Below we present the complete text of The Transformed Metropolis; episode 4 of The Reanimator’s Revenge.
THE REANIMATOR’S REVENGE
EPISODE #4 – THE TRANSFORMED METROPOLIS
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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Other works by this author can be found at the author’s website: https://www.weirdworldstudios.com or through select, online book retailers.
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
CATHERINE FILMORE: Chemist
MELANIE WILKES: Lab Assistant
TODD MORLEY: Lab Assistant
ANGELA WALSH: Lab Assistant
TERRY MARKS: Lab Assistant
RADIO ANNOUNCER: Radio announcer
LOOTER 1: Looter
LOOTER 2: Looter
POLICEMAN: Police Officer
SFX: SFX operator (1 required)
SCENE 16: INT. OSTERMAN LABS (LATER) (RADIO, TRENT, TODD, ANGELA, TERESA, CATHERINE)
501. MUSIC:  OPENING THEME – LET IT FINISH
502. NARRATOR: Star City is under threat from a strange sleeping sickness and an increasing tide of reanimated corpses. With help from a group of scientists, Trent Stone and Tess Carter are working to find a way to counteract the infection. We rejoin our heroes at the, previously abandoned, Osterman Laboratories.
503. RADIO: [CUE] As of four p.m., just half an hour ago, and in order to stem the panic, Mayor Wright declared martial law and recalled all unaffected emergency services personnel, including retired police, ambulance, and fire workers to help maintain order in the streets. The dead are now being seen above ground in increasing numbers. Large numbers of people have fallen to the sleeping plague and a number of the city’s hospitals and clinics have now closed their doors. An increasing number of buildings have collapsed in the districts of Kneebone, Kymes, Hammett, and Chandler, causing great loss of life. The pattern of infection appears to be quite random, affecting everyone from city council members to newspaper boys.
The Mayor has put in a request for assistance from the National Guard and is asking that people maintain calm and do not venture outside.
In other news…
504. SOUND:  CLICK OF RADIO BEING TURNED OFF
505. TRENT: Well, that seems to confirm it. Despite what the announcer says, this is no random infection pattern. It definitely seems to be spreading south and east from a starting point somewhere in the north-western Chiswell River district. I just wish I could figure out where.
506. TODD: This might help you. We’ve isolated the organic compound and have managed to kill it off.
507. TRENT: Oh?
508. MELANIE: Yes.
509. TERESA: Melanie, you’re awake!
510. MELANIE: Yes, I am, thanks to everyone’s hard work.
511. TODD: We found the compound in Melanie’s blood and have been able to synthesize a stable counter-agent. She woke up a few moments after it was administered.
512. TERESA: Oh, that’s wonderful.
513. TRENT: Yes, congratulations. Have you been able to figure out how it is being spread?
514. ANGELA: Yes, we think it’s in the water supply.
515. TERESA: But how is it that more people haven’t been infected?
516. TODD: We think it’s moving very slowly and it’s not terribly hardy. It doesn’t survive being boiled, for example. People who don’t tend to drink water straight — tea-drinkers, drinkers of bottled water, etc., or those who drink it with alcohol or in the form of ice — are pretty much unaffected. Children and those who drink water straight from the glass, however, are prime candidates for infection.
517. TRENT: The water supply! Of course! Look, here on the map. There’s a major pumping station right there. I’ll bet this is where the infection was introduced. From there it has spread throughout the city, turning ordinary people into overlapping transmission towers that spread Filmore’s signal and allow him to direct the dead.
518. TERESA: But what’s his goal? None of this makes any sense.
519. TRENT: No, it doesn’t, until you consider the first building targeted.
520. TERESA: The Sorority House? I don’t get it.
521. TRENT: The Beta Phi Sorority house is in the middle of the city, only a stone’s throw from the University. The infection has spread slowly from the north-west of the Chiswell River district which is miles away. The Sorority was deliberately targeted, almost as though someone held a specific grudge.
522. TERESA: And it would have taken some significant effort to set up. You think it’s the work of the Technomaster, don’t you?
523. TRENT: I do, though I don’t fully understand the connection with Filmore yet.
524. TERESA: So, the Technomaster — somehow in league with Filmore — aims to bring down the Sorority house first. But why…?
Wait a minute! We cleared Claire Mannix’s name and she spilled everything she knew about the Technomaster’s operation. You don’t think he was after her?
