Below we present the complete text of ‘Island Universe’; episode 2 of The Island of Never.
THE ISLAND OF NEVER
EPISODE #2 – ISLAND UNIVERSE
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 #2: The Island of Never
Tony Wells’ life is changed forever when his vindictive Lieutenant assigns him a particularly difficult case. A mysterious series of kidnappings leads Tony and tenacious reporter Claire Templeton from the streets of Star City through a magical portal and into a pocket universe where they must defeat an evil fae noble or face being trapped forever. With the assistance of the exotic Threx, they make their way into the heart of the kidnapper’s place of power for a final confrontation. Can they defeat him and retrieve the children… and if so, at what cost? Tune in to “The Island of Never” and experience the wonder and terror for yourself.
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.
THE ISLAND OF NEVER
TONY WELLS: Police Detective
MAGIC SWORD (FRED): Snarky magic Sword
HARRY JONES: Street Kid
CLAIRE TEMPLETON: Crime Reporter for the Tribune
PAN: Fae ruler of the Island of Never
THREX: Giant talking Spider
BOY#1: Kidnapped Boy
SFX: SFX operator (1 required)
197. MUSIC:  OPENING THEME – LET IT FINISH.
198. NARRATOR: Someone is kidnapping children in Detective Tony Wells’ city! And, to add strangeness to the horrific, none of the families of the victims seem to have any reliable memories of their missing children. Tony, his sarcastic talking sword, and (much to Tony’s chagrin) Claire Templeton – ace crime reporter, are now on the case and have arrived in front of the home of Harry Jones, the young boy who brought the missing children to Wells’ notice in the first place.
199. SOUND:  (WALLA) OCCASIONAL CARS, NIGHT NOISES ETC. — ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
200. SOUND:  CAR PULLING UP. DOORS OPEN AND CLOSE. SOUND OF TWO PEOPLE EMERGING — LET IT FINISH.
201. TONY: I could drop you off somewhere you know.
202. CLAIRE: Not a chance, bub. There’s a story here or I’m a pastrami sandwich. I’m sticking to you like glue.
203. TONY: (SARCASTIC) Just peachy. (PAUSE) Alright, here’s how we’ll play this. You can hang around…
204. CLAIRE: Just try to stop me.
205. TONY: You can hang around while I look into this, but nothing hits the presses until we’ve got the kids back. Deal?
206. CLAIRE: Sure. (BEAT) Don’t worry, tough guy. I didn’t get into crime reporting to put kids in danger. I won’t print a thing until the kids are recovered. Scout’s honor. (BEAT) So long as I get the exclusive. Is it a deal?
207. TONY: Alright.
208. CLAIRE: Wells… you know getting the kids back is a best-case scenario, right?
209. TONY: Yeah, it is. But aiming to recover a bunch of corpses isn’t going to help anyone.
210. CLAIRE: Fair point. (BEAT) Hey, what’s that?
211. TONY: Hmmm?
212. SOUND:  WHOOSH. THUNK. ARROW STRIKES NEARBY – LET IT FINISH.
213. SWORD: It’s an attack. Get me out of this scabbard and get down.
214. SOUND:  WHOOSH. THUNK.THUNK.THUNK. ARROWS STRIKING AROUND OUR HEROES — LET IT FINISH.
215. TONY: What the…? Arrows?
216. SWORD: That tears it. This is definitely fae business. Is everyone alright?
217. TONY: I’m fine. How about you, Claire?
218. CLAIRE: Aside from putting a hole in the knee of a perfectly good pair of nylons? I’m good. Ready to go.
219. SOUND:  WHOOSH. THUNK.THUNK.THUNK. MORE ARROWS STRIKING AROUND OUR HEROES — LET IT FINISH.
220. CLAIRE: … or maybe not. Looks like we’re pinned down until the shooter takes off. (BEAT) No pun intended.
221. TONY: Pun? I don’t get it.
222. CLAIRE: “Pinned down?” Arrows? You know, long feathery pins?
223. TONY: (GROANS) Don’t give up your day job, kid!
224. HARRY: Help! Help!
225. TONY: Oh no! Someone’s got Harry.
226. CLAIRE: Harry?
227. TONY: Yeah, you know? Harry Jones? The kid we’ve come here to see?
228. CLAIRE: Sorry, Wells. All this nearly getting killed threw me for a second.
229. SWORD: If I could just interrupt for a moment… your kidnapper is getting away.
230. TONY: Where?
231. SWORD: Up there, against the side of the building. Looks like he just came out of that window.
232. CLAIRE: What on earth? That’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. It looks like a little old man, all skin and bones, but he’s clambering along the side of the building like a spider.
