Below we present the complete text of Awaiting Trial; episode 3 of City of the Gold Spider.
CITY OF THE GOLD SPIDER
EPISODE #3 – AWAITING TRIAL
by Philip Craig Robotham
Cover Illustration by Miyukiko
Edited by Margaret Wilkins
Copyright 2013 Philip Craig Robotham
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Edition.
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Serial #3: City of the Gold Spider
Trent Stone and Teresa Carter are saved from a deadly ambush by a man who begs them to come to South America to clear the name of Claire Mannix — who he believes committed her crimes while under the control of the Technomaster. Before he can tell them much he is murdered and the intrepid duo sets out to find the Lost City of the Gold Spider. In Peru, they are captured by their foe only to be given the tools they need to face him down in a magical duel. The Technomaster once more tries to escape through a portal only to be severely burned in the process. His ultimate fate remains unknown.
Episodes in the Host Your Own “Old Time Radio Drama” series are designed to provide a fun dinner party experience for 6–8 participants. Read along, taking on the role of one or more of the characters in the story, and listen as the exciting drama unfolds. This is the theater of the mind, where the special effects are only limited by your imagination, and your participation will build a memory that you’ll treasure for years to come.
CITY OF THE GOLD SPIDER
NARRATOR: The Narrator
TRENT STONE: Our hero and adventurer
TERESA CARTER: Our heroine and reporter
JULIO CHAVEZ: Elderly leader of the slaves
FELICIO DOMINGUEZ: Jose’s brother and fiancé to Claire
SFX: SFX operator (1 required)
SCENE 14: INT. CONVERTED TEMPLE/PRISON (TERESA, TRENT, JULIO, FELICIO, CULTIST #1)
353. MUSIC:  OPENING THEME – LET IT FINISH
354. NARRATOR: Trent Stone and Teresa Carter, have made their way to Peru in order to investigate the innocence or otherwise of convicted murderer Claire Mannix, but now having located the mysterious City of the Gold Spider, have been captured by remotely controlled monkey soldiers and are being led into the city.
355. TERESA: You know, Stone, we’ve been on the back foot this whole time. Someone set that spider on Jose back in Star City and someone paid the police to arrest us in Nazca… and I’m pretty sure that John Whistler, a.k.a. the Technomaster, a.k.a. the Ah Kin Mai of Itzamna, has been up here in the City the whole time.
356. TRENT: You think he’s been employing a cat’s paw? …Yeah …I’m pretty sure it was Arturo.
357. TERESA: Arturo? I know he betrayed us at the end, but he broke us out of the jail in Nazca.
358. TRENT: That could have been simply to get us on side. The more I think about it, the more certain I am that Arturo Majalel killed Jose Dominguez and delivered us to the Technomaster. I wish I’d been more curious about the contents of those crates you noticed in the truck. I’m willing to bet that some of them, at least, had their origin in Star City.
359. JULIO CHAVEZ: (QUAVERING VOICE) Yes, poor Arturo. He was one of us, you know… until his daughter was taken.
360. TRENT: (STARTLED) Who… who’s there?
361. JULIO: Sorry to startle you. You didn’t think you were the only ones they have penned up here, did you?
362. TRENT: It’s so dark in here. I guess I hadn’t thought about it.
363. JULIO: I am Julio (HOO-LEO) Chavez. I am the head man of Ayacucho… and you, as the Americans would say, are up the creek in a barbed-wire canoe.
364. TERESA: Cute. Trent, look. In the shadows all around us. People.
365. TRENT: Slaves, Tess. Half-starved, by the look.
366. JULIO: Si, Senor. The Ah Kin Mai enslaved anyone who would not accept his claim to the high priesthood. Many were fooled by his magics and joined him willingly.
Those of us who were not, he imprisoned and set to work in the dig site. He fed us only enough to keep us on our feet. Our wives and children he has held as hostages. Yesterday we dug through to an underground chamber.
It must have been what he was after, for we were immediately removed back here. We have had no food or water since.
