THE WAITING GAME

ANN

I’m so bored. I want a drink.

LINUS

How could you drink here?

ANN

It’s a pub. You’re supposed to

drink here.

LINUS

No, I meant, how can you drink

with... With them on the ground.

ANN

I prefer to drink with the dead

over the living. It’s quieter.

LINUS

This early in the morning?

ANN

Yep! I’ll show you

VORLAUF

Both of you should be quieter; I’m

trying to think.

ANN

What about?

VORLAUF

There was a woman in here last

night. Young. She was familiar to

me and I don’t know why.

ANN

Maybe you saw her in your dreams.

VORLAUF

No. That’s not It.

HAL

Come here you. Watch your step.

This is Fredrick. Say hello,

Fredrick.

FREDRICK

Uh...Hello.

(MORE)

HAL

Fredric here works for the

watchmen.

FREDRICK

Only when necessary, I’m a cobbler

by trade.

HAL

But when there’s trouble and help

is needed, Fredrick answers the

call. Don’t you Fredrick.

LINUS

How noble!

HAL

Now I couldn’t find the head

watchmen in this blasted town, even

the gates were unguarded, but I

thought our friend Fredrick here

could help us out.

ANN

(Laughs)

Such a nice new friend!

VORLAUF

Thank you, Hal.

Fredrick, was It?

FREDRICK

Yes, Fredrick, that’s right. Who’re

you?

VORLAUF

My name is Vorlauf. I apologize for

the stench, but bodies do tend to

smell after being left to rot from

sun down to sun up.

FREDRICK

That’s...that’s fine.

VORLAUF

Oh, I’m afraid I disagree,

Fredrick; it’s not fine. Bodies

shouldn’t be left to rot in a pub

for hours. And we’ve kept the owner

here as witness for the same amount

of time, unable to clean or repair

his place of business; his

livelihood.

VORLAUF (CONT'D)

Can you imagine the inconvenience

this has posed to the poor gnome?

Guilty only of bearing witness to

this sad affair?

FREDRICK

Well, it’s-

VORLAUF

And what about me and my men? Hours

and hours we’ve waited, Fredrick.

Do you have any idea what it’s like

to keep the company of men you’ve

killed? Watching as their bodies

swell; as the foulness within makes

it’s way without?

FREDRICK

No.

HAL

Speak up, watchman.

FREDRICK

No.

VORLAUF

It’s not pleasant, I’ll tell you

that. We have been waiting for the

law to come and mark the dead. My

men and I acted legally and justly,

and have left these rogues

untouched in accordance with the

law. We couldn’t even close their

eyes.

VORLAUF (CONT'D)

Look at this man, Frederick!

Staring up at you with clouded

eyes, seeing none but death. He

deserves better!

HAL

He’s probably never seen a dead

body before!

ANN

Don’t worry Freddy, if you stick by

us you’ll see a lot more!

FREDRICK

Please.

VORLAUF

Fredrick, we have been waiting for

the Head Watchman to come here and

sign off that we acted in good

faith and within the law. And, upon

his declaration, to give approval

for another contract. Good,

upstanding citizens, waiting and

waiting. I have no doubt that the

news of this altercation has made

It to him and you hours ago...

FREDRICK

I’m sorry.

VORLAUF

You’re sorry? Sorry to who? Sorry

to the dead? Sorry to the barkeep?

Sorry to us? Or perhaps, sorry to

all those we’ve been barred from

helping while we’ve sat here

waiting?

FREDRICK

I’m sorry, but...

VORLAUF

But?

FREDRICK

No. No. Nothing. Nothing

HAL

Didn’t sound like nothing.

ANN

Sounded a lot like something.

FREDRICK

It’s just...when other Vigiles

come, they... They just fake the

signatures. The law doesn’t get

involved. We...kind if thought

you’d just go away.

VORLAUF

True Vigiles always act within the

law. Tell me, Fredrick, does It

look like we’re going away?

FREDRICK

No, sir. No

VORLAUF

No. Can you bring your leader to

us?

FREDRICK

I don’t know where he is. I’m not

‘is keeper.

VORLAUF

Do you think you could find him?

FREDRICK

Don’t know.

VORLAUF

You. Don’t. Know.

FREDRICK

No.

VORLAUF

Humm... Fredrick, do you know what

happens when you have to wait for

hours upon hours, trapped in a

place like this? You seek out any

distraction you can find. Some turn

to the drink.

ANN

(belches)

Cheers!

VORLAUF

But I...prefer a game.

FREDRICK

What...what kind of game? I

don't...

