[Book VIII, Act II, Scene I. A Carriage in Apraxia. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and MAC here, along with WINSTON, who is tied up.]

Winston: Are we there yet?

Alice: Almost. Why are you so keen? Once we get you to Boningham Manor, Gertie will find out everything about you.

Winston: Anything would be better than being down near all your feet!


Charlie: [To Winston] Do be quiet, or we shall have you sitting under Mr. Scar! [To the party, looking down the road] Now, I'll just need a minute or sign a few papers once we get to the courthouse. I won't delay us very long!


Dur: I assume it has something to do with dotting all the t's and crossing the I's on your divorce paperwork?=


Harvey: [Munching on some snakes feet] Hmmm, she said she wouldn't be long so I'm sure it's nothing like that!


Austin : [To Charlie] That a minute is probably not long enough to read all of the small print involved in a divorce. Are you quite certain that you have full custody of your child, for example? [Sighs] I doubt if this is Pestilence's first divorce, he will probably know a few tricks.


Alice: [Nods] I bet he's had loads of them!

[The carriage pulls up outside the courthouse, where GERTRUDE and IVAN are waiting.]


Charlie: [Stung] He's never been married before! [To Gertrude, surprised] Hello, Grandmother! Are you going to going us on the way to Bodenringham Manor?


Gertrude: Of course, dear! I believe that I will be able to help research the origins of those Yellow Tied Fiends. [To Ivan] Thank you for dropping me off, it was a pleasure. [Grabs him and kisses him passionately]

[The kiss goes on. And on.]

Alice: [Checks her watch] Yeesh!

[And on. And on. Eventually, she lets him go with an audible pop.]

Ivan: [Staggers back] Gertie, you take my breath away.

Gertrude: I know.


Mac: [Awkwardly avoiding the kiss] Gertrude, how pleasant to have you with us.


Charlie: [Watches Gertrude with a mix of horror and admiration] Grandmother! [To the party, briskly] Yes, well, I must dash inside to sign this paperwork, but I'll be right back and we can be on our way. [Heads into the courthouse]


Gertrude: [Slaps Ivan's ass as he leaves and she gets in] Great to see you all again. Did you have fun in jail?


Harvey: [Eyes wide watching the kiss] Phwoar! [Recovers] Er, I mean, hmm, um, that is...


Alice: Er, sure! It was great!

Gertrude: So, what are our theories on these Yellow Ties?


Dur: Well, my current 'theory' is that all the ties were actually made in alittle town called Anihc by people who are enslaved from birth for the exp= ress purpose of making ties and that the ties are all sewn from the hairs of a Demon Lion's tail. [Looks around] What? She asked for our theories!


Harvey: Hmm, yes, well. [Then, more enthusiastically] The main theory is that they are blaggards who are in serious need of a good thrashing, what?!?

;;; Time to dig out my Blackadder Goes Forth DVD, I think :)


Gertrude: [Considers the theories] I do recall a demon who had slaves construct ties out of hair, now that you mention it. Although, those ties were black, and it was back hair.

[Enter DOUGLAS BEIGE, a man in a boring suit, who approaches the carriage.]

Douglas: Are you the Queens View Party?

;;; Sounds like good research material!


Dur: [Suspiciously] That depends on why you are asking.


Douglas: I have some playful kittens for you, and lots of snacks. Also, clothes, money and anything else that you like.


Harvey: [Perks up] Do you have any food? I'm starving, by the saints, and we're almost out of snakes feet!


Douglas: Why, as it so happens, I do. So fresh that if you had a microscope you could see the toes still twitching. [Looks sad] Oh, but I can only give them to the Queens View Party.


Austin : [Dryly to Douglas] Do you have any subtlety, [Glances at Dur and Harvey] We appear to have none left whatsoever.

;;; awa hame!


Douglas: [Nods at Austin] Dipped in chocolate and marinated in Louis XIV Brandy for two days. [Looks at a piece of paper in his hand] Oh, and it comes with a brand new bottle of M'Oreal La Feria Hair Colour Kit.

Alice: It's us! We're the Queens View Party! That's us!

Douglas: [Hands Alice a large envelope] You've been served. You're due in court ten minutes ago.

Alice: [Holds up the super thin envelope] I'm confused. Is the M'Oreal in here?


Harvey: So where are the snakes feet, hmm? Are there no snakes feet?!? Gah, we've been conned! Austin, you must sue this man at once!


;;; Dom's gone!

Austin: Alas, Colonel, all's fair in love, war and summonsing. We have no choice.

[The party enter the courtroom. The place is like a madhouse, with reporters and photographers blinding them with flashes as they stagger in. Sitting in the courtroom with a face like thunder is CHARLIE, while across from her looking very, very smug, is PESTILENCE, along with a sleazy looking lawyer, GAUL SOODMAN. There are a bunch of cheerleaders here, lead by JOHNA OLIVE, singing chants in favour of PESTILENCE, all while an ineffectual, timid and confused looking judge, JUDGE REINHOLD JUDGE hammers with his gavel.]

