[Act 4, Scene 1. Time : Saturday 4.45pm. Down the Pit. SR. IMMACULATA, ALICE, AUSTIN, HARVEY, AUSTIN, JEROME and CLINT are here]

Alice : [Picks up the cap] Strange - it looks like it hasn't been here for very long, and look, underneath it [Points at a crushed tin of 'Mitchells Extra Cheap Lager', it looks as though someone stood on it and it formed the shape of their foot] Didn't Brendan Buckley drink that lager?

Jerome: [Pulls out a strange device that looks like a cross between a sausage and a matchbox car] Hmmm.. The Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. Temperature Discerning Device does indicate that the temperature in this seemingly un-natural cavity in the earth could, most accurately, be described as cold. But, like all good scientists, Jerome will not put his most esteemed name to such a claim without another test, to corroborate his findings. [looks down at his rock hard nipples] It appears that Dr Jerome K. Trindle's nipples are erect and solid, and despite his proximity to Alice (which is a possible cause), I must conclude that the condition comes from the temperature of this room. Therefore, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. agrees with you, Alice: It is cold in here. [Crosses his arms, quite smug at his findings]

Jerome: Is this cold anything like the cold experienced before encounters with our somewhat elusive, and most certainly life threatening, possibly pink in color enemy?

Alice : [To Jerome] Stop pointing at me! Oh, sorry, it must be the cold. It is true though - everyone who was even remotely close to any of the strange events mentioned the cold, although I can't comment on the pinkeshness or otherwise of the cause of this cold. Funny looking hat, isn't it? [Hangs the cap on one of Jerome's nipples]

Sr Immaculata: [Turns around to peer at the cap] Why, I've never seen its like before. But maybe it's in fashion in the places beyond our town. [Immaculata sniffs in distaste] You know what foreigners are like! [Immaculata trembles with the cold] Oh my goodness, does this leather armour stuff heat up at all? I'm absolutely freezing!

Jerome: [Picks up the cap and examines it] Hmmmm... This looks like one of those movie things Jerome has just invented. [Absently pushes his nipples back where they belong] Anyone recognize it? One of the early victims, perhaps? 20

Clint : Let's moving faster! Or do you want to freeze here. We're here to go out of the town. And kill any rats on our passage.

Jerome: [sarcastically] Oh, Jerome IS sorry, Mr Throw-Away-Anything-Even-Remotely-Resembling-A-Clue, let us just proceed blindly, sniffing daisies and killing rats. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. believes that something larger than a rat is behind this dastardly, devilish and quite dark and disillusioning plot, and we need to find out the best way to circumvent and further attacks upon either the party or the town. But, Mr. Hack-And-Slash-Blindly-With-No-Purpose-Or-Friends, please be my guest to trudge off by yourself in search of an untimely demise. Jerome will learn all he can from this strange and foreboding passage before proceeding further. [goes back to examining the cap]

Alice : [Looking around confused] What the- who are these people? Well, Jerry, whoever you are talking to, I agree, we should all be in agreement before rushing of killing things. [Takes out a tiny plastic magnifying glass, not unlike the ones that come in christmas crackers and begins investigating the hat with Jerome] Y'know, there's something strangely familiar about that hat.

Sr Immaculata: Well, I've never seen its like before. [Immaculata scans the ground ahead for footprints and suchlike. She then stoops and picks up the crushed tin of beer, examining it closely]

Alice : [Leaping from foot to foot, looking alert] Come on, come on. This searching for clues is fine, but it is dashed boring. Lets find something to kill! [Draws her sword, and jabs it into some imaginary monster] Have at you!

Sr Immaculata: [Examining the empty tinny of beer, spies Alice fencing with the shadows] Alice, stop that this minute! That's a dangerous weapon you have there, and it's not to be played with! Foolish child. [Immaculata tuts loudly] This is definitely the same brand of beer used by that Buckley character. And look, [she holds up the can for all to see] by the shape of it, I'd say it someone trod on it. [Immaculata shakes the can and all can hear the sound of liquid sloshing around] Hmmm! The tin cannot have been here that long, otherwise the liquid would have frozen in this bitter cold. Alice, [tracking down Alice with her eyes] remember your lessons girl. At what temperature does liquid freeze? Quickly now!

Alice : [Wearily] Zero degrees Centigrade, thirty two Fahrenheit and two hundred and seventy three Kelvin. Maybe your armour is making you feel colder than it really is - granted, its cold, but not cold enough to freeze beer - Jerry, do you have some machine to measure the temperature?

Jerome: [Finishes looking at the cap, and offers it to anyone who wants it] Hmmm.. Jerome notices nothing special about this cap, though the picture seems vaguely familiar. Does anyone wish to examine the hat? If so, please examine to your hearts content, just be sure to return it to Jerome to keep it safe. [Turns to Alice] Of course, beautiful Alice, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. has just the thing! [Pushes a button on his tacky digital watch] The ambient temperature of this cavern is approximately 3 Degrees Centigrade.

Jerome: Right! Let us gather these clues, and strive onward! [Walks down the tunnel, then turns] Well? Hurry up Clint - you're holding us all up.

Sr Immaculata: Dr Trindle, we will move on when we're good and ready! So less of your orders please! [Immaculata carries on examining the can for a long minute] Right, are we all in agreeance about moving on?

Alice : [Popping the cap into her backpack] What a funny looking handle, I wonder if it will come alive if someone tries it. Clint, do the business.

Clint : [Draws his sword and taps the handle, first softly and then harder. It doesn't move. He turns to Alice] Nothing to fear, girl, it's just a handle. But the snake could be behind the door.

Alice : Do you think the snake will open the door for us?

Jerome: Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. thinks that perhaps some more scientific study should be done on this door, though if there are to be any Guinea Pigs, then Clint is the obvious choice. Hmmm.. We could wait patiently, and Jerome could memorize, then cast a spell to determine if the door has any magical wards or traps on it.

Alice : Memorize a spell? Crikey Jerome, we don't have all day. Maybe if we knocked politely on the door the snake inside might let us in, we could push the door open, catch him off guard and lop his head off. [Makes a lopping motion with her sword] What do we reckon?

Jerome: [To Alice] The process of memorizing such an elementary spell takes minimal time, Jerome assures you, Alice. But, by all means, proceed. [To Clint] If anything nasty is behind the door, duck down before you attack, and I'll cast a Magic Missile.

Sr Immaculata: [Fumbles in her bag, takes out a small book and reads for a moment] Oh dear, it says here in my ``Guide To Outside Worlde And Other Oddities" that, and I quote, ``And Pilgrim, beware o the 'Doore wi' Snakes On' for widespred they be, mayhap each One brings mischief to...the Opener. Instructions on howe to open: Walke to 'Doore wi' Snakes On' and Say..." [Immaculata looks at the next page] ``Three flagones of Pilgrim Ale, please Bartender." [Immaculata stops and re-reads the magic words.] Oh poot, there's a page missing! [She closes the book apologetically and returns it to her bag]

Alice : Oh well, at least its only Clint! Come on Cluntie! Pull it open!

[CLINT takes the handle and pulls the door, it rattles but doesn't open, he pushes it and it doesn't budge.]

Alice : Come on, Clint! Give a proper shove!

[From the otherside of the door comes a voice ``Alright alright, I'm coming, give me a second." Then there's a pause, ``Wait, who's outside there?"]

Alice : [Whispers to the others] Maybe there's someone on the other side?

Jerome: [to the voice on the other side of the door] Kind sir! If it would be pleasing to you it would certainly be most advantageous to us if you were to open this door which blocks our way, to allow us to continue on our journey.

Voice : [Timidly] Um, well, I'm sure it would, but I don't think you should really be down here, [then, as if unsure of himself] should you?

Jerome: [Calls out] Jerome can prove he should be down here. The password is ``Ken Sent Me".

Sr Immaculata: [Looks dumbfounded at Jerome, tuts loudly and rolls her eyes heavenwards ] Lord Philli [quietly ] please make the man behind the door the most stupid man ever to have been born, the type of man who would fall for Dr Trindles...plan. Amen. [Immaculata blesses herself ]

Alice : Either that or the only man on the planet not to have played Lounge Suit Larry......

Voice : Um, Ken? Don't you mean Iok?

[From directly behind the party comes the faint sound of footsteps and then the noise of someone kicking a stone along the floor, the footsteps stop abruptly.]

Clint : [looking from where the footsteps are] Ken or Iok or even Julia, what's the difference since he sent us! Now open!

Sr Immaculata: [In a whisper ] Dear oh dear. Here comes trouble, but I, Sister Immaculata, am ready for the footpads of the Evil One, the Harbringers of Doom, the Demons of Devastation, the Devils of cruel practical jokes...[Immaculata takes out her mace and taps it against the door and raises her voice in an annoyed tone. She directs an icy glare at Clint] Who is Ken? Just who is this Ken you speak of? Who is this man, when we clearly said ``Iok" [practically coughs out the harsh 'c' ]. Open this door and waste no more of our time, for it's scarse enough as it is!

Alice : [Angrily to Clint] You moron! Can't you keep that big mouth of yours shut for just two minutes? Jerry here comes up with the greatest plan in the history of plan making since Tuppy Dinan's strategy to raid the cake cupboard back in Ms Lillisham-Courtney's finishing school for young ladies, and what do you do?

Voice : [Clearly nervous] Look, I don't think anybody sent you, I think you've come from the town, and it would be a big mistake for you to come through here. Now go back to the town, go on, shoo!

[There's another sound from behind the party, as though some one is trying to sneak up on them, but isn't making a particularly good job of it.]

Clint : [To Alice] That was the stupidest plan I've ever heard. [Hits the door with his shoulder, trying to force it open. It hardly moves]

Voice : Well, that proves it! Iok will be back soon and then you'll get what for! [Growing in confidence] If I were you I'd head back to the village before you go the way of those kids!

[From behind the party comes a gasp, followed by a blinding flash of light, momentarily stunning the party. A figure walks towards the party, everyone is still blinded by the flash.]
Figure : Incredible, absolutely incredible! Looks like I got here just in time.

Sr Immaculata: [Immaculata squinting like a good'un] Blinded by the harsh light of evil! We've been tricked by the dark one! Lord Philli, restore my sight, so I can properly tackle this evil harridan!

Clint : [stops hitting the door] Show your face you rat! [rising his sword]
[Enter JOAN SLOANE. Slowly people recover from the blinding light]

Joan : My apologies if I startled people, but I accidently set off my flash. What's the lowdown on this door situation?

Jerome: Well, Joan, it's strange you should ask that. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. was in the process of gaining entry through the afore mentioned door, when Clint stuffed things up royally. Now, the situation lies at the party [indicates the group] is unable to traverse past this door, which is locked from the inside.

Jerome: [attempts to call out to the voice behind the door] Listen! This door had better be opened RIGHT NOW! Iok! demanded that we see him as soon as possible, and you know what he's like when he's mad! [strikes a pose for Joan]

Voice : [After a short pause] Uh, demanded you see him? Look, I don't want to be making Iok mad or anything - but I still think that you're not being straight with me, I need to be sure before I open the door or Iok will go mad!

Joan: [looking at Jerome] Well, this guy is not going to waste my time. [Looks at door] Look you little weasel [Joan hisses] This is Jennifer Shutterclick, the one and only, here to talk to Iok about a little mistake we ran in our paper. You know, the one talking about Iok's little escapade with Darsan the Flamboyant and their friend Myrane the weak willed. If you want Iok to be mad then dont let us in. Dont tell us to sit and take a load off. DON'T OFFER DRINKS to CALM OUR NERVES FROM OUR TRAVELS. If you think you've seen Iok mad before you haven't seen anything pal. [looks at the rest of the party, but still talks loud enough for the doorman to hear] Come on let's go. But we will not make another appointment. Someone write that down for me. Come, lets go.

Sr Immaculata: [Open mouthed, looks at Joan. she shakes her head sadly, and in a voice close to despair ] Oh Philli, what have I done to deserve this harsh company? [Immaculata turns towards the door] Iok will go mad, you say! We are only too aware of his temper, buffoon! We have another of those miserable little retches from the village! I don't like children, I don't like being around children and I don't like being forced to remain in the young fools company for a second longer than needs be! Now, open this door! [Immaculata turns to the party and shrugs hopefully]

Voice : Jennifer Shittercluck? A child from the village? Now I know you're lying. Iok Sotot, Eater of Souls, Master of Fear, giving an interview? I don't think so. And as for having a child with you? That has got to be a lie, the only one who goes into the village is Iok himself. If you know what's good for you, you better go back before he comes.

[From behind the door comes the sound of someone walking away from the door]
Alice : Hmm, Iok Sotot, Eater of Souls? I guess we've found out who's responsible for the crimes now. Sounds like a nasty individual, doesn't he?

Sr Immaculata: [Gasps and turns pale] Surely it can't be! Why, that's just a childrens ghost story! [Looks at the party] I remember reading in an ancient holy book, stored in the once beautiful convent library at Kings Reach, when I was no more than a novice and wide eyed young nun, about a dark creature called ``Pestilence Sotot", a blood relative of the divil himself! This...creature was also called the ``Eater of Souls, Master of Fear". [Immaculata pauses, thinking] But as I remember the story, ``Pestilence Sotot" attempted to overthrow the Dark One whose name shall never befoul my mouth, and died in his attempts for domination...Sotot tried to eat the soul of Evil itself, but failed. Surely this Iok Sotot and Pestilence Sotot cannot be one and the same? Philli help us all if they are!

Alice : You know, all this talk of soul eating is making me a little peckish, anyone got any sandwiches? In the meantime, we better come up with another story if we're to get past that door - and this time, lets make sure we're all telling the same story, right Clunk?

Clint : Okay. If the story makes sense.

Alice : Good. [Walks up to the door, before suddenly turning back to the party] Hold on, I suppose we better think of a plan first. Any ideas?

Jerome: [Sulking] Jerome was doing fine until everyone else joined in. [To Alice] How about we're door-to-door Kitchenware salespeople? Anyone who chows down on as many souls as this lok! guy must need kitchenware.

Joan: [Looks at the party] Hmm, we could offer an expendable soul... Now let me think who contributes the least to the party [Looks at Alice with a smirk].

Sr Immaculata: [Swings around to face Joan, outraged] Who contributes least to the party! Who contributes least to the party!? Who arrived not five minutes ago, flashes a flashing and pencil a scribbling! Who has contributed nothing to this party but the stench of cheap perfume and the dropping of the ambient temperature by two degress! J'accuse, Miss Sloane! [Immaculata takes a deep breath ] We have no need to sacrifice any member of this party, of which, I might add, you are not!

Alice : Well said Mac - JKT comes up with a whopper of a plan, that fool Clunk spoils it and then, then,[Clearly unable to find a word to describe a creature as loathsome as Joan] .... she .... comes along and makes a bad situation even worse. I think we should send her on her way, now go on, be off, shoo! Shoo, I say. [Takes out some of her own, hugely expensive perfume and sprays it liberally around the cave] I must say Mac, I very nearly choked on her odour.

Joan: [stops scribbling in her notebook] Oh, were you talking to me? Sorry, I was writing an idea down. I get those now and then [she grins through the sarcasm at Alice, and then the smile is gone and she turns to Immaculata with one arched eyebrow]. Macy, baby, don't get your aura out of wack, I was just joking. [turns to Alice with the same smirk as before] And as for you, don't get me started, I don't see you thinking up of any halfway decent ideas. [scans the rest of the group] Besides, you are the ones with the contracts, you shouldn't have me doing all your dirty work for you. So, get me throught this door so I can get some good raw material. You've got to work with me people! How am I expected to get anything written if YOUR party never gets through the door [jabs one finger at the door]. Now, please [Joan begins in a halfway calm voice] lets turn this situation around [takes picture of Clint]. Now, are ya with me or not?

Alice : [Angrily] How's this for a halfway decent idea? You turn right around and take your nasty odour and even nastier attitude with you. How about this for raw material - reporter found drowned after her perfume - L'eau du Cats Piss - is forced down her foul throat! Or hows this for a plan? Joans so cold she's like a corpse, we could grab her lengthwise and use her flat head as a batterring ram to knock the door down?

Sr Immaculata: Children please! [Coughs on the combination of perfumes] Let us stick to the problem at hand. How to get through that door, just to refresh everyones memory. But Miss Sloane, I neither know nor care why you've graced us with your presence, but it would be appreciated by all if you kept your silence! The only dirty work I would like to see you do is our laundry, back in the village. We are not with ``ya", ``ya" are, and Philli only knows why, with us. [Immaculata continues, very calmly] And by the way, Miss Sloane, never, ever, call me ``Macy" again! [Looks at the rest of the party] I think the similarities between this Sotot and the other are too numerous to ignore. I think it's the key to getting us through this door! Any suggestions on how we can do this? I myself have a plan, but I would like to hear any others first.

Joan: [Writing in her notebook while talking out loud] A bit of a dim lass, Alice seems to be the resident laymen, probably having fallen on her head sometime in her still young life... [Under her breath] L'eau du Cats Piss, ya only wish your intellect was worth your stinking perfume ya little... [Speaks up, looking at Immaculata] Hey Mac- [stops herself]... Immaculata, why won't ya let Clint bash the door in? It's not as quiet as I usually like, but it would work. [Looks at Alice] I know, Alice, break the door with the pure will of your mind [Smiles, barely able to keep in the laughter].

Jerome: [coldly to Joan] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. doesn't believe that this party needs someone such as yourself, who will offer no real support, and only cause a lowering of the team morale. Please either learn to make a contribution, or crawl back under that rock all the journalists in the world were spawned from. [To all] Are we going to knock on the door, and attempt to bluff again, or shall we attempt to use force to open the door?

Alice : Well said Jerry! Your cunning plan - a plan which only used the pure will of your mind - nearly had us through, maybe you could come up with something similar, I just bet Jerry is the smartest man in the whole world! The bluff seemed to nearly get us through, maybe something along those lines might help?

Jerome: [Knocks on the door three times, with a one second pause between each knock] Ok, now everyone else keep quiet for a second. [said quietly]

[Extremely loud footsteps are heard approaching the door. A voice, says ``Mm?". It is impossible to tell if this is the original voice or not]

Alice : [In a hushed tone] Well, he's not very polite, is he?

Jerome: [mutters something under his breath, and waves his hand] Hello? I have urgent business with lok!

Voice : [Definitely different from the first one] Hold on.

[From without comes the sound of someone lifting a large barricade. The door swings out. A man stands there, practically filling the door, at least 6' 6'' tall. He has black plate mail armour on him and is bald. He speaks.]
Iok : I am Iok Sotot, Eater of Souls, who dares to challenge me?

[Behind IOK are at least three other people, two of them are almost as tall as him, and wear similar armour, the other is only about 5' 8'' and looks more like an accountant than an eater of souls.]

Iok : [Moves further out, followed by the two wearing the black plate mail, his voice is incredibly deep and cold, everyone's blood runs cold at the sound of it.] You should have heeded the warning at the bottom of the pit, now, before I kill you I shall ask once again, who dares to challenge Iok Sotot? [In his left hand he holds two glass balls, about two inches in diameter]

Sr Immaculata: [Steps forward, her hands tightened around the Good Book ] I do, Pestilence Sotot, for I know it to be you! I have come in the name of my God, Philli, to reclaim the souls of the two children from the village. Those souls! [Immaculata points at the glass blass ]. Already you have invoked the wrath of your kinsman, do not, I warn you, invoke the wrath of God! Return what what was not yours to take!

Iok : [Sneers at Immaculata] How amusing, you come in here, waving some piece of pulp fiction at me, looking to reclaim the souls. [Holds the two glass balls up] They are not in here, they are in here. [Points to his stomach] And I don't think they're coming back - but they were delicious, I'm surprised you couldn't hear them screaming from the village. Now, to business, you don't remember what these are? [Holds the balls up] Excellent! Perhaps my first trap worked too well, for you don't even remember it. Maybe this might remind you. [Throws one of the glass balls at Harvey, catching him unawares, in a burst of green smoke Harvey disappears. All that is left is the glass ball on the floor, with a small piece of swirling green smoke in it.] Wrath of god? I couldn't give a shit, but if I were you I would worry about invoking the wrath of Iok Sotot.

Alice : Uncle Harvey! You horrid man, let him go this instant.

Iok : [Turning to the smaller man in the room] Dan? Was it either of these two, or the other one [waves the other glass ball at Joan] who told those lies about me.

Dan : [A thin and scrawny account-lookalike] Well, I couldn't be sure, Mr. Sotot, but I think it was her. [Points at Joan from behind the other three] The voice didn't sound like the other two.

Iok : [Looks around the party ruefully] So many souls, and such a small appetite. Hmm, I suppose I had better hurry lest I incur the wrath of God. [Nonchalantly tosses the other ball at Austin, it causes the same burst of smoke as the first, and Austin has disappeared]

Alice : Austin! Oh no! Jerry, think of something, quick!

Iok : [To Joan] For someone who was shouting at Dan a while ago, you seem to be extremely quiet. What have you got to say for yourself?

Jerome: [Obviously contemplating letting lok throw a ball at Joan, but decides against it] lok! Surely you can't resist telling us your dastardly, evil, and really politically incorrect plan! Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. assumes you are in fact, a super-villain, in which can you could not possibly resist the opportunity. And in front of a reporter, too! [whispers something to Clint] Besides... You're sort of running out of balls, anyway.

Iok : Hmm, it is tempting to tell you my entire plan and how to stop it before putting you into some fiendishly complex torture device that will kill you in my absence, from which you will then escape, and use the information I gave you to foil my plan. But I'm in a hurry. [Takes out a few more balls from his pocket.]

[CLINT shudders momentarily]

Clint : I'm bored to hearing this crap. [preparing his sword]. I think we've found the rat we were searching for.

Jerome: [lays his hand on Clint, and murmers something] Well, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc Ph.D. believes that you, Iok, are a real wanker. So, in light of this decision [Jerome starts inching backwards] Mr I'm-So-Cool-Cause-I-Eat-Souls, Jerome believes it is time we dispensed with you. [Raises his hand at lok]

Sr Immaculata: [Begins praying, loudly] Our lord Philli, look down now in wrath at this evil thing! Smite him verily with your glorious power! Protect us, your humble servants, from his rancid breath and twisted visage! Vaporise him with your goodness, burn him with your glory...

[A burst of flame shoots forth from JEROME's hand, striking IOK in the chest. CLINT rushes forward and swingss his sword at IOK, ALICE draws her sword and joins in. Much to everyone's surprise, IOK catches CLINT's sword in his hand. The other two men with IOK go back into the room out of sight.]

Iok : [Looking past Clint at Jerome] What did you call me? Mr. I'm-So-Cool-Cause-I-Eat-Souls? Flattery will get you nowhere. [Looks back at Clint] As for you, you insect. [Punches Clint and sends him reeling across the corridor, colliding with Joan]

[Suddenly, just beside Joan and Clint there is a shimmering light, which slowly takes the form of an old man with a long grey beard.]

Alice : Wow! Mac? Is that the big P? Cool! Get a picture Joan, quick!

Phili : [To Immaculata] Yes, my child, what ails you?

Sr Immaculata: [Gasps in shocked recognition and falls to her knees, her eyes averted] Oh Lord Philli! Pestilence Sotot has returned, his appetite keener than ever! [She points in the direction of Sotot] Please save our souls from this travesty of a creature! I beseech your help, for we must save the souls of the missing children.

Jerome: [mutters] Outclasses, underskilled, outgunned, understaffed, in a lot of trouble. [looks at Phili] Ok... that's a little better. [Jerome reaches into his pocket protector]

Iok : Y'know nun, you're beginning to annoy me. My name is Iok Sotot, you just shut your stinking mouth about Pestilance Sotot, you don't know what you're talking about.

[JEROME fires at dart at IOK, it sticks into him, but he hardly reacts]

Phili : [Places his right hand gently on Immaculata's head, and speaking in a kindly voice] He is right Immaculata, you don't know what you are talking about. But I suppose I had better help you, now, I'll get you and the others out of this if you suck my dick. [The whole time Phili is smiling sweetly]

Alice : Shriek! That's not exactly straight out of the bible, is it?

Jerome: [Whirls to face the guy that looks like Phili] Well, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. believes that you sir, are not Phili at all. It is Jerome's impression that you are some small dicked, socially unacceptable and somewhat smelly, impostor. Unless, of course, I have gravely miss-read Immaculata's form of worship, in which case, please don't turn me into a turnip. [Flicks another dart in lok's direction, while he talks to him] So, what are you saying? Are you not Pestilence Sotot? Are you his brother, or something?

Sr Immaculata: [Looks shocked for quite a few seconds at Philli's advances. She turns on Sotot] You do not fool me, tricky little man! You hope to kill the one thing that can destroy you...faith! This apparation [gestures to Philli] is an abomination to all things good, and it could only come from one such as your wicked little self! Take it away before you get my back up, you foul fiend! [Immaculata places the Good Book back into her bag replacing it with her mace.] You've got me in a mood for breaking some balls, and I'm not talking glass!

Clint : [Stands up and look to his cigar fallen on the floor] This is the sort of god I'd like to have, if I had any. [look to Iok] But because of you, I lost one cigar. [Attacks Iok]

Alice : Suit yourself Clint, but I didn't reckon you'd enjoy that kind of worship! Mass on Sunday leaves a bad enough taste in my mouth!

[As CLINT rushes towards IOK, the figure of PHILI shimmers and slowly becomes that of one of those who had been standing behind IOK]

Contagion : Correct, Immaculata. My name is Contagion Sotot, brother of the great Iok Sotot. We do not speak of Pestilance Sotot.

[IOK simply catches CLINT by the throat and throws him to the ground]

Iok : Now you really are beginning to annoy me. [Holds a glass ball up in front of Clint] You can watch if you want, but another move out of you and I shall use this.

Alice : I guess its a tough call for Clint - suck the penis of Contagion or spend eternity in a glass ball.

Iok : Now, that have we left, three fine young ladies and a big strong man. Oh no, excuse me, three young ladies and a pathetic excuse for humanity who is too scared to protect their honour. At least the other one made an effort. [Calls behind him] Dan? Dan, come out here please.

[Enter DAN, IOK puts his arm around him, and almosts dwarfs him]

Iok : This is my friend Dan. Daniel Gsten is his name, or, to give him his full title Daniel ``Softheart" Gsten the Virgin.

[DAN blushes]

Iok : Now, which do you want to be the first?

[DAN looks around at everyone, clearly a little uncomfortable at the suggestion.]

Alice : [Whispers to the others] Maybe Clint will offer to suck his dick? Would that count?

Jerome: [casually throwing another dart at lok] Well, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is really quite confused, nay, mystified by these proceedings. Jerome must ask, what the hell are you up to? And Dan, what's a guy like you doing in a place like this? [To Iok] So, you don't like Pestilence Sotot, then?

Iok : [Makes that kind sifsifsifsifsifsif sound from Silence of the Lambs] A census taker once tried to ask me what I was up to... I ate his soul with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

Alice : Well, you can't fault his taste!

Iok : [Nods to Alice] Only the best, only the best. I do not look at all like Pestilance Sotot, the nun doesn't know what she is talking about.

Dan : [As though summing up great courage to speak] I am Dan Gsten, son of Iok Sotot.

Iok : Well actually, illegitimate bastard son of some mortal wench I had my way with, but I find it amusing to have him around. He seems undecided about whether to go the way of his mother - a nun, interestingly enough - or the way of his father. Of course, if he turns into some holier than thou pain in the ass, I'll be very disappointed. Anyway, time to make Dan a man!

[Several more men come into the hallway, dressed in the same armour as IOK, two to each member of the party. Everyone is carried through to the room.]

[Act 4, Scene 2. Time : Saturday 5.30pm. Iok Sotot's Jail. SR. IMMACULATA, ALICE, JOAN, JEROME and CLINT are here]

[In the cell with the women, JOAN, IMMACULTA and ALICE are chained up against the top wall. The door of the cell is ajar. In the opposite cell are JEROME and CLINT, not chained up and able to walk freely around. On the table, out of reach of the two men, is everyone's equipment, along with three glass balls identical to the ones thrown at HARVEY and AUSTIN, all three have green smoke in them. Also on the table is a ball with red smoke in it. Enter DAN GSTEN]

Dan : Uh, hello. [Walks up to the women's cell and opens the door] How are things? I think the plan is for me to brutally rape the three of you, I know its probably a little inconvenient for you - I'm afraid Iok insisted on the chains - but really, well, if I'm to become so black hearted arch villain, well, it seems I'll be spending a lot of time raping women and torturing men. [Makes a half hearted smile]

Alice : Keep away from me you worm!

Dan : [Indignantly] Well, I'm sure there's no need to be nasty about it!

Jerome: If you touch Alice I'll kill you! Oh, and I suppose that goes for the other two girls, as well. Anyway, I think that a priest's life is more you. Perhaps you should spend this time talking to Immaculata instead of raping her - she is a talent scout for a local church, you know. [whispers something to clint, and looks at his hand] Oh, no! Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. has broken a nail! Dan, would you be so kind as to hand me my Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. multi purpose cutting implement? [Points to his pocket knife on the table]

Dan : Kill me? Hmm, lets see. I'm in this cell with three women chained up, and you're locked into the other one. I don't think so. I think I might start with the nun after all - Iok says it would be a good step on the road to becoming a diabolical murderer.

Jerome: Immaculata! Pray for him, or something! [To Dan] Look, this broken nail is really starting to get to me. You want me to die happy, right? Well, pass me my pocket knife!

Sr Immaculata: [Looks at Dan and laughs a strange, humourless laugh ] Oh you foolish, foolish child! Do you honestly believe that something such as yourself could steal my purity? [In a mocking tone ] I don't think so! You see, young man, after your..father..raped a member of our order, we asked the venerable Dr Trindle to make every nun a special chastity belt. A belt with a difference! If the belt is opened without a special code then..KABOOM! The sister of our order goes to Philli with her honour intact, while her attacker lives the rest of his short life, and a very short life it is too, with his genitalia spread over a ten foot area. Every nun has agreed to be fastened with such a device, and only the wearer knows the code. [Looks at Alice and Joan and says, conspiratorily, but clearly loud enough for Dan and Dr Trindle to hear] Why, even Dr Trindle, who invented the thing doesn't know it, I'll dare say. Gosh, I hope he doesn't know it!

Dan : [Looking genuinely surprised at Jerome's complaints] I want you to die happy? Where on earth did you get that idea? I'm soon to become one of the evilest men who ever lived - why, it wouldn't surprise me if I were to cut open your stomach, pull out your entrails and strangle you with them, just for the sheer hell of it. By the time I'm finished with you, you'll look back on the broken nail incident with fond memories! [Turns to Immaculata] I don't believe you - and all I have to do to check is rip your clothes off, probably with a large knife or something. And even if it was there, I'd prise it off with a large crowbar, taking skin and hair and bone with it, until you begged to be allowed to take it off. [Smiles as he says this, but he seems to have almost imperceptably paled] Then I'd have my way with you, in a hundred and forty different postions, yeah, and then I'd cut open your stomach, pull out your entrails and strangle you with them, just for the sheer hell of it.

Alice : Talk talk talk! That's all I've heard out of you, you little bully!

Dan : Shut your mouth, you bitch or I'll cut open your stomach, pull out your entrails and strangle you with them. And then rape you. [Looks back to Immaculata] Okay, here's your last chance to come clean about this belt business, because if I find out you're lying, I'll - I'll

Alice : [In a bored voice] Yeah, yeah, cut her stomach open, pull out her entrails and strangle her with them.

Dan : [A bit taken aback at this] Well, yes, I suppose. Anyway, one last chance before I take your clothes off.

Alice : Yeauch! You pervert, what are you doing wearing her clothes in the first place?

Dan : [Makes as though to punch Alice, but pulls away at the last second] Look, this is hard enough without you lot making it worse, now keep quiet or I'll cut your - uh, I'll be pissed off.

Sr Immaculata: Look, young man, something tells me you don't want to rape any of us. If you don't want to do it, then why should you. I mean, after all, you did say you were soon to become the most evilest man to ever live. But you still take orders from your father. Very evil, I must say! [Breaks into a mocking song ] I am Dan, Dan the evil man, who still obeys his Dad-ei-o! What time does he send you to bed, young Dan, Dan soon to be the evil man, permitting your daddy lets you-ei-0? [Thankfully stops singing] Honestly, you should stand up for yourself more, young man!

[Enter THE CHOROUS. A group of about 20 smiling men and women, dressed in farming outfits]

Chorous : A roo cha cha A roo cha cha A roo cha chaaa Dan Dan the evil man, He thinks he's got a real cool plan, But his dad's got a very dark heart, And treats poor Dan like an unwanted fart, So Dan must prove that he's more than a fan. A roo cha cha A roo cha cha A roo cha chaaa.

[Exit THE CHOROUS to rapturous applause from the audience]

Dan : I know I take orders off him - its just that I haven't really had the oppurtunity to do anything evil yet. Look at Iok, he's got three from your party over there on the desk that he hasn't even bothered to eat yet. I know I could be as evil as him, I just know I could! Now I'm sorry Nun, but you'll have to brace yourself. You see, I have to make myself the evilest man who ever lived - it won't just happen.

Jerome: [To Dan] Surely the greatest evil would be to turn on your own father?

Clint : [speaking to himself, but loud enough to be heard by Dan] Yeah, I'm far more evil that this rat. As long as he doesn't kill his father. What a pity.

Alice : Wouldn't it also be really evil to glue bits of bread to a window pane and watch pigeons peck through the glass as they try to get the bread off?

Dan : [Rubbing his chin thoughtfully] Hmm, killing Iok Sotot, Eater of Souls, that sounds like a pretty interesting idea. Of course, he is a god, which makes it kind of tough. [Pacing up and down for a few minutes before addressing the party in general] Kill Iok Sotot? Brother of Pestilance Sotot? Nephew of Seth, the devil himself? I don't know....

Sr Immaculata: [Gasps with shock] Ohhh! Kill your own father! How could you even think of such a thing. Why, that is the most wicked thing I've ever heard. [To herself, as if in prayer] Dear Lord what has being unleashed upon this world?

Dan : [Momentarily startled by Immaculata] Well, I'm sorry I ah, I mean, yeah, like, yeah! I'm so damned evil I could kill my own father, [draws his sword and swings it viciously around, catching Immaculata's habit on it] Whooo! I'm going to be the baddest man who ever lived. [Smiles at Immaculata, revealing a large, gap-toothed grin] Well, you know sister, if it wasn't for you I wouldn't have made this decision, I have a lot to thank you for. I guess that makes raping you all the more evil.

Alice : Doh! Another plan goes astray.

Jerome: Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. thought that all Evil people claim credit for everything they do? It was your idea, not Immac's. Besides, perhaps you could make us all your pawns, and force us to help you kill lok? That sort of mind-control, etc, is pretty spooky and evil, wouldn't you say?

Dan : I have a better idea - perhaps I could make you all my pawns, and force you to help me kill Iok? A sort of mind control thing? What do you reckon?

Clint : Hmmm. By doing so, you'll become more evil than me. I can't agree with this.

Jerome: [To the others, shuddering] Immaculata, start praying for our souls, and the souls of everyone in this world. [looks at Dan, with fear in his eyes] Jerome fears that an unmatched agent of evil is about to ravage this poor world. 20

Sr Immaculata: Trindle, I can't be bothered...I can't think straight! The presence of Evil is just too much! I feel my will to obey Philli dwarfed by this dark creature before me! [Immaculata slumps in her chains]

Dan : [Moving outside of the women's cell, but out of reach of Clint and Jerome, and shouting at Clint] Well you'll have to agree with it, won't you? Because I'm so evil. I'll sneak up on him with my prawns -

Alice : Excuse me! Its bad enough that we have to be pawns, but I must draw the line at being compared to some piece of fish that is all good looks and no brains!

Dan : [Barely pausing for breath] My pawns and in a cataclysmic duel lay him low - killing the great Iok Sotot, the most evil man to have ever lived, until now. [Turns his back for a minute, facing the table, before turning around, much calmer] Ah, who am I trying to kid? I just want to be evil, but how can I go up against Iok? I wouldn't stand a chance.

Jerome: Yes! Exactly! By stealth and cunning, Dan and his minions trap and destroy lok Sotot, making Dan the undisputed Evil Champion! [in horror]

Dan : [Pacing the room] But that's just it - I don't know if Dan the undisputed Evil Champion is how I want to be remembered. Look at how people - especially those who don't live in Queen's View - hate Iok. Living in the town you probably have no idea what he does to people.

[A quietness descends on the room]

Alice : Well? You're not going to leave it like that, what does he do to people?

Dan : Why do you think he's called Iok Sotot, Eater of Souls? By somehow eating their souls, he takes their power - both negative and positive - that's how he's become so evil, and why he's getting more and more evil every day. [Looks around at the shocked and silent faces of the others, nodding to himself] See? That's what the problem is.

Joan: [Shakes herself conscious] Ugh... How long was I out for? What's... oh man, this has been a thoroughly bad day. First I get talked into following a group of adventurers into a smelly rat-infested hell hole, and then this pud is here to guard us. Someone hand me a cig. I really need one! [Looks at Alice and notices the chains] I see you are in your natural environment [Smiles].

Alice : [Looks back at Joan] So Dan, what you're saying is that if Iok ate the soul of meanie like that detestable woman who forced herself onto us, that he would grow more evil, but that if he ate the soul of a nice person, he would get nicer?

Dan : That's about the size of it.

