Cynic Hood, the DVD Version – Part #2
We fade into the office of Admiral Galloway. A large metal desk sits covered with reports, paper, cards, and other digital media in the center of the room. Three of the walls are metal, covered with charts, pictures and graphics while a fourth wall is actually a floor to ceiling viewport of outer space. Ships constantly wizz by while Admiral Galloway sits at the desk going through his paperwork. He clicks with his mouse and an eyebrow rises at what comes up on his screen. He clicks again. A low, slow whistle passes his lips as the intercom interrupts his thoughts. He reaches out to accept the call.
Admiral Galloway: I told you not to interrupt me. I have to get this intelligence report finished for the commander!
The Commander: (She’s the person we “saw” in the first chapter. The feminine voice with the skinny gloved hand. She’s now on the intercom.) Would that be the report from our agent that I’m waiting on?
Admiral Galloway: (A bit more concern and worry in his voice now.) Yes, ma’am. I’m working on the report now. I’ve just received new data that I’m reviewing now. I’ll bring up my report as soon as I can.
The Commander: See that you do.
The Commander clicks off as Admiral Galloway leans back in his chair, relief on his face. After a second, he leans forward again and clicks on the computer. The camera slides over to show that he’s looking at a drawing on the screen of a sexy looking Jane dressed in a short red dress. He leans back with a thoughtful look on his face.
Ext. View: A coastal shot off the English coast. We see the longboat out in the ocean sitting at anchor. A small rowboat is headed to shore with a large number of people sitting aboard, most rowing hard against the tide. Two people stand in the bow of the boat, one wearing green and the other red. Well, the one wearing green is bent over the side yet again.
Ext. View: A shot of the shore looking out over the ocean. Dr. Mike and Jane have come ashore. Dr. Mike is now dressed in a long leather vest with green pants (Pants folks, not tights, not skirt, not leggings. Pants. Plain and simple.) and shirt underneath. Jane is dressed in a reddish silk getup with black tights and a large pack on her back. They have cleaned themselves up from their ordeal as prisoners. Pig sailors are unloading the boat and piling up items on the beach while a few chicken sailors, um, man the oars. One of the items on the pile is a mandolin.
Dr. Mike: (Still with his bad English accent.) Land. Land! (He knees down on the beach and bends over.) No more sea sickness!
Jane: (With a smirk.) Do all English folks like you act so foolishly? And you? Acting emotionally? Are you still seasick? You threw up enough on the trip so you can’t have anything else in your stomach.
Dr. Mike spits out a mouthful of dry sand. Jane hands Dr. Mike a wineskin, which he takes a drink from, does a doubletake when he notices that it’s real wine, and takes a long, long chug. After a second, Dr. Mike stands up, wobbles a bit, spits out some final sand, and hands the wineskin back to Jane. She’s a bit surprised at the lightness of the remaining wine in the skin.
Dr. Mike: Three weeks! We were on that damn ship for three weeks. Between the posters and signs reminding you about your self esteem, the damn captain following me around trying to pass along his (We can hear the quotes around the following.) vast knowledge of life, the penguins always making me feel like I’m underdressed for dinner, the pigs reminding me that I haven’t had anything make out of pork or ham in months due to being in a Muslin country, and all the motion of the boat going up and down and up and down… (He looks like he wants to continue but just throws his hands up into the air and turns away from the camera.)
Jane: (Smirking into the camera.) What about the chickens?
Dr. Mike: Don’t get me started about those chickens. Their feathers into everything, not being able to understand them due to their foreign accents, tripping over them in the hallways due to their heights, and you, Lane, with your everyday question of “Do you think we’ll have fowl weather today?”… (He throws his hands up again and walks off for a bit.) And why do I keep thinking about green eggs and ham? ARGH!
Jane: I’ve been on that ship six times now. (Beat.) And it seems like those trips have taken years and years and years. (Beat and then with a smirk at the camera) All those poor readers not knowing the rest of the story. Being left out in the cold.
Dr. Mike: (Turning back to face Jane.) You deserve a damn metal. (Beat.) And a chest to pin it on. (Looking around, he misses Jane’s angry glare.) Where are we anyway and why am I thinking about a handbasket?
Jane: (Trying to impress us with her English accent.) We are thou in England, my lord.
Dr. Mike: Don’t even try. The only one who could pull that off around here was Lynn and she’s off studying. Also I can’t write British to save my life. (Beat.) So I’m still dreaming, right?
Jane: (Looking a bit uncomfortable.) Yeah, sure. You hit your head somewhere and are now dreaming your Cynic Hood story line. You’re playing the part of Daria who was Cynic Hood, the outlaw, Daria’s moved over to the Sheriff’s position under Princess Li, and various Muppets fill in positions here and there. (Beat.) And you were going to take out that scene I ask you to.
Dr. Mike: Hmmm, imagine that…
Dr. Mike looks back at Jane and over to the pile of luggage on the beach. He spies the mandolin on top of the pile.
Dr. Mike: You know, Jane. You’ve come a long way from your homeland. I’m sure you have to get back to being a minstrel traveling across Europe or something.
Jane: No, I’m fine. I’ve never been to England. Plus you saved my life. I am in your debt until I repay the favor (Beat.) or either come up with twenty bucks to buy you off (Beat.) or find some cute guy to follow.
Dr. Mike: Really. You don’t have to stay with me nor pay me any money. (Beat.) I’m not going to touch the cute guy comment.
Jane: But I want to follow you and write songs of your travels, create epic poems about your adventures, and pen dirty limericks detailing all the saucy tidbits of your one night stands.
Dr. Mike: One night stands, huh? You do remember who you’re travelling with? We’re pretty standless over here.
Jane looks at Dr. Mike and folds her arms over her chest. An eyebrow goes up as she scrutinizes Dr. Mike. She realizes something and readjusts her arms to better cover up her chest.
Jane: It sounds like you don’t want me along. (Beat.) Is something wrong with me?
Dr. Mike: Don’t get me started.
Jane: (Both eyebrows down now.) Excuse me?
Dr. Mike: Why do you have a certain Oriental look to your face while the rest of your family is drawn like normal Caucasians. You’re obviously smart but you did poorly in school. You chase guys like crazy. (He turns slightly to look out on the sea.) And why does your hair look like a helmet anyway?
Jane: Why you little….
Jane makes a motion like she’s going to pound Dr. Mike but is quickly and quietly stopped by a fast acting Daria and Quinn who have rushed in from off of the set. Jane calms down and the rest depart. Dr. Mike turns back.
Jane: So you really have a problem with me?
Dr. Mike: Oh no, not you, Scarlet. (He looks over Jane’s shoulder at the sailors standing by the boat. They begin to pull out bludgeons and start to look over Jane sizing her up.) Let’s just say it’s too soon for England to hear your wonderful voice.
Jane’s eyebrow goes up as she turns and sees the sailors spreading out around her. Jane looks back at Dr. Mike with a surprised look on her face. Dr. Mike shrugs. Jane turns back at the sailors and pulls a smaller mandolin out of her pack, playing a few practice notes. The sailors look at each other with terror on their faces, jump back in the boat, and row quickly away. Jane turns back at Dr. Mike.
Dr. Mike: (Shrugs.) I had to try. So I’m stuck with you. (Under his breath) God save us.
Jane: Hey, I can take care of myself. I’m a big girl.
Dr. Mike: Really? So how come you wound up in prison?
Jane: OK, usually I can take care of myself. I have to repay the debt I owe you for saving my life. (Jane removes her hat and makes a graceful bow.)
Dr. Mike: (Under his breath.) Yea, whatever. (They begin to gather up their supplies.)
Jane: Where do we travel to now?
Dr. Mike: (Singing.) We’re going to Graceland, Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. We’re going to Graceland.
Jane: (Under her breath.) You’re going to start seeing Elvis if you don’t start getting your lines right, Dr. Mike.
