UnScripts:The Penultimate Quest, or Please stop bugging me...
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The Penultimate Quest
DAVID has just 8 or ten minutes to live. He is suffering a disease called Plot furtherance. Many people suffer from this delusion or disease, but he’s got the worse case ever seen.
Doctor/sidekick WATSON- tells him he’s got that long to live. He knows ARTHUR and has for a while. About fifty.
DAVID- heroic to the point of idiocy. Anywhere from 14-45 in age.
VILLIGER- minor character wronged by DAVID’S heroics.
ARTHUR- Another person infected with Plot Furtherance. He is a corrupted hero, and has become a villain. Older than DAVID, and has been questing for 9 minutes, meaning his life is almost at an end. He is hunting for WATSON, whom he believes has given him plot furtherance.
SCENE 1 DOCTOR’S HOUSE
DAVID :What do you mean my minutes are numbered?
WATSON :Exactly what I said. Due to a rare disease called [[Twilight (book)|Plot Furtherance, you have 9 minutes to live. Ten if you’re lucky.
DAVID :What the hell is Plot Furtherance?
WATSON :You know when a character in a book or play does something for no other reason than “It has to happen that way, or the story wouldn’t work?" That’s plot furtherance.
DAVID :But what are the symptoms?
WATSON :Heroics, sudden death, and (calls offstage) Prompt acting as though your lines have been written for you. And living for a very short time.
DAVID :So what can I do?
WATSON :Go on a quest? I’ve heard that helps, because it gives you a reason to have it, and you don’t just shrivel and die for no good reason.
DAVID :ONWARDS! (Exits)
WATSON shakes head
WATSON :Poor, poor lad. It’s worse than I thought. (Exits)
SCENE 2- SETTING OUT
David stands in the centre of the stage and brandishes his sword.
DAVID I am here to prove my worth and save the Day!
WATSON :That’s nice lad. But who are you fighting?
DAVID :The Perilous Peril of… um… any ideas?
WATSON : The villainous tumpty-tum?
DAVID :Yes! I will defeat The Villanous, Darstadly... Tumty Tum?
WATSON :You know the verbal equivalent of insert name here?
DAVID :I will defeat the DASTARDLY VILLAIN THE ECONOMIC CRISIS!
WATSON :That doesn’t sound right. And anyway, what are you going to do, threaten to throw money at it until it goes away?
DAVID :Good point Doctor Watson. I Shall Face My Nemisis? (Pause) Is that better?
WATSON :You have to find him first. And even then, your nemesis is by definition your equal and opposite. He’ll be hard to defeat.
DAVID :I will face him and win! (Laughs heroically and brandishes sword)
WATSON shakes his head and exits.
DAVID :I must find something for which to QUEST! Then, My OPPOSITE will have to stop me, we shall duel and I shall win. Now, what shall I quest for? The Holy Grail? Naah, that’s been done to death. What about Stealing Fire From the Gods
WATSON :I thought that was a one time quest only.
DAVID :Have you been eavesdropping?
DAVID draws his sword and aims it at WATSON’S throat.
DAVID :That’s a VILLAINOUS TRAIT, SPYING!
WATSON :Not when you’re yelling it out for the world to hear, and not when I am a medical professor, surely. You could have said something that related to your health, and if I went around ignoring my patients there’d be hell to pay!
DAVID considers this. WATSON carefully removes the sword from his throat.
DAVID :Did I say anything vital involving my health?
WATSON :Not until you realised I was eavesdropping, whereupon you proved you’d got worse.
DAVID :(considers this) so the fact you were snooping…
WATSON :(interrupts) Listening to you.
DAVID :What ever you were doing in order to improve my health accidentally worsened it.
WATSON :However, in the aftermath of the listening to you we have managed to have a decent conversation in a calm, rational matter which could be seen as an improvement.
DAVID :Then I have Found My Quest!
WATSON :What's that got to do with what we were... (sigh) Just when progress was being made…. What’s your quest then?
DAVID :To find the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.
WATSON :Very Zen, very zen. Shame it's aready been done, really.
WATSON :‘s been done. Douglas Adams, during Life, the Universe and Everything.
DAVID :Well I bet you can’t tell me what it is, now can you!
DAVID :Damn. What about the question?
WATSON :What about it?
DAVID :Can I quest for it.?
WATSON :But we know it. What do you get when you multiply 6 and 7?
Lights turn off, and then turn back on again.
DAVID :What was that?