Reinhold: Border! Border!


Charlie: [To the party, flushed and angry] Have you ever seen anything more absurd in your life?! We were supposed to be signing papers and going our separate ways, but he just couldn't let it end with dignity, could he?!


Dur: So we have determined what SHOULD have happened, but can you tell us what IS happening here, Chuck? Why did we all get summons?=


Harvey: [Distracted] Hmm? What? Oh, right. Terrible way to behave I'm sure, almost like a demon! Anyone see any refreshments?


Last John #24

Alice: Aw, don't worry, Charlie, I'm sure this will be a dignified proceedings.

Gaul: [Stands up] Your honour, please! Just two more minutes, the hookers will be here by then, I'm sure of it!


Charlie: [To Dur] He doesn't want a divorce, so he's fighting it. And I presume he's summoned all of you because for some reason he thinks you will support his cause, if you can imagine that!


Reinhold: Aw, come on, Mr. Soodman, you can't have hookers in here! [Pause] Can you?

Gaul: Sorry, Judge, but I always slap a hooker's ass before I start a trial!

[Enter HUNNIE CYRUP, a scantily dressed girl who walks up to GAUL. GAUL slaps her ass, amidst much flashing of cameras, and she takes a seat.]

Gaul: Now, I don't want to tell tales, but I must point out, the defence [dramatically] don't seem to respect the court enough to bring their own hooker!


Charlie: [Looks at Gaul, disgusted. To Pestilence] Really, darling? He's the best you could find?!


Gaul: [Looks Charlie up and down] Huh. You're right, Pestilence, she does look much better with her clothes on.

Pestilence: [With a big grin, addressing Charlie] He sure is!

Reinhold: Border! Border! Come on! It's like people don't even know what I'm talking about!


Harvey: Your honour, Colonel Harvey Kingston Short III, of His Majesty's Fusileers, Retired. May I say that this kind of behaviour from the prosecution, if that is indeed what they are, is highly inappropriate. It reminds me of the time that Digger Shorty accidentally stepped on Field Marshal Marrick's swagger stick, and broke it. Poor Marrick had to do the entire court-marshal without his stick, and... Um where was I?

;;; Hometime


Charlie: [Snaps at Reinhold] That's because you are quite ridiculous! The word you are looking for is "Order!"

;;; That's my three, and so probably my last today!


Reinhold: Order? Huh! How about that? I thought it was border. Are you sure it's not border? That makes way more sense than order. It's not like we're in a restaurant or anything, is it? [To Harvey] Which ones are the prosecution?


Clint: [Points to Hunnie.] I think that's her. [Pauses.] Or did you say pros*ecu*tion?

;;; Ugh. I was up alllll night working on some emergency antivirus-type

;;; stuff. Boss got back in town last night after two weeks on the French

;;; Riviera. It's been quite the day!


Harvey: Now I remember! Swaggering sticks! [To Mac] An officer can't be without his swaggering stick, Mac. It's like a part of his body. It fills the men - with confidence you understand - to see their commander whip out his stick, grasp it firmly in his hand, and wave it defiantly at the enemy, what? I mean without his swaggering stick what would he wave at the enemy, hmmm? [Pauses thoughtfully] Have you ever thought of joining the military, young Mac?


Mac: Why no, Colonel. I was always more the scholarly type. [To the judge] Your honour, you were quite right before. This *is* no place for a hooker no matter how much the prosecution [points to Gaul] would like to claim it is. And their claim that us not bringing a hooker is disrespecting this court is nothing more than an outrageous attempt to hide their own contempt of this court *by* bringing a hooker.


Austin : [Strolling nonchalantly across the floor] Your honour, if I may make a suggestion. The presence or absence of one or more ladies of negotiable affections is really neither here nor there with respect to the case at hand, vis a vis the proposed annulment of the proposed annulment of the previous nuptial agreement, as presently stands between the prosecution and the defence!


Harvey: [To Austin and Mac, approving] Aha! Bamboozle the enemy with lots of words! I like it! Reminds me of the time we dressed up one of our men as a woman to confuse the enemy - and they were very confused let me tell you! [Pause, frowning] Harrison seemed very keen on the plan, as I recall...


Charlie: [To Reinhold] My colleagues are quite right. This trial is a sham. [To Pestilence] Have you even any evidence to present, or is your only aim to entertain and/or annoy?


Reinhold: [With a big, goofy grin] Wow! This all sounds really exciting! What happens now?

Gaul: [Points at Austin] My learned friend is correct -- the uncalled for and [shakes his head with horror] frankly repulsive attacks on my hooker have no place in this courtroom! I say we press on with the case.

Reinhold: [Bangs his gavel] Yay! Let's start the case of Dr. Charlotte Parker-Kensington, Plaintiff, vs. Rev. Pestilence Sotot, BSocSc, MBA, Defendant.


Pestilence: [Puts on a shocked face] Charlie, please! You need to show more respect for due process!


