[Book VIII, Act V, Scene I. The Clearing. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, MAC and HARVEY are here, all sound asleep. The party had been on their way from Apraxia (at the end of 8.3) to Queens View and had stopped for the night. It is now broad daylight.]

Alice: [Waking up] No! My hair! My beautiful hair! [Checks her hair] Phew! [Looks around] Hey everyone! Wake up! We've way overslept!

;;; Unless you've already heard otherwise from me, your character remembers

;;; everything from the last act as though it was the most vivid dream they've

;;; ever had.


Dur: [Sits up still smiling] What a terrible nightmare. I dreamed I was actually related to all of you...


Charlie: [Jolts awake with a start] Oh! I was just having the MOST peculiar dream! [Looks around] You were all in the dream, which is most unusual. Typically, I dream about--ah, Dur, did you say we were all related in YOUR dream?


Alice: Hey! You were all in my dream, too!


Dur: [Finally stops smiling] Please Alice, we don't want to know. [To Charlie] That is the way I remember it...=


Charlie: [To Dur and Alice] Were there dragons in your dreams? And was there a princess?


Harvey: Hmm, I believe there was.


Alice: Yes! In mine too! And Mac and me were best friends!

Mac: Yeaaah. Mine was a little different.


Clint: And the lawyer had a nose the size of broom handle? And Harvey was [shudders and doesn't finish the sentence.]


Austin : [Checks his nose as soon as he wakes up. Closes his eyes and sighs in relief] I just had the worst nightmare!


Clint: Did it involve Charlie as a porn star, by any chance?


Charlie: [Forces a laugh] Oh, Mr. Scar! You do have the most inappropriate sense of humor! [Briskly] But what can this mean? We all shared another dream, like the one we had about Clementine?


Austin : [Still checking his nose. To Clint] Charlie? A porn star [Laughs] It sounds as though you had a far worse nightmare than I did.


Clint: It was horrible!


Mac: [To no one in particular] In yours was I perchance rather small?


Austin : [Chuckling] Yes, you were about 4 inches tall, Harvey was prancing about naked, Charlie was a kitchen waif, all covered in soot and dressed in rags, Alice was absolutely delightful, a pretty little girl with golden locks [frowns] but I was made of wood, just like Pinocchio.


Harvey: [Recovering] Um, I was... naked...? [Looks down to check he's not naked now]


Clint: It was horrible!


Alice: [Nods] Very wrinkly. [To Mac] You sure were, and in my dream we were BFF. It was great!


Charlie: [Excited] Yes, but it must MEAN something, don't you think? [Ponders] Perhaps we should find Pestilence? He was involved with helping Darius send us the last dream we all shared. Perhaps he knows something about this?


Harvey: Hmmm, well clearly I was not naked - I simply don't do that kind of thing. [Emphasis] Obviously, I was clothed and my clothing was so fantastic that everyone else was unable to see it. Um.


Alice: Oh, God. You now, Charlie, not everything is about Pestilence! Let's see, what else did we have? Clint was a disgusting, smelly monster, and Harvey was naked. [Thinks] I don't understand -- I mean, in the dream, I was adorable and loved by everyone, kind of how it is in real life, and Clint was almost as stinky in the dream as in real life, but what could the others mean?


Charlie: There's no point in denying it, Colonel. You were quite naked, but clearly enchanted to believe you were clothed. Just as I was clearly a perfectly normal, though extraordinarily bright and courageous, woman of high moral standards under certain unpleasant misapprehensions about my [delicately clears her throat] career choices.


Alice: So, you had a different dream to the rest of us, Charlie?


Mac: Perhaps you can all stop trying to make yourselves look good in a bloody dream and we can try and figure this all out?

;;; Out for a couple of hours.


Alice: [Nods] Well said, Mac! We shouldn't waste our time trying to figure out which of us had the most beautiful golden locks, rather we should concentrate on what it means for someone to have had beautiful golden locks. [Enthusiastically] Hey! Wouldn't I look great with ringlets?


Harvey: [In the most condescending manner possible] Of course you would, my dear. [To the others] Of course, if the rest of you think I was naked -- preposterous idea! -- perhaps we didn't all have the same dream after all.


Charlie: [To Harvey] We DID have the same dream, and the only other time time that happened, it was related to Clementine. [To Alice, with a haughty sniff] Which is why I mentioned my perfectly reasonable theory. [To the group] If this dream was meant to be symbolic, as the last one was, what could the various elements mean? For example, why was Mr. Sleaze made of wood? What is the significance of that?


Harvey: And why did his nose keep growing every time someone lied? Perhaps that was punishment for Austin being a lawyer, what?


Alice: That's right! You know -- and I'm sure this isn't true of Austin, of course -- lawyers often lie! And Dur, could he have been a Hansel type? After all, he is always eating! I guess I was Goldilocks because of my beautiful hair.


Austin : [Huffily] I am a lawyer, and a very respectable one too! Why would some one punish me for being a good lawyer?


Charlie: Mm. Why indeed? And why was Harvey naked? Someone wished to [finger quotes] expose him, so to speak?


Dur: [Frowning] I was hoping not to revisit that particular 'part' of our dream.=


Harvey: [To Austin] A respectable laywer? I had no idea that such a thing was possible. [To the others, firmly] I was not naked, I was fully clothed. It's only in your rather bizarre minds that I was in a state of undress. Speaking of which, how goes the military themed pornography business, Charlie?


Alice: [Amused at Austin's indignation] Why indeed, Austin? Why would who ever gave you this dream make you a wooden boy known for his lies, while they made me a beautiful young girl known only for her delightful hair?


Mac: Alice, I hate to break it to you but she's more commonly known for breaking into a house, stealing food and then having the gall to sleep in the beds of the home owners.


Austin : [To Alice] Because I am honest, unlike some people.


Alice: [To Mac] Pshaw! When you put it like that, you make her sound like she's always jumping in and out of people's beds! [Thinks for a moment] Although, my underpants did keep falling down, and... hey! This is the worst thing ever! [Gives a smile] Although, my hair did look really nice. [Looks at Austin] Oh. Sure.


Charlie: Hmm, it does seem rather fitting, after all! [Looks at Mac] But why were you so small, I wonder?

;;; What a gyp! I was left off the last five or six game e-mails.

;;; And here I thought it was just a really quiet day! : |


left off the list blinded her)

Alice: He is the youngest of all of us, right? Even though I clearly look younger.

;;; The first thing is true, the second? Weeeeell....!


Charlie: [Raises an eyebrow at Alice] Right. [Ponders] And why would I be an underemployed urchin? Someone is clearly jealous of me and my tremendous career success in our waking reality. [Snaps her fingers] It must be that accursed Dr. Rourke-Burke!!

;;; I see.


Austin : Well we all appear to have been cast in the characters that someone else sees us as. But who? [Gets uo and looks around, dusting himself off] And why did we sleep here?


Alice: Charlie! For the last time, not everything is about Pestilence!

[There's an awkward silence.]

Alice: Er, but anyway. What about the things that happened to us in the dream? Maybe we might have more success trying to understand those?


Alice: We slept here because it was getting late, although we seem to have slept through most of the day! Now, what else happened in the dream? We were children of that weird lady with the big shoe, right?


Charlie: [To Alice] That's right, though highly improbable! How could the same woman give birth to both wooden and flesh children?! [To Austin] That's quite an interesting idea, but who?


Alice: That's right -- maybe the dragons represented someone too? And the princess, of course -- or was that princesses?


Harvey: Hmm. Were the dragons related to the princesses in some way?

;;; Oh darn. I swear I left my brain at home today!


Alice: I think the yellow one was the baddie, and the black one did seem to help -- at least, it protected us twice.

;;; Same as every other day, then!!!


Charlie: [Nods] Yes, I had a peculiar feeling the black dragon wouldn't hurt us, somehow. But was there a correspondence between the dark-haired princess and the black dragon, and the golden-haired princess and yellow dragon?


Harvey: And were we not supposed to rescue a princess while we were there? Is it possible that the dark haired princess was the one we were supposed to rescue?

;;; Gee, thanks Conor! I feel soooo much better now :P


Charlie: I assume so, but the dream more or less ended before we had a chance to properly rescue her, didn't it? [Frowns] Someone must be manipulating us somehow. It's just not possible that we'd all coincidentally have the same dream.


Alice: The dark haired one was wearing the tiara, so I guess she was the princess, but if that's true, then the dragons couldn't have been the princesses, as the yellow one was supposed to have kidnapped the princess. Anyhow, the other girl who was asleep didn't have yellow hair, she had blonde hair. I believe the shade was Frosted Blonde.


Clint: Okay, but what about that weird lion and the glove and the rude flower? What could those possibly mean? And those bears we ripped to shreds?


Austin : [Casually checking his nails] Well, we are probably not going to find out if we stand around here all day. Why don't we get going. Colonel, where next?


Harvey: Well I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm famished, what? Let's eat!


Clint: Sure. Just... stay away from the magic beans!


Charlie: Fine, let us have a bit to eat, but we really must try to understand what just happened to us! What if we fall asleep again? Who's to say we won't sleep forever and be trapped in that strange world?


Alice: Agreed! I like eating food as much as the next man [looks at Harvey] well, almost as much, but we can't just ignore this either! The lion definitely played a big part, although it was really his ghost, I suppose, or [waves her fingers mysteriously] his spirit.

;;; Tony has left! Please make sure he's off the list.


Clint: [Trying to remember.] What were the symbols the last time this happened?

;;; I've just plum forgot, as you might say here in Texas but probably


;;; I have this vaaaaague recollection of something symbolizing nobility that

;;; might even have been a lion. Or I could be imagining things.


Charlie: The last dream was a burning dove, and nothing more. Nothing so complex and absurd as this dream!


Alice: Although this one did have a burning *glove*!


Charlie: [Excited] That's it! It all relates to Pestilence! [Flustered] I mean, the PROPHECY! The bit about the spirit of a lion, and [vaguely] something about a tree with no thorns. . . . Er, did someone keep a copy of it handy?


Alice: As a matter of fact, I did! Here we go. [Shows the party a badly written transcript of the prophecy] The fruit of the tree (the Realms) that has no thorns will be consumed by the devil. The Children of the Lady (that's us) who gave birth to the guardian (reference to us creating Phili) Create the spirit of the lion through the death of the dove. Well, it was a glove and not a dove, but it did create a kind of spirit from the lion, right?


Charlie: [Studies the prophecy] Hmm, it does fit, doesn't it? The dragon, whom one could argue is a devil-like creature, consumed the golden fruit from that tree. Interesting, but why would someone force us to decode the prophecy again? And in so silly a way? And what on earth is THAT? [Points to a small crayoned drawing in the corner of Alice's copy of the prophecy]


Austin : Yes, it was a rather odd dream after all. Like our own personal prophecy. [Ponders] I guess that makes us prophets. [Smirks] Could come in handy.

Hey Guys,

I'm sorry to say that I'm going to be leaving Queens View, at least for the time being. Having just got this new job my time for QV has dropped dramatically and I can't justify staying in the game without being able to dedicate the time required to it during the day.

I've asked Conor to have Mac leave alive so there is always a possibility for me to return, and once things start to settle down a bit I hope to be able to.

It's been great fun playing with you guys. Hard to believe that I joined back in February. Seems like it was only yesterday.

All the best, Tony


Harvey: Indeed, it is rather an odd way of getting us to do something, what?

;;; Sorry to hear of Tony's departure.


Charlie: Yes, and for what purpose? Is someone trying to get us to revisit the prophecy, perhaps? Or complain about the role we played in it?


Austin : Perhaps the prophecy has not been completed yet? Who or what was the lion?

;;; haste ye back Tony!


Alice: [Looks at the crayon drawing, then, sounding annoyed] It's a picture of a cat -- playing a violin -- while on a unicycle -- at the top of the Eyeful Tower. [Huffily] I would have thought it was obvious.

Mac: Er, sure. It seems like someone was replaying the way the prophecy played out. Although with some mistakes -- such as the glove, that kind of thing. Whoever gave us the dream knows what we did to Clementine, and that has to be a very small number of people, right? [Looks around] And someone who thinks they know us well.

Alice: [Looks at the drawing again] Oh, my mistake. It's a picture of Deucie!


Charlie: [Looks around at the party] Who did each of you tell about the prophecy, and our role in completing it?


Dur: [Looks thoughtful] I didn't realize there was going to be a test on itlater, so I have forgotten!=


Alice: [Defensively] I didn't tell Deuce anything!


Harvey: I don't think I was with you guys the first time around, so I didn't tell anyone.

;;; I was Jerrick then, right?


Mac: [To Alice] Really?

Alice: Well, I might have mentioned one or two details to him, but he's not exactly going to be giving us dreams about fairy tales, is he?

;;; Correct!


Charlie: [Raises an eyebrow] No? He can be rather whimsical at times. Though if this was an experiment of some kind, he surely would have mentioned it to ME at some stage.


Alice: I don't think Deuce necessarily tells you about all his experiments, Charlie. I mean, I bet you don't know about the one with the ice cubes, do you?

;;; Out for an hour or so


Charlie: Mercifully, no. [To the others] I admit that I told Pestilence everything that happened. [Defensively] But, to be fair, he's the one who brought the prophecy to us in the first place.


Dur: This is true. Who else was with us while we tried to get the prophecy translated? Didn't Deuce help with that too?=


Austin : There was also that chap that was living with Pestillence, his chef. I don't recall his name but he was rather jealous of us.


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

Alice: Loads of people helped us with the translation! Deuce is one of the good guys. As true and faithful as they come. [To Austin] You're thinking of S= heldon. He was weird, but I don't think he knew the full prophecy.=20 --Apple-Mail-2-735482106 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit


Charlie: True, we only knew the full prophecy ourselves just before we faced Clementine. Did anyone else discuss the full prophecy with anyone outside of the party, Deuce, and Pestilence?


Austin : Well, unfortunately the most obvious candidate is Trindle. Is that not the case?


Harvey: Eh? That Jerome fellow? [To Charlie] Weren't you married to him?


Charlie: No, but your niece was once engaged to him, I believe. Well, if Jerome is behind this, what could possibly be his aim?


Harvey: Alice? Oh, well if Alice was engaged to him then I'm sure he's a fine fellow and nothing to do with this business, what? [To Alice] Why did you two not get married then?


Austin : It was probably just as well. He did murder my fiancee.


Alice: [Nods gravely] True, Austin. That sort of behaviour does not a good marriage make. [To Harvey] I don't know what happened to him. He became consumed by his work, and soon hardly bought me any nice things at all. In the end I had to break up with him. I think it was for the best. [Thinks] Although, after that he did go on a murderous rampage, killing all of us at least once, as well as poor old Lucy on her and Austin's wedding day, not to mention the tens of thousands of people who were killed when he and Dangsten tried to take over the world. [Sighs] I guess life without Alice is tough.

Mac: Er, sure, that must have been it. Jerome does seem to have spies everywhere, and his Interferons did actually help us when we were on the way to stop Clementine. If it was him, though, what was he trying to tell us?


Last from

Harvey: [Quite shocked] Well perhaps it was for the best then - clearly he was neglecting you and that just deserves a damn good thrashing! [Dismissively ] Oh, and killing Austin's fiancee on their wedding day just isn't really polite is it, what?


Alice: It was a whole lot worse than not polite, Harvey!

;;; No posting tomorrow, gah! Back to normal on Thursday


Clint: You might even call it evil!

;;; Just thought I'd kick things off.


Mac: Not cool, Harvey!

;;; Good!


Charlie: [Uncomfortably] Indeed, though one prefers to avoid such labels!


Clint: Only if one is married to a demon-type person with anger management problems.


Charlie: [Eagerly changing the subject] In any case, have we considered that HARMA could be behind these dreams? They are the ones making magic use impossible. Perhaps they had someone enchant us?


Clint: [Dubious] Why would those freaks want to do that, Sarge? Other than for the laughs, I mean.


Harvey: Perhaps to confuse and misdirect us, what?


Charlie: Well, we did thwart them in Apraxia, after all. And the dream did knock us flat for a time. Perhaps the images themselves actually meant nothing, but the dream was an attack of sorts?

;;; That's probably my three! Also, out for an hour or so.


Alice: And it did serve to confuse us! [Uneasily] Do we think that HARMA know what happened with Clementine?


Charlie: [Raises an eyebrow at Alice] Well, the only one who knows about what happened with Clementine and has a connection to HARMA is Deuce. So, perhaps the question is, do YOU think HARMA knows anything?


Alice: [Annoyed] If they do, they found out themselves, because Deucie would never tell them. He doesn't even like them! In fact, he calls the Whorema!0

[The party can see someone in the distance, running towards them.]


Charlie: [To Alice] Mm. [Spots the runner] Perhaps we'd better get out of sight before this madman/madwoman is upon us!

;;; That's my three!


Harvey: Perhaps this person might know something about the dreams? We should ambush and interrogate them.


Austin : [To Charlie] You gave us all the distinct impression that you enjoyed madmen upon you? That might even be the same madman!


Dur: Must we ambush and interrogate everyone we meet for the first time? I'm starting to think you have a fetish Colonel!


Alice: [To Austin] Huh?

Mac: Perhaps we could just ask the man about the dreams? And also, if we can see him, he can probably see us, so, unless he's a complete idiot, there's no point in hiding.


Austin : [To Alice] What? Pestillence is a madman. He kills people randomly. That's pretty much mad to most people!


Charlie: [To Austin, haughtily] He does NOT kill people randomly. In fact, he doesn't kill anyone, anymore.


Alice: And you think that this guy running towards us is Pestilence?


[The party can see that the person running towards them is wearing a HARMA uniform.]


Harvey: Gah! HARMA! Perhaps we should make a tactical withdrawal, eh?


Alice: If he is HARMA, then he probably is an idiot, so maybe there's no need! Anyway, he is by himself.


Austin : [To Alice] Only if he has started using the same tailor as the HARMA.


Dur: Do we really have to hide from 1 meager HARMA officer? I rather thought we could take him.=


Harvey: You mean we should... ambush and interrogate him?


Austin : [To Harvey] Yes, colonel, I believe he does.


Alice: [To Austin] I'm starting to think you're getting a bit pre-occupied with Pestilence and Charlie, Aus, although, I must admit, I'm not sure which of them you're jealous of! Come on, let's hide!

[Although the HARMA officer is now quite close, the party all hide behind a convenient rock. As he gets closer, they see that it is BARRY GOODBAR, a HARMA officer that they have dealt with previously. He looks terrified, and doesn't look as though he's going to stop, in spite of the party's careless and obvious trap.]


Charlie: [Whispering to the others] I wonder why he's so afraid?!


Dur: Lets ask him! [Tries to leap out to tackle Barry as he passes]


Alice: Hang on, let me work on my scary face. [Takes out a compact and tries out a few scary expressions.]

[DUR and CLINT leap out and tackle BARRY, knocking him to the ground.]

Alice: Hey! I wasn't ready!

Barry: No! Please! Let me go!


Charlie: Well done, Dur! [To Barry] Why were you fleeing in terror?


Austin : [To Barry] And no fibbing!


Barry: Because I was terrified!

[The party form a huddle to discuss his answer.]

Alice: I think he might be truthin'. [Looks up at him and asks sternly] Really?

Barry: [Nods] Really!


Harvey: Hmmm, right... [To Barry, sternly] And what were you terrified of? Speak up man!


Austin : [Impatiently} Well? We do not have all day you know! Tell us all.


;;; Hi, everyone! Conor has been unexpectedly pulled into an

;;; all-day work thing, and he asked me to pause the game.

;;; We'll return to normal gaming on Monday. Have a good

;;; weekend, guys!


Barry: Well, I *was* terrified of the Investigators.


Clint: Why?

;;; Short, sweet, and to the point!


Barry: Why what? Why was I afraid of them? Or why am I no longer afraid of them?


Clint: Why were you afraid of them, obviously! Now, you're just afraid of us or something. Right?


Charlie: [To Clint] Well, we can be terribly imposing, after all! [To Barry] Why WERE you afraid of them?=


Clint: I bet you're on the run. You're some kind of criminal, right?


Harvey: Well, you can't hold that against him - after all, we're criminals too, what?


Austin : [To Clint] When we interrogate people we really should give them an opportunity to respond to our questions one at a time.


Alice: That's right, Aus, well said. [Thinks for a moment] Oh! Oh! Maybe he's afraid of all the questions we're firing at him? [To Barry] Well? Are you?

Barry: You've got to let me go -- we're all gonna die!

;;; Out for 2.5 hours!


Austin : Yes, well that is a forgone conclusion. Could you tell us the nature of the implending threat? [Kindly] If you can do that we will let you go.


Barry: Really? Gosh, that's really square of you. You know, you guys are way nicer than HARMA say. Honestly, they make you sound like the absolute scum of the earth. Absolute dirtbags. Pieces of garbage. The worst sort of --

Alice: Hey! We do have limited patience, though!

Barry: Oh, sorry. What I'm now more afraid of is whatever killed the Investigators.


Charlie: [Alarmed] What happened to the investigators? Oh, I'm sorry. I meant, Investigators?



Dur: And who were they that they would scare a HARMA officer?


Barry: They were [dramatic pause] Investigators! [To the party] They're dead -- all dead!


Harvey: [Trying to smile kindly] And what killed them, young man?


Barry: Ye-es. Well, I think I'd better be off. You know, you did say that I could go free.


Charlie: What killed the Investigators?!


