Thursday, 30 October 2008
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
AMITY and LYRIC have been making tea on the kitchen stove, SHIFT is experimenting with Victorian posture, and WRAITH has decided to embody his Victorian counterpart, the Invisible Man. He is completely invisible apart from a hat and his glasses.
CHRONAL is watching FINESSE apprehensively. FINESSE is pacing. She does not look happy.
FINESSE: The Victorians. Why the Victorians? Well, I suppose it’s obvious, really. What other era would a semi-literate ignoramus with an inappropriate gift choose for himself? Everyone knows the Victorians. Apparently. And what a perfect choice for a man who thinks you can learn to write by following a set of rules broken down into week by week lessons. No creativity, no divergence from the standard. Frankly, the Narrator is the most Victorian villain we’ve ever come across.
CHRONAL: I don’t think I’ve ever heard you use that word before. It’s rather...Victorian.
FINESSE: Good point. And that was a rather 19th Century English colloquialism.
SHIFT: We’re still changing. Can you feel it? Our language is altering to fit the tropes of the age. Our natures, similarly, will begin to (she laughs softly) shift to accommodate them.
CHRONAL: You do not propose that we accept this state of affairs?
SHIFT: The idea could not be further from my thoughts.
LYRIC: The powers my errant brother employs have limits, just as my own do.
AMITY: I think I begin to see.
SHIFT: We must fight, Scribblers. Resist the change! We must clutch our own lexicon between our teeth, wrap our minds around the 21st century and refuse to accept our new personas.
WRAITH: What evs, bruv.
FINESSE: OK. We talk normally, we keep a handle on our own reality, he can’t turn us into his pawns. Remember what we are to each other, really. Amity, my new memories are telling me you’re Mr Alun’s, sorry, you’re Chronal’s ward, and I’m fighting the urge to take you aside and warn you not to flirt with Lyric, because he is a renowned bounder.
AMITY: Wow, we really are in a terrible narrative! My new memories say I’m secretly engaged to a man from another part of town and we plan to elope. Shift knows, and wants to help.
SHIFT: Yes, but only because I’m Finesse’s sister and I know Finesse will be disinherited if Amity runs off with the wrong man.
LYRIC: 17 weeks of lessons and he’s still writing Eastenders in cravats.
FINESSE: OK. As soon as I get anywhere near him I can start getting him to reverse this, but for now we’re inside his narrative so we have to take care of ourselves. Watch your language. Remember who we are. Any ideas how we find him?
LYRIC: He’s the Prime Minister.
CHRONAL: Ah. Naturally. When one is not bound by the veil of ignorance, and may pick one’s own position, it is logical to choose something highly defensible.
CHRONAL: Sorry. It’ll be hard to get at the Prime Minister.
LYRIC: Not if you’re the Prime Minister’s disreputable elder brother, always turning up asking to borrow money for his waster friends and their crazy ideas. Chronal, you spent £300 trying to build a zeppelin last month.
CHRONAL: So I did.
FINESSE: Shall we go?
SHIFT: I’ll meet you there. I’m going to fly. It’s a good chance to see Victorian London, even if it is the Narrator’s idea of it.
FINESSE: OK, but no bats. We’re not doing anything that resembles a Victorian narrative. In fact, Wraith, take off that hat.
The HAT drifts slowly down onto the chaise longue.
WRAITH: Just jokin’, innit.
FINESSE: Thank you. Let’s go.
The SCRIBBLERS walk through the ‘Victorian’ streets. They pass about three street boys who offer to shine their shoes, at least 4 ladies of negotiable affection, and 7 groups of young dandies out for a night on the town.
FINESSE is seething.
FINESSE: I hate Victorians.
AMITY: They aren’t Victorians.
FINESSE: I know that.
AMITY: I think they do, too. They feel pretty strange. Their surface emotions are all what you can see, but there’s a sort of underlying confusion to them all too. It’s like their true natures are buried, rather than converted.
FINESSE: Can they fight it?
AMITY: I’m not sure. We did. I could try boosting their confusion so it’s dominant, but I can’t help them understand what they’re confused about.
LYRIC: This is huge. I can’t do this. He’s altering people’s minds.
AMITY: But it isn’t real, Lyric. When you speak a rope into existence, then we’ve got a rope. He’s only creating a fiction and getting everyone to play along. The scale’s bigger, but the real change is less.
FINESSE: The effect on the world is real, though. I am seriously dressed like Ralph Nickelby’s mother.
They walk past Sweeney Todd’s barber’s, next to the pie shop. No-one comments.
A few streets down, they come across an old man with a youthful face, white hair and a high, aquiline nose. He speaks to a young woman in an Eastern European accent. She seems oddly hypnotised. Oh, and she’s wearing a nightie. She turns and begins to walk away with him.
An owl swoops down and heads straight for the old man, who promptly turns into a flock of bats. They peck at the owl, but are no match for the strength of the beating wings, and eventually they fly off.
The owl re-materialises into a slightly dishevelled Shift. Everyone looks very proud of her.
AMITY (to the girl): Are you all right?
GIRL: I...believe so. And yet I seem to be in the street clad in nothing but my night dress, so I am compelled to seek a second opinion.
LYRIC: Can you tell me your name?
AMITY (Looking at her hard): Are you sure?
GIRL: I...I...what sorcery is this? I find I am two people. I am Lucy, and also Amy. And Amy is so very strange. So cruel to a man who adores her and off she runs, chasing the vampire. The things she has done. She can’t take them back. No. I shan’t be Amy. Leave me. I know you mean well. Good night.
The GIRL runs off towards a house with an open window and a white curtain billowing from it.
The SCRIBBLERS look awkwardly at each other for a minute.
AMITY: Yes. You can fight it off.
FINESSE: Good to know. Come on.
The SCRIBBLERS arrive at the Houses of Parliament.
DOOR MAN: Excuse me, ladies, you should know that no woman is permitted to pass into this House.
FINESSE: Really? Well my friend here is a tiger.
SHIFT obligingly makes this so.
FINESSE: Does that change things?
The 6 walk through, and SHIFT growls at the door man on her way past. He is very scared, of course.
WRAITH steals his keys on the way past, and uses them to open all the doors in their way. When at all possible, he does this in full view of a stranger so it’s not long before the halls echo with screams of people who are sure they’ve seen a ghost.
They arrive at the main chamber of the House of Commons, where the Narrator is in the middle of a rather mediocre speech which is nonetheless being very well received. He reaches a rousing conclusion.
LYRIC: Hello, little brother.
NARRATOR: Ah, Mr Jones. Come to ask for a loan, I suppose?
His insufferable lackies laugh.
NARRATOR: And I see you’ve brought your circus. Still, I really must protest, old boy. The tiger is one thing, quite a novelty, in fact, but the women? Why you let them get involved in your little games I’ll never understand.
More sycophantic response from the lackies.
The SCRIBBLERS all shift into fighting stance, but none move.
FINESSE: Your call, Jom.