Mac: Your honour, the plaintiff Mr, wait what? [Turns to Pestilence] Since when were you a member of the clergy?


;;; Bah, I meant the defendant, not plaintiff.


Pestilence: Hey! It's a little thing called faith! [Looks angelic for a moment]

Alice: And you have a degree in Social Science?

Pestilence: [Shrugs] I'm a giver.


Harvey: [Still droning on] ...he spent a lot of time trying on bodices for some reason...


Charlie: [To Gaul] Have you a defense to present? Or may we put an end to this madness and be on our way? [To Pestilence] We have just a few papers to sign, then you will be free to carry on in any ridiculous way you wish.


Austin : She's a giver too!


Harvey: [STILL droning on] ...and then *we* said take 'im for a drink! [Blinks, then realises no one has been listening to him] Hmmph, well I say! Um, who's a giver? Give 'em hell, what?!?


Dur: What is being disputed by this 'trial'?


Harvey: Whether Charlie is a giver or a taker, I believe.


Pestilence: Can't she be both? [Gives a wink and makes a finger gun] Click-click!

Reinhold: Objection!

[Everybody goes silent for a moment.]

Reinhold: Uh, what happens now?

[Enter IGOR NORANT, a court bailiff.]

Igor: You are the judge! You don't object, you over rule objections!

Reinhold: Well then, [dramatically] objection over ruled!

Gaul: [To the party] We are fighting the Plaintiff's motion for divorce. And we're going to win. [Flashes a smile at the photographers] When you're back's to the wall, you gotta call Gaul!


Charlie: [To Gaul] And just how do you plan to do that?


Gaul: With dashing, cunning, wit and, most of all, [flashes a smile at the cameras] gall!

[HUNNIE stands up and bends over so that GAUL can spank her ass.]

Reinhold: Okay, [seriously] let me tell you how it's going to be. [Bursts into an annoying fit of giggles] Sorry! Sorry! It's my first day! Right, you people [waves at the party with his gavel] will act as Charlie's counsel, although you may be called to the stand at some time. Tell them about the stand, Igor.

Igor: [Glares at various people around the room] Behold, the [dramatic, scary voice] Zone of Truth!


Charlie: [To the party, in a low, humiliated voice] Oh, I do apologize for this! [To Igor, worried] What on earth is the Zone of Truth?!


Austin : [Looks very concerned] A remarkable innovation in judicial practice?


Harvey: A place to confuse and torture lawyers?


Igor: [Clearly enjoying describing it] It is a combination of both! Any lie that is told within the Zone of Truth will set off an alarm. [Steps into the dock] I am an elephant.

[Ding! A loud bell rings, and a red light flashes briefly.]

Igor: I really like my pet kitten.

[Everyone looks at the red light, but it doesn't go off.]

Igor: [Holds up a picture to the court, it is of an adorable kitten] His name is Mr. Cuddles, he likes being cuddled. [Puts the picture away]


Charlie: [Uneasily] Er, is that really necessary? [Hopefully] Can't we just trust that everyone will tell the truth?


Mac: Oh this should be entertaining.


Austin : [Looks at the Zone Of Truth doubtfully] Has it been comprehensively tested? Does it have FDA approval? It looks like it was made by a bunch of local lads who had been smoking too much cheese!


Charlie: [Quickly] Excellent points, Mr. Sleaze! Obviously, we cannot consent to use this so-called, alleged Zone of Truth unless we are certain we will not be at risk!


Igor: Any refusal to answer a question will be met with shock. A second refusal will result in a severe shock. A third refusal will be dealt with severely, and you will be held in contempt of court. [To Austin] This has been rigorously tested. I can assure you that it is 100% safe.

[Ding! The alarm goes off.]

Igor: Well, maybe not safe, but effective. [Reaches into his pocked and pulls out what appears to be a blackened, charred mess] See?

Reinhold: Isn't it great?


Charlie: [Recoils at the sight of the blackened mess. To Pestilence] Do you really intend to put me through this?!


Dur: [To the rest of the party] Well, at least they have manners! [To Igor] I don't mind if I do! [Tries to break off a piece of the blackened mass to= eat it]


Pestilence: Just tell the truth, baby, and you'll be fine.

Reinhold: Okay. Any questions? Once this, uh, [to Igor] what's it called again?

Igor: A hearing.

Reinhold: That's it! Once this hearing starts, there'll be no chance to ask for an explanation of the rules. Except for me, of course. I'm the guy in the wig!


Harvey: No questions - I understand what's happening! [Braces for the shock, then blinks when it doesn't happen]


Dur: You have to be in the Zone first, Colonel. [Swallows his bite] It sould use some salt... And a little less wood maybe.=


Charlie: [To Reinhold] I have a question! Could I have some time with my legal team to discuss our case, preferably after having a chance to review the Defense's arguments? We are quite unprepared, as I was under the impression that this would merely be an occasion to sign paperwork!


