Eclipse Star: Chapter 16
“Rocks, Sand, and Newb Cannons”
Recap: Now that the tournament had ended and Derek had been proclaimed champion, the Legion immediately decided it was time to send the group on their first mission. Having hardly any time to rest, early the next morning they found themselves on a helicopter flying to the Kantirian Wastelands, also known as the Forever Desert, in search of one of the Demon Regime’s military bases. Once they were dropped off it soon became apparent that it was going to be a long hunt.
Jack: (Taking the lead, sunglasses on his face and a backpack on his back). Okay everyone, stick together. We don’t want anyone getting lost out here.
Derek: (Squinting his eyes, looking all around). Where’s this base supposed to be anyway?
Jack: (Points at the ridge in the distance). Somewhere out here, most likely in that ridge off in the distance.
Chris: Any clue if we’re on the right track?
Jack: I know about as much as you do on this matter. Once we get to the ridge we’ll develop a new strategy.
Derek: (Slipping it out there). In the meantime, why don’t you teach us that energy blast stuff?
Jack: (Sighs). Well, as much as I really don’t think you guys should know this yet, it will come in handy if we somehow come across the Regime’s base. (They all stop walking as Jack takes his backpack off and places it on the ground, then puts his sunglasses on his hat. He rubs his hands a few times). Okay, first thing you need to know is that it’s not all about who’s the strongest. Everyone can potentially use energy combat since it’s based more on skill. Some are gonna have single beams, some are gonna be able to manipulate it into controllable balls, some are gonna do things that none of us could predict. Everyone is different in that aspect.
Chris: (Thinks for a moment, coming to a realization). Wait a minute. When we first met you, you told us that you didn’t know how to manipulate energy combat.
Jack: I didn’t. Or at least not that well. Do you think I haven’t been doing training of my own in addition to what I’ve been teaching? (Looks around, somewhat stern). I thought I told you to do personal training as well.
Derek: (Basically patting himself on the back, his arms crossed in his own smugness). Obviously I made sure to do some independent study.
Jack: (Rolls his eyes, speaking mostly to himself). It was certainly a surprise to me, that’s for sure.
Kyle: So how does it all work?
Jack: It’s kinda like a charge and release sort of motion.
Lindsey: What do you mean, Jack?
Jack: Well, you’ve got to focus your energy properly. Instead of focusing it throughout your body, you basically harness into one specific location. In the same aspect you can just power up specific parts of your body, so for example you could unleash a devastating kick or a punch that could literally kill someone if you’re not careful.
Chris: Doesn’t sound too hard really.
Derek: (Shakes his head). It’s really not.
Jack: That depends how much power and control you want and how fast you want your firing speed to be. It can really tire you out if you’re not conditioned to use them. That’s why when I first met you all I could do was one or two in a row before getting winded.
Derek: (Laughs quietly to himself). I’ve definitely surpassed you there.
Chris: How many can you fire off before getting tired?
Derek: Haven’t found my limit, but more than twelve.
Leena: (Scoffs and rolls her eyes). No way, that’s just ridiculous.
Derek: (Gives Leena a dirty look and readies himself). Oh yeah? Just watch me. (Starts to charge up his blasts in his hands, then fires off one into the distance, then another, then another until he’s shot about five. He starts to breath hard). Not bad, eh?
Leena: (Unimpressed). You’re half way there, keep going.
Derek: (Turns away from her, annoyed). Meh, I don’t have to prove anything to you.
Jack: Derek, you’ll be helping me teach these guys how it’s done. All they need to learn is the most basic of energy blasts, just enough to create fast explosions without making themselves too tired. Who wants to try next?
Austin: (Eyebrow raised). So it’s just charging and releasing?
Kyle: (Raises his hand). Kinda like masturbation?
Jack: (Thinks for himself, then pauses, nodding his head, finally). Yes actually, kinda like masturbation.
Chris: (A realization). Ohhhhhh, that kind of release. Like a good kind of tired.
Austin: It’s all about stamina?
Jack: (Smacks his face). Oh jeez…yeah, somewhat like that.
Scott: I’m up first. (Charges his power and can’t seem to make anything happen).
Jack: It needs to be more natural. You don’t want to force it out, just control what would happen naturally.
Chris: Technically we wouldn’t naturally be doing this though.
Jack: Also true, but for all intensive purposes, this is a natural function.
Kyle: (Raises his hand again). Like masturbation.
Jack: Somewhat like…okay, who’s next?
Lindsey: Okay then, I’ll give it a go. (Powers up and fires off a small energy ball). Oh wow…that felt pretty…heh, good. (Starts to laugh to herself).
Leena: (Raises an eyebrow). Like…what kind of good?
Lindsey: Heh, you’ll see.
Leena: (Does her best to fire an energy blast, eventually succeeding). Oooooh, I see what you mean. (Pauses a second). I kinda want to do that again.
Derek: (Smiles). Yeah, it’s pretty sweet, eh?
-Everyone tries their best to fire off energy blasts for the next hour, though no one really accomplishes this task though.
Chris: Hooya! (Fires one that hardly explodes). Aha! (Pumps his fist in the air). I think I’m getting’ this! (Charges again and fires off a fairly good one that goes way off into the distance. He points in the direction it flew). Oh check that one out, it had some distance to it.
Derek: (Still smug). At least I can fire more than you can.
Chris: Oh yeah? One two three GO! (The two compete to see who can fire off the most. They both cap out at 7).
Kyle: Energy blast, AWAY! (Nothing happens. Kyle slouches, defeated). Damn.
Scott: Come on baby…ehhhh-BOOYA! (Fires blast with both hands).
Chris: Jack, show us how to do beams.
Derek: I can do a beam already. Watch and learn. (Strains to make an energy beam with one hand, hardly pulling it off). That’s how it’s done.
Chris: Hardly. (Shoots off one with both hands, though also hardly).
Derek: I’ve got more stamina than you.
Chris: Try me!
-The two forcefully push themselves to fire off a continuous energy beam. A few moments later their beams dissipate and that both hunch over, completely winded.
Chris: Man, I’m spent.
Derek: Hah, wuss.
Austin: (Jumping up and down). Hey, look at that, I got up to twelve times in under a minute!
Chris: Man Austin, you are an animal.
Lindsey: I’m still goin’! (Continues to fire small blasts one after the other at an incredible rate of fire).
Leena: Go girl go!
Kyle: See, this is why I’m jealous of women. Multiple energy blasts.
Danny: Oh man this is sick. (Punches around with what looks like energy ball gloves). Willy, toss me an energy ball.
Willy: Alright then, lookout! (Winds up and hurls an energy ball at Danny, who then pulls back and smacks it with his energy glove hands, sending it into the air).
Kevin: (An energy ball is hovering above his open palm. He’s finding the whole process fascinating). It seems to be nothing more than a case of mind over matter. (Manipulates the energy into different shapes, then lets it hover by itself all around in different directions).
Chris: Ah, but have you already figured out how to do…this! (Fires an energy ball at Kevin. Right as it’s about to hit him, Chris pulls his hand back and it does an about-face, nearly hitting Chris on the way back). Yah! (Falls on his back as he ducks out of the way). Look out guys!
-Everyone jumps out of the way as it tears across the group.
-Jack jumps in front of it and tries to stop it with both his hands. It pushes him back but he regains control and throws it into the air where it explodes harmlessly.
Chris: (A bit embarrassed). Sorry guys!
Kyle: I’m still not getting this thing yet. (Tries desperately to make any sort of energy blast).
Clinton: I feel ya Kyle. I’m having trouble myself. (Focuses and then shoots off a continuous blast that rockets over the ground). Oh, maybe I’ve got it then.
Jack: (Looking around, taking it all in). How are they all learning so fast…?
-For the next few hours everyone continues to fire off energy blasts, except for Kyle, until nightfall hits and the group sets up camp at the base of the ridge.
Lindsey: (Leaned back while sitting down. She looks enraptured). Man…that was amazing…
Leena: (Fanning herself). You’re telling me.
Scott: (Smoking a cigarette). I’ve had better.
Leena: I couldn’t by any chance borrow a cigarette, could I?
Scott: It’s a filthy habit; you’ve got enough problems as it is.
Chris: (Breathing heavily). So…how’s our progress Jack?
Jack: Not back I guess.
Derek: Screw that, we’re doing great and you know it.
Jack: You’ve come a long way in a short amount of time no matter how you slice it. But doing something and knowing how to do it well aren’t the same thing, so don’t get overly confident just yet, and yeah, I realize that’s going to sound ridiculous to you, but just try and listen to reason there.
Derek: Hehehehe… (Walks away, laughing to himself).
-Everyone is very tired, Danny is completely passed out and snoring although he’s still got an energy glove on. Kyle is still working on creating an energy blast a ways away from the group.
Kyle: (Thrusting his hands forward with very yell, trying different hand gestures with each). Shazam! Alakanooch! Hocus pocus! Um…please? (Nothing). Bah. (Walks back over with the rest of the group).
Jack: (Lecturing everyone sitting around a circle). You’re all doing extremely great, but remember that it’ll be a lot different in actual battles. You’re not going to have time to think of what to do and how much to do it, so it’s gonna need to come naturally, just like I originally said.
Chris: Are we at least purposefully dangerous instead of accidentally?
Jack: Enough so that you can create small explosions capable of blowing up rocks and stuff, but not enough that you could really hurt anyone yet. Get some rest though. Tomorrow we’re checking the ridge as much as possible for that base.
Derek: And more energy training.
Jack: No. You’ve all learned enough to get you through this mission, now we just need to find the base.
Derek: (Shrugs). Hell, I could go find it right now if I felt like it.
Jack: (Shoots back at Derek). Be my guest.
Derek: (Annoyed). Fine, I think I will. (Gets up and leaves).
Jack: Meh, he’ll be back in like an hour.
* * * * *
-Morning comes and Derek has yet to return. The others have all gotten up and are stretching out for another long day of walking.
Lindsey: (Looking around, frantic). Derek should have come back by now. I’m getting worried.
Jack: (Looking down, his hands at his hips. He’s frustrated). Damnit, that’s just what we need. We’ll just have to go looking for him as well.
Chris: I wonder if he found it or not?
Jack: Damn, if he did I’ll wager he got himself captured trying to infiltrate it without us.
Austin: Well then we don’t have time to waste. (Waves his hand forward and begins walking). Let’s move out guys!
Jack: Hey, I’m the leader here. Um…let’s move out…everyone!
-They all grab their gear and start the trek up to the top of the ridge. Once they reach the top they get a good view of the area at last.
Lindsey: (Shading her eyes from the sun as she looks out over the desert). Oh wow, it really does go on forever.
Jack: (Looks over all the ridge and sees nothing out of the ordinary). Dang, I figured we’d be able to see at least something to set us in the right direction.
Chris: Jack, how likely do you think it is that we’ll find this thing?
Jack: We’ve got a week, so I’m not too worried.
-Another night passes with still no sign of either the base or Derek. The next day, everyone’s morale is starting to diminish.
Leena: (Trudging along, just like everyone). I’m hot, and I’m tired, and I’m bored, and I’m hot…
Lindsey: (Shrugs, but also panting). At least we’re getting good tans, right? Right?
Leena: Lindsey, shut up.
Kyle: I’ve shed my skin, I have become snakelike. No more sun says I.
Leena: How’s that energy blast comin’, Kyle?
Kyle: (Opens his mouth to speak). Uh…shut it. (Walks ahead of her and over to Chris). Sir, I say sir? Tell the captain of this ship that the crew’s ores are tired.
Chris: (Nods off towards Jack). I think he’s a bit too determined to find the base before we stop.
Kyle: (Looks off into the distance). Eh, what’s that? (Sees a source of water). Water ho!
Chris: Huh? (Looks off to where Kyle’s pointing). You’re right. (Calls to Jack). Hey Jack! There’s a river over there to our left! What say we stop on by for a quick drink and a long nap?
Jack: (Stops and looks around before yelling back). Fine, but we’re only going that way so that we can cross to the other side.
Kyle: Ford the river? No thanks, I’ve lost enough oxen on this journey.
Chris: Speaking of which, why the heck haven’t we found Derek yet?
Austin: I’m really starting to think that he found the base and did get caught.
Jack: What time is it anyways? (Looks at his watch). Already past 4? We’re getting nowhere at this rate… Okay guys, we’re heading to the river and crossing.
Leena: Let’s rest for a while!
Jack: We don’t have time.
Leena: We had plenty of time yesterday, where did it all go?
Jack: I don’t know.
Lindsey: But you know everything…
Jack: Then I lied.
-As the group starts to cross the river, Jack makes sure that they’ve all gotten across safely. Just as he’s about to cross though, something startles him.
Derek: (Serious). Hey Jack, where’ve you been?
Jack: Huh? (He turns around and loses his balance, falling into the river).
Derek: (Runs up and helps him up. Jack’s soaked now). Watch it there, slippery rocks.
Jack: (Furious). Where have I been? Where have you been?! We’ve been looking everywhere for you!
Derek: (Still serious and dry). Maybe you should have been looking for that base instead.
Chris: (Excited). Hey, Derek’s back! (Runs back across the river). Derek, you okay? You look like someone beat the crap outta you.
Derek: (Derek does indeed have multiple bruises all over his body and a gash on his forehead). I’m fine, I just…(Sighs). I fell a few times but let’s change the subject, huh? You guys find anything yet?
Chris: (Shakes his head). Nah, we were hoping that you got captured after finding the base.
Derek: Well, sadly I found nothing. I searched the entire other direction, or at least for as far as I felt like looking. Nothing is there.
Jack: (Not believing Derek’s story). You sure you’re okay? Falling a few times isn’t gonna beat you up as badly as this.
Derek: Try falling off things, like ledges and such.
Jack: Ah, okay then. Here, let me bandage you up at least. (Grabs at his back in search of his backpack, which is gone). What, where’s…? (Looks around and then down at the river). Damnit! My backpack must have fallen into the river when I slipped.
Lindsey: (Concerned). Jack, that had all our food in it!
Austin: And all the medical supplies.
Clinton: And the map.
Kyle: And the food!
Jack: Damnit…(Getting annoyed, searching around before pointing at Derek). This is all your fault, Derek!
Derek: Me? I’m not the one who fell into the river. (Almost laughing). Who’s dumb enough to try and ford the river anyways?
Jack: We’re setting up camp here until I figure out what to do next.
Kyle: (Cheers). Hooray! (Looks around at everyone. They seem very morose). Oh, I mean darn…I think.
-Night falls again and the group is huddled together as Derek tries to make a fire with energy blasts. Kyle’s off on his own again trying to create an energy blast.
Derek: Here we go…yah! Hooha! Zing! (Sparks keep flying out of his hands but he can’t catch the wood on fire).
Scott: (Pulls a match out from his pocket, strikes it on Derek’s face and lights the wood on fire). There, ta da. (Waves his hands). Putts.
Jack: (He’s turned away from the group and trying to think of anything. He’s finally looking somewhat worried). What are we going to do? This is my fault, I got us into this, we aren’t going to last long out here if we don’t find that base soon…
Lindsey: (Comes over and nudges Jack). Jack, come on, come back over with the group.
Jack: I’m fine over here thanks.
Lindsey: You haven’t been yourself lately. You’ve been getting angry with us too quickly and you keep beating yourself up over small things. Look how much you’ve taught us. If it weren’t for you, we’d still just be in school learning about pretty much nothing. (Grabs his hand). C’mon, come back. Smile again. Cheer us up.
Jack: (Grasps Lindsey hand and smiles again). You’re right, you know that?
Lindsey: (Smiles). Of course I do. So what’s your plan?
Jack: We need a miracle, that’s my plan.
Kyle: (Trying extremely hard to create an energy blast still). Go blast go! Open says me! One two three skidoo! Kameh- no, that’s just too silly. (Starts to walk back). Arg, I hate this energy thing! I can’t do it! Dammit! (Flips his hand off to the side and launches a huge energy grenade that blasts a hole in the side of the ridge). Aha! (Looks at his hand and smiles). I shall call you the “Dammit Blast!”
Chris: (Walks over to Kyle, proud). Awesome, you got it! (As he looks at the hole Kyle made, lights start flashing from inside it. Chris squints to try and get a better look). What is that?
Kyle: I don’t know. Let’s check it out. (The two walk over to the hole and look inside. They find glowing lights from some sort of computer screen with buttons and levers and dials everywhere. The two back out of the alcove and casually yell off towards the group). Hey Jack…? I think we fooooound something.
To Be Continued…
Eclipse Star: Chapter 15
“Anyone for Desert?”
Recap: Last time, after an unexpected turn of events, Derek managed to somehow pull off a victory against Syrus by means of a makeshift energy blast that knocked both of them senseless and Syrus out of the ring. But before the match, the group was informed by the Legion Commander that they were scheduled for their first real mission directly following the tournament.
Kyle: (From up in the stands). So…did anyone else see a flashy lightshow just now or is it the altitude getting to me?
Leena: No, no I definitely saw it, too. (Slumps deeper and deeper). And that makes Derek the winner and somehow the strongest person in our group now. We’re never going to hear the end of this.
Danny: That was pretty sweet though, you can’t deny it. Who’s gonna deny it? Willy, was that not sweet?
Willy: That was sweet Danny.
Danny: That was sweet.
Kyle: Okay kiddos, we’ve wasted enough time up here gawking like dimwits. It’s about time we check in with the others.
Leena: (Mocking Kyle). Ahh, are you worried about Chris as well?
Kyle: Absolutely. Also, Jack is more than likely gonna get in a fight with Derek on his way off the stage and I’d like a good seat for it.
Leena: Sounds good to me. (The group heads down to ground level).
Syrus: (Sitting out of bounds still confused as to how he was beaten). A teenager just beat me…in front of millions of viewers…me…(smiles). Haha, marvelous.
Octavious: (Not finding the same humor that Syrus has found). Marvelous? What in the hell are you talking about?
Syrus: Hmh, don’t be so negative. We all had fun and we don’t appear weak to the world. I call that a success.
Octavious: (Furious). You shut your God damned mouth Syrus. You know what’s planned for next week and you’re laughing about how a kid knocked you on your ass as if it’s a hilarious anecdote.
Syrus: (Stands up and taps Octavious on the cheek mockingly). Smile more, you don’t want the cameras to see your bad side, do you?
Octavious: You’ve pushed your luck as far as it goes. (Looks around at all the cameras pointed at him. He forces a smile and talks hushed to Syrus). I’ll deal with you when these cameras are gone.
