‘The Austen Code’, Part Two, Chapter 7

nyssa-sarah-sutton

7. Monster Attack!

SCENE #60 – INT – ASSEMBLY ROOMS – DAY, EVENING – NOVEMBER 1797
In the ballroom, happy dancing music is played in the form of ‘Le Pantalon’ and the stages of the dance are entering into the pastourelle leading into the finale. The dance is elegant, lyrical and quite complex. The dancers involved include the Doctor and Miss Austen; Nyssa and Mr. Thorpe-Willoughby; and Captain Wentworth and Catherine Morland. Whilst they dance, Jane speaks to the Doctor.

JANE
(cheeringly) “You are a fine dancer Doctor, but you’re terrible at conversation. You’ve hardly spoken a word since we started.”

DOCTOR
(apprehensively) “Yes, sorry about that. I’m not used to dancing and I’m careful to tread where I may.”

Moment of silence between them.

JANE
(heartily) “I prefer private country dances compared with these public balls they hold in Bath. They are too formal for my liking.”

DOCTOR
“Yes. I see.”

Awkward silence ensues.

DOCTOR
“Do you not find Bath appealing to your taste?”

JANE
“I find it appealing. But I wouldn’t like to consider it for accommodation. For I’m a country girl and I intend to remain that way.”

DOCTOR
(sympathetically) “You must miss your home in the country then.”

JANE
“Very much yes.”

Silence between them, as they do another turn and mix in with another set of partners. The Doctor then makes a mistake during the dance.

JANE
(laughs) “The other way, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
(apprehensively) “Sorry.”

The Doctor finds his place again and dances on without any difficulty.

JANE
“And you, Doctor? Do you come from the country or are you a city dweller?”

DOCTOR
“Oh I was once a dweller in the citadel of Gallifrey.”

JANE
(puzzled) “Where, sir?”

DOCTOR
“But tell me Miss Austen. You haven’t encountered any strange beings in your travels. Like…I don’t know…monstrous creatures that look like walking dead…or some that bite on people’s necks?”

JANE
(gradually; laughs) “You astound me, sir. For I didn’t know you read novels of that calibre. Not the sort of thing men read, I’m certain.”

The dance comes to an end, as the Doctor bows and Jane curtsies. The other dances do the same. The music stops, and the dancers including the Doctor, Jane, Nyssa, Thorpe-Willoughby, Captain Wentworth and Catherine applaud the musicians once they finished.

JANE
(pleased) “That was wonderful.” (to Doctor) “I’m obliged to you, Doctor. You make a fine dancing partner.”

DOCTOR
(firmly) “Tell me, Miss Austen. Have you seen any form of creatures in your travels with water dripping from their mouths?”

JANE
(astonished) “What? Dear sir, you do jest!”

DOCTOR
“Believe me this is not a matter for a joke! I’m quite serious, Miss Austen!”

Disturbed by the Doctor, Jane is then distracted by Thorpe-Willoughby talking to Nyssa.

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
“Thank you for that dance, Miss Nyssa. I very much appreciate it.”

NYSSA
(reserved) “Not at all, Mr. Thorpe-Willoughby!”

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
(persistent) “May I ask you to join me for the second dance?”

NYSSA
(nervously) “No! Thank you Mr. Thorpe-Willoughby, but I won’t.”

Nyssa tries to walk away, but Thorpe-Willoughby stands in her path.

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
“Oh come now, Miss Nyssa. You surely can’t refuse another dance with Mr. Thorpe-Willoughby!”

NYSSA
(scared) “Please, sir! Get out of my way. I must see my friend, the Doctor.”

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
“Oh but your friend can wait. You’d want to pay more attention to me than him.”

Jane observes Nyssa with Thorpe-Willoughby until the Doctor interrupts her.

DOCTOR
“Miss Austen?!”

JANE
“Excuse me, Doctor. I must see to your friend, Miss Nyssa. I must rescue her immediately.”

