[Book VI, Act X, Scene I. The Room. ALICE, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and SERENA are here. This is a small, windowless room, barely large enough to fit four people comfortably. There is a very disconcerting feeling of movement, as though the whole room is somehow moving. Everyone is wearing suits, all of the grey, drab variety. Also here is a woman, BIMBERLY WAISLEY, who has a huge smile, and who is talking to them.]

Bimberly: [Clearly in mid sentence] So I said, are you working hard or hardly working! [Gives a very irritating laugh] Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!

If you've no idea what's going on, it means that, as far as your character is concerned, you've just appeared here.

Bim= berly Waisley

Serena: [Examining her suit] I expect some improvement in working conditions would see everyone being much more productive. A larger room, some natural light, an improvement on the uniforms... we could bring in some beautiful art work for inspiration and flowers to cheer everyone up!

ons ural art

Bimberly: Oh! [Enthusiastically] Zing! You don't have to be mad to work here, but it sure does help!

Harvey : [Bows to Bimberly] I am Harvey Kingston Short the third, madam, and seem to be a little disorientated, what! Where are we?

Dur: [Shaking his head] Honestly Colonel, I wonder why we even continue to = ask that question anymore.

Bimberly: [Gets a minor headbutt from Harvey, because of the super tight space, but doesn't seem even in the slightest bit bothered] We're about thirty seconds away from the daily grind, boy, I just can't wait to get at The Project.

[Somebody, in the vicinity of ALICE, CHARLIE, CLINT and HARVEY gives an absolutely rip roaring fart.]

Bimberly: [Blanches slightly] Twenty five seconds!

Serena: [To Charlie] Luckily, I know a wonderful cure for flatulence, dear. Spider's eggs, sunned for two hours and marinated in monster bile. I had managed to gather some from Dave, but... [pats down the pockets of her new suit.]

Alice: [Waving her hand in front of her face] How about some Alice bile? Because that awful smell is going to make me retch!

Charlie: [To Bimberly] And what is this project you mentioned? Something we could perhaps assist with?

Harvey : Perhaps we are all part of a magic trick, confined, as we are, in this small box! I know, [attempts to click his fingers, but finds there is not enough room], perhaps we are going to be cut in half!

Alice: As long as I'm not on the same side as Ms. Stinky Pants here, I'm up for it!

Bimberly: [To Charlie] Of course you could! That's what we're all here for, isn't it? To get The Object out before the deadline!

[The room gives a sudden shudder, throwing everyone but BIMBERLY to the ground, although she's almost knocked over too, as it is all so squashed.]

Bimberly: Oh, you guys! You are too much! I just love it, because you've got to laugh, don't you? And laughter's the best medicine!

imberly: Oh, you guys! You are too much! I just love it,=0A> because you've= got to laugh, don't you? And laughter's the best=0A> medicine!=0A=0AClint:= It's Dur's secret strategy! He walks in, tells his patients "Don't worry,= I'm a doctor," they start laughing... Anyway, look, what Object are you b= lathering about?=0A=0A=0A=0A

n't worry, I'm a doctor," they start

Alice: Don't forget, Clint, some of those tears are not tears of laughter.

[Part of the wall suddenly slides open, revealing another, much, much larger room, which appears to contain massive stacks of papers, some going hundreds of feet up into the air. There are hundreds of people here, dressed in similarly drab outfits to the party, milling around the stacks, carrying papers here and there. A man looks into the room, where the party are still on the floor. This is JAKE BAUER.]

Jake: The following takes place between 8:00AM and 8:01AM.

. ,

Charlie: [To Jake] And you are--a clock, is it?

[JAKE doesn't answer, and steps back.]

Bimberly: Well, come on! Up and at 'em! These papers won't just shred themselves, you know! The Object will never be delivered if we don't stick to the timeline in The Project.

Forgot Jake's link:

Jake Bauer

Dur: I'm not a paper shredder woman, I'm a doctor!

Harvey: I say madam, what do you mean paper doesn't shred itself! A few well charged detonators, placed strategically around the room, would solve your shredding woes, what!

Charlie: Yes, what the Colonel is saying, though disturbing and needlessly violent, is not inaccurate. Surely it's no great trick to destroy large quantities of paper quickly, and then you're off to another, more enriching task.

Bimberly: Why don't you talk to your manager about that? You really don't want to be late, do you? It's already seconds passed 8AM!

Dur: My motto always has been, why do now what can be put off for tomorrow?= When is lunch?

Charlie: We haven't got a manager, as we do not work here. However, I'm more than happy to give some constructive advice as to the improvement of operations here if you could direct me to the person in charge.

Bimberly: [Gives Charlie a smile] Of course you work here. Why else would you be here? [Points to an office in the corner of the bigger room] Why don't you bring it up with the manager?

Alice: [To Dur] I always use the same motto, although not with quite the same sense of urgency.

Jake: [Suddenly appearing, as though having glided in] The following

happens between 8:01AM and 8:02AM. [Moves away again]

Clint: Hey, why don't we bring this up with the manager, guys? He can explain what the hell we're supposed to be doing here, and if it's just destroying paper, we can explain fire to him. Plus, it'll give me a chance to clobber that clock guy.

explain what the hell we're

Bimberly: That sounds like a simply super idea. Why don't you run along? You're already late.

[Time passes.]

Bimberly: And now you're even later!

Jake: [Slides into view] The following takes place between 8:02AM and

8:03AM. [Moves away again]

Harvey : [Glares after Jake] I believe there is going to be someone

being given a sound thrashing sometime between 8:04AM and 8:05AM, what! Come troop, let us see this...manager of theirs and sort this out.

Serena: Splendid idea, Colonel. I'm sure there has been some misunderstanding! And I'm sure the lack of natural light is affecting these poor people's moods.

Harvey : And may I say, good sister, [gestures towards her outfit] that gray certainly suits you!

Charlie: Colonel, do stop flirting! What would your wife say??

Serena: [To Charlie, cheerfully] No need to get jealous now, dear. You do a wonderful job at looking drab all day, every day. So very consistently dull. It's astounding! [To the party] Don't you think, everyone? Isn't she amazing?

nk,

Harvey : [To Charlie] I'm most certainly not flirting, cadet! I'm paying a compliment, a subject which would appear to have gone walkabout from your educational curiculum!

[The party head towards the corner office, with the door to the tiny room they had been in sliding closed as soon as they leave, with BIMBERLY staying inside.. As they approach, the door flies open. A voice thunders out.]

Voice: [Male] Come in!

e

Harvey : [Thunders back] Presently, what!

Serena: [Blocking her ears from all the yelling] Gracious, Colonel! No need to shout.

Voice: [So loud that the windows of the office shake] Now!

Harvey : [Adopting his parade ground voice] Right-oh! [Steps towards the room before turning to the others, and whispers, in a tone slightly louder than before] Let's hope this is a power business breakfast, what! I'm famished!

Charlie: Surely we have bigger problems, Colonel! For example, I am already employed, and thus I am unsure as to how adding a second job will impact my taxes at end of year!

Alice: Forget that, Charlie, this means that I might have a job! The shame of it! Daddy will never forgive me!

[The party enter the office, and find MISTER RIGAS here.]

Rigas: My, my, what do we have here? A lot of shouting. That's not really the sort of respect you should be showing your manager now, is it.

Alice: And who are you?

[RIGAS says nothing, but taps the sign on his desk, which says "Mr. Rigas, Manager, Dept. of Disposal".]

Alice: What? We have to find and ask this Rigas person who you are? Where would we find him?

Rigas: That's me!

Alice: Oh, okay. So... who are you?

Rigas: I'm Mister Rigas!

Alice: Well, I know that, you just told us.

Mr. Rigas

I might have a job! The=0A> shame of it! Daddy will never forgive me!=0A> = RIGAS here.]=0A> =0A> Rigas: My, my, what do we have here? A lot of shoutin= g. That's not=0A> really the sort of respect you should be showing your man= "Mr. Rigas, Manager, Dept. of Disposal".]=0A> =0A> Alice: What? We have to = find and ask this Rigas person who you are?=0A> Where would we find him?=0A= =0A> Rigas: I'm Mister Rigas!=0A> =0A> Alice: Well, I know that, you just t= old us.=0A=0AClint: And what's going on around here? And why do you have t= hat human clock, who's about to get my boot up his backside?=0A=0A=0A=0A = clock, who's about to

Rigas: [Leans forwards] You're not going to insert anything into his backside, you filthy, filthy pervert. [Delicately dabs his upper lip with an impossibly delicate lace hanky] Human clock? And yet you manage to be late? Not good, not good at all. How can The Project ever be finished if employees turn up late?

Alice: Give us a moment.

[The party form a huddle.]

Alice: [Whispering] I think the answer is "late", but I think it could be a trick question. Charlie, you know all about schedules and putting things in order, what do you think?

Charlie: [To Mr. Rigas] As it is quite obvious even to the most disorganized simpleton [nods to Alice], the answer is, indeed, "late"! More to the point, I hardly see that this is our concern, as we do not work here. That said, I am more than happy to give you some advice in helping your complete this project of yours more efficiently. First, do you really think it a good use of personnel to have someone counting down each minute when a simple clock would do? Second, you really must have a word with Human Resources about all of these miscommunication about who has or hasn't been hired and such. [To Mr. Rigas, scolding] Where IS your notepad? Do take this down, or you shall never improve the situation.

Harvey : And of course, it would also probably help everyones completion of the project, if it was known what the project actually was, what!

[Enter JAKE BAUER.]

Jake: The following takes place between 8:05AM and 8:06AM.

[Exit JAKE BAUER.]

Rigas: [Unphased at the partys' insolence] The Project is to produce The Object. If you are such a small cog in the wheel that you are unaware of that, perhaps you should consider working harder so that you will be given more responsibility. As it is, you are nothing more than Confidential Disposal Engineers. [To Charlie] Madam, if someone reminding you of the time every single minute wasn't enough to help you get to work on time, what possible chance does a clock have of achieving. [Once again dabs his mouth] I do have a notebook. It is for reporting misdemeanours. [Whips out a notebook and writes something in it] Because of your insolence and laziness, your entire Scoop has been given a demerit. Once you receive a certain number of demerits, you will be punished.

Charlie: [Anxiously] What do you mean, Scoop? I've never gotten a demerit in my life!

y doesn't *that* surprise me?=0A=0A=0A;;; Sorry - unexpected coding meeting= took all morning!=0A=0A=0A

Rigas: Small Collection Of Operating Personnel.

Alice: So we got a demerit. Big deal. How many can we get before we get [finger quotes] punished.

Rigas: One.

Charlie: [Fretfully] But this can't be! I was Head Girl! [To Rigas, desperately] How do I remove the demerit?! How??

d change the records. It's what everyone else does.=0A=0A=0A=0A

Harvey : But that, sir, would be dishonest, and we will have no part in it! What is the punishment?

Serena: Mister Rigas, have you considered putting yourself on a nutritional programme? I'm sure I could help you with that excess saliva problem and we could definitely do something about all that tension you are carrying.

Rigas: [To Harvey] It is up to you. A quick, short, sharp shock, or you can be fired. [To Serena] I don't think of it as a problem, rather a convenient way of being able to quench my thirst, and wash my mother's handkerchiefs at the same time.

Serena: And what happens after we are fired?

Harvey : Good question, sister! Being fired doesn't sound too unpleasurable what! [Turns to Alice] And dear niece, just think how much joy you would bring your father to be fired from a job a mere four minutes after starting it, what!

Alice: Well, it -

[Enter JAKE BAUER.]

Jake: The following takes place between 8:06AM and 8:07AM.

[Exit JAKE.]

Alice: It is two minutes longer than the job I had working for him.

Rigas: After you get fired, you get scraped off the wall and put to work again.

Charlie: Oh, no. I couldn't be fired. We haven't had Employee Evaluations yet! [To Harvey, modestly] That's where I shine. [To Mr. Rigas] You don't mean a [emphasis] literal shock, naturally?

Serena: [To Charlie, fussing] Oh, sweet. Anxiety too? You really haven't been taking care of your body. Phili would be so disappointed. But, perhaps, if we quit our jobs instead? Would that help some?

Rigas: Oh, sweetheart, you can't quit your jobs. [Clicks his fingers]

[Everybody cries out in pain and fall to the ground, in absolute agony. This goes on for about thirty seconds, after which everyone is worn out, and dripping with sweat.]

Rigas: Now, about those evaluations.

Dur: [Worn out and sweaty] Did we just have sex?

Rigas: [Looks up from the evaluation form, dabbing his lips again] Would like us to have had?

Harvey : [To Dur] Who exactly was that addressed to, private?

Clint: No, doc, but we've just been screwed!

Harvey : [Angrily] You there! [To Rigas] What the blue blazes have you done to us!

Charlie: This is an unacceptable workplace environment!

Rigas: [Calmly sipping some tea] I would advise you to calm down, unless you want to be punished again. You may complain about your work conditions to HR, of course, and I can make an appointment for you.

Charlie: Yes, I should like to speak to HR, at once!

Rigas: [Flipping through a notebook on his desk] I see. The best I can do for you is Thursday afternoon, four years from now.

[Enter JAKE.]

Jake: The following takes place between 8:07AM and 8:08AM.

[Exit JAKE.]

Charlie: That's preposterous! What kind of office won't let its workers express constructive criticism in a fair and timely manner?!

Rigas: An office that can punish over talkative and whiny employees with painful shocks that can be administered by any manager.

Harvey : Is there a union representative we can speak with? This is outrageous treatment!

Clint: And is it against regulations to make the management swallow their own teeth?

Rigas: [To Harvey] Of course there's a union representative. [Points at his filing cabinet] In there. [To Clint] Yes.

Serena: [Going to investigate the filing cabinet] I believe the Colonel here an idea for a more efficient way of document disposal.

Rigas: I don't care.

[SERENA opens the top drawer, revealing MARK ROGERS, a medium sized man, crammed into the drawer.]

Mark: Please! Please don't hurt me!

Mark Rogers dium

Charlie: [To Mark] What ARE you doing?! Those who nap on company time are just as bad as thieves who steal outright!

Mark: Gibber!

Rigas: [Chuckles] You're going to go far in The Company, I think. However, I've tolerated this time wasting for long enough. All of you, out to the floor to work.

Dur: I think we may best get to work before we find ourselves stuffed in a = drawer.

