City of the Gold Spider – Episode 1 – Unwilling Departure


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Below we present the complete text of Unwilling Departure; episode 1 of City of the Gold Spider.

Pulp Adventure - PA003 - City of the Gold Spider

Pulp Adventure – PA003 – City of the Gold Spider

Parental Guidance Recommended: May contain content some parents may feel is inappropriate for younger children

Parental Guidance Recommended: May contain content some parents may feel is inappropriate for younger children

CITY OF THE GOLD SPIDER

EPISODE #1 – UNWILLING DEPARTURE

by Philip Craig Robotham

Cover Illustration by Miyukiko

Edited by Margaret Wilkins

Copyright 2013 Philip Craig Robotham

Creative Commons Attritubution Non Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Edition .

CC by-nc-nd 4.0

CC by-nc-nd 4.0

This play is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) International license. This play may not be commercially reproduced, performed, or sold. Non-commercial production, performance, and reproduction is allowed under this license so long as attribution is maintained. No derivative content or use is allowed. It can be freely shared in its current form (without change) under this license. If you would like to purchase one or more copies of this work (for your own personal non-commercial use, or to help financially support the author) then please return to http://www.weirdworlstudios.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

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Serial #3: City of the Gold Spider

Trent Stone and Teresa Carter are saved from a deadly ambush by a man who begs them to come to South America to clear the name of Claire Mannix — who he believes committed her crimes while under the control of the Technomaster. Before he can tell them much he is murdered and the intrepid duo sets out to find the lost City of the Gold Spider. In Peru they are captured by their foe only to be given the tools they need to face him down in a magical duel. The Technomaster once more tries to escape through a portal only to be severely burned in the process. His ultimate fate remains unknown.

Episodes in the Host Your Own “Old Time Radio Drama” series are designed to provide a fun dinner party experience for 6–8 participants. Read along, taking on the role of one or more of the characters in the story, and listen as the exciting drama unfolds. This is the theater of the mind, where the special effects are only limited by your imagination, and your participation will build a memory that you’ll treasure for years to come.

CITY OF THE GOLD SPIDER

CAST LIST

NARRATOR: The Narrator

JOHNNY JAKES: Mail boy at the Regency Hotel

TRENT STONE: Our hero and adventurer

TERESA CARTER: Our heroine and reporter

GAUCHO (Thug#1): Thug employed by Tommy Boscone

RICKY (Thug#2): Thug employed by Tommy Boscone

BALTO (Thug#3): Thug employed by Tommy Boscone

JOSE DOMINGUEZ: Brother to Felicio

NAZCA POLICE CHIEF (CARLOS): Chief of Police in Nazca

SFX: SFX operator (1 required)

ACT 1


SCENE 1: INT. LOBBY OF THE REGENCY HOTEL (NARRATOR, JOHNNY, TRENT, TERESA)

1. MUSIC: [105] OPENING THEME — LET IT FINISH

2. NARRATOR: Spring has finally arrived in Star City and our two heroes — Trent Stone and Teresa Carter — are discussing the recently arrived mail in the lobby of their hotel.

3. SOUND: [1] WALLA — NOISE OF BUSY HOTEL LOBBY — ESTABLISH AND UNDER

4. JOHNNY JAKES (DESK CLERK): There you go, Mr Stone, just one letter for you today. Hand delivered.

5. TRENT STONE: Thanks, Johnny.

6. JOHNNY: Hey, Mr Stone? You hear the news? Claire Mannix’ sentence was handed down today.

7. TRENT: Oh yes?

8. JOHNNY: Guilty. They’re gonna send her upstate to the chair.

9. TRENT: Thanks. Johnny.

10. JOHNNY: No problem, Mr Stone. Be seeing you.

11. TERESA CARTER: Well there’s some welcome news!

12. TRENT: I never thought of you as the bloodthirsty sort, Tess.

13. TERESA: After what she and her cult did to those college girls? The chair’s too good for her.

14. TRENT: You know she was still claiming amnesia right up until the end?

15. TERESA: Some people are just good actors. What can I say? (BEAT) What’s in the note?

16. TRENT: It’s another invitation… (BEAT) and my scalp’s itching again.

17. TERESA: Don’t you think you’re being a bit paranoid, Stone?

18. TRENT: Just because we haven’t been shot at for a couple of days doesn’t mean we should be letting our guard down. Besides, I’m sure someone has been following us the last day or so.

