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The Three Tenets of Tribeworld

The action takes place almost exclusively in Reality Space.

Scene 1

[A futuristic but minimalist room. There are six seats, each with a Reality Space helmet attached. The chairs are set out in three pairs, each pair sitting back-to-back. One by one, LEX, AMBER, TRUDY, SALENE, PRIDE & JAY enter through a door at one end of the room. We do not see their faces, as they are all out-of-shot. They make their way to the chairs, sit and put their Reality Space helmets on. JAY sits on the chair back-to-back with AMBER, LEX sits back-to-back with SALENE and PRIDE sits back-to-back with TRUDY. The voice of RAM speaks the following all throughout this process:]

Ram: Subjects, you have been chosen to take part in a little experiment I like to call “The Three Tenets of Tribeworld”. Catchy title, don’t ya think? The experiment takes the form of my new interactive computer game system, which will test your wit and intellect. Not to mention sanity. I know it sounds scary, but then again, it wouldn’t be fun if it wasn’t scary, right? [Chuckles to himself.] C’mon now, don’t dawdle. I’m too excited by my latest project for you guys to hang around. Oh and by the way, no food or drink is allowed to be taken into the playing area. While you guys are getting yourself organised and strapped in, how about I tell you all how this experiment works? Then again, I was going to explain it to you anyway, so why am I asking you? [Chuckles to himself.]
In three pairs, you will each complete some little challenges. Keep an eye out for an object you’ll collect during your adventure, it’s related to the lesson you’ll learn. Oh, and there’s also a Christmassy theme. It wasn’t my idea, then again my little friend told me to put it in, and who am I to argue with an intelligent being like him? Or her? Or it? I forget.
I know you’re all eager to begin, so let’s get started. Bear with me, this won’t hurt a bit. At least, I don’t think it will. Have fun!

[The ‘interactive computer game system’ is switched on. Some lights flash, some oscillating sounds come out, which seems to surround the six characters, and the whole room becomes enveloped in white light. Silence.]

Wow, that was awesome!

Scene 2

[JAY and AMBER enter through an opening into the Mall. The place is virtually empty, devoid of objects, except from a small monitor facing the couple and a huge snow globe, about human height, near the bottom of the stairs.]

Amber: Well, this looks familiar.
Jay: Yeah. [Looks around.] Bit empty though.
Amber: I know. Somebody really cleaned up the place. I’ve been wanting the other Mall Rats to do that for years.
Jay: [points to the monitor in front of them.] Let’s see what it says on the monitor here.

[JAY and AMBER go to the monitor.]

Amber: [Reading:] ‘Make your way from one place to another. In the meantime, here’s something to think about: “Jay, Ram, Cloe be reformed to miser’s partner.”’ [To herself:] Jay, Ram, Cloe be reformed to miser’s partner? What does that mean? Is it supposed to be some kind of connection?
Jay: I dunno. But we should at least remember it. It may be important later.
Amber: Agreed. C’mon, let’s explore the Mall, find out what we’re supposed to do here.

[The couple leave the monitor.]

Scene 3

[LEX and SALENE enter through an opening into Ram’s Palace. A small monitor stands in front of the couple. There are four PC screens in the room in a line with a green button below each one.

Lex: Where the heck are we?
Salene: Looks like some kind of computer room or something.
Lex: No kidding. So what’re we supposed to do here?
Salene: Maybe that screen’ll tell us.

[They approach the monitor.]

[Reading:] ‘Make your way from one place to another. In the meantime, here’s something to think about: “Dee & Brady with tea round cuddly toy.”’
Lex: What?
Salene: [Shakes her head.] That doesn’t make sense.
Lex: C’mon, let’s investigate this place.

[The couple leave the monitor.]

Scene 4

[PRIDE & TRUDY enter through an opening into the Eco Tribe camp. There is snow on the ground. There is a wooden sign a little distance in front of them.]

Pride: Hey, waddya know? We get to play a game at my old roost.
Trudy: [Shudders.] Just as well I put my thick jacket on today. It’s freezing out here.
Pride: I guess it’s amazing what Reality Space can do, huh?
Trudy: I hope there’s a roast going on somewhere. I’m a little hungry.
Pride: You shoulda thought of that before we came here, shouldn’t you?
Trudy: I know. Still.

[They approach the wooden sign.]

[Reading:] ‘Make your way from one place to another. In the meantime, here’s something to think about: “Swap Lottie’s Em for Xmas plant.”’
Pride: Wow. A cryptic clue as well as an educational challenge.
Trudy: So what’re we supposed to do here?
Pride: I dunno. Let’s just walk around and see what’s here.

[The couple leave the signpost. Just then, something scuttles across behind them, unbeknownst to the couple. It is fast and animalistic in nature.]

Scene 5 - Mall, bottom floor 1

[JAY meets AMBER at the bottom of the stairs.]

Jay: I’ve searched my half.
Amber: And did you find anything?
Jay: Nope, it’s just completely bare. You?
Amber: Kinda. [Draws JAY’s attention to the large snow globe behind her.] Not bad, huh?
Jay: What is it?
Amber: Isn’t it obvious? It looks like a giant snow globe. Look, you can see a christmas tree and a couple of reindeer inside.
Jay: [Looks inside the snow globe.] Cool. There’s some mistletoe in there as well. But what’s it doing here?
Amber: Who knows? Could be important, thought, for whatever it is we’re supposed to do here.
Jay: Perhaps. Let’s investigate upstairs.

[JAY & AMBER walk up the stairs.]

Scene 6 - Eco Tribe camp

[PRIDE & TRUDY are walking along the Eco Tribe camp. The place is empty except for wooden houses and a campfire.]

