[Book VI, Act III, Scene I. The Nice Trailer. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY, JUNIOR and BOB are here. It is the next day, and the party have recovered their carriage.]

Alice: So, Pestilence is alive, eh?

Junior: Sure is.

Bob: So you say.

Austin : Well he did promise us that he would return as he sank into the lava. [Checks his nails]

Alice: It was more of a bottomless pit in a Placebium mine really, wasn't it?

Placebium: Magical ore that weakens supernatural creatures

Clint: I thought that was just another lie, too!

Alice: Well, he is a demon, so it wouldn't surprise me if it was!

Chastity: [Looking at the pattern on the wall] I wonder what this pattern means.

Bob: [Standing beside her] Me too.

Harvey: [Peers at the pattern] Some kind of demonic signature or some such? [Gingerly reaches out to touch the pattern]

Bob: [Nods] Could be. Could be.

[HARVEY touches part of the pattern. It looks as though it genuinely is part of the wall, and is hard to the touch.]

Austin : So was it Pestillence or Contagion who ended up in the lava? Contagion I guess. [Examines the symbol closely, prodding the patterns to see if they are all solid]

Bob: Yeah, Contagion's my guess too.

Austin : It is also possible that Nambu was responsible for the murders back in Queens View, and the strange nightmares that people were reporting.

Harvey: [To Bob] You're not a member of this troop, chappie, and I'll thank you to keep your zany theories to yourself! [To Austin, scratching a sideburn] Yes, most likely Contagion, Private Sleaze, well reasoned! Er, why do you reckon, again?

Alice: [To Harvey] Because we were there!

Chastity: He could have been, but we're a long way from Queens View. I wonder, how did he survive out here without any food or water?

Bob: [Ignoring Harvey] Good question, Chastity! Good question!

Clint: [To Junior.] Say, who did kill your wife and kids, anyway? And how've you been sleeping? No whacked-out nightmares?

Bob: Yeah, who [emphasis] did kill your wife and kids?

Junior: [To Clint] You mean, other than the ones about my wife and children being killed from which I wake up screaming every night? Not especially, no.

Clint: [Relieved.] Oh, well, that's okay then. I was worried you were having weird dreams about cutting peoples' brains out and so on!

Junior: No, just their hearts.

Harvey: [To Junior] Really? What else do you remember?

Bob: Yeah! What [emphasis] do you remember?

Junior: Not a whole lot. One minute we're all sitting around having dinner, and the next thing I know he's leapt on the table and is carving out Hildebrand's heart.

Alice: [Incredulously] You had a kid called Hildebrand?

Junior: Yes. And now he's dead. Anyway, I must have passed out, and when I awoke they were all dead. Why would he kill them and keep me alive? Why kill them in front of me?

Alice: Because he's a disgusting sadistic insane freak?

Junior: [Does a double take] That's what HE said!

Austin : Well, I'm glad we have solved that little mystery. [To Junior] He thrives on causing pain to others, emotional and physical, therefore he had to leave you alive so that you could suffer emotional pain. It just the kind of disgusting sadistic insane freak that he is.

Dur: [Looks nervous] What's so strange about that?!

Harvey: [To Dur] Quiet, quack!

Bob: [Nods] Quack!

Chastity: [To Junior] But why did they blame you?

Junior: No one believed he was still alive! I tried to warn them, but they wouldn't believe me. I just hope he hasn't struck again.

Bob: Quack!

Harvey: [To Bob] Stop quacking! [To Junior, grimly] Any idea why that bastard would target you and your family, young man?

Junior: Sorry, Colonel, but I've no idea. I'd lived there all my life, didn't have any enemies other than those skateboarding kids, never got in trouble other than that whole [waves his hands vaguely] stealing wheels and putting them up on bricks thing.

Alice: Where did you live?

Junior: Asphyxia.

Asphyxia is the closest large town to Dystopia, where Pestilence died and where Jerome's craziness was traced back to (although never explained). Asphyxia is where Lucy, Austin's fiancee, was killed by Jerome on their wedding day.

Harvey: That dreadful place?! There must be something crazy-making in the water there! [Ponders thoughtfully] Bet you can get a good deal on a summer home, though.

Austin : [Dryly] Yes, but the local graveyard is rather overflowing.

Harvey: Perhaps we'd better make tracks for Asphyxia, troop! That seems to be the center of all evil-doing!

Bob: [Nods] Quack!

Chastity: Well said, Colonel. I just hope he was behind this evil doing too, as I'm concerned about the fact that Nambu seemed to be getting some sort of nourishment from these people.

Gone for 2.5 hours

Austin : [Sighs. Sarcastically] Great. Asphyxia.

Dur: Perhaps we should take extra precautions if we must go there?

Austin : [Looks suprised] What precautions would you suggest?

Clint: Tinfoil hats and water purification tablets?

Dur: [Nods in agreement] Anything that might help. Who knows who could be the next crazy person out of you lot! I mean, you're all already a stone's throw away from being quite mad as it is.... =20

Alice: [Nods] He's right, you know. [Gestures to Dur] Look at the company we keep!

Clint: I'd rather not!

Austin : Few would. [Checks his nails] Well, why don't we get going. Our carriage is waiting. [To Alice] Would you drive please?

[Everyone looks around, but there's no sign of ALICE. Suddenly, they are all distracted by the sound of the carriage horn honking.]

Alice: Let's go!

Bob: [Folds out a map that is completely featureless, and has "Nowhere" written across the top] Right. I think we're somewhere around the middle.

Harvey: [Ignoring Bob, to Junior] Which way to Asphyxia, my good man?!

Junior: [Thinks for a moment, before pointing West] Thataway!

Austin : Well, without further ado, let us proceed! [Gets into the carriage]

Harvey: [Hops into the carriage. To Alice] Westward, Ho!

[Everyone gets into the carriage, followed by JUNIOR and BOB.]

Bob: [Arranging his petticoats, and almost taking Chastity's eye out with his crook] Quack!

Chastity: Be careful young man! Next thing you know you'll have someone's eye out!

Harvey: [To Bob] What do you think you're doing?! You're not coming with us!

!

Bob: [Does a double take] You still haven't solved the [dramatic voice] Mystery of the Trailer Park! How can you expect to solve it without me?

Harvey: We can live with a few unsolved mysteries here and there. I don't think we can tolerate your constant yes-mannery, though!

Austin : What mystery? It was clear that Nambu was causing the swarm ans the shield. [Shrugs] Junior arranged the trailers.

Bob: But how did Nambu survive? There's nothing in his trailer for food or water, and we're in the middle of nowhere! [Holds up the map to illustrate his point]

Alice: Actually, that says we're in the middle of Now.

Bob: [Peers at the map for a moment] Oh, excuse me. [Moves his finger.]

Dur: Well, wasn't he some sort of demon? Do they even need food and water? And where the hell is nowhere?

Bob: Here!

Clint: Haven't you been paying attention, Dur?

Chastity: [Wags a warning finger at Dur] For shame!

Dur: If you must all know I am susceptible to momentary lapses in attention! [Raises his arms in exasperation] Arg! [Breaths deeply] Now, what were we talking about?

Clint: That worm you were eating, wasn't it?

Harvey: [Stomach rumbles dangerously] Stop talking about food!

Clint: Sure Harv. Let's get this show on the road, Bimbo!

Alice: I think someone needs to apply a Face Boot to [points at Bob] that.

Bob: Quack!

Austin : [Shrugs] Who knows how Nambu was surviving out here. I expect that his mother was visiting him every day with food and drink etcetra, perhaps he had a months supply hidden in the trailer somewhere [Dismisses the issue]

Clint: Oh, sorry! I thought we were taking him with us in case Harv gets hungry. [Punts Bob off the carriage.]

Bob: Hold on a second! I have-

[CLINT applies his boot to BOB's face with considerable force, sending him flying off the carriage in a flurry of petticoats and bloomers.]

Alice: Let's go!

[Exit the party, roaring off into the distance.]

RocJ: [Waving the party off, before turning to Bob] Hey mofo, why you still wearing the dress?

Bob: Because I'm hardly going to wear bloomers as beautiful as these and not have a dress on, am I?

RocJ: [Drops his pants, showing that he too, is wearing some rather delightful bloomers] I am, mofo!

End of scene, next one coming right up....

[Book VI, Act III, Scene II. The Carriage. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and JUNIOR are here, approaching Asphyxia. It is the following day, and everyone is refreshed and back to full HP.]

Junior: So, uh, should I wait outside? You know, what with the whole wanted for murder and illegal graffiti charges hanging over me.

Austin : [To Junior] Why did you come with us if you are not going all of the way? [Quickly] Why don't you disguise yourself? You could borrow one of Chastity's habits and pretend to be a nun. Pretend that you are called 'Sister Abstinence', or something.

Junior: No need. I have one of my own. I'm not sure I like the name Sister Abstinence, though.

Alice: How about calling him Sister Chastity, that's a cool nun name, isn't it?

Sister >Abstinence, though. isn't >it?

Dur: Errr... So you always carry your own habit?

Clint: Bimbo, there IS no such thing as a cool nun name. No offense, Chas.

Austin : To Junior] It really does not matter if it is cool or not, just remember not to shave!

Junior: [To Dur, stilted] No.

Chastity: [To Clint, sniffing haughtily] Simply being near you causes offence, Mister Scar. [To Alice] Don't be ridiculous, my name is Sister Chastity, we cannot call him that.

Alice: How about we call [points at Chastity] her Sister Abstinence and [points at Junior] him Sister Chastity?

Austin : [To Alice] That will get very confusing. How about 'Sister Continence'?

Alice: I don't know, Aus, I'm kind of used to calling her Sister Abstinence now!

Austin : [To Alice] Sounds good to me [Checks his nails idily and gazes at the view]

Chastity: That doesn't surprise me, Mr. Sleaze.

Harvey: [Confused] Troop, have you forgotten the good Sister's name? What villainy is afoot now?!

Chastity: Pay them no heed, Colonel. They are just foolish children. [Sternly to the party] Isn't that right?

Alice: [Sulkily] Yes, Sister Abstinence.

Chastity: [Tuts loudly] What is this world coming to?

Austin : [To Chastity] I do not suppose much suprises you these days, sister, you have been around.

Junior: [Making a surprisingly convincing nun] Shocking, Sister Chastity, simply shocking. [Points angrily at Austin] You mind how you speak to the good Sister, young man, or I'll wash your mouth out with soap!

[The party come to the gates of ASPHYXIA, which, of course, are closed. Standing outside is an armed guard, DEWEY ANGEL, holding a large plate of some sort of herbs.]

Dewey: [Waves at the party] Hey.

Dewey Angel

Interesting coincidence: Austin's ill-fated fiancee was named Lucy Angel

Lucy Angel

Harvey: [Waves at Dewey] Hello, good sir, are those treats for sale?!

Dewey: Uh, what treats? [Hides the tray behind his back]

Clint: Uh, Harv, I don't this those are for eating. But here, if you're really hungry... [Hands Harvey a cigar.]

Dur: Those are for eating?

Clint: 'Bout as much as the herbs on that guys' plate, I'm guessing!

Dewey: [A little defensively] Hey! I'm celebrating! Uh, I'll ask the questions around here!

Dur: Why does everyone say that to us? When do we get to ask the questions?

Dewey: You're doing it again! [Whinily to the party] He's doing it again! Make him stop!

Clint: Don't you think that if we knew how, we would?

Dewey: Now you're doing it!

Alice: Doing what?

Dewey: Aaaaaargh!

Chastity: [To Dewey] Well, what's your question?

Austin : [Trying to peer behind Dewey] Is that cheese? What is your name? have we met before?

Dewey: [Takes a look at the tray for a moment] No! They're cheese imbued vol-au-vonts, made for me by my sister Lucy, if you must no. My question, as [shows a badge that has something completely illegible written on it] Officer Dewey Angel, Official Town Guard, is who the hell are you people and why are you asking two questions?

Alice: [To the party] You know, that's really two questions, isn't it?

