[Act 6, Scene 1. The Dining Room. 8.30PM. ALICE, JEROME, HARVEY, CLINT, AUSTIN, STEPHEN, CINDY TIGER and ALFRED LOOKOUTBEHINDYER are here. There is a lavish dinner laid out for six people, ALICE is sitting at the head of the table while the other five party members are sitting on various couches around the room. The room has been cleaned, but has obviously been the scene of a fight, and there is quite a bit of blood around.]Alice : [Smiling broadly, spreading her arms apart to show the large spread on the table] Voila! Who's hungry?
Clint: [Eyes his food] I'm not eating this shit. It's probably poisoned.
Stephen : [Looks hungrily at the food] Hmmm, I'm starving. I could eat a rabbit. [To Cindy] Could you get me a Pina Colada please, Cindy, with a cherry and a pink umbrella. [Picks up a vol-au-vant and nibbles on it delicately]
Clint: Only eat a rabbit? Pina Colada? Aww shit. Get the fag a bottle of whiskey and get me something to throw up in. He needs some straightening out.
Jerome: [Eyeing the food, and the other around the table suspiciously] Food? You expect Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. to eat food at a time like this?
Alice : Why not? You're surely very hungry, aren't you? [Looks up at Cindy] You heard him, a Pina Colada, please.
Cindy : Eh, dearie? A Pina wotsit? You know, I'm a little deaf since that business about being dead and all.
Alice : [Curtly] You know the arrangement, fetch him his drink.
[Exit CINDY, mumbling under her breath.]Alice : [To Everyone] Well? Isn't it great to be alive? Not to mention surprising!
Harvey: [Looks around the table] What in Philli's name happened here? The last thing I remember is handing private Austin the key to the safe. [Looks down at himself] Gah! I'm covered in blood! Another fine shirt ruined, and I only packed two! And look, my sleeve is gone! [Gasps in shock] Look, dear niece, look! I've lost one of my epaulettes! What misery has befallen our troop, I ask? What evil has consumed our souls? What deceit has inflamed our desires? What trickery has...mmm, biscuits! [Harvey greedily stuffs a number into his mouth, munching loudly and with much content]
Alice : Oh no! One of your epaulettes? That's terrible, awful...what's an epaulette? Anyway - it turned out Unc, that you were the one that Iok had possessed, you were the one who did away with Black and who killed Cindy, old Alfie boy died of a heart attack during the seance. Then, [leans in] and here's where it gets gory - when we tried to use the talisman, Iok got it and smashed it to pieces before attacking us. He did a pretty good job of it too, knocked my bonce against the wall over there - cut poor old Stephen's head off, slashed Jerry's throat, Austin was almost cut in half! Clint bled to death, which is why there's so much blood around the place. [Picks up and eats some toast, as though satisfied with her explanation.]
Jerome: [Feeling his neck] It appears that even though Harvey grasped his knife and cleft Jerome's chin from ear to ear, neatly slicing his windpipe and removing his voice box, that despite an excess of clotted blood Jerome appears to be completely in one piece. [Looking at Harvey] So, are you the real Harvey now? Jerome does hope we do not have to attempt to kill you again.
Alice : [Holding up a small mirror in front of Jerome] And, you might notice, there isn't even a scar there now. Well done Alice. Uncle Harvey is back to normal now, I have no idea where Iok is. [Looks around at the others] Well, aren't you going to eat?
[Enter CINDY, struggling under the weight of an unfeasibly large glass that contains an inordinate amount of umbrellas, straws and bits of greenery.]Jerome: [Looking a little suspiciously at Alice] How exactly did you manage to bring us all back from the dead, Alice? To the best of Dr Jerome K. Trindle. B.Sc. Ph.D.'s knowledge, you were as dead as the rest of us.
Harvey: [Looks around and spies Stephen] Hmm, perhaps we are all dead and this is hell! Either that or we're all bombed on Mescoyote! [Stuffs an entire breadroll into his mouth]
Austin: [Looks intensely at Cindy] For what kind of ride have we been taken? What manner of conspiracy is this? An immediate explanation is in order, I would deem. I feel like we were actors playing a part in some game, over which we had no control. Immersed so to say, with complete sensory interaction. This I do not like. Where is Black, and how is it he is not here to explain himself? Was he ever here, or was that too a visual lie?
Cindy : 'Ey up, chuck - don't be shootin' the lip at me! Ask your friend 'ere, she's the one who is into all that witchcraft and voodoo - it's unnatural, I tell you, unnatural!
Alice : [Rather huffily] Well, I must say, if I had been brought back from the dead I'm sure I would display just a modicum of gratitude. The last thing I remember is trying to stop Iok, but he hit me, and I banged my head off the wall and it went all dark. I woke up a while later with a cracked jaw and terrible headache - worsened by the fact that my favourite dressing gown was drenched in Clint's blood. All of you were dead, slain in a most horrid fashion - Uncle Harvey by his own hand! So, showing the cunning that is so natural to me, I went up to Jerome's room and infected myself with the last luck virus and just happened to find a number of Phili's Pure Potion of Power - I also stumbled across this delightful mohair cardigan. [Shows it off to the others] Then, I restored life to Al and Cindy, and got them to make some dinner and tidy the place up before bringing the rest of you lot back. Pretty cunning, eh? I thought it was jolly clever, me thinking of that.
Alfred : If I may ask, madam, why did you wait sixty hours before using the luck virus?
Alice : Er - well, I suppose I should tell you that actually two and a half days have passed since Iok did the business, and well, okay, I didn't think of the virus straight away, it was when I was searching the house for something to eat that I found it.
Cindy : Couldn't you 'ave gone to the kitchen dear? And made summink?
Alice : Good lord no. Me? Cook something, you must be joking. [Looks to the others] Well, that's the story, and I'm sticking with it.
Harvey: [Chokes on a piece of biscuit, before coughing long and loud. Finally, he regains his composure] Hmmm, I see a tiny flaw in your explanation, there, Alice. And the flaw is that we're all sitting here at this table, very much alive! [Looks around the room] But so is Cindy and Tiger! Gah! Damn and blast but this is a strange situation! [To Tiger] Where is that bounder Black! Is he really dead? Where is Sotot?
Clint: [To Cindy] Get me a whiskey there, Ms. Tiger. Will ya? Actually, just show me where the liquior cabinet is, I'll make myself at home. [Gets up to raid the alcohol] If anyone needs me they know where to find me.... [Smiles] where the biggest amount of 100 to 200 proof stuff is. I wonder if I can find where Black hid those cigars.
Stephen : [Sips on his drink] Oooh! It's a bit strong. [Gulps] I've just realised! Iok invades bodies when they are brought back to life. Could it be that one of us is now Iok? [To the butler] And I'm just curious as to why you were named LookOutBehindYa? Is there any reason?
Clint: It's his last name, ya anal-pleasure-seeking-inflicted moron. His father or mother's last name was LookOutBehindYa. What I want to know is why did your mother call you a stupid pansey name like Alfred? I mean Alfred, what a stupid name. It's almost as bad as Iok. I mean what kind of idiotic brother of Satan calls their son Iok. [Puts a cigar in his mouth]
Jerome: [To Alice] Dearest, clever, sweet Alice. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. thanks you from the deepest valve in his heart. [Looking around] Jerome doesn't suppose you brought Black back, by any chance? It could prove most profitable to converse with him while not under the influence of narcotic substances.
Jerome: [To the party] So now what? Jerome assumes that Iok is no longer in the house, otherwise we would all have been viciously murdered once more. But, there is the Dr Jerome K. Trindle Anti-Criminal Device Patent Pending in place, so perhaps Iok IS still here somewhere, in which case it would be to our advantage to do something about it.
Clint: [Ignoring Jerome] Alice, I... um... [Looks at his feet]... appreciate you bringing me back to life. I know you hate me and... well thanks. I apologize for the rude things I said before. [To Harvey] You hear that, Colonel? I apologize. There is only one thing, though. How do we know you aren't Iok? If Iok's soul went into your body, Harvey could then be killed by you if you were Sotot. I'm sorry Alice. I'm just a little paranoid after this being dead twice thing. [Grins, then looks at Alice and his smile goes back into his normal frown] Besides, [Voice gets very quiet] if Iok did possess you, I would want to help you.
Harvey: [Gets up from his chair and gives Alice a big, friendly hug] Dearest niece, thanks from the bottom of my heart. You certainly have the brains of the Kingstons in you. [Turning to Clint, offers a small bow] I thank you for your concern sir, but in truth, I've no answer. I was not aware I was possessed by that demonic cad previously, so I've no idea if I'm still under his enchantment. Perhaps the only way is for everyone to keep an eye on me, and should I act in the same manner, bind me tight. But muse on this, if I were still possessed by Sotot, why would the bounder have me slay myself? It would have been easier for Sotot to walk away with full use of my body. [Looks critically down at himself, before pinching a good four inches of spare tyre around his waist] Perhaps my shell had outlived its usefulness.
Alice : [Beaming with pride] Thank you all so much, and Clint, your graciousness gives me particular pleasure. Now, if Iok had posessed me, why would I have brought you all back? To kill you all, maybe? Hardly. As for Black, his body was gone when I woke up - rather peculiar eh?
Alfred : [Opening the drinks cupboard] There you are sir. As for the origins of my name - well, much as it pains me to admit it, I was born out of wedlock, and my mother, who's name was Smith, incidentally, did not know who my father was. The only clue was that immediately before I was concieved, she was lying on her stomach, sunbathing in the nude and she heard someone call ``Lookoutbehindyer!" The only clue to my father's identity, and she felt obliged to give me that name. An important lesson to be learnt for all young ladies sunbathing, I believe.
Alice : Too right! What kind of tan would you get with some sweaty beach bum lying on top of you!
Alfred : Quite. The letter, madam?
Alice : Oh yes, Black left a letter in the safe - to be opened in the event of his death. [Hands the letter around] Is there anything we can do about Iok? Even if he is still in the house, which I doubt, because all the doors are now unlocked, what can we do about it?
Dear People, The fact that you are reading this letter means that the unthinkable has happened, and I am dead. I hope the mesceyote had the desired effect and delayed Sotot taking over whoever was the host long enough for you to use the talisman. Now that I am dead, I urge you to travel to Hallbridges and find Marasmus Bane, a mage who will know how to cure the dreaded Scalies. Until the scourge of Scalies has been eradicated, no one in this area will be safe, especially those in Queens View where there will no longer be any food parcels delivered. Your equipment is hidden in a vault beneath my house which can be accessed through a secret passage in the drawing room. Simply go to the book shelves immediately opposite the door and pull out the book titled `The Queens View Affair' and the passage will open. All your equipment will be there. There is a tunnel leading from the vault to the underground river you arrived on, there you may take my beloved boat - ``The Rubber Rachel" and return to Queens View. On the other hand, you might all be dead and it is Iok Sotot who is reading this. If that's the case, may you rot in hell!
Harvey: Hmmm, this could be a wild goose chase! But why Hallbridges of all places, horrible place! [Harvey strokes his chin] You say that Blacks body was missing when you came to? It is my belief that Sotot has found himself a new host...Black. And right now, if this letter is to be believed, Sotot is more than likely on his way to Hallbridges, with the intention of killing Mamary Pane, or whatever his name is. We must act quickly people! [Looks curiously at Cindy] Why, dear woman, are you carrying a glass full of umberellas and greenery, if I may be so bold?
Cindy : [Stepping out from behind a potted plant] Ee chuck, that's no glass, them's Black's dahlias. The young lad there, 'es the one with the glass full of bushes and umbrellas.
Alice : Why would he go to Hallbridges? Wouldn't he be more likely to try and wreak horrible revenge on Dangsten? [Looks at Cindy] But that doesn't explain why you're holding four umbrellas.
Cindy : True, dearie, too true.
Alice : Hmm.
Clint: [Looks at the drinking cabinet] I don't have to be sober any time soon, do I? [Licks his lips] We are alive. Can't we celebrate a little. [Takes out a bottle of Dwarven Flametoungue brew and holds it up] Hey what's this. [Pulls out a large box and practically drools over it] I knew Black was holding out on me. [Opens up the box] Yes! Jackpot. The bastard hid his- ur uh my cigars here.
Alice : [Taking out a large, badly rolled cigarette] So what's the plan, man? [Takes a long satisfying drag] Are we going to head back to the View with Rubber Rachel?
Jerome: It is Jerome's belief that the party should travel down the secret passage mentioned in the parting letter from Black, in a desire to retrieve our equipment. [Thinks for a second] Jerome would also like to browse the titles on the bookshelf, in case there is anything useful there. Any who want to follow are most welcome. [With a wink to Alice] Especially our lovely saviour. [Jerome leaves for the Drawing Room]
Alice : And what about the lovely dinner? Pf! After bringing the other two back early and all, for the sole purpose of feeding you lot! Alright, I suppose we should check it out.
[Exit ALL, to the drawing room. JEROME pulls back the book, and the entire shelf swings out, revealing a large vault. All the equipment belonging to the party is here, there is also a tunnel leading into darkness.]Alice : [Looking at one of the shelves] Crikey! He has a complete collection of Green's pornographic work.
Harvey: [Gasps in disgust] The entire collection? Even the Animal edition? Disgusting! [Thinks for a moment] Alice...how are you familiar with those books?
Alice : The question should not be how are you familiar with those, but how familiar are you with those books!
[Enter ALFRED]Alfred : If I might enquire, shall the party be staying here tonight, or will you return to Queens View immediately?
Clint: Never heard of 'em. I always liked the issues of PLAYKNIGHT and oh... [Clint shudders] SHARESS'S SECRETS. [Uncorks his bottle, grabs a turkey leg, takes a bite, and starts gulping down the alcohol] Whew... good stuff!
Alfred: Yes, thank you for sharing that with us. Now, to the question of your staying here tonight?
Clint: I think we were planning on staying the night. Got any problems with that, Alfie? Ah [Pops another of Black's prized cigars into his mouth and lights it]
Alfred : Of course not sir, nothing would give us greater pleasure than to have you stay another night.
Jerome: [To Everyone] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. will conduct a brief search of this abode afore he doth reitre to banish the exhaustion that doth seek to o'ercome him, to ensure the safety of this place. [Wirls dramatically, and begins his search]
[Act 6, Scene 2. Black's Private Cove. Wednesday 11.30AM. ALICE, HARVEY, CLINT, JEROME, AUSTIN and STEPHEN are here. CLINT looks quite ill. The cove has a small pier onto which is tied a tiny rubber dingy.]Austin : Do not stand so close to me Clint, if you throw up on me I shall be forced to kill you.
Alice : [Taking out a small notebook] Okay, each person gives a time, whoever's the closest, without going over, wins. I reckon five minutes and Clint will be pebble dashing the river the same texture that he painted the carpet in his room, it's looking pretty choppy out there. Shall we say, each person puts in - [looks in horror into the boat] Crikey! Black's dead - again!
[There are two people lying in the boat, one is BLACK with his throat cut from ear to ear, the other is lying on top of him, with his back to the party. The dingy has the name ``Rubber Rowena'' written on the side of it.]Alice : Why would anyone want to kill him twice?
Austin : It's what we in the legal profession call overkill.
Harvey: And I call it damned bad luck! I wonder who the other victim is? [Sighs deeply] Death seems to follow us around like a...a...[his face creases in concentration]..um, death stalking insecty thing. [Embarrased, Harvey approaches the Rowena and tries to turn over the second body]
[HARVEY catches the body by the shoulder and turns it. It is a man, who's face is covered in the brown scabs of Scalies - many of them are oozing blood and puss. His eyes slowly open.]Albarn : [In terror at seeing the party] Oh no! Please don't hurt me, diseased ones! [Unsuccessfully tries to shake Harvey's grip off him.] Get off!
[ALBARN seems to have a much worse case of Scalies than any of the others the party previously encountered - he looks very weak and his hands are curled up towards his body.]Alice : Eauh! Don't tell me we have to share with him!
Austin : Okay.
Harvey: [Reels back in revulsion] Gah! That's disgusting! [Quickly rubs his hands on his coat] You there, flaky fellow, get off our boat this instant! Quick march! [Turns to the party, looking quite ill] Looks like we've caught Blacks murderer red handed. Or a kind of yellowy red colour anyway!
Albarn : This isn't your boat - it belongs to Sir Camelancen, and I haven't killed anyone. How typical of the diseased ones to lie about a chosen one.
Alice : You know, this tub is called the ``Rubber Rowena'', and Black mentioned that his was called the ``Rubber Rachel''.
Jerome: [Looking around for another boat] Well, if that is so, where lieth the Rubber Rachel? Perhaps this scabby individual has changed the name on us. [Examines the boat's name for tampering] So, what say you Scabbage? Why have you killed this man [points imperiously at Mr Black]. Methinks thou hast better construct as convincing a story as thou cast, else yonder tough-guy [points to Clint] will gleefully cleft thee in twain.
Albarn : Rubber Rachel? I do not know her - is she one of the diseased ones like you? I say again, I did not kill anyone, although I bore witness to such unholy actions I can scarcely believe it, even though they were carried out by diseased ones such as yourselves.
