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LIGHTBULB CONTEST RESULTS

I'd like to thank everyone who entered (forgive me if I skip or mispell anyone):
Zach Baker
Vashkoda
Demoness
Greg Bishansky
Josh Wurzel
Goliath JD - Jack Donovan
Lord Sloth
Aris Katsaris
Blaise
DragonWolf
Guardian/Carole
matt
Airportman
Lady Mystic
Jim R.
Noel Leas
Lynati
Kelly L. Creighton/Kya White Sapphire
Amanda
Jimmy
Alex Katsaros
lefay_82
Patricia
Z
Kali Gargoyle
(the guppi)
Jon

First the honorable mentions:

matt writes...

how many gargoyles??? i asked Anubis, he said:

"the lightbulb has died, let it rest. ultraviolet or standard, 55 or 100 watt, all light bulb are equal in death. burning out is the ultimate fairness..."

Airportman writes...

How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Gargoyles do not screw in lightbulbs, they ROAR!!!

Jim R. writes...

Fang: "Hey, Goliath, how many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb...?"
Goliath: "Silly mutate, lightbulbs are for humans."

Lynati writes...

(Fang voice:)"How many Gargoyles does it take to change a lightbulb?

...None! They don't have time to change lighbulbs! They are too busy out harassing innocent citizens who are just minding their own business and locking them up in drafty Frankenstein cells! With no TV! HEY! DON'T YOU WALK AWAY FROM ME WHEN I'M YELLING AT YOU! ...ya creep..."

Patricia writes...

Fang: Hey, Goliath, how many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb...

Goliath: You mean the lightbulb died? We must have a Wind Ceremony for it. Come. (exits)

Fang: No, Goliath, wait! (signs) Man, he can't even take a joke!

Now, in second place...

DragonWolf writes...

How many Gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

"Six. One to screw in the lightbulb and five to berate themselves for not protecting the old one from burning out."

DragonWolf's prize for second place is highly speculative. Since the winning entry -- for obvious reasons -- could never actually be used in a script, I'm giving DragonWolf the honor of putting words in Fang's mouth should I ever get the opportunity (and assuming I don't find one I like better before then).

Congratulations!!

And finally, our winner!!!!

Aris Katsaris writes...

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Greg responds: I'm home right now and the answer is in my office. Ask again later.

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Greg responds: Your assumptions are incorrect.

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Greg responds: I'm not that big in quantifying things. Lots, I guess.

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightblub?"
Greg responds: What's a lightblub?

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Greg responds: All things are true.

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Greg responds: I wouldn't want to tie down my hands and the hands of the artists in this respect.

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Greg responds: The world may never know. :-)

Yeah, yeah, I know it's at my expense. But it made me laugh. Aris, you da man.

I honestly don't know what you're prize is going to be yet. But e-mail me and we'll figure it out.

Thanks again everyone.

New contest coming soon.

(Which in Ask Greg terms means... someday.)


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Chapter XXXVIII: "Heritage"

Time to ramble...

This chapter was written by Adam Gilad. Story Edited by Gary Sperling, and directed by Frank Paur.

FAME

As I watch each episode with my family, I've got my journal open in front of me to take notes for these rambles. During the opening credits, my five-year-old son Benny said: "I like Gargoyles." I was very pleased, of course. Then he said, "Can you write down that?" So I did. And so I have.

SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT

Back on the skiff, and Elisa still hasn't QUITE gotten the idea. She still anticipates being back in Manhattan. Like visiting Scotland was an anamoly, but now surely Avalon will send them home. (What did you all think at the time?)

And boy, that girl likes her hot dogs. Make her one with everything, you know?

A.K.A. CECIL

Our Sea Monster attacks. It's a cool design, based on research that we did. (It happens to look a lot like a pre-historic whale I saw last night on a Discovery Channel special: "Walking with Pre-Historic Beasts".)

I wish we could have found a less generic name for the creature than "Sea Monster". Thunderbird is a cool name -- particularly since I have fond memories of the L.A. T-Birds from Roller Derby telecasts of my youth -- but our research never turned up another name for the Sea Monster.

Keep in mind that though we did research, we also had time constraints. We couldn't keep researching a topic indefinitely. Eventually, we'd have to use what we had and run with it in order for the story and script to be delivered on time.

But I know Gary and Adam did quite a bit of backgrounding for this story. The Sea Monster, Thunderbird, Raven and Grandmother all came from Haida stories -- though we conflated quite a bit, I think. We did always try to be as true as possible to the history and legends we were riffing on.

HEY, WEREN'T THERE FOUR OF YOU?

As the battle with the Sea Monster came to a close, my seven-year-old daughter Erin said: "What about Elisa? Where's Elisa?"

Five seconds later, Goliath surfaces and says pretty much the same thing, before fearing her drowned by shouting "ELISAAAAA!!" (Shades of things to come -- in Hunter's Moon III.)

TOTEM POLES

Speaking of research, the origin of the whole episode was the fact that Totem Poles caught my eye as being a particularly gargoylesque deal. Then we did some preliminary research and found that they weren't carved in anything that seemed to resemble a gargoyle tradition. They were 'carved to honor animal ancestors'. So rather than stretch (or abuse) the truth, we decided to let the characters (and audience) be lured off course by the poles, just as we had been.

Fake GARGOYLES, right here in North America.

In many ways, I think it could be argued that what takes place in this episode is handled or covered in other episodes to come. We have another episode with a 'sea monster'... a more famous sea monster in a certain loch... coming up rapidly in "Monsters". Also in that ep, one of our cast is lost and feared drowned after an early attack by that monster. And much of Nick/Natsilane's dilemma is also re-covered with a more-important recurring character (Peter Maza) in our other Native American-themed episode: "Cloud Fathers". We even do more with a volcano in "Ill Met by Moonlight". On some level I suppose I regret the duplication of efforts. I don't think we usually did this sort of thing.

But I don't regret the episode. I had plans for Raven. Plans for Queen Florence Island. Plans for Nick/Natsilane. I still think the ep has some cool stuff in it. And I think we NEEDED to cover Totem Poles. It was a natural.

HAR with a V. VAR with a D.

I went to a high school in North Hollywood, CA named "Harvard High School". Named after the University. (Some people have incorrectly stated I went to Harvard for college. But I went to Stanford for Undergrad and U.S.C. to get my Masters.)

I don't remember who's idea it was to have Nick be a graduate of Harvard. Might have been mine. Harvard of course is useful as a symbol.

I like Nick/Natsilane. He's got some nice attitude here and a nice shift. Maybe not the most impressive of our so-called "International Heroes". But very likable.

I give a lot of credit to the voice actor for bringing him to life. Gregg Rainwater was brought in by our Voice Director Jamie Thomason. Gregg was terrific. We used him again in Cloud Fathers, but I've used him many times since Gargoyles. I've even written parts with Gregg in mind. He was Jake Nez in Max Steel. And I cast him as Jake MacDonald in 3x3 Eyes. He always brings incredible humanity to a part, I think. Heroic, but real.

THAT'S NOT A CROW

It's a raven. Our second Trickster makes his first appearance. Of the four (Puck, Raven, Anansi and Coyote), Raven was the guy we gave the most evil bent to.

I like all the shape-shifting he does. (Though when he flees at the end, I wanted him to flee in his bird form, not his Raven-Goyle form.) I also like how he lies by using pieces of the Truth.

Raven-Goyle: "There is an evil sorceress named Grandmother. She summoned the monster that you fought."

When he said that, did you believe him?

Of course, Grandmother does have magic power and she did, in a way, summon the Sea Monster.

IT COULD BE WORSE. I ONCE LIVED ON 28TH STREET.

While doing our research, we encountered names of Islands off the Canadian coast like Queen Charlotte Island. So I named the fictional island we'd be using "Queen Florence Island."

Growing up in Woodland Hills, California, I lived on Queen Florence Lane, a street off Queen Victoria Road. Victoria and Florence were the daughters of Michael Curtiz, the director of such films as CASABLANCA. Curtiz, at one time, owned all the property in that area, so he named the two streets after his daughters.

OR so I once was told... by a ghost named Humphrey who tried to convince me that he was Humphrey Bogart, though you could tell by looking at him that he wasn't.

WHO EXACTLY IS THE SICK ONE HERE?

Elisa is so strong so much of the time, that it's kinda sexy to see her vulnerable and feverish.

Notice that Grandmother doesn't use Fairy magic to heal Elisa. She uses Haida medicine. Thus the rule of non-interference is bent not broken.

I like when Nick comes back in and the Fever's broken. And he says just don't tell me you cured her with tree bark.

When she says, "...and roots." His expression is priceless.

SEEING RED

I like the lighting in the Volcano scene.

Goliath is so glad to learn that other clans have survived, that he doesn't notice -- in fact defends -- the inconsistencies in Raven's story.

Angela, on the other hand is suspicious. This was done, in part, to further develop her character. She's naive about certain things. Having been raised by humans, she's not inclined to judge them harshly or fear their prejudices. But she's not stupid. Something doesn't smell right and she notices.

For once, Bronx though does not. I chalk this up to the high quantity of magic being tossed around on this dying island. Grandmother is not what she seems. Neither is Raven. Bronx is confused.

Anyway, Goliath speaks to Gargoyles protecting to explain away why "Raven's Clan" can both hate humans and protect them. You get the sense that he understands all too well. Like despite everything, there's a part of him -- a prejudiced part -- that hasn't forgiven the human race for what happened at Wyvern. (Also keep in mind, he was just at Wyvern again, rehashing all those old memories.)

Of course, once Goliath learns that Raven was pulling something, he's furious at the trickster. Playing on his hopes AND his prejudices, Raven has risked G's wrath.

At the end of this scene, the three silent gargs vanish magically.

Erin said: "What happened? What just happened?"
Benny said: "How did they just vanish?"

They know I know the answer. But I resist telling them. It's a touch cruel. What did you guys think?

YOU CAN TAKE THE GIRL OUT OF THE CITY...

Elisa is such a New Yorker. Everything is compared to that. "This sure isn't Central Park."

Anyway, Raven, then a bear, then Bronx and finally Angela and Goliath find Elisa. I love Goliath and Elisa's hug. It's so unselfconscious. They were so worried about each other that they forgot the usual distance that they maintain.

SUSPICIOUS MINDS

So who did you trust? When the gargs disappeared, that had to indicate that something was up with the Raven-goyle.

So when Goliath tells Elisa that Grandmother is a sorceress, particularly given that Grandmother saved Elisa's life, we all tend to think that G's been duped. Then we spot Grandmother turning into Thunderbird. What did you all think then?

Benny noticed "her ears" and suspected her even before she turned into T-Bird.

THAT'S GOTTA HOIT

A cool moment in the battle against T-Bird is when Goliath rakes the creature with his claws.

Then Angela spots the Illusion. And plays it cool with Raven.

I like Goliath's line to Grandmother: "We live. We do not thrive."

Grandmother than establishes that Raven is a Trickster and that they are both "Children of Oberon". Thus we establish that aspect of our series.

She states that they are forbidden from directly interfering in human affairs. Reinforcing what the Weird Sisters said a few episodes before.

Raven joins the party. The jigs up, but he revels in it. He's got a few decent lines too.

I like "It's so messy."

POOR HORATIO, ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, NEVER A BRIDE

Elisa more-or-less quotes Shakespeare: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Natsilane, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

I've always loved that line.

Anyway, Goliath and Angela depart to fight Raven. They arrive first, but given the fact that Nick had to...
1. Have a final change of heart.
2. Change clothes.
3. Get up to the volcano without wings.

...He makes good time, don't you think?

Raven brings the totem beasts to life. This was always a bit weird. We introduce illusion gargs based on the totem beasts. But then when we bring the totem pole to actual life (or semblance) we have new designs for the woody creatures.

Does everyone see Goliath play dead for that bear?

Raven has a nice exit line here: "This place no longer amuses me."

Neither does this Ramble.


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Chapter XXXVII: "Shadows of the Past"

Time to ramble....

This chapter (episode) was brought to you by:

Director: Kazuo Terada
Story Editor: Michael Reaves
Story: Michael Reaves
Teleplay: Michael Reaves & Brynne Chandler Reaves

Plus the usual suspects, including Frank and me.

The title is one of Michael's. I had the impulse to shorten it to "Shadows", but I didn't.

THE WORLD TOUR

As the recap ended and Tom shouted out: "Avalon doesn't take you where you want to go. Avalon sends you where you need to be!" My seven-year-old daughter Erin said, "Uh, oh."

"Uh, oh," indeed.

And so we begin Tier Four in earnest. Our quartet of travelers weren't headed straight home. Of course you couldn't know at that time just how long they'd be gone. And frankly when we started writing, neither did we.

It wasn't just the quantity of episodes (23 counting the Avalon three-parter, Kingdom, Pendragon, The Green and Future Tense) that we'd spend before everyone was reunited in Gathering One. It was the reruns in between.

What was supposed to be a five week trip became a five month trip. And so, for many of the fans it became interminable.

Why all the reruns? Well, the schedule finally just caught up with us. When Gargoyles was picked up for a second season by Buena Vista, I was asked how many we could reasonably produce for the fall quarter (between September & December of 1995) without interruption.

I told them that we were prepared to do six more. That was all the scripts that had been ordered (Leader, Legion, Metamorphosis, Lighthouse, Beholder, Vows). But I said we could do 13. We had done 13 the first season with a ten month sliding schedule. Now we had just under twelve months so we could certainly do 13 again.

I was asked what's the most we could do. I said, well if we start right now we can do 18.

Not 52? They asked.

52? Are you nuts? (Well, I didn't say that exactly.) I said we'll never get 52 done for the fall quarter. We'll wind up with a lot of repeats. You (Buena Vista) will not be happy with all those repeats.

They were disappointed. So disappointed, that instead of ordering 18, they only ordered six. (If we can't have 52, then forget it. [Okay, they didn't exactly say that either, but that seemed like the basic attitude.])

So we get to work to do six. Two weeks pass. Buena Vista comes back and says. No, do 13.

We respond with, uh, okay. Of course we've lost two weeks, so it'll be a bit harder, but we can do it.

Two weeks pass. They come back and say, "No, do 18."

We grumble a bit, because now we've lost a month of prep time when we could have been building crews, etc. But okay, I said we could do 18. We'll manage.

Two weeks pass. They come back and say, "Do 52."

Now we balk. We warned you we couldn't do 52 in twelve months. Now you want us to do it in 10? It took us ten to do 13.

Do 52.

And so we did. We built multiple crews. Our staff increased exponentially. We expanded to four writing teams from one. We expanded from one pre-production team (in Japan -- waves at Roy) to three and a half (one in Japan) and two and a half here in L.A.

And we worked like little demons to bring you 52 for the fall quarter. But it was never going to happen.

We wound up doing pretty good. I don't have my old calendar in front of me, and I can't remember exactly how many we managed to air in the fall, but it was considerably more than the 18 that I thought we could do.

But it wasn't 52. And so we had reruns. And reruns. And reruns. And most of those reruns came in the middle of the World Tour. And thus... yes... it seemed to go on forever.

Whoops. Sorry.

Of course, other people didn't care for it for other reasons. They felt it got away from the series strengths of the gargs in Manhattan. Obviously, it left behind four of our characters, and I'll admit that I underestimated the trio's popularity a bit.

But I felt it was important. The World Tour gave our series breadth and hope. It expanded the Gargoyles Universe, added many new characters and in particular added at least four other clans of gargoyles.

And I think some of the stories really kicked ass.

So I apologize for nothing. NOTHING, do you hear me, nothing!!!!!!

Except for that outburst. Sorry about that outburst.

WYVERN, SCOTLAND

Anyway, our first stop was no place new. Goliath immediately recognizes the ocean cliffside as "home, my home."

Even before Hakon and the Captain start to drive him crazy, his dialogue is laced with nostalgia.