Alice : [To Immaculata] Would it really be so bad if he got just a tiny bit more evil? [Nods at Joan]

Sr Immaculata: [Looks a bit distant for a moment, before turning her head towards Alice] Hmmm? Oh Alice, don't think such things! It's unholy for a young lady of your standing to even have such a thought in her head! Perhaps you'd like to murder Iok Sotot and steal his soul for yourself? Really, Alice, for shame! [Immaculata stares at Dan for a moment before speaking] It's up to you what happens next, Mr Sotot, so what are you going to do about it? But just remember this...if you do not deal with Iok now, do you really believe he'll let you remain alive when you are stronger, more powerful and far more wicked? When you can threaten his very throne? Do you? Or do you think Iok Sotot, Eater of Souls will dine on you, to feed his insatiable hunger for evil? The more evil you become, the more tasty you look to your father! Word to the wise, eh?

Joan: [To Immacualta] Dont worry your pious head about it. [nods to Alice] She's thought of less pure thoughts before. [Looks at Dan] He seems pretty evil ta me. Bastard won't even give me a cigarette.

Sr Immaculata: [Sharply] Would you stop your whining, you silly woman! We're all in the same boat here and the last thing we need is listen to your foolish rantings! Now, less of your lip and leave the man [indicates Dan with a nod of her head] speak!

Alice : Yes, stop your whining you horrible, smelly person. The only good thing about your ``cigs" is that the stink of Dung-Beetle Tobacco is only slightly less vulgar than your perfume.

Dan : [Looks at Immaculata in surprise] You, a nun, want me to kill my own father? That's a bit odd, isn't it? Or are you trying to trick me? You know what happened to Pestilance Sotot when he tried to kill Seth, don't you? Maybe I should kill you - take in your goodness, that would make me a better person, then I wouldn't want to be evil. [Rubs his hands together] Yeah, if I could get your soul, I could become a good person.

Joan: [Her mouth is in its normal position again (a frown) and she looks at Alice] The only thing good about my whining is that it drowns out your annoying little squeaky voice. And I thought chihuauas were bad. Cuter too! 'Course ya couldn't get much more dog-like than yerself. Dog-faced little... trampy... low life... [Begins muttering again winks at Immaculatta where Dan can't see it] That's a good idea Dan. Take her soul so you will have little tendencies like stealing from the collection plate. That will be great for your social life. Think about all the children of other villians and how they will laugh at you and say, ``oh looky here, it's Dan the man with the master plan. He's here to loot the collection dish and say a prayer for all that wish." Oh that will go over just fin! Now gimme a cigarette ya goody goody before I rip your eyebrows out with my teeth!

Dan : [Turns to Immaculata] Who is that person? [Takes out a cigarette and begins smoking it] Now nun, I believe you were about to explain why I shouldn't try eating your soul to become a good person. [Looks around at the others, before jerking his thumb at Jerome] Or maybe him, he seems like a real goody goody.

Sr Immaculata: [Shakes her head sadly] You poor, sad, foolish child! I'm not going to explain anything to you! If you can't tell the difference between right and wrong at your age, then I cannot and will not help you! But silly boy, do you really think that killing me or the Doctor is really going to make you nicer? [Immaculata sounds incredulous] How could murdering a person, an act more ruthless and barbaric than any other, actually make you a nicer person? Just listen to yourself! Och, I'm tired of this nonsense! Release us immediately you naughty child. You should be ashamed of yourself, treating a pilgrimage in this manner!

Dan : But it does make you nicer! That's the whole point of Iok's crusade! He has the fable Dagger of Soul Stealing - surely as a nun you know what it does? It takes the soul from the person it kills and gives it to the killer - all the evil from the victim, which is what Iok wants, but also all the good, the more good people you kill, the more good you become, nuns, children, nurses, priests - well, maybe not priests - but you know what I mean!

Sr Immaculata: The more good people you kill, the more good you'll become, the less people you'll kill, the more guilt wracked you'll become for causing all those deaths, the more resentment you'll feel, the more evil you'll become, the more good people you'll kill and on and on and on. And on! Your life will travel in circles for the rest of your miserable days. [Immaculata pauses, looking Dan straight in the eye] The only path to true happiness and salvation is the path of Philli, God of all Good and ruler of the Heavens. I have heard of this dagger you speak of,child, and I've also heard of the price it inflicts upon its user. Believe me when I say, Philli is the only way!

Dan : [Looks doubtfully at Immaculata] Maybe, maybe you're right. But on the other hand you were trying to get me to kill my own father - what should I do? [Holds his sword up to JOANs neck] Don't try playing any games with me sister - if I want to try and become a really good person, what should I do about my father? Don't try and give me some confusing answer or try catching me out - wrong answer and the mouth here gets it.

Alice : The wrong answer and she gets it? I thought you wanted to reward us for our honesty!

Sr Immaculata: [Sighs sadly] Alright boy, the truth. I suggested killing your father because I wanted to see how tainted and evil you had already become. I wanted to see if you were beyond redemption, as is your father. But you have decided in your own mind that you would not do such a thing! That you could not do such a thing! You are not evil, but confused and, I think I speak the truth, a lonely young man! You have a soul that is, for the time being, pure. You should go out into the world, away from the influence of your father and have no more dealings with him. Find God and live the rest of your days in fulfillment and happiness, warm in the knowledge that you walk on the path of right, [and then slowly] ...as did your mother! There, that is the truth.

Dan : [Drops his sword and hugs Sr. Immaculata] Oh sister, you're so right! For the first time in my life someone has been straight with [Tears are welling in his eyes] Will you help me sister? Will you help me find redemption?

Alice : Jerry! He's raping her, he's raping her!

Joan: [eyes fixed on the cigarette] Are ya gonna finish that? [looks at Alice] Hush, ya half-wit, he's hugging her. Now maybe someone will give me a cig. I can't think straight without one. [licks her lips and thinks more about her pack]

Sr Immaculata: [Clearly embarrased about the hug] Why, but of course we will, Dan. But we can't do it in chains.

Jerome: Well, Daniel - you don't mind if I call you Daniel do you? Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is most pleased with your mature turn of mind. If you are so inclined, Dr Jerome K. Trindle would appreciate possessing his possessions.

Dan : Of course Sister, of course. [Turns to Joan, still holding ciggeratte, makes as if to say something to her, but drops it on the ground and stamps it out] I'll get the key immediately. [Runs outside the cell, gets the key and unlocks the cell that is holding JEROME and CLINT] Actually, I think I'd prefer it if you called me Daniel - Dan is a name I associate with Iok and my old evil ways, he used to call me Dan except when they wanted to annoy me, then they'd call me Daniel ``Softheart" Gsten the Virgin.

Alice : Daniel ``Softheart" Gsten the Virgin? Why did they call you that?

Dan : Because I'm so softhearted.

Alice : No, the other part, why did they call you that?

Dan : Oh, because Gsten is my surname.

[ALICE seems pleased with the explanation]
Dan : Anyway, I think Daniel has more of a biblical ring to it, which probably suits my new station in life. [Returns to the other cell and unlocks IMMACULATA, giving her the keys] Okay Sister, Sister Immaculata and Daniel, together battling evil!

Alice : Daniel? Wasn't he the guy who went into the lions den? Got eaten by a large hairy animal called Iok? No?

[CLINT and JEROME are now free, everyone's equipment is on the table, along with 3 green balls and one red ball.]

Clint : [goes to the table, take his equipment. Look at the balls. Then take a cigar, but doesn't light it]. Mmmh. I guess Iok as a nose. [then look again at the balls]. Any idea for those?

Dan : They are soul prisons. Iok uses those to trap a soul if he doesn't have time to prepare it properly - they contain the members of your party, the guys who were caught at the bottom of the pit, and then the other two who were caught outside the door.

Alice : [Rattling her chains impatiently] Excuse me, Sister? Perhaps you could persuade your new friend to release me?

Sr Immaculata: [Unlocks Alice and, somewhat reluctantly, frees Joan] There you go. [Immaculata blesses herself] Thank you dear lord Philli.

Alice : Thanks Mac, that was beginning to make me feel like that party in Austins house. Hey Dandaniel - it sounds like you said that there were four people caught by the balls?

[DAN, JEROME and CLINT all cross their legs involuntarily]

Dan : In the balls, in the balls! That's correct, like I said, the two who were caught when you first went into the pit, and then the other two who Iok himself caught, just outside the door.

Alice : [To the others] Some mistake, surely?

Jerome: [To Daniel, the Virgin Lionslayer] Daniel, do you perchance know of a means which we can employ to liberate our companions from their glass prisons?

Joan: [lights up and blows some smoke Alice's way] So... [a sly grin creeps across her face as she looks at Dan] ... you're a virgin. Don't worry I'm sure you'll get lucky if ya keep hangin' around Alice, here. [takes a picture of Dan the Virgin] [Looks at the spheres] So what do we do to get the souls out. [Takes a picture of the spheres and the cells] Do we... [Gives yet another sly look at Jerome, Clint and Dan] kick the balls or slice them open... [she whips out a large dagger] ... or do we cut them off?

Alice : [Regarding Joan] Let me see - you were unconscious for a while, you were chained up, and when you came to you had a craving for a cigarette. The last time I found myself in that situation the nearest man certainly wasn't a virgin, oh Dan, you bashful old devil. Anyway, to the business of the balls, poor old Uncie Har Har and Aussie are trapped in these balls, and we must get them out.

Dan : [Holding up a blue ball] I have an anti-prison here, if you break this against a soul prison, the person is freed. You could use this to free one of your four friends.

Alice : Oy vey! Again with the four friends! Balls, schmalls - how do we tell who's who?

Dan : I don't know - Iok knows how to tell them apart, but I can't.

Sr Immaculata: [Looks confused] Four friends? Harvey and that Sleaze character, thats two. Who are the other two? You say there were caught at the bottom of the pit, but we know of no such people! Tell us more.

Dan : [Angrily] How am I supposed to know who they are? [Calming down a bit] Sorry Sister, what I meant is that I have no idea. There was a trap sprung when you all first entered the pit, two members of the party were caught in the traps. The other two, Harvey and Sleaze, I presume they are called, were caught by Iok himself.

Alice : Perhaps the trap was to handicap us with Joan?

Dan : No, there were two others, they were caught the instant you entered the pit - I thought that might scare you off, but you seemed to pay no attention to it. [Gestures to the desk] That's why there are four balls.

Jerome: Well, why don't we just open them all up, and see what/who pops out?

Joan: Let's do it in one of the cells. [Looks at Alice] I'm sure you've heard that before. [Looks back at the party] That way whatever you let out won't kill us. [Takes another draw from her cigarette, and takes a picture of Clint in one of his more moronic stares into space]

Sr Immaculata: [Tuts loudly] Philli, please give me patience [blesses herself]. There are four, count them, four green balls and only one red ball, which turned blue when touched. The blue ball frees one soul from imprisionment. Besides, I think it's too risky to free any of the souls at the moment. We know that Harvey and Sleaze are in two of the balls, but have no idea who, or what, is in the other two! However, [Immaculata looks closely at the balls] I have a feeling that Lenin Buckley may be in one. Remember we found his brand of beer at the bottom of the pit? And we found a strange red cap, which must belong to the other.

Alice : Phili give me patience. There are three, count them, three green balls and only one red ball. The blue ball was in Danny Boy's pocket, no?

Dan : Daniel. And yes, sister, she is correct. There are four balls on the table altogether - three green and one red. However, you are correct that we may only free one, I don't understand your problem though, as the other two were with you when you came down the pit.

Alice : And Sister, don't you mean Brendan Buckley? He was the one who had all the beer, and maybe the can was accidently brought in by whoever killed Lisa?

Dan : I remember Iok mentioning something about a new type of soul prison- he claimed that he could make it so that the person who was trapped had never lived. Every memory of them and every trace of them would disappear.

Alice : Shriek! You mean Uncle Harvey has been forgotten by everyone? Including me?

Sr Immaculata: Hmpff! Well there were four green balls on the table when I looked. Perhaps one fell off and rolled [Immaculata moves her head around, visually checking the floor] into a dark corner. Or something. [Looks at Dan] A prision that wipes a person from the face of the earth? Surely nothing that evil could ever come into being! The result of using such a thing could rip apart the world!

Alice : [Points behind Jerome] Oh look, there's the missing ball. Oh wait, its just my imagination.

Dan : Cool isn't it? I mean, yeah, what a really evil thing to create. That's why I need your help sister, to stop my evil urges. As for the prison, when Iok eats the soul of a person he takes both their good and their negative energy. Most people tend to be more good than evil so

Alice : [Looking at Joan] Hmph!

Dan : So Iok is always looking for ways to increase their negative energy, fear appears to be the most efficient way to do this. Trapping somebody in a void is probably the most frightening thing that can happen to them. Of course, torturing an innocent child to death is also pretty efficient, but very messy.

Alice : [Leaping from foot to foot] Yeah yeah yeah, but what about releasing Harvey? Well?

Dan : I can release one of them right now, if you wish, or we could try and get out of here, to start our pilgramage. I think Sr. Immaculata should decide, as she is the most pure of us.

Sr Immaculata: Well, much as it pains me to leave those poor souls trapped in those horrible glass balls, I don't think we have the right to release one and only one. Dan, the only way around this is to find more release balls, so we can rescue all the souls. We need your help to find us more. And remember, we're on a mission from God!

Alice : [Indignantly] We no more have the right to select one than we have the right to condemn everyone to being trapped in the balls. I know Uncle Harvey was a bit absent-minded, and okay, his body odour was only slighly less displeasing than Joan's, and I admit that he did dribble occasionaly, but if we can free someone I think we should.

Dan : [Putting on his black glasses and hat] Remember Sister, Everybody needs someone to love, someone to kiss, a sweetheart to miss. However, you are our direct line to God, so I defer to your greater knowledge of moral dilemmas. I will point out though, that as far as I know, Iok has all the other balls, and I don't think it will be easy to get them off him.

Alice : Jer-oooooooooooome. You're the smart one, explain to Mac the Knife here that we should help those caught by the balls.

Sr Immaculata: [Clearly annoyed] Heavens above, girl! I have no wish to condemn these souls to imprisionment a second longer than needs be! I've told you what I think, but I am only one. If you all think that a soul should be released, then release one! But which one are you going to pick. Well? Will it be green ball number one, whose corporeal identity remains a mystery, or perhaps tonights winning ball will be number two, who might, or might not be a fire breathing neurodemon from the pits of hell, or number three, lucky glass ball number three, who will walk away with tonights star prize...freedom!

Jerome: [Sung (badly) to the tune of that ``We're off to see the wizard" song from The Wizard Of Oz] One should be set free-ee, but Jerome-doesn't-know-which-one-it-should-be. Because, because, because, because they can help us kill evil lok. [Comes back to earth] Really, we should free one of the souls, we are going to need all the help we can get to defeat lok, and take his balls.

Clint : [looking at the floor, it seems that he could fall asleep at any moment] If you can't decide on which we'll open, let's choose one randomly, but let's choose it quickly!

Alice : [Nodding at Jerome's singing] Sigh! You just can't beat the scientific mind for reasoning!

Dan : [Holding up the other ball] I can free one of them straight away, and I can guarantee you that there isn't a fire breeding neruro whatsit in there. So, who's going to select the ball?

Jerome: Hmmm.. It appears we are in a quandry, my dear friends. Do we assume that the red signifies speed, excitement and an all-round good time, and open that one? Or do we consider that the red might be danger, and open one of the green balls. [To Dan] Do you know what makes them different colours? The nature of the soul, possibly? Can you think of any others that have come in here, and what colours they were?

Alice : [Gazing in admiration at Jerome] Amazing! Isn't strange how Jerry says that red represents excitment and speed and all that other stuff, and here I am, full of excitement, living life at a huge speed and having a big mop of red hair? Amazing coinky dink, don't you think? [Her face suddenly drops] Oh wait a second, I have blonde hair, hmm. But, well, if I did have red hair, it would be amazing, wouldn't it? [Rummages through her bag and pulls out a red towel, which she places over her head] See? Kind of freaky, isn't it? Bit hard to see when you've got red hair though..[bonk, Alice bangs into a wall]

Dan : Hmm. Anyway, no one else has ever come through the way you came - and as for the balls, I'm not sure. As I mentioned already to the righteous and holy Sr. Immaculata, Iok has refined some of them so that when they steal the soul of a person, every trace of the person is removed, although they were at a testing stage the last time I saw them. Now, seeing as no one in your party can remember the first two disappearances, I would guess that they were caught in balls of that kind.

Alice : [Removing the towel] But that doesn't explain why there are three green and only one red [Picks up one of each and holds them up in front of the others as proof] And such a garish red too, honestly, look at the red and green, its like something Joan would wear! [Puts the balls back on the table]

Dan : I suppose it depends on what you think the red one represents, but I really can't help you here.

Joan: [looks at the balls] What happens if you throw one? Will it break? If so, does it shatter the soul or set it free. And one lasy question, if the soul is set free then what does it do? Return to its body? Go towards Immaculatta's god? What? [lights up another cigarette]

Alice : Maybe the opposite happens, and they are attracted to an evil god, you know, go down on Iok, or something. I mean, go down to him.

Dan : It is impossible to break them, the only way to shatter a ball is to use the anti-prison. When that happens the person comes back as they were, body and soul reunited. I don't know what happens to the body when the soul is trapped, that's something the techies look after, we're just the end users.

Alice : Maybe its shrunk really small, and fits into the ball? Anyway, I bet Jerome could invent something to break open a ball.

Sr Immaculata: He possibly could, but it's best not to tamper with this kind of magic, especially when a wrong result could mean the destruction of a soul. Not a pretty sight, I would imagine. [Immaculata looks at the glass balls] Well, if one simply must be opened, I think it should be the red one.

Alice : Why the red one? Well, I've already made my feelings clear on the garishness of the colour, so for that reason alone I think we should get rid of it, but it seems like Mickey and Mikey to me, doesn't matter which one we go for. I suggest that we go with Mac's suggestion, seeing as she knows most about religion, soul stealing and oppression in general, unless someone has a good reason to go for a different one?

Dan : I vote with Sr. Immaculata.

Jerome: Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. will bow to Sister Immaculata's superior wisdom in the area of Spiritual Guidance, and related topics.

Joan: [picks up the red ball and looks at her reflection in it] [Holds it up to Alice.] Hun, I think you have a smudge there. [looks at the ball again] So if I threw this down, and started bashin' it with my sword, nothing would happen? I really think that tha red ball has something that we don't want ta free. How many people were captured. A couple, right? If that is so, then if the balls reflect the nature of the soul, then the green ones should be yer friends. Right? [Joan taps the red ball with her blade] Let me try ta open it.

Sr Immaculata: Well, of course! [Immaculata theatrically slaps her forehead with her hand] I had completely forgotten that Ms Sloane was a recognised expert in the field of spirituality and discorporeal identity! Let her voice speak and the wisdom within shall shine forth, for as the Good Book doth state ``Listen ye not to the voice of an imbecile, a voice that doth pretend to know more than a common pond frog. Believe it, or believe it not and live`` Chapter 14, versus 1 through 120, I think you'll find. Now please, Ms Sloane, place the red glass ball back on the table.

Alice : Tut! That's the kind of thing I'd expect Clint to have come up with, and he's just a barbarian, what's your excuse?

Dan : I must agree with Immaculata, the glass ball cannot be broken, and I urge you not to try. If you do, I cannot be held responsible for the consequences.

Alice : Anyway, why on earth would you want to try and break it when we have a perfectly good blue ball? [Looks at Jerome] Honestly, Jerry, the ignorance us scientests have to put with.

Clint [looking very bored] : Yeah. Barbarian. The Barbarian and the air-head. [looking to Immaculata] Will you decide which one we will open? You or random choice, for me, it's the same, but let's go out there!

Alice : [Looking at Joan] Airhead is right. I think we all agree Mac, its up to you - what's it to be?

Sr Immaculata: [Looks dumbfounded at Clint, opens and closes her mouth a few times, obviously searching for a civil tongue. Then, to herself, but loud enough for all to hear] Dear Lord Philli, what have I done to offend you in such a way? The RED one! See, the RED one! [Points to the red ball] ARR.EEE.DEE!

Alice : Areedee? What colour is that?

Dan : I think she means red. Now, shall I open it here, or do you want to lock the ball into a cell as someone suggested?

Alice : [To herself] Areedee? Areedee head? Hmm.

Sr Immaculata: [Looks at one of the cells] Yes, I think it would be wise to open the ball in a cell, you know, just in case...

Dan : [Picks up the arreedee ball, puts it in the cell and locks the door] Okay, stand back everyone, just in case is it is a demon. [He leans in and throws the blue ball onto it, there is a blinding flash of light, followed by a large amount of smoke]

Alice : [cough] Who is it? Is it Harvey?

[As the smoke clears there is a man standing inside the cell, about 5' 8" tall, wearing a tux. He has a beard and glasses.]

Stephen : [Putting one hand to his mouth and fluttering the other at the party] What a simply ghastly experience! As if it wasn't bad enough that we had to go down a filthy hole. [Looks at the party] Well? Chop chop! Don't just stand there, open the door, come on young Alice, we can't make a film like this can we?

Alice : [Bewildered, and looking at the others] Um, I suppose not.

Stephen : [Puts his hands on his thighs] I'm not happy, I'm trying to think of my happy place, but I'm just not happy. [Catches Joan's eye] What is she doing here? And, where are the others? What happened to Harvey? To [an almost imperceptable smile comes over him] Austin?

Joan: Well almost as bad as a demon. By the way, that cell idea was my idea. Glad you thought it wise! [glares at Immac] Now are we going to let him out, ... or leave him? I vote let him rot.

Stephen : You vote to let me rot? That's a bit rich considering you're not even a memeber of the party! The last I remember you were left at the convent having given us those ghastly ``Queen's View View" item. [To Jerry] Good lord man, you're not going to let her do this to me, are you? After all we've been through together? [Holds up a small item that looks a bit like a tweezers] Remember you even invented the Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc PhD Spectacle Remover (Patent Pending) for me?

Jerome: [a little dubious] Hmmm. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. doesn't remember ever completing the design on the Spectacle Remover, let alone making it. When do you claim Jerome invented it for you? [starts pushing buttons on his watch] I wonder if I have a copy of the order in here at all...

Joan: Ya won't find one, Jer. This guy's a hoax. He claims to know all of us, yet I sure don't remember him... and you don't, so let's let him rot. He's probably a demon in disguise, trying to have us let him out. Besides, only a demon could have a mug like that one. [blows smoke into Steven's cell] If you know me, then tell me specifics. Where, when, what was I wearing? ... oh, and my favorite, how many drinks had I downed? [Takes picture of Steven the demon] Probably a few, since I don't remember yer smilin' face.

Jerome: [To Joan] Do you realize the extent of the negative feeling you generate, is, even by a journalists standards, exceptionally high? [To Stephen] So, let's hear it! Give us details, names, places, positions, tools, witnesses and convictions.

Joan: [grins a wide grin] What can I say, Jer. I'm just the little optimist. A bundle of joy... [looks at Steven] Spill it, pal!

Stephen : What details do you want? I met the others back in the mayor's house, when he commisioned me to film the investigation into the disappearance of the Huxley boy - you were there [nodding to Immaculata] and you [looks at Clint] and you! [Pointing at Alice] So were Harvey and Austin, who, may I add, I haven't seen yet. I've known Jerome since I came to Queen's View almost half a year ago - he joined the party when he rescued us in his balloon. I don't know what that tramp is doing here [shoots a glare at Joan] the way I remember it she wanted to come along to cover the story, but when I pointed out how much of a better job I could do, she wasn't allowed come - something about being too annoying I think. Now, I think I'm due an explanation - we've spent the last few days in constantly together, why are you pretending not to know me? Is it something to do with him? [Points at Dan]

Dan : [As though it were an explanation] I'm on a mission from God.

Stephen : Figures.

Sr Immaculata: [Looks closely at Stephen] Perhaps he [pointing at Stephen] is one of the people that have been wiped from memory. [And adds quietly, so the party but not Stephen can hear] I think we should release him, but I want a very close eye kept on him! Do not trust him, and give him no weapons!

Stephen : Oh you'd like that, wouldn't you Sister? To wipe me and all those like me from memory? To pretend we don't exist? Well Sister, we're pink and proud and loud! This isn't Stonewall, you know!

Alice : What on earth is he talking about?

Sr Immaculata: [A look of horror passes across her face] Oh dear! Well, Alice, I'm most glad you don't know what this man is talking about! [Immaculata looks with distaste at Stephen]

Stephen : [Hands on his hips] Well, I see its all coming back now sister. I never thought I'd be happy to hear your bigoted and archaic views, but perhaps now someone will open the door for me?

Joan: [Glares at Steven and, for a minute, almost seems to take on the characteristics of a demon's stare, herself] Oh man, you haven't seen bitch patrol, yet! Just keep trying to get on my bad side, though, pal, and you'll see it! As for letting you out, I'll let the party think out that one, through, but I'm not doing it! Ya know, bud, one would think that if he where in a situation like yours, that he would attempt to be a little bit more pleasant, so his rescuers wouldn't chop him up into fish bait! But I guess the above is you! [Looks at Immac, and her face automatically softens to a look of confusion] Stonewall? What? What's this guy talkin' about!?!

Alice : So, you think Joan Stoat here is a hard faced old meanie?

Stephen : Darling, I've known corpses that were warmer than her. I once met a statue with a more interesting personality.

Alice : Well, I think we should let him out!

Sr Immaculata: [To Stephen] You are incorrect in assuming that I remember you, sir! I have heard of your type and your cries of Stonewall. I have heard of your sickly influence on the confused young populous of our little town. [To Dan] Release this man, before the sight of prison bars excites his imagination! [And then, quietly to Alice, but loud enough for the others to hear] Keep a tight hold on your belongings, young Alice. You might find some of your undergarments going missing. [Looks at Joan] I'd give you the same advice, Ms Sloane, but I doubt you wear any!

Joan: [Smirks at Immac] Well, I'm glad you've got yerself such a good image of me, Ms. Holier than thou, but thanks for tha warning anyway. And you didn't answer my question. What's with all of this Stonewall jazz? And who is he? [Jabs a finger at Steven] I'm starting to think that no one's ever goin ta answer me. [Throws the butt of a cigarette at Steven] I'm not too impressed with him yet, anyway. [Lights up yet another cigarette] Ya know, Iok's not going to be too happy if he comes back an' finds us missing. Let's get outa here! [Waves a hand in the air for effect]

[Dan unlocks the cell]

Stephen : Thank you [looks Dan up and down] young man.

Alice : [Whispers loudly to Sr. Immaculata] Oh no! Dan's a virgin, maybe Stephen will corrupt him!

Stephen : Now that I am finally released, perhaps someone might tell me what is going on? You're little joke has gone far enough. Well?

Joan: [Takes a draw off her cigarette and exhales] Joke? This ain't no joke, Stevie my boy. [Smiles] I use my good grammar for tha View. Anyway, I'm not really a member of the party, so I'm not really qualified to give ya tha scoop, but I'll do my best. [Looks at the party] You can jump in whenever I start screwwin' the story up. [Takes another draw] We're in Iok the soul eater's hideout. This is his son, Dan the virgin. He let us out, bless his little heart [pinches Dan's cheeks], an' hopefully, he will get us out of here. We found a couple ``soul spheres", released one, an' out YOU popped. I was hopin' for Mel Gibson, but oh well. I sure as he-[Looks at Sr. Immac, then back to Steven]-heck don't know who you are, but none of us know you. [Looks at the party] I still think it would make a better story if he was a demon. [Takes a picture of Steven the demon lord]

Stephen : Hmm...virgin...soul eater....soul spheres.....Mel Gibson playing the part of me! My god this is truly marvelous. [Talking to Dan] Yes, filming this cast [points to the party] was always faboulous Dahling. [Stephen begins to dig around in his pants and he looks like he's enjoying himself. He whips out a rather large camera....and being that his pants are pretty tight...it's a wonder where he hid it..] Now truthfully they don't have the talent of Paul Newman, directing him was one of the splendors of my life [He continues to move closer to Dan as he speaks], but they're stories and adventures are fantastic...I always loved being their saviour in crucial times of need, and God knows they're gonna have plenty more. [He is now leaning on Dan and begins to speak to the cast with the rather bulky movie camera to his eye] Now let's go we have an epic journey to shoot....``Stephen in the Lair of the Soul Eater" Action!

Joan: Whoa Whoa Whoooa! What? Wait just a minute, Stevie. I'm flattered, really, but whose company are you with? Huh? These guys are under contract with the Queen's View View, an' unless yer with our company an' show me some form of proof I'm not gonna be happy that yer shootin' my story! So, Stevie, baby, work with me, hun? 'Kay?

Stephen: Well, [talking to Dan] obviously some bitch has no manners. Listen honey, [directing his conversation back at Joan] we've discussed it before and you know who has the rights to this. I guess when your an amature in the media business, it's tough to get a start. However, I will not go through this again with you. Shall I play the tape of our argument in town again...honey?, or do you want to cram it and get in places....Now everyone places we have a feature to film here....Joan your blocking my panoramic side view corner angle shot, so move! Let's get rolling.

Joan: What are you talking about!?! I've never met you before in my life! Amateur!!! [Joan is getting very red in the face] There is NO way you have a tape of us argueing, be cause -read my lips- I never met you! I haven't a clue of who the hell you are! Amateur! [Joan repeats] You're the one screwin' up this shot with a panoramic side view corner angle shot! Did you sleep through college? Did you go to college!?! This room is far too small to take a shot like that, and besides the light will be all wrong for it. What you mean to say is an side angled view with the line of sight focused on Clint, to give the film a graphic effect sort of like a adjacent distance point of view. Please! Where'd you go to school, you idiot!?!? Barney's Discount Diplomas? Maybe, Diplomas R Us? Now get outa my face ya two faced pocket camera pansy! [Sucks down a cigarette to the nub and seems to calm a little]

Stephen : First of all, honey, my angle, may not have been good for the 20s, however we're living in today. If you'd stop looking at your damn history books and start enjoying the flavors of a modern society, you would realize that...That is why we decided I would go...Now, before I bother myself with you any longer, where are Harvey and Austin. What happened while I was in that thingy, besides all of you going mad?

Joan: It's still a lousy angle [Joan mutters] You definately need to educate yourself! I am up to date with the latest technology and film techniques and you have the gall to say I'm an amature! The flavors of modern day society don't like yer stinkin' angle. Live with it! And what are you talking about with all o' this ``going mad" stuff. You are completely nuts. If you have a recording of me argueing with you then tell me what I said, or better yet let me hear it.

Sr Immaculata: [Stares in disbelief at Stephen and Joan, until she places her hands on her hips] Children, enough! Perhaps it is your intention [to Stephen] to draw the guards upon us, with your loud, yet annoyingly high pitched voice rebounding around the room! Is it? And you, [to Joan] I would expect more common sense, even from you, getting all pent up because of this...stranger! Because we don't have time to pander to your, or his, ego. Do I make myself clear! Now, one more sound out of either of you, and you'll find yourself with such a bothering box around the ears, you won't be able to hear until next tuesday! Now, I want you each to say a private prayer, asking for forgiveness from the Lord above, for your juvenile and pretentious behaviour! [Immaculata gives Joan a withering look] For shame, Ms Sloane!

Joan: [With a red face, opens her mouth to say something, then stops, closes her mouth and gets very quiet] yes... sister... I'm... ... ... ...sorry. [In a regular talking voice] I shouldn't have let him get at me. It was very unprofessional.

Jerome: [looks at his watch, and taps his foot impatiently] Are we going anywhere, or just procrastinating around here? Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. for one thinks that a plan should be formulated, implemented and successfully completed.

Clint : [staring at the floor for a long moment now] Yeah, Jerome is right, let's move. I feel my feet are rooting in the floor. Let's run through the eater of souls and take his! [looks every member of the party. even Joan and Stephen]

Alice : [Gesturing to herself as though she's working something out before turning to Joan] Barney's Discount Diplomas? Do you have some problem with that? I'll have you know that it is an accredited academic institution! They don't give a B.S. (Batchelor of Shopping, Hons) to just anyone, you know!

Dan : [Looking in fear at Stephen] Sr. Immaculata, make him stop, please!

[The door out of the cell area has a colour coded lock, with a combination that can slide up and down.]

Alice : C'mon Jerry, us college types will figure out this door. What's its story, Dan?

Dan : I don't know how to open it, you have to get the right colour or it sprays out gas that can kill a horse.

Alice : Guess that rules out Joan then. Does it kill humans too?

Dan : I'm afraid so. Iok is so sure no one can open it that he doesn't leave any other guards around, but he will be back in half an hour or so.

Alice : Do you get many horses in jail here?

Dan : Look, it was a figure of speech, okay?

Alice : Alright, alright! I do have a college degree, you know. But was it tested on horses?

Dan : Sp!

Stephen: Ghastly! Spray! We're definitely talking an R rating should we die....[puts the camera to his eye and lays on the floor to get a quite remarkable angle of the door] They didn't teach you this in your damn school did they?

Joan: Only in ancient history. [Joan smirks]

Stephen: I've had quite enough of your lip....[He stands up and begins to fish around in his pants, and pulls out a video tape. He then reaches into his pocket to pull out a contraption, about the size of the videotape. He places the video tape in the machine, and an image appears on a screen on top of the contraption] Here is what the video showed: Joan is staring at the camera with a disgusted look on her face...The camera turns around on the person holding it...It is Stephen, smiling. The camera turns back around on Joan. They are in the middle of a place familiar to Joan. Joan says that she wants to cover the story, Stephen's voice is heard arguing it. After a minute of arguing, MAXWELL MURDOCH steps in, and says ``Joan you're not going. [Stephen stops the tape].

Stephen: See honey, I don't want to hear any more lip from you, we're in a crisis here and you're gonna have to start to accept my experience. Now, let's get to work on this door.

Alice : [Happily] Wow Joan, I guess what they say about it is true, it really does put two stone on you! [Prods Stephen in the back] Stand back, let Jerome do this.

Joan: Yeah, that's my boss, but I don't remember that! When did that happen? And who in the 'biz are you? Where wasn't I going? I am so confused. I need another cig. [Starts looking through her pockets]

Alice : When did it happen? Look at what you're wearing on screen compared to now. [They are identical, BTW] Surely not even you have so little taste as to endure the general public to such a tawdry outfit on two seperate occasions! It's obviously when we foolishly signed those contracts earlier.

Jerome: [Pulling out a pair of glasses, and examining the lock] Perhaps if Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. had some quiet, the solution to the door puzzle would become more aparent, and the continuance of this mission could be embarked upon. [Turns to look at Joan and Stephen] So, is my understanding correct that now we are a small adventuring group with the misfortune to have two media personalities? Sigh! [Turns back to the lock]

Joan: Go ahead, Jer. I'm not too fond of gases that would kill a horse. I get enough of Alice as it is. I just wantcha ta know that I have the utmost belief in ya, Jer. You can do it. [Backing WAY up, as she talks]

Alice : Well Jerome, you might be wrong there, because with all the media coverage I'm sure someone will notice my sparkling and bubbling personality, why, I'm so happy I could present the British National Lottery! [Flashes a brainless smile at Stephens camera and begins shouting] Seven! Four! Two! Thiiiiiirty six! [Then, in her normal voice] See? Pretty good huh? Want to hear more? [Begins prodding him in the back as he examines the door] Do you? Huh? Huh? Do you, huh?

Joan: [From across the room] Hey Jer, try B or C. C is the first part of the lock, but B matches better. All of this danger is making me nervous. [Finally finds another cigarette] Ahh...

Jerome: [After ponderously looking at the door] Hmmm. What do you all think? It is my opinion that the solution is ``D", for the following reasons. (a) That would keep the colors alternating. (b) The shapes would be alternating. (c) The inner shapes would be in pairs (d) I cannot think of anything else.

Jerome: Hmmmm.. Jerome was looking for a pattern, rather than a match. But, ``C" does not match the first one - inspect closely the inner shape. [Looks around] Well, is it a pattern, or a match that we are looking for? [Looks at Dan] Actually, why are we doing this, Dan must know the answer! lok wouldn't exactly send him in here without a means to get out.

Alice : I think is D aswell, because a) Jerome said so. [pauses for a few seconds] Hmm.

Dan : I really don't know how to open it - would a man on a mission from god lie? When Iok put me in here he said that he was going to lock the door because [puts on a squeaky voice] ``Dan is so stupid he'll probably let them escape". [Looks around at everyone] Doh! Anyway, the way most of his locks work is that they have a pattern of matches, normally when there are four items, the following matches can hold 1-2 & 3-4, or 1-3 & 2-4. If there are more items, this can be different.

Alice : But none of them match, they're all different - how are we supposed to solve that? It's like one of those stupid tests that we had to do for Barney's Discount Diplomas BS exams.

Dan : They're rarely an exact match, but there's always something similar about them.

Alice : You mean like the fact that they're all shapes?

Dan : Something like that.

Joan: [Puts a finger up to her chin in a thinking gesture] Well, Jer. It looks like we can't match tha shapes, so we'll have ta match the colors. If that's it then it would be C, B, A. Hey, that's completely backwards. Sorta like Iok.

Alice : I think its D. Because a) Jerome says so, and b) Joan thinks its either C, B or A.

Dan : [To Joan] I wouldn't mock Iok if I were you - no one has passed any remarks at since that business with the sock.

Joan: What are you talkin' about? Business with the sock? Don't worry about Iok. I've pissed on better material. Besides, I think Clint can handle em. I think Clint is just having a bad day. Of course we all are. [Looks at Stephen]

Joan: [To Jerome] I am getting very impatient. Do you want me ta try the lock. If yer too afraid to try it, I can. [With that, Joan steps up to the lock]

Alice : Dan, you said that poison could kill a horse, right?

Dan : That's correct.

Alice : And in the event of no horse being present, it will kill a person?

Dan : That's correct.

Alice : And it does so in excrutiating agony?

Dan : That's correct.

Alice : And the square root of 6,859 is roughly 82.819?