VORLAUF

Tut-tut. You needn’t worry, a

simple game to pass the time.

ANN

And new friends should play with

us!

HAL

‘Specially a game with daggers!

FREDRICK

Wait! Wait...with... With daggers?

What do youVORLAUF

You need only put your hand up

against the wall, please, Fredrick.

Make sure your fingers are spread

apart.

FREDRICK

No, no. I ready don't want to...

VORLAUF

Hal, could you please help our new

friend.

HAL

With pleasure. Ha ha. Come here

you. Hold Still. That’ll help you

hold still. (Muah)

For luck!

VIGLES

(Laugh)

FREDRICK

Please don’t.

VORLAUF

Fredrick, I need your fingers

spread out.

FREDRICK

What are you going to do?

VORLAUF

Fredrick. Good. Fingers just like

that. Now hold still.

Vorlauf draws open his coat, revealing a pair of holsters on

each thigh, each capable of securing four daggers. With

lightning speed, Vorlauf draws a dagger and THROWS It. It

lands with a THUD in the space between Fredrick’s thumb and

index finger. Fredrick SCREAMS.

FREDRICK

AAAA.

VORLAUF

Ha Ha! You see, Fredrick? It’s just

a game, I won’t hurt you. You

really mustn’t worry. I have a lot

of daggers and impeccable aim, I’ll

only hit the space between your

fingers. I promise....

Unless, of course, you move.

FREDRICK

I. I. Please. Please. I...

VORLAUF

Shh. You’ll only distract me.

ANN

(Laughing)

Wouldn’t want that.

FREDRICK

Please, don’t.

Fredrick’s pleas continue under the dialogue.

LINUS

Wager a drink that Vorlauf hits

him.

HAL

I’ll take that bet.

FREDRICK

(Sobbing)

AAAAA... Please!!... AAAA

VORLAUF

I have to admit, between the ring

finger and the pinky is always

tricky, even for me well rested,

but, I have been up all night. I’d

be tempted to stop now, but since

we’re stuck here waiting for your

leader and you don’t know where he

is, we have to play games to kill

the time.

ANN

Haaa... He said kill, haaaaaa

FREDRICK

I’ll find him! I’ll find him and

bring him to you!

VORLAUF

You will?

FREDRICK

I’ll find him. Please...

VORLAUF

Fredrick! I’m so pleased.

Fantastic. Oof!

(MORE)

FREDRICK

AAAAAAAAAA.....

VORLAUF

Oh fredrick, I seemed to have

scratched you... but I did tell you

not to move. I’m sure It will heal

just fine. Now, normally I would

suggest playing another round, but

you’re going to be too busy finding

your leader.

FREDRICK

(still whimpering)

Yes. Yes, I’ll find him. I’ll find

him.

ANN

Bye Freddy!

LINUS

Thanks for helping me win the beer!

VORLAUF

Oh, and Fredrick, if you don’t

return with him soon I’ll have Hal

find you again. There are lots more

games we can play.

FREDRICK

I’ll find him, I’ll find him.

LINUS

Well, that was fun! Though I’m a

little confused...

ANN

When aren’t you confused?

LINUS

The Justice told us not to hurt

innocent people...and we killed

these men because they were wanted

for messin’ ‘round with citizens

that weren’t involved with magic.

And they attacked us.

So, why would you do that to

Fredrick? Don’t seem he’s done

nothin’ wrong.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

VORLAUF

I would never hurt an innocent

person.

VORLAUF (CONT'D)

But if the law doesn’t fulfill

their duty after half a day, even

though they are legally required to

confirm these deaths, then I’m

unclear where their loyalties lie.

They’re hindering us, and I cannot

let anyone get in the way of our

cause. As you saw, our friend was

unwilling to act with haste to

resolve our dilemma. I simply

provided the motivation he needed.

And you can be sure his finger will

heal...

ANN

I do hope dear Freddy finds his

leader quick!

VORLAUF

Hmm...

HAL

What are you staring at, my lord.

Something wrong with the wall

there?

VORLAUF

More like something missing. Get

the owner.

HAL

Yes, sir.

There you go. Come on, Come on step

lively. There you are.

BARTENDER

Yes?

VORLAUF

The paint on this spot of the wall

is lighter. Something was hanging

here. What was It? I don’t recall.

BARTENDER

It, a... It got stolen last night.

VORLAUF

What was It, exactly?

BARTENDER

I...

VORLAUF

Don’t make me repeat myself.