Pride: Man, this place is dead. I hope nothing’s happened to the people here.
Trudy: It’s only Reality Space, Pride.
Pride: I know that, it’s just, it’s weird seeing my old home empty, like it’s been abandoned. I don’t even know what our task is.
Trudy: Maybe we should keep walking. Something’ll bound to turn up.

[Just then, something scuttles across, exactly as before only closer behind them. TRUDY stops and looks behind her.]

Trudy: Did you hear that?
Pride: No. What did you hear?
Trudy: I dunno. Like someone’s following us.
Pride: [Looks around.] There’s no-one following us. If there was, I’d be onto them faster than you could think.
Trudy: I just hope you’re right, Pride. I really do.

[They continue walking. They reach a small wooden sign before the entrance to a snowed-over woodland area.]

Trudy: [Reads:] ‘Keep walking, the time will come’.
Pride: Well at least we’re going the right direction.

[The begin walking through the woodland section.]

Scene 7 - Mall, top floor 1

[JAY & AMBER reconvene at the top of the stairs.]

Amber: Anything?

[JAY shakes his head.]

This is so weird. It’s like some removal men came along and completely gutted the place.
Jay: I know. And with none of the other Mall Rats around, it’s starting to get a little creepy round here.
Amber: Yeah. Sad, really.
Jay: [Points to a room opposite the railings at the top of the stairs.] Have we had a look in there?
Amber: I don’t think so.

[JAY walks towards the room and enters it, AMBER following behind. There is a hole in the wall, more than human height from the floor. An arrow on the wall points towards the hole with a sign beside it.]

Jay: [Reads the sign:] ‘This way - and step on it!’
Amber: I didn’t know there was a time limit to this task.
Jay: The hole’s too high for us to crawl through. We’d have to stand on something just to reach it.
Amber: Wait a second. Maybe that’s what the snow globe’s down there for. To carry it up and stand on it so we can go on to the next bit.
Jay: Yeah, but that would mean bringing the snow globe all the way here. Up the steps.
Amber: What, you’re not saying you’re not strong enough, are you? A big strapping guy like you.
Jay: Listen, I can carry a heavy object as well the next guy.
Amber: Well, there’s only one way to find out, isn’t there?

[AMBER starts to walk down the stairs. JAY follows her.]

Scene 8 - Ram’s Palace 1

[SALENE reaches the four PC monitors and stares at them while LEX walks to the opposite end of the room.]

Lex: I don’t get it. What’re we meant to be doing here?
Salene: You keep asking me, Lex, and I keep telling you: we’re supposed to be solving some kind of puzzle.
Lex: Don’t tell me this is gonna be one of those brainiac-type missions. That’s totally not my style.

[LEX reaches the end of the room. There is a closed door on the wall and a notice above it. He tries to open the door but is unable to.]

The door’s locked. [Looks up.] There’s a sign up there.
Salene: What does it say?

[LEX looks straight at SALENE. She looks back at him.]

Sorry. [Walks to where the door and notice is. Reads:] ‘Find the stranger.’
Lex: ‘Find the stranger’? There’s no strangers here. Unless they’re hiding behind the machinery. Then that would be a proper mission, not some geeky puzzle-solving fest.
Salene: Maybe it’s got something to do with those screens over there. [Points to the four PC monitors.]
Lex: Y’think?
Salene: Possibly.

[They walk over to the PC screens.]

Scene 9 - Mall, bottom floor 2

[JAY & AMBER reach the snow globe at the bottom of the stairs.]

Jay: Looks like this’ll be a two-man job.
Amber: Don’t you mean a one-man-one-woman job?
Jay: Yeah, whatever.

[JAY grabs the bottom of one end of the snow globe, AMBER grabs the bottom of the other end.]

Jay: You ready?
Amber: I’m ready.
Jay: After three. One, two…

[They lift the snow globe up. It’s not terribly heavy.]

Let’s get this thing up these stairs.

[They begin carrying the snow globe up the first set of stairs.]

Scene 10 - Woodland 1

[TRUDY and PRIDE walk through the woodland area. At this point, sounds of rustling in the bushes/trees and faint, high-pitched voices start occurring within ear-shot.]

Trudy: [Getting increasingly uptight.] Can you hear that?
Pride: [Listening out.] Maybe you?re right. I think there are people following us.
Trudy: People? Don’t frighten me like that, Pride.
Pride: Calm down, Trudy. It’s probably nothing.
Trudy: Easy for you to say. I’m not trained in martial arts or any of that stuff.
Pride: Okay, fine. But I think we should stick together. Just on case.

[They walk on closer together. The rustling, movements and voices continue and seem to become more frequent.]

Trudy: I’m glad Brady isn’t here to go through all this. As if he hasn’t been traumatised already by the Chosen and the Technos and -
Pride: [Stops.] Look, there’s no point panicking about these things roaming about the place. Everything’s going to be fine, okay?
Trudy: [Takes a deep breath.] Okay.

[They continue walking.]

It’s just that I’m afraid that something’s gonna jump right out in front of us and -

[Suddenly, an elf-like creature jumps out in front of the pair, letting out a strange guttural calling sound. PRIDE immediately gives it a swift punch and a kick and the elf falls immediately to the ground. TRUDY gathers her wits from the fright as it lays motionless on the floor.]

Scene 11 - Mall, half-way up the stairs 1

[JAY and AMBER reach the first flight of stairs. They put the snow globe down.]

Amber: [Catching her breath.] Boy, this is hard work!
Jay: [Catching his breath.] I’ve had worse jobs. Like setting up the Reality Space system.
Amber: Or getting Lex to wash his clothes.
Jay: Heh. At least this makes a change from being stuck in a room with wires and computers everywhere.
Amber: Well, we kind of are here as well, if you think about it.
Jay: I know, but at least I get to do stuff with my girlfriend and not with Ram.
Amber: Aw, you charmer you.