He's so into being back in Scotland, that when he climbs the hill, he doesn't even take Elisa with him. Elisa goes with Angela. Which is no big deal. But usually, G's more of a gentleman than that. Particularly with Elisa.

TIDBIT

Angela: "It was always summer on Avalon."

Just wanted to give a sense of things on the fair island. Seemed to fit the legends as well.

TOKYO, JAPAN

I can't say enough good things about the animation in this episode. It's just gorgeous. The work of Disney's studio in Tokyo. WOW! Production AND Pre-Production was done there. All sorts of little touches, like Elisa slipping briefly and regaining her footing. And GREAT, GREAT character animation. Great lighting as the characters enter the tunnels. STELLAR effects animation in the megalith chamber. Just wow gorgeous stuff.

And boy, did we fight over this episode. [Roy, I'd love to get your perspective on this.]

When we got the storyboard from Japan, Frank and I each found something that just drove us nuts.

For Frank, it was the Wyvern cliff. The castle was gone, of course, as Xanatos had taken it away. But the cliff seemed to otherwise remain in tact. Frank was adamant that a chunk of the cliff had clearly been taken away and was part of the Eyrie Building. You could see it on that design. So obviously, we needed a crater of sorts to exist back at Wyvern.

When Frank pointed it out to me, I agreed with him. It didn't bother me as much as it bothered him, but I agreed.

What bothered me was Elisa's parka. In the storyboard, Elisa was wearing a parka with a hood. Of course, she looked great in it. And it kept her warm and safe and dry. But there was of course, no way and no place where she could have acquired that parka. (The Avalon Eddie Bauer, maybe?) So I insisted the parka had to go.

Frank agreed with me after I pointed it out. It didn't bother him as much as it bothered me, but he agreed.

So we gave Japan both these notes. And to our surprise, they balked. They felt that the only changes we were allowed to make to their boards were S&P changes.

We couldn't believe it. Finally, they relented. But on the cliffside ONLY. They felt that was a fair compromise. Since that had been Frank's BIG note, he was appeased. But obviously, I was not. All sorts of people came to me asking me to back down.

But I wouldn't. And I can honestly say it was for you guys that I refused. I knew even then that OUR FANS paid attention. That we couldn't get away with Elisa suddenly having a warm coat from no where.

So I put my foot down, and Elisa stayed cold and wet.

And our Tokyo Studio had another reason to be annoyed with me.

I regret the tension, certainly. But I still think I did the right thing, so I apologize for NOTHING, DO YOU HEAR ME? NOTHING!!!!

Except for that outburst, I apologize for that outburst.

GASLIGHT

A great movie. A husband tries to convince his wife that she's going insane. It's now a staple of melodrama everywhere. And we used it too.

So the ghosts of Hakon and the Captain try to gaslight Goliath.

We tried to gaslight the audience a bit too. Tried to let them think for a bit that Goliath might just be losing it. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, maybe.

You can hear it in Goliath's voice. How he's lost in the past. Angela tells him that he did the right thing all those years ago by saving the Princess.

His only response: "Still, I wanted revenge." I love Keith David's reading of that line.

But we also wanted to play fair, so we dropped a hint: when Goliath hears Demona's voice, Bronx howls. He senses something. Always trust Bronx.

Bronx has a pretty important supporting role in this, btw.

THE AXE OF HAKON

When Goliath and friends first enter the caves, Goliath picks up an old Viking axe. Hakon's Axe. The one he uses in "Vendettas".

Should have been a mace by the way. Should have been the same mace you can see in the opening titles EVERY episode. The one that Hakon used to smash the gargoyles at Wyvern.

Shoulda been. My fault.

Okay, for that -- I apologize. I screwed up. Dang.

THE STREET PIZZA TRADITION

a.k.a.

A CLASSIC MICHAEL REAVES' ELISA LINE:

"This place is creepier than the morgue at midnight."

Michael was great at giving Elisa this tough contemporary feel without taking us out of the moment.

Another good one: "Old wounds bleed as bright as new ones sometimes."

GETTING TO KNOW ANGELA

When Goliath pretends that he's NOT freaking out and having hallucinations, Angela can tell he's lying.

I love Brigitte's read there. She sounds SO SHOCKED: "He's not telling the truth."

You can tell she was raised in a world where there was little cause for lying.

COOL CLIFFHANGER

Goliath attacking Elisa and Angela, thinking they are Hakon and the Captain.

Very dramatic. And again, we don't know yet, objectively that he isn't just going nuts.

What did you guys all think at this point? Did you suspect the truth?

Anyway, Bronx saves the day.

And Goliath runs off. He also has a nice stumble here. Again, parka aside, much amazing attention to detail and character in all this animation. Stunning.

STAR TREK INFLUENCE

No, I'm not talking about the voice cast.

Finally, we objectively reveal that Goliath is being influenced. We see two floating entities hovering over the scene. He doesn't see them, so they're not part of his dementia. Ergo (I don't have much opportunity to use the term ergo you know), ergo, they must be what is causing this.

Of course, they look like energy beings right out of Star Trek.

We also see Demona, Othello and Desdemona.

More of us playing fair. Sure they're identifiable. But of course, they (plus Iago) would be the souls LEAST likely to be haunting Wyvern and Goliath.

SALLI RICHARDSON

Yeah, Keith was the star. And we're always going on about Jeff's versatility. But we really were blessed with an amazing cast right down the line.

Salli does Elisa SO DARN WELL. It's the little things really.

Like when Angela explains about the fissure and how Goliath could die in it. Elisa says, "Swell." Just, "Swell." In one word, she says everything that needs to be said. It's hard. Try it sometime.

SPEAKING OF FISSURES

Bronx saves Goliath (temporarily) from falling by chomping down on his arm. Always thought that was cool. Would have liked to have drawn some blood, but we knew we'd never get away with that.

And the fissure itself is way cool. I love Goliath's fall.

And Elisa's determination, as she starts to climb down feet first. And I love the contrast, as Angela and Bronx, by virtue of their claws, climb down head first.

THE TURN

Some fans have felt, I know, that the Captain's change of heart at the end comes suddenly. That may be so. It's hard in a mere 22 minutes to achieve these arcs and turns. But as usual, we tried to drop subtle hints that he wasn't fully on board with Hakon.

Hakon is enjoying tormenting Goliath.

The Captain says: "Make an end to it." Hinting at his ambivalence. Torturing Goliath doesn't give him pleasure.

And while we're praising voice actors, how about a toast to the late Ed Gilbert, voice of the Captain of the Guard. Wonderful work here. Evil. Tortured. Redeemed.

Ed, wherever you are... THANKS!

THE FATAL FLAW IN YOUR PLAN

Demona. The Captain must have assumed that Demona died in the massacre. He and Hakon figured that her appearance would be the coup de grace. That Goliath's will would just dissolve when faced with her ghost.

They were almost right. But of course, G is no idiot. A bit slow sometimes, but not stupid. Demona's ghost shouldn't be here. Cuz the dame ain't dead.

[By the way, the idea to have her fist morph into a mace was mine. Just a little post-storyboard tidbit that I suggested amid bitching about the parka. They must have liked the idea because that wasn't one I insisted on, but they did it anyway. When push came to shove, everyone -- on both sides of the ocean -- was just VERY dedicated to making the show better.] [See. It's a mace because that's the weapon that we associate with the Massacre. Hakon's axe should have been a mace. How did I miss that?]

Anyway, Goliath figures out the truth and, hey, we've awakened the sleeping giant. He trashes the phony Demona. And we think he's going to smash all the others.

But something even more chilling happens. They all begin to dissolve around him. It still gives me the creeps. Very cool animation AND music and effects. (Props to the gang at Advantage Audio too.)

HOW

Or rather how come we don't have ghosts hanging around ALL the time. I didn't want this episode to open a spectral floodgate, where any character that was killed or had died in the past was available to haunt us.

So the Captain offers two possible explanations: Hate and Magic. Both present in ample supply. Plus Guilt. His guilt. Unfinished business.

THE DANCE

Again, very cool effects on the Megalith's here. But the idea emerges from an old (if not very original) idea I've had since I was a teen. The notion that Stone Dances, that Megalith Circles were like Medieval Mystic Dynamos. Circles of power. That build and generate.

Really came to life here.

I love Hakon's line: "I can feel it. I can feel again." I love that transition halfway through the line between where he can feel that the process is working and when he realizes the simple fact that he can feel things again.

But again, watch the Captain feel his own hand. You can see the ambivalence there. Particularly when Goliath becomes the Ghost and Hakon is beating on him. Cap doesn't participate in this.

And Goliath helps him remember what he has forgotten. The Captain doesn't HATE Goliath. His problem is that G's presence has reinforced his own guilt.

But here's an opportunity to redeem himself: "I can't let this happen again!"

He pushes Hakon back.

Hakon: "You've crossed the lines of power, you fool."

You can almost here the Ghostbusters say, "Don't cross the streams."

RESOLUTION

So Cap hated himself, not G.

G forgives. He forgave the Magus last episode. Now he forgives the Captain. Shows that he's a pretty decent guy.

You think if Hakon made an effort? Nah.

Anyway, I like G's line: "One enemy. And one friend."

And then a positively angelic Captain returns briefly to say goodbye and thanks. I also like the "shackles of hate and guilt" line. And the way he calls Goliath, "Old Friend".

Elisa thinks she's in for a long story.

G: "Centuries long."

And as the sun rises, and Elisa -- as usual -- leans against her stone beau for a nap....

Hakon: "Don't leave me here alone!! Not without anyone to hate!!"

Many people think I should have left him there forever. But evil doesn't rest in peace in my opinion. When left alone it tends to get out of control.

Besides I already had this fun idea. What if Wolf was Hakon's descendant?

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Chapter XXXVI: "Avalon, Part Three"

Time to Ramble...

This third part of the tryptich, was designed to be a kick-ass battle. Lots of action, lots of excitement. All (or nearly all) the pipe had already been laid out. We had two of our toughest mortal villains (Demona and Macbeth) working with the mysterious and powerful Weird Sisters and the MEGA Archmage Plus, who possessed the power of Gate, Book and Eye. That seemed like some real competition for our good guys, who had wounded to protect.

It was time to go to war.

A few other soldiers:
Director: Dennis Woodyard
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Writer: Lydia C. Marano

As the main titles were playing and Keith was narrating, my seven-year-old daughter Erin mentioned that Goliath and Darth Vader both do voices for phone companies.

Erin also figured out that Angela and Gabriel were being stalked by Demona, before she actually came on screen.

JALAPEÑA

Goliath says it like a curse word when he realizes that A&G are being followed. That was how I wanted to use it. As I've mentioned before, the art staff eventually threatened a coup if I didn't drop it.

But if I ever get to do Gargoyles 2198, I'm bringing it back. That's a threat, not a promise.

Anyway, Goliath attempts to appeal to Demona and Macbeth's better natures. It starts to work, but it's too late. The Archmage has a good line: "They are my creatures now."

Then Bronx and Boudicca attack, saving our 'goyles. This was hinted at in Part Two. And clarified later when Angela comments on it. But it also was my way of serving notice that Bronx was no longer going to be the puppy-most-left-behind. The World Tour was his coming out party.

Anyway, the Archmage now changes his plan. Not because he doesn't want to take any chances, but really because his sensibilities have been offended. He has another good line: "If they are so eager to die..."

But it's really that balance I was trying to maintain between his newfound ultimate power and his original clichéd origins.

HUNTING HOLLOW HILLS

Elisa asks about the Sleeping King. The Magus says he's been sleeping in his Hollow Hill. More hints as to who the king was. (If the name Avalon wasn't hint enough.)

On the way, Elisa pumps Magus for information like he was in the interrogation room back home. She already guessed that he had a thing for Katharine. She wants the lowdown. It's really not her business. Call it a habit of her profession.

(There's an animation error on my tape, which I hope was corrected for later airings. When the Magus starts to narrate the flashback, both his and Elisa's mouth are moving, mouthing the same lines. Obviously, Elisa's animator misread the X-sheets and thought she was talking instead of the Magus.)

(Of course there's another semi-error which I've tried to explain away in the past. The lighting on the scene where Katharine and Tom play with the baby-gargs Angela, Gabe and Boudicca seems very daylight. I've always claimed that it was just a very bright moonlit night. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

This last flashback got my five year old son Benny talking. He asked "How did the gargoyles even get born?" And had to be reminded about the eggs from Part One (which we saw three weeks ago). "Oh, yeah," he said.

Then when we got to the Sleeping King, he compared that to a character that's on his radar: The sleeping MATA NUI from Bionicle.

The Magus uses magic, explaining that "magic is the lifeblood of Avalon." This seemed logical to me. That a practioner like the Magus could train himself to access that ambient magic -- but at a price.

My wife Beth was very impressed with Jeff Bennett's performance here. As a change of pace, Jeff was only playing one character -- as opposed to his usual fifty. But it was a truly heartbreaking performance, I think.

And I have to ask, given the Magus' first appearance in "Awakening, Part One", did you guys ever think that you could or would find that character this appealing, this sympathetic? I think that our ability to allow characters to grow and change was one of the hallmarks of our series. And I had the backbone of his change planned as early as "Awakening, Part Two": (1) his love for Katharine which is unequivocal and (2) his guilt over what he did to the gargoyles, which he never tries to dodge or make excuses for in any way.

The Leap of Faith. It does seem too Indiana Jones now. But obviously it must not have at the time. Either that or we were kidding ourselves. Still, I like Elisa here a lot.

The Platform lowers on cue and Elisa finally names the Sleeping King: "Arthur Pendragon, King of All Britain... You are needed." We wanted to keep it simple. That simple. I also wanted to begin establishing the name Pendragon. Everyone's heard of King Arthur. But you have to have had a bit of exposure to the legends to be familiar with the Pendragon name. I always thought it was cool. And I think that even then I had the notion of using it as the title for a spin-off.

Anyway, we get back to the Palace, and Elisa states a fact that I wonder if anyone had focused on before (regarding Demona and Macbeth): "You've never actually beaten either of them." Goliath agrees: "Simply foiled their plans or fought them to a stand still.

And then Arthur asks: "What's going on?" which I always thought was kind of funny. They're counting on him to help save the day. He doesn't even know the set up.

So while we get him up to speed, we cut to the Archmage who orders the Sisters to "Dispatch the Sleeping King." Erin smiles and says,, "What they don't know..." is that it's too late. But what I found interesting is that Erin actually did trail off. She knew that she didn't need to state what they didn't know. Cool.

DIVIDING THE TROOPS

True to Elisa's hopes (and my interpretation of the character of legend) Arthur in fact does immediately take charge.

He'll go with Elisa, Tom and Gabe to fight Demona & Macbeth.

Katharine, Bronx and Boudicca will guard the wounded 'eggs'. (Katharine has one of her bookend tough mom statements here: "They'll not harm my eggs again!")

Goliath and Angela will attack the Archmage.

And the Magus agrees to take on the Sisters.

Eventually -- after Art figures out that Demona feels Mac's pain and Demona establishes that she and Mac need to put distance between them to minimize the link -- things change a bit and Arthur faces Mac one-on-one, while Kathy, Bronx, Boudicca, Ophelia, Elisa, Tom and Gabe all team up to battle Demona -- who as always, may present the greatest threat of all, even when it's against her own interests.

All this seemed very appropriate to me. I like how the battle divides up. How the opponents match up. And you'll notice at the cliffhanger/commercial break that every one of our battles is going badly for the good guys. Macbeth seems to have the upper hand over Arthur. The Archmage has Goliath down. The Weird Sisters are clearly overpowering the Magus and even Demona is on the verge of wiping out all her opposition at the Palace.

KING ARTHUR PENDRAGON vs. MACBETH
We gave Arthur a mace, because I didn't want anyone to think that some random sword he was carrying might be Excalibur.

When Arthur says, "What manner of magic is this?" it made me wish we had just gone ahead and said "What sorcery is this?" like we usually did.

