Below we present the complete text of Frying pans and Flames; episode 2 of City of the Gold Spider.
CITY OF THE GOLD SPIDER
EPISODE #2 – FRYING PANS AND FLAMES
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
NAZCA GUARD #1 (MANUEL): Nazca Jail guard
NAZCA GUARD #2 (RICARDO): Nazca Jail guard
ARTURO MAJALEL: Guide to Ayacucho
CULTIST #1: Alligator cultist and guard
PRISONER: Nazca Jail prisoner
SFX: SFX operator (1 required)
SCENE 8: INT. IN THE LOCAL JAIL IN NAZCA (MANUEL, RICARDO, TRENT, PRISONER, TERESA)
196. MUSIC:  OPENING THEME — LET IT FINISH
197. NARRATOR: Trent Stone and Teresa Carter, having escaped from the criminal gangs of Star City in order to investigate the innocence or otherwise of convicted murderer Claire Mannix, now find themselves under arrest in Nazca Peru.
198. SOUND:  CLANG OF JAIL DOOR — ECHOING JAIL-HOUSE FOOTSTEPS – ESTABLISH AND BRING TO A HALT
199. MANUEL (GUARD #1): I hope you and the lady will be comfortable for a few moments Senor.
200. SOUND:  SNIGGERING OF PRISON POPULATION
201. RICARDO (GUARD #2): We will be taking a short walk and won’t be back for a little while. Your cellmates should make you feel quite at home.
202. SOUND:  SOUND OF CELL DOOR LOCKING
203. SOUND:  SNIGGERING OF PRISON POPULATION
204. TRENT: Well, Tess, this looks ugly.
205. PRISONER: You like to hurt children, eh gringo? Well, we know a little about hurting people too.
206. TRENT: Easy there, big guy…
207. PRISONER: And your woman, she’s pretty, no? There are lots of us here who would like to get to know her better I think.
208. SOUND:  MORE UNPLEASANT LAUGHTER
209. TERESA: (NERVOUSLY) Trent…
210. PRISONER: You got anything to say (BEAT, THEN WITH CONTEMPT) child-killer!
211. TRENT: Only this… You ready, Tess?
212. TERESA: You bet!
213. SOUND:  SOUND OF PUNCHES, ETC.
214. SOUND:  JAIL-HOUSE ERUPTS IN SOUNDS OF ANGRY VIOLENCE
215. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) ACTION MUSIC SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
216. SOUND:  SOUND OF A PUNCH AND THUD AS A BODY FALLS
217. TERESA: [CUE] (PUFFING)… and stay down.
218. SOUND:  SOUNDS OF INJURED MEN GROANING FROM THE FLOOR
219. TRENT: (WINDED BUT RECOVERING) I think that’s all of them for now.
220. TERESA: Yeah, but they’ll try again. You can see it in their eyes. No one likes a “child-killer.”
221. TRENT: True, if we’re here for very long we’ll need to be sleeping with one eye open.
222. TERESA: Neither of us will be able to keep that up for long.
223. ARTURO MAJALEL: Pssst.
224. TERESA: What was that?
225. MAJALEL: Over here by the window. Through the bars.
226. TRENT: Who are you?
227. MAJALEL: My name is Arturo. I am a friend of Jose and I am here to get you out.
228. TRENT: And just in time. Do you have any idea how we’ve come to be arrested?
229. MAJALEL: No, Senor. Someone must have known you were coming.
230. TRENT: Hmmm.
231. MAJALEL: Where is Jose?
232. TERESA: I’m sorry, Arturo, Jose didn’t make it.
233. MAJALEL: (BEAT) I am sorry to hear that, Senorita. He was a good man, and his brother will be very sad.
234. TRENT: I don’t mean to be pushy. But I don’t think the guards will leave us alone for very long now that the noise has quieted down.
235. MAJALEL: Yes, Senor, of course. I need only put this chain around the bars and, with the help of my truck, I will have you out of there in a moment.
236. SOUND:  SOUND OF CLANKING AS CHAIN IS PLACED AROUND BARS
237. MAJALEL: I will see you una momenta, Senor, Senorita.
238. SOUND:  SOUND OF GUARDS RETURNING — LAUGHING TOGETHER AT SOME PRIVATE JOKE
239. MANUEL: Huh? What? You two! Don’t move!
240. SOUND:  SOUND OF PISTOLS BEING READIED
241. SOUND:  FAINT SOUND OF ENGINE STARTING IN BACKGROUND
242. TRENT: I’d like to say it’s been a pleasure, fellas, but…
243. SOUND:  SOUND OF CRASHING AND FALLING BRICKWORK AS WALL IS PULLED OUT
244. TRENT: Now Tess. Run!
245. TERESA: You don’t have to tell me twice.
246. SOUND:  SOUND OF PURSUING GUNFIRE, TRUCK DOORS, AND ENGINE ROAR AS TRUCK PEELS AWAY
247. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) IRONIC SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
248. SOUND:  WALLA — SOUND OF TRUCK INTERIOR — ENGINE IN THE BACKGROUND — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