Harvey: [In a very condescending manner] We said you could go when you'd answered our questions, but you haven't done that yet, have you, eh?


Austin : And were you running away to some where that is particuarly safe?


Barry: Oh! You liar! [Points at Mac] He said I could leave once I said why I was running away! [Points to Austin] And him! He said he'd give me 50GP too! [To Charlie] I don't know -- but whatever it was cleaned out the orphanage. I think they were professional.

Alice: [Gasps in shock] You mean.... contract cleaners?


Charlie: [To Barry] How horrible! Where did this happen?


Dur: [Looks thoughtful] Don't we know someone with a penchant of comitting crimes against orphanages?=


Alice: That's right! [Dramatically points at Mac] It's YOU!

Mac: No it's not. It was those Yellow Tie Guys.

Alice: Oh, oh that's right. You *don't* like committing crimes against orphanages. Sorry about that, Bestie.


Austin : [To Barry with disdain] Did you see anyone wearing a yellow tie?


Barry: No, I was too busy running away -- they nearly caught me, but I beat them off.

Alice: The Yellow Tie Guys?

Barry: No, the ladies who run the orphanage.


Austin : [To Barry, suspiciously] And why were the ladies who run the orphanage trying to catch you?


Barry: [Dismissively] They said that they needed help tending to the wounded, but, if you ask me, their wounds can't have been that bad if they could grab onto me like that!


Charlie: You brute! How far away is this orphanage? In what direction?


Barry: Hey! They're the ones who grabbed me! Some of those children have very sharp nails! [Calms down and points back in the direction that he came from] They're that way.


Harvey: Indeed, children can be vicious little things, what? I myself have sustained horrific throwing-rattle wounds in battle.


Alice: [Sympathetically] Poor Harvey. Was your elbow rattly after throwing a child? Honestly, some people feed their children too much. It's downright inconsiderate.


Harvey: Um, not quite my dear. A rattle is a brutal throwing weapon, hurled by children as they shriek their battle cries. It makes a terrifying sound as it spins towards your noggin, and when it impacts, it can cause horrific bruises or even a mild concussion! [Shakes his head sadly] I remember when battle was an honourable affair of sneaking some kind of explosive device under the enemy's latrines and having it explode as they relieve themselves.


Alice: I suppose that's one way of solving the constipation problem that was sweeping the battlefield.


Charlie: [Shakes her head] What on earth are you two talking about?! [To the party, dramatically] To the orphanage! We must see if we can follow the trail of those yellow-tied ne'er-do-wells!


Austin : Perhaps the 'Mother'; in the dream is connected to the mother that the Yellow tie type were refering to?


Clint: I hope not! The mother in the dream was awful!


Alice: But she ate hardly any babies, in fairness.

Barry: Uh, so, I'll be off, then.


Austin : [To Barry, cursorily] Bye. [To Alice] Perhaps we need to pretend to be her children and the steal a magic sword form her? [Shrugs] Anyway, we should at least find out what she is doing with all of the children.


Clint: I bet "stealing the magic sword" is some kind of metaphor. And hopefully not a dirty one!


Charlie: [To Austin] I quite agree. Perhaps if we find the one Mother, the dream will make more sense!

;;; Must.resist.urge.to.keep.dirty.magic.sword.metaphor.going!


Barry: Yeah, I'm sure it will! Now, in the meantime, I'm off to join the resistance -- I think we need to reinstitute magic as soon as possible!

Mac: [Surprised] Agreed!

Barry: If only I knew a magic user who could help. Hm. Damn!

Mac: [To the party] Guys, I hate to abandon you, but I think I might have to go with him. You know, so we can fight the battle on two fronts.


Charlie: [To Mac, shocked] But, dear, however will you get by without my guidance?!


Clint: [Helpfully.] Blissfully and with a full head of hair?


Harvey: [Also healpfully] With what's left of his sanity?


Austin : [Nods in agreement with Clint] Quietly and efficiently.


Charlie: [Crosses her arms and gives Austin, Clint and Harvey a look] You do understand, [huge emphasis] I will be remaining in the group?!


[There's a collective sigh.]

Alice: I mean... yay!

Mac: I'll survive somehow. I'm sure Barry can't be all that bad.

Barry: Come on, I'll show you a sure fire way to eat for free. Retirement homes! [Chortles with delight] You can be in there and eat all the creamed rice and jelly you want before anyone realizes what's going on!


Charlie: [Pats Mac on the head fondly] Do be careful!


Harvey: [To Mac] Well, young Private! Be sure to remember everything I've taught you, what? Resupply when you can, always know where your towel is, and keep watch for people in lederhosen, yes?


Austin : [To Mac] Goodbye, and remember that life is about being beautiful [Gives Mac a hug]


Mac: Er, yes, thanks very much.

Alice: [Joins the hug] Bye bye, Bestie!

[MAC slowly extricates himself from the hug and leaves with BARRY.]


Austin : [Sighs, watching the two leave] Love at first sight! A bit of an odd couple though, I hope it works out for them. [Turns to Harvey] Right colonel, what's the plan?


Charlie: [To Austin] It's Dr. Parker-Kensington, if you please. We shall all go to this orphanage at once. That's the plan. Now, follow me at once, group! [Starts walking in the direction Barry indicated was the orphanage]


Alice: Hm. That's weird, but you heard what she said, Aus. [To Harvey] Come on, Dr. Parker-Kensington, let's save some babies!

[Exit ALL, towards the orphanage.]


Harvey: I feel I have to correct you, Ms Parker Kensington. [Proudly] I am, in fact, a colonel. And now, I shall consider our strategy. [Thinks for a moment] We shall all go to this orphanage at once. That's the plan. Onward, troop!


[Book VIII, Act V, Scene II. The Orphanage. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR and HARVEY are here, heading towards the orphanage. Everyone was at least aware of the existence of the orphanage, as it is just fifteen miles from Queens View. There are a number of children standing around, as well as several adults, many of whom are wounded. One woman, JANE ALISON, who is wielding a large notebook, appears to be in charge.]

Alison: [To the party] Don't tell me that you're plumbers!


Charlie: [To Alison] Do be serious! Do I appear to be [finger quotes] working class?! Now, [flips out a notebook] tell us what happened here at once, with as much detail as possible, particularly relating to the Yellow-Tied Men, etc. [Pencil poised and ready to write]


Austin : [To Alison] We did not come here to be insulted. We are the Queens View Party, Heirophantic Knights. What happened here?


Alison: [Taken aback] I didn't insult anyone! If I wanted to insult someone, I'd say something like [looks at Alice] that skirt is so disturbingly short that I can see your sluttily flouncy underpants.

Alice: [With a big smile] Aw! Thanks!

Alison: Er, okay. [To Charlie] A bunch of men wearing yellow ties appeared and took all the babies!


Harvey: [Annoyed at Alison] Now that's no way to talk to a perfectly demure young lady like Alison here. I expect you to start showing some respect this instant! And while you're at it, do you have anything to eat? I'm famished!


Alice: Hey! My name is ALICE!

Alison: Anything to eat? What the hell is wrong with you? We've just been attacked!


Charlie: [To Alison] Yes, and we will do our best to help you, but you mustn't let the colonel's ferocious hunger shake your focus! Now, in what direction did they take the babies? How many of them were there, would you guess?


Alison: [Points in a direction (at a right angle to where the party came from)] They went that way. No fewer than two different groups of HARMA officers went after them -- one of them, Barry, came back here, screaming.


Dur: Perhaps we should proceed with great caution.


Alice: Did Barry say anything?

Alison: Just "get off me you bastards" to some of the children.


Austin : Did they take any specific selection of children, or did they simply grab them at random?


Alison: It was all babies -- none more than a few months old.


Harvey: And did they take all the food? Is that why there's nothing to eat?


Alison: Sure. They took all the food.


Harvey: The fiends! After them, troop! We must secure those supplies!


Charlie: [Swats at Harvey's arm] Focus, Colonel! Let's go try to find those yellow-tied baby-snatchers!


Austin : [To Charlie] That is what he suggested, baby snatchers or food theives, they are one and the same yellow ties are they not?


Clint: Heck yeah! It's time to kick a little butt!


Harvey: Indeed, Private, those babies won't know what hit 'em, what?


Austin : [To the orphanage woman, taking notes] How old was the oldest of the children that the took?


Alison: About six months.

Alice: And what was the name of this child?

Alison: About six months.

Alice: Huh. That's a weird name. How old was the kid?

Alison: About six months.


Clint: How many babies did they take?


Alison: About Forty.

Alice: Wow! That's a lot!

Alison: [Gives Alice a momentary glare] And John, and Dominic, and Kev-

Alice: You had a kid named About Forty? That's a weird name. How many babies were taken?

Alison: About forty.


Harvey: [Quietly, to the Party] I say, troop, I'm beginning to think that she's a few sergeants short of a regiment, what?


Charlie: [Impatiently] They're only babies! You can call them anything you want. They don't know the difference, though I suspect they will know it if they're hurt or killed so let us go at once and stop this dilly-dallying!


Alice: I know, Charlie. [To Austin] Why, you could even call one Wilhelmina!


Clint: Yeah, right. What kind of parent would be so cruel?


Austin : The kind of parent who wheels out her mummyfied great grand mother for her birthday each year?


Alice: That's nothing -- my Aunt Betsy is preserved in alcohol! They wheel her out every Philimas and, just when no one expects it, she suddenly sobers up and chases the kids around with a big stick. Ah... happy days!


Charlie: [Annoyed] Wilhelmina is a perfectly lovely and terribly meaningful name!


Last from Heather 25

Harvey: [Kindly] Of course it does, Private. No doubt it means something to do with demons, what?


Alison: Oh for God's sake! What about About Forty and About Six Months and all the others? Aren't you going to try and save them?


Austin : [To Alison] Our preparations may be unconventional, but we do get results, I can assure you. [To Harvey] Colonel, the longer we wait, the less food will be left when we get there!


Alice: [Nods] Those babies are probably awfully hungry!


Harvey: [Gasps] Right, move out, troop! Move it, move it, move it!


[The party head away, barely able to keep up with HARVEY, who soon tires and drops back to a normal pace.]

Alice: We should probably have asked them if they had a carriage we could borrow. I'm starting to think these shoes [points to a pair of unfeasibly high heels that have cut her heels so badly that there's blood visible] Still, the pain is worth it to look stylish.

[About half a mile on, the party spot a crashed carriage just ahead. Written on it is "HARMA Investigation Division Executives".]


Charlie: [Looking at the carriage] HIDE, eh? They certainly don't sound very impressive! Perhaps we should take a peek inside?


Alice: Good idea, Charlie!

[The party carefully approach, and, as they get closer, can see that there are a few bodies strewn about. Each of them appears to have been battered beyond recognition, and the ground is covered in blood and bits of bone.]


Dur: [Surveys the scene in absolute shocked horror] Oh no! I do hope the babies are ok!

;;; Here's the pitch!


Alice: [Gasp] Do you think the babies did this?


Charlie: [Ponders] Well, they can be a bit vicious at times. You saw what Will did to that rat!


Dur: [Scoffs at both Alice and Charlie] Don't be absurd you two. I was simply concerned for their well-being! After all, bruised baby meat makes for a= horrible stew!

;;; Did I knock that one out of the park?


a horrible stew!

Charlie: [Gapes at Dur] If we do find any babies, you are not to go anywhere near them! [Looks at the bodies] If this was the yellow-tied men, they have certainly become more violent, have they not?

;;; EW!!!


Alice: I don't know, Charlie, they were pretty violent to begin with! Maybe these guys interrupted them?

;;; The last time the party encountered the YTGs they had a house that

could travel between

;;; dimensions


Harvey: [Confused] Are we still talking about the babies?


Austin : [To Harvey] No, the YTG's. I hope.


Charlie: [Peering down the road] Is there a blood-spattered trail we can follow?


Alice: There doesn't seem to be. [Looks around] In fact, all the blood ends here.


Harvey: Gah! They've made off with all the food! [Looks around] Hmm, is there a trapdoor somewhere?


Clint: [Hopefully.] Or maybe a survivor, dying slowly and just itching to share everything he knows before meeting Phili?


Charlie: I suppose we'd better check the bodies, just in case. [Looks at the bodies and wrinkles her nose] Mr. Sleaze, have you any latex gloves to spare?


Austin : [Passes Charlie a pair of surgical gloves, and dons a pair himself and begins searching the bodies and the carriage] This could take some time.


[There are four bodies outside the carriage, each beaten beyond recognition. Each has a few GP and one has a blood stained letter signed by Joe Nunpar stating that the group are "Investigators".]

Alice: [Looking into the carriage] There's another one here, just like the rest, although it looks like he was trying to get at something in a chest.


Austin : [Carefully opens the chest if he can] Hmmm, golden unicorns, no doubt [Chuckles]


Harvey: I doubt that, Private Sleaze. Maybe he was looking for some honeyed golden locusts, though, eh?


Clint: Maybe he was looking for something to defend himself with!

;;; Dead tired today, so off early.


Alice: [Excited at Austin's words] Really? Cool! [Catches herself] Er, I mean, oh, that would be interesting, I suppose.

[The chest is locked with a heavy padlock.]


Charlie: Hmm, did anyone spot a key? Mr. Sleaze, can you pick this lock?


Austin : Certainly [Tries to pick the lock] The key must be around here somewhere, perhaps everyone can have a hunt?


Alice: I bet it's in the carriage! People always leave their keys up behind the sun visor in fillums*. [Pulls down the sun visor only to be smacked in the forehead by a huge key] Ow.

;;; Fillums are popular moving pictures in the Realms, which similar

to the cinema in our time. They

;;; get their name from the phrase "Fill 'em with entertainment and

overpriced and tasteless snacks".


Austin : Alice, you are a genius! [Takes the key and tries to open the lock]

;;; And everyone still buys the snacks!


Harvey: [Proudly] Of course she's a genius - she's my niece!

;;; I guess they must consider the "entertainment" part optional!


Austin : [To Harvey, chuckling] Silly me, how could I have forgotten?


Charlie: [To Alice] Now, [finger quotes] genius aside, do be careful with that key, dear. We don't want a repeat of last time, when you had Harvey's housekey turned the wrong way and ran it through your palm repeatedly before I spotted the blood pooling. [Muses] Hmm, probably best you give ME the key, wouldn't you say?


Alice: For your information, Charlie, that wasn't even a key! It was a bottle opener that looked like one! [Hands the key to Austin] Here you go.

;;; The key looks like it should fit


Austin : [Opens the chest if he can] Now, let us see what this poor chap was trying to get at.


Charlie: [Excited, watches Austin open the chest] Oooh, I hope it's full of rare manuscripts!


[AUSTIN carefully opens the chest and everyone leans in to look, giving a gasp when they see the contents.]

Alice: Wow! Are they what I think they are? Amazing!

;;; Oh no! We must pause until Monday!!


[The chest contains what appear to be white masks.]

Alice: Are they faces? Amazing!

;;; No, they clearly are not!


Harvey: Perhaps the Yellow Tie Guys were planning some sort of play, what? [Reaches out to pick up a mask]


Austin : I think that they were more of the 'beat people up ask questions later types'. [Picks out a mask (#6), if he can, and tries it on] Perhaps they would wear the masks when they were beating people up, as sort of intimidation tactic, perhaps.


Clint: Maybe they're just freaks! [Glances at mask #4.] Or maybe they shared our dream and wanted to look like the lawyer.


Charlie: [Picks up mask 1] What a horrid expression on this one! [Primly] If this is for a costume party, it isn't a very nice one.


Harvey: [Looks at mask #7, the relatively normal-looking one] Gah! This one's the worst of the lot!


Alice: But why would the YTGs put their masks in a HARMA carriage?


Charlie: I suppose you're right, but I must say, masks are a bit whimsical for the likes of HARMA, aren't they? I wonder what purpose they serve? Perhaps we'd better hang onto them!


Alice: [Pockets mask #2] We definitely should. So, what do we think happened here? The YTGs kill 'em all off?


Charlie: [Surveys the bodies uneasily] Unless there is yet another group of rampaging maniacs we have yet to encounter! What on earth do they want? As many infants as possible, it would seem?


Harvey: Perhaps they enjoy the sound of screaming - I understand children do that a lot?


Alice: [Nods] They sure do. It doesn't matter how much you poke them with a sharp stick, they keep doing it!


Austin : [To Alice, deadpan] How suprising.


Alice: That's just what I said!


Dur: [Checking the area for tracks they could follow] Why do you suppose the masks got left behind? =


Alice: Maybe they didn't know they were there? After all, if the Yellow Ties took the babies and killed the HARMA guys, how would they know?

[There are no tracks at all around, except for what appears to be six sets that came from the direction of the orphanage.]


Charlie: Perhaps Alice is right, and these HARMA investigators were just in the wrong place at the wrong time!


Dur: [Counting the number of tracks] Something still doesn't feel right here...=20

;;; How many masks are there? At work I can't open queen's view links.


Alice: It looks like at least one of them had really high heels on. [To Charlie] Remember, the lady at the orphanage said that some HARMA guys came along and chased after the Yellow Ties.

;;; Seven!


Harvey: Perhaps we should follow them, what?


Austin : That is a certainty, but which way, or where did they go ? [Looks at the foot prints, looking for clues]


Charlie: Could this be another dimensional pathway of sorts? [Tries tossing a rock into the carriage]


Alice: But they lead here, look!

[This is true, the footprints lead from the orphanage, where the party came from, and stop here, right at the carriage.]


[Clunk. The rock hits the carriage.]

Alice: It looks like they searched around. See here? They went into the carriage, then came back out again. And look at the footprints, I think there are two women and four men.


e are two women and four men.

Dur: Perhaps we should look inside the carriage?


Charlie: [Exasperated] Alice, are you looking at OUR footprints?!


Alice: I don't know, Charlie, I'm not some sort of expert footprint-tracker-recognizer person!

;;; The chest was in the carriage, so the party have already checked it out


Harvey: Clearly Alice has cleverly deduced that *we* stole the children and killed the HARMA Investigators, which must mean that *we* are the Yellow Tie Guys! [Looks smug, then confused] Hmm, I don't remember that at all.


Alice: Well, that just shows you how clever we are, Harvey!


;;; No posts until 1PM tomorrow!


[There's a moment of silence.]

Alice: [To the party] That's very clever, by the way!

;;; We have a new player starting tomorrow, that's David. Please make

sure he gets a copy

;;; of all mails from now on -- except ones complaining about him!!


Charlie: Do be serious! We haven't done anything criminal, and I wouldn't be caught dead in a yellow tie!

;;; Welcome, David!


Harvey: Well, of course it's not our intention to be caught dead anywhere, yellow ties notwithstanding, what?

;;; Hi!


Austin : [Looking around] The the only foot print are ours, so either the assailants left no physical traces other than the corpses, or we commited this crime, which we know we did not do. [Ponders] The YTs are from another dimension, perhaps that is why they don't leave foot prints?


Alice: [Gestures to the foot prints] Or maybe someone carelessly obscured them?


Charlie: Well, I suppose we cannot follow them, then. Could we perhaps return to the spot you followed them into their dimension?


Alice: That was back in Apraxia -- near the Underwear Tree!


Charlie: [Clears her throat] Yes. Should we go back there?


Harvey: Indeed, perhaps we should go see this, ahem, [Tries to look disgusted, fails miserably] "Underwear Tree"


Alice: But what about the cure that we're bringing to Queens View? So that people can use magic again?


Clint: The lives of babies are at stake, bimbo! Which is... uh... I guess more important!

;;; Hiya, David.


Alice: Right. So we'll return to the spot where we basically ran screaming from the Yellow Tie Guys and their disappearing house, where we were all almost killed and where Zap went missing. What's the plan then, Clint?


Charlie: You're right. We must prioritize, and we mustn't let even this dreadful development distract us from our mission. Let us continue to Queens View.


Clint: [Reluctant.] But if we never went anywhere where we were all almost killed and some hotshot went missing and we ran screaming, where would we go?


Austin : [To Alice] We have already cured the town and brought back magic, we urinated the antidote into the towns drinking supply. Is there another antidote?


Alice: No, but there's another TOWN! That was Apraxia, Aus, not Queens View!


Austin : [Looks a little pale] So the HARMA poisoned the Queens View water supply too?

;;; missed this somewhere


Alice: They did it everywhere! Remember? No more magic?


Clint: We have any more healing potion urine, though?


Alice: We have plenty of the potion, it's just not in urine form yet.


Charlie: [Shudders] Really, why couldn't there be a more dignified solution to this problem?! [Briskly] Right, well, there's nothing to be done about that now. Come along, group! To Queens View, chop chop!


Austin : [To Alice] We have more antidote? Where?


Alice: In the potions that we didn't drink on the balloon!!


Harvey: Excellent! Where are these wonderful potions?


Alice: I've got 'em here, [pats her back pocket, causing an awful clinking sound] nice and safe!


Charlie: [Firmly] Yes, clearly I should be put in charge of them, given that I am the most responsible of us. [Puts her hand out expectantly]


Alice: Surely someone with your bulk would be better utilized helping push the carriage out of the ditch? At least then we can drive to Queens View rather than all this crazy walking.


Charlie: [Keeps her hand out, waiting] The potions! At once! [To Harvey] Colonel, do rally the so-called troop and have them right the carriage, if you would.


Harvey: Right you are! Form up for march, troop! Move it, move it! That means *you* Private Parker-Kensington!