Syrus: Sorry, but I’ve more important business to attend to. Next week you know. (Walks off).
Octavious: (Lividly pissed). Damnit…I hate that man…
Syrus: (To himself as he’s walking away). If that’s what this one could do…imagine if he hadn’t broken the other’s shoulders? (Smiles and tilts his head back, laughing, again).
Derek: (Derek is still slumped down in the ring while a few medical technicians look him over as reporters try and interview him. He is talking very weak and tiredly). Please, as much as I love the attention normally, I’m in a lot of pain right now…
Jack: (Storms into the ring). YOU!!
Jack: (Freaked). Energy blasts? You just, hah, you just felt like firing off a highly dangerous explosion huh?
Derek: (Dry, with a slight smile). It worked didn’t it?
Jack: Get these cameras out of here. (Looks around as none of the reporters or camera people move. Jack flips out and punches a camera in). NOW DAMNIT! (This time they leave).
Derek: Jack, just calm down, you’ll have your chance to yell at me later…
Jack: No, we do this now. (Reaches into his pocket and pulls out what looks like a PEZ dispenser. He pulls out one of the “candies” and forcibly gives it to Derek). Eat this, now.
Derek: I’m not really hungry for candy actually…
Jack: Here. (Makes Derek take it and eat it. Derek gets noticeably better after taking it). Get up.
Derek: What was that?
Jack: One of those prototype pills I told you about. Up, now.
Derek: (Stands up and brushes himself off). Jack, I’m sorry. I did what I thought was necessary to win.
Jack: I told you, no energy…no I didn’t, I just didn’t train you…c’mon man! What were you thinking?!
Derek: You need to make more sense Jack.
-Jack socks Derek in the face and the two wrestle around for a few seconds before the Commander comes and breaks them apart.
Commander: Enough you two, don’t make fools of us so soon, you’ll have a chance to do that another day. Now follow me, you need to be briefed on the mission. (Drags them into the hospital wing where the others are all gathered).
Chris: (Chris has now woken up and is walking around, although his arms are in braces). So, Derek, the champion eh?
Derek: It would appear so my friend.
Chris: Hah, not bad.
Derek: C’mere. (Walks over and hugs Chris).
Chris: (Winces as Derek hugs him). Guh, the arms, remember?
Derek: Man, sorry about that. How they feelin’?
Chris: Just peachy of course. How else should they feel after they’ve been forcefully torn from their sockets?
Derek: (Smiles and waggles a finger at Chris). Come now, I did no tearing. If I remember correctly they were shattered.
Kyle: (Hurries in with the rest of the gang). Hey hey, they’re all alright. (Tips an invisible hat to Derek). Derek, congrats of course.
Derek: Of course.
Leena: Lindsey! You’re alright! (Runs up and hugs her).
Lindsey: I’ve been fine for a while. Where’ve you been?
Leena: Up in the stands-hey what’s this I hear about a mission?
Commander: (Somewhat disconnected, a bit bored-looking). Hm? Oh, you’re all done babbling on. Good, we’re all here then for this announcement. As some of you know I am obligated to send worthy soldiers on real missions when they are ready and I am happy to exclaim that you are all more than ready for this mission. Get some rest, tomorrow morning is the briefing, followed by a rather long helicopter ride. Dismissed, all of you. Oh, and Jack, a word please?
Jack: (Walks off to the side with the Commander). What’s up chief?
Commander: Energy combat?
Jack: (Just about frantic in explaining himself). Sir, I had no idea that any of them had learned it. I certainly didn’t-
Commander: I’m beyond impressed that you were able to teach them energy combat so quickly.
Jack: (Acting as if he really planned it that way). It was difficult but they learn quickly.
Commander: (Totally serious). Teach them as much more as you can. You’ll need real energy combat for this mission, none of that imitation stuff like we saw out there.
Jack: I’ll do what I can.
Commander: Good, go back in there and start training. (Jack casually salutes and heads back into the room with the others. The man in the suit walks up to the Commander again).
Subordinate: I thought you were going to give them a few days to rest and prepare?
Commander: I need them gone now. They’re too dangerous for us anymore; it’s about time we let someone else deal with them.
* * * * *
(After a pitiful nights’ sleep the group is assembled in a small meeting room ridiculously early in the morning, awaiting the arrival of the Legion Commander so that they can find out the extent of what they’re expected to embark upon).
Chris: (Barely awake at this time). Why…so…EARLY!
Austin: (Totally awake). No worries Chris, an early start never hurt anyone.
Lindsey: (Slightly tired). I’m a barrel full of energy and even I’m too tired to care right now.
Chris: Why do we have to meet in the a.m.? Who invented the a.m.? Do you know what a.m. stands for? It stands for “Ah Man…”
Kyle: Where did you hear that joke from?
Chris: I made it up…with m’ mind. (Taps his head).
Kyle: I’m a little surprised you can piece together a tangible pun at this hour, but then again it was terrible so I just don’t know what to think anymore.
Commander: (Walks into the room looking extremely hung-over, massaging his head, clearly being ravaged by a headache). Good morning everyone.
All: Good morning sir!
Commander: (Winces at this, covering his ears). Damnit, shhhhhh. Not so damned loud. (Looking around, his eyes hardly open). Jack? Where’s Jack?
Jack: (Runs into the room in a jogging suit. He looks like he’s been up for a lot longer than the rest of the group). Sorry, just getting in a morning workout.
Commander: Good, great, okay. Si’down and shush. (Pulls down a map). Does anyone know what it is we’re looking at?
Kyle: That would be a map, sir.
Commander: (Annoyed smirk). Smart… a map of what?
Kyle: A map of geography.
Commander: (Rolls his eyes). This is a map of Trillium City and its surrounding areas. Here is the city. (Points to the middle of the map). As you can see, it is big and looks like a city.
Derek: (Dry). Astonishing.
Commander: (Getting more annoyed as time progresses). Quiiiiiet… (Points to the area below the city). Beyond city limits are smaller farming communities and plains in general. Those stretch on for a good while. (Moves down progressively). Travel south of that and you come to less and less hospitable farmland until you’ve arrived at basically a desert. Anyone been to this particular desert? Anyone even know what this desert is called?
Kevin: (Raises his hand and begins talking eloquently compared to everyone else). The desert’s official name is the Kantirian Wastelands, although many have just referred to it as the Forever Desert due to the expanse of land it covers.
Commander: Ut….(Looks towards the map and back, somewhat dumbfounded). Yes that’s correct. (Shakes his head). Well towards the southern part of the wastelands are a series of ridges and huge plateaus. Located somewhere in there is a military base. I want you to find that base.
Derek: We just need to meet up with another Legion base?
Commander: This isn’t one of our bases. This base belongs to the Demon Regime.
Jack: (Trying to understand). How did they manage to build a military base on Zanrethian soil without us knowing?
Commander: Obviously they didn’t do it without us knowing; we just don’t know where the hell it is.
Chris: Why hasn’t the Legion been able to locate it?
Commander: That is part of what you need to find out. Your mission is to locate this base, infiltrate it, discover as much as you can about the enemy’s current plans, then get out of there. If you are captured then do as much damage as you can before getting killed.
Chris: We’re expected to get killed?
Commander: No, in the unlikely event that you are captured though just blow shit up before you’re taken down. Any questions? (Everyone’s hands shoot into the air). Good, let’s suit up then.
* * * * *
(After getting their gear together, everyone finds themselves sitting in a nice helicopter flying over the Zanrethian countryside).
Jack: (Pondering to himself and anyone else willing to listen). This is extremely suspicious. Why wouldn’t the Legion know where this base was, but yet they do know that it exists?
Clinton: They should have just sent air reconnaissance to investigate the area.
Derek: (Looking over the briefing papers). Apparently they did, and they didn’t find anything.
Clinton: Could it be possible that it’s camouflaged from the air?
Derek: How should I know? Am I a military expert?
Austin: (Not getting caught up in the situation at hand, he instead talks with Chris in the tail end of the aircraft. Chris’ eyes are closed tightly). Heights?
Chris: (His eyes still closed). Heights.
Austin: They really should make these helicopters fly lower, huh? (Chris slightly nods). How’re your shoulders doing? Can you move ‘em at all?
Chris: They’re much better actually. I’ve almost got full mobility on them again. I don’t know how I can recover from shattered bones within a day but whatever, as long as I’m better.
Austin: True true. Sounds like a miracle though, huh?
Chris: Miracle, sure. I don’t like to question miracles; not as long as they keep happening.
Austin: (Laughs and smacks Chris on the shoulder). Hahaha, I hear ya!
Chris: (His eyes pop open, clearly in pain). GAH! The shoulders!
Austin: Whoop, sorry.
Derek: How long is this flight anyways?
Jack: It’s gonna be a while. The Kantirian Wastelands are pretty damned big; get a nap in if you can before they drop us off.
Kyle: No in-flight movie?
Chris: Depends. Do you consider anything by Tarantino a movie?
Kyle: He’s a classic movie director, right?
Chris: I don’t remember; I don’t watch anything older than a few years ago. Still weird all the old flicks they found a while back. Makes you wonder what they considered good back then, huh?
Lindsey: (Coming over to Chris). Hey Chris, you excited about this? Huh?
Chris: Well I’ve never even heard of Pulp Fiction so I guess the movie’ll be interesting to watch.
Lindsey: (Smiles). No, are you excited about the mission?
Chris: Oh, the sandy goose-chase. I suppose we could have a bit of fun. Don’t know how likely we’ll be to find anything, but heck, it’s better than anything else we’ve been doing.
Lindsey: (Runs her hands through his hair). Don’t be so negative; of course we’ll find something out there.
Kyle: Yeah man, we’re definitely gonna find it.
Chris: What makes you so sure?
Kyle: Because it’s…us, dude.
Lindsey: (Turns to Leena and pushes on her a bit). Leena! Aren’t you excited?
Leena: (She’s trying to sleep and is beyond bored). Leave…me…alone.
Lindsey: Ah don’t be that way.
Leena: Lindsey, shut up and let me sleep. Go bug your boy-toy over there. I’m sure he’s just wishing you’d make awkward conversation with him.
Leena: Any of them; they’re basically all the same person with different names and levels of angst.
Kyle: She makes a valid point, sadly.
Leena: See? The red-headed, level 2 angst gets it, now let me sleep or else I’ll bitch more later.
Lindsey: You’ll bitch no matter what I do.
Leena: (Feels she’s made her point). Aha. So then let me sleep.
Lindsey: But Leena…
Leena: Shshsh. Chris, Lindsey says you’re cute.
Lindsey: I didn’t say…
Chris: (Comes over and sits down next to Lindsey). You said what now?
Lindsey: (Looks a bit flustered). Well I, um…
Leena: Mwahaha… (Turns over and goes back to sleep. Chris and Lindsey engage in an extremely awkward conversation that ends with Chris being forced to change the subject after a non-answer).
Chris: So do you think we’ll all be able to master energy blasts within a few days?
Lindsey: Hopefully so. I bet you can at least.
Chris: Why do you say that?
Lindsey: Because, you’re really strong. You just don’t have any confidence in yourself. If you did you’d be able to do all sorts of things.
Chris: Jack, what do you think?
Jack: Master? No. Fire off things resembling energy blasts? Sure. If Derek can do it you all can.
Derek: What do you mean “if Derek can do it”?
Jack: Energy combat isn’t based solely on power. It takes skill, too. I’ll teach you more when we get out of there though.
Lindsey: (Super excited, about leaping from her seat). Awesome! Teach me first!
Leena: (Still annoyed). Awesome. Teach her first.
(A few hours pass).
Pilot: We’ll be landing soon. Please get your stuff together and be prepared to evacuate the chopper as soon as we land.
Chris: (Shrugs). Hey, could be fun.
Austin: (Smiles). That’s the spirit buddy.
Scott: (Not excited). Woo, heatstroke, can’t wait… (Lights up a cigarette).
Pilot: Sir, there is no smoking on my aircraft.
Scott: How ‘bout I punch a bloody hole in the side of your head?
Pilot: Carry on.
(The helicopter lands and everyone gets out. They look around and basically see nothing for miles other than desert and the ridge off in the distance. The copter then takes off again and flies out of sight rather quickly).
Kyle: Huh, it’s just like the beach; except no water and less cleavage.
Leena: (Angrily walks by him). Men…
Kyle: Women are still as bitchy though. Well, where do we go from here?
Chris: How ‘bout…that way? (Points off towards the ridge).
Kyle: Sounds as good as any.
To Be Continued…
-Grandpa Jerry was a character I created based off my late grandfather of the same name. A few years ago, I had discussed doing a children’s book with a girl I was interested in with the agreement that I’d write it and she’s draw it. With this agreement came me upholding my half of the bargin, mostly hoping to impress her. Though the story was well received, nothing more came out of either the book or the connection, (which is how life goes sometimes).
Regardless of intent, a story had been written in a style I was completely foreign to and it held up rather well. So much so that my fiance` would tell me on mutliple ocassions that she absolutely loved it. So here for all of you is the first of what may be many adventures of Grandpa Jerry. As with everything, enjoy!
Grandpa Jerry and King Arthur’s Quest
Written by Christopher Pranger
Well my grandchildren, it is night once again and rest is assured. Your bedtime is upon us and as your grandfather I shall grant you one last request before sleep overtakes you.
Grandpa Jerry, would you please tell us a bedtime story?!
A story you say? That seems to be your request every night. And since tonight is no different, I shall accept this small request. Did I ever tell you kids about the time I was a knight of the round table?
Grandfather, that is utterly impossible. For such a thing to be true, you would have to be 800 years of age, at least.
I am telling no lies! I was there with King Arthur, the mightiest of kings! You must trust me in this, for this story is grand and complicated and will require you to listen closely.
But it cannot be true. King Arthur wasn’t even real.
Wasn’t real?! Boy, you are getting your first warning here! For this king was more real than the glasses on the end of my nose and the passion in my heart! And I will tell you all about the great things that I saw while I was his loyal servant.
*Ahem* It was a long time ago,
as I’m sure you must know,
where the kingdom of lore
stood near the north shore
where the birds they did soar
and the dragons did roar
and every knight worth his hat
made sure he was at.
Grandfather, why are you speaking in rhymes?
Because my dear boy, it’s a sign of the times.
For you see way back then, they had no TV,
no video games and no Godfather part 3,
so they had to acquire an alternative way,
to pass the time by and go on with their day,
and they did this by singing and making up rhymes,
because my dear boy no sane person liked mimes.
I like mimes grandpa!
Yes, but you may be the only one.
*Ahem* And it so happens that one fine warm day,
I wound myself face to face with a king that would say,
“Kind knight I must test to see if you’re great,
if you pass this one challenge it may just be fate,
for every knight that I own has gone up and failed,
in retrieving one idea, which is known as the grail.”
Well when Arthur asks something this important of you,
it is not quite polite to turn around and just go,
so I said to him there, right there and then,
that I’d find this treasure, it was a matter of when.
And he said “Right away, there is no time to waste.
I don’t really need it, but I want it post-haste.”
So that was that, and I grabbed up my helm,
and I put on my armor and I bowed to the realm,
and I proclaimed to the court that I would succeed,
but unfortunately for me I was without steed.
What’s a steed grandpa?
A horse my dear. A noble horse.
*Ahem* Without a strong horse it would become very hard
to travel about as a spoony young bard.
What’s a bard grandpa?
A traveling songwriter.
*Ahem*. So I asked the crowd if they had a fine horse
and they said to me that they didn’t of course.
So my journey it seemed would be tougher than planned,
this quest that would take me all over the land.
But I wouldn’t let such a small thing like this,
stop me from showing my true awesomeness.
For as you two have probably guessed,
your grandfather is great, any one can attest.
Especially these knights from the land Camelot,
because I would wow them with my feats quite a lot.
Grandfather, I must say, that rhyme was all flimsy.
Would you like to try to speak with such whimsy?
It is rather hard and only the best,
can even come close to matching the rest,
of the traveling minstrels that sing many a song,
from sun up and sun down and eight times as long.
So before you judge the story at hand,
you give it a try, it’s like running in sand.
Because sand is so deep, and crumbles away,
that running a mile could take you all day.
Which is what I ended up having to do,
in search of the grail and a dragon or two.
But grandfather, dragons, they just are not real. You can’t scientifically prove it.
Boy, just what is your deal?
I tell you this tale, that I did not embellish,
of a story so grand that I hardly could relish,
the thought that telling it to my very grandchild,
would result in assumptions of me being wild,
and making up one rather fabulous fib,
but I promise, dragons existed, I’m quite sure that they did.
They did not.
Yes they did.
*Ahem* And it so happens that upon this here quest,
a dragon appeared and clawed at my chest,
and demanded I give up or else I’d be eaten,
but I refused to give up and wouldn’t be beaten,
and asked him why he was frightfully mad,
and he said he’d been hurt by many a lad,
that just wanted his treasure, some rusty old cup,
that he didn’t even want and had long given up,
to a man that stood nearly forty feet high
and constantly bumped his head on the sky.
“Well”, I said to this dragon that I had just met,
“I don’t want to attack you but rather would bet,
I could beat you in checkers, (which had not yet been created),
and am sure that you’d lose ‘cause your ego’s inflated,
and mine is just fine and is not all that big,
but you my kind dragon, have a brain like a twig.”
You said this grandpa?!
Well…maybe not that exactly.
*Ahem* The dragon accepted my challenge of fate,
but I could not play long or I would be late,
to meet with the man who was taller than tall,
though I did not know where to find him at all.
So I asked the dragon after many a round,
“Where my kind dragon can this giant be found?”
And he said unto me, in his dragon-like way,
“Why should I care? Shimmy shim-sham shoo shway.”
“Shimmy shim-sham shoo shway?”
That’s dragon talk for “You should be on your way.”
*Ahem* So I walked and I walked and I almost gave up,
but I could not do that because I needed this cup,
for reasons that Arthur never cared to explain,
but I’m sure that he needed it bad just the same.
I walked up a hill and down a large valley,
I swam up a long river and never did dally,
because I was sure that this giant was near,
and surely enough I did finally hear,
a voice so darn loud that it could only be owned
by a man so darn fat, (but would claim is big-boned).
And upon finding this man I asked for his grail
but did not expect that he’d appear so dang pale.
I soon had discovered that he did not yell,
but was crying enough that he’d formed a small well,
and I asked him quite frankly, “Giant, why do you so cry?”
And he said to me this, (and I swear I don’t lie),
“My name is a word that we giants all have,
for describing a person who’s appearance is bad,
but I don’t think I’m ugly and I hate my name,
and because of it everyone has given me shame!
