THE QUEENS VIEW AFFAIR - BOOK V, ACT XIII

[Book V, Act XIII, Scene I. A room in Minus Thrift. ALICE, AUSTIN, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, sitting at a large table filled with food and drink. Also here is SVEN.]

Dur : [Mouth watering as he gazes at the food] It's - it's so beautiful!

Sven : [Feet up on the table, drinking beer] So, Clementine is key to defeating Jerome and the others?

Harvey: [Mouth crammed with golden honeyed locusts] Wha the lazes oes a ill ave to do wi anythin?

Austin : [To Harvey] Well colonel, perhaps there is something hidden under the hill in a secret cave or something, or perhaps it is some form of sanctuary? [Shrugs] And what that has to do with this 180, or

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Dur: [Begins stuffing his face, eating greedily] A hill? Who names a hill Clementine?=20

Sven : [To Austin] 179? Uh, how many fine looking women you've bedded this month? Haw! You old dog! [To the party in general] Well, Clementine is supposedly a place of magic - that's why Jerome had the child hidden there. Maybe there's something else there that will stop the Morcs? [Casually to Dur] You know that's poisoned, right?

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Dur: [Stops chewing momentarily] Who serves guests poisoned food? [Rubs his dirty hands over the table and attempts casting purify food/drink and then shrugs] Then again, I've had worse.

Austin : [To Sven] 180, 180! Do you know why this number is so significant? It's something to do with Athlacca, who is a demon apparently, who intends to take over the universe, and, apparently, Clemetine it the key to the who situation?

Sven : [Bursts out laughing at Dur] Haw! I've had worse! I love it! [Grabs Dur in a headlock and ruffles his hair playfully] He's definitely one of you lot! [Lets him go and pours out two huge mugs of beer, one of which he gives to Dur] Athlacca? I've heard of him, no idea what 180 is about though. Clementine is probably the key to stopping Jerome - maybe he's going to try and do something there? Did anything strange happen there?

Harvey: Well, Trindle turned on that bastard Dangsten and killed him, but I don't know how strange that is! Evil always turns on evil in the end, what!

Clint: [Casually.] Aside from Jerry killing Dangsten, no, not really. [Dubious.] Maybe there's a magic triangle being built under the hill or something?

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Dur: Strange? I'll tell you what was strange, Running through a huge blue maze being chased by Technicolor ghosts only to find a way out only to be confronted by to awesomely gay dude, one of which was completely naked just before we came here in a high speed carriage chase! [Takes a deep breath and a large sip of beer]. The only thing that happened on that hill was that one guy stabbing the other guy with that weird looking dagger. Pretty mild in comparison. --- F \ No newline at end of file

Sven : [Looks a little worried] Weird looking dagger? Uh, it wasn't the dagger of sword stealing, right?

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Dur: Oh no no! Of course not. I think they called it the dagger of SOUL stealing.

Clint: I dunno, Sven. What's the dagger of soul stealing look like?

Sven : Oh. Well, that's much worse then.

Harvey: [Grimly] What's Trindle done now?!

Clint: I'm gonna guess he stole Dangsten's soul, Harv! Question is, what are we gonna do about it?

Harvey: [To Clint, annoyed] Yes, Private Scar, I got that part! What I was clearly asking our friend was what are the ramifications of Dishonorably Discharged Ex-Private Trindle's continuing evil-doing, in this case the rather alarming case of stealing a soul!

Sven : The first thing we're gonna do, Harv, is drink a lot of beer and sing a song about rampaging through a village.

[Much beer is drank and the song sung.]

Sven : [Gives a huge burp] Well, Clementine is a Soul Conductor, that's why Jerome kept the baby there, to balance his evil with the child's goodness. Jerome will probably use that hill to infuse the Jeromites with more of his power.

Alice : And what about Dangsten being killed up there? Does Jerome get his soul?

Sven : Jerome and everyone who was on Clementine at the time.

Alice : [Sighs with relief] Thank Phili it was just all the bad guys up there!

Harvey: No, dear girl, we were there, too! [Shudders] What the blazes does this mean, Sven?! Can we get exorcisms or phlebotomies or something?!

Austin : [Holding a hand up to Dur] Don't even think about it!

Sven : [Gives Harvey a reassuring punch on the arm] Haw! Don't look so worried, Harv, it could be worse. I mean, I've been dead twice, and yet here I am today, as [leans to one side and lets out a rip roaring fart] flatulent as ever! Maybe Chastity might be able to help?

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Austin : [Stands up in suprise] Chassers? Where? [Excitedly to Sven] Is she here? Is she well? [Glances around excitedly] Where on earth did you find her?

Sven : You know what they say, third time's a charm! I'll be sure to get you to look after me the next time. [To Austin] She's here, Aus, she came back with Snyder before you went to the Interior.

[Enter SNYDER and CHASTITY. SNYDER is wearing a genuinely nice suit and looks very relaxed and friendly, while CHASTITY looks the same as ever.]

Snyder : Hey gang! [Gives them a friendly wave] Great to see you guys!

Chastity : [Blesses herself quickly] Thank you Phili for seeing fit to spare your unworthy servants. It is good to see that you are all here. [Looks Harvey up and down] And Colonel, you've finally come to your senses over that tart, I presume?

Snyder

Chastity

Clint: Right where he left her, ha! [Helps himself to some beer and peanuts.] Didn't she go with that little bald guy?

Snyder : What little bald guy?

Chastity : [Narrows her eyes at Clint] Still an evil sinner, I see, Mr. Scar.

Harvey: [Beams] Very nice to see you again, good Sister! [Laments] We haven't had any tarts since you left, I'm afraid!

Clint: [To both Chas and Harv at the same time.] Yeah, it's really a shame, innit?

Chastity : [Relieved] Well, thank goodness you came to your senses, Colonel. I was afraid that you might do something foolish like marry her!

Harvey: [Perplexed] Are you talking about my WIFE?! [Furious] I thought you mean tasty pastry!

Chastity : WIFE?! Don't tell me that you married that - that tart!

Snyder : [Beaming happily, rocking back and forth on his heels, talking to no one in particular] I'm married you know. Best thing that ever happened to me. [Appears to spot Dur for the first time] She's a real hottie. She was with this group of scumbags but left them for me. [Shows Dur a photograph of Patience]

Patience Summers

Austin : [Nods to Dur] Leaving the rest of us in no doubt as to where the love potion went to.

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Dur: [Nearly choking on his food] She's YOUR wife? Then surely there's hope for a guy like me! [Looks hopefully to Austin to ensure that is the case.]

Austin : [To Dur] Find yourself a love potion and even a babe like Alice would go out with you. [Smirks]

Alice : Don't be mean, Aus, of course there's hope for Dur. I just bet Snyder has a brother or cousin.

Harvey: [To Chastity, curtly] Sister, that's quite enough. If you don't value our friendship enough to put aside your petty feminine nonsense and applaud my happiness, then I'm afraid we have nothing more to say. [Crosses his arms grumpily and stomps his foot for emphasis]

Austin : [Sniggers. Then, to Chastity] So what have you been up to?

Chastity : [Gasps at Harvey's rudeness] And if you don't value saving the world enough to put aside your nasty sinful male urges, then I'm afraid I have nothing more to say other than to beseech Phili to have mercy on your grubby soul! [To Austin] Tending to the sick and wounded. We are in a besieged city, you know.

Sven : [Mock scolding to Harvey and Chastity] Now you two, don't make me turn this besieged city around!

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Dur: [Looks at Sven hopefully] Can you really do that? Seems like it would be an awfully convenient solution to our problem....

Harvey: [To Sven, ignoring Chastity] Do you know of any way to [ponders for the right word] break Clementine?

Sven : Haw! [Playfully slaps Dur on the back, almost sending him face down onto a plate of Golden Honeyed Locusts] I love this guy! We're gonna be pals!

Chastity : [Stiffly turns away from Harvey] Humph!

[Enter MAXWELL HOUSE, another watcher that the party have dealt with several times before. They get on reasonably well with him and he clearly at least tries to be helpful. He is wearing his characteristic tweed suit and is looking very pale and dishevelled.]

Maxwell : [Looking very worried] Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Now, let me see. [Takes off his glasses and cleans them] Please, excuse my appearance. I haven't eaten or slept since I heard about the Dagger of Sword stealing incident.

Alice : Uh, didn't you only just hear a few minutes ago when you were presumably eavesdropping on us?

Maxwell : Quite. [By way of explanation] I'm a napper and snacker.

Maxwell House

Harvey: [To Maxwell] What the blazes is this Dagger of Sword Stealing?! Isn't a Dagger of Soul Stealing bad enough?! A man needs his sword, especially if he hasn't a soul, what!

Maxwell : Dagger of Sword Stealing? [Takes a look at his clipboard] Oh dear. That's much worse.

Harvey: [To Maxwell] Wait, you're the one who brought it up, not me!

Maxwell : [Defensively] That's what's written on my clipboard! [Shows the clipboard to Harvey. That is what is written there.]

Alice : Oh for God's sake! [Takes the clipboard and crosses it out, writing something else instead] There!

Maxwell : [Reading from the clipboard] Dodger of Fool Sleeping? With Sleeping, Fool and Dodger all spelled wrong?

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Dur: [Scratches his head] If only we were as adept at confusing the enemy forces outside the gate as we are at confusing each other, we could cause a diversion and slip out in the dead of night and go see what is so important about this blasted hill!

Harvey: [Exasperated] Another magic relic?! [To Dur] Please tell Sister Chastity it's just as well we met her! We're going to need all the help we can get with all these magic swords and dodgers flying at us!

Chastity : [With a loud "Humph", before turning to Dur] Please tell Colonel Harvey that it's just as well he and the party have returned, especially with young Smock having gone so evil and all.

Alice : [Watching the two, before turning to Dur] Can you please tell Austin to pass the salt?

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Alice : [Horrified] I did not! Tell him I didn't!

Maxwell : [Holds up his clipboard] Actually, I think you'll find that the name is Minus Thirty. [Rubs his eyes] That can't be right!

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Dur: [Looks from Alice to Austin and shrugs, whispering] It's what she told me...

Austin : [Passes Alice the salt. To Dur] She may be beautiful and blond, but she's not stupid, or blind, Dur. [Rolls his eyes]

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Dur: Excuse me sir, but I am the doctor for this group and the only one qualified to make such a diagnosis! Luckily for you dear Alice, there is a simple test for such a diagnosis! [Dur holds up 4 fingers] Now! What is the square root of 4,652, divided by 7, minus 8?!

Austin : [To Dur, laughing] I think you'll find that mathematical challenge a little trivial for Alice, [Looks seriously at Alice] She is, after all, one of the greatest mathematical minds that ever lived.

Clint: [Having been busily eating, drinking, and making merry, he suddenly catches up with everything.] Wait, the kid's gone evil? got

Alice : [Sighs] It's 1.743, rounded off to the third decimal place.

Maxwell : [Nods, mopping his brow] Yes, it appears that Miss Smock has turned evil. There was an incident involving scones.

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Dur: And how many fingers am I holding up?!

Austin : [To Maxwell] Oooh, nasty! So what has she been up to?

Harvey: [To Dur] Tell Sister Chastity that I don't blame her one bit for Cadet Smock turning evil. She did her very best to smother, er, I mean mother the girl!

Alice : [Gives Dur the finger] Well, I'm holding up one!

Maxwell : She took four scones, six pastries, [dramatically] five creamy cakes and one extra double chocolate fudge chocolate sundae.

Snyder : [Stomach booms hungrily] That was mine. Made by my wife.

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Dur: [Sighs] Mrs. Chastity, the colonel would like to express his most sincere condolences over Mrs Smock's joining the dark side. He would also like to imply that your overbearing, albeit good heartedly, mothering may have attributed to this.

Clint: [Surprised as hell.] She can cook?! Sounds like the kid's heart is still in the right place, though. Nothing wrong with stealing a few pastries!

Austin : [To Chastity] This is ridiculous! The colonel's good lady wife is not of ill repute nor ever has been. If you recall, the aledged brothel in which we all met was infact a ruse, or front, for stealing the essence of it's unwitting customers! [Paces a little] Further to this, it was clear that most, if not all of the 'employees' were there against their will, or could see no safe way to leave. The place was being run by Olive Branch, after all, and I'm sure you will recall the vicious local constabulary. [To Chastity, reasonably] Olive is not the nicest of employers, you'd have to agree! [Austin turns to peruse the city, confident that the situation has now been resolved]

Chastity : [Irritably to Dur] It's [emphasis] Sister Chastity, young man. And do be careful waving that chicken leg around, or you'll have someone's eye out with it!

Maxwell : Well, you see, it's, well, it's more complicated than that. It seems that she, well, it seems that she -

Snyder : [Interrupting] She stole an Orb of Protection from here. The scumbag.

Austin : [Sighs in relief] Good, well at least we know she'll probably be okay then. [Frowns at Snyder] Of course you could have given it to her.

Snyder : What? Why on earth would we give it to her? Perhaps if she had just asked we might have considered it, but she just took it. Mr. House, detail the atrocities she committed.

Maxwell : Of course. Of course. Well, aside from the four scones, six pastries, five creamy cakes and one extra double chocolate fudge chocolate sundae, there are incidents of criminal damage, breaking and entering, excessive use of [distastefully] cute, nauseating displays of disturbing childishness, flagrant use of the word "coz" and the murder of three guards.

Harvey: Well, maybe she just borrowed it! You know that little girl has seen some dreadful things in her seven years, and she might've gotten spooked, without us protecting her.

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Dur: [Dur looks shocked] She used the word 'coz'? I guess the murdering of three guards was rather unnecessary as well...

Maxwell : [Nods, with a pained expression on his face] Quite. I mean, we have plenty of guards, but [gives a shiver] coz?

Chastity : [To Dur] Tell the Colonel that [emphasis] I was protecting her, and that she had no reason to be [finger quotes] spooked.

Harvey: [To Dur] And you tell Sister Chastity that I'm certain that her unique brand of protection didn't drive Cadet Smock away into the warm, dark bosom of evil!

Chastity : [To Dur] Please tell the Colonel that I'm certain that Smock's exposure to a whorehouse didn't in any way corrupt her young mind.

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Dur: [Looks around nervously] [To Harvey] Could you please tell Sister Chastity that thanks to her madness, poor Dur's ears are bleeding. [To Chastity] Could you please tell the good Colonel that his leadership should extend beyond sending his apparent messenger into a losing battle.

Chastity : [Produces a tea towel and cuffs Dur over the head with it] Don't be so rude, young man!

Harvey: [To Dur] There! Doesn't that make you want to turn evil?!

Maxwell : Please! People, control yourself! We are discussing the matter of the scones and the orb!

Snyder : [Snarling at the party] You scumbags! Can't you just forget your petty differences for five minutes?

Harvey: [Gruffly] Right, troop, enough of this squabbling! [To Maxwell and Snyder] Nothing you've told us that Cadet Smock has done seems to warrant calling her evil. I think you may be a bit harsh on the child. Possibly even a bit petty.

Snyder : [Enraged] Petty? Petty? [To Maxwell] Get my stool.

[MAXWELL puts a small stool on the floor in front of HARVEY, which SNYDER stands on so that they are now the same height.]

Snyder : She killed three men! She stole a magic item that could protect you and your party. She ate my sundae - [gets a little choked up] - on what should have been the best birthday ever! She's a scumbag!

Harvey: [Ponders] Well, she did appear in the All-Evil Band along with those bastards Dangsten, Trindle, and Pestilence. [Shudders] Playing the tamborine, no less!

Austin : [Considering the situation, seeming disinterested in the bickering] The question is, of course, where is the nearest elite clothing designer?

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Dur: The tambourine! [Dur gasps] Why that could possibly be the most evil instrument ever created! Short of the maracas of course....

Alice : [Singing softly] Going to scream all night, going to scream all day... [to Dur] There was a band, singing a song about killing us. It was pretty cool.

Sven : [To Austin] Haw! A man with his priorities right, that's what I like to see! Nearest elite clothing designer? Try next door.

Maxwell : Yes, well, I'm afraid there are some more pressing issues. Such as Jerome using the Dagger of Sword Stealing.

All : [Irritably] Soul Stealing!

Maxwell : [Flustered] Yes, yes! Soul stealing!