Charlie: [To Harvey, in a low voice] Colonel, do be serious! Alice will break those flasks in absurd comical fashion the minute she forgets about them and sits down!


Alice: No, YOU be serious Charlie! I've already sat down dozens of times since I got them, and I've only broken about half of them!

[Everyone looks at ALICE.]

Alice: Sigh. [Hands over the potions]


Charlie: [Cheerily takes the potions and puts them in her knapsack] Thank you, dear! [Brightly] Now, be a good girl and help right the carriage.


Austin : [To Alice, amazed] You had all of those in your pockets? You must be even slimmer than we thought! [Looks at the carriage] Right, lets get the carriage back on it's wheels. [Gets in a position to help right the carriage]


Alice: [Confidentially to Austin] It's the flounces in my underpants -- they're ideal for secreting potions in!

[Everyone gets behind to help push the carriage, only to hear a terrifying roar from the undergrowth, like a wild animal.]


Harvey: By the saints, what was that?


Charlie: [Pulls out her sword] Careful, group! [Excited] Keep it alive if possible, as this might be something I can write up for Cryptozoology Today!


Austin : [To Charlie, deadpan] That's a great idea, why don't you go and find out what it is?


Alice: I bet it's a tiny kitten or something. [Peers into the undergrowth] Here kitty kitty!

[Enter a MILD BORE, a savage looking animal about twice the size of a boar, which breathes a small amount of fire, almost scorching the party.]


Harvey: I say! We could set up a barbecue on this creature. Who's got the beef burgers, what?


Alice: Great idea! I sure hope the creature is agreeable.

[The BORE breathes more fire, sending the party diving for cover. Enter ZEBEDIAH "GUBBINS" COLERIDGE, a scruffy looking individual racing behing the BORE. He jabs his sword into the BORE's underbelly, causing it to yelp in pain, before it falls down dead.]

Alice: Wow! Who the hell are you? Some sort of chef?


Gubbins: [Checks the beast is dead then starts to wipe his blade clean.] The name's Coleridge, madam. Been tracking this here feller for days. It's wh= at I do.


Alice: Oh, cool. Well, thanks for that, but what are you going to do now that he's dead? It'll make tracking him kind of boring -- not to mention a little stinky.


Austin : [To Gubbins] You follow wild pigs around and then kill them? That's an odd hobby. Does it not get [stresses] boring after a while? [Smirks at his own weak pun]


I was going to skin it. Remove those massive tusks. Probably butcher the carcass for some meat. Care to give me a hand? [Gestures at the overturned ca= rriage] Although it looks like you are having problems of your own.

;;; Hello everyone.


Gubbins: [Groans at the pun] That was terrible ... tusk tusk!


Dur: Get used to them! It's the one thing we're actually good at. [Droolinga bit at the carcass] You mean you skin your meat before you eat it?

;;; Welcome David!


Gubbins: [To Dur] Er, yes. Cook it too. Usually. That's not always possiblethough. There was one time when I was caught in the northern tundra with n= o possibility of starting a fire and I was getting real hungry. I ended up eating my wildebeest raw. [Starts field dressing the boar] Wildebeest belly= makes a nice warm bed when the storms come, too.

;;; sorry folks, out to a meeting for an hour or so


Alice: [Looks horrified] Ew! What the hell is he doing to it?


Austin : [Whispers to Alice] It must be some kind of religous ritual.


Charlie: [To Gubbins] Thank you for your well-timed assistance, Coleridge. Now, before you continue with that disgusting task, could you help us right this carriage? There'll be a shiny copper in it for you [dangles a copper piece temptingly] !


Alice: [Nods at Austin, but then looks shocked] Maybe he's going to mate with it?


Harvey: Hmm, he seems to be preparing it to eat. Clearly this gentleman has spent a long time foraging for food. [Wags his finger at the party] That's what comes from not having adequate supplies, what?


Gubbins: [To Austin, Alice and Harvey, while continuing to skin the bore] It's no religious ritual ... although some tribes of the plains people do ma= ke quite a ceremony out of preparing the carcass of a bull aurochs. They sing and dance around it, put pungent herbs on their fires and pass around th= is fermented curd. You know, like cheese.


make quite a ceremony out of preparing the carcass of a bull aurochs. They sing and dance around it, put pungent herbs on their fires and pass around = this fermented curd. You know, like cheese.

Charlie: [To Gubbins, dismissively] Ordinarily I would find your pagan rituals quite interesting, but we are in a hurry just now, so do get to work on that carriage at once. [Shakes the copper piece at Gubbins]


Gubbins: [Wiping his bloody hands on the bore's coat] Okay, Missy, I'll help you with your overturned carriage. What the - ? [Sees the HARMA insignia = on the carriage side and reaches for his sword.] Look now, I don't want anytrouble so I'll just be on my way. You can have the carcass. It's yours.


a on the carriage side and reaches for his sword.] Look now, I don't want any trouble so I'll just be on my way. You can have the carcass. It's yours.

Charlie: [Watching Gubbins' reaction to the insignia] Not to worry! We are not affiliated with HARMA. In fact, quite the opposite, I assure you.


Gubbins: [Suspiciously, still backing away] What is that supposed to mean?


Dur: That we are trying to reverse the damage done by HARMA and save the world of course. Charlie has some kind of fetish for big words, but don't wor= ry, she usually takes out her sexual frustrations on her demonic husband, so you should be safe!=


Alice: It means we're the Amrah! [Smiles, satisfied with her explanation]


Gubbins: Demonic husband?! You're not exactly filling me with confidence here! [Pauses] I am guessing this carriage is not yours then, so where are it= s owners?


Charlie: [Dismissively] Don't be silly. Pestilence is perfectly harmless. [Surveys the area] As for the owners of this carriage, they met a sticky end, it would seem. We believe they died at the hands of a group of vicious men who steal babies and wear yellow ties. [Curiously] You wouldn't know anything about them, would you?


Dur: Yeah he's just great! Unless you're Charlie's father. You're not right? Cause that didn't work out so well for the last one. [Whispering aside to= Gubbins] Just don't ask her who she calls 'daddy' now. [Shudders]


to Gubbins] Just don't ask her who she calls 'daddy' now. [Shudders]

Harvey: Well, let's find these yellow-tied blighters, what?!? Quick march! [Marches off in a random direction]


Gubbins: [To Charlie, smirking] Do I know anything about babies? A little, yeah! [Holds up hands defensively] Okay okay, no, I don't know anything abo= ut yellow-tie-wearing baby-snatchers. Thankfully. Who are they?


Gubbins: [Calling after Harvey] What about the carriage? [Bends to start righting the carriage] [To Clint] Come on big feller, put your back into it.


Alice: We don't know! They tried to kill us a few weeks ago -- well, actually, everyone except me -- and twice now they've raided an orphanage and leapt back to their own dimension. We had been following them but they've disappeared. [To the others] I guess we're heading to Queens View now?


Charlie: [To Harvey, sharply] Colonel, do be still. We haven't time to fish you out a creek just now! [To Gubbins, helping with the carriage] We know very little about the yellow-tied men ourselves. They seem to have a keen interest in stealing infants and leaving a trail of destruction everywhere they go!


Austin : [Pondering. Curiously to Gibbuns] You must have chased that wildebeast a very long way to kill it in the tundra.


Gubbins: [In between straining to right the carriage] Well ... it looks to me ... like you could use someone like me. I mean ... I have travelled ... = pretty much everywhere. [Stops for a moment] Mind you, dimension travel is new on me; sounds like fun. [Resumes work on the carriage] How about ... I = come along with you ... see if I can help out?


Alice: I don't know -- I mean, we appreciate you helping us out and all, but we're going after HARMA. If you're going to be with us, you better really hate them. [Fixes Gubbins with a steely glare] How much do you hate them?


Gubbins: [Meeting Alice's steely glare] ... A lot.


Charlie: [Nods approvingly] As do we! But it isn't all exotic dimension-hopping, you know! If you travel with us, you will be risking your life on a daily basis. [Sighs] Though it would be nice to have a man in the group, for a change.


Alice: [Holds Gubbins' glare for a moment, before breaking into a smile] Hey! That's good enough for me! I'm Alice, [introduces each of the others] that's Austin, Charlie, Clint, Dur and Uncle Harvey. [To the others] Can we keep him? Pleeeease!


Gubbins: [To Charlie] No problem - I have been risking my life on a daily basis since I left home. If it's not someone actively trying to kill me, the= n it's the land and the weather or starvation or dehydration. Life can be tough.


Gubbins: [Waving 'hello' to each in turn] Good, good. My name is Zebediah Coleridge, you can call me Zeb or Coleridge or Zebediah. Actually, most peop= le I know call me Gubbins on account of all the stuff I carry about. Speaking of which, my pack is around here somewhere. [Walks off to retrieve his b= ackpack]


ople I know call me Gubbins on account of all the stuff I carry about. Speaking of which, my pack is around here somewhere. [Walks off to retrieve his= backpack]

Charlie: Splendid! [Takes out a notepad] Now, let me jot down your name to give to Pestilence, so he knows not to maim or torture you.


Alice: Just make sure you write it in the right notepad, Charlie!


Dur: [Thoughtfully] Why would she need two note books? She has one for the people he shouldn't kill, [whispering to the rest of thr group] she must've= started it after that episode at her dead grammy's funeral, and all the other notepad would say is "everyone else."


Alice: What about the one that says "People you must kill as quickly and painfully as possible"?


Charlie: [Exasperated] He doesn't kill ANYONE, anymore! [To Alice, brandishing a black notebook with skull stickers on it] And I would never confuse his notebook for another. This one is positively filled with extremely private thoughts only meant for his eyes!


Alice: Oh, really? [Gives Austin a knowing look and a wink] I sure hope no one ever borrows it, Charlie. [Pause] And by no one, I mean Austin. And by borrow I mean steal. And by Charlie, I mean, well, uh, well, it would be awful.


Harvey: Hmm, yes, well, what? We should get moving, eh?


Charlie: Indeed, Colonel! We have wasted quite enough time.

;;; Nothing from me tomorrow. Be kind to Charlie!!


Clint: Yeah! Some of us even stopped to write in notebooks!


Charlie: [To Clint, sensibly] Well, what good will Coleridge be to us if he has no arms?!


Alice: I know, he'd be [stagily] powerless. [Beams at the party, as though expecting applause] Oh! I mean... 'armless!

;;; I might be in and out a bit today


Clint: Hypothetically, Pestilence could cut off his legs, too, and then you could hang him on a wall and call him Art, or put him in a hole and call him Phil, or drop him in a pool and call him Bob, or in a hot tub and call him Stu, or on a beach and call him Sandy. [Shrugs.]


Harvey: I say, we'll discourage our latest trooper if we carry on like this, what? [To Gubbins] Don't worry, old fellow, Pestilence hardly ever puts people in tubs and calls them "Stu". The other stuff Private Scar mentioned... Well he may do those occasionally.


Gubbins: Right, well ... anyway, so Queen's View is in that direction, so shall we? I'll ride shotgun. [Clambers up on to the carriage roof.]


Austin : [Gets into the Carriage. Deadpan] I think Alice should drive, she's the best.


Alice: Great idea, Aus! Hopefully the carriage won't catch fire this time!

[Everyone loads into the carriage and it zooms off at high speed.]

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


[Book VIII, Act V, Scene III. An almost out of control carriage. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, GUBBINS and HARVEY are here, careering along the road at dangerously and stupidly high speeds.]

Alice: [Calling out to Gubbins, who is miraculously hanging onto the roof] So, Gubbins. How come you hate HARMA so much?


so much?=0A=0A=0AGubbins: I am an inveterate traveller, an explorer, and they try to restrict my =0Afreedom too - woah! Watch out for that rock there!= ... That was close. Yeah, =0AHARMA are too authoritarian for someone like me. I once got caught up in an =0Aissue over travel papers that started to = turn ugly. ... TREES!


[Thunk. The carriage hits a rock and almost knocks GUBBINS off, but it stays on the road.]

Alice: Sorry! I didn't mean to hit the rock -- oh, it's not a rock, it's just a turtle.

[Queens View comes into view. The party can see that the wall around it is now about twice the size it was, and that there are a lot of HARMA uniformed officers standing around outside.]


Austin : [Worried] We should disguise ourselvs as HARMA officers, we do have their carriage afterall.


Alice: Good idea, Aus. [To Gubbins] HARMA might be dangerous, but they're idiots. If we just throw on some HARMA uniforms, they'll never recognize us.

[Everyone glances out of the carriage only to see that the countryside is plastered with wanted posters of the party. The crime? "Urination Into A Public Water Supply".]

Charlie: Oh dear! That isn't good!

Alice: Tell me about it! Since when was that illegal?


Harvey: We could tell them we are returning their carriage to them, eh? Perhaps they'll reward us. [Ponders this for a second] Or given that this HARMA, probably not.


Austin : [To Alice] I feel obliged to inform you that urinating in a public water supply has always been illegal, in every state I know of. [Casually chekcs his nails]


A uniforms, they'll never=0A> recognize us.=0A> =0A> [Everyone glances out of the carriage only to see that the=0A> countryside is plastered = with wanted posters of the party. The crime?=0A> "Urination Into A Public Water Supply".] =0A> =0A> Charlie: Oh dear! That isn't good!=0A> =0A> Alice= : Tell me about it! Since when was that illegal?=0A> =0AGubbins: [Looking at one of the posters] You urinated into the public water =0Asupply?! No, n= o. I don't want to know the details. You would doubtless tell me =0Athere were good reasons for it and all that. Some other time maybe. We have a =0As= upply of HARMA uniforms to hand then, do we? Or are we going to have to club =0Asome poor fascists about the head to get some?


, in every state I know of.=0A> [Casually chekcs his nails] =0A> =0AGubbins: [To Austin] Tell that to the people living on the banks of the Upper =0AV= olaga River. That waterway is their water supply, their toilet, their bath,=0Atheir laundry. Their larder, even; they fish from it.


Alice: [Shocked at Austin's revelation] Really? I thought it was only illegal if Daddy wouldn't pay for it to be cleaned. [To Gubbins] Hey, it's not like I was the only one -- everyone else did it too! And there were good reasons for it!

Charlie: But did you really have to enjoy it so much?

Alice: Hey, I was bursting -- excuse me for feeling relieved!

Charlie: I bet there are spare uniforms in this carriage. Those HARMA officers always seem to look extremely clean.


Alice: Ew! I wouldn't ever pee into something so public!


Harvey: [Nodding at Gubbins' words] And it's also a burial site - or at least it was when we disposed of three natives we'd captured. [Sighs] Oh well, let's see about these totally unfounded charges, what? Perhaps HARMA can be reasonable, eh?


Austin : Given our previous experience with them, reasonable is not a word that I'd use to describe the HARMA. [Ponders] Idiotic, murderous, facists, perverts. Words like that are more appropriate descriptions of the HARMA.


, perverts. Words like that are more appropriate descriptions of the HARMA.

Dur: Yes, but at least they are easy to fool! [Starts searching for spare uniforms for the group] =


Austin : [Helpfully] If we wear the masks too they certainly won't recognise us!


Gubbins: What masks? Besides, they're not after *me*. Look - *I* am not on the posters. *I* didn't urinate in a public water supply.


Last from Dom

Harvey: Of course, Private Scar. An excellent idea! [Hands Austin mask #4] You could wear this one. [Thinks] Oh, but of course they would absolutely recognise you in this mask!


Austin : Thank you colonel, but I already have a mask [Holds up mask #6]

;;; pretty sure it was #6 that he took?


Alice: [To Gubbins] We found a chest full of scary masks -- I think there's still one left.

[She's correct, the third mask is still there.]

Alice: [Points at another poster, this time of Gubbins] Hey, look! [Reads] Wanted for the unlawful slaying of a transdimensional non-humanoid being. Huh. What does that mean?

;;; I think so!


Austin : Ah, Mr Gubbins, now we see evidence of your wicked was [Smiles] What did you slay?


Gubbins: What?! [Looks at poster] "Unlawful slaying of a trans-dimensional ..." Well it can only be that brute of a boar back there. I *thought* it wa= s hellish large for a normal boar. So I am an outlaw again, it seems. [Shrugs and puts on mask #3] How does this look?


Alice: [Leaps off her seat] Yikes! That's the scariest thing I've ever seen! [To the others] Right, what are we going to tell these guys?

;;; Gone for the day, back to normal tomorrow!


Charlie: [Tries on mask 1] That we're HARMA Investigators (gestures to the carriage), and hope there are no follow-up questions?


Clint: That we've captured a dangerous criminal?


Charlie: [Puzzled] What dangerous criminal can we claim we captured?


Clint: Dr. Charlotte Parker-Kensington, perhaps? We've got plenty of options!


Charlie: [To Gubbins, quickly] Only HARMA would consider me a criminal, not to worry! [Narrows her eyes] And possibly that horrid Dr. Rourke-Burke. [To Clint] Well, I suppose we could try that, though obviously you'd be the better choice for dangerous criminal. You have the look, whereas I look like a harmless world-renowned scientist.


Clint: [Shrugs.] Sure. I'm not picky!

;;; And that's my three.


Alice: You just be joking, Clint! You're totally sticky, and honestly, I don't even want to know why! If the dangerous criminal we capture isn't one of us, who could it be? [Looks at Gubbins]


Austin : [To Alice, dramatically] The mystery deepens! [Puts on a HARMA uniform and mask #6]


Clint: Yeah, well, just because I don't want to pick on the new guy... [Puts on his mask.]


Alice: So we're gonna throw Clint in jail? About time!


Gubbins: [Returns Alice's pointed look] Oh, right. Yeah, great. The new guyis expendable, sure. [Pauses] Okay - we give it a shot. [Takes off his mas= k] I just hope they don't decide to ... requisition the prisoner.


Charlie: [Brightly, slapping her notepad shut] How splendid! Perhaps there's no rush to get this note to Pestilence, after all! [Dramatically] To Queens View!


Clint: If they try that, it's time for... plan B! I'm still working on that one.


Harvey: Well, you continue working on plan B, Private Scar. I'll have a good think about plan Z, what?


Alice: Plan Z? I though that was supposed to be secret!

[The carriage heads on towards Queens View, where it is stopped by a HARMA officer that the party have clashed with many times before, TOMPARS PARIS. Everyone is now wearing a mask, with the exception of GUBBINS, who is now in the carriage.]

Tompars: Thank God you're here! You need to get in right away! It's an emergency!


Charlie: [To Tompars] Of course! What's the emergency?!


Tompars: Some perps who need the truth tortured out of them!


Charlie: [Feigning enthusiasm] How thrilling! Who are these perps and what atrocities have they committed?


Harvey: [To Tompars] I say, isn't torture rather your speciality?


Austin : Does it really matter who tortures them, as long as the perps tell the truth?

;;;awa for the rest of the day


Tompars: I thought it was too, until [nervously] you guys came along. I mean, not that I have any problem with you, no siree, Bob's your uncle what a lovely bunch of coconuts. [Mops his brow, before addressing Charlie] Awful stuff, just awful! Eating sugar, singing, one of them even [lowers his voice] farted in public!


Charlie: [Gasps] How dreadful! Who committed these crimes. Why don't you let us handle this, sir?


Tompars: Of course! Of course! We're honoured to have Investigators in Queens View -- not that we have anything that needs investigating, of course!


Harvey: Indeed! But this 'farting in public' situation must be dealt with, what? We also have [Gestures to Clint] experts in that particular crime.


Gubbins: What about my own crime? Can you hurry up and process me so I can get on with mounting a daring escape?!


Charlie: [To Gubbins] Quiet you! [To Tompars] Why don't you turn over your prisoner. We'll throw him in the carriage with ours [nods at Gubbins] .


Gubbins: What?! We don't want him or her farting in a confined space!


Charlie: Consider that part of your punishment for your horrible crimes, prisoner!


Tompars: Uh, they're in the town!


Dur: [Smiling deviously from behind his mask] I'd watch you tone. Unless, that is, you PERSONALLY want to be [dramaticly] INVESTIGATED!=


Gubbins: [Chuckles but then feigns sheepish submission]

;;; that's all from me today - I need to leave at 4pm on Fridays


Tompars: Uh, no, please, sorry! I didn't mean anything by it -- what tone would you prefer I adopt?

Alice: How about the tone of an excited cheerleader?

Tompars: Huh?

Alice: Sounds like someone's going to be [sing-songy voice] investigated!

Tompars: Wow! Like [really bad cheerleader voice] really? That would be totally like, uh, sick. Rah rah rah! Goooo team!


Charlie: [To Tompars, disgusted] That's quite enough of that. Have some dignity, man.


Austin : [Coldly] Let us not delay any further, there are perps in need of torture. [Taps his foot impatiently]


Tompars: Sorry! Please! I didn't mean to stop anyone from being tortured horribly or anything! [Steps back from the carriage] Please! Off you g-

[The carriage trundles forward, rolling over TOMPARS' foot, causing him to shriek loudly.]

Alice: Hey, his cheerleader impression just keeps getting better, doesn't it?

;;; Bank holiday here today, so sporadic posting from me!


Charlie: [Delighted] These masks are marvelous!

;;; And from me, as well!


Harvey: Indeed they do seem to be quite effective, eh? Now, we should think about what line of questioning we wish to take. Austin is the legal professional here. [To Austin] Any suggestions?


Austin : [To Harvey] First we should find out who they are. That is usualy a good place to start. [Casually checks his nails] They might be friends or allies, an we are here to put the antidote into the water supply, not interrogate victims of this facist oppressive regime.