Serena: Are we going to be trained? You know, I'm probably not the best person to be working on what sounds like such an important project.... t person

Rigas: Of course you're going to be trained! We couldn't have untrained personnel working on The Project, as it would compromise the final quality of The Object. [Takes out a sheet of paper] Observe carefully, as I'll only show you this once, and if you ever make a mistake, the punishment you just got will seem like nothing. It will be much worse, and will last for far longer.

[Enter JAKE BAUER.]

Jake: The following takes place between 8:08AM and 8:09AM.

[Exit JAKE, with everyone turning back to look at RIGAS, who is now holding a pile of absolutely tiny shreds of paper.]

Rigas: ... like that. Okay, now, get to work! s

Charlie: [Bats her eyes at Rigas awkwardly] Oh, sir, you did that so masterfully, couldn't you do it again so that we can all enjoy seeing how it's done, naturally for the second time since we were all paying strict attention the first time??

Serena: Well, I saw nothing at all, as I was distracted by your human clock there. It would be awfully nice of you to show us again.

Rigas: Yes, it would be awfully nice. [Waits for a few seconds] You have exactly five seconds to get the hell out of my office and get to work or you'll be punished again. And remember, every shred must be exactly one millimetre high and five millimetres wide.

Alice: What if they are five millimetres high and one wide.

[Bzzzt! ALICE gets a shock, that sends her to the ground, screaming in pain.]

Colin's out today

Harvey: I say! Unhand her!

[The shock stops, and ALICE slowly drags herself up.]

a few seconds] You=0A> have exactly five seconds to get the hell out of my= office and get to=0A> work or you'll be punished again. And remember, ever= y shred must be=0A> exactly one millimetre high and five millimetres wide.= =0A> =0A> Alice: What if they are five millimetres high and one wide.=0A> = nd,=0A> screaming in pain.]=0A> =0A> ;;; Colin's out today=0A> =0A> Harvey:= CE slowly drags herself up.]=0A=0AClint: [Getting ready to try to mug Rigas= .] We have a plan, guys?=0A=0A=0A=0A

Harvey: [Glares at Rigas] We better play along for the time being, Private.

Clint: Yeah, whatever. Let's go to work, guys.

This is clever, because that's what I'm doing!

Charlie: Agreed, this seems the only course of action, so we must make do. [Inspired] Perhaps we could sing a jaunty tune as we work? I'm given to understand the working class often does such things to help pass days of mind-numbing work. [Excited] It will be a bit like summer camp! t will be a bit like=0A> summer camp!=0A=0AClint: I thought summer camp was= where all the big cool kids pantsed the nerds and stole their lunch money.= Which also helps pass days of mind-numbing work. [Heads for the door.]= =0A=0A=0A=0A nerds work.

Alice: [Nods] That's right, Clint, it's not all about underage drinking and teenage sex. Apparently.

[The party head back to the main room, followed by RIGAS, who slams the filing cabinet drawer shut, eliciting a cry of pain from MARK. There is a simply enormous pile of papers in the floor, towering up. Hundreds of people are taking sheets out, and tearing them into tiny little pieces, before putting them in large boxes.]

Rigas: [Points to part of the pile] Here's where your Scoop will work. lams the filing cabinet drawer shut, eliciting a cry of pain from=0A> MARK.= There is a simply enormous pile of papers in the floor, towering=0A> up. H= undreds of people are taking sheets out, and tearing them into=0A> tiny lit= tle pieces, before putting them in large boxes.]=0A> =0A> Rigas: [Points to= part of the pile] Here's where your Scoop will work.=0A=0AClint: Hey, when= do we go on break? [Looks about for some of this drinking and sex of which= Alice speaks.]=0A=0A=0A;;; Evidently, by the way, you guys do camp differe= ntly than we do in the =0A;;; great state of Washington, in which kids stop= going to summer camp =0A;;; when they're 10 or so.=0A=0A=0A=0A

Rigas: Thursday.

[The party set to work, tearing the paper into tiny pieces. Every minute, JAKE appears and announces the time, while every so often, someone gets punished for not having the paper torn precisely right. There is no lunch break, and the day just drags on and on, slowly and painfully getting towards 5PM. All the work is the same, with the party filling up the boxes with tiny shreds, which are then brought to a chute which opens for a second, and thrown in. Everyone is exhausted and completely frazzled by the time it comes around.]

Jake: The following takes place between 5:00PM and 5:01PM.

[A loud horn blows, and all the other workers stop what they're doing and head back to the small rooms with the sliding doors that the party first came in through.]

Rigas: [Skillfully standing between the party and the chute, pointing at the sliding doors] Day's over. Off you go. [Dabs his lips in anticipation]

Uh, no... it's pretty much the same age. Click-click! y at

Charlie: [Heads for the sliding doors. To the party, in a low voice] Finally, we'll have a bit of time to investigate!

Alice: If by investigate you mean sleep, then I'm all for it!

[The party get to the sliding door, which soon opens, and they head in, before it shuts again.]

Alice: Phew! What the hell is going on here? y

Harvey : Perhaps we could try for a promotion to the "Watching Paint Drying" factory! It would be far more interesting then this ridiculous position we've been tasked with!

Charlie: [Sagely] It isn't just because they are poor! They are also surly because they had the misfortune of being born into the lower classes. Just because a worker drone has a couple of coppers in his pocket, it doesn't erase the sting of a low birth [nods at Dur for confirmation].

Alice: I know! What is going on with these people? And this punishment thing? I know having a job is supposed to be awful, but are they all like this? I just thought staff at restaurants and things were surly because they were poor!

[The room gives another lurch like it did before.]

Dur: [Looks sad] You think I'm surly?

Alice: I see. Once can tell from the distended forehead, the sunken eyes, the limp hair, the drab suit. [Looks more closely] Hey! That's my reflection!

Harvey : What is going on with this room, eh! What is all of this lurching about! ell. They have a tip=0A> top infrastructure, and, with a little bit of advi= ce from one familiar=0A> with setting up protocols, it wouldn't be difficul= t to turn this into=0A> a well oiled machine. This project of theirs, would= gives a shudder, and a distinct "Bing" can be heard=0A> from outside. The d= oors slide open, and, somehow, the room that it=0A> leads to now looks diff= erent, resembling a small hallway. BIMBERLY is=0A> outside there, holding = a massive cup of coffee, and steps in, with a=0A> smile that, somehow, is e= ven bigger, broader and more annoying than=0A> previously.]=0A> =0A> Bimber=

ly: Hey there! How are you doin'? Working hard or hardly=0A> working? Yuk! = Yuk! Yuk! [The door shuts behind her, and the room gives=0A> another lurch]=

=0A=0AClint: [To Charlie.] See? I told you this was hell, but did you list= en? [Starts banging on the door.]=0A=0A=0A=0A

Bimberly: [To Harvey] Can't it be both? Zing! You know, you don't have to be made to work here, but it helps! Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!

Alice: [Joins Clint banging on the door] Help! Help! [To Clint] You should know by now that when you speak, no one listens!

Clint: Maybe it's all part of the torture?

Harvey: Electric shocks and lurching rooms! Grey suits and paper shredding! Are we in Hell, troop? Is this Seths revenge?

Dur: An even more disturbing question: Is this Phili's reward?

Clint: Nah. The cheapskate didn't offer us a reward, did he? While Seth promised us some kind of torment... and if this isn't torment, I don't know what is!

Charlie: Oh, come now, this doesn't have to be hell. They have a tip top infrastructure, and, with a little bit of advice from one familiar with setting up protocols, it wouldn't be difficult to turn this into a well oiled machine. This project of theirs, would, no doubt, move much more quickly.

[The room gives a shudder, and a distinct "Bing" can be heard from outside. The doors slide open, and, somehow, the room that it leads to now looks different, resembling a small hallway. BIMBERLY is outside there, holding a massive cup of coffee, and steps in, with a smile that, somehow, is even bigger, broader and more annoying than previously.]

Bimberly: Hey there! How are you doin'? Working hard or hardly working? Yuk! Yuk! Yuk! [The door shuts behind her, and the room gives another lurch]

Clint: [To Charlie.] See? I told you this was hell, but did you listen? [Starts banging on the door.]

Harvey : What the blue blazes is going on here, troop! Are we zipping through time and space, or has that electric jolt scrambled my brains!

Bimberly: [To Harvey] Can't it be both? Zing! You know, you don't have to be made to work here, but it helps! Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!

Alice: [Joins Clint banging on the door] Help! Help! [To Clint] You should know by now that when you speak, no one listens!

Harvey : [To Bimberly, shouting over the others] How long have you worked here, exactly?

Dur: Long enough to have been driven insane apparently. It truly is a shame= that I don't have my medical kit, a quick surgery would fix her right up!

Bimberly: Here? Exactly? I don't work here, this is the elevator. Yuk! Yuk! Yuk! I gotcha! Now, you have to tag three other people with happiness, and report their reactions back to me. Then they gotta tag three more and report back to you, which you need to report back to me. Why, by the time the day is over, we'll all be having the biggest laugh ever!

Alice: Er, when the day is over? Does that mean....?

Bimberly: It sure does!

[The little room, which, let's face it, everyone has figured out is an elevator/lift, comes to halt, and with a bing, the door opens.]

End of scene, next one coming right up. red

[Book VI, Act X, Scene II. The Shredder. ALICE, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and SERENA are here, as well as BIMBERLY. The door has opened to reveal the exact same set up as earlier, with massive piles of paper towering up. Enter JAKE BAUER.]

Jake: The following takes place between 8:00AM and 8:01AM. he Shredder. ALICE, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and SERENA are here, as =0A= =0A> earlier, with massive piles of paper towering up. Enter JAKE BAUER.]= =0A> =0A> Jake: The following takes place between 8:00AM and 8:01AM.=0A=0AC=

lint: Well, shit.=0A=0A=0A=0A

[The party slowly stagger out of the lift.]

Bimberly: Chin up! Worse things happen at sea!

[Mercifully, the lift door shuts, and she stays inside. Unfortunately, RIGAS is here.]

Rigas: My, my, it is a joy to see you again. Today we will be shredding paper. Over there. [Points to an impossibly high stack of paper, beside which are a large number of boxes that are waiting to be filled. A short distance away is a similar chute to the one that they had been throwing the boxes into]

Dur: [Whispering to Charlie] Do you remember your maneuver at the Core? May= be we should try something similar here?

Alice: [Whispers] Good idea! [Thinks for a moment] What did she do?

Serena: This being dead business is really not what they tell you it will be. [To Rigas] Why it really was quite nice of you to greet us in person this morning, sir. We'll get to work right away! [Confidentially to Dur] This maneuver is going to be helpful, yes?

=20 =20

Dur: [To Serena] We never know until we try! [For Alice motions towards the= chute]

Is the chute big enough to admit a person? =20

Charlie: [Flattered] Yes, that WAS really rather dashing of me, wasn't it? [Glances at the chute]

How about it, Conor?

Colin's out

Harvey: Foolhardy, I believe!

[The chute is definitely big enough, even for someone HARVEY size.= ]

e.]

Dur: That's just how we do things Colonel! Like so! [Takes a running start = and tries to dive for the chute]

Clint: Better hope there's not a bonfire down there!

Harvey : [Looking at Dur running towards it] I suppose someone should have opened it first, what!

Rigas: Nooooo! Don't do it!

[CHARLIE leaps in followed by everyone else, and disappear into the chute.]

Rigas: [Drops to his knees] Damn! Damn!

[JAKE BAUER appears.]

Jake: The following takes place between 8:01AM and 8:02AM.

Rigas: Oh, shut the hell up!

[The party fall a short distance, before landing heavily on the ground in an untidy pile. Standing over them is MR. MILKEN. They are in another large room, with people wandering about once again, but it isn't possible to see what's going on with MILKEN in the way.]

Milken: [Rubbing his hands together] This is hardly worrying at all.

Mr. Milken ppear ily on

Charlie: [Briskly dusts herself off and approaches Milken] Are you here to escape the life of a worker drone, as well?

Milken: Oh, no, I'm manager of the Filing Department. I oversee sorting, collating, inward traffic-

[Just at that moment, one of the boxes from upstairs drops through the chute and lands on the party, and is immediately collected by aggravated looking people in grey suits, who rush off with it.]

Milken: -outbound traffic, filing and hurtme.

Alice: Hurtme?

Milken: Okay.

[Bzzzt! ALICE gives a cry of pain.]

Milken: [Chuckles] Sorry, just a bit of Filing Department humour there. I think you'll find us an altogether more fun bunch than Shredding. We contribute to The Project, while they just destroy things. drops

Harvey : [Picks himself up] Out of the frying pan and into the fire! [To Milken] I say, I have a good idea for the disposal of all of this paper! Them upstairs weren't that interested! [Leans forward] And they claimed that you were probably too staid and boring to even listen! =0A> through the chute and lands on the party, and is immediately collected= =0A> by aggravated looking people in grey suits, who rush off with it.]=0A>= =0A> Milken: -outbound traffic, filing and hurtme.=0A> =0A> Alice: Hurtme?= es a cry of pain.]=0A> =0A> Milken: [Chuckles] Sorry, just a bit of Filing = Department> humour=0A> there. I think you'll find us an altogether more fun= bunch than=0A> Shredding. We contribute to The Project, while they just de= stroy=0A> things.=0A=0AClint: [Indignant.] Destroying things is a contribut= ion!=0A=0A=0A=0A

Milken: [Worriedly] They were right. [Nods] I'm awfully boring. Whenever I hear a new idea, I tend to zap the person who's trying to explain it.

Dur: [Whispering to Harvey] I think he's bluffing, tell him anyway!

Harvey : [Grabs Dur by the arm] Why don't you just burn the blasted stuff, what!

Dur: [Tries desperately to pull his arm free] No.. No!

Clint: [Channeling his inner Gene Hackman.] Oh, c'mon Dur. Fire is your friend! r friend!

[Bzzzt! HARVEY gets zapped, as does DUR.]

Alice: [Also getting zapped] Ow!

Milken: What's wrong with you?

Alice: Oh, my mistake, I thought I was touching them too.

Milken: [To the party] Why in hell would I want to destroy this stuff. We're in the business of filing!

Charlie: [Stretches and wiggles her fingers] Now THAT sounds like a worthwhile enterprise! Where are these files? [Expectantly, trying to contain her excitement] Are they in [emphasis] dreadful need of ordering?

Dur: [Looking at Charlie] Why does it sound so dirty when you say it?

Alice: [Fanning herself and looking a little flushed] I know, I've never wanted to alphabetize anything so much in my life!