233. TONY: Yeah, and he’s got Harry on his back… with chains by the look. I can’t get a clear shot.
234. CLAIRE: Tony, he’s about to turn down the side of the house into that alley. He’s going to get away.
235. SWORD: Then get after him.
236. TONY: Well, you only live once. Let’s go.
237. SOUND:  FOOTSTEPS (MALE AND FEMALE) RUNNING TOWARDS ALLEY — LET IT FINISH.
238. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) TIME PASSING SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH.
239. SOUND:  CLANG OF SOMEONE BUMPING INTO A DUSTBIN — LET IT FINISH.
240. TONY: Ow! Damn it, I can’t see a thing back here.
241. SOUND:  MAGICAL CHIME — LET IT FINISH.
242. CLAIRE: Look at the alley’s end. There’s some kind of light.
243. TONY: Yeah, it’s growing longer, like a rip in the air. Is that…
244. SWORD: Yes. That’s a tear into the realms of the fae. Somewhere full of sunshine, so I’m guessing it’s the realm of the light fae.
245. PAN: (CREEPY LAUGH) Ah-hahahahaha!
246. CLAIRE: He’s getting away.
247. TONY: And he’s still got Harry. Let’s hustle, people.
248. SOUND:  RUNNING STEPS — ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
249. TONY AND CLAIRE: (GRUNTING AS THEY RUN, THEN “AAARGH!” AS THEY DIVE THROUGH THE RIP).
250. SOUND:  MAGICAL CHIME — LET IT FINISH.
251. TONY: Where the…?
252. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) SUSPENSEFUL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH.
253. SOUND:  (WALLA) GENTLE LAPPING OF WAVES ON BEACH, DISTANT SOUND OF SEABIRDS ETC. — ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
254. CLAIRE: Alright, Wells. What on earth have you got us into this time?
255. TONY: Does this place look to you like it belongs any place on earth?
256. CLAIRE: I’ll admit that it bears little in common with Kansas but it certainly feels like it could be real. A Caribbean island perhaps?
257. TONY: With a purple sky?
258. CLAIRE: Well, I’ll own that’s a little strange.
259. SWORD: (NERVOUS) You’re both right. This is a piece of earth, but somehow it has been transported into Faery.
260. TONY: You don’t sound terribly pleased with the situation.
261. SWORD: I’m not. It takes immense power to move something of this size from the mundane realm into Faery. And even more power to anchor it here. This island has been locked away in here for several hundred years at least.
262. TONY: So…
263. SWORD: That creature we followed… it has to be one of the fae nobility. Nothing less would have the power. I think we might be severely outgunned.
264. TONY: Does that mean I should be calling in the other Protectors of the Covenant for an assist?
265. SWORD: Normally, I would say yes, but something is interfering with my broadcast magic.
266. CLAIRE: Broadcast magic?
267. SWORD: Yeah. I have a link with the other swords used by the signatories to the covenant. It allows me to act like a police dispatch radio. (BEAT) It’s amazing how you humans have managed to develop machines that can take the place of magic.
268. TONY: Yeah, yeah. Another time. (BEAT) If something here is interfering with your magic and you can’t get a message through…
269. CLAIRE: …what about your other abilities? Can you still get us home?
270. SWORD: I’m a lot weaker, but I think so. So long as we don’t move too far from here. The rip that we came through has created a weakness I can use to get us back… and a little residual magic from the real world is still leaking through so I’m not completely cut off.
271. CLAIRE: So how is this working? What’s (BEAT) dampening? (BEAT) your magic?
272. SWORD: I’m not sure exactly but I think it has something to do with that over there.
273. CLAIRE: You do know you don’t have any arms to point with or anything, don’t you?
274. SWORD: (EMBARRASSED) Oh, yeah. (BEAT) Look, up past the tree-line. See that mountain? Over on the right is some kind of tower. I can feel energy pulsing out of it. That seems to be what’s sapping my power.