19. TERESA: Now you see, that’s what I mean. I know you don’t like the big city much but I think you’re starting to jump at shadows and, besides, I’d like a night out on the town.

20. TRENT: You don’t think this note is a trap then?

21. TERESA: Let me see it? “To Mr Trent Stone and Miss Teresa Carter from a grateful city.” Two tickets to view an encore screening of the film sensation “Shanghai Express” at the landmark Tibalt Theater.

Yep, I’m pretty sure it’s a trap. The Tibalt is tucked away back of the main drag. A great spot for an ambush.

22. TRENT: Well if you think it’s a trap too..?

23. TERESA: It’s not that. It’s this business about being followed. This isn’t the jungle you know? Boscone’s guys are direct. They don’t stalk us around town. They pull up in a car and take a few pot shots at us, usually in public so that if they get us it’ll serve as a warning to others. Or they send us phony tickets to a movie so they can be sure we’ll be in a space they can control.

24. TRENT: Touché. Still… I can’t quite shake this feeling that someone has been following us.

25. TERESA: Okay, tough guy. I guess there’s no talking you out of it. What’re we going to do about these tickets?

26. TRENT: Well, it might give us a chance to nab a couple of hoods… weaken Boscone’s organization a bit by putting a few of them behind bars for a while.

27. TERESA: Yeah, all this hit-and-run stuff is getting a little old… Looks like I get a chance to dress up after all.

28. TRENT: (SOMEWHAT DISTRACTED) …Yes, and bring your Colt.

29. TERESA: A little large, ain’t it?

30. TRENT: Not tonight. I suspect we’ll need the heavy fire power.

31. TERESA: Whatever you say, Stone.

(ASIDE) What some men consider as evening wear!

(TO STONE) I’ll see you in the lobby in, what? Say, half an hour?…

32. TRENT: A little early don’t you think?

33. TERESA: Not really. (COYLY) You can take me out to dinner before the show.

34. MUSIC: [112] (BRIDGE) IRONIC SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


SCENE 2: INT. LUIGI’S GREASY SPOON DINER (TERESA, TRENT)

35. SOUND: [113] WALLA — FISH MARKET, ORDERS, BELL, FAT FRYER, ETC.

36. TERESA: Seriously Stone, fish and chips wrapped in newspaper?

37. TRENT: (STILL DISTRACTED) Hmmm. What?

38. TERESA: When I said I wanted to go out, this isn’t exactly what I had in mind.

39. TRENT: You said you wanted something to eat, didn’t you?

40. TERESA: Yeah, but do you think I normally get dressed up like this for a night at Luigi’s Greasy Spoon?

41. TRENT: What do you mean? (paying attention for the first time) Oh my!

42. TERESA: Humpf! (DISGUSTED) I’ve turned the head of every man we’ve passed on our way here, Stone. Are you sure you’re not dead?! I mean, would it kill you to pay a lady a compliment once in a while?

43. TRENT: I’m sorry, Tess. You look lovely. I just thought you were trying to look the part.

44. TERESA: Well I am, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy splashing on a bit of war paint now and then. What’s with you anyway? It’s not like you to be so… distracted.

45. TRENT: What? Oh… sorry, Tess, something just doesn’t… feel right. I can’t put my finger on it, but something feels off.

46. TERESA: More off than usual you mean.

47. TRENT: Yes. Look at this news article.

“Prototype prosthetics and mechanical calipers stolen from Bentham Labs… no sign of forced entry… security guards patrolling the building… blueprints and design specifications taken.” That’s the third such robbery this month targeting prototype scientific developments and inventions…

And this article’s even stranger. The entire population of the howler monkey cage escaped (or were stolen) from the zoo two nights previous…

48. TERESA: And you think this is too sophisticated for the likes of Tommy Boscone and Dillon Tremere?

49. TRENT: Or even Caesar Cordova. His outfit has been showing a lot more resilience than I would have expected with two gangland organizations seeking his head.