Dur: [Rolls his eyes] Never get in the way of Chuck and a paper that needs signin'!=


Igor: [To Dur] Yeah, I guess there is quite a bit of wood in there. Then again, it actually is a piece of wood.

Gaul: [Looks at Charlie with barely concealed disgust] Ignorance of the law is no defence for being unprepared. And failing to prepare is preparing to fail [turns to the reporters] and that's what Gaul Soodman is against! [Gives a cheesy smile] Started a brawl? Gotta call Gaul!

Reinhold: Norther! Norther! [Bangs the gavel] Let's get this show on the road!

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


[Book VIII, Act II, Scene II. The Courtroom. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and MAC are here, sitting at the plaintiff table. HUNNIE has just stood up and bent over so GAUL can give her a spank.]

Gaul: I call Dr. Saura Lessinger!

[Enter DR. SAURA LESSINGER, a well dressed woman in her early sixties with a scarily big and bright smile, and takes a seat in the Zone of Truth.]

Gaul: Please state your name and occupation for the record.

Saura: Dr. Saura Lessinger. I have a PhD in Relationshipology, a Masters Degree in Condescensionification and Batchelors in Oral Hygiene.

Reinhold: Hey! I have a great idea! Rather than making the plaintives, or [waves at the party] whatever they are, wait until Mr. Soodman is finished before asking questions, I think they should be able to jump in any time and ask anything they want. [Bangs the gavel] Father! Father!

;;; Anyone can ask a question any time they want!


Austin : Why to humans produce tears when they are unhappy? What is their purpose?


Harvey: Ah, um, that is, yes. I do, in fact, have a question - a proper question, that cuts to the very core of the case at hand. [Pauses to make sure everyone's listening] When's lunch?


Clint: And what does it mean when your spouse shows up at a wedding with a stick figure/sex toy?


Charlie: Thank you, Mr. Scar! I think that is a MOST relevant question. [To Dr. Lessinger] Also, what does it tell you about a marriage when the husband murders his wife's father?!


Saura: [To Austin] I don't know. [To Clint] Either that he has left you or that he is trying to make you jealous. [Looks at Harvey and thinks for a few moments] Lunch time?


Harvey: [Perks up, beams broadly] Is it lunch time indeed? Well, let's get stuck in then! Come on, young Mac, let's put some meat on those bones of yours, eh?


Saura: That depends on the marriage, I suppose.

Gaul: Ob-jection! Your honour, these questions are so open ended the good Dr. Saura can't possibly be expected to answer them! Context, context, context!

Reinhold: [Nods] He's right. No more vague questions, guys. Keep them to the point.


Charlie: [To Reinhold] Fine. [To Saura, angrily] What does the fact that the Defendant [points at Pestilence] murdered my father tell you about MY marriage to the Defendant?! Surely even a quack like you would agree that it isn't a particularly good indicator of marital success and happiness?


Clint: If two husbands can cheat with two mistresses in two minutes, how many husbands does it take to cheat with twenty mistresses in ten minutes? [To Reinhold.] We need to test the credentials she's giving us!


Harvey: Specifics, eh? Very well. Are the cockroaches saut=E9ed or deep-fried?


Reinhold: [Nods at Clint's question] I'll allow it.

Saura: That depends on husbands and their control of ejaculation. [To Charlie] While I resent your tone, I can tell you that it could be an indicator of his protectiveness.


Dur: Sheesh! Sounds a little OVER protective if you ask me!


Charlie: [To Dur] Agreed! [To Saura, making finger quotes when she says Dr.] Dr. Lessinger, has my husband threatened or bribed you in order to get you to testify on his behalf?


Clint: Or was it his lawyer instead? I bet it was the lawyer!


Saura: No, he did not! [To Clint] Not him either!

Gaul: [Steps up] Your honour, we have established the framework that we will use to prove our case. Unless opposing counsel have any substantive questions, I suggest that they stop badgering the witness and that she be allowed to leave.


Harvey: What exactly *is* your case, Mr Soodman?


Gaul: Good question! Dr. Saura, can you tell us what are the critical components for a marriage? It would help if you could frame your answer in the form an irritating folksy sounding recipe.

Saura: I sure can! You take one part sexual fulfillment, one part emotional intimacy and one part love. Blend them together gently and bake at ever increasing temperatures.

Gaul: Sex, Intimacy and Love. Your honour, we will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this marriage that the plaintiff's counsel is inexplicably trying to dissolve has all of these components. We will prove that no divorce should be granted!


Dur: Objection your honor! Obviously Dr. Saura is working from an archaic recipe. Dr. Saura, wouldn't you say in modern marriages that TRUST is an imp= ortant ingredient as well?


Charlie: [Suddenly stands up] Your honor, I should like a brief recess while my legal team discusses our case, now that we have heard from the Defense.


Saura: Of course! I would include that in intimacy, for I mean *emotional* intimacy.

Reinhold: [To Charlie] Granted! [To Igor] I need to pee, anyway.

Igor: Is your cup full?