NARRATOR: Not that I mind helping you out with a few titbits here and there, of course. After all, you are essentially a tradesman in talent. Good at making things, you see. Personally, I’m more cerebral. I govern countries, Jomas, make whole worlds out of words. What, at the end of the day, can you make?
Ropes fly out of the air and bind up the Narrator.
A gag attaches itself to the Narrator’s mouth.
JOM: Point one, a Prime Minister’s brother would never, under any circumstances, interrupt a session at the House of Commons to ask for a personal loan. Point two, how can a ward possibly be older than her warders? Point three, women were allowed to enter the House, just not to participate. And point four, “old boy” is a 20th century colloquialism, you ignoramus.
The NARRATOR fights to get free of his bonds, but he can’t.
JOM: Do you have any idea what you’ve done? You’ve altered people’s minds. You’ve given them whole alternative lives. How many marriages have you broken up, do you think? How many jobs lost? This is a work shop, isn’t it? All this is basically because you’re doing your homework. GAGS, RELEASE.
The gag comes off of the NARRATOR, who looks quite ashamed of himself.
JOM: You are 21 years old. I am staggered that you can be this self-centred, and to top it all off, also this ignorant of Victorian literature. How arrogant to do so much damage you can’t even undo.
NARRATOR: I can undo it.
JOM: Of course you can’t. You’ll get it wrong. You’ll remember how things were badly, put things back in the wrong places.
NARRATOR: You think I have to do it from memory? I’m a lot more powerful than you think, Jomas. AND THEN EVERYTHING RETURNED TO THE WAY IT WAS BEFORE THE NARRATOR BEGAN THE CHANGE.
The SCRIBBLERS are walking away through the now normal streets back to their base.
LYRIC: We’ve got to find a better way than that. He’s not going to listen to me again.
FINESSE: We’ll think of something, when we have to.
They walk past the GIRL from the vampire scene. She’s in modern clothes now, and talking to a very nice looking chap, who couldn’t look more delighted at what she’s saying.
GIRL: I’m sorry I said no before. I was just scared, I suppose. Of course I want to go out with you, if you still want to...
The SCRIBBLERS walk off, the couple are kissing in the background.
Saturday, 25 October 2008
LYRIC: OK, let’s start again. Right, can you remember what I was feeling after the 8th round of “Is It a Food” on the coach yesterday?
AMITY: Yes, of course. You were very frustrated and a bit bored.
LYRIC: Right, and why do you think that was?
AMITY: Because we’d been on the coach for ages and you’d lost the last round of “Is it a Food.”
LYRIC: OK. It wasn’t that. How can I put this? Sometimes after the 8th or 9th round of something, or when they’re very tired...
AMITY: Um...are you saying that sometimes other people don’t want to play a game?
CHRONAL: Hi guys. Amity, want to play a game?
FINESSE enters from the control room.
FINESSE: No time for that.
FINESSE: Something’s very wrong. We need to do some damage control on your little brother’s games, Lyric.
LYRIC: What’s he been doing?
They all go to look.
Here’s what they can see, possibly over a series of panels.
The street immediately in front of the Scribble Pit looks normal - beautiful, green, eco-friendly etc. There’s a letter box on every corner, a few electric cars and plenty of bus stops. The street is clean. Then as they look further away, they’re looking into Dickens’ London. It’s cobbled streets, horse and carts, and people in Victorian clothes walking around.
In between the two towns, there’s a transition space. A modern letter box is half-transformed into an old-fashioned one, a modern woman is looking perplexedly at an old-fashioned man who is offering her his arm from slightly further away.
SHIFT is leafing frantically through a Scheme of Work for the Narrator’s writing course.
SHIFT: Week 17: Historical Fiction.
Back in the street, the Victoriana has now reached the edge of the Scribble Pit. The perplexed modern woman from the previous shot is now in a bustle and walking happily off on the arm of the man.
AMITY (to FINESSE): Will we keep our powers?
FINESSE: I’ll make sure of it.
FINESSE begins to create a protection around the Scribblers.
LYRIC: No need. He can’t take things out of the universe. I can’t.
WRAITH: It’s coming.
SHIFT: Feels different this time.
A wave of movement and reality washes over them, and suddenly the Scribble Pit has been transformed into a Victorian living room.
The Scribblers are now appropriately dressed.
FINESSE looks somewhat matronly, even a little severe. Chronal looks significantly more respectable than the other men - sombre colours, well-cut suit.
Lyric looks younger. Frankly, the only appropriate word is ‘dapper’.
Shift is dressed like a society beauty, in blue.
Wraith is wearing the most nondescript, appropriate suit imaginable. In a Victorian gathering, he would be about as close to invisible as it is possible to be without his unique abilities.
Amity is wearing a red dress that, while appropriate, just verges on gaudy.
SHIFT (who is much less phased by physical change): Oh, blue.
FINESSE: Hmmm, suits you. What am I..? Hold on, why are you dressed for a party and I’m wearing the worst dress I’ve seen this side of the millennium?
AMITY: Check your new memory. You’re married.
CHRONAL: Oh yes, so we are.
SHIFT: Ah. So the boring clothes because Lyric’s illiterate little brother thinks that’s how married people dressed.
LYRIC: You realise this means it’s much worse than we thought?
Everyone looks at him.
LYRIC: We’re not in Victorian London, we’re in my illiterate little brother’s idea of what Victorian London was like.
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
In the Pit. All Scribblers are relaxing by various means. WRAITH is sketching, LYRIC is reading, FINESSE is knitting, SHIFT is playing the piano, AMITY is writing and CHRONAL is playing a computer game, lest anyone suspect these characters are secret Victorians.
SHIFT ceases playing the piano and whirls round on her chair.
SHIFT: (petulantly) I’m bored!
AMITY: Maybe we should play a game! Oh, actually I shouldn’t really. I’ve got to finish this script.
FINESSE: Don’t say ‘Baps’.
SHIFT: I want to go out. Does anyone want to come on a walk with me?
AMITY: Ooh! That could be good. I’ve really got to finish this script though.
FINESSE: I need to go on a walk. I haven’t been out yet today. And there hasn’t been any supervillain activity in bloody forever.
LYRIC: It is a great day. We could go down the beach and I could finish this book whilst you guys walk.
SHIFT: Yes! And then we could build sand forts! And paddle in the sea!
AMITY: Sea-forts? Paddling! Forget word-counts, I’m there!
Amity hastily saves her work and shuts her lap-top with a flourish.
CHRONAL: Let me just get to the next save point and I’ll come too.
SHIFT: You coming Wraith?
WRAITH: Coming where?
SHIFT: To the beach. We’re going to walk and paddle and build sand-forts.
WRAITH: Oh. Ok, I suppose.
FINESSE: Cool. Let me get my shoes on. According to some people this takes forever. By that point, Chronal should be able save.
SHIFT: By that point we might be at the beach! Ha ha ha.
FINESSE: (withering look) How witty.