Dr. Mike: I’m going to Disney… (He pauses as he sees the expression on Jane’s face.) You’re no fun. (Beat.) My childhood home, Lawndale. My father is the Lord of the manor.
Jane: (Surprised.) You are a nobleman?
Dr. Mike: I guess so. I remember something about that in the script. I think I’m next in line to take his seat when the time comes.
Jane: So are there any cute guys in your country?
Dr. Mike: (Stopping to give Jane a look before continuing to load up his supplies.) Sorry Jane. I don’t waste my time looking at guys.
Jane: (Looking off screen for just a second.) Hold on a second. I need one for the road.
Jane runs up to a vendor set up on the beach and buys a large mug of coffee. She turns around to see an amazed Dr. Mike who wasn’t expecting to see booth selling coffee on the beach. She motions at him to follow as she begins her trip inland along a dirt road.
Ext. View: A large green field with a few trees scattered. Dr. Mike walks by with a full load and a bow over one shoulder. Jane also walks by with her own load while holding her mandolin. She listens to the tones as she plays a few notes.
Jane: (Singing.) “Bravely bold Sir Robin,”
Dr. Mike: (Turning.) It’s Dr. Mike, remember? Not Robin. Dr. Mike.
Jane: Um, this is the only ballad I know about knights. Plus “Bravely Bold Doctor Mike” just doesn’t have the right ring to it.
Dr. Mike: (This stops him in his tracks.) The only ballad you know?
Jane: About knights. (Beat.) I don’t often travel to places that have knights. (Another beat.) Plenty of Day’s Inns though. They seem to be springing up every where.
Dr. Mike: (Turning back to the trail after giving Jane a look.) We’ll work on one for you. I may not know a lot about music but even I could probably come up with something that would fit better.
Jane: (After humming a few bars of “Go to the Bathroom” and earning another look from Dr. Mike.) Are we there yet?
Dr. Mike: Very funny, Scarlet.
Ext. View: An overhead shot of a light forest. Jane follows Dr. Mike from a distance.
Jane: (Beat.) Are we there yet?
Ext. View: A group of bushes standing in front of a bunch of trees. Jane comes tearing through the bushes looking for an escape with Dr. Mike following holding Jane’s mandolin over his head as a weapon. Jane throws up an arm as she sees something off screen and Dr. Mike stops and ducks down. They slowly slide up behind a bush and look over it. We see Quinn from the rear holding a bow and arrow. She is wearing forest woodsman clothing but they appear to be of a better cut than normal. She is stalking a sweet young innocent deer eating berries from a bush further away in the woods. Dr. Mike is surprised.
Dr. Mike: (Quietly.) That’s Quinn, my, um, cousin. What is she doing out hunting?
Jane: (Ditto but smirking.) Isn’t she your sister?
Dr. Mike: Don’t get me started on that. This is already strange enough.
Jane: I take it her being out in the woods is not normal?
Dr. Mike: No, it’s not. The whole idea of hunting is foreign to her. Her life centers around the royal court and its gossip. (Beat.) She hopes to be a senator someday.
Quinn almost drops the bow but is able to get off a shot towards the deer. The camera focuses on what is obviously a stuffed deer that falls over with an arrow stuck in it. She pulls out a knife and runs over to the deer. Dr. Mike looks shocked as we watch Quinn prepare to gut and clean it.
Dr. Mike: (Beginning to get up.) Something is seriously wrong here.
Jane: You think?
Just as Jane begins to also get up, the sound of horses is heard off screen. Jane and Dr. Mike pull back into the bushes quickly. The camera focuses on Quinn as Daria, Kevin and Fozzie the Bear ride up on horseback. Daria is wearing what appears to be rich, deep green official clothing; Fozzie is wearing a more toned down version of what Daria is wearing, while Kevin is dressed in a full suit of armor, a football painted on a yellow tunic that he wears over it. Daria draws her crossbow and points it at Quinn. Quinn jumps back quickly and glares at Daria.
Jane: My goodness!
Dr. Mike: What?
Jane: (Big huge smirk here folks.) The woman on horseback. She looks exactly like you. Imagine that.
Dr. Mike: Really? (He takes a look and makes a disgusted sound.) You need your eyes checked. I don’t think we look anything alike.
Jane: (Takes another look.) Maybe you’re right. You have more gray. (That earns her an evil glare.)
Daria: (Snotty but with a darn good English accent.) We meet again, Lady Quinn.
Quinn: (Smirking.) No, we meet at first.
Dr. Mike/ Daria: Huh?
Jane: It’s from Rocky Horror. Well, sort of. It’s one of the lines that get shouted back by the audience.
Quinn: (She stands still holding her knife. She now looks nervous and speaks without an accent.) We do indeed, Sheriff Daria.
Daria leans over the side of her horse to look at Quinn’s kill. The crossbow remains pointed in Quinn’s direction though.
Daria: Your aim improves, my lady. (She looks up.) First shot?
Quinn: I would not have to improve my aim if you hadn’t taken away my family’s lands. (Dr. Mike looks shocked at this bit of news.)
Daria: (Leaning back up into her saddle.) Maybe you should join them. (Makes a wave with her hand.) Sir Kevin, disarm her.
Kevin attempts to dismount but with him wearing full armor, it’s difficult. Daria rolls her eyes and looks at Fozzie.
Daria: Squire Fozzie, help your master. (Daria returns to watching Quinn as Fozzie, um “hops” down and rushes to try and help Kevin. After a minute, Dr. Mike and Jane approach from the rear out of Daria’s line of sight.)
Jane: Here, let us give you a hand.
Fozzie: (With a nod.) Thanks. These knights are heavy. I wonder if they get lighter during daylight savings time.
Dr. Mike: (Shaking his head.) That was bad.
They finally get Kevin off the horse and standing upright. Dr. Mike then draws Kevin’s sword and Jane snatches Fozzie’s dagger.
Dr. Mike: Good morning to you, Sir Knight.
Kevin: (He raises the hood of his helmet. He still has that dopey grin on his face.) Good morning to you, my … (A confused look comes over his face) Hey, you’re not Daria. Where’s Daria? There she is. Why is she still on the horse? Shouldn’t that girl you look like Daria be up there and Daria be here? Hey, I’m the QB!(All three, including Fozzie, roll their eyes as Dr. Mike walks off towards Daria.)
Daria: (In a close up shot. She still hasn’t turned around. She’s mumbling to herself.) The things I do for money. The things I do for money. (Louder.) What are you waiting for, Sir Kevin? Disarm her. (The tip of a sword appears in view pointed at Daria’s face. The shot pulls back to show Dr. Mike holding the sword and Jane covering the other two with the dagger. Daria is surprised but is able to control herself and nods at Dr. Mike.) Mike.
Dr. Mike: (He returns the nod.) Sheriff Daria. (Beat.) And it’s Dr. Mike to you. I worked hard for those three sheets of paper.
Daria: (With a hint of sarcasm.) Dr. Mike. Please forgive me. My mind was elsewhere as I was trying to arrest this common thief.
Quinn: (Insulted.) A common thief? I’m not common. How dare you call me…
Dr. Mike: (After a look at Quinn to get to her to keep quiet, he now stresses his accent in an attempt to make it sound more English.) What has Lady Quinn done that warrants such action by a group of well armed soldiers?
Daria: (Smiles slightly and does her accent with ease.) That deer that she has killed belongs to the King. And she has done this act on land also belonging to the King.
Dr. Mike: (Trying harder on the accent.) I find it very interesting that she can kill a King’s deer on my family’s land. What did it do, drive here? Or better yet was it shipped DeerEx?
Daria: (With a smirk.) This land no longer belongs to your family, Mike. (Dr. Mike scowls slightly.) Excuse me, Dr. Mike. (She moves the crossbow slightly to draw attention to it.) You will discover, Dr. Mike, that things have changed quite a lot since you left us.