There's some fairly effective slo-mo animation in here. Slow motion in animation (when called for in scripts) usually makes me nervous. If not done well, it can just look like a poorly-timed, poorly-animated scene. But here it seems to work.

I like how the battle ends. Arthur takes the sword fragment, and for a second, it looks like he's going to skewer Mac. But instead he uses it to pin Mac to a tree. Setting him up for Arthur's punch into camera with his ringed fist. Disney S&P let us do that. ABC S&P didn't allow those kind of fist coming into camera shots on Goliath Chronicles. But I wasn't informed of the change in policy until after "The Journey" was animated.

PRINCESS KATHARINE, OPHELIA, BRONX, BOUDICCA, GABRIEL, THE GUARDIAN & ELISA MAZA vs. DEMONA

Ophelia gets another nice moment here, as even injured, she attempts to stop Demona.

Elisa again takes advantage of the fact that she knows that Demona's hatred for her is so extreme and irrational, that she'll literally drop her weapon for the chance to grapple with Elisa, the chance to tear her apart with her bare hands.

Of course, this is after Elisa demonstrates that she never carries enough ammo. After uselessly shooting at a beach and a hollow suit of armor, she's out of bullets by the time she gets a target of flesh and blood. Of course, we made Elisa a touch dopey in this department for S&P reasons. Elisa, being a NY cop, had to carry a gun. But short of doing an episode about gun violence like "Deadly Force" (which Toon Disney refuses to air these days), we couldn't actually let Elisa shoot anyone with her gun. So we found other uses and excuses.

But ultimately, it's Katharine who brings Demona down, looking quite intentionally like a medieval Ripley, saying the other bookend: "No one threatens my eggs."

THE MAGUS vs. PHOEBE, SELINE & LUNA: THE WEIRD SISTERS
Luna says to the Magus: "There is no future for you." That was a clue from the voice of fate. Anyone pick up on it?

I also like how all the Sisters say together: "You will suffer!" But of course, he's been suffering for decades. What he will soon be is free of all suffering...

I wanted to show here (among other things) that magic itself was neither good nor evil. Magic simply existed at the disposal of those with the power to wield it.

The Magus defeats the sisters and collapses onto Artie's platform. Erin asked quietly: "Did he die?" Benny looked for another way out: "He might have just lost his power."

GOLIATH & ANGELA vs. THE ARCHMAGE

Erin asked what the Archmage was planning for Goliath... and I had to answer something like "a painful death."

Goliath asks what I thought many of you might be asking: why doesn't the Magus just kill him. And David Warner answers as only he could: "Because I'm having too much fun."

We have all this Gate-Jumping. This was an afterthought. Because at one point I had thought of having our guys steal the gate back, I had forgotten to have the Archmage use the gate in the script. So at the board stage, I asked Dennis to put this in. We were very tight for time, but he obliged me. Ideally, I'd have liked to show them briefly in some other times, but I knew we just couldn't afford to design new layouts for two second shots. Even so, who knows where and when they went? Who knows how long they were gone? Sometimes their poses changed. But Goliath is like the Old Man of the Sea. He never lets go. And finally he takes the Eye away.

The Archmage is already in trouble, but how much he doesn't know for a few seconds. Then the power of the Grimorum destroys him from within. A nice creepy companion to him eating the book in Part Two.

And I love David's last line, the forlorn: "All my lovely magic..." Believe it or not, I had to fight a little to get that line in. Just a little. But still.

DEATH OF A HERO

The Magus' death stll moves me. His quiet desire for rest. Katharine's love for him. (Not romantic love, but love nonetheless.) K: "Oh, Magus, what have you done?"

The Magus still concerned that he owes a debt to Goliath and Goliath's forgiveness. The eyes closing and the star shooting overhead.

For S&P reasons, we decided not to make it absolute that he was dead. No one mentions death. Just rest. Sleep. And he is lying on the Sleeping King's platform by his own request.

And many fans, even adult fans, chose to believe he might still come back someday. Hey, more power to 'em, I guess.

But I felt/feel that would cheapen the moment. Cheapen the sacrifice. We sent our heroes into battle. And in battle, their are casualties. Some things are worth fighting for, but if we don't understand costs, then I want people to know that when something isn't worth fighting over, they shouldn't.

FAREWELLS

For various reasons, many of our voice actors in this episode recorded their lines separately. So we recorded each character saying goodbye to everyother character. Not knowing exactly what we would use. We, in my opinion, wound up using too much of these wild goodbyes. It's very awkward sounding to me now.

Gabe & Goliath establish why Gabe and his clan don't join Goliath in Manhattan and why Goliath doesn't bring his clan back to Avalon. Though both clans are born of the old Wyvern Clan, both have found new homes, which they will not abandon.

But Angela has a bit of Demona in her. The iconoclast, she wants more than normal clan life has to offer. She wants to see the world with Goliath. He proudly agrees. He wants one of his children with him. Gabriel and Angela say goodbye. He refers to her here as his rookery sister (not as his "Angel of the Night" or some other equivalent). This was done to make clear that they regarded each other as brother and sister, not mates. I basically wanted to leave her unattached for the Trio. Nevertheless, many fans still thought that they were a couple.

Art goes off on his own to be less conspicuous, and Goliath laughs a borderline Thailog laugh. He also plants pipe for Arthur's eventual stop in Manhattan.

Mac & Demona are freed from the spell, leaving them with no memory since they were first ensorcelled. There's an awkward bit of business here as the gargs who were guarding them move away, just so that Goliath can move in and push the skiff off. Flaw in the boarding that no one caught, I'm afraid.

The Sisters move off, having been forced off-camera to explain most everything.

Bronx & Boudicca part. Now that's a couple.

More pipe: Goliath swears that no one will ever use the eye or the Gate again. Famous last words.

Tom: "Elisa, I thought you understood. Avalon doesn't send you where you want to go! Avalon sends you where you need to be!"

Both Elisa and Erin said: What does that mean? at about the same time.

What did you think when you first heard that? We had officially launched the World Tour, but you didn't know it yet. What were you thinking?

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours...?


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Chapter XXXV: "Avalon, Part Two"

Time to Ramble...

"PART TWO"
Director: Dennis Woodyard
Writer: Lydia Marano
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves

I guess you guys were used to longer multi-parters from us, so you probably didn't think this was the last part when you saw Part Two come up after the title. I tried something different at the end though. Instead of writing "To be continued" I had them put down "To be concluded". It seemed (at least in my head) to increase tension to know that the next part would be the last.

I've been told by people that out of context, this episode is incomprehensible. I hope it's not quite that bad, but I will say that unlike the rest of our eps, I felt that multi-parter eps don't quite need to stand alone in the same way.

Still with all the time travel stuff, it's very complex. I remember Lydia having to come into my office after her first draft and needing me to diagram the time travel for her. The loop that the Archmage takes. I love it. But I guess it's not that easy to follow.

Anyway, this ep was designed to be the second part of a tryptich. This is the one where we focus on our villains and bring them all up to date, just as in part one, we focused on our heroes. All gearing to a MAJOR BATTLE coming in Part Three.

THE EGGS

Picking up where Part One left off, Elisa looks at Angela, Gabriel and Boudicca and says: "These are the eggs?" I love her tone there.

Guardian: "Sorry, I always call them that." It was a cheat to buy us, at least with some percentage of our audience, the shock value of expecting eggs and finding fully grown gargs and beasts instead. Still, I believe that a guy like Tom, dubbed "Guardian of the Eggs" would continue to use that term to refer to his kids, even after they are grown.

Goliath is initially shocked that the gargs have names. Angela says the standard human response: "How else would we tell each other apart?" This was done intentionally to both cover the issue of non-garg naming (which I still think is neat, but which is often a massive pain) and to indicate that these are gargs raised by humans.

BEACH FIGHT

So I'm in my office one day, after the script to "Avalon, Part Two" has gone final. And Supervising Producer Frank Paur and Producer/Director Dennis Woodyard come in. Frank hates the script. Dennis is calmer, but he seems to clearly agree with Frank, more or less.

I'm annoyed because it's VERY late in the game for them to be giving me these kind of notes. Things get heated between me and Frank.

I yell something like: "Well, what do you want me to do?!!!"

And he yells something like: "We need some action! Like a fight on the Beach with the Archmage!!"

And I start to object for about a second. Then I go, "Oh, yeah. A fight on the beach with the Archmage. That'd be cool. Would that fix it?"

"Uh. Yeah."

And that was it. Our fights were always like that. We always only wanted to make it better. He'd get worked up, but the solution wound up being simple and when push came to shove (we never actually pushed and shoved by the way) we agreed on nearly everything.

It was also good to have Dennis' calming influence. Frank and I would go momentarily nutty and Dennis would always maintain.

So anyway, after the fact we added the memorable fight on the beach. Now I can't imagine the episode without it. It forced us to trim down some the Archmages travels (cause we were already long) but it definitely improved the episode.

I think, not sure, but I think I wrote that fight because it came so late in the game. It's also possible, I might have taken it back to Brynne and/or Lydia to write. I really don't remember anymore.

Either way, there are some great lines:

Goliath: "Don't be too insulted!" I love how he goes nuts here. We really get a reminder of his warrior-ness.

Archmage: "Don't crow too loudly, after all, what have you accomplished: you beat up a beach." You beat up a beach. That's one of my favorite lines in the whole series.

Archmage: "At dawn you all will die. Get used to it!"

Tom: "Let's get out of here before the very air attacks us!"

The fight itself is pretty cool too. I like how Bronx and Boudicca immediately team up. I like the symbolic nature of the Archmage growing wings, turning to stone and then shattering. I think that was a board-artist's addition. I don't remember seeing that in the script. (And I'm too lazy to stand up and check right now.)

At the end of the fight, my five year old son Benny asked: "Why can't they glide to the castle?" I had to explain the flight rules.

ANGELA & GABRIEL

Elisa slides up to Goliath: "Angela sort of looks like Demona, except her coloring is different. Exactly whose daughter is she?" Again, I love Salli's reading here. That need to know. The jealousy. The feeling for Goliath -- who dodges the question by saying that all children belong to the clan.

But of course Elisa knows. Knows something that I believe never occured to her before. Sure, she knew that Goliath and Demona had been mates, lovers. But she didn't let her mind traverse to the next logical step. Parents. Together. Goliath and Demona.

And of course, the audience knows it too, I hope. It was never meant to be a secret to anyone but Angela who her biological parents are. These lines also served to point that out.

On the other hand, we didn't make a big deal of Gabe's bio-parentage. But I wanted it to be semi-clear that his folks were Othello and Desdemona (Coldstone and Coldfire). Anyone get that at first viewing?

REUNIONS

Everyone returns to Oberon's Palace. There are many injured and Gabe is apologetic. As Leader, he feels responsible. But there was 'never any need to hone our combat skills' before this.

Tom & Katharine are reunited. Elisa, the cop, picks up on the human dynamics, the relationships, immediately. She sees the Magus' reaction to their reunion.

I also really like the exchange between the Princess and Goliath.

K: "This is more than I could have hoped for."
G: "What you've done for the eggs is more than I could have dreamed of"

SLEEPING KING

We kept dropping hints. He's mentioned by the Magus, but the conversation moves quickly on.

Later, the Weird Sisters mentioned him. The Archmage is surprised to hear he's not a myth, causing Seline to say her famous: "All things are true." line. The Archmages promise to kill the king later.

And Elisa brings the guy up at the end. This policy was me trying to play fair and make his awakening in Part Three not seem artificial. But also not to allow the guy to distract from the matter at hand.

Of course, most of THIS crowd must have known the s-king was a ref to KING ARTHUR. Particularly when the Hollow Hill ref was thrown in too. But did anyone not know on first viewing?

LOOSE ENDS

This was an episode for tying up Loose Ends in a big way. Solving some mysteries.

Why did the Weird Sisters do what they did? (At least objectively.)

Why were Demona and Macbeth working together in "High Noon"? (Elisa: "They hate each other." Guardian: "I saw no sign of that.")

And how did the Archmage survive?

Tom unwittingly hints at the truth when he says that the Archmage seemed to be able to be in two places at once.

Now let's reveal...

WEIRD SISTERS

Wow! Did we get negative feedback from fans when we played the Sisters as villains here. Of course, I always had it in my head that the Sisters had three aspects. Grace, Vengeance and Fate. Sometimes one aspect is ascendent, but there is always a touch of all three in anything they do. But after the Sisters' Fateful appearances in "City of Stone", many fans rebelled at the notion that the objective reason they did all those things was for simple petty vengeance here in "Avalon". Oh, well.

[When Benny saw the Sisters for the first time, he said "Weird Sisters" with an interesting tone of awe. They're his favorites. But he didn't comment on them being bad guys here.]

The sisters have some nice lines...

L: "What is time to an immortal."
Phoebe: "This is true." (in ref to what cannot be broken can be bent).

ARCHMAGESES

Okay, this was just fun for me. In many ways the origin of much of this was the flat out talent of David Warner. He brought such life to the underwritten (and clichéd) part of the Archmage in "Long Way to Morning" that I just knew I'd have to bring him back. Many of the events of "Vows", "City of Stone", "High Noon" etc. were all geared toward bringing him back as a real THREAT!!

Yet with all this, I didn't want to forget the character's roots. We tried to set a balance between his clichés and his new power.

Think about it. The Archmage+ (as we called him in the script), had only been plussed for about a day. Still he's full of arrogance. His power hasn't raised him above that hybris nor above the thirst for vengeance nor above gloating or above impatience. That's his flaw, but also the fun, I think.

And of course, David. Wow.

Praise for Salli Richardson as Elisa. For Kath Soucie as Princess Katharine and all three Weird Sisters. For Frank Welker as Bronx and Boudicca.

But this Archmage stuff here is a tour de force, I think. David just went through, playing both characters. Both versions of himself. Keep in mind, he hadn't been privy to all that the writers had planned. He had come in for his small parts in both "Long Way" and "Vows". Now suddenly, he's this guy(s). Amazing.

"Do you know what to do?"
"I should. I watched you do it."

"Show some dignity."

"I could put you back where I found you."
"No, no." (I love that no, no. So tiny and fearful.)

"Not where. When."

"If you don't know, don't guess."

"The book must remain in play."

"Try to keep up."

"We're not doing her any favors."

"The rules that cannot be broken can surely be bent."

"Nine hundred and seventy-five YEARS??!!"

"I hadn't thought that far in advance."

"What am I supposed to do, eat it?!"

"Now I understand."

"As it did. As it must. As it always will!"

All great fun.

FLAWS

All these episodes were being produced simultaneously. All in various stages of production. So inconsistencies were bound to happen.

The Egg boats are messed up here. Demona's model in her flashback. Etc.

And storywise, what's the deal with Macbeth? I can see why the Archmage wants to include his former apprentice Demona in his plans. He felt betrayed by her, and is glad not to be doing her any favors by enslaving her.

But Macbeth?

Okay, it's not a true flaw. Macbeth is included because the 'plan of the Archmage' -- birthed whole from the timestream without the Archmage ever actually coming up with it independently (though he takes credit) -- included Macbeth.

It is the provence of Luna, not Seline, at work.

But still, I'd have liked to have been able to figure out some connection between the Archmage and Macbeth so that he wouldn't question the boy's inclusion. Thankfully, the Archmage+ is so arrogant, he takes credit and thus never questions. It occurs to me now, that I could have made a connection between Mac and his ancestors, all related to Katharine and Malcolm. Oh, well.

CAPTIONS

These became fun for me. Adding Captions indicating place and time is one of the very last steps in production. So I'm in there for the "On-Line" with Jeff Arthur, our post-production supervisor, and I'm just indulging...

Sure we start with...

"Scotland, 984 A.D."

But pretty soon we're at "YESTERDAY" and "SIX HOURS AGO" and "ONE MINUTE AGO" and finally "NOW".

It still makes me smile.