275. TONY: I’m also willing to bet that’s where our noble fae has taken Harry and the other boys.
276. CLAIRE: Tony? Is that a smoke cloud over the treetops? It looks like it’s getting closer.
277. TONY: What? I don’t know. I think it might be a cloud of birds.
278. SWORD: Not birds, sprites! Look out!
279. TINKER #1: (HIGH-PITCHED SQUEAKY VOICE) They have an object of power. Get it and take it to the master. Attack the interlopers!
280. SOUND:  (WALLA) — WHOOSHES, HIGH-PITCHED SHOUTS, WHAPS AND BANGS AS TINKER FAE DIVE BOMB THE HEROES — ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
281. SWORD: No! Put me down! Put me down! (FADES INTO DISTANCE) Aaargh!
282. TONY: Damn it. They got the sword. They’re heading back to the tower.
283. CLAIRE: Thanks for the update. What do we do now? And what were those things?
284. TONY: In order? We head for that tower and get our sword back… and I don’t know. They were small, about six inches tall, looked humanoid in shape, shiny…
285. CLAIRE: Or slimy.
286. TONY: … with enormous heads and sharp teeth.
287. CLAIRE: I thought that sword was supposed to be training you to recognize these things.
288. TONY: Yeah, but there are nearly a thousand different kinds of fae. I guess we haven’t reached that part of the curriculum yet… and I was kind of counting on the sword being around to help me out when I encountered anything new.
289. CLAIRE: Figures. I guess we better get going. It looks like a long climb.
290. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) TIME PASSING SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH.
291. SOUND:  (WALLA) JUNGLE NOISES, FEET CRUNCHING THROUGH UNDERGROWTH — UNDER.
292. CLAIRE: You know, I always thought that fairyland would be a little more idyllic.
293. TONY: What do you mean?
294. SOUND:  SLAPPING NOISE — LET IT FINISH.
295. CLAIRE: Well, I thought there’d be fewer mosquitoes and bugs for a start.
296. TONY: Personally, I never thought about it… probably owing to the fact that before two months ago I would have considered a conversation about fairyland nonsense. (BEAT) I’m also pretty sure the inhabitants don’t call it that.
297. CLAIRE: What do they call it then?
298. TONY: Beats me. Ask the sword when we get it back.
299. CLAIRE: Speaking of the sword, is that really what you call it? — “the sword?”
300. TONY: Sure. What else should I call it?
301. CLAIRE: Well it can talk. Don’t you think it should have a name?
302. TONY: You’re kidding, right?
303. CLAIRE: What do you mean?
304. TONY: Well, here we are marching through a jungle that isn’t even on earth (BEAT) in search of a talking sword and a bunch of kidnapped boys (BEAT) and you want to talk about naming the sword?
305. CLAIRE: Well, yeah! You got any better ideas for passing the time?
306. TONY: Maybe a couple. Ouch!
307. SOUND:  SLAPPING NOISE — LET IT FINISH.
308. TONY: Is it just me, or are the bugs getting bigger?
309. CLAIRE: Eeeeugh! I think they’re getting more plentiful too. Look at the trees.
310. TONY: Ugh. You’re right. The trees are crawling with bugs. We seem to have stumbled into some kind of insect nesting area. Maybe we should go back aways and see if we can’t find a way around.
311. CLAIRE: You’re not afraid of a few bugs, are you, Wells?
312. TONY: I’m not usually bothered by anything I can step on but some of these things are as big as my fist and it looks like they get bigger the further forward we go.
313. CLAIRE: Then what are we waiting for? Let’s back out aways.
314. SOUND:  HIDEOUS BAYING ROAR FROM BEHIND THEM. ANSWERED BY NUMEROUS OTHERS AND SOUNDS OF ALARM FROM JUNGLE ANIMALS ETC. — LET IT FINISH.
315. CLAIRE: … or maybe not. (BEAT) I mean, who’s afraid of a few bugs anyway?
316. TONY: Damn straight. Let’s keep going.
317. THREX: (IN A CREEPY SIBILLANT WHISPER) Really? You don’t fear me? How interessssting.
318. CLAIRE: What was that?
319. THREX: Please, O fearlesssssonesss, continue forwardssss and you will soon dissscover “what” I am… (BEAT) or go back. Tisss only the houndsss that wait for you. They appear to have found your sssscent. But I’m ssssure that, to sssuch bold ssstrangers, being torn apart by hell houndsss is of little conssscern.