DOCTOR
“But…”

Jane leaves the Doctor annoyed and frustrated, as she goes to see Nyssa. She passes Captain Wentworth talking to Cassandra.

WENTWORTH
(cheeringly) “Miss Cassandra. I have the honour of accompanying you for the next dance.”

CASSANDRA
(happily) “Yes! I really look forward to it, Captain Wentworth!”

Meanwhile, Jane eventually reaches Nyssa with Thorpe-Willoughby.

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
“I must insist you dance with me, dear lady.”

NYSSA
(anxiously) “Please Mr. Thorpe-Willoughby. Let me go!”

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
“Now, now, now…”

JANE
(interrupts) “Excuse me!”

Thorpe-Willoughby turns to see Jane standing before her. He then bows to her as Jane curtsies, before addressing Nyssa.

JANE
(to Nyssa) “Miss Nyssa. I believe you agreed to take a turn about the octagon and tea room with me.

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
(agitated) “Excuse me, miss. But I was just…”

JANE
(interrupts; to Nyssa) “Are you ready, Nyssa?”

NYSSA
(puzzled momentarily) “Yes. Yes I am.” (confidently; to Thorpe-Willoughby) “Thank you, Mr. Thorpe-Willoughby. Sorry I couldn’t attend you for the second dance.”

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
(bitterly) “Not at all. Some other time.”

Thorpe-Willoughby bows to Nyssa as she curtsies before joining Jane.

JANE
“Please take my arm, Miss Nyssa.”

NYSSA
“Thank you, Miss Austen.”

The two ladies walk arm in arm as they head off to leave the ballroom, whilst the next dance is about to commence. Thorpe-Willoughby watches them go before he is approached by an angry Salvador.

SALVADOR
(angrily) “You have disobeyed my commands, Thorpe-Willoughby! You have danced with the Lady Nyssa which I instructed you not to do!”

THORPE-WILLOUGBHY
“I do not ask you to interfere with my affairs, Mr. Salvador. For Nyssa is my woman and I will not have you dictate…”

SALVADOR
(angrily) “I warned you not to dance with her! Now you have caused suspicion to grow. You will suffer!”

Without expecting it, Thorpe-Willoughby starts to shake and feel numb as he crumbles to the floor shivering.

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
“What…what have you done to me? Why…am I in this state…I…”

He then gasps at something that shocks him.

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
“My hand…it’s fading! I can’t feel it or touch it! My hand is…transparent!” (Pause) “What is this wizardry?”

SALVADOR
“I have the power to erase you from time, Mr. Thorpe-Willoughby. This is what happens if you disobey me again! Except the next time, I will erase you completely and you life will never have existed!”

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
“You can’t do this! I will not be your slave!”

SALVADOR
“I am Salvador! You will keep my commandments, follow my word and walk in my ways to the rest of your days to obtain eternal life!”

Thorpe-Willoughby shakes and shivers more as he slowly fades away from time. He tries to look up at Salvador in contempt of him.

THORPE-WILLOUGBY
(grimly) “What is it you command me to do, sir?”

SALVADOR
(coldly) “Dance with Miss Gibbons; keep close watch on her and keep well away from Lady Nyssa.”

Salvador then walks away and Thorpe-Willoughby reverts back to normal. Standing up and getting up from the floor, he brushes himself off embarrassed as he sees people looking at him. Re-establishing a calm demeanour, Thorpe-Willoughby walks away.


SCENE #61 – EXT – BROAD STREET, BATH – DAY, EVENING – NOVEMBER 1797
On Broad Street in Bath, the horse-drawn carriage reined by Billy and Henry rides at full speed. It rides through the street, causing people walking by to jump out of the way. Some shout at Billy and Henry whilst they  drive the carriage. But the carriage remains relentless on the path.

HENRY
“Billy, you’re going too fast! Slow down!”

BILLY
“I must get to the Doctor and Nyssa! They’re the only ones who can help with what’s happening!”

HENRY
“You’re sure you know where they are then?”

BILLY
“They should be at the Assembly Rooms! Where are we, Henry?”