Austin : [Examing Maplin, but keeping him at a safe distance from Albarn] Tell us, yellow one, of these unholy actions.
Albarn : [Holds up his hand which is clenched like a claw in front of his eyes] Ah! Such infection, keep away from me! Do not play games with me. I was outside in the storm, giving my soul to Phili with the blessing of Parson Nathaniel, when Sir Camelancen abducted me - to cure me, he said, but I know what he really meant.
Alice : Whatever, but how does Mr. B there fit into this?
Albarn : We were sailing up this river in Camelancen's boat, the ``Rubber Rowena'', when this person leapt onto our boat. He claimed he was being chased by someone, but when he got on, he strangled Camelancen with a guitar string, then he killed himself!
Harvey: [Raises his eyebrows in disbelief] Ah, flakey fellow, you say the good night Camelancen was strangled, but...[looks around before looking under a small rock]...I don't see his body around abouts! I'd imagine he just stood up and walked away, yes?
Albarn : Yes! That's exactly what happened - more devilry from the diseased! He was strangled just before we got here, and he got into another boat - ``Rubber Rachel'' and went upstream. As if you didn't know - do not dally with the diseased, that is what Brother Adam told us, now leave me alone to be welcomed into Phili's bosom.
Alice : Hmm - ever get the impression you're not wanted?
Austin : I'm sure Clint gets it all the time.
Stephen : [Looks on in disgust and purses his lips] Eerrr! That's the worst case of STD I've seen in a long time. You haven't been with someone called Michael, have you? If so, I better get to a clinic. And what did you do to get it all over your bod...[smiles]. You smear it all over?
Harvey: [Tuts loudly] Oh for goodness sakes, man! What's wrong with you? I see no mortal wound, so perhaps we can help you. [Quietly, to the party] We need that boat!
Albarn : [Indignantly] There is nothing wrong with me! I am a chosen one - Phili has blessed me with the marks of the chosen ones, and I display them with pride [cough] although he will soon call me to sit with him. [Looks at Stephen, and makes as though he is about to say something, but breaks off, as though he couldn't be bothered.]
Austin : Correct analysis, Colonel. Now, remove this fellow from our boat and we will be off. [Stands back] Quick now, off you go.
Jerome: [To Albarn] Now, Austin may have to verify this, but it is Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D's belief that as the Camelancen party has stolen OUR boat, the Rubber Rowena is, by rights, ours. The fact that you are still here and not with the Camelancen party is an inconvenience to you, but that boat is still ours to commission. [Scratches his chin] On the other hand, Jerome doesn't believe that you would want to spend the end of your life on this world atop a corpse in a boat. Perhaps we could direct you to a lovely two story house with many beds and interesting things to keep you occupied until Phili takes you, you would gracefully allow us posession of the boat?
Clint: [Looks bewildered] Wait a minute, Jerry. I can cut him in two, but I have no idea how to cut him in twain. Besides, the side of this ship looks much more inviting than his little pussy mole infested face. [Looks out at the sea] You know, this is sorta nice. We get to sit back and relax for once. We can just sit here and watch the ship sway back and forth and back and... [Looks dizzy] ... forth... and... ba-oooooo [Thrusts his head over the side] Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaach
Alice : [Poking the paintwork with a paddle] Eauh! What the hell is that? [Prods a small orange object about an inch long that bears an uncanny resemblence to an orrery.]
Albarn : [Dipping his claw-like hand into the vomit and then smelling it] Curious, you display the signs of a chosen one, but the odour belies that. [Turns, obviously in pain, to Jerome] Be off with you, infested one. It was bad enough that Camelancen took me from my chosen place, but now you wish to move me again, never! Never, I say. [Snorts, and then spits up a disgusting dark brown gob of phlegm which lands dangerously close to the party.] Leave me in peace so that Phili may welcome me to his kingdom.
Austin : Doctor, your knowledge of law is laughable. Whilst the first party, Camelancen, may have taken an item belonging to a second party, Black, it does not give us any right to steal an item, regardless of its similarity or otherwise, from a third party. Legally speaking, we have no right to this vehicle. That is not to say that should we remove this person from the vehicle and abscond with it, never telling anyone what we did, that we are likely to suffer legal repercussions.
Alice : [In horror] So, what you're saying is beat up the poor leper and steal his boat?
Austin : That is one way of phrasing it. I think I might prefer ``An involuntary relocation of a nonpaying tenant from a bouyant temporary abode to a more solid property."
Alice : Oh, well, that sounds much fairer.
Jerome: [To Austin] And your personality is likely to induce vomitting. [Waves his hand at Clint as an example. Mutters a few words under his breath, then turns to talk to the Scaly] Surely you wouldn't mind relocating to a more comfortable and suitable place from which you may expire with the dignity and prestige deserving of a chosen one?
Albarn : [Pauses for a second] Well, I suppose it is a little uncomfortable lying up against this diseased one, and, well, Parson Nathaniel did say that lying out in the wind and rain aids the journey of the soul to Phili's Kingdom. Maybe you might help me find somewhere suitable?
Jerome: [Leads (from a distance) Albarn off the boat, and to the shore.] This spot should do nicely, don't you think? [He mentions what has happened to them, Iok, Black, and what they're about to do to see if Albarn has any helpful advice.]
Albarn : [Staying in the boat, watching Jerome] It's not really cold and wet enough, could we go up on the surface maybe? It would be a much worse place to die. Also, I am so blessed by Phili that all my strength is now in my faith, because I have no need for walking my legs no longer work. You may have the honour of carrying me.
Clint: [Looks over his shoulder] Don't worry. I just have a hangover from getting sloshed last night. Funny how you feel bad from drinking, so you drink some more to feel better. [Smiles] I did finally stop, though. Well... not exactly by choice. I passed out. [Pulls out a cigar] Don't worry, these usually help get over a hangover. By the way, I don't even want to touch those nasty people [Points at the scally infested person] even if I get to pound them. Although that is a very tempting offer.
Alice : [Turning her back on Albarn] Crikey! What are we going to do? Someone's either going to have to lift him out or... [makes a skewering motion with her hand]
Austin : Clint, considering the stench from your breath and the pollution you have just added to this otherwise perfect lake, I believe you are the one least likely to notice any kind of ill effects, either from disease or puss-spillages.
Albarn : [To no one in particular] Take me Phili! Take me from these diseased ones!
Harvey: [Puts his hands behind his back] I've seen the effects of contagious abrasions on the battlefields of Scion. I've seen sceptic wounds swell to the size of footballs and explode, in Hed. I've seen more open sores and inflamed seepages than you can shake a stick at. And there's no way I'm touching...that!
Alice : Crikey Uncle! Black said that you couldn't catch it from touching it - and you were pretty quick when it came to groping Annabel Mole!
Clint: What are you saying, Sleaze? Do I hear someone begging to be beaten to a pulp? I'm not touching him! [Folds his arms defiantly]
Stephen : [Folds his arms, resting his chin on one hand, impersonating Jerome] Hmmm. [Suddenly gets an idea and exclaims with one finger pointing in the air] Displacement! That's the key to this little problem. If Clint jumps into the boat on the opposite side from leper and Black, from a height that is, his downward momentum would have a see-saw affect, causing the other end of the boat to rise, sending the leper and Black way high [exagerates and points to the sky] over Clint's head and into the water. Problem solved, and no touching the diseased one. [Holds his arms out triumphantly, as though awaiting praise]. Oh, Aussie, get this on a contract before Trindle tries patiently pending it. [Looks really smug]
Alice : Either that or Clint will sink the whole kaboodle and get eaten by some Zobfish. Just think how awful it would be if that happened - no boat!
Austin : [Taking out a silken hanky and wiping his nose with it] Clint, your ignorance offends me. I was merely commenting on your [pauses to look at the pool of vomit] hardy constitution.
Clint: [To Alice, sarcastically] I can see you'd be heartbroken at my demise. [To Austin, smirking] That's better. I am a healthy guy, aren't I? [To Stephen] Sorry, were you speaking again? Does anyone ever listen to you? I know I do my best to tune you out.
Jerome: [To the Infested One, speaking gently] Would you like us to ease you into Philli's arms? With a quick flick of a blade, we can send you to him and ease your suffering at being close to us diseased ones.
Clint: [Mouth watering] Can we, Jerry? [Draws his blade] I want to try to pop one of them brown nasty things.
Harvey: Enough lads! There's been enough killing over the last few days. [Turns to look at Albarn and attempts to lift him out of the boat] I'll bring you to a place you can rest. [Quietly] Gah! There goes my last shirt!
Albarn : Aaah! Unhand me, diseased one! [Punches Harvey in the face. It has all the effect of slapping him with a limp lettuce leaf.] Unhand me!
[ALBARN is incredibly light, and HARVEY picks him up with ease, only slightly disturbed by the popping sound akin to the noise made when one squashes those little plastic bubbles that wrap things.]Alice : [Ducking to avoid a shower of puss] Eauch! I think I'm going to be sick.
[HARVEY deposits ALBARN on the edge of the bank, and stands back to reveal that his shirt is covered in puss, blood and a rather tasteful green slime.]Albarn : Ah, yuck! I'm unclean after I've been touched by a diseased one!
Alice : There's no pleasing some people. [Looks at Black] What about him?
Clint: [Looking at Harvey's shirt] Are you going to be all right, Colonel? [To Alice] I think we should toss him (Black).
Alice : [In disbelief] What? Don't be ridiculous - just throw him overboard. Now go on, be quick about it.
Stephen : [Smiles] I'm with Clint. Me first, I don't take sloppy seconds. You do mean we should toss him off, don't you Clint? [Goes into a satchel he is carrying and pulls out a neatly folded pink shirt with flowery cuffs and a huge collar. Passes it to Harvey] Here, lovey! This might be a bit tight, but it should fit. [Looks at Harvey's puss/blood covered shirt]. Unless you wish to stay as you are?
Harvey : [Regards the shirt suspciously, and then glances at his own, now brilliantly coloured garment] Hmm, the lesser of two evils I suppose. [Takes the shirt from Stephen] Watch it man! You nearly had my eye out with the point on that collar! [Looks at Clint] Quick sharp man, out with the body.
Austin : [Rolls up his sleeve and kisses Maplin, before rolling it down again] I agree with the Colonel, now quick Clint, before the stench of your vomit upsets Maplin.
Alice : [Looks jealously at Harveys shirt] Hmm, not really your colour, is it, uncle?
Stephen : [To Alice] I think it suits him just fine. He'll look like a real man now. [Notices Alice might be jealous] And besides, it wouldn't suit you. Your ears are too big and the colour would clash with your bleached hair. [To Austin] Honestly, Alice looks a mess. No wonder she has trouble getting a man. If she made an effort, she could pass as being only slightly ugly.
Clint: [Walks over to help Harvey] Sure, Harv. [To Alice] By toss I mean throw. That's how we normal people say it. [Smirks] By the way, Alice, I think you're much more attractive than Hackberk. [Winks]
Stephen : [Looks disappointed. To Clint] Oh. That's a shame. I was looking forward to seeing you get your lips around Black's love baton! [Shrugs and climbs into the boat] Up anchor. Down periscope! Land Ahoy! [Points to the where the rest of the party are standing]
Clint: Ah. That's sick you perverted little homo. The only thing I put my lips on is... [Looks at Alice's chest, then glares at Stephen] I wouldn't get my lips near your pathetic little pecker, Hackbiggs.
Jerome: [Walks up calmly to Stephen, then suddenly lashes out with his fist] Talk that way of beautiful Alice again, and we shall have WORDS sir!
Clint: Ooo, go Jerry! Can I hit him -Jerry- can I? MY TURN! [Clint walks up to Stephen and smirks, looking down at him]
Jerome: [Stepping aside] By all means...
Clint [Smiles, (No smirk this time) and attempts to punch Stephen straight in the nose] Only I can say mean things about Alice.
[STEPHEN reels with the punch from JEROME, and staggers back out of the boat, his face a mixture of surprise and pain. CLINT's punch knocks him to the ground, with blood pouring from his nose.]Harvey : Gah! Stand up so that I may punch you!
Alice : [Wiping away the tears that had been welling in her eyes] Oh he's so horrible! [Turns to the others] Thank you so much for defending my honour, you're so brave Jerome. Intelligent and chivalrous, sigh!
Austin : [Looks stealthily around him, as though ready to spring in to action] Enough violence, let him be. Even though it is only Stephen, the sight of blood offends Maplin.
Harvey : He shall be offended again, when I lop this man's head off! [Tears his shirt off and tosses it at Stephen] Swine! I'm ashamed I let your perfumed pansified apparel touch my skin. Up! Up, I say.
Albarn : Oh Phili, take me so that I don't have to witness the evil acts of the diseased ones!
Clint: [To Alice, a little jumbled] Hey, what-about-me? [To Stephen] You know, Hack, you might want us to show you how a man acts because I'm getting tired of your pansey little wus behavior . Between Jerome, Harvey, and I, [Puffs out his chest] we can show you how a man really acts.
Alice : [Sniff] Well yes, thank you.
Austin : [Looking around shiftily] Enough of showing off your testosterone levels. Stephen has been punished for his remarks, let us hasten to the town for I have Maplin's twitch, and I smell the approach of more Scalies. Or it could just be Clint's vomit.
Harvey : Up! Up, you blackguard that I may thrash you within an inch of your miserable life. Good lord, I doubt even a spell in the old '57th could cure you of your [pauses, clearly lost for words] uh, thing.
Albarn : [Moaning] Oh, Phili, why do you torture me with the dealings of the devilridden diseased ones?
Stephen : [Grabbing Harvey in the crotch] Right, the lot of you, back off, or his balls get it!
Harvey : [Stiffening] Gah, caught by the short and curlies! [Draws his sword and points it at Stephens side.] Unhand me, degenerate, or I shall skewer you!
Alice : [Stands behind Stephen, with her sword pointing into his back] Hands off, or I'll kill you Stephen. I mean it. [Exerts more pressure.]
Stephen : [Squeezes harder and holds his dagger to Harvey's penis] Do you know what would happen if you killed me now? The shock to my brain would cause my hand to jerk upwards [pricks Harvey's trousers] so hard.... Now, back off! I want an apology from all of you. Only I was right about Harvey and Iok. Not that it did you much good, because you ignored me anyway. I'm not in this to save any city. I'm making a movie. But I know things that you will need to know when the time comes. Like it or not, you all need me. Ha Ha Ha Ha! [Laughs like a maniac] So. What's it to be, punks?
Clint: I think that's your decision, Alice. He is your uncle. Do we apologize or kill? [To Stephen] If you don't keep stealing my lines, you will die, punk.
Alice : [Keeping her sword prodded into Stephen's back] Your logic is flawed, Hitchberg. If one of us does the business on you, there is a tiny chance that you will get a swing at Harvey, but I find it highly unlikely that he will not pull away in time. I believe it is you who owes the apology to Harvey, who, I might add didn't lay a finger on you, even though you deserved it. You put yourself in this situation, just like you did back in Black's house. Unhand Harvey now.
Austin : [Angrily] Enough! All of you, enough!
Harvey : [In a very calm voice] Alice is right, Hitchberg. You have me at the moment, but don't think for a second I couldn't get away with no more than a bruising. You, soft lad, will suffer considerably more. Alice, if you decide to stab him, give me a wink over the back of his head exactly three seconds before, and I'll pull away at the right time.
Clint: Come on, Hickberg. Just let the Colonel go and you won't get hurt.
[CLINT suddenly lashes out and kicks STEPHEN's hand that is holding the knife, as he does, HARVEY pulls back, and, with a wince, breaks free. STEPHEN's knife flies through the air behind the party.]Albarn : Oh Phili, take me please, take so I don't have to bear the brutishness of the beaurgh! [Breaks off as the dagger lands right in his throat.]
Alice : [Pushing the point of her sword into Stephen's back] I think, Shitberg, that the tables are turned.
Harvey: Gah you swine! What a girly trick, grabbin' a mans love eggs like that! [Glances at Albarn] Oh, and murdering that poor disease ridden private! You have committed a court marshalling offence, twinkletoes and I, for one, have had enough! You are in direct violation of the treatise laid down in the Interparty Peace Plan, as signed by Doctor Jerome, Austin, Alice, Clint and myself before setting off from Queens View! [Presses the point of his sword to Stephens throat]. Perhaps a brief swim with the Zobfish would dampen your fires! Or we could just be rid of you here and now, if you get...[applies a little pressure on his blade]...my point! [Stares intently at Stephen, eyes as dead as those of recently deceased Albarn]
Jerome: [Looking a little surprized as a plan of Clint's actually came off] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. must concur with the good colonel - you are nothing more than a piece of homosexual toe-jam. Jerome believes that it is time you left our party, but first you must comit an act of gross indecency upon the corpse of the diseased one, rendering you diseased so you will pay for your crimes.
Harvey: [Without moving his eyes from Stephen] Good doctor, this feathered boa has already committed an act of gross indecency upon that corpse, by making it one. Besides, I reckon the scalies disease takes many days before its full effects are felt by the victim, and this...man, does not have the luxury of those days. [Thinks for a moment] A fine suggestion otherwise, doctor! Well done that man, lets have more like him!