367. TERESA: Oh, how terrible.
368. JULIO: Si, Senorita. I fear, now that we are of no use to this pretender, we will be left here to die.
369. TRENT: What was he looking for?
370. JULIO: Gold? Items of power and magic? We do not know.
371. TERESA: Trent, this is monstrous. Look at these people. Left to starve like animals.
372. TRENT: They won’t starve, Tess. There’s nothing to drink either. We’ll all die of thirst long before we starve.
373. JULIO: Mmmm. But in your case, I think it may be different. We have heard the guards speak of the Ah Kin Mai’s glee at news of the capture of an old enemy. I think he will have something very special in store for you.
374. TERESA: (DRILY) Just great. I’m guessing that special treatment doesn’t involve first-class dining and five-star accommodation?
375. JULIO: (AMUSED) No, I am afraid not.
376. TRENT: You don’t seem terribly concerned about your situation, Mr. Chavez.
377. JULIO: Si, I have been waiting for you.
378. TRENT AND TERESA: What!?
379. JULIO: (BECKONING) Come. Come. Draw back into the deeper regions of the temple. I will explain. But first I must introduce you to someone.
(ASIDE) Felicio, wake up. They’re here.
(TO TRENT AND TERESA) This is Felicio Dominguez. He sent his brother to you in Star City.
380. FELICIO: (COUGHING, OBVIOUSLY UNWELL AND SPEAKING WEAKLY) Thank you for coming. Where is my brother?
381. TRENT: Your brother is dead, murdered by Arturo Majalel. I’m sorry.
382. FELICIO DOMINGUEZ: (GROANS) Then it has all been for nothing. Jose is dead, Claire will be executed, and you have been captured.
(BEGINS COUGHING ONCE MORE).
383. JULIO: No, Felicio. It is not over yet. Speak with them, give them the message they have come so far to get. Tell them what you must.
384. TERESA: He’s very ill. He’s burning up with fever.
385. JULIO: He needs food and rest. But he would recover if we could get him out of this place. Listen to him, please. What he has to say is important.
386. TERESA: Yes, of course.
387. FELICIO: (COUGHING, THEN SPEAKING HOARSLY). Six months ago, I was employed as a guide for an American archaeological expedition. Teachers and students from Star City were looking for the City of the Gold Spider. I know these mountains well. I have roamed them since I was a boy. I did not think they would find anything. The professor, Aidenbrook, he was smart, however, and had some books which gave him a good idea of where to look, in the mountains west of Ayacucho. (COUGHING AGAIN)
388. TERESA: Easy, Felicio.
389. FELICIO: Thank you, Senorita. I got to know Claire during the research phase. She was different to most Americans I have met.
For one thing, she was not bothered by my race, and she respected my expertise. We fell in love. It took several weeks of searching, and in that time we became engaged to be married, but the site of the City was located.
Everyone involved was very excited but, as soon as we set foot within the walls we were attacked. Aidenbrook died immediately. Some were given the option to serve, some of those who refused were sacrificed to Itzamna. Others were put to work in the dig. It had barely started back then.
390. TERESA: And Claire, did she choose to serve?
391. FELICIO: (COUGHING) No, never! She was due to be sacrificed, but at the last moment, they put her in a separate cage. The Ah Kin Mai came often after that. They forced her to drink some sort of potion and she would fall asleep. He would talk to her then.
392. TRENT: How do you know all this?
393. FELICIO: She was locked in a cage opposite me. I didn’t understand at first, but I think he wanted me to see her being changed. I think he enjoyed it because he knew we were in love.
394. TERESA: Changed? How?
395. FELICIO: As the days went on she became more and more distant. A new personality emerged. She tried to fight it, but the more of the potion they gave her, the more she drifted away. In the end, the Claire I knew was gone and only a devoted fanatic remained, willing to do whatever the Ah Kin Mai required.
396. TRENT: And how did you come to learn of us?
397. FELICIO: From the Ah Kin Mai. Three months ago, the Ah Kin Mai left us. The supervision of the digging was left to his chief supporters. We did not know where he went, but when he returned I learned of you. He was furious that you had foiled his plan to gain control of Star City’s criminal underworld and had decided to send Claire to the city ahead of his return. She was to steal an obelisk and a special stone from the Museum. She was to conduct sacrifices to empower the stone and allow the Ah Kin Mai’s return to the city. Something went wrong and Claire was caught by the police. The Ah Kin Mai took great pleasure in telling me she was to be executed.