Clint: I forgot about the tambourine! Right - the kid's gone bad, guys. No two ways about it!

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Dur: [Sighs] How long are these walls going to keep the enemy army out?

Austin : [Nods] Killing three guards is a grave crime indeed. What cause did they give her to kill them? [Frowns] And how does a 16 year old girl kill three guards? It sounds highly unlikely.

Austin : [To Sven] Just next door? Back in a mo [Austin pops round the corner to have a look at the designer clothes]

Alice : Are the walls built to keep the enemy out? Or to [waving her hands in front of her face mysteriously] keep us in?

Maxwell : No, they're there to keep the enemy out. [To Dur] About three days. [Goes to say something to Austin but sees that he's gone] How rude.

Sven : [To Dur] Not to worry, my friend, we'll be leading a suicidal rampage through the Morcs long before that! --- F \ No newline at end of file

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Dur: [Dur looks downright scared] Surely we'll have a nights rest before then I suppose? Most of us are still grievously wounded from our flight here, not to mention the sliming we took in that maze...

Clint: [To Sven] Haw! That's the spirit! I assume we start tomorrow? We're on a deadline here, you know. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Sven : [Roughly clinks glasses with Clint] Haw! I love this guy! Always in a rush to be the first in line for the suicidal missions - well, let's see who gets there first!

[SVEN tries to grab CLINT in a headlock, and the two career around the room wrestling, clearly in fun.]

Chastity : Please! Stop this horseplay! [To Dur] Don't worry, young man. We will look after your wounds.

Harvey: [Watching Sven and Clint wrestle, begins munching on honeyed golden locusts. To Alice] Come join me, my girl! Phili knows it will be ages before we have a nice wholesome meal.

Alice : [Scarfing back some snakes' feet] So, this suicide mission, who are the losers that are going to go on it?

Maxwell : Er, well, that would be you people.

Alice : What?

Maxwell : Your party.

Alice : Give me that again. [Takes a quick drink of water]

Maxwell : Your party are the ones who have to go on the suic - on the mission.

Alice : [Spews water all over Maxwell in surprise] What??

Austin : [Returns in an incredibly fine suit, clearly very excited] It's Peter! Peter's here [Points round the corner. Sighs] Isn't the world a fabulous place!

Harvey: [Soothingly] Now, dear girl, a good soldier doesn't think of it as a suicide mission! A good soldier thinks of it as an opportunity to serve his troop bravely.

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Dur: But I'm just a doctor! I don't even have a proper weapon!

Chastity : [Roughly mopping up Alice's face with the same tea towel that was previously used to smack Dur] Mind your manners girl! [Gives Austin a big smile] I know! Isn't it great that Peter's here! He's so full of fun!

Austin : [To Dur] You joined a troop and went to war without a weapon? [Incredulously] Don't you think that some form of weapon might have been adviseable? [Looks around] Never mind, I'm sure there is something you could use around here. I expect Peter will know where. [Smiles dreamily] He knows everthing.

Alice : [Trying to escape from Chastity] Pfft! Tastes like Dur! [Turns to Dur] You've got your boot, don't you?

[SVEN and CLINT crash roughly against the table, knocking over food and glasses, before finally breaking apart.]

Maxwell : [To Dur] We can arrange a weapon for you. Virtually anything you want. What would you like?

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Dur: [Talks slower for Austin and Alice] D-O-C-T-O-R! What on earth would I need a weapon for? The only weapon I've needed this far in my career is my surgical tools! Wait... [Dur thinks] that doesn't sound right. [Dur shrugs to Sven] Whatever you have handy I suppose.

Harvey: [To Dur] Indeed, your surgical tools are your weapons! Tell Sister Chastity that you tried to perform surgery on Alice because she'd broken a nail! [Snorts] Ask her if she can believe your quackery!

Austin : [To Dur] That may well be so, D-O-C-T-O-R, but you will probably need something to defend yourself with. A dead doctor is no use to anyone. [Pauses] Well, except Morcs, of course, who would eat you. [Shrugs] Even Chassers carries a weapon.

Clint: And not just her tongue and her tea towel, either!

Alice : Yeah, surely D-O-C-T-E-Rs have loads of little knives!

Sven : [Holds out an enormous, double handed longsword that is taller than Dur and looks enormously heavy] Here you go, my friend! --- F \ No newline at end of file

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Chastity : [Sniffs haughtily] Perhaps you could borrow some of Mr. Scar's unpleasant body odour, he seems to have plenty of it to spare.

Austin : [To Chastity] Please do not encourage the dissemination of Mr Scar's foul body odour. It is quite unplesant enough as it is, without being in several places.

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Dur: [To Sven, inspecting the sword carefully] As much as I'd like to use this fine instrument, it would be far less useful in battle than it would be in surgery. Perhaps you have something a little smaller?

Austin : [To Dur] Perhaps a dagger would be suitable, especially with your medical knowledge, you can strike where it hurts most. [Checks his finger nails casually]

Sven : Good call, A. [Takes out a dagger and stabs it into the table] There y'go!

Maxwell : Yes, quite. Now, perhaps you should all get some rest in anticipation of tomorrow's mission?

Harvey: [Snoring loudly, wakes with a jolt] Sleep! Who can sleep at a time like this?!

Austin : [To Harvey] Perhaps a short nap would be in order then, colonel? THe blue building left most of us badly wounded, after all.

Snyder : [Gets back up on his stool] Look, you scumbag, you're going to get some sleep! I don't want anything happening to my favour - to my party!

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Dur: You don't have to tell me twice! [Dur scoots under the table] Wow, cozy![To Himself] No more sleeping next to dumpsters for you my boy!

Snyder : [Nods at Austin's words] Darn tootin'!

Alice : So who all is goin' on where this mission is at? [Looks confused at what she just said]

Maxwell : Well, let's see, there's the five of you who just came in through the gate.

[Slowly people realise that this is all MAXWELL is going to say.]

Harvey: [Bravely] You can get more done with a small, well-trained troop, I always say! But, incidentally, why aren't you coming, Sven?

Sven : I might be brave and foolhardy, Harv, but I'm not an idiot - no one's coming back from this mission alive, no way, no how. [Drinks some beer] Nah, I'm only joking! Of course I'm going, as is Chassers, [to Chastity] right, Sis?

Chastity : Of course!

Maxwell : Well, I'm afraid not, not without the orb stolen by Smock. You would be dead even before you got halfway to Clementine.

Harvey: [To Maxwell] Well, for Phili's sake, she's practically an infant! Can we not find her and take it back? All she needs is a stern talking to from our good Sister, what!

Maxwell : She's left the city - presumably she's halfway to Clementine by now.

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Dur: [From beneath the table, his voice a bit muffled] Wait... We can't make it halfway to Clementine without the very orb that this Smock person stole and is now in route to Clementine herself? In other words... We're Doomed!? At least I'll meet the end of the world with a full belly...

Austin : [To Maxwell] Do you not have another orb? You must have a fair number of them it you carelessly leave them around for children to steal. [Lights a cigarette in a long holder and blows some smoke rings. Crouches down to Dur] There is probably a hotel or inn that we can stay in.

Harvey: [To Dur] That's the spirit, Private! Always count your blessings so you can die with a smile on your face. The enemy hates that! [To the party] Let's get some sleep, troop.

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Dur: [Looks at Austin surprised as he pops a piece of cheese in his mouth that he had found on the floor.] Oh... Ummm of course there is [Dur gets up and dusts himself off slightly, managing to once again only smear the dirt around.] I was just inspecting the uh.... table...'s support?

Austin : [To Sven] So, which way to the finest hotel in town?

Snyder : [Getting in Austin's face] She is not a child! She's a sick and twisted woman who dresses and behaves like a little girl, who, might I add, was only brought in here because you scumbags said that she was trustworthy! [To Dur] And you, you reprobate, get out from under the table. I didn't say that you'd be killed if you got halfway, I said that anyone who wasn't present when Dangsten was stabbed by Jerome on top of Clementine would be killed before the got halfway to Clementine not that anyone who was on Clementine when Jerome killed Dangsten would get killed if they got halfway to Clementine so you see it's perfectly possible for you to get halfway to Clementine as it is for Smock to get halfway to Clementine because she has the orb, but no one else can get halfway to Clementine because they neither have the orb nor were they there when Jerome stabbed Dangsten on top of Clementine. [Pauses, panting for breath] It's really quite simple.

Clint: [Trying to follow this, gives up.] Riiiight. ____________________________________________________________________________________

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Dur: [Blinks] If that's simple, I'd hate to hear the long, complex version of it....

Alice : So, the only people who'll get killed if they go halfway are us? That doesn't make any sense at all!

Maxwell : [Smoothly stepping in front of Snyder] No, I fear that you are the only people who can get to Clementine. We believe that Jerome is going to exploit the fact that he has taken on Dangsten's soul. If that's the case, then the only way we can defeat his army is to kill him. [To Austin] I fear there are no hotel rooms in the city. The entire Northern and Southern armies are crammed in here, ready to fight the Jeromites. There is not a room to be found.

Clint: We could just stay with some of Harv's wife's friends! Give us a good send-off for tomorrow! ____________________________________________________________________________________

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Harvey: What on earth are you talking about, Private Scar! If we were anywhere near my wife and her friend, do you think I would be sitting here talking to you?!

Chastity : [Sniffs haughtily] I guess it depends on how busy she would be. [Quickly, to Dur] Tell the Colonel I said that.

Harvey: [To Dur, under the table] And you tell her I said that my bride always has time for me!

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Dur: [To Harv from beneath the table] Sister Chastity would like to imply that your wife did not have time for you and that it may be due to "extra-marital" activities. [Munches on some cheese]

Maxwell : Yes, quite. Now, perhaps we could show you your rooms.

Alice : I thought there weren't any left in the city?

Maxwell : That's correct.

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Dur: [to Chastity] The Colonel would like to inform you that his wife ALWAYS has time for him, DESPITE any extra-marital relations you hussy!=20

Clint: [Impatiently.] Show us to our rooms, already. And if you two don't start acting your ages, I'm sending you to bed without any dinner! There's only room for one immature person in this group, and that's me, dammit!

Harvey: [To Dur] You watch your mouth, Private! Show Sister Chastity some respect!

Austin : [Unimpressed by Snyder being in his face] It seems that some of us are a [big emphasis when looking at Snyder] *little*, tired. We should rest without further ado.

Snyder : Fine. Your room is just across the hall.

Alice : I thought you said that there were no rooms left in the city?

Snyder : That's right, but I kept one back for you lot [starts to smile, but puts on his angry face again] in case you'd cause trouble with the other soldiers.

[Exit the party, to their room.]

[Book V, Act XIII, Scene II. The Walls of Minus Thrift. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY, SVEN, MAXWELL and SNYDER are here, all looking out over the wall with telescopes. Everyone has been healed by CHASTITY applying healing potions, and are back to full hit points. The hill, Clementine, is about half a mile away, and it appears as though the JEROMITES are erecting some scaffolding beside it. There are hundreds of thousands of MORCS and JEROMITES around the bottom of the hill.]

Maxwell : As you can see, although Clementine isn't very far away, getting to it will be a non-trivial task.

Alice : Not very far! It's [huge emphasis] miles away! I can hardly even see it!

Maxwell : [Turns her telescope around] There.

Alice : Ah. I think I preferred it when they were miles away.

Austin : [Pondering] Any ideas what the scaffolding might be for? A wicker man? For some form of sacrifice perhaps?

Maxwell : We've been wondering that same thing, and the various suggestions that I got from my colleagues include [reads] a means to communicate with the Morcs and Jeromites, a means to communicate with something beneath the ground and [gives a quick glare at Snyder] get the hell out of my face you scumbag.

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Dur: Whatever it is, I don't like the looks of it.

Austin : [To Maxwell] And what might be beneath the ground? [Inquisitively, to Snyder, Maxwell and Sven] Is there a tunnel, or secret tunnel from this castle to underneath Clemetine?

[Immediately SNYDER covers his eyes, MAXWELL covers his mouth and SVEN covers his ears.]

Alice : That bad, huh?

Maxwell : [Moving his hands away] I think it is not so much a question of what, rather it is of who.

Harvey: [Peering through the telescope] Just how were you thinking we were going to make it through that lot? Just walk right through them?

[Both MAXWELL and SNYDER's faces light up at HARVEY's suggestion, and they turn to each other excitedly and talk in hushed tones for a good thirty seconds, before turning back, looking serious again.]

Maxwell : No, that probably wouldn't work.

Austin : [To Snyder, Maxwell and Sven] Who? What are you talking about? I asked about a tunnel! Is there one or not?

Harvey: You mean to say you haven't even got a strategy for us? Why the blazes did you let me sleep last night?! I should have been up all night, writing on whiteboards and plotting our assault!

Austin : [Obivously being very patient] So is there a tunnel from here to Clementine?

Maxwell : [Nervously] I don't know - is there? We, uh, we don't have any white boards, Mr. Snyder doesn't allow them. We have to use blackboards and chalk.

Snyder : I like the squeaky sound they make! And yes, we do have a plan.

Sven : It's a crazed and possibly suicidal attack by our troops to push a way through the Morcs for you. They're expecting a long siege - we're gonna take 'em by surprise and punch a hole right through the middle. Of course, that'll only buy you about two hours, after that they'll overthrow the city and the entire Realms will fall to Jerome, so no pressure. [Takes a huge bite out of some raw broccoli]

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Dur: [Pulls out his "Doctors Manual, a guide to ensure the life of you patients and protect you from the undeath of others," and begins flipping through it thoughtfully.] Perhaps we should come up with a strategy now then?

Harvey: Two hours is plenty of time for the Queens View Troop! When do we start?

Sven : [Claps Harvey on the back] Haw! That's the spirit. Unless you've got any special preparations we can leave here in ten seconds.

Harvey: [Ponders] How about it, troop? Do we have any unfinished business?

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Sven : Haw! I love this guy! [Gives Dur a reassuring and slightly painful shoulder squeeze] That is the plan!

Austin : Perhaps we could get the entire army to each dress up as one of us, that way the enemy will not know who the real Queens View party are! [Smiles, pleased with his idea, then frowns] Of course, none of them will ever manage to look as good as me, but the Morcs probably wont notice hopefully.

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Dur: [Sighs and closes his manual] Well, lets get this over with then, if we die I'd like to do so before lunch.

Sven : [Puts his arm around Alice, and addresses her] Good idea, Aus, but I'm afraid that not even the Morcs would fall for that one.

Alice : I'm Alice!

Sven : [Does a double take] Really?

[The party descend into the courtyard of Minus Thrift. There are tens of thousands of soldiers here, filling the courtyard and packing all the side streets. Everyone is cheering for the party. Right in the middle is a fancy looking vehicle, and standing beside that is IRVING WASHINGTON.]

Irving : Ee! But it's good to see you folks again!

Car

Irving Washington worked with the that they travelled

Clint: [Doing the "oh my god, I have to pee" dance.] Whoa! I have some unfinished business!

Alice : Oh, great, Clint - way to make us look like dorks in front of the army!

Austin : [To Irving, gestuting to the car] Does that really fly?

Clint: [Dashes off, returning three or four minutes later.] Right. NOW we're ready to go!

Irving : [To Austin] Sorry, lad, but no - the wings just make it look like it goes faster!

Harvey: Very fine carriage, good sir. It will serve us well on our most important of missions!

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Dur: [Raises an eyebrow] So, we are sacrificing function for form? Sounds a little back-asswards if you ask me.=20

Irving : Think of the press, lad! Think of the pictures of you and the others boldly being fired into the mob of rampaging Morcs!

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Austin : [Nevously to Irving] 'Fired'! You mean this carriage is to be fire from some form of arbalest with us aboard?

Irving : [Surprised] Ee, lad, that's exactly how it will work! [To Dur] If that's the case then you've got nothing to worry about, do you!

Harvey: No need to worry, Private Sleaze! Surely this carriage has been thoroughly tested and deemed fit for duty!

Clint: Besides, you can't tell me you've never wanted to fly, lawyer! It'll be fun! [To Irving.] Say, how do we land this thing?

Austin : It doesn't fly, it's a payload!

Irving : [Unperturbed at Austin's negativity, and giving two thumbs up to Clint, with a rather manic smile] Gravity!