BARTENDER

It was a copy of the Prophecy. Not

that I believe It, of course. I

mean I can’t even read It. It’s

been here since long, long before I

bought the place. And no one here

believes It. B-but we joke about

It. All in good fun. I don’t

believe in the Prophecy at all. All

for fun!

VORLAUF

Enough. I believe you.

And you said It was stolen last

night?

BARTENDER

I think It was nicked during the

fight. There was this girl, you

see. She was really obsessed with

It. I’m guessin’ she took It when

she and her friend ran off.

VORLAUF

Describe her.

BARTENDER

After...everything...from that

night I really, don’t remember that

well.

“Bog of Faces” you know...

ANN

You know, Vorlauf, now that our

dear Freddy’s gone, we don’t have

anyone left to play with. Maybe we

should make a new friend.

HAL

We do love to make friends.

BARTENDER

She was young. Carried a sword and

looked like she knew how to use It.

Spoke gruffly, but seemed innocent.

Clean, almost too clean. I’d never

seen her before...and I know all

the people around here.

VORLAUF

Yes, her. And you mentioned she had

a companion? Was It a man the same

age? Confident. Also looks like he

knows how to use a weapon?

BARTENDER

He was the same age, sure, but he

was cowardly. Couldn’t even put up

a fight when he arm wrestled Gary!

I hadn’t seen him around. Not, not

nether.

FREDRICK

See I found him! I found him.

ANN

Welcome back, Freddy! And good job!

VORLAUF

You lead the watchmen, I assume.

TOWN GUARD

I-I-I do.

VORLAUF

Good...good.

Barkeep, would you bear witness for

our watchman friend here?

BARTENDER

These good men here acted out of

necessity to defend themselves and

uphold their duty.

VORLAUF

Satisfied, watchman?

TOWN GUARD

Uh...yes, yes of course.

VORLAUF

My dear barkeep, thank you for your

patience and for doing your civic

duty. You’re a good citizen. You

may go now.

BARTENDER

Thank the light.

TOWN GUARD

Sorry for the wait. You see, I was

called away last night. There was a

Lusus Naturae attack and I...

VORLAUF

No matter.

FREDRICK

Can I go? Please. Please. Can I go

now?

VORLAUF

Yes, Fredrick. And thank you for

doing your duty.

FREDRICK

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

HAL

Thanks for being a good sport,

Freddy! Hahahaha

TOWN GUARD

Sir, you left them covered in their

own filth and entrails; didn’t even

put a blanket over them.

VORLAUF

You know the law. Can’t do anything

with the dead until I get legal

witness.

TOWN GUARD

Well, everything seems to be in

order here. I can sign your

declaration and you all can be on

your way.

VORLAUF

Ann! Take their rings.

TOWN GUARD

Oh no, that’s not really necessary.

I don’t really need to see that...

VORLAUF

Oh, you absolutely do. We waited

all night, you’ll mark every

detail. After we’ve claimed the

hands as our right, you can have

the rest.

Have a seat.

LINUS

Ugh, we have to take the rings off

all these dead people?

HAL

Can’t just take the rings. Once a

man dies, his fingers swell up like

cooked sausage. Plus, code says we

take the whole hand so...

ANN

The law is the law.

Here! Catch!!

HAL

Hatch It, Ay! Damn near hit me in

the face!

ANN

Ha ha! Slapped by a dead man!

HAL

Tryin’ to give him the last laugh,

are ya’? (Laughs)

LINUS

Ummm...excuse me...

TOWN GUARD

I...uh...I’d better go check on

him.

VORLAUF

Only three more to go...

HAL

Ann, I really got to Hand It to

you.

ANN

Hey you old scoundrel. Shut your

gob.

HAL

Oh oh you dropped one. You looking

for a hand out? Ha.

TOWN GUARD

All seems to be in order. Can I

sign It now?

VORLAUF

If you would be so kind.

TOWN GUARD

There...There you go.

VORLAUF

Good. Very good. Thank you. Come,

there is much to be done.

SCENE BRAKE

ORA

Come on, Come on. Keep your guard

up!

KEVIN

Ow. That hurts!

ORA

You can’t learn to fight by

watching others. Keep your

guard...up!

KEVIN

Ow!

Have you seen Spirit? I haven’t

seen her since we started training.

You know, maybe we should look...

OW!!

ORA

Don’t try to talk your way out of

this! Spirit is fine! I’m sure

she’s just grazing somewhere. Now,

attack!

Aim for the body, not the blade.

Er...in this case, the stick.

Don't cross your feet! Throws off

your balance and makes It easier

for the enemy to push you over.