Harvey: [Nods] Valid points. Though HARMA will be expecting us to conduct an interrogation, what? We may have to at least give them a show.


Alice: Can't it be both?

[The carriage approaches the gate, which is quickly opened for them. Inside, the town is very quiet, with mainly HARMA Officers on the streets. Any civilians are walking quickly with their heads down. One HARMA officer approaches -- CHOCO LATAY. He was a prison officer when the party were jailed by HARMA last year.]

Choco: [Holds up a hand to stop the carriage, although he has a pleasant smile] Hi there!



Alice: He's right -- they may be idiots, but they're not stupid.

[CHOCO waits patiently outside, still smiling.]


Charlie: [To Choco] You, there! We are here on terribly pressing business, and we haven't time for your time-wasting smiling!


Choco: [Snaps into a frown] Sorry. We're just so happy to see you. As you can see, we're struggling to keep order in the town.

[The entire town looks like it is mourning.]


Harvey: [Sternly] We understand you have a prisoner for us to question?


Gubbins: [Looking around] Looks like someone has died. [To Charlie, playingup the role of the prisoner] You going to try and fit me up for that too?!= [To Choco] Who was it anyway?


Alice: [Pointing to Gubbins' mask] Put that on! [Whispers] Remember, they want us here, you don't have to pretend to be a prisoner.

Choco: [To Harvey] And you are correct in that understanding, sir!


Charlie: [To Gubbins, laughing] Good one! [To Choco] To amuse ourselves on long journeys, we take turns pretending to be prisoners, to keep our skills sharp. Now, take us to the REAL prisoner at once!


Choco: Wow, you guys are really wild and crazy!

[The party can spot a local man, BEREK HALFOUR being arrested.]

Alice: What did he do?

Choco: He's being arrested on account of having annoying facial hair.


Harvey: Well, let's talk to him and maybe give him a shave, eh?


Austin : [Calmly] Good work. No crime should go unpunished.


Charlie: [Shakes her head] Appalling!


Alice: It IS kind of annoying, isn't it? I guess HARMA mightn't be all that bad after all.

[CHOCO gives ALICE a startled look.]

Alice: I mean, HARMA are great, and uh, down with everything that's not HARMA.

[CHOCO seems satisfied.]


Harvey: [To Choco] Do you perhaps have any "I HEART HARMA" flags the young lady could wave enthusiastically?


Charlie: What a splendid suggestion, Col--uh, comrade! If only we had time for such frivolity, though. [To Choco, all business] Really, we must see the prisoner as soon as possible.


Choco: [Draws out Harvey's suggestion and reads it] One hard HARMA? Wow! You guys really do know your stuff! [To Charlie] Sure, but wouldn't you like to punch this guy in the back of the neck first?


Charlie: [To Choco, narrowing her eyes] Are you questioning my methods?!


Clint: That's a questioning offense, that is!


Choco: [Startled] Is it?

Alice: Another question!


Charlie: [To Choco, outraged] Take us to the prisoner at once, before we are forced to arrest you for your near-constant breaches of the law!


Harvey: [Menacingly] And, remember, we are the people who give HARMA their warm and fuzzy reputation.


Clint: Forced, nothing! It'd be our pleasure! Now, chop-chop!


Choco: Really?

Alice: Oh my GOD! Another question! Let's heat up the poker!

Choco: Er, will you please follow me? [Points towards the town jail]


Charlie: Splendid! [To the party, following Choco] Come along, group!


Gubbins: [Knocks the dottle from the bowl of his pipe and thumbs some freshtobacco into it] [To Choco, following him into the town jail] Just show us= to the prisoner's cell and leave us. You won't want to watch us ... Investigating!


Choco: Sure, because ... [breaks off as he see Gubbins brazenly putting tobacco into his pipe] uh. Oh.


Gubbins: [To Choco, feigning annoyance] Something wrong, officer?


Alice: [Angrily] And your answer had better not be in the form a question!

Choco: Er, I'm just rather surprised to see you using tobacco. I mean, you do know that it is now illegal, ri- I guess, because you are Investigators and all.


Charlie: Of course we know! Really, you are most presumptuous, telling us our business. I have half a mind to Investigate you for Questioning the Methods of an Investigator without Phrasing said Questions in the Form of a Question! How would you like that?!


Harvey: And suggesting that an Investigator might break the law is tantamount to... to... Well, it's pretty bad!


Choco: [Suitably beaten down] I wouldn't like it at all. [Bows his head and walks away sadly]

Alice: [Claps her hands happily] It's great being one of the fascist elite -- I don't know why EVERYONE doesn't do it!

[Enter ALL into the jail.]

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


[Book VIII, Act V, Scene IV. The Town Jail. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, GUBBINS and HARVEY are here, having just entered. The jail (which all but DUR and GUBBINS have either been incarcerated in, served in or both) is quite different from before, and is now very bare and dank looking. Sitting at a desk is what appears to be a statue of PAVEL MURPHY, yet another nondescript HARMA Officer that the party clashed with in the past.]

Alice: Wow, HARMA sure know how to take the fun out of being in prison!


Gubbins: [Looking around] You appear to have spent all your budget on ornamental statues and ignored the evident damp problem.


Alice: [Wiping her finger along the dank wall] At least the statue looks good -- it's very lifelike, isn't it?


Charlie: [Pokes at the statue with a pencil] Uncanny!


Pavel: [Leaping in pain] Ow! Hey! That really hurt!


Harvey: Well, it serves you right for letting this place fall into such as state of disrepair. Now, get this place sorted out, or the next time we poke you, it won't be with a pencil!


Pavel: I can't do that.


Charlie: Well, can you take us to the prisoner, at least?


Dur: And pray tell us why you look like a statue?


Pavel: [To Charlie] Nope, no can do. [To Dur] Because I was sitting so very, very still?


Dur: [Nods sympathetically] Do the hemroids hurt that bad when you move?


Pavel: Not as much as when I scratch my ass.

[Cue embarrassed pause.]

Pavel: Hey! I mean, what hemorrhoids?


Pavel: I mean [speaks annoyingly slowly] I cannot do it. I was ordered not to.


Harvey: Well, since we can't see the prisoner, why don't we take a look at this man's haemorroids, eh? [Looks at Pavel pointedly] Does anyone have a red-hot poker to hand?


Gubbins: [To Pavel] What do you mean by "no can do"? Show us to this prisoner AT ONCE!


Charlie: [To Pavel] Who gave you those orders?


Pavel: [Smugly] Your boss. [To Harvey] I'm quite sure that he has a red hot poker.


Gubbins: [Under his breath] Hook, line and sinker!


Pavel: He's the one who told me to sit here and not move a mussel.

Alice: Don't you mean "not move a muscle"?

Pavel: Well, that too, but [points at a plate of delicious looking mussels] he was pretty adamant that no one was to touch the mussels.


Charlie: Well, perhaps we should talk to the boss, then. There has clearly been a mistake!


Pavel: He's not *the* boss, he's *your* boss, and I bet he'll be miffed when he finds out you've been countermanding his orders.


Harvey: [To the Party, drily] I say, we're obviously dealing with HARMA's finest, aren't we? [To Pavel, very slowly and clearly] You were told not to move a muscle because you were to wait for our arrival. And you were told not to move a *mussel* because we've had a long journey and are understandably very hungry.


Austin : [To Harvey] We were ordered to torture the prisoner, you will have to eat whilst we work.


Alice: That won't be a problem -- tearing someone's finger nails off always makes Uncle Harvey hungry.

[The door leading to the cells swings open, and a man wearing a RED MASK enters, followed by what appears to be disembodied FLOATING MASK. Their masks are similar to the party's, but are more elaborate.]

Red: Hey! I thought I told you not to move a mussel!

Pavel: I thought you said muscle!

;;; When dealing with NPCs wearing masks, let's refer to them by the mask

;;; description, i.e. Red and Floating.


Charlie: [To Red] Hello, er, Boss? Why did you instruct this man to bar us from speaking to the prisoner? We have terribly important Investigating to do, you know!


Red: No one speaks to the prisoners! They are too busy bleeding and moaning!


Clint: Well, really we want them to speak to us!


Harvey: Indeed, they have important information which we need for our, um, Investigating!


Charlie: [To Red] Can't they multi-task?!


Floating: [With a female voice] Are they really disagreeing with a Level 3 Investigator?

Red: I think they are. I've a good mind to bring them in for questioning.

Pavel: That's a great idea.

Red: Shut up.


Charlie: [To Red] You are quite right, sir. [To the party] Just as we suspected! The situation is well in hand. Let us be off, then. [Tries to exit]


Red: Yes I am!

[CHARLIE enters, followed by the rest of the party and RED and FLOATING, the former of which is holding the plate of mussels.]

Red: [To Floating] These are awful, let's get some proper food.

Floating: I haven't eaten food for seven years.

Red: I haven't eaten ham for seven days, and I need to fix that. [To the party] If I hear you've gone back in, you'll be in big trouble.

[Exit RED and FLOATING, in the direction of the mayor's house.]


Gubbins: [To party] I am confused. Does any of this make sense to anyone here? If so, speak up. And why is everyone wearing masks all of a sudden?


Alice: I'm confused too! I guess HARMA have got a bunch of specialists in who wear scary masks. Before we met you, we came across a normal HARMA pleb who was running away from Queens View because of the Investigators.


Harvey: And who was that fellow they had in the jail, eh? Was his facial hair annoying enough to attract HARMA's elite, if that's indeed what they were?


Alice: I don't think he's even got to jail yet -- there was someone else in there that those two were questioning.


Charlie: Shall we investigate? [Quickly] Not Investigate, of course.


Austin : Perhaps we should continue with our mission, while we can? I suspect that some cunning fellow has infiltrated HARMA to the highest level and implemented the mask wearing ethic to allow interlopers like us to more easily infiltrate. [Smugly checks his nails] Just guesses of course.


Dur: But ol' Red Mask really didn't want us talking to that prisoner! That could mean that he is very important. Perhaps some of us could go in and in= vestigate while one of us "Investigators" keeps watch on the prison?


Alice: I think that's a good idea -- we can't really just leave the poor guy in there, can we?


Austin : Certainly not. [Considers] Why dont some of us hold down pavel while the rest of us free the prisoner?


Harvey: And Red Mask will just stand by and let us take the mussels - erm, I meant "prisoner" - will he?


Alice: Probably not, but he did actually leave and go to the mayor's house!


Charlie: Come, let's go see the prisoner while we have this opportunity!


[The party trudge back into the jail, where PAVEL is standing on the desk, striking a boxing pose, once again standing completely still.]

;;; John's out for a bit

Harvey: Gah! What is wrong with this man?


Dur: Yeah! Didn't you have to move to get into that pose?


Pavel: Of course I did -- it's not like your boss is here any more, is it? Now there's no one who can order me around. I'm free, free I tell you! As free as the wind!

[Parp! Someone in the general vicinity of ALICE gives a loud fart.]

Alice: Dur!


Charlie: [To Pavel] Oh no, you're not! You sit there quietly and do nothing, and whatever you do, don't you dare leave this post!


Dur: [Sighs and ignores the implication] Perhaps we should report this man's mutiny to the Red Mask.=


Pavel: [Quickly sits down, head bowed] I'll be good.


Charlie: Excellent! Now, go and get us some cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off and a pitcher of water, chop-chop!


Dur: [Shaking his head in disgust] In fact, perhaps you should close your eyes in penance for your obvious disdain for orders!=


Pavel: [With his eyes closed] But I thought you told me not to leave my post!


Charlie: Well done! You passed the test. Now, plug your ears with your fingers and keep those eyes closed!


Pavel: But how can I find my ears if my eyes are closed?


Dur: Just keep poking until you get it right! [Motions silently for the group to get going] =


Pavel: [Goes to plug a bodily orifice with his finger] I think I got it!

Alice: [Horrified] That's not his ear!

;;; Out for about an hour


Austin : Perhaps he will try his nose next, that would be amusing. For a few seconds anyway.


[PAVEL slowly moves his finger towards his nose, but stops as soon as it gets within sniffing distance. Next, he slowly opens his mouth.]

Alice: Oh my God! [Opens the door to the cells] This is too awful to watch -- let's go and look at some torture victims!


Charlie: [Disgusted, shields her eyes] Indeed! [Heads into the cells]


[Beyond the door are four cell doors, two of which are open and clearly don't house anyone.]


Charlie: [Heads toward a locked cell] Hello? Who's there?


Clint: And if you can't talk at the moment, just moan in pain or something!


Harvey: I say, perhaps he can't moan in pain either?


Clint: Uh... then he's screwed?


[The voice of a little old LADY sounds.]

Lady: Hello? Who's there?


Charlie: [Appalled, to the party] Oh, dear! How could they arrest a little old lady?! [To the lady] Ah, we're hear to talk to you! Why were you arrested?


Austin : [Tries to open the door/pick the lock, if he can't get the keys easily] Why don't we just release all of the prisoners?


Lady: They said that my home made scones were too good!


;;; David is out today

Gubbins: Excellent idea, but we may have to plan their escape carefully -- having them suddenly pour out of here might arouse suspicion, even if the guard has his eyes closed and his finger in his mouth.

[AUSTIN easily picks the lock and pushes the door open to reveal a woman, BETTY MITE, who looks to be in her eighties.]

Betty: [Cowering back as she sees the masked party] Please don't hurt me!


Austin : [Kindly] Don't worry, we are here to relese you. [Tries to free her of any ropes/shackles. To Gubbins] I think that there are only two of them, so it shouldn't be too bad?


Gubbins: Hopefully, but don't underestimate the importance of careful planning.

Betty: [Cowers away] Please! I know what you masked fiends do to people!


Harvey: Indeed, we eat their scones. I suggest we all leave before someone spots the fact that we're staging a jail break, what? [Looks around in disgust] Besides, they may be torturing people to death, but there's a level of service prisoners should be able to expect, what?


Charlie: [To Betty] We're here to help you, I assure you! [Gestures to Harvey] See, is that a man who could ever turn down a well-made scone?!


Betty: I don't believe you! All you masked fiends are the same! That nice man told me. [Looks caught] I mean, you're all the same!


Dur: What man are you talking about?


Charlie: The so-called [finger quotes] nice man you referenced earlier!


Betty: Uh, I don't know -- what man are YOU talking about?


Harvey: Hmm, "nice man", eh? I take it we're not referring to one of the guards?


Betty: Please don't hurt me! I've never done anything wrong -- you people come in with your scary masks, pushing people around, why, it makes me wonder what you have to hide!


Charlie: Shh! Do be quiet. Here, look. I'm perfectly friendly. [Gives Betty a peek under her mask]


Alice: [Screams in terror at Charlie's face] Aiiieeee!

Betty: But you're a HARMA officer -- you're all the same! Well, except the ones with the masks, you're way worse!


Charlie: [Exasperated] Well, we cannot force you to come with us. [To the others] Let's get out of here before we are discovered!


Alice: [Lowly] She's not going to come with us because she thinks we're with HARMA!


Harvey: Gah! And how do we convince her that we're not HARMA?


Dur: I kinda though NOT torturing her would have proven we weren't with HARMA, so I don't know what to do now!=


Harvey: Harvey: [Stares at the old Lady, then looks at Dur] I don't think it's working.


Alice: Maybe we could tell her?

Clint: [Helpfully] Maybe we could torture until she admits we're not HARMA members?

;;; Happy sixth Queens Viewversary to Tom -- yes, six years ago today we

;;; were saddled with him. Much to my embarrassment, I forgot to mention

;;; that last Friday was Heather's seventh -- congrats to both!


Austin : [To the old Lady] We are not really HARMA offices, we are just disguised as them in orer to free you and the other prisoners and rescue the town in general. You dont have to believe us as we are going to free you anyway. [Casually checks his nails and has an air of smug about himself]

;;; Happy Queens Viewversaries!


Charlie: Fine, let's free her, but we really must start moving. Are there other prisoners? [Checks the other locked cell]

;;; Thanks, Dom! You've got us all beat by a mile, though. : )


Betty: Oh, really? Huh. Are any of you Investigators really with HARMA?

[CHARLIE checks the other cell, and a boy's voice calls from inside.]

Boy: Please! No more torture!


Harvey: Oh by the saints! [To the old Lady and the Boy] Look, we're not going to torture you or threaten you in any way. Now, calm down or we'll have Dur cook you something, or maybe do some surgery on you or something, what?

;;; Is there cake?


Betty: Well, that's very nice, I must say. That other gentleman did tell us that he would do his best to make sure that no one from HARMA would come near us, so he seems to be as good as his word.

;;; Nope -- what kind of jails have you been in???? :)


Harvey: Excellent. [Pause] Erm, that's good right?

;;; Obviously not a British jail then!


Charlie: [To Betty] And who was this other gentleman?


Alice: I guess so. [To Betty] Who was this guy? Was he also wearing a mask?

Betty: He certainly was. His was much more elaborate than yours, though.


Clint: [Puzzled.] Could that be red mask guy?

;;; Wow, six years you've had to put up with me! How have you withstood the

;; strain?


Betty: Oh, yes, he was wearing a red mask when he first came in.

;;; With difficulty!!


Charlie: [Incredulous] He seemed nice to you? [Concerned] Are you experiencing any other signs of dementia?

;;; Therapy helps!


Clint: Maybe he's an anti-HARMA person in a clever disguise?

;;; With this game, it not only helps, it sometimes seems to be the goal! =)


Gubbins: Sounds to me like Red Mask is a potential ally and one who has infiltrated himself into a position of some power. We need to get him on his o= wn and speak with him - any ideas for a plan to do that? He's in the mayor's house just now.


Alice: I suppose we could just brazenly stroll in wearing the masks?

Betty: He was such a nice man -- he even took my recipe for ham!


Charlie: [Slaps her forehead] Oh for--that was Deuce! [To Gubbins] You're right, we must go to him at once.


Austin : [To Alice] Sounds like your Deucie. [Ponders] I wonder what he is up to? [Goes to open or pick the lock on the other cell(s), if he can]


Alice: Oh my God! I bet you're right! It's just the kind of daring thing he'd do [sighs] he so dreamy. [To Gubbins] Deuce is my fiance, he's just craaaazy about me. [Thinks for a moment] So what was that floating mask with a female voice all about?


Charlie: [Wryly] I'm sure she's just a friend. Let us go to the mayor's house at once!


Gubbins: [To Alice] Sounds to me like he's crazy about ham!


Austin : Perhaps it was Dr. Phoebe Rourke-Burke, so thin that all we could see was the mask?


Clint: Maybe that was Phoebe and she's lost a little weight?


Alice: [Laughs] I doubt it -- what would he doing with her?

Betty: Actually, now that you mention it, he did have a young lady with him and, I must say, she needs a bit of fattening up. [To Alice] She didn't have the same healthy glow that you do, my dear.


Charlie: [Shivers] Oh, dear GOD. Will that woman ever leave me in peace?! [To Gubbins] Not only is she a hack scientist and home-wrecking hussy, she is also terribly unpleasant!


Harvey: Hmm, do you think Deuce recognised us? Perhaps this is why no-one was to question the prisoners? His aim was to protect them? Anyway, let us make our tactical withdrawal at once, troop!


, let us make our tactical withdrawal at once, troop!> Alice: I bet he didn't, Harvey, because we had those awful masks on. Hm, it's a pity I didn't drop my pants -- he'd definitely would have recognized us then! So, where next?

;;; Out for about 1.5 hours


Austin : [Dryly] What a pitty indeed.

;;;out for most of the day


Alice: Sorry, Aus, this ass is for Deuce's eyes only. The days of me mooning everyone I met on a night out are long gone!


Dur: Perhaps we could talk about the full moon another time! We must get tothe Mayor's house and find out if Deuce has also infiltrated HARMA!=


Betty: Should I just wait here for the torturers, then?


Charlie: [Considers Betty. To the party] Have we a spare mask?


Gubbins: [To party] Hold on a minute! What is our plan? We can't just all go storming in there, team-handed, demanding that this Red Mask fellow revea= l himself. No ... hmm ... let me think ... [crouches down and starts muttering and counting things off on his fingers] .


eal himself. No ... hmm ... let me think ... [crouches down and starts muttering and counting things off on his fingers] .

Charlie: [To Gubbins] Of course not! We'll speak to him in code. He has these absurd nicknames for [vaguely] some of us, so we shall reference those to signal to him that we know who he is, etc!


Harvey: And just cross your fingers that we don't get arrested for being overly slutty.


Alice: Hey! It's been weeks since that happened!


Charlie: [To Alice, considering her outfit] Just to be safe, stay behind Harvey, won't you? Now, did we have a spare mask for poor Betty?


Gubbins: [To Charlie] [Considering Alice's outfit] Is it okay if I stay behind Alice?!


Alice: That depends on what you're going to be doing back there! [To Charlie] Nope, I'm afraid we don't. Maybe we should leave her here and tell Pavel not to let anyone else in?


Charlie: [Nods] Very well! [To Betty] Go back to your cell, dear. We will do everything we can to protect you!


Betty: Oh, okay. [Smiles] Who knew that HARMA were such nice people!


Harvey: I know! Standards are clearly slipping in the torture industry, what?

;;; Forgot to let you guys know, after today I'll be out till next

Tuesday (a week)

;;; Conor, could you NPC Harvey while I'm gone?

;;; Thanks!


Clint: Sign of the times, Harv, sign of the times.


