The Tower of the Tentacle – Episode 2 – Trains, Feds, and Scrap Metal


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Below we present the complete text of Trains, Feds, and Scrap Metal, episode 2 of The Tower of the Tentacle.  This is a brand new (unpublished) series (and sees the return of two of our most popular characters (Tess Carter and Trent Stone).  If you would like to see these new stories advance from being drafts into polished publications then please consider supporting us by purchasing one or more of our previously published titles.  Every sale directly funds the production of new stories.

Pulp Adventure - GM005 - The Tower of the Tentacle

Pulp Adventure – GM005 – The Tower of the Tentacle

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

THE TOWER OF THE TENTACLE

EPISODE #2 – TRAINS, FEDS, AND SCRAP METAL

by Philip Craig Robotham

Cover Illustration by Miyukiko

Unedited Draft

Copyright 2016 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 #5: The Tower of the Tentacle

When Trent Stone is awakened in the middle of the night to find that his room is being ransacked he confronts the intruders only to see them vanish into thin air before his eyes. Finding some strange glasses the intruders left behind, he and Tess Carter set out following a trail of clues across the city where they encounter mysteriously cocooned people, stolen city infrastructure, and flying tentacled monstrosities. In order to get to the heart of this mystery they need to employ the glasses to “see” into the reality behind reality and determine just what the objective of the strange otherworldly presence that has settled in Star City for the night is… before a world destroying cataclysm results. Can they solve the mystery AND save the world? Tune in to “The Tower of the Tentacle” and experience this exciting adventure for yourself.

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.

THE TOWER OF THE TENTACLE

CAST LIST

NARRATOR: The Narrator

TRENT STONE: Adventurer

TESS CARTER: Reporter

DR SAM JOHNSON: Former Physics Professor

WALT: Cabbie

POLICEMAN: Constable

AGENT: FBI Agent Thomas

SFX : SFX Operator (1 required)

Act 2

Scene 4 INT – OUTSIDE IN THE STREET (Trent Stone, Tess Carter, Dr Sam Johnson, Dark Suited shadow)

207. MUSIC: OPENING THEME – LET IT FINISH

208. NARRATOR: Awakened by a pair of inhumanly strong intruders in his hotel room, Trent finds some strange glasses that let him see the invisible (including a member of the hotel staff cocooned in a strange viscous material and a list of addresses). He and Tess head out to see where the trail of addresses will lead.

209. SOUND: BUZZ OF STREET LAMP OCCASIONAL CAR – ESTABLISH AND UNDER

210. TESS: How long before Walt gets here with the cab?

211. TRENT: It shouldn’t be too long, but I did wake him up.

212. TESS: I’ll bet that made his missus happy.

213. TRENT: She’ll get over it.

214. TESS: You’re all heart. (BEAT) Hey, take a look over yonder.

215. TRENT: Where?

216. TESS: Down the end of the street. On the corner. See it?

217. TRENT: Well I’ll be? Another person sealed up in goo.

218. TESS: What do you think? Have they been putting the whammy on anyone who crosses their path?

219. TRENT: Looks like it. (BEAT) But why not us?

220. TESS: Maybe it’s ’cause we put up a fight.

221. TRENT: Maybe, but whatever that goo is, it seems to be pretty good at immobilizing people. I’d have thought it could neutralise the two of us pretty easily.

222. TESS: Who knows? Perhaps it takes a while to apply. Maybe they’ve got to catch you unawares for it to work. Could be a lot of reasons.

223. TRENT: True enough. (BEAT) Look, here comes Walt now.

224. SOUND: CAR PULLS UP IN A HURRY – LET IT FINISH

225. WALT: You folks in need of a cab?

226. TRENT: Hey Walt. You got here fast.

227. WALT: You said you needed me in a hurry, so here I am. Besides, there ain’t a lot of traffic to deal with at two in the morning.

228. TESS: Fair enough. How’s the missus?

229. WALT: Meh. She’ll get over it.

230. TESS: (EXASPERATED) Men!

231. WALT: What? You wanted a cab didn’t you?

232. TRENT: Yeah, yeah. We need to get to Star City Central at a gallop.

233. WALT: Well hop in Madame and Monsieur. Your carriage awaits.

234. SOUND: DOORS OPENING AND CLOSING – LET IT FINISH.

235. SOUND: INSIDE CAR – ENGINE PULLS AWAY – ESTABLISH AND UNDER

236. TRENT: Thanks Walt, we owe you.

237. WALT: Just the fare on the meter is fine. You folks managed to save my Gertie over at the university last month when you stopped those walking dead from tearing down her dormitory.

