The beginning of another silly play.
A man infiltrates a complex keep.
He finds several sacred objects—a cross, a crown, a bejeweled mirror—and leaves them all.
Elsewhere, he finds a scroll and takes that.
He lingers, admiring a woman through a peep hole.
He is apprehended, the scroll confiscated.
He is marched in shackles by two men, Head Marcher and Minor Marcher, a sun hanging overhead.
The party is interrupted by a horsedrawn figure. This is a military man, Major Bonner. He scrutinizes the infiltrator, who allows the scrutiny with at least superficial friendliness.
Infiltrator: Major Bonner. Ooh. What have I done.
Major Bonner: What shall I call you?
Infiltrator: Garibaldini, Sir. Just. (He extends a hand.)
Major Bonner: Not Janson Jacobs. That was too nice a name to hold onto for you? Or doesn’t it carry beyond the walls of Mayfowl?
Infiltrator: Musta belonged to someone else, Major. This sun does dizzy the minds of those who ride long in it. (indicating his extended hand) And blunts their manners.
Major Bonner: Now is not the circumstance for handshaking, Garibaldini, though I will give you a nod. (He nods; Infiltrator puts down his hand.) You seem to have expected me. Either your calm runs idiot-deep, or you harbor faith in a puppeteer. Who are you risking your life for, Infiltrator? Please tell me it’s not our queen.
Infiltrator: It ain’t a dude. That wouldn’t be worth it.
Major Bonner: You’ve obviously never been a part of an athletic team, military regimen, or possibly even a real group.
Infiltrator: Oh: a real group. I’ve never—what’s a real group?
Major Bonner (indicating his nonexistent retinue): The Royal Service, for example.
Infiltrator: Are you offering me a job? Or just being cliquey?
Major Bonner (to Head Marcher): Be heard when passing through town, the better to be seen. I know this man as too slick to have stuck to us today by chance. We must expect of this arrest a public event, even a debate. Perchance a fight. Therefore carry thyself and thy quarry with fitting bearings. Lag not. Neither, and this is utmost, stray. The magistrate awaits.
Head Marcher: Aye, sir.
Major Bonner (to Head Marcher): That’s a nice beard you’ve grown, Jimmy.
Head Marcher: Thank you, sir.
Major Bonner (to Head Marcher, indicating Minor Marcher): And who’s this?
Head Marcher: Presenting Minor Marcher Ricki Limber, sir.
Major Bonner: Grow a beard, Limber.
Minor Marcher: Sir.
Head Marcher: Limber’s a female, sir.
Major Bonner (inspecting): That right? Bully for you, Jimmy. Personally, I always feared mixing passion and professionalism, the former robbing the latter of its needed vigilance, but I concede the appeal. Just don’t get your throat slit in a transport.
Head Marcher: No, Major.
Major Bonner: You telling me no, soldier?
Head Marcher: No—I meant, no, I won’t get my throat slit, in the sense of yes, I’ll follow your advice.
Major Bonner: My bad. The words got confusing for me. I was about to get pissed off.
Head Marcher: Phew.
Major Bonner: You wouldn’t want me pissed off at you.
Head Marcher: Yes, you are correct about that.
Major Bonner: You some kind of yes man, are you, Jimmy? You know this is a fighting man’s army. Nice to see a little fight in a man. So don’t you become a yes man on me, Jimmy.
Head Marcher: I agree with that wholeheartedly, Major.
Major Bonner: On with you, then. A double nod to you and Limber. And one more for Garibaldini.
Infiltrator: (to Major Bonner; as he speaks, he does the actions) Two claps and a phantom squeeze. (The latter is a simulated nut-cradle/squeeze).
Head Marcher: Onward!
Minor Marcher and Garibaldini: Onward, sir!
(Major Bonner rides left. Head Marcher, Minor Marcher and Infiltrator walk in place facing right. As they fake walk, from the right comes a row of prop houses, walked by invisible stagehands to center stage.)
Infiltrator: Should we bed here for the night?
Head Marcher: It’s a morning’s walk, and no one’s spied you yet.
(Windows open all along the street, with faces spying out.)
Minor Marcher: Though my barely-covered legs do grow weary.
Head Marcher: Another massage for them, then. Quick pit stop.
Infiltrator: Have we snacks?
Head Marcher (turning to him): You shall be shackled to this bike stand. Better safe than—
(Minor Marcher slits Head Marcher’s throat from behind. He dies.)
Minor Marcher: Sorry.
Infiltrator: Don’t be. Thank you, love.
Minor Marcher: It’s so bloody.
Infiltrator: A trickle, before the flood. But we have the boat, love.
Minor Marcher: Then let’s rock it.
All observers in house windows: Oh, snap!
(Infiltrator and Minor Marcher turn to look at the line of houses and all the windows snap shut.)
The office of the Magistrate’s reception area: French Male secretary sits behind a desk. Stage left is the Magistrate’s door, thus labeled, with a speaking slot at mouth height; stage right, inside the exterior door, standing rigidly, is the Major.
French Male Secretary (to Major): Who kulls upon zi Magistrite?
Major Bonner: Bonner. I’m expected.
French Male Secretary (examining insignia): Major? As in bug deal?
Major Bonner: You got it.
The secretary crosses to the Magistrate’s door.
French Male Secretary (through slot in a door): I’ve got a Major Bonner here for you, sir.
Magistrate: Wow, Pierre. Can it wait?
French Male Secretary: He stands at attention. I fear he’ll flag.
Magistrate: (pause)(happily) Send him in!
French Male Secretary (to Major Bonner): I’ll be right back. Just kidding. Go a-hh-head unt inter. Inter inter dare. You cute. Is what you’re stinking. Singsing. I cont pennounce dacht.
Major Bonner: What exactly is your accent?
