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A Late-Summer Night's Gatch by Susan Bartholomew
A Late-Summer Night's Gatch by Susan Bartholomew
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A LATE-SUMMER NIGHT'S GATCH


The Players:
BERG KATSE, leader of Galactor, who seeks to conquer the world SOSAI X, Katse's boss
NAMBU, protector of Utoland
KEN THE EAGLE, commander of Nambu's army
NAMBU'S ARMY:
JOE, Ken's second in command, consumed with revenge for Galactor's murder of his parents
RYU, a merry man of wine, food, women, and food JUN, a female warrior
JINPEI, a Page, who yearns to fight
Assorted GOONS

THE SCENE:
A battlement atop Katse's metallic castle. Moonlight. Two GOONS standing watch.

1ST GOON:
Tis quiet.

2ND GOON:
Yeah, too quiet...

(1st GOON turns to 2nd GOON with a look of disgust and whacks him on the head)

2ND GOON:
Hey!

1st GOON:
Stick to the Shakespeare, will ya? Let's try that again!

2ND GOON:
Get off my back, they drafted me into this from maintenance!

(They begin again)

1ST GOON:
'Tis quiet.

2ND GOON:
Yea, the night is still,
Yet even now, our dread Lord Katse
Seeks to win his due with cunning bold.

1ST GOON:
Should Katse's plans come to their full term, I envy not those who fight for Utoland's lost cause. 2ND GOON:
Means't thou the mighty Gatchaman?

1ST GOON:
Silence, fool! Know thou not
Tis death to utter that forbidden word?

2ND GOON:
Worry thou not! Tis but a silly rumor,
Bred by those who lack of stouter humor

(Gunshot from off. 2nd GOON drops dead. KATSE, in full regalia, attended by several rifle-toting GOONS, sweeps on, blowing the smoke from the mouth of his gun. Ist GOON snaps to attention)

KATSE:
That will teach thee, methinks,
To pay such silly rumors greater heed.

2ND GOON:
The hell with this, I'm going back to maintenance...(crawls away)

1ST GOON:
Good eventide, my Lord!
What brings my Lord to these cold winds this night?

KATSE:
Well, since thou asked, I'll tell thee:
As thou knowst, for many years hence
Hath I sought dominion o'er this planet fair Time and again hath i sent creatures of foul spirit And shining steel to prey upon the weak
And conquer them. Yet for all my efforts
I have naught to show, but scores of ruined plans And shattered dreams.

1ST GOON:
'Tis even so.

KATSE: (smacks him)
Shaddup!
The causes of my woes are many-
My officers who fail, my men
Who run at the first sign of blood or strife. But these are minor woes, tis true
Compared to the true cause of all my grief Whose powers challenge mine, against belief.

1ST GOON:
I know of whom thou speakest, Lord,
Yet cannot say their name, to spare thy wrath.

KATSE:
Yea, I speak of Gatchaman,
Those warriors who fight for this broad land. Scientifically enhanced, their Ninja skills Hath thwarted my intents time and again. Yet soon shall I have a new and deadly plan Which shall terminate their army, to a man. Let us retire to my lab, without delay,
To greet the birth of Gatchaman's last day! (KATSE and his GOONS exeunt.)

SCENE 2
(Nambu's office. NAMBU is pacing, awaiting the Science Ninjas. JINPEI, in civilian clothes, enters)

NAMBU:
Ah, Page! What news?

JINPEI: (rather ticked)
The Ninja team is on its way, my Lord.

NAMBU:
Fair news this is, for my heart fears
Some new and potent evil comes this day.

JINPEI:
How come I had to be the page? I wanna fight, dammit!

NAMBU:
Good page! Such evil words!
Thou knowst well thou cannot fight
Until thou gainst at least fifteen more pounds And two more feet

JINPEI:
Crap!

(The Science Ninja Team, in civilian clothes, enters. JOE is dragging a passed-out RYU.)

KEN:
Good morrow, my Lord Nambu!
To thee as well, little Page...

JINPEI:
Blow it out yer ass! (leaves)

JOE:
Methinks I like that lad,
He hath some balls.

KEN:
My Lord, the Science Ninja Team
Hath heard thou summons, and art here
To lend aid to our planet loved so dear.

NAMBU:
Good team, the problem's thus:
Our great and potent enemy, Lord Katse,
Hath launched yet another attack upon our land Even as we speak, his mighty host
Lays siege to fair Utoland's west coast.

KEN:
Foul butcher! Murderous fiend!

JOE:
My Lord, I pray you give me leave-
Allow me to take on Katse's dark machine
And I swear to you upon my parent's graves That I shall well and truly whip his ass!

NAMBU:
Good Joe, we all know well
Against Katse there are few stronger arms Than thine-thy body count indeed
Stretches well into the digits five.
Yet I fear thy urge for payment
For thy parent's untimely passing from this life Will lead thee to a fate well nigh to theirs.

JOE:
If that be my lot, my Lord, so be it,
As long as Katse shares my path to Hell!

KEN:
My brother, forget thee not
Our actions as a team doth wreak
Far greater havoc than thy could alone.
And we each alike can claim
A heart-felt injury at Galactor's hand.
Did I not see mine father, the brave Red Impulse And known to me but for a few scant minutes As my sire, sacrifice his life's own blood To stop Berg Katse's evil, and save the Earth? Be not impatient, for I swear to all
We four shall work as one, and bring his fall.

JOE:
Well, shit.

(RYU moans)

NAMBU:
Is our good Ryu hurt?

KEN:
Nay, my Lord.
As you know, our good-hearted friend
Doth love to make merry unto all the hours And so, upon this morning fair,
Doth have a hangover set to curl his hair.

JOE:
Tis true, methinks,
Those fourteen cheeseburgers also did not help.

NAMBU:
And what of our good Jun,
Who hath not said one word this meeting through?

KEN:
Fear not, my Lord-tho Jun hath naught to say, He art among the strongest men I've seen!

JUN:
Good my Commander, how often
Must I say to thee: I art a woman!
See'st thou not my slender form,
My snow-white skin, my raven hair-
Knowst thou a man who ever waxed so fair? (Pause. KEN looks at her for a beat, then slaps her heartily on the back)

KEN:
O, Jun, thou merry prankster!
(General disbelief among the troops)

JUN:
Upon my life, my Lord, one day shall I
Be thy executioner or thy bride!

(JINPEI rushes on)

JINPEI:
My Lord! Katse's demonic beast
Rears its hellish head upon our land!
The army must move now, else all is lost!

KEN:
Now, my brave men, let us soon away
Gird on our armor, and our weapons dread, Take to the cloud-specked sky and use our sway To make Galactor's halls choke with their dead- As with one voice, our four clear voices cry, To stop Berg Katse's evil plan, or die!
(Team cheers. JINPEI folds his arms and looks miffed. RYU moans again and sits up)

RYU:
What'd I miss?

JOE:
Worry thee not, good stout-hearted pilot, We will brief thee on the way to work.

(The team exits, RYU still a bit wobbly)

END ACT I

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