Written by John S. Badger
SCENE: En route to Adventure Academy
SFX: establishing sound: Bus drives by. Bus from interior
GUIDE: Here we are, guys and gals! Adventure Academy. Once we get through the main gate, you’ll see our very own airstrip. Many missions require the use of quick air travel from the time we get the call. Past those trees-
STUDENT: Get a call, like on the batphone?
GUIDE: No. Not like on the batphone. We have an ordinary phone, for emergencies. No similarities. It’s not even red. So, now that we’ve passed the trees, you can see our very own aircraft. I guess our helicopter is out on a mission. Alright, students. If we can have our passes at the ready. We will be exiting the bus in just a moment. Please, do not touch anything unless you are otherwise advised. Is that understood? (pause) CARL?
GUIDE: Everyone keep your hands to yourselves. Adventure Academy has items that shouldn’t be touched.
SFX: Futuristic sounding aircraft takes off and flies away
GUIDE: And, there went the beast.
SFX: Bus stops. Door opens.
GUIDE: Alright folks. Up we get. As you pass the gentleman, show him your badges, he’ll scan them, and then proceed to the front door. CARL? Is your pass ready?
CARL: [mocking] Is your pass ready?
SFX: Kids shuffling out of bus. Beeping of scanner.
SCENE: Walking down hall as a class
SFX: Shoes squeaking. Echoing halls.
GUIDE: [distant, echoey] We’re going to go into this lecture hall. When you have a question, make a note of it, and save it for the end of the introduction to Adventure Academy. We’re going to meet Professor WATSON. [fading out]
SFX: Door partially creaks open. Students shushing. Simulator hydraulics. Muffled screams and whoas, like on a roller coaster.
ADORA: Dude. This school has simulators? That’s ridic!
GUIDE: [scolding] Lecture hall is THIS way, students!
SFX: door closes
GUIDE: Now that we’re all here, get settled in. Professor WATSON will be here any moment. CARL, you can put your bookbag at your side. I assure you no one will touch it. While we’re waiting… After we’re done here, we will be taking a tour, followed by a mission of our very own. We’ll have you separated into groups of three. We’ll just go ahead and divide you into teams. Make it a competition of sorts. You three... you three... and you three.
PROF: Good morning students!
ALL: Whoa! Gasp, etc.
PROF: You like that, huh? If you did, get used to it. Expect the unexpected. Here at Adventure Academy, we are immune to surprises, since they are so incredibly frequent. We are always on our toes, and we will always insist that you are too. You may be asked at any moment to rescue a princess in the mideast, fight a cyclops in Madagascar, or even protect a banshee in the Andromeda Galaxy. These are all missions we at Adventure Academy have done… within the past month. So, surprises aren’t allowed to surprise us. Roll with the punches, and prepare to conquer anything that stands in the way of our mission. Our missions could happen in ten minutes, 40 days from now, or... 600 years… ago.
STUDENT: 600 years?
PROF: That’s right. 600 Years ago. We have altered history in missions. You know how everyone says that to go back into time, you could unintentionally alter history? We do it all the time- okay… maybe not all the time. We definitely keep that to a minimum. But, we do have missions that require us to tweak little things here and there. We’ve had someone who fought alongside Alexander the Great, a pirate-
GUIDE: [correcting] Privateer
PROF: [counter-correcting] Who became a pirate. Whatever. We even have students who have gone into the not-so-distant future. What I’m trying to tell you kids, is that the world is our oyster. Crack it open with a knife, and suck all the meat out of it.
NICOLE: Uh. I’m a vegan.