249. SOUND:  BANGING ON CAB OF TRUCK
250. MAJALEL: You can come out now. That was the last checkpoint.
251. SOUND:  RUSTLE OF TARPAULIN
252. TERESA: Thank God. It was stifling under there.
253. TRENT: It could have been worse. He might have been carrying livestock.
254. TERESA: Yeah? What is all this stuff? Those are “Made in the US” stamps on the crates.
255. MAJALEL: Si. I transport machine parts, food… goats sometimes. Whatever is needed. Up the mountains to Ayacucho.
256. TRENT: How much real trouble has helping us caused you, Arturo?
257. TERESA: Yes, we owe you a great deal for getting us out of there.
258. MAJALEL: For such a beautiful woman, it was a pleasure. And as for trouble? It will blow over. Someone will have paid Senor Police Chief to arrest you. He can be paid to forget you escaped. (BEAT) Besides, I do not think he would wish Lima to look too closely at his accounts, no?
259. TRENT: We’re in your debt.
260. MAJALEL: (LAUGHING) Si, Senor, this is true! But I am not one to charge interest on a loan. (LAUGHS SOME MORE)
261. SOUND:  ENGINE FADES OUT
262. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
263. SOUND:  WALLA — RAIN POURING DOWN, DRIPS, ETC.
264. SOUND:  TRUCK PULLS UP, SPLASH OF TIRES IN MUD, ENGINE STOPS
265. TERESA: Do you ever get used to the rain, Arturo?
266. MAJALEL: It’s not so bad, once you get used to the mud.
267. TRENT: And the mosquitoes.
268. MAJALEL: Si, and the mosquitoes.
269. TERESA: (DRILY) Great!
270. MAJALEL: Well, we’re here Senor, Senorita. Welcome to the village of Ayacucho, my home.
271. SOUND:  SOUND OF TRUCK DOORS OPENING
272. SOUND:  SOUND OF THREE PEOPLE STEPPING INTO MUD
273. TERESA: Seems quiet.
274. MAJALEL: Everyone is staying out of sight. They are nervous of strangers. Come. My house is this way.
275. SOUND:  SOUND OF THREE PEOPLE SQUELCHING THROUGH MUD
276. MAJALEL: No! The door has been kicked in. (RUNNING INSIDE) Rosa! Rosa! Where are you?
277. TERESA: Trent, something’s wrong here.
278. TRENT: Yes, I believe so! Check the neighboring houses.
279. SOUND:  SOUND OF KNOCKING
280. TRENT: (CALLING) Anyone home?
281. TERESA: (CALLING OUT) Hello!
282. MAJALEL: (DESPONDENT) They are all gone! Slavers took them. Followers of the Ah Kin Mai of Itzamna. It looks like they struck during the meal hour; there is food still on the table. My daughter, Rosa, she is gone too.
283. TERESA: Oh, Arturo!
284. TRENT: How much of a head start do they have?
285. MAJALEL: A day, maybe. No more.
286. TRENT: It looks like they came in a truck. See those tire tracks leading into the jungle.
287. MAJALEL: Si, they will have been taken to the City.
288. TRENT: The City?
289. MAJALEL: Si. It is a ruin many miles up the mountain. No one is exactly certain where. The Ah Kin Mai of Itzamna has made it his home and is rebuilding it… or so goes the rumor.
Many villages have been raided like this. No trace has been found of the people stolen.
290. TRENT: But I’m willing to bet that no one discovered the raid before the rains destroyed the slavers’ tracks before. It might normally be weeks before anyone realized that one of these remote villages had been depopulated. Am I right?
291. MAJALEL: Si, Senor.
292. TRENT: Then we’ve not a moment to lose.
293. TERESA: But, Trent. Shouldn’t we try to contact the authorities?
294. TRENT: I’m not sure we have the time. Besides I’m fairly certain a village this remote has no telephone or telegraph cables. Arturo?
295. MAJALEL: Si.
296. TRENT: And how long will the tracks last before they are washed away by these rains?
297. MAJALEL: Another day, maybe one beyond that.
298. TERESA: Okay. Arturo, can your truck manage cross-country?
299. MAJALEL: Si, Senorita. But I am coming with you. I must find Rosa. She is all I have left in this world.
300. TRENT: Alright then. Let’s go.
301. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) DETERMINED SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
302. SOUND:  WALLA — HEAVY RAIN — JUNGLE NOISES — ENGINE UNDERNEATH, BUMPS AND RATTLES FROM ROUGH TERRAIN — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