Milken: [Gestures to a huge pile of papers] Here, your Scoop will be working on this. Make sure they're perfect, otherwise you'll have to do them over again and won't get home until they're perfect.

Clint: [Glances at Charlie, a little bitterly.] Somehow, I don't think that'll be a problem. Why is it that when the rest of us are in hell, she's in heaven? s in heaven?

Harvey : [Gasps] Perhaps we're in HER heaven!!!!

Alice: Gibber! [Looks at the pile] Come on, let's take a look. [Holds one of the sheets out to the party]

[The sheet appears to be a report on an evil deed. It contains details of who did it, when they did it, where, to who, and all sorts of details about exactly what they did.]

ains

Charlie: [Fascinated] Naughty, naughty! [In a delighted whisper] I'll have to makes some notes on some of these. The Council would be most interested!

Alice: [Reads through one] Wow! Colin Day, you wicked boy! I bet Ellen Goggans never knew what hit her!

Dur: [Peering over her shoulder] What DID hit her?=20

Hey! That's my last name!

Alice: A bunglewarker. I don't know what that is.

Welcome to hell!

Harvey : [Holds up a massive sheaf of papers and whispers to Alice, in a Harvey way] Dear niece, perhaps you should hide this somewhere, what! [Harvey blocks the name, but visible is "Volume 1 of 1,433"

Clint: I didn't do it, I swear! [Starts digging through the pile, more interested now.] interested now.]

Alice: [Peers at the top sheet on Harvey's batch for a moment, before laughing] Drunkeness, stealing the family carriage and losing underwear at the age of twelve? What kind of awful person would ever do something as disgusting as - oh! [Dismayed] Hey! I want a different pile!

Clint: [Clearly bursting with curiosity.] Too bad! I want this one! With luck, we'll find everyone else's file, too!

Harvey : Hold troop! Perhaps we should think about how best to use this information to get us out of here, what!

Alice: Let's see. [Picks up another one] Colin Ryan, porn stealing. [Looks at the party] Okay, so it's funny that his guy likes goats, but how is that useful? [Looks back down again] Oh, my mistake, it's boats.

Dur: Maybe we can find a file on someone who has escaped and then just copy= what they did!

Milken: [Approaches] I can't help but notice that you haven't even started yet. How can we ever hope the get The Object delivered on time if the filing for The Project isn't done?

[Bzzt! The whole party get zapped and fall to the floor. This is far more painful than when it happened on the floor above. Eventually it stops, and the party slowly recover.]

Milken: Please, for your own good, get started. It's not like I enjoy hurting people. [Pause] Well, maybe a little. [Another pause] Okay, I like, no, I love it. What the hell, it's my favourite thing ever.

[Bzzt! Zaps the party yet again, and this time everyone has blood coming out their ears and in their mouths.]

Milken: Next time I'll remove a toe from each of you. [Walks off]

Alice: [To the party, wiping her sweaty brow] I sure hope that blood in my mouth is mine!

Serena: At least we don't have that annoying clock man! [Holding up two files, reluctantly looking at them side on] Best we not let these lists of crimes fall into the hands of anyone weak-willed enough to find them inspirational. [Glances at Dur] Oh dear, best you not worry yourself with those [Tries to take any files off Dur. To the party] How should we sort these? Date? Last name? Most heinous? [Looks to Charlie for help]

Sorry, was unexpectedly out last night! ts we for

Charlie: [Briskly] Clearly, alphabetically, by the names of the offender! [Scoffs] Most heinous? That is not for US to judge, surely?

Alice: [Nods] Yeah! And who's to say that persuading an idiot guy to get your name tattooed on his arm when you're dating his best friend is worse than [picks up a folder at random and reads from it] sneaking out a fart during a loud commercial to cover it up? [Looks up at the big stack] Right, where do the B's go?

Away for the rest of the day!! Back to normal tomorrow

Charlie: [Patiently] After the As and before the Cs. There's a little tune I can teach you to help keep it all straight.

Alice: [Pained sigh] Yuck! I hate that song. All you need to know is that A comes first, because that's the most important one, and that the sleepy one comes last, because he's so tired.

Harvey : Please don't. I may not be able to control my reaction. [Turns to Alice and in a loud whisper] The A's go first, dear niece!

Clint: We'll just add "likes the alphabet song" to Charlie's file here... [Looks around for a pen to mark on the file he's holding.]

Alice: Oooh! Let me see! Let me see!

Looks like Kevin's out of work today, so I've taken his address of the list

Harvey : [Sidles closer for a look at the file]

Heather's AFK

Charlie: Oh, don't waste our time, Mr. Scar, with your nonsense. Come on, before Milken comes back again. I am particularly attached to my toes. [Starts setting out bundles for each letter]

[Everyone gets down to work, sorting the files by the name of the offender. Although there's a clock on the wall, it moves incredibly slowly, and often backwards, so, although it shows 4.55 by the time the party are finished, it seems to have taken almost a week. MILKEN returns.]

Milken: [Looking concerned] Oh dear. name

Charlie: [Busily sorting files and humming a jolly tune] Why the glum face? We've had a smashing day! I think we're quite nearly finished, you'll be delighted to hear! ,

Alice: Please, please, make her stop humming that tune. We know our ACBs by= now!

Milken: [Shaking his head] This isn't right, this isn't right at all.

[The clock flies backwards to 8AM, and all the party are given a huge shock, which is still wearing off as MILKEN walks away, shaking his head.]

Milken: Ordered by offender? Oh dear. Looks like they'll be here for a whil= e. by now! ile.

Harvey : [Picking himself up] What fresh hell is this! You sir! [Shouting after Milken] What order should these records be sorted in, if not by offender, what?

Milken: [Stops in his tracks and turns around, looking pale, and speaking quietly] Do not raise your voice to me.

[HARVEY cries out in pain and falls to the ground, blood coming from his foot.]

Milken: [Holding up a toe] You'll live. [To the party] Now, get to work!

Charlie: [Face falls] But, but--how could they be arranged, if not by last name of offender?! That's the proper way! [Flips through a file frantically] Or should it be alphabetically by offense committed? [Frets] Oh, dear! I should have asked for clarification first, but it seemed SO straightforward. . . . e

Alice: Maybe alphabetically by the name of the pet of the person who did it= ?

Harvey : [Gasping in pain] My toe! By the saints, my toe! [Limps over to the pile] Perhaps it should be in order of the date of the crime! Or the alignment of the stars when the crime was committed. Or perhaps the humidity of the day in question. Or the colour of the undergarments worn by the offender. Or the victim!

Clint: Maybe we should just look at one of these other piles and figure out how it's organized? Chuck, that sounds right up your alley!

Alice: It could be anything! This is pure hell!

Kevin's still out

Dur: The files even taste unpleasant! Let's just pick one and go with it.

Heather's out:

Charlie: Not a completely worthless idea, Mr. Scar. [Checks out a few of them, before coming back] They're all arranged differently! We have date, victim, sin, offender height, offender weight, distance from some arbitrary point known as The Blank.

Harvey : I agree private!

Clint: [Uncertain.] Let's go with offender age, then. That sounds good, right? , right?

Alice: [Exhausted] Sure. Why not?

[The party set to work again, and once again the clock ticks agonizingly slowly, so that it seems like a whole week passes by. When they're finished, MILKEN approaches.]

Milken: Ah! That's much better. =0A> agonizingly slowly, so that it seems like a whole week passes by. When= =0A> they're finished, MILKEN approaches.]=0A> =0A> Milken: Ah! That's much= better.=0A=0AClint: [Discouraged.] Is it Friday yet?=0A=0A=0A=0A

Milken: It sure is! Off you go! [Points back to the elevator]

Harvey : I say. Are you going to zap another toe off if we make a move for the evelator?

Milken: Of course not! We need to put that incident behind us. Lesson learnt, no hard feelings, all that kind of thing. [Pauses] Oh, and the toe was delish.

Charlie: [Appalled] Surely you're not serious? The toe is one of the filthiest, toughest pieces of flesh!

Milken: Maybe yours is, but not his. Still, I'm sure I'll get to see before too very long!

Harvey : Okay troop, lets hobble to the elevator!

Serena: Goodness! No wonder you can be so sadistic. Toes are well known to harden the heart when consumed! I'd be more than happy to talk to your catering department about a proper nutritional regime. A healthy body means a healthy soul after all!

Milken: I'm sure you would. I'll make an appointment for you.

[The door to the elevator opens.]

Milken: Have a tip top weekend!

Harvey : It's the weekend! Happy day, troop! Happy day! [Steps into the elevator] I could sleep for a month! And I have more paper cuts on my hands, than skin!

Alice: [Also heading in] Thank God! Let's hit the nearest bar and be really loud and ob.

Kevin's back on the list.

Harvey : Even better niece, lets hit the nearest restaurant and gorge ourselves on the finest delicacies known to mankind, what!

Alice: [Rubbing her hands together with glee, as the door shuts behind the party] This is gonna be great! We're going to have the greatest night EVER!

End of scene, next one coming right up

[Book VI, Act X, Scene III. The Elevator. ALICE, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and SERENA are here, exhausted but happy, looking forward to what promises to be the greatest feast in the history of great feasts. The elevator stops and gives a bing, before the door opens. Enter BIMBERLY, carrying an even larger cup of coffee than before, and, impossibly, with an even large smile than the last time. She moves in quickly and smoothly, with the door shutting behind her before the party have a chance to react.]

Bimberly: Hey there! How are you doin'? Working hard or hardly working? Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!

[The elevator starts to move up with a sickening lurch.]

Dur: Hardly working of course! It IS the weekend after all.

Charlie: [Cheerily] Several of us intend to drink ourselves stupid and/or gorge ourselves to the point of illness on inexpensive pub [finger quotes] grub! I say, I haven't planned a wild time like this since the Hazing Luncheon with the Chess Club!

Harvey : And thank the saints for that eh! This troop definitely needs a little R 'n R, what!

Bimberly: Soooooper! Sounds like you had a wild time making yourself ill with the pub grub. I bet that weekend just [super perkily] zipped by!

Clint: [Bitter, but unsurprised.] Oh yeah.

Bimberly: Oh, I know it! Mine was just super crazy too. Gotta come to work to relax, eh? Eh?

Harvey : [Aghast] But...but...we didn't have a weekend! We've just bally well finished working, what!

Bimberly: Oh you! You're just zany! You know what they say, you don't have to be crazy to work here, but it sure helps!

[Bing! The door to the elevator opens, revealing that the party are on the same floor that they were working on (the filing one).]

Charlie: But this is absurd! We've completed our task to perfection, and we are deserving of a break. [Alarmed] Or have we already had the break and this is what it's like to be intoxicated? [To Clint] Should I be hallucinating? Or have we already had the=0A> break and this is what it's like to be intox= ou should be laughing too loud and hitting on anything that moves.... [Hope= fully.] Like, say, Alice? =0A=0A=0A

Alice: I like it fine, Clint, but it's not my favourite. I think something more dramatic like espoused or verbalized or, given that I'm so down with the kids, you. [Does that weird rapper hand thing but only looks like she's making a phone gesture] I mean, yo.

Charlie: [Looks at Alice and gasps] I [enormous emphasis] AM hallucinating!

Alice: [Failing to do that weird "Jenny from the block" head from side to side movement as she sounds whiter than she's ever sounded before, holding up a finger in front of Charlie] Oh no she di-int!

Harvey : That is most likely fatigue, brought on by this crazy work load! It's no wonder the majority of people here seem to be as mad as a mad madman, what!

[Bing. The door of the elevator closes, and BIMBERLY disappears behind it. Waiting for the party is RIGAS.]

Rigas: Ah, there you are. Better hurry up, we have lots of work to do.

Harvey : [Sighs wearily] This certainly does crush the spirit, what! Even my brief sojorn to Hell was better than this!

Charlie: [Wearily] Yes, it is a bit much, isn't it? [Brightens] Though the work itself was fascinating! [To Rigas, hopefully] More filing today?

Rigas: That's the spirit! Now, [points to another huge pile of papers] you'll need to sort this one today.

Harvey : Sort them? You mean you don't want us to shred them, like last time?

Serena: Well some good honest work will do us all some good! We need to work on that excess weight some of you are carrying!

Gah! It was Milken, not Rigas, sorry about that. The party are on the floor where they sorted the stuff.

Milken: Oh no, remember, down here we create, not like those barbarians upstairs. [Points to the pile] Better get started quickly, there's more coming up!

Dur: I think we need to find another escape chute.

Alice: [Resigned, starting to sort the stuff again] Too right. [Looks around at some of the other piles that look finished] Maybe we can spot what happens to those?

Harvey : [Quietly] Agreed! I do not wish to lose any more toes, for I have no wishto buy a whole new wardrobe of boots!

Heather's afk

Charlie: Let's keep an eye out while putting these in order.

[The party set to work, and spend hours and hours putting the files in the order of offender age. Eventually when they are finished, MILKEN approaches.]

Milken: [Genially] Ah! I see we're finished early today. [Points over to another chute] You have so much time you should be able to pick up the start of your next assignment from there, as that's where the new ones appear. Before that, though, make sure you box these ones and send them - [suddenly looks at the neatly stacked piles] No! No! No! This isn't right at all! Do it again! o work, and spend hours and hours putting the=0A> files in the order of off= ender age. Eventually when the> are finished,=0A> MILKEN approaches.]=0A> = =0A> Milken: [Genially] Ah! I see we're finished early today. [Points over= =0A> to another chute] You have so much time you should be able to pick up= =0A> the start of your next assignment from there, as that's where the new= =0A> ones appear. Before that, though, make sure you box these ones and=0A>= send them - [suddenly looks at the neatly stacked piles] No! No! No!=0A> T= his isn't right at all! Do it again!=0A=0AClint: Maybe if someone had given= us a job orientation, this wouldn't keep happening!=0A=0A=0A=0A

Milken: Maybe.

Harvey : Don't you worry about a thing. We'll soon have it sorted!

Clint: By name of offender's mother, wasn't it?

Milken: Oh, I'm not worried. [Points at the clock, which ticks backwards to 8AM again, eliciting a groan from the party] Toodles.

Alice: Don't be ridic, Clint. It would be by the name of the victim's mother.

Charlie: That's a dreadful way to organize!

Alice: Well, what do you think it should be?

Charlie: Something sensible, which it clearly is not! [Wearily] Let's try the last name of the offender's mother!

Alice: Yeah, that makes way more sense.

