Holes/Session 10

From Zaori


INT. Coffle constabulary no.2 dungeons - day
The pigeon philosopher is still passed out. The party is standing around outside his cell, about ready to just leave.
Aside from Rhu. Rhu hopefully shouts at the stoned philosopher again.
The Gravedigger rolls his eyes. Over and over.
The pigeon philosopher stirs, sits up slightly, and hits his head on the bedframe. Then he collapses again.
Rhu tries the cell door, finds it unlocked, and walks inside and tries to shake the pigeon guy awake.
RHU
HELLO EXCUSE ME BUT ARE YOU IMPORTANT?
PIGEON PHILOSOPHER
WHAAAAH.
RHU
Hello! Sorry. We heard that you were a philosopher, and Hazz'ridan said you might be important.
PIGEON PHILOSOPHER
Ugh this isn't... what...
He stares blearily up at Rhu.
Rhu waves at him.
RHU
Hello. Are you familiar with the scripture of dead ends?
PIGEON PHILOSOPHER
Isn't that... Fred has scripts. Don't... I... nnntgh.
Dead odds?
RHU
Dead ENDS. No?
Hazz'ridan the Mighty said you might be important.
Rhu looks at the pigeon philosopher suspiciously.
PIGEON PHILOSOPHER
It's this an in at whunnng.
The pigeon philosopher tries to rub his eyes and winds up smacking himself in the face with the back of his hand.
RHU
(he sighs)
Important or not, you're certainly in no state to speak. Still, another dead end! That's something.
Greibel sidles in as well.
GREIBEL
Hello pigeon-head! CAN. YOU. UNDERSTAND. ME?
PIGEON PHILOSOPHER
NO... yes. Whah?
GREIBEL
DO. YOU. KNOW. STUFF?
The pigeon philosopher sits up, propping himself up against the bed, and grins slowly.
PIGEON PHILOSOPHER
NOPE!
GREIBEL
OKAY. THANK. YOU.
PIGEON PHILOSOPHER
Don't know lots of things. Lot's. Lo'ts. More.
I can tell you things. Things you... you.
The pigeon philosopher waves a hand.
RHU
Yes! Tell us things!
PIGEON PHILOSOPHER
Things I don't know?
RADEK
Or knock yourself unconscious again. It might be amusing the third time.
PIGEON PHILOSOPHER
Yeeeah.
The pigeon philosopher tries to grab Rhu. He completely misses.
RHU
Hey!
PIGEON PHILOSOPHER
(waving something around)
Try this. It'll shooow you.
GREIBEL
That's certainly one way to show him. Whaddaya got there?
RHU
Try what?
The pigeon philosopher stares off into space, waving a finger around for a bit. He then reaches into his pocket, pulls out a mushroom, and hands it to Rhu, still staring off into space.
RHU
Oh. Thanks.
GREIBEL
Oh. He wants you to see what he sees.
RADEK
(he nudges Gravy)
If they both pass out at once, can you carry both of them?
Rhu examines the mushroom carefully.
GREIBEL
It's a drug, silly.
RHU
It's a snack, isn't it? Can you eat it? Some mushrooms are poisonous.
Rhu offers it to Greibel, who seems to know more about these things than he does.
GREIBEL
Heh heh. Yes.
The pigeon philosopher spills a bunch of other mushrooms on the floor and starts mumbling.
PIGEON PHILOSOPHER
Eyes... Eyes in the dark... Softly speaking, tendrils... shadows...
(he suddenly stiffens and jerks and starts shouting)
YOU CAN'T KEEP ME. YOU CAN'T. YOU CAN'T SEE. NOTHING TO SEEEEE.
The pigeon philosopher collapses and passes out again.
GREIBEL
Oh, okay!
It's actually pretty weird that they let him keep the mushrooms in his cell. Oh well.
Greibel covertly picks some of the mushrooms up and jogs back out to the others.
Rhu picks up the other mushrooms and follows.
RADEK
Feeling enlightened, either of you?
GREIBEL
Yeah, you'll be joking when these mushrooms make us see the canyons of your miiiiiiiiind, man.
RADEK
If you could understand even a fraction of my disdain for you, I suspect it would shatter what little remains of your disjointed consciousness.
