Episode 51 – Season Two Premiere

March 10, 2009

Falconry. Often called the sport of kings, and yet the true enthuasiast is well aware that for each rung on the social ladder there is a bird with which it is proper to engage in the practice. The earl, with his falcon peregine, might look on respectfully as the emperor flies his eagle. The priest, in keeping with life of quiet dignity, flies a sparrowhawk. The baron is best-suited to the boisterous bustard, and the lowly knave to the kestrel.

Yes, we are talking about falconry. The sport in which even a poor man can fly a tiercel, and the yeoman might take to the fields with his trusted goshawk companion.

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Episode 50 – Season One Finale

March 9, 2009

Now in possession of a bullet, Rentwich A and Rentwich B make short work of the nautical battle as the Gordnaulds look on in awe. Presently, they all stand on the deck of the captured yacht – a yacht which, to Gordnauld A’s eyes, looks almost identical to their own – with their prisoners: the pilot and an unrecognized woman.

Rentwich B: “This is where we have to part ways.”

He  spreads out a chart on a table, and begins scribbling notes.

Rentwich B: “We’ll take the prisoners on our ship, and head back to land. Rentwich, you and Gordnauld will take this ship and sail to these coordinates.”

Gordnauld A: “There’s nothing there. It’s the middle of the ocean!”

Gordnauld B: “There’s a temporal anomaly. If you hurry you’ll make it back to the islet just before you found the vampire’s burrow.”

Gordnauld A looks at Rentwich A, shocked and in hope of rational support.

Rentwich B (winking): “I understand you’re concern Gordnauld, but no one said you have to be casual about time travel…”

Rentwich A: “…just as long as you’re causal!

The Rentwichs laugh heartily at a joke Rentwich B had told weeks ago and had been waiting eagerly to setup.

Meanwhile in Daisingdale…

Senator Brick Basingstoke stands atop of hill overlooking the small city of Daisingdale – the home of the Fortunas, and the site of a recent outbreak of the double amnesia virus. Next to him, General Crisis Fluxfax oversees his troops as they get into position.

Brick: “Well General?”

Crisis: “The quarantine’s in place Senator. No one gets in or out of Daisingdale… Dead or alive.”

(And so ends Season One of Fortuna Favors the Bold… Come back tomorrow for the exciting Season Two premiere!)

Episode 49

March 8, 2009

Gordnauld A: “The… pilot?”

Rentwich A, shocked at hearing the other talk after two weeks of silence, takes a moment before responding.

Rentwich A: “Yes. After he sabotaged our jet and bailed out, he must have met an accomplice with a boat. But they didn’t count on the other Rentwich and Gordnauld knowing exactly where to find them…”

Before Gordnauld A’s mind can fully shift into gear, the pilot opens fire – Rentwich A pulls Gordnauld A to the ground just as shots start blasting into the doorway in which he had been standing. Rentwich A attracts the attention of his double.

Rentwich A: “If he has a gun, why don’t we have a gun?”

Rentwich B, lying on the deck for cover, draws a pistol out from the small of his back.

Rentwich B: “The gun’s no problem, but he’s using all the bullets!”

On the other ship, the pilot frantically reloads the six-shooter. In his panic, he drops one bullet – it falls to the deck and rolls out of sight. Meanwhile, on his pursuer’s ship, Gordnauld A – flat on the deck – notices something reflective next to some rigging on the port side.

Gordnauld B: “Quick Gordnauld! Pick it up!”

How could he possibility see it from over there? Dismissing the thought, Gordnauld A shimmies closer, stretches his arm, and grabs hold of the small metal object. It is a bullet. He looks curiously at it, at Gordnauld B and then at Rentwich B – on the opposite side of the boat… with an unloaded revolver.

(Whatever you do, don’t miss tomorrow’s Fortuna Favors the Bold – the spectacular fiftieth episode and mind-boggling conclusion to Season One of the internet’s most popular minute-a-day soap opera!)