50. TERESA: Maybe walking into this trap tonight isn’t such a good idea. You know, sooner or later Tommy Boscone is gonna bring in some genuine heavy hitters instead of the cheap hoods he’s been throwing at us so far.

51. TRENT: True, but I don’t want to miss such a tailor-made opportunity to take a few of his thugs off the street.

52. TERESA: Hmmm. Maybe that’s what he’s counting on.

53. MUSIC: [96] (BRIDGE) OMINOUS SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


SCENE 3: EXT. A DARKENED STREET LOOKING ON TO THE TIBALT THEATER – EVENING (TERESA, TRENT)

54. SOUND: [2] WALLA — FLICKERING BUZZ OF A FAILING STREET LIGHT, OCCASIONAL CRICKET CHIRP

55. TERESA: (STAGE WHISPER) What do you think?

56. TRENT: The lights are out and the walk up to the theater is covered by that alley on the left and that one on the right. Definitely a trap.

57. TERESA: A little obvious, isn’t it… even for Boscone’s goons?

58. TRENT: Perhaps, but let’s not look a gift-horse in the mouth. Do you think you can get the drop on the ones on the left if you circle round back?

59. TERESA: Please! After that ambush in Brazil this’ll be a walk in the park.

60. TRENT: Good girl!

61. TERESA: Hey!

62. TRENT: I mean, good show.

63. TERESA: Better. (BEAT) I take it you’ve got the ones on the right?

64. TRENT: Yep! Keep it simple and don’t let ’em see you coming.

65. MUSIC: [97] (BRIDGE) ACTION SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


SCENE 4: EXT. THE LEFT HAND ALLEY — MOMENTS LATER (TERESA, TRENT)

66. TERESA: [CUE] (WHISPERING) Okay, there’s only three of ’em and they’re all looking the other way, watching the street.

One… two…

67. SOUND: [17] CLOSE UP SOUND OF HITS (WHAP, BANG, SMACK) FOLLOWED BY LOW GROANS AND THUDS

68. TERESA: Done!

69. SOUND: [17] DISTANT SOUNDS OF SIMILAR ACTION (WHAP, BANG, SMACK) FOLLOWED BY LOW GROANS AND THUDS

70. TRENT: (AT A DISTANCE) Clear?

71. TERESA: Clear!

72. TRENT: Drag ’em out where we can get a good look at ’em.

73. TERESA: (MUTTERING) “Drag ’em out,” he says. It’s one thing to knock these gorillas out. It’s another to drag ’em out into the street.

Okay big guy… (GRUNTS)

74. SOUND: [18] SOUND OF BODY BEING DRAGGED ALONG THE ALLEY

75. MUSIC: [98] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


SCENE 5: EXT. OUT FRONT OF THE TIBALT (TERESA, TRENT, THUG #1, THUG #2, THUG #3, JOSE)

76. SOUND: [3] WALLA — BUZZ OF DISTANT FLICKERING STREET LAMP

77. TERESA: Well, that was almost too easy. Six of Boscone’s guys in one go. Think the police’ll be happy to see ’em.

78. TRENT: (SARCASTICALLY) Yeah. I’m sure they’ll want to give us a medal.

79. GAUCHO (THUG #1): (AT A DISTANCE) Hey you do-gooders, time to think again!

80. TRENT: Tess, look! On the roof! These guys were just a diversion.

81. SOUND: [19] SOUND OF HUGE NUMBERS OF GUNS COCKING

82. TERESA: They’re all around us! A dozen of them at least.

83. TRENT: There’s too many of them. Do you think you can make it to the steps of the Tibalt?

84. TERESA: Yeah, I think so. Without the street lights, they can’t see us too well and those pillars should give us a little cover.

85. TRENT: Okay. Run for it!

86. SOUND: [20] BURST OF TOMMY-GUN FIRE, JOINED BY MORE RATTLING FIRE AND RUNNING FEET

87. RICKY (THUG #2): (CALLING FROM A DISTANCE) Did I get ’em?

88. THUG #1: (DISGUSTED) Yeah, you got ’em! Pity they were ours. (BEAT) You hit our unconscious boys, y’idiot!

89. BALTO (THUG #3): Hey boss! Stone and Carter! They ran up behind the pillars of the Tibalt. We got ’em trapped.

90. THUG #1: Alright, there’re twelve of us and only two of them. They’ve only got a couple o’ hand guns while we’ve got serious firepower.

