NAY, TIME TO DIE!
Anonymous Contributor, Barbel, caractacus potts, Gymkata, The Domino Effect, Westward_Drift
Act 1, Scene 1
(Curtain opens on a snow-covered landscape, a lone figure hobbles towards a small homestead dressed as a snowman.
Inside yon hovel, a lady lays on a couch as a young girl plays in ye kitchen while a bird faints in its cage.)
Mother: Quickly Madeleine, my bowels do heave with great irritation. I doth need my medicine most quickly!
(Madeleine turns to ye audience with a clothes peg on her nose as an escaping gas sound can be heard.)
Madeleine: Yes Mama, doth thee need thine white medicine or ye red medicine? And where is Papa?
Mother: Do you know’eth what thine father does?
Madeleine: He be’eth a Physician, Nay?
Mother: (Aside.) Physician Nay? That be’eth the first tale..... (Aloud.) He doth kill people.
Madeleine: He doth work for Dignitas? Look Mama, a snowman is calling.
Mother: Describe him to me, I cannot see through these heavy red curtains.
Madeleine: He hath a snow arms, snow feet and...
Mother: Snowballs! (She rolls two across the table.)
Madeleine: I cannot see, but he hath a snowman mask and a carrot for a nose.
Mother: Quickly- hide in Papa's secret room.
Madeleine: Oh Mama, ‘tis not a secret room but A Man Cave- he doth keep his Gentleman's Special Interest Parchments, his chess set, and that signed portrait of Franz Oberhauser asking him to help on that Information Business idea.
(She runs but too late- ye Snowman is in ye room.)
Snowman: Where ist thine husband m'lady, and what be’eth that foul smell?
Mother: Alack, my bowel is full of demons fighting to escape, sometimes I cannot hold them back.
(Madeleine scurries to under ye sink to retrieve a small hidden dagger, she rushes forward to attack but falls sending ye blade into ye dying embers of ye fireplace sending up sparks, just as Mama releases a horde of smelling bottom demons, causing a huge explosion!)
(Outside two locals take in the scene, as ye snowman flies up and over........ )
First Local: He's flying very high #
Second Local: Walking in the air....
(Madeleine flies in ye opposite direction with one of ye red curtains around her.)
Second Local: Is that a bird? Is it a plane?
First Local: Nay, 'tis young Madeleine.
Second Local: Nay, ‘tis Superman!
(A curtain covers most of ye Globe stage, acting as a painted backdrop. There is only a narrow bit of floorboard available in front of painted backdrop. Ye backdrop image depicts a frozen lake, with snow covered hills in ye distance. At the edge of ye frozen lake ist painted a house with its lights on, address Number 22 Frozen Lake Lane. Further in ye distance is a second house, Number 24 Frozen Lake Lane. Lights are all off in that house, Number24 is sleeping right through ye First Act!)
(Madeleine emerges stage left, none the worse for her unscheduled flight. She is struggling to drag a heavy object by its shoes, which are an unfortunate shade of green. As she continues to struggle, gasping and pausing frequently to regain her grip, we now see ye object is a corpse, leaving a trail of blood on ye floorboards. As Madeleine reaches centre stage, she drops ye corpses legs, catches breath, and turns to ye audience.)
Madeleine: Mama! Just killed a man! Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he's dead. (Ye child’s voice rises in pitch and volume.) Mama, life had just begun, But now I've gone and thrown it all awaayyaayyy….
(As Madeleine hits ye high note and holds it on ye second syllable of "away", ye "corpse" stirs, struggling to lean on his right elbow while lying on his back, and raises his left arm to project the actor's impressive voice.)
Safin: So you think you can stop me and spit in my eye!!?? (Ye child stares dumbstruck.) So you think you can love me and leave me to die?!!? (Madeleine shakes her head.) Oh, baby!! Can't do this to me, baby!!!! Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here!!!!
(Madeleine turns to ye audience looking like McCauley Culkin in ye Home Alone poster, and emits an earsplitting never ending scream.)
Act 1, Scene 2
(Ye forestage fades to black, leaving the child and corpse in silhouette, They exit stage discreetly as a painted backdrop curtain rises. Full lights come on revealing mainstage: a hotel room in Matera. Adult Madeleine, now Apothecary Swann, is in bed at stage left, snoring loudly.)
Apothecary Swann: zzzzzz..... zzzzzz..... zzzzzzz..... zzzzzzz.....
(Sir James Bond sits centre stage, enjoying a beverage while holding a printed broadsheet headlined "Ye Adventures of Bulldog Drummonde". His eyes squint and lips move, as literacy was less common in Elizabethan times.
Suddenly Madeleine sits up in bed and screams, just as ye child did. Sir James jumps in his chair, drops broadsheet and beverage and spits out what he's been drinking, and after a second turns to Madeleine.)
Sir James: What ye hell? I was pretending to read and you just...
Apothecary Swann: I didst have a nightmare!
Sir James: A nightmare? A nightmare! Canst thee not have one more quietly? (Madeleine gives him such a look.)...Er, that is, what I meanst to say dearest, was, er, was... what was this nightmare about? Pray, tell me!
(Madeleine opens mouth, then pauses, moving finger to lips, facing audience thinking.)
Apothecary Swann: Nay I cannot tell, not even to thee!
Sir James: (Angered and suspicious, rising from chair.) Whatst’s all this? Thou dost have a secret! I knew it all along! (Turns to audience.) Didst I not tell thee all she hast a secret!!
Apothecary Swann: Oh no I dost not! (Furtively rubs her belly.)
Sir James: Oh yes thou dost!
Audience: Oh no she dost not!
Sir James: (To audience, shaking fist.) Oh yes she dost!
One lone voice from back row: You idiot! Canst thou not see she is with Childe?
Rest of Audience: Aye! That ist right! We've all figured it out!
(Madeleine nods to ye audience, while Sir James waves his hand dismissively and turns back from ye audience.)
Sir James: Bah, thou all art crazy!
Apothecary Swann: Enough of this. We have come to this place because here is an old custom. Ye locals write down a memory they wish to forget, then set it alight. It burns, and ye bad memory is gone, forgotten.
Sir James: And we both shall write down a memory, then set it on fire?
Apothecary Swann: Aye, ‘tis so.
Sir James: Very well. Let us do this. Thee first.
(Madeleine takes a scrap of paper, writes “Spectre 2015” on it and sets it on fire. She tosses ye burning paper from ye window.)
Apothecary Swann: And it is gone. For you, Sir James?
Sir James: I shall do likewise, but I must do it at a certain place.
Apothecary Swann: A certain grave? Do it if thou must.
(Sir James, having been guided by a young man, stands at ye tomb of Lady Lynd. A likeness of her taken from “The Dreamers” (selected by Number24, but banned from being displayed here by Barbel.) stands above ye inscription:
The Lady Lynd
Vesper Lolita Emmeline Lilli Violet Ivy
Emotionally, Sir James begins his Soliloquy at ye Tomb of Lady Lynd.)
Sir James: Sweet Vesper
Skewered was I when first we talked
Of schools, and charity, and parents lost
You thought me cold-hearted, and yet
I would love thee whatever the cost
We played our parts, we did it so well
We acted in a play, or maybe a farce
And in time I learned to love your face
As well as your perfectly formed-
(There ist a sudden explosion. Sir James is thrown back, pieces of stone miraculously missing him. His ears ringing, he spots a card on ye ground. It is ye dreaded Spectre Junior League Symbol.)
Sir James: Ye dreaded Spectre Junior League Symbol! All ist now clear to me! Madeleine….
(He begins to run.)
(Sir James approaches Ye Nueva Locanda de Matera. He is out of breath from ye preceding chase.)
Doorman: My Lord, art thou well? You look as if thou hast had a cannon fire in your face, fallen off a bridge, and raced through town at a swift pace.
Sir James: More or less. I also rode a horse up a rampart and leapt over a funeral procession. Thou art very observant. Now, fetch mine carriage. It is the one made by ye DB5th Earl of Aston and ye Lord Martin…. Why doest thou not move? For what are you waiting?
Doorman: Ye valet ticket?
Sir James: Oh, aye, of course.
(Sir James rummages through ye folds of his garment. He is both annoyed and sheepish. He finally finds a slip of paper and hands it to ye doorman, who goes to retrieve ye carriage. Apothecary Swann by coincidence is exiting ye inn. She is shocked by Sir James’ appearance.)
Apothecary Swann: James! What tragedy has befallen you? (If only she were as observant as a doorman.)
Sir James: We must flee. Death has not claimed ye past, but it will claim us if we do not leave posthaste.
(Ye doorman arrives with ye carriage. Sir James hands a doorman a coin and he and Apothecary Swann climb aboard. A pigeon alights on ye bench next to Apothecary Swann. It has a tube strapped to one leg.)
Sir James: Open it. I hear horses approaching.
(Madeleine retrieves a letter from ye tube and ye pigeon flies off. She unrolls ye letter to reveal to us a drawing of an octopus on the rear of ye paper.
Sir James flicks ye reins and they proceed down ye narrow street. Several men on horseback approach. Sir James increases speed but ye pursuers gain ground. One pulls alongside when ye street widens and slashes a sword at Sir James. Madeleine screams as it narrowly misses the pair. Sir James pulls a hidden lever (one of many as we shall see). A pole springs out from ye hub of ye front wheel, tripping ye horse next to them. Ye rider flies through ye air with a Wilhelm Scream and crashes into a storefront. Ye pole retracts.)
Sir James: What dost yon missive say? Speak!
Apothecary Swann: It is nothing but lies from ye Comte de Blofeld. He claims me to be a daughter of Spectre.
Sir James: (Thinking.)
I’ve loved you since I do not know when
My dear most lovely Madeleine
Though thine lips do taste of nectar
Thou surely art a daughter of Spectre
Sir James: (Aloud.) Perhaps thou art. They were waiting for me at ye tomb of Lady Lynd.
Apothecary Swann: Why wouldst I betray you?
Sir James: Alack, all of us secrets do have. To yours, we have not yet arrived… yet.
(Ye carriage races down ye street. Two horsemen follow, but maintain a respectful distance, not wanting to repeat ye error of their compatriot. More horsemen appear in front of them. Sir James swerves his carriage down a neighbouring street. They enter ye Matera town square. All exit points are blocked. Sir James quickly pulls back on ye horses’ reins.)
Sir James: (To his horses.) Whoa, Sir Sean. Whoa, Sir Roger.
Primo: There is no escape for you, Sir James. Ye town bell will soon toll your demise.
(Several henchmen pull out crossbows and bow and arrows.)
Lady Madeline: James! Please! Save...us.
(Big dramatic pause...)
Sir James: Very well.
(Sir James pulls on two other hidden levers. Ye packs on ye backs of Sir Sean and Sir Roger unfurl and cover them in leather and chainmail armour. A canopy raises from ye rear of ye carriage. When fully extended over the pair, Sir James reaches up and unrolls armour like that on his horses. Sir James and Madeleine are now completely enclosed, able to see outside through small slits in ye armoured fabric. Ye shafts of incoming light are very atmospheric.)
(Arrows and crossbow bolts rain down on ye carriage, but bounce off ye armour. Sir Sean and Sir Roger are becoming very agitated as errant arrows strike them.
Sir James grabs a firestarter from his corduroy doublet. Ye sparks alight a small piece of cloth. Sir James grabs two metal canisters from under ye bench, touches ye flame to ye canisters and throws them out toward his adversaries. Smoke begins to billow out, providing cover.)
Primo: Advance on them! Do not let them escape into ye dark mist!
(Sir James gives a cruel smile. He uses ye flame to ignite two fuses on the floor of ye carriage, then pulls on the reins and ye carriage turns. When the rear is facing Primo and ye archers the fuses ignite ye hidden rifle barrels in the rear of ye carriage. A dozen bullets fly out, slaying several men.
Sir James whips the reins and ye carriage races toward a group of men blocking one street. Sir James pulls a lever and blades extend from ye rear axle. The horses trample several men while ye blades cut down those who tried to dive out of ye way.)
Sir James and Madeleine have made their escape. As sunset approaches ye carriage and horses, now reset to their initial innocent appearance, approach a waystation in ye nearby town of Altamura.
Apothecary Swann: Thou hast not spoken for hours….
Sir James: It did seem I was expected- how could they have known this?
Apothecary Swann: But surely thou do not think that….?
Sir James: No-one else knew. Also, thou didst receive a missive from ye Comte de Blofeld.
Apothecary Swann: But, James…. (She rubs her belly.)
Sir James: But me no buts, fair lady. Now, out of mine carriage and wait here.
Apothecary Swann: (Getting out.) But when shalt I see thee again?
Sir James: Thou willst not.
(Sir James goads ye horses, and poor exhausted Sir Sean and Sir Roger wearily begin to head off. Madeleine waits, aghast, at ye waystation. A young woman on a makeshift stage begins to sing….)
Intermission. A young singer, Billie, comes on and mumbles some words.
Young Singer: ...and its... (Inaudible) ... Nay Time to (Inaudible) ... something something Bad Guy ...
Audience Member: Speak up!
2nd Audience Member: Aye, no-one can hear you!
Audience as one: Aye! That is right! (They grow restive.)
3rd Audience Member: Dost thou not know how to belt it out to ye back row as didst Dame Bassey before thee?
(Audience rises to their feet as a mob, and reach for their provisions brought from ye market.)
4th Audience Member: (Facing backwards into ye mob and gesticulating.) Why didst they not get Safin to sing this song? He hast an excellent singing voice!!! Mr Showmanship they callest him!!!
Audience: (In unison.) Thou suckest! Get off ye stage!! Boo! Hiss! Etc etc
(And poor Billie ist pelted with rotten tomatoes and other sundry fortnight-old vegetables, as we begin ye Second Act.)
Act 2, Scene 1
(An alchemist’s chamber. Ye table ist littered with Alembics, Aludels, Crucibles, Mortar and Pessels, and other such typical Alchemical gear, and right in the middle of ye clutter sits a plateful of nice breads and cheeses (and whatever else Elizabethans ate for lunch). Two alchemists approach giggling, and with tongs carefully place a giant mutant flea in the middle of ye bread, then retreat.)
1st Alchemist: This shall teach him for being ye most annoying of all alchemists.
2nd Alchemist: Indeed, with luck he shall exit ye plot very early and we shall be ye only alchemists with any lines for the remainder of ye play.
(Behind them are shelves full of squealing rats in cages, and glass vessels crawling with fleas are piled on ye tables before them. They both wear Plague Doctors' masks.)
1st Alchemist: Here he comes now!
(An annoying little alchemist enters, also wearing a Plague Doctor’s mask. He hears his fellow alchemists giggling, shoots them a glance, then lifts his mask ensuring he is two metres from fellow Alchemists. He picks up his loaf of bread to eat, then pauses noticing ye giant mutant flea crawling round, just inches from his open mouth.)
Annoying Little Alchemist: Oh, you guys!
(He opens a window to throw ye entire plate of food into ye street. Outside is a vast pyramid of rotting food, human waste and bits of human and animal corpses, with steam rising and vast swarms of flies buzzing over it, which ye passers-by must walk around or get their shoes dirty, as is typical in ye streets of Elizabethan times. Ye Alchemist's lunch lands on top with a “splat!”, momentarily disturbing ye flies. Our giant mutant flea then crawls off ye bread into ye pile of waste and immediately finds a rat to infect. Said rat in turn runs into ye street to bite the ankle of ye next passer-by.)
Passer-by: Ouch! Damnable vermin!
(He plunges a sword through ye critter. We now see that he is dressed oddly, in a Plague Doctor's mask and is accompanied by a large group of men similarly attired and all waving swords about. Other passers-by have to step in ye waste heap to avoid ye swords.)
Men: To Evil! Yea, verily, to Evil!
!st Evildoer: Oh, could this be ye address we do seek? (He reads ye sign slowly, literacy still being uncommon in those times.) “Ye… Olde… Al Capo…
2nd Evildoer: (Suddenly afraid.) Al Capone? Hey Al, Al, don’t hold it against me!
1st Evildoer: Nay, stop that! “Al Coho… Elke Sommer… Alchemist’s Shoppe?” Aye, it says “Alchemist’s Shoppe”! This is it, fellow evildoers, let us now enter!
(They kick down ye door and enter with much noise, slaying indiscriminately- but for ye Most Annoying of all Alchemists who they allow to live, and indeed take away with them. They lead ye Annoying Little Alchemist towards ye right, but he pauses.)
Alchemist: Tarry! I almost forgot ye most important item!
1st Evildoer: What now? We have deadlines in this business.
(Ye Annoying Little Alchemist climbs on a stool to reach a rat-cage on ye top shelf. Ye rat must be a Norwegian Blue Rat, for he is kipping on his back. With tongs, ye Alchemist retrieves one particularly nasty looking flea from ye dead rats fur and adds it to a glass vessel. This glass vessel is nearly full already with hopping crawling nasty looking fleas. Before he places ye glass vessel in his pocket, he holds it at such an angle that those audience members with opera glasses can read the text on ye label: Top Secret Evil Nano-Flea project. Client: SPECTRE (Crossed out.) Mallory (Also crossed out.) and finally Safin.)
Annoying Little Alchemist: Now I am ready, let us depart.
Act 2, Scene 2
(A residence in Jamaica. Sir James returns from fishing, and inspects ye remains of a cigar which he finds.)
Sir James: Hmm, “Delectados”? They are particularly hazardous to one’s health.
Voice From Behind: And so art thou, mine friend.
Sir James: (Turning.) Lord Felix! It hath been too long!
Lord Felix: Aye, ‘tis so. I have come to seek thine companionship on a quest which I must undertake.
Sir James: A quest?
Lord Felix: An alchemist hath gone missing, and we must find him.
Sir James: “We”? I am enjoying ye days of mine retirement, Lord Felix.
Lord Felix: I cannot persuade thee?
Sir James: Most surely not.
Lord Felix: Well, I shalt be in ye tavern tonight. I prithee, join me, for old times' sake.