[The party set to work again, and can see that new boxes are arriving all the time, coming up through a chute off to one side.]

Alice: [To the party] Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Serena: I think I am: B2. The best vitamin to give patients suffering simultaneously from claustrophobia and vertigo. I hope we've all been eating our vegetables as it looks like we're in for another ride.

Bananas!

Alice: [Frowns] No. No, that's not what I was thinking at all.

Clint: It's close enough for me! Let's get the hell out of here - the next place can't be worse than this!

Oh, how little I know, eh?

Alice: [Nods] Agreed! It has to be better!

I don't know what you mean!

Clint: You know what they say... ladies first! Dur?

What, you think I'm going to be the canary in the mineshaft?

Alice: Good idea, Stinky! Let's send the expendable one down first. Charlie? Can you give him a copper piece?

Charlie: [Elaborately brandishes a copper piece] How about it, Dur??

Harvey : I shall go first troop, to clear the way of any briggands! Can't have my dear niece and the good sister put in jeporady, what! [Heads towards the chute]

[The party make a dash for it, with HARVEY leading the way.]

Milken: I say! Stop right there! y.]

Harvey : Quickly troop, to the chute!

Serena: This is where good conditioning would come in handy!

Charlie: Quickly, girl! No time for your chatter! We must away to the chute!

Alice: [Leading the group to the chute] We don't need no stinking conditioning! [Is quickly passed by everyone so that within a few seconds she is in last place, puffing and panting] Hey! Wait for me!

[HARVEY leaps into the chute, followed in quick order by the rest of the party.]

Milken: Damn you to hell! This is very worry, very, very worrying indeed.

[The party collapse in a pile on the floor at the bottom of the chute, their entrance sending several people down below scurrying away in fright. Standing there nonchalantly is MR. SKILLING. He has a cigar and a glass of what appears to be whiskey in his hand.]

Skilling: You know, that chute is normally used for sending paperwork up, not sending drones down. [Takes a drink]

Mr. Ski= lling by the of

Charlie: [Dusting herself off] We prefer a more proactive approach!

Serena: And fortunately, we are not drones. [Looking from the cigar to the glass] Self-medicating is an extremely dangerous practice!

Skilling: [To Charlie] I'm glad to hear it. This is a department for highly motivated self starters. [Takes a drink and looks Serena up and down] Not as dangerous as criticizing your new manager.

Charlie: [To Skilling] Her attitude is not usually this poor, but I'm afraid we haven't been allowed a break in quite some time. And, as you know, studies have shown workers perform better with a life/work balance. ally this poor, but I'm=0A> afraid we haven't been allowed a break in quite= ter with a life/work=0A> balance.=0A=0AClint: Besides, self-medicating is w= hy we work to begin with! Got a spare cigar?=0A=0A=0A=0A

Skilling: Well, that's not how we do things here, you'll be glad to hear. Do your job properly and you'll have plenty of access to pornography and whiskey.

Colin's out

Harvey: Eh? What the hell kind of degenerates do you think we are, sir? [Looks around at the party] Oh, I see.

Charlie: [Red-faced] I [huge emphasis] told you, that pornography was research for a study into depravity and its impact on the lower classes!

Clint: Yeah, right! Like there's something depraved about a magazine where two women pleasure a donkey. here two women

Alice: What did they do to the donkey? Give it some carrots?

Skilling: [To Clint] Got a box of them. Hand rolled in Navanah and stored in the armpits of virgins for three months. As soon as you're done with the copying, you can have one.

Clint: You heard the man! Let's get started copying, guys! [Looks for a hopefully small stack of stuff to be copied.]

Hope springs eternal, and all that. or a hopefully small

Alice: Right! I bet there'll be a tiny stack for us. [Looks around] Huh, I don't see any small stack, all I can see is all this paper.

Skilling: That, may friend, is the small stack. We like to start you off easy here.

Alice: [Hopefully] But I'm easy already!

Charlie: [To Skilling, brightly] We'll have it done in a jiff, sir! Come along, group--we just need to get organized!

Harvey : [To Skilling] Sir, I have a wonderful idea to remove the bulk of this workload. The other managers were not interested, and dare I say, downright hostile to my approach, but you look like a cove who appreciates the finer side of lateral thinking what!

Skilling: Hostile? You don't say. Let's hear your idea, friend. If it's a good 'un, you'll be in my office sipping the finest sippin' whiskey around. [Leans in confidentially to Harvey] Each glass is warmed for three hours between the legs of a virgin.

Charlie: [In a hushed voice] Take care, Colonel, and don't forget that many a hairy-backed nun and pock-marked spinster are also virgins!

Harvey : [Cautiously] I see. And what, pray tell, will occur if my idea is not to your liking?

Skilling: Oh, now, what kind of monster do you think I am?

Harvey : Oh, I don't know. One who forces various virgins to stand around with cigars in their armpits and brandy glasses between their thighs?

Skiling: [Wounded] Hey! For all you know, they like it! [Sits back and takes a drink] 'sides, there are far worse things to be sticking in their armpits and between their thighs.

Harvey : [Goes red] I say! There's a good sister of the faith present, what! At any rate, I believe, for the sake of my remaining digits, my idea shall go unheard. Come troop, let us copy feverishly until not a single sheaf remains!

Charlie: [Primly] Mr. Skilling, remember yourself! You are in mixed company, after all.

Skilling: What? It's not like they're female virgins or something!

[The party each have a desk and a stack of blank paper. The big stack in the middle, which they are clearly supposed to copy, is made up of sheets which are taped together, that look like they were torn into teeny, tiny, itsi-bitsi pieces.]

Alice: Well, this doesn't seem so bad. [Holds her hand up] Finished!

Skilling: That seems unlikely. [Takes a look at her work] Ah, I see. No, you're not here to copy the pieces that have something written on them, not the blank ones.

Alice: Oh. [Crestfallen] I see. tack of blank paper. The big=0A> stack in the middle, which they are clearl= y supposed to copy, is made=0A> up of sheets which are taped together, that= look like they were torn=0A> into teeny, tiny, itsi-bitsi pieces.]=0A> =0A= =0A> Skilling: That seems unlikely. [Takes a look at her work] Ah, I see.= =0A> No, you're not here to copy the pieces that have something written on= =0A> them, not the blank ones.=0A> =0A> Alice: Oh. [Crestfallen] I see.=0A=

=0AClint: Are these just the sheets we tore up last week?! [Annoyed now, h= e gets to work.]=0A=0A=0A=0A he gets to work.]

Alice: Gibber! It certainly seems to be the same kind of stuff! [To Skilling] What the hell kind of organization is this?

Skilling: [Shrugs] I don't know. Some say it's a monopoly, others that it's an meritocracy, others again than it's a theocracy. Personally, I just view it as a way to combine my loves of good cigars, excellent whiskey and really, really spectacular asses with a good, almost honest day's work.

Alice: [A little flattered] Oh, so you, uh, [flutters her eyelids] like my ass, eh?

Skilling: Nah, not especially, it's a bit too bony for my liking. [Points at Clint's rear end] Mm-mm! Damn! Now that's a fine ass.

Harvey : And I thought our day could not get worse, what! Tell me this, how did you get to the top of the management chain? I'm curious about career advancement!

Skilling: Me? Mainly through a deadly combination of being a sycophant and having access to the best whiskey, cigars and asses in the Office. By the time anyone realised that I didn't actually do any work and spent all my time drinking whiskey, smoking cigars and slapping asses, it was too late. I had the market cornered. No one was prepared to do without my excellent whiskey and cigars, and if they had to put up with the occasional ass slapping, well, so be it.

Clint: [Sidling around a table to keep his ass away from Skilling.] Sorry, Harv, but even if it's good for our careers, I'm not sleeping with the boss, and that's final!

Harvey : Hmm, it's at times and occasions such as this, that I miss private Sleaze!

Skilling: If it's any consolance, there's rarely any sleeping!

Harvey : Where did you procure your supply of cigars and brandy? Is there really life outside of this office?

Clint: [Busily copying in hopes of getting cigars and brandy, and trying not to think about where they've been.] And as long as you're answering questions, could you tell us what the hell this is all about?!

not=20 ions, could you tell us what the hell this is all about?!

Dur: [Begins copying] Anyone want to sing a jaunty little diddy as we work? =20

Serena: That's a splendid idea, Dur! [Sings, off key] Sunshine. You are my sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are grey.

sigh I really suck at working out what day it's supposed to be on your side are my

Harvey : [Grimacing] Well sung dear sister! The voice of an angel!

Charlie: [Disappointed] No, no! That one isn't about being oppressed. It isn't right at all for a workaday blues singalong!

Alice: Aw, man! Look! Instead of writing down "Stole a car from a one legged white girl" I wrote down "You are my sunshine"!

Skilling: You can try singing if you want, it'll only annoy other people. Me? Ever since I banged heads with a virgin, everyone's voice sounds like Brames Jown to me.

Harvey : I've never heard of the chap! I prefer the orchestal splendifidty of Men Gliller! Now that was music you could dance to, what!

Skilling: I like Men fine, just sounds like Brames Jown to me.

Now, that's making it too easy! --- F \ No newline at end of file

I set 'em up, you knock 'em down!

Harvey : [Looking at a sheet of paper] I say, there's a chap here who murdered a number of young men through exhaustion by forcing them to stand for days on end with cigars in their armpits and brandy between their legs! Hmmm.

Charlie: [Shudders and takes up a file] Ugh, there's a family here so wealthy that it uses puppies for--how cruel!

Harvey : Really? Let me see? [Defly tries to snatch the sheet from Charlie while giving Alice a sidelong glance]

Alice: Hey! We're not the ones on trial here! Let's hear more about the exhausted virgins!

Skilling: [Sighs happily] Ah, happy days. Sure, they pretended like they didn't like it, but I knew deep down that they appreciated what they were being sacrificed for. [Snaps back to the present] Okay, enough talk of virgins. You better get down to work. You know how upstairs they like to take off a toe if you don't do things right? Here we take off a different appendage.

Dur: [Hopefully] A finger?

Skilling: Haw! What a kidder. I like this guy. [Looks Dur up and down] Ever had a cigar under your armpit?

Dur: [Jumps a little] I resent the implications! I WAS married before you k= now!

Charlie: [Defensively] You KNOW that didn't count! We were in some alternative universe. It wouldn't hold up in any court of law!

Dur: [Looks thoughtful] Marriage does seem like an alternate universe somet= imes, but I think that hardly discounts your feelings for me...

Skilling: [Good naturedly] Woah, woah, woah. I didn't say you weren't married, I merely implied that you were a virgin.

Gone for about two hours!

Clint: Naw. I mean, people still throw away old blow-up dolls, right?

Harvey : [In a Harvey whisper] Suddenly the stench of rotting garbage emnating from Private Scar begins to make sense, dear niece! [Loudly] I say private, there are ladies present! Less of that, what!

Skilling: Although this talk of blow up virgins is fascinating, I'm afraid it's time you got to to work. Perfect copies, please, otherwise [makes the noise] bzzzzt!

[Exit SKILLING, leaving the party to their long, boring task.]

ask.]

Charlie: [In a hushed, urgent voice] Group, this is madness! We must find a way of escape. I am due to give a paper at a conference soon!

Alice: Conference? Uh! This just gets worse and worse! [The party can see that there are several other groups here, and when they finish they pass the boxes of papers through a chute going up. Off to one side is yet another chute, up through which more boxes are coming.]

Harvey : [Points to the second chute] Well troop, downwards and onwards!

Alice: And quickly, in case he comes back, I'd hate for him to cut off my [points to her crotch] you know what!

Charlie: [Baffled] I'm quite sure I don't know, nor do I care to find out! [Enters the chute]

[Exit ALL, following CHARLIE into the chute.]

Skilling: [Coming back into view] You know, I've thinking, how about a few cigars and brand- hey!

End of scene

[Book VI, Act X, Scene IV. The Construction Department. ALICE, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and SERENA are here, having landed on the floor. Standing over them is MR. KEATING. He looks unimpressed.]

Keating: [Taps his watch] I've been waiting.

Mr. Keat= ing

Serena: I hope that means you have something much more exciting than filing that needs doing? Hopefully something more aerobic? ng

Keating: Sure! It's way more fun! It's constructive, exciting, everything!

Dur: [Brushing himself off] I already don't like the sound of it.

Keating: You'll love it! Every other department is worried about hiding things, about destroying things, here, we build things!

Charlie: Yes, that does sound more fulfilling. What is our task?

Keating: That's the spirit! [Gestures to a huge pile of paper] Assembly! This bunch was shredded yesterday, but we need it reassembled.

Charlie: [Aghast] You can't be serious?! Why ever did we shred it in the first place? ever did we shred it in=0A> the first place?=0A=0AClint: [Giving the rest = of the party a reproachful glare.] Because these people are insane, Chuck. = Isn't it obvious?=0A=0A=0A=0A

Keating: YOU are the ones responsible? Well, it makes it all the more poetic that you must unshred it then, doesn't it?

Keating: Insane? Or so insanely cunning we just seem insane? [Spins his bow tie at high speed]

Dur: So you don't know who shreds the documents you have to assemble? How d= o you know you're supposed to assemble them then?

Keating: Well, if we don't assemble them, how will the folks in filing be able to put them in order?

Dur: Don't you ever get tired of assembling shredded documents?

Keating: No.

[Time passes.]

Alice: Beeecause?

Keating: I don't assemble them. [Laughs at her naivete] I'm a manager. I don't do any of that sort of work. You people, on the other hand, do. ses.]=0A> =0A> Alice: Beeecause?=0A> =0A> Keating: I don't assemble them. [= Laughs at her naivete] I'm a manager.=0A> I don't do any of that sort of wo= rk. You people, on the other hand, do.=0A=0AClint: And they don't go on str= ike, or bludgeon management to death in their off hours?!=0A=0A=0A=0A

Keating: Why, no, no they don't. Of course, they don't have any off hours! [Laughs]

Serena: Well assembly does sound like a much more fulfilling occupation than shredding! It will give us a chance to exercise our mental abilities.. [glances at the party] or at least attempt to develop some. [To Charlie] Don't tell me you don't like the challenge of a puzzle, dear. ies.. e]

Alice: Don't you think it's a bit late for that, Serena?

[This time, alas, there doesn't appear to be any other chute leading down. Once again, there are several massive piles, with various Scoops working on them.]

Charlie: But this is absurd! We aren't actually accomplishing anything! It's terribly inefficient. Surely there must be SOME end-point to all of this?

