SNYDER and PATIENCE, walking back out the way SNYDER came, leaving a stunned party behind them.]

Alice : I don't know which is more disturbing, that the two of them have got together, or that people think Austin is a god!

Clint: [To Smock] Join the club, kid. [Enter CHASTITY, glancing behind her at the disappearing SNYDER and PATIENCE.]

Chastity: [To the party] Just as I thought. You look utterly lost without me!

Alice : Did he say a conference? What was that about? [Looks at Austin] Oh no!

Austin : [To Smock, modestly] Being a brand new god I haven't tried things like makeing new races [Wave dismissively] or stuff like that. I expect I find out all that stuff soon enough. [Ponders] I wonder if there's anything I cant do?

Smock: Ah! [Hides behind Clint. Peers around at Chastity] Aren't you trying to kill us?

Clint: [To Austin] Get laid? [To Chastity] Chas?! Where'd you come from?

Smock: Oh. [Looks up at Clint before scampering around behind Alice. To Chastity, suspiciously] So what do you want?

Chastity: [To Clint, wrinkling her nose] What do you mean? I came from that direction [points back from the way she came]. [To Smock] For your own safety, I would find another cowering place, dear. Mr. Scar's backside is not exactly his best side [waves her hand in front of her nose a few times to make the point].

Chastity: [To Smock, sweetly] Do be quiet, little girl. Remember: children should be seen and not heard. [To the rest of the party] Where is Mr. Giles?

Alice : Good question! The last time we saw you, Sister, you were puking up down a side alleyway having lost one shoe. [Thinks for a moment] Oh wait, that wasn't you, that was ... someone else. Last time we saw you, you were telling everyone you weren't a nun. How's that working out for you?

Harvey : Yes indeed, ex-sister! You've given up your vows, left your order, turned your back on religion! And in answer to your question, that rogue has been carted off after trying to have us all killed! I tell you this, never trust the quiet, bookish ones!

Clint: [Proudly] But I decked him! Twice.

Austin : [To Chastity, genuinely] Good to have you back Sister. I hope that you have overcome the trials of confessing to your lies. [Checks his nails. Sincerely] Of course, if you're looking for a new god to worship, I'd be quite happy to oblige.

Chastity: [To Austin, icily] I have no need for a so-called [finger quotes] new god, Mr. Sleaze. And, Colonel, I would have expected more respect from you! You used to be such a gentleman! [Covers her face in a tea towel and sniffs noisily, body trembling with emotion]

Austin : [To Chastity] Oh, well, good to hear it. [Playfully] I don't know if I could really be bothered with all your snivelling anyway.

Harvey : [Taken aback] And a gentleman I still am, dear ex-sister! But a confused one! I mean, what rank to apply to an ex-member of a religous order? [Scratches at a sideburn] But I must say, it does warm the cockles of this old mans heart to see you again!

Alice : [Nods] That's right - the only thing worse than Austin thinking he's a god is someone else thinking he's a god!

Chastity's confession

Alice : [Shrugs] Surely you should be glad that some things haven't changed, Sister! Wait, you still are a Sister, right?

Clint: Enjoying the view, Chas? [Does a hip thrust before pulling his pants back up.] We tied Monty's hands with my belt. Got a spare?

Chastity: [Shielding her eyes in horror while she digs through her bag] For Phili's sake! Have some decency, Mr. Scar! [Hands Clint a long flowery scarf] Here, this will have to do.

Alice : [By way of explanation to Clint] Her own belt is far too long.

Harvey : That Giles character was a dark horse and no mistake! Who would have thought he could have it in him to be such a bounder! [Looks around] What is it about us and the too well educated that make them end up hating us? What, I ask you! First Trindle and now private Giles! [Shakes his head sadly]

Clint: [Glances at the scarf in disbelief.] You want me to wear that? Oh well. Thanks, Chas. [Shrugs and makes use of the scarf, trying to pull his pants up far enough that his shirt hides it. To Harvey, confidently.] It's because they can't get laid, Harv. Eats 'em inside, makes 'em kind of crazy, you know?

Alice : Hey! I'm too well educated, and I'm constantly - [stops abruptly] yeah, bastards!

Chastity: [To Alice, reassuringly] No one would ever guess that you are well-educated, dear. [To Clint] Well done, Mr. Scar. You're doing the world a service by limiting your reproductive potency with that arrangement.

Alice : [Touched] Aw! Thanks Chas! [To the others] Wasn't that nice? I'm glad you're back, Chas, I never thought you were a traitorous backstabber. [Gives Chastity a hug]

Chastity: [Removes the teatowel, utterly composed, and begins folding it briskly. To Harvey] You must address me as you always have, of course! What is there to discuss? [Takes Harvey's arm warmly] It is very good to see you, as well, Colonel. How on earth could Mr. Giles have been led so far astray with your grounding good sense to keep him anchored?! And why is young Smock as filthy as a two-dollar floozy? [Glances at the rest of the party] And why are Clint's pants around his ankles?

Harvey : Why, it fair brings a tear to this old soldiers eye to see the troop back together!

Alice : Of course! I can hardly even play cards, never mind do tricks!

Chastity: [Returning Alice's hug] Thank you, dear! And I never believed you turned tricks in exchange for free dye-jobs!

Harvey : That Giles character was a dark horse and no mistake! Who would have thought he could have it in him to be such a bounder! [Looks around] What is it about us and the too well educated that make them end up hating us? What, I ask you! First Trindle and now private Giles! [Shakes his head sadly]

Clint: [Glances at the scarf in disbelief.] You want me to wear that? Oh well. Thanks, Chas. [Shrugs and makes use of the scarf, trying to pull his pants up far enough that his shirt hides it. To Harvey, confidently.] It's because they can't get laid, Harv. Eats 'em inside, makes 'em kind of crazy, you know?

Alice : Hey! I'm too well educated, and I'm constantly - [stops abruptly] yeah, bastards!

Chastity: [To Alice, reassuringly] No one would ever guess that you are well-educated, dear. [To Clint] Well done, Mr. Scar. You're doing the world a service by limiting your reproductive potency with that arrangement.

Alice : [Touched] Aw! Thanks Chas! [To the others] Wasn't that nice? I'm glad you're back, Chas, I never thought you were a traitorous backstabber. [Gives Chastity a hug]

Chastity: [Removes the teatowel, utterly composed, and begins folding it briskly. To Harvey] You must address me as you always have, of course! What is there to discuss? [Takes Harvey's arm warmly] It is very good to see you, as well, Colonel. How on earth could Mr. Giles have been led so far astray with your grounding good sense to keep him anchored?! And why is young Smock as filthy as a two-dollar floozy? [Glances at the rest of the party] And why are Clint's pants around his ankles?

Harvey : Why, it fair brings a tear to this old soldiers eye to see the troop back together!

Alice : Of course! I can hardly even play cards, never mind do tricks!

Chastity: [Returning Alice's hug] Thank you, dear! And I never believed you turned tricks in exchange for free dye-jobs!

Smock: I'm still confused! [To Chastity] Were you lying or possessed or what?

Austin : [To Smock] Yes, Technically Sister Chastity is a liar. Although she underwent most of the indoctrination and the induction ceremony, she did not take her vows. [Shrugs] Not that any of us here really care about such trivial details. We all know that Chastity is as good a nun as any other, probably better. [Ponders] Phili didn't seem to mind when we met him either. He didn't even mention it. He seemed more concerned with avoiding playing me at poker.

Alice : [Does a double take on Austin, hugely surprised] Whaaaaaaa?

Smock: You met Phili? Wow! This gets better'n better!

Alice : Sure we did! He was really cool - he was almost as good at playing poker as Sven was!

Smock: [Confused] Who's Sven? Is that another nickname for Clint?

Clint: Nah. Sven was a friend of mine. Great guy, actually.

Alice : [Tearing up a little] The greatest.

Chastity : [To Austin] What rot you do speak of, Mr. Sleaze.

Smock: [To Chastity, matter-of-factly] He said that you're not really a real nun. And he would know cuz he's a god.

Austin : [To Chastity] Yous said, and I quote [Checking his notepad] "It was a lie! My whole life was a lie! I never took my vows!". You were either lying then, or you are lying now.

Chastity : No dear, he's a false god, there's quite a difference, you know.

Chastity : Mr. Sleaze, you know full well that all the confessions made in front of Maria were due to the magical item she had. In fact, I seem to remember that everyone here attempted to confess something.

Austin : [To Chastity] So are you saying that you did take your vows and that Maria's magical item made you lie?

Chastity : [Sighs and rolls her eyes] Oh, Mr. Sleaze, I see being dead hasn't done anything for your manners.

Smock: You met Phili? Wow! This gets better'n better!

Alice : Sure we did! He was really cool - he was almost as good at playing poker as Sven was!

Smock: [Confused] Who's Sven? Is that another nickname for Clint?

Clint: Nah. Sven was a friend of mine. Great guy, actually.

Alice : [Tearing up a little] The greatest.

Chastity : [To Austin] What rot you do speak of, Mr. Sleaze.

Smock: [To Chastity, matter-of-factly] He said that you're not really a real nun. And he would know cuz he's a god.

Austin : [To Chastity] Yous said, and I quote [Checking his notepad] "It was a lie! My whole life was a lie! I never took my vows!". You were either lying then, or you are lying now.

Chastity : No dear, he's a false god, there's quite a difference, you know.

Chastity : Mr. Sleaze, you know full well that all the confessions made in front of Maria were due to the magical item she had. In fact, I seem to remember that everyone here attempted to confess something.

Austin : [To Chastity] So are you saying that you did take your vows and that Maria's magical item made you lie?

Chastity : [Sighs and rolls her eyes] Oh, Mr. Sleaze, I see being dead hasn't done anything for your manners.

Austin : [Smoothly clicks his notebook shut and slips it into his bag. To Chastity, smiling] Well that's because there was no room for improvement.

Smock: [To Chastity] Well as long as you're not still trying to kill us, then I don't care anymore if you're not a nun! [To the party] So where are we going now what we don't have to kill Monty?

Chastity : [To Austin] Yes, I'm sure that must be it. [Gives Smock an irritated look] Oh hush, you foolish child, I never tried to kill you, don't be ridiculous. [To the party in general] We have been asked by the Watchers to attend a conference of religious leaders. Mr. Snyder was supposed to inform you, but he seems otherwise occupied.

Alice : Religious leaders? What are we going for?

[CHASTITY turns and looks at AUSTIN.]

Alice : Oh. My. God.

Smock: [At the mention of a conference] Ew! Do we really have to go? Those things are soooo boring.

Chastity: [To Smock] Not this one! [Gets starry-eyed] Can you imagine anything more exciting than debating the one true religion with a roomful of misguided fools and heathens?!

Austin : [Smoothly clicks his notebook shut and slips it into his bag. To Chastity, smiling] Well that's because there was no room for improvement.

Smock: [To Chastity] Well as long as you're not still trying to kill us, then I don't care anymore if you're not a nun! [To the party] So where are we going now what we don't have to kill Monty?

Chastity : [To Austin] Yes, I'm sure that must be it. [Gives Smock an irritated look] Oh hush, you foolish child, I never tried to kill you, don't be ridiculous. [To the party in general] We have been asked by the Watchers to attend a conference of religious leaders. Mr. Snyder was supposed to inform you, but he seems otherwise occupied.

Alice : Religious leaders? What are we going for?

[CHASTITY turns and looks at AUSTIN.]

Alice : Oh. My. God.

Smock: [At the mention of a conference] Ew! Do we really have to go? Those things are soooo boring.

Chastity: [To Smock] Not this one! [Gets starry-eyed] Can you imagine anything more exciting than debating the one true religion with a roomful of misguided fools and heathens?!

Alice : Sure, but where are we going to get a room full of misguided fools and - [looks around slowly at the party] Ah.

Austin : [Smugly] Especially when their god is actually present! [Straightens his cuff] I might even allow them to see Maplin. [Shrugs matter of factly] but maybe not.

Austin : [To Alice] Was it Pestillence or Contagion that cursed your family with stupidity? We really ought to address that problem.

Alice : Maybe a more pressing problem is who cursed us with you!

Austin : [To Alice] You mean blessed, not cursed. [Rolls his eyes]

Chastity: [To Austin, sweetly] No, I believe Alice made herself perfectly clear. [To Alice] And without resorting to obscene language or crude gestures [pats Alice's head kindly].

Austin : [To Chastity] Yes, admirable. Imagine if everyone communicated without resorting to obscene language or crude gestures. Sounds a bit like a conference.

Clint: Hey, I'm all for it! Conferences are great places to pick up broads!

Chastity: [To Clint, drily] Yes, Mr. Scar, no doubt there will be hoards of women eager to abandon their religious convictions for 30 seconds of [finger quotes] pleasure.

Alice : Speaking from personal experience, Chas?

Chastity: [Patiently] No, my dear. That was [pronounces the word very slowly and carefully] sarcasm. [Sighs] Perhaps crude gestures are absolutely essential in communicating with you, after all!

Harvey : By the saints, Sister, it's good to have you back. Any other, er, gods, attending this conference?

Chastity: No doubt. Everyone is a god these days! [looks at Austin in disbelief and disgust. To the party] Shall we go, then?

Alice : Everyone? Even us?

Chastity: [Surveys the party disapprovingly and grudgingly says] Yes, all of us. Even Mr. Scar.

Austin : [To Chastity] Not everyone Chassers, old girl, just a few of us. I don't recall you finding your own veneration to your dislike.

Austin : [Muses] How dissapointing. [Looks at Clint] The god of poor personal hygene? [Looks over Alice] The godess of ladies of negociable affections and mathematics genius? [Ponders Harvey] God of giveing the bad guys a jolly good cuffing and honeyeyed locusts? This could be a very interesting conference.

Clint: [Impatiently] Enough yammering! If we're going to go, let's get a move on! Even a conference full of religious chicks has got to be better than the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere!

Chastity: You forgot the god common thieves and ambiguous sexual orientation!

Austin : [To Clint] My dear pungent colleague, don't you think it may be more important to get the amulet of Orleon away from Azzugas, rather than friviously attending a conference full of beautiful girls who worship us. [Without giveing Clint time to respond. Shakes his head] No, of course you don't. We need rest anyway, I think we're all quite badly wounded.

Chastity: No doubt. Everyone is a god these days! [looks at Austin in disbelief and disgust. To the party] Shall we go, then?

Alice : Everyone? Even us?

Chastity: [Surveys the party disapprovingly and grudgingly says] Yes, all of us. Even Mr. Scar.

Austin : [To Chastity] Not everyone Chassers, old girl, just a few of us. I don't recall you finding your own veneration to your dislike.

Austin : [Muses] How dissapointing. [Looks at Clint] The god of poor personal hygene? [Looks over Alice] The godess of ladies of negociable affections and mathematics genius? [Ponders Harvey] God of giveing the bad guys a jolly good cuffing and honeyeyed locusts? This could be a very interesting conference.

Clint: [Impatiently] Enough yammering! If we're going to go, let's get a move on! Even a conference full of religious chicks has got to be better than the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere!

Chastity: You forgot the god common thieves and ambiguous sexual orientation!

Austin : [To Clint] My dear pungent colleague, don't you think it may be more important to get the amulet of Orleon away from Azzugas, rather than friviously attending a conference full of beautiful girls who worship us. [Without giveing Clint time to respond. Shakes his head] No, of course you don't. We need rest anyway, I think we're all quite badly wounded.

Austin : [To Chastity] What's ambiguous about heterosexuality? [Sighs] Trust an almost nun to find to find ambiguity in the norm, and as for 'common thieves', I think that sums up your church quite conclusively.

Alice : I think it's your [finger quotes] heterosexuality that she finds ambiguous, Austin.

Chastity: [Sniffs] Given your own decidedly skewed view of right and wrong, I am sure YOU could pay no higher compliment to the church than to insult it, Mr. Sleaze!

Alice : So wait a minute, is [emphasis] everyone a god? Oh, man! That just totally cheapens it! Who decided who's a god and who's not?

Chastity: Not everyone, dear. Just all of us. The people decide for themselves who is worthy of worship and who is not, of course. Our party's heroic exploits have spread and blossomed into mythology, thanks to constant, ah, fertilizing, if you will.

Clint: [Excited] So you mean when someone says "Oh God" I can answer? Heh heh. Best pickup line EVER!

Austin : [To Chastity] Whatever. [To Clint] You won't need to use pickup lines Mr Scar, there are women out there who worship you, for some odd reason nodoubt, but perhaps you would be best not trying to impress them, lest they realise that you are not quite the god they imaginged and worship.

Alice : Oh my God!

All : Yes?

Alice : [Irritated] Wait a minute? The [emphasis] people? Are these the same people who thought hair styles were a kind of religion? Who worshipped eggs? Who wore Berburry?

Chastity: [Nods grimly] The very same. So, you can understand why this conference is so important. We must eradicate these delusional fringe groups and show them that Phili is the one true god!

Austin : [To Chastity] And how do you propose to do that? [Does the 'stands-to-reason' hands gesture] Realistically the people choose their own gods, real or not.

Chastity: [Serenely] Through faith, of course. Phili will show me the way.

Alice : Huh? I thought [gestures to the party] we were the one true god! If not us, then Aussie - or is he a demon? [To Austin] What was that all about, by the way?

Chastity: Not everyone, dear. Just all of us. The people decide for themselves who is worthy of worship and who is not, of course. Our party's heroic exploits have spread and blossomed into mythology, thanks to constant, ah, fertilizing, if you will.

Clint: [Excited] So you mean when someone says "Oh God" I can answer? Heh heh. Best pickup line EVER!

Austin : [To Chastity] Whatever. [To Clint] You won't need to use pickup lines Mr Scar, there are women out there who worship you, for some odd reason nodoubt, but perhaps you would be best not trying to impress them, lest they realise that you are not quite the god they imaginged and worship.

Alice : Oh my God!

All : Yes?

Alice : [Irritated] Wait a minute? The [emphasis] people? Are these the same people who thought hair styles were a kind of religion? Who worshipped eggs? Who wore Berburry?

Chastity: [Nods grimly] The very same. So, you can understand why this conference is so important. We must eradicate these delusional fringe groups and show them that Phili is the one true god!

Austin : [To Chastity] And how do you propose to do that? [Does the 'stands-to-reason' hands gesture] Realistically the people choose their own gods, real or not.

Chastity: [Serenely] Through faith, of course. Phili will show me the way.

Alice : Huh? I thought [gestures to the party] we were the one true god! If not us, then Aussie - or is he a demon? [To Austin] What was that all about, by the way?

Chastity: Not everyone, dear. Just all of us. The people decide for themselves who is worthy of worship and who is not, of course. Our party's heroic exploits have spread and blossomed into mythology, thanks to constant, ah, fertilizing, if you will.

Clint: [Excited] So you mean when someone says "Oh God" I can answer? Heh heh. Best pickup line EVER!

Austin : [To Chastity] Whatever. [To Clint] You won't need to use pickup lines Mr Scar, there are women out there who worship you, for some odd reason nodoubt, but perhaps you would be best not trying to impress them, lest they realise that you are not quite the god they imaginged and worship.

Alice : Oh my God!

All : Yes?

Alice : [Irritated] Wait a minute? The [emphasis] people? Are these the same people who thought hair styles were a kind of religion? Who worshipped eggs? Who wore Berburry?

Chastity: [Nods grimly] The very same. So, you can understand why this conference is so important. We must eradicate these delusional fringe groups and show them that Phili is the one true god!

Austin : [To Chastity] And how do you propose to do that? [Does the 'stands-to-reason' hands gesture] Realistically the people choose their own gods, real or not.

Chastity: [Serenely] Through faith, of course. Phili will show me the way.

Alice : Huh? I thought [gestures to the party] we were the one true god! If not us, then Aussie - or is he a demon? [To Austin] What was that all about, by the way?

Smock: [Totally overwhelmed in the presence of so many gods, looks from person to person, awed. Murmuring to herself] This is so cool.

Harvey : No cadet, this is terrible! With so many people worshipping so many Gods, it can all only end in warfare! I mean troop, they were ready to murder each other over blasted hairstyles!

Chastity : Well said, Colonel. That is the reasoning behind the conference, to avoid [glances at Alice] worship of people with bad hairstyles.

Smock: Hmm. [Looks between party members again with careful consideration. Announces] My moneyís on Clint's worshippers.

Austin : The colonel is right! [Pauses for effect, meeting the gaze of each party memeber in turn] By saving the world we have divided it! [Pauses for effect] We must reunite the masses to avoid another world war!

Alice : [Rolls her eyes, unimpressed and folds her arms] Isn't that what the conference is about?

Smock: [Excitedly] All right! [Raises her arm triumphantly] Letís go save the world!!

[Exit ALL, pumped up on adrenaline and religious fervour.]

Last fro mme #1.160

[Book V, Act VI, Scene II. The Entrance to the Caves. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY and SMOCK are here, just coming to daylight. Waiting here is a woman in a suit, CAROLINE WILKERSON. As she sees the party approaching, she puts on a super perky smile.]

Caroline : Super! There you are! Now, we're a little behind schedule, but that's just fine. I have your tickets [holds up some papers] your accomodation arrangements [more papers] and I took the precaution of registering each of you for the conference [big bundle of papers] as I know that you're just super busy and have better things to do than fill out forms. [Steps to one side, revealing six brown paper bags] I also took the liberty of preparing a small travel bag for each of you. I'm sure they'll be disappointing, so please don't hesitate to ask for anything you need. [Gives Alice an extra warm smile] And I mean anything!

Alice : Uh, [glances behind her for a second] okay, thanks.

Caroline Wilkerson

Smock: Super! [Runs straight for her paper bag and opens it excitedly.]

Austin : [To Caroline] Why, thank you. [Gingerly picks up his bag and takes a peek inside] Have you arranged transport to the conference venue?

Caroline : Aw! Isn't she just a dote? Oh! Where are my manners? I'm Caroline Wilkerson, I'm helping arranging the conference. It's such a pleasure to meet you all.

Caroline : Oh yes, Austin, if I may call you that. It's waiting outside.

Harvey : [Takes his bag and looks in] By the saints! Golden honeyed locusts! Well done, young lady! [Takes a few and crunches away happily]

Austin : [Staring into the bag] My, my. Baby panda's eyes, coated in royal jelly and gold flake, marinated in a '47 Reisling, my favourite! Yummy! [Pauses, and then takes a small bottle from the bag] Goodness me! Blinkomyloba forearm cream by Yager Zazoom. [Immediatley rolls up Maplin's sleeve and applies some of the cream] Aaaah! Incredible, this is the best forearm cream in the world, oooh.

Alice : Wow! I can't wait to see what I've got! [Opens her bag] Yay! Pickled snakes' feet! And some L'Oreal Feria hair colour! [To Caroline] How did you know? [Looks in again] Oh, and there's a piece of paper. [Takes it out and looks at it] It's a number.

Caroline : It's my phone number.

Alice : Uh, thanks. [Puts it back in]

Smock: Wow! Raspberry jam and sardines! [Pulls out a sandwich and takes a bite, still rummaging in the bag with her other hand.] Sweet! [Produces a brightly coloured yo-yo.] This is the best! [Runs up and hugs Caroline, careful not to smear the sandwich on her.]

Smock: Wow! Raspberry jam and sardines! [Pulls out a sandwich and takes a bite, still rummaging in the bag with her other hand.] Sweet! [Produces a brightly coloured yo-yo.] This is the best! [Runs up and hugs Caroline, careful not to smear the sandwich on her.]

Clint: [To Caroline, with a cheesy grin.] Hey baby. I bet it's not every day you meet a god like me... [Opens his own bag to find cigars, cigars, pickled chicken feet, and more cigars.]

Caroline : [Returning Smock's hug, apparently not bothered about the jammy hands] That's right, Clint, because you're [gives him a big thumbs up] all one of a kind!

Alice : So we're all the same?

Caroline : [Carries on smiling] When I said you're all one of a kind, I meant that each of you is a different one of a kind.

Smock: [To Caroline] Can we see our ride now?

Chastity : [Opens her bag, and takes out and enormous cooked chicken, that doesn't look like it could possibly fit in there] Oh! My favourite!

Caroline : [To Smock] Of course! [Hands out a ticket to each party member] Here are your tickets, you'll need those to get aboard. They're the tickets for getting on board.

Smock: [Wipes the jam off her hand on to her pants before taking the ticket and inspecting it curiously. To the party] Iím so glad you guys are gods! [Runs off to see the transportation.]

Austin : [Peers over to the transportation] A Lambocedes I presume?

[The party follow SMOCK out, to see that she is standing beside a large carriage that appears to be in the shape of a cat.]

Caroline : This is the carriage. It's the carriage that's going to take you to the conference. Now, I hope no one has lost their tickets?

The Kittymobile

Austin : [To Caroline] So do I. [Stares at the transport] What's the fascination with cats around this place anyway?

Clint: [Blinks at the carriage.] I don't think it's a Lambocedes, lawyer. [To Caroline, in a tone of utter disbelief.] You want me to put my godly butt in a carriage shaped like a cat?? [Shrugs and gets in, ticket in hand.]

Smock: [Squeals] Cool! [Runs to the kittymobile and presses herself against the furry surface.]

Alice : [Stroking the front of the carriage] Aw! He's just so cute! Isn't he cute, Clint?

Caroline : [To Austin] I'm not sure, but this carriage is a result of -

[CLINT opens the door to find it blocked by REGINALD CARRUTHERS, who angrily pushes CLINT out of the way.]

Reginald : [Shouting] What the fup is wrong with you? You dumb fupper! Why don't you fup off before I stick my fupping boot up your fupping narse.

Reginald Carruthers

Smock: [Shifting quickly from excitement to anger] Oy! Donít you know who youíre talking to, punk?! Heís a god!

Austin : [To Reginald] Charming. We do have tickets [Shows his ticket to Reginald. To Caroline] You were saying, that this carriage was a result of?

Clint: [Blinks again and starts laughing.] Yes, Alice, the carriage is cute. [Gestures at Reginald.] He's a twit.

Chastity: [To Reginald, politely] Greetings, kind sir. My, what a distinctive carriage! Are you are driver?

Austin : [To Clint] I believe that he may be one of yours, Mr Scar. [Smirks]

Reginald : Of course I'm the fupping driver! Why else do you think I'm in the carriage, you fupping itch? [Turns to Austin with a smile as he takes the ticket] Thank you sir, please come aboard.

Caroline : [To Austin] I was going to say that the conference is sponsored Goggans' Pies, you know? They sell the fresh pork and chicken pies?

Chastity: [Hands Reginald the ticket] Aren't you a lovely man? [To Caroline, disapproving] Women who buy premade food are doing a grave disservice to their families!

Smock: [Shoves her ticket toward Reginald] Can I come aboard too? English take

Reginald : [Gives each of Chastity and Smock a smile] Welcome aboard, ladies.

Alice : [To Caroline] Pork and chicken? Then how come it's shaped like a cat?

Caroline : [Makes to say something, but thinks better of it] Why don't we get on board?

Chastity: [To Caroline] Is something troubling you, dear?

Smock: [Climbs on board, finds herself a seat and settles in, yo-yo in one hand, sandwich in the other. To Reginald] How far is this conference place?

Austin : [To Caroline] Hmm, Goggan's pies. Yes I do believe I have heard of that.

Chastity: [To Austin] Well, who hasn't?

Smock: [To Chastity] Me.

Alice : [To Smock] You haven't heard of what?

Austin : [To Alice] Goggan's Pies. [To Smock] So your parent's were not proles. Just out of curiousity, what did your parents do?

Smock: [Spinning her yo-yo. To Alice] I heard of pies, I just didn't know there was special ones called Goggan's. [To Austin] They did lots of stuff. Dad mainly wrote poems and letters and did lots of gardening. Mum sewed stuff and made cheese.

Austin : [To Smock] Sounds very new age. [Curiously] Did either of them have magic powers?

Chastity: [To Smock, dismayed] Your father was a poet, and you're illiterate?!

Smock: [To Austin] Nup. Well not that I knew. But I bet they will never believe me when I tell them that I have met gods! What did your parents do? Did they have magic?

Smock: [Frowns at Chastity] I can read... some. Just not big words.

Austin : [To Smock] My mother was a judge.

Alice : What kind of stuff did she judge? Pie competitions and things, is it?

[Everyone is now aboard, although REGINALD is sitting in the back with the party, his feet up on a chair, smoking a cigarette.]

Reginald : So, gods, huh?

Austin : [To Alice] No. She was a high court judge. She judges criminals. [To Reginald] Yes, apparently we are gods, according to popular belief.

Reginald : Well, I didn't vote for you! I'm sick of gods, I've got fupping gods coming out of my fupping narse.

Caroline : [Quickly stepping in front of Reginald] What Reginald means to say is that [does a surprised look] gosh! There seems to be an awful lot of gods around these day.

Harvey : [Gestures to Reginald] Looks like there's no end to the type of thing they worship in this place, what!

Clint: [To Reginald] You, driver: Is there some reason we're just sitting here on our fupping narses? [Reaches into his bag, munches on a pickled chicken's foot, and belches noisily.] Ahh...

Reginald : Yeah, because I couldn't be bothered moving this fupping carriage, you fup. I'm a free fupping spirit, I am!

[Enter ALBERT FERRER, an intense looking man wearing an enormously expensive looking suit. When he speaks, he does very quickly and intensely, using something of a monotone.]

Albert : [To Reginald] You'll be an unemployed spirit if you don't get this vehicle moving in the next thirty seconds. Previous employers may have found your cutesy use of modified swear words endearing, but, to me, it's a sackable offence. [Turns to the party, without changing his facial expression] Albert Ferrer, scrote. It's a pleasure to meet you.

Caroline : [Perkily to the party] This is Albert Ferrer!

Albert Ferrer

Austin : [To Albert] Hello. Are you a god or a worshiper of a god, or neither?

Albert : [Again speaking very quickly] I am neither. I am a humanist, more concerned with the love and care for all loving creatures [notices that Reginald hasn't moved, and turns and shouts at him] Get the hell out of here! [Turns to Austin and continues in his normal, quiet but intense voice] than praying to some imaginary all powerful being who appears to care so little for the very people he himself is supposed to have created, that millions of them have died in a senseless war.

[REGINALD leaves the carriage, looking rather wounded, and gets into the front.]

Austin : [To Albert] Well, never mind, perhaps when you get to the conference you can buy a more tasteful suit, [with a look of utter disgust on his face] that one looks as if it is made of tweed. Quite why any designer would work with such a tragic material is beyond reason.

Albert : I see. Petty one upmanship. Quite what one would expect from a false god.

Austin : [To Albert, snootily] I am not a false god. This is simply because I am not a god at all. [Frowns at Albert] I was chosen by the people to be their god, by their own volition and free will. I do not claim to be their god, flase or otherwise. They claimed me, and it doesn't improve your suit in the least bit. [Sighs] And it's not petty one upmaship either. Whilst I understand that you quite naturally feel inferior to me, I do not even want to be associated with you, one up, equal or below.

Albert : You confuse me with someone who cares about you and your opinion. The aggressiveness with which you challenge the quality of my suit is proof positive of how much you fear being found out for the style fraud that you really are. I feel sorry for you. If I believed in a god, false or otherwise, I would probably pray for you.

Caroline : [Stepping in between the two, with a big, but nervous smile] Oh-kay! What I think Albert is saying is that he is a healthy sceptic, who has been brought in to help you scrotes. [Big, bright smile]

Austin : [To Albert] If you don't care, then please don't talk to me, your verbal diahorrea is quite obscene. [To Caroline, sharply] Please do not refer to me as a scrote, ever again.

Albert : While I don't care, my natural reaction is to retaliate when insulted. However, in your case I see that any such retaliation would be akin to kicking a hungry dog who has stolen my lunch. Simply because the dog is a nuisance doesn't mean that he can help himself. I apologise for my actions.

Caroline : [To Austin] Oh no! You misunderstand, Scrotes are what we call people attending the conference. It's the Special Conference Researching the One True Eternal.

Harvey : And who is this one true eternal you are researching, my dear?

Chastity: [Patiently] Phili, of course.

Chastity: Not everyone, dear. Just all of us. The people decide for themselves who is worthy of worship and who is not, of course. Our party's heroic exploits have spread and blossomed into mythology, thanks to constant, ah, fertilizing, if you will.

Clint: [Excited] So you mean when someone says "Oh God" I can answer? Heh heh. Best pickup line EVER!

Austin : [To Chastity] Whatever. [To Clint] You won't need to use pickup lines Mr Scar, there are women out there who worship you, for some odd reason nodoubt, but perhaps you would be best not trying to impress them, lest they realise that you are not quite the god they imaginged and worship.

Alice : Oh my God!

All : Yes?

Alice : [Irritated] Wait a minute? The [emphasis] people? Are these the same people who thought hair styles were a kind of religion? Who worshipped eggs? Who wore Berburry?

Chastity: [Nods grimly] The very same. So, you can understand why this conference is so important. We must eradicate these delusional fringe groups and show them that Phili is the one true god!

Austin : [To Chastity] And how do you propose to do that? [Does the 'stands-to-reason' hands gesture] Realistically the people choose their own gods, real or not.

Chastity: [Serenely] Through faith, of course. Phili will show me the way.

Alice : Huh? I thought [gestures to the party] we were the one true god! If not us, then Aussie - or is he a demon? [To Austin] What was that all about, by the way?

Smock: [Totally overwhelmed in the presence of so many gods, looks from person to person, awed. Murmuring to herself] This is so cool.

Harvey : No cadet, this is terrible! With so many people worshipping so many Gods, it can all only end in warfare! I mean troop, they were ready to murder each other over blasted hairstyles!

Chastity : Well said, Colonel. That is the reasoning behind the conference, to avoid [glances at Alice] worship of people with bad hairstyles.

Smock: Hmm. [Looks between party members again with careful consideration. Announces] My moneyís on Clint's worshippers.

Austin : The colonel is right! [Pauses for effect, meeting the gaze of each party memeber in turn] By saving the world we have divided it! [Pauses for effect] We must reunite the masses to avoid another world war!

Alice : [Rolls her eyes, unimpressed and folds her arms] Isn't that what the conference is about?

Smock: [Excitedly] All right! [Raises her arm triumphantly] Letís go save the world!!

[Exit ALL, pumped up on adrenaline and religious fervour.]

Last fro mme #1.160

[Book V, Act VI, Scene II. The Entrance to the Caves. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY and SMOCK are here, just coming to daylight. Waiting here is a woman in a suit, CAROLINE WILKERSON. As she sees the party approaching, she puts on a super perky smile.]

Caroline : Super! There you are! Now, we're a little behind schedule, but that's just fine. I have your tickets [holds up some papers] your accomodation arrangements [more papers] and I took the precaution of registering each of you for the conference [big bundle of papers] as I know that you're just super busy and have better things to do than fill out forms. [Steps to one side, revealing six brown paper bags] I also took the liberty of preparing a small travel bag for each of you. I'm sure they'll be disappointing, so please don't hesitate to ask for anything you need. [Gives Alice an extra warm smile] And I mean anything!

Alice : Uh, [glances behind her for a second] okay, thanks.

Caroline Wilkerson

Smock: Super! [Runs straight for her paper bag and opens it excitedly.]

Austin : [To Caroline] Why, thank you. [Gingerly picks up his bag and takes a peek inside] Have you arranged transport to the conference venue?

Caroline : Aw! Isn't she just a dote? Oh! Where are my manners? I'm Caroline Wilkerson, I'm helping arranging the conference. It's such a pleasure to meet you all.

Caroline : Oh yes, Austin, if I may call you that. It's waiting outside.

Harvey : [Takes his bag and looks in] By the saints! Golden honeyed locusts! Well done, young lady! [Takes a few and crunches away happily]

Austin : [Staring into the bag] My, my. Baby panda's eyes, coated in royal jelly and gold flake, marinated in a '47 Reisling, my favourite! Yummy! [Pauses, and then takes a small bottle from the bag] Goodness me! Blinkomyloba forearm cream by Yager Zazoom. [Immediatley rolls up Maplin's sleeve and applies some of the cream] Aaaah! Incredible, this is the best forearm cream in the world, oooh.

Alice : Wow! I can't wait to see what I've got! [Opens her bag] Yay! Pickled snakes' feet! And some L'Oreal Feria hair colour! [To Caroline] How did you know? [Looks in again] Oh, and there's a piece of paper. [Takes it out and looks at it] It's a number.

Caroline : It's my phone number.