This should be a walk in the park.

91. SOUND: [21] THUGGISH LAUGHTER FROM THE CRIMINALS

92. TERESA: Hey, that’s my line!

93. TRENT: Regardless, we’re in a fix, Tess. Can we get into the theater itself?

94. TERESA: It’s all boarded up. Maybe if we had a…

95. SOUND: [22] SOUND OF A POLICE SIREN IN THE DISTANCE GROWING CLOSER

96. TERESA: The cops? (RELIEVED AND ELATED) I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad of the cavalry.

97. THUG #3: (IN THE DISTANCE) Hey, boss, whattaya think?

98. THUG #1: Time to amscray! (BEAT) Alright, you gorillas, make yer getaways.

99. THUG #3: And the boys on the ground?

100. THUG #1: Dead! There’s nothing we can do for ’em now. Let’s just look after ourselves.

101. TRENT: (DISGUSTED) Typical cowards. (BEAT) Let’s go meet these police.

102. SOUND: [22] SOUND OF A POLICE SIREN DRAWS EVEN CLOSER

103. TERESA: Hey, Stone. That’s no cop.

104. TRENT: I don’t believe it.

105. TERESA: I’m seeing it and I still don’t believe it. It’s just some guy… he’s wearing an enormous hat and a… is that a poncho?… walking up the hill with a hand-cranked siren.

(CONFUSED AND AMAZED) Who is he?

106. TRENT: I’ve no idea, but his quick thinking saved our lives!

(TO THE NEWCOMER) Stranger, we owe you our thanks!

107. SOUND: SIREN ENDS

108. JOSE DOMINGUEZ: (SPANISH OR MEXICAN ACCENT) Si, Senor. I am glad I was in time. My name is Jose (HOZ-AY) Dominguez (DOM-ING-GEZ), and I very much need to talk with you.

109. TERESA: Hey! You aren’t the guy Trent’s been sensing on our tails the last few days?

110. JOSE: I’m sorry Senor, Senorita. I did not want to approach you in the open. I have survived three assassination attempts on my way here so far.

111. TRENT: You’d best explain quickly. Boscone’s men are easily startled but they’ll soon be back, and in greater numbers.

112. JOSE: Perhaps if we got off the street? Into one of these alleys?

113. TERESA: Trent?

114. TRENT: It’s okay, Tess. If he wanted to hurt us, all he needed to do was sit back and let Tommy’s boys finish the job.

115. TERESA: Speaking of which… I hate letting those boys get away.

116. TRENT: They had us dead to rights, Tess. We weren’t walking away from that one without Mr Dominguez’ help. Six dead goons…

117. TERESA: Shot by their own compadres…?

118. TRENT: Precisely. Six dead goons may be a drop in the bucket, but it’s six more who won’t be terrorizing anyone in this town any further. It may not be ideal, but it’s better than nothing.

119. TERESA: Okay, Stone.

(TO JOSE) Mr Dominguez, please lead the way.

120. MUSIC: [98] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


SCENE 6: EXT. IN A DARKENED ALLEY — MOMENTS LATER (TRENT, TERESA, JOSE)

121. TRENT: [CUE] Alright, Mr Dominguez, I think this is as private as things are going to get. Perhaps you should explain what is going on.

122. JOSE: Of course, Senor. I am here on behalf of my brother, Felicio. I come to beg you to come to South America and assist us. We hear how poor Claire Mannix is in jail. She will be executed in the, so cruel, electric chair if nothing is done.

123. TERESA: Poor Claire Mannix? Do you realize what that girl has done? She’s responsible for four deaths we know of, kidnapping, robbery? You can’t be asking us to help her?

124. JOSE: Please, to be letting me explain. My brother, Felicio, he is … affiance’d? … to Miss Claire. He begs you to help. I beg you to help. She is innocent!

125. TERESA: Innocent? We caught her in the act of murdering Shelley Rossiter. If we hadn’t stopped her, she would have cut out her heart as soon as blinked. I’m no fan of capital punishment but if anyone deserves the chair, it’s her.