Episode 48

March 7, 2009

Two weeks after his traumatic experience in the vampire’s lair, Gordnauld A lies wide awake on a bunk below deck. Since leaving the island in the dopplegangers’ yacht he has not said a word. He eats alone, sleeps fitfully at random hours, and does all that he can to avoid the dark of night.

The other Gordnauld, and the Rentwichs, respect his solitude, interracting with him only when it is necessary – but this morning, dear readers – it is of the upmost necessity.

A Rentwich comes crashing down the stairs and plants himself in front of Gordnauld A. He is dimly aware that there are two Rentwichs on board, as well as an apparent copy of himself, but Gordnauld A has not yet heard the explanation for this. He has no great desire to learn it.

Rentwich A: “We need you Gordnauld! We caught him again – and this time we have the weather gage!”

A blurry moment passes and Gordnauld A find himself on deck, where Gordnauld B and Rentwich B are hunkered down.

Rentwich A: “Look Gordnauld! There he is!”

Gordnauld A follows the pointed finger toward another similar-sized yacht, only a few lengths away. On the opposite deck a man – a familiar man – stands, holding a pistol.

Episode 47

March 6, 2009

Midwhile in the Mid-Atlantic…

Rentwich A is now face-to-face with Flandly Overture, the vampire who had been lying in wait until sunset. Behind him, Rentwich B holds firm, seemingly undisturbed by the undead creature’s sudden appearance.

Rentwich A: “So, it’s come to this. Well, you know as well as I do – after what happened in The War – that there’s no way I can harm you… You may as well just get it over wi-”

Before Rentwich A is finished, Flandly coughs up some vile vampire-inside goo, flails briefly, and falls to the ground. In his back, and forced in deep enough to pierce his heart, is the stake.

Another man vacillates slowly, his eyes distant, with his hand grasped as if still holding the stake. Victory, thy name is Gordnauld Fortuna.

He looks at Rentwich A, turns slowly towards Rentwich B, and then walks past them both into the night.

Rentwich A: “Gord-”

Gordnauld B: “Leave him… He needs some time alone.”

Rentwich A: “There’s two of you!… I would guess you were clones, except that none of my genetic material’s been unaccounted for since that unbagged turd in Phnom Penh back in ’98.”

Rentwich B: “The Mekong can move when she wants to.”

Rentwich A and B share a brief chuckle. Gordnauld B cringes.

Episode 46

March 5, 2009

Alarm bells sound throughout Daisingdale airport – there has been a crash. Emergency services arrive at the downed airplane within minutes, dragging two injured people from the wreckage. It is the picture of efficiency; each task tended to by expert individuals; each action contributing to a complex grand plan, as though the airport workers are semi-independent drones, controlled by some alien intelligence with a pulsating psychic brain and huge ooze-coated tentacles probing outwards with greedy intent.

On this occasion, the metaphorical Brainthing has only benevolent intentions – to rescue the two survivors, and to make safe the runways as quickly as possible. And yet, who knows what twisted ingredients such a peculiar creature might thirst for, as it slowly drowns in it’s own excreted juices? Certainly, it would not wish for the unthinkable fate which is about to ensue…

In the final moment before the crash, Europa Fortuna reached out to squeeze the hand of the confused pilot, Jack Schmeistingsneifer. At the moment his skin touched hers, the insidious double amnesia virus had already begun its work. In the overwhelming fear of the moment, perhaps Europa did not notice her cherished memories fading into the mists. Now, as she and Jack are passed from one paramedic to the next, the virus works it’s network ever outward, planting the seeds of deadly forgetfulness in every node.

The only question which remains is: can the airport’s efficient organizational structure, in which the administrators take such pride, and which – in so many ways – is like a grotesque vomit-inducing tentacle Brainthing, deal with the as yet unknown threat?

Episode 45

March 4, 2009

Meanwhile in the Mid-Atlantic…

Night has fallen, and Rentwich waits alone for someone or something to emerge from the vampire’s burrow. There is no noise save the splashing of waves against the islet’s rocky shore. But just below that… could it be… footsteps?

Rentwich B: “Don’t worry, he’ll be ok.”