Alice: So, what now? We can try putting the antidote into the water supply, or we could go and talk to Deucie. [Goes all dreamy] And bathe in his beautiful brown eyes, while his strong, perfumed hands hold us tight...


Clint: [Emphatically.] I'm not bathing in anyone's strong perfumed hands! Let's go fix the water first.


Harvey: I don't know, Private Scar! There was a, ahem, *young lady* I, um, *knew* once. Kintaki Bay, I think it was, what? She had strong hands, and they were perfumed. [Nudges Clint conspiratorially] I'm sure you wouldn't mind bathing in those, eh?!? [Goes a little dreamy] Oh, the things she could do...


Alice: Ew! Harvey!

;;; Heather is afk for a while

Charlie: [Claps her hands briskly] Right, group, that's quite enough of that -- we had promised not to torture this poor lady, after all! To the water tower!

[Exit ALL.]

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


[Book VIII, Act V, Scene V. The Water Tower. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, GUBBINS and HARVEY are here, having just arrived, wearing their masks again. Also here is ANTON ANON, yet another HARMA operative that the party met in the past, he is sitting on the ground behind a "Do Not Ent" sign, looking bored.]

Anton: [Spots the party approaching and leaping to his feet] Sirs! Yes, Sirs!

Alice: [Stepping back slightly as Anton is so loud] What happened to the ER?

Anton: Sir! Someone stole it, sir! Left nothing behind but the bone from a ham, sir!


Harvey: [Looks at Anton approvingly] Good work, Trooper! [To Charlie] You see, Private Parker-Kensington? This man knows how to talk to a superior officer, what? You could learn a thing or two from him.


Austin : [Nudges Charlie, whispering] You could be his favourite.


Anton: Sir! Yes, sir! Sir, this Initiate knows how to talk to superior officers using ventriloquism, sir. Shall I demonstrate?


Harvey: Indeed! Perhaps you could make it sound like the Private here [Indicates Charlie] respected her superiors?

;;; Sorry, couldn't resist! :)


Charlie: [Glares at Anton] Don't you dare put words into my mouth!

;;; Evil! Poor Charlie! I miss one morning,

;;; and she becomes the party's puppet! ; )


Austin : [Smugly] I'm sure you've had worse.

;;; irresistable!


Charlie: [To Austin] While I understand and sympathize with your clear and obvious jealousy, given the extraordinary nature of my magnificent husband, we have no time for your nonsense at the moment! [To Anton] Sir, you are needed at the clock tower at once! We shall watch your post for you. Now hurry along, chop chop!

;;; Groan! I should have seen it was inevitable! ; )


Anton: Sir, yes sir! [To Harvey] Sir, watch this, sir! [Holds up his hand and makes a mouth with it, mouthing along with him] Gottle o' gear! [Beams madly] Sir! [Runs off]


Harvey: [Proudly] Perhaps there is hope for the old girl after all. With a man who knows how to respect the chain of command around, this place will be back in shape in no time! [To Charlie] Now, if we're done investigating your sex life, perhaps we should move on, what?


Austin : [To Charlie, almost tearing up in giggles] Jealousy? [Giggles] Oh Charlie, you are such a hoot!

;;; out for rest of day


Gubbins: Right then. I believe someone said something about urinating into the water supply. If that's what you have to do here, then please get on wi= th it. I want to get somewhere I can safely smoke my pipe.


Charlie: [Raises her eyebrows at Gubbins. To Harvey] Perhaps you should be investigating Coleridge's sex life, instead!

;;; You people have made me dirty-minded!


Alice: Oh please, so he wants to have a smoke after peeing on someone. Is that really so weird?

;;; We were fine until you came along!


Alice: Oh please, so he wants to have a smoke after peeing on someone. Is that really so weird?

;;; I don't believe you at all Conor!


Charlie: Don't think that, just because I am academically inclined and not given to slang, I do not fully comprehend sexual innuendo and quite a number of euphemisms. [Finger quotes] Smoke my pipe, indeed! I know precisely what THAT means!


Last from

Harvey: Private Gubbins, whether you want to smoke your own pipe, or blow your own trumpet, or whatever - you can do that later. Right now, we have some urination to do.

;;; I dunno, Heather obviously has a bad influence on the rest of us!


Gubbins: Really, you people! I just want a good shag, that's all. ... NO! "Shag" means loose tobacco!!


Alice: Gubbins, you disgust me. [To the others] Come on, let's pee into the town's water supply.

;;; Dom's out this afternoon

Austin: [Sighs, and checks his nails] We have a phial of the antidote. Do we really have to urinate into the water supply?

Alice: Well, we don't *have* to!


Charlie: Then we most certainly shall NOT! Quickly, let's dose the water and then go find Deuce!


Alice: Aw! I mean, phew!

[The party climb up the edge of the water tower and open an access hatch. To their surprise, the tower is completely empty.]

Alice: Huh. Well, that makes dosing the water a whole lot more complicated!


Austin : Perpahs they are using an alternative water supply, like a well or something? Either that or they were very very thirsty.


Alice: I did hear that salty crisps were about to be made illegal -- maybe they ate them all before it happened and that made them very thirsty? Either way, there's no point in peeing into it. [Thinks] Although, it might make an interesting noise....


Charlie: [To Alice] NO. [To the others, with a sigh] We had better go find Deuce, then. Perhaps he knows what's happened to the water supply!


Clint: [Guiltily zips up.] Oh, alright!


Gubbins: [Putting his unlit pipe back in his pocket with a disappointed moue on his face] Okay then, off we go. [Starts to make his way down from the = water tower and off towards the mayor's house]


Austin : [Takes a look around from the tower] Surely if they have another source of water it may be visible from up here. Can anyone see any likely candidates?


Clint: [Looks around for a well or some such.] Maybe HARMA has outlawed water now?


;;; John is away this week

Harvey: By the saints, I can see no other source. What have those blackguards done with the water?

Alice: [Pointing at Anton (the guard from earlier) who's coming back] Maybe he will know?


Charlie: [Calls to Anton] You, there! What have you done with the water?


Anton: Sir, nothing sir! It was gone when I got here!


Gubbins: [Aside, to party] Looks like it was this Deuce then, him with the ham fixation. All the more reason to speak with him.


Austin : [To Anton] Where do the townspeople get their water from then?


Charlie: Indeed, they must have some source. Unless the town is deserted now?


Anton: Sir, no sir! Each person has their own supply -- they get it replenished every few days from the mayors house where it's kept under close guard.


Charlie: [To Anton] Splendid! Keep up the good work, my good man. [To the party] To the mayor's house!


Anton: Sir, yes sir!

Alice: And stand on one leg.

Anton: Sir, yes sir!

Alice: Let's go!

[The party head across town to the mayor's house, where there is a guard outside. This is SPOTTY DOOHAN, another HARMA Officer that the party have encountered.]

Spotty: Halt! Who goes there?


Charlie: Investigators! Now step aside and let us in.


Spotty: Of course. Now, if I could just see your identification?


Clint: [Rummages around in his pockets.] Let's see.. Got it in here somewhere...


Charlie: [To Spotty] How impertinent! Surely these masks are all the identification needed?!


Spotty: Yeah, you'd imagine that, wouldn't you? There's been a rash of mask theft recently, though, and only people with proper identification are permitted ingress. [With satisfaction] That's a fancy word meaning to go in.


Clint: Hold it! How do we know you're authorized to demand identification at all? You could be some kind of impostor just waiting to mug us and steal our papers!


Charlie: What an excellent point! [To Spotty] Where are your credentials?


Austin : He is taking rather a long time to respond, perhaps we should torture him, he must surely be an impostor!


Spotty: Would an impostor have one of these? [Dramatically pulls out some identification papers, which seem to be written in crayon]


Charlie: [Attempts to snatch the papers] Let me examine those!


[Yoink. CHARLIE pulls the papers from his hand, and the party gather around to examine them. Other than the fact that they're written in crayon, they do seem to suggest that he is, in fact, a HARMA Officer.]

Spotty: See?


Gubbins: [Tries to take the papers from Charlie to return them to Spotty] Very good, officer. You are clearly not an imposter. Now move along; we have= matters to attend to.


Spotty: [As Charlie pulls the papers away from Gubbins] I'm not going anywhere. I'm here to stop anyone trying to get in without identification. In fact, it's illegal even to stand outside here without identification!


Dur: Oh but of course! Our CREDENTIALS. We thought you said... Errr... CREDIT...ials? [Starts patting his clothes in search of his papers] I know I ha= ve them around here somewhe... HIYA! [Dur tries a sneak attack via his bootto Spotty's groin.] =


[Riiiip! DUR's pants rip, as his boot fails to connect.]

Harvey: By the saints! [To Spotty] Where is YOUR identification eh? Eh?

Spotty: [Points at Charlie] She has-

Harvey: Do you have it or not? Eh?

Spotty: Uh, um, I guess no.


Charlie: Do stand aside, then. [Attempts to walk past Spotty]


Dur: Indeed. [Trying to recover from his pant troubles] Before we arrest you for not having your identification papers.=


Spotty: Hey! How do I know you're really with HARMA? Show me some ID!

;;; Out for about two hours!


Charlie: [Flashes Spotty's ID] There you are! Now, let us through at once, or I shall become quite cross!


Alice: And stop hanging around outside here -- you know you shouldn't be here. Oh, and walk away slowly so Dur can kick you in the behind.

Spotty: [Drops his head and walks away slowly] I'm sorry.


Austin : [Tuts] The things we have to put up with these days, you just can't get good staff anymore.


Clint: And a good thing that is, too!


;;; No posts today! Back to normal tomorrow!


;;; On that note, I will be starting a vacation tomorrow and I will be gonefrom 11/11 thru 11/21. Since I won't be in my office, Conor can you take m=

e off the list until Monday the 21st? That way my inbox doesn't fill up while I am away. Also, feel free to NPC Dur while I am away.

-----Original Message----- Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 4:07 AM To: Tom Henderson Cc: dom; Heather; Day, Kevin R. (Las Colinas) NA; DAVID HORN; John Ludlow; Tom Henderson; qvblogger@gmail.com; djmalzie

;;; No posts today! Back to normal tomorrow!


Alice: Right, will we just head in and try to intimidate people?


Charlie: That seems to be working so far! But perhaps let's just try to stroll in and look for Deuce. No need to attract attention unnecessarily.


Austin : Assuming that it is Deuce. [Casually checks his nails smugly] It could be any ham obsessed man, possibly even one of Deuce's soulmates. We should proceed with caution.


Clint: Yeah. These HARMA freaks are pretty dim, too, so how bad could it be?

;;; The magic words!


Harvey: Well said, Private -- to the ham!

[Enter the party.]

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


[Book VIII, Act V, Scene VI. The Mayor's House. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, GUBBINS and HARVEY are here, having cockily strolled in. The house has been refurbished since the party were last here -- when they crashed a Trojan Unicorn through the front door -- and seems fairly quiet. There is a stairs leading up, and several doors off this main hallway.]

Alice: The HARMA guys are pretty dim, but the ones in here are probably less so, so let's be careful. How are we going to find Deucie?


Clint: Plant rumors about free ham?


Gubbins: [Ironically] Try the kitchens. Head for the ham.


Alice: Sh! Everybody be quiet so we can see if we can smell some ham!

[Everyone goes quiet and, not surprisingly, this doesn't seem to help them smell any ham. However, with the new found silence, it seems as though they can here some bouncing from a nearby room, as though old springs are being given work out.]


Gubbins: ... Um. Perhaps we should leave it a while.


Charlie: [Dismissively] Oh, it's probably only a child playing! [Goes to listen at the door]


[Everyone leans up against the door to listen.]

Alice: I think it might be a child praying!


Charlie: And bouncing on a bed?! [Shakes her head at Alice] You are so clearly NOT a parent! [Listens at the door]

;;; What does she hear? More of the same?


Alice: Not that anyone's been able to prove!

[Everyone can hear more "bouncing" and some religious talk.]


Austin : Shhh. [Carefully tries the door to see if it is unlocked]


[Click! The handle turns, but AUSTIN doesn't push the door in yet.]


Charlie: [To Austin, whispering] Careful! Just a quick little peek!


Door: Creaaaak! [It still is opened far enough to see in though]


Austin : [Squinting to see who or what it is making the noise. Whispers] Why does no one ever oil their hinges [Sighs]


[The bouncing stops, and a male voice calls out.]

Voice: Who's there?


Gubbins: [Whispering, to party] Peeping Tom!


[The door swings open to reveal DEUCE, dressed only in boxer shorts (with pictures of hams on them).]

Deuce: What the hell do you want?


Dur: [Hopefully] Ham?


Deuce: That's what we all want, buddy! [Slams the door]

Alice: Hey! How come he didn't recognize us?

;;; Possibly because the party are all still wearing the masks


Charlie: The nerve of him! [Knocks impatiently on the door]


Austin : [Sighs in relief] Well, at least we know it was Deuce. [Opens the door wide for Charlie and stands back]


[AUSTIN pushes the door open to reveal what appears to be a long brown stick, about 5' 6" tall.]


Charlie: [Gasps] Deuce, are you threatening me with a long, pointy stick? Your former [clears throat] so-called [finger quotes] Puddin' Pop?!


[Suddenly the party realize that it is not a stick at all that stands in front of them, but PHOEBE, who is completely naked.]

All: [Screaming in terror] Aiiiieee!


Charlie: [Clutching her heart, trying to recover from the horror] Deuce, whatever are you doing with this creature?!


Deuce: Er, she was choking on something and I was helping her?


Clint: [Scoffing.] Like she ever eats anything! [Thinks about it for a second.] Oh. I see.


Charlie: [Shudders] How repulsive! Really, Deuce, it was less disturbing when you had your alarming sneezing fetish! [Changes tone. Brightly] But we have no time now to analyze your perverse sexual compulsions. We need your help on an urgent matter! Let's all get inside your room so we may talk in private.


Alice: [Nods at Phoebe] That's the most wrinkly looking leather jacket I've ever seen!

Phoebe: That's not my jacket, I'm naked.

Alice: Oh. [Gives a shiver] Ew! [To Deuce] Deucie! Were you making love with her in here? Cheating on me? With a damned dirty, wrinkly, stick insect?

Deuce: [Unconvincing] Uh, no, no I wasn't.

Alice: [Big smile] Okay! [Takes off her mask] Surprise! It's Alice!

Deuce: [Pretending to be shocked] Gadzooks.

Phoebe: [To Alice] Why don't you take off the mask, dear?


Clint: [To Phoebe.] Why don't you put a mask on, dear? [To Deuce.] So you gonna let us in?


Phoebe: Something scary like yours, Clint? [Does a sexy pose which, unfortunately, is a lot more scary than sexy]

Deuce: Sure thing, come on in. I'd offer you some ham, but all we can get in Queens View is tofu -- tofu!


Gubbins: [Takes mask off] "Deuce" is it? I'm Coleridge. [Offers hand] Do you mind if I smoke? I have a pouch of coarse-cut Old Toby pipeweed that I am= dying to try out.


Austin : [Puts a cigarette in a long holder and lights it up, blowing some smoke rings towards Gubbins. Offers a cigarette to Deuce] So, what cunning plan have you devised?


Deuce: [Shakes Gubbins' hand vigorously] Be my guest, friend! What awful crime did you commit that you were sentenced to hang out with these guys? [To Phoebe] Hey, Pixie Stick, why don't you wrap yourself up in a sheet, or maybe that hanky there?

Alice: Hey! I thought I was Pixie Styx!

Deuce: You still are, she's Pixie Stick because, well, I think you know why. [To Austin, quietly, taking the cigarette] I think I can convince Alice that it was a medical emergency, she seems to be buying it.


Charlie: [To Deuce, scolding] You should be ashamed of yourself, taking advantage of Alice's shocking neediness and appallingly low self-esteem! [Warning, in a low voice] And in front of the colonel, yet! He make look like a senile, doddering fool, but he is still armed and rather protective of his niece, you know!


Austin : [Quietly, to Deuce] Hook line and sinker. [Blows a smoke ring at Charlie] Perhaps you should see a therapist, you seem to be rather distressed about nothing.


Alice: [Takes Deuce's arm] Or maybe an analyst -- or maybe even someone who's a combination the two, you know, either a theralyst or an analrapist.

;;; Not sure if John is back today or not

Harvey: By the saints, Deuce! What the devil is going on here? Eh? Eh? [Looks enraged] Tofu?

Deuce: [Relieved] I don't know, Harv, but it's all very bleak. What are you guys doing here?


Charlie: [To Austin, with a sniff] My outrage is perfectly proportional to Deuce's atrocities! [To Deuce] Well, we WERE here to disenchant Queens View's water supply, but it appears to have been moved. Why are you here?


Deuce: I was here to try and see if I could get Nunpar to ease up on some of the crazy laws they've brought in, but, so far, I haven't had much success.


Gubbins: Yeah - it is apparently now illegal to fart in public ... Which reminds me. [Grimaces then wafts hand back and forth] Sorry, I've been holdin= g that in for ages!


Phoebe: [Starts to massage Gubbins' shoulders] Mm! That was a doozie -- you must be a real man to keep it inside. Plus, it smells a little like apples.


Charlie: [Snaps at Phoebe] Quiet, you! [To Deuce] Do you know where we could access the water supply?


Phoebe: Oooh! Another devastating retort from Dr. Parker Kensington. Deuce, how did you let this one slip through your hands?

Deuce: Sorry, Puddin' Pop, it's under very heavy guard and is rationed out each day. Even my fancy mask wouldn't get me in there.


Charlie: [Gives Phoebe a dirty look. To Deuce] Well, who would have a mask fancy enough for access to the water supply?


Austin : [Tuts] Just one more outrageous and highly unethical HARMA activity. [Casually checks his nails] How many entrances are there?

;;;; :)


Deuce: None! [To Charlie] I don't know, only guys personally tattooed by Joe get to guard it. I think if you want to distribute something in the water, you probably need a different method.


Austin : Is it a well or do they have to fill it up regularly?


Deuce: I don't know, Aus. It's a tank that's suspended above the ground, but I've yet to see them refill it.


Harvey: Well, perhaps we should take a look, what?


Clint: Does the tank have a lid?


Gubbins: [Around the pipe clenched between his teeth] Maybe it fills up with rain water?


Austin : [Blows two smoke rings, watching them drift a little] Perhaps we can gain access via the roof?


Deuce: Maybe, but I think the whole thing is sealed.

Alice: There are seals in it? Cool!


Dur: [Drooling] Let's go free those delectable seals!


Clint: We're going clubbing!


Gubbins: [Takes his pipe from his mouth] There are seals in the Arctic Circle that are over ten foot long! Seriously - I have seen them. ... Easy to h= unt. Wouldn't call it "hunting" really. Same with those common seals, who gather in their hundreds - that's not really hunting either. [Spots Alice's = face and stops talking]


hunt. Wouldn't call it "hunting" really. Same with those common seals, whogather in their hundreds - that's not really hunting either. [Spots Alice'=

Harvey: Well, yes, now let's go see what these seals are up to, what? Perhaps they might be persuaded to aid us?


Charlie: [Exasperated] Do be serious--there are no seals! [To Deuce] Now, who would know more about the water supply situation? Surely Joe Nunpar delegates such things! Isn't there are Chief Water Supply Officer or some such bureaucrat?

;;; Welcome back, John!


Austin : [Looks at the party members doubtfully. Then looks at Deuce, raises his eyebrows and sighs. Sarcastically] Lets hope there are some helpful penguins there too.


Alice: [Nods at Austin's words] I hope so. I met a penguin at the beach one time, and she was wearing a beak-ini.

Deuce: No one seems to be in charge -- Joe oversaw the installation himself, and all that happens now is people queue up for water which is distilled from a tap.


Gubbins: Listen folks, I have travelled over much of this world and I can tell you that water is the one thing that unites us all. Access to water is,= like, a basic human right. Not that HARMA have ever had a problem with trampling over basic human rights but we cannot let them control the water sup= plies like this.


Alice: Agreed, but no one can cast spells because of HARMA. How are we going distribute our potion if we can't put it in the water supply?


Charlie: Perhaps the food supply?


Austin : [Ponders] Or in their champagne?


Gubbins: It's as though Nunpar heard about you peeing in the water tower and has gone out of his way to make his poisoned water supply unassailable.


Harvey: The devil! Let's go give the blaggard a damn good thrashing, what?!?


Alice: Good idea, but maybe we should check out the water tank thing first, to see if it really is guarded by seals.


Charlie: [To Alice, with a sigh] Agreed, we really should get to the bottom of this whole seal issue. [To Deuce] Can you take us there? [Nods at Phoebe] Without bringing IT along, preferably.


Austin : [To the rest of the party] Is it ethically appropriate to conform with this delusional request or is it acceptable as the outcome will be, regardless of the aforementioned delusion, sufficient for our intended purpose, and therefore beneficial to all?


Gubbins: [Stares at Austin] ... Erm, I say we go look at the water tank.


Alice: Yeah, that would make much more sense!

Deuce: Sure thing, I can take you there. It'll give me some time to catch up with uh...

Alice: Alice!

Deuce: That's right!

Alice: [To the party] He always makes that joke!


Austin : [Smiling] It's all in the timeing.


Deuce: [Slaps Alice on the ass] Come on, Pixie Styx, let's look at some tanks!

[Exit ALL except PHOEBE.]