Stephen : [Gulps] Well, what is this? A kangaroo court? I didn't think that you, Colonel, would not follow the correct procedure. I demand a fair trial. And I ask that Austin be my lawyer! [To Austin] I'll pay once I clinch the movie deal!
Alice : I hate to say it, Uncle H, but [waves her sword at Stephen] it is right. Don't let your justified anger cloud your judgement - I say we let him rot in jail in Queens View. If we murder him we're no better than him or the very people that we are trying to destroy.
CDD - Missing post from Austin?
Alice : Aussie's right, we're not murderers, we're the goodies - we're the one's who go on adventures and catch smugglers or strangers with beards or save children who've gone into a cave and been cut off by the tide coming in. Come on, Uncle, put it down.
Harvey: On the battlefield there are no courts of law, fair niece. A deserter or murderer is dealt with swiftly and brutally. That is how it's always been. But [lowers his sword slightly] the old times are changing and although my very core cries out for vengence, this is neither the time nor the place. [Thinks for a moment] Perhaps if we just lopped off his hands or something! That's a mild deterrent in some foreign countries! [Shakes his head sadly] But no, not that either! Gah! Well, if he is to return with us to Queens View, then I would like to appoint private Sleaze here as his minder! A menial task perhaps, but one that should assure his appearance in court. [Places the tip of his sword on the ground] But let no weapon near the soft buffoons limp reach!
Alice : Crikey Uncle, like all the family, you simply reek of good sense. Now, Aussie, are you going to take charge of that so we can finally get moving?
Clint: [To Jerome, looking very pale] He's gonna do WHAT? [To Harvey] Are you ok? Whatever is done, I won't be part of it unless Alice will call us even Steve-... um even.
Alice : Look Clint, I already made it clear that I appreciated people defending my honour - and of course I appreciate you helping Uncle Harvey out, but lets not go crazy, okay? Now come on, what are we going to do with him?
Stephen : [Looking sheepish] Erm, might I say that we should let the law courts decide, and not jump to hasty decisions. I mean, we're all upset, so if we calm down and get on with the job in hand, shall we? I mean, what exactly is it that I'm charged with Aussie?
Alice : What are you charged with? Crikey! Assaulting Clint back in Mr B's house, trying to lop Harvey's lad off, not to mention being jolly horrid to me! Why, I shouldn't be surprised if you are sentanced to eight hundred and forty six years, two months and eight days in jail. [Sits into the boat] Whatever happens, we're heading back to Queens View, so lets get moving. Just make sure he stays well away from me.
Jerome: [To the almost together party] Let us away. These fair waters eagerly await our smooth passage. [Whirls around to Stephen] And no smooth passage jokes for you, Madam.
Harvey: [Wrinkling his brow] Eh? I can't see what could possibly be amusing about passages, harsh, smooth or otherwise! They are usually long, dank, smelly and..and..[a look of enlightenment crosses his face]..yeuch! [Looks at Alice] Dear niece, when listing this criminals rap-sheet, you did neglect to mention the murder of this poor man. [Harvey takes a handkerchief from his pocket and bends over the body. Carefully he removes the dagger from Albarns throat, before placing it in a airtight plastic bag] I'm sure the grey beards will be able to prove the only fingerprints on this weapon will be those of Stephen. Now, let's be on the off, for time is against us. Hut, hut, look lively, lads!
Alice : Crikey Uncle! Don't tell me you're going to cover the body with a hanky! Doesn't leave much to the imagination, does it?
[Everyone piles in to the boat and they set sail, arriving at IOK SOTOT's temple without incident.]Alice : Land ahoy! Look, Harald `Two Feet' Murphy is gone!
Harvey: Quiet amid-ships there, sailor! Quickly, someone unfurl the main sail, splice the stuns'il and scupper the scrubber! You there, [to nobody in particular] make ready with the anchor. The wind is at our backs, so the boom needs shifting. Lads! Angle the mizenmast by three notches, sailor! Fire a warning shot and fly our colours, chop, chop! I give you the joy of day, me heartys, we're almost back with the landlubbers! No more pints of port, salted beef and weevil infested biscuits for this fine crew! The Rebecca has done us proud!
Alice : [Shoots Harvey a withering look as she gets out of the boat] I believe this vessel is called the Rubber Rowena, no? Anyway, I think we should be careful here, as someone has made off with Harald `Four Feet' Murphy.
Harvey: Sound advice there, dearest niece. [Steps off the boat] What we need here is stealth among the troops. [Harvey holds his finger to this lips] Hang on Alice. Which Harald Murphy did you find? A minute ago you said 'no feet', now you say 'four feet'? Earlier again you said it was one of the Hogsbottom boys. Just whoose corpse was it?
Alice : I didn't find any Harald Murphy! That's just the point. I didn't find any Hogsbottom either. There'd nobody here, no body, see?
Harvey: There was nobody here? Well if there was nobody here, then why do you expect some body to be here now? So the scene is basically as we left it. Hmmm. [Harvey rubs his chin] Poor Alice, I've heard about crew members seeing things on long sea voyages. In fact, did you know that mermaids were actually giant sea mammaries, found off the coast of the southern islands! What you need is a nice lie down and a warm cup of broth. I'm sure Doctor Proctor can fix up a tonic in two seconds flat when we return to Queens View.
Alice : I neither know nor care. What I said is that there is nobody here now - Hogsbottom was here when we came out, for Phili's sake, Uncle, you were here and saw him too!
Clint: All this talk about salted pork is making me... [Turns green in the face and runs to the edge of the ship again] Awww gawd, Harvey, do have to use all that sailor slang?
Austin: [Scoff's at Harvey's story, then laughs softly] Harvey, my good man, you are the only person that I know that has his head both in the clouds and in the sand. [Steps off the boat, his hand firmly on Stephen's right upper arm, pulling him after him] Behave yourself, good fellow as it seems few here have time to spare for you. [To the others] And I too stand upon the side of caution, and would urge someone to scout ahead. Who knows what lurks inside the temple, and I'm sure that water would not throw Dangsten off the trail. Perhaps Stephen may volunteer and show to us his trust worthiness and redeem himself in the eyes of those that claim he has betrayed them. A mere suggestion however, but foreknowledge is forearmed [pauses, brow furrowed] or something to that effect.
Alice : [Wide eyed] Redeem himself? I don't think so, but it is a cunning plan to use an ex-party member to check it out - go on Aussie, toss him to Dangsten, he's probably the one of you who'd enjoy it most.
Stephen : [Looking frightened] You want me to go in [dramatically points to the temple] there!?! No chance. Without a weapon? Have you no heart? [Drops to his knees, tugging at Austin's sleeve] Please don't make me go in there. Not alone.
Jerome: [Looking thoughtfully at Stephen] It appears to Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. that the foremost reason for your frightened protestations is the idea of being seen. Therefore, Jerome suggests that he casts an Invisibility spell on you before you enter the temple, so you are able to scout with a semblance of security. [To all] Does this meet with aproval? If Stephen were to attempt to escape while invisible, a mere word from Jerome will cancel the spell - and it has been rumoured that the act of cancelling the spell can be quite traumatic for the heart. Bursting valves, that sort of thing.
Alice : [Outraged] What? What madness is that! If he's invisible, how can we tell if he's escaping or not?
Harvey: We could tie him to a leash or something. Or...or...perhaps we could make him wear a hat, after he turns invisible. That way, it would look like a hat is blowing around the temple, caught by some random air currents. By binding his arms, he will be unable to remove it. Cunning or what, eh?
Alice : [Getting enthusiastic] Golly, Unc, dashed good idea! We could also tie his feet, in case he's some kind of contortionist! Or, how about this? After he's made invisible, we fire an arrow into his head, so anyone in the temple will think it is a magic arrow flying around the place and run to some hiding place!
Clint: Not that your plan is a bad idea, but don't you think a floating hat would look a bit suspicious?
Alice : [Indignantly] I didn't say anything about a hat!
Harvey: [Also indignantly] Oh, I see! A floating hat would arouse too much suspicion, but a floating magic arrow would be just perfect for the job, eh?
Clint I know, Alice. Harvey said a hat. I dunno. What do you think Jerry?
Stephen : How can I run through the temple with an arrow through my brain? I could maybe run through the temple carrying an arrow and run back out again. [Shakes his head] No! What am I saying? Clint would be far better at the job because he's so strong.
Austin: Enough dilly-dallying. Such confounded time wasting over nought. [To Jerome] And I would thank you to not cast invisiblity when not requested by the target person to do so. Do you know how I felt when Maplin was no longer visible for display, let alone my own visage last night? I assure you, that it was not a pleasant feeling noting the waste of such splendid form when it is concealed. All polishing futile, as none are able to admire [rolls up his left sleeve] and such mundane looks upon your faces as you looked where I stood, where before there was such admiration, and I do admit having noticed some jealousy. [Begins polishing Maplin once again with his handkerchief]
Jerome: [To Austin] Dr Jerome K. Trindle. B.Sc. Ph.D. thought that a desire to continue this existence would exceed your desire to fondle Maplin. However, on to the important matters. [To Stephen] The reason you should go and not Clint is that you're expendable. [To Harvey] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. can ensure that Stephen doesn't go anywhere. Watch. [Jerome starts mumbling some magical words, and points at Stephen]
Clint: Really? When did I become inexpendable? A few days ago Alice and the Colonel wanted me dead. I'm not afraid to go in there, you know, as long as Kickboggs goes ahead of me to set off any traps.
Alice : Crikey! Doesn't anyone listen to anyone any more? He said that Hitchberg [waves at Stephen who suddenly disappears] was - what? What happened there?
Harvey: [Looks around suspiciously] I'll lop off more than his hands if I feel anything poking or prodding me, by Philli! [To Jerome] Can you see him, doctor?
Austin: [Moves, so his back is against the wall, then utters in a high-pitched voice] What have you done? I'm not having a raving fudgepacker trapsing around my virgin cheeks. [Draws his dagger and waves it randomly about in front of him] Come near me Stephen with your woeful hands and I shall lop them off. Touch me not, lest you wish to discover true pain. I know that this is the opportunity you have been waiting for.
Alice : Of course he can't see him, he's invisible! [Jumps forward] Ow! Help, help! I'm being attacked! [Pauses] Oh, it's just the wall.
Jerome: [To Stephen] Stephen, it would benefit me greatly if you could investigate the temple for me. Please do so, and then report back here.
Jerome: [To Harvey] There is no need for Jerome to see Stephen, Harvey. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. believes that Stephen is perfectly trustworthy at this point in time. It would be good if you could all agree with Jerome on this matter. [The last sentence seems to be stressed a little]
Jerome: [Walking up to Alice, taking her hand, and leading her away from the wall] Alice, dearest, Jerome wishes you to accompany him back here [walks to where he was standing], in the interests of the safety of your lovely person.
Alice : [Allows herself to be lead away, but says doubtfully] If he is so trustworthy, why should you be concerned about my safety?
Jerome: [Looking surprized] Why, because of the wall, dear Alice!
Clint: [Looking around with a wary eye] I'll do more than slice off appendages. [Looks at Jerome] So what you were saying is that Stephen is more expandable? I guess if you beat his head in with a club or the flat side of a sword enough times, his head would flatten, but then again, just about everyone could expand a little. [Crosses his arms, indignantly]
Stephen : [Rather transparently] Okay Jezzer. Anything for my good old buddy.
Stephen : [To Jerome] Well, Jez, there's nothing much in there. It's pretty much the way we left it. Except that all the bodies have gone. There's no sign of life, and no traps. What now, boss? [To Clint] See, I'm not scared!
Jerome: Well done, young Mr Hitchberg! Absolutely splendid effort, that! [To the others] Jerome believes you owe Stephen an apology. Shall we proceed inside? [To where he thinks Stephen is] Stephen, could you be so good as to stay just a little ahead of us? In case we need you to warn us of any danger? You will, of course, be completely safe while you're invisible. [Nods to himself. Whispering after Stephen has gone] Stephen is under a charm spell, so we can trust him for the moment at least.
Clint: [Smiles] Good thinking, Jerry.
Austin: [Frowns in disdain at Jerome] Who is this would be hero? I am on the side of Stephen's defense. Know you not, that I have never doubted my client's innocence, and merely suggested that he partake of the investigation of the temple to prove his trustworthiness to the rest of you [points a finger at each individual, except Stephen, in turn]. Therefore no apology is required on my behalf, but congratulations to me upon the first successful step of my defense. [Looks at Stephen, expectantly]
Clint: [To Stephen, sarcastically] Yeah, I see, oh brave one. Just keep an eye out for trouble. [To Jerome, wincing, as if in pain, while pointing at Austin] How'd we get stuck with him.
Austin: [Moves away from the wall, in an attempt to follow Stephen, muttering] As far as I recall, when Maplin and I were hidden from prying eyes, all objects in our possession where also transparent. I doubt very much that picking up a pebble will aid us in following you. However, if Jerome claims to see you, then perhaps we may follow him, following you, if you follow me.
Stephen : OhkilyDohkily, Jerome. I'll lead the way. [To Clint] Hang on in there Clint. It's not too scary. Do you need any clean underwear? [Stephen picks up a small pebble, so that the others can see where he is heading] Okay, campers. Follow me! [Stephen goes back into the Temple cautiously]
Jerome: [To Austin] Only items that are picked up then hidden in the invisible person's attire become invisible. [Squints] Stephen's pebble should be easy to see.
Clint: [Shrugs] As long as he keeps his invisible ass away from me.
Harvey: [Nods his head] Here, here, sir! Well said. Why, right
at this moment he could be waggling his wanger in our faces, and who's
to know! Who I ask you! Not us, that's for sure! [Sighs deeply, before
becoming alert again] But to action, lads! Let's be on the off, for
the troops are feeling fatigue. Next stop Queens View!
Alice : [With a disgusted look] Okilydohkily? Do we really have someone in our party who says okilydohkily? [Follows Flanders and the others into the temple.]
[The temple is as the party left it, but all the bodies are gone. The door that the party came through originally is closed but is not bolted.]Alice : Okilydohkily, who's going to open the door?
Jerome: [To Harvey] Surely, Colonel, we should give the temple a thorough examination before travelling to Queens View? We have not as yet solved any of the problems plauging the city, and it seems irresponsible to return completely empty-handed, as it were.
Alice : Au contraire, mon ami. We found the murderer, and, as we are the only people from Queens View to have ventured out, surely we should tell them what is going on outside?
Jerome: [Raising his hand] But, we have done nothing to aid their dangerous situation! [To the Pebble] Stephen, could you please open that door for Jerome? Thanks, friend. [Jerome moves to opening side of the door, so he can look in and quickly close the door, etc, but standing a foot or so back.]
Alice : Well, we almost killed Iok Sotot!
Stephen : [To Jerome] Sorry Jerome, the door won't budge. I think there's something on the other side stopping me. Sorry. You won't hold this against me, will you Jerome? [Sighs] Well, any other ideas, old pal?
Alice : [Whispering] Do you think there's someone there?
Harvey: [Slowly shrugs his shoulders] Your guess would be as good as mine, dearest niece. [Hammers on the door] I say, is there someone there? I said [shouting], is there someone there!
Voice : Yes, who's out there?
Alice : [Whispering] Do you think there's someone there?
Stephen : Oh no! Not again. I just had a bad deja vu. [Shouts at the door] Open up, dearey. We need to come in. We're here to save the town! [To Jerome] I'm still working on opening the door. Hopefully I won't be long, sweetie.
Clint: [Slaps his hand across his face. Quietly, to himself more than to the door] Just open the god damn door. [Slumps against the wall. To the party] Can I break it? I can throw Hagbiggles at it. [To Jerome] Do you have a knock spell memorized?
Voice : No. Identify yourself.
Austin: Such invisibility does not aid you in your attempt to open the door. I would ask you to stand aside, as your fingers are not as nimble as those attached to Maplin. I would not hold it against you, but the other's may hold more than feelings against you were Dangsten to return before you have unlocked this portal. Time, my unseen man, is of the essence yet haste is unwarranted. Stand aside that I may do the task with such speed and coolness of mind that the door shall not withstand my attempts.
Jerome: [Patting in the general direction of Stephen] That's ok, friend. Let's see what Jerome can do. [Raises his voice and shakes his fist, quite ineffectually considering there's a closed door between him and the voice] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is my name, and who are you to block Jerome as he seeks to gain entrance through this door? State your name, affiliation and general build. NOW!
Harvey: And the good doctor is acompanied by myself, Harvey Kingston Short, Queens View Penal Rehabilitation Administrator and decorated officer of the Kings Reach 1st green caps, no longer serving. And you, my good man, are holding up the return of a murder suspect to the town of Queens View. So chop, chop and open this door.
