Episode 12

January 30, 2009

The FX2, Fortuna Industries’ experimental new jet plane, rockets across the sky with Jack Schmeistingsneifer at the stick and heiress to billions Europa Fortuna, hell-bent on stopping Senator Basingstoke’s Orphans for Oil bill from passing, in the seat next to him.
Europa: “Oh Colonel Schmeistingsneifer, I must be such a nuissance with my passionate devotion to worthy causes and my heroic determination not to let anything stand in my way – the way of Justice.”
Jack: “Please Ms. Fortuna, call me Jack.”
Their eyes meet, and though it is hard to tell with the jet’s cockpit shaking at an equivalent of 7.0 on the Richter scale, Jack thinks he sees a smile.


Episode 11

January 29, 2009

Guinevere de Butugenhausen, wife of Stockon Fortuna’s Golden Platypus Club compatriot Easterson de Butugenhausen, steps slowly into the former’s hospital room.
Guinevere: “Oh Stockon, what a fool I’ve been. Now it’s too late… to tell you…”
She breaks down on Stockon’s bed.
Stockon: “It’s never too late.”
He grabs the shocked Guinevere with his powerful, non-comatosed arms, and an adult situation ensues.
Unbeknownst to either of them, the goings-on mash the buttons of Guinevere’s Sony Ericsson C702a and place a call to her husband. If only she had had a Sony Ericsson W508a flip-phone… or had Easterson experienced some prescience of button-mashing infedility when he gave her the phone as a Hanukkah gift?

Episode 10

January 28, 2009

Meanwhile in Rabat…
The monkey-spy struggles against the make-shift cords tying him to the chair. Rentwich takes Gordnauld aside.
Rentwich: “You’re a good man Gordnauld. Too good to be witness to what comes next.”
Gordnauld: “You don’t mean-?”
Rentwich: “A lot of things happened during The War, Gordnauld. War-like things. Things that change a man. Change a man into something different. Sometimes a thing has to be done. And sometimes a man must do a thing that has to be done.”
Gordnauld: “But the monkey can’t tell us anything.”
Rentwich: “Can’t he? Go Rentwich. And don’t come back before 9. There’s a Dean Martin impersonator playing the hotel bar.”

Episode 9

January 27, 2009

Levillia enters the hospital elevator. Just as the door is almost closed a hand reaches in and stops it. The doors reopen to reveal…
Levillia: “It can’t be! You’re….”
????: “Dead?”
The masked figure steps inside the elevator and the doors slide shut behind him. Or her.

Episode 8

January 26, 2009

Europa: “I said take me to Washington! I need to get to the Senate before Basingstoke passes his Orphans for Oil bill!”
Ex Air Force Colonel Jack Schmeistingsneifer, the most talented of the Fortuna’s team of personal pilots, tries to reason with the passionate girl.
Jack: “No can do Ms. Fortuna. It would take hours to get from Daisingdale to D.C.”
Europa: “Even in the FX2?”
Jack: “The FX-!? How did you know about… No Ms. Fortuna. It’s only a prototype. It’s too dangerous.”
Europa: “If you don’t fly me, I’ll fly myself!”
Jack tries to reason, but can’t get past one persistant thought – “Am I falling in love with Europa?”

Episode 7

January 25, 2009

Meanwhile, in Rabat…
Rentwich pours himself a scotch.
Rentwich: “You can’t trust the girl Gordnauld. She could be part of a ruse.”
The monkey-spy hiding behind the curtains leans forward to pick up Gordnauld’s whispered response on his Sony ICD-B500 Digital Dictaphone.
Rentwich: “You asked her to marry you!?”
Rentwich shouts and hurls his glass across the room. It shatters not far from the monkey-spy, who whimpers and slaps his free paw to his mouth.
Rentwich and Gordnauld both turn towards the noise.