Austin : [To Irving] Does it have airbags? Lots of them?

Irving : It sure does! [Opens what appears to be a glove compartment in the front, which is crammed full of sick bags, before turning back to Austin, beaming]

Austin : [To Irving] I meant air bags as in the large inflatable ones that stop you from dieing when you are in a crash. [Incredulously] For example, when, *gravity*, makes us crash into the ground.

Irving : Huh. Well, we had some lad, but well, we couldn't get the stains off from the test.

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Dur: [Swallows hard] I can only think of two kinds of stains left from such a test, neither of which seem very pleasant. On one hand, I'm a doctor and may be able to reattach any lost limbs, and on the other, maybe we should each bring a change of pants...

Clint: Airbags are for wusses anyway! What we need are parachutes. Got any of those?

Austin : [To CLint] That will only give the Morcs target practice with their bows and slings.

Alice : [Nods in agreement] That's right - we're much better off without them. This way the only thing they have for target practice is - uh, hm. gated and set into the The beach opens up

The Beach

Austin : [To Irving] Is your car amphibious?

Irving : Ee, lad, I don't know - I do think that she'd float, though.

Harvey: [Admiring] Well, is there anything that car can't do?!

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Dur: Oh yeah? [Dur says doubtfully] For how long?

Austin : Long enough to find out that Morcs are a preferable demise to sharks.

Irving : [Does a vague handwave to Dur] Couple of minutes. [Gets enthused at Harvey's words] Hardly anything, although it could do to have some more effective steering.

Alice : More effective? [Testing out the steering wheel, which comes off in her hands]

Irving : That's mostly decorative.

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Dur: [Looks a little panicked] If that thing is going anywhere near the water you can count me out end of the world or no!

Harvey: [To Dur] This is the end of the world we're talking about, Private! A soldier falls in line with the troop, even if it means getting a little damp!

Alice : [Nods in agreement] Don't worry, Dur, we'll try not to let you get too clean.

Austin : [Sniggers at Alice's joke] So, the plan is to be fired into the enemy in a carriage, from an arbalest. [Looks hopeless]

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Irving : [To Dur] Don't worry, lad, you're more likely to smash into the side of the hill than into the water. [Turns to Austin, holding out some leather hats] Chin up! We've got safety gear for you.

Alice : [Looks into one of the hats] Ew! What's this?

Irving : [Peers in] Ah! Don't mind if I do. [Scoops something out and puts it into a test tube] Good brain is hard to get, you know.

Austin : [Grimaces at his flying hat] I take it that these were used in testing too [Frowns and drops the hat into the car]

Irving : Not just those, these cool white [holds up some blood spattered white scarves] scarves, too!

Maxwell : [Steps in front of Irving] Er, yes, well, that's quite enough quality assurance, thank you. Once the Morcs start moving in to lay siege, we will be ready to send you out.

Austin : [Grimaces worriedly at the scarves. To Irving] Soyou have ironed out all of the 'teething troubles'?

Clint: He's just worried that he'll get bloodstains on his suit. You know how expensive dry-cleaning is these days! [Shakes his head sadly.] But I say it looks fun! [Hops into the car ready to go.]

Alice : That's the spirit, Stinky! [Hands the steering wheel to Irving and gets in] Now, how do we steer this thing?

Irving : Just hold on tight and hope to Phili it doesn't fall apart before it hits the ground!

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Dur: [Snatches the brain spattered helmet and sticks it on his head] Does it really matter when it falls apart?

Irving : [Stares at Dur for a moment] Hm. Hm. [Turns away to a blackboard and starts making out all sorts of crazy formulae, spending a good ten minutes on it, before turning back to Dur] No.

Harvey: [Nods] Well, then, it makes no difference. [To Sven] If the unspeakable happens, tell my wife I loved her! [Dons a helmet and a scarf]

Sven : [Claps Harvey on the back] Will do, Colonel!

Maxwell : We believe that the Jeromites and Morcs will surround the city tonight, and that several ship loads of Jeromite 3.0s will be arriving to join them. On the hills to the east of here are some enormous canons that will soon be trained on the city. Our plan is to get them to attack before they are fully ready, that way we can punch a hole in their defences and send you through.

Austin : [Looking around] A calculated retreat is not on the planning list then. [Carefully gets into the car, avoiding any mess and sitting carefully on a hand towel.]

Sven : Retreat? Haw! Never!

Alice : [Takes a look through her telescope] Yikes - they've got loads of ships. And, is that Faetan in one? Give me the finger?

Austin : [Sitting carefully in the car. To the others] Well come on then, we haven't got all day! We have a universe to save.

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Dur: Perhaps we should just save the world first....

Harvey: [To Dur] You've got to start thinking bigger, Private! You're with the Queens View troop now!

Austin : [To Dur] It's the same either way. To save the world we must defeat Athlacca, to save the universe we must defeat Athlacca. [Shrugs] I do hope our nascency fluid has not been tainted. [Looks low spirited]

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Harvey: [To Austin] Chin up, Private Sleaze! We've made it through some terrible scrapes before.

Austin : [To Harvey] Indeed. It is the scraping part that I do not desire.

Sven : Alright, my friends - it is time for me to enrage the Morcs. We've had the eggheads working on this idea for months. Watch closely.

[SVEN steps outside the gate and moons the Morcs.]

Austin : That took them months? I think the eggheads are housed too close to the bar [To Sven] You should insult their intelligence while you are there! --- F \ No newline at end of file

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Dur: [To the party] Wait, is he trying to anger the Morcs, or excite them? The last thing this city needs is thousands of horny pillaging Morcs laying siege to them! I'm starting to think that maybe we are the lucky ones... [Dur's hands drift protectively to his backside]

Clint: Don't give 'em ideas! Who knows what horrors they'll come up with next? ____________________________________________________________________________________ Luggage? GPS? Comic books?

Maxwell : Maybe we need someone who's better at being annoying? Someone that will enrage the Jeromites? Someone who will easily cause Jerome to attack prematurely? Hm, who could it be? [Looks at the party] Ah!

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Dur: [Whispering to Alice] I think he means you.

Clint: Nah. If anyone in this party knows all about being annoying and doing things prematurely, it's all you, bud! ____________________________________________________________________________________

Austin : [Ponders] What would really enrage Trindle?

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Maxwell : I mean all of you. I suspect that Jerome will become enraged at the slightest amount of taunting from you. Perhaps if you gave it a brief try?

Clint: You mean, we all stick our heads over the battlements, call him four-eyes, and he tries to kill us?

Maxwell : Not exactly. It seems that there is one person in the party that Jerome is, desirous of, and others that he particularly hates. It seems to me that if he were to see them behaving in a manner calculated to bring about some jealousy, well, we might elicit a reaction.

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Dur: [Sighs relieved believing he is safe] And what might that be?

Austin : [To Dur] He means that I should snog Alice in full view of Trindle. [Shrugs. Gracefully tries to give Alice a passionate misty sepia tonned romantic kiss infront of the open gates]

Alice : A kiss to start a war? Sure! [Returns the passionate kiss]

[The entire ground begins to shake and the air is filled with what sounds like thunder.]

Maxwell : [Opens the door a crack to reveal that there hundreds of thousands of Morcs and Jeromites charging across to the wall of the city] I think we have enraged them.

The Battle Scene

Austin : [Still snogging Alice]

Alice : [Keeps kissing Austin]

Snyder : [Angrily to Alice and Austin] You scumbags! Do I need to get a garden hose?

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Austin : [Goes on kissing Alice passionately]

Harvey: [Averts his eyes. Shifts uncomfortably. Scratches a sideburn. Glances at Alice and Austin kissing. Scratches a sideburn. Clears his throat. Clears his throat more loudly. Abruptly] That's quite enough, Private Sleaze! You've made your point! No need to deflower the girl!!

Snyder : [Still holding the hose] Let me at them!

Maxwell : Are you going to soak them with cold water?

Snyder : [Puzzled] Water?

[ALICE eventually pulls back, making a loud popping sound as she does.]

Harvey: [Gruffly] Right! Let's get moving!

[Everyone gets back into the car, which is pushed onto a huge catapult that is being wound up. Meanwhile, the ships strike land and even more Morcs pile out. SVEN leads the entire SNOT army out and they arrange themselves along the wall of the city.

Maxwell : [Clearly worried] Once they engage the Morcs, we'll send the cavalry out to punch a hole through. It's risky, but we have the greatest horserider in the Realms to lead them.

Updated Map

Harvey: Who's the greatest horserider in the Realms?

[A bunch of scantily dressed sexy girls appear.]

Girls : [Singing] Peter!

Alice : Who's the cat who won't cop out when there's danger all about?

Girls : [Singing] Peter!

[Enter PETER DEADPAN, leading the cavalry slowly into the courtyard. PETER is wearing a purple velvet suit, complete with a felt hat that has an enormous feather sticking out of it. The Morcs have now surrounded the SNOT army, who are standing their ground, hammering their swords against their shields, egged on by SVEN. The noise, even inside the walls, is almost deafening.]

Updated Map

Harvey: [Unimpressed] Oh, him. Of course.

Snyder : Who else?!

[The battle begins outside, with terrible sounds of mayhem coming from there.]

Maxwell : [To the party] Ready?

Alice : Uh, I guess we could do with some healing potions, right?

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Dur: Nonsense! Why would you need healing potions when you have a doctor on board! Launch us!!

Alice : Oh, that's right - Dur's a doctor. [To Maxwell] Better get us a bunch of them - stat!

Clint: With the kind of landing we're going to make, do you really think it'll matter?!

Alice : [Grabbing a bunch of healing potions] Fine, Stinky, I'll take yours!

Map

Harvey: Time's wasting, troop! Let's get those potions and get moving.

[ALICE passes out the potions so that everyone has two, just as the gates open and PETER leads the cavalry out. The party can see first hand that the SNOT army are not just holding the enormous Morc army, but slightly pushing them back. As the cavalry charge out, they are pushed back further, but the cannons on the hills begin to rain down on the gates and city.]

Maxwell : [To the party] This is our chance - they will push us back soon.

[The crossbow for firing the party is completely wound tight.]

Maxwell : Just one last, very, very important thing before you go.

Updated Map

Clint: [Pulling out a cigar to light up during the flight.] Oh yeah? What's that?

Maxwell : When you get a chance to - well, if you get a chance, which is not to suggest that I think the car will crash, rather that you're more likely to be killed by the Morcs, which is not to say that I think you will certainly be killed by the Morcs, in fact, I think that -

[MAXWELL is interrupted by the car being fired out the open gate and out through the gap created by PETER and the cavalry.]

Maxwell : [Turns to Irving in dismay] I wasn't ready!

Irving : Sorry lad! My hand slipped!

[Book V, Act XIII, Scene III. The Car. ALICE, AUSTIN, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, clinging on for dear life as the car speeds over the heads of the soldiers and Morcs. CLINT's now lit cigar flies out into the melee.]

Sven : [In the middle of killing a bunch of Morcs, pauses the catch the cigar] Haw! Thanks, Stinky! [Cuts a Morc's head off]

Alice : [Face contorted by the crazed g-forces, and shouting to be heard] Where did he say the brake was?

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Dur: [Shouting] Below us! [Points downwards towards the ground]

Harvey: [Looks down] Gah! That's going to smart!

Alice : Come on! Surely one of these levers [gestures to huge number of levers in the car] serves a purpose other than impaling passengers in the event of a crash? [Pulls one]

[A small cupboard opens to reveal a cup being filled up with coffee.]

Alice : Wow, that's really cool. [Picks up the cup, only for the coffee to go flying back and soaking everyone] Sorry!

Austin : [Just recovering from the kiss, snaps back to reality and deftly dodges the coffee. To Alice, smirking] Did the earth move for you to? [Looks down and notices that they are flying. Suprised] Oh gosh!

Alice : Look! There's Jerome!

[The party can see JEROME standing on the top of CLEMENTINE, he is holding the dagger of soul stealing and is in front of what appears to be a small altar. The party are clearly going to fall short of the hill.]

Alice : Maybe we'll squash him with the car!

Harvey: That's the spirit, niece! [Squints and stares at Jerome] Is that the dagger of sword stealing?! [pats his sword protectively]

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Dur: And then we can take his ruby slippers and go home to Kansas! No, wait... [Thinks] I must have just dreamed that. And you were there [points at Austin] and you [to Clint] and YOU! [Points at Harvey]

Alice : Oh, crap! He's got the dagger of soul stealing too - now we're totally screwed! [To Dur] You better not have been dreaming about me!

[Across the battle field, the party can see there are several locations where it looks as though something is about to burst up through the earth. Suddenly a number of huge tentacles, about twenty feet across, burst up through the earth. The last time the party saw something like this it was when they had travelled back in time and saw IOK try to bring SETH (the devil) to the surface of the earth. The party are coming down now, but haven't hit the earth yet.]

Alice : Oh no! Now this as well as him having those daggers?

Updated map

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Dur: Ha! [Dur scoffs at Alice] I said it was dream, not a nightmare.

Clint: [Impatiently.] Never mind that. We've got giant man-eating tentacles *and* an ubernerd to contend with!

Alice : And a mad doctor!

[The tentacles grow up even higher and start crashing down on the soldiers near the city, as well as against the city walls. The SNOT army is clearly being pushed back quickly. The party can see that there's another tentacle on top of CLEMENTINE, and that there are arcs of lightning bursting from it onto the scaffolding. A bunch of Morcs take aim at the car, but are squashed by it landing on top of them, right at the base of the scaffolding. Everyone is momentarily dazed from the crash, but no one is hurt.]

Harvey: [Rises to his feet with difficulty] How are you, troop? [offers a hand to Alice]

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Dur: [Looks dazedly at Alice] Mommy? I just had the strangest dream about a bunch of maniacal fools running around trying haphazardly to save the world! [His eyes take a moment to focus] Damn!

Clint: Oh, did anyone get the number of that carriage? [Gets up a mite unsteadily.]

Alice : [Ducks to avoid being hit by a crossbow bolt] Never mind that, Clint - did anyone get the number of that crossbow bolt?

[The party are at the bottom of the scaffolding, which towers above them. There are Morcs at the top, clearly ready to fire back down at them, while all around the tentacles are giving the SNOT army a real bashing, and forcing them back to the city gates.]

Alice : Let's climb! climbing, but it's okay to climbing. I'll wait posting each climbing

Harvey: [Grabs onto the scaffolding and starts climbing] Double time, troop! But watch your step, too! Remember the Alamode and the Main and the Lucy-Tanya!

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Dur: No I don't remember, what happened to them? [Starts climbing the scaffolding]

Climbing results

[A hail of arrows are fired at the party, aach of ALICE, CLINT and DUR climb up, while AUSTIN and HARVEY can't get any further.]

Alice : Ow! [Glances back to Harvey] Uncle Harvey, is this really the time to be talking about lesbians??

Clint: [Starts climbing as well.] Obviously, they were trying to climb a scaffold while being fired at by a mob of morcs, but they weren't fast enough and died.

Harvey: [Struggles to move up the ladder. To Alice, puzzled] I don't remember them, niece! Which battle was that?

Clint: [Firmly.] There's always time to be talking about lesbians, Bimbo!

Climbing results ### Alice (9) rolls 13 and stays put, and loses 3hp. ### Austin (15) rolls 17 and stays put, and loses 3hp. ### Clint (13) rolls 17 and stays put, and loses 3hp. ### Dur (15) rolls 9 and climbs up, and loses 5hp. ### Harvey (14) rolls 2 and climbs up, and loses 2hp.

Alice : [Shouting to Harvey] The battle of escaping from whatever bar Clint was in!

Harvey: [Triumphant at his progress, shakes his fist at the Morcs above] I'm coming for you, you bastards!

Clint: [Looks down at Austin with concern.] Hey, are you coming, lawyer? Get a move on! [Redoubles his efforts to get to the top.]

Climbing update ### Alice (9) rolls 10 and stays put, and loses 2hp. ### Austin (15) rolls 3 and climbs up, and loses 2hp. ### Clint (13) rolls 5 and climbs up, and loses 2hp. ### Dur (15) rolls 20 and slips, and loses 2hp. ### Harvey (14) rolls 1 and climbs up, and loses 3hp.