[As HARVEY is speaking, there comes from behind the door the sound of someone lifting a bolt. The door swings open, there stands COLIN MURPHY and two soldiers who are wearing purple berets. All three are wearing black armbands.]Colin : [Beaming] Colonel! It's great to see you! Come on in everyone, apologies for keeping you so long, but we can't be too sure, you know. Doctor Trindle, Mr. Sleaze, Mr. Scar - it is so great to have you back. [Looks at Alice] Oh, you're here too.
[The three of them step back to allow the party to come in.]Harvey: [Genuinely pleased] Ah, young Colin! What a joy it is to see a friendly face! How's your father? [Steps through the door, eyeing Colins beret and armband] I wasn't aware you had joined the Guardians, lad. Can't say I hold much store in them myself, but tell me, what news of Queens View?
Colin : [Who is NOT wearing a beret, and is looking puzzled.] I haven't joined the guardians, but these two lads here are.
[The two give an extravagant salute.]Colin : After you left, things got very bad - the food parcels stopped coming that night, and there was terrible panic in the town. Then, on Monday morning, Col. Nunpar and the G of U arrived, absolutely loaded down with food, they restored sanity to the place and now Col. Nunpar is the new town leader.
Alice : G of U? Who are they?
Colin : Tut! They are the Guardians of Uprightness. They brought back the bodies of Immaculata and the reporter with them, poor old Immaculata had all her fingers cut off, yuk!
Austin: [Bends down and picks up a copy of the Queens View View, browses through it and tosses it back to the floor] So you're hanging about with these loafers now, I see. Who is this Colonel Nunpar and how is it that he made it through the cloud? And the food, it is not tainted - how is it that they never came to the towns aid before this? Usurping the mayor may not have been such a bad thing, but Nupar is obviously a master of the coup and has a hunger for power. What are his plans once the food he has brought with him runs out? The townsfolk are a fickle bunch and will follow those that feed their bellies. Little that I care for any of them in particular I see that my future lies in their hands - who will I defend when Funlin's chickens die because Stephen here has his way with him and similar cases provide me with my means of life. I suspect some foul play afoot.
Harvey:[Finshing the paper, flashes Austin a warning look] I see things have changed considerably in the town, young Colin. [Turns to the party, and in as quiet a voice as possible] Speak not your minds until we are among only ourselves, troop. [Turns back to Colin] I'm glad to see the late good sister is being given her due respects. A terribly sad day for us, that was!
Colin : I'm sure everyone in the party did all they could to prevent or even reverse Immaculata's fate. [Turns to Austin] His name is Col. Joe Nunpar, and I don't see why you are so suspicous - he has promised to send expeditions out of the town to get more food. I'm sure he would be very keen to meet you, shall I bring you to him?
Clint: I remember the nun. I really just didn't care for her much. To each his own, I guess.
Alice : [Looking at Clint] Yes, we did everything possible to help her. Now, bring us to Nunpar, please.
[Everybody heads back up through the pit and into Queens View. The town is very quiet, and what few people are around are dressed in dark clothes and everyone has a black armband on. COLIN escorts the party to the mayors house, they pass the town park where there is a large number of people gathered, singing hymns. The town jail is almost rebuilt, and there are a few people working on it. The party soon arrive at the door to the mayors house.]Colin : Col. Nunpar has moved in here, and has his offices here too. For security reasons, only the G of U tend to go in, but just introduce yourselves and I'm sure everything will be fine.
[Exit COLIN. One of the Guardians opens the door, and points the party up the stairs and to the right, where they come to an office which has ``Admissions" written on it.]Alice : [Knocking on the door] Well, I suppose we better go in.
Harvey: [Quietly to the party] I don't like this. I don't like this one bit. I've met this buffoon Nunpar, and he's not the most pleasant of individuals! So watch what you say and don't give any more information than is necessary. I feel we are on delicate ground here, people, and we don't want to crush all our eggshells in the basket...no, that's not right. We don't want all our baskets in the one shell! Gah! [Harvey opens the door and steps inside]
[Act 6, Scene 3. The Admissions Office. Wednesday 12.40. ALICE, CLINT, HARVEY, JEROME, STEPHEN, AUSTIN and MR. BROWN are here.]
Brown : [Testily] Yes? Yes? What do you want?
Clint: Don't get pissy with us. We want to see Col. Nunpar. [Looks at the others] Right?
Stephen : [Squeaks] Oooh, touchy, touchy. Look at Mister Grumpy in the morning. [Thinks] So, we're now part of the dictatoship of the G and U, are we? Might I ask whether the democratic laws of Queensview were upheld in your meteoric rise to fame, or did you just have a coup one afternoon? I know I didn't vote for you.
Brown : G of U. Guardians of Uprightness. If you knew anything about our organisation, which you clearly don't, you would realise that we are the defenders of democracy, the denouncers of dictators. Queens View is temporarily under martial law - and, might I add, the people of the town welcomed us with open arms. Now, did you say you wanted to see Col Nunpar? [Looks in a notebook] Let me see, how about a fortnight next Thursday?
Alice : Phili on a horse! This is an emergency! We need to see him now!
Brown : [In horror] Blasphemy! [Whips out a notebook and scribbles something on it] There you are, young lady. [Tears a ticket out of the book and hands it over]
Alice : [Taking the ticket] What? I've just been fined for blasphemy! Five silver pieces!
Brown : It's the law.
Harvey: [Going red in the face] Enough of this nonsense, you odious little man! I wish to speak to Nunpar this moment. Tell him that Colonel Harvey Kingston Short the third is here and awaiting an audience with him. [Waves his hand dismissively] Now run along, little flunky. Chop, chop!
Brown : Oh? You wish to have an audience with him? Well that's different. When you want an audience I have to bring you to him immediately. It's the law.
[A brief spell of time passes.]Alice : Well?
Brown : Well enough, thank you.
Alice : When are you going to bring us to him?
Brown : As soon as you give me a filled out Audience Form. It's the pink one, number AF/131.
Alice : And where do we get that?
Brown : Why, from the Forms office, of course. Four flights up, room MH5-07.
Stephen : [To Austin] Aussie, dearest! I don't mean to be telling you your job, but note that Alice is now a criminal, and in my defence, you can use this information to discredit her and her testimony.
Alice : [Glaring at Stephen] Look, you little f- [glances at Brown] pain, I'm sure one slight mistake isn't quite as serious as attempted [deepens her voice, trying to sound dramatic] murder.
Brown : Attempted murder? You'll be looking for a green form then, number M/A/002, available from the Forms office. Room MH5-07.
Austin: [Nods to Stephen] Good man, I think that you are in the wrong profession. A lawyer, you should have been for you notice things that only a select few would realise may affect the outcome of a case. The point of course was noted before you voiced it, and perhaps you should have kept to yourself, as now the prosecution may well be aware of what our plan of attack may be. Any further suggestions you may have in such a vein, I would request you tell me in confidence. [Turns to Brown] As for you, sir, with democracy it seems there is the associated bureaucracy aspect, and I would urge you to do the required paperwork for us, and upon your refusal I would ask to speak to your manager. If you threaten us with the fact that we require a form to see your boss, then that too will be taken note of and put to your discredit. Do you not understand that this is an emergency and that all pending paperwork may be filled out after our audience by some lackey, such as yourself, may document those actions after they have taken place. Bother me not in this instance with your nonsense, yet I do respect the need for transcripts of all that is requested and takes place on paper in pen. [Suddenly shouts very loudly] And I request you to do it now!
Harvey: [Smiles humourlessly] Oh to blazes with it! I have neither the time nor the patience to be dealing with male secretary's. [Turns to the party] Perhaps we can tell Nunpar about Sotot some other time. But as for the now, I need a good nights sleep and a warm bath. [Walks towards the door] Good day to you.
Alice : Crikey, Uncle! It's only one o'clock, and surely you cleaned yourself this morning in Black's house, what with having been dead for three days and all.
Brown : [Holds his hand up to Austin, before scribbling out another ticket] Shouting during mourning week, three silver pieces fine. Now sir, you say you appreciate the need for proper accounting, this surely means that you realise it would be fraudulant of me to fill in any form for you - consider my position when the auditors examine the forms. No sir, I must insist that you take the proper channels. If you wish to fill out a complaint form, you may obtain one from the Complaints office, on the second floor. It is a plain white form with a black border, numbered XA/030. Now, good day to you all. [Looks down at some papers on his desk.]
Stephen : [Creeps behind Harvey, and tries to imitate Harvey's voice] Jeepers! You, sir [shouts] ARE A CRETIN. [Creeps away]
[STEPHEN deepens his voice as he does this, and the overall effect is that it doesn't sound even remotely like HARVEY.]Brown : [Scribbles out the ticket] Tch! Another one for shouting. [Waves it in the general direction of Harvey and Stephen.]
Jerome: [Talking very calmly] Good Mr Brown. Indeed it is fortuitous that we should meet, already we have heard a lot about you. Please excuse my friends, as they have travelled many miles with important information clasped firmly at their breast. All unpleasantness aside, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D., who was I assure you an absolute pinnacle of Queens View society before he turned adventurer, wishes to arrange an urgent meeting with both yourself and Col Nunpar, as your input is obviously going to be required on a matter of this towns safety. In light of your participation, perhaps you could accompany us to the afore mentioned room MH5-07, and aid this poor group of travellers with the application and meeting. Then all shall priase you, Sir, for saving not only this town, but this entire continent from the ravaging evil we have come to speak of.
Clint : Yeah Austin, good idea. Now Brown, what would you say if I threatened to cut you into small pieces?
Brown : I would give you a ticket and send for help. [Turns to Jerome] Dr. Trindle, it is indeed a pleasure to find that one of your party is pleasant to deal with. While I am sure that you are a highly valued member of society, I cannot leave my post. Imagine if someone came in here who wanted to see Col. Nunpar! They simply wouldn't be able to get in if I was away. Now, I appreciate that MH5-07 is a long trek up stairs, but we simply must adhere to the regulations. Also, it would be against union rules for me to participate in any town safety discussions as there are public servants employed for that very thing. So, while ridding the world of some unconscienable evil sounds appealing, I'm afraid I must stay here and process these forms. Please close the door on the way out.
Clint : [To the others] So, do we kill the guy or head upstairs?
Jerome: [Shushing Clint] Thank you for all your help, Sir. We shall indeed complete the desired form, but then to whom are we to hand it in? Yourself? It is of the utmost importance, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. assures you, and really cannot be delayed. If it does, Jerome fears that this post might not exist for you to so bravely defend. [Looks upstairs, as if suddenly thinking something] Jerome hopes we shall not disturb Col. Nunpar while trying to find MH5-07? Some of my companions [looks meaningfully at Clint] are not overly quiet.
Brown : I hope you will not disturb the Colonel either - MH5-07 is simple to find, it is directly opposite you at the top of the stairs. When you have filled out the form you may bring it to me and I will arrange an immediate audience for you.
Jerome: [Warmly clasping Brown's hand] It has been a pleasure, good sir. Too long have I been away from a gentleman of your calibre. We shall return anon. [Walks up the stairs. Whispering so Brown can't hear] Well, now we know that the Colonel is upstairs, we have the choice of returning with the form, or searching for him ourselves.
[Exit the party, out to the hall.]Alice : Are we sure that he is upstairs? He could be anywhere in the house - maybe he's at the park, there seemed to be a lot of activity there.
Clint: [Peeping through a keyhole] Oops. [Smiles, then looks again. Stops looking, then grins at the party] Ladies restroom. He's not in there.
Alice : [Impatiently] Well? Are we going to go and get the form or search every room in the building?
Harvey: [Tuts loudly] I know this Nunpar and he's a stickler for procedure. Quite an admirable trait, in many ways. I say we follow the letter of his law, for now. So let's get the form, fill it in and drop it back to the flunky. [Thinks for a moment] Why do we want to see Nunpar, anyway. Surely it would be more beneficial to find out what's going on from a few of the trusted town members. Ex-mayor Aubrey, for instance! Then, armed with this information, we can properly meet with Nunpar!
Alice : Perhaps to let him know how important we are. If we are going to trek half way across the country to meet Marasmus Bane we'll surely need some help. [Pauses, and looks from Clint to Stephen] Assuming, of course, that is what we are going to do.
[Eventually, the panting party arrive at MH5-07, the Forms Office. ALICE knocks on the door, and a voice tells them to come in. MR. GREEN is here.]Green : Yes, how may I help you?
Alice : We're looking for some form to give that person down stairs so we can have an audience with Nunpar.
Green : Ah, then you'll be looking for an AF/131, then?
Alice : Yes, do you give them out?
Green : Certainly, I have them all here, if someone comes in looking for an AF/131, or even an AF/133 for that matter, I have to give them the form. It's the law.
Alice : Can we have one so, please?
Green : Do you have the key?
Alice : [Looking at the other party members] Gibber!
Jerome: [Whispering to the party] If this continues, we may have to pause for a quarter of an hour to allow Jerome to memorize another Charm spell. To Green, shaking his hand] Good sir! A pleasure to make your aquaintence. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D at your service - well, to put a finer point on it, asking for your service. Downstairs a gentleman by the name of Mr Brown directed us to this very office, to aquire the afore mentioned form. Which is our ernest wish, as the fate of this city hangs in the balance. What key is this that you spoke of? Surely for a simple form release no key is necessary.
Green : The key, sir, is required for opening that cupboard there. [Points at a sturdy cupboard] For that is where the AF/131 forms are kept.
Alice : But why don't you have the key?
Green : Union rules, I'm afraid. The key is kept in the Security Office, on the third floor, room number MH3-001. You must get one of the officers to come up here to unlock the cupboard, then I can give you the form. Much as I'd like to help you, I'm afraid I cannot open the cupboard for you. It's the law.
Clint : [Rubbing his chin] I'm sure I could get it open, a swift crack of my blade onto the lock and it will be open in no time.
Green : Please do not deface public property, there are quite high penalties for vandalism. It really is quite simple, all you have to do is ask one of the security men to come up here.
Jerome: [Getting a little heated] And what will we require for the security man? A doughnut?
Green : Certainly not, it is illegal to eat cakes during Mourning Week. Between you and me, those guys in security have very little to be doing, so I'm sure they'll come straight up. You certainly don't need a form from me, or anything like that.
Alice : [Wearily] Shall we go down there?
Jerome: [Sweeping melodramatically out of the room] We shall return, sir!
Austin: Such traipsing around is enough to sicken any man. Why are we being shepherded around like dumb animals. I expect the next thing we shall hear is a brain-washing speech from Nunpar himself. [Whispers to the others] Perhaps we should take more than one, once we get our hands on them to save the trouble were we in need of speaking to Nunpar again after this.
Alice : [Pant] Cunning Plan Aussie, I don't think I can take much more of these stairs.
[Eventually, the party arrive at the Security office. The door is duly knocked upon and they are bidden entry. MR PINK is here.]Pink : [Sounding dangerously like Stephen] Oooh, hello!
Alice : We need the key for the cupboard with the AF/131 forms, can you give it to us?
Pink : Delighted to, darling. Now, if you could just give me your completed SF/201 form?
Harvey: [Slowly, through gritted teeth] What...S..F..2..0..1 form?
Pink : [Nervously] The officially stamped form that authorises me to unlock the cupboard upstairs?
Clint : [Wiping sweat from his brow, and leaning over Mr. Pink] Are you telling us we have to go somewhere else to get one of these forms?
Pink : Not at all, I have them right here.
[The party breathe a collective sigh of relief.]Pink : But you do have to get the official stamp on them.
Austin: [Whips out his dagger and slams it into the desk, so that it stands quivering with the point embedded] I lose my temper, and trust me when I say that I only do so slowly, but this has been the final straw. When we are done here, I shall ensure that the party pays a personal visit to each and every individual with whom we have had dealings today. Give me the form, tell me where to get the stamp, and I shall ensure that your name is commended for your assistance. However, were you to inform us that another form is required, I shall inform Colonel Nunpar that you have obstructed the smooth flowing machine that is his human resources department. In fact, upon reflection, we shall wait here until you return, or one of your subordinates returns, with the form and the stamp. And I request that you do so now.
Pink : [Holding the form in a very shaky hand] P-please! Don't hurt me! I can't leave this office, and I promise you that you won't need any other forms for the key, but I really can't leave. It's the law, you know.
Alice : Where do we get this form from?
Pink : You show your papers of identification at the General office, and they will issue the stamp here.
Clint : We don't have any! We've been outside the town for the last few days.
Pink : Well, in that case you can go to the Admissions office to get the form stamped.
Stephen : [Screams, and jumps up and down with arms out in excitement] Pinky! It is you, it is you. [Runs and gives Mr Pink a hug] Do you remember the time when [starts to whisper into Mr Pink's ears, inaudible to the rest of the party]. Now! Be a lover, and either direct us to Nunpar, or give us the key.
Pink : [Pushing Stephen away, blushing madly] I'm sure you don't know what I'm talking about, I mean, I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about, oh, blow me! [Looks suddenly startled at Stephen] That doesn't mean anything, just that I'm exasperated. Look, there's nothing I can do, I don't know where Col. Nunpar is, I'm just [sniff] a lowly desk clerk, and no one tells me anything here!
Clint: I'm about to get mad, Pink. And when I get mad things break... [Leans over the desk and glares at Pink] ... like little pencil necked clerks that know too much interior decorating to be a real man.
