THE QUEENS VIEW AFFAIR

[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.]