Jane: Seems like things change a lot here in your country. (She smiles at Fozzie and Kevin and makes a small wave of the dagger. They take a step back. Kevin almost falls of the stand he is standing on beside the Muppet but quick hands push him back up.)
Dr. Mike: While things may have changed, it appears we hold the upper hand. (She lowers her sword point to aim for Daria’s heart.) You know, since this is a dream… (The point of the sword goes a little lower…)
Daria: (She sighs, shoves the sword away from her chest and safeties her crossbow.) So it seems. Mark this day, Dr. Mike. I will have my revenge.
Dr. Mike: That may be, but today is not that day.
Daria: It appears that it is not. I will take my leave of you now. Good day to you. (She secures the crossbow and rides off. Dr. Mike, Jane, and Quinn have to help Fozzie get Kevin back on his horse. Jane returns Fozzie’s dagger to him with a wink and a pat on his head as he turns away. Dr. Mike looks at Jane who shrugs, while Fozzie and Kevin ride off.)
Jane: Hey, I grew up watching him. He was my favorite. (She stands there with Dr. Mike and Quinn looking at her.) What? (Beat. Something finally clicks.) Hey, I only date within my own species! Sickos…
Dr. Mike: (He smirks and turns back to Quinn.) So how are we going to handle this? I don’t feel comfortable calling you my sister.
Quinn: Eww. I’m not your sister. I’m much too fashionable and you’re too much a geek to be related. As if I would ever be caught writing fan fictions, posting them on the net and making a big deal about them. (She takes a quick look at Jane who’s glaring and sighs.) I guess we can be cousins.
Jane: What a strange country you have here. You pull out swords and crossbows when you greet each other and you can be a sister and a cousin at the same time.
Dr. Mike: (Sighing) Quinn is my sister, Scarlet. (Beat.) I can’t believe I just said that.
Quinn: Only because I have to be. All you think about is the common people and trying to make their life easier. Things like trash collection and drainage ditches and blood letting for the common folk. You never attend the parties or the hunt and never concern yourself with the other things us popular noble people do. Like I was telling my ladies in waiting the other day…
Dr. Mike: (Taking a breath first.) Quinn, what happened to our folks?
Quinn’s face falls and she turns away letting out a sob as Jane and Dr. Mike look at her.
Ext. View: A smoking, half-destroyed castle at night. Smoke drifts across the broken stone and wood. Dr. Mike leads the group over the broken drawbridge and past the raised gate. Quinn stops right by the gate holding herself refusing to go any further, looking around as though she doesn’t like the memories this place now holds. Jane walks over to a dead horse with three arrows sticking out of its side. Dr. Mike just stands there in the middle of the courtyard taking in all of the destruction.
Int. View: The great hall of the castle. Broken tables and chairs litter the floor, and torn banners hang from the ceiling. Dr. Mike walks into the hall staring at the damage. He walks through the hall, stopping near what was the head table. He reaches down and rights the throne that used to sit at the head of the table. He looks around with sadness.
Int. View: A hallway within the castle with a staircase leading up at the end. A window with most of the glass broken out of it is set in the outer wall, a small broken hall table underneath it. Jane walks down the staircase with her sword drawn and pauses near the window, her nose turning up is disgust at the smell. She takes a sniff and a disgusted look crosses her face. She turns, opens the remains of the window, and pokes her head out. She retreats quickly, a look of horror on her face and a hand covering her mouth. She bolts off camera and we hear her puking her guts up a few seconds later.
Int. View: The remains of a large flower garden behind the burned out castle. Quinn slowly walks though it, pausing near a broken wooden bench. She kneels down and reaches out with a hand. The camera shows a close up shot of Quinn’s hand passing over a carved heart in the top of the bench, the initials ‘Q.M.’ and ‘T.D.C.’ within it.
Int. View: A large bedroom also within the castle. Dr. Mike walks in and looks around. We can see tears starting to form in his eyes. Dr. Mike walks over to the fireplace and looks above it to where the broken frame of a painting hangs by a nail. He looks down and kneels by the fireplace. He pokes around the residue of the fire with his dagger and pulls out the burnt remains of the painting. He looks at it, brushing off the black ash. The camera focuses on it showing the Morgendorffer clan dressed as their Middle Age counterparts with Dr. Mike replacing Daria. Jane approaches from behind and lays a hand on Dr. Mike’s shoulder. Dr. Mike’s eyes begin to water but no tears fall.
Jane: (Softly.) You OK?
Dr. Mike: Yea. (A sniffle.) Damn allergies keeping me up all night with the sneezing. My eyes water all day long now too. (He falls to his knees and throws his hands up in the air.) When will it end. When will it end!
Jane: Um, I was talking more about your folks.
Dr. Mike: Oh, I guess that’s important too.
Jane: They’re your family. (Beat.) What are you going to do now?
Dr. Mike gets angry, stands up and pulls out her sword. Jane takes a giant step back.
Jane: Whoa! I don’t think that’s a good idea, Dr. Mike.
Dr. Mike looks at Jane and then back at the torched painting. She puts the sword against her open palm and slowly slices. A small amount of blood appears along the edge of the blade. Quinn walks in and sees what is happening.
Quinn: EEW! (She rushes out into the hallway and starts to dry heave.)
Dr. Mike: As God as my witness, I shall avenge my parents’ death.
She closes her hand into a fist and squeezes until a few drops of blood fall to the floor. Jane makes a face.
Jane: I wonder about you English types sometimes.
Jane pulls out a cloth and hands it to Dr. Mike. Dr. Mike returns his sword to his scabbard and wraps his hand with the cloth.
Dr. Mike: (As he bandages his hand.) It appears that I now also have to take care of my sister.
Jane: She seems to have been able to take care of herself so far. And she did kill that deer without any problem.
Dr. Mike: (Thinking while looking at her bandaged hand.) Yeah, she appears to have grown a bit since I’ve been gone. (Smirks slightly.) You should see her friends. One old, big convention of Nobel Prize winners there.
Jane: So, do you plan on doing something about this situation?
Dr. Mike: Yes, but first we have to bury the dead.
Dr. Mike looks at Jane, straightens his clothing, and begins to walk out. Jane follows. They pause as we hear a metal clang in the background.
Off screen voice: Bring out your dead! (Clang) Bring out your dead!
Dr. Mike turns to Jane who can do nothing but shrug with a small smirk.
Ext. View: A large castle sitting on a hill. A small village is seen in the evening darkness at the bottom of the hill. The words “Princess Li’s Castle.” appear along the bottom of the screen.
Int. View: A two story hall within the castle. The bottom floor is covered with many tables and benches. The second story is ringed with a balcony, the railings covered in flags and tapestries. A fire is lit in the huge fireplace built into a wall. Ms. Li sits alone at the head table surrounded by parchments and food. Her small, stone Buddha sits on the corner of the table. She grabs the dagger that is lodged into the table and uses it to cut some meat out of the roast that sits beside her. She stabs it with the dagger and bites off a chunk, chewing as she writes on a parchment. Daria walks into the room followed by Kevin, still dressed in his full suit of armor, and Squire Fozzie, trying to carry Kevin’s sword. She stands by the table while waiting for Li to notice her.
Li: (Speaking in her normal voice.) I need more money to support those extra troops I hired to protect the castle. (An idea pops into her head and she smiles a tad.) I know! I’ll tax the peasants for having two arms and two legs. (She starts writing.) And if they don’t have both, I’ll tax them for being different.
Daria clears her throat. Li looks up at her.
Li: Is there something important that you have to interrupt my dinner?
Daria: (Stands at attention.) Yes, Princess Li. While on patrol, I met Dr. Mike of Lawndale. He has returned from the Crusades. He just flew in (Beat and then with a smirk directed at the camera.) and boy, are his arms tired. Ah, come on. You knew you were going to get bad jokes when you started reading this thing.
Daria: Strange plot twist.
Li: (She rolls her eyes.) Again? How many does this make? (Beat.) Your point being?