POWERING UP

So the Archmage gets the eye. Power. But he's still an idiot. He needs wisdom. He eats the book, which I always thought was really creepy and cool. Now he understands. Now we truly have two Archmage+es. But they can't coexist forever. Aside from how complicated that would be to choreograph, and aside from the fact that the timestream needs the younger of the two to fulfill his role....

They also couldn't coexist because both are too arrogant.

So we repeat the scene of departure to close the circle and tack on: "Finally. I thought he'd never leave."

BATTLE FLASHBACK

We get to see a new clan awake from stone. I hoped that was fun.

Ophelia appears (pre-injury). She looked way cool. For all those people who thought that Gabe and Angie were a couple, take a look at the way Gabe is holding Ophelia and looking at her after she's injured.

LAYING PIPE

In addition to the Sleeping King, we were also laying pipe for our whole fourth tier WORLD TOUR. Tom says: "Avalon dropped me in your laps." He credits Avalon with sending him to Goliath.

The Magus declares that he is without magic and useless. Katharine rebels at that: "Don't say it, and don't think it!" She loves him. Just not the way he wanted her to love him.

Bronx and Boudicca want to go with Goliath.

Elisa asks about the Sleeping King...

And Goliath, Angela and Gabriel take off on a stealth attack.

And we immediately see that the Archmage knows they're coming.

Uh oh.

As the Archmage says... "[We've layed all the damn pipe we could possibly need and more], Now the fun really begins!"

To be concluded...

And that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Memo for "Avalon, Parts Two and Three"

In preparation for my ramblings, here's the memo written to Brynne Chandler Reaves & Lydia C. Marano on the last two parts of their Avalon outline. I've added a few [notes], to indicate some handwritten changes to the document.

WEISMAN 2-2-95

Notes on "Avalon, Parts Two and Three" Outline...

GENERAL

ARCHMAGESES
For purposes of clarity, I'm going to refer to the new and improved Archmage as Archmage+. There will be a number of scenes where the Archmage and the Archmage+ will be appearing together. And a few scenes (including one scene repeated twice) where two Archmage+s will appear together. For those scenes I'll refer to them as 1st Archmage+ and 2nd Archmage+, but they'll look exactly alike.

CLARITY
It goes without saying that any time travel episode is going to be complex. So make an extra effort to be as clear as possible. Both in stage description for the artists, and in dialogue for the audience. I know we resist expository dialogue generally. But as you'll see below, the Archmage+ needs to explain things to the Archmage. So it won't feel artificial.

ACT BREAKS
I'm going to leave that up to you. See how the scripts progress.

BEAT SHEET
"Avalon, Part Two"
1. Pick up right where we left off. Pretty much your beat XX. Tom does need to explain that he still refers to the gargoyles as
"eggs". It's an old habit. He apologizes if it caused confusion, but they have been in Avalon long enough for him to grow old. Of course the eggs hatched some time ago.

Also none of the wounded gargoyles should be at the shore. We'll see them back at the palace.

Also don't forget that Angela has Goliath's coloring, which doesn't escape Elisa's notice. And on your Beat XXB1c. the line should expand to: "Daughters and sons belong to all of us, Elisa. That is the gargoyle way."

2. At Oberon's palace. Pretty much your beat XXI. But keep in mind, that the palace is in crisis mode. Acting as a hospital of sorts, to many wounded gargoyles.

Elisa should notice the tenderness between Tom and Katharine when they are reunited. She should also notice the pain it causes the Magus.

Don't forget to describe the Magus as 72 years old. Also describe Gabriel as looking like a young Othello with Desdemona's coloring.

The fact that the young gargoyles act more human than the trio may be too fine a point to get across. They've been raised by humans, but as a practical matter a lot of what we would think of as human is really just contemporary. And obviously, the trio are much more contemporary than these gargoyles.

You need some reason why Tribeca doesn't already have a name. Maybe, Katharine and Tom had tried not to name any of the gargoyles at first, but it just got too difficult for them with the sentient ones. But they didn't bother to name the Beasts? [We dropped the Tribecca notion eventually, and Tribeca became Boudicca. -GW 5/21/02]

Also, both Gabriel and Tribeca will be present in beat 1. So you may want to introduce them there along with Angela. That frees Beat 2 to reintro Katharine and the Magus. (Magus may be acting as a healer, using natural remedies and polstices.)

When Magus makes his point about Oberon's Children having been absent for nearly 1000 years, he might slip in a subtle reference to the sleeping King. (i.e. Arthur.) Something like: "The island's totally deserted except for the sleeping king." And then before anyone has a chance to ask about the sleeping king, something forces a change of topic.

3. Pretty much your beat XXII. Except that the Magus and Tom should probably be the ones to go into detail. The Magus knew the Archmage the best. He'd recognize that the Archmage has evolved into the Archmage+. If the Magus wasn't positive that the Grimorum cannot be brought onto Avalon, he'd swear that the Archmage+ had it. Plus when the Archmage appeared, he carried the Phoenix Gate and wore the Eye of Odin. Goliath realizes that those items must have been stolen from him.

Tom led the first disastrous attack. He saw Demona (doesn't know her name, but recognized her as Goliath's former love) plus some human in strange armor who used a weapon that fired lightning (Macbeth) and the Weird Sisters who once guarded the island. Again Goliath and Elisa can put two and two together. Macbeth and Demona never escaped the Weird Sisters. The Sisters have been using them all along. When Demona and Macbeth stole Coldstone, it was just a cover to steal the Eye, the Gate and the Grimorum. They must have given the items to the Archmage.

All Tom knows is that the Archmage+ is incredibly powerful. So powerful, he sometimes seemed to be in two places at once.

4. Enemy camp. Obviously, somewhere on the island, but where? In or in front of a cave? Someplace pleasant and relaxing, since the villains have every reason to be confident? I'll call it the GROTTO for easy reference, but anywhere is fine. [In the margin, I wrote: "Vengeance Angle"]

Present are the 3 Weird Sisters, Demona, Macbeth and... TWO Archmage+s. Each carries his own Phoenix Gate. And each wears his own Eye, (maybe imbedded like a third eye in his forehead?). They are dressed in black. Their beards are short. Maybe a metal skullcap (ala Merlin in EXCALIBUR). All very dangerous looking in contrast to the cliché Archmage that we knew.

1st Archmage+ says to 2nd Archmage+: "Shouldn't you be going?"
2nd Archmage+: "I suppose I should." 1st Archmage+: "You know what to do?" 2nd Archmage+: "Of course. I watched you do it." So the 2nd Archmage+ raises his Phoenix Gate and says the Phoenix Gate spell, disappearing into the past (see "Vows").

5. We follow 2nd Archmage+ back to 984 A.D. (He can even say: "First stop: 984 A.D." He can have a lot of attitude.) He arrives just outside the cave and secretly watches the battle between young Goliath, Hudson, Demona and the original Archmage ("Long Way To Morning"). (Again, he can fill us in, by commenting on it wryly to himself.) The Archmage loses the Grimorum and falls into the bottomless fissure, the Archmage+ uses the Phoenix Gate to pop into the fissure. He then uses the gate to transport himself and the Archmage to safety.

6. A hilltop or someplace safe. The Phoenix Gate deposits both the Archmage and the Archmage+ a few feet above the ground. The Archmage+ floats. He says "Freeze". And the Archmage freezes in mid-air. The Archmage+ says "Feathers". And a huge pile of feathers appears right below the Archmage. Archmage+: "Resume". And the Archmage tumbles into the pile of feathers.

We get some sputtering and outrage from the Archmage. And introductions. Archmage+ is his future self. Archmage realizes that means sometime in the future he accomplishes his goal of getting the Eye and the Gate. But what of the Grimorum? Archmage wants Archmage+ to use the Gate to go back and take the Grimorum back from the Gargoyles. Archmage+ says they can't accomplish their goals that way because they didn't accomplish it that way. History cannot be changed. But don't worry. We'll get the Grimorum. He uses the Gate and they both vanish again. [In the margins, by these two paragraphs, I wrote: "You want power, revenge. Allies Soldiers Weapons Base]

7. They reappear in 995 A.D. just in time to see the Magus use the Grimorum to reflect the Weird Sister's spell, turning all three of them into owls. (Archmage+ continues to use one word commands like "Float" and "Invisible" to keep them above water and undetectable. His command of magic is that complete. He can also fill Archmage and audience in on where and when they are, fairly naturally in dialogue.) Archmage recognizes his former apprentice the Magus, who's obviously grown into a potent sorcerer. But the fool just hands over the Grimorum, his source of Power, to Finella. Archmage thinks he understands now. They'll take the Grimorum from Finella. But Archmage+ says no. That's not why they're here. They're here to recruit. [In the margin, I again wrote: "Allies"]

Once all the various skiffs have moved on, the Archmage+ finds the three owls and transforms them back into the Weird Sisters. The Sisters are furious that they were defeated. When Oberon forced all of his "Children" to mingle with the mortals of the real world he had left the guarding of Avalon in their supposedly capable hands. Oberon will be very pissed off that they failed. Archmage+ offers them a chance to get even. It will take time though. The Weird Sisters don't mind. Time is one thing they have plenty of. "Then," says the Archmage+, "I will see you again in twenty-five years." And with that, he uses the gate and vanishes with the Archmage.

8. The year is 1020 A.D. ("City of Stone, Part One") and the Archmages appear via the gate. They meet up with the Weird Sisters. The Archmage+ shows them a vision of the forty year old Demona, the fifteen year old Macbeth and their enemy the HUNTER. [In the margin, I wrote: "Soldiers"] The Archmage+ wants the Weird Sisters to help Demona and Macbeth defeat the Hunter. Weird Sisters remind him that Oberon's Law prevents them from directly intervening in the lives of mortals. Archmage+ knows they are magically prevented from breaking Oberon's Law. But he also knows that they can bend it quite a bit. O.K., fine. But how does helping Demona and Macbeth do anything to help the Sisters and the Archmages achieve their goals? Archmage+ tells them that in order to achieve these goals, they will need powerful warriors, fighters adept at sorcery and weaponry, fighters we can control. These two are the perfect candidates. Guide them, help them, protect them for the next twenty years. The Archmage+ will return then with further instructions. The Weird Sisters agree and depart.

Archmage isn't too happy about this. He recognizes Demona as another of his former apprentices. One who betrayed him by losing the Phoenix Gate "years, uh... decades ago." Why are we helping her? Archmage+ tells him not to worry. This is our revenge. Believe me, we're not doing the gargoyle any favors. And again, he uses the Phoenix Gate to make them both disappear.

9. They reappear in 1040. The Weird Sisters report that they have done their best to aide Demona and Macbeth. The first Hunter is dead. But there is a new one now who's even more dangerous. Archmage+ is very pleased. He knows that Demona and Macbeth will arrive soon. He instructs the Sisters to guide them into making a magical pact that will link their life energy together. We will need them alive and vital centuries from now. We must make them immortal. [In the margin, I again wrote: "Soldiers".]

Sisters and Archmage are confused. Immortal warriors are powerful. How will we control them? Trust me, says Archmage+.

Archmage+ renders him and the Archmage invisible, just in time to see the fifty year old Demona and the 35 year old Macbeth enter. ("City of Stone, Part 3") We see the Weird Sisters link them magically.

Afterwards, the Sisters explain that the job is done. Neither can die, unless one kills the other. Excellent, says the Archmage+. Keep an eye on the two of them. Also keep an eye out for the Grimorum, the Gate and the Eye of Odin. The Weird Sisters are confused. Archmage+ has the Eye and the Gate. Archmage+ laughs. But I didn't have them. Not until you brought them to me. We'll meet again on an island called "Manhattan"... in 955 years.

Archmage: "Nine-HUNDRED and fifty-five years?!!" But before he can protest, the Archmage+ uses the gate to transport them both away.

10. 1995. Manhattan. Weird Sisters as NYC Fashion Models rendezvous at Tavern on the Green, with the Archmages. Archmage+ says: "Disguise". And he and the Archmage, seem to be wearing modern clothes. Over a pleasant candlelit dinner, the Sisters fill us in. All three magical talismans have fallen into the hands of this gargoyle... and an image of Goliath appears in the candlelight. Archmage recognizes Goliath, and can't believe that he survived this far into the future. Archmage+ says, "This isn't the future yet."

Archmage+ asks about Demona and Macbeth. Sisters respond that both are phenomenal fighters, proficient with modern technology and weaponry and half-decent sorcerers to boot. Plus each warrior has his or her own agenda. Demona is determined to wipe out humanity. And Macbeth is equally determined to wipe out Demona, even though he knows it will cost him his own life. They will be very difficult to control. Archmage+: "Yes, yes, but what are they up to now?" [And yet again, I wrote "Soldiers" in the margin.] The Sisters believe that Demona is about to cast a powerful spell to turn everyone in Manhattan into stone. Macbeth will take this opportunity to hunt her down.

Archmage+ is very pleased. He advises the Sisters to help Goliath defeat both Demona and Macbeth. Make your final move after they've fought each other, but before Macbeth has a chance to end their lives. At that point they will be weakened enough for the Sisters to put a sleep spell on them. Then bring them to me. Where? Macbeth's home on this island.

[Optional, if you have space: The sisters exit. Archmage+ asks the Archmage if he'd like to watch the action. Archmage says yes. Archmage+ says: "Somehow I knew that."]

Archmage+ uses Gate and both disappear.

[Optional, if you have space:
11. Invisible Archmages watch a replay of the final scenes from the end of City of Stone, Part Four. The ones where the Weird Sisters help Goliath talk Macbeth out of killing Demona. Put them both to sleep. Tell Goliath that they will take responsibility for them and vanish with them. The Archmages depart as well.]

12. Macbeth's mansion. The Archmages appear as do the Sisters with Macbeth and Demona. The latter two are sound asleep. The Archmage+ whispers to the sleeping warriors. He "suggests" that they work together to steal the Grimorum, the Gate and the Eye from Goliath. The Sisters provide the clock tower location, and suggest that they steal Coldstone as well. That way the theft of the talismans won't be detected immediately. Demona and Macbeth leave together to carry out this plan, completely fogged about how it came to them or why they are working together. [By the margin of both paragraphs 12 & 13, I wrote: "Weapons".]

Archmage asks about Coldstone. Weird Sisters say he is another warrior that might be of use to them. Archmage+ shakes his head. Coldstone wasn't part of the plan, so he can't be now. If his presence aids in the theft of the talismans, fine. But he must be separated from Demona and Macbeth, before the next stage of the plan can be set in motion. They will meet again at the watery door to Avalon.

[Optional:
13. Invisible Archmages watch Demona and Macbeth steal the Eye, the Grimorum and the Gate from the secret hiding place in the clocktower from "High Noon".]

14. The Archmages reappear above misty water. Archmage+ says: "Boat". And a boat magically appears beneath them. They float down to it. While they wait for the sisters, Archmage demands to know the plan. Archmage+ finally fills him in: "Soon the sisters will bring you the talismans. The ultimate magical power that you've always dreamed of. [In the margin, I wrote: "Base".] But once you get that power, what will you do with it?" Archmage is baffled. He hadn't thought that far ahead. He mutters something about conquering Scotland. Archmage+ suggests conquering the world, but warns that it will not be easy. The modern world is a place of science not sorcery. Magic is potent, but so are modern weapons. The Archmage will need a safe place to launch his attacks from. That haven is Avalon. The only problem is Avalon is occupied. Fortunately, Oberon and his children have abandoned it. But there are a few humans and gargoyles living there. Our first job is to kill them. The Archmage is very pleased with his counterpart's plan.

The Sisters join them on the raft, along with entranced Demona, entranced Macbeth and the three talismans. The sisters warn the Archmages that the Gate and the Eye are not a problem, but the Grimorum is a book of human sorcery. It cannot enter Avalon. Archmage+ is unconcerned: "Give him the Eye." Seline gives the Archmage the Eye of Odin. The Archmage puts it on. The Archmage+ explains that the Eye grants power and insight. It makes the wearer a more powerful version of himself. It usually takes weeks to transform an individual, but the Archmage+ has the ability to speed things up. "Change," he says. And the Archmage begins to metamorphose -- painfully -- into another Archmage+.