(Ye local tavern. Lord Felix sits, nursing his drink, with a man with an unnerving smile as Sir James walks in.)
Lord Felix: Ah, Sir James. I have been expecting thee. What would ye like to drink?
Sir James: Mead- let it not be stirred, but rather let it be shaken.
Lord Felix: But of course. (He places an order.) Let me introduce you to mine associate, Logan of Ashe.
Logan: Most pleased am I to meet thee. Of thee I have heard a great deal.
Sir James: Nothing bad, I do hope.
Logan: Oh, nay- of thee I am a great admirer! I have all ye DVDs, most of ye books, a Corgi model of thine carriage, and-
Lord Felix: Enough. To business. An alchemist has been abducted from London.
Sir James: Alchemist, eh? First name?
Lord Felix: Annoying Little. We have been tasked with finding this man.
(Sir James’ eye is momentarily distracted by a tall, elegant woman passing by.)
Sir James: Thine pardon, what did you say?
Lord Felix: Careful now, Sir James.
Sir James: Old habits die hard. Nay, mine friend, I shalt not be joining thee.
(He gets up.)
Lord Felix: I shalt be waiting here for when thine mind doth change.
(Sir James walks to ye street, where ye lady is waiting in a carriage.)
Elegant Lady: Care for a ride?
Sir James: Why, we have only just met!
Elegant lady: In thine dreams, grandfather. Pray, enter my carriage.
(They set off.)
Sir James: Thou may know me as Bond, James Bond.
Elegant Lady: Nomi.
Sir James: I know thee not- as I said, we have only just met.
Elegant Lady: Nay, mine name ist Nomi. From Sir Gareth have I been sent, to seek thine aid in finding an alchemist who hast been-
Sir James: - abducted from London. Aye, of this I have heard tell. I prithee, pass mine greetings to Sir Gareth and remind him that I have retired.
Nomi: Of this he is well aware. Indeed, thou willst remember thine number, Naught Naught Seven?
Sir James: But of course.
Nomi: That is my number now. I am Naught Naught Seven.
Sir James: ‘Tis a dirty job, but someone hath to do it. Nomi, I shalt not join thee in thine quest. I prithee, stop thine carriage.
(A puzzled Nomi stops ye carriage, and Sir James alights.)
Sir James: I thank ye for ye ride. I can walk from here.
Nomi: If thou says so. But I have ye feeling we shalt be meeting again.
(Nomi drives off. Once she ist out of sight, Sir James begins walking back to ye tavern where Lord Felix awaits.)
Nomi: (In ye distance.) Is that all ye lines I get to say?
ACT 2, SCENE 3
(Ye Isle of Cuba. Sir James wanders into a tavern where a most becoming young wench awaits in a most remarkable dress.)
Sir James: Greetings. I trust thou art Paloma?
Paloma: Indeed, and I trust thou art he who is called Bond, James Bond?
Sir James: Aye, ‘tis so.
Paloma: I am most happy to be working with thee. Thou art only mine second assignment, you know.
Sir James: Oh? And ye first?
Paloma: An agent called Baines, but he was killed- up in ye hills down there.
Sir James: ‘Tis a relief to know I am next in line for ye same kind of aid.
Paloma: Thou shouldst not worry- for three weeks of training have I had!
Sir James: Three weeks, eh?
Paloma: Now, come with me.
(She leads him down to a cellar.)
Sir James: I am not too keen on thine decorator.
Paloma: Nay, this is ye wine cellar. Now…
(She begins to undo his doublet.)
Sir James: Perhaps this is not quite ye moment…
Paloma: Oh? Ah, I see. Behold!
(She indicates a well styled black doublet and hose, from Sir Tom Ford of London.)
Sir James: How did thee know mine size?
Paloma: Well, I did guess that thou wert about five foot eight-
(Sir James develops a sudden fit of coughing.)
Paloma: …..er, six foot tall. Now, at haste!
(Sir James changes into the outfit which fits him perfectly.)
Paloma: Now, with me!
(They walk down ye streets of Havana.)
Paloma: Aha! (Points at address plate.) This is ye address of ye party we will be crashing!
Sir James: I must say, I admire your ability to read an address without squinting and moving thine lips. and only three weeks training?
(They enter. Ye party is dark and full of sinister people all dressed in black with pallid complexions and ornate jewellery)
Paloma: This party ist some creepy scene, much like those Harry Potter Plays that used to be all ye rage.
Sir James: Hmmm, this remindeth me of something- that SPECTRE meeting I crashed five years ago, same weirdo junkie-chic goth crowd! Ye other fellow told me SPECTRE meetings were much more conventional back in his day, I don't know why I get stuck with these Horror Play type SPECTRE meetings.
(Blofeld's Field Rep descends a staircase holding an eyeball on a pillow before him. ‘Tis an Enchanted Eyeball. He presents ye Enchanted Eyeball to a tall pale woman with long black hair.)
Blofeld's Field Rep: SPECTRE Agent Morticia, say hello to ye Comte.
SPECTRE Agent Morticia: Why, isn't he cute! Hello little Comte, cootchie-wootchie-coo! May I pet him?
Blofeld's Field Rep: How'd you like it if I poked you in ye eyeball?
SPECTRE Agent Morticia: Why darling, you say ye sexiest things!
Blofeld's Field Rep: Never mind that! (Turns to next SPECTRE agent.) SPECTRE Agent Fester, say hello to ye Comte.
SPECTRE Agent Fester: Hiya Comte! Y'know, you and I have a lot in common! I like to take my eyeballs out and soak them in saline solution every night!
Blofeld's Field Rep: SPECTRE Agent Cousin It, say hello to the Comte.
Sir James: Thank God there isn't a SPECTRE Agent Lurch ... yet!
(Suddenly there is a kerfuffle. Ye Enchanted Eyeball begins leaping up and down on ye pillow, making whistle and chirping noises.)
Blofeld's Field Rep: What's that, ye Comte's Enchanted Eyeball? (Whistle chirp.) You say you've spotted an intruder? (Whistle chirp.) But, where?
(Ye Enchanted Eyeball resumes its position on ye pillow, then rotates to stare fixedly straight in ye direction of Sir James.)
Blofeld's Field Rep: (Points in ye direction of Sir James and a strangled voice screeches.) Cuckoo!!!!
All SPECTRE Agents: (In unison.) Cuckoo!!!! Cuckoo!!!! Cuckoo!!!! Cuckoo!!!!
Sir James: (Aside.) Oh good God, not this again! (Shakes fist.) Curse you, Comte de Blofeld, this "cuckoo" nonsense is why I chose to retire after my last Adventure! (Thinks: and Michael & Barbara are still negotiating their out-of-court settlement for plagiarism with Sir Michael Myers of Scarberia).
Blofeld's Field Rep: (Turns to Annoying Little Alchemist who is suddenly at his side.) You there! Annoying Little Alchemist! Release the Evil Nano-Fleas and kill ye intruder in our midst!
Annoying Little Alchemist: Sure boss, heh heh, I'll release ye Evil Nano-Fleas, and, er, kill somebody! Heh heh heh heh...
(As ye Annoying Little Alchemist approaches Sir James and Paloma, Blofeld's Field Rep carries ye Enchanted Eyeball to a decorative box along a sideboard. The lid of ye box opens on its own, and a disembodied hand emerges, and waves. As ye Enchanted Eyeball is presented, ye hand reaches out to retrieve ye Enchanted Eyeball carefully, then withdraws into ye box and ye lid closes.)
Annoying Little Alchemist: Heh heh heh, now we shall see my creation at work!
(Sir James and Paloma make a grab for ye Annoying Little Alchemist, but Nomi descends on a rope and grabs him.)
Paloma: What ist this? I thought I would be working with Sir James Bond, not Spiderman!
Nomi: Nay, not Spiderman, but I shall be playing in mine next Play at ye Marvel WoodenStage Universe Theatre across ye street next month, once this long delayed production is over.
Paloma: Oh those are always good, much more popular with Contemporary Audiences than these Plays, congratulations!
Nomi: Thanks! And I much admired your performance in last years Play BladeRunner 1599. I was most impressed at ye successful use of pseudo-Elizabethan era retro-tech in that Production. But enough of yon girlish chit-chat, for now, we art rivals!
(Sir James pushes Paloma and Nomi, holding ye Annoying Little Alchemist by ye scruff of his neck, behind ye bar.)
Paloma: You're coming with me, Annoying Little Alchemist!
Nomi: Nay, you're coming with me!
Paloma: Uh-uh, he is now in ye custody of ye CIA!
Nomi: Nuh-huh! He is now in ye custody of MI6!!!
Paloma: Oh yeah?
Sir James: Er, ladies? I do so hate to interrupt ye, but what's happening on ye dance floor?
(Somebody coughs offstage, on ye unseen dancefloor.)
Nomi: I don't know, the rhumba? The samba? The mamba? Some of these AfroCuban jazz groups are quite good you know, I wouldn't mind hitting ye floor myself!
(Many more coughs.)
Paloma: They certainly are working up a sweat!
Sir James: ...and although we are in a tropical climate, it is night and there is a nice cool breeze off ye Caribbean so they shouldn't be sweating quite that much…
(Suddenly ye sound of a sneeze: wahahaaaahaaaa-CHOO!!)
Nomi: Oh, yuck! Oy, you cover your mouth with your hand when you do that!
Paloma: Why does nobody sneeze into their sleeve like they're supposed to? Is that so difficult? Droplets all over ye place!
(More coughs and sneezes and now loud moans.)
Sir James: The first man who sneezed! His nose is turning black! That doesn't normally happen does it?
Annoying Little Alchemist: It is working! Heehee! These are all symptoms! My evil invention is working!
(Sir James, Nomi and Paloma shoot him a collective glare.)
Paloma: Wow, they're really starting to boogie down now! I've never seen that dance move before!
Nomi: Is it the pogo? The slam-dance? The mosh?
Sir James: Nay- those punk rock dance moves shall not be invented for many centuries, so that can't be what they're doing!
Annoying Little Alchemist: It is another symptom! They are having convulsive seizures! And see ye beautiful Buboes pustules forming on their necks! Heehee!
(More moans from ye dancefloor, growing louder, more frequent.)
Sir James: Symptoms of what?
Annoying Little Alchemist: My new variant of ye Bubonic Plague of course! I did not dream it would work so fast! Is it not beautiful?
Paloma: Yeccch, now their extremities are all turning black! They can barely stand on their feet anymore!
Annoying Little Alchemist: Yes! Yes! That is ye gangrene! Another symptom! Hooray for my genius!
Sir James, Paloma and Nomi: Ewwww…
(In the midst of ye coughs, sneezes, and swelling chorus of moans and groans, above all we hear the sound effect of a whoopee cushion. Sir James, Nomi and Paloma's eyebrows all rise.)
(Paloma scrunches her nose, waves her hand before her face, then glares towards her rival Nomi. Nomi scrunches her nose, waves her hand before her face, then glares towards her predecessor Sir James, of whom she is secretly jealous. Sir James scrunches his nose, waves his hand before his face, then glares towards the Annoying Little Alchemist.)
Annoying Little Alchemist: (Shrugging his shoulders and giggling.) Sorry everybody, I just cannot digest this Latin American food with all its beans!
Paloma: Thou art truly a pig!
(Ye whoopee cushion sound effects continue.)
Nomi: No listen, that sound (and stench) is coming from ye dancefloor!
(From ye dancefloor: moan, cough, groan, plllfffttt!, groan, cough, plllfffttt!,moan, plllfffttt!, plllfffttt!...)
Sir James: Another of your damnable symptoms?
Annoying Little Alchemist: Yes! Yes! Now comes the Extreme Flatulence!
(From ye dancefloor: ...plllfffttt!, plllfffttt!, plllfffttt!, plllfffttt!...)
Paloma: Oh this is too horrible! They are being propelled forward by each whoopee cushion sound effect as if there were a Daemon in possession of their buttocks!
Nomi: And now, ye forward momentum of ye emission of noxious gases causes them to bump crashing into each other! Tis like a human version of ye Bumper Chariots at ye Brighton Seaside Pier except more smelly!
Sir James: Oh this is too much, ‘tis just one blasphemous indignity upon ye human body after another! At least ye Globe audience is spared ye actual sight and must rely on our device of unreliable narration to imagine it! (Too bad about ye smell, though.) Annoying Little Alchemist, hast thee no respect for God's Finest Creation?
(From ye dancefloor, ye whoopee cushion sound effects diminish and a new sound begins: ulp, gag, blurgghh...)
Annoying Little Alchemist: ...and now! They shall begin vomiting blood! ha-ha-haha-hahhh!
Sir James: Everybody down!! Now!!! (All four duck behind ye bar.)
(An enormous geysering bucketful of red ketchup special effects sprays ye front of ye bar and ye mirror behind it, with drips slowly trickling down. Disgusting sound effects from ye unseen dance floor slowly diminish from more "blurggghs" to more moans, then a series of plops as ye bodies hit ye floor, then less moans, then finally silence.)
(After five minutes, ye four characters tentatively raise their heads above ye bar and survey ye damage, saying "ewww" a few more times, then survey ye human wreckage. Ye entire Globe Theatre now really stinks from ye Extreme Flatulence, ye stage hands shall not be able to remove this smell for months.
Finally ye dance floor is revealed and despite all ye bloody vomit ye corpses appear intact, except that they are now all identical somewhat chubby white men in suits with unruly blond haircuts. They are not quite dead yet but lying collapsed on ye floor, twitching and compulsively making excuses about being at ye party.)
BoJo 1: I wasn't at the party.
BoJo 2: There was no party!
BoJo 3: I was there but it wasn't a party, it was a work event.
BoJo 4: Nobody told me parties were illegal! How was I to know? I'm the real victim!
BoJo 5: It is Prime Ministerial prerogative to go to any party I choose to.
BoJo 6: In fact it is my duty, to enjoy the parties that the "hoi polloi" cannot, on their behalf! It is a noble sacrifice!
Annoying Little Alchemist: I'm truly sorry, I did not foresee this horrific symptom!
Sir James: What dost thou mean?
Annoying Little Alchemist: This is ye BuBorisic plague!
Sir James: Thou art indeed a monster most foul, I swear thou shalt pay for this!
Bojo 7: plllfffttt!
Nomi: Look out!
(More guards appear, and battle rages.)
Sir James: Hark, fair Paloma. I know that you are busy but, pray, prepare for this battle to end. Ye curtain is preparing to fall anon.
(Paloma continues fighting.)
Paloma: I need one minute, Sir James.
(Ye fighting continues with Paloma, James, and Nomi continuing to fight ye bad guys. Much to the delight of Sir James, Paloma displays impeccable fighting ability, only exceeded by ye ability of her dress to stay in place during some remarkable moves. Sir James, on an upper balcony, falls to ye ground floor and lands on a bar. Getting up, he rapidly gathers ye makings for a drink while Paloma races over, armed with fresh guns.)
Sir James: Three weeks training? Fair Paloma, you are surely taking me for a fool.
Paloma: 'Tis true, good sir. More or less.
Sir James: More or less indeed. We are still in need of a vehicle post haste.
Paloma: I shall fetch one, worry not.
Sir James and Paloma: Salut!
(After finishing their drinks, they proceed to go outside with their fresh guns and finish ye battle, nimbly capturing ye scientist from Nomi.)
Sir James: Forgive me, fair Nomi. Also, we must take thine craft.
(Sir James, Paloma, and their captive race towards a door.)
Paloma: Enter anon! 'Tis a faster route towards our goal!
(Ye three race through ye building.)
Paloma: Sir James, I can go no further. Alas, I must leave you here.
Sir James: Fair maiden, thou art most excellent.
Paloma: And you as well, my lord. You must not be in such a hurry next time...
Sir James: Look, Lord Felix, I bring thee ye Annoying Little Alchemist.
Lord Felix: I never had any doubt you would, Sir James.
Logan of Ashe: I thank’ee, Sir James. Now, Annoying Little Alchemist, hast thee brought thine satchel of interest?
Annoying Little Alchemist: Oh yes, I have-
Sir James: Hold, let me see what ist in yon satchel.
Logan of Ashe: Nay, ‘tis for me.
Lord Felix: Now, hold on just one-
(They struggle. Sir James manages to have a quick look in ye satchel- his eyebrows raise as he sees ye name "Mallory". Logan of Ashe stabs Lord Felix with his sword. Sir James goes to help Lord Felix, and Logan of Ashe kicks the pair down below and locks ye door before scuttling ye vessel.)
Logan of Ashe: Now, come ye with me.
(He forces ye Annoying Little Alchemist into a small boat, and they depart. Down below, Sir James and Lord Felix struggle against ye incoming water.)
Lord Felix: Gravely wounded am I, Sir James. Abandon me and save thineself.
Sir James: Never!
(He tries to save Lord Felix, but ye pull of ye water ist too strong.)
Lord Felix: (Weakening.) Worry ye not, Sir James, for I must surely survive. After all, I still have both mine arms and legs.
Sir James: I am afraid, I am petrified. I do not think I can get by without you by my side.
Lord Felix: (Struggling for strength.) All will be fine. Never mind, Sir James, I will call ye at ye end of this adventure and we will tell jokes as if nothing ever happened. I shall flirt with a nurse and you will watch a gigantic stone fish wink at thee.
(And with that, Lord Felix dies in Sir James’ arms. Aghast, Sir James watches as his best friend goes beneath ye water. He comes to his senses and manages to open a door, eventually finding a small boat upon which he shall be found later by ye Royal Navy.)
Act 3, Scene 1
A garage. Sir James enters from stage right, nearing a carriage which ist covered by a tarpaulin. He reaches over and takes ye tarpaulin off, revealing an older style carriage (perhaps 30 years older, give or take, from current design).
Sir James: Truly, a vintage conveyance to serve my needs.
(As he nears it, an older Welshman enters ye garage. He is clearly weeping from distress.)
Welshman: Hold! That ist MINE carriage!
Sir James: At one time, perhaps it was. 'Tis mine now...you may leave.