SHIFT: Actually, why did I say that? I don’t think you take forever to put shoes on. If anything I take longer. In fact, your shoes are on and mine are not! Argh!
SHIFT runs up stairs.
AMITY: Who thinks you take forever to put your shoes on?
FINESSE: Solar. That’s sisters for you.
CHRONAL: Right! Saved and off!
CHRONAL jumps to his feet and switches off the game. SHIFT tries to run downstairs, realises she has no balance going downhill in Human and shifts into a Robin to fly the rest. She lands at the foot of the stairs, shifts back into Human and smoothes out her hair.
FINESSE: Don’t think I didn’t notice that magnificent piece of incompetence.
SHIFT: So’s your face.
CHRONAL: Time to go!
LYRIC: Oh dear. That’s dreadful.
WRAITH: I lolled. But I don’t think anyone else heard him.
The Scribblers shuffle their way out of the Pit, staring at each other somewhat blankly until one of them gets out a set of keys to lock their Grand Entrance. On this occassion, it was WRAITH.
Scene the Second.
The Beach. It is nearly empty. Sunny though the day may be. It is also cold. And crisp. The sky is autumnal blue. It is lovely. Halfway down the beach there is a strange-looking structure. It appears to be some kind of tent. It is in bright blue, purple and green and somewhat like a circus top.
SHIFT: What a magnificent day! (sighs) I’m glad we came out.
AMITY: What’s that strange tent-thing over there? It looks really pretty. Bit odd though.
FINESSE: I don’t know. Let’s go over and take a look.
LYRIC: It might be someone’s tent though.
FINESSE: Well, it’s obviously someone’s tent. It didn’t just appear.
AMITY: Ooh! Imagine if it had done. Then it might lead to another world in a Narnia-esque manner.
SHIFT: That would be great! Then we could meet up with talking animals. Oh wait. That’s me.
FINESSE: You know you can’t technically talk when you’re in shift form, right?
SHIFT: Nor can your face.
FINESSE: I think you’ll find it can.
LYRIC: I’m just saying that it might be where someone’s staying, you know. To sleep and things.
SHIFT: And things?
FINESSE: Yeah. We all know what Lyric’s thinking.
LYRIC: It’s a valid point!
CHRONAL: Look, say you’re right and it is some person’s tent, for sleeping and otherwise, we’re not just going to charge on in. That would just be rude.
WRAITH: That’s what super-powers are for.
They all pause.
SHIFT: Anyone else thinking about locking their rooms at night?
FINESSE: Probably not Lyric. He’s just an exhibitionist.
They arrive at the colourful circus-top structure. There is a sign outside. It says “Communal Psychic.”
CHRONAL: A “Communal Psychic?” How on earth can a Psychic be Communal?
AMITY: I’m not getting a very good feeling from this place.
WRAITH: (mutters) And yet when Amity uses her powers to spy on people, it’s fine…
FINESSE: It’s strange. I am picking up on a sort of psychic energy coming from this place. It’s strangely fragmented though.
LYRIC: I don’t think this is going to end well.
SHIFT: We haven’t taken on a supervillain in “bloody forever,” to quote our beloved leader.
FINESSE: (drily) I’m well beloved.
CHRONAL: (happily) Yes.
FINESSE and CHRONAL hug spontaneously. AMITY smiles.
SHIFT: Ahh. There’s sweet.
WRAITH: There’s another sign by here guys. It says, “£5 to experience the thrill of MIND READING. Read your friend’s minds! Genuinely works!”
AMITY: Some kind of power-transfer perhaps?
LYRIC: The fact it feels the need to say it “genuinely works” suggests that it may, in fact, not.
SHIFT: Only one way to find out!
SHIFT enters the tent.
FINESSE: God’s damn it! Bloody impetuous Robin-brain.
AMITY: Argh! What’s happening to her mind?
FINESSE: We’d better go in. Damn. I’ll protect us from it. So don’t wander off anywhere. Wraith? Where are you now?
WRAITH: Just checking to see if there are any more signs back here.
FINESSE: Right. Everyone together? Then let’s go.
CHRONAL: You could say, it’s time…
LYRIC: There’s a time and a place Chrone.
CHRONAL: Ooh. I could use that.
They all enter the tent, protected by a bubble of repelling power from Finesse.
Scene the Third
Inside the tent. It is dark and stuffy, the light is strangely distorted by the colours of the canvas. It is about the size of a moderately large room inside. There are lots of pieces of fabric hanging from the ceiling. You cannot see from one side to the other.
CHRONAL: Hello? Shift? You in here?
AMITY: I can sense her, but it’s really strange. She feels… thinner? And sort of wider. Stretched! That’s the word.
CREEPY CLOWN: (creepily) Can I help you?
Collective shudder. Clowns are damn creepy.
FINESSE: Our friend came in here a short while ago. Have you seen her?
CREEPY CLOWN: Ah! Yes. The one in blue. She passed this way a moment ago.
LYRIC: A less enigmatic answer would be good, clown.
FINESSE: Where is she now?
CREEPY CLOWN: Do you want to see her again?
FINESSE: It’s sort of implied in the question, don’t you think?
CREEPY CLOWN: I can help you find your friend. But it will cost you.
LYRIC: Cost us? We’ll cost you in a minute, mate.
AMITY: How much?
CREEPY CLOWN: Only five pounds per person.
CHRONAL: Five pounds per person! That’s twenty-five pounds, that is. Don’t try and throw your bloody “only” disclaimers at us, clown.
CREEPY CLOWN: Twenty five pounds is a small price to pay to find your friend, no? (laughs creepily)
WRAITH: Here’s thirty. I want change.
The CREEPY CLOWN takes the notes, then disappears.
WRAITH: Hey! My change!
AMITY: Something’s wrong guys.
FINESSE: Damn! It’s getting stronger. Hold on… shit…
A bright light envelopes the Scribblers.
Scene the Fourth
When the light dims, they find themselves in a long corridor with seemingly infinite rows of doors stretching away in both directions.
WRAITH: What’s this place?
AMITY: I think we’re closer to Shift. She’s much stronger here.
A bright light moves towards them from down the corridor.
FINESSE: Who’s there?
The light gets closer and takes the outline of a ghostly, floating woman. She looks vaguely like SHIFT.
AMITY: Shift? Is that you?
FINESSE: It doesn’t look anything like her.
AMITY: It feels like her. (smiles) She’s very happy.
SHIFT’S SUBCONSCIOUS: (ethereally) Not quite. I’m her subconscious. Call me Fauna.
CHRONAL: Fauna? You know, that’s quite a good super-hero name.
FAUNA: I know.
FINESSE: I thought Shift’s subconscious was evil? I realise I’m saying this directly to you, but feel free to contradict.
FAUNA: (quietly) Oh. Her. Don’t worry about her. She can’t exist in the same place as me. You’ll be fine.
LYRIC: That’s not very reassuring.
CHRONAL: Wait a minute. Shift has an evil subconscious? Since when?