Reinhold: The lemonade cup? No, I drank it all.

Igor: Er, yes, the lemonade cup.


Dur: [Turning back to the party for the recess] I think we have your loophole chuck. Now all we need to do is prove that you can't trust Pestilence an= d we would ruin the prosecustion's case!


Charlie: Thank you, your honor! Might we have some privacy in the courtroom, so that we may discuss matters?


Charlie: [Uneasily, in a low voice] Yes, good thinking, Dur! [Casually] Though it would be handier if I could avoid having to say that in the Zone of Truth, of course.


Harvey: We could say that the very fact you want a divorce proves that the marriage fails to meet the criteria the defence has set. [Pause] I say, did we have lunch already? I'm starving!


Mac: You could just ask Pestilence why he doesn't want a divorce. That may answer some questions.


Igor: Out! Out! Everybody out!

Reinhold: [To the party] You can stay here, all the conference rooms are taken up with Gaul's wardrobe.

Gaul: Hey, if you can think of a better place to hide my clothes to stop that crazy hooker from burning them, then I'm willing to hear it.

Hunnie: Gaul! What gives?

Gaul: Not you, sweetie, a different crazy hooker.

[Exit ALL but the party.]


Charlie: [To the party, briskly] Right. I'm afraid there is no point whatsoever in our trying to disprove Pestilence's claims. Rather inconveniently, everything his so-called expert said about our marriage is perfectly true, and I will not be able to lie on the stand. So we will need to take a different approach in making our case against him. [Hopefully] Any suggestions?


Clint: Get used to being Mrs Sotot? That or hire yourself an expert who disagrees with your expert.


Harvey: I say, could we discredit the lawyer somehow? Bringing a hooker into a marital case could be seen as inappropriate, hmmm? Or maybe Mac's right - maybe Pestilence is up to something here, what?


Mac: But surely even if your marriage is perfect what grounds in the law does Pestilence have of stopping this divorce? Surely if you want a divorce he has no right to stop it?


Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Charlie: [Unhappily] Yes, I suppose we will want to get Pestilence on the stand as soon as possible to make sure he hasn't ulterior motives. And I quit= e agree, let us try and discredit the lawyer and any so-called experts! [Sighs] I just wish we had a--catchier defense. All that rhyming and the neat l= ist of three things to prove will be hard to beat! --Apple-Mail-1--1043512755 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit


Harvey: Indeed, Mac, why indeed? [Sighs] Why indeed...? [To Charlie] Hmm, something involving morris dancing, perhaps?


Charlie: [To Harvey] I have no idea what you mean by that, Colonel, but Mac does raise a good point! [To Austin] CAN he prevent me from divorcing him, or just make it a longer, more painful process? Or do you know much about divorce law?


Austin : [Sighs, checks his nails briefly] Off the record, naturally, Mac has the correct idea. The fact that your marriage is perfect from one point of view does not change the fact that a divorce is also appropriate. In your case divorce is entirely appropriate simply based upon the fact that Pestilence murdered your father. Perfectly adequate grounds for divorce. [Ponders] Of course if you had hired a lawyer you would probably have been informed of this fact. When Pestilence is in the Zone of Truth, just ask him if he murdered your father. Case closed.


Charlie: [Frowns] Could it be as easy as that?! Well, we shall surely do just that, though I think we'd better have more ideas to fall back on, just in case. He's never denied that he killed Father, just that it ought to matter.


Alice: I think Aus is right. Pestilence can stop you from getting divorced if he can prove that the marriage is strong, but if we can show that Pestilence killing your Dad means that you can't trust him, or if we can prove that all the stuff Saura said doesn't hold, then you can get rid of him. [Sits back smugly] I've seen my fair share of Soup Operas, you know.


Alice: Of course, given that they're way more prepared than we are, we probably have to sit through their witnesses. [Face lights up] I think I just had a great idea! Maybe *we* should have a catchy defence with an expert?


Austin : [Ponders] Once more, off the record, naturally. Pestilence has already claimed that he murdered you father out of love, but what sane person would believe that to be a good way of gaining your spouse's affections? So your case for divorce is that Pestilence murdered your father, which is grounds for divorce, even if he claimed to have done it for love, in which case we have proof that he is insane, which is also adequate grounds for divorce. [To Charlie directly] The question is, do you really want a divorce? [Sighs] This is all off the record of course. It is illegal for a member of the bar to provide legal services without contract [Hands some papers to Charlie] Could you sign here, and here, and here , and lastly, here? [Shows Charlie through some papers] Then I shall be able to represent you.


Alice: No need, Aus. The judge already said we're all representing her, and I think my idea of having our own expert is just neato.

;;; She's referring to post 02.01.045


Harvey: Of course it is, my dear, but where to find an expert, what?


Alice: I'm *awfully* glad you asked that question. [Reaches behind her and takes out a stack of "Teen Queen" magazines, all of which are the latest issue] I refer you to Dr. Polly Problem, Relationship Expert. [Barely able to contain her smugness] There's a letter in there about a perfect relationship that you all might want to see.