And I don’t want to live with a name such as this,
who could ever love a man named something silly like Chris?!”
But grandpa, I like that name!
It’s okay I guess…
Perhaps I was not a fan of his name,
but I was not about to let him take all the blame,
since no one deserves to feel all that sad,
about a name that was given by some thoughtless dad.
And I said to the giant, “Don’t feel bad anymore,
because I’ll be your friend, and it’s what’s at your core,
not the name that you’re given, not the way you appear,
but the way that you act towards the ones you hold dear.”
And he yelped with new tears, but not tears caused by grief,
but rather a long-coming much-needed relief.
And he grabbed me so tightly in his two beastly hands,
that I was about to submit to his every demands,
but he had just wanted to show his affection
by establishing right there a friendly connection.
And when a giant hugs you so very darn deep,
you won’t want to reject him or else you will sleep
for a very long time, by which I mean you’ll be dead,
‘cause he’d crush your whole body into a tasty cheese spread.
Once the giant had finished administering his hug,
he pulled out from his pocket a bright golden mug.
It shone oh so bright, this gleaming goblet,
a wonderfully crafted piece of a set,
that I soon would discover 13 were in all,
and I’d gotten just one, but that was enough to recall,
and I knew it at once that this was the thing
that King Arthur had politely asked me to bring
back to his castle where everyone waited,
all curious to see if I’d make good on what’s stated.
But grandpa, were there really 13 in the set?
Yes, my friend told me it was to keep others from getting upset.
If one of them was finally found,
there were still 12 more hidden cups to hopefully go ‘round,
because an adventure is worth more than a single reward,
and the friends that you make should all be adored,
because it’s expected on any one given story,
you’re bound to meet someone worth sharing your glory.
And we hugged just once more and we said our goodbyes,
and I marched my way back because time really flies.
Back over the land and up the long river,
I had completed my task and had hoped to deliver
the grail to King Arthur that I promised I would,
because if you say you’ll do something you probably should.
And Arthur greeted me with a welcoming smile
even though I had been gone only a while,
and he was more than happy to see me succeed,
and was so touched by my lack of self greed,
that he said to me softly, and only to me,
“You keep the goblet, I hope you agree.
I don’t really need it, I just felt like asking,
I didn’t know you’d really obey such random tasking.”
But I kept the grail and even to now,
I still have it somewhere but don’t ask me how,
for I just told you the tale and I won’t tell it again,
two stories in one night would be far too much strain.
That’s absurd grandfather. Your entire story is ridiculous and can’t possibly be true. Dragons and giants? Nope, you were just spinning fantasies to entertain us before bed.
I liked it!
Well I’m glad you did. But I’m off to bed, and that means the same for you two. Goodnight my sweet grandchildren, sleep well.
Kids today don’t use their imagination,
nothing can create such a fantastic sensation,
but maybe it’s true and I’m just spinning lies,
but I’ve been around and I’ve gotten quite wise.
Nothing is wrong anymore with a small faithful leap,
but that’s enough for now because it’s time for some sleep.
*Note, on grandpa’s nightstand is the holy grail as he sleeps.
Scene 1: Diggory and Donovan are still battling in the middle of a crowded city. They’ve already taken down some buildings and caused their share of destruction, but it’s only about to get intensified as Donovan readies to fire his energy blast at Diggory.
-Donovan fires his energy blast at Diggory. As this is happening, Diggory transports behind Donovan, getting him into a full nelson. Donovan begins struggling against this. Diggory begins kneeing him in the back, finally letting go and hitting him with a massive punch to the face. Donovan is sent onto the ground a ways away.
Donovan: How the hell you dodged that is beyond me… But it won’t matter much anymore…
Diggory: Nothing seems to matter much anymore…
Donovan: Kid, you don’t know how true those words really are…
-Diggory throws himself at Donovan, grabbing him by the jacket and causing them both to roll down several blocks and directly into traffic.
-The two leap to their feet as cars try to swerve out of the way.
-Donovan grabs a small 2-door car and slams Diggory with it.
-Diggory is thrown backwards into the windshield of a station wagon, quickly getting up and jumping back into the fray with Donovan.
-The two fight back and forth, toe-to-toe in the middle of the intersection as cars keep swerving to keep from hitting them, smashing into each other and various things along the road. The two combatants are completely oblivious to this.
-Police finally get to the scene and duck behind their cop car, readying to fire.
Policeman 1: (His gun is drawn and pointed at the two fighting). Both of you, cease and desist NOW! (Neither Diggory nor Donovan react at all). This is your last warning before we open fire! (Policeman 1 turns to the rest of the force). Shoot to kill! (They open fire. Diggory and Donovan instantly disappear). What…? Where’d they go…?
-Diggory and Donovan reappear in the air, colliding with a “POOM” that causes the ground to shake and everyone around to freak out more.
Policeman 1: Holy shit! (Turns to his heavy arms). You think you can take ‘em out?
Heavy Arms: (Hoists a rocket-launcher to her shoulder). No problem. (Begins to take aim as Diggory and Donovan reappear in the center of the intersection).
-Heavy Arms fires a rocket at Donovan.
-Donovan turns around and grabs the rocket out of the air, swinging around and hitting Diggory in the face with it.
-The explosion sends Diggory flying as Donovan shields his face.
Policeman 1: Did you get him?!
-Diggory leaps to his feet after landing, instantly on top of Donovan again, going blow-for-blow.
-The two collide fists and send shockwaves through the streets again.
-Diggory begins throwing larger and larger static orbs at Donovan.
-Donovan keeps deflecting them as they hit bystanders and police, exploding and creating a severe amount of property damage.
-Absolutely everyone begins evacuating.
Donovan: (Diggory’s finally taking a break, clearly getting exhausted). It bother you all the casualties you’re causing?
Diggory: (Suddenly dawning on him). What?
Donovan: You don’t think this fight isn’t harming innocents all over the place? Take a look around. (Diggory actually does take a second to look around. Buildings have collapsed and wreckage is everywhere. The few blocks they’ve been fighting in look to be in very bad shape). Did you mean for all of this?
Diggory: (Furious). You’re as much to blame.
Donovan: You’re going to have to realize that you have to be fully accountable for all your sins. I’m completely aware of what I’m doing, and I accept whatever punishment I’ll likely receive. Have you given it any thought?
Diggory: Stop trying to distract me!
Donovan: You think you can atone for all of this by destroying me, don’t you? (Shakes his head). But it doesn’t work that way, kid.
Diggory: I said stop!
-Grabs a chunk of pavement and hurls it at Donovan.
-Donovan sweeps his arm in front of him, smashing the pavement slab.
Donovan: It doesn’t work that way…
-Diggory looks down at the ground and concentrates, levitating dozens of chunks of pavement. He looks up and throws his arms forward, sending the chunks at Donovan.
-Donovan clenches his fists and brings them to his side, yelling as a static sphere surrounds him, shredding the pavement chunks as they hit him.
-Diggory charges a static orb above his head and leaps into the air, throwing it down at Donovan, colliding with the static sphere and causing a massive discharge of electricity to blow around, firing bolts everywhere, ripping up the streets and buildings.
-Diggory dodges each bolt as it screeches by him while Donovan seems to be caught pretty deeply in the center of the discharge, getting hit repeated by heavy bolts.
-Donovan tenses his body again and leaps out from the orb with some difficulty, taking time as the sides of the energy ball stretch with him before he breaks free with a “SCREE” following him.
-Diggory narrowly avoids getting hit with the final discharge from the blast, though he’s hit by Donovan’s fist fairly hard.
-The sky flashes as the energy discharge rips through it, causing lighting to hit all around the city.
Donovan: (Now also breathing extremely hard). Just…heh…stay down… (Diggory slowly, very slowly, gets to his feet). Heh…heh…you’re definitely not a quitter…extremely stupid, but not a quitter…
Diggory: I won’t rest until I’ve destroyed you.
Donovan: No one talks like that. If you’re gonna play this game you’re gonna have to learn more of the basics, and one important lesson to learn is that no one talks like that.
Diggory: (Angrily begins to advance on Donovan again). I will destroy you.
Donovan: (Smirks). Do you swear it?
Diggory: I SWEAR IT!
-Diggory launches himself at Donovan once more as Donovan begins laughing uncontrollably.
Scene 2: Angela is hurriedly running through the city streets as lighting strikes down all around.
Angela: (Sees a man looking up at the sky. She points at him and tenses her hand. The man disappears). I don’t believe this…it just can’t be happening… (Looks around for anyone. A mother is huddled under a bench with two children). I wish I could be doing more… (Points at the family and tenses her hand. The family disappears. Angela keeps running as fast as she can manage). I just hope this doesn’t classify breaking rules…
Anthony: (Appears beside Angela, running as well). No, not technically, yet.
Angela: (Surprised). Who are you?
Anthony: I’m a Closer from Hell. Name’s Anthony. I’m an ex-associate of Donovan’s.
Angela: Are you here to fight him?
Anthony: No. Are you?
Angela: I’m not allowed to directly interfere with the business of other Closers.
Anthony: Of course, my apologies. I forget how strictly Heaven’s Closers follow the rules. (Angela points at a homeless man in a cardboard box who looks terrified. She does her stuff and he disappears). Well…mostly.
Angela: (Annoyed). What do you want?
Anthony: Where’s Donovan?
Angela: Look for the source of all this trouble; I think you’ll find him. Why do you need to know if you’re not here to fight?
Anthony: Guilt, perhaps.
Angela: (Confused). What?
Anthony: It’s important that you listen to what I’ve got to say.
Angela: Hmm. (Nods).
Scene 3: Back with Diggory and Donovan at ground zero.
-Diggory is beating Donovan relentlessly, slugging him with fierce punches over and over again, knocking him to the ground, though Donovan only gets up, laughing.
Diggory: (Winded, hunched over, fists still clenched). Why…? Why are you laughing?!
Donovan: (Regaining a bit of composer). Hahaha…you just don’t get it, do you? All of this is an utter waste of time and effort. Either you punch me or I punch you, it doesn’t matter, we both just get up, don’t we?
Diggory: You’re stalling again!
Donovan: No, I’m eager to get this over with, but I just don’t like the solution I see ahead of me.
Diggory: You’re not making any sense!
Donovan: I know how this ends. Ultimately I’m fine with it, but it’s all just been such a waste.
-Diggory throws himself at Donovan. Donovan grabs Diggory’s hands and the two clench up, neither backing down. Both are straining to overpower the other and neither is making any headway. Sparks are flying from the two.
Donovan: After all the planning I did you just had to mess things up, didn’t?
Diggory: It’d have helped if you tried informing me of your plan instead of just assuming I could be used.
Donovan: I’ve been working on this whole plot for years now, carefully putting each piece into place. I have an army of hundreds waiting for me once I pull them from Purgatory.
Diggory: (Really confused). Huh? What’re you talking about now?!
Scene 4: Flash into Donovan’s thoughts. We see Donovan walking in the alleyway at the beginning, singing his song as he advances on the three helpless victims.
Donovan Narration: (The scene plays out as it originally did). Normally a Closer is the medium used to draw a soul to a specific otherworldly side. We recruit, they sign on, and in doing so they’re fused with whichever side signed them. Every soul is given the chance at some point to make this decision…unless… (Donovan begins slaughtering the three men in the alleyway). Closers are not from this world, and though they’re mediums of change and facilitators of fate, if one were to act out of line… (More horrors as Donovan kills the four thugs in the alleyway that attacked Angela). There’d be a breech; an interruption. The soul would cease to function within the rules of the two-party system. (Donovan stabs the professor). They end up someplace new… (Hundreds of souls, faceless and shapeless, wander around an empty void). Purgatory.
Scene 5: Back to the present with Donovan and Diggory clenched up.
Donovan: Neither side has claim over Purgatory thus far. All those souls are wandering completely oblivious, waiting for someone to come along and give them shape, form, and leadership.
Diggory: (Shocked). That’s insanity…
Donovan: You’ve no idea the depths your mind will travel to once you reach the great beyond and fully touch the essence of Heaven and Hell. The system is flawed, it always ways, and I’m just setting about to create some change.
Diggory: You’re setting about to unravel everything!
Donovan: Perhaps…or perhaps I’m just setting out to right a few wrongs in my own life.
Diggory: I just…I don’t get it…
-Donovan pulls Diggory into a headbutt while not letting go.
Donovan: (Smiles and starts to glow). Looks like it’s time for that change, eh?
Donovan: Hahaha! Always the curious type, huh kid?!
-Everything begins to glow intensely as Donovan begins to gleam blindly bright. Diggory is struggling to escape but can’t. Suddenly a flash of light hits Diggory, causing him to yell and everything to flash white.
Scene 6: Flashback into Donovan’s head. We see Donovan and Angela walking together, talking and laughing.
-Angela playfully shoves Donovan. Donovan starts laughing and shoves her back. The two wrestle around for a bit before Angela completely tackles Donovan, taking him to the ground, pinning him down.
-The two look into each other’s eyes for a brief moment before Angela hops up, smiling and proud. She helps Donovan get up.
-There’s a flash and we see them jump ahead in time, sitting at a coffee shop, laughing and drinking coffee as Donovan tells an elaborate story, causing Angela to laugh harder.
-There’s another flash and the two are sitting in class while taking a test. Though Donovan seems to be concentrating, he’s hit by a wad of paper from Angela. He looks back and sees her smiling. She makes a face at him and he starts laughing.
-Yet another flash and Donovan is walking down the street, talking on a cell phone, laughing and smiling. He hangs up and keeps walking.
Anthony: (A voice calls out to Donovan, stepping out of the shadows dressed in the coat that Donovan’s usually seen in). Hey, your name Donovan?
Donovan: Who’s asking?
Anthony: A fan. You could say I’m a talent scout in some sense.
-The two talk on and on, cutting ahead to show the time passing, each new cut having Anthony pacing around Donovan, making big gestures.
Anthony: (Finally stops moving, pulls out a card, and offers it to Donovan). The name’s Anthony. You may call my Tony for shot if you wish.
Donovan: (Looks Anthony up and down for a moment). I’m not interested.
Donovan: Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s an attractive woman waiting for my company.
Anthony: Weren’t you listening to my offer? I can give you anything! I can give you, everything!
Donovan: I’ve got enough. (Pushes Anthony aside and walks away).
Anthony: You’ll regret that choice!
Donovan: (Waves back). And I’m sure you will too!
-Donovan walks out into the open, looking across the street at an apartment complex. He looks up and sees Angela in the window staring off and smiling.
-Donovan smiles as well, reaching into his pocket and pulling out an engagement ring, just to admire it for a second.
-Donovan begins to cross the street while watching the window.
-Angela sees someone off to the side and gets excited as another man, Daniel, walks up to her, hugs her, and kisses her passionately.
Donovan: (Stops in the middle of the road, dumbfounded and heartbroken). Angie…?
-A car pulls around the corner going too fast, speeding up as it’s about to hit Donovan. The driver hits the horn, laying it on strong as Donovan just sadly turns, the headlights of the car engulfing him.
-There’s a loud “SCREE” followed by a “THUMP” as we see a quick flash of the driver, Anthony.
-Angela and Daniel stop making out and look out the window, hearing the sound outside. They instantly become horrified as they realize what happened.
-Blood begins running down the road as the engagement ring rolls along side it into the storm drain.
-There’s another flash and now Donovan is sitting in front of Lucifer, wearing his uniform as a Closer, rubbing his neck.
Lucifer: (Discussing things with Donovan in Hell). So we’re in agreement? You’ll be a Closer from now on?
Donovan: Do I really have a choice in the matter at this point?
Lucifer: I suppose not, though under the circumstances it’s rather…ironic, wouldn’t you say?
Donovan: I’ve never been a huge fan of irony when it happens to fuck me over.
-Flash once more as we see Daniel and Angela at an airport, frantically running to catch a plane. They’re holding hands. They look back and drop their luggage, running as fast as they can.
-All the lights suddenly go out and they’re left in mostly darkness.
-Donovan steps out of the darkness into the pale light around Angela and Daniel.
-Donovan pulls out his pistol-blade, advances on Daniel, and thrusts it into Daniel’s gut.
-Daniel slouches onto Donovan’s shoulder as Angela screams.
Donovan: Sorry little brother, but you took something from me first…
Scene 7: Flash back to the current situation with Diggory and Donovan clenched up, Donovan glowing intensely bright, pulsating, his flesh bubbling in places.
Donovan: (Calm, despite the situation). It’s almost time, isn’t it?. (Diggory finally breaks Donovan’s grasp, and starts running). It’s no use running from this one kid!
–Donovan begins to go nuclear as he blows himself up. He screams as Diggory hurriedly runs away, panicked. Donovan explodes with a rippling effect, tearing up the ground around him and flowing out. Diggory turns to try and defend himself as Angela appears, grabs Diggory, and disappears again. Donovan explodes as we get a view of the Earth from outer space, showing a huge blast area engulfing the majority of a continent.
Scene 8: A cliff side overlooking the destruction, witnessing the explosion. Angela and Diggory suddenly appear from nowhere in a flash. Diggory falls to his knees and looks around, confused.
Angela: There, now you can’t say I never helped you.
Diggory: (Looks around, seeing a large number of people here as well including the mother and her children, the homeless man, and the clueless guy, all staring at the explosion). These people…?
Angela: I saved as many as I could while you were fighting Donovan. There aren’t many, but I had to try anyway.
Diggory: Donovan, he’s…
Angela: He blew himself up.
Diggory: Will he be alright?
Angela: I don’t know what happens when the dead kill themselves. I don’t assume good things.
Diggory: Before it happened, before he exploded, I could see a brief flash of his memories. I saw how he died. And I saw… (Sadly looks up at Angela). He loved you Angela…
Angela: I know he did…
Diggory: Then why?
Angela: I just didn’t feel the same way.
Diggory: Was there a reason?
Angela: Beyond the simple “he wasn’t my type,” yes. I loved someone else.
Diggory: Daniel, right?
Angela: Yes. I haven’t seen Daniel since Donovan killed him. I’ve traveled around both Heaven and Hell on multiple occasions looking for him and haven’t found him.
Diggory: (Thinks for a second). That’s because he’s not in either…
Angela: (Startled). Huh?
Diggory: Donovna mentioned something about there being a third place. Purgatory. He’s there, I’m sure of it.
Angela: Purgatory doesn’t exist…
Diggory: It might. I’ll help you find him. Together we can find him. (Grabs Angela’s hand). I want to make up for everything, please, let me remain beside you. Let me fight for you and Heaven.