320. TONY: Who’s there?
321. THREX: Just an inssssect… sssomething for you to ssstep on… nothing to be afraid of, no?
322. CLAIRE: I don’t like this, Wells.
323. THREX: Oh, don’t disssssappoint me by ssshowing hesssitation now, my dear.
324. TONY: I don’t know about you, Claire, but I’m more comfortable dealing with something that can speak than with what’s behind us. At least there is some hope it can be reasoned with.
325. THREX: Ha hahahahaha! Oh, very good! Yesssss, I like that. I sssspeak therefore I can be reassssoned with. Maybe not sssomething to be sssstepped on after all? Come forward, come forward, let me sssee you.
326. CLAIRE: Wells?
327. TONY: It’s alright. I don’t think we have much of a choice.
328. CLAIRE: It’s getting darker overhead. The trees are closing in. Blocking out the sky.
329. TONY: And I think there’s also a cave ahead.
330. SOUND:  (WALLA) FADE IN LOTS OF INSECTILE SCUTTLING AND CLICKING NOISES — FADE IN, ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
331. CLAIRE: Ugh. Wells, they’re all around us. Insects too big to contemplate.
332. THREX: Yesss. That’sss right. My ssssubjects are numeroussss. Enter the cave. Come and face me.
333. TONY: And what guarantee do we have that you will do us no harm?
334. THREX: Why none at all, human. I have yet to determine whosssse sssside you are on. (BEAT) But have no fear, until I do, you will be left unmolessssted.
335. TONY: And those things you say are tracking us?
336. THREX: The hell houndssss, yesss? They will not bother you in here. Very few creaturessss are foolissh enough to enter my domain uninvited. And thossssse that do, fare rather… poorly.
337. TONY: It’s a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea. (BEAT) Claire?
338. SOUND:  MORE ROARS AND HOWLS — LET IT FINISH.
339. CLAIRE: I vote for the cave.
340. TONY: Me too. Let’s go.
341. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH.
342. SOUND:  (EFFECT) SLIGHT ECHO IN VOICES TO INDICATE WE ARE IN A CAVE — CONTINUE UNTIL 406.
343. CLAIRE: [CUE] (NARRATING) We entered the cave. The tough guy went ahead of me without so much as a hesitant blink and I was damned if I was going to do any less.
344. THREX: I am Threx the Inssssatiable. Welcome to my humble home. I hope it issss to your tasssste.
345. CLAIRE: Where are you? It’s dark in here but not so dark that I shouldn’t be able to see you.
346. THREX: Aahhh. Typical prey. You never sssseem to look up!
347. CLAIRE: Wells, on the ceiling. It’s a spider.
348. THREX: Where’ssss your imagination? A mere sssspider? I expected sssscreaming… and running… and perhapssss sssome dying. I am very dissssappointed.
349. CLAIRE: I’ve washed nastier bugs than you down the drain, buster.
350. THREX: What’re you ssssaying? Don’t you find my eight hairy legsss disssconcerting? My dozensss of eyesss a little alarming? No?
351. CLAIRE: No.
352. THREX: And may I asssk why not?
353. CLAIRE: Well, for a start, I thought you’d be bigger. It’s a little anti-climactic.
354. THREX: You thought…? (INDIGNANT) I’m four feet acrossss if an inch!
355. CLAIRE: Ahuh. Not exactly gargantuan. And that’s another thing. What’s with the big scary voice? I mean really? How many English speakers do you get to practice on around here?
356. THREX: Ahahahahaha. You amusssse me, little human. You don’t behave sssso much like prey after all. Perhapsss I’ll reconssssider my decision to eat you after our interview. (BEAT)
(SUDDENLY THREATENING) Now tell me — jusssst which ssside are you on?
357. CLAIRE: We don’t know anything about sides.
358. THREX: Really? You mussst be new. It’sss the firssst thing everyone doesss when they arrive, don’t you know. Take a name and choosssse a sssside.
359. CLAIRE: Well, we’ve done neither. We’re here with a job to do and have little interest in local politics.
360. THREX: Is that sssso? Interesssting. And jussst what is thisss job you are here to do?
361. CLAIRE: We’ve come to recover the kidnapped children.
362. THREX: Oho! You want to sssteal the boysss back from the Pan… you do have a ssside after all.
363. CLAIRE: Oh yes? Whose side would that be?
364. THREX: Why, the ssside of the not-Pan, of coursssse.
365. CLAIRE: And what side would you be on?
366. THREX: Asss it happensss, the sssame ssside asss you. Nothing would give me greater pleasssure than to sssee the Pan lossse hisss precioussss cargo of children.