Alice : Uh, thanks. [Puts it back in]

Smock: Wow! Raspberry jam and sardines! [Pulls out a sandwich and takes a bite, still rummaging in the bag with her other hand.] Sweet! [Produces a brightly coloured yo-yo.] This is the best! [Runs up and hugs Caroline, careful not to smear the sandwich on her.]

Smock: Wow! Raspberry jam and sardines! [Pulls out a sandwich and takes a bite, still rummaging in the bag with her other hand.] Sweet! [Produces a brightly coloured yo-yo.] This is the best! [Runs up and hugs Caroline, careful not to smear the sandwich on her.]

Clint: [To Caroline, with a cheesy grin.] Hey baby. I bet it's not every day you meet a god like me... [Opens his own bag to find cigars, cigars, pickled chicken feet, and more cigars.]

Caroline : [Returning Smock's hug, apparently not bothered about the jammy hands] That's right, Clint, because you're [gives him a big thumbs up] all one of a kind!

Alice : So we're all the same?

Caroline : [Carries on smiling] When I said you're all one of a kind, I meant that each of you is a different one of a kind.

Smock: [To Caroline] Can we see our ride now?

Chastity : [Opens her bag, and takes out and enormous cooked chicken, that doesn't look like it could possibly fit in there] Oh! My favourite!

Caroline : [To Smock] Of course! [Hands out a ticket to each party member] Here are your tickets, you'll need those to get aboard. They're the tickets for getting on board.

Smock: [Wipes the jam off her hand on to her pants before taking the ticket and inspecting it curiously. To the party] Iím so glad you guys are gods! [Runs off to see the transportation.]

Austin : [Peers over to the transportation] A Lambocedes I presume?

[The party follow SMOCK out, to see that she is standing beside a large carriage that appears to be in the shape of a cat.]

Caroline : This is the carriage. It's the carriage that's going to take you to the conference. Now, I hope no one has lost their tickets?

The Kittymobile

Austin : [To Caroline] So do I. [Stares at the transport] What's the fascination with cats around this place anyway?

Clint: [Blinks at the carriage.] I don't think it's a Lambocedes, lawyer. [To Caroline, in a tone of utter disbelief.] You want me to put my godly butt in a carriage shaped like a cat?? [Shrugs and gets in, ticket in hand.]

Smock: [Squeals] Cool! [Runs to the kittymobile and presses herself against the furry surface.]

Alice : [Stroking the front of the carriage] Aw! He's just so cute! Isn't he cute, Clint?

Caroline : [To Austin] I'm not sure, but this carriage is a result of -

[CLINT opens the door to find it blocked by REGINALD CARRUTHERS, who angrily pushes CLINT out of the way.]

Reginald : [Shouting] What the fup is wrong with you? You dumb fupper! Why don't you fup off before I stick my fupping boot up your fupping narse.

Reginald Carruthers

Smock: [Shifting quickly from excitement to anger] Oy! Donít you know who youíre talking to, punk?! Heís a god!

Austin : [To Reginald] Charming. We do have tickets [Shows his ticket to Reginald. To Caroline] You were saying, that this carriage was a result of?

Clint: [Blinks again and starts laughing.] Yes, Alice, the carriage is cute. [Gestures at Reginald.] He's a twit.

Chastity: [To Reginald, politely] Greetings, kind sir. My, what a distinctive carriage! Are you are driver?

Austin : [To Clint] I believe that he may be one of yours, Mr Scar. [Smirks]

Reginald : Of course I'm the fupping driver! Why else do you think I'm in the carriage, you fupping itch? [Turns to Austin with a smile as he takes the ticket] Thank you sir, please come aboard.

Caroline : [To Austin] I was going to say that the conference is sponsored Goggans' Pies, you know? They sell the fresh pork and chicken pies?

Chastity: [Hands Reginald the ticket] Aren't you a lovely man? [To Caroline, disapproving] Women who buy premade food are doing a grave disservice to their families!

Smock: [Shoves her ticket toward Reginald] Can I come aboard too? English take

Reginald : [Gives each of Chastity and Smock a smile] Welcome aboard, ladies.

Alice : [To Caroline] Pork and chicken? Then how come it's shaped like a cat?

Caroline : [Makes to say something, but thinks better of it] Why don't we get on board?

Chastity: [To Caroline] Is something troubling you, dear?

Smock: [Climbs on board, finds herself a seat and settles in, yo-yo in one hand, sandwich in the other. To Reginald] How far is this conference place?

Austin : [To Caroline] Hmm, Goggan's pies. Yes I do believe I have heard of that.

Chastity: [To Austin] Well, who hasn't?

Smock: [To Chastity] Me.

Alice : [To Smock] You haven't heard of what?

Austin : [To Alice] Goggan's Pies. [To Smock] So your parent's were not proles. Just out of curiousity, what did your parents do?

Smock: [Spinning her yo-yo. To Alice] I heard of pies, I just didn't know there was special ones called Goggan's. [To Austin] They did lots of stuff. Dad mainly wrote poems and letters and did lots of gardening. Mum sewed stuff and made cheese.

Austin : [To Smock] Sounds very new age. [Curiously] Did either of them have magic powers?

Chastity: [To Smock, dismayed] Your father was a poet, and you're illiterate?!

Smock: [To Austin] Nup. Well not that I knew. But I bet they will never believe me when I tell them that I have met gods! What did your parents do? Did they have magic?

Smock: [Frowns at Chastity] I can read... some. Just not big words.

Austin : [To Smock] My mother was a judge.

Alice : What kind of stuff did she judge? Pie competitions and things, is it?

[Everyone is now aboard, although REGINALD is sitting in the back with the party, his feet up on a chair, smoking a cigarette.]

Reginald : So, gods, huh?

Austin : [To Alice] No. She was a high court judge. She judges criminals. [To Reginald] Yes, apparently we are gods, according to popular belief.

Reginald : Well, I didn't vote for you! I'm sick of gods, I've got fupping gods coming out of my fupping narse.

Caroline : [Quickly stepping in front of Reginald] What Reginald means to say is that [does a surprised look] gosh! There seems to be an awful lot of gods around these day.

Harvey : [Gestures to Reginald] Looks like there's no end to the type of thing they worship in this place, what!

Clint: [To Reginald] You, driver: Is there some reason we're just sitting here on our fupping narses? [Reaches into his bag, munches on a pickled chicken's foot, and belches noisily.] Ahh...

Reginald : Yeah, because I couldn't be bothered moving this fupping carriage, you fup. I'm a free fupping spirit, I am!

[Enter ALBERT FERRER, an intense looking man wearing an enormously expensive looking suit. When he speaks, he does very quickly and intensely, using something of a monotone.]

Albert : [To Reginald] You'll be an unemployed spirit if you don't get this vehicle moving in the next thirty seconds. Previous employers may have found your cutesy use of modified swear words endearing, but, to me, it's a sackable offence. [Turns to the party, without changing his facial expression] Albert Ferrer, scrote. It's a pleasure to meet you.

Caroline : [Perkily to the party] This is Albert Ferrer!

Albert Ferrer

Austin : [To Albert] Hello. Are you a god or a worshiper of a god, or neither?

Albert : [Again speaking very quickly] I am neither. I am a humanist, more concerned with the love and care for all loving creatures [notices that Reginald hasn't moved, and turns and shouts at him] Get the hell out of here! [Turns to Austin and continues in his normal, quiet but intense voice] than praying to some imaginary all powerful being who appears to care so little for the very people he himself is supposed to have created, that millions of them have died in a senseless war.

[REGINALD leaves the carriage, looking rather wounded, and gets into the front.]

Austin : [To Albert] Well, never mind, perhaps when you get to the conference you can buy a more tasteful suit, [with a look of utter disgust on his face] that one looks as if it is made of tweed. Quite why any designer would work with such a tragic material is beyond reason.

Albert : I see. Petty one upmanship. Quite what one would expect from a false god.

Austin : [To Albert, snootily] I am not a false god. This is simply because I am not a god at all. [Frowns at Albert] I was chosen by the people to be their god, by their own volition and free will. I do not claim to be their god, flase or otherwise. They claimed me, and it doesn't improve your suit in the least bit. [Sighs] And it's not petty one upmaship either. Whilst I understand that you quite naturally feel inferior to me, I do not even want to be associated with you, one up, equal or below.

Albert : You confuse me with someone who cares about you and your opinion. The aggressiveness with which you challenge the quality of my suit is proof positive of how much you fear being found out for the style fraud that you really are. I feel sorry for you. If I believed in a god, false or otherwise, I would probably pray for you.

Caroline : [Stepping in between the two, with a big, but nervous smile] Oh-kay! What I think Albert is saying is that he is a healthy sceptic, who has been brought in to help you scrotes. [Big, bright smile]

Austin : [To Albert] If you don't care, then please don't talk to me, your verbal diahorrea is quite obscene. [To Caroline, sharply] Please do not refer to me as a scrote, ever again.

Albert : While I don't care, my natural reaction is to retaliate when insulted. However, in your case I see that any such retaliation would be akin to kicking a hungry dog who has stolen my lunch. Simply because the dog is a nuisance doesn't mean that he can help himself. I apologise for my actions.

Caroline : [To Austin] Oh no! You misunderstand, Scrotes are what we call people attending the conference. It's the Special Conference Researching the One True Eternal.

Harvey : And who is this one true eternal you are researching, my dear?

Chastity: [Patiently] Phili, of course.

Smock: [Jam smeared all over her mouth, to Albert] That humanist thing sounds tops! I love creatures too! [Pulls her pet cockroach out of her pocket and shows it to Albert.] This is Twitch. He's my best friend. [The very large insect starts to climb up Smock's arm. To Austin, looking a little confused] But you're still a god, right? A real god? Because you were dead, and then you were alive again, and only gods can do that.

Albert : Your solidarity with all living things brings joy to my heart, but I must confess to you that a sixteen year old behaving like a nine year old who is barely aware of the importance of personal hygiene is not my idea of cute. Labrador puppies with big pink bows on them, babies dressed in adult clothes pretending to smoke cigars and cats with party hats on them, now that's what I call cute. [Nods politely to Twitch] Pleased to meet you Twitch, if there's anything we can do to make your stay more enjoyable, well, I doubt it.

Smock: [Frowns, apparently offended] Who said I was cute?

Chastity: [To Smock, soothingly] No one, dear.

Caroline : [Giving Smock a smile] I think what Mr. Ferrer is saying, Smock, is that although he normally finds children difficult to deal with, he is particularly impressed with you and your devotion to animals.

Chastity: [To Smock, helpfully] And he also said that he finds you to be unusually immature for a girl your age. [To Albert] I really must agree with you, good sir. I have been frightfully indulgent with the child and must remember to guide her with a much firmer hand in the future [studies Smock with a frown].

Smock: [Looking at Caroline] Oh. [Pauses] Good! [Beams at Albert before settling in her seat again. Pokes her tongue at Chastity.] You're just jealous because you don't have any friends.

Smock: [Jam smeared all over her mouth, to Albert] That humanist thing sounds tops! I love creatures too! [Pulls her pet cockroach out of her pocket and shows it to Albert.] This is Twitch. He's my best friend. [The very large insect starts to climb up Smock's arm. To Austin, looking a little confused] But you're still a god, right? A real god? Because you were dead, and then you were alive again, and only gods can do that.

Albert : Your solidarity with all living things brings joy to my heart, but I must confess to you that a sixteen year old behaving like a nine year old who is barely aware of the importance of personal hygiene is not my idea of cute. Labrador puppies with big pink bows on them, babies dressed in adult clothes pretending to smoke cigars and cats with party hats on them, now that's what I call cute. [Nods politely to Twitch] Pleased to meet you Twitch, if there's anything we can do to make your stay more enjoyable, well, I doubt it.

Smock: [Frowns, apparently offended] Who said I was cute?

Chastity: [To Smock, soothingly] No one, dear.

Caroline : [Giving Smock a smile] I think what Mr. Ferrer is saying, Smock, is that although he normally finds children difficult to deal with, he is particularly impressed with you and your devotion to animals.

Chastity: [To Smock, helpfully] And he also said that he finds you to be unusually immature for a girl your age. [To Albert] I really must agree with you, good sir. I have been frightfully indulgent with the child and must remember to guide her with a much firmer hand in the future [studies Smock with a frown].

Smock: [Looking at Caroline] Oh. [Pauses] Good! [Beams at Albert before settling in her seat again. Pokes her tongue at Chastity.] You're just jealous because you don't have any friends.

Harvey : Now now, cadet! I do not want to see that tongue of yours projected towards the good sister Chastity again, what! [To Chastity] My apologies for the behaviour of our youngest cadet, sister!

Caroline : [To Smock] I think what Colonel is saying, Smock, is that he loves your independent and spunky nature, but that party unity is important, especially now that you're all Scrotes.

Smock: [To Harvey, quietly obedient] Yes, sir. [Goes back to playing with her yo-yo.]

Clint: Now look what you've made the kid do, Harv! [To Smock] He doesn't really mean it, kid. And neither does Chas. She's just being cranky because that's what nuns do, you know? On 18/01/06, Tom Henderson wrote:

Albert : [Nods at Clint's words] It's one of the staple ironies of all religion. Those who are supposedly closest to their god through praying, good works and other acts of conspicuous holiness generally look down on those who haven't opted for the same cowardly lifestyle as they.

Smock: Really? [Brightens.] I guess nuns are pretty cranky. [Goes to sit near Clint, beaming at him.] Check this out! [Proceeds to spin her yo-yo and perform a fancy trick.]

Harvey : Now, I believe you were about to tell us all what the purpose of this conference is all about?

Clint: That's pretty good, kid. [Puffs away on a cigar while he watches Smock play with her yo-yo. To Caroline] Lemme guess: We're going to figure out how to get the masses to go back to the One True Eternal and stop worshipping us?

Caroline : Not exactly! There are a number of gods in the Realms at the moment, and we're getting them all together to find out which is the true god. We need to find out exactly who the One True Eternal is.

Caroline : Well, that's what we'll find out from the conference, isn't it?

[The carriage screeches to a halt, sending all those standing crashing to the floor.]

up and running

Chastity: The conference is a formal debate about the one true religion. There is no specific, overriding agenda. [To Austin] Phili is the one true eternal, of course.

Smock: [To Clint] Thanks! But if worshipping gods makes people have wars, and thatís what we want to stop happening, shouldnít we just tell them not to worship any gods at all Ė even the eternal guy?

Chastity: [From the floor, looking disheveled] Is anyone injured?

Austin : [To Caroline] Who is this one true eternal you speak of?

Alice : [Shaking some snakes' feet from her hair] What the hell was that?

Reginald : [Looks back from the front compartment] Looks like there's another Scrote about to come aboard.

[The party look out and see THE MAD MONK, standing at the side of the road. There are hundreds of people with him, singing, chanting and praying.]

Alice : There's no way they're all going to fit on board! ### The party "met" the Mad Monk in a shared dream between Alice, ### Austin, Clint, Chastity and Harvey. In the dream, he killed Evan, although ### no one in the party noticed it. He also tried to kill Milicent, by burning ### her at the stake for witchcraft, but failed, and was killed in the ### dream by Harvey. There has never been any evidence that the monk ### really existed.

Austin : [To Chastity] We know Phili is not the one true eternal, because we where there when he became Phili. We don't even know if there is a 'one true eternal'. [See the Mad Monk] Oh dear, there goes the neighbourhood.

Monk : [To the waiting people] Behold, sinners, the [points at the bus] false gods who come lead you on the trail of depravity, destruction and [dramatically] doom! [Does a quick, prayerful pose, of which many of the people take photos] Fear not, my children, for I, the Monk with No Name, shall challenge them and win back your very souls!

[Amidst much cheering and clapping, the MONK hands his ticket to REGINALD, and leaps aboard, with the door closing behind him.]

Monk : [To the party, with a big smile] Hi guys! You're here for the conference too, right? Should be a blast, eh? past (all but

Chastity: [To Austin] We saw nothing of the kind! And I *do* know there is ONE true eternal. [To Monk] How do you do, Mr. Monk?

Monk : [Sits down on a chair and pulls out some cigarettes] Just fine, Sis. The name's Joe Schmo, by the way. My stage name is, uh, not having any name.

[CAROLINE hands him a paper bag similar to the ones that the party got, and he smacks her in the ass as she walks away. ALFRED says nothing, but is clearly annoyed at this.]

Joe : Thanks baby. [Lights up a cigarette] So, you lot are the Order of the Path, eh? Can't say I buy it, [turns to Austin] but you, my friend, reincarnation? I like it!

Chastity: [To Joe, stiffly] Yes, that is what the people call us. [To Austin] Reincarnation?

Joe : [Putting his feet up on another chair] It's a great trick!

Alice : [Glances over at Joe] Ew! Why don't you put on some underpants?

Joe : I'm on a holy mission, I've more important things to worry about than underpants!

Austin : [To Chastity] Yes Chassers old girl, since you ran out on us I have been killed, ressurected, elected as a deity and accused of being a demon. Quite a busy month, all in all. [Checks his perfect hair in his pocket mirror, then nibbles on a marinated baby panda eye ball]

Joe : And those clothes? Brilliant idea, my friend! What kind of a cut are you getting? Twenty percent? Look what I'm stuck with! [Gestures to his robe]

Chastity: [To Joe] What do you mean? [Glares at Austin suspiciously] Twenty percent of what? What underhandedness are you up to now, Mr. Sleaze?

Austin : [To Chastity, shrugging] Nothing to do with me. I don't know what he's talking about, but it sounds suspiciously like someone has been profiteering on our good deeds again. You remember that bunch of conmen who were running the merchandising scam, somthing like that.

Albert : He's referring to the common practice of religious leaders to cash in on their popularity through merchandising. Examples of items available from the Adamite store include Monk's habits, plain bread, plain tea, plain fruit, [finger quotes] real Adam Torque urine and items of underclothes worn by Maria.

Joe : Click-click! For just an extra twenty GP, you can get ones that are soiled. [Sits back, legs well apart]

Austin : [To Albert] Are there store selling merchandise supporting the Order of the Path?

Chastity: [Appalled] Surely you do not hope to profit from this absurd turn of events, Mr. Sleaze?!

Albert : If by "merchandise supporting the Order of the Path" you mean shoddy material shamelessly exploiting your popularity in the Realms, then yes. Everything from Chastity's Chastity Belts to Austin Sleaze's Masturbatory Oil.

Chastity: Well, I do not approve of exploiting these poor, ignorant heathens for profit, of course, but I must admit I am relieved to hear my name being associated with a product that promotes strict abstinence for young girls who lack the maturity to exercise their own will power. [Turns to Alice and studies her hips thoughtfully] Hmm.

Clint: [To Chastity, needlingly] But isn't exploiting the poor ignorant religious people what you guys do every time you pass the collection plate? Plus [shudders and glances involuntarily towards his lap] chastity belts are pure evil.

Austin : [To Clint] I'm with you on the former, as for the latter, where do you think I learned to pick locks [Click-click gun at Clint]

Alice : [With a snort of derision at Chastity] Strict abstinence! Sure. I've never seen a chastity belt I couldn't get out of.

Austin : [To Albert] Are there store selling merchandise supporting the Order of the Path?

Chastity: [Appalled] Surely you do not hope to profit from this absurd turn of events, Mr. Sleaze?!

Albert : If by "merchandise supporting the Order of the Path" you mean shoddy material shamelessly exploiting your popularity in the Realms, then yes. Everything from Chastity's Chastity Belts to Austin Sleaze's Masturbatory Oil.

Chastity: Well, I do not approve of exploiting these poor, ignorant heathens for profit, of course, but I must admit I am relieved to hear my name being associated with a product that promotes strict abstinence for young girls who lack the maturity to exercise their own will power. [Turns to Alice and studies her hips thoughtfully] Hmm.

Clint: [To Chastity, needlingly] But isn't exploiting the poor ignorant religious people what you guys do every time you pass the collection plate? Plus [shudders and glances involuntarily towards his lap] chastity belts are pure evil.

Austin : [To Clint] I'm with you on the former, as for the latter, where do you think I learned to pick locks [Click-click gun at Clint]

Alice : [With a snort of derision at Chastity] Strict abstinence! Sure. I've never seen a chastity belt I couldn't get out of.

Harvey : [Looks confused for a long moment, before nodding wisely and whispering loudly to Chastity] Ah sister, I understand now. You've tried one of Alice's scones! I nearly broke my teeth the first time!

Chastity: [Sweetly] I doubt the money was completely wasted, Colonel. I would be quite surprised if Alice hadn't learned a lesson or two, with the help of his mighty hammer.

Harvey : [Coughs out a sneaky mouthful of golden honeyed locusts] By the saints, dear niece, I wouldn't let your father hear that! He spent a small fortune for retaining that blacksmith with his forge on the grounds of your house!

Smock: [To Joe] Mr. Monk, what did you get in your bag? [Peers over curiously.]

Alice : [A little dreamy] Well, Chas, he did have an enormous tool.

Joe : [To Smock] Whiskey and porn!

Smock: [Eyes lighting up at the mention of alcohol.] Ooo! [Tries to casually edge closer to Joe.] What's a porn?

Harvey : [Quickly] It's a chess piece, cadet!

Smock: [To Harvey] Chess? Yuck. [Digs through her bag for a sandwich. To Joe] Wanna swap for some whiskey?

Joe : Nah, baby, you're more than welcome to take a drink, and then I'll show what a cool game chess is. [Reaches into his habit and takes out a tiny bottle] There you go baby, this'll knock you out. [Tosses the bottle to Smock]

Smock: [Catches the bottle.] Awesome! [Inspects the bottle before opening it.] But I still think chess is boring. Except maybe when they play it on those big boards on the ground where the pieces are real people. [Sniffs the bottle curiously.] Is this whiskey then?

Clint: [Warningly, to Joe] There'll be no chess with the kid, freak.

Joe : [To Clint, rolling his eyes] Sweet statutory! Calm down, my friend!

Chastity : [Firmly to Smock] Put that away, young lady.

Smock: [To Chastity] But it's mine! [Holds the bottle protectively.] He gave it to me fair and square!

Austin : [To Smock] But you have no idea what it is. I could be poison, or Rosehipnol or something like that.

Smock: [To Austin as her defensiveness turns into wariness] Oh. Um. Maybe I should keep it for later then. [Puts the lid back on. To Caroline] Are we there yet?

Joe : [To Austin] Click-click!

Chastity : [To Smock] Of course it's yours, dear, and don't worry, I'll help scrape your beaten and tattered body off the floor when this [quick nod to Joe] pervert is finished with you, even though you so aggressively threw my advice back in my face.

Caroline : One more god to pick up, and then we'll be there!

Smock: [Frowns at Chastity.] That wasnít advice. That was you being cranky like you always are. [Goes to sit near Clint again, staring out the window with a sulky look on her face.]

Chastity: [Ever so slightly offended and hurt] We all care about you, dear. Some of us want to be sure you have fun [gestures broadly to the rest of the party], which is all well and good and a certain way to ensure [disdainfully, with finger quotes] popularity. However, some of us want to keep you from being raped and murdered, your body left rotting in a ditch for rabid stray dogs to gnaw upon [crosses her arms and turns away from Smock].

Austin : [To Chastity] My, what a delightful manner you have with children. So optimistic.

Alice : Oh come on, Aus! The kid has just been handed a bottle of whiskey by a monk who's not wearing any underpants and has a collection of porn with him! [To Joe] You sick pervert, I mean, how old is she? Six? Seven?

Smock: I am not six! Iím sixTEEN.

Clint: And at sixteen, if you want to drink a bottle of whiskey, go right ahead. But you're [emphasis] still not looking at the chess pieces. [To Joe] So when we get to the conference, you mind if I borrow your chess set? Oh, and while I'm thinking about it, do you have a spare rope for that robe?

Chastity: [To Smock] That is what comes of all that romping and frolicking! If you would like to be viewed as a young lady, you must learn to behave the way young ladies behave. If only you knew someone kind and patient who could help you. . . .

Alice : [Shocked] SixTEEN? [To Chastity] Oh for God's sake! Let her drink the whiskey! And as for the porn? When I was sixteen, I had already appeared in [notices Harvey's incredulous look] uh, in several school plays about the evil of porn, and the goodness of, um, good things!

Joe : [Watching the party argue with some amusement, before addressing Clint] Sure bud, knock yourself out. I'll trade you for one of those fine cigars.

Chastity: [Barks at Joe] Give those chess pieces to me immediately, young man! And put this [quickly sews a crude pair of diaper-like underwear from a tea towel] on!

Smock: [To Chastity] But I donít wanna wear a dress and talk funny. [To Clint] How come you can play chess but I canít?!

Joe : Uh, you know we're talking about porn here, don't you? We're just gonna have to share it out. [Tosses a copy of "Naughty Nuns" to Chastity and puts the new underwear on his head] I like it!

[REGINALD jams on the brakes again, once more sending people staggering. The door opens, and enter DICEY "FORTYCOATS" O'REILLY.]

Dicey : Sure 'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, isn't this an almighty collection of almighties? [Spots the whiskey and porn] Jasus! What kind of religious meeting is this?

Dicey "Fortycoats" O'Reilly ### Dicey has met the party on several occasions, and got on ### reasonably well with them, even though relations were often strained. ### He worked with the party several times, and was even broken out ### of jail by them, however, that went horribly wrong, and relations ### have never been the same between them. When last the party saw ### him, he had declared himself a god on the island of Delerium, and ### his followers were about to eat the party. The party escaped, however ### and, when they left, it seemed as though Dicey was about to be ### eaten. When next they heard of him, a cult worshipping "Lord ### Dicefer" had appeared, although the party didn't see him ### personally on that occasion. ### ### Everyone except Smock has met him, and everyone dislikes him

Smock: [Assessing Diceyís outfit dubiously] What are you meant to be?

Chastity: [Catches "Naughty Nuns" and promptly set fire to it. To Dicey] It isn't any kind of religious meeting at all! What, may I ask, brings you here?

Dicey : Ah sure, I'm a scrote, amn't I?

Joe : [Sees the naughty nuns catch fire] Noooooo!

Chastity: [Wrinkles her nose at Dicey. To Dicey] And what are your thoughts on the One True Eternal?

Dicey : [Sits down and flicks through some porn] Ah sure, I think it's pretty obvious who's Phili's number one here on the auld sod. [Stops at a page and shows it to Alice] Jasus! She's the head off you!

Alice : [Rolls her eyes with a tut of annoyance] Oh for God's sake! [Looks at the picture] Hey! [Snatches the magazine]

Clint: [Smirking] That from one of your school plays about the evils of porn, Bimbo? And where's yours, Chas?

Chastity : [Sniffs haughtily] I'm sure I don't know what you mean, Mr. Scar.

Alice : [Slaps Clint across the top of the head with her porn mag, before addressing Dicey] So what's your story? You a god?

Dicey : I am to be sure!

Austin : [To Dicey, after a pause] To be sure of what?

Dicey : Sure that I am a god, to be sure.

Austin : [Casually, nibbling on a baby panda eyeball] Did you hear about Eva?

Dicey : Ah, faith and begorrah, 'twas awful news altogether. Still, that's what happens when you claim to be a false god, eh?

Austin : [To Dicey, chuckling] That's exactly what she wasn't doing, she was claiming to be a god, not a false one. Myself, I'm not a god at all, it's just some bunch of morons think I am. Hopefully they will see the error of their ways, [checking his hair in a mirror] although it may take them many years.

Clint: Maybe we should just contact the tabloids and tell them that we're not gods? That'd fix everything. 'Cuz anyone dumb enough to believe that we're gods is dumb enough to believe anything he reads in Weekly World News.

Austin : [To Clint] Now that's a great idea. I really don't like being associated with all of these false gods, it gives one a bad name. [To Caroline] Could you be a sweetie and contact the Weekly World News and tell them that we'ds like to hold a press release, peferably on this coach before we get to the conference.

Smock: [To Austin, concerned] Wait a second. You [emphasis] are gods arenít you? Youíre just pretending youíre not so thereís no war, right? Cuz how else did you die but not really die?

Harvey : And that, unfortunately is exactly the same spin the media would put on it if we were to go to them denying divine powers! I can see the headlines now, "Only True Gods Would Deny They're Gods - They Really Really Really Are Gods!"

Alice : [To Smock] Of course we're not gods!

Caroline : [To Austin] A press release? That's a super idea, it will be very easy to get hold of the Weekly World News, but I'm not sure how they'll react. Albert, what do you think?

Albert : I think that the Weekly World News is a fifth rate gutter press that has such a vested interest in the outcome and the process of the conference that the publishers, two of the lowest forms of slime that it has ever been my misfortune to encounter would be more likely to help a little old lady across the road and not steal her purse than they would be to publish a press release like that on the morning that a conference they themselves have organised begins.

Smock: [To Alice] Thatís okay, cuz Austinís still a god.

Alice : Is he? [Peers at Austin for a moment] How do you know? I thought the only thing established was that he was a demon.

Smock: [Thinks for a moment.] Because heís not evil and wants to kill us like a demon? [To Austin] Are you a god or a demon?

Austin : [Slightly anoyed] No I am not a god. And it's not the first time I have been ressurected either, it's at least the fifth [ponders] anyway, no one said I was a god then so I don't see why they should start doing it now. [To Alice snottily] And I'm not a demon either, thank you very much!

Clint: [Impatiently] Kid, think about it. He's a bloody lawyer! And lawyers are bad, bad people. Of course he's not a god.

Alice : [Does a "handbags at twenty paces" move on Austin using her paper bag] Ooooh! That's not how your buddy Azzugas tells it!

Austin : [Looks most disgruntled at Alice] Azzugas was not my buddy, he was a lying demon and only a lobotomised redard would think he were my buddy, or believe him to be trustworthy. [Folds his arms, sulking, looking out of the window]

Smock: [Crosses her arms huffily.] Fine. No oneís a god. You coulda told me before we got on the bus. [Frowns and takes the cockroach out of her hair, putting it back in her pocket. To Caroline, annoyingly] Are we there yet?

Austin : [To Dicey, after a pause] To be sure of what?

Dicey : Sure that I am a god, to be sure.

Austin : [Casually, nibbling on a baby panda eyeball] Did you hear about Eva?

Dicey : Ah, faith and begorrah, 'twas awful news altogether. Still, that's what happens when you claim to be a false god, eh?

Austin : [To Dicey, chuckling] That's exactly what she wasn't doing, she was claiming to be a god, not a false one. Myself, I'm not a god at all, it's just some bunch of morons think I am. Hopefully they will see the error of their ways, [checking his hair in a mirror] although it may take them many years.

Clint: Maybe we should just contact the tabloids and tell them that we're not gods? That'd fix everything. 'Cuz anyone dumb enough to believe that we're gods is dumb enough to believe anything he reads in Weekly World News.

Austin : [To Clint] Now that's a great idea. I really don't like being associated with all of these false gods, it gives one a bad name. [To Caroline] Could you be a sweetie and contact the Weekly World News and tell them that we'ds like to hold a press release, peferably on this coach before we get to the conference.

Smock: [To Austin, concerned] Wait a second. You [emphasis] are gods arenít you? Youíre just pretending youíre not so thereís no war, right? Cuz how else did you die but not really die?

Harvey : And that, unfortunately is exactly the same spin the media would put on it if we were to go to them denying divine powers! I can see the headlines now, "Only True Gods Would Deny They're Gods - They Really Really Really Are Gods!"

Alice : [To Smock] Of course we're not gods!

Caroline : [To Austin] A press release? That's a super idea, it will be very easy to get hold of the Weekly World News, but I'm not sure how they'll react. Albert, what do you think?

Albert : I think that the Weekly World News is a fifth rate gutter press that has such a vested interest in the outcome and the process of the conference that the publishers, two of the lowest forms of slime that it has ever been my misfortune to encounter would be more likely to help a little old lady across the road and not steal her purse than they would be to publish a press release like that on the morning that a conference they themselves have organised begins.

Smock: [To Alice] Thatís okay, cuz Austinís still a god.

Alice : Is he? [Peers at Austin for a moment] How do you know? I thought the only thing established was that he was a demon.

Smock: [Thinks for a moment.] Because heís not evil and wants to kill us like a demon? [To Austin] Are you a god or a demon?

Austin : [Slightly anoyed] No I am not a god. And it's not the first time I have been ressurected either, it's at least the fifth [ponders] anyway, no one said I was a god then so I don't see why they should start doing it now. [To Alice snottily] And I'm not a demon either, thank you very much!

Clint: [Impatiently] Kid, think about it. He's a bloody lawyer! And lawyers are bad, bad people. Of course he's not a god.

Alice : [Does a "handbags at twenty paces" move on Austin using her paper bag] Ooooh! That's not how your buddy Azzugas tells it!

Austin : [Looks most disgruntled at Alice] Azzugas was not my buddy, he was a lying demon and only a lobotomised redard would think he were my buddy, or believe him to be trustworthy. [Folds his arms, sulking, looking out of the window]

Smock: [Crosses her arms huffily.] Fine. No oneís a god. You coulda told me before we got on the bus. [Frowns and takes the cockroach out of her hair, putting it back in her pocket. To Caroline, annoyingly] Are we there yet?

Austin : [To Smock] We're not gods, were heros, and so are you, and hero's are better than gods because they have to earn the name.

Caroline : [Smiles sweetly at Smock, apparently being genuine] No, we're not there yet, we're still in the carriage travelling, but as soon as we get there, I'll be sure to tell everyone so we can get off.

Smock: [Fiddles with her yo-yo sulkily. To Austin with a reluctant pout] I sípose. Even though youíre wrong cuz Iím not a hero. [With growing confidence] But heroes can still have followers too, and merchandise and stuff. And itís probably better because you donít have to always pay attention to people what pray to you and you can just go save the world whenever you want. [Nods decidedly.] Yeah. Heroes are better.

Clint: Don't sweat it, kid. If you're not a hero yet, we'll make you one in no time. You can be my sidekick until then, okay?

Austin : [To Smock] Well, you're very nearly a hero. You fought a demon and survived, healed people, and fought to save Dominique fearlessly. All good sound heroic stuff. You won't catch gods doing that kind of thing. [Waves a hand] they just sit around complaining to thier worshipers that they don't pray enough etc.

Smock: Really? That would be awesome! [Sits right up next to Clint.] What stuff do I get to do?

Smock: [Beams at Austin] I did do some good stuff, huh? But that's only because I got to follow you heroes. And I don't care if you're not gods anymore cuz you do the coolest stuff anyway!

Clint: [Puffs on his cigar, thoughtfully, and shrugs.] Keep doing what you've been doing, kid. Much as I hate to agree with the lawyer, he's right: You're already nearly a hero. Also, a good side kick makes sure her hero looks good for the broa... people, and that his stock of cigars is always full. Sounds fun, huh?

Chastity: [Watching Clint and Smock bond] Mr. Scar, do you really think you're the proper role model for an ill-mannered young girl? Smock needs strict discipline and constant supervision.

Austin : [To CLint] Going for the "I'm a single dad" line huh! Always worth a go.

Smock: [Checks Clint's paper bag for his cigar supply] How many equals full? [Watches the rate at which he is puffing away.] I think we're going to have to ration them.

Alice : Yeah, throw in how she's an orphan that you're looking after and every bimbo in the place will be after you!

Austin : [To Alice] You too?

Chastity: [Outraged] Mr. Scar! You will not place the undue burden of attracting women to you on poor young Smock! [To Smock] I will be your mentor, dear. Under my tutelage, no one will ever mistake you for a six-year-old again.

Smock: [Considers Chastity's offer.] But I want to be a hero not a princess.

Austin : [To Chastity] And you are hardly a suitable role model for Cadet Smock either! A fake nun with three or is it four ex-husbands, two periods of total insanity, falsely accusing the rest of the party of crimes, a lifetime of praying to a false "one true eternal", dupeing the poor into giveing you their money in exchange for 'salvation'. Lovely!

Clint: [Amused] Don't much like nuns, do you? [Shrugs] The kid's better off learning to be a hero like us than she is learning to be a nun, alright. But I can't believe you guys think I just want to use her to pick up broads! Kid needs a role model, you know.

Joe : [Offers Dicey some whiskey as they watch the exchange] Alright! Whiskey, porn and now entertained too?

Dicey : Sure'n begorrah, throw in a few cock fights and an auld fella scratchin' a pig with a stick and it'll be just like the old country!

Austin : [Checks his conference I.D. badge to check the exact wording, then has a look at the program to see what is planned] This whole thing stinks of an overly contrived trap. Get everyone in one place, then BOOM! Blow them all up. Contagion and Pestillence, Azzugas, Seth, would all laugh themselves silly.