238. TESS: I didn’t know your daughter was studying at the university?

239. WALT: Yeah, I don’t talk about it much. The missus is really proud, but, I don’t know, Gertie wants to be a Chemist. Now is that any kind of job for a girl? I mean, she could be a seamstress or a secretary or something. That would settle her until she gets herself hitched. But no, she keeps going on about how she wants a career. It’s like to scare any future husband off.

240. TRENT: I’d just get out of the way if I were you Walt. She sounds determined.

241. WALT: (DEPRESSED) Yeah. She takes after her mother.

242. TESS: Aw Walt, it’s okay. Look at me, I’m a career girl.

243. WALT: But you ain’t married neither, miss Tess. No offence.

244. TESS: None taken… (UNDER HER BREATH) and not for lack of trying.

245. TRENT: What was that, Tess?

246. TESS: (LOUDLY) I said…

247. TRENT: Hey, look out!

248. WALT: What? Where?

249. TESS: Didn’t you see her? That woman in the middle of the street?

250. WALT: What woman?

251. TRENT: You swerved right around her? Surely, you saw her?

252. WALT: No wonder you’re seeing things. You’re wearing those sun glasses in my cab… at night.

253. TRENT: Of course. The glasses. I forgot.

254. TESS: That woman must have been… what… covered in goop?

255. TRENT: Let’s just say immobilized, for now. But that’s not as important as the fact that she remains hidden from view, in the middle of the street, while the traffic merely swerves around her.

256. WALT: Um… are you two gonna start making any kind of sense soon?

257. TRENT: Probably not… (BEAT) Whatever field is responsible for this, it must have an enormous range…

258. TESS: Hey. Stop the car. Walt, pull over.

259. SOUND: CAR HURRIEDLY COMING TO A STOP – UNDER.

260. TRENT: What is it,Tess?

261. TESS: More immobilized people. But that isn’t what got my attention.

262. TRENT: Oh?

263. TESS: Over there. On the street corner. What do you see?

264. TRENT: Oh… Well spotted Tess.

265. WALT: What? That’s just some guy talking to himself, ain’t it?

266. TRENT: Hmmm? Oh, yes. Quite.

267. TESS: Wait for us a minute would you Walt?

268. WALT: Sure thing. I ain’t going anywhere.

269. SOUND: DOORS OPEN – LET IT FINISH.

270. DR SAM JOHNSON: (FADE IN) (DISTRAUGHT AND CRAZY SOUNDING) A squared plus B squared equals C squared, the logarithm of x times y equals the logarithm of x added to the logarithm of y, the square of an imaginary number is negative, the speed of light squared when multiplied by mass gives us energy… What? What are you looking at? Stay back. I’m not crazy…

271. SOUND: HANDGUN BEING COCKED – LET IT FINISH.

272. TESS: Whoah, take it easy there buster. And that last point’s kind of up for debate.

273. SAM: What!

274. TESS: Easy. We’re not going to hurt you. We just want to know what you are looking at? Can you see that woman?

275. SAM: Of course, yes of course… and pi equals three point one four one five nine two six five three five nine… wait, you can see her too?

276. TESS: You bet. Big as life. Green dress (or I think it’s green under that goop). Red-head maybe.

277. SAM: (ELATED) You can see her! You can see her! I’m not mad. I said I wasn’t.

278. TRENT: Easy, sir. Don’t get excited. At least not while you’re holding that cannon in your hands.

279. SAM: Yes. Sorry. I didn’t mean to… I’ll put it away. (BEAT) There. Who did you say you were?

280. TESS: We didn’t. I’m Tess Carter, and the big fellow is Trent Stone.

281. SAM: (IGNORING THE INTRODUCTION) And you can see this woman as well?

282. TRENT: Yes, but the introductions aren’t complete. You are?

283. SAM: (WITH AN ATTEMPT AT DIGNITY) I am Samuel Johnson… Doctor Samuel Johnson, formerly of the Star City University physics department.