FINESSE: It’s just something she’s always said. Never really came up much.
AMITY: It is strange. She does have a very chaotic mind, come to think of it.
WRAITH: I don’t suppose you could tell us what’s happened to real Shift?
FAUNA: Yes. She’s sleeping.
WRAITH: Sleeping? Lame.
AMITY: Ah! That makes sense.
CHRONAL: What? How on earth can that make sense?
AMITY: We wouldn’t be able to talk to her subconscious if her conscious was awake.
LYRIC: Makes a sort of sense I suppose. It doesn’t explain where exactly she is though. Or why her mind is wandering around outside her body. Though it probably has something to do with that F creepy clown. Do you know what he can do? He can go invert his f…
FAUNA: I’m not.
FINESSE: Sorry, what? Which part? I got a bit distracted by the dreadful.
FAUNA: I’m not outside Shift’s body.
AMITY: Oh! Of course! (smiles)
All look at her.
AMITY: Well, it makes perfect sense. We must be inside Shift’s mind! Physically. (defensively) This is new to me too. I’ve never taken a physical form inside a mind. It’s rather exciting!
WRAITH: Inside her mind? Does she spend a lot of time thinking about corridors then?
CHRONAL: None of this makes any sense. Ok, so if I’m willing to accept that we’re in some sort of psychic-physical hemi-semi-demi-quaver of existence, it still doesn’t explain how or why.
LYRIC: It’s that F clown isn’t it? You know what he can do? He can go…
FINESSE: It could be the clown. It’s whatever power I sensed before we entered the tent. Psychic powers can be a bit tricky like that. They can distort themselves into curious shapes.
CHRONAL: Ok. So it’s the clown. Or something. But why?
WRAITH: We paid him. Well, I did. Didn’t get my bloody change though, did I. Stupid lame clown.
FAUNA: The corridor is a method of organising the chaos of the mind.
All look at her.
FAUNA: Each door leads on to a memory. Sometimes the memories move. Sometimes the doors move. Sometimes there is no door where there appears to be one.
AMITY: A bit like Hogwarts then!
CHRONAL: So each of these doors contains memories?
WRAITH: This is so wrong.
FINESSE: No more wrong than using your powers to spy on your naked friends.
WRAITH: I don’t genuinely do that. You don’t think I genuinely so that, do you? This isn’t going to be the golden syrup incident all over again, is it?
FAUNA: The easier the memory is to access, the more inviting the door will look. This door here (gestures) is merely an archway (she waves her hand, which passes straight through). It is a simple memory. Follow me.
FAUNA floats through the doorway.
LYRIC: I can’t help but feel we really shouldn’t be doing this.
FINESSE: I know. But I don’t really want to hang around out here. Her evil subconscious might just turn up.
WRAITH: That’s not a real thing is it?
AMITY: I think we should follow Fauna. She was nice.
FINESSE: Fine! Let’s go.
All Scribblers approach the doorway which fades into an archway when they get close. Slightly hesitantly, they all pass through.
Scene the Fifth.
Shift’s Memory. They are in a room. It looks like a cross between a cockpit, a library and an office.
WRAITH: What a cool room.
CHRONAL: This doesn’t look much like a memory.
FAUNA: This is the access point. You can use the facilities here to navigate through the memory. There are many files. Some of the controls access audio and visual.
FINESSE: Which memory is this one?
FAUNA: The walk to the beach. I will show you.
She floats over to the cockpit-like section of the room and fiddles with the controls. An image flickers up on a wide, curving screen set against the far wall. It starts with the image of Wraith locking the door to the Pit.
WRAITH: Now that is weird.
FINESSE: Look! There’s me! Gods, that’s weird.
LYRIC: Looking at yourself through the eyes of others. There’s an interesting concept.
FINESSE: Why am I so blurry?
FAUNA: She does not need to look at you properly. She knows your face.
CHRONAL: It does make you feel a little bit sea-sick, doesn’t it?
AMITY: I never really noticed how much she looks at the ground.
LYRIC: It’s because of the deceptipoo.
WRAITH: Is there any way to sharpen up the image?
FAUNA: Yes. It will require an Imagination Override. This is fairly complicated. I will programme it in for you.
She bends over the controls.
WRAITH: No! It’s ok, I was just wondering.
FAUNA: As you wish.
AMITY: Looking at ourselves as she imagines we look, now that is interesting.
FINESSE: But quite beside the point. We’re supposed to be getting her out of this mess, not poking around her memories.
CHRONAL: Is there any way that we can get out of this place?
FAUNA: (mournfully) I don’t get visitors very often you know.
AMITY: (tearfully) She’s so sad. Too, too sad. Pure sad…
FINESSE hurridly generates a wave of happy towards AMITY.
LYRIC: (quickly) We’re not going anywhere right now! But we’re trying to help out Shift. And that’s you. So you should really try to help us.
WRAITH: It’s self-help.
FAUNA: I don’t know. I suppose there’ll be an exit somewhere.
She drifts back through the archway into the corridor.
LYRIC: You alright Amity?
AMITY: (shaken) Pure, raw emotion. Physically realised. It was awful.
WRAITH: These books aren’t very interesting.
They all look at him.
WRAITH: They aren’t. Mostly they’re all mathematical equations.
FINESSE: We’d better follow Fauna.
They all pass back through the archway.
Scene the Sixth.
The corridor. Fauna is floating a few metres away near a different door.
FINESSE: Fauna? Do you think you can find us an exit?
FAUNA: This door is wrong.
CHRONAL: In what way?
FAUNA: It is changing. But not because of me. (she looks at them curiously). It is one of you. You’re changing the door.
CHRONAL: How could one of us be changing it? None of us know how to operate anything here.
WRAITH: Hey! I operated that book mightily fine.
FINESSE: The book full of indecipherable maths?
FAUNA: The door does not want to let you pass. This is an anomaly.
AMITY: It looks the same as the other doors.
FAUNA: Come closer. Come see.
AMITY goes closer to the door. As she nears, the doorway looks increasingly solid. There is a click, as of a lock turning.
AMITY: How strange! Come over here guys, take a look at this!
The other Scribblers gather around the doorway. With a loud clang, a barred door drops down.
CHRONAL: We definitely shouldn’t be doing this.
FAUNA: I am going through this door. Wait here for me. (seriously) Do not move. Do not make a sound. I will not be long.
FAUNA floats through the doorway.
FINESSE: How needlessly dramatic.
AMITY: I don’t like it.
LYRIC: What’s up?
CHRONAL: Do you hear that?
WRAITH: Sort of a hum?
AMITY: I really don’t like it.
FINESSE: Did the lights just flicker?
CHRONAL: What lights?
LYRIC: It’s more of a thrum-thrum noise.
WRAITH: What was that? I just felt something brush past me.
AMITY: Stop it!
CHRONAL: Hey! Who turned out the lights?
FINESSE: That isn’t helpful, Chronal.