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


[Book VIII, Act V, Scene VII. The Water Tank. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, GUBBINS and HARVEY are here, along with DEUCE. Everyone is now wearing their masks again. The party can see that the tank is probably big enough to hold enough water for two days, and that there are at least twenty HARMA officers around, several of whom are wearing only part of their uniforms.]

Alice: What's with the weird uniforms?

Deuce: There are so many people joining HARMA these days, they've run out of uniforms!


Charlie: [To Deuce, in a low voice] How dreadful! [Spots a pantless HARMA official and gasps] Have they no shame?!

Dur: [Impatiently, stomach rumbling loudly] But where are the seals?


Deuce: No shame and no pants.


Harvey: And, apparently, no seals


Austin : And no penguins.


Harvey: [Considers this] I say, I wonder if they have any polar bears?


Deuce: And no girl with the nicest ass in the world, I bet, because I have that.

Alice: [Enraged] Who's that?

Deuce: It's you, baby!

Alice: [Delighted] Aw! [To the party] Isn't he great? What a charmer!


Austin : [Deadpan] A veritable poet.


Charlie: [To Alice, giving Deuce a dirty look] Indeed. [Surveys the tank] Right, do we see any vulnerabilities?


Harvey: [To Deuce] And *you* will show the lady of the troop [Indicates Alice] some respect!


Charlie: [To Harvey] What do you mean, THE lady of the troop?!


Harvey: Well, obviously I'm referring to Alice, what? Why, is there another lady I wasn't aware of? [Eyes Gubbins]


Dur: [Confidently] I'll handle this, Colonel! After all, I do have a 50% success rate when it comes to sexing humans. [Tentatively pokes Gubbins with a stick]


Alice: [Excited] Well? What does it say?


Clint: Probably "reply hazy, try again."


Gubbins: Excuse me - I *am* here! Maybe I should back and see that Phoebe; *she* didn't appear to be in any doubt about my being a man!


Clint: [Shudders.] Do you really think that's a good idea?

;;; Incidentally, my impression of Dur's inspection:

;;; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkEsFvrvfbA


Austin : [To Gubbins] We should probably stick together, besides you may have trouble seeing here, even if she is right infront of you.

;;;; classic :) always worth another watch!


Clint: I hate to say it, but I agree with the lawyer! Anyway, it's not like not seeing her is a bad thing, exactly...

;;; Definitely one of my favorites!


Dur: [Pokes at Gubbins' left elbow urgently] Quickly, now! I must complete my medical investigation. How does this make you feel? Angry? Aroused? Sleepy?

Charlie: [To Dur, scolding] Stop that at once! We haven't time to deal with splinters!

;;; Haha! I'd never seen that!


Alice: Plus, she's so stick like, it would be even worse than what Dur is doing to you!

;;; You people disgust me!


Harvey: Hungry. Definitely hungry.

;;; Heh, nice!


Dur: [To Harvey] Did you see a seal?!


Austin : Perhaps, if we stop dilly-dallying, we can all go and have lunch somewhere nice afterwards?


Clint: Somewhere we can eat with out masks on, you mean! Anyway, how are we going to get the potion into the tank?


Austin : Good question. [Austins surveys the scene]

;;;; is there anyway into the tank? A lid? Is it heavily guarded or

can we walk up to it?


[The tank seems to be completely sealed, and there are at least a dozen HARMA officers around. One of them, HITAKI TAKEI, who the party have never dealt with before, steps up to them, sword drawn. He is naked from the waist up.]

Hitaki: Halt! No one may pass this line! [Draws a line in the dirt with his sword]


Austin : And why would anyone want to?


Harvey: Indeed, the line is not that long. We can easily go around.


Alice: What if we walk alongside it? Wouldn't that also be passing it?

Hitaki: None shall pass! [Extends the line by a good two inches] Hah!


Charlie: What right have you to block our way?!


Hitaki: Orders from Colonel Nunpar himself!


Harvey: [Outraged] Nonsense, by the saints! I am the Colonel here! Now move out of the way, blast you!


Charlie: [Shaking her head at Harvey] Ixnay on the ernal-kay! [To Hitaki, approvingly] Good job enforcing your line in the sand, man. Now, we're off to lunch! [Tries to pull Harvey away from Hitaki]


Hitaki: [Steps up to Harvey] Back off, sir! Back off before I cut you into tiny pieces!


Harvey: I say, that is no way to talk to a superior officer, trooper! [Pointedly, to Charlie] Though he did at least say 'sir'.


Deuce: Take it easy, Harv. We don't want to be creating a scene in front of these guys.


Charlie: Yes, let us assess the tank as best we can and try to make a plan, preferably as inconspicuously as possible!


Harvey: [Grudgingly] Hmph! Very well. [To Hitaki] We'll just be over here, making plans, what? We'll be inconspicuous though, so don't mind us, old fellow!


Austin : Perhaps we could get a man in to repair the original water supply from the tower?


Alice: I bet Deucie could do it, couldn't you, Deucie?

Deuce: Uh, sure, but the tower is empty, so how would we get water back into it?


Gubbins: It looks like that will hold only about two days' supply - maybe we should watch for a couple of days and see how they replenish it.


Hitaki: You'll have a long wait! They never replenish it!

Alice: Hey! Back behind the line!


Clint: Maybe if they never replenish the water, they're cheating and using magic themselves to keep it full! I bet we could use that somehow...


Alice: But I thought they'd made magic illegal? Hey! So no one in the Realms can use magic except them? That's not fair!

Deuce: Maybe not, but it's one hell of a good way of keeping people under control!


Charlie: [Shocked] What hypocrites! I can't believe we work for them!


Clint: [To Hitaki] I can't believe *you* work for them!


Austin : [To Hitaki] Do you have your identification papers?


Harvey: [Sternly] Impersonating an officer of the law is a very serious offence, young man!


Austin : And he is only half dressed, perhaps he stole those trousers from a real HARMA officer?


Hitaki: Elite Water Guards do not carry identification! Now, be off with you, lest you feel my prick. [Waves his sword around]


Charlie: [To the party, in a low voice] Come along! We really must be moving on, before swords are drawn! [Pleased] Hmm, what a delightful little rhyme!


Clint: [Aghast.] I don't swing that way, you kinky bastard!

;;; aaaand I know what video goes with this! =)


[Enter EZRA HARDUP, a man wearing an ordinary suit. He walks past the party and greets HITAKI.]

Ezra: [To Hitaki] Fortuitous greetings, my reciprocal friend!

Hitaki: Hi Ezra! Here for guard duty?

Ezra: Yes, I am here for the eponymous reciprocation.


Charlie: [Puzzled] I'm sorry, what did you say?

Dur: [Studies Ezra] Perhaps he's having a stroke? [Picks up a stick and pokes at Ezra]


Ezra: [Grabs the stick off Dur] Hey! That hurt! [Smacks Dur with the stick] Do not assault a HARMA Officer -- unless you back off, I will have to perpetuate peremptory action! [To Charlie] I said nothing to you -- I was merely reciprocating with my colleague.


Dur: [Backs away from Ezra] I don't know what that means, but I'll stop the treatment, if that's what you want!

Charlie: [To Ezra] Er, sorry! [To the party, in a low voice] Do let's get away from this man at once. His crude assault on language is giving me a headache in my eye!


Harvey: Perhaps, but we must still find a way to distribute the antidote, what?


Alice: [To Ezra] Hey! Where's your uniform?

Ezra: Don't have one. We've run out. So many people have joined in recent times that the supplies have been completely illiterated.


Harvey: And not only the supplies! [To Austin] I say, can an officer of the law *be* an officer of the law without a full and proper uniform?


;;; Forgot to mention, I'll be out from 2PM for a couple of hours


Ezra: Don't reciprocate yourself, buddy. I know you're an Investigator and all, but if you have a suggestion of how to distinguish between us and the plebs, then let's hear it!


Charlie: [Helpfully] Perhaps badges? Or name tags?


Ezra: Not a bad idea, but they might be redundant, because people could simply take them off, or steal them.

Alice: A tattoo across the forehead?

Ezra: Better, but how could we change it if someone was thrown out of HARMA? It's all a bit reciprocal.

Alice: [To the party] I don't think reciprocal means what he thinks it means.

Deuce: What does he think it means?

Alice: All sorts of different things!


Charlie: [To Ezra] Yes, but how often are people thrown out of HARMA, really?


Ezra: You're the Investigators -- you tell me!

;; Out for about 1.5 hours


Austin : [Drly] Not often enough, unfortunately.


Hitaki: Tattooing people for identification purposes is demeaning, it would be outrageous to do it to HARMA Officers. Maybe we should tattoo or mark all the non-HARMA types instead?


Austin : No, that would be equally demeaning. We should all just have colour coded masks or somesuch.


Ezra: Yes, that could be reciprocating. Now, if you'll please move on -- it is a crime to loiter here.


Charlie: Gladly! Come along, group!


Harvey: Perhaps we should arrest them for loitering?


Hitaki: We're not loitering, we're guarding! You might be in charge of everything outside of the water tower, but here, [looks up to the sky] here we're gods! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to pick up the litter.


Clint: Don't miss that bit of doggie doodie!


Charlie: [Shudders] Yes, well, let us be glad OUR posts are rather more prestigious than this man's, at least!


Gubbins: [Moves out of earshot of Hitaki/Ezra and speaks quietly to the party] I am confused. Are we trying to get at this water supply here, which se= ems pretty much impregnable? Or are we going to investigate the old water supply and see if we can bring it back online?


Hitaki: [Smugly to Clint] That's not doggie doo, it's chocolate. [Pops it in his mouth and eats it, before his face drops] Oh.

Alice: [To Gubbins] Both! Although I think we might have to come up with a different way of giving it to everyone, because this one is so well guarded, and the other one is gone!


Gubbins: [Thinking out loud] Hmm. How about this? If they don't ever replenish this supply, and the old one has dried up, doesn't that suggest that th= ey have redirected it somehow? So that the old supply comes here instead, to where they can control it more fully.


Clint: Maybe we can find out where the town's water comes from and spike it upstream somewhere!


Gubbins: [Growing enthusiastic] Aha! An expedition! Right - we need to survey the lay of the land, find the water courses, locate the reservoirs. Anyo= ne got a map? I shall use my largest calipers. [Reaches into his pack and begins pulling out all manner of miscellaneous ... gubbins]


Alice: I have a map! [Hands over a map of an island that has buried treasure marked on it] I got it in a restaurant!

Deuce: Guys, I'm not sure they have a water supply. My bet is that they are magically generating it inside the tank.


yone got a map? I shall use my largest calipers. [Reaches into his pack andbegins pulling out all manner of miscellaneous ... gubbins]

Charlie: [Excited] Oh, how thrilling! A plan! And equipment!


Austin : [To the Party] Why don't we just torch this place, burn it to the ground.


Gubbins: [Takes Alice's proffered map and tries to make it fit with their surroundings for a moment or two, then gives up] [To Deuce] But that - ... t= hat's cheating! Do you have any evidence for that?


Gubbins: [To Austin] Burn down a water tank?! Are you kidding?! It'd be like the biggest kettle the world has ever seen!


Austin : [To Gubbins] No, silly! Burn the whole house down. With any luck the heat will boil the tank and it will explode under the pressure. [Examine's a finger nail closely, frowning. Gets out a nail file and briefly buffs his nail and smiles at the result]


Alice: It is just more a tank in the middle of the town, Aus -- there's not really any house to burn down.

Deuce: [To Gubbins] No evidence other than the fact that no water has been delivered to that tank since it was built and, even though it's only big enough to hold enough water for two days, it has never run out. Not evidence, just deduction.

Alice: Deuce is ever so good at maths!


Harvey: Hmm, perhaps burning the water tank is a good idea after all, what? [Looks thoughtful] Now, we shall need to acquire a very large sack of ground coffee beans.


Charlie: Perhaps a better idea would be to find the person who casts the spell to create the water? If the spell must be cast every two days, we can surely catch them in the act, no?


Deuce: Unless the spell just keeps generating water, in which case there's no one to catch.


Austin : [Ponders] Hmm, coffee would be nice, I wonder if there is a nice cafe around here someplace.

;;;; sorry, thought the tank was in the mayor's house ? Where are we anyway?


Deuce: Unlikely. Coffee was recently added to the list of banned items.

;;; Nope, we left there a while ago with Deuce. We're in the middle of the town,

;;; right in the open


Charlie: Is anything still legal? Perhaps there is another way to distribute the potions?


Harvey: Can we perhaps spread them through the air - that way, we don't need to find the water source.


Charlie: [Intrigued] Oooh, what an interesting idea, Colonel! Perhaps we could distribute it as a spray mist of some kind?


Austin : [Helpfully] How about as a lip balm? Or mints? Everyone likes free mints.


Alice: That's a great idea! We could put them in pies and pretend it's Christmas. You know, mints pies!


Charlie: [Beaming] Oh, splendid! I do love the holidays. [Sighs] I only wish my daughter could be here. Her first Christmas, and I'll miss it entirely!


Harvey: Ahem, perhaps we could focus on the mission, troop? That little saving the world thing we were doing, what?

;;; Will be out for the rest of the morning


Clint: Well, I say we have a stake out and catch the guy who makes the water!


Austin : [Pondering] Well, we could do a drive by. If we tie one end of a grappling hook to something strong and firm on the carriage, drive past the magic water tank, Gubbins throws the grapple to catch the tank, and we drive off into the sunset dragging the tank behind us.


Alice: Steak and mints pies? Mm-mm!=20

Deuce: You can wait all you want, Clint, but there is no guy. It just happens by itself!=


Harvey: I say, I wonder if they actually make the water, or transport it from elsewhere?


Gubbins: [Facepalm] Of course! From the *old* water source! The water toweris empty, remember.


Deuce: No, they generate the water. The only way to stop them doing that is to destroy the water tower, but is that really what we want to do? After all, what you want to do is distribute the potion, right?


Charlie: Well, what other way have we to distribute it? Someone suggested distributing it by air, perhaps as a mist? Is that feasible?


Alice: Maybe we could ask HARMA to do it for us? After all, they see to have absolute control over the people in the town, and if they told people they had to take it, then take it they would.


Charlie: Not a bad idea! [To Deuce] Perhaps you could tell them that it's some kind of a vitamin suppressant that drains people of energy and makes them increasingly more weak-willed and pliant? After all, you are their Chief Officer of Science and Stuff!


Deuce: [Nods] It certainly is the kind of thing they'd like. The downside is that I'll probably be fired and never given a government job again. On the other hand, if I stay working for HARMA for another five minutes, I'll probably be arrested for stabbing Joe Nunpar to death with a toy unicorn. Let's do it!


Austin : [Put out] I still think mints would be a good idea. We could buy lots of them, soak them in the antidote and then give them out as free breath mints or something.


Deuce: Sure, Aus, it is a great idea. Unfortunately, mints are now illegal so HARMA wouldn't sanction giving them out and, since prohimintion, the black market has seen mint prices skyrocket.

Alice: Mints are illegal?

Deuce: HARMA says that the devil smells fresh.


Harvey: Perhaps we can spike some onions or garlic, what?


Deuce: [Sharp intake of breath] Spicy food? Illegal!


Austin : What about milk? Or weak lemonade?


Deuce: Weak lemonade is fine. Milk? Well, that depends on what animal it comes from.


Charlie: [Delighted] Marvelous, Deuce! Now, why don't you go an have a word with Joe Nunpar about these new [finger quotes] vitamins?!


Harvey: [Sternly] And no assaulting him with toy unicorns!


Alice: Which animals are you allowed have milk from?

Deuce: Cats, giraffes and horses. [To the party] Okay, you guys go back to Harvey's and mix up the medicine. Do you need anything else from me?

;;; The party should have everything they need


Charlie: Oh, yes! Could you get me a replacement ferrule for my pencil? [Embarrassed] I'm afraid I erased rather too vigorously earlier.


Harvey: [Disapprovingly] Private, you've been warned before about doing that sort of thing in public, haven't you, eh?


Deuce: Right. I'll just risk life and limb to save the town from an oppressive regime. [Grabs Alice and kisses her passionately, before giving her a slap on the ass and heading off]

Alice: Gosh, he's so dreamy! Come on, let's get to Harvey's house and prepare the orgasm.


Charlie: But, Colonel, I just had to make a revision to a MOST amusing footnote for my upcoming paper on a new taxonomy for classifying demons!


Clint: Who are you and what have you done with Charlie? Everyone knows that real scientists don't erase anything!

;;; What kind of horrid version control system is Charlie using? =P


Dur: I like erasers -- they're nice and chewy!

[Exit ALL, to HARVEY's house.]

;;; Kevin's back, so please make sure he's copied on all mails, except

;;; the ones where we're complaining about him, of course!


[Book VIII, Act V, Scene VIII. Harvey's House. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, GUBBINS and HARVEY are here, sitting around the kitchen table. ALICE has put the potions of dispel magic on the table.]

Alice: Right, so now we just mix this up with water into our special energy sapping thingy, and we're in business. This is so easy I can't believe no one else has done it. [Turns on a tap, but nothing comes out]


Charlie: [Sighs heavily] Yes, well, I guess there is a TINY wrinkle in this plan, after all! [To Harvey] Have you anything liquid at all? Old cans of beet juice? Anything like that?


Clint: [Shrugs and reaches for his belt buckle.] Hey, it worked last time...


Alice: Put that thing away! Who knows where it's been!


Clint: [Shrugs again.] I'm just saying, you want liquid, and we've got a source!


Charlie: Very resourceful, Mr. Scar, but surely the Colonel has some secret stash of liquor or a case of prune juice somewhere, no? [Looks at Harvey hopefully]


Gubbins: [Gets canteen from backpack and sloshes around what little water is left in it] Nothing much here, I'm afraid. I was hoping to get a refill h= ere in town but obviously things quickly went awry.


Clint: If Harv doesn't have any prune juice, what's the plan? Go to the next town and buy some?


Gubbins: I could nip out and get us some leeches, if you like.


Charlie: Goodness, no! Something as decadent as prune juice has surely been outlawed by now.


;;; John is out today

Harvey: Gah! I fear this old soldier's k-rations are completely out, what with us having been out adventuring for the last few months, what!

Alice: Hm, given that water is rationed, it would take ages for us to get enough, even if we did add in Clint's disgusting pee. [Clicks her fingers] Hah! I have it! You know who has lots of water? Fish!


Austin : [To Alice, playing along] But do you know any that have some to spare?


Alice: Not personally, no, but anyone who has a pet fish in Queens View must have a tank to keep them in, right?


Austin : That would be the usual approach to storage of live fish. [Sighs] So, who do we know that has fish?


Clint: Probably one of the HARMA freaks has 'em. Seems like the kind of crap they'd pull, doesn't it?


Harvey: By the saints, troop! Surely everyone in the town has a fish? Ah, I remember the pet fish I had when I was a child. Rover, I called him. We would play for hours, me throwing sticks for him, him not getting them. [Thinks for a moment] Gah, he was a lazy salmon!

Alice: Why don't we say there's a law against having domesticated fish and that there's an amnesty if people bring them to the Investigators? That way we can just sit back and watch all the fish come flooding in!


Austin : [To Alice] That might just work. What would we do withuot you!

;;;out for rest of day prolly!


Alice: [Smugly] Probably look a whole lot less attractive and smell a lot less like fish. [Thinks] Er, that is, well, you know what I mean!


Charlie: [Wrinkles her nose in distaste] What sort of people would have a fish for a pet? I suppose we should target people who seem especially joyless and prim. You know, the fussy sorts who cover their furniture in plastic and claim to be allergic to fur?


Austin : [Frowns] Are you implying that you own a fish for a pet?


Alice: Well, Charlie, you better say goodbye to Fido, because he's about to become illegal!


Dur: So once we aquire all that water... What are we going to do with all the fish?=


Alice: Take them to a secluded area in the forest and let them fly to their freedom!


Charlie: Marvelous! We have a plan. Now, let us go look for fish-owning saddos!


Alice: Well said. [Aggressively to Charlie] Hand over the fish!


Charlie: [To Alice] Do be serious! I have cats, not fish. They are an entirely more socially acceptable pet, not to mention precious and perfect in every way!


Dur: [Nodding enthusiastically] Especially when roasted!


Alice: Maybe we should make up some signs? People always respond well to signs that threaten them.


Austin : Some kind of domesticated fish amnesty? Two hours to hand over your fish bowl and or tank, as the case may be, or die?


Harvey: I say, wouldn't we want the tank as well, since that contains the water we require, what?


Clint: Better make sure we tell 'em we need the fish alive and with water!


Dur: [Firing up the stove] Yes, the fresher the better!

Alice: [Holds up a sign] What do you think? It says "Fish or Die".

[Unfortunately, "fish" is spelled wrong, as is "die", as is "or".]

Alice: [Beaming] Isn't it great?


Charlie: Quite right, Mr. Scar! Where shall we have them bring the fish and tanks? [Whips out a notepad and scribbles furiously]


Alice: Why don't we get them to bring them here? That way we could sit on the couch for a while.


Charlie: Right! How's this? [Dramatically reads from her note] People of Queens View! Surrender your domesticated pet fish, alive, with fish tank still containing water, to the address below. You must do this before midnight tonight or face harsh consequences. Don't worry, your lives will be richer once you've found a proper pet. Might I suggest a cat? [Beams proudly] What do you think? Perfect, isn't it?!


Alice: Perfect! Now, if only we can find a billboard half a mile across!


Austin : Let's just hope they can read, and don't get bored too easily.


Clint: Are you kidding? This is Queen's View!