Stephen : [To Clint] Leave him alone. It's not his fault. And besides, a real man is in touch with his feminine side. [To Mr Pink] Now, I won't be able to hold him [points to Clint] off for much longer. Just give us the key, and we'll bring it back so that no-one knows it ever left this room. [To Austin] Come on Aussie, haven't you already got one of these forms in your satchel? [Winks]
Pink : [Close to tears] I can't! If you go up with the key I'll be in trouble for giving it to you, I have to be with you, but I can't leave my office unattended without first getting the form stamped. Honestly, I want to help you but I can't do it without the stamped form! [Wipes a tear from his eye.]
Clint: Sleaze, this is your specialty. Isn't there some type of loophole we could use to get around this? Maybe an emergency form waiver clause or something? [To Pink] I'll stamp on you, you little fag! Just give us the key!
Pink : Oh no! [Cowers back] Please don't, please don't hurt me! [Curls into a ball] Or I'll have to ... to ... [Suddenly looks Clint in the eye, and speaks with surprising aggression.] Call some soldiers in here! [Scribbles something on a pad] Attempting to interfere with a Guardian's duty, five gold pieces fine! [Dramatically throws the ticket on his desk.] Now, I've tried to be nice about this, but I don't take kindly to threats, so I suggest you all trot along to the Admissions office. Quick now, off you go! [Glances at Stephen] Oh, you might as well wait here.
Harvey:[Snorts and shakes his head] I'm afraid this one [gestures towards Stephen] isn't leaving our sight! However, we'll go to the Admissions office, stamp your form and return within the hour. Please make yourself available. [Harvey turns and opens the door] Come on lads, before the rage overwhelms us all!
[Exit the party, tramping back down the stairs. CLINT bangs angrily on the door of the Admissions office, and MR BROWN bids them enter.]Brown : [Putting down his sandwich] Ah yes, do you have the AF/131 for me?
Alice : No, we've spent the morning traipsing all over this place trying to get it - now we've been told we must get a stamp off you to get some person with a key to open a cupboard that has the AF/131 in it that we can bring down to you.
Brown : That is correct.
Alice : And I suppose we have to get some form for you too?
Brown : No, I have them here. [Nods at his safe]
Alice : [Looking at the safe suspiciously] And I suppose someone else has the combination.
Brown : No, I have it.
Alice : Then, can we have the form, please?
Brown : No.
Alice : What?!? Why?
Brown : [Points at the clock on his wall] It's lunchtime, I can't give out stamps during lunch hour. It's the law.
Jerome: But if we wait until the end of lunchtime, we will be able to get the stamp, no other problems?
Harvey: Gah!!! This is absolutely insane! What in hell has happened to this once sensible town? Who has introduced these banal, petty, pathetic and ludicrous rules? What fool? That idiot Nunpar?
Brown : [Standing up] How dare you sir! [Quickly scribbles a ticket] Insulting Col. Nunpar, five gold pieces. Now, leave my office before I summon some guards!
Harvey: Why, sir, we would, but as you've pointed out, it's lunchtime, and you're officially not on duty. It's the law, don't you know! Which also means this ticket [rips it in half] was handed out in an unofficial capacity, thereby breaking the law! For shame, Mr Brown! For shame! I don't think the colonel will be too impressed if even his top men can't abide by his rules!
Brown : [Loudly] Don't tell me what the Col. can and can't abide! [Reaches under his desk for a second] You moron, and you should be warned that defacing public property, to wit one ticket, is a ticketable offence, punishable by time in jail!
Harvey: [Louder again] Well is that a fact, Mr Brown! Well let me tell you something, sonny Jim, you're this close [holds up one hand, finger and thumb a minute distance apart] to finding out exactly what your precious ticket book feels like up your arse! But Nunpar hand picks his officers, so I suppose you know what that feels like already!
Jerome: [Attempting to contain matters] Look, let us not be hasty here. Good Mr Brown is merely doing his job, which, though an onerous task, he performs to the letter. One cannot become angry regarding a job well done. [To Mr Brown] But, Sir, Jerome begs your sufference - we have not been in the city since the beaurocracy set in, and are unfamiliar with the new ways. Surely as competent an officer as yourself can also be lenient? To the party only] If we can just desist until Jerome has memorized a few charm spells, we can cut through the red tape in mere seconds.
Alice : [Touching Harvey's arm] Jerry's right, Uncle H. Brown is an obnoxious git alright, but ranting and raving at him won't get us anywhere.
Brown : Insulting a member of staff, that's a ticketable offence! [Turns to Jerome] Sir, I wish I could help you, but with this band of ruffians and foul mouthed brigands I cannot. It's the law.
[The door swings open, and five Guardians arrive in, swords drawn. One of them, MR. WHITE, speaks to MR. BROWN.]White : What seems to be the problem here, Mr. Brown?
Brown : They are harrassing me, I want them all arrested, [glances at Jerome] with the exception of him.
Clint : [Draws his sword] No one, and I mean no one, is going to touch me!
White : Stand down, or by crikey you'll spend this night in hospital!
Jerome: [Attempting some quick damage control] Mr White. [Shakes his hand (if able)] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. at your service. Let me explain, if I may, what has transpired here. COLONEL [Stressing the military rank] Harvey Kingston-Short is, Jerome is not above admitting, at the brink of rage. This is due primarily to the fact that we require an audience with the leader of this town - currently Colonel Nunpar. This group, or at least most of the members of it, were sent out by the previous leader of this town, one Aubrey, to discover what we could about the black cloud and abductions. We now have information on these matters, and are honor bound to report to Colonel Nunpar. To get this information we have fought hard, and lost valued friends in the process. This is why emotions are running high while attempting to cut through the red tape surrounding Colonel Nunpar. Please, good Sir, as a gentleman we require your assistance in this matter.
White : [Listening to Jerome] Well, that as maybe, but there are correct channels to go through, and I suggest you speak to Mr. Brown about arranging a meeting.
Brown : That's exactly what I was trying to do when they attacked me.
White : I'm sorry, but you're all under arrest.
Alice : What! For crying out loud, are you listening to a word we've said?
White : Hmm?
Clint : [Shouting] No one is going to arrest us, and we are not leaving without seeing Nunpar!
[The door is pushed open a small bit, before opening fully. Enter MARIA.]White : Ms. Duarte! What a pleasure it is to see you.
Maria : What is all the commotion here?
Austin: [Bows to Maria] Good woman, thou art sweeter than the sweetest words that sit upon my tongue. How is it that you come to a place like this and with such good timing. [Pauses, then whispers to Jerome] Aha, it seems to come together now - I would hasten a guess that this Colonel Nunpar is none other than Dicey Riley using his powers of persuasion and confidence tricking. Were it so, I would have his balls upon a plate and eat them raw before his very eyes. That is, I would eat his eyes after his balls. [To Maria once again] And where is your good escort Dicey?
Maria : [Stepping in front of White] Take your foolish men out of here, you too, [waves at Brown] give us some privacy.
[Exit all the Guardians, looking suitably chastised.]Maria : Well, it is a delight to see you all again. I'm afraid Dicey and I are no longer together...
Alice : Oh? What happened?
Maria : Well, its sad when a love affair dies, but we had pretended enough. It was best that we both stopped fooling ourselves.
Harvey: [Face lights up with delight. He bows formally] Dearest Maria, how delightful to see you once more. I give you the joy of this day! [Laughs aloud] This buffoon [indicating Brown] is about to lock me up in my own prison. Should make for enjoyable viewing, me dear!
Maria : Well, Colonel, I can assure you that will not happen. Now, what seems to be the problem?
Clint: Is Dicey here? There's been something [Looks at his sword] that I've been wanting to give him for a while.
Maria : [Frowning at the sword] No. Dicey is not in the town.
Harvey: [Looks momentarily downcast] Shame, for I would like to see them try. Honestly, I can't remember being treated so abominably since I was a young private on parade in Prim '67. There was this Sargeant Major who took an instant dislike to me, I can't imagine why, who forced me to fill in two hundred and thirty six uniform request forms, just becuase I'd misspelled 'mutilation'! Can you believe it? I...[looks at Maria], yes, we were trying to meet with Nunpar to discuss our findings after leaving yourself and Dicey. We thought it important, but it seems we alone. What do you make of that, eh? Outrageous! The problem with civilian authorities is, well, they are civilians! Completely unsuited to the job of administration! This type of thing would never happen in a proper military environment, don't you know. Outrageous!
Maria : [Aghast] That is terrible, Colonel. All the dangers and awful things you must have been through, to be treated like this, well, it's, it's outrageous! Please accept my humblest apologies for your treatment, and allow me to bring you directly to Col. Nunpar.
Harvey: [Big smile] Why, my dear, I could never hold you responsible! My heart would surely burst under the strain! But pray, take us to your leader!
Maria : Only too delighted, Colonel.
Clint: Bout time. I was about to go do what I always do when I don't get what I want. [Smiles] Get drunk and beat up people. [Rolls his cigar to the other side of his mouth] Let's go.
CDD - Missing post?
Clint: Thank you, Maria. Let's go. [Takes Pink's ticket, turns around and follows Maria. On the way out of the door, he puts the end of his cigar up to the ticket and it starts burning] I don't do tickets. [Throws the burning ticket into Pink's metal waste basket on the way out]
Austin: I would agree with Mr. Scar - such tickets are nought but a nuisance. [Takes his ticket, is about to tear it up, then decides to ask Maria for her autograph] Such beauty is rare indeed, and may only be stumbled upon by chance. I would declare that it is almost, and unfortunately I must stress almost, on a comparable scale to the beauty and perfection of Maplin.
Alice : [To Jerome] Hmm, I think Uncle H has a friend.
[Exit ALL, out passed the Guardians who look none to happy with the arrangement. After a short walk they come to a door, which MARIA opens. JOE NUNPAR is here.]Joe : Eva! There you are.
Maria : Come on in. Joe, these are the people I was telling you about. The party, remember?
Joe : [Standing up and walking over to the party] Oh, am, right. Okay. Um, welcome back. It's great to see you all, what happened while you were outside?
Harvey: We meet again, Colonel Nunpar. Colonel Harvey Kinston Short at your service. [Looks at Maria] I'm glad that...Eva...happened by when she did, your administrators leave a lot to be desired. An unruly bunch, especially that Brown oaf! [Glances casually around the room] But to the reason of our presence, we have discovered who kidnapped and killed the children in Queens View. [Sits down on a chair] We have also discovered a plot so heinous, I still sweat when I think of it. What say you to that?
Clint: Nothing much. Iok Sotot was a nuisance, but his son is gonna raise hell. Got a cigar? Mine's about gone.
Joe : Yes, we investigated the temple thoroughly, we are well aware of his activities. Cigar? Yes, of course I have. Now, are you aware of what happened to Kings Reach?
Clint: [Takes the cigar, looks at it, and smells it. Cuts off the end of the cigar with a dagger, pops it into his mouth and starts smoking it] Ahhhhh... if there ever was a cigar that was close to being as good as sex, I just orgasmed. This is a damn good cigar, Colonel. I see you military guys still have your priorities straight. Million dollar cigars and toilet seats. [Suddenly snaps into a salute] Philli bless you, Colonel, sir. [Looks bewildered] Hell no, Colonel, sir. What happened to Kings Reach?
Jerome: [To Alice] Sigh. Just look at what happens when two men [indicates Austin and Harvey] see a pretty girl. [Thinks] Though I'm surprised Austin is even giving her the time of day, considering Maplin. [To Nunpar] Kings Reach? What has happened? Also, Sir, when are you going to remove your beurocracy from this city?
Clint: [To Jerome] Yeah, well I don't associate with criminals... [Winks at Jerome] ... and Dicey was one if I ever saw one. If she thought it over I don't think she would have traveled with him, but it sorta made me wonder. Cigars are much better than women. If they piss you off you can stamp them out. sigh you just can't do the same to women... legally that is.
Jerome: [To Clint] Well, when it comes to women you're just a regular Caring Understanding Nineties Type, aren't you?
Clint: Why thank you, Jerry. If you think a man that likes to slap his women a lot is a caring man then you're my kind of man. Don't worry, though. I let them slap me and kick me too. It makes it all the more enjoyable.
Harvey: [Tuts loudly and glares at Jerome and Clint] Children please! Enough is enough! [Looks at Nunpar] Well Colonel, I heard the town was destroyed virtually overnight, which, somehow resulted in the outbreak of Scalies. You and your people seem to have avoided that distasteful disease, I notice.
Joe : [Looks in surprise at Jerome] Remove the bureauracy? Why, Dr. Trindle, that is what keeps the very fabric of society together - when we arrived to this town it was on the brink, we pulled it back and we aim to keep the town in shape. [Turns back to Harvey] Correct Col., Kings Reach was destroyed, and with it the leadership of the North. We were in Hallbridges at the time, and there is no sign of the Scalies here, it was Eva who advised us of its existence, and the plight of Queens View.
[MARIA modestly nods her head.]Joe : It appears that the Scalies is spreading, and the war is not going well for the North. Without proper leadership, we are falling apart. The countryside is rife with tales of devils appearing, that Seth is walking the land and even stories of vampires. Now, do you have any information that may be of use to us?
Harvey: [Smiles at Nunpar] So, you came all the way from Hallbridges? That's a long trek, a terrible long journey. Well, yes, we do have information that could be of great use to the North. [Takes a deep breath] If you, as you say, have come from Hallbridges, then you must have heard of Marasmus Bane. Bane, according to our source, has the cure for the Scalies disease. [Observes Nunpars reaction before continuing] There is also the matter of the Holy Sword of Antioch, also it is believed, in Hallbridges. That weapon would be of great use against the southern demon hordes. But I believe that even now, Iok Sotot journeys there, determined to steal the sword for his own uses.
Joe : [Nods as Harvey mentions the name] Yes, I am familiar with the name, but I have never met her. However, the journey from Queens View to Hallbridges is not as long as you may have thought.
Alice : What do you mean? Has it moved closer?
Joe : Not quite, but the world renowned Hamstrain from Hallbridges to Kings Reach is almost finished, and, as far as I know, the train itself was due to leave on its maiden journey tomorrow. It was decided after Kings Reach was destroyed, that the hamstrain should go to Queens View, after all, most of the tracks had already been laid.
Jerome: [Wistfully] Yes, and what a feat of engineering perfection that is. [Rubbing his hands together] Who would have thought so much raw power could be extracted from 400 hamsters?
Alice : [Looks at Jerome incredulously and moves slightly away] Hm, who indeed?
Joe : But what do you know of Marasmus Bane?
Harvey: Not a whole lot, unfortunately, apart from the fact that she is a mage who has found the cure for Scalies. Obviously the North will be unable to raise an army if the entire population is infected when this horrible disease, so it would be of the utmost importance to find her. That, and the sword.
Joe : Indeed, Col., I always appreciate the strategy of a military mind. Now, the only problem is that things in Hallbridges are, well, a little strange.
Alice : Strange? In what way?
Joe : Well, believe it or not, the entire town has been trampled by thousands of elephants.
Alice : What!? I don't believe it!
Joe : Okay, what really happened is that there has been a [pauses as though he finds it difficult to say the words] a communist revolution there.
Austin: [Sticks up his hand as if answering a question in a classroom, jumping up and down] I know, I know, that must be where Lenin Buckley the skiving little excrement-stirrer has retreated to. Or did he die? [Scratches his head and looks at Jerome, then back to Colonel Nunpar]. Well, maybe not. No matter, the sword of Antioch we are after is no longer at Waterdeep, but is lost to all known human minds. Yet our quest for it remains, as it is the sole means of destroying Iok Sotot forever, at least that's what we were told, until we met Black, who described a Talisman to us which we found in his possession and broke.
Jerome: [To Joe] Exactly how, in twenty words or less, hostile are the communists who have revolted? Would they cause a travelling party any considerable amount of inconvenience?
Harvey: [Draws breath deeply] Communists! They didn't hurt the elephants, did they? Just the kind of thing they'd do!
Joe : No, the elephants are fine. I don't know how they would treat a party, but they tend to rant about enemies of the people and all that kind of thing. They revolted by taking over the government of the town, and expelling anyone who disagreed with them.
Jerome: [To Joe] Well, then. If we were to traverse there and pretend to be sympathetic to their cause, they should not attempt to cause us any bodily harm.
Harvey: [Rubbing his chin] Ah, now I see. I take it the communists didn't think kindly of your organisation, Colonel. I'm sure, were a group from Queens View to travel there, it wouldn't be too difficult to..ahem, pretend they felt the same. [Removes his black notebook from this pocket and writes down a few words. Quietly, he returns the book to his pocket, before slowly nodding wistfully] Why, the group could walk around with posters stating 'Guardians of Uptightness', or 'Nunpars Nances' or 'Nunpar's a Git'! Things of that ilk! Shocking stuff, indeed!
Jerome: Or maybe 'Non-Triumphant Nunpar', or 'Nunpar's Guardians Of Bumtightness', or maybe 'Protest Else Nunpar's Is Sovereign'.