HENRY
(thinks) “Well…we’re on Broad Street now. And we’ve just passed George Street on the left.”

BILLY
“Right.”

HENRY
(with certainty) “So we pass the turning to Alfred Street before we come to the turning on Bennett Street. Then we turn left to come to the Assembly Rooms.”

BILLY
“Let me know when we come to it, Henry. I’ll have to make a sharp turn to the left once we get there.”

HENRY
“If we don’t murder the whole of Broad Street that is.”

BILLY
(determined) “I’ll be careful! But we must get to the Doctor and Nyssa!”

HENRY
“And they’re the ones who can help us?”

BILLY
“Yes. I know them well. Trust me!”

Henry becomes silent as he is perturbed by all that has happened today. After travelling through Broad Street for some time, Henry raises from his seat, spotting something.

BILLY
“What is it?”

HENRY
(shocked) “Hark! I see dead men walking in the night!”

Billy looks to see walking zombies, dripping with water, making their way through Broad Street in the dead of night.

BILLY
“More zombies! Something must be happening!” (Pause) “We must keep going!”

HENRY
“With those monsters walking beside us!”

BILLY
“Yes!”

HENRY
“But what if we get jumped on by one of these horrors and be eaten alive or become like them!”

BILLY
(anxiously) “We just have to risk it! Besides you’re a strong man, aren’t you?!”

HENRY
“I don’t see why…”

BILLY
(apprehensively) “Now do keep quiet, Henry! I must concentrate on getting us to the Assembly Rooms!”

Billy whips the reins on the horses and they gallop faster driving the carriage forward, whilst the street is haunted by walking zombies dripping with water.


SCENE #62 – INT – ASSEMBLY ROOMS – DAY, EVENING – NOVEMBER 1797
Back at the Assembly Rooms, Nyssa and Jane Austen walk around in the tea room. There are a few dancers there, but not as many as in the ballroom.

NYSSA
“So…you write novels, Miss Austen?”

JANE
“I have written two complete works from the heart, Miss Nyssa. I am set on writing a third based on my visit to Bath.”

NYSSA
“A novel containing gothic imagery.”

JANE
(startled) “How came you by that information, Miss Nyssa? I have told the nature of my work to no one but my sister.”

NYSSA
“Oh. Err…I guessed.” (Pause) “But that’s what everybody of the eighteenth century reads nowadays, isn’t it? Horror novels containing zombies, vampires and such horrible things I don’t wish to mention.”

JANE
“Not everybody, Miss Nyssa. For I happen to know a few male readers who read history, which I find admirable in a gentleman.” (Pause) “But I do concur. There is a surfeit of that kind of literature for my taste. I prefer to write stories that are based on the current matters of the world today.” (Pause) “Do you intend to marry, Miss Nyssa?”

NYSSA
(thinks) “Well, I haven’t really thought about it.”

JANE
“If that statement is meant to be fallacy, you do conceal the pleasantry of your words, dear.” (astonished) “Haven’t thought about it! It is a truth universally acknowledged, dear Nyssa, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

NYSSA
“And you don’t believe in it?”

JANE
“On the contrary, Nyssa! I have written that very statement in my own work ‘First Impressions’!”

NYSSA
“Then how come you’ve never married?”

JANE
(gradually) “I’ve never had the fortune of such a gentleman asking me to marry him. I do not believe marriage can be secure without the security of love as well as material. For that is all that marriage thrives on this day.” (Pause) “You are a lady, you must understand that surely.”

NYSSA
“I’m afraid I have no interest in money. Only the Fosters that tend the grove back home would be easily persuaded with payment.”

JANE
“Then I congratulate you, dear Miss Nyssa. You seek love in marriage as much as I do.”

NYSSA
“Oh yes! I can’t imagine a marriage not fulfilled by love for one another.”

Moment of silence.

JANE
“I notice that you have an admirer in Mr. Thorpe-Willoughby. He does seem to be a wealthy man.”

