Below we present the complete text of The Duel; episode 5 of City of the Gold Spider.
CITY OF THE GOLD SPIDER
EPISODE #5 – THE DUEL
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
THE TECHNOMASTER: Villain and Ah Kin Mai of Itzamna
CLAIRE MANNIX: Cult leader in Star City
SFX: SFX operator (1 required)
611. MUSIC:  OPENING THEME – LET IT FINISH
612. NARRATOR: Trent Stone and Teresa Carter have traveled to Peru in search of evidence to clear convicted murderer Claire Mannix only to encounter their old nemesis, the Technomaster once again. Having found some magical discs while escaping his attempt to execute them in the well of sacrifice, our heroes now ever closer to a final confrontation with the villain.
613. SOUND:  FADE IN SOUND OF ECHOING FOOTSTEPS ON STONE
614. TRENT: Another dead end. No, wait. There’s a handle in the wall.
615. SOUND:  STONE GRINDING ON STONE
616. MUSIC:  BIG REVEAL MUSICAL CUE, MAGICAL MONEY JINGLE, ETC. — TREASURE CHIMES
617. TERESA: Oh my! I’m not sure where we’ve come out, but I think I might like to move here permanently.
618. TRENT: This must be the City’s treasure chamber. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much gold in one place.
619. TERESA: Gold, jewels, jewelry, other precious metals! This is amazing. Do you think the Ah Kin Mai knows it’s here?
620. TRENT: Undoubtedly. Look at the floor. No dust or dirt. This is definitely part of the inhabited area of the City. And given the value of what’s in here, I’m guessing it won’t be unguarded.
621. TERESA: I suppose we’d better be cautious then.
622. TRENT: Come on, there’s another door on the other side of the chamber.
623. TERESA: Wait a second. Hey, Stone, take a look at this?
624. TRENT: We don’t have a lot of time for sightseeing, Tess… Oh!
625. SOUND:  SOUND OF SWORD BEING DRAWN FROM SCABBARD
626. TERESA: Yeah, swords. Nice shiny ones. (BEAT) Ow. And sharp too.
627. TRENT: Well spotted, Tess.
628. TERESA: (MOCKINGLY) I’m not just a pretty face.
629. TRENT: Right now you look more like a drowned cat. And you’ve still got some slime from the pool in your hair.
630. TERESA: Thanks a bunch. That stagnant water hasn’t done much for your aroma either, buddy. Come on.
631. SOUND:  SOUND OF STEPS THEN A HEAVY DOOR HANDLE OPENING INTO A LOUD AREA OF NOISE AND MURMURING WHICH STOPS SHARPLY AS ALL TURN TO LOOK AT TRENT AND TERESA
632. TERESA: Uh-oh. We’ve just barged into the throne room!
633. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) SUSPENSEFUL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
SCENE 19: INT. THE THRONE ROOM WITHIN THE GREAT PYRAMID (CULTIST #1, CULTIST #2, TERESA, TRENT, TECHNOMASTER)
634. SOUND:  WALLA — SILENCE FOR A BEAT THEN MURMURING OF THRONE ROOM — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
635. CULTIST #1: (SHOUTING ORDERS) Seize them! Bring them before the Ah Kin Mai.
636. CULTIST #2: (ECHOING HIS BOSS) Seize them!
637. SOUND:  ANGRY SHOUTS ETC. DYING TO NOTHING
638. TERESA: Look, Trent, up there on the throne sitting in front of the Obelisk. It’s him.
639. TRENT: (ADDRESSING THE TECHNOMASTER) Well, John, it doesn’t look like you’re rid of us quite yet.
640. TECHNOMASTER: What! It can’t be!
641. TERESA: I love it when they’re lost for words.
642. TECHNOMASTER: But you were thrown in the pool. There’s no way you lifted the stone cover off.
643. TRENT: Never tell the bad guy your secrets. That’s my motto.
644. TERESA: (STAGE WHISPER) Hey, Trent, this arena is part of the throne room. If we make a challenge here, he’ll have to take us on in a duel.
645. TECHNOMASTER: (SHOUTING) Guards, kill them. Kill them!
646. TRENT: Wait! We invoke the right of challenge.
647. SOUND:  SOUNDS OF CONFUSION AMONG THE GUARDS
648. TERESA: That’s right. We demand the opportunity to pit our magic against the magic of the Ah Kin Mai.
649. SOUND:  SOUNDS OF SHOCK AS GUARDS PULL BACK
650. TECHNOMASTER: You have an inordinate amount of luck, Stone. Since my guards appear to feel bound by their traditional laws, I will face you.
But… (LAUGHING) I don’t think you are in any position to challenge me. Those swords you carry are useless against the power of Itzamna.
(RAISING HIS VOICE DRAMATICALLY) Rise up, O bones of the long dead, and kill the enemies of Itzamna. Fight and kill once more, as you did in life. Be warriors again and serve your Ah Kin Mai!