Welshman: I call upon thee to watch thine tongue! I did this long before you did and you should be wise to give your elders more respect!
(Sir James laughs.)
Sir James: Thou wert unloved back then and doubly unloved now. Enjoy thine retirement with ye others.
(Sir James attaches two horses to ye reins.)
Sir James: Hey there, Sir George. Hold fast, Sir Pierce.
Welshman: What? No Sir Timothy?
(The Welshman harumphs and leaves. Sir James enters ye carriage and drives off.)
Act 3, Scene 2
(Sir James drives his carriage to just outside ye building where Sir Gareth and his entourage await. He parks, casually.)
Warden: Hey, no parking here!
(Sir James rapidly dons a white wig and an eyepatch.)
Warden: Oh, pardon, Monsieur Largo.
(The warden wanders off and Sir James enters ye building, removing ye wig and eyepatch. He approaches ye desk.)
Sir James: I am he who is called Bond.
(Ye attendant looks on blankly, obviously expecting more.)
Sir James: ….James Bond?
(There ist no reaction. Sir James addresses ye audience.)
It comes to this, I stand alone
My name no longer always known
From one too young to know the facts
Of how I saved the world from Drax
And Stromberg too, the list is long
In words and pictures, on and on
Great tales of battles, thrills and shocks
Inside volcanoes and Fort Knox
Of magic cars, and climbs and falls
And one who died to scratch my-
(Enter Maid Moneypenny.)
Moneypenny: ‘Tis all right, Higgins, he is expected.
(Moneypenny leads Sir James through ye corridors.)
Moneypenny: It has been a while, has it not?
Moneypenny: Didst thee enjoy thine fine retirement?
Sir James: Oh, do be silent.
(As they walk toward ye throne room of Sir Gareth, they are joined by Nomi.)
Nomi: So! Thou hast returned, as we have expected.
Sir James: ‘Twas ye only thing left to do.
Nomi: Pray, Sir James... where ist ye Annoying Little Alchemist?
Moneypenny: Most curious! I see that you have made fast friends, Sir James!
(Outside Sir Gareth’s door, a secretary awaits.)
Secretary: Good morrow, Naught Naught Seven.
Nomi: That must be troublesome to you, true? And my question remains unanswered... where ist ye Annoying Little Alchemist?
Sir James: Alas, he hath departed for greener pastures with someone else.
Moneypenny: Naught Naught Seven, he will see you now.
Sir James and Nomi: Thank you.
(Nomi and Sir James both make to enter at ye same time. They wedge shoulders against ye doorframe and each other so neither can move further, then exchange glares realising they are both stuck.)
Nomi: What makes you think he meant you, geriatric?
Sir James: What makes you think he meant you, whippersnapper?
Moneypenny: No, not thee, Naught Naught Seven- Sir James.
(Nomi quietly fumes as Sir James goes through ye door.)
Nomi: Is that it? Do I not get any more lines?
ACT 3, SCENE 3
Sir James enters M's office. Sir Gareth Mallory is behind his desk with a large bottle of dark liquor in front of him. A glass of fine crystal sits in his hand, full of the liquor. Sir James walks over and sits at M's desk. M takes a drink and refills his glass.
Sir James: Dost mine eyes deceive me or ist thine desk...bigger? Mayhap, perhaps thou art...smaller!
M: Sir James...(Takes a drink, refills glass.)… I would not be truthful if I said that you were not missed. Alas, most of us thought that you had perhaps passed on. While it pleases me immensely that you are in fact alive, your sudden service with the CIA is troublesome. Troublesome! I say, most troublesome! (Takes a drink, refills glass.)
Sir James: Think on it not. They asked with the greatest of care and I was obliged to agree to their request for assistance.
(Sir Gareth takes a drink...refills his glass. He's a tad unsteady.)
M: Indeed...(Takes a drink, refills glass.)… I must say, your intrusion in these matters has caused us quite a mess that must be cleaned up.
Sir James: Blame me not, 'tis a mess of your own doing and ye knowest this. The Comte de Blofeld made a serious attempt at my demise in Cuba. To my good fortune, his plan was changed by someone else, resulting in the demise of all of SPECTRE using your weapon. And now, your cursed weapon is free upon the world!
(M takes a drink, refills his glass. Sir James begins to look a little concerned.)
Sir James: Thus, I return. Like the prodigal son, I'm back to assist his family.
M: Resht assured...(Takes a drink, refills glass.)… we art handling the matter.
Sir James: Rest assured thine ownself… I can identify the culprit who hath absconded with ye Annoying Little Alchemist, but I shalt require access to… Ye Comte de Blofeld.
M: You ashk the impossible. (Takes a drink, refills glass… burps. He almost misses ye bar when setting ye bottle back down.) The shwine has been secreted away in Belmarsssssssh.
Sir James: Indeed, I am aware of this fact. Art thou aware that he led a SPECTRE meeting from Belmarsh? Were you aware that he utilized the dark sorcerers’ arts to attend that meeting? He had a crystal ball!
M: That is an impossibility!
Sir James: Pray, why did thou not shut down your most vile flea program?
M: To thee, I owe no explanay…. Ex(hic!)planay...shun! To England, most assuredly… to you, I do not!
Sir James: And Lord Felix? Do you answer to him? That would a most interesting affair if that were the case considering that yon good man has passed off of this mortal coil.
M: Alas, I did not know this. I tender my apologies for hish losh… loss. Felix was the very best of us.
(Pause. M takes a drink refills, refills glass… loud belch.)
M: Again, I musht query...dost thou have pertinent information?
Sir James: For that, I require access to ye Comte de Blofeld at Belmarsh post haste.
M: It ish not possible. For you to, you know… the Comte de Blowfish. Vishit him.
(Ye liquor bottle is now empty. M rather unsteadily stands up and goes to a table behind him to get another bottle.)
Sir James: Ye GODS, man! Thou art as thirsty as a man trapped in the desert for a week!
Sir Gareth: Hold thine tongue! Thou art completely out of line! Or something. Thou art a part of the solution...no, a part of the problem...yesh, the problem, not a part of the solution. Shtay and help or leave now. Goodbye! Poneymenny! Shend in Naught Naught Aught Aughta remember it by now...Seven!
Sir James: (Sotto voce, to the audience as he leaves, passing Nomi on her way in.) Indeed, it IS the same desk as before!
M: (To Nomi.) I entrusht you with a moist, serious task. Thou musht go to Belmarssssh and check on the Comte de Blueface with haste.
Nomi: Upon my shoulders you may rely! My word, it doth smell as heady as a distillery in here!
(Sir Gareth takes a drink, collapses into his chair.)
Nomi: It looks like I won't be getting any more lines here, either.
Act 3, Scene 4
Ye dwelling of ye Young Wizard. He is happily stirring pots of food, and ye table is set for two with candles and wine. There is a knock on ye door.
Young Wizard: So soon? I didst think I had another twenty minutes.
(He pushes aside two bald cats and a bear with a red hat and a blue coat then answers ye door, to find Sir James and Maid Moneypenny who brusquely enter.)
Sir James: Greetings, Young Wizard, I have missed thee.
Moneypenny: Greetings, Young Wizard.
Young Wizard: Naught Naught Sev- I mean, Sir James! I had thought thee retired, or mayhap dead at ye hands of Spectre.
Sir James: Aye, well, that ist exactly what I am here about. And Spectre shalt be doing no more killing, of anybody.
Young Wizard: I prithee, another time. I am expecting a guest- he shalt be here soon.
Sir James: Ah, wine.
(He pours two glasses for himself and Maid Moneypenny.)
Young Wizard: Touch ye not! That ist for mine meal!
Moneypenny: Cheers, Sir James.
Sir James: Bottoms up.
Young Wizard: Do not touch that!
Moneypenny: Young Wizard, we do require a look in thine crystal ball.
Young Wizard: Now? Canst I not have one nice evening?
Sir James: ‘Tis most urgent. And Maid Moneypenny, I prithee, may I have another glass of yon wine?
Moneypenny: Of course.
Young Wizard: I prithee, not ye wine! He shalt be here any minute!
Moneypenny: (Pouring.) Here thou art, Sir James.
Sir James: I thank ye.
Moneypenny: Now, let us make room on ye table for ye Young Wizard’s crystal ball.
Young Wizard: Oh, not ye table! It did take me hours to get it perfect like that!
Sir James: Now, if I just put ye crystal ball here…
Young Wizard: Oh I prithee, not there! Do not disturb ye flowers!
Sir James: Now, Young Wizard, look into thine crystal ball…. Tell me what you see about Spectre and fleas.
Young Wizard: (Suspicious.) Fleas? Art thou here with permission of M?
Moneypenny: Most definitely not.
Young Wizard: I canst not tell ye. I see nothing, I know nothing.
Sir James: Look, Wizard, many have died on account of these fleas and many more will die unless ye help us!
Young Wizard: …Well… I see that all of Spectre are now dead.
Sir James: Not quite all.
Young Wizard: Nay, ‘tis true. I see ye Comte de Blofeld. He lives, imprisoned in gaol.
Moneypenny: And what else?
Young Wizard: I see that many more will die, including…
Sir James: Aye?
Young Wizard: Including all of us who pay allegiance to Sir Gareth!
Moneypenny: More wine?
Sir James: Aye, I do think so.
Young Wizard: Oh nay, I prithee-
(There is a knock on ye door.)
Sir James: ‘Twould be best if thou do answer it, methinks?
Moneypenny: Aye, best not keep William waiting.
(Ye Young Wizard opens ye door, to find William Of Tanner with a bouquet of flowers in one hand and a bottle of wine in ye other.)
Tanner: Ah… hello.
Young Wizard: (Shocked.) Ye did know?
Moneypenny: Of course we knew.
Sir James: What we did not know was that it was supposed to be a secret!
ACT 3, SCENE 5
Ye banks of ye ancient river Thames.
(A painting of London provides ye backdrop. The set itself is of a bridge along ye Thames. Sir James enters from stage left. M is already waiting, leaning against ye bridge wall itself, and holding a pack of ice to his aching head.)
Sir James: Apothecary Swann! Art thou mad???
M: Truly thou art to blame, Sir James. You provided ye information five years ago and we took it quite seriously. You should be aware that nothing has arisen since then.
Sir James: I must ensure thou hast true knowledge of her. She ist incredibly smart, clever as can be, and adept at concealing facts. Ye must be cautious.
M: We exercise extreme caution around her, be assured. However, she ist ye only person to whom ye Comte de Blofeld will converse.
Sir James: I question your judgment, good Sir Gareth! I question it most severely!
(M pauses a second. With an edge to his voice, he continues.)
M: I am here to save lives. To do so, I have utilized that weapon for its desired purpose and in ye process save the lives of our people. Think of it as an arrow shot with purposeful accuracy, always hitting its desired target and dispatching ye enemy without provoking ye slightest care in others.
(He pauses, looking hard at Sir James.)
M: But yes... It had to be done in a most secret fashion. We had to be careful of loose lips, as it were. Too many eyes, too many secrets to be divulged.
Sir James: Our enemies would kill for such a weapon. Zounds, thou must know this!
M: Pray, Sir James... If an error has been made, let ye blame for such an error rest upon my troubled shoulders. None other should carry this weight. I serve this country. I have dedicated my life with zeal to protecting this country and ye people in it. But times have changed and ye methods of combatting our enemies have changed. We must change with ye times as well. Search your feelings, you know this to be true.
Sir James: Ye Comte de Blofeld…. We were successful in ascertaining ye targets.
M: Pray! Clarify what is meant by ye use of 'we' in thine last sentence!
(Sir James looks at M, gives him a knowing look.)
M: Oh for (Sudden coughing in ye audience.) sake! (Ye coughing continues.) you and your insistence on involving others! Why must you be such a horse's (Loud cough.) all of ye time!
M: And after ye Comte? I must know what it is that they want?
Sir James: I know not. I can truly only imagine... Imagine all the people. ‘Tis easy if ye try. Leaders of the world, ye kind and gentle folk of all nations, everyone.
M: Indeed… The usual. Always ye usual. They never seem to go for anything more atypical, do they? Can we not get someone who just wants a free lunch somewhere?
(M and Sir James share a light laugh.)
M: Ye Comte de Blofeld was in contact with his surrogates on ye island of Cuba. Magic was employed in ye form of a crystal ball... A crystal ball which we now have in our possession thanks to you!
Sir James: Foul witchcraft!
M: Indeed. Ye dark arts. Ye annihilation of SPECTRE shall have an impact, thou must know this. Ye person or persons behind this act are not to be taken lightly, Sir James. They are strong and they are powerful... Well nigh omnipotent. I find that I must put my reliance and trust upon you to find out all that you can.
Sir James: Fear not, good sir. I am well and truly your man.
(William Of Tanner joins them.)
Tanner: Ah…. Er… Sir James! Most surprised am I to see thee!
M: Come off it, Tanner, thou does not fool me for an instant. So, thou art in on this as well?
Tanner: Mine liege?
M: If thou art involved, then surely ye Young Wizard ist also?
Tanner: What? You know?
M: Of course I do, was it supposed to be a secret?
ACT 3, SCENE 6
A Gaol. Sir James Bond and William Of Tanner walk down a corridor.
Tanner: I know not why thou shouldst want to see him anyway, Sir James. He is as loony as a lunchboxful of lemurs.
Sir James: Come again?
Tanner: As crazy as a capful of cats?
Sir James: Surely you mean as potty as a purseful of puffins?
Tanner: Nay, as peculiar as a pocketful of pandas!
Sir James: As wacky as a walletful of wasps!
Tanner: As batty as a batch of beetles!
Together: As mad as a bag of bees!
Sir James: Phew, that took some doing to come up with an analogy as weak as that one.
Tanner: Ah, we art here. Now, I prithee, remember Sir James: Do not touch or approach him. Pass him nothing but soft paper. No pencils or pens. No staples or paperclips in his paper. If he attempts to pass you anything, do not accept it.
Sir James: Relax, Tanner, I will not….
(Sir James spots Apothecary Swann, walking down an adjacent corridor with Nomi.)
Sir James: I…. I…..
(As Sir James dissolves into incoherence, Nomi sees her chance.)
Nomi: I think-
(Apothecary Swann slams a door in her face, as Sir James does ye same to William Of Tanner.)
Apothecary Swann: What art thou doing here?
Sir James: (At ye same time.) What art thou doing here?
Both: What art thou-
(They stop and stare.)
Apothecary Swann: You first.
Sir James: Nay, nay, thee first.
Apothecary Swann: After all these years, thee again!
Sir James: Tell me!
Apothecary Swann: Nay, you tell me!
Sir James: Willst thee ever tell me thine secret?
(Sir James grabs Madeleine by ye arm. She shakes him off, angrily, but not before a flea has crossed over between them.)
Apothecary Swann: Secrets! Always with thee it is secrets!
Sir James: Well, I am a secret agent- ye clue ist in ye name.
Apothecary Swann: Secrets may be strong enough for a man, but they are made for a woman.
Sir James: Is this always so?
Apothecary Swann: Enough! Go see ye Comte thineself!
(Madeleine angrily stomps off.)
(Sir James walks down ye corridor. Ye inmates there hiss at him and speak in total madness, one even quoting directly from ye speeches of Boris Johnson. Finally he arrives at ye cell of ye Comte de Blofeld. Ye Comte stands waiting.)
Comte: That ist ye same atrocious cologne thou did wear in court.
Sir James: Greetings, Comte, may I speak with thee?
Comte: Oh, so formal Sir James. There ist no-one else present, unless ye be dishonourable enough to have others listening through ye walls. Thou can call me “Ernst”.
Sir James: Never will that happen, unless Eon get things even more wrong than they have been doing recently.
Comte: Thou art once more owing allegiance to Sir Gareth, is that not the case?
Comte: May I see thine credentials?
Sir James: Most certainly.
(He holds out his credentials for ye Comte to see.)
Comte: Closer, I prithee. Closer. Hmmm, I see thou art no longer Naught Naught Seven.
Sir James: ‘Tis so.
Comte: That must hurt thee very badly.
Sir James: We art not here to discuss me. Now-
Comte: You think that thee will dissect my mind? A Jason Bourne fan once tried to test me- I ate his liver with some fava beans and a vodka martini.
Sir James: Shaken, not stirred?
Comte: But of course. Most upset am I, Sir James, for I am ye real victim here!
Sir James: What? In what possible sense art thou ye real victim?
Comte: This scene! Ye Play ist nearly three hours long and this is mine only scene!
Sir James: That ist thine own fault, you fiend, for you stunk up ye last Play with your understated performance! "Inglorious Basterd" my arse, more like Insufferable Bore!
Comte: But I did not wish to ham it up.
Sir James: Bond villains art supposed to ham it up! Hast thou not seen Toby Stephens?
Comte: Nay, that I could not bear. I see that thou art here with William Of Tanner. I trust he ist well, and ye Young Wizard too?
Sir James: You know about that?
Comte: Oh, was that supposed to be a secret?
Sir James: Now, I wish to ask thee-
Comte: Nothing will I tell thee, except that I continue to be ye author of thine pain. Thou hast ne’er worked out ye secret of Apothecary Swann, is this not so?
Sir James: In time I shalt-
Comte: (Mocking.) “In time”. Ha! When her secret doth find its way out, and it shalt, ‘twill be ye death of thee.
(Sir James, enraged, throws himself upon ye Comte, his hands encircling his neck.)
Sir James: Die, Blofeld, die!
(Alarmed, William Of Tanner bursts in and drags Sir James away from ye Comte.)
Tanner: James, what do ye think thou art doing?
Sir James: Oh, ‘tis nothing. All ist fine.
Tanner: What? I heard thee saying “Die, Blofeld, die!”
Sir James: Nay, nay, I was speaking German. “The, Blofeld, the”, ‘twas all.
Tanner: Then why ist he dead?
(Sir James turns, horrified, to see ye Comte de Blofeld dead. His skin ist covered with boils and his hair hast turned blond.)