Dan : [Thinks for a second] That's correct.

Alice : Then step aside Jerry, let Joan try her ABCs, as she's so sure its not a D. [Steps well back from the door]

Joan: [Waits untill Jerome gets out of the way, then looks around, and takes out a handkerchief. She takes her wineskin out and drenches the handkerchief with water.] [Smiles a faked smile of fear, at the party] Damn, I wish this was wine. [Puts the handkercheif over her mouth] I'm doin' this to block out the gas. It might work a little. I suggest you guys do tha same.

Joan: [turns to the party] Well, guys, if I bite it, it was nice knowin' ya. I'm sure I could have written many stories about you. [Turns to Alice] I'm sorry I acted like... I'm sorry I was a bitch. [Puts the cigarette out and inhales a sharp breath of air]

Joan: [Looks at Sister Imaculatta] Sister, pray for me. [Turns back to the lock] [Under her breath] Philli help me. [Takes another big breath, then pushes over C, B, then A]

[Everybody else moves back into the corner as JOAN presses C, with her handkerchief pressed firmly up against her face. As she presses it there is an audible click, and it sounds like some kind of gear mechanism is doing something behind the door.]

Dan : She's got it! She's got it!

[Suddenly there is a loud hissing noise and JOAN is engulfed in a green vapour, she falls against the wall and slumps to the floor.]

Dan : Oh, maybe not. I guess we can rule out C then.

Alice : Oh Jerome! You knew it wasn't C, you said it was D, and you still let poor old Joanie go to her death - shame on you!

Jerome: [To Alice] Alice! Dearest! Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. did no such thing! Jerome had no chance to stop the determined woman! But, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. will not stand and let a lady fall meaninglessly! [Waits for the vapor to clear, then moves to the door and selects ``D"]

Sr Immaculata: [Rushes to the fallen Joan, and presses her fingers to her throat, checking for a pulse]

[As Jerome the Merciless presses D, there is a similar grinding of gears, and the door pops open.]

Alice : Well Mac? Is she ....?

Sr Immaculata: [Reaches up to Joans face, closing her eyelids] Dear Philli, please except your servant into your bosom, so she may sup for eternity from your cup of warmth. Amen! [Immaculata looks at Alice, then the rest of the party] Joan Sloane now sits with Philli. She is dead, God rest her soul.

Alice : What are we going to do with her? We can hardly take her with us, can we?

Sr Immaculata: The body is just a shell for the soul. As I said, Joans spirit is now with Philli. We do not have time to bury her remains, for now. But we shall come back for her body, so her family can have a proper burial. For my part, I will bless it, so no evil will be able to touch, or defile her corpse. [Immaculata starts praying over Joans body]

Alice : I just hope we come back this way soon - there'll be a bit of smell otherwise, even her perfume couldn't mask it!

Clint : [goes to the door, doesn't look to the corpse] Who cares to come back anyway. The corpse can stay here. But I won't.

[Act 4, Scene 3.Time: Saturday 6.30. The temple of Iok Soto. SR. IMMACULATA, ALICE, JEROME, STEPHEN, DANIEL and CLINT are here, standing just on the jail side of the doorway. ALICE is being filmed by STEPHEN, she is telling the camera what has just happened.]

Alice : [To the camera] So we have decided to leave Joan here until we can return for her body - we were going to spray her liberally with her perfume to reduce the odour from decompostion, but considering her choice of perfume I think it would be better to leave her as is.

Dan : [Off camera] Couldn't we use some of yours?

Alice : Nonsense! It's far too valuable to be wantonly spraying it about. Anyway, I'm sure she said something about not being caught dead wearing it - well, I just want to respect her wishes!

Stephen : [Turning off the camera] Beautiful darling, beautiful, you even remembered your lines. And such emotion! Such sincerity! You almost had me believing that you like her. No doubt those little wizards down at editing will be able to remove the last part and maybe even tone down the shine from your nose.

Alice : [Ignoring Stephen and drawing her sword] So, are we gonna kick Iok's butt then? [Swinging her sword around the room] By the time we're finished with him he's going to be deader than dungarees with pockets in the knees!

Dan : [Pushing the door open and gesturing to the room beyond] There is the temple of Iok Sotot. This is where w- [stops a second, as though searching for a word] where he brings the bodies to eat their souls.

[As DAN speaks, everyone shivers involuntarily, as though they can almost touch the overpowering presence of evil from the temple. The whole room seems to have a slight blue aura to it, almost imperceptable, but there is definitely something there. The room is circular with a domed ceiling, covered in lavish paintings of Seth, the devil]

Clint: [Rolls his eyes at Alice's swipes, and probably ducking some] For once I'm with Alice. Scary, huh? When are we gonna kill something? My blade is thirsty for blood. It must quench its thirst soon. [Looks around the Temple with a grim, stern, look and says to himself at a moderate speaking volume] Iok, where are you, you bastard? [Turning to Dr. Trindle] Hey, Jerry, you got any inventions on hand of any use? Maybe a soul detector or something? Where the souls are, Iok will be, and then...... [Clint grins an evil smile.]

Jerome: [To Clint] Unfortunately, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. does not have upon his person any invention capable of sensing the life forces radiated by souls. [To Dan] Do you know where lok should be about now? [Shows his watch to Dan] [To All] For the immediate period of time, Jerome suggests that the party split up, and examine this room meticulously for any clues or items that may aid us in the finding and destroying of the Evil lok Sotot. [Moves towards, and starts examining the Altar]

Dan : [Obviously impressed] Oooh! Cool watch! Hmm, let me see, 6:31, as far as I know, Iok is on the surface somewhere, probably terrorising some of the Scalies. He always returns at 7:30 for his dinner, which I have to make, maybe we could ambush him then.

Alice : [Opens her hands and makes a shrug] What on earth are [suddenly cries out] Jerry! For Phili's sake, use the virus! Use the virus! [Then carries on] Scalies supposed to be?

Dan : Oh, sorry, I forgot, none of you have been outside Queen's View for six months. Things outside the town have changed quite a bit, there is pretty disgusting disease that most of the people on the surface have caught, every so often Iok and the others go up there and chase a couple of them down.

Alice : What is this disease?

Dan : Which? The one you have?

Alice : [Unimpressed] Cute.

Dan : I don't know, it started shortly after ... um, about six months ago, I don't think it is very widespread, but it, - wow! Look at the altar!

[Lying on the altar is the body of a child, decomposed in the same manner as the previous two. Beside the body is a blue ball, identical to the one used to free STEPHEN. It is impossible to guess how old the child is, but his mouth his open as though he were screaming in agony]

Sr Immaculata: [Looks piercingly at Dan] It started shortly after what, Dan? You were about to say something, but decided against it. Know this, Dan, ``he who knows more, yet decides to say less, has a soul as black as tar. Only telling the truth shall relieve the spirit of its dark yoke", the Good Book, chapter 4, verse 12. [Immaculata looks in the direction of the altar, her face changes to a look of great sadness. Immaculata blesses herself and bends her head in prayer]

Dan : [Hurt] Sister? I hope you're not suggesting that I'm keeping something from you - remember, we're on a mission from God. All I was going to say was shortly after, [pauses] shortly after Kings Reach was destroyed.

Alice : Shriek! Kings Reach has been destroyed? What happened?

Dan : No one knows, about six months ago it exploded. Since then the South has been winning the war.

Alice : Oh no! This is too awful - my new sequined cardigan probably arrived at ``Claudes" only the day before! Jerry, you know these things, if there was an explosion, would a mohair cardigan be likely to survive?

Clint: [Points at Dan, facing Sr. Immaculata] Leave off him, Sis. He hasn't even got some yet [Clint smirks at his own crudeness] How can Dannie-boy not be trusted? He seems more pure than me. [Clint coks an eyebrow to accent his sarcasm] Of course that's not hard to do. Sister, if you truely want a ``Good Book"... [Clint makes quote symbols with his hands] ... to read then try the one I've been reading lately. It's called ``How to Kill a Man in Five Seconds" , Third Edition, Second Printing. I just saw how to kill a man using dental floss and a salami. Ooops, can't forget this. [Clint scrapes the soul ball into a leather sack with a dagger, and says under his breath] don't know how these things work yet. better be careful. Ooops, can't forget this. [Clint scrapes the soul ball into a leather sack with a dagger, and says under his breath] don't know how these things work yet. better be careful. [Creeps up to the altar] [Under his breath] Poor kid. [Loud enough for everyone to hear] I bet he didn't even put up a fight. Just sat there and begged for his life. Must have been some dragon turd, brat kid. [Clint pulls out a cigar and looks for a match] Clint: [From the altar] Well... groups it is then, unless someone objects. [Before anyone can object] Good, I'm glad you like my idea. Ok.... Alice, you and Jerry come with me. Sis.... you, Dan and Hackberk can form the other group. If anyone has a complaint, then take it up with me, but don't get mad when my fist smacks your face...... repeatedly. Does anybody have any questions? Those won't be punishable... unless they're from Hitchcog. [Clint crosses his arms]

Jerome: [Looking at Clint, with a mixture of distaste and admiration Ah, Jerome believes that the ball you have just taken posession of is one of the releasing variety. Perhaps it would be better to release another of our trapped souls [waves in the direction of whoever is holding the other souls], to increase our numbers. Maybe one of them will actually be able to help us, or give us much needed information. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is most pleased with your selection of groups [moves a little closer to Alice, looking like he should be wearing a yellow raincoat, and carrying a bag of lollies], with my brains, your brawn and Alice's sex appeal, we should be quite safe. [grins at Alice]

Clint: [Almost smiles at Jerome mentioning his ``brawn"] Yeah, Jerry. I'm habit of his)] Actually, you could say that Alice's sex appeal had a lot to do with it. [Leans closer to Dr. Trindle and whispers] ... and it will get me away from Hitchbog, the virgin, and the nun. [To everyone at regular volume] Oh yeah. I guess you'll want this. [Holds the leather sack with the ball toward Dan the virgin] Here ya go, virge. Let 'em go. I just thought of something. We should let it out in the cell back there so if the ball contains a bad ass like me, he will be behind bars, where he should be. [Clint smirks. His cigar rolls over to the left corner of his mouth] [Under his breath] where i should probably be... heh heh.

Sr Immaculata: Your mundane diatribe contains nothing worth asking a question about, Mr Scar. [Immaculata walks over to the altar, placing her hands on the body of the child] I however, will take no part in your...plan. [To the others in the party] This body has been defiled by evil, and I must bless it. The rest of you can do what you want.

Jerome: Hmmmm.. It appears the only question now remaining is which ball we use the Spherical Soul Releasing Device on. Might Jerome suggest that we decide, once and for all, whether Stephen is good or evil, and then open the same colored sphere if he is good, or the other color if we decide he is evil. [nods intelligently] For Jerome's vote, he puts forward that Stephen is generally good, just misguided.

Alice : [Poses between Jerome and Clint with her sword drawn] Thanks Jerry, did you say you had some rabbits you wanted to show me? Anyway, to the question [suddenly shouts] Jerry! For Phili's sake, use the virus! Use the virus! [carries on in her normal voice] of the cardigan, do you think it possible that it may have survived?

Dan : [Appealing to Immaculata] Sister, do us religious types who place stock in the sanctity of the flesh always have to take this kind of abuse? [Looks at the sack that Clint is holding up, before moving to the far side of the altar. He throws one of the green balls into the bag] There you are, you disgusting and unholy man!

[The ball lands in the bag, and breaks off the blue ball already in there. There is a burst of smoke identical to the previous one. When the smoke clears, AUSTIN SLEAZE stands before the party, with the sack wrapped around him, and CLINT's other belongings scattered aroud the floor. DAN can be seen in the background smirking at the mess made.]

Austin : [For once, lost for words, he looks around himself taking in his surroundings] What on earth is happenning here? And who put this ridiculous sack on me? [Looks at Clint] Come on, man. Don't just stand there gawping, help me get this item off me! Maplin is allergic to cheap leather.

Alice : Welcome back Aussie! Its great to see - oh! Look at this [she points at a part of the altar] Is that William Huxley's face? Carved into the altar?

Alice : [Poses between Jerome and Clint with her sword drawn] Thanks Jerry, did you say you had some rabbits you wanted to show me? Anyway, to the question [suddenly shouts] Jerry! For Phili's sake, use the virus! Use the virus! [carries on in her normal voice] of the cardigan, do you think it possible that it may have survived?

Jerome: Hmmmm.. It appears the only question now remaining is which ball we use the Spherical Soul Releasing Device on. Might Jerome suggest that we decide, once and for all, whether Stephen is good or evil, and then open the same colored sphere if he is good, or the other color if we decide he is evil. [nods intelligently] For Jerome's vote, he puts forward that Stephen is generally good, just misguided.

Dan : [Calms down, and turns to Jerome] My apologies, Dr. Trindle. You were right, of course, we should have considered it further. [Looks at Stephen] I don't think he's a danger, but he clearly isn't feeling very well. Once again, I apologise, my rash act was not the behaviour of man on a mission from God. If there is anything I can do to help in your search of the temple, please ask.

Jerome: [Turns to Austin] Welcome back, Mr Sleaze! It's something to see you again. How is it that you were captured? Do you know anything that may help us do nasty things to lok? [Turns toward the Altar] Is that [points at the corpse] William Huxley's body? [Asks everyone] Is that about the right size? [To Immaculata] You're the closest thing to a paramedic here, is there anything special you can tell us about the body? [To All] Let's split up - and search the walls, floor and altar for any secret doors, pit traps, big green boogey men, oh, and maybe treasure. [Motions for Clint and Alice to follow him to the far corner, and spread out to search]

Austin: [Hastily removes the sack from this shoulders, and discards it at his feet. Gapes at Stephen and Dan, then decides to whip out his dagger and assumes a defensive stance. With one hand, starts to pat down his cloak, assuring himself that he still retains all his belongings.] Infidels abound, and none doth see the effect upon my soul. [Quickly scans the room] What unholy place is this, in which the good sister feels so at ease? What has become of the Colonel, and that attractive reporter? For that matter who are these? [Looks imploringly at Alice, as if to entice her closer so that he may see the truth in her explanation.] Am I alone, with murderers and soul mongerers - in whom may I place my trust now? Are we the same as before, or I am surrounded yet again by a multitude of doppelgangers? Answer me now [his voice rings, forceful, but manages to end in a squeal, making the ominous tone into that of a scared young child.]

Alice : Jerry, Jerry! I know some medical things. [Examines the body carefully] I think he's dead.

Dan : [Standing at the altar and gesturing to door no. 1] That's Iok's lab, you might find something there that you can use.

Sr Immaculata: [Gives Austin a look as welcoming as a fart in a spacesuit ] Well, Mr Sleaze, welcome back. [To Trindle] As for the bod...oh! [notices that Dr Trindle has moved away]..oh the sign of good breeding! Asks a thousand and one questions and doesn't even have the courtesy to await a reply! [Immaculata turns back to the childs body and gasps. She points to a carving on the face of the altar] Look at that carving! Sure it's the very image of poor Elizabeth Buckley! Lord, but this altar is [raises her voice sharply] You fiend, keep back! [lowers her voice once more] an evil thing, mark my words!

Alice : [Alarmed] Mac? What's the problem? Something on the altar scare you? [Turns to Austin] I don't think we're doppelgangers, although maybe Mac has discovered something, and as for Dan, well, faced with the choice between having sex with the Mac and a life of religious fast and abstinence chose the latter, so he's on our side now.

Dan : [Donning his sunglasses] I'm on a mission from God.

Alice : See? [Joins Immaculata, sword drawn] Okay Mac, what fiend do you want kept back?

Sr Immaculata: [Looks quizically at Alice] What fiend? What are you talking about girl! I was pointing out this carving here [points to the image of Elizabeth Buckley]. I said nothing about [raises her voice] Keep back, keep back you foul fiend! [continuing in her normal tone] about fiends, foul or otherwise.

Alice : But you did! Didn't she? [Appeals to the others]

Clint: [To all, and Immac] I think the nun's gone off the deep end. Hey, Maccy, you all right? I don't want any demon possessions going on unless it's me doing the possessing. [Clint looks Alice up and down] [To Austin, while picking up his things and placing them in his backpack] Austin, you low life... [Clint smirks, and you can tell he's not serious becasue he hasn't hit you, yet].... what happened you repulsive gopher molester? [Clint smirks at Immac when he says the last] I thought you'd slept with your last slut, tossed your last dagger, swung your last blade, killed your last virgin. [Clint taps his sword on the statue's head in front of the gawking Immaculatta] This thing freaking you out? I can fix that [Clint raises his blade above his head and lines it up with the statue's neck] ... unless, that is you don't want me to. What's it gonna be, Mac?

Austin: [Faces Clint, with a stern look upon his face] Trifle not with me, I have suffered an eternity, but that would pale when compared to the suffering I shall force upon you, were you to anger and taunt me further. Thou art quick to insult, slow to think, slower in motion, and immobile when dead. [Leaves the threat hanging and turns his attention to Dan] Is the door to Iok's room locked, Dan, as it may be wise to check there before he returns. I assume he shall return shortly. Also, do you know to what purpose this altar is put by the infamous trickster? [Examines the moulded faces closely, and turns away in disgust, then moves towards Iok's door]. My, my, what have we here? I'm sure Honest Joe might have a thing or two to lie about, if he saw this work of art. [Gives a sidelong glance to Dan and asks] Do you know of any hidden traps, or subtle alarms that may be hidden in this entrance? [Searches the door, without touching it, then stops his searching, peering at the jam and then starts sniffing]. By Philli's Filler, but Iok does seem a messy fellow, yet I admire his taste. I would wager that it is Mother Frickberry's best fruit compot.

Sr Immaculata: [Not gawking in the least, Immaculata turns to the empty space Clint has lined up with his sword.] I've gone off the deep end? I have!? You're the one talking about beheading non-existent statues! I was referring to an image on this altar, Mr Scar. Statues? Have you gone insane?

Alice : Well, I do declare there's a pair of you there! One [points her sword at Immaculata] telling some invisible fiend to keep back, and the other [jabbing toward Clint with the sword] trying to cut the invisible head of an invisible fiend. Here, why don't you use an invisible sword? [Holds her own sword up] Wait, that's not invisible, hmm. Anyway, what fiend are you talking about Mac?

Dan : [Joining Austin at the door] I think its open.

Sr Immaculata: [Not gawking in the least, Immaculata turns to the empty space Clint has lined up with his sword.] I've gone off the deep end? I have? You're the one talking about beheading non-existent statues! I was referring to an image on this altar, Mr Scar. Statues? Have you gone insane?

Clint: [Lowers his sword] [To Austin] I wasn't being as crude as I can be. Would you like for me to take it a step furthur? If you're wanting to get under my skin, you just did so, Sleeze. [Clint's face turns to his normal cold look, and a step furthur] If you want some of me, Sleeze, then bring it on. I don't have to be buddy buddy with you, no way no how. Bring it on if you want some, and I'll treat you just like these babies. [Points at his cigar] A gigar someker usually cuts the top off a cigar and then smokes it, but if you're wantin ta have a go, I'll smoke you faster than you can say exclaimation point. He said this completely in his normal monotone) I suggest you don't do so, though because you will definately need Clint Scar to get out of the Soul Eater's den alive. [Clint blows a couple smoke rings Alice's way] [Turns to Immac] Yeah... that's what I was talking about, too, you psycho-nun. I guess my eyesight's not as good as it used to be.

Alice : Let me get this straight, Clint, you're going to treat Austin like one of your cigars? [Picks up one of them and acts the following out as she speaks] You'll slowly stroke the shaft of it to ensure it is firm, then carefully remove it from its packing, and then, [runs her tongue along the cigar] Place it in your mouth, encasing the tip in your lips, and slowly close your mouth. [Removes the cigar] And then, after that performance, have a smoke? [Picks up a convenient cherry, places it in her mouth, chews seductively, before removing the stalk - now tied in a knot that Sherilyn Fenn would be jealous of - from her mouth] You naughty man - perhaps Dan the Virgin might have found someone else to take his virginity.

Dan : [Ignoring the comments and speaking to Austin] Yeah, like I said, its open.

Clint: [Looks at Alice with a stoic expression etched on his face] Actually, honey... I only treat my cubans that way. It would be more like chewing on his face a whiles, chopping off his head, and setting him on fire, and inhaling his burning corpse. I treat my cubans with a little more tenderness. First I remove them from their silken garmets that I keep them in [tugs once on Alices sleeve], then I gently press on the right spots to make sure the well proportioned packing is just right... [while facing her, puts his hands on her shoulders, while she wiggles to wrench free] Then, I run my fingers up the sleek sides of its surface... [runs a finger up her back and finally her neck, sending shivers up her spine] Then I moisten it... [moves closer to her face almost at kissing range, and puts a finger on her lips] Then I smoke it and throw it away. [Abruptly turns away from Alice, and walks away] [To entire party] Let's move out! Austin, since yer being such an inconvenience today, I'll let you be in the party with the nun, the virgin, and... um... oh yeah Hickberg. [Turns to Jerry and Alice] [Sheathes his sword] Well, lets get moving.

Alice : [Landing a sharp kick up Clint's ass, and pointing her sword under his chin when he turns] Maybe you do keep young Cuban men dressed up in silken underwear, its really none of my business what you do, but [drops her sword to point at his crotch] touch me again and the likelihood of you using this [prods the general area] again are about as likely as seeing me in flares. [Stares him in the eye, as though daring him to reply. All the while she is chewing feverishly on the cherry stalk.]

Clint: [Smirks at Alice] Relax, honey. You don't have to worry about me showing you how much you've missed. You haven't- [Clint stiffens and his eyes peer straight ahead] Well, I guess he's back early. - [Returns to his normal composure] experienced a real man, and you'll never earn the chance to, now. [Clint rubs the place where Alice kicked him] [scratching the stubble on his chin] Hmmmm.... flares. [Pushes the blade away and backs up] Ok, if you insist, baby. I'm curious, though. What else- [Clint stiffens and his eyes peer straight ahead] Well, I guess he's back early. - [Returns to his normal composure] - can you do with that tongue of yours?

Jerome: [Looking back from where he is searching] Why is everyone saying such bizarre things? It's almost like... [Eyes glaze over, etc] Surely there are some notes somewhere, how can we tell them apart? [Returns to normal] ...someone or something else is controlling our thoughts? Immaculata? Could the interference be spiritual?

Clint: What are you babbling about? Other than what you just said. I am perfectly [Stares at Alice's chest] - Well, I guess he's back early. - [keeps staring] fine. [Lifts his eyes and looks at everyone] What!?! Why is everyone looking at me like that for!?! What I don't understand is why the nun said, ``back, keep back you foul fiend." and lied about saying it. All of us heard you say it, sister. Also, Alice what virus were you talking about? You specifically said,... uh... oh yeah,... ``Jerry! For Phili's sake, use the virus! Use the virus." What virus? Dan, you said something, too, that Immac picked up on, but I don't quite remember what it was. Dammit, I forgot. [Clint scratches his chin]

Jerome: Perhaps we should stop searching, and start investigating this problem. [Jerome's hand dips slightly into his cardigan, and after aslight ``click", is pulled back out again] So, [addresses the whole party] What could these things mean? Let's summarize: [Plays back the quotes] Austin hasn't said anything, but he threatened Clint, which shows he's not of sound mind. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D., has, of course, uttered nothing out of the ordinary, but that is to be expected. It would take a very strong being to override... [Jeromes eye twitches slightly, and he continues in a monotone] Surely there are some notes somewhere, how can we tell them apart? [returns to what he passes off as normal] ...such a superior mind. Hmmm. What Jerome assumes from these three is this - Lok Sotot comes back early, and approaches the party. Immaculata delays him, while Alice screams for me to kill him with a virus. [looks at everyone] So, Jerome suggests we all search for a virus to use as a weapon, perhaps the lab would be a good start?

Jerome: Hmmmm... What would ``them" be? Perhaps, ``Them" are souls? Like the two remaining balls? Maybe we'll find out that after killing lok, we're left with two balls, one containing the king or something, and the other containing a huge great big hairy mother fucker monster, which will kill us all. [Shrugs]

Clint: Yeah. Well, Jerry. We can always hope. [Cracks scowls and cracks his knuckles]

Austin: I am burdened with imbeciles. Growth of character, my old friend Jufup Grindbringer, used to say, but not much more of this can I tolerate. [Suddenly stands rigidly erect, with a glazed look on his eyes, in obvious imitation of the blank states in which the previous phrases were uttered, except for Clint's, whose normal state is similar to that of the rest of the parties blank ones...] Twitchy, twitchy, where's my bitchy, sunken low, short of breath, sudden flow towards her death. [He then starts cackling, and reaches towards the door to open it, but turns toward Dan at the last moment] I have upon my person a form C31-f, that should require your signature, as you have led me to believe, that in the event of my opening of the aforementioned door, nothing should happen to my person or those belongings upon my person. As we have multiple witnesses I shall forego that formality and proceed to open said door. Were any injury be caused as a result of this action, I would require that Alice, or indeed her likeness that stands before us, manipulate her sword-wielding arm in such a manner as to disembowel you. Are you in accordance with this? For if you are not, I would suggest that you, then, open this door.

Jerome: [In a rare flash of infinite maturity] Yeah, well you're just saying that because you're ugly. ...And hairy. [Looks at Alice, then back at Immaculata, looking angry and trying to conceal a, lets face it, huge, bulge in his trousers] And Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc Ph.D. will not stand idle while you insult his heterosexual masculinity! Sister - Jerome demands that you rescind that last comment! [In a milder tone] Do you have anything to add regarding the strange things we have been saying?

Sr Immaculata: [Perhaps too calmly] My God judges me, Dr Trindle. I need no one elses favour or regard. You may insult me all you want, doctor, for I have only a love of Philli in my heart, and only hear His teachings. However, if I have told an untruth, then I apologise, and I'm willing to face the consequences when I am judged by Philli Himself. As for these odd trances, I'm afraid I've nothing to add. I've come across nothing like it, [looks at Alice, as if remembering something] apart from the time I caught a few of the convents pupils experimenting with LSD, of course.

Dan : [Angrily to Austin] Fuck off and open it yourself! [Storming over to Jerome and jabbing his finger at him] Shut your mouth, you [glances down at Jerome's crotch] you prick! Shut your mouth before I shut it for you! I've had enough of you, with your cardigan and digital watch, with your corduroy trousers and your Swiss army knife. I've heard enough of your babbling - no one said anything about viruses, arriving early or fiends and .. [suddenly seems to be aware of the others watching him, he looks around, shaking with anger, before continuing in his normal voice] and don't you say anything to Sister Immaculata again, or, or I'll be really cross. [Nods several times as though to reinforce his point]

[There is a shocked silence for a few seconds, broken suddenly by the sound of STEPHEN throwing up and falling to his knees]

Alice : [To Immaculata] Do I detect a subtle yet sudden decline in the decorum and etiquette of the party? Hey Steve, nice carrots.

Sr Immaculata: [Tuts loudly] Men! [Immaculata walks over to Stephen, carefully avoiding the vomit] Are you alright, there?

Stephen : What do you care? You probably think this is a judgement from god, is that what you think? [Looks up at Immaculata, he looks very sick, and he suddenly slumps to the floor, miraculously missing the surprisingly large pool of vomit]

Alice : Balloons are one thing, but I draw the line at boats.

Dan : I apologise sister, I was just trying to defend your honour. Dr. Trindle, please accept my apologies, I don't know what I was saying. [Looks at Stephen] Often when people are trapped in a soul prison they have that kind of reaction.

Jerome: [Throws his hands up in the air] Hairy Women! [Assumes a more serious pose, and pulls a tape recorder from inside his cardigan. Jerome then presses a button on the tape recorder, and plays back the afore mentioned comments. After a couple of brief whirring noises] Ok... Does anyone have any more ideas about these? [Plays back the clipped tape]

Clint: Well, I guess he's back early.

Immaculata: Keep back, keep back you foul fiend!20

Alice: Jerry! For Phili's sake, use the virus! Use the virus!20

Jerome: Surely there are some notes somewhere, how can we tell them apart?

Jerome: To me, it sounds like prophecy. Jerome has studied incidents before where people are able to speak their own future. Assuming that is the case, Jerome takes the comments to mean this: Lok Sotot comes back early, and approaches the party. Alice screams for Jerome to use a virus, as a weapon against lok. After lok is defeated, Jerome searches for notes for some reason - possibly on how to release the souls, or which soul is which. [To Dan] Do you know of any virus lok might have hidden around here? [To Everyone] The other possibility is, of course, that we are all currently inhaling a mind altering substance, which is causing us to speak irrationally. [Looks at Stephen] And Stephen is reacting to it.

Clint: Well Jerry, I dunno. Maybe you are trying to look for the notes when Iok kills you and you don't get the ``virus" finished. [Looks at Immaculatta] Looks like you're gonna bite the big one for your deity, after all, Maccy. [Looks back at Jerome] Man, I don't remember saying that, but I guess I did. [Clint's face hardens to a scowl of a concentrating General] Jerry! I'll get you in the lab! You get the virus done, whatever that may be. Jerry, [Looks at the party]... or anyone else.... does anyone think that the lab door will be trapped as well? He, who answers ``no" can open it herself... [coughs, while looking at Stephen] haaawwwwkberg!! [Clears his throat again] I don't want to go out the same way that annoying newspaper reporter did. What was her name? Anyway... answers people! Move move move! [Clint claps his large hands together towards the party]

Austin: What is all the raucous about? You stand idly chattering and nattering, chaotically and sporadically uttering stupid words, and suddenly are intent upon action? I understand it, not at all. [Darts a look at Stephen, and then asks Immaculata] Have you seen anything like this before? I refer not to the retching, but that wretch? Perhaps young Stephen is [His head jerks limply to the side, as if listening, and utters uninterestingly...] Well Jerome, I think you just got lucky. [His head snaps back into it's previous upright position, and he continues] infected with the 'virus'. [Slowly reaches his hand towards the door, and opens it].

Sr Immaculata: [Moves quickly to Stephen, placing her hand on his forehead] Philli save us, he's burning up! [Immaculata rumages in her bag, before removing a thermometer and stethoscope and a pair of glasses. She puts on the glasses, and places the thermometer in Stephens mouth.] Nurse, [to Alice] I want an EKG machine in here at the double. And some phenalydrate benzine, 30mg of stussengazene, 10mg of chlorostraste and 12mg of kp5. What are you waiting for! Now, nurse! [Looks at Clint and Jerome] Do either of you have amylnitrate with you? [Immaculata looks back at Stephen, removes the thermometer, shakes it twice and looks] One hundred and seventeen! We're losing him! [Immaculata delves into her bag once more, before producing her water bottle and a cloth. Soaking the cloth with water, she places it on Stephens forehead. And puts a band-aid on his index finger] That's all I can do for now. We've got to get this man to an infirmary!

Alice : [Nods her head as though listening to Immaculata's list of requests, before suddenly glazing over] I don't like spinach and I say to hell with it. [Returns to her normal, only slightly glazed look before turning to Jerome] Actually Jerry, I'm just pretending, but I couldn't understand a word she said after ``want". About telling the future, are you sure that the order in which they were said actually means anything? Didn't a couple of people say their bit twice?

[AUSTIN grabs the door, and suddenly stiffens, and begins shaking, his hair begins standing up straight.]

Austin: AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGggggggggghhhhhh... [Then screams] Dan, you fuckwit. [Twitches violently, and as he tries to approach Dan, staggers and stumbles to the ground]. You said [zzzt, zzzt] there were no traps. [He then realises his hair is standing on end, and searches (fruitlessly) for some relfective surface in order to aid in smoothing down his hair]. Were it not for Maplin, I would surely have died. Fortuitously, Maplin because of the care and attention I have given him, is not of this earth, and shields me from fools like you, and insulates me from everyday shocks. Were he to come to harm I would not only kill he that caused that harm, but also his family. As it stands, I shall have to do with killing you, Dan. [Unsheaths his dagger, and menacingly advances upon Dan]. Clint. Alice. Aid me in the removal of this unsooth spreader.

Alice : [Drawing her sword] Okay Aussie, but lets not be too hasty.

Dan : [Standing behind Immaculata] You wouldn't harm a man of God, would you? I thought the trap was turned off, honest! Tell him sister! Tell him I couldn't harm a fly! Tell him about what happened in the jail, how I couldn't do any harm!

Sr Imaculata: [Turns sharply to Clint, who is standing between her and Dan, with Stephen lying on the ground] For the sake of all things holy, mind the patient! You're standing on his head, you clown! [She turns back to Austin] Mr Sleaze, your agression is getting us nowhere! It's your own fault for being so silly, grabbing hold of the door handle without first having it checked by Dr Trindle. I'm sorry, but that's what you did! You have suffered nothing more than bruised pride, so count yourself lucky. And your eyebrows will probably grow back in time! The last member of the party to try such a thing was not so fortunate. So you can thank Philli for sparing your life.

Dan : Well said sister,[smiling sweetly at Austin] the good Phili has smiled on us today. [Points towards the now open door] As I said, that's Iok's lab, he has been working on some viruses there, so there might be some connection between that and whatever is going on with this alleged fortune telling.

Clint: Austin, you moron, I warned you it might be trapped. Alice, forget the... [Clint flenches]... lawyer. [Clint stands partially in front of Dan, yet doesn't have his back to him] [Draws his blade and turns to Austin] We need him right now. You'll have to hack yer way through me if you want a piece, and... [Lowers hiw blade slightly at a certain height].... I don't think you have the balls to come through me. [Clint snarls]... and you definantly won't if you try to take me, bub. [Turns to the group] Now lets try to find a way through this door, without any more of us getting a new ``dew". [Smirks at Sleeze]

Jerome: [To Dan] So, he's making viruses, is he?? Well, just look at that wonderful prophecy comming from the lovely Alice, then. [Looks very pleased with himself] Anyway, Dan, what do you know about the nature of the trap on the door? Is it just an electrical current connected to the door handle from the other side? [Looks around the group] Does anyone have any rubber gloves? [To Austin] I'm sure you will be able to help us here, Mr Sleaze. Oh, and how strong was the current?

Clint: [Grins for once] I think I have something rubber in my money pouch... [Looks at Immaculatta]... but it's not a glove. [Puts a hand on each of Dr. Trindle's shoulders] Jerry, you may be pretty annoying some of the time... most of the time... all of the time, but I have faith in your ability to make the patented Sotot-killing Scar virus. So get in there and cook up something posionous. [Turns towards the party and away from Jerome] Listen women... [smirks when he sees Austin's nose turn up at the remark]... we are going to need to block Sotot out of here. Dan, can Sotot be killed by a virus? Also, Dan, what are all the entrances into this room and the laboratory? If we can block them off somehow, it might give us an advantage if Sotot does come back early. [Walks over to the Altar, and presses against it a little]

Austin: [To Jerome] Why not find out from 'first-hand' experience how strong the current is? As it is, though, the door stands open, but I shall be not the first to enter that room. Or perhaps we should throw Dan in first - to verify his assertion that there are no traps. [Slowly turns towards Dan, but flicks a cursory glance in Immaculata's direction] I shall listen to the good sister's advice, but beware, I shall settle this score with you. I am not one to forget wrongdoing's, nor I am one to not bear a grudge. You have been warned.

Clint: Sleeze, drop it. [Curls up his lip, almost taking on the appearance of some type of hellhound] Why don't I throw you in, you putz. Then we'll see how many pounds of pressure per square inch I can actually produce with a well placed body slam. [Blows a large cloud of smoke Austin's way with the last part] One would deduce that you'll break. I don't think I need Physics to tell me that. I'm pretty sure Dr. Trindle would agree with me. Huh Jerry? Hey Jer, since the door's now open, are you going to start on that virus?

Alice : [Puffed up with pride following Jerome's well deserved praise] Look Clunt, Dr. Trindle and I are scientists, it isn't our job to be kicking open doors and getting killed. We are employed to sit around drinking coffee wearing corduroy and being absent minded, arriving in to work at about 11 or so and giving two lectures a week.

Dan : [Pushing the door further open] The trap is embedded in the door - it only has an effect if you touch the metal parts. The viruses that you ask about are in here, Iok has been working on them for the last few weeks. I don't think he can be affected by them, though. [Turns to Clint] The only way into the lab is through that door, and the only way into this room is either through mine, the way you lot came in, or through that door [gestures to door no. 2] which leads back to the surface. When Iok comes back that is the way he will come in.

Sr Immaculata: [Looks worriedly at Stephen, before shifting her gaze to Dan] Dan, do you know if [practically spitting] Iok Sotot has any health serums? I really think we need to get something for Stephen! I have been praying for him, but I fear his life may be almost at an end. Perhaps there's something in that room?

Clint: Fine, Maccy. I'll go in, first if you want. [Takes out a torch and pushes the door the rest of the way open with the (wooden handle) end of it. [Looks at Jerry] I'll go in first. You can follow if you're going to make that virus.

Jerome: [Walking slowly toward the doorway, following Clint, looking around] Hmmm... This is very interesting, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is very fortunate to have bought a notepad with him. [Pulls out the afore mentioned notepad]

Clint: [Over his shoulder] Jerry, that little notebook isn't going to save your hide if there are traps in here. [Shakes his head]

Sr Immaculata: [Looks worriedly at Stephen, before shifting her gaze to Dan] Dan, do you know if [practically spitting] Iok Sotot has any health serums? I really think we need to get something for Stephen! I have been praying for him, but I fear his life may be almost at an end. Perhaps there's something in that room?

Stephen : [Slowly coming round] Wha, what happened? Where am I? Ooh, I feel a little queezy. [Trying to stand up and looking for some help] Well? Well? Is somebody going to explain to me why I have the biggest headache?