NYSSA
(defensively) “Oh no! No, no! Mr. Thorpe-Willoughby and I are not together!”

JANE
(laughs) “Contain yourself, Miss Nyssa. I only tease you. For I saw the look in your eyes that you do not admire him. And I share your opinion. He is arrogant and full of himself. Hardly the best quality in a man. But then I wrote about a man of that description in one of my novels. Perhaps you will know the gentleman in time when you’re well acquainted with him.”

NYSSA
“Oh I know him too well, Miss Austen. And he certainly is not a gentleman!”

JANE
(puzzled) “Then is there someone else you are interested in? Another young man perhaps?”

NYSSA
“No. There is no-one else.” (Pause) “Well, not in a serious capacity.”

Just as Jane and Nyssa come to the far end of the tea room, Captain Wentworth and the Doctor approach them.

WENTWORTH
“Ah, Miss Austen. I’d thought I’d find you here.”

DOCTOR
“Nyssa? Are you enjoying yourself?”

NYSSA
“Yes Doctor. Miss Austen and I have been chatting whilst walking around the tea room.”

JANE
“It is indeed so, Doctor.”

DOCTOR
(pleased) “Splendid!”

WENTWORTH
“Well Miss Austen, I hope you pardon the intrusion. But I happen to have the next dance with you!”

JANE
“Yes, Captain! You are correct!” (to Nyssa) “If you’ll excuse me, Miss Nyssa.”

NYSSA
“Yes of course.”

Jane takes Wentworth’s arm, as he escorts her back to the ballroom. The Doctor addresses Nyssa once they’ve gone.

DOCTOR
“You’ve enjoyed your conversation with Miss Austen then?”

NYSSA
(pleased) “Yes indeed. I’ve been learning more about her than I realise. But I do wish that I’d mentioned…”

DOCTOR
“Yes?”

NYSSA
(thinks) “Perhaps it’s best I shouldn’t.”

DOCTOR
(encouragingly) “Anyway, I’ve been quite good at this dancing technique of eighteenth century balls. Will you join me in the next dance?”

NYSSA
“I’d be delighted, Doctor!”

The Doctor bows and Nyssa curtsies, letting out a little giggle, as she takes the Doctor’s hand and they go to the ballroom.


SCENE #63 – EXT – ASSEMBLY ROOMS – DAY, EVENING – NOVEMBER 1797
Outside the Assembly Rooms, the carriage carrying Billy and Henry comes to a halt. Billy immediately jumps down from the carriage.

HENRY
(calls) “Billy sir, wait!”

BILLY
“What is it now?!”

HENRY
“You can’t go into the Assembly Rooms unannounced like that. It’ll be…um…unappealing to those stiff eyes…”

BILLY
“Those zombie things will be here any minute, Henry. Quite frankly, I don’t care whether people disapprove of our entrance. The Doctor and Nyssa are in there and I must warn them!”

Billy runs on, as he enters the Assembly Rooms.

HENRY
(to himself) “I admire the boy! He has spirit!”

With some reluctance, Henry gets down from the carriage to follow Billy.


SCENE #64 – INT – ASSEMBLY ROOMS – DAY, EVENING – NOVEMBER 1797
Back inside in the ballroom of the Assembly Rooms, Captain Wentworth dances with Jane Austen.

WENTWORTH
“I was fortunate meeting your brothers, Miss Austen.”

JANE
“What Francis and Charles?! And how are they?”

WENTWORTH
(charmingly) “Well enough when I saw them. You have fine brothers! Very seafaring.”

JANE
“Oh yes! I miss them and look forward to their return! Hearing their accounts of off-shore matters! Do you command the same fleet with them?”

WENTWORTH
“No. Our ships crossed paths to different destinations.” (Pause) “Hearing their accounts, miss?”

JANE
“They provide inspiration in my writing when I hear their seashore tales.”

WENTWORTH
“Writing. That is admirable. And pray what does this writing present itself in.”

JANE
“Novels.”