ACT 3, SCENE 7
Ye throne room of Sir Gareth Mallory. Unaided by strong drink, he ist berating Sir James Bond before Moneypenny, ye Young Wizard, William Of Tanner, and Nomi.
M: Let me see if I have got this correct, Sir James- thou didst strangle ye Comte de Blofeld.
Sir James: Aye, but-
M: And thou wert yelling “Die, Blofeld, die” as thou wert doing so?
Sir James: Well, I would not say “yelling”, but-
M: And William Of Tanner here didst have to drag ye off in ye midst of this act?
Sir James: ‘Tis true, but-
M: And ye Comte did in fact die?
Sir James: This didst happen, but-
M: And all this, yet thou does deny killing ye Comte?
Sir James: This is true.
M: Oh well, that ist all right then.
Sir James: (Relieved.) Ah, is it?
M: (Rather loudly.) No of course it is bloody well not all right!!! Of all ye stupid, half-witted things to do ye had to go and do this?
Young Wizard: Aye, but mine liege-
M: Oh? Thou knowest better, Wizard?
Young Wizard: In fact, sire, in this case I do. We examined ye Comte’s body, and he did not die from strangulation. His skin was covered in boils and his hair had turned blond. ‘Tis my opinion that in touching him, Sir James had transferred some nano-fleas, specially bred to kill ye Comte and only ye Comte.
Moneypenny: Ye question ist, where did he get them from?
Tanner: There ist only one answer.
Sir James: Aye. Apothecary Madeleine Swann.
M: So…. (He looks longingly towards his liquor cabinet.) Dost thou know where she can be found, Sir James?
Sir James: Dammit Mallory, I keep telling you I hast been retired five years, this is NOT my job any more!
M: What? Art thou sure? Well, why do I keep signing paperwork for a Naught Naught Seven? Hmm? Got you there!
Nomi: Ahem. Over here in ye corner of ye set, sire. That ist me, I've been ye new Naught Naught Seven for five years now!
M: What? Who ist that? Most certain I am that I hast never seen thee before in mine life! How did ye get in here? Naught Naught Seven, do you know anything about this?
Sir James: Aye, we met in Jamaica. Most competent she seemed, so I assumed she was telling ye truth.
Nomi: I am telling ye truth! I am the new Naught Naught Seven!
Moneypenny: ‘Tis absolutely true sire, we have been paying her for five years now. She collects dental benefits, we covered her massage therapy. She comes into ye office for eight hours every day, then goes home. She even took two weeks vacation, but nobody noticed because she never gets any dialogue even in ye office scenes.
Nomi: See? I keep telling y-
M: But how can this be? A brand new employee coming into work every day for five years and I did notice not? What the hell was I doing?
Sir James: (Snickers.) Probably rearranging thine liquor cabinet!! (Makes glug glug glug pantomime gesture to fellow Players who all laugh at M's expense,)
Nomi: Now hold on one damned minute here! I want some dialogue! We art halfway through this Play and I have barely got two lines so far! This self-referential rant is my first significant speech in ye entire Play!
M: (Shuffles through papers on desk.) I can't find this part in the script...
Sir James: No, she appears to be improvising sire, but ‘tis more inspired than ye confusing exposition we art supposed to be delivering in this scene, so let us see where she ist going with this...
Nomi: (Steps to centre-stage, tears roll down cheek.) How did it come to this? All those Advertising Broadsides for two long years leading up to ye Play's debut stressed that I, Nomi, was to be ye All-New All-Different Naught Naught Seven! All those Interviews I did with Town Criers promoting ye upcoming Play, explaining my hip new 17th century attitude and motivation! Ye Audience was led to believe I was going to be an interesting, edgy new character and yet...
Sir James: (Bumps Nomi off centre-stage.) An idea I have, sire! Mayhap I go back to my nice house in Jamaica, and ye All-New All-Different Naught Naught Seven can get ye chance to save ye world?
M: I do not know about that...
Bond: Most certainly, just give her some last minute training! In fact, someone was just telling me ye Colonial Intelligence Agency offers a really good three week crash course that teaches a rookie agent how to read without moving her lips, and kickbox in a slit skirt!
Young Wizard: ...and mayhap she gets a lab scene with me, where I can show her some silly gadget and she says something witty and I say "Oh do pay attention Naught Naught Seven!"
Nomi: Well, I am not sure I can do funny dialogue...
Young Wizard: Neither could ye two fellows before Mr Grumpy over there, yet they managed to save ye world!
M: Never mind all that, silence everybody! This Play hast already been dragging on for one and a half hours and we still have two major Acts to go, so there's no time for this character, whoever she ist, to get more dialogue, but!!! ...She can stand in ye background while ye real Naught Naught Seven saves ye world! Alright team, chop chop, let's get moving!
All: Aye, sire.
M: Right, now let us look at ye proper Script to see what our next lines are. Ah yes, confusing exposition indeed. Something something Nano-Fleas, something something Blofeld, something something Madeleine, something something Norway. Everybody got that?
Sir James: Madeleine!!! Grrrr... I have got a tasty word or two to say about that one! (Clenches fist and seethes.)
M: (Re-examines script and raises eyebrows.) Indeed you did! But that all got cut when Nomi started improvising. Phew! That ist some sailor's vocabulary, let us hope you never have to deliver dialogue in front of small children! Right, end of Third Act everybody. Places for Fourth!
ACT 4, SCENE 1
Norway. Sir James drives his carriage down a coastal road. Spying a house, he draws up and goes to ye door. Ye sound of girls laughing and giggling ist heard from inside. A man answers, fastening his robe.
Young Lady’s Voice: (From inside.) Who is it, mine darling?
2nd Young Lady’s Voice: (From inside.) Tell him to go away!
Sir James: Thine pardon I crave, I seek Number 22 Frozen Lake Lane.
Man: Ye next house- I am Number 24.
Sir James: Ah, I see. I thank’ee.
Number 24: No problem. Coming, girls….
(Sir James goes back to his carriage and drives on. At ye next house, he tethers his horses and fetches their nosebags, giving them a swift shake but not a stir.)
Sir James: Wait here, Sir George, Sir Pierce.
(He goes to ye house and enters through ye open door to find Madeleine awaiting.)
Apothecary Swann: Why hast ye come, Sir James?
Sir James: Thou must tell me who gave ye the nano-fleas, Madeleine.
Apothecary Swann: Ist ye Comte de Blofeld dead?
Apothecary Swann: Good.
Sir James: He didst tell me that you did not betray me.
Apothecary Swann: Thou art not built to trust people.
Sir James: I know not why thou didst try to kill ye Comte, or who gave thee ye means, but I do know that for what felt like five minutes of mine life I wanted everything with thee.
Apothecary Swann: And not because I did not trust ye.
(There ist a soft noise from ye stairs. Sir James looks up to find a young girl, perhaps four years old.)
Apothecary Swann: This ist Mathilde.
Sir James: (Alarmed.) Mata?
Apothecary Swann: Nay, Mathilde.
Sir James: Ahhh… Er…. I bid thee greetings. I am he who is called Bond, James Bond.
Apothecary Swann: And she ist not thine.
Sir James: (Doing some swift mental calculations, and noting the familiar blue eyes.) But of course….
Sir James moves to centre stage and addresses ye audience:
It's as if all my life has been shaken
And stirred with a children-sized spoon
It's as if all the values I cling to
Have flown away, raking the moon
From now on there's no "me", it's just "us"
And I'd lay down my life for her love
For this now I know, and for certain
All the time in the world's not enough
(Ye next morning, Mathilde enters ye bedroom, Dou Dou in hand, to find Madeleine and Sir James in bed together.)
Mathilde: (Wide eyed.) J’ai faim.
Sir James: Er…. Hungry! Aye, of course.
(He gets out of bed and starts toward ye kitchen.)
Sir James: Let us see what we can do about that.
(She takes his hand as they walk. Sir James at first looks uncomfortable, then starts to smile as they enter ye kitchen.)
Sir James: Now, let us see…. bacon?
(Mathilde smiles as he opens a cupboard. Ye pantry shelves are filled with containers of Ludefisk and Pickled Herring.)
Sir James: Ah… Perhaps not. Eggs! I know a very good recipe for scrambled eggs. I... er... read it in a book once.
(He looks around in vain for eggs. Mathilde giggles and whispers to Dou Dou.)
Sir James: Well, not eggs then. Bread?
(He opens a cupboard.)
Sir James: Ah…
(Madeleine enters ye kitchen.)
Apothecary Swann: Having a problem, Sir James?
Sir James: No, I….
Apothecary Swann: Give her an apple.
James: An apple. Of course.
(He produces a knife and begins to peel ye apple. Apothecary Swann sits at the dining table and motions Sir James to join her.)
Apothecary Swann: The villain you seek is named Safin. Zhafin?
Sir James: Sa-feen? Safe-in?
He ist a man of mystery. No one knows how to pronounce his name.
His family wast murdered most horribly by mine father Squire White.
at the behest of Herr Oberhauser who stole his family’s fiefdom
and became Ye Comte de Blofeld. Safin desires back his birthright.
Sir James: Syphon’s vengeance against Spectre ist just, but why endanger Creation?
Apothecary Swann: He is a villain from a family of villains.
Sir James: (To ye audience) Aye, tis motivation enough.
Apothecary Swann: (Also toward ye audience.) It ist all we are getting.
(Ye front door crashes open and three henchmen wielding swords rush in.)
Apothecary Swann: Mathilde, hide!
(The young girl hurries under ye spiral staircase that connects to a loft where her bed abides. Madeleine goes to ye cupboard. From a lower shelf she grabs a sword and tosses it to Sir James, who had been protecting himself from swinging swords by using a chair as a shield. Two henchmen fight Sir James, who more than holds his own. He slashes ye wrist of ye largest henchman who drops his sword, then runs through ye other who screams and expires on ye floor. Ye large henchman throws a chair at Sir James causing him to lose his sword.)
Ye Large Henchman: I need but one hand and no blade to kill thee.
(An epic fist fight ensues. Meanwhile ye third henchman approaches Apothecary Swann but then spies Mathilde. He lunges for ye girl only for Madeleine to throw a knife into his back. He collapses and dies by ye frightened child. Mathilde tries to run to her mother, only for Safin to enter ye house and grab Mathilde as she runs past ye front door. He has a flintlock in one hand.)
Safin: Come, Madeleine.
(While the pistol is not pointed at anyone, ye threat is unspoken but deafening. Safin leaves with Mathilde. Madeleine bows her head and follows.
Sir James and ye remaining henchman continue their fistfight into ye cooking area until Sir James manages to get his arm around ye large henchman’s neck and force his face into a water basin. Sir James holds him down until his foe ist drowned. Sir James grabs his fallen sword and exits ye house at a run, only to re-enter moments later.)
Sir James: They hast maimed Sir George and Sir Pierce. I cannot follow.
(Logan of Ashe appears in ye doorway, sword in hand.)
Logan: The horses shalt live.
No need to give their all
as glue, a violin bow
or la viande de cheval.
(Logan lunges forward. He briefly holds ye upper hand as Sir James falls backward over ye body of a henchman he hast slain. Sir James dodges ye downward swing of his adversary's sword. He quickly regains his feet.
The pair circle one another, swords at ye ready. Sir James hurries up several stairs of ye spiral stair case. Logan swings his sword but hits nothing but wrought iron.)
Logan: Wrought iron shalt not preserve thee. It ist not a protective cage.
Sir James: A cage would be for thee, for
Thou art mere vermin like the M.I.C.E. - Money? Ideology? Compromise? Ego?
Thine reasons for betrayal undefined
And in your aim imprecise.
I still breathe and in my determination
Will send you to a grave consigned.
Logan: I need no more motivation than My Lord, So Fine.
Sir James: Thou and your not-so-fine master Saffron shalt die for reasons multifarious. Ye death of my brother ist just ye first.
Logan: Sir James, I had no idea you held such love for your brother, Ye Comte de Blofeld.
Sir James: Nay, that swine was no brother of mine by either blood or nurture
I speak of Lord Felix, a brother made by both his deeds and his nature.
Logan: You shalt join your ‘brother’ from Virginia Colony anon.
Sir James: Thou art ye son of a whore.
Thy mousy voice is but a squeak, not a roar.
(Logan of Ashe lunges at Sir James though ye balusters. Sir James sees his chance and grabs a crossbeam with his free hand. He leaps and kicks Logan in ye chest. Ye scoundrel drops his sword and stumbles backward while Sir James lands in a crouch. Sir James stands and with a backhand slams ye hilt of his sword into Logan’s forehead, who falls backward and crashes into ye cupboard. Ye containers therein shatter, raining ludefisk and pickled herring upon ye traitor.)
Sir James: Thine smell now reflects thine character.
(Before Logan can react, Sir James slashes his leg with his sword. Logan of Ashe falls onto ye floor. Sir James grabs the cupboard and pulls it down onto his foe, pinning him amongst ye herring and ludefisk.)
Sir James: Where hast Sulphur taken Madeleine and her daughter?
Logan: Her daughter? Art thou daft? If you wish to find them...ask your brother.
(Logan spits in Sir James’s face. Sir James raises his sword with both hands and drives it down into his enemy’s chest. Logan of Ashe ist slain. Ye anger on Sir James’s face slowly changes to realization. Nomi enters ye house, sword at ye ready.)
Sir James: Thou art late, New Naught Naught Seven.
Nomi: With mine lack of dialogue I saw no reason for haste. Ye Young Wizard awaits on a Royal Navy ship at the shore to take us back to England.
Sir James: Nay. We must go to Ye Comte de Blofeld’s castle to stop Sarafin and his nefarious plan. This mewling scoundrel revealed more in his defiance than he intended.
Nomi: Ye Comte’s castle and lands are in Asia, off Japan. Ye journey will take many months.
Sir James: Nay, ‘tis but a simple scene transition.
Nomi: Come, mine carriage awaits.
(Ye pair leave. Offstage, Nomi can still be heard improvising.)
Nomi: Tally ho, Sir Barry! Allons-y Sir David!
(Ye off stage harrumph of an irate Welshman echoes in ye distance.)
ACT 4, SCENE 2
A ship. Sir James and Nomi are paying attention, Naught Naught Seven, to ye Young Wizard as he pores over a map.
Captain’s Voice: (Off stage.) Land ho! Island ahead!
Sir James: See, Nomi, I told thee it would not take long to reach Zacefron’s base.
Nomi: It ist SAFIN! How many times do I need to-
Young Wizard: Thine attention I crave, Naught Naught Seven… both of thee. Ye base is a maze inside a castle, and most easy it would be to get lost inside. I have therefore crafted for thee an enchanted bracelet which will keep ye in constant touch with mine crystal ball here and I shalt guide ye through ye castle.
Sir James: Where ist this enchanted bracelet, Young Wizard?
Young Wizard: Here!
(Ye Wizard opens a drawer to reveal a 24-piece tea service. Quickly he closes ye drawer and opens another to reveal ye bracelet.)
Young Wizard: Here it is!
(Nomi and Sir James both reach for it together, with Sir James taking possession first.)
Sir James: Sorry. You’re just too late.
Young Wizard: Now, thou art going to need transport to get there. Follow me.
(They go on deck.)
Captain: I shalt keep ye ship anchored here, Young Wizard.
Young Wizard: I thank'ee, Captain.
Captain: Pray, pass mine greetings to William Of Tanner... when thou does see him.
Young Wizard: (Shocked.) Thou dost know about that?
Captain: (Walking away.) I thought everybody knew about that.
Young Wizard: Ahem. Now, here we have a most stealthy vessel, thou might call it a “stealth boat”. Take it to ye landing bay of ye castle, then speak with me through ye enchanted bracelet.
(A carrier pigeon flutters overhead, landing on Nomi’s shoulder.)
Nomi: Ah, this will be ye reply to a missive I sent to Sir Gareth.
(She takes ye message from ye pigeon’s leg.)
Sir James: What does it say?
Nomi: Sir Gareth has replied to my request that thee, Sir James, shalt once more be Naught Naught Seven.
Sir James: (Visibly swelling with pride.) I shalt once more be Naught Naught Seven?
Nomi: Aye, ‘tis so.
Sir James: Then, Nomi, I have but one thing to say to thee.
Nomi: And what ist that, Sir Ja… I mean, Naught Naught Seven?
Sir James: Thine pigeon hast left a message of a different kind on thine shoulder. You might want to clean it before we we get into ye boat.
ACT 4, SCENE 3
(Having landed onshore, Sir James and Nomi make their way toward Safin’s castle.)
Sir James: (Via ye enchanted bracelet.) Art we heading in ye right direction, Young Wizard?
Young Wizard: (Via ye enchanted bracelet.) Aye, keep going in ye direction ye art heading.
Nomi: Look there, Sir James.
Nomi: We must be careful.
Sir James: Dangerous plants? Ha! This I shalt have to see to believe.
Nomi: No problem- look closer.
Sir James: Ah.
Nomi: Nevertheless, we must continue in this way to reach ye castle.
Sir James: Hmmm, I suppose thou art right.
Nomi: Careful, watch thine feet!
Sir James: A cesspool. Most surely foul things art being hatched here.
(They draw closer, and spy some figures working in ye garden. One looks familiar….)
Sir James: Ye Annoying Little Alchemist! I didst think we might be encountering him again.
Nomi: And now ist ye time to seize him again!
(Sir James and Nomi lay seige to ye guards and other alchemists. Some they kill outright by ye just severity of their attack, some fall into ye cesspits and die a most foul death. Soon, ye Annoying Little Alchemist ist in their power once more, as he was in Cuba.)
Sir James: We bid thee greetings. I am sure ye situation ist perfectly clear to thee. (He displays his sword.)
Annoying Little Alchemist: (Giggling nervously.) Oh yes, perfectly clear.
Nomi: Thou willst tell us what ist being made in this… garden of death,
Annoying Little Alchemist: Mine master prefers ye term “poison garden”.
Sir James: He canst call it a bag of bees for all that I care. What is going on?
Annoying Little Alchemist: Why, ‘tis perfectly obvious. Here we art breeding ye nanofleas, which can be directed at any individual or family or race that I design.