Daria: We tried to jail his parents knowing that they would be an obstruction to your plans. We had to kill them and the members of their household when they tried to resist. Now with Dr. Mike back in England, he may cause the same obstruction. (Beat.) He could be a pain in the ass. (Beat.) More then he normally is.
Li: (She takes another bit of meat and chews while thinking.) He won’t be any problem. One single fanfic author isn’t going to change anything while he’s rotting in a jail cell. (She takes a look at Daria and Kevin.) What happened when you met him? You did capture him, right?
Daria: (With a pained look.) He was able to take advantage of me and get away.
Li slams her fist against the table, causing Squire Fozzie to jump and drop Kevin’s sword. It falls to the floor with a loud clatter.
Li: (Pissed.) You travel with the best knights I have yet one single fanfic author defeats you?
Fozzie picks up the blade but whacks himself in the face with it by accident and falls to the floor out cold. Sir Kevin notices this and makes an attempt to pick it up.
Kevin: I’ll get it.
He’s in the background trying to bend over in full armor to pick up the blade. Both Li and Daria ignore him.
Daria: He was able to get the advantage over us and…
Kevin: (Interrupting.) Um, a little help please.
Li and Daria both turn to Kevin. He’s now bent over but his armor has locked into that position and he is now helpless. Li calms down slightly.
Li: I can see that maybe you had some problems. I do hope he will not give you trouble again. You know how important it is to bring honor to the County of LAWNdale.
Daria: (Giving a quick look at Kevin before continuing.) Maybe if we had some more assistance…
Li: (She takes a bite of meat and thinks while chewing.) Where do you think he is now?
Kevin: Um, excuse me?
Daria: Probably on his way home. (Beat.) Or what’s left of it.
Li thinks for a second and stands.
Li: We shall go talk to the witch.
Daria: Which witch?
Li: (Her eyes getting narrow.) Don’t start with me, Sheriff. I already went through this before with the old Sheriff and I don’t want to have to go through it again.
Daria: I’m serious. Which witch are we taking about?
Li: You know which witch is which.
They look at each other for a second. Li pushes her throne back and begins to walk off.
Li: Let’s go talk to her.
Daria: Which witch?
Li: You’ll see!
Int. View: The camera slowly sides through a circular room in the castle. Bookcases line the walls filled with books, scrolls, canisters, bags, etc. A lit fireplace with a cauldron fills one corner while a pair of work benches fills the rest of the room. They are covered with open books, papers, and scrolls. A frog hops slowly across one table. A lit burner sits in the corner underneath a beaker half filled with some strange purple liquid giving off a slightly orange smoke. The camera finally stops on a closed door. Someone has chalked in “Frodo lives” over the doorway. The door opens and Li and Daria enter the room.
Daria: I hate coming up here.
Li: Oh, the tower is not that high off the ground.
Daria: It’s not that, sire. I don’t trust witches. My agent always told me not to work with animals, kids, and witches. He’s been right for the first two, I want to trust him on the third.
Li: She’s a security measure. One of many that the new taxes are paying for.
Daria: I still don’t like it. All that dark magic is to me is a bunch of (She lifts some black powder out of a dish on one of the tables and rolls it around her fingers.) mumbo jumbo to scare the peasants.
Andrea: (From off screen. In a strong English accent.) I wouldn’t touch that powder if I were you.
Both Li and Daria turn upwards to this new voice. We see Andrea standing on the ceiling upside down looking at them. She is dressed in black rags and furs. A medallion hands from a chain at her neck.
Li: (Looking up at Andrea.) Impressive.
Andrea: That’s dried woodchuck blood. It’s a poison that can be absorbed through the skin.
Daria quickly drops the powder from her hand and wipes them clean with a rag. Andrea pulls herself upward and unhooks her legs from a crossbeam in the ceiling. She lets herself drop down to the floor and stares at Daria.
Andrea: It’s a slow poison though. You have to ingest a fair amount of it over a long period of time. (Beat and then with a smile towards Daria.) Or bathe in it perhaps…
On the word bathe, Daria looks disgusted. Li is very happy though.
Li: Good, good! It sounds like we’re getting our money’s worth with you. Always important. I’m sure that you will bring honor to LAWNdale County. Isn’t that right, Sheriff?
Daria: (Still thinking about the aforementioned baths.) I’m sure she will, Princess Li. (Beat.) Um, why were you hanging from the ceiling though?
Andrea: It is how I meditate. It allows the body’s spirits and liquids to flow more easily to one’s brain.
Li: An excellent idea. I will have my guards try it tonight. See to it, Sheriff Daria.
Daria: (The look on her face clearly shows her opinion about this matter but Li doesn’t notice.) I will pass along the order, Princess Li.
Andrea reaches for the dish of dried woodchuck blood and heads to the fireplace. She removes the cauldron from the fire and sprinkles a good helping of the powdered blood into the boiling water. She stirs the mixture with a spoon that was lying on the fireplace mantel.
Andrea: It also makes an excellent tea for relaxing after a hard day. Would either one of you like some? (Smirks.) I know the Sheriff would love a cup.
Daria: I think I’ll pass this evening.
Li: Oh, nonsense Sheriff. I know how stressful your day has been. We must all take every chance we can to relax. That way you can be at your best when you need to be. That’s what brings honor to LAWNdale county.
Andrea takes a tray with three mugs on it from a table. She quickly fills them, taking one for herself and passing the rest to the others. Daria looks with worry at hers.
Andrea: I do think that the Sheriff worries about the poison aspect of the tea. I assure you that it takes a long time for the poison to build up in one’s system. Until you reach that amount, it is quite harmless. (Beat.) And tasty. Cream?
Li nods as Andrea holds up a half gallon milk container. She pours a dab into each mug and sits the container back down on the counter. We notice a pair of pictures, one male and the other female, on the side of the container underneath a toll free number to report missing children. The pictures look fairly familiar. Andrea takes a long swig from her mug with Li quickly following. Daria just can’t bring herself to do it though. Andrea and Li sigh as they finish theirs.
Li: That is wonderful tea, Andrea. You must give my cook the ingredients.
Andrea: (Taking a slight bow.) Of course.
Daria: (Looking for a place to set down her mug.) Sire, we came on business…
Li: Yes, we did. (Turning to face Andrea directly. Daria finds a potted plant and dumps her tea in it. For the rest of the scene, the plant slowly starts to droop.) An outlaw has appeared within the county and we need…
Andrea: You need to know if this outlaw will be a thorn in your plans.
Li: Yes, precisely. How did you know that?
Andrea: (Turning to face Li directly.) I know a great number of things, Princess Li. I know that one day you wish to be the king. (Now turning to face Daria.) And I know about your taste in men, Sheriff.
Daria: (Blushing slightly) What can you tell us that will help with the outlaw, witch?
Andrea turns away from them and just about glides towards a bookcase. She removes a black cloth bag and sits down on a stool at a table. Daria and Li stand behind her on either side.
Andrea: I must have silence while I prepare myself for the reading.
Andrea closes her eyes, leans back, and begins to sway back and forth slightly while mumbling under her breath. Daria and Li lean forward to listen to her.
Andrea: (Singing under her breath.) “I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes”
Daria and Li stand upright and look at each other. Andrea comes out of her meditation shortly after that. She opens the cloth sack and pulls out a small crystal ball. She places it on the table.
Andrea: And now we will begin the reading.
Andrea peers in the globe as it begins to glow slightly. Daria and Li also lean forward to look into the globe.
Andrea: I see a young red haired girl walking through the forest. She carries a… (Andrea stops, does a doubletake and looks at Daria.) Wait, it’s a he. He doesn’t look a thing like you, Sheriff Daria. Care to explain? What happened to…
Daria: Let’s not talk about that.
Andrea: But if you’re here and Dr. Mike is there, that would mean…
Daria: Studying. They’re off studying.
Andrea shrugs as they return to the globe.