Austin : [To Dewey, quickly] Lucy Angel is alive? [Swiftly gets out a photo of Lucy] Do you recognise her?

Harvey: [To Dewey, eagerly] By the saints, answer the man!

Dewey: Do I recognise her? Are you insane? [Grabs the photo from Austin and holds it up to his (own) face so he and Lucy are side by side] What do you think?

Alice: [Whispers to Austin] That you should get the photo back quick, before he turns it into a hat!

Austin : [Grabs the photo back swiftly, snappily] My late fiancee looks nothing like you whatsoever!

Dewey: [Wincing at the severe paper cut inflicted by Austin] Hey! She's my twin sister!

Harvey: [Looking at the photos] Yes, dead ringers! Could you take us to her, please?

Dewey: No can do. Can't desert my post.

Alice: Cant.

Dewey: What?

Alice: [Finger quotes] "Cant desert my post".

Dewey: [Looks puzzled] Okay.

Chastity: [To the party] Do you think she has been raised from the dead?

Dewey: No can do. Can't desert my post.

Alice: Cant.

Dewey: What?

Alice: [Finger quotes] "Cant desert my post".

Dewey: [Looks puzzled] Okay.

Dewey: Well, that's what she says!

Harvey: I understand your duty to your post, soldier, but could you perhaps point us in the direction of your sister?

Austin : I [Stares into the town] must see her.

=20

Chastity: [Aside, but loud enough for everyone to hear] Typical men. Nothing but one-track minds.=20

Austin : [Sneers at Chastity] Typical nun, absolutely bereft of empathy. The last time I saw Lucy she was lying dead in a pool of her own blood, on the eve of our wedding, murdered by that [pauses] Trindle.

Trindle.

Chastity: [Taken aback] I assure you that if anyone can feel empathy it is my good self. May I remind you that I have lost three husbands. You and Lucy were not even married, so your loss pales compared to mine. [Dabs her eyes with a handkerchief]

Austin : [To Chastity] You prove my point! Totally lacking in empathy of any form! And you do not even understand how! [Sighs]

Alice: And in fairness, Aus, it wasn't the eve of your wedding, it was your wedding day!

Dewey: [Conversationally] So, you know my sister?

Clint: I don't think he ever got the chance...

Oy. Overslept. Also, will be at a conference Thursday - Tuesday, so posting essentially non-existent.

Austin : [To Alice] I was using the word eve in it's broader sense. [To Dewey] I was engaged to Lucy. Dr Jerome Trindle murdered her a few hours before we were to be married.

Chastity: [Steps in front of Austin and makes the quote symbol in the air] Allegedly! [Proudly to Austin] Don't want to get in trouble for making slanderous remarks. Any lawyer worth his salt should know that.

Alice: [Winces at this] Actually, Chas, we all saw it. There's no allegedly about it!

Dewey: [Does a double take] Austin? You're Austin?

Alice: No, [points at Austin] he is.

Dewey: [Looks relieved] Well then. That makes a lot more sense.

Clint: Yeah, sure. Look, lawyer, let's go see the ol' ball-and-chain, huh? How hard can she be to find?

Austin : [To Dewey] Do you know where Lucy might be at the present time?

Dewey: Yep.

[Time passes. Bonk. DEWEY gets hit on the forehead by a small rock thrown by ALICE.]

Dewey: Ow! Hey! [Calms down] Oh yeah. Sure, she's at home. [Turns, facing the gate] You want to head straight down Concussion Boulevard, hand a left on Sprain Street, then a right on Lacerate, and it's house number eight.

Alice: Eight lacerate, great!

Austin : [Alice] Let's go!

Dewey: Hey! Hey! Hey! I'm a town guard you know! What's your business in Asphyxia?

Away until about 4pm...

Austin : [To Dewey] I am going to visit you sister for heaven sakes! In what way is that not clear?

Harvey: [Scoffs] Not too observant for a guard, are you chappie? We'll just be on our way, then!

Dewey: Not so fast, chappie! First, I need [points at Austin] a name. Second, let me show you just how observant I am. You, for example, are clearly an ex-monk, which I can tell from your extravagant sideburns. The dust on [points at Dur's shoes] his shoes indicate a man who recently ran through a field, probably holding a large turnip. [Gives a self satisfied smile]

Harvey: [Unimpressed] Ha! That private would never run while holding food! He'd hide in an alleyway and eat it like a starving rat!

Austin : [To Dewey] I am Austin Sleaze. The colonel has always been a military man, and never a monk, as far as I know. [To Harvey] Is that not so colonel?

Dur: That's not dust! It's dirt!

Dewey: [Impatiently] No, the name of the person you want to visit.

Austin : [To Dewey] I have already said that I would like to visit your sister, Lucy Angel, have you forgotten so soon?

Dewey: [Writes it down] I'm a town guard. I don't forget things. Now. What's your name?

Austin : [Dryly] Austin Sleaze.

Dewey: Aaaaand [looks around the party, stopping at Junior] Who's this lovely lady?

Chastity: [Peers at Dewey before whispering to the party] He must be cross-eyed. [Steps forward] My name is Sister Chastity.=20

Harvey: [To Dewey] Allow me, good Sir. [Gestures gallantly to Junior] Sister June, [points to each in turn] Sister Chastity, Privates Scar and Short, and [squints at Dur then says triumphantly] the new recruit, Private Dur!

Dur: All yours if you'd just let us get on with our business!

Harvey: Private Dur, remember your manners! Only a husband or father can offer his womenfolk in trade!

Alice: [Beams with pride] What a gentleman!

Dewey: My apologies, it's just that I'm sure I know her from somewhere.

Junior: [With an entirely unconvincing female voice] Please sir, I am trying to pray!

Dewey: [Bows an apology] Of course. [To the party] Name?

Harvey: Gah! [To Alice] Niece, would you kindly jot down our names for this befuddled young man? I've repeated myself so many times, I'm quite hoarse!

Dewey: No! I mean, what's MY name?

Alice: Oh for God's sake! [Drives over Dewey and into the town]

Austin : [Considers Dewey being run over] I doubt he even noticed!

[ALICE stops the carriage to let everyone look back ]

Dewey: [Lying on the ground, a little dazed] No, that's not my name.

Junior: Uh, that house he's talking about, that's my next door neighbour. I think that's why he thought he recognised me. Maybe I should wait here for you guys?

Dur: What are you so scared off? So the whole city thank you a cold hearted mass murderer that killed your family! So they might arrest you, flog your naked body, defile your private place, AND burn you at the stake!=20

Austin : [To Dur] Those are not good things from his perspective.

Junior: [Looks horrified] I'd never even thought of those! I was just concerned that my neighbours would see me dressed as a nun! [To Chastity] No offence, Sister.

Austin : [To Junior] You had your own outfit, do you mean to say that you have never worn it before now?

Junior: Not in public!

Harvey: [To Junior, chuckling] Yes, that's part of married life, all right!

Junior: Well, it was until my wife and children were murdered.

Austin : [To Junior] What was your wife's name?

Junior: Jenny.

Austin : [To Junior] Well, if anyone thinks that you look like Junior, just say that you are his long lost cousin, and that you have come to visit the place where the Junior family used to live, and pray for their souls. [Checks his hair briefly ina mirror] or something like that.

Alice: And come on, are they really still looking for you?

[JUNIOR opens the window to reveal that the walls of the streets are plastered with "Wanted: Deed or Alice" posters of himself.]

Alice: Deed or Alice?

Junior: The local printer doesn't spell too good. [Points to a ratty looking warehouse] How about you drop me there and come and get me when you're done? I really don't want to be anywhere near my old house.

Austin : [Sighs] I can see this place has not improved one bit. Looks at the warehouse and posters dissaprovingly.

Junior: It's a shame. After the great boyband massacre the town suddenly became really popular, but it soon fell into a decline, especially after people from Dystopia started moving in. Then there was the whole zombie thing, that didn't really do too much for the tourism industry, I must say. Oh, and then the fires, the disease, the weird hum that everyone could hear, and as for that part of town where water flows upwards, well, you know, now I'm wondering why I didn't move out of here years ago.

The Great Boy Band Massacre happened in Book IV, Act III.

Harvey: [Helpfully] Low cost of living?

Junior: [Snaps his fingers] That's it! And the availability of employment, of course. Those dead rats don't just shovel themselves into people's gardens, you know!

Alice: [Looking like she's about to throw up] Wouldn't it make more sense to shovel them into some sort of pit and cover it up?

Junior: Yeesh! You sound just like my foreman!

Harvey: [Beams] That's the Short work ethic for you!

Dur: You had a foreman for shoveling rats?

Alice: [Smiles happily] Yep, telling someone else what to do!

Junior: [To Dur] No, for gardening!

Austin : [Incredulously] Excellent, we now that we have the local real estate situation assesed, shall we get going?

Junior: [Steps down from the carriage] Okay, you guys, I'll wait here. Now, don't go forgetting me, okay?

Alice: Let's go!

[The carriage zooms off towards Lacerate.]

[Book VI, Act III, Scene III. Lacerate Street. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, in the carriage. It has taken about ten minutes to get here, but, rather confusingly, the numbers appear to be in random order, so the going is slow.]

Alice: [Give a tut of annoyance as the house numbers go from 4 to 982] So, does anyone else find it a bit weird that Lucy isn't, well, you know, dead?

Dur: Perhaps it was a fancy bit of medical knowledge! I'd like to meet the surgeon who could bring someone back from the dead.

Chastity: [To Alice] It's not that unusual, my dear. Especially in our line of work. We should expect the unexpected at all times. Except when we're having lunch.

Austin : Well, we have all returned from the dead on several occasions. Perhaps Lucy secretly had nascency fluid stored somewhere. We can ask her when we meet her.

Alice: Perhaps, Aus, but Nascency Fluid only works in the Interior, remember? [Suddenly jams on the brakes, causing another carriage to rear end them] I think that's it over there.

[Enter JACK WATERS, an angry looking man.]

Jack: Hey! You just reversed into my carriage!

Jack Waters

Austin : [To Jack] You rammed into our carriage! [Hands over a card] You will be hearing from her lawyer promptly. [Hands out some witness statment sheets to the party] We appear to have several witness who are willing to testify that you ran into us. A nun, a doctor and a colonel are amongst their number, all well respected member of the community!

Harvey: [Bellows] I saw it! I saw it all!

Jack: Not respected members of OUR community! For all I know, you could be murderers! And who the hell is going to take the word of MURDERERS?

Austin : [To Jack] Well we are not murderers, but you are probably a liar! And who in hell would take the word of a liar?

Dur: Well I suppose that depends highly on what a liar was trying to tell you....

Jack: Good point! [Pause] For a murderer! [To Austin] I might be a liar, but if so, I'm a liar from around here. You're just a murderer from God knows where!

Austin : [Dryly] I am not a murderer. [Finishes writing and then hand Jack a huge wad of papers] We will see you in court.

Jack: [Doesn't take them, but hands over an even huger wad of papers] Oh no! I'll see YOU in court!

Harvey: [Enraged] Yes, you watch for us. We'll be wearing little beanie caps with whirly bits on the top!

Jack: Yeah? Well, I - uh, I don't know what that means, but I'm sure it's typical of the kind of thing murderers from out of town wear!

Austin : [Looks alarmed] Except for me that is. [Take the wad of papers fro Jack and reads it. To Jack] This is an Yukiea catalogue?

Jack: To the untrained eye, perhaps. [Takes out a policeman's badge] Do you know what this is?

Alice: A coaster covered in tin foil?

Jack: [Puts it back in his pocket] Very clever.

Austin : [Smugly] Yes she is rather. [To Alice] Well, let us not dilly-dally any longer.

[Eventually the party get to the gate marked 8. There is a small garden here with a path that leads up to the door. There appears to be blood smeared on the door and there is a red haired woman lying face down in the garden.]

Austin : This town has really lost it. Junior said that there had been a period where there has been a strange humming. That sounds abit like one of those shield type devices. With all of these horrible goings on I suspect that Pestillence has been here for some time.