Sir James: (Via ye enchanted bracelet.) Hast thou heard, Young Wizard?
Young Wizard: (Via ye enchanted bracelet.) Most certainly. Sir Gareth hast provided warships ready to take aim and destroy yon island when ye word ist given.
Sir James: Ye word ist not given yet- I must go inside yon castle first and rescue mine… family. Nomi, take charge of this piece of scum. (Sir James exits.)
Nomi: With great pleasure.
Annoying Little Alchemist: “Piece of scum”- ha!
Nomi: I could think of worse things to call ye.
Annoying Little Alchemist: Thou art only jealous because I have more lines in this play than you do.
Nomi: Oh? That problem ist easily dealt with.
(She pushes him into the nearest cesspool, in which he dies smellily and noisily. A little distance away, Sir James hears ye noise.)
Sir James: Hmm, that sounds like ye noise we heard in Cuba. However, no time to pry- ahead lies ye door of ye castle. Wait… a sound from inside? That doth sound like…. Singing.
ACT 4, SCENE 4
(Safin is seated on a throne in his chamber, minions lined up behind him. On the wall is a vast stylised Q logo, adorned with two lions, a crab, some sort of bird and two faeries. Ye “Q” of course stands for “Quantum”- you were thinking of something else?)
(In front, in chains are Madeleine and Mathilde.)
Madeleine: Let us go!
Safin: Bismallah, no, I will not let you go! (Waves black fingernail at Madeleine.)
Mathilde: Wet uth go!
Safin: Bismallah, no, I will not let you go! (Bends slightly and waves black fingernail at Mathilde.)
Madeleine and Mathilde: Let us go!
Safin: I will not let you go! Never!
Minion 1: (Leans in from left.) Never!
Minion 2: (Leans in from right.) Never!
Safin: Never, ever, ever let you go!
Mathilde: (Looks to Madeleine.) Mama mia!
Madeleine: (Looks to Mathilde.) Mama mia!
Madeleine and Mathilde: (Both look to Safin.) Mama mia! Let us go!
Pierce Brosnan: (Poking his head out from behind curtain, stage left.) Mamma Mia? Oh, is this my cue?
All Players: (In unison:) No! No! No! No! Nooo!!!!
(A variety of stray objects are thrown in Brosnan's direction, including at least one glass vessel full of Evil Nano-Fleas. Brosnan beats a hasty retreat never to return in this play…. Maybe.)
Safin: Er, whoops I lost my place! How embarrassing my darlings, now where was I? Oh yes, ahem- (Raises hand full of black fingernails dramatically.) for Beezelbub has a devil set aside for me!
Minion 1: (Leans in from left.) And me!
Minion 2: (Leans in from right.) And me!
Safin and all minions in unison: (Safin rises from throne and waves a hand full of black fingernails high above his head as he projects ye high note to the back row) For meee!!!!
(Enter from stage right a Starwatcher with long curly hair carrying a lute (Indeed a most beautiful red lute that was made at home by he and his father when he was a boy.)
He takes position one step behind Safin and to his left, our right. Minions discreetly assemble ye olde effectes peddles before him. Safin dramatically lowers his arm and takes one step back, ye Starwatcher steps forward to centre stage wielding his lute, and all other Players fall silent and step back into the darkness. Ye Starwatcher begins strumming, and continues, and continues some more, it is an epic noodly killer lute solo. Ye lute fanatics in Ye Rowdy Audience are all amazed and begin to debate what they are hearing...)
1st Fanatic: Is he as good as Zoso of Page?
2nd Fanatic: Well Zoso's an Occultist of course, that's very square in this new era. Whereas ye Starwatcher observes ye movement of ye objects in ye heavens and derives a theory of ye universe from first principals, like that fellow ye Pope just had put to death. Therefore ye Starwatcher is a Heretic, much more radical than a boring old Occultist .
1st Fanatic: Yeah, my parents are into ye Occult, so pre-Renaissance, all ye cool kids are into Heresy.
3rd Fanatic: Yeah, Heresy rules!
2nd Fanatic: But what of Gilmour of Cambridge?
3rd Fanatic: Oh you mean Floyde who art Pink? Aw, you've got to be on rye ergot to listen to the weird noises he makes on his pedal steel lute!
1st Fanatic: Speaking of which, this is some awesome mouldy bread, is it not?
2nd Fanatic: Oh, wowww, I'm totally seeing Bosch-like visions superimposed on top of tonight's performance!
3rd Fanatic: Oh wait, ye killer lute solo is coming to an end, I think there's finally going to be some more dialogue in this Play.
(But ye lute fanatics art wrong, at least at first. Sir James comes up the stairs, armed, to face Safin. Looking around, he sees that there are several other armed men staring back at him. Slowly, he continues up ye stairs. As he reaches ye top, he sees Safin with young Mathilde.)
Safin: Hail and well met. I prithee, lay thine weapon on ye floor.
(Sir James lays his sword on ye floor.)
Safin: Pray, your sidearm as well. Take ye utmost of care... a flick of the wrist and she's dead.
(Sir James pauses. Safin throws a pillow in the air.)
Safin: Watch her spread her wings and fly away!
(Ye henchmen shoot ye pillow.)
Sir James: Alas, I shall do it!
(Sir James drops his flintlock.)
Safin: Please, take pleasure and sit with me.
(Sir James sits.)
Sir James: (To Mathilde.) Faith, dear child. Be assured that all shall be correct.
Safin: Sir James Bond...a violent history most intense, an ability to kill with impunity, a most profound grievance with ye Comte de Blofeld, enraptured by the beauty of Madeleine Swann. 'Tis true, I see myself in you. We are both killer queens, you and I.
Sir James: Different choices have taken us down different paths.
Safin: On the contrary, only our methods are different. You say black, I say white... you say dog, I say bite... Jaws was never my scene and I don't like Star Wars. When you die, your abilities shall pass as well... mine shall persist beyond my life. And life? Faith, my dear Sir James... life is all about your legacy. True?
Safin: This can be beautiful, not ugly. We can leave each other alone, you and I. Perchance, do you agree?
Sir James: There is much truth in what thou sayest.
Safin: You have my thanks.
Sir James: Truly, we are much alike. We have both lost all before being given the chance to keep anything. 'Tis a shame that we never had a chance, is it not? Just one chance... we all deserve that much.
(He pauses again.)
Sir James: But, you are building something that can truly destroy everything without any else getting that well deserved chance, no?
Safin: Faith, you are correct. However, nobody cares to realize that they do not want that chance...they are all simply waiting for the hammer to fall. We lie to ourselves and to others about what we want and what we dream, but this is all ephemeral. Everyone is under pressure and nobody wants to make decisions. Nobody wants to tear it up. We want to be instructed how best to live our lives and then pass quietly one day. Who wants to live forever?
(Again he pauses.)
Safin: So...now I'm here. I'm truly a prince of the universe, Sir James. I'm quietly guiding them to oblivion.
Sir James: Those who play at God are not treated well by historians-
Thy villainous deeds dost not a great villain make.
Thou seeks to wear a God’s coronet,
But with thine lack of character and motivation
Thou art but a villain-ette.
Safin: But you? You will be treated well? Come now, you are death on two legs, Mr. Bond. We both do away with others to improve the world, do we not? We want a clean world, do we not?The world must grow and not stagnate. You are against this goal, true? You would defy me at every chance. I want to break free and you would deny me. However... and please don't take offence at my innuendo... I have made you obsolete.
Sir James: Nay, I must be against that point of view. With people like you in the world... those who want it all and want it now... you are merely joining a large contingent of short men with large dreams.
Safin: Nay, I am truly passionate about life! About that crazy little thing called love! Anon, you must undo what you have done up until now, Sir James. You must render your explosives impotent and depart my island forthwith. Do that and you may take this beautiful angel with you and keep yourselves alive.
Sir James: Pray, and Madeleine? May she also be free of this place?
Safin: Alas, she must remain here until you are long away from here.
Sir James: That is not acceptable.
Safin: ‘Tis an unfortunate thing. Thou has dashed ye dreams of young Mathilde. She understands that departing from here is her chance to survive and thrive. Yay, perchance to dream and find somebody to love.
Sir James: Speak not, let her truthfully tell me ye same.
Safin: Sir James... what would a mother undertake to ensure ye safety and well-being of her offspring?
Sir James: But soft! Is that what happened to your mother? Did you tie your mother down?
Safin: My mother? Truly, she laid at my feet and passed out of this world as I watched.
(He grows angry.)
Safin: So you think you can stop me and spit in my eye? You're just an overgrown schoolboy! Let me tan your hide!
(Safin takes Mathilde up in his arms, angrily.)
Sir James: Anon, hold fast! You have won...you are the champion, the champion of the world. I shall abide by your wishes.
Safin: Indeed you shall.
Sir James: I tender my most sincere apologies.
(Sir James bows on ye floor.)
Safin: We all have choices, Sir James. Some difficult, some hard. You say Rolls, I say Royce... you say God, give me a choice... I don't want to be ye President of America. Dost thou wish to perish before your daughter's eyes? Dost thou wish for her to perish before thine eyes?
Sir James: Nay! Nay nay nay, I say thee nay! Please, accept my apologies.
Safin: Mathilde, sweet child. Behold your father. Witness power, dear girl.
Sir James: Truly and sincerely, I am most sorry.
(Sir James pulls a hidden flintlock from his belt, stands up, and blasts ye closest henchman. Ye others run in fear as he quickly reloads.)
Safin: Now I'm here...
(Safin and Mathilde disappear quickly via ye platform which quickly disappears below.)
Safin: (Disappearing.) Now I'm there...
(Sir James looks around… Safin and Mathilde are gone. Madeleine runs to him.)
Madeleine: James! Pray, my daughter... do you know where she has gone?
(Sir James lowers his flintlock, fear and anger crossing his face.)
ACT 4, SCENE 5
(Sir James and Madeleine are wandering ye evil headquarters freely, down corridors right past all ye henchmen.]
1st Henchman: Lo, I do believe those art ye heroes of this Play. Out here they should not be, I say.
2nd Henchman: Someone should tell our leader.
1st Henchman: Ha! ‘Tis more than I am paid for, someone else should do this!
2ns Henchman: Ye leader should tell ye leader! Most surely ‘tis a leader’s job!
1st Henchman: Aye! Now, do any doughnuts remain in our waiting chamber?
Madeleine: This I should have known- ye first time thou hast been given responsibility for our, er, I mean my child thou hast gone and lost her!
Sir James: Nay, ‘tis not so. ‘Twas yon evil villain, with whom thou do seem suspiciously close. And this brings to mind that thou did have some sort of secret!
Madeleine: Again with ye secret! What secret?!!? Thou hast already seen ye big secret!
Sir James: Aha! Thou dost admit thou hast a secret!!!
Madeleine: Secret secret bloody secrets! That ist all you ever talk about!
(They round a corner and approach ye cesspools. Rats and fleas crawl everywhere, while henchmen clad in Plague Doctors masks stir ye green bubbling swill. Nomi appears.)
Nomi: Aha, I surely knew you two wouldst get along! Greetings, Apothecary Swann! But where ist…. oh.
(Bond and Madeleine begin squabbling again.)
Nomi; Hohoho, this ist too much! Ye great swinging agent of discretion saddled with ball and chain! I cannot believe I gave thee back thine number, typical urban father! Bo-ringgg!
(Safin is once again stooping and waving his black fingernail at Mathilde.)
Safin: Now see here little girl you, I'll Cruella DeVille you... and buzz-kill you, I'm not very nice!
(His black fingernail ist getting awfully close to Mathilde's nose.
Mathilde winks at ye audience and...
Mathilde leaps up and chomps her baby teeth deep into Safin's finger!)
Safin: Ye-owtch! ! Waahhhh!! Hah-hah-hah-hah-Hahhhh!!!
(Safin leaps straight up, then hops around in a circle, waving his arm in full repeated arcs back and forth over his shoulder, with ye toddler not losing grip.)
Safin: You suck my blood like a leech! You break my skin and you breach! You've sunk your teeth and it hurts!
(Ye henchmen scramble chaotically.)
1st Henchman: What in hell ist going on?
2nd Henchman: Mine liege, tell us what to do!
3rd Henchman: We art only henchmen, and occasional backing vocalists, nobody trained us what to do!
(As Safin waves his arm in ye direction of ye exit, Mathilde chooses her moment to release her grip and flies backwards, hitting ye ground on a backwards roll then performing two backwards somersaults before landing on her tiny toddler toes, with tiny toddler fingers poised for balance, a step before ye door frame.
Safin is clutching his arm, blood spurting from his finger like a geyser.)
Safin: Each moment this goes on I die a little! I just can't get no relief! Somebody!
1st Henchman: (Leans in from left.) Somebody!
Safin: Ooh, somebody !!
2nd Henchman: (Leans in from right.) Somebody!
Safin: Can anybody find me ... a frikkin' band-aid right now?!!?
(Mathilde's eyes quickly move left and right. Ye henchmen art busy running in circles bumping into walls and each other.)
1st Henchman: Duh, which way did she go?
2nd Henchman: Which way did she go?
Safin: ...You've broken my heart, and now you leave me.
(Mathilde tiptoes out ye doorway and begins to wander ye evil headquarters unsupervised but DouDou has been left behind...)
Safin: You will remember, when this is blown over, and everything's all by the way... When I grow older, I will be there at your side to remind you how I still love you - I still love yooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…..
(Mathilde passes ye balcony, then tiptoes down long shadowy corridors seven teeny steps at a time, pausing at each eighth step, glancing quickly left and right. By following this ancient secret toddler ninja move, she evades all notice from Safin’s minions.
She passes a torture chamber and begins to hum "DouDou, doodly DouDou".
Mathilde passes another room containing a periodically recurring time-controlled geyser disguised with an outhouse seat, a torture device not used in this adventure.
She hums "dadoo, dadoo, da doodoo; dadoo doo, da DouDou!" then notes her newly discovered melody, pauses and has a look in eye, like that time Sir James tried on the suit and looked in the mirror before gambling at the Royal Gambling Tavern.
Mathilde comes to ye cesspools, pauses and sweeps her eyes across ye landscape, noting ye positions of each henchman and calculating further advance, when she spots...)
Mathilde: Mommy! Mommy's fwend! Mommy's fwend's fwend!
Madeleine: (Sweeps Mathilde up in her arms.) Darling, there you are! What a clever little girl you are to find Mommy and Da… ah… Sir James all by yourself! (Slaps Sir James.) Unlike some people I could mention!
Nomi: I do hate to interrupt thee, but we shouldst not wait here! Let us get to ye boat before ye henchmen notice or mayhap the villain's headquarters explodes!
(Ye henchmen are not noticing very much...)
3rd Henchman: I like the ones with ye sprinkles!
1st Henchman: How bout ye ones with ye jelly filling?
2nd Henchman: Does anybody like ye cruller? Nay, didn't think so, I'll just throw it in a cesspool shall I?
Nomi: Ah, here ist ye boat!
Sir James: (Via enchanted bracelet.) We art ready to set sail, Young Wizard. Ye word ist given.
Young Wizard: (Via enchanted bracelet.) Aye, I shalt tell Sir Gareth his warships may fire when ready.
(Nomi gets in ye boat first, Madeleine carefully follows, then once safely in holds her arms out for Mathilde.)
Mathilde: Nay, Mother!! I can do this all by myself! Evwybody watch!
(Taking a running jump, Mathilde leaps off ye dock high above ye boat, then pauses motionless, suspended in midair in a kungfu type pose, while ye camera rotates bullet time style.)
Madeleine: Good girl, my love!
Nomi: Yes, that was very good indeed!
(Mathilde raises one eyebrow ironically, fixing her cuffs.)
Sir James: (Seeing this with a smile.) Not mine, eh?
(Madeleine shoots him a look.)
Sir James: (Still on ye dock, wipes a tear with pride.) That girl ist going to make a fine secret agent some day...
(Sir James feels so good about his days work, he begins to hum his own theme song as he takes his first step off dock onto ye boat.)
Sir James: Dadoo, dadoo, da doodoo...
(Mathilde looks up from ye boat, recognising ye melody.)
Sir James: Dadoo doo, da DouDou!
Mathilde: Dou Dou ! Dou Dou ! Whew's Dou Dou ? I want my Dou Dou!
Sir James: (Almost in ye boat.) There there, my love, we'll get you another Dou Dou when we get ashore.
Mathilde: (Begins to wail.) Noooo! I don't want anuffer DouDou ! I want my Dou Dou ! Whews my DouDou bwahhh! Bwahhh!! Bwahhh!!!
Madeleine: Oh James, be a dear and go back and look for her Dou Dou! I'll never get her to take a nap when she's like this!
Sir James: But, er, that is to say, uh, poopsikins dearest, ye castle ist about to explode and...
Madeleine: Bond James Bond! If you don't march right back in ye castle right now and look for our daughter's, er, I mean, my daughter's Dou Dou I shall never speak to you again!
Sir James: (Slapping his hand over his brow then climbing back onto ye dock.) Oh all right, grumble grumble, I guess I have no other choice but to attempt reentry!
(Sir James re-enters ye castle as Nomi unties ye boat, and Nomi, Madeleine and Mathilde safely escape.)
(As ye small boat drifts across ye sea, Mathilde watches backwards over ye stern. Nomi moves in close to Madeleine.)
Nomi: We shalt make for ye ship where ye Young Wizard awaits.
Madeleine: Ye Young Wizard? Hast he brought William Of Tanner with him?
Nomi: How dost thou know about that?
Madeleine: Everybody knows about that.
Nomi: So, you do know what goes on, on these boats, don't you?
Madeleine: (Considers what a deadbeat loser Sir James is.) I'm listening...
Mathilde: (Watching ye castle grow smaller on ye horizon.) Wow, I wondew what sowt of thwiwwing adwentures Mommy's fwend will have as he twies to wescue DouDou?
(Off shore facing ye castle, a fleet of English Naval vessels begin to assemble.