PROF: I guess there’s one in every group. This isn’t the point. We have opportunities all around us to learn, and we must be ready for it. I feel like I’m going in circles with this. Okay… So, there are classes in this Academy. You need to explore the Academy, decide if it’s what you want to do. Once you’re enrolled, there is no dropping out. You are here until you graduate. The only way out early is death. I’m not even kidding about that. There isn’t a boring moment in this institution, we like to have fun, and when there’s downtime, you will be permitted to do nearly anything you want. But hear this: if you sign up at the end of the day.., you will be held accountable only to Adventure Academy. Make an informed decision- ask current students, get a feeling for what you’d get yourself into. But, don’t make a decision that you won’t want to live with three years down the road. You are all here because you were chosen. In case you didn’t realize before, you were approached. You didn’t know about this school until a couple weeks ago. And, if you don’t want to be enrolled here, that document you signed earlier gave us permission to wipe your memory that here… ever existed. Make the right decision for you. But I assure you… Once you see what we’re all about, you’re going to have a real hard time saying no. Any questions?
STUDENT: Mister WATSON-
PROF: Sorry. Gotta go. Have fun!
GUIDE: That was all the time Professor WATSON had. Alright kids. We go to the next room. This is a personal favorite of mine. Grab your stuff, and file on this way.
SFX: Students shuffling, grabbing belongings. Walking.
GUIDE: Meals are provided three times daily in the hall to our left. Farquharson Hall. Gourmet meals, including meals made from foods not native to earth. Let that sink in a second… Our chefs are gathering foods from all over the world, and the universe. Any dietary restrictions were already taken into consideration before you were ever recommended to attend Adventure Academy. It was part of the “drug test” you took for eligibility. Let’s all go into this room here.
SFX: door opens
GUIDE: Doctor WATSON will be explaining the purpose of this class. This was my favorite class, when I attended this school.
SFX: Students bustling. Winds down mid-lecture.
PROF: Good morning students! I am Doctor WATSON. You are sitting in Artifact Retrieval 102. Here, you will learn how to [fades down] distinguish the difference between an ancient relic, and a recent artifact. Nobody wants to get caught holding a faked item, while another archaeologist takes the genuine piece.
NICOLE: [whispering] Isn’t he the professor from the last class?
STUDENT: [whispering] Yeah, but he’s wearing different clothes.
PROF (cont’d): [fades back in after students done talking]. Here, you will not be issued text books. In fact, you will be issued one of these… A bullwhip. And, you will also receive these. A leather jacket and a full brimmed hat. These will help you be more efficient in your quests to finding ancient artifacts, lost to history. From Egypt, Peru, Nepal, and beyond. This class will prepare you to find exactly what you’re looking for, based on nondescript maps, whether from the branding on a human hand, or even a simple X written on a crude parchment. Unlike a towel, your bullwhip will truly keep you prepared for any situation that arises. I would love to take questions at this time… But, I cannot. Gotta go.
GUIDE: If you’ll grab your stuff, we will go into the next class. We get to learn about magical application.
SCENE: In Magic 101
PROF: Good morning students. You are sitting in Magic 101. You’re probably wondering too if I’m the only person here. I promise you that I am NOT the only educator on staff. But, I am the Introductory Professor. I know a lot about all the classes, but I am here to tell you about the classes, I don’t teach them. Far more knowledgeable professors will help you throughout your training here. If we can proceed… Here, in Magic 101, you will learn of certain magics. Magic does not mean good, nor does it mean bad. It is simply magic. You will determine for yourselves what differentiates good from bad on your own. White magic and black magic are constructs. In Philosophy 103, you can discuss the definitions of good versus bad with the hack professor Whitaker. What we teach here isn’t for the professors to determine, but rather for the student- you- to determine. In this class, you will learn primarily Latin. This can give you-
SFX: Alarm goes off
GUIDE: Students! Follow me! Come along!
SFX: All students getting up frantically.
PROF: [calmly alarmed] Don’t be alarmed. You are in Adventure Academy. Don’t be surprised by anything. Grab a jacket, hat and bullwhip as souvenirs. That’s right. There you go. Grab you a jacket too, young man.
GUIDE: Come with me, students. We’re going to go into this room.
CARL: [alarmed, panicked] What’s going on?!
GUIDE: Don’t worry. [reassuring herself] This is… just a drill… Like he said ‘always expect the unexpected.’ We’ll just stay in this room until we’re given the green light to continue our tour.