Angela: (Lets go of Diggory’s hand). I’m sorry Dig. You’ve already made your choice. Heaven follows the rules.
Diggory: I don’t…I don’t understand.
Angela: We don’t make deals with anyone because our side refuses to tamper with free will. We just help you come to the conclusions for yourself. And you made your choice already. I’m sorry. (Begins to walk off).
Diggory: Angela wait!
Angela: Dig, the conflict’s already started. Hell’s probably going to be hunting you down so that you’ll make good on your promise. The best you can do now is run.
Diggory: No, I won’t fight for them, I refuse.
Angela: I don’t like it any more than you do, but they have ownership of you now. That’s just the way it goes.
Diggory: No, I refuse to believe that. As long as I’m alive I can still redeem myself.
Angela: (Frustrated). No! (Recomposes herself). Dig…the deal you made with Donovan was absolute. You’re already dead.
-Flashback of Donovan and Diggory’s deal taking place.
Angela: When I found you, you were already dead. That’s how you got access to the powers now. That’s how the deal works.
Diggory: But I didn’t…I can’t be…
Angela: You are. I’m sorry, but it’s something you’ll have to deal with, and I can’t help you with it. You’re on your own now Dig. Goodbye. (Walks away).
Diggory: Angela… (Clenches his fist, thinking to himself). There’s a way I can still help. Hell may claim ownership of me, but they don’t have control of me. I can still choose to do whatever I want, and I’m not restricted by Heaven’s rules. (Looks out at the destruction). Donovan, through some fluke you’ve made me the most important individual in this whole damned conflict. I may be on my own…but I’m by no means helpless. (Looks up towards the sky). This is only the beginning, isn’t it? (Diggory disappears. Everything fades to black).
End of Part 1
Scene 1: At the tournament area. Diggory is powering up into what looks to be an explosion as Lucifer and Angela prepare themselves for whatever comes next.
Diggory: (His fists are clenched and his body is tensed). You may want to hold onto something…
Lucifer: (Freaking out). Boy! Don’t do something you’ll regret! (Turns to Angela). Talk some sense into him!
Angela: He’s not going to listen to me any more than he will you at this point!
Lucifer: Well try!
Angela: Diggory stop!
Diggory: (Starts laughing). Now that everyone sees what I’m capable of suddenly I’m worth their interest, huh? (Closes his eyes). Well here goes nothing!
-A flash comes from nowhere as something strikes Diggory in the stomach with a loud “BLOOM”, knocking the wind out of him.
-Diggory stops charging whatever and falls to his knees, holding his stomach and gasping for air.
-Both Lucifer and Angela are fairly confused at to what happened.
Lucifer: (Looking around). What was that?
Donovan: (Suddenly coming into view standing between Diggory and the others). Sorry kid; can’t have you wasting our chance just like that.
Donovan: Hey Angie. Didn’t think I’d sit this out did you?
Diggory: (Finally catching his breath). Donovan…? All this power…?
Donovan: I told you it takes some getting used to, but it feels damned good, doesn’t it?
Angela: You call murdering all these people damned good?
Donovan: (Looks around a bit). I will say this: I’m impressed with your handy work, though public places aren’t really the best to show off in. Just too much attention.
Lucifer: Well Donovan, I hate to say it but I’m actually glad you showed up.
Donovan: Heh. (Smirks). I doubt you’ll be saying that in a moment or so.
Lucifer: (Confused again). What? What do you mean by that?
Diggory: I don’t regret these people…but Adam…why’d he have to die? Why Donovan?!
Donovan: You make it sound like I’m the one who punched him in the throat.
Diggory: You tricked me, didn’t you?!
Donovan: I offered you something worthwhile and you accepted; it’s as simple as that.
Diggory: You didn’t tell me everything!
Donovan: I’m from Hell; I’m not exactly inclined to be the example of truth and honesty. That’s Angela’s job.
Lucifer: Donovan, destroy Diggory before he has a chance to do something that’ll disrupt the agreement further!
Donovan: No, I don’t think I’ll be doing that.
Lucifer: What?! Do it now! (Her watch begins beeping). What? Already?
Donovan: And it looks like your time here in the physical world is up.
Lucifer: If I didn’t know any better, Donovan, I’d say you’re happy about that.
Donovan: You should have left the affairs of mortals to those who were once mortal.
Lucifer: I don’t care! Just resolve this now!
Donovan: (Turns on Lucifer and begins charging an energy blast in his hand). Alright kid, if you do exactly as I say, this’ll all end wonderfully.
Lucifer: What are you doing?!
Diggory: (Angry). What do you expect me to do?!
Angela: Lucifer isn’t allowed to stay on Earth for longer than 5 minutes before he powers fade to near nothing. It’s part of the agreed-upon terms so that she can’t interfere too heavily in the actual dealings. You planned this the whole time, didn’t you Donovan?
Donovan: I’m glad you’re catching on Angie. Feel free to join in.
Lucifer: Donovan, if you so much as attempt to do what I think you’re attempting to do…
Donovan: Alright kid, on the count of three…
Diggory: (Stands up, facing Donovan). No.
Diggory: I see now. You used me this whole time. You were the one who thought I was weak.
Donovan: (Getting frustrated). Kid, no one here thinks you’re weak. In fact I’m counting on the opposite but I need you to act now.
Lucifer: Sorry to disappoint you Donovan, but you’re not going to be rid of me that easily. (Begins to phase away). Farewell for now!
Donovan: Now! Do it now!
Diggory: NO! (Instantly appears in front of Donovan and punches him in the chin, sending him skidding on his feet backwards).
Donovan: (Shakes his head and looks up at Lucifer as she fades away, laughing and flipping him off). No… Damnit no!
Diggory: I’m not your puppet!
Donovan: (Angry and stressed). I never said you were! You were my partner in this!
Diggory: I don’t like being used!
Donovan: Either side would have used you just the same, except I gave you a third side to choose that required you to play an elaborate part and you threw it away!
Diggory: No, there was a side that wasn’t about to use me. Angela would never have used me. She cared about me, and I made the mistake of throwing that away.
Donovan: If she cares about you so much, where is she now?
Diggory: Huh? (Looks around. Angela is gone). Angie…?
Donovan: Now what kid? You happy with what’s happened? You fucked it all up, you know that?
Diggory: (Turns to Donovan, pissed). I’ve had enough from you.
Donovan: (Annoyed). Oh God, please tell me you’re not about to do what I know you’re about to do.
Diggory: (Furious, readying himself to attack). I’ll kill you.
Donovan: Too late, I’m already dead.
Diggory: Then I’ll make you wish for a second death!
-Diggory rushes Donovan, takes a swing, and completely misses as Donovan steps to the side, swatting Diggory’s fist aside and hitting him with a punch of his own.
-Diggory recuperates quickly and throws another punch. Donovan catches it and swivels around behind Diggory, punching him in the back of the head while still holding his wrist.
-Donovan holds onto Diggory’s wrist and pulls him into a heavy kick to his side that sends Diggory skidding onto the ground.
Donovan: Don’t make a fool of yourself. I’ve been doing this for a lot longer than you have, so there’s really no reason to fight.
-Diggory angrily gets up and takes a bunch of blind swings at Donovan, who doges each, blocking a few.
-Donovan finally elbows Diggory in the nose, sending him stumbling back again.
Donovan: Do not do this. Listen to me.
Diggory: Listening you to got me in this mess to begin with.
Donovan: No, not listening to me got you into this mess. If you’d have attacked Lucifer with me when I told you to we’d have destroyed her and you’d be a damned hero!
-Diggory leaps up and knees Donovan in the face. Donovan flips backwards in the air, seemingly out of control.
-Donovan throws his arm out and grabs Diggory by his hair, jerking his head down and into Donovan’s knee as he swings it around.
-Diggory smashes into the metal bleachers, destroying them as he comes to a stop.
Donovan: (Walking slowly towards Diggory). How resilient do you think your new body will be? Do you think you’ll be able to stand up after more like that? Huh? You should stay down if you know what’s smart.
Diggory: (Gets up, wincing a bit). Never! (Grabs some of the twisted wreckage and pulls it free, swinging it at Donovan).
-Donovan throws his arm up and blocks the metal bleacher from harming him. It bends with a “CLANG” as it hits Donovan’s forearm.
-Donovan reaches out and grabs the bleacher from Diggory, wrenching it from his grasp. Donovan then swats Diggory downward with it.
Donovan: (Tosses aside the bleacher and walks up to Diggory, pulling him up). You’re not fairing too well, are you?
-Diggory tenses up, regaining his senses quickly. He grabs Donovan’s collar and headbutts him with all his strength.
-Donovan screeches through the air, smashing into a small building a little bit outside the tournament area.
-The building caves in as Donovan leaps out from it, high into the air before landing relatively unharmed on the ground.
Donovan: (Yells out at Diggory). Not bad! (Looks back over his shoulder). Still, I think the point was for that to hurt me, right? (Shrugs). Oh well, what can you do?
-Donovan mockingly waggles a finger at Diggory before suddenly appearing in front of him. Donovan pulls both fists back to one side, then double-fist smashes Diggory upwards in the head.
-Diggory is hurled viciously into the air.
-Donovan appears above Diggory and boots him in the face with both feet.
-Diggory is launched hurtling through the air, colliding with a number of high-rise buildings, smashing through them as he goes, finally losing momentum and falling to the street bellow.
-Donovan appears once more a few yards away and begins to walk towards Diggory.
Donovan: So, you ‘bout ready to stop?
-Diggory surprisingly gets up, though bleeding, and makes a foolish rush at Donovan.
-Diggory rushes Donovan, taking a swing at his head and missing. Donovan crouches and hits Diggory in the chest with an elbow.
–Diggory stumbles back but quickly rushes Donovan with another punch at the head. Donovan dodges this as well, doing a roundhouse elbow to Diggory’s back.
Donovan: Damnit boy, stay down!
-Diggory instantly moves into Donovan, grabbing him by the throat. Donovan struggles but can’t break the hold. Diggory begins running while clutching Donovan’s throat, slamming him into the side of a building, continuing to run while dragging Donovan as he is smashed through whatever Diggory runs through.
Diggory: You regretting this deal yet?
-Donovan grabs Diggory’s hand, yanking it down as Donovan punches upward, hitting Diggory with a serious uppercut. Diggory is thrown upward through the current building being smashed through.
Donovan: I’ve regretted nearly all the choices I’ve made up to a certain point…
-Donovan charges his hand up and sends a shockwave punch through the foundations of the building, bringing it down on Diggory.
-People in the streets have begun panicking and freaking out, some rushing away from the building as it collapses, some weeping as they witness what is clearly the end of a few dozen lives.
-Diggory leaps out from the top of the building high into the air, looking down at Donovan.
Donovan: So, you’re progressing further into your abilities?
-Diggory lands a few feet in front of Donovan, starring him down. He’s breathing hard but otherwise he looks relatively alright.
Donovan: You might wish to cover your eyes.
-As the building finally entirely collapses a plume of dust is blown through the street, engulfing Diggory and Donovan.
-Both just stand motionless, staring each other down.
-The dust clears and Diggory is gone.
Donovan: (Smiles). Tricky little bastard…
-Donovan shoots his elbow out quickly behind him, slamming Diggory in the face as he reappears, rushing at Donovan to make an attack.
-Donovan turns and slaps Diggory on the side of the head, bopping his ear before slamming his fist down onto Diggory’s shoulder, forcing Diggory onto his back.
-Diggory grabs Donovan’s foot and yanks it out from under him, leaping up and coming down extremely hard with a punch to Donovan’s gut.
-With a loud “PLOOM” Diggory hits Donovan, who cries out in pain, as the street is cratered around them.
Diggory: (Jumping aside, smiling to himself). Tell me, do the dead feel pain?
Donovan: (Gets up, still clutching his gut. He eyes Diggory, finally pissed). You tell me!
-Donovan uppercuts Diggory hard before disappearing and reappearing behind Diggory, striking him again and again and again in the same fashion of disappearing and reappearing around him, pummeling him repeatedly with all manner of blows.
-Donovan finishes his combo off by slamming Diggory in the face with both feet, sending him skidding on his back.
-Diggory gets up, somewhat wobbly, and charges his fist up.
Donovan: What’s this…?
-Diggory’s hand continues to glow before he screams and throws a decent sized static ball at Donovan.
-Donovan quickly throws his arms up and blocks his face as the static ball explodes, looking worthless.
Donovan: That’s it?
Diggory: (Surprised). What?
Donovan: Given some time you really could have been a competent fighter. Oh well, too bad.
-Donovan closes his eyes and clenches his fist, charging a real energy blast. He begins to yell as the glow causes the whole area to become blinding. He fires it, launching a massive energy beam at Diggory.
-Diggory worriedly looks at the beam as it’s coming towards him and prepares himself, tensing his entire body.
End of Chapter 7
Scene 1: Diggory’s apartment. Diggory is laying in bed as Angela is looking down at him.
Angela: (Just her voice is heard, as if from a distance). Diggory…? (Camera is looking up at Angela, blurry but slowly becoming steady). Diggory? Are you alright?
Diggory: (Laying on a bed). Angela…? Where am I…?
Angela: Your apartment. I brought you here after I found you lying on your back in the dirt. Are you injured?
Diggory: (Sitting up). No, I don’t think so. How long have I been out?
Angela: A little over a day now. What happened?
Diggory: I don’t remember exactly. I was talking with Donovan and then… (Clenches his fist. It crackles with a spark of electricity). It’s true…?
Angela: (Gasps). Oh no…what has happened to you?
Diggory: Nothing. Absolutely nothing happened to me. Except now I’m capable of getting everything I’ve always wanted.
Angela: You need to rest. You’re not well.
Diggory: You know, you lied to me.
Diggory: You lied to me Angela. (Standing up, advancing on her). You knew all along and you never said anything? You knew what I could become and you never offered to give me the power first?
Angela: I never lied to you! It’s not that simple!
Diggory: Like hell it isn’t!
Angela: It isn’t! Trust me on that!
Diggory: Why didn’t you ever approach me?!
Angela: Because it doesn’t work like you think it does!
Diggory: Stop lying to me!
Angela: I’m not! Diggory, I knew you were a good person! You were just as strong the way you were! You didn’t need anything else!
Diggory: Lies! (Angela is pushed back as he yells this, a quick quake accompanying this).
Angela: So that’s it huh? That’s how it’s going to be?
Diggory: I’m done talking to you right now.
Angela: For good?
Diggory: I have something to take care of. (Closes his eyes).
Angela: Diggory don’t! (He disappears with a flash, causing Angela to cover her eyes). Diggory!
Scene 2: A stage has been set for a fighting tournament hosted by Moose’s fraternity. Hundreds are crowded around to watch this. Moose is walking around with his frat buddies to ensure everything’s fine.
Moose: (Walking up to one of his frat buddies). Everything about ready?
Ox: Yep, we can get started.
Moose: Excellent. (Walks over to another guy who’s standing in the middle of the stage holding a microphone). I’ll take it from here. (Grabs the microphone from the guy). Laaaadiiiies and geeeeeentlemeeeeen! Welcome to our little event! Y’all ready for some entertainment? (The crowd cheers). That’s what I thought! Tonight we’re pleased to present to you all a somewhat return to the glory of the older generations. I’m talkin’ old, old generations, ya know? (Moose winks. More cheers). We’ve got a number of strong, brave, and generally stupid , (chuckles from the crowd), men ready here tonight to pound each other until we can hardly tell ‘em apart. How does that sound? (Huge cheers). Remember, please put all proceeds you’d like to donate tonight into the jar at the entrance. You did donate, right? (Mugging to the audience. They all cheer). I’m glad to hear it, otherwise we might have to send some of you into center stage where our “volunteers” will go about collecting your donations. (Crowd laughs again). That’s about enough from me though, wouldn’t you say? Let’s see some fighting! (Huge cheers again).
Diggory: (Walking into the area, slowly up to the stage where one of the frat boys is stretching his arms). Yes. Let’s see some fighting.
Moose: (Swivels around, very surprised. He covers the microphone). Dig?
Diggory: (Smiling with confidence we’ve yet to see him with). Why so surprised Moose? I believe this is an open tournament with all proceeds going to your frat, right?
Moose: Hey hey, that’s “fraternity,” okay? You don’t call a “country” a “cunt,” you don’t call a “fraternity” a “frat,” got it?
Diggory: Yes yes. I wouldn’t want to damage your fraternity so badly with words when I could do much better in practice now would I?
Moose: (Really confused). What the hell you talkin’ about Dig?
Diggory: You give fraternities a bad name, you realize that, Moose? You and your ilk. They’re not all bad, but we can’t help but think of your gang when we need to stereotype.
Ox: (Still stretching his arms on the main stage. He’s shirtless and looking ready for a fight). Hey Moose, can we just start thus, eh?
Moose: Right you are because it’s time to begin. I’ll even give you the pleasure of knocking Diggory on his ass there. (Very snide to Diggory). Funny, I wouldn’t have expected you walking around much after yesterday.
Diggory: Neither would I.
Moose: Hey Ox, go ahead and beat the bastard a little harder than yesterday, eh?
Ox: (He begins pounding his fists). No problem chief.
Moose: Hey Dig, maybe this time you’ll learn something when we try and teach it to you. (Back on the microphone). Ladies and gents, let tonight’s entertainment…BEGIN!
Ox: (Slowly walking up to Diggory). You know, it’s almost a shame you showed up, Dig. Figured you must be with that whore of yours, right? (Sneers at this).
Diggory: (Just smiles back). Riiiiiiight.
-Ox struts up to Diggory, ready to inflict some major harm.
-Diggory calmly walks up to Ox and without much warning, brings his elbow down on Ox’s head, noticeably shattering Ox’s skull.
-Ox crumples, dead.
-The crowd seems confused, unsure what just happened or whether to cheer or scream.
Moose: (Shocked). What the hell just happened?
Diggory: (Looks up at Moose). I won. Your turn next maybe?
Moose: (Runs onto the stage, looking Ox over. Ox is very clearly dead. Moose is nearly at a loss for words). He’s…he’s dead…? (Looks up at Diggory, pissed). He’s dead?!
Diggory: (Very cold). When you get yours, it’s gonna be a lot slower.
Moose: (Rushes at Diggory, tears in his eyes). You bastard!
-Moose runs at Diggory, winding up a punch and throwing it.
-Diggory catches the punch and pulls Moose’s arm forward, then brings his other elbow down onto Moose’s arm, breaking it.