Rhu sniffs at one of the mushrooms, then takes a nibble.
RHU
Mm. Nice! This'll make a nice soup later.
Rhu starts to feel really weird. Light. Fuzzy. Almost floating. (rolled 4 reality)
RHU
Ooh. This feels nice.
The feelings change. Things don't really seem clearer. In fact everything seems... murkier. Colours dimmed, and displaced. People glowing oddly. Objects fading...
RHU
...hey... come back...
Grbbbble, stop glowing. It's ridiclus.
GREIBEL
Oh yeah, nice man. I'll be right here, I just might look like a disembodied consciousness. But that's normal.
Rhu looks at Greibel funnily, then nods.
Rhu tries to work out which colour is being displaced to which other colour, but every time he does the colours rearrange themselves. Things procede to get weirder. (rolled 1 reality)
The colours are starting to make sense. They describe things that aren't... strictly there. Variations of past and present, a narrative of presence...
Greibel keeps an eye on Rhu while the Gravedigger ties the avenger to himself so he doesn't wander off.
RHU
(mumbles)
Hey, what's wrong, Radek? Hey? What... why are't you glowing right? You're not glowing right.
(holding out his hand)
Loooooook at my hand, it's soooooo normal. Wheee.
Greibel puts his hands on Rhu's shoulders.
GREIBEL
Now think man. You needed to see some important stuff.
Just keep thinking important stuff and maybe you can find out what we're doing here, and possibly the fundamental relation of all cosmic bodies, if the effect lasts long enough.
HAZZ'RIDAN
(such that only Rhu can hear him)
Go. See what you need to see. The ends await.
RHU
Huh? Yeah?
Greibel just told me to see what I need to see. But he said it in Hazz'ridan's voice? What?
RADEK
You could also see the miserable direction your life is taking. That would be helpful too.
RHU
The ends await. Mm. Good. Good. I need ends. Dead ends for me please. Also tea. And a milkshake.
Everyone is glowing, even the people around, though their glow is muted next to that of the rest of the party. And there are darker things, too. Not absenses, holes, like Radek, but thinner spots... there's one in front of him now. It doesn't fit the shape of reality.
RHU
Huh. Huh.
Rhu pokes it.
It stares at him.
Rhu stares back.
Rhu stares back harder.
The thinner spot shimmers slightly.
RHU
Is that spot staring back at me?
Rhu pokes the spot again.
Amadi appears behind Radek and stares at Rhu, squinting a little.
AMADI
You... you have soup. Right there. Soup.
RHU
Oh. Err. Yes, Lord Ha-- Lord Harzsdi-- Lord Hazzdriddann. Let's go.
Amadi shudders.
RHU
Hey guys we should we should go Lor-- that guy I pray to. He said this. He said we should. We should.
Rhu points towards the exit.
GREIBEL
God told us through a mushroom man to leave the jail cell. Let's go!
AMADI
Let's go! Go when?
RADEK
Thank the gods.
They head back out through the roomful of guards.
GUARD ALEX KAREKOV
(still not getting up)
Is everything all right in there?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Don't ask. They might answer.
Rhu starts giggling.
AMADI
No. There's soup. I want a sandwich.
GUARD ALEX KAREKOV
Erm... sure.
AMADI
Why are you...?
Amadi waves a finger towards the guard's face.
The guard gives Amadi an annoyed look and then basically just ignores her. The others also look away when anyone looks at them.
GREIBEL
Haters gonna hate.
SOME GUARD
(muttering)
Ignore it and it'll go away...
AMADI
Pfft. Liar.

EXT. Coffle street - late afternoon
Rhu stumbles out onto the street and practices walking, the rope tied to the Gravedigger preventing him from going too far.
The others come out as well, acting far more normal.
AMADI
This is... not midnight, right?
RADEK
Not yet.
AMADI
See, I know what time it isn't. I totally know what...
Mm, that colour looks tasty.
Rhu notices Amadi. Really notices her - somehow, she's glowing even more brightly than the others, and differently too. Like she's something else, something bigger, older... and from just the right angle, just like Radek. Invisible.
