Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Jive Talkin'

Well, I'm beginning to smell the end of RING OF THE SORCERESS (so to speak), the script selected to read next by loyal readers of this humble blog in our on-line poll, so here's more today, and next time be careful what you wish for:

Boris stands at the head of a handful of zombie swordsmen. He is carefully scanning the treeline for movement.
From a distance, he sees Peryl and Shadow walk into the field. He is too far away to see them clearly, but could not mistake the pair for anyone else.
Wearily, he unsheathes his sword, and points it heavenward.
Boris lets the sword drop, and leans on it heavily.
And be quick about it.
The zombies shuffle forward.
Shadow steps in front of Peryl and brings his sword from its scabbard with a mighty flourish. It flashes in the sun.
The first zombie to step forward loses his sword-arm in a quick stroke. He leans over to grab the sword out of the hand's quivering grasp when Shadow runs him up on his sword, spearing the zombie to the ground.
Shadow leaves that one flopping as another lumbers forward. This one runs straight into Shadow's sword and stands there. Shadow's sword is fixed as if in a trunk. While he is trying to wrench it free, the first zombie--who he now has his back to--gets to its feet and produces a dagger.
Peryl shouts and rushes forward.
Peryl lays her palms on the first zombie's skull.
Suddenly, the zombie's skull erupts in a gout of gore.
Shadow and Peryl, spattered and surprised, exchange stares.
Boris, who has been looking on with disinterest, suddenly perks up. He lifts his sword from the dirt and strides forward.
Shadow sword-fights another zombie, giving Peryl the chance to slide up behind him and detonate his head with one curt word. A corpse, gouting blood from its neck stump, flops over.
Shadow turns to face the next zombie, and sees that he faces Luther, who is now slashing at the former prince with jerky movements.
Two slightly more clever zombies each grab Peryl by one arm and begin pulling her back into the woods. Shadow does not notice, as he is facing off against his old squire.
It is you, killer.
The two parry for a moment longer. Then Luther drops his sword and stands there.
Shadow looks on with surprise.
What, you care not for the taste of the grave? I have been in its cold embrace for some time, yet that seemed to concern you not. Should I give my enemy the release I cannot have for myself?
Luther GROANS. Shadow's sword dips to the ground.
Enemy, no. One who was once a friend, yes.
With a sudden, swift movement, Shadow brings the blade up and takes Luther's skull off at the shoulders.
The skull skips, and hops and rolls for a while, ending up against Boris' boot. The camera tilts up to look at the grim determination in his face as he stands across from Peryl.
Peryl, struggling against the two zombies, pulls hard. Each zombie loses an arm. They stagger, and she steps back and cracks their two heads together.
Surprisingly, Boris steps up and lops off one of the zombie's heads, and then the other. Peryl looks on wordlessly. Boris extends his sword in greeting.
Let us dispense with what does not concern us. I see a worthy opponent, and I have fought frightened villagers too long.
I am Sir Boris Halfmoon, of Queen Esme's own Silent Guard.
I am Peryl, a foundling, though now of Crescent Abbey and the Order of the Crystal Skull.
You need a new introduction. That Order is no more.
Thank you for the reminder. Now I can kill you without remorse.
You may try.
Boris brings his blade down in a death-dealing swing, but Peryl catches it between her two palms. Boris tries to wrench it back and forth.
The sword grows red, then white. The blistering heat makes Boris lose his grip with a gasp.
There's a new trick.
I have more.
So do I.
With a deft move, Boris flicks a short dagger from his boot at Peryl's face. Peryl catches the blade in midair, then coolly lets it drop to the ground. Boris nods in admiration.
I swear, fair maiden, to make this painless.
He takes another dagger out of his belt.
This dagger is coated with a quick-acting poison. I have only used it in honorable combat against the most noble warriors.
Peryl snorts in derision.
Honor? Noble? How the words sound strange on your lips.
Boris pulls up short.
I have given everything for queen and kingdom.
Mayhaps that was too much.
Boris sags a moment.
Then, suddenly, he is upon her with the dagger.
But that is for the gods to say. Mayhaps they will tell me soon.
As he comes down with the dagger, there is another sound: the CLANG of steel on steel. Shadow is upon him, his own blade hard against Boris' neck.
Sooner than you think, Sir Boris.
Boris is frozen, as his mind processes who is speaking. He lets the dagger drop, and Shadow steps away.
Boris finally looks Shadow full in the face. He slowly drops to one knee.
Prince Kelvin...
Once, perhaps. Now I am but his shade.
Had I not turned the dirt on your grave myself, I would dispute it. But your mother the Queen has shown me that there is more in this land than I knew.
Shadow thinks on this for a long moment.
I would like to talk with my mother.
Boris registers this and inclines his head.
As you command.
Shadow and Peryl exchange curious looks, but follow on Boris' heels as he leaves the field of battle.

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