303. TERESA: Stone, I promise I’ll never complain about South American roads again.
304. TRENT: Never make promises you can’t keep, Tess. (BEAT) What’s that up ahead?
305. TERESA: The jungle’s definitely thinning and… Oh, my!
306. MAJALEL: It is the City, Senor, Senorita.
307. TERESA: It’s beautiful. Those walls must be fifty feet tall and the carvings… I’ve never seen anything like them.
308. TRENT: Warnings to the enemies of the people.
309. TERESA: What do they mean?
310. TRENT: They are supposed to signify death to any intruders who dare to enter the city.
311. TERESA: What’s that on top? Stone spiders?
312. MAJALEL: Si, it was long called the City of the Gold Spider. Now, it is the city of Itzamna.
313. SOUND:  TRUCK PULLING UP — RAIN CONTINUES
314. MAJALEL: Senor, I think from here we must go on foot.
315. SOUND:  TRUCK DOORS OPEN AND CLOSE
316. TRENT: I think you’re right, Arturo.
317. SOUND:  WALLA — RAIN FADES QUICKLY AND IS REPLACED BY JUNGLE SOUNDS — WITH LIGHT POST-RAIN DRIPS AND SPLASHES — UP AND UNDER
318. TERESA: (RELIEVED) At last, the rain has stopped.
319. TRENT: Damn! I was hoping the rain would help mask our approach.
320. SOUND:  SOUND OF HOWLER MONKEYS — LOTS AND LOTS OF HOWLER MONKEYS
321. TERESA: Trent. In the trees.
322. TRENT: I see them, Tess. Howler monkeys but not like any I’ve ever seen before. They’re too large for a start.
323. TERESA: (WRYLY) I would have thought the swords and armor would have been a more obvious indicator that something was off.
324. TRENT: That too.
325. SOUND:  MONKEY NOISES GROW LOUDER ALONG WITH RASPS OF SWORDS, CLANK OF ARMOR, ETC.
326. TERESA: There’s too many of them, maybe forty or more. I don’t think we’ll be fighting our way out of this.
327. TRENT: It looks like we’d better surrender. Majalel?
328. MAJALEL: I’m sorry my friends, but he has my daughter. He promised to let her go if I brought you here.
329. TERESA: He? Oh damn. Look, Trent. There are machines on the backs of their necks. The monkeys are being controlled.
330. TRENT: It looks like the handiwork of the Technomaster, alright.
331. SOUND:  MORE MONKEY SCREECHES
332. TRENT: I guess we’d better start moving in the direction they’re indicating.
(BEAT) …And don’t think we’re finished with you, Arturo. This isn’t over.
333. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) SUSPENSEFUL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
334. SOUND:  WALLA — MONKEY NOISES, FOOTSTEPS, AND CLANKS OF ARMOR, ETC. — ESTABLISH AND UNDER — PLAY UNTIL NEXT SOUND
335. TRENT: All right! All right, we’re moving.
336. TERESA: Ugh! They keep pawing me.
337. TRENT: Yeah, they’ve got my gun and my knife. Have they left you anything?
338. TERESA: Not a thing!
339. SOUND: MONKEY SOUNDS WITHDRAW — FADE OUT
340. TERESA: Hey, where are they going?
341. TRENT: Looks like they’re handing us over to human guards. Recognize the costumes?
342. TERESA: Yeah. It’s the Cult of the Teeth again. I guess this time we’re on their home turf.
343. TRENT: Good guess.
344. CULTIST #1: (THREATENING/ANGRY) Move! Hurry Up!
345. TERESA: I guess they want us to go in there.
346. TRENT: It looks like some kind of low temple.
347. TERESA: … but one that has been converted to a prison. Look at those metal bars. I’m pretty sure they’re not original.
348. SOUND:  CLANK OF HEAVY DOOR BEING UNLOCKED
349. CULTIST #1: Get inside!
350. TRENT: Yeah, yeah. We get it, buddy.
351. TERESA: Hey! Don’t push.
352. SOUND:  CLANG OF BARS BEING SHUT AND LOCK TURNED
353. TERESA: (RESIGNED) I guess this means we’re trapped.
354. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) SUSPENSEFUL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
355. MUSIC:  CLOSING THEME AND CREDITS – LET IT FINISH
CASTING SHEETS — MAJOR CHARACTERS
NARRATOR: Hello, I am your narrator. I introduce the cold stormy nights on which our stories take place, the dark alleys, and darker personalities who inhabit the lonely city. It is my job to set the scene and establish the serious tone of suspense and intrigue that will carry the story 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.
ARTURO MAJALEL: In my village, I am considered a wealthy man. I am a driver. I have my own truck.
I drive goods from the coastline inland and up the mountains to the various villages that have been established in the Andes. I move anything and everything: machine parts, goats, fruit, and vegetables. The most important thing in my life is my daughter Rosa. I would do anything for her. If she was in danger I would not hesitate to do whatever was necessary to make her safe.
CASTING SHEETS — MINOR CHARACTERS
NAZCA GUARDS: Around here, you either grew up to be a bandit or a policeman… if you want to get ahead. And sometimes there is not so much difference between the two. As police we get to walk around the town and tell people what to do… and they must do it or spend some time in the drunk tank. We make a bit of money on the side from the shopkeepers and vendors of our town. They squawk about it but they pay all the same. Everyone needs protection.
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!
PRISONER: I hate gringos and guards. I enjoy hurting people, but if I have an excuse to hurt someone, for example, if the guards point me to someone who hurts children, then all the better.
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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