Apart from the other five ebon-cloaked abductors, a prominent crimson figure lurches forward. Smoothly floating across the room with a knife in hand, he taunts the Council with fearsome gestures. A female member cries and rocks as her hopes for survival wander away. As if her tears called him forth, the crimson leader s knife finds its way to her neck as he begins to address his captives. I m sure you are all wondering why you are here bound in such a way. More importantly to some of you is how we managed
to find this inner sanctum of yours. I m sure you re all a bit uneasy, well it has been said that real art should have the capacity to make us nervous. All will be answered in due time; for the night is long and it is ours for the taking, ladies and gentlemen. As he speaks, the leader flails like some classical actor upon the stage. At every climax, the dark cloaked assailants clap in approval. A few of the captives wince at the mockery. The young woman with the knife to her neck retches. This wonderful setting of yours provides such excellent cover for the likes of us, don t you agree? He waits for a second as if to receive an answer from his gagged victims. Of course you do. Now before you accuse me of going off on a tirade like a mad scientist, despot or nitwit super-villain on some various shaped cartoon panel, let me begin to explain to you the predicament you are in. I assure you this quandary of yours is quite inimitable.
With the captive s chairs placed in a circular fashion; the sinister host enters the center of his abducted and carries on. You see, ladies and gentlemen, the world is a stage and as actors it is our sworn duty to perform upon this stage. Therefore, it can only be believed that the world is ours for the taking. For too long have we been slave to screen, platform and dais. For too long have we been sully to the mediocrity of the written word. Directors and producers be damned. The evil figure chuckles: eerily his followers chuckle synonymously in the background. Ah, what a scene! Look at you all. Illustrious celebrities you are. But, actors you are not. You know nothing of true acting. You are no better than a night mistress and my companions and I will no longer tolerate the pimping of our craft. Tonight, you shall fade away into the night and be born anew. Your sacrifice will usher in the renewal of the arts. This is true originality at its finest. The leader grabs the bottom of his cloak and begins to dance a jig kicking his feet wildly in the air. We have seen the Promised Land and it is ours for the taking, ladies and gentlemen. His cohorts begin to explode in applause and dance wildly like some chaotic old time gospel revival. The leader laughs at the display. One of the bound Council members struggles to verbalize beneath the gag. Infuriated, his face turns a deep red. The crimson-cloaked abductor approaches him, his body contorting strangely, pointing the edge of his knife into his captive's face. You ve got something to say. Please, by all means. I can appreciate last words, especially from the head of the glorious Council. With a voice filled with cynicism, he cuts the binding gag from the Council leader s mouth. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!! WHAT DO YOU SEEK TO PROVE HERE? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO WE ARE!?! YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL IN NOTHING TONIGHT! YOU TALK AS IF YOU ARE OUR BETTER! YOU TALK OF ORIGINALITY, YET YOU SPEAK IN TIRED CLICHES AND QOUTES. THERE IS NOTHING ORIGINAL ABOUT YOU. KILLING DOESN T MAKE YOU BETTER, IT MAKES YOU A KILLER! I DEMAND YOU LET US FREE THIS INSTANT!
With a quick thrust, the crimson man pokes the Council leader s jugular. Blood spurts freely. The bound woman across the room faints in her restraints as the crimson man turns to them, deadly serious. You see lady that is true freedom. I never did like that old dote. Regardless, this is the true freedom that I bring you. This is our artwork at its finest.
Listen carefully. You see, this is the operation of free will. As great characters should be capable of great goods and evils. The audience must be able to sympathize with the protagonist. As the hero, I may commit great atrocities, yet I may always have the option of redemption. I committed a great crime in the name of art. As such, I move unerringly to my doom, yet I will be rectified in the end when the true genius of my masterpiece is
known. Bounding across the room, the self-proclaimed anti-hero hoists onto a podium.
Please understand this Death is the ultimate consummation of love. He points to the gushing figure bleeding out on the floor. My friend here was not a victim due to any fault of his own. His death was an act of love on my behalf. The love I have for my craft; the love that has left the acting world. That is, until now. You see, absurdity must be attempted to achieve impossibility. You must cause a little storm in the eye of the calm. As a result, I will introduce the new Actors Guild and with their introduction I will give you the method to my assumed madness.