Keating: [Tuts at Charlie's foolishness] Of course there's an endpoint to all this. Everything goes upstairs and gets copied, so it can be properly filed away.

Charlie: But why are we reassembling shredded documents?

Keating: So they can be copied!

Alice: And why do they need to be copied?

Keating: So they can be filed.

Alice: And why do they need to be filed?

Keating: So they can be properly shredded.

Alice: And why do they need to be shredded?

Keating: They contain very sensitive information. It could be a disaster if it fell into the wrong hands.

Alice: But then why do you reassemble them again?

Keating: Do you have any idea how long it took to get all that information together in the first place? It would take us years to have to get it all again.

Charlie: [Wails] I'll never make my conference on time!

Harvey: By the saints troop, this is a vicious circle of mundane office work, what! Surely at this stage, there are millions of copies of these documents? If the originals are shredded, the copies must still exist somewhere, surely! Thereby, reassembling these together is pointless!

Alice: [To Keating] Yeah! Pointless!

Keating: On the contrary. It's simply that the amount of copies that need to be shredded keeps increasing, and it gets increasingly more difficult to put them back together again. Ingenious, really.

Alice: [To Harvey] Yeah! Ingenious!

Harvey : Ingenious you say? Ingenious? I'm not so sure about that, what! It sounds to me that the costs of running this business keep escalating due to the increasing use of resources and paper!

Alice: [Turns to Keating] Yeah! Paper!

Keating: Of course, that's true, but the cost of The Object keeps escalating too, so in real terms, we're actually making even more money than before!

Harvey : At the expense of our friend, the tree! Wood should be used for two things and two things only. Dwellings. And siege weaponry!

Dur: [To Keating] Just what exactly IS the object, if you don't mind us ask= ing?

Keating: Ho ho! The first rule of The Office is you do not ask what The Object is!

Harvey : [Shocked] So, you've spent all of your life working in this section, without even knowing what the end result of your endeavours is?

Keating: Of course I know what the end result is, the successful completion of The Project and greater profits for The Company.

Harvey : [Dubious] I see. And do you get a share of these profits? You know, a "thanks for all your hard work" bonus at Philimas?

Clint: Or even a friendly pat on a back and a hearty "Good night, well done, I'll see you in the morning"?

Keating: Well, not as such, no, but I do get the opportunity to torture as many workers as I want.

Charlie: And the workers get--??

Keating: Uh... tortured!

Dur: Hmmm... doesn't sound like your human resources department is trying v= ery hard.

Keating: Well, it is difficult to get hold of them, I've been trying to get a meeting with their main person, Mark Rogers, for months now. That said, we have a hundred percent retention rate.

The party met Mark Rogers crammed into Rigas' desk a few scenes ago

Harvey : Hmm, I believe the human resources person is a little indesposed at the moment! I believe he is currently filed under R, for redundant!

Keating: [Distracted] Yes, yes, well, back to work, I need to think about this.

Clint: [Working away.] Hey, if you want, I bet we'd be happy to help out in HR, get this place running smoothly. Right, guys? Err.. unless we have to work with what's-her-tush.

we have to work with what's-her-tush.

Charlie: Really, Mr. Scar! How can you expect us to identify people simply by examining his or her derri=E8re?!

Harvey : Indeed private! We are not a pack of hounds!

Alice: Oh, please, you clearly have no experience with Ass Grabbers Weekly! I once featured in it. They told me that I had been ass-essed as having as ass-tounding ass. They even made a plastercast of it. It was ass-some.

Clint: [Surprised.] Hey, I thought *everyone* identified people based on the ass!

Alice: No, that's how they identify you, you big ass.

Harvey : Troop please! Less of this talk of asses, what! [Looks around the room] This is as low as we can go! There must be something in this factory of despair to explain what the blue blazes we are doing here!

Alice: I think this guy is a weak link, maybe we can get him to get us out of here? The place keeps getting deeper, and, well, descending into a lower level of hell can't really make things worse, can it?

Charlie: By definition, lower means worse!

Harvey : Unless you're in a trench in the middle of no mans land, cadet, with the enemy snipers firing overhead Then lower is very much better, what!

Clint: [Confused.] Are we still talking about asses here?

Alice: No, an ass was just talking there! Uh, I mean before I said this. I mean that, I mean, shut up, Clint!

[KEATING comes back, looking troubled.]

Keating: Why aren't you working? I should torture you.

Harvey : You look troubled, old chap! A trouble shared is a trouble halved, what!

Unless it's an STD, of course.

Keating: No, no, I'm fine, thanks for asking. I do appreciate your concern. Now, bend over so I can flay the skin from your back and rub salt in the wounds. [Sighs]

Harvey : If you don't mind me saying, your heart doesn't seem to be in it, what! Perhaps together as a troop, we can resolve the issue currently troubling you, eh!

Charlie: Forgive me for prying, but I sense that your heart simply isn't in your work? Job dissatisfaction is the leading cause of heart attack and [lowers her voice] erectile dysfunction, you know. Perhaps it would help to unbosom your concerns?

Keating: [Horrified] Who told you about that? [Pauses] Er, I mean, I don't know what you're talking about. I'm sure The Object will be delivered any day now, and that I'll get my promotion. I've been manager here for a long time, you know.

Dur: It must have been ages if you are beginning to lose your excitement in= torturing your workers...

Keating: [A little self-consciously] Aw, thanks, you guys, you're all really swell. Okay, let's see how gouging out everyone's left eye will make me feel.

Harvey : That's a little hands on, isn't it? Don't you have that electric zapper thing that the other upper level managers have? [Stands at the ready to pounce on Keating]

Clint: Haw! It's all so crude and primitive. If you really want to torture your workers, make 'em talk to Bimberly! torture your workers, make 'em

Keating: Oh! You know my wife?

Charlie: Indeed, we do! Lovely woman. [Delicately] Is your trouble related to her in some way?

Keating: She's a very ambitious woman, you know? She wants me to get promoted downstairs, but the only way that'll ever happen is if all the paper here is processed, so the place is completely devoid of paper. They keep adding more, though, and even though we keep getting new staff, we're undermanned, undermanned!

Charlie: Surely there must be some way to work smarter? It's all terribly inefficient, after all. Perhaps we could help?

Keating: You can help by working! I'm going into my office to brood. [Sighs sadly] I'm so upset I can't even torture you. [Slowly walks off to his office, but stops on the way] I'm sure I'll feel better later, though, so you better get some work done.

Alice: [Once he's out of earshot, looking at the massive pile of paper] I think we need to figure out how to make all this paper disappear. [Looks around and sees that there are hundreds of people working here, all in a state of total exhaustion] That's what's in our future!

Harvey : Sounds to me troop like my idea of paper disposal might be of merit in this situation!

Alice: Well, he did say that he could get a promotion if all the paper was gone -- hey, maybe we could get a promotion!

Harvey : Hmm, he did say a promotion "downstairs"! I wonder what is below this level? There seems to be no way of accessing it via chutes. Perhaps we should check out the lift?

Alice: Not a bad idea, Unc, but do you think he'll just let us walk up to it?

Harvey : I remember as a young cadet, one was free to walk anywhere on the base as long as one was looking quite harassed and busy and holding a sheaf of papers!

Alice: But where are we going to get a sheaf of papers? All I see are these piles!

Charlie: [Scoops up a stack of papers and walks about looking distressed, muttering to herself. Stops abruptly, then smiles] Like that, Colonel??

Alice: What's not to like? There's paper, and there's walking, and, hm. I don't like this at all!

[KEATING knocks on the window of his office.]

Keating: Hey! Stop enjoying yourself!

Harvey: [To Charlie] Exactly, cadet! However, try to look a little more harassed and mutter about there being trouble if these aren't delivered on time, what! More than your jobs worth! [Scoops up a large armful of pages]

Dur: [Scoops up an armful of paper] Could we try clogging the chute? [Goes = over to take a look at the chute]

what's the chute made of? Does Dur know if his magic is working again o= r not?

[DUR heads over to the chute, and sees that it is made of metal.]

Keating: [Spotting the party all moving around] Hey! [Comes out] What the hell is going on here?

No idea! al.]

Harvey : We are attempting to problem solve your concerns, boss. Using lateral thinking and healthy exercise to get the little grey cells [taps his forehead] bouncing.

Dur: [Hastily grabbing a stack of papers] What he means, is that we are try= ing to work as efficiently as possible. The more efficient this office is, = the faster we can do the work, and ultimately the faster YOU will get that = promotion! Don't worry, we'll torture a few coworkers along the way until y= ou feel better... [Dur tries to cast Enthrall]

[Nothing happens!]

Keating: [Enraged] Enough's enough!

[All the party, as well as everyone else working on this floor (except KEATING, of course) fall to the ground in agony, which goes on and on. Eventually it finishes.]

Keating: Huh. I'm feeling a whole lot better now! [Gives a big smile] Thanks guys! Now, better get to work or [waves his hands around] bzzzzt!

Charlie: [To Clint, in an urgent whisper] Quickly, Mr. Scar! How can we quickly destroy reams and reams of paper?

Alice: [As Keating goes back into his office for a much deserved smoke of his pipe] How about shredding it?

Dur: [Pulling himself off the floor] Isn't that what got us into this mess = to begin with?

Alice: Maybe they just didn't shred enough!

Clint: Hell, we've got the best way to get rid of paper right here! [Glances significantly at Dur.] Open wide, Doc! lances significantly at Dur.] Open wide, Doc!

Charlie: Splendid thought, Mr. Scar! We can all help, as well! [Studies a piece of paper apprehensively and takes a small, dainty bite]

Harvey : Troop, I think even on our hungriest day, consuming approximately ten tons of paper is going to be a big ask! all help, as well!=0A> [Studies a piece of paper apprehensively and takes = a small, dainty=0A> bite]=0A=0AClint: We'll never finish this at that rate!= Be a man, Chuck! [Wad some paper up and reluctantly takes a bite.]=0A=0A= =0A=0A some paper up and reluctantly

Alice: [Who had turned away from the party, bending over] I thought you said to open wi- oh! Eat the paper. I knew that. [Glances back to where Keating is happily smoking his pipe] Er, are we really going to eat all this paper? Even with salt and brown sauce, I've never seen Uncle Harvey eat more than a quarter of a ton!

Charlie: [Wrinkles her nose and spits the half-chewed paper into her hand] Horrid! Worse than the cucumber sandwiches I had at the Midwest Ethnology and Folklore conference three years ago. [To Alice, with a haunted look in her eyes] The cucumbers were dreadfully limp and not a bit crisp!

Alice: [Gasps] Don't tell me -- they didn't even cut the crusts off the bre= ad??

read??

Dur: Perhaps we could start a fire?

Charlie: [Horrified] Don't be absurd! Folklorists may have a tendency to be a bit down at the heels, but they aren't animals!

Alice: I don't know, Charlie, I once was given a cucumber sandwich that consisted of a piece of bread -- between two slices of cucumber! I mean, that's not a cucumber sandwich at all, it's a BREAD sandwich. I'm just sick of it. [Turns to Dur and looks him up and down] Don't be ridic. Where on earth would we get a match here?

Dur: [Looks around the room] Anybody got a light?

Clint: Heeey, some of these guys smoke, right? I bet *they* have matches! es!

Harvey : Well, the boss is smoking a cigar. You know troop, it would be even better if somehow he started the fire and got the blame! [Looks around] Well, he did torture us, after all, what!

Alice: Nah, you're out of luck there, Harv. That wasn't a cigar, it was a pipe.

Clint: [Nods.] Got to keep those straight. A pipe is for friggin' weirdos! dos!

Harvey : [To Charlie] I believe those electrocutions have dulled my eyesight, dearest niece! A pipe eh! He must light it somehow!

Alice: [To Clint] I don't care what you want to frig weirdoes with, Clint, that's hardly relevant now, is it? [Realises that Harvey is talking to her, and clicks her fingers] Brilliant! That's it, Unc! Boy, the military mind is a thing to behold, of course he must light it somehow, and maybe, just maybe, he uses a cigar!

Charlie: We must get inside his office. That's surely where he keeps his matches and such. Only, surely we'd all die in the fire? We haven't been briefed on proper evacuation procedures, after all.

Alice: It's okay, Charlie, I picked up a leaflet earlier. [Reads from it] In the event of fire, run headlong into the red hot flames, because compared to the hell you'll be in for all eternity, it's refreshingly cool. [Looks up] Maybe we need to get him out of the office?

Harvey : Well, if we get him out of the office, one of us can slip in and er, borrow the cigar he uses to light the pipe! And let us just hope that cigar is lit, for who knows how we will light the cigar used to light the pipe? Perhaps with a cigarette?

Alice: Sure, but what if that's gone out? What does he use to light the cigarette?

Harvey : No doubt he lights a piece of paper and uses that to light a cheroot, which he uses to light a cigarette, which he then uses to light the cigar which lights the pipe! By the saints, inefficiency is rife is in this place, what! [Roars] Rife!

Alice: And then, of course, he uses the pipe to light the paper! The fiend!

Harvey : By the saints indeed! What a ploy by the tobacco company - the man must continually keep a chain of tobacco products lit, in order to smoke his pipe! The perpetual smoker! The man must never be able to sleep!

Alice: But how could he? With all that nicotine coursing through his system= !

Charlie: Yes, well, whilst you have been nattering, I have formulated a plan! I shall create a distraction, and [looks at the others skeptically] the stealthiest of you will sneak into the office and get whatever sort of fire-making implement you may find. [Clears her throat dramatically, then cries out] Oh, Mr. Keating! I have a question, in fact a number of them, really. Could you be ever so kind and come out to speak to me?

Keating: [Comes out with his pants down around his ankles] What's wrong? Need more torturing? I was in the middle of some important reading!

[Fortunately there's enough space to get into his office.]

Harvey : [To Alice] He'll certainly sleep listening to her whittering on with her questions, dear niece!

Charlie: [Attempts to position Keating with his back to the office] Yes, my question is in nine parts, each with two to six subsections. Question one--are we using paper that has been bleached? A lower-quality paper, one that's a shade or two off-white, would surely suffice and could save the company hundreds each year! Question one, subsection A--[continues rattling off questions about various office supplies without taking a breath]

Harvey : [Slow and steadily begins moving around the back of Keating, and moves slowly towards the office]

[As CHARLIE keeps him occupied, the rest of the party sneak into the office.]