[They smile at each other.]

Scene 12 - Ram’s Palace 2

[LEX & SALENE reach the four PC monitors. There is a person’s name on each of the screens.]

Lex: So, what now?
Salene: Well, the sign says, ‘find the stranger’, maybe this is it. There’s four names here and maybe we need to work out what the odd-one-out is.
Lex: Doesn’t sound too difficult. What’re the names?
Salene: [Reading from the monitors, left to right:] ‘Bob’, ‘Ebenezer’, ‘Carol’ and ‘Belle’.

[They think for a moment.]

Lex: Well, we had Bob the dog for a while. We’ve never had a Mall Rat called any of the others, so the odd-one-out must be Bob.
Salene: I dunno. It seems more complicated than that.
Lex: What d’you mean? Seems simple enough to me.

[LEX goes to the monitor to the far Left and presses the green button. As soon as he presses it, he gets an electric shock.]

Aah! Stupid thing!
Salene: Well, that’s obviously not the right answer.
Lex: This is a waste of time. If we don’t get an answer soon I’m gonna kick that door down and to hell with the mission.

[LEX paces towards the door at the end of the room.]

Salene: Wait, Lex! Wait a second.

[LEX stops.]

I’ve heard of these names before. I remember reading a book at school about a mean and nasty old man from olden times, who was taught a lesson by some ghosts. There was someone called Ebenezer in it, there was someone called Bob in it too. Bob Cratchitt. And there might have been a character called Belle. So the odd-one-out must be Carol, because that was the name of the book, ‘A Christmas Carol’ and the others were names of characters in the book.
Lex: Then what’re you waiting for? Press the button saying, ‘Carol’ and let’s get going.

[SALENE goes up to monitor second from the right and presses the green button. After a moment, the door at the end of the room opens.]

Salene: Perfect.

[LEX goes through the door, followed by SALENE.]

Scene 13 - Woodland 2

[PRIDE & TRUDY stand by the unconscious elf.]

Pride: You okay, Trudy?
Trudy: [Catching her breath.] Yeah, I’m okay. At least I will be, eventually.
Pride: That was some surprise attack. I never saw him coming. They’re pretty sneaky, these creatures.
Trudy: Yeah, well let’s go before we get attacked again, for god’s sake.
Pride: Wait a second.
Trudy: What?!
Pride: There’s a note attached to that creature.

[PRIDE kneels down and reads out a label attached to the elf’s tunic.]

[Reads:] ‘Show no fear, I’m not here.’

[They hear some more rustling and quiet, high-pitched voices. TRUDY looks around her.]

Trudy: We’d better get moving. Right now. I think they’re closing in on us.

[PRIDE stands back up.]

Pride: ‘Show no fear…’ I see.
Trudy: You see what? What do you see?!
Pride: If we don’t show that we’re afraid, the creatures will ignore us. Simple. Trudy: Easy for you to say. You’re never afraid. Ever. What about me?
Pride: You just have to learn to take the fear and translate it into something positive. Like strength or assertiveness. That’s how I conquer my fears.
Trudy: Well, we weren’t all brought up by nature, Pride.
Pride: [Sighs.] C’mon, let’s keep walking.

[PRIDE & TRUDY carry on walking. The noises continue.]

Scene 14 - Mall, half-way up the stairs 2

[JAY and AMBER look at both the left and right-hand steps that reach the top floor.]

Amber: So, which way should we go?
Jay: Does it matter?
Amber: I guess not.
Jay: Well let’s just pick one. The sooner we can get this thing up there, the sooner we can finish this task. So how about we go [points to the left-hand set of steps] that way?
Amber: Okay.

[JAY & AMBER grab each end of the snow globe as before.]

Jay: After three. One, two…

[They lift the snow globe and begin carrying it up the left-hand set of stairs.]

Scene 15 - Woodland 3

[PRIDE & TRUDY continue walking along the woodland area.]

Trudy: [Talking to herself.] Show no fear. Show no fear. Show no fear.
Pride: That’s it, keep telling yourself that and they’ll go away.
Trudy: I wish I’d never signed up to this stupid experiment. It’s just a way of freaking people out and turning them mad.

[Just then, another elf-like creature starts sneaking silently up on the couple.]

Pride: I wouldn’t be too harsh. It’s just a test, that’s all.
Trudy: Just a test? Are you kidding? Ram is using us as lab mice in some sick experiment of his. He’s warped! So I think you’ll find I have every reason to be…

[TRUDY suddenly realises that someone is right behind her. She stops, swings round and punches the elf right in the face. It falls immediately to the floor.]

Pride: Well, that’s one way of not showing any fear.
Trudy: I hate it when people sneak up on me like that!
Pride: Okay, let’s go.

[They continue walking.]

Scene 16 - Mall, half-way up the stairs 3

[JAY & AMBER are carrying the snow globe up the left-hand set of stairs.]

Amber: There must be… a better way… than this.
JAY: Don’t give up now.
Amber: I’m not. I’m just… saying.

[They almost reach the top.]

Amber: [Struggling.] Aah… I’m not gonna… hold on… For much longer!
Jay: Keep going Amber… we’re nearly there!

[They reach the top of the stairs. They put down the snow globe and rest for a bit.]

Man, that was tough!
Amber: You’re telling me. Why couldn’t’ve been a chair or something? We could’ve stepped on that and go through the hole in the wall.
Jay: Ram has a way of making it difficult for his subjects. It’s like he enjoys it.
Amber: At the expense of others? Well good for him[!]
Jay: C’mon, we need to move this thing under the hole so we can get to the next part.

[AMBER agrees. They take hold of either end of the snow globe.]

One, two…

[They lift the globe and carry it to the room where the hole is. They place the globe underneath it. JAY climbs up onto it and lifts himself up into the hole. AMBER does likewise.]

