A Christmas Panto hyperlinked in four parts,such as part 1
* * * Curtains * * *
“Some say it’s to do with the opening of the Blue Peter Time Capsule. My other sources say the Wooden Blocks. You know the wooden blocks? Thatcher, Pinochet, they have long noses but not much else. Simple head, feet and frame. Except when they move. They don’t make a sound as they stomp, but as their feet lift off the ground…. it’s as if thunder scares the Poles, and the clouds plummet.”
Do you know Judge Dredd, 2000A.D.? Charley’s War and Marshal Law the comics? Pat Mills is a writer who made them. He doesn’t look sixty-four, closer to fifty. He is a little left-wing and is bluntly unimpressed with your shortcomings. He wears a scowl, dirty fair hair and a brown, light leather jacket, all of which suit him for the role of…
“Captain Drew Heller, the resistance man! The hero of Zoidstar. I thought you looked familiar.” says Tori. “This freighter pilot is the number two enemy of Whitehall. He’s taught whole continents to rise up and influenced a generation through his graffiti.”
“So we really are in with the high risk offenders” scoffs The Silver Surfer.
The group are stood left of centre against a dirty blue painted backdrop of a river. Our eyes are drawn to their feet were Miley Cyrus rolls with her pants down on the artificial grass covering the stage.
Carnacki stands apart too, at the back under a solitary twisted tree. He looks out the distance at you, audience. To his right you can make out a seventh figure sat in darkness at a table.
“We appear to be on an island.” remarks the Victorian Ghost-Finder. “What is going on here Captain Heller? This ‘prison’, does not appear modelled on a Panopticon?”
“It’s more Australia than Alcatraz.” says Heller roughly. “You’re familiar with the story of how they set me up?”
Brightened are the two lights on the fibreglass above Skyfire’s eyes.
“They contracted you to ferry prisoners to a planet with anthropomorphic war robots. These ‘Zoids’ picked the prisoners and your crew off, killed them. Drained of firepower the Zoids would be vulnerable to Cybersol Corporation’s military forces and their plan to capturing a working ‘Zoid’.”
Heller picks up the tale.
“However the Tories identified with Blue Zoid factions and Labour with the Red Zoids. Amidst this the Communist Party were seduced by Krark’s United Zoid Army. The mission was a failure. This was because the Zoids were on average twelve centimetres high and their weapons were imaginary. But damnit! I lost my son Griff on that job. They will pay for that.”
“Have you still got the receipt?”
“What does this have to do with our current situation?” asked Tori, noticing the single prison number on his jacket.
“We’re part of a similar experimental programme here on Thames Island. It’s really just an estuary. But we are guarded by monsters from a weird science breeding programme.”
“Thut fulm was tuh-rrible.” said Miley Cyrus and punched a finger in her nose hole.
“Tell me”, continued Captain Heller, “What recently do you know of Operation Yewtree?”
“Is that it?” asks Skyfire, pointing to the tree.
The Silver Surfer sighed sensing seeking something sourced spoke.
“The last I had heard the operation to arrest seventies and eighties on sexual charges led to the shooting dead of Timmy Mallett and his cousin Christopher “Big” Biggins. The Agents of H.A.P.P.Y., Figgis, Glover and Binnis also went missing.”
“Who’s that?” asked Thomas Carnacki at last, glaring at the seventh man.
They approached Prisoner Number One and the light revealed an older man, dark hair in side-shade, a broad grin and twinkling eyes. He wore a black blazer with white trim over pressed shirt and trousers.
“You’d have to ask a news-man.” he said.
There was a good height and slim build to him when he stood, and he carried himself as a nexus of pleasantries. Then a pause and the sound of Miley Cyrus The Elephant Man slurping repeated. This carries on even as Skyfire’s recognises him.
“You’re John Craven!”
“I’ve heard of you.” said Tori. “The news reader who never lies.”
He laughed at that did John Craven, who was played by himself.
“I-I’m a huge fan. I-I’m Skyfire”, and he shook his hand eagerly.
“I know. Isn’t your name’s really Jetfire. I heard you were wrongly convicted. You may as well wear the name you’re comfortable with.”