Clint: [Clint looks at Stephen with wide eyes] Maccy, is he all right? Try to see he doesn't hurt himself. He still looks a little woozy. [Suddenly takes on a harsher look] Not that I care or anything, it's just he got some good footage of me with my sword.

[CLINT knocks the door open with an unlit torch, somersaults into the lab and draws his sword. He stands there, leaping from foot to foot, looking alert. The judges give him an average of 9.6. JEROME strolls in after him, scoring a mere 1.1. The lab is extremely untidy. In the centre is a large work bench covered in papers, test tubes, bat's feet, newt's eyes and the like. At one end of the lab is a glass cabinet with a combination lock, swirling around in the cabinet is a dense white mist, barely visible within is a wooden tray with six test tubes in them]

Dan : Well Dr. Trindle, the trap only affects the metal part of the door - I was full sure that the trap was turned off when poor Mr. Sleaze touched it. A terribly unfortunate incident.

Clint: [Looks around the laboratory] Well, Doc. I got ya in. It's your battle, now, unless ya want me to break something. I'm always ready for that...

Jerome: [To Clint] Thanks, but I think I'll want to keep things pretty much intact, just in case we have to conceal the fact we were in here. [Carefully looks around the lab, taking a note of where things are in case they are moved. Then, he moves to examine the papers and test tubes.] Hmmm.. Interesting. [To Dan] Do you have any idea what the white mist is? Something deadly? [Jerome's eyes glaze over, his adams apple protrudes even more, and he starts panting rhythmically] Surely there are some notes somewhere, how can we tell them apart? [Jerome returns to normal, and absent-mindedly returns to examaning the papers on the desk]

Clint: Jerry, not now. We don't have time for you babbling about notes. Just get crackin. Hey notes... wait a minute. Jerry, we have to find the notes in here. [Clint's face dulls, then a look of realization washes over his visage] That's it! [Snaps] Jerry, that's how we tell the vials apart! Find the notes that tell you the difference between them. Right?

Austin: [Enters the lab, and has a quick glance around. Sees the cupboard and ventures towards it.] What think ye of this then - a swirling mist, surrounding six vials. I would say that these are Iok's most valuable. Do we know then that any of these are deadly, or at least incapacitating, for Mr Sotot? I would venture, they are not. [Speaks to Jerome, but continues examining the cabinet] Do you think you are capable of recreating a virus, that would cause harm to the Eater of Souls? ventures towards it.] What think ye of this then - a swirling mist, surrounding six vials. I would say that these are Iok's most valuable. Do we know then that any of these are deadly, or at least incapacitating, for Mr Sotot? I would venture, they are not. [Speaks to Jerome, but continues examining the cabinet] Do you think you are capable of recreating a virus, that would cause harm to the Eater of Souls? Sr Immaculata: [Looking at Stephen] Place your faith in Philli, for He has saved your life. [Immaculata enters the laboratory] The lord works in mysterious ways, no two ways about it. Dr Trindle, why have you suddenly developed an interest in notebooks?

Jerome: [To Austin] If the notes are here, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is most assuredly able to re-create a virus. If the matter comes down to starting from scratch, it can certainly be done but [holds out his hands] do we have the time? Jerome is not sure. But, let me browse through these notes first. [To Immaculata] Dearest Sister, it is notes that Jerome is after, [Jerome's face goes slightly blank] Surely there are some notes somewhere, how can we tell them apart? [Continues from where he left off] not notebooks. Jerome is merely taking notes of the information seen, to put them into a useful order, and not disrupt the lab. [To Clint] Please, Clint, leave things as you find them. We may need to disguise the fact we were here.

Alice : [Entering the lab and ducking to avoid being showered with papers that Clint is tearing out of the drawers] Well Mac, I'd say Jerry is talking about notes that Iok might have made about the stuff in the phials there [points at the cabinet] otherwise we can't tell them apart.

Dan : [Standing at the door] I don't think there's anything deadly about the mist, its just there to scare people off. Iok keeps his own viruses in there - I think he was trying to make some especially for Queens View. Strangely enough, he did manage to make a luck virus.

Alice : Luck is a virus?

Dan : Yes, believe it or not. It is quite short lived, but if someone is infected by it, they temporarily become the luckiest person alive.

Sr Immaculata: Oh what nonsense! Of course luck isn't a virus! Why, that's [Immaculata stops, her face cracking into a big happy smile] It must have been Phili who made you choose the brown one [Immaculatas smile is replaced once more by a frown] just one of the most ridiculous things I've heard anyone say. Luck indeed! [She walks over in the direction of the mist, but stops well short of it]

Jerome: [To Dan] Are there any of these luck viruses made up? [To Alice] Perhaps this is the virus you yell out for me to use.. [Back to Dan] If not, do you know where the formula for it is? [Resumes searching. Turns to Immac, a little peeved at getting interrupted all the time] What brown one? Sister, what ARE you talking about?

Sr Immaculata: [Turns to Jerome] What's ``What", what? Brown one? I've no idea what you're talking...oh don't tell me it's happening again! I've no recollection of saying anything other than that luck is not a virus! But I... yes, it makes sense! Dr Trindle, using your recording gizmo, play back what Mr Sleaze said in the other room, something about you, Jerome getting lucky! Then, Dr Jerome, you said that strange little spiel about notes, and finally, you're claiming I mentioned something about brown ones!

Jerome: Dr Jerome K Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is most contented to comply with your most excellent suggestion, Sister. [After a few clicks, wirring noises and a squelch, Jerome plays the full list of strange messages back for everyone]

Clint: Well, I guess he's back early.

Immaculata: Keep back, keep back you foul fiend!20 Immaculata: It must have been Phili who made you choose the brown one20

Alice: Jerry! For Phili's sake, use the virus! Use the virus!20

Jerome: Surely there are some notes somewhere, how can we tell them apart?

Austin: Well Jerome, I think you just got lucky

Sr Immaculata: [Listens attentively to the recording] Hmm, I wonder what it all means! [Immaculata places her hands together in prayer] Dear Philli, give us guidance, bring light to this confusing dark. Amen.

Dan : [Listens in amazement to the recordings] Bizarre, I don't understand it....anyway, I don't know if the luck virus is made up, but if it is it will be in the cabinet. Why don't you break open the cabinet and we can check? [Looks back to Stephen, who is just sitting in silence against one of the pillars] I'll just check on this guy.

Alice : [Peering into the cabinet] There seem to be six of them in there, a brown one, a green one, a red one, a brown one, a brown one and [squints a bit harder] oh, another brown one. Oh look! There's also someone inside there! She's got blonde hair, a ``Queens View View" t-shirt, just like mine, in fact, it is me! Oh wait, its just my reflection. So, are we going to get the cabinet open?

[IMMACULATA takes a close look at the combination lock on the glass cabinet]

Austin: [Mutters incoherently to himself, and then yawns]. Hmmm, Dan, once again with his wise advice urges to do the most obvious. Thou art a simpleton. I sincerely distrust your assumption that the mist may be harmless - quite the contrary in fact, it may be most deadly. [Pulls a kerchief from his pocket, and ties it around his face, then in a muffled voice urges the others...] Beware, for I shall try my hand at opening the lock, and for all that I am worth, wish that should we die, that Dan be the last to die with the most tortuous death. [Places his hand upon the lock, in order to get a feel of it. Then examines the intricacies of the combination, itself].

[The lock is a four digit combination type. It is about six inch square and there appears to be a metal tube running from the lock into the base of the cabinet.]

Clint: [To Immaculatta] Hey, Maccy, what would happen if I prayed for a slightly unfortunate, yet escrutiating death for Autsin at the mercy of this lock? Would Philli honor my prayer? If so, I'm thinking about taking up a religion. [To Austin] I hope your insurance covers magical injuries.

Alice : I should think that you would jolly well get a lightning bolt through the head! What a mean thing to say, poor Aussie! [Calls out to Dan] Is there a virus that makes people nice, by any chance?

Dan : Yeah, yeah, whatever. Come on and get it open.

Clint: Damn. Oh well. Can't blame a guy for trying. Poor Aussie!?! If there is a nice virus, don't you think you should use it on Austin? It would make sense instead of wasting it on me. [Looks Alice up and down] I like to be naughty, and darling, I don't think I'll ever change. Besides, I hate to admit it, but Austin's a lot more devious than me. I've got him beat on the nasty side, though. [Smiles, as if pleased with himself]

Sr Immaculata: [Looks suspiciously at Dan] Daniel, you seem very eagre for Mr Sleaze to open that closet. Why? [Immaculata starts moving towards Dan] Now, call me suspicious if you must, but I have a very bad feeling about this! [To the party] Has any of you wondered why there were no guards in the cell room? Just Daniel, a boy, whose own father doesn't trust. It all seems just a little too easy, don't you think? [Immaculata snaps at Dan] What's that smoke, boy? Poison?

Dan : Sister! How can you accuse a man of God like myself of such a thing?

Austin: [Places his hands upon the lock, closes his eyes, and in apparent concentration, starts breathing slower. After some minutes, it appears he is asleep. Then his fingers start moving at an unbelievable speed, his head tilted so that his right ear is close to the device. There is a distint click and he straightens his posture, with one smug self-satisfied smile] Maplin, again thy perfection has sought to preserve itself. Thou art a wonder. [Watches as the mist starts to recede, and turns to Dan] I think were the mist as harmless as you proclaim, it would not vanish in such a fashion.

Dan : [Coming back into the lab] Not at all - I'd say it just evaporated like the harmless gas it was. Why, I'd say it is no more harmful than steam from a kettle!

Alice : [Peeping up from behind a desk] Well done Aussie! [Looks to Clint] You know, you're right. It would be a waste to use a Nice Virus on you, I wonder what kind of virus would do the most good......

Stephen : [Enters the lab to look at the mess] Okay, places people! Have we found anything interesting yet? Clint, darling, you're making an awful mess. [Stand with one hand on hip and the other pointing to the papers flying about] I mean, I thought you said you couldn't read. [Pull out a light sensor and test for the best filming angles.]

Jerome: Dr Jerome K Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is most contented to comply with your most excellent suggestion, Sister. [After a few clicks, wirring noises and a squelch, Jerome plays the full list of strange messages back for everyone]

Alice : Oh, I suppose this means he's feeling better. Well, how do we seperate the useful virus or viruses from the dangerous ones?

Dan : I think you can take a sniff, and that should identify it. [Walks out toward the altar] I think there might be some more notes hidden in a secret panel here.

Clint: [To Alice] I'm glad you agree with me about the niceness virus. [Looks at the vials] Why don't you try one? [Tp Dan] A sniff? Wouldn't you catch a virus like that? Are you attempting to slay us through a cowardly act? [Draws his blade, and bumps a drawer closed in the process. Papers fall to the floor] [Looks at his clumsiness and attempts to ignore it] I wouldn't like that... Dan

Dan : [From behind the altar] Well, I'm sure I don't know about catching a virus from a sniff - its just a suggestion, there's no need to over react! [Looks at his watch] Well, its now 6.55, Iok will be back in just half an hour, so you'd better hurry with those viruses. There's no need to be so narky about it, I'm only trying to help. Just trying to help, that's all, no harm meant, just trying to give a suggestion, no need to bite my head off. A suggestion, that's all, and nothing more. A suggestion. If you don't want to open, you don't have to.

Alice : [Turning to Clint and inhaling deeply, making a disgusting snorting sound as she does so] You know, I think there might be something to this sniffing business after all - I just detected a deeply disturbing, obnoxious odour. You really do need a wash, Clint. Anyway, can we figure out the most useful one from Jerry's recordings?

Clint: [To Dan] Coward! Stop your sniveling, before I chop you into fish bait. [Lifts his arms and takes a wiff] Wheeew. [To Alice] Trying to smell my manly odor, I see. Don't worry, Alice, I'll be plenty clean for you later... when you come up to my room at the next inn we stay at. [Grins] You're right for once. I'm sure it won't happen again for a good while longer. Being right, that is. Recordings? [Looks at the party] The most useful is mine, of course. Mine said he came back early. In other words, he is not going to be back at 7:30, he's going to be back at 7:00. [Reaches with his bare hands for Dan, then looks at Immaculatta and stops] [To Dan] If you stalled us to meet our deathes, I'll throttle you you little... [Clint searches for a proper word]... retch? No, not vulgar enough. Puke? Naw... [Clint looks as if he is deep thought]

Alice : [Helpfully] Piece of shit worth less than something I scraped off the bottom of my shoe that smells even more manly than Clint?

[IMMACULATA eases past CLINT and walks towards the altar with the apparant intention of examining some of the faces. As she approaches, DAN suddenly leaps up and pushes her violently back.]

Dan : Perfect timing, just perfect! [Leaps back behind the altar as Immaculata falls backwards onto the floor, ending up sitting in the middle. Her head cracks off the ground and she lies there still, apparantly unconscious.]

[The final door of the temple opens, revealing IOK SOTOT and CONTAGION SOTOT.]

Iok : [Looks at Immaculata and then Clint furiously] What the hell do you think you're doing? [Takes red ball from a pouch] I'll make you sorry you dared enter my temple.

Clint: Dammit! Well, I guess he's back early. [Clint stops after the latter and just stares at party] Damn Damn damn. I said it. Now the other things will happen. [Shouting at Jerome] Jerry, get it ready! [Charges towards Iok] Die soul thief!!! You think you'll have a snack on my soul? I'll have a feast on yours! [Clint has a mad look on his face as if Clint is no longer there, and is replaced by a psychopath, bent on the destruction of a single pair of people]

Clint: Alice, get someone to check Mac, quick!!! Dan, I'm gonna make you wish that you hadn't quit Queen's View Girl Scouts Acadamy!!! The cookies aren't as bad for you're teeth as my fists are gonna be! I'm gonna... Argh!

Iok : [Looking extremely angry] I don't think so. [Holds his hand up, and as he does Clint appears to be grabbed by some invisible force, and then thrown violently passed Iok up against a wall. Iok glances at Contagion] Look after him, I'll take the lab.

Contagion : [Smiling] My pleasure. [Takes out a mace and moves towards Clint]

Iok : [Suddenly stopping in the middle of the room, beside Immaculata, and looking aghast at the state of the lab] What? How dare you? Not only do you go into my private lab, you ... [obviously too angry for words, his face turns purple with rage and he crushes the Soul Prison in his hand, breaking it.] you ... you ... you mess up all my notes, look at the state of my lab!

Alice : Look, see the way those veins stand up in his head? Don't they look like a chicken?

Iok : [With flared nostrils] Don't mention the veins.

Alice : [Turns to Jerome] Are those veins - I mean, those viruses ready? Is it safe to use them? [Looks around, beginning to panic] Come on guys, lets hear some ideas before he comes in!

Clint: [To Immaculatta] Maccy wake up! You have to say your line if the prophecy is going to work and we will win! [Pitches a small small pebble Imaculatta's way, hoping to wake her] You're right Alice. Chciken veins! [Laughs] Contagion, you will die at my big, corn filled, sweaty, over the hill, ugly, boot wearin', Sotot stompin' feet! You can surrender now, and face a swift death or.... [Clint grins and brandishes his sword. I think Contagion gets the point] [Charges Contagion] Die Demon-spawn die!

Contagion : [Engaging Clint] Your death will be less painful if do not irk Iok further. Conversations concerning chickens cause casualities.

[The two clash, with CLINT's sword slamming hard against CONTAGION's mace. CONTAGION seems remarkably calm, particularly beside the rabid CLINT, the foam from who's mouth soaks him. He pushes CLINTS thrust back, and crashes his mace down on his shoulder.]

Contagion : You fight well. It won't stop you dying, though.

Iok : [His head turns 360 degrees a la Exorcist to glare at Clint, before coming around to its final position. He takes out another red ball and begins walking slowly to the lab] Okay, who is responsible for destroying my lab?

Alice : [Drawing her sword] It looks like this is it, I guess now I'll never get [her voice breaks up a little] never get to see that mohair cardigan. [Chokes back a tear and looks at the others in the lab] Do we have a plan other than, wait here and get chopped into ``weiners"? [Makes the quotes with her left hand, and says it as though she has no idea what it means]

Clint: [To Contagion] I like pain! You'll learn to like it too after I finish you off! [Clint bears his teeth in a toothy smile] [To Iok] I trashed your lab you bastard! Why don't you try to take me instead of this runt! [To Alice] Run, girl! Take Jerry with you. It's too late to use the virus! [Grimaces as his sword strikes Contagion's mace again]

Jerome: [Shouts to Daniel] Daniel, you will rot in the lowest levels of hell for the traitorous scum that you are! [To Alice and Austni] Quick! Help Clint, stop Lok, and genreally buy Jerome some time! [Jerome leaps semi-athletically towards the cabinet, and opens the door]

[IMMACULATA Walks out of the lab, in the direction of the altar]

Jerome: [Shouts to Daniel] Daniel, you will rot in the lowest levels of hell for the traitorous scum that you are! [To Alice and Austni] Quick! Help Clint, stop Lok, and genreally buy Jerome some time! [Jerome leaps semi-athletically towards the cabinet, and opens the door]

Clint: You tell 'em, Jer. No Jerry! Take Alice with you and run! I'll hold them off. There's no chance to use the virus. It's too late. It's too late. Imaculatta wake up! They need you! [Slams his sword into Contagion's mace again] Die, damn you, die! You won't get them unless you go through me, and that's not likely, bub! [Bears his teeth]

Austin: [Cowers momentarily, in the corner of the lab. Overwhelmed by the sudden violence, suddenly notices Alice drawing her weapon. He moves to the lab door, and peers out. Upon discovering Dan hiding behind the altar, he draws his dagger, and with as much stealth as he can muster, approaches him, muttering to himself] You've had this coming, soft boy. I shall rape you and reap you, and eat your soul myself.

[As AUSTIN moves to go toward the altar, IOK is suddenly upon him. He grabs AUSTIN by the throat and lifts him off the ground, his vein is bulging enormously now.]

Iok : Eat my soul, little man? I don't think so. [Holds his other hand above Austin's heart] What are your feelings on a little unscheduled and perhaps unnecessary surgery? [Austin gasp as Iok's hand waves over his heart]

[CLINT suddenly lunges at CONTAGION, pushing him back slightly. CONTAGION regains his ground, however, and catches CLINT in the stomach with a blow.]

Contagion : Hmm [as though wondering what Clint is trying to do] Curious course Clint - can't control Contagion's counteraction, comrade. [Smashes his mace very violently at Clint, who can only parry the blow]

Alice : [Moves to the door of the lab] I can't get at Iok, Aussie is in the way! [Turns to Jerome] Are those viruses any use at all?

Sr Immaculata: [Surveying the scene in horror, she moves quickly into a kneeling position. She claps her hands together in prayer] Lord Philli [she yells, at the top of her voice] help us now in our hour of need! Crush this foul enemy with your holy might! I beseech you!

Iok : [Laughs and shakes Austin roughly] Do you hear that? That stupid nun is praying to Phili in the temple of Iok Sotot, the scene of my greatest triumphs, the greatest centre of evil in the entire realms, where the very fabric of time is warped by my evil!

Alice : [Tries to jab at Iok through Austin's legs] Got him! Well, I got something anyway.

Iok : Stupid girl, you are next. You try to harm Iok Sotot with a weapon such as that? I don't think so.

[CLINT seems exhausted from his efforts, and can only parry CONTAGION's blows. He is kneeling by the wall, barely blocking each of CONTAGION's swings.]

Contagion : Durability delays death.

[IMMACULATA gets to her feet, pulls out her mace and unsteadily staggers towards IOK. She stops suddenly as she spots DAN sneaking around the altar, also going towards IOK, in his hand he holds a very large dagger with a black hilt studded with red jewels. He sees IMMACULATA looking at him and does a ``shh" gesture with his finger and lips, and carries on moving slowly toward IOK]

Sr Immaculata: [Stands very still, head cocked to one side, as if listening to something. She nods affirmatively, and watches Dan, very closely. Immaculata raises her mace, taking careful aim at Dans head and pauses, waiting]

Austin: [Barely refraining from passing out, screams] Jerome, do something. [Clutches Maplin to his chest, covering his heart, and seems to be exerting as much pressure there as possible. With his other free hand he then swings his dagger at Iok's bulging vein]. Take a chance, and try any virus - otherwise we're all done for.

[DAN runs the last few steps up to IOK's back, and drives the dagger between his shoulders, holding it with his two hands. IOK's mouth opens in shock and he drops AUSTIN to the ground. He tries to grab DAN, and turns around as his arms flail about, but DAN still clings to the dagger]

Dan : Alright, you fucker! Who's got a soft heart now? Give it to me, give me your evil!

[CONTAGION knocks CLINT's sword out of his hand, and holds his mace up high, ready for the killing blow, when he is suddenly interrupted by Dan's high pitched squeals of delight. He turns to look just in time to see IOK drop to his knees, and then flat on his face. For once, his calm exterior disappears]

Contagion : [To no one in particular] What have you done? What have you let him do? [His face drops and his mace hangs by his side]

Sr Immaculata: Now? [Immaculata seems to listen again, before nodding sadly] Let Philli take pity on you! [she shouts, firing the mace at Dan].

Alice : Yay! [Runs to Austin] Aussie, are you okay?

[The mace flies through the air and crashes into DAN's head, knocking against the wall, and drawing blood from his mouth and nose. He smiles at IMMACULATA, revealing his blood stained teeth.]

Dan : It's too late, you're too late, bitch.

[A vapour rises from IOK's body, drifting around his head and shoulders. DAN, still clutching the dagger, opens his arms and leans his head back. As the vapour drifts towards him lightening crackles around the room, shooting around, narrowly missing IMMACULATA, AUSTIN and CLINT. Several beakers and phials in the lab being boiling and burst, showering ALICE, JEROME and STEPHEN with shards of broken glass and red hot liquid. Finally a fork of lightening strikes DAN and he begins shaking violently, the dagger flies from his hand and explodes into hundreds of tiny shards.]

Dan : [Falls to his knees, head in hands] Oh my God, what's happenning to me? It shouldn't be like this....

[The whole temple begins shaking, and the pillar nearest DAN starts to shift, as though it could soon topple over]

Contagion : You stupid bastards! Look what you've done! [Turns back to Clint and crashes his mace down on his shoulder] Stupid stupid stupid!

[DAN screams in agony, and curls up into a ball. Meanwhile the pillar lurches violently]

Austin: [Shakes his head, trying to overcome his weakness, then looks about as if he doesn't realise where he is. He then places a hand upon the ground, and pushes himself upwards. Staggers feebly, and then propels himself towards the final door, saying as walks] Jerome, bring the vials...

Alice : [Helping Austin to the door, and pulling it open] Shriek! There's a huge portcullis here. I hope one of those vials has a potion of strength, Jerry, otherwise we'll never get out.

[DAN gives one final scream, and a burst of energy seems to fly out of his eyes, striking the already loose pillar, which topples over. Just as CONTAGION is about to deliver the final, killing blow to CLINT, he hears the pillar and turns]

Contagion : Oh sh - ! [Splat.]

[The pillar misses CLINT by a matter of inches, and crashes through the wall, breaking a hole in it, revealing a room on the other side.]

Clint: [Looks at Contagion with a smirk, and says in a monotone] Well, I guess they don't make soul eating mother fuckers like they used to. [Grimaces at the pain] Dammit! My shoudler's busted. Hurt's like a bitch! [Yells to everyone] Is everyone ok, besides me that is?

Jerome: [Making a pocket out of his cardigan, and putting all of the vials into it. He then runs over to Alice, and looks at the portcullis.] Hmmm.. .Well, we have Four brown, one green and one red viruses here. It would have to be assumed, that the brown would be the type he would use most. When we take into consideration the late lOK's personality and life goals, would be for some eminently evil purpose. Therefore, should we try the red, or the green?

[CLINT pushes himself to his feet, slowly rotating his shoulder. He grimaces at first, but a quick look of relief comes over him as he realises it isn't broken. He joins the others at the door that IOK came in.]

Alice : Not so fast Jerry! We don't want a one breaking, do we? [Touches the portcullis] This is crazy, look at the size of it! Maybe Iok was strong enough to lift it, but I don't think we have a chance. [Peers into Jerome's cardigan] So the question is, which one should we use? Of course, the question is also what should we use it for? And I suppose we can't forget when should we use it? Then there's the matter of where should we use it? And, [jerking her thumb out towards the temple] then there's the matter of what's going on with Dan? Okay, so that's four questions, well six, no, five. Well, you know what I mean.

[DAN is now lying face down by the wall, silent but breathing heavily. At the other end of the room CONTAGION's hands and feet, which are the only visible parts of him, begin twitching.]

Alice : He's not going to be able to move that, is he? Anyway, what about the virus? Why don't we decide what virus is most likely to be the luck one? Are the quotes going to be any use here?

[JEROME obligingly plays the tape back]

Sr Immaculata: Well I think this supposed luck virus is in either the red or green vial. What I think is this, one of us drinks the red, or green liquid, enabling whomever with a mysterious holy power. Then, guided by the hand of Philli, the correct brown vial will be chosen, and somehow used to get us out of here. [Immaculata notices movement out of the corner of her eye and turns her head, spying Contagions twitching hands and feet] I know this is quite a disgusting thought and may Philli forgive me, but we could, you know, cut them off? If that thing is still alive, it won't be much of a treat running after us on two stumps! [She blesses herself and mutters a quick prayer]

Jerome: [Looking at Dan] Should someone go and kill him while we have a chance? One of you fighter types? Surely now is the time to cut his head off. Anyway. Hmmm. Allow me to digress, if you will. We have here a brown vial, which is mentioned in Sister Immaculata's premonition. So, Jerome believes this is the vessel to take the virus from. Alice's words are said urgently, so it could reasonably be assumed that the decision has to be made in haste. Austin mentioned Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. getting lucky. Now, does this mean that the Brown is the luck virus? Or merely that whatever is about to happen is lucky? Or, perhaps Austin is merely being crass while describing Alice's exuberant reaction to Jerome solving the whole thing?

Alice : [Smiling sweetly at Jerome] Or perhaps Aussie is describing another, as yet, unknown incident? [Glances over at Dan, who is still breathing heavily] I suppose you're right Jerry, some should do the business on him. Austin? Isn't it kind of in your line of work to stab a man in the back when he's down? That's what being a lawyer is about, right? Now, Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc PhD's line of reasoning sounds pretty good to me, even though I'm not sure what exuberant means. There is, however, the matter of the room near the twitcher. [Holds her sword up to Immaculata] Want to borrow this?

Sr Immaculata: [Looks at the sword being offered by Alice] Now girl, how many times have you being told, never offer a sword pointy bit first! Anyway, it's against my creed to use such a weapon. Think about it, yes, use it, no. [Looks in the direction of the formerly hidden room, and starts walking towards it]

[IMMACULATA enters the room through the hole in the wall, carefully avoiding the still twitching hands of CONTAGION. To everyone's surprise she doesn't pause to torture him further.]

Alice : Well, Austin? [Nods towards Dan] Are you going to do the business? Wait, look! [Points at Iok]

[Incredibly, IOK is trying to push himself up. Slowly, obviously painfully he is staggering up.]

Alice : I think we better get out of here!

Sr Immaculata: [Calling to the others from the hidden room] Come quickly, I may have found a way out!

Alice : [Standing at the entrance to the new room] There are two doors here, one is open and the other seems to have some kind of combination lock on it. There's also a lift of some kind.

Austin: [Still quite shaky, rubs his throat with his left hand. Then starts moving towards the hole (also carefully avoiding Contagion)]. I shall not slay a man while he is down and helpless, and also I fear for my life. Strange things have happened here - those that have sustained a mortal blow and should be dead, continue to breathe. That dagger protruding from Iok's back is also interesting, but I would not venture to inspect it closer. My recommendation would be to flee this Philli forsaken place, but then the thought occurs that should we not dispose of these beings, they will catch us up. My final worry, is that should we remove that black dagger, then Iok may recover more quickly. But it may also be used to finish him off. As stated previously, but as some of you are quick to forget [gives a meaningful glance towards Clint], I shall not be the one that does it. I put Maplin at risk, only when the danger is great enough that he may come to harm. Therefore, look to another to do your dirty work...

Iok : [Having pulled himself to his knees, looks to Austin] You fool, kill him while you can... soon it will be too late...

[DAN suddenly leaps to his feet, he has undergone an incredible metamorphosis. He is now 6' 6" tall, and most of the skin and hair looks like it has been burnt off his face. His eyes flick open, but inside each socket is what looks like a screaming skull, each with the same thing in its eyes and mouth. He smiles broadly, revealing what appears to be another screaming skull inside his mouth.]

Dan : [Now speaking with the deepest voice anyone has ever heard] It already is too late. Daniel ``Softheart" Gsten the Virgin is dead, and shall be known as Dangsten Blackheart.

Iok : [Pleading to Austin] Kill him, please, kill him...

Clint: Awww Sheeeahhht! Let's get outa here. I would've finiched the job, but... [Bolts for the Elevator and tries to pry it open with his blade or force it open with his hands]

Alice : [As Clint pushes past her] Ow! No need to push!

[Inside the room there are two doors, the one in the direction of the room where the others are standing which is slightly ajar. The other is a sliding door, with a combination lock that requires typing on a keypad, this door is locked. In the corner is what looks like a primitive elevator. There is an instruction book on the power to weight ratios required for the lift, but seems to be full of incomprehensible mathematical formulae. The lift is just a small platform that holds one person. CLINT arrives in the room, only to be confronted by the users manual for the lift.]

Stephen [Legs it towards the lift] Me first!

Alice : I think we need Jerome!

Dangsten : Come on you fucking cowards! There's six of you here, come on!

Jerome: [looking at the lock] Ok.. Let's see what we have here... [examines the lock in meticulous detail] While Jerome is examining the lock in meticulous detail, perhaps now would be the optimum time to remove the loud and obnoxious irritation that is Dangsten. Hmm. That sounds like a beer. [shrugs, then turns to Clint] Leave this to me - shouldn't you be removing various pieces from Contagion? He WAS trying to kill you earlier. You have the motive, you have the weapon, you even have the location, so get to it, Colonel Mustard!

Clint: [Looks at Jerome with wild eyes, then seems to calm down] Fine Jerry. I am one with my blade. The ancient art of blade mastery is at my disposal and I know what I must do. [Looks around] What the heck did I just say? Oh well, I supose I will use that wisdom if I can ever interpret it. [Charges towards Contagion] I am one with my blade. I am one with my blade. I am the blade! The blade is forged of tempered steel. You will die now, cowards!

Stephen [Stood mortifed in terror, whimpering] : I hate violence, oh God, I'm going to die! [Pull out camcorder and start filming] Go get 'em Clint!

Austin: [Proceeds to move next to Jerome, to help him examine the lock, but directs a question at Iok] How is that now, you wish to kill your son? Is it that somehow, you wish your lost power to be restored? Why not take that task upon yourself, or are you now too weak, and if so, where did your strength come from, how is it that Dan managed to take it from you, how is that with such a mortal blow, you still live? Kill him yourself, and if you cannot, tell us which virus is the one to do the job... I have spoken, and no more shall I say upon this matter. [Returns his attention to the lock].

Stephen [Running towards Sr Immaculata to follow her] Say sis, I bet that Contagion is really well hung, do you know what I mean?[Nudge her with my elbow] Of course, if there was a God, this sort of thing would never happen. [Shout towards the others] Come on people, follow me. We're on a tight budget here. Oh my, I remember when I was tight...so long ago...so many members, er memories. Oh Sis, you do bring out the wickedness in me.

Iok : [So weak he can't even stand] What? What the fuck are you talking about?

[CLINT goes out to where CONTAGION is lying, and with a quick flash of his sword, lops off a hand. CONTAGION screams in agony.]

Dangsten : [Moving toward Clint, and knocking over Iok as he does so] Sleaze, you irritate me. Earlier you threatened to kill me, to rape me and reap me and eat my soul, and now you run. Run. Save yourself, Sleaze, like the coward you are. Save yourself. Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. [Curiously, Dangsten develops a Scottish accent] Choose a fucking big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers... choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on a couch watching mind-numbing, spirit crushing game shows, stuffing junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?

Alice : [Desperately grabbing the user manual for the lift and flicking through it] Let's see, it can't be that hard to work it ``Q times the power to weight ration of the second largest fluid container divided by the product of the total heat output in kilojoules of non-solar derived energy sources..." Hmm, does anyone have a PhD in maths?

[CLINT does a somersault, landing beside CONTAGION's left foot, in a blur of steel and flesh, CONTAGION's boot is seen flying through the air.]

Dangsten : [To Clint] Cut off what you like, that won't kill him. [Pauses for a moment, before catching Iok by the scruff of the neck and walking toward the lab. He stops and looks back at the party] I suggest that you not be here when I am finished. [Carries on walking, and starts talking to Iok] You know, Daddy, I always hated the way you and the others always had to include ``virgin" in my name. Suddenly I can't think of a better time to lose it - or a person I'd more enjoy losing it to. [Enters the lab, and shuts the door after him. After a moments silence, Iok can be heard screaming]

Sr Immaculata:[Listens at the door with the combination lock] Why, I do declare, but I can hear running water on the other side. It might be an underground river! [Immaculata notices the screams from the temple] What on earth is going on out there? [Immaculata looks at Alice for an answer, noticing the User Manual as she does so] Alice, for goodness sakes, give it to Trindle!

Alice : [Handing the manual to Jerome] Mac, I think you better get Stephen to explain what's going on...Well Jerry, can you make sense of it?

Clint: [Stepping away from Contagion] Aww man! This guy's still moving! This isn't fair or natural. Let's get outta here before Virge comes back and attempts to have one of us as his bitch. [Looks at Austin] You realize he thinks you're cute... [Winks] ... and you'll be next unless we get outta here. [Rubs his shoulder] Damn, I'm hurting but... [Looks at the door] [Suddenly developes an Austrian accent] Get out of my vay girly-people. I vill bust down door with mine mooscles. [Looks at everyone and loses the accent] In others words, I'm gonna throw myself at the door whilst you try to check the manual, unless anyone has an objection to this. [Sheathes his sword] The way I figure it, is if we can hear water through it, it must not be that thick... [Smirks] .... like Alice's head. I've never used a manual before, and I never will. If it's broke you just need to give it a swift kick. That's how I fixed Dr. Trindle's VCR that one time, at least. [Looks at Jerome] Jerry, did it ever work after that?

Jerome: [To Mac] River you say? Intriguing. [To Clint, in response to Contagion's screams] A hand and a foot already? Very good, Mr Scar. Keep it up. [Takes the manual from Alice, with a shy smile] Ok, let's let Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D have a look at the manual. Hmmm... Ummm.. Errr. Hmmm. No, the quantum physics of that equation is all wrong - unless the variable in the function is squared, oh, yes, I thought that was a coffee stain.

Clint: Aww gee... thanks [Kicks up some dust] It's my life. Now get outta my way!

[CLINT runs at the door and crashes into it with his good shoulder. He doesn't even shake it.]

Alice : [Looking at the lock] Maybe we could guess the combination? Or maybe we should take the lift out?

[The temple shakes severely, as though it will soon collapse]

Alice : I wonder did the earth move for Dangsten the ex-virgin too?

Clint: [Clint makes a face that shows he is thoroughly disgusted] Alice, darling, you just placed above me in the great ``Book of Sick and Demented Individuals". I would bow to my new queen if I remembered how to grovel. [Looks at Austin and winks] Do you think the earth will move for you when Ex-Virge comes back out? [Looks at Jerome and draws his sword] Jerry, do you think you could wire the lift if I cut the lock off?

Austin: [Winks back at Clint] I would wager that you would find it difficult to bow to yourself, after Dan has his way with YOU, as thereafter you would be the only new queen... [Returns his attention to the lock] And quit prancing about like an effeminate little puff, stop bouncing of the walls, sit down, and let me have a crack at this lock.

Clint: Oh yeah. Well if he does have his way with me at least he's be satisfied with my front side as well as my back, Wee Willy Winkie. [Grins] Yeah, I heard the rumours. [Pats below his belt] Yup, too bad Austin. I've never had that problem.

Alice : Oh be quiet the lot of you, we're not in some smutty smoke filled gym changing room now where you have to swan about showing off your pecks and oil soaked abs wearing only those tiny little Speedo trunks with the lace untied at the top so it looks like they could slip off at any time and ... ahem. Just be quiet, let Jerry figure out this lift - a real man is a one who doesn't boast about it, lets hope that at least one man is using the appropriate organ to think.

Austin: [Curses under his breath] I didn't know these locks were ever made! Guaranteed unbreakable, I've heard it boasted, and it has bested even my skill. Yet a solution must exist. [Places his left hand upon his chin, as if thinking to himself, then clicks his fingers in that irritable way, as if suddenly stumbling upon an idea]. Dan mentioned a secret panel behind the altar. Has anyone checked there after he was done? That's where he obtained the dagger, so perhaps more surprises lie hidden waiting for discovery. I shall quickly check there. [Leaves the room, and checks the altar, where he saw Dan hiding earlier].

Alice : Austin - what happens if Dangsten the stud comes out? [Watches Austin walk up to the altar, and bend over check the now open panel, his rear pointing suggestively toward the lab door]

[The lab door swings open and DANGSTEN stands there, dressed in a velvet smoking jacket with a cigarette in a holder in his hand]

Dangsten : [After taking a long drag on the cigarette and taking a good look at Austin's posterior] Mm-mm. Sleaze the Tease. Well, hello.

Alice : Quick Austin! Get out of there! [Looks at Jerome who appears to be doing some kind of calculations in his head] Come on Jerry! Hurry up!

Jerome: [To Alice] Dearest Alice, would you so rush an artist? Jerome believes that it would be in your best interests to allow Jerome to continue on his research of this person carrying elevation unit, as a mistake in Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D.'s calculations could result in disaster. [Jerome continues to examine the lift for a second, then turns back to the party] Jerome believes that he can operate this elevation device, by changing the tension on these pulleys [points], to send one person up the shaft.