Alice : Not to mention Phili - after all, he can't be happy about a carriage full of false gods, can he?

Chastity: [Momentarily overcome with rage upon hearing Austin's accusations] How dare you, Mr. Sleaze! My pure and unwavering faith has saved you on more than one occasion, you know. And I'll thank you to leave George out of this! You don't hear me making catty little comments about your highly suspect private life!

Austin : [To Chastity] But I am not claiming to be a good role model, Chassers old girl.

Chastity: [To Austin] Just because I strive to set a good example doesn't give you the right to slander me!

Alice : [Nods] Any good lawyer will tell you that!

[Everyone laughs at ALICE.]

Alice : [Dismayed] Hey!

Harvey : [Good naturedly to Alice] A good lawyer, niece?

Alice : [Thinks for a moment] Oh! Oh, I see! Sorry about that!

Austin : [Chuckling as he rolls his eyes. To Chastity] You don't need rights to slander people, and anyway, slander is the attribution of falsehood, not the attribution of the truth and wether or not you like who you are. Rights, like "one eternal god" are both made up human concepts, neither actually exists. [Pauses for the audience] Whilst Phili is a jolly nice chap, and may well be the longest serving god, and the most powerful, and even the only "proper" god, by some definition, I have seen no evidence to suggest that he has always existed, and hence the term 'eternal' is not yet justified.

Austin : [To Dicey, after a pause] To be sure of what?

Dicey : Sure that I am a god, to be sure.

Austin : [Casually, nibbling on a baby panda eyeball] Did you hear about Eva?

Dicey : Ah, faith and begorrah, 'twas awful news altogether. Still, that's what happens when you claim to be a false god, eh?

Austin : [To Dicey, chuckling] That's exactly what she wasn't doing, she was claiming to be a god, not a false one. Myself, I'm not a god at all, it's just some bunch of morons think I am. Hopefully they will see the error of their ways, [checking his hair in a mirror] although it may take them many years.

Clint: Maybe we should just contact the tabloids and tell them that we're not gods? That'd fix everything. 'Cuz anyone dumb enough to believe that we're gods is dumb enough to believe anything he reads in Weekly World News.

Austin : [To Clint] Now that's a great idea. I really don't like being associated with all of these false gods, it gives one a bad name. [To Caroline] Could you be a sweetie and contact the Weekly World News and tell them that we'ds like to hold a press release, peferably on this coach before we get to the conference.

Smock: [To Austin, concerned] Wait a second. You [emphasis] are gods arenít you? Youíre just pretending youíre not so thereís no war, right? Cuz how else did you die but not really die?

Harvey : And that, unfortunately is exactly the same spin the media would put on it if we were to go to them denying divine powers! I can see the headlines now, "Only True Gods Would Deny They're Gods - They Really Really Really Are Gods!"

Alice : [To Smock] Of course we're not gods!

Caroline : [To Austin] A press release? That's a super idea, it will be very easy to get hold of the Weekly World News, but I'm not sure how they'll react. Albert, what do you think?

Albert : I think that the Weekly World News is a fifth rate gutter press that has such a vested interest in the outcome and the process of the conference that the publishers, two of the lowest forms of slime that it has ever been my misfortune to encounter would be more likely to help a little old lady across the road and not steal her purse than they would be to publish a press release like that on the morning that a conference they themselves have organised begins.

Smock: [To Alice] Thatís okay, cuz Austinís still a god.

Alice : Is he? [Peers at Austin for a moment] How do you know? I thought the only thing established was that he was a demon.

Smock: [Thinks for a moment.] Because heís not evil and wants to kill us like a demon? [To Austin] Are you a god or a demon?

Austin : [Slightly anoyed] No I am not a god. And it's not the first time I have been ressurected either, it's at least the fifth [ponders] anyway, no one said I was a god then so I don't see why they should start doing it now. [To Alice snottily] And I'm not a demon either, thank you very much!

Clint: [Impatiently] Kid, think about it. He's a bloody lawyer! And lawyers are bad, bad people. Of course he's not a god.

Alice : [Does a "handbags at twenty paces" move on Austin using her paper bag] Ooooh! That's not how your buddy Azzugas tells it!

Austin : [Looks most disgruntled at Alice] Azzugas was not my buddy, he was a lying demon and only a lobotomised redard would think he were my buddy, or believe him to be trustworthy. [Folds his arms, sulking, looking out of the window]

Smock: [Crosses her arms huffily.] Fine. No oneís a god. You coulda told me before we got on the bus. [Frowns and takes the cockroach out of her hair, putting it back in her pocket. To Caroline, annoyingly] Are we there yet?

Austin : [To Smock] We're not gods, were heros, and so are you, and hero's are better than gods because they have to earn the name.

Caroline : [Smiles sweetly at Smock, apparently being genuine] No, we're not there yet, we're still in the carriage travelling, but as soon as we get there, I'll be sure to tell everyone so we can get off.

Smock: [Fiddles with her yo-yo sulkily. To Austin with a reluctant pout] I sípose. Even though youíre wrong cuz Iím not a hero. [With growing confidence] But heroes can still have followers too, and merchandise and stuff. And itís probably better because you donít have to always pay attention to people what pray to you and you can just go save the world whenever you want. [Nods decidedly.] Yeah. Heroes are better.

Clint: Don't sweat it, kid. If you're not a hero yet, we'll make you one in no time. You can be my sidekick until then, okay?

Austin : [To Smock] Well, you're very nearly a hero. You fought a demon and survived, healed people, and fought to save Dominique fearlessly. All good sound heroic stuff. You won't catch gods doing that kind of thing. [Waves a hand] they just sit around complaining to thier worshipers that they don't pray enough etc.

Smock: Really? That would be awesome! [Sits right up next to Clint.] What stuff do I get to do?

Smock: [Beams at Austin] I did do some good stuff, huh? But that's only because I got to follow you heroes. And I don't care if you're not gods anymore cuz you do the coolest stuff anyway!

Clint: [Puffs on his cigar, thoughtfully, and shrugs.] Keep doing what you've been doing, kid. Much as I hate to agree with the lawyer, he's right: You're already nearly a hero. Also, a good side kick makes sure her hero looks good for the broa... people, and that his stock of cigars is always full. Sounds fun, huh?

Chastity: [Watching Clint and Smock bond] Mr. Scar, do you really think you're the proper role model for an ill-mannered young girl? Smock needs strict discipline and constant supervision.

Austin : [To CLint] Going for the "I'm a single dad" line huh! Always worth a go.

Smock: [Checks Clint's paper bag for his cigar supply] How many equals full? [Watches the rate at which he is puffing away.] I think we're going to have to ration them.

Alice : Yeah, throw in how she's an orphan that you're looking after and every bimbo in the place will be after you!

Austin : [To Alice] You too?

Chastity: [Outraged] Mr. Scar! You will not place the undue burden of attracting women to you on poor young Smock! [To Smock] I will be your mentor, dear. Under my tutelage, no one will ever mistake you for a six-year-old again.

Smock: [Considers Chastity's offer.] But I want to be a hero not a princess.

Austin : [To Chastity] And you are hardly a suitable role model for Cadet Smock either! A fake nun with three or is it four ex-husbands, two periods of total insanity, falsely accusing the rest of the party of crimes, a lifetime of praying to a false "one true eternal", dupeing the poor into giveing you their money in exchange for 'salvation'. Lovely!

Clint: [Amused] Don't much like nuns, do you? [Shrugs] The kid's better off learning to be a hero like us than she is learning to be a nun, alright. But I can't believe you guys think I just want to use her to pick up broads! Kid needs a role model, you know.

Joe : [Offers Dicey some whiskey as they watch the exchange] Alright! Whiskey, porn and now entertained too?

Dicey : Sure'n begorrah, throw in a few cock fights and an auld fella scratchin' a pig with a stick and it'll be just like the old country!

Austin : [Checks his conference I.D. badge to check the exact wording, then has a look at the program to see what is planned] This whole thing stinks of an overly contrived trap. Get everyone in one place, then BOOM! Blow them all up. Contagion and Pestillence, Azzugas, Seth, would all laugh themselves silly.

Alice : Not to mention Phili - after all, he can't be happy about a carriage full of false gods, can he?

Chastity: [Momentarily overcome with rage upon hearing Austin's accusations] How dare you, Mr. Sleaze! My pure and unwavering faith has saved you on more than one occasion, you know. And I'll thank you to leave George out of this! You don't hear me making catty little comments about your highly suspect private life!

Austin : [To Chastity] But I am not claiming to be a good role model, Chassers old girl.

Chastity: [To Austin] Just because I strive to set a good example doesn't give you the right to slander me!

Alice : [Nods] Any good lawyer will tell you that!

[Everyone laughs at ALICE.]

Alice : [Dismayed] Hey!

Harvey : [Good naturedly to Alice] A good lawyer, niece?

Alice : [Thinks for a moment] Oh! Oh, I see! Sorry about that!

Austin : [Chuckling as he rolls his eyes. To Chastity] You don't need rights to slander people, and anyway, slander is the attribution of falsehood, not the attribution of the truth and wether or not you like who you are. Rights, like "one eternal god" are both made up human concepts, neither actually exists. [Pauses for the audience] Whilst Phili is a jolly nice chap, and may well be the longest serving god, and the most powerful, and even the only "proper" god, by some definition, I have seen no evidence to suggest that he has always existed, and hence the term 'eternal' is not yet justified.

Smock: Don't worry! You can all be my role model! [Beams] Except them. [Points at Joe and Dicey.]

Harvey : [Glares towards Dicey] That's good to hear cadet! In fact, I'd even go as far to say that you should avoid contact with them at all times, what!

Austin : [Nibbling on an eyeball. To Harvey] So if this is a trap, we should have a plan b.

Dicey : Ah, now, Colonel sir. Ah now! Sure aren't we just the same as yourselves? I'm just a wee little god, trying to do good.

Albert : [Snarling in his usual monotone at Dicey] You're no more a god that Reginald is well dressed chauffeur with good hygiene and a decent sense of decorum. You're only claim to fame is that you were so distasteful that a bunch of starving cannibals refused to eat you, and your so-called followers are little more than drunken idiots who think that wearing green and vomiting in the street is good way to woo women.

Dicey : [Gives Albert a big wink] Ah, now, that might all be true, but at least I've got followers!

Smock: Maybe for Plan B we can all go out and get ice cream! You can't start a war if you have ice cream.

Clint: [Dubiously] I'm not so sure about that, kid. [Looks around the carriage.] Look at these losers. Would you want to get ice cream with them? [Shrugs.] But don't worry, lawyer. If this is a trap, we just beat up the bad guys, right? Sounds easy enough!

Chastity: [To Smock, sternly] No snacks between meals, young lady!

Smock: Yeah! [Nods at Clintís suggestion.] Bashing up the bad guys is all in a dayís work for heroes like you! And since Iím your sidekick, I can help and learn and make some joke for comic relief. [To Chastity] If I wasn't eating snacks, I would starve to death! We didn't even get to have breakfast today. And the ice cream [emphasis] would be for a good cause. [Smiles sweetly.]

Chastity: [Nods gravely] You're quite right, my dear. You aren't being properly fed. [Pulls the fully-cooked chicken out of her goody bag and proceeds to carve it. To the party] Any side dishes would be most welcome. [Digs a plate, utensils, and a cloth napkin out of her traveling bag and briskly starts serving a plate for Smock] Be seated, young lady!

Austin : [Puts some of his marinated baby panda eyeballs on the plate] Good idea sister, educate her taste buds.

Smock: [Reluctantly seats herself.] But I'm not hungry now. [with jammy fingers to prove it. Gives a look of disgust for Austin's contribution.]

[The carriage pulls into the driveway of a large country house, and skids to a halt.]

Dicey : [Looking out the window] Ah, sure, isn't it just great? A fine old place to be staying, to be sure.

Alfred : [To Dicey] All items of silverware have been counted, and unless you can produce indefatigable proof of miracle working abilities, you will be searched when you leave. [To all] This is our destination.

[Everyone stands up, while ALFRED grabs onto a railing. The carriage lurches forward three feet and jams to a halt again, sending everyone to the ground.]

Alfred : Reginald isn't particularly good at parking.

Harvey : Mind if I have an eye, priate Sleaze? [Plucks an eye and pops it in his mouth, popping it with a giant squelching sound] Ah, now that's good eye! Damned good eye!

[Book V, Act VI, Scene III. The Country House. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY, SMOCK, JOE, DICEY, REGINALD, CAROLINE and ALBERT are here, alighting from the carriage, and dusting themselves off. Standing here is a bedraggled looking man, JEBUS.]

Jebus : [Looking at the carriage] Zoinks! That's the coolest looking carriage I've ever seen!

Albert : [To the party] This is Jebus. He's the son of god.

Jebus : No, man, I keep telling you, I'm the son of [emphasis] Dog.

[ALBERT rolls his eyes and says nothing.]

Jebus

Chastity: [Politely] How do you do, Mr. Jebus? Are you enjoying the conference?

Jebus : [Rubbing his face against the fur on the side of the carriage, but pausing to address Chastity] Please, call me Jebus. [Nods and smiles] Yes, I'm having a great time, and it's great to see more people here. [Rubs the fur so much] Oh man! The fur is soft! The ears, the ears are like... dog ears!

Austin : [To Caroline, nodding towards Jebus] Did someone steal his puppy when he was a child or something?

Jebus : [Turns to Austin with a big smile] No, I'm just a very tactile kind of guy! You one of the gods?

Alice : [To Austin] I suppose, strictly speaking, you're [emphasis] two of the gods, aren't you?

Clint: He has the ego for it, doesn't he? [To Jebus] But we're heroes, not gods. And we'll be fine as long as you don't get tactile with me or the kid, got it?

Austin : [To Jebus] They call me a god, but I am not, I'm just a hero [quisically] two of the gods? What makes you think I a double-god? [Ponders] or should it be god-god. [Shrugs] It doesn't matter I suppose, as I am neither.

Caroline : I think what Jebus is referring to is that the Austinites believe that Austin is the one true god, while the Order of The Path believe that your group are gods.

Jebus : [To Clint, with a smile, and a nonconfrontational manner] Jeepers! [Holds his hands up] No worries, bub. [Takes out a huge cheeseratte] Cheeseratte?

Albert : [Takes the cheeseratte and runs it under his nose, smelling it, before popping it in his mouth, lighting it and taking a huge drag, before letting out a massive cloud of smoke and handing it back to Jebus] Yes. Yes it is.

Austin : Oh, I see, that's what 'the order of the path' is. They obviously know very little about [pauses] what it's all about. Probably best to keep it that way. [Turns to Harvey] Conicidence do you think?

Smock: Don't worry! You can all be my role model! [Beams] Except them. [Points at Joe and Dicey.]

Harvey : [Glares towards Dicey] That's good to hear cadet! In fact, I'd even go as far to say that you should avoid contact with them at all times, what!

Austin : [Nibbling on an eyeball. To Harvey] So if this is a trap, we should have a plan b.

Dicey : Ah, now, Colonel sir. Ah now! Sure aren't we just the same as yourselves? I'm just a wee little god, trying to do good.

Albert : [Snarling in his usual monotone at Dicey] You're no more a god that Reginald is well dressed chauffeur with good hygiene and a decent sense of decorum. You're only claim to fame is that you were so distasteful that a bunch of starving cannibals refused to eat you, and your so-called followers are little more than drunken idiots who think that wearing green and vomiting in the street is good way to woo women.

Dicey : [Gives Albert a big wink] Ah, now, that might all be true, but at least I've got followers!

Smock: Maybe for Plan B we can all go out and get ice cream! You can't start a war if you have ice cream.

Clint: [Dubiously] I'm not so sure about that, kid. [Looks around the carriage.] Look at these losers. Would you want to get ice cream with them? [Shrugs.] But don't worry, lawyer. If this is a trap, we just beat up the bad guys, right? Sounds easy enough!

Chastity: [To Smock, sternly] No snacks between meals, young lady!

Smock: Yeah! [Nods at Clintís suggestion.] Bashing up the bad guys is all in a dayís work for heroes like you! And since Iím your sidekick, I can help and learn and make some joke for comic relief. [To Chastity] If I wasn't eating snacks, I would starve to death! We didn't even get to have breakfast today. And the ice cream [emphasis] would be for a good cause. [Smiles sweetly.]

Chastity: [Nods gravely] You're quite right, my dear. You aren't being properly fed. [Pulls the fully-cooked chicken out of her goody bag and proceeds to carve it. To the party] Any side dishes would be most welcome. [Digs a plate, utensils, and a cloth napkin out of her traveling bag and briskly starts serving a plate for Smock] Be seated, young lady!

Austin : [Puts some of his marinated baby panda eyeballs on the plate] Good idea sister, educate her taste buds.

Smock: [Reluctantly seats herself.] But I'm not hungry now. [with jammy fingers to prove it. Gives a look of disgust for Austin's contribution.]

[The carriage pulls into the driveway of a large country house, and skids to a halt.]

Dicey : [Looking out the window] Ah, sure, isn't it just great? A fine old place to be staying, to be sure.

Alfred : [To Dicey] All items of silverware have been counted, and unless you can produce indefatigable proof of miracle working abilities, you will be searched when you leave. [To all] This is our destination.

[Everyone stands up, while ALFRED grabs onto a railing. The carriage lurches forward three feet and jams to a halt again, sending everyone to the ground.]

Alfred : Reginald isn't particularly good at parking.

Harvey : Mind if I have an eye, priate Sleaze? [Plucks an eye and pops it in his mouth, popping it with a giant squelching sound] Ah, now that's good eye! Damned good eye!

[Book V, Act VI, Scene III. The Country House. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY, SMOCK, JOE, DICEY, REGINALD, CAROLINE and ALBERT are here, alighting from the carriage, and dusting themselves off. Standing here is a bedraggled looking man, JEBUS.]

Jebus : [Looking at the carriage] Zoinks! That's the coolest looking carriage I've ever seen!

Albert : [To the party] This is Jebus. He's the son of god.

Jebus : No, man, I keep telling you, I'm the son of [emphasis] Dog.

[ALBERT rolls his eyes and says nothing.]

Jebus

Chastity: [Politely] How do you do, Mr. Jebus? Are you enjoying the conference?

Jebus : [Rubbing his face against the fur on the side of the carriage, but pausing to address Chastity] Please, call me Jebus. [Nods and smiles] Yes, I'm having a great time, and it's great to see more people here. [Rubs the fur so much] Oh man! The fur is soft! The ears, the ears are like... dog ears!

Austin : [To Caroline, nodding towards Jebus] Did someone steal his puppy when he was a child or something?

Jebus : [Turns to Austin with a big smile] No, I'm just a very tactile kind of guy! You one of the gods?

Alice : [To Austin] I suppose, strictly speaking, you're [emphasis] two of the gods, aren't you?

Clint: He has the ego for it, doesn't he? [To Jebus] But we're heroes, not gods. And we'll be fine as long as you don't get tactile with me or the kid, got it?

Austin : [To Jebus] They call me a god, but I am not, I'm just a hero [quisically] two of the gods? What makes you think I a double-god? [Ponders] or should it be god-god. [Shrugs] It doesn't matter I suppose, as I am neither.

Caroline : I think what Jebus is referring to is that the Austinites believe that Austin is the one true god, while the Order of The Path believe that your group are gods.

Jebus : [To Clint, with a smile, and a nonconfrontational manner] Jeepers! [Holds his hands up] No worries, bub. [Takes out a huge cheeseratte] Cheeseratte?

Albert : [Takes the cheeseratte and runs it under his nose, smelling it, before popping it in his mouth, lighting it and taking a huge drag, before letting out a massive cloud of smoke and handing it back to Jebus] Yes. Yes it is.

Austin : Oh, I see, that's what 'the order of the path' is. They obviously know very little about [pauses] what it's all about. Probably best to keep it that way. [Turns to Harvey] Conicidence do you think?

Smock: [Petting the carriage along with Jebus] Do we get free stuff at this conference thing?

Jebus : [Nods enthusiastically] All kinds of stuff! [Takes a squashed cream cake out of his pocket] The food's great!

Smock: [Points at Jebus' cream cake, to Caroline] I want one of those!

Jebus : Zoinks! [Gives Smock a friendly smile] Chill, Smock. Poor Caroline has loads to do, let's give her a chance. If you're starving, you can have mine.

Smock: Aw, thanks! [Smiles sweetly at Jebus.] But I wouldn't want to take yours. I'll wait 'til I get all my free stuff! [Curiously] How come you know my name?

Clint: We're famous, kid. Of course he knows our names.

Jebus : [Gives Clint a wink, before addressing Smock] You're famous kid. Of course I know your names. [Holds the cake out again] Please, I'd get more pleasure from watching you eat it than I would from eating myself.

Smock: Wow! That's awful nice of you! [Beams at Jebus and takes the cake.] But I shouldn't be famous. [Goes to take a bite but just before she sinks her teeth in, pauses. Looks at Joe, then at Austin, then at the cake. To Jebus, apologetically] Um. Maybe I should save it for later.

Austin : [As Smock stops herself from gourging on the cream cake] There is hope for you yet, cadet. [To Caroline, whilst checking his nails briefly] Are there many conference attendees that are 'double gods'?

Caroline : No, just you, I believe.

Smock: Let's go see what's inside! [Runs to the door of the country house.]

Austin : [Casually and carefree. To Caroline] Oh, just me. [Nods, straightening a cuff to perfection] Perhaps there is hope for the world yet! [Surveys the property as if he owned the place, with a glimer of smugness in his eye]

Smock: [Runs back to Austin and tugs on his sleeve.] C'mon Austin! I bet you have a really cool room that's got all fancy stuff like your clothes!

Alice : [Nods at Austin's words] Well said, Aus. Imagine how bad it would be if there were two like you!

Austin : [To Smock] I do hope so, little one, I do hope so. [Sighs] I knew denying my godship to one religion was going to be tough, but convincing two religions that I'm not either of their gods, well that's going to be seriously tricky. [Takes a deep breath] But I'll manage.

Jebus : [Nodding at Austin's words] Well said, Austin. The people are confused enough without having more people to exploit them.

Alice : [To Jebus] Hey! I knew I recognised you - weren't you on tv last Halloween? Presenting that series of scary films?

Jebus : [Laughs good naturedly] No, that wasn't me, it was my cousin, Hebus Jebus. People are always getting us mixed up. The key to telling us apart is that one of us a real cheesehead, while the other is a crazed axe murderer.

Austin : [To Jebus] And which one are you?

Jebus : The crazed axe murderer.

Austin : [Moving behind Smock casually. To Jebus] And have you murdered many people? [Glances at Caroline to see if she heard the exchange]

Caroline : I think Mr. Jebus was just joking.

Jebus : [Laughs goodnaturedly at Austin] Sorry my friend!

Clint: [Scratching himself.] I could have told you that, lawyer. This clown doesn't seem capable of being a vicious axe murderer. [As an afterthought, to Jebus.] No offense.

Chastity: [Scolding] Mr. Jebus, that kind of humor is highly inappropriate, especially when there are young, impressionable ladies present! Would you like to be responsible for hopelessly warping young Smock's perception of reality? Finding her again one day, wandering the streets with vacant eyes, penniless, confused, and alone?! A perfect target for sleazy con men [nods at Austin] or men of low moral character [nods at Clint]. Is that what you want for Smock?? A debauched, empty life, wherein she exists merely to be a plaything for men? [nods at Alice]

Jebus : No offense? [Laughs] I take that as a compliment!

Smock: [To Austin] Yeah, he's real nice and everything! [Quietly, to Jebus] If we have to vote for which is god, I'm picking you. [Gestures to Joe and Dicey.] I think those guys are weird. [Points out Joe.] He was gonna leave me in a ditch for the dogs to eat too.

Smock: [Shakes her head at Chastity, looking quite worried.] I don't want any of that. It all sounds bad...

Chastity: [Soothingly] Don't worry, dear. I'll look after you! [Glares at Jebus] I won't let the bad false savior get you!

Jebus : [Gives Chastity a big wink] Good idea, Sister! [Does a pretend growling sound at Smock] Roar!

Austin : [To Chastity] Sleazy con man! That's ripe comming from a fake nun who dobbed the rest of the party in. Huh! [Looks towards the mansion] Shall we take a tour of the conference area?

Chastity: [Glares at Austin. Coldly] I'm sure I don't know what you mean, Mr. Sleaze, but I agree that it is time we joined the others at the conference.

Austin : [To Chastity] Odd how your intelligence and memory escapes you when you find it convenient. Not that there was much to escape. .

Alice : [Rolls her eyes] Maybe it tried to escape to get away from you, Austin?

[Enter DEREK HALL and MICHAEL PORTICO, coming from the mansion.]

Derek : Ah! There they are! Monster!

Derek Hall

Michael Portico ### These are the heads of the Super Slippy Slimey Public Relations ### Company, and who apparently won the rights to use the party's ### images when they died back at the end of Book IV. All but Smock ### have met them, and were horrified at the cheap merchandise ### that was available. The party refused to play along, and the ### two swore revenge. A few days later, shocking revelations about ### the party appeared in the newspapers.

Chastity: [Coldly] You again?!

Derek : Lovely! [To Michael] Didn't I tell you? Didn't I tell you she was the best? Come on, Sister, no hard feelings, I hope?

Chastity: [Haughtily] Why on earth are YOU at a religious conference?!

Clint: [Snorts, as his door-kicking foot flexes invountarily.] Yeah! And why would you creeps think there are no hard feelings, anyway?

Austin : Ahh, gentlemen, a pleasure to see that you are both alive and well. [Smirks, with an air of the calm pleasure that accompanies knowing something they don't]

Derek : And you, Austin. Monster trick coming back from the dead, there, monster!

Michael : [Who's normal demeanour is even more smug at Austin on full smugness, addressing Clint] Because we invited you to the conference, dear chap.

Clint: [Distrustfully] What kind of scam are you going to pull this time?

Derek : Scam? Scam? Clint, me old mucker, you disappoint me! We ain't pullin' no scam - we're just facilitating the process of the true lord making himself [gives a quick bow towards Alice and Chastity] or herself known to the the general populance, so that they may worship them in peace. [Puts his hands together as though in prayer, trying to look innocent, and failing miserably]

Alice : [Nods at Austin's words] Well said, Aus. Imagine how bad it would be if there were two like you!

Austin : [To Smock] I do hope so, little one, I do hope so. [Sighs] I knew denying my godship to one religion was going to be tough, but convincing two religions that I'm not either of their gods, well that's going to be seriously tricky. [Takes a deep breath] But I'll manage.

Jebus : [Nodding at Austin's words] Well said, Austin. The people are confused enough without having more people to exploit them.

Alice : [To Jebus] Hey! I knew I recognised you - weren't you on tv last Halloween? Presenting that series of scary films?

Jebus : [Laughs good naturedly] No, that wasn't me, it was my cousin, Hebus Jebus. People are always getting us mixed up. The key to telling us apart is that one of us a real cheesehead, while the other is a crazed axe murderer.

Austin : [To Jebus] And which one are you?

Jebus : The crazed axe murderer.

Austin : [Moving behind Smock casually. To Jebus] And have you murdered many people? [Glances at Caroline to see if she heard the exchange]

Caroline : I think Mr. Jebus was just joking.

Jebus : [Laughs goodnaturedly at Austin] Sorry my friend!

Clint: [Scratching himself.] I could have told you that, lawyer. This clown doesn't seem capable of being a vicious axe murderer. [As an afterthought, to Jebus.] No offense.

Chastity: [Scolding] Mr. Jebus, that kind of humor is highly inappropriate, especially when there are young, impressionable ladies present! Would you like to be responsible for hopelessly warping young Smock's perception of reality? Finding her again one day, wandering the streets with vacant eyes, penniless, confused, and alone?! A perfect target for sleazy con men [nods at Austin] or men of low moral character [nods at Clint]. Is that what you want for Smock?? A debauched, empty life, wherein she exists merely to be a plaything for men? [nods at Alice]

Jebus : No offense? [Laughs] I take that as a compliment!

Smock: [To Austin] Yeah, he's real nice and everything! [Quietly, to Jebus] If we have to vote for which is god, I'm picking you. [Gestures to Joe and Dicey.] I think those guys are weird. [Points out Joe.] He was gonna leave me in a ditch for the dogs to eat too.

Smock: [Shakes her head at Chastity, looking quite worried.] I don't want any of that. It all sounds bad...

Chastity: [Soothingly] Don't worry, dear. I'll look after you! [Glares at Jebus] I won't let the bad false savior get you!

Jebus : [Gives Chastity a big wink] Good idea, Sister! [Does a pretend growling sound at Smock] Roar!

Austin : [To Chastity] Sleazy con man! That's ripe comming from a fake nun who dobbed the rest of the party in. Huh! [Looks towards the mansion] Shall we take a tour of the conference area?

Chastity: [Glares at Austin. Coldly] I'm sure I don't know what you mean, Mr. Sleaze, but I agree that it is time we joined the others at the conference.

Austin : [To Chastity] Odd how your intelligence and memory escapes you when you find it convenient. Not that there was much to escape. .

Alice : [Rolls her eyes] Maybe it tried to escape to get away from you, Austin?

[Enter DEREK HALL and MICHAEL PORTICO, coming from the mansion.]

Derek : Ah! There they are! Monster!

Derek Hall

Michael Portico ### These are the heads of the Super Slippy Slimey Public Relations ### Company, and who apparently won the rights to use the party's ### images when they died back at the end of Book IV. All but Smock ### have met them, and were horrified at the cheap merchandise ### that was available. The party refused to play along, and the ### two swore revenge. A few days later, shocking revelations about ### the party appeared in the newspapers.

Chastity: [Coldly] You again?!

Derek : Lovely! [To Michael] Didn't I tell you? Didn't I tell you she was the best? Come on, Sister, no hard feelings, I hope?

Chastity: [Haughtily] Why on earth are YOU at a religious conference?!

Clint: [Snorts, as his door-kicking foot flexes invountarily.] Yeah! And why would you creeps think there are no hard feelings, anyway?

Austin : Ahh, gentlemen, a pleasure to see that you are both alive and well. [Smirks, with an air of the calm pleasure that accompanies knowing something they don't]

Derek : And you, Austin. Monster trick coming back from the dead, there, monster!

Michael : [Who's normal demeanour is even more smug at Austin on full smugness, addressing Clint] Because we invited you to the conference, dear chap.

Clint: [Distrustfully] What kind of scam are you going to pull this time?

Derek : Scam? Scam? Clint, me old mucker, you disappoint me! We ain't pullin' no scam - we're just facilitating the process of the true lord making himself [gives a quick bow towards Alice and Chastity] or herself known to the the general populance, so that they may worship them in peace. [Puts his hands together as though in prayer, trying to look innocent, and failing miserably]

Austin : [At Derek with a smirk] Fewer morals than a priest running a Vietnum-num brothel. [Pauses] Shall we take a look around? Where are our conference materials, I'd very much like to see the programme.

Smock: [Hugs Jebus with a grin] You're not scary! [To Derek and Michael, eagerly] Well get facilitating and show us our rooms! .

Jebus : [Returns the hug with a smile] Cheers Smock! You're not scary either!

Derek : [To Smock] Monster! Such enthusiasm in a little kiddie, eh? [Laughs] I love it. [Serious] Pity you can't come in, though.

Clint: [Annoyed] Why not?

Smock: [A little distraught] But... I'm a sidekick. And... and - why?

Derek : 'cos she's not a god, that's why!

Jebus : [Protectively] Hey! I'm not a god, and I'm allowed in, what's that all about?

Derek : [Laughs] Of course you're a god!

Smock: Oh, okay. [Swings her foot meekly. To the party] I'll just wait out here for you guys then. Don't worry! [Holds up her paper bag.] I still got some sandwiches.

Smock: [Brightens] I wonít make any handprints, I promise!

Derek : Monster! Fancy a cigar? [Holds out a huge cigar]

Smock: Oh yes! [Takes the cigar and puts it in the stash she is keeping for Clint]

Chastity: [To Derek, attempting to intercept the cigar] Smock is a child! How dare you try to poison her with those dreadful things?!

Austin : [To CHastity] He's a professional, that what he does, poisons the minds and lives of the rest of the proletariat, to extort money from them. I know you're completely familiar with the concept. He just does it all with out that 'habit' [Points at Chastity's habit] and with that [Points at Derek's cigar] 'habit' [Smiles smugly at his own fantastic sense of humor]

Smock: [To Austin] Am I a pro- prowl- whatever? Cuz I don't got no money.

Chastity: [To Austin, coldly] Don't you know that punning is the lowest form of humor, Mr. Sleaze?

Austin : [To Chastity] Well I had to give you some conversational point to squirm your way out of that conversation with.

Chastity: [To Austin] My, how generous of you. [To Derek] Please give Mr. Sleaze some oral satisfaction. I do believe we could all use the break.

Derek : [Laughs at Austin and Chastity, genuinely enjoying them] Ha! Monster! Let's take a look inside.

[Before DEREK can lead the way, the sound of a tremendous crash comes from around the side of the house, of a large pane of glass being broken.]

Alice : Hey! What was that?

Clint: I didn't know you were into that kind of thing, Chas! There's hope for you yet! But if that guy is going to be satisfying the lawyer, I'm outta here.

Chastity: [To Clint, innocently] I was merely suggesting Mr. Sleaze might enjoy a cigar. [Startled by the breaking glass. To Smock] What have you done now, young lady?!

Harvey : By the saints, Sister! I don't think the young cadet is responsible.

[Everyone runs to the side of the house, where there is a huge glasshouse, one pane of which is broken. There are two people here, DIANA CARTER and EDWARD VULTURE, they are standing about three feet apart, but both turn to look at the party, with innocent looks on their face, and each clearly hiding something behind their back.]

Derek : Monster! Religious tension already!

Diana Carter

Edward Vulture

Chastity: [To Diana and Edward] What are you hiding behind your back, young ruffians?!

Clint: Nevermind that, Chas! [To Diana, with a cheesy grin] Well, here I am. What are your other two wishes?

Diana : [Slips something into a back pocket, that sounds distinctly like a sword being put away] That we could be alone together forever, twice.

Edward : [Also hiding a sword, before putting on a thin smile] Nothing. We were just funning around.

Chastity: [Holding up two fingers, ticking off one] That you'll stay downwind [ticking off the second] and that that really IS a gherkin in your pocket.

Austin : [To Chastity] It's a little small for a gerkin, sister.

Chastity: [Scrutinizing Clint appraisingly] Right you are, Mr. Sleaze! Perhaps a golf pencil?

Alice : [Gives Clint a look] A well worn golf pencil?

Clint: Keep this up, Bimbo, and you'll never got to find out. [To Diana] Don't mind them, babe; the Big General always delivers. What say you give me a private tour of the facilities?

Austin : [Sniggering] The fastest delivery in the nothern hemisphere, apparently.

Diana : [To Clint] Sounds great, General, but I don't know anything about the place!

Chastity: [Looking around at the broken glass, dismayed. Digs through her bag and pulls out a collapsable broom and dustpan and hands them to Diana, scolding] You clean up this mess immediately, young lady!

Diana : Of course, Chastity. It was just a terrible accident.

Edward : Yeah, an accident.

Austin : [Shrugs. To Diana and Edward] I don't expect anyone will mind. It's bound to be covered by the venue's insurance. [Looks at Diana, smiling] You look fabulous, I just love your outfit, if you dont mind me saying so. Please excuse Mr Scar's innappropriate advances, he is not [pauses] overly educated in social matters.

Smock: [To Diana and Edward, suspiciously] Were you guys fighting?

Harvey : Indeed, the young cadet is spot on! We distinctly heard the sound of breaking glass just now!

[EDWARD and DIANA exchange a guilty look.]

Diana : Uh, no, we were just looking at the flowers in the glasshouse.

Edward : That's right, and then I slipped, fell clean through the glass. Ow.

Smock: [Taunts with a grin] Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!

Diana : [With a smile] Oh, now what's your name, honey?

Smock: [Smiles proudly] Smock. How come you were fighting, then?

Diana : Oh, we weren't fighting, we were, uh...

Edward : Playing pat-a-cake.

[The two face each other and attempt (poorly) to do pat-a-cake.]

Diana and Edward : Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, all false gods, bury the liars, beneath the green sods.

Smock: [With an disbelieving smile] With swords?

Edward : Uh, no!

Clint: How the hell did you break a window playing pat-a-cake?

Diana and Edward : I fell through the window.

[The two look at each other for a moment.]

Diana and Edward : (S)he fell through the window.

[The two look right at the party.]

Diana : [Gives a little laugh] We fell through the window.