When the metamorphosis is complete, the 1st Archmage+ tells the 2nd Archmage+ that he now has the power of the world's greatest and, frankly, most evil sorcerer. But he lacks the knowledge. The exhausted 2nd Archmage+ gets the message. He asks Phoebe to give him the Grimorum. He uses his new-found power to swallow it hole. The 1st Archmage+ is very pleased. Now he is one with the magic, and there's no need to worry about bringing the Grimorum to Avalon. Even Luna is impressed. She hands the 2nd Archmage+ the Phoenix Gate, completing his power. 1st Archmage+: Shall we proceed?

[Note: I circled paragraphs 15, 16 and the first paragraph of 17 and wrote: "One Beat" in the margin and "But show it to us." By 15, I also wrote "Base".]

15. The 1st Archmage+ materializes in the palace of Oberon, in front of Katharine, Tom, the Magus. He tells them to "Make your peace, for at sundown, you die." He uses the gate to disappear again.

16. He reappears in the Grotto, joining the 2nd Archmage+, the Sisters, Demona and Macbeth. One of them spots Angela and Gabriel watching them and sneaking away. Demona asks if she should stop them. No, says the 1st Archmage+, they'll be back.

17. Sure enough, Tom the Guardian leads the gargoyles against the villains. It's a disaster. Many gargoyles are wounded. None of them can fight on a level with either Macbeth or Demona. Let alone the futuristic weapons that they bring. The Weird Sisters avoid direct interference, but still manage to use their magic to ensnare their opponents in their environment. And the Archmage+ is everywhere, popping in and out, using the Gate, vanishing. Using magic. He's devastating. (During the fight, play the two Archmage+s so that Tom might say something like "It was like he could be in two places at once." As opposed to Tom realizing that there are two of them.)

Tom is forced to sound retreat.

[I marked the rest of seventeen and 18 and wrote "combine" in the margin.]

Demona and Macbeth want to pursue and finish them off. But the 1st Archmage+ is supremely confident. Why bother? If we wait until Dawn, the gargoyles will all be stone. Only the Guardian, the Princess and the Magus will be left to defend the palace. It's so much easier to sit back and enjoy the cool breeze for a few more hours. [In the margin, I wrote: "Waiting for Goliath. Important. Vengeance. He wants Goliath.]

Luna asks: "What about the sleeping King?" The 2nd Archmage+ is surprised. He had heard the legends of the sleeping king, but didn't know that they were true. Seline assures him the King is on the island, asleep. Phoebe warns that the King's power was once very great. 1st Archmage+: "Then when once we've taken the island, we'll just make sure he never wakes up."

18. Time cut to a few hours later.
1st Archmage+ says to 2nd Archmage+: "Shouldn't you be going?"
2nd Archmage+: "I suppose I should." 1st Archmage+: "You know what to do?" 2nd Archmage+: "Of course. I watched you do it." So the 2nd Archmage+ raises his Phoenix Gate and says the Phoenix Gate spell, disappearing into the past. Obviously, this is an exact repeat of Beat 4, and finally leaves us with only one Archmage+ for the rest of the story. Archmage+ makes some comment about how the other one was getting on his nerves.

19. AND Finally, we return to the present and resume from beat 3 with our heroes in the palace. Tom picks up his story where he left off. After, there disastrous mass attack on the Grotto, they all realized they were in deep shit. Sunrise was only six hours away. They thought about hiding the gargoyles, but realized there was no place on the island where the Weird Sisters couldn't find them. They had to get help. Tom ventured out by skiff to the real world. As he had done once every century. The skiff landed at Wyvern, and Tom was shocked to see that the castle was missing. He went to a local village, where he was told that the castle had been moved to the top of a skyscraper in a place called NEW York. Tom picks up on the word "skyscraper". Is it possible that the castle has risen above the clouds? One villager's seen it in New York. It's definitely above some of the clouds. (You can show this village scene in flashback if you have space or time.) Tom returns to his skiff, returns to Avalon, and launches off again, praying that Avalon will send him to this NEW York. (Hinting that he doesn't have a lot of control.)

Sure enough he found New York and Goliath and brought him and his friends back. But the mission took two days in the real world. That's two hours here on Avalon. There's only four hours left until sunrise.

Tom apologizes to Goliath. He's tried to train the gargoyles to be warriors, but he's self-taught himself. Plus Avalon always seemed so peaceful, etc. Protective instinct must never have developed. Maybe if Goliath led the next attack... But Goliath is sure Tom did his best. Sometimes a direct attack isn't the answer. Sometimes stealth is required. If we can steal the Gate and the Eye back from the Archmage, we may have a chance. Goliath will need someone who knows the island. Gabriel and Angela both volunteer. Fine. Goliath asks the Magus to come as well. His magic might prove useful. The Magus cannot meet Goliath's gaze. He hesitates. Finally, he says that without the Grimorum he has no magic and would be a liability to Goliath. Elisa wants to come, but Goliath asks her to stay behind. If this mission fails, Tom and the others will need her expertise on dealing with Demona and Macbeth. Goliath, Angela and Gabriel depart. After they go, Elisa turns to the Magus and asks: Tell me about the sleeping King.

20. They sneak into the grotto and for a beat it looks like they might succeed in their mission. But no. They are caught. Woops. [In the margin, I wrote: "Arch+ sees them coming."]

END PART TWO

START PART THREE
21. Looks like curtains for our three heroes. Goliath even resorts to making an appeal to Demona and Macbeth. Can't they see they're being used. Does it suit Macbeth's sense of honor to wait 'til dawn to slaughter innocent gargoyles. Demona hates humans, but why would she help the Archmage hurt her own children. It doesn't make sense to Demona and Macbeth. They start to come out of the spell. But the Archmage+ is just amused by Goliath's pleas. With one word: "Obey", Demona and Macbeth are again his to command. Fortunately, rescue comes from another quarter. Bronx and Tribeca. To some extent, the rescue only succeeds because the Archmage+ is complacently amused. He likes watching the little mice run the maze. In a few hours it'll be all over anyway.

22. Goliath and Co. return to the palace. The mission was a failure.

[Note: the following paragraph was crossed out.]
But not a complete failure, says Angela. In the confusion, she got away with the Phoenix Gate. Angela wants to use it to go back in time and stop the Archmage+ before he arrives. Can't be done, explains Goliath. History cannot be changed. He's learned that lesson, painfully. Can they escape to the future? They'd be abandoning Avalon. The situation they arrived in might be even worse. Better to make their stand now. Well could they use it flee the island? This time Gabriel says no. This is his home, the only one he's ever known. He will protect it, not abandon it! Goliath is impressed. The gargoyle way is strong in Gabriel. But Angela's disappointed. Stealing the gate didn't help very much. Goliath assures her, that it helped a lot. They've taken away the Archmage's mobility. And gained some for themselves. The Gate doesn't have to be used for time travel. It can be used just to move instantly from place to place. But how will that help? Goliath isn't sure yet.

Hey, where's Elisa and the Magus?

23. Elisa and the Magus journey to the "Hollow Hill" where sleeps the sleeping King. (It's Merlin who sleeps in the Crystal Cave. At least by my research.) Maybe they have some time to talk. Elisa has noticed that Tom and Katharine are close. The Magus tells her that as the boy Tom became a man, he and the Princess fell in love. (Again, if you have the room and/or the inclination, you can show this in flashback.) Now they are husband and wife. They raised the gargoyles as their own children. Elisa wonders where the Magus fits in. I don't, he says. But his feelings for Katharine are also obvious to Elisa. How could he stand to stay and watch them grow closer? He had to stay. He had done an unforgivable thing when he cast his spell upon the gargoyles. He owed it to Goliath to tend the eggs. His pain is not important.

24. They arrive at the Hollow Hill. They see the sleeping King. He lies on a bed, surrounded by arms and gold and jewels. They move to wake him, but are intercepted by two hollow suits of armor. Elisa empties her revolver into one, but it's pretty useless. Suddenly the Magus casts a rhyming spell. (Rhyming in English, not Latin.) The armor is defeated, though it leaves the Magus drained. Elisa is shocked. She thought the Magus had lost his magic. He had. Centuries ago when he lost the Grimorum. But the island is full of magic. It is everywhere: in the wind, in the water, in the trees and certainly in this hollow hill. His training makes him sensitive to it, but summoning it without study is very hard. It's an unpredictable and often unsuccessful endeavor. He cannot be counted on.

Elisa approaches the sleeping King. For the very first time in this three parter, we hear someone speak his name. Elisa: "Arthur Pendragon. King Arthur. You are needed." And King Arthur awakens. It's that easy.

Suddenly Goliath and Angela appear via the Phoenix Gate. [The phrase 'via the Phoenix Gate' was crossed out.] What did Elisa think she was doing? Elisa realized that Demona and Macbeth are two of the greatest warriors of all time. It's a hard truth, but even Goliath has never actually bested either of them. The best he ever did was foil their plans or fight them to a draw. They needed someone better. They needed the best warrior who ever lived. Arthur clears his throat. Would someone please tell him what's going on? Angela's excited. In a minute, she says, and using the Gate, teleports them all away. ["and using the Gate, teleports them all away." was crossed out.]

[From this point out, stuff in {} is crossed out material.]

25. Back at the Grotto, The Archmage+ {has only just discovered that the gate is missing. He} is furious, and his demeanor does not improve when the Sisters wryly blame his own hybris and complacency. Fine, he says. Then we will attack now.

26. Back at the palace, Arthur's just heard the gist of the situation. He's not thrilled. This isn't what he was supposed to be awakened for. He doesn't have Excalibur. He doesn't have his knights or Merlin... But he looks around the room and sees the faces of those who need him. He will do what he can. Gabriel enters. They're out of time. The villains approach. Arthur will lead Tom, Elisa and Gabriel against Macbeth and Demona. Goliath and Angela will {use the Gate to} face off against the Archmage. Katharine, Bronx and Tribeca (and whatever other healthy N.D. Gargoyles we've shown) will stay with the wounded gargoyles and do their best to protect them. But who will take on the Three Weird Sisters. I will, says the Magus.

27. The battle. O.K. This is going to be a big one. You want to have space for it, cause it's the fight we've been building towards for THIRTY-SIX EPISODES, so we've got to make it worthwhile. (Also we have tons and tons of epiloguing in this one, so we need the audience to feel like they want a good long rest after the mega-battle is done.) You'll do a lot of intercutting between the various fronts. But for clarity here, I'll take them one at a time. (Also feel free to adjust or expand on any of the details... I'm just trying to give a big picture overview.)

ARTHUR, ELISA, GABRIEL, GUARDIAN vs. MACBETH & DEMONA
The Archmage+ has sent his two warriors as an advance force to soften up the enemy. Macbeth is impressed by this new warrior. He asks his name, and when he hears that it's Arthur, we can see that he's momentarily shaken by it. He's an Arthur-buff. A great admirer. Well. He's always wanted to test himself against the best. For his part, Arthur's quick to figure out that when either Macbeth or Demona are hurt, both feel the pain. He instructs his troops to use that to their advantage. Demona realizes that she must put some distance between herself and Macbeth. She'll still feel his pain, but not as severely. She gets past Arthur's force and into the castle. Arthur sends Gabe, Elisa and Tom in after her. He'll handle Macbeth.

ARTHUR VS. MACBETH
Macbeth is quickly deprived of his lightning gun. Both wind up using medieval weapons. It may even come down to hand to hand combat. Finally Arthur wins.

DEMONA vs. KATHARINE, BRONX, TRIBECA
Demona gets into the palace. She is confronted by Bronx and Tribeca, but they don't stop her. She finds her way to Katharine and the wounded gargoyles. We need to see by this time that Demona's bloodlust is so high, that there's no chance of talking her down again. The spell on her has worked her into such a froth that she can't see that what she's doing is against her own interests. She's a brainwashed assassin. Katharine is ready to die for her charges, and it looks like she might have to.

DEMONA vs. GABRIEL, GUARDIAN, ELISA
They arrive just in time, Gabriel and Guardian save Katharine temporarily. But they're no real match for Demona either. She's about to kill them all, when Elisa says wouldn't you rather have me. And there it is. Someone Demona hates so much, that no spell is more powerful. She leaps at Elisa, giving the others time to regroup. Ultimately, Demona is taken down by sheer force of numbers. Maybe Elisa gives the takedown blow.

MAGUS vs. THE WEIRD SISTERS.
They can't believe this old, impotent man is challenging them again. Without his precious Grimorum, no less. But he rises to the occasion. It's a sorcerers battle, so have a lot of fun with it. And the Magus wins by trapping them. Probably in some kind of iron or some kind of chain. (But here's a thought, that only just occurred to me. Should the Magus give his life in this fight, i.e. be mortally wounded during it. Maybe drained beyond any hope of recovery? He would be the one real casualty of the battle. Goliath would of course forgive him on his death bed as the old man passed away, finally at peace, maybe with Katharine's kiss on his lips. I know we planned on sending him off with Arthur, but I can't help wondering if we didn't make this fight to easy on our heroes. Isn't it necessary for them to lose something truly precious, i.e. the life of a friend? I have very mixed feelings, cause I like the character a lot. I could probably be swayed either way. Before you go to script on part three, talk this over with both me and Adrienne [Bello, our S&P executive].)

GOLIATH, ANGELA vs. ARCHMAGE+
Goliath attacks directly. And is really being trounced. The Archmage+ has not forgotten how Goliath defeated him back in "Long Way to Morning". He's really punishing Goliath. But that was part of the plan. Angela uses the gate to {bop in, and} throw the overconfident Archmage+ off balance. {She and} Goliath {toss the gate back and forth between them. They vanish and reappear.} The Archmage+'s magic still is formidable, but the tactic is infuriating him, which makes him sloppy. Finally, Goliath manages to grab the Eye and wrench it off the Archmage+. (Note: As in Eye of the Beholder, this should be damn painful for Goliath.) The Archmage+ immediately metamorphoses back into the old Archmage. But he's not through yet. He's still got all the power of the Grimorum inside him. But without the Eye to contain that power, he has a problem. You see you're not supposed to bring human magic onto Avalon. The Grimorum is burning him up from the inside out. Nothing gory, but he is destroyed in magical flames. It is over.

28. Epilogue time. Goliath realizes that the Eye and the Gate were not meant for mortals to use. He swears never to use either of them again. (He'll break this promise later, but it at least explains why he doesn't immediately use the Gate to take him, Elisa and Bronx back to Manhattan). He and Angela gladly walk back to the palace.

29. It is now only ten minutes until sunrise. Decisions must be made. They ask Goliath if it is safe for the Gargoyles out in the real world. Unfortunately, no. Not really. They invite him to bring the other gargoyles back to Avalon. No. That won't work either. Some of them must continue to live in the real world. Learn to live with humans. It will take time, but if they don't try, the outside world will never be safe for gargoyles again. Given that Goliath is willing to take any gargoyle who wants to leave. From here, you can pretty much pick up back on your outline: BEAT XXXX. (Though obviously if we kill the Magus, Arthur's leaving alone.)

30. Pretty much your Beat XXXXI. Arthur (and the Magus?) leave first. Also we have to deal with Macbeth and Demona. They can still be unconscious. The trapped Weird Sisters are forced to free Demona and Macbeth from the spell. They tell our heroes that neither warrior will remember anything that happened to them since the spell was first cast in City of Stone, Part Four. Somehow, we have to rationalize sending them off unconscious on a skiff of their own. Good luck. Finally our 4 travelers leave for Manhattan, poling out into the misty water. But Tom knows from experience that "Avalon does not take you where you want to go. Avalon takes you where you need to be."

That's it. Call me with any problems or questions, and in any case let's talk about the Magus.


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES Bible: 11th Chunk.