Clint: Alice, I know this isn't the time, but you know Jerry better than I do. Why does he always talk about himself in third person? [To Jerome] Get Alice up there. She will check it out and see if it's safe. It can't be worse than down here. [Looks at Austin and yells] SLEAZE LOOK OUT!!! It's Dan the vir-.... um ex-Virgin!!! [Back to Jerome] Dammit Jerry, get the Lift working unless you want to be next! I heard he likes the brainy types! [Draws his sword and walks into the Temple's main room, looks at Dangsten, and stops in almost the middle of the room] Hi Dan. Remember me? You can have Sleaze if you really want 'em. I've heard he's sorta tiny, though if though if you know what I mean. [Fakes a smile.] So lets make a deal. You can have Aussie here, and we'll just leave. Okay? [His cigar rolls into the corner of a newly formed frown, and a little smoke sifts out the other corner] But if you try to have your way with any of the rest of us, save the nun or Aussie, you'll be getting a serious hemeroid check with THIS. [Brandsihes his sword] Sound kinky? Well, pal, if you try anything, you'll get it right up the... [Smiles] You get the picture, I hope.

Alice : [Surprised at Clint's suggestion] Send Alice up? What happens if there's monster or a tiger or a group of soldiers or even a bad hairdresser up there? Jerome, are you sure that it will come back down again? I don't fancy being trapped up there trying to figure out how to get the thing to come down again. Anyway [coyly] shouldn't the artist see his work to completion to ensure that his audience can tryly appreciate the mastery and genius that went into it?

Dangsten : [Looks up at Clint, still standing at the door and smoking] Remember you? Of course I do, in the same way one remembers an annoying moth. Now, I have something to deal with, after that I will be complete. Then I will kill you. [Leans over and pinches Austin's bum, before entering the lab]

[The door of the lab opens, and DANGSTEN sticks his head out]

Dangsten : [Blowing a kiss at Austin] I like you the best, so I'll kill you last. [Closes and locks the door]

Alice : Well, Dr. Jerome K Picasso? How's your masterpiece going?

Sr Immaculata: I'm inclined to agree with Alice, Dr Trindle. It's not right or proper to send a young and defenceless gal to her possible doom. Heaven only knows what lies in wait, ready to pounce and rend, with great blood drenched fangs, ripping, tearing. [Immaculata mimes the stalk of the panther, hands clenched in the form of claws] Perhaps Mr Sleaze or that Scar character would prefer to go.

Jerome: [To Immac and Alice] Sister, dearest lady, if danger must be faced, and enemies vanquished, Jerome will gladly investigate what awaits at the top of this device. [To Clint and Austin] Would either of you object? Perhaps, Austin, you would like to escape from Dan the Arse-Bandit before he pulls out a golf club and starts playing the back nine? [To Clint, with a slightly superior air] While studying at the University, Jerome learned of past polite and gentle times, when it was considered improper to speak in the first person. First Person speaking was viewed as much too posessive, and so Third Person speach became the en vogue. Therefore, as Jerome a pinnicle of society, both in the arts and learned professionalism, it became most important for him adopt a more correct manner in which to speak. [Sigh] Now, alas, it has become far to engraved in Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D.'s mind to be easily cast aside, and Jerome finds he is unable to revert to a more ``working-class" mode of speach. Does that answer your question adeqately, Mr Scar? [Turns to Alice] My dear lady, if it is indeed your wish to traverse skyward in this elevation unit, Jerome must a question a lady must never be asked. Unfortunately, dear, forgiving Alice, Jerome must know your approximate weight on which the required calculations must be based.

Austin: [As he hears the lab door open, freezes, then slowly makes an about face towards the lab door. He then sprints for the gap in the wall, and rushes to stand behind Sr. Immaculata] Sister, protect me from all that is Dangsten and such sodomy - it i s enough to curdle the blood. [Then looks towards Jerome] It is a choice we have, my good philosopher, to use the viruses and rid ourselves of the immediate problem or to use the lift one by one, and suffer the chance that only a few may escape. Also, I do not understand the mechanism used by this lift device, but will it be necessary that one person remains? I certainly hope not. And who is to go first - what know we of what lies above or below? I would recommend using the virus to rid us once and f or all of this pest that wears the body of Dangsten...

Alice : [Jumping back from Immacapanther and drawing her sword] Not defenceless, just not careless Mac. I agree Clint is probably one of the more expendable members of the party, other than ... [looks at Stephen, who is clearly still feeling ill, and is now sitting on the floor] But I would question his ability to comprehend the mechanics of the device, not to mention the serious doubts about his mental stability which recent events raised. Just imagine if the lift rises up to a group of aliens who have decided to make contact with mankind - they come in peace, giving us shiny beads and cardigans and things and what does Clint do? [Alice is clearly getting annoyed] Chop them into small pieces, cook a stew, parcel it up and send it back to their families who then then [chokes with anger and disbelief] mobilise the entire alien fleet to vapourise our planet! Is that what you want Mac? To kill us all?

[AUSTIN, who has been standing as still as a statue leaps athletically over the altar and dashes past CLINT]

Austin: Sister, protect me from all that is Dangsten and such sodomy - it is enough to curdle the blood. [Then looks towards Jerome] It is a choice we have, my good philosopher, to use the viruses and rid ourselves of the immediate problem or to use the lift one by one, and suffer the chance that only a few may escape. Also, I do not understand the mechanism used by this lift device, but will it be necessary that one person remains? I certainly hope not. And who is to go first - what know we of what lies above or below? I would recommend using the virus to rid us once and for all of this pest that wears the body of Dangsten...

Alice : What happens if we use a virus and we all end up catching it? [Turns to Jerome and says quietly] Dr. Trindle, you will have noticed that I chose to ignore your question about weight. If it is totally necessary, I will furnish you with the information in a private manner - I'm sure you can understand. So, who is going to test to see if we can get the lift to go up and back down again?

Sr Immaculata: [Pivots gracelessy to face Austin, hands still in the shape of claws] Roar! Mr Sleaze, not so close, sir! Mr Sleaze, [touches Maplin, in a kind, maternal kind of way] that creature will not defile your body. Put your faith in Philli, for His is the power that will save! [Immaculata turns back to Alice, a bemused look on her face] I'm sure, Alice, that if you ask Mr Scar not to kill, cook and post the green lads, should he so find them, he'd be only too happy to oblige. There now, no need to get yourself all upset, is there?

Alice : Green lads? Don't be so facetious sister, it is a well known fact aliens are a pale shade of grey.

Jerome: [Thinking] Mayhap we could use one of the bodies lying around us [not at at all looking at Stephen] or the statue? All we need is weight to test the machine. In fact, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. could possibly send the Elevation unit up and back down again without the need for a weight. [Inspects the manual]

Sr Immaculata: [Arches her eyebrow] Facetious is it? Sr Badcrumble would be most impressed and dare I say, delighted indeed with your knowledge and use of our language. It's a shame you never applied yourself so diligently during your education, young madam! I remember the poor sister close to tears on many an occasion. She would come up to me and say, ``Oh Sister, that Alice, she cannot even grasp the rudimentaries of grammer! Prepositons have her perplexed, nouns make her neurotic, verbs cause her violence and pathos, oh sister, pathos makes her puke! What am I to do?" To which I would answer the same answer I always answered...expel her, Sr Badcrumble! Mind you, you did make exceedingly good cakes!

Alice : You might remember, sister, that I only visited the school in Queens View for two months a few years back, just before Badcrumble had her nervous breakdown, which, if memory serves me correct, was just after it was discovered that far from Sr. Mary Badcrumble being a pious bride of Phili she was actually some guy who stole the secret from Jacobs to getting the fig into the fig roll and chose to hide in the convent. I don't think her famous cooking was her own work - you might remember that after serving her jail sentence and subsequent sex change operation she joined the famous crime gang of Mr. Kipling. Anyway I knew all about grammar, what is it again? Preposition... to be reading the Kama Sutra, see? You never lose it!

Jerome: [To Clint] Could you possibly grab the make-up covered corpse of Joan and bring it here? [Thinks for a second] One good thing about dying when wearing that much make-up in this heat is that you draw your own chalk line.

Clint: [Sheathes his sword with a exasperated look on his face] Fine I'll go up on the lift, just shut the hell up about grammer and... [Folds his hands in a lady-like pose]... ettiquete. [Unfolds his hands] Bleach!!! damn! Put me on there, Jerry. Phili damned instrument! [Steps up to the lift] At least I won't be down here with Sodomy Master Dangsten. By the way I'm... [Clint tells Jerome and the party how heavy he is]

Jerome: [To Clint] You want to go up? OK. [shrugs] Now, let's see [starts leafing through the manual] Tiny, light, normal, heavy, ah! Here we are - Neanderthal. [Makes some calculations, sets everything up, and pushes the UP button]

Clint: [Stares through Jerome] This had better work. [Grins and blows some smoke into Jerome's face]

Austin: All in all, it doesn't matter - it's all dead weight. But how, my dear Mr. Scar, are you going to signal that you wish to come back down - for fear that there may be worse awaiting you up there, than awaits you down here? Or does the lift not cater for that, Jerome?

Jerome: [To Austin and Clint] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. will only leave the elevator up at the limit of it's reach for a few seconds, then bring it back down again. [Pushes the UP button again] Hmm.. Is this stuck? Oh, this needs to be released first. [Pulls out a pin, and then presses the UP button]

[For a second, nothing happens. JEROME presses the button again, still nothing happens. He then takes the Microsoft approach to lift operation : CLINT gets off the lift, JEROME turns it off and everyone leaves the room for a few minutes. After a short wait, everyone comes back in, CLINT gets back on the lift, JEROME switches it on, and waits four minutes for it to reboot and then presses the UP button. The lift hums for a few seconds before rising, but it stops halfway up.]

Alice : Jerome! The setting should have been Neanderthal with a beer belly, you silly!

[Proving her wrong, the lift starts up again, slowly moving upwards. Suddenly the floor of the lifts swings open, unceremoniously dropping CLINT out of it. He flies passed the other, open-mouthed members of the party, pausing only to blow some smoke at JEROME.]

Alice : [Peering over the edge] Shriek! There's a huge drop there, with loads of spikes at the bottom - if he lands on them they'll shred him to vegemite!

Sr Immaculata: Oh my goodness! [Peers over the edge also]

Alice : Unless he manages to land on his tiptoes and avoid the spikes he's shredded!

Jerome: [Quick as lightning, Jerome pulls out his pocket knife, and throws a small nylon rope with a hook on the end down the shaft.] Clint! Catch this! [Turns his head] Everyone else! Quick, I won't be able to hold him myself!

[CLINT grabs at the hook and the rope immediately goes taut, before CLINT's weight whips the knife out JEROME's hands]

Alice : What are the chances that he'll manage to avoid the spikes?

Sr Immaculata: Unless he's the luckiest man in the world, none! Philli will not save him...wait, who has the glass jars? The one with the luck virus?

Jerome: [pulling the jars out from under his cardigan] Your call, Sister. Which one?

Sr Immaculata: No, I won't do it. [Shaking her head] My religous creed forbids me from gambling, which is exactly what this is. And I will not gamble with a human life. It's up to you!

Alice : [Turning away from the sight of Clint hurtling toward the spikes] Jerry! For Phili's sake, use the virus! Use the virus!

Stephen : [Looks on (through the lense of his camcorder) in fear as his beloved lead character approaches certain doom] Quick, Alice, choose a phial. [To the others] Have you ever seen Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Holy Grail, with Harrison Ford etc. Anyway, this real dumb blonde chooses a Cup, which was the wrong one. Then the hero, me in this instance, will choose the right one. Okay lights, camera and....

Alice : Come on Jerry, pick the luck virus. Once you've that one picked we will know which is the harmful virus. [Looks back at Stephen] Always useful information to have.

Sr Immaculata: [Turns sharply to Stephen] Put away that camera, you ghoul! I mean it, turn it off now! And stop your foolish babbling!

Stephen : [Pushing past to get a better look at the falling Clint] Out of my way, I can get a BAFTA for this. [Shouts to Clint] Clint, lovey. You need to scream louder, louder. Your motivation is that you're about to die! I want to see real fear...[Focuses camera on Clint using 10x1000 zoom]

Alice : [Ignoring the slow motion fall of Clint and turning to face Stephen, sword in hand] Look, you odious little man, [blocks the camera with her other hand] I just want to say three things to you. A, we don't want your camera in here. Two, I don't believe we ever actually agreed that you are a bona fide member of the party. [Pauses for a second, her sword pointing at Stephen.] Okay, I've only two things to say. Hmm, that pit is a little deeper than it looks.

Austin: [Looks at Jerome handing around the vials] Jerome, just pick one yourself, and toss it in. Perhaps, Sr. Immaculata might console herself then that you will have picked the right one, were she to pray to Philli. It seems that we are now outside the temple, so perhaps she can open some kind of communication channel with her favourite idol. I should stand back when you throw it in, though, to avoid what may be an infectious death-dealing vapour. [Starts moving slowly away, from the lift, and Immaculata].

Alice : [One hand on the lens, another holding her sword, which she points at Austin and tracks him as he moves out.] Hold your ground Aussie - with the possible exception of the director, we're all in this together. Sneaking off isn't helping anyone, and jolly well isn't cricket. If you want to do something, why don't you see what's inside the other door? [Clearly annoyed, she swings her sword around, narrowly missing Stephen to point at the door, before wildly swinging it back] If we are unfortunate enough that the really [punctuates each syllable with a jab of the sword at Austin] clever Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc PhD somehow picks the wrong virus, it hardly seems likely that [voice rises] hiding on end of Dangstens dick is going to help matters, [spits the final part out] does it?

Stephen: [Getting annoyed]Get your sweaty palms of my camera, and do something about your makeup. It's all smudged and you look like you've been dragged through a hedge sideways. Twice. And if you don't stop swinging your sword about, I'll have to swing IT straight back into the props box. It's only made of cardboard wrapped in foil anyway.

Jerome: While everyone's support and courage that Jerome will make the correct decision on this matter is very touching, Jerome still doesn't want to do it. [Reflectively] Of course, if Jerome chooses not to send one, Clint will stay alive and suspended in the shaft forever. [Pulling out the green vial, Jerome throws it down to Clint] Mr Scar! Heads up!

Stephen : [With a look of horror watches. He too is now in slow motion as he watches the phial fall. Recovers and turns to Jerome] Actually Jerome, I'd have picked the red one! But it's too late now. You've sent us all to our doom. We're all going to die! And there isn't even any one here to film it!

Stephen : [With a look of horror watches. He too is now in slow motion as he watches the phial fall. Recovers and turns to Jerome] Actually Jerome, I'd have picked the red one! But it's too late now. You've sent us all to our doom. We're all going to die! And there isn't even any one here to film it!

Clint : [Looks up and attempts to grab the green vial] Dammit if I die I want you to know that I hate you nun! I always will in my own personal hell! Damn you nun!

Sr Immaculata: Did I hear someone break wind? [Turning to Trindle] Doctor, as I said much earlier, I also thought it was the green phial. [To Austin, angrily] Mr Sleaze, I will not pray for that twisted, bitter and evil soul, so do not tell me my business! I do not tell you when to swindle innocent victims in the courtroom, or when to have rapists released on technicalities, so do not dare tell me mine!

[JEROME fires the phial at CLINT, and it breaks open, releasing a thick green vapour. CLINT makes a thumbs up gesture at JEROME before being impaled on about six spikes with a sickening squelch.]

Alice : [Form in hand, turns away from the pit] Oh, yuk. I guess it wasn't the green one after all. [Hands the form back to Austin] I think you'd better be quicker with that the next time.

[From somewhere inside the temple comes the sound of someone roaring laughing.]

Austin: [Bows to Alice] My dear, you order me about like a slave, but I do enjoy it so. [Faces the second door, and examines it, searching for traps, but continues speaking, this time to Immaculata] I would not deign to tell you your business, good sister, and I had not known how Clint felt about you - indeed after that last outcry, I should wonder that you do not pray for his demise, but that would not benefit the party, nor the third party involved in such disclosures, in the long term. In the short term, however, we could reap some immediate benefits, such as life insurance. [Whips at a form from his back pocket, and throws it towards Alice] Perhaps, you could get him to sign this before he reaches the bottom of the shaft. It describes, you and myself as the main benefactors upon his decease - and I would buy my freedom once again...

Jerome: [Looking anxiously down the shaft at Clint] But, green was the obvious choice! Green means go, surely ``Go" is lucky? And besides - Red means danger and Brown means shit! [To Austin] And why would Iok Sotot make more luck viruses than anything else? Because of his sunny disposition? [Yells down to the bottom] Mr Scar? Don't suppose you're still alive down there?

Sr Immaculata: [Looks down the lift shaft at Clint] Urgh, it looks like one of the spikes went right through his, ahem, genitals. Nasty! Is that one of his testicles on the very tip of the spike?

Alice : Honestly Mac, do you ever think of anything other than sex? Sex sex sex, that's all nuns ever seem to think about. Sex for breakfast, sex for lunch, sex for dinner and sex for supper. Oh, it is a testicle - pretty gross isn't it? [Looks over to Killer] Maybe you could run those recordings by us again? You never know, the luck virus might be necessary to get us out of here - Dangsten is obviously watching us. Want a prozac Jer?

Sr Immaculata: Perhaps Dangsten made you choose the green one! [Walks over to Jerome, and touches his arm] It wasn't your fault, Dr Trindle. You made a choice, a wrong choice unfortunately, but the one you, and I, felt was correct at the time. Scar was going to die anyway. If the spikes didn't get him, lung cancer would, what with those foul, dung filled cigars he had!

Alice : Why don't we try and figure out which one is the luck virus now? In case another opportunity to use it arises - I'd rather not wait until I'm falling down a pit to discover which one is the killer virus. Well Aussie? Anything behind the door?

Stephen : [Peering over the hole and wincing at the sight of Clint]Well, well, well Jez. You boo-boo'd really badly honey. [Turns camera on himself and makes a rousing speech in best masculine voice]So help me I shall avenge the death of my dear departed friend. I will not rest until [struggles] I erm, I do something about it.

Alice : Very touching - but that doesn't help us with the matter of the viruses, any ideas?

Sr Immaculata: Right, that does it! [Grabs the camera from Stephen, who pulls back on it. There follows an undignified struggle, with each of the pulling back and forth on it]

Alice : For God's sake, behave yourselves! [Drops her sword and tries to seperate the two of them]

[For a few seconds the three scuffle, dangerously close to the edge of the pit. Suddenly, IMMACULATA slips and loses her balance. Still holding onto the camera she falls back, dragging STEPHEN and ALICE into the pit with her in a blur of waving arms, cameras and habits]

Alice : Help! Jerry! For Phili's sake, use the virus! Use the virus! And for Phili's sake pick the right one!

Austin: [Shouts after the falling ensemble] Bye-bye. [Then shrugs his shoulders and returns his attention to the door and mutters to himself] It seems that this way only leads back to the room with the portcullis. [Looks around, and then stares as if suddenly noticing Jerome] Oh, I thought you had fallen in as well. Well in that case, man, what are you waiting for. Pick a vial, and make it a brown one this time. Although, perhaps it was necessary to mix both the green and red - does that make brown? I'm not sure, my artistic skills are limited to the art-appreciation aspect, and mainly applied to that of the opposite sex and myself, naturally. But it seems that we still have a few problems. As there are three people falling, is it necessary to throw in three vials, or will one suffice? Then there remains the problem, if that succeeds, of getting them back out again - it seems to be an awfully long shaft. But then perhaps Clint may soften their landing. And this c! ombination lock still perplexes me even at the best of times.

Alice : [Indignantly] Thanks a bunch for the sympathy Austin!

Stephen:I'm more worried what that green virus we sent down there [points to Clint's grave] is going to do. Quite clearly, the red virus is the luck virus. After all, our blood is also red [waves finger in air to emphasise the point] and we're prerry lucky we have that or we'd all be dead! [Now looks smug]

Sr Immaculata: Oh Philli, is this how I am to end my days, in between a fruit and a vegetable?

Alice : Very clever Mac, Stephens a fruit and you obviously mean vegetable as in ``meat and two veg" [nods at the spiked testicle] good to see that you can joke even at a time like this.

Stephen : [Reaches into pocket and produces a transmitter similar to those used in Star Wars] C3P0, can you here me. C3P0, can you hear me?. [Voice crackles back 'Master Luke?'] No, it's Stephen. Shut down all the garbage disposal units in the detention centre. I repeat, shut down all the garbage disposal units in the detention centre. Oh, and lose the spikes.

Stephen : You know Sis, they say that when a man dies suddenly, he gets a big erection. Giving the speed your falling and your current trajectory...Let's just say your arse is the bulls-eye and that penis is the arrow! What a way to go...

Alice : Eauh! Gross - You're going to have anal sex with Mac? I do declare that I'd rather die than watch this!

Stephen [Sighs in frustration] No Alice. I'm talking about our recently departed friend Clint and his genitalia. They have indeed come away from his body. They are also on top of the spike that Sissy here [points to Sister Immaculata] is heading towards. Or should I say, the spike that Sissy's arse is heading towards is not as sharp as the others! Although I must admit, having now seen them, I'm a bit disappointed. Still, I reckon they're better than Aussie's [Giggles like a girl].

Sr Immaculata: Brown! Brown!

[JEROME fires the brown phial at the three falling toward the spikes. It cracks and a thick, viscous liquid pours out. The three land - ALICE somehow ending up in a sitting position in the one spot where there are no spikes, STEPHEN landed with his feet either side of the spike that impaled CLINT, while IMMACULATA displayed amazing fortune by falling directly onto a number of spikes which, incredibly, had some fundamental design flaw and so broke. All three are unharmed.]

Alice : Well, that's a stroke of luck! [Looks at Clint] Poor Clunt, he's deader than tartan trousers.

Sr Immaculata: [Picking her self up in a flurry of cloaks and habits. She looks, wide-eyed at the broken spikes beneath her, before looking up the lift shaft, towards Trindle] We're all okay Doctor! It must have been Philli who made you choose the brown one! [Turns away and looks closely at Clint] He's dead, sure enough.

Alice : [Poking Clint with her toe] Are you sure you're not going to pray for him Mac? I know there's probably nothing you can do, and I know his last words suggested that he thought you were a fat hairy bitch that he hated. But, well, you know, he's hardly beyond all redemption, is he?

Sr Immaculata: [Sighs deeply] Beyond redemption? That's not for me to decide, and no, as I said earlier, I'm not going to pray for him. Do we pray for the vultures, the crocodiles, or the maggots? The only thing that could save his sinful hide is an extremely rare and powerful potion, called Philli's Pure Potion of Power. There are a few documented cases where it actually restored life! Oh, if only I had some. Those poor children would once again be alive and well.

Alice : This pure potion of Phili's power or whatever - what are the chances of us getting one?

Sr Immaculata: [Slowly] It is called Phillis Pure Potion of Power. And to get one we would have to be the luckiest people ali...[Immaculata stops and looks down at the spikes] We will only find some if Philli [blesses herself] wishes it so, Alice. Then and only then.

Alice : Don't call me Ali. Surely after being infected by the virus we are the luckiest people ali..[Breaks off as something catches her attention, she bends down and picks up a small glass phial. Written on it is ``Philis Pure Potion of Power"] Hey look! It's Pure Philis Power Potion - what a stroke of luck! Now, if only we had a syringe to inject it into Clint.....

Sr Immaculata: [Winces for a moment, as if suddenly in pain. She reaches under her wimpole and pulls out a syringe] Oh my goodness, how did this get here? How curious! [She passes the syringe over to Alice]

[ALICE uses the syringe to suck up all of the potion, and bends down to CLINT]

Alice : I know men attach a lot of importance to them, but he'll manage fine with one, won't he? Now, I've never done this before, so I hope I get the right place. [Closes her eyes and jabs wildly at Clint with the syringe, incredibly, she hits a vein in exactly the right place.] Yay! I like this luck virus!

[CLINT's body shudders momentarily, before blinding light seems to ooze out of every oriface. When everyone can see properly, all of his wounds appear to be healed, save for the testicle on the spike.]

Alice : Crikey! It worked, he's unconscious but alive. Now, how are we going to get out of the pit? Pity there isn't a ladder or something.

Sr Immaculata: [Leans against the wall] Well I do declare, [turning] there was a ladder here all this time! Philli is indeed looking down on us today, young Alice! I wonder if Doctor Tindrle could make us some sort of pulley system, with a stretcher attached. There's no other way of getting Scar out of here! [Immaculata looks at Stephen] At least your camera survived the fall. Those things certainly are built to last. Why, it would be a million to one chance that it broke beyond repair, don't you think?

Stephen : [Stunned] I don't believe it. Look! I landed on an Oscar for Best Director in a Musical. I haven't even prepared a speech. [Tears welling in his eyes]. And CLINT. Look at you, you're alive. [Goes to hug Clint but bangs his head on a ladder] Ow!

Stephen : Yes. As luck would have it, my Camcorder survived intact. [Getting all excited] I mean, I just filmed the death and rebirth of Clint. Oliver Stoned would die for footage like that. Do you think I should give Clint the kiss of life? [Looks hungrily over to Clint]

Clint: [Shudders, still unconscious, and looks to have a look of horror on his face.]Mmmmmhrrrrrff..... damn... homo..... [Smacks his lips] [Opens his eyes wide, jerks awake and sits up suddenly] Aww shit. I knew I was going to hell. Now I've got to spend it with [Looks around] .... an ugly as sin nun, Oh man! ....... and a clone of Stephen... and [Scans Alice].... well.... I guess maybe I'm not in hell after all. [Smiles] How are you darling? And why are you all bent over me with a needle in yer hand? [Suddenly looks around oddly] What the..... I don't feel right. [Puts a hand down his pants] Daaaaaamit!

Austin: [Looks at Jerome] Well Jerome, I think you just got lucky. [Suddenly pauses, and reflects] Hmmm, I wonder why I said those specific words? And is that Clint I hear? Leads me to believe that the luck virus must have some flaw then.

Alice : Don't be such a begruder Aussie - you better figure out how to get us out through that door, there will surely be a better way out than just guessing a combination that will probably kill us all. [Scrapes the testicle off the spike with her syringe and waves it in front of Clint] Funny looking fish, isn't it? It might be nice to make it into a jewel on a ring or something.

[From the lab comes DANGSTENS voice shouting ``Ready or not, here I come..."]

Stephen : [To himself]I'll never wash my lips again. [To Clint, in a reasuring yet patronising way] Look, darling. If you ever need to, you know, relieve yourself, well [nervously] erm, because you can't, erm, I still can, and so, erm when you want to do it, erm, you know, pulling your little snake [nervous laugh], we can, erm, simulate the experience, and you can, ah, use mine as often as you like. I know it won't be the same, but it may bring back happy memories. [Looks hopefully and flutters eyebrows]

Jerome: [Calls to the others, in a voice just loud enough for them to hear, but not loud enough to be heard by Dan] Quick! Come up the ladder while the effects of the luck potion has not worn off! Surely with the help of a bit of luck, we are easily a match for Dan The Man. [Holds up the three brown vials] We still have three luck potions - any ideas how we should use them? [sly wink] Best not give one to Austin, because considering Dan's state of mind, Austin doesn't WANT to get lucky!

Alice : [Climbing up the ladder and handing Jerome back his swiss army knife] Sounds cunning, Jer, but I see three major flaws in your strategy. (a) Dangsten has just consumed the soul of a nephew of the devil, so it might take a little more than a stroke of luck to defeat him. [Slight pause] Hmmm, need a hand coming up there, Clint? Your balance might be a little off.

[Enter DANGSTEN BLACKHEART, standing at the entrance. He looks absolutely hideous, even worse than immediately after he stabbed Iok. He appears to have on what looks like part of a breast plate from a suit of armour, it is only two inches from top to bottom and appears to be made from fingers.]

Dangsten : [His voice is much different from earlier, a lot deeper and much more of a monotone] In a strange kind of way I feel grateful to you, so I'm going to give you a chance. [Holds up his breastplate] I want to get something off Stumpy out there, while I'm doing that you can attempt to escape. I can assure you that trying to kill me is futile and that the only way out of here is through that door. [Gestures at the double doors] In the unlikely event of you guessing the combination you will find that it leads only to an underground river populated by incredibly vicious Gurnet fish. It might be better to spend the next few minutes making peace with yourselves, your friend didn't get the chance. [Waves at the pit before turning around and walking out.]

[Exit DANGSTEN. He sits beside the crushed body of CONTAGION and begins cutting the fingers off his remaining hand with a blunt knife. CONTAGION screams in agony.]

Stephen : [CLimbs up the ladder] Well Austin? Still no luck with the lock. Why don't you let a real expert handle it. Namely, moi! [Struts confidently towards the lock to examine it, nose in air, one hand on hip]

Alice : [Wrinkles her nose as she watches Stephen stride passed her] You know, I nearly hope he doesn't get it open.

Sr Immaculata: [Climbs out of the lift shaft, before peering back over the edge. She turns back to the party] So, are we just going to leave that Scar creature down there? I for one, am going nowhere near him! [Immaculata takes a quick peek through the door way, catching site of Dangstens handy work (ahem). She pivots around to face the party] You know, I was thinking on the way down [motions towards the lift shaft] that we just might be able to get the combination from Iok Sotot, assuming he's still alive, of course. One of us could drink some of Phillis glorious brown liquid, sneak past Dangsten, enter the labratory and ask Sotot for the combination! The chance of it succeeding must be a million to one, so it has to work!

Austin: [Moves away from the door] Have a shot, but wait until I remove myself from the vicinity. I've heard what happened the last person that was arrogant enough to attempt such a lock. But then, I'm sure they were not infected by the luck virus. Perhaps then, it may be better that you try your hand at opening it as the virus may not have worn off. The flip side is that you may be unlucky enough that it has worn off, but then it is a luck virus, so perhaps, its luck is self-perpetuating in that you can never be unlucky enough to lose it... [Places his hand upon his chin, and thinks about this one. Hmmm, he's still thinking about this one...]

Alice : Well Mac, aside from a rather lopsided walk, One Ball seems fine to me, I'm sure he can climb out of there himself. Getting out of here sounds like a good idea - I wonder how long the virus lasts, and how can we tell if its worn out and what is it made out of and is Iok still alive and would he tell us and and when you drop something down the back of a couch why is it that you can't find it but when you come back two years later looking for something else it suddenly appears and then you have to explain to your mother how a pair of crotchless knickers just happens to have got into the house? Phili's glorious brown liquid Mac? Surely it is Iok Sotot's glorious brown liquid? Anyway, how can we check if the luck virus has run out?

Jerome: [Calls to the others, in a voice just loud enough for them to hear, but not loud enough to be heard by Dan] Quick! Come up the ladder while the effects of the luck potion has not worn off! Surely with the help of a bit of luck, we are easily a match for Dan The Man. [Holds up the three brown vials] We still have three luck potions - any ideas how we should use them? [sly wink] Best not give one to Austin, because considering Dan's state of mind, Austin doesn't WANT to get lucky!

Clint: Hand one of those puppies over, Jerry. They're [Points to Alice, Mac, and Stephen] already lucky. I need one in case I have some trouble. I doubt I will, but you should always prepare. That's what my scout troop leader always said. [Frowns] Well he said that before I earned my rope use badge. Nooses where my first knot. They where my last too. [Smirks] Still know how ta make 'em, though. [Starts up the ladder] [Turns around and frowns] Stephen, if you EVER come near me with ``Captain Winkie" out of his ``cockpit", you will answer to her! [Points at his blade] [Turns back to the ladder, then turns around again] and stop looking at my ass! I just wanna smash the lock. What's wrong with that? There's nothing a precise blade or fist won't fix. Right? [Flexes his right arm, producing a rather large bicep]

Alice : [Putting on her glasses to make her look intelligent] Hmm, a textbook case of Phallic substitution, next thing we know he'll be wearing a medallion, buying a rottweiller and supporting Millwall. Look Clint, its okay, we all know and appreciate how much of a man you are [looks over the rim of her glasses at Stephen] some more so than others, so there's no need to prove anything to us - it doesn't matter to use that you don't have any penis. [Removes her glasses and waves them at Clint] Now, stop showing off, being killed once in a day is unfortunate, but twice would just be careless.

Stephen : I know! I'll think of a number between 1 and 10, and Alice or Sister has to guess. If one of them get it right, then they must still have the virus and so they can break the combination. [Focuses camera on himself] Am I a genius, or what? I don't know how you'd survive. [To the others]Well, I have thought of a number...

Alice : Twelve! I bet its twelve!

Clint: Yeah Alice. Have the nun push that one. [Turns to Immaculatta] By the way, Mac. I think I might have said something hasty when plummeting to my doom earlier. As I said, that was in haste. I forgot to mention your mustash. It really bothers me. You don't realize how long I've wanted to nair that sucker! You're the only women I've ever met that has more hair than me on your face than my ass. [Finishes climbing the ladder and starts to get on the landing with Jerome] Jerry, which one would you press and write a five page essay on why. It will be submitted in one minute. Any failure might cost our live so make sure you spell check.

Jerome: [To Clint] Welcome back, Mr Scar! Jerome is glad that he did not cause your demise. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. selecting a number would not benefit our cause whatsoever, as Jerome has not as yet Jerome would select the most worn number on the keypad.

Austin: [Laughs at the guess the number ruse] But, Stephen, you too were infected by the luck virus - perhaps they may be lucky enough to guess it, and perhaps you may be lucky enough that they won't guess it. Either way it proves nothing, and definitely would not stand up in a court of law - come to think of it, neither will Clint anymore [sniggers mischieviously to himself]. Perhaps, someone that wasn't infected by the luck virus should pick a number between one and, say a million, and then all those that were infected should guess. If the guesses are all the same, we can almost conclusively say that the virus is still active. But then who knows if it wears off between the elapse of the guessing game, and the actual attempt upon the door?

Alice : Pretty cunning Austin, why don't you pick the number and we'll [looks out passed the others to Dangsten in an annoyed fashion as Contagion whimpers in agony] and we'll guess it. Okay, thought of it? Right, I'm guessing twelve.

Sr Immaculata: [Touching her upperlip, self consciously] Enough of this rubbish! We could go on like this forever, but we just do not have the time! [Looks once again out the door] We're going to have to kill that hideous, evil, foul creature! But that's enough about Scar! I think I know of a way to kill Dangsten! I remember a legend about the Holy Sword of Antioch, the sword used by the venerable Antioch to wound Seth many, many centuries ago. As legend goes, the sword is held in a holy temple in Waterdeep, waiting to once again bite into Seths flesh, or the flesh of his lineage! When we get through this door, we must make for Waterdeep! [Immaculata turns her back on the party, facing the door] As nobody else seems willing, I will go and ask Sotot for the combination.

Alice : Hold on Mac - are you sure that he'll tell you? Assuming he is still alive of course, and assuming that the luck virus hasn't worn off, and assuming that Dangsten won't see you. Remember Mac, never assume anything, because it makes a [emphasises the words] fool out of U and mme. [Stands back, satisfied for a second, before a look of dismay crosses her face] No, it makes a fool out of us and U, no, that's not right, [produces some chalk and writes the word ``assume" on the floor, and circles the appropriate parts as she speaks] it makes an ASS out of U and ME. There, see? [Tapping her foot impatiently] Well? See?

Sr Immaculata: [Still looking out the door, turns suddenly] Hmm? I am sorry, were you speaking to me? Oh look at that [pointing suddenly to the ``assume" on the floor] What could it be? Some strange, alien, indecipherible spidery warning perhaps? Or a drawing by some poor, malformed handicapped dog? [Bends closer to the writing] Hmm!

Alice : [Stares at Immaculata for a few seconds before drawing a picture of a donkey] Okay, your image is imprinted forever. Out you go, give my regards to Iok. [Sits down in a huff]

Austin: [Glares at Immaculata, when she describes the sword] Mention not the sword of Antioch, for it has disappeared without a trace, the last I heard. Bring not hopes to those that shall only suffer the more for placing their faith upon your words. And anyway, Waterdeep is at the otherside of the continent, and unless you brought your portable wormhole with ye, I'd say there is not a chance that we shall reach your purposed destination in any short amount of time. And I assuredly would not be happy to travel that distance with Barney the Bastardly Bum Buggerer chasing after us. But that remains moot, until we open this door. Perhaps Contagion would be willing to shout the combination to us from where he now lies, but then Dangsten would also know it - that is if he knows it not already... [Flicks a quick look at Alice, then rubs out her circling of letters and replaces it with MUSE AS, and then crosses that out, and writes USE SAM, then scribbles over it EMU ASS] Hmm, I think you may have stumbled upon something, Alice, but I know not yet as to what.

Sr Immaculata: [Stares levelly back at Austin] I'm aware of the location of Waterdeep, Mr Sleaze. What I am saying is Dangsten may very well hunt us to the ends of this earth! I do not like running blindly, so I for one, will head towards the Sword. I do not care which path you take, but be assured of this, Mr Sleaze, you will never be able to hide from that Evil!

[From without comes the voice of DANGSTEN. ``Thank you Stumpy, you didn't really need those fingers anyway. Now, where is that other hand." He can be seen moving over to where the severed hand fell.]

Alice : [Standing up and pointing her chalk at Immaculata] Look, if you're going to do something Mac, do it now and stop your jabbering. Dangsten is onto the second hand, and it can only be a matter of minutes before he comes after us. Now, are you going to go out there, or not?

Stephen : [Looking intently on] Hmm.. Wait a mo! Look! If you rearrang USE SAM, MUSE AS and EMU ASS, it spells ASSUME ASSUME ASSUME! [Thinks to himself] Now what film was that from? [To the others] I guess we've got to assume that we know the number!