WATSON :The Universe restarting. You see…
DAVID :Got it! I could adventure FOR GOD’S MESSAGE TO ALL CREATION?
WATSON :Are you trying to rip of poor old Douglas? He’s done that too, and saved the lives of everyone within the universe itself just before the world was demolished.
WATSON :Poot? That’s not a heroic thing to say! Since you’re going to be a hero, you might as well embrace it.
DAVID :Blast then. Or Thunderous oaths.
WATSON :Very good. Now, why don’t we just generally or generically quest, and see what turns up.
DAVID :Brilliant Idea, Dr Watson. ONWARDS!
DAVID trots offstage.
WATSON :I had a feeling you would say something like that. (Half-heartedly).. ONWARDS, I suppose.
WATSON walks offstage
ARTHUR sneaks on
ARTHUR :The word “ONWARDS” has been said in this vicinity. I can smell it.
ARTHUR inhales through nostrils
ARTHUR Cont’d. :Yes, they definitely passed this way. And they went – that way!
ARTHUR walks off in a different direction to DAVID and WATSON
SCENE 3 THE QUEST!
WATSON and DAVID enter, arguing.
WATSON :But dragons are a protected species!
DAVID :You can’t tell me those villagers weren’t terrorised
WATSON :They were TOURISTS, David. They pay big bucks to be safely terrified.
DAVID :I did wonder what the flashing boxes were. And the cheering, and the questions about when the next show would be on.
WATSON :Yes, well, now you know.
DAVID :But the actual villagers of that village will never be TERRORISED again, right?
WATSON looks offstage in the direction the two of them came from.
WATSON :I don’t know about TERRORISED, but judging by the burning village and the column of refugees and the ROTTING CORPSES they’ve definitely lost their source of income. You have to think David. Not just bash everything that comes into view. And if you ever embarrass me like that again, I’ll let you quest on your own. What’s that?
WATSON points to small piece of paper on rock. DAVID picks it up and examines it.
DAVID :It’s a map. What are the odds of coming across a map to a cave marked “David Sadi’s Nemesis” on a rock in the middle of no where?
WATSON :A million to one, or thereabouts. David, I don’t like this. It could be a trap.
DAVID :Of course it’s not a trap! Look at it this way. Immediately, you thought “this looks dodgy; it’s a trap, right?
DAVID :And the point of a trap is to be unexpected, right?
WATSON :Right again.
DAVID :Therefore this set up is so obviously a trap that it can’t be a trap at all.
WATSON :Ri– hang on, run that by me again?
DAVID :No time, we must head for the cave of my NEMESIS!
WATSON :You can read maps?
DAVID :Oh, poot.
WATSON :“Poot?” “POOT!” POOT is NOT a heroic word, David. I have told you before and I shall say it again, poot is not a word you should use.
DAVID :Whoa, Watson, it’s not that bad.
WATSON :Yes it is. It is!
DAVID :I’ll fight you for the right to say it.
WATSON :Beating up an old man isn’t heroic either.
DAVID draws sword, WATSON draws his gun. DAVID Surrenders immeadiatly. WATSON continues to point his gun at DAVID.
WATSON :It just isn’t heroic, alright?
DAVID :I accept your words, teacher. ONWARDS!
DAVID walks offstage. WATSON follows, sheathing his weapon and shaking his head.
WATSON :Worst case of plot furtherance I’ve ever seen. if this thing was loaded he'd be dead by now.
ARTHUR leaps up from behind the rock
ARTHUR :My plan is now implemented, and soon I will have the doctor and that delusional Hero within my clutches. And I’m sure they will find them most difficult to escape from. Mwa-ha-ha-haa….
Arthur walks offstage, chuckling evilly as he walks offstage.
SCENE 4 THE TRAP
'DAVID and WATSON walk on, looking around themselves as if taking their bearings. WATSON seems agitated and nervous. There is a circle of rope in the middle of the stage. NOTE: they must NOT stand in this circle until mentioned in the script.
WATSON :I swear you said you can read maps
DAVID :Yes, well, I thought I could. I can do other heroic things I’ve never done before. I mean, how often does a tax-collector have to use a sword?
WATSON :In the old days quite a lot, actually.
DAVID Well, these days we tend to rely more on sharply worded letters than sharp edges.
WATSON :That's a terrible pun. And I thought you lot relied on eviction notices.
DAVID :And them. Although I don’t think I could give them out now.
WATSON :That’s just the heroics talking, David. You could probably still give them, but you’d then rob a bank and give the proceeds to them or something.