French Male Secretary: Franksh.
Major Bonner: Franksh?
French Male Secretary: Sodder from the South.
Major Bonner through Magistrate’s door.
Behind the door, a grunted conversation:
Major Bonner: Magistrate Klaus.
Magistrate: Major Bonner.
Major Bonner: (Gruuuuunt.)
Magistrate (whispered): Conspiracy.
Major Bonner: Honor!
Major Bonner (with warrior’s resolve): Agreeing to disagree.
Magistrate: Then you have already lost.
Major Bonner: (with warrior’s resolve): Disagreed.
French Male Secretary puts a hand up to his mouth, and gives the world’s most delicate little sneeze.
Magistrate: Tick tock. Shouldn’t you be retreating somewhere?
Sound of Major Bonner drawing his sword.
Magistrate: A mistake. You may as well compound it. I wish you luck. You’ll need it. I’m the least pawn of—
Major Bonner kills him.
Major Bonner enters from Magistrate’s Office, wiping his bloody sword on a black magistrate’s robe.
French Male Secretary: They inter when ixiting, ixit when intering. (seeing Major Bonner’s saber) Mein Goose! Tine saber! Histen roben! Vas hast thou donst?
Major Bonner (sheathing saber): Don’t you listen? We were just right there making very clear noises. I heard you sneeze at one point.
French Male Secretary: I’m trained not to listen. Brutal training. It’s why I still work here… Mature Boner.
Major Bonner: Well, a job just opened up. Hire yourself a new boss.
French Male Secretary: I think… I just did.
Major Bonner: Whoa. Oh, no. You’re way too annoying for me. I like understated, capable, tough and good.
French Male Secretary: I’m malleable. Say what you wint agoine?
Major Bonner: Understated, capable, tough and good. You actually think you can roll with me on all four of those?
French Male Secretary: Well, ok, but… you’ll have to do something for me first.
Major Bonner: Name it.
French Male Secretary: You’ll have to go through my back.
Major Bonner: Uh. You’ll have to talk me through that.
French Male Secretary: No probsies.
Major Bonner: Then OK.
French Male Secretary: Can I get a final squeal?
Major Bonner: If you don’t mind me teasing you on the trail later when you’re that understated, capable, tough good guy.
French Male Secretary squeals. He takes his shirt off and turns around. There’s an iphone in his back.
French Male Secretary: Press the buttonzen.
Major Bonner: What buttonzen?
French Male Secretary: Ze only button! Buttom middle be-lie-way ze screen.
Major Bonner: I can’t wait until this is done.
French Male Secretary: Concave for your thumb, has a square in its center for prime thumb targeting. Like a kind of sights in a gun. A white square. Round circle below the screen?
Major Bonner: This?
French Male Secretary: That.
Major Bonner: I’m sorry. I’ve never even met an android.
French Male Secretary: And yet we’re ten percent of the population. But you’re not from the cities.
Major Bonner presses.
French Male Secretary: Ee voila. Now sleed the sleeder and go to the app store.
Major Bonner: Sleed the sleeder?
French Male Secretary: Oh for the heavenses’ sakes! I’ll do it. (He turns to face Major Bonner and works it behind his back.)
Major Bonner: This is just like when I can’t undo my Bonnie’s brassiere. A terrible contraption, that, with its flesh-tearing clamps.
VIDEO SCREEN shows the phone slider, then icon menu slid through and application icon reading ‘ UTCGG’ pressed. This leads to an acapella country hook sung over a speaker: “Understated, Tough and Capable Good Guy” then a horse whinny, and a button that says, “Activate” French takes a deep breath, then holds up a finger.
French Male Secretary: A moment alone, please. (He takes the magistrate’s robe, enters the magistrate’s office and closes the door. Major Bonner waits at attention. After a few moments, the button is pressed onscreen. He returns.)
French Male Secretary: Well gutted, sir.
Major Bonner: Twas through the heart. From beneath the ribs.
French Male Secretary: Aye, and brunch out through the hole. And pants down for what? He’d mentored me.
Major Bonner: What of it?
French Male Secretary: I thank him, is all. I’m the better for it.
Major Bonner: It’s a hard loss. But he was on the wrong side.
French Male Secretary: Though smart and good just the same.
Major Bonner: Don’t say good.
French Male Secretary: He meant well.
Major Bonner: He knew better than to believe he chose well. He thought wisely but the choice wasn’t even that, was it.
French Male Secretary: A choice?
Major Bonner: And if his pants are down, it wasn’t I.
French Male Secretary: Tell it to the judge. The dead, pantless judge.
Major: Whateveth. Let’s off to roust the revolution.
French Male Secretary: I’d like to D, if I may, sir.
Major: I know the man for defense. Jason Jameson. A hocky goalie among men, lives in the hills with a pussy named Teardrop. You and I are offense. Have you a suit of armor, traveling clothes, a special blanky?
French Male Secretary: A suit of Frenchmail, sir, in a stash in near Mayfowl forest.
Major Bonner (dismissively): Frenchmail. I’ve seen it.
French Male Secretary: Better I abandon it and go unprotected until we find another for me?
Major Bonner: It’s your skin. I’ll accompany you if you want to swing by and grab the Frenchmail. It does hinder the less expert arrows.
French Male Secretary: You know what? Forget it. Let’s just roll.
They start to walk. They walk in place and the scenery moves.
Major Bonner: You know what? I’m proud of you, Perry. You handled that dead boss and march to battle like my kind of guy.
Perry: Perry. That’ll work. Hey, know what that this is making me think? I need to update my Facebook status. Not even just like the momentary status, but like, personality status. Not mood, personality. This is blowing my mind.
Major Bonner: It’s okay to talk about it.
Perry: I’m done. Let’s revolution.
Major Bonner: Let’s.