Harvey : What a strange rhyme! What's all that guff about burying people? Eh?

Smock: [Taunts with a grin] Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!

Diana : [With a smile] Oh, now what's your name, honey?

Smock: [Smiles proudly] Smock. How come you were fighting, then?

Diana : Oh, we weren't fighting, we were, uh...

Edward : Playing pat-a-cake.

[The two face each other and attempt (poorly) to do pat-a-cake.]

Diana and Edward : Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, all false gods, bury the liars, beneath the green sods.

Smock: [With an disbelieving smile] With swords?

Edward : Uh, no!

Clint: How the hell did you break a window playing pat-a-cake?

Diana and Edward : I fell through the window.

[The two look at each other for a moment.]

Diana and Edward : (S)he fell through the window.

[The two look right at the party.]

Diana : [Gives a little laugh] We fell through the window.

Harvey : What a strange rhyme! What's all that guff about burying people? Eh?

Chastity: Very strange, indeed, Colonel! [To the pat-a-cakers] Were you threatening us?

Diana : Oh no! Chastity, I'd never do something like that!

Edward : Well, it was kind of an implied threat, wasn't it? You know, while it wasn't directed at them specifically, they could fall into the general group.

Diana : [Thinks for a moment Hm, maybe. Yeah, I can see your point. To Chastity] I suppose we were, Sister, but it was nothing personal!

Smock: [To Caroline, impatiently] Can we go see inside yet?

Caroline : Of course you can, sweetie, we just came to see what all the commotion is.

Chastity : [Irritated, to Smock] Behave yourself, young lady! That's no way to speak to the nice lady.

Smock: [Pouts at Chastity] But now we've seen what got broke and those two are only gonna keep lying to us anyways. [Goes to inspect the hole and what's in the glasshouse]

Austin : [To Caroline] These nice people [Gestures to Diana and Edward] were just practicing a little sword play when they accidentally broke some glass, but I'm sure the venue's insurance will cover it. [Looks around, sighs] My, I do love a well kept glass house. [Sniffs a nearby flower]

[The glasshouse is quite large, and is full of all sorts of exotic looking flowers and plants.]

Chastity : [To Smock] My, but you're a blank canvas, aren't you? How wonderful it will be to make you into a lady.

Smock: [To Austin with a frown] Plants shouldn't live in houses. They're meant to be outside. Last from Ellen #95

Austin : [Nodding to Smock] Quite true, cadet, but this is a fuchika-probassius, indigenous to the Republic of Humala-lomma-la-hi, where the mean annual temperature is 37 degrees centrigrade and the humidity 98 percent. It would not survive in the natural environments on this continent.

Harvey : Hah! By the saints, Private Sleaze, you're an expert on flowers, what? [To Albert] Now sir, what's all this about?

Albert : It's about the stupidity of bringing different religions together with a view to finding which is the true one, and about the inability of these idiotic organisers [clearly meaning Derek and Michael] to understand the innate problems of those on the Path being involved in any sort of organised event that includes those who are not.

Austin : [Nodding in aggreement with Albert. Raises and eyebrow of suprise. To Albert] Well said. I wouldn't be suprised if this conference attracted some highly undesirable types, like Boddy and Darius, or at least, if we're lucky, Pestillence and Contagion [sighs] or more likely, the traitor himself, Trindle. [To Caroline] I take it that you have devised several efficient evacuation plans covering any possible event that could presumeabley cause loss of life, in the conference area?

Clint: [To Derek and Michael] The lawyer, a god? You two freaks really aren't too sharp, are you?

[The glasshouse is quite large, and is full of all sorts of exotic looking flowers and plants.]

Chastity : [To Smock] My, but you're a blank canvas, aren't you? How wonderful it will be to make you into a lady.

Smock: [To Austin with a frown] Plants shouldn't live in houses. They're meant to be outside. Last from Ellen #95

Austin : [Nodding to Smock] Quite true, cadet, but this is a fuchika-probassius, indigenous to the Republic of Humala-lomma-la-hi, where the mean annual temperature is 37 degrees centrigrade and the humidity 98 percent. It would not survive in the natural environments on this continent.

Harvey : Hah! By the saints, Private Sleaze, you're an expert on flowers, what? [To Albert] Now sir, what's all this about?

Albert : It's about the stupidity of bringing different religions together with a view to finding which is the true one, and about the inability of these idiotic organisers [clearly meaning Derek and Michael] to understand the innate problems of those on the Path being involved in any sort of organised event that includes those who are not.

Austin : [Nodding in aggreement with Albert. Raises and eyebrow of suprise. To Albert] Well said. I wouldn't be suprised if this conference attracted some highly undesirable types, like Boddy and Darius, or at least, if we're lucky, Pestillence and Contagion [sighs] or more likely, the traitor himself, Trindle. [To Caroline] I take it that you have devised several efficient evacuation plans covering any possible event that could presumeabley cause loss of life, in the conference area?

Clint: [To Derek and Michael] The lawyer, a god? You two freaks really aren't too sharp, are you?

Harvey : No security! No security!!! Do you know that ninety nine percent of all conferences involving groups of varying religious beliefs end up in either demon manifestation or mass mudrer!

Derek : Monster! Our research only showed it was ninety percent!

Clint: [Annoyed] How do you two plan to keep this conference from being another one that ends in mass murder, then?!

Harvey : Well troop, I'll tell you this, we must be on our upmost guard today! [Quietly to the others] What better way for some cad to gain complete dominion than to bring together the entirety of the opposition under one roof and slay them all, eh!

Austin : [To Harvey] Indeed colonel, as I pointed out earlier, this is probably a trap. Perhaps we should make our own plans.

Derek : [Laughs at Austin] Sure! Off you go! We'll be certain to write up your cowardly refusal to take part in the conference!

Smock : Austin's no coward! He's a hero!

Chastity: Mr. Sleaze, this is the most important conference of our time. You will attend, and you will participate! We cannot have all these false gods confusing the populace. People are troubled enough, with all of that appalling modern music warping their simple minds and all those convenience foods degrading their bodies. when I can, though.

Austin : [Laughs raucausly at Derek] An empty threat! As if you've ever written the truth about us! [Laughs] And what is more cowardly, giving in to pathetic threats from low life scum conmen like you, or choosing your own path? [To Derek, coldly] I refuse to take part in your conference of lies, deceit, fakery and extortion! [Hands his goody bag back to Caroline]

Austin : [To Chastity] I shall peddle the facts outside the front gate. We should set up a picket line.

Harvey : I think not private Sleaze. If there is skullduggery afoot, than we should be inside to protect the innocent, no matter how deluded and misguided they are!

Chastity: [To Harvey, taking his arm] Exactly right! As always, Colonel, your bravery and impeccable manners set an example for the rest of us [glares at Austin pointedly].

Derek : [Gives Austin a big wink and a cheesy grin] Looks like you're on your own!

Caroline : [Taking the goodie bag] Please, Austin, won't you please change your mind? [Takes Alice by the arm] Please Alice, you try to convince him, you're ever so good at that.

Alice : Right, [notices that Caroline is rubbing her arm] er, you should come in, Aus.

Harvey : Indeed, private Sleaze, we should not split up! Together we are stronger!

Smock : Come on, Austin! We can't leave you behind!

Clint: Besides, as a lawyer, you should be right at home in a conference of "lies, deceit, fakery and extortion."

Alice : [Nodding at Clint's words as she slowly takes her arm back from Caroline] Exactly! No one's better at lies, deceit and fakery than you, Aus! [Gives him an encouraging smile]

Austin : [Crosses his arms, frowning] If we must stay together, which we must, then we should all leave. There are no innocents comming to thins conference, as they are all popular gods of some form or another. [To Clint and Alice and Chastity] Abusing me will not make me more likely to stay.

Alice : We're not abusing you! We're just trying to be nice to you!

Austin : [To Alice] Well your attempts are laughable. I am neither a liar nor a cheat, and do not appreciate being accused of being such!

Alice : Uh, so you are a faker and an extortionist, then?

Clint: [Bored] Look, are we going to stick around or what? I think we should stay and convince all these false gods that they're wrong, but it doesn't make much difference to me.

Chastity: Mr. Sleaze, this is the most important conference of our time. You will attend, and you will participate! We cannot have all these false gods confusing the populace. People are troubled enough, with all of that appalling modern music warping their simple minds and all those convenience foods degrading their bodies. when I can, though.

Austin : [Laughs raucausly at Derek] An empty threat! As if you've ever written the truth about us! [Laughs] And what is more cowardly, giving in to pathetic threats from low life scum conmen like you, or choosing your own path? [To Derek, coldly] I refuse to take part in your conference of lies, deceit, fakery and extortion! [Hands his goody bag back to Caroline]

Austin : [To Chastity] I shall peddle the facts outside the front gate. We should set up a picket line.

Harvey : I think not private Sleaze. If there is skullduggery afoot, than we should be inside to protect the innocent, no matter how deluded and misguided they are!

Chastity: [To Harvey, taking his arm] Exactly right! As always, Colonel, your bravery and impeccable manners set an example for the rest of us [glares at Austin pointedly].

Derek : [Gives Austin a big wink and a cheesy grin] Looks like you're on your own!

Caroline : [Taking the goodie bag] Please, Austin, won't you please change your mind? [Takes Alice by the arm] Please Alice, you try to convince him, you're ever so good at that.

Alice : Right, [notices that Caroline is rubbing her arm] er, you should come in, Aus.

Harvey : Indeed, private Sleaze, we should not split up! Together we are stronger!

Smock : Come on, Austin! We can't leave you behind!

Clint: Besides, as a lawyer, you should be right at home in a conference of "lies, deceit, fakery and extortion."

Alice : [Nodding at Clint's words as she slowly takes her arm back from Caroline] Exactly! No one's better at lies, deceit and fakery than you, Aus! [Gives him an encouraging smile]

Austin : [Crosses his arms, frowning] If we must stay together, which we must, then we should all leave. There are no innocents comming to thins conference, as they are all popular gods of some form or another. [To Clint and Alice and Chastity] Abusing me will not make me more likely to stay.

Alice : We're not abusing you! We're just trying to be nice to you!

Austin : [To Alice] Well your attempts are laughable. I am neither a liar nor a cheat, and do not appreciate being accused of being such!

Alice : Uh, so you are a faker and an extortionist, then?

Clint: [Bored] Look, are we going to stick around or what? I think we should stay and convince all these false gods that they're wrong, but it doesn't make much difference to me.

Chastity: Mr. Sleaze, this is the most important conference of our time. You will attend, and you will participate! We cannot have all these false gods confusing the populace. People are troubled enough, with all of that appalling modern music warping their simple minds and all those convenience foods degrading their bodies. when I can, though.

Austin : [Laughs raucausly at Derek] An empty threat! As if you've ever written the truth about us! [Laughs] And what is more cowardly, giving in to pathetic threats from low life scum conmen like you, or choosing your own path? [To Derek, coldly] I refuse to take part in your conference of lies, deceit, fakery and extortion! [Hands his goody bag back to Caroline]

Austin : [To Chastity] I shall peddle the facts outside the front gate. We should set up a picket line.

Harvey : I think not private Sleaze. If there is skullduggery afoot, than we should be inside to protect the innocent, no matter how deluded and misguided they are!

Chastity: [To Harvey, taking his arm] Exactly right! As always, Colonel, your bravery and impeccable manners set an example for the rest of us [glares at Austin pointedly].

Derek : [Gives Austin a big wink and a cheesy grin] Looks like you're on your own!

Caroline : [Taking the goodie bag] Please, Austin, won't you please change your mind? [Takes Alice by the arm] Please Alice, you try to convince him, you're ever so good at that.

Alice : Right, [notices that Caroline is rubbing her arm] er, you should come in, Aus.

Harvey : Indeed, private Sleaze, we should not split up! Together we are stronger!

Smock : Come on, Austin! We can't leave you behind!

Clint: Besides, as a lawyer, you should be right at home in a conference of "lies, deceit, fakery and extortion."

Alice : [Nodding at Clint's words as she slowly takes her arm back from Caroline] Exactly! No one's better at lies, deceit and fakery than you, Aus! [Gives him an encouraging smile]

Austin : [Crosses his arms, frowning] If we must stay together, which we must, then we should all leave. There are no innocents comming to thins conference, as they are all popular gods of some form or another. [To Clint and Alice and Chastity] Abusing me will not make me more likely to stay.

Alice : We're not abusing you! We're just trying to be nice to you!

Austin : [To Alice] Well your attempts are laughable. I am neither a liar nor a cheat, and do not appreciate being accused of being such!

Alice : Uh, so you are a faker and an extortionist, then?

Clint: [Bored] Look, are we going to stick around or what? I think we should stay and convince all these false gods that they're wrong, but it doesn't make much difference to me.

Smock: [With sweet, pleading eyes] Please, Austin. It wouldn't be the same without you! And no one else is well dressed enough to be able to convince your Austinites. [Smiles hopefully]

Derek : [Claps his hands together and gives a big smile] Right! All those going to the conference, come with me. All those too scared to come, you can leave now.

Clint: [Shrugs and goes over to stand by Derek.] Come on, guys, what's their to worry about? If this is a trap, we'll be ready for it. Besides, the food is great!

Derek : Monster! [Starts heading towards the house]

Caroline : [A little hopefully] So, we're all going in?

Austin : No.

Derek : [Gives Austin a big friendly wave] See ya!

[Exit ALL but the party and CAROLINE.]

Alice : Oh for God's sake, Austin! Are you going to insist on staying out here? Last from Conor #127

Austin : [To Alice] Why do you want to go in? What purpose will it serve?

Alice : To stop people like Dicey and Joe being proclaimed as gods! Don't you care about what happens to people?

Clint: Exactly! Plus, we can stop people like me and Chas from being proclaimed as gods, too. All that, and it might even be fun!

Austin : [To Alice] They have already been proclaimed gods, you're much too late if you want to stop that!

Alice : But this is what the conference is about! To establish that they're not real gods. [Sighs] Look, Austin, if you don't want to come in, fine, but I'm going in, and so is everyone else, right?

[Everyone makes assenting noises.]

Caroline : [Squeezes Alice's arm reassuringly] I'll look after you.

Clint: [Wearing a huge grin.] And I'll look after the both of you together!

Caroline : [Very quickly] No, we're fine!

Austin : [Sighs] Oh for Phili's sake. [Rolls his eyes] I'll come in, but ONLY to keep the party together, not for this stupid conference. [To ALice] And never suggest that I don't care! If you really cared you'd stay outside here with me and help boycot this conference too!

Alice : [Rolls her eyes] No, you should never suggest that I don't care! If you really cared you wouldn't be acting like an idiot when it's clear that the rest of us want to go in!

Austin : [To Alice] What utter rubbish you speak. The sooner we get the stupidity curse lifted from you family the better. [Stomps off into the conference]

Harvey : Now, that's all sorted, let us get in before the masses attack the buffet!

Alice : [With a smile playing about her lips] I just can't wait until Austin meets Derek again, it's gonna be great!

[Exit ALL into the house.]

[Book V, Act VI, Scene IV. The Hallway of The House. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY, SMOCK and CAROLINE are here.]

Caroline : Before we have dinner, I'll show you your rooms. It's a nice big suite, and [with a quick glance at Alice] my room is very close by.

[Everyone heads upstairs, where they meet GREG PUTIN, coming back down the stairs.]

Caroline : Oh, everyone, this is Greg. Greg, this is the party from Queens View.

Greg : False gods!

Greg Putin

Austin : [To Greg] Errm, no, we're not gods at all, false or otherwise.

Greg : [Rubbing his filthy beard] Good news, brother! That's good news! [Grabs Austin's arm and talks lowly into his ear] This place is full of false gods.

[As GREG gets up close to AUSTIN, there's a peculiar mewling sound from his pocket.]

Alice : Was - was that a cat in your pocket?

Austin : [Pulls his arm away from Greg] Eeeww, unhand me this instant! You're filthy! [Brushes his arm down, sighs. Indignantly to Greg] Now I'll have to change!

Harvey : My niece is quite correct, what! Are you carrying around cats?

Greg : [To Austin] No! Don't change! Don't you ever change! Don't let them turn you into their puppet! [To Harvey] Because I'm allergic to them.

Clint: [To Austin:] Don't worry about it - the cat hair look is in these days. [To Greg:] So is this a self=punishment kind of thing, then?

Austin : [To Greg] I was refering to my attire. It is nearly midday, and I always change my clothes before luncheon. [Looks Greg's clothes once over, frowning]

Greg : That's right, brother, I'm suffering for my faith, in much the same way that you refuse to wash yourself, I'm sure.

Smock : So, what? You refuse to wash yourself too? Can I pet the kitty?

Chastity : [Wryly to Greg] It's Mr. Sleaze's way of making the world a brighter place.

Harvey : I say cadet, I wouldn't advice it! The poor creature is probably half suffocated, and any glimpse of freedom will have it attacking the first thing it sees in a bid to escape, which would be you, reaching forward to pet it!

Austin : [To Greg] So, do you claim to be a god, or a false god, or neither?

Alice : [Tuts at Harvey's words] Don't be silly, I bet he's really friendly. [Leans in close to Greg's pocket] Puss puss puss!

[The pocket opens a crack, and a tiny paw takes a swipe at ALICE, narrowly missing her, and a huge roar comes from the pocket, causing her to step back quickly, looking quite pale.]

Greg : Neither! I am a prophet, here to warn all those false gods of their impending domino.

Harvey : [Steps infront of Alice] Their impending what?

Greg : [Ominously] Dooooooom!

Smock : That's not what you said, you said domino. [To the others] Didn't he? Didn't he say domino? I know he said domino.

Greg : Because when the false gods fall, they will bring the people crashing down with them, like a bunch of dooms.

Harvey : [To Smock] He did indeed, cadet, he most definitely said domino! [To Greg] So how many false gods are there?

Greg : Let's see. [Takes a nettle out of his non-cat pocket and wraps it around his wrist, wincing in the pain, but then continues] I think there are twelve, but that would include you.

Austin : [To Greg] Well, we're not gods, so, not including us there are seven, unless of course I am counted twice, then there are six. [To Greg] So how many prophets, or other non god or false god's are attenting this conference?

Harvey : Well private, I guess that O'Reilly character is another one, so that leaves five or six.

Greg : That's correct, it's six. [Pauses for a moment as he adjusts his underpants] Excuse me, the sandpaper was feeling a little comfortable The others are Diana, Edward, Jebus, Joe, Dicey and Spot.

Clint: Spot? What kind of a name is Spot, anyway? That's ridiculous!

Greg : Not as ridiculous as Glynxprtle.

Alice : What? There's someone here called Glynxprtle?

Greg : No.

Clint: Riiiight. So where is this Spot guy, anyway? Might as well get meeting all of these guys out of the way...

Greg : He's gone out for a run, he said he'll be back soon.

Caroline : I'm sure he'll be back just in time for dinner. Why don't you take a look at your rooms now?

Austin : Well, that leaves Spot. [To Caroline] Do you know where spot is? Perhaps we can meet him after we have freshened up?

Chastity: [To Caroline] Thank you, dear. Does young Smock have a room, or will she need to share with Alice?

Caroline : [Taken aback] No! [Calms down] I mean, [gives a big smile] no, there's no need, no need at all. We have one large suite that will fit everyone. My room is just down the hall. Next door in fact, so if you need anything, Alice, anything at all, you just give me a knock. Any time, okay?

Alice : Uh, okay.

Austin : [Smirks. Then straight faced to Caroline] I'm sure Alice will be knocking at your door in a flash, should the need arise. Perhaps you could help eachother to do your hair and make up, before the conference? I heard that Alice is a dab hand with moisturiser.

Harvey : Well private, I guess that O'Reilly character is another one, so that leaves five or six.

Greg : That's correct, it's six. [Pauses for a moment as he adjusts his underpants] Excuse me, the sandpaper was feeling a little comfortable The others are Diana, Edward, Jebus, Joe, Dicey and Spot.

Clint: Spot? What kind of a name is Spot, anyway? That's ridiculous!

Greg : Not as ridiculous as Glynxprtle.

Alice : What? There's someone here called Glynxprtle?

Greg : No.

Clint: Riiiight. So where is this Spot guy, anyway? Might as well get meeting all of these guys out of the way...

Greg : He's gone out for a run, he said he'll be back soon.

Caroline : I'm sure he'll be back just in time for dinner. Why don't you take a look at your rooms now?

Austin : Well, that leaves Spot. [To Caroline] Do you know where spot is? Perhaps we can meet him after we have freshened up?

Chastity: [To Caroline] Thank you, dear. Does young Smock have a room, or will she need to share with Alice?

Caroline : [Taken aback] No! [Calms down] I mean, [gives a big smile] no, there's no need, no need at all. We have one large suite that will fit everyone. My room is just down the hall. Next door in fact, so if you need anything, Alice, anything at all, you just give me a knock. Any time, okay?

Alice : Uh, okay.

Austin : [Smirks. Then straight faced to Caroline] I'm sure Alice will be knocking at your door in a flash, should the need arise. Perhaps you could help eachother to do your hair and make up, before the conference? I heard that Alice is a dab hand with moisturiser.

Caroline : [Nods vigorously in agreement] Great idea, Aus!

Greg : No! A thousand times no! The Lord frowns upon such frivolous preening. [Holds out a small jar] Here's some acid instead.

Austin : [Spots the jar of acid] Ahh, halluciogenic substances [To Greg] That explains a few things.

Greg : That's right, Brother, a quick sample of this and you'll be seeing some holy visions!

Chastity: [To Austin, sweetly] Mr. Sleaze, do you really think you need to impede your perception of reality any further?

Austin : [To Chastity, dryly, unimpressed] Only in order to help me understand you better, Chassers old girl.

Chastity: [Sniffs] How thoughtful. Now if I could only find something to inhibit my conscience and sense of decency in order to better relate to you.

Greg : [Clearly missing what's really going on between the two, and nodding in agreement] Well said, brethren, together we will smite the false gods! Now, who's going outside with me to rub sand in their anuses?

Chastity: [To Greg, appalled] Pervert! Can't you see there are ladies and children present?! [attempts to put her hands over Smock's ears]

Austin : [To Greg] Don't mind her, she has no concept of anyone else's lives, let alone reality.

Chastity: [To Austin] True, I would be a good deal happier not to have to hear about your desire to have sand--or anything else--being inserted into your [glances at Smock and continues with a shudder] a-n-u-s.

Austin : [Shrugs to Greg] See what I mean, I haven't even mentioned a desire for rubbing sand into anything, but already she is implying that I do. [Raises and lowers on his toes slightly] Completely mad, the old girl. Lost it a while ago.

Smock : [To Alice] What's a N - U - A - S?

Alice : A sauna, it's where closet homosexuals go to meet each other.

Greg : Pervert? Pervert? Next you'll be saying that rubbing your crotch against a splintery piece of wood isn't praising god!

Austin : [To Greg] I believe that Sister Chastity prefers the roughest of hessian undergarments.

Greg : Oh, Sister! I knew you were righteous the moment I saw you.

Alice : From the way she walked up the stairs?

Greg : No, when I was spying on her through the hole in the bathroom.

Harvey : By the saints! What kind of pervert are you sir?

Chastity: [To Alice, frowning] Dear, do you really think it more important to teach young Smock moral depravity than how to spell?

Alice : Sure! It's never held me back, and that's a dead cert, S - E - R - T!

Clint: And what's wrong with moral depravity, I ask? [Winks at Caroline and does a quick hip thrust.]

Austin : [To Clint, frowning at Clint's hip thrust] I think the problem is with it's connection to physical depravity. test test2 test3

Chastity: [Storms over to the painting, shaking her fist at it] Come out of there, spy!

Clint: [Gives Alice a big cheesy grin, then follows Chastity over to the painting.] Yeah! Pervert!

Chastity: [To Clint] Could I trouble you to remove this painting from the wall, Mr. Scar?

Austin : [Watching] Perhaps they take a more direct approach than remote cameras.

Chastity: Indeed, Mr. Sleaze! What an outrageous invasion of privacy! [shakes fist at painting again]

Harvey : Well, we'll soon see what's what, what! [Attempts to remove the painting]

Clint: Coming right up, Chas. [Lends Harvey a hand with the painting.]

[HARVEY and CLINT easily remove the painting from the wall, revealing a blank wall, with two eyeholes cut into it. The eyes immediately disappear.]

Alice : [Gasp] Maybe someone's stuck in the wall?

Chastity: [To Alice] Yes, that must be it, dear. Why don't you cut an escape hole in the door for the poor wretch? [Hands Alice a butter knife] Here, you can use this.

Alice : Uh, wouldn't it be easier to just open the door?

Harvey : Ha, dearest sister! No need for that when a touch of brute force should do the trick! [Runs at and shoulders the wall]

[HARVEY bangs hard against the wall, which is quite solid.]

Alice : Uh, wouldn't it be easier to just open the door?

Austin : [Checks the door to see if it's unlocked, and opens it if it is. To Alice] Probably.

Chastity: [Sighs and puts her butter knife away, watching Austin's progress. To Alice] I don't know what we would do without you, dear.

[AUSTIN skillfully turns the handle of the door and opens it. He peers out, quickly followed by the others looking out too, only to see someone disappearing down the stairs.]

Smock : Hey! Who was that? Let's get him and beat him up!

Alice : [Turns to Austin, confused at all the confusion and rolls her eyes, before turning back to the others] Neither do I, Chas, neither do I!

Smock : [Disconsolately coming back in] He got away. [Opens one of the doors] Whoohoo! This is my room! [Short pause] Uh, just me? [Pause] Okay. [Goes in and closes the door behind her]

Chastity: [Confused at the confusion over the confusion] What?! [Calls after Smock] Don't forget to brush your teeth and scrub every inch of your body with a good exfoliant and disinfecting soap!

Austin : [Opens the door to his room and takes a look around] Time to freshen up I believe. [Checks his room for spying devices/holes] Lat from Dom #62

Smock : [Doesn't say anything because she's in her room]

Alice : So, do we think there are any gods here?

Austin : [Shouting to Alice from his room] No! That's the whole point! None of us are god or gods.

Alice : So, let me see. [Does a thinking pose] The scumbags who told all the lies about us in the papers have set up this conference with a view to selling loads of papers with articles about the new gods? [With a big smile] I think our mission here is clear, troop.

Chastity: [Dismayed] My mission isn't the least bit clear! I am here to save misguided souls!

Harvey : Eh? I thought our mission here was to save as many people as possible when the inevitable demonic beasties are unreleased on the crowd?

Clint: [Shakes his head.] You're both wrong. Our mission here is to embarrass the hell out of those two sleazebags. Saving souls and rescuing people are just ways to do that. barrass re just

Chastity: [To Clint] How is it embarrassing to save souls?! What sacrilege= !

Clint: [Taps a cigar.] Haven't they talked this up about bringing all the new gods together? So when it comes out that we're not gods, souls will be saved and, more importantly, those two will look ridiculous. he new aved

Alice : Exactly! We're gonna be saving souls all over the place!

Austin : [Peeping out from his bedroom door. Dryly with a smirk] The less walking we have to do the better.

Chastity: [Sniffs] Yes, but there is nothing embarrassing about salvation! [chooses an unclaimed room and exits in a huff]

Alice : I wonder why Phili isn't here.

Harvey : I would think that due to the fact the postal service is entirely staffed by demons and foul fiends, I'd guess that he didn't receive the invitation, what! y

Alice : So what's the plan? Mess the whole thing up? Or demand to know why the big P isn't here?

Harvey : Priorities come into play, dearest niece, and first things first. = We must assemble at the buffet and have our fill before tackling any further issues! . We

Chastity: [Re-enters the room, freshly scrubbed and in clean clothes. To Harvey, taking his arm] Excellent suggestion, as always, Colonel.=20 You take control of these volatile situations in such masterly fashion.

Smock : [Re-entering the room, glancing behind her] Are you coming? Excellent! [Comes back in and looks at the party] I'm starving!

Chastity: [Peers behind Smock. To Smock] To whom are you speaking?

Austin : [Re-enters the room wearing an afternoon suit by Enrico Marvellious , with spaniel skin shoes by Reilly Fab-herge, and a white silk shirt by the same. Considers Harvey's clothes for a moment] Masterly fashion? You're so behind the times Chassers old girl.

Smock : My new pal! Say hello, Kevin!

[Some time passes.]

Smock : [Laughs] Oh, you can't hear him!

Austin : [To Smock] We can't see him either.

Smock : [Bursts out laughing] Kevin! Tut! Kevin, these are my friends, Austin, Alice, Chastity, Clint and the Colonel. [Brief pause] Yes, they [emphasis] are heroes!

[ALICE dramatically starts searching her pockets for something.]

Harvey : [Glances around for a while, before shaking his head and turning to Alice] Dear niece, have you lost something?

Alice : [Pulls out her cheese stash, with visible relief] No! It's okay, I was just afraid that Smock got hold of this!

Harvey : [Looks disprovingly at the stash before turning back to Smock] I say cadet, this is no place for an imaginary friend! Why, imagine if they fall in combat, causing another troop member to trip over them, resulting in their demise, what!

Smock : [Pauses a second before answering] Of course! [To Harvey] No one else can touch him either, so no problem, Colonel!

Clint: Harv, if the kid wants an imaginary friend, what's wrong with it? Didn't you have an imaginary friend when you were young? [To Smock] Just don't go telling those two sleazebags about Kevin, 'kay? don't

Harvey : [To Clint] Yes I did private, but unfortunately, his imaginary mot= her never let him come out to play! [To Smock] Well, make sure he doesn't get in the way, and make doubly sure he doesn't go taking any golden honeyed locusts from the buffet!

Austin : [To Smock, a little concerned] Does Kevin have magical powers too? o?

Smock : He sure does!

Alice : Like what?

Smock : I like lots of things. Jam sandwiches, my pet cockcroach. All sorts of stuff. . .

Austin : [To Smock] What kind of magical powers does Kevin have?

Smock : He can make himself invisible.

Clint: Yeah, okay. Buffet, Harv?

Austin : [Nodding to Clint] Indeed, we had best get to the buffet. [To Smock] Is Kevin hungry too?

Harvey : Oh, most certainly sir, most certainly!

Smock : He sure is! [Runs to the door] Come on, slowcoaches! [Runs out]

Alice : [With a puzzled look on her face, before turning to the party with a confused tone] She's [emphasis] sixteen?

Chastity: [Disapprovingly to the rest of the party] We cannot encourage this delusion! It's bad enough the child thinks she's six years old and carries vermin in her pocket. [Follows Smock, calling] Young lady, cease this silliness at once!

Alice : Right. Let's save some souls!

[Exit ALL.]

[Book V, Act VI, Scene V. The Dining Room. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY and SMOCK are here, having just arrived. Already here are JOE, DICEY, JEBUS, EDWARD, DIANA, CAROLINE, ALBERT and DEREK, sitting and standing around chatting. Also here is a dog, sitting on an armchair.]

Alice : [Stops when she sees the dog, and turns to the party] Is - is that dog smoking a cigar?

Spot The Dog

Chastity: [To Clint] A relation of yours?

Clint: [Shrugs] Doubt it. None of my relatives would wear such a sissy hat. hat.

Harvey : So, which one do you think is Spot?

Alice : Maybe Dicey, on account of him being so small?

[SPOT growls at CLINT, cigar between his teeth.]

Alice : Nice doggie!

Spot : Hey baby, like to do it doggy style?

Alice : Hey!

Harvey : [To Spot] I say sir, one more remark like that and it's off to the V E T for the S N I P with you, what!

Clint: [To Spot, amused, and a little surprised that the dog talks.] Huh. Maybe we're related after all! h.

Derek : [With a big laugh] Monster! Then you must be related to Jebus, too! o!

Harvey : By the saints, is there anyone alive today not related to you, private?

Alice : Don't be silly, Uncle Harvey! You and me aren't related to him!

Clint: [To Harvey] Click-click!

Jebus : [Gives the party a wave and two thumbs up] Hey guys! Glad you could make it. You're just in time for all the religious intolerance!

Harvey : [Shakes his head sadly] Good grief, I can't believe you're looking forward to seeing people attempt to rip each other apart! For shame, sir! For shame! ng

Jebus : [Laughs goodnaturedly at Harvey] Excellent! Excellent! I love this = guy!

Austin : [With a brief glance around the room] Are there conference programmes or is this an amature affair?

Chastity: Of course there will be programs! There must be a place to list [with particularly disgusted emphasis] corporate sponsorship.

Caroline : Oh yes, Mr. Hall's newspaper kindly offered to print them for us= .

Derek : They're gonna be monster!

Clint: And if you're printing them, they'll probably be full of lies.

Chastity: [Nods at Clint] Quite right, Mr. Scar. Not to mention sloppily printed and full of errors! [Sniffs distastefully then wrinkles her nose and looks at Clint accusingly] Mr. Scar! Did you ever think you might have a medical condition?! -zone gured

Clint: [Genuinely puzzled] Why would I think that? [Scratches himself and belches loudly.] and

Chastity: [Scrutinizes Clint] Where to begin?! The fungus clearly growing on your feet and hands? The unsettling odor emanating from your mouth and nether regions? Healthy men look like the Colonel [gestures fondly to Harvey] and even Mr. Sleaze, though of course he is diseased in mind and soul.

Derek : [Nods and smiles at Clint, giving him a big thumbs up] That's right, Clint, full of lies. Wait until you see the article that says you've got a huge -

Caroline : [Skillfully interrupting] I think what Derek is trying to say is that the programmes will be here soon.

Austin : [Gives Chastity a smile] How fortunate we are, then, Sister, that we have you, who is pure in mind and soul. [Looks Chastity up and down with barely concealed disdain] And body.

Clint: Huh. [To Diana] And you? Pure in mind?

Chastity: [Pops Clint with a rolled-up tea towel. To Diana] Please excuse my [sighs heavily] associate, dear. We will not allow him to paw at you, so you need not fear for your own [ever-so-slightly raises an eyebrow dubiously] purity.

Austin : [With a visible shudder] With you around, Sister Chastity, I think even Caroline's purity, is in safe [pauses momentarily] hands.

Diana : Why, thank you, Chastity, that's a lovely thing to say. Now, if everyone will excuse me for a moment before dinner.

[Exit DIANA.]

Edward : [Stands up] Actually, I think I might go too.

Smock: [Quickly goes to take her place at the table. Pulls out a chair beside her.] Here ya go, Kevin. You can sit near me! [Beams at Jebus] Hi Jebus!

Jebus : Zoinks! [Gives Smock a wave and a smile] Hi Smock! Imaginary friend, huh? Cool.

Edward : I'll be back presently.

[Exit EDWARD.]

Smock: [To Edward] No fighting okay! [To Jebus with a big smile] Kevin said you can sit next to me! He just wants to stand for now. [Pats the seat beside her.]

Jebus : [Slides in beside Smock] Gear! [Picks up some bread and starts eating it] What's the story with Kevin?

Greg : [With barely concealed disgust] Aren't you a bit old for an imaginary friend?

Jebus : Hey! I'm twenty eight and [emphasis] I've got an imaginary friend.

Alice : [Turns to Austin] Oh my God. Just how many imaginary friends have we got in here?

Austin : [Turns to one side for a moment, then the other, and finally looks directly at Alice] Tarquin thinks there are about three, while Tristram believes the number is closer to four hundred.

Alice : [Momentarily taken aback, before turning to one side] Yeah, he is an idiot.

Smock: [To Greg] Kevin's not imaginary - you just can't see him. [Rolls her eyes] Duh! [To Jebus] I met Kevin upstairs. He's great! He thinks you're super too!

Clint: [Clearly just indulging Smock] So what's Kevin doing here, kid? He isn't a false god too, is he? [Aside, to Alice] Remind me never to have kids, Bimbo.

Smock: [To an empty space] Are you a false god, Kev? Or are you here for the free food like me? [Grins.]

Chastity: [To Clint] If you would prefer not to bring children into this world, Mr. Scar, perhaps you should learn to keep your pants on. [To Smock, firmly] You are NOT here for the free food, young lady!=20 You are here seeking spiritual clarity.

Smock: [To the empty space] Really? Hm. [To Chastity] Since when? There's not even any real gods here. [Peers over at where Edward and Diana exited. To Clint] Kevin's not a false god, but he reckons we should keep an eye on them two. [Points after the pat-a-cake pair.]

Chastity: [Irritably] THOSE two! Honestly, were you raised by wolves?!

Clint: Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answers to, Chas... .

Harvey : By the saints, Private Scar! If young Smock was indeed raised by wildlife, I think we have a right to know!