Rhu stares at Amadi for a while.
Amadi stares back at Rhu, then makes a rude face.
RADEK
We have an address.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
I'm sure it'll be great. Maybe they'll give us biscuits.
RADEK
Maybe they'll take these two off our hands.
AMADI
No they won't, Radek. That's your name now? Hm. You should change it.
RADEK
I like my name as-is.
AMADI
Clearly you're not very smart.
Radek gives her a chrome death glare.
Rhu ducks his head from side to side trying to figure out Amadi.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
LET'S GO TO THE ADDRESS.
GREIBEL
Maybe they'll... tell us stuff?
AMADI
Were we going sometime?
Amadi rolls back and forth at her heels, looking bored.
Ellemerr (Amadi): In an attempt at being true to my character I've promptly forgotten everything. *shifty eyes*
GREIBEL
To the address!
Radek gets directions off a random guard because everyone else in the party is useless, and they head out.

EXT. Rorik and Sons weapon shop - evening
It's a fairly ordinary shop with a sign that says 'Rorik and Sons' over the door.
RHU
(mumbles)
Oh. I gettit. It's just people. Just people.
RADEK
What a waste of stone. They could have made this a functional piece of siege equipment.
AMADI
At least they know what their name is. Why aren't you named Rorik?
Radek doesn't answer and just heads in.
AMADI
Or... Harold. Harold would suit you. You couldn't be a Valentine.
Amadi falls into step beside Rhu, takes his arm, and walks him inside as well.
AMADI
Would you be my Valentine?
When she touches him, he is overcome with warmth. It is as though she is the brightest thing in the universe, and has only brightness to share...
Rhu holds on to Amadi's hand with both hands. The warmth feels good.

INT. Rorik and Sons weapon shop - evening
The inside is full of weapons and weapon parts. Crossbows and swords seem to be a specialty, lining most of the walls. Quite a few rods and staves are also present, including the model the guards seemed to have.
Random parts are also strewn everywhere, and in bins. No shovels are in sight.
There's an old guy with a beard working on a crossbow.
RADEK
You there! I take it you are Rorik?
RORIK
That I am!
RADEK
Your shop sells wands. Do I dare to assume that means you know something about magic?
RORIK
A thing or two, perhaps. Did you have something in mind?
Greibel comes in and stares absently at all the staves he can't afford.
RADEK
Well, dimensional rifts are tearing your world apart at the seams and I should like to know if anyone has been studying a way to close them.
Now I don't expect you to have an answer, necessarily, but as the technology here seems unsuited to the task, arcane study strikes me as the next most likely way to a solution.
RORIK
(looking slightly surprised)
You sure? Seems like something that would be in the news.
Guards chatter, of course, but aside from some weirdness on the planes I certainly wouldn't call the world falling apart.
Amadi leans closer to Rhu, smiling faintly.
AMADI
(muttering)
Careful. You'll smell the burning.
Rhu sniffs, but smells no burning.
RORIK
Here's a thought. There's always weirdness. There's also explosives. Have you tried...
(he gets out a large box)
...blowing up the weirdness?
Radek grins widely.
Greibel's interest is piqued.
AMADI
(lowering her voice even more)
On your tongue... You'll smell it on your -
RADEK
I admit to have been lacking materials.
RORIK
(To Radek)
Then you, my good friend, have come to exactly the right place.
AMADI
EXPLODE!
RHU
(to Rorik)
Excuse me, sir, but why are you glowing?
RORIK
What?
(he looks down at himself)
I'm not glowing.
RADEK
He's drugged up.
RHU
Shiny. Very shiny. Also - your box. Also shiny.
(to Amadi)
You can see it, can't you, Mrs. Teatime?
AMADI
It's not teatime. I know what time it isn't.
Rhu nods distractedly at Amadi.
RORIK
Ah, well. You'll be wanting to check this, then.
(he opens the box and shows Radek a pile of parts inside)
Some assembly required, but you, sir, look like someone who could do far more with this than with anything pre-made...
RADEK
Oh, assembly is the best part.
Amadi giggles for no apparent reason.
The porridge slides off Greibel's shoulder and goes splat on the floor. He gives it a disappointed look.