LYRIC: Or maybe more of a lub-dub.
WRAITH: What’s that? At the end of the corridor.
AMITY: Quiet! Shhhh! Shhhh! (covers her face with her hands)
CHRONAL: No, really. It’s getting darker .
FINESSE: I don’t know what that is.
WRAITH: It’s getting closer. What should we do?
FINESSE: Fauna said to stay here.
LYRIC: It’s forming into a shape.
CHRONAL: It looks like Fauna.
WRAITH: The walls. The walls are changing.
LYRIC: It’s not coming closer to us. We’re coming closer to it.
WRAITH: It’s Fauna.
FINESSE: No. It’s her.
A sudden stillness and darkness.
BESTIA: Well what do we have here?
BESTIA: (sing-song) You’re not supposed to be here.
FINESSE: What do you want?
BESTIA: (tilts her head, narrowing her eyes) You wouldn’t understand what I want.
FINESSE: Try me.
BESTIA: She approaches.
BESTIA vanishes. Lights and sound returns to normal. FAUNA floats through the doorway.
FAUNA: Are you alright? You all look very pale.
FINESSE: We met Bestia whilst you were gone.
FAUNA: Oh. Her. I hope she didn’t give you too much trouble. She’s harmless really. To you anyway. I found out what was wrong with the doors, by the way.
FINESSE: I hope it was worth it.
FAUNA: Well, it turns out that the memory is not important to Shift, which is why the door is not sealed to herself. However, she does not want to share it with you. Funny really. She was having a shower. I can’t imagine why she locked you out.
FINESSE: You don’t get out much, do you?
FAUNA: I exist only here. I watch the memories. And I dream of walking on the Earth. But I never will. And you think I should worry about Bestia? She dreams too. But her dreams are Nightmares. And maybe one day she will walk. Maybe not. She tries.
FINESSE: Look, can you just get us out of this place?
FAUNA: There is a way. I will wake her up.
FAUNA solidifies, sinking to the ground and gaining colour and physicality. The more solid she becomes, the more the scenery begins to fade. The Scribblers are enveloped in light.
Scene the Seventh
On the beach. All Scribblers are sprawled out on the floor. Including SHIFT. They groggily wake up and sit up.
SHIFT: That was the weirdest dream. Hey, why are we on the beach? Oh, yeah… we walked here. And then… I went into that tent. And then I fell asleep…
FINESSE: Look, next time you decide that there’s “only one way to find out” something. Just don’t, ok?
SHIFT: Why? Gods! What’s happened to you guys? You look rough!
AMITY: I’m desperately in need of tea.
LYRIC: Tell me about it.
FINESSE: Don’t say ‘Baps’.
CHRONAL: Where did the creepy tent go?
They all look around. The beach is deserted. It is late in the day. It is much colder. The sun is nearly gone.
LYRIC: We need to get back to the Pit. We’re vulnerable here.
SHIFT: You can fill me in on what happened on the way.
FINESSE: No. First you tell us what happened to you.
The Scribblers get up and start walking towards home.
SHIFT: Not much to tell. I walked in. I met a creepy bloody clown. He wanted me to give him five pounds. I told him to take a hike. I think he made me sleep. Because the next thing I remember is a few dream fragments. Mostly I remember dreaming that I was walking to the beach. But then I was in the shower for some reason. It was really strange.
FINESSE: That’s bloody weird.
SHIFT: So what happened to you guys? And the clown? Where did he go?
FINESSE: Well. Perhaps it’s best we don’t tell you.
SHIFT: That’s bloody enigmatic.
AMITY: We met Fauna.
LYRIC: And Bestia. I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t really like her.
SHIFT: You met a girl. Didn’t like it. (laughs)
CHRONAL: I think it’s best we leave that story til we reach the Pit.
SHIFT: Fine. Psychic Tag!
FINESSE: No. Don’t do that.
SHIFT: I always do that.
FINESSE: Not today.
The Scribblers walk the journey in quiet contemplation. When they reach the Pit they fill Shift in on everything that happened. She is surprised and slightly embarrassed.
Scene the Eighth.
In da Pit.
SHIFT: Wow. That’s some bloody heavy stuff.
FINESSE: Don’t say ‘Baps.’
SHIFT: What should we do about this Communal Psychic?
FINESSE: We can’t leave a person like that on the loose.
AMITY: I’d know his mind the moment I feel it.
LYRIC: Communal Psychic is a rubbish hero name.
WRAITH: We could call him Creepy Clown.
CHRONAL: He probably has another name. We never really asked.
SHIFT: Maybe it’s a mystery that will never be solved.
They all look at her.
SHIFT: Maybe it is.
FINESSE: Maybe it isn’t.
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Saturday, 11 October 2008
by Steffan Alun
1 INT. DINAS MUSEUM EXHIBITION – Day 1. 1100.
A golden DIADEM, covered in blue jewels, with a large, orange
They say the Comity Diadem's over a thousand years old, but the blue jewels keep it preserved.
It's considered priceless by experts. Although the current owners are Tories, so they've offered to have it buried with Thatcher.
At least she'd be dead.
Exactly. It's win-win.
2 INT. THE PIT – Day 1. 1100.
FINESSE, SHIFT and WRAITH on the sofa, Finesse holding a magazine.
Still, though, it's being shown off in the local museum right now, so they've asked us to protect it.
Superheroes for a museum? Surely that's overkill.
People have tried to steal it in the past. If the blue jewels really do keep the diadem forever young ...
I hope they make sure Thatcher's definitely dead before they hand it over.
CHRONAL enters, sexy beast.
We all ready to go?
The museum! As Finesse has mentioned every day for the last two weeks.
More notice next time, please.
He's gone to his Secret Shed. He's not coming out until he's revised our previous adventures.
His bit of the story's been replaced by an exploration of what Amity does in her spare time.
3 EXT. DINAS PARK FESTIVAL TENT – Day 1. 1101.
AMITY is in a huge festival tent with FRIENDS, including KYLE.
I can buy facetious!
You can only buy things where the vowels are in alphabetical order.
Excellent! I'm so happy!
Yes, Kyle, but you're always happy.
5 INT. DINAS MUSEUM SECURITY – Day 1. 1200.
Room full of TV SCREENS, showing different parts of the museum. SHIFT is sat there, in costume, watching the screens. Uses her COMMUNICATOR.
6 INT. DINAS MUSEUM EXHIBITION – Day 1. 1200.
FINESSE is walking casually around the DIADEM in its case, dressed glamourously like the rest of the VISITORS.
I'm at the diadem, with Wraith.
7 INT. DINAS MUSEUM RECEPTION – Day 1. 1200.
CHRONAL is dressed in a tux, holding champagne, milling about with other DIGNITARIES. Posh room, nibbles and drinks on tables with long tablecloths. Tough, reinforced security door on one side, posh, showy door on the other.
I don't want to stay here long. I think they're t-o-r-i-e-s.
They can spell, Chrone.
I know. I've frozen them.
