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Below we present the complete text of Requiem for a Rude Man; episode 1 of The Cult of the Teeth.

Pulp Adventure - PA002 - The Cult of the Teeth
Pulp Adventure – PA002 – The Cult of the Teeth
Recommended for mature audiences - may contain adult situations and themes
Recommended for mature audiences – may contain adult situations and themes

THE CULT OF THE TEETH

EPISODE #1 – REQUIEM FOR A RUDE MAN

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 #2: The Cult of the Teeth

“The Cult of the Teeth” is the second play in our Pulp Adventure series featuring Trent Stone and Tess Carter. Glory-hound and expert hunter, Maynard Havelock III, is the victim of a ritual murder shortly after having dinner with Trent Stone and Tess Carter. Finding themselves at the top of the suspect list, Trent and Tess are forced to investigate the disappearance of a number of young women from Star City University in a bid to clear their names. Their investigation takes them in search of an ancient cult (recently established in the modern city in which they have made their home), a missing obelisk, and behind it all, a familiar wheel-chaired villain. Can they prove their innocence and prevent the cult from committing any more ritual murders?

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.

REQUIEM FOR A RUDE MAN

CAST LIST

NARRATOR: The Narrator

TERESA CARTER: Our heroine and reporter

TRENT STONE: Our hero and adventurer

MAYNARD HAVELOCK III: Big Game Hunter

WAITER: Restaurant Waiter

TONY WELLS: Detective and League supporter

LIBRARIAN: Female University Librarian

ALASDAIR STANDISH: Dean of Anthropology

MADELEINE FORSYTHE: Secretary to Alasdair

SFX: 1 SFX artist required


ACT 1


SCENE 1: EXT. APPROACHING THE METRO (A FINE RESTAURANT IN THE CITY CENTER) — EVENING
(NARRATOR, TERESA, TRENT)

1. MUSIC: [49] (BRIDGE) OPENING THEME MUSIC — LET IT FINISH

2. SOUND: [1] WALLA — STREET SOUNDS, CARS ETC., AND WALKING FEET

3. NARRATOR: Star City on a cold February evening, one month after the events of “The Alligator Menace.”

Our heroes, Trent Stone and Tess Carter, approach one of the city’s finer dining establishments…

4. TERESA CARTER: Damn it, Trent, I hate this!

5. TRENT STONE: Oh, come on Tess. Maynard is a friend.

6. TERESA: Hmpf. Maynard Havelock the Third is a glory-hound and buffoon. If he loves anything in this world more than himself, it’s catching a glimpse of his own reflection. And whenever we have these dinners he gets drunk and starts staring down the front of my dress.

7. TRENT: Yes, well. I’ll admit the man is a little pompous… and he does have a knack for arriving at most newsworthy events too late… but he won’t be getting a drink tonight — they have prohibition in this country, remember.

Beneath that insufferable blustering he has a good heart, you know?

8. TERESA: Deep, deep beneath. At least you got him to promise to leave the press behind.

9. TRENT: I tried.

10. TERESA: Oh no! Stone, I’m going home.

11. TRENT: Wait a moment Tess. It won’t be that bad.

12. TERESA: You say! And what’s with you anyway? You normally hate these upper-class hangouts.

Thinking of joining the bourgeoisie?

13. TRENT: Not yet, Tess. You’ve seen Maynard eat. He’s got the table manners of a water buffalo. If you must know, it quite takes the pressure off… And things are finally quiet in this town. It’s been a month since that business with the alligators; the gangs have taken a brief break from shooting at each other; and we’ve been invited out to dinner by an old friend — who is also footing the bill — at one of the finest restaurants in town! The only thing of note to happen lately has been the theft of that South American obelisk from the Natural History Museum.

14. TERESA: And the theft of a lump of rock (even a really big one) isn’t cause for that much interest… (BEAT) You know, Maynard only offers to pay because if he didn’t, no one would ever agree to his company.

15. TRENT: Now, now Tess.

16. TERESA: Well, I can’t say it won’t be nice to eat at the Metro. I’ve heard great things about it.

17. TRENT: That’s the spirit. Oh, looks like we’ve arrived.

18. TERESA: (SIGHS) In for a penny, I guess.

19. MUSIC: [42] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


SCENE 2: INT. RESTAURANT FOYER
(MAYNARD, TERESA, TRENT)

20. SOUND: [7] DOOR OPENS, SOUND OF FLASH BULBS GOING OFF AND QUESTIONS

21. MAYNARD HAVELOCK III: (OVER THE HUBBUB) … and that was when I shot it. The villagers were so grateful they set old Stone and his girl free on the spot. I must say they looked a sight, soaked to the skin and covered in vegetables. Still, no one got eaten that day thanks to Maynard Havelock the Third, ha ha!