(Production note: For the purposes of clarity, the original Rentwich and Gordnauld shall be referred to by their names, followed by the letter A. The mysterious Rentwich and Gordnauld doppelgangers, who have just arrived on the islet by yacht, will have a B appended to their names.)

Rentwich A is shocked to come face-to-face with a man identical to him in every way.

Rentwich B: “Or… as ok as any man can be, after being… down there.”

Rentwich A: “Who are you!?”

Rentwich B: “I am Rentwich.” (Production note: He is Rentwich B.)

Rentwich A: “That’s impossible. The only man to carry the name Rentwich is me – I’ve Googled my name and the only results were the poorly-spelled rantings of disgruntled tenants.”

Rentwich B: “But that wasn’t always true… your father was also called Rentwich… until-”

Rentwich A gasps!

Rentwich A: “I’ve never told anyone that story!… How could you have known?”

Before Rentwich B can answer, there is a stirring in the vampire’s burrow, and a dark figure surfaces.

Episode 44

March 3, 2009

They say a good doctor can diagnose a patient just by watching how they walk into his office. What then can be said about Dr. Gnarlhawk Sinclair who – after stepping outside Daisingdale General Hospital to look for the disappeared Stockton Fortuna – has just witnessed the erratic passage of a low-flying jet of unfamiliar design, and thought that the pilot must be suffering from a memory-targeting affliction?

No doubt it would take the good doctor mere minutes, were he to meet Jack Schmeistingsneifer, to diagnose the rare condition double amnesia. The only cure for double amnesia is to administer sequentially two cures for regular amnesia – the first will restore the patient’s memory back to the moment they contracted single amnesia, the second will restore it in full. But the dangers are immense, to the patient as well as to those around him – for, unlike a single dose of amnesia, double amnesia is highly contagious… and fatal.

But Jack has a more immediate problem to worry about: The FX2 is hurtling towards Daisingdale airport with unabated speed, and he has no idea how to maneuver the plane. No doubt it would take some implausible, absurd convergence of unlikely circumstances to bring he and his passenger, Europa Fortuna, safely to the ground. Indeed it is probably fair to assume that they both will perish, so we turn our attention elsewhere…

Episode 43

March 2, 2009

Meanwhile in the Mid-Atlantic…

The boulder had shifted after a steady effort, revealing a burrow that delved not only beneath the islet – it seemed to Gordnauld – but also out of the realms of normality. Taking his cue from Rentwich, he had begun to regularly note the diminishing sunset. The darkness of the hole seems to issue forth, latching onto all surfaces, devouring each and every distinguishing feature.

Rentwich: “You have to go alone.”

Somehow Gordnauld had known those words would come next. He could protest, or ask for an explanation, but the light is dwindling and with it the power of Reason over that primeval, marrow-deep knowledge that nightmares have always walked amongst us.

From his jacket he removes a short stump of jagged driftwood. His earlier idea that it, and others like it, could be used to build a fire now seems hopelessly irrelevant. The stake, now in hand, has only one inescapable purpose – It must be driven through the heart of the thing called Flandly Overture.

On the yacht, the two observers are silent. They seem to know the deepest thoughts of the hunters on the islet – and perhaps they do for, in the dim light of the ship’s electronic displays, we see that the pair look identical to Rentwich and Gordnauld!

Episode 42

March 1, 2009

In a side-street next to the hospital Stockton Fortuna collects his thoughts. The purpose of his coma ruse had been to lure out an enemy Stockton had long suspected to be plotting against him. There had been subtle hints of attacks against his business interests – A tangled strategem that would have bamboozled Sun Tzu. He had traced the fragments of evidence for several years, sharing his suspicions with the only man he truly trusts – Rentwich.

Rentwich’s suggestion had been for Stockton to feign an illness, wait for the hidden enemy to reveal itself, and then to pounce! The plan was simple, surgical and savage. An idea born from a dark place. Not for the first time, Stockton had wondered if Rentwich had spent too much time around vampires during The War.

But something had gone wrong. Stockon had made himself a target – open to the simplest of attacks – and yet Levillia was the one to fall victim to the enemy. Slowly, as Stockon considers the possibilities, the pieces start to fall together…