The dignitaries are stuck in place.
You'd better release them. It's about to start.
Finesse moves out of the way as the CURATOR – 35, handsome and posh, in a tux - arrives.
The dignitaries are led out through the posh door, but Chronal hangs back.
Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to
They've really got the heavy artillery out today. Even the curator's got powers.
Anyone we know?
No. Pretty powerful, though. Elemental type. Ice.
I wish I could control ice.
No you don't. Not at this level. Lose control, even for a second, and you freeze over.
I'd like to thank you all for coming here today. I'd like to thank Mr Protheroe-Hanlan-Lentil-Facefall-Macarron-Chacarron-Jones for kindly allowing us to display the Comity Diadem.
Guys, we've got a problem. Wraith, cover me.
Shift stands up.
Chronal dashes to a table, retrieving his costume from underneath, hidden by the tablecloth.
Now, if you'll put your hands togather for our first speaker, Mr Derek Yockenthwaite-Smythe.
The guests applaud –
The curator begins to step away –
Spins around, hands in the air –
And the guests collapse, solid, like statues.
He pulls on a MASK - icy blue, stylised snowflake design.
Blasts the crown's case with an ice beam from his finger.
The alarm sounds –
He points his finger towards the alarm –
It stops, caked with ice.
He takes out the diadem, and places it on his head –
- and is punched in the head by an arm –
- which becomes FINESEE, in costume, fading into view.
Can't fault the dress sense.
You punched me in the head.
Finesse kicks him in the stomach.
The curator blasts her with an ice beam, missing.
You're a super-villain. Of course I punched you in the head.
She kicks, misses, and is hit in the arm by an ice beam. Ice builds up over her elbow, she backs off -
Hadn't thought about it like that. Super-powers and theft. I suppose that qualifies me.
As he speaks, Finesse cracks the ice from her arm.
You need an awful codename as well. Captain Freezer?
She kicks low, buckling his leg.
He blasts her, but she grabs his hand.
Or Ice King! It goes with the crown.
He grabs his hand away, blasts again, misses.
My name is Cool Box!
Oh. You REALLY didn't need my help.
She swings for him again –
- but he's gone, dancing towards the reception door.
Enjoy seeing it in tomorrow's headlines.
He heads for the door, and the diadem floats away from his head –
- he slams the door behind him, and WRAITH appears, holding the floating diadem.
Wonder if he'll even notice.
Doubt it. Guy's a rebass.
8 INT. DINAS MUSEUM RECEPTION – Day 1. 1210.
COOL BOX dashes into the room –
- where CHRONAL is standing, in costume.
Ha, more than one. Overkill, isn't it?
We thought the same, actually. You live and learn.
They wait, tense, watching each other –
CHRONAL and COOL BOX
Cool Box shoots a beam of ice towards Chronal, and the beam slows down to a crawl halfway.
He walks around the beam, standing behind Cool Box. Grabs his arm –
- and cries out, bringing his hand back as though burned.
The ice beam speeds up to normal, hitting the back wall.
Cool Box turns to face him
That's the thing about creating ice. Heat has to go somewhere.
He pulls up the sleeve of his jacket –
- and places his forearm on Chronal's forehead, with a sizzling burn. Chronal cries out –
- and the door handle starts to turn!
Give us a moment.
An ice beam freezes the handle and door in place, a big chunk of ice –
- and CHRONAl, recovering, punches him in the face.
9 INT. DINAS MUSEUM SECURITY – Day 1. 1215.
SHIFT has rearranged the TV screens, which now form a montage of the areas of the museum, each in the right place. CHRONAL and COOL BOX are still fighting on one screen.
Chronal's holding his own, but you need to get in there.
10 INT. DINAS MUSEUM EXHIBITION – Day 1. 1215.
FINESSE is moving the frozen GUESTS, one at a time, to one side, in the recovery position – she still has some ice on her arm, and that arm is sluggish, as though paralysed. WRAITH is trying to kick the door open.
Trying our best. I've contacted Lyric to help out the guests.
We might need to bring in Amity as well.
It might not come to that.
She glances at the ice on her arm.
This isn't just ice. It slows down your whole body. The guests could survive like this for days.
But you can move them?
Getting them out of the way in case Cool Box comes back. Wraith's hidden the diadem – it might get violent.
Hang on a second. Did you say the ice slows your whole body down?
11 INT. DINAS MUSEUM RECEPTION – Day 1. 1216.
CHRONAL is covered in chunks of ice. He's moving sluggishly. COOL BOX is holding his forearm against the lock of the reinforced door.
Melodramatic. Not heard of chryogenics? You've never been safer.
Too slow. The world. Make it quick.
Oh, you must hate this. Down to the level of us mere mortals.
CU of the door – metal melting, dripping down Cool Box's arm.
Chronal, isn't it? I remember when you were leader. I can see why you were replaced.
His arm is all the way through the door – the lock destroyed.
Anyway. One last stop.
12 INT. DINAS MUSEUM SECURITY – Day 1. 1217.
SHIFT still watching the TV screens. Some have been angled and turned for the pictures to line up properly.
I've lost him.
How do you mean?
He went through a door. Can't find where it leads.
Maybe if there's no camera. But WHY wouldn't there be a camera?
She stands up straight. Calm. She understands.
Of course. That's why.
She dives to the left as an ICE BEAM blasts through her previous position. COOL BOX has arrived.
Final destination. Can't have video footage of my face flying around.
Shift transforms into a POLAR BEAR –
- swings for Cool Box –
- who blast her with a huge, thick ray of ice.
Shift is trapped in a block of ice. As he speaks, Cool Box rewinds the recording equipment.
Best you could have done, really. I don't know what this stuff is, but it's not ice. No animal could take it.
That really took it out of me –
Display on the screen – "DELETE VIDEO?" – but he stops.
Rewind. Footage of the DIADEM floating from his head.
13 INT. DINAS MUSEUM EXHIBITION – Day 1. 1230
FINESSE is with the bodies of the GUESTS, having finished moving them all. Behind her, a door bursts open, and COOL BOX runs in.
Where is it?
Finesse calmly stands, and turns to face him.
Gone. You can stand down now. The place is surrounded.
He reveals some MINI DISCS from his pocket.
Video footage. There are four of you, and two of you are down already. And with a big, bad villain on the loose, there's no way you'd sacrifice an agent.
He grins, aiming his hand upwards.
Which leaves your fourth member. Invisible.
A BURST OF WHITE LIGHT spreads from his hand –
- spreading across the top of the room –
- and he aims a finger of his other hand –
- hitting a fire alarm –
- which turns on the sprinklers –
- freezing in the white light –
- snowing below.
If you'll allow me a moment of arrogance –
He crosses over to where the snow has settled in mid-air.
I'm so clever.
He blasts a ray each from both hands, freezing the shape of WRAITH's legs –
- frosting his body -
- reaches across and plucks an invisible item covered in visible frost from hand-level.