Alice: [Checking the desk] Damn! No sign of a cigar or cigarette! Just these matches. k

Harvey : Damn and blast! I guess they'll have to do, however, it will take ages rubbing the matches together in order to start a fire, what!

Alice: Maybe we could light one off the matchbox and use the light to help find a cigar?

Harvey : [Scratches at a sideburn] Hmm, not enough light, dear niece! I know, we can light one off the matchbox, roll a sheaf of papers into a torch, light it, and use that to look for the cigar! By the saints, I knew all of this "dry as a bone" paper would come in use eventually! --- F \ No newline at end of file

Alice: [Nods] Good idea, Unc, but be careful, the paper is so dry that the whole place could catch on fire and burn away before we had a chance to set it on fire. Uh, hey!

Clint: Right. Let's find a fire exit and then go play with matches!

Harvey : That's a point, private Scar! The only exits I saw here are the lift, and the chute! And of course, we should never use the lift in the case of an emergency, such as a fire.

[The party slip back out, just as KEATING is finishing talking to CHARLIE.]

Keating: ... and yes, the ink tastes more like blueberry than blackberry. [Sighs] Now, back to work!

Keating: [Looks at the party] Er, carry on, carry on.

Charlie: Splendid! You've been most helpful. Now I feel energized and ready to take on the day.

Harvey : We certainly will, Mr Keating! Expect all of your woes to soon be a thing of the past!

Clint: And all your worries to go up in smoke!

Harvey : [Glances down at Keatings mid section] Well, your paper based worries, at any rate!

Keating: Er, yes, quite. [Enters his office and sits down]

Alice: Right! Who's the best at destroying stuff?

Harvey : Hmm, I don't know dear niece? Who among us has burned down three separate apartments? Two kitchens? Eight stables? One servants quarters? Five bars? A swimming pool? A butchers? A bakers? And a candlestick makers? Three fields of wheat? One ceremonial uniform, freshly pressed and buttons a burnished? [Scratches his sideburn]

Alice: Hey! That one was never proven!

Harvey : [Continuing] The city of Lahndon, Jellystone Park, two kindergartens, four prep schools and the river Lee.

Clint: [Impressed.] Hey, with destructive potential like that, I should retire! Except that the retirement home burned down last year, didn't it?

Harvey : [Looks guilty] That was never proven! form,

Harvey : There is more than one ceremonial uniform, freshly pressed and buttons a burnished, and with a label "H.K.S.III" stitched on the inside collar, my dear niece! And I've told you mine was lost by the damned Vietnumnumese laundry, the swines!

Clint: [Pauses.] Laundry? [Looks around for a dictionary.]

Harvey : It's where ordinary people put their clothes to have them shruk or lost, private Scar!

Charlie: Yes, most helpful, Colonel. Now, let us [whisper] start the f-i-r-e! -i-r-e!

Alice: The fear? What fear? Oh! That'll be caused by the fire! Great idea, Charlie. [Lights a match and tosses it on a pile of paper]

Keating: [Sees the party standing around] I say! What are you people doing?

Charlie: We're discussing an exciting new innovation that will increase our productivity by 100%!

Keating: What? [Sniffs the air] And what's that smell? [Bends over to look at where the match landed]

[In one fell swoop, every single shred of paper in the place burns to a crisp, so that there is nothing left but a pile of soot.]

Keating: [Now with no eyebrows, turning to the party, horrified] What did you do? ce

Charlie: Why, we took care of your paperwork, once and for all! You're wel= come! welcome!

Harvey: You see, all of your paper based worries are now a thing of the pas= t!

Keating: But you destroyed it! How can it be copied now?

[The lift bings, and the door starts to open.]

Keating: O. M. D.

Harvey : Imagine the surprise they will feel when they see that all of your work is complete, what! You'll be carried upthe promotional ladder on the shoulders of your colleagues!

[The doors of the elevator open. Enter MR. WEISS, a surprisingly young looking manager.]

Weiss: Keating! [Looks around] What happened here? Where's all the paperwork?

Keating: [Panicky] They did it!

Mr. Weiss ly ork?

Charlie: [Modestly] Oh, but we couldn't have done it without the help of Mr. Keating. Truly, he is an inspirational leader!

Weiss: Reeeeally?

Keating: No sir, Mr. Weiss! They did it all on their own!

Weiss: [To the party] Well now, good job! It's really gear.

Clint: [Waiting for the other shoe to drop.] Hey, does this mean we get our own cigars?

r >own cigars?

Dur: Smoking is a disgusting habit.=20

Uuuggggg. Can't... wait... til end of day.=20 =20

Clint: Yeah, and? [Shakes his head sadly at Dur's naivete.]

Alice: And so is picking your nose and eating it?

Clint: [Triumphantly.] There, see? The best things in life are *all* disgusting habits! isgusting habits!

Harvey : [Bows deeply] Good afternoon, my dear. I am Harvey Kingston Short III, ex colonel of the Kings Reach fusileers, what!

Weiss: Well, Harvey Kingston Short III, ex colonel of the Kings Reach Fusileers, the boys downstairs want to talk to you and your Scoop.

Keating: But wait! I was involved too!

Weiss: [Looks him up and down] Keating, you're a disgrace. You don't even have eyebrows. [Turns to leave, but stops and looks back] Oh, by the way, Mr. Madoff screwed your wife.

Keating: [Falls to his knees] Noooooo! [Exit WEISS and the party.]

End of scene, next one coming up.

[Book VI, Act X, Scene V. The Elevator. WEISS, ALICE, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and SERENA are here, heading downwards.]

Weiss: The boys downstairs are very excited about meeting you. It's going to be just groovy. Elevator. WEISS, ALICE,=0A> CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and SERENA are her= e, heading downwards.]=0A> =0A> Weiss: The boys downstairs are very excited= about meeting you. It's=0A> going to be just groovy.=0A=0AClint: [Apprehen= sive.] Define "excited."=0A=0A=0A=0A

Weiss: They've taken all their clothes off.

Charlie: How interesting! Is that a cultural way of expressing excitement in this dimension? [Thoughtfully fingers at the buttons of her blouse] How can you reciprocate politely in a way that doesn't require disrobing?

Weiss: [With a huge smile] Sure, but disrobing would be just gear! [Glances at Harvey] You can just clap your hands.

Charlie: Perhaps I'll just say, "Thank you!" [Looks around] Where are these nude individuals?

[Bing! The doors of the elevator open, showing a rambunctious group of almost naked teenage boys.]

Boys: Whoo! [Applaud loudly] Get your clothes off! Get 'em out for the lads! [And other various sexist things]

Dur: [Exits the elevator already disrobed] Well it's about time!

Boy1: [At the front] No! Not you! [Points at Harvey] Him!

Alice: [Panicking and pressing the door close button] Let's keep going!

Harvey : [Roars] I most certainly will not! By the saints!

Clint: I'm with Alice. Good clean naked fun is only okay if it's a bunch of women!

Alice: [Pressing the button repeatedly] Why won't it close?

Weiss: Because that's the open button. Press the close button.

Alice: Oh. [Presses the clothes button]

[The party are immediately covered in clothes.]

no Internet! Silence until tomorrow

Charlie: How extraordinary!

Sorry this is missing the Last from number--I can't find the number sign on this European keyboard!

Alice: Yay! New clothes! This is gonna be great! [Searches through the sea of grey drab] Huh. These are even more boring than the ones we have.

Weiss: [Excited] Yes! Isn't it neat?

alt-3!

Charlie: Oh my, yes! I do like a nice, neutral color. [Picks up a grey blazer that looks identical to the one she's wearing] Ooooh, isn't this one marvelous??

Gracias!

Alice: It makes me want to sleep.

[Bing! The elevator stops again.]

I think you mean Gr#ci#s!

Charlie: [Patiently waits for the door to open. To Alice] Not nearly enough sparkly bits, I expect?

Serena: How very thoughtful of you, Alice! [Gathers up some of the materialized clothing and attempts to offer it to the half-naked boys] Your friends insinuate you are more likely to promote nudity, but your consideration of these poor lost souls is admirable. ialized nsinuate or lost

Alice: Not even close, Charlie. [The door opens, revealing a long, plush corridor.]

Weiss: [Steps out] You guys look fab! Come on, it's time for a very important sub-board meeting, you'll want to be at that.

Dur: [Reluctantly putting clothes back on] I hope there isn't more torture = involved.

Serena: Well, that sounds lovely and civilized.

Dur: Perhaps someone needs to review their definition of lovely and civiliz= ed! =20 O

Weiss: [Approaching a door] It's great! We even have people in the meeting picking up Trash.

Serena: [To Dur] See, you like trash, don't you?

Alice: Only to bathe in or eat, not to pick up.

[WEISS opens the door, revealing a group of people sitting around a large table. They all turn and smile warmly at the party.]

Weiss: Hi guys, these are the ones responsible for finally cleaning up the Construction Department.

All: Well done! Hurrah! [General applause]

Weiss: These nice people are [points to each of them in turn] Mr. Poulsen, Mr. Harold, Mr. Kinsey and a secretary.

Secretary: [Annoyed] My NAME is secretary, I'm a junior board member just like the rest of you.

Weiss: Sure you are, honey.

Mr. Poulsen

Mr. Harold

Mr. Kinsey

Ms. Secretary g

Charlie: [Excited] Are we being promoted? people sitting=0A> around a large table. They all turn and smile warmly at = the party.]=0A> =0A> Weiss: Hi guys, these are the ones responsible for fin= ally cleaning up=0A> the Construction Department.=0A> =0A> All: Well done! = Hurrah! [General applause]=0A> =0A> Weiss: These nice people are [points to= each of them in turn] Mr.=0A> Poulsen, Mr. Harold, Mr. Kinsey and a secret= ary.=0A> =0A> Secretary: [Annoyed] My NAME is secretary, I'm a junior board= member=0A> just like the rest of you.=0A> =0A> Weiss: Sure you are, honey.=

=0A=0AClint: [Glances at secretary.] C'mon, everyone knows that board membe= rs are always guys. Otherwise you'd sometimes have a chairwoman of the boa= rd, and that would just be ridiculous!=0A=0A=0A=0A

Weiss: [Laughs approvingly at clint's words] Too right! [To Charlie] You sure have, sweetheart. We want you to do a similar job here that you did with keating.

Clint: No problem! Got a match?

Weiss: Nope, 'cos there's no match for me!

Kinsey: [Glares at Weiss before looking back at the party] No, all combustibles are banned, in case some smart ass thinks they can just burn the stuff. [Takes a bite of a biscuit from a plate on the floor and then throws the rest of it on the ground]

Charlie: [To Kinsey, scolding] There are starving, addled elderly men who would love to have that food you're just discarding like so much trash!

Clint: Hell, there are starving, addled young doctors who would love to have that trash you're discarding like so much food!

Kinsey: Then when you clear up our worthless crap, you can give it to them.

Serena: Goodness me! Eating off the floor is quite unsanitary, Mister Kinsey. And I do hope you have something more nutritional on offer. If you're intending to maximize your productivity, you must first take care of your body. Kinsey. intending

Kinsey: That's okay, I won't be eating off the floor. However, if you want to take care of your body, I suggest you get to cleaning the place up right away. [To Ms. Secretary] Take a note, Secretary, this one is very mouthy.

Secretary: I told you, I'm not a secretary!

Charlie: [To Kinsey, nodding at Secretary] Could you have your girl get us some tea and cucumber sandwiches? [Cheerily] Now, what task are we to complete now? I must say, the last one was exhilarating!

Kinsey: Ah! Good idea. [To Secretary] Cucumber sandwiches please! [To Charlie] You and your Scoop are so good at cleaning up, you're now in charge of cleaning up this room.

[The room is almost knee deep in disgusting trash.]

Secretary: [Enraged, bangs the table] Look! I told you! I'm not here to - [calms down] oh, go on then, I'll make you some tea and cucumber sandwiches, but only because I'm a girl and I enjoy that kind of thing.

Harvey : [Looks around the room] And where, pray tell, does this trash get deposited?

Serena: Although we really must do something about the disgusting state of this room, it would not do to treat the problem without addressing the cause. I think some employee education on the correct disposal of refuse would me most beneficial. [Aside, to Charlie] How do we add things to the agenda of a meeting? f this a meeting?

Kinsey: [Growling at Serena] I don't care what you think. Unless you want a shock, get this place cleaned up. [Points vaguely at the door] There's a trash can out there that you can put the stuff in. [To the table] Right, we've heard about how the Weiss Company is doing, as well as the Poulsen Company and the Kinsey Company, now we need to hear about the Harold Company, and remember, the Jarvis Company didn't report good profits this year, so Mr. Jarvis was killed by The Company.

Harvey : Right troop, lets begin clearing this mess, what! By the saints, reminds me of chore duty in the cadet academy! Let's just hope they don't expect us to clean the toilets with our toothbrushes, eh!

Kinsey: Don't be ridiculous. We expect you to clean your toothbrushes with the toilets.

Alice: [To the party] Well, let's get the servants in. [Looks around] Oh, wait a minute, when he says that WE have to clean it up, does he - does he mean we have to pick it up? [Pales]

Charlie: [To Alice, reassuringly] But we DO have a servant. [To Dur, clapping her hands] Do get cracking, good man! We'll let you eat anything you find that will fit into your mouth!

Serena: Yes, that's right, Alice. Seeing what other people throw away is and excellent lesson in appreciating what you have in life. is

Harvey : Well spoken dear sister! It should prove a lesson to us all! And for some, it's a way of increasing what they have in life!

Alice: I already appreciate what I have in life, so can the rest of you help him? [Points at Dur]

Harvey : Of course dearest niece! No one would expect you or the good sister to have to involve yourself in this cleaning exercise, what!

Serena: On the contrary, Colonel. We must all pitch in! Cleanliness is next to godliness you must recall. If we want our souls to be light and pure, we must first cleanse our environment and bodies that house them. is d pure,

Charlie: Go right ahead, Sister! I shall be joining Alice in repose, as the state of my soul is quite pristine.

Dur: If we keep arguing like this we aren't going to get anything done.

Kinsey: [Looking up from a heated debate about all the various companies that The Company appears to own] Hey! If you keep arguing like that, you aren't going to get anything done!

Alice: [Glares at Serena] Yeah! [To Charlie] Honestly, what is wrong with these people?

Harvey : [Begins picking up random items] At the bottom of all of this must be a carpet we can sweep things under, what!

Kinsey: [Looks up] What the hell is this? All of you need to work!