Amber: Thank god that’s over with!
Jay: Yeah, here’s hoping the next part has no heavy lifting.

[They crawl through the hole.]

Scene 17 - Woodland 4

[PRIDE & TRUDY continue walking.]

Trudy: I think it’s working, that idea of translating anxiety into strength. I don’t feel that afraid any more.
Pride: Well, you’re certainly not complaining as much as before.
Trudy: Hey!

[They laugh.]

And I don’t think I can hear these horrible people any more.
Pride: [Stops.] Wait, did you hear that?
Trudy: [Stops.] What now? I can’t hear anything.
Pride: Exactly. I think it’s safe to say that you have overcome your fear.

[They start walking again.]

Trudy: What, and you weren’t afraid at all throughout that?
Pride: Not really.
Trudy: And what about that creature you knocked out?
Pride: That was instinct rather than fear.
Trudy: Okay, I believe you[!]

[They approach an opening between some bushes with a wooden sign beside it saying, ‘This way.’]

Pride: After you.

[TRUDY goes through the opening before PRIDE.]

Scene 18 - Arcade room 1

[LEX & SALENE enter a room similar to the last one. Only this time there are three entrances to corridors at the opposite end of the room - the left-hand entrance has a sign above it saying ‘approved’, the centre entrance has a sign above it saying ‘gift’ and the right-hand entrance has a sign above it saying ‘some seat?’ There is also what looks like a large arcade machine near the centre of the room facing the doors.]

Lex: [Immediately spots the arcade machine.] Ah, that’s more like it.

[They approach the arcade machine.]

Salene: [Reads from the screen:] ‘Pick the right path or get a nasty surprise.’
Lex: ‘A nasty surprise’. Is that some kind of threat?
Salene: Look, there’s some exits over there. [Points to the three corridors.] There’s a sign saying ‘approved’, a sign saying ‘gift’ and a sign saying ‘some seat?’ above them.
Lex: More damn word games? Come on, gimme a break.
Salene: That must be what the screen’s referring to. The three exits. Pick the wrong one and we get a ‘nasty surprise’.
Lex: What kind of surprise?
Salene: How should I know?
Lex: Nothing a tough street-fighter like me can’t tackle, I bet.

[SALENE rolls her eyes.]

Scene 19 - Mall sewer 1

[JAY & AMBER crawl through the hole and emerge at the Mall sewer. There is a door with a lock at their end of the sewer river. Four large buttons are on the wall next to the door and four buttons on the opposite wall, with different coloured lights that look like Christmas lights above each button. There are two plates on opposite walls next to the buttons with the imprint of a right hand on them; one with the letter ‘J’ in the end JAY and AMBER are in and one with the letter ‘A’ in the opposite end. JAY & AMBER look around.]

Amber: Well, I expected something nicer than this.
Jay: So long as we don’t have to pick up any more heavy objects, I’m not complaining.
Amber: So, what do we do here?
Jay: First thing’s first: let’s investigate the area.

[JAY & AMBER start exploring the area.]

Scene 20 - Chasm 1

[TRUDY & PRIDE emerge from the other side of the opening to enter a snow-covered outdoor open space. Ahead of them is a chasm and an old-looking rope bridge with wooden planks spanning it. A teddy bear sits in the middle of the bridge. There is a wooden sign next to the large drop.]

Trudy: [Looks around.] Ah, we’re out of the woods.
Pride: [Notices the rope bridge.] Oh yeah? [Points to it.] We may be out the woods but we’re not finished yet.
Trudy: [looks at the bridge.] Oh, great.

[They walk over to the wooden sign.]

Pride: [Reads:] ‘Pride comes before a fall’. That’s not referring to me, I hope.
Trudy: Well, there is no way I’m crossing that bridge. It doesn’t look safe at all.
Pride: [Points to the teddy bear.] And is that a teddy bear sitting in the middle? Why would something like that be there all on its own?
Trudy: 'Cos it’s Reality Space, that’s why.
Pride: Oh yeah, I was forgetting. Well, it looks like we have no choice. [Looks around.] I don’t see any other exits.
Trudy: No way, Pride. No way am I crossing that!
Pride: Well what do you prefer? You wanna go back through there [points to the opening where they came from] where the elf creatures are and face them again?

[TRUDY looks at PRIDE. She rolls her eyes in resignation.]

Pride: I know it’s a tough decision but it’s our only option. For the sake of the experiment.
Trudy: [Bitterly:] Fine. For the sake of the experiment.
Pride: [Looks back at the sign.] I wonder what the sign means? ‘Pride comes before a fall’.
Trudy: Perhaps, if we take it literally, that if someone crosses the bridge after you, it’ll collapse.
Pride: Then I guess you’ll be going first, right?

[TRUDY glares at him.]

Scene 21 - Mall sewer 2

[JAY & AMBER have finished exploring.]

Jay: The sewer’s blocked at both ends, so it looks like the only way out is through this locked door. [Points to the locked door.]
Amber: Lights, buttons, doors? It’s like some weird arcade or something. And in the Mall sewer of all places. Why?
Jay: There’ll be a point to it. There always is. This is Reality Space, after all.

Amber: [Reads the sign above the locked door:] ‘One must trail murky waters to succeed.’ [Looks at the door.] There’s a lock there, so obviously we have to find a key.
Jay: ‘Murky waters’?
Amber: It wouldn’t be referring to this place, would it?
Jay: [Looks at the sewer water.] Oh, I hope not.
Amber: [Looks at the sewer water.] Well, it looks like one of us’ll have to dive down there and get the key.
Jay: Hey, wait a minute, who said the key’s down the bottom of that sewer?
Amber: Where else is it gonna be? We’ve searched everywhere else and it’s blocked both directions.
Jay: I am not going in there!
Amber: The sewage system hasn’t been used for goodness knows how long.
Jay: Yeah, that doesn’t exactly help the situation.
Amber: We’ll I’m certainly not setting foot in that filth. I’ll stay here and keep watch[!]