651. SOUND:  SOUND OF MAGICAL ENERGY COALESCING (A BIT HEAVIER AND MORE DISTURBING THAN THE SOUND OF THE AMULETS)
652. SOUND:  CRUNCHING NOISE AS BONES RISE UP OUT OF THE GROUND
653. TERESA: Trent, there are skeletons climbing up out of the floor of the arena. They’ve got swords.
654. TRENT: Here, Tess. Get behind me. Take the disk and read it while I try to hold them off.
655. SOUND:  SOUND OF SWORD BEING UNSHEATHED
656. TERESA: I’ll try and use the power-draining disk first.
(BEAT) (READING) Drain the power from our opponents and add it to our own. Let our opponents grow weaker in proportion to the justice of our cause.
657. SOUND:  SOUND OF MAGICAL ENERGY COALESCING (A BIT MORE MUSICAL AND LIGHTER TO REPRESENT THE GOOD GUYS)
658. SOUND:  SOUND LIKE CLAY PIGEONS BEING EXPLODED OR POTS BEING SMASHED
659. TECHNOMASTER: Noooo!
660. SOUND:  WALLA — SOUND OF SWORDS CLASHING — UNDER — PLAY UNTIL NEXT SOUND AND FADE
661. TERESA: Trent, it’s working. The Ah Kin Mai’s discs just exploded.
662. TRENT: (PUNCTUATED WITH SWORD CLANGS AND GRUNTS) Good work … But I’ve got … issues of my own. (BEAT) These… skeletons are… tough.
663. TERESA: Right. The Shield spell. Here we are (BEAT) Bring forth a shield to protect the innocent from harm. Turn aside the dead and force them to leave the world of the living in peace.
664. SOUND:  SOUND OF MAGICAL ENERGY COALESCING (A BIT MORE MUSICAL AND LIGHTER TO REPRESENT THE GOOD GUYS)
665. TRENT: It’s working, Tess. They’re being forced back.
666. SOUND:  RISING THROB OF SOUND REPRESENTING A BUILDUP OF MAGICAL ENERGY — ESTABLISH AND UNDER — PLAY UNTIL NEXT SOUND
667. TERESA: The light is getting so bright.
Don’t look, Trent!
668. SOUND:  EXPLOSION — ENDS THE THROB — FOLLOWED BY THE SOUND OF BONES COLLAPSING IN A HEAP
669. SOUND:  SILENCE FOR A MOMENT THEN SLOW CHANTING BEGINS
670. TERESA: The skeletons are all gone. And the guards are bowing to us, Trent.
671. TRENT: To you, Tess. You’re the one who read the spells.
(TO THE TECHNOMASTER) Well, John, I think that means you’ve been defeated.
672. TECHNOMASTER: Not quite. I still have one trick left up my sleeve. Behold the second Stone of Iridion.
673. SOUND:  RINGING SOUND OF A CHARGED STONE OF IRIDION BEING REVEALED
674. SOUND:  GASPS OF AWE FROM THE CULTISTS
675. TRENT: He’s going to try to open a portal through the Obelisk to its pair in Star City.
676. TERESA: But there’s no charged stone at the other end. You took that one away when the cult was defeated in Star City last month. With only one of the crystals, the obelisk won’t work properly.
677. SOUND:  SOUND OF STONE GRINDING ON STONE AS THE TECHNOMASTER’S CRYSTAL IS INSERTED IN THE OBELISK
678. TRENT: I’m hoping, with one crystal missing, that will be enough to prevent him from getting through.
679. SOUND:  SOUND OF PULSE RISING — UNDER AND CONTINUE UNTIL NEXT SOUND
680. TERESA: That doesn’t sound good. But it looks like he’s trying to push through anyway.
681. TRENT: Stop, you fool. The portal’s becoming little more than a ball of flame.
682. TECHNOMASTER: (GRUNTING WITH EXERTION) … must… escape. Must… have my… revenge…
683. TERESA: He’s on fire.
684. TECHNOMASTER: (SCREAMING) The pain! The pain!
685. SOUND:  RINGING SOUND — PULSE STOPS AS PORTAL CLOSES — FADES TO SILENCE
686. TRENT: (BEAT) He’s gone.
687. TERESA: Do you think he got through?
688. TRENT: I don’t know. If he did he’ll have paid a high price for his “escape.”
689. SOUND:  WALLA — RUMBLE OF SHOCKED VOICES OF CULTISTS RESPONDING TO WHAT THEY HAVE SEEN
690. TERESA: What’ll we do about this lot?
691. TRENT: Well, you’re the new Ah Kin Mai. I think you can do whatever you want.
692. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
693. SOUND:  WALLA — LARGE CROWD MURMURS IN BACKGROUND — ESTABLISH AND FADE UNDER
694. TERESA: (ADDRESSING A CROWD WITH A SENSE OF JOY) …And having freed all the slaves I now pass the mantle of the Ah Kin Mai to Julio Chavez.
695. SOUND:  CHEERS ALL AROUND
696. JULIO: (TO THE PEOPLE) For many years I have dreamed of this day… (STAGE WHISPER, AMUSED) quite literally… (TO THE PEOPLE AGAIN) and now, as I take the mantle of your protector from these, our benefactors, I promise you that I will do all within my power to be a worthy successor.