22. TERESA: (STAGE WHISPER) Who’s he calling your “girl”? I don’t suppose he’ll have mentioned that it was his fault we ended up in the cook-pot in the first place?

23. TRENT: (WRYLY) Probably not. Come on, let’s get his attention. Maynard! We’re here!

24. MAYNARD: Stone, old boy! So you are. And Miss Carter…(LASCIVIOUSLY) …lovely to see you, as ever.

25. TERESA: (AHEM) Yes, thank you Maynard.

26. MAYNARD: (TO THE CROWD OF REPORTERS) That’ll be all the stories for this evening fellows, but don’t worry, there are plenty more where those came from… but before I go there’s time for one more photo… Trent, Tess! Over here.

27. TRENT: Maynard, no!

28. MAYNARD: Oh don’t be such a stick-in-the-mud, old boy. You broke the ground on this one, after all. Smile, Miss Carter.

29. SOUND: [8] MORE SOUNDS OF FLASHBULBS GOING OFF

30. MAYNARD: Well that’s it, we’ll be taking our seats in the main dining room now. Thanks, fellows.

31. SOUND: [9] SOUNDS OF DISAPPOINTMENT FROM THE PRESS

32. MUSIC: [42] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


SCENE 3: INT. THE DINING ROOM
(MAYNARD, TRENT, TERESA)

33. SOUND: [2] WALLA — SOUNDS OF CUTLERY, GLASSES, GLASSES CLINKING, MURMUR OF PATRONS IN BACKGROUND — ESTABLISH AND UNDER

34. MAYNARD: (SIGHS) It’s all for the fans you know. My public just can’t live without me.

35. TRENT: (WRYLY) Yes, I’m sure. What was that about us “breaking the ground on this one”?

36. MAYNARD: Oh, but surely you’ve guessed why I’m here? No? Good Lord man, I’m here on a hunting trip.

37. TRENT: (GENUINE SURPRISE) What? What on earth do you expect to hunt in Star City?

38. MAYNARD: My, but you are dim at times, Stone. The alligators of course.

39. TERESA: But, Maynard, the alligators are all gone. No one has seen any for over a month.

40. MAYNARD: Ah, yes. But therein lies the challenge, and the mystery! Where have they gone, I ask you? They can’t just have vanished off the face of the earth. No, my dear, tracking these creatures down will be a hunt worthy of my skills… and by now it will be all over the evening editions. I can’t possibly let my public down.

41. TERESA: (LAUGHING) Oh, Maynard, you don’t change a bit do you!

42. MAYNARD: Not a bit my dear. Shall we order?

43. MUSIC: [42] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


SCENE 4: INT. THE DINING ROOM — LATER
(MAYNARD, TERESA, TRENT, WAITER)

44. MAYNARD: [CUE] Mmm, delicious… So there you have it. I sent the press release through last night, and arrived this morning. I must say this is a very friendly town. I was met at the station by no less than six reporters and by the time I’d got myself settled in at the hotel, the foyer was simply swimming with news-folk. I have arranged to spend some time at the University Library this evening, and will start the hunt tomorrow morning (after a hearty breakfast of course).

45. TERESA: Of course.

46. TRENT: But Maynard, I’ve been wondering, what took you so long to…?

47. SOUND: [10] CRASH OF BREAKING GLASS, SOUNDS OF SHOCK AND FRIGHT COMING FROM PATRONS — ESTABLISH AND UNDER

48. MAYNARD: Good Lord, who are those chaps?

49. TRENT: I don’t recognize the get-ups. Native South American, by the look.

50. TERESA: They’re raising weapons of some sort. Blowguns? Quick, get down.

51. SOUND: [11] CRASH OF TABLE OVERTURNING AND BREAKING CROCKERY ETC.

52. SOUND: [12] THWOCK OF THREE BLOW-DARTS STRIKING THE TABLE

53. TRENT: Looks like I turned over the table just in time. Do you have our hardware with you Tess?

54. SOUND: [13] SOUND OF RUMMAGING IN BAG — UNDER

55. TERESA: Yes, given the way things have been lately, I haven’t felt safe going anywhere without them. Here you are.

56. TRENT: We’ve only got a second or two. One, two, three…

57. SOUND: [14] SOUND OF GUNS BEING READIED

58. TERESA: Hey, where’d they go?

59. TRENT: I don’t know. They seem to have melted away into the night. Almost like ghosts. (DRYLY) Maynard, you can get up now!