Alice : Either that or assume Mac is an old windbag who's not going to go out despite what she said. Anyway - what are we going to do? We've only got two or three minutes before he's finished stitching up his armour!

Clint: If I have to go to Iok you'd better give me one of those viruses, because I'm not risking MY ass without one! Isn't there a better way, though, like taking a blade to his throat? [Turns to Jerry] We need an answer fast, Doctor. Are we going to risk the combonation with a virus? I say yes. It seems our only way. We need to see if they.... [Points at Stephen, Alice, and Mac] .... are still affected, though. I know the perfect way to see if the luck is still with them.... [Grins and turns towards Stephen attempting to slap him across the face] Duck!

Jerome: [To Immaculata] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. believes that your previous suggestion had some merit - lok Sotot would want to stop young Daniel the homosexual sadist, if for no other reason than to attempt to get his power back. Jerome thinks you should as lok.

[CLINT's hand cracks across STEPHEN's face, leaving a large red mark.]

Sr Immaculata: [Steps to the opening] There's only one way to find out if I still have Philli's blessing. [Blesses herself and steps out into the temple]

Alice : Crikey! Mac is doing it - she must have a direct line to Phili. [Rushes to the door to watch] She's doing it! She's crept around Contagion, prowled around the pillar, dodged passed Dangsten, tiptoed through the temple. [Turns back to the others beaming] I guess she still has the luck after all. [Steps back from the opening so everyone can see her approach the lab door.]

[DANGSTEN, also in view and apparantly busy stiching CONTAGION's fingers to his armour, suddenly points a crossbow at IMMACULATA.]

Dangsten : [In a monotone] I can see you.

[IMMACULATA freezes for a second, as though deciding whether or not to make a break for it, before DANGSTEN fires a bolt at her. It catches her just at the base of her skull and knocks her against the lab door. The door opens as she falls against it and onto the floor. There appears to be an enormous amount of dark blood flowing from her mouth, nose and wound. She is lying very still. IOK's body is visible through the open door, horribly mutilated. All his fingers have been cut off, his eyes have been gouged out and what looks like his heart is stuffed down his throat. DANGSTEN reloads the crossbow, puts it down at his side and resumes his sewing.]

Alice : Oh! Maybe she should have taken some of the virus after all. [Turning to the others] Well? What now? Is there anything we can do for Mac? If not, how can we get out that door?

Stephen: [Ducking] Listen. I don't think we should ever listen to Clint's ideas from now on. Well, he has had his brain removed! We'll just use him as a grunt in the front lines of battle. [To Jerome] Invent something that will get us out of this miss. [To Alice] Look pathet... Oh. And.....Action! [Steps away from the group to film Austin's final loss of pride and back-end virginity]

Stephen : [To Jerome] Okay doc. Give Sleazeball some of that potion so that he can break the code on the combination lock. I'm pretty sure he's eager to leave this place. I'd do it but I'm too busy filming...

Clint: Dammit Jerry, give me a luck virus! The nun's dead and I want to kick some ass, so I need a little luck-pick-me-up! [Reaches for the viruses on Jerrry where ever they may be]

Austin: [Looks on in horror, as Immaculata's body falls to the floor] My word! If only she had as much hair on the back of her neck as she does on her face, she may have been able to deflect the bolt. [Then turns toward Jerome] I would recommend that you do not give the luck virus to the venerable and brave Mister Scar, but instead give it to me. I would say that it is more likely in any event that I open the door, than some clutsy fumblefingered strip of meat.

Alice : Does it really matter who takes the virus? Surely whoever is infected would be so lucky that they'd guess it? Just like I luckily found that potion for Clunt. I suppose it would be better if Austin took it - for three clear reasons : (A) Austin is clever (3) Clint is a barbarian.

Jerome: [To Austin and Clint] Save your energies for ol' Danny Nun-Skewering Sadist over there - there are still 3 Potions left. [Holds them out, then adresses everyone] Jerome would like everyone to ignore any suggestions he has from this point onward - so far Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. has killed Clint, and, apparently, Sr Immaculata. [looks like he's on the edge of a sad-attack]

Alice : [Squeezing Jerome's arm reassuringly] Oh Jerry, don't say that. You didn't kill Clint and Mac - that's not what happened. Now, maybe it could be said that you killed Joan and Clint, but no one could hold you responsible for Mac charging out without checking the virus, but I suppose it was your idea to ask Iok, so maybe it was to do with you after all, but anyway, I still think you're the cleverest person around. Okay Aussie, are you going to infect yourself?

Austin: [Attempts to brush Clint aside, so that he can take the virus from Jerome, but manages to bounce off him, and staggers to regain his balance. Glares at Clint, and then side steps around him, reaches for the virus, and infects himself. He then once again covers his mouth and nose with a handkerchief, and holding his breath gives the combination lock a shot...]

Clint: [Smiles] Get to it, Sleaze. [Steps back] Don't worry. If you croak I'll get Jerry to get the lock. [Crosses his arms] [Crosses his fingers]

[AUSTIN jabs at the keypad in an apparantly random fashion, sixteen digits. Suddenly the keypad flashes and the door slides open with a Star Trek like ``shwish", as soon as it opens there is an overpowering stench of decaying flesh. Now that the door is open, it can be seen that it is about a foot thick.]

Alice : What a stroke of luck Aussie, guessing the right combination! [Peeks out the doorway.] Pooh! Look, its a body, and it seems to be slumped over another of those keypads. [Looks at the others] Well, who's going first? And I wonder how we can shut the door. Jerry? Any ideas that don't involve killing anybody?

[DANGSTEN appears at the hole leading to the temple]

Dangsten : You surprise me. I didn't think you would get the door open. [Draws an unfeasibly large sword and moves menacingly towards the party] Are you in the mood, Sleaze?

Clint: Sleaze, check out this other keypad, quick! I'll hold off lover boy. [Draws his sword] Come here, Virge. I've got something to make Iok seem small. Her name's not important, but you might not like her edge sliding up yer... [Makes a sick face] Yuck, I can't believe I'm saying this! [Gets into a defensive stance with one of his hands motioning Dangsten forward] Come on, bou. Show me what yer made of lil' one. [Turns to Austin] Dammit, hurry up! [Turns back to Dangsten] .... That is unless yer a coward as well as a screwwed up homo. [Looks at Stephen and says in an annoyed voice] No I'm not talking to you!

[DANGSTEN steps up to CLINT, and with one tremenduous swipe of his blade, cuts CLINT's in half. His face shows no emotion whatsoever.]

Alice : [Leaping from foot to foot looking worried] Come on, come on! Let's get out of here!

Jerome: [A little happier, now] Well, at least Jerome didn't kill Clint that time, eh? [Dives through the door, and roughly and quickly examines the body and the keypad]

Austin: [Follows Jerome through the door, with an extremely graceful dive, that ends up as a not so graceful bellyflop. He then stands up, brushes himself off, and examines the keypad. He shouts to the others] Get in here!

Alice : Bye Mac! [Leaps through the door, which is now beginning to shut again.]

[STEPHEN and (the two halves of) CLINT leap through the now closing door, closely followed by DANGSTEN. Fortunately the door shuts just before he gets through.]

Alice : Wow! That's a close call - and incredibly, no one was killed. I just bet that Dangsten was squashed by the door and all we have to do is open it to scrape the Dangsten Pancake off the floor.
[Despite being a foot thick, small dents are appearing on the door]

Alice : Well, maybe not, we better get out of here apsa. That means as fast as we can, no, as soon as we can, as soon as possible. Yes, that's right, apsa, as soon as possible.

[JEROME pulls the body away from the keypad, which is identical to the one on the other side. The body is a few weeks old, but shows no visible sign of death.]

Austin: [Peers at the slight bulges appearing on the door, then bows his head as a single tear slides down his cheek, apparently unnoticed.] Who now will prove my innocence, and aid me in my quest for my well-deserved freedom... [Looks around, and then adds with a sudden uplift of heart] Ah, as long as there are enough witnesses, then the testimony to my aid in this quest should suffice.

Stephen: Austin, stop babbling on and get the second lock open, or else we're all going to feel Dangsten's throbbing love baton! Now, what's that blue thingymajig?...Jerome?

Clint: [Looks at the hilt of his sword] Great... now she looks like Austin. that was close. Was it just me or did it appear that I was cut in half, too? Sleaze, get to work. I don't want to spend any more time in close quarters with Hackberk than neccesary. It's sorta dark in here and... Alice is that your hand on my... [Looks down] Who's hand is that!?! [Fumbles for a match] [Lights it] Oh.... whew... it's mine.

Alice : Why, Clint, would I have my hand on your foot? [Peeks at Clint's midsection] That's a nice poodle - oh my mistake, its just your naval fluff. Hey, sounds a bit like Stephen, doesn't it? [Roars with laughter] Jerry, can you remember what that ball was for?

Jerome: [Thinks and scratches his chin for a few seconds] Ok, Jerome has come to some interesting conclusions. [To Alice] The Blue Ball is the Soul Releasing device, and thus can be used to free another of the souls trapped in one of the green balls that someone is carrying. [Looks around, but no one owns up. Looks down at his pants.] Ok, it looks like Jerome's got them - either that or hemroids. [To Clint] After serious clinical analysis of your comment, Jerome must concur with Alice that it was indeed humorous. [Jerome grabs the Blue Ball, and with a small smile, plucks a Green one out from his pants. Jerome then casually lobs the spheres down the passageway, causing them to break on each other.]

Clint: Shut up, Jerry. [Turns towards Alice] Just because he finds me more attractive than you, doesn't mean you should be jealous of me. [Turns back to Jerome] Look Doc. If I liked the nun in the first place, I would go back for her after using my virus, but I don't like her, and I don't want to waste my virus on some woman who: A.) Has a thicker beard than I. B.) Would bitch me out for ``taking her away from the womb of Philli." and... C.) Holds an honest job for the clergy. I mean, come on, guys. Couldn't she embezzle a little bit from the collection plate? In my opinion she was wacked out of her skull. Especially for the latter. She wouldn't even pray for me. [Looks hurt] Damn. Everyone knows I need it the most. [Looks at Alice] Honey, do you really want me to go back after her? [Looks at Jerry] Jerry, do you want me to? [Looks at Stephen] Shut up! I don't care what you want. [Looks back to Alice and Jerry] Sigh If you want me to go back after her using my virus, I will. [Taps his foot impatiently and lights another cigar] Well?

Alice : It's a bit late for that Clint - the only way back for her is to open the door that Dangsten is thumping on. It looks like the only way out of here is down that way [gestures down the dark corridor] and hopefully there'll be some way of escape there, why this current scene might even end!

[JEROME's balls crash to the floor in the usual burst of smoke and light. To everyone's surprise, HARVEY stands in front of the party.]

Harvey : Good lord! What on earth is going on here? Where is that bally Sotot?

Alice : [Hugging Harvey] Uncle Harvey! Welcome back! So much has happened, Joan's dead, Clint's been killed, Mac's been killed, Austin has a new boyfriend and Jerome has a bad case of haemorrhoids!

Harvey : [Takes out his troop notepad and begins filling in the missing details] Hmm, Clint is dead? [Looks Clint up and down] Good to see you didn't ignore your duty despite this death business - perhaps we could make you a soldier after all. [Looks at the body] Ogolby Hogsbottom, an old comrade of mine - what is he doing here without his brother, I can't believe they would have split up. Now, perhaps we should investigate this tunnel? [Points the way ahead] We will surely find Jeremiah there.

[The party follow the corridor for a few metres, but it ends in a sheer drop of about ten feet. Below is a reasonably fast flowing river, swimming in it are a lot of large silver fish.]

Harvey : [Examining the fish] Flesh eating Zobfish! I had an encounter with the blighters back in '78, nearly lost this one. [Waves his small finger at the others] Our only hope is a boat, but what are the chances of finding such a vehicle in an underground river?

Jerome: [Rubbing his balls, and wondering where the smoke came from] Welcome back, Harvey. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is most gladdened by your arrival. A boat you say Alice? Hmmm.. Let me see... [Jerome starts rummaging through his pockets]

Harvey: [A sudden look of disproval crosses his face] Sir, I am surprised that an esteemed academic such as yourself does not have the contents of his inventory cataloged and cross indexed, mmmph! In time of war one must be prepared for any eventuality! [First Harvey examines his hand, before reaching inside his coat and removing a small black notebook. Harvey opens it carefully] See here, sir! I can quickly tell that my snuff box is located in my bottom left inside pocket. [His hand reaches inside his bottom left inside pocket] Gadzooks sir! Some foreign scoundrel has made off with it! [Harveys face has gone bright red. His voice has risen to a bellowous roar] Thievery, I say, sir! Thievery! My beautiful silver ornate snuff box, given to me by my old chum, Billy 'Big Boner' Bonwauld, just before he took a blade through the throat in '65! [Harvey's voice drops suddenly] Hmph, no, wait. Actually I remember leaving it on my dresser before we departed. Gave up taking the stuff years ago, by Philli! Must update my notes. [Harvey scans his notebook, before reaching into a pocket and retrieving a pencil. He looks once more in his book] Snuff box...in bottom left inside pocket, mpfh. [Looks confused for a moment] Ah, excellent! Jolly good place for it too. [Closes his notebook and puts it back in his pocket.]

Alice : Good to see nothing has changed, Uncle Harvey!

[The dents on the door are getting worse, it looks like he'll be through it in a few minutes.]

Clint: [Looks at the door] Yeah yeah. I could do that. [Turns to the party] Jerry, get that boat out. I want to get going ASAP!

Alice : If you can do that, Clint, why don't you knock back each of the dents? We might scare him away if he thinks we're trying to kill him! [Looking incredulously at Jerome's crotch] Wow! You've got a boat in there too? Must be a lot of space in your underpants! Okay, whip it out and lets get wet!

Jerome: [To Alice] There's no emptiness in Jerome's pants, believe me. But, what modern new-age man would venture out with such a beauty as yourself, without a rubber? [Jerome pulls out a large rubber boat, complete with 150 HP motor, and drops it in the water with a loud ``Splut"] All aboard!

Clint: I hate to say it, but I'm a little less crowded down there, now. Damn it! Why did you leave half my man-hood back there? I miss him already. [Under his breath] Poor little feller. [To Alice] I don't wanna scare him. He's just been de-virginized an' all, ya know. Besides, I might knock the door down and then I would be standing here without my blade.

Harvey: Ha! A gentleman is never caught without his blade, soft lad! That type of thing just wouldn't happen in my day. A young cadet got fifty lashes for leaving the mess without at least seven weapons secreted about his personage, mmph! [Looks dubiously at the boat] Hmm, is it sea worthy, good Doctor? I have no wish to find myself all at sea without a paddle, what? [Harvey laughs a booming laugh suddenly, his face bright red, his whole body shaking with mirth.] Ha, lads! All at sea, see! All at sea! Ha!

Alice : [Peering suspiciously at the boat] Ye-es, Uncle, very amusing. That [waves her hand at the boat] mutant from a condom factory doesn't look very safe to me, I mean, balloons are one thing, but I draw the line at boats.

[The banging continues, unabated, and the doors look as though any second they'll be kicked open.]

Harvey: [Stops wiping tears from his eyes, suddenly surprised] Eh? I remember hearing a story of another girl, around your age, sweet niece, who drew pictures on goats! She got kicked in the head! [Wags his finger at Alice] The dumbfounded, doodle covered creature kicked it clean off! They don't like being drawn on, I tell you, mmph!. [Stops and listens to the banging from the door] What's that noise, then? Sounds like those damned 42 pounders which rained down deadly death on my troop during the Shetland Skirmishes in '63. [Harveys eyes mist over at the memory] All our arrows were spent, but by Philli, we still knocked out those guns, tying small explosives to hamsters, and then batting them for six, right into the enemies mid half! Hah! Sadly, many a good man got bowled out, that day.

Alice : I think what Harvey is trying to say is that it is unwise to apply mustard to piles. Good advice Uncle Harv, but somewhat inappropriate. I suppose we better get into Jerome's rubber. Dingy.

[Everyone piles into the boat which lurches sickeningly in the water. JEROME pulls the starter of the engine which just coughs and splutters. After a quick application of grease and oil and some work with his swiss army knife the engine explodes into life, just as DANGSTEN smashes the door open. The engine puts merrily as the boat slowly moves downstream and away from DANGSTEN.]

Alice : Does anyone have a cow?

Harvey: Urgh, this raft is strangely sticky! [Turns his head to Alice] A cow, dear girl? But for why?

Alice : So I can pop it into the water and see if it is true that the Silver Zobfish can reduce it to a skeleton in ninety seconds. Look! [Points to the edge of the raft nearest Austin] One of them is trying to bite the boat!

[One of the fish, about a foot in length, has sunk its teeth into the edge of the boat. It doesn't appear to have punctured it, but seems to have some kind of lockjaw, and is clinging to the boat. Meanwhile, DANGSTEN has taken out his crossbow and is pointing in the direction of the party.]

Alice : Do you think he'll be able to hit us from this distance?

Austin: [Attempts to hide behind Stephen, so that Dangsten can't get a line of sight upon him.] Surely it would gain Dangsten nothing to shoot the boat, as then we are lost within ninety seconds, and he attains not our souls. But he does seem aggrieved at something, so I would assume nothing, thereby refuting my earlier assumption. I think we should speed this craft up, so as to minimize the chances of him hitting either the boat or any of us. Perhaps this is the opportune moment to seize the last luck virus and spring us from this trap. He seems to be a veritable shot with that weapon that he wields, and I doubt not that his purpose with it, is that of destruction. Oh, were Immaculata still with us, she may have prayed our way out of this one. [Turns to Jerome - which is actually just a matter of peering out from behind Stephen's back] Perhaps we should fire the red virus in his direction - it may at least throw off his aim.

Harvey: [Suddenly shouts] Silence in the ranks, private Sleaze! My god man, how many times must you be reprimanded for your impudence! It is a tight ship we run here, and loud mouths will not be tolerated! [Then, conspiratorily, to Alice, yet loud enough for his voice to echo from the cavern walls] What's a bread virus, anyway?

Alice : What happens if the red one is some horrible virus that only affects normal people and ends up killing us and everyone on the planet, leaving Dangsten unharmed? I've heard of that kind of thing happenning before, and people get into real bad trouble when they do it.

[DANGSTEN takes careful aim and fires. The bolt strikes the boat, puncturing it. He reloads, and fires again, puncturing the boat a second time.]

Alice : Well, I guess we don't need the cow after all - when the boat sinks we'll be able to time how long it takes the fish to eat Stephen. I suppose old Dangsten was more concerned with killing us than eating our souls. Jerry, now would be a good time to break out the condoms, the glue and the toilet roll inserts. You know, its a pity no one ever thought of inventing a wooden rubber dingy.

[The air is rushing out of the boat, which is deflating quickly. The Zobfish with lockjaw finally bursts the part he had bitten, and suddenly the water comes alive with them, jumping up out of the water excitedly.]

Alice : Forget your belly for a moment, Uncle, and stop thinking about yourself for once, for there are more important things afoot! Look at the water coming in over the edge - and look, look at my velvet skirt! If that gets wet it'll be ruined! Ruined I say! Why, I'd rather be eaten by a Zobfish than live to see that skirt be ruined by the water.

Stephen:[Screams in an outrageously high pitch, before clinging onto Harvey with his arms wrapped tightly around Harvey's neck]Oh my God, I can't swim.[Pauses, then with relief]Oh yes I can! I'm alright.[Hugs Harvey]But you'd have saved me anyway, wouldn't you!!! Have you still got your old uniform? I just love a man in uniform. [To Alice] And darrllinng! The skirt was ruined the moment you put it on. It's disgusting. It shows off all your cellulite! Anyway [shakes his head dramatically], how many luck viruses do we have left?

Clint: [Clenches his teeth, takes a vial from his belt, and glares at Stephen] Will you stop whining, Hackbog!?! I'll save your miserable hide. [Holds his vial in front of everyone and clenches his fist, breaking the vial. He then wafts the vial around for everyone to catch the virus] [Looks at Stephen] I had mine and Jerry's got one more. I never was good at math but that leaves one. Right Alice? [Smirks] [Looks at the fish] Those don't look like raavenous fish to me. They look like blue nosed gumless anklebiters to me. Is that what they are, Harv?

Austin: [Straightens up, from his cowering position, and looks about at the damage done to the dinghy. He futilely attempts to bale the water back into the river, but then realises that all he was taught at scout camp as kid, are indeed exercises in futility. To confirm this point, whips out a bit of flint and another stone, and tries to start a fire. Then tosses them both overboard.] It's time to jump, I think. [He's about to stand up, when he looks down the river, with one last desparate gleam of hope in his eye. His left eye. Turns to Alice and shakes her shoulder] Tell me Alice, is that a boat I see, or a fabrication of my mind's eye? My right eye?

Harvey: Sirs, we are undone! Our vessel has taken a direct barage to port! Unfurl the mailsails! You there, [to Austin] yes you! Climb the fo'castle and make ready! When I give the word, splice the bindings and let the stunsails fly! [To Trindle] Steer her 45 by 15 degress into, yes, into the wind! By Philli, we may get out of this yet, mphff! [Turns to Stephen] And if you ever touch me again, or insult my dear nieces beautiful dress, I'll run you through like the cad you are! Didn't happen in my day, oh no! Men were men! Granted, there was a bit of arse slapping going on in the showers after a good fight, but nobody went out and hoovered the sleeping quarters afterwards!

Alice : I suppose Stephanie, it would look better on you. As for you Aussie, don't be so ridiculous - why on earth would someone be sailing a boat through an underground river? [Glances behind her] Crikey! It is a boat!

[By a great stroke of luck, a rowing boat with two figures in it is approaching. It glides passed DANGSTEN, who doesn't betray any emotion, and approaches JEROME's punctured condom. Enter on the rowing boat DICEY ``FORTYCOATS" O'REILLY and MARIA EVA IBARGUREN DUARTE. DICEY is a man with long red hair and a bushy red beard, while MARIA is a beautiful young woman of about twenty.]

Dicey : Sure'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, between me forty coats and me fifty pockets I do declare in front of holy Mary and all the saints except saint George that never in all my life have I seen such a thing. Sure not two seconds ago weren't we sailing outside before we were picked up by a wave bigger than a tear of Fionn MacCumahail and now we find ourself down here! [Looks taken aback at the sight of Harvey] Can we be of some assistance at all, good Colonel sir?

Harvey: Ha, such fortune! [Slaps his thigh in amazement] Permission for me and my crew to come aboard, sir, for as you can see, we've been scuppered! You are of course, quite welcome to our old vessel, the Rubber Rebecca, as your prize.

[Act 4, Scene 4.Time: Saturday 7.45. On board ``An Langar"(1). ALICE, JEROME, STEPHEN, CLINT, HARVEY, AUSTIN, DICEY and MARIA are here. Everyone has just transfered to DICEY's boat, which has drifted around a corner in the underground river. ``Rubber Rebecca" has deflated and is being towed along by An Langar.]

Dicey : Sure'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, between me forty coats and me fifty pockets I do declare in front of holy Mary and all the saints except saint George that never in all my life would I have believed that I'd have had the local constabulary on board the ould girl. [Strokes the woodworm infested side of his boat] ``An Langar" I call her, isn't she the most beautiful thing in all of the whole wide world?

Alice : Simply delightful, and you are?

Dicey : Sure'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, between me forty coats and me fifty pockets I do declare that I have forgotten me manners [searches in an exagerrated fashion through his pockets] Ah! There they are - Allow me to introduce myself, I am Dicey ``FortyCoats" O Reilly Esquire, purveyor of valuable goods [brandishes about a tired looking business card and pops it back into one of his pockets]. I've only the one, you see, so I can't let you have it. Now this jewel is my darling Maria, Maria Eva Ibarguren Duarte. Say hello Maria.

Maria : [Coyly] Hello.

Dicey : Well Colonel sir, I never in all me years thought we'd be meeting in a place like this. And young Austin - 'tis only great to see ya again, do you know, 'twas the most unfortunate business that time, but sure, we're all friends now, what? [Draws out a filthy hip flask] Will ye not share a quick drop of the crature*? [Whipes the top of the flask with his sleeve] 'Tis great shtuff altogether once the flies are off it.

Clint: Gods, why have you punished me this way? [Looks at his half-sword] I never did like short swords... um daggers... um actually more like a club. [To himself] You'd think I'd be lucky enough not to get someone with such an annoying accent. Just my luck... [To Party] Well, are we heading to Waterdeep, then, for the sword that Imaculatta spoke of? You'd think that if we were lucky, we would find it on this ship or something. [Looks at the fish] Harv, I still think they look like gummers.

Dicey : Sure'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, what are ye like young fella? Did ya never hear of gratitude for a bit of ould hospitality? Jaysus, I've never seen the like of it me whole life!

Maria : [Touching Dicey's shoulder and putting a finger to his lips] Hush, Dicey, I'm sure he is just upset at the loss of what was obviously an extremely fine weapon. Now [eyes up Clint with a rather fantastic pout] I wonder if we would have a weapon fit for such a [pauses to lick her lips sensuously] big man. [Changes her gaze to Harvey] A colonel? You must be a [emphasises dramatically with full lips and a heaving chest] very important man.

Dicey : [Looks at Clint's broken sword] Well, if it's the case that you're in the market for a new sword, I'm sure that we can find something that'll suit you. [Takes a swig from the hip flask] Now, how about some genuine Kings Reach steel? Or the actual sword that King Urgash himself used? Everything in me forty coats and fifty pockets is as genuine and sure as cool Kilkenny water, beautiful Blarney beer and as natural as the rolling green fields of Kerry, so it is, oh to be sure.

Alice : [To Jerome and Austin] Puh-leeze! I think I'm going to be sick.

Harvey: [Looking at Maria with obvious disapproval] What! A woman on board? Hmpf! Bad luck, bad luck, I say! Except of course for my dear niece, who can only bring a soldier the best of luck in the world. Unlike Gumfish, [looks at Clint] which those most certainly are not. Ha! Gumfish indeed! And stop slouching, private. You're not on rest and recuperation leave now! [Harvey wags his finger for emphasis, before turning to Dicey] Most kind, sir, most kind for accepting us aboard your stout vessel, mmphf! [Turns to the party and lowers his voice, to what he believes is a cautious whisper] Men! And dear niece. And Steph..[waves vaguely in Stephens direction] Buy nothing, or chances are, I'll have to arrest you once we return of Queens View. In possession of stolen goods, and what have you! Yes indeed, mmpfh!

Stephen : [Gives a cheesy smile to Maria] Maria my dear, what bone structure. You are indeed the finest female specimen I've seen since Marilyn. I'm a film director, by the way. My name's Stephen Hitchberg. You may have seen some of my films...? Anyway, I've been looking for a leading lady to appear in my docurama, and you may just be what I'm looking for. I can take you to the top. Hollywood, Broadway, The West End, The Queens View Amateur Theatre Society of Wannabee Thespians With No Talent,... you name it. I had feared that I would have to use [nod's head towards Alice] but I know a real star when I see one. [Puts both hands on hips] What do you say...?

Dicey : [Standing up and rocking the boat, waving his hipflask at Harvey] Bejasus and bejabbers! If that isn't the worst thing I've heard since Granny Murphy got her beard got in the mangle! If it is the case that you don't like An Langar then ye all can just get back into that used condom there!

Alice : [Clutching the side of the boat nearest her with all her might to steady herself in the rocking boat. Such is the woodworm that a sizeable piece comes off in her hand.] Now I'm definitely going to be sick... [barf, over the side]

Maria : Dicey, I'm sure Colonel Kingston-Short meant no harm - a man of his importance, the leader of the guard of an entire town no less, is ever vigilant, ever watchful, in case the some skulduggery is afoot. I doubt sincerely that such a polished diplomat as he would wish to insult you, isn't that right, Colonel Kingston-Short?

Alice : [Wiping off her diced carrot moustache and flicking it into the river] Burp. [Pauses as though not sure there won't be another delivery] I think I would be a far better star, and anyway, I don't remember asking you to make your stupid film anyway. [Grabs her stomach and turns to empty the remaining contents of it into the river]

Maria : [Sympathetically] Of course you would, dear. Of course you would. [Looks Stephen up and down] Hm, yes. A film director? How nice.

Harvey: [Delightedly] Why madam, you show intelligence beyond your gender! Of course I meant no offence, yes indeed! [Harvey goes silent for a moment, a look of great concentration on his face, before suddenly laughing aloud] Ha! I see I'm on dicey ground here! Ha! Dicey ground! [Points to Dicey, and then to the planks beneath him]

[An eerie silence descends.]

Maria : [Applauding] Excellent Colonel Kingston-Short, excellent! You are a funny chap!

Dicey : [Offering the bottle to Harvey] You're a queer old sort, sure enough. [Glances at Jerome] What'll ye take for the old punctured condom?

Clint: Kingston, shut up. I'm tired of your repeated remarks about her. [Points at Maria] Why she looks intelligent enough to me. [Looks at her breasts] Women do keep their brains in their juggs, right? [Smirks] That's why Alice is lacking so much in smarts. [Pulls out another cigar, pops it into his mouth and lights it] Hmmm... hey look, guys. I found a couple nice imported cigars in there. I didn't know I had those. I must be lucky, still.

Alice : [Stands up, rocking the boat wildly, and slaps Clint across the face] How dare you! To think we resurrected a castrated barbarian like you and left poor old Mac behind!

Dicey : Sure'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, between me forty coats and me fifty pockets I do declare in front of holy Mary and all the saints except saint George that God bless us and save us I've never seen such a popeen(1) as him! I'll claim ya once we strike land - I promise you that, no one speaks to Maria like that! [Turns to Maria] Don't you worry, my little Eva, I'll sort him out.

Maria : Well, if he is castrated perhaps that serves to frustrate him in the presence of women. You calm yourself Dicey, I'd like to see how the Colonel will handle such a man, or perhaps you? [Glances at Jerome]

Clint: [Touches his cheek with his hand and looks surprised] If I wasn't the .0001 % gentleman I am, I would slam you in your jaw, Alice, but seein' that I have that tiny bit of ettiquete, I guess I won't run you through. [Grinds his teeth, the cigar falls into the water and fizzles. A little bit of smoke rises near Clint. Clint proceeds to chew the end of the cigar] Handle me? [Looks at Jerome, then says simply] He wouldn't. [Smirks] [Looks back to Alice] You know, girl, that was a really stupid thing to do. I outweigh you by probably two times... [Looks at her chest] ... three times and you just slapped me. I've seen more action than you'll ever see, in bed or in battle, *AND* I have read the sufficent manuals on blade kinetcis. You must be less intelligent than I thought. [Glares at Alice]... and that is very stupid, indeed. [Keeps staring at Alice] The swords... What's yer price, Dicey?

Harvey: [Eyes bulging, going very red in the face. His voice rises to thunder clap volume] By Phillis beard, sir! How dare you threaten and insult my niece! Doing so, you've insulted the honour of my family, mmphf!. [Very calmly, Harvey removes a glove from his pocket] I seek retribution, sir! [Throws the glove at Clints feet] At dawn, boy!

Jerome: [After a long, involved meticulous inspection of the boat] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. believes that this vessel is eminently seaworthy. [Shakes the hands of the owners] Pleasure to meet you. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is my name, you've probably heard of me, or at least some of my inventions. Perhaps the Magnetic Direction Indicator? But, enough about Jerome! For where, may we ask, is this fine sea-going vessel bound? 20

Austin: [Sits himself in the centre of the boat, so as to stabilise it slightly, then from there peers up at Clint.] Sit down. My ears ache, and my stomach is queasy from the rocking. A seaworthy beast this boat may be, but having my feet upon land is less of a trial for me. Now, shut up.

Dicey : [To Jerome] Sir, you are a gentleman and a scholar, 'tis only a great pleasure altogether to make your acquaintance. [Sniffs back some phlegm and turns to Clint] You ould bastard, let Nick himself mind ya! It'll be a cold day in hell before I give the likes of you a weapon.

Maria : Now now, Dicey, the poor man is a eunuch, so his only outlet is anger. You heard the way he spoke to Ms. Bassett Short about his sexual prowess, well, you know the saying, those who can, do, those who can't, boast about it.

Alice : [Squeezing Harvey's arm affectionately] Well done Uncle! You'll sort him out, I just know it! [Quietly to Harvey] Look, you dropped your glove.

Harvey: [Bows to Alice and Maria] Forgive me for bringing violence to this good vessel, ladies, but when the honour of my family is affronted, I demand satisfaction, mphf. I am on old soldier, set in his ways, [makes his hand into a fist] but I have honour, and by Philli, it must be done! No tatty young whelp is going to ride roughshod over any kin of mine, mphf! [Harveys face has now gone an unhealthy purple, his entire body trembles with supressed rage] Gah, 'tis just like Quango '63 all over again! No! More like Bombai in '64! Wait, no! I was never in Bombai! Gah!

Clint: [Abruptly stands up, rocking the boat with his weight, and jabbing a finger at Harvey] What are you going to do at dawn, old man? I think your lil' one here [Points at Alice] ... would have a better chance to take me than a decreped old coot like you. Now settle down before you skewer yourself. Besides, Dan will be after us, and you know you need me... no matter what you say. [Sits down and starts to calm down]

Harvey: [Obviously both surprised and outraged] What! You refuse my request for a duel? What manner of dishonourable rogue are you, sir! Never in all my years!

Clint: I'm not threatening you....... yet, but when I do my killing I usually do it from behind when they don't expect it. [Smiles] I guess that would go against your ethics, though, huh? And bub, about the rougue thing... you don't know me and you don't have any right to call me that. I am an entrepenuer not a thief. There is a difference. Just ask Austin.

Alice : Entrepreneur? [Pretends to be looking up a dictionary] Entre meaning enter, pre meaning through, eur meaning ass. ``Enter through ass"? Is that how eunuchs have sex? Well Austin, is there a difference between a man who enjoys anal sex, doing it from behind, as it were, and a thief?

Dicey : [Rubbing his chin in a puzzled fashion] Sure'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, between me forty coats and me fifty pockets I do declare in front of holy Mary and all the saints except saint George that God bless us and save us I've never seen such a crowd as ye! [Looks at Jerome] Sir, are ye the only normal one among them? And to answer your question - weren't we sailing along minding our own business, going to Hillsfar which seems to be safe enough from the Scalies, when we were struck by nothing other than a mad animal of a whirpool which sucked us down. Next thing we know, we meet we and the ugly fella is insulting the lot of us!

Maria : [Fluttering her eyelashes at Harvey] I do so like a gentleman, and you know, I somehow doubt that you need the eunuch.

Clint: Ugly? You ain't seen ugly, 'til you see me rip your intestines up through your nostrils. You don't want to see ugly. You ain't ugly like me. [Pulls out a new cigar and lights it] But... seeing as you are cooperating I won't pull any stunts like that. Agreed?

Stephen : You know what I'm feeling? I'm feeling tension between us all. We all need to relax a little. [To Clint] And Clint lovey, I know you've just lost your little friend, but it's gone. There's nothing you can do about it. Letting out your sexual tension by violence is not the way to go at all. If you ever need a cuddle and a shoulder to cry on, you only have to ask. [To Dicey] And what has Murray done wrong that you feel the need to kill him? Surely you can forgive him? [Grabs Clint's hand]Now let's all hold hands and feel ourselves connecting on a spiritual and emotional level. You can even cry if you want...

Alice : What a nice idea Stephen - maybe you could become Clint's special friend...

Dicey : [To Clint] Sure'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, will ye ever whisht up ye clown. If it's a smack you're looking for just wait until we hit land, then I'll sort you out - until then, just keep your mouth shut.

Alice : [Pointing ahead] Look, what's that?

[Up ahead there appears to be a rope bridge suspended above the river, held up by a large metal stud on either side. Further down the river is what appears to be a small beach. Three men, one with a pierced nose another with a pierced ear are and the third quite a bit older are standing on the bridge. Two more are standing on the beach]

Daddy : [The older one] Well lookee here, a bunch of happy travellers. I'm sorry I'm going to have to spoil your trip.

Alice : I don't see how it could be any more spoiled.

Daddy : Just wait. [Smiles] The name is Pearce, Daddy Pearce. These here are two of my boys, Ear Pearce and Nose Pearce. Down waiting on the beach are my eldest, Pearse Pearce, and my youngest, Pearse Pearce Too. The plan is this, you give us all your valuables and your women, and we don't kill you.

Stephen : Roll camera! [Proceeds to film the action] [To Daddy Pearce] Listen, sacrifices will have to be made. If you take her [points to Alice] will you let me keep my camcorder? [Suddenly realises the stupidity of the request and attempts to hide the camcorder up his jumper]If er, that's if, which I don't, if I er [meekly] had one? [Whispers to Clint] Clint, I know you've lost your sword and all, but I found this and it may come in use [hands him a small golfing pencil]. It's quite blunt though, so you may need to sharpen it.

Clint: [Turns to Harvey] Since you don't trust me watching your back, you watch mine, okay? Let's kick some ass, Coloniel! [Turns to Dicey] Dicey, a weapon would be appreciated. I'm sorry for being an ass, but there isn't amy time so.... [Grimaces] *please* give me one of those swords. [Faces Daddy Pierce] Well, Daddy, you just ran into one seriously pissed off bunch of people. You have Harvey here who steamed enough to run a blade straight through your throat, Alice to jab her sword into your crotch, and me to finish off your boys. Or do you want a piece of the one and only Clint Scar, himself? Heard of me, small town (thief)? [Clint stands abruptly, shaking the boat] [Holds out his broken sword] I know what you're thinking... did he fire six shots or only five... well to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I've kinda lost track, myself.... but being this is a .44 magnum - the most powerful handgun in the world - and would blow your head clean off. You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky?............ well do ya, *PUNK*!?!