-Moose drops down to his knees, yelling in pain.
Diggory: (Looks around at the crowd, then over to the frat gang). None of you are leaving here.
Frat Boy 2: What…what’s going on here?! That’s not Diggory guys! It’s someone else!
Diggory: A brilliant observation. I can only assume your name’s “Weasel” or “Spud” or some other asinine excuse for a moniker.
Frat Boy 3: (Not as bright as the others). He’s getting’ fancy on us! I don’t like that sorta shit!
Diggory: Ah ah, there are women present. (The crowd still hasn’t decided how to react). And now I’m outta snarky comments.
-Diggory’s face becomes cold again as he looks to be in a battle stance.
-The frat gang doesn’t know whether to rush Diggory or flee. Diggory chooses for them and disappears, reappearing in front of Frat Boy 3.
Frat Boy 3: (Freaked out). ‘Sa fuckin’ demon!
-Diggory slaps Frat Boy 3 in the mouth, removing his jaw.
Diggory: I said watch that mouth.
-Diggory punches up through the opening in Frat Boy 3’s jaw and explodes his head.
-Now everyone, frat boys and the crowd watching, are sufficiently freaked. Panic ensues. The frat boys attempt to flee.
Diggory: You don’t get to leave! (Pounds both fists down onto the ground, creating a small quake that knocks the frat boys off their feet).
-Diggory leaps up and comes down on one of the frat boys’ stomach.
-The frat boy vomits blood and then promptly dies.
-Diggory disappears and then reappears in front of another frat boy, grabbing him by the throat and kneeing him in the stomach.
-Diggory tosses the frat boy up and grabs his foot, swinging him around increasingly faster.
-The frat boy’s head collides with the metal bleachers and explodes.
-Diggory throws the decapitated frat boy onto Frat Boy 4.
Frat Boy 4: (Freaked out and trying to get the decapitated frat boy off him). Oh shit! Oh God!
-Diggory charges his hand up, then quickly moves to the side and fires a punch into the side of another frat boy, penetrating deep into his torso.
-The frat boy falls down, not dead but on his way.
Frat Boy 4: (Looks up and sees Diggory make eye contact with him). Oh! Oh no! Oh fuck!
-Diggory charges his hand again, causing it to glow. He forms a static ball and hurls it at Frat Boy 4’s face.
Frat Boy 4: Oh sh-! (The static ball collides, blowing his head off). GACK-!
-The frat boy who was punched in the side, continues to huddle over, clutching his bleeding side. He coughs blood and falls over, dead.
Frat Boy 2: (Picks up a trash can and throws it at Diggory. It bounces off). Hey fucker! You’re not getting away with this! (Picks up another trash can and throws it at Diggory).
-Diggory catches the metal trash can with one hand, crumpling the spot he grasped, then tears it in half.
Frat Boy 2: (Extremely terrified). Oh fuck!
-Diggory leaps up with his knees tucked under him and lands on Frat Boy 2’s shoulders, still holding the shredded metal trash can.
-Diggory pinches his knees together, then twists his hips, snapping Frat Boy 2’s head.
-Frat Boy 2 instantly falls as Diggory hops to his feet.
-Diggory looks off and sees the remaining frat boys running away again. He flattens the metal halves he’s holding and hurls them both at the escaping frat boys.
-The deadly Frisbees slice three frat boys in half, very obviously killing them.
-Absolute panic has ensued from the crowd as everyone struggles to exit, pushing and shoving to get away, clearing out fairly quick.
Moose: (Looks up, tears in his eyes, still holding his broken arm). But…Charlie…
Diggory: (Calmly and coldly walking back onto the stage). No, it’s Diggory. We’re not on a first-name basis.
Moose: Why would you do this?
Diggory: Because I can.
-Walks up to Moose and grabs him by his broken arm, dragging him. Moose screams and tries punching at Diggory, but to no avail.
-Diggory flips Moose over and grabs his hand, making Moose stick his fingers straight out.
Diggory: (Grabs each finger one by one and delivers his lines coldly). This is for harassing Adam. (Snaps Moose’s pinky finger. Moose screams). This is for starting fights with me. (Breaks Moose’s ring finger). This is for humiliating me. (Breaks Moose’s middle finger). …On multiple occasions. (Breaks Moose’s index finger and them his thumb). And this is for even suggesting that Angela would be the type of woman who’d want to fuck you. (Flips Moose onto his back while still holding Moose’s wrist, stomping on his shoulder and breaking his arm again. Diggory twists and breaks it again. And again).
-Diggory pulls Diggory over to the bleachers, grabs his face, and pushes it onto the cold metal.
-Moose struggles weakly against this but Diggory firmly twists his head and forces his mouth open and onto the edge of the metal bleachers.
Moose: But…you’re a nice guy.
Diggory: No one understands hate like a nice guy.
-Finishes Moose off by stomping the back of his head, shattering his entire skull and killing him completely.
-Moose’s foot twitches before he finally dies.
-Diggory still looks ready to fight, his eyes nearly showing flames in them. The crowd has all but left, though their terrified screams can easily be heard.
Adam: (Reaches out and gently touches Diggory’s shoulder from behind). Chuck…?
-Diggory reacts instinctively by turning around and thrusting his elbow out into Adam’s throat.
-Adam grabs his collapsed throat and stumbles backwards, choking to death.
Diggory: (Realizes what just happened. His expression fades from hateful to sorrowful hoping to help Adam somehow). Adam? Adam no! I didn’t mean…
-Adam falls down as Diggory holds him in his arms, looking him up and down, terrified.
Diggory: Adam, please, I didn’t…I didn’t mean for this to happen…
-Tears have welled up in Diggory’s eyes, as well as Adam’s.
-Adam slowly just looks sadly at Diggory before finally dying.
Diggory: (Shaking Adam, in shock). Adam? Adam?! God please, Adam! (Openly weeping, burying his head in Adam’s torso).
Angela: (Walks up and stands over Diggory. She looks very remorseful). Oh Dig…what have you done?
Diggory: (His head shoots up, surprised and still weeping, frantic). I didn’t…please…help him…
Angela: (She’s begun to cry as well). I can’t. He’s gone.
Diggory: (Looks Adam over again). But…there must be some way to save him. (Looks up at Angela). There has to be!
Angela: There isn’t. I’m so sorry Dig.
Lucifer: (Walking into the area. She seems rather uncaring of the situation). If it brings you any comfort, he didn’t have a contract with our side.
Angela: (Freaks out upon seeing Lucifer). Lucifer…?
Diggory: (Looks up, unsure of how to act). You’re Lucifer?
Lucifer: Yes. I don’t typically make visits to Earth but it seems the situation warranted the exception.
Angela: (Gets angry and up in Lucifer’s face). The rules were clear on the matter. Closers weren’t-
Lucifer: (More bored by this accusation than anything). Yes yes, Closers aren’t allowed to interfere with existing cases. I know this, I helped agree on the rules. Donovan’s the one who broke all these rules. Now unfortunately that means I need to set things right. (Turns to Diggory). Charlie Diggory, I’m going to have to ask you to come with me.
Diggory: No. (Shakes his head, still devastated by the loss of his best friend). No I’m staying here.
Lucifer: Did I misspeak? Unfortunately for you I own you now. It was part of the deal that you foolishly agreed upon. You’re coming with me before you do anything to make the situation worse.
Diggory: I’ll never side with you… Do you hear me?!
Lucifer: (Undeterred). Yes I hear you.
Angela: (Sorrowful). Dig, I don’t like this any more than you do…
Diggory: Then help me!
Angela: I tried!
Diggory: No…no one tried to help me. NO ONE! Except for Donovan.
Lucifer: He overstepped his boundaries and put everything in jeopardy and he will be severely punished. He didn’t intend to help you; he did it for purely selfish purposes. Now come with me before you accidentally kill someone else.
Diggory: (He’s lost his mind at this point). You think I’ll kill someone on accident huh? (Clenches his fists). Then what if I do it purposefully? (Begins to cause everything to shake). I’ll make you regret ever signing me! (He tenses his entire body and starts making a massive earthquake).
Lucifer: (Looks over to Angela, somewhat cautious. She gets into a battle stance). This is only going to get worst before it gets better… (Everything fades out as Diggory begins screaming, violently shaking the area).
End of Chapter 6
Scene 1: In Heaven, Lucifer walks into a brightly lit room, looking somewhat nervous.
Lucifer: Excuse me? God? Are You there? I require a word with You. (Clears her throat and nods). Please. (A great boom sounds out, startling Lucifer slightly). Ahem, I assume that’s You then. We may have a problem. (God’s voice). Yes, it is about Donovan. You remember the terms my side signed him under? (God’s voice). Yes, of course You remember… They weren’t steady. I wouldn’t have had him sign on if I knew the full extent of what I was setting in motion of course. You realize this? (God’s voice). Excellent, yes, I wasn’t given the full details, so I made a judgment call, and it seems there’s now a problem. I’d like to state on record that I did not make him break any rules. (God’s voice). No, I didn’t tell him to do…whatever it is he’s done or may do. He seems to be just slightly beyond my control is all and- (God’s voice booms). What? No! This is absurd! You don’t tamper with free will and You’re applauded. Oh, but if I don’t start controlling people I’m considered weak? (God’s voice). It’s alright. Apology accepted. (Clears throat). I’d just like to say that I’m blameless for whatever may or may not happen, though I will be taking every action towards correcting it. Are we clear on this? (God’s voice). G-good. It’s just that it’s so stressful, y’know? Course You don’t, You’re God, You’re the all-powerful, all-knowing one. It’s very intimidating being Your competition! And You’re following all the rules! (God’s voice). Which isn’t to say I’m breaking any! No no! I’m just having a few slight problems is all! (Lucifer seems frustrated and takes a moment). You mind if I take some time to watch this from here? You seem to have a better vantage point is all. (God’s voice). Thank You. I’ll be sure to stay quiet. (Sits down cross-legged). There, see? No interfering. (Looks up). Is this all You do all day? (God’s voice booms. Lucifer gets freaked out). Nope, totally quiet! Don’t mind me! (Slouches, staring down again).
Scene 2: Back in the cemetery between Diggory and Donovan. Diggory is still very badly injured, lying on his back and struggling to breath correctly.
Diggory: Who’s that…?
Donovan: (Walks to where Diggory can see him). I believe we met once before a few days ago?
Donovan: Donovan. (Bows). You may call my “Donny” for short if you wish.
Diggory: (Rolls over and pushes himself up with much difficulty). You’re not a normal person, are you?
Donovan: No one’s ever really normal.
Diggory: Your card…(Pulls it out from his pocket. The words “Donovan, Hell’s Closer” appear).
Donovan: Yeah it does that from time to time.
Diggory: What is that, witchcraft?
Donovan: Hardly. The dark arts are a joke compared to the things I’ve done and seen done.
Diggory: (Tears up the card). So how’d that thing work?
Donovan: More or less, simple parlor tricks, also known as a plot device.
Diggory: And that means…?
Donovan: I have no idea how the card works.
Diggory: Ah. You just needed it to happen, so it did?
Donovan: Yes. That happens frequently in my world.
Diggory: (Shakes his head, trying to clear it). I don’t understand.
Donovan: Of course you don’t. You’re mortal. Why should you know any of the business going on in the spiritual half of the world?
Diggory: (Still looking rather beaten up, wobbling a bit). Maybe I’m just not thinking clearly. You know, blood loss and all.
Donovan: Oh, where are my manners? (Walks over and places his hands over Diggory’s eyes, humming a bit).
Diggory: And this isn’t witchcraft?
Scene 3: Angela is kneeling on the Cliffside.
Angela: If Donovan can get away with so much, then why can’t I? Is it wrong for me to do good even if I’m breaking rules to do it? (Looks up). And it doesn’t look like You’re gonna give me any answers soon. Fine. (Gets up and leaps from the cliff. She starts falling). Our side isn’t weaker by any means…I’ll prove it. (Disappears).
Scene 4: The top floor of an upscale building in the middle of the city. A number of businessmen are talking while a bunch of poorer, gang-types seem to mingle as well. All together there seem to be nearly 2 dozen men in the room.
Anderson: (The owner of the company. He’s talking to one of the gang-members). So it’s pretty simple, right? Go in, murder the whole boardroom, and get out.
Gang Member 1: Yeah, that’s simple. How do we expect to get out?
Anderson: I don’t know. Doesn’t seem to be my problem. Wasn’t much of a problem at that company picnic few months ago, was it?
Gang Member 2: (Hearing this, walking over while strutting with his gun). Yeah yeah, but that was just a bunch o’ bitches with they family, man! Simple as shit! Couple ah shots and most ah the kids scattered wid they moms and shit. Too much commotion to know what da fuck was happening. I don’t even really know what da fuck was happening. (Laughs to himself).
Gang Member 1: Regardless, that was simple. No one had time to identify us, so we got off simple enough. Board rooms got cameras and security and all sorts of other shit that me an’ my boys don’t need to deal with.
Anderson: Oh really? (Calls over another guy). Carmichael, let me ask you something.
Carmichael: (Walks over). Yes?
Anderson: Can we get these thugs suited with body armor and the like?
Carmichael: If they can eliminate our competition, give them whatever the hell they want. Hahaha, I don’t care. (Continues laughing as he walks back to the other group).
Anderson: (Turns back to Gang Member 1). Well?
Gang Member 1: Alright. Sounds fair enough to me.
Anderson: (They shake hands). Good. By tomorrow we’ll all be richer and there isn’t a soul who can stop us. (Smiles).
Angela: (Appearing in the corner). Of all the trite things you could have said, you chose that?
-Everyone in the room reacts with shock, some pulling guns.
Anderson: Who’re you?
Angela: (Advancing on the crowd). You’re all the worst sort of people. You live to make a profit off of those weaker than you. You’re willing to kill whoever it takes to secure your position, even if it means taking the lives of innocents like children.
Gang Member 2: Psh, man, who is this bitch.
Angela: (Talking to the gang members). You think they’ll let you live long after you do enough tasks for you? How long before you’re too dirty to still be connected? In another year, half of you in the room would be dead.
Anderson: I’m a fair and honest gentleman, so I’m being rather kind when I ask you kindly young lady to please remove yourself from this room and never, ever bother us again.
Angela: None of you will ever see me again after this day, but you’ll remember exactly what’s about to happen.
Anderson: (Turns to the gang members). Kill her and I double your pay. (The gang members raise their guns at Angela).
Scene 5: Cemetery with Diggory and Donovan again.
Donovan: (Removes his hands, showing Diggory to be perfectly fine). There. How you feeling kid?
Diggory: In the fewest words possible: confused. Exactly how much of this is a dream?
Diggory: Well that’s terrific.
Donovan: And it’s only going to get worse.
Diggory: Oh, well of course.
Donovan: (Amused). You’ve got a pretty smart mouth when you take enough punches to the head, huh?
Diggory: I get mouthy when I get annoyed.
Donovan: I can relate.
Diggory: There’s something people aren’t telling me, isn’t there?
Donovan: Yes. There’s a war coming.
Diggory: War? Well that’s bad.
Donovan: Debatable but yeah.
Diggory: Which nation starts it?
Donovan: Huh-uh. No nations. Just alignments.
Diggory: Typical good versus evil sort of thing?
Donovan: I don’t like to think of it so clear cut good and evil. Both sides feel they’re in the right.
Diggory: So if your card says you’re from Hell…?
Donovan: Then it probably means I’m on Hell’s side. You’re a quick learner.
Diggory: I’m no genius or anything, but Hell’s definitely on the evil side of things.
Donovan: Actually we’re not. Simple mistake. Our leader was wrongfully kicked out of God’s good graces. We’re simply trying to regain a bit of that grace.
Diggory: (Sarcastically mocking Donovan). Well yeah, who wouldn’t?
Donovan: (Playing along, crossing his arms). I know, right?
Diggory: (Serious again). Yeah. What does this have to do with me?
Donovan: Quite a lot.
Diggory: Such as…?
Donovan: (Holds up his hand, finally stern). Enough playing 20 Questions. Let me explain everything before you jump in again. Savy? (Diggory nods). Good. Both sides are gathering soldiers for their respective forces. Eventually these forces will battle for control of Earth, (Mockingly as an aside to Diggory), that’s where you live by the way, (Not mocking anymore), and who knows what else. We’d like to assume this “else” includes Heaven, but we’re realistic.
Donovan: (Cuts him off). There are special agents, uh, angels if you will, from each side who can move freely between the Earth and the supernatural domains. We call these people “Closers.” I happen to be one of these. We’re like talent scouts if you need a simple analogy.
Diggory: But I don’t have any discernable skill that’d be very important for a war, especially not a war to the level you’re talking. I’m more or less just a kid.
Donovan: For now, but everyone’s got a certain amount of potential built into them. Power beyond anything they’ve experienced. The power’s latent, waiting for the spark.
Diggory: What’s the spark?
Donovan: There’s a conflict on the way that’ll signal the start of the war. We don’t know exactly what the conflict will be; we just know that it’s coming.
Diggory: How will we know that it’s happening?
Donovan: Trust me, it’ll be big.
Diggory: Says who?
Donovan: Number of prophecies, soothsayers, the usual bunch of crackpots who tend to be dead-on with everything they say.
Diggory: So if I’m following, after the war begins everyone gets upgraded to warriors and start fighting?
Donovan: More or less. Both Heaven and Hell send us Closers out to Earth to try and convince souls to align themselves with our respective sides. All we ask is an agreement and things go back to normal for them until the war starts. Each side’s got some pretty heavy hitters, but from what I’m told, none compare to what you’ve got hiding in your subconscious.
Diggory: Me huh? One of the soothsayers tell you that?
Donovan: You’re probably one of the most famous cases we’ve got on file.
Diggory: Just because I’m special?
Donovan: For a lot of reasons. The report tells us you’re gonna play one hell of a critical part in this war. As a result, none of the other Closers in Hell have had the balls to try and talk to you. Now tell me if that doesn’t point towards you being ridiculously powerful.
Scene 6: The upscale building. Everyone in the room has raised their guns and begins firing them at Angela.
Anderson: Kill her!
-Angela throws her hands up, yelling as she does so. The floor is torn up, moving as a wave towards everyone in the room, sending both businessmen and gang members off their feet.
-Angela leaps into the air, throwing her hands down and yelling again. The floor caves in, spilling half of the men into the floor below.
Gang Member 1: This is unreal! (Pulls out an assault rifle). Bitch, this ain’t the place to start shit! (Opens fire. The rest of the gang members on the current floor pull out assault rifles and start firing as well).