Alice: Maybe [points at the woman] she might know?

Austin : [To Alice] Well if you can talk to the dead then ask away.

Dur: Here now! Are you a certified doctor that can just go around pronouncing people dead!? How would you feel if I pronounce YOU dead without any formal examination?

Alice: [Nods] Anyway, I can normally get Clint to understand me, and that's GOT to be harder than talking to someone who's dead! [To Dur] Check her out, Doc!

Dur: [Looks at the smeared blood nervously before poking the woman's body with his foot] This woman's dead!

Woman: Ow! Hey! What the he-ell is wrong with you?

[The woman is MEG ANGEL. She looks like she has recently been punched in the face.]

Meg Angel

Harvey: Like we'd take your word for it, quack!

Dur: [Hides behind Austin] I didn't administer any care; you have no basis for a malpractice suit! Tell her Aus!

Alice: You didn't administer any care? Oh! That's why she's still alive!

Meg: Who the he-ell are you people? And what the he-ell just happened?

Harvey: Madam, we are the Queens View party, and I can assure you we don't know what the blazes just happened, as we are new in town.

Meg: I was standing here talking to my daughter, Lucy. She saw someone coming from the street and looked terrified. I turned to see but was hit in the face before I saw who it was. [Looks around] Where the he-ell is Lucy?

Austin : [To Meg] We came to see Lucy, but it appears that we are too late. [Looks around] I fear that she may have been kidnapped. [Turns back to Meg] I am Austin, she may have mentioned me in the past? I was about to be married to Lucy just before Trindle murdered her. [Looks around looking quite forlorn]

Meg: Austin? He-ell! Of course she's mentioned you! You can call me Mom! [Hugs Austin, giving his ass a squeeze as she does]

Alice: You know, if she was kidnapped, and she was standing out here, then why is there blood on the door?

Austin : [Looks suprised by the bum squeeze] It is a pleasure to meet you too, Mrs Angel! Perhaps we should check inside incase Lucy is there, she might be hurt.

Forgot that Tom told us he's away!

Clint: Damn. Door's already open. [Pushes it open further] Uh, I think you all should take a look at this. [Draws his sword]

Alice: It's a sword Clint. Very pretty.

Clint: No, [gestures with his sword] I mean all the blood on the stairs.

Harvey: [In a loud whisper] By the saints, Private Scar, there are ladies present! You must learn to break this sort of information to them gently. [To Meg, in a normal voice] Madame, it appears you have a cleaning emergency, but don't fret! The good Sister here will have it tidied up in the shake of a lamb's tail!

stairs.

Dur: [Peeks in and takes a look] THAT is one serious nose bleed!

Chastity: [Puts on a pair of big yellow latex gloves] Come on Alice! A woman's work is never done. [Starts to whistle tunelessly]

Alice: What? [Looks around] We're out in the open! I'm not going taking my pants off here! Besides, there's adventuring work to be done! [Looks in] Yikes! That's a lot of blood leading up the stairs, isn't it?

Austin : [Looks pale at the sight of what might be Lucy's blood] Perhaps Mr Scar could check upstairs?

Clint: Sure. What's the worst that could happen? [Walks up the steps, trying to not get *too* much blood on himself.]

Back in Houston. Very tired, though, so might sleep in some tomorrow.

[CLINT moves upstairs with some difficulty, as there is a lot of blood on the stairs.]

Alice: [Following behind Clint] I don't like the look of this at all. [Looks down at the blood] This looks even worse! Are we sure she was just kidnapped?

Austin : [Looks at Alice blankly] Sometimes Alice, I have my doubts about you [Rolls his eyes]

Harvey: [Hopefully] Perhaps she gave them what for before they nabbed her? [Starts up the stairs] Do you see anything up there, Private Scar?

Alice: [To Austin] While I rarely have any about you, Aus. You seem very pedestrian about all this.

[The party keep going, following the trail of blood to a closed door.]

Meg: [At the back of the group, not able to see the door as she's too far back] What the he-ell is going on?

Chastity: [Puts her arms around Meg] Let the men handle this. Why don't you put the kettle on.

Harvey: Quite right, Sister! You ladies make some tea, and we'll see what's what. [In a loud whisper] Get ready, troop! [Attempts to open the door at the end of the blood trail]

Meg: Why the he-ell would I make some tea?

[HARVEY pushes the door open to reveal LUCY lying on the bed, wearing a wedding dress and covered in blood. Sitting on the edge of the bed is PESTILENCE.]

Pestilence: [Tutting reproachfully] You know, it's very bad luck to keep the bride waiting.

Dur: [Looks around nervously] Perhaps I best help the women. After all, we don't want them burning their hands now do we?

Austin : [Takes a deeps breath and walks into the room, gazes at Lucy. Slips his left glove off. To Contagion] Hello.

It's not Contagion, it's Pestilence!

Pestilence: [Gives a smile and a wave] Hello.

Lucy: [Coughs up some blood and looks up] Austin? For God's sake! Help me!

Harvey: [To Pestilence, sword out] Unhand this innocent woman, you bastard!

Pestilence: N-uh! [Holds up his fingers] First, I'm not touching her. Second, she is far from innocent. Third, I'm not a - oh, well, but two out of three were wrong!

Lucy: Please! Help me! [Chokes a little on some blood]

Alice: [Gives Austin a curious look as she draws her sword] Uh, do you know something we don't?

Harvey: [Attempts to assist Lucy. To Pestilence] What do you claim did this poor girl do to deserve this?!

Chastity: Dear Phili, we must help the poor girl. [Attempts to cast cure wounds spell on Lucy]

Pestilence: [Steps back to let Harvey at Lucy] What? You just assume I'm responsible for this? Yeesh, arrest me, officer! [Holds up his hands, showing that they are covered in blood]

Tom's sleeping in

Clint: [Charges at Pestilence, swinging his sword] You bastard!

[PESTILENCE nimbly dodges the sword, while CHASTITY gets to LUCY and casts her spell.]

Pestilence: Hey! That could have someone's eye out!

Austin : [Rushes over to help Lucy, tries to stem any flows of blood] Oh my! You're still alive! [Gives Lucy a quick kiss. To the party] Does anyone have a healing potion ? Call an ambulance!

UGVzdGlsZW5jZTogW0F2b2lkaW5nIGJsb3dzIGZyb20gY2xpbnQgYW5kIEFsaWNlXSBJIGhhdmUg b25lISBbSG9sZHMgb3V0IGEgcG90aW9uXQ0KDQpTZW50IGZyb20gbXkgQmxhY2tCZXJyea4gd2ly ZWxlc3MgaGFuZGhlbGQNCg0KLS0tLS1PcmlnaW5hbCBNZXNzYWdlLS0tLS0NCkZyb206IGRqb2JA c3RhZmZtYWlsLmVkLmFjLnVrDQoNCkRhdGU6IFdlZCwgMjcgRmViIDIwMDggMTU6MzQ6MjMgDQpU bzpDb25vciBSeWFuIDxjb25vci5yQGdtYWlsLmNvbT4NCkNjOkhlYXRoZXIgPGhlYXRoZXIuZ29n Z2Fuc0BnbWFpbC5jb20+LCAgICAgICAiRGF5LCBLZXZpbiBSLiAoTGFzIENvbGluYXMpIE5BIjxL ZXZpbi5EYXlAaGFuc29uLmJpej4sICAgICAgICJEb2JlaywgUGF1bCIgPHBhdWwuZG9iZWtAY2l0 aS5jb20+LCAgICAgICBUb20gSGVuZGVyc29uPHRoZzhyZ3V5QHlhaG9vLmNvbT4sIHBkb2Jla0Bn bWFpbC5jb20sICAgICAgIGJlYXRteWFjZXNAeWFob28uY29tLCBxdmJsb2dnZXJAZ21haWwuY29t DQpTdWJqZWN0OiBbcXZdIDAzLjAzLjA1Mg0KDQoNCkxhc3QgZnJvbSBoaW0gIzUyDQo+DQo+IENs aW50OiBbQ2hhcmdlcyBhdCBQZXN0aWxlbmNlLCBzd2luZ2luZyBoaXMgc3dvcmRdIFlvdSBiYXN0 YXJkIQ0KPg0KPiAgICAgICAgW1BFU1RJTEVOQ0UgbmltYmx5IGRvZGdlcyB0aGUgc3dvcmQsIHdo aWxlIENIQVNUSVRZIGdldHMgdG8NCj4gTFVDWSBhbmQgY2FzdHMgaGVyIHNwZWxsLl0NCj4NCj4g UGVzdGlsZW5jZTogSGV5ISBUaGF0IGNvdWxkIGhhdmUgc29tZW9uZSdzIGV5ZSBvdXQhDQoNCkF1 c3RpbiA6IFtSdXNoZXMgb3ZlciB0byBoZWxwIEx1Y3ksIHRyaWVzIHRvIHN0ZW0gYW55IGZsb3dz IG9mIGJsb29kXSAgDQpPaCBteSEgWW91J3JlIHN0aWxsIGFsaXZlISBbR2l2ZXMgTHVjeSBhIHF1 aWNrIGtpc3MuIFRvIHRoZSBwYXJ0eV0gIA0KRG9lcyBhbnlvbmUgaGF2ZSBhIGhlYWxpbmcgcG90 aW9uID8gQ2FsbCBhbiBhbWJ1bGFuY2UhDQoNCg0KDQoNCg0KLS0gDQpUaGUgVW5pdmVyc2l0eSBv ZiBFZGluYnVyZ2ggaXMgYSBjaGFyaXRhYmxlIGJvZHksIHJlZ2lzdGVyZWQgaW4NClNjb3RsYW5k LCB3aXRoIHJlZ2lzdHJhdGlvbiBudW1iZXIgU0MwMDUzMzYuDQoNCg0K

Austin : [To Pestilence, sorrowfully] Unfortunately I cannot trust you to do anything but evil, I expect that is some form of poison [Tries to save Lucy. To Chastity] Another healing spell perhaps?

Pestilence: [Shrugs] Fair enough. I mean, I am the one responsible for this, after all.

Lucy: Austin... Austin... you must stop Clementine...

Clint: [Determined.] The hill will just have to wait. I'm gonna stop this guy, first! Hold still, you!

Austin : [To Lucy, softly but quickly] I thought Clementine was a hill, but it's aperson too?

Dur: Ask her who Clementine is Austin! [Tries to aid Chastity by casting his own healing spell.]

Lucy: [Gasping for breath, although clearly aided by Dur's spell] No, Aus, Clementine isn't a hill. Clementine is a .. [loses consciousness]

Pestilence: What? What is Clementine?

[CLINT's sword bounces off PESTILENCE.]

Pestilence: Ow! Hey! That nearly hurt!

Clint: Get the girl outta here, lawyer. I'll keep this guy busy! [Tries to drive Pestilence into a corner.]

Chastity: [Rummages through her belongings for a healing potion. If she has one she will give it to Lucy]

Harvey: [Attempts to stab Pestilence with his sword] Die, wretch!

[CHASTITY fishes out another potion and pours it onto LUCY's lips, while CLINT, HARVEY and ALICE drive PESTILENCE backwards.]

Pestilence: Hey! If that's how you're gonna be! [Dives headfirst out the window]

the >window]

Dur: [Over Chastity's shoulder] Is she going to make it? We need to know who Clementine is!

know

Chastity: I don't know. [To Meg] Is there a [glances at Dur] respectable doctor close by? [Tries to tend to Lucy's wounds]

Meg: A respectable doctor? [Worriedly] No!

Austin : [Tend to Lucy, cleaning the blood off her face, trying to stem any blood loss etc] Any more healing potions anybody? [Quickly searches his own bag]

[Everyone takes out whatever healing potions and such that they have, but LUCY is gone, and dies in AUSTIN's arms. Everyone stands around in shocked silence.]

Meg: How the he-ell am I going to get those sheets clean?

Harvey: [To Meg] Heartless crone! This young lady just died, have some respect!

