Here Comes Trouble – Season Finale, Episode XI (Tags – Jane Fallows Shadows and Light, Season Finale) In Which Jane Fallows Presents a Special Screening of Her Latest Film “…” aka Ellipses
Last Episode Plot Holes, Episode X
The premiere is scheduled for an hour after the diplomatic summit ends. The actual print is on site. Tangiers the Major Domo is the projectionist. Ramsey is up in the booth with him. Ramsey is made to promise not to ‘improve’ the projector until after the film has run. It is further suggested that Ramsey not improve anything, at least not without the prior approval of the rest of the Hosts. Ramsey insists that things want to be improved.
Invitees include Maximillian (de facto president of DeSaen), Samantha & James (the kids who crashed their cab and have been watching a lot of porn and getting a lot of room service), the dignitaries, the Gretch (by special request of Jane), and others. In total, there will be about 50 invitees present.
Charlotte is attending to Jane’s specific needs.
The Adams check in – All Good. The Usher Adams get special buttoners so they’ll be fancy.
It is a relatively small, old-fashioned theater with an unusually large screen for its capacity. Old timey theater front, popcorn, booze, red carpet, all very classy and impressive, as one would expect at Cliffside. The movie is a full 32mm print, which is quite advanced for the period in which it was produced.
Ramsey examines: the actual print of the film is interesting. Not light, ‘fairly heavy’ Halfway between the before and the now. That’s weird. The projector is okie dokey if vintage (Ramsey thinks its high tech) and in perfect condition. Ramsey sees room for improvement, but Tangiers insists he holds off. This is a talkie with magnetic sync. This is a big deal. It is Jane Fallow’s first talkie
The bulb in the projector seems to be not normal. It is built specifically to project whatever this is and can produce a lot more light than normally required. Heavy Light? It came with the resort. Made by Admiral Electric. There is one spare bulb.
People start showing up about a half hour before the show. After some discussion, the seating arrangements are as follows: front row, Charlotte and Jane are front row center, Dorina, Mark, Maximillian and other top flight dignitaries make up the rest of the row. Blue and Parvuil stand in the back so they can see everything. IsTarantula is attached to the back wall and is cautioned against making mandible shows in the projector light, at least not until after the show. Then we all kind of want one.
The BiblioSniffer is released to run around the estate. But the Adams are informed that it is not to be disturbed by the guests. The BiblioSniffer is dubbed Raffles (after the hotel and the criminal, but mostly because it is just so darn cute).
Samantha and James arrive more or less completely smashed. They make a blatantly fannish run at Jane but are politely prevented by Charlotte.
“Here Comes Trouble”
No title. Open Road, Asphalt leading to a desert scape, blinking neon lights A desert gambling town. Early morning, sun rising. Quiet. Roar of an engine, Car comes screaming in and blows out a tire. Comes screeching to a halt A woman gets out of the car, kicks the car in frustration. Our heroine. She makes her way towards the city in the distance. We see a neon sign for The Suicide King.
Empty foyer of the Casino. Our Heroine tosses a full bag aside. What’s in it, maybe money? We don’t know. Is the Suicide King a casino or a hotel? Perhaps it is both. We don’t know. From the style and the architecture it might be the 1930s.
Another woman appears. She is slight, and has long hair. She might be blonde, might be a red head. Her teeth sparkle like glass or diamond. Her teeth are blue glass. Actual library material. The teeth feel both real and heavy. It’s weird. Ramsey can tell how strange it is from the booth.
Woman with blue teeth offers our heroine a Safe Room. Her name is Camille Devereaux. The Safe Rooms are in a high tower, even though from the outside the Suicide King clearly didn’t have a tower.
Another car arrives. From the car and other indications, we now believe the movie feels like it was made in the 50s. Very fluid as to the time the film was set in, as opposed to the time it was filmed. Mobsters in classic mobster suits with classic mobster fedoras get out of the car. They toss Our Heroine’s abandoned car. Apparently they do not find what they are looking for (the bag?) They set the abandoned vehicle on fire and make their way onward.
There is a stutter in the projector lamp. Tangiers fiddles with it. Sound also is distorted. After a moment the film continues.
Our Heroine (Jane) is in her Safe Room. She unzips the bag. It contains a veritable mountain of cash and a severed human head. You never see the face of the head, but from the line of the jaw and the shape of the forehead it appears masculine. The head is always filmed completely in shadow, even though nothing else in the room is. Perhaps an unusual technique has been used. It makes Ramsey think of the Antagonist who is also called the Shadowman.
The screen flickers again and again the sound is distorted. The foot lights go down for a second and then they come back up. After a moment, all the lights, even the Emergency Lights go out. It is completely dark.
Jane and Charlotte stand up and turn towards the booth. Their shadows are cast against the screen. Another stutter. Everything freezes for a stutter second. The projector, the screen, Jane and Charlotte all remain eerily frozen. Something is Happening.
Blue grabs everything that kills. Mark attempts to pull Jane out of the light, Darina attempts to likewise pull Charlotte out of the light. IsTarantula tweaks gravity so none of the guests can get out of their seat. Ramsey slams the projector booth window closed.
Mark and Darina are horrified to discover that Charlotte and Jane aren’t there any more. They’ve become shadow and light. Ramsey smells celluloid burning as he closes the window. The two blink out of existence just like projected images as the window closes. They vanished along with the film on the screen as the light went out.