Commander: standard (rank 1)
As the tension builds in the room, one of the cloaked figures splashes water onto the unconscious female. She awakens startled and turns her dizzy attention to the podium. The crimson leader leans in closely and removes his theatrical mask. He unleashes a wretched grin in her direction. Five eyes go wide as they realize who their abductor is. "That's right, Marshell Percy, classically trained actor extraordinaire at your services." The blond actor pronounces with beady eyes and a devilish pearly white smile. "How long has it been my friends? I'd say about five years since my tragic death, wouldn't you? Heh, don't look so shocked. You look as if you've never seen a Machiavellian act before." A muffled 'madman' can be heard whispered amongst the crowd. "Please listen carefully, if this little treat shocks you, then before your curtains close tonight, you may be completely in awe.
You see, in order for the new era to commence, I had to completely destroy the former me. By faking my own death, I have become harbinger and herald to the new frontier of acting. The greatest stories are tragedies and convincing the world of my death was just act 1 of this great tale.
Standing before you are five proud actors whom have also dedicated themselves to the new era of acting. All of whom have thrown away their former lives to be born anew. As well, you're lives will be sacrificed for the greatest actors in the world to inhabit. Freedom in its purest form. We are no longer men and women, but embodiments of the performing arts. We will become anyone and everyone within the globe. We shall take away the mediocrity of your lives and act it out as we see fit. Within your world,
we will change ours one person at a time gathering faithfuls to the cause as we go.
If our acting is truly magnificent, then no man shall no the difference until we see fit. You see great Council, this is true acting. Men and women inhabiting the lives of those around us with the world as our stage. We will kill at will and become anything the role desires. You see, Art begins to truly imitate life. My god, such utter brilliance! Does it not excite you to stand before such great times?" Suddenly and all at once, the five captors shuffle and struggle to purge themselves free. "Settle down folks, it gets better."
Sir Angelo Oldcastle
Detective: standard (rank 1)
"You may ask how we shall pull off such feats of daring. Well, I bring forth over 100 years of acting dominance. Now let me introduce my players as well as reveal to you my plot. First..." Marshell gestures to one of the cloaked figures. "...we have Sir, Angelo Oldcastle." The slightly tall gentleman removes his theatrical mask to reveal a chiseled muscular jaw line. The classically handsome actor bows before Marshell. He addresses the crowd with a deep voice. "How do you do? Indubitably, some of you may know me as the great Detective Arick Huebris of the Arick Huebris Chronicles. A jolly good set of movies those were, if I may say so myself. As some of you lot, not over indulged in your own lives, may remember I died in an apartment fire a few years back. A grand show that was! Alas, it was just that...a grand show and nothing more. For here I stand before you, alive and doing quite well, thank you very much." The unen(I use bad words)bered crowd laughs as Oldcastle bows before them. "As a method actor, you all know that I have years of experience. Why, my many detective movies broke box office records worldwide. I have accomplished excellence in my art, which leads to my dismay. Indisputably, the pits of my excellence are living in this world of mediocrity. Once one touches the height of perfection in art, it becomes quite burdensome to wade in the waters of the merely ordinary. That is why I am here.
For this reason, it is I that provides the thorough examinations into our quarries. As a consequence of my many years in training for these roles, I have numerous connections throughout the world of investigation; I research, study and learn every detail, every movement and every nuance of the target before entering character. As we all do. For years, I have trained this lot for our ultimate role. It is without any skepticism to say, we have been studying you six for quite some time. Why at this point, I can mimic Mr. Leehan faultlessly. For instance, right now I'd gather he has made quite a mess of himself. Why, he has never been made of the sterner stuff, now have we Mr. Leehan?" They all laugh as the bound captive has in fact created a small puddle beneath his chair. "Now lads, let me disappoint you further as I tell you that we also know this old Guildhall better than you know your own homes. We've come and gone countless times during the days and nights. We've researched its every square inch. We've stolen do(I use bad words)ents, blueprints and materials necessary to lay you in the predicament you now face. The lot of you has met here so often that you've become quite careless of your surroundings. I'd gather many would do the same in your state of affairs. One minute you were having a pleasant assembly, the next you are the last prodigies of a soon forgotten style of acting. It is with no remorse that I bid you all ado. You sad lot you." Sir Oldcastle nods at Marshell and bows. "Sir Oldcastle, we thank you." Marshell says. Oldcastle bows again and withdraws into the shadows.