RADIO: All students, board the escape ships. All students, board the escape ships. This is not a drill.
GUIDE: Okay then… where are the- oh! This way. Come with me. Don’t be alarmed. This happens like… all the time.
SFX: Running crowd
GUIDE: Here! Right here! Go in! Three seats to a ship. Get in according to your assigned groups. Get in! I’ll be right behind you. If I’m not there 30 minutes after landing, get to safety. Strap in! You in front, hit that green button.
SFX: Cockpit closes. New alarm for departing ships. Rockets shoot off three ships. As rockets become distant, alarm in building ceases.
SCENE: In strange land
ADORA: What… just… happened..?
PAUL: [unimpressed] It’s nothing. This is all just part of the tour. They get us in factions, and then we make it back to the Academy. She said it would be some sort of competition. We find out what our mission is, we do that, we make it back, and bam… we’re the winners. Let’s keep cool, and just make it back. Our acceptance may be determined on our return, so let’s take it serious. But, let’s not buy into this bull either. Deal?
ADORA: I don’t know. I am freaked out. I’m terrified, actually.
NICOLE: I agree with him. What are the chances we’d have to leave the Academy in a rocket with no windows, and land in a foreign… country? Planet?
ADORA: Planet? You think we could be on a new planet? I studied astrophysics, and the likelihood of landing on a strange planet, able to breathe the air is practically zero. Technically, it is in the zeros. And [breathe in] I’m breathing air. Huh. Smells floral. Like… Honeysuckle? Reminds me of my grandparents’ place.
NICOLE: You’re smelling honeysuckle? I’m getting a barbeque. Like my dad would make on the weekends. Burgers. Oh, I wish I could have a hamburger.
PAUL; See, guys? It’s all a ruse. They’re messing with our olfactory systems, using our own memories against us.
ADORA: Against us?
PAUL: Yeah. [suspicious] Heyyyy… Didn’t you say you were vegan, NICOLE?
NICOLE: If you’re so smart; what’s our mission?
PAUL: I don’t know.
NICOLE: [bored] If this is a mission, this now qualifies as the worst. Mission. Ever.
ADORA: [distant] Hey! I found something you might like!
SFX: Metallic thud on ground
PAUL: [groggy] Huh? What’s going on?
NICOLE: ADORA just found something in the ship thingy.
ADORA: It’s a case. I think these are maps. They have-
NICOLE: They have numbers! 1 through 3. What do you think these numbers are?
PAUL: [still groggy] I don’t know. Tell me when you’ve got something. I’m tired, guys.
ADORA: I don’t know how you can sleep at a time like this.
PAUL: I’ll take third shift. Deal? [pause] Deal.
ADORA: Look. I noticed our ship has the number 3 on it. Maybe the other ships had 1 and 2. That could explain why the maps are numbered 1-3.
NICOLE: I guess? What else would we have to work with?
ADORA: Then, let’s look at map number 3. It has L Z in the center.
NICOLE: Landing Zone. L Z is for Landing Zone.
ADORA: Okay. We’re onto something now. That could mean we’re here. In the middle of nowhere, in a forest. Checks out so far.
NICOLE: [noticing other stuff] Hey. What are those?
ADORA: Huh? Oh. Huh… I don’t know.
SFX: Paper unrolled
ADORA: A key. Well, keys to the maps. Hey, PAUL! Wake up! We think we got something.
NICOLE: [whispering] I kind of feel like he’s just holding us back. Should just let him sleep next time.
PAUL: [groggy, annoyed] What
ADORA: We found a key to the map, I think.
PAUL: The map was locked?
NICOLE: No, dummy. A key, like an explanation. It looks like there’s a castle in that direction.
ADORA: Which way is that direction? There is no North/South explanation.
SFX: Tapping on glass object
PAUL: Our compass doesn’t seem to work either.
NICOLE: The sun set in that direction. I bet that means that way is east, and most maps are drawn north at the top. We can only work with assumptions, so I propose we go that way, to the castle.