Andrea: He carries a bow. He travels with a small number of companions. One of them is a… She’s a foreign devil. Beware of the foreign devil. Her voice can kill.
Li: But are they a threat, witch? Tell me what I need to know.
Andrea: If you leave them to grow, they will be strong enough to give you worry.
Li stands up with a satisfied smile on her face. Daria also stands but with an annoyed look on her face.
Daria: The witch hasn’t told us anything we didn’t know already. Of course if Dr. Mike gains power and followers, he will cause trouble. (Beat.) Hell, he’ll cause trouble any way he can. Have you seen what we have for lunch today at craft services?
Li: Nonsense. We now know that he can’t be allowed to gather strength in that forest of his. (She turns to the Sheriff.) Put out a reward for the capture of this Dr. Mike. One hundred gold crowns to the one who brings him in, dead or alive.
Daria: (Sighs.) I will have the bounty announced right away.
Daria starts to leave but it stopped by a raised hand from Li.
Li: Do you have anything that might be able to help us in our battle with the criminals?
Andrea: (Thinking.) Maybe… (She turns to reach into a cabinet and pulls out a bathroom plunger) you could use this to suck out the life juices of the criminals. (She looks at the confused faces of Li and Daria.) No, wait. They might like that. I can’t think of anything else but they might have something upstairs for you to use.
Li: (Looking a bit lost.) Upstairs?
Daria: The new advisors you hired. (Li still looks a bit lost.) Let’s go talk to them and see if they have anything that will help us.
Daria pulls Li along. We change scenes to show them opening a door into another circular room in the castle. This one is different as it’s filled with electronic equipment and lots of lights going on and off. They step in as a short, balding Muppet with glasses approaches them.
Dr. Honeydew: Welcome again to Muppetlab where the future is being made today. I’m Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and this is my assistant Beaker. (He slides in and does his little wave.) We’re very excited today because we’ve just perfected our latest invention. (Beaker slides off but quickly returns now wearing an army helmet and holding what can only be described as the largest bazooka anyone has ever seen. It has a very large arrow pointing to one end.) It’s a Song Bird Annoyance Ridifier or So.B.A.R for short. Here, Beaker. Let me take that so I can demonstrate our latest invention.
Beaker hands it over. Something clicks in Daria’s mind (as I hope does yours.) and she starts trying to hide a smirk on her face.
Li: How does it work, Dr. Honeydew?
Dr. Honeydew: Oh, it’s quite easy. Say you have an annoying songbird sitting just outside your window. (He turns and notices that the window to the room is shut.) Beaker, could you kindly open the window and place the target? (Beaker opens the window and holds out a much mutilated fake bird at the end of a long stick. He begins to make sort of bird like noises as he swings the target in front of the window. Honeydew places the bazooka on his shoulder with the arrow pointed at Beaker and the window.) What you do is load the weapon, point the end with the arrow at your target, and simply pull the trigger like this.
Dr. Honeydew pulls the trigger. (You thought he wouldn’t?) The missile comes out of the launcher at a slow speed, produces a lot of smoke, and heads towards the window. We follow it from behind. Beaker sees this and “freaks” out just as the missile reaches him.
Li: A truly remarkable invention. You will bring much honor to LAWNdale county.
Dr. Honeydew: Thank you, Ms. Li. Now, if you will excuse us, my assistant (Who now walks into the shot without a head and reaching around trying to figure out where he is.) and I have to continue inventing the future.
Int. View: The Great Hall again. Kevin is still bent over in his armor trying to reach the sword on the floor while Squire Fozzie is still passed out.
Kevin: Um, hello? Is anyone there? I’m stuck. Hello? And I think my squire has gone into hydrant-nation. Hello?
Ext. View: A close up shot of a wanted poster tacked to a tree. Dr. Mike’s face appears on it with the words ‘Wanted’ along the top and ‘One Hundred Gold Crowns Reward!’ along the bottom. Some lovely person has defaced the posted by adding glasses, a beard, and devil horns to the drawing though. The camera pulls back and we see that the wanted poster is tacked on an upright support of a small covered bridge in the forest. Dr. Mike, Jane, and Quinn walk along the path leading through the bridge, Quinn bringing up the rear. We can see that Dr. Mike and Jane are putting up with her.
Quinn: And another thing. What are we doing in this forest? We should be spending the nights in front of a warm fire and sleeping in beds covered with heavy quilts instead of stomping around Sick Sad Forest. (Beat.) And who gave this forest such a stupid name anyway?
Jane: Quinn, we told you. As soon as Sheriff Daria returns to Princess Li’s castle and makes her report, every knight and sheriff will be out hunting for us. The safest place for us is right here in the forest, away from prying eyes.
Dr. Mike: (As an aside to Jane.)So, you’re trying to get me alone in the woods, Jane? That’s very sneaky of you.
Jane: Dream on, Dr. Mike.
Dr. Mike: (Smirking slightly.) Don’t worry, honey, Your secret is same with me. (Directed at Quinn.) Plus we will be able to plan our revenge on the Princess for the deaths of our parents, sister.
Quinn: Um, oh yea.
Dr. Mike: You do want to avenge our parents’ deaths, right Quinn?
Quinn: Yes, I just don’t like those sword thingies and stuff.
Jane: I’m sure we can work something out Quinn so that you don’t have to hold any sword thingies.
Quinn: Oh good. Swords don’t match my outfits.
Jane: (Quietly.) You know, Dr. Mike. Just the two of us don’t stand much of a chance against Princess Li and her forces. You do have a plan, right? I mean you did write this thing.
Dr. Mike: I’m working on one. But I agree with you. We need some more people.
They stop before a small stream about ten feet wide with a tree forming a bridge across it.
Quinn: Oh goodie. I don’t want to get my new boots wet.
Jane: (In a low voice.) Haven’t we been walking through grass wet with the morning dew?
Dr. Mike shrugs and hops onto the log. As she crosses, Brittany jumps out from behind a bush (We see a hand pull back into the bushes quickly.) on the other side of the stream and stands on the log also. She immediately starts twirling her hair with a free hand.
Brittany: (Normal voice. No accent what so ever.) Um, like stop. OK?
Jane: (Smirking.) Oh look. It’s a fearsome warrior to stop our travels. We’re in deep doo-doo now, Dr. Mike. What will we do?
Dr. Mike gives Jane a look before turning back to Brittany.
Dr. Mike: Please stand aside as we are travelers on an important mission and need to get to the other side of this stream.
Brittany: (Twirling away.) Um, as soon as you pay the toll.
Dr. Mike: (Annoyed.) Toll? What toll?
Brittany: Um, the toll to pass this river on my bridge.
Dr. Mike: On my father’s lands? I will pay no such toll. These are my family’s lands and I will go where I want to.
Brittany: Then I shall fight you with my trusty quarterstaff. (Beat.) I wonder why they call it a quarterstaff. I’m sure it cost more than that. Like a buck and a quarter or something.
Dr. Mike, Jane, and Quinn look around.
Jane: (Smirking.) I think you forgot something, oh brave toll keeper.
Brittany: (Still twirling.) Um, I don’t think so.
Dr. Mike: Maybe your quarterstaff?
Brittany: (Brightening up.) Oh, yea. Um, I’ll be right back.
A hand reaches out from the bushes holding the quarterstaff, which Brittany grabs and runs back onto the log. She teeters for a bit before standing in a defensive position.
Brittany: Um, like you leave me no choice but to fight you to demand payment for my toll.
Dr. Mike sighs and begins to pull out his sword.
Brittany: EEP! What a big sword you have. (Jane and Quinn start chuckling.) What kind of weapon is that against poor little old me with just a quarterstaff? That’s a coward’s weapon.
Jane: I bet those are words Dr. Mike’s never heard before.
Dr. Mike sighs again, returns his sword, glares at Jane and Quinn, and goes running off into the forest.
Jane: (Looking after Dr. Mike.) Dr. Mike, she is but a young girl and you are trained in the art of fighting. Surely you do not retreat?