126. JOSE: (DISTRESSED) No, you are wrong, Miss Carter. Miss Claire, she was kidnapped and drugged. She was being controlled by the Ah Kin Mai of Itzamna. We have proof, proof that can save her life and restore her to my brother.

Please, Miss Carter, Mr Stone, you must believe me. You are our only hope. My brother has sent me all this way. Please!

127. TRENT: Calm down, Jose. We’re still listening. Tell us about this Ah Kin Mai.

128. JOSE: The Ah Kin Mai is the most powerful… the high priest… of the Alligator worshipers of Peru. They used to be nothing, but now they have grown in strength. My brother has been captured, he is held prisoner near Ayacucho in the highland jungles.

129. TRENT: Have you seen this Ah Kin Mai? What does he look like?

130. JOSE: I have not seen him and his description may not help you much. He is said to rule from a huge stone chair that his followers carry him around upon. His face and features are hooded and cloaked. Once or twice I have heard it rumored that he is a white man, but this I do not believe. He knows the magics of our people too well to be an outsider.

131. TRENT: Perhaps, but in many ways your description matches that of someone Tess and I know quite well.

132. JOSE: Then you believe me?

133. TRENT: Yes, I believe I do. Or at least I believe you’re telling me what you believe to be the truth.

You mentioned that your brother has been captured?

134. JOSE: Yes, entire villages around Ayacucho have been emptied overnight.

135. TERESA: Slave labor?

136. TRENT: Maybe.

137. JOSE: My brother, before he was taken, he told me that if you agree to help I should direct you to Nazca — south of Lima in Peru. There you can find a man, Arturo Majalel (MA-HA-LEL), who can guide you into the mountains to Ayacucho. All the proof you will need can be found there.

138. TERESA: Trent, you’re not seriously considering this?

139. TRENT: I am. From the description I’d say we’ve just been handed the location of the Technomaster.

140. TERESA: Surely he’s dead!

141. TRENT: You told me yourself of the figure you saw on the other side of that portal that Claire Mannix tried to create… and, if what Mr Dominguez here says is true, then I have no difficulty believing that Claire is innocent. We can’t just allow her to be added to the list of the Technomaster’s victims.

142. SOUND: [23] INSECT LIKE CLICKING AND SCUTTLING, AND A RATTLING NOISE

143. TERESA: What was that?

144. JOSE: Oh no! They’ve found me!

145. SOUND: [23] MORE INSECT LIKE CLICKING AND SCUTTLING, AND A RATTLING NOISE

146. TRENT: Great Scot! It’s a huge spider! It must be a foot across.

147. JOSE: (WAILING IN FEAR) No! Nooo!

148. TERESA: What’s it doing? It’s turning around. It’s going away.

149. TRENT: No, it’s not! Look at the spines on its back. It’s preparing to launch them at us.

150. SOUND: [24] RATTLE FOLLOWED BY PHUT, PHUT OF DARTS BEING LAUNCHED THROUGH THE AIR

151. JOSE: (STRANGLING) aagh.

152. TERESA: Trent, quick, Jose’s been hit.

153. SOUND: [25] GUNSHOT

154. SOUND: [26] INSECTILE SQUEAL, SHUDDERING DEATH RATTLE

155. TRENT: I got it.

156. TERESA: Jose! Are you all right?

157. JOSE: (SCREAMS IN PAIN)

158. TRENT: He’s dying. Let me see those spines.

(BEAT) Poison!

159. JOSE: (WITH DYING BREATH) Please… my brother… (SCREAMS AGAIN AND FALLS SILENT)

160. TERESA: He’s gone.

161. TRENT: Dammit! I’m going to take a look at that spider.

(BEAT) Tess, he was definitely telling the truth. Look at this.

162. TERESA: What’s that? Oh no. I recognize that. It’s one of those remote control machines.

163. TRENT: Yes, it was strapped onto the spider and plumbed into its brain. This is definitely the handiwork of the Technomaster.