Tactician: standard (rank 1)
A shorter figure swaggers with a cocky strut into the center of the constrained. Pulling her mask off, she is revealed to be a woman. "Ms. Sheryl Quimby, ladies and gentlemen. Or should I say just ladies, for Ms. Quimby will be replacing you, Ms. Danby." Marshell peers over the podium at the still crying actress tied to her chair. She turns her head in disgust. Marshell smirks and persists. "Ms. Quimby reportedly had a huge drug overdose three years ago. Alas they buried her away, Isn't that right Ms. Quimby?" Quimby steps forward.
With a thick southern drawl, the fierce faced red-head leads her discussion. "Thass right! Now, lissen up ya'll. Life should be an adventure. I plan to live mine ta tha fullest. Sorry if'n I's gots ta break some of you eggs on tha way. Cause this here...is the true magic of what we do. You folks KNOW that I'ma wild woman of tha action world. You can't SIT here and tell me that I didn't play the HELL out of that ol Jessica Pendleton girly. Plus, I'm the best stunt girl in town. But most importantly, I am quicker on my toes than any of ya. As ol Marshy likes to say, 'Her knowledge of tactical analysis is unprecedented.' Well, I ain't much on the big words like ol Marshy, but I reckon that's telling it like it is. Don't git me wrong now. I ain't no dummy. You bunch of con artist never saw me comin cause it takes a con artist to trick a con artist. Course putting you folks down WAS easy pickings. Hell, all it took was a little cloak and dagger, a little fentanyl in tha ol air ducts and presto. But soon enough we are goin ta be all over the world. We are goin ta play every part in town. Great and powerful folks too. Hell, with my action and stunt movie history and tha acting chops this bunch provides, I'd reckon no force is safe.
For instance, you may ask, 'how are six actors going to take out the great warriors of the Earth?' Lissen closely, cause I reckon Im'a tell ya. Through death. If I know anything, it's that all life knows death. Within that big ol library of yours is a script to nearly EVERY play and EVERY movie made. Luckily for us, it has all been catalogued ta disks and is easily accessible on them good ol computers of yours. Like ol Marshy says, 'Nothing is original' and if there is a way ta kill something, we're goin ta kill it. We gotta observe and study all the time to get our roles just right and we're gonna do just the same here. We're goin ta find every little dirty flaw you got. Isn't that right Marshy?"
Percy steps forward chuckling and continues, "That is correct, Ms. Quimby. As you explained in your delightful way, everything has its flaws. A mighty master of magnetism assaulted in his sleep by mere odorless carbon monoxide pumped through the vents by a service technician. A powerful telekinetic must eat and drink, but who is serving him...and what is being served? A being whose skin is impervious to pain must still breathe. His butler places a simple plastic bag over his head while he watches the game. Masterful fighters are nothing to the sniper rifle fired from hundreds of feet away as they are enamored by the gorgeous blond walking towards them. So you see, we are not trying to fight you to the death, no...we are not fighters. Well, Quimby is, but we are not." Quimby smiles and throws up a fist. Marshell resumes, "We just seek your end by any means necessary. For your death harkens the coming and truly we only do this out of love. You may return to your place Ms. Quimby...thank you."