367. CLAIRE: Who or what is this Pan?
368. THREX: Ssso ignorant… Perhapsss you can’t be trusssted to sssucceed after all.
369. CLAIRE: Is that so? We’ve come this far, haven’t we?
370. THREX: Oh, I don’t think that’sss much of an achievement. You have ssstumbled into my domain without even the sssmallest idea who you are up againssst or what you are doing. Ssso far you are only alive out of dumb luck… but I think I like you. And more importantly, you may be able to create a good deal of mayhem and inconveniencssssse for our mutual enemy if I let you go.
371. CLAIRE: So what’s your decision? Time’s pressing.
372. THREX: Rude. But no matter. I have decsssided to help you. At the back of my cave isss a tunnel that leadsss all the way to Pan’sss tower. Go now, before I change my mind. Let mayhem enssssue.
373. CLAIRE: Thank you. (BEAT) Hey, Wells, c’mon… Wells!… C’mon, this way.
374. SOUND:  (WALLA) CRUNCHING FOOTSTEPS MOVE AWAY FROM MAIN CAVE — CONTINUE UNTIL MUSICAL BRIDGE.
375. CLAIRE: You kept pretty quiet back there. Uncharacteristically so actually. (BEAT) Come to think of it, you haven’t said a word since we entered that thing’s cave.
376. TONY: D…d…did you see that th…thing?
377. CLAIRE: Oh, there he is. (BEAT) (CONCERNED) Hey, are you alright?
378. TONY: Th..that was a g..g..giant s..spider.
379. CLAIRE: Yup. Don’t tell me you’re afraid of spiders, tough guy?
380. TONY: What? No. Not when they’re smaller th..th..than my fist. I just have a problem with them when they’re f…f..four feet across.
381. CLAIRE: Huh! I never thought I’d see the thing that would make you weak at the knees. C’mon. Let’s get out of here.
382. TONY: I’ll s-second that and th-then some!
383. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH.
384. SOUND:  (WALLA) INSECTILE CLICKING AND SCUTTLING NOISES — FADE IN, ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
385. TONY: (NARRATING) We walked for what seemed like hours in the half-light of the cave tunnel. I’m not sure where the light was coming from but it never seemed pitch dark and I could see the girl reporter behind me whenever I chanced a glance over my shoulder. Not that I needed to see her. I could feel the smirk radiating off her at a hundred yards.
I don’t care what anyone says. Spiders should not be bigger than your fist!
386. CLAIRE: (NARRATING) The discomfort of the detective with the lantern jaw would have been more enjoyable under less serious circumstances but beggars can’t be choosers and a girl needs to seize what joy the world offers. It was probably a good thing that Wells was concentrating on his embarrassment though. The walls were covered in spiders — not of the gargantuan proportions of the one we had just left — but plenty big enough to freeze the detective in his tracks.
387. TONY: Aw nuts! We’ve reached a dead end.
388. CLAIRE: There were no turns or branches that I noticed on the way down here. Could it be a trap?
389. SOUND:  CLICKING AND SCUTTLING SOUNDS GROW LOUDER — ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
390. CLAIRE: I suggest you keep your eyes off the walls while we figure this out.
391. TONY: You what?
392. CLAIRE: Don’t look at the walls, tough guy.
393. TONY: Oh no! Now, why’d you have to go and say that?
394. SOUND:  CLICKING AND SCUTTLING GETS LOUDER STILL — ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
395. CLAIRE: Well, I told you not to look.
396. TONY: (ANGRY) Damn it, Claire, everyone knows that the first thing you do when someone says don’t look… is look!
397. CLAIRE: Well, at least you’re angry this time instead of comatose. It’ll give us a chance to look around.
398. TONY: You look around. I’ll just stare at my feet while my heart rate gets back to normal.
399. CLAIRE: Aw hell. Fat lot of good you are! (BEAT) Well, this dead end of yours isn’t cave-rock. It’s bricked. I’m guessing it’s probably the entrance to the tower.