SERIES ARCS
We've got quite a few.
1) Markus is going to fast-track through the ranks. In episode #1, he's recruited. Starting with episode two, he'll spend about a third of the season (@ seven episodes) working in Inquiry as an Investigator. At some point he'll get in trouble. He'll get busted off Inquiry and will spend an episode as a lowly Prison Guard in Surplus. He'll foil a prison break and be rewarded by being put in Command of a Research Cell: the lone layman assigned to making sure the scientists stay focused. That'll last for two or three shows. Then he'll be drafted to join Delivery for another seven or so episodes, before he rebels against the Alliance for about three shows. Then in our 22nd episode, he'll rejoin the devastated Alliance, help them struggle out of the ashes in time to save the day. He'll end the season by being named the organization's third Night Officer.

2) Who is Siobhan Barrow? She's not your typical nineteen year old girl. We'll learn that in our pilot. She's an alien of the Sidhe race. Eventually we'll discover that she's not your typical nineteen year old Sidhe. She's the daughter of the Bhan Sidhe. We'll wonder where her loyalties lie. And just when we're sure we know, we'll turn the tables by having her kill Markus (or attempt to, anyway). And then when we're sure we know why she did that, we'll twist things 180° and make her even more sympathetic than she was before.

3) Markus and Siobhan are going to fall in love. They meet in our pilot as adversaries, but they quickly make a connection. It's a connection that both of them are going to deny for a time, but ultimately they'll admit their feelings for one another, just in time for Siobhan to betray the Alliance and attempt to kill Markus. Markus'll be hating Siobhan for a few episodes, until he learns why she did what she did. At that point, he'll join her against the Alliance, until the final episode, when they'll both be there -- a strong couple, the stronger for what they've been through both separately and together -- to pick up the pieces and rebuild a new and better Alliance.

4) The Agenda is picking up speed, and it's operating on multiple fronts. It's forming new partnerships. Startling partnerships. It's infiltrating the Alliance itself. One of our characters we'll be replaced by a Vampyr. One will turn out to be a Lycanth. One will betray everything the Alliance stands for. Etc. Early episodes that seem to be one-shots will be revealed in hindsight to have actually been part of the overall Agenda.

5) The Skray will be revealed slowly, and the Alliance will learn the startling truth that since the Skray control the oceans, they already control 3/4 of the planet. Eventually, the Skray will join the Agenda.

6) Have the Nosferatu discovered the secret of faster than light space travel? Is there an armada on the way?

7) We'll learn the answers behind some long-held Alliance mysteries. What happened to Joseph's father? What happened to Artie's uncle and brother? Who killed Alex's parents? What turned Will's wife against the Alliance?

8) We'll explore the dramatic ramifications of the Alliance's fascistic Mission Statement. When does an organization become too much of a good thing?

9) Over time, we'll probably get to know a surprising number of characters in depth. We'll watch them change. We'll see them reveal where they stand.

10) Ultimately, we're going to find out that the same individuals who are pulling the strings on the Agenda's string-pullers, are also the Puppet-Masters behind the Alliance itself. These uber-villains are the true menace that Markus and Siobhan will ultimately be fighting against.

11) And etc.

SOME SPRINGBOARDS
1. The Pilot - Skip Tracer Markus is sent after Bail Jumping Siobhan, who's being pursued by Sidhe Warriors and by the Alliance. Both Markus and Siobhan acquit themselves impressively and are recruited.

2. Markus is partnered with Tri and sent to Japan on his first Inquiry mission. People are vanishing amid reports of werewolves. The menace turns out to be a Lycanth Pack, abducting humans to work as slaves on other worlds. Delivery's called in to battle the Pack.

3. In Paris, Tri and Markus investigate reports that stone statues are coming to life. It's the noble Vinae, here to recover their honored dead. Can the misunderstanding be worked out before the populace learns these "monsters" exist?

4. In Venice, Markus and Tri are on the trail of a shape-shifter. Meanwhile, Alex and Clea go undercover inside a cult that claims to grant immortality to its members. The two cases converge, and the Alliance finds itself caught in the middle of a minor war between the Vampyru and the Nosferatu.

5. Closer to home, Markus investigates crop circles in Iowa. This leads him into an investigation of the original Roswell Incident. Through flashback, we get the whole story -- focusing on the tragic love story between Captain Will Hawking and reporter Trish Ainsley. The kicker to all this is that none of it's true. And Markus is finally introduced to Artie's boss: Night Officer William T. Hawking.

6. On a routine sea-monster mission in Sydney, Tri spots Artie's missing twin Apollo. The Skray are finally revealed, and it turns out Apollo's working with them. Delivery is sent underwater to take down the Skray. Ten-Samsons and company are able to deal with the immediate threat, but are overwhelmed when they attempt to delve further into the Skray's underwater territory. A strategic retreat is called, and Research is assigned the task of figuring out how to deal with the long-term threat posed by these amphibious aliens.

7. A Rogue Chasta-Yeti has been spotted in British Columbia. Convinced that this is the animal that killed both his parents, Alex drags his sister Gisela up to Canada to track the monster down. Complications ensue as the Chasta is under the protection of the local Sidhe Clan. In addition, Markus isn't sure that Alex has the correct Chasta in his sights. Clea, Tuk and Siobhan all get involved. Everyone's taking sides, but will mercy win out or will Alex start a full scale war?

8. Reports of Flying Saucers bring Tri and Markus to Berlin, where they're immediately ambushed and captured. This is our first solid Agenda episode, but it also serves to reveal (in flashback) the true history of the Cadre, the Alliance and the Roswell Conspiracies.

9. Markus is having a hard time recovering emotionally from his experience in the previous episode. He goes AWOL, obsessed with tracking down the one perp who ever skipped his trace when he was working for Dom. Using Alliance resources in a very public way, he comes very close to single-handedly revealing the Alliance to the world. Dom and Siobhan are able to talk him down off his emotional ledge. He returns to the Bunker, where he gets busted down out of Inquiry and into Surplus. He's a prison guard.

10. Research is conducting experiments on captured Skray inside the Surplus Prison. A dangerous and multi-racial group of inmates take advantage of the situation and attempt to bust out. The only guy who stands in their way is neophyte prison guard, Tony Markus. He succeeds. Patricia wants to promote him. Artie wants him back. But Hawking has finally taken notice of Markus. He assigns him... to Research?

11. Hawking isn't happy with how Research has been operating since Michael Tyler died. Tyler was a scientist, but he was also a pragmatist. Cabral and company seem to allow the pursuit of knowledge to get in the way of the Alliance's best interests. Markus is put in charge of Alpha Cell in order to make sure that the next time the brain-trust is sent into the field, they keep their eyes on the prize. This puts Markus in the unenviable position of being under the authority of Research Section Chief Cabral, while simultaneously being the good doctor's boss while on Alpha's next mission to prevent a radioactive Pharaoh from poisoning Peru.

12. And etc.

FORMAT / STYLE / TONE
We're writing hour-long teleplays here. Single cohesive stories -- that just happen to have a huge cliffhanger dead in the middle which allows the hour to be broken up into two tidy halves.

Tentatively, the plan is to open the first half hour with a teaser before the Main Titles. The Titles will be followed by three acts, each ending with a cliffhanger (the third one a doozy).

Part Two will open with a recap of Part One before the Main Titles. Then the Titles will be followed by Act Four, another cliff-hanger, Act Five, a last cliffhanger and then finally Act Six, which will include whatever Tag is required without an additional commercial break. All pretty straight forward.

The Point of View character is obviously Markus. He enters the Alliance knowing nothing about aliens or conspiracies. We'll learn the ropes with him. This is not to say that he has to appear in every scene, but Markus does define our basic angle on almost any given episode.

The structure of a typical Alliance mission begins with an Inquiry investigation. Research is brought in to solve some specific problem. And then as things inevitably hemorrhage out of control, Delivery is brought in for a big battle to clean up the mess.

Toward the beginning of the season, when Markus is still in Inquiry, we'll focus more on the mystery and investigation. What's going on? What is this creature? How do we stop it? Etc. We'll watch Delivery from a distance, or we'll see it through Siobhan.

Naturally, as more and more secrets get revealed, and as Markus moves up through the ranks, later episodes will spend less time on Inquiry and more time on the other sections, especially Delivery. Things'll be grimmer by that time, and the action will be more intense anyway.

This isn't a horror series. And we're not doing the ultra-violence thang. But it should be scary. We're going for suspense and intrigue: a what's-lurking-behind-that-door main course, with a side of who-can-you-trust.

Play the fear. But also play the romance between Markus and Siobhan. The real heart and caring between all our various characters. Many of them are related, which should provide great fodder. Many of them have tragic histories and/or things they need to overcome. Use Gisela's spirituality, Alex's smiling cynicism, etc. Use humor as counterpoint. Don't hunt down the joke, but don't shy away from it either. And do NOT be afraid of using SILENCE. It's a very powerful tool. (By the way, I apologize in advance if all this seems way too obvious. I figure it doesn't hurt to remind ourselves of the basics on occasion.)

Everyone should rent "THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE". That's the model for our series. We're gonna put it through our own sci-fi/monster/toy-company prism, but underneath it all is a tale of intrigue -- a long-simmering pot about to boil over in a devastating way. That's ROSWELL. That's our show.


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Chapter XXXIV: "Avalon, Part One"

There's no memo, outline or script for this one on my computer, so we'll head right into my ramble on...

"AVALON, PART ONE"
DIRECTOR: Dennis Woodyard.
WRITER: Lydia Marano.
STORY EDITOR: Brynne Chandler Reaves.

THE RECAP

...is all over the place. So much was coming together in this three-parter. The Weird Sisters, the eggs, the Archmage, Tom, Princess Katharine, the Magus, Macbeth, Demona. This was our most ambitious story yet. Which given episodes like "The Mirror" or "Vows" and multi-parters like "Awakening" and "City of Stone" was saying something.

Of course "Avalon" was never designed to be the cohesive single story movie that "City of Stone" was. It was designed as a tryptych. Part one would bring our heroes up to date. Part two would bring our villains up to date. Part three would pit them against each other.

"Avalon I" also represented the first episode in our fourth tier. The three-parter was what we called a 'tentpole'. We knew we couldn't air it until all the Tier 3 episodes had aired. And we knew we couldn't air any other Tier 4 episodes until this three-parter had aired. Despite the fact that "The Price" aired out of order, generally our Tentpole/Tier system worked very well. Out of 66 episodes that I worked on only two: "The Price" and "Kingdom" aired out of order, hopefully with minimal damage to the continuity.

THE TITLE

The title was one of mine. But initially I wasn't sure that we were going to call the island Avalon. Now, it's mind-boggling to me, but I actually had my assistant Monique Beatty (who's now a producer in her own right) research Brigadoon to find out if that name was created only for the musical, or if it was something pulled from legends. I was thinking of Avalon, but looking for something from a Scotish tradition as opposed to British. Fortunately, Brigadoon was created for the musical. So we were 'stuck' with Avalon. Which made including King Arthur a natural.

Many series don't reveal that an episode is going to be a multi-parter until you get to the 'To Be Continued' line at the closer. "Avalon, Part One" could have just been titled "Avalon". The conventional wisdom is that people are reluctant to commit the time to a multi-parter in advance. That it is better to hook them on the story before revealing that they HAVE to come back to see the end. I always felt that was cheating. What is your reaction to seeing "Part One" attached to a title?

OPENING

Another cool shot of our gargs waking up. Always nice to reiterate that at the start of our bigger stories.

Bronx gets left behind. Of course, this often happens. It was one of the things that the World Tour would set about correcting in a BIG way. But we made his getting left behind a bit more obvious here. Usually, he just doesn't go. This time they won't take him and he's sad. We were laying pipe.

My 5-year-old son Benny asked where Hudson and the Trio were going. I had to think about it. "On Patrol, I guess."

OLD FRIENDS

Then the GUARDIAN shows up. I love his cool, Goliath-inspired armor. My 7-year-old daughter Erin immediately demanded to know who he was. I wouldn't tell her. (I'm so mean.) Did any of you guess?

Of course he immediately encounters BRENDAN & MARGOT. (What would one of our multi-parters be without him?)

Then comes the three gang-bangers from "AWAKENING, PART THREE". As usual, Keith David does the voice for one of them -- making it distinctive from both Goliath and MORGAN, who's about to come in and speak. The problem is we got a touch confused. In Awakening, Keith voices the bald white guy. Here he does the same voice, but it's assigned to the black guy. Hard to say which is wrong, except by virtue of which came first. It annoys me though.

Morgan's fun in this. I really like him. No one but Simon DelMonte will get this, and I don't know if he even reads these rambles, but Morgan kind of reminds me of Jeff Goslin, a character that Cary Bates and I created in Captain Atom.

Anyway, I like how Morgan talks Guardian down. And I like how the sword is much heavier than he thought it was going to be. His cop buddies tease him, but he maintains his sense of wonder and goodness when talking about the Guardian to Elisa.

That's kind of a cool scene. First off he describes Guardian's armor: "Real armor. King Arthur stuff." Anyone think this was a clue to what was coming in the next episode? Even with the Avalon title? Then he tells her the guy's looking for Gargoyles. Elisa of course discourages her fellow officers from taking Garg reports seriously. Everyone who's seen one must be a nut-case. These guys should form 'a club'. Then she finds out that this Guardian was asking for Goliath by name. BOOM.

BELVEDERE CASTLE

Site of our last encounter with Demona and Macbeth. Another clue.

Once Elisa got a look at the Guardian's armor, she must have thought -- yeah, there's a Goliath connection here all right.

Goliath shows with Bronx, who gets to come along and come along and come along for once. Bronx always seemed underutilized to us. We knew we couldn't bring the whole clan along. (Too many characters and no poignancy.) But Bronx was an easy addition. Of course, Bronx is also useful as a kind of living personality test. If Bronx likes you, it's a damn good sign. Bronx likes Tom. Does he remember him? What scents do you figure the Guardian carried back from Avalon. Anyway, Bronx engenders immediate trust in the Guardian for Goliath.

I love this scene. Guardian gives everyone so little time to catch up. He talks about the Archmage, reveals that he's Tom and talks about 'the eggs' being in danger. *That was a fun idea. Keep you guys thinking in terms of eggs for twenty minutes and reveal that it's just a pet name for the Avalon Clan.*

Benny asked: "What kind of Eggs?"
Erin: "Gargoyle Eggs."
Benny: "I didn't know Gargoyles hatch out of eggs." [Well, keep in mind it's been a year since he saw the first thirty episodes. And he's too young to remember the first time he saw the ones we're watching now.]

Then there's the skiff. Elisa: "Where'd that boat come from? ... To where? The other side of the lake? ... Wait for me!"

This all sounds fishy to her. Nothing makes sense. I wanted to get a clear shot in there of the pond in Central Park so that you could see objectively that it doesn't go anywhere. But I never quite managed that. I wanted you guys to be confused. Or at any rate to have a million questions. But like Elisa, no matter how suspicious, I figured you'd want to go along for the ride.

FLASHBACK

Mary, Katharine, the Magus and young Tom are all reintroduced. It's very clear that the first three have all learned their lesson from Awakening. They've all really become better people. Tom, of course, didn't need to learn that lesson. But he does learn to be a hero. He officially becomes the Guardian. It begins, I believe, as just a nice gesture on the part of the Princess. Later, of course, it'll become the truth. Then there's the long journey. I like the montage there. Hardship. We never had the time to show enough of the hardship of tenth century life.

Our gang heads into Edinburgh. Constantine's followers are all over the place. They all seem to look like Disney storyboard artists for some reason. ;)

VOICES

There's some stellar voice work in this ep. Morgan Shepard as King Kenneth II. Sheena Easton making her Garg Premiere as Finella. Ian Buchanan as Constantine. (I've already mentioned Keith's versatility.)

But as usual, real props must be handed out to Jeff Bennnett and Kath Soucie.