Meg: Died? No, she's not dead, she's just - oh, Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu-cy!

Alice: [Wincing at the high pitched scream] Yikes!

Meg: Not again!

Harvey: [To Meg] Again? What do you mean, good lady?

Meg: We only just got her back!

Austin : [Closes Lucy's eyes carefully, still holding her]

[Fade to black.]

End of scene, next one coming right up.

[Book VI, Act III, Scene IV. Meg's House. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, in the kitchen with MEG. It is about ten minutes later and the cops and undertaker have been called. Enter LEE TOMMY JONES, a grizzled old cop.]

Lee: [Takes off his hat] My condolences. This is a bad business. A bad business indeed.

Lee Tommy Jones

Harvey: [To Lee, extending a handshake] Indeed it is, good sir! Is there any way we may be of assistance?

Lee: Sir, I had a dream last night. I was on a journey, and I met myself when I was young, burying a box. My older self dug it up.

[Time passes.]

Lee: You can start by telling what happened here.

Dur: [Coughs nervously] We aren't really sure of that ourselves. When we got here, the dreadful deed was done and she was beyond care. [Looks around] Perhaps it would be best if we let the victim explain?

Harvey: [Astounded] The victim is dead, quack! And you call yourself a doctor?!

Dur: [Still looking about nervously] And being a doctor, even one as highly skilled as myself, you get accustomed to being around death! I've been around enough dead people that I have... learned how to communicate with them! Besides... Lucy is only MOSTLY dead...

Alice: Oh here we go! What on earth are you talking about? Next thing we'll be enduring Crilly Bystal!

Austin : [To Dur] She seems to be one hundred percent dead. WHat do y ou mean, mostly?

Dur: Perhaps I should just show you! [Raises a pointed finger to the ceiling dramatically] To the bedroom!

Lee: [To Dur] He's got a point there, boyah. You better not be coming in here with high faluting city ways!

Alice: He's not so much high faluting city ways as flim flammery.

Lee: That's better, but I still don't like it.

[Rather conveniently, the undertaker is passing by right at that moment with the body. This is ROBERT GRAVES, who previously met the party back in Hallbridges in Book II, Act I, Scene X.]

Robert: [Pushing a wheeled stretcher, but pausing to pop his head in the window] Did someone say [mock dramatic pause] bedroom?

Dur: Stop that body!

Chastity: [Stares at Dur] Have you gone quite mad?

Robert: [Stops, making a peculiar kind of skidding noise himself as he does so] What is it? [Excited] Something about that weird thing on her back? It's really cool. Kinda spongy.

Clint: I thought he said "obnoxious ghoul," myself.

Dur: [To Chastity] Quite! [To Robert] Thing on her back? Hmmm... perhaps it is post-mortem.

Robert: I don't know, but when I get her back the crayons are coming out and I'm getting a new entry for my scrapbook!

Dur: THAT is quite disturbing! [Meanders over to the body and pulls the sheet that covers Lucy away like a magician would in a final reveal] Get ready to be amazed.

Alice: Hold on. [Gets into a pose, relaxed on an armchair] No, that'll never work. [Stands up, leaning forward, resting her chin on her thumb] Okay, now I'm ready!

Clint: [Gives Alice a look.] I'm amazed already!

I hope this isn't too out of order - I seem to be getting a bit of lag on email delivery today.

Austin : [To Dur] If you turn her into a zombie or something nasty there will be serious trouble.

Alice: Oh, come on, Aus, you've seen him in action, do you really believe there's any way she's going to be more animated after he does his thing?

Dur: [Nothing happens and Dur is left standing in a foolish pose] Wait... Something's wrong.

Alice: [Disappointed] Hey! That's not amazing at all!

Dur: [Looks up from the corpse] This woman's dead!

Austin : [To Dur. Dryly] And if you lay one finger on her you will be too.

Clint: Don't act so surprised, doc - I thought that sort of thing happened to you all the time!

too.

Dur: Don't you understand? This woman IS dead. [Dur puts a hand on his chin as if piecing together a mystery] Dead people only have about 2 or 3 good questions in them, and then they cross over. The fact that I can't talk to Lucy now means.... [Looks triumphant as it dawns on him] Someone has already spoken with her!

Austin : [To Dur] You mean to say that you talk to corpses and they answer you? [Rolls his eyes]

Clint: [Shrugs.] Don't knock it, lawyer. You were just talking to her ten minutes ago, and Jerry killed her how long ago again?

Dur: [Looks confused by what seems like an obvious question to him.] Yes?

Austin : [To Meg, curiously] How did Lucy come back to life last time?

Robert: So you can't ask her about that weird thing on her back? Pity.

Austin : [Goes over to Lucy and gently and carefully examines her back, then covers her up neatly] Hmm. I wonder just who Clementine is?

[Everyone gets a quick glance as AUSTIN examines her back, and can see that the same pattern each of them have on their back is also on hers.]

Robert: Weird, isn't it? Ever see anything like it?

Harvey: [Shielding his eyes] Sir, a gentleman never looks at a lady's back, and certainly not to poke fun at her peculiar beauty spots, what!

Robert: I'm not poking fun, I'm just curious! And they're not beauty spots, there's a real pattern there. [To Alice, holding over some crayons] Would you draw a picture of me beside it?

Alice: [Takes the crayons] No. [Pockets them]

Austin : I suppose we had better fiind out who, or what Clementine is.

Lee: Clementine? Hm. I had a dream about Clementine last night, and those weirdo Custos-Clementines. However, before we get into that, I need to know what happened here.

[Time passes.]

Lee: This would be when you tell me what happened.

Dur: It looks like this woman was killed.

Lee: What are you? Some sort of doctor?

Harvey: [Scoffs] Don't be ridiculous! This man is clearly a quack.

Lee: A quack eh? I had a dream about a duck the other night. He was my father.

Dur: I'm ... not sure they make a medicine for that.

Austin : [To Lee] Someone murdered my fiancee, Lucy Angel. That's what happened. Again. [Looks deeply sadened as he gazes at Lucy]

Clint: [Sympathetically.] Yeah. Tough break, lawyer.

Alice: [Puts her arm around Austin in consolation] Kind of weird how she was wearing her wedding dress, isn't it?

Lee: Who did this thing? Who murdered her?

Forgot to say, I'm gone for the day. Have a good weekend.

Austin : [Sighs. To Lee] When we arrived here, Meg Angel, was lying =20 unconcious in the garden. There was a large amount of blood leading up =20 to the front door and bloody hand prints on the the front door. We =20 assumed that Lucy, or someone else had been badly hurt, so we all went =20 into the house to se if we could help the injured. The blood trail =20 lead upstairs, we followed, and when we got to the bedroom, Pestilence =20 Sotot was sitting on the bed, taunting Lucy, who had sustained many =20 greivous injuries. We tried to save Lucy, and Pestilence Sotot escaped =20 through the bedroom window. Lucy died, despite our best effort to save =20 her, then you arrived. [Looks quite defeated and walks back into the =20 Angel's garden and sits down on the garden bench]

Lee: Pestilence? Nonsense! Nonsense! Pestilence is dead, everyone knows that!

Harvey: I'm afraid not, good sir! We saw him just moments ago, looking and acting quite the bastard, if you you'll pardon my Elvish!

Austin : [To Lee] He looked very alive to me. I suppose it may have been an impersonator, but he looked pretty much like the same old Pestillence to me.

Lee: Pestilence is dead. Killed by Jerome in Dystopia. [Sternly] The last person to claim that Pestilence was alive was that murderer Junior Junior.

Harvey: [Scratching a sideburn] Well, that doesn't sound like the name of a murderer, if you ask me! All the best men are Juniors, like my own son. Furthermore, this troop saw that villain Pestilence, and none of us are murderers. [Confidently] Therefore, we're all telling the truth, if you follow my reasoning.

Lee: [Looks confused] So your son is a murderer?

Harvey: No, he's only [thinks for a moment] two years old, for Phili's sake!

Lee: We are quite sure that Pestilence wasn't responsible for the murders that Junior has been accused of. In fact, the investigating officer is here right now, he can pour scorn upon your claim that it was Pestilence.

Dur: How's that? Was he there for the murders?

=20

Chastity: Office, I can indeed confirm that the murder of this poor girl was committed by Pestilence himself. We saw the whole thing, but were unable to interject in time. [Bows her head sorrowfully]

Lee: [To Dur] No, he was called to the scene. A pretty clear case of marmaladism, as far as I remember. [To Chastity] Unlikely, although I believe you may have seen someone who looked like Pestilence.

Austin : [Shrugs] Perhaps this Junior Junior fellow disguised himself as Pestillence?

Lee: Could be, although we believe that Junior has left the town like the coward he is.

Austin : [To Lee] How do you know that Trindle killed Pestillence? After all, Trindle is a murderer, and was in cahoots with Pestillence at one time.

Lee: Because here in Asphyxia we know everything that happens in Dystopia.

Alice: [Pales a little] Do you know what I did in the you-know-what when we were there?

Lee: [Emotionless] Yes. Yes I do. [To Austin] You are almost certainly confused. We have a low life living in Asphyxia who bears a startling resemblance to Pestilence.

Clint: Hey, don't they all? I mean, really guys, what are the chances we *really* saw a dead guy? People who see dead guys get dragged off to have their heads examined!

Lee: [Looks Clint up and down] Not all of them. You know, Junior Junior used to live next door. If you want, we can show you the crime scene.

Harvey: That would be most interesting, thank you!

Lee: He's very helpful. [Calls out to someone in the hall] Jack!

[Enter JACK WATERS, the man who rear ended the party earlier, and that had the frank exchange of views with AUSTIN.]

Jack: Ah! You caught them, excellent!

Austin : [To Jack] Yes, we where about to leave to try and find out who this 'Clementine' person is. My recently deceased fiancee mentioned his name, it was the last thing she said in fact. [Looks sadly towards Lucy. To Jack] But I suppose we could look at the 'Junior Junior' crime scene if it might help.

Dur: How long ago did the crime occur?

Jack: Just five minutes ago! [Points at Dur] You were there. [Points out each of Harvey, Chastity, Clint and Alice in turn] And you, and you, and you, and you. [Points to Austin] He was the ringleader.

Clint: [To Lee.] Do you mind if I tear this guy limb from limb before we go see the crime scene?

Lee: I'd prefer if you didn't. [To Jack] Jack, tell them how the whole house was locked from the inside when you got there, and how you had to break down the door to get in.

Jack: The whole house was locked from the inside when I got there. I had to break down the door to get in.

Alice: How'd you do that? Drive into it?

Austin : [Smirks] I expect the house reversed into him.

Jack: Got something to say, smart guy? Got a murder you need beaten out of you?

Harvey: [To Jack] Nobody threatens my troop, chappie! Now you just leave us be. We're in the middle of an important investigation that doesn't concern you.

Austin : [To Harvey] Colonel, perhaps we should inspect the Junior Junior crime scene. It is possible that Junior Junior himself ws masquerading as Pestillence.

Jack: [Enraged, getting in Harvey's face] Doesn't concern me? Who the hell are you to tell me this doesn't concern me. You're on my turf my now, my manor, my backyard. You better behave yourself. Chappie.

Harvey: [Ignores Jack] To the crime scene, troop!

Jack: [Steps to block Harvey] That's my crime scene, chappie!

Austin : [Looks quisicallly at Jack] So you murdered the Junior family?

Jack: There's only one suspected murderer here, and that's you! [Points at Harvey] And maybe him. [To Clint] And probably him. [To Dur] And that guy. [Waves vaguely at Alice and Chastity] And possibly them.

Austin : [To Jack] Is it not most unprofessional to perambulate around the area of your remit, accusing everyone you see of murder? How will you ever catch the real murder if you stand here accusing innocent bystanders? [Indignantly] We have already stated that the perpitrator of this murder appeared to be Pestillence, and this gentleman here [Gestures to Lee] Pointed out that there is a neer-do-well from Asphyxia who bears a startling resembelance to Pestillence. Is that not a lead? Should you not be searching for him now? [Looks around]

Chastity: I wonder if there are any clues in Lucy's bedroom. Should we search there first?

