Below we present the complete text of Scientists and Laboratories; episode 2 of The Reanimator’s Revenge.
THE REANIMATOR’S REVENGE
EPISODE #2 – SCIENTISTS AND LABORATORIES
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 #4: The Reanimator’s Revenge
When visiting the Star City Penitentiary Trent Stone and Tess Carter encounter an old gypsy woman who warns them that the city is facing imminent destruction. An investigation of her claims leads the pair to the City Cemetery where they are attacked by shambling reanimated corpses bent on tearing the city apart. Before long large sections of the population are succumbing to a mysterious sleeping sickness, martial law has been declared, and the dead are tearing the city apart building by building. Trent and Tess must race against time to introduce an antidote into the city’s water supply and face down the villain before the city is completely destroyed. Will they be able to uncover the secret behind the undead plague and bring it to an end? Tune in to “The Reanimator’s Revenge” and cheer as the conflict between Trent, Tess, and their arch-nemesis reaches its thrilling conclusion.
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 REANIMATOR’S REVENGE
NARRATOR: The Narrator
TRENT STONE: Our hero and adventurer
TERESA CARTER: Our heroine and reporter
SOFIE MALEFICENT: Mystic reader of portents
CATHERINE FILMORE: Chemist
MELANIE WILKES: Lab Assistant
TODD MORLEY: Lab Assistant
ANGELA WALSH: Lab Assistant
TERRY MARKS: Lab Assistant
SFX: SFX operator (1 required)
SCENE 5: EXT. THE STREET BEYOND THE CEMETERY (TERESA, TRENT, TODD, TERRY, ANGELA, MELANIE, CATHERINE)
185. MUSIC:  OPENING THEME – LET IT FINISH
186. NARRATOR: After a tip-off from a strange gypsy woman at Star City Penitentiary, Tess and Trent went to visit the cemetery and found reanimated corpses and a group of young scientists in the process of grave robbing. Having narrowly escaped the corpses they now try to determine what to do next.
187. SOUND:  WALLA — LOW MOANS OF CORPSES COMING FROM BEHIND THE WALL, CRACKLE OF FLAMES, ETC. — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
188. TRENT: Well, the flames and the wall seem to be stopping them for now. I think it’s time we got as far away…
189. CATHERINE: (IGNORING TRENT COMPLETELY) Todd, how much of our equipment did you save? Were you able to get any readings?
190. TODD: I didn’t leave any of the equipment behind. It’s all here. And you were right. He’s figured out how to animate them but there’s no sign of the carrier signal. I don’t know how he’s doing it.
191. TERESA: I don’t mean to sound stupid but…
192. CATHERINE: (SHARPLY) Then keep your mouth shut and no one will ever guess. Melanie, we need to get off the street. Where’s the map?
193. TERRY: Melanie’s still out cold.
194. CATHERINE: Oh for crying out… if I knew she was going to be this delicate I would have…
195. TERESA: Now, just a minute.
196. CATHERINE: (WITHERINGLY) Are you still here? (TO HER FOLLOWERS) Find us an abandoned lab. We’re going to need facilities. Those things that broke into the Filmore Facility destroyed everything.
197. TERESA: Filmore? Wait a minute. You’re Catherine Filmore. Didn’t you try to have your husband committed to a mental institution?
198. CATHERINE: (RESIGNED AND MUTTERING) I don’t have time for this… Alright, (PATRONISINGLY) Thank you for your assistance. I’m sure this is all very strange to you and that you don’t get set upon by undead monsters every time you engage in one of your weird little tete-a-tetes at the cemetery, but we have things to do and no time to explain, so it’s time you ran along home now.
199. TERESA: Okay, Trent, do I hit her now, or do we let her dig this hole a little deeper first.
200. TRENT: (IGNORING TERESA AND SPEAKING SHARPLY) Mrs. Filmore, do we look like trysting teenagers to you?
201. CATHERINE: (SNARKY AND BORED) I’m sure I have no interest in your bizarre personal arrangements.
202. TRENT: That’s quite enough. The Osterman Labs recently went into receivership and they are not too far from here. I believe you can hole up there for a little while… (BEAT) if you can convince me you aren’t a part of the cause for this weirdness.