Austin: [Looks towards the bridge, and then flicks a sidelong glance at Dicey, then shouts at Daddy Pearce] Thou knave. I would gladly hand this dicey Dicey over to you, and has he not pockets enough to keep you and your boys amused for the next few weeks? But upon my person shall the offending party find nothing but that which shall cause grievous bodily harm. I shall also like to underline the fact that we have as yet little of worth upon our persons, but upon our return, our wealth and fame shall be glorious, and you shall find it more profitable to overwhelm us then. I would thereupon, and without any malicious intent, afford you the knowledge that were you to wait the allotted time that we shall be more than happy to provide you with the opportunity to acost us forthwith.

Harvey: [Spits into the water] Looters! To arms men! [Glances up at the suspension bridge] And they have the higher ground! Ha, it should be a good fight, by Philli! [Harvey suddenly pulls a shirt from his bag and proceeds to tear in into thin strips.] Dicey, I want every bottle of your home brew. [To Clint] Private Scar, place a piece of this shirt into the top of every bottle, leaving enough of the material outside for a ten second fuse! And have your lighter at the ready. When we're in range, everybody grab a bottle, light the fuse and let loose a volley at the suspension bridge! We used the same tactics back in Gungho '61! By God, we'll burn down their advantage!

Alice : [Looking at the shirt] Crikey, Uncle, that's a lovely frilly shirt! I guess Uncle Leslie isn't the only one who likes silk.

Daddy : Well lookee here, boys - the damned yankees are putting up a fight.

Pearse Pearce : [Calling from the beach] Uh huh huh, kin I kill one Daddy? Kin I kill the purty real slow? Kin I cut him with this here razor blade and pour lemon juice on him? Kin I? Huh? Kin I? Huh? Uh huh huh, shake it shake it shake it!

Dicey : [Glaring at Austin following his suggestion] Look Mr. Pearce, sir, about that business with the cactus and all, you know, I can explain, I really can, you know? As Phili is my witness.

Daddy : Ah'm sure you can, ye damned yankee - but Ah think ah'll let mah boy Pearse Pearce look after ye.

Dicey : [Points at Clint] Take him Mr. Pearce - why, I mean, just five minutes ago he was mocking your family, as true as God, sir.

Pearce Pearse Too : I want the camewa, I want the camewa, it'll suit my new cadillac just perfect.

Pearce Pearse : Uh huh huh, shake it!

[NOSE and EAR point loaded crossbows at the boat]

Daddy : Now, lissen real close boys, I want to see all those hands in the air.

Alice : Kind of like being at a concert, isn't it?

Dicey : [Surreptiously holding out his hipflask] 'Tis a terrible pity to waste it, but if it's the only way. It is me only one, so be careful.

Maria : Oh Dicey, the ultimate sarcrifice.

Dicey : Anything for you, Eva.

Stephen : [Bouncing up and down in his seat] Ooh, this is soo exciting. Clint, your performance was tremendous. They'll be shaking in their Wellington Boots. They'll be a little problem getting it past copyright, but I'll just sleep with the right people. [Takes a bottle] So, I just throw it when it's lit? [Practices his throwing action, which is highly similar to a five year old girl's.]

Clint: [Looks at Dicey] You're nothing but a low down con artist, and a cowardly one at that. [Grinds his cigar] Give me one of those bottles ya retch. [Glances at Harvey, surprised] Coloniel, you trust me enough to give me ammo? [Looks at Daddy] Sure *DAD*! You know I killed my father. You want me to raise my hands. [Raises his hands and a crossbow happens to be in one] Sure, much obliged, red neck. Anything else you want me to do... like fill yer boys there full of holes. That's my policy.... I shoot the bastard. [Smiles then yells] Lets take 'em!

Dicey : Sure'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers will ye undhand me whiskey! [Grabs the bottle back] If it has to be sarcrificed then at least get someone who's wrist isn't so limp their fingers are touching their elbow! [Looks from Harvey to Jerome and back] Come on sirs, ye look like ye'd make a fine fist of it.

Maria : I just bet that the Colonel could do it....

Alice : [Holds up her crossbow] Let's do some piercing.

Daddy : Why, a body tries to give strangers some good old Southern welcome, and this is what we get - now, what d'you think of that boys?

Pearse Pearce : Uh huh huh, let's kill him Daddy, let's cut his toes off, pickle them and send them to his mother pretending that they're some good ole Southern delicacies, then when the ole bitch has eaten them, we'll arrive to her door with his head, an' kill her! How's that Daddy? Is it shaking? Uh huh huh?

Daddy : [Smiles paternally] That there is my eldest, isn't he just the viciousest creature you ever did see?

Dicey : Sure'n begorrah he's a little terror!

[The Pearces on the bridge let loose a volley of bolts into the boat. EAR and NOSE each fire two bolts into the boat. NOSE strikes CLINT twice, while one of EAR's strikes HARVEY, the other striking the boat, miraculously hitting one of the few patches without woodworm.]

Dicey : Jaysus! We're all going to die!

Clint: Aw shit, your eldest ain't nothing. My grampa could take him if I hadn't killed him. Damn bastard can't hit the side of a *Ack*. Fucker, I'll get you and yer little cheap Japanese made jewlry, Nose! Nosey, boy, your ass is mine!

[A bolt flies from CLINT's cross bow and catches NOSE on the shoulder. CLINT lets loose another bolt which flies passed DADDY.]

Nose : Ow! [In disbelief] Daddy! He hit me! The damned yankee hit me! Tell him that ain't right - it's just not fair, it really hurt!

Dicey : Mr. Pearce sir, may I officially apologise for the behaviour of that man.

Daddy : Why, y'all are beginning to irk me some.

[EAR and NOSE fire again, NOSE strikes CLINT with one bolt, the other killing an innocent Zobfish who just happened to leap out of the water at that time. EAR strikes HARVEY with one bolt, the other harmlessly landing in the river.]

Ear : Haw! I got the fat one Daddy! I got the fat one!

Daddy : [Striking Ear across the (unpierced) ear] I told you boy, no more fat jokes!

[HARVEY takes careful aim at the suspension bridge and lets fly with the home brew. The flask crashes against the wall, just above the bridge, which quickly catches alight.]

Maria : Oh, Colonel Kingston-Short, what a tremendous shot.

Daddy : Haw! Look at them yankees, throwing moonshine at us - perhaps they'll think we'll all get drunk and they can sail away then!

Nose : [Reloading] Daddy, what's that smell?

Daddy : Why son, that's just rope burning.

Nose : But Daddy, why should the rope be a-burnin'?

Daddy : Stop your witless questioning an' shoot, boy.

Nose : But Daddy, -

Daddy : What in tarnation is wrong with you boy? Lookee, the yankees are directly beneath us now, let them have iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

[The rope, which has been burning merrily since HARVEY's shot, has now burnt through. The bridge collapses, sending EAR into the water, with DADDY and NOSE clinging to the bridge.]

Pearse Pearce : Uh huh huh, I'm all shook up! Daddy, I say, Daddy, we're coming to get you.

[EAR begins treading water, but the water around him suddenly becomes alive with Zobfish]

Ear : Daddy Daddy! Help me Daddy! Aaaaaaaaaah!

[His body is dragged under water, and the river runs red with his blood]

Nose : [Touching some of the unburnt whiskey and tasting it] Hey Daddy, at leasts its damned fine moonshine!

Clint: Well, I guess they were Zobfish after all. [Fires some more bolts]

Nose : Oh my god Daddy, we're going to die!

Daddy : [Looking behind him as the boat glides past] Don't worry lil' fella, not even that low down varmint would shoot a man in the back.

[CLINT fires two more bolts at NOSE, one of them hits his hand and he slips, but is still hanging on with his other hand.]

Nose : [Crying] Aaow! Daddy, make him stop!

Pearse Pearce : God damn am I angry! That there's my little brother that's a hollerin' and a cryin', now I am shook up!

Pearse Pearce Too : [Pushing another boat into the water] Quick Pearse, we'll save Daddy fwom those bad men!

[PEARSE PEARCE and PEARSE PEARCE TOO leap into the boat.]

Jerome: [To the party] Well, it does seem to Jerome that these low-lifes do not deserve to continue their existence, but perhaps we should allow our attention to be drawn to the more immediate danger? [Points at the oncomming boat] Unfortunately, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. does not have any spells that would be useful at this point, [To Dicey] but are there any other ingredients from which another bomb could be constructed?

Jerome: [To the party] Well, it does seem to Jerome that these low-lifes do not deserve to continue their existence, but perhaps we should allow our attention to be drawn to the more immediate danger? [Points at the oncoming boat] Unfortunately, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. does not have any spells that would be useful at this point, [To Dicey] but are there any other ingredients from which another bomb could be constructed?

Clint: It wasn't his back, it was his hand, Pops! Yeah, Jerry, whatever. Why don't you throw the other red virus onto their boat? It might work.

Jerome: [Examining the Red Vial] Did we discover the function of the Red Virus?

Clint: Naw, but I want to find out what it does. It can't be good.

Austin: [Searches through his cloak, and then his tunic. Finally he produces a sling and a number of shots. Fires two shots at Pearse Pearse Too, then lies flat in the boat, cowering. He mumbles...] Fire the virus, for Philli's sake, before they assail us with their unfathomable wrath. I cannot stand this place, nor this man beside me [flicks a glance in Dicey's direction] - he does little to aid, and what he does, he does for himself. I would trust him not. His allegiance blows with the wind, as long as it benefits himself. [Turns to Jerome] Perhaps there is a way to light the bolts that Mr. Scar fires, and in such a fashion may cause their boat to come to quicker damage. But the feasibility of such a manoeuvre may be worthless while the boat sits upon the water.

Harvey: [Glances down at Austin] Stop your ceaseless cowering, private! Be a man, for Phillis sake, mmph! Listen up members of the Queens View Fourth Artillery! Anyone with arrows or crossbow bolts, wrap the bolts head in one of these [holds up the strips from his shirt]. Light the strips and aim for that jolly ship. Let fly with our barage! Dicey, ramming speed please!

[CLINT's shot at NOSE strikes his good arm, with a shriek he lets go of the bridge and, much to the delight of the waiting Zobfish, slips into the water. One bolt narrowly misses PEARSE PEARCE, while one of AUSTIN's stones strikes PEARSE PEARCE TOO. As the two boats draw level, the Pearces paddle for all their worth, heading to the bridge, apparantly ignoring the party.]

Pearse Pearce : I'm a-comin' Nosey, I'm a comin'!

Pearse Pearce Too : Daddy! The purty one hit me!

Daddy : Quit your whinin' boy, an git your ass over here afore old Nose is ripped to shreds.

Alice : Jerome - speaking as a fellow scientist, well, not fellow as in man scientist, because I'm obviously not, and not ``not a man" in the same way as say Clint for example, but not a man in that I am a woman, so fellow as in associate, with no real implication in the term to my gender - but speaking as a fellow scientist, is it wise to be firing about the red virus when we don't know what it does? Remember Dan was talking about the Scalies? We really don't know how powerful that virus is.

[As the Pearces boat begins to pull away, DICEY seems to be steering ``An Langar" toward the beach]

Harvey: [Turns to face Dicey, his faced flushed with the anger of war] No sir, you seek to destroy our advantage! [Points to the Pearces boat] Follow the enemy into this stiff breeze until we have mast line! By the Gods, this regiment does not run from a fight! See this medal, I...[Harvey looks down, seemingly noticing the two crossbow shafts protruding from his body for the first time] Gah, I've been struck by the bounders! Medic!

Maria : Oh Colonel - what kind of bravery do you have that you do not even notice your wounds? [Whips out a delicate silken hanky to tend his wounds]

[``An Langar" strikes land]

Dicey : Alright! Out the lot of ye! Sure'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, between me forty coats and me fifty pockets I do declare in front of holy Mary and all the saints except saint George that never in all my life have I seen the like of ye! I save yer lives, asking in return nothing but a punctured condom, and all I get in return is abuse! Get out! Get out ye bastards!

Alice : [Confidentially, to the rest of the party] I think he wants us to leave.

[The Pearces have reached the bridge where DADDY is hanging, and are helping him and what's left of NOSE back into the boat]

Austin: [Slips his sling back into his pocket, and slides out his dagger, then places the tip of it against Dicey's back] Step out, first, or you shall lose a kidney - and we know how much value those body parts hold for you. I do not take lightly to tricksters and untruth sayers, and less to those that have such a vile and stupid accent. [Turns to Clint] Take care of that woman [nods at Maria] as I fear she may be as malevolent as this character. [Jabs Dicey in the back, prodding him to move out].

Dicey : Ye dirty backstabbing bastard Sleaze, I knew you were branded the minute I laid eyes on ye. Mutiny, that's what it is, ye treacherous hound! [Moves to the edge of the boat, but doesn't yet get out]

Alice : Austin - are we going to steal this man's boat?

Maria : [Cleaning Harvey's wounds, watching the whole scene with her eyes wide] I'm sure you won't - the good Colonel wouldn't let such a thing happen, would you Colonel?

Harvey: [Looks about in bewilderment] Eh? What? Private Sleaze, what is the meaning of this? I know the man ran from the fight, but have you lost your senses? Explain yourself, mmphf!

Dicey : God bless you, Colonel sir, you're only a great man altogether. Now, if you'd just be kind enough to get this cur off me boat and myself and Eva will be on our way.

Clint: What the fuck are you talking about!?! I don't want your stinkin' boat. I don't care. If I want to make a profit I'll steal a ship larger than this one. [Steps off the boat onto the shore, but close enough that if everyone leaves him he can still jump back on] Come on, people. Let's go.

Maria : [Smiling sweetly at Clint] You are a lovely man, aren't you?

Dicey : [Turning to face Austin] Come on Sleaze, ye back stabbin' bastard, follow him, go on, git!

Alice : [Watching the Pearse's successfully get Daddy into the boat] Well, if y'all going to try and find a way up through that cave, we better do it soon, before they come back. [Looks horrified for a second] Good grief! Did I just say ``Y'all"? Well? Do we follow the smell of Clint?

Stephen : Er, no! I agree with Aussie dearest on this little matter. Oh, that sounded rather dirty [puts hands on cheeks to hide the blushing]. Anyway, go for it Austin, I'm right behind you. Oh silly me, I'm doing it again aren't I. Or rather I'm not doing it...oh never mind. Let's take this ship. [Attempts to push Dicey overboard].

Dicey : [Pushing back] Get your filthy hands off me or by Phili's two beards you'll feel the crack of my blackthorn stick across your ass!

Alice : Oh god! That's probably just the kind of thing Stephen enjoys! Jerry, talk sense to him. Failing that, Uncle Harvey, put him in handcuffs - no! He'll probably enjoy that too, what can we do with him?

Maria : You could kill him.

Clint: And you call *me* sweet. Darling, it's above me to touch any man like Stephen, although you look like you've done it enough. Hickbag, I admire your loyalty and courage to us, but I can't stand being around someone with such an annoying accent, so let's get moving. Dicey, I don't want your stinking ship, but if you don't let the homo go, there's gonna be trouble from me. [Flexes] And you don't want that. So let 'em go and I won't feed you to the fishies. [Smiles and takes a threatening step forward]

Jerome: It appears that the simplest of our un-desirable options at this point is to exit the vessel, and traverse through the cave. [Points to the cave, then speaks in a voice only heard by the party] This way, Dicey can float his way to that bunch of redneck neanderthals, and they'll not follow us.

Austin: [Exerts more pressure on the dagger] Get off the boat, Dicey. I have no intention of stealing it, yet I have no intention of letting you hook up with the Pearses. There is nothing that can be done to fend off backstabbers, save stabbing them in the back, which I shall have no hesitation in doing, were you to resist getting off this boat. [Casts a sidelong glance at Maria] And how is it that she is so eager to be rid of Stephen - you attempt to cast this group of people into more chaos than it is in already, with but one aim in mind, the enrichment of your pockets. [Aloud, to the group] I would reckon that this man had previously made a pact with the Pearse boys, and led us to their trap willingly. You may have noticed that neither he nor Maria were once a target of their attack, and all apologetic was he when Clint, somehow, managed to wound Nose. I would not trust this man as far as I could throw him, unless of course that were to the Zobfish.

Dicey : Sure'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, between me forty coats and me fifty pockets I do declare in front of holy Mary and all the saints except saint George that you're the biggest bastard I ever had the misfortune to meet Sleaze. [Turns to Clint] I don't want him either [pointing to Stephen] I just want the bastard off my boat.

Maria : Good Colonel, you are truly a man of infinite bravery and wisdom. Surely you can convince your troops to employ the same good sense as the two scientists and leave the boat? We wish you no harm, but neither do we wish to become embroiled in a fight which does not involve us. Surely there is nothing to be gained by taking Dicey and me hostage?

Alice : Come on, come on! The Pearces are about to head this way!

Dicey : Sure'n begorrah, bejasus and bejabbers, between me forty coats and me fifty pockets I do declare in front of holy Mary and all the saints except saint George that you're the biggest bastard I ever had the misfortune to meet Sleaze. [Turns to Clint] I don't want him either [pointing to Stephen] I just want the bastard off my boat.

Stephen : [With a look of exasperation] Don't you see? We walked right into this trap! I can't believe we trusted a man with a name like 'Dicey'. [To Dicey] And you're quite correct in assuming that this is a mutiny. Off the boat, dear! [Closes his eyes for dramatic effect and points limply to the beach. Then, opens one eye to see whether he's gone]

Dicey : D'ya hear that, Eva?

Maria : Indeed I do, Dicey, and I am shocked.

Dicey : [To Stephen] Ye little bastard! Do ye not have the sense of your friends [waving at Jerome and Alice].

Alice : Oh, excuse me, I'm not his friend.

Dicey : I'm not leaving my Langar anywhere, so if ye don't get out now and get on up that tunnel we'll be caught by the Pearces!

Jerome: [Walking purposely toward the tunnel] Come along! [To Harvey] Colonel! The tunnel awaits! [To Clint] Mr Scar, surely you cannot propose to continue the harassment of these fine people? Let them get on their way. [To Stephen] Go swimming. [To Dicey and Maria] Thank you for saving our lives when we were destined to be fish food, and may good luck and peace go with you.

Austin: [Pushes Dicey aside] Out of my way, blackguard. [Proceeds to step out of the boat, somewhat hurriedly so as not to be left behind by the others, but then pauses halfway out of the boat, poking a finger at Dicey] Were you to aid the Pearces, I would return and cut your heart out. Being who I am though, I shall save that pleasure for another day. [Moves towards the tunnel].

Maria : Goodbye Dr. Trindle - it was a pleasure meeting you.

[STEPHEN and HARVEY climb out of the boat, and DICEY immediately sets sail.]

Dicey : [Looking at the ever nearer Pearce boat] Mr. Pearce! Mr. Pearce, sir. They're on the beach, the blackguards who killed your son are on the beach.

Pearse Pearce : Why, you ain't nothin' but a hound dog, Reilly, and the Pearce family will settle with afore long.

Daddy : Well said, son, now, let's deal with these yankee scum.

Pearse Pearce : Daddy, the one who killed Ear, kin I cut a little hole in his forehead, put a baby rat in there and seal it with a jar? Kin I? Huh? Huh? Kin I, huh? Shake it, shake it, shake it!

[The party hurry up the cave, which narrows before opening into a larger portion. There is a two catch swinging door here, locked from this side. Someone is banging on the other side of the door, and a woman's voice can be heard crying. The Pearces are just about to land.]

Alice : Well, what now? Do we face the beaching Pearces or see what's on the other side?

[The Pearces strike land, and DADDY, PEARSE PEARCE and PEARSE PEARCE TOO leap out, swords drawn. The voice from the other side of the door continues, sounding more like she is sobbing than panicking.]

Alice : [Tapping her foot impatiently] Come on, come on! What are we going to do?

Austin: [Turns to give Dicey the finger, before moving towards the door. He bends slightly examining the lock, without touching it, then listens intently to the noises emanating from behind it] Keep those louts at bay, for it seems I have my task cut out for me here.

Alice : Quick quick! Get it open!

[The Pearces begin moving quickly towards the cave.]

Pearse Pearce : Uh huh huh, Daddy, the damned yankees are tryin' to escape!

Daddy : No dang yankee is going to lock the Pearces down here, get them boys!

[They break into a run.]

Clint: Dicey! Bastard coming from you is a complement you little chicken-shit! I am the biggest baddest bastard you'll ever meet because I am the baddest of the bad. I am Clint Scar and you, pal, are nothing. Hear me, nothing, god damn it! I'd rather kill you than those rednecks with their puckered assholes and a shotgun with a hamster in it! [Turns calmly to Stephen] Don't get excited, now. [Turns back to Dicey] You her me, you gerbil infested rectum surfer?

Jerome: [Chants a short spell, and small bright darts eminate from his fingertips and fly directly at Pearse Pearce]

Clint: [Raises his crossbow and waits for them to come into range. Steps back a little behind the opening for the new door to get some cover] Die hickville posse!

[The Pearces are almost on the party when CLINT fires two bolts at them, one striking PEARSE PEARCE TOO in the shoulder, the other flying over head.]

Pearse Pearce : Daddy, Daddy! Lookee here, the funny lookin' one has thrown some fire flies at us - haw! He's dumber than a jackass! Think some no-account flies can scare the Pearces? Just shows what you kno- [Suddenly the magic missiles strikes him, knocking him off balance and onto the ground] Ow! [Looks at his scorched flesh] You dang yankee, I'll kill you for that! [Gets up]

[DADDY and PEARSE PEARSE TOO are on the party. PEARSE PEARSE TOO catches CLINT with a shortsword, while DADDY crashes his bastard sword across HARVEY's chest]

Alice : Uncle Harvey! Come on Austin, get that lock up, come on! [She strikes Daddy with her shortsword, she appears to hit him but doesn't do any damage.]

Stephen : [Draws his shortsword and starts waving it at the Pearces without actually attacking them] Look! Violence never solved anything. At least not in a dark cave. There's no light here and I don't have the film for it. [Charges uncharacteristically towards the weakest member of their group and attacks]

Jerome: [Looking pleased with himself] Hah! Now, let's see how you are going to manage to him Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. with your flimsy weapons! [Starts casting another spell]

Clint: Damn you you redneck. You and all of your shallow inbred gene pool will suffer my blade, punk! [Looks at stephen with a confused look] Violence always solved *MY* problems.

Austin: [Inspects the door for traps, carefully searching around the catch, then shouts] Who sits upon the other side? [Pauses, then louder] Answer, my good woman, if that is the form that you take.

[PEARSE PEARSE charges into the melee, heading towards JEROME, lifting his huge sword high above his head]

Pearse Pearse : Alright, yankee! Y'all are gonna pay for that, boy.

[Suddenly JEROME seems to shudder, before there is a flash of light. To everyone's amazement, there are now five more JEREOME's cluttering up the already tight space. DADDY crashes his sword into HARVEY, while PEARSE PEARSE TOO lands a blow on CLINT.]

Alice : Come on Austin, for crying out loud, get the door open!
[ALICE and HARVEY both attack DADDY, both appear to hit him, but neither blow causes any damage. CLINT and STEPHEN swing at PEARSE PEARCE TOO, with CLINT drawing blood from his arm. Meanwhile, PEARSE PEARCE swings violently at JEROME, catching him right on the neck.]

Pearse Pearse : Got him! Got the yankee! [To his obvious dismay, that image of Jerome shimmers and disappears, leaving five] Dang, this is gonna take longer than I thought, gotta remember to lay off that moonshine in future.

[The banging on the door continues, and the woman speaks.]

Annabel : Please, let me in, it's Annabel. Why have you locked the door? Please, let me in, let me in!

Alice : Let us out, let us out!

Harvey:[Panting for breath and sweating heavily] Gah! That was my best tunic, you cad! Now you've got my dander up, young fella me lad! [Harvey swings once more at Daddy]

Clint: Locked the door? [Loudly to Annabel] How does one unlock the door, wench? [To Pearce Pearce Too] Argh! Get away you little pest! [Swipes again at Pierce Pierce Too]

Austin: [Hesitates, then pulls the catch, swinging the door open and in the same movement crouches to the ground, with his dagger held in a downward position. He mutters, but loud enough for all to hear] Mr. Scar, with all your, seemingly idle, boasting you wield your sword like a wench does a cigar. [He then calls to Stephen] I would recommend that you put your feeble wrists to use, good man, and attempt to fling some sand in Pearse Pearse Too's eyes. I would do it myself, but the distance is to great, and I would not like to interfere in a battle that is already in progress, perhaps from here impeding those that already give themselves so willing to defend Maplin, his beauty, and all the freedom that such a wanton display of art does entail. [This said, he stills picks up a handful of sand, yet does not throw it].

[The door swings open, revealing ANNABEL, who's face is covered in boils. AUSTIN swings the door about halfway around - himself, JEROME and STEPHEN can just step into the other side, while ALICE, HARVEY and CLINT will first have to withdraw from the Pearces.]

Annabel : [Noticing the Pearces, and somewhat disturbed at the abundance of Jeromes] Oh no! Close the door as quick as you can, don't let the Pearces up here! [Starts pushing the door shut.]

Alice : Hoi! Let us in first!

[PEARSE PEARCE cuts another JEROME in half, only to see it disappear. DADDY narrowly misses the weakened HARVEY, while PEARSE PEARCE TOO slashes CLINT's right thigh.]

Pearse Pearce Too : Got the ugly one! The Pearces will eat well tonight, fwied bad guy with gwavy and chips, mm-mm.

Clint: Stop your whining, little man, before I skin you and hang you out for Hickbag's amusement. He might find some pleasure in that little flabby lawyer ass of yours. Besides, real woman knows how to hold her cigar.

Pearse Pearce : Uh huh huh, shake it little brother, ah've killed two of the yankees already, they're fallin' quicker than flies when aunt Mable wears her perfume, I think I just might kill another - ow! [Starts suddenly as flame shoots out of the fingers of the Jeromes] God dang it, this ain't fair!

Harvey: [Gasps at missing Daddy, almost falling as the weight of his sword striking the ground throws him off balance] Damn and blast, sir, mmphf! He has the luck and the speed of the very devil himself! [Harvey swings at Daddy once more]

Clint: [Tries to withdraw while fending off them with his weapon] Come on Harv! Let's move! [Starts backing through the door] [Takes another swipe at Pearce Pierce Too] Ugly? I've got more teeth than your entire FAMILY you redneck swine! Die like you shit, like the country whore you are! Speaking of whores, where's you sister, Pearcey boy?

Stephen : [Jogs to safety and takes a step back when he notices Annabel's disease ridden face] Ugh! [Shouts] Hey Alice! You're about to find your long lost identical twin! [To Annabel] So what happened deary? Stayed in the sun too long? I have the same problem, and need a high factor sun block as well as a muscular life guard to rub it on my back. Hmmm...

Pearse Pearce : More teeth boy? God dang it, what does a man need more than four teeth for anyway? Now, don't you talk about muh sister Priscilla, boy, not when she's six months pregnant with my baby, boy!

[The door swings shut, trapping the Pearces on the other side. All the party members are scrambled onto the right side.]

Annabel : [Putting her hands to her cheeks] What - What do you mean what happened? Why are you being so horrible to me? [Bursts into tears]

Alice : [Pushing her way passed all the Jeromes up to Annabel] Let me look after her, she obviously needs a good, reassuring hug and - [Breaks off as she catches sight of Annabel] well, maybe she just needs a cup of hot lemon...

Annabel : [Looks at Stephen] You have the same problem? You don't look it, but maybe the beard is disguising it. How can you joke about the sun like that? And what are you doing with these, these ... [looks around at the others] these [whispers] infected ones?

Clint: Oh come on she can't look that... [Clint's jaw drops] Um... uh.... well... she's um... well... she's colorful.... yes that's it. She's got some color to her. [Quietly] Too bad most of it's brown.

Stephen : [Stands behind Alice] Give her a hug then! [Pushes Alice as hard as he can towards Annabel as a childish joke].

Clint: [Looks at Stephen] I know everyones getting all touchey-feeling, but don't even *THINK* about it, Hurkbigs!

Jerome: [Looking at the other Jerome's] Well, this does give one a rather unique perspective, doesn't it. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. had forgotten how dashing he looked! [Looks around] My, what an intriguing place. [Looks at Disease Girl] My dear, how is it that you became afflicted?

Austin: [Shrieks in horror, when he espies Annabel.] Stay away from me woman, lest thou infect such beauty as mine that is granted to very few. Maplin would wither to nothing, and my life would no longer be worth living. [Shys away to stand behind Harvey, and suddenly notices all the wounds. Backs off again, and then stands with his back to the door, like a caged animal. Sweat pours from his forehead].

[STEPHEN's shove sends ALICE crashing into ANNABEL.]

Alice : Yeuch! Disease! Get her away from me! [Grabs on to Harvey] Help me!

Annabel: Yeuch! Disease! Get her away from me! [Grabs on to Stephen] Help me! [Recovers, and disentangles herself from Stephen, but still stands beside him, eyeing the others suspiciously] The question is, how is it that *you* have become afflicted? And why is there a chosen one with you?

Alice : [Busily wiping herself] Stephen? A chosen one? Shriek, now I know the world has gone crazy.

Annabel : Is he a prisoner? Have you captured him? [Draws a dagger and waves it threateningly at the others, pushing Stephen behind her, obviously trying to protect him] What are you doing here? You disease ridden swine! [Blesses herself] Phili protect me from the plague carrying devil worshippers. [Glares at Austin] You! You must be their leader!

Jerome: [Looking at Stephen] But he doesn't have all of those spots. Why is it that you believe we are afflicted with desease? [Spreads his hands wide] We mean no harm, but would be most grateful if you could assist us in this matter.

Annabel : [Lowering the dagger slightly] Of course he does, he said a second ago that he has them, a chosen one is always truthful. [Suddenly turns and points the dagger at Stephen] Or were you lying? [Backs up to a wall] I assumed that you couldn't see the marks on his face because of the beard, but I bet you're as diseased as the others!

Alice : Excuse me, but here I am, the picture of health and beauty, beside me are Austin and Maplin and look at all these Jeromes, they are so plague free that they had fire coming out of their fingers, which Jerry, I have to admit is a pretty cool trick, we can hit the Tequila in a while. Now, look at you, covered in greasy, puss-filled brown sores. Which of us has a disease? HERE Annabel : Parson Nathaniel said that Seth would come in many forms, and that is why he blocked out the sun, so the true chosen ones would suffer while his vile tools grew in beauty.

[Suddenly, all but one of the JEROME's flicker and vanish]

Annabel : Witchcraft! Now I know you're tools of the devil! [Eyes the exit nervously]

Harvey: [Looks curiously at Annabel] What! For shame you silly woman! We are from Queens View and have no truck with witchcraft, or the devil! [Whispers to Alice] Fear not niece, I am well trained in the art of subterfuge, mmpfh. [Turns back to Annabel] We are merely a troupe of travelling mime artists, heading for Waterdeep! Observe! [Harvey begins a mime of opening an invisible door. Gripping the invisible door handle, he attempts to pull open the door, but it doesn't budge. He tries to twist and turn the door handle] Damn and blast! It's locked!

Alice : Uncle Harvey, if I truly believed that you were a mime I would have to kill you. I offer you a warning, and I shall only offer it once. If I see you in the town park with a whitened face, a flower in your jacket and wearing one of those stupid bowler hats, I shall be forced to beat you to death. To see your silent screams if nothing else.

Austin: [Focuses intently on Annabel, trying to ignore the blemishes scattered about her face, but failing] I have not taken it upon myself to lead this company, nor do I wish that responisibility. I am here for a reason and thereafter I shall have nothing further to do with any parties in this party. Taint me not with accusations of aspiring to more than I wish to be [glances at Harvey] and taint me not with that apparently infectious ailment that you bear. As for your supposed chosen one, he carries hi s sickness within, invisible to the eye, yet it burdens his soul so much that his wrists are limp. [Then starts firing out questions as if cross-examining a witness] This Seth that you mention - would he come under the guise of Contagion or Iok, as it seems those are indeed adept with the creation of various viruses and have mentioned theof disease Scalies? Is it contagious? Whence did you get it, and what stage is it at? How long of an incubation period is expected? Is there a known remedy? Why are you here? Why were you trying to get in, when we would consider this side of the door in? Where is out? Where have you come from? Have we passed outside the cloud yet? Who are the Pearses? Who do they work for? Have they got the disease? Do they know of it's existence? Is it contagious? [Pauses then, as if he suddenly realises that his brain was not actually working] We have upon us a red virus, the nature of which we are unsure, but may be an antidote, or perhaps the cause of such a virulent sickness.

Annabel : [Gazing at Austin] What? What are you talking about? Look - it is obvious that one of your beauty has to be the leader, and with all your questions, its obvious that you are one of Seth's evil ones. People like you, people who claim it is the chosen people that are diseased, you are the only ones who call us Scalies. I have no doubt - do not pretend that you aren't one of those who attacked my village, now get back behind that door or I swear I'll kill you all. [Waves the dagger wildly about.]

Alice : Perhaps, leader, you should ask her one question at a time. of his, not him incarnate.

Stephen : [Takes on a priestly like voice] Sleaze! Do not question my followers, for thine shall be punished with a plague so terrible that you will wish that you hadn't done it! [Gives up voice. To Annabel] Annabel, these motley crue are waifs I have picked up along the way on my secret quest. They're not very intelligent, but their hearts are in the right place. Mean them no harm. Now! Bow before me and kiss my feet! [Winks at the others when Annabel is not looking].

Annabel : Kiss your feet? Do you expect these diseased ones to kiss your feet?

Harvey: Mmph, eh? [Looks from Stephen to Annabel, before puffing out his chest] Madam, how can I assure you our intentions are not ill concieved? I'm sure Sister Immaculata will calm your troubled mind. Yes indeed! [Turns to the party] Eh? [Genuinely surprised] Where's the good sister? Gah! Don't tell me the dear woman is still outside?

Annabel : Kiss your feet? Do you expect these diseased ones to kiss your feet?

Stephen : [Sighs] Now I know that you and Alice are related. Alice, the quest to find the ``Twelve Illegitimate Daughters of Alice fathered by Twelve Different Men" is one twelth complete!!! Rejoice and sing Hallelujah! [To Annabel] Now dear follower, I want you and only you to kiss my feet and beg my forgiveness. [Winks at party again]

Alice : [Horrified] She's dead! Crikey Uncle, surely you noticed before this! I'm not sure if her death was directly attributeable to Jerome, as Joan and Clint's were, but she is dead.

Annabel : Well, am I surprised? A group of disease ridden pirates killing a nun, oh Parson Nathaniel warned us about people like you. The day the sun didn't come up - he warned us, and how many others have you killed? Joan? Clint? They sound like pious individuals indeed!

Alice : [Loudly] Is there something wrong with your eye, Shitberg? I'm really getting sick of you. [Draws her sword]

Annabel : Follower? Beg forgiveness? [Suddenly Annabel stabs Stephen] Liar, you are not of the chosen ones.

by cayman.ucs.indiana.edu (8.7.3/8.7.3/1.12IUPO) with SMTP

Alice : [Horrified] She's dead! Crikey Uncle, surely you noticed before this! I'm not sure if her death was directly attributeable to Jerome, as Joan and Clint's were, but she is dead.

Annabel : Well, am I surprised? A group of disease ridden pirates killing a nun, oh Parson Nathaniel warned us about people like you. The day the sun didn't come up - he warned us, and how many others have you killed? Joan? Clint? They sound like pious individuals indeed!

Alice : [Loudly] Is there something wrong with your eye, Shitberg? I'm really getting sick of you. [Draws her sword]

Annabel : Follower? Beg forgiveness? [Suddenly Annabel stabs Stephen] Liar, you are not of the chosen ones.

Clint: Chosen ones? Lady, what the hell are you talking about!?! Stop this at once. We need to all get out of here ALIVE!

Annabel : Gasp! See how the evil one intones the land of Seth to help him! Look, I've already almost killed one of you(1), promise to let me go and I won't hurt anyone else.

Alice : How about we promise to let you go if you kill him?

Annabel : I'm easy. [Flutters her eyelashes at Austin]

Alice : That as may be, but what about killing him?

Annabel : I'm not too pushed, but I'd rather not, if its all the same to you. But I'm warning you all, don't try and take on the chosen ones, or we shall send you the way of all the other impure ones. [Looks to Clint] Do you mock me? Saying you need to get out alive after that obviously staged stunt with the Pearces?

Sorry, I forgot the footnote here. It's at the bottom.

Annabel : Gasp! See how the evil one intones the land of Seth to help him! Look, I've already almost killed one of you(1), promise to let me go and I won't hurt anyone else.

Alice : How about we promise to let you go if you kill him?

Annabel : I'm easy. [Flutters her eyelashes at Austin]

Alice : That as may be, but what about killing him?

Annabel : I'm not too pushed, but I'd rather not, if its all the same to you. But I'm warning you all, don't try and take on the chosen ones, or we shall send you the way of all the other impure ones. [Looks to Clint] Do you mock me? Saying you need to get out alive after that obviously staged stunt with the Pearces?

(1) This isn't really true, he's got a gash, but that's all.

Annabel : Gasp! See how the evil one intones the land of Seth to help him! Look, I've already almost killed one of you(1), promise to let me go and I won't hurt anyone else.

Alice : How about we promise to let you go if you kill him?

Annabel : I'm easy. [Flutters her eyelashes at Austin]

Alice : That as may be, but what about killing him?

Annabel : I'm not too pushed, but I'd rather not, if its all the same to you. But I'm warning you all, don't try and take on the chosen ones, or we shall send you the way of all the other impure ones. [Looks to Clint] Do you mock me? Saying you need to get out alive after that obviously staged stunt with the Pearces?