SmFjazogW0FuZ3JpbHkgdG8gQXVzdGluXSBZZXMhIFllcyBJIHNob3VsZCENCg0KDQpTZW50IGZy b20gbXkgQmxhY2tCZXJyea4gd2lyZWxlc3MgaGFuZGhlbGQNCg0KLS0tLS1PcmlnaW5hbCBNZXNz YWdlLS0tLS0NCkZyb206ICJEb2JlaywgUGF1bCAiIDxwYXVsLmRvYmVrQGNpdGkuY29tPg0KDQpE YXRlOiBUdWUsIDQgTWFyIDIwMDggMDk6MDk6MTcgDQpUbzo8ZGpvYkBzdGFmZm1haWwuZWQuYWMu dWs+LCAiQ29ub3IgUnlhbiIgPGNvbm9yLnJAZ21haWwuY29tPg0KQ2M6IkhlYXRoZXIiIDxoZWF0 aGVyLmdvZ2dhbnNAZ21haWwuY29tPiwgICAgICAgIlRvbSBIZW5kZXJzb24iIDx0aGc4cmd1eUB5 YWhvby5jb20+LCAgICAgICAiRGF5LCBLZXZpbiBSLlwoTGFzIENvbGluYXNcKSBOQSIgPEtldmlu LkRheUBoYW5zb24uYml6PiwgICAgICAgPHBkb2Jla0BnbWFpbC5jb20+LCA8YmVhdG15YWNlc0B5 YWhvby5jb20+LCA8cXZibG9nZ2VyQGdtYWlsLmNvbT4NClN1YmplY3Q6IFtxdl0gMDMuMDQuMDc0 DQoNCg0KTGFzdCBmcm9tIERvbSAjNzMNCg0KPiBBdXN0aW4gOiBbVG8gSmFja10gSXMgaXQgbm90 IG1vc3QgdW5wcm9mZXNzaW9uYWwgdG8gcGVyYW1idWxhdGUgYXJvdW5kDQo+IHRoZSBhcmVhIG9m IHlvdXIgcmVtaXQsIGFjY3VzaW5nIGV2ZXJ5b25lIHlvdSBzZWUgb2YgbXVyZGVyPyBIb3cgd2ls bA0KPiB5b3UgZXZlciBjYXRjaCB0aGUgcmVhbCBtdXJkZXIgaWYgeW91IHN0YW5kIGhlcmUgYWNj dXNpbmcgaW5ub2NlbnQNCj4gYnlzdGFuZGVycz8gW0luZGlnbmFudGx5XSBXZSBoYXZlIGFscmVh ZHkgc3RhdGVkIHRoYXQgdGhlIHBlcnBpdHJhdG9yDQo+IG9mIHRoaXMgbXVyZGVyIGFwcGVhcmVk IHRvIGJlIFBlc3RpbGxlbmNlLCBhbmQgdGhpcyBnZW50bGVtYW4gaGVyZQ0KPiBbR2VzdHVyZXMg dG8gTGVlXSBQb2ludGVkIG91dCB0aGF0IHRoZXJlIGlzIGEgbmVlci1kby13ZWxsIGZyb20NCj4g QXNwaHl4aWEgd2hvIGJlYXJzIGEgc3RhcnRsaW5nIHJlc2VtYmVsYW5jZSB0byBQZXN0aWxsZW5j ZS4gSXMgdGhhdA0KPiBub3QgYSBsZWFkPyBTaG91bGQgeW91IG5vdCBiZSBzZWFyY2hpbmcgZm9y IGhpbSBub3c/IFtMb29rcyBhcm91bmRdDQoNCkNoYXN0aXR5OiBJIHdvbmRlciBpZiB0aGVyZSBh cmUgYW55IGNsdWVzIGluIEx1Y3kncyBiZWRyb29tLiBTaG91bGQgd2UNCnNlYXJjaCB0aGVyZSBm aXJzdD8NCg==

Dur: Like in her panty drawer? There weren't any clues there, I already checked.

Austin : [Frowns at Dur] As if there would be any clues in there! [Looks disgustedly at Dur] The murderer, who bore a startling resembelance to Pestillence, jumped out of the bedroom window. Perhaps we should check to see if her dropped anything or left some clues, footprints perhaps. The impact of his landing must have been considerable.

Dur: [Defensively] You never know! Women hide all kinds of stuff in that drawer! [Coughs uncomfortably] I mean... so I've been told.

Alice: I used to hide stuff there, but it kept getting sto- hey!

Lee: [To Jack] Easy, my friend. Let them go outside if they wish. And if they need to go through her unmentionables, possibly rubbing their faces in silky goodness, well, that's just fine too.

Harvey: [Blushing furiously] We most certainly will not!

Jack: Whatever. Pervert.

Lee: Well, murderers, upstairs or outside?

Austin : [To Lee] We are not murderers, nor have we ever been accused or convicted of such a henious crime, or crimes. Please decist from refering to us as such!

Lee: No.

=20

Chastity: That's not entirely true. We have been accused of various heinous crimes in our time. Thankfully, none could ever be proven.

Lee: Come on. Let's look outside.

[Exit ALL except ROBERT.]

Robert: [Taking out a pair of silky unmentionables and rubbing them all over his face] Num num num num!

End of scene, next one coming right up

Last form me #4.83

[Book VI, Act III, Scene V. Outside Lucy's window. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY, LEE and JACK are here. The window is upstairs, and there is a lawn beneath it, although there is really no sign that anyone leapt from a great height onto it.]

Alice: What are we looking for?

Clint: An excuse for me to deck those two?

Dur: Clues of course! [Pulls out a magnifying glass excitedly] Oh I love playing detective!

Alice: [Looks Dur up and down] And I can see you clearly have none!

Lee: [Surveys the scene] If it was a Custos-Clementine, he managed to leave very few tracks.

Austin : [Scours the lawn carefully] Well, presuming that Pestillence did jump from the window, and did not climb down [Looks to see if there is something that Pestillence could have climed on] Then one might expect there to be heavily indented footprints in the lawn, where he landed.

Austin : [Looking interested] Custos-Clementine, who on earth is he?

Lee: They. They're a bunch of weirdoes. One of them looks like Pestilence.

Clint: And where can we find these freaks? They might know what's going on here!

Lee: They're hanging out in a warehouse over on Bruise Boulevard. We tried to get a warrant but all the judge said was "let go of my testicles."

Austin : [Frowns. To the party] Was that the ratty looking old warehouse we passed eariler, on our way here?

Alice: No, I think that was on Gash Street. [To Lee] Are they close?

Lee: Fairly. Gash is two blocks to the East of Bruise. Bruise is between here and there.

Alice: Bruise is between lacerate and gash?

Lee: Correct.

Alice: [Thinks for a moment] Hm.

Lee: Yes, you'd think that would be funny, wouldn't you?

Alice: Yes, but it's not.

Lee: No.

Austin : No. [Looks at the rest of the party]

Harvey: [Sighs nostalgically] These crazy modern names! Whatever happened to Primrose Path and Mockingbird Lane?!

Lee: Bulldozed to make space for Puke Place Shopping Mall.

Harvey: [Disgusted] Typical!

Lee: We can't come with you, I'm afraid. Can't come within 200 feet.

Austin : [To Lee] Why on earth not?

Clint: Don't question good luck, lawyer!

Lee: Because those bastards twist the law to suit themselves. Illegal search my ass.

Alice: Ew! No thanks!

Harvey: Damn ambulance-chasing rodents! [To the party] Right, now let's be on our way, troop!

[The party head off, leaving everyone else there, and make their way towards the warehouse.]

Alice: [As the party pass the warehouse where Junior was left] Should we pick up Junior?

Austin : [To Alice] I am not so sure that Junior is who he claims to =20 be. He may be Pestillence in disguise, or in league with him at the =20 very least. [Sighs] At the trailer park he appeared to be an idiot at =20 first, but then we founf out that he had arrange the trailers in a =20 'help' formation, but also could leave the shield if he wanted to. =20 More than a little odd. [Ponders] He was also very insistent the he =20 come back here with us, only to insist that he did not accompany us to =20 the Angel's house, for fear of being arrested. Why did he not just =20 stay away completely? He obviously had a different agenda. [Checks his =20 nails in a smug but nonchalant manner]

Harvey: Perhaps we'd better distance ourself from him, troop, at least until we get to the bottom of this murder business?

Dur: He could come in handy as a diversion in necessary...

Alice: So, that's a no?

Austin : [To Alice] Perhaps it is better to keep our enemies closer?

Dur: [Nervously] But then they are close enough to stab us at their own leisure! I always thought it best to run the other way until you can no longer see your enemies!

Alice: You think it's best to run away from everyone! Is he really our enemy? He did save our lives back in the trailer park, after all. And I know, he's not an idiot, but really, we have enough idiots already, don't we?

Austin : [To Alice] He could have set the whole thing up in the trailer park, to delay us and then ingratiate himself to us, by apparently saving us.

Alice: True, and we spent so much time dealing with that fool Jack who rear ended us he'd probably have had enough time to get in and kill poor old Lucy. Then again, could he be responsible for her still being alive? Why would he even do that?

Clint: [Rubbing his temples.] You guys talk too much!

Actually, that would be the boss. I've just left an impromptu meeting that ran from 9:00 to 12:30 my time. Egads!

Alice: Yeah? Well, you don't talk enough! [Thinks for a moment] Actually, you talk plenty. Now that I think about it, you talk way too much. Shut up, Clint.

Harvey: [Exasperated] Cease this bickering, troop! These are grim days, with Pestilence reappearing from the dead and Lucy rejoining the dead! We should all be sober, reflective and grave, like the boys were back at the Battle of Pigeon Hollow, when all those rifles backfired, our shoes fell apart, and [grimly] the hardtack went moldly.

Alice: This isn't bickering!

Dur: Oh yes it is!

Chastity: Oh no it's not!

Alice: Oh yes it is!

Clint: Oh not it's not!

Chastity: Oh yes it is!

Alice: Oh no it's not - well, maybe it is a little, but all we're trying to do is figure out if Junior should come with us. After all, he's the only other person who saw Pestilence.

Harvey: Well, I don't see why we can't examine the murder scene without his assistance, but then again your dear old uncle only has 50 years of leadership and military experience more than you, niece! [Pauses] Wait a minute! [To Alice] Do as you're told, young lady! We go it alone! We can pick him up later [crosses his arms defiantly].

Alice: Yes, Uncle Harvey. [Pauses] Wait a minute! [To Harvey] We're not even going to the murder scene! We're going to the Custos-Clementine place! [Crosses her arms defiantly]

Austin : [Gets into the carriage. To Alice] Would you care to drive?

Harvey: [Beaming, boards the carriage] Capital idea, niece! That's the Short genius for strategy for you!

Alice: [To Austin] Yes! Thank you! Now, finally, we're going to have a bit more direction! [Pauses] Where are we going again?

All: [Exasperated] The warehouse!

Alice: But which one? Do we pick Junior up first or not?

Austin : [Smirks] If only it were longer.

Alice: Better than sleazy genius! [Drives off] Let's pick him up after. [Turns around, blithely unaware that the carriage is driving down a footpath, sending people diving for cover] Do we really think he killed his family? Those cops didn't seem too smart.

Harvey: He seemed like a fine enough chap to me, [narrows his eyes suspiciously] though perhaps a bit too eager to don ladies' clothing.

Alice: Don't be such a fuddy duddy, Uncle H! It's the eighties, it's not that unusual for men to cross the gender line. Come on, don't tell me you never wondered what it would be like to try on Jasmine's unmentionables!

Austin : [Glances from Harvey to Alice] You'd have to join the que ...[Stops himself quickly. Outspoken] I doubt very much that they would fit, after all, Jasmine was a slight and delicate lady, wereas the Colonel is of a robust and powerful physique.

Alice: [Nodding] Good point. Who's underwear would he wear, I wonder?