203. CATHERINE: And why should I care what your opinion of this situation is?
204. ANGELA: (EXCITED) Oh, Catherine. I’ve just realized who they are. That’s Trent Stone and Tess Carter, the heroes who dealt with those alligators a few months ago. (BREATHLESSLY) Mr. Stone, I’ve read all your adventures. Did you really battle gorillas to recover the Zapata diamonds from a lost city in Peru?
205. CATHERINE: (EXASPERATED) Oh, for goodness sake. You’re a scientist, Angela, not some weak-kneed debutante. And there aren’t any gorillas in South America. Get a hold of yourself.
206. TERESA: A lot you know. The gorillas had been imported by Ankhar Cheng to guard his operation and scare off intruders while he raided the city. It almost worked too.
207. SOUND:  CORPSES ARE GETTING LOUDER AND THE SOUND OF CHUNKS OF WALL BEING TORN OUT IS HEARD — CONTINUE UNDER
208. TRENT: As trained guards go, it’s hard to find anything to match a full grown Mountain Gorilla for strength… but that’s a story for another day.
Well, Mrs. Filmore, will you accept our help or will we wait around for those things to break through the wall behind us?
209. CATHERINE: (PAUSE) Let’s just say we have a temporary alliance until we know where we all stand in this.
210. TRENT: Alright then. Everyone gather your gear and follow me.
211. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) TIME PASSING SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
212. SOUND:  FOOTSTEPS ON ECHOING CONCRETE — LET IT FINISH
213. TRENT: Well, this is it. The foreclosure on the Osterman Labs is so recent they haven’t yet moved any of the stuff out. You’ll be safe here for a few days before they come for the equipment.
214. CATHERINE: What makes you think we’re in any danger?
215. TERESA: You talk a pretty good fight, sister, but you’re on the run from somebody or something. It’s time you answered a few of our questions so we can decide what to do with you!
216. CATHERINE: (ANGRY) Now look here…
217. ANGELA: Catherine, wait. They really can help us.
218. CATHERINE: They’re charlatans and headline hunters. This needs to be tackled with science. What possible help can they be?
219. TRENT: We’ve brought you here, haven’t we? It’s high time you took a little on trust.
220. MELANIE: (MOANS) Catherine? What’s happening?
221. CATHERINE: (Disgusted) You passed out. (TO HER COMPANIONS) What about the rest of you? What do you think?
222. TODD: They did help us… and they do seem to know something about what’s going on.
223. CATHERINE: (SCORNFULLY) Like what?
224. TRENT: Like that fire keeps the creatures at bay and that, unless something is done, there’s going to be more of them.
225. TERESA: A lot more.
226. CATHERINE: (GIVING IN) Alright, what do you want to know?
227. TRENT: For a start, you can tell us what you were doing in the cemetery. Does this have anything to do with your husband’s research?
228. CATHERINE: I guess it’s no secret anymore. It made quite the splash in the papers: “Scientist’s wife tries to have husband committed.” My husband was working on a process aimed at reanimating dead tissue. His hope — our hope really, since I worked as his chief collaborator — was that we would be able to reverse the effects of degenerative diseases involving cellular death; some forms of dementia, leprosy, advanced forms of gangrene. Our research seemed promising at first but it all came to nothing in the end and it looked like we were going to have to close down.
Suddenly Marcus received funding from a secretive new backer. He became very secretive himself, withdrew into himself, and became erratic. He barely spoke to me anymore and would spend all his time in the lab. At last, he had the locks changed in order to keep me out.
I moved to have him declared mentally unfit when Todd and the other students came to see me with frightening tales of animated dead bodies. He hadn’t found a way to restore dead tissue but he had discovered a way to animate it. He brought in cadavers and was somehow getting them to respond to simple commands administered via electrical signals. However, he was unable to control them at any significant range.
I understood the principles — electrical signals can make dead muscles twitch, etc. — particularly early enough after death — but when the kids found me…
229. TODD: (OFFENDED AT BEING CALLED A KID) Hey!
230. CATHERINE: …I learned that things were far worse.
231. TODD: Dr Filmore asked us all to work late one night. He had called a special meeting saying that his research was complete and that he wanted to demonstrate it to us.