[JAY & AMBER stare at each other. After a few moments, JAY sighs and starts taking his top off.]

Scene 22 - Arcade room 2

[LEX & SALENE stand at the arcade machine.]

Lex: I used to love playing games like these when I was a kid. Y’know, shoot-'em-ups, fighter, beat up everything that moves. Man, the money I wasted on these things. I wonder what this one is? [Starts pressing buttons and moving the joystick to try it out but nothing on-screen happens.]
Salene: C’mon, Lex, there’s no time to be playing video games.
Lex: No way, Sal, I’m feeling nostalgic just now.
Salene: In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the middle of a mission.
Lex: Yeah yeah, to find out some world-shattering truth that no-one cared about in the first place.
Salene: That’s not the point. We signed up to this, so we have to take it seriously and see it through to the end.
Lex: Listen, babe, stop getting uptight about it. We’ll carry on once I’ve had fun here, okay?
Salene: Do not call me ‘babe’.
Lex: Whatever.

[LEX continues pressing buttons and pushing the joystick around but still nothing happens.]

C’mon you stupid piece-a junk, work!
Salene: Look, if you’re gonna spend all day messing about with that thing, I’ll just continue without you.
Lex: We’ll carry on in a minute, I need to work out how this works first.
Salene: It’s clearly not working, Lex, so can we just go?

[LEX presses buttons and pushes the joystick but still nothing happens.]

Lex: Maybe there’s a loose connection or something.

[LEX goes round the back of the arcade machine and begins investigating the back of it. SALENE gets frustrated and storms off towards the three corridors. She goes towards the right-hand entrance that has the sign above it saying ‘some seat?’. Suddenly, a spirit clothed in a black hooded robe leaps out of the corridor entrance and goes straight for her. SALENE screams. LEX turns immediately around to see the spirit entering SALENE’s stomach. She falls to the floor.]

Lex: Salene!

[LEX runs to her and kneels down beside her.]

Salene! What the hell happened? Salene?!

[She lies motionless.]

Oh…

[Short pause as he bangs his fist on the floor.]

Damn it! Why couldn’t you’ve waited for me?!

Scene 23 - Chasm 2

[TRUDY is at the edge of the bridge, getting ready to cross.]

Pride: Just take a deep breath and make your way across.
Trudy: Wait. This is Reality Space. Does that mean the Safeties are on or off?
Pride: I dunno. Ram never mentioned anything at the start.
Trudy: So whatever happens, if this bridge does go down, everything’ll be okay, right?
Pride: We can’t take that chance. You know what he’s like.
Trudy: [Sighs.] Brilliant.
Pride: Look, don’t panic. Remember what I said about translating fear into something positive.

[TRUDY looks at PRIDE, looks at the other side of chasm, takes a deep breath and takes her first step.]

Scene 24 - Mall sewer 3

[AMBER waits on JAY, who searches under the sewer water. After a moment, he rises from the water, carrying a key attached to a fob, which is in the shape of a sprig of mistletoe. He hands it to AMBER.]

Jay: There. I hope you’re happy.
Amber: You found the key, didn’t you?
Jay: I’m investigating the other buttons.

[JAY gets out of the water to the opposite ledge. He starts to dry himself off.]

Amber: [Looks at the key fob.] Interesting looking fob here. What’s mistletoe got to do with a sewer? Ram works in mysterious ways, I guess.

[AMBER takes the key and puts it in the lock of the door. As she turns the key, a glass partition suddenly falls, dissecting the sewer water and separates the couple.]

Jay: Hey, Amber.
Amber: Jay! What happened?
Jay: What? I can’t hear you.
Amber: What d’we do now?
Jay: Huh?!
Amber: [To herself:] Oh, great.

Scene 25 - Arcade Room 3

[LEX kneels over SALENE, who is lying motionless on the floor. A voice starts coming out from the arcade machine.]

Voice of Ram: Looks like it’s game over for you, isn’t it, Lex?

[LEX gets up & runs over to the arcade machine. The screen has the words ‘Game Over’ typed across it.]

Lex: Listen to me, you sick, twisted piece of filth, you bring Salene back right now!
Ram: Whoo, you’re a passionate one, aren’t you?
Lex: Don’t play games with me, you moron. Now what happened to her?
Ram: I’m really not sure. Shame, really. If only we could ask her. Oh well…

[LEX kicks the arcade machine hard.]

Hey! Watch your temper, mister. This machine took ages to program.
Lex: [Sighs. To himself:] Listen to me, I’m talking to a stupid computer. [To the arcade machine:] Look, you gotta level with me. My friend is lying there, wasted. It was my own fault, I should’ve listened to her instead of wasting my time trying to play some video game. We’ve got to complete this mission but I can’t do it without her. So you know what? It’s up to you. What’re you gonna do?

[LEX waits for an answer before dejectedly walking away from the machine.]

Ram: Okay. I think you sound pretty genuine. Tell you what, I’ll give you the option of resetting the game if you want.

[LEX goes back to the machine.]

Lex: What, really?
Ram: Sure, since I’m in such a good mood today.
Lex: Great! So, what do I do?

[The display changes to an Options screen. There are options for Difficulty, Lives and Controls.]

Ram: Just choose your options and press ‘Start’.

[LEX looks at the screen but struggles to understand the words.]

Lex: C’mon man, you gotta help me out.
Ram: Oh, for crying out loud. Do I have to do everything myself?

Scene 26 - Chasm 3

[TRUDY walks slowly along the rope bridge. It sways and creaks slightly but enough to keep her on-edge.]