General Von Pelt
Force of Will: standard (rank 1)
"Machine guns, grenades, swords and knives!! Oh how I love the smell of napalm in America! I bet you pissants are wondering how we will obtain such things." A rusty voice comes from the background. A grizzled old man leaps into the center of the bound already unmasked. "Let's face facts here boys and girls; we are all filthy rich actors. The world is ours in a handbag. Oh and if your wondering how these sniveling actors will learn to wield such weapons of mass destruction, Let me introduce myself to you...Mr. Richard Von Pelt at your service. General Von Pelt to you, boys and girls. Don't act like you don't know me either. I was making the moving pictures before half of you were sucking your momma's teat. I bet you maggots are wondering how and when I died. Well, jokes on you. I never faked my death. You weak minded simpletons forgot about me. That's what you rich types do to old farts like me. Forget about us. Well Mr. Percy didn't forget. I've even worked with most of you, I believe. I've got nearly 40 years of experience in acting. War movies to be exact. That a necessity here. Why, I know how to get what we need and I know how to use what we get...and I can't wait to use it on the entire filthy world."
Invisibility: standard (rank 1)
Marshell takes to the center stage once again. "Now the question presents itself, how will we get away with such acts? Well, it's quite simple really. We will remain invisible. You see, as we are considered dead before the public eye, we are like phantoms of this exquisite opera. The greatest actors imaginable performing right before your eyes unbeknownst to you. The audience should forget the actor even exist when watching a performance. This is true acting: to immerse yourself in the role. To accomplish our goals we had to die and now like phantoms we take the guise of the fallen. We enter their persona, their lives; we walk every step as theirs, breathe every breath as theirs; all the while standing right in your face. The trick is not being discovered, for discovery ruins the act. So, we shall remain invisible like phantoms until the great reveal.
Mr. and Mrs. Ray Talbain
Transformation: standard (rank 1)
You, the great council, will be first in our epic crusade, followed by whomever we choose, until eventually our followers will have pierced the heavens. We will inhabit all worlds showcasing the greatest performing arts existence has ever witnessed. Disguised as the Council, we will use all the precious assets at your disposal for our needs. The Council has great connections in the business. Together, we will have makeup, costumes,
special effects and all the magic that turns us into anyone we choose. Your garbage man, the cook, a mailman, a super hero or even a...A GOD...soon, we will be all these things. As for now, we are glad to say we have Mr. and Mrs. Ray Talbain: former actors turned make up artist and special effects extraordinaire." The final two of the masked kidnappers reveal themselves, however the audience is no longer intrigued. Their gags do not mask their disgust. "You see, we have talent in spades. Simple tools and tricks that we have all picked up in the industry will suit just fine until we open up the cache of your fortunes right here in the heart of the Guildhall. The days of archaic acting are behind us ladies and gentlemen. Behold a brave new future. Simply marvelous indeed, wouldn't you agree Mr. and Mrs. Talbain." The creepy hippy looking couple smiles meekly in return. Mr. Talbain's eyes grow wide as he speaks. "We...we just want to kill...and...and...play dress up...again." He says mildly.
Mind Control: standard (rank 1)
"Indeed, now as you all know, great guilds cannot exist without the help of great patrons. A new guild such as ours will have many enemies indeed. For ours is such a craft that is currently frowned upon. Regretfully and with this in mind, it is good to have a little security. Well, we have one better. I consider her our patron saint; a small hedge of protection in case things get out of hand. You see, our little assemblage did not meet out of any small coincidence...no. It was something much more in tune with fate. Through a common dream, we all saw her. She goes by the name of Raya Sayang. Like a beautiful star she brightly guided our thoughts to one accord. Appearing in our dreams, she directed our attentions to one another. She has become our muse: our hidden benefactor and we are grateful. So, with no further ado, I close the curtain on this scene and usher in a little imbalance in the order."
Marshell and his minions step forth and surround their captives. Each actor stands behind the guild members they will be assuming the role of; swaying rhythmically to some unheard sound. The former guild tremble and shutter: some in fear and others in futile attempts to escape. With strange ceremonial daggers in hand, the cloaked strangers stab aggressively into the confined over and over and over. The ambiance is of pure chaos and disorder as the entirety of the room seems to glow an eerie blood red as the gory scene unfolds. The new guild begins to dance and shout about wildly. Marshell grins a horrid Cheshire smile, "Let there be disharmony."