RHU
(pointing confusedly at the box)
Why is the box glowing?
GREIBEL
Okay Rasputin, you can walk around and take a look if you like. But don't get the staves all slimey.
The porridge jiggles.
AMADI
Rasputin is a good name too. Very good.
GREIBEL
Thanks, gypsy girl!
AMADI
I'm going to be named Rasputing tomorrow.
RHU
Rasputing would suit you well.
RADEK
...Say, you build crossbows here. Have you ever heard of a rifle?
RORIK
Can't say I have.
RADEK
Something like this.
Radek places his rifle over the counter.
Rorik picks it up and gives it a look-over, then pops it open after a bit of fiddling and looks inside. He starts looking very, very interested, and then reassembles it without much trouble.
RORIK
(nodding)
Now this is definitely doable.
Rorik hands Radek back the rifle.
Amadi leans her head on Rhu's arm and groans slowly and quietly.
Rhu looks around a bit to see where the groaning is coming from, then realizing it's Amadi. She's so warm, a source of power...
RHU
(to Amadi)
Mrs. Teatime, what's wrong?
AMADI
Can you see... In my head...?
Rhu squints and stares at Amadi's forehead, but it's glowing too much to see through.
The porridge slowly pulls itself back together and gloops out the door.
RORIK
Would you have a... smaller one you'd be willing to part with? Something that is not so much a part of you?
RADEK
Not quite. I have some standard-issue laser weapon, but... well, you would need lenses to build one of those.
I could draw you a blueprint for either in a day.
RORIK
Lenses? Some of the staves use those. Focus the beam, the better to punch holes through several tonnes of rock...
(looking extremely pleased with himself)
The city used to have walls, you know.
RHU
(to Amadi)
You have too much glow. I cannot see a thing. Does it hurt to glow that much?
AMADI
(in a tone of voice that strips the word of all meaning)
Hurt.
RHU
Aww.
(pats Amadi's head with his other hand)
Poor Mrs. Teatime.
AMADI
Is it time yet? I know what time it isn't. Why am I now?
RHU
(to Amadi)
When are you trying to be?
AMADI
I... don't know anymore. I don't even know.
Amadi sighs.
RADEK
Here.
Radek hands Rorik a laser pistol, and the arms guy examines it as well.
RORIK
Hmm... this is somewhat more efficient. Different principle from the rifle, of course, but... how much do you want for it?
RORIK
And if the blueprints are for sale...
RADEK
Haven't the faintest idea. Rifts dropped me here scarcely more than a day ago and I'm still amazed you people carry your currency with you.
You seem like you've got your head on straight, at least.
RORIK
I'll give you 200 for it. Another 500 for the blueprints.
RADEK
Fantastic. I hope you put them to good use.
RORIK
I fully intend to.
When'll you have the blueprints ready?
RADEK
Tomorrow. I don't sleep, so it should be quite a simple matter.
RORIK
Perhaps we can call those a straight trade for this box?
RADEK
Certainly.
Rorik nods happily.
RADEK
It was a rare pleasure doing business with you.
RORIK
Oh, indeed. Very rare.
Greibel continues browsing in the meantime.
RORIK
(to Greibel)
You interested in any of those?
GREIBEL
Ah. Can't say I need them or could afford them. Just admiring.
RORIK
Well, if you ever need and can afford, there's even better to be admired in back. Do remember that.
Rorik starts fiddling with the pistol.
GREIBEL
I think I will remember that. At least for the next few minutes until the drugs make me forget again.
In Amadi's glow, Rhu sees shapes. Objects. (rolled 14 perception) It's unclear what. Not objects. Metaphorical objects. Containers? Bones. Bones with the flesh gone, flesh that would define them, flesh that is the thing itself...
Rhu is a little scared by the bones, so he holds Amadi's hand a little tighter so he can feel more of her warmth.
The Gravedigger clomps in, porridge clinging to his leg.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Greibel. Please remove Rasputin from my leg.
GREIBEL
Awwwww. He wants to play!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
With my LEG? It's just squelching.
GREIBEL
He's not picky.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Well, I'm on duty right now, so if you could take it off?
GREIBEL
Fine.