Pride: That’s it, Trudy. Keep going.

[She continues until she reaches the teddy bear.]

See if you can pick that bear up.
Trudy: [Half to herself:] As if I don’t have enough to worry about.

[TRUDY gingerly picks up the teddy bear whilst almost losing her balance.]

Pride: Okay, you’re nearly there. Just jeep calm.

[TRUDY continues to walk gingerly along. Suddenly, a plank breaks off and she almost stumbles over. She screams in panic.]

Pride: Wow, Trudy!
Trudy: Pride! I don’t think I can do this!
Pride: Yes you can, you just have to keep focussed and not let your fear get the better of you! The bridge’ll hold, I promise.

[TRUDY takes a couple of deep breaths and eventually starts walking slowly along. She is nearly at the other end, which continues to creak & sway precariously.]

Pride: C’mon, Trudy, you can do it!

[A couple of steps later, TRUDY makes it to the other side. She is clearly relieved.]

Trudy: Oh thank god for that! Thank god for that!
Pride: There you are. You’re getting good at confronting your fears.
Trudy: I do not ever want to go through something like that, EVER!
Pride: All right. Just you catch your breath. I guess it’s my turn now.

[PRIDE steps up to the edge of the bridge and looks across it.]

Trudy: [At the teddy bear:] You had better be worth it, pal!

Scene 27 - Mall sewer 4

[JAY & AMBER stare at each other at opposite sides of the glass partition.]

Amber: What do we do now?
Jay: I can’t hear you!
Amber: I said… oh, never mind.
Jay: I’ll check under the water!

[JAY jumps back into the water and diver under. In the meantime. AMBER checks the lock again but the door still won’t open. She looks up at the sign above the locked door. The words have changed.]

Amber: [Reads:] ‘Press the right buttons or use the right hand. And don’t get fobbed off.’

[JAY resurfaces and gets back on the ledge.]

Jay: The wall reaches all the way to the bottom! I can’t swim under it!
Amber: Jay, I think we need to press the buttons!
Jay: What?!
Amber: I think we need to [points at the buttons] press these buttons and the wall will lift back up!

[JAY seems to understand her so he walks over to the buttons. AMBER looks back at the sign.]

‘Don’t get fobbed off’. [She takes the key out of the lock and looks at it.] The mistletoe. Something tells me this’ll be important. [She places it in her pocket and walks over to the buttons.]

Scene 28 - Arcade Room 4

[LEX stands in front of the arcade machine whilst SALENE lies motionless on the floor beside the right-hand corridor exit.]

Ram: What difficulty setting do you want?
Lex: Easy, of course.
Ram: I figured, otherwise I wouldn’t be helping you like this. And how many lives do you want?
Lex: [Thinks for a moment.] How about a hundred?

[The voice of RAM laughs out loud. LEX bangs his fist on the arcade machine.]

Shut it, weirdo!
Ram: I’m sorry, but you gotta admit, that was pretty hilarious!
Lex: Look, are ya giving me any lives or not?
Ram: It’s not you who should be getting the lives, is it, Lex?
Lex: [Sighs.] I guess not.
Ram: But I’m afraid the default setting in Reality Space is one. And since you already have a life, there’s no other option, is there?
Lex: [Looks at SALENE.] In that case, I choose one life and give it to Salene.
Ram: As you wish, master. Now just press the Start button and we shall begin a new game.

[Lex looks at the controls.]

It’s the big red one that says ‘Start’!
Lex: Oh yeah, right.

[LEX presses the Start button. The screen goes blank. At this point, the spirit that had entered SALENE’s stomach escapes from her stomach and returns to the right-hand corridor entrance. LEX faces her to see her start to come round. He runs to her and kneels down.]

Salene: [Groggily:] What happened?
Lex: It’s alright. I managed to save your life.
Salene: How?
Lex: Never mind how, the main thing is you’re okay now.

[LEX helps SALENE up on her feet.]

Scene 29 - Mall sewer 5

[JAY & AMBER study the buttons and the hand plates.]

Jay: [To himself:] This hand plate. The letter ‘A’. [Looks across at the hand plate on the other side.] That’s the letter ‘J’. [He places the palm of his right hand on his own plate. Nothing happens.] I knew it. We need to reach each other’s plate because of the first letter of our names. [Looks at the glass partition.] Well, that’s not gonna happen.
Amber: I think we have to switch these lights on! [Points to the buttons and the lights.]

[JAY puts his thumbs up to signal that he understands her. They begin pressing the buttons at random but nothing seems to happen. Then AMBER presses a button and the light above it comes on. She turns to try and let JAY know and notices one of his lights is on too. JAY presses another button and the light goes out. She turns back and notices her own light has gone out too. She turns back to JAY.]

Jay! Jay!!

[JAY turns round.]

We have to press the buttons in the right order!
Jay: What?!
Amber: [Pointing at the buttons.] We have to press the buttons in the right order!

[JAY shrugs his shoulders. AMBER groans.]

Scene 30 - Chasm 4

[PRIDE begins his journey carefully across the rope bridge. It sways and creaks slightly.]

Pride: Boy, this makes your heart race, doesn’t it?
Trudy: You don’t need to tell me that.

[After a moment, some faint noises seem to emanate from the opening where the couple originally entered from. They start getting louder.]

Trudy: Wait, can you hear that?
Pride: I’m too busy concentrating to hear anything right now.

[The noises and voices get slightly louder until a group of three elf-like creatures, exactly the same kind as from the woodland, enter through the opening, carrying axes.]

Trudy: Oh my god, Pride, it’s them!
Pride: Who?
Trudy: The creatures from before. They’re coming after us!

[The elves approach the bridge.]

Trudy: They’ve got axes, Pride! Get to the other side, quick!