Jeff plays Brooklyn, the Magus and Maol Chalvim. (No Bruno or Owen or Vinnie in this ep, I'm afraid.)

Kath plays Katharine, Mary and all three Weird Sisters.

They're amazing.

SOAP OPERA

Benny saw Finella and said: "That's one of the witches."

A year ago, Tom was his favorite character. Now Tom barely registered. And he really is fascinated with the Weird Sisters. Anyway, I corrected him, but I was glad that they were appearing later.

Ian Buchanan, once of General Hospital, is playing a cad here. We have to very quickly set up a lot of politics, sexual and otherwise. This story was as historical as we could make it based on the available research, the fact that we had to fit in a few fictional characters and eggs, and screen time compression.

Believe it or not, we also had another character originally that we cut early on because it was just getting too damn complicated. Katharine and Maol Chalvim's cousin: the future King Kenneth III. The father of Bodhe. Yep. That Bodhe. The father of Gruoch.

Kenneth III winds up being made High King of Scotland after Constantine is killed. To get a sense of their relationship, at least as I see it, you might want to check out "Once upon a time there were three brothers..."

(Or to give you a hint, ten years after the events depicted here, King Kenneth III would be murdered by Maol Chalvim's operatives during a civil war. Maol Chalvim was also known as Malcolm Forranach, the Destroyer. We used the Maol Chalvim version of his name so as not to confuse him with Katharine's father Prince Malcolm. Just as in City of Stone we emphasized Malcolm Canmore's Canmore name for the same reason.)

Anyway, Maol Chalvim seems intense but right on the money here. He's even kind of heroic when he and the Magus bring Tom back to Katharine's apartment, and he begs Katharine to go. Kind of heroic. He still leaves her. We were trying very hard to balance out his minor role here with his future roll as the grandfather of and major influence on Duncan. (Of course, he's also Macbeth's grandfather, as well.)

After Katharine tells Maol to go, there's a weird cut of him just standing there smiling. We needed some kind of transition before he took off running, and I guess that was the best we could do. But it's still awkward as hell.

THE MURDER

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We establish early on that Katharine doesn't think much of Constantine. You wouldn't know it from Awakening, but obvioulsy she's learned to be a decent judge of character.

Kenneth isn't quite so sharp. Everyone can see that he's a fool for Finella. And he doesn't recognize Constantine's threat (despite the fact that Constantine's father was a bitter enemy and) despite the fact that his son flat out tells him to beware. My thinking was that the crown had kept bouncing back and forth between different branches of the royal family. Kenneth had hoped that by taking Constantine in, instead of banishing him, he'd be able to be a positive influence on the boy. A nice idea perhaps, but maybe Kenneth was too innattentive to pull it off. And Maol probably was too covetous to really be a brother to young Con.

Anyway, Constantine tricks Finella and kills the king. We hear Finella sobbing, just to prove that she was neither in on it nor that she would approve of it. (Though one wonders what her reaction would have been down the road if Constantine hadn't spurned her in favor of Katharine. Would she have adjusted to the crime? Or did Constantine become an unredeemable villain in her eyes immediately? I hate to say it, but I tend to think it's the former. Actually, I don't hate to say it. She's more interesting to write that way.)

Erin asked: "He killed King Arthur? Why?"

That's a tough question. So first I had to explain that it was King Kenneth, not King Arthur. Then my wife Beth helped out by explaining that Constantine wanted to be king.

We come back from the act and we see that Constantine was ready for the takeover. The Banners are immediately changed in a scene clearly inspired by the Ian McKellan (spelling?) movie version of Shakespeare's Richard III. (A version I heartily recommend, by the way.)

We also continue to set up the Magus' own tragedy. He loves Katharine. Has loved her since before Awakening. That feeling is shown to deepen here when she is once again in danger. And when Constantine tries to coerce her into marrying him. (The astute Mary and Tom have to hold him back.) Here, we sense that maybe Katharine might some day return that love. That's what I wanted you all to think anyway. Did you?

Constantine takes his crown. Originally we wanted to stage this with the Stone of Destiny as we did with Macbeth. But again, I think we just had too many sets.

Michaelmas. I just like that word.

Constantine is fairly astute himself: "You have 36 very good reasons to obey." We kept reiterating the number of eggs for what was coming later.

THE ESCAPE

The Magus disguises broken pots as eggs and vice-versa. But it always seemed to me that the kitchen staff at Edinburgh sure broke a lot of pots. I mean a LOT!

I like the lines: "Taking the wee bairns for a walk?" and "I don't think I like Gargoyle eggs." Very menacing.

Princess K burns her wedding dress. She feels she cannot leave because C will follow her to "the ends of the Earth." So the Magus responds: "Then I will take you beyond them." Again. Very romantic moment between them.

Finella joins the troop. The WOMAN SCORNED. She's really fun now. Dangerous. I always laugh when Constantine drinks the brew and collapses so abruptly.

Erin: "The Weird Sisters". My kids are just fascinated with this trio. I wonder if they still will be by the end of this three-parter or if like many fans, they will be disappointed?

They get turned into owls. But the Magus worries about giving up the source of his power. K doesn't care about that.

And Finella and Mary agree to take the book. I love these two. I think they'd make a totally kick-ass team. I doubt it would be commercial enough, but I'd love to do a spin-off show just with these two women. At any rate, there was the plan to include them as recurring characters in TimeDancer.

Tom has to leave his mother and his childhood behind. Now his role as the Guardian is a way for Katharine to make him accept the loss. It is the start of their relationship, though neither knows it. I watch this now, and I can't help thinking of the Anakin & Padma relationship and where that's destined to go.

AVALON

Back to the present. We see the impressive shores of Avalon. Very cool painting.

Bronx reacts. Guardian: "He's found the eggs..." And the music swells and two gargs and a garg beast appear on the cliff.

Now is that a cliff-hanger or what? What was your reaction?

Erin and Benny wanted "to see ther rest!" I told them they'd have to wait a week and we got a lot of protesting. Just what I was hoping for.

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES Bible: 10th Chunk.

THE ENEMY

The Politics of Space Travel
1. The first thing you need to know is this: in our version of the universe, Warp Drive Doesn't Exist. No wormholes, no stargates, no faster than light travel at all. The Speed of Light seems to be a brick wall. Want to travel from Earth to Alpha Centauri (@ 4.3 light-years away)? The best you could possibly do is to borrow a Lycanth Huntership, the fastest fuel-recycler on this side of the galaxy. And, it'll still take you five years to get from here to there.

Communication is only slightly faster. There's no "sub-space". No short-cuts. Information can be transmitted at the Speed of Light, but no faster. So if all you want to do is send a message to Alpha Centauri, they'll receive the call a mere 4.3 years after you've placed it. Of course, they're response is gonna take another 4.3 years, but what can you do?

The Galaxy, of course, is vast. So if an extraterrestrial race wants to come to our world, it's gonna take them some time. Now some alien species have a relatively long life span. If necessary, these voyagers have the option of sitting through the long, long boring trip. Others are left with only two choices: Sleep-Ships and City-Ships (or a combination of both).

A Sleep-Ship puts its occupant in cryo-stasis for the bulk of the journey. Computers and automatons run the ship, waking the sleepers upon arrival or in case of emergency. Sleep-Ships are used when the individual traveler is important. Of course, Sleep-Ships have certain disadvantages. To begin with, you're counting on machines to make crucial and complex decisions while you sleep. Also, you never know what you're going to find when you arrive, let alone what the situation might be like when you get back. Say you want to visit a planet two hundred light years away. You board a Sleep-Ship and go into stasis. You wake up, refreshed, two hundred and twenty five years later. No problem. It only seems like a few minutes to you. You take a two week vacation on the alien world and then reboard your Sleep-Ship for the return voyage. Two hundred and twenty-five years later, you're back on the old homeworld. Problem is, a lot can change in 450 years. Everyone you knew is almost certainly dead. Potentially, the entire planet might be dead.

By contrast, a City-Ship creates an environment where a community can live, thrive and evolve during the long journey. Crew members will mate, procreate, age and eventually die. Their offspring will mate, procreate, age and eventually die. And so on. The idea isn't for any individual to arrive at the destination, but for an entire society to arrive. Adaptation is built into the process. Plus the culture is brought along for the ride. There's less of a need to return to the old world. City-Ships tend to be favored for colonization.

Often, City-Ships have cryo-stasis capabilities. Individuals are placed in cryo-stasis at the beginning of a voyage and awakened periodically to make sure that the City-Ship's society hasn't gotten too far off track. This also sounds like a better idea in theory then it winds up being in practice. Inevitably, there tends to be some conflict (sometimes violent conflict) between the sleeping population and the descendants of the original crew. Call it a generational gap.

2. The second thing you need to know about the universe is that habitable planets are not a dime a dozen. The reason Earth is a destination resort for all these alien species is because it's a relatively primitive, unspoiled and/or exploitable location that is capable of sustaining life as we know it. And because there aren't a lot of better alternatives out there.

ALIEN RACES
Again, the universe is vast. Our Milky Way Galaxy is pretty dang immense all by itself. Somewhere out there, there must be hundreds, perhaps thousands, of habitable planets each filled with one or more sentient alien species. But forget about that, because they're just too darn far away for us to worry about.

We're not going to meet 100 different alien species. In the 22 hours of programming we're planning, we won't even meet 22 separate species. That doesn't mean we won't be introducing a new species here and there. But when we do, it's a momentous event. In our first few episodes -- as we introduce all the various concepts -- it might seem like we're doing alien-of-the-week. But it'll soon be clear that's not the case. We're NOT doing alien-of-the-week.

Our series is basically a THRILLER. Sure we have scary monsters, great action, humor, romance and lots of neato gear. But the intrigue, the machinations, is going to be what sets us apart from our many competitors.

THE SIDHE
The Sidhe were the first extraterrestrials to arrive on our world and stay. They landed in a single City-Ship in the year 527 B.C. Sidhe have a life span of approximately two hundred years. Do the math, and you'll realize that there isn't a Sidhe living on the planet who wasn't born here. They believe that Earth is their home. They believe that certainly they have as much of a right to be here as native humans. Their homeworld, if it still exists at all, is a distant memory.

The Sidhe did not come here to conquer our planet, but to carve out a life for themselves on our frontier world. They were always happy to coexist with humans, in the same way they'd coexist with a bear, rabbit or honeybee. But times have changed.

The Sidhe are a race more of energy than of matter. Through concentration and training, they are capable of coalescing their energy into a more solid human form. They can pass as either Tall Women or Short Men. (Sidhe society is matriarchal. Women are Sidhe Warriors. Men, who are objectively the weaker sex physically, are not treated as equals.)

Today, the Sidhe live among humans (mostly in the British Isles, France and Canada), but secretly maintain their tight-knit clans. Each clan is ruled by a Matriarch known as the Barrow Sidhe, and each Barrow reports to the Bhan Sidhe. The current Bhan Sidhe is Siobhan's mother RAEBHAN, (pronounced rah-VAWN) daughter of Moerbhan, daughter of Obraebhan, daughter of Maebhan, etc.

The Sidhe currently have a treaty with the Alliance that places strict limits on their Expansion. Travel is restricted. New clans may not be initiated. Human forms must always be worn in public. Despite the harshness of the terms, today's Alliance generally considers the Sidhe to be a tough, but honorable race. Occasionally, an individual Warrior might create some problems, but in general the Sidhe keep to themselves and cause little trouble.

THE NOSFERATU
The Nosferatu departed NOSFERATCH, their over-populated home planet, in search of new worlds to conquer. They traveled in a Giant City-Ship called THE VAMPYRCH. A percentage of The Vampyrch's crew were put in cryo-stasis. The rest were left awake to handle whatever crisis might arise.

Nosferatu have a life span of approximately 100 years. But the Voyage of The Vampyrch was a long one. It seemed like there was always a new solar system just around the corner that was bound to have a promising planet or two. But no. Nothing. For centuries and centuries... Nothing. Aboard The Vampyrch, new Nosferatu were born and old ones died. Meanwhile the rest slept in stasis. The centuries slid by.... And nothing.

Then finally, they found Earth. The sleeping Nosferatu were brought out of stasis in the year 744 A.D. But they found that they no longer had much in common with their descendants aboard The Vampyrch.

Today's Nosferatu are the descendants of the Nosferatu brought out of stasis upon arrival on our world. They are tall creatures that move upright on snake-like tails instead of legs. They have long necks and long arms, with long tapered hands and long tapered fingers. They look like nothing so much as human cobras, complete with a cobra's hood. Passing for human is possible, but difficult. The tail must be hidden under robes or long capes. The hood must be decorated to look like a piece of clothing as opposed to an organic body part. And even then it had better be dark, if you don't want the average human to scream.

Of course, the average human would have reason to scream. Nosferatu feed on blood, and they are bent on the conquest of our world. Really, the only thing that has stopped them is their limited numbers. Nosferatu have a life span of approximately 100 years, and they are hardly a prolific race. Nosferatu are asexual and reproduce asexually in a process that has more in common with cloning then anything we would call conception.

In addition, the Nosferatu have no desire to repeat the mistakes of The Vampyrch. So even today, here on this world, they take turns going into and out of cryo-stasis, so that they never again lose track of their mission of conquest. It is therefore possible to have a seven hundred year old Nosferatu standing next to a seventy year old Nosferatu. In either case, guessing their ages would be extremely difficult, as Nosferatu shed their skin periodically, remaining perpetually youthful in appearance, no matter how old they are internally.

The Nosferatu are always led by the oldest Nosferat currently not in stasis. The leader of the moment is eighty-three year old SAVET, born a good couple thousand years ago on Nosferatch. His second-in-command is his twenty year old son SAVETRE, who looks almost exactly like his father.

The Alliance is aware of the Nosferatu, and consider them to be the greatest alien menace on the planet. At the first clue to Nosferatu whereabouts or activity, the Alliance will mobilize to crush their primary opponent. Most of the Nosferatu currently live in Eurasia, but they have secret embassies all over the world.

THE VAMPYRU
Over the centuries that The Vampyrch was traveling the galaxy, the inhabitants who were not in cryo-stasis adapted. They learned to control the shedding of their skin, in order to alter their appearance. By the time The Vampyrch landed on Earth, these new generation Nosferatu had little in common with the ancient cousins that were brought out of cryo-stasis. Conquest was no longer a priority. After centuries cooped up in a ship, the planet Earth seemed to offer a cornucopia of delights. The newly awakened old-style Nosferatu tried to get the new crowd back in line, but they refused. Taking the name Vampyru, this new race dedicated itself to it's own pursuit of choice: Pleasure.

The Vampyru are heavy-duty hedonists. They still drink blood to sustain their lives and because, hey, it's a laugh. But they've developed a palate for food and drink as well. They are a very sensuous and sensual race. They still reproduce asexually, but by shedding their skin, a Vampyr can easily blend into human society. It helps that the race has evolved a pair of legs, but any individual Vampyr can also be male or female, old or young, black or white -- and then start over again the next day. With a bit of study and practice, they can even pose as a specific human and attempt to take that person's place.

Vampyru and Nosferatu: there's no love lost between these cousins. The Nosferatu regard the Vampyru as frivolous traitors and have vowed to someday make them toe the line. For their part, the Vampyru like the status quo. Traditionally, they've maintained an active interest in thwarting the conquest schemes of the Nosferatu.

None of this means that the Alliance and the Vampyru are buddies.

The Vampyru think of Earth as their own personal playground. Naive humans peacefully go about their business in a blissful state of ignorance. The Vampyru can pick and choose their victims, practically on demand. Playground, nothing: it's a candy store.

The Alliance is NOT o.k. with that. The problem is that the very nature of the Vampyru make it nearly impossible to track them down. They have no leader. No society. They've simply scattered to the four corners of the world to follow their individual appetites.

Both the Nosferatu and the Vampyru secrete a drug in their saliva which can temporarily enslave a once-bitten human.