KEVIN

How am I supposed to remember all

of this during a fight?

ORA

Practice. Practice. And more

practice. That’s what my mother

always said.

KEVIN

Where did she learn all this? It’s

not like the village has a militia

or anything...although that

wouldn’t be the worst idea in the

world these days.

ORA

My mother isn’t from the village.

Father is. Born and raised.

KEVIN

Ugh! Ha ha.

ORA

Nice parry!

Mother moved to the village when

she was about my age.

KEVIN

Where was she before?

ORA

She traveled a lot. That’s where

she got the Prophecy, on one of her

adventures.

KEVIN

So she passed on her love of swords

and the Prophecy to her daughter.

You’re exactly like her, you know.

ORA

Not exactly. She believed in the

Prophecy, but never thought It

would happen in our lifetime. It

was actually my grandmother who got

me to believe that It could.

KEVIN

Ugh! Damn

ORA

Well, you’re improving.

KEVIN

I lost.

ORA

But It took me a few seconds to

beat you. That’s an improvement.

Maybe in a few weeks we can spar

with actual swords.

KEVIN

Oh good. So I only have a few more

weeks to live.

ORA

Oh, come on! I wouldn’t kill

you...just cut you up a bit.

ORA (CONT'D)

Let’s rest for a minute.

KEVIN

Oh, thank you. My... My arms are

sore in places I’ve never even felt

before.

ORA

Only your arms? I guess I’m taking

It too easy on you.

KEVIN

So, you’re never worried when

Spirit runs off like that?

ORA

Not really, she always finds me

again. She’s a free Spirit... so to

speak...

KEVIN

... wow... I just got that...

ORA

Ha, yeah the name just seems to fit

her in many ways.

KEVIN

Gah. I can’t believe your mother

would put her kid through this

torture.

ORA

She wanted me to be able to defend

myself.

KEVIN

And why did she teach you about the

Prophecy?

ORA

Everyone knows about the Prophecy.

KEVIN

But not everyone believes It. Or

has a copy.

ORA

True believers are a rare breed.

KEVIN

But what do you believe? You’re

faithful to this idea that a few

words on a scroll can predict the

future, but now we have proof that

there are different versions;

different Prophecies. But they

can’t both be right. Why still

believe in It at all?

ORA

Godrick and his parents’ deaths

have to mean something. They have

to be part of some greater plan

that leads us somewhere better.

Somewhere free. Free of the

terrible laws, the Vigiles, the

Lusus Naturae. Free to actually

live. The Prophecy is hope.

KEVIN

Ha. Hope. Hope only makes things

hurt more when It all comes

crashing down. And It always does.

ORA

That’s a really-

KEVIN

Oh no! A corrupted!!

CURRUPTED

(Roar)

ORA

Look out!

Kevin, get our swords. Our real

swords. I left them against the

rock over there. I’ll distract It

as you run. Easy.. Easy

KEVIN

That’s a Lusus Naturae! You can’t

fight a corrupted with a stick!

ORA

CALM DOWN! That’s why I said to get

our swords. This one’s smaller than

the last one, I think we handle It.

Alright? GO! Now!

I got its left eye! It’s blind

there!

KEVIN

Ora!

ORA

Keep going!

KEVIN

Hey! Over here! Ho, who, ha! Attack

me! Uh-oh.

ORA

Come back here! I’m not done with

you!

ORA (CONT'D)

No! No.

KEVIN

HAHA I DID It! Let’s see how you

like fighting someone armed!

CURRUPTED

(in pain)

ORA

Keep going! Keep going. It doesn’t

look like it’s healing! Press the

attack!

ORA (CONT'D)

Kevin, uncross your legs! You’ll be

knocked-

KEVIN

Oof. Ora I’m...

CURRUPTED

(Roar)

KEVIN

What was...?!

ORA

Are you okay?

KEVIN

Who’s shooting those arrows?

KEVIN (CONT'D)

Is It dead?

ISTEN

Oh, it’s dead alright. Karras here

never misses.

KARRAS

Hummmm

ORA

Thank you! I don’t know what we’d

have done if you two hadn’t showed

up.

KEVIN

Died, probably.

ISTEN

No need to thank me.

ISTEN (CONT'D)

Hold him.

KARRAS

Humm...

ISTEN

It is my duty to stop the Lusus

Naturae.

ORA

Really? Why is that?

ISTEN

(chuckling)

Well, It has been written.

KEVIN

What? Where?

ISTEN

The Prophecy.

END OF EPISODE 8