Archive for February, 2009

Episode 41

February 28, 2009

Meanwhile in the Mid-Atlantic…

The sun has almost set on the islet, with Rentwich and Gordnauld no closer to finding the mysterious Flandly Overture. Unbeknownst to either of them, in the growing darkness of the surrounding waters, a small yacht approaches. On the deck two men observe the activity on the island.

The younger man: “Did they find it yet?”

The elder man: “No.”

The elder lowers his binoculars and turns to his companion.

The elder man: “I think they need a little help…”

Back on the islet, Gordnauld is losing patience.

Gordnauld: “Come on Rentwich, there’s nothing here! We should find shelter and get some rest.”

Rentwich: “Rest!? You wanna try basting your neck with butter while you’re at it? I heard fennel goes well with B negative, maybe we should throw a litt-”

Gordnauld: “Wait!… Did you see that?”

Rentwich turns to look at the boulder that has inexplicably caught the other’s attention.

On the yacht, the elder man has just flicked off a tight-beam torch.

The elder man: “Now… we wait.”


Episode 40

February 27, 2009

Secret amnesiac Jack Schmeistingsneifer squirms nervously at the controls of the FX2 – Fortuna Industries’ experimental new jet. In the copilot seat the attractive young woman, whose name he has yet to relearn, seems transfixed by him. Finally, she speaks:

Europa: “I want you to know Jack, that if there’s anything you want to tell me…. you can. I’ve often thought that I’m an excellent listener. Only last week my brother Gordnauld was telling me something and I couldn’t help but wonder what a relief it must be to him, to have me being so attentive and comforting to him.”

Jack: “That sounds just like Gordnauld. He is your brother, after all.”

Europa: “Oh Jack, you know us all so well! And yet…”

She lowers her voice to a sultry whisper, mingling it delicately with the 110dB rattle of the FX2’s cockpit.

Europa: “…there’s still so much for you to discover.”

Jack: “You have no idea.”

Jack turns to Europa. Their eyes meet, like two ships in the night, each with a haggard old sailor in their crow’s nests, staring through nautical telescopes, into each other’s eyes.

The electricity of the moment (and, possibly, of the faulty circuitry in the cockpit controls) are too much for Jack’s already dysfunctional brain. He is completely overwhelmed and, although to Europa it appears that he has merely shuddered, he has just succumbed to double amnesia!

Episode 39

February 26, 2009

Meanwhile, in the Mid-Atlantic…

Reluctantly, Gordnauld has joined Rentwich for a search of the islet. The former would be happy to find some fresh water, or food, whereas the latter seeks only the unholy lair of the living dead.

Rentwich: “Gordnauld, there’s something I’d like you to do for me… In case, I don’t make it off this island alive.”

Gordnauld: “Don’t talk like that Rentwich. You’ve found your way out of tougher scrapes than this one.”

Rentwich: “Maybe, but even so… I’d like you to pass on a message to someone for me. In the event that I…”

Gordnauld eyes his old friend and mentor. He owes him this much.

Gordnauld: “Tell me.”

Rentwich: “There’s something I’d like you to tell Levillia.”

Gordnauld: “My mother?”

Rentwich: “Yes. I want you to tell her, that for as long as I’ve known her, I’ve… lusted for her.”

Gordnauld: “AAAH! What? No! You tell her! No, wait – don’t tell her. Just… God! Let’s just find your God-damned vampire!”

Rentwich: “Please Gordnauld. This is my last wish… Tell her, tell her that night in Singapore was more than just a hot torrid adult situation to me. I often think of how she moved her-”

Gordnauld: “Nyeeeeeargh!!! Stop! Why would you say that? Why? Why aren’t you talking about vampires? This island is practically infested with them, right? We need to dig ’em up and stake ’em before sunset! Right? Right?

Rentwich turns from the agitated young man to watch the sun, now low in the sky, casting it’s shimmering pools over the calm Atlantic waters. Whether human or otherwise, something on this island – Rentwich thinks – will not see another day pass.

Rentwich: “Tell her, my only regret in life is not paying those contortionists to stay for another hour…. she’ll know what it means.”

Episode 38

February 25, 2009

Gnarlhawk: “Prosopagnosia.”

Easterson: “I heard you the first time Doctor, but what in blazes does it mean?”