PAUL: What if our mission is to get the rocket back to the Academy.
ADORA: I’m still not convinced this is a mission. The guide’s face was terrified.
PAUL: It has to be. It… [becoming unsure] It has to be, right?
NICOLE: For sure. Let’s just proceed, and worst case scenario, we return back here, if there’s not a mission for us at the castle.
ADORA: I guess we’re just hoping this is the right map, and the right coordinates.
NICOLE: [irritated] Do you have any better ideas, ADORA?
ADORA: Nope. Let’s just fight the dragon. Come along peasants.
PAUL: Could we not, right now? Let’s grab some of the food from the rocket, a flashlight, and let’s get on with this.
SCENE: Hiking through woods at night
ADORA: How much further do you think?
PAUL: Dude. You’re not THAT person, are you?
ADORA: You’re the dude. I’m just asking. After an hour, I was for sure we’d see a castle by now. Or, at least a village, or some- [pause] Well I’ll be.
NICOLE: Just in time, too. I really need to hit the head. Let’s find the restroom in the castle.
PAUL: Bad news… [referring to time period not having restrooms]
NICOLE: As I was saying it, I heard it. You two go on ahead, I’ll catch up.
PAUL: You heard her: let’s go. The castle reminds me of the one on the Disney movies.
ADORA: Neuschwanstein was the original one. That one’s in Germany.
PAUL: You think we’re in Germany?
ADORA: No no no no no. This one’s in a valley. That one’s up in the mountains. Huh… [skeptical] It looks like a village outside a castle alright.
PAUL: Yeah. What did you expect?
ADORA: A village outside a castle, sure. But, the pitchforks are made from branches. The haystacks are… hay… stacks. They’re not rolled. It looks like we took the rocket to… the 1400s. We’re not in Kans-
PAUL: [interrupting] No! I hate it when people say that. We cross into Missouri, and every. Single. Time somebody says that line. Every time. Just… No.
ADORA: Wow. Touchy.
NICOLE: [running up, slight panting] Guys! We’re not in 2024 anymore. We straight up left Kansas for the middle ages.
PAUL: [facepalm] For the love of Pete…
NICOLE: What? What happened?
ADORA: Nothing. Yeah. I’m starting to think we were in a time machine.
NICOLE: Or landed on another planet where civilization is 600 years behind us.
ADORA: Occam’s Razor doesn’t prepare us for TWO terribly unlikely situations.
PAUL: I’m telling you it’s a test. This is the most likely situation. We saw for ourselves the school uses simulations, in that classroom.
NICOLE: What simulation have you ever been in where you could walk miles and miles, and what’s that?
PAUL: What’s what?
NICOLE: That scratch on your face?
PAUL: I got it from a branch a mile back.
NICOLE: Exactly. What kind of simulation has that kind of technology?
PAUL: [still trying to convince himself] Obviously Adventure Academy..?
NICOLE: When you convince yourself of it, you let us know.
PAUL: I’m already convinced! We’re probably on some sort of Holodeck right now, and under observation. You probably… you know [referring to restroom using]… on the floor right over there, and people saw you do it.
ADORA: Oh, gross!
PAUL: What? I wasn’t going to tell you to hold it in indefinitely.
NICOLE: That’s wrong on so many levels. Let’s just get to the castle.
PEASANT: What kind of sorcery do you bring here in the middle of the night?
PAUL: Oh! I apologize. We didn’t see you there. We are simply passing through on our way to the castle.
PEASANT: [curious] What kind of business brings warlocks to our lands?
ADORA: We’re coming to see whoever’s in charge.
PEASANT: [over the top] Oh. We LOVE lord JOJELLA. She is our favorite leader. She lives in the castle, and we could not ask for a better lord.
NICOLE: Did you say lord JOJELLA?
PEASANT: I did.
NICOLE: Thank you. Guys, let’s head on.
PEASANT: Begging your pardon?
NICOLE: Don’t mind us. Enjoy the rest of your midnight.