Harvey: Sterling doctor! Sterling effort. Or how about 'Climb Upon Nunpars Tents'! You see, colonel, I think an intelligent group might just get away with it!
Jerome: [To Nunpar] Do you, by any remote chance, know of any adventure seeking priest or nun who may wish to accompany us? We find ourselves in need of such services.
Joe : [Looking extremely narked] I'm sure I don't.
Maria : Gasp I just don't believe it, Col. Harvey. You have only just this instant returned from a death defying and dangerous mission, and already you are offering the services of your party, for yet, [pause] another one?
Alice : Perhaps we should discuss just who should be in the party? [Glares at Stephen]
Joe : Well, you might as well take Lenin Buckley with you, he has been less than helpful so far, and I'm sure he has links with that other crowd.
Alice : Where is Lenin?
Joe : [With a smile] Jail!
Clint: [To Joe] What Dr. Trindle was trying to say was we need a healer of some sort, Colonel. It is very difficult not to have a medical pack or healing spell ready for you when you're done with a fight. In fact, Iok Sotot would have been killed if we had a healer to have healed me and the rest of the party. We need a healer now!
Joe : Well, I cannot afford to give you any of the G of U, in case the Scalies attack the town, we need all the soldiers, and medical men.
[MARIA whispers something to JOE]Joe : Hm, I have an idea. Maybe you could visit the head of Administration, Aubrey Harding, he knows more of the locals than me, and would know which are expendable, er, which ones you could borrow.
Harvey: [Eyes widen in realisation] Whoah there one second, people! I don't remember any of us volunteering for this suicide mission! I merely said 'a group', not 'this group'! [Looks at Maria, before shaking his head sadly] But I suppose we are best suited to the job. [Sighs deeply] And I thought my retirement would be a peaceful one. [Looks again at Nunpar] But there is no way on this earth that Buckley is coming with us! The man would blow our disguise the moment we entered Hillsfar! Gah! What utter foolishness!
Alice : Head out again? I'd certainly be on for it, but not with that.[Makes a face and points at Stephen] Maybe we can trade it in for a doctor, or something?
Joe : [Waving her away] Whatever, you'll have to talk to the head of administration about that.
Austin: [Looks from Alice to Stephen] No offence intended, but I am obligated to stand in Stephen's defense. Despite the fact that the majority of the party stand against his continuance as a member of the party, and the fact that he is absolutely and utterly useless with no skills that another member of the party has, I assure you of his innocence in all matters of which he stands accused. Therefore, I would ask you to refrain from isolating him, and all matters concerning him, merely for what the prosecution may find contrary to socially and formally acceptable considerations. Herewith, I would like to tend a tentative motion, that he remain with the party if only to prove, and to allow the accused to prove, that he is a trustworthy and upright citizen. [Starts absent-mindedly rubbing Maplin, then looks at Stephen, and stops rubbing, muttering to himself] Perhaps this rubbing is making him a tad more upright citizen than is currently necessary.
Clint: [Smirks] Actually, Aussie, I think he likes the rubbing. [Blows a smoke ring] ... if you know what I mean.
Stephen : [To Austin] Er, I only asked you to defend me against any false accusations that should arise in court. I didn't ask you to suggest I should go on this little trip. If Private Harv doesn't fancy it, I sure as hell don't. [Pauses] Not that I'm scared. [To Joe] I just think I might be able to improve the morale of the men. I'll show them some of my films. How about 'Horrible Deaths of Soldiers in Battle'?
Jerome: [Suspiciously] Isn't that the one with the killer rabbits? [To Harvey] It is a fact, Colonel, that we are the most qualified for the job. Therefore, Jerome suggests we visit Aubrey, then leave straight away.
Clint: Sounds good to me. Let's go. [Turns to Harvey and pulls him aside. Says something quietly to Harvey]
Harvey: [Shrugs his shoulders and replies quietly to Clint. He turns to Jerome] Excellent idea doctor! Let us track down Aubrey, as of the now. [Turns to Maria and bows] Dear lady, always a pleasure. [Turns to Nunpar and salutes, before walking to and opening the door] Doctor?
Maria : Goodbye Colonel, and please make sure to let us know when you are leaving.
[Exit the party, heading towards Aubrey's office.]Alice : [Stopping outside Aubrey's door] Well, what are we going to do about him? [Barely nods at Stephen]
Harvey: If it doesn't want to come with us, then I don't think any member of this group will complain too loudly, dear niece. [Addresses the entire party] Right men, this time we decide who comes and who stays. I want a show of hands for and against [mutters Stephens name] coming with us. I think that's fair. Majority rules and all that. So, hands up those who don't want a man, whose only talent is probably hairdressing, along with us. [Harvey raises his hand]
Austin: [Does not raise his hand] I have previously voiced my opinion, but it wouldn't surprise me if Stephen raised his own hand in order to not accompany us. However, I would warn you the only remaining factor that compels ME to stay with the party is you [points a finger at Harvey]. Note that the good Sister is gone, and you remain the only person that may force me to stay. This is not a threat, merely a description of the facts as they stand. I would also liked to have asked Colonel Nunpar for his permission to visit him directly without the bureaucracy intervening.
Alice : Harvey! Don't be coming up with reasons he should stay! [Puts her hand up as high as she can] Aussie, you are talking bunk. Having him in the party is a danger to all of us.
Harvey: [Looks at Austin] Don't worry private Sleaze, we're voting on you next.
Austin: [Laughs aloud, directly in Harvey's face] Yes, yes, continue Colonel in this vain, and introduce the rule, which in any good democratic society should be law, that you cannot vote for yourself and the party would be reduced to merely having one member - you. And thereafter, it would be required that there be a vote for the you to be included, and as the remaining member you would be forced to not vote, and thus exclude yourself. We may as well disband the party now.
Alice : What rubbish you do talk, Aussie. If that's your attitude you might as well join him in leaving. I certainly want to stay, and I'm sure Jerome and Clint will too, as, despite the slightly suspect body odour of Clint, they have both shown how trustworthy they are. Stephen, on the other hand, assaulted Clint back in Blacks house and for some unfathomable reason pretended he was Iok Sotot, before trying to maim poor Uncle Harvey. [Getting quite angry] I just can't believe you want him to stay in the party, in fact, [furious now, with arms waving around dangerously] I find it easier to believe that Hallbridges was trampled by a group of communist elephants! [Juts her head close to Austin, with her chin sticking out] What say you now, Mr. Sleaze?
CDD - Missing post?
Alice : Then go! For Phili's sake go! [Glares at Austin] Well, your bumchum is going? What are going to do, Mr. Sleaze? Stay with the people who have saved your life on numerous occasions or go with [pauses, and waves her hand at Stephen] that?
Austin: [Frowns, finger scratching his temple, as if trying to remember something] I do not believe, that I would have been in a life threatening situation if I had stayed here. Nor is he my 'bumchum' but merely my client. However, as I have no great liking for the man, and you are so eager to see him go, then I will abstain my vote, rather than voting for him to stay. As for my case, I realise that there is little for me here, and Maplin would not suffer me to stay idle, when there is a chance that his beauty may not be brought to shine, thanks to this cloud. Therefore, I would be happy to continue in this party's venture to solve this riddle of King's Reach. Also, I do believe, that my skills should not be underestimated and that I bring a suitable amount of coolness, awareness, forethought and beauty to the party as a whole. I would urge you not to discount me and that I have proven myself trustworthy and suitable for all situations.
Stephen : [Smiles] Well! I think that settles it then, doesn't it. [To Jerome] It was a pleasure working with you. [To Austin] Give me a call when a date for the trial is set. [To Harvey] I'll see you in court. [Stephen turns on the spot, and starts to walk away] Lights! Camera! Ooh, hello...
Jerome: [To The Party] Was that REALLY necessary? [To Alice] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. appreciates your instincts, dearest Alice, but perhaps we were a bit hasty. It was not long ago that ALL were suspect, so who are we to judge?
Harvey: It's quite obvious he didn't want to stay anyway, and we have neither the time, nor the patience to carry a dead weight on this mission. It is far too important, doctor. We need to watch each others backs, not backsides!
Clint: [Out the door to Stephen] Don't let the door kick you in the ASS on the way out. You're lucky I haven't killed you, molester. Oh by the way, I would have wanted him out too, so even if he wanted to stay, he couldn't have with the votes against him.
Alice : Yes, Jerome, that was entirely necessary. He was a danger to us, or have you forgotten that he tried to skewer poor old Harvey?
[Enter the party into the office. AUBREY is here, as is SISTER CHASTITY BROWNE, a well known local nun. They are arguing about something.]Chastity : But Mr. Ex-Mayor, surely you cannot bear the thought of those poor people, stranded outside the town with no spiritual guidance.
Aubrey : [Clearly quite strained] But there's nothing I can do I - [suddenly notices the party] Thank God! You're back, oh thank God!
Harvey: Ah, sister Chastity! [Bows] A sad week indeed. We all deeply feel the loss of the good Sister Immaculata. Terrible stuff! Just terrible! [Looks at Aubrey] I trust we are not disturbing anything between yourself and Sister Chastity, Aubrey?
Clint: [To Alice] Alice, hun. The temptation's getting to me. You know how I love to torment nuns. Would you mind if I said something totally nasty? I was thinking on the line of bestiality. [Smiles] I'm sure Stephen knows all about that.
Austin: [Snickers at Clint's suggestion, and starts motioning for Clint to continue, then suddenly realises what he is doing and turns to address Aubrey] Mayor, well ex-Mayor, we have returned from a perilous adventure with many stories to tell and it seems more to take place in the near future. Stories of Iok Sotot, Dangsten Blackheart and the Scalies. Stories which we may tell our children, and our children's children and our children's children's children [pauses] hmmm, I feel like I've just had a deja-vu or some kind of copyright infringement. Yet in these tales each one of us is a hero [looks at Clint and Alice] well, might yet become one. But little time is left to tell these stories in detail to you, yet you must listen to us, and provide us with what we need. If I may be so bold as to go first, I would suggest a back massage, some tanning oils, and perhaps an advance of the sum we were promised at the resolution of these mysteries that besiege us.
Clint: [Leans closer to the nun and raises his voice a little] Anyway, you remember what Stehpen did to that goat in that quaint little village we stayed at? Phili damned shame, really! Poor goat never got a chance to get away. Remember, [elbows Alice gently] he got that saddle with the hole cut out. Remember? And then [Smiles] he put the saddle a little lower than normal on the goat's back. Well, actually, I guess you really couldn't count that as the goat's back, it was more like...
Harvey: [Obviously apalled] Mr Scar! That will be quite enough of that! Honestly, just when I begin to think that you've finally achieved some semblance of manners and maturity, you inevitably speak! Desist from your abominable fantasy, as of the now!
Jerome: [Looking at the Nun's, then sort of shuffling his feet.] We also regret to inform you of the untimely demise of Sister Immaculata. She died valiantly fighting for what she believed in.
Chastity : [To Clint] Annoy me not with your coarse and vulgar stories, Mr. Scar for, you cannot annoy me. I am too pure in thought and body to rise to your sinful provaction. [Gives Jerome a quick dig in the back] Straighten up there, young man, and enuciate clearly. I am aware of the poor Sr. Immaculata's fate, and know that you of all people would have done all possible to prevent it.
Aubrey : I think I have a fair idea of what happened outside, what do you intend on doing now? [Looks to Austin] Payment? Sir, the agreement was that you would get your freedom upon completion of the task. As you have enjoyed a trip out of the town, I consider that more freedom than has been available to the townspeople. Consider that your advance.
Jerome: [Straightening self-conciously] Yes, Sister. [To Aubrey] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. requires any information you may possess which will aid us in our continuing journey toward Kings Reach.
Aubrey : Dr. Trindle! Have you not heard? Kings Reach has been destroyed!
Alice : Remember Jerry, its' Hallbridges we were talking about going to.
Jerome: Ecentricity is a sign of extreme, and sometimes dangerous, intelligence. Jerome stands corrected. Answer the question, Aubrey.
Harvey: Hah, sir! We'll not have you as our routemeister, and that's for certain! Heaven knows where we'd find ourselves! Ha!
Austin: Shut up, Harvey. Your voice grates upon my nerves. Your laughter causes my spine to shiver and the hairs to rise upon my neck. I need rest and a woman and all that I see about me are men and fair Alice. Tell us briefly Aubrey what has come to pass here, that I may tend to my weary bones [mutters under his breath] of both kinds.
Clint: [Looks at Harvey to try to figure out if Harvey is going to ring Austin's neck] Colonel, before you do anything rash, just remember your manners. You are a Colonel - A dignified man- Austin is just a [Looks disgusted]... law-... [Gags] ... lawyer. There is not much below him on the food chain. [Holds out his hands] And I think you'd tell me the same thing. So just follow your own advice and let it go. We are all in need of some times alone. I say we get rooms, get plastered, and each have a turn at... [Looks at Alice] oh... nevermind.
Jerome: [Sharply] Clint! Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. desires to point out to you what happened to Stephen when he insulted Alice, which is what you are coming very close to with your innuendo's. Please desist from this degenerate behavior!
Alice : [Pouting at Clint and standing beside Jerome] Yeah! Actually Jerry, whatever else I'd say about Clint he certainly isn't in the same league as the other gadget.
Aubrey : I don't know what else to tell you. After you left, the food supplies dried up, and for two days we thought we were going to starve, and suddenly Nunpar, that girlie of his and the G of U arrived on the scene telling everyone that they had come to save us, the next thing I know we're under martial law. If you are going to Hallbridges I'd nearly come with you, anything to get awaay from these religious maniacs!
Harvey: [Glancing at Sister Chastity] Not of course, Aubrey, that there is anything, in a sense, wrong with religious maniacs. Why, if it were not for the chaplain in the campaign of 63, most of our ranks would have changed sides with the South. He kept us on the path of Philli! As for coming with us, we, ah, are in need of a certain type of someone. Someone with a special skill in the art of healing. [Picks up a pencil from the table] As you heard Private Sleaze, his bones are weary, possibly weak enough to snap, or be snapped [breaks the pencil in two] by the slightest breeze, whilst he sleeps. Do you know anyone skilled in the art of healing, Aubrey?
Chastity : [Puffing out her not inconsiderable chest] Ahem.
Aubrey : Hmm, I really do not know. Doc Proctor maybe?
Chastity : Ahem ahem.
Jerome: [Eye's brightening] Perhaps.... Chastity? [Turns to Chastity] Chastity, do you know anyone who would be willing to accompany us?
Clint: Hey... good idea. Maybe Chastity knows someone that could help us! [Looks around at the group] OH NO! You don't mean that she is going to... [Turns partially away] [Under his breath] not another damn nun... dammit.
Aubrey : [Raising his eyes] Or of course, you might take one of the nuns.
Harvey: What a wonderful idea, Aubrey. [Bows to Sister Chastity] Why, that's just the best thing. The best thing indeed. Poor Sister Immaculata is dearly missed by us all. But this may be a very dangerous mission, sister, are you sure you wish to accompany us?
Chastiy: Danger? Pish posh! I run the local senior citizens outings, and as my second husband, George, always said, it takes a woman with green thumbs to say yes to gardner.
Alice : [Quietly] Does anyone have the slightest idea what that means?
Chastity : Enough of your mumbling child. It means that I shall be the new member of your party.
Harvey: [Claps his hands together in delight] Ah, capital, dear sister, just...just capital! It is always good to have the forces of light on our side. [Rubs his chin] Now, what else do we need?
Chastity : Yes Colonel, quite. And perhaps while I am in the party, I'll be able to straighten out some certain people who think that the monastry's belongings are public property. [Glances quickly at Austin] So. Are we all agreed?
Clint: How about some Pepto so we can put up with the Sister's bingo and senior citizen discount ramblings.
Austin: [Throws his eyes skywards, then catches them, bounces them off the ground and then with a quick twist of the head catches them in his sockets] Philli save and preserve me from thy vessels of worship. Will they never cease and desist with their high and mighty attitude. I blame you as you have instilled this abeisance into the manner of worship that they perform. Why, why, have you forsaken the good and honest folk of this world? [Covers his face with Maplin, and appears to be sobbing]
Harvey : Stop your snivelling private, you're as bad as that soft lad, and we'll have no more eye bouncing either, me lad.
Alice : Well, now that we have a party again, what are we going to do?
Aubrey : I could fix it for you all to get tickets on the train tomorrow, that is, assuming everyone is going to go to Hallbridges. You might want to see if you can persuade Lenin Buckley to give you some information about what is going on there, as the G of U seem to be uncharacteristically tight lipped about the whole business.
Alice : Where is Lenin?
Aubrey : Where all good communists belong, jail.
Alice : Where do bad communists belong?
Aubrey : Jail.
Alice : So-so communists?
Aubrey : Jail.
Alice : Mime artists?
Aubrey : Jail.
Chastity : [Faking an exagerated cough every time Clint exhales on his cigar] Chop, chop everybody. We have important work to do. [Claps her hands. Turns to Austin] That was a very silly trick indeed, wasn't it young man. Peter, my second son from my marriage to my first husband George, tried that very same trick, except that he put the wrong eyes in the wrong socket. He was bumping into things for weeks.