WENTWORTH
“Very inspirational.” (Pause) “Have your brothers informed you there are no servants to provide us with meals and there is no advantage in pampering when we dine together not in our cabins.”

JANE
“They have indeed, sir. I presumed it to be folly!”

WENTWORTH
“No, no. Indeed it’s true.”

Susan and Margaret’s giggly laughter echoes nearby as they dance with some military men in the ballroom.

JANE
“There goes Susan and Margaret Morland.”

WENTWORTH
“Happy pretty women they are too.”

JANE
“Pretty yes, but happy is an under-statement. They are far too eager, especially with the militia.”

WENTWORTH
“Don’t take army men for granted, Miss Austen. For I once knew a….”

Whilst Jane and Wentworth talk and dance, Thorpe-Willoughby dances with Miss Gibbons in the ballroom.

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
(amusingly) “I hope our dance will not be interrupted as soon as our business commences. It would be a dreadful shame to end the dance between a beautiful lady as yourself, and a charming gentlemen like myself!”

LUCY
“You are despicable!”

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
“Now, now! Remember what Lady Anne said. Remember your manners, dear Lucy!”

LUCY
“My name is not Lucy! It’s…”

Suddenly they are interrupted, as Billy Walker bursts in.

BILLY
(calls) “Doctor; Nyssa! Where are you?!”

Everyone mutters and murmurs once they see Billy enter.

WENTWORTH
“What on earth is this? Who is that young man?”

JANE
“He’s in such exertion. He wears the suit of a waiter!”

Billy looks around in such a panic.

BILLY
(calls) “Doctor; Nyssa?!”

NYSSA
(calls) “Billy! Over here!”

DOCTOR
(irritably) “Nyssa, what are you doing?!”

NYSSA
“It’s Billy, Doctor! He’s come in such a state about something! It must be urgent!”

DOCTOR
(irritably) “Obviously I haven’t given you proper lectures on eighteenth century manners! I told that boy to call me!”

Billy runs over to meet the Doctor and Nyssa.

BILLY
(pants) “Doctor?! Thank goodness I’ve found you!”

NYSSA
“What’s the matter, Billy?”

Aunt Jane enters, followed by Uncle James and Lady Anne.

AUNT JANE
“What is happening here?” (gasps) “Why, Mr. Leigh Perrot! I see there is a boy in muddy hemmed trousers! How could Mr. King let in such a travesty?!”

UNCLE JAMES
“I’ve no idea but I’m sure there’s a reason, my dear.”

AUNT JANE
“It’s despicable! Isn’t it Lady Anne?!”

LADY ANNE
“Most certainly, Mrs. Leigh Perrot!”

AUNT JANE
“I’m glad we are of the same mind, Lady Anne.”

Meanwhile, Cassandra joins Jane.

CASSANDRA
“Who is that young man, Jane?”

JANE
“I’ve no idea. He’s in such a state I hardly know whether to welcome him or dismiss him.”

CASSANDRA
“He seems to know the Doctor and Miss Nyssa.”

JANE
(astonished) “And they him! How could all three of them be so well acquainted?”

Whilst Jane ponders this…

DOCTOR
(agitated) “Billy, I told you to contact us! Not to come all the way up here!”

BILLY
“I had to come, Doctor. Something went wrong with my communicator. A sort of buzzing or cracking causing interference.”

NYSSA
(astonished) “That’s strange, so did ours! It must have started, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
“The convergence is happening far more quickly than we realise.”

Henry then enters.

HENRY
“Billy! Billy, sir! Have you found your friends, sir?!” (realises) “Oh I see you have! Fine looking people too!”

AUNT JANE
(gasps; shocked) “An outrage! This is an outrage Mr. Leigh Perrot. I’m all nerves!”

UNCLE JAMES
(comfortably) “Do not fret, Jenny! Your nerves are constant companions of mine.”

Meanwhile Susan and Margaret observe what’s happening.

SUSAN
(ignorantly) “Who are these boys dragging themselves in on our party?! They don’t seem gentlemanly!”