(COUGHING SOME MORE) Forgive me. I grow tired.
398. TERESA: Would you like to rest?
399. FELICIO: I will try to finish. Time is short. (COUGHS)
As the dig site grew larger and larger, the followers of Itzamna began raiding local villages for more recruits and slaves. Many of the villagers were convinced by the Ah Kin Mai’s magics that the Alligator god had returned and began working for him willingly. Others became slaves.
I bribed one of the guards with a gold chain I smuggled out of the dig site to get a message to my brother.
There are huge amounts of gold here, but the Ah Kin Mai keeps it all for himself. Anyway (COUGHS) it was after this that they took Arturo’s daughter and he betrayed me to the guards. Arturo was sent to stop Jose… and to do some other things in the city.
400. TERESA: Jose told us you had proof of Claire’s innocence. Where is it?
401. FELICIO: The Ah Kin Mai keeps supplies of his mind-control potion in the Great Pyramid. I am sure if they were analyzed you could prove they have psychotropic properties. He also keeps a journal. The guards say it holds all his secrets. (BEGINS COUGHING HEAVILY)
402. JULIO: Easy, Felicio. You’ve done well. I will take it from here. Rest now.
(TO TRENT AND TERESA) Come.
403. TERESA: How long has he been sick?
404. JULIO: Two days. He is resourceful and clever. The guards thought he was smuggling food into the prison. He was hung by his arms up to his neck in water for two days. The illness is the result.
405. TRENT: And was he smuggling food in?
406. JULIO: No, that was me. But Felicio did not give me up. He is brave and foolishly stubborn.
407. TRENT: And you, Mr. Chavez…?
408. JULIO: (INTERRUPTING) Julio, please.
409. TRENT: And you, Julio? What are we to make of you in all this?
410. JULIO: Ah, you will now see. Have your eyes adjusted to the darkness yet?
411. TRENT: Enough to be getting along with.
412. JULIO: Good, good!
Many years ago, when I was a boy in Ayacucho, I was visited by visions and dreams. They were not always the same and they did not always make sense. When I told my mother she told me not to worry, that all people have dreams, but there was something in the way she sought to comfort me… an unease, I thought.
Often in my dreams, I saw myself on a throne in an old and great city. I was an old man as I am now and I was the protector of my people.
However, I also saw myself in chains, working alongside my people in pits or mines of some kind. I was never certain of the order of these events but after I dreamed of my cousin’s death in a canoeing accident and was present to witness it the next day, I realized they were premonitions.
I told my mother again and she became very distraught. She told me of my great-grandfather who had also seen the future and how he had been burned by the Spanish. She made me promise to never tell anyone what I saw.
413. TRENT: This is all very interesting but hardly…
414. JULIO: No, no. Wait. You will see.
When my people were first captured and brought here I recognized this place. It is the City of my childhood dreaming. That is not all.
My dreams of being in chains have also come true.
415. TRENT: I still do not see…
416. JULIO: Do you not, Senor Stone? Since these things have come to pass, then others may also.
417. TERESA: You mean your dream of the throne and being protector of your people?
418. JULIO: Si, Senorita. That is exactly what I mean.
419. TRENT: And in these dreams did you see anything else?
420. JULIO: Si, Senor. I saw you and the Senorita. I also saw myself doing two things.
421. TRENT: Yes? And what would they be?
422. JULIO: First I would give you these. They are hand-carved and were given to me when I was sixteen years old. I am now nearly seventy but I have carried them all this time and have never lost them.
423. TERESA: They’re wooden necklaces… with some kind of wooden disk attached to each. They’re beautiful. Where did you get them?
424. JULIO: A wise woman came to our village and gave them to me. She said I would know what to do with them. I recognized them immediately and have always carried them since.
425. TERESA: And you think you were supposed to give them to us?
426. JULIO: Si, Senorita.
427. TRENT: And the other thing?
428. JULIO: It is these carvings, Senor. Here, upon the back wall of the temple in which we now stand. They are difficult to see because very little light makes its way back here.
429. TERESA: And you show them to us? Are they supposed to mean something? They are covered in some kind of language. The text is Mezo-American but no one has been able to read it in hundreds of years. It makes no sense to me. Stone?