-Angela yells again, clenching her fists and closing her eyes. The windows of the entire building begin to blow out, shooting down floor by floor.
-The gang members stop firing when they realize what’s happening and that Angela is undamaged.
Anderson: What the fuck are you?!
-Angela walks up to Anderson and grabs him, carrying him to the broken window. She dangles him outside.
Angela: Why have you forsaken all that is good?!
Anderson: (Scared to death). I don’t know! I’m a worthless shitbag! Please don’t kill me!
Angela: None of you are worth saving! I’ve seen how evil you all are! (Shaking, trying to get herself to let go. Her teeth are clenched, but she can’t do it). Why can’t I KILL you?!
Anderson: (Really confused). Wha…what…?
Angela: (Yelling more at the sky than at Anderson). Why are we allowing these things to happen!? We have the power to stop them!
Anderson: Are…you all right…?
Angela: (Looking the businessman directly in the eyes, terrifyingly furious. She’s yelling through gritted teeth). Tell me! Do you have any good left in your soul?!
Anderson: (Crying). I don’t…I don’t know…! I promise to find out! I’m begging you to let us! Just don’t kill us!
Angela: (Finally breaking out of her rage). Wh-what?
Anderson: Give us a chance to be better!
Anderson: Give us a second chance! We’re not all evil people; we just can’t be! We don’t all deserve this! Oh God please!
Angela: (Quickly setting Anderson down safely in the building). I’m…why can’t I do what he does…? (Angela disappears. All of the people left in the building are shocked and confused, though no one is actually seriously injured).
Scene 7: Cemetery between Diggory and Donovan.
Diggory: If I’m so important, how come I haven’t been approached by both sides?
Donovan: Who says you haven’t?
Diggory: I haven’t. I’d have known.
Donovan: Oh really…? Tell me, how well do you know Angela?
Diggory: Fairly well. (A bit in disbelief). You’re not saying she’s…?
Donovan: She’s a Closer from Heaven. And she doesn’t mess around either. If she wanted you, really wanted you, she’d have already asked you straight out to join with her side. Has she?
Diggory: No…she hasn’t exactly. Things between us are a bit complicated though…
Donovan: She thinks you’re weak. I’ve heard her say it. She’s mocked you openly to a lot of people. She’s convinced your case wasn’t worth much to either side. But it’s her loss, because I don’t think you’re weak.
Diggory: (Angry). You think I’m stupid enough to listen to lies like that?
Donovan: I wouldn’t think of it. However I am offering a bit of incentive.
Diggory: Not interested.
Donovan: I can give you the chance for revenge.
Diggory: (Stern). Not interested.
Donovan: Come on now, no one wants to be a nice guy forever, do they?
Diggory: (Curious). What’d you say?
Donovan: No one wants to be a nice guy forever. I’ve been down that road, and it never ends well. You wind up bitter, broken, and, more than anything, alone.
Diggory: And there’s an alternative to this huh?
Donovan: All the power you’d get later on, I can give it to you now. Why not enjoy it while you can? That’s my theory.
Diggory: Power? How much?
Donovan: Near limitless power. Strength, endurance; raw and unrestrained. Why not set some things right within your life? If you side with us, I can promise you love, respect, power. Everything you’ve ever wanted. I can give you anything. I can give you, (The next word slips out of Donovan’s mouth like smoke). Everything…
Diggory: (Finally considering the offer). All of that?
Donovan: All of that. I’m breaking some rules but for you, I’d make the exception. All I need is a simple handshake. (Offers his hand out to Diggory, who checks it out, a bit weary).
Diggory: What would this mean?
Donovan: That once the conflict starts, you’ll fight alongside me and my fellow angels against Heaven’s army. C’mon, what d’you say?
Diggory: Until then I get exclusive access to all the abilities?
Donovan: Exactly. So? Do we have a deal?
Diggory: (Looks Donovan up and down, carefully thinking this through before slowly reaching out and grabbing Donovan’s hand). Yes. (A loud CRACK hits from nowhere as the two hands come together. Diggory lets out a silent yell as it appears a great amount of pain is hitting him. Slowly a rumbling begins, causing everything to shake. Donovan looks to be struggling to hold on, gritting his teeth in a smile. Diggory starts to buckle from the excruciating pain).
Lucifer: (The flash hits Heaven making it shake slightly). Oh no! This isn’t what I think it is, is it!? (Looks up). This isn’t my fault! (Gets up). I’m gonna fix this! (Rushes from Heaven).
Angela: (Staring up at the top of the ruined building. Suddenly the shaking hits her and a flash of Diggory crosses her mind). Diggory? (Looks off in the direction she felt it come from and disappears).
Donovan: Hehehe…(Lets go of Diggory’s hand. Diggory instantly falls backwards). You might experience some wooziness at first. Enjoy kid. (Leaves).
Diggory: (About hits the ground, losing consciousness). Angela…
End of Chapter 5
Scene 1: In an empty auditorium in Hell. Lucifer is sitting in the middle of the seats with her eyes closed, somewhat conducting the music.
Lucifer: You just can’t find this sort of musical dedication in Heaven now can you…?
Donovan: (Walking in). Why Lucifer, you look simply dreadful. (Looks over and sees the group of musicians playing, shackled and haggard). Since when did we get a symphony?
Lucifer: Urg… (Raises her hand, stopping the music from playing. She then motions for Donovan to sit down in the seat next to her). Donovan…where the hell have you been?
Donovan: Topside. Just viewing the scenery here and there.
Lucifer: You didn’t sign Diggory, did you?
Donovan: No I did not; the case is still open.
Lucifer: (Relieved). Oh thank God. (Sighs). So then I suppose Heaven closed the deal with him?
Donovan: Nope. I’d say he’ll be on our side within a week.
Lucifer: (Stressed). Donovan…you didn’t-
Donovan: (Interrupts her). I didn’t do anything he wouldn’t have done eventually.
Lucifer: What does that mean?
Donovan: You know, the inner workings of the Closer’s line of work is very-
Lucifer: Don’t screw with me Donovan! I’m the wrong person to screw with right now!
Donovan: That time of month? (Lucifer’s eyes glow red as she grows several feat, encompassed by flames). Just a joke, keep your panties on. Just just, (waves her down), don’t do that, come on now.
Lucifer: (Regains her cool and returns to her usual form). I’m going to ask you very carefully then one more time: what did you do?
Donovan: Nothing. Okay? I did nothing. I signed a few loose prospects and then the Dover case, which I was instructed to deal with you know.
Lucifer: The Dover case huh?
Donovan: I’m your best Closer, what the hell else am I gonna do? I just got back, so there, that’s what I did: my job.
Lucifer: (Gets up). Fine, I’m giving you the week off then.
Donovan: (Annoyed). Week off? What am I supposed to do until then?
Lucifer: (Bundling up with a coat and scarf). Wander around Hell for all I care. Just don’t interfere anymore. Least not until I get back.
Donovan: Where are you going?
Lucifer: I have business elsewhere; business that doesn’t concern you. (Turns to the orchestra). You! Keep playing! (They all hurriedly continue playing. She turns to Donovan once more). Don’t do anything stupid. (Leaves).
Donovan: (Sits and listens to the orchestra for a bit). You know, you’re all simply dreadful? (Slouches and crosses his arms). Honestly, we have enough metal bands here, why does she insist on cultivating such shitty music?
Scene 2: The classroom where Diggory is supposed to have class again. He is walking down the hall early in the morning.
Diggory: (Talking to himself, stretching his neck). Okay, so I’ll just tell professor Dover exactly what happened. He said I could come to him with anything, so of course he’d like this, right? (Gets to the door). The lights are still off? Why isn’t the door even open? Isn’t he here? (Opens the door). Professor? You in…(Sees something). Here…?
-Professor Dover is hanging by his clasped hands over his head. His eyes are gone, as are his ears, and his mouth shows signs that his tongue is also probably missing. His body has cuts all over it, with one in particularly deep one in the side.
Diggory: (Absolutely horrified). Oh God…
Scene 3: In Hell. Donovan is casually walking around by various eerie, mangled structures.
Donovan: Damn…Hell is so boring. Who’d have thought?
Anthony: (Dressed in a suit with a hat. He’s with a group of other men dressed in somewhat similar outfits, all sitting on a structure nearby. This man is somewhat fat and has a rough beard on his face). Wandering in circles? Shame, what with you being “Hell’s Best Closer” and all. (He and the other guys begin laughing).
Donovan: Huh, even in Hell you deal with frat boys with emotional issues and enough VD to make their dicks even smaller.
Anthony: (Gets up and walks over to Donovan). Come on now Donovan, we’re in the same line of work. Maybe I’m just curious about your technique.
Donovan: I don’t know Anthony, maybe just stop playing with your pisser and go do your damn job. (The group gets mad and stands up, beginning to circle Donovan). Oh sorry, I mean “damned” jobs, right? (Smiles).
Anthony: Donovan, you’re not funny. No one thinks you’re funny.
Donovan: (Looks around). Well I’d say I’m damn near a riot.
Anthony: Word is you’ve been grounded till the missus gets back. That true?
Donovan: Depends who you’re getting your information from.
Anthony: I hear things. We all hear things.
Donovan: I’d hope so. That’s somewhat important for being a Closer, innit?
Closer 1: It true you closed the Layman case?
Anthony: Some of us’d been working on that one for quite a while. How long’d it take you?
Donovan: ‘Bout six minutes, roughly.
Closer 2: That’s impossible! Ain’t never been a case closed that quick!
Donovan: (Mocks the Closer). Ain’t never been done ‘cause I ain’t be done do’n it.
Anthony: Dover case. You closed that last night?
Closer 1: Dover case?! We hardly had anything on that one yet!
Anthony: You close it last night or not?
Donovan: Yeah. Closed it.
Donovan: It ain’t gonna open again any time soon.
Anthony: The Dover case has next-to-nothing on it. That’s not even a case we’re allowed to attempt yet.
Donovan: Now that’s not how the rules work. They say we can attempt any case we want, they just don’t suggest attempting them so soon.
Closer 2: But then you can?
Donovan: I knew enough to get through it without any problems.
Anthony: There was nothing except a name and an occupation. You sure you got the right guy?
Anthony: How can you be sure?
Donovan: I don’t know, maybe I should have kept my eye on the road better, huh?
Anthony: (This gets Anthony’s eye to twitch). What’d you say?
Donovan: I don’t know. I mean, it was awful fishy getting killed the way I did, you know, right after getting prompted by you…
Anthony: (The group of Closers has grown to be a large crowd, all surrounding Donovan and Anthony). I don’t like what you’re implying Donovan.
Donovan: Oh I’m not implying anything, Tony. (Sneers at Anthony).
Anthony: (Takes off his hat and jacket). Donovan, you’re Satan’s favorite, aren’t you?
Donovan: She prefers to be called “Lucifer” actually. “Lucy” when she’s in a really good mood.
Anthony: (Cracking his knuckles). Oh is that right?
Donovan: I know, you’ve probably never seen her in a good mood, what with never having anything worth putting her in one, huh?
Anthony: Heheheh, Donovan, I’m gonna enjoy this while I can.
Donovan: Be my guest.
-Anthony throws a hard right hook and knocks Donovan to the ground.
Donovan: (Rubs his face). So we’re doin’ this, huh?
Anthony: Get up.
Donovan: (Takes off his jacket and stands up while rolling up his sleeves). Okay, so we’re doin’ this.
-Donovan quickly boxes Anthony in the nose, then follows up with a left cross, sending Anthony spinning to the ground.
Anthony: (Dazed as he reorients himself. Slowly gets back up. The crowd is cheering now). Don’t forget I’m a few years your senior.
Donovan: Don’t worry, I’m not gonna forget who put me here. (They both take swings at each other).
Scene 4: Diggory and Adam are walking through campus, near a cemetery. Diggory looks somewhat shaken up from finding the professor the way he did.
Adam: He was just hanging there?
Diggory: He wasn’t just hanging there. He was hanging there, dead.
Adam: Who do you think’d want him dead?
Diggory: I have my suspicions.
Adam: No, Moose is not an option. The guy’s an asshole but he’s not a murder.
Diggory: He could-
Adam: (Cuts Diggory off). And neither are his friends. And even if these guys were capable of that, they don’t seem the type to attempt religious symbolism or something. What, his eyes and tongue were gone?
Diggory: And his ears. Plus he had a deep stab wound in his side.
Adam: Huh. You see, that’s not the way Moose’d do it. He’d just bash his head in or something.
Diggory: I guess. (Pulls his hands out of his pocket after touching Donovan’s card). Hmh? (Pulls out Donovan’s blank card).
Adam: What’ve you got there?
Diggory: (Looking the blank card over and over as he and Adam walk along). I forgot to mention it. Yesterday this guy named Donovan showed up and tried to recruit me for something or other. He wasn’t too clear as to what exactly. He just said he could help me with my problem.
Adam: And he gave you a blank card?
Diggory: That’s the thing. It’s so weird Adam; the card had words appear, and then they were gone.
Adam: Could be holographic or something. Things are getting stranger and stranger these days.
Diggory: This isn’t holographic or anything. I looked it over for a while and it’s just a simple white card. There’s nothing different about it, at least, not to my knowledge.
Adam: Except it gives cryptic messages on occasion?
Diggory: Yeah, except for that.
Adam: Yep, stranger and stranger. You don’t think this Donovan guy killed professor Dover, do you?
Diggory: I have no idea. He didn’t seem all too threatening. I mean sure, he was a wearing a trench coat of sorts, but I thought it made him look more like a pedophile than anything.
Adam: Get a good look under the trench coat?
Diggory: (Rolls his eyes). He didn’t flash me, no.
Adam: No I mean he could have had a gun or a knife under there. Or maybe a knife-gun! A gun that shot knives… That’d be cool… (Shakes his head). Don’t trust this guy.
Diggory: Adam, I appreciate how much you care, but you really don’t have to look after me all the time. I can handle things for myself.
Adam: (Sighs). Alright Chuck. I didn’t mean anything by it. You know what you’re doing, you go do it.
Diggory: Thanks. (Checks his watch). Hey don’t you have class right about now?
Adam: Yeah. Just some basic credits to get outta the way.
Diggory: Rocks for Jocks?
Adam: No, higher learning sort of garbage. And I probably need to get show up to class today if I’ll have any hope of passing the midterm.
Diggory: Check you later man.
Adam: Laters. (Leaves).
Diggory: (Keeps walking and sees Angela standing in the cemetery looking off at nothing in particular, which perks him up a bit). Angie! (Pockets the card again and runs over to her). Hey, you all right?
Angela: (All smiles). Course I’m all right.
Diggory: Sorry, you know, about yesterday…
Angela: Don’t worry about it. All in the past now isn’t it? I heard you had some trouble last night.
Diggory: Yeah, but it wasn’t anything too bad. You didn’t get stalked by any frat boys did you?
Angela: No more than usual.
Diggory: Good. Heh, I just, I don’t know.
Angela: Looking out for me? That’s sweet. And your professor?
Diggory: I don’t particularly want to get into that with you. The details are gruesome. You don’t need that.
Angela: (Wanders a bit, talking very matter-of-factly). Found hanging from his wrists, eyes gouged out, ears ripped off, tongue removed. Fatal wound in the side. Bled to death at some point in the night. No message left, no motive found.
Diggory: You heard already?
Angela: I hear a lot in my line of work.
Diggory: Where do you work, anyway?
Angela: (Surprised). Oh? I, um…I suppose you could say I work for the church.
Diggory: Which one?
Angela: Depends. I get transferred frequently.
Diggory: How do you find time for school then?
Angela: I manage well enough.
Diggory: I’d hope so.
Angela: Um, Dig?
Angela: Sit down with me a minute. I need to talk with you.
Diggory: Yeah, there’re a few things I’ve been meaning to say as well.
Angela: (They both sit down. She sighs). I worry that I’ve been persuading you too much lately to do something other than what you’d like.
Diggory: Hmh, this sounds more like something the guy’d be saying.
Angela: You know that’s not what I mean.
Diggory: Okay, in what way?
Angela: Well…it’s hard to say exactly. Er, take for example that tournament you’re thinking of entering, just to get back at those guys who harass you.
Diggory: So you know, I’ve been reconsidering it a bit.
Angela: And that’s good. I’m…I’m happy for you. I just worry that I may have been too forcefully against it the other day.
Diggory: Nah. You’re just giving your opinion. I do value your opinion. You realize that, right?
Angela: I don’t want you to value it too much though. You’ve gotta decide things for yourself.
Diggory: As far as I’m aware I do.
Diggory: What is this all about?
Angela: Just…give me your hand. (She grabs his hand as he offers it and looks at it a bit. She then presses her head against his chest, listening for his heartbeat).
Diggory: Angie…? Angie you’re acting strange. Good…but strange.
Angela: (Lets go of him). You’re good, deep down…you know this? (He nods). For sure? (He nods again, a little confused). And I haven’t made you think this? You think this yourself?
Diggory: (Very confused). I don’t know why I wouldn’t.
Angela: Good. I was just…worried. That’s all.
Diggory: I don’t want you worrying about me. I’m fine.
Angela: I know you are. It’s just something that’s been on my mind.
Diggory: (Grabs her hand). Well you’ve been on my mind. And I think you’re good, too.
Angela: (A bit unsure). I know you do…
Diggory: No I mean it. I’m not smooth or anything, but I’m crazy about you. That’s all I can say really. I like you. A lot.
Angela: I know you do…
Diggory: I just…(Leans in to her, gently touching her face, then kisses her. They embrace for a second).
Angela: (Pulls away and gets up, running away). I’m sorry, I just can’t… I have to go…
Diggory: (Reaching out for her). Angie wait! (Heartbroken). Angie…
Angela: (Yells back). Diggory I’m sorry! I’m just…I’m sorry! (Desperately fleeing, crying as she’s running).
Diggory: (Slouched, obviously in a pitiful mood). Great…that’s about what I’d expect to happen. It’s me afterall… (Buries his head in his hands).
Scene 5: Hell again. Donovan and Anthony are slugging it out in a bare-knuckle boxing match. A number of other Closers are crowded around, watching and cheering.
Anthony: You know Donovan, I’m not the only one who’s been wanting to do this for some time?
-Anthony takes a swing at Donovan and misses. He takes another quick jab and misses again.
Donovan: Trust me, I’m aware. I just don’t give a damn.