284. TESS: Hey, I’ve heard of you. They say you went nuts.

285. TRENT: Tess!

286. SAM: (INDIGNANT) I am not “nuts”. I… I… I saw! Saw the universe. Saw… saw an equation. An equation so beautiful, so amazing it revealed… revealed…

287. TRENT: Yes?

288. SAM: Revealed the numbers in… in everything. I could see… can see… everything. It’s all in the numbers… (GROWING ANGRY) But those mental midgets at the university… they didn’t understand. They didn’t get it. Weren’t capable of getting it. But I’ll show them. I’ll…

289. TESS: Well, yep. I can see you’re as sane as the next man (UNDER BREATH) so long as the next man is barking nuts. (TO TRENT) I think it’s time we got on our way.

290. SAM: No, wait. You can see! You can see, too. You know I’m not mad.

291. TRENT: Yes that’s right. And it was nice to meet you, but we really need to be…

292. SAM: (ANGRY) I’m coming with you.

293. TESS: But…

294. SAM (ALMOST SHOUTING) I’m coming with you!

295. TESS: Alright. Alright. Take it easy. (PRIVATELY) Trent?

296. TRENT: I think Dr Johnson’s ability is very interesting Tess. It may be very useful to have him along.

297. TESS: Okay, but I’m going on record as saying this is a mistake. You know he’s still armed, right?

298. TRENT: Duly noted. (LOUDER) Okay, let’s go.

299. SOUND: DOORS OPENING – LET IT FINISH.

300. WALT: Picked up an extra passenger have we? Whoo, he’s a whiffy one ain’t he?

301. TESS: He’s been living rough, Walt. Be nice.

302. SAM: (MUTTERING AND FADING) A squared plus B squared equals C squared, the logarithm of x times y equals the logarithm of x added to the logarithm of y, the square of an imaginary number is negative, the speed of light squared when multiplied by mass gives us energy

303. SOUND: CAR ACCELERATES AWAY – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.

304. WALT: Hey, folks? You got some admirers?

305. TRENT: What’s that Walt?

306. WALT: It’s just I seem to have picked up a shadow and, what with it being night and all…

307. TRENT: I understand. Turn left up here and we’ll see if they follow.

308. SOUND: CAR BRAKING AND TURNING – LET IT FINISH.

309. WALT: They’re still with us. Looks like a black sedan.

310. TESS: And two goons. Black hats, black suits. The works. (BEAT) What’s your plan?

311. TRENT: Do you think you can lose them?

312. WALT: Sure thing. (BEAT) Hang on to your hats.

313. SOUND: CAR ACCELERATES – ESTABLISH AND FADE OUT.

314. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

Scene 5 INT – Outside Star City Central Station (Characters – Trent Stone, Tess Carter, Dr Sam Johnson)

315. SOUND: CAR ARRIVES AND STOPS – LET IT FINISH.

316. SOUND: (WALLA) CONFUSED MURMUR, EMERGENCY VEHICLES AND WORKERS, FLAMES (FADE IN) – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.