[The sound of a tremendous crash comes from the hallway beyond the dining room.]

Derek : [Takes out his camera] Monster!

Chastity: More arrivals-by-window?! [Grabs Harvey's arm] Come, Colonel! You must put your foot down and insist these ruffians learn proper door-use etiquette!

Harvey : Yes, Sister! Think of the damage that they will do to all those involved in the door industry!

[The party and DEREK rush to the door, and see that DIANA is lying on the ground, clearly having fallen against some shelves containing beautiful looking china. EDWARD is here too, and looks guiltily at the party for a moment, before composing himself.]

Edward : Uh, she - uh she slipped. [Holds his hand out to Diana] I hope you're okay.

Diana : [Pulling herself up] Why, thank you Edward, you're too kind.

Chastity: [To Diana and Edward, scolding] You two should be ashamed of yourselves!

[EDWARD looks outraged, and is about to say something, but DIANA steps forward, holding a hand up to him.]

Diana : It's okay. [To Chastity] Whatever do you mean, Sister?

Chastity: [Crosses her arms disapprovingly] I mean that you always manage to leave a trail of broken glass behind you! What are the two of you doing? Do I need to separate you?!

Clint: Hey, they seem like fun-loving guys. Nothing shameful about that, is there?

Diana : It's just like Clint said, we were just funning around!

Harvey : Well, this sort of behaviour is unacceptable! [To Chastity] Should I rub her nose in it? [Gestures to the shards of broken glass and pottery]

Chastity: [Nods at Harvey] An excellent suggestion, but let us try a gentler approach first. [To Diana] You were not [finger quotes] funning around, young lady! Tell us the truth, or the Colonel will be forced to teach you a lesson you will never forget!

Diana : Well -

[DIANA is interrupted by a well timed scream from the dining room.= ]

Derek : Oh no! I hope something bad didn't happen!

Alice : Wow, so you actually do have a conscience?

Derek : Nah, it's just that I'm out here with the only camera!

Clint: Sounds like maybe the party's started without us. Let's go! [Races off towards the dining room.] ces off

[Everyone races back to the room, to find everyone else there still. That is, DICEY, JOE, JEBUS, SPOT, CAROLINE and GREG. Everything is as it was, except for the fact that GREG is now face down in his food, with a huge knife in his back. The others are all sitting either at the table or in armchairs close by, and all are within easy reach of GREG, although JEBUS is nearest.]

Jebus : Like, I didn't do it!

Smock: [Evidently believing Jebus] Who did?

Jebus : I don't know! It went all dark for a few seconds, and when it became light again, he was face down in the Golden Honeyed Locusts.

[The room is lit with lots of candles, so this seems very unlikely, but the others in the room nod in agreement. HARVEY, meanwhile, lifts up GREG's head by the hair, showing that he really is dead, with blood coming out of his mouth and nose, and several golden honeyed locusts sticking to his face.]

Harvey : [Gently putting Greg's head back down again, but not before surreptiously sneaking out a few locusts] By the saints, Sir! You can't expect us to believe that! Preposterous! [Tosses a locust into his mouth] Preposterous, I say!

[CAROLINE walks quickly over to ALICE, and puts her arms around her, sobbing.]

Alice : [Not returning the hug, but awkwardly patting Caroline on the shoulder] Er, there there.

Harvey : We'll have to get to the end of this, what! Has anyone seen this knife before? [Gestures towards the murder weapon]

Smock: [Turning to the side] Kevin, did you see what happened? [Pauses a moment] Oh yeah. Silly me. [Grins. Pokes Greg.] So whadda we do now? [Looks to the rest of the party. Eagerly] Oh let's play detective! Heroes are good at that!

Dicey : Hold on there, a second! What are you accusin' us of? Do you really think that stabbing people in the back is how religious people operate?

Alice : [After a short pause] Uh, yes!

Dicey : Well, fuck the lot of ye! You're the ones who weren't here when the lights went out - maybe it's [dramatic emphasis] you who's seen the knife before!

Smock: [To Dicey] Nuh-uh! They're heroes! They'd never do that sorta thing!

Alice : So wait a minute - someone turned off all the candles, stabbed Greg in the back, and then turned on all the candles again, without anyone noticing?

Austin : [Smirking] They're gods. Their minds are on higher things.

Clint: [Straining to think] How do we know it wasn't suicide? That Greg guy did like to hurt himself, right? [Shrugs] guy

Harvey : I don't think so private, a knife in the back is rarely a means of suicide. A much more likely method is the head in the cooking fire, locking youself in the carriage with an extremely flatulent horses bottom glued to the window! No, this looks like murder, plain and simple! [Stoops to examine the knife] guy

Alice : [Nods] Good point, Stinky. [Helps herself to a honeyed golden locust] Then again, he was pretty outspoken about how no one here is a real god. [Glares meaningfully at the non-party people, popping the locust into her mouth] Mm! I like the sauce!

Smock: [Joins Harvey's investigation.] But who'd want to kill Greg? He's dirty and pooey! [Crinkles her nose at the smell.]

Alice : Oh no! Maybe Clint is next?

Smock: [To Caroline] Does this mean we have to cancel the conference?

Chastity: [To Smock] Quiet, young lady! Let the adults handle this! [To Caroline, fretting] Dear, do you think we should cancel the conference? It really is quite unseemly to hold meetings near a murder scene.

Caroline : I don't know, Sister. What do you think, Mr. Hall?

Derek : Cancel it? No way! Religion has just got a whole lot sexier! [Does a pelvic thrust] What we need now is a torrid love affair between two of the delegates.

Albert : [To Derek] You disgust me. Your search for cheap headlines and cheaper thrills cheapens even your cheap operation. You -

[ALBERT is interrupted by yet another crash, this time from back out in the hallway.]

Alice : Oh for God's sake! [Looks around the room] I bet it's Diana and Edward again!

Chastity: [To Harvey] Colonel, I insist you put your foot down with those two hooligans! We can't have them setting such a poor example for young Smock! She's got enough poor examples in her life as it is! [gestures at Austin, Alice, and Clint]

Clint: [To Derek, quietly] Torrid love affair, eh? I'll see what I can manage... [To everyone else, louder] Well, look at it this way - if all the false gods get killed off, people won't worship them anymore, right, and a whole bunch of souls will have been saved!

Smock: [Talking to Kevin again] Who? Chastity or Alice? [Pauses] Maybe everyone needs some fresh air. [To Clint with a frown] That's not very nice! What about Jebus? I don't want him to die!

Jebus : Zoinks! Neither do I!

[ALBERT irritatedly throws open the door to the dining room, revealing that DIANA has EDWARD in a headlock, and is banging his head against a wall. When she spots that the door is open, she immediately lets him go.]

Diana : [Giving a smile to the party] Hi! I was, uh, just -

Edward : [Dusting himself down] Choking. I was choking on an overdone golden honeyed locust, and she was giving me the Heimlich maneuver.

Diana : That's right! [Pats his back] Feeling better now?

Edward : Yes, thank you very much.

Smock: [Pauses to listen to Kevin.] Um... I don't think so. [To Edward and Diana] Come and join us! There's some really good locusts here [gestures to the dining table].

Chastity: [Helpfully] Dear, you are never going to find a man to take care of you with that approach. Men like their ladies to be docile and pliable. [Barks at Harvey] Tell her, Colonel!

Harvey : [Terrified] Er, yes, Sister, of course, Sister. [To Diana] Uh, be more, um, what was it again, Sister?

Smock: [To Kevin] If she knows something, but doesn't know she knows it, how am I supposed to know what she doesn't know she knows? [Pauses] Oh, good! It's better when I don't have to know what other people don't know even if they know it. I'll just wait 'til she knows.

Austin : [Looking at Smock for a moment, before turning to Harvey] That she should be as docile as Chastity.

Harvey : Uh, yes. [To Diana] Be more docile!

Diana : Of course. [Big smile] I love being docile.

Clint: Really? Once we figure out what happened to Greg, let's go somewhere private to, umm, practice our swordsmanship. Find out how docile you are, that sort of thing. [Pauses] Speaking of Greg, shouldn't we be getting back there before someone else gets offed? here , that there

Diana : That's a smashing idea, Clint. Gosh, you're ever so clever.

[As if on cue, there's yet another blood curdling scream from the dining room.]

Alice : Oh for God's sake!

Clint: [To Diana, as he opens the dining room door and heads on in, not bothering to hold it open for the ladies.] I know, babe, I know. [To the room in general] What's going on [emphasis] this time?! e room

[The room is pretty much as it was when the party left it.]

Caroline : There's a murderer in here!

Clint: [Rolls his eyes] Tell me something I don't know, doll. [Exits the room again.] Your girlfriend's an idiot, Bimbo.

Smock: [To Clint] Why don't you bring Diana in here and she can help us with finding the murderer and we won't have to worry about them fighting and breaking stuff?

Alice : And maybe we could find out why they're fighting and breaking stuff? [To Clint] My girlfriend might be a bimbo, but yours is a - hey!

Harvey : I say troop, let's all calm down for a moment here! [Looks at the walls] I'm suddenly reminded of those eyes staring at us in the room earlier, and that has made me think that perhaps there may be a secret panel in the dining room through which the murder entered and left after comming the foul deed!

Alice : But that doesn't explain why [points at Clint] he thinks that [points at Caroline, without looking and not noticing that she has pulled her skirt up to let Alice see some leg] she is my grill friend. I'm pretty unhappy about that.

Austin : He said she was your [emphasis] girl friend.

Alice : Oh. Hey! That's much worse!

Clint: [Busily ogling Caroline] You could be right, Harv. You find the door, I'll kick it down, and we take out the murderer, problem solved!

Smock: [To Derek] There's your love affair [gestures at Caroline] despite that it's pretty one-sided. [To the party] So what are we gonna do then? Lock all these guys up until we work out which one is the killer? Chuck 'em in a pond, see which ones float? door,

Chastity: [To Smock and Clint] No! We are going to use our combined investigative powers and uncover the truth! Mr. Sleaze, search the room for clues and signs of foul play! Mr. Scar, you kick down any doors he cannot open by other means! Miss Smock, keep quiet and let the adults handle this! [Turns to Harvey and says sweetly] And, Colonel, you're in charge.

Jebus : Shouldn't we, uh, say a prayer or something?

Smock: Hey! I can kick and search good as everyone else! [Mutters to the space beside her] This is stupid.

Chastity: [To Jebus] I was getting to that part!

Smock: But who do we pray to? There's too many gods here. We don't want to offend anyone... [Looks warily at the knife in Gregís back.]

Harvey : Oh come now, cadet, I hardly think some offended God materialised and stuck a knife in his back! Much more likely someone here in the house did it - have we met everyone, I wonder?

Smock: [To Harvey] Exactly.

Clint: Hell no, we haven't met everyone. There's all the imaginary friends still! And there's the other sleazebag. What's his name's partner. What happened to him, anyway? Last fro mTOm #86 nds t

Derek : Michael - he's in the kitchen, cooking food all the food. He's a monster chef.

Alice : [Picking at a piece of unidentified meat] Ew! Is that what this is?

Clint: [Suspiciously] He's a chef, so he's good with a knife. And he's in the kitchen, so he doesn't have an alibi. Let's get him. in the

Chastity: [Shocked] Excellent work, Mr. Scar! [To Austin, soothingly] Perhaps you can attempt to kick the doors in from now on?

Austin : That depends, dear Sister, on whether or not you're locked in behind them.

Clint: [Scornfully] Besides, the lawyer will never be as good at kicking down doors as me. [Flexes his door-kicking foot meaningfully.] g down

Austin : That depends, Mister Scar, on whether or not I'm locked behind one with Sister Chastity.

Harvey : Well troop, to the kitchen!

Alice : [Gives Harvey a thumbs up] Good call, Harv, maybe they have more of that delicious red sauce there!

[Exit ALL.]

[Book V, Act VI, Scene VI. The Kitchen. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY, SMOCK, ALBERT, CAROLINE, DEREK, JEBUS, JOE, DICEY, DIANA and EDWARD are here, crowded around the door. MICHAEL is here, pinned face down to the counter from knife through the back of the throat.]

Derek : [Falls to his knees] Noooooo!

Alice : [To the party] I guess that means that Michael isn't the murderer, = then!

Smock: [Shrugs] I guess. [To the group of gods] Did anyone come out to the kitchen?

Harvey : [Gives Smock a curious look] Well young cadet, we did, just now. We're still here, in fact!

Smock: [Gives a puzzled look.] I meant before we got here, when everyone was hanging out in the dining room. Like someone got hungry and came to get a snack but the kitchen was out of the sauce Alice likes so they stabbed Michael to get some more.

Diana : Maybe Edward and I should check the dining room again, what do you say, Eddie?

Edward : Good idea, Di!

Smock: Oh no you don't! [Makes a grab for Edward and/or Diana] Kevin says you can't go!

[SMOCK grabs EDWARD's arm.]

Edward : Get the hell off me, you bitch!

Diana : [With a placating smile] That's okay, Ed, we can go later.

Smock: No way freak! You're not going until we know who the murder is! [Turns to the side] Isn't that right, Kevin?

Clint: [To Smock] You tell him, kid! [To Eddie] Pick on someone your own size, shrimp! Picking on little girls is just pathetic. And no one picks on my sidekick but me! [To the rest] Maybe we should have everyone stay in the dining room until we figure this out. People are dropping like flies, you know? [Gives Derek an arm-punch of sympathy] own s on my e u

Edward : I am trying to pick on - [catches Diana's eye] er, yes, sorry. There there, little girl. Would you like a sweetie? [Takes out a pack of hard boiled sweets]

Derek : [Irritatedly to Clint] Not that, I didn't even like the guy - he was a smarmy bastard, but another death not caught on camera, another one!

Smock: [Nods at 'Kevin'. To Edward with a sweet smile] Oh yes! But I'm still not letting you go. [Beams at Clint. Points at Diana without letting go of Edward. To Clint] You can hold on to her.

Diana : [Smiles at Clint] That won't be neccessary Clint. We're not going anywhere.

Chastity: [To Diana and Edward] You most certainly are not, vandals!

Clint: [Beams back at Smock.] Good thinking, kid. That's what I like to see in a sidekick! [Moves over to stand next to and just behind Diana.] Let's look for clues or something. Anyone seen that knife before? o see 's look

Alice : [Peering at the knife] I think it's the same one that killed Greg! !

Chastity: [Looks at the knife, frowing] How can you tell?

Alice : It's the same knife! Anyone can see that! ### This is almost certainly not true. It looks the same, though, and ### has the same handle.

Chastity: [To Alice, studying the knife] My dear, it is not the same knife! Any fool could see that [points at the knife] is a carving knife and the other was a slicer!

Alice : Since when did you become such an expert in knives, Chas? Maybe [dramatically] you're the murderer?

Clint: Relax, Bimbo, Chas was with us the entire time. Besides, aren't all dames good at identifying knives? Makes it easier to cook for us, that kind of thing. Right, Harv?

Chastity: [To Alice] No, I'm just someone who's seen the inside of a kitchen before. [Before Alice can speak] And, no, using it as a place to commit unspeakably sordid acts upon visiting houseguests between courses does not count. all ind of

Harvey : By the saints, Private Scar, you're correct! All ladies are experts in such things. [Pause] Private Sleaze, I believe you're an expert in knives!

Austin : [Gives Harvey a withering look, before turning to the knife] It is identical to the other knife. However, it clearly is not the same knife.

Alice : [Petulantly folding her arms] Why?

Austin : Because the other knife is stuck into Greg.

Alice : [Annoyed] What if they're staff members?

Clint: That only counts if you stabbed them.

Alice : [Triumphantly sticks her tongue out at Chastity] So I have seen the inside of a kitchen!

Clint: [Impatiently] Now that we've sorted that out, let's get back to the whole murder thing. [Points at Dicey] We'll start with you. What's your excuse? the r

Harvey : Now now private, remember who you're talking to! [Turns to Dicey] You, you miserable thieving wretch, where were you when the first murder occured!

Dicey : The first murder? You mean the hooker? [Shrugs] I was asleep in the bath.

Clint: Greg was a hooker?!

Dicey : [Excited] Was he?

Clint: Hey, you said the first murder was a hooker! And the first murder was Greg, right? Unless it was Michael... [To Derek] Was your partner a hooker? r was ker?

Derek : [Shrugs] Could've been, I suppose.

Caroline : [To Dicey] I think what Clint meant was where were you when the first murder in the house took place.

Dicey : Oh? In the dining room.

Harvey : [To the others] Can everyone who was there at the time verify that fact?

Albert : Which fact? That Dicey is a miserable, thieving wretch? [Considers this for a moment] Sure, I guess so.

[Everyone else in the room nods and makes vague assenting noises= .]

Dicey : Hey!

Smock: [Irritated, to Albert] No, that he was in the dining room, stupid!

Albert : Stupid? Maybe you are, I really couldn't comment. Rude, annoying and quite possibly retarded, I would be inclined to believe so.

Chastity: [Appalled] Sir, you are no gentleman! [Protectively puts an arm around Smock. Sweetly] Don't let him hurt your feelings, dear. We all know you're just an ill-mannered, illiterate little ragamuffin who needs lots of special care and attention.

Caroline : I think what Albert was trying to say is that although he's sure that many people find young Smock's forthright attitude refreshing, he prefers a less direct route.

Smock: He was not! He's just being a big fat head meanie! [Pokes her tongue at Albert from under Chastity's protection. To Chastity] Isn't that right?

Clint: He's a jerk, kid. Don't worry about it. You think I care what other people think about me?

Smock: Yeah! [Gives Albert a superior look. To Clint] It doesn't matter that everyone thinks you're a dumb, ugly, stinky ogre with no charm and only half your manhood. You're a hero and that's what matters!

Clint: [To Diana, hastily] People are always jealous, you know, and they make up lies. [To the group at large] But enough of this. We have a murderer to catch! y make r to

Chastity: Sometimes, Mr. Scar, those lies are told to protect your feelings= .

Clint: And some lies, like about being a nun, are told for no good reason, right Chas? n,

Chastity: [Glares at Clint] Didn't you say we had a murderer to catch, Mr. = Scar? . Scar?

Alice : [Theatrically] More lies!

Chastity: [To Alice, patting her arm sweetly] Do calm down, dear.=20 Remember, just because you can't follow the conversation doesn't mean it doesn't make perfect sense to the rest of us.

Alice : [Smugly] Just because the conversation makes perfect sense doesn't mean that I can follow it! [Looks pleased with herself]

Austin : [Checking out his hair using his reflection from a highly polished saucepan] Who else is in the building? Servants? Reporters?

Derek : No one.

Alice : [Outraged] What? [To the others] We were supposed to cater for ourselves? --- F \ No newline at end of file

Smock: [To Alice] I think the dead guy was our caterer. But if there's no one else here, then that means someone in this room is the killer! [Glares suspiciously at the non-party members. Points at Joe.] Where were you when Greg got knifed?

Chastity: [To Smock, scolding] It is impolite to point, young lady! A lady gestures [holds her palm upright and moves it smoothly and daintily toward Joe. To Joe] Well? Where were you?!

Smock: [Crudely cuts her palm through the air toward Joe in something that looks more like a martial arts move.] Answer the lady, pervert.

Joe : [Gives Smock a puzzled look for a moment, before addressing the room in general] What the hell is her problem?

Smock: Oy! [Steps toward Joe.] I'm talking to you!

Clint: That's no way to talk, kid. You meant to say "I'm talking to you, freak." [To Joe] Kids these days... ,

Joe : [Completely ignoring Smock and addressing Clint] So what's the story with that one? Don't you have any control over her? She's very, very annoying.

Clint: [Looks at Joe like he's a moron.] She's a [emphasis] teenager. Just answer the question, so we can take out the murderer and then get on with the party.

Harvey : I'm afraid all this excitement and murders has got the young cadet a little over excited, what! [To Smock] Do take a deep breath and try to calm down, eh! Just the

Joe : [To Clint, shrugging] I'm a god, I don't deal with bratty, annoying teenagers. [Starts to leave the room]

Chastity: [To Joe, sweetly] If only it didn't make you look terribly suspicious to leave the room just as you're being questioned on your whereabouts during a murder.

Joe : [Stops at the door and turns back] If only it didn't make you look terribly suspicious to have been outside the room when the lights were turned out, and then to come in here barking orders and accusations at people.

Chastity: [To Joe] No one is accusing you, dear. We just wondered what you were doing when all of this cutlery was being misused. Hmm?

Clint: Is that what they're calling it these days, lawyer? "Misuse of cutlery?" [Shakes his head sadly.]

Joe : I was in the dining room, with everyone else, except you!

Austin : I'm sure the church has their own vocabulary for this sort of thin= g. ing.

Chastity: [To Clint and Austin] I was trying to be delicate. There is a young girl present, you know!

Austin : A member of the church being delicate is about as unlikely as one of these conference delegates being a god. Smock is a battle hardened warrior, Chastity. In fact, one might well describe her as a hero.

Joe : I'm not going to listen to any more of this. I'm going up to my room to look at some porn. [Storms off, slamming the door]

Edward : Uh, maybe we should go after him? Me and Diana?

Diana : [Nods] Hey! Good idea, Ed!

Smock: [To Edward] Oh no, you shouldn't! Because I'm going to go up and beat his face in! [Makes for the door.]

Caroline: [Skillfully intercepting.] I think what Joe meant was that he is feeling troubled and upset by these recent events Ė as we all are [glances to the others present] Ė and right now, he would appreciate some time alone to collect his thoughts. others present, and right now, he would appreciate some time alone to collect his thoughts.

Dicey: Upset? Upset?! Faith and begorrah, people are dyin' here! [To Derek, annoyed.] Ye brought us all to this religious meeting, and ye do nothing t' make sure we're taken care of! This is all your fault, like!

Clint: [To Smock] You've learned well, kid. [Gives Smock an arm-punch of approval.]

Smock: [Beams at Clint, rubbing her arm] From the best heroes around!

Derek : [To Dicey] Hey! Calm down! You're supposed to be a god! [Takes a smoke of his cigar] If I was the murderer, I'd kill you next!

Chastity: [Narrows her eyes and regards Derek suspiciously] And where were YOU when these murders took place, young man?!

Clint: He was looking for his camera, Chas. The freak.

Derek : Monster! The intrepid reporter becomes a suspect! I was in the dining room - what about you lot? Outside having swordplay? Suspicious activity if ever I saw it!

Chastity: [Sniffs] Nuns don't participate in swordplay of any kind.

Derek : Ah! So whlie the others were occupied with the swordplay, you had plenty of opportunity!

All but the party : [Excitedly amongst themselves] Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb!

Derek : [Spreading his hands in the air] Depraved Nun Kills Off Opposition in Church Jealousy Row!

Clint: Derek, you moron, Chas was with us when we heard Greg's last scream. And so were you. [To Chas, with a sleazy grin.] And as for nuns not participating in swordplay of any kind... There was this one novice, if you know what I mean. [Gives a classy hip thrust to help make his, err... point.] am. ou know

Derek : Clint, you moron, I was talking about when Michael was killed.

Spot : [Who's been licking his intimate parts for the duration of the conversation] Okay, this is ridiculous. How could it have been any of us?

Chastity: [To Spot, wrinkling her nose] It couldn't! That is why we must investigate. [To Harvey] Tell them, Colonel!

Austin : The colonel has already pointed out that someone was spying on us from inside the wall. This is the most likley suspect.

Harvey : [Nods] By the saints, Sister, you have the way of it!

Spot : Then why the hell are you demanding to know where everyone was when the murders happened? Surely the only people you can be certain didn't commit them are us!

Chastity: [Toward but not to Spot in a singsong voice] Tsk! Sounds like someone needs a flea bath!

Spot : I guess anyone who'd spent time humping your leg would need one, bab= y! aby!

Chastity: [To Spot] Just keep licking yourself, dear. [To the others] Let us go and search for this mysterious murderous peeping Tom at once!

Clint: [Flexes his door-kicking foot] I'll get us into the secret room...

Austin : [To Jebus] No, we're not gods. Well I certainly am not, despite the fact that I have two different religeous factions that believe I am. [Looks around for a secret entrance to the secret wall cavity]

Jebus : None of us are gods? That just makes it worse!

[AUSTIN does a quick search, and doesn't find any obvious openings, although the kitchen is on the floor beneath the bedrooms.]

Alice : [Helping herself to some cold golden honeyed locusts from the fridge] So what do we do with all these [nods at the other conference attendees] guys? I suppose they'll all be murdered soon, so maybe it's a moot point. [Looks back into the fridge] Hey, did anyone see any of that red sauce?

Clint: We take them with us, Bimbo. You know, safety in numbers?

Chastity: [Watches Alice, disapproving. To Caroline] Dear, how many people are expected at this conference?

Alice : [Nods at Clint] That's the magic of maths, alright. [Spots Chastity's look] Want some ice cream that you can eat out of the bucket using a chicken leg?

Caroline : We're not sure, Sister, because certain groups declined to send a representative.

Albert : [Who's been watching the last few minutes with barely concealed contempt] And what about the group who threatened to kill everyone associated with this ill conceived and poorly executed attempt to win publicity?

Caroline : Uh, they weren't clear about whether or not they'd send someone. e.

Chastity: [To Albert] Why on earth didn't you mention this earlier?! one.

Albert : I have mentioned it on thirty seven different occasions, both verbally and by p-mail. In twenty three of them I emphasised the urgent need that the delegates be told. I was informed yesterday that you were all aware and had signed the release forms, which, I suspect you not only didn't see, but are currently wadded up and shoved down the front of Derek's pants.

Derek : [Does a pelvic thrust, showing off what appears to be an enormous erection] Woof! [To the party] So a few wannabe gods are dead? What's the big deal?

Alice : [To the party] P-mail?

Caroline : What Albert is talking about is pigeon mail. It's the new medium of communication and is really quite exciting, people can send all sorts of letters, like thank you cards, letters to their families, [a little hopefully] love letters. You just strap the letter to a dead pigeon, stick it in a cannon, and fire it in the general direction of someone's house. When their cat brings it in pretending to have killed it, they get the letter.

Clint: I thought p-mail was writing letters by pissing in the snow... [Outraged, to Derek] You knew about the threats and didn't say anything, you scumbag? No way in hell that I'm saving you if the murderer goes after you. Now where were those spyholes?

Austin : [Looking into the cupboards/ larder and dumbwaiter for any signs of a secret access. To Derek] So, you are currently an accessory to murder, I advise you now that any attempt you may or may not make to rectify the fraudulent and conspiring methods with which you lured us into this trap, will have a serious impact upon the outcome of your trial and sentence. It would be wise for you to give us you full cooperation immmediatley in attempting to apprehend this group and the murder or murderers, as the case may be. you ou.

Caroline : That was an early prototype. Tests found that, although people enjoyed sending them, letters sent like that didn't last as long. A later version, s-mail, lasted much longer, but never enjoyed the same kind of popularity.

Derek : [Dead calm, smoking a cigar] That's right, scumbag, because bodies sell papers. Who cares if some idiot who's pretending to be a god gets killed? [Turns to Dicey and company who are clearly unhappy with this] Not you, the other guys.

Derek : [Laughs at Austin] You don't scare me. I've been threatened by hundreds of lawyers in my time. It takes more than some media wannabe to intimidate Derek Hall.

Spot : You bastard! [Bites hold of the bottom of Derek's trousers, growling savagely]

Derek : Help! Get him off! I'll tell you everything!

Clint: Hey, good job, Spot! [To Derek] Now, spill.

Smock: Good puppy!

Austin : [Laughs at Derek] I wasn't trying to scare you! I was merely informing you of the facts. [Shrugs and continues searching for secret wall cavities] entrances.

Spot : [Lets Derek go] Next time I go for something higher up!

Derek : [Shakily smokes some of his cigar] Okay,. several religions replied positively, others told us we were idiots, and a shadowy group called the Antipaths told us that all religion is nonsensical tools of oppression and that they would kill everyone who turned up. Now, if that means I somehow knew that something might happen, then sue me! ### The party heard of the Antipaths (or Antipathies) before, way back in 4.5. They were ### a group who opposed those on the path, but the party never met any of t= hem.

Austin : [Ponders, tapping the walls in various places to hear if they are hollow. To Derek, dryly] We will. Last ffrom DOm #96

Derek : Bring it on. Those waivers that Albert got you all to sign mean you haven't got a chance.

[AUSTIN doesn't succeed in finding anything suspicious.]

Albert : [Holding up a wad of blank forms] You mean these?

Chastity: [Scolding] Mr. Sleaze, people are dying! Must you carry on being a lawyer just now?! Last ffrom Conor #97

Austin : [To Derek] We didn't sign them. [Checks his nails] We could incite the Antipaths into leaving their cover by chanting religeous slogans. It might enrage them so much they wont be able to stay hidden.

Austin : [To Chastity] No sister, people are dead. They have already died, and no, on cannot relinquish one's duty to uphold the law simply to indulge the whims of an ageing nun. [Tuts] As if!

Harvey : Not a bad idea, private! Nothing like a little playful banter to bring out the blighters, what!

Clint: And if that doesn't work, we could take apart the wall. We know there's something behind that painting in our suite.

Austin : Perhaps sister Chastity could sing us a particularly indoctrinating hymn?

Harvey : Why private, another fine idea! [Turns to Chastity] Dear sister, would you indulge us in a hymn?

Alice : [Nods] And use that really annoying voice - you know, your voice!

Chastity: [Sweetly] I'd be happy to sing for you, but I don't think you'd understand the hymns. Some of the words have more than one syllable [pats Alice's arm sympathetically].

Alice : [Smiles sweetly back at Chastity] You mean like bee-atch?

Chastity: [Smiles even more sweetly at Alice. Patiently] No, dear. That isn't a real word. Why don't you join young Smock the next time I give her a vocabulary lesson? [Reassuringly] And don't worry. We can slow the pace down until you catch up with her.

Alice : Thanks Chas, I'll be sure to do that. [Smiles a super sweet smile] I'm sure you're just a fount of patience.

Derek : [Angrily to Albert] Why didn't you get them to sign the waivers?

Albert : Because you're a lying cheat who's prepared to risk the lives of other people for your own financial gain.

Chastity: [To Albert] Then why do you work with him?

Clint: Enough already! Chas, that corner. Bimbo, that corner. Start looking for secret passages or something. [To Harvey, with a roll of his eyes.] Broads need firm, manly guidance or they just sit around talking all the time, you know?

Harvey : [To Clint] Now now, private, there's nothing wrong with ladies sitting and chatting. Many a good jumper was knitted and cakes a baked, that way!

Albert : While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a nay-sayer and hatchet man in the fight against violence and ignorance. I pride myself in taking a punch and I'll gladly take another, because I choose to live my life in the company of Dhandi and Kane. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. I love you, Sister Chastity, and all within this room. It is my duty to protect them from such evil doers as Derek, who, of course, I also love. [Suddenly gives Derek a big hug, and holds it for a few seconds, before breaking off and addressing the party] Now, you claimed to have seen someone hiding in a passage near your room. I suggest we investigate that immediately.

Chastity: [To Albert] That's lovely, dear. [To Clint] Mr. Scar, why don't you lead the way?

Albert : [Completely impassive] I know.

[Exit ALL.]

[Book V, Act VI, Scene VII. The Stairway. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY and SMOCK are here, along with ALBERT, DEREK, CAROLINE, SPOT and DICEY, heading up the stairs. About halfway up the stairs, near the landing, are a bunch of magazines, discarded there.]

Alice : Hm, what are these? [Looks at one] Big guns? Doesn't look like it's about guns to me. [Turns the magazine to the party, showing that it is "Big 'uns" and is clearly a porn mag, as are the other magazines strewn about] le!

Chastity: [Picking up a copy of "Naughty Nuns with Big 'uns" by a corner and dangling it disgustedly] What is the meaning of this?! itle!

Caroline : [Cranes her neck to see the cover] I think it refers to their breast size. title!

Clint: [Wearing a huge grin.] All right! Joe's been here, I see. [Grabs two or three.] I'll just hold on to these... Hey, "Schoolgirl Frolics," "Lusty Ladies," and "Jigglin' Juggs." I tell ya, Joe has taste! Oh, and I'll take that one too, Chas. Can't let Smock get her hands on it, you know...

Austin : [Gingerly picks up a mag] Hmmm. 'DIY Dungeons Part 1.2.892'. [Opens the magazine, raises an eyebrow, opens up a 6 page fold out with pop-ups] Not exactly art nor engineering [Frowns and drops the mag to the floor]

Harvey : By the saints! [Looking through a magazine called Big Guns] Now that's what I call a pair of blunderbusses! bs two sty ake

Alice : [Looks at another one] Ew! This is just disgusting! Midgets and horses? [Shows the magazine to the others]

Caroline : I think that's a horse racing magazine - those little men are jockeys.

Alice : [Frowns as she looks at the "Horse And Rider" magazine] What's all the silk and those funny hats about? Perverts. [Surreptiously pockets the DIY dungeon fold out]

Chastity: [Observing Alice pocketing the DIY dungeon fold-out. To Alice] Offering that kind of premium service to your clients will drive your rate sky-high [puts her hands over Smock's eyes and kicks a copy of "Whores and Rider" out of the way].

Austin : [Watching Alice pocketing the fold out, gestures to the rest of the magazine] There are free nipple clamps on the front cover, grades 1 to 5. All way too geeky for my tastes though.

Harvey : [Gestures towards the mags] Who on earth would own such a collection of debauchery?

Clint: [Not bothering to look up from his intent perusal of "Schoolgirl Frolics"] Joe would. It was his welcoming gift to the conference, remember?

Chastity: [Looks pointedly at Clint, Alice, and Austin. To Harvey] Only the hopelessly depraved, Colonel. [To Alice] Oh, what's that in your pocket, dear? Is it a clue? [gestures to the pocket Alice tucked the dungeon DIY] ber?

Alice : [To Chastity] That's how you made your fortune, huh? l ember?

Alice : Not yet, Chas, but if we ever get trapped in a dungeon, it could be helpful!

Austin : [Walking up a few steps carefully, testing each one incase there is a stair trap] I think in fact that it was the conference's welcoming gift to Joe. A little too welcoming if you ask me.

Austin : [To Alice] I don't think we'll have too much trouble escaping from a dungeon made from cardboard and double-sided tape.

Clint: [Quietly, to Alice, pointing to a particular page of his magazine] Isn't that you? You should sign it; I'll give this page to Caroline.

Chastity: [Nosily peering at Clint's magazine. To Alice, shocked] You mean you [huge emphasis] aren't a natural blonde?!

Caroline : [Almost knocking over Chastity to see the magazine] Let me see! Let me see!

Alice : [Glances over at the magazine] Nah, that's not me, that's Belly LeCrock, but I do sometimes pretend to be her to get into nightclubs and get free stuff from, uh, supermarkets. [Smugly to Chastity] Blonde is a state of mind, not a hair colour. [Thinks for a moment] Oh wait, it is a hair colour. Hm. Oh, it's not just a state of mind. No, not just a - hm, what was the question again?

Chastity: [To Alice] Don't strain yourself, dear. [To Clint] Do take your filth to go, please. We have a murderer to catch, remember?!

Alice : Hey! If all of Joe's filth is here? Then where's Joe?

Spot : [Who's at the top of the stairs] He's up here, he's been murdered.

Alice : What? What are you trying to tell us?

Spot : I just found Joe's body, he's been stabbed with a knife just like the others.

Alice : Come on, boy, what is it? Timmy's in the well?

Spot : Oh for crying out loud! Bark bark bark! Bark! Bark bark bark!

Alice : Gasp! You found Joe's body at the top of the stairs and he's been stabbed with a knife just like the others? Well done, Spot!

Harvey : [Looks at Alice proudly] By the saints dear niece, is there no end to your talents? [Looks at the others] So, lets get this Timmy out of the well, what!

Alice : [Nods at Harvey's words] Well said! [Scoldingly to Derek] You know, it's real carelessness having a well in a house!

[Everyone goes further up the stairs and sees that JOE is quite de= ad.]

Smock: [Trying to grab one of the magazines from Clint while he's distracted.] That's not chess, is it!?

Harvey : [To Smock] Goodness me cadet, chess is not a game for the young! [To Clint] Private Scar, kindly place that pawn magazine somewhere away from young prying eyes, what!

Austin : Away from any eyes preferably, Mr Scar. [Carefully checks Joe and the surroundings for any clues]

Harvey : [Helps Austin examine the area]

Austin : [Spots a mirror and checks his hair in it. Ponders the mirror for a moment and then tries to take it off the wall to see if there is anything behind it e.g. a 1-way mirror type thing] At least their M.O. is consistent!