Episode 6

January 24, 2009

Levillia Montsaintclaire Fortuna Basingstoke steps into the quiet private room where her ex-husband Stockton Fortuna lies comatose.
Levillia: “Look at you Stock, you damned fool! You and those damnable Golden Platypus Club cronies and your idiotic games. Sooner or later you had to end up like this… And here I am like a silly schoolgirl, running to see you when fall.”
She takes a step closer.
Levillia: “If I weren’t still madly in love with you Stockon Fortuna, I’d smother you right now!”
She kisses Stockon passionately, then pulls away, slaps him across the face, and storms out of the room.
Alone once again, Stockon opens a single eye and allows himself an almost imperceptible grin

Episode 5

January 23, 2009

Meanwhile, in Rabat…
Gordnauld storms into the lavish hotel room, with Rentwich close behind.
Rentwich: “Don’t deny it Gordnauld! It was so obvious today in the negotiations: there’s a love connection between you and Adabi’s assistant!”
Gordnauld paces up to the curtains, and stops just short of opening them.
Gordnauld: “You’re right Rentwich. I fell for Amineh the moment I saw her. That’s the real reason I wanted to leave Morocco. I didn’t want to compromise the negotiations.”
Rentwich looks solemn. Unbeknownst to either of the two men, a monkey-spy sweats nervously on the other side of the curtains, clutching a Sony ICD-B500 Digital Dictaphone in his paw.

Behind the Scenes

January 22, 2009

From time to time we’ll take you behind the scenes of Fortuna Favors the Bold to let you see what it takes to bring each exciting episode to the Web. In this installment we meet Head Researcher Gloria Frenkel.

BtS: What’s your role on Fortuna Favors the Bold?

GF: The writers come to me with a script, either a first draft or something more fleshed out, and ask me to have my people look it over. We’re on the look-out for anything inconsistent, maybe something that contradicts a previous episode, and all the fact-checking too.

BtS: Was the run up to FFtB’s launch a difficult time for you?

GF: You have no idea. The guys here hate me for having them working round the clock, but that’s the dedication that it takes to bring something like Fortuna together. The worst moment came when Pierce [Mulholland, of the writing staff] took me aside, and remember this is when we were totally snowed-under doing all the background medical work for the Stockton coma story, and he said, 

‘Glo. Episode 3 is gonna be in Morocco.’

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It’s unheard of to do overseas episodes so early in a run, and I told him! But once Pierce has his mind set on something there’s no shaking him. So there we were, with less than a month to know Rabat inside-out.

BtS: What kind of things did you have to learn about the place?

GF: Everything. One of the key principles that Fortuna is based on, is complete authenticity. We had to know the city better than the Rabatians themselves. Had we had more time I would’ve gone over with my people, taken in the atmosphere for a week or two – but Fortuna’s release schedule doesn’t allow for that. So I sent Jacob [Noth, a junior researcher] over for a few days. To note down every detail – the little things you don’t pick up from academic sources. He did a lot of legwork and more than none of the credit should go to him.

BtS: David Manning of the Ridgefield Press has called Episode 3 a ‘triumph’. He said ‘readers will be whisked away to a Morocco more engaging, more visceral and more tongue-bitingly real, than anything to appear in Western fiction to date.’ How does that make you feel?

GF: I was really touched when I read that. Researchers are the background people, the ones you never hear much about. To have that kind of attention paid, that recognition. It’s really something special. And it’s even more meaningful coming from David Manning, who I know was the Ridgefield Press’ North African correspondant for many years. So he lived in these places. I believe his second wife was actually a Moroccan.

BtS: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us.

GF: Yes.

Next time on Behind the Scenes, we’ll pull back the curtain a little farther and meet another one of FFtB’s talented creators.

Episode 4

January 22, 2009

At the hospital…
Levillia: “So Europa, how is college?”
Europa: “I dropped out, Mother! So that I could organize protests against Senator Basingstoke’s Orphans for Oil bill.”
Levillia: “Oh, my husband’s bill will pass don’t you worry your pretty little head about that. Especially now that I suggested he move the vote forward to today.”
Europa: “But you knew I’d be in the hospital with Daddy!”
Levillia smiles. Europa, shocked and hurt, runs for the exit.