Brittany: (Calling after him.) Run like the coward you are.
Dr. Mike: (From off screen.) I am not a coward. I just wish to get my own staff to fight you with fairly.
Dr. Mike reappears again with a staff and hops again onto the log getting into a defensive position. Jane appears beside them. She is standing in the stream. It comes up about an inch on her shoes.
Jane: Are you sure you want to do this? We can simply cross the stream by foot. Here, let me show you. (Jane walks across the stream a couple of times, barely getting wet. She returns to Dr. Mike’s side.) You don’t have to fight her. We can just go around.
Dr. Mike: It’s the principle of the thing. I will not have someone else making money off of my family’s lands.
Jane throws her hands up into the air and walks back to their side of the stream.
Jane: Must be an English thing.
Quinn: More like a guy thing. (They look at each other and nod.)
Dr. Mike: I must warn you I have been trained for this sort of thing. En Garde.
Dr. Mike does a neat little spin move with his quarterstaff and whacks Brittany on her hand.
Brittany: Ow! That hurt!
Brittany turns away from Dr. Mike to blow on her hand. Her staff swings around, hooks one of Dr. Mike’s legs causing Dr. Mike to lose his balance and go flying off the log into the stream. Brittany waves her hand a bit, blowing on it, gets the pain under control and turns back to where Dr. Mike was. She is surprised to not see him standing there and begins to look around.
Brittany: Where did she go? (She finally looks down at the stream and sees him.) What are you doing down there? You’ll get all wet.
Brittany hops down into the stream and offers Dr. Mike a hand up out of the water. He accepts and picks up his quarterstaff. They both climb on the log again.
Dr. Mike: Now we shall settle this.
Dr. Mike does another neat little move with his staff, which gets under Brittany’s defenses. Unfortunately Brittany, while trying to protect herself, brings her staff down hard, right on Dr. Mike’s head. Dr. Mike holds his head while Brittany brings her staff around again to a defensive position, hitting Dr. Mike in the knee while doing so. Dr. Mike loses his balance and goes off again. We can hear Jane and Quinn in the background trying not to laugh.
Jane: Baby fall down. Go boom-boom.
Dr. Mike: Go to hell, Scarlet.
Quinn: This is better then the movies!
Brittany: Are you in the stream again? Have you not taken your weekly bath?
She hops down into the stream again and helps Dr. Mike get to his feet. Brittany once again climbs onto the log while Dr. Mike stumbles back to his side of the stream bed looking annoyed. Jane walks over to him while trying to hide a grin under her hand.
Jane: (Turning so that Brittany can’t hear them.) Are you OK?
Dr. Mike: (Following Jane’s lead.) Ever hear the expression about the greatest swordsman and whom he fears the most?
Jane: Yes, he doesn’t fear the second best swordsman but the worst swordsman. The greatest swordsman and the second best are on the same level so they know each others tricks and what to expect. There’s no telling what the worst swordsman will pull though.
Dr. Mike: I feel like that first swordsman right now.
Jane: Maybe you’re just trying too hard.
Dr. Mike looks at Jane who shrugs. They both look at Brittany who is back to twirling her hair. Dr. Mike shrugs and climbs back onto the log.
Dr. Mike: You are well versed with the use of that quarterstaff.
Brittany: (Cheerfully.) Really? I just started using it this morning. I thought I might break a nail…
Dr. Mike pulls a sneaky trick. As soon as Brittany mentions her nails and looks down at her hands, Dr. Mike jams the end of his quarterstaff against Brittany’s back and shoves hard. Brittany goes flying into the stream with a scream. Dr. Mike jumps down off the log and helps Brittany to her feet.
Dr. Mike: Um, you fight well with your quarterstaff. What’s your name?
Brittany spits out some water and mud.
Brittany: Brittany Little. And yours?
Jane: (An aside to Quinn.) She doesn’t look so little to me. (Quinn nods.)
Dr. Mike: Dr. Mike. Dr. Mike of Lawndale.
Brittany: (Surprised. After all this is her lord.) Oh, Dr. Mike. (She falls to the ground, um, stream, in front of him. Dr. Mike looks around a little uncomfortable.)
Dr. Mike: Oh, get up, Brittany Little. I will not have the two of us getting sick because of this cold stream.
Dr. Mike pulls Brittany upright and drags her over to the far side of the stream. Jane and Quinn cross using the log and join them.
Dr. Mike: I remember your parents. Where are they and what are you doing in the forest alone?
Brittany: The Princess Li has had them arrested when they couldn’t pay their taxes last month. Sheriff Daria had them dragged away in chains like common criminals. That Sheriff Daria is such a meanie!
Dr. Mike: (Minor shock.) They couldn’t pay their taxes?
Jane: I take it that they were of some importance?
Quinn: (Turning to Jane.) Brittany’s father owns, well owned the local tavern and inn. Her mom was the barmaid. They’re fairly successful.
Jane: It sounds like they should have been able to pay them.
Dr. Mike: Yes, it does.
Brittany: Princess Li has raised the taxes five fold in the last three months to pay for the new security measures she has put into place. You either pay the taxes or wind up in jail. And once you’re in jail, there’s no coming back out.
Jane: That doesn’t sound like they would have been able to pay them.
Dr. Mike: No, it doesn’t.
Brittany: They took the inn and the manor for back taxes and I’ve been hiding out in the forest since then with what little I was able to take from the manor before they padlocked it. (Beat.) They’ve locked up a good portion of the county.
Dr. Mike and Jane look at each other.
Dr. Mike: Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Jane: (Smirking.) I think so, Dr. Mike, but I can’t see how getting two lab mice to talk will help anything.
Dr. Mike: Scarlet…
Jane: I mean I don’t see how the four of us will be able to change anything.
Dr. Mike: In time our numbers will grow but first we need to take care of ourselves and begin to put fear into Princess Li’s heart.
Brittany: (Back to the hair twirling.) Um, like how do we do that?
Dr. Mike: We shall become outlaws and hide here in the forest.
Quinn: EEW! I don’t want to stay here in the forest. It’s cold and damp and there are bugs.
Dr. Mike: Either that or the Sheriff’s cold, damp cell, sis.
Quinn: (She sighs.) I guess the forest isn’t all that bad. (Beat.) As long as I get my own tent.
Jane: You know what? We need some cool nicknames. I want to have a cool nickname. (Beat.) And a poodle.
Dr. Mike: I think Scarlet fits you fine, Scarlet. And Brittany Little, I think the name Little Brittany will fit you fine.
Quinn: I don’t think so.
Jane: Me either.
Dr. Mike: Just trust me on this one, OK?
Jane: So what are we going to call you, Dr. Mike?
Dr. Mike: (Smirking.) I don’t know but just don’t call me late for dinner.
The other three just stare at Dr. Mike with looks of disgust. He shrugs.
Dr. Mike: OK, so I can’t do standup. Over dinner we can think up a nickname for myself. Brittany, do you have a camp nearby?
Brittany: I think so.
Dr. Mike: I’ll take that as a yes. Let’s go and have us some dinner.
They begin to walk off.
Jane: I know what we can call you.
Dr. Mike: (Smirking.) You mean to my face?
Jane: How about Cynic Hood?
Dr. Mike: Even I can come up with something better than that.
Jane shrugs as they walk off. She turns to Brittany.
Jane: So, are there any cute guys in the area?
Brittany: (Squeak) Kev-ie!
Quinn: He works for Sheriff Daria now, Brittany.
Brittany: (In tears now.) No, not Kev-ie…
As Brittany breaks down, Jane’s catches Dr. Mike’s eye and makes a motion to him that he should comfort her. Since Dr. Mike is so dense (How dense is he?) that he can’t even tell his script has been rewritten, it takes a few moments for Jane’s idea to sink in. Dr. Mike moves up to Brittany and comfort her. Ain’t I sweet?