Harvey: And like cats, by the saints! And they don't decide to destory the evidence by feeding the fish to the cat.


Alice: [Nods at Austin's words] True -- most of them have already lost interest, and they haven't even been told about it yet!


Charlie: [Busily working on a sign] Well, I don't hear any suggestions for the revision, so here is the finished product! [Holds up a big sign patched together with 20 pieces of notepad paper, which are stuck together with tiny bits of gum] Rather resourceful, wouldn't you say?


Dur: [Frowns] Resourceful wasn't the word I was going to use.


Harvey: I don't know Private Dur. It's full of paper, and that's a kind of resource, what?


Alice: [Disapprovingly] It's not as snappy as mine, but I suppose it'll do. Come on, let's scare some civilians!

[The party put on their masks and head out. There are a few people milling about outside.]

Alice: Well, it's a pity they don't have their fish with them, but I'm sure we can scare them into going home to get them.


Austin : I wonder how the laundry proles are washing clothes? They must be using huge amounts of water. [Ponders]


Alice: I don't know, Aus, they look pretty rank to me. I mean, look at that one, he's just disgusting. [Points at Clint]


Austin : [Grimaces] Ewww!


Gubbins: [Checking his own shabby, travel-stained appearance] Uhm, well, you know ... sometimes it's not always convenient to, er ... or easy to get h= old of ... hmmm.


Harvey: I assume they might provide their own water, so to speak? It would explain the smell, what?


Alice: [Takes a sniff of Clint] No, it's something much, much worse.

Clint: [Does a finger gun] Click-click!

Alice: Ew! I didn't mean THAT much worse!


Austin : Perhaps we should instigate a door to door search?


Harvey: Absolutely, Private Sleaze! And then, a fish to fish search, by the saints!


Alice: No, no, no! Don't you people know anything about bullying innocent citizens into giving up their legally held items? They gotta bring the items to us! You know, like how the Booby Inspectors can arrest you unless you show them your boobs?


Charlie: [To Alice] There is no such thing as a [finger quotes] Booby Inspector! [Hesitates] Unless, of course, she (or he!) is a qualified expert in mammography.


Alice: Of course there is such a thing -- it was written on his t-shirt!


Charlie: [Horrified] You don't mean that dreadful little man who kept trying to give us beads?! [To Harvey] Colonel, why aren't you watching her more closely?!


Dur: [Mouth agape in shock] You can read?!


Austin : [Defensively] Perhaps he read it to her.


Alice: Well, he did, but in my defence, I *was* blind folded at the time!


Harvey: We shall report this charlatan later, after we do something horrible to him such as making him eat Dur's cooking... [Gazes off into the distance] Hmm, speaking of cooking...


Alice: Hey, enough about my pert and adorable boobies, we have a town to intimidate! Now, come on, everyone stay frosty, we need to be subtle here, we need to court them, like a fake booby inspector does with drunken co-eds at Gradi Mars. Everyone, be alert. [Suddenly jumps out of her skin as someone taps her on the shoulder.]

[Enter SARAH FALIN, a little old lady with a slightly creepy smile.]

Sarah: What're you doing? Making a sign? I like signs, [nods] oh yes, I like signs.


Charlie: [To Sarah, authoritatively] But do you like fish? Because, if you do, we insist you give us your fish at once!


Sarah: Oh yes, dear, I love a bit of [rubs herself salaciously] carp.


Charlie: [Disgusted] Do go away. We have important business, and if you haven't any fish in water tanks, you shouldn't be here!


Austin : We are only interested in domestic aquatic pets, and have specific interests in aquatic welfare, hence we need to inspect and test the tanks, bowls and water, in addition to the fish themselves. If you do not own a domesticated aquatic pet, please move along.


not own a domesticated aquatic pet, please move along.> Sarah: Can't I just stay here and watch the fish being delivered? I won't do any harm, I'll just hang out here, rubbing myself against this post.

Alice: Uh, how about we give her ten percent of any fish she helps round up?


Charlie: We aren't going to let her molest fish. It isn't decent!


Austin : [To Charlie] Alice's idea has great merit. We should engage the public in our endeavours, it will help this plan go along much more smoothly. This old crone may know every domesticated aquatic pet in the town, intimately. Who better to help us than a local who loves fish?


Harvey: Indeed, Private Sleaze! Why, I remember many occasions when we would, ahem, *recruit* willing natives to stand in front of our lines and stop the enemy advance, what?


Alice: And if the willing natives are old crones with an unhealthy fascination with fish, well, all the better!


Harvey: [Blinks] Hmm, well I suppose that would confuse and wrongfoot the enemy, eh, my dear?


Clint: It certainly confuses and wrong foots me!


Charlie: Those poor fish! [To Sarah] You there! Busy yourself by gathering up as many fish tanks containing water as you can find. In return, we shall [shudders] let you have your way with any fish you find in the process. [Sternly] But do it privately. In your own home. Nowhere near children.


Sarah: Do it with children? [Gives a creepy smile] Alright! [Produces a bell from somewhere and heads away, ringing it] Bring out your fish! Bring out your fish!


Charlie: [To Sarah] And fishbowls containing water!


Sarah: And your water! HARMA Investigators say so!

[Slowly people start to drift out of their homes, many of them carrying fish tanks and bowls.]


Charlie: [Delighted] How splendid! My plan is working perfectly!

;;; That's my three!


Austin : [To Charlie] Which plan is that?


Charlie: [Vaguely, but cheerily] All of them, of course! [Claps her hands briskly] Now, let's find a bigger container to capture this water, and quickly!


Alice: Let's get Harvey's bath tub! Come on, we can carry out here and put a sign on it to make it look all official-like.


Clint: [Shudders.] Those poor fish!

;;; Limited posting for me next few days. I have a faculty interview Wed

;;; and am prepping for it. Should be back to normal later in the

week, but am

;;; working to slowly regularize my schedule to more normal 9-5 sorts

of hours,

;;; so we'll have to see how that goes.


Charlie: They shall be remembered as noble sacrifices for the greater good, Mr. Scar!


Clint: Plus, we can give 'em to Dur so he stops eating your journal. Right. Let's go get that bathtub! [Goes to drag Harvey's bathtub outside.]


Harvey: And let's give those fish a damn good bath! [Frowns]

# I'll be out for a couple of hours


Alice: I think you mean, let's give those damned fish a good bath!

[Exit the party into the house.]

;;; End of scene, next one coming up in about 30 mins


;;; nothing from me for about an hour

--- On Mon, 28/11/11, Conor Ryan <conor.r@gmail.com> wrote:

y@hanson.biz>, "DAVID HORN" <davidnhorn@btinternet.com>, "Tom Henderson" <th4@rice.edu>, "qvblogger@gmail.com" <qvblogger@gmail.com>, "djmalzie" <djma=


[Book VIII, Act V, Scene IX. The Cottage. CHARLOTTE PARKER-PUSSINGTON, COLONEL FLUFFY WHISKERTON SHORT III, HOWL-ICE BASSETT SHORT, KIT SCAR, PAW-STIN SLEAZE and PURR TiRAG are here, outside it. The cats are frolicking under a full moon, with HOWL-ICE and CHARLOTTE chasing each other up a tree, COLONEL FLUFFY and PURR lapping ravenously at a cup of spilled milk, KIT pouncing on a piece of string, and PAW-STIN grooming himself fussily on a nearby window sill.]

Fluffy: Miaow!

Purr: [Rubbing his face in the milk] Miaow!

[CHARLOTTE and HOWL-ICE suddenly face each other up, and CHARLOTTE hisses at HOWL-LICE, chasing her back towards the others. HOWL-LICE crashes through the milk, soaking FLUFFY and PURR, before leaping onto the window sill and knocking PAW-STIN off it, much to his chagrin. Fortunately, he lands on his feet.]

Paw-Stin: Hiss!

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

<a href=http://www.queens-view.com/cast.php?query=Charlotte%20Parker-Pussington>CharlotteParker-Pussington</A> <a href=http://www.queens-view.com/cast.php?query=Colonel%20Fluffy%20Whiskerton%20Short>Colonel Fluffy Whiskerton Short II</A> <a href=http://www.queens-view.com/cast.php?query=Howl-ice%20Bassett%20Short>Howl-ice Bassett Short</A> <a href=http://www.queens-view.com/cast.php?query=Kit%20Scar>Kit Scar</A> <a href=http://www.queens-view.com/cast.php?query=Paw-stin%20Sleaze>Paw-stin Sleaze</A> <a href=http://www.queens-view.com/cast.php?query=Purr%20TiRag>Charlotte Parker-Pussington</A>


[Book VIII, Act V, Scene X. Harvey's house. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, GUBBINS and HARVEY are here, having just arrived in. Everyone looks a little freaked out.]

Alice: What the hell? You all just turned into huge cats! [Points at Charlie] And I think you chased me!

;;; Unless you've been told otherwise, as far as your character is

concerned, they did NOT turn into a cat,

;;; everyone else did!


Harvey: Indeed, the rest of you transformed into cats. What happened, by the saints? [To Alice] Though I feel obliged to point out that you, also, turned into a cat. In fact, I was the only one to remain normal throughout the whole episode, but then I'm used to that, what?


Charlie: You know how much I dislike contradicting you, Colonel, but in the interest of truth, I must. You also were a cat, I'm afraid. [Sighs] I'm the only one who wasn't a cat. And it would have been so interesting to know how they really think!


Gubbins: Not at all. *I* was not a cat! You all were though. Frolicking about, playing with string and you [points at Austin] , you were licking your p= rivates.


Charlie: [Nods, trying not to laugh] He's quite right, Mr. Sleaze. It was most disgraceful! [In a low voice] You really should brush your teeth and have a gargle before attempting to speak.


;;; Dom's out until the afternoon

Austin: [Smugly] Unlike you, Charlotte, my privates are always superbly clean.

Alice: Actually, Gubbins wasn't even there, was he?

;;; He wasn't!


Charlie: What on earth does this mean? Were we enchanted? How much time has passed? Can anyone tell? [Looks around for clues]


Alice: Well, according to this clock, it's 12.15. [Peers at the clock] Hey! That's not a clock at all! It's a picture of one!

[It is a clock. If it is right, then ten minutes has passed.]


Harvey: Splendid! It's time for lunch!


Austin : Excellent leadership colonel. Does anyone know of a reputable restaurant in this town?


Dur: I don't know anything about restaurant's but there did look to be a servicable dump around the corner!=


Gubbins: Some kind of communal flashback perhaps? Have you all been transformed into playful kittens before?

Alice: Sure! It was kind of weird, though. [Looks at the others] Well, I can't speak for them, of course. [To Austin] I don't think there are any restaurants left. That's HARMA for you!


Charlie: Isn't anyone else alarmed that all of you were cats for approximately ten minutes?


Harvey: Again, I feel I have to point out that you also turned into a cat. *I*, on the other hand, remained human. A slightly peckish human, but human nonetheless.


Alice: So, everyone thinks everyone else turned into a cat? Well, what else do they remember? After I leapt onto the window sill and almost knocked Austin off, I do remember there being something damp on my tail. Huh. Maybe I was a cat!


Harvey: Indeed, you were! [Pauses] Wait, did you all think *I* turned into a cat? [Laughs nervously] Well, of course, that's just preposterous, by the saints!


Charlie: [Muses] Perhaps a cat does not know she is a cat! [To Harvey] Colonel, I can assure you, you were a cat. And quite a precious one, at that. I think we can only conclude that we were ALL cats. But WHY?


Austin : You most certainly were a cat, colonel. I could see you and the others quite clearly from where I was sitting. I was the only one who was still human. [Checks his nails casually] It does see as though we all had a very similar experience. Yet another shared dream, or hallucination.


Charlie: Indeed, that does appear to be the case, Mr. Sleaze. Though this was quite a bit shorter, at least. Still, it is very worrying that we can be overtaken at any time by these peculiar flights of fancy!


Alice: And why cats? That's just weird. Maybe what we were doing is a clue? What does it mean when a man wants to lick his testicles, Aus?


Austin : Simple. It means that he is alive. [Chuckles}


Harvey: Um, well, of course, that is, indeed! I can't imagine a dead man doing such a thing. [Frowns] Though I'm sure there are simpler ways to check someone's vital signs.


Austin : Ewww. Colonel, I was not suggesting that you use it as a means of testing for a man's vital signs. I merely meant, as you so correctly interpreted, that a dead man would not participate in such pastimes.


Charlie: [Primly] Perhaps not a dead man, but most certainly a very lonely man!


Austin : [Curiously] Why lonely?


Clint: Because a man with friends can get one of his friends to do it for him? If he's into that kind of thing, anyway.


;;; David's out today

Gubbins: Okay, Clint, if you really want to, I guess you can lick mine!


Harvey: [Moves to cover Alice's eyes] Gah! Not in front of the lady, by the saints!


Charlie: [Giving Alice a skeptical look] Right. Perhaps we should refocus on making the fake vitamins? Surely we have enough fishy water by now.


Alice: Agreed! Let's grab this bath and heft it out. [Gestures to the large, free standing bath]


Clint: [Goes to help with the bath.] Say, this cat crap... maybe it has something to do with all the fish or something? I mean, cats eat fish, right? It's a sign!

;;; [Ah-nold voice] Id's nod a sign.


Austin : Maybe it was something to do with the mad old cat lady?

;;;; out most of the day


Harvey: I say, Troop, maybe the mad old cat lady is trying to steal our fish so she can feed her cats? [Frowns] Hmmm, something smells a little bit fishy here...


Alice: [To Austin] You mean Charlie?


Charlie: First of all, thirty is quite young, really. Secondly, I scored higher than anyone on the psychiatric exam at the Watcher's Academy! [Proudly, as an aside to Austin] I only saw sensible things in the inkblots, none of this [dramatically] I see flying fanged panda bears who are intent on murdering my mother! [Continues brightly] And thirdly, I only have a very reasonable number of cats. So, you see, I am not crazy, nor old, nor a [finger quotes] cat lady, though I do like cats. [Defensively] And there's nothing wrong with that!


Harvey: [To Charlie, kindly] Yes, yes, and it's not your fault if you smell of fish, we understand, don't we troop?


Charlie: [Huffily] I do not! I smell of cucumber and chamomile tea. Now, let us move this bathtub!


[Everyone grabs hold of it and it is soon on the way out.]

Austin: [Not really holding anything] Heave! Heave!


Austin : [To Charlie] The highest scores on the psychiatric exams, you must have been so proud! [Chuckles. To the others] Heave!

;;;; back in the office just a min


Alice: [Looking a little green] Uh, I think I might be about to -- I guess I shouldn't have eaten that green furry thing from the bathroom. What was it, Harvey?


Charlie: [To Austin] Of course I am proud. I can prove that I am 4% saner than anyone the Academy has ever graduated!


Harvey: [Frowns] Furry green thing? You didn't eat my cheese, did you?


Alice: It tasted more like Brello Pad. [To Charlie] That's a pretty low bar, in fairness, Charlie.

Gubbins: [Struggling under the weight of the bath] Er, is anyone else lifting this?


Dur: [Heaving and Hoing] What does the test measure? If it is a test that measures how crazy an individual is, then I would hardly brag about how high= a score you got, Chuck.


Alice: Lifting? I thought we were trying to hold it down!


Harvey: Lifting? By the saints, I'm too worried about my cheese to be lifting bathtubs around!

;;; You know how Harvey gets when you move his cheese....


Charlie: [Takes a rest from heaving and hoing. To Dur] It's a sanity test, not an insanity test! [Hesitates] Well, it does measure other things as well, such as [starts ticking off items on her fingers] how much you think about sex, your relationship with your penis-- [quickly] that is, Pestilence! PARENTS! PARENTS is what I just said! Do be quiet!


Alice: You have a penis? Cool! It's all stinky like boys' ones?


Charlie: [To Alice, baffled] What on earth do you mean? [Puts her hand up] Wait, I'd prefer not to know! Now, let us abandon this task and instead bring the fishbowls to the bathtub, chop-chop!


Austin : [Snickering] I am fairly certain that psychiatric tests only ever test for insanity, the higher your score the more insane you are. [To Charlie] Sorry old girl! [Does cross eyes and crazy finger gesture to the others]


Alice: [Nodding] And he ought to know!

;;; No posting today!

;;; We've a new player starting tomorrow, that's Drew. Please make sure that

;;; he's on the distribution list from now on.


Charlie: [To Austin, dryly] Yes, childish hand-gestures, you make a very cogent argument, Mr. Sleaze. [To the party] Now, let's start moving those fishbowls!

;;; Welcome, Drew!


Harvey: What you troopers get up to in your own time is between a Private and his, er, you know, his privates. Now get back to work!

;;; Hi Drew. Also neglected to say hi to David, so Hi David!


Alice: Right, best put our masks back on and, hey, look! [Points at the window, where Tompars Paris is looking in]


Charlie: [Gasps] Quickly, get your masks on! Perhaps he didn't see us!


[Everyone puts their masks on as fast as possible.]

Tompars: Hah! Too slow!

Alice: [To the party] Do you think we got away with it?


Austin : [To Alice] Do we care? There are alot more of us, and we are inquisitors, after all.


Alice: Well, first of all, we're Investigators, and second, although there are more of us than him, when we tells his HARMA buddies who we really area, there'll be a lot more of them than us!


Harvey: [Smiles broadly at Tompars] Would you like a fish, sir?


Austin : [To Alice] Surely that should be 'if' he tells the other HARMAS?


Tompars: [To Harvey] I'm going to be too busy telling on you!

Alice: Good point, Aus. I mean, if someone were to break his jaw or something, then he'd probably find it difficult to blab.


Charlie: Quickly! Grab him!


Alice: [Grabs Austin's arm] Got him!

;;; Out until about 2.30-300


Charlie: Not HIM! [Tries to grab Tompars]


Austin : [Looks down at Alice's grab, then looks at Alice] Tompars, grab Tompars, not me! [To Charlie] You really need to be clearer in your instructions, otherwise you will never be premoted to any form of leadership role. [Rolls his eyes and sighs]


Harvey: [Drily] Yes, Tompars, grab yourself!


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Tompars: [Grabs his crotch] Fa Napoli! --Apple-Mail-8917CC1D-0636-4D31-A4A0-24B9A24A1FFE Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit


Charlie: [Tries to grab Tompars] Get him, group!

;;; And NO, not his crotch!!


Dur: [Goes for Tompars] Stop in the name of the fish!

;;; I think thou protest too much Heather :p


Harvey: [Tries to tackle Tompars]

;;; [Tries to look innocent of all wrongdoing...]


Austin : [Waits for the others to grab Tompars first, then tries to grab him by the collar] Bad taste police! Stop right there!


;;; : O


Tompars: Hah! See you, suckers! [Turns and runs, smack into lamp post]


Charlie: [Relieved] Splendid! Our ambush worked precisely as planned. Help me bring him inside, group! [Goes to drag Tompars inside]


Alice: Huh. Look at that. He's unconscious, but he's still holding his crotch!

[Before long, TOMPARS is dragged in.]

Gubbins: What'll we do with him?


Austin : [Tieing Tompars up] Tie him up, gag him and search him, of course. [Curiously] Why, did you have something else in mind? [Looks Gubbins once over in disgust]


Gubbins: I thought we might do something worse, like make him listen to you.


Dur: I say we eat him and make the world a better place! [Licking his chops!] =


Harvey: By the saints! Maybe we should just make him listen to you lot bicker! Come on, troop, we have work to do.


Charlie: I quite agree, Colonel! Let's make some fake vitamins!


Alice: Right, should I put the potion in the bath now? Or do we get the water first?


Harvey: I'm not sure. Men tend not to mix potions into their bathwater - I believe that's something women usually, what? So as the resident expert on [Careful emphasis] womanly goings on, what do you think, Alice?


Clint: [Carefully.] About mixing potions and bathwater, he means!

;;; Back in town today. Kind of exhausted, heading to bed early, hopefully

;;; will be around in the morning (for me, that is!). Also, hello Drew!


Alice: Oh! Oh, I see. Well, first of all, we need lots of candles, preferably sandalwood, then some delightful, gentle sounds of whales and the ocean, lots and lots of bubble bath, oh, and a big fat cheeserette and ice cold beer.


Charlie: [To Alice, giggling girlishly] I'd prefer a warm man to a cold beer-- [flushes, stammering] Do be sensible, Alice! I suggest instead we mix up a big bathtub of fishy water and potion, and then we decant the mixture into smaller bottles and label them as some sort of wonder vitamin.


Alice: Right, let's go get some fish!

[Exit ALL, carrying the bath tub.]

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


[Book VIII, Act V, Scene XI. Outside Harvey's house. ALICE, AUSTIN, CHARLIE, CLINT, DUR, GUBBINS and HARVEY are here, having just arrived with the bath. There is a huge queue of people here, all carrying fish tanks of some description. At the head of the queue is a local weirdo and renowned fish collector, MATT AGUT, whom most of the party know from having spent time in Queens View.]

Matt: This is an outrage! Why am I in this queue? I don't have any fish!

[He is carrying two fish tanks, has large, fish tank earrings, and is pulling a salmon along on a leash.]


Harvey: Ahem, you appear to have a salmon on a leash, what? Last time I checked, that was a type of fish.


Austin : [Looking at the salmon] Surely that is illegal.


Matt: That's not a salmon! [Shakes his head, sloshing water around] It's a terrier. Get him, Spot!

[SPOT appears to be quite dead.]