Clint: [Ignoring Chastity] Hey Aussie, do that trick again. [Grins]
Austin: [Raises his left hand, threateningly as if to slap Clint upside the head, then decides that such beauty (Maplin, not Scar) should not be brought in contact with such deepseated ugliness] Call me not Aussie again or you should rue it the rest of your short life, for my full name is Austin and named so for a reason. Were my parents to want me to be called Aussie, I am indeed certain that they would have named me so. As it is, this is not the case, and I would command you to address me in the proper fashion.
Jerome: [To Aussie] Austin, Dr Jerome K . Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. believes that if you indeed discourage the use of an affectionate abrieviation to your name, you are creating mental barriers around yourself, and distancing yourself from the very people you are trusting your life to. Mayhap it would be more prudent to allow such behavior, as a sign of mutual respect. [To the party] Let us away, to meet with Lenin.
Alice : Well, Jer, Aussie is right, if he doesn't want people shortening his name, then we should respect that, isn't that correct, Uncle H?
Harvey : Hmph, if this were the army I know what he would be called!
Aubrey : Come on, I will bring you to Lenin, but I warn you, he isn't exactly happy with his current situation.
[Act 6, Scene 4. The New Town Jail. Wednesday 1.30pm. ALICE, CHASTITY, AUBREY, HARVEY, CLINT, JEROME and AUSTIN are here.]Alice : [Tapping the side of the jail] Looks in pretty good shape for a place that was barbecued a few days back, eh? Maybe there wasn't a fire there at all? Maybe it was just a collective hallucination? Maybe it is a throwback from the Mesceyote in Black's house? Maybe we only think we are back in Queens View? Maybe we never left the place at all? Gibber! [Throws herself to the ground and clings onto the grass to stop herself from falling off the earth.]
Aubrey : Hm. Yes. The jail was rebuilt by the G of U. [Points at a window] Lenin Buckley's cell is just there, I'd rather you speak to him through that rather than going into the jail, it is policed by the G of U now, and I'm not entirely sure I trust them.
Chastity : [With a concerned look] I think that you need some rest, dear Alice. A young lady like yourself should not be pressured with such tragic happenings. Maybe you should lie down for a while. [Starts to stroke Alice's hair] When all this is over, you could give serious consideration to joining the rest of us at the monastry. We can iron out the creases, and then you would be a great servant to Philli himself. Now, straighten yourself, and you might want to avoid looking at the communist. My first husband, George, he said a communist could hypnotise good souls by their looks alone. [Shivers]
Clint: [To Chastity] Has anyone ever told you, you look like that Lansbury chick? You even act like her. [Shivers]
Jerome: Who would like to take the position of spokesperson for our party, to Mr Lenin? Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. suggests you, Colonel. [Nods at Harvey]
Harvey: [Looks less than happy] Hmm, yes, hmm, well, if that's how it must be, it must be. There is no love lost between myself and Buckley, but I'll do my duty, troop. [Looks momentarily bewildered] Er, what exactly am I supposed to talk to him about?
Clint: No love? [Smirks] Not even a teensy weensy little flame? [Scratches his chin in thought] I was going to ask him how the commie women grow their facial hair thicker than mine. I've always wondered that.
Lenin : [Appearing at the window] What's this? The bourgeois coming to gloat at the imprisonment of the social reformer? And you, Mr. Ex-Mayor, how ironic that you are now a victim of the capitalist system who's teat you so greedily sucked on while the workers, the runt of your terrible mother, lay starving and shivering.
Aubrey : [Flatly] Oh good. Here's Lenin.
Chastity : [Looking angry] Now you watch your mouth. As I tell all my children, you're never too old to be put over my knee and spanked. My eldest, Peter, was 42 when I last had him crying like a baby. He swears he hasn't touched 'QueensView Queens' since. Filthy publication.
Austin: [Frowns at the sister] Yes, I would believe that you enjoy that spanking, all the while uttering 'I told you boy, turn that other cheek'. [Turns to Aubrey and tries to look him in the eye, whispering] Why is it, Mayor, if I may correct myself, ex-Mayor, that you distrust the G of U so, apart from the obvious usurping that they seem prone to.
Harvey: [Turns on Sleaze] Private Sleaze, mind your manners! This dear lady has offered her services on our journey. Will you be as rude when your arm is dangling from your shoulder by an almost severed bicep, and only sister Chastity can heal you? Will you be as vulgar when an arrow protrudes from your belly, your guts a bloodied mess? No! You will cry out for aid and pray that the good sister is close! [To sister Chastity] I apologise, sister, for the ignorant behaviour of certain members of the troop!
Lenin : Ignorant? That doesn't begin to describe the behaviour of your troop, Harvey. A group charged with the deliverance of this town from evil, and what happens? Two children murdered, one of which is my own niece! And then [pauses, as though too angry to speak] then you leave the town wide open to these madmen from the G of U and the spineless Assistant Administrator here -
Aubrey : [Indignantly] Head of Administration!
Lenin : Whatever, its just some meaningless title which the elite use to batter the shirtless backs of the workers.
Aubrey : Sleaze, you are correct. I do not have much time for the G of U, because I feel that it was incorrect for some military junta to have removed the democratically elected legally appointed -
Alice : [Holding her hand up] Excuse me, but will you both just shut up? I'm sick of hearing all this shit about juntas and bourgeoiswhatsit and all that rubbish. Can I summarize? G of U come into town, and both of you are narked because you are both out of a job. [Waits to see that neither of them disagree, and then folds her arms, satisfied] Okay, Uncle H, do the business.
Harvey: [Looking slightly annoyed] As I said earlier, I don't know what you want me to ask that person! What business do you want me to do? Where, who, when, what...Gah!
Clint: [Nudges Jerome] If Lenin calls us ignorant again, can I hit him?
Aubrey : [Losing his temper and shouting] For God's sake Harvey! We wanted you to ask the bolshie what the story is in Hallbridges! The reason that I haven't said it to him is that I think he is a dangerous lefty swine who should be hung drawn and quartered!
Alice : Sh. There's no need to shout.
Aubrey : [Roaring] I'm not shouting!
Lenin : Yes you are.
Aubrey : Alright, yes I am. Well you know what we want, will you help us?
Lenin : You expect me to tell you about the taking over of Hallbridges? Why should I?
Aubrey : [Looks to the others with a pleading look]
Jerome: [To Clint] Not only if Lenin calls us ignorant, but if he refuses information then you have the right to hit him repeatedly. [To Lenin, eyes narrowing] Good sir, we require information from you in our continuing mission to free this realm from it's evil - both the Sotot family, and the Guardians of Uptightness. A military rule while in a combat situation is in some extreme cases considered necessary, however, it is the feeling of this group that it is not required in this case, and the mere presence - without the beurocracy - of the G of U would be sufficent to keep Queens View safe from hostile forces invading. [Takes a breath] The information you can deliver to us regarding Halbridges would enable us to complete our mission there to rid ourselves of the Sotot family, then free us up to finish our saving of Queens View by removing the G of U influence from this town. Surely you can see it is in your best interests to aid us in this matter?
Harvey: [Flushed deep red with suppressed rage] Damned civilian administration! Jumped up little...[breathes deeply for a moment or two, before turning to Lenin] Because all our lives, including your own, are in danger. The man who murdered your daughter is gathering his forces to strike on our town. Only with knowledge of the events in Hallbridges can we hope to stop him.
Lenin : Murdered my daughter! Good God man! Is that how little you care about the downtrodden working class? I don't have a daughter! I also don't have niece anymore, not since she was murdered!
[AUBREY's head sinks into his hands]Lenin : [Considering Jerome's words] You talk sense, for a rich boy. But I'm stuck in here, if the town was taken over by somebody else, it isn't all that unreasonable to assume that they will free me, maybe they are a group of workers, and we can all unite and form a marxist state in Queens View. If I offer you help, I could end up preventing the social upheavel so necessary in this morally decadent and religiously diseased town and still remain a political prisoner on no official charge. There is more than one wall in Queens View that has ``Free Lenin Buckley" sprayed on it.
Alice : I didn't see any, where are they?
Lenin : Well, there's two walls in my cell with it. [Steps back from the window to let the party see ``Justice for the Queens View One" and ``Free Lenin Buckley" sprayed on the inside of the cell wall.]
Alice : Wouldn't it be funny if someone added ``With Every Box of Cornflakes" under the ``Justice for the Queens View One"? [Bursts out laughing, and then stops suddenly] Oh, I mean, wouldn't it be funny if someone put it under ``Free Lenin Buckley"?
Lenin : No.
Harvey: [Laughs thunderously] Ha! Dear niece [wipes tears from his eyes], that is just the funniest thing! ``Justice for the Queens, View one free with every box of Cornflakes!" Why, I'm sure there would be a free picture of Stephen holding a banner for equal rights! Ha!
Jerome: Perhaps you should investigate it from the other angle - if this town were to be taken by the nearest adventurer band capable of such an impressive feat, ie, us, then surely you would be best to aid us? In the event that this town is overturned by others, then you have Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D.'s word as a gentleman that anything you say will be in strictest confidence. [Waves his hand at Austin] We could even have the appropriate papers drawn up by our pet lawyer. But mistake me not, Mr Lenin Buckley, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. nor his travelling companions have any desire to prevent any reforming action by concerned persons. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. has seen support for your plight in this town, My Buckley, and in no way seeks to reduce the dramatic effect your matrydom is having on the populous.
Lenin : A gentlemen's word is as good as a verbal contract when made to a prole like myself, and we all know that such a contract is not worth the paper it is written on. Now, Rich Boy, if you are suggesting that I join forces with you temporarily to undermine the oppressive regime perpetrated by the imperialist G of U, then I might consider it, under one condition.
Alice : Fair enough, our condition is that you tell us everything we want to know.
Aubrey : I think, perhaps, that he means a condition laid down by him.
Lenin : Correct. I want you to arrange it so I am released from jail, if that happens I will do all I can to aid you on your journey to Hallbridges.
Harvey: [Rubs his chin thoughtfully] Hmm. You wouldn't be thinking of running to Hallbridges, warning your friends of our arrival, would you, Mr Buckley? [Almost to himself] Caught between a rock and a hard place, by God! Leave him go and risk walking into a trap. Keep him here and walk into the unknown! Gah! Reminds me of our campaign in '61, where we had to trust the native guides with our route through the dense jungle. Buggers led us right into a trap, the bounders! We would have been done for had the indiginous jungle dwellers not believed that dead snakes made good weapons! And you ain't fought a man until you've fought a man holding a dead boa constrictor! [Looks at Aubrey] Well, Aubrey, the choice is ultimately yours, but I think he has us by the short and curlies.
Chastity : [Folds her arms, looking angry] Aubrey, do what you must to strike a deal with this man, but I will play no part in the matter. I cannot bargain with a man who mentions religion and drugs in the same breath. Opium indeed. [To Lenin, and starts to wag her finger in his direction] Mark my words, we may free you in the eyes of the law, but you will not recieve the same charity from Philli upon your ultimate demise. Eternal consequences, that's what I'm talking about. And eternal can be anything from fifty years onwards.
Lenin : Pshaw! Fifty years? What's fifty years compared to a millenium of pathetic struggle by the underclass?
Aubrey : Much as it embarasses me to say, I mmble mfm mrmble.
Alice : What?!? You've a block of wood behind your knee?
Aubrey : No, I cnt gt lnn ot.
Lenin : I think what he is saying is that he isn't powerful enough to get me out of this capitalist internment camp.
Aubrey : [Blushing] Well, it's just that I think it might be better to go to Nunpar, to, er, [looks horrified to hear himself say these words] go through the proper channels, but it could take days to get to see him, and the train is leaving tomorrow.
Chastity : [Looks horrified] Aubrey, are you suggesting that we break Lenin out of the jail. I myself will not participate in such a crime. If Lenin breaks out, I am absolved of all responsibility. However, we really do need to catch that train, and we also need to have advance warning of what to expect. [Turns away] I'm not looking.
Aubrey : I'm suggesting no such thing!
Lenin : [Pulling at the thick metal bars] And, Sister Chastity, how do you propose the others break through these bars? Through two feet of concrete? Do you think the Lord Phili will do it? Shall we petition the lord with prayer!? Shall we get him to strike down from the heavens a mighty thunderbolt to break me out? I don't think so!
Alice : [Meekly] Maybe we could ask Col. Nunpar?
Chastity : [To Alice] Tish-tosh, child. That will take too long. I'm sure the good Doctor Trindle has something up his sleeve that might aid our questionable desire to free Lenin. Besides, it's not really a crime to break Lenin out, considering our predicament. I only obey the laws of Phili himself, not these man-made laws. [Pauses to think] How come you're in jail anyway?
Clint: Yeah, Jerry. You have any Scar-Trindle dynamite in those frumpy-inventor-type clothes of yours? [Examines the cell] I've seen many models like this before. Hmmmm... Aussie, could you try to get him out with your... no they aren't skills, your... no they are talents. Well could you open it.
Lenin : [Foaming at the mouth at Chastitys words] The laws of Phili! Fuck that, what about the laws of physics!? [Grips the bars and pulls himself back and forth to illustrate just how strong they are] Why am I in here? Why was Gallileo jailed? Why did Kundera flee his country?
Alice : Crikey, Clint, how is Aussie supposed to pick the lock on that? [Points at the window] For, and I say this with a large amount of certainty, there is no lock there!
Chastity : [Close to tears] Well I never! In all my life! If any of my Georges were here, they would not let you speak to me this way. You are a foul-mouthed little man who deserves to be in jail. I hope they throw away the key. [To the party] Do we really need his advice?
Austin: [Covers his head with his hands, removes them and speaks in a tone which displays his obvious irritation] I shall not attempt to unlock steel bars. I shall not be party to a party that attempts to part the walls of justice and return this party [pointing to Lenin] to his party. Nor shall I partake in any attempt to solicit Colonel Nupar's grace and mercy to pardon him. Do you not recall that this feeble-mouthed partisan made an attempt upon our lives by rousing the mob against us. I ask you.
Jerome: Well, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. knows a spell that would increase Clint's strength to the point where he may be able to bend the bars. Alternatively, if we were to traverse to Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D.'s spacious abode, the Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. Oxygen-Ascetaline Combination Flame Generator could be bought back with us, and could be used to cut the bars. [Frowns] It IS a bit bulky, though.
Harvey: [To the party] By the gods, lads! We are not going to break this man out of jail, even if his daughter was murdered by Sotot! The very idea boils my blood! No, no and thrice, no! [Gestures to Sr Chastity] Look, look how much the idea has upset the good sister! What must she think of us all, planing a jail break! [Rubs his chin] The only way to get Buckley legally out of this jail is to tell Nunpar we need him on our journey, in an advisory capacity! And we need him out before the train leaves tomorrow. That is our objective for this day!
Lenin : She wasn't my daughter! [Dramatically shakes himself against the bars] And, Sleaze, might I point out that the reason I almost burned to death in the jail with you is because I was in there negotiating a peace, how typical of a lawyer, the very personification of the capitalist virus to twist the facts against an innocent man who is in jail for no crime other than belief in the freedom of man!
Aubrey : I must agree with Harvey here, it is preposterous to suggest a jail break, why, how could we expect to get the tickets for the hamstrain if you are all wanted felons?
Alice : [Helpfully] Austin is a wanted felon, and that doesn't seem to be a problem now.
Aubrey : [Shortly] Yes, thank you. And as for the Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. Oxygen-Ascetaline Combination Flame Generator, even if there was some remote chance we could get away with it unnoticed, I'm sure we don't have the resources to find the fifteen horses and twenty men that were required to bring it onto the viewing area for the St. Vaseline's days celebrations last year, and I'm sure we all remember that business about the flags and the recriminations that followed.
Alice : I don't.
Aubrey : That doesn't surprise me.
Clint: Free him? Wait a minute. I may be a coniving bastard... [Looks around to see if anyone disagrees] ... but I do have morals. [Looks around for anyone laughing or smiling] I don't think commie bastards like him [points at Lenin] should be freed. In fact, I'm gonna want to bust him a few in his chops, even if he does tell us what we want to know.
Jerome: [Hissing to Clint, softly so that Lenin can't hear] While your honesty is commendable, Clint, it would be preferable at this point in time if you were to think in a more political manner. It may just be that we need this ``commie bastard", or at least what he can tell us.
Harvey: [Grimaces at the memory, before shuddering] That was a strange day! And one best forgotten by all. Let us ask the delightful Maria to help us set up a meeting with Nunpar. She seems to have his ear. [Laughs loud] But hopefull that's the only thing he gives her! [Abruptly stops laughing, shamefaced, and bows apologetically to Sr Chastity]
Aubrey : Maria? How on earth are you going to meet her? She's even more difficult to get hold of than Nunpar! And even if you did, she doesn't play any part in governing the town.