“Not so fast!” called out Captain Heller in a way that causes even Miley to stop licking and pay attention.”Craven, you’re as guilty as the next news-man of the stories that you don’t report. You’re too likeable, and besides, I’ve read Watchmen – Ozymandias.”
The air is electric and the wind is wee-wee.
“Could it be you’re behind it all?” asked Heller. “Oh yes. The perfect man who evaded termination, while his generation fell around him.“
Carnacki grabbed a soggy broken bark from the ground, The Surfer squinted, even Tori twitched for her concealed jewish harp.
“Tell me Captain”, Craven responded lightly. “Because you’re a smart man. Did you ever hear about the arrest of Joe Longthorne?”
“Huh? They took him in early. Everyone knows that.”
“Well now I didn’t put that story out. Can you remember your source on the Longthorne arrest?”
Carnacki approaches Heller and stands in front of him. We see how each mirroring the other’s confusion in their expressions.
“You all remember Joe Longthorne? Of course you don’t. But try. He was the top celebrity impersonator of our age. He made his living from being a chameleon. From Brighton to Dundee, he played them all. He was at hundreds of people and places! Do you suppose a man like that wouldn’t be deep in black ops?”
“But he’s more than that. His policies flow through every channel, inform every paper, jump at the web and smudge every paper. It’s not just the 1970s Longthorne is erasing. He even had Weird Al Yankovic killed to protect his secrets. And those little babies that were murdered…”, and here John Craven appears to cry searching for their names, “Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, My god, he murdered those children in their cots and blamed it on King Herod!”
“It’s true.” says The Surfer after a stunned minute.
“Operation Yewtree arrests for crimes this man may have committed under fake identities.” Captain Heller lets the words out slowly, as if he can’t quite believe the enormity of the tragic conspiracy, yet knows it in his heart to be true. “Or to remove his opponents from the board.”
“What do we do now?” asks Jetfire.
Heller was firm.
“We’re going back.”
The island was quite small, only the length of the stage, and it seemed like the band were walking and not moving.
“Come on then Lakes Seven” urges Heller.
“This isn’t a lake, it’s the River Thames.” says Carnacki.
“No. It was a play on Blake’s Seven” he informed him.
“But William Blake isn’t here.” says Carnacki, confused.
A red spotlight illuminates the stage and a three headed monster of vile wart-eyed women with curlers on their bun heads hiss and scream. Each have necks like E.T. the extra terrestrial.
“Ghidorah!” shouted Jetfire.
“The Harpies!” called Tori.
“UTSH CRUSTMUSSS!” it guldered serpentine, with the voice of Noddy Holder.
In fact, it was three arms inside three cardboard tubes, each padded out with foam, masking tape and a mix of turgid mud paint. A balloon at the end of each wrinkles with photo faces of Julie Burchill, Rebekah Brooks and Jan Moir. Miley Cyrus puts her hand in her bum and producing poop flings at the monster. However, Carnacki is holding up his soggy wooden bark and Miley’s faeces strike the weapon and bounce off, assuming the form of Quality Street and Cadbury’s Roses which hurtle towards you. Then Thomas Carnacki, who can detect when there are ghosts or as is more common, a scientific explanation, well, he became aware of your presence. He is looking at your eyes right this moment, do you understand? You are looking at him and he says, “Reader, you must help me to distract this triumvirate of evil, you must say to them, we’re over here! You’ll hear them call to you, ‘Where are they?’ You must say to them “We’re over here’ and then we will sneak towards them and bang their heads. Go on reader! We depend upon you this hour. Say to them ‘Over here!’, 1…2…3….I need you to be really loud now. The fate of reality, our whole existence depends on it. Remain sitting were you are and say the words. 1…2….3… Do you see? Do you understand what is meant by this? Can I have your word that you will perform this task? I assure you no ill will or malignancy will come upon you if you do exactly what I say. Trust me now, ‘Over here!'”
The faces would be popped of Burchill, Brooks and Moir. Three dead skin minging harpies, their tiny heads would be exploded and glitter would come out. This allows the heroic rebels a trip across three stones joining Thames Island with the bank. Captain Heller, Jetfire, Carnacki, John Craven, all hop. Tori Amos hops, Miley Cyrus hops!
The Silver Surfer sets his board over the stones and runs across it.
* * * Curtains * * *
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