MARGARET
“I wouldn’t dance with them for a lifetime.”

Susan and Margaret become giggly as they watch the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy interact with Henry.

DOCTOR
“Who’s your friend, Billy?”

BILLY
“Doctor, this is Mr. Henry Clay. Henry, this is the Doctor.”

HENRY
“Pleased to make your acquaintance, sir.”

DOCTOR
“Any friend of Mr. Walker’s is a friend of mine, Mr. Clay!”

Just then, Mr. King, the Master of Ceremonies enters as he interrupts the conversation between the Doctor, Nyssa, Billy and Henry.

MR. KING
“Excuse me! I am Mr. King the Master of Ceremonies! I do not know why you boys have entered our company, but you can leave this instant!”

DOCTOR
(assuredly) “It’s alright, Mr. King. They’re friends of mine.”

MR. KING
(disapprovingly) “They are in a disagreeable state, sir! And the Assembly Rooms will have nothing to do with them!”

AUNT JANE
(excitably) “Precisely! So get out, you dirty boys! Get out!”

JANE
“Aunt Jane! Contain yourself!”

AUNT JANE
“I shall do what I like! These boys are not welcome! And Lady Anne will support me…” (puzzled) “Mr. Leigh Perrot, I do not see Lady Anne! Where’s she gone?”

Whilst this goes on, Billy talks to the Doctor

BILLY
(anxiously) “Doctor, we haven’t much time. Those monsters will be here any moment.”

DOCTOR
“How far away were they when you last saw them?”

BILLY
“Last time I saw them they were in Broad Street. They should be nearly here!”

NYSSA
(anxiously) “Doctor, we have to get these people out!”

BILLY
(shocked) “Oh my goodness, Doctor! There he is!”

DOCTOR
“Who?”

BILLY
(anxiously) “Alexandros! He’s just run out!”

NYSSA
“Yes we know! I’ve just danced with him to avoid suspicion.”

BILLY
“Well oughtn’t we to go after him?!”

DOCTOR
“No! Nyssa’s right! We must get these people out!” (to Mr. Clay) “Mr. Clay, I wonder….”

Just then panic ensues by the attendees. Horrific water-zombies enter, dripping with water. Everyone screams, running for their lives.

NYSSA
“It’s too late! They’re here!”

DOCTOR
“I’m an idiot! Thorpe-Willoughby went out to let the Volturnans in and I didn’t realise!”

The zombies attack from every part of the ballroom, as the attendees attempt to run away. Some attendees get bitten on the neck by the zombies and faint. Aunt Jane faints as she cries…

AUNT JANE
(cries) “Oh Mr. Leigh Perrot!”

Uncle James helps his wife, whilst Jane, Cassandra and Wentworth react in horror.

JANE
(horrified) “Cass, I’m scared out of my wits!”

CASSANDRA
(horrified) “As am I! I’ve never seen such horrid sights!”

JANE
(horrified) “This can’t be real! Can it?!”

WENTWORTH
(horrified) “Of course it can’t!”

DOCTOR
“Oh believe me, this is real! No fictional characters could’ve escaped the works of those horror geniuses!”

NYSSA
“We must get to a place of safety, Doctor!”

DOCTOR
“Yes!” (to Billy) “Billy. You take Mr. Clay outside and get the carriage ready!”

BILLY
“Right, Doctor!” (to Henry) “Henry, come with me!”

Henry follows Billy, whilst the Doctor and Nyssa address Jane and Cassandra.

DOCTOR
“Miss Austen and Miss Austen! I’m afraid you have to come with us!”

JANE
“I beg your pardon, sir! For what reason…”

DOCTOR
(forcefully)  “Now! You must come with us now!”

JANE
“How dare you address me and my sister in such a manner of voice and tone, Doctor?! Those aren’t the words of a gentleman!”

NYSSA
“Please, Miss Austen! You must come with us now! If you don’t, we’ll all be killed!”