Austin: [Laughs a pathetic little laugh and remarks] Yes, and I may give her one of my evil eyes. But I recommend that Aubrey attempts to use his power as Head of Administration and free Lenin in that manner. [Turns to Aubrey] Your word must have some sway. Or perhaps not. It is worth the attempt at persuasion. Simply tell him that you need Lenin for some test purposes - that you wish to implement a newer more bureaucratic practice and that the sanity factor requires some verification.
Harvey: [Bellows] For God sake, Aubrey, do you listen to anything anybody says! I said she could arrange a meeting with Nunpar! I didn't say she had the power to release Buckley! [Breaths deeply]
Aubrey : [Shouting] What? She has strange sheeting? What the hell are you talking about Harvey?
Lenin : Is it any wonder it took the G of U only six minutes to take over a town where the leadership are more interested in scoring points off each other in pathetic arguments than in alleviating the plight of starving workers?
Chastity : [Starts to breath a little more relaxed] So, come along children. Let's go to see Maria to arrange our appointment. If we hurry we can still make that train [Glances at her watch. To Harvey] And I must say Colonel, that although your military skills are well needed, your shocking language is not. Please watch your mouth, especially near your dear neice. I'd expect that kind of behaviour from Clint, but not from you.
Harvey:[Face goes a deep red as he lowers his head] Sorry, sister. Sorry Alice. Gah! My mouth is always one step ahead of my mind! [Regains his composure] Let's quick march back to the G of U headquarters and find Maria. I'm sure she'll be only too happy to help. Company...turn! Company...march! [Harvey strides out the door]
[Act 6, Scene 5. The Admissions Office. Wednesday 2.10. ALICE, CLINT, HARVEY, JEROME, CHASTITY, AUBREY, AUSTIN and MR. BROWN are here.]Brown : [Testily] Yes? Yes? What do you want?
Alice : Uhn, do you ever get deja vu?
Chastity : [Moves over to Mr Brown, stands with hands on hips and leans forward over him] We want to see the Mayor now. It's a matter of life and death. [Stands straight] Now run along and get him, will you. [Waves him away]
Clint: [Looks at Brown, leans over his desk, blows a puff of smoke in his face, and with a simple word speaks of his building impatience] Now.
Harvey: [Hums himself a quick mantra, before breathing deeply] Actually, Mr Brown, I have an informal meeting with Eva. Please be so good as to inform me where she may be found. It is of the utmost importance.
[A familiar sneer appears on BROWN's face with the words of CLINT and CHASTITY, and everyone can just see the word ``form" playing about his lips, when a sudden wretched look comes on his face as HARVEY speaks.]Brown : [Shocked] Maria? I- hmm. [Regaining his composure] You know? I don't think so.
Alice : [Singing along with Harvey's mantra] Tell you what I want, what I really really want.....
Harvey: [Frowning] Ah come now, Mr Brown. I'm sure Maria will not be too impressed when she finds out that you are the sole cause for me being late, or worse...missing our meeting.
Brown : Well, I suppose we can make an exception in your case. Wait here, and remember, you must not touch any of my forms. It's the law.
[Exit BROWN. After a short pause he returns with MARIA.]Maria : Yes, thank you. You may wait outside. [Turns to the party, with a big smile for Harvey] Yes, Colonel, may I be of some assistance in your [lick lips] dangerous mission?
Harvey: [Blushes deeply] Why, yes. You could do us a great service, me dear. That scoundrel Buckley will not give us information about Hallbridges until he is released from prision...and we need this information to make our...dangerous mission...that little less perilous. We need to bring him along with us, as an advisor. And, as we are due to leave on the Hamstrain tomorrow, time is of the essence. We need to speak with Nunpar as of the now. You would be helping us greatly, Ms Eva.
Maria : Oh Colonel! You make me feel so important!
[ALICE arches an eyebrow in JEROME's direction.]Maria : I will bring you to him this instant.
[Exit ALL, to NUNPAR's room.]Joe : Eva! How can I help you?
Maria : The party have something to ask you.
Aubrey : They need to take Lenin on the Hamstrain with them.
Joe : Preposterous! Absolutely no way!
Clint: Aww shit! Joe, my boy, do you know what your saying? You haven't even listened to our plan yet. [Enraged] If you weren't such a big brown-nosing, scrape the green off the sides of the john, little yellow fringe wearing, medal bearing, flatulence release form enforcing, high ranking military officer, I would kick your ass right here and now... [Looks around and calms down] ... but seeing that I might be arrested if I do so... [Jabs a finger at Nunpar] If you dont release him under our guardianship, then why should we do anything for you if you dont trust us that little bit? That is insulting to our intelligence and to our capabilities as a group. I highly suggest you reconsider, Numpar, for it could be a very unsuccessful mission otherwise. We need his information, and you know it!
Joe : Kick my ass? Dream on you tobacco ridden oaf. I'd have you knocked for six before your leaden fists have been lifted high enough so they no longer scrape off the ground when you walk! I do not want you to do anything for me, and quite frankly, I don't care what you do, but if you do not leave this office immediately I will have you arrested.
Clint: Fine with me, selfish bastard! I'll be waiting outside. [Storms out of the room]
Joe : Humph, that showed him.
Maria : Oh, Joe, you are so masterful, he's the one that I told you about, a real bad egg. Maybe the Colonel or the Doctor, both very important and intelligent men, might be able to better explain the situation.
Joe : Never!
Maria : [Putting her finger to his lips] Hush now, just listen.
Harvey: [Bows to Maria, before turning to Nunpar] Colonel, apologies for our young friend there, we are all fatigued from our dangerous mission. Being a military man yourself, you know the benefits of pre-mission briefing. You realise the benefits of having the greatest weapon available to us...knowledge. Tomorrow, we walk into, very possibly, the jaws of death itself. But worse than this, we walk into that town like ignorant yokels, unaware of their customs, habits and tastes. Much as I personally don't like having to rely on that slimy character Buckley, his information may very well be the key to the success of our mission. If we return to Queens View, I give my word that Buckley will return with us. Perhaps his help will redeem his character in your and I must admit, my own eyes. If, however, he leads us into a trap, or attempts to sabotage our chances, I'll run him through, a promise from one military man to another, I would not ask this favour if I didn't believe it crucial to our mission. You already say you don't care whether we succeed or fail, but I say this, those people who destroyed Kings Reach must pay for committing regicide. This is the first step in our retaliation, do not let it be a lame one.
Joe : Good Colonel, your speech is as logical as it is eloquent, and, being a military person myself, I do appreciate your position. However, I have made my decision, and I will not revoke it. Buckley is a danger to the Upright way of life, he cannot go free. My decision is final.
[MARIA whispers something to JOE, who turns to her. The two talk quietly for a few moments, and MARIA touches JOE's arm, with an appealing look on her face.]Joe : Okay, you can have him. But Colonel, I want your word that you will take responsibility of the swine.
Maria : Is there anything else you might need for your journey?
Harvey: I thank you Colonel and you have my word upon the matter. Buckley will be kept upon a tight leash until our return. [Looks kindly at Maria] I thank you for your concern, Maria, but for my part, I'm fine. I shall let the troop speak for themselves, though.
Chastity : I already have the only thing that I need, and that is my faith in the good lord, Philli, that he will watch over us and guide us safely through the paths of evil that we are sure to tread. [Thinks for a moment] Oh. And, of course, a return ticket on the Hamstrain Express to Hallbridges, if you would be so kind. [Smiles]
Joe : Sister, with one with such faith as yourself, I have no doubt that even with the evil presence of the malingerer Buckley the party will do Queens View and Uprightedness in general a power of good. I shall arrange for tickets which you may collect tomorrow. I believe it might be a good idea to send a delegation from Queens View to speak with Marasmus Bane, to help convince her of our dire need. Perhaps Doctor Proctor, the Head of Administration and our own Captain Paul Darling might go.
Aubrey : Head of Admin? I - I don't think it would be a good idea for me to go, you know, gammy leg and all that.
Alice : Captain Paul Darling? Kind of peculiar moniker, eh?
Joe : I don't believe Paul is a very unusual name.
Austin: [Frowns at Joe] My goodness, why not bring the whole town along. We could simply invade the city rather than approach with stealth. And thereupon let the crucial people vacate Queens View and let it to rot. I do not see the point of it. We need these people here and that is why we have formed this party. [Looks at Maria, trying to catch her eye] And what have you to say upon the matter.
Joe : [Angrily] Sir, you have been graciously granted an audience with me, the leader of Queens View, kindly address me when discussing matters of town security.
[MARIA looks back at AUSTIN with a rather peculiar look, but breaks off and drops her gaze to the floor.]Alice : Aussie's got a point, though, Joe.
Joe : What is it?
Alice : Um, actually, I wasn't really listening, I just assumed he did.
Joe : If you are against others from the town accompanying you, I will permit it, but Captain Darling will go with you.
Chastity : [To Harvey] Do remind me, Colonel, which is of the higher rank, Colonel or Captain? I should really keep up with such matters, especially as my second husband, George, was decorated many times for his services to the armed forces. He was a Marshall of the Field, or something. Is that quite good?
Austin: [With a look of bemusement upon his face] Colonel, I was speaking to you and [looks at the ceiling] looking at you. However, as I'm sure you'll realise and understand, this is currently a democratic party and as such will not have a party member forced upon us without having a suitably officiated referendum. We do not know this Darling, and know not what worth he will bring to the party. No offense to you or your [pauses looking for the right word and still unsatisfied continues] regiment, but we must be able to depend on this man in tight situations and not have a loose cannon that is untried in the dangers that we might face. Yes, you might claim that he is a veteran of this or that fracas, but he will most definitely be unprepared for encounters the like of which we have experienced in the last few days. Nor would I wish to be forced to force Clint to keep an eye on him. We already have an over zealous campaign officer in our ranks, and I have no wish for another.
Jerome: [Nodding, reluctantly] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D., after considered thought, must concur with Austin on this matter. [Looking around the party] Need we be reminded of the Stephen catastrophy? An interview must be set up and this new candidate must be properly reviewed and a democratic decision made based on this information.
Joe : [Clearly annoyed at this crazy talk of democracy] Interviews? Democracy? [Looks appealingly at Harvey] Good Colonel, what have your troop become? I can assure you that Captain Darling is one of my most trust and able-bodied men, isn't that true, Eva?
Maria : Darling is a darling.
Joe : You may, if you wish, speak with the man. Shall I summon him?
Alice : Crikey! Another seance!
Joe : No. [Points at some intricate arrangement of bells and ropes on the wall.]
Jerome: Yes, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. believes that in these particular circumstance the wisest course of action would be to summon Darling, that we may discover more about this enigma.
[JOE pulls on one of the cords and waits a few moments. The door opens and enter BRENDAN BUCKLEY, dressed in a basque and stockings, holding a large fish. He runs up to JOE and slaps him across the face several times shouting ``doobeedoobeedoo", before running out again.]Maria : Wrong bell?
Joe : Wrong bell. [Pulls another cord.]
[Enter CAPTAIN DARLING.]Darling : Hello everyone, its really really great to be given this oppurtunity. [As he speaks, his teeth don't seem to move at all, thus allowing him that irritating smile all the time.]
Joe : I think the others would like to chat with you before the trip.
Darling : Jolly good idea, I think it is a capital suggestion.
Harvey : Darling, tell me about yourself.
Darling : Oh well, what would you like to know? I am quite experienced, and have been on many many adventures with the G of U. I love discipline, but I'm not into all that horrid shouting and that kind of thing. [Puts his hands together with a clap, as though in prayer] A happy troop is a disciplined troop, as my Aunt Harriet always used to say.
Alice : Did it ever have any relevance when she said it?
Darling : Never. Poor dear, mad as a hat.
Alice : Don't you mean hatter?
Darling : [Meaningfully] No.
Harvey : Hmm, you remind me of a private Darling I once had, not a bad old chap at all, once you got passed that pea thing.
Chastity : [Eyes the Captain suspiciously] Well, Darling, what qualifications can you bring to our already able group? Why do you want to travel with us? How can we be sure that we can trust you? What is your favourite colour? Where DID you get that tie? [Thinks to herself] Darling. The name's familiar...
Darling : My qualifications? Well, I have oodles and oodles of them, whatever you want. I can track, cook, fence, and sew. I have a black belt in karate and can crochet. I am able to pluck a mans eyes out with my thumbs and my baked scones have won prizes. Children like me, I have read War and Peace and animals trust me. My favourite colour is pink and I'm proud to say I made the tie myself.
Chastity : [Smiles and clasps her hands together] What a marvellous, marvellous man. You sound so resourceful, and so well-liked. When the time comes, you will get my vote. [To the party] He reminds me of my second husband, George. Have I ever told you the time when we went camping? Silly me forgot the tin opener, but George had pre-empted my 'cute and charming forgetfulness' as he put it. He had purchased a tool that had all these bits coming out of it, one of which was a tin opener. He was so clever.
Alice : Crikey, Chastity! I didn't think you'd be the kind who'd use a to- oh! [Blushes] It was a pen knife!
Joe : Yes, yes, yes. Whatever. Now that we have established that Darling here is going to accompany you, is there anything else you need?
Maria : Well? Don't be shy now.
Austin: Well, let it be known that I am neither satisfied nor happy at the sudden expansion of this party and would forthwith like no responsibility for the actions that Darling may take. As Lenin's safeguarding lies in our hands so does the reponsibility of Darling lie in your [points an extremely shapely forefinger, on his left hand at Joe] hands. Now, I would require some salve, as Maplin has lately suffered some neglect and must be returned to his true form, so that he may be appreciated in all his finery.
Maria : Everythings alright, yes everything's alright, yes, everything's fine. [Gently strokes Austin's finger between her index finger and her thumb] And I want you to sleep well tonight. [Touches his brow] Close your eyes, close your eyes, relax and think of nothing, tonight.
Joe : [Irritably] Yes, thank you, Eva. I'm sure Sr. Chastity has a bag of ice or something that can be applied to his sore finger.
Darling : Well this is simply super! I must go and pack, [exits, talking to himself] let's see, picnic hamper, bastard sword, sun cream, crossbow, fly repellant, flick knife, flared trousers....
[Exit DARLING]Joe : Well, if that's it? Well, I must say, you're all terribly quiet, however, I shall take that as a sign that there is nothing you want.
[Exit ALL][Act 6, Scene 5. The Admissions Office. Thursday 10AM. ALICE, CLINT, HARVEY, JEROME, CHASTITY, AUBREY, AUSTIN, LENIN, JOE, MARIA, CAPTAIN DARLING and AUBREY are here.]
Joe : [Handing some tickets over to Harvey] There you go, these will ensure you get on the train. Remember, it took quite a lot of effort to get these tickets.
Aubrey : Indeed, and take care that certain [glances at Austin] people don't try and sell the tickets at inflated prices, for there is sure to be much demand.
Darling : Oh this is so exciting! Just like going on holidays! Well, I have the map. [Unfolds some unfeasibly large piece of paper that threatens to fill the entire room] See? We can go into the underground river, and sail one mile south. There is an exit there that leads to the station. [Attempts to fold the map down, but is clearly fighting a losing battle.]
Lenin : How typical, the uneducated and therefore starving workers cannot afford even a scrap of paper to write their names on, if they were educated enough to even write, yet here this degenerate is waving about enough wasted paper to wipe the collective ass of capitalism, shove it into the same toilet of life that they excrete poor workers into.
Alice : Uhnn, this is going to be a long journey.
Clint: [To Lenin] Why don't you shut up before I wipe my ass with your face, commie slut-puppy. [Laughes] Hey, Lenin, how many communists does it take to put up a sconce? [Chuckles] One to to position the wall and the others to hold the sconce. [Laughes again, then looks puzzled] Wait a minute. That's not how it went. One to... hmm. Do you remember how it went, Jerry? Alice, do either of you remember it?
Alice : What's a sconce?
Lenin : Oh, empty threats, what a surprise. And how even less of a surprise that one as rich as you is used to having a worker's face with which to wipe their ass, while the proles are forced to share a small dog.
Maria : Now, Colonel Harvey, you'll promise to take care of yourself, won't you?
Harvey: [To Maria] I will try my best, dearest Eva. [Smiles and bows his head, before turning to Darling] Sir! What use are you if you can't even fold a map? Give it here this minute. [Harvey snatches the map from Darling and attempts to fold it. Some time later...] Gah! What trickery is this, by God? [Harvey crushes the map into a ball and hands it back to Darling] There you go, neat as a cadet on parade, sir! [Looks Darling up and down] And Captain, I do not believe a tie made of linen brocade is suitable regulation issue! Remove it this instant, and let me not see it again. Hrrmuph!
Darling : [Aghast] Colonel Harvey! Can you not see, I am travelling incognito!
Alice : I thought we were going by Hamstrain?
Harvey: [Looking kindly at Alice] Dearest Alice, obviously incognito
means to dress like a nancy, or, to look foolish. And a sconce is a type
of cake that old ladies have with their tea! See? Mind you, why Clint would
threaten someone with a cake is beyond comprehension! [Looks at the
party] Right lads, look lively. Time to go! [Looks at Chastity]
And of course dearest Sister Chastity, if you would care to accompany us,
we'll be on the off.