Gnarlhawk: “Face blindness – I… I have trouble distinguishing one face from another. If the board found out about my condition they’d have my license… I’d have to go back to being a P.I. – and who’d hire a gumshoe who can’t tell one mugshot from another?”

Guinevere: “I’m curious Doctor-”

Gnarlhawk turns, and stares intently at the young woman before him.

Guinevere: “Can you even tell between a man and a woman?”

Gnarlhawk raises his eyes to look Guinevere in the face.

Gnarlhawk: “Uh… sure. From your… voice.”

Easterson: “There’s something I don’t understand Doctor… How could you possibly confuse me with Stockton Fortuna? The only comatosed man in this room in the bed over there.”

Easterson waves a hand vaguely in the directly of Stockton’s bed, not wasting energy to turn his head – why would he when that same energy might possibly be used to take advantage of the Doctor’s newly revealed medical condition?

Gnarlhawk: “Quite simple, Mr. de Butugenhausen. I may not know Stockton’s face, but I’ve seen his chart…. And as sure as my name’s Doctor Gnarlhawk Sinclair, he’s not in a coma.”

All eyes turn towards the bed, but Stockton is nowhere to be seen! Easterson splutters a shocked cough. Guinevere edges closer to the doctor and whispers in a helpful tone,

Guinevere: “He’s not there.”

Gnarlhawk: “I know what an empty bed looks like!”

Episode 37

February 24, 2009

Meanwhile in the Mid-Atlantic…

Gordnauld: “This is madness Rentwich. There’s no such thing as vampires!”

Rentwich: “It seems like only yesterday I said those same words to another man… the commanding officer of my first platoon in The War… I was fresh out of basic and green behind the ears. It was an unusually autumnal summer that-”

Gordnauld: “Stop telling war stories! Flandly Overture isn’t a vampire. He was just behaving strangely because he’s been trapped here so long.”

Rentwich: “Trapped here? Eating what? Drinking what? This is a lifeless rock Gordnauld. Without rain, nothing natural could live here longer than a week. Besides… there’s something you don’t know-”

Gordnauld: “Dontellawarstory.”

Rentwich: “-about The War.”

Gordnauld: “AAAAAH!”

Rentwich shakes his head. Gordnauld had to understand. They had only a few hours before sunset to find where the creature had buried itself – and with so little material of any sort on the rock, what hope had they of fashioning a stake?

Briefly, Rentwich is reminded of the old joke about the 4 foot butcher… but this is no times for laughs, as the only meat currently on the menu… is human. And this is one restaurant that you can’t get out of without paying the bill, unless of course, you pay… in blood.

And the only Michelin stars this place has, are those that come… in a body bag.

Episode 36

February 23, 2009

The FX2 rockets across the sky, it’s advanced auto-flight system making it almost completely unnecessary to have a pilot in the cockpit – a fortunate happenstance given that this particular pilot, Jack Schmeistingsneifer, is secretly an amnesiac and has no recollection of what any of the plane’s controls do.

In the passenger area, Europa Fortuna is troubled by the revelations of the mysterious Janitor – the man who seems to hold sway even over the U.S. Senate. Dropping into a comfortable seat, she notices a Sony ICD-B500 Digital Dictaphone on a low table. She picks it up and, checking to see that Jack is not approaching, presses play…

Jack: “Pilot’s log, supplemental… I’m on my way to Washington D.C. with Europa Fortuna. The FX2 is handling well, though the port-side gimbles seem to be retroactively sheering. Also, could I be falling in love with Europa?”

Europa gasps. A crackle of static later and the voice resumes.

Jack: “Pilot’s log, still supplemental. I can’t get Europa out of my mind. Everything seems to remind me of her… even this retroactive sheering of the port-side gimbles… which may be a retardation effect resulting from a deposit of tri-sealing coagulant disturbing the operation of the FX2’s bio-neural circuitry. On another note, I’m beginning to wonder if combining the pilot’s log with my audio diary was a bad idea.”

Episode 35

February 22, 2009

Meanwhile in the Mid-Atlantic…

Rentwich: “We’re not safe Gordnauld. There is something very dangerous here.”

Gordnauld (incredulously): “You don’t mean Flandly Overture?”

Rentwich: “What?”

Gordnauld: “Flandly. I met him last night. I went looking for him this morning but I’ve been all over the islet and there’s no trace of him.”