-Donovan slaps Anthony across the face with a punch. He then grabs Anthony and pulls him into a series of knees to the chest. He then throws a heavy uppercut into Anthony’s chin, sending him onto his back.
Donovan: I expect more from the guy who put me here.
Anthony: (Gets up, pissed). Donovan, you put yourself here!
Donovan: Well, perhaps a little of column A and a little of column B, eh?
-Anthony rushes Donovan. The two exchange heavy blows to the face. Finally Donovan grabs Anthony’s head and rubs his eye quickly.
Anthony: (Holding his eye, backing away). Gah, what’s that supposed to be?
Donovan: (Clenching his fist. It begins to glow and vibrate). Little something I picked up. Hurts like a bitch, doesn’t it? Probably not as much as this though.
-Donovan swings his fist at Anthony and utterly smashes the side of his head.
-Anthony is sent spinning through the air, landing in a crumpled heap a few yards away, down for the count.
Donovan: (His hand is back to normal. He takes a deep breath). Alright, so anyone else feel like being a jackass?
Closer 2: (The crowd is freaked out a bit). What did you do to him?!
Donovan: (Grabbing his coat and smoothing out his hair). He’s already dead, so I don’t suppose he needs to worry much about what happened. His face may look funny for a while though. (Stops for a second). Well…funnier.
Anthony: (Writhing on the ground suddenly, clutching at his mangled face). You’re not funny Donovan! No one thinks you’re funny!
Donovan: Oh please, I’m damned near hysterical. (Starts to walk away).
Anthony: (Getting up). Where are you going Donovan?!
Donovan: I have my own business. I’ll leave you to yours. (Leaves, smiling).
Scene 6: Back in the cemetery. Diggory is still sitting with his face buried in his hands. Moose and his group walk up suddenly.
Moose: Oh my. What is this boys? It looks like our sad, lonely friend Diggory.
Diggory: (No nonsense). Oh please not now guys…
Moose: Whoa whoa, is that any way to treat your friends? Your friends that want to help you? Seems mighty rude if you ask me.
Frat boy 1: Yeah, kinda rude.
Diggory: I said not now…please…
Moose: Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bother you, but we’re not really here to take requests on the matter. We said we’re hear to help, so we’re gonna help, huh? (The frat boys snigger at this).
-Moose slams Diggory in the back with his elbow. Diggory falls onto his face. The frat boys laugh harder.
Moose: C’mon Dig, don’t be like that. Get up and pull yourself together.
-Two frat boys pull Diggory up to his feet.
-Moose throws a hard punch into Diggory’s stomach.
-The frat boys let Diggory fall to his knees while coughing and holding his gut.
Diggory: Seriously…this is a really, (hack), bad time for this now.
Moose: Wait a second. (Pulls Diggory’s face in close. They meet eye-to-eye). I know that look…
Diggory: It’s call rejection, so yeah, you’d know that quite well.
Moose: (Doesn’t find this amusing). I don’t like the tone you’re taking with me Dig.
Diggory: (Starts laughing). Hahaha…that’s right, I bet you went out last night looking for Angela, or anyone who even looked like they could be an Angela, or even anyone who looked like they could be female, and you were slapped and spat on and rejected over and over and over again until you got drunk enough to just give up and masturbate instead.
Moose: (Gets right into Diggory’s face). Don’t even joke. You’re not funny Dig. No one thinks you’re funny.
Diggory: At least I don’t have to rape girls to get them to sleep with me.
Moose: (Solemn as he nods). Okay. So that’s how it’s gonna be then, huh?
-Moose looks over to his friends. They all nod and smile.
-Moose pulls back and destroys Diggory’s nose.
-Diggory falls backwards, clutching his nose.
-Moose grabs his legs and swings him around as another frat boy jumps up and knees Diggory in the face.
-Diggory goes down hard, struggling to breath.
-Diggory gets up, face mangled, but looks directly at Moose, charging and throwing a single punch, which misses.
-Moose pounds Diggory in one side, then the other.
-Moose grins and directs two frat boys to prop Diggory up as he starts to fall.
Scene 7: Angela lands gently on the edge of a cliff, walking to the very edge. The cliff overlooks a luscious landscape. The scene will be shifting back and forth between Angela’s position and Diggory getting beaten up.
Angela: (Walks up to the edge and looks up into a bright opening in the clouds). Please tell me you’re there… I need guidance Lord…
-Diggory takes a punch to the face. He slouches. The frat boys holding him pull him back up. He looks woozy.
Angela: I need strength. I’m struggling to make the right choices.
-Diggory gets hit yet again in the face, spraying blood everywhere.
-The frat boys let go of Diggory, allowing him to fall to his knees, generally disoriented.
-Moose slaps him across the face with another hard punch.
-Diggory falls to the ground, beaten badly.
Angela: I know the rules. I know I can’t make him fight for us. This is a decision he must make for himself
-Moose walks up to Diggory, grabbing his hair and dragging him to a gravestone.
Moose: Dig? You sorry yet?
-Diggory weakly gives Moose the finger.
-Moose slams Diggory’s head into the gravestone, leaving a blood splatter behind.
Angela: Our side must only lead others to their own conclusions. We cannot interfere with their judgment. Those are the rules. Mm…but is it fair?
-Moose lets go of Diggory and takes a step back.
-Diggory struggles to pull himself up onto the gravestone to orient himself.
-Moose looks off to his frat boys. Two come up to Diggory and hold him steady.
Angela: I just can’t go on believing everyone has good intentions inside them
-Moose walks up behind Diggory.
Moose: Bite the stone, Dig.
-The frat boys look off to one another a bit worried, then begin to give weak smiles.
Moose: Bite it, now.
-Diggory shakes his head no.
-A frat boy grabs Diggory’s head and forces it onto the edge of the stone.
-Moose walks up, about to stomp Diggory in the back of the head.
-Diggory struggles, pulling an arm free and moving just as Moose stomps down.
-Diggory punches as hard as he can into Moose’ groin.
-Moose grunts and falls back, holding his crotch.
Moose: (In a lot of pain, furious). Kill him…the bastard…kill him!
-The frat boys all jump onto Diggory, pummeling him relentlessly.
Angela: Please…answer me… (Looking upward). You’re supposed to be everywhere, so answer me…
-Diggory shakily reaches a hand up out of the pile, grasping for anything. The frat boys relent, getting off and backing away slowly.
-Moose walks up, slaps Diggory’s hand away, and kicks Diggory hard in the face.
Angela: (Tears are streaming down her cheeks. She screams out in rage, making the ground shake). ANSWER ME! (No response. The area around her has been broken away so that she’s kneeling on a single pillar left undamaged).
-Moose begins to walk away.
-Diggory grabs his foot and tries to pull him back.
-Moose looks down and stomps Diggory in the face.
Angela: Just give me strength… Give me the strength I need to get through this… (Sits quietly, hunched over, broken).
-Moose looks down at Diggory to check for anything more.
-Diggory just sits and pants.
-Moose and his group laugh to themselves as Moose begins to walk away.
Moose: I’m tired of this. From one friend to another, I know women, and just listen to me, that bitch wasn’t worth it Dig. She ain’t worth it. You’re a nice guy, but you’re just wasting your time with guttersnipes. (He and the rest of the frat boys walk away, leaving Diggory lying on the ground, coughing and sputtering).
Diggory: (Laying on his back, breathing heavily and struggling to push himself up, failing and instead doing little more than tear at the grass). He doesn’t get it… No one gets it… Fuck being nice… (Screams out). FUCK IT!
Donovan: (Casually walks up to Diggory, smiling). The sweet sound of rage…feels good, doesn’t it?
End of chapter 4
Scene 1: Diggory and Moose are sitting at desks across from each other in a classroom. Diggory is flipping through a textbook while Moose mainly just stares, bored.
Moose: So Dig good buddy, you’ve been awfully academic this evening.
Diggory: I’m entirely surprised you know words that large.
Moose: I may appear to be a dumbass but I have much more to talk about than tits and beer.
Diggory: Such as?
Moose: Go ahead, try and philosophize with me.
Diggory: Philosophize? You flipped through a dictionary and memorized a few choice words, is that it?
Moose: Go ahead. Ask me what I think the purpose of life really is.
Diggory: First, why would I care about the purpose in life? Secondly, why would I care about your take on the ultimate question?
Moose: Boredom and more boredom.
Diggory: (Pause). Fine, all I’m doing is looking ahead in this textbook anyway. Give me the gospel according to Moose.
Moose: S’no gospel so much as a theory on why we’re all here.
Diggory: And it is?
Moose: What else? Humans have got to procreate.
Diggory: That simple?
Moose: That simple.
Moose: On the surface, very simple. But it goes deeper. Why are we programmed to procreate?
Diggory: Simple survival of the species. All creatures large and small have it programmed in their heads to continue on no matter what.
Moose: And we’re pushed towards sex as a primary goal? Or is it further than that? Is there a desire to create something that loves us back? Similar to what God supposedly did in the beginning?
Diggory: (Sarcastic). Oh, so deep.
Moose: Hey piss off Dig. You got any prospects?
Moose: Any ladies in which to attempt procreation? Or should I be more blunt? You got any girls you’re tryin’ ta do?
Diggory: It’s none of your business really.
Moose: It’s always my business.
Diggory: Why do you care anyway? What is so damn interesting about me and my life, huh? Is there really such a fascination with seeing me in misery?
Moose: What, you think I’m always in such a fuckin’ great mood just because I look like I’ve got it all? Come on, I’m just as lonely as the next guy. That’s why I pester you when I get the chance. You talk back to me, and it’s not because you have to. I’m surrounded by a bunch of idiots who’d give me a hand-job if I told them to, but I have no one around me that’ll tell me when I’m being a prick or even truly listen when I’ve got something possibly valuable to say.
Diggory: Huh, I never really knew. Dang, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything by it.
Moose: Well it hurts man. I go to bed alone more than I go to bed with a sorority chick, you know? Maybe I’m just looking for some common connection with anyone. So you wanna be nice to me for a change?
Diggory: Me? Be nice?
Moose: You know what I mean. There a girl you’re chasing?
Diggory: Sure, there’s a girl I’m interested in.
Diggory: Angela. I’ve been seeing her for nearly a month now.
Moose: Oh really? How’d you meet her?
Diggory: Promise not to judge?
Moose: Yes. (Crosses his fingers behind his back).
Diggory: Alright, it happened somewhat like this…
Scene 2: School library. Diggory is sitting at one table, studying.
Diggory narration: It was a little before finals last term. I was in the library studying the best I could so I didn’t fail. I needed at least a C+ in one class, so I was actually trying. And then she kinda walked into my life and changed my priorities.
-Angela walks in and sits down across from Diggory, pulling out her own book, beginning to read it.
-Diggory looks up and takes notice of Angela.
Diggory narration: I know, it’s clichéd and all, but she looked like some heavenly being at the moment. Something inside me just got the notion to talk to her, which was something I’m not exactly known for doing, when it comes to women anyway. Sadly though, I didn’t have anything to talk to her about. She wasn’t studying a textbook from a class I was familiar with, and I knew her from nowhere, so conversation was all but impossible.
-Angela keeps flipping through pages.
-Diggory flicks his pencil onto the floor next to her and dives down to grab it.
Diggory narration: Yeah, it wasn’t the most original plan, or very smooth, but I needed any way to even get closer to her. Call it a form of stalking, but I knew what that little voice inside me was wanting, and it was her.
-Diggory looks up, hoping to catch eyes with Angela. She doesn’t respond.
-Diggory clears his throat. No response.
Diggory: (Holds up the pencil he flicked). Is this yours?
Angela: (Flatly responds). No.
Diggory: Oh…you sure?
Angela: Very. I saw you throw it, and I didn’t bring one.
Diggory: Oh…right…silly me…haha…
-Diggory begins to get up.
Angela: Oh, right, like you weren’t just having a lapse of common sense. Are you just going to bumble around or are you gonna try talking with me?
Diggory: Oh…I guess I’ll try talking.
Angela: (Puts her book down). Well?
Diggory: (Seems somewhat flustered and nervous). Uh…I’m…(Shakes his head and throws his hand out). My name’s Charlie. Charlie Diggory! And you’re extremely cute.
Angela: (She looks down at Diggory’s hand, then back up to him, and back down again. Finally she breaks and busts up laughing). Ahahahaha! Oh no, no I’m sorry, I just wanted to see how long it’d take before you started talking to me! Hahaha, oh, my name’s Angela.
Diggory: (Smiles). Angela? That’s a pretty name.
Angela: Yeah yeah, don’t patronize me, it’s just a name. (Smiles). So, what’s your story?
Diggory narration: We talked for the rest of the night. About all kinds of stuff, more than just school anyway. I told her how I was studying theology and she put me through my paces with some harder philosophical questions, but we kept coming to agreements and compromises. It almost felt like the kind of thing that’d happen between a couple. A real couple. I told her about my life, and she listened intently, actually caring what I had to say. She even sympathized with me at times. Eventually we’d talked so long they closed the library down on us and kicked us out. I asked if she’d like to come back to my apartment but she said no, which was fine since we’d just met anyway and I hadn’t expected anything more than a pleasant conversation at best. But she said she wanted to meet the next day and keep talking, so we did.
Scene 3: Back with Diggory and Moose in the classroom.
Diggory: It’s been that way for roughly a month now.
Moose: Wow, that is pretty fuckin’ lame Dig. (Laughs).
Diggory: (Pissed). Yeah, thanks for being all understanding, friend.
Moose: Oh don’t get snippy with me. Is this shit legit?
Diggory: Is what legit?
Moose: Your relationship? You seal the deal, my friend?
Diggory: We’re seeing each other regularly, if that’s what you’re after.
Moose: That’s not. No, I mean, have you put it in her yet? (Getting all patronizing). And what I mean by that is, have you fucked her?
Diggory: (Really pissed). Hey! Watch your mouth.
Moose: Dig, let me ask you a question, a very personal question.
Moose: Have you ever fucked a woman before?
Diggory: (Flabbergasted). What?
Moose: (Getting in Diggory’s face). I said, have you ever, fucked, a woman?
Diggory: (Beginning to fume). Don’t you ever talk about Angela or any other woman like that. Ever!
Moose: Heh, I see I’ve struck a nerve. I’d expect about as much from a virgin like yourself.
Diggory: Well, go screw yourself, I don’t care what you think about me. Just leave my love life out of this.
Moose: Hahahaha! But it’s soooo interesting, isn’t it guys?
-The doors swing open and a dozen frat boys walk in, one holding a video camera.
Diggory: (His eyes are narrow. He’s almost unable to understand). What the hell is this?
Moose: Meh, I got bored waiting around just so some stupid professor could make a ridiculous point, so I texted my buddies and asked ‘em to make it interesting. (Turns to one of them). Hey, you get virgin-boy’s testimony on tape?
Philip: (Holds up the camera). Yep, right here.
Diggory: (Gritting his teeth, furious). What?
Moose: Say hello to the camera Diggory. It was such a heartfelt story. Charming. The internet’s sure to find it thrilling.
Diggory: (Leaps up). Gimmie that tape!
Philip: (Keeps moving back so that Diggory can’t grab the camera from him). Hey hey, stop movin’, it’s hard to center you when you keep movin’ like this. (The other frat boys and Moose laugh).
Diggory: (Points at Moose). You…
Moose: Yeah what?
Diggory: What was all that about wanting someone to connect to, huh?
Moose: (Shrugs). Like I said, I was bored. I’ll let you decide for yourself how much was horseshit and how much wasn’t.
Diggory: You’re all bastards, you know that?
Moose: (Angered). Hey, don’t you talk to them like that. These here are my dear friends, and I don’t appreciate that sort of talk regarding my friends, you hear?
Diggory: (Clenches his fist). Well then piss off, because I’m sick of being treated like your little toy.
Moose: Haha, are you guys seeing this? Philip, you getting this on camera?
Philip: Yeah, it’s just priceless.
Moose: Dig, sit your ass down and study.
Diggory: No, I’m tired of having you dick me around all the time.
Moose: OoOoOoOoh~. Aren’t we so scared guys? (All the frat boys laugh). Dig, I’m not telling you again. Sit your ass down and study.
Diggory: (Unclenches his fists and takes a deep breath). Ha, you’re right Moose. It’s not worth it to try fighting you all. You’re all worthless scumbags anyway, so why bother?
Moose: (Rolls his eyes and laughs). Hehehe…Diggory Diggory Diggory… (Kicks Dig in the side of the head, knocking him down). Stop acting like a hero or some shit. It doesn’t suit you. That’s all fiction anyway.
Diggory: (On the ground. He coughs a bit). Koff, hakoff…Moose, I truly pity you and your bunch sometimes, you know that?
Moose: Shove it ass-hat. (Gives Diggory a swift kick to the face. He starts to unzip his fly). Little prick, you’re worthless. (Begins taking a leak on Diggory. A few of the other frat boys join in while laughing). Haha, boys, let’s leave this piss-stained loser where he belongs. We’ve got better things to do. We’re goin’ hunting for bitches tonight. Especially ones named Angela.
Diggory: (From the ground). You assholes!
Moose: See ya, Dig. (He and the other frat boys leave as Diggory writhes around on the ground).
Diggory: (Gets to his feet). Sorry professor; this seriously isn’t worth it anymore… (Hobbles out the door).
Scene 4: A college apartment. Diggory stumbles up to the door and knocks. Adam answers the door.
Diggory: Adam, I-
Adam: Oh hell, Charlie, what happened? Come on, please come in. (Takes him in). I thought you were in some study thing or something?
Diggory: Yeah I was.
Adam: (Cuts him off). Sit down, please.
Diggory: (Sits on the couch as Adam runs into the bathroom). I was. Moose was there, too, and eventually so were his frat buddies.
Adam: (From the bathroom). I’d expect about as much. So you ended up ditching the assignment?
Diggory: Under the circumstances, yeah, it seemed only fair. (Adam comes back into the room with band-aids and a washcloth). If the professor has a problem with it I’ll explain it to him as rationally as possible before breaking his jaw.
Adam: (Nurses Diggory’s cuts). You know, it’s a lot harder to break a guy’s jaw than you think, though that’s a good place to start if you’re just trying to knock them unconscious.
Diggory: And you know all about fighting?
Adam: No, I know all about running, hiding, and generally not getting myself into a situation where I’m bound to get hurt. Try that Charlie, you’ll find it works pretty damn well sometimes.
Diggory: Hey, I don’t start fights and I don’t get myself into trouble. I just find myself-
Adam: (Cuts him off. Stands up). I’ll be right back, keep talking. (Walks into his bedroom).