[AUSTIN, CLINT and HARVEY pull themselves up under the hail of bolts and arrows, while ALICE doesn't make any progress and DUR slips back. COARSE, a Morc that the party have encountered (and killed) a number of times, peers out over the scaffolding.]

Coarse : [Shouting angrily at Harvey] Hey! I know we're at war, but mind your language!

Austin : Aaagh! [As another arrow hits him] Another suit ruined! I'm certain that summoning Seth is against the Queens-View convention!

Austin : [To Coarse, angry at the destruction of the new suit] Piss off and stop fireing those dam bows!

Harvey: Well said, Private Sleaze! [continues climbing]

Austin : [To Harvey] Thank you, Colonel. [To Alice] Please excuse my sudden outburst.

Climbing update ### Alice (9) rolls 19 and slips, and loses 6hp. ### Austin (15) rolls 12 and climbs up, and loses 6hp. ### Clint (13) rolls 13 and climbs up, and loses 1hp. ### Dur (15) rolls 10 and climbs up, and loses 5hp. ### Harvey (14) rolls 7 and climbs up, and loses 3hp.

Coarse : You're only making things worse for yourselves!

[ALICE slips down while everyone else moves up one.]

Alice : Ow! Oh for God's sake, how could it get any worse?

Harvey: [Calls down to Alice encouragingly] Come on, my girl! You're a Short, by Phili, you can do it!

Austin : I thought old Chassers was comming along, for old times sakes?

thread-index: Acfg7PBYr6R0TvnoRGKQpDAzGrhjOAAAgyOg

Dur: [To Alice] You're not supposed to ask questions like that! Don't you know anything about dramatics!?

Climbing update ### Alice (9) rolls 10 and stays put, and loses 4hp. ### Austin (15) rolls 16 and stays put, and loses 6hp. ### Clint (13) rolls 20 and slips, and loses 6hp. ### Dur (15) rolls 5 and climbs up, and loses 2hp. ### Harvey (14) rolls 19 and slips, and loses 4hp.

Alice : [Calling up from down below] Only those of us who were here when he use the dagger of sword stealing, or soul stealing or whatever the hell it is - ow! [Shouts at the Morcs] That's really starting to hurt!

[The hail of bolts and arrows seems to increase, as each of CLINT and HARVEY are pushed back, although DUR moves forward.]

Coarse : [Triumphantly] Less profanity please!

Harvey: [To Coarse, as he slips] Damn your lecturing! You're distracting me!

thread-index: Acfg7/u/3HqLcYTuTwmEjXhm7P0ABAAAEa/w distracting >me!

Dur: I'm winning! I'm winning!

Austin : [To Dur] Tell that to the Morcs!

Climbing update ### Alice (9) rolls 11 and stays put, and loses 2hp. ### Austin (15) rolls 4 and climbs up, and loses 1hp. ### Clint (13) rolls 5 and climbs up, and loses 3hp. ### Dur (15) rolls 8 and climbs up, and loses 1hp. ### Harvey (14) rolls 17 and stays put, and loses 2hp.

Alice : Oh great. Not only am I going to be killed, he's going to get there first.

[Each of AUSTIN, DUR and CLINT move up.]

Coarse : [Looks down at Dur] And guess who's gonna give you your prize!

Harvey: [Tries to regain his grip] Damned slippery scaffolding!

Austin : [Glances around] Is there no ladder? [Sighs] A flying carriage, but no ladder!

Climbing update ### Alice (9) rolls 9 and climbs up, and loses 2hp. ### Austin (15) rolls 10 and climbs up, and loses 4hp. ### Clint (13) rolls 12 and climbs up, and loses 6hp. ### Dur (15) rolls 14 and climbs up, and loses 1hp. ### Harvey (14) rolls 6 and climbs up, and loses 2hp.

[The hail of arrows continues, but everyone manages to move up, with DUR making it to the top.]

Coarse : [Drawing his sword] We have a winnah!

Austin : [Quaffs a healing potion] I don't feel so good! [Breaks off an arrow that was sticking in his shoulder.]

Harvey: [To Dur] Hold steady, Private! We're coming!

Disposition-Notification-To: "Day, Kevin R. (Las Colinas) NA"

Dur: [Looks scared but with nowhere to run, he pulls his small dagger and says to coarse] Easy now, don't make me do something that you'll regret!

Climbing update> ### Alice (9) rolls 7 and climbs up, and loses 4hp. ### Austin (15) rolls 4 and climbs up, and loses 4hp. ### Clint (13) rolls 8 and climbs up, and loses 1hp. ### Harvey (14) rolls 19 and slips, and loses 1hp. ### Austin gains 8hp

[AUSTIN manages to drink his healing potion while ALICE and CLINT move further up. HARVEY, unfortunately slips back down. Up top, the MORCS are almost falling over themselves to get at DUR.]

Coarse : Damned humans - if that's what you are! [Swings at Dur]

[Two other Morcs drop their bows and draw their swords. They will be able to attack next round, but those climbing have a +1 modifier because the number of archers will drop.]

Harvey: [Bellowing] Stop shooting at us and face us like soldiers, you yellow-bellied bastards!

Disposition-Notification-To: "Day, Kevin R. (Las Colinas) NA"

Dur: [Chuckles sheepishly at the approaching Morc] The Colonel doesn't mean that, he means leave the nice doctor alone and jump to your deaths, that's really what he means.... [Dur Attempts to cast Hold Person on Coarse]

Climbing update ### Alice (9) rolls 17 and stays put, and loses 6hp. ### Austin (15) rolls 12 and climbs up, and loses 5hp. ### Harvey (14) rolls 7 and climbs up, and loses 1hp.

Coarse : [Stops fast] What the hell -

[MORC1 and MORC2 attack DUR just as CLINT climbs over the top.]

Alice : Nearly there!

Disposition-Notification-To: "Day, Kevin R. (Las Colinas) NA" top.

Dur: [To Coarse] I warned you!=20 [Dur will try to push Coarse over the edge of the scaffolding IF no one is below him. If someone from the queen's view party is below coarse and would be injured or knocked from the scaffolding as well, he tries to stick him with his dagger shouting "Yay! Time to practice my open heart surgery!"]

Dur: [To Alice] Nearly only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades! Move your asses before they cut mine to pieces!

Austin : [Quaffs another healing potion, dodgeing arrows as best he can]

Clint: [Eyes Austin for a moment, then shrugs and hands him a healing potion.] Here. You look like you need this more than me, ya pansy. Look for a way to get Alice up here - maybe a rope or something - and I'll go kick some ass! [Moves to help Dur.]

Climbing update ### Alice (9) rolls 5 and climbs up, and loses 4hp. ### Harvey (14) rolls 7 and climbs up, and loses 2hp. ### Austin drinks a potion, +8 hp [DUR tries to grab COARSE, but he moves away at the last moment.]

Coarse : Kill him!

[CLINT arrives at the top of the scaffolding, which now has sparks leaping across it and throws himself onto the Morcs near DUR, just as AUSTIN gets to the top and knocks back another healing potion. The Morcs around them change weapons too, so now there are fewer firing down. Those on the hill can see that they are about fifty feet from JEROME, and that he is holding BEAUCAPHALUS aloft, and that there are sparks raining down from the huge tentacle on the hill onto BEAUCAPHALUS and then onto the scaffolding.]

New map

Harvey: [Watching the sparks] What the blazes is happening?! Curse this scaffolding!

Dur: Don't worry Clint, I won't let them kill you! [Looks to Austin as he scrambles up and looks thoughtful] I guess I won't let them kill you either...

Clint: Oh, well, now I feel safe. But what the hell is Jerry doing? [Melees with the morcs.] ____________________________________________________________________________________

Climbing update ### Alice (9) rolls 17 and stays put, and loses 1hp. ### Harvey (14) rolls 7 and climbs up, and loses 2hp.

Coarse : Yeah? And who's going not let us not kill you? []Looks puzzled for a moment Get him! ### Coarse + Morc1 attack Dur ### Coarse rolls 4, miss. ### Morc1 rolls 15, hit, surplus +2 ### Hit table 6+2=8. Damage 9. ### Dur attacks Coarse rolls 7 miss. ### Morc2 + Morc3 attack Clint ### Morc2 rolls 12, hit, surplus 0. ### Hit table 7+0. Damage 8. ### Morc3 rolls 17, hit, surplus +3. ### Hit table rolls 15+3=18. Damage 17. ### Clint rolls 6, miss. ### Morc4 and Morc5 attack Austin ### Morc4 rolls 15, hit, surplus +2. ### Hit table rolls 19+2=critical hit. ### Critical hit table 15. Lose 27hp. ### Morc5 rolls 17, hit, surplus +3. ### Hit table 11+3=14. Damage 12.

[HARVEY gets onto the hill as the Morcs engage CLINT, AUSTIN and DUR, all of whom get hit, with AUSTIN falling to the ground, covered in wounds.]

Alice : [Red faced and panting like crazy] Hey! No fair! I wanna see what's going on!

Harvey: [Charges the Morcs, attacking them with his sword] This is for Private Sleaze!

Dur: Don't worry colonel, I'll tend to Sleaze! [Kneels by Austin and casts *Cure Serious Wounds* forgetting *Cure Disease*]=20

Clint: [Enraged, continues to struggle with the morcs.] This is for the lawyer, Phili rest his soul!

Climbing update ### Alice (9) rolls -2 and climbs up, and loses 3hp.

[As soon as DUR gets close to AUSTIN it is clear that he's gone beyond help. The Morcs attack again.]

### Coarse + Morc1 attack Dur ### Coarse rolls 1, critical miss! ### Morc1 rolls 10, hit, surplus 0. ### Hit table 11. Damage 11. ### Dur attacks Coarse rolls 2 miss ### Morc2 + Morc3 attack Clint ### Morc2 rolls 13, hit, surplus 0. ### Hit table 2+0. Damage 4. ### Morc3 rolls 19, hit, surplus +3. ### Hit table rolls 13+3=16. Damage 11. ### Clint rolls 15, hit, surplus +1 ### Hit table 19+1=20. Critical hit. ### Critical hit table 19. Cuts his head off. ### Morc4 and Morc5 attack Harvey ### Morc4 rolls 1, critical miss.. ### Morc5 rolls 15, hit, surplus +2. ### Hit table 5+2=7. Damage 8.

Coarse : You fools! You'll never defeat us! [Swings at Dur and misses, letting his sword fly out of this hand and out over the edge of the hill]

[Each of DUR, CLINT and HARVEY get hit, with CLINT looking decidedly unhealthy. CLINT manages to hit one of the Morcs, MORC3, and slices his head clean off.]

Alice : [Still on the scaffolding] Hey! The sword nearly hit me! hill

Dur: [Decides to use the newly prepared spell on Clint instead]=20

Harvey: [Cheers when he sees MORC3's head fly] Come on, troop, we've got them right where we want them now! [continues attacking, swinging at the nearest Morc]

Climbing update ### Alice (9) rolls 7 and climbs up, and loses 2hp.

[DUR casts Cure Serious Wounds on CLINT, just as ALICE gets to the top and surveys the scene.]

Alice: [Holding Coarse's sword in her hand] Right! This hit me on the head and could have had my eye out - who's responsible?

Coarse : [Embarrassed] I'm sorry.

Alice : [Spots Jerome with Beaucaphalus] We've got to get Jerome! [Throws Coarse's sword high in the air towards Jerome, causing everyone to watch it fly through the air in slow motion]

Harvey: [Watches the sword with great anticipation] Thaaaat'sss myyyy giiiirllll!

Coarse : [Calling out] Nooooooooo!

[Everyone watches, fascinated by the sword spinning slowly and dramatically in the air.]

Boddy : [Also looking up, checks his watch] Oh man, is this battle going to go on all day?

Harvey: [To Boddy] You're free to leave at anytime, you know!

Coarse : [Irritated, to Harvey] Sh! This is a crucial moment - we're concentrating on the sword!

[Clunk. The hilt of the sword hits BODDY on the forehead, landing a good twenty feet away from JEROME.]

Boddy : Ow! Hey, that really hurt!

Alice : Gah! I guess I never too good at throwing stuff.

Jerome : [Glances back over his shoulder and sees the party for the first time] So, you made it this far. [Approaches the party, and starts speaking, but can't be heard over the sound of the sparks and lightning that are crashing around him and on to the scaffolding]

[Book V, Act XIII, Scene IV. The Hot Air Balloon. ALICE, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, hanging on to the edge of a hot air balloon basket that is travelling over rolling green hills. It is heading towards a large walled house, and will easily clear the wall, although the party need to get into it to avoid being hit by the wall.]

Alice : What the hell? We were just on a hill with Jerome, right?

Chastity : [Screams like a nun] Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!

Alice : [Pulls herself into the basket] When did any of us get here? And where the hell is here?

Harvey: [Climbs into the basket. Puzzled] Perhaps this is the afterlife? [Tries to help Chastity into the basket] Good Sister! We need spiritual guidance!

Alice : What happened to Aus? Is he okay?

Chastity : [Scrambing furiously into the basket. Wheezing, looking around. Pauses to catch her breath] This may well be heaven, Colonel, [Glances around] Especially since Mr Sleaze is not present. [Dabs her brow daintly with a fresh teatowel] But I have no recollection of being close to death. [Takes in the view]

Chastity : [To Dur, cuffing him accross the ear] Death is no joking matter master Dur! Even if it is Mr Sleazes'.

Harvey: [Bellows] You show some respect, quack! Private Sleaze has been with this troop for more than two years, and he died bravely and so we could [looks around] make it to safety in this hot air balloon!

Alice : [To Dur, trying to sound menacing] How would [emphasis] you like to be okay, Dur? And by okay I mean thrown from a very high balloon? [Looks over the side] Uh, actually, maybe we're not that high after all.

[The balloon is losing height, and looks as though it will soon crash into the nearby house.]

Alice : Anyone know how to steer this thing? Or apply the brakes?

Harvey: It's all about ropes and flame, isn't it? [quickly looks around for ropes and flame]

Dur: [Looks around nervously] Easy everyone, I was only trying to lighten the mood. You know what they say 'laughter is the best medicine.'

Alice : [Enraged] Well, it probably is when the only person with medical training around is you! And lighten the mood? How about we lighten the balloon?

Chastity : [Urgently] Perhaps we should brace ourselves for a crash landing! If the men could brace themselves against the basket, we ladies, with our lighter frames, could stand in the middle and be cushioned from the worst of the impact!

Clint: [Brooding in a corner, he straightens. and braces himself.] If you say so, Chas. I say, we've survived Alice's driving, we can bloody well survive a balloon crash!

Alice : [Raises an eyebrow at the "lighter frame" remark] Good idea, Chas!

[The balloon keeps heading towards the house, and the party can see that there is a balcony that they are headed directly towards. There is a woman here with her back to the party, leaning back against the rail smoking.]

Harvey: Dear God! Is that woman on fire?!

Alice : Forget that! What about her hairy face?!

[The balloon crashes into the balcony, sending the woman diving for cover.]

Chastity : [To Alice] Silly girl, that, is the back of her head! [Clambers onto the balcony.]

[The woman turns to look at the party. She looks identical to ALICE.]

Alice2 : Hey! What the hell are you trying to do?

Dur: [Nearly has a heart attack] As if one wasn't bad enough?! Are we in Hell?

Harvey: [To Alice2, astonished] Who are you?!

Alice2 : Not someone who crashes into someone who's have a cheeseratte, that's for sure! Who are [emphasis] you? [Looks at Dur, with an undeniably sexy and predatory look] Mm-mm. And who's the geek?

Dur: [Is not sure whether to look indignant or afraid for his life] Geek?! I'll have you know that I am a trained doctor!

Chastity : [Wiping some of the dirt from Dur's face with a handkerchief] Not house trained I hasten to add! {Scoldingly to Dur Cleanliness is next to Godliness! And you, young man, are very very far from God's side!

Alice2 : Doctor, eh? I love doctors. [To Chastity] Not a medical doctor, though, right?

Alice : [Rolls her eyes] Hardly!

Harvey: [To Alice] Young lady, can't you see you are the spitting image of my own dearest niece [pats Alice2's hand affectionately]? There's some tomfoolery afoot, what!

Alice : Hey!

Alice2 : Hey!

Dur: Of course I'm a medical doctor! [To Chastity] What in the blazes!