Dr. Mike: (Wrapping his arms around her lightly) Now Brittany, I’m sure Kevin just hasn’t seen the error of his ways…
Completely lost in her tears, Brittany folds into Dr. Mike’s arms. This unbalances the two and Dr. Mike falls backwards. Jane and Quinn move beside Brittany and look down on the fallen.
Jane: Looks like he’s going to be there for a few minutes. (Looking up at Quinn and Brittany.) Coffee?
Quinn: (Looking up as well.) Yes, please. (They go off together.)
Dr. Mike: (Off screen.) Ow.
(Ext. View: Dr. Mike, Jane, Quinn, and Brittany walking through the forest.) I can’t believe that Dr. Mike is making me keep this journal. I mean I have better things to do. I know that Mom and Dad thought it was important for me to know how to read and write but it’s not like *HE* couldn’t have done it. And I don’t understand why *I* have to keep it. I would rather be in the Royal Court comparing the latest fashions with the other Ladies and trading the latest Court gossip. (I wonder if that cute Lord Wind Lane ever did bag a Lady for more than a month.) Dr. Mike said something about keeping a written record of what happens but I mean get real. Who’s going to read it? The peasants? Most of them can’t even read their bibles!
Anyway, we went to live in that god forsaken forest. I still think it’s a stupid name for a forest. Sick Sad Forest?!?! I mean come on. Anyone could have come up with a better name than that. How about Emerald Green Forest or the Ground is Lumpy Forest? Or Get me the Hell Out of Here Forest? (Ext. View: The group walks into a clearing and discovers a large group of women and children sitting around. They are very dirty and depressed looking.) We found a bunch of dirty, rotten smelly women and children there. God, did they smell! Dr. Mike said something about their husbands and fathers being taken to fight in the Crusades but I just think they couldn’t keep hold of their men. I’m mean some of them looked like they hadn’t bathed nor had a good meal in a week. How could they live like that?
But you know Dr. Mike! Always looking out for the peasant folk. Anyway I went off to get my ladies in waiting while that Scarlet chick led a small group into the nearest village. (Ext. View: Dr. Mike chatting with a number of the poor women in the forest. From one side, Quinn returns with the rest of the Fashion Club while Jane and a small group of women enter from the other side leading a horse drawn cart filled with boxes.) Scarlet’s group returned quickly with a wagon filled with soap and cloth. I couldn’t believe it! I was going to be able to take a bath! (Ext. View: We are a short distance away from the stream. In the distance, a large group of women and children is bathing in the river. Dr. Mike stands in the foreground, a pair of binoculars and a couple cameras around his neck, holding a large pail of popcorn while Jane, Quinn, and Brittany stand between him and the rest of the group. Looks like Dr. Mike isn’t going to be able to bathe with the women.) But then Dr. Mike said the soap was for everyone and had us all go down to the local stream. They all stripped and washed themselves in that water. Dr. Mike told me that I had to take a bath as well. EEW! Bathe in front of all those peasants?!?! I mean come on now. Was I going to have to eat in front of them also? But Dr. Mike is the oldest and I guess I have to listen to her now that the folks are gone. (God, I hate that Princess Li!) I just wish Lady Sandi had shut up about the whole thing. (Ext. View: Sandi standing on the side of the stream fully clothed bitching about something. A couple of the forest women shove her from behind into the water. Sandi stands dripping wet while the rest of the group laughs.) I mean it was bad enough.
Oh yea, and get this. Dr. Mike had Jane leave a small sack of gold crowns in the village. (Int. View: A weaver’s shop. The camera pulls in to show a desk with a brown sack sitting on the top of it.) God, like how can she be so dense? One of these days, Dr. Mike’s going to have to learn how to act like a member of the nobility. We don’t pay for stuff we take from the peasants but he went ahead and did it.
Well after embarrassing myself in front of the common folk, Dr. Mike split us up into small groups. (Ext. View: A sewing circle out in the forest. Brittany is sitting at the head of the circle chatting away. A young girl comes into the middle of the circle wearing the green costume that is known from the Robin Hood stories and she spins to show it off. The group claps politely and returns to their work, large smiles on their faces.) Some went off with Brittany and made new clothes out of the cloth for all of us. I was hoping that she would custom fit me and my ladies in waiting but Dr. Mike said we had to take what was giving to us. You should have seen all those peasants. It was like Christmas or something. They were so happy with their new clothes.
Another group went off with Jane into the woods. (Ext. View: Jane and a group of women deep in the forest. We see them cutting down straight trees and picking up loose branches and gathering up wild hay. They fill a wagon and return to the base camp, turning the supplies over to Dr. Mike who is leading another group building huts.) They spent their time cutting down trees and gathering up branches and hay. They brought their loads back to Dr. Mike’s group who was building huts in the forest. Dr. Mike did finally give in and gave one of the huts to me and my ladies. I thought I heard Scarlet mutter something about no one wanted to bed with us but that couldn’t have been right. I mean we’re the most popular ones in the group.
(Ext. View: Quinn leading a small hunting party, all armed with bows and arrows. They stumble on a deer and all take shots at it, some dropping their arrows in their haste. The next scene shows Quinn carrying her deer back to the camp with a disgusted look on her face while the others pick apples from nearby trees.) I was hoping to be able to spend time with my ladies working on our looks, not that we needed the time, but Dr. Mike had me take a small group of women out in to the forest with bows looking for game to hunt. We killed a couple of deer and came across a small gathering of apple trees. Well I guess we won’t go hungry.
(Ext. View: A clearing in the forest. Jane is watching over a few of the women practice with wooden swords. After watching for a bit, she steps in and shows the group a movement using one woman as a target. They all nod their understanding. We next see Dr. Mike with another group practicing with their bows. Stacy makes an attempt to shoot but the arrow goes skyward. The group watches it fly upwards but scatters in all directions as it plummets to the ground. We then see Brittany with a third group practicing with quarterstaffs. A lot of the women wind up with bruised knuckles and stand there trying to shake them off.) After we got all that done, you would think we would get a chance to rest. Oh, no! Dr. Mike divided the group up into three sections to have weapons training. I didn’t want to get all hot and sweaty but Dr. Mike said it would be good for me. “Builds character” he said. I don’t think most of the women did very well as I heard Scarlet grumbling to Dr. Mike afterwards. I don’t know what they were expecting. I mean fighting is for men.
(Ext. View: Another clearing. Dr. Mike and Jane are kneeling on the ground behind a small mock up made out of rocks and tree limbs. The rest of the women are in a semi circle around them watching.) After that, Dr. Mike started working with the women on their plans to raid the rich as they passed through the forest. I didn’t like that part but he said the poor folk of the county were being taxed out of existence. The money that we obtained would go to the poor so that they could pay their taxes. Dr. Mike came up with plans and traps for all over the forest. Jane helped also with some ideas of her own. They didn’t sound too dangerous I guess.
(Int. View: Quinn lying on a cot in the Fashion Club’s Hut. The rest of the club is already asleep on the other cots. Quinn is laying on her side writing in her journal, an oil lamp giving her light to write by.) I never thought being an outlaw would be so hard. After dinner, my ladies went back to their hut and went right to sleep! I’m staying up to write what we’ve done so far. I guess it’s important to keep this journal if Dr. Mike says it is. (She pauses, looks at the camera, smiles evilly and continues to write.) But what I can’t understand is why he keeps looking at my chest. It’s like there something on my shirt or something. I keep seeing him looking at me and my ladies in waiting out of the corner of my eye. It really bothering me if there’s something wrong. (Quinn finishes her writing and closes the journal. After placing the journal, quill, and ink bottle on the ground, she blows out her light and goes to sleep.)
Int. View: The inside of a horse drawn carriage moving through the forest. Lord Mack and his lovely Lady Jodie sit inside dressed in their finery. Through the carriage’s windows, we can see a couple of guards outside riding on horseback.