697. SOUND:  MORE WILD CHEERS
698. JULIO: Our friends cannot stay with us. They must return to their own people. A woman’s life hangs in the balance. Our friend Felicio will follow them when he has recovered.
699. TRENT: (STAGE WHISPER) Those journals the Technomaster left behind and the potion bottles we found should be enough to exonerate Claire Mannix.
700. TERESA: Yeah. Even I’ve got to admit that once you read John Whistler’s journal it becomes pretty clear that Claire wasn’t acting according to her own free will.
701. JULIO: (TO TRENT AND TERESA) My friends, we will always be in your debt for rescuing us from the false Ah Kin Mai. In partial payment of that debt, we place the wealth of the city at your disposal. You may call upon us, whenever you have a need, for funds to aid you in your pursuit of justice.
702. TERESA: Oh, my!
703. SOUND:  CHEERS ALL AROUND AND CELEBRATORY TRIBAL MUSIC STARTS — ESTABLISH AND FADE OUT
704. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) VICTORIOUS SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
705. NARRATOR: [CUE] A few days later our heroes return to the lobby of the Regency Hotel in Star City.
706. SOUND:  NOISE OF HOTEL LOBBY — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
707. TERESA: (STRETCHING) Oh, it feels good to be out of the jungle and back home, Stone.
708. TRENT: Speak for yourself, Tess. I’m not nearly so pleased. There’s still a price on our heads, you know? I doubt Tommy Boscone’s forgotten about us while we’ve been gone.
709. TERESA: Yeah. But just think. A real bed. Soft sheets. (POINTEDLY) A bath!
710. TRENT: Alright. Alright. I won’t pretend it won’t feel good to get cleaned up a bit.
711. TERESA: Tell you what. Now that this business is all wrapped up, why don’t I take you out for a night on the town? Go get yourself all gussied up… go on!
712. TRENT: (DRILY) If you insist.
713. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
714. SOUND:  WALLA — FISH MARKET, ORDERS, BELL, FAT FRYER, ETC.
715. TRENT: Uh, Tess.
716. TERESA: Yeah, Stone.
717. TRENT: I won’t say that didn’t hit the spot, but this isn’t exactly what I thought you had in mind.
718. TERESA: You mean fish and chips wrapped in newspaper while you’re dressed in a tuxedo?
719. TRENT: (CATCHING ON) Oh. (BEAT) I see.
720. TERESA: Ahuh.
721. TRENT: This is payback.
722. TERESA: Ahuh.
723. TRENT: For the evening before the action started outside the Tibalt.
724. TERESA: (LAUGHINGLY) You thought I’d forgotten?
725. TRENT: (AMUSED) Okay. I guess not. Well, if you’ve had your fun, I think I’ll head back to the hotel.
726. TERESA: (ARCHLY) Ta Ta!
727. SOUND:  SOUND OF TRENT DEPARTING
728. TERESA: (LAUGHS)
729. MESSENGER: Delivery for Miss Teresa Carter? Is there a Miss Carter here?
730. TERESA: Over here.
731. MESSENGER: Yes, Ma’am. These are for you.
732. TERESA: (SURPRISED) Flowers? They’re beautiful.
733. MESSENGER: There’s a card as well.
734. TERESA: (BEAT) Thanks.
(READING) Dear Tess,
For the girl who turns heads. A man really would have to be dead not to notice.
(BEAT) (FLUMMOXED) Well, I’ll be!
735. MUSIC:  CLOSING THEME AND CREDITS
CASTING SHEETS — MAJOR CHARACTERS
NARRATOR: Hello, I am your narrator. I introduce the cold stormy nights on which our stories take place, the dark alleys, and darker personalities who inhabit the lonely city. It is my job to set the scene and establish the serious tone of suspense and intrigue that will carry the story 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.
THE TECHNOMASTER: You think of me as a villain, but you know nothing of what I’ve sacrificed. I was on my way to greatness when the Great War came along — a research scientist and inventor par excellence. I did my part and signed up, but a bullet in the back put an end to my days on two legs. (BITTERLY) A bullet in the back, mind you! I was hit by a stray bullet from our own side. And when I returned? Well, I was an embarrassment. I received a letter of thanks for my service, a medal — in the mail — and a tiny pension. That was all the thanks I got from my country.
No one wanted to hire a maimed researcher. I lost my home, my lab, the respect that was rightly mine, everything.
But, I remain a genius! And compared to the brainless, worthless, peons roaming this pathetic little country, I am a god. I will have my revenge and everyone will be forced to grovel at my feet.
CASTING SHEETS — MINOR CHARACTERS
MESSENGER: I’m just a kid really, hawking newspapers, all enthusiasm, and energy. When I get a tip, that just makes my day.
CULTISTS: I do not speak English. I am strong. I am brave. I serve Itzamna and the Ah Kin Mai. I would do anything for Itzamna. Anything!
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, an 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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