Walks away, and the invisble item fades into view – the DIADEM –
- which he places in an inside pocket of his jacket.
You've frozen three of my friends.
I'm very efficient.
So am I.
He raises a hand, blasting a ray of ice –
- Finesse raises her own hands –
- and the ray curves in mid-air, hitting a wall.
What did you do?
See, before, I was surrounded by guests.
WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME?
He blasts an enormous ray, the same as in Scene 11 –
- which splits into three different directions –
- shooting over Finesse's head, past her shoulder, and between her legs.
It's like I was saying before.
She walks calmly towards Cool Box, who continues to release ice beams, which continue to be deflected in all directions.
The problem with ice powers is that if you lose control, even for a second –
I am in complete control!
And she winks. Cool Box shouts out, ice spreading across his hands, legs, face. Completely frosting over.
Doesn't matter how well you think you understand your own powers. I know you better than you'll ever know yourself.
His forearms and chest begin to steam, the ice melting against heat.
I'll just take this.
She reaches inside his jacket, taking the diadem. Walks back to the guests.
Don't try to move. Really. Don't. I'm pretty sure more ice will kill you.
She glances down at the diadem. The orange crystal from before is missing.
She turns – Cool Box is holding the crystal.
He flexes his arm, shattering the ice –
- vanishes in a flash of orange light.
Finesse's expression. She could kick herself.
14 EXT. DINAS MUSEUM EXHIBITION – Day 1. 1630
FINESSE standing outside, holding the DIADEM. Talking on the communicator.
He got away. Police are searching.
15 EXT. DINAS PARK FESTIVAL TENT – Day 1. 1101.
AMITY away from the other GUESTS – KYLE in the background, jumping on a trampoline, enjoying every second.
But you got the Comity Diadem?
More or less.
And you're sure you don't need me to come?
It's your day off! We've got Lyric sorting everyone out. You enjoy your freedom.
Thanks! I'll see you later.
We stay with Amity as she crosses back to Kyle. Hops onto the trampoline as well –
Both of them jumping and jumping –
And they collapse, in a fit of giggles.
Laughing and laughing.
Amity calms down, happy and content.
But Kyle is still laughing –
Laughing and laughing and laughing.
Tears streaming down his face.
CU on Kyle, twisted angle.
Laughing so much, it's sinister.
Thursday, 2 October 2008
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
by Steffan Alun
1 INT. THE PIT – Day 1. 0900.
AMITY, FINESSE and LYRIC are taking a break, playing three-player Scribblers 64 on the Wii's Virtual Console.
Does this game make me look fat?
Yes, but only because Wraith unlocked the Make Amity Fat cheat the other night.
We tried to relock it. Didn't work.
CHRONAL arrives, devilishly handsome. Looks at all the EXPENSIVE THINGS in the Pit.
Hey, all. Where did you get all these expensive things?
Wraith won the lottery last night. We celebrated by getting him to buy us stuff.
Unexpectedly, Lyric reaches under the sofa and retrieves a cuddly Batman toy, which he kisses gently, and replaces. He sees the others looking at him.
I love Batman.
Yet you keep him under the sofa?
He needs to know his place.
Chronal sits down, and retrieves classy tabloid newspaper THE SUN. Starts to read.
Wow, Page Three's really gone downhill. Jessica, twenty-three, from
There's a long pause while everyone continues playing the Wii.
That really is terrible.
The others keep playing their game. It's fun.
I swear, I can't believe they've printed –
Nobody's giving you a goddamn feeder line, Chronal. You can exposit by yourself, or not at all.
Fine. I just thought Amity might like to say something is all.
Anyway, the thing that I read and strongly implied was terrible is that The Sun have found out about Wraith's lottery win.
Have they reported the story fairly and in a balanced manner?
Uncharactaristically, no. It's sensationalised nonsense. And they've dedicated an entire line in the article to the word "LOADED". In capital letters. And bold. And red.
I swear, some people shouldn't be allowed to use words.
A free press is a good thing, Lyric.
Still. How bad can it be?
Chronal passes her the paper. Finesse reads it.
He is NOT an orphan! And his power's invisibility, not mind control. And that's not how you spell "handsome".
We should sue them.
Now, now. That should be Wraith's decision.
WRAITH arrives. He's holding a copy of the Sun.
You won't believe what this newspaper's done!
We already know, Wraith. I'm so sorry. I can't believe they'd say that about you.
What? I was going to say they printed an article bumming the X-Box three-sixty.
2 EXT. HIGH STREET – Day 1. 1100.
WRAITH is walking along with AMITY and SHIFT.
I can't believe you're going to sue them.
I need the money.
You've just won the lottery.
That's not the Gaily Mail's money, though.
They enter an office. Sign on the door – "LAWYER GIRL".
3 INT. LAWYER GIRL'S WAITING ROOM – Day 1. 1101.
WRAITH, AMITY and SHIFT enter the room, where various SUPERHEROES are waiting.
This lawyer any good then?
She's great. Being a lawyer is her superpower. She was hit by a radioactive isotope as a child. Made her blind, but also made her a really good lawyer.
While we wait, we should play a game. Work out which supervillain Lawyer Girl would be best matched against in a fight.
It's Litigation Man, and she killed him last year.
I'm not sure I'm comfortable being represented by a murderer.
They all sit in uncomfortable silence for a moment. LAWYER GIRL enters. Her costume is a smart suit.
Wraith's up next.
What? We've been waiting for ages!
REALLY GOOD AT MAGIC EYE BOY
Yeah. I've been here since seven o' clock.
My finger smells of oranges.
And have any of you won the lottery recently?
The superheroes grudgingly acknowledge that they haven't. Weird Lady eats a battery.
This way, sir.
4 INT. LAWYER GIRL'S OFFICE – Day 1. 1105.
WRAITH is led into a smart office by LAWYER GIRL. AMITY and SHIFT follow.
Who will you be suing today, then, sir?
But sir! That's a star! It isn't sentient.
He means the newspaper.
Thank goodness. They have LOADS of money.
It seems a bit odd that you thought he might want to sue a star.
It's Weird Lady. She comes here every day. I'm a shadow of my former self.
Anyway! Because this is a super-case, we'll need to use a Libel Crystal to determine the veracity of the article.
A crystal? Wonderful. How sci-fi!
Fantasy, actually. Sorry about that.
I'm not sure I'm comfortable with a fantasy element in our sci-fi world.
It's fine. Finesse has a long and complicated explanation for it. She won the Nobel No Prize for it last year.
5 INT. THE
The Scribblers are in an enormous cave full of gaudily-coloured crystals, lava pits, falling platforms and evil monkey ninja zombies.
CHRONAL is keeping platforms frozen in place while LYRIC is slowly creating ropes to attach them.
SHIFT has become a cat, jumping from platform to platform.
WRAITH is invisible, sneaking past the monkey ninja zombies.
AMITY is focusing on the monkeys, making them too happy to attack.
Shift jumps to the next platform – falls!