Chastity : [Still trying to get some of the tougher grime off Dur's face. To Dur] Of course you are dear, of course you are.

Alice2 : Oh, well [shrugs, disinterested] whatever.

Harvey: [To Alice2] What is your name, miss?

Chastity : [To Harvey] Colonel! I would have thought that you would recognise your own niece! [Looks concerened. To Alice2] You are Alice Basset-Short are you not?

Alice2 : I sure am. Who the hell are you? [Looks Alice, who's wearing different but stylistically identical clothes, and rolls her eyes] Nice duds.

Alice : Hey! Someone who dresses like a slut criticising me? Huh!

Dur: Perhaps they are evil twins!

Alice : She doesn't look anything like me! Just take a look at the mug on this girl -- the jutting eyebrows, the simian forehead, the idiotic grin. Why she has a face only a mother could love [dramatic pause] on payday!

Alice2 : For someone who's about to take a dive into the garden, [gestures to the garden, which is full of dead and dying plants] you're talking big, bitch.

Chastity : [To Alice and Alice2] Now now! That's no way for young ladies to behave! It is not the done thing to call oneself bad names! [To Alice2] This is youself, Alice Bassett-Short, [Turns to Alice] Meet yourself. [impatiently] Well, say hello, properly and nicely!

Alice : [Hands on hips] This idiot bears no resemblance to me!

Alice2 : [Hands on hips] This idito bears no resemblance to me!

Chastity : [Looksing over the balcony. To Alice, 1 & 2] Alice, is this the Basset-Short family home?

Harvey: [Bellows] That's quite enough of this bickering, Alices! Now, [to Alice2] would you kindly tell us just where we are [thinks a moment] and perhaps what year it is?

Alice2 : [To Harvey, waving her hand in front of her face] Stop your shouting, old man, and close your mouth before I faint from your awful stinky breath. Who the hell are you people? [To Chastity] Of course not!

Harvey: [Shocked] Stop my--OLD MAN?! Dear girl, don't you recognize your own uncle? [Looks for a flicker of recognition. Hopefully] Uncle Colonel Harvey Kingston-Short III??

Dur: Who are we?! [Dur asks indignantly] Why we're Team Awesome! Who are YOU!

Alice2 : Team Awesome? What the hell would a gay dance troupe be doing here? In a hot air balloon? [Looks at her watch] At [emphasis] this time of day? [Looks Harvey up and down, unimpressed] Of course I do - and you, sir [prods him in the chest] are not he!

Dur: [To Harvey] Perhaps there are doubles of all of us here...

Harvey: [To Alice2] Young lady, we are [gestures to each in turn] Sister Chastity Browne, Private Clint Scar, [hesitates at Dur] er, New Recruit, and Alice Bassett-Short. Do you recognize any of us? Any of our names?

Chastity : [To Alice2] He most certainly is! And I am Sister Chastity, and this is Mr Clint Scar. Unfortunately Mr Sleaze is not with us, any longer. On 22/08/07, Heather wrote:

Alice2 : Oh please. You look nothing like them. The not-real-doctor there couldn't be more wrong. [Looks Alice up and down] And come on, we look nothing alike.

[The two are, of course, almost identical, except that ALICE2 is wearing more makeup which is slightly sluttier than ALICE, that her chest is noticeably large, and that her clothes are that little bit trashier.]

Alice2 : You know, they are all inside there. [Juts a thumb back towards the room that this balcony is off]

Chastity : [Alarmed] Two Queens-View parties! Surely not! [Goes inside] What on earth is going on?

Alice2 : Lunch, I think.

[The windows are heavily tinted so it's impossible to see in. There is a glass door here, though.]

Harvey: Come on, troop! Let's get to the bottom of this.

Alice : Good idea!

[The party head in, leaving ALICE2 outside.]

Alice2 : What a pack of wankers.

[Book V, Act XIII, Scene V. The Dining Room. ALICE, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, having just arrived in from the balcony. There is a huge feast laid out on the table, consisting of steaks, chops, a soused pigs head, complete with apple, golden honeyed locusts, jellied eels, thrushes ankles, snakes feet, crispy popadoms, curried brussel sprouts and pickled goats' eyes. Sitting at the head of the table is DR. JEROME K. TRINDLE, BSc, PhD.]

Jerome : [Smiling as he sees the party] Ah! Good to see you friends!

Chastity : [To Jerome, suprised] Hello, I did not expect to see you here.

Jerome : I live here, Sister!

Dur: [Confused] Where exactly is "here"?

Jerome : My house.

Harvey: [Cautiously] And you know us, but the other Alice doesn't? Why is that?

Jerome : Other Alice? Colonel, Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD must admit, he is confused, for there is just one beautiful and graceful Alice.

Alice : [Eating some snakes feet, with a bunch of them spilled on her chin and shirt] That's right!

Harvey: [In a loud whisper] Niece, don't eat any of this food! [Absently starts snacking on honeyed golden locusts] How do we know it's safe?

Jerome : [Surprised and slightly amused] Safe? Of course it's safe Colonel - Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD is hardly likely to poison his own party, is he? [Looks at Dur] Good afternoon sir.

Dur: [Jumps slightly] Errr... Is it afternoon already? [Looks about] Looks at their doubles, I thought THEY were your party?

Jerome : [Glances behind him for a second, before looking back at Dur] Er, they are.

Chastity : [To Jerome] What he means is that we are not your party, but another Queens View party, [Pauses to think about it] Perhaps if the other Alice would come in from the balcony, things would be clearer. [Calls out to Alice2] Alice, be a dear and pop in here for a moment.

[Time passes, and nothing happens. Everyone goes to the window and looks out. There's no sign of the other ALICE.]

Jerome : So, you are not the Queens View party? That seems unlikely - and less likely still that you would tell Jerome of this.

Dur: [Looks at the empty balcony and then back at Alice] Why don't YOU ever do that?=20

Chastity : [To Jerome] Oh we are the Queens View party, just a different Queens View party. Why, only minutes ago I was heal the wounded at a furious battle to save the world, in a small makeshift field hospital in the besieged Minas Thirith. [Glances out of the window] Where did the balloon go?

Alice : Because then I wouldn't get to hear your beautiful nasally whine.

Jerome : [Furrows his brow] A different Queens View party, but yet [emphasis] the Queens View party? Good Sister, Doctor Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD is confused.

[There is no sign of the balloon.]

Harvey: [To Jerome] Then, for the first time in a long time, we have something in common, Trindle! I suppose you're going to say you haven't gone bad after all?

Jerome : Well, Jerome was going to ask what on earth is going on - but as it appears that he is being accused of something then instead he will concentrate on that. Dr. Jerome K. Trindle has not gone bad - at all.

Dur: Then what was that whole "lay siege and try to kill everyone" show about?

Chastity : [To the Party] The worrying thing is that the party from this place has dissapeared, and I would guess that they have appeared at the battle scene that we just left. [Looks horrified] I do hope they survive. [Smiles] Of course, I expect that that Alice, the other one, may see Dr Trindle in fairer light, and that may indeed turn his blacked heart.

Jerome : [To Dur] Jerome has no idea, but suspects it was something to do with laying siege and killing everyone. [To the party] Jerome is confused. Perhaps you should explain what you think is going on? --- F \ No newline at end of file

Harvey: [Scratching a sideburn] Well, you, or someone exactly like you, used to be part of this troop. Then [vaguely] something happened in Dytopia and you, or the other you, went bad. Since then, you've been a real bastard, killing babies and sorts of horrible things. We were in a battle with you just before we crashed here in a hot air balloon and met the [considers his words carefully] other more peppery Alice. And you, the confused and possibly not evil, Trindle.

Jerome : Babies? Jerome loves babies! [Adding quickly] In a purely paternal way, of course, not in a cannibalistic one. It seems quite odd that you arrived here by balloon yet there is none to be seen. Jerome is most troubled to hear this, and wonders why there should be two parties, particularly if one isn't a group of Shapeshifters.

Harvey: We bested the Shapeshifters months ago!

Jerome : Interesting. Jerome has no memory of that event.

Harvey: Well, why don't you tell us what you do remember? What's the last thing you did with this troop?

Jerome : The last thing Jerome remembers is getting on board the Titan Ic, setting sail for Delerium. [Muses] Which makes it all the more curious that Jerome now finds himself in his house. Austin, Chastity

Chastity : [To Jerome] Well, Dr Trindle, for us that was some years ago, although I am not exactly sure how long. Colonel, do you recall?

Dur: [Panicking] Oh no! I have no recollection of those events at all! I must be losing my memory!

Alice : Let's hope you forget how to be a bitch. [To Chastity] That was about two and a half years ago, although, remember, two years of that passed in two days for us because of that whole [vague handwaving] time dilation thing in the Interior.

Harvey: It's a wonder any of us know what day of the week it is!

Clint: [Puzzled.] Hell, now that you mention it... [Pauses.] Could this have something to do with that sword-stealing thing?

Jerome : Up to your old habits, Mr. Scar?

Chastity : [To Jerome and the Party] I thought that the evil Dr Trindle had a sword of *soul* stealing? [Looks utterly confused] Never mind.

Clint: [Shrugs.] That too!

Jerome : Dagger of soul stealing? Jerome hasn't seen that since Dangsten killed Iok with it.

Harvey: [To Jerome] There's something mighty strange going on here, Trindle! Perhaps you'd better stay with us a while so we can investigate.

Jerome : Colonel, while Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD appreciates that you may believe that you have witnessed some bad behaviour by him, there is no need to be so discourteous. I would be more than happy with stay with you while you investigate. Perhaps you would like something to eat before going any further?

Alice : [Looking like she's eaten way too many snakes' feet] Well, I'm okay, I'm not really hungary. I mean, Hungarian. No, I mean hungry. [Gives a huge burp] 'scuse me.

Chastity : [Scoldingly] Oh Alice! Do remember your manners! Men do not like such base and uncouth behaviour.

Harvey: Quite right, good sister, though my dear niece is such a pretty thing, I expect most men won't care one whit [beams and winks at Alice]! More importantly, let's eat! [sits down and begins noisily devouring alarming amounts of food]

Jerome : [Crunching on a pig's ear] Jerome must confess - he is most disturbed by your claims of his change in behaviour. He is most keen to sort it out.

Harvey: [Wisely] Some kind of time-traveling alternative past mumbo jumbo, I'd reckon. We've been through it all before, and [jaw drops]--am I married in this reality?! What's become of my bride?

Jerome : Not that Jerome is aware of, Colonel.

Dur: [Thinks, his face sewed up as if in pain] But... if this is all different.... then the group never would have met me! A horrifying thought indeed, how this group managed without an able doctor. Tsk tsk.=20

Harvey: We've got to get to the bottom of this! Eat up, troop, and let's move out!

Alice : [With the emphasis on the S] ManageS.

Jerome : Well said, Colonel. [Goes to the door, which is ajar] What are we looking for?

Harvey: [Puzzled, ponders a moment] Answers, of course! We've got to figure out how we all got here, and what the hell is going on!

Jerome : Yes, yes, of course. [Pulls the door open to reveal a bathroom, even though this appears to be the only door leading out of the dining room.]

[Lying on the bathroom floor covered in blood is LUCY. She is wearing her wedding dress and looks to have been slashed to death in the same sort of frenzied manner in which she was killed on her wedding day.]

Jerome : Well, that's rather odd. wedding day.

Harvey: [Whips out his sword. To Jerome] You bastard! Why did you do it?!

Jerome : [Jumps back in surprise and fear] Do what? Colonel, please control yourself!

Harvey: [Resheathes his sword but keeps a hand on it. Cautiously] You did this, at least where we come from. [moves to look closer at Lucy]

Jerome : But that's hardly a reason to threaten me, Colonel! [Composes himself] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD is beginning to wonder if you really are the good Colonel, good Colonel.

Chastity : Oh my! Don't look Alice [Tries to turn Alice to face the other way. To Jerome] In our reality, you murdered this woman, Lucy, on the eve of her wedding, she was to marry Mr Sleaze.

Alice : [Watching the whole sorry scene in the mirror] Gee, thanks, Chas.

Jerome : What? What woman? Lucy who?

Harvey: [Gestures to Lucy] This woman!

Clint: Well, not really *that* woman - she hasn't been dead long enough! But our version of you killed our version of her.

Jerome : [Looks directly at Lucy] I don't see any woman!

Harvey: [Astonished] No? [attempts to touch Lucy's foot]

[HARVEY gives her foot a nudge.]

Jerome : [Mopping his brow] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc, PhD is very concerned. Partly because of this woman you speak of, but also party because the door from the dining room never lead to the bathroom before - nor was there a second door leading out of the bathroom.

Clint: Aww, hell. This is another one of those "and then things got REALLY weird" days. [Massages his temples.] What do we do with the stiff, Harv?

Harvey: [Carefully steps over Lucy to open the other bathroom door] Phili only knows what we'll find behind this door!

Chastity : [Checks Lucy's pulse. To Jerome] We can all see Lucy's body lieing right here in the bathroom.

[LUCY is definitely dead, and has been for quite some time given how cold the body is.]

Jerome : [Getting a little pale] Perhaps we should continue?

[HARVEY pushes the other door, which was also already open, to reveal a kitchen beyond.]

Alice : [Trying not to look at Lucy] Jeez, Jerome, who on earth designed this place? You have to go through the bathroom to get from the kitchen to the dining room?

Harvey: [Steps into the kitchen, relieved] This room seems harmless enough. Come on, troop, let's investigate.

Dur: I dunno Colonel, most bathrooms seem harmless but it appears this one killed this poor lady!

Jerome : [Looking around the kitchen uneasily] So, uh, do you see any dead bodies here?

[The kitchen is very bare. Many of the cupboards are open and, at least at first glance, seem to be empty. There is one other door here, which is slightly ajar.]

Clint: I don't see anything here at all! Who ever heard of an empty kitchen?!?

Jerome : [Opening a few cupboards] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD is confused. The kitchen is normally very well stocked - particularly with energy drinks and power bars, [by way of explanation] the food of choice for all self respecting geeks.

Chastity : [To Jerome] Well, my third husband, George, always said, "empty kitchen, empty stomach!". [Tuts as she looks at the bare cuppboards]

[CHASTITY checks a number of cupboards, all of which are absolutely bare. Everyone is momentarily startled by a the sound of water gushing from the bathroom. Enter ALICE, from the bathroom, wiping her hands.]

Alice : What? I had to pee!

Chastity : [To Alice] But you didn't have to tell everyone about it, dear.

Alice : Well, excuse me, Sister! Unlike some, I'm not ashamed of my bodily functions! bodily >functions!

Dur: Well.... maybe you should be.

Alice : I see that it's a strategy that's served you well.

Chastity : [Haughtily] it is nothing to be ashamed of, it is simply not lady like to speak of such things in public!

Alice : Ah, so that's why he doesn't like to speak of them in public!

Jerome : [Also checking the cupboards] Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD must admit, he has no explanation for why these cupboards are so bare. Since he replaced his old house keeper, Mrs. Hubbard, they have been kept well stocked.

Dur: Perhaps all of the food was used in the feast in the other room?

Harvey: [Suspiciously] Who's this new housekeeper?

Jerome : Mrs. Miggins, but she has been employed here for years. It is unlikely that every last scrap of food would have been used in the feast. [Opens a cupboard that is as bare as the rest] This is where Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD likes to keep his Fountain Due. It is never empty.

Alice : Uh, it is now.

Jerome : Indeed.

Chastity : [To Jerome] Are there still shape shifters still at large in this time?

Clint: I don't remember the shape shifters being big Fountain Due fans, Chas... ____________________________________________________________________________________

Dur: I'm sure with as many bumps on the head you've taken there are lots of things you don't remember. But this place is getting odder by the second. =20

Jerome : [To Chastity] Indeed they are, good Sister. Do you think they could be behind this general weirdness and Fountain Due larceny?

Harvey: [Looks at Jerome closely] It might explain a thing or two!

Jerome : [Steps back] Good Colonel! Please be assured, [points at himself] this is the real Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD.

Alice : [Nods] Check out his neck zits - sure proof that he's not a shapey.

Chastity : [To Jerome] Possibly, Dr. Trindle, but it does appear as though time and space have become muddeled up. Only minutes ago we where in a a battle at Minus Tirith, then speaking to Alice's double on the Balcony, then you, as you used to be, and the bathroom being off the dining room and the kitchen. All most odd. [Smiles] But I expect the Colonel can fix it!