Mark rises and speaks persuasively to calms the crowd and assure them that Nothing Is Wrong. Darina scans the crowd for suspicious behavior. The crowd seems to be generally impressed by the special effects but want to know why the film has stopped. Only Samantha and James seem upset but they again, they’re pretty drunk. IsTarantula lets people stand up.
Everything goes black. Not just the usual kind of everything, but Everything Everything. It is really quite black. There is no light. Mark and Parvuil switch their vision to various spectra. In no spectrum or bandwidth is their any light whatsoever. This is dark roleplaying, folks.
A second later on the stage we see the silhouette of a man. (We all take a moment to sing a snatch of Bohemian Rhapsody) It is clearly the same man whose severed head we saw in the film. It is also clearly the Antagonist, the Shadowman. He is a little bit early for his reservation.
He flourishes for our benefit and for the crowd. He is a person-sized and shaped absence of everything to all of Parvuil’s enhanced senses. He is not actually being projected on to the screen, but standing slightly in front of it. A disembodied shadow with just enough presence to not be quite two-dimensional.
Blue empathies at it and starts falling into a black hole of the mind. She tries to pull back as fast as she can. Will she be fast enough with only Average Reflexes?
The Gretch is clenched and shaking. This disturbs Darina more than anything else. The Adams are moving. IsTarantala wants to contain the Antagonist and does some quick quantum math in her head. The Antagonist is what happens when really large versions of IsTarantula dies. Crossing the Event Horizon that is the Shadowman would be bad. IsTarantula ponders universal Armageddon.
Ramsey is tinkering frantically to make the projector produce light on all spectrums everywhere at once as a weapon to use against the absence of light that is the Antagonist. He pushes 20% Spiritual, 20% Physical and 20% Mental. It’s Go Time.
Darina attempts to seduce the Shadowman. Her seduction is all about allowing people to be vulnerable around her. Welcome, let down your guard, the water is fine. She makes lots of eye contact. The kind you can’t ignore. Using her mouth. No, not for that, you dirty minded … Draw him more into our space. Pushes 15 spiritual and 20 physical
Mark declares Primacy and pushes 60% This Is Our House! We are the Host, we do not tolerate bad behavior. If you keep this up, we shall have to ask you to leave. In fact, we shall insist.
Darina angles her seduction to support Mark’s Primacy play.
IsTarantula works to synergize with Ramsey’s effort by locking the Antagonist down without actually crossing his Horizon. IsTarantula and Ramsey instinctively work together; they know how each other’s work as well as only two creatures that hate each other as much as they do possibly can.
Parvuil is ready to deal with whatever comes up and however it goes amok. He considers crazy possessed priestess and out of control steampunk technology to both be equally likely.
The situation has been Framed. This is our House, we are the Host, and you play by our rules. The Shadowman is oddly happy with this. We are playing the right game, we are playing it the right way, and we are stepping up.
IsTarantula starts pushing everything at him. She wants him to know what it’s like to be sat on by an entire Nebula. It’s the right amount. The Shadowman isn’t fighting back very hard.
Darina catches the Antagonist’s ‘eye.’ She has the feeling of a gaze. She has caught the eye of nothing. Now we have a relationship. A nod and a wink and a promise that he’ll get back to her.
Blue. When she pushes in a hand grabs her and begins pulling her in. Blue cannot resist that pull, but her strength is what saves her. She burns 20% Spiritual and is able to rip free. Parvuil sees a shadow pass over Blue’s face and a cold surrounds her, but she resists the pull of that cold, cold mind.
Ramsey has readied the thing. It is prepped. He’s giving the Antagonist Both Lightbulbs.
The Shadowman reaches into his heart. And he offers us a gift from Mark. He throws a tiny apocalypse. It immediately activates. Parvuil acts immediately. He snatches up the box and throws it back at the Shadowman, but Mark recognizes his own inventory. It’s a Lumivore and there is no minimum safe distance.
The Shadowman vanishes and The Lumivore is loose! We are left us to deal with the oncoming Apocalypse.
The new Creation hears the four most frightening words ever. Ramsey has a plan!
IsTarantula will lock down and super focuses the light. Blue will telepathically link with Parvuil to lens and super focus the projector light. Ramsey will then give the Lumivore both bulbs!
Mark makes everyone feel present and in the moment and Heavy. We become More Real. We Are The Host. This Is Our House.
Darina draws the audience’s eyes to the exits and away from the incipient Super Nova. “Thank you For Attending Our Spectacular! See You Again Next Time. Free Drinks in the Bar!” The crowd begins an orderly exist.
IsTarantula will sit on the Super Nova. 40 Physical and 30 Mental.
Here’s what happens:
The door is thrown open and a comforting burst of light that feels oddly familiar bursts out. It feels like the Burn. It feels like Bluebird. It gets focused and concentrated. The pending Shadowpocalypse contracts. We contain it, we deactivate it. It stops growing by over feeding. It goes dormant but is not destroyed. A little sphere falls out. Mark boxes it. “Back to Inventory with you…”
The Usher Adams sacrifice themselves to protect the audience. James throws up.
We summon an Adam from outside the theater (who grows a buttoner) and brings James and Samantha back to their room.
Two Adams have been destroyed but we will honor them. Charlotte and Jane Fallows are lost (what will become of DeSaen?!?) but we might be able to bring Jane and Charlotte back; Parvuil recorded them as shadow and light.
Mark makes a note in his inventory that the Lumivore is ‘refurbished.’
That’s it for now.