317. TESS: Good job, Walt. There’s no sign of our tail.

318. WALT: (INTERRUPTING) Holy Smokes. What’s happening here?

319. TRENT: It looks like Grand Central is the scene of a major disaster.

320. TESS: Look at all those cops… and all those people in cocoons.

321. TRENT: Cocoons? That’s a good term for it, Tess. They’re everywhere.

322. WALT: Cocoons? Are you guys talking in code again?

323. SAM: Don’t speak dolt! Imbeciles should simply hold their tongues rather than speak and reveal their ignorance.

324. TESS: Now you be nice, (THREATENING) or I’m going to take exception to your rudeness.

325. SAM: (MUTTERS) Yes ma’am.

326. TRENT: Come on. We need to find out what’s been happening here.

327. WALT: Do you want me to stick around?

328. TRENT: If it’s not too much to ask?

329. WALT: Is “he” coming back with you?

330. TRENT: (AHEM) Er. We’ll see.

331. WALT: Ah well. I guess you can’t have everything.

332. SOUND: CAR DOORS OPEN AND CLOSE – LET IT FINISH.

333. TESS: It looks like they’ve got the place sealed off.

334. POLICEMAN: Sorry folks. You can’t stop here. The station’s closed.

335. TRENT: Yes. It would appear so. Can you tell us what’s happened?

336. POLICEMAN: Oh it’s you Mr Stone. I didn’t recognize you in those dark glasses.

337. TESS: Yeah, we’re trying out a new look.

338. POLICEMAN: Like a disguise, huh? (BEAT) Well, nobody’s real sure what happened here. The station is empty and…

339. SAM: Hmph! You just can’t see them.

340. POLICEMAN: What?

341. TRENT: Don’t mind him. He’s assisting with an investigation we’re conducting.

342. POLICEMAN: (SCEPTICAL) Ahuh.(BEAT) Anyway, the station is empty and a bunch of the trains are missing their engines. I’d be able to tell you more only the Feds showed up and kicked all us regular cops out. Told us to set up a perimeter and keep everyone clear.

343. TRENT: Oh? And when was this?

344. POLICEMAN: About twenty minutes ago. They went inside.

345. TRENT: From the Bureau? How many of them were there?

346. POLICEMAN: Only six. Sorry if all this inconveniences you.

347. TESS: Oh, that’s quite all right, officer. We’re glad you’re on the job.

348. POLICEMAN: Thanks Miss Carter… Um, I couldn’t get you to give me your autograph while you’re here? My daughter is a big fan.

349. TESS: Oh, how sweet. I’d be happy to.

350. SOUND: PEN SCRATCHING ON PAPER – LET IT FINISH.

351. TESS: There.

352. POLICEMAN: Gee thanks. Have a good night.

353. SOUND: POLICEMAN WALKS AWAY.

354. TESS: So. What do we do now?

355. SAM: You can’t let them stop us going in. Think of all we’d learn. These small minded insects and their petty rules can’t be allowed to…

356. TRENT: Dr. Johnson, we’ve allowed you to come with us thus far in the hope that you can shed some light on this mystery. Please don’t make me regret that decision.

357. SAM: But…

358. TRENT: But you’re right. We do need to get inside and take a look around.

359. TESS: Sure but how? They’ve got the place sealed up tighter than a drum.

360. TRENT: Not completely. They’ve only got men at the pedestrian entrances.

361. TESS: What do you mean?

362. TRENT: Simple. If we walk down the street aways and climb onto the tracks we should be able to walk straight inside.

363. TESS: Hot damn. Who says you’re just a pretty face?

364. TRENT: Don’t get too excited. We’ve still got to keep out of sight of those FBI men.

365. SAM: The FBI? Government men? But this is wonderful… the government will know exactly what to do.

366. TRENT: That remains to be seen. Come on.

367. SOUND: FADE OUT EMERGENCY NOISES – FADE OUT

368. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER

Scene 6 INT – Inside Star City Central Station (Trent Stone, Tess Carter, Dr Sam Johnson)

369. SOUND: DISTANT NOISE OF EMERGENCY VEHICLES – ESTABLISH AND UNDER

370. TRENT: Well, here we are. Do you need a hand up onto the platform?

371. TESS: What do you think I am some kind of invalid?

372. TRENT: I was actually talking to Dr Johnson.

373. TESS: Oh. (BEAT) Sorry.

374. SAM: I’m fine, thank you… the result of mass multiplied by the speed of light… energy… that’s it… energy!

375. TESS: Okay, Doc. We need you to focus for a minute. We’re not authorised to be here so, if you don’t want to get us arrested, you need to clam up. Got it?

376. SAM: Uh, yes. Of course (WHISPERING) Angles… if we modify the angles so that they are… and then we take pi and multiply it out… yes, yes beautiful symmetry.

377. TESS: Sheesh. Where to, Stone?

378. TRENT: Let’s start by taking a look at the trains.

379. TESS: Alright. While you do that, there’s something I want to check out on the platform.

380. TRENT: Okay. But be careful. We really don’t want any federal entanglements right now.

381. TESS: See you in a minute.

382. SOUND: FEMALE FOOTSTEPS DEPART – FADE OUT

383. SAM: What about me?

384. TRENT: You better come with me. I want your opinion on what they may have been after.

385. SOUND: TWO SETS OF FOOTSTEPS – LET IT FINISH.

386. TRENT: Well, that’s not a sight you see everyday.

387. SAM: They’ve… they’ve pulled the roof off over the engines.

388. TRENT: It’s been peeled back like the lid on a tin of sardines. And the engines? Are you seeing this?

389. SAM: Yes. Yes. Green slime everywhere. The engine housings have been torn out and the machinery is all gone. They’re… they’re monsters.