Austin : [Frown, put out. Puts the contract away] Well I cannot provide you with legal advice without a contract, I can merely ensure that the correct proceedings and procedures are observed. [Looks briefly at the Teen Queen magazines. To Alice] Unfortunately, that might just work. The prole worships that sort of trash.


Harvey: Now, now Aus, that's no way to speak to a virtuous lady such as Alice. Just because we couldn't use your pieces of paper doesn't mean we can't use Alice's, what? [To the Party, picking up one of the magazines, looking at it uncertainly] Now let's take a look at this... erm, research material, shall we, hmmm?


Alice: Thanks Aus -- no one knows trashy proles like I do! [To the party] I direct you to the letter on page 37, the title is "Our love is just great". Now, they spelled my name wrong, they put it in as Al "Ice" Bassett Short, but it is me.

[The letter is full of nauseating gushing about how great their relationship is.]

;;; Resend because I missed a bracket in the subject line!


Charlie: [Reads the letter skeptically] Er, very nice. But how does this help make my case for divorce, exactly?


Austin : It is a rather odd form of defense that has been sucessfully deployed in several recent cases. The idea is that one generally makes a large number of publicly motivating speechs, pleas etc, about any subject vaguely related to the case at hand, for example Alice's Teen Queen article, and one eventually gains so much public approval and support that it becomes ovbious that the courts have no choice but to find in your favour. [Looks distastefully at the Teen Queen magazine] However, off the record, I do not recommend this form of case. We have niether the time, finances nor public standing to sucessfully support such an approach.


Harvey: Well, hmmph, what is the plan then, eh? Shall we put him in the Zone of Truth and follow Mac's plan to ask him why he wants to prevent the divorce, what?


Alice: That's right. We'll tell them about Teen Queen, and then get Pesty in the Zone of Truth. That way we establish our case, and force him to tell the truth.


Charlie: Agreed, let us proceed with that plan. [Sheepishly] I do apologize for this nonsense. Shall we get it over with, then?


Harvey: Very well. [To Igor] I believe we are ready to begin presenting our case.


;;; Don't forget, Igor is outside, it's just the party in here at the moment

Alice: Hey! I've had an idea that's so brilliant it should be polished and put behind glass so that people can queue up to admire it. Why don't we sneak Winston into the Zone of Truth and ask him who his master is and where their hide out is?


Harvey: I say, a fine plan, young lady! Where is he - is he still in the carriage?


Charlie: [Impressed and clearly surprised] That is rather a good plan, Alice! Let's go get him at once.


Austin : Indeed, he may be involved in the case and have critical evidence.


Alice: Yep, he's in the carriage, bound with the finest of silken ropes.

[The party hurry out to the carriage, and quickly sneak WINSTON back in. Before long, he is in the Zone of Truth, still bound, but not gagged.]

Winston: What the hell are you doing? Putting me on trial?


Austin : [To Winston] Who are you working for?


Dur: Ummm. Yes! With all the crimes you have committed the past few days, how long do you think they'll put you away for?=


Winston: I already told you, I'm not going to answer any questions.

[Bzzzt! WINSTON gets a shock.]

Winston: Ow! What the? What the hell was that?


Harvey: It's called the zone of truth, man! Apparently you just told a lie, what?


Austin : [To Winston, emphasis] Who are you working for? [To the others, quietly] This is most unethical. I shall have to deliver a complaint. This device clearly has no place in a court of law.


Winston: I didn't tell a lie! I'm not going to answer your questions!

Alice: I think the light flashes if he tells a lie, and he gets a shock if he refuses to answer. [Waves a warning finger at Winston] And the shocks get stronger!


Alice: I know! Imagine what would happen to our system of laws if everyone who had sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth had to tell the truth!

Winston: So a light goes off if I lie, but I get a shock if I don't answer? Hm. Okay, in that case, I work for [nods at Austin] you, the biggest idiot in the world, Dopey McDoperson, who smells like he's just done a big jobbie in his pants. [Coughs up a disgusting glob of phlegm and spits it at Austin, striking him in the chest]

[Ding! The bell rings and the light comes on.]

Alice: [To the party, whispering] I think that's a lie!


Harvey: By the saints, what an unpleasant man! [To Winston] One way, hmm, to look at it, um, might be that the light tells *us* that you're lying, and then we, hmmm, feed you to Dur, [Quietly, to Austin] How are we doing in the ethical department, my good man? [Stomach rumbles] Hmm, all this talk of food is making me hungry!


Austin : [Disgusted, stands out of spitting distance and carefully cleans his shirt with all manner of cleaning utensils. Dryly and anoyed] Thanks for telling him how it works Alice. How are we supposed to get the truth from him now?


Winston: Not only that, I've seen you eating discarded toe nails that have been standing in cow dung, and thinking that it's the nicest food you've ever eaten. [Smiles smugly]

[Ding! The bell goes and the light goes on.]