Smock: [To a vacant space] Hey, Kev. Did you see anyone suspicious in our room before we got there? [Pauses, looks at Austin then back to 'Kevin'.] But he's... [To Austin] Kevin says you're an idiot and you should stop wasting everyone's time by looking for secret passages.

Austin : [To Smock, dryly] So, what does Kevin suggest? Does he want to waste more time trying to get a sneaky look at Mr Scar's chess magazine?

Clint: [Stuffs his stash into a handy brown paper bag.] No chess for you, kid, not until you're older. [Shakes his head.] There's got to be a secret passage or something. Otherwise we'd have seen the murderer by now, right? This house isn't that big. u, kid, assage house

Harvey : [Scratching at a sideburn] Hmm, perhaps these knives were made locally, and if so, we should talk to the blacksmiths and shop keepers to see if they remember who they sold them to!

Smock: [To Austin, with a small frown] Why don't you ask him?

Harvey : Well cadet, we can not see or hear him, that's why!

Austin : [To Smock] Perhaps you could ask Kevin on our behalf. What does Kevin suggest we do?

Alice : [Muttering to the others] I have a suggestion for something Kevin could do.

Chastity: [To Smock, scolding] Young lady, there is no Kevin. You must let go of these delusions so you may join us here in the adult world. If you have a suggestion for the party, be a brave little girl and speak up. [To Harvey] Isn't that right, Colonel?!

Harvey : Oh, absolutely good sister, absolutely! [To Smock] There now, cadet, do speak up! Does Kevin know who the murderer is?

Smock : Well, let's see! Kevin, do you know who the murderer is? [Pauses and turns to one side] Oh. Okay. He said he does, but we need to find out for ourselves, because the truth is really hidden.

Alice : [Gives Smock a curious look] You mean, like a tunnel that you follow to a tunnel of its own, down a hollow to a cavern where the sun has never shone?

Edward : [Gives a quick cough] I think the Queens View folks and us [clearly meaning himself and Diana] should check one part of the house, and everyone else can wait somewhere else.

Chastity: [To Edward] Oh, no, young man! You two aren't getting away from us again. I shudder to think what you'd do if confronted with the wine cellar!

Harvey : [To Smock] Well perhaps your Kevin could give us a hint?

Clint: Maybe it's one of Kevin's friends who's the killer? "Hidden truth," my ass. h," my

Edward : No, Sister, you misunderstand - I suggested we go with you. [Somewhat urgently] Now.

Smock : Nope, that's all Kevin has to say.

Chastity: [To Edward, sternly] Just as I said! Let us go at once.

Clint: [To Diana] After you, babe.

Dicey : Hey! What about the rest of us?

Diana : [Sweetly] You can wait in the dining room, you'll be safe there. You know, the room where Greg's body is?

Dicey : No way! I'm coming too!

Harvey : Perhaps we should all of us stick together, what! Less chance of the murderer finding one of this group in isolation.

Dicey : Ah, jaysus, Colonel, sure aren't you a fine fella altogether! Bejasus and bejabbers, [turns to the non party members] sure didn't I say he was a fine fella altogether?

Albert : Actually, I believe you said that he was an overweight fascist pig who's only experience with soldiers was dipping them into his egg, and that he was likely drop dead of a heart attack any moment. [Brief pause] Except with a few more bejasuses, bejabbers and other assorted nonsensical Orisihisms. ### Dicey is from "Oirland"

Dicey : [Gives the Colonel a sheepish look] Sure'n begorrah!

Chastity: [To Dicey] How dare you insult the Colonel! He rules this party with a velvet glove, always firm but gentle [pats Harvey's arm fondly].

Dicey : [Gestures to Albert] He's a liar! A dirty, stinky liar!

Albert : Why don't you smite me with your power?

Dicey : I hate you!

Albert : And I love you.

Clint: Enough, already! Dicey, shaddup. Ed, lead on.

Smock: You guys are taking too long! Kevin says we have to go now! [Leads off for the party's room.] [Everyone follows SMOCK, and sees that the door of the party's room has been kicked open.]

Caroline : Oh no! Why would someone kick it open? It wasn't even locked!

Alice : That's right we - hey! How do you know it wasn't locked?

Caroline : Uh, let's see who it is.

Chastity: [To Caroline] You first, dear.

Alice : Oh for God's sake, Chas! She doesn't even have a sword!

Caroline : [Swoon] My heroine! [Gazes admiringly at Alice]

Alice : Sigh. Here, take mine, Caroline.

Smock: Some heroes! [Frowns at Alice and Chastity.]

Harvey : Right troop, I'll go first, private Scar, you come after me! [Draws his sword and jumps into the room]

Clint: Right, Harv. [Whips out his sword and leaps in after Harvey, with a wink for Diana.]

Smock: All right! [Watches Harvey intently.] Now we're getting some action! [Follows right on Clint's tail.]

Austin : [Gentlemanly] After you [Let's the party go first, then follows them in quickly checking his back as he goes]

Smock: [Calling behind her] Come on, Kevin! You can't miss this!

Austin : [To Kevin] Yes Kevin, you don't want to miss it. Whatever it is.

Chastity: [To Austin] It is rather suspenseful, isn't it? If only we could see what's just ahead! [CLINT and HARVEY push the door open, to find that the room has been ransacked. There is no sign of anyone here, but each of the bedroom doors (one for each party member) are closed).]

Alice : Gah! The suspense keeps building!

Chastity: [Goes to her room] I'll check my room!

Harvey : And I'll check mine! Keep alert troop!

Clint: [Angrily] Alright, who's been getting into my stuff?! [Kicks the door to his room and stomps in.]

Austin : [Carfully opens the door to his room and check it out] Phew, I'm so glad I finished my Blinkomyloba forearm cream by Yager Zazoom, before we left. [Pats Maplin carefully] Close call.

Alice : [Jokingly ominous] And who's been sleeping in my bed? [Pushes open her door]

Caroline : [Guiltily] Not me!

[SMOCK pushes open her door, with DIANA standing behind her, while all the other non party members hang back at the main door.]

Smock : [To someone in the room] Hey! Who are you?

Clint: [Rushes over to Smock's room in case of trouble.] Yeah! Get out here so I can kick your butt. here

[As CLINT, followed by the others, races to the door, DIANA pushes SMOCK out of the way, just as a lit flask of oil comes out, bursting into flames at the doorway, showering her in them.]

Alice : Diana! [To the others] Oh no! She's got such a skimpy outfit on!

Edward : [In double quick time, pulls down a tapestry and leaps on Diana, putting the flames out.]

[Everyone in the party is still outside SMOCK's room, and the doorway is burning, so that it is possible, although dangerous, to jump through. Standing inside is a large, intimidating looking man that no one has seen before, HUTGER RAUER.]

Hutger Rauer

Chastity: [Rushes to Diana to examine her injuries. To Hutger] Fiend! here

Harvey : [Also rushes out of his own room] I say cadet, who's in there?

Hutger : Damned path-ethics. ### It sounds like he's saying pathetic, but there's more of a pause between path and ### ethic [HUTGER throws what appears to be another flask through the flames, which lands in the middle of the floor. This flask appears to be strangely soft, so changes shape when it lands, so that only half of it is visible.]

Alice : Who the hell is this guy? And what a pathetic way to say pathetic?

Clint: [To Alice, genuinely puzzled] What's wrong with a broad in a skimpy outfit? [Shields his face with his arms and leaps through the door, brashly.] No one tries to burn my sidekick, jackass! [Gets ready to whomp on Hutger, assuming he manages to avoid starting on fire.] mpy hly. r,

[CHASTITY verifies that EDWARD got to DIANA on time, and that she's not badly injured. Meanwhile CLINT leaps through the burning door, skillfully taking a central path and avoiding the fire, only the be shot in the chest by a crossbow bolt from HUTGER, and falling against the side of the door.]

Hutger : [Gives the party a thin smile] Good luck with the Bum. [Leaps out the window]

Chastity: [Rushes to Clint to tend to his wound. To Clint, scolding] Mr. Scar! You're setting a terrible example for young Smock!

Alice : [Looking at the soft flask] What's a bum?

Albert : [Peers at it] An explosive device that sticks to whatever surface it's thrown at.

Austin : [Gasps and tries to duck for cover outside the room, away from the Bum] Flee! It's a Sticky Bomb! I mean sticky bum!

Alice : [Dead calm as she discusses the matter with Albert] I see. Will it be a large explosion?

Albert : Almost certainly.

Alice :Hm. We're all gonna die! [Dives for cover]

Clint: Everybody out! [Leaps for cover in Smock's room.]

Dicey : Noooo! I'm too beautiful to die, sure I am!

Jebus : Zoinks! [Leaps onto the bum]

[There is a huge explosion, covering the party in bits of debris and JEBUS, and leaving a large hole in the floor. Miraculously, no one other than JEBUS is injured.]

Chastity: [Horrified, dripping in Jebus] He--he--sacrificed his life for us! [To Smock, pulling herself together and dabbing bits of Jebus off of her with a tea towel] Let that be a lesson to you, young lady!=20 Drugs and explosive devices don't mix!!

Smock : Nooo! Jebus!

Chastity: [Briskly, to Smock] That's enough, young lady. We must keep our composure and stop these murderers from killing again! [To Austin] Have you any experience with sticky bums?

Clint: [Shaken, and more than a little angry, he looks around at Jebus' scattered remains.] I can't believe what Jebus just did! Rest in peace, Jebus. [To the party] Okay, now I'm really mad. We have got to get that murdering freak! Jebus. ring

Edward : [Angrily to the party] If you had listened to Diane and me, he wouldn't be dead now!

Chastity: [To Edward, furious] Do not blame US for the actions of a madman!

Austin : [Horrified, shocked at the state of his clothes] Can't we leave this for just a moment! Poor Jebus! [Looks at the state of his clothes. Almost a tear in his eye, rights the nearest courtesy screen, goes behind it and gets changed]

Edward : [Angrily to Chastity] We told you not to let the others come, and you insisted on it. Look, poor old Diana almost got killed too!

Alice : But you've been trying to kill her since we got here!

Edward : That's completely different!

Harvey : By the saints, that Jebus saved us all! What a sacrifice! Fair brings a tear to the eye! [Points to something on the ground] That one in fact!

Alice : That's not a tear, it's a toe.

Austin : [From the noise is evidently having a quick wash in a basin, pauses] Not clear? [Peeps his face above the screen, spies the toe] Ahh, yes, a toe. Well I don't think he'll be needing it anymore [Grimaces. Goes back to washing]

Chastity: [Lays a lacy hanky atop Jebus' severed toe] May Phili bless his heathen soul!

Austin : [Steps out from behind the screen wearing yet another new designer suit by Squell S. Poshes] Ahh, now, where was I. Ah yes. [Goes over to the window that Hutger jumped out of, and peeks out carefully] Did anyone see which way he went?

Alice : [In her own bedroom, calling out] Out the window!

Chastity: [To Alice] Very good, dear. [To the rest of the party] Shouldn't we search the premises and make sure there are no additional mad bombers lurking?

Harvey : As ever, great thinking, dear sister! Let us begin by searching th= e remaining rooms! [Scratches at a sideburn] I wonder if there is something we could use to bounce any bums back at the originator? A cricket bat, or somesuch?

Austin : [To Chastity] Well, that sounds like Mr Scar's sort of thing. I'll search for any clues that might enlighten us somewhat about our assailant.

Clint: [Already stomping towards the door to search the next room.] How about a frisbee? Or a dinner plate?

Alice : I don't know, Harvey, you know how Bums are - once they start following you around, they're impossible to get rid of.

Diana : Edward and I will check outside to see if there's any sign of Hutger, you guys can make sure there's no one else in the house. ### Hutger didn't introduce himself

Dicey : What about me? What will I do?

Edward : You can curl up in the corner and snivel in fear.

Dicey : Okay. about

Chastity: [To Clint, sweetly] I'm impressed that you recognize there is a difference between the two, Mr. Scar. [Whips out a brush and vigorously starts brushing Jebus bits out of Smock's hair] Hold still!

Smock : [Squirming away from Chastity] Leave me alone!

Alice : Oh for God's sake! Why don't you just spit on a hanky and wipe her face while you're at it, Chas?

Chastity: [To Alice] I don't believe I'll be taking grooming tips from you, dear. [Brushes herself off briskly and goes to search her room]

Smock: [Still devastated by Jebus' death, snaps at Diana] How come you know his name? You knew he was here all the time didn't you! Why didn't you say something!?

Harvey : The cadet has a good point there, how do you know his name?

Austin : [To Diana] Well Diana? [Looks at Diana camly] How did you come to know Hutger's name? Who is he, and who does he work for?

Clint: [Crosses his arms suspiciously] And is he why you and Eddie wanted us to go with you? ed us

Diana : [Smiles sweetly] Not in front of the [mouths the letters] o - t - h - e - r - s.

Alice : What otters?

Harvey : By the saints, they live in water, and so they probably live down the well! We'd better get that Timmy out sooner rather than later!

Alice : [Angrily to Spot] Why the hell didn't you tell us about these otters earlier?

Spot : Sigh.

Chastity: [To Diana] We demand a non-otter related explanation for your behavior, young lady! This is not fun and games! People are being brutually and messily murderered! Fine china is being shattered! It's anarchy!

Diana : [Smiles sweetly at Chastity] It's a secret. Only, uh, non-otters may hear about it, and there are too many otters in the room.

[Everyone looks a little confused.]

Alice : Wait, [emphasis] we're the otters?

Edward : [Rolls his eyes] No! [Points at Dicey and the others] They are!

Harvey : [Looks at the others] You must excuse us all for a moment! [To Diana] Come my dear, step outside and tell my troop what it is you have to tell.

Austin : [Sighing] She said OTHERS, not otters, Diana means that she wants to speak to our party alone, without Dicey and Spot and the others present, which, given the recent murders and Diana's acquaintance with Hutger, seems like just another poor scam to separate us so that we're easier to murder. [Folds his arms, frowning at Diana] You owe us an explanation.

Edward : We're trying to explain to you! You moron - if you'd listened to us earlier, Jebus wouldn't be dead!

Diana : [Smiles sweetly at Austin] Some things are best spoken about in secret. I'm sure Faern told you that. ### This is possibly a reference to Faern Short, an infamous ancestor of Alice and Harvey ### who was single handedly responsible for giving humans a bad name with Elves, ### and who made the family fortune. A constant time traveller, Faern met with all ### the party except Smock, and befriended Austin in particular, after Lucy's death, ### with the two of them travelling alone for six months.

Chastity: [To Diana] What are you talking about? [To Austin] Do you know something we don't?

Derek : [Somewhat regaining his composure] I think we're all entitled to an explanation here! I'm not leaving this room.

Chastity: [Exasperated, to Diana] Oh, for Phili's sake! Tell us! We aren't about to separate now.

Clint: [Impatiently.] Let's just step into my room and get on with this. If there were enough people here to kill us as a group, they would have done it already. . If it

Diana : [Smiles sweetly at Chastity] Good idea, Clint.

[DIANA and EDWARD head into CLINT's room.]

Derek : [Outside Clint's room] I'm not moving from here!

Chastity: [To Derek, following Diana and Edward] Then you'll probably be the next victim.

Derek : Wait for me! [Quickly follows the others]

Edward : [Quickly turns to Derek, sword in hand, and points it to his throat] Just wait there.

Austin : [To Edward, walking into Clint's room, dryly] Well you are doing a pretty pathetic job of explaining, genius. Saying things are secret and insisting that we follow you around the place explained nothing, bright-spark. [To Diana] Now, mentioning Faern, well, that does imply explaination potential.

Edward : You are a fool. We told you back on the stairs that we could only explain this in private, yet you insisted on bringing the others. Because of you, Jebus is dead.

Harvey : Was it that chappie with the bums?

Austin : [To Edward] No, you are a fool. If you had given some indication as to why you could only explain in private and why we might trust you, rather than alow us think of you as a rather suspect individual who keeps fighting Diana, then we might have lisened. Jebus's death was caused by a bomb that Hutger threw, he was clearly the murderer, and it had nothing to do with me, but you are obviously to dim to see that.

Chastity: [Nods] Quite right, Mr. Sleaze! [To Edward] It does not seem that you wish to help us at all, but rather you wish to delay and distract us. Tell us what you know or be silent!

Edward : [To Austin] No, you are a fool. We told you that it could only be explained in private, so there was no way we could explain why. Jebus' presence in the room was caused by your stupidity.

Diana : [Closing the door, so that only the party, Edward and herself are in the room, and giving a smile] Please, this is not the time to argue. [To Harvey] If it wasn't Hutger who killed the others, then it was someone with him. They are Antipathies. [Looks around expectantly] ### Remember, the party have never met any Anitpathies, only just heard of = them

Clint: See, this is why no one ever wants to help us. [To Diana] Why don't you just tell me, babe, and then I'll explain to everyone else.

Edward : [To Chastity] You are also a fool. You of all people should know that matters of The Path cannot be discussed in front of The Lost. ### This is the first time the party have heard this term on't

Edward : [To Clint] You are a fool.

Diana : [Holds up a hand to quieten down Edward, and gives Clint a sweet smile] Hutger is an Antipathy, a group sworn to destroy all those on The Path. They are aggressively opposed to organised religion of all types, which is why they are. Derek was warned by them what would happen, but he didn't take it seriously.

Edward : He is a fool.

Chastity: [To Edward, puzzled] What do you mean [finger quotes] The Lost? I know nothing about that.

Alice : Yeah! We've been on the Path for ages, and we've never heard of the= m.

Edward : That's because you are a fool.

Diana : [Holds up another hand to Edward] The Lost are those who haven't yet found the Path. hem.

Chastity: [To Clint, gesturing to Edward] Could you please do something about him? [To Diana] Please tell us what you know, dear.

Smock : Yeah, he's a big poophead.

Edward : [To Smock] You are a fool.

Diana : [To Chastity] Uh, well, you've pretty much got it all, really. They've been around at least as long as people have been on the Path, and they're extremely dangerous.

Chastity: [To Diana] How long have you been fighting them?

Clint: [To Diana] Thanks for explaining, doll. Now I know why I get to kick his ass, too! [To Edward] Look, moron, one more "fool" out of you and we'll stick you on the butt-kicking list too. Only an idiot antagonizes his allies.

Diana : Who? Edward?

Edward : [To Diana] You are a fool. She meant the Antipathies.

Diana : Oh. [Shrugs] I've only ever encountered two, that was Hutger and Phlegm. [Gives a smile] Phlegm is dead. kick 'll lies.

Edward : [Unmoved by Clint's words] Only a fool believes his allies are to be trusted.

Alice : [To the others] Huh? Did that make some sort of sense?

Chastity: [Pats Alice's head] Not even to the rest of us this time, dear.

Clint: [To Alice] Yeah, it did. [Pauses] I think the jerk just called us fools. us

Alice : [Looks from Clint to Chastity, even more confused] Uh, okay.

Edward : [Nods at Clint's words] Correct. You have much to learn about the Path. Who on the Path have you had most dealings with.

Alice : [Looking around at the party] Well, Darius, I guess, right?

[DIANA blushes as EDWARD gives a big, rueful smile.]

Edward : I might have known.

Chastity: [To Diana, wearily] I suppose you [finger quotes] know him?

Diana : [Looking down at her shoes] Kind of.

Edward : He's a liar and a user. If it wasn't for me, Phlegm would have killed Diana.

Alice : And, just as a matter of interest, when we first met you outside the glasshouse, what were you trying to do to Diana?

Edward : Kill her.

Chastity: [To Edward, uneasily] I see. [To Diana] What are you doing here? Why are you associating with this man?

Diana : [Surprised at the question] I'm trying to kill him. I'm also a representative of the One True Path Religion. I don't really have any interest in it, but I figured Edward might be here.

Edward : I'm here as a representative of the Religion of the True Path. I don't really have any interest in it, but I figured Diana might be here.

Clint: [Feeling a headache coming on.] You two freaks can kill each other after we deal with Hutger. Until then, call it a truce. [Aside, to Chastity] Umm, Chas, which one are we? er tity

Alice : [Checks her notebook] I think we're either the Order of The Path, the Austinites or the [gets increasingly perplexed as she reads] skanky bimbo who has to write everything down otherwise she'll forget it? Hey! Who's been at my notebook?

Austin : [To Edward, dripping with sarcasm] Okay, so now you have given us such enlightening information! How would any of that saved Jebus! Braniack. [To Diana] We have also had many dealings with Boddy, Faern, Trindle, Contagion and Pestillence, [Ponders] and Statsy amongst others, and, of course Phili, although it could be a little philisophical to discuss wether or not Phili is, or was ever, on the Path. [Ponders this. Sighs. To Diana] So how does any of that help us?

Harvey : Perhaps we should all take a deep breath, relax and [hopefully] get something to eat, eh! All of this talk of walking the path has worked up quite and appetite!

Edward : [To Austin] You are a fool. Jebus is dead because you insisted on him coming to this room.

Diana : It doesn't help you, it just informs you. [Shrugs] Of course Phili was on the path, just like Seth was.

Smock: This is boring! [To 'Kevin'] Do you wanna come find that Hutger dude with me?

Edward : [Rolls his eyes at Smock's words] She is a fool.

Smock: [To Edward] Oy! Poo brain. Why are you trying to kill Diana anyway?

Edward : [Calmly, yet annoyingly] It is the way of The Path. If Darius wasn't such a liar, he would have told you this in the beginning.

Smock: So your religion tells you that you have to go around killing women who don't wear much clothes?

Chastity: [To Smock] Clearly not, dear. Diana is wearing far more than Alice, as you can see.

Edward : [Rolls his eyes] You are a -

Alice : [Interrupting] Yeah, yeah, yeah, a fool. Everyone's a fool. Now just answer her question.

Edward : No. It has nothing to do with either her clothing or womanhood. I want to kill her because she's on the Path.

Alice : So, that's why you saved her life from the burning oil?

Edward : [Nods] Yes.

Alice : [Annoyed] What? You just assume she's wearing underpants? [Rolls her eyes, before turning to Diana] Are you wearing underpants?

Diana : Yes.

Alice : [Does a quick check down her own front] Gah! [Composes herself] I mean, so am I.

Austin : [To Edward] So why does being on the path mean that you have to kill Diana?

Edward : [Shrugs] We're on the Path, it's what we do. Part of being on it is causing pain and suffering to others already on it. If it's someone you know and have helped, then all the better. I actually quite like Diana, it's nothing personal.

Austin : [To Edward] But why or how does causing pain and suffering to others already on it help you? It sounds absurd. Why can't we all just help eachother?

Smock: Yeah! We could all be friends!

Austin : [To Edward and Diana] Surely murdering anyone can only advance you down the [Pauses] dark side of the path.

Clint: This isn't some kind of "pain and suffering make us stronger" crap, is it? p, is

Edward : [Nods enthusiastically to Clint] It sure is - but it's the pain and suffering of someone else!

Diana : [To Austin] It's not murder, it's duelling, in private. And what do you mean by the dark side of the path?

Chastity: [To Diana] We've seen a good man go horribly wrong. [Pats Austin sadly] He killed Mr. Sleaze's bethrothed--and most of us [gestures daintily to the rest of the party]!

Smock: [To Edward] You're not meant to kill people on the same team as you, stupid.

Harvey : Yes, the damned cur! So, is the final group or person on the path the winner of something?

Edward : [To Smock] Just as well you're not on my team then, isn't it?

Diana : [To Harvey, looking a little uncomfortable at the conversation] Well, yes, that's what the Path is all about, [looks to Edward] right? You know, kill off everyone else so that then all the killing will be finished? In the end there will be only fun?

Chastity: [Horrified] That is NOT what the Path is all about!

Smock: [Looks at Diana like she's crazy] How can there be fun when there's no other people?

Clint: [Brightly] Let's start with Hutger and worry about who else to kill later. ll

Diana : [Smiles at Smock] No other people on the Path, sweetie. Not to worr= y.

Alice : Good idea, Stinky, let's go!

[Exit ALL.]

[Book V, Act VI, Scene VIII. The Remains of the Suite. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY and SMOCK have just arrived, and ALBERT, SPOT, CAROLINE, DEREK and DICEY are here, the latter two holding onto each other for dear life.]

Derek : [Breaking free from Dicey, and angrily addressing the party] You people make me sick! I'm gonna ruin you in the papers! [Small voice] Please don't let me get killed.

Chastity: [To Derek] What are you babbling about, you silly man?!

Clint: [Channeling Edward] Don't worry, Chas. He is a fool.

Alice : [Seeing Edward's look of horrified indignation] Hey, you don't own = that!

Derek : [To Chastity] You call yourself heroes? You don't know the first thing about heroes, you make me sick, I never want to see you again. I'll give you a thousand GP if I make it out of here alive. n that!

Harvey : [To Derek] We do not call ourselves heroes, fellow! Never have and never will, what!

Smock : But you are heroes!

Chastity: [To Smock] We are merely decent folk trying to do the right thing. As are you, young lady. Enough of this hero nonsense!

Smock : Only true heroes deny that they are heroes!

Caroline : Uh, what do we do now? The next item on the schedule is a social trip.

Clint: [Impatiently] How about we all stick together and hunt down the psychopath?

Derek : Hunt down the psychopath? Are you crazy? You moron, he's going to kill us all - I hate you. I'll give you five hundred GP for yourself if you protect me.

Alice : [Glances at Derek for a moment before speaking] Where is he likely to be, though?

Clint: [Scratches himself] He went through the kid's window not long ago, so maybe we should see what we find outside. How the hell should I know where he is? o, so re he

Alice : You're the one who said to hunt him down!

Smock : Kevin says Alice knows where he is.

Harvey : Oh come, come, cadet! How would my dear niece know where that lout has run off to?

Smock : That thing you said earlier about tunnels - what was that?

Alice : [Thinks for a moment] About a tunnel that you follow to a tunnel of its own, down a hollow to a cavern where the sun has never shone? ### Alice has, on previous occasions, had flashes of things about to happen, this ### was an ability she gained after the party started on the Path

Austin : [To Alice] Can we leave your fantasies out of this please. [To Diana] There's always another way, you can go into the tunnel, into the darkness, or go the other way and walk towards the light. The difficulty is in working out which way you want to go.

Alice : Hey! Any time I've had one of these, they've always meant something= !

Diana : Well, that's kind of what Darius said.

Edward : Forget Darius! He's an evil prick! ng!

Harvey : By the saints, you could be right...about the tunnel, that is. Is there an underground cave network hereabouts, I wonder? s

Caroline : Not that I know of - none of us have been here before. All I know about is that ancient buriel ground that we were going to go to on the social trip.

Austin : [Indignantly to Alice] Well why didn't you say it was a premonition. It sounded like your usual idiotic prattle, [Checks his finger nails briefly] not one of your ingeniously inspired visions.

Clint: So, who's for trying the burial ground, then, seeing if Bimbo's vision is right again?

Alice : [Nods at Harvey's words] Yeah! [To Austin] Your words, of course, were your usual idiotic prattle, not one of your - oh, that's right, that's all you ever come out with. ision

Chastity : It would certainly be more useful than engaging in a slanging ma= tch.

Austin : [To Harvey, suprised] I wasn't being sarcastic colonel, I simply meant that it would be helpful if Alice told us that she had had one of her prophetic visions, rather than letting us guess if what she is saying is prophetic [pauses] or otherwise. match.

Alice : No one said you were being sarcastic, Austin, even though you normally are.

Derek : [To Smock] Heroes? Heroes? Heroes don't stand around bickering - your heroes are a bunch of worthless cowards. [To the party] Please don't leave me here.

Harvey : [Glares at Derek] You are an idiot! [To the others] Well troop, let us find this burial ground. Quoting Conor Ryan :

Austin : [To Derek] Do you promise on your life never to do or say or be nasty to any of us ever again?

Clint: No Harv, he is not an idiot. He is a fool. And a liar.

Edward : [Nods] Yes. He is a fool.

Derek : [To Austin] As long as you promise to protect me, I swear I'll never say or do anything bad about any of you!

Chastity: [To the rest of the party] Shall we go, then?

Austin : [To Chastity, glancing at Derek] Yes, let's get out of this dive. .

Derek : But what about my protection? dly.

Austin : [Already leaving, stops and turns back. To Derek] What about it? [Shrugs] I haven't heard of any threat to you personally, so if we leave, you're probably safe. [Ponders] Mind you, perhaps they'll want to make a martyr out of you, tie you to a stake, cover you in honey and let bees sting you to death.

Smock: Bees aren't going to sting you to death if you're covered in honey. That's ants - they'll eat you to death. If you want death by bees, you have to stick their hive on his head. Don't you know anything about insects!? [To Derek, proudly] My heroes are the best around, thank you very much!

Harvey : Well troop, let us check out the burial ground before there are even more fresh graves to dig, what!

Clint: [Nods] Right, Harv. [To Caroline] Show us this burial ground, toots.

Smock: [To Caroline] What sort of creep lives at an ancient burial ground anyway?

Austin : [To Smock] A grave digger? Someone unable to come to terms with the loss of their loved one?

Harvey : [To Smock] Usually, cadet, some poor fool who bought a house that was suspiciously cheap for the surrounding area, and was not told anything by the estate agent about the multiple murders which have been commited there already, due to possession by ancient indiginous spirits!

Alice : Yeah, but it's easy to identify those houses by the blood pouring down the walls and general wailing from within.

[Everyone starts heading down the stairs.]

Derek : You people disgust me! Do you want a job? Five thousand GP each per year, I could do with a team like you. You disgust me, you're all fired.

Chastity: [To Derek] We work for no one. [To Harvey, in a low voice] Colonel, we are losing momentum! Don't you think you'd better spur the troop on?

Austin : [To Colonel] yes, let's get going, our enemies have enough of a head start already. [To Derek] Monster!

Harvey : [Embarrassed] Why of course you are correct, dear sister Chastity! [To the others] Come troop, we must find these rogues before they have a chance to murder again! [Scratches at a sideburn] I am however, concerned over that fact that private Smocks imaginary friend seemed to know that my dear niece knew where we might find the bounder! [Looks around] I wonder if he is as imaginary as we may have first assumed!

Austin : [To Harvey] Indeed colonel, a similar thought had occured to me, since I have recently had the odd experience of being mind-linked with your neice, Agatha, perhaps some form of demonic shennanigans has befallen cadet Smock?

Smock : Of course he's not imaginary!

Chastity: [Looking at Smock closely] Are you sure the voices aren't coming from inside your own head, dear?

Clint: [Clearly just humoring Smock] So why won't Kevin talk to us? Rude bastard, isn't he? de

Smock : He has talked to you, you just can't hear him.

Chastity: [To Smock] And why do you think you can hear him, dear?

Austin : [To Chastity] Probably the usual, we're adults [glances at Alice briefly] and we can't hear him because only children can hear him?

Smock : 'cos you're all touched by evil. [Pause] Except Alice.

Alice : Yay!

Smock : She's the Link. ### This is something the party have heard several times before. Various pe= ople ### associated with the Path have accused them all of having done something ### evil, except for Alice, who's supposed to be the link between good and = evil. ### This has never been properly explained.

Austin : [To Smock] The link to what? And why can't Alice hear Kevin?

Smock : [Shrugs] I'm not sure, but I think you're right, that only kids can hear him.

Clint: [In disbelief] How did my trusty sidekick get so bloody weird? She sounds like one of those scary old women who give prophecies over eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog. [Pauses] Sounds pretty good, doesn't it Harv? She newt good,

Chastity: [Wrinkling her nose in disgust. To Clint] That would not make a wholesome meal for anyone. [To Smock, concerned] What do you mean when you say that Alice is the link? And how have the rest of us been touched by evil? She newt good,

Alice : I always thought she was weird.

Smock : [To Alice] Kevin thinks you've got a nice bum.

Smock : I don't know! [Brief pause] Kevin says he doesn't want to talk about it in front of the others.

Austin : [To Smock] Well, as correct as Kevin is, can you enlighten us as to why Alice is the link, and what it is that she links?

Chastity: [To Harvy, putting her arm around Smock] Colonel, perhaps you should call a private party meeting? [To the others] Please forgive our rudeness. This will only take a moment.

Smock : She's the link between good and evil, that's all we know.

Derek : [Nods at Chastity's words] Good idea, Sister. [To the other, non-party members] You lot wait down stairs, we'll be down in a while.

Harvey : [To Derek] That includes you, fellow! Away, off with you!

Derek : You bastard! I'm going to ruin you! I'm going to ruin all of you! [Storms to the door, but turns back] Please don't let me die! [Walks out]

Austin : [Sighs, as Derek leaves] Drama queen! The chance would be a fine thing!

Chastity: [To Smock] Now, dear, what does your little friend have to say that couldn't be said in front of the others?

Smock : [Frowns] Well, this can't be right. He says that you're a liar, Harvey and Clint are murderers and that Austin is a thief and a - I can't say that! ### These allegations have been made in the past, by various seers.

Chastity: [To Smock] Of course not! [To "Kevin"] What a terrible thing to say to a child!

Clint: [Upset] Look, kid, I am [emphasis] not a murderer.

Chastity: [To Clint, soothingly] You are no more a murderer than I am a lia= r! iar!

Alice : [Supressing a smirk] I'm sure we're all glad to hear that!

Smock : I'm sorry Clint, but you asked me to say what Kevin told me!

Harvey : Why don't you ask Kevin where he came by these little nuggets of information, eh?

Smock : He says it's common knowledge.

Austin : [To Harvey] I suppose these allegations have been in the papers countless times. [To Smock] A thief and a what?

Smock : [Shakes her head] I can't say, it's not a nice thing.

Austin : [To Smock] Oh well, it's probably the lie about me being homosexual? Yes?

Clint: It might be about you being a lawyer.

Smock : [Nods] Yep, it was about you being a homosexual.

Alice : Well, like Aus said, all those are things have been in the papers, except this business about the link.

Smock: [To the party] How come you done all that bad stuff? You're meant to be heroes.

Chastity: [Calmly] You are not listening, young lady. We have admitted to none of these slanderous claims!

Smock: Yeah, but Kevin said you did it.

Harvey : Well cadet, Kevin is wrong! We have not done these things!

Smock: But Kevinís really smart, and heíd never lie to me. [Smiles at Kevin] Would ya, Kev? [Tilts her head curiously] But whatís a link?

Clint: I think it's a kind of sausage.

Harvey : [Stomach rumbles massively] All this talk of sausages and honey has got me famished! Quick stop off at the kitchen before we head to the burial grounds, what!

Alice : I thought it was part of a fence?

Chastity: [To Alice, with exaggerated patience] Do you feel like a fence, d= ear? dear?

Alice : [With exaggerated innocence] I hope not, because it would be really uncomfortable with you sitting on me all day.

Chastity: [Sweetly, with a smile] Oh? I should think by now you would be quite used to the weight of another body atop yours.

Alice : Yes, but not quite the weight of the world.

Chastity: [Patting Alice's head] You're still young, dear. You'll get ther= e.

Smock: [To Harvey] Kevin says we can't stop at the kitchen cuz we're in too much of a rush cuz Hutger's still on the loose.

Alice : [Squeezes Harvey's arm reassuringly] I know, Harvey, I know.

Chastity: [To Harvey, soothingly] Once we've caught this awful Hutger person, I can whip up a nice meal for you. Now, why don't you call the troop to action?

Harvey : By the saints, Sister, the promise of a home cooked meal is enough to keep this old soldier going! Come on, troop, hut hut!

[Exit ALL.]

[Book V, Act VI, Scene IX. The Buriel Ground. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY, SMOCK, CAROLINE, ALBERT, DEREK, SPOT and DICEY are here. This is about half a mile from the house, and is quite a large structure, at least a hundred feet in diameter.]

Derek : You scumbags, I'm going to ruin you - please take us in with you!

Clint : [Draws his sword] Why don't we just kill him now and be done with i= t?

The Buriel Gro= und e it?

Chastity: [To Clint] No need, Mr. Scar. If he continues his noise-making, no doubt wild dogs will finish him for you. [To rest of the party] Shall we enter?

Spot : [Offended] Hey!

Alice : And it's just the party entering, right?

Harvey : I believe so, dear niece, we can't risk any more civilian casualties, what! [To the others] Only the troop can risk this mission, the rest of you hunker down somewhere safe and we'll be back in time for dinner!

Smock: Yeah. He's too wimpy to be hanging around with us [points at Derek]. And besides, last time the gods came investigating with us, one of them died [gives a sad look].