On each ship's deck are several large catapults which somehow do not get in the way of the sails and rigging. Sailors load ye catapults with explosive ammunition.)
ACT 4, SCENE 6
(Inside ye castle…)
Sir James: My sanity is at an end! Is there no logic to the layout of this place? Was this designed by a madman???
Pradeep: (From behind a corner.) Perhaps, 'tis true!
Sir James: Who art thou? Reveal thyself and speak this instant to give me satisfaction!
Pradeep: Pray, calm thyself. I am but a simple salesman, a contractor most capable and available to those who are in grave need of facilities to match their designs upon this world.
Sir James: A salesman??? Surely you can't be serious!
Pradeep: I am most serious, good sir, and...
Sir James: Who requested such a place?
Pradeep: Good sir, as you no doubt suspect, it is indeed Mr. Safin. He provided his needs and desires with great clarity, and our company gladly built this place to his specifications... for a modest fee of course.
Sir James: Indeed. Hast thou a card for business?
Pradeep: I hast one right here. Take one. Indeed, take several, and pass them around to your friends and family with my appreciation.
Sir James: Of that, you may be assured.
Pradeep: You have my thanks. Thou can save a card by giving only one between William Of Tanner and ye Young Wizard. Oh, and one last thing...
Sir James: Yes?
Pradeep: Don't call me Shirley.
ACT 4, SCENE 7
(As Sir James races through ye castle, he comes across a pool in which lies….)
Sir James: At last- Dou Dou!
(He reaches to grab ye toy but suddenly someone's foot lands on his hand.)
Sir James: Argh!
Safin: Hahahh! Bond James Bond, at last we meet again for the second time!
(Sir James is stabbed by Safin and falls into ye water, dropping his flintlock. Safin emerges from his hiding space and stabs Sir James again and again. Sir James, stabbed multiple times now, collapses into ye pool. Grunting from ye pain and exertion, Sir James rises.)
Sir James: (Looks down to see blood on tunic.) Hey! Thou canst not do that, for I am the hero of this play!
Sir James: Ha! You see, I win, as I always do in the final act of these adventures! Er... (Blood ist gushing out from Sir James.) ‘Tis only a scratch.
Safin: Misguided old mule with your pigheaded rules... with your narrow-minded cronies who are fools of the first division! You have made a wreckage of my plans.
(Sir James rises again and attacks Safin, surprising him. They fight. Sir James manages to overpower Safin and get him into a vulnerable position in ye pool, holding his arm at a painful angle. Safin, with his free hand, reaches up and scratches Sir James' face with the vessel containing ye nano-fleas. The vessel breaks.
Sir James, enraged, breaks Safin's arm. Safin drops the sword. Both men howl in pain.)
Safin: You're insane, should be put inside...you're a sewer rat decaying in a cesspool of pride! You should be made unemployed then make yourself null and void!
Safin: Alas, we are both now poisoned...poisoned! Fool! Always jumpin' never happy where you land! Fool! Got my business make your living where you can! Hurry down the highway, hurry down the road... hurry past the people staring! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
(He pauses, again.)
Safin: Bad mistakes, I've made a few. I've had my share of sand kicked in my face but I've come through. We are now both tragic heroes, Sir James.
(Again, he pauses.)
Safin: We are now a walking death, Sir James. Our touch is lethal. A touch of their skin, a brush of their lips... they would die, surely.
Sir James: Pray, do not call me Shirley. Explain your intent, foul fiend!
Safin: Fair Madeleine... precious Mathilde...
(Safin shows ye shattered vessel. Sir James, realization hitting, touches his face and begins to understand.)
Safin: ‘Tis of your own doing, Sir James. The fault is yours. A dog with disease, you're the king of the sleaze!
(Sir James, dejected, stands up slowly. He leans over and picks up ye dropped flintlock. Reloading quickly between shots, he puts 3 shots into Safin and walks away, picking up Dou Dou. Irritated by ye flea, he takes off his doublet and throws it aside.
A man cautiously puts his face round a curtain to ye left.)
Man: Er, excuse me?
Sir James: (Weary.) Yes?
Man: Is that Safin dead? I mean, really dead?
Sir James: I sincerely hope so!
Man: Wonderful! Now I am free!
Sir James: Free? What dost thou mean?
Man: Well- I'm Marc Martel. I'm the one who really did the singing, he only lip-synched.
Sir James: What? This cannot be!
Marc: Oh yes. He's been keeping me here behind this curtain, while everybody thinks it's him doing the singing.
(Sir James looks over his shoulder.)
Marc: What are you looking for?
Sir James: I just wondered if mayhap I was with a tin man, a scarecrow, and a cowardly lion.
Sir James: Never mind. Surprised am I, but now thou art free.
Marc: For many years, I have wanted to break free. To break free from his lies, he's so-
Sir James: Yes, yes, we have all got the idea. Now, run!
Marc: Even better- I have my bicycle. I want to ride my -
Sir James: Enough! Go!
(Marc leaves from ye left. Pierce Brosnan's head appears around the curtain on ye right.)
Pierce: Er, did I hear that correctly? I wonder if-
Sir James: I must get out of here!
(He exits onto a balcony. There, he holds Dou Dou in ye classic Hamlet position.)
Sir James: Ahem-
DouDou, or not DouDou, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler on the screen to suffer
The slings and arrows of a Type 45 Destroyer,
Or take up arms against Safin in the Sea of Japan
And by opposing, be ended. DouDou - to sleep.
(He sees ye approaching fire from ye warships, tucks Dou Dou into his waistband and stands to face them.)
At last death comes, in gentle irony
When now I have a… family
As darkness looms and life is done
I know I didn’t stand alone
I won’t regret the lips I’ve kissed
Rather, those I had to miss
The friends I made, the places seen
The Queen’s man I have always been
I fought below the ocean blue
In Egypt, Russia, Jamaica too
I saved more damsels than one can know
On boats, on horseback, and on a cello
(Off- stage, an irate Welshman says "Harrumph")
Villains foul, both thin and fat
With daggers, knives, and a white cat
I faced them all, did never run
From bowler hat or golden gun
At least I know I’ll meet anew
My mother Monique, my father Andrew
For those who grieve, let this suffice
As a wise man once said, you only live-
(There ist a sudden explosion and Sir James disappears from view.
It is impossible to tell if he has been blown into ye sea or into little pieces or into Barbara Broccoli's dreams.)
ACT 5, SCENE 1
2 weeks later, Sir Gareth's office.
Sir Gareth: (56 bottles of booze later.) Thang you all very mush for (hic!) atte... at... coming here.
(Moneypenny, ye Young Wizard, William Of Tanner, and Nomi nod carefully, watching to make sure Sir Gareth doesn't stagger into any of ye furniture.... again.)
Sir Gareth: We have gathered here today to remember.... remember.... (Attempts a whisper, fails drastically.) Moneypenny, what wash I to remember?
Maid Moneypenny: Sir James Bond, sire.
Sir Gareth: Oh, ish that who it ish? (Hic!) I have not sheen him for a while.
Tanner: (Aside, to Young Wizard.) I would be surprised if he hast seen anything for a while.
Sir Gareth: I heard that! Be quiet! Now.… (Aside.) With Sir James being dead a patsy he can be so that my position and power mayest remain!
(Ye MI6 staff turn and look at each other.)
Sir Gareth: Right, has everyone got a drink? Well, there art some words I would like to say on behalf of Sir James.
There are places I never saw, which fact I regret
There are people I never knew, who I wish I had met
Adventures I never had, dangers which I have ducked
But most of all, there are women I never-
Maid Moneypenny: (Hurriedly.) Wait, didn't we do this one already? Back when I shot him two plays ago maybe?
Sir Gareth: With the number of times this fellow's been thought dead, retired, or gone rogue, who can remember any more?
Right that ist done, back to work everybody, now for the interviews!
Nomi: Wait- art thou not going to assign me his name too, as well as his number? All those rude people shouting at me whenever I go out in public already think I'm the new James Bond, thou might as well!
Sir Gareth: Who art thee again? If only you'd got some dialogue in this play maybe I could consider thee, but all these applicants here have most impressive resumes, like they have been auditioning for years.
(Sir Gareth opens the door to the outer office revealing ye applicants who art nervously checking their resumes.)
Nomi: As I am not needed I must go and meet with Apothecary Swann. (Off Maid Moneypenny's inquisitive look.) Since our time in yon lifeboat I hast been...uh... helping her with her grief.
Sir Gareth: Now who ist the firsht...the fir...who art they again?
Tanner: Mayhap we should delay interviews until thou art sober (Sir Gareth glares at Tanner.)...er, I mean we hast observed a respectful mourning period.
Sir Gareth: (Hic!) Aye. Perhapst it ist best.
(Sir Gareth closes the office door and the curtain falls on Sir Gareth and his colleagues.)
(Apothecary Swann walks onto the stage carrying Mathilde in her arms.)
Apothecary Swann: Remember at the curtain call
That stories need not end,
Whatever tragic fate befell
Our valiant and courageous friend.
Our sadness shall quell
As we relive his life
Awed by stories of heroic deeds
Overcoming villains and strife.
Not only in past glories must we revel.
For there are lucrative opportunities in
Spin-offs, Reboots and Re-quels.
A time will come to recommence
When our coffers are bare of what we hold most fond.
Thus in another four to six years hence
We will again tell the tale of he who ist named
Bond, Sir James Bond.
(Apothecary Swann and Mathilde exeunt stage right, Mathilde giving ye audience a smile and a wave.)
The audience applauds ye Royal premiere production of Nay Time to Die as ye cast give their bows. However, some stand silently, stunned at ye preceding playe.
Heated discussions commence both among ye Commoners at ground level and among ye Nobility in the levels above.
On the ground of ye Globe Theatre two rowdy Liverpudlians can’t believe ye ending.
Liverpudlian #1: Woah, that was one messed up Playe. It made no sense, I actually thought I saw Sir James die at ye end! But of course that never happens in any of these Playes, does it?
Liverpudlian #2: Y'know, that’s what I thought happened too! That can’t be right, must be us who got too messed up. I tell you one thing, I am never eating mouldy bread before one of these Playes again!
Liverpudlian #1: Mouldy bread makes ye action better. I could have sworn I was in Italy.
Nearby are a husband and wife.
Husband: Two dozen adventures led to this? I should throw my last bunch of rotting cabbage at ye stage.
Wife: Well, I thought it was a great love story. Sir James sacrifices himself for his Lady Love and their Daughter. Even ye Young Wizard found love with Tanner. However, I was shocked to find out Tanner was a woman.
Husband: Tanner wasn’t a woman.
Wife: That’s just the beard throwing you off. When men play all ye female parts you’re going to get some that aren’t very convincing. Having a woman as Sir Garth’s Right Hand was a brave choice by the Author.
Husband: (Sigh.) His name is Sir Gareth.
Above the fray a trio of noblemen in their box have their own discussion.
Nobleman #1: I thought it was fantastic.
Nobleman #2: Poppycock. Ye ending ruined it for me. I expected a lighthearted romp for ye whole family. Nay Time to Die? He bloody well did die. This was The Tragic End of Sir James Bond. We didn’t get that in the title or the handbills.
Nobleman #2 hands over a handbill.
Nobleman #1: Fair point. However, thematically….
Nobleman #3 (Who looks suspiciously like ye ‘deceased’ Christopher Marlowe.): Thematically my arse. That damned Stratfordian made up so many new words and odd allusions it will take over four hundred years to sort it all out. I could have done bet-- (He suddenly stops himself as if he has revealed too much.) --er, I loved the character of Paloma.
Nobleman #1: Oh yes, I too loved her.
Nobleman #2: Of that we can all agree. I also have the desire to purchase a corduroy doublet for my upcoming travel to ye Continent.
Nobleman #1: As much as I loved ye Playe, I felt the costumes were questionable.
Nobleman #3: I hear ye ‘Bard of Avon’ is just an actor hired by Squires Purvis and Wade.
(Ye other noblemen stare at the one who looks suspiciously like the ‘deceased’ Christopher Marlowe for several seconds before resuming their conversation.)
Nobleman #1: So we can all agree to have differing opinions?
Nobleman #2: Absolutely not. Only one can proclaim the success or failure of Nay Time to Die.
(The noblemen, along with ye entire audience, turn toward ye Royal Booth.
Queen Elizabeth stands and clears her throat.)
Queen Elizabeth: We desire a Dou Dou. (An advisor whispers in her ear.) What? Of course. This production was quite satisfactory, although one must admit they haven’t been the same since they killed Dame Miles.
SIR JAMES BOND SHALT RETURN
As interpreted by Barbel, caractacus potts, Westward_Drift (because we have run out of James Bond films.)
Outside ye office of Colonel Ross, Yeoman Palmer awaits entrance, reading through ye latest scrolls.
Palmer: This ist no kind of work, awaiting ye pleasure of Colonel Ross to send me on some other boring task. Let me see…. (He looks at ye “Sits Vac” column.) Hmm, someone ist in need of a butler- mayhap when I am older I may consider that. What else…? A job in Italy? Searching for a shark….? Nay, that sounds ridiculous.
(Ye door opens and Colonel Ross’s clerking wench, Alice, sticks her unattractive head out.)
Alice: Get thine ass in here pronto, Palmer, ye Colonel wants to see ye.
Palmer: How canst I resist?
(Palmer doth enter ye office. Colonel Ross looks up from some paperwork.)
Ross: Palmer, thou art being reassigned. From now on thee shalt be working in Major Dalby's office.
Palmer: I see. This is a promotion, 'en, innit sire? Doth it come with a rise in me pay?
Ross: What? (Checks paperwork.) Hmm, yes an extra tuppence per fortnight. Now, ye important thing ist...
Palmer: Well 'at's just swell, sir, now I canst afford yon new frying pan I've been looking at.
Ross: I must warn you, Dalby does not share mine sense of humour!
Palmer: Aye, I shalt miss that about thee, sire.
(Palmer takes his leave of Colonel Ross, exits ye building and starts walking toward Major Dalby’s office. On ye way, a silver carriage (made by ye DB5th Earl of Aston and ye Lord Martin) doth splash him.)
Palmer: Flash git!
(He continues walking and reaches Major Dalby’s office. Ye Major looks up when Palmer enters, late.)
Dalby: Thou art late, Palmer.
Palmer: Aye, sire. Mine apologies, sire.
Dalby: I know not how things art run in Colonel Ross’s office, but such tardiness ist not acceptable here. Do I make mineself clear?
Palmer: Sorry, sire.
Dalby: I have here Colonel Ross’s report on thee. (Reads.) “Insubordinate… insolent…. Possible criminal tendencies….”
Palmer: Aye, ‘tis so.
Dalby: Good, thou dost sound like ye kind of man I can use. But let me warn ye, Palmer, cause me no trouble or I shalt bite thee so hard thou shalt not know where mine teeth end and thine skin begins. Do I make mineself clear?
Palmer: Aye, sire, very clear. I thank’ee for a wonderful evening.
Dalby: Spare me thine jokes, Palmer, I lack Colonel Ross’s sense of humour.
Palmer: Aye, sire. I shalt miss that, sire.
Dalby: Now, to ye briefing room. Thou shalt meet thine fellows there.
A briefing room. Major Dalby stands waiting, facing a room with about six or eight agents. Palmer enters, late as ever, and instantly spots ye only attractive female in ye room and goes to sit beside her.
Dalby: Now that we are all here (Gives Palmer a look.) let us begin. Many of our most noted alchemists have been going missing, nowhere to be found. Ye latest ist a man called Radcliffe. ‘Tis my belief that our department hast what ist commonly known as a “lead”. Look ye here.
(He uses a stick to point at an ink portrait of a middle-aged man on ye wall behind him.)
Dalby: This ist our main target, name of Grantby, codenamed “Budgerigar”. Never does he travel without this man beside him.
(Dalby points at a portrait of a tough-looking man.)
Dalby: Code-named “Parakeet”. Now, thine task ist to accumulate data on Budgerigar’s movements and habits. Palmer, thou shalt be working with….
(Palmer looks hopefully at ye attractive female.)
Dalby: ...Carswell, there.
(A man smiles at Palmer, who tries to hide his disappointment. Major Dalby leaves, and Palmer immediately turns to ye lady.)
Palmer: ‘Allo, fair lady, thou canst call me ‘arry. What do they call thee?
Jean: Thou canst call me Jean, but I do believe thou art to work with Carswell.
Carswell: Hello, Palmer, come with me and I shalt show thee our office.
Palmer: Of course. (As they leave he turns to Jean again.)
Palmer: See thee later, mayhap?
(Later, in an office.)
Carswell: Now, Palmer, Major Dalby ist most insistent that we are meticulous with our work.
Every day, thou must fill out a BUMF/ODDER 001 form and return it to him. Should thee have to leave ye office, thou must complete a WAS/T.E.O.F./T.I.M.E. 002 and submit it to ye purser’s office.
Palmer: Bloody ‘ell, ist that all we do all day? Fill out forms?
Carswell: We must make sure that ye correct colour ink ist used on ye correct forms. Ye size of ye feather used ist of paramount importance.
Palmer: Other agents I could name travel ye world. Battle villains. Romance beautiful women. Ol' 'Arry ist trapped in a gray office under gray London skies with a “Licence to Quill”.
Carswell: ‘Tis ye way Major Dalby likes it.
Palmer: Well, ‘tis not my way. I shalt see ye later.
Palmer approaches a building in ye shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral. A young street urchin approaches.
Urchin: The men you desire went into that there building.
Palmer: Art thou certain?
Urchin: Aye. His carriage ist over yonder. It ist readily apparent with ye orange and green racing stripes.
Palmer: So it is. Well done my good lad.
Urchin: Where’s me money? Me friends and me ‘ast searched many a time fo’ it.
(Palmer hands the child a coin. The boy bites ye coin and runs off.)
Palmer: (Aside.) Legwork ist best when other legs dost the work.
(Palmer approaches ye building entrance only to be stopped by a doorman.)