Harvey: Not to worry, good Sister! [Looks around for another door] Let's continue investigating!

Alice : [Nods at Chastity's words] Uncle Harvey's really good at DIY! He made me a bird house for my ninth birthday. [Face drops a little] Unfortunately there was no way for birds to get in. [Face drops a little more] Or out. How he managed to brick them in there we'll never know.

[There is one other door here, in the opposite wall to the one that the party came through. This one is also slightly ajar.]

Clint: [Moves up to the ajar door.] Hey, what's through here. [Flexes his door-kicking foot and looks at Jerome pleadingly.] ____________________________________________________________________________________

Jerome : [Shrugs] As unlikely as it may seem, Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD must confess, Mr. Scar, that he has no idea what lies beyond that door. By all means, apply your boot to the door.

Alice : [To Dur] He can also use them to kick things!

Harvey: Kick away, Private Scar!

Alice : [Turns away, fingers in her ears as though there's going to be an explosion] Stink in the hole!

Clint: [Happy now, gives the door a firm booting.] God, I love this job!

[CLINT smashes the door off its hinges and knocks it into the next room. Although it is clearly on the same level, the next room looks, rather inexplicably, like a basement. It is dark and dank, has two tiny windows on one side and a door in the opposite wall. The basement is pretty dirty, but enormously cluttered, with a huge number of boxes stacked up all over the place.]

Harvey: Careful, troop! Nothing good ever happened in a basement!

[The party slowly move into the basement, and are almost immediately covered in an avalanche of boxes.]

Dur: [From under the boxes] It's kinda cozy actually, once you get used to it!=20

Clint: [Hauls himself to his feet.] Stop lollygagging, you! What's with all this crap, Jerry? Or don't you know?

Jerome : [Clearly disturbed, as he pushes some boxes out of his way] I don't know, Mr. Scar! I don't even know why the basement is beside the kitchen, never mind why it is in such disarray.

Alice : [Who clearly knocked over all the boxes by picking up one at the bottom] Look at this! It's a box of photos of us on the moon. [Shows them to the party] Who could have taken these?

[The photos, which would have been taken in Book I, Act IX, appear genuine. They are of the party as it was then (ALICE, AUSTIN, CLINT, HARVEY, CHASTITY and JEROME) and the various people they dealt with on the moon.]

Chastity : [Cuffs Clint around the back of the head briskly] Language Mr Scar! There are ladies present!

Harvey: [Struck by inspiration] Are we looking at our memories here, troop? Trindle before he went bad [gestures to Jerome], poor dear Lucy on her wedding day, that sort of thing? Maybe we're all dead and our lives are flashing before our eyes at the same time!

Alice : I don't know, Harvey, I've certainly never seen this room before. Although... hang on a second. [Lies down on her back] Nope!

Dur: [Stands up yawning as if he had just taken a nap] Perhaps you are on the right track their Colonel, accept for one thing, my memories don't include you lot up until a day ago. Perhaps we are reliving the mental memories of just one person. [Points at Jerome] Last from Kevin #98

Chastity : [Nods] Indeed Mr Dur. Most astute for a change. [To the party] These are probably Austin's memories. Lucy's death, Alice smoking a cheesearette on the balcony, a balloon ride, hiding in the basement from the authorities.

Alice : Could be, Chas, but why was she in the bathroom? [Looks through the boxes and lifts out another one] Here's another - it's full of pictures of us on the Hamstrain. Wow, my hair looks really great there, doesn't it?

Chastity : [To Alice] Perhaps she was in the bathroom because it would be much easier to clean. You know how vain Mr Sleaze is. [Opens a box and has a look at the photos]

Harvey: Maybe they're Trindle's memories, then? It is his house, after all.

Alice : [Peering over Chastity's shoulder] They could be, Harv. What do you think Jerome? Do remember all this stuff?

[CHASTITY flicks through a bunch of photographs taken of the party at BLACK's house having dinner in Book I, Act V.]

Jerome : Indeed. Jerome remembers all of these events quite vividly.

Dur: Perhaps this is where the 'good' part of Jerome is locked up. Unless this man is a mere memory of his former self....=20

Jerome : Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD certainly doesn't feel like a mere memory, but certainly has no memories of the events of which you speak.

Alice : If he's just a memory then can a memory have memory?

Dur: [Stares at Alice] What?

Alice : [Gasps in horror and points behind Dur] Gasp!

Dur: [Cringes a bit] I'm afraid to look! What is it? A spider?!

Alice : [Frustrated] Oh for God's sake, will you just turn and look so I can hide under a pile of boxes?

Chastity : Well it would help us a great deal if we could get our evil Jerome to remember what a jolly plesant gentleman he was. Perhaps we could take these photos back with us somehow?

Harvey: By the saints, that's a very fine idea, sister! I believe you have more in common with my bride than you first realized. She is constantly setting about trying to rehabilitate troubled boys!

Dur: [Looks away from Alice to Harv] Is that what they're calling it these days?

Alice : What did they call it when you did it, Dur?

Chastity : [Still quite pale and sick looking, holding a handkerchief to her mouth as if about to vomit. Collects herself. To Harvey] We are not even vaguely alike, colonel. [Still looks shocked at being likened to a prostitute. Composes herself but still looks pale]

Jerome : Married? Why, Colonel, that's wonderful news!

Alice : [Looking at another box] Uh oh. [Turns the photos to the party showing that they are of Lucy the day she was killed]

Jerome : [Goes ashen faced] Oh my God!

Chastity : [To Jerome, caringly] That is Lucy, that who we can see in the bathroom. [Comforts Jerome with a hug]

Clint: Are we sure these are memories? Why would we have both a body and a photo of the body?! [Pulls out a cigar and chews it thoughtfully.]

Alice : Yeah, because the really odd thing about have a bride slashed to death in your bathroom is also having a photo of t!

Jerome : [Returns Chastity's hug] Jerome doesn't understand - why doesn't he remember any of this?

Chastity : [To Jerome] Perhaps because it has not yet happened in your life, it's one possible future for you.

Clint: Or maybe you just have amnesia!

Chastity : No, I don't think so. This is more like the Philimas play, 'Crooge and the ghost of Philimas past'. [Looks at Clint's blank expression] It is the play where the main character sees how his future will be, if he is greedy and bad to people.

Dur: Unless we are thinking about this situation all wrong. Perhaps this Jerome is the embodiment of his own innate goodness and has been trapped in his own subconscious so that the bad Jerome can do whatever he wants.

Alice : [Looks at Dur in surprise] Huh. I don't know what that means, but it sure sounds cool.

Dur: [Shrugs] I just wanted to feel included.

Chastity : [To Dur] So you are saying that we are somehow in evil Dr. Trindle's mind and that if we take this good Dr. Trindle with us that the evil Dr. Trindle will become good again?

Jerome : I'm certainly willing to try!

Alice : [Points to the next door in the basement] Well, that seems to be the only other way out.

Chastity : [To Alice and the others] Well, let's get a move on then, we are still saving the world. [To Harvey] I expect that the Colonel is itching to get moving.

Harvey : [Reaching around to his shoulder trying to scratch himself] I'll say, Sister! This room is starting to get to me - come on, the next one is bound to be better.

[Exit the party through the open door.]

[Book V, Act XIII, Scene V. The Bedroom. ALICE, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and JEROME are here. The room is lavishly decorated in red velvet, and has a huge four poster bed in the middle. Lying back on the bed dressed in sexy red lingerie and a tight corset, wearing even more slutty make up than ALICE2 is ALICE3. She looks very like ALICE but is different in the same ways as ALICE2, except more pronounced in that she has more make up, larger breasts etc.]

Alice3 : Hello, boys.

Harvey : Gah!

Dur: [Stares] I feel like my eyes are bleeding but I ... can't... look... away.

Alice : [Pushes her way to the front] Yikes! [Looks her up and down] That's one classy looking outfit!

Dur: Maybe you should start wearing stuff like that? It might make the end of the world a little easier.

Alice : And how is me wearing a corset going to make the world end?

Chastity : [Looks away] Ooh dear! [To Alice3] You should really cover yourself up young lady. People might get the wrong impression about you.

Alice3 : Oh no, Sister, then they would get the wrong impression of me!

Jerome : [Getting all flustered] Er, Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD is sure that he has no idea what this is all about. --- F \ No newline at end of file

Dur: Really Jerry? Or is this one of your "fantasies" that we are living through now?=20

Jerome : [Sweating profusely and cleaning his glasses, standing between Alice3 and the party] Uh, fantasies?

Alice3 : [Turns around so she's on her hands and knees facing away from the party] I've been so naughty! [Spanks herself hard on the ass]

Alice : [Gives a little jump] Ow! [Looks around, puzzled]

Chastity : [Alarmed. To Alice] Did you feel the same pain when she spanked herself?

Harvey: [To the Alices, furious] Cover yourselves! This is an outrage!

Alice : [To Chastity] No, it's just that sound brings back some cool memories...

Jerome : Er, perhaps we should move on and not dwell on what this could mean.

[Dur lowers his hand that was poised to slap the real Alice's butt to test the theory.]=20

Dur: Perhaps that is best.

Alice3 : [Looks back over her shoulder at Dur] Aw! [Makes a very, very sexy pout]

Clint: [Busy checking out Alice3, gives Jerome a quick thumbs up.] Good going, Jerry!

Alice3 : [To Alice] Hey baby, wanna pillow fight?

Harvey : [To Jerome, shaking a fist angrily] You'd better start fantasising her into something more modest right now, Dr. Trindle!

Clint: Wouldn't evil Jerry would fantasize about evil things, not slutty women? [Pauses] Huh. Maybe you're right. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Chastity : [Haughtily] Perhaps it is nothing to do with this Dr. Trindle's imagination.

Jerome : Indeed, good Sister. Why, Dr. Jerome K. Trindle, BSc, PhD wouldn't know the difference between a front fastening underbust and a back lacing whale boned overbust!

Chastity : [Looks at Jerome for a moment, blinks, then looks away] Indeed Dr Trindle. [Ponders] Three different Alice's, each one more extrovert than the previous! I do hope this is not catching [Moves defensively infront of Alice]

Alice : [Peers passed Chastity] I wonder if the rooms they appear in mean anything. I mean, here we have one wearing really sexy lingerie in a bedroom, what could that mean?

Chastity : [To Alice] You mean that Alice two, smoking on the balcony, Jerome two, eating in the dining room, Lucy, dead in the bathroom, photographs of everything we've done, in the basement, an empty kitchen, and Alice three, dressed up like a prostitute, in the bedroom? [Looks slightly alarmed and puzzeled] I really can't see the connection.

Alice : Hm, a prostitute in the bedroom? Well, that's hardly strange, is it, Harvey?

Harvey: [Wisely] They perform their sordid and unspeakable acts in alleyways and on street corners, my girl! Bedrooms are for marital duties, such as carrying on the family name and thinking of the future of the country!

Alice : Interesting.

Alice3 : I want to help carry on Jerome's family name.

Harvey: [To Alice3] Then you shouldn't dress like a streetwalker!

Chastity : Indeed colonel. Most inapropriate for a young lady. [Gets out her spare nightie. To Alice3] Here, put this on.

Alice3 : What do we need a tent for?

Chastity : [Dumbfounded] To cover yourself with [Thinks] So that the gentlemen present do not take you for a woman of ill repute! [To Harvey] Colonel, perhaps we should investigate the next room, whilst Alice number three dresses?

Alice3 : What is it that gentlemen like? A maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom.

Alice : Actually, I thought it was a whore in the living room, a whore in the kitchen and a [spanks her backside hard] maid in the bedroom.

Jerome : [Mopping his brow] Perhaps we should leave. Huh. The door is closed, unlike the other ones. [Hasn't tried to open it yet]

Disposition-Notification-To: "Day, Kevin R. (Las Colinas) NA"

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Dur: Oh sure, leave just as we're getting to the good part?!

Jerome : Quite! [Opens the door inwards, only to reveal another door just inside, which is also shut]

Disposition-Notification-To: "Day, Kevin R. (Las Colinas) NA"

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Dur: A door that leads to a door? Brilliant! That sure would deter any trespassers lacking the willpower to open two doors!

Harvey: [To Jerome] Open the next one! We've got to get our Alice out of here before she is corrupted by these dreadful figments of your disturbing imagination!

Jerome : [Slightly panicky, opens the next door] It's another door!

Alice : Yeesh, three doors? [To Dur] Let's just leave and not bother trespassing.

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Dur: [Nods in agreement to Alice] I had the willpower for TWO doors, but Three doors? [Sighs exasperated]

Alice : I'm tired.

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Dur: Must be all the door opening.=20

Alice : Wouldn't you think someone else would open one for a change?

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Dur: No. I try to not think whenever possible. It tends to get me in trouble, not to mention the pain...

Alice : A pain? Let's think about this a moment. Ow! Headache!

Harvey: [Holding his ears] By the saints, I'll open the next door if it will stop this infernal conversation! [tries to open the next door]

[HARVEY opens the door, and another, and another, until he has gone through over fifty of the doors, and finally is lead into a long corridor which appears to have diamonds scattered generously all over the floor so that they are several deep.]

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Dur: [Peers in] Well at least we know WHY they had so many doors.

Alice : Huh! Well, we saw something like this before [to the others] when we had that crazy shared dream about the Path, remember?

Harvey: I do, indeed, niece! We aren't supposed to leave this path once we're on it, so be careful troop!

Chastity : [Nodding] Indeed colonel, it is of the upmost importance that we all stick together!

Clint: [Looks around at the party.] Sure. But remember, Chas - Harv's a married man now!

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Dur: [Confused] Harv's married to a man?=20

Harvey: Don't be ridiculous, Private! Men married to men?! Where do you think we are, Fran Sansico?

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Clint: Hell no! Buncha hippie freaks! [Takes a deep breath and calms down.] Anyway, let's go! [Impatiently steps forward.] ____________________________________________________________________________________ Luggage? GPS? Comic books?

Chastity : [To Clint] Careful Mr Scar, don't leave the rest of us!

Alice : Yeah, let's all stay on the path as long as possible.

[Abruptly, the diamond path ends, leaving a dirt trail leading forward into the darkness.]

Alice : [Whispers] How come everyone's so quiet?

Harvey: That's what happens when a diamond path you've been following turns to dirt! Let's keep moving, troop! Chin up! Has anyone got a torch?

Alice : [Whips out a bunch of torches] Huh, seems like I have six of them. Which is strange, considering I didn't have any a while ago, don't have a backpack and my pocket is only big enough to conceal a teeny tiny hanky. [Shows off a huge bulge in her pocket]

Harvey: Most peculiar, niece! Perhaps the Path is in a wish-granting mood? [Dramatically] I wish I had a plate of honeyed golden locust! [Everybody waits with baited breath, but nothing happens.]

Alice : Let's try another one, [dramatically] I wish Dur would say something annoying!

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Dur: [Looks thoughtful] If your pocket is to small to fit 6 torches, does that mean you're pulling them from....

Alice : [To Harvey] Nah, looks like the wish granting thing is a non-starter!

Harvey: Hmm, we'd better keep moving, then. Onward! [heads down the dirt path]

[The path, which is really more like a corridor because it has walls, continues on but the party stop soon on hearing a blood curdling moan from up ahead.]

Alice : [Whispering] It sounds like those ghosts from before, except that it actually sounds like a ghost.

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Dur: [Hides behind Alice] I don't know how much more slime I can take!

[Enter what appears to be the GHOST OF AUSTIN. He is dressed as he was when he was killed but is clearly noncorporeal. He face is wracked with anguish, although he clearly is not the one making the noise, and he is heading towards the party, not appearing to see them.]

Chastity : This reminds me of the time that we met Phili, we had an odd path experience shortly before we met him. [To Harvey] Do you recall, colonel?

Chastity : [Sees Austin] Austin! Stop! Can't you see us?

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Dur: [Looks surprised to see Austin] I smell another malpractice suit...

Clint: [Waves his hands at Austin's ghost.] Hello in there!

Alice : [To Dur] Smells like his normal suit to me!

[AUSTIN simply passes through the party, causing each person to give a cold shiver as he does so.]