Stephen : [Gasps] Now that hurt, you bitch! [Draws sword] Austin, darling, I'm going to say those three little words that you like to hear most. I wanna sue! File a claim for injury against Annabel. As my new attorney I expect full damages to be sought. We'll go fifty-fifty, of course. Oh, and can we slap an injuction on Alice for not shaving her armpits and generally smelling? And while you're at it [starts crying] sue the rest of them for not being my friends...[wails]

Annabel : Oh that's right, show your foul tongue! Now I know you for what you are. Parson Nathaniel was right, you are all the same, you have the devil in you!

Alice : I'll gladly plead guilty for not being his friend! [Looks at the snivelling Stephen] Maybe you should ask her for a hug, Stevie?
[From further up the corridor comes a man's voice : "Annabel, the sinners have gone and it is safe, do not stay here like some unwanted waif."]

Annabel : Parson Nathaniel, stay back, there are some plague carriers here!

[Enter PARSON NATHANIEL]

Nathaniel : Once there was a time when I believed without hesitation, That the power of love and truth could conquer all in the name of salvation, Tell me what kind of weapon is love, when it comes to the fight, And just how much protection is truth against all Satan's might. [Draws out a blood stained mace]

Annabel : Oh that's right, show your foul tongue! Now I know you for what you are. Parson Nathaniel was right, you are all the same, you have the devil in you!

Alice : I'll gladly plead guilty for not being his friend! [Looks at the snivelling Stephen] Maybe you should ask her for a hug, Stevie?

Annabel : Parson Nathaniel, stay back, there are some plague carriers here!

[Enter PARSON NATHANIEL]

Nathaniel : Once there was a time when I believed without hesitation, That the power of love and truth could conquer all in the name of salvation, Tell me what kind of weapon is love, when it comes to the fight, And just how much protection is truth against all Satan's might. [Draws out a blood stained mace]

Stephen : [Aside] All we need now are David Essex and Richard Burton. [Sighs] Well Nathaniel, we meet again. How is the confessional box? Have you cleaned it out? [Waves his sword at the Parson whilst walking backwards until he is safely behind Clint and whispers]Clint, he just called you a poofter!

On Wednesday, 26 February 1997 10:13 AM, Conor Ryan wrote: darling, I I and rest of what20

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Jerome: Good master Nathaniel! [Extends his hand to shake (though not close enough to be hit, and ready to pull it away quickly)] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D's the name, pleased to make your aquaintence. Now, please, let us clear up this misunderstanding. We are not evil, diseased, or in need of killing. We have just defeated lok Sotot who a man of your political standing will know of, of course. Unfortunately, during the course of his destruction, lok Sotot passed his powers on to Dan The Virgin. We have just narrowly escaped Danny-Boy, and more recently the Pierces, and are most glad to be in this haven.

Austin: [Throws his eyes skyward, if there was a sky, and mutters] Not another sick psycho freak, and this one speaks in rhymes. Well why not? Parson, convert me and grant me forgiveness, for I am a sickly sinner. [Genuflects and bows his head against his chest, but holds his dagger hidden behind his back].

Nathaniel : [To Austin] You are a liar, may you have eternal damnation amongst the agonising hellfire. Once there was a time when I believed without hesitation, that the power of love and truth could conquer all in the name of salvation. Tell me what kind of weapon is love, when it comes to the fight, and just how much protection is truth against all Seth's might?

Annabel : Parson Nathaniel, listen to that one [points at Jerome] - could it be true, could they have killed Iok Sotot?

Parson Nathaniel : Do not let him poison your mind with his sins, watch the web of lies and deceit that he spins! [Eyes Jerome's still-extended hand suspiciously] If what you claim to have done is true, if the one who killed the evil Iok Sotot is you, tell me then, and tell me true, from where have you come? And tell me then, this great thing you did, for why was it done?

Alice : Wow! I hope someone is writing all this down, what a jolly poem it could make, beats Pam Ayres any day!

Harvey: [Looks suspiciously at Parson Nathaniels hairstyle] We have journeyed here from Queens View, and what I say, it is pure right. Gah! I mean true!

Jerome: This party was employed by Queens View to attempt the dangerous task of ridding the town of the deadly black cloud, and strange, satanic happenings.

Harvey : Look sir, I believe you and your companion have us all wrong! What the Doctor says is the truth, mmpfh. [Harvey looks down at his blood soaked tunic, then at his sword, which he calmly sheaths] We were sent from Queens View to find out the reason children were dying horribly in our town. Iok Sotot was that reason! Oh yes! But now, Sotot has been usurped by his own son, Dangsten Blackheart.

Jerome : We located the source of this evil, lok Sotot, and managed to remove him from the picture - even though we lost some of our dear travelling companions in the process. The actual killing of lok Sotot, though, mournfully rests on his own son's hands - one Dan The Virgin. Dan has now inherited his fathers powers, and perhaps more. We escaped, with the intention of regrouping and launching another covert operation to attempt to shut Dan down.

[Suddenly, what sounds like a battering ram is banged against the other side of the door, followed by a scream. Then DADDY PEARCE's voice can be heard shouting "God dang it boy, that was muh pinky! Now come on!"]

Nathaniel : Listen, do you hear them drawing near in their search for the sinners? Feeding on the power of our fear and the evil within us! Incarnation of Seth's creation of all that we dread, when the demons arrive those alive would be better off dead! [Puts his head in his hands] My innocent, sweet and beautiful Annabel, the tale of our great misfortune I wish you to tell.

Annabel : But Parson, what if the Pearces break through?

Nathaniel : Tell them, sweet Annabel, tell them our tale of woe, and from their faces I shall see if they are friend or foe.

Annabel : [Eyeing the shaking door unhappily] Well, it all started six months ago. Without warning there was a huge flash in the sky, we weren't sure where it came from, but we now think that it came from Kings Reach. The whole countryside for miles around was showered with ash.

Nathaniel : We hid in the temple for a day and a night, and when we ventured out, oh lord what a sight! For the sun, the source of all life had died, and I knew then, I knew then that they all had lied!

Annabel : It's true - the sun didn't come, and hasn't come up since. There is hardly a difference between day and night, in place of the sun is a black hole, like it has been torn out of the sky.

[The banging on the door is getting louder, and the catch is shaking]

Alice : [Looking in alarm at the door] Is that it? Can we go now before they get through?

Nathaniel : Do the impure ones wish to question me, the wearer of sandals, before the door gives into the violent and reeking vandals?

Harvey: Hmm! Eh? Good sir, I bleed! [Glances towards the door] I have no wish to spill more blood. Do you know of anywhere near here we could seek refuge for a night?

Nathaniel : Now darkness has descended on our land and all our prayers cannot save us, like fools we've let the devil take command of the souls that God gave us. To the altar of evil like lambs to the altar we're lead, and when the demons arrive, the survivors will envy the dead! We do have a place of harmony and rest, and there you will be safe while the heart still beats in your chest. Annabel, run, fly ahead of us like a beautiful dove, inform our brothers of that our friends need our special love.

Annabel : At once, Parson. [Turns to the others] I will go ahead and warn the others not to attack once they see your diseased features, the Parson will show you the way.

[Exit ANNABEL, running up the corridor.]

Nathaniel : [Holding out a smooth rock that can be used as a door stop] Here my brothers, let this smooth stone block our foe, and then let us fly, fly to safety where we shall feast on pheasant and doe.

Alice : Wouldn't you think he'd get tired of all that rhyming?

[NATHANIEL walks to the edge of the cave, and turns to face the party]

Nathaniel : Well?

Clint: Good eats? Sure. I'm game. [Licks his lips] [To the door] Good day, country boys. Have fun with yer sister. She is a good fuck, isn't she? Well... I always thought so. [Turns and walks after Nathaniel] I was just kidding, you know. I wouldn't touch her with a ten foot lance.

Jerome: Yes, in my estimation, some nourishment would be most satisfying at this time. [Follows Nathaniel]

Stephen : [Following Nathaniel and says meekly] Erm, I don't mean to be any trouble, but I'm a vegetarian. And can I also comment on what a lovely cave you live in. Thirdly, I'm after someone to write the soundtrack for my upcoming docurama. I note, if you'll pardon my pun [puts hand on Nathanial's arm], that you are very good at writing lyrics and with the right music, I have a friend in San Francisco, it'll be a great hit. What do you say?

Clint: A lovely cave? Hickberk, if you start giving them interior decorating tips I am not going to be happy. [To Nathaniel] Now let's get eating- I mean moving so we can get eating. I'm starved. [To Stephen] Make sure you get my good side.... [Thinks for a minute] .... and I don't mean mt ass!

[ANNABEL returns, and rejoins the group.]

Austin: [Returns to his feet, and slaps the dirt from his tights. Then sheaths his dagger, somewhere in the folds of his cloak. He nods to the Parson] My good man, you place your faith in us of a sudden, and therefore, I believe that you believe that your belief to leave us be shall cause you great relief. [Examines the group, then the two infected people] Is there any known cure for our infection?

Annabel : Parson Nathaniel says there is not - the chosen ones were selected for salvation by Phili and marked as such. [Points to one of her many sores with pride.] Oh, the diseased ones try to kill us, but we can deal with them.

[The cave narrows until it is only wide enough for one abreast. Then it comes to a T-Junction, where NATHANIEL turns left. Then, out of sight, he can be heard shouting.]

Nathaniel : [From without] The diseased ones are here, chasing us like the innocent deer. Cleanse them now and cleanse them as the lands are cleansed by flood. Wash the cave, the floors and their souls with their foul blood!

Annabel : [Still in the middle of the party] No Nathaniel, oh no, Nathaniel! [Looks up at the roof with terror in her eyes.]

Austin: [Also looks up, then folds down to a crouching position, whisking out his dagger] See you now, good Annabel, that the Pastor himself, is a disciple of Seth. Here he leaves you to die, without any qualms, yet you have done him no wrong. So it is with us. If you know what leads round to the right ahead, let us know. Are any escape route indeed would be suitable. Yet you have not answered a crucial question I posed you earlier - why were you so eager to escape through the door?

Harvey: Gah a trap! And here I am, more weary than a new born lamb! [Turns to Annabel, and follows her stare upwards. He unsheaths his sword] What are you looking for, girl! What's waiting to attack?

Stephen : [Smiles] No! I think that we're going to get a bath. I wonder if we share. [Looks up] Or is it a shower? Come on people. This could be fun. [Starts to get undressed]

Annabel : I was trying to escape some of the unclean ones who had attacked our village - the roof above is boobytrapped, and I was going to run through the door, locking it after me. They would then have been trapped, they must have guessed what was going on, however, and not followed me in. Once the roof caves in we will be crushed.

Alice : Oh no! This is terrible, disgusting! Put your clothes on Stephen, before I am forced to vomit all over you!

Nathaniel [From without] : Rejoice, Annabel, rejoice in your sarcrifice, even though in cleansing the diseased you must pay the ultimate price.

[The ceiling begins rumbling, as though there will be a rock fall any second]

Annabel : Phili take me! [Dives onto Austin with her dagger.] Be cleansed, diseased one!

Jerome: [Searching frantically for some way out, then turning to Annabel] Don't think we don't appreciate you trying to kill Austin, but we should concentrate our efforts on getting out of here! You know this trap better than any of us, so tell us all and maybe we can escape with our lives!

Alice : Jerome! You big meanie! [Points up ahead] Nathaniel went to the left, and there are obviously people down there, the Pearces are behind us, so the only way is to go up and turn right. [Makes to move, but notices no one else is] Come on, come on, come on! [Leaps from foot to foot]

Annabel : Cleanse and purify! [Stabs Austin again]

[The ceiling begins to rumble, and small rocks start to fall from it]

Alice : Quick, we must help Aussie. [Bends down to grab Annabel, but stops short] Wait, what if you can catch the disease by touching her?

Harvey: By the saints! She's as mad as a sheep in a gaberdene! Almost as bad as those Amazon harpies back in '61! But we taught them a lesson that cutting off one breast was not a substitue for having no wedding tackle, mpfhh! [Harvey tries to hit Annabel on the top of her head with the handle of his sword] You men up ahead, the right passage, and smartish!

[The hilt of HARVEY's sword cracks loudly against ANNABEL's head, and she slumps over, unconscious, with a small stream of blood coming from her head.]

Alice : [Prodding Austin gently with her sword] Come on Aussie, we might be able to get someone to cure you if we get out, shift yourself, the Shorts need to get out. [Winces as a small rock hits her on the head, before she whispers to Harvey] Better not to touch him, just in case, well, you know.

Harvey: [Looks knowingly at Alice, before looking at Annabel] Alice, we can't leave this woman here! She doesn't deserve to die like this! Pick her up by the arms, but don't touch her skin, or her blood. I'll pick her up by the legs. Ha! Just like Auntie Beryl last year! [In a conspiratorial tone] She still hasn't found her shoe, you know!

Alice : [Unhappily picking up Annabel's arms] Well okay, but at least we knew that Auntie Orange was going to sober up - those sores on Annabel's face could burst any second, showering us with pus so that we'll almost be as diseased as Austin. [To everyone] Okay, left or right?

Harvey: [Picks Annabel up by the legs, making sure not to touch any exposed skin] Right, right! And quickly, for I can feel the Donkhound itself breathing down my neck!

Stephen : [Quickly dressing and heading to the right tunnel] Ooohh! I feel like Indiana Jones. [Pulls out a hat and whip] I'm going down the tunnel to the right [starts walking]. Clint, hurry along, or I'll have to give you a whipping boy!

Alice : [Giving Austin a light kick] Shift yourself Aussie! Come on, before the Donkhound catches us! [Pauses for a second, before looking over Harvey's shoulder] The what? I don't see anything behind you, what on earth is a Donkhound? A cross between a donkey and a cat, I suppose?

Stephen : [Quickly dressing and heading to the right tunnel] Ooohh! I feel like Indiana Jones. [Pulls out a hat and whip] I'm going down the tunnel to the right [starts walking]. Clint, hurry along, or I'll have to give you a whipping boy!

Clint: [Starts running] Um... I'm going to follow Stephen. Man, I can't believe I'm saying this! [Runs towards the right passage, knocking people out of his way]

Alice : What a tragedy it would be if you were to be impaled on some spikes, Indy.

Harvey: What! [Dropping Annabel in surprise] But dear niece, I've told you this story countless times! [His eyes glaze over at the retelling] It was '65 when I was asked to lead an expedition to kill the demonic Donkhound, half slavering hound of hell, half carrot following donkey, mmphf. 'Twas spawned in Hell, I tell you! Yes indeed! Four months we tracked this beast, until we trapped it in the village of Idubelieve, where it had been terrorising the local civilian populus. It was a cold, winter night, with the stars glistening brilliantly in the sky. When I heard the strange noise it made, a sort of a "woof-e-awe". Then, I felt it's hot rancid breath on the back of my neck. [Harvey suddenly becomes animated] It was me or it! I grabbed the first thing which came to hand...a bag of flour, lying next to a shed. Yelling the rebel yell, I turned and swung, catching the beast full in the face with the flour! Back the thing flew, down a well, dead! [Slowly and loudly] I...was...victorious!

Alice : [Exasperated] Brilliant, Uncle H. Now are we going to leave her or not? Two seconds more and I'm out of here.

[The roof is shaking badly now, only seconds left before it falls. STEPHEN and CLINT round the corner to the right, and as they do, a voice, (not Nathaniel) can be heard shouting "Kill the impure ones! Purge them of their disease!". A round of arrows is fired, both are struck]

Stephen : Ow! That hurt. [To Clint] What are we going to do now? [Takes out catapult and some rounded pebbles and gets ready to fire towards the parson] Clint! I just wanted you to know that it has been a real pleasure working with you [tears well in Stephen's eyes]. It's a bit like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid's last stand. [Fires] I once dated someone called Butch. Hard as nails on the outside, but a big softy in the middle. [Evil smile] Soft, until I had my way with him. [Shivers] Oooh!

Clint: [To Stephen] No matter what you say, I'm not going to make you my bitch, Cassidy- um... I mean Hackbug. [Looks to the left passage] Dammit, fight me like a real man. Not like Hitchcock, here. [Runs down the left passage with crossbow in his left hand and his blade in the other] Motha... I'm gonna kick yer ass, you little... um... [Thinks of some insults] What do you think I should call them, Alice? I've already used puss felcher, haven't I? [Looks at the arrow in his chest, then runs to attack] Gah! Die!

Jerome: [To everyone, yelling] Run among them! Surely they would not stand where the roof will collapse! [To Clint] You first.

Alice : Sorry spot! C'mon Uncle, let's get out of here before we're squashed flatter thaan a pancake that a very heavy man sat on! [Runs up and takes the right passage, leaving Annabel there]

[Another round of arrows fire, hitting ALICE, STEPHEN and JEROME.]

Alice : [Looking at the shaft] What will we do? Climb to safety or run to certain death?

Austin: [Holds his wound closed with his right hand, then staggers around the corner to the right with a disarming shuffle]. Damn these blaggards. Has everyone outside the Queen's view lost their minds? Perhaps were we to infect ourselves with this plaque we might survive this. But that may be the last resort, as I could never stand to see Maplin bespotted.

Harvey: [Once again picking up Annabel by the legs] Alice, dear niece, make for the shaft! It's crazy, but it just might work, mmphf!

Alice : [Looking up the shaft] There seems to be some kind of light up there, it doesn't look like daylight, though. Shall we go? [Looks to the others] Where's Harvey? [Calls out] Leave Spot there, Uncle, or you'll never get out!

[HARVEY is still in the main tunnel dragging ANNABEL out. While it is difficult to see from where the party are standing, the rock fall is pretty bad now. The bowmen fire a volley of shots.]

Nathaniel : [From well behind the bowmen] As Seth once impregnated his slaves with disease, let our arrows strike so their evil doing may cease.

Alice : [Looking up the shaft, which looks quite easy to climb up] Okay, who goes first?

Harvey: [Winces as another rock strikes his head] Gah! Damn and blast! [Looks at Annabel, undecided for a moment, before leaving go] I hope you'll sit with Philli, girl! [Harvey turns quickly and makes his way down the right passage] Up the shaft this moment, troop! And bloodly well hurry up, damn your eyes!

Clint: Follow me. [Starts towards the shaft]

[CLINT lifts himself into the shaft, followed by everyone else, sheltering from the arrow fire.]

Stephen [Running after Clint towards the shaft screaming] I can't take any more of this madness...let's get out of here. [Composes himself] Did you see the blonde one? Without them spots, he'd be a little darling.

Nathaniel : Follow them, my faithful ones, let your wrath be terrible, wreak vengance on them for what they did to sister Annabel.

Alice : Phew! Just as well we climbed in here, isn't it?
[Some kind of liquid is being poured into the shaft]
Alice : What? Is someone pouring lemonade on us?

Austin: [Shoves Alice, quite feebly] Quicker, woman, and drink not of this liquid, for I fear it may not stand you well. [Then turns his head slightly to look who is behind him, then mutter murderously] If I feel your hand, breath or any other body part upon my ass, I shall kill you myself, Mr. Hitchberg.

Alice : I'm going as quick as I can! You know, that lemonade doesn't smell completely unlike Moe Moe's infamous GrinGripper ale.

[At the top of the shaft stands ADAM TORQUE, another scalies sufferer. There are several others there too, most just finishing urinating into the shaft.]

Adam : Come, diseased ones. Come to be judged. [Draws out a huge axe and bows his head as though in prayer] Lord Phili, guide my axe as it carries out your wishes, let me not rest until I am washed in the blood of the impure ones.

Harvey: [Hears the commotion above] Gah! Trapped between two fronts, our party weary and wounded! We are sitting ducks! This is almost more than my poor old heart can bare, mmpfh! [Harvey looks back over his shoulder] If we don't get out of this shaft soon, those bounders below will be able to pick us off one by one! We'll be nothing more than fairground targets! Me, an honoured soldier and devout believer of Philli! Gah!

Jerome: This is a most precarious situation we are in, perhaps we could stay here out of their reach until it's safe below? Or maybe we have a potion left that could help [Starts rummaging through his pockets looking for a potion] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. fears that it was a terrible mistake to join this venture without some form of ranged weapon.

Clint: Pre-..... huh? Whatever. Stop using such big fucking words and lets get out of here. [Some ashes fall from his cigar as he talks] Oops. Look out below. [Laughs] The ole-... [Gets hit by more water] Dammit! There went my light! Dammit Dammit Dammit!!! I'm gonna gut that punk when we get to the top and feed his intestines to the nun. Oh wait. What ever happened to the nun? Oh yeah. [Laughs] Now I remember. [chuckles some more]

Austin: [Swipes some ash from his face, then his hand along his trouser leg] Where you as clumsy in battle, you would deserve the fate of that ash. I would suggest, Mr. Scar that you take more care, and also take more care when you aim your weapon at the foe that you will attempt to slay. Would you consider it possible that you may use your bow from this range - yet with our luck, and if we were lucky enough to remove at least part of this threat, no doubt the slain party would fall upon us, blocking our way forward. I think that more drastic measures are required. Perhaps the good Dr Trindle, would care to create a flash of blinding light that may distract, and render the party above useless, until we, with all haste and speed, extract ourselves from this predicament. That is, if it is at all possible.

Jerome: [To Austin, or his arse at least] It is with my greatest displeasure that Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is unable to cast any more spells without some fairly substantial rest. Jerome is already exhausted from the exertion outside.

Alice : [Knowledgeably] Exertion, Clint. That means a hot water heater placed outside the house, as opposed to immersion, short for immersion heater, which is normally used inside the house.

Adam : We have the attention of the impure ones, let us cleanse them with the Lord's broth. Let it be written that "And Lo, they brought forth the fire and brimstone, and after showing their distaste for the diseased ones, they did cast the fire and brimstone onto the servants of Seth, whereupon their brother below felled them and held them in bondage for their judgement with the Holy axes."

Scribe : Sorry Brother Adam, what came after "showing their distaste"?

Adam : Phili give me patience! Here we are adding a new chapter to the book of Phili, and you, Brother Scribe, are unable to keep up.

Scribe : I'm sorry Brother Adam, it's just that you are going too fast.

Adam : I think not, I think you are not pure enough to be the Scribe of Adam Torque. You are obviously a Sethanic spy [Addresses someone out of sight of the party] Take him away and Judge him, Brother David.

Scribe : [Being dragged away] No! Please, Brother Adam, please!

[The Scribe is dragged away, and the men at the top of the shaft momentarily step out of view, leaving two large pots balanced precariously at the top of the shaft. The Scribe can be heard crying just above the party, but he stops suddenly after a sickening thud above. There is a large cheer.]

Harvey: [Peering upwards] Whats going on up there? I say! Why have we stopped? Move along, chop, chop!

[ADAM appears at the top of the shaft, holding a head in his hands. There are several others there too.]

Adam : Behold the head of the impure one! [Holds up a bloody head, and drops it down the shaft, where it bounces off everyone before hitting the ground below.]

Alice : Oh no! They're going to pour the fire and brimstone on us!

Adam : Do the impure ones wish to repent before their death?

Austin: [Looks up the shaft at the faces above] Good sirs, you claim that you work on the side of Philli, and yet you ask us not what our beliefs are. Nor do you understand that Philli would grant those to be executed a last request, and the good sister Immaculata would have insisted upon it. Little good does she do us now however, but I would believe that her awe-inspiring devotion would have convinced even you thereof. Finally, we have not received a decent trial, whereupon I am also sure Philli would frown, and forsake you in your hour of need. If this were as it rightfully should be granted, I would petition to stand in defense of myself of such accusations as you would make, and [peers as well as he can at the other party members] perhaps those parties that you also accuse thereof. Failing that, I wonder have you communicated with the reverend Parson Nathaniel of late, as he has informed us of his forgiveness of all that is diseased, and has bestowed his pardon upon us. And I would not be so eager to incur his wrath by wrongfully eliminating those upon whom his salvation truly lies.

Clint: Shut yer mouth, Sleaze. I don't wanna hear your whining. [Clint moves faster up the hole and attempts to hold back the pots or dump them on Adam] Die, Damn you!

Alice : If anyone has a plan, now might be a good time to voice it.

Adam : Ha! Listen to the parasites whine. Do not try my patience further by lying about Parson Nathaniel - one look at you and your diseased faces tell us all we know. Heed the watchwords of Adam Torque, Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave!

[They lean the pots in towards the shaft just as CLINT pushes against one, burning himself as he does so. He slips momentarily, but manages to get his grip, somehow landing a fine kick on ALICE's face as he does so.]

Alice : Ow! Uncle Harvey, did you see what he did? I'm telling you Clint, if we ever get out of this....!

Adam : See the pathetic strugglings of the impure ones, enough, empty the pots on them!

[The pots tilt and drops of boiling oil drip over the side, but both pots and pourers are suddenly washed away by what appears to be a highly localised tidal wave. An incredibly loud VOICE booms out, it is difficult to figure out where it is coming from, and it sounds strangely inhuman, almost metallic. Almost a mix between upperclass English and a robot.]

Voice : You there, Scalies! I say! Get out of there!

Alice : Crikey! Have we been saved?

Stephen : [Feeling faint] I....can't.....take.....anymore.....excitement. What's going on? I thought I heard the Wizard of Oz. [Crawls in exhaustion to where Adam was]

Jerome: [To Clint] Austin had woven a fairly good case there, Mr Scar. Perhaps you should not speak when too much testosterone is in your body? [To All] That sounds like the Dr. Jerome K Trindle BSc. PhD Conical Vocal Amplifying Device! That thieving Northern Technology Development Board! [Starts pushing the others upwards] Quick! Jerome must claim the patent on this stolen device!

Austin: [Nods in appreciation to Jerome] Thank you for your support, good Doctor, however, the reason that you portray as the cause of Mr. Scars outburst, could not possibly be an effect of heightened amounts of testosterone in his person, as we have seen proof to the contrary after the incident in the lift. Secondly, I would recommend my personal service to you, when applying for patent, or even disputing the right thereof in any court proceedings that may ensue as to your actual discovery of such a device. Were you to have proof of the fact that you were indeed the first person, not the first person as in I, not me you understand, but I as in you, to develop such an instrument, the case would be cut and dry. I would also suggest, that you not wait until after creating a device to apply for a patent, but when you have enough idea of the design thereof. This so-called 'patent-pending' status allows you to develop your idea, and perhaps create a prototype without fear of it being misappropriated. [Whips out a form, from under his tunic] I have fortunately upon my person, this PLOP-3U5 , which I believe stands for pending latency operational patent, application form, which you should fill out and verify at your earliest convenience. Of course there is a nominal fee, which should be paid before the application is forwarded, and that payment is paid directly to me.

Jerome: [To Austin, while hurrying everyone upward] Let Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. assure you that Jerome is no stranger to the ways of the law. While at University, Jerome studied many topics, including a smattering of law. At Jerome's home is a copy of the patent application form, including complete dated diagrams which accurately describe the use and function of the afore mentioned stolen device. [Jerome takes the form] Perhaps we could have the fee being a commission based on the revenue generated by the sales of this device?

Alice : Stephen, we need your head!

[The party climb out of the shaft and onto solid ground. The shaft has been dug at the base of a hill which is about a hundred yards from a large walled house. ADAM and about eight others, who are all soaking wet, are just picking themselves off the ground. The pots they had are turned over, having spilled their brimstone harmlessly on the ground. A beheaded corpse is lying to one side. Facing the shaft is a large, solid gate in front of the house which seems to have a small slit in it, protruding from the slit is what looks like a cannon gun.]

Adam : [Grabbing his axe] Brothers! Cleanse and purify!

[The Brothers scramble around looking for their weapons.]

Voice : I say! Look out behind you, normal chaps! Normal chaps, make haste to my gate before the Scalies get you.

Alice : [Noting the number of wounds that everyone has suffered] Well, do we have any choice?

Harvey: Ha! [Shakes his fist at the Brothers] Bounders! [Looks at Alice] Dear niece, we can only choose whether to live or die, mmpfh. And what to have for breakfast. Oh, and what colour socks to wear on a Thursday. Yes indeed! [Turns to the gate] Colonel Harvey Kingston Short, at your service. [Does a curt but formal military bow] Please be so kind as to leave us in, there's a good chap!

Adam : See how they have truck with the tainted! [Charges at the party, as do the others]

[The cannon shots forth a jet of water at a tremendous rate, just over the heads of the party, knocking over ADAM and the others. The gate swings open.]

Voice : My pleasure, dear people, please enter my courtyard.

Alice : [To the others] Does everyone realise that we are going to enter what is essentially a cell? If the owner of this voice turns out to want to kill us, as everone we've met since we've left town has wanted to, we will caught, trapped like cats in the sea. No, fish in the sea. No, fish in a barrel, I mean. So, what should we do?

Adam : [Still on the ground] Brothers, the gateway is opened, here is our chance! Rush the gates my brothers, that we may cleanse within!

Voice : Dear people, this is an automated gate, to prevent the Scalies from coming in I will begin to close it immediately. You have thirty seconds to enter if you so wish, after that I fear you are beyond my help.

Clint: If they are enemies with these nuts... [Points at Adam] ... then I'm going in.

[The gate begins closing, and CLINT crosses through]

Alice : Well, okay... but just because they are enemies of the Scalies doesn't mean we should trust them, does it? Clint is an enemy of the Scalies, and Uncle Harvey is going to kill him in a duel tomorrow! [Joins Clint in the courtyard.]

Stephen : [Running to enter the gate and shouting at Alice] Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn! [Smiles] Hey, that would be a good line for my docurama. [Takes out his dictaphone and repeats the line] Anyway, I trust that booming voice. Whoever owns it must have serious genitals.

Alice : Unlike Clint!

[The rest of the party follow, just getting in as the gate closes. Outside the noise of the Scalies banging on the gate can be heard.]

Voice : [This time without the metallic sound, and it sounds quite normal.] Greetings good friends. On your left you will notice a chute, please deposit all your weapons into it. Please don't think that I mean you any harm, it is just that in the current climate I would rather not have armed people bringing weapons into my house.

Harvey: [Dramatically firing his sword down the chute] Gah! I'm so close to popping my clogs at this stage it makes no difference whether I'm armed, or not. But know this, chappie, mmphf, lay one hand on my dear niece and I will rip you limb from limb with my bare teeth! FuFuFuFuFu [makes the sound made famous by one Hannibal Lecter, Phd.]

Voice : Good Colonel, I assure you I wish you no harm. Now, your bow too, please.

Alice : Good lord Uncle, I didn't think your hair was long enough for a bow!

Voice : Kind lady, I meant the bow he uses to shoot arrows with, now, I would be most obliged if you would all follow suit. Come Mr. Sleaze, and the redoubtable Clint, I beg of you, do me this one small service so that we may retire to the drawing room for some delectable aperitifs.

Alice : [Whispering] Pair of teeth? Crikey, maybe he's a vampire!

Harvey: Teeth? Gah!, I tought he'd said a pair of tit..[stops suddenly]..um, tits, beautiful birds, [going very red] argh, what beautiful songs those blue tits sing! Um, yes. Sir, you have us at a disadvantage, [walks over to the chute and also drops in his bow] you seem to know us, or, at least, people you think might be us, or rather, the people you think we are, us...them...no, wait, that we are those people you seem to think we are...Gah! Perhaps you could furnish us with your own name, before you show us your teeth?

Austin: [Throws his sling down the chute, but ensures that his dagger is well hidden, then whispers] I fear for our lives, as this voice has an association with Mr Reilly. Bear it in mind, as we deal with this master of tongues. Methinks, he lies as well as he tells the truth, and mixes both to an extreme measure. Difficult it is indeed to trust this voice.

Black : My name is Mr. Black, and I would be pleased to be your host tonight. The teeth to which the darling young lady refers, my dear sir, are simply tasty snacks upon which I would like you to nibble on before dinner.

Alice : [About to drop her sword into the chute, suddenly spins] What? You would like us to nibble on before dinner? Crikey, then you are a vampire!

Black : You misunderstand me, I merely would like to offer you some cheesy bits before dinner.

Alice : Well, in that case. [Drops her sword and bow in]

Black : Mr. Sleaze, your perception does you credit, sir. Indeed I had an association with a certain Dicey "Fortycoats" O Reilly and his charming friend Eva. I trust the nature of our previous meeting will not colour tonight's dinner. Now, Mr. Sleaze, I believe it is only fair to warn you that I am well aware of the dagger concealed upon your person, and you, Mr. Scar, please do not attempt to smuggle a weapon into my house. It simply will not succeed.

Alice : Jerry, you're the expert on hocus pocus, could he be

Black : Bluffing?

Alice : I was going to say "the kind who dresses up in a rabbit outfit and goes around scaring children at Easter".

Black : No you weren't.

Alice : Okay, Jerry, you're the expert on hocus pocus, could he be bluffing?

Stephen : [Speaks loudly] Aussie dearest, you forgot to put your dagger in the chute. Honestly, you can be quite forgetful. Oh, and it looks like your getting a zit on your nose. [Starts singing in a childish and irritating voice] Spotty,spotty,spotty,spotty.... [Drops his catapult and shortsword (if he has one) down the chute. Shouts...]Can I bring my camcorder and dictaphone? [To everyone] I can really trust someone with a voice like that.

Black : [Coldly] I'd rather you don't come into the house at all. And you certainly won't be bringing that camera in here. Into the chute with it. I presume the rest of the others want you to stay with them, and it is for that reason alone that I haven't turned you over to the Scalies.

Alice : Gosh, Stephen. He must know you!

Jerome: [Looking at the chute] May Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. enquire as to where this leads? Also, Jerome carry's no weapons, merely the Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. Multi-Purpose cutting implement, which has many practical uses, few of which contain an element of violence. Now, Mr Black, while we were without, a voice was heard that sounded a great deal like it was amplified by the Dr. Jerome K Trindle BSc. PhD Conical Vocal Amplifying Device - would you care to explain?

Austin: [Stomps over to the chute again and throws his dagger down] Tread warily Mr. Black, as it seems you have a number of none too happy past acquaintances. And how is it that you have such a stronghold in the midst of this Scalies infested place?

Harvey: [Snorts] Silence Private Sleaze! Your insolence is begining to grate something shocking, mmpfh! [Whispers to Alice, but unintentionaly loud enough for the party, the Scalies outside and probably half of Queens View, to hear] That voice is jangling on my memory stings like a hunchback in Paris, dear Alice!

Black : [In a surprised tone] Dr. Trindle, what a pleasure it will be to talk to you, but all in good time. Fear not, good doctor, for I would not come between a man and his Swiss army knife. As for you Mr. Sleaze, again I say, please be patient, all will be revealed to you over liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

Alice : [Whispering] I still think he has a taste for human flesh!

Black : I thank you all for your cooperation, the weapons have been deposited safely in a vault below the house. When your stay in the house is over, you will be more than welcome to them, now, if you will do me the pleasure of entering my humbe abode. Look out behind you!

Jerome: [Whirls around to look behind, his hand moving to, but not drawing, his pocket knife] What?

Black : Look out behind you, Tiger!

Jerome: [While making rapid progress to the door] Where? Mr Black, please be more specific when you are stating something to draw our attention to a possible danger. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. see's no tiger, but your shouts are beginning to make him nervous.

[The door that JEROME has moved to is unlocked from the other side, and slowly begins opening.]

Black : Aha, look out behind you, tiger.

Alice : [Rushing to the opposite side of the room] You horrible man!

Black : I beg your pardon? What is your concern? There is no danger here.

[ALICE tries to speak, but is too frustrated to make any sounded, so all tha comes out is a kind of "Ee-ouk" noise.]

Harvey: [Suddenly shouts and points] There it is! Gah! No, it's just a curtain! [Looks intently about the room] This is a cunning beast and no mistake. It could be stalking any of us this very moment, creeping slowly, but all too deliberately towards its prey. [To Stephen] It could be you, soft lad, or [to Austin] you! [To Alice] Alice, stand behind me, dear niece! The rogue will have to get through me first, mmph, and it might just find this Short not to its taste, mmpfh! [Harvey notices Black for the first time] You sir, have a care, there's a stalking going on!

Jerome: [Suspiciously] Could it be that you, Mr. Black, are one of those perverts with raincoats and lollies that parents warn their children about? We have been through much recently, please do not add to our anxiety and concern with unnecessary shouting. Jerome feels the need for a Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. Central Nervous System Oral Numbing Pharmaceutical.

[The door is pushed open, and a young woman and an elderly man enter]

Black : These are my maid and butler.

Alice : Which is which?

Cindy : I'm the maid, Cindy Tiger, I'm pleased to meet you, ma'am.

Alfred : My name is Alfred Lookoutbehindyer, Mr. Black's butler. May I show everyone to the drawing room?

Black : If you will all be kind enough to follow Lookoutbehindyer and Tiger to the drawing room, I shall meet you there.

Alice : Tiger?

Cindy : [Scared] Ah! [Then, calm again] Oh, I see, you are talking to me.

Alice : Yes, it must be difficult for you going through life with such an unusual name.

Cindy : I know, ma'am, you are so right. I just hate it when people confuse me with that stupid doll, why, if I had one here right now I'd say "Hoi!". That's what I'd say.

Alice : Would you say anything else?

Cindy : I suppose I probably should, but I've never been able to think of anything really good to say.

Alice : [To Harvey] Poor girl, all looks and no brains.

Jerome: [To Alfred] Yes, Alfred good chap, be so good as to lead us to the drawing room. Don't tell master Robin we're here - we want to surprize him. Is he in the Batcave? [To Black] Please forgive Jerome, he misjudged you. It is now as sure as Scallies that you buy your raincoats from completely different shops than the ones you buy lollies in.

Black : Actually, I purchase them as a kit, you also get a small bunny with them.




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2001-06-01