Harvey: [Offended, red-faced] Only my own dear wife's, of course!

Austin : [To Alice] I am quite sure that the colonel wears his own military regulation underwear. Are we nearly there yet?

Dur: But you don't know where they've been!

Alice: Oh? How do you know that?

Harvey: [Roaring] What?! How dare you, Private! Are you looking to join the ranks of Dishonorably Discharged Ex-Private Trindle?!

Alice: [Alarmed] Er, [suddenly looks behind Harvey and Dur] look! Fire!

Clint: [Alarmed.] Look! A pedestrian!

Austin : [Looks out of the carriage window] Where?

Alice: [Turns to look, and jams on the brakes] Aiiieee!!

[The carriage stops inches away from DEWEY, who stands there looking petrified.]

Dewey: You could have killed me!

Alice: Never mind that! [Points out the back window] Look! The warehouse where we left Junior is on fire!

Clint: What the... Turn this thing around and let's go rescue him, Bimbo!

Dur: Are we in the rescuing business now? I thought we were in the investigating business. =20 =20

Alice: Right! [Starts to turn the carriage but knocks Dewey down] Oh no!

Dewey: [Under the carriage] Ow!

Alice: What the hell were you doing standing in front of us?

Austin : [To Dewey] Terribly foolish place to stand, and rolling in the road as you presently are, is simply suicidal, not to mention ruinous to one's clothes. [Frowns at Dewey's clothes] If you clothes we not already ruined, of course.

Chastity: [Looks at the burning blaze] Oh my! I hope nobody is in there. Shall we call the Fire Brigade?

Clint: No, we should go rescue them ourselves! We're here, aren't we?

Dewey: [As the carriage drives away, with the back wheels hitting him one more time] Whyyyyy? [The carriage pulls up outside the warehouse, which is engulfed in flames. JUNIOR is sitting on the ground near it, coughing.]

Alice: I hope there's no one else in there! We'd never get them out!

Austin : [To Junior] Who set the warehouse on fire?

Junior: [Looks up at Austin, with a wretched look on his face] You're going to think I'm crazy, but I swear to God it was Pestilence!

Dur: [Looks to the party] I thought we already thought he was crazy?

Clint: You're sure you aren't confusing him with yourself?

Alice: Yes, he is very dirty from soot and smoke.

Austin : [To Junior] How do we know that you are not Pestillence in disguise? [Checks his nails] Not that that would make any difference.

Junior: What? What are you talking about?

Harvey: [Cajoling] Come on, be a good sport! If you're Pestilence, you're proud of it anyway, right? And if you're not, well, we'll all have a good laugh about it later, together!

Junior: If I am Pestilence I don't know about it! The fucker killed my family! How can I prove it to you? [A little desperately] Surely you people have some sort of lie detector test? Maybe we could visit some sort of crusty local magician type and they could test?

Harvey: Well, I don't know of any crusty local magicians!

Alice: We passed a magic shop earlier that seemed to be owned by a guy called Krusty McKrustyson. I wonder if he's crusty.

Harvey: [Pats Alice's head fondly] Ah, trusting youth! Don't you know by now that there's never any truth in advertising?! You mark my words, this fellow will be cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut OFF!

Alice: [Confused] But you love cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off!

Austin : [To Junior] It was only a question, and as I said it doesn't really matter.

Austin : [Rolls his eyes] Colonel, shall we go and find somewhere good to eat? You must be famished [Casually checks his nails] Can't have one's troops marching on empty stomachs, etcetra. [Gazes at the flames]

Junior: Uh, okay. [To Austin] Are you a paedophile that injects heroin into puppies eyes?

Austin : [To Junior, alarmed] Pestillence does that?

SnVuaW9yOiBObywgSSB3YXMganVzdCB3b25kZXJpbmcgaWYgeW91IGRpZC4gTm90IHRoYXQgaXQg cmVhbGx5IG1hdHRlcnMuDQpTZW50IGZyb20gbXkgQmxhY2tCZXJyea4gd2lyZWxlc3MgaGFuZGhl bGQNCg0KLS0tLS1PcmlnaW5hbCBNZXNzYWdlLS0tLS0NCkZyb206IGRqb2JAc3RhZmZtYWlsLmVk LmFjLnVrDQoNCkRhdGU6IEZyaSwgMDcgTWFyIDIwMDggMTI6MTE6MTUgDQpUbzpDb25vciBSeWFu IDxjb25vci5yQGdtYWlsLmNvbT4NCkNjOkhlYXRoZXIgPGhlYXRoZXIuZ29nZ2Fuc0BnbWFpbC5j b20+LCBUb20gSGVuZGVyc29uPHRoZzhyZ3V5QHlhaG9vLmNvbT4sICAgICAgICJEYXksIEtldmlu IFIuIChMYXMgQ29saW5hcykgTkEiPEtldmluLkRheUBoYW5zb24uYml6PiwgICAgICAgIkRvYmVr LCBQYXVsIiA8cGF1bC5kb2Jla0BjaXRpLmNvbT4sIHBkb2Jla0BnbWFpbC5jb20sICAgICAgIGJl YXRteWFjZXNAeWFob28uY29tLCBxdmJsb2dnZXJAZ21haWwuY29tDQpTdWJqZWN0OiBbcXZdIDAz LjA1LjA2Ng0KDQoNCkxhc3QgZnJvbSBDb25vciAjNjUNCj4NCj4gSnVuaW9yOiBVaCwgb2theS4g W1RvIEF1c3Rpbl0gQXJlIHlvdSBhIHBhZWRvcGhpbGUgdGhhdCBpbmplY3RzIGhlcm9pbg0KPiBp bnRvIHB1cHBpZXMgZXllcz8NCg0KQXVzdGluIDogW1RvIEp1bmlvciwgYWxhcm1lZF0gUGVzdGls bGVuY2UgZG9lcyB0aGF0Pw0KDQotLSANClRoZSBVbml2ZXJzaXR5IG9mIEVkaW5idXJnaCBpcyBh IGNoYXJpdGFibGUgYm9keSwgcmVnaXN0ZXJlZCBpbg0KU2NvdGxhbmQsIHdpdGggcmVnaXN0cmF0 aW9uIG51bWJlciBTQzAwNTMzNi4NCg0KDQo= matters.

Dur: I think we're getting into an odd line of questioning... not that it really matters.

Austin : [Looks at Junior with disdain] No I don't. What a stupid thing to say. [Looks at Juniors burns] Perhaps Dr Dur can give you something for those burns. [Hands Junior a flask water]

Clint: [Claps Junior on the back.] You're alright with me, kid. Ignore the lawyer - he just watched his fiance get brutally murdered for the second time. You know how it is.

Dur: [Sarcastically] Oh sure! As if they made some kind of magical cream that you could rub on burns to ease the pain and expedite the healing process!

Alice: I know, Dur! Next they'll be claiming there's some sort of invention to put over cuts to stop them from getting infected!

Junior: [Takes the water from Austin] It is stupid. Almost as stupid as you suggesting I'm Pestilence.

Clint: Besides, lawyer, no way he had time to get from here to Lucy's house before she bought it.

Alice: Well, actually, he did, what with Jack having delayed us and all.

Clint: Oh. Hmm. I guess it's Krusty McKrustyson for us then!

Alice: Right! Let's go. [To Junior] There's still a small fire on your habit.

Junior: [Checks it out] Ah, it'll be fine. It helps keep me warm. [Exit ALL.]

[Book VI, Act III, Scene VI. Outside Krusty McKrustyson's shop. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and JUNIOR (still in disguise) are here, standing outside the shop. Suddenly, the door swings open, and they see KRUSTY MCKRUSTYSON standing in the doorway.]

Krusty: Ah! My friends! I sense that you have a question to ask!

KRUSTY MCKRUSTYSON

Harvey: Quite right, good sir! We were told that you're [hesitates] er, some kind of psychic clown who can accurately predict the past!

Krusty: [Flamboyantly waves his hands in front of him in a mysterious fashion] Not only that, my good sir, but also too the present!

Clint: [Skeptically] Oh, yeah? What am I thinking right now, Chuckles?

Krusty: Something along the lines of whatever that clown says, I'll say he's wrong. [Thinks for a moment] Oh, and also something along the lines of I wonder what those satin pink ones would feel like.

Austin : [Looks dissapointed. Dryly] I am glad that Lucy's underwear draw has changed so many lives.

Krusty: I don't think you are, my friend, I don't think you're glad at all! Now come on in, friends, come on in!

Clint: Hell, you're a psychic, you now why we're here - do we have to go in? Can't you just answer our question?

So apparently, I have minor amounts of free time this morning. It won't last, but I wanted to say hello and all. Silly conference season!

Krusty: Ah, but which question do you want me to answer? I can't completely read your minds, and I don't want to simply start blurting out things that you are thinking about just in case you don't want the others to hear about it. I mean, what would happen if I started to talk about that [smiles] girl in Dementia?

Hooray!

Clint: [Startled.] Girl in Dementia? What girl in Dementia? There was no girl in Dementia. I don't know what you're talking about! [Quickly.] Anyway, we just want to know if Junior is Pestilence. You know, just in case.

Krusty: Okay. [Turns to Alice] Are you Pestilence?

Alice: No! I'm not even Junior!

Krusty: [Laughs] Don't worry, I was just funnin' with you! [Turns to Junior, with a serious look] Are you Pestilence? [Holds on to Junior's head]

Junior: No!

Krusty: He's telling the truth.

Austin : [To Krusty] Do you know aanything about someone called Clementine?

Clementine?

Dur: And don't tell us about the hill!

Krusty: Clementine? I'm afraid not, although I bet the Custos-Clementines know something.

Harvey: Well, we thank you, good sir clown! [To the group] Come on, troop, let's be off to these so-called Custos-Clementinianites!

Krusty: Well, there is the small matter of the fee.

Alice: Oh, that's okay, we won't charge you anything.

Krusty: Uh, that's not what I meant.

Dur: Well, what did you mean? You're the mind reader here, not us.

Alice: [Does a double take on Dur] Hey! That's just what I was going to say! How did you do that?

Dur: Maybe I AM a mind reader!

Alice: Wow! [Gives him a piece of silver] Do it again! Do it again!

Krusty: Hey!

Austin : [To Krusty] Who are these Custos-Clementine's you speak of?

Krusty: [Holds his hand out] A-ahem!

Dur: [Looks to be concentrating] This guy [points to Krusty] Is worried we're going to try to run of without paying!

Alice: [Applauds] Whoo-hoo! Amazing!

Harvey: [To Krusty] But how do we know you're really reading the present? Why, anyone could say anything and charge for it! Where's the proof?

Krusty: I know who Francis Crickleton is.

Austin : [Frowns] Who, Nambu's mother?

Harvey: [Abruptly] Enough of this nonsense! [Hands Krusty five silver pieces] Here, take it, charlatan! We must be on our way and have no time for this flim flammery!

Austin : [To Harvey] Colonel, now that you have, er, crossed his palm with silver, he will tell us the answers to our questions. We might as well hear what he has to say now that you have paid!

Krusty: What is it that you want to know? Assuming that you have time for such [theatrically takes off his hat and bows down low] flimflammification, of course.

Austin : [To Krusty, sighs] Who are the Custo-Clementines, where are they and what do they have to do with us? Who is this 'Francis' you speak of and why is it important? How did Lucy Angel come back to life the last time she was murdered?

Krusty: [Sighs in an almost identical manner to Austin] I don't know. In a warehouse close by. [Shrugs] Idunno. You need to talk to your Colonel about Francis. [Shrugs once again] I don't know.

Alice: Oh for God's sake! What kind of mind reader are you?

Krusty: One who reads minds.

Clint: Hey, so if we bring one of those Crusty Clementine guys to you, you can read his mind and tell us their evil plan?

so I'm late - at least I'm kinda sorta contributing from New Orleans!

Austin : [Ignoring Clint. Calmy to Krusty] What did I do to deserve my Fiancee being murdered twice?