PAUL: Do you know lord JOJELLA?
NICOLE: JOJELLA… was a story my dad always told me, to get me to behave. He’d punish her, and I’d behave.
ADORA: That doesn’t make sense. How can you punish a story?
NICOLE: She was my make believe sister. Not a real person. Or, maybe it is…
PAUL: What did your dad do for work?
NICOLE: I don’t know what he did when I was a kid, but he’s a computer programmer now. He never did talk of work back then, come to think of it.
PAUL: Any reason to suspect he attended Adventure Academy?
NICOLE: Until now, I never had any reason to suspect he even knew of Adventure Academy. Now I’m intrigued. [excited] Let’s go!
SCENE: Castle gate
SFX: Footsteps on wood
ADORA: They just leave the gates open overnight?
NICOLE: I guess we’ve come in a time of peace? It’s not uncommon to leave the bridge down.
PAUL: Guard! Where would we find lord JOJELLA?
GUARD: She resides in the west tower. That one. She comes through the square in the mornings, if you want to see her.
NICOLE: [shrugging] Good thing we’re not here to do her any harm. I guess we’ll see her in the morning, then. Thank you, guard.
PAUL: What are you-
NICOLE: Shh! Shh shh shh. We get out of earshot before we go spouting off our plans. We’re not waiting for the other teams to win. We’re going to find a way to get up that tower.
NICOLE: Come on. Let’s find a way in.
SFX: Door jostles
ADORA: The slit in the wall over there. I can fit in it. I’ll open the door for you guys. Just help me up. [grunt] Thanks! [another grunt]
SFX: Door creaks open.
PAUL: Sweet. Good thing this place is not Fort Knox. Let’s get to the top.
SCENE: Climbing stairs
SFX: Ascending stairs
PAUL: [winded] You ever been in a lighthouse?
NICOLE: [winded] Yeah. Down at Hunting Island, South Carolina. Why?
PAUL: [winded] At least they have the decency to add levels for breaks. This is at least twice the height.
ADORA: [winded] At least we don’t have to bring the oil to the top like they did.
SCENE: At top flight
PAUL: Take a breather.
JOJELLA: I can hear you outside my door. What is your business with me so late at night?
ADORA: [whispering] What do we say?
NICOLE: [whispering] WE don’t even know why we’re here.
SFX: Door unlocked. Door opens.
JOJELLA: Well? Oh. [surprised] What attire are you wearing?
ADORA: We’re sorcerers.
NICOLE: [whisper] What?!
ADORA: [whisper] I don’t know. Just go with it.
JOJELLA: [unimpressed] Oh, are you now? Come in. You made it this far. I may as well be hospitable.
NICOLE: Wait. How are we supposed to let the listeners know that Jojella is the patron-chosen name of a character?
ADORA: Don’t look at me- I don’t know.
PAUL: We could break the fourth wall, and let the listener know. Kind of like a PSA or something.
NICOLE: That would be ridiculous.
JOJELLA: Maybe I could drop it in the dialogue that I’m a patron-named character somehow.
NICOLE: That could just work.
NARRATOR: And it DID just work
MUSIC: ukelele riff
NICOLE: Are you… Jojella?
JOJELLA: They call me Lord JOJELLA, here. Are you sorcerers?
ADORA: Yeah! We’re-
NICOLE: No. We’re not sorcerers, but I think you already know that. Did you know my father?
JOJELLA: [menacingly] That didn’t take you long to realize.
SFX: Door locks
PAUL: [confused] What’s going on?
NICOLE: Find a way out!
JOJELLA: Don’t you want a taste of your dad’s own medicine?
NICOLE: I thought you were imaginary!
JOJELLA: I still think YOU’RE imaginary!
NICOLE: Guys! Find a way out!
SFX: Small explosion
ADORA: How’d you find tha-
NICOLE: Nevermind that! Let’s go!
JOJELLA: You can’t outrun me!
SFX: Physical struggle
PAUL: Let’s jump on the door! We’ll slide down the stairs!