232. TERRY: We had all been working with him to a small extent, though none of us knew what he was really up to.
233. TODD: Anyway, we all gathered in the small meeting room at the back of the lab. Dr Filmore wasn’t there and we waited. The door opened and in lurched a corpse. It wasn’t wired up in any way and it was moving on its own. The door slammed behind it and I heard the latch turn locking us all in. We were all so shocked we didn’t move. Then it struck Gina with a club. She died straight away. After that things happened fast.
234. ANGELA: Terry’s an engineer as well as a scientist. He knew the walls were simple plasterboard and smashed a hole out of the room with a chair. We all followed… except poor Gina of course.
235. TODD: The place was crawling with corpses but I gathered as much of our research as I could and we all headed for Catherine’s place.
236. MELANIE: The things tried to follow us but after a couple of steps they collapsed… as if they either had a really short lifespan or the range at which they could be controlled was very limited.
237. CATHERINE: I tried to have Marcus committed at this point. Unsurprisingly no one believed us. I don’t know how he did it, but he convinced the authorities that Gina was safe and well, visiting family, and that I was lying and scheming to take control of the labs. The sensational nature of our story didn’t help either.
238. TERESA: And you have no idea who this mysterious backer might be?
239. CATHERINE: None at all.
240. TRENT: Or how your husband is controlling the creatures?
241. CATHERINE: That’s a different matter. We thought maybe it was a wireless signal of some sort. We came to the cemetery to do a little grave-robbing, Mr Stone, an attempt to gather test subjects to see if we could uncover what Marcus’s breakthrough was before he could perfect it. Unfortunately, as you can see, we were too late and Marcus anticipated our move.
242. TRENT: What makes you think it involves a wireless signal?
243. CATHERINE: Terry is a broadcast engineer with expertise in shortwave, AM, and FM technology. It stood to reason, especially in light of the work he was asked to do, that Marcus, having found a way to animate the dead, would look for a way to extend his control over them.
244. TRENT: Perhaps. We’ve seen remote control devices used before — not on the dead but on animals. And not wireless. These were machines plumbed into the brain that used punched metal instructions to force the animal along a pre-programmed path.
245. CATHERINE: This is nothing so primitive. Gina was a biologist, and nothing short of a phenomenon. She was developing biological cellular structures that could be used to receive and transmit signals sent from an electronic device.
246. TRENT: I begin to see how this fits together.
247. CATHERINE: Then that’s more than I can say. As far as I can tell from any of the research we’ve recovered, Gina’s technique could not be used on dead tissue. The cells would have to be grafted into living flesh, and even then, they can only receive and send signals like a relay station, and a living, active brain interferes with the signals. They certainly can’t be used to control anything.
248. TRENT: And what of the others, what were they working on?
249. MELANIE: We’re virologists. Specialists in the transmission and progression of diseases. I’m Melanie and I specialize in infection rates and communicability factors. I thought Marcus was looking for ways to fight infection. Instead he was focusing on how to increase the spread of infection as quickly as possible.
250. ANGELA: I’m Angela and I was looking at various means by which organic compounds could be administered and carried from person to person. I thought it was for the purpose of spreading vaccines.
251. TERESA: And what about Todd. What’s his specialty?
252. TODD: I’m a chemist. Dr Filmore had me working on brain chemicals. Those that suppress signals in the brain and leave it dormant. He told me we were working on a means to suppress seizures in grand-mal epilepsy.
253. TRENT: And now what do you think?
254. CATHERINE: Putting all of this together..? (BEAT) I don’t know. I’d guess that at the very least he was working on some kind of contagion, possibly one that leaves its victims in some kind of vegetative state. What that has to do with controlling the dead, I don’t know… but I’m certain there is a connection.
255. TERESA: Maybe we should pay Filmore a visit, Stone. Break-in to the labs and see if we can recover his research?
256. CATHERINE: (ARCHLY) Well, aren’t we the little law-breakers?
257. TERESA: Yeah, like grave-robbing’s an example of civic virtue? You need a lesson in pots and kettles, sister.
258. TRENT: Now, now, ladies.
259. CATHERINE: It won’t help. Marcus disappeared shortly after I attempted to have him committed. He took all his research and equipment with him. We have no idea where he is now.