CASSANDRA
“Jane, we better do as they say!”

JANE
“But we do not know their part in this horror, Cass! Should we trust them?”

CASSANDRA
“Look around, Jane! See what those creatures are doing?!”

They look to see Mr. King addressing one of the zombies.

MR. KING
(to zombie) “How dare you enter these premises in such a manner, sir?! I must ask you to leave…”

But the Master of Ceremonies doesn’t finish his sentence, as the zombie attacks him and bites him on the neck. Both Cassandra and Jane scream, whilst the Doctor pulls them away.

DOCTOR
“Cassandra; Jane! Come on!”

As the Doctor drags Jane and Cassandra away, Wentworth protests.

WENTWORTH
(protests) “Now see here, Dr. Smith…”

DOCTOR
(agitated; to Wentworth) “Oh please! Don’t Dr. Smith me, Captain…Captain, what was your name again?”

WENTWORTH
“Captain Wentworth, sir.”

DOCTOR
“Captain Wentworth.” (realises) “Wentworth! Yes, of course! It gets everywhere, doesn’t it?!” (to Wentworth) “Come on!”

The Doctor drags Captain Wentworth with well whilst he passes Jane and Cassandra to Nyssa.

DOCTOR
(anxiously) “Nyssa! Take the girls with you! We’re heading outside!”

NYSSA
“Right, Doctor!”

The Doctor takes Captain Wentworth and Nyssa takes Jane and Cassandra as they head outside. This is while the zombies continue to frighten the attendees in the Assembly Rooms.


SCENE #65 – INT – ASSEMBLY ROOMS – DAY, EVENING – NOVEMBER 1797
In the Great Octagon, the Doctor and Nyssa with Wentworth and the Austen girls head for the exit. Their path then gets blocked by one of zombies jumping out in front of them. The zombie snarls, water dripping from its mouth, causing Jane and Cassandra to scream at the sight of it.

NYSSA
“We must get away, Doctor! We can’t allow Jane Austen to be harmed!”

DOCTOR
(determined) “I know, Nyssa. I know!”

The creature snarls for a while before Wentworth attempts to approach it.

WENTWORTH
“I shall attend to this thing!”

DOCTOR
“No, Captain! You wouldn’t be able to outsmart it! That creature’s ten times more powerful than you!”

Wentworth, taking heed of the Doctor’s warning, stands back. The creature continues snarling at them.

BILLY
“Hey zombie! Take this!”

The creature turns as it is knocked out with a chair by Billy. The creature faints to the floor.

BILLY
“It’s alright, Doctor! You can come through now!”

DOCTOR
(shocked) “Billy, what are you doing?! That was a Hepplewhite George the Third mahogany window seat.”

NYSSA
“Doctor, say ‘thank you’ to Billy!”

DOCTOR
(shocked) “You could have used another means of knocking out that creature without a chair, Billy!”

BILLY
(wryly) “I’m pleased you’re grateful, Doctor! I’m so happy to have saved your life!”

CASSANDRA
(terrified) “I do not understand what all of this means!”

JANE
“Neither do I! What kind of creatures are these? They’re not flesh and blood like us men and women!”

DOCTOR
“They’re called Volturnans, Miss Austen. Remember that name if you’ll be so kind.”

JANE
“Volturnans. What name is that?”

NYSSA
(calls) “Everyone! To the carriage!”

BILLY
“Henry’s got it all ready and waiting for us!”

DOCTOR
“Excellent! Go to it everyone!”

The Doctor, Nyssa, Billy, Wentworth and the Austen girls head out, escaping the horrors within the Assembly Rooms.


SCENE #66 – EXT – ASSEMBLY ROOMS – DAY, EVENING – NOVEMBER 1797
The Doctor, Nyssa, Billy, Wentworth and the Austen girls all run out into the open. They approach the carriage waiting for them by Henry.

BILLY
“Here we are! Let me help you in, Nyssa!”

NYSSA
(assuredly) “I’ll be fine, Billy. Let’s get in quickly!”