Diggory: I find myself repeatedly harassed by the same bunch of guys over and over again. It’s almost too cliché.
Adam: (Walks back into the room with a shirt). No Chuck, it is cliché. (Tosses the shirt to Diggory). Here, put this on. You smell like piss.
Diggory: (Taking off his shirt). Ha, yeah, thank Moose and his pledge brothers for that. (Puts on the shirt Adam gave him).
Adam: So let me try and piece what I’m gonna assume happened: Moose and you got to talking, he pretended to be nice and got you to tell him something juicy, then his frat brothers join in, beat you up, piss on you, and leave to go get stinkin’ drunk.
Diggory: Yes yes and mostly yes. I told Moose about Angela. Then he laughed and got in my face about whether I was a virgin.
Adam: (Pats his chest and smiles). Still one myself. Savin’ myself.
Diggory: Not that you’re really with a choice in the matter though, huh?
Adam: Hey now, I could easily have gone down the frat path and been sleeping with God-knows how many girls a night, but I chose not to. Just because you don’t own a gun doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean something to say “I’d never take a life.”
Diggory: Well you really never know until you’re standing there with a gun to someone’s head.
Adam: Point taken.
Howls from outside: (Drifting in through the window). WooooOOO! Bitches be SMOKIN’! HAhahahaHAHAAha! (Sounds of car tires screeching around corners can be heard).
Diggory: Sounds like Moose’s kind.
Adam: Probably. Wouldn’t doubt it anyway. Charlie, you can rest here tonight if you’d like.
Diggory: Thanks Adam; I appreciate it.
Adam: Yeah yeah, I’m great, I know. Night Chuck.
Diggory: (Smiles). No slumber party?
Adam: (Smiles back). I’ve got class in the morning. Night Chuck. (Flips the lights off).
Scene 5: (Morning as the professor walks down the hallway and into his classroom).
Professor: Well, let’s see if my little experiment worked. (Rolls his eyes). I’m betting the bastards left. (Opens the door. The curtains are drawn, so it’s relatively dark still). Ah, and my instinct is dead on. Didn’t even have the courtesy to lock up or open the curtains or anything. (Places his briefcase down on the desk).
Donovan: (Seated in a desk in the darkened area of the classroom). Professor Dover?
Professor: (Jumps a bit). Oh! Ho, my word, I’m sorry. You scared me a bit there.
Donovan: I’m a scary individual.
Professor: Can I help you?
Donovan: (Getting up and walking slowly around towards the professor). You a professor of theology?
Professor: Yes. Ancient religions and such.
Donovan: We could really use someone who knew much about the old stuff.
Professor: What is this all about?
Donovan: I have an offer for you. (Comes into the light with a wicked grin holding his pistol-blade). I suggest you take it.
End of Chapter 3
Scene 1: Still on campus with Donovan and Diggory having a run-in.
Diggory: (Talking to Donovan). Who are you anyway? You been following me or something?
Donovan: I’ve heard a bit about you here and there. You’re somewhat famous in my circle.
Diggory: And which circle would this be?
Donovan: A very secretive and dangerous one. I wouldn’t push for more info on it.
Diggory: (Annoyed). What do you want?
Donovan: I’ve got an offer for you. A very tempting offer.
Diggory: I’m not looking to transfer schools or anything. I’m pretty content where I am now, thanks.
Donovan: Hah, no, I’m not from any college admission boards, though you could call me a talent scout in a sense.
Diggory: Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t play any sports.
Donovan: I’m not that kind of scout, kid. (Motions off frame). I see you met Angela, huh?
Diggory: Angie? What about her? (Extremely annoyed). Been following her around, too?
Donovan: No, we just happen to share the same line of work.
Diggory: You a friend of hers or something?
Donovan: You might say that. Then again you might also say she’d like to see me dead, but the joke’s on her anyways.
Diggory: I hardly imagine Angie wishing harm on anyone.
Donovan: I’m not the nicest of guys, kid.
Diggory: Really? Because you seem sooo genuine.
Donovan: Tell me, what’s your impression of Angela?
Diggory: She’s…well she’s great. She’s an angel.
Donovan: (Grins). I doubt you know the half of it… I take it you’re in love with her or something then?
Diggory: (Beyond annoyed). I asked you a question. What’s your business with me?
Donovan: You’d said there were a couple of guys bothering you?
Diggory: Yes, I did say that.
Donovan: Elaborate for me. Please.
Diggory: There’s mainly one. Goes by the name “Moose.”
Donovan: (Interjects). He sounds brilliant.
Diggory: He came up with it himself. His real name’s Steven but he prefers to slip comfortably into the typical frat-boy stereotype..
Donovan: Sounds like a real winner.
Diggory: For years he’s thought humiliating along me in front of his frat brothers was been the funniest thing since two guys walked into a bar.
Donovan: What kinda stuff?
Diggory: (Reflecting). Started off small. Tripping me on the playground, shoving me into lockers. The usual. Eventually it got bigger. Smearing my name to friends of mine, finding out secrets I didn’t want getting out. Eventually he found it most fun to harass me in front of potential romances.
Donovan: Not much of the ladies man I take it?
Diggory: I’m a bit shorthanded on the experience side if that’s what you’re getting at.
Donovan: A hand-up never hurts once in a while.
Diggory: (Snidely). Charming… (Shakes his head). Things just got out of hand, but now I’ve got the chance to get back at these creeps on their terms.
Donovan: Good. Nothing resolves a vendetta quite like showing someone up in their own game. What’s your plan?
Diggory: His frat’s hosting a fighting tournament.
Donovan: Fight club type crap?
Diggory: More structure, but yeah, kinda. Moose has been a self-proclaimed kung-fu master. In actuality he’s an idiot, but he can throw a strong punch.
Donovan: Most frat-style can when they need to.
Diggory: If I qualify high enough I’ll get a chance to fight him and a number of his closest associates. That’s all I’d need to change some things. Seeing him get pulverized on front of the only people he respects is sure to knock him back down to a human level of decency, maybe lower if I’m lucky.
Donovan: You fight?
Diggory: I know a bit.
Donovan: Enough to hurt and humiliate these guys?
Diggory: Hopefully so.
Donovan: Well, I might be able to help you out in one way or another. Here’s my card. (Hands him a blank card).
Diggory: (Donovan starts walking away as Diggory looks over the card). This card’s blank.
Donovan: It won’t be for long. (Waves goodbye as he walks off). Name’s Donovan by the way. (Gone).
Diggory: Strange guy…
Angela: (Comes up behind Diggory). Hey Dig.
Diggory: Oh Angie, I thought you’d left.
Angela: I did. I got a weird feeling. Woman’s intuition. Who’s that you were talking to?
Diggory: Don’t really know. Some weird guy named Donovan.
Angela: Donovan? You sure you got that name correct?
Diggory: Pretty sure.
Angela: What did he want?
Diggory: I don’t really know. Said he knew you. Does he look like a guy you know?
Angela: Yeah…I know him…
Diggory: Angie? There something on your mind?
Angela: Huh? No, nothing. (Smiles). Nothing at all.
Diggory: Hmh. Just wonder- (Looks down and sees the blank card. Suddenly words appear. “Don’t trust her…” Angie…? You’d never lie to me, would you?
Angela: What? Course not. We’re friends. Friends don’t lie to one another.
Diggory: (The card displays more words. “Then ask her about Daniel…” Daniel? Who’s Daniel?
Angela: (Startled). Wha…what?
Diggory: (Looks up at her). Who is Daniel?
-Frame zooming into Angela’s eye.
-New scene with Angela standing with a man, (Daniel), both looking terrified as Donovan trudges closer to them.
-Daniel steps in front of Angela, pushing her behind him.
-Donovan slowly walks up, pulling his pistol-blade out, gently playing with it.
-Daniel grits his teeth.
-Donovan sinks the blade deep into Daniel’s stomach, causing Daniel to fall forward onto Donovan’s shoulder.
-Frame of Donovan’s face, an intensely terrifying and pained look in his eye.
-Frame of Angela backing away, terrified with tears beginning to roll down her cheeks.
-We zoom back out of Angela’s eye and back to the scene at hand.
Diggory: (Merely the sound of his voice, somewhat unclear as Angela’s coming out of her flashback). Angie…? (Voice becomes clearer and sharp). Angela?
Angela: (Snaps back to the present and comes to her senses). Oh? (Shakes her head). Diggory? I’m sorry, I have to go. (Starts to walk off). Um…plan on meeting tomorrow? Sound good?
Diggory: Yeah. You gonna be alright?
Angela: I’ll be fine. (Starts to leave).
Diggory: You sure you’re alright? You look extremely solemn all of a sudden and that’s not like you.
Angela: I told you, I’m fine. Work’s just been getting to me lately. (Leaves).
Diggory: (Looking the card over. It’s suddenly blank again). What is going on?
Scene 2: New location in an alleyway. Donovan is walking back and forth, humming to himself and looking rather pleased.
Donovan: Hmm hmm hmm…wonder how long it’ll take?
Angela: (Walking up, looking furious). Donovan…
Donovan: (Turns around to face Angela, smiling). There she is…
Angela: Did you approach my case?
Donovan: (Patronizing). Angie, I’ve got a lot of cases, which one-
Angela: (Angry). Stop the act and answer me; did you talk to Diggory?
Donovan: Sure, I had a friendly chat with him, yes.
Angela: Closers aren’t supposed to take clients away from each other; it’s the rules.
Donovan: Don’t give me that “rules” bullshit. I’ve done nothing wrong.
Angela: Don’t lie to me. You don’t need me angry with you right now.
Donovan: So then give me the ultimatum…
Angela: You know it well enough. Butt out or else.
Donovan: (Gets in her face and smiles). Or else what?
Angela: Or else-
Donovan: What are you gonna do about it?
Donovan: Go ahead. Strike me. Fight me. Kill me.
Angela: Closers are not to fight with each other. It’s against the rules…
Donovan: But you want to. Soooo badly, don’t you?
Angela: (Backs away, though still angry). Stay away from Diggory. Do you hear me?
Donovan: So what? You’ll tell God on me? I’d be shocked if He ever decides to participate. He’s left you alone Angie. All alone.
Angela: (Solid in her belief). Not true.
Donovan: I don’t see Him anywhere; do you?
Angela: Be careful Donovan. Once the conflict happens, your side will have a hard time managing ill-gotten recruits.
Donovan: Hmph. We’ll see about that.
Angela: Quality, not quantity. (Turns away, but turns back quickly to look Donovan straight in the eye). Stay away from Diggory. (Leaves).
Donovan: Not if he comes to me.
Scene 3: Classroom after hours. The Professor is already there writing on the blackboard. Moose is also there, waiting patiently at a desk. Diggory is just walking in.
Diggory: Professor, sorry, I got held-up just a bit ago.
Professor: Sure, because I’m going to care why you’re not to this study session on time.
Moose: You do realize that study sessions in college are utter bullshit, right?
Professor: I’m old-fashioned. Some methods just work best.
Diggory: I don’t mean to contradict you, especially since you’re the one capable of inflicting stronger assignments and all, but study sessions, especially when talking about two college-aged guys, are sorta worthless.
Professor: Yes, but sustained reflection works wonders. I’m a theology professor after all; I’ve always had an affinity for reflection periods. Time-out and whatnot.
Diggory: So we’re getting punished like children?
Professor: In so many words, yes. You’re grounded to this room until morning. Just the two of you.
Moose: (Jumps up, angered). Horse shit!
Professor: Hey, it’s that sort of crap that got you in this mess. So study hard, or fail my class. Sound fair?
Moose: What are we supposed to do for breakfast and stuff then?
Professor: Start a club or something, I don’t care. Just don’t kill each other before I get back.
Diggory: What about other classes?
Professor: I checked with them already. They won’t miss you. You don’t seem to participate any more in their classes than you do in mine.
Professor: Keep the point of this exercise in mind gentlemen. You’re supposed to reflect and learn something. Good night. (Leaves).
-Diggory and Moose look at each other, uneasy for the night.
Scene 3: Angela walks alone as the streetlights begin to come on for the evening.
Angela: (VO narration). I keep getting the most unsettling feelings. This isn’t like me at all. I knew the stakes when I agreed to tackle this one. Diggory was a high priority case. He’s incredibly important in some way. I’ve handled important cases before, though. Why does this one have me so worried?
Thug 1: (A few thugs are mugging and possibly worse to a helpless woman). Now now, is you stop struggling this could all go a lot easier for everyone involved.
Woman: But I didn’t do anything to any of you! Please!
Thug 2: Oh you hear that? She ways she didn’t do anything.
Thug 1: Yeah, I hears it. But she was deciding to be sooo provocative as she wandered by; it was almost like she was tempting us to grab her. Why you think that is?
Thug 3: Maybe she doesn’t get no love at home?
Thug 1: Is that it hon? No love from home?
Woman: (Very terrified). No no! It’s nothing like that! I’m loved just fine!
Thug 1: Oh, so you’re saying we’re not worth your love then? Or not worth any love atall? Huh?
Woman: I didn’t mean it like that!
Thug 2: Oh I think she did.
Thug 1: I agree.
Thug 4: (Pulls out a knife). Enough clever wordplay, I say we just split her open and leave ‘fore anyone starts to miss her.
Thug 1: Be an awful shame to have her go without one last little thrill though, eh? (Makes to unzip his pants).
Woman: (Screams and struggles to break free). No! Please no! (The thugs keep laughing).
Angela: (Stepping forward from the shadows). I don’t think any of you really want to do this.
Thug 1: (All attention suddenly turns to Angela). Oh ho ho, look what we’ve got here boys.
Thug 2: Looks like whats we’ve gots her is a missus hero-type. Of the female variety of all things.
Thug 1: Well isn’t that darling?
Angela: Let that poor girl go and just go home. I don’t want any trouble, she surely doesn’t want any trouble, and I promise you, you all don’t want any trouble.
Thug 4: Sorry girly, this was business that didn’t concern you. (Walks over to her).
Angela: Step away from me, now.
Thug 4: You gonna make me?
-Angela closes her eyes for a moment and bows her head. Thug 4 walks right up to her. Angela opens her eyes again, they’re glowing white. A gust whips through the area, stirring up newspapers and debris.
Thug 1: Hey what the hell is she?!
Thug 4: Don’ matter none as long as she bleeds…
-Thug 4 makes to thrust his knife on Angela.
-Angela makes a quick movement and grabs the knife from Thug 4’s hand, holding it off to the side.
-Thug 4 looks perplexed.
-Angela flexes her arm as the knife melts into white rose pedals and get whipped away with the gust, swirling around as they fly high into the air.
Thug 2: Hey I ain’t never seen nothin’ like that afore!
Thug 1: Me neither!
Angela: (Her voice is affected and more impactful). Please, let the poor girl go.
Thug 2: Yeah yeah, sure sure. (He lets go of the woman. She makes to run for Angela).
Thug 4: No, you ain’t running this show!
-Thug 4 grabs at the woman.
-Angela tilts her head, throwing Thug 4 against the wall with mind-force alone. He slouches, dazed.
-The woman rushes to Angela, the two instantly disappearing once they make contact.
Thug 1: Uh…anyone want to tell me what just happened there?
Donovan: (Walks into the alleyway tossing his pistol-blade from hand to hand). I’d say a couple of fuck-ups messed with the wrong girl.
Angela: (On a rooftop away from the alleyway. She has the woman with her). Are you alright?
Woman: I…I think so…
-Donovan walks up to Thug 4 as he’s looking up from his sitting position.
Donovan: Don’t give me that look.
-Donovan stabs Thug 4 in the eye, then pulls the trigger, blowing the rest of his head off.
-The other 3 thugs freak out and rush out of the alleyway and into the street.
Angela: Did those men hurt you?
Woman: I’m…I’m okay. I’ll be okay.
Angela: I hope so.
-As the thugs run into the street, a dumpster is shot forward, rolling over Thug 2 and smearing him onto the street.
Donovan: C’mon now; where you fellas goin’?
Angela: I want you to get yourself to a police station. File a report. Would you like me to take you there?
Woman: N-no, please. (Throws her arms around Angela, hugging her and instantly breaking down and weeping). Thank you…thank you…!
Angela: It’s okay. I didn’t want to see a good person hurt.
-Donovan walks out of the alleyway holding his pistol-blade.
Donovan: You know you guys aren’t being much fun?
-Donovan shoots Thug 3’s feet off. He falls down and clutches at Thug 1’s pant legs.
Thug 3: Please! Don’t leave me!
Thug 1: G’ere off! Leggo you douche-bag!
Donovan: Now now, abandoning your dear friend like that? Tisk tisk. Simply appalling.
-Reaches out and grabs Thug 1’s face. He swings his pistol-blade around and slices his forehead skin, then rips back and tears most of his face off.
-Thug 1 screams and falls backwards, trying to scurry away. He begins instead to just writhe in pain.
Donovan: Hmm, rape’s a heavy stain to bear on one’s soul, innit? I can see you’re damn-near covered in filth. (Stomps on Thug 1’s face, ending his life).
Angela: Tell me, what is your name sweetie?
Woman: It’s…it’s Candi.
Angela: That’s a cute name. Did your mother name you that?
Candi: No…it’s the name my pimp calls me… (Angela’s eyes go wide).
Donovan: (Pulls out a rag and starts cleaning his foot off). And you my non-footed friend, you care to tell me why you thought it’d be a good idea to piss off my friend Angela back there?
Thug 3: (Panting heavily and wiggling his gnarled stumps of feet). We were, hah, hah, we were just doing what we do best!
Donovan: And what would that be?
Thug 3: Hah, hah, we were-
Donovan: And let me point out that if the answer is anything along the lines of “Muggin’ and murderin’” it’d be mighty unwise to speak.
Thug 3: Uh…
Donovan: Hmm, that’s a shame. (Shoots Thug 3 directly between the eyes).
Angela: Your…your pimp?
Candi: (Wipes some tears from her eyes). Yes. I know, I deserve as much in my line of work. This isn’t the first time it’s happened either, but it’s comforting to know that I have a guardian angel looking out for me. (Hugs Angela again and begins crying once more).
Donovan: (Standing in the middle of the mostly darkened street, cleaning his pistol-blade). With people like this around I almost can’t help but look like the good guy.
Angela: (Walks out from the alleyway, rubbing her face). Ug, it just doesn’t get any easier… (Donovan looks over at her as she walks out. She looks up and Donovan is gone. She finally sees the remains of the thugs and nearly throws up). Oh God…
End of chapter 2