390. TRENT: Steady on.

391. SOUND: TESS APPROACHING QUICKLY – UNDER

392. SAM: No. It’s an invasion… it’s the beginning of the… the end. It’s…

393. TESS: (HARSH STAGE WHISPER) Can’t you shut him up? He’ll have the feds on top of us in no time

394. TRENT: I’ll do it if you can tell me how?

395. TESS: We’ve got a problem.

396. TRENT: Besides the good Dr.?

397. TESS: Yes, besides him.

398. TRENT: Well, what is it?

399. TESS: See all those people in coccoons.

400. TRENT: Yes. It looks like the entire station was hit.

401. TESS: Yeah, it does. And they’re all still breathing inside that jelly that is covering them.

402. TRENT: Yeah, so? We already know this.

403. TESS: Well, you know how it seemed like they were still able to breathe through the goo?

404. TRENT: At the risk of sounding redundant. Yes, so?

405. TESS: Well, that’s not the case. The goo contains a supply of oxygen, but it’s being depleted.

406. TRENT: What leads you to that conclusion?

407. TESS: It’s discolouring slowly. The coccoons are becoming less transparent and more opaque. I think it’s because the air is being used up. We’ve only got a limited amount of time to figure this out, or the people who are trapped are going to begin dying.

408. SAM: I would have thought that was completely obvious, even to you.

409. TRENT: Dr Johnson?

410. SAM: The “goo”, as you call it, is some kind of highly oxygenated material. It’s clearly not porous so the only way anyone could breathe while inside it would be if it contained the oxygen they needed. Any idiot can see that.

411. TESS: And you’re living proof. (TO TRENT) There’s something else. Two platforms over there’s a crate lying below one of the openings in the roof. It looks like they may have dropped it.

412. TRENT: What makes you say that?

413. TESS: It’s broken open and some equipment has tipped out but…

414. TRENT: Yes, Tess?

415. TESS: Well, it’s invisible if you aren’t wearing these glasses.

416. TRENT: I guess that means we need to take a closer look.

417. TESS: Damned straight. Let’s go.

418. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS (TWO MALE, ONE FEMALE) DEPARTING – FADE OUT.

419. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH

Scene 7 – INT – Inside Star City Central Station (Trent Stone, Tess Carter, Dr Sam Johnson, Federal agent)

420. SOUND: DISTANT NOISE OF EMERGENCY VEHICLES – ESTABLISH AND UNDER

421. TESS: Well, what do you think?

422. TRENT: I think these platforms could do with more regular visits from janitorial services.

423. TESS: Funny man. Take it up with the city council why don’t you? (BEAT) Hey Doc, I wouldn’t touch the crate if I were you.

424. SAM: (MUTTERING) If you take the cosine of 76 degrees and multiply it by pi then divide it by the ratio of mass over energy… Hmmm?

425. TESS: Let us see if it’s safe before you go poking around in it, ok?

426. SAM: Oh, assuredly. Yes, you should definitely see if it’s safe. No use putting any real intelligence at risk.

427. TESS: Hey!

428. TRENT: It’s alright Tess. I don’t think it’s a trap. The crate seems to be made out of some kind of plastic.

429. SAM: It’s a non-conductive polymer, you dolt. Thoroughly ingenious.

430. TRENT: I’ll thank you to to keep a civil tongue in your mouth Dr Johnson.

431. SAM: What? Why should I try to…

432. TESS: Be polite? Well, for one thing, you’re more likely to keep your teeth that way.

433. SAM: Well, I…

434. TESS: And for another, I reserve the right to treat people who think their great “intelligence” excuses extreme rudeness as if they are children in need of a short sharp smackdown. And I will continue to do so until such time as they choose to act their age.

435. SAM : (CLEARS THROAT) Yes. I see. You make a good point. Please, examine the crate, by all means.

436. TESS: (SWEETLY) Why, thankyou.(BEAT) Hmmm. These look like respirators of some kind. I’m guessing you put them over your face like this and…

437. SOUND: GARBLED ELECTRONIC LANGUAGE.

438. TRENT: Tess, the respirator seems to have done something to your speech.

439. TESS: (BEAT) There, it’s off. Really, what happened?

440. TRENT: Well, it’s hard to say. It’s like you were speaking another language. You were obviously able to understand me okay while you had it on.