260. TERESA: Figures.
261. TRENT: (WARNINGLY) Tess.
I’m sorry, Mrs. Filmore, but we need to leave you at this point…
262. CATHERINE: (SNIDELY) Of course you do.
263. TRENT: (WITH FINALITY) But we’ll be back. We need to re-visit the contact who sent us to the cemetery last night.
264. CATHERINE: Anything to let us get back to our work.
265. TERESA: And what work might that be? You don’t seem to have very much to go on as yet.
266. TRENT: Tess, that’s enough. I have a feeling these folks are going to be crucial to solving this conundrum and there’s no sense antagonizing them unnecessarily or getting in the way of their work.
267. CATHERINE: (WITH DIGNITY) Thank you, Mr. Stone.
268. TRENT: (MUTTERING ASIDE)… No matter how much fun it might be.
269. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
270. SOUND:  WALLA – NIGHT NOISES — STREET LAMPS FLICKERING, CRICKETS, OCCASIONAL PASSING CARS — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
271. TERESA: (A LITTLE DISAPPOINTED) Well, you sure cut that short. I was just getting warmed up.
272. TRENT: (AMUSED) Oh yes? I guess Mrs. Filmore could do with a lesson or two in charm, couldn’t she?
273. TERESA: (DRIPPING SARCASM) You think?
274. TRENT: But, unless I’m mistaken, we’ll need her help… and letting you punch her in the nose would have made getting her cooperation just that much harder. Besides the sun is coming up soon and we have to be back at the prison by nine.
275. TERESA: Fair enough. (PAUSE) You know I wouldn’t have actually punched her in the nose, don’t you?
276. TRENT: Oh really? I’m glad to hear it.
277. TERESA: (MUTTERING) I’d have settled for a kneecap instead.
278. TRENT: (ADMONISHINGLY BUT IN GOOD HUMOR) Tess.
279. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
280. SOUND:  HEAVY CLANG OF PRISON CELL DOOR CLOSING — LET IT FINISH
281. SOFIA: Back already. How nice. I take it you’ve decided I’m genuine now? You’re ready to trust me?
282. TRENT: I’ve decided you’re worth listening to if that’s what you mean. As for the rest, I couldn’t say one way or the other.
283. SOFIA: A wise position to take, Mr. Stone. But time is too short for an excess of caution. Tell me what you saw at the cemetery?
284. TERESA: You don’t know? I thought you were some kind of psychic.
285. SOFIA: Oh, I am. But like all those with the gift, we have our limitations. I know that the city is in massive danger. I know that in here, at least, I am safe. I know that the only way to avert the danger is to have you two on hand at two specific locations. One was the cemetery last night at midnight. The other… (BEAT) well, I’ll tell you about that in a minute. After that, you’re on your own.
286. TERESA: It must be convenient. Being able to see the outcome ahead of time.
287. SOFIA: Nonsense, girl. It doesn’t work like that. All I see are possibilities. An endless spread of branching possibilities. The complexity of it is too much to allow me to see down much more than a handful of paths at a time. Fortunately, I can see particular points of intersection. Major decision points if you like. These influence outcomes more strongly one way or another. But there are always too many variables to make any outcome certain.
288. TERESA: So what do you do? Try to calculate which path results in the most value for you?
289. SOFIA: More or less. Yes. That about sums it up.
290. TERESA: It doesn’t sound terribly civic-minded.
291. SOFIA: No, it isn’t. I don’t pretend to be anything more or less than I am, Miss Carter. I leave selflessness to do-gooders and suckers like yourselves. It just so happens that my good and the good of everyone in this city coincide at the moment.
292. TRENT: Alright then, what do you want to know about last night?
293. SOFIA: How many people did you meet?
294. TRENT: Five, not counting the dead.
295. SOFIA: Good. Good. How many dead? Walking corpses, I mean?
296. TRENT: There might have been as many as twelve. I’m not sure exactly.
297. SOFIA: Damn. I’d hoped you’d only encounter five or six. Did anyone pass out?
298. TERESA: Yes. A girl named Melanie.
299. SOFIA: Hmmm. That’s bad. Still, the flames kept them away?
300. TRENT: Yes, that’s right.
301. SOFIA: Okay then. (HUMS FOR A FEW SECONDS AND THEN SPEAKING RAPIDLY) An outbreak is about to occur that will result in the collapse of the Star City University Female Dormitory — Eighteen Chernovog St — at around one p.m., resulting in much loss of life before spreading throughout the city. You have some chance at putting an end to the menace if you can prevent the building collapse, but regardless of your success or failure, the city will be in quarantine before the middle of the afternoon. Fire drives them back but be sure to remove their heads or they will come after you again. (PAUSE) (MOANS) Oh.