525. TRENT: I do. I also think he is unaware that Claire left on her honeymoon yesterday with young Felicio (FEL-EE-SEE-OH) Dominguez (DOM-IN-GEZ). In fact, I’m fairly sure this whole situation has been orchestrated as a revenge to be exacted on the city which has thwarted him three times to date.
Todd, what chance is there that you can manufacture enough of the counter-agent to free the city?
526. TODD: It’s not hard to synthesize but it would take months to actually deliver the vaccinations.
527. TERESA: Would it be possible to deliver it quickly in the same way the infection has been spread? Through the water supply?
528. CATHERINE: Well, well. It seems you’re not just a pretty face, after all, Tess Carter. (BEAT)
Yes, that would be the best way to deliver the antidote, but it does mean traveling to the heart of the chaos and introducing it at the pumping station. We’re already working on creating the counter-agent in quantity and it should soon be ready. We’ve also come up with a few handy gadgets for getting through the insanity.
529. TRENT: Portable flamethrowers. Catherine, I take back everything I’ve been thinking about you over the last few hours.
530. CATHERINE: (AMUSED) Good! I’d hate to have had to use them on you.
The backpacks are a bit cumbersome and we’ve only been able to build two of them. I thought perhaps you and Todd…
531. TERESA: Now wait just a minute.
532. MELANIE: Why is it that one of the boys gets to…?
533. ANGELA: But I wanted to…?
534. TRENT: Ladies, please. As flattering as this is…
535. TERESA: (DERISIVELY) Hmpf.
536. TRENT: I think it would be best to send Tess with me.
537. TODD: What?
538. TRENT: I mean no disrespect to you, Todd, but Tess has had lots of practice keeping cool in life-threatening situations. She can handle herself and we work well as a team. That’s the kind of edge I think we’re going to need in this situation.
539. TERESA: You tell him, Stone.
540. ANGELA: (Breathlessly) Oh, Mr. Stone, you’re so brave! Please be careful. I’d hate for anything to happen to you.
541. TRENT: Not half as much as me, kid.
542. TERESA: (MUTTERING) Hey, toots, does that cow-eyed expression of yours ever actually work on a man?
543. TRENT: Todd, you’re going to need to show us exactly how these things work… and explain how and where we need to introduce the counter-agent.
544. TODD: Right. Here goes.
545. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
546. SOUND: KNOCKING ON DOOR
547. ANGELA: Miss Carter, it’s me, Angela. Can I speak to you a moment, please?
548. TERESA: Sure, but just for a moment. We’re about to head out. What’s on your mind?
549. ANGELA: Well, ever since you arrived I’ve been getting the feeling you’re a little bit cold toward me and I wondered why?
550. TERESA: Are you kidding me? You want to do this now?
551. ANGELA: Well, it looks like the world’s about to end so, yeah. I might not get another chance later.
552. TERESA: (IMPATIENTLY) Alright. It’s about you and Trent. You’re just a kid, sister, and unless Trent’s taken an interest in cradles recently you’d best be ready for a serious let-down. (BEAT WHILE THE MEANING OF THIS FAILS TO SINK IN WITH ANGELA — FOLLOWED UP WITH AN EXPLANATORY…) You’re mooning around after him like some kind of schoolgirl with her first crush.
553. ANGELA: (CATCHING ON) Oh! (BEAT THEN DEFIANTLY) So? It’s my crush. Not that it’s any of your business. It’s not hurting you. Besides I’m not that much younger than the two of you.
554. TERESA: (WRYLY AND ALMOST TOO HERSELF) It’s not the years that make the difference, kid. It’s the mileage.
555. ANGELA: (BEWILDERED) Now what’s that crack supposed to… unless…
556. TERESA: (ANNOYED) Unless, what?
557. ANGELA: (DAWNING REALIZATION) Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize.
558. TERESA: Didn’t realize what?
559. ANGELA: (EMBARASSED) I’m going to go now. (BEAT) Good luck. We’ll be working on more flame units and Todd has an idea for an aerosol that could carry the counter-agent as well.
560. SOUND:  ANGELA WALKING AWAY — FADE OUT
561. TERESA: (CONFUSED BEAT) That kid needs professional help.
562. TRENT: (FROM A DISTANCE) Are you ready yet, Tess? We need to get underway.
563. TERESA: (CALLING BACK) Coming, Stone. I’m almost done strapping myself into these walking firebombs you’ve got us wearing.
564. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
SCENE 18: EXT. THE STREETS OF STAR CITY UNDER MARTIAL LAW (TERESA, TRENT, LOOTER 1, POLICEMAN, LOOTER 2)
565. SOUND:  WALLA — WAILING SIRENS IN THE DISTANCE, OCCASIONAL CRASHING BUILDINGS, DISTANT SCREAMS — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
566. TERESA: Trent, it’s mayhem out here… and these backpacks aren’t getting any lighter.
567. TRENT: Are you sorry you volunteered?
568. TERESA: Well, I’m sure (JEERING) “Angela” would have happily taken my place… and right now I’m pretty sure I should have let her.
569. TRENT: Not that I’m sorry to have you… but why did you come again?
570. TERESA: Did you see those kids? They’re researchers. Most of them have never had to brave anything more dangerous than a paper cut. Besides, you said it yourself. Our teamwork gives us an edge.
571. TRENT: Yes… Well… Don’t let the compliment go to your head. You haven’t stopped whining since we set out.
572. TERESA: (TEASING) Oh, so that’s it? Angela’s starting to look good to you now after all? (BEAT) Well, it’s not as if I’ve got anything to complain about. After all, we’re only trekking through a collapsing city under martial law with extremely heavy high explosives strapped to our backs. The police have orders to shoot anyone they find on the streets on sight and we run the risk of being killed by police, looters, or walking corpses — whichever find us first. On top of which we could get crushed by the very buildings in which much of populace have been told to shelter.
573. TRENT: I didn’t say there was no reason to be concerned.
574. TERESA: Yeah, well. Thanks for the pep-talk, buster.
575. SOUND:  BULLET RICOCHET — LET IT FINISH
576. LOOTER 1: (YELLING IN THE DISTANCE) Damn it. It’s the cops.
577. POLICEMAN: (ON BULLHORN) By mayoral decree you are in violation of the city’s curfew and subject to summary execution.
578. LOOTER 2: (YELLING IN RESPONSE) That ain’t no incentive to come peacefully now is it, copper?
579. POLICEMAN: (ON BULLHORN) Have it your way. (TO HIS MEN) Open fire!
580. SOUND:  WALLA — GUN FIRE — A REGULAR FIREFIGHT — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
581. TRENT: That’s all we need… At least they haven’t seen us yet. Come on down that alley.
582. SOUND:  HURRIED FOOTSTEPS — GUNFIRE FADES IN BACKGROUND
583. TERESA: (PUFFING) Like we couldn’t have found a car, somewhere?
584. TRENT: There’s nothing short of a tank that could get through these streets now. Too many collapsed buildings… and more of them as we get closer to our destination.
585. TERESA: A tank! Now there’s an idea. You don’t happen to have one handy, do you?
586. TRENT: (AMUSED) I’m afraid not. I’m all out, but let me know the next time we pass a surplus store. I’ll see what I can do.
587. SOUND:  CORPSE MOANS AND GROANS APPROACHING — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
588. TERESA: Like we don’t have enough problems already.
589. TRENT: We’ve been lucky not to have run into any of these things before now as it is.
590. TERESA: Well, at least we get to try these backpacks out.
591. SOUND:  WHOOSH OF FLAME THROWERS AND SCREAMS OF CORPSES — LET IT FINISH
592. TRENT: Where are they coming from?
593. TERESA: It looks like that building over there. Oh no!
594. SOUND:  HUGE RUMBLE — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
595. TRENT: The building’s coming down. Run!
596. SOUND:  CRASH OF COLLAPSING BUILDING — LET IT FINISH
597. TRENT: (BEAT OF SILENCE) Tess? Tess? Are you alright?
598. TERESA: Sure, Stone. I’m fine. That was a little too close for comfort though.
599. TRENT: At least it took care of those corpses.
600. TERESA: Trent! Look over there. I think that’s a child’s hand sticking out of the rubble.
601. SOUND:  SOUND OF BRICKWORK BEING HURRIEDLY PUSHED ASIDE — LET IT FINISH
602. TRENT: Damn it! No pulse. There’s nothing we can do.
603. SOUND:  MORE BRICK WORK SHIFTING — FOLLOWED BY MOANS — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
604. TRENT: Aw, hell! Tess, we have to get out of here.
605. TERESA: But there could be people alive under there.
606. TRENT: I know! Damn it! I know! But the longer we take to complete our mission the more people are going to die. Come on. We’ve still got a long way to go!
607. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) TIME PASSING SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
608. SOUND:  WALLA — LARGE NUMBERS OF GROANS AND MOANS FROM A MULTITUDE OF CORPSES SURROUNDING THE PUMPING STATION — ESTABLISH AND UNDER
609. TRENT: Aargh! Look at them all. There’s no way we’re getting into that pumping station with those things in the way. There must be hundreds of them.
610. TERESA: What? You thought the station would be unguarded?
611. TRENT: I guess it was a pretty forlorn hope. But still, it would be nice if just once we didn’t have to do things the hard way.
612. TERESA: Yeah, I know. But these villainous types just refuse to be accommodating that way. What can you do?
613. TRENT: Funny girl.
614. TERESA: Just trying to keep the glass half full. (BEAT) Hey, you got any juice left in that backpack of yours?
615. TRENT: No. That packet of corpses we hit on Cumberland used up the last of it. You?
616. TERESA: I’m tapped too.
617. TRENT: Well, at least we won’t have to carry them any further if they’re empty.
618. TERESA: Now he tells me!
619. TRENT: Sorry, Tess, I just hadn’t noticed we’d run out of juice.
620. TERESA: Yeah, neither had I. They weigh almost as much empty as full.
621. SOUND:  CLIPS UNCLASPING AND HEAVY PACKS BEING DROPPED ON THE GROUND — LET IT FINISH
622. TERESA: (GRUNTING WITH PLEASURE) Oh! That’s so much better… but it doesn’t help us much with the situation at hand.
623. TRENT: They don’t appear to be moving around much. Just sort of standing there like they’re waiting for something.
624. TERESA: Hey, Stone, fix your eyes on the cat coming this way.
625. TRENT: The ginger tabby? Is it living or dead?
626. TERESA: This one looks living. No signs of decay anyway — and it’s moving pretty smoothly, not lurching like that cat we saw coming through Elridge.
627. TRENT: Don’t remind me. It’s bad enough that the human dead are walking without including every moggy and mutt that’s been turned into roadkill as well.
628. TERESA: Yeah, well, it looks like it’s going to pass right through the furthest corner of that crowd.
629. TRENT: You’re right. And they don’t seem to be responding to its approach either. Maybe they aren’t guards at all. Maybe they don’t have any instructions to follow and will just let us go. We could walk right through them.
630. SOUND:  SCREECH AND HISS OF TERRIFIED CAT BEING TORN TO BITS— LET IT FINISH
631. TERESA: (REVOLTED) Ugh!
632. TRENT: Or maybe not.
633. TERESA: Still, they weren’t interested until it walked into their reach. That suggests they’re unlikely to give chase if we come out from cover.
634. TRENT: And possibly not even if we get past them. That’s a chain-link fence just behind them. If we could just get over it I think we’d be safe.
635. TERESA: That’s a big “if,” Stone. I’m not sure I want to bet my life on it.
636. TRENT: And those things are jammed so close to each other that I don’t think we’ve got any chance of getting through without ending up like that cat, anyway. I don’t think they’re likely to even notice a distraction either — let alone move away from the fence to investigate — even if we could come up with one.
637. TERESA: Hey, Stone. What about that?
638. TRENT: The crashed fire engine? What about it?
639. TERESA: It’s got an extendable ladder, hasn’t it?
640. TRENT: Yeah, but that truck’s on its side. It isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
641. TERESA: No. But see that elm over there on the right. If we could run the ladder from the tree over the heads of the monsters and up onto the fence…
642. TRENT: Yes. I see what you mean. We might actually be able to climb along it while staying out of reach and get in. Let’s see if the truck has any tools in it that could help us get that ladder loose.
643. MUSIC:  (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH
644. 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.
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.
CASTING SHEETS — MINOR CHARACTERS
LOOTERS: I’m not a bad person. It’s just that an opportunity like this is hard to let pass. A couple of days from now, everything will be back the way it was — the only difference is, I’ll have some things I otherwise couldn’t afford.
POLICEMAN: It’s my job to keep the streets clear of the parasites and vermin who’d take advantage of a catastrophe. I’ve got family who have been infected with… whatever this disease is and I’ve no tolerance for the maggots who are trying to take advantage of it.
RADIO ANNOUNCER: I’m the voice of reason in times of trouble. I provide soothing authoritative commentary that people trust. When the world is falling to pieces you can tune in to me for the comfort you need.
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