Jodie: (Pretty good English accent.) Cynic Hood this and Cynic Hood that. That’s all the peasants talk about nowadays. I found the kitchen staff discussing him this morning while they were supposed to be cleaning the kitchen and preparing lunch. They’re making him into something like the hero of a Greek tragedy.
Mack: (Ditto.) Jodie, I’m sure the idle gossip of the common folk will not get in the way of running of our lands.
Jodie: I’m sure it won’t but what the peasants talk about makes me wonder about Princess Li. They say she is beginning to jail those who are unable to pay their taxes.
Mack: Dear, there will always be those who are unable to pay their taxes.
Jodie: I know but didn’t you see the last village we passed through. The inn, the stable and the blacksmith were closed, boarded up with notices of seizure and the faces of the peasants were angry.
Mack: (Thinking.) Yea, I noticed that.
A voice from outside: Whoa!
Quinn: (From off screen. She sounds like she’s panicking.) Please! Someone help me!
The carriage comes to a stop as Jodie and Mack look out the windows to see what is causing the commotion.
Ext. View: A road cutting through the forest. A tree has fallen across the road and Quinn is caught underneath it. A carriage with two horses and two guards is surrounded with four guards also on horseback. Jodie is seen sticking her head out of the carriage’s door.
Quinn: (Acting like she’s in pain.) Help me please! It’s heavy!
Jodie: Help that poor child!
The four guards on horseback quickly dismount along with the two from the carriage. They run over to the fallen tree and begin to lift it. Quinn slides herself out of the way almost immediately. They begin to lift the tree off of the road.
Dr. Mike: (From off screen.) Don’t strain yourselves now.
The six guards wheel around in surprise, dropping the tree. Dr. Mike and Jane stand there covering them with drawn swords while Brittany points her quarterstaff at the carriage’s door. Some of the women of the forest surround the whole group from a distance. They all wear their new green outfits.
Dr. Mike: We don’t want you to be carrying any loads that are too heavy.
Jane: (Smirks.) Think that maybe we should lighten their burdens for them, Cynic Hood?
Dr. Mike: (He rolls his eyes.) No, Scarlet. I’m not going to get them to strip again.
Jane: I wasn’t talking about that. (Beat.) Although I must admit that I wouldn’t mind seeing a few of them strip down to their birthday suits, I meant their weapons.
Dr. Mike: I think that that’s a good idea, Scarlet. If I could ask the bunch of you to throw your swords into a pile over there. (He points with his sword.) Daggers also please.
The six guards slowly pull their swords and with disgusted looks on their faces throw them into a pile. The daggers quickly follow. Quinn gathers them up into a leather sack, straining to lift it. Brittany climbs up on the carriage while Dr. Mike, Jane and Quinn climb up on horses, Quinn grabbing the remaining horse’s reins. Dr. Mike points his sword at the guards.
Dr. Mike: March.
The guards walk into the forest followed by the carriage and the rest of the group.
Ext. View: A clearing in the forest. A feast is taking place. The six guards are at one table off on the side eating while Lord Mack and Lady Jodie sit at the head table with Dr. Mike, Jane, Quinn, and Brittany. The women of the forest fill other tables scattered through the clearing. Platters of food fill the tables. Jane staggers to her feet.
Jane: (Partly toasted.) I wanna sing a song. (She takes a deep breath but Dr. Mike holds out an arm to stop her.) Maybe not. (She falls back to her seat.)
Jodie: (After taking a long swig.) Dr. Mike, I must admit that this is one of the finest feasts I have ever been to. You do well here in the forest.
Dr. Mike: We do try. (He takes a bite of mutton and chews on it. He’s completely sober.) Lord Mack, Lady Jodie. What brings you to the Sick Sad Forest?
Jane: (She stands.) I wanna sing a song for our guests. (She takes a deep breath but Dr. Mike again holds out an arm.) Maybe not yet. (She falls back to her seat.)
Dr. Mike: (Looking off screen.) Would someone please pour some black coffee into Scarlet? (Beat.) I can’t believe I just had to ask someone to do that.
Mack: (Munching on an apple.) We were traveling to Lawndale County to stay with Princess Li.
Jodie: (Looking down into her wine.) Not that we wanted to.
Dr. Mike: Princess Li?
Mack: Yea, she’s upset at us.
Jodie: We’ve been trying to convince her not to raise the taxes like she has.
Jane: (She stands, turns to Dr. Mike wavering a bit.) I said I wanna sing a song. (She takes a big breath but Dr. Mike holds out an arm to stop her.) You never let me have any fun. (She falls back to her seat.)
Mack: We told her that the peasants weren’t able to pay them but she kept increasing the security measures and the taxes to support them. We’ve been raiding our treasury to cover what they haven’t been able to pay but we ran out a few weeks ago.
Jodie: We’re expecting Sheriff Daria to come out and collect the taxes herself once Li discovers that the taxes we’ve collected have come up short.
Mack: And we know Sheriff Daria will get her money or else put the peasants in jail.
Jodie: We’ve been able to shield our people so far but won’t be able to any more.
Jane: (She stands.) I wanna sing a song and you can’t stop me. (She takes a big breath but Dr. Mike holds out an arm to stop her.) Maybe you can. (She falls back to her seat.)
Mack: (He smirks.) Is she always like that when she’s drunk?
Jane: I’m not drunk. I just want to sing. (She stands. She takes a big breath but Dr. Mike holds out an arm to stop her.) Maybe not. (She falls back to her seat.)
Dr. Mike: She’s usually a good girl. (Jane’s makes a loud belch.) We don’t let her out of the house that often. The neighbors like to complain.
Jane: I am a good girl. (She leans over to Mack to whisper in his ear but passes out, her head falling into Mack’s lap. He turns to Jodie with a blush.)
Jodie: Don’t get any ideas.
Mack: Way too late not to. (Jane’s head shakes as we hear a slight chuckle from her. He turns back to Dr. Mike.) So what happens now?
Dr. Mike: Quinn, please take Jane to her cot. (Quinn and a few members of Dr. Mike’s group carry Jane off. Dr. Mike takes a drink giving himself a chance to think.) Normally we would ask for the gold and silver that you carry before we let you go.
Mack and Jodie look at each other with faces of worry.
Jodie: All the money that we carry is to pay the taxes for our lands.
Mack: If we give you that money, that would just mean Sheriff Daria would come to our lands quicker. And you know how much of a hard ass Sheriff Daria is.
Dr. Mike: (He sits there for a few seconds playing with the handle on his wine mug.) I think we can work something out.
Ext. View: The trail through the forest. The four guards on horseback plus the two riding on the carriage are now stripped down to the long john underwear. They move along the trail.
Act Now – Your Time is Limited
It’s back to the real world as we see a quick montage of their trip so far. As you recall, they’re driving to the set of Cynic Hood to put a stop to the work. We begin showing Daria and Jane driving down a nearly empty interstate in Jake’s Lexus. We then continue with them stopped at a fast food restaurant eating lunch. Jane fills her mouth with french fries in an attempt to get a reaction out of Daria. All we get is a deadpan glare out of her but a lot of laughs from a couple who passes by who looks a lot like a real life Keven and Brittany. It’s now nighttime as Jane’s now driving with Daria asleep in the passenger seat. It’s dark and raining as a red light begins to flash on the dashboard. Jane looks down in horror as the car begins to slow. The last scene is of a soaking wet Jane standing outside the Lexus holding an empty gas can as she tries to flag down passing traffic.
Next Time on Cynic Hood, the DVD Version – Part #3:
Miss Piggie, dressed as an Arabian princess, stands in front of Miss Li as they yell back and forth at one another.
Dr. Mike getting the stuffing kicked out of him by Princess Fiona from the movie Shrek as the rest of the crew watches on munching popcorn.
Real Life Jane sits in the front passenger seat while Real Life Daria sits in the rear seat of a decent automobile driven by a mysterious real life stranger down the highway.
Huh? What? Sorry, no notes. Remember, this is all a dream…
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