Derek : [Panicky] And how many would have died if we hadn't been with you? Please! Please, kid, I can make you a star! Take me with you!

Smock: I don't want to be a star. I want to be a hero!

Derek : I can make you a hero! I've got the book!

Austin : [To Smock, curiously] So did Kevin say that I was a homosexual, or did he just say he'd read it in the paper?

Smock: [To Derek, intrigued] What book? [To Austin] He just said everyone knows. You know, like everyone knows that grass is green and bees make honey.

Austin : [To Smock] Well, that's not true. I am heterosexual. [Ponders, looking Smock straight in the eye] I did take the golden chalices from the church, though that wasn't stealing, it was repossesion.

Chastity: [To Austin] She has you there, Mr. Sleaze.

Chastity: [To Austin, furious] Repossession?! It was common thievery--and from a HOLY sanctuary no less!--and you know it!=20 [Gravely, to Smock] I pray you do not follow Mr. Sleaze's very poor example, child. You can see for yourself the ruin it creates [gestures daintily at Austin].

Austin : [To Chastity] Save it sister, no one believes a liar. [To Smock] The church conned hundreds of people out of their hard earned cash, promising them salvation. I was merely returning the wealth into the hands of the people.

Smock: [Looks past Austin at the burial site.] Thatís not a ruin, Chastity. I think itís meant to look like that. [To Austin] Oh wow! So you steal from the rich and give to the poor! All the best heroes do that!

Chastity: [To Smock] No, no, no! The best heroes help the poor without harming others! [To Austin] You really mean to claim that you never pocketed any of your [finger quotes] repossessed items?

Smock: [To Chastity] Oh. But don't you have to harm the bad guys?

Austin : [To Chastity, po-faced] Well, I certainly did not 'pocket' the proceeds from the chalices [Smirks] I gave them all to the destitute and needy. [Smirks] And just what harm befell the church due to the loss of their solid gold objects d'art? Or were those chalices essential to the salvation process of the masses? [Ponders] They didn't look in the least bit humble.

Chastity: [Briskly] The simple fact is that they were not yours to take, Mr. Sleaze. It was wrong, and yours were the actions of a petty criminal.

Austin : [To Chastity] So who owns the church? I thought the people owned the church, since they paid for it.

Chastity: [Nods primly] The people DO own the church. Pious, clean-living folk, very unlike [huge, disgusted emphasis] you, Mr. Sleaze.

Austin : [Laughs] So the unclean and poor are left to fend for themselves? No hope of salvation, abandoned by the church. What happened to all the forgiveness stuff and the 'we're all Phili's children stuff'?

Chastity: [Sniffs] I said pious, clean-living folk, not wealthy hygenic folk! Why, even Mr. Scar would be welcome in the church [makes to pat Clint on the forearm then wrinkles her nose and thinks better of it].

Harvey : [Bursts out laughing at Austin's words] Unclean? By the saints, Private Sleaze, is that what you are?

Austin : [To Harvey] Though it may be tempting fate, I'm certain that I am the cleanest and most hygenic member of the party, and always have been [Checks his perfectly white gloves for any specks of dirt and finds none].

Chastity: [To Austin] Surely Alice is the cleanest of us all, given how much bleach she uses on a regular basis. --- F \ No newline at end of file

Alice : Or how about you, Chastity? After all, prayer and good works cleanse the soul. [Tries to suppress a smirk at her cleverness]

Chastity: [Flattered] That's true, dear. Living a holy life ensure one is clean on the inside.

Austin : [Coughs over a laugh] Indeed, we'll shall we enter this most fascinating of burial grounds? [Looks at the construct] It reminds me somewhat of a place I once visited in Oirland, just West of the city of Doobylin.

Harvey : [Genuinely surprised] By the saints, private Sleaze, I'm surprised that one such as yourself would choose to visit that most heathen of countries! Why, I've heard it said that they eat the blood of pigs for breakfast, and worship the demon drink, only stopping their consumption long enough to riot in, what passes in that most unholy of lands, as streets! ed

Chastity: [Horrified, clasping Harvey's arm] How awful! Tell me, is it true--are all of the men there hairy unshaven brutes who speak only in crude slang and hyperbole?! ised

Dicey : Ah, sure 'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, if that isn't the most awful oinseachy rud.

[Every gives DICEY a puzzled look.]

Caroline : I think what Dicey is trying to say is no.

Smock: [Stomps her foot demandingly, to Derek] What book?

Derek : "The Big Book of Heroes", by Obelises Thoreau - he wrote the book on heroes, before him, there were no heroes, just people who didn't get paid for risking their lives.

Smock: Really? Can I see?

Derek : Sure. [Takes a maggoty looking book out of his back pocket] Here you go. [Waits until Smock reaches for it, and then pulls it away] Yoink! You must think I'm an idiot if I'm going to share this book with you, especially with you refusing to save my life and all. You should really read this book!

Albert : [Snatches the book and tosses it to Smock, before addressing Derek] I apologise, but it's for your own good. I suspect that if those with weapons are in your presence for very much longer, they will kill you. If not, then I will almost certainly wrestle a sword from one of them and throw myself on it.

Smock: Thanks Albert! [Beams appreciatively before poking her tongue at Derek. To Albert] But it'd be no fun to kill yourself. Wait 'til we find the baddies! I'm sure they'd give you a much more gruesome and spectacular death! [Starts leafing through the book.]

Derek : [To Albert] You're a two timing, back stabbing evil son of a bitch, I could use a man like you. Want a job?

Chastity: [Swats Derek with a rolled-up tea towel] Language! [To the party] Weren't we just going?

Austin : [To Chastity] Absolutely sister, into the dark unknown once more. I wonder what mysteries this tomb holds. [Looks thoughtfully at the tomb]

Alice : I bet this is where the tunnel is. [Peers at the entrance] It looks like we can just walk right in. [To Caroline] Can we just walk right in?

Caroline : Sure. But no one who has ever has come back out again.

Buriel Ground Entrance

Chastity: [To Caroline] How many have tried?

Caroline : [Checks the tourist guide] In the last four years? None.

Chastity: [Hopefully] Then perhaps the tide is turning! [To the party, gesturing to the entrance] Shall we?

Austin : [To Chastity] Absolutely. Ladies first. [Courtiously gestures to Chastity to go into the tomb]

Chastity: [Glares at Austin. To Harvey] Colonel, surely you would not expect a lady to enter this horrible place unescorted?!

Austin : [Shocked] Horrible? It is a site of special scientific interest! No one has been in there for at least four years, and besides, we'll be right behind you. [Turns to Clint] Unless Mr. Scar would like to go first. [To Caroline] Does anyone have a torch or six?

Chastity: [Looking at Clint, wrinkling her nose] Perhaps I should go first. Nothing I could face would be worse than following behind Mr. Scar in close quarters.

Austin : [Nodding sagely to Chastity] Truly your wisdom is beyond all reasonable dobut, sister. [To Caroline, gesturing to the bing stone with the patterns on] What fascinating tri-spiral designs, do you know what they signify?

Harvey : [Takes Chastity by the arm] Together, dear sister, we will venture forwards! Come on troop, let us enter quickly! [Glances around] I'm sure at any minute the place will become chock a block with tourists from a faraway land called Jupun!

Smock: [Her nose stuck in the book] Wow! This is the best book ever! It tells you everything about being a hero! Hey Kevin, check it out [shows Kevin the book.]

[HARVEY and CHASTITY enter the tomb, followed by ALICE and AUSTIN, then CLINT and SMOCK and finally EDWARD and DIANA. Each of ALICE, AUSTIN and SMOCK are carrying torches. It is quite dusty in here, but the dust has clearly recently been disturbed.]

Alice : I thought no one had been here for years?

Austin : So, does anyone have a torch? Alice?

Smock: [To Austin, holding up her torch with a grin] You have a torch, silly! [To Harvey] Kevin says it's dangerous in here. But you guys are heroes, so I think it should be okay.

Austin : [To Smock] Is Kevin human, what does he look like? When you can see him of course.

Alice : [Nods] Good question, Aus, I'm starting to suspect that he may not be a figment of her imagination!

Smock: [Rolls her eyes] I already told you that! And I can always see him! He's standing right there [points at an empty space]. He looks like a boy. He's about the same age as me and he's got black hair.

Harvey : By the saints, troop, this is hardly the time to be debating the existence of Cadet Smock's imaginary friend, what? [Peers ahead] It looks like we have a decision to make.

Updated = Map

Smock: [Pauses] Kevin says it doesnít matter what he looks like anyway. You have to check for traps up ahead though. [Checks her book] It says you should [reads slowly as if sounding out the words] send in some lackeys to set off the traps or see how best to evade them. [Looks at Diana and Edward.]

Edward : Good idea. How about we send you?

Austin : [To Edward] How very manly of you Edward, sending a littel girl in first. I shall go first [Austin starts very carefully checking for traps] This will take some time, of course, specialist work like this cannot be rushed.

Smock: [To Edward, indignantly] I'm not a lackey Ė I'm a sidekick! You're the expendable one. [Turns to watch Austin at work.]

[AUSTIN advances carefully, dusting off the area as he does, and reveals a small tripwire.]

Edward : [To Smock] Yes, but you're very, very annoying.

Chastity: [Watching Austin] Do be careful, Mr. Sleaze. Though it would be fitting if you were horribly injured and were forced to depend on my faith to repair your broken body.

Austin : [To Chastity, pausing for a moment, chuckling] Next you'll be giving food to the starving, if they pray first! [Looks smug] Besides, I am already severely injured from our earlier skirmish with the demon Azzugas. [Goes back to his search to figure out how best to avoid or disable the trap]

Harvey : By the saints, Private Sleaze, what rot you talk! Of course the starving have to pray first, how else will they learn, what!

[With some careful trickery, and just a hint of perspiration on his foreheard, AUSTIN feels around, before there is an aubile click from under the floor.]

Alice : Yay! Well done Aus! [Thinks for a moment] Or does that click mean a whole lot of poison gas will come out and kill us all? [Sniff sniff] We're all gonna die!

Chastity: [Scolding] You must tell me these things, Mr. Sleaze! I did not take part in that battle! [begins praying to cast a cure spell on Austin]

Alice : [As Austin gives a brief shudder] Oh, that smell is just Clint, my mistake.

Chastity: [Glares at Clint and puts a tea towel over her nose] Perhaps you should change your diet, Mr. Scar! [To Austin] Is it safe to proceed?

Austin : [To Chastity, chirply] Why thank you sister, and I didn't even have to pray. Now [Ponders the floors, wall and celing area] If I had set that trap, I'd put another one right after it, incase someone tried to jump over the first, [Nods] but I'd put it just far enough back to give the potential trapee a false sense of security. [Begins to search for traps once more, immediatley after the one he's just undone]

Harvey : Good thinking, private! [To Smock] If Kevin knows there are traps here, I don't suppose by any chance he knows exactly where those traps are?

Smock: [To Harvey] Probably, but I reckon it'll be one of those things we're s'posed to find for ourselves. [Turns to the side] Kev?

Alice : Which way now? Can he tell us that?

Austin : [To Alice] If he won't tell us where the traps are he's hardly going to tell us which way to go [Continues carefully searching for traps] He doesn't seem to like us very much.

Smock: [Defensively] Sure he likes you. But that doesn't he's gonna help you cheat. [To Kevin] You like them, don't you Kevin?

Austin : [To Smock] Cheat? Telling us where the traps are is not cheating, it's just humane.

Smock: But then you're not using your heroic skills! [Reads] Sensitive information, like the schematics of the villian's lair, must be gained through the prior interrogation of a henchman or lackey, or provided by a former employee of the hero's nemesis as the result of an attack of conscience. [To Austin] See! You can't just cheat and have Kevin tell you. You were s'posed to think about this before.

Chastity: [Pats Smock's head] Yes, dear, of course. [To the rest of the party] Why must you feed her delusion? The poor girl has a razor-thin grip on reality as it is!

Austin : [To Smock] Unfortunatley, death and ressurection are easier than getting that kind of information from your nemisis' lackeys.

Smock: [Sulkily] Well, that's not my fault, is it?

Austin : [Looks a little suprised. To Smock] I didn't say it was. Nor did I imply that it was the case.

Alice : Silly Smock, assuming that Austin's pissy attitude somehow meant he was annoyed with her!

Chastity: [To Smock] I would've thought by now you would realize that is simply Mr. Sleaze's demeanor?

Harvey : Perhaps we should just move on. The biggest trap of all would be for a mob to sneak in behind us and attack from the rear!

Chastity: [Clutches Harvey's arm] We are so fortunate to have you to guide us, Colonel! Tell me, what is it like to be so very brave and wise?

Austin : [To Alice, dryly] You're the one being pissy. [To Harvey] So colonel, which way should we go, straight on or take this passage to the right?

Chastity: [To Austin, sweetly] I assume you'd find it impossible to go straight, Mr. Sleaze?

Austin : [Pauses his trap search and turns his head to Chastity] Very drole sister. I myself am suprised you can even talk, let alone walk straight, whilst wearing those intensely itchy rough hessian undergarments.

Chastity: [To Austin, appalled] Mr. Sleaze! Are you our Peeping Tom?!

Alice : [Raises her eyebrows at this] Look, Chas, it's none of our business if Austin here works for the convent - what we need to figure out is which way to go. Any one got any ideas?

Smock: According to your prophecy thingy, we have to find a tunnel with a tunnel of its own, don't we? Let's just try the closest one!

Alice : A tunnel of its own? That does sound like this one here, doesn't it? That part at the end looks like a different one. Last from Ellen #87

Austin : [To Chastity] I wouldn't peep on you sister, even if I were being paid. You undergarments have appeared in many a newspaper of the past few years and their shape form and composition are common knowledge. [Turns swiftly to Smock] It looks like this smaller side tunnel is indeed a tunnel off the main tunnel, and hence this thunnel we are in is indeed a tunnel with a tunnel of it's own. I therfore suggest that we take this smaller side tunnel. [Begind searching for traps etc on the smaller side tunnel to the right] [As AUSTIN slowly advances, the party can hear some rustling from further down the smaller tunnel.]

Clint : [Draws his sword] At last! Something to kill!

Harvey : Careful now, sister! [Guides Chastity behind him and draws his sword] Be ready troop, this may be bat country!

Alice : [Gives a scream] My hair! My beautiful hair!

Chastity: [To Alice] Don't worry, dear. It was all going to fall out in a few years anyway, what with all of the overbleaching you've done to it. We'll get you a nice wig.

Austin : [Upon hearing the rusteling, steps behind Alice] I think something is comming.

Alice : [Gives Austin a quick dirty look before turning to Chastity] You mean, like yours?

Chastity: [Scowls at Alice. To Clint] Mr. Scar, why don't you take the lead? The Colonel and I will be right behind you!

Clint : [As Alice smiles sweetly at Chastity] Sure thing, Sis!

[Book V, Act VI, Scene X. The Burial Chamber. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY, SMOCK, DIANA and EDWARD are here slowly advancing into the smaller tunnel. CLINT and HARVEY lead, followed by ALICE and CHASTITY, then AUSTIN and SMOCK, and finally DIANA and EDWARD. Up ahead, a disgusting scary monster, TIM THE BEHODLER, appears. TIM is essentially a floating head with lots of eyes.]

Tim : Halt! Foolish mortals! Do not advance, or you will perish!

Alice : [Waving her hand in front of her face] Sheesh! His breath is almost as bad as yours, Clint!

Tim the Beholder

Updated = Map --- F \ No newline at end of file

Chastity: [To Tim] Greetings, good sir. We do not wish to perish, but we must advance! Can we not find a compromise?

Tim : [Rolls all his eyes] There can be no compromise. Return to the main passage.

Harvey : Eh, what's that? Why, what's so important down this way?

Tim : There's a big scary monster here!

Austin : [To Tim] And if we do try to advance, how will we perish?

Tim : [Dramatically] I will kill you.

Alice : What are you gonna do? Stare us to death?

[Bzzzt! A ray of light shoots out of one of TIM's eyes and hits ALICE, knicking her to the ground.]

Tim : Something like that.

Austin : [Gets his pocket mirror out, ready to reflect any gaze that comes his way. To Tim] Hey! What did you do that for, we were just asking, no need to be so aggressive! [Sighs] You must get so lonley down here, don't you even want for company or a little light conversation?

Harvey : Dear Alice, are you alright? [Turns to Tim] I say, head boy! There's no need to zap the ladies, what! [Quietly to Austin] Private Sleaze, perhaps you can deflect the beam with that mirror or yours? Send it straight back to sender, what! re's aps

Alice : [Gets up, dusting herself off] I'm fine.

Tim : [All his eyes look downcast] I'm sorry. You're right. I get so lonely here. Sniff. ere's haps k

Clint: [Snorts] Or we could just make him sick by letting the lawyer ta= lk to him. thout

Austin : [To Tim, stepping to the front of the party, mirror ready in his hand, but concealed] Come, now, never mind. How long have you been stuck in here? lk to

Tim : Will one of you be my friend?

Tim : [Shrugs his eyes] A long time. The Path Gallants trapped me here.

Chastity: [To Tim, sympathetically] Why would they do such an awful thing?

Harvey : I know, to cheer you up, perhaps one of the ladies could knit you a present! I suppose a hat would be most appropriate!

Clint: If one of us were to be your friend, would you let us pass?

Chastity: [To Alice, sweetly] Aren't you a friend to all men, dear?

Tim : [Cagily] Maaaybe.

Alice : [Nods] I sure am, Chas, and I guess we'd better not send you in, you know, what with all those eyes.

Austin : [To Tim] You must be famished? [To the party] Do we have any food with us? We did have some left overs from Pharmecuitca did we not?

Tim : No, I'm not particularly hungry - not after all those archaeologists. s.

Chastity: [To Tim, helpfully] Would you like some dental floss, then?

Harvey : [To Chastity] As ever, dear sister, you have the wisdom beyond your years! [To Tim] Perhaps you have an itch you need scratching?

Tim : [Sadly] I just want a hug.

Smock: Aww. I'll give you a hug! [Makes to go and hug Tim.]

Tim : Aw! [Another burst of light shoots out and knocks down Smock] Hahahah= a!

Smock: [Looks in very bad shape, and doesn't pick herself up] Ow! That was mean! [To the party] Now you really have to kill him! [Crawls out of the way before casting a spell on herself.]

Tim : [With mock sadness] It doesn't have to be like this! We don't have to fight. Just turn right around and get the hell out of here.

[SMOCK glows faintly for a moment, as some of her wounds clear. Much of the rest of the party, however, are distinctly weak, including SMOCK, ALICE and HARVEY.]

Edward : [Chortles at Smock] Why?

Smock: [Scowls at Edward] Because they're heroes and they're meant to kill the baddies. And Kevin said we have to get through here, and I said so too!

Austin : [To Edward] You seem to have forgotten that there are two approaches to the path, a dark side and a light side. The first approached by inflicting pain and suffering, the second by being helpful and with self sacrifice for the greater good. Darius only told you half of the truth. [Austin removes the glove from Maplin's hand (the skeletal finger one), and holds the mirror with his other hand]

Edward : So let her sacrifice herself. I don't care. [Shrugs] ### Just a reminder. When Edward spoke about Darius, he claimed that ### Darius was a liar because he hadn't told the party that being on the ### path is about inflicting pain.

Harvey : Well I do care, sir! [To Tim] Look fellow, who ordered you to block our passage? Tell us that at least?

Austin : [To Tim] Yes, who from the Path Gallant put you here?

Chastity: [Looking at the party, scolding] Doesn't anyone bother to tell me about their owies anymore?! has

Harvey : Good grief sister, it just seems to be constant these days, so much so, that I hardly remember what it felt like to be fit and healthy and wearing a pristine clean, well ironed and starched shirt!

Clint: [Steps protectively in front of Smock.] No floating sack of eyes= kicks my sidekick around!

Austin : [Watching Clint's cue, advances on Tim holding the mirror infront of Tim's zappy eye and tries to stab Tim with his skeletal finger] It seems that we don't see eye to eye!

Tim : Path Gallants? Ah, it seems that one of you - [notices Austin's advance] Hey! [Glares at Austin causing a zap of light to strike him, knocking him to the ground] That wasn't funny!

[Meanwhile, CHASTITY's spell takes effect on ALICE, who draws her sword.]

Alice : Thanks, Chas. Hey, who's got some pepper?

Austin : [Groans in pain] uurgh, I'm pretty sure Chassers had some mace?

Alice : Go for him Chas, pretend he's a homeless guy asking you for charity= ! ty!

Chastity: [Whips out her mace and attacks Tim. To Alice] I'd prefer to think of him as sin! 's rity!

Tim : [Laughs at Chastity] What? You gonna spray some deodorant on me?

[CHASTITY sprays her mace at TIM, emptying the can.]

Tim : [Screaming] Aiieeee! [Shoots off several rays, missing most of the party, but hitting Chastity and Clint]

Chastity: [Whips out her other, non-spray mace and attacks Tim, going for the eyes. To Alice] Dear, don't you have any cheap perfume you could spray at this hideous creature's eyes?

Alice : Sure I - I mean, no! Of course I don't! Anyway, wouldn't I be better spraying at Tim?

[TIM bounces around more, clearly still in pain, and just out of reach of the party. Several more rays shoot off from him, two of which hit EDWARD and DIANA.]

Edward : Ow! Let's kill it!

Austin : [Shoots Tim with his slingshot] About time too!

[EDWARD advances, alongside CLINT, and both strike TIM, just as AUSTIN hits him with one stone. However, all attacks merely bounce off him.]

Tim : You bastards! I'm gonna kill you all!

Alice : How's that finger of yours looking, Aus?

Austin : [To Alice, dryly] Slim [Tries to stab Tim with his skeletal finger again]

[AUSTIN slips in under another burst of rays from TIM, which hit EDWARD and CLINT, and deftly sticks his finger into TIM, causing him to burst, showering the party in disgusting slime. AUSTIN throws himself to the ground, clutching his left shoulder in apparent pain.]

Alice : Yay! Well done Aus! [Frowns slightly as she looks down and sees an eye lodged in her cleavage] Ew! [Throws it off] Uh, are you okay, Austin?

Chastity: [Rushes to examine Austin] Well, though disgustingly, done, Mr. Sleaze!

Edward : [Biting into something, making a sound like someone crunching into an apple] Nice moves.

[AUSTIN seems okay.]

Alice : [Gives Edward a disgusted and incredulous look] Ew! What the hell are you eating? Oh my God! That's the most disgusting thing I've ever seen!

Edward : I'm eating an apple. [Holds up a delicious looking green apple]

Alice : Uh, okay.

Chastity: [Starts tending to Smock's wounds. To Smock, scolding] As filthy as you are, young lady, you're an infection waiting to happen!

Smock : You're as filthy as me! [Sticks her tongue out at Chastity]

Austin : [Recovering from extreem pain, breaths more easily. Frowns] Why the hell do they always destroy my suits! [Stands up and starts frantically cleaning his suit and himself, flicking eyeballs and bits of Tim off] Dammed monsters! [Gets out his pockey drycleaner, comb, mirror, wet wipes and an assortment of other cleaning implements]

Alice : So, uh, Aus, that whole falling on the ground grabbing your shoulder thing, what was that about?

Austin : [To Alice, frowning] I experience the pain that I inflict on my victims, and poor Tim there [gestures around the floor] experienced alot of pain when I exploded him. It was rather unplesant, and I'd rather like to avoid it if possible. [Continues cleaning himself] The sooner you all get some magical weapons the better. [Looks concerned] I think the pain I experience when I attack using my skeletal finger may be causeing permanent damage. [Shrugs] Somehting to do with the Heart I guess. [Looks at his skeletal finger, then puts a pair of fresh white gloves on]

Alice : [Watching Austin check under his jacket] Hm, strange then that you didn't explode, isn't it?

Chastity: [Looks at Austin in concern] How awful for you, Mr. Sleaze!=20 We must prepare ourselves better for future fights, so we need not rely upon your magical, empathic, pinkie!

Austin : [Looking a little pale after inspecting his wounds. To Alice] Yes, it is nice that I didn't explode [To Chastity, dryly] Yes, that would be nice too. [Puts the finishing touches to his nealry immaculate suits, checks his hair and puts all of his cleaning kit away]

Chastity: [To Austin] There is no need to take that tone with me. I was trying to sympathize with you, but I'll not make that mistake again!

Diana : You could always use Edward's hand.

Edward : [Annoyed] I told you to keep that quiet!

Chastity: [To Edward] What makes your hand so special?

Austin : [Really anoyed to Chastity] Why do you always take everything I say the wrong way! It wasn't a personally directed attitude, it was an attitude indicative of our plight in general, like we al ... [Tails off as he realises what Diana said] You mean Edward has a magic killing hand too?

Edward : [Fuming at the questions] Yes.

Diana : [Suppressing a smirk] Oops.

Chastity: [To Edward] How did you acquire yours?

Harvey : I say, you kept that rather quiet, what! [Wipes slime from his coat] Well done in any case, private Sleaze! Very well done!

Austin : [To Harvey] Thank you, colonel. [Looks genuinely pleased]

Edward : [Watching the party with disgust] I got mine from touching the Hea= rt.

Smock: Yeah, Austin! That was awesome! [Runs over to hug Austin, smearing him with Tim-guts again. To Edward] What heart?

Edward : [Sneers at Smock] You are a fool. If you don't know what the Heart is, you don't belong here.

Smock: [Pulls a face at Edward.] I do so know! It's the Heart of the Beast! So there!

Edward : Then why the hell did you ask?

Smock: Cuz... Cuz... Cuz I wanted make sure you knew. [Pokes her tongue at Edward]

Edward : You are a fool. [To the group in general] Come on, we're wasting t= ime.

Smock: [To Edward, pointing down the tunnel] You go first then, since you have the hand of death thing.

Austin : [Breaking out of the shock from being hugged by a Tim-guts Smock. Gets his cleaning kit out again and begins cleaning his suit once more] Sigh!

Chastity: [Daintily dabbing at Tim-guts, watching Austin with amusement. To Smock, sweetly] Dear, I think poor Mr. Sleaze needs another hug! Just think of the pain he just went through to save us all!

Harvey : Let's move on troop, we can't lose a moment!

Edward : [Leading the way] Agreed. [Smirks at Austin] How's your shoulder? [Heads further down the passageway, but turns to look back] Well? Who's coming?

Austin : [Smirks back at Edward] Better than your face. [Advances down the passageway]

Edward : It soon will be. [Walks quickly to keep ahead of Austin]

Austin : [To Edward] So, what can you tell me about it? Or don't you know. [Walking so as to force Edward to walk oddly quickly and swervely to stay infront of him]

Clint: [Puzzled] We're here looking for Hutger, right? So why would th= at floating freak have let him past but not us? at

Edward : Maybe I don't want to tell you anything about it. [Stops abruptly, causing Austin to run into him]

Alice : [Leading the others to catch up with Austin and Edward, but looking back at Clint] Good question, Stinky! [Collides with Austin and Edward] Ow! What's the hold up?

Edward : It is a dead end.

Austin : [Examines the dead end to see if it's real] There must be some way though, why leave a monster to guard a dead end.

Alice : And if Hutger came down here, where is he? Last from Conor #77

Austin : [To Alice] Good question [Check the floor for foot prints etc]

[There don't appear to be any footprints here.]

Edward : [Snottily to Alice] Thanks for wasting our time. You are a fool.

Austin : [Taps and prods the walls, ceiling and floor, looking for a way through] Hmm. A tunnel with a tunnel of it's own.

Alice : Down a hollow to a cavern, where the sun has never shone.

Chastity: [To Alice] It sounds like the sort of place you'd know a lot about, dear.

Alice : Sure, from standing behind you.

Chastity: [Scowls at Alice. To Austin] Have you found anything?

Clint: Look, there are a lot of other passages down here. Hutger probab= ly just went another direction. So let's not waste too much time here where the = sun don't shine. ely ly just sun

Alice : Check it properly! Give it a good kick!

Austin : [Nods] Well, I can't find anything unusual here.

Clint: Right, right. One kick, and then we're going. [Flexes his door-= kicking foot and kicks the wall, with rather less gusto than usual.] kicking

[CLINT gives the wall a kick, and seems to push it in slightly, but not break it.]

Alice : Of for God's sake! Put some effort into it!

Clint: [Surprised as hell that his foot doesn't hurt so much, and very encouraged.] Everyone back up! [Backs up himself and tries to break the= wall down with a running start.]

Austin : [To Clint] Have you heard of subtlety?

Chastity: [To Austin, curiously] Exactly how does one kick through a wall with subtlety, Mr. Sleaze?

Alice : Come on, Clint has subtlety coming out his a-

[ALICE's words are drowned out by the tremendous crashing sound made by CLINT as he falls through the wall.]

Alice : Ha! [To Edward] I knew it!

Edward : You are a fool.

[Book V, Act VI, Scene XI. The Entrance to the Cavern. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY, SMOCK, DIANA and EDWARD are here, with the entrance broken in.]

Alice : [Holding up her torch, almost burning Edward] What's in there?

[As ALICE speaks, a ray of light from the main entrance creeps in, right down the tunnel and into the cavern, illuminating it, revealing that there is a large pool of water in there.]

The Cavern

Harvey : Hmm, well, if this is the cavern where the sun has never shone, that's the last time it can claim that!

Austin : [To Alice] It looks like a large pool of water. Shame it isn't nascency fluid. [Ponders the proximity of Alice's torch to Edward. To Alice] We need more fiery torches.

Alice : [Follows Austin's gaze, before looking back to him] And careless people carrying them.

Austin : [Cautiously advances into the cavern, looking out for baddies and checking for traps, pauses to consider the pool] A rather tranquil and picturesque cavern, don't you think?

Alice : [Coming in after him] Very tranquil - I wonder why it was blocked o= ff.

Edward : [Putting out a small fire in his hair] Be careful! [Points at the pool] Look, there's movemen there.

Smock: [To Alice, helpfully] I can be careless! [Looks to the pool.] This is where you have to throw a rock in and disturb the angry monster in there.

Alice : Probably no need, whatever angry monster is there is probably coming out anyway.

Kevin : It's not an angry monster.

[ALICE does a double take on seeing KEVIN. KEVIN is identical to YOUNG JEROME who appeared in Book III, Act IX, when the party were transformed into children.]

Alice : Huh? What the hell!

Kevin : Hi, I'm Kevin.

Alice : No, you're Jerome!

Kevin : No, I'm Kevin.

Kevin

Smock: [Looks between Alice and Kevin] Oh wow! You can see Kevin too, now? I told you he was real!

Kevin : I sure am!

Alice : But, he's Jerome, [to the others] right?

Smock: [Slowly, for clarity, to Alice] No. He's Kevin.

Chastity: [Uneasily, to Smock] He greatly resembles a boy we knew as Jerome, dear. [To the others] Soulmate?

Alice : But he's exactly like Jerome when he was a kid. [To Kevin] Are you Jerome's soulmate?

Kevin : Closer than that!

Chastity: [To Kevin] Jerome?! [To the rest] He's lead us into a trap!

Harvey : It is Jerome! The cad! [Draws his sword and looks around]

Clint: [Whips out his own sword and follows Harvey's example in looking around for something nasty and evil. To "Kevin," flatly.] What do you w= ant?

Austin : [Takes off Maplin's glove. To Jerome] Murderer! g want?

Kevin : [Backing off] Hey! That wasn't me!

Clint: [Sarcastically] Let me guess: it was your evil twin, right?

Chastity: [To Smock, frantically] Dear, you must not listen to this boy! He grows up to be a very naughty man!

Kevin : Hey! I'm on your side, I'm the one who helped you find Hutger!

Chastity: [To Kevin, unimpressed] Where is Hutger?

Kevin : He's behind you!

[KEVIN clearly means back up the passageway, but there is also someone getting out of the pool now.]

Austin : [Gets his sling shot out and readies it] Great, just great. [Moves to the center of the party]

Alice : [Draws her sword] What's going on? Hey, maybe it's a beautiful lady with a magical sword?

[Enter JEBUS, up from the lake.]

Jebus : Zoinks! [Looks around] Wow! You guys look like you've seen a ghost! t!

Harvey : And perhaps we have, sir! What are you doing in this pool, what?

Chastity: [To Jebus] You're alive?! [Stoops to look at the lake] What sort of lake is this? t?

Jebus : No idea, Harv. The last thing I knew I was in the dining room!

[The water is a bit murky, but in a dark, rather than dirty way. Enter HUTGER, from behind the party, stabbing DIANA in the back, causing her to fall down with a scream.]

Hutger : This pool is the root of all evil in the world.

Chastity: [Pulls out her mace. To Hutger] Then it's no wonder you're drawn to it!

Smock: Jebus! [Runs up and hugs Jebus. To Chastity] Don't be mean to Kevin! He was helping us the whole time!

Jebus : [Steps out of the pool and hugs Smock] Hey, Smock, what's up?

Hutger : You fools, you have no idea what you're playing with. [Brandishes his sword]

Smock: [To Jebus] We thought you were dead cuz that guy [points at Hutger] threw a bomb at us and you jumped on it and saved everybody! You were so brave! [Flicks through her book. To Hutger] Are you the mastermind or a henchman?

Austin : [To Smock, whispering] Henchman.

Hutger : I'm just a guy, trying to do what's right.

Jebus : [Does a double take on Smock] Zoinks! That's right! [Turns to Hutger] You're not nice.

Hutger : [Shrugs] I know.

Austin : [To Hutger] Since when was murder right?

Smock: [Beams at Austin and whispers back] Thanks! [Reads a few more pages.] Well, you must be the... sidekick muscleman - cuz you have those fancy bombs as your gimmick. [To the party] Which means [reads further] we can only 'kill or decommission him by forcing a backfiring of his trademarked gimmick'.

Chastity: [To Smock, patting her head] Thank you, dear, but guessing what the pictures mean is NOT the same as reading the actual words.

Alice : [Confidentially to Smock] What you need is to get someone else to read it for you first!

Hutger : [To Austin] It's the only way to stop the likes of you.

Austin : [To Hutger] What have I done wrong? I have never claimed to be a god, and I've probably never met those people who think we are. It's all the media! What is it that you think we have done?

Clint: [Glaring at Hutger] Doesn't matter. This sleazebag has been goi= ng around killing people, and there's no excuse for that! ng

Hutger : You are on the Path, that's enough.

Chastity: [To Hutger] What do you mean by that?!

Clint: Chas, he means that he's going to try to kill us because we're on= the Path. Pay attention! the

Chastity: [To Clint] Oh, dear! I'm afraid Alice's bleach fumes are getting to me again! [Shakes her head to clear the fumes away. To Hutger] Fiend! You will not find us easy to kill! [brandishes her mace threateningly] on the

Alice : Huh? I thought we were on the Path because he was trying to kill us= !

Hutger : Maybe I won't, but they [points behind the party, back at the pool] will.

Austin : [Laughs at Hutger] Ridiculous, why one earth would we do that? I don't give me that 'you're on the Path' nonsense because, you're on the Path too, otherwise you would be here!

Hutger : [Gives an evil smile] No, because I have chosen not to be on the P= ath.

Austin : [To Hutger] So what do you know about the path that made you want not to be on it?

Hutger : The Path is all about selfishness, and sacrificing common people to get further along it. Those bastards Phili and Seth did it, and you're no better. [Gives a big smile and points behind the party again] You really should take a look.

[ALICE quickly glances behind her, before turning back.]

Alice : Uh oh! [To the party] He's right.

[Everyone allows themselves a quick glance back, and are startled to see two more people coming out of the pool, SCARLET O'MARA and SIR DANCELOT, who look similar to CHASTITY and AUSTIN respectively.]

Sir Dancelot

Scarlett O'Mara<= /A>

Austin : [To Hutger] You only refer to the dark side of the Path, the nice side is all about self sacrifice and serving the greater good. [Frowns indignantly at Hutger] That's what we're about [Gestures to the other party members]

Chastity: [To Hutger, shocked] How dare you! Blasphemer! [Watching Scarlet and Dancelet emerge from the lake] And now the lake is erupting in women of ill-repute!

Smock: No, Austin, you're s'posed to say all that stuff to the baddie using a witty put down. And with a weapon in your hand. [Tries to hand Austin her dagger.]

Scarlett : How dare you!

Smock: [Frowns at Scarlett] How dare I what?

Scarlett : Not you, [gestures at Chastity] Her!

Chastity: [To Scarlett, sweetly] Oh, dear! You don't mean to tell me aren't [finger quotes with a glance at Smock] fancy ladies?