60. MAYNARD: What? Oh yes, of course.

61. TERESA: Look at these darts, there’s something wet coated on the tips.

62. TRENT: Don’t touch them Tess, that’ll be some kind of poison.

63. TERESA: This doesn’t have anything to do with you, does it Maynard?

64. MAYNARD: What? Good Lord no! I’ve only just arrived after all. No. This is more likely some part of your business. In this one, I’m strictly an innocent bystander.

65. TERESA: (DOUBTFULLY) hmmm.

66. TRENT: (AT A DISTANCE) Well, let’s take a look at where they got in… Plenty of broken glass… At least we can be certain they weren’t ghosts.

67. TERESA: How so?

68. TRENT: Apart from the broken glass? Look at this.

69. TERESA: What is that? A collapsible blowgun?

70. TRENT: It appears to be. I think it’s solid gold.

71. TERESA: (WHISTLES) That’s impressive. What’s the other thing?

72. TRENT: I think it’s a blowgun dart. Not like the others though. Look at the tip.

73. TERESA: Is that diamond?

74. TRENT: If it is, it’s not any kind of diamond I’ve ever seen. It’s blue for a start.

75. MAYNARD: (LAUGHING) Oh, this is wonderful. Mystery, action, adventure! If I’m quick I’ll be able to get in a couple of interviews before the late edition. Oh, looks like some members of the press are here already. If you’ll excuse me… my public awaits.

76. TERESA: Well, I guess that ends our evening out.

77. TRENT: Not quite, we’ll still need to give our statements to the police.

78. MAYNARD: (REATREATING INTO THE DISTANCE) Fortunately, I overturned the table in time. I hate to imagine what would have happened to poor old Stone and his girl if I hadn’t been there…

79. WAITER: Ahem… Excuse me sir, but the gentleman left without paying his bill.

80. TRENT: Ugh!

81. MUSIC: [43] (BRIDGE) IRONIC SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


ACT 2


SCENE 5: INT. HEROES SUITE AT THE REGENCY HOTEL —THE NEXT DAY
(TRENT, WELLS)

82. SOUND: [15] HEAVY KNOCKING ON THE DOOR

83. TRENT: Hold your horses, I’m coming.

84. SOUND: [16] DOOR OPENS

85. TRENT: Oh, it’s you, Detective. Come in.

86. TONY WELLS: Thanks Stone. Official business I’m afraid.

87. TRENT: I thought as much. Six a.m. seems a little early for a social call.

88. WELLS: Is Tess up? I need you both.

89. TRENT: She’s in the room across the hall.

90. WELLS: Oh, I thought… (EMBARRASSED) Sorry.

91. TRENT: It’s not that kind of relationship. Tess is an old-fashioned sort of girl.

92. WELLS: Yes, well… sorry.

93. TRENT: (EXASPERATED) Just go knock on her door while I get dressed. Can I meet you in the lobby in, say, ten minutes?

94. WELLS: Fine, I’ll see you downstairs.

95. MUSIC: [42] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


SCENE 6: INT. LOBBY OF THE HOTEL — FORTY FIVE MINUTES LATER
(TERESA, WELLS, TRENT)

96. TERESA: [CUE] Detective Wells, so nice to see you again.

97. WELLS: (GLUMLY) I thought you said you’d be ten minutes.

98. TRENT: You can’t rush a woman in the morning, Wells.

99. TERESA: Besides you didn’t say it was anything urgent.

100. WELLS: Not urgent? … but what did you? Oh, never mind. The two of you need to come with me. Maynard Havelock the Third is dead!