THE LYCANTH
Frankly, the Lycanth are just all over the place. They come; they go. They come back again; they go away again. The first Lycanth on Earth probably pre-date the Sidhe. But they didn't stay. Not as a group. Trouble with the Lycanth is that they have short life spans. They mature quickly; a four year old Lycanth is fully grown. But they're slowing down by age ten. A twenty year old Lycanth is a rarity. You can see their dilemma. It's hard to set long-term policy when one's life tends toward the short term.

Thus by definition, the Lycanth (males and females) live life in the fast lane. They build fast and efficient Sleep-Ships, and they travel a lot, usually in packs. They hunt. They breed -- prolifically. They fight among themselves for power. They make war against their enemies. They are a highly aggressive species. Life is short, so they make it one big adventure.

The Lycanth are DNA-adapters. When a compatible DNA sample is introduced into an individual Lycanth's system, he or she can incorporate the new structure into his or her own matrix, allowing the Lycanth to morph from one biological structure to another or even to create combination forms from whatever DNA he or she has had access to. In simple terms, a Lycanth can look human one minute and then transform into a bear. Or a wolf. Or a large bat. Or a Yeti. Or a wolf-bat. Or a wolf-man. Or a bear-Lycanth. Or a Yeti-rabbit. Etc. Gender remains the same. So does mass, though volume can change within reason. Because mass remains constant, and because the average Lycanth is actually 25% larger than the average human, a Lycanth posing as a human is going to be denser than a true human. On the other hand, a Lycanth posing as a Yeti is going to be considerably lighter than average. Lycanth seem to be able to DNA-adapt any mammalian species. That includes humans, Yeti, gorillas, dolphins, etc. But it doesn't include the reptilian Nosferatu and Vampyru, nor does it include the Sidhe, who may have once been mammals, but have evolved beyond that into a complex hybrid of matter and energy. Lycanth transformations require some effort and are painful. A Lycanth is vulnerable during his or her transformation, but recovery time is swift.

Among their other lovely traits, the Lycanth are slavers. To the Lycanth, Earthlings look like profitable slaves. So even at their least organized, the Lycanth are constantly showing up, abducting humans, sticking them in cryo-sleep and taking off again. At least that's what they would be doing if the Alliance wasn't around to stop them.

THE QUA-YETI
The Qua-Yeti are a powerful but peaceful people. Once upon a time, on their homeworld, the white-furred Qua lived out their primitive existence in the high mountains. Then the Lycanth arrived. They took one look at the Yeti and realized they had hit a slave trader's jackpot. The Yeti had no knowledge of technology. They possessed phenomenal physical strength and they could survive, even thrive, in temperatures and conditions that few other races (or even machines) could endure. The Lycanth enslaved hundreds of Yeti and took them to other worlds. But some of these slaves were quick studies. Yearning for their freedom, the Yeti learned how to use the Lycanth's technology. They bided their time. Unlike their short-lived masters, Yeti's have been known to live for 1000 years. When the time was right, they rebelled, escaping the Lycanth in stolen Sleep-Ships. Unfortunately, the Yeti were too large to fit inside Lycanth stasis chambers. So they had to endure decades of space travel in lonely cramped isolation. Returning to their homeworld would have been hopeless: the Lycanth had completely overrun the place. So they chose another destination where the Lycanth were not in full control. In the year 1780, a small group of about forty Qua-Yeti landed on Earth. They made their way to the Himalayan Mountains. They're still there, for the most part, about a hundred of them now. Males, females, children. The Qua-Yeti have a treaty with the Alliance. They remain in hiding in the Himalayas, and the Alliance leaves them alone.

THE CHASTA-YETI
The Chasta come from the same planet as the Qua. Where the white-furred Qua lived in the high mountains and polar regions, the brown-furred Chasta lived in the low hills, forests and plains. Long before the Lycanth discovered the Qua, they had enslaved nearly the entire Chasta population. When the Qua rebelled, the Chasta rebelled with them, but they had already endured ten times the hardship of the Qua. The Chasta may have been peaceful once upon a time, but now they are a belligerent, even paranoid race. The Chasta also arrived on Earth in 1780. They hid in deep forests, on mountains and in jungles that were once nearly devoid of human life. Now humanity encroaches. The Chasta-Yeti also have a treaty with the Alliance, but the Alliance knows that the Chasta are less content than their Qua cousins.

THE SKRAY
The Skray are an amphibious alien race that have been here for ninety years. The Alliance has no idea that the Skray even exist. No idea that our oceans are filling with Skray fortresses and little Skray hatchlings. Surprise!

THE PHARAOH
The Pharaoh are travelers, historians. A peaceful race. They are also radioactive. And vaguely cadaverous in appearance. To protect the native races they visit, they wear containment suits that once upon a time inspired the ancient Egyptians and Peruvians to try their hand at mummification. The Alliance believes that the benevolent Pharaoh haven't been on Earth for a few centuries.

THE VINAE
The Vinae are a silicon-based lifeform. They look vaguely demonic, with stony visages, large bat-shaped wings, horns and haunches. When a Vinae dies, its body hardens. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a Vinae corpse and a stone gargoyle. The Alliance is therefore unaware that the nomadic Vinae have periodically visited our world.

THE GRAYMEN
The Graymen are the fictional aliens created by the Alliance as part of the Roswell Conspiracy. Or so we've been led to believe....

THE CADRE
In 1942, while the human world was in the midst of its most horrible war, four alien races entered into a devil's agreement to form a Cadre. These races were the Nosferatu, the Lycanth, the Chasta-Yeti and the Sidhe. Their plan was to use the chaos of World War II to take the planet and divide it amongst themselves.

Perhaps the plan was doomed from the start. Each race had a very different reason for participating in the Cadre. The Nosferatu saw it as their big chance to finally conquer the world. The Sidhe, disgusted with humanity's petty but devastating wars, simply wanted to set Earth's affairs in order. The Chasta-Yeti felt that the humans were inadvertently leaving them with no other alternative. Already, the ancient forests were vanishing, leaving the Chasta with nowhere to go. The Lycanth were just greedy for spoils, and spoiling for a fight.

Once Burdette discovered the Cadre's existence, it was relatively easy to sew dissension within its ranks. How hard could it be to convince the Sidhe that the Nosferatu wouldn't want to share power, when in fact the Nosferatu didn't want to share power? How hard could it be to convince the Chasta that the Lycanth were simply exploiting them in a new and different way, when the Chasta had centuries of experience suffering under Lycanth exploitation? How hard could it be to trick the Vampyru into undercutting the Cadre's plans, when the Vampyru already hated the Nosferatu and were determined not to let them take the planet? How hard could it be to draft the Qua-Yeti to talk some sense into the Chasta when both races faced similar challenges, but both races would clearly gain few tangible benefits under Nosferatu or Lycanth domination? How hard could it be to convince the Sidhe that being a part of the Cadre was a dishonor to their proud warrior traditions, when the Sidhe basically knew that already? How hard could it be?

O.K., it was a little hard. But it could have been a lot worse. In September, 1945, the Sidhe pulled out of the Cadre and agreed to stay neutral. The Chasta-Yeti joined with the Qua-Yeti, luring the Lycanth and Nosferatu to the Himalayas and a joint Yeti/Alliance ambush. The Lycanth HunterPack was all but wiped out. The Nosferatu, whose forces had been infiltrated by Vampyru impostors, were also decimated. They scurried back under their rocks with their tails between their legs. (Well, they don't have legs, but you get the idea.)

To top it off, the Battle of the Himalayas was immediately followed by a mini-war between the Vampyru and the Nosferatu that further thinned out the ranks of both races.

All in all, it was a stunning victory for the Alliance and (an ignorant) humanity.

It would take decades for the Nosferatu, Lycanth and even the Vampyru to build up their numbers again, let alone form any significant opposition to the Alliance.

The Sidhe, the Chasta-Yeti and the Qua-Yeti were all more or less coerced into signing one-sided treaties.

And the Alliance was sitting pretty.

Since then, operatives of the Alliance have faced numerous aliens. Numerous individual aliens. The occasional Pack of Lycanth Hunters. Every so often, an embassy full of Nosferatu. A Vampyru couple, a rogue Sidhe or a Chasta gone berserk. Not to imply that all these aliens aren't extremely dangerous, but let's be honest... The Alliance has had it easy.

Since 1945, they've never faced any organized alien opposition. By the time the year 2000 hits, the Alliance is going to be looking back on the twentieth century as the good old days. Because things are about to change. Things are about to get nasty.

THE AGENDA
It's taken decades to recover from the Cadre debacle. Soon the time will come to strike. The same mistakes will not be made again. It doesn't take a World War and an alien coup to take over the planet. All it takes is an AGENDA and a little bit of patience.

There's still a need to gather allies, but it's going to be easier this time. And one big reason it's going to be easier is the Alliance itself. The Sidhe and the Chasta don't like their treaties. And nobody likes the Alliance's policy of Containment. The Alliance itself has inadvertently created the greatest threat to humanity's existence: a rallying point, a common enemy to every alien on Earth. It's the Agenda vs. the Alliance in a fight to the finish. I'll say it again. Things are about to get nasty.


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES BIBLE: 9th Chunk

THE MISSION
The Mission is pretty simple and based on this premise: Aliens are unwelcome trespassers on our planet, and 95% of them are up to no good.

The Alliance's Mission Statement reads as follows:

Contain any and all Extraterrestrial Expansion on our world.

DEFINITIONS
An "Extraterrestrial" is defined as any individual born of a non-terrestrial species. Individuals born on the planet Earth of one or more alien parents are still classified as Extraterrestrials.

"Expansion" can be defined as (a) new alien arrivals that expand the Extraterrestrial population on Earth; (b) covert alien activity that expands Extraterrestrial power or influence on Earth, or (c) overt alien activity that might reveal the true nature of the Extraterrestrial presence on Earth, thus inevitably increasing Extraterrestrial influence.

"Containment" is defined as (a) discouraging or preventing all alien arrivals; (b) encouraging alien departures; (c) monitoring all alien communication; (d) thwarting covert alien activity; (e) preventing the spread of Extraterrestrial power and influence; (f) crushing overt alien activity; (g) maintaining the secrecy of any true Extraterrestrial presence; (h) enforcing treaties with compliant Extraterrestrials; (i) forcing non-treaty aliens to leave our world, or (j) imprisoning any aliens who do not cooperate. Containment is to be carried out with extreme prejudice.

Surprisingly, there is very little conflict within the Alliance or TGA with regard to releasing the truth about aliens to the general public. There isn't really anyone who thinks that would be fun. Instead, the most controversial part of the Alliance's Mission Statement lies within the (a) definition of "Expansion". It is the single word "arrivals". Are there any circumstances under which a new alien -- or race of aliens -- could or should be welcomed to our world? And, more important, does the word "arrival" include only new-comers from other worlds... or does it also include new-born extraterrestrials born on this world? This one word represents the grey area of our series, and is particularly embodied by our alien leads, Siobhan, Tuk and (to a lesser extent) Aidan.

The Alliance has treaties with three alien races that have small populations on Earth: The Sidhe, the Qua-Yeti and the Chasta-Yeti. But these treaties are extremely one-sided -- in the Alliance's favor. The slightest breach on the part of any of our Extraterrestrial allies is an excuse for the Alliance to come down, and come down hard.

THE BUNKER
When you get to Roswell, head south past the river toward Mount Harvey. About ten miles before the mountain, you'll see a turn off for the Old Vasquez Ranch, currently owned by Sheriff Emeritus Jack McKay. Six miles further down the road is ThreeHawks Ranch, the property of retired Air Force Captain Will Hawking. McKay's is a cattle ranch. Hawking raises dairy goats, and does a good business in cheese. His place stretches from it's common border with the Vasquez Ranch, all the way to the northern slope of Mount Harvey. McKay's property is L-shaped and corners around 3Hawks to stop against the mountain's western slope.

Now go underground. Way underground. And welcome to the Bunker.

Fifty years ago, the entire Alliance fit under Vasquez. But times have changed. The Alliance and the Bunker have grown.

Acres. Vasquez and 3Hawks are both large spreads, and every inch of dirt now acts as cover to some portion of the Bunker. And Mount Harvey... well, it's hollow. Reinforced with steel. But hollow. Once again, welcome to the Bunker.

"Inquiry" is based under Vasquez. Take the TurboLift down from McKay's ranch house (or any of six other locations on Vasquez) and you'll find one hundred private quarters, forty offices and the "Assignment Desk". The Desk keeps track of every mysterious report, every flare up of alien activity and every Inquiry Agent. The desk is generally manned by Aidan Maguire, who considers it part of his job description. After all, how can he keep Hawking informed, if he doesn't know everything that's going on. Inquiry has its own "Motor Pool", plus SpeedRail Links to the other Sections and Centers.

"Management" and "Research" are both housed under 3Hawks. Again you have 100 living quarters, plus 100 small laboratories and five huge Research Chambers for the really dangerous experiments. There's one additional Research Chamber carved into the peak of Mount Harvey. This chamber includes a powerful radio telescope and super-computer, hooked to a network of orbiting satellites, designed to provide an early warning system for any new alien arrivals.

Beneath this Chamber, Harvey houses "Delivery". There are ten large apartments. An armory. An immense hangar. Training rooms. A Command Center and a War Room.

And finally, there's "Surplus". If any section of the Alliance has grown exponentially, it's the Alliance prison. Most of Mount Harvey is Surplus, and that includes Harvey's fifteen below ground stories. In addition, Surplus still maintains the Alliance's original Lock-Up on the lowest four levels of Vasquez. And it's still not enough. Surplus spills out into the sections of both Vasquez and 3Hawks that border Mt. Harvey. These newest sections are particularly problematic, because they were not originally designed to house prisoners. Lower security risks have been placed in these sections, but everyone knows it's a flaw in the system.

Locations within the Bunker are designated by first listing the Center, then the Level (in positive or negative numbers), followed by a slash mark, the pod letter and room number. For example, Markus' living quarters are Vasquez-6/C2. The office he shares with Tri is Vasquez-3/A7. Hawking lives in the ThreeHawks Ranch house, officially known as 3HawksØ. Siobhan's living quarters are at Harvey+8/A4. (Frankly, I don't know if this is going to matter, but I thought I'd stick it in anyway. Might help us to maintain consistency down the line.)

GEAR
The Alliance has recruited some of the most brilliant minds on the planet to join "Research". And guys like Tib are always coming up with new stuff. In addition, the Alliance isn't shy about confiscating and exploiting alien technology. All in all, the operatives have a lot at their disposal.

Only one problem. The Alliance is a secret. And so is its on-going effort to control the invading aliens. Most everything has to be able to pass for something else. Which gives us the opportunity for transforming vehicles, hidden weapons and more. Motorcycles that transform and fly. Trucks that become Tanks. Etc. "Delivery" does have a couple of heavily armored all-terrain monstrosities that cannot pass, but they are only used in cases of extreme emergency.

The most common weapon (standard issue for every Inquiry or Research Cell Agent) is "The Torch". The multi-purpose Torch appears to be an ordinary black metal flashlight. But with the flick of a hidden switch, it can telescope out into a (light but sturdy) metal short staff for hand-to-hand combat. One end of the staff holds an electrical charge that can be used as a taser. The other end, fires off a plasma burst that can blow a sizable hole through a brick wall. The Torch is also a communications device and has a built-in homing beacon for tracking wayward agents (or at least for tracking wayward Torches). It's also a working flashlight, and makes a passable doorstop.

Of course, Harris can't be bothered with anything quite so polite. He's into big guns. Magno-Axes. Pulse grenades that can take out a battalion of baddies. Demolition stuff. Scary looking ordinance. Since he's part of Delivery's crisis response team, he doesn't have to be as careful about laying low. If it weren't a last resort emergency, he wouldn't be there in the first place. Plus he doesn't have to clean up after himself, so he isn't shy about doing some real damage with some really impressive toys.



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