Palmer: I hast urgent business with a gentleman named Grantby.
Doorman: Thine accent is not of a learned alchemist.
Palmer: I am merely a humble messenger, but like an alchemist I’ve always enjoyed a good session with ye “mortar & pestle.” (He rhythmically pounds his fist into his palm leering suggestively. Ye Doorman laughs knowingly and moves to one side.)
Doorman: Enter, Friend.
(Palmer travels down a corridor to a grand room.)
Palmer: (Aside.) There must be ‘undreds of books and scrolls on these shelves, but Dalby would’st ‘ave us write so many reports as to make them seem but a grocery list. (He looks around.) There be my feathered quarry Budgerigar with his valet Parakeet at yon table with scrolls unfurled and books op’n’d.
Grantby: Bring me Agathodaemon’s scroll of the elements.
Parakeet: Aye, sir. It may take up to 30 minutes to find which alcove it is in. Ye librarian ist at lunch.
(Ye valet exits and Palmer sits at the table across from Grantby.)
Palmer: We come seeking Alchemist wares relating to ye transmutation of lead and mercury. It wast lost on a boat on ye Thames. We think you canst help us get it back.
(The other patrons loudly shush Palmer. Grantby points to a sign.)
Grantby: Canst thou read?
Palmer: Aye. I wast school’d. We would be willing to do a deal.
(Nearby, behind a bookcase lurks a Suspicious Stranger in an Eggplant Purple doublet. He inches closer to overhear Palmer and Grantby.)
Audience Member: Hey, that man’s sneaking up on you. He looks right suspicious.
Suspicious Stranger: (Replying to ye audience member with a thick French accent.) Shh! Sacre Bleu! Can’t thou read? (He points to ye sign.)
Audience Member: No, I cannot! Wanna make somefing of it?
(Grantby removes a folded bit of paper from his doublet. He scribbles a few words and hands ye paper to Palmer.)
Grantby: Meet me after six at this tavern.
(Palmer briefly looks at ye paper, puts it into his pocket, gets up and silently leaves. As he exits ye doorman smiles and pounds his fist into his palm. Palmer walks down ye street to The Mermaid Tavern. He spots a sign on ye door.)
(Palmer runs back to ye Alchemist building and espies Grantby and his valet walking toward his carriage.)
Palmer: Grantby! ‘Alt! We ‘ave business.
(Parakeet grabs Palmer who punches him. Palmer and ye valet exchange blows. The pair fight with ye expertise of two nine-year-olds in a sandlot. Palmer knocks ye valet to ye ground several times but in his distraction fails to see Grantby entering his carriage. Ye valet stands and grabs Palmer in a bear hug. He then knees Palmer in ye groin several times. Palmer collapses, writhing. Parakeet climbs aboard ye carriage and he and Grantby drive off.
None of the three have noticed ye Suspicious Stranger in ye Eggplant Purple doublet watching ye entire exchange while lurking behind a corner.)
Audience Member: See, he's still lurking around. Very suspicious, I tell thee.
Dalby's office. Palmer walks in like a knight after riding at a gallop all morning in full armour, the saddle firmly ensconced up his arse and nether regions.
Dalby: Oh sit down, Palmer.
Palmer: (Gratefully.) Thank you, sir. (He sits down very carefully.)
Dalby: I have read thine report. Grantby gave you a note, which led you to a false rendezvous, then you got into a fight with his valet.
Palmer: Aye, sir.
Dalby: That wast most stupid of thee, Palmer. Thou art not Sir James Bond, thou knowest.
Palmer: Aye, sir. He gets much better paid than I do.
Dalby: Enough. Give me ye paper, Palmer.
(Harry hands ye folded paper given by Grantby to Dalby.)
Dalby: Dost thou consider your actions worthy of a real spy’s legwork?
Palmer: Well, Major, the valet fella’ worked his leg into my groin with quite o’ bit o’ action.
Dalby: I do not share Colonel Ross’s sense of humour, Palmer. Did you ever think to unfold ye paper and look at ye other side of it?
Palmer: (Sheepishly.) No.
Dalby: 'Tis a handbill for a concert at ye Olde Band Shell this Sunday. Obviously, this is ye real meeting place, not The Mermaid Tavern. You're a poor excuse for a spy Palmer.
Palmer: If ye say so, Sir.
Dalby: Meet me at ye Olde Band Shell on Sunday if we have nay retrieved Radcliffe by then.
Palmer returns to his lodgings. A sound inside gives him pause; he doth look down through ye keyhole and spies a hand holding a knife. He straightens sharply and bursts through ye door.
Jean: There. Now thou hast made me miss it.
(Jean Courtney, wearing ye top of a set of ‘arry’s pyjamas, walks over to ye calendar on ye wall and retrieves ye knife she hast just thrown.)
Palmer: Thou doth not miss a thing… except ye date. Today ist ye thirteenth.
Jean: I am superstitious.
Palmer: How did ye get in? Never mind that, thou art here. Who sent ye, Ross?
Jean: Nay, I work for Dalby, thou dost work for Ross.
Palmer: Nay thou works for Ross, I work for Dalby.
Palmer: Ross! Anyway, what hast thou learnt about me?
Jean: Thou art a one time Naval Yeoman forced to work for ye intelligence service. Unlike many, thou can read and write. (She holds up a book as evidence, “Birds Of Ye West Indies”.)
Palmer: I do wish I had never learned to, ‘twould spare me ye torture of endless paperwork.
Jean: I can see thee as useful, since Yeomen go where Officers fear to tread.
Palmer: Art thou hungry?
Jean: Tempted I am.
Palmer: Then sit ye here whilst I cook.
(He indicates a seat in front of a musical instrument.)
Jean: Hmm, a cimbalom- these are most rare.
(Jean sits and looks around. Ye apartment hath low wood beams and an elaborate kitchen seeming to overspill its portion of ye floorplan. ‘Tis a small cluttered apartment with a lot of ye area given over to cooking needs. She can see recipes pinned up on his walls, but too far away to read. Ye area round ye cimbalom ist well-ordered, though ye rest is a bit of a mess.)
Palmer: (Enters kitchen and gathers several implements.) Aye, I had it, er, imported from Hungary.
Jean: Smuggled, thou doth mean. (Jean looks round at 'arry's larder full of strange exotic foods.) Most unusual, I don't recognise all these trendy imported foods. Oh, these art "champignons", art they not?
Palmer: That’s right.
Jean: Thou doth fancy thineself a real gourmet.
(Palmer begins to prepare a meal while Jean plays at ye cimbalom. ‘Tis a haunting melody, most suitable for a man alone.)
Jean: What art thou making?
Palmer: Well, I shalt use onion, garlic, olive oil, tomatillo, avocado, black beans, pinto beans, frijoles refritos ('ats yet more beans), lime, cilantro, maize-based flatbread, mozzarella, chocolate, nineteen variety of peppers, with coffee afterwards. and wuffahell, might as well av summa 'em champignons.
('arry stands and chops behind a massive wooden cutting board overlooking ye living room where Jean plays ye cimbalom . Behind him is an array of open flames, over which sit iron cauldrons, frying pans, sauce pans, and something like a potters kiln built of brick. All are bubbling and sizzling and 'e spins between each wif split second timing, not cuttin' or burnin' 'imself once.
On ye cutting board 'e finely chops garlic, onions, tomatillos and peppers then stirs ye result in a bowl wif olive oil.)
Palmer: 'Ere's some nice spicy salsa! (Picks up dark green object the size of his hand.)
Jean: But what is this?!!? Thou art holding a hand grenade!
Palmer: Naw luv, 'tis an avocado (Slices, separates pit, scoops out green flesh and mashes with more garlic, olive oil, lime and cilantro) an' theres our gwac! Now lessee if these beans are ready. (With an immense ladle he scoops out a mixture of cooked beans from ye iron cauldron.)
Jean: Thou certainly dost have an irresponsible number of open flames in such a small apartment!
Palmer: That reminds me, luv, ye mind opening yon window so we can see what we're doing?
(Jean opens ye window and thick clouds of black smoke dissipate.)
('arry pulls out two flatbreads, lays them on ye cutting board, and fills each generously wif beans, gwac, salsa and a dollop of sour cream. He rolls each into a wrap and coats with shredded mozzarella. Then with a long wooden paddle he carefully places both in ye kiln. Whilst waiting for ye kiln to do its magic, 'e mashes some soft chocolate in a small vessel with nineteen different varieties of chopped peppers into a paste and heats over yet anuffer open flame. Then he withdraws both flatbread wraps from ye kiln, places each on a clean plate, and presents ye chocolate pepper mixture on ye side as an optional seasoning.)
Palmer: 'Ere ye goes luv, bean burritos wif guac' an salsa, an mole sauce on a side!
Jean: Wenches dig a man who can cook!
(Jean takes a bite and immediately emits a ladylike whoopee cushion sound effect.)
Palmer: Aye 'tis ye beans, ats ow ye know its cooked authentically! Good innit?
Jean: Delicious, especially ye guac' and ye salsa. and this mole sauce, I could even eat it even without ye peppers, by ye boxful!
Palmer: Glad I am that thou hast enjoyed it.
Jean: So, I have learned that ye art a good cook and interested in music.
Palmer: Well, surely thou wert sent to learn about me.
Jean: I have learned much, and call me Shirley not.
Palmer: But of course.
Jean: Thine eyeglasses, do thee ever take them off?
Palmer: Only in bed.
(Jean reaches to his face and takes ye eyeglasses off….)
(Dalby's office. Dalby sits staring into space waving his finger like a baton, uttering a strange unpleasant noise.)
Dalby: Hum, hum, hum-diddly-hum ... wait where was I? Oh yes, diddly-hum, now what comes next? another hum or another diddly?
(Palmer runs into Dalby's office, then stops and holds ye door for balance, struggling to catch his breath.)
Palmer: Puff, puff, puff...
Dalby: What's all this Palmer? Why aren't you in ye field doing legwork?
Palmer: Sir, I just gots anuffer lead! Come quick! (Tries to wave Dalby out ye door.)
Dalby: Palmer, you interrupted me when I was busy humming out-of-date military marches! I ought to discipline you for this!
Palmer: But sir, its a right solid lead from, er, a trusted informant. (Aside.) I dare not tell this old stick in ye mud my informants are all street urchins! (Aloud.) Budgerigar and Parakeet are in a warehouse on Creepy Olde Warehouse Lane on ye other side of town this very moment!
Dalby: I hast told thee once I want more legwork, less inspired hunches! Now run along!
Palmer: Sir, I was just at ye bloomin warehouse, I's seen 'em go inside! Speaking o’ bloody legwork I just ran clear cross London to tells you!
Dalby: And this was worth interrupting my humming out-of-date military marches was it?
Palmer: You said you wanted to find these rascals! I knows where they are right now! Look, let’s you'n'me round up ye uffer agents an we'll surround ye place while theyre still inside!
Dalby: Now you know it's not that easy Palmer. If you wish a warrant to open private property and conduct a search thee must fill out a form Whoo(P)Cush(N)SFX-dash-plfft!
Palmer: (Slaps hand to forehead, stoops wearily.) Ah no sir, not a bloody Whoo(P)Cush(N)SFX-dash-plfft!, Thass 150 bleedin pages long!!!
Dalby: You mind your language you escapee from ye criminal underclass! There ist only one way to obtain a warrant to open private property and conduct a search and that ist to fill out a form Whoo(P)Cush(N)SFX-dash-plfft. And make sure you use the correct colour ink or you shall have to begin all over again and pay for ye paper you have wasted!
Palmer: (On knees, begging.) Ah no sir, please, they’re right! There! In ye floggin' warehouse right! Now! I swear...
Dalby: I've told you once Palmer. Now get on with it!
Palmer: Aw sir... ('arry slumps out of Dalby's office defeated; Dalby resumes his cheerful but tuneless humming.)
Dalby: Now where was I? Oh yes: hum, hum, hum-diddly-hum, diddly-hum; hum, hum, hum! Diddly-hum, diddly-hum. I quite like that one! ‘Tis a fine Imperial March!
(In ye office Palmer shares with Carswell.)
Carswell: Now ye start a Whoo(P)Cush(N)SFX-dash-plfft by filling in this bit here,’tis thine name, see? Your name would be Harry, of course?
Palmer: Yeah, ‘tis right. (Turns to audience, hand to mouth as if sharing a secret.) Now my name's not 'arry!
Carswell: (Writing very carefully.) Hair... Ree! Now, that’s done it! Looks good! Now let me see…. (Counts.) Only nineteen more pages to go and we're done with this one! And after that we can start on those! (Points to overflowing pile of papers tumbling off table onto floor.)
Palmer: Thou hast got to be kidding me, surely!
Carswell: Nay, and my name ist not-
Palmer: This form here- we must skip it and get moving as quickly as possible.
Carswell: Nay, nay, Palmer. Not without filling in this form, old man. Section 26, Paragraph 5. Need to know. Sure thou doth understand.
(Palmer sits and begins ye onerous task, desperate to get it done as quickly as possible.)
(Dalby’s office. Palmer bursts in.)
Palmer: Here, sir. I ‘ave filled in ye Whoo(P)Cush(N)SFX-dash-plfft form!
Dalby: Oh, thou hast? (He takes ye form and examines it.) But nay, Palmer- this ist in blue ink and ye regulations doth clearly state that it must be in black ink.
Palmer: (Dismayed.) But sir-
Dalby: No “buts”, Palmer. Now go away and do this again- and I shalt be docking ye cost of this from thine wages!
(Half an hour later….)
Palmer: (Wearily.) Here, sir, thine form- in black ink.
Dalby: Let me see…. Hmm, this would appear to be correct. All right, Palmer, let us go.
A Warehouse. Dalby, Palmer and a dozen worker types have shown up and entered ye warehouse and it ist empty.
Worker Type: Sorry squire, there’s nuffink ere. Whyntcha just pay us an’ we'll be off n still ‘av time t’catch a game?
Dalby: You were instructed to be here precisely when high noon was above ye local steeple and you arrived five minutes late
Worker Type: Naw look, guv, we busts opens warehouses all round London town and dere's lotsa churchsteeples, and each has ‘er own local relative high noon, so who's to say whevver we's five minnits late or five minnits early?
Dalby: I'm to say, local church steeple takes precedence. There shalt not be standarised time zones for another three centuries! Therefore time ist measured in relation to the closest church steeple. You arrived late, thou art fired without pay! Be off with you!
Worker Type: (Exits with mates.) Bleedin toff!
Palmer: ‘Ats right civil of ye, sir. Ye know if I ‘ad been right bout this ‘ere warehouse I'da been a ‘ero!
Dalby: But thou wast wrong Palmer! Don't you ever fill out a Whoo(P)Cush(N)SFX-dash-plfft again, Palmer, dost thou hear?
(Dalby struts off stage right, Harry shuffles round warehouse set muttering to himself, kicking stray detritus, when something flies from beneath his feet.)
Palmer: Cor! Major Dalby sir, come’n’see, itsa whatsis, a watchyermacallit, a carrier pigeon!
Dalby: (Returning to stage centre.) A carrier pigeon thou sayest?
Palmer: Naw, ‘ats not right, not a carrier pigeon, ‘tis one of ‘em birds from ye tropics all ye pyrates are bringin’ back to London wif ‘em. Y’know, ye silly lookin’ ones ‘at talk! A carrier parrot! They repeat what they ‘ear people say!
Dalby: And you sayest such birds talk, dost thou? Perhaps we'd better take this one back to headquarters. I say, wouldst thou care for some lunch?
Dalby’s office. Ye staff are all crowded round his desk, upon which sits ye parrot.
Dalby: You must be ye most incompetent agent ever, Palmer, I send thee out after Parakeet and instead thou hast brought back a parrot! They are not the same thing, you know! Don’t thee know anything about birds?
Palmer: (Aside.) Oh, I knows a fing or two about birds alright!
Jean: (To ye parrot, obviously.) Who’s a pretty boy then?
Carswell: Polly want a cracker?
(Ye parrot gives them a look of disdain.)
Palmer: ‘Tis like ‘e don’t know ‘ow ter speak proper English. Here, what’s this on his ankle?
Carswell: His ankle? What is it?
Palmer: ‘Tis ye joint between his leg and his foot, but that’s not important right now.
Jean: It doth look like a ring of some sort.
Dalby: Let me see…. It hath writing. It says “One ring to rule them all, one ring to-”
Palmer: Nay, nay, sir, it says “Ipcress”.
Parrot: Ipcress! Ipcress!
Dalby: What on earth ist an, what did they say, “ipcleft”?
Palmer: Nay, sir, Ipcress.
Palmer: Well, ‘e seems to know what it’s all about.
Parrot: What’s it all about, Alfie?
Palmer: Ssh, my name’s not Alfie.
Parrot: Give it time, Harry, give it time.
Jean: Oh, he ist talking away no problem now.
Parrot: ATAC to St Cyrils! ATAC to St Cyrils!
Dalby: I do not understand.
(Ye parrot begins to make a series of strange sounds.)
Parrot: Ah-oo-ga! Poopding poopding poopding ! Boyoyoyoyoing!!
Palmer: Now I do not understand, either.
Carswell: I shalt take him to ye lab and study these sounds.
Palmer: Just make sure to feed him.
Carswell: Feed him? With what?
Parrot: Polly wants a cracker!
A park. A brass band plays. Dalby sits in ye audience, Palmer enters and sits beside him.
Palmer: Major Dalby-
Dalby: Sssh! (His hand beats out ye rhythm of ye tune being played upon his stick.)
Palmer: But, sir-
Dalby: Sshh, Palmer! This ist one of mine favourites.
(Palmer sits impatiently waiting for ye tune to finish. When it does, he speaks again.)
Palmer: Sir, do ye mind telling me what we art here for?
Dalby: Why ye rush, Palmer?
Palmer: I am scared any of me mates might see me ‘ere wif this old-fashioned stuff.
Dalby: Culture and ye art strangers, Palmer. Just enjoy ye beautiful music.
Palmer: Beautiful music? That ist a military march!