101. MUSIC: [44] (BRIDGE) DRAMATIC EMPHASIS SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


SCENE 7: EXT. OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
(TRENT, WELLS, TERESA)

102. SOUND: [17] SOUND OF CAR PULLING UP

103. TRENT: This is the University Library.

104. WELLS: Yes, this is where he was found.

105. TERESA: Who found him, Detective?

106. WELLS: A night watchman. Havelock had arranged with the University to come and do some work here.

107. TRENT: Am I to assume we’re suspects?

108. WELLS: At the moment you’re just helping us with our enquiries. You were the last to be seen with him, you know?

109. TRENT: Actually, that’s not quite true. He left the restaurant in the company of some reporters.

110. TERESA: Stiffing us with the bill, to boot!

111. WELLS: Really? I’ll look into it. We’d better get inside.

112. MUSIC: [42] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


SCENE 8: INT. INSIDE THE LIBRARY
(TERESA, TRENT, WELLS, LIBRARIAN)

113. TERESA: [CUE] Oh, my! This is awful. Why hasn’t the body been moved?

114. WELLS: I told them to wait until you’d seen it. I didn’t think you would take so long to get here.

115. TRENT: All right, Wells, we get the message. (BEAT) There’s an awful lot of blood. Poor Maynard! It looks like they’ve opened his chest up.

116. WELLS: The heart is missing.

117. TERESA: Oh!

118. TRENT: And you thought we might have something to do with this?

119. WELLS: It’s nothing personal. You’ve travelled a lot and there aren’t many people in this town who could make it look like a ritual murder.

120. TERESA: Ritual murder? What makes you think it was a ritual murder?

121. WELLS: Aside from taking his heart? Take a look at his forehead. See that?

122. TRENT: What is that? It looks like someone has carved something there. A tooth?

123. WELLS: That’s our best guess. What do you make of it?

124. TRENT: I couldn’t begin to guess.

125. TERESA: What about that business last night? Those guys who attacked us in the restaurant were in some kind of native South American get-ups.

126. TRENT: It’s possible, I suppose. My initial thought was that they were after us. Maynard hasn’t been near South America in years. Most of his time has been spent in Africa.

127. TERESA: His left hand is balled in a fist. Could he be holding something?

128. WELLS: I’ll take a look. (BEAT) Yes, there’s something there. It’s badly bloodstained. A photo of a young woman I think.

129. TERESA: Yes, she’s pretty. It looks like a college photo judging by the pose.

130. TRENT: What was he here looking at?

131. WELLS: Books on alligators for the most part. You can see he must have been taken by surprise.

They’re spread all around him.

132. TRENT: Hmmm. Maynard may have played the buffoon often enough, and he certainly had a gift for getting in trouble. But he was, nonetheless, nobody’s fool. He would never have survived this long if he had been.

133. WELLS: Your point being?

134. TRENT: Something is wrong here. We’re missing something.

135. TERESA: Like what?

136. TRENT: One of these books doesn’t belong. This one: “South American Religion in Pre-Columbian Times.” (BEAT) He’s marked a page. I wonder what he was after?

137. TERESA: Look at those pictures. The costumes match those worn by our attackers last night.

138. TRENT: That’s right. “The Cult of the Teeth — a particularly violent death-cult that worshipped…” get this, they worshipped “alligators.” They would carve the sign of the tooth into the foreheads of their victims and sacrifices.

139. TERESA: What do you think it all means?

140. TRENT: I’m not sure, but I’m willing to bet it has something to do with the photo of the girl.

141. WELLS: Hmmm.

142. LIBRARIAN: Excuse me. (SHOCK) Oh… I… oh!

143. WELLS: This is still a crime scene, miss. I’ll have to ask you…

144. LIBRARIAN: Yes, I’m sorry. I’ve just had a call from Mr Standish, the Dean of Anthropology. He’d like a word with Mr Stone and his companion after you’ve finished with them, Detective.

145. WELLS: I think I’ve gotten everything I need to for the moment. I hate to have to say this folks, but…

146. TRENT: …don’t leave town?

147. WELLS: Well, I was going to say “please don’t leave town” but that’s about the gist of it.

148. TRENT: Thanks Detective. I’m sure we’ll be hearing from you later. By the way, what will happen to Maynard’s body now?