400. TONY: Keep talking…
401. CLAIRE: There seems to be some kind of depression in the center. If I put my hand in here and…yep, I can feel something. A handle or a lever…
402. SOUND:  CLICK FOLLOWED BY THE SOUND OF STONE GRINDING ON STONE AS A SECRET DOOR OPENS — LET IT FINISH.
403. CLAIRE: We’re in. Can you move yet?
404. TONY: Can a fish swim? Let me out of here.
405. CLAIRE: You can at least help me close the door again before you do the hundred yard dash!
406. TONY: What? Yeah. Okay.
407. SOUND:  STONE ON STONE OF DOOR BEING PUSHED SHUT. NOISE OF CLICKING AND SCUTTLING SUDDENLY CUT OFF ON CLOSURE — LET IT FINISH.
408. TONY: Thank heaven that’s over… (AHEM) Yes. Well. I guess we’d better find out where we are.
409. CLAIRE: After you, fearless leader.
410. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH.
411. SOUND:  (WALLA) MECHANICAL STEAM-ENGINE-LIKE NOISE IN DISTANCE — ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
412. TONY: You hear that, Claire?
413. CLAIRE: Hear what?
414. TONY: It sounds like there’s some kind of steam-works nearby.
415. CLAIRE: Now that you mention it, yes. The noise is coming from somewhere up ahead.
416. TONY: I think it’s just on the other side of this door.
417. CLAIRE: Does it bother you that we haven’t seen any guards or security yet? I mean we are in the tower, aren’t we?
418. TONY: So far, I’m just thankful.
419. CLAIRE: Yeah? Well I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
420. TONY: (FRUSTRATED) What do you suggest, then? Do you want us to stay on this side of the door until we starve to death or someone does come along and finds us?
421. CLAIRE: Easy there, big fella. I’m not suggesting anything of the kind. It’s just that when I’m about to do something that all common sense tells me is ridiculously stupid — you know, like charging unarmed into a potentially dangerous enemy stronghold — I like to catalogue the full extent of that stupidity for future reference. (BEAT) You know? In case we don’t die.
422. TONY: Ahuh. C’mon then.
423. SOUND:  LATCH CLICKS THEN DOOR CREAKS OPEN — LET IT FINISH.
424. SOUND:  (WALLA) MECHANICAL STEAM-ENGINE NOISE GROWS VERY LOUD — ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
425. TONY: (YELLING TO BE HEARD ABOVE THE MACHINERY) At least we don’t have to worry about being heard by anyone.
426. CLAIRE: What is this place?
427. TONY: I think it’s some kind of industrial prison. Look, down there. The central chamber appears to be some kind of chimney.
428. CLAIRE: And at the bottom, that’s a giant furnace. It must be what’s powering the machinery… but I can’t figure out what the machinery is for.
429. TONY: But feeding the furnace — can you see them?
430. CLAIRE: Yes, it’s kids. Loads and loads of boys, all shoveling coal into the furnace.
431. TONY: I’m guessing those are our kidnapped children.
432. CLAIRE: But I don’t understand. I thought technology was a no-no for the fae.
433. TONY: Sometime soon you’re going to have to tell me where you get your information. Come to think of it, this is your second trip into the realms of the fae, and both times you’ve been surprisingly calm. Is there something you’re not telling me, Claire?
434. CLAIRE: What? No. I’m a reporter. Not much fazes me. Besides, I figure everyone knows a little about faeries. You know, from the folk tales and such you hear as a kid?
435. TONY: Hmmmm! Yeah, well… I guess I missed the memo on faeries and technology then. (BEAT) Hey, what’s going on down there?
436. CLAIRE: Something. There’s a commotion near those large doors. Isn’t that little old guy who’s entering the clown we saw kidnapping Harry Jones?
437. PAN: (POMPOUSLY) Boys, I have returned!
(WAITS FOR APPLAUSE) What? No applause? No affectionate greetings for your master? Ah, never mind. I’m in a furiously good mood so I won’t be killing any more of you today than is strictly necessary. Bwahahahahaha.
(BEAT) But wait? None of you wants to know what puts me in this glorious mood? No? None of you is even the least bit curious? Well good! At least I’ve beaten that out of you. But since I’m feeling so… so… magnanimous… I’m going to share it with you anyway. I, the Great and Powerful Pan of the Island of Never, have had delivered unto me by the Tinkers a sword. But not just any old pig sticker, no! I have been given one of the three great covenant swords. Which also means that somewhere on this island there is a Protector of the Covenant. Don’t worry, however, there’s no cause for any hope of a rescue. My Hell Hounds are out hunting him even as we speak. I already have his sword… and an unarmed Protector is of no more consequence to me than a bug.