Greibel pulls Rasputin off with a popping sound.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Thank you.
GREIBEL
Spoil sport.
The porridge somehow manages to look incredibly disappointed as well.
Amadi "Aaaw"s and whistles at Rasputin.
HAZZ'RIDAN
(such that only Rhu can hear him)
You must let go. She is an illusion that blinds. You cannot lose your way. You are MINE.
Amadi attempts to wiggle her squeezed fingers.
Rhu releases his grip a bit.
RHU
But she's warm.
AMADI
You think she's warm, but it's only outside. Ice boiling.
HAZZ'RIDAN
(such that only Rhu can hear him)
Warmth distracts. You must step into the dark to see.
HAZZ'RIDAN
(such that only Amadi can hear him)
Do you want him?
AMADI
...No, that's not it. It's tea. I just want a Valentine.
HAZZ'RIDAN
(such that only Amadi can hear him)
Someday, perhaps, I will show you what it means to spread. And you will show me what it means to dream.
Consider it a promise of a promise.
Rhu struggles with himself, trying to pull away. (rolled 14 reality)
Amadi attempts to tear herself away from Rhu.
AMADI
My dreams are my own!
Rhu lets go immediately.
AMADI
Mydreamsaremyownmydreamsaremyownmydreamsaremydreamsaremydreams...
Amadi slumps down at the floor, clutching her head.
RADEK
(To Rorik)
Every day, they do this.
Rorik snorts and shakes his head.
RORIK
And this was why sensible men invented weapons.
Rhu is still very out of it. He looks at Amadi slumped on the floor with consternation and confusion.
Amadi curls up on the floor, still muttering about her dreams - the words seem to be "I dream" now - and then, with a shudder, she falls asleep. A moment later, she disappears.
To Rhu, everything else suddenly becomes much brighter.
RHU
Huh. Ouch! Too bright!
Rhu looks around and then examines his own hand very closely.
RHU
Hmm.
Rhu startles, aghast; then hides his hand behind his back and quickly looks around to make sure it isn't coming to get him.
RADEK
Alright, everyone out if you're not buying anything.
RHU
What if you're inhaling the truth?
RADEK
Fresh air is the truth.
RHU
We should go to the place with the rock. In the truth.
RADEK
Outside.
(guiding Rhu out)
This man deserves better than the burden of your company.
Rhu mumbles something about truthiness but follows.
Rorik chuckles quietly to himself as the others head out as well.

EXT. Coffle - evening
HAZZ'RIDAN
(such that only Rhu can hear him)
Go.
RHU
What rock? This rock?
Rhu starts walking, then runs out of rope, realises he's going the wrong direction and then turns around and heads in the opposite direction for a bit before running out of rope again.
RHU
(still trying to go in the direction)
Hey! Hey. I think it's this way.
We should walk. I have very strong feelings about this.
After a bit more of Rhu's straining, the Gravedigger finally gives in and follows him. The others trail behind.
Rhu walks down the streets at angles, corner to opptosite corner, turning in parts, with atrocious collision avoidance.
He winds up getting stuck behind a lamppost.
RHU
There's a... this pole's in my way
The Gravedigger slides Rhu around it.
RADEK
Do you suppose he'll ever recover?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
We'll find out.

EXT. Vacant lot - night
After about half an hour of this, including Rhu running into a few random passerby as well, they come to a vacant lot with a fence around it.
Rhu heads for the gate and pushes inside, pointing. It's mostly weeds and stuff, and some bricks and a rusted wheelbarrow without a tire.
RHU
We're here. Though I'm not sure where that is.
...I'm going to pray to Hazz'ridan now. He's pretty knowledgable about things like that.
Frezak (Gravy): I hope we don't lose our second divine guy to a magic hole.
Radek actually checks the address and finds it to be completely the wrong one.
RHU
Wait...
Rhu heads over to the general center of the lot. (rolled 19 reality) The greyed out effect of reality fades, and then he feels the weight of presense as he passes. Gravity of the situation. Weight of the worlds. The presense of space, and everything pressing down...
RHU
Oof. I'm going to sit down now.
Rhu just stands there for a bit and then sits down a moment later.