Winston: I could do this all--

[Bzzzzt! He gets another shock, about the same severity as the last one.]


Charlie: [Delighted] Oooh, it doesn't like lies, either! I guess you get one chance to tell the truth, and that's all! [To Winston] For whom do you work?!


[WINSTON says nothing. Bzzzt! He gets another shock, worse than before.]

Winston: [Panting] I know you won't let this kill me, Alice. You can't.

Alice: I think we need to discuss this in private.

[The party form a huddle.]

Alice: What are we going to do? If this keeps going, it'll kill him. Are we really going to do that? [Looks very doubtful]


Charlie: Of course not, we couldn't do that! I wonder if we tried another question? Though he doesn't seem particularly willing to talk about much of anything. . . .


Austin : [To Charlie, still cleaning what now appears to be a perfectly clean shirt] Perhaps you could wire up the light socket and the bell power to his feet. That way if he lies or refuses to answer then he'll get a shock.


Harvey: Maybe there's a way to turn the power down a little, what?


Alice: I don't think we can change the way it works. [Frowns] I think we're stuck. What the hell are we going to do with him? Damn our niceness!


Charlie: [Sighs] Tie him back up and back into the carriage, I suppose! [To Winston] See, now don't you feel guilty about the awful ways you tried to kill our friends, when we are actually quite decent and humane?!


Dur: [Puts on his most charming face ever, which is quite disturbing] Come on Winsty. Work with us here and we can protect you and help you out of thi= s mess. [Dur tries to cast Enthrall: http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/SRD:Enthrall] =


Winston: [To Charlie] I don't care. [To Dur] No one can protect me. The Master doesn't tolerate failure. [Shouts] I work for Alice.

[Bzzt! WINSTON gets a shock, considerably worse than the last one.]

Winston: I work for Alice!

[Bzzt! An even stronger shock, and blood comes out of his eyes and ears, and smoke come from his hair.]

Alice: Make him stop!

Winston: I work for Alice!

[Bzzt! Even stronger again, causing him to collapse face down.]


Mac: [Rushes over to Winston and drags him out of the zone of truth] Help me!


Charlie: [Horrified] Oh, dear! [Tries to unhook Winston from the


Harvey: [Moves to help Mac and Charlie] Well, he's loyal, I'll give him that much.


Dur: [Puts his head to Winston's chest to check for a heartbeat, if he is alive he will try to cast Cure Serious Wounds: http://dungeons.wikia.com/wik= i/SRD:Cure_Serious_Wounds] Perhaps in death he will be more willing to cooperate...=


[Alas, WINSTON is no more. There's a knock on the door to the courtoom, and IGOR's voice calls out.]

Igor: I'm about to bring everyone in. If you're talking about anything confidential, or have some papers you don't want them to see, you'd better put them away now.


Charlie: [To Igor, shakily] Ah, just another minute, please! [To the party, in a frantic whisper] We'll all be jailed again! We must hide the body at once! [Looks around the room for a place to stash the body]


Dur: Quick! Stash the corpse, I will get answers out of him later!


Alice: [Nods at Charlie's words] Yes, we're just, uh, going to the toilet!

[There is a serious lack of hiding places, although behind the judge's stand looks like it could work as there is plenty of space there.]


Charlie: [Considers the judge's stand skeptically] This surely isn't a good idea, but--let's put him here, group! [Tries to shove the body into the judge's stand]


[The party heft WINSTON's body over, and it fits in surprisingly well.]

Alice: So, as long as the judge doesn't look down, we'll be fine. [Sighs] Well, either that or we have to hope he's a total idiot who won't notice.

[Enter REINHOLD JUDGE, completely naked. He stops when he sees the party and looks startled.]

Reinhold: Hey! What are you doing in the shower?


Clint: [Eyes tightly closed.] I think a better question is, what is a shower doing here!


Reinhold: [Looks around] Huh! I guess I got the wrong room! I'll be back in a sec.


Alice: I think we'll be fine!

;;; End of scene, next one coming up on MONDAY!


Charlie: [Watching Reinhold, relieved. To the party, in a low voice] I think we're going to be just fine! [In a normal voice] Right, group, let's take our places and put and end to this farce as quickly as possible!


[The party form a human pyramid in front of the judge's seat.]

Alice: Hey! These aren't our places at all!

[The party retake their original seats, just as the judge, now wearing long robe, and the rest of the people from earlier return.]

Alice: [To the party] So, we're going to get Pesty into the Zone of Truth right away, right?


Mac: If we can. Do we get to call the witness or does the defence?


Harvey: In war, young Mac, we should always hold the initiative. We should attack! And then we should have lunch, what?


Austin : Both can call to witness, I hope.


Charlie: Who knows what the rules are in this farce?! I say we try anything we think of and let this so-called Judge overrule if he has the wit to do so! [Jumps to her feet. With finger quotes on the Your Honor part] Your Honor, we call the Defendant, Pestilence Sotot, to the stand! [To Pestilence] Darling, do take your place in the Zone of Truth at once.