302. TRENT: Are you alright?
303. SOFIA: Do I look alright to you, sonny? The sight takes it out of you.
304. TERESA: Yeah, sure. Why not?
Anything else you want to give us before we get out of here.
305. SOFIA: I don’t like your manners, youngster.
306. TERESA: Yeah, well I don’t think much of them myself. But if you think I believe any of this nonsense…
307. TRENT: Enough, Tess.
Ma’am. Is there anything else you can tell us?
308. SOFIA: No. That’s it. I’m tapped out. The rest is up to you.
309. TRENT: Do we need to come back again and report?
310. SOFIA: No, from the point at which you arrive at the dormitory, things will either go well or they won’t. Either way, you won’t be seeing me again.
311. TERESA: That sounds ominous.
312. SOFIA: What can I say? A plague, the likes of which no one has seen since the middle ages, is about to hit this city. Paying me a social call will very shortly be a long way down your priority list. Now, get out of here. Apparently, the prison has fish for lunch today and I’m rather looking forward to it — though later it’s going to give me gas.
313. TERESA: Oh please!
314. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) OMINOUS SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
315. SOUND:  WALLA — STREET NOISES, PASSING CARS, ETC. — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
316. TERESA: (MUSING) Eighteen Chernovog Street. Hey, Stone! Doesn’t this look familiar to you?
317. TRENT: You bet. We’re back at the Beta Phi Sorority House. I guess this place is just a magnet for trouble. Looks quiet enough. What do you think?
318. TERESA: It’s all a bit screwy to me. How are enough of those things gonna get across town to attack a building without anyone noticing?
319. TRENT: A fair question. I guess we sit tight and see what happens. There’s a bench across the street. Let’s wait there.
320. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) TIME PASSING SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
321. MUSIC:  CLOSING THEME — ESTABLISH, FADE UNDER, 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.
SOFIE MALEFICENT: Most people seem to think me slightly mad. Perhaps I am. I see the future shifting and changing all the time. Not just what is, but all the possibilities that flow from it — and, more importantly, their outcomes.
CATHERINE FILMORE: My husband is Marcus Filmore. He’s gone mad. I’m a chemist and a damned good scientist. I have to stop my husband before he does something terrible. I am impatient and irritable, but very capable. I demand a lot of those around me and I maintain their loyalty by modeling hard work.
MELANIE WILKES: I’m a virologist, an expert in the transmission and progression of diseases. I specialize in infection rates and communicability factors. Marcus has been misusing my research and I’m working with Catherine to stop him.
TODD MORLEY: I’m a chemist, like Catherine, though I specialize in brain chemistry — those chemicals that suppress signals in the brain and leave it dormant. Like Melanie, my research has been misused and I’m working with Catherine to put an end to it.
ANGELA WALSH: I’m Angela. I’m a huge fan of Trent Stone and I have something of a crush on him. I’m also a virologist like Melanie, only I study the way organic compounds can be transmitted from person to person. I believed I was working on the spread of vaccines but my research has been misused and I am working with Catherine to put things right.
TERRY MARKS: Unlike the other scientists working with Catherine, I’m an engineer and radio specialist. Marcus brought me in to do research on radio emissions but we think he is using my research to control the dead. I’m working with Catherine to stop him.
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 but 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.
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.
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.
The Reanimator’s Revenge
- The Reanimator’s Revenge – Episode 1 – Jail Cells and Graveyards
- The Reanimator’s Revenge – Episode 2 – Scientists and Laboratories
- The Reanimator’s Revenge – Episode 3 – The Attack Begins
- The Reanimator’s Revenge – Episode 4 – The Transformed Metropolis
- The Reanimator’s Revenge – Episode 5 – The Pumping Station
- The Reanimator’s Revenge – Episode 6 – The Fall of the Technomaster