164. TERESA: Alright then. What do we do next?

165. TRENT: First we see to the dead. And then (DRAMATIC PAUSE) we’re off to Peru.

166. MUSIC: [100] (BRIDGE) TRAVEL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


ACT 2


SCENE 7: INT. IN A TRUCK ON A BACK ROAD SOMEWHERE BETWEEN LIMA AND NAZCA — MID MORNING (NARRATOR, TERESA, TRENT, CARLOS)

167. NARRATOR: [CUE] Tommy Boscone’s men are watching the rail station and the airport, but it is much harder to spot a lone boat leaving the docks — a fact that has worked to the advantage of Boscone’s organization during prohibition. The irony of this isn’t lost on our heroes as they smuggle themselves out of Star city and make their way down the coast to Lima. From Lima they travel half a day’s journey in the back of a truck towards Nazca, a small trading outpost from which goods are shipped up into the Andes.

168. SOUND: [4] WALLA — ENGINE NOISE, LOTS OF BUMPS AND RATTLES TO INDICATE A BUMPY ROAD — ESTABLISH AND UNDER

169. TERESA: Well, I hope you’re happy?

170. TRENT: What do you mean?

171. TERESA: First, the cargo boat to Lima. Now a truck ride over some of the worst roads in the world… and in the back, not even in the cab, mind you. And you? You’re smiling like the cat that just ate the canary.

172. TRENT: (LANGUIDLY) That’s right. Two months in the big city was turning me soft. This is much more like it!

173. TERESA: You’re insane. I’m already missing my bed in the hotel suite. And who knows when I’ll next get to take a bath?

174. TRENT: Don’t be such a whiner. It’ll be good to put some color back in your cheeks. Besides, we haven’t left civilization yet. There’ll be an opportunity for a bath at the hotel tonight.

175. TERESA: (EXCITED) Yeah?

176. TRENT: (LAUGHING) Sure, if you don’t mind sharing it with the mules.

177. TERESA: (BLEAKLY) You’re talking about the water trough again, aren’t you?

178. TRENT: Ahuh.

179. TERESA: I’m never going to live that down, am I?

180. TRENT: M’Tembe (MUH TEM BEY) laughed for a month.

181. TERESA: Alright. Alright. How was I to know that the Uroku (OO-ROW-KOO) word for bath and water trough were the same thing? Besides, if we’re going to bring up embarrassing misunderstandings I could mention you and that Mabezi (MUH-BEE-ZEE) witchdoctor you hooked up with in Zaire.

182. TRENT: (COUGHS AND SOBERS) Point taken. Why don’t we change the topic?

183. TERESA: Good idea.

184. SOUND: [27] SOUND OF TRUCK HALTING

185. TERESA: Hey, what’s up! Why are we stopping?

186. TRENT: I don’t know, Tess, I’ll get out and take a look.

187. SOUND: [28] SOUND OF GUNS COCKING

188. CARLOS CASTEDA (NAZCA CHIEF OF POLICE): A good idea, Mr Stone. If you and the lady would please step out of the truck. We have been expecting you.

189. TRENT: I have to say you have me at a disadvantage. I was unaware that my travel plans were known to the Peruvian police.

190. CARLOS: We know all about you and your slavery racket, Mr Stone. You won’t be kidnapping any children from Nazca — or anywhere else — ever again.

191. TERESA: Slavery racket! Now wait a minute you…

192. TRENT: Quiet, Tess, it’s obvious someone has set us up.

193. TERESA: But who? No one knew we were coming.

194. CARLOS: Where is your accomplice, Jose? I have orders to bring you all in for questioning.

195. TRENT: Jose is dead. He was murdered in Star City.

196. CARLOS: Murdered? Hmpf. I bet you and your gangster friends turned on him, no?

Isn’t that why you are here, trying to cut out the middle man?

(TO A COUPLE OF GUARDS/DEPUTIES) Manuel, Ricardo! Take them to the cells. Put them in with the general population.

(TO TRENT) You will see, Senor, how even our criminals respond to those who endanger children.

197. MUSIC: [96] (BRIDGE) OMINOUS SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH

198. MUSIC: [106] CLOSING THEME AND CREDITS – LET IT FINISH

CASTING SHEETS — MAJOR CHARACTERS

NARRATOR: Hello, I am your narrator. I introduce the cold stormy nights on which our stories take place, the dark alleys, and darker personalities who inhabit the lonely city. It is my job to set the scene and establish the serious tone of suspense and intrigue that will carry the story forwards. It is also my job to remind listeners of what came before in a calm, trustworthy voice and ensure that everyone is oriented to where we are and where we are going.