DAVID :Be right back!
David rushes offstage, drawing his sword. WATSON sits on a rock and settles down to wait. Strange noises drift in from offstage.
DAVID (offstage). :Give me your ill-begotten gains, banker!
WATSON shakes his head as DAVID runs across the stage, carrying a sack over his back and NOT stepping in the rope circle. More strange noises ensue.
DAVID (offstage) :And next time, try to pay the bank back on time, alright? No, there’s no need to repay me, it’s all in a days work for the Anti Taxman.
DAVID runs back onstage, stepping into rope circle.
WATSON :WATCH OUT!
WATSON runs into rope circle
WATSON :W'ere trapped! Now look what you’ve wrought, David. Have you anything to say for yourself?
DAVID :Poot. Poot poot poot.
WATSON:THAT WORD IS NOT HEROIC! I doubt even a sidekick would use a word like poot. I mean, due to a freak medical condition you are a hero David! That Means More Than A QUEST AND SWORD BRANDISHING SKILL! You have a DUTY to all the HEROICALLY MINDED INDIVIDUALS watching this to act NOBLY, CHIVALROUSLY AND JUSTLY at all times. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?
ARTHUR walks on, grinning broadly and evilly when he sees DAVID and WATSON in the trap.
ARTHUR :I hear you, Watson. And your time is up!
WATSON :I don’t know how you mean, ARTHUR.
ARTHUR :I set this trap, knowing all too well the mentality of the John Cleese|Plot Furtherance]] cases, being one myself. Although I did think he’d read maps better, but no matter. He got here in the end. I knew you would follow this man, regardless of where he went. I know you’re an author searching for more realistic characters, and not a doctor at all. YOU are the reason I speak of NOBLE AND WONDROUS SENTIMENT with a specific emphasis. For this travesty, you must die. Have at you! Oh, I forgot, you are all tied up. So I’ll have to ‘have at you’ myself.
ARTHUR laughs evilly and advances on the two struggling adventurers. DAVID cuts the rope with his sword, and stands to face ARTHUR. WATSON pushes him gently aside and steals his sword from him.
WATSON :No, my lad. This isn’t your fight.
WATSON draws sword, and defends against ARTHUR’S onslaught, but does not attack.
ARTHUR :Admit it! You created this disease, didn’t you? And then you follow those infected-
WATSON (quietly) :Only the heroes.
ARTHUR :Spare me your moralising, author. You lie as you breathe. You told me I would become Britain’s greatest hero, and that has definitely not happened. You sir, in short are a Villain and A Dastard to boot! A Cad, a Blighter, a Scoundrel, a Dreadful Desperado! A…
WATSON avoids ARTHUR’S last desperate stroke. ARTHUR collapses into DAVID’S arms. DAVID catches him, and looks around quickly.
DAVID :Is there a doctor in the house?
WATSON :What am I, a Beggar?
DAVID :But he said you were an author, and a Villain and A Dastard to boot! A Cad, a Blighter, a Scoundrel, a Dreadful Desperado! A…
DAVID :I dunno, He died before he could say.
WATSON :I helped him reach that conclusion myself. It was his quest you see- to find a villain and insult him to death
DAVID :But you aren’t dead!
WATSON :Well I didn’t say whose death did I?
DAVID :But you can't kill me off, I'm the main character!
ARTHUR (from his 'dead' position on the floor) :Or so you thought.
WATSON threatens Arthur with DAVID's Sword'. DAVID looks on and gasps.
DAVID falls heroically, for preference not hitting ARTHUR. WATSON inspects watch
WATSON :11 minutes and 23 seconds. Poor lad, though that’s the best time so far, although I do wish they could get to the end of their insult before carking it. I’d better help another Plot Furtherance case then. ONWARDS!
WATSON draws sword, trots offstage, gets almost off and then collapses. He props himself to his elbows with effort and checks his watch
WATSON 14 days, 11 hrs, 59 minutes and 25 seconds, which makes me the longest living plot furtherance case in all of history. I am… a… a… Villain and A …Dastard to boot! A C…ad, a Blighter, a …Scoundrel, a Dr…eadful Desperado! A… Vile… anthropomorphic… I can’t go on…
WATSON falls completely to the ground then dies. Villager wonders in, sees the dead Bodies and laughs. He chokes on his laughter and falls to the ground. He then gets up.
VILLAGER steals DAVID’S sword and walks offstage brandishing it.