Alice : Well, when we saw that other path, there were jewels on it, and we figured that it was to show us what we'd find at the end of the path - which was Phili.

Harvey: [To Austin] Private Sleaze, I'm delighted to see you again, though I am struck through to see you in this state! We will avenge your death, old boy!

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Dur: Wait, if that's Austin, and this is a possible path to phili, does that make us dead? QWxpY2UgOiBbd2F0Y2hpbmcgYXMgTHVjeSwgYWxzbyBpbiBnaG9zdCBmb3JtLCBwYXNzIGJ5XSBI bSwgbG9va3MgbGlrZSBoZSBjYW4ndCBoZWFyIHVzLiANCg0KDQpTZW50IGZyb20gbXkgQmxhY2tC ZXJyea4gd2lyZWxlc3MgaGFuZGhlbGQNCg0KLS0tLS1PcmlnaW5hbCBNZXNzYWdlLS0tLS0NCkZy b206IEhlYXRoZXIgPGhlYXRoZXIuZ29nZ2Fuc0BnbWFpbC5jb20+DQoNCkRhdGU6IFdlZCwgNSBT ZXAgMjAwNyAxMDo1NjoyMSANClRvOiJDb25vciBSeWFuIiA8Y29ub3IucnlhbkB1bC5pZT4NCkNj OiJUb20gSGVuZGVyc29uIiA8dGhnOHJndXlAeWFob28uY29tPiwgICAgICAgIkRheSwgS2V2aW4g Ui4gKExhcyBDb2xpbmFzKSBOQSIgPEtldmluLkRheUBoYW5zb24uYml6PiwgICAgICAgZGpvYkBz dGFmZm1haWwuZWQuYWMudWssICJLZXZpbiBEYXkiIDxiZWF0bXlhY2VzQHlhaG9vLmNvbT4sICAg ICAgIHF2YmxvZ2dlckBnbWFpbC5jb20sICJQYXVsIERvYmVrIiA8cGRvYmVrQGdtYWlsLmNvbT4N ClN1YmplY3Q6IFtxdl0gMTMuMDYuMDcxDQoNCg0KPiBMYXN0IGZyb20gQ29ub3IgIzcwDQo+DQo+ IEFsaWNlIDogW1RvIER1cl0gU21lbGxzIGxpa2UgaGlzIG5vcm1hbCBzdWl0IHRvIG1lIQ0KPg0K PiAgICAgICAgIFtBVVNUSU4gc2ltcGx5IHBhc3NlcyB0aHJvdWdoIHRoZSBwYXJ0eSwgY2F1c2lu ZyBlYWNoIHBlcnNvbg0KPiB0byBnaXZlIGEgY29sZCBzaGl2ZXIgYXMgaGUgZG9lcyBzby5dDQo+ DQo+IEFsaWNlIDogV2VsbCwgd2hlbiB3ZSBzYXcgdGhhdCBvdGhlciBwYXRoLCB0aGVyZSB3ZXJl IGpld2VscyBvbiBpdCwNCj4gYW5kIHdlIGZpZ3VyZWQgdGhhdCBpdCB3YXMgdG8gc2hvdyB1cyB3 aGF0IHdlJ2QgZmluZCBhdCB0aGUgZW5kIG9mIHRoZQ0KPiBwYXRoIC0gd2hpY2ggd2FzIFBoaWxp Lg0KDQpIYXJ2ZXk6IFtUbyBBdXN0aW5dIFByaXZhdGUgU2xlYXplLCBJJ20gZGVsaWdodGVkIHRv IHNlZSB5b3UgYWdhaW4sDQp0aG91Z2ggSSBhbSBzdHJ1Y2sgdGhyb3VnaCB0byBzZWUgeW91IGlu IHRoaXMgc3RhdGUhICBXZSB3aWxsIGF2ZW5nZQ0KeW91ciBkZWF0aCwgb2xkIGJveSENCg==

Chastity : [Watching as Lucy passes] Oh dear, I don't like the way this is going, sin and death.

Harvey: Don't worry, good Sister! As long as we stay together, we'll come out all right.

[More and more ghosts appear, all from past events with the party, including figures such as FREDERICK, SISTER IMMACULATA, CINDY, ALFRED, BLACK, MARIA, DOBBIN, FATHER FONZ and NICOLE NICOLAU. All of them drift passed and through the party, all with similar looks of anguish as AUSTIN, but none of them making the moaning sound.]

Alice : [Giving a shiver each time one passes through her] Anyone else getting a bad feeling about what's up ahead?

Harvey: [Encouraging, takes Alice's arm] We must stay on the path, niece! These scare tactics won't work on us, will they, troop?

[The moaning gets louder as the party push on further, and then they see ghost versions of ALICE, HARVEY, CHASTITY and CLINT approaching, each of whom is making that awful moaning sound.]

Alice : [Gulp] No. Not at all.

Harvey: By the saints, we ARE dead!

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Dur: [Looks quite upset at not being included] Where's MY ghost! Did you lot ditch me to the afterlife? Where's the love? [Sniffles]

Clint: [Spooked, and trying real hard not to show it.] I think, perhaps, he meant his ghost, Bimbo. [To Dur, by way of explanation.] Maybe you're just not important enough to, uh... [waves his hands airily] them.

Harvey: [Looks at the staircase and muses] Well, it only makes sense, if we're to meet Phili himself! [starts climbing]

Alice : This is gonna be great!

[HARVEY opens the door.]

[Book V, Act XIII, Scene VII. The Attic. ALICE, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and JEROME are here, having just arrived. Also here is JEROME2, who looks very similar to JEROME. He is sitting in front of a complicated looking set of beakers, test tubes and bunsen burners.]

Jerome2 : [Turns as the party come in] Ah, greetings!

Harvey: [Warily] Greetings, Dr. Trindle. [Nods at the beakers] What are you working on there?

Jerome2 : Oh, just the usual sciencey stuff. Making the Morcs more savage, the Jeromites more intelligent, Seth more evil, that kind of thing.

Chastity : You wicked man, Dr. Trindle!

Jerome : [The one who has been with the party] What is he talking about? Morcs? Jeromites?

Harvey: [To Jerome] All part of your--er, his nefarious plan to destroy the world! [To Jerome2] Trindle, you bastard! What's all this about? Why are you toying with us? Fight us like a man, if there's still a man in that evil geeky shell of yours, what!

Jerome2 : Fight like a man? And what would you know about that, Colonel?

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Dur: Ooooo, Burn!

Jerome2 : [Takes out a huge sword and swipes it around intimidatingly] This is where it ends.

Alice : Thank Phili, because I've had enough of dealing with him!

Harvey: [To Jerome 2, brandishing his sword] Indeed, it is! [attacks Jerome 2]

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Dur: [Pulls his dagger but doesn't rush to attack like Harv. Instead he gasps at Alice] Come now! He may be exasperating, but he is still your uncle!

Alice : [Also drawing her sword, talking to Dur] No, you idiot, Harve is my uncle!

[HARVEY and JEROME2 clash, parrying each others' blow.]

Jerome2 : Harvey, you are a buffoon. Do you really think you can hurt me here?

Harvey: I don't even know where "here" is, Trindle! Quoting Heather :

Chastity : Smash him to pieces colonel! It's worth a try!

Jerome2 : [To Harvey] Further proof, Colonel, of your level of buffoonery! [Jabs Harvey with his sword, drawing blood from his shoulder.]

Harvey: [Again attempts to attack Jerome with his sword] You'll pay for that, Trindle!

[HARVEY swings at JEROME2, who stands there nonchalantly. The sword hits him but bounces off with such force that HARVEY can barely keep hold of it.]

Jerome2 : Oh really? [Hits Harvey again]

Alice : I'll help! [Also hits Jerome, but again, her sword bounces off him]

Harvey: We need a new tactic, troop! [Looks at the experiments in front of Jerome and starts trying to smash them with his sword]

Jerome2 : [Yawns while Harvey smashes up the equipment] Surprise surprise, Harvey. Why don't you try burning some books next?

Jerome : [To Jerome2] What the hell are you doing?

Jerome2 : Takin' over the world!

Harvey: [To Jerome] See what we meant, Good Jerome? Help us stop you!

Jerome : What ever it takes!

Alice : Oh! Great idea, Harv! I bet only the good Jerome can hurt him - I just bet it.

[The good JEROME throws a beaker at JEROME2, but it just bounces off him.]

Jerome2 : Uh oh! Now they're really in trouble!

Chastity : [To Jerome] Perhaps if you gave him a hug, or something, he would remember what a nice fellow he used to be?

Jerome : Excellent idea, Sister. [Goes to hug Jerome2, only to be pushed away]

Jerome2 : Okay, now I think I'm going to have to kill you all. [Swings and hits Dur]

Dur : Ow! What the hell did I do? And I thought I was dead - yeesh, talk about overkill!

Jerome2 : Moan, moan, moan!

Harvey: [To Alice, is a loud Harvey-style whisper] Perhaps you should hit him in his weak spot, niece? Bat your eyes at him or somesuch?

Alice : Good idea, Harv, I'll get in close and then knee him in the groin. [To Jerome2] Wow, Jerry, it's such a turn on to see you so powerful. [Starts walking towards him only to be stabbed] Ow! Hey, that really hurt! [To the others] Who knew that a knee to the groin would hurt so much!

Chastity : [Casts cure light wounds on Alice] There must be something else we can do! [To Jerome] What would make you repent, what would make you stop?

Alice : [As the spell takes effect] Thanks Chas!

Jerome : [To Chastity] Well, if being confronted by all of you wouldn't do it, I don't know what would!

Harvey: [To GoodJerome] Forgive me, my boy, but I must try this! [attempts to karate chop the GoodJerome]

[HARVEY strikes the good JEROME sending him staggering back.]

Jerome : Colonel! What are you doing?

Jerome2 : [Flinches] You bastard! [Swings and hits Harvey]

Chastity : [Alarmed] The Colonel is correct! Just as Alice felt Alice two's spank [Blushes], Jerome two recieve's Jerome's wounds! [To Jerome] Sorry! [Tries knock Jerome unconcious with her 'club']

Jerome : Sorry for wh -

[Bonk. CHASTITY hits JEROME over the head and knocks him out.]

Jerome2 : [Bleeding from the nose, but not particularly badly hurt] Jerome is enraged.

Harvey: Phili, forgive me for this! [To Alice, grimly] Look away, niece! [attempts to decapitate Good Jerome]

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Dur: [Sighs casting Cure Serious Wounds on Harvey] The best laid plans of mice and men I suppose. Now what?

[HARVEY slices his sword through JEROME's neck, sending the head ricocheting around the room. JEROME2 falls to his knees.]

Jerome2 : What happened? What has Jerome done? [Shakes a fist skyward] Whaaaaat?

Jerome2 : [Sits on the ground] Not any more, Clint. Jerome is done.

Harvey: [To Jerome2, still holding his sword] Why the blazes did this happen, Trindle?! You were one of us! How did it come to this?

Chastity : [Staring at Jerome2] He doesn't look physically hurt, [Stares in disbelief] Do you think that's really repentance, or is he acting?

Jerome2 : It's no acting, Sister. [Puts his head in his hands] I'm sorry, Colonel, it was The Path, I couldn't resist... Last from Heather #31

Chastity : [To Harvey] I think his good soul split from his bad soul somehow, and when you killed Jerome, the good and bad soul bits reunited. [Looks unimpressed at Jerome's repenting. To Jerome] You may be fooling some people, but you won't fool Phili!

Jerome2 : [Stands up, clearly dazed] Phili? What has it got to do with that faker? I did what I thought was right, Sister, like all good men do. [To Clint] I never turned him evil, Mr. Scar. You and the others killed his wife - sadness and a broken heart made him into what he is today.

thread-index: Acfzt/8qCUenV51iQpa5Zc1GW41k0wAACdBw This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Harvey: What was RIGHT?! You must be joking! How you can even sleep at night is beyond me.

Jerome2 : Put a man in the right circumstances and he will do anything.

Harvey: What circumstances?!

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Dur: He does have a point Colonel. After all, you just decapitated a man for the greater good, viewed from without that might seem like an act of evil as well.=20

Jerome2 : [Nods, although looks very out of it] Like that, or maybe sending an innocent man to his death because he was a love rival? [Gestures to Chastity] Or lying about being a nun, [to Clint] or murdering your father, [to Alice] or killing a new born baby, or [turns to Dur] I'm sorry, I don't know you, but I'm sure that, although you've done some bad things, you're a perfectly nice gentleman.

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Dur: [Looks a little taken aback] You can't prove anything! They were accidental deaths I swear it!

Harvey: [Outraged] Sister Chastity a liar? Alice and Private Scar an [ponders] infanticidian and patricidian, respectively? Don't be ridiculous! [To Dur] And you be quiet, quack! That was clearly some figment of Trindle's imagination, not an actual person at all!

Jerome : [Smiles thinly at Harvey] Jerome will stop now, as he is overcome with guilt. However, if he has done anything wrong then you must sit down with him. In fact, all those who have acted in a certain way because of force of circumstances must sit down with him. Those who feel the breath of sadness, sit down next to me. [Staggers a little] Those who find they're touched by madness, sit down next to me. [Staggers some more] Those who find themselves ridiculous, sit down next to me. In love, in fear, in hate, in tears, in - uh! [Looks down to see a sword protruding from his chest]

Alice : [Who has just stuck her sword right through Jerome] Sorry, but I've had enough.

Clint: [Shocked.] Alice! Was that really necessary?!

Harvey: [To Clint] Private Scar, please! He surely only just seemed contrite, redeemable, and helpless as a kitten, didn't he, niece?

Chastity : [Shocked] Alice! What have you done? [Looks puzzeled] Was he a copy too? [Looks at the corpse of Jerome1. Looks very uncertain. To Alice] You murdered a baby?

Alice : [Suddenly looks horrified] You mean, that was the real Jerome? I though we were in some sort of [vague handwaving] memory thing of Jerome!

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Dur: Call this man a doctor!

All : This man's a doctor!

[Not surprisingly, this doesn't have much effect. Slowly the room starts to go dim.]

Alice : [Alarmed] Quickly! Say he's not a doctor!

All : He's not a doctor! [The room keeps dimming.]

Harvey: By the saints, if this turns out to be nothing but a dream, heads are going to roll!

Alice : [Dramatically] They already have!

[Book V, Act XIII, Scene VIII. On top of Clementine. ALICE, CHASTITY, CLINT, HARVEY and DUR are here, in the same positions that they were in when ALICE through the sword at JEROME. Also here are JEROME, BODDY and some MORCs, also in the same positions.]

Jerome : [Lowers his sword] Jerome is... sorry.

The Battle

Chastity : [Nodding sagely] Yes, you've been a very naughty boy!

Alice : [Nods] A very, very naughty boy.

Jerome : [Takes out the sword of soul stealing and points it at Austin] I will try to make amends. [A beam of light shines from the sword and illuminates Austin]

Harvey: [Watches Austin expectantly] Private Sleaze?! Are you in there, boy?

Chastity : [Frowns at Jerome ressurecting Austin, shocked] Gasp! I hope he knows what he is doing! Though I'm not sure that Phili would approve! [Stands back from Austin]

[AUSTIN begins to move.]

Morc : [To Jerome] Master! What are you doing?

Jerome : What I have to. [Turns the sword on himself]

Harvey: [To Jerome] Don't be a coward, Trindle!

Jerome : Oh, I won't, Harvey. [Drives the sword into his chest]

[There is a deafening whooshing sound and the entire area turns a blinding white. When the light subsides, the party can see that JEROME has collapsed on the ground, and that the JEROMITES and MORCS are changing dramatically, becoming dramatically more wimpy. Closer to the city, they can see that the huge tentacles are collapsing and going limp, as is the one that was on the mountain.]

Dur: [Looks around surprised] Did we do it?

Alice : Almost - there are still loads of them left, they're just weaker now.

Austin : [Coughs, a bit, sits up, breathes deeply, glances around, then stands up. Nochlantly checks his nails, and breathes deeply again, suverying the battle] Veni vidi vici. [Smirks] So, time for a drink! Oops! [Puts his hand to his mouth as if he had said something out of turn] Nunc est bibendum. [Surveys the battle scene as the morcs and Jeromites wither]

[The nearby MORCS begin to flee, but those attacking the city and those manning the cannons stay fighting.]