Rentwich: “You spoke to it? That doesn’t make sense…

Gordnauld: “It was strange alright… he showed up just when I dragged you out of the sea, and then disappeared again. Right before dawn.”

Rentwich: “Dawn! Of course. It had to avoid the sunlight, so it didn’t have time to feed. It doesn’t look like there’s any shade around…. it must be buried somewhere….. Think Gordnauld – did you see any patches of soil?”

Rentwich grabs hold of Gordnauld by the shoulders and shakes him vigorously.

Gordnauld, breaking free: “What in God’s name are you talking about Rentwich?”

Rentwich: “Nothing in God’s name Gordnauld… Nothing at all.”

Episode 34

February 21, 2009

Easterson: “Well, at least you have the decency to confess Doctor, but don’t think I wont crush you all the same.”

Gnarlhawk: “And you’d be right to. Turning a blind eye to your wife’s kidnapping goes against everything I believe in – as a doctor and as a private detective.”

Easterson: “Kidnapping? Are you dense? My wife is right here!”

Gnarlhawk looks at Guinevere, furrowing his brow. Suddenly, as if finding the final piece of a puzzle, he rejoices.

Gnarlhawk: “Oh thank God you’re ok, Mrs. Fortuna. How did you escape?”

He turns back to Easterson.

Gnarlhawk: “I’m so sorry about this Mr. Fortuna. I only hope you can for-”

Easterson: “What in blazes are you talking about man? I’m not Stockton Fortuna, I’m Easterson de Butugenhausen, and this is my adulteress wife Guinevere de Butugenhausen.”

The doctor is overwhelmed. He staggers back in a way that, if you saw an actor do it, you’d think it was good acting.

Gnarlhawk: “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t go on living a lie! I’m a prosopagnosiac! There I said it.”

For the first time since Easterson’s dramatic entrance, Guinevere makes eye contact with her husband. In that subtle mode of communication known only to husband and wife, even those plagued by crises and infidelity, they exchange a simple sentiment: what the hell?

Episode 33

February 20, 2009

Meanwhile in the Mid-Atlantic…

It is day, and Rentwich awakes on the jagged unforgiving rock of the black islet. From the first, he knows there is something terribly wrong. He tries to call out from a throat too dry to sound, and when he gathers the strength to look around he sees nothing. He is alone on a dead rock. And death is all around him, on the rock. And the rock itself is death. All around. On the rock.

Gordnauld: “You’re awake!”

Gordnauld approaches from further down the charcoal shoreline. Rentwich strains, but still can’t manage a response. Gordnauld produces a plastic bottle half-filled with grimy liquid.

Gornauld: “Here. Drink this. It’s rain water that collected in a small rock pool… I guess there was some sea water already in there, or maybe it splashed in after the rain water… Well… it’s possibly just sea water. Um, you want some?”

Rentwich swigs the water like a man who has met far-worse concoctions and lived to chug again. He grimaces and, his throat somewhat refreshed, he looks at Gornauld and speaks:

Rentwich: “Nosferatu!”

Episode 32

February 19, 2009

Secret amnesiac Jack Schmeistingsneifer cautiously operates the control panel of the FX2, preparing the experimental jet for takeoff. Beside him, the lovely young woman – whose name he has yet to learn – talks at length about her mother… or their mother – if they are brother and sister, that is… but they aren’t… but Jack doesn’t know that.

Europa: “Mother has always resented my lionhearted trail-blazing ways, and now it has fallen to me – of all people – to rescue her from a mysterious kidnapper.”

Jack nods, while trying to make the three blinking red lights before him revert to the, now preferable, two blinking red lights.

Europa: “Sometimes I wonder if everyone goes through these kinds of things…. Tell me about the Schmeistingsneifers, Jack.”

Jack: “The Shmystingsniferz?”

Europa: “Yes.”

Jack: “Um… well, it’s hard to describe.”

Europa: “It?”

Jack: “…They?”

A static crackle and then:

Radio: “…you are cleared for takeoff.”

Jack turns to Europa.

Jack: “I… have to be honest with you.”

Europa: “Please Jack, no… I’ve been so silly. Here I am trying to get you to tell me about the Schmeistingsneifers, just to lift my mind a little, when you’d much rather be concentrating on doing what you do best – flying this highly complex potential death-trap. I think I’ll go in the back and get a drink…”