[Bzzt! Everyone gets a shock, even worse than the ones before.]

worse than the ones before.]=0A=0AClint: [To the party, as quietly as possi= ble.] We've got to figure out how the hell those freaks are doing this shoc= k thing so we can kick some ass!=0A=0A=0A=0A

Alice: [Now picking up some of the trash] The last thing I want, Stinky, is for you to know how to do that!

[Each party member now has their arms full of trash. All the while the talk has continued about The Project, The Object, The Company and the seemingly endless supply of companies owned by The Company.]

Harvey: [To the table] Excuse me all. But perhaps you could tell us what the Object we've heard so much about is?

[The discussion around the table stops, and everyone turns and looks at the party, shocked.]

Kinsey: If you don't know what The Object is, then you clearly haven't been deemed important enough to know, and it would be inappropriate for someone who did know to tell you what you don't know and are clearly not supposed to know. All you need to know is that The Project is concerned about getting The Object built and sold. ne turns

Charlie: [Gingerly picking up bits of ground-up cookies] Oh, we do know, naturally. We just wanted to know even more, as we are so very enthusiastic!

[All hell breaks loose, with everyone sitting at the table suddenly become excited and enraged at CHARLIE's word, clearly shocked at her claims.]

Poulsen: How the hell do they know? Why do cleaners know and not Junior Exe= cs?

Secretary: This is just awful! Why wasn't I told? This is so unfair!

Harold: Forget you! You're just a secretary! [Points to his bow-tie] Look! I'm wearing a bow-tie! If anyone should know, it should be me!

Kinsey: [Bangs the table] Silence! They don't know. She's bluffing. xecs?

Charlie: [Trying to remain cool] You needn't act so surprised! We ARE the ones who finally completed the shredding phase of The Project, after all. Why shouldn't we know all about The Object?

Kinsey: Because you are drones sent here as punishment, who's arms are full of stinky trash. Get back to work before I punish you again. There's a trashcan outside.

Dur: [Scratching his head] I thought we were here for a promotion? Anyway, = you didn't think we shredded all that paperwork without reading it first ri= ght? I suspect we have quite a bit of knowledge on the subject of The Objec= t.=20

Clint: Yeah! It's mixed in with some crap about forbidden acts involving radishes, but...

Harvey: Or are we the...Auditors? Sent here to assess your effectiveness and productivity? And [looks down at the trash he is carrying] your general conformance to specific sanitation guidelines. [Tuts three times] ng radishes, but...

Kinsey: Now I know you're lying, there's nothing in those files about The Object. Sure, there're all those ones about the radishes, but so what? And any auditor worth anything would applaud our lack of cleanliness. Now, stop wasting our time and put that stuff outside, and then come in and do the rest.

Alice: Rest?

Kinsey: Yes!

Alice: [Whispers to the party] Thank God! I'm exhausted!

Harvey : I hear you loud and clear, dear niece! By the saints, the thought of grabbing fourty winks is just enough to get me through this assignment, what! Can someone open the door so we can begin depositing this detritus?

Charlie: [Casually] I couldn't sleep a wink, thinking about those radishes and how important they are to our work! Yes, I've read so much about radishes since I started work here, I just might give a paper about them.

Harvey: I assume, private Scar, that when you use the term "give", you mean pay someone else to do it?

Alice: [Confidentially to Harvey] She's Charlie, the fussy one. Private Scar is the stinky one.

[The party head outside the office door, where there's a huge wheelie bin full of the most disgusting and foul smelling trash that anyone, even DUR, has experienced.]

Alice: [Ducking to avoid being hit on the head by a massive and disgusting looking fly] Ew! This smells almost as bad as Clint!

Charlie: [Holding her hand to her mouth] Why on earth would they keep this garbage at hand?! Surely there's some [vaguely] slum who would be happy to have it and pilfer bits of food and items to decorate shacks and such?

Alice: Maybe it's just another way to torture us? Demean us by picking up stuff so disgusting even Dur wouldn't decorate his shack with it, that kind of thing. You know, it's a little weird that even these guys don't seem to know what The Object is, isn't it?

Charlie: It certainly explains the reason all of these projects seem so absurd and pointless. When one lacks a clear aim, one is doomed to aimlessness!

Alice: That's right. [Thinks for a moment] Uh, what's our aim?

Charlie: Escaping this madhouse, of course. I really cannot waste another moment with these mind-numbing tasks. [Sighs wistfully] What I wouldn't give to be reorganizing my research files!

Dur: Perhaps if we do a good job, a higher authority will promote us to cle= aning his office. Then we could get some answers!

Alice: Or maybe we might get to own a company! Everyone else here seems to!

Serena: [Rolling up her sleeves] A bit of spring cleaning will do everyone some good! [Hopefully] And perhaps a less stagnant room will lead to a less stagnant meeting.

Serena: I believe the Colonel is already in charge of your Company, isn't he?

Colin's away

Harvey: By the saints, no! No! And thrice, no! I am in charge of the Troop! I wouldn't deign to lead an entire Company of privates.

Clint: You tell her, Harv! How about leading us the hell out of here? [Dumps some trash on the pile.] Or maybe we could figure out what this Object is? I bet it's a metaphor or something like that!

Alice: Nah, I bet it's an analogy! son these losers have never found the Object is that they're looking

Alice: Yeah, an analogy!

Harvey: [To Clint] Perhaps, Private, but this is some sort of hell, why would they bother teaching people anything other than better ways to torture people?

Clint: [Nods, humoring Alice.] Yeah, probably. But hell, maybe the reason these losers have never found the Object is that they're looking for something physical and they should actually be looking inside themselves to learn an object lesson... say, that mindless busy work directed by a bunch of incompetent morons isn't productive?

Serena: As much as I am dreading delving deeper into this hell dimension, do you think, perhaps, there is a garbage collector to all this down to the next level?

Harvey: [Looks around for any other exits from the area] I'm not sure it would be of any use, dear sister! I'm quite convinced that no sooner would be remove the final scrap of rotten carcass, then we would walk back into the room only to find it once again, bursting at the seams with mouldy foodstuffs, what! However, that bin might be a mode of escape, were we to secret ourselves within.

Alice: But if we don't walk back into the room, what'll happen then?

Harvey : [Scratches at a sideburn] Hmm. A most excellent question dear niece, and one I would be most happy to remain ignorant of an answer!

Charlie: I hardly think we'll escape this way, Colonel! Surely we'll just end up in some filthy hell-hole, brimming with all manner of bacteria and lurking disease!

Alice: And that's hardly much fun, is it? [Turns to Dur] Well? Is it?

Sorry Kevin, I have to go for it!

Dur: [Shrugs] Some of those hell-holes are surprisingly warm and cosy.

Harvey : And who knows, private Scar might even find himself an inflatable companion what!

Are there other exits?

Alice: [Looks up the corridor which has a number of doors off it] I suppose we could see what's in-

[The door to the room the party were cleaning flies open. KINSEY is standing there.]

Kinsey: What the hell are you people doing?

Harvey : Cleaning! And disposing of the output of our endeavours!

Kinsey: Well, get back in here and get more endeavour to dispose of! How can we figure out how to finish The Project with all this crap on the ground?

Harvey : Why don't you just find a nice new clean office?

Kinsey: Because no one gets a new office until The Project is finished.

Charlie: And how will we know when The Project is finished?

Harvey : Presumably when they are assigned a new office! Point of note though, you won't need a new office when the project is finished. Infact, sir, I would image you will be out of a job and scouring the newspapers for a position, as soon as the Project is finished.

Kinsey: [To Charlie] There will be much rejoicing, when it finishes and the first cheques deliveries of The Object are here. [To Harvey] Unlikely, it has never happened before.

Harvey : Which? The completion of the Project, of the mass expulsion of the employees? And secondly, what do you mean by first cheques deliveries?

Kinsey: [Condescendingly] I didn't say cheque, I said check.

Alice: Hey! You totally did!

Kinsey: Did not.

Alice: Did so!

Kinsey: Not!

Alice: So!

Kinsey: [Looks back to the room behind him] Did I say cheque or check?

All: [Those in the room] Cheque!

Kinsey: Bastards! [Turns back to the party] But anyway. I mean the mass exodus of employees. [Thinks] Although, now that I think of it, we've never finished a project either. Hm.

Clint: See? When you finish, they'll replace you with new management for sure! or sure!

Kinsey: Then I guess I better make sure we never finish, so you people will stay here, picking up crap forever!

Harvey : That seems to be the overriding theme in this organisation!

Kinsey: Wait until you get to the anal violation parts, then you'll really have a feel for what it's like to work for The Company.

Harvey : Do you have someone named Stephen Hitchberg running that particular department?

Kinsey: No, that department is run by Mr. Dover.

Clint: Oh, he's famous! He was an example in my high school math book!

True story.

Harvey : [To Clint] Why did you have a high school book? Was it long, strong, and thoroughly absorbent, private?

Kinsey: Yes, Ben has a real eye for figures.

Dur: Are you describing a book or a diaper Colonel? [Makes baby talk at Har= vey] Does someone need a change?

Come-on! Elderly diaper jokes are ALWAYS hilarious.

Clint: Yeah, we need to get the hell out of here, and that would be a big damn change!

That depends (hah!) on whether they're jokes about old people and diapers, or just old diapers!

Kinsey: [To Clint] The sooner you get back in here and clean up the crap, the sooner you'll get out of here. It's nearly 5PM.

Charlie: [With a sigh] Yes, and time has such enormous significance here! [Wearily] Come along, group, let us continue our task!

Harvey : [Loudly] Come along troop, let us continue our task! [Enters the board room and picks up an armful of filth]

Kinsey: Come along, Scoop, let you continue with your task!

[KINSEY rejoins the meeting where they seem to simply be talking empty corporate speak and nothing else. From the snippets the party pick up, it's clear that The Project has been running for eternity, that The Object has never actually been made and that The Company has never sold a single thing.]

Serena: [Collecting an armful of rubbish] Well, perhaps if we make it until 5pm we'll have a brief moment to formulate a plan before tomorrow's work day begins.

Harvey : I have a feeling, good sister, that no sooner will 5pm arrive, then it will be 9am again in the beat of a heart!

[The party set about picking up all the rubbish, and, miraculously, by the time 5PM shows on the clock, the room is clean. The whole time, KINSEY and the others carried on talking their particular brand of nonsense, and seem to agree to set up literally hundreds of companies and move tens of thousands of gold pieces around them, but appear to be in pretty much the same position they were at the start.]

Kinsey: [As the clock strikes five] Right! Day's over!

Alice: [Glares at Kinsey] Is that's what's going to happen?

Kinsey: Of course not! That wouldn't make any sense!

Charlie: [Skeptically] Then, we're free to go?

Alice: Free? Oh, thank God! [Falls to her knees] Hurrah! Hurrah!

Kinsey: Of course not! Now you're free to clean all the rest of the offices! The secretary will stay behind to make sure you do it properly.

Secretary: I'm not a secretary, that's my name!

[End of scene, next one coming up.]

[Book VI, Act X, Scene VI. The Corridor. ALICE, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and SERENA are here, along with SECRETARY.]

Secretary: Okay, now you need to go and clean every other office on this fl= oor.

E, floor.

Harvey : [To Secretary]How many other offices are on this floor?

Secretary: Five.

Alice: Well, that doesn't sound too bad, I suppose.

[SECRETARY opens the one opposite the meeting room, revealing a massive, open plan office with thousands of cubes.]

Secretary: That's acquisitions. It's one of the smaller ones.

Serena: So, Ms. Secretary, how did you end up working here?

Harvey : [Looks in disgust at the office] Gah! [Turns to Secretary] And answer me this, why do you put up with the others treating you so badly, eh? Such a lack of respect, what!

Secretary: It could be worse, I could be a cleaner.

Harvey : It could be far worse! You could be a secretary, rather than just being treated as a secretary by everyone around you. [Scratches at a sideburn] I suppose someday, when you have actually made a profit for your company, they might just begin to treat you as an equal.

Secretary: And some day I will! Some day I'll close an order! Some day I'll unveil the first transfer of funds to The Company! Until then, however, get to work! I'll be back to check on you in two minutes.

[Exit SECRETARY back into the meeting room.]

Harvey : [Sighs deeply] I think we should just burn down the entire building, troop! Not just the paper trail! I am sick to my back teeth of this...wherever we are!

Charlie: Perhaps we could start spreading the news that The Object has been completed? Who could prove otherwise?

Harvey : A valid point, cadet! But who would believe us? We are but lowly office cleaners! [Snaps his fingers] I believe what we need is company headed paper, a memorandum written to all management congratulating them on the successful completion of the Object, and the order to down tools and leave their posts, effective immediately!

Alice: But where are we going to find company headed paper? All that's here are offices upon offices!

Charlie: Splendid idea, Colonel! [Frowns] Though, I hardly think I should be called "cadet." Surely General would be more accurate?

Harvey : [Suddenly laughs long and loud and alone]

[The door swings open and SECRETARY sticks her head out.]

Secretary: Stop enjoying yourselves!

Harvey : [Wiping tears from his eyes] Certainly! A happy work place is an inefficient work place, what! [Quietly to the others] Right so, let us track down a stationary cupboard and write an inter company memo.

Secretary: [Astounded] What did you just say?

Alice: He said "let us track down a stationary cupboard and write an inter company memo." Er, I mean, he said, "let us stop laughing and start cleaning up their sloppy filth."

Secretary: See that you do! [Slams the door] Ow! That really hurt! [Slams the door again] Ow! Why does my head keep hurting? [Looks around] Oh, I see. [Removes her head from where it was getting slammed in the door and slams it again]

Alice: [Looks into the huge room] Looks like there are a bunch of cupboards in there.

Charlie: Marvelous! Let's go, group! [Enters the huge room]

Alice: [Climbing over the mountain of trash on the floor] What exactly are we looking for?

Serena: Office stationery, I believe. Do watch out for rodents.

Alice: [Picks up a piece of paper off the ground, that has a rat attached to it] Office stationary, I believe?

Charlie: [To Alice] Take this down. [Begins striding about the room, looking into space and making lots of bold handgestures as she speaks] Dear Colleagues, it is with great excitement that I inform you of the completion of both The Project and The Object. We are humbly grateful for your tireless contributions to this work, and we wish you all a long, happy life, reflective in the delighted memory of the remarkable accomplishments of this organization. You are free to go. Most sincerely yours, etc. [To Alice] Did you get that?

Alice: What comes after deer?