Still, a little rejuvenation may yet be in order. You, boy, step forward!
438. BOY #1: No!
439. PAN: Now, don’t be frightened, child. This will only hurt you a great deal more than it will hurt me.
440. SOUND:  CRACKLE OF ELECTRICITY — CONTINUE UNTIL BOY IS DEAD (442).
441. BOY #1: (SCREAMING) Noooo! Aaargh!
442. CLAIRE: That monster! He’s killed the child. Sucked all the life out of him with the touch of his hand.
443. TONY: And look at the effect it’s having. The little old man-thing is growing… younger?
444. PAN: Bwahahahahaha. How kind of you, my brothers, to so willingly sacrifice yourselves for my eternal youth. These machines are aging me prematurely even as they help anchor this mortal island in the realm of the fae and transmit dark energy back to your home city in order to keep you all forgotten. Still, the demonstration of power is worth it. Keeping this island anchored here so impresses the nobles of the court that I remain high in the council of the realm of light. The technology is forbidden, true, but what the council doesn’t know can’t hurt it… or maybe it can? (FADING INTO THE DISTANCE) Bwahahahaha.
445. CLAIRE: (BEAT) Oh, thank God, he’s gone.
446. TONY: Come on. We’ve got to get down to those kids. There’s a ladder over there. Let’s start climbing.
447. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH.
448. 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.
TONY WELLS: I’m a detective in a city full of liars, cheats, killers, and con-men. You’d think that would have made me a cynic. And I guess it has a little. But underneath the hard-boiled exterior, I actually give a damn. I do this job because I want to keep people safe from the animals and predators who roam the dark side of the city. I believe in heroes, or at least I want to believe in them. Right now I’m not the most popular detective on the force — the Commissioner and the Lieutenant have both got it in for me — but I would never have guessed how much more complicated my life is about to become.
CLAIRE TEMPLETON: I’m the crime reporter for the Star City Tribune. I know everyone in this town from the mayor down to the guys who pick up your garbage at four in the morning. I’m good at my job too, which is why I get myself into so many scrapes and tight corners. I’m fearless, determined, and always get my story — even when there’s no one with the courage to print it!
MAGIC SWORD (FRED): I’m a magical sword and I inherit my personality from the world around me. I’m a wise-talking smart alec who’s always laughing at the expense of my owner. Possibly because I can’t be destroyed — magical, remember — I see myself as superior to ordinary mortals. Nothing bothers me particularly and I love giving advice. I will probably be advising my new master on the proper etiquette for being swallowed by a dragon while he is being munched upon.
PAN: I’m insane. Not just a little nuts, mind you: massively, psychotically, monumentally insane. I want applause. I want recognition. I want to pull the wings off flies and laugh as I do it. But most of all, I want to rule the world and watch you worship me adoringly while I peel the skin from your bones.
HARRY JONES: I know I’ve told stories in the past. It’s not like I meant to trick anyone. I really did think aliens were invading. Honest! But now my friends are going missing and no one will believe me. I’ve got to convince Tony somehow. He’s the only one who can help find them and bring them back home.
THREX: Ssssso, human, you wish to deal with me. I am old, even by the reckoning of thessssse foolish fae. And I hunger. Do you fear me, sssskinny mortal? Issss my sssspider form a sssssource of terror for you? Or are you braver than your fellowsssss? Come into my parlor and let usssss talk awhile. There issss only one thing that I dissssslike more than intrudersssss and that isssss the Pan. Are you here to causssssse him trouble? Perhapsssss I can help.
CASTING SHEETS — MINOR CHARACTERS
BOYS#1-4: We are caught in a spell. We can barely remember our own names. If we are disturbed we crow like a rooster in order to alert the Pan. Please! Help us! The Pan will kill us just for entertainment, but he also uses us to make himself younger. He steals our lives away.
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.
You can contact the author regarding performance rights (or simply to say hello) through his website: https://www.weirdworldstudios.com.
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This post and all its content is copyright © 2013 Philip Craig Robotham and has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license. This play cannot be reproduced, shared, or performed commercially without the written permission of the author. The production of derivative content, merchandise, or creative works and materials is expressly forbidden under this agreement. However you may share, reproduce, and perform this play freely so long as authorship is acknowledged, no money changes hands, and the play is not modified in any way.