Chastity: [Interrupting. To Austin] I don't know. What did you do?

Krusty: [Looks at Chastity for a moment and then back to Austin] I don't know. I'm a mind reader. Let me see. [Closes his eyes and thinks hard] Hm, well, that doesn't make much sense.

Harvey: What doesn't make sense?!

Krusty: I just asked my spirit guide, a fluffy bunny named Buffy Flunny, and -

[KRUSTY glares at ALICE and CLINT who are stifling sniggers.]

Krusty: And Buffy says that the reason Lucy was brought back to life is [emphasis] because you suffered.

Austin : [Frown] You are right. That doesn't make sense. But thank you anyway. [Gazes out of the window]

Krusty: Buffy is worried for your well being, for all of you. Something about an infection? And a pattern?

Harvey: Agreed, Private Sleaze! Everyone knows bunnies are for eating, not for guiding!

Austin : [To Krusty, quickly] Yes, indeed, take a look [Turns his back on Krusty and shows him the mark] It is most concerning, as none of us know how we got them, or what they are.

Krusty: Ew! [Gets down and takes a closer look] When did they appear?

Austin : [To Krusty] I am not exactly sure. A few months ago perhaps? [Looks towards Alice. To Krusty] Do you know anything about it?

Alice: Actually it was only a week ago, Aus, in Queens View, but we did see them in those dreams about the sacrifices for months before that.

Krusty: Only that I'm glad I don't have one! What HAVE you people been doing?

Austin : [To Krusty] Why? What is it, what does in mean?

Krusty: I don't know, it just looks disgusting!

Harvey: That much, we knew! Troop, this man clearly has nothing more to tell us. Let us go and see the Custard Clemintonians!

Dur: [Still practicing his amateur mind reading skills] I knew you were going to say that!

=20 were

Chastity: [Sighs] And we all knew that you were going to say something pointless.

Alice: [Dismayed] I didn't!

Clint: Somehow, I'm not surprised. [To Krusty.] Anyway, thanks for the info, clown.

Krusty: No problem, Clown.

[Exit ALL.]

[Book VI, Act III, Scene VII. Outside the warehouse. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHASTITY, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and JUNIOR are here, outside the other warehouse.]

Alice: So, is Junior going to come in with us?

Austin : [To Alice] Why don't you ask him?

Alice: [To Junior] Are you going to come in with us?

Junior: Why don't you ask him?

Alice: [Sighs and turns to Austin] Well?

Austin : [Exasperated] I am not a mind reader! [To Junior] Do you want to come with us or not? It is your choice, not mine.

Alice: [To Dur] Well? Does Austin want him to come or not?

Junior: [Shrugs] That's not the question she asked. You know I want to come. You're the one who seemed to think I was Pestilence.

Dur: I think Austin thinks Junior is secretly Pestilence where as Junior, I think, just wants to try on more ladies clothing.

Austin : [Rolls his eyes] And I said even if you were Pestillence I don't mind wether you come or not! Since you are not Pestillence perhaps you want to come, perhaps you don't! [Pauses] Traveling with us can be dangerous, we have fought all manner of evils, from Despots to Demons, from estranged women to Womens groups against ... [Ponders] Well whatever. [Hastely] And we are often in the field, miles away from the nearest tailor or restaurant! [Looks satisfied]

Junior: Pestilence killed my wife and family! If you guys have any chance of finding him of course I want to be with you, and if there's more women's clothing to try on, well, that wouldn't be too awful either.

Harvey: Then fall in, Cadet Junior! But keep your disturbing fetishes to yourself--don't ask, don't tell, that's my motto!

Austin : [To Junior] Good, you are comming then. [To Harvey] The troop is ready to move out, colonel [Checks his nails casually]

Chastity: [To Junior] And we are guided by the light of the wondrous Phili. With such a power on our side, we are sure to succeed in our quest to rid the world of evil. The road to salvation is rocky, but our resolve is strong. Plus we have solid footwear. [Shows off her sandals]=20

Dur: That's the same as your wife's! Must be a family motto.

Alice: Uh oh! This is gonna be good!

Harvey: [To Dur, roaring] What?! How dare you speak so familiarly about the wife of your commanding officer! Private, this is your second warning. Once more and you'll be court-martialed, drawn and quartered, and drop-kicked back to the Quack Factory!!!

Austin : [Looks mockingly alarmed] Factory! He's mass produced! [Smirks]

Dur: [Looks nervous] I think you misunderstood colonel... [Stammering] What I meant was, as the wife of such a prestigious military officer, she must go by the same motto's as you do. After all, her family could be called her 'troop' and she's surely in charge when you go off on these long missions that take you far from home for undetermined periods of time.

Alice: [Folds her arms with a sceptical look, turning to Austin] I don't know. I'm not buying it!

Harvey: [Incredulously, to Dur] A woman, in charge of a troop?! That's quite enough of your feathery nonsense, Private!

Austin : [Raises and eyebrow. To Alice] I would not buy anything from him.

Clint: [Impatiently.] Hey, as great as it is focusing on the doc's quackery, shouldn't we be doing something productive? Like taking out those Custard Clementones?

Austin : [To Clint] Perhaps we should first establish who, exactly the Custo-Clementines are, before we [Does anoying finger quotes] 'take them out', Mr Scar.

Alice: Take them out where? For a fancy meal? Getting them tell their story over surf 'n turf? Getting them to perform [finger quotes] special kisses in the back of our carriage and then not calling them the next day? [Thinks for a moment] It's just so crazy it might work!

Harvey: [Baffled] Niece, henceforth you had best stay further away from Private Quack! I fear his rambling mania is infecting you!

Alice: Oh come on, Uncle Harvey! You know full well that we Shorts are virtually immune from any sort of brain infection.

Dur: [Insulted] Excuse me good sir, but my mania is far from rambling!

Alice: If only!

TGFzdCBmcm9tIG1lIDIxDQoNCkFsaWNlOiBJIHNhaWQsIGlmIG9ubHkhIFtQYXVzZXMgZXhwZWN0 YW50bHldDQoNClNlbnQgZnJvbSBteSBCbGFja0JlcnJ5riB3aXJlbGVzcyBoYW5kaGVsZA0KDQot LS0tLU9yaWdpbmFsIE1lc3NhZ2UtLS0tLQ0KRnJvbTogIkNvbm9yIFJ5YW4iIDxjb25vci5yQGdt YWlsLmNvbT4NCg0KRGF0ZTogV2VkLCAxMiBNYXIgMjAwOCAxNDowOTo0NCANClRvOkhlYXRoZXIg PGhlYXRoZXIuZ29nZ2Fuc0BnbWFpbC5jb20+DQpDYzoiVG9tIEhlbmRlcnNvbiIgPHRoZzhyZ3V5 QHlhaG9vLmNvbT4sIGRqb2JAc3RhZmZtYWlsLmVkLmFjLnVrLCAiRGF5LCBLZXZpbiBSLiAoTGFz IENvbGluYXMpIE5BIiA8S2V2aW4uRGF5QGhhbnNvbi5iaXo+LCAiRG9iZWssIFBhdWwiIDxwYXVs LmRvYmVrQGNpdGkuY29tPiwgcGRvYmVrQGdtYWlsLmNvbSwgYmVhdG15YWNlc0B5YWhvby5jb20s IHF2YmxvZ2dlckBnbWFpbC5jb20NClN1YmplY3Q6IFtxdl0gMDMuMDcuMDIxDQoNCg0KTGFzdCBm cm9tIG1lIGFuZCBLZXZpbiAjMjANCg0KPiAgQWxpY2U6IE9oIGNvbWUgb24sIFVuY2xlIEhhcnZl eSEgWW91IGtub3cgZnVsbCB3ZWxsIHRoYXQgd2UgU2hvcnRzIGFyZQ0KPiAgdmlydHVhbGx5IGlt bXVuZSBmcm9tIGFueSBzb3J0IG9mIGJyYWluIGluZmVjdGlvbi4NCj4NCj4gIER1cjogW0luc3Vs dGVkXSBFeGN1c2UgbWUgZ29vZCBzaXIsIGJ1dCBteSBtYW5pYSBpcyBmYXIgZnJvbSByYW1ibGlu ZyENCg0KQWxpY2U6IElmIG9ubHkhDQo=

Austin : [Still gazing out of the window, frowns as a tumbleweed blow by, then turns to the party] Right then, shall we pay a visit to these Custos-Clementines?

QWxpY2U6IFtHZXN0dXJpbmcgdG8gdGhlIHdhcmVob3VzZV0gV2VsbCwgd2UgYXJlIGhlcmUuIEhv dyBhcmUgd2UgZ29pbmcgdG8gYXBwcm9hY2ggdGhlc2U/IENsaW50J3Mgc3VnZ2VzdGlvbiBhYm91 dCB0YWtpbmcgdGhlbSBvdXQgdG8gZGlubmVyIGRpZG4ndCBzZWVtIHRvIGdldCBtdWNoIHN1cHBv cnQuDQpTZW50IGZyb20gbXkgQmxhY2tCZXJyecKuIHdpcmVsZXNzIGhhbmRoZWxkDQoNCi0tLS0t T3JpZ2luYWwgTWVzc2FnZS0tLS0tDQpGcm9tOiBkam9iQHN0YWZmbWFpbC5lZC5hYy51aw0KDQpE YXRlOiBXZWQsIDEyIE1hciAyMDA4IDE2OjI0OjAwIA0KVG86Y29ub3IuckBnbWFpbC5jb20NCkNj OkhlYXRoZXIgPGhlYXRoZXIuZ29nZ2Fuc0BnbWFpbC5jb20+LCBUb20gSGVuZGVyc29uPHRoZzhy Z3V5QHlhaG9vLmNvbT4sICAgICAgICJEYXksIEtldmluIFIuIChMYXMgQ29saW5hcykgTkEiPEtl dmluLkRheUBoYW5zb24uYml6PiwgICAgICAgIkRvYmVrLCBQYXVsIiA8cGF1bC5kb2Jla0BjaXRp LmNvbT4sIHBkb2Jla0BnbWFpbC5jb20sICAgICAgIGJlYXRteWFjZXNAeWFob28uY29tLCBxdmJs b2dnZXJAZ21haWwuY29tDQpTdWJqZWN0OiBbcXZdIDAzLjA3LjAyMw0KDQoNCkxhc3QgZnJvbSBo aW0gMjINCj4NCj4gQWxpY2U6IEkgc2FpZCwgaWYgb25seSEgW1BhdXNlcyBleHBlY3RhbnRseV0N Cg0KQXVzdGluIDogW1N0aWxsIGdhemluZyBvdXQgb2YgdGhlIHdpbmRvdywgZnJvd25zIGFzIGEg dHVtYmxld2VlZCBibG93ICANCmJ5LCB0aGVuIHR1cm5zIHRvIHRoZSBwYXJ0eV0gUmlnaHQgdGhl biwgc2hhbGwgd2UgcGF5IGEgdmlzaXQgdG8gdGhlc2UgIA0KQ3VzdG9zLUNsZW1lbnRpbmVzPw0K DQoNCg0KLS0gDQpUaGUgVW5pdmVyc2l0eSBvZiBFZGluYnVyZ2ggaXMgYSBjaGFyaXRhYmxlIGJv ZHksIHJlZ2lzdGVyZWQgaW4NClNjb3RsYW5kLCB3aXRoIHJlZ2lzdHJhdGlvbiBudW1iZXIgU0Mw MDUzMzYuDQoNCg0K going to didn't

Chastity: We must confront them directly rather than plying them with food. Wouldn't you agree Colonel?

Alice: Makes sense. We don't even know what food they like. [Peers in the door] Huh. That's weird.

Chastity: [Tries to peer into the doorway] What? [Walks through the door]

Austin : [Peers in behind Alice] What is weird?

Alice: The whole warehouse is completely empty, except for that one armchair, look!