Clint: [Snorts] The one who looks like the lawyer isn't a "fancy lady," = Chas, he's a nancy-boy. The other one, though, is clearly a whore. [To Scarle= tt]=20 Hey baby, stand still so I can pick you up! Chas, tt

Chastity: [Swats Clint with a tea towel] Mr. Scar, control yourself!=20 It is not as if you will not be able to purchase the affections of this fancy lady just as easily AFTER we've spoken to her! [To Scarlett, politely] Now, dear, were you killed recently, by any chance?

Austin : [To Chastity] For some one who has seen so many corpses, I'd have thought it were pretty obvious that she's [Eyes wides at Scarlet] very alive. [Winks at Scarlet]

Chastity: [To Austin] Yes, Mr. Sleaze, but our esteemed friend Mr. Jebus was blown to bits before our very eyes, only to later emerge from this unholy pool of water [daintily gestures toward the lake]. I was investigating the connection between the two incidents. [To Clint] Strange, isn't it, how a so-called lawyer and professional thief would not recognize competent investigation when he sees it?

Clint: [Eyes glazing over as he struggles mightly to think his way throu= gh the situation.] But how do we know it's an unholy pool? [Points at Hutger] = HE was the one who told us that! da, gh the HE

Chastity: [To Clint] Hence the investigation, Mr. Scar! I am trying to determine the nature and purpose of this body of water. Do keep up!

Scarlett : How? By accusing me of being a prostitute? I shouldn't be surpri= sed. rised.

Chastity: [To Scarlett, with exaggerated patience] No, dear, by discovering whether or not this pool raised you from the dead. Am I going too fast for you?

Scarlett : [Produces a large sword from somewhere] No, you lying bitch, you're trying to insult me the way you always insult people.

Clint: So you DO know Chas! [Moves to protect the nun.] But don't even= think about trying to hurt her. think

Harvey : [Draws his sword] Now this is just getting ridiculous! What are you people all doing here? If it's looking for a fight, then I'm afraid you= 've most definitely just risen from the right pool, what! ou've

[Enter HERGE HABBAGE, also from the pool. HERGE is a sneaky looking young man who bears more than a passing resemblance to HARVEY.]

Herge : Why don't you just get someone else to do it for you, [with disdain] Colonel.

Herge Habbage

Harvey : And what's that supposed to mean, fellow?

Herge : It means that we know your secrets.

Scarlett : We're the part you tried to leave behind on the Path.

Kevin : [To the party] They're right - you need to kill them right away!

Harvey : [Confused] What? We didn't leave anything behind on the path! What's all of this tosh and piffle? !

Clint: Shut up, Jerry. to

Hutger : You left your humanity behind you. to

Harvey : Nonsense! I'm as human now as the day I stepped onto this blasted path!

Herge : What about the innocent man you sent to his death?

Harvey : What the blazes are you blathering about, man? What innocent man?

Herge : The man you ordered to his death.

[Enter LELAND SCAR, also coming from the pool. LELAND bears quite a resemblance to CLINT.]

Leland : Ooooooooooh boy! We're [sing song voice] baaaaack!

Clint: It was funny when she [points to Scarlett] and he [points distast= efully to Dancelot] showed up. It was even funny when he [points to Herge] show= ed up. But this is [emphasis] not funny! efully ed

Leland : Recognise me, baby? [Straightens up his tie] How about now? efully ed up.

Harvey : [Darkly] No, this is not in the least bit funny!

Chastity: So, all of you [gestures to the lookalikes] are false allegations sprung to life?! [To Clint] See?! It IS an unholy lake!

Scarlett : Oh no, Chastity, we're not fake. I'm very real. I'm the innocence you left behind when you lied at the trial.

Clint: You don't look so innocent to me!

Harvey : If you're real, then how did you materialize out of a pond, eh? Answer me that!

Austin : [To Hutger] Who do you know we didn't leave our evil parts behind whe we joined the path of 'good'? [Looks sir dancealot] How can our innocents rise up out of a pool of evil?

Scarlett : [Shrugs] Hey, I can only work with the material I've got!

Herge : We were waiting here for you.

Kevin : Everyone on the Path leaves a Shadow - I'm Jerome's one, we're the people you would have become if you had done things differently.

Austin : [To Kevin] So who's a goodie, and who's a baddie? And should we be killing eachother or is it possible to [Goes twilightzoney] remerge ourselves?

Hutger : I don't care.

Kevin : [Getting frustrated] They are your evil parts! I'm the good part of Jerome!

Dancelot : It's not a pool of evil, it's just a pool.

Alice : I thought it was a magical pool.

Dancelot : [Bows] My apologies, dear lady. It is a magical pool, but it is neither good nor evil.

Chastity: [To Scarlett] Are you telling me that I would've turned out to be a fancy woman, if only I'd made some different choices? Well then, I am quite pleased with the choices I have made!

Scarlett : Not just a well dressed woman, Chastity, one without preconceptions and the constant jumping to conclusions.

Clint: [Guffaws] No way in hell I ever turn out like that idiot. [Glan= ces distastefully at Leland, especially at the tie.]

Chastity: [To Scarlett, furious] You emerge from a lake, looking like a dancehall strumpet, calling me a bitch and a liar, and expect me to think of you fondly?!

Smock: Wait! Where's me and Alice? [Goes over to peer into the pond] I wanna fight someone too!

Scarlett : No, I expect you to have an open mind.

[The pool is disturbed once again, enter LAURA WHITE, who glares at SMOCK.]

Laura : Of course you do.

Laura White

Smock: All right! [Looks Laura up and down.] So you're me then?

Laura : No, I'm the woman you could have become.

Smock: Oh. [Looks at Dancelot] So Austin could have been that guy? [Smirks incredulously] Pfft. No way. Austin has much better clothes. And Clint would never wear a tie! And Chasity doesn't like being pretty. And Harvey isn't a meanie. [Shrugs.] Can we fight now?

Laura : And I'm not an idiot.

Harvey : So, what happens now? Duel to the death to see which version of us leaves this cave?

Hutger : [Folds his arms smugly] Yes.

Scarlett : No. Now is your chance to turn back from the Path, and become the people you should be.

Smock: [To Laura] No, you're a fool. [Grins smugly at Edward. To Scarlett] And why would I want to be like her? [Points at Laura.]

Laura : Because I'm not like you. I'm smart, beautiful and clean, amongst other things.

Alice : Hey! Where's my one? And what happens now? We just stand around insulting each other?

Dancelot : Oh no, dear lady, you may leave at any time. ###The party are quite weak at the moment :

Hit Points

Austin : [To the party] We don't know that any of what they have told us is true. Hutger could be Trindle for all we know, or Kevin could be 'evil' Trindle, and has lured us into a trap. What we do know is that we're not the evil ones, so they must be [Gestures to Dancelot and the baddies], if anyone is [Frowns] Of course Hutger is evil as he tried to kill us all, so we can't trust anything he says, likewise with Kevin. [Sighs. Lights up a cheesearette and takes a few drags, blowing some smoke rings]

Hutger : [Clearly enjoying this] Actually, I think you'll find that there are only two people here who aren't truly evil, and I am one of them. Just because I tried to kill you doesn't mean I'm evil, in fact, it makes me good!

Austin : [To Hutger] You killed Jebus, that makes you evil. How can murder make you good? That doesn't make any sense [Blows a philisophical smoke ring] We have been told on many occasions that Alice is not evil, so I presume you are refering to her.

Smock: [To Laura] But I bet you can't climb trees, or track animals or survive in the wilderness [smiles smugly.] And besides, when could I ever've been you?

Hutger : Correct. The lovely Alice is not evil.

Alice : [A little embarrassed at the praise] Aw, thanks.

Hutger : She's too stupid to be evil.

Alice : Hey!

Hutger : Jebus is on the Path, and was secretly planning to kill all of you to advance on it. [Points at Jebus with his sword] That is not Jebus.

Jebus : Zoinks!

Laura : Of course I can. Just because I civilised myself doesn't mean I turned my back on my upbringing and family. Unlike you. The choices you make on a daily basis prevent you from becoming me, Smock.

Harvey : I think, cadet, that these are people we might have become had circumstances changed somewhere down the line. I doubt this person [gestures to Laura] would want to climb trees, or track animals or survive in the wilderness She is an alternate you. There may be millions of them about!

Smock: [To Hutger] I'm good, too! So are the whole party! They're heroes! [To Harvey] Millions? [Pauses] That's more than a thousand! There can't be that many of me! [To Laura, angered and serious] I did NOT turn my back on my family. I don't have to be 'civilised' for that. [Folds her arms and turns away from Laura. To Jebus] What's he talking about, Jebus? [Sadly] Were you trying to kill us?

Laura : [Unimpressed at Smock's anger] Yeah? How much effort have you made to find them? None.

Hutger : [Helpfully] That's precisely the kind of selfishness that's so endemic to those on the Path.

[All the replicas agree.]

Jebus : Uh, gee, I guess I was, but, hm, that's not the kind of thing I would do.

Hutger : Oh for God's sake! He's not Jebus, he's the man Jebus would have become.

Austin : [To Hutger] If he's not Jebus, then who is he? [Turns to Hutger] And what did I do that makes me evil?

Hutger : [Pats his left shoulder (the same one that caused Austin pain earlier)] You got yourself a passenger. [Looks at Jebus and shrugs] Search me. Sometimes the person you could have become isn't that different from the person you became.

Dancelot : [Draws his sword] Enough of this banter. [To Austin] I challenge you to a duel.

Leland : [Foaming at the mouth] And me! [Points at Clint] I'm gonna kill you, boy!

Smock: [To Hutger] So Jebus doesn't want to kill us? [To the replicas] Are you telling me that none of you are selfish in the slightest? [Moves to heal Austin]

Hutger : [Shrugs] I don't know. Jebus, do you want to kill them?

[AUSTIN gives a brief shimmer, as the spell takes effect.]

Jebus : [Indignantly] No!

Laura : [Rolls her eys] Oh my God, what an idiot. That's not we said at all. Each of you made a decision in your past that changed you, and put you on the path. You chose selfishness over helping others. We're here to undo that decision.

Smock: So does that mean you're gonna undo all the good stuff these heroes have done too?

Austin : [To Laura] No, no, you have it the wrong way around. I never wanted to be on the path, the reason I 'joined' [waves his hands] or whatever, was only to help others, a completely *selfless*. We all did the path thing only to help others. [To Dancealot] No I don't want a duel. I don't want to kill you either, I don't even know who or what you are.

Chastity: [Nods vigorously] Exactly right, Mr. Sleaze! We all walk the Path in service to others! And we regularly face death--and most of us HAVE died--walking it. How is that selfish?!

Dancelot : [Swipes his sword around extravagantly, close to, but not hitting Austin] It is selfish, dear lady, because of what lies at the end of the Path. [Quick aside to Smock] No.

Harvey : Very much correct, dear sister! We always strive to do good and help others!

Austin : [To Dancealot] But we don't even know what lies at teh end of the Path! How can that be selfish. [Blows some more smoke rings and passes the cheesearette to Danclealot] Come to think of it we're not even sure what the Path is. So you see, it's not a selfish act to be on the Path if you don't know what it is or what's at the end of it.

Clint: Besides, killing people just because you think they're being self= ish is evil. And so is wearing that girly tie. ish is

Dancelot : [Cuts the tip off Austin's cheeseratte] Fight, you coward!

Edward : And he's a liar. They know what's at the end of the Path.

Austin : [Frowns as the end of his cheesearette goes flying. Indignantly] to Edward No we don't! We have never been told other than it being on the Path that counts, and that what it about. This 'end of the Path' nonsense is new to all of us, as far as I know. [Shrugs] I didn't even know the Path had an end, now I come to think of it. [Sighs. To Edward and the others] So, go on, tell us, what is at the end of the Path that we so selfishly covet?

Edward : [Rolls his eyes] You met Bjorseth and Aphi, you know what's at the= end.

Dancelot : [Steps forward and slashes Austin with his sword] Aha! the

Clint: [Angrily] That's it! Gay or not, the lawyer's one of us! [Goes= to help Austin with Dancelot.] to

Chastity: [Rushes to Austin's aid. To Edward] The Heart is the reward? We do not even understand its power! Why should we covet it? to

[CLINT parries DANCELOT's next swing, as everyone else draws their weapons.]

Kevin : No! Don't! They'll kill you!

Austin : Aarrgh! [Tries to stab Dancealot with his skeletal finger. Shouting] Bjorseth and Aphi didn't tell us what's at the end, you're just like everyone else we meet! Idiots! The lot of you! Always 'You know' and 'you met', and 'you were there'! No one has ever explained anything! [Grits his teeth as he tries to stab Dancealot with his finger]

Updated = Map

Edward : [Gleefully to Chastity] Because you just can't help yourselves!

[CHASTITY attacks LELAND, while each of CLINT and AUSTIN attack DANCELOT.]

Reminder of what the Critical Hit tables look like. ### Chastity rolls 1, critical miss! ### Leland rolls 4, miss ### Clint rolls 14, hit, surplus 0. ### Hit table 17. Damage : 15. ### Austin rolls 16, successful poke. ### Dancelot rolls 6, miss.

Leland : [Ducking to avoid Chastity's mace, which flies out of her hand] Hey! That could have had someone's eye out!

Dancelot : [Apparently unaffected by Austin's finger, which definitely made contact] Foolish demon! I am not of your kind.

Alice : [Drawing her sword] Uh, anyone think that just running away is a good idea? d Map

Chastity: [To Alice] Good idea! [Tugs at Smock and pulls her toward the exit. To Harvey] Colonel! Don't you think a retreat is in order?!

Austin : [To Chastity] Yes! [Legs it for the exit]

Harvey : By the saints, Sister, I do believe that you're correct!

[AUSTIN, CLINT and CHASTITY make a run for it, allowing DANCELOT and LELAND to attack.]

Laura : [Calmly taking out her sword] There's no point in running, we'll catch you no matter where you go. We're the consciences you thought you'd lost.

Alice : If only there was some way of trapping them in here. [Looks up to see Hutger filling the exit] Gah!

Chastity: [To the others, looking at the lake] Maybe it's time for a swim? ?

Kevin : No! [Points at the tunnel behind Hutger] That's the only way out!

Austin : [To Laura] We haven't lost our consciences, and I certainly never thought I had! You're just another bunch of psycho murders out to kill us! [To Hutger] Out of our way! [Runs at Hutger and will try to stab him with his skeletal finger if Hutger tries to stop him] t!

Clint: Hey, if you're the good version of Jerry and those are the good v= ersions of us, why are you helping us out, anyway? [Tries to keep himself betwee= n the group and everyone who seems remotely threatening.]

Laura : Of course you didn't!

[AUSTIN launches himself at HUTGER, who expertly catches him with his sword, although AUSTIN does get a quick poke in with his finger. It has no effect, and AUSTIN is knocked to the ground.]

Hutger : Path-ethics. You're all going to die!

Chastity: [Begins prayer and doing her spell casting mojo. To Austin] Mr. Sleaze! Do be careful!

Dancelot : It's too late, Sister! [Lifts his sword and swings at Austin, clearly going for the kill]

[Just then, HUTGER trips and falls, for no good reason, momentarily distracting DANCELOT. KEVIN takes the opportunity to leap in front of the sword and take the brunt of the blow.]

Kevin : No! [Gets almost cut in half by Dancelot's sword]

Harvey : By the saints! Quick troop, we must get out of here. Private Scar, you take one half of young Kevin, and I'll take the other!

Chastity: [Watching Kevin in horror. To Hutger] You monster! [grabs Smock and starts dragging her toward the exit]

Austin : [Clutching his wound, makes for the exit] Let's go!

Clint: Sure thing, Harv! [Picks up half of Kevin and makes for the exit= as well, waiting until the others get by to go through.] as

Smock : [Allowing herself to be dragged along] Jebus!

[HARVEY and CLINT each take part of KEVIN, and fend off attacks as the party slowly back into the tunnel. HUTGER starts climbing to his feet, and ALICE catches him, and pushes him back into the room.]

Hutger : [Falling once again, but laughing] Do you really think you're going to be able to escape?

Harvey : Well, yes actually, you cad!

Smock : How are we going to stop them from following us?

Austin : [Frowning at the blood issuing from his deep wounds. To Smock, weakly, gasping for air as he tries to escape up the tunnel, blood dripping from his mouth] Could you cast a spell of some kind to block the passage behind us?

Chastity: [Begins praying yet again and working her holy mojo. To the party] Can anyone see any way to block the passage??

Smock : [Wailing] No! If only we had some of those explosive thingies that Hutger had!

[CHASTITY finishes her spell, but nothing happens.]

Alice : [Opens her hand] You mean, like these? [Everyone looks and sees that she's got seven GP in her hand] Oops, that was his other pocket, I mean, like these? [Opens her other hand, showing that she has two Bums]

Chastity: [To Alice, eyeing the bums dubiously] Let's just hope they don't merely succeed in making the hole even bigger! [To Austin] Mr. Sleaze, you're the expert on bums, are you not?

Harvey : [Proudly] That's my niece! Quickly Alice, try to bring down the roof of the cave behind us!

Alice : But, uh, you're backing out - if I do that, won't we get trapped to= o?

Austin : [To Alice, open handed] Perhaps I should throw the bum?

Smock: [To Alice] Just chuck it at that bit where Clint kicked in the wall!

Alice : Here goes! [Waits until everyone is up passed that point in the tunnel, and the throws the bum down] Haha!

[Nothing happens, and the party keep backing up, with DANCELOT and LELAND getting closer to CLINT and HARVEY.]

Alice : Oh no!

Harvey : Damn and blast, a dud bum! Quickly try another!

Smock: [Looks worriedly at Alice] Maybe your bum needed to be turned on? Poke it or squeeze it or something!

Alice : [Points at bum] Look where it is! How can I get to it there? Hey! I just had a great idea, all we need is a small labrador puppy and -

[Kaboom. The bum explodes.]

[Book V, Act VI, Scene XII. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY, SMOCK and EDWARD are here, lying in a heap. The bum worked, sealing the others in.]

Alice : [Dusting herself down and checking her eyebrows are still intact] Y= ay!

Smock: [Frowns] Why couldn't we have trapped him too? [Looks over at Edward]

Harvey : [Gets up and helps Alice to her feet, giving her a big hug] Well done dear niece, well done! That'll stop the cads for a while! [Turns to Chastity] Dear sister, allow me to help you up!

Edward : [Looks Smock up and down] Betrayed your parents, huh? Niiiice.

Alice : Thanks Harv! What was that all about?

Smock: [Ignores Edward and gets up.] Yeah, Alice! That was awesome! [Glances at her book] You could be a bomb expert! Those creeps must have been replicas made by the evil genius, based on those stupid rumours that are in the newspapers.

Edward : [Chuckles] Everyone thinks that at first!

Chastity: [Taking Harvey's hand and pulling herself up. To Edward] Have you a lot of experience with these lake demons?

Harvey : A very pertinent question indeed, sister! [To Edward] You seem to know a lot about this type of thing!

Chastity: [To Harvey, squeezing his arm affectionately] Why, thank you, Colonel! And might I said you're doing a beautiful job of leading the troop, as always!

Harvey : [Blushes to his roots] Why thank you sister! It does this old soldiers heart good to hear you think so! And speaking about this old soldiers heart, I wonder if anyone could do a little curing while we have a moments respite?

Chastity: [To Harvey] Of course, Colonel! [fusses over his wounds a bit and begins praying and and attempting to work her spell mojo]

Edward : I met my own reflection. Apparently I could have been a teacher working with sick kids in an orphanage.

[CHASTITY's spell doesn't appear to have any effect.]

Alice : What happened?

Edward : [Shrugs] I killed him. You guys were much smarter though, trapping them like that.

Austin : [Gravely wounded, bleeding alot] Anyone got a healing potion by any chance, I don't think I can hang on much longer!

Chastity: [Examines Austin and does what she can to dress his wounds] Oh, dear. Perhaps we should find our way to safety and take a rest?

Harvey : Yes, let's get somewhere safe and recuperate!

Edward : [To Austin] You'll live. [Tosses him a potion, before addressing the party] Those idiots from the conference are outside, probably with the world's media. You might want to get your stories straight before going out.

Austin : [To Edward] Thank you. I take it that this is the standard sort of healing potion? [Looks at the potion carefully]

Edward : Correct.

Alice : Hey! I thought you didn't like him.

Edward : I don't. --- F \ No newline at end of file

Clint: And didn't you say something about part of being on the Path is h= urting people you've helped? urting

Chastity: [To Edward] What do you mean, get our stories straight?! We have no intention of speaking to that pack of wild dogs, [to Harvey] do we Colonel?!

Edward : Not exactly. It's about killing other people on the Path. [Gives Austin a friendly wink] I've got my eye on this one next, as he's the furthest along of all of you.

Chastity: [Looks at Austin. To Edward] Why Mr. Sleaze? Is it a Path of Ambiguous Sexual Orientation? es

Edward : Oh come on, Sister, don't be all coy. You know what's at the end of the path, don't you? You all had [finger quotes] The Dream, didn't you? ### This may be a reference to a shared dream the party had back ### in 4.2, in which they were on a path, which lead to Phili, who ### was with several NPCs that the party had met before who ### are also on the path. ### The following things happened in the dream - Jerome turned ### evil and attacked the party (this was before it happened ### for real), Austin had his heart ripped out by Jerome, but it didn't ### kill him, Stump (ex party member) had his heart turn black, ### Chastity appeared naked, Alice broke her arm, Harvey went ### blind and Evan (another ex party member) was simply ### forgotten about.

Austin : [To Edward] So you're saying that Phili is at the end of the Path and that's the 'reward' at the 'end of the Path'? [Eyes the potion more suspiciously than ever]

Chastity: [To Edward, appalled] The Path ends in tragedy and nudity for all of us?!

Edward : [To Chastity] I hope not! I don't know what your dream foretold, but the Path is beset with difficulties, whatever is at the end, you can all become. I can't tell you anymore, Rules of The Path and all that, but he answer is hidden deep with in your soul, in all of your souls.

Alice : In mine too?

Edward : Well, maybe not in yours, but in everyone else's.

Alice : Hey!

Austin : [Uncorks the potion, sniffs it carefully, then downs it in one. To Chastity] Don't be so ridiculous Chassers!

Austin : [Takes a deep breath] Whilst we are on the subject of things hidden deep in our souls ... I think I may have a little, shall we say, issue.

Harvey : And how do we unhide this answer which is hidden deep within our souls? Eh?

Chastity: [To Austin, alarmed] Do tell, Mr. Sleaze!

Clint: That's easy, Harv. We search our souls. Last from Tom #26

Austin : [Gingerly takes off his suit top and shirt, folding them carefulling into his bag. Pointing at the lump on his shoulder] I think Azzugas left a little demonic parasite beastie in my shoulder when I attacked him. [Looks at it with a look of paling horror] I'd rather like it if someone trustworthy cut it out. [Gets out his most favourite cut throat razor (which he has never used) and offers the razor to Alice, cooly] I trust you. [Takes a deep breath] Perhaps you could cut over the top of the lump and pull what ever it is out! [Pauses] Does anyone have any surgical alcohol?

Alice : [Paling a little, but takes the razor, her hand shaking terribly] Gee, Aus, I'm not sure whether I'm really flattered or revolted.

Edward : [Gives a sharp intake of breath] You're not going to be able to cut that out, my friend.

Austin : [To Edward] And why is that?

Edward : Because it's part of you. Every time you use that little finger of yours, it gets bigger.

Austin : [To Edward] So in what way is it a passanger?

Edward : In the same way that people cast off aspects of themselves when they move along the Path, they also take on aspects of the Heart. I don't know about your case, but typically, people cast off the good, and take on the evil, and part of being on the Path is not to take on too much. It's all about the balance. ### That last part is something that Darius, Boddy and Sven have ### each referred to several times

Chastity: [Peers at Austin's lump. To Austin, helpfully] Perhaps you could still change your life, Mr. Sleaze! Abandon your decadent and degenerate lifestyle, and maybe this awful lump will cease to grow!

Austin : [To Edward] Well, as far as I know if I have cast of anything it has been evil, but then this lump seems to be evil which infers that I have cast off something good, which makes no sense at all, unless thins lump is good? [Ponders his lump]

Edward : Or, stop poking monsters with your finger.

Austin : [To Chastity] I gave up all decadence when I came with you lot on this insane mission from god. [Sighs. To Edward] The only thing I am concerened about is whether or not it evil or good.

Harvey : [Gasps] Unless of course, private Sleaze, that demon possesion has fundamentally changed you into an evil being, and each time you do something good and decent, such as poking beasties with your bony digit to save us, that lump grows!

Edward : [Laughs] Just because Dancelot was an asshole doesn't mean he doesn't have some good. At a guess, given that he was a knight of some sort, I guess you cast off chivalry, honesty, bravery, that kind of thing. The lump, my friend, is evil.

Austin : [To Harvey] So you mean that I'm a demon, and I'm growing good by doing good things. But that's absurd! How can someone as nice as me ever become a demon? [Frowns, looking most upset]

Austin : [To Edward] But I didn't cast off any of those things! Coming with the group meant that I cast of my frivolous life style, of ... of bad things. How do you know it's evil?

Clint: [Amused by Edward's guess.] And what did I cast off? Geekdom?

Edward : [Shrugs at Clint] Or maybe insanity. He was a better dresser, though. [To Austin] Because it's a demon. And now, are you sure you didn't cast off just the teeny tiniest bit of chivalry, honesty or bravery? Just a little [holds his forefinger and thumb together really close] teenchiest bit?

Chastity: [To Edward] Of course he did! [To Austin] You stole from a holy sanctuary!

Austin : [Furiously to Chastity] That was ages before I started on the Path! And anyway, you extorted money from the proletariat and other weak minded individuals to pay for your gold in the first place!

Chastity: [Also quite furiously to Austin] I did no such thing! I bring hope to the hopeless and heal the sick in service to Phili!!

Edward : [Enjoying all the furiousness] Whoo! [Applauds] Sorry, Austin, it doesn't matter what anyone else did. It's what [points at him with his own skeletal hand] you did. People are often confused about when they started on the Path. Chances are, whenever you think you did, it was long before then.

Austin : [To Edward] So is killing demons with my skeletal finger a good thing or a bad thing?

Harvey : Are you saying that each of us started on the path the moment those dopplegangers came into creation? That single alleged event in our lives which made us us, and them them?

Smock: So does everyone on the path have one of those replicas? Hang on... Why didn't I get a dream too? And Austin is so brave! I saw him. He was fighting all the time until he died. [Thinks a moment and looks over at Chastity.] And it's hard to believe that Chastity could ever have been pretty. [To Chas] You must have really let yourself go...

Edward : [Shrugs at Harvey] I don't know when they came into being, They came about because of the choices you made to put you on the Path as well as does made while on the Path, so I guess they appeared some time after. [Looks at Smock] Maybe because you're going to die before you get to the end?

Smock: Not before I kill you first [pokes her tongue at Edward. Leafs through her book, picks a page and spends a few painful moments trying to read it.] It says here that we have to talk to the press because [reads, slowly] "being a hero is all about image".

Alice : [Mutters under her breath] Then I guess you're screwed.

Edward : [Smirking at Smock] Kill me? I thought you'd be too busy not saving your parents to do that.

Austin : [Hurredly putting his shirt and jacket back on] Okay, so what now?

Smock: [Angrily] I did not not save my parents! I wasnít even there when they got taken away! How am I supposed to save them when I donít even know where they are?

Edward : [Dead calm] I know you didn't save your parents. That's exactly what your reflection told us. [To Austin] This is where we say goodbye. I'm going to find Jerome and kill him.

Austin : [To Smock] Don't clean him too much, there will be nothing left.

Clint : [Doesn't let himself get pulled along] Get off, kid, I don't need a new belt, my rope is working just fine!

Alice : [Gives Austin a surprised look for a moment, before turning to Edward] Why do you want to kill Jerome?

Edward : Because he's on the Path, and he's weak.

Smock: But then you're breaking Commandment number two! [Frowns] Fine. I'll fix Chastity first then. [To Chastity] Let's see. [Flicks through her book.] You have to be nicer and helpful. And it would be good to tell everyone what your mystical knowledge specialty is.

Harvey : Now now cadet, let the good sister be, eh! We must move on, and bury these severed remains!

Austin : [To Edward] How weak is Jerome, where is he?

Chastity: [Snaps at Smock] Do be quiet! [To Austin] Mr. Sleaze, what exactly are you contemplating?!

Edward : Getting ideas, huh? [Gestures to half of Kevin] Well, with the reflection dead, he'll be weak for a few days, not completely incapable, but certainly not invulnerable either. I don't know where he is, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to be able to find him, and when I do, [does a throat cutting move]

Alice : You're going to cut your throat?

Chastity: [To Alice] No, your former fiancee's throat, dear. Do we need to find a translator for you? [To Edward] Where do you think you will find him?

Austin : [To Edward] Oooh! I see. You were going to wait until either we had killed our reflections , or they had killed us, and then you were going to kill me! [Draws his dagger defensively and moves away from Edward. To Chastity] So sister, please tell everyone what your mystical knowledge specialty is, I love to know.

Alice : [Thoroughly confused at Chastity's words] What?

Edward : What? You expect me to tell you so you can go find him and get to him first? No way.

Edward : Maybe you, it depends on who was left.

Harvey : [To Edward] There will be no killing of troop members by non-troop members here today, what! What you want to do with Trindle is your own business, and to be honest, I could care less! We should get out of this place as of the now and rest! op

Chastity: [Takes Harvey's arm] Right as always, Colonel! We must leave this awful place immediately, while we're still able!

Austin : [To Chastity] And you can tell us all about your mystical knowledge specialty on the way.

Chastity: [To Austin, walking toward the exit and dragging Smock by the ear] Mr. Sleaze, really! Don't you think if I had some [finger quotes] mystical knowledge specialty I would use it at every opportunity?

Clint: [Still muttering under his breath about Smock trying to clean him= up.]=20 Maybe your mystical knowledge specialty is being bossy. Has anyone thoug= ht about what to tell those useless morons in the press?

Austin : [Smiling. To Clint] Oh, just leave that to me Mr. Scar.

Alice : Maybe they've just gone away?

[The party get to the exit, where ALBERT, CAROLINE, SPOT, DICEY and DEREK are waiting. They all look very worried.]

Caroline : [Embracing Alice] Alice! I thought I'd lost you! [Stays hanging onto her]

Alice : Er, there there, there there.

Austin : [Glances around] No press! How unfortunate.

Derek : Well? Well? Who's the new Phili?

Alice : [Disentangling herself from Caroline, and giving a puzzled look at the party] Uh, I think we all are!

Edward : Except you!

Chastity: [To Derek] Don't be ridiculous! There is no [finger quotes] new Phili! There is only Phili!

Austin : [To Derek] Sister Chastity is correct. Phili is still Phili as far as we know, and no one here is a real god. It is of course me own personal view that Phili is not a god either, and than, in fact, no god exists in the classical sense of the word. Phili is no more, or less, than a man with great power. [Checks his nails briefly]

Chastity: [Nods at Austin] Well, though blasphemously, said! [To Derek] Now, if you will excuse us, we are all quite tired and on our way to take a rest.

Austin : [To Chastity] Why, thank you sister.

Albert : [Nods at Austin's words] I thought so.

Derek : Wow! This is monster! Come on, we've got stories to write and scandals to fake!

Harvey : Indeed so! The only things I want to see in the next few hours are a sumptous banquet, and the backs of my own eyelids!

Derek : [Starts purposely striding back towards the house] This is gonna be great!

Chastity: [To Derek, suspiciously] WHAT is going to be great?

Clint: [Also suspicious] If you try to smear us again, slimebag... [cra= cks his knuckles menacingly] cks his

Derek : Smear? I'm not going to smear you, I'm going to make you stars! People need good news with Dangsten back. You'll travel the realms, staying in the best hotels, smoking the best cheese, riding the best prostitutes and choking on the best vomit. TV spots, books, appearances in Goodbye! magazine, monster!

Chastity: [To Derek] We'll do nothing of the kind! We neither need nor want publicity. Instead, we will continue to do good deeds in a quiet, sober, and sensible manner [glares warningly at Clint and Alice].

Alice : [Gives Clint a worried look] Well, quiet, anyway!

Clint: [Snortles] Yeah, right. cks his

Harvey : If there's any funny business going on here, fellow, there'll be a kerfuffle, I can tell you!

Austin : [Looking at Derek] Oooh! Sounds painful.

Derek : [To the party] Oh come on! What the hell is wrong with you people? ?

Chastity: [Offended] Sir, I do not like your tone! Colonel, are you going to let him speak to me this way?!

Derek : It's not just you that I'm speaking to, Princess, it's all of you losers!

Smock: [To Chastity] But being a hero is all about being famous! And saving people and stuff. Besides, we're already going that way - back to the to clean up and get some rest too.

Derek : That's the spirit, and you've already done all that saving and stuff, so now let's have some fun and make some money.

Austin : [To Chastity, helpfully] You could donate all of your proceeds to charity! [Starts walking towards the house a little]

Edward : [With disgust as he looks at Austin] Loser. [To the party] Enjoy your fame and fortune. I'm more concerned with following the Path and killing Jerome.

Smock: Quickly! [Beckons the party.] We have to make you look good and get everyone fit in their roles. [Waves her book.]

Smock: [Snidely to Edward] Yeah, good luck with that. Just don't expect us to cry when you die.

Harvey : [To Edward] We care nothing for fame and fortune, fellow! All we want is food and rest, and then we're away!

Alice : [To Smock] And what role do you play?

Austin : [To Edward, laughs] You're off to murder someone and you're calling me a looser! Ha! You sad man.

Smock: [Proudly] I'm gonna make sure you guys are doing everything right by the code.

Harvey : [To Smock] I'd rather you didn't, young cadet! We've had enough trouble with watchers in the past, what!

Edward : [With a big smile] I know, and he didn't even kill my fiancee! [Turns and starts walking towards one of the carriages parked in front of the house]

Derek : Well, it's a shame we've lost him, but you guys, you know which side your bread is buttered on, eh? [Squeezes Harvey's stomach] You certainly do, eh? Eh? Monster!

Smock: [To Harvey] I'm not just going to watch you. I'm gonna make sure you're the bestest heroes ever! See. [Shows Harvey her book.] All the instructions are in here. [Smiles sweetly.]

Harvey : I say sir, do not squeeze me again, what! And if you speak to dear sister Chastity in that manner previous again, there'll be a sound thrashing dished out!

Alice : How about being the bestest annoying kid?

Derek : [Clearly not taking Harvey seriously] Oooh! Scary! That's the kind of thing we need for the photos. [Does a few pretend boxing moves on Harvey, before putting an arm around him, clearly expecting to lead him up the garden path to the house] Now, I'm thinking we spread some gay rumours about you and Austin, and then have a breaking story where you punch the reporter you believe responsible.

Harvey : [Genuinely shocked] By the saints! [Worms his way out of Dereks gr= ip] Gay rumours! Are you looking for a swollen lip and a blacked eye, sir?

Austin : [To Derek] I thought you wanted to make up a story, not make a story happen! [Rolls his eyes]

Derek : Reporting 101. People want to believe, all you need to do is show them what they think is proof. [Thoughtfully to Harvey] You mean in the sense that you were beaten up by a bunch of homophobes?

Caroline : [Squeezes Alice's arm reassuringly] Oh, those people are awful!

Derek : Yeah, I guess that could be arranged. Have you got your own make up= ?

Smock: [To Derek, a little too eagerly] No, he means that theyíre gonna bash you up! ! up?

Harvey : [Livid, to Smock] You might want to look away for a while, cadet, bury your nose in that book of yours! [To Derek] You sir, have tried, tested and pass= ed my patience! Are you attempting to insinuate that there is something...unnatural about me? Are you? For I will not have it! [Adopts the classic boxer stance] ssed my

Derek : [Laughs at Smock, with a nod to Harvey] Do you think he's an idiot? He's not going to punch the man who's going to make you all millionaires! Are you, Harvey? You're not an idiot, are you? If you are, [juts his chin forward, pointing to it] plant one just right here.

Harvey : No, you're quite right, I would not plant one just right there! Here's two! [Does a quick double punch at Derek]

Smock: [For a moment torn between fame or a fight, blurts] Sock him one, Harvey!

[HARVEY's fist connects with DEREK's extremely inviting chin, knocking him to the ground.]

Derek : [Lying on the ground] You - you - you -

Alice : [Helpfully] Monster?

Harvey : And don't you forget it!

[Exit ALL but DEREK, who's left snivelling in a muddy pool.]