BILLY
“Right.” (to Jane) “Miss Austen, let me help you in!”

WENTWORTH
“I shall escort these ladies in, young man! It requires a gentleman to let a lady into a carriage.”

JANE
“Thank you, Captain Wentworth!”

WENTWORTH
“And you, Miss Cassandra!”

CASSANDRA
“Thank you, Captain Wentworth!”

DOCTOR
(impatiently) “Come on, everybody! Get aboard!” (to Henry) “Mr. Clay, ride on!”

HENRY
“Where to?”

DOCTOR
(impatiently) “To Bath Abbey! Quick, man! Ride on!”

HENRY
“Very good, sir!” (to horses) “Go on, walk on!”

Henry hits the horses with the reins and they charge on ahead. The horses with the carriage leave the invaded Assembly Rooms and head for Bath Abbey.


SCENE #67 – INT – ASSEMBLY ROOMS – DAY, EVENING – NOVEMBER 1797
In the ballroom, everyone is terrified out of their wits and unable to comprehend as they get gathered together by the water-zombies dripping with water. Mr. Thorpe-Willoughby re-enters the ballroom and addresses Lady Anne and Lucy Gibbons.

THORPE-WILLOUGBY
“Every room has been surrounded. All the guests have been accounted for.”

LUCY
(angrily) “Was it really necessary to kill so many people?!”

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
“After all this, there will be no thoughtless killing!”

LUCY
“You say that with such sincerity. Not to mention vulgar!”

LADY ANNE
“Enough, Miss Gibbons! I do not understand why you don’t share our enthusiasm in these affairs.”

Meanwhile, Aunt Jane comes to to stand by Uncle James.

UNCLE JAMES
“Are you alright, Jenny my dear? You’ve just fainted!”

Uncle James uses a bottle of smelling salts to bring his wife round, to which she coughs.

AUNT JANE
(disturbed) “Don’t bring any more of that stuff to my nose, my husband!”

Aunt Jane then looks to see Lady Anne with Lucy Gibbons and Thorpe-Willoughby. Both Aunt Jane and Uncle James are joined by the two Morland girls, Susan and Margaret.

AUNT JANE
(to Lady Anne) “Lady Anne? What is the meaning of this? These creatures…”

LADY ANNE
“Be silent, woman! Your dull conversation and words do not interest me!”

AUNT JANE
(shocked) “What?!” (to Uncle James) “Mr. Leigh Perrot! I do not understand this!”

UNCLE JAMES
“It seems we have been deceived, Mrs. Leigh Perrot. For Lady Anne, Miss Gibbons and Thorpe-Willoughby are in league with these creatures.”

AUNT JANE
(frets; to Lady Anne) “Lady Anne I must ask you…”

LADY ANNE
“I SAID…BE SILENT!”

THORPE-WILLOUGBY
“We shall not detain you any longer, Mrs. Leigh Perrot. For all guests shall be attended to shortly!”

UNCLE JAMES
“By whom, sir?”

SUSAN
“Yes, by whom? I went to a lot of trouble to buy this dress! I’m sorry I bought it now!”

MARGARET
“So am I!”

LADY ANNE
“My future husband will come soon! He will decide what is to be done with you all!”

AUNT JANE
“And who pray is your future husband, Lady Anne?”

LADY ANNE
“Mr. Salvador!”

UNCLE JAMES
“Salvador? Who the devil is Salvador?”

They then become silent, as Salvador enters gloomily in a menacing manner that chills everyone.

LUCY
“He is!”

THORPE-WILLOUGHBY
(to Salvador) “We have gathered the guests you require, Mr. Salvador. What is to be done with them?”

Moment of silence, as Salvador stares at the terrified guests each in turn.

SALVADOR
“Take them to the baths! They shall be part of the ceremony at once!”


© Tim Bradley, 2017

 Go back to

‘Part Two, Chapter 6’ of ‘The Austen Code’

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‘Part Two, Chapter 8’ of ‘The Austen Code’

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