Dur: That memo sounds way to nice for this company. I think it should read:= =20 Dear Dunderheads,=20 We're writing to let you know that The Project and The Object are both done= and the next phase of our plan is in effect. The next stage is for us to d= issolve the current company, steal The Project and The Object, and form our= own company staffed with less qualified and more poorly paid employees tha= n yourselves. Your services are no longer needed, suckers!=20 P.S. You're not getting severance packages!

Alice: Hey! That sounds just like one that Daddy use to use to get rid of people! You know, maybe we'll need to show who actually did buy The Object?

Clint: Can we afford to be specific? We don't know what the Object is? Although neither do they, but...

Alice: Well, everyone at that last meeting seemed to have their own company, why don't we make up our own -- with a cool name of course, like Alice Corp. or something -- and make up some fake paperwork saying we've already paid for and taken delivery of The Object?

Charlie: Very clever, but a better name would be The Parker Kensington Group. It's simply more convincing.

Clint: Better yet, we can call it QVC for "Queen's View Company" and add that we're selling it for the low, low price of $14.99! Act now and we'll throw in this free ginsu knife!

Serena: Gosh, that does sound like a bargain! But should we add something about showing the cleaners the way out? I don't really fancy getting stuck here in the possession of an object we know nothing about. ing tuck

Alice: But that's the beauty of it! If tell them we've already taken delivery of it, we don't even have to know what The Object is!

Serena: I know you may be accustomed to handling questionable objects, but wouldn't it be prudent to know what we are claiming ownership of before we do?

Alice: [Shrugs] Fine. Who have you met so far that actually knows that?

Charlie: [To Serena, patiently] We are exploiting the fact that no one seems to know, you see! [To Alice] Take this down! We are pleased to announced that the Parker Kensington Group has purchased The Object and paid for The Project in full. Our sincere thanks to our colleagues for their years of dedicated service to this noble work. [To Harvey and Clint] Do look for receipts or invoices laying about so that we may create proper documentation and such. o

[A good search of the place reveals plenty of blank documentation, and within a few hours, the party have incorporated the Parker Kensington Group, and provided documentation to show that not only have they taken delivery of The Object, but that it is all paid in full.]

Charlie: [Beams] Marvelous! Now, let us place this in the board room, and our deception is complete!

[The door opens and SECRETARY looks in.]

Secretary: What the hell is going on here? This places looks even worse than before! Oh, I'm going to enjoy this!

[Bzzzzzzt! Everyone gets a terrible shock again, which goes on and o= n.]

Secretary: [When it eventually finishes] Now, get all this cleared up. There's an important meeting with Mr. Madoff and Mr. Profit tomorrow morning.

Serena: Do you think they'll believe that we are the members of the company in question? n and on.]

Secretary: What company? What are you up to??

Serena: Well we were going to present this at your meeting, but as it was not on the agenda, we thought it might be inappropriate. [gestures at the collection of official papers]

Harvey : But never mind, what, we'll soon have this place spick and span!

Apologies for the absense yesterday - bad day at work!

Secretary: [Dismissively to Serena] I don't care what you have. If you insist, you can show it to Mr. Madoff and and Mr. Profit. [Sniggers] I'm sure they'll be impressed.

As bad as working for The Company?

Charlie: Indeed, they shall! I should like to show Mr. Madoff and Mr. Profit at once.

Secretary: I don't care what you would like. Get this place cleaned up

Harvey : Right troop, let's get this place ship shape, what! Tomorrows meeting will do us fine.

[The party set to work, and, what seems like weeks later, are finally finished. SECRETARY comes in to check it out.]

Secretary: Tolerable, I suppose. Now, get yourself cleaned up, you've a lot of work to do, cleaning up in the boardroom!

End of scene, next one coming right up are [Book VI, Act X, Scene VII. The Corridor. ALICE, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and SERENA are here, looking more respectable now. The door to the boardroom opens, and SECRETARY whispers to the party.]

Secretary: Clean up needed. Mr. Poulsen. [Points to a disgusting smear on the ground] Be very careful, Mr. Madoff and Mr. Profit are in foul form. You'll get your chance to speak to them when they're finished with Kinsey.

[She leans back so the party can see MADOFF and PROFIT, both of whom look serious but relaxed. They have KINSEY tied to a chair and MADOFF is burning him occasionally with a cigarette.]

Madoff: [To Kinsey] Explain to me again how this is going to save us money.

Profit: [Rolls a dice] A three.

[Everyone in the room groans.]

Profit: That's right. The next one of you to make even a sound dies.

Mr. Madof= f

Max Profi= t

.

Dur: That's absurd! How is that man supposed to tell you how his idea is go= ing to save money if he can't make a sound?

Madoff: [Amused] Who said that?

Secretary: [Points at Dur] He did.

Dur: [Guardedly] Did not! She did, the secretary [Points at Secretary].

Harvey : [To Secretary] You walked right into that one, my dear! I believe you were the first member of the company to speak after being told not to, what!

Secretary: Oh, crap.

[Within seconds she is just a smear. ]

Madoff: Clear her up.

Harvey : [Quite shocked] I say, that's a little severe, isn't it? By the saints, man, how can you ever expect a decent and well experienced management staff if you keep turning them into....[points to the smear]...that!

Madoff: We don't want well experienced staff, we want obedient staff. Now, clean it up.

Serena: You know, there are quite a few less... violent ways to achieve your goal. A peaceful, respectful workplace, or perhaps a potion or two. o.

Harvey : Prunes!

Clint: Anvils!

Profit: Why are they still talking?

Clint: Insanity? Desire to serve the Company efficiently?

Serena: We were just making some awfully practical suggestions. A few prunes to cleanse the system, a bit of sheng fui to let the space breathe, and I'm sure we could improve your office's productivity!

[MADOFF sighs, irritated, and then SERENA explodes, showering the party in pieces of her.]

Madoff: [Ignoring the party and turning to Kinsey] Now, [burns him with a cigarette] I'd like to draw your attention to page four, paragraph three.

[Enter MRS. MADOFF, looking awfully prim and proper, and sits on a seat out in the corridor. She looks the party up and down.]

Mrs. Madoff: You know, you really ought to get this place cleaned up, otherwise they'll just kill you. You'll have plenty of time to present your ideas when Kinsey is dead.

Mrs. Madoff

Clint: [Shocked, and pretty pissed.] Just give the word, Harv! [Glares at Madoff.]=0A= Mrs. Madoff: [Taking off her gloves] Now, now. Don't be silly. He is a demon, after all, so force isn't an option. [Pauses] At least, not from someone like you.

Charlie: You shouldn't underestimate Mr. Scar. His body odor has staggered many a mighty foe!

Harvey : [Bows deeply to Mrs Madhoff] I am Harvey Kingston Short III, ex colonel of His Majestys Fusileers of Kings Reach! We must bring something to your immediate attention, for we found an overlooked letter while performing our cleaning duties yesterday evening, which I believe you should read! It must have fallen down the side of a desk, as that is where we found it. Mrs. Madoff: Why, Harvey Kingston Short III, ex colonel of His Majesty's Fusileers of Kings Reach, I'm afraid that you have the wrong Madoff. [Delicately points into the room where Madoff is sticking a red hot poker into Kinsey's penis] He's the one you need to speak to.

Charlie: [Cheerily] Thank you! Come along, group! [Heads to the Room of Penis Torture]

Harvey : [Looks sick] That is just not on. Not on at all! [Loudly] Mr Madoff, we have something to show you!

Alice: [To Mrs. Madoff] Thanks, any advice on dealing Mr. Madoff? Mrs. Madoff: [Smiles sweetly] Just tell him that Clementine sent you.

Alice: [Taken aback] Clementine? Huh. [Turns to the party] Hey, I wonder if-

Madoff: [Turns and looks at Harvey, unimpressed, and speaking over Alice] What is it? What's more important than torturing this idiot?

Harvey : [Suddenly unsure] Er, well, its like this. We found a letter while cleaning last night which I think you should take a look at. It must have fallen off a desk before being actioned.

Madoff: [Takes a drag of his cigarette and snatches the letter from Harvey] Hm. [Turns to Profit] Take a look at this.

Profit: [Reads through it] It says we've sold an Object to someone, a company called Parker Knesington Group? Who are the Parker Knesington Group? It says they paid 500,000GP and [looks more closely] four hug bucks. Are they even a real company?

Alice: [Beaming, and whispering to the party] I put that part in!

The party has documentation proving the company exists

Hug Bucks? Brilliant!!!

Harvey: Rather than waste your time with this, we checked if such a company existed with Companies House, what, and received a copy of their Articles of Incorporation. We might be just cleaning staff, but we're not suicidal cleaning staff! We have them here...

Profit: Show me! [Snatches them] This can't be!

Madoff: They certainly seem to be in order.

Profit: [To Harvey] There's something not right here! What the hell is going on?

Harvey : Nothing more than a cleaning staff diligently performing their duty, what!

Dur: Well technically we're in the business of throwing stuff out, not savi= ng it for later.

Profit: [Leaps up from his seat] You bastards! I'm gonna kill you all!

Charlie: [Firmly] I can't see why! We've only done our duty to the company. Surely this is good news?

t: It's classic "shooting the messenger," Chuck! [Pauses, kicking himself = for having not dug through the trash for a weapon.]=0A=0A=0A=0A himself for having not dug through the trash for a weapon.]

Harvey : We are only doing our job, sir! [To the others] It almost makes me wish I hadn't bothered!

Profit: [To Madoff] Get me your hottest, widest poker.

[There is a blinding flash of light, and SETH appears in the room, looking kind of like the way he did when the party last saw him, although he's now missing several fingers, and walks with a clear limp.]

Seth: [To Profit] What the hell is going on here? What kind of organization are you running that you actually sold something?

Profit: [Points at the party] It was them!

Seth: [Turns to the party and gives a smile] Well, I never! I should have known you guys would have been involved. Cheating a demon, pretty cool! the

Harvey : Indeed. As we should have known that you would be involved. So when can delivery of the Object be expected?

Seth: [Looks at the paperwork] According to this, it has been delivered and paid for in full. Surely you're not suggesting that this paperwork is wrong? That it's -- gasp -- fake?

Charlie: Not at all. It's as real and legitimate as The Project itself! !

Seth: Haw! No wonder Pan liked her so much!

Profit: No! This is outrageous! If you let them free, then this whole hell will fall apart.

Seth: That's what you get for messing it up. You and everyone associated with it will suffer from eternal torment, everyone you love will liver for ever in constant torture, everyone that has ever helped you will die a disgusting death a thousand times over. [Turns to the party] As for you. [Gives a big smile] Let's gab!

Harvey : I must say, you're looking a little the worse for wear from when we saw you last! [Looks at Seths manged hand] Did you ever have to work in this place? I've lost a toe so far!

Charlie: And what of poor Sister Serena? [Wrinkles her nose] All very messy, I must say!

Seth: Oh, you know how it is, battling evil and all that. Did I mention I'm going good again? See? [Gives a wave of his hand and Serena appears again] I'm just great.

Serena: [Blinks, looks around a little dazed] Goodness me, this place is full of surprises.

Harvey : What joy! It is a pleasure to have you back among us, dear sister! [To Seth] And how about bringing back Ms Secretary, what? I can't help but feel a tad guilty about her combustion!

Seth: Ah, she was just a secretary, don't worry about her. Now, I have a proposition for you guys, I think you're going to like it.

Charlie: We shall see! What is your proposition?

Harvey : As long as it doesn't involve cleaning, shredding, cellotaping, copying or scrubbing, we may be interested, what!

Seth: Gear! [Gives Charlie and Harvey two thumbs up] I want us to be friends. And, to make it even more enticing, I'm going to do it by song! Remember, that's how Phili did it? He sang a song to explain himself? Remember?

Alice: I remember, and I remember it was annoying. Is yours going to be annoying?

Seth: No, it's going to be great!

Alice: [Shrugs] Fair enough.

Charlie: [Skeptically] I should think simply telling us would be more sensible. [To Alice, patiently explaining] You see, there are often double meanings in songs, and one never knows if a fire is meant to be a literal fire or symbolic of passion or hatred, for example. --- F \ No newline at end of file

Alice: I always thought it meant that you were soon going to encounter a friendly dwarf! [Instruments appear, and each of the party find themselves drawn to them, and soon begin playing, the tune to "Daydream Believer".]

Seth: Oh, I could hide all the things That I did to lose my wings The love I lost from you would never sting But I messed up and my prize Is the hatred in your eyes My new life's all cold and it stings Cheer up and be keen, Oh what can it mean, To a Queens View believer Who is going all clean You once thought of me As a white knight on a steed. Now you know how evil I can be. Oh, and our good times starts and end Because into good I will blend. But how much, baby, do we really need.

Seth: [With a big smile, at the unimpressed looking party] All together now= ! ow!

Charlie: [Perplexed] See, this is precisely what I meant. Do you mean you've literally taken to bathing at long last, or are you suggesting that you've reformed? And you mean for us to accept either interpretation without evidence?

Dur: [Ignoring the dialogue] When did I learn to play an instrument?

Alice: I didn't hear anything about fire in the song!

Seth: [Frustrated] No! You don't get it, the song IS the evidence! How could I sing such a nice song if I didn't mean it?

Harvey : Perhaps you should try an old showtime number, with trumpets and drums and what have you! Something an appreciative audience could dance to, what! And [waggles his hands] use jazz hands!

Seth: Jazz hands? [Holds up his mis-shapen hands] Is that supposed to be funny? I ought to kill you right now! Give me one reason -- one reason why I shouldn't kill you!

Alice: Oh! I get it! Queens View believer means you believe in US! Oh, that's really clever. Still, crap song, though. There should be more stuff about fire.

Seth: Okay, that's just yet another reason to want to kill you!

Serena: Your continued desire to kill people isn't helping your cause. Nor, I imagine, is the current lack of care you have given to your body. How did you come to injure yourself? If I could get my hands on some bile toads I could help you with that limp. did s I

Seth: You know what? Death is too good for you. I think I'll send you back to your own time so you can experience the Second Coming of Clementine -- then you'll be sorry you turned your back on me! [Rips off another finger and throws it on the ground]

[Everyone is enveloped in white light and lose consciousness.]

End of Book VI, Act X, next one coming up on Monday! himself for having

Alice: [To Clint] Ow! Hey! That hurt! [Looks down] Oh, sorry, I thought you'd kicked me!

Madoff: [To Clint] We know full well that you cheated. Frankly, I have to admit, I'm impressed, but we're here to torture people, not to let you go, so...