JOHNNY JAKES: Hi. I’m Johnny and I work the mail-desk at the Regency Hotel. I’ve seen all sorts here. The rich and famous living it up, the notorious looking for a chance to be seen, the ordinary families who’ve saved their pennies to give themselves a five-star holiday — fewer of them these days though. I’ve seen them all. Some I’ve liked. Some, well… some I haven’t. Trent Stone and Teresa Carter, however, those two are tops in my book. I keep clippings of all their adventures and they’re just as nice in real life as I imagined. I’d do anything for them and go out of my way to make sure they’ve got whatever they need.

TRENT STONE: Hello, I’m Trent Stone, Adventurer. I’m always in command of the situation — except perhaps, when it comes to Tess, who can easily throw me for a loop. I say things like “indeed,” “hmmm,” and “I see” a lot and speak in a way that friends of Clark Kent would find very familiar. I’m smart, observant, and quick to use my fists when required, but never impulsive. I sound like Joe College but I’m blue collar through and through. My lack of higher education is something of an embarrassment to me — but I’d never let on.

I’m aware of Tess’s flirting and occasionally I wonder if it’s more than just a way to keep entertained on the job — mostly I just ignore it and keep on working.

TERESA CARTER: Hiya. Everyone calls me Tess. I’m the take-no-prisoners sort who can hold her own in the man’s world that is the concrete jungle of Star City. I’m college educated and have a mean right hook. I’m a reporter by training and a stickybeak by inclination — this tends to get me in trouble. Curious, playful, and smart, that’s me! But I’m also painfully honest, easily moved by the troubles of others, and as protective as a tigress of my friends. I secretly have a thing for Trent — who’s a bit of a stuffed shirt and easily embarrassed by flirting. We both pretend it’s not there for the sake of the job, but I can’t help occasionally feeling a bit wistful.

JOSE DOMINGUEZ: Hello, my name is Jose Dominguez. You killed my brother. Prepare to die. Ha. Ha. Actually, I am here because my brother asked me to come to Star City and find Trent Stone and Teresa Carter. I would do anything for my brother. I have survived three assassination attempts already and have walked, hitch-hiked, and stowed away to get here from Peru. I have worn the soles of my shoes out to do so. I am desperate that they should believe my story and agree to help. Without their aid I do not know how my brother will be saved!

CARLOS CASTEDA: I am Chief of Police here in Nazca. I am not well liked, perhaps because I let my men push the locals around a little, and perhaps because I take an occasional bribe. But the central government hardly pays enough for my men to get by. Our citizens can afford to chip in a little for the protection we give them. I hate outsiders, particularly Americans. My men are very loyal, however, and do whatever I tell them.


CASTING SHEETS — MINOR CHARACTERS

MESSENGER: I’m just a kid really, hawking newspapers, all enthusiasm and energy. When I get a tip, that just makes my day.

ALL THUGS: Life’s tough all over. Honest jobs are hard to come by. But I’m not like the saps who sit around doing what they’re told. I take what I want. So I break a few heads along the way? What of it? I’m good at it. I don’t have to think too much and… hey, what are you lookin’ at?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philip Craig Robotham grew up in a house full of books and has held numerous jobs as a teacher, computer programmer, graphic and web designer, e-learning consultant and, most recently, writer. He currently lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and two sons. When he was younger and fitter he enjoyed martial arts, but in recent years his hobbies have tended towards more sedate fare (board games, movies, books, and role-playing games).

He is extremely grateful for the encouragement he receives from his biggest fans — his wife and two boys — all of whom read and enjoy his scripts and in general make his life worth living.

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This post and all its content is copyright © 2013 Philip Craig Robotham and has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license. This play cannot be reproduced, shared, or performed commercially without the written permission of the author. The production of derivative content, merchandise, or creative works and materials is expressly forbidden under this agreement. However you may share, reproduce, and perform this play freely so long as authorship is acknowledged, no money changes hands, and the play is not modified in any way.

The City of the Gold Spider