PAUL: Hold on!
SFX: Bumping of door (wood) as they slide down like a toboggan
JOJELLA: [becoming more distant] I’m everywhere, NICOLE! I’m EVERYWHERE!!!
SFX: Door still bumping as characters talk
ADORA: [bumpy] Who WAS that?
NICOLE: [bumpy] What?!
ADORA: [bumpy] I SAID, who WAS that?!
NICOLE: [bumpy] She was an imaginary person who suffered my consequences as a kid!
PAUL: [bumpy] We came a really far way up, didn’t we?
NICOLE: [bumpy] Huh???
PAUL: [bumpy] We went a good deal up these stairs, didn’t we?
ADORA: [bumpy] Look out!
SFX: wood crashes
ALL: Groans in pain
JOJELLA: [cooly] Like I said- I’m everywhere.
NICOLE: [defensive] I didn’t know you were real!
JOJELLA: I bore all your punishments, NICOLE! Did you not think it strange that you got away with murder while your “imaginary sister” got locked in the attic?!
ADORA: It’s not a far jump down! Into the moat!
SFX: Grab stone wall
ALL: Grunts as you climb and jump
JOJELLA: [distant] You’ll always run, NICOLE! But I’ll be right there, now that I know you’re alive!
PAUL: Hey! I found something!
SFX: Submerge in water
PAUL: [blow water out of face] Yeap! To shore. It’s… heavy.
SFX: swimming. Wet walking.
PAUL: Oh yeah. It’s from the ship alright.
ADORA: But, what is “it?”
PAUL: It’s… It’s a part from the ship. It must have fallen off it as we flew overhead.
NICOLE: Let’s get to the ship, see if we can shove it on, and get back to Adventure Academy. JOJELLA seems able to follow us everywhere around here.
ADORA: Here. Let’s put it on this, and drag it behind us. We’ll take turns, since it’s so heavy.
SCENE: At ship
PAUL: That outta do it.
NICOLE: It’ll stay attached to the ship, you think?
PAUL: Definitely! I used to build lawn mowers at home.
NICOLE: [unimpressed] Lawn mowers?
PAUL: Do you have any better ideas, NIKKI.
NICOLE: That’s not my name. It’s NICOLE.
PAUL: Do we need anything else, ladies?
ADORA: Do you know how to fly this thing?
PAUL: Do you?
ADORA: I can give it a shot.
PAUL: You do that.
NICOLE: Well? Get in.
PAUL: We’re waiting on you. I can’t fit in the back.
SCENE: Still in ship, landing. Back at AA
ADORA: Coming in for a landing! It may be a bumpy ride! [pause] Or not.
SFX: Hatch/cockpit opens. Electricity flickers.
EDIT: As Paul talks, voice alters to indicate room change
PAUL: I TOLD you! Simulation!
PROF: Well done, students! You are the second team to make it back.
PAUL: [disappointed] Dang!
GUIDE: It’s not that bad, guys! You did very well. It’s not all about who finishes first, but which team caught all the clues first, who completed the mission to the fuller extent, etcetera.
GUIDE: You caught me. I’m JOSEPHINE JELLA.
NICOLE: What about my dad? Did he-
PROF: Your dad! How IS he? He used to be my classmate, when we attended Adventure Academy.
NICOLE: So… He came to school here?
PROF: Technically, I’m not supposed to tell you. So… I won’t.
ADORA: That sucks! Now you’ll never know!
PAUL: [embarrassed for her] ADORA… He did come to school here.
ADORA: Oh! Then why didn’t anybody say so?
PAUL: So, what now?
GUIDE: We reconvene in the Farquharson Hall for food. I’m sure you’re all famished.
ADORA: Did anyone want to share my squirrel jerky?
SFX: Footsteps away
GUIDE: There’s no need for that, ADORA. Follow me. Let’s get you some real food.
PAUL: [fades out] So who beat us? Please tell me it wasn’t team 2.
GUIDE: [still fading out] You remember the student CARL?