The Gravedigger ambles over, looking around. (rolled 27 perception) The lot is alive, full of life. Things growing, insects buzzing, moths fluttering around. Here, the sound of the city around is muted. Also the wheelbarrow has a wheel now. It didn't before.
Greibel also gives the lot a good, thorough naturing. (rolled 31 nature) The lot is full of nature, fluttering, buzzing. This is a place separated from the rest of the normal world, touched by the gods, and that is probably why it is vacant, for none would want to build on top of that... but there is also something else.
A possibility, right where Rhu is sitting. A narrowness. A thinness.
Rhu prays, given the lack of anything else to do, and how heavy he feels and all that weight...
RADEK
So he sat down in the dirt.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
THe Wheelbarrow just grew a wheel. No longer a simple barrow.
Greibel goes up to Rhu.
GREIBEL
Look! Can you feel the presence in this place? Your God must have led you somewhere useful for once!
A dark ooze trickles out of the ground and spreads around Rhu. Then several large tentacles reach out to wrap around him, to pull him down, away, into nothing.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Oh dear.
The Gravedigger yanks on the rope to pull Rhu out, but then Rhu is simply enveloped and pulled down, the rope dissolving.
GREIBEL
Well... misjudged that one.
The dark stain on the ground begins to fade, sinking back down.
GREIBEL
RADEK! Blow up the hole!
Radek throws a bomb into the hole just as it closes, and a tentacle whips out and grabs it before pulling back in with a wet ploop.
And then it's all just gone, leaving dusty ground behind.
GREIBEL
Huh... misjudged that one too.
Greibel gets down and pounds his fists on the ground where the stain was.
GREIBEL
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
GREIBEL
Well, if there's any bright side to this, it's that he's probably sitting in a tree in a parking lot in some other dimension.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Doesn't sound too bright. As sides go, sounds pretty dim.
Well, we might as well go check out the address from the witch. At least we don't have any other god-worshippers to lose.
I hate this mission. You know I signed up to kill things and bury them? Two guys down already.
RADEK
Both lost to holes, no less.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Don't think it counts as a hole when It's full of acidic tentacles.
And Azri was eaten by a tunnel, technically.
GREIBEL
Gravy! Bring your shovel! Hole time!
THE GRAVEDIGGER
HOOOOOLE TIME.
GREIBEL
There's some kind of seed down there. Seems like it'd be important... somehow.
The Gravedigger obliges and digs. A few metres down, he hits metal, and digs around it.
RADEK
Well, you haven't killed anyone, but at least you're digging holes.
The Gravedigger unearths a large rounded cone, black, a bit more than a metre across...
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Radek! Found... something.
RADEK
Something?
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Big metal cone thing? If Greibel thinks it's a... seed of some kind, that's actually pretty worrying.
GREIBEL
Maybe the seed is in the cone, smart guy.
RADEK
(jumping down)
Let me have a look.
RADEK
This is definitely a rocket. Or... was. Unbelievably old model.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Huh. Think it got Hole'd here or was built locally?
RADEK
Impossible to say.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
think we should crack it open?
RADEK
Well, it's not the explosive kind, so it couldn't hurt. I would love to see what's inside, myself.
The Gravedigger starts to shear off a line of rivets and notices something of an indentation, almost completely invisible - a seam around what might be a door.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Looks like a... door? Panel? Ideas how to open it, Mr. Scienceman?
Radek directs him how to pop it open with a shovel. The door swings up, revealing not the dark interior of the cone, and a flood of blank sand spills out over their feet.
The Gravedigger jumps back, then examines the sand. The grains are strange, slightly transparent, rounded, almost oily. (rolled 24 perception) It's a bit like packing material. He finds some bones in it.
THE GRAVEDIGGER
Hey, guys. What IS this?
RADEK
Interesting.
Radek examines the sand as well (rolled 27 arcana) while the Gravedigger digs around and gathers up the bones. They turn out to be from a cat.
RADEK
Magical sand, here.
(to Gravy)
Would you like to see how a wizard digs, friend?
Radek grins wickedly and starts disenchanting the sand.
The Gravedigger narrows his eyes and hops out, taking the cat with him. Then he buries it. Properly.