149. WELLS: For the moment he’s the property of the court. Once this business is settled we’ll hand him over to family.

150. TRENT: He has a sister in England. I’ll send you the details later.

151. WELLS: Thanks.

152. TERESA: Which way to the Dean’s office, Miss?

153. MUSIC: [42] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH


SCENE 9: INT. THE DEAN’S OFFICE — A SHORT WHILE LATER
(ALASDAIR, TERESA, TRENT, MADELEINE)

154. ALASDAIR STANDISH: [CUE] Come in, come in. I’m sorry you are visiting under such distressing circumstances.

155. TERESA: Thank you Mr…?

156. ALASDAIR: Alasdair Standish, I’m the Dean of Anthropology here at Star City U.

157. TERESA: Thank you Mr Standish. It’s a nice university you have here, though something of a maze.

158. ALASDAIR: Yes, our faculty is a little tucked away, isn’t it? Not what you’d call a high profile area of scientific endeavor. Still, they won’t be removing us terribly soon. We have been the recipients of a number of generous endowments which guarantee our presence on campus for a long time to come.

159. TERESA: The recognition must be gratifying.

160. ALASDAIR: Yes, yes it is.

161. TRENT: (UNCOMFORTABLE PAUSE) Was there some reason you wished to see us, Mr Standish?

162. ALASDAIR: What? Uh yes, yes there was.

163. TRENT: (FURTHER UNCOMFORTABLE PAUSE) Mr Standish?

164. ALASDAIR: Yes, I’m sorry. It’s not easy to decide where to begin.

165. TERESA: Perhaps the beginning would be best.

166. ALASDAIR: Yes of course. But, you must understand my position. I’m the Dean of a relatively small department within the University and I’d rather not cause the University any embarrassment. I believe you’re a reporter, Miss Carter?

167. TERESA: Ah, I see! You’re concerned about what might happen if this discussion were to become public?

168. ALASDAIR: Yes, you have it exactly. I know it’s a lot to ask, but I’d prefer it if our conversation…

169. TRENT: You can rely on our discretion, Mr Standish.

170. ALASDAIR: (RELIEVED) Thank you. I can’t tell you what a burden this is.

171. TERESA: So far, you haven’t told us anything at all.

172. ALASDAIR: (DEEP BREATH) Yes, sorry. It concerns something one of my students brought to my attention. She’s an exceptionally good student you understand, level-headed and reliable. She’s sort of the unofficial den-mother — as well as the official sorority president — of the Beta-Phi sorority — Claire Mannix. Anyway, she has been concerned that a number of the girls have disappeared in the last few weeks — three to be exact. It’s not unusual for girls to go “on the town” (so to speak). It happens more often than you might think. University life can turn a young woman’s head. Generally, the University doesn’t like to get caught up in the scandal. Often the girl comes to her senses and returns to her studies. At other times she (AHEM) quietly departs.

173. TRENT: I’m sorry Mr Standish, but I’m not sure I…

174. ALASDAIR: Please be patient just a little longer. The thing is, Claire — I mean Miss Mannix — was very concerned. While it’s not unusual for one girl to drop out of sight for a little while, three is much more unusual. Naturally, we don’t want to involve the police, and we certainly don’t want to be seen to be subverting the University’s handling of the situation but…

175. TRENT: I take it this has nothing to do with the matter in the Library this morning.

176. ALASDAIR: Eh? No. It’s more of a happy coincidence. Hearing you were on campus I thought I’d take the opportunity to ask for your aid.

177. TERESA: I’m not sure I’d describe the circumstances of our visit today as in any way “happy.”

178. ALASDAIR: Oh, my Lord, no! Forgive me. That was a very insensitive thing to say. The man in the Library, he was a friend of yours, yes?

179. TRENT: I wasn’t aware that the police had released any details as yet.

180. ALASDAIR: You have to understand, the University — despite its size — is a very small community at heart and news travels fast.

181. TRENT: Hmmm. Well yes, the victim was a friend of ours.

182. ALASDAIR: Please accept my apology and condolences. My mouth sometimes runs ahead of me.

183. TRENT: Think nothing of it. Now, about these girls…

184. ALASDAIR: Then you’re willing to look into it… discreetly of course.

185. TRENT: Yes, I think so. Do you happen to have any photographs of the young women in question?

186. ALASDAIR: Just a moment.

187. SOUND: [18] BUZZ OF INTERCOM

188. ALASDAIR: Miss Forsythe, do you have a copy of the yearbook handy?

189. MADELEINE FORSYTHE (SECRETARY): Just a moment, Mr Standish, I’ll bring one in.

190. ALASDAIR: The University distributes this to faculty with the class lists. It makes learning the students’ names etc. easier.