Alice : Welcome back, Aus, but it looks like it isn't finished yet!

Harvey: By the saints, Private, it's good to have you back! Now, troop, let's end this! [raises his sword and rushes to attack]

Austin : [Checks his suit for perfection. To the Party] So who do I have to thank for the ressurection? [Looks puzzeled for a moment] I was dead was I not? [Glances briefly a Chastity, then at Dur, with a look of 'unlikely', then around the battle field] Is this how nascency fluid works? I thought we came back from a cauldron or something?

Alice : Actually, Aus, it's Jerome you have to thank!

Austin : [Looks mildly suprised at Alice] Trindle? [Glances over to where Jerome was. Dryly] I don't suppose he's planning on bring Lucy back too. [Looks distant]

Harvey: [Calls back to the party] Double-time, troop! We have a war to win!

Clint: Complain, complain. Now let's go help Harv! [Rushes to help the colonel.]

Austin : [To Clint, frowning] A hope Mr Scar, not a complaint. [Readies his sling snapilly and turning away from Clint takes a few shots at some Jeromites]

Clint: [Over his shoulder.] Oh, well, that's different then!

Alice : [Takes out her bow and joins with Austin shooting the Jeromites] Let's get them all! That way they'll never bother us again!

[The JEROMITES and MORCS on the hill begin fleeing, trying to get onto the scaffolding, with HARVEY and CLINT sending some of them flying over the edge, and ALICE and AUSTIN shooting them as they do so.]

Boddy : Hm, looks like you have matters in hand here. I'll just be off, then.

thread-index: Acf0i+gAwoLeUpF8S76e6GVZFDhRfQAATrzA Jeromites >Let's get them all! That way they'll never bother us again! get >onto the scaffolding, with HARVEY and CLINT sending some of them flying >over the edge, and ALICE and AUSTIN shooting them as they do so.

Dur: [Pulls his meager dagger and starts stabbing people while bellowing] Remember, Doctor Dur's Restorative Services! For a moderately huge fee I'll gladly heal any of the damage done today! Remember, if you die, then the procedure is free!

Clint: [To Boddy, disappointed.] Changing sides again, Nige? You should go into politics!

Boddy : [Smiles wryly at Clint] =A1Viva La Revoluci=F3n!

Alice : [To the party] We've got to help the soldiers back at the town - we've got to find a faster way to kill these guys, if we just wait for Dur to treat them all it'll take all day!

Austin : [To Alice] Perhaps you could use the sword of soul stealing?

Harvey: Good point, niece! If only we had one of those all-purpose orbs tucked away somewhere! They always do the trick when we're in a pinch!

Clint: Maybe we could collapse the tower on all of 'em! That'd do it!

Alice : [Points up at the cannons] Or we could turn the cannons on them! [To Austin] I'm not sure about using dagger of sword stealing on them, Aus - who knows what it might do to us. [Waits a second, before adding irritably] Who?

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Dur: [In answering to Alice] I'm sure that Jerome fellow knows something about it. Why don't we ask hi--- [Looks at the crumpled heap that is Jerome.] Oh right, of course. To the cannons then!

Harvey: [To Dead Jerome] Damned coward, leaving us with this pickle!

Austin : [To Harvey] But surely he killed himself to weaken the Morcs and Jeromites? [Shrugs, and keeps firing at the enemy at the nearest cannon]

Chastity: [Sadly] So it would appear. May Phili have mercy on his soul. [Makes the sign of Phili and begins to pray]

Harvey: [Keeps fighting] Well, we'd better find a way to even the odds. These damned things are everywhere! Think, troop, think!

Alice : [Annoyed] The cannons? Why don't we use the cannons on them? Why is it that no one listens to me when I have a good -

Boddy : [Reappearing at the top of the hill, carrying the sword of soul stealing] Hey! I've got an idea - why don't we get the cannons and turn them on the Morcs and Jeromites? There's a lot of them, but they're weak now. By gum, we can save our boys on the front line - go team!

Harvey: Not a bad idea! To the cannons, troop! [To Alice] He may be a backstabbing bastard, but you have to admit, he knows his warfare!

Boddy : If only there was some way of instantly transporting you lot behind those Morcs. Think, Boddy, think!

Harvey: If only we still had that hot air balloon!

Boddy : Or a handy orb! [Takes a glowing orb out of his pocket] It's magical - if a little suspicious!

Chastity: Are there any instructions for that orb? We can't be too careful.

Boddy : Certainly not with all those boys being killed back at the town who are depending on you getting to the cannons quickly. I can send you with the orb.

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Dur: Well then, what are we waiting for!? Where there are dieing men there is a need for a doctor, and maybe even a free meal, possibly, for heroes, why not?!

Austin : [Looks disillusioned at the orb] Why do I get the feeling that this, my present incarnation, is but an ephemeral scene in some amaranthine fugue. [Sighs]

Boddy : All the left over sandwiches you can eat! Hardly stale at all, and with a minimum of foot prints in them!

Harvey: [Stomach growls noisily] Let's go, troop!

Boddy : [Throws the orb onto the ground, which causes a shimmering circle of light to appear] Go get 'em, team!

Austin : [To Harvey] Mr Boddy has the sword of soul stealing, surely this is not for the best?

Chastity : [Tries to peer into the circle of light] My third husband George invented something like this. [To Alice, smiling] He was such a clever man, you know, Alice. Always banging away in the lab with his pretty young assistant, Samantha.

Alice : Some man to what?

Boddy : [Nods at Austin's words] Almost certainly not, Austin, but you'd better hurry if you're going to get to those cannons - that portal won't last forever, you know.

Chastity: [Picks up a pebble and tries to throw it through the circle of light]=20

Harvey: [To Austin] Come on, Private! I know we can't trust this blackguard, but we are up against the wall. We must stop this army! [jumps into the portal]

[CHASTITY tosses the pebble into the circle and it disappears, soon followed by HARVEY leaping in.]

Alice : Me next! [Almost gets knocked down by Clint jumping in] Hey!

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Dur: [Follows the party into the portal] I sure hope Boddy makes better plans than we do. Usually we just stumble around on dumb luck!

[CHASTITY, AUSTIN and ALICE all follow, with ALICE turning back to BODDY.]

Alice : Hey, I thought you were all evil now, how do we know you're not going to go on a kill crazy rampage or try to wreak horrible revenge on us?

Boddy : Oh, come on, how could I go on a kill crazy rampage or try to wreak horrible revenge on you unless I had a weapon of awesome power? [Holds up the Dagger of Soul Stealing in hand and Beaucaphalus The Wonder Sword in the other] I guess you don't!

[Exit ALICE into the circle.]

Boddy : [Gets on a horse and rides down towards the main battle, shouting as he does so] Death to the Jeromites!

[Book V, Act XIII. Scene IX. Behind the cannons. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, having just appeared. As BODDY claimed, they are right behind the JEROMITES who are manning the cannons. Like the ones from earlier, these ones look very, very wimpy, and are struggling even to lift the cannonballs. One of them is kneeling down and feeling the back of his head.]

Jeromite : Ow! Someone just hit me with an enormous rock!

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Dur: [In the interest of self preservation, he instantly points at Chastity] She did it!

Jeromite : [Spots the party and screams like a girl] Aiieee!

[Runs to the other JEROMITES.]

Jeromite : Quickly! Turn the cannons, turn them and kill them!

[They uselessly try to move the cannons and fail miserably.]

Austin : Once more, into the breach! [Shoots at the nearest Jeromites manning a cannon]

[AUSTIN fires a bullet that hits one and passes right through him, knocking the one behind him too.]

Alice : Yay! This is gonna be nice and easy! [Charges into the Jeromites, slicing off arms and heads as she does so]

Harvey: [Mows down several Jeromites with a cannon] By the saints, I haven't had this much fun since the Battle of Honeyed Golden Locust Hill!

[The JEROMITES begin to flee, seeming to head back to the beach. Down in the battle, the MORCS are fairing better as they haven't deformed as much as the JEROMITES, and sheer force of numbers seem to be giving them the edge.]

Alice : [Taking out three Jeromites skewer-style with an arrow] Let's get these cannons going! Who are we going to put in? Dur?

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Dur: [Raises his hand emphatically] Ooo oooo! Pick me, please pick me!!!

Alice : Oh, sorry Dur, you need balls for this.

Austin : [Starts rapid fire shooting Jeromites, getting multiple head shots with each shot] Aaah. This is suprisingly relaxing. [Shoots Jeromites that are close to cannons first]

Alice : Fair enough, Stinky - let's take out the guys attacking the city.

Harvey: [Roars in laughter] Balls! Excellent, niece! [continues hammering Jeromites gleefully]

Clint: Right. Dur, make yourself useful and find us some ammo while I aim this thing! [Gets behind the cannon and aims it at a likely looking bunch of morcs.] ____________________________________________________________________________________

Austin : [Takes some shots at some Morcs, to see how easy they are to kill] What about the Morcs! They don't look quite as frail as the Jeromites.

Alice : [Sitting on top of Clint's cannon, waving her cowboy hat around] Aaaaaaa hoooo! What do you think this is for, Aus?

[Kaboom. CLINT fires his cannon, striking a hit right into the middle of the MORCS who are laying siege to the city. Meanwhile, ALICE goes flying off the cannon.]

Alice : Ow! Hey! That's really hot! And you dented my hat!

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Dur: They must be pre-loaded!

Clint: Ha! That was great! Let's do it again! [Moves to the next cannon down the line.] No one messes with Minus Thrift while we're on the job!

Austin : [Shooting Morcs and Jeromites that are closest to our cannon. To Alice] Do you mean the hat? It's for wearing on your head to protect you from the sun! [Frowns] I'm not sure that it suits, you, and you might mess up your hair.

Clint: Ha! Look at 'em run! [Turns to Alice and points at the pieces of Jeromites everywhere.] We've got plenty of volunteers, Bimbo. Or we could just use the cannonballs. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Harvey: [Fires the cannon into a herd of morcs] Surrender, monsters! We have bested the mighty geek Jerome!

Alice : [Pained] That's not a wearing hat, it's a hollerin' hat!

[CLINT fires off another cannon, which takes out another bunch of MORCS.]

Chastity: Oh do behave Alice. All this slang talk is not becoming of a lady. [Turns and bonks a few Jeromites on the head with her brown handbag]

Austin : [To Chastity, smirking] She do be truthin', sis.

Harvey: [Knocking down morcs in the shape of letters] Look, troop! I've carved my initials in their left flank!

Austin : [Pauses to do a golf clap] Bravo, colonel! Bravo! [Shoots some more jeromites, in their pocket protectors!]

[The tide of the battle is now turning, and the MORCS start to retreat, running towards the ships, some of which are starting to turn away.]

Alice : [Firing at one of the ships] Whooohooo!

Harvey: Good thinking, niece! [Fires into the crowd of retreating morcs] And now I've done your initials in the right flank!

Alice : Who's right flank? Aw man, not again!

Faetan : [On one of the ships, and inexplicably audible to the party] Quickly! Quickly! Get out of here!

[Splat. FAETAN takes a direct hit from one of the cannonballs.]

Austin : [Shrugs] Shame, such potential, but such wasted potential. [Fires two sling bullets at once hitting a Morc in both eyes at the same time]

[The MORCS are pushed right back into the sea, which is full of bodies and wreckage. The party spend some more time firing cannons down onto them and, with the aid of archers from the city, begin to wipe out the remaining MORCS. The party are momentarily distracted by the sound of trumpet from the east, clearly sounding "Charge!"]

Harvey: What the blazes is that? [looks to the east]

[Enter the Elven Army, all dressed in fabulous army and riding beautiful white horses, led by SIEGFRIED.]

Siegfried : [Calls up to Harvey] Fear not, humans, we are here to save you!

Siegfried Weaving

Chastity: Save us? Save us from what?

[Enter the Elven Army, all dressed in fabulous army and riding beautiful white horses, led by SIEGFRIED.]

Siegfried : [Calls up to Harvey] Fear not, humans, we are here to save = you!

Siegfried = Weaving

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Dur: Why, from ourselves I bet, dear sister! Hurray for the elves!

Harvey: Blasted elves! We have the matter well in hand without them, what!

Seigfried : [Waving regally to the party] No need to thank us, we'll take it from here.

Alice : [Annoyed] Let's bomb 'em with our cannons!

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Dur: [To Alice] Being that we just got done with one battle, it would be foolish just to start another.

Alice : But they're Elves, Dur, Elves!

[The ELVES carry on towards Minus Thrift, all chanting.]

Elves : Hurrah for the Elves! Hurrah for the Elves!

[The battle is clearly over now, and it looks as though virtually every single MORC and JEROMITE is dead.]

thread-index: Acf2DVvYCaFnYniPSN+FcCvLi8O5fQAAChdQ Ast from Conor #34

Alice : [Dusting herself down] It's a combination of their arrogant attitude and them turning up when everything is done. Come on, let's get down for the celebrations!

Chastity: [Looks around at the devastation] Colonel, do you think we should clean this mess up first?=20

Harvey: [Looks uncomfortable] Surely that's a job for the women?

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Dur: [To Alice] Free food and a chance to sell my "miracle cures" to drunken idiots? Don't mind if I do! [To Chastity] But how?! [Surveying the mess] Perhaps we could get a very large crock-pot. We could eat for days!

Alice : [Nods] Too right! We'll send some of them up when we're done celebrating! We're gonna - [turns to Dur] crock pot?

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Alice : Ye-es. Anyway, I do believe that there's celebrating to be done.

Austin : [To Alice] Methinks he doth protest too much. [Watches the elves riding in. Sighs] So where did Nigel get to? [Looks around for Boddy] This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Alice : [Heading down to the battlefield] Looks like he scarpered, taking Beaucaphalus, the Sword of Soul Stealing, the Dagger of Soul Stealing and the Dagger of Sword stealing with him!

Alice : [Singing tunelessly back] Not if you're with a nun!

Harvey: Well done, troop! [Slightly misty-eyed, raising a mug of beer] You did your commander proud on that battlefield today.

Alice : [Knocking back a beer] I can't believe it - it's finally over! Jerome's gone, the Four Horsemen are gone, the Jeromites, all of them, gone!

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Dur: [Counting on his fingers] Aren't only three horsemen gone?

Alice : [Loudly to be heard over the sound of celebration] What do you mean?

Chastity: [Now wearing yellow gloves and holding a spleen over a black bin] What? Yes, it is a big one isn't it Alice.

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Dur: [Loudly as well] I mean, Boddy got away right? And he was a horseman wasn't he?

Clint: [Belches loudly, then nods at Chastity.] I haven't seen one that big since breakfast. [To the party at large.] Rag's right though. I can count to four real good, and I come up short too. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Harvey: [Slams his beer down] Damn that Boddy, he's spoiling the celebration by being such a rotten turncoat bastard! I say we go after him and end this thing, once and for all!

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Dur: [Looks surprised] I- I'm right? [Looks contemplative] So THIS is what being right feels like? Tingly.

Clint: Isn't he on our side again? At the moment?

Austin : [To Harvey] Well, I think Mr Boddy is probably not a critical target at this juncture, we were, after all, seeking to stop Athlacca and the *four* horsemen, from taking over the world, [Ponders] and the universe, in the commonly accepted sense of the word. [Sips lightly at a half pint of ale]

Sven : [Approaching the party, holding a huge glass of beer] Austin's right, Colonel! The Horsemen are gone, and it's possible that Athlacca will never attack. Tonight's the night for celebration my friends, all our enemies have been defeated!

[Exit ALL into the city.]

[Book V, Act XIII, Scene X. The Battlefield at 11.59PM. It is dark and lashing rain with thunder and lightning. The battlefield hasn't been cleared yet and is littered with bodies and parts of SETH's tentacles. The sound of someone scraping can be heard. Suddenly, a hand appears, pushing up through the earth beside one of the tentacles. The owner of the hand slowly and painfully pulls himself up and out of the earth, before kneeling, exhausted, leaning back and letting the rain fall on him. A timely flash of lightning reveals that it is PESTILENCE SOTOT, last seen dropped into a bottomless pit of Placebium back in Book III, Act XII.]

Pestilence : [His face contorted with delight] One hundred and eighty!

Pestilence Sotot