Dalby: Of course.
Palmer: Aw, sir, that was cornball back in ye days of Boadicea!
Dalby: Her army did not have sousaphones. Now ssh, here come ye next one.
(Ye band begins again. Palmer gets more impatient. When ye next tune finishes, he tries again.)
Palmer: Major, ‘tis most important we-
Dalby: Be quiet, Palmer. Now I know you think I'm an old fuddy-duddy, a bit of a pompous git with a broom stuck up his buttocks, and all that sort of rot, as you young folk say. But I "dig" a few "toons" myself, and fancy I can "get down" with the best of them! (Dalby bops his head and pumps his fist to ye marching music with ye least sense of groove ever.)
Palmer: Yes I can see that sir. (Looks round to see if anybody he knows is watching.) Most, er, embarrassing sir. But do go on.
(Ye villains arrive, led by Parakeet. Palmer sinks low in his chair and pulls his collar up and his hat down.)
Palmer: (Aside.) I don’t want even ye villains to recognise me wif this old coot!
Parakeet: So why’d ye have us meet you here, Dalby? Awful noisy isn’t it?
Dalby: It’s not noise, it’s out of date marching music, and I happen to like it! It's spiffy!
Parakeet: Er, if thou sayest so. I guess it doesn’t suck too much. Let’s get on with this deal.
Palmer: (Turns outraged.) What’s this? Doesn’t suck too much?!!? It sucks rotten ol’ ostrich eggs is what it sucks! I can’t believe your encouragin’ ‘im! Bloody ‘ell, you villains, I tells ye! (Shakes head in disgust.)
Parakeet: Why look who it is! It’s my buddy ye punching bag from ye library! Hey look all you minions, I beat up this loser at ye library! Hahaha!
Minions: Hahaha! You’re ye big man at ye library, boss! Hahaha!
Dalby: Quiet you lot! I can’t hear ye music!
Palmer: Seriously though, even you villains oughta have better musical taste than t’ listen to this din!
Dalby: (Shouting to bandstand.) Yeah! Woohoo! Play Darth Vader’s Imperial March!
Parakeet: (Gives Palmer a bit of a skeptical look) Oh yeah? What groups are you into, if you’re so much cooler than us?
Palmer: (Rises in seat slightly.) Well I just ‘appen to be ye worlds biggest fan o’ Mozart!
Parakeet: (Looks to minions.) Mozart? Who’s that?
Minion 1: Never heard of them!
Minion 2: Yeah, you’re making them up, there’s no such group as Mozart!
Dalby: (Shouting to bandstand.) Never mind all that filler! Play ye Imperial March!!!
Palmer: Mozart’s not a group, he’s a composer, and ye reason you haven’t heard o’ ‘im is because ‘e won’t be born for another 150 years!
Parakeet: What?!!? Won’t be born for 150 years? Well how do you know he’s going to be any good then? Eh! Got you there!
Palmer: I ‘appen to know cuz I’s an afficianado o’ avant garde composers! Mozart’s gonna be th’ best composer what ever lived, and I’m ye first spy on my block to be into ‘im!
Parakeet: (Waves hand dismissively.) Bah, that makes no sense, you’re just being a poseur!
Palmer: Oh yeh? Lookit this! (Turns round to reveal denim jacket with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart written on back in crayons, in immense Gothic script with elaborate calligraphy and extra umlauts.)
Parakeet: Woah, that is cool!
Palmer: And I got all these badges! I get them from ye booth next to ye American Imports section at ye Farmers Market!
Parakeet: Hmm, that’s a lot of badges for a composer who won’t be born for 150 years…
Palmer: And this! (Opens jacket to reveal Mozart concert t-shirt, further labelled Eine Kleine Nachtmusik World Tour 1787)
(Band begins playing Darth Vader’s Imperial March. Dalby leaps onto ye chair, blocking view of audience behind, making devil horns sign above his head and bopping his head like he’s having a seizure. This covers him exchanging papers with Parakeet.)
Dalby: Yeah! Woohoo! It’s ye Imperial March! Waahooo! Hum, hum hum-diddly-hum, diddly-hum! Come on you lot, get into it! Hum, hum hum-diddly-hum, diddly-hum!
(Palmer, Parakeet and minions all discreetly move to ye back row so no one thinks they’re with Dalby.)
Parakeet: So hast thou ever seen him in concert?
Palmer: Naw, course not! Those compositions will only be performed in the future! But since I eat a good ‘ealfy diet wif lotsa imported American foods that none o’ you fellers know about cuz only really cool spies eat ‘em, I’m in real good healf, an’ mebbe I’ll live that long an mebbe I can see ‘im one day!
Parakeet: So? Will you see him, then, if you do live that long?
Palmer: What?!!? Hawhawhaw! Naw, don’t be daft!
Parakeet: But you just said he’s ye greatest composer that will ever live!
Palmer: Yeh, well, that’s true, but! In 1787 Mozart’ll be bloody mainstream pop music and every last granny in a suburbs will be lissenin’ to ‘im! Where’s ye fun in that for a music snob? Naw, if I’m still alive in 1787 I’ll be ye first spy on the block to be a fan of the Velvet Underground and Nico!
(Dalby is still humming off toon and dancing spastically in front of ye bandstand, all alone. He does not notice ye band have packed up their instruments and moved to another band-shell so as not to be seen with him. As Palmer leaves, ye Suspicious Stranger who hast been observing ye entire thing follows.)
A trendy booth at ye Farmers Market specialising in exotic American imports. 'arry is shopping for newly introduced food products only grown in ye Americas, looking very hip and at home. In ye middle of ye aisle he spots Ross, staring at an ear of maize, looking uncomfortable and confused.
Palmer: Ah 'allo Colonel Ross, didn’t know thou were an enthusiast for ye new American imports!
Ross: (Very unconvincingly.) Palmer! What a surprise to see thee here! Yes, yes of course, I shop here all ye time. Love ye stuff. Er, what ist this one, seems quite popular? (Points to display being near continuously picked from by fidgety customers.)
Palmer: Now that be tobacco leaf sir, nice‘n’addictive an’ ye dont even get 'igh like wif Indian hemp! I bet some people could smoke 70 a day an’ not feel a thing!
Ross: I don’t think I see ye point of that. What ist that one you have there?
Palmer: That there is a potato.
Ross: Looks boring. Give it to ye Irish. And this?
Palmer: Ah that’s coffee beans sir, me fav'rit! ‘Tis also nice’n’addictive but it keeps ye wide awake.
Ross: Well that does sound more useful. How about this?
Palmer: Coca leaf sir, for when ye coffee don’t work no more- ‘tis even more addictive.
Ross: Now see here Palmer, are there any of these newfangled American imports that aren’t addictive drugs? Isn’t there anything nice and tasty ye can eat?
Palmer: well, all 'ese ones 'ere, sir, look, 'ere's peppers, tomatillo, tomato, potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, squash, avocado, pineapple, papaya, pawpaw, passionfruit, banana, chocolate and vanilla, sunflower, amaranth, quinoa, cashew, pecan, chestnut, walnut, Brazil nut, strawberry, blueberry, cranberry, huckleberry, chuckberry, johnberry, halliberry...
Ross: You're not fooling me Palmer, I know all about your criminal proclivities, you're trying to get me "hooked"!
Palmer: Naw sir, not me. Well that maize ye have in yer hand, sir, 'ats a food staple, lots ye can do wif maize and ‘tis very nutritious.
Ross: But how do you eat this thing?
Palmer: Wif yer teef sir, ye bite the kernels off wif yer teef.
Ross: Preposterous! Most of us English folk don’t even have teeth!
Palmer: Or... ye can slice off ye kernels and cook ‘em in an iron cauldron wif 'ot oil! Then ye get popped maize, sir! Look, ‘alf ye people in ye theatre are eatin’ bucketfuls o' that right now! (Gestures to Audience.)
Audience: Chomp chomp chomp chomp! Chomp chomp chomp chomp! Chomp chomp chomp chomp! Chomp chomp chomp chomp! etc
Voice At Back: Oy you lot, quit chompin’ yer popped maize so loud, I can not hear ye dialogue!
Second Voice: What’s a point? This Playe makes even less sense when you can hear ye dialogue!
Ross: (Glares at Audience, then turns back to face Palmer.) Well ye still need some teeth for that. Speaking of exotic edible delicacies, Palmer, I happen to hear that, er, Major Dalby has got himself a talking parrot?
Palmer: Well I don't know if I'd know anyfink bout 'at sir.
Ross: Aye, very good, correct answer. Of course, if I were, let us say, to be interested in what this talking parrot has to say, er...
Ross: Let us imagine, just to be theoretical, that I were Colonel Ross...
Palmer: I don't know, I can’t keep up wif 'oo's 'oo in this Playe sir. (Aside to Audience.) All I know is my name aint 'arry!
Ross: ...and if, suppositionally speaking of course, I were still your superior officer, do ye think some one might, er, be able to "accidentally" procure said talking parrot for me?
Palmer: Naw, naw, sir, of course I'd never do 'at sir, cuz 'at would be illegal.
Ross: In that case, theoretically speaking, what if I were to "accidentally" throw your smart arse back into Gaol if you don't? (Ross gives a very direct look at Palmer, who looks straight back at him. Ross changes ye subject.) How about this one? A glass vessel full of "Pre-Chewed Maize", it says, "No Teeth Required"!
Palmer: Naw ye don’t want 'at, 'ats baby food, sir!
Tis nightfall. Two coaches enter a yard of a business closed for the night. The yard is filled with half-painted carriages and coaches, some in garish colors. Shadows loom everywhere. A sign on ye fence gives ye business name.
(The coaches stop at a respectable distance from one another. Dalby, Palmer, a Doctor, and enough agents to fill a jester coach disembark. Palmer and a few of ye agents raise crossbows and aim it at ye other coach. One agent is carrying a wooden chest with a large "£" on it; he, ye Doctor, and another nondescript agent take point.
Likewise, a number of men alight from ye other coach. Two are carrying a stretcher with an unconscious Alchemist Radcliffe. Grantby and his valet Parakeet come into view. Two men carrying ye stretcher take lead position. Grantby remains by his coach while Parakeet joins the men carrying the stretcher. Several more of their brethren have aimed weapons at ye opposing coach.)
Dalby: I did nay expect you to oversee ye exchange thyself.
Grantby: I must earn my commission.
Dalby: Quite. Standard Exchange Protocol, then. (To Grantby.) Doest thou object to me starting?
(Grantby gestures his acquiescence.)
(Dalby begins to move his hands as if playing a snare drum.)
(The six men approach each other, walking in lockstep, almost like a synchronized march.)
Dalby: Boomshakalaka, Boomshakalaka, Boomshakalaka, Boom!
(The two groups have stopped at ye midpoint between ye coaches. The stretcher carrying Alchemist Radcliffe and ye small chest are placed on ye ground.)
Grantby: (Taking over as per Standard Exchange Protocol.) Bow to your partner.
(Ye Doctor and ye valet, Parakeet, give one another a nod.)
(Ye Doctor and Parakeet pass one another, turning such that they are back to back and almost touching as they pass. Ye Doctor kneels and examines ye Alchemist while Parakeet kneels and opens ye chest of money.)
Grantby: Oi. Thou couldn’t have used just Sovereigns?
Dalby: It’s all we had on such short notice!
Grantby: This will take a bit to count.
Palmer: (To himself.) Get on with it, then.
Dalby: Have somewhere to be, Palmer?
Palmer: Aye. I ‘ave a date lined up for tonight.
(Dalby gives him a disdainful sneer and turns back to ye exchange.
Ye doctor puts his ear to Radcliffe’s chest and then looks into his eyes. Radcliffe begins to awaken from his drugged slumber. Budgerigar meanwhile has removed ye different denominations of coins and stacked them on ye ground to be counted.)
Doctor: What is thy name?
Alchemist Radcliffe: Radcliffe.
Doctor: Who is thy Minister in Parliament?
Alchemist Radcliffe: I know not. And really, who doth care?
Doctor: (To Dalby.) He sounds fine!
Parakeet: You’ve made me lose my place with all thy talking. I have to start again. (He starts counting each stack of gold and silver again.) Let’s see. Twenty shillings to a pound….These Angels are seven shillings and six pence... (Eventually.) All here, Sir! (He places the coins back into ye chest.)
Grantby: Let’s finish up then. Gentlemen...RAZzle DAZzle!!!
(Ye Doctor and Parakeet circle 90 degrees while ye other four men circle around them 180 degrees and trade places. It all looks remarkably well choreographed. Dalby’s agents pick up the stretcher.)
Dalby: (Again playing the air drum.) Why did the chicken cross the road? (The men start walking in lockstep to their respective groups.) To get from the left to the right. He stepped out of rank, got hit by a tank, he ain't no chicken no more, no!
(Grantby and his men pile into their coach while Radcliffe is helped into Dalby’s coach. The enemy agents drive off.)
Audience Member: There’s that purple fella’ again lurking!
(Palmer turns and sees the Suspicious Stranger in ye Eggplant Purple Doublet lurking behind a half painted carriage.)
Palmer: Look out! We’ve been betrayed.
(The Suspicious Stranger begins to run away. Palmer quickly fires his crossbow and ye Suspicious Stranger collapses onto the ground next to a silver carriage made by ye DB5th Earl of Aston and ye Lord Martin. Palmer and Dalby run over to ye fallen man.)
Dalby: Who art thou? Who dost thou work for?
Suspicious Stranger: Mon Dieu, je suis assassiné.
(The Suspicious Stranger dies.)
Palmer. I think ‘e’s French, Sir.
(Dalby gives Palmer a withering glare. He goes through ye dead man's clothing and pulls out a piece of paper.)
Dalby: An introductory letter from Louis de Revol, ye French Foreign Minister and Secretary of State. The man was a Monsieur Aubergine.
Palmer: Aubergine...that’s French for eggplant. A little on ye nose with ‘is choice of attire.
Dalby: Stop thinking about food Palmer. You’ll have to cancel your date with ye Widow Courtney. You’ve just killed a French agent.
Audience Member: See? We ‘ad reason to be suspicious o’ him!
Dalby: Palmer, ye French have put a bounty on thine head.
Palmer: A bounty! What is it?
Dalby: It's a chocolate bar with a coconut filling, but that's not important right now. There ist much concern about Alchemist Radcliffe; it appears that he ist behaving ye same as ye parrot, babbling nonsense and making silly noises, and thou art being held responsible.
Dalby: Thou must find a place to hide.
Palmer: Well, I am sure I have a friend who will be happy to give me a bed.
Dalby: Nay, Palmer, I do not mean Courtney's place.
Palmer: I suppose you're right. I shan’t put 'er in peril too.
Dalby: Palmer, we are spies. We should always to be aware of sources of peril. Now go, go further, out of ye country.
Palmer: At once, Major.
(Ye ancient River Thames. Palmer walks towards a barge.)
Palmer: Hey, there. How much to take me to-
(A club lands on his head from behind, rendering him unconscious.)
'arry's in a gaol cell. The slot in ye door opens, there's a nice meal wif champignons and maize and crispy fried potatoes and a cup of espresso and other fine imported ingredients. 'e reaches for ye meal and ‘is fingers are whacked with a ‘ammer, and ye meal is taken away.
A week later, 'arry's still in a gaol cell. Ye slot in the door opens, there’s a big nasty stinky wormy slice of amanita muscaria waiting for ‘im. 'arry's starvin’ and ‘e dont get ‘is fingers whacked, so ‘e eats ye nasty slice of amanita muscaria.
An hour later, our 'arry's tootally trippin. Ye guards come 'n' drag ‘im to a torture chamber. There a Sorcerer disorients ‘im wif a Magic Lantern show.
Next, ye Sorceror turns to a table with many strange devices on it. He begins to contort himself into absolutely ridiculous positions turning cranks whilst using ye devices to recreate ye sounds heard before from ye parrot.
Palmer: Naw, naw, make it stop!
Sorcerer: Now, listen to me. You will obey what I say. you will forget the Ipcress Folio.
Palmer: Oh wowww, where am I? Whatsa Ipcress Folio?
Sorcerer: You will obey what I say. You will forget your own name.
Palmer: Wait! What name? I don’t fink I ‘as a name!
Sorcerer: You will forget your own name. What is your name?
Palmer: Well I know one fing! My name aint 'arry!
Sorceror: !!! Wait! What's that you say?
Palmer: My name aint 'arry!
Sorceror: You quite definitely said your name is not Harry?
Palmer: Thass right, guv, my name aint 'arry!
Sorceror: Oh, jolly good! Well, that was easy! In that case I think we're done!
Palmer: You’re kiddin'? It was jus’ gettin' interestin'!
Sorceror: Nay, I think we've achieved everything we set out to. We're all done here, why not knock off early?
Palmer: Wuff you mean, I gotta go back to that cell?
Sorceror: No, no, you're free to leave! You don't need anything else from us! Off you go, and best of luck with your future endeavours and all that sort of thing!
('arry gets up and walks towards ye door marked EXIT.)
Palmer: Ye mean juss like that?
Sorceror: I'm sure there's other things you'd rather be doing right now, and frankly so would I! bye-bye!
Minion: Boss, you sure 'bout this?
Sorceror: Major Dalb- ..., Er, I mean that uptight toff who ist always humming out of tune, paid us to erase his memory, and we've obviously done what we're paid for! So let's all knock off early, shall we!
Minion: Aw thass right, boss, fanks!
(Palmer stops to ask one more more time just to be sure, thinks better of it, opens ye EXIT door and exits this scene.)
Minion: Wait, didnt Major Dalb- ..., Er, I mean that uptight toff, also pay us to program some sort of brain washing trigger?
Sorceror: (Starts to speak then stops, expression changing.) Oh bugger!!! Er, could you open ye EXIT door and see if he's still standing outside?
Minion: Naw, 'e's long gone boss, dint waste no time gettin’ outa here!
Sorceror: Oh bugger, indeed...
Minion: Er, boss, does we still gets t'knock off early?