FINESSE holds up a hand, because it looks cool, and transforms Shift into a bat.
Sorry, Shift. Lots of quantum distortion in this cave. Can't quite control my powers.
Yeah, yeah. We believe you. More like, you're just crap. Giga lols.
A ninja monkey zombie launches itself at Amity, biting her arm.
She frowns, and the monkey stops in its tracks, turns, and walks away sadly.
Oh, sorry monkey. Automatic reaction.
What did you do?
Made it a manic depressive ...
Wraith has managed to get past the ninja monkey zombie nest - made of sticks, bones and jam. Beyond, he finds a CHEST. He checks a small, A5 BOOK.
According to the walkthrough ...
He opens the chest.
Guys! I got the Libel Crystal.
6 INT. COURTROOM. Day 2 – 1100
A courtroom with JUDGE MAN, LAWYER GIRL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY, a JOURNALIST and WRAITH. To the side, a JURY, and an AUDIENCE that includes AMITY, CHRONAL, FINESSE, LYRIC and SHIFT.
Hey, guys. What's going on in this case?
This unnamed journalist wrote loads of lies about Wraith. Loads of EXPENSIVE lies.
That sounds bad.
I rest my case.
The audience gasps.
Where is the evidence?
The audience murmurs.
He's got a point.
This guy's good.
Here is the evidence.
He reveals a SCRAP BOOK, and flicks to the end. The ARTICLE from the Sun is inside.
My mum sticks all news about me into this scrap book. There's your "evidence", scummy lawyer man.
This seems like an open and shut case. Here is our evidence. No jury would find this man innocent.
OBJECTION! I demand that Lawyer Girl prove the article contains lies.
Dude, I just said my MUM keeps this book. The article says I'm an orphan.
And where is this so-called "mum"?
I'm not telling you who my mum is! I've got a secret identity, dumbass.
Then you've proved nothing.
The article also claims that my power is mind control. That's bollocks. It's invisibility.
Wraith goes invisible. Defense Attorney sighs. Wraith reappears.
But this is still merely a single lie that you have identified. You claimed the article contained LIES! Plural!
The audience gasps and murmurs.
He should point out the grammatical errors.
That won't help the case.
It'd be funny, though.
Shift surreptitiously transforms into a kangaroo. She hops towards Lawyer Girl.
Sod off, Skippy. There's never anyone trapped down the well. I sealed it off last year.
Shift begins transforming back, and mid-transformation, her shrinking pouch reveals the Libel Crystal. Lawyer Girl takes it, smiling. Shift becomes a moth, starts flying back to her seat, then spots a light. The rest is history.
Oh, goodie gumdrops.
Lawyer Girl aims the crystal at the article. It glows, a bright red light.
That settles it. The unnamed journalist is guilty as charged.
The journalist looks livid.
Objection! That can't be a real Libel Crystal. Who's powerful enough to brave the
I'm one of the Scribblers, remember? I guess your client didn't bother checking when he was writing his bullshit article.
The Scribblers. Of course.
Don't mess with us. We've got plenty of nemeses. And they've actually got names.
Against all odds, the journalist starts to smile.
Oh. I have a name.
He reaches up to his face, and peels it away. It's a rubber mask! Underneath is a helmet – a dark green with vertical black stripes. He rips away his clothes to reveal a supervillain costume, all stripy and dark, with muscles sewn into the costume like a child's Superman costume.
I am Gutter Press.
The audience runs away, screaming. Amity, Chronal, Finesse and Lyric join Wraith.
You're on your own, mate. I have the power of objection. I'm not taking on the Scribblers.
Just me and you, then. And I have the power ... of slander and libel.
Guys, I can't influence him! He's unable to feel anything but variations on cynicism!
One chance, Gutter Press. Back down.
Just like you backed down when you fought your own father?
Hey, shut up. My family life is complicated.
But not as complicated as Lyric's secret stash of hand-drawn Scribblers pornography!
Hang on. Finesse. If he's got powers, how didn't you notice?
What, the power of lying? A two-year-old has more powers.
No. You silence.
Haha! You cannot silence the press! Amity has only three toes! Wraith is actually bald! Finesse kissed a girl, and she liked it!
Something lands on Gutter Press's head. It's a snake! It wraps itself around his body, crushing him.
He keeps muttering as a sword materialises in his hand. He swings it towards Gutter Press, hitting him in the head, cracking the helmet.
How's THAT for a head line?
Did you make a sword just for that pun?
Swords are my speciality!
Shift slithers off, releasing Gutter Press. He drops slowly to the ground.
I want you to apologise to me.
Chronal ... kissed ... a random ...
Shut up. Say sorry.
Shift ... voted Tory ...
Gutter Press looks up. No-one is in sight.
Where ... are you?
He stands up. He hears a voice – Wraith's – disembodied.
Journalist in Standing Up Shocker!
Alright. I see what you're doing.
Confused Journalist Fails at Life!
Come on. I'm a journalist. I'm hardly worth bothering with. You've got real villains to fight.
The Scribblers appear! Shift is a vicious GRIZZLY BEAR, standing dangerously close behind Gutter Press, alongside Lyric, brandishing his sword. Finesse and Amity are to either side of him, holding his arms in place.
Finally, Wraith appears. Face-to-face with Gutter Press.
You know what you are? You're the worst kind of scum. You think you're doing the world a favour, you think you're fulfiling a purpose, but you're ruining people's lives to make money. You have no redeeming features. And people don't touch you! They don't sue, because what's the point? The damage is done. Doesn't matter what they do to you in return, because now the whole world thinks they're adulterers, or paedophiles, or murderers. So. You will go home, and never, EVER write another article. Or I will follow you for the rest of your life, announcing everything you do. And guess what.
He leans towards Gutter Press's ear, and vanishes from sight. Close-up on Gutter-Press.
You won't see me coming.
7 INT. THE PIT – Day 2. 1700.
WRAITH is playing Superhero Smash Brothers – Batman, Iron Fist, Leonardo the Turtle and Mr Sintaro fighting each other. AMITY sits down next to him.
Which one are you playing as?
A moment passes.
Are you alright?
I know it's not easy, seeing people lie about you. Seeing your name in print.
You never talked much about it. But it can't have been nice.
Gutter Press got what he deserved.
8 INT. PRISON CANTEEN – Day 2. 1705.
GUTTER PRESS, still in his battered costume, is sat by a table, eating food from a tray. PRISONERS are all around him. One glances at him, reaches over, and steals a MUFFIN from his tray.
Prisoner in Muffin Docking Scandal.
... What did you say?
Prisoner Found Stealing Underwear From Wardens.
What's the matter with you?
Prisoner Ugly Face Shock!
Right. That's it.
The prisoners reach for him.
9 EXT. PRISON – Day 2. 1706.
SCREAMS of GUTTER PRESS's from within. Going on, and on, and ... they stop.
GUTTER PRESS (OOV)
Shock - Prisoners Love Sado-Masochism!
And the screams begin again.