191. TERESA: I’m sure.

192. SOUND: [16] DOOR OPENS

193. MADELEINE: Here you are, Mr Standish.

194. ALASDAIR: Thank you, Madeleine. Now let me see…

195. SOUND: [19] DOOR CLOSES AGAIN

196. ALASDAIR: Ah, here we are. This is Brit Morris, the first girl to disappear… and this, this is Jenny Silver… and, most recently,… here she is, this is Shelley Rossiter.

197. TERESA: Oh My!

198. ALASDAIR: Is something the matter Miss Carter?

199. TRENT: (INTERRUPTING) No, no. That’s fine. Would it be possible to borrow this from you, Mr Standish?

200. ALASDAIR: (WITH RELIEF) Yes, of course. I can’t tell you how much better I feel, knowing you will be looking into things.

201. TRENT: I’m sure. Well, Mr Standish, if there’s nothing more, I think we’d best be off.

202. ALASDAIR: Yes, yes. Thank you so much. And you, Miss Carter, thanks again.

203. TERESA: You’re very welcome.

204. TRENT: Oh, before we go. Your area of expertise is South American Anthropology, yes? You don’t happen to recognize these objects, do you?

205. ALASDAIR: Er, no. Is that a gold blowgun and dart?

206. TRENT: And this symbol. You haven’t seen it anywhere before?

207. ALASDAIR: It looks like some kind of tooth or fang. No, I can’t say I have. Is it something important?

208. TRENT: (IGNORING ALASDAIR) Well, thank you for your time. We won’t bother you any further.

209. MUSIC: [42] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH

210. MUSIC: [50] CLOSING THEME AND CREDITS

 

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.

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 but 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.

MAYNARD HAVELOCK III: Ho there! Maynard Havelock the Third here. My friends call me Maynard despite all my best efforts to get them to call me “Big Man.” I’m a big game hunter and adventurer, don’t you know? I bluster a bit, but my public loves me and I do my best to keep them abreast of all my latest doings. I’m never seen without a few reporters hanging on my coat-tails.

What was that? Why yes, I am awfully brave. Except for that time where… oh, and that time that… but never mind about that. Brave! Stalwart! Salt of the earth! A product of the Empire! That’s me. Perhaps I’m occasionally too well mannered and concerned for the feelings of others… and the fillies occasionally get a little overwhelmed by my manly presence (LAUGHING) — pretending to be offended in order to cover their sense of deep attraction towards me, bless ’em — but all in all I’m a good sort. And you can’t ask for much more than that.

TONY WELLS: I’m a detective in a city full of liars, cheats, killers, and con-men. You’d think that would have made me a cynic. And I guess it has a little. But underneath the hard-boiled exterior I actually give a damn. I do this job because I want to keep people safe from the animals and predators who roam the dark side of the city. I believe in heroes, or at least I want to believe in them. I’m still not sure about Stone and Carter. They cross a lot of lines… but then so do I.

ALASDAIR STANDISH: What was that, my dear? Oh yes, I am the Dean of the School of Anthropology. Yes, it’s an absolutely fascinating subject. It’s the study of (LASCIVIOUSLY) the most basic, the most primal, societies… (DISTRACTED) My but you have the most lovely blonde hair… and beautiful blue eyes. Oh, sorry… I get so easily distracted these days. The pressures of the job and my advancing age you know. Perhaps (LASCIVIOUSLY AGAIN) we could meet later to engage in some extra tuition.

Oh my dear, of course it would all be above board. I’m old enough to be your father after all. No, no. You have absolutely nothing to worry about with me!


CASTING SHEETS — MINOR CHARACTERS

LIBRARIAN: I like an orderly world, one of discipline and quiet. I’m easily shocked — but not above reading the latest romance novel. Murder just doesn’t belong in a world of books.

MADELEINE FORSYTHE: I’m so grateful to Mr Standish for my job as his secretary. He’s a great man. So clever and kind. I wish I could keep him to myself but there’s always another bright young thing walking through his door. I guess he needs variety. But, each year a new crop of young things arrives and I just keep getting older.

WAITER: Hey I just work here. I’m polite, I smile, but the last thing I want is a deadbeat patron. The money comes out of my wages if they skip out on the check. I’ve got to do right by my family — and there are a hundred other guys lined up for my job — so there’s no way a deadbeat walks out without paying.

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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 Cult of the Teeth