441. TESS: Hmm. The air tasted funny while I was breathing through it too. A little antiseptic. Here, you put this one on while I put mine back on and we’ll see what we sound like.

442. SOUND: GARBLED ELECTRONIC LANGUAGE – STOP ON CUE

443. TRENT: (CUE)(ECHOING FROM INSIDE FACEMASK AND DISTORTED AS THOUGH OVER A TELEPHONE) …like I’m speaking any differently to usual?

444. TESS: (ECHOING INSIDE FACEMASK AND DISTORTED AS THOUGH OVER A TELEPHONE) Well I can here you just fine. How do I sound?

445. TRENT: A little electronic, but otherwise normal. I’ll ask Dr Johnson what it sounded like. (BEAT) (NORMAL) Ugh, that thing’s uncomfortable. (BEAT) Doctor, were you able to understand what we were saying?

446. SAM: Of course. You both sounded perfectly normal to me, but perhaps that’s a function of my altered perceptions. To “normal” people your vocalizations might appear to be “translated” – it sounded distinctly as though there was some kind of language underneath it.

447. TRENT: Interesting. I think these might come in handy. We should all take one.

448. AGENT #1: Hey. Hey you. What are you doing in here? This area is off limits.

449. TESS: (NORMAL)Damn it. We’ve been spotted. I hate fighting the law if I don’t have to. I vote we get out of here.

450. TRENT: Well, the main entrance is still blocked. I suggest we head back the way we came.

451. SAM: But that’s a federal agent. Shouldn’t we…?

452. TRENT AND TESS: No.

453. TRENT: You can stay here if you like, but my suggestion is… run!

454. SOUND: TRENT AND TESS START RUNNING – UNDER.

455. SAM: But…

456. SOUND: (RICOCHETING) GUNSHOT FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER – LET IT FINISH.

457. SAM: Oh, my!

458. SOUND: SAM’S FOOTSTEPS JOIN THE OTHERS – UNDER.

459. AGENT #1: (FADING) Stop. Don’t try to get away…

460. SOUND: ONE LAST GUNSHOT – LET IT FINISH.

461. MUSIC: ACTION SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

462. MUSIC: 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.

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.

DR SAM JOHNSON: I’m not mad I tell you. Those idiots at the university fired me, but I’m not mad. They were just too small minded to see my genius. The symmetry of the equations. The perfection of the numbers. I can SEE! See into the reality behind things. I can see past the numbers and unlock the way things really are. If you could just SEE the world the way I SEE it. Your mind would be unlocked too. You’d be free. Free, like me!

WALT: I‘m your typical big city cabbie. I’ll get you where you’re going and throw in a bit of home-spun philosophy along the way. The way I figure it, people are always in a rush. They don’t take time for the little things. But me, I’m here to help. I’ll get you where you wanna be on time. But part of the fee is I get to give you some of the good advice I keep stored up. Something for every occasion.

CASTING SHEETS – MINOR CHARACTERS

POLICEMAN: Hey there folks, and top of the morning to you. I love being a flat-foot. I normally walk a beat. I get to talk the neighbourhood gossips on their stoops, grab the occasional kid by the ear who’s been throwing stones through windows, and chase down the occasional shop-lifter. It’s a pretty good life, when you’ve got the know of it. On those occasions where something big happens I get re-deployed. Crowd control, usually. Making sure only the right people get in and out of a crime scene etc. I’m not a fan of these FBI boyos, though. They act like they own the world.

FBI AGENT: I’m part of Mr Hoover’s FBI, A G-Man. I’m smart and arrogant, and here to protect my country from people like you, so don’t think for a minute you can put one over on me without getting a fat lip for your trouble. I don’t put up with any nonsense from anyone, and if you’re dirty, well, you’ll pay for whatever it is you’ve done. I’ll see to it. If you’re not, well, you’ll get a fair shake, eventually, but don’t expect me to make it easy for you in the mean time. That’s not part of my job description.

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.

You can contact the author regarding performance rights (or simply to say hello) through his website: http://www.weirdworldstudios.com.

Don’t forget to check out the free sample portions of our titles at http://weirdworldstudios.com/product-category/our-products/ .

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 Tower of the Tentacle