[She's right. The place is completely empty. At the far end is a huge, plush armchair. There is a man sitting there reading a book. It isn't possible to see who he is, but he has long black hair and unusually pale skin, not entirely dissimilar to PESTILENCE. The book is "The Illustrated Adventures of Garfried" (a popular cartoon cat who features in all of ALICE's favourite books.]

Map

Austin : [Knocks on the door] Hello. [Looks to see if this man in the chair has blood on him from murdering Lucy, again]

[The MAN doesn't answer or look up from his book, but waves the party in. If he does have blood on him, the party don't see it.]

Harvey: [Tentatively] Hello, there. We are the Queens View party, and we wish to speak to the Custos-Clementinians. Are you [hesitates] one?

Man: [Still not looking up from behind the book] Yes. [Beckons them forward again]

Harvey: Er, capital! [Cautiously] We were told you know a young lady named Lucy Angel. Could you tell us where we might find her?

Austin : [Cautiously looks around for any signs of an ambush or mugging, holding back a little. To Alice] Terribly rude to continue reading when on has visitors, don't you think?

Alice: He's just showing off!

Man: [Still behind the book] She's dead. [Beckons once more]

Harvey: [To Booker McBookerson, hand on sword] How dreadful! What happened to her?

Man: [Roars laughing at his book, taking a good few seconds to calm down] Oh, that Garfried! He really is one crazy lasagne eating cat. [Calms down] You know what happened to her.

Alice: [To the party] Uh, should we rush him? The question is, do we try and get around the back of him or race across that suspiciously large and comfortable looking carpet that's right in front of him?

Harvey: [Sword out] Avoid the carpet, troop! Chaaaaarge! [Attempts to grab the Man]

Austin : [Looks suprised, and swiftly gets out his sling shot and loads it ready to fire] What!

Alice: [Draws her sword too] Er, charge? [Runs around the opposite side to Harvey] [The man stands up, holding his book down at his side. This is GENESIS, who, although he looks quite like PESTILENCE is clearly a different person. As the party get closer to the carpet, they can see that it has the pattern that appears on their backs on it. It will take another few seconds to get to him, as they had to give the carpet a wide berth.]

Genesis: Oh no! Now I'll never know if Garfried will get outsmart OD!

Austin : [Shoots at Genesis] Murdering wretch!

Dur: [Pulling his dagger and skirting the carpet] To be fair, we still don't know that this man killed Lucy at all.

Genesis: [Sneaks a quick look at the book] Phew! He does! [Dives towards the carpet]

[Just as AUSTIN's bullet is about to hit him, GENESIS makes contact with the carpet and dives right in. The surface shimmers a bit, but maintains the pattern. Very quickly, it goes solid again.]

Alice: Hey!

Dur: [Crouching to examine the carpet] That's odd... I didn't know carpets could do that...

Alice: We had a carpet like that when I was young. [Thinks for a moment] We used to call it the swimming pool. [Makes a face] I wasn't allowed use because - uh, someone once did a poo in it.

Harvey: [Defensively] You TOLD me it was a bidet!

Alice: I'm just glad you didn't do THAT in a bidet!

Harvey: [Confused] But isn't "bidet" Elvish for latrine?!

Alice: No! It's Rich for arse washer, or [gestures to Dur] Poor for drinking fountain.

Harvey: Aha! That explains why the Fitz-Wallingford's never invited us back for bridge night! [To the party] Now, troop, what do we make of this fantastical carpet?! [Attempts to drop a used hanky into the carpet]

Austin : [Grimaces at Alice. Picks up the book to see what Genesis was looking at] I wonder what he was looking at?

Alice: [Joins Austin, looking over his shoulder] Oh! That's one of my favourites! It's the one where Garfried does something mean to OD and gets to eat all the lasagne!

[The book appears to be a genuine comic book. ALICE and AUSTIN quickly look up as the hanky lands with a distinct splash. However, it simply sits there.]

Alice: Uh, how about using a clean, or even dry hanky?

Dur: Ha! As if the rich bastards ever let us near their fancy water fountains.

Alice: Well, someone has to clean the Dur. They are full of big bits of poo, after all!

Austin : [Looks at Alice briefly to see if she has some meaningful conclusion to her statement, then turns away, looking dissapointed] Well, perhaps the marks on our back allow us to pass through the carpet just as Genesis did. Alternatively we could have a look at what ever is downstairs. [Points at the staircase]

I'll be AFK from the 19th March - 21st April, might get a few posts in! Thailand (Conference :o)) Holiday and the France, holiday.

Alice: Perhaps, but what would be waiting there for us?

Yeeesh! Some conference!

Austin : [To ALice] We will never know if we do not go and find out.

:o)

Alice: [Bows down] After you.

Austin : [Looks snootily at Alice, with a smirk] Let us hope that there no swimming pool in the basement. [Carefully checks the staircase for traps etc as hs proceeds]

Alice: Why? In case you're seized by an overwhelming urge to poo in it?

[AUSTIN starts down the staircase slowly, followed by ALICE and HARVEY, then DUR and CLINT, and finally CHASTITY. It is pitch dark at the bottom of the stairs.]

Austin : [To Alice] Do you have a torch?

Alice: Sure do. [Takes it out but immediately drops it, sending it bouncing down the stairs.] See? That's why I always carry two. [Takes out another one and lights it, although it seems to cast a surprisingly small amount of light]

Austin : [Proceeds further down the stairs, checking as he goes] Got any more torches?

Austin will pick up the dropped torch if he can find it.

Harvey: [To Alice] Dear girl, where did you get this torch?! [Scratches a sideburn] Surely we can improve this whole light situation. Let's see--I've got a pair of socks that need mending. Mr. Scar, have you any alcohol?

[Everyone offers HARVEY a drink, ranging from CLINT's beer, to AUSTIN's dainty hip flask, to DUR's medical supplies, to ALICE's Macardi Mreezer and to CHASTITY's Buckie.]

Alice: This is hardly the time to mend socks, Uncle H!

Now DON'T tell me you don't know what Buckie is!

Austin : We could do with more light.

Of course they do, who hasn't heard of the da Vinci code and the holy grail!

Alice: [Puzzled] Uh, okay, I guess it is a good time to mend socks. Chastity!

Harvey: [Patiently] Let's soak my socks in the strongest alcohol we have and fortify your torch, or make a new one if anyone has a handy stick?

Tom's sleeping in today?

Clint: Good idea, Harv. I'll do the taste test!

Austin : Let us pray that those socks do not smell so bad when they burn.

Alice: [Appalled] Is he really going to taste the socks?

Austin : [To Alice] Knowing Mr Scar's obsession with other peoples undergarments, why are you so suprised?

Clint: [Gives a burp] It's okay, I filled up on Alice's underpants earlier.

Austin : [Looks green at the thought. Turns back to the stairs and proceeds downwards, checking carefully] Right. Best be moving on.

Harvey: [To Clint] That's quite enough of your lurid suggestions, Private Scar! My dear niece would never permit a man to consume her underpants outside of marriage.

Chastity: Let me see if can shed any light on this matter. [Attempts to cast a "light" spell]

[CHASTITY's spell makes small difference, but nothing major.]

Harvey: [Uneasy] Stay close together, troop! There is something unholy and unnatural about this darkness if even the good Sister can't penetrate it!

Clint: Doesn't the fact that it seems to be immune to torches sort of give that away already, Harv?

not so much sleeping in as (a) sick and (b) having to deal with getting back home to find that my car was broken into while I was gone. God bless America!

Austin : [Smirks as he continues to check as he decends] It does seem to be a rather long way down, for a warehouse.

Alice: Chastity shines brighter than any torch!

New map, with torchlight!

New Map

Clint: Down here, that's not saying much! No offense, Chas.

Austin : Where as our location has, unfortunately, not dampend your body odour, Mr Scar.

cp: cannot stat `qv2.html': No such file or directory

grep: temp.qv2: No such file or directory

cp: cannot stat `qv2.html': No such file or directory

grep: temp.qv2: No such file or directory

grep: /tmp/1: No such file or directory /var/www/html/queens-view/Resources/smallstrip: 7: cannot create /tmp1: Permission denied

cp: cannot stat `/tmp1': No such file or directory

grep: /tmp/1: No such file or directory /var/www/html/queens-view/Resources/smallstrip: 7: cannot create /tmp1: Permission denied

cp: cannot stat `/tmp1': No such file or directory

Alice: At least it'll stop him from sneaking up behind us in the dark, Aus!

Paddy's Day here tomorrow, so no posting from me....

Austin : [To Alice] Perhaps there there are gods, after all. [Smirks]

I am away on hols until 21st April. Have fun!

Harvey: [To Austin, scolding] Watch the blasphemy, Private! There is a holy woman present, you know!

[There is a sudden howl from further down the stairs, like that from wind, and a freezing cold gust begins blowing at the party, causing the torch to flicker.]

Alice: Yeesh! What the hell is down there?

Harvey: Mind the torch, niece! There must be another exit down here.

Alice: [Turns her back to the direction of the wind] I'm not sure I can, Harv!

[The wind is getting stronger.]

can, >Harv!

Dur: [Shielding his face] Who's bright idea was this?

Harvey: [To Dur] Dim idea, I think you meant! [Laughs uproariously]

Austin: [Squinting to see in the wind and the flickering light] Is that someone approaching us?

[The party can barely see between a combination of the light and wind, but there is someone a few steps down. This is LEVITICUS, a super confident looking type wearing a very fine suit. He seems unphazed by the wind.]

Leviticus: More like someone waiting for you to come to him.

Leviticus

Harvey: [To Leviticus, cagily] Waiting for us? How did you know to expect us?

Leviticus: Genesis told me. He's the one you tried to attack upstairs.

[LEVITICUS straightens his tie, as the flickering light casts some crazy shadows around, making it look like there are several people behind him.]

Dur: Attack? We just wanted to talk to him!

Leviticus: [Laughs out loud] Sure you did!

[The wind blows the torch out, and the party are plunged into darkness.]

Harvey: Stay close, troop! [To Leviticus] It was merely a misunderstanding, my good man. Your friend resembles a man we know to be a murderer!

[The light flickers again, revealing EXODUS, a man who's face is contorted with rage, standing in the middle of the party. He smashes AUSTIN over the head with a large club just as the it all goes dark again.]

Alice: Holy crap!

Tom's out today and tomorrow

Clint: [Swings his sword] Who the hell is that?

Exodus

Harvey: [Sword ready] Villain! How dare you attack in the dark like a coward! Face us like a man!

[The light flickers on again, and ALICE gives a scream, as EXODUS stabs AUSTIN again.]

Alice: It's Pestilence!

Pestilence: [With a big smile] Hey everybody!

Leviticus: [Standing nonchalantly near the party, leaning against the banister] Come on, big guy.

Harvey: [Attempts to attack Exodus with his sword] Why don't you pick on someone you haven't already gutted, sick bastard?!

Clint: [Goes after Pestilence with his sword] What's with all the toadies? Did death slow you down, freak?

Exodus: Because this is more fun. [Smashes Austin on the head again, causing him to fall down]

[The light flickers again and the party are once more plunged into darkness.]

Pestilence: Hey! There's no need to be mean!

Dur: Who keeps playing with the lights?!

Harvey: [Still trying to stab Exodus] Sister, can you save Private Sleaze?!

Exodus: You have betrayed Clementine! [There's a sickening crunch as DUR gets smacked in the head, which is revealed when the lights come on one more time. This time the party can see GENESIS, but not LEVITICUS and PESTILENCE.]

Alice: [Hits Exodus with the torch] This'll make it work!

Paul's away?

Chastity: If I can see him, Colonel!

Alice: [Holds the torch lower down, close to Austin] How about now? [Gets punched]

Dur: Ow! Where's that fancy foot work when you need it?

Alice: I don't even know who punched me! [Angrily] Was it you Dur? [Bam. Sound of another punch]

Dur: [Flailing about madly] Does it LOOK like I'm keeping track of who I'm hitting?

Clint: [To Dur] If you can't keep track, then stay out of the way, doc! [Punches wildly]

Alice: Well said, Cli- ow! [Gets punched]