Austin : Have you been feeding him enough?


Charlie: [To Matt] You cannot fool us, you silly man! Surrender your fish at once.


Matt: [Head drops as he hands over the salmon] Okay.

Alice: Tanks.

Matt: You're welcome.

Alice: No, I mean the tanks, we want the fish tanks too.

Matt: [Sighs and hands them over] Damned HARMA.


Harvey: [To Matt, disapprovingly] I hope you're not going to cause a scene here, eh? Now, move along before we take you in for, um, causing a scene.


Austin : [Nods in agreement] Yes, we hate scene causers alot.


Matt: No, I'm not going to cause a scene. What do you take me for? [Suddenly shouts] Death to HARMA! [Tries to run away, but steps on a carelessly discarded salmon and bangs his head off the tub]


Charlie: [To the crowd] And let that be a lesson to the rest of you!


[There is a sudden surge of people handing over their fish, and the party struggle to keep up with them, but manage to completely fill the bathtub.]



Dur: [Raising his arms in victory] Woohoo! We did it! [Looks puzzled] Errrr... What were we doing?=


Alice: [Sloshing some healing potion into the bath] We're making a potion to heal everyone of that spell HARMA cast to stop magic, and we're going to tell HARMA that it's to help keep the people down -- Deucie is currently telling HARMA about it. Gosh, he's so dreamy!

;;; Remember, this was Charlie's suggestion in 05.07.096


Austin : [About to say something but stops] You ... erm, so what are we going to do next? Exactly?


Alice: [Shrugs] Idunno. Maybe stand around and bitch about our lack of a plan?


Austin : That's a terrible plan, you really should be much more proactive. Why don't we start getting people to drink a cup of our 'HARMA' endorsed water?


Alice: What kind of idiot would agree to drink that?


Harvey: A very thirsty one?


Dur: [About to drink the water] Drink what?


Gubbins: [To Alice] Would you like a drink? [Scoops up some water in a cup and hands it to Alice]

Alice: Don't mind if I do! [Knocks it back] Mm! Tastes like dirty!


Alice: Dur! For God's sake! What kind of idiot are you?

[Enter JOE NUNPAR, along with several HARMA Officers and DEUCE, who is wearing his mask. They clearly mean business.]


Charlie: Don't drink that! It's for the townsfolk. Now, we need to make a sign or something to help legitimize our "Miracle Water." Perhaps something colorful, with rhymes!


Alice: How about Otter Water? That rhymes, doesn't it?

Joe: [Striding up to the party] Ah! Great to see you! My Special Advisor on Science and Stuff has told me great things about you!


Harvey: [Enthusiastically] Ah, well he must be an intelligent man then, what?!?


Charlie: [Modestly] He is really too kind, though I must say, we are terribly pleased with our work. Are you here to discuss the vitamin drink?


Joe: [Appalled] Vitamin drink? I thought it was a vitamin suppresent? To keep these [waves to some by-standers] under control! Why would we want to make them stronger? What the hell is wrong with you people? Heads are going to roll, roll, I say!


Charlie: [Quickly] Oh, I am sorry! What I meant to say was [finger quotes] vitamin drink [awkwardly winks at Joe] .


Last from 24

Harvey: [To Joe, in a low voice] Of course it's a suppressant, but we're not going to tell people that! We've told people it's part of a health initiative.


Joe: Oh, I see. Right. [Gives Charlie a wink back] Health Initiative, very good.

[JOE spots the by-standers who look horrified.]

Joe: Oh, it's fine. Just take a quick drink of this and you'll be super strong. [To the party] Isn't that right?


Austin : Well, super healthy at any rate, just watch [Takes a quick drink. Brightly] Oooh, I feel better already. Quite yummy really.


Clint: That's right! Come one, come all! Drink up! HARMA knows best!


Joe: [To Austin] What the hell are you doing man? It's okay to weaken the plebs, but not our Investigators! [Turns to the horrified people nearby] Not you, you're going to get some really strong vitamins, mm-mm!

;;; Gone for the weekend!


Charlie: [To the crowd] Come along! Drink your vitamins!


Clint: Good for the whole family! HARMA tested, HARMA approved! Strong enough for a man and pH balanced for a woman!


[The townspeople trudge forward, each taking a cup of the water, clearly not buying the vitamin story at all.]

Joe: Excellent! It looks like this is all in order. Right, let me know as soon as it starts to take effect, I'll be in my house. [Exit Joe]


Clint: Bottoms up, everyone!


Harvey: Not taking your health supplements is a very serious offence!


Gubbins: [Aside, to party] Anyone know exactly what kind of effect we are likely to see here, if any?

;;; Back in the Gubbins saddle now ... as it were. And hi Drew.


Charlie: [To Gubbins, in a low voice] We hope it will serve to disenchant the anti-magic spell HARMA cast on the drinking water! [To the townsfolk, sternly] Take your vitamins AT ONCE.


[Various HARMA Officers start pushing the townspeople, encouraging to take the drink. One of the locals, PETER COHEN, who was one of the first to take the drink, suddenly leaps onto the hood of a carriage.]

Peter: They really are vitamins! Quickly! Everyone take some!


Charlie: [Applauds Peter] Wonderful, a testimonial! [To the townsfolk] Now, drink up!


Austin : [Has another glass] It is rather good. [To the crowd] Get it whilst it is still free!


Harvey: Indeed, this is an introductory one-time offer!


Peter: It's true! This stuff is great!

[The townspeople start pushing and shoving, all eager to get a drink.]

Alice: Huh, we should probably start charging for this! [Spots something back in the house] Oh no! Tompars has got loose!


Charlie: [To Peter] You, there! Make sure everyone gets a drink. [To the party] Let us make a hasty retreat before Tompars spots us!


Harvey: Alright, Troop, fall back on the double! Quick march!


Tompars: [Pulling off his gag, and coming to the window] Hey! Hey!

[Enter SEBASTIAN LIAM CREED, coming up behind TOMPARS and smashing a vase over his head, knocking him down and unconscious. Everyone, including the HARMA Officers on the street, turn and look, but only see SEBASTIAN, not TOMPARS.]

Sebastian: Er, keep up the good work.

Alice: What the hell?


Austin : [Sees Sebastian] Eww. What an amazingly creepy looking fellow. [To the party] Quick, lets hide from him before we have to have a converstion.

;;; welcome New guy - Marc-Andrew ? Is that your name?


Gubbins: Hide? Whatever for? Seems to me like we may have an ally in that man and we can use every one we can get.


Charlie: [To Gubbins] I quite agree! [To Sebastian] Thank you for your assistance, but perhaps you should join us all in retreating at once! [To the party] Quickly!


Alice: Agreed! Come on, let's find out what he's doing in Harvey's house!

[The party head into the HARVEY's house to meet SEBASTIAN.]


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Sebastian: [Nods to Charlie] Yes I agree, don't want this guy waking up with me still standing over him, could be quite awkward. [Is about to exit the house when the party enter]

;;; Hey everyone. Thanks for all the welcomes. Technically yes my name is

Marc-Andrew, but just call me Drew, it's what I prefer. Been enjoying what

I've read so far.



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the house when the party enter]

Dur: Not as awkward as if he woke up to you standing over him naked!



Dur: Not as awkward as if he woke up to you standing over him naked!

Austin : [Shudders] What an afwul thought.

;;;; Welcome Drew!

;;; Please everyone use my googlemail e-mail

(djmalize@googlemail.com), not my work e-mail !! Thanks


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Sebastian: [Smirks at Dur] I think that would shock me too. I have no idea why I would have stripped him naked after knocking him out. [Chuckles a little] The name's Sebastian, Sebastian Creed. [Reaches out to shake hands with Dur]



Alice: Noooooo! [To Sebastian] Don't touch him, Sebastian! We know where he's been! So, uh, how come you smashed [gestures to Tompars] him over the head? Not that we object to that, or anything!


Harvey: By the saints, be careful Dur! This fellow looks an unusual sort, and there's no telling what bizarre practices he may get up to! [Looks at Dur, then reconsiders] On second thoughts, never mind!


Clint: He's trying to shake hands with Dur, so he's got to be weird! [Gives Sebastian a nod] I'm Clint. Thanks for helping us out.

;;; Dom, you missed a few mails as there was a typo in your

;;; address from an earlier mail. I'll sort out the comment in the log


Charlie: [Offers Sebastian a hand] Dr. Charlotte Parker-Kensington, though I am commonly called Charlie. You were quite bold in your defiance of HARMA! Have you fallen into trouble with them?


Alice: That's not the only thing she's commonly called!

;;; I've fixed Dom's address -- please make sure there

;;; are no more propagation errors floating around by

;;; checking you have the right address for him


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Though I'll need you to sign a few [cough] documents promising you won't

Sebastian: Nice to meet you Dur [Looks at Alice confused] I'm sure his hygiene can't be that bad. [To Dur and Clint] Nice to meet you guys. [To Harvey] Well, I do like to dance, a bizarre kind of dancing you might say. [To Alice] Why? [Scratches his head] You guys looked like you were doing something to help people, and this guy looked like he was trying to stop you. Plus you don't exactly behave like you're typical HARMA Officers, so I thought I'd lend a hand. [To Charlie] Pleasure to meet you Charlie. What field do you specialise in? I'm a physisist myself. To answer your question though, more like they fell in disfavour with me. Another story for another time though, we need to get out of here before he [Nods to Tompars] wakes up right?

;;; So sorry for the length of this post guys. I'm used to forum posting

and I would get so far and I'd get another mail through. I'm a stickler

for continuity and not ignoring people if I can help it lol



Gubbins: [Also offers his hand] Yes, well done that man. My name's ZebediahColeridge.


Harvey: [Disapproving] We'll have no bizarre dancing in my troop, Private!


;;; Was still incorrect


Gubbins: [Rolling his eyes] Don't worry about him; he's fine unless he's peckish. [Pauses] And he's *always* peckish!


Harvey: There's absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a good meal, Private Gubbins. And now if we have had quite enough insubordination in the ranks, we should resupply - I'm getting peckish!

;;; It's a pretty accurate description of Harvey!


;;; BTW, out for a couple of hours


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Sebastian: [To Gubbins] Worry about who Zeb? Dur or master drill sergeant over there? [Shakes his head chuckling as Harvey speaks up] Nevermind.



Alice: Hm, I wonder if the potion is working yet. [Pulls back a curtain to reveal that the townspeople are rioting, burning down anything HARMA related that they can get their hands on.] I guess so.


Austin : [Sniffs the air] Pheweee! Nothing quite like the fresh scent of revolution upon the air. [Smiles] So, what next? Back to finding the missing children?


Sebastian: [Sees the riotting] What potion did you give them? Must be one hell of a potion to make them hate HARMA just like that.


;;; AFK for about 30 minutes or so guys. Got company round for a coffee


Alice: Nah, they always hated HARMA, they just couldn't do anything about! [To Austin] I think so, let's just slip out of town and find them. [Turns to Sebastian] Fancy coming along? I'm sure that when Tompars wakes up, he'll come gunning for you.


Clint: [Matter of factly.] We made 'em drink water we got from old fish tanks and put in Harv's bathtub. I'd riot too!

;;; While we're on the subject, it's my work email, not my yahoo email. :)

;;; Hopefully, I've got us all sorted now.


Charlie: [To Sebastian] We're distributing a dispel magic potion, so that HARMA's enchantment that prevents spell-casting will be broken! [Proudly] We broke the spell in Apraxia earlier, as well. [Face darkens] Though in a far more disgusting way.


Harvey: I say, perhaps we should leave, given that we are impersonating HARMA Investigators, what?

;;; Are we still wearing HARMA uniforms?


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Sebastian: [To Clint] Yeah I can't say I blame them for rioting then [Chuckles softly, then stops and turns to Alice and Charlie] Say that again?

;;; I think you are still wearing them as I never saw a post made to say

anyone had taken theirs off



Alice: [Startled] Uh, that again.

[The party are wearing normal clothes, but are still wearing the masks.]



Clint: Riiiiight.

;;; Mostly just getting us back on the right email account for me!


Charlie: [To Sebastian] We're defying HARMA, and you'll almost certainly want to join us, as you've knocked a HARMA agent on the head. [Confidentially] I've always said we could really use a physicist in the group!


Sebastian: [Raises an eyebrow at Alice then turns to Charlie] Well if you are against HARMA then I am definately against you. Mind if I take a swig of that potion you brewed up?


Austin : So we have a mathematician, a physicist, a colonel, a lawyer, a doctor, someone obsessed with weird animals, someone obsessed with killing weird animals, and a smelly guy who likes to kick things. [Laughs] Sounds like the dream team!


;;; That last post of mine had a typo in it. I meant to say

"definately with you" and just noticed I'd typed "definately against



Gubbins: [Looks askance at Austin] Hey - which one am *I*? ... No, don't answer that!


Charlie: [To Sebastian, modestly] I am a world renowned cryptozoologist. Should you chose to join us, I'll make sure you receive a copy of my dissertation and most influential articles.


Alice: Wow! Gubsy is a mathematician, a physicist, a colonel, a lawyer, smelly and obsessed in various ways with animals? Pretty freaky!


Austin : [To Alice, nodding in agreement] He's pretty weird alright!


Sebastian: [Chuckles at Alice] Thanks Charlie, I'd appreciate that. Come on then, lets get me some of that potion and we can all get out of here, away from HARMA.

;;; Did anyone get the other 2 emails I sent earlier? They are

showing on the site. I have to duck out for a few hours, Conor if

needed would you control Sebastian for me please?


Harvey: [To Charlie, surprised] You'd give him a copy of your dissertation? [Frowns] I'm confused - are we trying to encourage him to join us or scare him away?


Charlie: I'm trying to encourage him, of course! If I wanted to scare him away, I would mention that I need to verify the spelling of his name so I can add it to the list of people Pestilence isn't to maim or permanently injure!


Austin : [To Sebastian] Pestilence is her demon boyfriend, and the father of her demon-human hybrid child, and I mean that in the most literal sense. [Casually checks his nails] You may want to run away screaming at this juncture.


Sebastian: That might attract too much attention -- how about quiet panic instead?

Alice: [Peers out the window] Oh oh!


Austin : [To Sebastian] Quiet panic would be preferable. [To Alice] What is the problem?


Charlie: [Looks outside] Oh, dear! What is it now?


Gubbins: Sounds like we might have to move out. Time for a quick inventory then. [Settles down and starts rummaging through his numerous and copious p= acks, bringing out various items and setting them aside before securing them in or on his backpack once more.]


packs, bringing out various items and setting them aside before securing them in or on his backpack once more.]

Harvey: It's not Pestilence, is it?


Alice: It's not always about some floozie's squeeze, you know! [Points outside] Look, they've got Deuce!

[This is true. DEUCE looks like he's being held by several HARMA officers, including JOE NUNPAR.]

;;; Joe is the head of HARMA


Charlie: [Gasps] Nunpar must have uncovered our scheme. We must help Deuce at once! [Assesses the situation] Can we take them in a fight, do you think?

;;; How many of them are there, Conor?


Gubbins: [Without looking up from his inventory ... -ising] Let's not be=20 hasty. There are how many of us? And hundreds of HARMA officers within=20 shouting distance. It's a shame and all but Deuce seems like a resourceful=20 chap; I'm sure he will talk his way out of this.


Charlie: Certainly, he's brilliant, but there's no reasoning with HARMA, especially if he's been caught red-handed, so to speak. We can't just leave him to rot in a HARMA prison. Those places are dreadful!


Gubbins: Chances are he's just taking the blame for the fish-water thing.=20 He'll blame us, failure to implement sufficient checks and controls, that=20 kind of thing. Order an inquiry. Nunpar and HARMA love that kind of thing.


Austin : Perhaps we can enlist the assistance of the rioters?


Charlie: What a splendid idea, Mr. Sleaze! [Starry-eyed] A revolution--how wonderfully exciting! Come along, group! Let's go agitate the people!


Alice: Great idea! [Turns to Clint] You're a stinky oaf! [To the party] This is great!

Joe: [Calling in to the party] Lay down your weapons or Deuce will be summarily executed.


Austin : Perhaps we should leave by the back door. Or a side window.


Harvey: Splendid idea Private Sleaze! Let us sneak out at once and outflank the enemy! [Heads for the front door]


Alice: Hey! We're not going to leave Deucie, are we?


Charlie: No, we are NOT! [Goes to the front door and calls out to the crowd] People of Queens View! Rise up against your HARMA oppressors! [Starts chanting] Revolution, NOW! Revolution, NOW!


Dur: [Looking a bit nervous] Hopefully they don't destroy Queen's View in the process!=


[The riot is still in progress, but HARMA do seem to be getting it under control.]

Joe: Hey, I just want to talk...


Harvey: And you thought taking one of my niece's friends hostage and threatening to kill him was a good way to begin a nice friendly chat?


Alice: He's not my friend -- he's my *fiance*!

Joe: Well, it's friendlier than my second choice of opening the chat.


Harvey: [To Alice] Fiancee? Is that another word for "friend"?

;;; Gonna be out for a couple of hours again. Meetings meetings meetings...


Alice: Sure! [To Joe] What was your second choice?

Joe: To have various HARMA members throw their feces at the house and then burn it down around you.


Charlie: [To Joe] You let him go at once, or we will further rouse these townsfolk to revolution!


Joe: There's no need to be unpleasant about it -- yes, we're sworn enemies, but hey, can't we just get along?


Charlie: [Chanting loudly] Revolution, NOW! Revolution, NOW!


Alice: I don't think it's working, Charlie, the townspeople are losing!

[Splat. Something hits the window nearest the party.]

Alice: Ew! Someone just threw some chocolate at us!

;;; Out for about 1.5 hours!


Dur: [Dips a finger in it and tastes] I don't think that's chocolate.

;;; Yay! A new low for Dur!


Charlie: [Wails] How horrible! My first revolution is a total failure!

;;; EWWWW! Kevin, whyyyyyy?!


Dur: [Cleaning his finger with his tongue] Perhaps we should get Joe to speak to you in a disapproving manner so that Pestilence will completely over-= react and rip him limb from limb? You know, just like he did to your dad!

;;; I thought that was why you guys kept me around?


Gubbins: [Watching Dur with distaste] Tell you what though, the throwing=20 of faeces is a very basic indication of disapproval among the plains=20 people of Makka-Bardesh. They smear cattle dung on their bodies when they=20 go out hunting. I remember this one time when we were - ... sorry, not=20 now. I get it.


Sebastian: [To the party while watching Dur in disgust] You guys actually let him travel with you? [Shakes his head slowly and looks outside, muttering to himself] I have to get some of that water. [To Harvey] Ok Sergeant, any tactics for this situation from your military training? I don't know your friend out there, but if he's close to you guys it would be wrong to just abandon him to HARMA.

;;; Sorry I was gone for so long, expected to be back about 2 hours ago.


Alice: We don't let him travel with us, he just follows us around!

[JOE and several HARMA officers approach, bringing DEUCE with them.]

Deuce: I think he's telling the truth -- for once!

;;; Careful of those leading zeroes, Drew!


Harvey: [To Sebastien] Do you want to shake hands with Dur again? [Huffily] And it's *Colonel* thankyouverymuch, Private! [To the Party] We should keep Nunpar occupied by appearing to negotiate, while Private Gubbins and Private Scar attempt to sneak behind him and free Deuce.


Alice: Great plan, Uncle Harvey! Gubsy, Stinky, the door is over -- oh. Hm, HARMA are already there!

[The party appear to be surrounded.]


Harvey: Gah! We're outflanked, troop!


Alice: Outflanked? Maybe. Outdanced? Never! [Starts dancing on the spot]

Joe: [Strolling into the house] Stop that. It's very annoying.

[ALICE stops.]


Charlie: [To Joe] What do you want from us, Nunpar?


Sebastian: [Whispering to Charlie as Joe is entering] Haven't got any of that anti-HARMA potion you guys just made on you by any chance have you?


Charlie: [To Sebastian, whispering] No, sorry, it's all in that bathtub!

;;; I'm out all day tomorrow. Be kind to Charlie!


Clint: Maybe we can head for the rooftops!

;;; Ugh. That was annoying. Comcast just randomly cut out on me last night,

;;; as occasionally happens.


Joe: Just calm down. We need each other.


Clint: [Skeptical.] Just how the hell do you figure that?!

;;; I mean, really! =)


Joe: Look at what happened when Clementine was here. Heaven on earth. Good took over, and now we're vulnerable to demon attacks from other dimension. Until HARMA took control. [Slowly and emphatically] The world needs evil.

;;; You know it makes sense! :)


Clint: [Mulling it over.] It *would* explain Charlie's marriage...


Harvey: [Reasonably] It is possible to have too much of a bad thing, you know.


Austin : Yes, well, we all know it about balance. The problem is that HARMA are not really evil. They're just dicks, so they never achieve anything appart from being really anoying and getting in eveyones way.


Joe: And that's why I need you. Sure, your incompetence is laughable, your sense of style offensive and your general level of cleanliness, well, frankly frightening, but it's all about the balance.


Joe: [Gives Austin an unbearably smug smile] We'll see. [To the other HARMA officers] Let's go. Give them ten minutes to vacate the town and, if they're still here, burn the house down around them.

[Exit JOE and his goons.]

Alice: Huh. What just happened there? Did we win? I think we did, but he seems a bit too happy about it.

Charlie: Let's just call it a draw.

;;; End of Book VIII, Act V. Next one coming right up.