Gaul: I object! There is a schedule of witnesses that we need to go through first, your honour. A veritable parade of damning evidence that will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this marriage is as solid as my own reputation.


Harvey: Which is as solid as... as... as something that's not very solid, what?!? [Looks smug]


Alice: [Impressed with Harvey's wit] Zing!

Gaul: Your honour, on what grounds do they want my client called out of turn?

Reinhold: Uh, on the court grounds, I suppose. You know, seeing as how we're all here and all.

Gaul: No, I meant why do they want him called out of turn? Why? [Falls to his knees and shakes a fist in the air] WHY!?


Mac: Your honour, the defence failed to inform us of these proceedings and as such we have had no chance at all to submit any sort of list of witnesses. As such allowing the defence to have a list of witnesses would be unfair to Ms. Parker-Kensington. In the interest of a fair trial I call for the list to be thrown out and call for Mr. Sotot to appear in the zone of truth immediately.


Charlie: [Flushed, pointing at Mac triumphantly] Yes! What he said! [To Pestilence, gesturing to the Zone] Well, darling?


Reinhold: Wow! That sounded really impressive. [To Igor] What do you think?

Igor: I think that due process needs to be observed and that they should wait until Reverend Sotot is due to be called.

Gaul: Thank the Lord for our fine justice system. Now, I would like to--

Pestilence: [Stands up and gives the party a smug look] I'll take the stand.

[Pandemonium ensues, with reporters dashing to telephones, people shouting "Rhubarb! Rhurbab!" and HUNNIE fainting.]

;;; End of scene, next one coming up in about 40 mins, but it's

;;; okay to post replies to this if you're hanging around!


Harvey: [Aside, to the party] What do you think he has up his sleeve now?


Austin : Amature dramatics and theatrics, to woo his beloved, no doubt.


Harvey: [Nods sagely, then looks at Austin] Er, and who might that be?

;;; Out for ~1 hour


Alice: We think it might be Charlie!

;;; Really the end of scene now!


[Book VIII, Act II, Scene III. The Courtroom. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, HARVEY and MAC are here. PESTILENCE has just taken the stand.]

Igor: [To Pestilence] Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Pestilence: Sure, I'll swear to that.


Charlie: [To the party] Please ask him anything you like. We must establish what's really happening here, once and for all.


Alice: [Stands up and paces the court] I have a question for the witness. [Pauses, and goes back to the others] Hang on a sec, I need to put on my glasses to make me look more serious. [Reaches into her bag and gets some glasses, which she puts on, before turning back to Pestilence] Are you *really* a reverend?

Pestilence: I sure am!


Austin : [To Pestilence] Why did you murder Rudyard Parker-Kensington, your wife's father?


Pestilence: [Nonchalantly] Because of the way he spoke to her at Nanna Willa's birthday party.

[Everyone looks to the alarm light, but it stays off.]


Harvey: And why do you want to prevent Charlie from filing a divorce?


Dur: Did you think your wife would appreciate the sentiment, or did you know it was wrong when you committed the act?=


Austin : [To Pestilence] So you murdered Rudyard Parker-Kensington, because he spoke to Charlie Parker-Kensington in a manner that you did not like. Do you think that murdering Rudyard Parker-Kensington was a suitable and appropriate response to this disagreeable communication between Rudyard Parker-Kensington, and your wife?


Pestilence: [Pointing to each of Dur, Harvey and Austin as he answers them] Wasn't thinking that far ahead because of my blind rage, [to Harvey] because I love her and to be with her, [to Austin] not since she stabbed me through the heart, no.

[Once again, the light stays off and no alarms buzz.]

Gaul: Your honour! I must protest! They have already asked too many questions!


Charlie: [To Pestilence] So, for the record, you had no ulterior motive when you asked me to marry you?


Austin : Your honour! That is preposterous! There is no rule against asking as many questions as we feel are necessary! [Straightens his cuff. To Pestilence] So in what way, if any, did you think that you would maintain your wife's love and trust, by murdering her father?


Gaul: [Leans in to Austin] He shouldn't even BE on the stand! He is up there as a courtesy to you, and now you abuse it? [Turns to Reinhold] Your honour, pardon me while I puke, such is the disgust I have at the behaviour of the plaintives. [To Hunnie] Get my bucket.

[HUNNIE produces a bucket that GAUL pukes into.]

Pestilence: [Unperturbed by the questions] I wasn't thinking. I was protecting.

Reinhold: [Slightly disgusted at the puking] Uh, okay, you better step down now. [To the party] Gaul is right, the Reverend shouldn't even be on the stand until another few witnesses. You'll get a chance to question him again soon.

[PESTILENCE goes to step down, but makes a point of staying in the Zone of Truth for a moment longer.]

Pestilence: [Looking directly at Charlie] I married you because I was and still am in love with you.

All: [Except the party] Awwww!

[PESTILENCE steps down.]

Alice: [To the party, quietly] What do you think? He seems to be on the up and up?