[PRIDE tries to go faster but the bridge is swaying too much for him to gain any momentum. The elves begin chopping at the ropes. TRUDY starts panicking but then starts making up snowballs and throwing them at the elves.]

Hey you! Leave us alone!

[Suddenly, another plank breaks off and PRIDE stumbles to his knees. He clings on, however, picks himself back up and carries on walking as fast as possible.]

Scene 31 - Mall sewer 6

[JAY & AMBER continue to work out the situation with the buttons and the lights. AMBER gestures JAY to watch her and points to the button on her side that switched the light on. She presses the button and the light switches on. She then gestures JAY to press the button on his side that caused that light to come on, which he does. AMBER then presses another random button on her side and both lights go out.]

Jay: I see. I’m starting to get it.
Amber: Easy when you know how, huh?!
Jay: What!
Amber: Never mind!

Scene 32 - Chasm 5

[The elves try to cut through the ropes as PRIDE continues to cross the bridge.]

Trudy: C’mon, they’ve almost cut through the ropes!

[TRUDY continues throwing snowballs and manages to hit one of the elves, who stumbles backwards.]

Ha, take that!

[The elf recovers, however, and continues chopping.]

You’re nearly there, Pride, come on!

[PRIDE almost reaches the other end when the elves successfully cut through the ropes. The bridge collapses and PRIDE clings on as it swings, hitting TRUDY’s side of the chasm. The elves cheer and jump up & down.]

Pride! You okay?!
Pride: I’m okay. Just managing some fear of my own, that’s all!

[PRIDE starts climbing up the bridge. TRUDY puts her hand out, he grabs it and he gets up onto the other side of the chasm. They hug each other.]

Trudy: Oh, thank god for that! Heck, I’ll even praise Zoot!

[The elves stop cheering and get ready to leave through the opening. PRIDE makes a snowball of his own and angrily throws it at the elves, hitting one of them in the back of the head.]

Pride: That’s what you get for trying to waste me, you animals!!

Scene 33 - Arcade Room 5

[LEX & SALENE stand at the three corridor entrances.]

Salene: So you gave me an extra life and that’s when I regained consciousness?
Lex: Yeah. It was a bit like starting a new game.
Salene: Weird. Well, I guess we’d better carry on.
Lex: Right. I’m getting sick of this place anyway.
Salene: [Looks at the three signs.] These signs must mean something. ‘Approved’, ‘gift’ and ‘some seat?’
Lex: Yeah, but what?

[SALENE shakes her head.]

Salene: That ghost, or whatever it was, the one that attacked me, looked a lot like the ghost of Christmas future. You know, from the book. But what would that signify, if anything?
Lex: I can’t say I know too much about the book, so I wouldn’t know.
Salene: In A Christmas Carol, Scrooge was visited by three ghosts. One representing the past, one representing the present and one representing the future. And they all came to teach Scrooge a lesson about his evil, selfish ways.
Lex: Wait a second. You said ‘some seat’, right? That sounds a bit like ‘future’.
Salene: How d’you mean?
Lex: Well, ‘some’ is another word for ‘few’ and ‘seat’ is another word for ‘chair’. ‘Few’, ‘chair’. It’s a stretch but it kinda works, doesn’t it?
Salene: [Thinks for a moment.] And ‘gift’ could be another word for ‘present’, so ‘approved’ must mean ‘passed’, only it’s a play on words. That’s amazing, Lex!
Lex: Yeah, well.
Salene: See, you can do word puzzles.
Lex: Who said I couldn’t?
Salene: Whatever. So I guess we’d better choose an entrance.
Lex: Sure. [Looks at the three entrances.] Which one though?

Scene 34 - Mall sewer 7

[JAY & AMBER continue switching on lights one-at-a-time. JAY presses another button but all the lights go out again.]

Jay: Gah, this is ridiculous.

[Suddenly, an alarm goes off and smoke starts pouring in seemingly from the roof. The couple look up and they realise that the place is starting to become engulfed in smoke.

Hey, what the hell’s happening?
Amber: Jay, I think we’d better get the right sequence, now!

[JAY seems not to hear her, as he notices the sign above the locked door has changed again. It reads, ‘You’re taking too long!’]

Jay: Ram, you sick little runt.

Scene 35 - Arcade Room 6

[LEX & SALENE look at the three entrances, trying to decide which one to go through.]

Lex: Let’s just try the centre one. I’m getting tired of hanging around this place.
Salene: But what if another ghost attacks us?
Lex: I’ll take it on no problem. Besides, I’m ready for 'em this time.

[LEX steps towards the central corridor entrance with the sign ‘gift’ above it. SALENE follows on behind. Just as he is about to go through the entrance, a large ghost with dark brown curls of hair, wearing a fur-lined green robe and a holly wreath set with icicles leaps out of the corridor entrance. LEX gets himself ready for a fight.]

Lex: C’mon, then. What you got for me, huh?!

[The ghost looks at the couple for a moment.]

Ghost: [In a deep, jovial voice:] Follow me.

[The ghost turns and floats back down the corridor. He drops a book onto the floor. SALENE picks it up and looks at it.]

Salene: It’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
Lex: Well, whaddya know? C’mon.

[LEX goes through the corridor entrance, followed by SALENE.]

Scene 36 - Chasm 6

[PRIDE & TRUDY study the teddy bear.]

Trudy: What could it mean?
Pride: Who knows? How did the clue go at the start of this whole thing?
Trudy: It was something to do with Lottie’s Em.
Pride: Yeah, Lottie’s Em and a christmas plant.
Trudy: I don’t get it.
Pride: Well, let’s move on. There might be some more clues at the next part. Besides which, I don’t wanna hang around here any longer.