430. TRENT: Me either.
431. JULIO: Please, put on the amulets.
432. SOUND:  SOFT SOUND OF MAGICAL ENERGY COALESCING (A RINGING CHIME PERHAPS)
433. TERESA: (BEAT) Oh my! I can read them now. It’s like the carvings are bypassing my eyes and impressing their meaning directly onto my brain.
434. TRENT: What is this, Julio?
435. JULIO: I cannot read it, but I believe it to be the history of the City.
436. TRENT: Yes, I see. Here’s where the City was built, but look at this… it was not always the City of the Gold Spider. Before that it was the city of the Alligator god; the city of Itzamna himself. That explains the cult’s interest in this place.
437. TERESA: Yes, but before that it was dedicated to a different spirit, one that was embodied in the Scorpion-fish.
438. JULIO: Ah, now I see a little, I think.
439. TRENT: How so?
440. JULIO: The amulets you are wearing. They are dedicated to the Scorpion-fish and are reputed to give the wearer some small protection. Through legend long handed down, we of Ayacucho know a little of this spirit. It is rumored that a shrine still exists in the City. One that holds spells of power. The Ah Kin Mai maintains control by strength of magic. The people follow him because they believe his power is legitimate. But his power may be challenged. In the throne room of the pyramid the Ah Kin Mai can be challenged to a duel of magic. If defeated his authority passes to the victor.
441. TRENT: But what good does it do us? We know no magic, we don’t know where the shrine is, and… we’re locked in here.
442. JULIO: Do not give up hope, my friend. The future remains to be seen.
443. TERESA: (DRILY) That’s easier for some to say than others.
444. CULTIST #1: (FROM A DISTANCE) Send out the white people!
445. JULIO: Be of good courage. I believe that is the guards coming to take you to the place of sacrifice for your trial.
446. TERESA: Be of good…? Have you ever thought of taking a job talking suicides down off of ledges?
447. TRENT: Come on, Tess. We’d better not keep them waiting. Opportunity never visits long and we’d best be ready for it when it arrives.
448. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) OMINOUS SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
449. MUSIC:  CLOSING THEME AND CREDITS – LET IT FINISH
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 forward. 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 and have a mean right hook. I’m a reporter by training and a stickybeak by inclination — this tends to get me in trouble. Curious, playful, and smart, that’s me! But I’m also painfully honest, easily moved by the troubles of others, and as protective as a tigress of my friends. I secretly have a thing for Trent — who’s a bit of a stuffed shirt and easily embarrassed by flirting. We both pretend it’s not there for the sake of the job, but I can’t help occasionally feeling a bit wistful.
JULIO CHAVEZ: I am the head man of Ayacucho village. I am 70 years old and have led my people for nearly 20 years. I have no children and see my village as my family. When I was young I had dreams of the future that are now being fulfilled. They give me the confidence to endure my slavery here among this so-called Ah Kin Mai’s earthworks.
FELICIO DOMINGUEZ: I am smart and resourceful. I am also loyal. I bribed a guard to get a message to my brother Jose. The guards hung me by my arms for two days in water up to my neck to try to make me reveal who has been smuggling food to the slaves and I have persevered. I hope that I will survive long enough to see my precious Claire again, but now I grow sick and there is no medicine in this place.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Philip Craig Robotham grew up in a house full of books and has held numerous jobs as a teacher, computer programmer, graphic and web designer, e-learning consultant and, most recently, writer. He currently lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and two sons. When he was younger and fitter he enjoyed martial arts, but in recent years his hobbies have tended towards more sedate fare (board games, movies, books, and role-playing games).
He is extremely grateful for the encouragement he receives from his biggest fans — his wife and two boys — all of whom read and enjoy his scripts and in general make his life worth living.
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The City of the Gold Spider
- The City of the Gold Spider – Episode 1 – Unwilling Departure
- The City of the Gold Spider – Episode 2 – Frying Pans and Flames
- The City of the Gold Spider – Episode 3 – Awaiting Trial
- The City of the Gold Spider – Episode 4 – The Well of Sacrifice
- The City of the Gold Spider – Episode 5 – The Duel