[PRIDE & TRUDY start walking away from the chasm and through another opening in the bushes and shrubbery.]

Scene 37 - Mall sewer 8

[Smoke starts enveloping the sewer as JAY & AMBER frantically try to work out the correct sequence of lights. AMBER presses a button and the light sequence goes off again. She starts coughing.]

Amber: Aah, this is impossible!
Jay: Don’t give up Amber! Just one more try and we’ve got it!

[They begin the sequence again. They also start coughing due to the smoke, which gets increasingly thicker. Eventually, JAY presses the fourth button - the eighth button in the sequence - all the lights start flashing and the glass partition lifts up. Smoke, however, continues to pour in.]

Jay: Yes!

[JAY immediately jumps in the water and reaches AMBER’s side. He gets up onto the ledge.]

[Between coughs.] C’mon, let’s get the hell outta here.

[They reach the locked door but they still can’t open it. AMBER gets out the key and tries the lock but it still won’t open.]

Jay: What’s wrong?
Amber: I don’t get it, the door still won’t open. [Coughs.] I’m choking to death here. Are the Safeties on?
Jay: According to my lungs, I suggest they’re not!
Amber: So how do we escape?
Jay: [Ponders for a second then realises.] The plate. Quick, Amber, get to the other side and put your hand on that plate over there. [Points to the plate on the other side.] Go!

[AMBER jumps in the water and makes her way onto the opposite ledge, coughing profusely.]

C’mon, you can do it, Amber.

[She places her right hand onto the plate as JAY places his right hand on his. The locked door opens.]

It worked! C’mon Amber, let’s go!

[AMBER, breathless and choking, jumps back in the water and makes her way across. Suddenly, she trips and goes under the water. JAY immediately jumps into the water himself, ducks under and pulls AMBER up. They scramble up onto the ledge. They just have enough energy to pick themselves up and exit through the open door.]

Scene 38 - The Final Room

[The white light that enveloped all three couples in the very first scene slowly fades to reveal the couples sitting wearing the Reality Space helmets. A light flashes a couple of times and the oscillating sounds fade out. The couples start to get their bearings back before they take their helmets off, stand up, hug and greet each other and begin talking about their experiences. The voice of RAM Speaks the following throughout this exchange:]

Ram: That’s it. Experiment over. I’m glad to say what an over-reaching success it was, even if I do say so myself. So I guess you’ll want to know what the point of all this was. Humans are inquisitive creatures, aren’t they, and since you all completed your quests, I’m gonna tell you. This experiment is… hey guys. Guys!

[The six characters stop chatting to each other and pay attention to the voice. They don’t actually know where the voice is coming from.]

I’m trying to explain to you the reason for this exercise, the least you can do is listen to the master!
Lex: Oh yeah? Then show yourself if you’re so masterful!
Amber: Leave it, Lex.
Ram: Exactly, Amber. Hold your tongue and all shall be revealed. Now before we make known the Three Tenets of Tribeworld, do you remember the object you found near the end of your quests?
Salene: Yeah, we had a book. ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
Pride: We found a teddy bear.
Amber: The only object I can think of was that key with the mistletoe fob.
Ram: Excellent. And what about those clues you were given at the start?
Trudy: We had something to do with Lottie’s Em and a christmas plant.
Jay: Ours was you, me and Cloe. I think.

[LEX & SALENE look at each other.]

Lex: To be honest, we kinda forgot it.
Salene: Yeah. We must’ve been too busy carrying out the tasks to remember.
Ram: Oh, for cryin’ out loud. Next time, I’ll give my participants PDAs to carry around! Then let me remind you all what your clues were. Pride & Trudy, your clue was, ‘Swap Lottie’s Em for Xmas plant’. This was linked to Jay & Amber’s adventure. Got the link yet?
Lex: C’mon, you circus freak, spit it out!
Trudy: Wait. Christmas plant? You said you had a key fob, Amber, right?
Amber: Yeah, the mistletoe.
Trudy: Right, and ‘Lottie’s Em’ is an anagram of Mistletoe.
Ram: At last, the penny’s dropped! And your one, Lex & Salene, ‘Dee & Brady with tea round cuddly toy’.
Salene: Well, cuddly toy is the same as a teddy bear, so I guess that’s the link there with Pride & Trudy’s object.
Ram: Good, good. And finally, Jay & Amber, ‘Jay, Ram, Cloe be reformed to miser’s partner’.
Jay: It’s gotta be the book, hasn’t it?
Ram: Which, if you rearrange the first part you get…?

[The characters think for a moment.]

Man, talk about getting blood from a stone. You get Jacob Marley. Ebenezer Scrooge’s business partner before he died.
Lex: I’m getting bored with this. When are we allowed to leave?
Trudy: Right. I mean what’s with all this explanation? I have a baby to get back to.
Ram: Okay guys, I’ve kept you back long enough. The fact is, the teddy bear, which Pride & Trudy found represents security. The Christmas Carol book that Lex & Salene found represents wisdom. Finally, the mistletoe Jay & Amber found represents teamwork. These were the themes connected to your individual tasks. Thus, you have all discovered the Three Tenets of Tribeworld - security, wisdom and teamwork. These tenets should give you, and everyone, a framework by which to survive in this crazy world we live in. But that’s not enough. To succeed, everyone has to know and understand all three tenets equally. That’s why you were given clues to each other’s object. That is the true meaning of Tribeworld.
Lex: Brilliant, so can we go now?
Amber: Some things never change, huh?
Ram: Sure. Just go out the same way you came in. Remember what I said now.
Amber: Sure, we promise.

[The six characters begin exiting through the same door they entered in Scene 1.]

Ram: Goodbye, everybody, and enjoy the rest of your day. [To himself.] I’ve been wanting to say this for a long time, but this is a dang fine computer program!

THE END